Although South Africa continues to experience a “brain drain” with highly qualified local individuals leaving the country for debatably better opportunities abroad, German born and now permanent South African resident, Nora Dawud (41) from Cape Town, is playing a crucial role in ensuring just the opposite – the best for South Africa.
With her exceptional talents, passion and degrees behind her name, this successful immigration lawyer, who is also a leading figure in international trade law, plays a massive part in assisting foreigners who are highly qualified and can therefore benefit South Africa in a major way, to obtain the necessary critical skills visas in order to work and live in Mzansi.
Nora says that why she believes some South Africans leave the country is as a result of a “lack of the necessary job opportunities”. And the attraction for highly skilled foreigners in turn to move to SA? Nora states: “Cape Town is not only the most beautiful city in the world, but if’s a perfect mix between the Western World and Africa. I believe in South Africa and want to play my part in its success. However, there are just too many restrictions locally, which makes it impossible to compete with other countries. Currently SA isn’t following international trends and is suffering as a result.”
Nora was born (26 June 1978) and raised in Tuebingen, Germany, together with her older sister and brother. Her father worked as an electrician, while her mom in turn was playing her role in taking care of others as a qualified nurse.
After Nora completed school, she remained in Tuebingen where she studied law at the local university, but decided to complete her degree in Bonn as she wanted to live in a different city as “I lived all my life in Tuebingen, so it was time for a change”.
After successfully obtaining her degree, South Africa was calling out to Nora and she decided to obtain her Masters of Law at the University of Stellenbosch, due to the fact that the tertiary institution offered an excellent Master’s programme for foreigners on international trade law.
Although Nora is officially German, she also has a Jordanian passport as her parents immigrated from Palestine to Germany, over and above her being a permanent resident of South Africa, thanks to her exceptional skills. This explains her passion for immigration law, with Nora today specialising in this field as a lawyer,, over and above being a leading figure in international trade law.
She states further: “My passion for immigration law is rooted in my own immigration story. I was born to Palestinian parents and also went through the progress of obtaining a temporary visa, then to permanent residence and finally citizenship.”
Currently, Nora’s leading law practice Black Pen, focuses on business immigration and assisting applicants with critical skills to live and work in South Africa. She states: “I thoroughly enjoy playing my part in benefiting South Africa by assisting these foreign nationals who are highly qualified to obtain the necessary legal permission to apply their skills in this beautiful country. I’ll admit however, it’s not easy to deal with the South African government.
“However, I truly enjoy dealing with different individuals from around the world and experiencing the different cultures. The best part of my job is seeing the smiles on the faces of my clients when I present them with their approved visas.”
Over and above starting her law practice in 2012, Nora also established a recruitment business in 2015 (also under the Black Pen brand). “The new business just made sense as I have all these talents from around the world as part of my client base. South Africa needs critical talents, such as developers, as well as investors from overseas. So it was a natural progression.” Currently, Nora is also in the process of establishing a tech recruitment agency. In addition, the ambitious talent is also busy preparing for her EMBA application at INSEAD Business School.
On top of her very demanding career, Nora is also a single mom to her beloved 7 month old baby girl. “My daughter is without a doubt the biggest highlight of my life. Being a mother doesn’t mean I need to give up on any of my career goals and aspirations. Instead, I just have to be more mindful and diligent with my time management. I want to be an inspiration to my daughter and show her that one can achieve everything in life your heart desires. If you can believe it, you can do it. I just want to be her hero one day,” she concludes.
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