MUSE — Eman Abo Al-Nasr talks trust, motherhood, and emotional strength

Eman Abo Al-Nasr, whose latest film, 'Louder,' premiered in Dubai on April 28. (Supplied)
Updated 27 May 2019

MUSE — Eman Abo Al-Nasr talks trust, motherhood, and emotional strength

  • The actress says she prefers the ugly truth over fake sweetness
  • She believes acting is feeling the emotions of the role you are playing

DUBAI: The Dubai-based Egyptian actress and model offers Arab News her life lessons

The most important thing in any relationship is trust. Quite simply, I’m allergic to fake people. I prefer the ugly truth, whatever it is. I respect it when people tell me to my face, ‘You did this. You’re horrible.’ I appreciate that much more than just smiling to my face and not meaning it. Just be truthful.

To me, acting isn’t faking. It’s feeling emotion; it’s totally different. You’re feeling somebody’s emotion. If you’re acting like you’ve lost someone, say, you’re feeling that pain. There’s nothing fake about it. In the moment, you believe it.

All mothers are heroes. The worst thing somebody can tell me is that as a mother you cannot achieve your dreams because of your responsibilities. It’s very difficult, for sure, and I have a lot of help. In Dubai, we don’t have our family around, which makes it extra-difficult. But the people around me support me, and my husband’s very supportive. He’s got my back.

Bringing up my daughter and watching her development is a huge source of pride. She’s four and a half. She’s mixed — my husband is Belgian — and that makes it even more interesting, because she has elements from both of us. It’s beautiful. She’s a very strong character. My husband always jokes: ‘I wonder where she gets that from?’ She’s great.

My generosity is sometimes misinterpreted as naivety. I’m a very friendly, easygoing person, and I believe everyone is nice, until they prove otherwise. I always start out trying to be myself, because that makes me more comfortable and it makes me happier. I’ve been much happier since I started thinking that way. But, yes, I believe everyone is born nice; it’s circumstances that change that.

Showing your emotions is not a sign of weakness. If I’m angry, I’ll show it. If I’m sad, I will cry. I believe that when you have the guts to show your real emotions, that’s a strength. I think the worst thing you can do, in any relationship, is leave things unsaid because you don’t want to appear weak. That’s a big mistake.

One of my biggest regrets is that, in high school, I had a close friend who people were avoiding, because her mother was a belly dancer. I was influenced by the closed mentality of my fellow students, and I started to distance myself from her too. When I heard she had committed suicide, I was overwhelmed by guilt. It still plays on my mind. It was a huge lesson for me, and it totally changed me as a person.


Dubai handbag brand gets royal approval

Creative director Hanna Ransjo with a HALM bag. (Supplied)
Updated 21 August 2019

Dubai handbag brand gets royal approval

DUBAI: HALM is the Dubai-based handbag brand whose discreet take on design has caught the eye of several of the region’s tastemakers including Queen Rania of Jordan.

Across fashion, there is a “new luxury” that you can see taking momentum, and nowhere is it more obvious than in the women’s go-to item, the handbag. HALM embodies that emerging trend.

With Swedish creative director Hanna Ransjo, who has lived in the Emirates over 25 years, and British project manager Hannah Louise Brewer, who came from womenswear label Temperley London, the company has gone from strength to strength.

The duo have merged the best of three cultures into their two-year-old brand: Scandinavian minimalism, British pragmatism and Dubai’s love for luxury. Theirs is a “Made in the Middle East” label that embodies global fashion’s move towards blending minimalism and maximalism. 

Their signature bag, Chilluxe, works as a perfect day to night accessory, and was given the ultimate seal of approval when Queen Rania carried it at her first official engagement of 2019. On a visit to the Children’s Museum — she stepped out in a checked buttoned top by A.W.A.K.E, paired with an asymmetric navy skirt — her hand firmly clutched a HALM bag.

“We see this bag as ‘relaxed understated luxe,’ elegant yet chilled, designed in such a way as to gently soften with wear, yet maintain its core signature structure,” said Ransjo. Another edition is set to follow in their next collection.  

Brewer added: “It was a very conscious decision to keep branding on the bag to a minimum — we want the customer to know that they will be buying quality and design, not just a name.” HALM is helping to change the notion that “Made in the Middle East” is about maximal design and shows how the region is embracing the new feel of luxury.