Consultant Shqipe Malushi’s advice: “Allow yourself to dream big”

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The daughter of a Muslim Albanian pharmacist, Shqipe Malushi (pronounced Shipay) knew she was destined for greatness and at age 26, she left the mountains of her home town in Eastern Block Kosovo and headed to America, landing in Bronx, New York.

True to her aspirations, Shqipe is now a successful Independent Consultant specialized in gender issues and has worked in various countries including Afghanistan, India, Albania and Lebanon. Shqipe was recently appointed Scholar in Residence at the Institute of Government Accounts and Finance in New Delhi, providing workshops on change management to civil servants in India.

Shqipe is a member of War Child Holland, or Training Academy for Research Association (TARA) in India; National Association of Professional Women, Bronx Rotary Club; Albanian American Women’s Organization and Women for Afghan Women. She is also listed with speaking bureaus such as National Speakers Exchange, E- Speakers Bureau, Equanimity, Inc., and Philadelphia Speakers Bureau.

Illuminessence wanted to get to the root of her inspiration and motivation for helping people.

What got you involved in your career?

I have had so many professions that sprang from life. I became involved with refugee issues when my people became refugees, and I wanted to help them find their way. Then all that expanded and I went to Albania trying to support and be part of the fight for justice and freedom of Kosovar Albanians who were refugees at that time (1999) in Albania.

Shqipe Malushi says young fem-leaders should " dream big and set your standards higher." (Photo supplied by Shqipe Malushi)

Shqipe Malushi says young fem-leaders should ” dream big and set your standards higher.”
(Photo supplied by Shqipe Malushi)

What has been the highlight of your career journey?

The highlight of my career was and is going to countries like Afghanistan, Lebanon, India and other countries and working for human rights & women’s rights. I have been able to be involved with people and guide them towards making a better future.

What advice would you give to young fem-leaders?

Be yourself at all times. Learn everything because knowledge is power and knowledge is freedom. Be still because power lies in the quiet mind, and raise your voice and act for all the rights you have. Allow yourself to dream big and set your standards higher. Do not let fear conquer you and create a vision that can guide you towards your future. Love yourself so you can love others. Only then you can be a great leader.

What is your perspective on female leadership?

Women today are rising for justice, only if we look at the one billion rising campaign over the last two years, which had a great impact of female leadership all over the world. Today women besides being wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, are also professionals, leaders, teachers, managers, engineers, doctors and so many other professions. Women in the war zones lead organizations toward peace building. I just met a young woman in Lebanon who is leading the company of all men and she is being very successful at that. Women are reclaiming their power and being very successful at that.

"What gives me most joy is seeing children happy and seeing the twinkle in their eyes."- (Photo supplied by Shquipe Malushi)

“What gives me most joy is seeing children happy and seeing the twinkle in their eyes.”- (Photo supplied by Shquipe Malushi)

What gives you most joy?

What gives me most joy is seeing children happy and seeing the twinkle in their eyes. I love life and every day for me is a new adventure and discovery. I wake up happy and try to go to sleep happy. What make me sad is violence, oppression, injustice, war and seeing children and women hurt. That makes me feel so powerless but I always think of how to act and make a difference. My family is the most important thing in my life. I have a large family and I spend countless hours thinking about them, caring and sharing everything I am and I have. Now I also have a global family that makes me feel very rich. I believe in life, if you respect people, they will respect you back, and loving life and believing in God, gives me strength and hope for future.

Born in Uganda and raised in Rwanda until the age of five, Rachel had lived in more than five countries before the age of ten. She is currently a second year student at McMaster University majoring in social sciences and wishes to pursue a career in criminal law.