Sometimes one's purpose isn't obvious at the time. When you grow up in Australia and come from an Arab background, finding a sense of identity can be confusing. Having very little daily contact with the Arab world except at home, I often didn't know why certain things were done the way they were and more often than not, it didn't make sense. It's not until you dig a little deeper or stumble across a conversation by chance that you find out there's a little bit of history in the family that is deeply buried. Of course life teaches you that nothing really happens by chance! So when you learn that a distant family member had special needs as far back as the 1930's, it raises so many questions as to why I never knew. I couldn't take it personally but with such conditions so much shame was attached and blame pointed to the parents (often the mother) for such outcomes and hence buried, dismissed and not talked about.
Years later it explains why growing up in a family where so much emphasis was put on social acceptance...not just at home but throughout my extended Egyptian family. Nobody in Egypt wanted to talk about it. To my knowledge this particular family member did not make it to their 25th birthday.
Growing up, I did not fit in within the norms that were expected of me. I had opinions, I'm very inquisitive and I liked bending the rules. I disliked things that were hidden and I've always advocated transparency. My whole life I've pushed for things to come to the surface and I've always fought traditions that didn't make room for empowering people. Pigeon-holed in the corporate world didn't resonate with me either so I embarked on a journey that would allow me to contribute to society in a way that made sense to me.
Fast forward to now and SpecialKids.Company allows me to bring things to the surface. After having spent several years living in the Middle East, I saw first hand how children with special needs were hidden from societies view.
Combined with my upbringing and my own international experiences, both personally and through out my career, it was very clear to me that I didn't want children with special needs to be hidden, nor the clothing they wear. My long-term vision is not only bring happiness to children and their families but to expand the range of quality clothing to help children feel included in the mainstream environment and integrated in school.
My journey to date has been both rewarding and challenging having learnt so much about the clothing requirements of children with special needs and the opportunities to meet some amazing parents, I am able to make the difference to the lives of so many parents and carers through our clothing range.
Teamed with excellent but sincere personalised customer service, I am looking forward to expanding SpecialKids.Company with your input, to benefit you and your children.
I look forward to my continued journey, growing the company and making a positive difference in the world.
- Founder and Director