About Us

Nasif Kayed

Nasif Kayed

Nasif Kayed  holds an Advanced Certification in CQ® Cultural Intelligence from the Cultural Intelligence Center in the United States where he lived for more than two decades, and is a dynamic motivational speaker and facilitator.  In the early eighties he left the Gulf for the US where he established himself as a business entrepreneur and by 2007, had developed over 40 companies and ventures. He donated his skills to coaching others on how to grow their business, and advised his business associates on how to relate in a multi-cultural business environment. He was a pioneer in advancing his community’s non-profit organization by serving on the Board of Directors and chairing many committees where he developed various cultural awareness programs and initiatives for community leaders, schools, universities, and religious and governmental institutions. Upon returning to the GCC the place of his birth, he spent 8 years as Managing Director of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding where he  developed unique cultural programs which created and contributed to  Cultural Tourism in the UAE.  Today he resides in Dubai where he continues his mission to promote the region, building peaceful coexistence and understanding through education, training and development programs that focus on cultural intelligence.

Debbie Jaunich

Debbie Jaunich

Debbie Jaunich holds an Advanced Certification in CQ® Cultural Intelligence from the Cultural Intelligence Center in the US and has a passion for education, and has been working and volunteering in the field of cultural awareness for almost two decades. Her work includes speaking at educational institutions both in Dubai and the US.  While in the US she was a Board Member at Al Iman School and more recently held the position of Schools Program Coordinator at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. In her tenure there, she has received thousands of students through various local and international schools, educating them about local culture as well as broader subjects related to the core values of tolerance, diversity, acceptance and peaceful coexistence within the school community.

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Dr. Ahmed Sebihi

Dr. Ahmed Sebihi, Researcher and Cultural Advisor Throughout his long enriching experience, Dr. Sebihi developed a great deal of educational, learning and teaching skills. He led a range of workshops for teachers and students in Thailand and in the UAE and has many contributions in all levels of the educational scale in Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Malaysia, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates. In Thailand, he has been discerned the award of the Best Teacher” by the Institute of Islamic Saiburi under the Islamic Foundation for Education. In Malaysia, he was a member of the Preparation and Review Committee of the “Al Aq’d Al Fari’d fi Alfa’d Al Qura’n Al Maji’d” encyclopedia.  In the UAE, he has been/is still involved in many activities to serve the Community, among which a participation to a live discussion on major issues in the Muslim Community  with a local Quranic Radio Channel” 846 KHZ.; a series of workshops in Sharjah and Ajman: “The Psychology of Marriage Co-partnership”;  “ ULFA Program”; “How to succeed in your Marriage”; “ How to excel your Studies”; “ How to Plan Ones Future “; “ Class Management”.

Dahlia Kayed

Dahlia Kayed is a blogger and social media influencer, a talented speaker and college student whose experience includes work at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding for 5 years.  Starting out as a volunteer, she quickly became the lead Youth Presenter and Spokesperson for the centre. She is passionate about her love for the UAE and while she’s not attending classes dedicates her time to promoting cultural understanding. She brings a unique and youthful point of view to any discourse.

Testimonials

  • It would really be unfortunate if you missed an opportunity to experience Nasif’s leadership – with the public and with the staff… Reason being, there are very few people in the world who can handle social situations and people communications so adeptly, so adroitly, with such diplomacy as to be in awe of their presence and finesse…questions on taboo subjects in a highly public, multicultural environment – always made for interesting – and enlightening – encounters. A world of people together in a room struggling to verify, validate, or reconcile whatever preconceived notions they had entered with against what they were hearing and experiencing with Nasif. At the start of a program, the air was sometimes tense and the discussion sharp, filled with challenging questions on sensitive topics about Arab culture, Islamic beliefs, and local practices. Nasif would answer with aplomb, skillfully facilitating the discussion with intelligence, patience, honesty, integrity, and directness. He didn’t redact; nor did he defend. He told it straight – and where appropriate – with a sense of humour. You could feel the energy in the room change as people settled in, got absorbed in the conversation, and relaxed. As for the SMCCU staff, you can always tell the hallmarks of a true leader by watching how their people are around them. I could cite many examples of Nasif empowering his team to interact with us; to enter the dialogue; to add their own insights and experiences. There were also many occasions where others on the team were encouraged to take the floor and take the lead. But perhaps the greatest gift I received from those experiences has not only been in improving my own understanding, but in also being able to increase understanding and tolerance in others. Nasif himself taught me – and us – the very words to speak and put into practice; to greet each other with good intention, clear minds, and open hearts; words perhaps with the power to unify us across the globe – As-Salaam Alaikum – Peace be upon you.

    Trish Uhl, PMP, CPLP,World-Class Author, Trainer, L&D Strategist and Coach, Global Certified Professional in Learning & Performance
  • Nasif is a very knowledgeable and inspiring person. In the past 2 years, we’ve been taking all our new joining employees to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, and Nasif can truly deliver a message to everybody. I genuinely believe that nobody can explain the UAE and GCC cultures the same way Nasif does. He has the ability to quickly break the ice with all the listeners and talk about sensitive topics in a friendly way – including culture, religion, languages, heritage – all in a very inclusive manner.

    Ghassan Yusef, Assistant Manager, Nationalisation at PWC
  • Nasif is truly one of the most inspiring people I have met. I have led numerous delegations from the US Government to the UAE in the last eight years and have consistently made sure to include a visit to, and meeting with Nasif at the Sheikh Mohamed Centre for Cultural Understanding in Dubai. Nasif is an interlocutor between many worlds and has an innate ability to discuss even the most sensitive and difficult of topics, that most avoid, in an open, warm and humor-filled environment. As a result of such visits and conversations with Nasif, I have witnessed positive change in people’s opinions and perspectives of the Middle East and Islam, and how it all fits in to the larger global picture.

    Hagir Alawad, Director, Legislative Affairs & Liaison for Political-Military Affairs, UAE Embassy, Washington DC
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