TheFace: Deema Al-Jaafari, Saudi entrepreneur

Deema Al-Jaafari with her family. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
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Updated 24 January 2020

TheFace: Deema Al-Jaafari, Saudi entrepreneur

  • I truly believe that if you set limits to your abilities you will never be able to exceed them
  • I founded Teak Woodwork in Alkhobar which has extended its services to cities including Jeddah and Riyadh

For nine years, I was the only child in my family. My father was a very independent, strong character and I learned a lot from him.

Having started from zero, he taught me to work hard, seek perfection and always believe that anything was possible if you set your mind to it. 

My mother was very easy going and encouraging. She really believed in me and was always supportive. There was a balance at home for me with these two different characters.

Some people might think that being an only child for quite some time, I was spoiled and dependent. But that was never the case and I have an amazing relationship with my little sister Maha; she is my best friend.

My father works in pharmaceuticals and is chairman of the board of directors at Al-Dawaa Medical Services.

My mother was a schoolteacher before entering the world of business, and my sister is a chemical engineer. Though we are a very diverse family, we all have an appreciation for art which is evident in our household. My mother is an artist and art collector too.

I do not have a role model; there are many people I look up to in the business world and in my social life. 

I studied software engineering and worked in that field for almost a year, but although I learnt a lot I wanted more from my career. Software engineering made me think and solve problems in a different way and it played a major role in how I operate in the field of business.

I worked at Al-Dawaa for almost two years and found that I was more attracted to business and marketing than the technical side of things. That is when I decided to take on the family business, Waleed Al-Jaafari Establishment.

I run PIECES, a retail store I founded in Alkhobar in 2012 and later opened a branch in Riyadh in 2014. Now, we are working to make it an online business too.

I noticed that there was a demand in the Kingdom for custom-made furniture, and although some stores offered the service there was little choice. So, I decided to provide high-quality furniture made in Saudi Arabia.

In 2015 I founded Teak Woodwork in Alkhobar which has extended its services to cities including Jeddah and Riyadh. My father has other branches dealing with different fields, but I opted to run the retail store and woodwork services. 

I truly believe that if you set limits to your abilities you will never be able to exceed them. Once you realize that there are no limits, all doors will open for you.


We are all working to serve students, says Saudi education minister

Updated 18 min 11 sec ago

We are all working to serve students, says Saudi education minister

Saudi Education Minister Dr. Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Asheikh on Saturday held a video call with university bosses to discuss final exam evaluation mechanisms amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Al-Asheikh started the meeting by praising the efforts of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide college students with all the necessary means to continue learning without interruption.

He said it was important to support the educational process until the last day of the academic calendar, and reassured university heads that all available evaluation options would be fair and have the students’ best interests at heart.

“The universities’ remote learning achieved unprecedented accomplishments,” the minister said. “When it comes to the numbers, 1.2 million users have attended 197 educational hours in more than 7,600 virtual classrooms. As for the learning outcomes, they were preserved without any educational losses,” he added, commending the efforts of public and private universities that switched to remote learning a day after the closure decision was taken.

“The ministry is working with universities during these difficult times to coordinate efforts and prevent any discrepancy in the evaluation process or disparity in its implementation,” he added. “We are all working to serve students and were entrusted to do so by our leadership.”

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