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COVID19

Beautician Reham Gehad transitions into the natural “Wala Haga” lifestyle at the Coastal City of Dahab

Nature always wins, not only in the world of ecology, but it also seems to eventually win in the world of people and their psyche.

Covid19 and the new emerging Remote Work movement might have offered us one thing, moving away from “Artificial Lifestyle” into a “Natural Lifestyle” and finding beauty in this transition, who would be a better expert at that other than someone who had “beauty” as a lifelong passion and career?

Beautician Reham Gehad had been my first guest in a series of interviews about Remote Work out of the beautiful coastal city of Dahab in Egypt’s magical Sinai Penninsula.

View from the coastal city of Dahab

Face-to-face and – if we may say – “hand-to-face” daily with people seeking change, choosing the natural way is a big testimony of our new world.

Reham is an internationally trained beautician and cosmetics expert with a successful track record, which includes running a growing beauty shop and doing makeup for TV Shows like “Torab El Mass” and more, she has many opportunities in Cairo, but her journey brought her here, to Dahab.

Reham’s decision to transition into Remote Work at the coastal city of Dahab had been inspired by something deeper than the Covid19 crisis, she already moved to Dahab a few months before Covid19 surfaces, her decision was only solidified with the following shutdown.

There is much controversy around the “beauty and make-up” industry, classic arguments of “before/after” photos where someone is artificially transitioned into a new self, and accusations of manipulation and deception are up-in-the-air.

Reham revolted against that as she also revolts against the crowded, noisy, and competitive lifestyle the city offered.

Be Nice or Go Away

Reham’s decision to settle in Dahab was part of a larger evolution into natural beauty and lifestyle. Quiet, peaceful, worry-free, or what local Bedouins here in Dahab call “Wala Haga” translated as “No worry”.

Once you express a glimpse of worry and/or concern around one of Dahab’s Bedouins, they often respond by repeating the word and adding the expression of “Wala Haga” by the end of the sentence. The response to a statement like: “I was thinking we might need to do such and such.” would be”such and such, Wala Haga.”

Reham Gehad at a no worries state overlooking Magic Lake in Dahab

No worries.

Over the years, Reham developed a preference for natural beauty products other than chemically produced ones, her videos transitioned from using branded out of the shelf products into “Home Made” beauty products, she says the change to natural was initiated as of her own need to leave the world of “artificial beauty”, “image” and “social status” into a world of “natural beauty”.

“We are born complete with natural beauty, it takes effort to accept our uniqueness, learning how to resort to nature to complement our beauty other than resort to chemicals to hide behind an artificial face is what we all should aim at.”

When we first met in Dahab when I still had the remains of the city’s rushing lifestyle, Reham recommended for me to read “The Power of Now by Eckard Tolle”, as an Audible user, I secured the audiobook, by the next time we met and discussed the book, I offered her a listen to the audio version, to funnily discover that I had the playback speed adjusted to 1.8X normal speed, the author’s voice was so soft and I wanted to accelerate the chi-chat and get into the core content, she laughed at the fact that the whole idea from the book is about “Slowing Down” and living in the moment.

Reham Gehad and her dog Cezar enjoying the tranquility of the sea

In the Flow Living” among a community of likeminded people seemed to be the reason why Reham has gravitated towards Dahab. When she decided to transition into remote work, mentioning that her Egyptian passport allows her living in other places other than “Cairo” which she seemed to be breaking up with, Reham tried El Gouna, a beautiful coastal city as well, though presenting an opportunity for more of a lifestyle of luxury.

Reham’s first trip to Dahab did not go well, she was not impressed as she finds discomfort in the place she has chosen to stay and lack of organization, it took more experience to explore more of the quieter side of town at Assala to find the peace, tranquility, and connectedness to nature she was aiming at.

When connected to nature, people desire less, they need less and lose the tendency to compare with others. Closing her Beauty Salon in Cairo, Reham is a now content creator with a network of fans that makes it easy for her to get and keep sponsored shows and uses her fine arts background in pursuing design and artwork that she either sells or offers it as a service to her growing clientele.

You can connect with Reham over her Instagram page or ask her questions on her Facebook community.

Categories
COVID19 General Uncategorized

Words create Worlds, are we ready to shift our business language to speakGreen?

Overlooking the beautiful mountain-hugged shores of the coastal city of Dahab, leaning into the relaxing and reflective time of the sunset, I stretched my Yoga Mat for the first use with the intention of diving into the sides of me that had been least explored, a business guy with one of these indifferent stoic faces, I told my new friends in Dahab that no one is going to believe them if they say Abdo was here doing Yoga with us.

Bugged by Car horns, aggressive expressions, as she is stuck in a Cairo traffic in the famous Mohandessin’s Ahmed Abdel Aziz Street, Dr. Claudia Gross, a German Ph.D. in Psychology and Social Conflict reflected on the number of signs, commands, and behaviors “evoking the pictures of what you do not want“, as she described it.

DO NOT BE LATE … DO NOT … DO NOT … DO NOT

I just completed two books that gave me the push to try out my first Yoga experience, The Power of Now for Eckhard Tolle and Letting Go for David R. Hawkins MD. Ph.D. There is something in common with the Yoga experience and the 2 books, soft-spoken language.

I had been a close follower of the speakGreen movement, initiated by Dr. Claudia, promoting the idea of choosing our words to build and create a better world. A good example from her TEDx talk about the power of words comes from an experiment where two groups of people at the same age and physical ability were asked to read a paragraph, one of which was neutral and the other had an elderly stereotype, it was found out that as a result, the group who read the paragraph with an elderly stereotype in average have taken more time walking to the elevator, as of just being exposed to the language.

Dr. Claudia has recently gathered all the work she has been doing under the speakGreen movement into a 50,000 words book labeled “speakGreen: words create worlds“, the book project attracted over 150 pre-orders on Publishizer platform.

I had the chance to interview Dr. Claudia for the book project and my yoga experience and observation on the use of language brought me back to the interview note. Though, trying to internalize this language shift as a business person had been a bit challenging, I could count at least two reasons for that

“Softness does not get a vote.”

Uttered the narrator in a deep masculine voice, the morning after my first Yoga experience, as I start my day with Stoic Affirmation tracks, that reminds the listener of the facts of life and how strong and steadfast you have to voluntarily face the demands of life, stand your ground, get over hard times and not only accept everything that happens to you but also learn to love your destiny no matter what it looks like.

This strong, intense, masculine language has become part of my identity not only to interface with the world when necessary but to endure the internal journey needed to go through life productively. It is quite unsettling to imagine having to eliminate the language of stoicism necessary for the voluntary pursuit and endurance of natural life challenges. A trend that’s observable in societies where the call has gone into the elimination of masculine language and sometimes the explicit effeminization of men.

The use of language for manipulation

I was daunted by the memories where the call for “softness” has been used for deception and manipulation. The biggest healing journey I had to pursue was about the use of “co-creation” and “collaboration” for explicit assassination and violation of rights. Imagine pursuing an objective in a society based on a certain dynamic and expectations, then being convinced to shift this dynamic and “drop your guard”, only to discover that the call for softness was done to expose you to circumstances necessary to advance certain interests that wouldn’t have happened otherwise without “dropping your guard”.

The experience of this form of linguistic manipulation heightens the sensitivity of the use of language in society and make it a responsibility of communicators to be precise, accurate, and straightforward. An introduction of a “new” or “adjusted” language to explain the same terms should be done in the light, discussed, and agreed upon by parties in society, otherwise, the language itself becomes an instrument of manipulation in the hands of those who devise it.

I must agree that in the 21st century, maintaining a war-inspired business language is a lot “outdated” and there could be no harm in reviewing some of the words we use in a business context within our organizations, the speakGreen movement, and the upcoming book are a positive trigger in that direction of initiating a dialogue around the world we want to live in and deriving from that the words we want to be using.

Categories
COVID19 Food & Beverage Service Entrepreneur

How Egypt’s top Fisherman re-invented his restaurant business during #COVID19 lockdown, and how you too can re-invent your business

Business was good for Hany Sadekk, 42, who lives in the coastal city of ElGouna, exercising his life-long passion for Fishing and the 8 years during which he competed professionally for fishing titles to snap the Top spots for Egypt’s top fisherman a few times already.

And you know what goes well with making a great sea catch? Yes, eating it or in Hany’s case, cooking it, and serving it. It was a natural evolution for Hany to go into the restaurant business. He enjoyed 20 years of experience in F&B (Food & Beverage) and for the last 7 years, he ran his own restaurants in mostly tourism/coastal destinations.

The CoronaVirus (COVID19) had been unkind to all our fellow Egypreneur(s), but it had been especially brutal with the restaurant business as one of the greatly affected industries. Just like everyone else, Hany had to close down his restaurants and the future was looming for him and the 40 staff members he has.

Hany has taken 5 years to assemble his team and it was an emotional turmoil to consider letting go but the business was brought into a total halt.

The role of solid business mentor shows up at times like these, during one of their sessions Hani W. Naguib, Sadekk’s mentor/advisor shared with him a piece of golden advice that came to re-shape the way he has seen what’s happening and the best way to respond.

“Focus on the value proposition other than the product” Hani W. Naguib, Startup Mentor

Just like the word “Entrepreneur”, Sous Vide is a French word that means “under vacuum” a cooking technique that allows cooking at a uniform temperature by sealing food in a bag and submerging it in a water bath. Thought to be one of the healthiest – and most delicious – cooking technique as ou maintain all the goodies inside the bag.

Hany had been offering Sous Vide options in his restaurants for 2 years and it came as the top value proposition to bring to the market at the time of COVID19, he decided to focus on introducing this technique and own its market in Egypt, that’s where Sous Vide Egypt came from.

It took Hany almost a month to prepare for his new venture with the food components and in just 2 days he was able to launch an E-Commerce store offering 3 seafood options and shipping to both Cairo and ElGouna. Three days old E-commerce store – at the time of writing this – have successfully sent out its second shipment to Cairo out of ElGouna’s kitchen.

Sous Vide had been an undisclosed option in many high-end restaurants for their top clients. Now, Hany thinks its time to take the technique to the consumer through its E-Commerce store and partnership with specialized distribution channels focused on healthy options. It takes 12 minutes to get an off-the-shelf frozen Sous Vide meal ready and considering its health benefits, it could be a good option for many Egyptian families.

For Hany’s 40-strong team, there is a renewed hope to go through the crisis with minimal losses, there are many opportunities and challenges to adapting to the new e-commerce and delivery model and as it is for the entrepreneurs, it’ll be the same for the workers to adapt to the business.

Covid-19 Egypt SME Response

COVID19 could be a terminal crisis for many businesses, but as Marcus Aurelius says its mindset not external events is what you have control over. If you look around you, you will find the resources, the know-how and the support to “take back the driver seat” and proactively respond to events, that’s the hope for entrepreneurs and for the Egyptian economy at large.

Check out Sous Vide Egypt store here with their 3 options currently present. and follow Hany Sadekk on Twitter and Instagram

Do you have a unique COVID19 survival story, get in touch with Abdo for a possible feature. Check out Egypreneur’s Business Continuity Support Emergency Response page or fill the form below for more ways to support your business.

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