“Shake the system; aiming higher when you sense that you’re getting too comfortable.” These were the words that resonated from Nayla Al-Khaja’s passionate and inspiring speech at Hult’s Executive Speaker Series in Dubai this past week. The U.A.E.’s first female film producer, award winner, CEO of D-Seven Motion Pictures, and all around positive ambassador for the region spoke at the Johara Ballroom, Madinat Jumeirah finishing off the school year’s already impressive roster of Executive speakers. Dr. Amanda Nimon Peters, esteemed host, faculty and Managing Director of Sara Black International introduced Nayla to an audience of faculty, staff, students and corporate guests, setting the stage for a vibrant, and forward-thinking evening.
A firm believer in the mind-altering and life-changing nature of films, Nayla spoke about her desire to change the way the Middle East is perceived by the West through the medium of film. Capturing a gritty and honest portrayal of life in the U.A.E., Nayla is helping to break down barriers for women and youth by taking a path less-travelled than former generations.
The producer’s engaging style of story-telling makes it easy to see how hard work and persistence indeed pays off. A vivacious, positive attitude to life and work shone through her speech, commanding each and everyone’s respect for her drive, strong spirit and determination.