Servant of Change “An Interview with Hussain Najadi”
Interviewed and written by Aaron Robinson
As a leader, Hussain Najadi is no stranger when it comes to overcoming life’s
adversities. Seeking the important things in life, the Bahrain native endured
many tasks in his home country in which he was ejected as a teenager. He holds
his roots closely to his heart, being a spiritual vessel to those who are going
through struggles and hardships in their life.
Today, Najadi is the founder, chairman and CEO of AIAK Group, who is
responsible for founding the fifth largest bank in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,
called AmBank. He became the leader in the wholesale and corporate banking in
Southeast Asia, creating the Arab-Malaysian Development Bank, linking business
between the Middle East, Southeast and Europe.
Hussian Najadi is here to
share some insight regarding his recent published book “The Sea and Hills: The
Life of Hussain Najadi”, his life struggles, as well as share words of
encouragement that will empower the readers. I was honored to have an interview
with such a man of wisdom and knowledge, whom changed the course of society in
his homeland. His compelling life story of once being poor to having success
will inspire many on a global basis.
Aaron Robinson: What do you believe has been one of your most
significant challenges in life that you have overcome? Hussain Najadi: To show that a poor boy of a small relatively
unknown Island called Bahrain, [who is] self educated, and self made could
achieve so much; right up to the pillars of High Finance, in Europe, USA and
Asia, all with diligence, hard work, and tenacity. I always wanted to be the
man who proves his willpower and uncover my own life’s true purpose and
who will take readers on a life-changing journey and adventure in my dramatic
life story in “The Sea and the Hills.” www.seaandhills.com
AR: What inspired you to write “The Sea and the Hills: The Life of
Hussain Najadi”? HN: The legacy of my life must be
recorded and published not only for the members of my family, but for the many
many poor children now currently disadvantaged, living in slums all over the
world. I wanted my book to become a beacon of hopes for these destitute persons
the world’s over.
AR: When readers read “The Sea and the Hills: The Life of Hussain
Najadi,” what are some of the things you would like them to take with
them? HN: My own story starts in a different era. Life then had been
lived as it was by generation upon generation for perhaps a thousand years. This
tradition provided society with its rules and ritual, its comfort and stability.
From my youngest years onwards, I was to break the mould of that tradition...
AR: As a leader and innovator, you have made history by being the
first to revolt against the Arab lifestyle. You were also part of the movement
that was instrumental in bringing about the reformation of Arab Society. How
does it feel to have made such an impact on society? HN: We must
break the norms, or traditions which keep a society down, no matter where. I
feel I am a servant of change, through peaceful non violence methods, humbled
much by my study of Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela. As a student of history
myself, I feel obliged to show the path to others, and be a centre of HOPE in
this life surrounded by much injustice and misery. Sometimes, a person’s life
will make so much impact on the life of others. I want to be that man till I
depart this life.
AR: In America, there seems to be some stereotype of Arabs owning
Convenient Stores and gas stations. What is your thought on this?
HN: To Arabs, Africans, Latinos, Asians, in
America, I say that you can make it like Hussain Najadi and even better, if you
just be humble enough to learn from others, from history and perhaps from this
book called “The Sea and the Hills”, my life story. Modesty is a great virtue
and learning is the path to success and progress in life. AR: What business advice would you share with struggling
entrepreneurs who face obstacles in business? HN: Work hard, never
give up, failures are the ingredients of success of tomorrows, and depend on
your own will power, and virtues. Stay on course with your plans, and do not
listen much to others. They cannot see what you see in your vision and dream.
Borrow less or none if you may, and do not mortgage your future to the greedy
AR: What words-of-encouragement would you share with individuals who
went through similar hardships in life that you went through at an early age?
HN: Same as above, and add that I never accepted defeat as the end
of my dreams in my entire life. Failures enrich me and make me stronger to face
the challenges in my work and in my plan. Sea and Hills here mean: downs and ups
in life. So we must pass that test in life. Tenacity and will power, in whatever
you decide to achieve.
AR: Would you like to add anything in closing? HN: I
would like to say a very big thank you for giving me the chance to air my
philosophy and my humble views in life. Only through progressive Media like
yours, is it possible that I could reach my poor audience. You are helping me to
help others. God Bless you all. I am just a servant of change, and thus a
servant of you all.
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