Nadia Hanna is creating a new future for herself with her young family in Port Hedland, but she has brought something of the culture from her Egyptian upbringing with her to the Pilbara.
The Egyptian capital Cairo is Nadia’s original home but she came to Hedland seven years ago for her husband’s work with Dampier Salt.
With two young boys to care for she has been largely focused on family but loves to share her Egyptian heritage with the community through demonstrations and classes in belly dancing and crafts depicting her country’s rich and fascinating history.
Belly dancing may seem exotic to Australians, but Nadia says it is common in Egypt, with up to 60 per cent of women learning the skill. “I learnt how to do belly dance very young, so it is something that I have always done,” Nadia said. She has run classes locally and is impressed at how easily most people can pick it up.
Nadia has also volunteered her time at the Hedland Well Women’s Centre and in running classes at the Courthouse Gallery+Studio.
During recent Harmony Week celebrations, she ran children’s classes in making examples of well-known Egyptian symbols, including a pharaoh’s head dress and mask, Cleopatra’s necklace and cartouche drawing. Nadia has a strong background in creative industries. In Egypt, she worked as a graphic designer and as a film animator.
But in Hedland, she is looking to a new career in early childhood care and education. With her oldest child now at school, she is studying for a qualification through the Thriving Futures Academy and hopes to be working in the industry soon.
Life in Port Hedland is a big contrast to the massive, bustling city of Cairo but Nadia loves the change. “I like to experience different things, and it is beautiful to be in a small community,” she said. “I see familiar faces all the time and I get to build relationships with people.”
Thanks for sharing something of the exciting Egyptian culture with the Hedland community, Nadia! We look forward to seeing where the next steps in your life and career take you.