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Sunday, September 24, 2023


Shami brings business to gubernatorial race

Farouk Shami, founder and chairman of Farouk Systems, announced his run for governor in November. Shami is a Democratic nominee for governor in the March 2 Texas primary. | Courtesy of Farouk Shami for Governor

Farouk Shami brought a unique business element to the race when he announced his plan to run for Texas governor as a Democrat in November.

Shami is the founder of Farouk Systems, Inc., a global hair care corporation that produces products such as CHI and BioSilk.

His company is an international powerhouse that exports products to more than 50 countries.

Shami said despite not having any political experience, his experience in international business is more essential to improving the state’s economy than any experience in politics can provide. He said his business savvy would be helpful in creating jobs and improving the state’s overall economy.

“Leadership is important in any business or campaign,” Shami said. “Building a political team, working with the grassroots, balancing the budget and innovating ideas are all important issues. I will use my international experience in business to export more to other countries and bring more business back to Texas.”

Shami said he plans to rid Texas of nonsense politics, which he thinks are pushing the state in the wrong direction.

“I think Texas needs to be run by a businessman, not a politician,” he said. “Politicians have proven to be failures in running the state, and it is time for a successful businessperson to serve the state.”

Dealing with economical issues would be one of Shami’s top priorities if he were to be elected.

“In my first day in office, I will put everybody to work,” Shami said. “I want everybody to work. I will create jobs as we go.”

An important policy on Shami’s agenda includes education.

“I want to see the State Board of Education composed of education experts; not just politicians,” he said. “Those are the people that need to be in charge of the curriculum.”

Shami also wants to do away with the TAKS test and wants to make sure teachers get better pay and provide them with more creative control.

“I also want to work to reduce our drop-out rate, create a tuition cap and make community college free and education affordable for every student,” Shami said.

Shami downplayed any criticism of his debate with opponent Bill White on Feb. 8. He said it gave him more confidence in his campaign.

Shami came to America from Palestine in 1965 to attend college and become an educator. He enrolled in the University of Arkansas, but later dropped out to pursue a career as a hairdresser.

After working in a number of salons, Shami opened his first shop in Lafayette, La. in 1972. He worked in the salon business for almost 20 years before moving on to the beauty industry in the early 1990s. His company built an 80,000 sq. foot manufacturing plant in Houston along with two warehouses.

Apart from his successful business resume, Shami is also an active philanthropist whose generosity has been well documented.

He travelled to New York to help people who were affected by 9/11. He also donated millions of dollars to shelters in the Houston area to help people affected by Hurricane Katrina and Rita and worked with the City of Galveston to provide hygiene products for residents affected by Hurricane Ike.

Many call Shami’s journey from poor immigrant to successful businessman a story of achieving the “American Dream.”

“People are tired of politicians and lip service,” Shami said. “People are impressed by my thinking outside the box and my ideas. I am a breath of fresh air. A man of action, not words.”

Upcoming profiles

Tuesday: Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison

Wednesday: Democrat Bill White

Thursday: Republican Rick Perry

Friday: Republican/Tea Party member Debra Medina


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