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The Team

Who We Are

Rachel Kay

Hi, I’m Rachel. I am from Manchester, UK but have been living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the past 18 years. I live with my daughter, cat, Calico and 2 dogs, Harley and Ivy and any number of fosters at a given time. I work as a creative copywriter, translator and editor.


I am also involved in animal rescue and co-run a Riyadh-based voluntary rescue group, Coexistence. Harley was rescued as an orphan and it was her traumatic past and her current needs that set me on the Hound Charming path which was and is so transformative for her and for me.


I am now a fully committed devotee and hope to spread the Hound Charming love and knowledge far and wide. I am currently studying on the ISCP Canine Behaviour Diploma course and love learning about animal behaviour and training.

Rana Elnaqqash

Hello! My name is Rana Elnaqqash, I'm from Cairo, Egypt, where I live with my husband and our little escape artist; Biscuit.

My love for animals and dogs started from a very young age. I used to be an 8 year old menace to people who mistreated animals using any means necessary. I once had my mother get me a whole sack of iceberg lettuce (that was about the same size as I was at the time) and dragged it to feed all the cows and horses in the petting zoo at the club where we were members. Same day I threw a tantrum because the horse handler wouldn't listen to me and be nice to the poor pregnant mare who was being mistreated by a teenager trying to ride her.

Before joining the Hound Charming family, I used to work in art direction and design in the advertising industry. After three years however, I decided that this simply wasn't my field. I quit my job with the support of my husband, and started pursuing my real interests.

I'm currently a certified nutrition coach, a (soon to be) strength and conditioning coach, and at Hound Charming I'm the resident graphic design and media person as well as a dog trainer.

I speak Arabic and English.

All over the place but exactly how I like it.


Cressida Staddon

Hello, I’m Cressy and I live in London with my Springer Spaniel, Bramley. I’ve always had a keen interest in dogs but became increasingly interested in dog behaviour when I got Bramley in 2010 and started taking various courses such as canine body language, Scentwork and First Aid and becoming increasingly interested in canine nutrition. My mission to help Bramley overcome his grooming fears led to me striking up a friendship with Emma in late 2018 when I asked for her expertise and guidance with consent training. As a result of my interest in dog behaviour and journey to make Bramley’s life better, I am studying for a diploma in Canine Behaviour with the ISCP. I’m also currently a Moderator for a large force free Facebook group called Do No Harm Dog Training. 

I really enjoy helping people learn more about the way their dogs think as well as teaching them how to meet their dog’s needs and overcome behaviour issues. I particularly love the Hound Charming approach because it is one that considers the whole dog and their environment rather than just tackling the symptoms of behaviour.

Outside my love of dogs I have an interest in politics and a First Class Honours degree in Social and Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths University. I also have a real passion for travelling and spent a lot of my 20s exploring different countries as well as a short period living in Japan.

Roba Bairakdar

Hello, I’m Roba. I currently live in Cairo, Egypt with my dog, Lecter. We move in between Montreal (school) and Cairo (home, family and fiancé). 

I’m relatively new to the dog world; Lecter is my first pet. I got him in 2019 to be my companion while living abroad and we’ve been inseparable ever since. He turned out to be quite a nervous, super active dog, so I got invested instantly to understand his behavior, fulfill his needs and help him overcome his fears.

I got introduced to the Hound Charming world in late 2020 and it was definitely an eye-opening experience. I worked on overcoming Lecter's separation anxiety and we are currently working on consent training. I took courses in animal behaviour science and planning to invest more of my time in dog training.

Outside of the Hound Charming life, I’m a PhD candidate in Mathematics, I worked as a life insurance Actuary in Egypt and Canada and I’m also an instructor for Actuarial Mathematics courses at the American University in Cairo.

I speak Arabic and English fluently and I’m good in French.

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Menna Helmy

Hi, my name is Menna. I live in Cairo, Egypt where I share my life with my awesome baladi dog, Casanova.

My love for animals started very early on, when I was around 2-3 y/o. Everyday my mom would take me to watch the animals and feed me, it was the only way I could finish my food. Growing up, other than having a few pets throughout the years, I didn't get to explore my love for animals the way I liked. However, it was always on my mind, how one day I will manage a sanctuary for animals! 

Besides being an animal lover, I am also a huge science geek. So when I read more about canine behavior and applied behavior science (to understand my dog better) I loved it! I am currently studying for a canine behavior diploma with the ISCP and undertaking a course on how behavior works with Dr. Susan Freidman. 

In late 2020, I was looking for a force free trainer and after a lot of encounters that didn't feel right, I was finally introduced to Emma and hound charming. And it felt more than right. HC is such an amazing community, I felt right at home! 

I also have a bachelor degree in Dentistry, I previously worked as a public health instructor, I have experience in editing and translation and I am a couch potato + sensation seeker, yes that combo exists!

I speak Arabic and English and know a little German.

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