Meet Dahlia Mostafa – an award-winning author, radio and TV host, counsellor, coach, volunteer and humanitarian.
If it sounds like she has a lot on her plate, it’s because she does.
“I am available 24/7 to help people rebuild and transform their lives. It's diligent work every day, every week,” Mostafa says.
Even as a child, Mostafa loved being a leader and connect with a large audience.
“In Grade 5, I was appointed the president of the public media centre at school, which is usually a position for girls in Grade 12,” she says. “Having this position at a very young age, really allowed me to be engaging and communicative.”
She later graduated at the top of her class in electrical engineering at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology and Maritime Transport in Alexandria, Egypt, earning her master’s degree.
While attending university, she explored her passion for helping people. She was involved in her university's student union and was appointed the vice president for social, cultural, academic and university affairs. She was also the treasurer of a charity organization that helps orphans, called the Future Generation Charity Organization.
“I grew up in a family that charity is actually a lifestyle and it's a basic value that my mom and dad used to do,” said Mostafa.
“The volunteering hours, time, dedication and passion I have put there really comes back to me in blessings. Blessings to my marriage, to my baby and to my elderly mom,” she says. “I can see it through the example of my life, and I love that lifestyle.”
She immigrated with her mother from Egypt to Montreal in 2005. She attended Concordia University, and then later McGill University, to pursue her PhD in electrical engineering.
While, still pursuing her PhD at McGill, she was offered a job at Bombardier Inc., which she declined to continue her research in electrical engineering. Six months later she was offered another position, this time for Suncor Energy in Calgary.
“I really couldn't decline because I realized that my PhD fellows, once they leave university the ratio is that 33 per cent join academia, 33 per cent join industry, and 33 per cent are left without jobs,” she says. “I couldn't just keep declining the opportunities, and this job offer was amazing.”
She took the job as senior electrical engineer, as part of the engineering team lead. But while working at Suncor, she had a realization about her passions.
“I was passionate about psychology all my life,” she says. “I wanted to be in that position that I'm serving people. I realized I’m gifted with the knowledge, and the ability.”
After her decision to leave engineering, she changed her PhD concentration to leadership, policy and change, with a focus in counselling psychology. She later attended Erickson College in Vancouver, and the International Soul Coaching Institute in California.
“I really wanted to utilize all my knowledge, education, practice and all the things I love to do – what I’m passionate about, and start building my coaching, and counselling practice,” she says.
From here, came the idea of Click Coaching and Counseling, where she serves as the president and CEO.
While living in Calgary, Dahlia also met her husband Ahmed Mostafa via Facebook.
“I went to the Egyptian Calgary web page on Facebook, and I said, ‘I'm new to town and I would love to meet everyone, I’m happy to get together and meet my new family, friends and fellow egyptians.’And that's how I met Dahlia. Ahmed Mostafa says.
Ahmed is in awe of his wife’s international accomplishments and humanitarian work, which he says stems from her own personal motivation to help people and make the world a better place.
"Dahlia is very passionate about what she does. She loves what she does, she enjoys doing it, and she loves to see the results,” says Ahmed Mostafa. “That always fuels her soul, and spirit to accelerate and to move forward.”
Mostafa is recognized with the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, by the governor general of Canada. Which awards volunteers who’ve made remarkable contributions from across Canada. As well as winning the 2017 RBC Top 25 Canadian Immigrant award, that recognizes inspiring immigrants achievements.
Juggling family life and a full-time career has always been a priority for Mostafa. Even after the birth of her son, she didn’t take any time off for maternity leave and worked until the day of his birth.
“I'm the only coach and counselor in the city who does what I do in English, French and in Arabic,” she says. “I really enjoy dedicating the time. It's more of doing what I love, and loving what I do. It's a passion that's igniting.”
Ahmed Mostafa knows how determined she is in her work, while keeping a healthy balance of family life.
"She takes phone calls for clients and patients after midnight to make sure that all that she's always there for them,” Ahmed Mostafa says. “But for us as a family, I wouldn't imagine my life without her. Everything from motivation to love, to care, and to attention to detail. Just everything."
While utilizing her skills in Canada, she’s also brought her passion for people and her humanitarian work across seas.
Last summer, she received a letter from the Egyptian president, the minister of immigration, Egyptian expatriate and the president of the national council of women in Egypt. The letter was an offer to travel to Egypt for a two-day conference with 30 international female renowned researchers to help reshape the country.
“It was such an honor to go there and use the Canadian knowledge that I learned, and practiced in Canada. To go back and try to change Egypt, and to be an influencer in the Middle East. It was amazing when I went there, that I was a source of inspiration, knowledge and education for all these women,” she says with pride.
As well as being a counsellor and motivational speaker, she runs her own radio show called Inspirations with Dahlia Mostafa, and has written a book called Breaking Barriers and Shining my Own Light. She airs the radio show in Arabic. Her focus is to help empower youth to integrate with Canadians while retaining their identities.
Her radio show has amassed half a million viewers, airing online on Canadawy Radio Channel. She hopes the show will help lower cultural stigmas about seeking help for mental health, and to create a ripple effect for her viewers.
She is also beginning to host her own TV show online in Calgary, called Blooming Dahlia.
“It’s inviting those to speak about their challenges, their success and their journey,” she says. “Everyone, from all walks of life.”
She hopes this will bring together all Canadians, to talk about their personal journey. While helping to heal themselves, by telling their own stories.
“Sometimes really all you want is somebody else who's been going through the same journey,” says Mostafa.
While she’s accomplished so much already in her time in Canada, she has big plans for the future.
“The United Nations, and UNESCO are on my lists further down the road,” she says. “I’m dedicated to help serve Canadians, Egyptians and the whole world at large.”
- By Sadie Johnson