I was born in the most beautiful but tragic city in history, Jerusalem, and spent the first 18 years of my life living in the most troubled lands of our times, Palestine.
My parents met in Jerusalem, married and lived there to begin with, then moved north to Nablus and brought up 6 children (Tawfik, Nawal, Mufid, Samir, Najwa and Samer). My father Khalil descended from the “Shalabi Clan” but chose to use an intermediate ancestral name of “Sukkar”. The Shalabi family originated from a village near Ramallah called Turmus Ayya, a name probably derived from Latin “Terra Messias” meaning Messiah Lands. My mother Rowaida however, came from an old Jerusalem family called Zamamiri.
After finishing school and through a series of unexpected events, I ended up in England first as a student then as a professional and a family man.
For some strange reason, I studied Aeronautical Engineering in Manchester and for a stranger reason, I found myself enter the employment market in the “Information Technology” industry in London; a field that did not suit me, and I did not suit it either. During those early days, I met my future wife Claire, we courted, got married and had three much loved children Leila, Rosy and Faye. By way of digging myself an escape tunnel out of the information technology industry, I changed jobs a couple of times and happily ended up working in the field of strategy and planning for large corporations.
I grew frustrated with being a company man, jumped the corporate ship and worked as an independent consultant for about 15 years in the UK, mainland Europe and the USA. In spite of the ups and downs of independent consultancy, I truly enjoyed the variety of work and delivering directly to my customer base.
Which brings me to the present times when in 2008, my current employer made me an offer I could not refuse so, I ended up as the Group Chief Strategy Officer of a large MENA investment company. This is my proper day job but I have a number of extra curricular duties with a number of directorships within and outside the Group, including World Trade Center and the Arab Insurance Institute.
I am also a very proud founder member of the Board of Trustees of the “Leap Day Foundation”, a charitable trust based in Cyprus, which raises funds in support of a number of worthy causes. Every year in late Summer / early Autumn, the foundation organises a major event for entertainment and fun but with the ultimate goal of raising money for selected causes. I f you have a few minutes to spare, please visit our website at: Leap Day Foundation
Looking ahead, I am still very eager to start each day afresh, meet new challenges head on, and fight the good fight. Health permitting, I intend to keep on working in some capacity or another until the Grim Reaper turns up; not any time soon please Mr Reaper!