EP 009 / 05.05.2021
BECOMING SAUDI ARABIA'S
FIRST FEMALE SUPERBIKE
Dania Akeel 0:06
Fear is useful, it can be harnessed to protect you. So whenever I face fear on the track or off road, I don't overreact by pulling back too far. But I definitely pause and consider, why am I feeling this way. And usually when I tune into my instinct, it's either that I'm not comfortable enough to go ahead with what I'm doing or to progress further than the limit that I've reached. And that doesn't mean that I never will. It just means for that moment, I just need to take a moment, a minute. So that's useful that protects you.
Farah Nanji 0:43
You're listening to the mission makers show, a podcast that inspires humans to get into the mindset of success. My name is Farah Nanji. And I'm the founder of a business in the Motorsports industry that explores leadership lessons from things like Formula One. I'm also a DJ and music producer in the underground electronic scene, and a public speaker on key topics like resilience, building high performance teams, overcoming learning difficulties, and stimulating creativity. And to tie it all together, I love writing thought provoking content as a journalist for these industries, which is so unique in themselves. On this show, I'm sitting down with some of the most inspiring and driven people I've met around the world to talk about their processes, their failures, the lessons they've learned, and how they are truly making an impact on this world.
Hi, guys, and welcome back to episode nine, season two of the mission makers podcast. Today, we're joined by a good friend of mine, Dania Akeel Dania is Saudi Arabia's first ever female superbike racing driver. What particularly stands out for me on today's episode is how she approaches the racetrack in an incredibly spiritual manner. And the experiences that she shared with us where she embraced an accident that she had on the track last year with absolutely no fear. It sounds crazy to say that but as you'll hear in the show, she shares her views on not letting fear overtake her in that moment, because what was about to happen next was completely out of her control, including COVID-19, which surely took off to the world. It's a great episode with many interesting insights from her experiences of not being allowed to drive in her own country as a woman. Until recently, the journey to her becoming a superbike racer and the landscape of Motorsports in Saudi which has seen the Dakar Rally and extreme II already take place this year, and Formula One, which is set to take place in Jeddah in the penultimate race this year. Daniel also shares her experiences of CO hosting the opening ceremony of the Dakar Rally, the world's most notorious rally, which she hopes to compete in on Sunday. And I love that her reason for doing so was as she says to face herself. Unfortunately, the connection between Saudi and London was a little bit delayed when we were recording. So we do have a few moments in today's show that lags a little bit. So please do accept our apologies for that we did persevere as best we could. So just before we begin, if you're interested in watching the video version of his podcast, head over to YouTube and type in Dania Akeel mission makers to see the show. And if you're interested in some really cool rewards like DJ lessons, signed books from our guests, and exclusive merchandise, head over to ww.patreon.com/mission-makers to check out how you can access these exclusive rewards. And thank you to everyone who subscribed and been rating and reviewing our show, it truly makes a difference in getting the show discovered. So if you haven't already, and you love the content that we're making here at Mission Makers, then go ahead and hit that subscribe button and help take us to the next level. Dania, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Dania Akeel 3:48
Thank you for having me. I'm happy to be here.
Farah Nanji 3:52
How's it going in Saudi?
Dania Akeel 3:53
Can't complain? You know, we've got quite a lot of freedom, we're able to move around quite freely, we still aren't able to travel, but we're supposed to hear from that soon. So we'll see. Hopefully, we'll be in the UK together in person soon.
Farah Nanji 4:11
Yeah, definitely. I can't believe you know, you're saying earlier that it's been completely the borders that have been closed for a year. That's just crazy.
Dania Akeel 4:21
Crazy times we're in and out of AI allowed us to have more freedom within Saudi, which was honestly, really a blessing. So you know, it's considering everything and given the circumstances. It's, it's actually been, it's been Alright.
Farah Nanji 4:36
Good, good stuff. So I want to sort of start off by taking you back to when you were much younger, you're 10 years old, and you're wandering down the aisles of ‘toys r us’ with your father, where you spotted a go kart for the first time. So what do you remember about that moment? Is there any part of you that kind of recognises this might have been like an innate calling to you at that point?
Dania Akeel 4:56
Um, do you know not sure how much I was? Aware of defining it as a calling, but definitely, my nature was drawn to driving two cars, two bikes to movement, you know, mobility, speed, it was just a natural joy. It was just joy. You know, whenever I drove anything, I was just so happy. So I mean, if you relate your calling to feeling that very natural joy, happiness and peace then yes, as a child that I know that I doubt, but I mean, I saw that go kart and I just went crazy. You know? Wow, it's a car. It's a car. It's a car my size. You know, I mean, the car my size. It was great fun. It was great fun. I took it in the sand, which, I mean, I shouldn't have but we managed with some guys at the house, we've figured out how to make it run on different kinds of terrain and muster on the boat with the engineering system. Maybe it was according but I wouldn't say annoying. annoying, when yet, were you allowed to take that car on the track at the time. So we didn't have a track, what I did was I would just find the longest road in any private house, whether it's my grandparents, actually, it was my grandparents who had a long driveway, it just went up and down, up and down. And that's why I ended up in the sun because I needed more room to run. So when I lived in Jeddah, which is on the coast, I stuck on to the shore, obviously got stuck quite a few times, but served me well in my rallying now in my raley field. So, you know, everything has a starting point, right?
Farah Nanji 6:53
100% 100%. So that With that being said, something that we like to do for all our guests on mission makers is to go a little deeper into the meaning behind their name. So with that being said, we found out that in Islam, the name dunya means closing near God is my judge. And we haven't been speaking during a very holy time in Islam, which is, of course, Ramadan. So does this meaning ever have an impact on you at all?
Dania Akeel 7:19
I always knew that dunya meant close. Right? So feeling close. Others close to me do love a lot of people, a lot of close friends, and even people who want me. I don't feel that there's too many barriers between myself and another person when I speak to them. Maybe, maybe that's, you know, part of me being named Daniel, but I definitely can resonate with it for sure.
Farah Nanji 7:55
That's very interesting. Yeah, we always feel like there's a subconscious, you know, kind of gravitation towards what a person's name is. And and, yeah, it's really interesting to kind of see how that's had an influence on our guests. So you know, that your early ventures into everything automated was somewhat fueled by your dad's love of cars. But I also know that your mom wasn't so keen on the idea. So do you think that like those two opposing energies, like actually balanced each other out? And have they kind of been both quite supportive of your journey and the road that you've decided to take?
Dania Akeel 8:31
Well, I mean, I think for any Mother, I'm not a mother, yet, I hope one day, but I think for any mother, it's a scary ride for a child to be in motorsports, even though it's not as dangerous as it looks. And the statistics don't reflect that imagination, of how dangerous it is, you know, so fear can, can run away with you, essentially. But if you look at it there's a risk, but not as high as one would imagine, from looking at the machines and listening to the sound and watching people raise them. I doubt that the risk factor is as high as a mother's fear would imagine. Fear is useful, it can be harnessed to protect you. So whenever I face fear on the track or off road, I don't overreact by pulling back too far. But I definitely pause and consider, why am I feeling this way. And usually, when I tune into my instinct, it's either that I'm not comfortable enough to go ahead with what I'm doing or to progress further than the limit that I've reached. And that doesn't mean that I never will, it just means for that moment. I just need to take a moment, a minute. So that's useful. It protects you. When I injured my last race, I was injured in Baja, the cross country baja rally, and it was just one Moment. We're at the top of June. And it was Sandy, but with rocks in between the sand all over the place. And it was so steep that I couldn't see what was coming. And I felt fear, even though I had approached the dunes where I couldn't see what was next before but my instincts I wouldn't. I wasn't afraid, not moment, I was afraid. And the copilot, Stephanie told me, you're not sure? I said, No, I'm not sure. They said, Let's find out. And I said, No. There's a no there. So we turned around, we did a semicircle. And then I found a sandy part, which didn't have rocks through it. And I took that line down to June, I still couldn't see what was coming, but I didn't feel afraid. And out of curiosity, I looked to the right to see what the drain looked like, in the place that I had been afraid. And it was full of rocks. So the chances of us not having such a smooth landing were quite high. And that really was that fear that had indicated to me that it was better to take that chance. So fear always has this negative element about it. And I don't usually like to entertain my fears, or let them overcome me. But if you use them a bit as a guide, you know, they can be a protection. So my mother's fears, you know, I try not to adopt her is because they're not rational. She's not on the track with me. But that concept of being afraid, if you utilise it, and if you accept it, and open it into it as a, as a guide, can be, you know, can give you you know, he'll just get into a car, he wants to see how it works, and he will just not think twice about flooring it you're provided, there's not no one else around. And that impulse and that aggression is also essential in motorsport. So you said it Well, I think that equilibrium, that balance serves me while I still learning how to make the most of all the elements that exist within me or within any person, it's a balanced, it's really the more experience you have, the more wisdom you gain as to how to maintain that that inner solidity, that equilibrium. So I think I'm getting better at it. I don't know, I hope so. But that's the goal. The goal is to find that, that balance, you know,
Farah Nanji 12:37
I think it's so powerful what you just said there because when you go down June's you never know what's on the other side. So already, you know, there's a fear there is like an unknown, but you kind of go headstrong into it. But for you to kind of actually pause at that moment and have this in like this overwhelming feeling of intuition, which perhaps was, you know, kind of maybe sprung by fear. But in the end, it was an intuition. That's, that's really interesting. And I love what you said about like, you, we're all we are all finding out the different elements and what's within us. And, and also, as you sort of alluded to there, like, it may look kind of crazy. And to people that are not within this world, they don't realise that it's actually very measured risk for me for the most part, you know, so that's, that's super interesting. And so before we go deeper into racing, I wanted to just touch upon a few cultural things. And Firstly, I wanted to talk about your experience of boarding school here in the UK. Because as you may know, there's been a lot of horrific, horrific things that have come to light recently about many of the most prestigious schools, from Eton to Westminster. And I wondered, what was your experience? Like? Did you ever witness any of these things? And how does it kind of make you feel about the education system? You know, reflecting back and kind of knowing that during our time this stuff was happening, like, amongst our peers and our friends?
Dania Akeel 13:58
Look, I mean, I can't speak for any school or any person, other than my own experience, because that's what I know. For a fact. I know my history. I know my schooling days. And I know what happened during my personal time in the classroom in the school. And, you know, I'm relieved to say, very grateful to say that I had a positive experience in boarding school in the UK. I went to a school called Price Field, which is in Godalming, near Guilford. And sorry, so beautiful, beautiful area. My mother went to that school, you know, before me, and there was this familiarity about it. She was super comfortable with us being there, myself and my sister, Donna. And it was a small school. You know, it wasn't one of those large academic regimes. institutions that are top five in the country that take you to that it wasn't that kind of school. It was a strong school, but it was a small 300 students All girls, very close knit community, they were very big on awarding our efforts, less focused on results. You know, of course, they cared about results and schoolwork. But that wasn't the driving force. Not sure an answer to the humidity wasn't the kind of culture that they had. They were good at sports. And they had a nice good art department as well. But it was just an all rounder, it was on average, and all around or good school, they weren't super excelling at anything in particular, that made it tunnel vision focused on getting the best of the top of the top it was, and they got good results from their culture. I mean, I got all A's for my GCSEs. I got an A star in Arabic, too. I'm not sure if that counts, but I got A's and everything else. And I was surprised. I was surprised when I picked up the phone to get the grades, I asked the teacher, are you sure? And she said, you know, Danny, I was surprised as well. It was told to you yeah, you know, because she said it nicely, because he always told me you have a lot of potential, you just have to work harder than you can realise it. And I was a bit careless, I didn't work too hard and like to push myself too far. But I guess I did during the exams I must have otherwise I wouldn't have gotten those grades. So I had a positive experience. And the boarding house was very familiar. The girls were really sweet. You didn't have cases of bullying and people being left out and things like that, but they addressed it, you know, they spoke to us, taught us on a very personal level, why we should behave that, you know include everybody and, and compassion and kindness. I mean, I think the slogan of the school is hope I shouldn't get it wrong, I shouldn't guess. But it's after I fish it out for you later. Looking at family felt it was more of a family feel than a machine that wanted to produce these ultra high performing employees, it was more of a family that I wanted to produce these good characters in a set environment that I felt that I was a part of. And then when we got to the sixth form, which is the last two years during the interval, where the sixth form house, and that was an incredible experience, because it was they gave us an element of Independence, the head of sixth form, Miss Lewis, she was she would speak to us like adults, you know, like her friends. And I think that had a big impact. Because when an adult or somebody 3040 years, your senior 20 years, your senior speaks to you as if you're their peer, you adopt their behaviours more easily, you stop talking to them, like you're 16 years old, you start talking like, you know, you're you're closer at age, and that brings out those more mature elements of your character, they invite you into the dialogue as an equal. So you bring those mature behaviours with you, because of the context. And Miss Lewis did that really well, you know, whenever there was a problem, she would just call the dummy. You know, Daniel, why did you do that you know, what's going on? something going on, you know, just try to understand not just all your records child, you need to learn how to behave properly, just trying to enforce habits on you. That's not how it was. It was more about communication, understanding why. And like I said, inviting you as an adult, to engage with them and move forward. That is a positive experience, really, you take from boarding school, what you want, it could have been a place for me to exercise misery at being away from my home and my family and celkon. I mean, it could have been because I was away, but I love people, you know, when I love my friends, and I love the teachers. And so I just realised I wasn't away from my home, but rather I was in a place that is a kind of a new home. And I just had kind of more, you know, I had had the UK I had my school that I then had my house in Saudi and my family. So I had more rather than being lifted away from Saudi, and into this foreign place. Actually, when you embrace it, and you just kind of open into it, it doesn't become foreign, it becomes where you are, you know, and if you're there, then then it can be home. So there it was a very positive experience. And you know, what's great about it, is that I'm not the type that has to look back and say, Oh, it was nice. I wish I appreciated the time I actually did appreciate it when I was there. So I'm happy about that. I was lucky.
Farah Nanji 19:46
That's really good that you had a very enriching experience. And I agree, no, I think you know, a nurturing environment is ultimately what gets you you know, to achieve and unlock your potential in life rather than kind of being sort of you know, as you say, Add to being quite militant about it. I mean, everyone receives things differently. But yeah, in my experience, I personally think that the nurturing approach is far more better and treating each other as equal. And, yeah, it kind of makes you realise, you know, you get much more proud you get more grounded into being present then because there's no fear of like being scolded and other things. But I am really happy to hear that you had a positive experience. So secondly, I'm sure that you've been asked this a lot. But you are like the first female superbike rider in Saudi and I know firsthand, obviously, how much you love cars. We met at the Royal Automobile Club in London a few years back. So I want to hear from your perspective, you know, what has been the reality of women not being allowed to drive in Saudi up until recently? Did you agree with that growing up? Did you understand why that was the case? And did it hinder you from actually being able to pursue and discover what you love in your own country?
Dania Akeel 20:56
She knows. So my guess is a bit. So my view is when I was here, I was here till I was 14. And then I went to boarding school. And then I stayed in London for uni. And I officially came back when I was about 27. The first year I came back, when I was 27, I got a job at a school and to be driven there and back. I didn't feel contained or frustrated, because I had access to a car and somebody to drive it whenever I wanted. So I never felt like something was limiting me because it's what I knew I had been born here. Without women driving, and you know, the human mind just adapts, you just adapt. And if you have no reference, it's much easier to do that. It wasn't that I used to be able to drive it, it was taken away and then given back, that wasn't the case, it was just, it was just not done. And I had access to a car that could take me whenever and wherever. So I can't speak for somebody who didn't have that. access it only for myself, which I recognise as a privileged situation. So but that being said, when we weren't given the right to drive, when I did get my licence, I heard that it wasn't going to make a big difference. Because we did, it made a huge difference. Just psychologically, using the car and going somewhere that no one knows where you're going. I mean, it doesn't have to be a secret, you probably just go to the pharmacy, but it gives you that ownership that you don't have no one has to know, you even the person used to drive me. I mean, he was a nice guy, but he knew everything where I was going all the time, and it wasn't in an authoritative way it was just, he just knew because he was taking me so when no one knew you do get the sense of independence that you don't get otherwise. And that opened a lot of doors, not just in terms of anything physical but just mentally, mentally, you know, you just see things differently when you have that sort of personal freedom and space. So it must have changed the psychology of people quite a bit. As I said, I'd never struggled or suffered in terms of mobility, but I did feel a psychological shift at being able to go places alone. Obviously practically speaking, as well, you know, because before when someone else was driving me I would take him into consideration. You know, he doesn't want to be in the car all day waiting for me to pick up things left, right and centre. You know, I like to get up at 6am to go to the gym maybe that wouldn't suit it's but now that I'm alone and independent I can go whenever however and for however long so that was another element that also opened doors for me instead of having to accommodate someone else's basic schedule just out of courtesy.
Farah Nanji 24:02
For sure. Do you feel safe like when you drive now and D Do you feel that it was justified for it to have been banned because apparently it wasn't so safe? Do you feel there's an element of that or I don't.
Dania Akeel 24:19
I can't I can't give my view because I don't know. It wasn't as though I went around and did a poll and asked people what they thought of women driving when it was bad. I never did that. You know, I just so I don't know if it was safe or unsafe. What I do and always today when I am driving it feels completely normal. It is completely safe. All the other people I encounter on the road I have no issue whatsoever with maybe a woman that might have an issue if I cut in front of them or if I go too fast to overtake things like that fine, but I've never experienced any discrimination In terms of my gender on the road, not at all, and the first couple of weeks, I actually got my licence. The first week, they were giving them out. And I caught quite a few thumbs up from guys driving on the road. And, you know, they would cheer like that, or they would do this or there's a lot of encouragement. been lucky. I haven't. I haven't been, you know, a target of anything negative. But so it's been wonderful.
Farah Nanji 25:28
Did you have a licence in the UK? Like, had you driven hair before? Or was it like your first time ever driving a car when you got your licence? After the ban?
Dania Akeel 25:38
Yes, I got my UK licence when I was 17. So I was at the price field at the time, and I booked my driving lesson on my 17th birthday. So I was ready to go. I don't remember I did it with the A was this manual Ford Focus. My driving teacher Glenn used to come a couple of times a week we'd go out around the price field. And within four or five months, I think I had my licence. So I've been driving since I was 17. By the time the licences came to Saudi us, acquired a lot of experience, and I was very comfortable on the road. The driving here is different. I mean, it's not the same as the UK you've got to be alert at all times. What was comfortable behind the wheel? Definitely.
Farah Nanji 26:27
Interesting. But what's the reality today for women who want to race in Saudi? I mean, are they allowed on racetracks? Can they go and drive in that sense? Is that reality? Now?
Dania Akeel 26:43
Yeah, there are no limits when it comes to racing licences. So I got the first racing licence for speed bikes. And I use it to race on track in Dubai and behead not in Saudi only because there's no track that is suitable for bikes. And when it comes to car racing can also I got the international rally licence from the Saudi Federation, FIA licence, and I used it for the FIA cross country, bajas World Cup races, the last two rounds. And as far as I know, there's no restriction on which licence racing licence you can test for and apply for as well, as a woman. I do know that the tracks here aren't ready for championships and tournaments and things like that. But they're in progress. Apparently, I haven't actually seen one. But I'm also new to the space within Saudi. So I'm sure there's others who know more than me when it comes to what tracks are available and what will be available. Me personally, I'm just on bahauddin. circuit and Dubai and also Abu Dhabi as Marina. They're the closest ones to me, and I went to those quite quite a bit. But yeah, as I said, when it comes to raising licences, there's no limit for a woman.
Farah Nanji 28:03
Well, that's really good. Because like, sometimes you see on this side of the pond, like you see, there are like drivers who just get so much like online hatred for just being who they are. And I felt like there's like this huge cultural mindset, obviously, it's at the beginning of change, but you know, it, like, it's interesting to see like how the country can kind of encourage more of a growth mindset in in male counterparts to hear that, like, people give you a thumbs up when you drive like that's, that's really that's really, really good, and that you feel safe. And most importantly, when you're driving is, is obviously like really, really,
Dania Akeel 28:37
I mean, you know, I understand that maybe sometimes there's a different perception online, but that's why I like to speak from my personal experience, and not from just these ideas of what, how many comments, say what, because at the end of the day, when people feel safe behind a computer, say whatever they want, right? But what impacts me is my day to day. And if I enter a space, which is male dominated, then then that's my choice. You know, when I know why I'm doing it, and why I'm here, it's because it feels natural to me, and I enjoy it. And I see the community benefits each other, and they help each other and people are just basically progressing and developing and growing. And I just like the atmosphere of motorsport, and that's why I'm around and I like the activity, the sport itself, so matters to me. Communicating, and I've only had a positive experience. I'm sure that not everybody is applauding what I do, and that's the right, you know, at the end of the day, everybody's opinion of you is not really your business. You know, if you and I have a conversation, I'm naturally going to form an opinion. And you can't control that, right. So that's really how I see it here in this space. I mean, if you're One of the few females people will have an opinion but it doesn't have to be negative. And even if it is, it's okay. That's their right. As long as it doesn't affect or impact my rights and my day today, then I'm not really concerned with it. You know, what are my rights? My rights are I can get any racing licence, I want them welcome into any tournament or championship, I can hold the Saudi flag when I raise These are my rights and give them them. So if someone has a negative opinion, it doesn't impact me, you know, but I have been mostly receiving positive feedback. Really good.
Farah Nanji 30:38
Yeah, you have to take it with a pinch of salt. Of course, you know, it is and you know, that you're putting yourself against that to be judged, because people just do that. And like, it doesn't, you know, but it's just, it's sad to see like, it's, it's sad. I think there needs to be a lot more like sort of just I know, boundaries online or whatnot. But I think that's that's, that goes without saying so. But yeah, going a bit deeper like your journey with racing. And so you won rookie of the year last year, which is a fantastic achievement. So like, what are your thoughts on where you want to take this? Like, what would you like to kind of do next? What's in the pipeline?
Dania Akeel 31:13
Okay, so things changed quite a bit because of the border restrictions that we spoke about. So I was racing in Bahauddin, and debated at the national championship for both for the Super bikes. I was enjoying it very much. I mean, I was still at the back of the grid, but I was progressing and, and I needed time to, to basically become more competitive. But when the borders closed, I actually didn't have access to those racetracks anymore. And I looked inward. And in Saudi the rally championships, the rally, there were Saudi, the championship for rallies, it's quite a high standard, you've got really well known rally drivers coming from Saudi competing on an international level, we've got the landscape for it, we've got the tools, we've got the interest, the skill, you know, so. So it's quite a locally, just a natural sport for people to do here. So the shaggier Baja, which took place in the eastern province of Saudi happened in March, and that's part of the FIA bar, the cross country bar has the World Cup. So that's at international standard. And I knew that was coming, I had been exposed increasingly to the rally scene after the duck car started to take place in Saudi Arabia from 2019. Sorry, 2020 2020. And so I started to look more towards the rally. I still love circuits, and I still love super bikes, and probably go back for some track days. In terms of competition, I'm not too sure. But right now, my focus has shifted to the rally. So I did the show via Baja. And that was a great experience. After that, there was the Jordan baja that was also in March, same championship. If I cross country by house, I did that as well, I collected points at both of those races. So what I want to do for the rest of the year is if I can get financed for it, you know, look for sponsors, etc. Do more of those rounds to keep gathering points and finish at a good level, gain some experience and develop my skills and get better, possibly do the Abu Dhabi desert challenge which takes place in November so I can get better on the dunes. There's another rally happening in higher oil in Saudi end of the year, that's also considered. It's an FYI, first country raised but not bajas. And eventually, you know, the plan is so or the intention is to do the Dakar Rally. It's in Saudi Arabia, actually, it will challenge you to face yourself during a race. And I can only imagine 12 day, intense rowdy, I mean, I think that will change you for life, you know, so I'd like to do that. I'd like to do that. And this is me, now about my rough but you know how life is you know, last year, I was talking about super bikes on circuits now on circuits. So this is the plan. And then I'll see how things move and shift and obviously, I'll adapt accordingly. If I didn't have this psychology, then after my had an accident on the truck, and the borders closed, I wouldn't have been able to adapt into the rally. So I'm very aware that this is what I want to do and plan to do. But I'm also aware that I need to just keep my eyes open and be flexible and adaptable according to external circumstances as well. That, of course, will have an influence on what I end up doing.
Farah Nanji 34:53
Well, very interesting that you touched upon psychology there and with a long term view of doing darker obviously their toughest rally in the world. Some don't make it out alive. You know? I mean, that's, that's not so what does the psychology of racing mean to you? And what kind of a competitor? Are you on the track? Like I personally feel that you can kind of see someone's true colours on the racetrack? Do you kind of agree with that? Or do you feel there's a correlation from what you've learned on the track and then how that's impacted you off track with like, your philosophies or your behaviours in like a personal and professional setting.
Dania Akeel 35:26
I think that there is a direct correlation to use your words between a person's psychology and their character and how they perform in a race on a track. When you're competing, well, for me, it's not so much trying to beat anyone else. It's trying to overcome the obstacles that are in my own mind, from me, trying to try to beat me so that I can look like another competitor, but it's just you really, so. So I've seen my mind, send me messages during a race. And I've had to consistently respond to those messages, just to drive myself to perform the best way I possibly can. And those messages can vary. There was one race where I had overtaken the rookies and then slacked off because I wasn't driven enough to catch the middle of the grid, because I knew I wasn't fast enough. And because I had that mentality, one of the rookies overtook me. And I saw myself become deflated during that lap, and I saw myself give up. And I saw myself finishing the race in last place. But I did it because I made sure that I saw that challenge appear. And I made a decision to keep pushing and beat the rookie that had passed me because that was an unacceptable defeat, because that was below that was above. I mean, I was capable of beating the rookies. So I wasn't capable of reaching the middle of the grid to beat the more experienced driver riders, I knew that show, you have to be aware of the tools that you have the level that you're at, and the rest of psychology, you know, you have to go through all of these mental tricks to make sure that you reach your best performance. And my best at that race was to finish before last. But that was because I was beating the Rockies. And I did you know, I kept going till the last lap, and I overtook that bike again. And I finished where I wanted to finish. I didn't reach the middle of the grid. But I knew I wasn't there. That wasn't my race. My race was with the rookie, you know what I mean? So it's mental, you have your tools, you have your physical capability, your experience, your drive, and all of those things. But what takes you over the edge is really finding the right mindset to beat your own obstacles. And the same thing with the rally. At some point, I was thinking, How did I think I could do this? You know, I reached a point in one of the stages where I felt challenged by the terrain. And that was a mental block. It was an obstacle that was just something told me that I couldn't do it because I was afraid. And I had to overcome that thought, because in a cross country rally there was no other competitor. Challenge, my challenge was this mountain that I had to cross. And that happened to be the forum, which my fear kind of exercised its energy with. And I said, No, I'm here, because the doors have all been open for me to be here. Which means, you know, at the end of the day, I have faith and I trust that I wouldn't be anywhere where I couldn't handle something, I wouldn't be in a situation I couldn't handle. So that thought, dissolved my doubt that I should be there. And when the doubt dissolved, I finished the race. You just have to have that conviction that you are where you're meant to be. And I had that conviction because I knew that to the whole road that led me to the race I had done from an intention that was harnessed toward improvement and growth and crossing boundaries. They were n't intending to go to the race so I can beat everybody. And you know, these other reasons that maybe aren't so concrete. The reasons that took me there had substance to me. So I trusted the path made to that. And then when the doubt appeared whether I could do it or not. I said no. If I'm here it means I can do it. Because I've had a solid intent the whole way. So I finished and that's all psychology because Okay, of course I work out during the week I train I eat well, those are the basics. But those are the essential you have to do those, you know, you can't just like that's, that's your physical heart. But the thing that will make it or break it is the mind when you're competing, because some people can have 100% physical top shape for racing. But what's going to be the difference between that person or the person who finishes the race first is the mind, you know, because you can. And it's a choice. It's a choice on how to respond to these messages that appear when you're challenging yourself. So for me, the darker if i and i hope i do end up doing it, it's only so I can meet myself at my limit, and then see how I can just just grow through that process.
Farah Nanji 40:57
Wow, that's, that's really incredible. And really well said. And I just, I would love to see you to see do that eventually. and wish you all the luck in the world when you do take that path. Hey, you, we hope you're enjoying today's episode. We're on a serious mission here to create one of the world's best podcast series. And we'd be so grateful if you could support us in any way by becoming a patron of the show. There's a tier to every level from early bird tiers where you get downloads to all my music with some super cool ninja stickers, to our VIP mission maker tiers where you get epic rewards like exclusive footage that never gets aired the chance to submit questions to our guests with signed copies of books from them, DJ lessons, one to one coaching and a whole load of super cool ninja measure maker merchandise, you can start supporting us for less than what it costs you to fill up your car for a month by simply heading over to wwe.patreon.com forward slash mission makers. Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the show. So talking about the kind of resolve and the accident that you mentioned. So I just wanted to touch upon that quickly. Because Yeah, I know that it happened when you were racing in Bahrain last year and and that split second, you know, how did that kind of go on to change you as a person when everything changed for a while not just physically but also as a world quite quickly after that we just completely put the brakes on, on hold, you know, at that time. So Talk Talk to me a little bit about that.
Dania Akeel 42:26
I mean, the timing was a friend of mine, I saw her when I came back. And she said Tanya, good timing, because at the time, everything stopped. And I just, you know, everything stopped. And I remember the accident, I had just come back from racing school. And I was confident and I was pushing myself and I remember feeling a bit discombobulated that day, I felt like my energy was a bit kind of all over the place. I was going faster, but I didn't feel centred. I was dragging my knee on the track on the turns much more than usual. So I was obviously throwing the bike down to the side more than I used to do. I'm not sure why I was doing that. Maybe I was trying so hard to be faster that I was paying less attention to how much I leaned left and right. I'm sure a lot of things contributed to my fall. But what it did was I took a tight left turn, you know, on the back straight of the Oasis, and I leaned too far. And I fell on the low side. And then I remember the moment of the fall, I knew that I was no longer riding the bike, I knew that I was not controlling it. And I consciously told myself, which is what the teachers had told me. Let go, go with the fall, go with the fall, go with the fall. I just kept repeating that go with the fall because when you just don't resist, that's when you just could have the least possible damage. And I remember saying that to myself over and over. And then I don't remember what happened. I remember I opened my eyes and I was faced down and I wasn't moving and then I closed my eyes. And then I opened them again and I was in the ambulance. So my headgear was off my suit and everything and I was in my you know those gym costs. So there were a couple of blackouts but I do remember significant moments of it. And then in the ambulance. I started asking questions about what was going on and what happened and I was high from the rush of adrenaline or whatever it was. I was hyper. I was hyper and it told the medics all my toes can move. That's good. And I told them what your names are, asking them questions, just having conversations, making sure my brain was active. We got to a hospital and then I remember blacking out a bit. I opened my eyes again because they were pushing me back into the ambulance. Where are we going? Where are we going? They said Going to a public hospital because you have to pay here. And I said, Nobody asked me. I mean, if they asked me I probably would have been like, let's just go, you know, but I'm glad actually because in the end, I mean obviously it was better for me right then they took me to the public hospital, which is a really good hospital. So that was one hospital and there is no broken but they tried to give me a wheelchair and I when I stood up collapsed and I fainted. I woke up on the floor, and I asked them what happened, what happened, they said, fainted. So I think that was from the pain. So I had four broken bones at that stage. But we still didn't know, three broken bones, the spine was fractured, the three broken bones were under the covers. So at that point, we didn't know they put me back in the bed. They wanted a chair so they could scan. But I couldn't show the bat. So we took the bed to the X ray room. I mean, even talking about it. Now, I was optimistic because I decided not to jump the gun. I said, Don't think about anything that's coming. Just stay calm, stay quiet. And listen, don't assume you don't make any statements. You know, because fear wants, when it doesn't know what's going on, wants to give itself facts for you to feel safe. Even if the fact is or you can't walk, it doesn't matter. You just when you're in control. And you know what's happening, you feel safer. But I kept pushing any of my thoughts that wanted to control the situation away, because we didn't know, everything was a question mark. Even though with Corona, you know, people like to analyse and see statements to feel like they're in control. But it's unknown, most of it is question marks. And I understand that coping mechanism, I'm not saying it shouldn't happen, or I'm just saying it does happen. It happens. But in that situation, I didn't want to do that. I wanted to keep myself neutral. I listened to her a lot in the hospital until I knew what was going on that really calmed me down. And also it distracted me from trying to make up a reality to feel secure. And then when they told me that you're completely fine, you just have broken bones that are going to heal. I was so grateful. So great. I was so happy because at the time a close family member was there. It was very serious. So I felt like the doctor told me I had a cold. And all I needed to do was drink water for a few days, and I'll be fine. And when she called me to tell me, you know, you feel better. I said, I can't even believe that you're calling me. You've even given what you're going through. I mean, how are you even taking this seriously, and she would send me messages you don't think it's going to be okay. I said I know it's going to be okay. You know, I mean, I was an amazing woman. But so I was just grateful. I was grateful, I felt lucky. So when I came back home, and I was in pain, and I struggled everywhere, and I couldn't walk for a few weeks and I had to do physio and all these things I was okay, because I felt lucky. So I was grateful and was happy and I was relieved. So all the pain and all the physical effort, I felt that it was fine. You know, I felt that it was fine. I mean, if you have an accident on the motorcycle on the track, and it hits your spine, and all the doctor tells you is you just need eight weeks off your legs. I mean, that's good news. You know, that's, that's really good news. So, I'm still so grateful. You know, I'm still so grateful. It was difficult physically but it was nothing at the same time, you know, given a wider perspective. So, you know that and it taught me a lot about the COVID you know, the lockdown the borders, the boundaries, I was limited and confined to my to my immediate world, you know, my, my bedroom, my, my whatever it was, and I was focusing so much on the smallest things like how to get in and out of a room that had the step in the doorway. I was figuring out how to get my legs out of bed. I was figuring out how to stand up and sit down from the air without putting weight on my legs. So I was dealing with very immediate, basic child ranges. So when COVID came in, they said you can't leave the city, or the country or the house. I said, Fine. You know, I mean, because I had known what it felt like not to be able to leave the bed. Obviously, all knowing that it's temporary, would I have the same attitude if this was permanent? I don't know how I would face that. But because I knew my situation was temporary. I didn't struggle too much with it psychologically, just physically, and that was fine. So it's very similar to these. So even now, when the borders are closed, and they told us, maybe you'll travel in May I booked, I booked my ticket, actually, three times, they had given a date for flights to resume and I had always had a ticket booked. And my friends, we say, Danny, you're so optimistic, don't you get disappointed if it's delayed? I said, No, because I'm not, you know, I just have my ticket. So I can leave if it's open. And if it's not, I'll be fine. So you learn how to live within limits, and adapt and adjust. And every generation goes through things like this, you know, crisis, global crisis, every generation. So I think that these are human survival. lessons, you know, these are lessons, these are universal lessons. And you can, like you said, Really, those times directly with my immediate experience of the accident on the track, I mean, it's just that mine just so happens to be in my individual, singular world. But in reality, everybody is going through things like this all the time. That was just my sort of version of it. But I did learn a lot. A lot.
Farah Nanji 51:43
Yeah, it's really interesting. And I think it's true, the energy you manifest when you're in a moment like that, it kind of is what determines kind of some almost somehow how you come out of it. And like, what your experiences from that as well. And I mean, you said that that day, your mind was slightly erratic. Was there a reason for that? And like, would you if you were in that same state now, when you go back on the track? Is there anything you would do to like, calm yourself down? If for whatever reason, your mind was just slightly off balance?
Dania Akeel 52:19
Yeah, it's a focus. It's a focus, you have to refocus. My mind was like that, but I don't know if it was fate, I didn't really have much influence on how much I could contain it, and it was just going to happen anyway, some things are just written. Definitely not felt bad, aka focused, since in any competitive situation I've been in. If I did feel any sort of confusion, like I did at the rally, I stopped, I stopped and I thought, and then I took a turn and then came back a different way. So maybe, maybe that's what I learned from the truck, obviously, in the truck, you can't stop. But you can, you can go into the box, you can just just calm down, you know, no, races are the be all and end all, you know, if you don't feel well put together, you park, you know, you park. But it's just trying to build that without getting in your way. And there's something deeper on here. And you do really need to take a minute, because there's a difference. If it's just fear, then you could end up in the pit forever. So I'm working on helping find out the difference.
Farah Nanji 53:53
Yeah, I mean, it's, it's going through that process, you know, is is I think what probably sharpened your laser focus even more, and I kind of went through, it wasn't on the track, but I broke my elbow, actually, in end of January, in Davos, and it was the most smallest of things. It wasn't even something exciting, like going skiing, which I was obviously looking forward to do. It would have been much more exciting. Had it been you on a mountain or something but it was literally like I just slept on black ice but it had the biggest impact because yeah, I had to have surgery couple of times their surgery wasn't done correctly in Switzerland of all places. And, but then I look back and I'm like, you know what, that hole, that hole and obviously Corona happened quite soon after as well. So you know, but it was like eight nine months of intense physio and I'm still doing physio actually. And that level of discipline and focus that he gave me in some ways is actually quite priceless in it. And luckily, we both got out of our situations, with a recovery in, in, in sight. So that's really, really good. Um, so you talked about when you were in a racing season earlier on, and it was spread across a lot of countries and time zones in a short space of time. So how did you kind of look back on that now, you know, as we hopefully go back later into a world where we can kind of travel more and, like, it is quite a gruelling thing to kind of, you know, go from race to race in a short space of time different time zones. And, you know, so how do you kind of reflect back on that? And how would you like to prepare your mind and body, sorry, to, like, withstand some of that impact? Because a lot of things change in that time.
Dania Akeel 55:37
Yeah, definitely. Things have changed. I don't think that at the time, I saw what I was doing as excessive. I used to go racing by hand and recently by then practising by hand and practising the way, my mother, you know, she did Danya I think you're pushing yourself, you're doing too much. And I would say, okay, of course, your mother will tell you that, right. I mean, how many times are you getting on a motorcycle in a racetrack for her once a year is too much. could have taken her more seriously, I think. But what a lot. What will I do? I don't know. I don't like to be too specific. To keep it open. Well, I ended up every weekend on a plane. Without it, will I travel regularly for racing? Could be could it depends. Depends what championship? I do. It depends. There's just too much unknown for me to give a specific answer. But I doubt that I would do both those championships again, on the bike. Just looking at different things right now. So we'll see. We'll see what happened.
Farah Nanji 57:01
Third off, during Ramadan, like, do you go into a completely fasted state? Or is it any part of you like, do you still train at any point for your motorsports kind of interest?
Dania Akeel 57:13
I still train. Yeah, I still train. So the first week was more challenging, because my body was still adjusting to the shift. But I train basically, sunset is at 6:45pm. So strength training I'll do at 4pm twice a week. And then I've got conditioning and kickboxing and things like that. I did them twice a week, also 4pm. But then I shifted them to after sunset, because if I want to, you know sort of output from the cardio part. It was better when I was hydrated. So I just have to break my fast and then I would go train, and then someone cycling a couple of times around 5pm for a good hour, then you just have a shower, and then you're ready to eat. So that's also I was okay. So I do train. It's different. The output is different. The effort is different when I'm fasting. But it's better than nothing, for sure. And, and it got better as the days improved because of the body adapts, you know. So definitely by week two, which today is the 15th frosting day, by the beginning of the second week, it was much more much more pleasant.
Farah Nanji 58:29
Yeah, definitely. So I've seen recently that you got to experience Dec on and you got to co-present the opening ceremony in Jeddah, which is absolutely incredible. You also got to witness extreme II. And you got to meet some incredible characters like Zac Brown, John Todd and David Cole. Todd. So tell me about that. What was that? What was that all like?
Dania Akeel 58:50
That's, that's tough to summarise. That was incredible. So the darker was amazing, because I got invited to host the ceremony. And then I got invited to do some media work for the Federation, which allowed me access to the Dakar for two whole weeks. So I was on the bivouac, I was racist, assistant route. And I took the opportunity because if I want to be there as a competitor, I thought it would be great to experience it beforehand as a non competitor. So just the idea of being two weeks on the road every day getting up and going somewhere new. Seeing how the beaver culture worked, the living conditions, the you know, all this noise that when you're racing, you don't need to waste energy digesting. So once you have that sort of scope, known then hopefully as a competitor, there's a whole other world of things that you need to concern yourself with. So these basics like the set up, the living, the logistics, these are all non you wouldn't even notice them if you had done them already. So I took advantage of that opportunity. And I loved it and the Federation was great. They're incredible, super supportive. helped me out And I got to meet every single racer. And I can actually see that literally because I was on a stage. That was nice. JOHN Ashitaka, he was great. His wife, Michelle is so sweet. He was keen, you know, he was interested, he said, already, you know, a Saudi woman, you know, racing bikes. It was nice. And I had watched him growing up because of the Ferrari Formula One team when he was heading not so it was nice to see it was nice to see somebody from, from that background from that history. You know, just just come to Saudi Arabia and tell you how high. I mean, that's it. That's the top when you look at motorsport racing Motorsports in general. You know, if the president of FIA is in town, then then you're at the top. And I'm happy for Saudi because the Federation, I mean, everybody, they work so hard, they work so hard to deliver the best that they can deliver. And to please the competitors, the organisers, the locals, the spectators, I've seen them, they, they work really hard, they're nice people. So when somebody in the industry arrives, that's an acknowledgement and validation of that hard work of every single employee, you know, and I'm happy for them for that. And obviously, with Formula One as well, hopefully happening in Jeddah, that's another huge milestone, and another recognition of the effort that's being made here on the ground. I'm very pleased for everybody here. And abroad, in all these events are incredible. They stimulate the economy, they engage the people, they bring different cultures together, they improve relations, open people's minds to different cultures, they expose, the exposure is huge, to what exists in the world other than in your own corner. I love sport, for these reasons, you know, sport is a landscape for discovery. You know, back in whatever year they used to get on a ship and explore the world. I mean, for us, now you have a grid that has 20 nationalities on it, and you've crossed oceans, you know, that for me is I love that about sport. So I'm meeting all of those people. What's great is that brown are nice guys. David courtside is really funny, really nice. I liked him a lot. They were all everybody friendly, open, engaging. Just receptive, proactive, you know, all of the things that are just energy being harnessed to grow and to build something across cultures. For me, that's, that's a good atmosphere. You know, that's a good atmosphere.
Farah Nanji 1:03:14
Definitely. And I love what you said. And it's so true in sports as it's such a unification of cultures and people and, and different generations. And it's a universal language. So it's, it's incredible to see that it's coming to Jeddah later this year, and very, very excited. Are you sort of watching the current season at the moment with f1?
Dania Akeel 1:03:35
I am, I am watching. Right. It's very interesting. And the show the Netflix show really brought things to a new depth. You know, I mean, people within Motorsports know what's going on, but it's a close knit community. Yeah. And if you've just got access to the race, it's just a series of numbers and data. But the humanity aspect is lost on you. Right? But that show, I mean, they, everybody's, they brought everybody to life. And I think that that that's, that gives credit to the or at least it's, it's nice for the team is for everybody involved for the engineers, for the racers, the drivers, the owners, to be recognised, to be invited to that space, you know, where everybody can understand them and understand what they're doing. It gives more meaning to their performance. You know, you can really appreciate the results and the tactics and the strategy once you've understood that layer, you know, that used to be invisible. So it's become a much more interesting sport because of that added knowledge. Then, you know, you're just more involved.
Farah Nanji 1:04:56
Yeah, it's, it's incredible what it's done for the sport. We were having this conversation the other day, actually. You know, think something like 70 or 80 million people are now new fans of Formula One. And as a result of drive to survive, and, you know, the biggest sort of thing that one of the biggest things a sport had to kind of, you know, be like address and sort of think about was how to get the new generation into racing. And this was just, you know, one of the most amazing ways and people, definitely, if you're not on the inside, and you don't, if you don't, you know, you don't know, understand racing or even being a racer like it's hard to and to appreciate the level of humanity that does go into it and the sacrifices and you know, and yeah, just all of the things that you said, say it's, I love that show, so I watched it in obviously, like within 48 hours, watch the whole thing. So yeah, very interesting. So we're gonna move into the audience q&a. Now we've got two questions coming in from our guests in London and Detroit. Not all guests are our listeners in London in Detroit. And so we've got Ollie in London, who says, What is the ultimate route to drive in Saudi on a seven day road trip?
Dania Akeel 1:06:09
That's a good question. So Saudi is quite big, Chinese quite big. But the duck card is two weeks around the country. And I have to give him more than one suggestion, I can't say a specific road, because I'm still discovering them. By recently, somebody sent me a PDF that said road trips across Saudi Arabia, I'll actually forward it to you. You can pass it on to Ali. But there're beautiful areas in the south in the western region, there're beautiful mountains called the ASEAN region. And that's more greenery and weather's amazing. And then if you go up north, it's also mountains, but it's more Rocky and desert. And then you go east where the art is, and it's stunning. Desert dunes, Sandy, up north. Highland is beautiful. So there's different regions, obviously, you've got the empty quarter, you know, the south, east, south east. But it's mostly Jones says fully, fully Jones. So we've just got such a diverse landscape. Depends on what you look for. But I'll definitely send you that document. It's worth looking at.
Farah Nanji 1:07:31
Definitely. So when you when you actually did the call. And did you explore a lot of territories you'd never been to before in Saudi? Yes.
Dania Akeel 1:07:38
I mean, I was on the road. I wasn't off the road. But we had to drive through a lot of villages. And I did feel like I was getting to know Saudi. You know, it was such a nice feeling because my grandmother from my dad's side is from a place called Heil, which is north of Riyadh, my rest of my family's from Makkah, and Jeddah. Mother's mother's actually from Lebanon. So I'm from different parts of Saudi. And because I've lived in Jeddah, that was the part that I knew. And seeing hired, actually managed to go three times this year, and I had never known it, and it's a quarter of me. So that was nice. It was a good feeling. And I kind of knew myself a bit better after I went, I mean, I knew myself, but I recognised some parts that I could tell I got from that gene, you know, just by being around that area, you know, you do get to know yourself all throughout your life. I don't think you ever fully know everything about yourself. But that's a bit ambitious. But I did feel more I would maybe hold but it was a really nice experience to get to see more of Saudi and I felt more connected to all the different parts of Saudi Arabia after I did that, you know, instead of associating with one region or one town, visiting all these other towns made me feel closer, like we spoke of our closest family feel closer to those different, different regions. They're all beautiful. All the people are nice everywhere, you know?
Farah Nanji 1:09:19
Yeah, the footage is just extraordinary. So definitely, that's, we'll definitely pass that document on. So the second question is from Sean in Detroit, and he asks, What music do you like to listen to and your driving?
Dania Akeel 1:09:34
Okay, so I have a music called, sorry, a music playlist called mixed. And it's so unbelievably mixed just because I never sit on my computer and change genres. And so you know, you'll all hear a Frank Sinatra song, come on, and then and J. Cole, pop in after him, and then suddenly, I'll have a real Franklin and then classical music track. I mean, it's just a mess, you know, and so much, but I like country music, I like pop, whatever, Taylor Swift and whatnot. And then I like, I'm just, I just, it's mixed. You know, I don't have a genre, and I don't even have a decade. So like, it'll run all the way from the 50s till 2021. It just means I shuffle a lot. Because, you know, sometimes you're in a certain mood. So if you're listening to a very calm, relaxed, middle country song, and then I don't know who comes on or one of those, it doesn't make sense. So you know, it's a, it's mixed, mixed.
Farah Nanji 1:10:46
Okay, fair enough. Fair enough. So we're going to move into the quickfire round, which is the last section of our interview for our chat today. Just very short answers on each one got five questions. So we'll begin with sunrise or sunset.
Dania Akeel 1:11:09
I like how sunset looks. But I like the feeling of the air and the vibe of sunrise. so quiet.
Farah Nanji 1:11:19
Okay, interesting. If you had to pick one co pilot to do the gumball rally with who would it be? I don't know.
Dania Akeel 1:11:29
Like a friend.
Farah Nanji 1:11:31
Yeah, it could be a friend or it could be someone famous. It can be anyone.
Dania Akeel 1:11:36
Have a good time with David Coulthard?
Farah Nanji 1:11:39
I think you'd have a great time. Okay, cool. So I know that you're a fan of the Harry Potter series. And so which character do you think would make the best racer?
Dania Akeel 1:11:51
Oh, that's an interesting question. Um Wow. Um, I think a young Dumbledore would do it. Oh, yeah. I think he's got enough wisdom to know when to attack and when to pull back.
Farah Nanji 1:12:17
Interesting. Interesting. Okay. What is your Yin and what's your Yang?
Dania Akeel 1:12:26
What do you mean?
Farah Nanji 1:12:29
Like, you know, we all have things that may be like, you know, one thing is our yen and then the other thing is our Yang but they work together in some way and they make us kind of like who we are. And like, I like to say personally, my music, my Yin raisings, my Yang like, and I feel like that just summarises me super well. But if you could say similar, okay.
Dania Akeel 1:12:49
Okay, so maybe driving, and
Farah Nanji 1:12:56
oh, sorry, could you say that again? Because it was a little bit unstable. The connection
Dania Akeel 1:13:01
Driving and reading.
Farah Nanji 1:13:04
Dania Akeel 1:13:05
So reading, completely mellow, completely focused. And driving is just me could see racing. But even racing, maybe just driving because then there's movement, much movement.
Farah Nanji 1:13:20
Very interesting. And then the last question that we love to ask all our guests, is, what's the best thing that's happened to you this month?
Dania Akeel 1:13:33
Can you repeat it?
Farah Nanji 1:13:35
Oh, sorry. So the last thing we like to ask all our guests is, what is the best thing that happened to you this month that you're most grateful for?
Dania Akeel 1:13:45
This month? is one, it's been a good month overall, but one thing
Farah Nanji 1:13:57
That you leave feeling like super grateful that this thing, whatever it was, happened, you know, in this month and year.
Dania Akeel 1:14:06
I mean, it's Ramadan for us. So I think just everybody being together, especially after a year where we've been so separated socially, I think that that's been the best thing. You know, seeing everybody seeing everybody again.
Farah Nanji 1:14:22
Are you guys allowed to kind of go to restaurants to break fast and stuff or restaurants?
Dania Akeel 1:14:27
We can socialise within homes under a certain number. And that's been nice because we will have been shying away from socialising recently. So it's nice to see my friends, my family, and cousins. I've seen people consistently throughout the year, the same sort of circle and group which has been incredible, amazing people. And now it's like you can see a bit of a wider circle. People feel a bit more comfortable, especially with these vaccinations going around and so that's been that's been really nice. reconnecting. Okay.
Farah Nanji 1:15:02
Fantastic. Well, Danial, thank you so much for joining us today. It's been a pleasure talking with you and very exciting to hear about where you want to take your journey. And yeah, we're wishing you all the best and look forward to hopefully catching up if you do make it to the side of the pond.
Dania Akeel 1:15:19
Thank you so much for inviting me. I was so good to talk to you. I'll update you for sure about my travels. And I really had a great time. Thank you so much. Awesome. And good luck with the show.
Farah Nanji 1:15:29
Thank you. Thank you. We've got two more amazing guests coming on the show before the season ends. It's definitely flown by and I cannot believe we're already in May. So be sure to share this show with your friends and subscribe to us on Apple, Spotify, YouTube and wherever else you listen to your podcast, because you definitely do not want to miss our season closes. Feel free to reach out to me at Mission Makers or @Dj.N1nja on Instagram. And if you're interested in supporting the show and getting some really cool rewards, DJ lessons and life coaching Don't forget to visit wwwpatreon.com/mission-makers and thank you again for listening. Have an amazing week.
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