Life lessons from inspirational women — Joelle Mardinian

The Lebanese beauty mogul talks travel, truth and trust.
Updated 17 August 2018
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Life lessons from inspirational women — Joelle Mardinian

The Lebanese beauty mogul talks travel, truth and trust

I loved how my mom took care of herself while busy running around looking after her kids. I love being a mom and I also love to take care of myself. I tell women that if they are happy and healthy, they will be able to take care of their kids better, smile more, and constantly stay beautiful.
I’ve worked with a lot of celebrities, sometimes even for free — this was crucial to building my portfolio. These times taught me the importance of hard work, of persistence, of putting in all you have to become what you want.
I always loved the idea of beauty for all. I truly believe that beauty is a right that everyone should have. Every time I see someone smile because of how much we were able to change things positively for them — when I see people regain confidence and beauty, I feel proud. I speak to my fans from all over the world, I hear stories of how I was able to inspire some of these women and young girls into doing something for themselves. This is my happiness. I love the fact my work allows me to reach out to people on a personal level, inspire them, help them in their lives, regain lost confidence sometimes. It’s the most amazing feeling ever and one that keeps me going.
The more time you give to your work, the more it will take from you. For the first six years of my work life I did not have any such thing as weekend or holidays. I remember it used to be boiling hot in Dubai and everyone used to be on a holiday, but I still had my show to film, my salons to run and I just couldn’t take a lot of time off. Now, I love to spend every minute of my free time with my kids. I work hard all year round, but as soon as schools are off for the summer, I take my kids on holiday. I just love spending time with them, painting, cooking, singing, and just hanging out in bed, watching movies and playing with our dogs.
Travel is an extension of life. You’re discovering a little bit of yourself. Not only do we see how the other people are living, we also feel like we are part of this earth. Because we all live in a little bubble, but travel makes us feel how wide and wonderful the world is and how varied people are.
As an Arab, our great leaders have been a huge influence on me. Sheikh Mohammed is really at the top of my list of idols, and Sheikh Zayed before him. Princess Haya too. These are extremely powerful, intelligent, forward-thinking, and honest leaders. They have changed other people’s perception on how to look at Arabs. We are leaders, we are educated, we are inventors, we are modern, but at the same time we hold on to our culture.
In the fashion industry, I’m a big admirer of Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad. They have taken their Arabic roots to the world, they have dressed international stars. I love Victoria Beckham too. I think this woman just can’t do any wrong! I appreciate her for many things. I appreciate her style, her fashion sense, the way she evolved… I appreciate everything about her personal life, which I see also through her style. Anyone who has actually made a mark in our world, these are the people that I look up to.
People who know me know I never slow down. Once I have got hold of work and things are going smoothly and my team is taking care of everything, then I will create something else to keep me occupied.
People sometimes expect me to be different from how I am on TV. But thanks to social media, I can express and be myself. I’m connected at all times. So my followers know exactly how I react in real life.
I’m someone who always thinks I can trust anyone. I’ve been robbed by people I trusted for years. Of course, I should say that I’ve learned from that, but I still like to think I can trust others and that people are generally good. I don’t like to walk around thinking people are bad because then my heart’s going to be filled with negativity. I’d rather believe in good than evil. And I believe that what goes around comes around. If someone supports me, I’ll be there for them when they need me.
My work revolves around the idea of beauty for all. I know — and have seen — how looks can have a direct impact on a person’s confidence and self-worth. For both women and men. As a woman, I can say that we wear different hats each day, as a mom, daughter, wife, boss and so many other duties. I always ask women to take care of themselves above all else. It’s the same thing I ask from men, from dads, from sons and brothers and husbands. Work for your family, make them proud, be a pillar of strength, but don’t forget yourself. Start from within.


‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition in Riyadh museum breathes new life into ancient sites 

Updated 19 April 2019
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‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition in Riyadh museum breathes new life into ancient sites 

  • National Museum in Riyadh hosts digital show that tells the story of Mosul, Palmyra, Aleppo and Leptis Magna

JEDDAH: An exhibition that uses digital technology to revive the region’s ancient sites and civilizations that have been destroyed or are under threat due to conflict and terrorism opened at the National Museum in Riyadh on April 18.

“Age-Old Cities” tells the story of four historically significant cities that have been devastated by violence: Mosul in Iraq, Palmyra and Aleppo in Syria, and Leptis Magna in Libya. 

Using stunning giant-screen projections, virtual reality, archival documents and images, and video testimonials from inhabitants of the affected sites, the immersive exhibition transports visitors back in time and presents the cities as they were in their prime. 

It charts their journey from the origins of their ancient civilizations to their modern-day state, and presents plans for their restoration and repair. 

The exhibition has been organized by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. Riyadh is the first stop outside the French capital on the exhibition’s global tour. 

The exhibition follows last month’s unveiling of the Kingdom’s new cultural vision, which included the announcement of several initiatives, including a new residency scheme for international artists to practice in the Kingdom and the establishment of the Red Sea International Film Festival. 

Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, minister of culture, said: “I am delighted to welcome the ‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition to Riyadh. 

“It highlights the importance of heritage preservation, particularly here in the Middle East, and the vulnerability of some of our historic sites. 

“It must be the responsibility of governments to put an end to this damage and neglect, and to put heritage at the heart of action, investment, and policy.

“I will be encouraging my fellow members of government to attend this eye-opening exhibition in our National Museum, and hope to work in the future with partners, governments and experts to do what we can to secure our region’s heritage.”

The exhibition carries a significant message about the importance of preserving and protecting these precious but fragile sites — one which resonates strongly in the week when one of the world’s most-famous heritage sites, Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral, went up in flames.