Farouk Shami is a Palestinian-American businessman and founder of the hair-care and spa products company, Farouk Systems. He currently resides in Houston, Texas, where his company is based. He was born in Beit Ur al-Tahta, a village near Ramallah, Palestine. In 2009, Shami ran in the 2010 Texas gubernatorial election, but he lost in the Democratic primary. He attended the University of Arkansas although he dropped out before graduating. He is known for developing the CHI hair care line and for being entrepreneur. Shami has worked for decades in the field of hair-care product development, and attended cosmetology school in Arkansas. He invented the first ammonia-free hair color, after developing an allergy to the chemical that initially led doctors to encourage him to leave his profession. His company, the Houston-based Farouk Systems, currently employs 2,000 people, and exports its line of hair and skin care products under the BioSilk, SunGlitz and Cationic Hydration Interlink (CHI) brands to over 106 countries worldwide. On July 27, 2009 Farouk Systems announced they will be opening a new plant in Houston that will employ approximately 5,000 people. On May 1, 2011, Shami made an appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice, when the show's contestants were given a project in which they promoted Farouk Systems products. He appeared again in the 4th episode of All Star Celebrity Apprentice. Gubernatorial candidate On Nov 19, 2009 Shami announced he was running for governor of Texas as a Democrat. During his campaign, he stated that he is not a member of any one specific organized religion, but said that he has a deep sense of personal relationship with God and that he felt a 'religious tug' in deciding to run for the public office. Shami lost to former Mayor Bill White in Democratic Primary by over a 60% margin. Shami has had controversial moments on the campaign trail. Most notably, when asked if he believed it was possible the U.S. government had involvement in the September 11 attacks in 2001, Shami stated that he was "not sure" if the U.S. government was behind the bombing or not. After being given a chance to clarify his statement, Shami again stated the jury was out and refused to rule out the possibility. In the same interview with a Dallas radio station, Shami stated that he mostly hired blacks and Hispanics because he does not believe that whites wanted to work on factory floors. He stated that white people would want positions as supervisors or would want to be paid more than their counterparts. Farouk Shami also received media attention for his hip-hop style promotion advertisement featuring rapper J. Xavier, in which it was claimed that 'Farouk is on fire' and that 'serving the community is his number one desire'. Shami was a member of the board of the American Task Force on Palestine, he resigned in 2010.