7 Powerful Middle-Eastern Women

Forbes recently (31 Aug 06) published a list of the world’s most powerful women. Guess who is number 91? Here’s an excerpt from the site about her:

When Al-Ghunaim, 46, started Global Investment House in 1998, people thought she was imprudent: the Kuwait stock market had tanked, oil prices were down and Saddam Hussein was making trouble again. But the U.S.-educated Al-Ghunaim proved naysayers wrong. “I wanted to make a difference,” she says, by offering more than plain portfolio management. Global now manages $7 billion in assets. It boasts a strong research department and offers a slew of funds, ranging from fixed income to hedge funds. It is in the process of raising a $1 billion fund that will invest in pre-IPO companies in India, China and Turkey. In one of the biggest deals in the Middle East last year, Global helped take public Lebanese telecom Investcom in London and Dubai, raising $200 million. Al-Ghunaim heads the Kuwaiti chapter of Young Arab Leaders, a pan-Arab organization working to improve education and promote entrepreneurship. —Zina Moukheiber

Yep, it’s Maha Al-Ghunaim, the Founder, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Global Investment House.

Other prominent Middle-Easter women who made the list:

  • No.#28 Sima Samar , Chairman of Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission from Afghanistan
  • No.# 72 Nahed Taher , Founder and Chief Executive of Gulf One Investment Bank from Saudi Arabia
  • No.# 79 Christiane Amanpour Chief International Correspondent of CNN. Ok technically she is American, but her father is Iranian so I included her in this list (heehee)
  • No. # 81 Queen Rania , Queen of Jordan
  • No. # 95 Vidya Chhabria , Chairman of Jumbo Group from Dubai
  • No. #97 Lubna Olayan , Chief Executive of Olayan Financing from Saudi Arabia

I guess the question is should I be proud that 7 out of the world’s most powerful women come from my part of the world, or should I wonder how come it is only 7% (heemmm)

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