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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Lama Suleiman first deputy chairman of JCCI

By Galal Fakkar

JEDDAH: Lama Suleiman was elected on Monday first deputy chairman of the board of directors of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI). She is the first Saudi woman to hold this position and she will be second to Saleh Kamel, the Saudi businessman, who was elected chairman of the board for a new term of four years.

The election also makes Lama deputy chairman of the Riyadh-based Saudi Council of Chambers (SCC). The second deputy chairman is Mazen Batarji and the former holder of the position, Abdullah Mari’ bin Mahfouz, was elected JCCI representative to the SCC.

Lama, who holds a doctorate in hygiene and nutrition from the University of London, belongs to a well-known Jeddah family. She has held a number of senior positions including the post of director at Rolaco Company for Trading and Contracting. She owns a women’s sports club in Jeddah.

In addition, she is a member of the board of trustees of the Khadijah bint Khuwailid Center, an affiliate of the JCCI, chairperson of the council for the sponsorship of research and development of women, a member of the economic and social department of the Makkah Governorate, a member of the international economic forum for young Arab leaders and a researcher at King Fahd Hospital for the Armed Forces in Jeddah. “This is a new victory for the Saudi woman who is making progress every day,” she said.

Lama said she would attempt, through her new position, to prove that Saudi women could stand on an equal footing with men. “The first thing I will do is to inspect and follow up the relief programs for the Jeddah flood victims,” she said.

Saleh Kamel said the first priority of the JCCI under his chairmanship would be to “normalize the situation” in the areas affected by the rains and floods in Jeddah. “The private sector was equally to blame in the natural disaster. The roads, bridges and tunnels which were damaged by the water were executed by contractors and businessmen from the private sectors,” he said.

He also said the new JCCI board would set priorities for services and for providing a work environment which would provide more facilities and incentives to businessmen. He criticized the system of election to the JCCI board and said out of 40,000 members, only 6,000 had voted. “This means that 80 percent of members did not vote. This is a defect which we will rectify,” he added.

Source : Arab News

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