As PADI Women’s Dive Day is getting ever closer, we will be interviewing some leading figures in the diving industry in Egypt.
Chris Azab is a PADI Course Director, who has been a PADI member since 2001 and a PADI Course Director since 2009.
When did you fall in love with the ocean?
When I was a child, after school time, I always went to the beach to play and swim in the sea (I was living in Holland, nearby the North Sea). In 1992 it was the first time to visit Sharm el Sheikh and the Red Sea and I felt in love with it when I was snorkelling in Naáma Bay and Sharks Bay. The beautiful colours of the Coral, the beautiful colours of the fish. Each year I went back to the Red Sea.
How did you start diving?
After snorkelling in the Red Sea I wanted to see and learn more. I had a chance to do a DSD in Holland and I continued and followed all the courses from the PADI Ladder.
When did you become a PADI instructor?
In 2001 I became a PADI Instructor and was teaching for hobby. I started a Dive Club in Holland and in one year I had 75 members and all the time happy faces. We did dives in the cold waters of the Grevelingen and the Oosterschelde. You can see all different kind of fish and a lot of crabs and lobsters. I wanted to be underwater all the weekends. In 2004 I had the change to change my life and start living, diving and teaching in Sharm el Sheikh – Egypt. I followed my dream and my passion about diving and made from my hobby my fulltime job and I’m still loving it.
Why did you become a PADI Course Director?
Even when I was fulltime working in the Diving Industry in Egypt, I loved to do each year some courses myself and in 2009 I had the chance to do the Course Director Training Course as the next step in my carrier. I love to teach different courses and like to bring divers to a higher level. Now I’m teaching IDC’s and all different Instructor Specialties in different countries, in Sharm el Sheikh by 5* IDC Center Sinai Dive Club, in Holland by 5* IDC Center Divepost and 5* IDC Center Souldivers and in Cyprus by 5* IDC Center Cydive. It’s not the only thing I do. I teach all TEC Courses which I prefer to do in Sharm. From the shore you can easily dive to 65 meter. Sidemount diving is one of my favourites. It’s also amazing to teach the new Adaptive Support and Adaptive Techniques Diver Specialty, which I have planned again in September in Sharm el Sheikh.
What would you tell our readers especially women who are interested in diving?
Ladies, I still dive for fun. Last week I was on a diving Holliday in Tenerife by PADI Dive Center Ola Diving. The Atlantic Ocean surprised me as well. We saw Dolphins, Turtles, schools of Barracuda’s and Triggerfish, Morays, Bullrays etc. etc. So ladies, go diving and start today!!! It will change your life. You will become part of a different world, will see beautiful creations. Diving transforms you to another human, it’s a challenge, it’s relaxation and it’s amazing to be underwater. It doesn’t matter if you dive in cold water or warm water, it’s the feeling of freedom. Come and visit the Red Sea, it’s a great and safe place to be. Just be careful, you can become addicted to diving and the Red Sea like I did.
Why did you chose to work in Egypt as a PADI professional?
Since I started diving I went to different diving destinations, not only to the Red Sea. As you can read above, I felt in love with the Red Sea, the National Park of Ras Mohammed, the Reefs by Tiran Island, it’s amazing because every day, every dive it’s different. There are also lots of beautiful local Dive sites. That’s why I wanted to work in Sharm el Sheikh, I did and it became my home. Nowadays I’m not only working in Egypt, anyway I can tell you, once a Sharmer, always a Sharmer.