women entrepreneurs – east & west

Latham & Watkins host great business breakfasts.  Today, I was privileged to present at one they hosted with Financial Women Association, a NY based organization.  The panel included Shimi Shah, Lucy Chow and Heather Henyon, representing the colorful women-led business enterprise landscape. The panelists offered their insights on the professional environment, and how it helps or hinders female entrepreneurship.

I shared my thoughts in my area of interest: Arab women entrepreneurs working on Social Enterprise and Social Media Ventures.

women entrepreneurs in the arab world[slideshare id=11865799&w=425&h=355&sc=no]

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The highlight for me was having Muna AlHareb and Nojoud AlBasktaki in the audience.  The two founders of Buksha, a sustainable cultural & volunteer tourism venture that won the Business Acumen for Good competition last Saturday. A few years ago, I spoke about the need for women in the GCC to take on social challenges and address them through social business. I presented some ideas on culture conservation and touted Eco-tourism through Tawasul and presented my vision of how women can lead the way.  As I listened to Muna and Nojoud speak during the business plan competition, I was tickled with joy.  The two ladies are such amazing spokespersons for social enterprise in the UAE.  Beautiful, confident, educated, cultured, humble, with tremendous passion for their heritage and way of life, they have what it takes!

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Cheese Pastry – The RAG.

An evening with friends from around the Mediterranean.. conversations flowed from the Greek economy, the foes of journalism to memories of the Levant. The main course was being catered, and arrived late.  This dish provided RAG. with the nourishment he needed to focus on the conversation, hence it was named after him.


  • 1 package of Halloum Cheese
  • 1/2 cup of pitted black Lebanese Olives
  • 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Syrian Zaatar Mix
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of dried or chopped fresh Dill
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sesame
  • 1 tablespoon (Habet elbarakeh)
  • 1 packet of filo dough sheets
  • 1 egg


  • Place the olives, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, zaatar, olive oil, dill in a food processor and mix.
  • Heat the butter until it turns to liquid
  • Brush a 9″ Oven tray (heat-resistant glassware or deep tin dish) with butter.
  • Add layers of the Phyllo dough, brushing with butter.
  • After you placed 1/2 the content of the Phyllo packet into the dish, add the stuffing mix spreading evenly across the filo dough.
  • Continue to layer the filo dough, while brushing with the remaining butter.
  • Slice the dough into cubes.
  • Mix the egg, and brush over the filo dough
  • Sprinkle the sesame onto the dough.
  • Bake in the oven on 175F for 20min (or until golden).
  • Leave out to cool or eat hot, as preferred.
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