ode to the woman from Oman…

Interesting story.. 

Sophie told me about a delegate whom she met at our Women in Leadership Asia we recently held in Kuala Lumpur. 

On the first afternoon, a delegate who was attending from Oman came up to Sophie and told her how she had attended our Women in Leadership Middle East in Abu Dhabi, and was motivated by the speech the First Lady of Malaysia had presented.

Because she liked the middle east edition, and was inspired by the first lady’s speech, she came all the way from Oman to KL to attend the Asia edition.

She asked Sophie if it was possible to give the first lady of Malaysia a present, a bottle of perfume.  (Sophie told me that the perfume is from the most famous maker in the region and is “horrifically” expensive)

Over breakfast, Sophie told the first lady of Malaysia about the woman from Oman who had a special gift for her … and Sophie asked if it was ok to introduce her. 

The first lady of Malaysia is warm and friendly, and according to Sophie she happily accepted to meet the woman from Oman. 

Later in the evening, Sophie organized for the woman from Oman to meet the first lady and give the present she had for her. 

As Sophie is telling me the story, I just assumed the perfume was from the company of the woman …
I assumed she was trying to promote herself or her company like others in the past have tried.

But the perfume has no connection to the delegate….


Yes, the woman from Oman came all the way to KL just to give a “horrifically” expensive bottle of perfume – a gift from her heart with no ulterior motives to a woman whom she will probably never meet again.

But the story gets better … 

Sophie introduced the woman to the first lady, the woman from Oman gives the expensive present, shakes the first lady’s hand, small talks for a few seconds and then leaves.

When she turned to go, Sophie asked if she wanted to get a picture with the first lady, but the woman smiled and declined.

She wanted nothing from the first lady, not even a picture … she only wanted to give her a gift from the heart.

Great to think people like this still exist in our world. 

But the story gets better…

The next day, Sophie met the woman from Oman at a coffee break. 

The woman from Oman is white and has blue eyes, and her hair is covered as all Omani women with a beautiful scarf.

Sophie said, “you have an American accent, did you go to school in America” … the woman laughed and said she was American. 

Then the woman from Oman explained how she met her (Lebanese) husband at university in America.  They fell in love and she converted to Islam, and they got married and moved to Oman where he started a software company.

Her husband had just started his software company, they had two young boys who were in school had friends and their life was firmly rooted in Oman.

One evening, on his drive home from work he dies in a car crash.

Instantly, this woman’s life was turned upside down. 

Think about it for a little bit…

An American woman who doesnt speak arabic,  living in Oman with two young boys whose lives were firmly, rooted in Oman … suddenly, her husband who was the source of income for the family is dead.

Instead of focusing on the negative…

She decided to stay in Oman and took over the small software company her husband had just started, and she got back up and started a new climb.

Sophie told me that “positivity” radiated from her. 

The world needs more people like the woman from Oman.


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