Dr. Najwa Zebian

Dr. Najwa Zebian is a 3x best-selling author of Mind Platter, The Nectar of Pain, Sparks of Phoenix and the highly anticipated Welcome Home. She is also a creator, activist and educator. Drawing on her own experiences of displacement, discrimination, and abuse, Najwa uses her words to encourage others to build a home within themselves; to live, love, and create fearlessly.

Najwa’s forthcoming book, Welcome Home: A Poet’s Guide to Building a Home For Your Soul, is the answer to the pain we all experience, offering solutions and practical advice on how to end our suffering and start healing.

She began writing as a means to heal her first students, a group of young refugees. Since self-publishing her first collection of poetry and prose in 2016, Najwa has become an inspiration to millions of people worldwide – many of which have chosen to have her words tattooed on their bodies. Her ability to articulate soul-deep feelings is what sets her apart from the rest of the world. That uniqueness coupled with her extensive knowledge on educational pedagogy and teaching in a manner that effectively educates makes her a powerhouse in the field. Through her three books, her podcast (Stories of the Soul) and her own digital school (Soul Academy), she continues to give a voice to countless souls out there aching to be heard.

Her passion for language was evident from a young age, as she delved into Arabic poetry and novels. The search for a home—what Najwa describes as a place where the soul and heart feel at peace—was central to her early years. When she arrived in Canada at the age of sixteen, she felt unstable and adrift in an unfamiliar place. Nevertheless, she completed her education, and went on to become a high school teacher, where she spoke at multiple schools about poetry, diversity, inclusion, education, equity, culture and more. She has a Bachelor in Education, Masters in Education and is currently a Doctorate in Educational Leadership candidate, on leave from teaching.

Since self-publishing her first collection of poetry and prose in 2016, Najwa has become a trailblazing voice for women everywhere – name dropped by the New York Times, The Huffington Post, and CBS News, among others. She has also creatively collaborated with Google, RBC, Kohl’s and Cirque du Soleil.

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Meet Najwa Zebian
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Speech Topics & Descriptions

Welcome Home: The Importance Of Building A Home Within Yourself 

Inspired by Najwa’s upcoming release by the same name. Too many of us build our homes in other people in the hope that they will deem us worthy of being welcomed inside, and then we feel abandoned and empty when those people leave. Building your home inside yourself–and never experiencing inner homelessness again–begins here. 

Break down of each room: 

The powerful metaphor of home provides a structure for personal transformation as Najwa shows your attendees how to construct the following rooms:  

Self-Love – See yourself as worthy of whatever it is you would give others. Practical applications of self love are very important outside of the workplace so that you can bring your best self to work. Putting effort into your self. 

Forgiveness – Letting go of what is holding you back, of who you’ve thought you’ve needed to be and become who you truly are. Give yourself the power to redefine yourself and your life. Forgive your failures. 

Compassion – You set the bar for how people treat you by the way that you treat yourself. Give yourself the empathy you would give your best friend. Set boundaries. 

Clarity – Find your purpose. Who are you? What do you stand for? Practical strategies to help with this (Mirror example). This will also help you find/build your community. 

Surrender – When emotion knocks on your door, you need to welcome it in. Be intentional in tending to your emotions and this will help you build resilience. More practical strategies (reacting constructively example). 

The Dream Garden – Live your dream, don’t chase it. Don’t work towards another position, work toward your actual motivations. Be present with your work, don’t see everything as stepping stone. Be authentic with the work that you do. 

With practical tools and prompts for self-understanding, Najwa will show attendees how to build each room in their house, which forms a firm basis for self-worth, sense of belonging, and happiness.

The Art of Emotional Resilience: Mastering Emotional Intelligence at Work

Transformational, Inspiring and Life-Changing. This keynote presentation aims to completely transform both the personal and professional lives of participants at all organizational levels to become the masters of their own path.

What if the trick to effectively leading others lies in your ability to harness the power of your emotions? What if working cohesively in a team requires being in touch with your own feelings?

There is a myth that there is no room for emotion in the big leagues. Whether we want them to or not, emotions guide how we do almost everything, not just how we handle failure. Our feelings dictate how we manage our time and energy. They help us navigate conflicts, take responsibility for our actions, communicate with others and adapt to changes under stress. All these skills are required to be a good leader, teammate, or employee. Instead of focusing on one skill at a time, we can strengthen our emotional intelligence and build resilience that enables us to handle anything that comes our way.

For anyone to reach their full potential professionally, they must go through many ups and downs – they must learn how to be resilient. Resilience doesn’t come from not feeling the pain of failure- it comes from understanding and truly feeling that pain. When we have room for emotions, we process that failure more effectively; our ability to say “I’m going to try again” comes from being able to truly feel and work through that pain. Unless we examine our pain and truly feel it, we cannot feel the joy of success as keenly.

How can our personal and professional lives improve through emotional resilience?

As participants engage in this presentation, they will personally reflect on their own experiences and stories to deconstruct what’s standing in the way of their emotional resilience and use that as a starting point to set goals. They will use the analogy from one of my poems: These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.

Keynote Presentation Goals:

  • Increasing awareness about emotional intelligence
  • Removing barriers to maximized employee performance
  • Developing practical emotional resilience skills in the workplace
  • Challenging the status quo and stigma surrounding emotions in the workplace
  • Fostering a culture of cohesion and support in the workplace

Added Benefits:

  • Creating a positive work environment
  • Creating a safe space for employees
  • Destigmatizing mental health in the workplace
  • Increasing productivity in the workplace

Facilitating A High-Performing Workplace: Creating Workplaces on The Foundation of Diversity and Inclusion

Challenging, Life-changing and Revolutionary – This keynote presentation aims to change the culture of the organization from the root upwards instead of the conventional top-down approach to significantly impact a team’s performance, productivity, and results.

Instead of creating space for diversity and inclusion, the organization must be built on a foundation that combines the two. These buzzwords often end up as posters on a wall or as a newsletter highlight, when they should be seamlessly incorporated into every aspect of the organization, from policy to practice. Instead of perpetuating the perception of these two words as a burden, a trend or a band-aid, this presentation offers the organization practical ways to authentically implement practices that, at their core, serve the true holistic meanings of diversity and inclusion.

Packed with knowledge from years of experience in the educational field and planning for a differentiated approach that caters to the needs of employees at every level of the organization regardless of their background, this presentation promises to infiltrate the organizational structure in a way that enhances productivity, creates a positive work culture, and encourages equity.

Keynote Presentation Goals:

  • Empowering every employee to reach their potential Unleashing untapped prowess by removing barriers
  • Implementing practical techniques that serve all
  • Changing the perception of differences as divisive to inclusive
  • Creating a culture that authentically celebrates diversity and inclusion

Added Benefits:

  • Detaching the stigma and challenging the status quo surrounding diversity
  • Encouraging acceptance and respect
  • Reconciling employee attitude, mental health, and retention
  • Enticing employees to invest in the vision of the company
  • Positioning the organization at the forefront of its industry

Walking Through the Mirage of Fear: The Metamorphosis of a Leader

Invigorating, Inspiring and Moving – This keynote presentation aims to empower participants to step into the leaders they are each meant to be.

Designed for employees, entrepreneurs, and managers, this conference explores the importance of moving from a top-down approach to leadership to a distributed type of leadership. What does a workplace where every employee is a leader look like? What does it feel like? And how could it transform both the professional and personal lives of every employee to be more productive and fulfilling? Najwa brings both her knowledge on leadership from her graduate studies and her expertise as a leader to this life-changing talk.

Participants, whether in conventional leadership positions such as management or CEO or not, will reflect on their own understandings of leadership and their application of it in the workplace and in their personal lives. They will also learn strategies to break through their existing fears that are hindering them from becoming the leaders they are meant to be.

Keynote Presentation Goals:

  • Deconstructing fear and using it as a springboard for change
  • Bridging the gap between personal and professional perseverance skills
  • Fostering a sense of distributed leadership
  • Understanding that servant leadership is the most effective
  • Highlighting humility as a key leader characteristic
  • Moving away from the race to compete and moving toward excellence

Added Benefits:

  • Defining fear as an ally instead of an enemy to growth
  • Instilling mindfulness skills that allow for constructively using fear
  • Practical strategies on going from “I” to “We”
  • Fostering a team spirit by empowering each part of the team
  • Ensuring that every person feels valued and valuable

Authentic Influence – Moving A Million People with A Message

Real, Raw and Authentic – This keynote presentation aims to open the eyes of participants to the dangers of falling into influencer culture with no vision or purpose. Real impact begins with real, hard work.

In a world where recycled content is used to increase views just for numbers, how do you succeed and stand out with original content?

This presentation is designed for entrepreneurs, influencers, brand-builders, social media managers, and anyone who wants to create impact through social media. Participants will engage in activities geared towards them reflecting on their real purpose and intentions behind seeking growth and recognition on these platforms. They will also be guided through an analysis of profiles of current influencers who are effecting real change and ones who are only seeking recognition. As someone who’s paved her way in this field through authentic, real and intentional content creation, Najwa will share her secrets on effecting impact that ripples through millions.

Organizations as a whole can learn to strategically position themselves to create long-lasting influence that creates brand loyalty, increases conversions, and makes them stand out amongst the crowd.

Keynote Presentation Goals:

  • Dissecting the meaning of authentic influence
  • Creating an assessment framework for goal setting
  • Highlighting the importance of credibility and originality
  • Emphasizing mindfulness in content creation and decision making
  • Planning a social media strategy that aligns with the end goal of the organization

Added Benefits:

  • Embracing originality over numbers
  • Relieving the pressure of competition
  • Fostering a sense of community
  • Removing the fear of risk taking
  • Increasing engagement and reach

Available Options:

  • Keynote: 45 min. / 60 min. / 75 min. / 90 min.
  • Keynote + Workshop: ½ Day / Full Day
  • Custom Training: ½ Day / Full Day
  • Moderating/Facilitating ½ Day / Full Day
  • All services are available in English and/or Arabic

Custom Keynote Title: Clients can choose to change the title of the keynote to correspond to the event’s main theme.

What people are saying

“It was an honour inviting Najwa to speak at TEDxCoventGardenWomen in 2016. She opened the day with a heart-felt, authentic talk, allowing the audience to engage in the talks they were about to watch with an open heart. Her words carried an eloquence and sincerity that moved them and spoke to their souls. Working with Najwa ahead of her talk was a real delight. She showed a high level of integrity throughout the entire journey and committed wholeheartedly to our rigorous speaking process.  I found in Najwa a naturally inspiring public speaker, a mentor and someone I look up to years after the event. It will be a real pleasure to be working with her again in the near future.”

Lynn Tabbara, TEDx organizer

“Working with Najwa Zebian for WE Day Ottawa was such a pleasurable and easy experience. Her understanding, patience, and attention to detail made it such a seamless experience from start to end. Najwa’s passion to connect with others through her writing is such a powerful and moving experience. When she was reading her poem to 17,000+ youth that day, you could feel the silence in the room as she captivated each and every single person hanging onto each word.  The way Najwa resonates with those who have experienced bullying, racism, gender inequality, and other issues she has faced is truly life changing.”

Katia Montesaro, Manager, Artist Logistics, WE Day

Work with Dr. Najwa Zebian

book Najwa for your next event
meeting planner / event materials