x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Life Lessons: Emirati Reem al Fahim

Emirati Reem al Fahim shares her insights and life philosophies in advance of the Special Care Centre's gala dinner.

Reem al Fahim, vice chairperson and head of executive committee of Special Care Centre in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National
Reem al Fahim, vice chairperson and head of executive committee of Special Care Centre in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Reem al Fahim is the vice-chairperson and head of the executive committee at the Special Care Centre in Abu Dhabi, which provides education and therapy to children with special needs. She has degrees in psychology and special education. To raise funds for its new campus, the centre will host a gala dinner on April 22 at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr

1. Be open to spirituality. Regardless of religion I believe it is important to take time each day to give thanks, reflect and put things in perspective. Getting out of the city and experiencing nature is part of remembrance and worship. I am on a mission to visit as many places around the world as possible to witness nature in all its glory.

2. Be a responsible member of the community: everybody is important. Contributing and participating is essential. Take part in community service activities and give back to society. As Emiratis we have been fortunate to be supported by our Government - all my education abroad was sponsored by the UAE. I see it as my duty to use my knowledge for the benefit of my country. That purpose in itself is empowering. I find that people feel an emptiness in their lives because they do not give back. Regardless of what our jobs are, it is important to find a cause we believe in and volunteer time, manpower or funds.

3. Relish simplicity. Every day I learn how important it is to keep things basic and simple. It's in our nature to over-complicate things. Common sense and honesty get you a long way. My goal is to always be myself and give love and kindness in every interaction.

4. Have fun and enjoy life. Go back to basics: life is short so make the most of it and don't take everything so seriously. Celebrate the good things in life - your family, friends, your health - as other people might not be so lucky.

5. Listen. I'm guilty of being one of the most talkative people I know! My father constantly tells me to stop talking and listen, especially in meetings, as I might miss something. I now realise how right he is.

As told to Jemma Nicholls

To buy tickets for the Special Care Centre Gala Dinner, visit www.sccgaladinner.com