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Arab Women To Open Up About Their Struggles During The Pandemic

Part of the MKS Cares initiative, the ‘Here to Listen’ series helps us take control and shape our personal narratives during one of the most disruptive periods in our lives.

A lot of companies have been finding ways to give back during the COVID-19 pandemic, and MKS Jewellery is one of the latest to come up with one specifically focused on women who live in the GCC. The Emirati jewellery brand is hosting Here to Listen between May 4 and 13 as part of the MKS Cares initiative. The series of virtual talks enables us to find tools that will help us stay connected and overcome the struggles of now. It is also a platform to express ourselves freely and find the support we need to keep our mental powers in top form. The joining of forces helps to harness identity and provide learnings that will withstand the pandemic and create success when life returns to ‘normal’ too.The panels have been organised in collaboration with Georgie Bradley, a journalist and crisis counsellor for Women Victims of Domestic Violence. And they will bring to surface four important topics.


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MKS Jewellery, a brand built on the foundation of self-expression, sharing stories, sincerity and most of all, human connection, carefully selected the organisations to help propel the conversation and each one brings its expertise to the relatable topics. Those involved include Shamsaha Bahrain, the first and only women’s crisis response programme in the Middle East and Illuminations, Dubai’s leading well-being platform for holistic healing, mental health and personal growth. Abolish153, a Kuwaiti community working to abolish Article 153 of the Kuwaiti Penal Code and end all forms of violence against women in the Arab region, is also weighing in. Additionally, the fourth establishment is The Light House Arabia, a community mental health and wellness clinic located in Dubai.


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 “This pandemic has brought up so many questions and discomforts to us all, equally giving us all perspective and forcing us all to rethink and check in on our value systems,” H.H Sheikha Mariam bint Khalifa bin Saif Al Nahyan, MKS Jewellery’s Founder and designer, said. “I love that this initiative gives us the opportunity to come together to try to make sense of it all, and hopefully take forward some valuable learnings forward too. I’m endlessly grateful to Georgie Bradley for coming together with us on this and the inspiring women that stand behind this cause and give their time to come together and to give back through their much-needed organisations, they inspire us to be better people every day.”

Here is the schedule for this week:

Monday, May 4:

Finding Certainty in Uncertainty

The inspiring line-up joining the discussion includes Rebecca Anne-Proctor, journalist and former Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar Art/Interiors, Dr. Saliha Afridi, clinical psychologist and Managing Director of The Light House Arabia, and Alaa Balhky, a digital creator based between Saudi and NYC. Bringing together women from different backgrounds with different perspectives and each with their own unique experience during the pandemic, this talk will discuss the current uncertainty in detail, what people are facing, and how we can find peace and freedom in the unknown.

Time: 4:00 – 5:00 PM Dubai (+4 GMT)
Join without registration:
Webinar ID: 922 4437 4667

Wednesday, May 6:

Connecting and Reaching Out

The panel line-up for the second talk is Laila Saif, Co-Owner, hypnotherapist and life coach at Illuminations, Sundus Hussein, Founder of Abolish 153 in Kuwait, Hind Beljafla, and Noor Tehini, Co-Founder of Goodness ME. They will be discussing how people are connecting and engaging differently at the moment, what mental health frailties are of concern, and dealing with discomfort in more uncomfortable ways.

Time: 2:00 – 3:00 PM Dubai (+4 GMT)
Join without registration:
Webinar ID: 926 6552 4287

The other Zoom panels will be taking place next week. On Monday, May 11, How are we Expressing Ourselves? (in Arabic) is scheduled to take place, while on Wednesday, May 13, the topic is Standing up for Yourself and Each Other. You can view the full schedule and register for upcoming panels here. Each Zoom panel lasts around an hour, with the audience being invited to ask questions to the panellists at the end. In case you can't make it, panels will also be recorded, subtitled and posted on here.

Illustrations by Nourie Flayhan, Lebanese illustrator, storyteller and mountain girl!

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