Back in 2020, Payman and Prav sat down for a fascinating chat with up-and-coming cosmetic dentist Zainab Al-Mukhtar.

Zainab spoke so fondly of her inspirational mum Fareeda Daar that it only seemed natural to Fareeda’s story.

She describes how she settled on oral surgery after realising a medical career wasn’t her thing and recounts her journey to the UK from Tanzania via Romania, Yemen, Oman and Vienna.    

Fareeda also discusses the trials and tribulations of running a busy practice while raising a family and reveals the secrets behind the success of her Harrow on the Hill practice.  

In This Episode

02.12 – Inspiration

06.26 – Study in Romania

14.29 – The UK and Oman

32.29 – Practice purchase and the secrets of success

38.42 – Risk and resilience

47.01 – Social media and confidence

51.50 – Instilling value and values

54.04 – Blackbox thinking

01.11.06 – Plans

01.16.55 – Fantasy dinner party

01.17.55 – Last days and legacy


About Fareeda Daar

Fareeda studied dentistry in Romania before moving to the UK to gain a master’s degree in dental implantology.

She was the principal dentist at Park View Dental in North West London from 2000 to 2010 and has been the principal at Harrow on the Hill dental practice since 2010.  

[00:00:00] The thing about experience is you can’t really buy it. You can’t you can’t accelerate experience. Experience comes from a set of things that essentially go wrong over those years and then you’ve got experience. And so it’s a funny thing because, you know, if these things don’t go wrong, then you’re going to have big problems going forward because you’re not aware of the things that can go wrong. It’s one of those that’s why we call it dental practice, right?

[00:00:31] Practising dentistry, word experience by itself. You just bought yourself right now and I’m thinking about it, the word experience is learning is what you have learned and you have learned from the good, the bad and the ugly mistakes to learn from and not to make them again.

[00:00:53] This is Dental Leaders the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts, Payman, Langroudi and Prav Solanki.

[00:01:10] It gives me great pleasure to welcome Dr. Farida Dar onto the podcast. Dr. Dhar is a principal implant ologist, now retired, of course, a mother of three dentists, one of which ZAYNAB, who was on this show herself. Episode 14 For any of the listeners who want to listen, and really the reason why we have her on this show is because in that interview with Zainab al-Mukhtar, she constantly referred to her mother as the source of her inspiration and the reason why she does what she does. And then after a few conversations with Zainab, I was telling Zainab about women in dentistry and Middle Eastern women in dentistry and in medicine. She said, Well, you really should talk to my mom. And and, you know, she’s got a great story to tell. So so here we are. We’ve got we’ve got you on the show. Welcome to the show, Doctor. How are you?

[00:02:01] Nice to be here.

[00:02:02] So this is kind of a sort of a life and times type of podcast. But but I want to start with who was your inspiration in the way that you were?

[00:02:11] Zainab’s Right. So completely different to my daughters, who just sort of took it as a as a, as a natural thing to become a dentist because they came to my practice all the time. They saw what I did, they saw how I enjoyed it. And that’s such a bad thing to do for the rest of our lives. For me, I wanted to do medicine and I got a scholarship to go to Romania to do medicine. But I was very troubled with with the ID because I had come to England and see my brother, who was working in Oxford at the John Radcliffe Hospital. And when I saw his type of life and what he was leading, what life he was leading, I thought, I’m not going to have a family life at all with being a doctor because the hours are terrible. The responsibilities are far too high, and I want it to have a life with my children, with my family. When I did have them. So I was very troubled. I enjoyed my course. I had started it, but I was not happy about the outcome when I’m already a doctor of what my life is going to be like. So I went to the Minister of Education and asked them to change it the bedtime time. I didn’t know what to change it to because I didn’t want to do anything else but medicine.

[00:03:39] My brother, when I asked his opinion, he said, Oh, if you could change the pharmacy, that’s quite close to medicine. So I went there and they agreed, which is quite unusual that they agree to change when you’ve already started a year. But when I did start pharmacy, I told to me hated it. I didn’t like anything to do with pharmacy. I didn’t like the chemistry, biochemistry, the botany. It was not just me. It was my interest at all. So I went back and I started thinking, What else should I do? So being quite miserable in our hostel or where I was in our accommodation, there were long corridors with loads and loads and loads of rooms. That’s how it is in university campuses in the Eastern countries. So one day I was sitting in my corridor trying to study, not really wanting to then trust a girl and she I looked at her and I said hi and she said hello. So we sat together and chatted and I asked her what was she doing? And she said she was doing dentistry. I said, Oh, now that wouldn’t be a bad idea for me to change to. So long story short, I went back to the ministry and they said, No way, we can’t keep on changing you from one thing to another.

[00:05:01] So I pleaded with him and he refused. So I went out because winter was snowing beautifully and I did a little prayer just outside the ministry and something inspired me to go back, but not to go to the same person. I went straight to the person above him and I knocked the door and he looked at me. I had a kind face and went inside. Half in English and half in Romanian. By the time I at that time I wasn’t that fluent in Romanian language. I pleaded and I said to him, Look, I’m a I’m a good student. It’s not because I’m not serious, but I would really like to change. And for the last time to to dentistry in Romanian is closed dermatology. Dermatology. So I said, oh, all I can say is that if you get all ten out of ten in your upcoming exams, which is the end of the first year, then come back to me. So I said okay. And I went and studied. I locked myself in the library and got those things and flew back to the universe, to the to the ministry. And she handed him the results. He agreed. And since then I never looked back. I certainly enjoyed my course and my career every day up to when I retired. So how did you end up?

[00:06:26] How did you end up in Romania to study?

[00:06:29] So we at that time I was in my country, which is Yemen. We had just come from Africa because there was a revolution in Tanzania at that time. So my father thought we were not it’s not very safe to remain there. So we went back to our country.

[00:06:48] So you were growing up in Tanzania to start with. You were born in Tanzania and growing up in Tanzania.

[00:06:52] Oh 47 So just before I finished my secondary school, we had to go to Yemen. Aden is a beautiful place at that time, not now anymore. And so I did my last year GCSEs and having got amongst the ten best results in the results list. They offer scholarships to to the top students and the only offered at that time to Eastern European countries. At first they gave me a scholarship to Russia, but I didn’t like the language at all, so I refused. And then I said, Give me anywhere else but not Russia. So I had to wait for another year and worked at that time in a military museum as a guide for foreigners who spoke French and English. I could speak French at the time and then I went to Romania and I loved it. I absolutely loved the country, the people such that my own practices I employed just Romanian girls in my system.

[00:07:57] Which year are we talking? Which year was.

[00:07:59] This? So 1975.

[00:08:02] So, so for for a I mean, in 1975. For a for a lady. To be even looking at dentistry, let alone a middle Eastern lady, to be looking at what was going on. I mean, were there how many brothers and sisters were you was there was there a dentist or a medic in the family? I mean, you said your brother.

[00:08:22] Was a medic. My brother was, yes.

[00:08:24] Were your parents anything to do with medicine?

[00:08:26] No, but my parents promoted education very much. My dad had just passed away before we moved to back to Yemen. So But he he promoted education. All my everybody went to university In my family. We had nine, six girls and three boys, and they all ended up well. My eldest brother, engineers, pilots, surgeon, my brother, the one who was the petroleum engineer, construction engineer. And these are girls, girls in construction and also my sisters. So yeah, I mean there was from in Yemen at that time, there was there was very little taboo about girls study, which is an open country. The Russians had just landed, but not just because of the Russians. Even before girls went to study the university. Later on it became a little bit closed up and became more conservative. But at that time, the English the British had just left like 67 and the Russians came 1970. So the country was still left open. And yeah, I mean, I must say we were just two girls and 21 boys in the group that we went to in that year. But this is not to say that there were not many girls in other years.

[00:09:52] So at this point you said you spoke French. Did you speak English at the time?

[00:09:56] Oh, yes. The medieval construction in Dar es Salaam in Tanzania was was English okay. But French was a second language school. And I had family in Congo. Bujumbura, actually, which is Burundi, was Burundi at the time. And they used to come often to our house every summer. And I loved learning language. So I just learned there, which is very easily.

[00:10:23] And I expect you spoke Arabic at the time.

[00:10:25] Not very well, I’m afraid, unfortunately. Yeah. Unfortunately it is a really big, unfortunate thing is that there were we learn Swahili, so he knew the local language. My mum and dad tried to teach us Arabic, but just like our children. Now here is such a big struggle to teach them our language, the television, the friends, the school, they just pull their parts and it’s difficult unless you’re really strong. They are very strict with coach. Teach your own language. My girls. All right. They can speak quite well. Arabic, their father insisted.

[00:11:05] What was your what was your feeling about Romania when you got this? I mean, going from East Africa to the Middle East and then to Romania Must’ve been a massive change. Were you scared or were you excited?

[00:11:16] Yes. At age 17, it was scary to cross the seas. I bet to go to a completely new place, not knowing the language, not knowing anyone my age. It’s a time when you really take big risks without thinking too much. But there was an uncle that lived very close to our house in Aden. His wife was Romanian, and so I went to ask her about Romania. She was this very gentle, beautiful lady, and she said, There’s nothing to worry about. It’s a beautiful country with very nice people. And I think that was enough for me to take it, to take with me and and go with confidence. But it says I reached there. It was fine. We were very well looked after.

[00:12:10] So was this the time of Ceausescu?

[00:12:12] Yes.

[00:12:13] Indeed. So communism?

[00:12:15] It was Yes, it was socialist and socialist country. Everything was very restrictive. People couldn’t travel. They were not even allowed easily to talk to foreigners. Yet there were so many foreign students coming to Romania from all over the world because it was very cheap to study in Romania. So people paid and they came. And for me it was a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world for the very first time in my life. So European, South Americans, very few from the east, like very few from China or Russia. But otherwise, yeah, it’s an eye opener I wouldn’t regret. I would have done the same thing if I was living at that time again. But now the world has changed.

[00:13:09] So how were you in dental school? Did you see it as this massive opportunity and just really get down and study or do did you did you have your freedom for the first time from family and you sort of trying to explore the world?

[00:13:21] We were brought up with a huge amount of freedom in Africa. We were not brought up with television. There was a television in the house. We never opened it. It was always outdoors, swimming in the sea, playing out up the trees and down. Africa is Africa. It’s a wild country and you’re never restricted. So I had that. I had that spirit of free living. And in Romania I felt sorry for the Romanian themselves because they didn’t have the freedom that I was used to, you know, go places, do what we wanted. Of course, always with boundaries, because the Arab families had like everywhere in the eastern cultures, they have boundaries. And once we know our boundaries, that’s it. We just do everything we do within the boundaries. But we could travel. We were travelling every long weekend. We were out either in Italy or Bulgaria or Poland. We travelled a lot. It was nice. I enjoyed that very much.

[00:14:26] So you finished the course? Became a dentist?

[00:14:28] Yes.

[00:14:29] And then did you stay there or did you go somewhere else?

[00:14:32] So I went to Vienna, where my sister’s husband was working as a second person in the embassy there of the UAE. And I stayed for three months thinking what to do with my life. I didn’t want to go back to Yemen at that time because that would have been a dead end. I would have just worked at no, not no progress. But then after three months, I one day was tidying up my handbag. These are the little stories that I find interesting to recall. And I found a little card or a business card, something like a personal card that my professor had given me, my oral surgery professor had taken out of his pocket to give it to me after the very last exam that I did at university, my very last final, because all oral exams were never, never written exams in Romania. I didn’t already know about that.

[00:15:30] No, I didn’t know that.

[00:15:31] Yeah. Anyway, after the interview and after the exam, they can ask you anything under the world, under the sun. So he asked me, Well, what do you want to do? And well, I thought the only place I can go is the UK to do further studies. So I said to him, I’d like to do that because my brother is there and I’d like to continue to do postgraduate. So he fished from his pocket, this card almost wrinkled, and he said, Well, if you go to London, contact this friend. He’s a friend and he will he perhaps may help you. And that was Professor McNeill here at UCL. I took that card and I put it in my handbag and after three months I found it and I thought, Why don’t I write to Professor McNeill? Long story short, he responded and said, I’d be very pleased to offer you a. Actually, when I wrote to him, I was asking if I can apply for a job for a post office. He said, We don’t do that just from abroad. You need to compete with other people in this country. You have to have an interview. But what I could do is offer you an unpaid attachment for three months, if you wish. That was just the beginning of my whole career. I came here, was very impressed, and then I applied for a job there, and I got one. After the attachment, but at the same time I applied in Bristol, so I had a choice to either stay in London or go to Bristol. I thought, I’ll go to Bristol because it’s a new place and I wanted to see. And that’s where I went out to Bristol to do it.

[00:17:10] She was this was this late seventies.

[00:17:12] That was early eighties. Early eighties Margaret Thatcher time. Yeah, the course was five years and then I came here in the eighties and so I spent three years in Bristol.

[00:17:27] And did you study more in Bristol?

[00:17:29] I did the statutory exam for people from abroad. At that time you had to do this very difficult exam post a tutor exam, which is equivalent of free time. You could only do two times. You only had two times an opportunity, and if you failed the second time, you would have to leave the country. So I was working at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Bristol Dental Hospital, doing all my junior jobs, and I passed the exam and then I got a registrar job there as well at the same place. But then I had a knee operation, which was an emergency knee operation, so I had to resign and then I moved to the Midlands, to the Midlands to do my proper registrar job in surgery.

[00:18:17] So all of this was oral surgery?

[00:18:18] Yes, I did nothing but sorcery for a long time before I went into practice.

[00:18:23] So you were doing what the wisdom teeth was? Was it more than that? Was it was it operations, cancer operations and all of that?

[00:18:31] No. Predominantly wisdom teeth. At that time, there were being taken left, right and centre out of the mouth. Not anymore.

[00:18:43] Talk to me. That sort of.

[00:18:44] Thing. Yes, exactly. Which I love doing. I like doing very delicate, tiny things. I like doing that. And then, yeah, the cysts, soft tissue, bones. And then, of course, when you’re doing an oral surgical registrar job, you come across lots of trauma RTA, road traffic accidents, fractures and main infections.

[00:19:09] Did you have did you have by this point, did you have the feeling that you were going to settle down in Britain?

[00:19:14] And at that time, as I was going along, I must say no. What were you thinking to such hot countries in other and meeting countries like Africa? I was not happy with Britain too much at that time because it was always cold.

[00:19:34] Yeah.

[00:19:35] And you’re in the middle of a crowd, which you can feel lonely in certain places in person. Because why isn’t that same?

[00:19:46] There isn’t that same feeling of community for someone who’s come from the from especially from some of the third world countries. You know, I was just in Montenegro last weekend and my car broke and my rental car and literally three people started helping from nowhere. You know, people stop their car. And one guy, he had a he had a little girl in his car and she was just sat on the on the side of the road. And he was he was helping fix my car. And it reminded me of Iran, you know, where there isn’t services, the community come together and help each other out. And that itself has got a certain feeling about it that you miss out in a you know, let’s call it a first world country. You know, where there is, there are services. But then the other thing is people forget early eighties, Britain was just after the winter of discontent. It was quite a bleak place. It wasn’t it wasn’t Britain as we know it today. You know, the whole Thatcher thing hadn’t happened. I mean, the Midlands where we’re in the Midlands where you.

[00:20:48] I worked in Hull. Oh yeah. Early eighties. Hull. I think at that time it must have been the most depressing place in the whole island of the United Kingdom. The only nice thing at that time was my team that I worked with. Yeah, there was super, super friendly and very, very supportive and so kind. I love being with them. My consultant was amazing and after that outside work, there was nothing else you could do except go drive in front of the suspension bridge. If you’ve known if you know it, and just sit there and imagine you’re in San Francisco or something. Yeah.

[00:21:33] So where were you? Where were you thinking of moving to? Because you were you thinking Africa or Middle East or were you thinking yet another place.

[00:21:40] Now not to get to that place? I think by that time I had already started putting my roots in this country because I had just got married before going to college. So.

[00:21:51] So you met you met your husband here?

[00:21:53] Yes, in Bristol.

[00:21:55] Oh, really? Really. And he’s a surgeon.

[00:21:58] And he’s a surgeon now. I still work. So he was working in Scotland, I was in house, were travelling up and down. And then he said, Look, I married you because I wanted a wife, not tomorrow. So you move up here, I can’t move there. So yeah. So I finished my job, or just about maybe two months before finishing my post completely there I handed in my resignation and apology and then we were together all the time following where he went. I could always find jobs. And then that’s when. When I got my three years later, I already had two children. Oh, my goodness. Yeah.

[00:22:45] So at this point, had you pulled out of hospital dentistry and now you were doing practice jobs wherever your.

[00:22:50] Husband was working? Yeah, exactly. So when I left my surgery registrar job, the second one, I think I followed him. And wherever he went, I just slotted it into local practices. Luckily, without profession, you can get jobs anywhere up and down the country. Yeah. In practice, this one I started general practice. And believe it or not, when I first went on the list in Scotland, it’s extremely busy. The first day I went to a general practice post, I was presented with a variety of things to do, which I had not done for a long time. I hadn’t touched our city or composite feelings or amalgam feelings for ages. I got worried, so I pulled it. I remember the lady, the assistant, the dental nurse assistant had so much experience as she was beginning to teach me. And the very first day she was handing me the right instruments and I pulled her out. One day I said, Listen, I haven’t done dentistry for a long time. The last I did was when I was a student. Can you remind me to do this and that? What do I do? So kind of very nice. Yeah.

[00:24:10] Which town was this?

[00:24:12] Glasgow. Well, we initially. We went to Greenock and then. And then Glasgow.

[00:24:17] Did you have trouble with the accent?

[00:24:19] Yes. I bet you did. Often. I had to ask her. Excuse me. What did you do for.

[00:24:27] So. So then your. Your husband. Did he eventually settle down somewhere for a number of years? Was that Glasgow or somewhere?

[00:24:34] No, In at that time, doctors used to travel to move about so much every six months in the junior and then every year slightly up the going going up the ladder. It was getting slightly better and better. Well, I did mind. I love travelling and I love new places. So I loved going where he went, Oh, he travelled a lot. And sometimes he would do locums between jobs, between posts. If there is a time lag he would go to locums, Isle of Skye, Shetland, Orkney, all those little remote counties and islands.

[00:25:13] Is he a Yemeni as well?

[00:25:15] No, he’s from Iraq.

[00:25:17] Iraq. Okay.

[00:25:18] Okay.

[00:25:19] Yeah. And what kind of surgeon is he?

[00:25:21] He’s a general surgeon. So he was one of the first people who went into keyhole surgery very early on when it started to get very interested in that. He’s a very good surgeon, I can tell you that.

[00:25:37] Oh, sure.

[00:25:38] Terrible with DIY at home, but very good. He’s been too.

[00:25:44] Busy. Too busy studying, isn’t he, to do any DIY?

[00:25:47] That’s the problem.

[00:25:48] With our colleagues. So. So then when did you end up in London? How did it become London? Because eventually you set up this practice in Harrow.

[00:25:55] So when the 1980s were late 1992, when I had three children at that time he decided to come. He was given a post here in London, and I was reluctant to come to London because of the hustle and bustle. And I was so happy where I was in Scotland. By that time we had our own house in Paisley. So he came and then and then he was offered a longer it was first just a local and then it became a more of a local for more months, then.

[00:26:32] Longer.

[00:26:32] Periods. Yeah, it kept on being extended and I said, Look, it’s not easy now to travel up and down. I’ve got three children. So I moved down here and then we bought our house here. And then about a couple of years later, the fourth kid had arrived Well, and I was offered a job abroad in Oman. So we discussed about it and we thought, let’s just give ourselves another few years of trying something else somewhere else and let’s see how it goes. So I went and I worked in this new private hospital there, the the first private hospital, Muscat, in a month as the head of the oral surgery department. Well, and I introduced implant implants for the first time in the country.

[00:27:26] And had you already been doing implant ology at this point?

[00:27:29] Yes, I had already done here in London. I had done courses and in the practice that I was working in here in Neasden, I started doing a few.

[00:27:40] For an associate.

[00:27:42] Associate.

[00:27:44] So look, this, this juggle doctor of four kids and a husband who’s travelling around. He’s a surgeon who I’m sure you didn’t see very much of. And then being an associate and deciding to learn implants.

[00:27:59] Yes, that’s a lot.

[00:28:01] To do, a lot to take on at the same time.

[00:28:04] What was the.

[00:28:05] Drive? What was did you not consider not working and being a stay at home mum.

[00:28:10] For it was never on the table. So what is it?

[00:28:14] You mean career wise? You would just. You’re ambitious, career wise. What’s what’s the story? I mean, I see that in your daughters.

[00:28:21] Yes, I had my girls by that time. The three older ones were at school when my fourth was born. But I went to do Scientology early on. In that three years that I came to London, I stumbled into this course upon this course in Hardy St, forget his name. Now, he was one of the first people to do proctology in this country. 6 to 1 are the address of the place, 61 Harley Street. That’s where the course was. And from the minute I went to the course, I became so interested in implants. I was talking and eating and thinking implants since then.

[00:29:05] Really? So was it was it because you had this oral surgery experience?

[00:29:10] Exactly.

[00:29:11] It kind of spoke to you more.

[00:29:13] Yes. That allowed me to go back into the bone to raise flaps. The time for ontology. It was raising flaps. Yeah, spending time, drilling bone, etc.. So by the time I went to Oman, I had done a few good cases, so happy about them. And then I thought, Well, let me introduce this procedure in this new private hospital. And we became very busy very quickly and I gained more and more experience while I was there.

[00:29:44] Who is who was the teacher? Was it was it.

[00:29:48] Harris was his name Haris.

[00:29:51] Skidelsky?

[00:29:54] No, no, no. But I know I knew him at that time. Who was?

[00:30:02] Was he an Indian?

[00:30:04] No, he was English. Cool. I’ll try. Try to remember his during the course of it.

[00:30:13] So? So then. Okay. You started putting implants in at in your associate job. And were you were you thinking at that time that you were going to only do implants or you like a normal dentist, your normal NHS or private dentists? What were you doing? What was what was your day to day? How much implants was it and how much?

[00:30:32] Very few. I didn’t do too many at all. Okay, Again, associate. I didn’t do too many.

[00:30:38] So you were just a regular, like a regular NHS dentist at that point?

[00:30:41] Yes, but it was a mixed practice. Yeah. So, but I just grabbed the opportunity of being able to. The principal just allowed me to do anything that came in.

[00:30:55] So then when you move to Oman, when you moved to Oman and it was an it was like more like a hospital job, right?

[00:31:02] Yes, it was a hospital job. It was in a hospital. Private hospital.

[00:31:07] And did your husband move as well, or was he still here?

[00:31:09] Nothing. Not not because he had taken on that long locum here and he was just about to finish what was required for him to enter into the specialist register. So he didn’t come with me, but he said as soon as I get into the specialist register, I’ll apply for a job there. He then got a job there, which is a bit far from where I was in Moscow, which is about 45 minutes away. He wasn’t happy travelling. So he came back and took up a consulting post, permanent one. And so I had to come back reluctantly to England, I guess to say. I came back kicking and screaming, which was all for the good, very good that that could be.

[00:32:01] And I mean to be taking care of four kids and running all surgery department in a new country.

[00:32:09] Just to me. Seems like I had my mom with me and I had a maid, so it was much, much easier than being in London. That’s why I wasn’t happy coming back.

[00:32:24] So then you came back and then was this around the time you set up your own practice or do you know?

[00:32:29] Yeah, that same practice I was an associate with. The chap wanted to sell it. Unfortunately, it had problems and so I bought it and I ran it for 15 years. Oh, wow. And. But after the ten years I was there, I decided I don’t want to do the NHS anymore. I was finding it extremely difficult to cope with doing implants. The demand was going up for implants and NHS and general and private. It was far too much. So I started another practice in Harrow on the hill from scratch. The building was being refurbished, so when I went to see the premises it was like a it was like a construction site. No ceilings, no floors, mud everywhere. Anyway, when I looked at the floor floor plans and the guy had reduced the price of the apartment that I was looking at quite substantially because he had two failures, tried to sell it twice and he was they failed to continue. The two buyers failed to continue with a purchase. So he thought I must reduce the price and sell it quickly. Then I trotted log in and bought it immediately and I waited for the construction to finish. Luckily, I was there when it was finishing and then I asked them to put all the plumbing for the chairs, etc. So I got the premises on in March 2010. Started it with zero patients, but many patients were sort of following me from my other practice, so very quickly became busy. And then by 2018, I thought, okay, that’s it. Final Got to take an exit from dentistry. Now, look, I ran for about nine years.

[00:34:25] And that’s when you sold it to Zainab?

[00:34:27] Yes. And her husband.

[00:34:29] And her husband. Ahmed. Yeah. So, look, you’ve you’ve run a couple of, I guess, successful dental practices while at the same time as running a family. What would you say is the secret to, you know.

[00:34:43] Successful Dental people that if you want to do something very hard, you have to know how to balance your sleep, how to eat well, and how to be very organised, and how to make your life as a routine. So I slept early. As soon as my kids slept, I would not waste time. I would sleep early. Yeah, wake up early, make sure that my house is clean in the morning before I leave, girls go to school. I go to work and I always took one day off in the week. I never worked full time until very late when they were all at school and they were older and they could look after themselves. So I had one day to re charge and go back to my settings and do what I needed to do to look after myself and everything else, to do some more paperwork, etc.. So that helped that I could split the week into two. I never worked on Wednesdays, so Wednesdays was my my day off. So yeah. So the secret is to have very good rest and not to be lazy and to wake up early and eat well. Fair enough.

[00:36:00] But you could say that about any, any life though, right? You could say you could say do that for any sort of good life. But what about a dental practice? I mean, did you have key people? In the place that that we’re running things.

[00:36:15] And yes, so I think that to run any business is to know it very well. Yeah, not to worry about competition ever. If you’re confident, even if you’ve got three dentists around me like I did in my other NHS practice, there are so many practices around me it never bothered me. In fact, I strive to cooperate with these practices and be friendly with them. So competition is not a problem. You should never worry about what you’re going to get. As far as income is concerned. There’s always bad, good, bad and ugly days. Just have to know that there are going to be bad days. And they’re going to be good days. Just keep going. Be focussed on what you do and ensure that you do the best for the patients. Very honestly work with a lot of integrity and a lot of honesty. Be charitable people who ask for discount and now discount and we will be busy and you’ll never fail if you give your sincerity to your work. Take time off travel, go swimming, relax, unwind. Be happy as much as you can. It’s not easy in England, but funnily enough, I used to draw happiness and cheerfulness for my children and travelled a lot with them without their dad because he was always busy. So I used to take them and go places with them and have fun.

[00:37:52] It’s refreshing to hear you talk about it in such sort of simple terms because, you know, like anything, the basics really are important, right? Getting the basics right. And you’ve described a sort of a simple case of look out for your patients and and they’ll look out for you in the end. Right? You didn’t you didn’t say anything about, you know, the things people have to do these days with Instagram and Google and advertising and any of that. You know, you just look after people and and that was it.

[00:38:25] But yeah.

[00:38:27] You know, you.

[00:38:27] Must be in that position yourself.

[00:38:32] Yeah. Yeah. I’ve been a dentist, but I’ve never, never been I’ve never juggled as much as you’ve juggled.

[00:38:39] Yeah. Women always do more than men. Yeah.

[00:38:42] I’m finding that out. Talking to two lady dentists and finding that how hard some people work in their lives. Well, I mean, my wife’s a lady dentist, right? So. So I should. I should be aware of it. But. But. But, you know, it’s an interesting story, right, that you’ve done all of this. I want to find out why is it what is it about you that makes you comfortable with jumping into the unknown? The way that you have. I mean, you’ve done so many things where, you know, I wouldn’t I wouldn’t have the balls personally to go and study in another country. Number one, I wouldn’t have the idea of going and setting up a as oral surgery in a in another country with, you know, you seem very comfortable with jumping in. What is it about you?

[00:39:37] I must have inherited that from my dad.

[00:39:39] It Was he like that?

[00:39:41] Yeah, he was very. Literally, there is an Arabic saying that it means just take the step with God behind you and you’ll not fail. So he took that literally. And whatever he did here, he was a business man. It never bothered him to work hard. He would wake up in three at three in the morning. He was a he was a butcher master. So he had lots of butchers around. And he did a packing meat packing business. And that required very early brides choose your cattle to be slaughtered for that day, etc.. And he used to travel far to, to choose the cattle to bring back to town, etc.. Back in Africa, he was always doing hard things, but seemingly easily. And kept my mother on her toes because he was sometimes travelling very late at night with only one driver. And he was very brave, enterprising and always charming. They always laughed and kept us happy, just like I think myself. Now, as I said to you, I think that to be content and happy, however little you have, is very important. Rather than being always stressed and you are a millionaire.

[00:41:03] It’s so true.

[00:41:04] If you are content, that’s it. We’re here to be happy. We’re not here just to earn money and have lots of money in the bank and then have to wonder what to do with all that money and be stressed about it. So I think my dad was that kind of a person and I emulated him and I always think about him, God bless his soul maybe. And also I inherited, I must say, thankfully, his strength as well, and the conviction and his sincerity at work. He always used to say to us, you know, if you want it to be successful, never cheat, give rather than take if you have to. And so what if you lose money? Doesn’t matter if you’re making the other person happy, be charitable to your patients or other needy people, to your children, to your friends.

[00:41:56] It’s it’s it’s a great way of of in the end actually running a business, isn’t it? Because if at the end of the day, what is a business, it’s it’s a set of customers, a set of suppliers and a set of staff, you know, people who work in the business.

[00:42:15] And if you have slightly better I’m sorry, I’m paying you very well. Yeah.

[00:42:20] So what I said was what a business at the end of the day is a set of customers, a set of a set of staff and a set of suppliers. And if you can, if you can keep those three groups happy, you’re going to have a fantastic business. Right. And and it’s you’re right that some people do difficult things and make it look easy.

[00:42:43] Yeah. And yet I think.

[00:42:46] Have you noticed today with the younger generation with let’s say with with Yusra and Zainab and Fatima’s generation, you get a lot of mental health concerns, people worried about their mental health. Is it is it that we’re now talking about it and we weren’t talking about it before? Or is it that you guys were just made of a more resilient. Thing than these guys?

[00:43:13] I don’t know. I think it’s a set of a combination of things that is causing there, there. Sometimes I get surprised at how much influence they have. Not as much. Zaynab But my youngest, she’s very interested in mental health and how to help others. Infectious Saturday, a group called the Dental Bond. Now we use a bond bonding system when we do our right. So she chose that word. It’s a self-help kind of group or group help for people who are undergoing a lot of stress in dentistry. We all went through stresses in dentistry, but it was. It never culminated or we never thought about it, that we are stressed. We never thought that we’re stressed. We just got stressed in different ways. I would say to my husband, Look, I’m really stressed. Let me take the kids to the pool today. Let’s go swimming. And that’s it. That’s it. That was for me. Good. But they this generation, I don’t know. Maybe it’s a competition. Competition defined Instagram and social media that they think that is causing them have stress. Thank God my girls are not really indulging in to stress, but they talk about mental problems more than we did at our downtime.

[00:44:39] Yeah, for sure. Definitely. Definitely. People are talking about it more. But, you know, I’m thinking is is it is it that or is it that they’re you know, they’re not as resilient as your day.

[00:44:54] It could be. As I said, my child, our childhood, especially back in Africa, I’m sure in many other similar countries, we were more outdoors than indoors. And I think that makes a lot of difference. So being outdoors, you get that means of survival or bonus or not between animals in Africa. But we went out were more streetwise. People were not afraid if we went out. Now our kids can go outside for 2 minutes without us having a heart attack. They’re always indoors. We protect them too much. Obviously they’re not going to come out with a lot of strength in a strength like we did in time is not going to get better. I think the world is getting worse in this in this aspect, in this problem because. It’s becoming more and more dangerous out there, More crimes. Is that.

[00:45:49] Is that true? Is is is there more crime now than there was before? Or is it that we know more about it than we knew before?

[00:45:56] Well, I think there is. And I think and I think there is more crime because the world has not become a better place in that time. There’s more poverty even in the West. There’s more. There’s a bigger gap between the rich and the poor. And the poor, of course, will take drugs and then go and commit crimes and robbery and theft. There was I mean, I must say, during our time in Africa, it was also security wise, it wasn’t very secure. We had robberies and we had big dogs like fierce dogs outside our house. In order to ward off the burglars. But nevertheless, it was the type of upbringing was different. And now it’s different now more television and more and more influence to get from the TV as well. So your message to.

[00:46:53] Your daughters have famously done very well on social media.

[00:46:58] You did well. I’m so proud of them. So when you.

[00:47:01] Look at that. Does that? Does that sort of. Would you if you were a dentist now, would you be the Instagram dentist? I mean, it takes a certain it takes a certain type. It takes a certain type to be out there with.

[00:47:18] Yes. I think that like you said, like you pointed out, I was not very fearful of taking steps forward or putting myself out there for different things. I was out when they were young guys to take them to conferences in America and Las Vegas, Chicago, wherever I went. Did you? So that gave them also, I think, the feeling that, oh, if mom can do it, so can we. You know.

[00:47:47] So it’s funny, Doctor, I talk to I talk to dentists now and they say things like, you know, I’m so busy with work that I can’t see to my kids.

[00:47:57] I can’t.

[00:47:58] I can’t give attention to the kids. You know that. They say sometimes they’ll say something like, The kid wants my attention, but I’m busy on the computer or something. And, you know, mother’s saying this. And and often I think, you know, the kid’s learning something. By watching the mother do that in the same way as your kids, you know? You know, why was it ZAYNAB just kept on saying. My mum, my mum, my mum throughout her, you know, she watched. She watched you do what you did.

[00:48:28] And.

[00:48:28] People forget that, you know.

[00:48:30] Yeah. I mean, I used to Zainab when she started school used was at the nursery but she didn’t like her nursery very much. Just yesterday we remembering this. So I used to take her to the surgery that I was working in. I was an associate in Scotland, in Glasgow, Southside of Glasgow. And if he’s listening now, he will he will remember this, the practice, the practice order. And you’re still just sitting there amusing and chatting up the patients in the waiting room is about for such a cute kid and she was so good she would sit there. There was a game she played and when we finished I just took her away. So it was like, you know, she lived my life almost in a minuscule way. She enjoyed it. I enjoyed having her tiring for her, of course, but we had a little room that she progressed. So. Yeah.

[00:49:30] Doctor, what are your top tips? What are your top tips for parenting? Because your daughters are so confident. And as a parent, now that I’m a parent and you think about what can you give to your kids? And confidence is the most important thing. The way I’m looking at it. But without arrogance, you know that there’s almost a thin line between those two positions. And yet your daughters I haven’t met you properly, but I’ve definitely watched quite a lot of her content. And Zainab, I know quite well they’ve got a real confidence about them.

[00:50:07] What’s your what’s your what’s.

[00:50:08] Your tip on parenting for confidence?

[00:50:12] For confidence. I think it’s to highlight their strengths. Positive, rewarding. Encouraging.

[00:50:21] When you say when you say positive, rewarding, what did you literally say? If you get this in your exams, I’ll get you that. Was it like that all right?

[00:50:29] It was not rewarded with material as much as, okay, we go for a trip if you get if you do. Well, I never forced them to sit down and do their homework. For example, I used to supervise their homework, by the way, when they were young. I never worked till five. I would finish school hours, pick them up and come home with them. So it was always with them, dropping them to school and bring them back home. They wouldn’t be at home alone with another person.

[00:50:55] Did you never have like a nanny?

[00:50:57] No.

[00:50:58] Not even in the Middle East?

[00:51:00] Yes, In the Middle East? Yes. When I was there, I had to work very hard as a new hospital. I had to help the building build it up. So I was working very late, but I had my mum and that made them. Everything was done for me there. So it’s a positive, positive reward.

[00:51:18] You said.

[00:51:19] You said not material. So yeah, my girls, I brought them up a little bit like myself. We were never thrown into a heap of toys or it is more like for me and my girls, it is more like, okay, we’ll go here and we’ll go there and we’ll do this. More activities rather than rewarding presents and toys and dolls and feedback that they would get. Toys, mainly educational toys, but not much.

[00:51:50] So did you did you was it was there a point where I guess you got quite successful? Was was there a point where you were not giving them things on purpose so that they would sort of feel the value of.

[00:52:02] Not giving them.

[00:52:03] Not giving them whatever it was, you know, whether it was a holiday business class or, you know what I mean? Did you hold yourself back on purpose for them to get the value of money or the value of life or value of work?

[00:52:18] I would not shower them with whatever they want.

[00:52:20] On purpose.

[00:52:21] Right? Yeah, that was exactly what they needed. But they wouldn’t get more of what they wanted. But they would get I mean, if they asked for this and that they would get it. But it wasn’t like showering it all over them such that they would be so full of what they have and not aspire for both. And I think another thing I learned from my dad is, you know, bringing up children, you should always leave a little something that they should want and work for it before they get. Yeah.

[00:52:55] And what about dentistry? Did you actively encourage them, the three of them. And you’ve got four daughters now. How the how is it the three of them ended up wanting to be dentists?

[00:53:04] Yes. I didn’t actively encourage them. But did they ask me? I would tell them that it’s a very good profession where you enjoy working with your patients. You put music the only, I think, the only profession where you could put music, smile and sing along with your patients while you’re working with them or break into a dance behind while I’m dressing up my dress for doing my implants, for example. So they saw what I was doing and they knew it was a fun. For me, it was fun. It is still fun. If I went back today to do dentistry, I would still have fun. I like working with my hands, doing minuscule things, tiny, delicate things is my passion as I love also painting. So. So it was a way through an enjoyment.

[00:53:59] Okay, let’s. Let’s move on to darker times.

[00:54:03] Yeah.

[00:54:04] On this show. We like to discuss mistakes. I want I want to hear I want to hear both clinical mistakes. And maybe business business mistakes.

[00:54:15] Business was critical. Mistake. I remember the very first time I went into theatre as an officer to remove some teeth from a child. And at that time when I came to this country, the notion of left and right was new to me. So what is right should be left and is right the opposite way. While in in college in Romania, we use international 1 to 3 number and number and the very first child I remove the teeth with the wrong teeth on the opposite side. Wow. First child, four of the four.

[00:55:01] What did you what happened?

[00:55:04] There were deciduous teeth or very little rotten as well. There were caries all over the everywhere, rampant caries. But I didn’t remove the worst of them. I did not so bad. So when I realised actually it wasn’t me who realised first it was the nurse, my assistant U.S. attorneys. And as soon as we finish she came. She was a stern lady and stood all over me. It was over.

[00:55:30] Was general anaesthetic.

[00:55:31] Again? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yes. And she said, Here you are. She gave me that piece of paper that I was supposed to read correctly. And she said, This is what you removed. You should give her modesty. I looked at my speechless, heart pounding a bit and not knowing what to say. And she looked at me. She said, you know, I’m going to have to report this to your consultant. I said, Yes, of course it’s a mistake. And I will not deny that it is a mistake, as we all are. Human beings can make a mistake. And I walked away saying, Yes, we are all human and we can make mistakes. But I was kicking myself and I thought that that was a huge lesson for me to be extra careful ever again. So that was my biggest mistake.

[00:56:22] What came of it? What did you say to the patient? Was it as simple as that?

[00:56:27] I went to the parents. I went to the parents after the patient recovered and the teeth were in the container. And I went straight to the mom. Who didn’t already knew it didn’t look please at all. I do apologise. I made a mistake. I own it up. I’m so sorry. Whatever. Whatever is required of me, I’m going to do it. You know, I didn’t know what was required after that. I had no clue. I was a very junior person. So then my consultant just wrote a letter to them and apologised and offered any help that they required. It died down a natural death, but I never did it again.

[00:57:12] So it never got to legal or anything. I guess back then it wasn’t such a legalistic world.

[00:57:16] It No. Even now, I don’t think such a huge simple human mistake will necessarily lead up to litigation.

[00:57:26] But I’ve done it. I’ve done it too, By the way, I drilled the wrong side. And and you know what it was? The OPG was labelled incorrectly and there was no no fillings in the mouth at all. And I was going to drill lower, left seven and it turned out there was lower. Right. So and the funny thing was I kept saying to the patient, you know, I just, I just can’t find this decay. It’s weird because I can see it on the on the x ray, just not getting to it. You just need to go a bit further. It’s a weird shadow or something. And then drill, drill, drill, drill to it and suddenly think, wait a.

[00:58:05] Minute and.

[00:58:06] Look on the other. The problem was I just met the patient that day and that’s always problematic. And this fear came over her eyes and she she got up and walked out and the boyfriend came in and I told him, look, this is what’s happened. And then and then they did they did see me. I think we ended up paying £3,000 or something, but it’s easily done. And you’re right, you only do that once.

[00:58:32] Yeah. When I was a trainer in my knees in practice, I used my experience because there were new dentists. Yeah, I would tell them this story and that’s why it’s quickly came out. When you ask me this, I repeated a few times. Yeah. And I told them, Look, I did this mistake. I’ve learned from it. I want you to learn from it as well, even though you haven’t done that mistake. So I told them and then one time another typical mistake is I was using those days. We used to use a tool.

[00:59:07] To fill the root canals.

[00:59:09] Yes.

[00:59:10] Yeah. The spiral filler thing.

[00:59:12] Exactly. So we use that nowadays. They are not even introduced to them. But I had them in my practice because I love using them. So I was teaching my all my vet trainings. I was a beauty trainer from 22,003 till 2009. And I was telling them if you wanted a really good canal feeling, you can use this, but be very careful, because when I was a junior dentist myself, I made a mistake and I pushed the pedal fast and this thing went right through into the sinus and broke. And then the patient had to have a sinus lift. Don’t do that if you’re going to use it. And I’m telling you this one time and I’m not going to say it again in front of my staff, use it very slowly.

[01:00:06] So that happened to you.

[01:00:09] So at least they knew what could happen if they were to use it.

[01:00:14] What about what about with implants? Surely with implants, you must have had something where you went, Oh, God.

[01:00:20] You know, with implants. Implants. So well, you plan so well, you take CT scans, you do your measurements, very little room of mistakes. There’s very little room to make a mistake. And I don’t even recall. I’ve done hundreds or thousands. I since 2000 and 2003. I’ve been doing it until the time I retired.

[01:00:43] What about a case of.

[01:00:45] Oh, yes, there was a year where I thought there was enough bone because there was a lot of thickness down and a young lady, a beautiful girl who was missing a little hole close to the nerve, too. So I thought, Oh, there’s enough bone, there’s no need here for me to do a CT scan, the metal frame far towards the thigh. So I knew there was enough space. And a few years down the line of starting implants, I stopped raising flaps. I would just puncture the top part of the government and then drill down through taking care, not only to realise that her bone is so thin, it’s not going to it’s not going to. In the lower region, you can’t expand bone very well because the bone is very thin. It’s thin, that’s it. You can’t really expand it. But in the top where it’s sponges and soft, you can expand the bone using aggravated osteoporosis. So and she’s such a patient person, was the last person I wanted to not do an implant in her because she really needed it. Just halfway down I realised, oh my God, I’m puncturing this bone to the lingual side. Wow. I realised that I’m going to be more appropriate on many levels. I realise it’s going nowhere. So I said to her, Look, it’s. I should have taken a scan. Sorry.

[01:02:14] So was it. There wasn’t enough width of bone. Yeah. Rather than depth. What’s with. So then what you abandoned pulls out and abandoned?

[01:02:25] Yeah. Yeah. I bended it and I just then raised a flap and closed the, the, the gum rather than leaving a hole there and said, I really am sorry. Would you refund all your deposit is not going to be possible unless you have a good augmentation. And augmentations don’t really work very well in this region unless you do a graft from the hip or from the chin. And even then they can all dissolve. So they don’t go through all that. Just do a little a little bridge and you still go to bridge this about ten years ago.

[01:03:00] And then did you end up always taking a CT scan in that area going forward? From then on.

[01:03:07] Increasingly, as years went by long and sometimes something tells you, oh no, it’s it’s okay. It would be alright here if the patient finds it a little bit difficult to go all the way to town to do this. It is cash.

[01:03:24] Sure, sure. What about a situation where it might even have been the patient was, you know, had some, you know, expectations that you couldn’t meet or where a patient lost confidence like a management, a management problem rather than a technical problem. Did you have any of those?

[01:03:43] No, not in the sense of management. But I remember I treated a lady who had a very deep bite class to this to a very difficult situation where she had lost two front teeth, wanted nothing but implants. She had a bridge that she didn’t want to have. Again, it was a bridge. And so I did the implant with the bone was was orienting towards the back. But the team, the rest of the team were tasked to leave to come down with. So if we as a matter of having a very animated Batman, which we had to make it custom made in order to get that angle. After that, we had very good results. The results were unexpectedly good. But there was a little bit of protuberance in the region here of the emergence of the gum, naturally, because of the angle. And thankfully, she had a low smile. So even when she smiled, it was not showing that area. But when.

[01:04:56] You lifted the lid, puppet looked weird.

[01:04:58] And she kept looking through the mirror with the lip up in order. Now, what do you have when you have a bridge? It’s different because they can mask these little defects. So she came back and she said, I want all my money back, which is not as I expected. And in spite of in our consent form, we always included a clause or other sentence saying that the results may not be as you envisaged or as you visualise it, because we cannot really go inside your head to know what you’re visualising it. So they signed this contract. But sometimes, like in that case, she came back and said, No, I’m not happy. I want my money back. And then so I contacted my DPP. I think it was the Medical Protection Society I was with and told them the case and they said, okay, we will advise you to write so-and-so. So let us going forth and back forth. And I said then to the them, I said, Look, it’s not worth my while. She wants the money back. She can have the money back and she can use those implants for the rest of her life. I give her her money back and off she went and off I went. So sometimes this would happen very, very difficult.

[01:06:21] I mean, you know, the the thing is, I was talking to my previous guest about this. You’ve been a dentist for 30, 35 odd years or whatever. And you can say you’re a highly experienced dentist. Right. The thing about experience is you can’t really buy it. You can’t you can’t accelerate experience. Experience comes from a set of things that essentially go wrong over those years and then you’ve got experience. And so it’s a funny thing because, you know, if these things don’t go wrong, then you’re going to have big problems going forward because you’re not aware of the things that can go wrong. It’s one of those that’s why we call it dental practice, right?

[01:07:08] Practising dentistry, word experience by itself. You just worked it up right now and I’m thinking about it. The word experience is learning is what you have learned and you have learned from the good, the bad and the ugly you learn from. And not to make them again. Again, there was another case also way back when I was younger, where I did a set of dentures to some Italian, and he was very particular about his appearance. An older person, full set of pictures, and he went away and came back a year later and said, I don’t like them. A year later. And he said. Refund my money or I’ll take you to court. And I said, a year later, you want to take me to court, take me to court then, because I’ll win this case, because you used it for a year and now you’re coming back and you want your money back. Oh. They started shouting at the practice and I don’t like them. And they keep coming all the more, more and more. As time goes by, they’re coming off more. And I say this because your lost your bone. We removed a few teeth. The becoming lose. There is a solution to that. We can rely on them. No, I don’t want any line. I want my money back. And this was another case that I had to pay back his money and he’s gone. When I tell people this, they said to me, You shouldn’t have given him his money a year on. And I said, Yes, but what is money is going to give me trouble. I’d rather pay no more trouble.

[01:08:49] Of course.

[01:08:50] And just finish with this trouble.

[01:08:52] I think, you know, I totally agree with that with that approach. Right. Because you can think of it as a cost of business. You know, that’s what it costs to be in the job that we’re in, that once in a while you’re going to have to do this. That’s all good. But sometimes people you know, I’ve heard stories where people think the patient is actually on purpose doing something to get something for free. And then once you’ve got that in your head that it’s not just an unhappy patient. It’s a patient trying to, you know, quote unquote, steal from you, then then then you become defensive about it. And it’s funny because in our business, we’ve got a bleaching business and we’ve got this thing, this be one guarantee, the guarantee the result. And one of the biggest issues with my team is to get my team to whether or not they think there’s a problem to believe that the dentist, you know, to say, look, we’re going to believe every dentist, even if one or two aren’t being 100% honest about it, because it’s the other 98% that I’m interested in keeping happy rather than the 2% that might be doing something, you know, And it’s having having the sort of the zoomed out approach to understand that that, you know, even if this Italian guy was was was was doing it cynically, you need to believe.

[01:10:15] For one thing, then I would be very selective, more selective out of it. But yeah, I mean, it’s very fun and it’s a lovely profession and it’s so enjoyable. But I think you also have to be very careful about taking on certain tasks or certain treatments or certain people. You’ve got to know how to select your cases, really.

[01:10:45] I mean, people talk about a sixth sense when it comes to that. They say there’s something about the patient that wasn’t right. Have you put your finger on that?

[01:10:55] I don’t know. I mean, I think that it’s just a pot of luck. You might just be so friendly and so happy with the patient and he can turn around and be quite unpleasant. Yeah.

[01:11:06] Okay. Well, it’s been a real pleasure getting your story and your experience. What are your what are your future plans? I mean, now that you’re retired, how did you find that? Not going to work every day? Did you find it quite difficult or easy?

[01:11:21] Yes, actually, I was building a house back in Oman at that time, so I was super busy in terms of my everyday tasks. But when I finished the house and finished furnishing it and not having a job and not being able to swing my legs in the morning out of bed, having a goal, what to do, I passed through about two weeks of feeling quite low. Two weeks for the first time in my life. Yeah.

[01:11:53] And then you got.

[01:11:54] Over it because I decided to travel. Let’s go, Let’s go. I don’t. I don’t feel good. I must have a change. Well, building a house is very hard anyway. Very stressful. So I needed a break. So we went to Malaysia and we had a very nice time. When I came back, I said to myself, I have to do now seriously take up my real hobby, which I loved all my life but never had the chance to do, which was painting. And I started learning more techniques. I was already quite good at painting, but not technically like very good. So then I started studying and going to classes, studying from YouTube, and I started painting. Very nice work. Yeah. Oh, love got hooked.

[01:12:47] And how was how did it feel losing your practice to your daughter? I mean, I’m sure it felt great, but did you did you find yourself sort of worrying about your practice or which direction they were going to take it in or, you know, Tell me tell me about that. How does it feel leaving this baby that you I mean, the practice you said you set up from scratch, right?

[01:13:07] Yes. Yeah, from school. I guess there was a time when I had to leave my girls, Zainab and Yusra, to work there. Very good.

[01:13:17] I mean, when you actually sold the practice to Zainab.

[01:13:20] Oh, when I saw the.

[01:13:21] How did you feel about it?

[01:13:23] I think I was quite ready and I was so happy that is going to enter into the family there. The family’s hands are very happy because I declared to them, I said, Look, it’s for me now it’s time to sell. Anyone wants to buy here it is up for grabs. So yeah, they were lucky. I think they were very lucky because it’s hard work to bring it up to the standard varieties, which I did.

[01:13:49] So yeah, from nothing, of course.

[01:13:52] But then there’s a lot of modification in the upgrading to their taste, lots of things and they’ve done their own logo and their own branding. It’s quite amazing what they’ve done. Very, very proud of them. Yeah, it was not easy actually. It was easy to give up my initial practice for sure.

[01:14:17] But yeah, you must, you must be proud when you see their work as well. I mean.

[01:14:22] Yeah, they’re quite skilled also. I mean not just in facial aesthetic, they’re very skilled in minimally invasive, but yeah.

[01:14:30] Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely.

[01:14:32] Well of course I think it’s a year year course in composites, so she’s well, well trained. Yeah.

[01:14:43] Yeah. That’s how she came. She came onto our radar that way when one of our page managers, we were looking for dentists who are really good at composites. And that’s. That’s how we found Zainab in the first instance.

[01:14:55] Beautiful. I sometimes have a look and say, Oh, wow, I didn’t know how she did that. But yeah, the other day I looked something they did and I said, Wow, I’d like to come and see how they do. And she said, Oh, mom, let me remind you, you’re retired. Okay.

[01:15:17] So do you think do you think you’ll ever do any dentistry again or not? Is that it? It’s over.

[01:15:23] I must admit. Sometimes I get tempted to reregister. So now she. She’s got her own practice. But it’s. It’s just up to now. It’s just facial aesthetics. Is that in Liverpool? At Liverpool. Yeah. She hasn’t put in dental care yet. She’s just about to do it and I have the urge to go and help her start it all up. But I think she wants to go straight into cosmetic dentistry and things like Invisalign and adult orthodontics and more inquisitive is doing more cosmetic work and everything which which had past that that had passed me and I hadn’t taken initiative to be really good at it. Corporate bonding of the front teeth.

[01:16:15] But you can’t be really good at everything, right? You’ve got it. You’ve got to pick the bit that you’re good at.

[01:16:19] Wow. So I said to her, okay, so if you wanted me to start, you wanted me to reregister for a little while. I would do general dentistry only and perhaps implants, but not bonding and not Invisalign and not the adult said, No, Mum, let me just go straight into that. I don’t want general dentistry. I said, Well you’ll have to because lots of people need dental dentistry, proper dentistry, general public. So she’s still in two minds about that.

[01:16:55] It’s been a real pleasure to have you, Dr. Wonderful. We’re going to we’re going to end it with our usual questions. Let’s start with the fantasy dinner party. You can have three, three guests dead or alive. Who would you have been alive?

[01:17:14] In her life. I think I would invite my parents. Well. Salim and Jamila, my mom and my father and I haste, I hesitate to say, but wouldn’t I just love to have Prophet Muhammad with me at some point, even in an imaginary situation? What an honour it would be to be in his presence. Of course. Hopefully when we meet in heaven. Hopefully in heaven. Yeah.

[01:17:55] Amazing. And the final question. On your deathbed. You got all your loved ones and by now you will have loads of grandchildren as well, all your loved ones around you. One of three pieces of advice, you would leave them and the world.

[01:18:16] Is to remember the good. Forget the bad and keep your bond and friendliness always tight in family. Keep together, forget to box. Who said what? What they said. Why they said These things are not important. Always be good to each other. Be fair and honest. Be helpful to each other. I’m going to have my count in more than three.

[01:18:50] It’s an interesting thing you’re saying there, because the older you get, the more you see family breakdown, brother and sister not talking to each other, you know. You see it a lot. So sometimes I know sometimes in our in our culture, it tends to be a money thing sometimes, isn’t it? That I don’t know. Maybe. Maybe because the laws aren’t as stringent. And then. And then things fall apart. And this thing you’re saying about, look, it doesn’t matter what people said, but stick together. I’ve seen it with friends. Friends, good friends where the two brothers aren’t talking to each other anymore. Where it started out with something as simple as that. You know, this guy wanted that guy to apologise and that guy didn’t apologise. And then now, seven years later, no one’s talking to each other and.

[01:19:40] That’s really.

[01:19:40] Bad. You must have seen it too, right?

[01:19:44] Um, luckily we’re very close, but we siblings, I don’t think my my children have seen how close we are. We really love each other, help each other, visit each other, never take grudges. We never do that. We’re really very close knit family. I think they too always want to be like that, but seen the benefit of that. So I have seen me in other families, definitely. But since I retired, I’ve also gone deep into learning the holy book, the Koran, deeply and repeatedly. I mean, the third, third time now to learn each verse and its meaning and background and the story behind the verses. So and I realise how many times it says in the Koran, one of the big things that God doesn’t like is cutting off family. One of the big things in His eyes is he considers cutting off and not talking to family is one of the bad things. One of the big, big sins. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, I know. Hopefully that would never happen within my midst, within my surroundings. And another thing is just to. To ensure that they learn why they’re here in this life. It’s not just about enjoyment. It’s a journey. It’ll end one day. And to learn why you’re here. Learn the only one book that was given to us. We have libraries of books that we have read. But has everybody read one book that we were given to read? That would be my next most important advice.

[01:21:33] Have you talked to her? Have you ever found your faith being sort of questioned, questioned your own faith?

[01:21:40] When I was younger. Yes. I have gone through like everybody else questioning and a lot of questioning. But I think you will find all your answers if you search for them, if you truthfully, if you are sincerely looking for your answers, you’ll find them. It’s not just about hearsay. Asking people or scholars. No, but reading yourself. Look and read and find. And all the answers are there in one single book. Only 606,600 plus. Verses and everything is there. So.

[01:22:18] Wonderful to have you, Dr.. It’s a real honour. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

[01:22:26] My pleasure.

[01:22:27] Best of luck for four for your retirement and and all the paintings and things you’re going to do in the future. I hope you really enjoy all of that. Thank you so much.

[01:22:37] Thank you very much.

[01:22:40] This is Dental Leaders, the podcast where you get to go one on one with emerging leaders in dentistry. Your hosts. Payman, Langroudi and Prav. Solanki.

[01:22:56] Thanks for listening, guys.

[01:22:58] If you got this file, you must have listened to the whole thing. And just a huge thank you both from me and pay for actually sticking through and listening to what we had to say and what our guest has had to say, because I’m assuming you got some value out of it. If you did get some value out of it, think about subscribing and if you would share this with a friend who you think might get some value out of it too. Thank you so, so, so much for listening. Thanks. And don’t forget our six star rating.

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