By Omar Thabet
YAN – Hamtramck

In order to be a leader, you have to have a vision for yourself and for the people around you. You have to work harder than your competition; giving up or giving in is never an option. You have to remain focused at all times because not everyone can share your vision or will understand why you do what you do. You have to be an inspiration to people, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. In order to be a leader, you have to think outside of the box. Thinking inside the box makes you just like everyone else. These are all traits that represent Emad Shammakh, which is why he is the perfect leader.
Emad Shammakh was born in Yemen. He came to America when he was five years old. He has lived here ever since and loves being from the city of Hamtramck. Shammakh said, “The city of Hamtramck is a melting pot that has people from different ethnicities, cultures, and religions. The diversity in Hamtramck brings the opportunity to have great tasty foods.”
Emad Shamakh recently graduated out of Wayne State University with a bachelor’s degree in Public Health. He is now pursuing a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies. He currently works at FRD Sav-Mor Pharmacy as a manager and certified pharmacy technician.
When we asked Emad who helped him become the leader he is today, he said, “I learned from Sami Dabaja, the owner of Sav-Mor Pharmacy. He taught me the importance of education, the importance of keeping promises and honesty in the community. Dr. Sami also told me the importance of giving back to the people in need, and never follow a dream job for the income but follow it with a plan to save, change, and improve lives of those who are vulnerable.”
Emad enjoys his job at the pharmacy. He said the best part of his job is, “Having the opportunity to serve my community and the privilege of taking care of patients in need that live in a community that has a shortage in healthcare services.”
Emad didn’t just become a leader overnight. While in high school Emad joined the Drama club, wrestling team, student council, Ambassador of peace and DECA-Marketing organization.
Shammakh said, “During my 4 year experience at Hamtramck High School I had the opportunity to be an Ambassador of Peace. My duty was to identify students’ conflicts and issues and address it with my team of Ambassadors to come to a mutual solution that will make the learning environment for the students more fun and stress free.”
Emad sees a bright future in the Hamtramck Public Schools District that he graduated from. Shammakh said, “What gets me excited the most about the future of HPS is the increase of successful graduates that are pursuing and completing great careers in many different fields and coming back to serve their community and supporting the school system (HPS) that enriched them with the essentials of education and life lessons.”
During his free time, Emad said he enjoys travelling and exploring different parts of the world and gathering with friends and family to plan fun activities to do with his community.
Emad is also a member of the Yemeni American Leadership Association, also known as YALA. Emad said what he likes most about YALA is, “gaining the full trust of my community to serve them with what all the shortages of services we have in our community such as ESL courses and healthcare. I also enjoy educating our community about cultural diversity and identity.”
Shammakh then added, “What I would like to see improve with YALA is our resources of income, a bigger building and long term bridges with our community Public schools.”
With being a leader, you know Emad will have lofty goals that he sets for himself. Some of Emad’s future goals are to graduate as a Physician Assistant and entrepreneur and open his own clinic and pharmacy to serve low income communities and communities that lack healthcare access. He also would like to build a hospital in Yemen to serve the poor for free as charity.
Good luck Emad Shammakh with your future endeavors. Keep making everyone proud!