Oriental Weavers CEO Ahmed Salama passes

Dalton, Ga. – After a prolonged battle with cancer, Ahmed Salama passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on June 4. He was 62 years old.

Salama was born in Cairo, Egypt, where he also attended Helwan University. Shortly after his graduation, he began his career at Oriental Weavers in a sales role for the local Egyptian market. Oriental Weavers had been in business for only four years, but company founder Mohamed Farid Khamis recognized Salama’s potential.

He quickly moved through the company’s ranks and was named export manager for the manufacturer’s largest export market, the United States. In 1989, Salama moved to the “Carpet Capitol of the World” and established the company’s distribution and manufacturing presence in the United States. He and his wife moved to Dalton and he became CEO of Oriental Weavers USA.

Today, OW is the sixth largest supplier of home textiles to the U.S. market, with estimated 2021 wholesale sales of nearly $470 million, according to HTT’s 2021 Home Textiles Volume Leaders report.

Over his 39-year career with Oriental Weavers, Salama was a success in business, but he was equally known as a teacher and mentor who led by example. All who worked with him speak of their admiration for his strengths as a dedicated, loyal and caring soul.

“He not only taught us much about the industry and our business but most importantly, his actions and example taught us so much about ourselves and the greater good,” said one associate.

Salama is survived by his wife, Mona; sons, Hussein, Bassem and Hazem; two brothers; and his extended family.

A funeral service was held at the Dalton Islamic Center in Dalton on June 4.

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