11 Questions with… Sulemaan Ahmed. #bdk11Qs
12 May 2017
Welcome to “11 Questions with…”. This edition’s guest is Sulemaan Ahmed.
I’ve known Sulemaan for a few years. We met when a mutual friend of ours was meeting me and another friend for lunch. We all had a great lunch, and a fabulous conversation. Sulemaan is bright, and passionate about many things, but family always comes first.
11 Questions with… Sulemaan Ahmed
1. Elevator pitch… tell us about yourself.
Tall, Dark and Handsome. (Well 1 out of 3 ain’t bad.) Kidding aside I’m a husband, father and educator.
2. Your spouse… tell us about her.
My spouse Khadija Cajee is definitely my better half in terms of being a parent, spouse, entrepreneur and citizen of the world. I’ll leave it at that as she’ll probably get annoyed that I even said this and she’s a pretty private person.
3. Your kids… tell us about them.
We have three children. Two daughters and our youngest is our son Adam who was in the national spotlight last year for bringing awareness to the issue of Canadian children on the No Fly List. To date +62 Canadian children have come forward and we believe there are hundreds more of all races, religions, backgrounds and cultures.
4. Do you have any family traditions?
One of our traditions is to attend hockey games together. We’re supporters of the Montreal Canadiens so I try to take my kids to games during the year where possible. My spouse is not as big a hockey fan but she humours me. In fact, going to a game with my little boy is what help spark the No Fly List Kids movement.
5. What have been your biggest challenges as a parent?
To ensure that our children don’t take all they have been blessed with for granted. We have much to be thankful for here in Canada and we want them to have a sense of personal responsibility and give back to others in need. Having helped new Canadian immigrants integrate within Canada makes us appreciate our life a lot more.
6. If you could pick any career in the world for yourself, what would it be, and why?
My current career as an educator who teaches digital to senior executives. It took a few years to get here but I’m now doing exactly what I love. I get to learn from outstanding people and teach them to be even better digitally. Seeing the spark in someone’s eyes when they exceed their goals and improve “digitally” is awesome.
7. Growing up, who inspired you the most?
I’d have to say both my mother and father for their hard work and dedication to quietly giving to others and our local community. I’d also say that Nelson Mandela was someone who inspired me as a leader given his humility. It’s a significant and consistent characteristic amongst the best leaders I’ve worked with during my career.
8. How do you balance work life and family life?
It’s not easy, but I try to do it when running our own business. Sometimes simply switching off all digital and mobile devices is the biggest key to success in family life. My spouse Khadija is also my business partner, so she keeps me in check.
9. What advice would your “current self” give to your “just about to have my first child” self?
Don’t worry about what other people say or think – be it family or friends. This is your child and keep focusing on what you feel is best as a parent. When you’re unsure about life don’t hesitate to reach out to those you trust and respect as parents.
10. Has there been a piece of advice you were given about parenting that really stuck with you?
Kids take in everything and know hypocrisy when they see it. If you tell them to be honest but then try to sneak into a movie for free without paying for it, they won’t hesitate to call you out on it.
11. What advice would you give to new parents?
Life is tough but don’t hesitate to stand up and speak out for your child. Furthermore, if you see injustice facing another child then stand up and speak out for them. I’ve learned that all it takes is for two people to do precisely that and movements for positive change get started with incredible results.
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Stay tuned for our next “11 Questions with…” feature.
Thanks for reading!
“11 Questions with…” is an on-going feature. I will be interviewing parents with the same 11 questions, who like me, live in the digital world. The goal is to examine different perspectives, advice, challenges, and experiences from how people parent their children, and live a successful work / life / online balance.
With all the challenges of parenting these days, we could all use stories from fellow parents, who may have already gone through a similar experience, or were offered advice that you could use.
If you would like to be interviewed for an upcoming edition, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.