MELA 5, DAY TEN: 15 MARCH 2014
The anonymous author of this doodle, spotted on a jotting pad during the final day of our workshop, is the unsung philosopher of MELA: the Arab Confucius who has penetrated the essence of the program. For, as John King said on the very first morning of MELA 5, the amount of learning achieved is proportional to one's openness to be surprised.
|Samira, Elham and Heba say jibn – cheese!|
Since then, the surprises have been coming thick and fast. How many of us could foresee so many transformative leadership experiences crashing over our heads, wave after wave, during a mere week and a half? Who expected that so many of the strangers in the room on Day 1 would become necessary people to us – lifelong friends and leadership peers – by Day 10?
From the vantage point of 6 March, who would have believed that many of us would part from our fellow "Melos" tomorrow with sighs and separation anxiety? Who would have expected we could return to our homes with withdrawal symptoms and hybrid feelings of sweet sorrow? But we are accustomed by now to expect the unexpected from MELA. Today as the end draws near, we are prepared for a welter of mixed emotions.
Victor Antonio kicks off with the theme "The Logic of Success," peppering his talk with insights from psychology, brain science, sociology and marketing. As a special bonus, he offers an analysis of Michael Kouly's blockbuster session yesterday evening. As an illustration of excellence, Victor endeavors to decipher what made Michael's presentation so powerful. Venturing where no man has dared to venture before, Victor seeks to unlock the labyrinths of the Kouly Kode.
There was a lot here that Michael himself didn't know. Deconstructed into its elements, the mysteries of the Kouly Kode are thrillingly revealed.
The goodbyes are beginning, and with them a renewed desire to capture and preserve these elusive, fugitive moments together. Noor and Mashael pose with the MELA maestro.
Mohannad and Ginny, sporting her Palestinian colors.
Jassim and Nahla pretend to be unmoved by the emotions washing around them. But we know they are posing.
Yes, today is Saturday, and yes, there is going to be a party tonight. But these guys have stepped out of their time machine at the wrong stop (see "MELA 5, Day Nine"). Somebody, please send them home to 1977.
Said Al Shanfari and Amer Al Fadhil (MELA 4) invite their new compeers to the MELA 2014 Summit in Oman in October.
On behalf of the MELA 5 members, Ghareb presents Jim a token of their appreciation for all he and the team have done to touch and change their lives. The Arabian (White) oryx is the national animal of Qatar.
The Arabian Gold oryx is the newly-minted national animal of MELA.
Jim communicates our thanks to Rob Sherwin (General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Qatar Shell) for his company's support for this wonderful MELA 5 program.
The audience rises to its feet in acknowledgement of MELA Program Director Samer Ebbini, who guided every aspect of the program, kept his eye on the goal, covered defense, rallied the mid-field, and set up the scoring combinations from the wings. Winner of the MELA 2014 Most Valuable Player Award.
The Board of Directors is on hand to welcome the participants into the post-Academy world.
Regional Director Adam Albion welcomes Siham to the stage.
Abdelrahman's batteries never go flat.
Arwa made her probing, penetrating presence felt in every one of the sessions.
Asim's strength and intelligent leadership were an inspiration to us all.
Farid and Michael: birds of a feather.
Majid's charismatic personality brought a splash of color to MELA...
...while Mounib's splashy charisma brought a colorful personality to MELA!
Najla made a big splash in Doha.
Mohammad's fans are wild over his poetry – and his giant heart.
When we talk about getting the right people on the bus, we are talking about Raja.
Forget about buses. When we think about getting the right people on board a lifeboat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we are talking about Salah. (How Salah feels about joining us on board a lifeboat thousands of miles from land is a separate matter.)
Samira is the kind of leader on whom you know you can rely never to compromise on her principles or values.
Without Faye, there would be no Jim.
We celebrate and recognize with gratitude the program's shepherd and guiding light, Jim Crupi.
Without Jim, there would be no MELA.
Without Faye, there would be no Jim.
Hail to the staff!
Hail MELA 5!