What was the first dive you did and how did it influence you to start a career in the diving industry?
In 1991 aged 18, I performed my first dive during my open water course. My initial decision to enrol in the dive training was based on my eagerness to join the military; scuba diving was the next best thing as I had not yet graduated from the military academy I was attending at that time. Like everyone in Egypt, I admired the legacy of Jacques Cousteau, his documentaries made the Red Sea famous, but it was not until I used SCUBA to experience the beauty, and to interact in this 3D environment myself, that I began to imagine life as a sub- mariner – for me it was just the coolest thing to do (…Egypt never had a space program…). Later, I joined the Army, in my spare time I continued diving and soon went on to become a dive instructor, moonlighting in tourism. My dive training also played a big part toward helping progress my military career, I passed intense physical fitness tests and was accepted into “the toughest military school”, graduating from the Combat Diver Qualification Course, at the Special Forces Underwater Operations School in Key West, Fla., run by C Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group, U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School. If it were not for that first dive, and subsequent training and experience in the Red Sea dive industry, I might not be part of that elite force, nor have achieved my record deep dive to 332.35 meters. Scuba diving has given me so much, including a rewarding occupation as an Instructor Trainer to fall back on after retiring from my 20+ year’s military career
What do you believe is the most important trait of a professional educator and why?
Patience dealing with dive students at different skill levels.