Nigar and Sura
I have heard about mentoring, and think I would like a mentor; what do I do and why is it important?
My name is Sura. I am 32 and recently started a new job. I met my mentor on a business trip. In our culture, it is quite difficult to ask for help or to say, “I don’t know”. So, it wasn’t an easy thing to do to ask her to be my mentor. However, I kept on listening to what she had to say and thought, she has answers to things I need to know. For example, organizing my time and making sure I get to spend enough of my time with my husband and children. So, quite simply, I asked and she said yes. I have since looked up mentoring and are there several great websites and opportunities. The Cherie Blair foundation, for example, uses the internet to help women find mentors. www.cherieblairfoundation.org/mentoring. But remember how I did it − I just asked. I have found increasingly that doing so can solve many problems!
I would like to work in a hotel, but my family isn’t keen – what do you think?
My family wasn’t comfortable, either. But I thought I would share my story to show how rewarding it can be. I am Miramar Tokatly, Syrian and 25 years old. I graduated from a tourism and hotel management college in Syria. I am currently the Guest Service Team Leader at the Rotana in Erbil.
For me, personally, being a young woman working in this five-star hotel makes me feel proud. I also feel safe. It is like a big family and all of us employees really look out for each other. The work can be challenging. Everyone is seeking to prove themselves. There is competition in the services team to be the best.
Work in hotels is not bad for women. Some people might think that if a girl works in a hotel, that means she is ‘not good’. This is totally wrong. In hotels you gain great experience. You are constantly dealing with different guests from different nationalities and cultures, and dealing with the needs of different ages and nationalities creates professional confidence. This has helped me move forwards in terms of strengthening my personality. It’s not just about work experience; I am gaining important life experience also. Ultimately, working women always will face difficulties in all work fields. I believe it’s how you deal with these difficulties that counts. If you believe in yourself and do the best, you can grow as a person. For me, I am looking forward to a bright, happy future. There are lots of hotels being built, so there is opportunity for everyone in Iraq. I think you should give working in a hotel a try!