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Counselling: Meet the ‘flawsome’ AGONY AUNT

19 Jun 2021 By HUBERT VAZ

Shazia Mohd Ghulam, an Omani Citizen with Indian roots, is on a self-styled path of helping  women in Oman realise their own potential, handle their dilemmas in a rational manner, and follow their own dreams with renewed vigour. 

“After marriage, women often bury all their dreams and passions under a ocean of responsibilities. But I always thought out of the box. I always believed that there should be no age limit or any kind of restrictions on how far you can educate yourself,” she says pointing out that at the age of 38 she completed an MBA with majors in Human Resource Management from Jaipur International University (Distant Education). In the same year, she also acquired an IATA certificate from NHI Oman, besides doing a Train the Trainer programme from NTI which is certified from EAL UK.

Shazia has started a counseling programme whereby she listens to the problems of women who seek support and guidance to get out of their doldrums and take on the challenges of life with a new spirit. She has a blog where she shares motivational articles as well as responds to specific problems shared with her by those who need help. She firmly believes that education is one sur tool to rise higher in life and that age is not a deterrent for adding new skills to one’s personality.

“I feel, any person irrespective of their age and gender should never stop learning and improvising themselves. When I used to train my daughter for story telling competitions, I realised that I had a potential to speak and express myself through words and actions. Eventually I developed a passion for speaking and motivating people, especially homemakers. I always felt that homemakers like me are always demotivated and underestimated. I wanted to break that taboo,” asserts Shazia who is also a successful toastmaster in Muscat.

Through her hard work and support from her husband, she won the SAB Toastmasters club and area contest for International and Humorous speeches. She subsequently reached up to the division level contest and acquired third position in both, Humorous and International speech contests.

An avid blogger (her website – www.shazzughulam.com), Shazia says, “When I start typing. I simply cannot stop. Writing is my passion as well. I am very active on social media, especially Facebook, Instagram and TikTok. I make motivational and inspirational videos. Many people recognize me through TikTok where I have14.8K followers from all over the world.”

Shazia says she has noticed tha many married women, single mothers, young teenage girls, widowers, and divorcees suffer in silence and are not able to express themselves or share their troubles with anyone. For them, she has created a separate email id ([email protected]). Women are encouraged to contact her on that email to share their problems and get free advice and guidance.

So far, many women have approached Shazia with their problems and have gained fulfilling resolution to their problems. She had helped them rediscover their capabilities, fight their fears and take on challenges with determination. Many have come back to her to express their gratitude on being able to start new chapters in their lives, she said. 

“My main aim is to make a difference in their lives. I often speak to them without any compulsion to reveal their identity. If necessary, I even meet them in person and help them out through their tough times,” says Shazia, adding, “I always wanted to do a lot for my country and its people. I have been an active part of breast cancer awareness programmes and organisations like Al Noor Association for the Blind and Dar al Atta.”

Exemplifying her own struggles in life and how she overcame them with sheer determination, Shazia calls on all women in Oman to never give up on their dreams – it is never too late to do anything, she stresses. She also pointed out the importance of making space for some ‘Me time’ everyday, after completing all their daily tasks, because that’s the way they can attend to  their own needs and not neglect themselves to the point of a breakdown.

Acknowledging the fact that problems are part of life, she says we need to work towards resolving the problems with a cool mind rather than running away from them or giving up in despair. No one is perfect or enjoys a perfect life, we have to work towards making it meaningful, she asserts.

“If I could describe myself in a single word, it would be – ‘flawsome’, as I am perfect in my imperfections, strong in my weakness, and happy in my sadness,” Shazia quips.

 

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