For instant company, turn on the radio. The certainty of knowing there will always be an upbeat, friendly person coming through the airwaves is reassuring.
Those of us who listen to RKFM 99.7 think of Sandi Ismail as a friend. And for the record, Sandi is her real name. It is unique, interesting and a conversation starter, just like the woman herself. But, there’s more to Sandi than her radio persona.
While Sandi wanted a career in academia, a friend invited her to give radio presenting a shot. Not only did she do great, but the station manager also offered her a job on the spot. She was behind the microphone the next day.
After graduating from Kuwait University with a degree in English Literature and a couple of years on the radio, she decided to give corporate life a shot. Still, leaving the sound-proof studio for a cubicle did not work for Sandi. In 2017, she was back on the radio where she knew she belonged all along.
And her fans love her too. With over 13 thousand followers on Instagram, Sandi is putting her influence to good use. It is her platform for advocating for the causes she feels strongly about through the stories feature.
As I reflect on my yoga practice, I am grateful for the mental and physical strength I have gained throughout this last year, and for the people I’ve met along the way who have enriched my path. 🙏🏻💙✨ What are you grateful for today? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #yoga #turbanyogini #hijabyogini #hijabyoga #yogaaddict #yogaeverywhere #hijabiyoga #yogi #yogainspiration #instayogi #yogisofinstagram #yogaeverydamnday #yogagirl #yogini #yogalife #yogapractice #yogafun #igyoga #yoginisofig #yogaeveryday #kuwaityoga #esslovesyoga #survivinghijab #yogaistheartofliving #yogapose #yogalife #practiceandalliscoming #yogaasana
Opening up about her own battle with anxiety, she wants to make it more acceptable to talk about mental health. It is a reminder that seeking professional help is always an option and that none of us need to suffer alone. In doing so, Sandi is definitely creating a digital safe-space.
Sandi is vocal about her support of women’s empowerment and being more environmentally conscious. She has been slowly reducing her consumption of single-use plastics and taking us all along the journey.
But it is not just serious stuff, Sandi also posts about food, her cats and yoga too. Practicing yoga helped her find peace despite her anxiety. It taught her how to check her worries at the door and focus on her body, breathing and motion. A skill she needs at work, too. All of Sandi’s personal thoughts and feelings are left at the studio door, so she can do her job with the utmost focus.
When young people ask Sandi for advice on getting a job in radio, she always tells them to “just be themselves”. Because that is exactly what she has done. What you see is what you get with Sandi. She has found her voice on the radio and is not afraid to use it.
TRUTH OR DARE QUESTIONNAIRE
How would your mother describe you in one word?
How would you describe your mother in one word?
What is the most ridiculous question you’ve ever been asked?
Do you really need another pair of shoes?
What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Road trip to Bahrain. It was my first ever time visiting Bahrain, and popping into the car on a
Friday morning with my husband for a day trip felt like the best thing to do – and it was!
What is your theme song?
I don‘t have a theme song – it just feels so permanent. My current favorite song, however, is “Nothing to Me” by Tamara Qaddoumi.
What word in the English or Arabic language do you wish you had invented?
Watermelon in Arabic: (bateekh).
Where would you like to live? What is your dream retirement location?
The Portuguese countryside. It’s so incredibly picturesque.
What is the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
Well behaved women seldom make history
What animal best describes the kind of partner you’d be interested in?
A wolf. They’re very intelligent, loyal, and protective. Plus, wolves are all around extraordinary animals.
What do you miss about your childhood?
Not having to pay bills! Seriously speaking, what I miss the most is the simplicity of it all; when playing outside was the highlight of my day.
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
What’s not to love about Sandi? I’d never change it!
How would you describe your handshake in one word?
One word? How about three: I’m a hugger!
What is the toughest part of your character?
Positively, I’m resilient. Negatively, I’m stubborn.
Who is your favorite historical figure?
Lotfia Elnadi. In 1933, she became the first woman in Egypt (and in Africa and the Arab world), to obtain a pilot’s license. To me, Elnadi is a symbol of determination and persistence. When she finally obtained her aviation license (after being met by a lot of resistance from her family), she not only became a pioneer in the field, but was also the second woman after Amelia Earhart to ever fly solo.
What in the world do you least desire?
Indecisiveness. For myself, and for others.
What do you think is lacking in the world, which if there was more of would make the world a better place?
Giving more importance to the voice of the youth, and to involve them in sociopolitical matters.
Why do you think most girls/guys like you?
I’m very inviting as a person, so I suppose people like how approachable I am.
Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”