This year, we will continue to share staff profiles to get to know members of our school family a little better. Each week we will feature a member of staff across all areas of the school including teachers, admin staff, support staff and more. Our profile this week is Jihad Omar, our School Counsellor, since 2013:
I was born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia but grew up in Palestine (Westbank), where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Counselling from An Najah University. After graduation, I began my diverse career working with several NGOs organisation across the West Bank. During this time as a Psychosocial Counsellor, my main role was to provide short-term support to people affected by violence and conflicts.
In 2011, I had the opportunity to move back to the heat and start teaching at Dubai Centre for Special Needs. I worked with many different populations including students with autism, students with different cognitive deficits and students with extreme behaviors. I taught core academic subjects to these students and also acted as a social worker, teaching my students social skills to become more independent.
I joined BIS Abu Dhabi in 2013 and I honestly can say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I can’t believe that this is going to be my 6th Ramadan in the school, and I continue to love what I do. I think the best part is giving the opportunity to students to talk about their challenges, helping them feel better and see things from a different angle and learn new skills to cope.
In my work, I hope to make the counselling experience feel like a safe space where students can explore themselves as individuals, including thoughts and feelings about who they are and who they would like to be, as well as the unique strengths and values they have.
I am married and have an adorable daughter Ealiaa, she is almost one and a half years old. In my personal time, I love traveling with my small family, playing with my daughter, watching Real Madrid football matches, chilling out with friends and exercise whenever possible.