The Lighthouse Conversations

“Curiosity is a blessing and a curse.” Manal Ataya on why curiosity became an essential trait in navigating her career as museum director

Hashem Montasser
May 19, 2021
1 min read

In our first episode since Ramadan break, Hashem is joined by Manal Ataya who, as the Director General of Sharjah Museum Authority, sits at the helm of 16 museums documenting and consolidating the cultural heritage of the region. They discuss the “inner workings” of a museum director and why Manal finds curiosity and hunger for knowledge so essential to success in her field. They also talk about the subject of mental health which sits at the forefront of the post pandemic era. Manal speaks candidly about her own personal struggle with anxiety and being diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder (GAD). She reveals that the book “First, We Make the Beast Beautiful” helped inspire a change of perspective for her to not only embrace some of the positive outcomes of an anxious mind, but also use it to her advantage as a tool that fuels her productivity.


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