As a primary school student, my teachers advised me to wear eye glasses. I had a perfectly clear vision, though. However, I had serious reading and spelling difficulties, which hindered me from performing well. Later on, I developed my own reading strategy, based on crossing texts back and forth, considering a natural way of processing the information. My learning results improved in high school and in college, being able to pass two rigorous six hours tests and examinations for CFA and I am currently preparing for the third one. Recently, at my teacher’s recommendation, concerned about my reading, I made an appointment with an optician. He transferred me to a reading specialist and after the examination I was diagnosed with dyslexia. Until that moment I never thought that I might suffer from this learning disability. Despite my challenges of undetected dyslexia my grandfather introduced me in the business world, as I used to accompany him in his visits and business meetings. He became my role model, in terms of entrepreneurship, as he overcame his orphan condition, developing and growing his own business with his own resources, inspiring me also to overcome my learning condition and to succeed on my own resources and abilities.
As I was growing up, my parents and my former teachers were constantly telling me to concentrate more for dealing with my learning difficulties and because the health system in my home country, Saudi Arabia, was poorly developed while I was growing up, there was no specialist in reading difficulties to detect my problem. I approached my reading problem seriously and I have worked on my difficulties in time, being at the top of my class in the senior year in high school. My excellent learning outcomes also got me the most prestigious full scholarship in Saudi Arabia, from Saudi Aramco, for Northeastern University, which I graduated with a summa cum laude.
Although I benefit of a good social position, as my entire family is involved in family business for generations, even before Saudi Arabia came to existence, I have chosen to pursue an independent path for myself and earning my education in Saudi Aramco is the first step for accomplishing this desiderate. On a short term, my goals include accomplishing the CFA requirements, understanding Saudi Aramco’s future business investment needs and requirements, supporting local Saudi entrepreneurs. I am currently pursuing to join young advisory board within Aramco. The accomplishment of these short-term goals will further lead to the concretization of my long term plans. As such, I would like for my long term goals to develop the Islamic finance and to prepare the appropriate regulations for implementing it in Saudi Arabia and Islamic world, by using Aramco as platform, as this organization serves as a catalyst for Saudi Arabia’s economy, having the ability to change the investment landscape from conventional finance to Islamic finance. Islamic finance is currently a trillion dollar industry, having the capacity to continue growing, reaching a double digit figure, due to the Saudi high demand for it. Islamic finance was one of the teachings inherited from my grandfather and I learned that although the conventional finance is much more popular, the Islamic finance is nevertheless more aligned with the Saudi and Arabic social realities and religion. This is my motivation for capitalizing and developing the Islam finance. I am planning to support the local economic Saudi context through spinning off unrelated business of oil and gas and through promoting Islamic finance rather than conversion, in line with the Islamic religion and Muslim values, implementing this change also in Saudi Aramco.
My experience in Islamic Finance, capitalized through Arcapita Investment Bank (Islamic complied) plus my previous academic background as a teacher assistant and a researcher for reading in Sharih law, which includes Islamic finance, represent my added value for being admitted at Harvard Business School, which I pursue for my further academic goals.
Dealing with dyslexia has served me as a life lesson, teaching me how to overcome obstacles. I have managed my learning obstacles and because of my efforts I am where I am now. Just as I have overcome the obstacles I met so far in various contexts in my life, I intend to accomplish my goals in the future and I know that I have the ability, competency and experience required to do so. I consider Harvard Business School to be an excellent education environment, as it assures diversity and expertize knowledge, offering the proper setting for sharpening students’ leadership abilities, challenging them to venture in organizations meant to generate innovation and social development. I am pursuing admission to Harvard Business School because of its multidimensional professional education, based on courses such as Executing Strategies, The Board of Director and Corporate Governance, Leadership and Organizational Behavior, required for reaching my goals of focusing on Islamic financing, developing and optimizing the finance system in Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Islamic world, aligning it with the social realities of the Muslim countries.