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University of Balamand > Administration > Administrative Offices > North America > Alumni > Carole Hadid

Carole Hadid
Master of Arts, Mass Media and Communication, Class of 2012

Carole’s Masters studies focused on “supporting children affected by armed conflicts and war”, based on her 2-year experience as a media specialist at Restart Centre in Lebanon. After graduation, Carole married Mazen Adra (another UOB graduate!) and moved to Edmonton, Alberta to pursue her dreams and continue building her career.

Based on her education and experience, Carole got appointed to the board of directors of a regional NGO: Rainbow Society of Alberta, which is famously known in Canada for granting wishes & dreams for children with chronic/life threatening illnesses. In her role as board member, Carole is regularly part of TV/Radio interviews to help raise awareness and funds for multiple humanitarian projects, aimed specifically for children. While heavily involved in supporting the local community, Carole is a happy mother of a newborn baby: Jude. She enjoys traveling, reading, and uncovering new cultures.

Thank you for joining us for Take 10! Can you start by giving us a brief background about yourself?
I’m originally from Kafarkahel, Koura, where I lived for almost 21 years with my father (Ali) and Mother (Roula) and 2 great brothers (Hany & Hady). During my childhood, I’ve always observed my father’s involvement in the community and learnt to appreciate the importance of service above self to elevate education and social standards of local and regional community. 

In his professional, social and personal life, my father was my role model and taught me the importance of giving back to society. As I grew older, I have developed a passion to the journalistic and media world and learnt to appreciate the importance of media in uncovering social injustice and in highlighting the issues that people are facing in their daily lives. Because of these factors, I’ve decided to pursue my education in mass communication and build a career, having this end goal in mind.

What do you miss most about home?
I mostly miss family & childhood friends. With new technology though, we are able to connect with most of them. Living in cold Alberta, I definitely miss Lebanon’s beaches and warm summer weather.

Tell us a little more about what you do.
I currently sit on the board of directors of Rainbow society of Alberta. The goal of the organization is to raise funds and realize wishes and dreams of children having chronic/life threatening illnesses. My role consists on building presentations showcasing the situation of specific kids and families in Alberta. To realize that, we visit all families in person and document their situation and their wishes.  After building all the preferences and profiles, our board votes on the wishes and allocate the funds to make the wish come true. Every year, our organization realizes between 25 and 62 dreams, ranging from planning a trip to Disneyland or helping kids meet their favorite celebrity. Personally, wishes that touched me the most are related to life-improving tools, such as granting an iPad, or hearing- aids to kids who have sensory challenges.   In order to raise funds for this goal, I’m involved in organizing all fund raisers and promoting the NGO in local media (TV’s, magazines, and radio). We are currently planning for the 5th annual Daddy’s little sweetheart ball in March, where girls, ages 3 to 15, along with their dad, step dad, granddad, or uncle, will enjoy an evening packed full of activities and excitement.

Did you have a relatively straightforward or alternative educational path, and what have you learned along the way about yourself, your interests, and/or the world? As a woman, did you feel there were certain preconceptions or stereotypes that you had to overcome?
I believe that family comes first. Personal dreams are intertwined with the beliefs and values of family. I consider myself lucky to have common dreams with my husband and we both support each other in realizing our goals in life. That being said, by deciding to move to Canada and studying what I like, I was able to transpose my interest from Lebanon to Edmonton, where I found a very dynamic city, and people who believe in supporting local community and raising awareness about issues that matter to the overall society. I have only found great respect for the role of women in driving change in society, and I continue to embody and stand up for gender equality in my day-to-day life. As we talk right now, we are witnessing a Canadian government with 50% women representation. As a matter of fact, I dream of having this in Lebanon one day, and my ambition is to get to a point where we can duplicate this in our country of origin. In nutshell, my life, my education, my experience, my decisions are all aligned to fit my passion. 

What are you most proud of in terms of your accomplishments or achievements on either the professional or personal levels?
My passion drives my decisions in both personal & professional life. On a personal level, nothing tops the feeling of giving life. Being a new mother, I am proud to raise my child through witnessing the role of women in society and the importance of solidarity in helping others in our community. I pride myself for standing to these beliefs in both my professional and personal life.

Can you share with us the best career advice you have received in the past?
Follow your passion. Be humble and don’t take yourself too seriously. 

Looking back, how do you feel your time at UoB has helped you in getting to where you are today, and in being great at what you do?
You can’t swim in the ocean if you haven’t learnt the core techniques in the right pond. UOB was the right pond. During my education, the level of debates and conversations we had in class, the intellectual thirst we found in most professors, and the social, cultural and regional diversity of students in UOB, paved the way to be the professional person I became. 

What would you say have been the highlights of your time at Balamand? Any specific memories you’d like to share? Any specific individuals who have made a difference in your life? 
Every day mattered and taught me new things…. All friends, professors, research, and events have shaped the person I am right now. I’m grateful to all! 

What advice would you give to current UoB students, and to our future young women in specific?
For Mass Communication students, I would say:

Be passionate and curious… Explore the most difficult path.. Most of the times, these carry the experiences that will enrich your soul and make you an exceptional person… As a woman, never stop challenging the status-quo, there is a lot we can do and much more we can offer.  It all starts from “Now” and you should start embodying these values from your classes to your day to day interactions. 

Thank you so much, Carole, for sharing your story with us, and congratulations on becoming a new mom. We wish you the best of luck both professionally and with your beautiful family! 
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