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When Opportunity Knocks, Do You Answer the Door?

It’s easy to think that some people have all the luck, and looking at a career from the outside can make you feel like you can’t get the chance to prove yourself.  But at BarakaBits we’ve always liked the quote, “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”. Here’s a story that shows just that.

Ali Asghar was thinking out loud. The school year was almost over, and both his kids were studying programming and loving it.  As he chatted with the two people standing next to him, an idea took shape.

Sajjad Kamal and Farris Massoudi weren’t there by accident. The latter happened to work with Ali. They were both choosing to spend their time at Impact Hub Dubai, an entrepreneurial campus that attracted people with inspiring backgrounds and ambitions. They both had focused specialties of work as well as a broad interest in many fields.

That day, the two of them were enjoying a discussion about the importance of programming for kids and its power in today’s world. They had a passion for the topic and they spoke about it with authority, based on both their personal experiences and what they read in industry news.

And this combination lead to an opportunity; Ali recognized their skill set and offered a way for everyone to benefit. The other two accepted and jumped into planning a summer programming course for middle-school students. At times, Sajjad was worried that he had overstretched himself. Perhaps he had taken on too much on top of the work he already had; was he ready to manage a teaching program? Had he gotten carried away by enthusiasm during one conversation?

As he explained it: “It happened very quickly. We decided to hold the class right after the school year ended. Farris and I got together a couple of times to hash out the curriculum for the course and before we knew it, we had 14 eager students signed up.” What was the end result of listening for the knock of opportunity… and opening the door? 

“It felt truly fulfilling when the kids gave us rave reviews at the end. And multiple times through the program, the kids blurted out how much they loved it. When have kids really enjoyed going to ‘school’ in summer? And now we’re considering an offer to scale this to a much larger level. Great things come out of unexpected situations when you recognize, and act on, an opportunity.”

And that’s #goodnews. 

For more information: Ali Asghar; Sajjad KamalFarris Massoudi

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TJ Misra

TJ Misra is Head of Corporate Communications at BarakaBits. She has a Masters in International Affairs, with a speciality in Security and Conflict Management. She grew up in Manhattan, New York and San Francisco, California, and comes to BarakaBits after 4 years of living in Geneva, Switzerland. There she co-founded the first company specialized in transnational affairs and technology. TJ has worked building public-private partnerships across many sectors and borders, and has almost 10 years of communications industry experience.

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