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7 Questions on Leadership with Naira Hamdy

Updated: Sep 23, 2023

Name: Naira Hamdy

Title: School Principal

Organisation: Dar Al Marefa IB School in the United Arab Emirates

IBPYP workshop leader and school visitor. My journey with PYP started in 1998 and since then PYP has been a way of living. applying research, knowledge, skills and attitudes in daily life routine.

Always looking for new professional development opportunities to improve practices and here am I facilitating an online workshop. I worked as a PYP coordinator in 2000, in Cairo Egypt, at oasis international school. It's a french school, it has the three programmes : PYP,MYP and DP In 2002, Oasis was authorised for PYP and MYP, I continued as PYP coordinator in the same school and went through the first evaluation visit in 2005, then the 2nd evaluation visit in 2010.

In the same time, I was also facilitating schools workshops, regional workshops and providing consultancy services for schools in Africa, Europe & Middle East. The previous roles give me the opportunity to visit many schools in AEM region: Africa, Europe and Middle East.

In September 2011 , looking for a new challenge in my professional life; I moved to UAE and worked in Ras Al Khaimah English Speaking schools RAKESS/Rakacademy as PYP coordinator.

Meanwhile, my career as workshop leader & school visitor was consolidated by more professional development opportunities I'm working in a in Dar Al marefa IB school in Dubai as School Principal. Facilitating online workshops, blended workshop and recently was involved in the project of reviewing three online workshops. Programme Evaluation Leader, ADEK inspector and Tribal trained inspector. Married and mother of two daughters.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Naira's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

One of the most common challenges is balancing the needs and expectations of the team with the overall goals and objectives of the organization. This involves understanding and managing diverse personalities, motivations, and skill sets within the team.

Additionally, sometimes I must take difficult decisions and take responsibility for the outcomes of team members , often under time constraints and with limited information.

Effective communication and providing timely feedback are crucial for maintaining a motivated and productive team. Ultimately, being a leader requires continuous learning and showing empathy and patience.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I started my leadership journey very early at the age of 26. I’ve been nominated as PYP coordinator and started the exploration of a new frame work to be implemented in my previous school.

I was responsible of a team of 50 teachers and successfully guided them through the journey of implementation of PYP.

I became after the head of Primary in the same school for more than 10 years.

I moved after to a different country and implement the programme in a different language and with different community including various culture.

I was inspiring and facilitating the implementation with almost 100 members.

Afterwards, and since then till now I’ve been a school Principal, leading 180 members, each one of them is a member of our big family

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

On duty from 6:30 am till 12:30 am

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

leaders won’t receive “Thank you”.

Leaders well-being isn’t part of the big picture.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

Business recoded by Peter Fisk.

It’s about how to reimagine your business after COVID to create a better future.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Everyone is a leader, follow your dream and believe in your capabilities.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

Many stories but the most meaningful one is that A leader should learn how to recognize and appreciate each team member’s unique qualities and shortcomings. After all, a good leader needs to make connections in the team so that everyone knows what they can bring to the table and why they are on it.

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