21 October 2007

Farrah wants to do so much more


Dr Farrah-Hani Imran keeps a busy schedule and says time management is the key to everything.
Dr Farrah-Hani Imran keeps a busy schedule and says time management is the key to everything.

KUALA LUMPUR: She first served the nation 20 years ago in sports as a rhythmic gymnast, and today she is still continuing to serve the nation.

Last month, Dr Farrah-Hani Imran was appointed to the International Advisory Panel of the Non-Aligned Movement Institute of Empowerment for Women (NIEW) under the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.

"I am honoured to be appointed as one of the newest and youngest members of the panel," said Dr Farrah.

"It is a pro-active international institute which arms its participants with knowledge, preparation and practical skills to deal with the challenges faced by women on a local and global scale.

"Being one of the 'youth' voices of the panel is a challenging experience. Most of the advisory panel members are older and more experienced."
She recalled the moment a senior member of the panel applauded her efforts with the statement "well done, girl". Dr Farrah, who turns 30 next month, chuckled in amusement.

It was a busy day at the hospital and the interview set her back a couple of hours, but this did not dampen Dr Farrah's energetic disposition and enthusiastic spirit.

While ordering a cup of caramel macchiato, she smiled for the camera, answered a few calls and enthused about her latest endeavours.

Two hours later, she touched up her lip-gloss and was off again, this time to study.

This was just another day in the life of Dr Farrah, who is a trainee lecturer in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

Dr Farrah hopes her efforts in NIEW and the Women's Aid Organisation will help empower Malaysian women to strive for a better future for themselves, their daughters and their granddaughters.

"Venturing into something new is always a challenging task, but it is the continuous effort of looking beyond yourself and pushing yourself a little further each time which enables you to reach greater heights."

But will Dr Farrah be up to the task? Long hours and dedicated effort is nothing new to her.

A young Farrah, at the age of 10, juggled schoolwork, gymnastics training, piano lessons and ballet classes.

She had represented Malay- sia at the regional SEA Games and saw action at the 1993 World Rhythmic Gymnastics championships in Spain.

Today, she has no less on her plate.

Between studying for her Master's degree and her duties at Kuala Lumpur Hospital, she has not neglected her passion for painting and sketching, and her interest in the Malaysian Nature Society.

Her days are full and her nights just as long. How does she find the time to do it all?

"Time management is the key to everything," said Dr Farrah who speaks five languages.

"At the hospital, I have the privileged opportunity of learning from senior consultants and specialists.

"And my role model is our Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil."

Dr Farrah has seen tremendous change in the mindset of Malaysians when it comes to plastic and reconstructive surgery.

"While people are more open to medical advances now, there are still stigmas within our culture that need to be done away with."

She was referring to the need for psychiatric help among the mentally ill.

"There are pressing needs within our community which need proper attention, without the thought of malu lah.

"I speak my mind, and would love to be a voice for the people."

Dr Farrah said she might venture into politics in the future but for now she is focusing on her Master's.

"I'm happy where I am now and am looking forward to doing so much more," she said.

"Everyone needs to find themselves, in their own time.

"I was taught years ago to give 100 per cent inside and outside the office.

"The best surgeons I have met are the ones with active lifestyles."

And she is still associated with sports, looking forward to the Korat SEA Games in Thailand in December.

Dr Farrah will not be donning her leotards and prancing on the competition floor.

She will serve the nation as a team doctor to the Malaysian contingent. She believes this would complete her SEA Games journey she started 20 years ago.

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