Home Dubai-raised British expat and humanitarian reveals her life’s journey beyond sexual violence and conflict in the Middle East

Dubai-raised British expat and humanitarian reveals her life’s journey beyond sexual violence and conflict in the Middle East

Press Release: June 03, 2015

Former humanitarian worker and current life coach Claire Higgins, 36, released her first book; Wild Zen: An Inner Roadmap to Humanity, on the 1st of June 2015. The book is a psychological and spiritual enquiry into what it takes to live beyond the tougher moments of life and remain human. It takes Higgins’ own journey through and beyond violence and 12 years of humanitarian field work across the Middle East as a backdrop to teach others how to navigate an inner roadmap to humanity.

“Like many people out there, I’ve faced tough and traumatic times but I’ve learned to move beyond them and share my insights with others,” explains Higgins. Regarded by her GCSE form tutor as a rebellious character with an inquisitive mind, Higgins’ love for the rich Middle Eastern culture she grew up in led her to complete a BA in Arabic and Persian at SOAS in 2002, where she mastered both languages and won the Best Undergraduate Finalist Prize for her thesis on “The Dialect, Culture, History, Trade & Architecture of The UAE.”

Soon after, Higgins returned to the Middle East to take up a position with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Jerusalem as an Arabic interpreter. A year later, she returned to SOAS and completed a Masters in Violence, Conflict, and Development. Focusing on refugee affairs and aid/development practices, she wrote her final thesis entitled, "Interpreting Silence: The Politics of Neutrality and the ICRC in the Israel/Palestine Conflict." It was only after handing in this thesis that her real understanding of aid work and herself began.

Over the next 12 years, Higgins worked with some of the world’s largest humanitarian organisations, including UNRWA, UNOCHA, UNODC, IFRC, Médecins Sans Frontières, Qatar Red Crescent, Amnesty International, Norwegian Refugee Council to name a few. She held positions in some of the most contested cities in the world including Jerusalem and the West Bank as well as some of its most challenging locations like the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Her intuitive diplomacy skills helped her navigate the thorny world of politics, government and organisational bureaucracies in addition to media and mass communication biases.

Amidst this tempestuous surroundings, her personal life was also stormy. Her book documents how intimate partner violence in her marriage, flashbacks to teenage sexual violence, separation and divorce unravelled alongside a nomadic and turbulent work-life. There were many times when she could have given up but she didn’t. Instead, Higgins learned how to build an effective inner dialogue and bridge her inner and outer worlds to better serve humanity. Her quest for truth and resilience also led her to train as a Yoga teacher, teach Yoga on mission after working hours, regain her childhood black belt in Karate, and embrace a heart-centred Sufi path.

“This book is not only about my personal journey, but about all our journeys. We all face challenges in one form or another; whether it’s growing up in communism and surviving cancer to enduring torture and being shot”, reiterates Higgins.

Indeed, in Wild Zen: An Inner Roadmap to Humanity Higgins models truth telling and storytelling tactics through 12 of Carl Jung’s archetypal guides. She interviews fellow travellers who have faced challenges of different kinds and demonstrates to the reader the archetype personality at play each time. Moreover, to ensure the universal appeal of her core message, Higgins designed an accompanying workbook to guide the reader into creating his/her own inner roadmap and action plan that will instigate the desired change.

Both books are now available on Amazon and Payhip.

Book Website Page:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Wild-Zen-Inner-Roadmap-Humanity-ebook/dp/B00YD92HXM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1433250437&sr=8-2&keywords=wild+zen (book in the UK)

(workbook in the UK)

http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Zen-Inner-Roadmap-Humanity-ebook/dp/B00YD92HXM/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1433250594&sr=8-6&keywords=wild+zen (book in the US & rest of the world)

http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Zen-Self-Coaching-Advocacy-Workbook-ebook/dp/B00YI0MOQ6/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1433250594&sr=8-3&keywords=wild+zen (workbook in the US & rest of the world)

https://payhip.com/wildzenbook (book & workbook pdf.)

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