Thursday, August 25, 2011

فيميو Femeo: An Arabic-English Reference Point, Networking Site, and Community for Women Working in the Middle East

This post has been in draft form since I first learned of Femeo (March 3, 2011), and was extremely impressed with the idea and execution of the bilingual (English; Arabic) website, a project within (a prominent Middle East job site) that is specifically aimed at working (Arab) women in the Middle East. The delay in posting has everything to do with circumstances unrelated to the quality of the site. Indeed, I am particularly inspired to post it now, as the September "beginning of term" looms all too near.

Some excerpts from the original announcement by Roba Al-Assi, a designer at and a creator of Femeo:

At, our main goal is to empower people in the region to help them lead the lifestyle of their choice. The MENA region, unfortunately, has the worst track record in the world for women in the workplace, which obviously reflects on society in general. Here is a World Bank report about the topic... 

We are launching Femeo, a community aiming to help and empower working women in the Middle East. We offer daily tips and advice, a networking section, and Career Assessments. It is available in both Arabic and English.

The service is a 100% free to any woman who is interested,...

Throughout my own education, training, and career, I have benefitted from excellent mentors, colleagues, and friends, men and women, of various races, ethnicities, religions, professional affiliations, and positions within their respective hierarchies. There have been times, however, when greater specificity is beneficial, in terms of understanding better the exact circumstances of my career context in time and place; and, there have been times when a feminist (broadly defined) perspective and community is the best explanatory model, resource, and source of possible solutions.

It is in this dual spirit, general and specific, that I appreciate the value of Femeo for women, Arab or not, working in the Middle East, and more broadly for working/career women. The advice articles are of high quality, and broadly applicable beyond their specificities. At the same time, there are those special considerations for women working in the Middle East, and their challenges and opportunities. There are self-assessment tools that give concrete considerations for self-evaluation.

The site also serves as a sharing and networking place for women to find a sense of community. Overall, Femeo provides that all important sense that "I am not alone", and "I am not insane, even thought it might feel that way at times, and although there are elements of 'insanity' around me".

It has also been my experience that there are well-intended men who may be trying to help a woman family member or friend to negotiate her career, or in a management position with women subordinates, colleagues, and superiors, or in a mentoring position with professional women, who would benefit from the insights to be gained on Femeo. Additionally, as is often the case, career advice is usually broadly applicable to both genders.

I strongly encourage women and men to check out Femeo!

Related Posts:
Lingerie in Saudi and Social Activism
More Lingerie in Saudi Arabia--Bought Elsewhere!
Saudi Women's Work: Domestic Artists to Working Artisans
Saudi Arabia Takes the Gold! In MVA’s, RTA’s, Car Accidents/ Fatalities/ Injuries [on teachers braving long, dangerous commutes to work]
On Women Driving, in the West and Saudi; Other Parameters of Women's Quality of Life; Hope for Change [the relationships among education, work, and driving]
Saudi Women Driving Garners Attention; Saudi Women's Education Brings Substantive Change--Including to Driving [the relationships among education, work, and driving]
Who Says Saudi Women Don't Want to Work?

Your comments, thoughts, impressions, experiences?

1 comment:

Roba Al-Assi said...

Thank you for writing about Femeo! :) We really appreciate your support.


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