“She dreams of going up to the sky and sitting on a white cloud, drawing a smiling face that the entire world can see”. This dream can simply paint for us the vibrant personality that we are interviewing today. Our guest is full of humanity, inspiration, kindness, good deeds, and charisma. These merits describe the values of Dr. Dahlia Mostafa, an Egyptian Canadian Professional Certified Master Life Coach, Marriage & Youth Counsellor, Leadership Consultant & Trainer with 15 years of experience. She is the president & CEO of the Canadian Life Transformation Academy, an Online & In Person Educational Academy and a Social Enterprise focusing on Societal, Family, Marital, Youth, Career, Personal Problems, Development, and Leadership.
Despite her young age, Dahlia Mostafa, throughout her career, has received over 40 international awards from Canada, Europe and Egypt based on professional life-time achievements, teaching, academic, and research excellence as well as community service, leadership skills, human development, engineering, industrial, and psychological valued contributions. This week, another award has been added to her repertoire of awards- the official selection as the Fearless Woman of Inspiration across Canada.
Dahlia’s passion for education started in early childhood. She sought self-development and personal achievement with determination and hard work. She spent her prime years studying and researching relentlessly and successfully in Egyptian, Canadian and American universities. She immigrated to Canada 13 years ago to start a challenging journey for a girl in her youth, accompanied by her mother, who underwent major surgeries. Dahlia was the primary care giver for her mom. She helped her tirelessly around the clock; despite that, her books and school assignments never parted her.
“When I was born, my father was sixty-two years old, at the top of his success as an engineer and a businessman. He suffered from a heart condition, and felt that he might die at any moment,” Dr. Dahlia said in an exclusive interview with Al-Muhajir (The Immigrant). “He dedicated his life to pass for me all his knowledge, wisdom, experiences, and successes. My personal and professional growth became part of his legacy”, she added.
“Planting Seeds of Good Deeds”
“I was raised by my mom and dad to value and appreciate education, knowledge, volunteering, and community service. They instilled within me that good deeds always come back and hence, I became passionate and aspired to plant seeds of good deeds everywhere I could. I was 21 years old when my father passed away. He definitely created a significant change in my life; he was my role model and a wonderful example of success, determination and perseverance” she said.
She is also grateful to her mother and the significant role that she has been playing in her life, as a vivid and igniting source of wisdom, love, compassion and encouragement. She also admires how her husband believes in her, embraces her dreams, trusts and values her vision, mission, and legacy. He has been her soulmate and his unconditional love and support has been her fuel and muse in her long path toward research, education, and community service.
After her success as an electrical engineer and head of department in one of the largest oil companies in Canada, and soon after receiving the Alexander Graham Bell Award based on excellent research achievements, Dr. Dahlia started pursuing her Ph.D. studies in Leadership, Policy, and Change with a focus in Counselling Psychology. In parallel, she was determined to brainstorm, think outside the box and implement sustainable social change initiatives and projects that influence and impact her community in Canada, at Egypt, and across the world on a humanitarian level. As the Vice-President Academic & University Affairs of the McGill Post Graduate Student Society, Dr. Dahlia had several outstanding projects to serve university students on both provincial and federal levels.
“Gratitude and Acceptance- The Pillars of happiness”
Dahlia considers persistence, hard work, and clarity of purpose the most important factors for success. “Thank God, the journey was not easy, there were many difficult challenges in my life; my mother fell extremely sick when I was 24 years old. At that time, I was by myself with her in Canada. I remember that after one of the surgeries that she had to undergo, we had to stay in the hospital for 45 days. I took my books and computer to the hospital. I stayed there, studied and worked while I was beside my mother. The numerous challenges I faced throughout my life taught me one important lesson- The Gratitude Attitude and The Power of Acceptance are the most important pillars in one’s happiness”, she explained. This is why I wouldn’t trade my life for anything else. I am grateful to both the journey and the valuable lessons within.
As the President & CEO of CLICK Coaching & Counselling Inc, Dahlia has been keen to offer a variety of affordable and accessible programs that address the problems of individuals, family, children, youth, and couples. Team Building, Leadership, and Career Counselling have been also a vital component of her practice as it relates directly to her Ph.D. research. On a monthly basis, Dahlia is committed to offer free courses, workshops, and lectures that contribute to the society well-being.
In 2014, Dahlia opened her private coaching & counselling practice, which was greatly welcomed by the Arab community in Alberta province. She sought to attract Canadians through writing and active community participation via her inspirational Radio Show until her circle of clients gradually expanded to reach out to all cultures and backgrounds across Canada, America and the Arab world via telephone and Skype services. She has been the only Arab Muslim woman in her field of specialization to work in coaching, counselling, self-development, leadership and change in North America. In March of 2017, she was honored with the Canadian Immigrant Award of Distinction Award in Community Service. She was also awarded for her outstanding career achievements as a Professional Certified Coach and Counsellor with the RBC Top 25 Canadian immigrant Award in June of 2017, a People’s Choice Award. In addition, Dahlia was the first Arab woman to receive the Sovereign Medal for Volunteers from the Governor General of Canada on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II in May 2017.
As a married woman, Dahlia does not see any problem in balancing between the challenges of life and the possibilities of success. “A woman can be successful at home and at work together if she knows how to manage and invest her time with her husband and children and how to set her priorities with clarity and self-awareness”, she explained. “Time management and setting clear goals would enable you to achieve your ambitions and succeed. Marriage stability will inevitably reflect peace, love, and compassion on the family as well as productivity and success in the work place”, she added.
“I am a proud Egyptian Canadian, and I always miss my Arabian roots”
Dahlia is an Egyptian Canadian who proudly honors and values her dual citizenship together with her rights and responsibilities towards both countries, Egypt and Canada. Far away from her Arabian roots, she misses her heritage, culture, and childhood memories in Egypt. “The nostalgic feelings that I have for my homeland is permanent, I miss very much being close to my roots” she said. In Canada and worldwide, she inspires humans to blend and integrate while preserving their own identity and culture. As a distinguished Arab, she is keen to empower Canadian youth of Arab descent to align with their values and feel proud of their identity while mastering self-confidence and self-esteem. She volunteers to present an Arabic Radio Show Called “Sabah Al-Dahlia” (Inspirations with Dahlia Mostafa), on Radio Canadawy, to address the psychological and societal problems of Egyptians and Arabs in North America while providing efficient, feasible, and reliable solutions to their day to day problems. The outreach of her program has surpassed half a million follower within the first two years.
With all the impeccable success that she has accomplished in Canada, Dahlia is grateful to the education, values, and morals she learned and practiced early in her life in her French Catholic school Notre Dame De Sion in Alexandria, Egypt. She is also grateful to Alexandria Sporting Club, the club that contributed to her social and athletic development and well-being.
Through her position as President & CEO of the Canadian Life Transformation Academy, Dahlia offers 22 online and in person courses for students around the globe on skill development, competencies and behavioural change. Dahlia is working right now on a unique and unprecedented idea in Canada and the Unites States. She is creating the Arab Women of Excellence Awards in North America- an award that honors and celebrates Arab women of excellence in Canada and USA. Nominations for this award will start this month on 12 categories including art & media, academia, research, community service, politics & government, industry, inspiration, business, sports, special needs, youth achievements, and motherhood.
“The objectives I seek to achieve through this award are to honour Arab women and attract the world’s attention to distinguished women who are role models and successful in their lives. This will give a strong impetus and will become a great driving force and inspiration to our young Arab females and new comers. It will motivate all of them to become remarkable active participants in their communities and it will be the foundation of a successful mentorship program that directly benefits them”, Dahlia said.
“When we honour 100 Arab women in North America, this means that we are honouring 100 Arab families. I am trying to change the narrative and rectify the wrong perceptions and stereotypes about Arab women portrayed in some western media as inferior and underestimated. We want to illustrate that we are steadfast and have female role models in our communities”, she added.
Dahlia strives to spread joy, happiness, tolerance, optimism, positivity, and hope to everyone around her. She despises negativity and refuses to surrender to difficulties and challenges. “We must turn away from negative thinking, jealousy, hatred, and power struggles. We should leave the darkness behind and look upon the light, switch from negative thinking to positive thinking and train our brain to be more productive with a higher degree of self-realization. We should stop talking about our personal problems only and start to think about finding realistic solutions to our problems. We should learn how to build communication bridges within our communities that extend further outside to include everyone at large. It is important to actively adapt to the society’s needs and culture in order to be successful and contributive citizens. As an Arab community in Canada we need to create a legacy and leave a remarkable fingerprint. This should be among our goals and we shouldn’t deviate from it.
Dahlia is a dedicated lifelong learner. She never seizes teaching and spreading education and learning. She shares her life experiences on her personal Facebook page which is followed by almost half a million followers, a huge number that testifies how Dahlia is influential and close to people. The comments of her followers on social media also reflects how much they love and appreciate Dr. Dahlia Mostafa, the researcher, the wife and the mother, who have become an inspiring role model to all women and human as well as a beacon for joy, happiness, optimism, and success for everyone. She summarizes her eight-page curriculum vitae that has a wealth of educational and vocational experiences in two words only- “Joy is my Job”.
Interviewed by Kameel Nasrawi
Translated and Edited by
Zyad Tariq Rasheed