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StafF Editor in Chief Mirela Sula


Kristèle Ng Man Sun My big dreams have become my reality

Sub-editor Trevor Clarke

Special Pages Wear your culture


page 16

Arzu Kara: I have always been intrigued by the beautiful clothes page 17

Indira Kartallozi: Long way to London with Nyasha Gwatidzo

page 18

Julian Childs: Are you in the right path

page 22

Tony J Selimi: I invite you to a path of wisdom

Asalet Tulaz: I like being the colour of feminism Laura Gomez My culture and my Colombian nationality define who I am interview Maria Luca: The story behind my success page 24

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Anna Huysse-Gaytandjieva: “We have such a deep need to belong and for a social connection page 48

Senada Crvk Pargan: From Despair to Triumph page 26

Lily Mensah Yeboah: I see migrant women through my own mirror page 50

Ask the Dragon Baybars Altuntas page 31

Sedef Iligic: Turkey in all colours page 54

Aura Imbarus: Dream on you, dreamy girls page 32

Emma Cleave: Supporting migrant women writers page 56

interview Julia Goga-Cooke: We are all creative

Ask Dr Finn

Anca Glinca: I am the creator of my reality

Alina Buraja: Who said that a 20 years girl can’t succeed in business

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Editorial team Kristale Rama Ermonela Kapedani Lira Sejdini Rainela Xhemollari Board Members Marita Flager Aura Imbarus Adelina Badivuku Kath Roberts Avi Esther Shekinah Huda Jawad Ozden Bayraktar Contributors Baybars Altuntas Judy Piatkus Sarah Alexander Julian Childs Francesca Moresi creative Director Henrik Lezi Photographer Francisco Cruzat Web Designer Andri File advertising Director Rudina Suti Marketing and PR Elisjada Canameti Amarilda Canameti ADDRESS Migrant Woman LTD Company Number: 08839812 E-mail: Web: London, UK


Letter from the

edit r Mirela 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

What is your story?


remember when arriving in London that I promised myself: forget the past and move forward. Only two days before booking the flight to London, I met my publisher and signed the contract for my new book, ‘Don’t Let Your Mind Go’ and felt that I was leaving the burden of my past there. There were many things I didn’t want to take with me, and not enough space in my luggage, especially for the past. Imagine if you are asked before going through the security scanner at the airport “What is the story you are taking with you?” Would there be enough space for it? Would we pay to take it with us, or decide that it is better to leave it behind, and create a whole new story? Perhaps some of you have experienced this feeling when you decided to take flight in a search of a better life, to achieve your dreams, and with a change of status to ‘immigrant’. This word is very significant for me because we as human beings are searching for a new meaning in life. We want to explore the world, with a deep desire to evolve and develop ourselves in a wider universe, with a clear orientation towards a world that offers us a lot of opportunities and alternatives. The stories that women in this issue are sharing clearly show that they have been actively seeking to find a better life in a new country and to create their own reality. What makes us different is a level of awareness which allows us to follow our path, to find and connect with our true self. Many readers of Migrant Woman will understand this, as they have been there. You are the author of your destiny, your journey, and your destination, creating your own reality, wherever that may be in the world. After arriving in London, a British man I met with (who is now is one of my best friends), did not ask me my name or where am I from as his first question. It was “What is your story”? It just confirmed to me that the story is always there, you cannot delete it. However it cannot prevent us to write new chapters. We cannot change its beginning and the earlier pages, but we can change the future and the journey to our desired destiny. This is what our migrant women contributors have shared with us. Their stories show that no matter how difficult the beginning has been, they still have a pen in hand to write the remainder of their story, and to create the reality and the destiny as they want it to be, where they want to be, and surrounded with the people they want to be with. We can choose the people who will be part of our life, as we shape our narrative. It doesn’t delete the past, but we can be in charge of our destiny and a story that does end happily ever after. Do you have a story to share? Contact me at:





Rise in EU immigration to the UK BBC News online 22 May 2014 Official figures show a rise in the arrival of European Union citizens to the UK in the year to December 2013, but net migration remains unchanged. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics said net migration remained at 212,000, unchanged from the previous quarterly figures. Separate data shows a 7% rise in registrations of overseas workers to 603,000 in the year to March 2014.

Racism on the rise in BritaiN The Guardian 28 May 2014 The proportion of Britons who admit to being racially prejudiced has risen since the start of the millennium, raising concerns that growing hostility to immigrants and widespread Islamophobia are setting community relations back 20 years. New data from NatCen’s authoritative British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey, obtained by the Guardian, shows that after years of increasing tolerance, the percentage of people who describe themselves as prejudiced against those of other races has risen overall since 2001.

Give black and Asian people a better deal, says Sadiq Khan Evening Standard 15 May 2014 Labour declared war on racial inequality today by pledging action to increase the number of black and Asian people in the police, the judiciary, company boardrooms and on TV. In a policy-rich speech, shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan revealed that although unemployment is falling among the white population, it is rising in black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. “The fact is Britain remains a hugely unequal country for black and ethnic minority people,” said Mr Khan, the son of an immigrant bus driver, at an event staged in Tower Hamlets by Operation Black Vote.

Nigerians due to be deported, despite claim of Female Genital Mutilation risk

The Guardian 28 May 2014 A mother who claimed asylum, fearing that her daughters would be subjected to female genital mutilation if they were sent back to Nigeria, is due to be deported on Thursday after being detained on Wednesday afternoon, her supporters say. Afusat Saliu and her two daughters Basirat, three, and Rashidat, one, have been taken into custody after unsuccessfully campaigning to be allowed to stay in the UK. Afusat, herself a victim of FGM, has said she fears her daughters will be mutilated too and, as a Christian, has spoken of her fear that they could be targeted by the Nigerian Islamic extremist group Boko Haram, which recently kidnapped and still hold more than 200 schoolgirls.

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Judy Many dilemmas in my life


Dear Judy, I am a mother of three daughters, 12, 14, 16 and I am divorced. After the divorce I was not in a relationship for about five years

and now finally, I have met someone who makes me feel special. I am so excited about this new person in my life, which makes me feel younger and stronger. Yet I have two doubts that prevent me from feeling secure. The first doubt is that he is educated but I work as a babysitter. I have finished a university degree in my country but I never used it. Is there any problem that we have this intellectual gap between each other? He says that he loves me and I do believe him, but how can I know that this is going to last? The second doubt I have is the fact that I have three daughters. I am afraid that they will not like the idea that another man is coming into my life and theirs. They are all at a sensitive age now and I have been trying hard to stay close to them. How can I manage this situation? Should I talk with them about it? Should I introduce him to my daughters? How will they react and what will they be expecting? These are the dilemmas playing on my mind. Could you help me to find the answers? Many thanks, C.P

Since the first issue was published we started to receive letters from readers, some of them were wishing Migrant Woman success and others asked if we would help them with giving advice for their concerns. We heard from BB, who sent a general email to us, which we forwarded to Judy, a successful publisher and business woman, who is happy to help in offering her wisdom for our readers. BB has received a direct reply and is agreeable for her question and Judy’s answer to be published. Do you also have a question for Judy? Write to:

There is no right or wrong way to make decisions


Dear CP, It is always exciting to meet a new man who may become special in your life. You say that you are not educated but what does that really mean? You have a university degree which means you have a good mind and you have much experience of life, having had a previous relationship which has given you three daughters whom you have brought up. Your work as a babysitter means that you need to have lovely nurturing qualities and perhaps that is what this man appreciates in you. There are things he will learn from you and things you will learn from him. You are absolutely fine just the way you are. As with all new relationships which may become important, you must take your time in getting to know each other. You are concerned about how to introduce him to your daughters. After some months in this new relationship and if it looks as if you will want to commit to each other, you can begin to think about how to introduce them. If they were to become attached to him before you were sure of your own feelings, it could be difficult for them if you were to part. But before they meet, take time to discuss with them ideas of what you would like for your future and how your daughters see your future as a family. You will need to reassure your girls how much you love them and that you will not leave them. Your daughters’ feelings of security must always be paramount. If your man does not have children of his own, he may also need time to adjust to seeing you as a mother and a person who he will have to share with others. You may want to describe your man as a ‘friend’ at first and you may want to take your time before he stays overnight. Every family is different though and there is no right or wrong way to make these decisions. Hopefully all will happen naturally and at the right time for you and your girls. I wish you all well.



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Kristèle Ng Man Sun My big dreams have become my reality By Lela Struga


ristèle Ng Man Sun is 35 years old and 4th generation Chinese born in Mauritius. After her A-levels in Maths, Chemistry and Computer Science, she left Mauritius to study Beauty Therapy and Management in the UK and finished her third year in Montpellier in France. She then moved to Paris where she stayed for 13 years. Kristèle had a dream ever since she graduated. It was to combine work and travelling. As a foreigner, Kristèle found that she had to work doubly hard to prove that she was competent and that no one should step on her feet! She started as a makeup artist at By Terry and had to work long hours, sometimes on her days off without pay, just to have recognition. And there were extra hours after her current job at customers’ request to get additional income. Fortunately for Kristèle the hard work paid off and she soon started to travel for training, helped by the fact that she was bilingual, making her first work destination in Dubai. With a mixture of mixture of excitement, apprehension and stress, Kristèle talked for the first time in front of an audience composed of CEOs, Directors, Managers and experienced makeup

artists. From this experience she had learned how to show confidence, through her posture, a strong positive mind and taking deep breaths. It went very well and that inspired the idea of becoming an International Trainer. Kristèle moved on from By Terry to concentrate fully on being an International Trainer and Decléor (part of Shiseido group at that time) gave her the huge opportunity to do that. After two years, she had travelled to over 60 cities to train teams from different cultures and levels of hierarchy. Kristèle enjoyed sharing as well as learning from each and every person that she met. Decléor had opened doors for her professionally which led to Kristèle being head-hunted for the role as International Training Manager at La Colline, a Swiss Premium Skincare brand. This gave her the responsibility for the training department which she found to be an incredible experience. Kristèle credits much of her professional success to the former Managing Director of La Colline, Mr J Desouches, who showed total trust in Kristèle and who she admires as a role model. “It was the perfect way to grow professionally and to work in excellent conditions” she says. Through this interview you will discover more about Kristèle’s path to success.


Photo Credit: Darrell Lai Choo




You are quite new in this country and have achieved so many things within a short period of time. Where does this drive derive?

When I moved to London, I had the choice to either keep earning my more than comfortable salary from the French company in Paris, or to follow my heart to be an entrepreneur. I went for the latter. I just knew I had to do it because that was the very first thing that popped into my mind every morning when I woke up. My passion for blogging and giving tips to my readers about skincare and makeup or posting about “Do It In London” led to my project of owning my e-commerce. My drive came from my inner belief and my tiredness of waiting for things to happen. I’ve always felt different ever since I was a teenager and everything that has happened in my life (private and professional) seems not to follow any “normal” path as my friends or people I know. Mauritius is a small island and it is very easy for people to criticise you when you don’t fall into a known category with a “normal” job etc. I guess I have always wanted to prove that there is no such thing as “normality” in life and that I live the life I want and decide. Being an entrepreneur is about taking risks and embracing the fact that failure is around the corner. However you have fallen, better fall on your back so that you still see the sky and get up faster. The day I launched the e-commerce (26th April 2013), my fingers were shaking and I had stopped breathing for the time it took to click and launch it online. Only a few days later, I started to get orders from my readers!!! … and they came from France, Canada, Australia and Mauritius! It was just one little step but it meant loads to me…. I have to admit that after a year, it is still not easy. Sometimes I think that it would have been easier to have a corporate job and a monthly salary coming into my bank account. But it is a choice and I don’t want to grow old and to regret not having done something that is that close to my heart. Better live without any regrets than live with remorse. I know that there are countless online stores out there. But I want mine to have

this personal touch! My customers email me and I take time to reply and give them advice and tips. After their purchase, I carefully do the packing and write a personal hand-written note to each customer. It does take time but I feel this is important as everything has become so digital and we’re losing the human touch! You are an entrepreneurial woman and a make-up artist, how do they connect together?

Oh they do connect perfectly as I have included a service on my online store called “Boost Your Confidence”. When I was a teenager, I had a huge lack of confidence about myself due to other people’s nasty teasing about my legs, my face or my lips. It did take me years to overcome this lack of confidence. Emotional wounds during teenage years are hard to heal as sometimes they still come back to me. But then I ask myself, “Does it really matter now?” I understand those women who feel like they are not good or beautiful enough to do such and such thing. This is nonsense. I remembered that I used to look at ladies in the metro in Paris and in my mind, I was thinking of ways I would enhance her natural beauty and features. For me, everyone can look like these top models in magazines! This is how I have included the service on my online store about having a total makeover with hair and makeup done by myself. My husband, who is a professional photographer, takes the shots and the best picture is edited and printed for the customer. I can assure you that the twinkle in the customer’s eyes is enough to bring all the professional satisfaction when she sees how beautiful she can be. As it is said, “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. It is like she is looking at someone else in the mirror or on the picture. The realisation that she can be that beautiful is what I want to achieve. You have lived in Paris as well – what is the difference of being a migrant there in comparison to London?

I have lived in Paris for 13 years and I consider myself French, having totally embraced the French culture. Going back to


Paris after my business trips felt like being back to home sweet home. My circle of friends consisted mainly of French too, so I never felt like a migrant honestly. However, London for me is more cosmopolitan. All the people I have met and become friends with are migrants! I keep hearing so many different languages in London that sometimes you forget that you are in the UK! I love this mixture actually and even though everyone is a migrant, it doesn’t bother any of us. We just get along very well. I think it has become a way of life in London and it is just perfectly normal. Your job is often related with the photography and you work together with your husband. What is it like to work with your husband? Do you see it as an advantage?

Hmmmm… tough one! Just kidding! We are a great team together and the good thing is that we can offer a better package in terms of price when we’re booked together for a job than when booked separately. We’re totally different as in he’s the thinker and is an introvert whereas I am the talkative and impulsive one. The advantage is that we’re not scared of saying things honestly when the work is not that great and how to improve each other’s skills from each other’s view. You come from Mauritius, what is special in your culture?

What is really special is that Mauritius is a rainbow of cultures. I thoroughly enjoyed growing up there as you get to taste all the sweets and dishes from so many different cultures. Also people are very humble and welcoming when you visit the island… something that I have heard so much from different nationalities going there for holidays. Can we know more about the gender role in your country? What is your opinion?

Mauritius has a significant Asian population and women used to have very traditional roles. However things have changed as women are more emancipated. The media plays an important role in this, as the TV channels broadcasted are those from

France and from UK. Many of my friends are high-profile lawyers or working in a strong competitive male environment. You are a very well educated woman, driven, successful and beautiful – to whom do you credit your development?

I dedicate my success to my parents who have always supported me in whichever decisions I had undertaken in my career. My mother is a successful entrepreneur herself. Hard work and perseverance have led her to make a name for herself today in Mauritius. Who is the person that has supported you mostly in life?

I can’t name one person as both my parents have supported me. And now my husband is my greatest supporter even if he doesn’t totally agree with the decisions I make as an entrepreneur. With whom do you seek advice for the important decisions in life?

It is my husband with whom I confide in and seek advice. As I have said, he is the thinker and very slow in taking decisions, while I am so impulsive. Do you feel the pressure of being a migrant at any time?

On a daily basis, I don’t until someone asks me “Where are you from?” but it doesn’t bother me. I am proud to be a migrant and still be able to be successful in big cities like Paris or London. As the saying goes, it is always easier to be a big fish in a small pond but much more challenging to be the one in the sea! What do you miss mostly from your country?

I miss family moments when we all used to sit in the huge garden at my grandparents’ house in the evening and chitchatting. My grandfather would then bring huge slices of refreshing watermelon for everyone. I miss the things that don’t even exist now… merchants selling Kulfi (a typical Indian ice-cream) on their old motorcycles, honking their way on the streets. What is your biggest dream you have




achieved in life?

To be a recognised International Training Manager and to have combined work and travelling. Being Mauritian, at first I thought that this job would be just a dream. I had met extraordinary people, eaten weird things and been to countries and places, which I would never have been able to go on my own. It has been an awesome experience! What is the biggest challenge you have faced during the period of migration?

My biggest challenge was my first two years in Paris when I just started to work. I felt that I had to accept any salary (even the lowest one) just to be able to prove that I was competent. I worked overtime privately to earn a second income. My frustration almost made me want to go back to Mauritius where I knew I could have a better life, since I would just take over my mother’s business. But I wanted to prove to myself that I was better than that and could achieve things by myself. My perseverance led me to being an International Trainer and to gain this cherished international exposure. What is your future plan?

My future plan is to eventually go back to Mauritius where I have recently opened my company for distribution for Konjac Sponge (natural way to deep cleanse your skin) as well as for the 100% natural South African brand – Oh-Lief for babies and body care. I might take over my mother’s business as well but for now, I am still concentrating on mine. My head is full of possibilities but I just need to prioritise them. The ideal dream is to get residual income from my own company. If you could go back in time and meet yourself what advice would you give?

If I had to go back in time, I would advise myself to be more confident in my early 20s and not to get overwhelmed by others. I had only managed to do that at around 25 years old when I did my first international training in Dubai, but even so, I thought it was already too late!

What would be the advice you will give for women who are readers of this magazine?

There are three types of people in this world: those who stand back and watch things happening, those who ponder on what happened and those who make things happen. If you fall into the last category, then maybe you have this entrepreneur tem-

perament. However, expect things to be turbulent and not always easy. Like Samuel Beckett said “Ever tried. Ever failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” When it’s not easy and you’re at the bottom, you can’t go lower than the ground. If so, you’re dead. The only way to go is to get up and try again!


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Photo models provided by Arzu Kara/ Fashion designer Photo Credits - Mark Paul Andrews

How do migrant women wear their culture? Each morning we establish an image and an identity for ourselves through the simple act of getting dressed. The clothes we wear fulfil our needs and through them we communicate. Sometimes they convey a sense of belonging and cultural heritage, especially for special occasions. Women are always concerned about clothing, dress sense and their body, in a world where popular media and culture presents an increasingly extreme and distorted view of femininity and the ideal body. How do they feel in front of the mirror? Do they keep their culture style or do they change it influenced by British culture? We have asked two Turkish women to share their feeling and experiences with as. Meet Arzu Kara, a stylist and Asalet Tulaz, advice worker and learn more about them By Ada Zguro


Arzu Kara I have always been intrigued by the beautiful clothes


rzu Kara is a young fashion designer originally from Istanbul. She launched her fashion label in 2006 and her company is based in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire. She has studied at St. Martin’s and later graduated with a degree in Fashion Textiles from Thames Valley University. Arzu is a very talented and vibrant young woman who instills confidence and energy.

What is special about Turkish fashion?

The traditional styles of fashion are located in the rural areas of Turkey. However, as I was born and raised in Istanbul, fashions and styles were in line with the rest of Europe and traditional clothing was not apparent, hence my designs and creativity were based on modern popular European trends. How do you combine the tradition from your country with the modern fashion? Do you ever incorporate any elements of your tradition into your clothes?

I haven’t yet but I have always been intrigued by the beautiful clothes made in the Black Sea region so I think I will have to pay them a visit and base a collection on them.

What is your favourite brand?

What colours do you use mostly?

Hussein Chalayan is my hero. I can look at his incredibly elaborate but simple designs for hours. Bora Aksu is another designer that I am in love with, which is completely different to Chalayan in style, but his pieces are so dreamy and he is an expert in draping and mixing textures. Alexander McQueen for his amazing vision reflected onto his clothes and Valentino for the eternally classic but ladylike dresses.

I love all colours so tend to use most of them but of course blacks, greys and neutrals are staples in my A/W collections.

Is what you wear important to you?

Like most (or all) women, the clothes I wear change my mood and affect how I feel about myself. No one can deny that as soon as we put our heels on or a well made/fitted dress, we instantly feel more confident, sexier and leaner. However, comfort and being able to move is the most important factor for me - especially working in the studio (draping on the mannequin and pattern cutting requires movement). I wear pieces from my collections almost everyday but I also mix and match them with more basic stuff. I do love dressing up though when the occasion arises.

I love all colours so tend to use most of them but of course blacks, greys and neutrals are staples in my A/W collections

What is your favourite style?

I like simple, well cut and constructed garments with a twist in natural fibres. For evening, I choose more elaborate dresses or jeans with killer heels. Do you think that what you wear helps women in their career?

I personally think it does, especially if one works in front of other people. Some might claim that there are very successful women, who started their businesses from their kitchen dressed in their pyjamas but I, like many other women I know, need to get ready properly. What made you pursue fashion? Was there a particular person in your life or reason that inspired you?

No one in my family has been into fashion (apart from my younger brothers, who are very into their clothes) so I can only assume that it came within. I used to




crotchet little dresses for my dolls and draw Barbies with super long evening gowns. Up until the age of 8 I couldn’t decide between Fashion and Law as I also wanted to be a Lawyer but my father discouraged me in pursuing that. So fashion has become my destiny. What are your tips for launching a successful career in fashion?

I would suggest that they stay true to their style but listen to their audience. What looks great on paper doesn’t necessarily look great in three dimensions. A wearer must feel good in the garment and comfortable. My first collection after graduation had many compliments but didn’t sell too well. This was due to my naivety expecting all of my potential customers to be size 8 and 6 feet tall. Everything looks OK on a static mannequin but we live in our clothes and need them to maintain their shape. Fashion to young people seems incredibly glamorous but behind the scenes are many sleepless nights and a lot of hard work. Why did you choose the UK to set up your company?

I was 20 when I came to the UK to study English, then Fashion Design, and never went back. This wasn’t a conscious decision, things just happened that way and despite all of my family living in Istanbul, I stayed here. I think it was a good decision as London has become the hub of fashion in the past 10-15 years. Does the fashion industry in this country favour young designers (of foreign heritage) more than other fashion hubs, by others meaning Paris, Milan or New York?

I believe that, like in every sector, we have the hunger for new and exciting stuff which might manifest itself in favouring young designers but we are very encouraging when it comes to creativity. Which I think is wonderful!

Asalet Tulaz: I like being the colour of feminism


salet is a modern Turkish young woman who expresses herself through a special style of hearing. She likes trying different styles, and wearing things that appeal and make her feel comfortable and herself. Purple has always been a special colour for Asalat and she also likes the combinations that go with it, being the colour of feminism and women.

Is it important for you to wear fashionable clothes or not? To start with, I should say that I have always had mixed feelings about fashion, mostly because as an industry, it is highly built on women’s appearance and it also enforces a certain and suggested way of dressing and clothing for a particular type of woman (so-called beauty generated in “sexy”, “attractive for men” looking women). Yet in fashion history you see all those feminist women (the first coming to my mind are Coco Chanel, then what suffragettes did with the use of colour in their clothing, and I think of Frida Kahlo with her untrimmed eyebrows and upper lip hair and so on) using their fashion as a counter statement. It was a way of individual expression of feelings, thoughts, mood and as a manifest to refuse that certain type of appearance, beauty and clothing enforced on women’s appearance and clothing. I think in that sense, I like the idea and word of ‘style’ more than ‘fashion’ to be honest because I still cannot detach the word fashion with its sexist connotations. And now we have androjen fashion, ugly fashion, fatfashion, rad designers creating and using their fashion against the patriarchal notions of fashion, to refuse the gender stereotypes in a way.

You are from Turkey but have been living in London for about three years. Do you still continue to follow your Turkish style of wearing or has it changed through the years? When I think about it, what I wear has changed throughout the years, however I can not put my finger on the reasonk, whether it being my age, my style, or London. It hasn’t dramatically changed I guess, from what I would be wearing in Turkey as well, however I feel more comfortable in London with my appearance. In fact there are times when I almost feel invisible in London, which might be criticised in a deeper sense in terms of urban social life, public spiritness etc but I find it incredibly liberating and freeing. There is a lot of pressure on women especially now on how to dress, behave and be in Turkey. I always felt that there is a constant ‘gaze’ on women, which is a kind of virtual gaze of the patriarchal society demanding “appropriateness” from women at all levels. It is quite good to be visible in public spaces for women and I think for other genders as well, but it is not good to be “watched” or feel being controlled all the time which then feedbacks to you as a self-controlling mechanism to adjust your clothing according to the expectations.


What is special to the Turkish culture in the context of wearing? Turkey is a big country and different parts have different traditional wear which is very authentic and you only see in local festivals now. I think the climate has the biggest impact on what we wear, and if you ask what is most commonly worn in Turkish culture, I would say it is cotton and that fashion changes with the rest of the world. Do you think that the way we wear our style is important to our career/success? I think it depends on what kind of career we’re talking about, in some cases it has a huge importance. My personal view is that it shouldn’t be. I believe that people should be valued according to their skill set, their input to the workforce and to

their intellect and ability. But if you ask about workplace wear, I think it is important to some extent, which is probably the main reason of having a dress code. What is the most extravagant outfit you have worn and when? I wouldn’t be able to think of any as I always go for the clothes that I feel most comfortable in so even if I had, I wouldn’t call it extravagant as probably it was how I felt comfortable at that time. It is not extravagant if it feels normal and comfortable for you, if that makes any sense. I have tried different styles but not any that were extreme for me. I like subverting cultural norms but again if I felt extreme or extravagant in something, I wouldn’t be able to wear it.

Who is Asalet? Asalet is a woman of 31 years from Turkey and works as an advice worker. She came to London three years ago to do her PhD in urban studies, after completing a Masters Degree in urban policy planning and working as an urban planner for almost 5 years in Istanbul.




How to wear your personality and diversity with style Vivienne Aiyela

Living in this wonderful Metropolis called London it is so rich in diversity, in many places step outside, get on the tube or walk down the road and you’ll hear a host of different languages from many who look like you and me. I have always lived in London but travelled to many places across the globe and have friends from all parts of the world, which through them and my experience nourishes my knowledge and passion for people and fashion.

Vivienne Aiyela Vivienne is a “Style Guru” and her business provides a Bespoke Personal Styling service at www. clothes4realwomen. com or contact viv@


y background is Human Resources and includes diversity. I am an advocate for diversity and passionate about people. People from diverse backgrounds bring so much to a work place and business. I recall in one organisation we always celebrated religious festivals like Diwali , staff would bring food and even wear traditional dress to work, only for one day. The staff loved to see the colourful outfits and embraced the culture. In another organisation where I worked my colleague used to wear her hijab to match her western outfits. For instance if she wore a yellow cardigan then her hijab would be yellow. As a lover of colour, style and all things different I was so impressed because she could be herself. She still wanted to be respectful to her religion and her beliefs but also wanted

to be trendy and to ‘fit in’ with the office environment. As I reflect on her, myself and other colleagues treated her no different and we were always curious as to what colour hijab she would be wearing in the morning. In another company I worked along side a successful Pakistani consultant. She refused to ‘conform’ to traditional western business dress of business suits, skirts, dresses, trousers and blouses. She always wore a Salwar Kameez (Indian Tunic and Trousers) in business colours – grey, black, navy, brown. I recall seeing her in pinstripe (just like a pinstripe suit) and I was blown away. As she looked fabulous in her traditional clothes with a western business twist and bright handbag, very stylish on trend shoes and jewellery. Put her next to any other city professional she would fit in with just a twist. At business meetings with her clients and potential clients no one talked to her differently because she wasn’t dressed like them. But she was dressed for business and always looked very smart. Another example is my sister who lives in Ghana. Business/western dress is always expected in commercial businesses but on Friday she could wear traditional fabrics (wax cloth brightly coloured) to work. In the UK this would be our version of dress down Fridays. She was always smart and on trend in her wax cloth made into western clothes. Even now in England she still wears her wax cloth outfits on a Friday and always gets compliments. These women have always stood out to me because they were true to their religions and cultural values with a western twist. They were not forced to compromise what they believed to fit in. In the UK we are obsessed with trying

to fit in and be normal. What is normal? Is it what everyone else is wearing? To me that’s what I refer to as clones. In many organisations women all look very similar and wear the same style and colours, buying their work outfits from shops like Marks and Spencer. Now, there is nothing wrong with buying work clothes from Marks and Spencer but dressed from head to toe and everything in between makes you look the same as your colleague. Where’s the individuality and showing your personality? I know that certain businesses/industry they have an unspoken uniform for their staff yet many show their individuality with their accessories. The issue is do you compromise your religion, beliefs and culture to fit in and to be liked or do you stay true to yourself? If you are running your own business and want to have a diverse range of clients, do you feel the need or pressure to wear western clothes or not to wear a hijab because of the fear you won’t be accepted by clients due to people’s opinions? With your own business you have to remember that people buy from people because they like the product too. If you want to wear your traditional/religious dress, why not? If it turns a customer off, then they are superficial and not really your potential client. You still need to dress smart for business but it is also about your product/ services and the great customer service/ customer experience you offer The business world has changed over the last 5-7 years with its global footprint and customers too. Businesses are doing more and more international business and are employing a diverse workforce, including women who wear their hijab, who are just seen as part of the workforce and treated like every employee. Before you apply, research the company, not just their website but if you are able to go to their offices in the peak times – morning, lunchtime and evening – you’ll be able to get a feel of the dress code. This is the same thing I tell my clients who have interviews and don’t know what to wear.

Photo models provided by Arzu Kara/ Fashion designer Photo Credits - Mark Paul Andrews


Working with a very famous brand here in London, it is heavily male dominated and over 30,000 have to wear a uniform. Some are able to wear suits instead and many I have seen opt for a pinstripe. A pinstripe/ chalk stripe (wide stripe) has a great impact, they look very distinguished and professional. Just like the consultant who wore a Salwar Kameez in pinstripe. I was at a meeting with her when she walked in one day and I saw the people in the meeting look up, some even stopped talking. Not because she looked terrible but she had presence and had a professional air about her. The focus was what she was talking about and not what she was wearing. Be comfortable in your place of work and with yourself. You can be trendy like my friend/colleague who wore her hijab and matched it with whatever colour she was wearing that day. Or the consultant who wore traditional dress but in business colours with western accessories. She had presence when she walked in a room. Always remember that first impressions are lasting impressions and you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

In many organisations women all look very similar and wear the same style and colours, buying their work outfits from shops like Marks and Spencer




Laura Gomez My culture and my Colombian nationality define who I am Laura 33, was born in Bucaramanga, Colombia. She did her undergraduate studies in Political Science and International Relations in Bogota and then moved to London in July 2007 to do a MSc in Gender and Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Laura works at North London Rape Crisis as a Support Line Coordinator When you migrate do you take your culture and tradition with you, or do you try to change and adopt the new culture of the hosting country?

recharge energies, to see my family, to taste the food, to dance, to familiarise again with the smells and to feel alive.

I believe traditions and culture are unfixed, unpredictable and vary depending of the circumstances and time. My culture and my Colombian nationality define who I am so even though I have adopted different traditions over time, I would never be able to change my intrinsic self which is defined by my profound attachment to Colombia. I go to Colombia at least once a year for a month and I have been doing it since I moved to London. It is my way to reconnect to my own self, to

How free do you feel in London to express your self and your culture?

I think that London is an amazing city, as it feels like you are part of it from the first moment. I have never felt unwelcome or being treated differently as a foreign person. It is without doubt a multicultural city, where I am not only able to express myself but can also be and act more freely in relation to the gender and social norms that culture imposed on people.

Do you have your own wearing style or it can change time by time?

Yes I have my own wearing style which has become more conservative and simplistic since I moved to London. I usually prefer dark colours and loose fit clothes. I do not really like to wear makeup, high heels, dresses or very colourful clothes, so I do it only when it is absolutely necessary. I think that London has provided a space for me where I feel free to wear what I want without feeling pressured to fit the feminine stereotypes of how a woman should look. My style does not really change over time, on the contrary, it gets more settled as I know exactly what I like and what I do not. Do you think that having your unique style is important? What is your experience?

I think having a unique style is as important as having your own values or a distinctive personality. In this sense, not having a style could be also understood as a unique way of living. In my case, I know my style and as it fits comfortably with who I am, I would not consider changing it. I lived in India for a month last summer and I had to change my style due to the circumstances but I knew it was temporary, and I was doing it as a sign of respect for the family and the people I was staying and working with. I adapted to the circumstances but my style remained the same when I came back. Your partner comes from a different culture. Does this impact on what you wear?

Photo Credit:

He was born and raised in London but his family is from Mauritius. That does not impact on what I wear but on occasions when I had to go to family events or the temple, I had wear a Saree. This has not affected my own style, as I know that it is only on very specific occasions and it does not really define who I am.


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Maria Luca

The story behind my success



have known Maria Luca professionally for nearly 2 years now, while studying for my PhD theses at Regents University in London and have been curious to know more about her life. As a smart, and as I discovered, a migrant woman coming from Greece, beautiful, modern and very successful, it made me wonder: what is behind the surface that has led to her achieving so much in life and creating her own reality. From this interview, I found many answers through the questions, and it helped me to know her personal aspect. I have to say that I was so surprised, and I found a totally different person who amazed me with her story. It has made me reflect and to understand so many questions about my own life, and maybe it will have the same impact on you as well. By Mirela Sula

Your life is full of academic achievements through a long journey. How would you describe your journey?

Photo Credit: Francisco Cruzat

At the age of 16 I arrived in the UK as a married migrant woman and began my life here as a seamstress, working in a clothes factory in Pratt Street, Camden. It was here that I received my first taste of company bullying. The company director, a bitter and lonely man, enjoyed asserting his power by ridiculing the workers. Being ridiculed and humiliated was the price for mistakes. My survival instinct sharpened up and in no time I was praised for being fast and meticulous. I had saved myself. By the age of 17 I gave birth to my first son, a lovely, tiny baby who was my closest relative in the UK. I left behind my entire family to join my husband and his parents in the UK. We lived in a flat over a Jewish bakery, in a tree lined street in Stamford Hill. Everything looked, felt and was strange to me, having grown up on a Mediterranean island. I was surprised that people here did not greet or speak to each other; how could people co-exist, I thought, by avoiding eye contact? It must be polite, was the answer to myself and to do this, so I tried my utmost unsuccessfully to do the same. That was my first exposure to big city relating. I remember going to sleep at night and having a recurring dream of being in

classroom learning. I would wake up in the morning with a spark and simultaneously a disconcerting sadness. I knew that somewhere in the depths of my psyche held an unrealised desire. I was twenty six, married and a mother of two boys, a nine and a five year old, when I started my undergraduate degree. In those days I was seen as a mature student and for me it was a heavenly opportunity. The ecstasy of being a university student kept me awake at night. This had been the start of my emancipation as a woman and a journey to personal development. In my country of origin it was unheard of and certainly frowned upon for a married woman and mother to be studying. Women’s roles were first and foremost in domesticity and fulfilment, for ‘real’, ‘chaste’ women could only be found in being a wife and mother, both of which I enjoyed, but in themselves were not sufficient to define and fulfil me. Hence my career as an academic came later in life, after ten years of raising children whilst working as a seamstress from home in the UK. This sensitised me to understanding mature students returning to higher education and ensuring that in my academic career later on, I encouraged and nurtured mature students’ potential. Upon completion of my undergraduate degree in social sciences I found a job in local government, initially as a day care officer, then a specialist social worker and later as a man-




ager of a Social Services training section. My career as an academic lay within the tapestry of my life. The earliest incentive came from my maternal grandmother, who effectively encouraged me to follow this path from the age of six. She would remind me of my Uncle Nicolas’s achievement. He was my grandmother’s eldest son who had been educated in a monastery, the only option for bright boys at the time of British colonialism of the island. Uncle Nicolas spoke 7 languages and had a position as personal advisor to the president on the island. It was many years subsequent to my grandmother’s death that my desire for education, which she nurtured and uncle Nicolas encouraged, surfaced. Although fulfilling as a career, local government work was not entirely satisfactory for me; deep down I knew how drawn I had always been towards psychology and psychotherapy, both in becoming a clinician, as well as teaching the profession. I took the decision in 1991 to train as a psychotherapist and combine clinical work with teaching and sharing my knowledge with others. As a woman born in a culture where men speak and women listen, men are the essential and women the inessential, the other, as Simone De Beauvoir poignantly put it, developing a sense of a right to exist as a woman and be valued as such, was a long and psychologically tortuous journey. I found my voice and I never looked back. My Masters training and later my PhD formed the nucleus of solidifying my academic career. Anyone who has experienced the journey of training in psychotherapy would recognise that it is a challenging and ambitious project, partly because it involves letting go of pre-existing beliefs, attitudes and theories and partly due to the necessity to apply intentionality in selecting and bringing together diverse and often paradoxical experience and knowledge. This nonetheless is a potentially rewarding endeavour. I describe this process as one of deconstruction, likened to cracking open a nutshell and disturbing its tranquillity, and as an analogy to the trainee’s process of letting go of the preciousness of what is known, in order to reflexively shape that which is known

Who is Maria?

Dr Maria Luca lives in Hackney, London. Her career as an academic has spanned over 15 years. She was Head of the School of Psychotherapy & Psychology for 5 years until she took up a position in 2009 as a Senior Research Fellow at Regent’s University London. Maria is the author of two books and several published articles. The title of her recent book published in March 2014 is: Sexual Attraction in Therapy, Clinical Perspectives on Moving Beyond the Taboo – A Guide for Training and Practice. London: Wiley/Blackwell

and allow new knowledge in. The skills I developed through deconstructing my existing self-identity such as self-questioning, reflexive analysis and critique, are like gems in a sea of knowledge and have influenced my approach to continuous learning as well as teaching. My journey as an academic was made possible by my new motherland, the UK, who opened her arms, embracing me and nurturing my potential. I know of no other country with such tolerance and diplomacy for otherness. I made a promise to her to make her proud; not to betray or waste her trust in me. What has been the key to your success? Working hard, being

lucky (in the right time and right place) or both?

I strongly believe that the key to success generally is faith in oneself, determination, resilience, self-discipline, openness to learning, vision and ambition and hard work. Most importantly I believe in the following: ‘When the going gets tough, the tough


conditions, I wouldn’t have been stroked by the stranger’s smile, nor the feeling of wellbeing that nurtured my positive energy. I call this openness and optimism. My approach has been to become the seer of coincidence and treat this as a door opening, as an opportunity or an invitation to grow, to widen my psychological territory, that I like to treat with curiosity, not fear. My attitude to pain, disappointment, failure and mistakes has always been to embrace them as part of being human, not to let them become my enemies and make me bitter or mistrustful of life. I have been blessed to have met beautiful people in my life who showed me the way. Only I didn’t know it then. Once I came to realise it, I stopped and told myself that I’ve been lucky, despite not believing in luck. Books have been not only companions throughout my life, but wise teachers. They touched me and fed me the wisdom of centuries of brilliant minds. One such mind is Thomas Edison’s. A taste of his wisdom is found in the following: “None of my inventions came by accident. I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial until it comes. What it boils down to (Genius) is one per cent inspiration and ninety-nine per cent perspiration.” What is the best value that you have conveyed from your home country Greece?

get going’. This has been my motto in life generally and my work ethic in particular. I’m not one who believes in luck. I believe in coincidence, in random events that greet us every now and then like the stranger who greets us with a smile on the train platform, or the stormy rainfall causing delays during our journey. Without these weather

To treat others as I’d like to be treated myself. Some values had been drummed into me from childhood, especially my family. Loyalty, respect for others, friendship and hard work had primary importance. To know how to love was transmitted to me from my maternal grandmother. I was the apple of her eyes. She was a strong, intelligent and wise woman who came from a family of 18 children. She had been married at 12 and had 6 sons and a daughter (my mother). I see her warm smile in the stranger at the train platform, I see it reflected back in people’s faces when I smile. She has always been unquestionably my inspiration in life, the light that shines brightly night and day. She died when I was 6. But I carry her

within the deepest recesses of my heart, my soul and my mind. How has psychotherapy helped you in becoming the person you are today?

I cannot imagine any other career that could offer me the privilege of being an intimate witness to people’s most intimate self. I have discovered and encountered so many souls through being a psychotherapist that it made me the ‘old’, ‘almost wise’ soul that I am today. My willingness to understand others, feel others’ pain, soothe and tolerate unbearable painful states in others, has stretched me to challenge my dogmas, embrace my qualities, realise and accept my limitations and constantly grow. It was a path of choice and one I will never regret. My patients have helped me see unchartered territories in people and in myself. I have learned the value of tolerating unbearable emotions in others and in myself, until they settle, until equilibrium is reached. What makes you feel proud of yourself?

Firstly I am proud that my passion for life never withers. Second my tendency to face my failures with dignity and my successes with wisdom are attributes I cultivated over time and feel proud of. Being there for others is one of the biggest rewards in my life. I embrace it with joyous, satisfaction. My resilience and commitment to live my life to the full and to feel fortunate for existing, not taking every breath for granted, militate against pessimism and withdrawal from the life I have been fortunate to have been offered. I believe that if I don’t cheat life, life will not cheat me. And if it does, I will not allow bitterness to cast a shadow on all the times life has been faithful to me. My proudest moments are when I share affection with others and let my spirit flow unselfishly. Moments of laughing with others; sharing a meal with stimulating or mischievous conversation; moments alone, cooking, gardening, listening to music, thinking and relating to myself. Together, these moments form rays of sunshine that show me the way in moments of darkness.




Senada Crvk Pargan From Despair to Triumph: A Poet’s Reflections on War

The spectre of war hung heavy in the air in the early 1990s, but did not fully materialise until 1992, when Senada Crvk Pargan was a 17-year-old teenager living in Bosnia By: Kristale I. Rama


enada’s first book, “A Sorrow for Silence” recounts the traumatic series of events that befell her between 1992 and 1995, and follows her from a lice-ridden, hungry teenager barely surviving in an internment camp, to a grieving daughter and refugee washing dishes in a foreign land. Her story is that of the endurance of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable adversity. On the evening of April 12, 1992, her village, Žutica – near Srebrenica, Bosnia Herzegovina – was burned to the ground by Serbian Chetnik paramilitaries. She and her family managed to escape to her uncle’s village with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They lived with him and his six children, all of them crammed into a two-bedroom house. In a three-day period (July 10-12, 1995) 99 members of Senada’s family were killed. Four of her uncles and two of her first-cousins were shot dead before her father’s eyes. Narrowly escaping a similar fate, she and the other women in her village were rounded up and driven to a deplorable UN camp in Potočari, only for her to witness the murder of a childhood friend. His remains were casually thrown onto a pile of 30 other dead bodies as Serb paramilitary forces continued to kill and rape in full view of Dutch UN workers. By 1995, an estimated 100,000 people--80 percent of them Bosniak--had been slaughtered, while an estimated 20,000 women had been raped. Today, Senada is a wife, a mother, and a Bosnian community leader.


Faced with anger, sorrow, and disturbing flashbacks, she continues to struggle with the inner traumas of her past, especially after the pain the death of her mother caused her in 2001. Senada says that her writing is not only a lamentation, but pays homage to the stories of the fallen – as well as those who were able to conquer death and persevere. Her other projects include a book collaboration between herself, four other survivors, and genocide scholar David Pettigrew (set to be released in the next year), as well as her memoirs, in which she details her torturous journey, including her years in America - an unforeseen path she took as a refugee in 2001 with her in-laws, husband and new-born son. All proceeds of A Sorrow for Silence will go to charities supporting the victims of the recent floods in Bosnia. Today, she opens up to Migrant Woman about the horrors she witnessed in Bosnia, as well as how her life has evolved since the war. In our interview, Senada discusses her hopes, aspirations, and explains how home is not only a physical place, but also a state of being. What was your first poem about? How has your work evolved since then?

I cannot recall the first one, because there were many, but one that I remember is The Dinner Table, which I wrote in the war under grenades, shootings, in candlelight, on a small piece of paper. Years later, due to lack of money and unfinished paperwork for my green card, I was not able to return to Bosnia and say a last and proper goodbye to my mother, who passed away six months after I came to the US. She was very ill, and hospitalised in Bosnia for almost two months. I could only pray for her and suffer in pain. I lost her in 2001, on June 16, at 2am. My best friend was gone. I was deeply hurt, lonely, sad… I needed four years to gather the strength to return to Bosnia and face reality. After my visit, I wrote At My Mother’s Grave. When someone reads your work, what do you hope they will grasp?

I want my readers to feel love. To recognise the real meaning of life, which is to appreciate it, learn from it, and enjoy it. Do you feel any resentment towards any particular group of people?

I am a war survivor, and have lost many

the world. I want to emphasise that the memory of genocide in Bosnia should expand both in North America and around the world. We need to educate younger generations about the consequences of war, and spread a positive message about peacekeeping. What would you say to people who haven’t lived through war and really don’t understand what people in war-torn places go through?

A Sorrow for Silence is available on Amazon: http:// dp/1494382741

family members and friends, but I cannot say that I feel any resentment towards the people who committed these murders. I feel sorry for them, because they do not have a soul – those people live like they do not exist. I probably should feel hatred, or a desire for revenge, but I do not. I know one day karma will do its job. Should more be done to remember the Bosnian genocide?

There is never enough to be done to remember the Bosnian genocide. We have many “Remembrance Days” in Bosnia. In my town of Srebrenica, for example, it is July 11th, which is the day when the enemies killed about 10,000 people. Also many books have been written and many are in the process of being published, all on the subject of war, with real evidence of genocide. My plan for the near future is to have the opportunity to introduce a new book on the subject of genocide in Bosnia, which will be prepared by the American Philosophical Association led by Professor David Pettigrew, with input from a few genocide survivors and surviving inmates. In this book, people will have the opportunity to become familiar with real stories and testimonies about the war in Bosnia. The Congress of North American Bosniaks, of which I am a director, also points to the genocide in Bosnia and creates a superb bridge of cooperation with many organisations of a similar nature around

We are hurt. We need to be heard. We need to be cared for. We need to feel safe. That is what people could do to support war survivors. Keep the peace -- that is what I would say to them. What do you like best about your life now, in the United States?

I have always dreamt about having a safe and reliable place to live. I am very happy that I had the opportunity to move to the US. This is truly a country where dreams can come true -- we just need to put our minds to it. My children, Bilal (14), and Lejla (10), are safe here and are growing into wonderful people. They are learning how to appreciate and respect all of the great things that God has put in their lives, as well as to use their talents and gifts in a positive way. My husband and I teach them to never forget their roots: Bosnia, their motherland. Even though home is where the family is, I am still spiritually in Bosnia: I dream in Bosnian. You obtained your associates degree in 2004, how did that moment impact your life?

I came to the US without knowing any English. My first years here were difficult. Over time, though, my desire to learn more pushed me back to school. To learn another language and keep up with schooling while being a wife, mother of two children, a volunteer for several organisations, as well as working full-time, and writing -- was not easy. But next year, I will be graduating from Phoenix University, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management, and I must admit that I am very proud of myself. What are some of the words that you live by?

Be happy. Laugh as much as you can. Enjoy being loved. Feel. Respect those who respect you. Be positive, encourage others; lead by example. Spread love instead of hate!




Coaching Sessions with

MIRELA SULA I provide weekly life coaching sessions to help you move from the place you are at, to the place you want to be. These sessions are based on the principles set out in “Don’t let your mind go” by Mirela Sula. I am highly experienced in providing coaching to people from different backgrounds and cultures, and assisting with particular challenges they encounter. What to expect during coaching? After an initial appointment at my office in Canary Wharf, London, there is no obligation to continue if you prefer not to. You and I can use the safe space to explore the particular concern of which you are considering coaching. I will discuss confidentiality with you and address any question you may have. You can see how you feel about working with me. You and I will be able to assess if my coaching practices are right for you. Qualifications After completing my Masters degree in counselling psychology at the University of Sheffield, I trained in Family Therapy

and Positive Psychotherapy. I am presently doing my PhD studies, at the School of Psychotherapy and Counselling Psychology, Regents University. I also have a deep knowledge and understanding of mindfulness. I have been working with adult individuals on a range of problems which include: • Relationships • Abuse • Stress and meaning in life • Self esteem • Personal development • Career The sessions help you to move beyond any challenges you are experiencing and develop your own inner brilliance, value and worth. Coaching Sessions I only work with a small number of clients at any one time to ensure individual attention and support. • Sessions take place weekly or fortnightly • Sessions may also be over the telephone or on Skype • Sessions are booked in blocks of 6 to ensure sustained improvement and commitment

For further information please contact: Mirela Sula Level 33 25 Canada Square Canary Wharf London E14 5LQ E-mail:


baybars altuntas .tr or visit my blog to You can send your questions and find me on tter com. Follow me on Twi at ww w.baybarsaltuntasnotes. n as possible. soo as me to start creating new jobs Facebook. Get in touch with

Millionaire Women of the Future are Welcome! Reports show that 25% of the world’s wealth belongs to women, but only 5% of those women are investors in the economies of their countries. Furthermore, only 5% of venture capital investments are made in companies owned by women. What a tragedy for the world! Beyond that, even fewer investments are made in businesses set up by migrant women. So, in all my conferences, no matter which country I’m in, one of the first things I try to assess is how many of the listeners are migrant women. As a selfmade entrepreneur who started his first business from absolutely nothing, I know how valuable it is to have a special mindset to innovate and to make a difference in creating new businesses. I also know that migrant women are much more likely to possess an out-of-the-ordinary mind-set than non-migrant women. The combination of ‘migrant’ and ‘women’ is a great formula for innovative business ideas. At the Dragons’ Den I always listened to

the pitches of women with a slightly different kind of attention. In trying to understand their needs, I realised that what they needed first and foremost was for me to take them seriously. Only then could I help them by opening my network, transferring my know-how and providing mentorship. In Amman a few months ago, I witnessed first-hand how migrant women there are doing better than the local women in business. I think they have programmed their mind-sets better. I enjoy meeting and getting to know migrant women because I know they have a competitive advantage in finding new ways of marketing, new ways of branding and new ways of developing unique services and products. Their brains are often a perfect match for the needs of competitive markets. From Singapore to the US, from Turkey to Jordan, from Russia to Albania, I have, over time, developed a global network of women who want to leave their mark on the world. I particularly enjoy cooperating and collaborating with women who set

up their own business. I definitely do not share the perception of some people that men are more capable of achieving success than women. I had been involved in efforts to foster women’s entrepreneurship for many years when I found myself in the pages of Migrant Woman, where I was confident I would be able to reach more women who are striving to be successful. Migrant Woman is where both migrant and local women can develop themselves. This magazine contributes directly to the development of economies and the creation of new jobs and wealth by providing a valuable platform for facilitating access to finance, talent and knowledge. I know that this magazine represents women on every page. I would be pleased to hear from women all over the world. I’d like to answer their questions about making money, setting up new businesses, becoming their own boss, creating new jobs, and even becoming millionaires. I’ll conclude my remarks with a favourite quote from Henry Ford that I believe captures the importance of the mind-set in becoming successful: Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right See you next month here…. @baybarsaltuntas




Dream on You, Dreamy Girl!

D 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”

reaming is an essential part of our lives. People can swim in the dreams’ currents of a long night’s sleep or be in the hypnogogic state or the so-called subconscious mind; they can potentially think about the American Dream or just be in a creative state of mind where the muse is invoked and brought forth. That euphoric state where there is no beginning and no end, there is no cause and no effect is a modus vivendi for couple of hours per night. You can be whatever you want to be, in a real or imaginary place, young or old, happy or sad, successful or not, married or single, sick or healthy, and, in a blink of an eye, your whole world can change from death to being alive and from living

to dying. If we were supposed to be in this world until the age of 75, and considering the 8 hours per night that we need to pull in, we would have slept 25 years of our life, work 25 years and have fun for another 25 years. Obviously the ratio is accurate if our 24 hours would be equally divided in 8 hour of sleep, 8 hours of work, and 8 hours of fun. In those twenty-five years of our lives, time in which we are in the world of our imaginings, in which everything is possible and nothing gets to be undone or is impossible to be achieved, our highest self is in full bloom and in direct connection to the Source. It is like having a direct line with the Universe, with its Master, and there is no busy signal or dropped off calls. You can have it all and be all.


If we were supposed to be in this world until the age of 75, and considering the 8 hours per night that we need to pull in, we would have slept 25 years of our life, work 25 years and have fun for another 25 years. Obviously the ratio is accurate if our 24 hours would be equally divided in 8 hour of sleep, 8 hours of work, and 8 hours of fun. In those twenty-five years of our lives, time in which we are in the world of our imaginings, in which everything is possible and nothing gets to be undone or is impossible to be achieved, our highest self is in full bloom and in direct connection to the Source

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) the Greek philosopher said that dreams are the result of physical disturbances, such as having an upset stomach. He also believed that dreams contain memories of events that happened during the day. Sigmund Freud (18561939) the Austrian psychoanalyst thought dreams contain unconscious thoughts and desires that are socially unacceptable, and he believed that people need a psychoanalyst to help them understand their dreams. Carl Jung (1875-1961) a Swiss psychologist who was one of Freud’s students, somewhat disagreed with Freud on the meaning of dreams. He did not believe that all dreams reflect unconscious desires. Jung also felt that people could learn to interpret their own dreams. Religious writings, such as the Bible and the Koran, sometimes describe dreams as symbols or visions of the future. So, dreams are hidden desires that can underline a person’s life, and, at the same time, enhance it. Dreams can be passive and active; they can come to you unnoticed, or they can put your body in motion to make them real. Even if many people cannot decode the meanings they are given during their nocturnal existence, they should try to remember and write them down. They contain codified messages the mind is trying to transmit. Faces and places can be linked to future-to-be happenings as deja-vu experiences, or they can reiterate issues the mind is trying to control and is wrestling with. On the one hand, women tend to dream more than men. They are in tune with their inner spirit, and they are already known as the emotional gender. Women think and dream about their life, their partner, and the career they want to embrace. When they were young, they were reading stories about the prince in the shining armour on the white horse coming to their rescue. When adulthood has reached its peak, they already know that it was just a legend and,

in order to be the princess of the castle, they had to go out in the jungle and fight for their title. If as little girls, they were told that they could become whatever they wanted to become, well, that was a dream, or was it after all? And, like most dreams, it is being said that they vanished the minute they woke up. But, what if the waking up is not the real part and the dream is? What then? People will become whatever they work for but also dream of becoming. They need to be able to dream it first in order to achieve it. Out of nothing came something, and we all know that’s not a dream, but pure reality. Imagination is way more important than knowledge and like Einstein said, “knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” In order to see it we need to believe it and not the other way around. All discoveries happened when people had a vision, had a dream and, from the end, they created backwards. The power of the mind, having the power of dreaming, is the most important asset humans have. All dreams become reality if we believe in them, if we feel them and act like we have already embodied them since eternity. Edison, Wright Brothers, Ray Charles, Nelson Mandela, Dalai Lama, and Leonardo da Vinci - they found their dream and acted like they have known it somewhere deep down in their soul. They were born with that golden mine, and they have brought it into the light from the deepest and darkest corners of their caves. They excavated their potential and exposed the dream they were holding on so dearly in their hearts. Like every bird has a song to share with the world, so does every human being. Dreams are the unsung songs of humans ready to be heard, ready to be achieved. So, what are you waiting for? So dream on, you dreamy girl!




Julia Goga-Cooke We are all



he started work in Albania as teacher of English and university lecturer in English phonetics and comparative linguistics. When the BBC decided to broadcast in Albanian to audiences in the Balkans, she moved to London as broadcast journalist and for ten years led the Albanian Service, as the most trusted broadcaster in the Balkans. She later became Senior Editorial Advisor and Global News Cocoordinating Editor, responsible to strategically lead and shape major editorial discussions across BBC Global News, in English and more than 40 languages, on radio, TV and online. She took a gap year in 2008, to study Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Central Saint Martins and London Business School, with special focus on Design Thinking, Open Innovation and Networks. This led to the creation of 2 co-creative innovation start-ups, the technology fashion company Own Label, and the innovation studio Gconsultancy www.gconsultancy. org. She publishes a weekly zine Inspire to Innovate, that brings innovation from Technology, science, business and art Photo Credit: Francisco Cruzat How did you move from journalism to design thinking?

Five years ago, after 16 exciting years with the BBC I decided I wanted to do something else. I suppose, it was one of those moments when you turn fifty, and you suddenly realise that there must be another world out there to explore. Design thinking and Innovation were the buzz words, sexy and intriguing. I had been

an academic, and then a journalist, I had created innovative formats, managed innovation, very often, frugal innovation. But, I had no clue what design thinking was or how it connected to innovation. So, I set out to demystify it. And Central Saint Martins was my port of call. At the beginning of the journey, I found out that, of course, I had used several of the techniques and tools that

design thinking uses, like storytelling, that’s what all the years at the BBC were about, how to tell the story of what was happening in the world, by crafting words and using your voice in radio, by choosing visuals and voice in TV, and writing and choosing pictures for online. I had used interviewing, and I can argue that it takes a while to adjust from a journalist to anthropologist, time and positioning being the two


main differences. I had also used brainstorming, though not always observing the key rules. I was so happy to learn that intuition was also part of design thinking, and I thought I had plenty of it. But, very soon I realised, that there were a lot more techniques and tools, and more importantly, they were part of a process, a methodology that you can learn, practice, tweak, and with time, create the one that works for you, and apply it to any challenge you have, or any challenge people you are helping have. Now, I am very keen to pass this on. In essence, being a design thinker means helping people understand other people and their needs and together with them craft solutions. Why is it relevant now?

In our daily lives we have to solve problems all the time. We have different ways of doing that, and despite our best efforts, some of these problems still cry for solutions. Have you been in a situation when a friend, a colleague comes to you with a problem, a challenge? What’s the first reaction you have? If, like me, you are a solution person, it takes a minute to be in the default mode and offer solutions “ Have you tried..” How about…” We want to be helpful. The invaluable lesson design thinking gave me, is that I can now hold back my urge of immediately coming up with tried and tested solutions. I have learned how to stretch that one minute response time, in order to create space to understand the problem, not only from my position but most importantly from the perspective of the person that has that pain. The process helps us to dig deeper and find out whether what is posed as a problem, is indeed the real problem or an effect of a problem, that needs to be uncovered. In fact, it has a lot of similarities with investigative journalism. Another key ingredient in design thinking and innovation is diversity, in many levels, age, culture, discipline, function, geography, gender. Research has shown that groups that have a diverse mix are more likely to be innovative. At the same time, they are more difficult to manage, and here is where we try and help teams to learn how to collaborate within the team, and also further out, in the bigger organisation, and outside of it. You have been practicing design thinking innovation for some years now. How spread is it as a discipline?

Design Thinking is still a young field. Companies like Apple, SAP, Cisco, P&G, Intuit, Unilever, have been using it with great success in product development. It is more recently that it is being used as a process to drive organisational innovation, and social innovation. I started applying it In 2009, when together with Prof Lynda Gratton of LBS founded and led the Future of Work Research Consortium. It is a collaborative open innovation research, which brings together academics and executives from more than 80 global corporations to research the future of work. We used many design thinking methods alongside literary research and surveys. One of the research tools we designed was the virtual 48 hours conversation with several thousands of people, around the world to explore single topics. It was interesting for me to realise that: 1. There is little knowledge about how design thinking can help leaders nurture creativity. People ask their staff to be creative and innovative, but actually give them no tools how to do it. You are not born innovative, but you can learn to be an innovator, how to think differently and take the ideas to implementation. 2. A lot of people think they are “not the creative type”, and some even say it with a degree of pride as if creativity is that fluffy thing you can do without. We all have assumptions and it is not easy to part with them. But I see all the time that when people are open to get a bit out of their comfort zone, they are so happy to realise that we may not all be artistic, but we are all creative. We all start as very creative when we are little, and lose some of it as we grow up. Sir Ken Robinson blames the education system. 3. The challenge is how do you apply the creative processes when you are back at your desk, and integrate them with organisational processes

that are not geared to include creative ideas, e.g., how do you use it in Human Resources, to find solutions to your talent management challenges, how do you mash it up with business strategy and so on forth. And this is where we help them to create the innovation capabilities. You also teach design thinking to students. Why do they need them?

The world is changing at unprecedented pace. In order to be fit for the future, new sets of skills are required.Some of the key ones are how to prepare the young people to make sense of the world, to work across cultures, to work across disciplines, to develop their social intelligence, to develop a design mindset and prepare to make a smooth transition from school to work. In the 21st century, it is not enough to just acquire knowledge. Learners need to internalize and use it by experiencing and participating in real projects. Research shows that most of the learning happens in communities, that’s why, it is important for us as educators to create the environment, the innovation context where students are not the subject of the change but a key stakeholder of their own development. While design thinking can not be a remedy to all challenges, it helps develop a lot of those skills by doing, making, trying, failing in a safe environment and learning. Last year, I was part of the biggest conversation ever on this topic. A crowd of 45 thousand people from around the world came together virtually at to learn and apply design thinking to a crucial challenge: How to design a better transition from school to work. Amazing insights from different perspectives, with a very strong message, that it takes all stakeholders working together to make those solutions happen.




Anca Gliga I am the creator of my reality

Anca is a 25 year old Romanian young woman, currently living in the UK. She has two Master degrees, in Community Development and Advertising, and a BA in Communication. Anca is working as a European Youth Coordinator for Peace Revolution. In her free time, she loves to ski, do water sports, meditate and do yoga, go to theatre plays, or find a green place to explore or read in. Her story is just incredible: how a young girl can have such big meaningful thoughts for life. When you read this interview, many questions may come into your mind. Although the answers you will find deep within yourself By Lela Struga You were very young when you left your home country. How did you feel being a migrant at such a young age?

I moved from Romania to the UK when I was 24, in 2013, but before that I had been travelling a lot, both in Europe and overseas. Ever since high school and then during my university years, I was involved in various youth projects and had also studied a semester abroad in France, so moving to the UK did not seem like a very big change. I feel like my life has been unfolding itself ‘on the road’ for such a long time, and now the only difference is that I do not go to Romania in the brief moments when I do not travel, but instead I come to Great Britain. Thus, living in this context, I do not really perceive myself as a migrant, but more like a ‘global citizen’, to quote a friend of mine. What made you take this decision?

I believe that I was always aware I would not be spending a lot of time in my youth in Romania. I feel there is so much to learn and experience in this world, so many growth and eye opening opportunities, that I thought I would travel and experience the surroundings for a while. It feels like the right thing to do for myself at this point in my life. The reason I am based in the UK today is that the project I was volunteering for which im-


pacted my life in many meaningful ways, Peace Revolution of the World Peace Initiative Foundation, was going to have an office in Europe and they offered me the job of European Youth Coordinator. At this point, I have been working for a little over a year in the European office in London. It seemed like a great opportunity to work in the direction of peace building in this particular context, with inspiring and visionary people that I am happy to have as colleagues. I am here because I believe a lot in this project and its potential of creating sustainable change, and I want to be on board. What is your experience of working with people from different nationalities?

I have been in intercultural environ-

ments for so long now, that it feels normal to work with people of diverse cultural backgrounds. From the people I interact with when travelling to events, the team I work with, diversity is the norm and it’s wonderful, because it breaks the mental barriers of us being worse or better due to the place of birth. It makes us understand how similar we are despite the diversity, which only comes to add spice and pepper to make things interesting. I am noticing we are experiencing this shift where we no longer see diversity in terms of ‘different nationalities’, physical borders and belonging to a certain state, but rather as simply ‘different individuals’, with diverse cultures and backgrounds. We are diverse because individuals as such are diverse, not because we belong to a certain state. I do not see it as a matter of working with people of different nationalities, but rather of working with different individuals.

Photo Credit:

What about the women of your country - what is your opinion about them?

I have a lot of respect for the women in my country from an older generation, and their struggles to keep families together, to send their children to school while having a low income, or even some of them that have to leave their families to work and support their families back home. I don’t think this situation is solely representative for Romania at all, yet I got to experience this kind of situations in my community. I believe women have such a key role in a family and in society overall – if a mother has to go away and work in a different country, leaving 3 children behind, it affects their development, plus the fact that no woman should have to live in such a situation of having to leave her family behind. It saddens me that we fail to provide the basic need for a child – love and care – in order for mothers to go abroad and make money to feed them. The current social situation is like this in many countries nowadays, Romania included. For me, my grandmother is my role model – she has literally seen it all and gone through it all, a Jane-of-all-trades.

Hearing her stories and comparing my way of life with hers makes me realise how far we have come as opportunities, and how far we have gone away from some of the simplest things in life. She could literally do everything – from taking care of her garden, raising four children, going to work, to sewing her own clothes, to making carpets, painting her house, building a nest for the chicken, cooking for the entire family and so on. And at the same time, in her own time, she read Osho, went to church and also did yoga towards the end of her life. How many of us are still so complex nowadays, when most of what we need is one click away? On the other hand, I look at young women my age and my friends back home and I really have the feeling - not that they will, but that they actually are changing the world. Educated, smart and visionaries, they are creating the change right now and I feel it every time I go back home. What is your aim in life and what are your plans to follow this plan?

At this point in my life, my aim is to live harmoniously with myself and those around me, and do meaningful work, day by day. I do not see duality between my professional self and personal self, so my goals are the same from both levels - I want to use my time and energy to create positive change, and do my little bit in making the world a cosier place. I want to




I am always in a process of some discovery. Either about relationships, my work, the way my body works, a new book, food, a new experience I want to live somewhere. Right now, I am in the process where I am truly internalising that life happens one day at a time, and since I started living with this mind set, I feel that time is no longer a pressure.

contribute in developing and expanding the European part of Peace Revolution, this network of individuals that are walking the talk and creating change in their communities. We are engaged in various initiatives that I hope to see grow and expand. Also, I see myself having my own family and becoming a mother at some point, which is something I look forward to, when the time is right. I am always in a process of some discovery. Either about relationships, my work, the way my body works, a new book, food, a new experience I want to live somewhere. Right now, I am in the process where I am truly internalising that life happens one day at a time, and since I started living with this mind set, I feel that time is no longer a pressure. I

am also working on being more mindful in my activities, from brushing my teeth to cooking, to doing the dishes, to packing my luggage for a new trip. I have realised that all these little actions, done in awareness, can become a great source of energy and reconnecting with myself. It is my ‘latest discovery’ and I am working on being more mindful on it and having the right intentions. I want to spend my time doing things like feeding a stray dog, buying surprise flights to someplace new for my parents, appreciating someone out loud, accepting people as they are, or things like working on the project that I am involved in, attending conferences and events where decisions happen, learning new things for myself, from conflict transformation to surfing, and so on. It is a never ending process!

DESIGN THINKING INNOVATION WORKSHOP Every day we are faced with challenges, big and small that need solutions. How can we combine our analytical power with our creative originality to come up with innovative solutions every time? What processes and tools can you use to bring innovation on? In this fast paced, hands on, experiential workshop, you will learn the Design Thinking process by tackling a real challenge. Get on a journey that leads you from challenges to understanding, framing problems, drawing insights, spotting opportunities, coming up with ideas beyond the obvious, and creating prototypes in order to test your solutions.

The knowledge, skills and tools you take away from this workshop, are applicable to any field and subject. Chose the tools that you would like to use and get ready to draft your action plan on how you tackle your next challenge. For readers of Migrant Woman we apply a special ticket rate of ÂŁ50 per person. Contact: -

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Long way to London with Nyasha Gwatidzo

At the end of a hard and long working week I look forward to meeting Nyasha and catching up with her. I walk into the restaurant and find her there. After a big hug and comparing our latest ‘gadgets’ she tells me of her newest challenge. She smiles and says, “Walk with me?” By Indira Kartallozi


yasha Gwatidzo is a Zimbabwean born entrepreneur and the most successful woman of her generation. She is a mother of three children, a grandmother, wife, daughter, friend and mentor to many women out there, including myself. So, when I hear of Nyasha’s latest venture – a 180 mile charity walk alongside the Thames River – it does not surprise me. Firstly, I never knew that the Thames River is 184 miles (294 km) long. Secondly, I wonder how Nyasha can fit this in her daily routine? After all, this is not only a challenging physical commitment but requires preparation, time and devotion. In 1997, Nyasha, a young migrant woman from Zimbabwe, qualified psychotherapist and social worker, founded Banya – an independent fostering agency, which

“I came to this country when I was 12 as my parents were political refuguees from the Smith regime before Zimbabwe independence. I found this country cold and suffered a culture shock being in a strange country. The teachers had very low expectation of me as an African girl and placed me in the bottom set of all subjects which my parents challenged, and I was moved up the sets. It’s been an uphill struggle all the way trying to make a mark in both in my professional and personal life” Nyasha Gwatidzo


Q&A What was your life like back in Zimbabwe? I was the happiest living in a rural village with all the extended support from family and community. I was a child so my fond memories are from that view!! How have you achieved your wealth and success in this country? Through sheer determination and passion about children. What motivated you to become a philanthropist? To help other less privileged than me- again messages from my parents to always help otherswhich they do by example. What would be your words of advice and wisdom for readers of Migrant Woman magazine? I could tell them a lot but I would tell them to keep going and never to listen to those who say you can not it!!

she has built into a dynamic multimillionpound social enterprise. Banya aims to improve the lives of children and young people through its foster care provision. But Nyasha’s passion does not stop here. Her philanthropic work includes Vana Trust, a charity she created in 2004. Since its foundation, Vana Trust has supported Nyasha’s grandmother’s former school St David’s in Nyandoro, Zimbabwe and sponsored many children affected and orphaned by HIV and AIDS with education fees, uniforms, books, shoes and the breakfast club. Nyasha’s philanthropic ventures are not limited to Zimbabwe. She has turned her beautiful home and farm in Buckinghamshire into Vana Trust Organic Farm. Through this project, Nyasha employs young people with special needs to help them unlock their potentials and increase their confidence. This is done through ther-

apeutic work with animals and plants in the tranquility of the organic farm, maintaining an orchard, growing vegetables and herbs and caring for the animals. So I ask her, what is it that drives this passion for her philanthropic work? She tells me her plans for new ventures, including her work sponsoring women in Zimbabwe, which is all part of her longterm vision to empower women of Africa and globally. She tells me of her most recent project, a sewing co-operative in Zimbabwe and her plans to increase this work throughout Africa. “I want to promote and support small businesses” she tells me. Nyasha’s Thames River walk starts on 30 June 2014, from its source in the beautiful countryside of The Cotswolds, through rural villages and historical towns and ending in London at the Thames Barrier in Greenwich. She is inviting others to join

her on the route or to sponsor her efforts. “What isn’t yet decided is how far I am walking on any given day, and since I aim to complete all 184 miles (294 km) in 2 weeks, that averages out at over 15 miles a day! That’s about 5 hours of walking. For 14 days!” she says. I leave Nyasha with a promise to join her on one of the walking days. After all, I have my own business to run and Nyasha’s advice to me a few years ago was to remain focused and committed – and most importantly to follow my passion and be patient. For those wanting to join Nyasha on her Thames River challenge, please contact Indira Kartallozi on For further information please read:





Are You On The Right Path? The career paths we choose to follow can impact hugely on our enjoyment of life in general, as well on the destinations they lead us to

Most people spend more time planning a holiday than they do thinking about their work or its meaning – and far too many people drift from job to job without having a clear idea of why, let alone giving themselves the chance to feel fulfilled. And yet, if you can find and do work you love – and which carries real meaning for you, often you can become so good and well known for it that your income and job security will take care of themselves.

Apply for a free session with Julian

Julian, a career coach, has helped a lot of people to follow their dreams. We invited him to share his experience with us and to offer an opportunity for our readers. Each month we will select one lucky letter and publish a summary about you, your life and your ambitions concerning work or business for Julian to explore in written advice of up to 300 words… To be considered for this feature, just email your story to

In the UK of old, workers often joined an employer straight from school or college and then relied on the company or institution to train, develop and promote them through a series of exciting roles en route to prosperous retirement. It seemed as if a job was for life. But those days are long gone and to be successful today, you really must take personal responsibility and pro-active control of your career direction and management. This means thinking and behaving like an entrepreneur, constantly on the lookout for new experiences and opportunities that will feed your skillset, expertise, experience and address book. It is this unique combination that will enable you to deliver greater value to organisations that will be more than happy to pay you very well in exchange, albeit possibly on a temporary and / or project-based contract. So, two questions for you: 1. Did you choose your career path – or has someone else effectively set it for you? 2. Do you know and genuinely enjoy where you’re heading, or is it perhaps time to challenge and even alter your direction? After years’ of working hard and conscientiously in jobs that were not necessarily of my choosing, these days I truly love what I do. I would welcome the opportunity to help you feel the same.

Who is Julian? With a track record in sales, marketing, account management, bid-writing and business development, Julian Childs’ career to date has spanned financial services, advertising, self-employment, consultancy, charities, social enterprise, outplacement, career coaching & business schools. Along the way he’s created three business organisations, become a skilled connector, and developed an unusual reputation for forging opportunities simply by connecting interesting ideas and talented people.



Don’t Let Your Mind Go

Available on Amazon now!

In "Don't Let Your Mind Go" psychotherapist Mirela Sula draws on her own personal and professional experiences and those of her mother to produce a book that is poignant, profound and moving. The stories she shares are wise, insightful and beautifully written. NORMAN E. ROSENTHAL M.D., BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF TRANSCENDENCE AND THE GIFT OF ADVERSITY “This book is filled with pearls of wisdom laced with stories that make the pearls shine. Anyone reading it will be inspired and guided in the process of cultivating a healthy, thriving mind. I recommend it to everyone. “ HARVILLE HENDRIX PH. D. AUTHOR, GETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT




Tony J Selimi I invite you to a path to wisdom Tony was born in western Macedonia, in a little town called Gostivar. His parents are a working class family, owned a restaurant in Bosnia and like many other families back then spent most of their time working far away from home to make a living and provide for the family. He lived on the farm with his sisters and grandparents. He started to work at a very young age. By the time he was 7 and started school he already knew how to cook, milk the cows and sell the produce from the farm in the local community By Lela Struga


uring his childhood he saw a lot of injustice, people enduring a lot of physical and emotional abuse and discrimination. A voice deep inside of him was telling him that he was different and that he did not belong there. He knew he came to this world from somewhere else with a mission to do greater things and to do something to stop the suffering he was seeing all around him. Back then he did not know what that mission was now how will he achieve that, however what he did know was that people all around hem needed his help and he was great at giving what he knew what to give-Love. When he started his primary school he already knew three languages, in his spare time he also used various manuals and books to learn to repair TV’s, Radios and other house hold items. He became an ex-

pert at DIY and he felt good about helping people who were frustrated and angry when their TV would break down. Back then it was the same as having and ipad in today’s world. At the age of 10 he got sick and ended up in hospital with multiple illnesses that left him unconscious for almost six months. During his hospital days he observed many sick people. He says that he often had con-

versations with God and asked Him to give him a manual that he can use to help people heal, live longer and reunite them with their loved ones. He says that his feeling to help people love, heal and empower to live in peace never left him. In 1989 when the civil war in former Yugoslav republic broke out he was forced to join the army and spent next 18 months in the war. He saw many atrocities that left


him scarred for life. He lost friends, family and the country he grew up was being destroyed by the second. In 1990 he ended up in the streets of London. In his book A Path to Wisdom he speak in more details about the five major breakdowns that destabilised his emotional, mental, physical and my spiritual life that also lead to the greatest life breakthroughs. Everything he endured led him to seek the best teachers, healers and coaches to help him find solutions to his life’s challenges. During this process he learned a lot of tools, gathered a lot of knowledge and in the process he healed, aligned his life to his purpose and to his childhood dream to be of service and help others do the same. To help people increase their capacity to love one another and grow to higher states of awareness. This story and his interview is a great lesson that everyone can take and reflect deeply within. You talk about a lot of difficulties you have been through in life – do you think that this has impacted on who you are today?

Absolutely, each and every experience I have gone through has brought me to the present moment in time. It took me years to forgive those who wronged me, trespassed and committed crimes on a massive scale. Years of personal development, reflecting and work with worlds best teachers helped me to understand everything that I was experiencing from much higher perspective then the one I was experiencing. Each decision, each road I have walked came with its own lessons. One single choice or a decision can change the direction of our life forever. In my book I talk in much more depth about how everything we do, think, say, feel has an impact on who we are in each moment in time. I take the readers on a journey so that they too can come to that space in which they are aware of the subconscious choices that sabotage their reality. You work as a life coach – what is your target? Do you work with migrant women as well?

I work with a range of individuals who lack clarity, vision and purpose. My clients

are highly successful individuals who work under tremendous pressure, experience profound emptiness and have a range of emotional and physical issues that prevent them from living a healthy, balanced and peaceful life. My clients are both men and women. They range from celebrities, coaches, MPs, PTs, doctors, leaders, entrepreneurs to senior executives of companies such as Microsoft, Bank of America, Ignis Asset Management, Deutche Bank, Santander and Mishcon de Reya across the UK, Europe, Middle East, Asia and USA.

Of course I have many migrant women clients from all walks of life who seek a spiritual teacher and a coach that can help them in their own personal journey. Recently, I signed up to my yearly Elite Life Coaching for Inspired Living Program migrant women Shelley J Whitehead. An award winning Relationship Coach from South Africa who works with women who are looking for support to rebuild their life after being dumped, divorced or going through bereavement. Being a migrant myself, I have overcome many physical, emotional and mental chal-




lenges that come as a result to starting a new life abroad. I know at first hand the many issues that migrant women go through when settling in a new country and how to help them overcome the issues that prevent them from living an inspired live. My Breakthrough Coaching is for those who are seeking self-love, authenticity, a peaceful life, confidence, growth and long lasting results. For people who want to clarify their goals and realise their vision, for people who want to stop living their life on “Snooze� and awaken to their true calling. What are the main concerns that women bring into your sessions?

Many of my women clients I have worked with experience deep rooted fears, loneliness, rejection, stress, anger, panic attacks, control issues and are in need of validation. For many, lack of self-confidence, self-love and not being in control of their emotions are biggest concerns that they wish to address. Some are stuck in unfulfilled relationship and looking for ways to make things better of build the confidence to walk away and build a new life. Others are single women with a head full of noise, lack work-life balance and are simply unhappy in the way they live their life. What is the change that these people see after attending your sessions?

I am known amongst my client for creating amazing transformations and leaving them feel supported, inspired, empowered and at peace with themselves. TJS Evolutionary method has helped each one of my clients bring to their conscious awareness the subconscious habits, behaviours and attitudes that help them free themselves from their inner self-made prison. They start feeling happy, joyful and grounded. They access other parts of themselves that they put in use to help them live a purposeful life. What is the wisdom you would like to share with our readers?

If you are someone who is having spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, career, love, relationship and financial challenges then reading this book will help you get

clarity on where you are and then next steps you need to take. To live an inspired life, you must surrender in the process, trust your own intuition and use your built in ALARM to safely navigate through times of turbulence to help you reach inner peace, stillness and be present. Just like any top performer, if you want to succeed invest in yourself, get yourself a mentor, life coach, or a spiritual healer who has successfully achieved what you want to achieve and has an in depth knowledge in the areas you want to develop. If you want to go fast in live you go alone, though

if you want to go far then you need someone you can trust, is capable and committed. In each moment in time, you have the chance to re write your life story. You did not come here with a set purpose, you came here with a free will to create your purpose that is aligned to your personal desires and values you have. If you want to change your life, get clear on the fears that keep you stuck and learn your highest values that determine your choices and make your daily actions aligned to your highest values and see your purpose unfold like a sunflower does towards the sun.


Tony J Selimi

Elite Life Coaching Balance




What is an Elite Strategy Session? In the way that a pilot constantly adjusts the flight path so that the plane arrives at its desired destination, a coach is someone who helps adjust the course of direction that your life is going in. With an Elite Strategy Session you will gain the clarity you require so that you too can live an Elite Life and create the results you desire. This session is designed as an introduction to Elite Life Coaching. Tony will assist you in making a positive shift in your life, help you reconnect to your inner wisdom and receive insights that will support and empower you to embrace change. Experience new perspectives beyond your fears and uncover new ways of seeing and engaging with the world. The ultimate outcome of the coaching strategy session is to: • Which key areas of your life do you wish to address: Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, Relationship, Finances, Career/ Business, Physical, and Love?

• •

Have clarity on where you are and what you want to accomplish What four outcomes do you wish to achieve in the following year? Determine what obstacles are preventing you from achieving your goals What does this cost you? Experience with certainty through the depth of Tony’s wisdom how you too can love your life and live your dreams. Walk away with clarity on the next steps you need to take on your path to Living an Elite Life.

You can start Your Journey with his a 12 week programme designed to help you address one or two areas or his one Year Elevate Your Life Coaching Programme to address three or more areas. Tony Jeton Selimi Learn, Love and Live,

Get the book: Discover how to live an Elite Life: Looking to evolve as a man: Start your healing journey here:




Anna Huysse-Gaytandjieva

“We have such a deep need to belong and for a social connection” Anna left her country, Bulgaria, in 1999 and decided to start a new life and develop her career in the Netherlands. She has achieved a lot of things in her life but prefers to define success which is not based on her professional achievement but how happy and satisfied she is with her life. Anna sees success as loving the people in her life (family, friends, colleagues) and the deep contact she has with them. She is proud of her trans-cultural step-family and grateful for the work opportu-

nities that has been offered to her in the Netherlands, which helped her to learn and grow. Anna is glad that she has followed her heart and dared to start with her own psychological practice in the Netherlands. To a great extent what helped her to build her life as a fulfilling one is that she embraced some things from the Dutch culture whilst keeping her Bulgarian identity intact. By Lela Struga You are a woman that decided to emigrate in search of another meaning of life. At this point in time, what would be your definition of “being a migrant”?

From an early age I had to move from one place to another and to adapt to the changes. Those experiences together with my natural curiosity formed me as a traveller. I look upon human migration in the same way as an animal migration: as an adaptive reaction, vital for the systems. Migration reminds us that the world’s environments are interconnected. It brings us opportunities to learn form each other and to recognise what we have in common - our common human nature. What did you find different in the Netherlands from your land of origin?

Dutch and Bulgarian cultures are quite different. I will mention just some dimensions of which, in my opinion, the two cultures differ. Coming from a collectivistic society, the Dutch culture was initially stressful for me, with it’s very individualistic features, where people are expected to take care only of themselves and their direct family members. From the other side, the Netherlands has soft, feminine characteristics and stands for cooperation and caring for those in an unfavourable position. Whereas Bulgaria has much more masculine features and is driven by competition and achievement. Disliking the strong hierarchical organisational structure in Bulgaria, it has been such a pleasure to work and live in a climate of equality in the


Netherlands. Even though I want to sound optimistic and less critical, like most Dutch people, I still prefer the Bulgarian expressiveness (emotionality, vivid talk, more gestures, etc.) food, and the weather. What are your feelings when you think of your homeland and the old memories?

I love Bulgaria and I am proud that I am Bulgarian. Bulgaria is the land of my parents, grandparents, friends, where I was born, and where I spent big part of my life (until the age of 29). And I will always have the need to go back to my roots, to Bulgaria, to re-charge. In my memories, in my heart, my homeland has a special place that I will always cherish. How did you build your career in your new country?

I was offered a scholarship in the Netherlands. The post-academic study was the reason for me to come to Maastricht. This opened opportunities and was the beginning of my academic career. I worked as a researcher, a docent, and later did my PhD at Maastricht University. Although I am enjoying the academic field, I have missed the contact with people and my psychotherapy practice. After a lot of concerns (being a foreigner, Dutch is not my mother tongue, a belief that I may be less culturally sensitive, etc.) I decided to give it a try and started with my own psychological practice. My initial thoughts were that my niche clients would be foreigners. To my big surprise and pleasure, most of my clients were and are Dutch. It probably sounds too easy and sweet After so many years since emigrating, where do you feel your home country is?

My home is where my family is and I need to have Bulgaria in my life. Wherever we are going to live, I will create my mother country in our home - Bulgarian art, music, pictures, food, a place to pray, and small precious pieces from my past. Who has supported you to achieve your goals?

I am thankful to my husband, and to my children, who are a big part of my life. A huge support to me was Wim Groot, the

professor I worked with on my Masters thesis, who later gave me an opportunity to work at the University. He further supported me not just as a PhD supervisor, but also during the life storms which hit me during these years. I am so grateful for the friendship of some close people and the unconditional love of my Bulgarian relatives. I am thankful to myself for where I am today. Particularly, for my faith, hard work, persistence, not giving up, and being able to recognise the wonderful people I have met on the road. What dreams have you not yet achieved?

I have a dream to mean something for Bulgaria, my mother country, and finding a way to reach more people. You are a career woman, a mother, and a wife – how do you balance your life?

My family is a number one priority for me. It has not always been easy to get a balance, certainly not when the children were little. When looking at the whole period of the 14 years that I have been in the Netherlands, there has been a certain balance in my life. Though I had periods when I was out of balance, even without recognising that, before becoming completely exhausted or sick. There are some tools that I use to help me live consciously. I would name some: Once in a while I will draw the balance model (used by Positive Psychotherapy), including body, contact, achievement and future areas, to see how I am splitting my energy between those areas. Additionally, taking time to be still, on a daily basis, is essential for me. Using compassionate mind exercises in difficult moments, is what I perceive to be the biggest gift to my brain and the people around me. What advice and wisdom would you like to share with readers of Migrant Woman?

Being different is not always easy. We have such a deep need to belong and for a social connection. While keeping yourself intact (and not giving up your identity), look at the native culture in the host country for what would you like to have in common, and integrate that within yourself. Make it a unique mix which will create a niche in the society for you.

Who is Anna?

Anna Huysse-Gaytandjieva was born in in Bulgaria. She graduated at the Medical University, Varna then specialised in psychotherapy and worked actively for the establishment of the Positive Psychotherapy Association in Bulgaria. Anna holds a European Certificate for Psychotherapy. In 1999, Anna was offered a scholarship for her postgraduate study in Public Health at Maastricht University, the Netherlands. After successfully finishing this program, she worked as a researcher at the Department of Health Organisation, Policy and Economics (BEOZ), Maastricht University. At the same faculty, Anna did her PhD and combined this with educational tasks. In 2007 Anna opened her own Psychological practice in the Maastricht area. During the period 2011-2013 Anna Huysse-Gaytandjieva was elected and worked as a member of the Board of Directors of the World Organisation of Positive Psychotherapy, Wiesbaden, Germany, and at the NGVH, a professional organisation for psychotherapy.




Lily Mensah Yeboah “I see migrant women through my own mirror” By Lela Struga


ily was a student when she decided to emigrate, and for her migration has been a chance of better opportunities and an improved lifestyle. Her sense of adventure kicked in once it was clear that London was going to be her home for the foreseeable future. You see, it wasn’t supposed to be a permanent move. There was always talk of

going back to the motherland Ghana, certainly at the beginning, but as time went on the pull of London was much stronger, as her network of like minded people grew and fuelled her need to learn more outside of the classroom. When we ask her: How do you remember the first stage of your migration? She answers “Gosh, it was cold, and bitter and I missed home very much. I just couldn’t wait to go home. People were

nice and reassuring and I guess I owe it to my omnipresent big sister and her encouragement to stay the course, and helped with all sorts of things”. Lily reveals that they were all raised as devout Presbyterians but her sister was the one that espoused the good Christian ethos, yet she’d escort her to discos just so she would feel the luminous vibes of home. Here is her amazing and inspirational story.


Sassy, spirited and motivational, this is the way that people seem to know you. Is this a born drive or have you learned how to develop these characteristics?

It’s a combination of the two in that my upbringing was very much about the expectation to be the best and whilst it was not eerily competitive, being driven was an expected norm. I’m also an alumna of a co-educational boarding school system, where your survival was hinged on rule number one: getting on with people and you had to get on with the boys on an equal footing. If you didn’t, your life would be miserable. Character building experiences such as having my first child at 18 also meant I had to grow up fast and being seen to have more life experiences by my peers. They began to seek advice and I often then found myself looking for answers on behalf of others. Ironic, isn’t it? Can you give us a summary tour of your journey so far and how it started?

Photo Credit: Francisco Cruzat Learn more about Lily Mensah Yeboah on: Twitter: ladymensah Aim with your heart; adjust with your brand; and always walk good!

The journey has been unorthodox in that as a migrant in the UK, an opportunity to move to America came in my early 40s. After over 20 years of living in London, I moved to yet another country to start a new life and yet another adventure. My friends know that I like to move my furniture around and the move to America gave me just that opportunity, to buy new furniture and move it around. But on a serious note, it gave me a real sense of me and what I wanted in my life. London kept calling me back and after nearly 3 years, I returned as I couldn’t face being away. I found every excuse to come back to London - say two or three times a year for long periods of time. I just couldn’t settle and neither could my children. We kept a home here so it was easy because I didn’t have to worry too much about where I had to live each time I hopped on a plane back to London. When we are children we face the question “What will you become when you grow up?”. What was your answer at that time?

Please don’t laugh, I wanted to be an Air Hostess, yes that’s what they were called then and they looked so glamorous with such exciting jet set lives, but two immovable objects stood in my way. Firstly I was just 5ft 2 inches tall and the entry requirement was 5ft 4 then.

Secondly, my father. When people asked the question, I said I wanted to be a journalist like my father, or a lawyer, as both were attainable though I didn’t pursue either as a career. My role models have always been close to my journey. My mother is my number one role model. My grandmothers were also entrepreneurs so I didn’t have to look too far away from home to hone in my craft as a marketing and branding specialist. I’m still influenced by the good work ethic that surrounded their respective businesses. Suffice to say, I feel fortunate to have strong quietly confident women who have guided me to where I am today and I expect to carry on their work by influencing other women to follow their dreams. It’s almost like a relay of passing of the baton to the next generation of women. When did you start to realise that your path was leading to career coaching?

I had probably coached many without realising that I was doing so. From my friends, cousins, nephews and siblings -- people would call seeking my counsel on odd things whilst having a certain assurance that I will take their situations seriously no matter how trivial. I was open, quirky, yet non-judgemental. What clarified my direction towards coaching was when I began working as a business advisor for Entrepreneurs in London and I realised that what I was doing was coaching business people, not just on how to push products but how to promote themselves because, my understanding of the buy/sell process is that people buy people. So after many years in branding for organisations, I decided to move towards the people side of branding as I felt more at home. You can see people grow several inches taller as you work with them on a journey of self-discovery. What is the usual profile of the clients you work with?

Someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, regardless of whether they work a regular 9-5 or not. Professionals, aspiring leaders and those with the get up and go who need a little bit of help with direction and some va- vavoom. I also work with those on the fringes of society who need a kind word, a bit of encouragement to get them feeling like, YES, I can do this. We all have it in us and for some of us, we may need someone else’s view to say




YES, it’s OK. I’m so excited about the fact that people are now realising that they are not their job title, and what you do doesn’t define them. It’s about what you bring to the table and how you help others. What are the main issues that women bring to the coaching sessions with you?

When it comes to women, we feel we cannot say no so we take on everything and then have this challenge of which ball we have to drop and still maintain the likability factor. My view and what I share with my clients is that it’s OK to say no, just be clear about why you are saying no because those who really matter and are on board with you will accept that. The rest will work itself out. Sounds harsh but it’s life and I can be very matter of fact about that and I instil that in my daughter who is a strong independent woman on her way to greatness. Don’t get me wrong, we have had our spats but we are the best of friends. You are a migrant woman yourself, how do you feel when you coach a migrant woman? Would it be different or not?

Oh gosh -- I see migrant women through my own mirror. We are often afraid to take our seat at the table and we look around for permission. I say, go sit at the table, the high table, that is, and if anyone dares to ask you, often they don’t, casually say you belong here. If they look on the table plan and your name card doesn’t show, you can always ask for forgiveness and move to a different table. Stop asking for permission, just do what you have to do, because others do anyway and if your opportunity is waiting on permission, you will be missing out on a lot more.

wonderful men I’ve grown up and worked with. Men do have a place in our lives and as migrant men, they have their own challenges that they would often share with me rather than share with their partners. We should applaud those who are in our corner, both male and female, no matter how small the slice of bread, they bring to our table.

What is the perception you have for migrant women in general?

What are the biggest successes so far and what is your ultimate project that you still want to achieve?

It’s a really fast changing world and my perception is made up of my experiences, from being widowed and then divorced and a successful business woman, I come from a place of highs and lows and I’m sure my journey is not dissimilar to others. When life deals you several blows, you need your network to help you get through it all. A large percentage of my network, however, is some

Speaking at the Space Centre in Florida to women of diverse backgrounds and professions. America is a place filled with migrants and it’s the women who have the overwhelming responsibility of making the migration possible. Florida is even more marked by its migrant society, from those who come for half a year to those who move permanently because they want some sun all year round.

In terms of my ultimate project, I’m working on building a confident workforce for both girls and boys to feel that they belong in London, and deserve the best jobs here, if they are prepared to work hard. This is regardless of where they or their parents come from. What is the key piece of advice or wisdom that you would like to share with readers of Migrant Woman?

We already have a place at the high table, so let’s walk in, head high and take our seat. And once we have our feet under the table, let’s all look around the grand hall to seek others who might need our support, encouragement and expertise. Often, they are in awe of the success of other women or they might think that we will not be supportive - lets reach out and offer a helping hand, showing that our war wounds may not be dissimilar.


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Sedef Iligic Turkey in All Colours Sedef is a young Turkish lady who travels all over the world with her job. She is a literary agent of the Kalem Agency, a renowned institution which promotes the values of literature in different languages. We met Sedef at the London Book Fair, while she was very busy with her activities, and invited her for an interview to better understand her influence through the job that she does. The Turkish community is very big in London and many Turkish women have talents and aspirations which might be revived from reading this interview. Sedef’s responses to the questions asked show that she is highly professional, driven, optimistic, and positively oriented for helping other talented women to be promoted You work for a well-known literary agency - would you please tell us about the nature of the job you do?

The very nature of our job is to be social. At Kalem we have three divisions: selling book rights into Turkish, representing more then 100 Turkish author’s rights internationally and we also organise the unique international event in the Turkish literary scene, named İTEF - İstanbul Tanpınar Literature Festival. To make all of these things happen we collaborate with foreign publishers, agents, and writers, to represent their catalogues in the Turkish language on the one hand, and with the Turkish editors, writers and translators on the other hand. We also work together with the cultural institutes of different countries, other festival organisers, and of course with critics and journalists. My work is selling rights into Turkish part specialised adult fiction titles through the agencies list that we represent, and also

to find new titles. To maintain good business relationships it is necessary to stay in regular contact with everyone that you are collaborating with. That requires attending both local events such as book launches, dinners and cocktails, and international events such as book fairs, book festivals and other festivities. The danger is that you can sometimes forget that you are working at these meetings as they are very enjoyable. People in the sector become your friends and you can see that you have no spare time left, which I believe is the way to becoming a workaholic. You attended the London Book fair this year. What was your experience of it?

London Book Fair is the main international event after Frankfurt Book Fair for adult titles. This year was my third time. I have always enjoyed it from the beginning, as there is no rush at the book fair and it is all relaxed. You do not have to run through cor-

ridors in the fair ground. I am curious to discover how it will be after moving from Earls Court to Olympia. It has been one of the top topics this year. An additional benefit is that London is a very beautiful city and finding your way around is very easy compared with other European countries. I always try to make some time to visit the parks and enjoy the world cuisine. On the business side, this year has been very successful, and getting better every year as we have more collaborations from the UK. It usually starts with meeting the old contacts outside the fair for breakfast or coffee, followed by the regular meetings at the Book Fair, which makes it even better. At the London Book Fair this year, Kalem was a candidate for the Publishing Industry Excellence Awards. And last year Turkey was the market focus. What is the aim of attending London Book Fair for Kalem Agency?


It is quite necessary to attend the London Book Fair for an agent, to maintain your relationships and especially with UK agencies and publishers. But London is more important to us than that and we organised a big party here for the second time (as we always do in İstanbul). We had this idea when Turkey was the market focus in 2013 and “Turkey in All Colours” was at the London Book Fair. Kalem was the colour red and we decided to wear red as the organising team. At this year’s party, people attended wearing red dresses, of their own choice. It didn’t take long for us to decide that we will have a red dress code for the Kalem London Party in 2015! Do you keep in contact with the Turkish community in London? Did they participate in your activities at the London Book Fair?

We are in contact with the Yunus Emre Institute in London. We share ideas and give

support to them with our suggestions. There has been our authors’ and translators’ participation at our party for those that are living in London, and also have some festival collaborators. We are always excited to meet new people working in the same sector as us and to share stories. What do you do to promote Turkish Migrant Women who are talented writers/authors?

For the authors it is important to decide on which language they write. As for the Turkish publishers and the readers in Turkey, when the author’s name is Turkish, they do not consider the writing as a translation. However, for these books to be published, there are translation costs, additional to the royalties, which makes it harder for it to happen. For that reason it is essential to write and publish in the first language and to take advice from their agents for getting

it published internationally. We do promote Turkish migrants in different countries writings (especially from Germany, Sweden and Netherlands) whom are very talented indeed and I would definitely love to see more women’s literature getting translated! What would be your message to those women of your community in London?

I can only give a message to those that would like to work in the publishing sector, by either getting their book published or if they want to be a translator. Watching current trends and reading a lot is the key, I believe. Also, to be courageous in making applications and asking for advice. You never know what the future will have in store for you. I graduated from political sciences and now I am a literary agent and translator. However, you can never get out of this sector once you are in it and this is worth keeping in mind for long-term commitment.




Emma Cleave

Supporting migrant women writers Emma is a passionate girl who works for English Pen, a human rights organisation which promotes writers all over the world. For many years Pen has also been a great promoter for women writers and has supported migrant women with different projects. In this conversation with Emma we would like to share with you not only her professionalism, but also a lot of information she gave us for all the migrant women who still have aspirations for writing or translating. You work for a well-known organisation, which is Pen. What is the space you offer there for women writers?

English PEN is one of the oldest human rights organisations in the world, and was founded by the poet and novelist Amy Dawson Scott in 1921. Her vision was one of an international

network of writers working together towards greater understanding and peace between nations. PEN has now grown into a global human rights body with members in more than 100 countries worldwide, and our network has expanded to include translators, editors, and bloggers, as well as readers, or ‘friends’ of English PEN.

Photo Credit: The Hackney Pirates

Over the past 90 years we have campaigned on behalf of hundreds of women writers who have found themselves persecuted or at risk for something they have written. PEN aims to create a space for literature and free expression from writers all over the world, and there have been several particularly interesting cases that we’ve been involved with over the years. One case I’d flag up is that of Cameroonian playwright Lydia Besong, who we supported throughout her application for asylum, which was finally granted in May 2012. Members of our Rapid Action Network wrote countless letters to the UK Border Agency on Lydia’s behalf and two English PEN members donated money towards Lydia’s legal bills. We also worked with other organisations, such as Women for Refugee Women, to lobby the Home Secretary and raise awareness of the case. Lydia spoke to the PEN team about how she began writing as a way of coming to terms with her ordeal in Cameroon, and how


powerful the written word can be when faced with extraordinarily difficult and traumatic situations. Together with organisations like the Jesuit Refugee Service in London, and Bristol Refugee Rights, English PEN runs workshops for refugees and recently arrived migrants around the UK. We offer mixed workshops, but often find that our sessions are attended by a larger number of women than men. We’ve also recently had small groups of women from Mongolia and the DRC that have attended our workshops, led by writer-facilitators like Malika Booker and Zena Edwards. Women attending these workshops often make progress with their English language learning, and have the confidence to come by themselves to the workshops. A lot of women have had a dream to write and become writers - what happens with those that lose their desire because of migration? Do you have projects for migrant women writers?

As I have mentioned, we run a regular series of workshops for refugees around the UK for both men and women. We are currently running a series of workshops to tie in with the publication of one of our award-winning titles in translation, Syria Speaks, a collection of new work by established and emerging Syrian writers and artists featuring essays, short stories, poems and songs, as well as photographs, cartoons, drawings and illustrations. The collection features the work of several women writers who are currently at risk or who have been displaced. We think it is incredibly important to support brave and inspiring works such as this in order to give a platform for voices that might otherwise remain unheard. During the promotional tour for this book, Syrian writers will run workshops for mixed groups, including young people, which will combine awareness-raising and writing sessions. All of our workshops are designed to allow a space for creativity and for writers to find their voice. You can find out more about our communities work online. What is your experience of working with writers from different nationalities?

Each year, we fund promotional tours for around 10-15 international writers who visit the UK and take part in various events with their translators and other writers. At PEN we support publishers to programme events at key literary festivals and venues around the country, includ-

Who is Emma?

Emma Cleave graduated from Leeds University in 2007 and went on to work as an English language teacher in Spain. She subsequently trained as a teacher of Modern Foreign Languages in the UK. In 2010, Emma worked at Bootstrap Company in Hackney, where she helped pilot a creative literacy project for young people, the Hackney Pirates. Emma joined the free speech and literature charity English PEN in December 2010, where she now manages the Writers in Translation programme. Day to day, Emma works with a wide range of writers, translators and literary professionals, and is passionate about reading – and ensuring access to – brilliant literature from around the world. She is also a Trustee of the Hackney Pirates, which is now established as an educational charity.

ing with our Student PEN centres. I’ve had the opportunity to work with some incredible writers from all over the world, from places as diverse as Albania, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Iraq, Syria and Kenya. The joy of this work is the overwhelming diversity of voices and above all else the fascinating stories that these writers have to tell, quite often stories of incredible resistance and hope against all odds. As part of our outreach work we also run creative writing workshops in prisons and often

work with groups of foreign nationals at Holloway Prison, for example, where almost a quarter of the women are from abroad. The women in these sessions tend to respond very well to visiting writers, especially when those writers speak their language and there is an opportunity to share writing and stories in both English and their mother tongues. What have you found to be the most interesting stories of migrant women? Can you mention an interesting case or story?

Quite often the migrant women writers that we work with are in exile or fleeing violent regimes, and they have incredible stories to tell. One of the most striking stories of resistance that I’ve heard is that of exiled Syrian writer and journalist Samar Yazbek, who’s personal account of the revolution in Syria meant she had to flee the country. In 2012, English PEN supported the publication of the English translation of Yazbek’s book, Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution, which details the writer’s opposition to the Assad regime. Samar Yazbek also received the 2012 PEN Pinter international writer of courage award, which she shares with poet Carol Ann Duffy, who nominated Samar for the award. This award goes to a writer who, in the words of playwright Harold Pinter, casts an ‘unflinching, unswerving’ gaze upon the world and shows a ‘fierce intellectual determination … to define the real truth of our lives and our societies.’ Samar was detained several times by security forces and had to move from home to home with her daughter to ensure her safety. Despite the ongoing danger to the writer, Samar refused to back-down and continued to interview Syrian people and protestors about their experiences until she was forced into exile. What are the future projects that Pen has for women?

Our workshop programmes will continue to be open to both men and women, and we will continue our work with aspiring writers in various settings, so do keep an eye on the communities page of our website if you’re interested in finding out about these opportunities. We also advise publishers to read more about our grant schemes for translation and to look out for great writing by women from around the world that UK readers should have access to.




for the UK chapter tor and member of the board Finn Jenk DC is a Chiroprac is also a cer tified of Applied Kinesiology. He of the International College loss and detox experience in running weight NET practitioner. He also has ed. ols developed by Nutri Advanc programmes following protoc

How to lose weight? 8 Questions for Dr Finn

Losing weight is one of the biggest issues for women. Trying to meet society’s impossible standards of female beauty, we are searching all the time to find a place where we are accepted and running our own life’s journey, to live with joy and relish. The good news is that we can change how we feel about our body by changing not only our diet, but also by talking about our emotions. We have invited Dr Finn to share with us his experience of his 30 programmes of losing weight. He thinks that it is not only a matter what we eat, but also a matter of what we feel. We have asked 8 questions to understand how Dr Finn works with clients who want to lose weight. But if you have your own question you can ask him at:


Why are women so concerned about losing weight?

Most women want to lose weight because they feel and look better. It improves their self-esteem. From a health perspective, being overweight is associated with serious health consequences including: heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and certain types of cancer.


What is the main concern that women bring when they ask you to help them lose weight?

One of the main concerns is that they have tried to lose weight and failed. Often they have tried fad diets that have resulted in weight loss initially but then they soon

regain the weight. They have tried to do a temporary fix rather than adopt a different lifestyle.


Can you tell us more about the 30 day programme?

The programme is not only about weight reduction, it is also about disease reduction. One of the main goals is to help you achieve and maintain a healthy body composition (lean muscle to fat ratio) to improve health, manage disease, feel better, and reduce the risk of more serious conditions. It is a structured programme to help you establish realistic and personalised goals with advice on diet, exercise, nutritional supplements, and stress

management. The programme has been researched and tested.


You mentioned that emotional aspects where “unfinished business” from the past which interferes and impacts on the “battle” to lose weight. What does that mean?

Before embarking on such a programme, it is helpful to check that you are emotionally ok with it. In this instance, the issue is weight. I use a technique to determine whether you are congruent with your weight and following the programme. The technique uses kinesiology or muscle testing. It is straightforward and only takes a few minutes.



Are you saying that our body remembers these emotions and blocks us to respond when we try to lose weight?

If you have a ‘charged’ or ‘stuck’ emotion related to the issue of weight or following a weight loss programme, then you are unlikely to succeed in losing weight. You will tend to sabotage your efforts. This is why it feels like a “battle” for some women to lose weight. The aim is to try to identify the emotion and release it so that you can emotionally support your intended goal of losing weight. You want to be ok with losing weight and then follow a tried and tested programme.


According to you what is the solution?

I like to find out what your goals are,

then determine that you can emotionally support such goals so that you are less likely to sabotage your efforts. Once this is done, you are more likely to follow the programme and succeed in achieving your goals.


Is this programme easy to follow and what is needed to succeed with it?

Yes it is easy. The programme comes with a pack that contains: data collection, questionnaires, recommended food plan and shopping list, recommended nutritional supplements, food diary, suggested recipes. I have run this programme successfully on a one to one basis and also in a weekly group format. For success, you need to follow the programme. Many people benefit from the group format where they can share ideas and get motivation from the group.

Some clients find it hard to lose weight if they have an underlying issue such as adrenal imbalance, thyroid insufficiency, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome or inflammation. Once the underlying issue is identified and corrected, it is easier to lose weight.


Can you give us some tips/suggestions how women can try to lose weight applying some techniques from home?

Start by avoiding refined carbohydrates, sugar, and processed foods. Try to eat fresh wholesome food. Eat regularly and mindfully. Drink plenty of water between meals. Get moving. Consider the stressors in your life and what can be done to reduce them. Keep a diary or journal to track your progress.




My story

Alina’s story is rare and worthy of sharing with readers of Migrant Woman. She is only 20, and decided to leave her home country, Latvia, less than two years ago. Alina came to London in summer for a short visit and her inner voice guided her to stay here because according to her, she has a big mission to fulfill in life, to make women feel happy. If you meet Alina you will be affected not only from her natural beauty but from the way she communicates and tries to express herself as well. Alina is a very impressive young woman who is mature, intelligent, and confident about achieving her objectives in life. She knows what she wants and her story is about how she is proudly building her future success

Alina Buraja Who said that a 20 years girl can’t succeed in business My grandparents are in Latvia, and my parents have been living in Norway but the great news for me is that they are moving to the UK in June. I arrived in London in July, 2012. I had finished secondary school, became a fitness instructor and personal trainer in London and became a ‘face fitness specialist’ in Riga. I did karate for 8 years. I will be launching a new business in August.

Am I scared of taking this adventure? I would say that it is exciting and not scary. I love it that every day I have something new to study, to discover and to try. It is essential to have challenges in my life. At the age of 18 I started a small business, a 6 weeks course for women to lose weight and get toned legs (based on balley) and in total I had 80 clients, which gave me some experience.


Website: Fb: Twitter: facialgymab

At first I came In London just for summer work, as my friend had invited me to visit London. Then I was so excited to get a chance to become a fitness instructor in London that I stayed. I have had amazing support from two of my friends, who always help me when I need it. And of

course my parents, who trust me, support me and give me the freedom to make my dreams come true. From childhood I had always wanted to help all women to be healthy and beautiful. While at school, I could not wait for my graduation to start making my dreams true. It just happened naturally and I have a belief that everything will be great whatever I decide to do. I registered my venue on wahanda. com which is the website where customers can view any venue, any service, and book it online. I have attended many business networking events which helped me a lot, especially in meeting amazing people, discovering so many new, interesting, and useful things. And word of mouth promotion, as people are very curious to know what I am doing, which includes new marketing projects. The people I meet do not accentuate my age, they are just wondering how knowledgeable I am, and to know more of my individual approach for giving tailored services and tips. They have been showing a full trust in me and I am very grateful for that. My parents accepted my decision to emigrate. They have always allowed me to do whatever I want and fully trust me and give me amazing support. Usually people say that it is good when people do not believe in you and your dreams, so you have an additional motivation to prove your ability. In my case it does not work, the most important key to success for me is just to know that all my relatives and friends undoubtedly believe in that I can achieve my goal. My family does not know much about my business. I don’t like to tell anybody about my plans before I have achieved them to avoid disappointment if something goes wrong. I plan to tell them about it when I go for a holiday this autumn. For now I only answer that everything is ok, that I have a job and that’s it. I had a feeling inside me for many years. I just knew that once I finished school, I would do all these things that I wanted to because I have got a freedom (in terms of time, ability to choose to study whatever I want and need). I took that path because everyday needs to be differ-

ent with new brainstorming challenges to solve, with so many books to read, thing to explore. I need that all to ensure that I feel alive and my soul is happy and satisfied. I am not proud but just happy that I have that kind of life. (I always think, ok, I’ll do and solve X then I can be proud of myself, but once I am finished with X I get the new Y which I need to get done as well, and so on, so on). I understand that there is a big way in front of me which I need to complete before I feel proud. I am there to let people know that they can control what happens to their face as they age. We can have a face to match the way we feel inside. The secret of facial ageing is so well hidden. No one can clearly answer why we start to get wrinkles and other unpleasant staff. We can replace Botox, fillers, operations with our hands. The only rule is to set a goal and be committed. It is special because others (cosmetologists, surgeons and so on) solve our problem. That solution is temporary and no one is surprised by that. It happens because no one found a cause and did not fix it. That is why we have problems emerging again and again. I first of all find the cause of problem. We start to fix it together with my clients. I educate and tell them everything I know, without hiding anything, so that when they have finished the Facial Gym they know everything about their own face and will never ever ask that common question: “Why do I have that wrinkle?” “How to fight it again?”. And when we have fixed the cause (which not only creates visual problems like wrinkles but tension, pain and other terrible things as well) the problem is usually not there anymore. With my services the client can be confident that the problem won’t come back in few days or weeks. It’s not a quick fix, it is a permanent change! I want to make Facial Gym as common as a normal gym. My aim is to open more Facial Gyms in London and then throughout the UK. And to make online education available for those who don’t have a chance to visit Facial Gym (which is great as well, because they will always have all the materials and videos handy).




books we suggest

Do it or ditch it Bev James


ight steps to business success from the millionaires’ mentor, Bev James - How to turn ideas into action and make decisions that count “The must-read book for every entrepreneur at all stages of business building, particularly before big ideas are launched.” James Caan, Founder and CEO of Hamilton Bradshaw Welcome to the world of Do It! or Ditch It! thinking – where decision-making is clear and everything is possible. It all depends on how far you want to go with your dreams and plans. Do It! or Ditch It was born out of the frustration of seeing too many good business ideas go to waste while bad ideas take up valuable time and resources – and from a strong desire to show that we are always in control r own decisions and can choose to be successful if we wish. The Do It! or Ditch It path is not for everyone. It requires mental toughness, self-discipline and singlemindedness – but it is extremely rewarding. For those with the resilience and tenacity to turn their business dream into a commercial reality, Do It! or Ditch It will help you to make focused decisions, use time wisely and stay on track to get to where you want to be.

for your bookshelf E-Squared Pam Grout E-Squared could best be described as a lab manual with simple experiments to prove once and for all that reality is malleable, that consciousness trumps matter, and that you shape your life with your mind. Rather than take it on faith, you are invited to conduct nine 48-hour experiments to prove there really is a positive, loving, totally hip force in the universe. Yes, you read that right. It says prove. The experiments, each of which can be conducted with absolutely no money and very little time expenditure, demonstrate that spiritual principles are as dependable as gravity, as consistent as Newton’s laws of motion. For years, you’ve been hoping and praying that spiritual principles are true. Now, you can know.

Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership From Manager to Leader in Your Own Life Sarah Alexander Gandhi said “BE the change”. This book will show you how. This book offers you, the reader, the seven hallmarks of Spiritual Intelligence in Leadership. It also gives you the opportunity to access: your greatest talents and resources; your creativity; inner peace; a sense of fulfilment. It shows you how to let go of the ego’s thinking and instead embrace the thinking of the True Self, where all of these gifts lie. “Sarah’s book has enabled me to understand my own purpose and with this inner knowledge will enable my real legacy to be protected and enhanced. To inspire leaders to be better than they ever believed possible.” Brian Chernett

Sexual Attraction in Therapy: Clinical Perspectives on Moving Beyond the Taboo - A Guide for Training and Practice Dr. Maria Luca Sexual Attraction in Therapy presents new findings from multiple perspectives into the complex phenomenon of sexual attraction in therapy. Detailed clinical examples and strategies from expert contributors demonstrate how therapists can engage with sexual attraction, when it arises, in positive ways that facilitate client progress and ensure appropriate professional conduct. Challenges practitioners to think about sexual attraction as a normal dynamic developing through the unique intimacy of the therapy encounter.



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Migrant Woman Magazine Issue 3  

Migrant Woman Magazine is an inspirational voice for women of the Universe. It provides a platform for women to celebrate diversity, culture...