The global award in photography and sustainability

Jacqueline Hassink
Mouna Bassaleh, Owner and President of Multipharma Scientific Office. SPECIAL COMMENTS: Ms Bassaleh’s story is unusual for a woman in Syria. She has had to struggle to earn her success. She graduated in 1968 from Damascus University with a B.Sc. in Pharmacy and also undertook several international trade and language courses. In 1968 she started her own pharmacy in the suburbs of Damascus and has now been working in the pharmaceutical field for more than 35 years. She has grown her Company to become one of the main suppliers of antibiotic raw materials in Syria and has two regular employees. She has represented companies such as Pharmacia from Sweden, Dobfar from Italy and from Spain – Ovejero and Antibioticos. Her office is an elegant old house in the city centre of Damascus where she receives owners of pharmaceutical laboratories, commercial directors and salesmen from different companies. There is no executive committee; she is the decision-maker. She has two meeting tables for guests. The smaller octagonal table I photographed is situated in her office; it can be used when a meeting of four people is taking place. The regular one is in the meeting room and can be used by eight people. In all meetings, visitors are given priority in seating. Ms Bassaleh owns two houses in Damascus and now lives with her mother. In the main house in the city centre she and her mother regularly use the eight-seater dining table. At formal dinners the guest of honour is seated on her right. The table setting is a mix of personal style and family tradition. When she invites many people for a banquet, she uses her second home where she can accommodate 50 or 60 people at round tables. Her sense of interior decorating is unique and personal. Both in the house and in the office are pieces of furniture that she collected or inherited from her father, who was a successful antique dealer. She speaks Arabic, French, English and Spanish fluently. Her hobbies are reading and travelling.

Series: Arab Domains
14 February 2005
Damascus, Syria

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