Dia Diwan

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					Dia Diwan                                                                                                                                By: Shiekha Al Sane

World of Enlightenment for Arab Women
Rasha Khouri is a woman who stands out
amongst the crowd! Tall and slender, with black                                                           in mind and, notably, the site is updated on a
cascading hair and attractive, polished looks,                                                            weekly basis.
                                                                                                             The Dia Daily section includes coverage of
encounter at Café Royal at Salhiya.                                                                       latest happenings in the Arab world "whether it
  It is only natural that a woman this striking                                                           is a new designer in Jeddah, a spa in Amman, a
would be the driving force behind an ambitious                                                            restaurant in Beirut or an art gallery in Kuwait."
venture called Dia Diwan which is slated to                                                               Dia Shop allows browsers the chance to
become a global portal that transcends borders                                                            shop from "the best selection of international
and a common meeting ground for like minded                                                               and regional fashion" while Dia Dunia is an
Arab women all over the world to discuss                                                                  open platform where "women can talk about
matters close to their hearts.                                                                            everything and anything like inquiring about a
  Dia Diwan strives to become the ultimate                                                                job opening, complaining about the absurdity
source of all that is hip and cool in the realm                                                           of life, or just sharing advice. Expert forums will

is about bringing what is trendy in our region                                                            discussions." Last but not least, riding high in
and in the world to an Arab audience, with a                                                              the blog craze wave, the Dia team has created
special emphasis on the positive aspects social                                                           a Dia Blog which documents the behind the
highlights and developments taking place in                                                               scenes events, new plans and updates as well
the Arab world” explains Khouri.                                                                          as a forum for readers to interact with the team
   Barely in her thirties Rasha, who is of                                                                behind the Dia Diwan concept.
Palestinian and Lebanese origins, has led an                                                                Fashion is a prominent feature of Dia Diwan
exciting jet- setting life which has taken her all
over the United States and Europe “yet I always                                                           click away. The featured stores are Net-A-Porter,
called the Middle East home. I was born in                                                                Vivre, handbags and accessories by Gucci, Fendi,
                                                                                                          Prada, Dior, Versace, Tod’s and Burberry, Carmen
Saudi Arabia and then my family migrated to                                                               Romero, Figleaves, ilovejeans, and Forzieri.com
the States. I grew up in New York City, studied                                                           amongst others.
International Relations at Brown University and                                                              Rasha has big dreams for Dia; “Ever since
followed up by working at Merrill Lynch and                                                               the site was established, I have been leading a
UBS investment banks as a luxury goods equity                                                             restless life. My mind never stops working and
research analyst. I then went to on to obtain my                                                          there are a million ideas and thoughts going
MBA at INSEAD in France. But one day I simply                                                             on constantly and I am on a burning quest to
decided enough is enough and that it was                                                                  develop and implement new ways to make Dia
time to return home. That’s when I moved to                                                               better.”
Lebanon.”                                                                                                    Clearly an optimistic and positive person,
   Khouri explains that the idea of establishing
Dia came to mind “When I realized that there          Spanish and diamonds in Latin."                     on the positive she can inspire people to make
was hardly any news channels or sites dedicated         The world Diwan was added at a later stage        things better. “There are so many positive
to Arab women. There was no proper media              “not only because it sounds good, but also          things taking place in the Arab World and
outlet which encapsulates news about areas            because of what the meaning pertains to, Diwan      we want to spotlight that positive trend and
of general interest customized to our inherent        means a meeting place or the quintessential         celebrate the various achievements. We also
culture. That is how I thought I should take          diwanya in Kuwaiti. We wanted our readers           plan to showcase Arab designers and the best
matters into my own hands and create a portal         to feel at home and amongst friends while           of Arab talent and give them the opportunity
catering to the needs of cosmopolitan Middle          browsing the site.”                                 to display and market their products” Rasha
Eastern women. I met like - minded people               To ensure the success of the venture, Rasha       says. She goes on to add “I know this lady in
who liked the idea and spurred me on to bring         recruited a dream team comprised of the             Egypt who makes amazing shawls, and another
it to fruition,” she recalls.                                                                             who makes embroidered computer cases and
                                                      boasts a group of “stylish Middle Easterners        another beautiful hand made bags. Imagine; a
Hariri was assassinated. “His death has cast          with a keen knowledge of what is going on in        whole new world of opportunity will be opened
an overwhelming shadow of dejection and               the world and a solid professional experience.”     to these women by giving them the chance to
                                                      Her editorial team has freelance writers from all   market their products for the whole world to
depression and we all took it quite hard.
                                                      over the Arab world reporting about the latest      see. Dia will be a launching pad for new horizons
                                                      happenings/events in their part of the globe.       and possibilities as well as a common meeting
ahead with my idea and bring my concept
to life. There was so much negativity going             Not surprisingly, Dia Diwan, much like its
                                                      founder, is multi faceted. It has a myriad of       Rasha with a hopeful note.
around and I felt time was ripe for Dia to bring
about light and hope.”                                city reports, high end shopping and social
                                                      networking page, as well as original features,      Usher in a ray of sunshine into your day and
                                                      such as the "what's in your handbag" section,       expand your horizons by visiting Dia Diwan for
perfectly, yet it took Rasha and her team a while
                                                      which asks prominent Arab women to share            a weekly dosage of all hip and cool happenings
to come up with it. It was chosen with simplicity
                                                      their secret tips to success. The site includes     around the region and the world by visiting the
                      The word Dia literally means
                                                      several sections and each section was               site: www.dia-diwan.net
light or brilliance in Arabic. It also means day in