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.