A Saudi woman going places: Deena al Faris

Daughter of a prominent businessman, Deena is not your typical spoiled upper class Saudi woman. She finished her global law MA degree in the UK in 2006.

Currently she is the CEO of her father’s company which mainly deals with the production of caviar.

What really stands out about Deena is her outspokenness and courage. Recently she was nominated for the board of directors at the Eastern Region Chamber of Commerce and as a candidate she did her best to get her viewpoint out through media and by speaking to as many Eastern Region businessmen as she could. I was especially impressed by  the fact that she brushes aside any hint that they should vote or view her as solely a woman candidate. She really believes in what she has to offer and is passionate about it as a businessperson.

Voting in the chambers of commerce, as is everything else here, is completely gender segregated. Women are not only assigned separate areas but also separate days. This Saturday Deena al Faris did something no one has ever done. She went into the men’s area on the day when men were supposed to vote. There she was, surrounded by hundreds of Saudi men. Her intentions were to meet voters and answer questions but she was met as though she was carrying a bomb. Security threatened to call the police and have her physically removed. However the minister himself, H. E. Abdullah Zainal Riza intervened by issuing the fastest new ruling in the history of the ministry that women candidates are allowed into the men’s section during voting. This all happened within a couple of hours. One gutsy Saudi woman’s actions equaled change for all Saudi women.

25 Comments

Filed under Gender Apartheid, Women campaigns

25 responses to “A Saudi woman going places: Deena al Faris

  1. Excellent post and you’re right – what a great role model. These are the kind of actions which will lead to further reforms for Saudi women which in my view are much more important than driving.

  2. it’s good to see a woman who believes in what she has to offer, and not that simply being a female in such a position should make her a singularity worth praise!
    Kudos and the best of luck!

  3. Saleh

    I believe this ellection you mentioned was in East Region Comm. Chamber. Plz see the link http://www.arabianbusiness.com/mobile/pda/article.php?aid=577118&ln=ar

  4. Hesham

    Although I suspect you’ll ignore this comment, as you did with all my previous ones (4 or 5 comments ignored with absolutely no reason provided), I will say what’s on my mind anyway.

    Would you be so kind to provide a source for you story? I tried to look for it in several newspapers in the days of the event, but failed to locate that specific story about Ms al Faris.

  5. Talal

    Dear Hesham,

    Deena Al-Faris is a well known businesswoman..
    She was today in MBC for a special Saudi businesswomen ..
    She is the CEO of one of the biggest Caviar farms in the world.
    As “Saudiwoman” said, you can always google her, and you’ll find so many articles..
    Her personal website: http://www.deenaalfaris.com
    Her family’s company name is : http://www.caviarcourt.com
    More articles about Alfaris:
    http://kolalwatn.net/sys.asp?browser=view_article&ID=72885&loac=1&section=46&supsection=994&file=0

    http://www.okaz.com.sa/new/Issues/PDA/Con20091222322215.htm

    http://www.alaswaq.net/articles/2008/09/12/18356.html

    http://www.chamber.org.sa/Arabic/election/List/DispForm.aspx?ID=16

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  8. siete bellissime senza veli continuate cosi

  9. Saudi Quattro

    Doesn’t hurt to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth, does it?

    • How bitter of you?! What do you expect her to do, dig her grave and die. Money can only take you so far. She might be a daughter of a big businessman but that does not cancel out that she is a smart, strong and hard working woman.

      • I have to agree that what one does with the advantages one is born into is most important. We are all accidents of birth, but we create our own legacies.

  10. It’s determination…can be change any thing moving inside human been ….keeping forward………………………..

  11. Nassr

    would you marry me ?

    looool ^_^ just kidding

    God bless you where ever you go.
    Have a great life “darlin”

  12. jayan

    As brave as good looking. You’re one of my favorites now

  13. mina

    As someone who knows Deena Al Faris close, I can definitely say that she is someone who creates her own luck and opportunities. Nothing would change in her life if she weren’t born with a silver spoon. It is an honor to know her.

  14. osman

    she’s very beautiful

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