Why and how did you become a PADI Diver?
My story begins back in 2008 in Manchester City in the UK when I was completing my undergraduate degree in Tourism. Wanting a break to seek out the sun and sand, I headed to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. It was here that I first encountered the underwater world by way of a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience: “it was life changing.” I went back in 2009 where I completed the PADI Open Water course and PADI Advanced Open Water course, followed by the PADI Rescue Diver course in 2010. Going on to complete my PADI Divemaster rating in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2011 I then spent a full 12 months working as a Divemaster and underwater photographer back in Sharm, before becoming a PADI Instructor in 2013.
I am now a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, focused on educating and teaching women to learn to dive within Saudi.
What does PADI mean to you?
Passion, fun, education, life changing, Community, Adventure and Family.
What does it mean to you to be a female diver?
To me, being a female diver, means the world. Becoming a diver in a conservative society, where all sports are only dominated by men, was a huge challenge for me. Many females reject this incredible sport because it involves men teaching them how to dive.
I built a female training group specifically to train and educate women about the importance of the sea and the environment. When you dive you see how many different types of creatures are living together in a uniquely balanced system. We must not spoil it. Diving gives me confidence and empowers my sense of responsibility towards the environment in general. I have trained many female divers, and there are more on the waiting list. They are happy to see a female instructor that teaches them about the importance of the sea and why we should dive.
What is your favourite dive site?
Shark & Yolanda Reef in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt!
What’s your dream dive?
A dive full of sharks in the Galapagos!!
What are you plans for Women’s Dive Day this year?
This year we are planning a big Female diving event in Jeddah targeting divers and non-divers females. The purpose is to empower each diver, share the love and passion towards the ocean, spread environmental awareness and recruit potential new divers.
What do you feel are the most important challenges and opportunities facing women in diving?
Currently women are playing huge role in KSA Market which creates more opportunities than challenges. The Scuba diving sector is growing especially with the current woman empowerment. However, the major challenge is fear of the ocean, which we are working on by increasing awareness about the beauty of underwater world and sharing experiences with other females through word of mouth and social media.
How can we get more women in the water and involved in the dive community?
I believe Diving is a meditation sport it can heal the souls, and many of our females diver’s community agree on that. Once you are underwater you disconnect from the busy world, by diving into the blue and connecting with nature. Females need to understand the magical and breath-taking experience that wasn’t easily available before. With the growing number of empowered females who are looking for new adventures and activities, it’s our duty to take part of this change and motivate them to join the underwater world.
Diving can be anything a female wants it to be, it can be considered as: sport, fun, educational, adventurous, community or even meditational. Through these perspective we will be able to increase Female divers.
Tips to women thinking about a career in diving?
Choosing a diving career means that you do what you love and love what you do! The more dives you make with different instructors and the more skills and experiences you gain. Women’s Dive Day is a good start to get more women signed up for something life changing. Sadly, many movies have shown the negative side of the sea, making sharks the ultimate enemy underwater. We must show the positive side of the sea to newbies so they can appreciate the underwater environment more.