In July 2021, I got an opportunity to attend a first-ever women entrepreneurship workshop in North Cyprus. It was a mind blowing event . It was a great step forward for local women leaders to support young women on the Island to think about as well as establish businesses. At the meeting, two-dozen local business leaders spoke widely about their ventures, the challenges of being a business leader and lessons learned throughout their business and career paths.
By early August 2020, people were still coming into terms with the effects of COVID-19. Businesses had been dead or were dying due to the stringent measures put in place to avoid contamination.
Lockdowns and other containment measures had left universities, businesses and entrepreneurs counting losses. Nevertheless, the government in North Cyprus was putting all efforts to support residents to remain safe and treat those infected effectively.
In August, six months after the first case on the Island, it looked like the spread of the virus was going down. Hence, some businesses opened their doors and welcomed tourists and locals alike. People, especially students, hurriedly went back to work in search of the elusive coin. It had been several months since the last time people could meet and interact freely without a care. Now, masks and sanitation was the new normal.
For me, the most important life lesson I have learned so far, is that life has no agenda. We should live life and enjoy every moment of it because it’s a wonderful gift. Though, it seems like there is much time to enjoy it and live a full life, the truth is, life as we know it can end without a warning. Look at the year 2020 for example, what we knew as life in 2019 and before, has since taken an about-turn. Now, we have to adapt into the new life and keep moving.
So, as human beings, the only thing we can do is to forget about all we know about life and focus on enjoying each day as it comes. Enjoy every hug, kiss, exercise, dance or song because in the end, these moments are the ones that count the most. And these are the things I plan to focus on starting now.
Have you ever been impressed by an individual who is so good at creating rapport and making people feel understood even after short conversations? Have you been impressed by their genuine interest in people and the manner in which they make people vulnerable in such a manner that they make them tell personal stories? It is very possible that such an individual possesses high levels of Emotional Intelligence (EI). Granted that is also closely found among certain personality types more than others, it is an ability that can be taught and learnt.
Art is not just putting pen to paper, or brush to canvas. For many artists, art is a way of life. For them, it is a way of seeing the world, a way of expressing their views and pouring their feelings. Without art, they would not be the people they are today.
This month, we are are glad to talk with Nitah, a young female artist, a law student and a passionate guitar player who admits that art, music to specific, helps her to explore the world and pen her imagination.
Here is her story.
My heart bleeds for my nation.
My eyes are filled with tears by what we have become.
My hands are tied with chains of nepotism, tribalism and politics.
My feet are bound by the pandemic limitations and travel bans.
My imagination is polluted by tear gas.
My mind bombarded by lies and propaganda.
My thoughts linger on how to move forward and make a difference.
It is amazing how most of us tend to live our lives so unconsciously that we just pass through life without noticing some of the amazing moments around us. Those moments actually are enough to give life meaning.
In recent months, especially, we have all craved for touch. A hug, a kiss, or both from loved ones. However, containment measures put in place to reduce the spread of Coronavirus has interrupted what we once took for granted.
It’s five o’clock in the morning and most people are still asleep in this Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Being that it is summer, the sun rises earlier. The cool air sweeping in from the sea, makes mornings the best time to sleep. Thus, many people tend to sleep in more during summer mornings.
On this sleepy side of the Island, something beautiful happens every summer- it’s turtle hatching time. In 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, as a norm, young people have gathered from different parts of the world to protect the newly hatched sea turtles as they make their way into the sea.
Like many other students in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Annette Kiru was excited about the New Year, 2020. 2020 was not only a new year, but also a new decade. The promise for a new and amazing start created a bubble of joy and filled people with renewed hope and zeal for life.
Kiru particularly looked forward to making a trip back to Kenya for a few weeks and head back to TRNC for the final leg of her master degree. Little did she know the tour to Kenya would be one to never forget!
“I was in Kenya when the lockdown happened,” says Kiru noting that initially, she thought that the situation was not that serious. You see, at the time -early March- life in Africa was still ‘normal’ as the continent had reported only but a few Covid-19 cases.Continue reading “How I reconnected with my self during the lockdown”
On their way from the airport, the prevalent deserted road and barren land stared back at them. The school bus cruised through the dry Savannah and scrubs majestically. Outside, a heat shimmer could be seen escaping the overheated roadway, with each passing breeze lifting dust from the bare land. Inside, the new students who had just landed on the Island sat with faces transfixed onto the windows trying to understand their new world.Continue reading “My intriguing experience in North Cyprus as a student”