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Cablegate: Mission Spain Nominations for Presidential

VZCZCXRO4144
PP RUEHLA
DE RUEHMD #1149/01 3351503
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 011503Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1513
INFO RUEHLA/AMCONSUL BARCELONA PRIORITY 4243

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 MADRID 001149

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

S/P FOR G.BEHRMAN
S/SRMC FOR K.CHANDLER
R FOR S.NOOR-ALI
EUR/PPD FOR L.MCMANIS
BARCELONA FOR G.CROUCH


E.O. 12958: DECL: N/A
TAGS: ECON EIAD PREL SOCI XF XI ZR ZP CN PU MV SO SP
SUBJECT: MISSION SPAIN NOMINATIONS FOR PRESIDENTIAL
ENTREPRENEURSHIP SUMMIT

REF: STATE 112468

SBU - ENTIRE TEXT

1. In response to taskings set out in reftel, Post's Muslim
Engagement Working Group canvassed a wide range of contacts to
solicit qualified nominees for the Entrepreneurship Summit.
The Working Group was enlarged to include representatives of
PAS, ECON, POL, the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service (USCS), and
other Mission elements, including Consulate Barcelona (by
conference call).

2. The Muslim communities in Spain maintain a relatively low
profile. Most of Spain's Muslims are manual laborers from
Northern Africa (especially from Morocco) and Sub-Saharan
Africa who have come to Spain to seek jobs. Many of the
Muslims residing in Catalonia and down the eastern coast to
Valencia have family ties to Pakistan and South Asia.
Identifying candidates who fit the particular profile of the
Summit has been challenging given the diverse populations,
especially since the majority reside in areas where the Embassy
has limited contact. Mission outreach has therefore
concentrated on immigrant and Muslim communities through social
and cultural organizations.

3. NOMINATIONS The Mission has identified six strong,
potential candidates, listed below in alphabetical order. We
request that the Department inform the Mission of any pre-
selection of Spain's nominees for the Summit prior to the
nominees being contacted by Washington.

--------------------------------------------- -----
(A) SAMIRA BRIGUECH
Directora General
Samira & Sineb Consultores Agencia de Marketing y Relaciones
Publicas
Madrid
E-mail: samira@samira.es
--------------------------------------------- -----
Background:
A businesswoman of Moroccan origin, Mrs. Briguech has shown by
example that she understands the challenges of promoting a
culture of entrepreneurship, job creation, and economic
opportunity. She has received many awards for her leadership
and entrepreneurial skills; she particularly values her awards
from Spain's Federation of Women CEOs and Business
Leaders (Fedepe), the Association of Young Entrepreneurs,
and CEOE (the largest employer organization in Spain).
Over 13 years ago, she founded Samira & Sineb, a public
relations and marketing agency, starting with a capital
of only $10,000. Since that time, she has dedicated her
efforts to creating a strong, stable, and competent team of 25
employees, building the top ranked public relations agency in
technology and information sectors. Her principal clients
include Orange, Symantec, Oracle, BT, and Hewlett Packard.

Mrs. Briguech also serves as Vice President of the Association
of Young Entrepreneurs and the Federation of Young
Businesswomen of Madrid. These leadership organizations
gave her insights into how she could start up and manage
her own company. She is now giving back to these
organizations by actively supporting youth programs creating and
supporting entrepreneur networks, and promoting the
education, training and mentoring of future entrepreneurs.
Mrs. Briguech has also created the Adelias Foundation,
putting into practice her belief that her company
must follow socially responsible practices.
Within her company she has built a value system of
social responsibility, setting aside 2% of company sales for
benevolent causes. The foundation's work centers principally on
Morocco, due its proximity to Spain and because of the
significant lack of health and educational resources
available. In addition to providing educational materials for
blind children to learn Braille, this foundation currently
carries out projects for children with meningitis, and learning
disabilities. She is also working together with other
organizations, supporting efforts to create a neonatal unit in
a hospital, financed with support of Farmaceuticos sin
Fronteras (Pharmacists Without Borders). Mrs. Briguech is also
board member of the Fundacisn ROSE Caja Mediterrneo, where she
is also involved with corporate social responsibility and
environmental initiatives.

She is married to the Senior Commerce Foreign Service employee.

MADRID 00001149 002 OF 005

Justification:
Samira Briguech would be an excellent participant in the
Presidential Summit on Leadership given her experience as an
entrepreneur and role model, her willingness to mentor and
teach entrepreneurship to youth, and her visionary work in
establishing and supporting foundations that are advancing
mutual understanding in Muslim communities within Spain and
Morocco. She is a dynamic, intelligent person who is
a role model for other entrepreneurs, both in her capacity
as a business owner, and also as a mentor in the youth
leadership organizations and non-profit organizations she
actively supports and manages. Her involvement in bringing
Spain and Morocco closer together through benevolent causes is
widely admired and is helping to bridge cultural differences.


---------------------------------------------
(B) KHALID CHAKRANE BACHTIRI
Managing Director
Moroccan Attijariwafa Bank at Madrid
President of ATLAS
Association for Relief to Moroccan Youth Centers
e-mail: atps2003@terra.es
---------------------------------------------
Background:
As President of the ATLAS Association, Khalid is responsible
for bringing humanitarian relief to juvenile centers in
Morocco. To that effect, he mobilizes human resources, promotes
fund-raising among Spaniards and Moroccan immigrants in Spain,
and coordinates the logistics of the relief expeditions. In
the last two years, he has organized five humanitarian aid
convoys for the juvenile centers of Tangier, Chaouen, Rabat,
Fez and Sefrou.

As managing director of the Madrid branch of the Moroccan
Attijariwafa Bank, Khalid is building a broad network of
Moroccan depositors, facilitating immigrant transfers of
money to Morocco, and advising potential Spanish investors on
the best investment choices in Northern Morocco. This last
responsibility, directly related to the economic development of
North Africa, is Khalid's most promising facet. In a few years,
he may be promoted to an influential position in the Moroccan-
Spanish Consortium of Entrepreneurs and Investors.

Justification:
Khalid has an inquisitive spirit that surely will enable him
quickly to adopt American institutional strategies for building
a transparent framework of open markets between Spain and
Morocco, facilitating the transfer of technology
through "revolving door" immigration, promoting the economic
integration of immigrants into the mainstream, and channeling
Spanish investments in the fishery business and the
exploitation of renewable energies.

As a participant in the radio program Vecinos del Sur,
broadcast by Cadena SER, the radio station with the largest
audience in Spain, Khalid is a young Muslim opinion leader able
to reach large segments of the Islamic community in Spain. His
participation in the Washington Summit on Entrepreneurship will
contribute significantly to fostering dialogue between Islam
and the West, building a bridge between the economies of Spain
and North Africa, and neutralizing the effects of radical Islam
in both regions.

--------------------------------------------- -----
(C) MOHAMED EL IDRISSI EL ALOUANI EL BOUAANANI
Entrepreneur in the real estate sector
President of the Cultural Association of Friendship and
Cooperation between Catalonia and Morocco
Blanes, Girona
E-mail: finquesblanda@telefonica.net
--------------------------------------------- -----
Background:
Born in Morocco in 1958 and a Spanish citizen, Mr. El Idrissi
is a prominent entrepreneur and businessman in the Spanish
region of Girona and President of the Cultural Association of
Friendship and Cooperation between Catalonia and Morocco. He
has an undergraduate degree in Commerce and owns a real estate
agency in the town of Blanes (north of Barcelona). He is an
influential figure of the business community in the region of
Girona and a member of the local Socialist Party. He has been
highly recommended by Mohammed Chaib, a Member of Parliament
and former IVLP grantee.

MADRID 00001149 003 OF 005

He is also a member of the board of the Euro Arab Center of
Catalonia, an organization that promotes cooperation, dialogue
and mutual understanding in the Euro-Mediterranean region. Its
main goal is to facilitate the participation of
members of civil society of Arab origin in Catalonia in
the 'Union for the Mediterranean.' The Euro-Mediterranean
Partnership, formerly known as the Barcelona Process, was re-
launched in 2008 as the 'Union for the Mediterranean', with its
Secretariat based in Barcelona. The Partnership now includes
all 27 member states of the European Union, along with 16
partners across the Southern Mediterranean and the Middle East.
This is an innovative alliance that seeks to create a
Mediterranean region of peace, security, and shared economic
prosperity.

Justification:
Mr. Mohamed El Idrissi is a respected entrepreneur who is
actively engaged with Muslim communities outside the city
of Barcelona. His energy and dedication to promote economic
opportunities and job creation in the Euro Mediterranean
region, place him in a unique position as a strong interlocutor
of the Moroccan business community in Catalonia.

--------------------------------------------- ----
(D) HUMA JAMSHED
Businesswoman
President of the Cultural and Educational Association of
Pakistani Women (ACESOP)
Barcelona
E-mail: humajamshed4@yahoo.es
--------------------------------------------- ----
Background:
Born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1966 and a resident in Spain since
1997, Ms. Jamshed is a businesswoman and president of the
Cultural and Educational Association of Pakistani Women
(ACESOP) in Barcelona. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the
Complutense University of Madrid. She and her husband run
a travel agency and she devotes a lot of her time to the ACESOP,
an association she founded in 2005. This non-profit association
reaches out to the women of the Pakistani community in
Barcelona, which numbers more than 35,000, and is the largest
in Spain. The purpose of the association is to promote the
integration of Pakistani women through the organization of
workshops, courses, cultural activities, and advising services
on legal and business matters. She is also the vice president
of Barcelona's Council for Immigration.

Ms. Jamshed is one of post's good contacts; as President of
ACESOP, she first participated in a post program when Farah
Pandith, Special Advisor to the Asst. Secretary of State for
Europe and Eurasia, came to Barcelona in April 2007. Since
then, she has attended many post programs and receptions, and
participated in a Vienna conference on "Muslims and the West:
Living together - but how?" organized by the NGO Women without
Borders in collaboration with the US Embassy in Vienna and the
US Mission to the European Union in October 2007. In FY09 she
was an IV grantee. Ms. Jamshed participated in a Single Country
Project on "Effective Community Organizing for Minorities."

Justification:
Huma Jamshed is a well-known leader of the Muslim community in
Barcelona, particularly among Pakistanis, which is
especially relevant in this part of Spain. Her participation in
the Summit will give her new ideas in entrepreneurial
leadership and will undoubtedly enrich her views and provide
effective strategies that she can adapt and develop locally.

--------------------------------------------- ---
(E) MAHDI MOHAMED-SALEH RASHID
Deputy Director General
For the Spanish Sacyr Vallehermoso Corporation in Libya
e-mail: msaleh@gruposyv.com
--------------------------------------------- ---
Background:
Born in Baghdad, Iraq, in 1955, Mahdi Mohamed-Saleh
actively resisted the Ba'ath Political Party of Saddam
Hussein. For this reason, he was not accepted by the Baghdad
University and went to Beirut to study Philosophy and Arabic
Literature. Returning to Baghdad, Mahdi found that all
opportunities for professional advancement were closed to him
by the Government political party. So he decided to go into
exile in Spain, where he has resided since 1977. For the past
five years, Mahdi Mohamed-Saleh has served as Deputy Director

MADRID 00001149 004 OF 005


General of the Spanish entrepreneurial holding Sacyr Vallermoso
with responsibility for its operations in Libya. He has
exercised the following functions:
-- Responsible for the international business development
operations of Sacyr Vallehermoso corporation in North Africa.
-- To identify and secure for the Spanish holding company, on a
competitive basis, contracts of public works projects such as
airports, ports, highways, infrastructure.
-- To play a key role in the negotiation of contracts with
clients, primarily Libyan Government authorities.
-- To follow up on the execution of the contracts by both
parties.
-- To advise the Spanish corporation Sacyr Vallermoso on the
viability of their investments in the Arab countries of North
Africa.

Justification:
Mahdi Mohamed-Saleh Rashid has the ability to speak three
languages, Arabic, Spanish, and English. Integrated in the
Spanish way of life, he has not forgotten his native roots.
Mahdi is a perfect bicultural liaison between Islamic
countries and the West. From his position in the international
holding company Sacyr Vallermoso, Mahdi is a priceless asset in
the dialogue between Islam and the West on such crucial issues
as the transfer of technology, investment for development,
professional training of native workers and the creation of
jobs. Mahdi obtained his Ph.D. in Political Science from the
Catholic University of Salamanca in Spain six month ago, having
written his doctoral dissertation on the political thought of
Ib Khaldun, a XIV century Arab historian born in Damascus who
lived in Seville, Spain, and explained the evolution of
Arab countries in very critical and dialectic terms. Like Ib
Khaldun in the fourteenth century, Mahdi Mohamed-Saleh contends
that Muslim countries today have the opportunity to be part get
of the global economy without losing any of their
cultural identity. This is one of the conclusions of his
doctoral thesis.

-------------------------------------
(F) ISABEL ROMERO ARIAS
Director General
Halal Institute
Cordoba
e-mail: iromero@alcavia.net
-------------------------------------
Background:
Ms. Romero was born in Madrid in 1957, and has lived in Csrdoba
since 1981. She converted to Islam in 2003. Since then she has
been very active in the community as Project Director at the
Islamic Federation of Spain (FERRI), a spokesperson at the
Islamic Commission of Spain (CIE), and in 1998 became the
founder and promoter of the Halal Institute. Her previous
experience has been in the marketing and business sector.

The Halal Institute in Spain is a non-profit organization
created by the Islamic Board, which is responsible for -- and
signatory of -- the Cooperation Agreements between Muslims and
the Spanish national government. It is responsible for
regulating and certifying Halal products and services aimed at
Muslims and has now certified more than one hundred companies,
which it supports and advises, especially in exportation.

The Institute is a member of the I.H.I Alliance, an
international association that promotes the establishment of a
World Halal Standard (Malaysia is among the countries most
supportive of the Alliance). Last February they created the
European Association for the same purpose, with ten European
certifying entities as founders. In the first quarter of 2010,
they will celebrate the first consultative meeting to create a
similar association that promotes Latin-American standards.
They will invite to this meeting the two leading U.S.
organizations, IFANCA and ISNA, together with some Canadian
organizations, to participate in this meeting.

Justification:
The Halal Institute has been able to develop an accreditation
standard that is a unique model in Europe and has been legally
registered as a guaranteed brand based on certification by the
Spanish Ministry of Agriculture in 2003. Thanks to this Halal
certificate, Spanish companies are able to sell their products
in more than 30 countries, and the door is now open to all
countries with majority Muslim populations. Ms. Romero's
experiences could bring unique insights and contribute
significantly to Summit debates.

MADRID 00001149 005 OF 005

Chacon

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