At the young age of 21, Danya is a budding entrepreneur who has been named by CNN as one of the ‘8 Agents of Change’ in the Arab Uprising. She was the first and only female to be the recipient of the United Arab Emirates Young Entrepreneurship competition, which she has won’t twice. This competition helped her launch her small business, Relora. Danny is also a social activist and helped organize shipments for medical treatment and aid to Libya during the revolution. In addition to her many business projects, Danya is also in the process of publishing two books aimed at stress management and work productivity for students.
|1. Tell us what Relora Co. is all about
Well first off the name Relora comes from a Chinese meditative herb, which my friend and I thought suited, the company well. However the idea of Relora Co. started when I received some tragic news about my mother, in 2005, when she had contracted breast cancer. A cancer, known to affect numerous women around the world, and as I researched more about her cancer, I found out the stress can play a role, in causing cancer, I decided to research more about Stress Management and co wrote two books, with my friend Fayzah on stress management for employees and students (translated into Arabic and English), as well as produce a Yoga Size Video to, help teach people on what they can do to live a stress free life. Our business project ended up being recognized and awarded by the Mohammed Bin Rashid establishment for Young Business Leaders. And although we are small and still growing our vision at Relora is to become a world-renown company. To be known not only as the leaders, in helping university students and employees, but for the people of the world to become stress free, live happy and be in a healthier environment. Because Relora is a holistic solution, we will be able to successfully expand our company not only with How to Guides like:
- How to Lose Weight the Healthy Way
- How to adapt to Different Cultures
- How to Manage your Time
We also hope to accomplish various seminars and workshops with each book in order to not only demonstrate just how much product works are but guide the people into applying our books into their daily lives.
|2. You seem to have a lot on your plate, from publishing books to consulting to your online secondhand shop and school. How do you manage to create a balance in your life?
It certainly is not very easy but yes I do follow my principles in life. My ideology is that in order to be successful and to achieve all your goals, you just need to be devoted and honest to your responsibilities, along with which I prioritize my work, giving my best shot at everything. My uncle once told me, that every person has 24 hrs in a day to make the most of, and it’s upon you that how productively you can manage that time; I just try to fit everything together, my studies and my work, and fortunately its working for me.
|3. You recently spoke at the Voice of Libyan Women National Convention. What is the situation of the Libyan woman today?
Libyan women were just a mystery for the world, in the pre-revolution time, as they were assumed to be women not many people would think could have so much strength, though the reality was very different. The perception has changed tremendously, as today they are looked upon as heroes, fighters, as mothers who raised sons that went out and honored their country so they could be free, the women of Libya are looked upon as real people, that have needs, that have hopes and dreams, that want a better future, and to be free and not just some stereotype western media has portrayed them to be. Though I would also want to point that they still need support, to get educated, skilled, attain rights they were deprived of and above all recognition. Women in Libya are trying their best to make their place in the world, they have faced some severe conditions on their lives, though had never lost hope, and certainly won’t even now.
|4. How do you think social media will play a role for women in new Libya?
The women in Libya have played a tremendous role during the revolution, whether it was behind the scene or in front of the scene. Belonging to a reserved society where even though it is acceptable for a women to work, and to succeed in her desired career, many people, or rather the male dominated society might look is as unimaginable, or deem her as someone who is not able to balance both work and a family life, even though she is most likely doing both very successfully. But now women of Libya are becoming aware of what their rights and capabilities are. Social media has already played its role in their lives because it has given women a chance to be active even, from their home or office, it has kept them aware of what’s happening in the world, and opened about a gateway for them to learn how some people are standing up for their freedom, by simply talking about what’s going on, and for some taking action, women have already empowered themselves and those around them, and I believe it will continue to work in the same women in new Libya, ,ay it be any subject or field in concern.
|5. How has Islam played a role in your vision?
Islam is a beautiful religion which teaches us the basic difference between right and wrong, equality, forgiveness, helping, being courteous, thankful and having strong faith in Allah. My vision in life is thoroughly based on these elements, as I am always striving to help others in whatever way I possibly can, try to follow the path of honesty, personally and professionally and am always thankful for all the blessings I have been granted with. This is what I wish to carry forward in my life and that’s what encourages me to work for human welfare and development of women.
|6. Do you have any Muslim women role models?
Yes, Hazrat Ayesha (RA), the wife of Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa (pbuh) is my role model. She was a supreme lady who had courage, affection and devotion for whatever she did. Not only did she portray a personality of an ideal wife, advice seeker and companion, rather her bravery in battles, and her depth of knowledge is astonishing. I always pray that I can gain enough strength to follow her, and try to adapt her teachings in my life.
|7. What impact do you feel that entrepreneurship will have on women in the new Libya?
Women in Libya do face many challenges and problems when on the route of becoming entrepreneurs, but with such new opportunities coming their way, entrepreneurship can become a huge prospect for women of new Libya to grow and develop. Stronger social support system and active to initialization through social networking and right channels could empower them. Becoming independent and self sufficient would highly impact their confidence levels and personalities positively and thus their accomplishments would eventually lead towards the national and economic growth of the country as well.
|8. Tell us about Projects4u.
Projects4u is basically a service providing business, where our clients via out setup of network outsource written of content, including articles, researches, reports etc. We just use the expertise of our staff members to cater to our clients, with the best possible results, which saves them time and gives them efficient results.
|9. How do you feel that being a Muslim woman will influence your success?
I believe so, and always in a positive way of course. Being a Muslim makes you strong, makes you believe in good and provides guidance towards what is best, therefore yes I do feel that being Muslim women will definitely contribute towards achievement of success, countering all the assumptions on how Muslim women cannot attain success due to perceived rigidness and restrictions.
|10. What do you hope to accomplish after graduation?
Well I cannot be very specific about it right now, but I can assure that I see myself as a person who has goals, and wants to achieve, I do not think of myself as a leader or something similar to that, but just someone who wants to make change for the better, and contribute in whatever way I can, big or small.
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