Heads Up Newsletter

May 2019

Salaam aleikum, HeadsUp Readers!

Michele LaNoue
Michele LaNoue

As I write this letter to all of you, it is Sunday, 5th of May, the first day of Ramadan for Moslems.  So, it is natural to begin this letter with the standard Egyptian Arabic greeting, “Peace be upon you,” on this first day of thirty days of fasting.

Our Case Study this month covers our five-year celebration of Headworks Bio’s first installation in Egypt.  What an experience it was!  Headworks Bio was asked to analyze the Mubarak Wastewater Treatment Plant in Alexandria, Egypt.  The story of this plant is interwoven with the political events of the day. In order to arrive on time at the customer’s office to sign the contract, our “man in Egypt,” Vice President Afnan Din, had to find a way through the throngs on Tahrir Square in Cairo the day President Morsi was elected.  If you click on the link in the case study to see the crowd that day, you will get an appreciation of Afnan’s dedication to our customers!  We all saw history unfolding in a unique way five years ago: the plant, originally called the Mubarak WWTP, then became the Rehabilitation of Zenon Waste Water Treatment Plant, as Ex-President Mubarak’s name was quickly out of fashion.  With the election of President el-Sisi in 2014, the plant is now, once again, referred to as the Mubarak WWTP.

Egypt is one of my favorite countries and if you are traveling there, it’s good to know a few Egyptian Arabic words to convey to the local people you meet that you appreciate their culture.  In my research for this HeadsUp issue, I found a great resource for just this travel aid, so if you haven’t made it to one of the most fascinating places in the world, put Egypt on your bucket list straight away and start brushing up on a few colloquial phrases to help make your journey even more rewarding.

June 21st is the first day of summer.  Why do I bring that up in May?  Because summer also means HeadsUp’s Book Review season to spark some ideas for your vacation reading list.  Not an avid reader?  Honestly, it’s never too late to get started.  Reading great literature is not only a way to escape into another world, but according to a study done by social psychologist David Kidd with a colleague from The New School for Social Research in New York, one of reading’s many benefits is that it can help increase your ‘Theory of Mind.”

Theory of Mind (ToM) is of itself interesting – the ability to understand that other people have a mind, too, which may hold different ideas than your own.  Scientists also believe that ToM is interconnected with the emotional ability known as empathy.  And those who have a stronger developed sense of empathy are 40% more successful than those without it.  Some consider empathy to be the number one key to success in any career.

Adding an hour of reading a day can be gained by simply reducing your time on the internet. And this BBC Magazine article not only discusses the science, but also suggests 4 simple tips on how to cultivate a reading habit.  Reading a novel has both short and long-term positive effects on your brain. So, give yourself the gift of reading, a more successful career, stronger empathy, increased theory of mind, a brain boost, and relaxation all at once and be ready for next month’s reading suggestion!

We look forward to even smarter, more successful HeadsUp readers next month!

Michele LaNoue

Headworks International Inc.


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