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

Muzon Ashgar. (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 09 November 2018

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.

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 2 min 58 sec ago

Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.