Reem Fayyad Abdel Samad
A passionate writer, singer, dedicated mother, wife and community activist in support of diversity and equity, Reem holds a Masters of Sciences in Environmental Health from the American University of Beirut. Her career was enriched by working in Lebanon and Dubai, before she moved to Moncton in 2010 to join her husband - a physician at the Moncton Hospital. It took her one year to find the best-fit job with the New Brunswick Health Council in the Government of New Brunswick as a research analyst. Besides her full-time job, Reem is a member in the Moncton Lebanese Association, and the "welcoming communities" committee in the Local Immigration Partnership of GMA with special focus on ensuring social cohesion and integration for immigrants (especially youth and women). She believes in Moncton as a city that offers diverse opportunities and a distinctive work/life balance.
Reem loves reading and writing. She published her first poetry book in Arabic in 2008, and has an active Facebook page "Window to Truth" to share her writing. She also loves music and singing. She performed in multicultural events like MOSAIQ.
What are you most proud of professionally?
Having evolved into a person others can count on; someone who inspires long-term thinking by helping others visualize the big picture.
What's your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?
I look forward to an Atlantic Canada that is vibrant with inclusive diversity, building a momentum for sustainable development (socially, economically and environmentally). Our biggest opportunity at this stage is immigration; mainly to identify and work on the factors needed to attract and retain immigrants into diverse and welcoming communities.
What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?
Each stage in my life grew me in different ways. I believe my work experience in Dubai was possibly a major transition phase between the ‘specialist’ working within the ‘environment’ sector to a ‘research analyst’ working on performance measurement in the Health sector. Having worked in the policy and strategy unit within the Executive Council of Dubai represented a 2 dimensional growth in my trajectory - it expanded my exposure to a wider scope of policy areas (Health, Environment and safety) and it helped me explore and uncover a variety of talents and skills (policy analysis, strategic thinking, performance management, inter-governmental collaboration, etc.).
What's your favourite or most read book or podcast?
"The Prophet" by Gibran Kahlil Gibran
What's your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?
When things don't go well, it is one (or both) of 2 things: either you are not doing the right thing .. or you are not doing things right.
This lesson made me think about challenges differently. It helped me plan differently as it implied the need to think strategically with the right tactical plans.
Who's inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?
Gibran Kahlil Gibran: His words and thoughts (whether in books or as quotes) strengthened my perception of life. He reinforced the depth I've always had in my thoughts, and provided me with a stronger understanding of life and people.
What would you have done differently?
Probably I would have been more courageous to pursue my passions in life (music, poetry, etc.)
What were your priorities and how did they help you overcome some of the struggles you've faced? What motivated you to make the choices you've made?
Family and friends have always been a priority in my life. The sense of accomplishment I have had every time I succeeded in drawing a smile on their faces and being by their sides when they needed me has always been motivating.
The strong social capital built around family and friends provided a support network around me and helped me build resilience especially in times of transition.
Striving to grow professionally and personally, and to contribute positively to the society were key elements of motivation throughout my life.
What are the principles you live by?
My life long principles are: aiming towards public good, integrity, professionalism, the passion to touch others' lives and to avoid judging others' actions or behaviours
How have you recovered from fractured professional relationships?
Simply, “Professionalism”: Managing to present my case and perspective with ultimate professionalism and being open for honest discussions around areas of conflict.
That approach helps us avoid taking things personally, and enables us to consider all perspectives in an argument.
Health Policy analyst, Researcher