Let me introduce myself, I am Rabab Elwi, born Egyptian, raised in Dubai, UAE. I am mother of 3 boys, a wanderer and a passionate traveler who enjoys discovering new cultures and meeting new people.
I consider myself a third culture kid or TCK; as I lived most of my life in Dubai, a very metropolitan city, surrounded with friends from all over the world. I received a French Baccalaureate from the Lycée Georges Pompidou. Then moved to Egypt to experience it for the very first time other than the usual tourist setup I used to have during summer holidays. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration – concentrating in Marketing – from The American University in Cairo in 2007.
This year was a turning point in my life, as I graduated, got married, left my parents, moved out and finally gave birth to my first child. Dubai has always been my second home until I got married and ever since I came to realize that the World has become my new home.
Throughout this journey, every country I’ve been to was an addition to my journey of self-development, discovery and career.
As any fresh grad I was eager to begin my career as a marketer in the corporate world. As enthusiastic as I was back then to take part in the marketing of one of the biggest projects: the tallest tower and largest mall in the world – Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall – my final project was the opening event.
As you can tell my first stop was in Dubai – my second home – but very soon we had to move to a new exciting destination – Hong Kong. As much as I was home sick, I had to get out of my comfort zone, adapt and embrace the new culture. This was my chance to experience a meaningful use of my capabilities other than working to increase a company’s income. As I spoke three languages, I started teaching children and adults French, English and Arabic. Then, I volunteered at UNHCR Hong Kong as an interpreter. Along this work with asylum seekers and refugees, I also took part in starting up a Community center that provided educational cultural programs and I was part of the team in charge of a Sunday school for kindergarten children. This is when I discovered the joy of promoting values and principles rather than consumerism as marketing usually entails. I have managed to blend my passion for marketing – by promoting a subject – with a new aspiration to bring about change in teaching people things that would benefit them and promote their well being. I have also worked as a freelance graphic designer and designed printed materials needed for our Community Centre. On my fourth year in Hong Kong, – coming back to my senses after having my second child-, I decided I wanted to learn more about teaching. I applied for a Masters in Education at one of the top universities in HK but few months after receiving my acceptance at the university, we received the news of my family relocating back to Dubai.
Back to square one as I felt back then, thought that I will definitely go back to my career in the corporate world but unexpectedly on my first month I was offered a teaching position at my son’s school which I accepted with no hesitation.
And VOILA, it all began! I started my official teaching career, spent five year as a Humanities teacher in a British school covering various grades across KS1, KS2 and KS3. This is when I learnt how the planning, the tracking and the endless paperwork required from a teacher to get things in place. The more I learnt the more my passion grew for this job. I leveraged my background in Marketing to promote my subject and engage my students. I also couldn’t help practice my love for event planning by celebrating the various richness our diverse students had; be it International Day, Islamic Art Exhibition or hosting charity events, to name a few. I loved being able to encourage students to celebrate their cultural background, authenticity and be proud of it. Another passion I had supported and influenced my teaching practice is graphic design, this tremendously helped me create various teaching materials.
After 5 years, I felt drained by the system and felt I needed a break to reflect on my life, spend more time with my family and hopefully self develop myself by enrolling at any enriching professional development program. I have always had the eagerness for learning myself. I believe a teacher needs to recharge itself, to be able to give to its students. Therefore, I decided to take a year off work and move to Egypt with my three boys. During this time I managed to take a Professional Educator Diploma in Teaching Adolescent Learners from my undergrad university AUC.
Although this was meant to be a year off work, I couldn’t sit without practicing what I enjoy the most – communicating and being involved with students. As soon as I moved to Egypt, I was offered a teaching position at an American Online School based in Dubai. After 18 months, it was time to leave Egypt. I am currently working on completing my Masters in Education at The College of New Jersey.
2020 marks my 3rd year as an online teacher and my 8th year in my teaching career development. Teaching was the very last thing I would have imagined myself end up into; but ironically I found in it much more rewarding than what I’ve expected from the corporate world.
Hope you enjoy going through this experimental blog as much I do!