2014's 10 Most Powerful Jordanian Women chosen by our readers from a list of 40 accomplished and influential women.
Deema Hajjawi is a highly regarded and renowned culinary chef. She began her career with her family and the establishment of Flavors Catering. She later moved on to host a popular series on Jordanian TV, which further drove her passion for cooking. This passion kindled her first book, Tasty Temptations, published in 2009. The success of the book, and the demands for more from her fans, lead to the publishing of her second book, The Secret Ingredient. In 2012, Hijjawi returned to TV, this time with Donya Ya Donya on Ro’ya TV. Along with her shows and books, Hijjawi continues to connect with fans through social media, her cooking club, and even an app. Over the course of her career, Hijjawi has been named brand ambassador for Knor, in which she spearheaded the Sit Al Nakahat Campaign, and Philips Regional Offices. Currently her fans are awaiting her third book.
Doha Abdelkhaleq is the co-founder, executive partner, HR expert, and legal counsel of Eskadenia Software. Prior to that, Abdelkhaleq worked as a legal counsel and a human resources director in Jordan, Beijing, Shanghai, Lebanon and Stockholm for the telecom company Ericsson. She attained her first L.L.M in law, at The London School of Economics (L.S.E), followed by a second Masters in law at the University of Stockholm, and a diploma at the Beijing Institute for social and legal studies. She attended a HK school of government executive training after her L.L.B in law from the University of Jordan. Abdelkhaleq is an active member and facilitator at Franklin Covey Middle East, as well as the Jordanian Bar Association, the International Women’s Forum (IWF) Jordan Chapter, and the US Women Business Leaders’ Summit. Previously a Vice Chair at the Information Technology Association in Jordan (2002-2007), she attained the Shaikh Isa Bin Ali Al-Khalifa Award for Arab Volunteers Work. Today, Abdelkhaleq contributes to the ICT and business community in Jordan through frequent postings as a columnist for Al-Ghad newspaper. Moreover, Abdelkhaleq is a standing member at the Economic and Social Council in Jordan and a board member at the American Chamber of Commerce in Jordan.
Fatmeh Al Hmoud
Fatmeh Al Hmoud is a graduate of Jordan University with a degree in sociology, as well as as accomplishments in senior management. Al Hmoud was royally appointed to be Queen Rania Al Abdullah's advisor on humanitarian affairs in 2004 after years of service, and has held that position since. Prior to this accomplishment, she was worked for the Ministry of Social Development. During her tenure at the ministry, Al Hmoud served in various departments and posts, including the department of associations and voluntary organizations, and Director of Development for West Amman. She was recently decorated by His Majesty King Abdullah II with the Al Hussein Medal for Distinguished Contribution. Remarkably, she was the first woman to be appointed as a field director at the ministry.
A prominent figure in the educational sectors of Jordan, Haifa Najjar has taken on a definitive endeavor to reshape education in the kingdom. A member of the Jordanian Senate,the superintendent of the Ahliyyah School for girls and the Bishop's School for boys, head of the Technical Committee of The Queen Rania Award for Excellence in Education, the President of The Business and Professional Women's Association/Amman, and a member of the council of Education in Jordan, Najjar has a great deal of influence on the education world. She is also an elected member of the European Council of International Schools (ECIS).
Hind Al-Fayez is a graduate of Yarmouk University where she completed a BSC in Computer Science. Fayez worked for IBM as a systems engineer for three years when her brother, Sakher, tragically died in a car accident. Her loss sparked her to create a small advertising agency in her brother’s memory. Her work earned her jobs producing television for Jordan TV and Arab Radio TV (ART). After years of avoiding politics, Fayez ran for parliament and was instated in 2013.
Iman Mutlaq, with an MBA in finance is considered a dynamic leader and expert in the financial world. At the age of 18, she founded her first export-import company, and by 27 she had several companies spanning across the Middle East and North Africa. Mutalaq currently serves as CEO of Sigma Investments and Ingot Brokers SA. She is also a member of the Global Alliance Partners, a network of regulated financial service companies focusing on the capital midmarket. Mutalq is involved in several humanitarian efforts such as the Art of Living Foundation, of which she was the first instructor in Jordan, and the President of the International Association for Human Values, an NGO associated with the Art of Living. Her professional accomplishments lead to an invitation from the Obama administration to the White House Entrepreneurship Summit.
Khawla Al Armouti
Khawla Al Armouti is a longtime philanthropist and champion of charitable causes. She is a graduate of the Islamic Scientific College and holds a degree in sociology from the University of Jordan. Khawla has always been drawn to charity work. She runs several initiatives for educating underprivileged students who show academic potential, creating food packages for needy families, as well as organizing ongoing donations for orphans. Armouti is especially active with women’s equality, as she runs and spearheads several women-led development projects. She is also a member of several boards and head of a number of NGOs, including the Ayadi Mudee’a Organization for training and development in Sahab, where she serves as General Manager. She is also Vice President of the International Organization for the Support of Arab Students, a member of the board of trustees of Haya Cultural Center and the Jordanian Palestinian Brotherhood Society. Al Armouti is the Honorary President of Sahab Development Organization and Jamasin charity, and plans to launch a higher educational fund for underprivileged students.
Kholoud Mohammad Saqqaf
Kholoud Mohammad Saqqaf holds a Master’s degree in Economics and has more than 20 years of experience in banking, finance and financial regulation. Saqqaf began her career at the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company’s Research and Development Department, for five years, until 1993. She then moved to the Central Bank of Jordan where she held several positions including Executive Manager of the Banking Supervision Department and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Jordan. Saqqaf was the first Arab woman to a regulatory position. Saqqaf served and continues to serve in different capacities on the boards of the Central Bank of Jordan (Vice Chairman), Jordan Mortgage Refinance Company (Chair), Social Security Corporation, Insurance Commission, Arab National Leasing Company and on the National Committee for Anti-Money Laundering. Moreover, she is a board member of the International Women’s Forum Jordan Chapter. Currently, she serves as Executive Vice President and Group Risk Management head at Arab Bank.
Nadia Al Saeed
Nadia Al Saeed holds an MBA from the American University of Cairo with a focus on Finance and MIS, and a bachelor degree in Business and Economics. Al Saeed has been the CEO of Bank al Etihad since 2008, after assuming the role of Strategy Advisor for the bank. Today, the bank is one of the fastest growing banks in Jordan with a very distinct modern brand. She also serves as Vice Chair of the Association of Banks in Jordan. Prior to assuming her role in the bank, Al Saeed served as the Director of the Dead Sea Institute – a development think-tank. She joined the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in 2003 through 2006 as Secretary General and then became Minister of ICT due to her major contributions to the development of the ICT sector in Jordan and work on the ICT market. Al Saeed is also a board member of several associations and organizations, including the Jordan Enterprise development Company (JEDCO), The Institute for Banking Studies, ENDEAV Jordan for supporting business and entrepreneurship, the National PaymenCounsel, INJAZ for youth employment, EDAMA the Yarmouk University Investment Fund.
Ola Al Fares
Ola al Fares is a Jordanian TV presenter, who rocketed to fame after appearing on the pan-Arab station MBC. Her passion for TV broadcasting and journalism led her to work as a reporter for Al Arabiya news channel at the early age of 17 making her the youngest reporter in the Middle East. Upon graduating from university, she moved to the MBC Group headquarters in Dubai to become the youngest news presenter for the station at the age of 20. Ten years later, Al Fares is still with MBC presenting several anchor programs for the station, including “MBC in a Week.” She also has a weekly column for AlArabiya.net, Hiya magazine, and Beauty News. Throughout her career, Al Fares has won several awards, including OK magazine’s youngest presenter in the Middle East, the “Successful Jordanians Abroad” award from the Jordanian Embassy in the UAE, “Most Influential and Elegant Presenter” by the MBC audience, “Best Jordanian Media Figure” by popular vote, and many more. Al Fares boasts over 3.8 million followers on Instagram and Twitter.