Q&A with Motivational Leader Aida Murad

I am a firm BELIEVER that people come into your life for a reason. And now I am so grateful to know Aida Murad! After just minutes of meeting her, I was captured by her positive energy and amazing story. Her unique outlook on life is something to be admired. Read on as she shares her drive and inspiration! 

“1+1=3 ….There is always something more you can squeeze in your day.” ~Aida


(Photo credit: Megan Won)

LL: Can you explain what social entrepreneurship is and what your goals are for 2017?

AM: Social entrepreneurship is simply the marriage of business and positive social impact.

My mission in life is to keep finding ways to improve and expand myself where I remove any internal thoughts on “Who do you think you are to do this?” and replace it with “Who are you not to do this?”

With this perspective my goals for 2017 are:

  • Get back to full health recovery hopefully through honoring my body. I haven’t been able to run for 2 years and I hope to do so by the end of the year (wish me luck 🙂 )
  • Explore more ways to creatively use my art such as turning my art into wearable fashion; covers of notebooks; prints; pillowcases. Who knows what else I’ll discover along the journey!
  • Have greater social impact through the organization I work at, FHI 360, a social enterprise that takes a “360” holistic approach to solving the world’s complex development challenges. My role is in developing external partnerships and I aim to develop more impactful and meaningful partnerships.


LL: What made you decide to tell your story?

AM: Being diagnosed with Arthritis in 2011 and going from having full health to an inability to do ordinary things such as walk, I faced intense physical, mental and emotional pain. But funny enough, this pain has freed me of a deeper pain – the pain of failing. In the beginning, I felt like I had lost everything because I couldn’t move but it gave me the chance to reinvent myself for the better and to let go of that fear. Ultimately, this whole experience made me thankful for the health I had taken for granted and made me realize that God has given me this limited time on Earth and I plan to make it amazing, memorable and oh so worth it!


LL:What is the inspiration behind your paintings?

AM: I lost the ability to use my hands with ease due to arthritis. At first I felt hopeless. But then I decided to make the best of a bad situation by turning to painting as a way of celebrating my fingers. Art has always been a passion of mine but I had a tendency to silence it due to my fear of failing and fear of being judged as “untalented.”

These paintings are the proof that I am not limited by my arthritis. It empowers me to inspire others who experience all kinds of limitations – physical or mental. Through this creative space, I want to help people express themselves and inspire the “can do” rather than “can’t do” attitude because beauty can come out of pain when you are able to change your perspective. I hope you enjoy my art and feel inspired to do something you’ve always wanted to do but never quite got to yet. Today is your day.


LL:Which is your favorite painting and why?

AM: The painting titled Hope (below) is my favorite. It was the first large piece I painted and is about rebuilding yourself one dot at a time. The colors blue and white symbolize purity, dedication and infinity.

(Photo credit: Hayde FitzPatrick)

LL: As a motivational speaker, what is the one ‘take away’ you want people to hear?

AM: Every thought, word and action takes you either one step closer or farther from your dream. Pay attention to them because they are what open or close your opportunities.

Life will challenge you in many different ways but with constant focus, persistence, passion and most importantly love you can and will make what seems “impossible” possible. Let the world watch you do amazing things!


LL: As a new Contributor to the Hungry Lobbyist, premier food website, what are you most excited about to discover in the DC food scene? And what is one food you can’t live without?

AM:I live for food. Eating and the experience of dining out are my favorite activities to do. I’m mostly excited to discover unique and bold flavors and learn about the inspiration behind the delicious dishes from the Chefs. I’ll be on the hunt for great restaurants with a glutenfree perspective so make sure to follow my column in The Hungry Lobbyist for recommendations!
As for a food I can’t live without… its definitely chocolate. I wake up and sleep to chocolate! If you have any favorite made in DC chocolates, please do share them with me!

For more on Aida’s story check out her website here!

Need more motivation? Connect with Aida! Facebook / InstagramTwitter / LinkedIn

Aida’s Bio

Aida Murad is a Palestinian-Jordanian/American currently living in Washington DC. She’s a social entrepreneur, artist, motivational speaker and food critic. Most importantly she’s a life-long learner, thinker and aims to live a meaningful and impactful life.

She was diagnosed with Arthritis in 2011 and since then she has been fueled to turn “bad” situations into beautiful ones that help expand herself and give back to the community.

(Photo credit: Megan Won)

(Photo credit: Hayde FitzPatrick)

(Photo credit: Megan Won)

(Photo credit: Hayde FitzPatrick)


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