Mr. Farouk Shami
Inventor & Founder of Farouk Systems
Born in the Palestinian town of Beit Ur, Mr. Shami left Palestine after finishing high school at the Ramallah Friends School in order to study in America. He worked in salons to pay for his college education, and this necessity ultimately set him on the path which today has made him a preeminent hair-care inventor, founder & chairman of the board of Farouk Systems. This Houston, Texas-based company earns roughly $1 billion in revenue and employs more than 2,000 Americans who together make the favorite hair-care products used by celebrities like Madonna, Renee Zellweger, Gwyneth Paltrow, Courtney Cox and Demi Moore. None of this success has led Mr. Shami to forget his roots and those who remain in Palestine, where as a small child he first helped his mother make dyes from local plants and vegetables. In fact, after cosmetology school, he returned to Palestine to open a salon there, but ultimately returned again to the United States following the 1967 war. Nonetheless his actions prove that he still carries a heart for Palestine. “Because of Israeli occupation, Palestine is dependent on donor countries,” Mr. Shami says. “But there are many Palestinians with the means to help, and we need to share our success with our people.”
In 1999, he opened a science high school for girls in Beit Ur, and in 2009, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), he sponsored an infrastructure project of sidewalk and road electrification projects for Beit Ur’s 5,000 residents and 20,000 people from the surrounding communities who regularly pass through the village. Mr. Shami is unflinching in his dedication to the cause of peace in the Middle East, which he believes can be achieved through the development of the Palestinian economy and the fulfillment of Palestinian human rights and needs. His example serves to inspire other Palestinians in the Diaspora to pursue success through innovative and ethical business endeavors and to always serve Palestine faithfully through all possible means.