Working in the Gulf as a Jewish Woman

By Ashira Becker

The JFK-to-Dubai flight is full. Most of the passengers are Arabs, some in traditional garb, others in sharp business attire. Among them sits a modestly clad woman with a kosher meal, a rarity.

Ariella Steinreich works for Steinreich Communications, a large PR firm based in New York City. Raised in Teaneck, New Jersey, she studied marketing management and PR. “Public relations is about helping our clients tell their story using messages that resonate with consumers,” she explains. “My job is to identify the services my clients can offer potential consumers and ensure that their message is communicated effectively. We help package it for the media so that their readers and viewers can learn about the product or service. We are the connection point between the media, companies and consumers.”“We are in the people business, and to be successful, you need to understand the people and what they are looking for. When a client enters a new market, we help to educate them about the media landscape there —both traditional and social media—and we help them identify the right messages for the platform and audience.”

She first began working and traveling to the Gulf—the six Arab countries bordering the Arabian Gulf: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—almost a decade ago, working with clients who do business in the Gulf and those in the Gulf who do business in the United States. Currently, the firm has many clients in the nonprofit, education, and healthcare sectors who are doing business with or who are based in the Gulf. Many in the field refer to her as a Middle East analyst as she has studied business and political trends there for years.
“That is definitely unique,” she says with a laugh. “There aren’t many frum people who travel there for work, and even fewer frum women.”


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