TheFace: Muzon Ashgar is the founder and CEO of MZN Bodycare

Muzon Ashgar. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 09 November 2018
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TheFace: Muzon Ashgar is the founder and CEO of MZN Bodycare

  • She now works to help other entrepreneurs achieve their career goals, as a member of the Chamber of Commerce board for Youth Women Entrepreneurs

Muzon Ashgar is the founder and CEO of MZN Bodycare, the first Saudi handmade skin care brand.
When she was growing up in a family that appreciated arts and crafts, her mother, an art teacher, instilled in her a love of handmade products. Ashgar fondly remembers completing craft projects with her mother for school assignments, to create home accessories and for family events.
After leaving school, she attended the College of Architecture and Planning at King Faisal University, from where she graduated top of her class with a degree in interior architecture. She then began working in the college as a teaching assistant.
After getting married in 2008, Ashgar traveled to the UK with her husband where she undertook a master’s degree in design with learning and teaching in higher education. She returned to Saudi Arabia and went back to work at the college, this time as a lecturer.
A social event changed the course of her life. After inviting friends to a spa party, Ashgar decided to make them gifts that matched the theme. After doing some research online, she decided to create some DIY skin care products. She began to search for the raw materials and packaging with a degree of interest and detail that she could not explain at the time. Because she is a designer, she also created an “MZN” logo for the gifts and designed labels. The party was a hit, and her friends were so happy with their gifts that they asked for more.
When she heard about new family bazaar events, where artisans can sell their handmade items, she decided to have a go at selling the skin care products she had created with her newfound hobby. Her stock sold out at her first bazaar, and when on her second attempt she again sold everything, she knew that this was something she wanted to explore further to see where it could lead.
Ashgar ran her fledgling brand from home, taking over the family kitchen, which was filled with different kinds of butter, essential oils and empty containers. She signed up for skin-care formulation and soap-making courses, while continuing to sell her products at bazaars and markets until she received several offers from local pharmacies, boutiques and online stores to sell them.
None of this came easy; there was lots of hard work and long hours to prepare the products, design labels and to stand and sell her products at the bazaars. But being a working mother — Ashgar has two children, Lara, 7, and Muhammad, 5 — is not easy, and when you add even a small project on the side it can become almost impossible at times. As a result, she put MZN on hold for a few months but after talking to her family about life choices, it was clear where her passion lay.
Ashgar returned to working on MZN, which now has a licensed factory and its products are available in pharmacies nationwide. For her success, she first thanks Allah and then the support of her husband and family. She now works to help other entrepreneurs achieve their career goals, as a member of the Chamber of Commerce board for Youth Women Entrepreneurs.


US welcomes Saudi Arabia's Khashoggi investigation as 'step in the right direction'

Updated 5 min 20 sec ago
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US welcomes Saudi Arabia's Khashoggi investigation as 'step in the right direction'

  • State department says steps must continue to be taken toward full accountability
  • Arab and Western countries welcomed the steps taken in the investigation

JEDDAH: The United States welcomed the details of Saudi Arabia’s investigation into the murder of Jamal Khashoggi as a “good first step” on Thursday.

The comments came as a host of countries responded positively to a briefing from the Kingdom’s public prosecution that said it had identified 21 suspects in the killing of the Saudi journalist at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month.

The prosecution on Thursday called for five people to receive the death penalty as it revealed the details of the investigation so far.

“We regard the announcement that they made as a good first step, it's a step in the right direction,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

“It is an initial investigation finding. It is important that those steps continue to be taken toward full accountability.”

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READ MORE:

Full text: Saudi Arabia public prosecution briefing on the Jamal Khashoggi murder investigation

Saudi Arabia FM: Khashoggi murder investigations will continue until all questions are answered

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor seeks death penalty for 5 Khashoggi suspects

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Both Arab and Western countries welcomed the steps taken by the investigation outlined in the briefing.

The Arab League expressed support for the measures taken by the Kingdom.

“The measures are seen as reflecting the great interest of the Kingdom to reach those responsible for committing the murder and take the firm and decisive action against them,” the League’s  Secretariat General said.

The statement also urged Turkey to reciprocate the Kingdom’s approach by providing the evidence in the case and meet Saudi demands to form a joint mechanism for cooperation on the investigation.

The Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani said the details of the investigation released on Thursday “confirm the Kingdom’s commitment to completing the necessary procedures in order to continue the investigation away from the politicization sought by some malicious parties.”

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) praised the statement from the Public Prosecution.

“The Saudi prosecution has clearly answered the outstanding questions, charged the responsible parties, identified the roles of those involved in this crime and announced all that with transparency,” OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen said.

Countries in the region were also quick to back the progress made in the case.

The UAE welcomed the findings and the measures taken to hold accountable those behind the murder.

“The measures taken corroborate the fact that Saudi Arabia will remain a state of values, and justice that respects the principles of law and justice,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said.

Egypt also praised Saudi measures and called on countries to avoid politicizing the case.

The progress in the investigation “highlighted the seriousness of the Kingdom and its transparency in clarifying the truth,” the Egyptian foreign ministry said.

The Jordanian government stressed the importance of the public prosecution's announcement to charge a number of detainees in the case.

"This announcement is an important step towards achieving justice through the investigations' results," Amman said.

Other governments to issue statements welcoming the Kingdom’s steps included Djibouti and Palestine.

Meanwhile, France's foreign ministry said the investigation was a “step in the right direction.”