Zainab is a medical doctor working in Obstetrics and Gynecology.Having lived in several countries and climbed a few steep hills,this dark eyed beauty shows that you can stare at failure in the face.and win.
She loves her family,travelling and has a few mean salsa moves.
What do you celebrate about being a woman?
Woman are amazing! We are gentle like a breeze yet strong like a rock. We tolerate unimaginable pain while giving birth, yet at some moments we are fragile like an egg shell. We don’t need someone to take care of us, but we need to feel the caring presence of someone stronger at times. We may hit the bottom at some moment and question the meaning of our existence. We allow our selves to be week, to imagine the worst possible scenario, so that we can moan, weep accept it and let it go so that we can rise up and do something about it. When you have seen the worst, anything that follows that is an improvement and uplifting. I celebrate women because we allow our selves to be weak so that we can become stronger
What do you wish other women knew? I wish women could realize their own strength! We sometimes need to be reminded of that!
How do you express yourself creatively?
Ever since I was a child I loved art, music and dance. It is how I get to soothe my soul. When I paint, dance, create a peace of art, even if its just a cupcake, I feel calm and satisfied. I get to show to the world a part of me. I get to show people that we can make a normal day more memorable and beautiful by creating and noticing art that surrounds us.
How are you making a difference in the world?
We all need to feel needed and hope that our presence will make a difference. To make a difference we don’t have to become superstars, famous, rich, powerful or anything extraordinary. It is how you treat people and the little things you do everyday that make a difference. The simple and short sms you write to the ones you care about that makes them know you care. Its the smile you give to a homeless person or the waving back to a curious child that makes them know there is good in this world and it is worth living. It is by sharing what you have learned from life, your successes and failures, to let people know it is okay to fail and nothing is ever too late or impossible. To let those new coworkers know they are not useless if they make mistakes. Making mistakes is a part of our learning that makes us wiser and more experienced. We make a difference every day by just existing. We can make it for the better or for the worst, that is our choice.
What do you believe is your calling and what are you doing about it?
Living just to manage ourselves without affecting others is just surviving and not living. We need to give to get. That gives a meaning to our lives. We exist for a purpose. We are not born with that purpose and we are not taught about it. We need to find ourselves by seeking within ourselves, and let us get influenced by our family, teachers, friends, religion, experience and life. When we do that, we can do our best to achieve our purpose. By doing that, we find our calling. We decide our calling. Mine was to become a doctor. How do you celebrate where you come from?
My life has not just included one country, one Language or one culture. I grew up experiencing several. For that I am very grateful. It made me who I am today. My parents are from Iraq, yet I got to grow up during my early childhood in Iran. We moved to Moscow when I was 10, and later on to Sweden when I only was 11 years old. I studied English in Cambridge after college and did my medical studies in Russia for 6 years. I had there friends from all over the world including friends from Kina, India, Sri lanka. I have not only celebrated the Islamic holidays like Eid or Ramadan, but also the christian holidays like Easter or Christmas. I remember the Eid celebrations in Iran with my family, relatives and friends when people dresses up in newly bought clothes which was part of the celebration, along with the long served table with all the delicious mouth watering food and deserts, and all the presents that were given that day. I also remember my first Easter celebration when I first arrived to Sweden as an 11 year old child who could not yet speak the Language. We got to dress up as Easter witches, knock on doors, say happy Easter and get candy in exchange of a drawing from our basket , that in the end of the day was filled with candy. Our family celebrate Christmas as well, because it is part of our new tradition and not religion. This is not all. I got to dress in a Sari, the Indian traditional clothing, and celebrate Diwali, the festival of light, by lighting candles and fireworks or Holi, celebration of spring, by throwing colored powder or water on each other and feel the joy. I got to celebrate Srilankan, Chinese and Russian new year where it is not Santa but father of the frost and his beautiful daughter snowflake, both in beautiful blue outfits that gave gifts to children and adults on the Russian new year. All this makes me feel international and multicultural. What do you consider to be the biggest obstacle you have had to overcome?
My biggest obstacle was my journey to becoming a doctor, a journey that is yet not over. Since I had to move from Iran to Russia, and finally to Sweden during my school period, it made it difficult to get top marks in every subject, since beside the studies had to struggle with all the new languages along the way. Hence I had good grades in college yet not enough to enter medical university in Sweden which is my true home now. I did not want to give up my dream and chose to study in Russia, where entering was only based on the grades you had in scientific subjects and on an exam you gave when entering. Finishing my studies in Russia and returning back home was just the beginning of an even harder struggle. I had to give an exam to prove that my education in the non European country was equivalent to the Swedish one. Failing that exam with only a few points from passing and having to wait 6 months for the second chance to retake it made me hit rock bottom. I stayed home for three whole days, doing nothing except eating, sleeping and crying avoiding friends and even my family that was trying to comfort me. I needed my time to lick my wounds and collect the strength to realise that I now had time to do other things I liked while studying and preparing for my second chance. I took a job at an emergency centre as a nurse helper, and joined a salsa school where I got to help teaching salsa, which for many years had been one of my passions. When time came I retook my exam and passed it. I cant describe the joy I felt that day after all that struggle. I did my internship after that which also in the end included an exam. Since I had studied in Russia, the way of giving exams was different and did not resemble the Swedish way. That plus the exhaustion after work with not enough time or energy to study, made me fail that exam too the first time.This time I had experienced a failure before and knew that it was not the end. I decided to take time of work after my internship and skip a planned trip to Japan to get what I always wanted for what I wanted then. It was worth it and I passed my exam. I am today working at a gynecology and obstetric department to specialize in this field. I am everyday learning new things. There are days of sunshine and there are rainy days, but no matter what I do,I know that it I will end up alright. I have friends and family who remind me of that everyday. I have my own achievements to show me that.