“My daughter is four, and I always encourage her to dream big. ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ At this age, they all want to be princesses, but it’s like, ‘No, that’s not enough. You can be an engineer or a lawyer or a doctor.'” ~ Abeer Al Otaiba, Founder and Creative Director of SemSem

Summary: Abeer Al Otaiba is a mother, wife, philanthropist, engineer, and creative director of SemSem, a luxury fashion line she launched in October 2015. The SemSem line reflects Abeer’s life experiences. Holding a degree in civil engineering, Abeer is focused on attention to detail, quality, and functionality. SemSem’s involvement will directly aid in the advancement of safety, education, and empowerment for female heads of households and their children in Egypt and the region.

Nationality: Egyptian

Industry: Fashion

Q: As the woman behind a brand focused on female empowerment, how are you raising Samia to be strong? on elle.com

A: What I try to do with both my son and daughter is focus on acts of kindness. Every day I say: “Tell me something kind you did at school today, something kind someone did for you today.” My daughter is four, and I always encourage her to dream big. “What do you want to do when you grow up?” At this age, they all want to be princesses, but it’s like, “No, that’s not enough. You can be an engineer like Mommy or a lawyer or a doctor.” Operating as a female civil engineer in the Arab world was challenging, but I am stronger person because of the path I chose.

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