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Written By: Farah Ahmed

Getting closer to the end of Ramadan has been intriguing, not only to us but to I-Gamify’s virtual summit! This time they brought up exclusive discussions on COVID 19 with competent from Jordan, Tunisia, and Lebanon. 

Here are some of the highlights… 

The 18th day concentrated on “The Financial Impact on Companies during COVID 19” with 3 engaging business experts. 

Nassima Ayfi a Tunisian trainer and business expert in entrepreneurship talked statically about the impact of COVID 19 on the economy in several points:

  • The decline in productivity and individual production. 
  • The importance of expenses calculations in the upcoming period. 
  • Outsourcing is recommended for startups. 

Mohamed Naiem the owner and CEO of Shark and Shrimp Marketing Agency gave insights on the ways that a company and a startup can plan and invest during COVID 19. 

  • Companies: He advises the companies to invest using the cash availability, in the customers; which means reinvesting in a win-win situation. 
  • Startups: You have to be careful in your choice of laborers, maintenance of a good relationship with your partners to ease your job, and efficient management of resources. During the pandemic, development based on the market needs is the most substantial, as well as good management of financial resources. 

Saad Elalfy the founder of “3mdahab” an e-commerce platform, set up some recommendations for any startup in various points:

  • The main condition for entering the market as an e-commerce business is to add-value; which means targeting a solution for a persona. 
  • The role and value of market segmentation, matchmaking, and marketplace. 
  • In choosing the product to sell, you should focus on a specific segment and the needs of such a persona. Also, pay attention to advertisements, sales, and marketing. 

Check the complete panel on:

Day 19 theme was “The Strategies of Protection and recovery during COVID19” with surprising guests. Dr. Tareq Rasheed from Jordan, who works with the UN in 3 different offices; ILO International Training Centre, UN Institute for Training and Research (UITAR), and Global Youth Leadership Academy. Dr. Marwa Khodir an HR consultant in Egypt and different companies from over the world. Tarek Wael a certified coach, and learning and development manager at Boost Training and Consulting.

What are the personal strategies to recover from this period? Tarek explains that the current status is characterized by speedy rate and much conflicting information. Thus, you need to have psychological awareness and acceptance of what is in your control and what’s not to create a meaning that helps you handle this situation. 

What’s your definition of psychological health? Dr. Tareeq views protection form the value perspective, intending to have nations with resistance values. He illustrated the complex reaction of thought, feeling, and behavior. If you have negative thoughts, this leads to high depression/dreadful feelings, then depression and diseases start roaming your body. The same goes for positive emotions. The strategy is to build a deep faith in the future generations.

How to manage the employees’ fears during COVID 19? Dr. Marwa stresses the importance of employees’ engagement. Hence, as an HR, you should work on 3 dimensions; psychological needs through consistent and transparent communication, emotional side through transmitting the feeling of unconditional worthiness and gratitude, and lastly the behavior as the result of your work on the previous two points. She advises companies to invest in employee coaching at this time.

The panel then continued by presenting spectacular vital inputs. With Dr. Tareeq discussing the SUNSHINE recipe, the diverse impact of COVID 19 on the various categories inside a community, and the necessity of dealing with the media during this critical time. Tarek tackling the online business and how to move forward in it. Finally, Dr. Marwa talking about spreading positive vibes vs toxic energy, and the idea of push-pull on culture.

Check the complete panel on:

The following day held an awesome surprise, it was a special conversation with Dr. Hesham Abdelaziz Omar on COVID19 itself! He is currently the founder and Chairman of Tiny’s Clinic, Zahraa Al Maadi, Cairo. Along with having a course about COVID19 on

People were able to have an eye-opener question and answer with the Dr. throughout the panel. Here you go some of the agenda’s highlights:  

  • It’s not the first time to witness the virus, yet the COVID 19 is the harshest.
  • It became considered an epidemic due to its speed spreading and they aim to make the infection rate (R0) below 1.
  • Arguments between medical schools of thoughts on whether the Coronavirus transfers through the air or not. 
  • He recommends wearing medical masks, also for children and animals (cats and dogs).
  • The rumors regarding the invention of treatment are only a geopolitical conflict between countries, nothing is certain yet.
  • Some medicines are available for the treatment but none is effective to terminate the disease completely. 
  • An affordable vaccination and medicine that are obtainable all over the world is a must.
  • Coexistence with the virus by precautionary measures. First, sashing your hands is more important than using alcohol. Second, keeping the social distance. Third, drinking water to keep yourself hydrated. Fourth, strengthening your immunity system (vitamin C/D).
  • There is an expectation that vaccination will be ready next January 2021. 
  • Treatment protocol: Hydroxychloroquine – Tamiflu – Azithromycin.
  • Children are susceptible to the virus too, and another disease appeared on the, which is the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome.
  • Preventive measurements in a closed area: Open the door and the window every two hours – Leave your shoes outside the house. 

Check the complete panel on:

As I-Gamify is known by its tendency towards technology and gamification, “The Importance of technology and Security during COIVD19” was Day 21’s topic. 

Waleed Magdy, the assistant manager network security engineer at, assured the effect of COVID 19 in raising cybersecurity risks. As there are digital security challenges, some organizations and attackers take advantage of this epidemic to impersonate the WHO and other healthcare services, in the shape of emails and SMS (fishing attacks), to make wrongful campaigns aiming at stealing credentials and personal data. The organizations that don’t have digital security measurements are the most vulnerable. 

Waleed Zohdy, technology director at, stated the ways to secure employees’ data privacy while working from home. Prioritization is the first step; which means identifying the data that the employees have and its type. Thereafter, a plan with procedures is executed. He points out that passwords and security/identification keys are necessary. Waleed also warns clicking on anonymous links and always have a backup plan prevention tools. Moamen then agrees and highlights the criticality of ‘two- factor authentication’. 

Rudy Shoushany from Lebanon, a specialist in ICT governance, digital transformation, IT strategy, and cybersecurity. He interpreted that many people and businesses will become adapted to working from home, having virtual meetings, and shopping from home; it will become more acceptable on a personal level. The new culture post-COVID 19 will be working from home with precautions (surveillance technology). Rudy’s point of view that there will be innovations for working from home. 

Tackling the approaches and measurements to minimize the risks, Waleed Magdy spoke about 10 questions any person responsible for information security should ask to find the challenges and their solutions, while Rudy explained the Network Perimeter Defense strategy, and Waleed Zohdy described the notion of prioritization, personal protection vs professional protection and the idea of business opportunity plan.

When asked on “How to build a remote workplace force?” They recommend:

  • Homeworker ease reach of the data and investing more in data encryption
  • Provide business devices managed by the organization (most appropriate solution) or allow secure remote access from a home device with a strong network connection (costly)
  • Take into consideration ‘work from home challenges’ 

Check the complete panel on:

Their surprises didn’t end here! Keep up with updates to take a glimpse of the next article on the following days of the panel with foreign experts! 

Don’t forget to book your seat for the LAST upcoming panel discussions on:

Press Releases

Winners in the 2021 Middle East & North Africa Stevie® Awards Announced



Honors Sponsored by the RAK Chamber of Commerce & Industry Recognize Innovation in 17 MENA Nations

Winners in the second Middle East & North Africa Stevie® Awards, the only awards program to recognize innovation in the workplace throughout 17 nations in the Middle East and North Africa, were announced today.  The awards are sponsored by the RAK Chamber of Commerce & Industry.  The list of Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners is available at

The 2021 Middle East & North Africa Stevie Awards recognized organizations in 10 countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. 

All organizations operating in 17 nations of the MENA region – large and small, public and private, for-profit and non-profit – were eligible to submit nominations to the Middle East & North Africa Stevie Awards in a wide range of categories, honoring innovation in every aspect of work life, from customer service and management to marketing and product development. More than 400 nominations in Arabic and English were reviewed in the judging process this year by 70 professionals worldwide, whose average scores determined the winners.

Winners of multiple Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Awards include Coca-Cola, Istanbul, Turkey; DANONE SPECIALIZED NUTRITION, Istanbul, Turkey; Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; DHL Express Saudi Arabia, Al Khobar; ETIHAD Aviation Group, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; General Directorate for Traffic- Ministry of Interior, Kingdom of Bahrain, Ooredoo Oman, Muscat, Oman; Pladis, Istanbul, Turkey; Pronova Consultancy, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and RAK Transport Authority, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, among others.

All Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners will be celebrated at a virtual awards ceremony on June 2.  Registration for the event is now on sale.

“We are delighted to recognize the achievements of such a diverse group of organizations across the MENA region in the 2021 edition of the Middle East & North Africa Stevie Awards,” said Stevie Awards president Maggie Gallagher.  “Despite the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year, these organizations have shown us that it is possible to innovate and succeed at any time, regardless of the challenges.  We look forward to celebrating them during our virtual ceremony in June.”

About the Stevie® Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in eight programs: the Middle East & North Africa Stevie Awards, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, the German Stevie Awards, The American Business Awards®, The International Business Awards®, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the Stevie Awards for Great Employers, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Stevie Awards competitions receive more than 12,000 entries each year from organizations in more than 70 nations. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at

About the RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry
RAK Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RAK Chamber) is the second chamber of commerce commissioned in the United Arab Emirates. Incorporated on 22 October 1967, RAK Chamber adopts the spirit of innovation and creativity, strong leadership and initiative to support and develop business sectors to achieve excellence and become pioneers, focusing on clients, investors and business by meeting their needs and offering them added value. The chamber is keen to create and develop a system of sustainable enterprise relations, and it also works to provide a business environment and practices that enhance the culture of group work by working in a spirit of a unified team – along with responding to internal and external changes by providing information, data, procedures and laws for all concerned categories. This is in order to achieve transparency and credibility and to create a business-motivating environment in order to promote the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah as an economic hub in the United Arab Emirates.  Learn more at

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Interview with Mustafa Naisah, Mustafa Naisah, People Learning & Growth Partner



“We need to tap into the mind-set and enhance it by changing the story we tell ourselves each morning and in every situation, and that requires some training and practice. Once we acquire that positive, proactive, and growth mind-set, it will flawlessly reflect on our behaviors, and eventually the results we get.” Mustafa Naisah

Interviewer: Mariham Magdy

Brief Biography About the Interviewee:

Mustafa Naisah, People Learning & Growth Partner (CRP, ORSC, CVT, ADTTAL, MBA).

Mustafa has extensive experience in the GCC region since 2005 working with Pay TV and Telecom organizations such as Arab Radio and Television (ART), Pehla, FirstNet, ShowTime, and du Telecom, to help them deliver on their brand promise and achieve their commercial aspiration through people and culture development. His last role at du Telecom as a Sr. Manager People Learning & Growth for the Enterprise Business & ICT for 14 years was invaluable one as he assisted in shifting from conventional training methodologies to a more agile and digital one, with many key achievements such as launching Marketing, Sales and Service, and ICT Academies, applying ROI methodologies and enhancing overall business results.

1. HR Revolution Middle East: Welcome to HR Revolution Middle East Magazine. It’s our pleasure to make this interview with you.

“Changing behaviors to deliver stunning business results” what a catchy introduction to your respectable profile. How can we change people’s behaviors?

Mustafa Naisah: Pleasure is mine to be interviewed by HR Revolution Middle East Magazine. I hope I can provide your readers with few tips that they find practical and actionable

I believe that, if we want to change the results we achieve as individuals or as a business, we need to change the behaviors we demonstrate. However, these behaviors stem from the feelings, which can’t be easily changed, unless we work on the deeper cause of the feelings, and that is The Mind-Set.

The mindset is the reason why we feel the way we do, and therefore, act –behave- the way we do, thus, get the results that are always linked to how we behave.

We need to tap into the mind-set and enhance it by changing the story we tell ourselves each morning and in every situation, and that requires some training and practice. Once we acquire that positive, proactive, and growth mind-set, it will flawlessly reflect on our behaviors, and eventually the results we get.

2- HR Revolution Middle East: How does people behaviors shape organizations?

Mustafa Naisah: Individual behavior, group behaviors, and organizational system correlate together to form the shape of the organization, however, each one has its impacts

Most of organizations nowadays have competitors that offer the same products or services. The main differentiator to why customers will choose one over the other is the authenticity in the way they are being served. This service is delivered through people, thus the formula is simple: Happy employees = Happy customers.

Having the right products or services, knowledge, skills, processes, and abilities is critical, however, to stand out of the crowd, the multiplier for that is the mindset.

The key to success for most organizations is how they motivate and empower their employees to demonstrate 3 behaviors: Empathy, taking ownership, and creating a culture of feedback and coaching.

If we manage to create the right mind-set and improve these 3 behaviors, the results is guaranteed and the organization will have the desired culture and shape, and shape. Ultimately, it’s all about how we treat our internal and external customers, however, customer service is not a department. It’s an attitude.

3- HR Revolution Middle East: As a Certified ROI Professional, how does the ROI Methodology inspire leaders to plan for preparing people reactions towards new projects? To what extent do you believe that this critical factor can impact the success or failure of any project?

Mustafa Naisah: This is indeed an excellent question. See, all organizations would require an answer to the question: why will I invest my time, money, and resources in this project or initiative? What’s in it for me (WIIFM)? And it’s absolutely a justifiable question. A lot of organizations now understand that ROI is a since and an art. Unlike a few years ago when the assumption was ROI is merely applicable when purchasing a new machine, or asset, or deploying a new system. Organizations now prefer to measure all the 5 levels of the evaluations, and the 5th one (ROI) is applied to strategic initiatives as a standard practice nowadays.

You can’t improve what you can’t measure. ROI actually can be greatly predictive as well, and to a high extent of accuracy, thanks to its scientific methodologies and isolation techniques. Moreover, it can measure not only the return on investment (ROI) but also the return on emotions (ROE) for a short term and a long term and it provides that to a very wide array of projects, investments, and programs that many people are not aware that it can be measured. Doing so gives the organization a good predictive indicator whether to proceed or not, and later on, whether to continue or not. Moreover it justifies the money that was spent as the results are measured and analysed.

4-HR Revolution Middle East: As a lecturer to MBA Students, what specific value do you believe the MBA offers to professionals in today’s business world? At what age do you advise professionals to complete their MBA Degrees?

Mustafa Naisah: I personally believe one should not rush to the MBA unless he knows clearly why they are heading for it. With the many MB specializations, one should go for the relevant and applicable specialisation. Otherwise it may not add the same value. New graduates should spend the first two or three years deciding what is it that they really want to do. During these years they may change jobs at a very low cost. Once they have the clarity on what they’ll be doing, it is the right time to go for the MBA (or other qualifications such as CIPD in case of HR Professionals) as it will be more relevant and it will relate to things they are already doing or seeing in the real-world environment.

5- HR Revolution Middle East: What are the most common challenges do People Managers face in order to maintain a positive organizational culture? What special tips would you share with HR professionals about this?

Mustafa Naisah: Silence and sense of indifference by employees. That’s is the most poisonous item to the culture, and that can be from both sides, manager to subordinates and vice versa. However, managers are responsible and accountable for not eliminating this culture killer.

Imagine a culture where the company mission, vision, values, and promise are not communicated clearly and instilled in the employees. That is silence. The reason # 1 for employee engagement and performance is having a clear sense of their MEANING. Imagine if that wasn’t nurtured in them.

Imagine when a company is going through a restructure or change initiatives and employees are sitting worried, confused, hearing rumors, and not knowing what’s going on, due to the silence. Can you see the impact on the employee productivity?

Imagine a company that doesn’t talk to its employees unless something goes wrong. A super-achiever or even an on-target achiever that doesn’t hear an appreciation or encouragement, or an underachiever that doesn’t receive constructive feedback, personal development plan, and proper coaching, just to realize when it’s too late that he has not been doing well.

For the above and many more reasons, I regard silence as the biggest challenge and companies that want to maintain a positive and healthy culture must have strategies to switch to a culture where communication, feedbacks, and coaching are daily practices.

6HR Revolution Middle East: How can organizations quantify the ROI of having positive leadership styles in the workplace?

Mustafa Naisah: This is a controversial question and not an easy one to answer in fact. Jack Philips & Patricia Pulliam published an interesting book named “Measuring Leadership Development” where he linked the positive leadership style with the organizational performance, then quantified that into Impact on Business and ROI. In short, many companies claim that they care about their leadership, but few only show the commitment to that philosophy. Many companies promote employees to become managers based on technical performance, but unless they invest in their development, and equip them with the sophisticated competencies and skills, both hard and soft, with a deep sense of when to offer help and directions and when to hold back. Leaders are most effective when they drive team performance, that means engaging, inspiring, and coaching, doing fewer tasks themselves, and spend more time helping others achieve better results.

Investing in positive leadership development pays-off in many ways. Trust, engagement, retention and reduced turnover, productivity and performance, in addition to many other things that can’t be measured in numbers. Engaged employees are more likely to work 140% for their best boss, and thus the overall company performance improves.

7- HR Revolution Middle East: What final piece of advice would you share with HR professionals world-wide to develop special competencies that can help them excel in todays’ business challenges?

Mustafa Naisah: My advice to HR professionals is to comprehend their business very well, engage and partner with them, and add value to them. Widen your skills and network and stay updated with best practices and industry trends. Be a game changer without essentially trying to apply every new trend or practice that are seen as the “topic of the hour”. What works for others may not necessarily work for your organization. Focus on the desired outcome. Finally, Communicate, communicate communicate…


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Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021 – Diversity, Inclusion and the Holistic Wellbeing approach



Written by: Cinzia Nitti

A working environment characterized by greater Diversity & Inclusion has more chance of being a place where new ideas and perspectives flourish: inclusive businesses benefit from those who feel very included and motivated in the Organisation. Companies with more culturally and ethically diverse Teams are 33% more likely to see better than average profits (McKinsey, 2017).

The Wellbeing @ Work Summit Middle East 2021 brought to light the need and urgency to put individuals and interactions over profits within the panel session dedicated to Creating a Holistic and Inclusive Wellbeing Strategy. The panel has been moderated by Chris Cummings (CEO Sonas Events) and joined by Irada Aghamaliyeva (MENA Diversity, Inclusiveness & Wellbeing Leader – EY), Funda Kalemci (Global Leader, Diversity & Inclusion – Nielsen), Mimi Nicklin (Author and Empathetic Leader) and Öykü Kayaalp (Diversity & Youth Programs Professional – Vodafone Turkey).

According to the valued speakers, true Diversity and Inclusion have to create a sense of belonging, breaking the Mental Health Stigma and Empathy. So Emotional wellness turned out to be the core of those two elements: in fact, it generates wellbeing and inclusiveness at all levels.  

The covid-19 pandemic showed employees how frustration and emotional fragility affect performance and inclusion, even within the most well-structured and diverse Team. Filling the gap between self-expectations, dealing with such an unexpected “new normal” and an Organisation’s goal, proved to be a complex challenge that both employees and leaders had to face suddenly. Creating a work-life balance has been crucial to supporting the new “Smart Working Model” imposed by the pandemic.

How to maintain and strengthen a sense of belonging through screens and virtual work-spaces?

Irada Aghamaliyeva and Öykü Kayaalp firmly agreed on “connecting and communicate through a deep understanding of various cultures at the Workplace, whether physical or from home”. It is key to set a balanced environment where employees feel totally appreciated and valued – the reduction of work stress highlighted a decrease of stereotyping and a more open-mindedness towards intercultural awareness. It can be faced and strengthened through coaching sessions and encouraging employees to speak out freely and fearlessly about what makes them feel inadequate. Break the workplace Mental Health Stigma thanks to self-acceptance is the first step to creating a more inclusive culture, relation and support between employees and leaders.

What role plays Empathy in this framework and why it so crucial in an inclusive culture?

Empathy is the pixie dust that bridges the Diversity and Inclusion gap. Practicing and nurturing Empathy within the Organisations is the starting point from which Leaders and employees should consider the value of their interactions. Listening – not just hearing – is crucial: so often in HR and Leadership people listen to respond, but they don’t really stop and focus on what’s the inner need on the other side. To empathize is the choice to understand, it is a skill that we all can own through practicing kindness and active listening. “True Diversity and Inclusion has to begin with Empathy because if we don’t understand each other, how are we going to integrate?” Mimi Nicklin

Also, when employees are largely satisfied of their experience within the Company on an empathetic level, they are more likely to report high intent to stay with the Company and be high performers. “At Nielsen IQ we have a Global Wellness Framework lead by global HR Teams that works on four pillars: physical wellbeing, emotional wellbeing, financial wellbeing and environmental & social wellbeing”, Funda Kalemci affirmed, highlighting the importance of Mental Health within Global companies.

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