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.


Iraq Pavilion at Venice Biennale shuts in solidarity with protesters

The Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has shut down in solidarity with protesters. Supplied
Updated 13 November 2019

Iraq Pavilion at Venice Biennale shuts in solidarity with protesters

  • In a show of solidarity with anti-government protestors, the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has shut down
  • Initially set to run until Nov. 24, the exhibition entitled “Fatherland” was closed on Nov. 5.

DUBAI: Iraq is currently in the midst of ongoing anti-government protests that have claimed the lives of more than 260 Iraqis since they erupted earlier this month. In a show of solidarity, the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has shut down.

Initially set to run until Nov. 24, the exhibition entitled “Fatherland” was closed on Nov. 5.

“Fatherland” is a collection of expressionist paintings by Iraqi-Kurdish artist Serwan Baran that were commissioned by Baghdad-based non-profit organization the Ruya Foundation, which in an official statement shared that the move was to show support to “the popular youth uprisings that have erupted in Iraq against state corruption and deteriorating economic and living conditions.”

“We condemn the use of violence against peaceful protesting, and the bloodshed that has led to the death of over 265 protesters so far,” read the statement shared on the organization’s Twitter account. “Peaceful protesting is a basic right, enshrined in Article 38.c of the Iraqi Constitution.”

“Since our founding in late 2012, we have worked hard, frequently in inhospitable circumstances, to create a platform for artists across Iraq to freely express their creativity, in a firm belief that culture is an integral component of any society, and a powerful force for change towards an open and free country. This is particularly important for Iraq, given its difficult recent history and authoritarian past,” it continued.

The Baghdad-based foundation, which was co-founded by Tamara Chalabi, daughter of former Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi, has overseen the Iraq Pavilion in Venice since 2013.