Closing the Gender Gap and Empowering Women in Business and Leadership with Manar Alomayri and Roya Mahboob

In the present world of technology, we find more and more women closing the gender gap and empowering women in business, a once male-dominated space. Roya Mahboob has gained attention for being one of the first IT female CEOs in Afghanistan where it’s relatively rare for women to work outside of the home. Her software development company provides job opportunities and learning programs for women and she uses her global fame to help bring awareness to overcoming the limitations of culture for women wanting to pursue a career in IT. In the world of publishing, Manar Alomayri is publishing audio books on self-development geared towards women more accessible in Saudi Arabia, opening up a wider world for women in that region.

TTL 011 | Empowering Women in Business

On this episode, we’ll chat with two women who’ve gone above and beyond to help educate women and create future leaders. My first guest is Roya Mahboob. She was named to Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. She has an inspirational story of how she became an ITCO in Afghanistan. After Roya, we’ll chat with Manar Alomayri, founder and CEO of Dhad, an audio bookstore up in Saudi Arabia. These women are both extremely young and have done things most people wouldn’t even dream of attempting.

Listen to the podcast here:

Closing the Gender Gap and Empowering Women in Business and Leadership with Roya Mahboob

Roya Mahboob is an Afghan entrepreneur and businesswoman. She founded and serves as CEO of the Afghan Citadel Software Company, a full service software development company. She has received attention for being among the first IT female CEOs in Afghanistan where it’s still relatively rare for women to work outside of their home. Roya was named to Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People In the World for 2013 for her work in building internet classrooms for in high schools in Afghanistan, and for Women’s Annex, a multi-lingual blog and video site hosted by Film Annex. This was the 10th anniversary of the Time Special Edition too. The Women’s Annex platform gives the women of Afghanistan and Central Asia a platform to tell their stories to the world. I’m very honored to have you here today, Roya. Welcome.

Thank you for having me here.

Roya is one of the most humble and just the nicest woman. For all that you’ve accomplished at such a young age, it’s very impressive. I was hoping that you would tell our listeners how you started your company when it’s unusual for women to do what you did in your culture. Can you give us a little background about your company and how it all began?

After I studied Computer Science at Herat University, I tried to make technology and internet my career. The dream is that the software journey would take me on everything so I will learn along the way. In 2010, I started with my youngest sister, Elaha and other colleagues to form a company called Afghan Citadel Software to be a place that we can help women to find jobs. We could find a lot of women as bloggers and programmers. That’s how I needed to be the first tech female CEO in Afghanistan.

You said your sister was part of this. Did your family members help you at all initially start your company other than your sister?

My sister is part of the company. She was also co-founder of the company, and later my brother joined to our company.

What was your motivation for starting this company?

I wanted to use the company as a place to support the women in tech and finding the jobs for the women who are working in this area. As well to show that the women have the ability to take products in the market. Of course it wasn’t easy as it would sound because as being a female figure anywhere in the world, that would not be an easy task. In Afghanistan, most of the women are not supposed to work outside of the home. Of course, we’re domesticating both personally and professionally. Technology can also help us to grow faster and help us to not to be limited to the border of a country or limited to a culture that is closed. Technology was helping me in many ways and had a very major impact in my life.

TTL 011 | Empowering Women in Business
Empowering Women in Business: Technology did not only opened new realities for us, but also break down the barriers, and opened up a new pathway to build a career.

I think that technology did not only opened new realities for us, but also break down the barriers, open up a new pathway to build a career and showing me bigger roles which is not limited again to border of my country or a domestic life. I could extend my business across the world. I could become part of something bigger than myself. With all of the limitations that we had in our culture, technology really helped me to become a digital global citizen and I could find my clients not inside of Afghanistan but mostly outside of Afghanistan. It’s encouraged me to keep continuing that in this field.

When you spoke for the Forbes event when I first met you in Washington, people are asking you questions at the end, and my husband that was with me on that event. After you’ve ended, he asked a question nobody asked and I wish he would’ve asked it prior was you get these women educated with all this help that you give them which is awesome. I’m just curious, what do you do once they’re educated to ensure that they get a job?

What we do is that providing for the girls this tool that gets the woman finding automotive valve economic life for many of these girls, the women who are not amenable to hold the traditional jobs. Finding other options like working for the local or international opportunities, working for ecommerce security, entrepreneurship, and working on the creative entrepreneurial projects. The thing is that what we provide for the girls at the moment, we provide it so that they don’t only rely on technology but they also learn about the financial literacy. We encourage them that they can start something by their own self. That’s the way that we are doing right now and many of our girls actually started their own startup. I can say that the impact that they have on a lot of the girls, it’s a lot because it’s not only helped them, but also helped their families, helped communities, and helped the societies.

It’s really admirable work. I was very honored that you asked me to help you create a webinar based on some of my writing. I’m curious, what do you do with those webinars like the one I created for you? Where does it go and who does it educate? Can you tell us a little about that?

I can imagine knowing the personality was the great teams that we forwarded the students. You could see that there were bigger challenges for the girls that when they have a different personality and they didn’t know it. It was a different thing in Afghanistan. There are really many people who don’t know about the personality or people can bond with different personalities. The training that we provide for the students was welcoming very warm with the students. Right now it’s part of the curriculum, teaching every girl about this program and especially to those girls who want to start their own start-up. I think it was an amazing experience for the students.

For some people that weren’t aware what the webinar was about, personalities in the workplace. That’s what she was referring to when she’s talking about that. Several people I’ve spoken to in the Middle East in different areas where they really don’t get a lot of training in certain business aspects. Do you think that women in Afghanistan and other areas around you are getting the books and information that they need to be successful in business?

Unfortunately not. This is one of the first things that we’ve started in Afghanistan. It was very good. It was very calming and they get a better idea. Many of them right now are not working. There are still students of the schools or students of the college but they get the skills that they can accepted each other and they can work together. I think that this is very important that the people in Middle East or any other countries, they learn about a different personality and especially those who want to work. They know each other better. They can work better I think in this environment. I think that was a great project. I think that the personality or learning about the different personality, it helps the students to better be organizing in the workplace or in the team. I think that was very helpful for them to know in early age. We appreciate you forgiving this opportunity for these girls to learn about the personality and about how to work together.

You’d go to people and you translate I guess, into Farsi. Is that what you do when you get these webinars for the girls?

Yes. We translated that into Farsi. The presentation that they give to us, we translated into Farsi. This is one workshop that I’m providing for the girls before we started the classes in the business that they can learn about it. It was very welcoming. Many of the students wants to know about it. We recommended the books and it’s in English and many opportunities to speak in English. They’re very interested in this topic.

You gained so much fame just from the Time Magazine. That is such a huge honor to be in the 100 Most Influential People in the World. What attracted them? What did they find out about you? How did they contact you?

I think that I had a couple of other magazines that they wrote about the work that we have done in Afghanistan. I remember that I received an e-mail from the Time that they wanted to interview me and then I received that I was one of the Time 100 Most Influential People. I sent it for my former business partner who has lived in New York. I said, “What does it mean?” Because I didn’t know that much about the Time 100. He said that, “Congratulations, you’re selected as for the Time 100 Most Influential People and it’s a great title.” I was excited but when I was in the US, I think after it was published about that I’m one of the Time 100 Most Influential People in 2013, I received a lot of calls and lots of the congratulations. I also got more surprised that I saw that Sheryl Sandberg wrote to my bio in Time. It was a very big pleasure for me that she wrote that.

I’ve seen you speak for Forbes. You’re just like everywhere. Did you go to the White House?

Yes, I was invited for the White House for the Nowruz celebration.

How was that?

I enjoyed and I could at least meet former First Lady, Michelle Obama. It was a pleasure, and honor for me.

That was a great honor but you deserve it because you do so much. I know you’ve got something coming up. Didn’t you say you have some conference that you were planning this summer in Afghanistan for women? Can you talk about that?

We have a program that we’re going to hold one of the biggest conferences in technology, innovation, entrepreneurship in Afghanistan. That’s to help the women in Afghanistan to showcase their projects and again have the opportunity to pitch it. This conference will feature both bringing 500 people from the government, from the private sectors, and from the parents of the students, and of course the students. It is two days that these young women will receive the opportunity of a lifetime to feature the society global leaders. I think that these conferences would help future students, to become as a more social active citizen and they can also support become as a financial contributor to the society and their families. It’s helped them to be more confident. We are very excited about this conference. Many of our students are in a teenager age, they are sixteen, seventeen, eighteen. Some of our students already started their projects. One of them is selling ice cream and she’s right now delivering most of her ice cream in most of the restaurants. The other one, she employed 25 people in handcraft business. We have students who are working in dry vegetables and she helps her father’s business. Now, they are delivering their products not only in Herat, but also to another contracting Kandahar province. We have these amazing students with their amazing projects. We hope that in our conference, we can show that if they’re giving these opportunities to women, they can approve that they are same as the boys maybe sometimes better, they can do a good job. I think it’s important to empower the women by breaking down civic and social, cultural barriers. When you’re providing a safest place and then they can have a voice and they can have opinion. We get support from families, support from the community, the respects of other culture. They can be change makers. This is also helping for more decision making power. It’s helped them to get self-confidence and reach again the economic society and set up the society. That’s the project that we have.

You really do help so many people. I think you’ve got a lot of great ideas because we’ve talked about some of the things you’ve been working on. Are you starting another company? What’s the coffee thing? Can you talk about that?

We are going to start another company in coffee. It’s coffee, tea and hot chocolate, but we started first with the coffee. The idea is that we’re helping the women in the farms in Herat that derives special spices there. We trained these women in buying these different spices from them. We bring them to here and then we blend in with the Central American coffee to help and support the female farmers adding to the tapestry for the better future. It’s not only to provide and increase other opportunities but it’s also helped them to find a job, encourage them to, as a society, their own protection in different spice. Allow these women to have a career that they want, but in other hand it’s also to help the communities to get benefits of increasing of the growth of economy. The family, they no longer be depending on the source of the income. It’s allowing them to have more freedom and better opportunities for themselves and their children. Other opportunities about this project is that the profits of the sowing of the coffees goes back to the foundation to provide them access to the education and technology to encourage children in more different countries. The spice that we created, we’re blending this spice with this coffee. It’s got very delicious tastes. We are going to launch this company very soon.

I’m just curious, with all that you’ve done, what do your parents think of your success? Does it blow them away? Are they just like, “I knew she was always going to do these amazing things.” Were you this energetic child that just was bent on doing something wonderful or was this a surprise to you or them? I’m just curious about that.

My family is proud of me and it’s because of their support, that’s who I am today. I have to say that growing up in Afghanistan is different. It’s totally different for many of these women because they don’t have access to technology and our entire lives is within the avenue of small communities and families that don’t leave. We have never been given the ability to see a different future than the one that we always had. For the rest of the world that they grew as global community, many of us, we don’t have the opportunity at becoming as a digital citizen. When I was a child, I always had a dream. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to explore the world that was greater than my family and myself. I started as shy and a very curious girl. I think that my curiosity and having big dreams helped me to do what I am doing today.

I have to imagine, it’s a little bit different now. You live in New York City right now. How different is that to go from Afghanistan to living in New York City. It was a little culture shock for you?

I remember the first time that I was coming here, I just get along the first day with New York. We can’t compare. I’m coming from a country that was a totally different. Women didn’t had any opportunities. They couldn’t imagine anything but serving life for the husband in the house, but I’m coming to a country that is about women empowerment. It’s about energy. Everything in New York makes me try this. It’s giving more positive energy to continue the work that I do and meeting with many amazing people. This is I guess inspiring many of the leaders and young leaders. I can see from different countries that they’re coming here. I can’t compare it. It’s a city full of energy and it never sleeps, so it’s true.

Did you make any mistakes along the way that you wish you wouldn’t have or do you think everything you did led to right where you should be?

Of course, we started very early, in a young age and definitely has done well in our projects. I think that bringing up to six, seven we have today, it’s because of the skills in the past. We’re getting experience. We chose to keep continue to work for today and make it better for the future. I look at the past and of course there are moments, there were a decision that I might regret doing it but at that time, at that moment, maybe it was the right thing to do. I feel that this decision made me to be more powerful and have more experience and I can take a wisely decision about the project.

If now that you’ve had this success and you have people out there that are looking to you for advice. If you could get in front of a group of young adults younger than you are which there aren’t too many because you’re pretty young but they’re ready to get into a business. If you had like 60 seconds to talk to a group of people that were younger than you and just looking to become successful the way you have, what advice would you give them?

TTL 011 | Empowering Women in Business
Empowering Women in Business: When you want to start anything, you must love the work that you do. Passion is also important.

When you want to start anything, you must love the work that you do. Passion is also important. I think that one of the way that I had succeeded in my work, it’s because I love what I do. I am really passionate. Those are things that I think is important besides the love and passion is to have this fuel. If I wasn’t getting it from countryside, maybe what’s been difficult for me to do many of the works that I have done when I started my Afghan Citadel Software Company. Having this fits also part of that, working hard. It’s definitely needed for any businesses to succeed. When you love something and have the skill, we show that we can put hard work on that and have it done. It’s also important when you’ve worked, when you have everything, then it’s supported with whom you are working. Who’s going to be your partner, who is going to be your coworker or your employees? The team is absolutely necessary to succeed your project. I have in many opportunity have started, one of the culture that I had was that maybe some of my employees wasn’t fit at that time with some of the projects.

I think that team members are important in creating a family environment, a friendly environment with the team and so that’s important and to listen to them as well. Because sometimes we always think that we think that as you are boss, some of the boss think that they know better than anybody else but it’s good also to listen to others and make a team decision much better than to be in realization. Whenever I needed a team decision, we discussed with everybody in our team, especially right now for Afghan Citadel Software projects. I think that we can more succeed in our projects. I really trust my employees and I trust their decision making and we work together to make it a better future.

I’m glad that you were able to give everybody your words of wisdom because you’ve really done so much at such a young age. I think you’re one of the most impressive people I’ve ever met. I was hoping that you might want to share with people where they can reach you or where they can see your sites or information. Do you have a website?

Yes. We have a website. It’s You can read the part about our projects and they can see what we are doing. We are very happy that you want to support our projects and are working as well. We will love to have the opportunity to work with them.

That’s awesome and I hope people check out your site and thank you for being here, Roya. It’s always so wonderful to talk to you and I hope you’ll come back sometime.

Sure. Thank you very much, Diane for having me at this show. It’s my pleasure.

Closing the Gender Gap and Empowering Women in Business and Leadership with Manar Alomayri

My next guest is Manar Alomayri and she’s a computer science graduate, Founder and CEO of Dhad, an audio book startup in Saudi Arabia. They’ve already received good traction with local writers and are looking for additional books related to entrepreneurship and other business topics. She’s also based in a leading university in the region, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Welcome, Manar. How are you today?

I’m great. Thank you, Diane, for the introduction.

I don’t have a lot of background on your company and I wanted you to just share with my listeners what you do and what you’re trying to do with your company.

Dhad is actually an audiobook producer and publisher as well. During my university years, I was trying to find books that talk about or just to give me that boost or the soft skill, for example, negotiation and so on. Then I was searching also for books that are about women in the workforce, self-developments for women, but actually couldn’t find any books in Arabic language, related to those. Then I thought, “Why I’m not going to be the one who created that and to have these books and bring them from other languages here in Saudi Arabia?”Because creating and writing those books is going to take a lot of time and a lot of effort and experience. We are still lacking that experience actually in Saudi Arabia for people to write books about self-development especially for women.

What I’m trying to do is to bring books about business, leadership, women in the work force, self-development, especially for women from the Western world like America or even Europe to Arabic language and make them as audio. Why I chose the audiobooks it’s just because we have a crazy lifestyle. We’re busy 24 hours. We’re working. We’re taking care of our houses and so on. For example, in my lifestyle, I wake up at 6:00 and I have to be at work at 9:00.The road is really crowded so it takes me two hours to go to my office. During that time I would listen to a book. There are a lot of people like me, especially with the population bubble that is under 25 right now in Saudi Arabia. We share the same interests. We share the same hectic life. We want to know more about other people in other worlds. For example, we want to know more about our culture, we want to enhance ourselves, we want to enhance our skills. That’s why Dhad was created to fill that gap in the Saudi society. Not just Saudi society, I’m talking about the whole GCC, which is the Gulf Countries, Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman. This is what I’m trying to do.

You mentioned that you are looking for audiobooks because you couldn’t access the audiobooks. You were able to get regular books and certain books that you could read, but you wanted more audio version books for people. I’m curious why you’re not able to access audiobooks through the traditional sites that we have here in the US?

The thing is, not everyone here in Saudi Arabia speaks English or understand English. We have the majority who speaks English, but we have people who doesn’t and not as fluent as I am, maybe. Our Arabic language is one of the important languages in the world so why don’t we have Arabic language books that talks about these things. In terms of English, it’s everywhere but we really have a hard time to find something on the internet in Arabic language. That’s actually one of the objectives of Dhad is that we want to enhance the Arabic content especially online, because the Internet is lacking Arabic language content in every kind and form as well.

It was interesting because we had a chance to talk about this recently when we were talking about some of my books that you were interested in.I was trying to give you some advice of how to get the rights to doing this. That’s why I’m hoping that people listening that have written books and are interested in having their books translated by you into Arabic would contact you because I think that there’s a wealth of knowledge out there. I think there are a lot of authors that’s self-publish even if you can’t get the large publishing houses to agree to let you do it. I’m just curious how you would transform their books and what setup you have over there for any potential authors that are interested in contacting you.

We do have a big team that is responsible for translating books from English languages into Arabic. We also are translating books actually from Asia right now. We have books from Indonesia, we have books from Malaysia, we have books also from China. We have a huge team of translators. We will take care of the translation. We will take care of transforming that into audio as well. We will be sharing royalties with the authors or with the publishers who would approach us. We are as a startup, we understand that Saudi market has a great potential in any kind, shape or form. One of the things that we really, really lack and we really need is content that would enhance our skills that would actually take us not just one step forward, but ten steps forward. We don’t have that much of expertise in Saudi or in the Arab world that would be able to write this content for us especially for women. Because right now, women here, we’ve just started. It’s our year right now. We have CEOS like women, we have women in the really big leadership positions but to get more women into those positions, we need more information, more education. Those books are not available in Arabic languages.

We talked before about how I created a webinar for Roya Mahboob and she’s done a lot of work across the globe. She translated a webinar I wrote into Arabic. I’ve talked to her before about some of the issues with what they want women to be able to have access to and not have access to. Is there a problem? Is there any concern that women are going to have content that they don’t want you to have? Is that an issue?

Not really. We can have access to any type of content. I don’t see that as an issue.

What do you think is the reason that there’s not more audio versions or just books in general in your culture for women to succeed in business?

I admit that we are a generation behind United States for example. In order to have these kind of books here written by Arabic or Arabian authors, we need experienced Arabian authors. We still don’t have those experienced women in the whole Arab region yet, but I believe that my generation is the one who’s going to create that. We are the ones who are going to write those books, but not yet. We’re still young. We still have a lot to see, a lot to experience. In order for me and my generation to be able to write those books, to be able to go through this experience, we need to learn from the Western culture. The American for example, as America, there’s a lot of women more than us taking leadership positions. They have experience and they’ve been there. They have been in our shoes today so why not benefit from those experiences?

I agree with you there that there’s a lot of good experience out there to be shared and you have a pretty good following. What do you see as the potential market? How many people would be interested in these audiobooks and what do you see for the future? How many people would want it if this became successful?

I’ll give you numbers for example. On Twitter we have around at 12,800 followers. We have over 60,000 subscribers in our website and application as well. We created the demand. There was no market for audiobooks and we created it. In terms of books about women, can you imagine when you go to a library here in Saudi Arabia and even in Dubai, in Abu Dhabi, like UAE in general or any country in the GCC. All the books about women is going to be focused, for example, for subjects; how to raise your kids, how to cook, how to lose weight, how to please your husband, or be a good wife. Me, as a woman, when I go to a library and I really want to buy a book, these are only the four subjects that I could find. There’s no hope to find these books unless we demand it. This is me demanding to have those books in Arabic language. I’m taking that step to bring it here right now.

I love your passion and I think that that’s great. The books you’re interested in receiving to translate, you don’t want to just women-focused? You want all the top bestselling business every kind of book out there, correct?

Yes, we want books about leadership, business, entrepreneurship, and so on. I wouldn’t mind those. It’s great but I would love to have that book that would talk about women in the workforce, women in their careers, how to enhance your soft skills as a woman, negotiation, and so on just for women because my generation is the first ever generation that experienced working in a mixed environment, for example, men and women. We are the generation who’s taking a leadership positions as CEOs, as managers, directors, and so on. We’re going to meetings. Older women, older than me, they have the experience. They can do that but my generation, we still need to enhance those skills. I believe the experience that needs to be shared from the Western world or even Europe is already there. I would love to have those books. These are what we would love to have, but also books about leadership in general, business, biography. We also are interested in those kinds of books. Even novels, we take novels from any other languages like right now, we’re translating ten books from Indonesian language, Bahasa and it’s all novels.

You’re saying everything’s not in Arabic. What kind of contents available in Arabic on YouTube?Is there anything that women can learn from there or is it all still in other languages?

In terms of content available on YouTube or any other online platform, there are. There is nothing in focus or targeting only women. There are a lot of content. We have starting from makeup tutorial for example, all the way up to tutorials in programming and so on. There are content on YouTube, for example, if we want to be specific. I’m talking about really focused area. For example, if someone, me or anyone else would go to a library to search for that specific book, that’s the problem and that’s the gap that we have but other content is available. Sometimes it’s even pirated from other languages or even from our Arabic language. We hate to say that. We don’t like pirated content and that’s why we’re here just to get it right.

I know we’ve talked about it’s hard to know how to price things and what arrangements you would get in with authors. In general let’s say an audiobook ran $15 to $20 here in the US to download, what price do you think you’re going to be charging in Saudi Arabia for an audiobook?

The prices for books here is different than the states. Even the idea of a book is different than the states or even Europe. The bestseller book here in Saudi or even the GCC or the Arab world is only a book that had been purchased by a couple of thousands of people or sometimes a hundred compared to the states, it’s a book that had been sold tens or hundreds, thousands of times. The prices of books, the physical printed one, is really cheap like cheaper compared to the states. The audiobooks, the pricing strategy that we follow is that the audiobook is sometimes 15% cheaper or less than the printed book. For example, if it was $10 and it’s going to be 15% less than $10. This is the only pricing strategy that we follow only for now.

A lot of self-published authors, they still are paying a certain amount. They get a certain amount after Amazon takes a cutter or whatever. It might be a really good deal for them to do an arrangement with you and find out what you offer. If you could give some contact information regarding how would they go about contacting you and what would you want to know about their book and their content and pricing requirements and what they expect, just what’s your e-mail and website. Can you share all that information?

TTL 011 | Empowering Women in Business
Empowering Women in Business: The Saudi market is a very potential market, especially for those books. We really lack good books, good stories.

Sure, I just want to repeat that the Saudi market is a very potential market, especially for those books. We really lack good books, good stories. The big publishers here in the Arab region is taking advantage of the other self-published authors everywhere outside the Arab region. For me, we will take care of the translation rights. We will translate and do everything. Anyone could contact me on my email which is I’ll also share my phone number with you, Diane. You can just post it everywhere and 00966-548-807088.

Do you want people to contact you through Skype or any other means or is that the best way to reach you?

The best way is through email. I’m always connected through email and it’s for free, of course. Anyone could just drop me an e-mail and always reply back. My Skype is Narasaud, but email is the best way to contact me.

Your website? What was your website address?

Our website is It’s in Arabic language but you can always use the Google translate for webpages.

That’s really helpful and I really appreciate you sharing that information. I look forward to talking to you more about the work that we’re doing together. I hope other authors contact you because I can see a huge potential. You really are admirable for doing this. You’re so young to be involved in such a big undertaking and I think that’s awesome. I really just want to thank you for being on this show today. I hope that you hear from plenty of authors.

I hope that too. Thank you, Diane, for hosting me in this radio show. I hope we would be talking soon to a lot of self-published or any other publishing houses that can come through you.

I think that that would be wonderful. I’d like to thank Roya and Manar for being on my show. I admire people who go above and beyond like these two women. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations and I look forward to following up on their progress. I hope you check out both of their websites. That’s it for today’s show. Please join me next time for Take the Lead Radio.

About Roya Mahboob

TTL 011 | Empowering Women in BusinessRoya Mahboob is an Afghan entrepreneur and businesswoman. She founded and serves as CEO of the Afghan Citadel Software Company, a full-service software development company. She has received attention for being among the first IT female CEOs in Afghanistan, where it is still relatively rare for women to work outside the home. Roya was named to TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People In The World for 2013 for her work in building internet classrooms in high schools in Afghanistan and for Women’s Annex, a multilingual blog and video site hosted by Film Annex. This was the 10th anniversary of the TIME special edition.

About Manar Alomayri

TTL 011 | Empowering Women in BusinessManar Alomayri is a computer science graduate, founder and CEO of DHAD, an audiobooks startup in Saudi Arabia. Her company has already received good traction with local writers interested in having their work translated into Arabic and look for additional books related to entrepreneurship-based topics. She is based in the leading university in the region, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. In Saudi Arabia, there are very few audiobooks in Arabic to help women and others learn more about business. She seeks partnerships with additional authors, to get their published books translated into Arabic.

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