Monir El Shazly, a photographer, trainer and life coach from Egypt gives lectures in UT Pärnu College
We are more than happy to welcome Monir El Shazly, a photographer, trainer and life coach from Egypt this week. Monir is giving lectures to our International students and we were lucky enough he found some time to educate us all on some topics.
On 8th of October Monir gave an open lecture about Egypt, the land, the people and revolution. Egypt as a destination is loved by many Estonians so a lot of us might have had a question whether it is safe to travel there right now or not. Monir explained the background of the revolution and as an amazing photographer he literally opened our eyes with the beauty of that warm country. And yes, it is safe to go there. Media is always showing everything bigger than it really is. Although there are some protests taking place and there are people on the streets at some strategic places in Cairo or Alexandria it doesn’t affect a single tourist in the areas such as Sharm el-Sheikh. So feel free to visit this beautiful country with an amazing history. Did you know that the high heels were invented in Egypt?
On 9th of October at 5pm Monir will be talking about his adventures in India. He spent the whole month there as he decided to travel to different parts of India. Each area has very different practices and culture so he wanted to experience them all. He even participated in the teaching where Dalai Lama was speaking. In the presentation he is going to give us the top lessons he learned from India, from different practices, cultures and the coexistence of so many different people and religions.
The topic that Monir is teaching for International students is life coaching. It is not about how to become a good coach but about how to live balanced life. The whole course is designed to be a combination of six different seminars ranging from knowing yourself, the purpose of life to stress management. It is all about having a better life. The title for all the topics together is “Balanced life”.
As it is his first time in Estonia we used our chance to ask some questions about Estonia as well.
You’ve been living in Finland for a while. How different are we compared to Finland?
European cities for me seem very familiar. I get a lot of memories from here. There are some similarities between Estonia and Finland but Pärnu reminds me more Cardiff where I’ve lived as well.
What are you going to tell your friends about Estonia when you go back home?
It’s a pity that we live so far away. It took me so many hours to get here. Although our cultures are very different what is similar here and in Egypt is that people are very kind. I think that Estonians are very hospitable.
Pärnu is very small and relaxing for me. You have a lot of trees here and I will sure remember the colors. I was walking down the street the other day and saw so many colors around me. As a photographer I notice the beauty of nature and architecture.
How do you like our foreign students?
You have a very nice selection of students here. I happened to see people from Nepal, Canada, Serbia and so on here. They seem to be happy here and I would say that their level of awareness is relatively high. I have a page on Facebook where I share information about wellbeing and they joined it. And for my surprise I found out that a lot of them meditate. I can see they understand what this is all about.
It was a happy experience for me. Sometimes you go to the seminar and the words just won’t come out. And sometimes when people have the higher level of consciousness the words just keep flowing. I felt here that the words are coming naturally.
What really is different here compared to some other parts of Europe is that people do not ask many questions. I can’t really see if they agree with everything I say or not.
What else would you like to share with us?
When I spoke about the similarity one of the things that I noticed is that just like Egyptians a lot of Estonians don’t really believe in their potential. It might be because we both suffered in a regime that wasn’t really made to empower people. Maybe it’s because the experience of the freedom hasn’t been so long yet. People should believe more in what they actually can do with their lives.
To sum up I can say that I would be very happy to come back here again. The university in general has been very nice to me. The people here are very nice to me.
Interview carried out by: Taavi Tamm, International Marketing Specialist
Answers by: Monir El Shazly, a photographer, trainer and life coach and author of the revolution documentary book: Road to Tahrir