Lujaina Mohsin Darwish, mother of a three and a half-year-old daughter, is the Joint Deputy Chairperson of Mohsin Haider Darwish L.L.C group of companies.
Lujaina, eldest of three sisters, recalls her childhood as a remarkable period of life. "As I was born to my parents after 10 years of marriage, I was pampered a lot," Lujaina said in an exclusive interview with Times of Oman while adding that her father, Mr. Mohsin Haider Darwish, Chairman of Mohsin Haider Darwish Group of companies, also inducted discipline among his children.
"Despite spoiling his children with utmost love and affection, he wanted us to be disciplined and well organized in our lives," she said while stressing that her father taught them to love each other and respect others.
While acknowledging the influential role of Mr. Darwish in her life, Lujaina also emphasized on the values of life. "My father used to say: You can have everything in life but everything in life has a value and that is what we need to appreciate."
While receiving education in Oman's best private schools, her father also enrolled Lujaina at a government school for a while so that she mingles not just with rich kids whose parents can afford expensive private school education. "It was a very nice step taken by my father because we studied with children from different backgrounds. I think that was the defining time in our lives and made us what we are today," Lujaina explained to Times of Oman.
Lujaina Mohsin Darwish graduated in English Literature from Sultan Qaboos University in 1991 and became a lecturer in English language at the University where she worked till 1994.
After her brief stint at the University, she joined her father's company Mohsin Haider Darwish LLC, in the Human Resources, Omanisation & Training (HROT) department. She joined as an executive and reported to the General Manager who was heading the department.
Over the years, she gradually moved up the corporate ladder and is currently working as the Joint Deputy Chairperson. Besides being a member of the board of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lujaina is also the only female president of a sports club in Oman and Gulf region.She is also a member of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, part of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
She won the Sultanate's Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2001 and the Flame of Excellence Award in 2002. Lujaina Mohsin Darwish became one of the first two women to be elected to the country's Consultative Council, Majlis A'Shura, when she contested the elections representing Muscat constituency. She stayed a member of the Council from 2000 to 2007.
Lujaina is a major proponent of women's causes, representing Omani women at many international forums.She was ranked as the 13th most powerful businesswomen in the Arab World in Forbes Arabia's March 2006 issue. She is also a member of the Arab International Women's Forum and GCC Women's Forum. Recently, she got an award from Forbes magazine as one of the 18th Most Powerful Women in the Middle East.
Recounting her work experiences, Lujaina profoundly quotes some of her father's astounding principles: "Work is worship. Work is like a prayer. If you want to see results, you need to worship and love work. You don't come to office because you have to do it. You come to office because work is like God.This is the source from where we get to eat and enjoy life. So, we need to nurture our work."
Lujaina enforces an open door policy in her office where employees, regardless of the rank, can come and speak to her directly.
Message to the society as a woman:
"I would like to congratulate each woman on Mother's Day as it is the best occasion to honor womanhood, the real love of a woman, and the existence of a mother as it is the mother who brought us in this world. I feel the biggest responsibility of a woman is her motherhood. There is nothing else more important than children.
In Arab world, there is a saying that mother is the school. If a mother brings up her children in the right way, then their future is bound to be successful. In today's competitive world, women are seeking many things in life, like business or studies,but at the end of the day, we are women and God created us to look after our children. This should be our priority in life.Everything else comes down the line."
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