By Mudassir Raja
Taghreed al-Sultan is an accomplished Qatari woman. She has university education from the UK in accounting and finance and has been working with Qatargas as Controls Management Specialist in the finance group. Married with three kids, she also looks after her house. With all this keeping her occupied, she has still managed to make time for reading and writing.
Taghreed recently published her first book titled To Be Continued, available both in Arabic and English. To Be Continued contains quotes on different important topics on life, self-enlightenment and relationships. Her book remained one of the best sellers at the recently concluded Doha International Book Fair. At the fair, the book went out of stock. It has now been made available at all major bookstores in Qatar.
Community got a chance to catch up with the author. She spoke at length about her achievements and the encouragement she got from her family and the Government of Qatar.
Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a professional Qatari woman. I got my Bachelor Degree in Finance and Accounting from UK in 2007. I did an MBA in 2015. I also got a diploma in leadership and strategic management in 2017 from CMI-UK. I also have the Chartered Manager Designation from CMI. I have been working in the oil and gas sector for 10 years.
I am a happily married woman with three daughters. Two of my daughters go to school and the youngest one is looked after by my mother during my office hours. My husband is a well-educated man and works as a marketing director. He has continuously been supporting and encouraging me in my academic and professional life.
What do you do in your leisure time?
My daily schedule is very busy. After my office, I teach my school-going daughters and take care of the youngest. In the evening, I spend time with my husband.
However, late in the evening I manage to get some time for reading books. Reading is my favourite hobby. My other hobbies are travelling, writing and also watching movies.
I have travelled to a lot of countries in the Europe, Middle East, and in Asia. When I was a child, I use to read a lot of storybooks and novels. When I grew up, I started reading more serious kind of books focusing on self-enlightenment. When I was in the university, I got a chance to read more interesting books, as many of my friends shared the same interest.
What has made you turn to writing?
I think my habit of reading more and more books has helped me in my writing. I also had a dream to become a writer when I was as young as 12 years old. I always dreamed of having my name on the cover of a book. Thank God my dream has come true.
What is your book about?
My book is an anthology of good and positive quotes. I have compiled the quotations from the Holy Qur’an, from religious books, from world famous writers in Arabic and English, and a lot of my own quotes that reflect my experience in life.
The idea of writing down the book struck me one day when I was in office. In the office we have a practice that one of our colleagues would put a quote of his or her liking on a white board and the quote will change after one week. Most of my colleagues quote from famous writers. I however put my own quotes based on my experience and my readings. I thought why not to have my own book with quotes on important topics.
What has been your source of inspiration for writing?
As I told you, reading led me to writing. I am also working on my second book. I wanted to write quotes for young people. Today, people are reluctant to read big and bulky books. So good and positive quotes can be good readings.
One of the most important women whom I consider as my role model – in addition to Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser – is my mother. My mother got married at a young age and managed to maintain a balance between her family and her studies at Qatar University. She completed a bachelor’s degree in Arabic Language and then pursued a career as a teacher and became an Arabic Language Evaluator. She is indeed one of the most important inspirations in my life.
Furthermore, my father and my husband have also been my major supporters. My husband is proud of me and keeps encouraging me to pursue my profession and my career as a writer.
I will also pay my gratitude to the Government of Qatar for supporting and encouraging young people to pursue their studies and careers in their life. The government has been providing every kind of support.
What is the response like to your book?
I kept it secret till my book was published. Everyone in my family was surprised. They wondered how I found time to write a book in my busy schedule. They felt very proud and happy.
My book remained one of the best sellers at the Doha International Book Fair. It went out of stock very quickly. Now it is available at all major book stores. The appreciation and acknowledgement has been very encouraging. I am encouraged to continue working on my next book.
What has been your experience of life as a professional?
It is challenging but it is not impossible. It is difficult to find time but one can manage if one wants to. I have a lot of support from my family.
Our society in Qatar is moving. We are very proud to have successful women in every field. We have educated mothers at home, and qualified professionals at workplaces.
I always tell other women who see me as a role model that support always comes from yourself no matter what society you are in. It is your personal preference and desire to become successful!
I also have put many quotes on the role of men and women in society [in my book]. I believe in equality, and that men and women are always complements and not substitutes.
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