Andira, Amman, Jordan

Andira Picture

What is your story of strength? What about you makes you strong?

The source of my strength is my conservative upbringing. From that, I learnt to respect and value myself. For this reason, I respect others – no matter who they are. At the end of the day, when you respect others, they will automatically respect you in return.

The source of my strength also comes from my ability to be patient and this is of utmost importance for women. I’m a very patient person and I believe that you must have high endurance in life because we go through many trials and tribulations. If you cannot endure them, you won’t be able to get far in life. My source of strength is also my sixth sense. Don’t they always say “the heart of a believer is his guide”? To feel others around you and to see beyond what is physically visible to the eyes, allows you to understand events before they even happen. I consider this a type of intelligence.

In my line of work, there have been many challenges. When I was first hired in the Ministry of Interior (MOI), I was a secretary. There weren’t any leadership roles in the MOI for women like we have nowadays. I then began to progress up the career ladder. I studied and received my Bachelors in Law. I then received a diploma in National Resources Management. After I completed the highest degree in the military, I was chosen by the MOI to complete my Masters in Management and Strategic Studies from the Royal Jordanian National Defense College. I believe that God sent me these opportunities and helped me to achieve my goals. In 2009, I received the award for Outstanding Employee in Civil Service. Now, I am happy to be Administrative Governor and the Head of Personnel Department at the Directorate of Human Resources in the MOI.

My goal in the ministry has always been to reach the highest leadership positions possible. You need to work on yourself and persevere. Life isn’t always sweet, rather it has its challenges. Especially for women at the MOI, only recently did we accept to have female Administrative Governors. This milestone happened because women forced their own will to make changes. We reached many of our aspirations but there is much more we want to accomplish.

I am proud to share the name of Indira Gandi, the first and only female prime minister of India. She was the “Iron Woman” of India during her time. While it is an unusual name, it’s an important and beautiful one at the same time. There is a quote that says that every person has a fate/fortune from his or her name, so Inshallah my name will give me this luck. I believe that through your mind – level-headed thinking and farsightedness, you can plan well in order to reach the goal you have in mind.

Can you tell me about a woman who you believe embodies strength?

There are so many women whom I’ve come across who embody strength, but the first woman I opened my eyes to, was my mother of course. I consider my mother such a strong and patient person. So much of what I know now comes from her. She is the life. She is the home. She is the love and kindness that has no equal in life. May God protect her.

On a global level, I see her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan. A woman who is strong through her humility. She is a Queen after all, yet it is her simplicity that impacts you the most. I constantly listen to her speeches and follow the events she attends. She is extremely intelligent. I see a side of her that wants to help women; the plight of all women around the world, but especially Jordanian women. She says that when you empower a woman, you are empowering a society in its entirety and that the success of one woman is a success for all women. I believe that when women take these words and apply them to their daily lives, they will reach new heights in life. In my case, when I am succeeding in my field of work, I am also paving the way for other women to do the same and even more.

What does being a woman mean to you?

The most beautiful feature that God Almighty granted us is our femininity. I believe that this is the most elegant aspect of our existence, but a woman has to know how to care for and use this femininity. A woman has to think like a woman, not like a man. At the end of the day, I am a woman with feminine features and characteristics. We should preserve it and be proud of it.

Can you tell me about a time you failed or disappointed yourself?

Failed? No, not really. With the grace of God, I was able to overcome most of the challenges I faced in my life. I have been disappointed in myself though, many times. For example, the moment I found out that I had won the award for Outstanding Employee in Civil Service in 2009, I thought that I would immediately have the opportunity to become an Administrative Governor. This is because this award is so prestigious that it can accelerate the career of anyone who receives it. This didn’t happen for me as soon as I had hoped. I became an Administrative Governor only three years ago. So, I didn’t achieve what I wanted when I wanted it. I learnt that in life, everything has its time.

How can women better support each other?

First and foremost, a woman has to love herself, she has to believe in her own abilities and be proud of her accomplishments. Secondly, a woman should share her experiences with other woman and to help women when they ask for help (and even when they don’t). Sometimes, I will find a way to advise a woman indirectly, because I care about her (even if I don’t know her) and this is usually met with gratitude. I believe that when women see the positive energy you are emanating, she will value this.

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