Abeer Al Otaiba

Founder and Creative Director @ SemSem

Abeer was born and raised in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria, Egypt. She attended French Catholic schools and then pursued an education in civil engineering. Upon completion of her graduate-level studies, Abeer moved to the United Arab Emirates and began her professional career as a civil engineer.

While working in the United Arab Emirates, she met Yousef Al Otaiba, the man who would later become her husband and the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States of America. Abeer and Yousef moved to McLean, Virginia, where they married in 2010 and live today with their two children.

Together, the Al Otaibas have been actively involved in building stronger bridges between the Arab World and the United States. They have launched cultural exchanges, guided major health care partnerships, and facilitated disaster relief activities.

Abeer has focused more attention on the role of women in the UAE and the Arab World, helping to present a clearer picture in the US of Arab Women as leaders in government, business, media, and culture.

Philanthropy plays a significant role in Abeer’s life. She supports charities that improve the lives of women and children around the world, such as Children’s National Medical Center, Hope for Henry, the Association for the Development & Enhancement of Women, Women for Women International, and Every Mother Counts.

In October 2015, Abeer launched a new designer line called SemSem that features well-made clothing for stylish mothers and their daughters. SemSem supports a different charitable organization each season, focusing on charities that empower women and children.