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It's natural to want to fit in and be accepted. But while growing up in Yemen, Zahra Al-harazi discovered the advantages of embracing her differences. In this podcast she shares her incredible journey from East to West, the importance of failure and what it takes to build a life that is your own.

“I was so moved by my chat with Zahra Al-harazi and her journey. Time and time again, Zahra has overcome challenging and at times almost impossible circumstances to not only survive but to thrive. At the beginning of the podcast, I ask her to read the introduction to her book, and I imagine it will move you as it moved me.” — Tony Chapman

Zahra Al-harazi is an internationally acclaimed speaker, award-winning entrepreneur, former Canadian ambassador for UNICEF and author of What it Takes — a national bestseller in which Zahra shares her incredible journey across continents and cultures.

In this edition of Chatter That Matters, Tony Chapman speaks with Zahra about her story of conflicting worlds and how she managed to navigate between East and West, freedom and obligation, acceptance and uniqueness. She shares how, as a young girl in Yemen, she tried desperately to fit in before ultimately discovering that what made her different made her powerful.

Wed at age 17 and a mother at age 22, Zahra spent much of her life forced to conform to cultural customs and expectations. But her thirst for new experiences and desire for freedom never tapered. She immigrated to Canada, had success as an award-winning designer, and created Foundry — which quickly became one of the 100 most profitable companies in Canada run by a woman.

But she didn’t stop there. Ten years later she sold the company. She ended her marriage, bought a motorcycle, jumped out of a plane, swam in the Great Barrier Reef and built Skillit — an experiential marketplace for skills that creates social learning experiences through fun, memory-making events.

Zahra chats with Tony about the importance of failure, the impact of positivity and the advantages that can emerge when you embrace your differences. Her story is incredible and inspiring, and here reveals “What It Takes” to thrive, even in the face of the many obstacles that may line paths.

To listen to this show go to, or download Chatter that Matters wherever you get your podcasts, or on these stations:

  • Newstalk 1010, Toronto
  • CFRA 580 Ottawa
  • CJAD 800 Montreal
  • CJBK 1290 London
  • Newstalk 610 St. Catharine’s
  • CKLW 800 Windsor
  • CKFR 1150 Kelowna
  • Fridays at 1 p.m.
  • CFAX 1070 AM Victoria
  • Fridays at 8 p.m.
  • BNN Bloomberg, CFTE 1410 Vancouver

To listen to Tony Chapman’s CHATTER THAT MATTERS Podcast, download Chatter that Matters on I HEART Radio, wherever you get your podcasts, or at: