Areej AlKharafi.. Persevering and Overcoming Adversity

  • Publish date: Sunday، 23 October 2022 Last update: Sunday، 08 January 2023
Areej AlKharafi.. Persevering and Overcoming Adversity
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Who is Areej AlKharafi? Meet one of the first Kuwaiti entrepreneurs to appear on social media, who continues to inspire people while overcoming big hurdles.

Areej sits down with 3oud.com and talks about facing challenges due to her learning disabilities, her decision to go back to university and her business experiences.

Areej AlKharafi 01

Top: Halmut Lang (Alothman fashion) jewelry Pomellato

1. Since you are a motivational speaker, what motivates you?

Love is the main motivator in my life; my love for what I do and my love for learning and I am constantly improving. My love for people makes me try to be someone who has a positive impact on them. If you do anything you love, the result will always be strong and beautiful, and it will have a positive effect.

2. You have shared on social media that you graduated from university recently. What inspired you to go back to university?

I graduated from the College of Business Studies 20 years ago, majoring in accounting, and the idea that I would complete university studies always occurred to me, but studying was difficult for me without knowing the reason. After discovering that I had learning difficulties at the age of 32, I decided at the age of 35 to go back to school. If you know the problem, you know how to solve it, and this is what happened with me.

3. Tell me about your learning disability and when you found out about it.

I discovered it at the age of 32 after I was constantly suffering from my misspellings. I searched and read about something called “dyslexia”. I thought to myself: is that what I have? I did the test and discovered that I

have two types of learning difficulties: dyslexia and attention deficit disorder. After I found that out, I started looking for ways to deal with these difficulties, and I was able to control them in my university career, and the evidence is that I graduated with a GPA of 3.22.

4. What is your definition of success? Is it possible to be successful without experiencing failure along the way?

Success for me is that you continue the journey even after failure. Failure is part of success, if we didn’t make our relationship with failure healthy, it is difficult to succeed because from the first failed experience we will stop. We must look at failure from an analytical point of view rather than criticizing ourselves, and analyze what has happened and what we have learned. The lessons we learn from failure are what make us more mature, and rich experiences make us more aware, but the most important thing is that we benefit from the failed experience and view it as a lesson more than just a failed experience that we feel embarrassed about.

Areej AlKarafi 02

Helmut Lang Blazer, Helmut Lang Trousers (AlOthman Fashion), Pomellato Jewellry

5. Your father is an author and journalist. Did you ever consider following in his steps?

I resemble my father in many characteristics and differ from him in many also. I learned a lot from my father, but I have a special journey for me.. It resembles Areej in all its details.

6. How do you come up with new ideas when starting a business?

One of the characteristics of people with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder is that they think outside the box. I don't have a problem with creative ideas and ideas of special projects. I have a lot of ideas, that I can't execute them all. I have a habit, if I get an idea for a project, I open my laptop and write down all its details. From the idea, the amount required to

implement it, the number of employees, and how they are different from the ideas on the market and the expected profits, all the details of the project. I keep it because I have many ideas and I am afraid to forget them. When it comes time for me to start a project, I go back and evaluate these ideas and choose the best.

Areej AlKharafi 03

A.W.A.K.E. MODE Dress (AlOthman Fashion), Pomellato Jewellry

7. What advice would you give to people starting their business?

The first thing: work in something you love, because business can take you a long time at work, and if you like what you do, you will get bored and this will be the beginning of the end. I always say go small because when the mistakes are smaller, they don’t affect you. Do not make a product and turn for a customer, see the customer and see which product he needs and provide it for him. Don't forget about marketing. There are projects whose ideas are good, but their marketing is average and people did not know about the project and its details, and unfortunately they failed in the end. Marketing is important. Manage financial matters accurately With an accounting company reviewing accounts, one of the most important things is control over financial matters.

8. You’ve worked with your husband in the past. How did you find the experience working with him?

One of the most beautiful and enjoyable things is that you work with a husband, but the most important thing is to differentiate between a partnership relationship and a marital relationship. At home, we are a married couple, each one and his/her role in marital life and at work, we are partners, and the most important thing about work is that you are not at home. If you can separate the two, you will enjoy the experience.

9. What are you most proud of?

I am proud of myself because I always have the courage to get out of my comfort zone. The more I feel comfortable in the place I am in, for me, this means the time has come for me that to do a new challenge. This has made me a constantly evolving person and constantly learning new things.

Areej AlKharafi 04

A.W.A.K.E. MODE Top (AlOthman Fashion), Pomellato Jewellry.

10.Are there any future plans you would like to share with us?

What I learned from my life is that planning is important, but we don't know where we might be after years. Five years ago, I did not expect that I would be in the UK studying for a master's degree. Often times we plan but life takes us to better places than we expected. Because of that, I don’t like speaking about my future plans.

Areej AlKharafi 05A.W.A.K.E MODE Blazer (AlOthman Fashion), Pomellato Jewellry