NO. 7 - NOVEMBER 2014 - £4
Diva Migrant Woman
ASK THE DRAGON
HOW CAN I WIN THE COMPETITION?
REST THE BODY AND MIND
WHEN WOMEN FALL IN LOVE WITH CARS WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT LIVING IN LONDON
THE POWER OF NETWORKING 3 MIGRANT WOMEN 3 REASONS TO CONNECT SUBSCRIBE NOW 12 MONTHS FOR ONLY
HOW SHOULD WE MAKE OUR LIVES LESS TOXIC? SEVEN STEPS TO SERENITY LET’S TALK FASHION
students are At alike. At our Dwight, ourfoster aimthe is to foster theof development NoNo twotwo students are alike. Dwight, aim is to development the whole child. of the they whole Whether are a athlete. budding artist. A top-ranked athlete.... Whether are child. a budding artist. Athey top-ranked A brilliant scientist in the making Whatever the talent or passion, committed to realising every potential. A brilliant scientist in the Dwight makingis... Whatever the talent orstudentâ€™s passion,fullDwight is committed to realising every studentâ€™s full potential.
Dwight is an International Baccalaureate World School serving students aged 2-18, featuring EAL, Mother Tongue support and a door-to-door bus service.
Dwight is an International Baccalaureate World School serving students aged 2-18, featuring EAL, Mother Tongue support and a door-to-door bus service.
Learn More by Attending our IB Diploma Infomation Evening Tuesday 25th November 2014 Learn More by Attending our IB Diploma Infomation Evening
Tuesday 25th November 2014 Reserve your place by contacting us at
email@example.com or 020 8920 0634 Reserve place| www.dwightlondon.org by contacting us at 6 Friern Barnet Lane your N11 3LX
firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8920 0634 6 Friern Barnet Lane N11 3LX | www.dwightlondon.org
FOUNDER & EDITOR IN CHIEF Mirela Sula
SUB-EDITOR Trevor Clarke
Inva Mula A Migrant Diva
EDITORIAL TEAM Ada Albert Bobbi Bicker Kristale Rama Ada Zguro
Our crew PAGE 4
Editorial PAGE 5
News PAGE 6
Ask Judy: Relationships PAGE 10
Ask the Dragon: Business advice PAGE 12
Ask Simon: Tax advice PAGE 14
Special Feature - For the love of cars PAGES 22
My children and my husband come before any luxury car PAGE 24
My dream car is a Maserati PAGE 26
Racing driver by day, DJ by night PAGE 27
Seven steps to serenity PAGE 30
More than just a piece of chocolate PAGE 32
Living on a Knife-Edge Trauma Therapy to rest the Body and Mind PAGE 34
Creating a bright future for myself PAGE 36
Three migrant women, three reasons to connect PAGE 40
I enjoy meeting like-minded businesswomen PAGE 42
Having role models really helps PAGE 43
I use networking to increase my personal contacts PAGE 44
The power of networking PAGE 46
Why is networking important for migrant women? PAGE 50
My dyslexia has been strength to become a visionary entrepreneur PAGE 52
As women we need to help each other PAGE 56
Promoting Italian talent through art PAGE 58
What you should know about living in London PAGE 60
I aspire to be the light that can transform the world PAGE 64
How should we make our lives less toxic? PAGE 66
Letâ€™s talk Fashion PAGE 68
Migrant Woman Business and Personal Growth event report PAGE 72
Recipes from the Head Chef Onder Sahan PAGE 74
BOARD MEMBERS Baybars Altuntas Adelina Badivuku Aura Imbarus Marita Flager Julia Goga CONTRIBUTORS Baybars Altuntas Judy Piatkus Sarah Alexander Julian Childs Sahar Shahid Aura Imbarus Marita Flager Julia Goga Vivienne Aiyela Simon Newsham Shamin Iqbal ART EDITOR Henrik Lezi PHOTOGRAPHER Francisco Cruzat Rinaldo Sata Linda Scuizzato WEB DESIGNER Ken Doughty MARKETING AND PR Trevor Clarke Elisjada Canameti Amarilda Canameti Ada Albert ADDRESS Migrant Woman LTD Company Number: 08839812 E-mail: email@example.com Web: www.migrantwoman.com London, UK
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
CONTRIBUTORS | ISSUE #7, NOVEMBER 2014
Our crew for this issue
JUDY PIATKUS Judy Piatkus achieved a diploma in psychodynamic psychotherapy and counselling and worked in an NHS surgery in Harley Street London, for 450 hours, as well as in her own private practice. Judy now works with a wide range of organisations and businesses as a leadership development coach, consultant and mentor. She is also in much demand as a speaker on the topics of entrepreneurship, future trends, angel investing and building a great business.
BAYBARS ALTUNTAS Baybars Altuntas is a Turkish entrepreneur, speaker and author based in Istanbul. He founded Deulcom International, a vocational training school in 1992 and currently serves as the president of the executive committee of Deulcom. He is also a dragon on the Dragon’s Den Turkey, The Turkish version of the Dragon’s Den TV show. In 2011, Baybars wrote Off the Bus, into a BM. The book has been reprinted 24 times and translated into five languages.
ANNA CAJSA JOHANSSON Born and brought up in Sweden, Ana-Cajsa has always had a strong and deeply rooted interest in nature and the natural world. She moved to London in 1999 and her interest in natural health was initially sparked by Traditional Chinese Medicine. A few years later in 2006 Ana-Cajsa was attuned to the Reiki levels, which were her first introduction to training in the concept of vibrational medicine. In 2006 she also came in to contact with Kinesiology.
AURA IMBARUS Aura Imbarus is an educator, professional speaker, and the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, a Pulitzer Prize entry and Amazon best-seller, Out of the Transylvania Night: A Story of Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity. Born and raised in Sibiu/Hermannstadt, Romania –or more precisely in “Dracula’s county Transylvania,” Ms. Imbarus attended Lucian Blaga University, earning an MA degree in American and British Studies and a Ph.D. in Philology with the distinction
RAFAEL DOS SANTOS Rafael dos Santos is a Brazilian entrepreneur who moved to London in 2001 after living in Sao Paulo – one of the world’s largest cities. In London, he started out by doing menial jobs to pay his way. Rafael decided to turn his experience of living in flatshares into a property business. In 2005 he launched londonup. com, a small business that manages and lets rooms in flatshares. Rafael wrote a book ‘Moving Abroad – one step at a time’ which is dedicated to helping people who
MERCEDES LEAL Mercedes Leal is from a line of five psychic generations and had an unexpected, out of body experience in 1982, which provided extraordinary healing skills and knowledge. She left a corporate environment to care for her terminally ill mother, who lived another fourteen happy years. Mercedes shares these enlightenment secrets with business and professional people, to upgrade their lives and work through simple guidance, in private mentorships
are relocating to another country.
and public seminars.
Letter from the edit r Do we know each other? MIREL A SULA
Founder and Editor- in- Chief
Please show your support for Migrant Woman by liking us on our Facebook page, signing up online to receive our newsletter for keeping you informed and up to date, and take part in completing our survey on the website, which will be a great help in shaping the future direction of Migrant Woman magazine. Check our website for all the articles, posts & news www.migrantwoman.com
e all need to live within a supportive social network, a combined strength that everyone has to help each other. Our life is full of surprises in a big world that is full of possibilities. Therefore, we are faced with making decisions continuously, moment by moment and in a broad way for our overall direction in life.
What works one day, the next day may not, and when we are faced with new changes we are often scared to walk alone. We want be close to people who provide security and surround us with their kindness. Fortunately these people exist and it is important to search for them when we need them. Yet being in a new country is always a new adventure, a new world, in new circumstances, meeting new people and new neighbours. Where to start? I remember a story that Leo Buscaglia shared in his book “Living, loving and learning”. One day he decided to initiate the conversation with his new neighbour. While he was going to work in the morning, he saw his neighbour in the street and said: “Good morning, how are you?”. The neighbour was very surprised. He looked around and couldn’t believe that Leo was talking to him. “Do we know each other?”, he asked with his serious face. Leo responded: “No, we don’t, but I think it would be great to know each other. I am Leo”. The neighbour didn’t respond but left showing no interest. The next morning, Leo exchanged with the neighbour in the street again. He smiled at him and said “Good morning, how are you today?”. The neighbour’s face was even more surprised: “Excuse me, do we know each other”? Leo with a kind smile responded: “Yes of course, we met yesterday”. A day of life is like a “work of art” and “social capital” is a wealth built with great human resources. We can create our personal networks which go far beyond our direct family connections. All these networks create an effective support system around us and play an important role by helping us cultivate different parts of our personality. That is what we emphasise in this issue, the need to connect and to share values and love with each other. This is what our stories reveal: the desire “to know each other” and contribute to making social improvements and enjoy life surrounded by caring people. By the way, we would like to know you and if you think is a good idea share your story with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
Mirela Sula is an established, respected psychologist and journalist/author writing on psychological issues in Albania. She is working on a PhD in Psychology at the School of Psychotherapy, at Regents University and is the founder and Editor in Chief of “Migrant Woman” magazine. www.migrantwoman.com
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october news reports
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
Immigration points-based systems compared UKIP leader Nigel Farage and Conservative London Mayor Boris Johnson are among those to have called for an Australian-style, points-based immigration system. So how does the UK’s system also based on points - differ from those of other countries? In the year to April 2014, a total of 560,000 immigrants arrived in the UK, including 81,000 British citizens and 214,000 from other parts of the EU. An estimated 317,000 people left, including 131,000 British citizens and 83,000 other EU citizens. The top 5 countries represented in terms of arrivals were China, India, Poland, United States and Australia. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29594642
Vince Cable: immigration targets ‘unobtainable and largely meaningless’ The business secretary has never been one to stay silent on policies that he believes are wrong – even if they are the policies of the government he represents. The business secretary derided the government’s immigration target as “basically very stupid”, warning that it was meaningless, impossible to enforce and “ludicrous”. Theresa May, Conservative home secretary, wants to keep the net number of migrants coming to the UK to 100,000 or fewer. However, ever since the coalition government took office four and a half years ago, this target has proved impossible to keep and May admitted earlier this year that it was proving harder and harder to aim for. Cable said the target was wrong because ministers had no control over it. He pointed out that net immigration was rising because fewer people were emigrating and because of the free movement of people across the EU. http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/oct/15/immigration-numbersgame-doesnt-add-up
Tighter immigration laws catching out long-term legal migrants – report Thousands of migrants who have lived and worked legally in Britain for decades, in many cases having arrived in the country as children, are falling victim of the government’s more restrictive immigration laws, according to a report by the charity Legal Action Group. Thousands of long-term resident migrants – many of whom were educated, married and raised families in Britain – have been caught out by recent legislative changes that have left them in a legal limbo and often without a job, even though until recently they could work and claim benefits legally. http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/oct/15/immigration-laws-migrantslegal-action-group
Cutting EU immigration will backfire, say employers Britain’s bosses have come out fighting for the country to remain in the European Union and warned that David Cameron’s plans to cut migration from the EU could backfire by damaging business. EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, will call for an end to the “misinformation and paranoia” it says is dominating the debate over Britain’s future in Europe. It will join the CBI in defending the EU’s free movement principle, as Mr Cameron pledges to make reform of it his key demand when he seeks new membership terms ahead of the in/out referendum he has promised in 2017. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cutting-eu-immigration-willbackfire-say-employers-9807147.html
OUR MAIN AREAS OF WORK
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Employment contracts Salary problems at work Bullying and harassment Unfair Dismissal Redundancy Disciplinary process Whistleblowing Employment Tribunal proceedings We are qualified English Lawyers (solicitors) regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. If you need advice you can send us a confidential email at: email@example.com
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Issuing claims at the County Court and or High Court Business, contract, corporate and partnership disputes Property litigation Negotiation of alternative methods of dispute resolution Enforcement of judgments Languages that we speak include: Albanian (Shqip: 077 3741 3235), Italian and French (079 0638 2358), Hungarian (Magyar: 079 5157 8810)
ADDRESS: Morgan Pearse LLP, (Suite 6) 63 Broadway, London, E15 4BQ Telephone: 0203 583 2129 Fax: 0203 475 4544 Website: www.morganpearsesolicitors.com
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
Do you also have a question for Judy? Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
My husband is reacting badly to me being the breadwinner
Dear Judy, I am a woman from
changed a lot over the last three years,
idea that I am out of the house for so long
Eastern Europe and have been in
especially since I have been earning more
and providing financial support for the
the UK for more than ten years now.
money and he thinks that I am higher than
family. Our communication has become
For about five years I struggled on
him. He works in building and construction
very strained. I try to communicate with
many low paid jobs while waiting for
and most of the time he complains that
him and make him feel good but he offends
permission to stay in this country and six
there is not enough work for him. My main
me, and he does not open up with me.
years ago I could take the British passport.
concern is with his heavy drinking and
Sometimes this happens in front of our
After this I started to do some courses in
when I come home, tired from my day at
two children (13 and 14 years old). I don’t
customer service and improve my English
work, we end up arguing because of his
like the idea that we argue in front of them
so that I could find a better job and earn
complaining about me being out at work all
and I don’t know how to avoid it. What do
more money which I have now achieved.
day. On the one hand he needs my money,
you suggest to try and make this situation
The problem is with my husband. He has
but on the other hand he doesn’t like the
Do your best to re-open the lines of communication
Dear Danette, Congratulations. You have emigrated to a new country with your family. You did not speak the language well. In spite of that you have persevered and have now gained skills and a position in the workplace where you are able to earn an improved salary. You have much reason to feel proud of this achievement. Nevertheless when a woman achieves more in the workplace than her partner, it is always a delicate situation which needs to be discussed honestly by both husband and wife with sensitivity and tact. Firstly, you need to understand your own feelings and you need to be honest with yourself and consider how you really feel toward your husband. He has clearly not succeeded in this new country in the way you have. Is there genuinely insufficient work for him – or does his drinking prevent him being offered work? What are the problems and challenges that he has had to face which, unlike you, he has not succeeded in overcoming? What are the good things that he has brought to the relationship in the past? Some men can feel emasculated when their wives start to earn
more than they do. You must carefully choose your time to begin to gently explore what your husband really wants and how you can help him achieve it? Be prepared to listen carefully. Do not be accusatory. Talk to him in the way you would like to be talked to if you were feeling insecure in the relationship. Discuss with him that you are concerned about his health and his drinking and the effect it is having on your family when the two of you argue. Do you need to make more decisions, especially financial decisions, together? Try to create opportunities for close conversations, perhaps away from the house. Do your best to re-open the lines of communication. It may take some time and several conversations but if you want to stay together in a relationship of mutual respect and pride in one another, it will be worth it. If, after this effort, you feel that the situation is not changing – that you are not able to reach a point where the partnership feels more equal and where you both are contributing – then you may need to seek professional help to decide the best course for the future.
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MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
BAYBARS ALTUNTAS .tr or visit my blog to email@example.com You can send your questions and find me on com. Follow me on Twitter at ww w.baybarsaltuntasnotes. as soon as possible. me to start creating new jobs Facebook. Get in touch with
How can I get recognition for my business through
Dear Baybars, I was born in London and not a migrant but my parents both came from different countries and built their new life here. I started my training consultancy business around two years ago and the reason I am writing to you is related to the business competitions, for winning awards and recognition. I have entered several competitions so far, and believe that I did good applications, improving on them each time. Yet despite the fact that my business is doing well I have never been selected once to the next stage and not received any feedback in response to my requests. I am getting frustrated because it is a lot of time and effort put in and I see people winning that donâ€™t appear to have done anything better than what I have achieved. What is it that the judging panel are looking for that perhaps I am missing? Is there any advice that you could give for me? Should I keep on with entering competitions and would the potential benefits make the persistence worthwhile? Maria
THE DRAGON’S ANSWER
Focus less on the product and more on you, your team, and your customer Dear Maria If you haven’t been able to win a business competition yet, it doesn’t mean your business idea is not working. It only shows that you haven’t managed to put yourself in the shoes of the judges on the jury. I am a regular jury member on many international business competitions, and believe me, what is judged in most competitions is the entrepreneur him/herself, not the business. Judges believe that any business in the world can make money, but the amount of money varies from one entrepreneur to another. In order to improve your competition scores, the main thing you should
concentrate on is showing the jury how capable you are in running your business. To convince the judges, you need to recognise the value of your teammates. The ability to create an amazing team is something very important for jury members and every judge in business competitions knows that not every entrepreneur is able to assemble an extraordinary team to run the business they propose. Forget everything else and focus on getting the most amazing people on your team. Make sure you look outside of your closest friends for teammates. Come onto the stage with your team members, and before coming on stage, create a stressful situation
where you can see how your teammates are going to react. On the other hand, talk to enough people and they know it’s your idea. Set up an advisory board of ten people, each with twenty five years of experience, and who are in leadership positions in their companies. That creates huge credibility. Teams are naturally going to need a key person, a marketer. Find a perfect marketer to put at the core of the business. This will help show the jury members that you know how to make money. You also have to demonstrate to the judges that you understand the mindset of the consumer and that you have used your knowledge and insights to develop your business idea. Don’t forget that jury members like listening to smart pitches from smart people. Your pitch, your business plan, your business model and you – as a smart entrepreneur – must give the message to the jury members that you are aware that the success of a business depends not on having the greatest product in the world but on having customers for that product. To sum up: • Assemble an amazing team • Set up a credible advisory board • Show judges that you are a capable entrepreneur • Show judges you understand the mind-set of your customer • Show judges you are aware of the fact that ‘no customers means no business’ The entrepreneur who does all these successfully can win the competition. I wish you all the best Baybars
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
t Simon Newsham at ase do not hesitate to contac If you have any questions, ple ckworth Sherwood Win Par tner at the law firm firstname.lastname@example.org Tax or visit ww w.wslaw.co.uk
I am worried about taxes due for payment and the cost of an accountant
Dear Simon, I saw on the Migrant Woman website some good advice from you on tax rules for opening a new
businessbut there was one thing not covered that I would like to ask about. I am new in my business and working very hard to make it successful. It has taken me a lot of effort and investment to put it on the radar but the more it grows the more I am concerned about the taxes that may be due. I have been working for other companies for many years and I know that my company dealt with the tax but now I need to understand taxes when running my own business. I have been told that there is a deadline for sending in a tax return by the end of January. You may advise me to hire an accountant but I am worried about how much that may cost and wonder what I should do as preparation, and what I can do to keep the cost down. Emma
You need good preparation and record keeping Costs need not be prohibitive
Dear Emma, It’s great you’re thinking about how best to manage your tax affairs as so often this is left until the last minute. Self-employed individuals are required to file a tax return and make any payment of tax due on or before 31st January following the tax year in question. This means that, for the current tax year (which runs from 6th April 2014 – 5th April 2015), your self-assessment tax return and any tax payable must be made on or before 31st January 2016. Depending upon your expected profits for the next tax year (2015/16), it may also be necessary for you to make a payment on account of 50% of the expected tax on those profits. The second 50% payment on account (again calculated by reference to the profits for the 2015/16 tax year) would need to be made on 31st July 2016. Any adjustments would be dealt with in the following 31st January 2017 payment. Accordingly, the payments are split as follows: • 31st January – payment of any tax owed for the previous tax year (balancing payment) and the first 50% payment on account; and • 31st July – second 50% payment on account. It’s important to realise this is a taxpayer’s responsibility and one cannot wait
for HM Revenue & Customs to chase for a tax return and any payment. Failure to file and make tax payments on time can result in default interest and penalties being imposed. In terms of preparation, you should keep good records of all costs incurred by the business (including any costs incurred by you personally, but for business purposes) and the income received, together with copies of all receipts, invoices, statements and related paperwork. You should certainly have a separate business bank account so you can easily isolate income and expenditure related to the business, rather than having these go through your personal bank account. I would highly recommend you engage an accountant or a chartered tax adviser. Often they add so much more to your business as a trusted adviser, instead of just dealing with the numbers and compliance aspects. The costs should not be prohibitive and their expertise should ensure that you take advantage of all reliefs and savings available. You could also consider using some form of book-keeping software package which can offer a low cost solution, provide you with good management information which is readily to hand and be in a format which your accountant can easily use to ensure you meet all filing and tax payment obligations. I wish you every success with your new business venture. It can be very hard work, but equally highly rewarding.
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
A little girl, who rose to the stage at the age of five, grew up on it and developed and achieved her dream of becoming an artist
DIVA I A MIGRANT
BY MIRELA SULA
nva was born in Tirana into an artist family and her parents, Nina (from Russia) and Avni Mula (from Kosovo) are both famous artists in Albania. Inva Mula began by taking piano lessons, and she performed in her first concert at five years old. She received many awards and recognition from the public, and her songs, and interpretation, became famous for people of her generation. In 1992 Inva moved to France, where she currently lives, and where she triumphed in 1993 participating in the “First Placido Domingo Competition” and from there began a close collaboration with the great Maestro. Following that, Inva started her international career at the Avignon Opera with La Traviata, Romeo
and Juliet, and Un Ballo in Maschera. Inva was invited to the Los Angeles Opera for Don Pasquale, La Boheme, Le Nozze di Figaro and The Rondinne, then onto Bonn and Washington, and singing in Falstaff in Chicago, and La Boheme in New York. Inva Mula is named as one of the great sopranos, for her current capacity to move from Italian Bel Canto roles to French heroines, who occupy a very important part her repertoire. Her career continues with great success and intensity throughout this season at Staatsoper Vienna, and with her favourite role Manon, and Nedda “I Pagliacci” at the Deutsche Opera Berlin. Inva is absolutely a great role model, a DIVA migrant woman inspiring many other women around the world.
You left Albania at a very young age, meanwhile your family’s history also tells a story about migration. When you are asked where you are from, what is your answer? This is a topic which requires an explanation and, most of all, an analysis. It is true that my family has known migration, starting with my father who at the age of two, together with his family, was forced to relocate from his birthplace of Gjakova (Kosovo) to Shkoder (Albania), against their will and they never returned. My father grew up in Shkoder at a time when that city was the cradle of culture in Albania. This had a fundamental impact on his formation as an artist. My mother was born in the Urals, Russia. She went to study in the Moscow Conservatory, met my father there and decided
to live in Albania forever. Her decision to emigrate was her wish, or to put it better, a beautiful love story which had its consequences too. She did not have permission to maintain contact with her family for thirty years, like many other foreign women married and living in Albania. But my story is completely different, a love story too, but mine is the love for art and to accomplish my dream, to be the artist that you recognise today. If they ask where I am from, of course my response is the most natural for me: I am Albanian. You have had to travel often, live in many countries, make new friends and colleagues wherever you go, and change homes. Where do you feel most at home? Where in fact is your most comfortable home? My years of wandering in migration are twenty two in total. That is a relatively long
cover article time and filled with many events, travels, and different experiences, all of which have made me grow and to see the world differently. I believe that all those who travel, like me, find it difficult to find their home. Personally, my home is neither in Tirana nor in Paris, but within me, in my ability to adapt anywhere and always feel good with my loved ones. A comfortable home is not made of the furniture or affection for tangible belongings, but the place where you have beautiful memories and the desire to return. This is the philosophy that I had to foster and impose on myself as it is closely aligned with the nature of my profession, which involves endless and very long travels. Almost each month there is a new theatre in a new country. If my heart longed to return frequently to “my comfortable home”, I would not be able to find peace. Thus, I created it inside of me. My family’s journey of migration continues with my son who was born and raised in Paris and “abandoned it” to study and live in London. You are an ideal woman, an “idol” for many, and have accomplished a lot in life – do you feel fulfilled and complete? I don’t know the definition of a fulfilled woman. I don’t know if there are names to define it. I think that we need to contribute to fulfil ourselves and this doesn’t come only from a successful career, although that plays an important part, but a good, positive energy which should never cease and helps one face the challenges of life. What is the biggest lesson you have learned from being a migrant, always on the road with suitcases in your hands? The first day I arrived in Paris was 13th January 1992. It was cold, I did not know anyone, did not speak French, did not have a roof over my head, did not have money etc. In that moment I thought it was pointless and better to go back home! Yet I had a lot of dreams to achieve and those were the reason that made me overcome everything and follow my path, which no one showed to me – I found it on my own. This was the
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LOOKING AROUND ME, I THINK LIFE HAS SPOILT ME BY GIVING ME TALENT BUT, ABOVE ALL, TWO WONDERFUL PARENTS. THEIR LOVE AND KINDNESS TAUGHT ME HOW TO SHARE THIS POSITIVE ENERGY WITH OTHERS WHICH, INSTEAD OF RUNNING OUT, GROWS AND INCREASES WHEN YOU SHARE IT WITH OTHERS. THAT STARTS WITH MY CHILDREN AND HUSBAND, AND THEN MY RELATIVES, FRIENDS AND EVEN THOSE YOU DO NOT KNOW BUT NEED YOU best lesson I learned, to accomplish everything on my own. Another lesson learned and even more important, is “The heavy stone is in its place!” You are an artist, mother of two, and wife of a philanthropist who contributes to various social projects – where does all of this positive energy come from? Looking around me, I think life has spoilt me by giving me talent but, above all, two wonderful parents. Their love and kindness taught me how to share this posi-
tive energy with others which, instead of running out, grows and increases when you share it with others. That starts with my children and husband, and then my relatives, friends and even those you do not know but need you. You are the daughter of two great artists – what impact has your parents had in your life? My parents are my foundation and I wish everyone such a healthy childhood. Mine was filled with a lot of love, nurture, tolerance, respect and all of these factors
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created a good climate to raise a “tree with good fruits”. I say this to remind anyone who is a parent to give to their child, especially to give their children much love, which is most important for a child. What difference has being with a man like Hetem Ramadani brought into your life, a spiritual man known for his humanism and philanthropy? I can divide my life into two important phases, the one before and the one after meeting Hetem Ramadani! Meeting Hetem has given me new dimensions in my personal life, most of all in the spiritual one. With Hetem I learned to know myself better and continue searching within me. When you know yourself, you know others too and when you improve yourself you are valuable to society as well. To look after your health and contribute to the awareness of others, we hold in our hands the ability to have a quality life, which is not enabled through financial circumstances but the quest to look after yourself, to have knowledge on the food you eat with the motto “you are what you eat”. And it is to help strangers while never expecting anything in return but to hope that gratitude exists in our universe and it is rewarded in other forms. I learned this philosophy and many other things through Hetem as he embodies kindness, enormous generosity, intelligence, wisdom, thirst for knowledge, and lives every day as if it were the last! What is the secret to your beauty and youth? Is it genetic or a merit (or credit) of looking after yourself? I can’t say I don’t look after myself. I think when you look after yourself you respect others as well, but it is not my main priority in life. For instance, everyday I tell myself to start going to the gym and I have not started the first session yet, although those who don’t know me tend to ask me: “How many hours a day do you exercise?” I don’t have an answer for the gym but there is not a single day that I don’t go out for long walks and I think walking is the best and most useful sport for your body and mind.
I CAN DIVIDE MY LIFE INTO TWO IMPORTANT PHASES, THE ONE BEFORE AND THE ONE AFTER MEETING HETEM RAMADANI! MEETING HETEM HAS GIVEN ME NEW DIMENSIONS IN MY PERSONAL LIFE, MOST OF ALL IN THE SPIRITUAL ONE. WITH HETEM I LEARNED TO KNOW MYSELF BETTER AND CONTINUE SEARCHING WITHIN ME
What would be your advice to migrant women who are passionate about art but, due to circumstances, have lost their hopes? I think we must never abandon our dreams despite our circumstances. Their accomplishment is what gives us hope for tomorrow and that is not affected by being in migration but only by our will, desire and courage. You are preparing for a big concert in London in November – can you tell us more about this event? With regards to my experience in London, it is the interpretation of Violeta in La Traviata at Royal Opera House with a wonderful audience that has given me a standing ovation every night after the performance. The concert on 26th November will be a beautiful experience, thanks to the initiative of the Albanian Embassy in London and most of all, the creator and organiser of ‘Notes on Albania’, the Ambassador Mr. Mal Berisha. Together with the brilliant pianist Genc Tukici, our aim is to not only perform in front of the audience in London with the most selected classical repertoire, but also introduce the folk and traditional music of our country and to give art lovers the real essence of the beautiful Albanian music which is little known in the world. As artists, it is our duty to promote it and make Albania sound beautiful. You are active all the time with plenty of artistic events – what are your ambitions for the future? After all of these years with a very intensive agenda, not forgetting I am mother to two wonderful children, I would like to slow down the activities or turn it into an activity that would give me more personal satisfaction. I see myself more in everything related to creativity, no longer as a performer of art but as a creator of it. I don’t know yet in what sense and shall leave this to the future to discover it.
What is your favourite? Singer: Luciano Pavarotti Holidays: Where the sea is… Perfume: Eau de Soir de Sisley Actor: Timo Flloko Car: Any make as long as it is safe on the road Author: Paulo Coelho (what a coincidence that I happen to be in Brazil whilst doing this interview).
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PHOTO CREDIT: RINALDO SATA
FOR THE LOVE I LOVE THE UNKNOWN AND STRIVE TO LEARN MORE. I AM GLAD THAT A LUNCH INVITATION WITH A FRIEND TOOK ME RIGHT WHERE I WANTED TO BE, ON A BEAUTIFUL SUNNY DAY IN OCTOBER. WHAT AN IDEAL DAY TO ENJOY THE WEALTH OF CARS ON A WELL-KNOWN STRETCH OF A BUSY ROAD IN WELLHEELED KNIGHTSBRIDGE, CENTRAL LONDON. FOR THE FIRST TIME IT FELT SO RIGHT THAT I DIDN’T HAVE TO QUESTION THE IDEA BEHIND INTERVIEWING WOMEN ON THEIR LOVE OF CARS. I HAVE TO ADMIT THAT I HAVE A DREAM CAR IN MIND TOO, BUT FOR MANY YEARS I HAVE PREACHED OF PRACTICALITY. IT WOULD BE GOOD TO RETHINK BRASH FOR POSHER, BUT FOR NOW MY OTHER PRIORITIES TAKE FIRST PLACE. BY ADA ALBERT
ars and women have an old bond, and believe it or not, women drove cars for well over twenty years before gaining their right to vote in the twentieth century. It is believed by a number of industry experts that women today make up over 50% of the automotive market. 80% of the buying decisions are influenced by women, which have indeed revolutionised the marketing strategies of the automotive market. I decided to not leave Knightsbridge without getting an insight from one of
London’s prestigious flagship dealerships. A huge plate glass window and warmly lit showroom on its own, told a story of art and craft. I asked if their cars appealed more to men or women. I wasn’t surprised to receive two different answers. The first answer illustrates that certain cars are still preferred more by men than women. The second answer was that with women’s demands in the automotive market their new incoming models will have to also be appealing to women. About time now to find out what our interviewed women have to say on their love of cars…
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BOLGAN YERBATYROVA My children and my husband come before any luxury car
reaming big is important and you should stick to it. Be devoted to your dreams but also work hard for them, because it’s not something that just comes to you like a bubble. You need to jump up high, catch your dreams and make them a reality. When you create your family, you work together towards your dreams”. Bolgan says “The car is another love of mine, but ranks well behind the importance of the family for me. I should specify my family; my children and my husband come before any luxury car. I live for my children and for my beautiful family.” As a woman who loves cars, Bolgan can freely choose her car. According to her own judgement, Bolgan has a very good taste in cars. She knows exactly what type of car suits her best as a person and as a mother. Although many women might think her choice is not very feminine or woman-like, she is very interested in cars.
CRISTINA MOURA From scared to driving into a velocity “dream car” lover
always smile, every day and to everyone, no matter if I’m in a good or bad mood. Being useful, friendly and caring makes me so happy” says Cristina Moura. Cristina has been living in London for two years, after moving with her family from Brazil where they lived for six years.
When did you first drive a car? I got my driving licence when I was 22 years old, but I was really scared to start driving.
What excites you about cars and how does that define your love of cars? I love the design and velocity of cars. When you buy something to wear, you
look for something that makes you feel comfortable and fits. The type of fabric, the quality and price relationship, but for sure you also look at the design and style. It has to be fashionable for you and good looking. It isn’t different when you are choosing a car, besides all the technological and security aspects, you certainly consider the design. Velocity in cars gives me a sensation of freedom and forces me to be more focused and concentrated.
How do you manage stress when you are in traffic? Sometimes it is very difficult to manage stress in traffic. After driving for more than six years in São Paulo, a chaotic city ridden
When did you learn to drive and what was your first car? My dad taught me to drive at a very young age. It’s over twenty years now that I have held a driving licence and I still remember with great admiration my first car, the purple Toyota Camry. This car was ‘wow’ a dream come true. Do you have a dream car and which one? My dream car is a Rolls Royce but due to the special status that this car has, no one drives a Rolls Royce without a chauffeur. My second choice is a Bentley because I enjoy the experience of driving by myself, and I also like the Range Rover. You always get a new car for your birthday. How special is that is to you? When you are gifted a car how would you describe your feelings? New cars usually come out when it is my birthday and it’s a pleasurable gift to me. Who doesn’t like presents? When someone gives you a car as a present it doesn’t matter what the car is really, but the fact that my husband was able to give such a valuable present, it makes every car that I get to be very special to me. It is overwhelming and the most important feelings that come with it are being extremely happy and grateful. How do you manage stress under traffic? With the latest technology, GPS can find you a route without traffic, but I don’t get
Who is Bolgan Yerbatyrova?
Bolgan Yerbatyrova is from Khazakistan. She is married, loves her family, cars, motorcycles, all new technology, and dreams big. Bolgan has a great passion for photography and also in making handcrafted cards. She loves making things by creating everything from scratch. Visitors to her studio inevitably fall in love with her art.
stressed in traffic. I allow plenty of time in my agenda to get to my destination. There is a saying that the car wheels also give clues to your age, gender, income level and marital status, even of your political leanings. How true is that to you? Yes it’s true, not everyone can afford a dream car, someone with a small budget or lower income can’t buy a Bentley. About age and gender I don’t think this is true, it’s a matter of taste and status. Why do you love cars? Where does
the love for cars come from? Probably because of my strong relationship with my father, I spend so much time with him and developed a common interest in cars and maybe also because of my love towards him. When I was little I always dreamed big. I came from a large family and we had to look after livestock straight after school and it was hard. I would sit under a tree and say to my sisters, in the future I would have a beautiful family, a beautiful home and a beautiful car. And I am lucky I have it. I was not only a dreamer but made it come true. in traffic, I must confess that I’m much more relaxed driving here in London.
Which is your dream car?
Who is Cristina Moura?
Cristina Moura is originally from Lisbon, Portugal. Cristina graduated in Finance and has always worked in banking.
The BMW X6. I think it is gorgeous! Design and elegance allied with technology make the perfect combination. It has everything I could dream of in a car!
Do you have a favourite place that you wish to drive the car of your dreams? My favourite place would be MonteCarlo (Monaco). Its beauty and glamour is matched perfectly with a BMW X6! MonteCarlo is the place where wealth and poshness are constantly on show, so that is the right place to drive my dream car.
ife is there to be lived to the full. We must persevere and colour it fully with our positive souls. Each and every ray of colour represents the best moments of Jyoti Goklany, from childhood to adult car lover. Love is the foundation of everything that Jyoti does in her own special way of making everyone around her sense the welcoming messages deeply from her heart. Excited about cars, Jyoti started our interview by saying: “As a newly married bride when I first left the comforts of my home, I ended up in Hungary, a country adjusting to the effect of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Cars always fascinated me, only because it was something that made me feel really powerful and gave me a big sense of freedom. The first car we owned was a Volkswagen Golf. Oh, how I have fond memories of driving through the cobbled roads where traffic was such a revelation, having experienced driving a four wheel Suzuki Maruti, which was my first car that I drove in a disorganised India, where I learnt to drive at the age of 18. I drove to Austria, Germany, Czech Republic and the Alps. I learnt how to drive with wheel chains to avoid skidding. The new concept of ABS made me feel more secure. It made me feel more relaxed driving rented cars, where I experienced the likes of Fords, Fiats and BMWs. With my family we moved to Dubai where we bought a Honda Accord, a beautiful beast where I had an edge over my husband. as I got my driving licence before him! By the time we moved to Bahrain, we took our Honda with us, as he still had not managed to get his licence. We have moved around a lot. In Russia, I owned a VW Passat. I had a driver, and it felt good being driven around for a change. In the UK I was privileged to own a BMW 3 series, which is one of my favourite cars. I drove around 15,000 miles before I received a great birthday present last year, a Lexus RX 450, a stylish and solid vehicle that I will not want to part with.”
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JYOTI GOKLANY My dream car is the Maserati
How do you manage stress while in traffic? Unlike my husband, I don’t get stressed with traffic jams etc. I catch up on my phone calls, using the vehicle’s in-built hands free system. What is your dream car? My dream car is the Maserati. It is stylish, sounds good and is extremely powerful. What is the most important thing for you when choosing a car? I must say that comfort and safety is more important than status and style, but I can relate an individual’s character to the type of car that they drive.
Who is Jyoti Goklany?
Jyoti Goklany has an MBA in Finance and comes from India. Straight after her marriage, she and her husband relocated to Budapest and worked in finance for five years. Her journey didn’t stop there and when moving to Amsterdam she worked for Erasmus University. In the UK, Jyoti has had roles in the education sector.
Farah Nanji Racing Driver by Day, DJ by Night
For this month’s issue, we decided to hunt down some of the fastest and most diverse women on the planet, and find out exactly what drives them to success. One of them, Farah Nanji, is a dynamic serial entrepreneur from London, who made a serious business out of her passions and who will also be writing for us regularly
Tell us a little about yourself and where your fascinating passions came from? I was born in the 80s and my roots stem from two continents. I’m half Indian, a quarter Pakistani and a quarter East African. It’s slightly controversial when you consider the types of industries I’m in, I know! Yet irrespective of my background, ever since I can remember, racing cars and music have been two of the most significant and influential things in my life. I began racing at the age of twelve in Rotax karts and became hooked instantaneously. I was always an adrenaline junkie in pursuit of the wildest stunts ever, much to my mother’s annoyance. Sadly, lack of funding and educational commitments halted my progress in reaching the pinnacle of our sport, Formula 1. However, whilst I was studying Global Business Management at Regent’s University, and before I had to enter the ‘real’ world, I decided to do whatever I could to make a business out of my passions and I haven’t looked back since!
What is your big idea? Whilst I was in my second year of university, I pioneered the concept of a private automotive racing club (Regents Racing) where members could focus on really advancing and honing their skills, whilst also networking under an informally high-octane environment. One of our core objectives is to connect members from Genera-
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tion X to Generation Y and teach them the importance of teamwork, mindset and vision. Racing is one of the sports that truly embodies mind over matter. For this reason we also offer our services for corporations wishing to organise something bespoke like team building, product launches, road trips, client entertainment etc. Simultaneously, I try to spend as much
I HONESTLY DON’T BELIEVE WE SHOULD BE CONFINED TO ONE PASSION PERSONALLY I WANT TO BE A LIVING EXAMPLE THAT YOU CAN ACTIVELY PURSUE TWO THINGS AT ONCE AS LONG AS YOU ARE REALLY FOCUSED ON IT AND DON’T GIVE UP. I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH TO COMMERCIALISE ON BOTH MY PASSIONS DURING UNIVERSITY AND THIS WAS INTRINSIC TO CATALYSING MY CAREER PATH.
time as I can in the music studio and travel as much as I can around the world spreading my music to educated listeners. I work really closely with live musicians such as electric guitarists and percussionists, and love showcasing them at my gigs. What type of music do you play? I hate pigeonholing myself into a genre but I’d describe my music as a mystical blend of eastern instruments with deep bass lines and pulses of hypnotic electronic and techno sound waves. I’m very inspired by my roots and the mesmerising rhythmical sounds of the Indian and African subcontinent. What made you want to become an entrepreneur? Whilst there might be some things that catalyse, shape and spark the long road to entrepreneurship, I believe to a large degree that you are inherently born with the spirit, mindset and outlook. I’ve always looked at the world differently, never wanted to do the 9-5 thing and am a big risk taker.
I think this creative DNA definitely stems from my grandfather who was a very successful entrepreneur in his time and his impact has lasted through generations. Are there parallels in the music and automotive industry? To be honest, there really aren’t many similarities other than the importance of teamwork, a minute female proportion and perhaps the feeling that both give you. Like many creative industries, music is a very difficult one to crack and to be taken seriously in. I’m constantly undermined, objectified and blocked by industrialists and getting paid on time is possibly what I spend half my life chasing. Whilst there is a little bit of objectification in the racing seat, for most of the time my experiences with the industry have been very pleasurable. At the end of the day, once you put your helmet on, the only thing you’re being judged by is your performance. Being in that seat has really taught me the fundamentals of having a strong mind-
set and that has applied directly to music and staying strong when people knock you down. As with many things in life, having a strong team behind you is also crucial. I’m still working really hard to overcome this challenge. Apart from time, what is currently your biggest obstacle in progressing with your businesses? The biggest hurdle for me is the financial barrier. I took out a start-up loan, which has gone a long way, but it’s still nowhere near enough. I use a lot of my DJ earnings to invest back into the club and this is hard sometimes because it means I have to seriously sacrifice on personal expenditure but also as mentioned, there is no regularity or predictability in payments. Clubs are almost always late with payments, leaving you with no clue on when to expect funds and when you have to pay suppliers for racing, so immediately it becomes very difficult. Do you have a set routine that you try to follow each day? To be honest when university was in my life, yes! But in essence being a freelancer in a very turbulent industry, as well as a business owner, makes it hard to have a replicable day. For example, I might be given two days notice that I’m flying to New York for a gig and that puts an incredible strain on my schedule if I have important meetings planned for Regents Racing. That’s why I try to tailor my business schedule around my musical life. Generally I try to keep RRS meetings from Monday – Wednesday and leave Thursday – Saturday
open for DJ (disc jockey) gigs. One of the main things I try to keep consistent every day is making sure I get to spend at least one hour of my day with music, even if it just means making beats on the fly. I also greatly enjoy practicing yoga when I wake up, as it really helps to set clarity in my mind for the day ahead. Wow. It definitely sounds like not one day is alike in your busy schedule! Do you really believe that you can be an expert in multiple things or do you think its better to stick to one thing and master it? I honestly don’t believe we should be confined to one passion. These questions have always in my mind for a long time and my parents taught me I should be really good at one thing and do that one thing each day. This was the mindset they grew up with and thought this was the key to financial stability. With my parent’s generation you worked for the same company working your entire life building loyalty. However after the notorious recessions that occurred, I truly believe it shook up all of those preconceived notions from the last two decades. Personally I want to be a living example that you can actively pursue two things at once as long as you are really focused on it and don’t give up. I was lucky enough to commercialise on both my passions during university and this was intrinsic to catalysing my career path. Do you think you’ll ever have to choose between one or the other someday? With the documentary we are producing right now, this is one of the major themes we are exploring. We can’t predict the future but we want to see where this journey will go. Will there be opportunities I have to turn down because of racing? I’m sure there will be and I definitely know if I was just doing one, I’d be even more ahead than I am now. However I believe this also gives me my USP and I love both equally so I really hope I’ll never be in a position to choose! www.soundcloud.com/dj-ninja www.facebook.com/ninjagrooves www.facebook.com/regentsracing
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Steps to serenity M
MERCEDES LEAL Mercedes Leal is from a line of five psychic generations and had an unexpected, out of body experience in 1982, which provided extraordinary healing skills and knowledge.
any years ago, I asked my mother why I had to share my sweets among whatever numbers of children were present, when they hardly ever returned the favour. My saintly, gracious mum replied that other people should never dictate my standards, nor should anyone else ever hold control of my moods and feelings. It set a standard for life. When she added that sharing with others multiplied my happiness by the number of people enjoying my largesse, it made sense. As a youngster, I applied these principles, doing my best to maintain consistency. At first, it rankled that someone, on whom
I had showered extreme generosity of time and attention, would not be there for me in my time of need. If I gave in to the ego’s need for a return, I felt let down and inconsolably miserable. However, being a lazy teenager, I discovered pretty quickly that when I let go of expectation, disappointing situations often resolved without interference. Often, that gap of need filled up before I had to wave a white flag of desperation. Sometimes the perceived problem just melted. I realised that karma is not necessarily linear. It often comes indirectly, although reciprocity should never be the reason for carrying out a good deed. In loving the world and its people, there is no pay it ‘forward’. One just
ONE VERY LIBERATING LESSON WAS THAT A GIFT SHOULD BE WHAT IT SAYS: A GIFT. THE MOMENT YOU HAND IT OVER, OWNERSHIP SHOULD CEASE. IF YOU HAVE RECIPROCAL ATTACHMENT TO YOUR GIFTS, THEY CEASE TO BE GIFTS AND BECOME BARTERS pays it gladly, whenever possible, and yes in our family - there were many, genuinely free lunches. Additionally, one very liberating lesson was that a gift should be what it says: a gift. The moment you hand it over, ownership should cease. So, if you see your cashmere shawl - which dented your birthday present budget – lining the recipient’s dog basket, so be it! If you have reciprocal attachment to your gifts, they cease to be gifts and become barters. Letting go of expectation is not always easy, but it can make a mammoth difference to your happiness, as do releasing judgement and assumptions. ‘Awareness’ should be your alarm bell, ringing when intuition is tugging at your hems, like a toddler, in need of urgent attention and whom you ignore it at your peril. As uncomfortable feelings arise, like those of suspicious division, when facing a different culture, race or religion, it helps to see the child in that stranger. That helps to avoid a return to possibly stereotypical programming and learnt discomfort about different cultures. Who can turn away from a child? Beneath the surface, we are all still children of different ages, needing love, care, time, attention and validation of our innate gifts. What has helped me to find daily joy, whatever the circumstances, were:
Knowing here is no such thing as ‘normal’, when we work from love. We just give our best, without judgement, measure or expectation of reciprocity. Other people should not dictate your ‘normal’. Understanding how the ‘system’ works. Advertising will instil a need,
or deficiency, in you before it can sell to you. You will be told by very subtle hypnosis, through media articles, television and radio ‘programming’, that you are too thin, too fat, too unhealthy; or you are too weak, too short, too stupid, too something. A sense of lack and inferiority are what media giants seek to instil, because they wish you to know that they have the (often expensive) answer to your problem. I lost the obsession to be perfect. Loving the shape you have, as well as the seemingly less than perfect people in your life, will add new light to your spirit. Everything and everyone is only on loan and you never know when those loans will be called up. Make time and appreciation matter. Prolonged support of others. This is enhancing to the immune system and is an eliminator of depression and stress; the occasional gesture is not enough. The effort should be sustained, in order for both parties to build an enriched, nourishing bond; however, this is different from being a doormat to selfish people. Choosing to live in the world of consciousness, rather than the world of the material. You comprise over 50 trillion cells of super-intelligence, beavering away to keep you well, even when you sleep. This is the same intelligence that guides tadpoles to become frogs, and seedlings to become giant oaks. It will also guide you to your divine purpose, when you learn how to connect consciously to the same Source. Feeling the power of silence, even if you do not meditate. Believing that daily Joy is your right, not merely a privilege. You can upgrade your life at any time.
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More Than Just a Piece of
Loud voices, overlapped arguments, heightened emotions, inflated egos: the cause – unfair promotions, nepotism. While physically I am part of this unplanned Armageddon, emotionally I start detaching myself, without any warning, exactly like the sailboat leaves the shore. Without thinking, I pull out my secret weapon wrapped up in brown paper, a small, crunchy piece of dark Ritter chocolate with whole hazelnuts. Its taste carries a wisp of melancholy, certain tenderness, and an elevated state of the universal.
T AURA IMBARUS, PHD Clinical hypnotherapist, motivational speaker, and author of the Amazon best-seller - “Out of the Transylvania Night: A Story of Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity” www.auraimbarus.com
he chatter diminishes; the canned music fades. The velvety, creamy, rich piece of heaven somehow connects me to my inner desires, my romantic, sensual side. I feel caressed, loved, in touch with the meaning of life through my Ritter, a habit formed when I was seven years old. My mind rushes into memories so vivid they seem to belong to another dimension in time, in the way that Marcel Proust famously described tea and cake in Swann’s Way, the first volume of Remembrance of Things Past: An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory—this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in
me, it was me. I had ceased now to feel mediocre, contingent, and mortal. Whence could it have come to me, this all-powerful joy? If Swann’s pleasure transported him to his amazing childhood memories with his aunt, my piece of chocolate has given me the sweet and sour taste of oppression of a country whose borders were closed by a merciless communist regime combined with the warmth and love my uncle and aunt felt for me while they were shipping to Romania these chunky delights. Ritter chocolate is not just any lump of chocolate. In my childhood in Transylvania, Dracula’s world, it stood for the outside world, the forbidden universe we were severed from. There was a story behind every piece, centering on the caring thoughts my uncle and aunt held for us of a sweeter future. Small packages containing Ritter Sport Minis would arrive from Germany. A royal blue wrapper meant plain milk chocolate; azure, plain medium
I CAN EAT CHOCOLATE AND MINDLESSLY CONNECT TO A CONDITION OF PROFOUND BLISS WHILE THE REST OF MY BRAIN GRADES HOMEWORK OR PLANS A PRESENTATION OR ENDURES AN UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATION. THAT PIECE OF CHOCOLATE TAKES ME TO A SWEET, SECRET GARDEN OF MINE INSIDE MY BRAIN WHERE EVERYTHING IS PERFECTLY ALIGNED AND IN SYNCH WITH THE UNIVERSE dark chocolate; burgundy, plain dark chocolate; and so on. I knew all the specific forms of bliss just by the color. My relatives abroad enjoyed a freedom we could not even imagine, but chocolate stood for the fact that it did exist and nourished our hopes for the future. Eating chocolate felt like a subversive act, linking me to my rebellion against the omnipotent regime. The chocolate was a ray of sunlight, and I was a sunflower, soaking it in. The less I was able to obtain it, the more I desired it, and so it became an addiction that followed me around like a long shadow. Over three decades have elapsed since I was exposed to my first piece of Ritter chocolate, but without my conscious knowledge, my brain grasped and retained this substanceassociation, so that I could experience its powerful reward without analyzing the pros and cons. I can eat chocolate and mindlessly connect to a condition of profound bliss while the
rest of my brain grades homework or plans a presentation or endures an uncomfortable conversation. That piece of chocolate takes me to a sweet, secret garden of mine inside my brain where everything is perfectly aligned and in synch with the universe. It takes me upstream to the spring of my life’s river, back to a childhood that was pure, warm and nonjudgmental. It takes me back in time to relieve the good feelings I have felt for the first time when I have tasted that piece of heaven. Fortunately, eating chocolate isn’t as destructive as alcohol or drugs, but if it were, could I ever be able to change a habit with such deep, powerful, and invisible roots? Overcoming old habits starts with a conscious decision to observe and acknowledge them. First and foremost those habits are rivers springing from our person; we must find the rivers in the woods that provides momentum for our habitual fear and fear-based
thoughts and responses to life. After detecting those rivers of habits, the next step is to begin to affect those rivers energetically, altering their currents. We need to change habits at the source of the river instead of downstream. If downstream is our conscious mind, upstream is the unconscious mind, which has so much more power to affect us than our conscious thoughts will do! If going upstream will take us to the pure source of our existence where the long forgotten unique US lies, the downstream course will infect us even more with the pick-ups from our surrounding environment, will poison our untainted flow with societal debris, with cultural and religious “pebbles.” Spirit is our essence, and energy is the way we communicate with and affect our essence. Our true selves aren’t our personalities or identities with formed habits, but our spirits and they are untainted, tarnished, and pure.
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
Living on a Knife-Edge Trauma Therapy to rest the Body and Mind
“I need to feel the knife-edge on my skin :( … I’m getting desperate! :’( “ This was the first message I received through the Tapping Addicts Facebook page from Mandy. She had recently been released from prison after serving 18 months. While inside Mandy had been treated for heroin addiction but once again found life on the outside overwhelming.
TESS HUNNYBELL EFT PRACTITIONER
Mandy was one of the 28% of women in prison today are who are self-harming. This is compared with a 0.6% rate among the UK’s general population and begs us to ask the question “Does the distress of being in prison cause self-harming, or were these women already distressed on arrival?” “Nothing anyone tells you, or those silly TV shows, can prepare you for the despair, the craziness and the sadness of being in there with all those sick women. Everyone is desperate and afraid. Some don’t know where their kids are. Self-harming is an escape. A club. It’s the only time anyone ever took any notice of ME”. 28% is an alarmingly high rate. However, this was even higher until very recently. The number of self-harmers has actually fallen by 45% in the last two years, due to new mental health reforms introduced after Baroness Corston’s ground-breaking review of the needs of women offenders in 2008. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or Tapping as it is commonly known, has been an important contributor to this significant drop in numbers. Self-harming is a deliberate attempt to create pain as a means of coping with some very severe emotions and situations which they believe cannot be changed, creating a sense of being severely overwhelmed. The pain caused by cutting, scratching, hair pulling or burning, acts as a temporary distraction by bringing the person into their body and away from their distress. This coping mechanism has often replaced another which was in place before incarcera-
tion, such as drug and alcohol use as in Mandy’s case, gambling, sex and self-abuse through violent relationships. Self-harming is an effective (if rather extreme) way of taking these women away from their traumas, feelings and thoughts. A safe alternative is by substituting this self-harming with EFT, with often dramatic results. “When I feel an urge to use or to cut I have a little song that Tess has made up for me to sing, while I tap around my meridian points on my face and body. I keep singing and tapping until the urge has completely gone. If I’m not alone I can tap my wrist and sing my song in my head and it still works.” Mandy. EFT works in this case by replacing the self-harm with the technique itself and also by releasing traumatic events and feelings of being overwhelmed, as the triggers to an attack of self-harm or the desire to use actually arise. The basic EFT Tapping process is easy to learn, can be done anywhere, and can produce amazing results in hours or minutes where more traditional therapies have often taken years. What is EFT? Related to acupuncture, but working without needles, we lightly ‘tap’ on meridian points of energy on the head, hands and torso as we talk through the traumatic event, either directly or indirectly depending on the severity of the trauma. This sends electrochemical signals directly to the brain. EFT actually shifts the brain’s response to the situation, which in turn can reduce and even remove the in-
Who is Tess?
Tess is one of Positive Psychology’s new happiness experts who holds a certificate in Happiness Coaching from The Happiness Project UK, the longest running scientific study on happiness in the world. The Happiness Project was first set up by the NHS in the UK and has been featured in two BBC documentaries that have been view by over 30 million people worldwide. Tess is also a certified Success Intelligence Coach working with corporations and running courses along side individual personal coaching. She is also the founder of Make Love Your Goal, a teaching on love and a member of “The Ethical Team” setting new standards of ethics in UK corporations.
tensity of the associated emotion. EFT is a growing form of trauma therapy that has been used internationally for over 30 years with excellent results. By removing the traumatic ‘memory’ of the past and current situations, the nervous system relaxes and the trauma responses of “fight, flight or frozen” switches off the constant release of adrenaline and cortisol which is exhausting the immune system, allowing the body and mind to rest. Sleep at last for many on the inside. www.TappingAddicts.com PRISON REFORM TRUST REPORT PUBLISHED AUTUMN 2013
97% Experienced at least one stressful life event at some time. 46% of women in prison have attempted suicide at some point in their lifetime. 64% Confess to using a class A drug 22% Drank alcohol every day in the
four weeks before custody 40% of women prisoners said they had received help or treatment for a mental health problem in the year before entering prison, and 28% said they had received such help or treatment since coming to prison 17% of prisoners reported that at some time they had been admitted to a mental hospital, and 7% had been admitted to a locked ward or secure unit 80% of female prisoners serving Indeterminate Sentences for Public Protection (IPP) surveyed by the Prisons Inspectorate, is often an indicator of serious mental illness or self-harm 49% Identified as suffering from anxiety and depression 50% had a personality disorder (Personality disorder was assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-II). Among the women who had a
clinical interview) 53% Reported having experienced emotional, physical or sexual abuse as a child 50% Observed violence in the home as a child 31% Taken in to care as a child 59% Regularly truant from school 32% Expelled from school 15% of women in prison are foreign nationals. Some of whom have been coerced or trafficked into offending 39% of women remand prisoners and 19% of the sentenced group reported a stressful life event within the past six months. 68% Unemployed before custody 54% Have children under 18 38% of women in prison did not have accommodation arranged on release 8.4% of women leaving prison had a positive resettlement outcome on employment
“Portrait of an Artist” Blerim Racaj Photography 2013
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
ALKETA XHAFA MRIPA
CREATING A BRIGHT FUTURE FOR MYSELF
lketa is a talented artist and passionate about yoga. Her journey started in 2000 when she fell in love with philosophy, the beauty of movement, the power of breath, and the stillness of Mind. That’s why she decided studying in-depth this self-healing Art at the British School Of Yoga in London. In 2009 she became a qualified yoga teacher and has been teaching ever since, while still producing her work of art. Alketa is also running a business with her partner, their dream place, the Tea House “Curled Leaf” in Mill Lane, West Hampstead
You are an artist, yoga teacher, a mother of three children and running a business with your husband - where do you find this energy? Sometimes I wish the day was longer. I believe that I am one very lucky girl, as I do all the things that I love. My art is who I am, and my children are everything to me as without them my life would be incomplete. The tea house is my fourth child, and I believe that yoga gives meaning and contentment to everything that I have, believe and achieve. I do indeed cherish these things every day and think that with love, you create the balance and harmony in your life. What attracted you to London and what is your story about it? Since I was a little girl, I knew that one day I would come to study in London, but my sisters, Ernesa and Marsida (they had been living in London since 1993), made my journey much easier and smoother. I look up to them with such a big admiration and they are my role models. I fell in love with London the first time I came and I knew that it would be my second home in the years to come. It gave me everything that I was searching for higher education, a work ethic, meeting won-
derful people from all over the world, and I found and fell in love with my man. You are from Kosovo, a recognised country since 2008. May I ask about the Kosovo war? How did you experience it? I am very proud of my country, finally an independent one. Luckily I didn’t experience the war of 1998/99 as I was in London, but all my family did. I remember that there was always trouble, the situation was always tense and we never knew what tomorrow could bring. Yet I do not want to put too much energy to the past – let’s pray for today. We have a wonderful youth and some great personalities in their fields so let’s hope that they will change things for good. How did you start to learn Yoga and become a yoga teacher? What motivated you? I was always a very sporty person and my early memory is running with my father nearly every night. He always told me that in order for one to think clearly one has to be in good shape physically. From a very young age, I was always doing some kind of sport, karate, basketball etc. When I came to London I didn’t
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
A new work from an artist ‘Mom Am I Barbarian’ - 2013
have much time to do any sports and I was in search of something different, something that would challenge me! One night in November 2000 I remember very clearly, as it was so cold, and I decided to go to this Yoga class near me. Little did I know that it would change my life forever. I fell in love with this discipline that awakened me physically, mentally and spiritually. After practicing for nearly six years. I wanted to study more in-depth its philosophy, anatomy, and physiology. While still having two small children I found the BSY, British School Of Yoga, and within three years I became a qual-
ified Yoga teacher. Since 2009 I have been teaching and still to this day, it amazes me, as there is still so much to learn. It is not just a practice, or a belief, Yoga is a way of life. I need to quote Rumi as that is what I feel and believe every time I start and finish my yoga class. “I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul” How did the idea of the Tea House come about? It goes back a long way. For nearly five
IN OUR SPACE WE HAVE CREATED ASENSEOFCOMMUNITY, WHERE PEOPLE COMETOGETHERAND SHARETHEIRSTORIES,APLACETOHANGOUT,MAYBE THROUGH ACUPOFTEA,ORJUSTSTAYING FORALITTLE CHAT AFTER THE ACUPUNCTURE TREATMENT, OR SITTING INTHEARMCHAIRNEXT TO THE WINDOW AND ENJOYING WATCHING THE DAY GO BY IN MILL LANE
to six years, with my partner who is an acupuncturist and a Chinese herbalist, we were looking for a place where we would have different selections of teas and herbs, something that my partner is very passionate about, combined with our disciplines - Acupuncture (treatment room) and Yoga (studio). We searched for places and locations for some time, until we found this small place that was right, and started from the scratch. In our space we have created a sense of community, where people come together and share their stories, a place to hang out, maybe through a cup of tea, or just staying for a little chat after the acupuncture treatment, or sitting in the armchair next to the window and enjoying watching the day go by in Mill Lane. I love the community and very happy to be part of it. You promote healthy food and healthy exercises - how aware do you believe people are about this lifestyle? It is much easier to be aware of healthy
’Sofra’ - installation woodwork 2010
Sofra, as in the traditional practice of comin together around a table to eat but also to re the hidden stories of the social practice tha evolves around the rituals of food. Conveyin the surrounding egoism, stubbornness, jeal selfishness, lies and all those bad vices tha otherwise come to be digested; this time th have come to stay, as traces of a memory, engraving.
Sofra, 2009 Readymade, Engraved Wood.
‘Baby Doll’ photography 2007
Who is Alketa
Curled Leaf-Tea House- Present
eating and exercise today, as there are so many messages out there. I think that healthy eating awareness should be instilled at an early age in the family, and then it just becomes a way of life. Is it expensive to live a lifestyle like this? Is it for everyone? Yes it should be for everyone. Maybe some food can be expensive, but then again if you eat seasonally, those products shouldn’t be that expensive. What you need to do is be creative in your kitchen and think of your food as a fuel, so whatever you are putting in-
side of you, it will become You. What can you share with our readers about Kosovo - what are the best characteristics of this country for those who don’t know? Everyone from anywhere in the world is always welcome in Kosovo, we are a nation that is known for good hospitality. It is surrounded by dream-like mountains, such as the Canyon of Rugova, and in the Sharr mountains there are several notable rivers and lakes within its borders. I remember so well when a friend of mine came to visit from
Alketa Xhafa Mripa was born in 1980 in Peja/Kosovo. Alketa spent her childhood in Kosovo, where she finished her primary and secondary education. She came to London in 1997, achieved her Fine Art Degree BA in Central Saint Martins, then studied History of Art at the Tate Modern, London, and many more exhibitions followed, in Florence, Berlin, London, Slovenia, etc.
Italy, her saying when we were at the top on the mountains of Rugova, that the Heidi animation was influenced and came from here, not from Switzerland. Kosovo is being visited more and more for different reasons, and there is so much happening here which is amazing, including the Documentary Film Festival held in Prizren Dokufest, that brings all the art lovers together. Then there is the Jazz Festival, bringing all music lovers together. More and more people are coming and some of them are staying for longer. My beautiful country has much more to offer than some might think!
promotional education feature
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WOMEN NETWORKING? Stella, Antonia & Ceza are three migrant women in London and their job is connecting women all around the world. They all come from different countries but with a common vision, using the power of networking. Being part of Athena Network and investing for many years on bringing businesswomen together, they are now very popular and well connected women. We met them during one of their training sessions to share with us their experiences.
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
3 reasons to connect PHOTO CREDIT: LINDA SCUIZZATO
Stella Fehmi I enjoy meeting like-minded businesswomen
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
tella Fehmi has a Greek Cypriot background and is one of six siblings. Her migrant father came over to Britain in the late 1950s as a carpenter and progressed in his field after working on the Centre Point building in London. As a devoted churchgoer, it was important to him that his children be raised in the Greek Orthodox religion. As with most Mediterranean countries, the family is a big part of everyone’s life and being a member of Athena is almost like another ‘family’ that Stella watches over, as she would with her own family. I became involved with The Athena Network (a women only networking business organisation) in 2007 when I attended my very first meeting, surrounded by likeminded business women who were so supportive and vibrant. I came away with such inspiration and I knew then that this was something I wanted to be part of! In March 2010 I purchased the City & West Essex Region. I have steadily grown the groups and now have six networking sessions that take place every month for female professionals, entrepreneurs and business owners in the City of London and West Essex. Despite an unstable financial climate and people saying this was the worst time to buy into a business, we have seen women flourish as they create connections and inspire each other to greater success. This network embraces every woman, at every stage of their business, whether you’re a new business owner, or have been in business for years, are a home based mum or a city professional. With such great support, training, inspiration and motivation, it is what brings these women repeatedly together every month. Nine years ago on 26th January 2005, a community of female entrepreneurs and business women was launched and it has grown year on year. Like a ‘Silver & Magenta Army’ Athena has launched throughout the UK and in Singapore, placing their high heels in counties and countries where there is a much needed requirement for a community that is committed to both personal and business growth.
Ceza Ouzounian Having role models really helps
eza Ouzounian was born and grew up in London, but she is of Armenian origins. Ceza is an actor and an Arbonne Independent Consultant, growing a business in vegan Skincare and Cosmetics. I joined Athena recently to help grow my Arbonne business. I found Athena a really friendly and comfortable environment in which to meet other like-minded women, while helping each other grow their business. Opportunity brings these women together to share their businesses and build strong and supportive relationships. It gives us the chance to develop vital skills needed to have successful careers and all this in a
non-judgmental and open environment. It is motivating and encouraging to be around other successful women and learn from them and their experiences. By being successful women in our own businesses we will be setting inspiring examples for the younger generations of women. Coming from an engineering background I know that sometimes the first choice we make isnâ€™t the right choice and it is important for young people to know that change can happen at any time and anything is possible with hard work and dedication. Sometimes you need to follow your heart and really go after the things you want and having role models really helps.
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Antonia Chamorro Alvarez I use networking to increase my personal contacts
ntonia is from Leon, Spain. She came to England in 1997. Antonia lived in Cambridge for a brief period and in 1999 she moved to London, where she has settled with her partner and her two sons. They live in a vibrant community in North London, Stoke Newington. I have two jobs at the moment, as a local child-minder, and I run my own network marketing business under the umbrella of Utility Warehouse. I became a childminder rather than going back to work for an employer, which doesnâ€™t have such a parent friendly approach. Through my childminding practice, I met a mum, Tamsin Ford, who is achieving successful results with Utility Warehouse. After helping me to make substantial savings on my household bills, she showed me how the business works. I was inspired by how easy it is to create financial freedom without having to compromise on work or family. Tamsin introduced me to Athena in April 2012 and I have been a member since. Thanks to Athena, I have been able to grow my Utility Warehouse business and create a wide network of other like-minded women. I connect with people, mainly one to one, which gives us the opportunity to show our businesses in detail and find out about each otherâ€™s aims and how we can help each other. I use networking to increase my personal contacts, and to create strong links with women that can provide me with referrals, as my business grows by word of mouth.
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MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
netwo Women only networking allows them to gain confidence in a relaxed but mutually supportive atmosphere enabling them to flourish as Divapreneurs
Connecting MIGRANTWOMAN.COM with other likeminded people not only helps grow my network but increases my awareness of issues affecting others and has definitely over the years increased my confidence
Three women who have a great experience from the power of networking have shared with us their views and stories. They are all professional women using the network to promote a sense of self-worth, solidarity and the building of common bonds exchanging a great energy with each other.
Nell Mead I’ve received fantastic advice on how to share my expertise through blogging and video – and through the power of referrals, I’ve received thousands of pounds’ worth of business.
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
Jilly Clark Design & Brand Consultant
WOMEN ONLY NETWORKING IS A BOOST OF MOTIVATION, FOCUS AND BOTH PERSONAL AND BUSINESS GROWTH. I ALWAYS COME AWAY FROM A NETWORKING EVENT ENTHUSED ABOUT MY BUSINESS & THE FUTURE.
usinesswomen all over the UK regularly meet, network, interact, learn, and collaborate together. When women network together they are ready to support and not just ‘sell’ as in some mixed networking groups. Some women, especially when starting out on their own, need and value the support of their sisters in business, even though they may have been successful in the corporate world. Women only networking allows them to gain confidence in a relaxed but mutually supportive atmosphere enabling them to flourish as Divapreneurs. A women only forum allows them to discuss and share issues exclusive to women, and to grow and develop their business skills in a safe and nonjudgemental environment. Women seem naturally happy to help others by drawing on their wide base of trusted contacts to pass on referrals and collaborate in business. Women only networking is a boost of motivation, focus and both personal and business growth. I always come away from a networking event enthused about my business & the future. www.jillyclark.com
Karen Maloney Associate For and on behalf of Blake Morgan LLP
n my view the power of connection and networking for women is immeasurable. In today’s world where there are so many social media forums and networking events, it is easy
to become swept away with networking without really giving any thought as to why you do it. I personally prefer face to face connecting and networking as this enables me to really get to
hen I first left the Army to set up my private physiotherapy practice in London, I thought networking was just a way to bring in new clients, but luckily I went along prepared to be openminded, because over the past two years I’ve learned it’s so much more than that!
Nell Mead Clinical Director - Victory Health & Performance Ltd
For a start, we give a new elevator pitch every month - and as a result, I’ve got much better at distilling and presenting new ideas and telling my story. But more than that, I’ve learned about how other fantastic women in my group can help me to grow both my business and my personal life. Through Women’s Network, I’ve met a solicitor and a financial adviser who’ve helped me and my family, a designer who’s helped create a logo for my new business and recommended an interior designer for my new clinic. I’ve received fantastic advice on how to share my expertise through blogging and video – and through the power of referrals, I’ve received thousands of pounds’ worth of business.
The ladies I have met have become a support network, a referral network, a ready supply of kindly and varied advice to tap into when I need
know someone and understand them, their business, and how I can assist them not just in their personal life but in their professional life. Both are equally as important to me as a service provider. For me connecting with other like-minded people not only helps grow my network but increases my awareness of issues affecting others and has definitely over the years increased my confidence. I am
fortunate enough to work in a large company where there are lots of other people with whom I can connect and network. For many of my fellow Athena members this is not the case. Being able to understand the issues affecting small business and new start-ups and offering advice/assistance where I can is very rewarding and the reason why I have continued to be a member of Athena for 5 years.
it – and they have become people I’m proud to count among my friends. www.victoryhealthandperformance.com
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
Why is networking important for migrant women? Investment on our personal and professional development is always one of the key things in our life and this is what we discussed together in our networking event, ‘How to succeed with your business and personal growth’ on 18th October, bringing together over 50 women. Networking and connecting with different people coming from different countries has become a popular trend and this is what migrant women like to do. We have asked our speakers from the event to share their opinions
Mais Hadaddin Networking is a place to build a community
etworking is important for any business that would like to grow. If you look at the definition of ‘Networking’: - It is to connect and operate within a network - Interact with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts While networking, you are: - Prospecting and growing
your client base - Looking for opportunities - Selling yourself (as a leader, supplier, supporter, etc) and your business (pitching) - Networking shows your character (it makes it more personal). It’s a chance for face to face meetings as relationships are developed when you spend time together not over emails. - Using it as a development platform - Networking is a chance to meet new people and develop existing relationships - Providing and receiving
Jenny Garret Networking can open doors for migrant women
etworking can open doors for migrant women. Good networks will recommend you to potential customers and collaborators, share knowledge and provide support. Networks are two way and you should find ways to give before you receive. I always ask “How can I help you and your work?” It’s a great conversation opener and there are often people that you can connect someone with in your network, this then starts the relationship which you can nurture over time. At some point there may be something the person can help you with, but don’t expect. Give without expectation and you will receive much more. I have countless examples of sharing my time and expertise for someone in need and years later when things are better for them, they come back to me with an opportunity. Give and Gain is my motto for networking!
support in a systematic way - Refining listening and learning skills - Collaborating and expanding horizons rather than the traditional keeping of secrets and competing - Seeking innovation opportunities. In the UK, companies do a lot of networking when trying to innovate (as innovation requires the collaboration of different parties to bring the idea to the market) As a Migrant Woman it is a chance for: - Building your support network and breaking barriers
- Equipping yourself with connections and your business with added value supply chains - Building a community and getting advice - Learning about the country, its regulations, etc (by finding about other people and their business) - Exchanging ideas and expanding your horizon - Doing better business - Hearing about how other women who have succeeded in establishing their businesses or professional roles A study performed by the Advanced Institute of
Gary Parker An opportunity to develop ideas and share information
etworking brings people together to share information, views and experience. It also promotes a sense of self-worth, solidarity and the building of common bonds. Particularly important for people who are migrants and may feel isolated in their current circumstances. It also offers an opportunity to develop ideas and projects and share these with others. It allows people an opportunity to shine.
Management Research has found that “Diversity in firms’ relationships with external organisations has a positive impact on innovation and performance. Resource http:// tinyurl.com/l44hhvs
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
Nicole Dominique Le Maire My Dyslexia Has Been a Strength in Becoming a Visionary Entrepreneur How did your parents impact on your upbringing? I had a very good childhood, with a clear focus that moving ahead in life through studying was very important. My mother decided to take some time off in her career to take care of the four children and she was the social mum, taking care of the whole neighbourhood, cycling everywhere to bring us to school, sport and other fun stuff. My dad was usually away on calls or in the hospital, always helping people, a trait that I inherited - the people focus. He spent a lot of time with us during the weekend; going to the zoo, learning about plants, animals in the forest, the stars, playing sports. We were given a very global background, travelling four weeks a year to other countries, such as Ireland, Spain, France.My whole family gave me all of the opportunities to be and stay a child whilst maintaining my individuality and talent which was key. As for my dyslexia (very bad in Dutch, lesser so in English) it impacted me on various fronts. I had private support from an early age (first discovered when I was aged three).
Nicole Dominique Le Maire has gained a reputation as a highly valued leader within the female business and Human Resources Industry. As a multi-talented woman entrepreneur and a global people connector, she is also the co-author of two books, including The Female Leader. Nicole is an expert in leading people-based activity from a strategic and operational perspective, with a gift for developing entrepreneurs. As a result, she has gained tremendous experience guiding startups and entrepreneurs which has supplemented her MBA, MAHRM, and MCIPD and this has catapulted her to become one of the top leaders in the Human Resources and Female Leader industry. Nicole was born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and has lived and worked in over 34 countries. Both her parents are now retired, her father was a paediatrician and her mother a homemaker and solicitor
How did you experience your dyslexia at that time? I was very lucky that it was known that I was ‘special’ and got the different tools and techniques given to me from a young age, so I could learn how to do things my way. My overall family impacted my life by motivating me and showing who I was. I did one of the short lower high school levels, as that was the advice given by the education board. However it was clear to my parents that I was a little bit more intelligent, as the school system saw and thought of me, and that was supported with my decision at the age of twelve to go abroad. My mum worked for a year to save up for me to go on a high school exchange year in the US after I graduated from Dutch high school when I was sixteen, which was the first move to being a world adventurer. If it would not have been for the constant recognition of my own talent and intelligence by my parents, I would not have come this far.
How did you overcome dyslexia and becoming a very successful woman? After my year in the US, I came back to the Netherlands, and did two years of further education but I really did not like being back. I decided to move forward with my degree in Scotland, then did a Masters in HR, and got into a graduate scheme with a multi-national corporation. After a few years of working in the global HR team, I decided that I was less interested in the work, even though I was travelling 75% of my time (yes over 232 nights in hotels a year) and move forward with an MBA. I think my proudest moment was that I received the only ‘A’ in accounting (there were quite a few accountants in the class), because I truly understood the impact of the numbers on business and people. I worked in many countries across the world and whilst working in the Middle East, decided I wanted to leave the corporate world and start my own business at the age of thirty five.
10 steps to develop as a woman in business 1. The right mind-set: You can create opportunities if you take charge of your career
portunities and make sound decisions Initiative and drive 6. Courage
2. A spirit of adventure Self-knowledge:
3. Know your values, skills, strengths, weaknesses and passion Knowledge and skills: 4. In your area of expertise, yes, but you will also need to acquire skills to help with self-promotion 5. Ability to analyse op-
8. Success is rarely immediate. Go out there and take action 9. Flexibility: When you take the initiative, good things happen, but sometimes they arenâ€™t what you intended 10. Be flexible as to what life throws your way. You may be surprised.
What inspires you and where do you find the energy and creativity to do such great things in life? Someone mentioned to me that leaving the corporate world at my age was a hard decision to take, as the contacts that can help you move forward will only be there, when you could have had 15-20 years longer, especially in the people arena. I think that is why people like working with me - I love to have fun whilst at work, and deliver something that is perhaps a bit of a challenge to the organisations and industry. The person also mentioned that the output of work that I am doing on a daily basis is something he has not seen in a long time, a true visionary entrepreneur. I see things very differently and that is the strength of my dyslexia. If I walk into a business, I see and know straightaway what should be adapted and to be more focused on people or new directions. I love working with emerging countries - helping them set up or edit their HR functions, focusing on start-ups for women and just in general learning about their values and traditions.
I AM NOW 37 AND CAN SAY THAT STARTING MY OWN BUSINESS HAS BEEN A CHALLENGE, BUT ONE THAT INSPIRES ME EVERY DAY. I LOVE WAKING UP AND KNOWING THAT I WILL BE DOING SOMETHING TOTALLY DIFFERENT EACH DAY.
PROFESSIONAL STORY What is your opinion about the role of women in business? Oh, they are very important, powerful, and a catalyst that creates new opportunities for women just starting out. As women, we tend to value relationships and through that, we can open up new avenues for global partnerships that drive win-win relationships between organisations. If you take me for example, I am a very creative individual who enjoyed coming up with new ideas for the corporate business I was working in. Now at that time there were certainly many benefits to working inside a company and focusing on moving the corporate busi-
interview ness forward, yet the idea of putting too many eggs in one basket and working on multiple projects at once kept me excited, yet ultimately it lead to a feeling of boredom. This boredom is very current and linked in many cases (from my experience) to high achievers (especially women) leaving the corporate workforce. In a way not taking the role of intrapreneurial women in the corporate industry serious can kill the spirit of true innovation. This could be the reason as to why so many corporate intrapreneurial programmes fail in the mainstream. Women’s entrepreneurship is becoming an increasingly hot button topic. Women who want to experience financial independence and also experience the thrill that comes with owning one’s own business. There’s a lot that goes into running a successful business, and it can take a while to actually get something done, depending on how hard one works and what industry one chooses. What is your experience of working with women and what are the biggest challenges that women face to suc-
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ceed with their business? In most parts of our society, we have come to accept that men and women generally have the same capability to do a job. However, as much as mainstream society is poised to embrace the growing power of women in the workplace, there are many studies that show that people are unable to grapple with the idea of a female leader, yet more and more surveys have shown that female managers and business leaders are getting higher marks and reviews than ever before. As more women role models appear in industries and companies throughout the world, it is becoming clear to anyone that female leadership is not only real, but will likely surpass male leadership numbers in the future. I have worked with women in business for many years and I myself have faced the challenges of being a female intrapreneur whilst still working at companies such as DHL, Alstom, Epson and now as a female business owner. From disparaging remarks about women not being capable of being in power to thoughts of self-doubt, it is not uncommon
for a woman to feel pressurised and sometimes even bullied by her own employees. When these distractions enter her mind, it can make it really difficult for the business to grow. I see myself as a visionary people entrepreneur, but is that how others see me? At the industry level I work at, most women and men who are the decision-makers are one to two generations older, this is a challenge if one does not have the right contacts. The bottom line is that people need to realise that female leadership really does exist, and that we as a society need to embrace it and encourage it. What tips would you give for women who have just started their entrepreneurship journey? Running a business that is not authentically you can be tiring. That is one of the reasons why so many businesses fail in the first two years. When setting out to “do your own thing”, most people are excited about the prospect of doing what pleases them, on their own terms. Embrace your personal authenticity, confidence and self-worth. Enhance your decision-making skills, your communications. Hang in there and connect with other women-preneurs, use the social media and online tools to your advantage. It can be precarious to try and achieve that fine balance between vulnerability and strength. That’s why, no matter how busy you are, be sure to make time for you - time when you can just reconnect with yourself, your goals and dreams. What is the wisdom you would share with women who want to get engaged in business? In order for a brand to be memorable, it has to stand out from the crowd. You need to be different from everyone else in order to create a memorable brand persona. Add your talents and skills to your unique persona, and you will find the sweet spot that only your company can fill. It is a big step, so be sure it is really what you want. You have to commit to long term growth and learning and you will face challenges that will help you develop as a woman in business. http://thefemaleleader.biz http://humanresourcesglobal.com Twitter: http://twitter.com/NicoleLeMaire
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Sandy Phillips was born in August 1966 to an English mother Diana Mary Bate BDS and and Guyanese father Harold Emanuel Leopold Phillips, Barrister at Law. Sandy was a singer for many years and she says: “I still dabble now and then when asked”. Sandy has been working with some of the biggest and greatest names in the music industry to date. Recently getting into TV & Media Ogle TV and now ForceADeal TV she has found a new lease and drive to life. And a new passion.
Sandy Phillips As women we need to help each other Have you always been in a leadership position? Is this a skill that you are born with or have you developed it through the years? Yes I have always been a leader, from a young age, and I believe that my parents did encourage that, but it did get me into trouble quite a bit. I think that you are born to be a leader, some people are good at it, and other need to work harder, but one should always play to one’s strengths! What is your strongest point that enables you to be successful? Communication is the key. It’s really important to be able to communicate at all levels so that people, clients, and organisations are sure of what you are providing for them. This makes things less stressful and rewards you with returning customers. Always strive to give the best customer service that you can to ensure customer retention, because without customers you are not successful. What is your biggest success in
life? My biggest success has to be my musical career, which has spanned three decades. Having music on film has to be the biggest buzz in the world. However, I now have Ogle TV and ForceADeal.com They are growing so fast here in the UK and in the United States, heading towards a big success. What is your reaction to failure? How can you learn new things without failing at them first? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we should fail, but we should learn to adjust once we do fail so that we don’t fail again. What is the biggest lesson you have learnt from your difficult situations? Keep going, don’t stop, learn what you did wrong, accept it and keep moving forward. Who has supported you most in life? I come from a really big family (four-
teen brothers and sisters) and besides that, great friends. This is really important for stability, and of course my partner, who is a great source of information support and guidance. He has a real calming effect, but can also frustrate the hell out of me sometimes. Tell me what man doesn’t! How do you motivate your staff to get good results from them at work? I’m a firm believer that you should allow staff to fulfil their potential, and this means that they have responsibilities and obligations to fulfil them. Making sure that they do not get bored, and that they are challenged regularly with different types of work. I also believe that all personnel should multi-task, to know all aspects of the business that they are in. What is your biggest dream and how do you make dreams come true? My biggest dream is to be a success in what I’m doing right now. To open the world to Free TV. Dreams come true in so many different formats, but working hard, keeping an open mind, listening to others, and knowing that the dream is there for you to take.
AS WOMEN WE NEED TO HELP EACH OTHER, LOVE EACH OTHER AND RESPECT ONE ANOTHER! IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT WE DO TEND TO BITCH ABOUT EACH OTHER. FOR EXAMPLE, (LOOK AT WHAT SHE’S WEARING, WHAT HAPPENED TO HER HAIR ETC). STOP IT AND STOP IT NOW. THIS TYPE OF TALKING IS HOLDING US BACK, PREVENTING US FROM REACHING OUR POTENTIAL, AND FROM FULFILLING OUR DREAMS.
What is the wisdom that you would share with our readers? As women we need to help each other, love each other and respect one another! It goes without saying that we do tend to bitch about each other. For example, (look at what she’s wearing, what happened to her hair etc). Stop it and Stop it now. This type of talking is holding us back, preventing us from reaching our potential, and from fulfilling our dreams. We need to encompass all that we can through doing different things in life. Learning from, helping, and motivating each other, to achieve the heights that we never thought that we could reach without the stimulus. I wish every woman of the world the very best, and leave you with this thought: Spiritual growth results from absorbing and digesting the truth, and putting it into practice in our daily life. I live, move and have, by being in a higher authority.
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Maria Iacuzio Promoting Italian Talent Through Art Maria is from Italy and migrated at a very young age. Her story of migration is a long journey and it includes many changes in her life. Now she is based in London, a mother of two young children, a part-time teacher and a freelance radio journalist. Maria is very involved in the Italo-British community with various activities, including organising a conference at Camden Town Hall for next year on domestic violence and its impact on immigrants, with the support of the Italian Mayor Lazzaro Pietragnoli. You will discover more about Maria through this interview.
Who is Maria?
Maria Iacuzio is the founder of the Italian British Association. A women’s association that promotes Italian art, culture and language in England and working with other Italian Associations and cultural centres around the world. Maria comes from a small town near Salerno in the South of Italy. She studied at Salerno’s University and achieved a first class degree in Political Science. Coming from a migrant working class family with three children, she was the first that graduated in her family.
The story of your migration started a long time ago when you first decided to go to America. Can you tell us a bit more about this? I moved to New York with my husband. We very newly-wed and he were relocated through his company. I wasn’t happy at first to leave London. New York is somehow faster than London which is something that I adore but I didn’t like the American work ethic and neither did I like to be so far from my family and friends. To have only two weeks holidays a year is very dysfunctional when you come from Europe and I missed my family terribly. I got a job at the bureau of “Il Sole 24 Ore” the financial paper of Italy, as the Editor assistant. I accepted the long hours and I loved the challenge of the job and the pressure of the deadlines, but I reckon that I coped well with it all because I had no children at the time. I wouldn’t like to sacrifice my children for my job. How did you find London after this experience?
London is somehow home for me. I moved here as a postgraduate student and I have beautiful memories of my student life. It was here that I met my husband and I feel especially that I can easily go back and forward to Italy, as it is important for me to be on the same time zone. How long did it take you to settle in a new country? I moved back to London as a mum. I had my daughter and I strongly believe that it’s easy to be a mum in London compared to Manhattan, where I was living in New York. I hardly saw any children there. In London, there are plenty of mums and children and this creates occasions for new friendships. I missed the intellectual stimulation of work so I started writing for a publishing house from home, when my daughter was six months old. I discovered soon after that I was expecting my son and I had to stop working due to a difficult pregnancy. I then retrained to become a teacher and tried to fit the work around my children.
What is your strong point which keeps you working so hard? I can lift the spirit of many Italian artists that we help through the Association. We have a project called “Exhibition for £1 a day” where they can manage to get noticed and sell some of their artwork in England. We also encourage those artists to teach art workshops for children. We are trying to take them out of some basic jobs as waiters or kitchen porters, and to make them focus on their skills and talents. For every migrant, one of the most difficult things is finding a job - how do you remember dealing with this challenge? I moved to London eighteen years ago and I believe that at the time there was a bit less competition than there is now. I was also younger and more aggressive and that does help! Are you happy with the life you are leading now? Yes I am. I still think that we could organise more activities if we had a venue for the association. All the activities we do at the moment are self-funded. However, the particular field of our work has been recognised by the director Luca Vullo, who has included our Association in his documentary “Influx” on the Italians living in London. Influx will be out in January. We can’t wait to watch it.
Now you are helping a lot of Italian people to ease their journey of being a migrant in a new country. How did this initiative come about? I helped a friend who had been a victim of domestic violence. I phoned the Italian consulate many times, trying to speak to the previous Console. His office ignored my requests of help for information, as I was just a friend of this person. At that mo-
ment I realised the importance of representing people through an Association. Six months later I founded the Italian British Association. What are the biggest challenges you have faced to succeed in London? Having two young children and no family around to help. The cost of child care is huge and stretches me to my limit.
What is your vision in the future? Do more to facilitate the integration of the Italians living in the UK. I would like to create an independent ‘Italian House’ supported by private investors, to promote our culture and our arts. I am also a candidate running for election to the Comites (Committee of Italians Living Abroad) that will take place in December. The Comities need huge innovations and modernisation too. The last election happened 10 years ago and they don’t have women representatives or young people. People that work in the voluntary association have the proper understanding of what the needs of the Expats are as we deal with the migrants needs every day. I hope we will have a fair election and that people will understand that this is the time to choose the right candidates to represent them.
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What you should know about living in London If you are planning on moving to London and you have never been here, you will soon find out that London has a lot to offer - but sometimes it comes with a price tag! Being one of the world’s most expensive cities, it is hard to find quality accommodation and affordable at the same time. We have selected a few areas that vary from budget to luxury, so you can decide which suits your personality and pocket
RAFAEL DOS SANTOS Brazilian entrepreneur who moved to London in 2001 after living in Sao Paulo.
ondon is divided into 6 zones. Zone 1 is the most expensive and it has some of the most expensive square metres in the world. Areas like Mayfair and Belgravia are top of the list. Here are some suggestions of areas to live depending on your age and budget.
Elephant and Castle - South London
If you are look for cheap and central, Elephant and Castle is the cheapest zone 1 area you will find. The area is undergoing a lot of
redevelopment which is increasing the prices of accommodation but it’s still relatively cheap for a zone 1 postcode. Around the Elephant and Castle roundabout you will find hundreds of shops and in the shopping centre itself you will find a daily market where things are going to be much cheaper than the shops. Shoes for £10? That’s the place to find them! It’s also the place where Charles Chaplin was born and where clubbers find the Ministry of Sound, one of the world’s most famous clubs. There is also the Coronet Theatre, which is actually a club but they have varied nights so I recommend you double check
what’s on. If you take a bus towards Camberwell Green, you will soon be on Walworth Road. You will find everything there from Chinese medicine and massage to McDonalds and banks. You probably don’t need to go anywhere else to find food, clothes, phone shops or banks. The area is 50% African or Caribbean but in recent years it has had a huge influx of South Americans too - mainly Spanish speakers but you will also find lots of Brazilians. It’s also where you will find South Bank University and University of Arts and Communication. Transport wise, it’s a great place to be. Most buses that go to south London pass through Elephant and Castle, so you will have many options if you are in town on a night out. There are many 24 hour bus routes that include Trafalgar Square, so you will be home in no time. There is a tube station on the Bakerloo and Northern lines and also a train station by the Elephant Castle shopping centre. Prices vary but starting at £100 per week for a single room, living central could not be cheaper. Stratford - East London
I have seen Stratford being transformed before and after the Olympics. Many years ago the bad reputation and distance made the area a ‘no-go’ for young single girls. Because of the Olympic games, the area received so much investment and has had a ‘face-lift’ making it an attractive place for leisure and living. The only problem with making it look better is that the prices go up, but only if you want to buy, as rent prices have stayed the same. It’s still relatively cheap to live in Stratford. You can find single rooms for £90 and double rooms for £120. Stratford is super well connected for transport. It is on the Jubilee (one of the best underground lines) and Central Line. It also has a bus station with 24 hour buses. Bus number 25 runs a 24 hour service from Trafalgar Square, so if you are going out in the evening it will take you around 30 minutes to get back home from there. There are also trains running from Stratford station. The area is zone 3, so transport is slightly more exPHOTOS: SAMIRA EUGSTER
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pensive. You must balance rent and transport, so make sure that what you are saving on rent you are not spending it on transport. There is a shopping centre opposite the station where you can find food from all over the world, so you will not feel homesick. On the other side of the shopping centre you will find Starbucks, Argos and many other shops and two big supermarkets. If you live and work around Stratford you don’t need to go to central London for anything else to be honest. Europe’s largest shopping centre, Westfield, is also in Stratford, so if you work in retail or catering there are hundreds of jobs available. Clapham - South London
Clapham is a favourite area for British people and now becoming increasingly popular amongst Australians, New Zealanders and mainland Europeans. Clapham Common is a huge green park that gets packed in summer time. Rugby players get together, runners, dog lovers and young professional couples are attracted to the pond and the vast green space that the Common provides. The area is also known as ‘Clapham Village’ because of its local butchers, bakeries, cafes, restaurants and many other local businesses that make Clapham so unique. It’s slightly more expensive than Elephant and Castle. You will not find a double room for less than £600 a month and it’s zone 2 with the Northern Line being the only line going south, so in the mornings it’s rather difficult to get the train. It’s usually really busy and you may feel like a sardine in a can at 8am! Yet it is worth it - some will say. The area is lovely, the people are polite and friendly and you will find great bars and restaurants as well as two large supermarkets. Bus 88 takes you to the centre and is 24 hours. Clapham is a large area and is divided into three stations; Clapham North, Clapham Common and Clapham South. Clapham Common, because it is near the park is the most expensive area of them. Clapham South is the only station in zone 3, and slightly more affordable than the other two. Angel
Similar atmosphere to Clapham but slightly more expensive, Angel has a lot to offer. As you leave the station you can see that the area is always buzzing with young profes-
sionals around and it’s the area where the City University is. Bars, clubs and restaurants are everywhere, so having a glass of wine is always on the menu. The houses are beautiful around there, rooms are expensive though. With prices starting at £650 a month upwards you will have to be quick to make a decision once you find somewhere nice to live. All major high street shops are in Angel and there is also an Exhibition Centre, so you will have plenty of things to do and visit if you live around there. Not far from Angel is Sadler’s Well Contemporary theatre and Kings Cross St Pancras station is one stop away - in case you are thinking of going to Paris for the weekend! The area is very ‘British middle class’ and because of the price of accommodation, it attracts the same type of Europeans as other nationalities that can afford such prices. It’s a great area to live, with green areas
around, and squares and pubs where you can have the famous Britsh Sunday Roast. Overall it is an area not to be missed if you want a ‘happening’ place. Victoria
Living centrally is everyone’s wish and you could not live somewhere that is closer to the centre than Victoria. It has really modern new buildings and also the traditional London houses. It’s a very expensive area to live, so be prepared to pay £500k for a two bedroom flat, if you are thinking of buying. Room prices start at £180 a week, so you need to be earning quite a good amount on a monthly basis, otherwise you will waste your money away. Victoria is the home of several theatres, so if this kind of entertainment is your cup of tea, you are in wonderland. As modern living goes, there is also a shopping centre and buses are 24hours from several parts of the city.
Victoria tube station is very busy, serving the Victoria, Circle and District Lines. There is also a train station, a bus station and a coach station. From Victoria you can take coaches to several European cities, including Paris (if you book in advance you can travel for £30 return). Gatwick Express takes you to the airport in 30 minutes. If you are looking to live centrally, minutes from Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and have plenty of things to do - including pubs, restaurants and clubs, then this is the place for you. Buckingham Palace is minutes away, so every now and again you will see The Queen passing by. Say “hello” for me if you see her! Notting Hill
A film called Notting Hill made this area even more famous and fame brings a price tag. Notting Hill is notorious for its expensive
houses and I mean expensive. Accommodation is in line with Victoria and anything less then £500k is not worth buying. The area is hugely popular, and is where the old money lives, so you will see plenty of Bentleys parked in the area. Some of the streets are breathtakingly beautiful. Rows of white houses with Roman pillars. If you are renting, be prepared to pay a lot. Prices starting at £700 a month for a room for one person. It’s busy any day of the week and you certainly have plenty to do. Portobello Road is around the corner and if you like antiques, you will be in paradise. It is middle to upper class I’d say, so the type of people you will find there will probably not have any problems with money. Also their English accent is rather nice to hear. Every now and again you spot a celebrity around there, so if you are moving, carry your camera or have your phone ready for a picture.
Who is Rafael?
Brazilian author of the book ‘Moving Abroad, one step at a time’ Rafael has been living in London for 13 years and is the Founder of roominthemoon.com a social travel network that connects people moving to London.
If a street party is your thing, London’s largest street party is held there - the Notting Hill Carnival. It’s a Caribbean party but slowly it is being taken over by the Brazilians and their samba schools. Notting Hill is a relatively safe area on the Central Line, and has several 24 hour bus services to and from the centre.
mind New people come into our lives every day. Whatever mark they leave on you depends on how far you are willing to listen. With musical laughter in the background, the face lights up to reveal a woman you probably have never known. She might seem obscure to the world, and probably seems like any other person, but there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Ping Ping, the director of Peace Revolution project with the World Peace Initiative Foundation, radiates the two elements in her Chinese name…peace and apples (which are actually good for your health!). In a society where patriarchy defines positions and status, women leaders may not be much seen. Nevertheless, the Thai woman illuminates admirable qualities and traits that are quite relevant in the current leadership discourse. Ping Ping can be tough and rather reserved but she is adorable and has a way of communicating in-between statements that kept me drawn to her strong personality and view of life. Despite having grown up in a Catholic school, a school with affluence in Bangkok at that time, she admits that simplicity has been her motto for decades. Back then, for most children from her institution, glamour was the norm. Such traits in humanity never seem to wear off and often keep people enslaved to wants of desires that are replicating and uncontrollable. However, call it modest upbringing or a good karma, but Ping Ping embraced the art of simple living from childhood, which she has gently crafted in her current lifestyle as the director of Peace Revolution Project. Simplicity to her minimises certain paradoxes of life and the ever insatiable wants that humanity desires. When asked how she manages to run several projects across the globe taking into consideration the fast growing speed of the Peace Revolution since its conception in 2010, Ping Ping believes that nothing is actually hard. In fact, she believes in having one plan at a time, then focusing her energy on it and ensuring its success. Her confidence and commitment to achieve her goals is one driving force that enhances her growth. To Ping Ping, this could not have been possible had she not started meditation. She explains that meditation is a mental exercise that enables her to relax, still her mind, and create the right focus
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I aspire to be the light that can transform the world Thoughts and Discourse with Ping Ping: The Director of the Peace Revolution Project at World Peace Initiative Foundation BY DENNIS ODENY
she needs in her daily schedules. Even though she knew of meditation long back, Ping Ping never got the interest until she encountered the Dhammakaya meditation technique. She was thrilled by the many peo-
ple who could successfully meditate and have amazing experiences to tell afterwards, and wanted to try it. Doing the wrong practice incessantly without stopping, Ping Ping drew motivation from diligent meditators who
5 main benefits of meditation 1. Meditation helps purify the mind to be good and kind to oneself as well as to others. As a result, you will understand yourself and others better. 2. Meditation fulfills you with good energy to cope with things, especially in making important decisions. 3. Meditation makes you stronger in spirit and morale. It helps you to inspire yourself, with no need to rely other people, books, stories, or anything else. 4. Meditation makes you feel more secure in uncertainty or unexpected circumstances. Also, it gives you confidence when facing a dilemma. You will be aware of the stress-free zone when you meditate regularly. 5. Meditation is a free medication for a mind. Our mind needs some rest because it works day and night without stopping. It starts to function less effectively, whether or not you realise it. It gets infected many times and the symptoms are clear, such as anxiety, nervousness, stress, and so on. Why don’t you try giving your mind a rest?
taught her about the visualisation technique. She has meditated for over twenty years and cherishes every moment of it. Ping Ping has therefore devoted her life to share the precious knowledge about inner
peace to the world. In a nutshell, Ping Ping is a likeable woman, quite interpersonal, understanding and friendlier than she at first seems, which are great qualities for a twenty first century leader. You have dedicated your life to peace and meditation - how can you describe the world that you have created within? For me, our ‘Inner World’ will reflect to your ‘Outer World’ inevitably. It means if you are pleasant and joyful, your face will always be with smiles. To have a high EQ, (emotional intelligence quotient) a lot of things in life will be easier. Many times we are the one who complicate things, not others. Let’s enjoy our life from within and you won’t have to rely on any gadgets to entertain you.
What is meditation to you and why you would recommend it to people who are still in a dilemma about starting to practice it or not? Meditation is one form of exercise but not to the body, rather to the Mind. It helps you to be present, conscious, and to focus on your thought, speech, and action. These days people refer to it as mindfulness, whatever you want to call it. Everyone needs this exercise, whether or not they know of its importance, which is the cleaning process, like bathing. If your body can get dirty, so too can the mind. You can’t see it with your eyes, but your mind can touch it more or less. It depends on how delicate your mind is. With a more sensitive mind, the deeper your perception will be toward things around you.
3 reasons to make meditation part of your everyday life 1. Remember 4 key words. Just do it now! Ask yourself, when do you want to have a better life? If you want it now, just do it now! If not, then procrastinate on it. 2. Find the right teacher and technique for yourself. This will enable you to do it in the right way in order to make progress. At the Peace Revolution website, you can try our free online self-development program, where we provide 11 instruction videos. 3. Be committed! Especially for the first 7 days. Meditation is a continuous process and needs regular practice to see its effect. The longer the time you give to it, the more benefit you will experience by yourself. This is a scientific experiment, and no need to pay respect to anything or anyone.
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How should we make our lives
When you are new to a country, certain things are familiar and some are not. You might find that you want to look after yourself but depending on what habits you already have and how different the environment is, it may not feel so simple. When it comes to toxins, where are we most likely to come across them? What effects do they have? How do we limit them from having a detrimental effect on or health?
ANNA-CAJSA JOHANSSON Born and brought up in Sweden, Ana Cajsa has always had a strong and deeply rooted interest in nature and the natural world. She moved to London in 1999 and her interest in natural health was initially sparked by Traditional Chinese Medicine
Detoxification and toxins are areas of lengthy discussion with many different opinions and advice. It easily becomes very complicated and intricate. This often leads to short spurts of attempted detox programmes, followed by a feeling of failure as keeping to it ended up being too much and too complicated. Our lives are generally packed full and busy and most detox programmes require a lot of commitment, preparation and time, which we don’t necessarily feel we have. Having a consistent and straightforward practice of managing the levels of toxicity and allowing this to be the case is what keeps you fundamentally strong and healthy. There are various ways that we contribute to having a toxic environment, internally as well as externally. Below you will find some easy to implement ideas that will help you to feel more energised and healthier. In creating a living with less toxicity, other things start to fall in to place. This is not the case everywhere but it promotes a way of thinking where everything is connected and every change you make has an effect in all parts of your life. Where do toxins come from? They can occur in food and drinks as well as anything
that has come in to the production cycle of these. Pesticides and hormones are examples, as are plasticisers and other chemicals approved for food contact. Food stored in most kinds of plastic will take on compounds from the plastic, some of which are toxic. Personal hygiene and beauty products are a big area where it can be less obvious, if you are unfamiliar with all the terminology and names for everything that often differ from country to country. Any substance the body doesn’t recognise and doesn’t know how to process can be stored in fatty deposits in the body. Eventually this can result in a large toxic build up. What effect do toxins have on us and why do we benefit from cutting this out of our lives? We live in a world that has evolved to use a multitude of different chemicals and we are exposed to pollution on some level on a daily basis, and when our energy might be weakened by stress or toxins, we struggle to avoid them. With less toxicity we are able to stay more level and balanced. This could result in less pressure on the organs and in turn the immune system, but also how we handle stress and digest food. We can excel in areas where we choose to focus our energy better, as less of our energy is taken up by trying to process and elimi-
Useful tips • Hot water and lemon, first thing on an empty stomach. An easy thing to get in to the habit of doing! This will help digestion, the immune system and your inner organs, like the liver and kidney in their important part of detoxification, as well as providing a healthy source of vitamin C • Buy organic where possible and avoid anything processed • The quality of water is important. Consider things like the ph level, also toxins the water could have had added or absorbed. When buying from the shop try and get water in glass bottles where possible and
nate toxins in our system. Our bodies have a natural and constant process for absorbing nutrients and releasing toxins but there are things we can actively do to support this natural cycle. Emotions and states of mind can be toxic. It is worth bearing this in mind and not to underestimate the effects that stress and emotions have on your body and its functions. No one is happy all of the time and it is more about getting better in recognising these emotions as they arise. Then work to dissolve and release things where you can so that you don’t carry a state of emotion that might eventually have serious effects on your physical health. A big part of detoxing your mind is in changing patterns that are often negative, obsessive or reinforcing low self-worth. Being aware of this is part of the trick and then to gradually practice not engaging in those spaces. The thought states of people you connect with also have an effect on you. Be mindful of situations where you might be affected by someone else’s beliefs in a detrimental way. Our diet plays a big part on the state of our mind as well. Sufficient water intake and staying away from foods that we are sensitive to makes a big difference. We are
then less likely to engage in the mental patterns that are unproductive and harmful for our health. If we don’t use the appropriate building materials we won’t function as well as we could. Completely cutting out something you really enjoy could result in a terrible mood and most likely in overdoing it when you eventually cave in. The cold turkey option is one choice, but if that isn’t you and you would like to cut something out, do it gradually with support. If you’re going to drink, eat or absorb it, be happy with your choice or don’t do it. We are individually very different both physically and mentally, so when you choose to do something you need to feel that what you are doing is right for you to be able to stick to it and see results. A few small changes can support your body’s detoxification process to help keep your energy levels up and help improve your state of health on a day to day basis. Doing something is always better than nothing so start doing something and let that inspire you do explore more and keep it up! We have only introduced this topic here and could go to much greater depth in each area. Any request for further information, support or questions in regards to the above can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
use a filter jug or filtration system at home. The filter jugs are a great inexpensive option, but to get rid of the heavier levels of toxicity often something a bit more serious is required • Herb tinctures or supplements – they are an easy addition that can be used alongside a varied diet. A good antioxidant supplement will help your body to deal with the free radicals as they occur and various options are available to support your liver and other organs. These options depend on what your concerns are but always make sure that your source is a good one with high standards. You want to help support your body rather than add to what you are already dealing with. Getting advice from a health professional is essential in making sure that you get something safe and appropriate • Pay attention to personal care products, makeup and household products. Aim for ones that are free of chemicals. There are a lot of really nice organic and more natural brands out there. It is important to have a realistic approach to detoxing and toxins. They will always be there to some degree and pressurising yourself trying to avoid them is not the way to health. Realising that it is the continuous process that will give results and be what helps you sustain health. • Stay away from a rigid and inflexible approach and make room for spontaneity and fun as well • Being gentle with yourself and your choices. • Is something going to add to your energy or drain it?
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
Fashion Let’s talk
uring London Fashion Week there is an amazing atmosphere, with so many wonderful catwalk shows, street fashion shows, after parties and celebrations, that you can’t help but feel the buzz and get the fashion high. In September, fashion designers showcase their spring/summer collection, while the autumn/winter collection is showcased in February. How can I describe London Fashion Week? Effortless sophistication, cool, seductive and feminine, London Fashion Week spring/summer 2015 was filled with sensuality, fitted dresses, and super short silhouettes, see-through and peek-a-boo frocks that modernised the looks. Barely was there any makeup, or it was very minimal and effortless, and the hurry kind of hair complemented the amazing designs very well, creating a seductive atmosphere. This year I had the privilege of attending many shows at Somerset House. These included Fashion Scouts; Vodafone Fashion Weekend; House of ikons; Together with the Art in Fusion Team, we saw the M&S catwalk show during the Vodafone London Fashion Weekend, which was fantastic, with sleek and colourful looks gracing the catwalk. After a fashion frenzy at LFW I headed to Milan Fashion Week (MFW) for another dose of fashion. My very good friend and internationally published photographer Walterlan Papetti had been covering LFW and has taken some beautiful pictures for Migrant Woman magazine readers. Milan Fashion Week (MFW) was filled with breathtaking floor-sweeping, featherweight, transparent, colour drenched dresses, and intricately-adorned gowns that take your breath away. A wonderful celebration of femininity and Italian heritage.
SEPTEMBER AND FEBRUARY ARE TWO MONTHS WHEN SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY AND FASHION LOVERS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD BUSTLE THROUGH THE STREETS OF LONDON TO WATCH THE MARVELLOUS CATWALK SHOWS AT SOMERSET HOUSE, THE CENTRAL HUB FOR LONDON FASHION WEEK (LFW) THAT PROMOTES AND SHOWCASES GREAT BRITAIN’S TALENT TO THE WORLD.
Another highlight for me was the Sophia Lauren Style Icon exhibition, featuring some of her most amazing outfits and moments during her career, and she is one of my all time favourite actresses and style icon. Fashion trends change by the season, and my advice is to always wear what suits your body type and what makes you feel good and happy. You can always get key pieces from the current trend and add a pinch of your style to personalise the look. Let the beauty within you shine through, no matter the trend.
BOBBI BICKER ARTIST
MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
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MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
‘How to Succeed with Your Business Migrant Woman magazine, in association with CNT Associates, hosted the ‘How to Succeed with your Business and Personal Growth’ event on 18th October at the Hazev restaurant, Canary Wharf, London. It brought together more than 60 people, mostly women but a few men too, a mix of those looking to further their success so far and the aspirational, seeking ideas, knowledge and inspiration. The speakers were: • Jenny Garrett - Executive Coach and Author • Mais Haddadin - Head of International Business at Pera • Gary Parker - Managing Director – CNT Associates They are already well-known in their field, and shared information and tips with the attendees. The owner of the Tas restaurant group, including Havez, Onder Sahan, welcomed the guests and the diverse representation present. A raffle was held to raise money for Solace Women’s Aid, a very wellknown organisation which works with women who are victims of domestic violence. www.solacewomensaid.org The attendees also valued the networking opportunities with like-minded women and there was a real buzz before the proceedings started, during lunch and afterwards. We received an overall very positive response in our survey, with 80% rating it as excellent or very good.
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MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
Recipes from the Head Chef
Önder Sahan is the head chef of Tas Restaurant. He is also
the owner of 19 Turkish restaurants spread across London, all of which are in busy locations. He has personally trained the head chefs at each and continues to take an active role in their management. His first restaurant, TAS Cut in the Waterloo area of London, was recognised as the best vegetarian restaurant in its neighbourhood within the first year of its opening
(FOR 2 PEOPLE)
(FOR 2 PEOPLE)
(FOR 2 PEOPLE)
Ingredients • 300 gr lamb ( chopped meat) • 1 large aubergine • 1 onion (white) • 1 medium size leek ( 50 gr) • 2 peeled medium tomato • 1 table spoon red pepper flakes • 2 table spoon salt • 2 table spoon olive oil/butter • 1 tea spoon paprika • 1 tea spoon oregano • 1 tea spoon basil
Ingredients • 2 bunch of parsley • 1 red onion • ½ bunch of dill • ½ bunch of fresh mint • 1 peeled tomato • 50 grams couscous • 1 tea spoon salt • ½ tea spoon sugar • 2 table spoon lemon juice • 3 table spoon olive oil • 1 table spoon pomegranate syrup
Ingredients • 1 cup of boiled chickpeas • 50 gr butter • 1 table spoon dry mint • 2 cups of boiled water
HOW TO PREPARE Roast chopped meat in the pan with hot oil for 5 minutes. Add in finely chopped onion red pepper, peeled and chopped aubergine and leek. Cook in 5 minutes altogether. Later add peeled tomato, salt, paprika and oregano and cook or 7 minutes. Ready to serve.
HOW TO PREPARE Mix finely chopped parsley, onion, dill and fresh mint and tomato. Boiled the water and put couscous in the water for 3 minutes then wash it with cold water, add the parsley and mix it all, then add all spices, olive oil and pomegranate syrup. Ready to serve.
HOW TO PREPARE Roast chickpeas in a hot pan with butter and dry mint. Previously washed 3-4 times starch will be added into the rice. Then add in two coffee cups of boiled water and cooked for 15 minutes.
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MIGRANT WOMAN #7 NOVEMBER 2014
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