A Shift and Shuffle of Priorities


It’s hard to believe that just about 8 months ago, I was a still an undergraduate student doing my final year of university. I had a lot on my mind back then; from looking forward to presenting my capstone project, to what I will wear for my graduation ceremony. In retrospect, it sounds so naïve to be looking forward to graduation dresses and parties! Then again, who would have thought COVID-19 was going to disrupt our lives in the countless ways it has and cause us to shuffle our priorities around.


March marked the beginning of the pandemic in the United Arab Emirates, and it also marked my first month of remote learning. For my family, March marked the first month of my father moving to a quarantine location, my sister getting stuck in Egypt, and my mother and I first month of real bonding.


For days, we were overwhelmed with negative feelings. We were all separated and anxiously keeping a close watch on the rising number of cases in UAE, Egypt, and the different locations my father travels to as an Aircraft Engineer. Calling the period between March and June difficult is an understatement.


Nevertheless, here I am: a holder of a Bachelors’ degree in Mass Communication from the American University of Sharjah, working my dream job in a lively, supportive, and energetic agency! What was it like starting a career in PR in the middle of a pandemic, you ask? It definitely was not easy, but sometimes, all it takes is for somebody to take a chance on you. The key is to never give up, have faith in yourself, and trust that the right opportunity will not pass you by. Hard work pays off, and as long as we stay focused, motivated, and inspired, we will achieve our dreams.


The pandemic struck the UAE, inevitably causing all of us to shift focus and reprioritize goals and dreams. It made us realize that we took so many things for granted – family gatherings, late-night outings, even hugs and handshakes. Moving forward, I am personally more focused on what the important things in life are and I certainly have more aligned goals and dreams.


By Reem Youssef, Junior Communications Executive, Active DMC