Posted on Jul 15, 2019
Haute Hijab Staff
Haute Hijab is dominated by women - customers of course, but employees as well (naturally!). In fact, we only have two men working here, one of whom is Mahmoud Yousif, our software engineer extraordinaire. You may have seen Mahmoud on our weekly vlog, where more than once he has been seen trying to lay low at his desk behind his computer and get his work done while the female-centric shenanigans occur around him!
Mahmoud is a big reason that everything tech-oriented flows smoothly on our website. He's constantly figuring out ways to optimize the site, fix bugs, increase speed (you know you like a faster shopping experience!), make your mobile experience better and keep it all looking fresh and good. But did you know that working at Haute Hijab has strengthened his faith, or that his first word as a baby coincides with his favorite food? (Or that he is single? :) Get to know more about Mahmoud as he answers 15 fun (and a few deep) questions in our ongoing summer team-focused series - "15 Things You May Not Know About ... "
Mahmoud chilling in his free time.
1. What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
I just moved to New York City, and I’ve recently been spending my Saturdays exploring the city! Everytime I get a free Saturday, I get on the train and get off at a stop I haven’t been to before. You’d be surprised by how much there is to see - it seems like every time is different and each part of the city has its own soul.
2. What are your hobbies? What are your dream hobbies?
I spend a lot of time programming because apart from it being my job, It’s a passion of mine, and I enjoy the sense of gratification I get from solving complex problems. I’ve recently gotten into improving my fitness that last few years, and one thing I’ve always wanted to get into is martial arts.
3. What is something you hate doing?
I hate missing my morning coffee. I have a terrible caffeine habit, so I rely on a cup of coffee to get me going in the morning. I always grab a small cup from the corner store on my way to work every morning. When I miss my ritual, I'm thrown off that morning.
4. If you could eat something on an endless loop, what would it be?
PIZZA! Very basic choice I know, but I’ll take a decent slice of pizza over a gourmet meal any day.
5. What feeds your soul/when are you at your happiest/best?
Music. I love music. One of my favorite things to do is to go on walks, blasting my headphones, probably singing along with whatever I’m listening to.
6. Who do you look up to the most and why? (living or dead)
There are many great people with amazing qualities that I want to emulate. I guess it’s a cliche for techie like me, but I look up a lot to Elon Musk. The man is quite eccentric, to say the least, but I admire his drive, ambition and resilience. Being able to balance his time and energy into several different causes he believes in is something I want to be able to do one day.
7. What is something, if you could go back and change in your life, that you would?
I’ve had a lot of hard times and a lot of great times, but I wouldn’t change any of them. Everything I’ve ever went through built me into the person I am and brought me to the place I’m at. And, I’m happy with where I’m at right now.
8. What is your biggest challenge in life?
My biggest challenge these days has to do with my time management. I want to do a lot of things but it feels like I don’t have time for them.
9. What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?
Apart from it being my favorite food, pizza was actually my first word as a child.
10. What is that big dream thing you want to accomplish in life? Or if not one thing, a few things?
I’ve had many hopes and dreams for myself throughout my life, and they are always changing. My latest focus has been to create an app, and not only for bragging rights. What’s more important is that it should be something that is actually utilized and adds value to users’ lives. What I build should be useful, not just take up space on a web domain.
11. For the Muslims at Haute Hijab - what is your favorite or not-so-favorite thing about working at a Muslim-owned company?
My favorite thing about working at a Muslim company is that it gives me room to explore and learn more about my faith. I’m blessed to be working in an environment that encourages the expression of my faith. It’s brought me a lot closer to God as a result.
12. What does a typical Friday night look like for you?
Friday night I like to unwind and give my brain a chance to recharge. As soon as I get off work, I’m usually out catching up with friends. If I’m at home I’m usually watching any TV shows I missed out in the week.
13. What’s the strangest or most fun family tradition you have?
It’s not much of a tradition, but whenever my family and I get together there usually is a game of monopoly involved at some point, which is usually followed by lots of arguing over Park Place.
14. Cat person or dog person (or some other kind of animal)?
I’ve never owned a pet but if I do get to a point in my life where I can take care of one I’d definitely get a dog.
15. If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be and why?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Annoyances will always hit you in life, and sometimes we let things get to us that sometimes we don’t really have any control over. I feel it’s important to always assess the consequences of the inconveniences we stress about in our lives. We all have limited energy to spend in the day, so I try not to spend it stressing over minor inconveniences.