Assalam Alaikum / Greetings of Peace!
I am Dr. Thamina Anwar. I am the founder of Trade Not Riba dot Com. I describe myself as an: #Author, #Engineer, #Public Speaker, #Philantropist, #Islamic Social Entrepreneur, #Educator, #Consultant, #Mother
Like everyone, I have a story to tell. And here’s my story:
I was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Both my parents were medical doctors. I was 3 years old, when I left Bangladesh with my parents and spent all of my childhood in South East Asia.
When I was a teenager, at the age of 15 years old, I left my family home. I was sent to London to a private boarding school to get educated and learn about life. It was very hard for me, living without a family especially without parents and a permanent home. But the holistic experience from the “Hard Knock Life” made me who I am today. I appreciated good friends who became like my siblings and we guided each other to stay “on track” with our education.
After leaving my boarding school, I became an engineer, graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) in Electronic Engineering from Queen Mary, University of London (UK). Straight after that and following my late father’s instructions, I completed my Master of Science (MSc) in Communications & Real-time Electronics from the University of Bradford (UK). As a life time learner who loves knowledge and after giving birth to my first child, I decided to broaden my business management experience and enrolled on a Master of Business Administration (MBA) course from Europe’s best business school, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University (UK). I specialized in Entrepreneurship and Strategy. While pursuing my MBA, I came across colleagues who were discussing Islamic Finance. As a Muslim, I was very curious to learn more on this topic, hence I went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to study in this area and gained my Masters in Islamic Finance (CIFP) from from INCEIF, The Global University of Islamic Finance (Malaysia). Armed with the knowledge from the course, I decided to come up with my own economic model as I was not satisfied with the economic models available. I accomplished to obtain my Doctorate degree (PhD) from UKZN (SA). I applied my engineering / technical background which gave me a head-start to problem solving and empowered me with good analytical skills to “think outside the box”. This is how Islamic Social Entrepreneurship was engineered. As an educationalist, in between working and family life, I also obtained a Post-graduate Diploma in Teaching from the University of Auckland (NZ). This empowered me with beneficial knowledge on how to structure educational curriculums and good practice teaching methodologies
Simultaneously as I was gaining knowledge and know-how, I worked. I have over 15 years of working experience in varied sectors and positions ranging from research, teaching/lecturing, education management, problem solving, general management, leadership, public speaking, board management, business analysis/development, product development, relationship building, company/business start-ups, project management, consultancy, IT, Islamic Finance (IF), Islamic social entrepreneurship (ISE), business / lifestyle coaching, engineering and philanthropy/waqf strategy/investment/management.
One of my passion is writing. I am very grateful for the opportunity I am given to travel around the world as a speaker, giving talks on my economic thought process. I am the author of “Waqf (Endowment): A Vehicle for Islamic Social Entrepreneurship”, published in 2017 by IBFIM (Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia), Kuala Lumpur. The Islamic Social Entrepreneurship model was developed as part of my doctorate (PhD) studies and research. I am also one of the authors of the “Financing the Development of Old WAQF Properties: Classical Principles and Innovative Practices Around the World”, published by Palgrave Studies in Islamic Banking, Finance and Economics, USA. I have written and published many academic papers and presented my ideas at numerous international academic conferences around the globe.
I am currently in the process of completing my new book which will be a guide for Islamic Social Entrepreneurs.
My background armed with educational knowledge coupled with my working experience ensures that my clients and students gain a very unique experience of learning/knowledge transfer and a very driven strategical direction with a targeted impact.
In terms of my personal life, I lead a holistic lifestyle. I do gym workout nearly every day, love cooking, crafts, painting, travelling, gardening, blogging and above all spending time with my children and good friends. I have 3 children, with 2 living with me. I travel all around the world but home is always where the heart is. Its Auckland, New Zealand at the current point of time.