Huda and Mona Kattan share heartfelt message on Iraq

The makeup moguls are originally from Iraq. (AFP)
Updated 07 October 2019

Huda and Mona Kattan share heartfelt message on Iraq

DUBAI: Beauty entrepreneurs Huda and Mona Kattan have both taken to Instagram to share heartfelt messages with the people of Iraq in light of the violence that is rocking the country.

More than 100 people, including security personnel, have been killed and more than 6,000 wounded in recent days as Iraqi forces used live ammunition and tear gas to repel demonstrators who clashed with security forces as they tried to reach government and party headquarters in Baghdad and the provinces.

Both sisters, the entrepreneurs behind internationally successful beauty brand Huda Beauty, took to social media to share their thoughts on the situation in Iraq.



Happy Thursday my loves!

A post shared by Mona Kattan (@monakattan) on

“A lot (of) you may not know this but both of my parents are originally from Iraq. I personally have never lived there but it’s still so close to my heart and my family always tells me about how incredible the country is and I have so much love and admiration for Iraqis,” both sisters posted separately on Instagram.

“It breaks my heart to see the Iraqi people suffering and going through more hardship once again, Dear people of Iraq, we are praying for your safety, we are praying for your peace, we are praying for your happiness, we are praying for your future, we are praying for your success, we are praying for the best for you all,” the siblings added.

The makeup moguls, who were born and raised in the US, shared the message alongside a picture featuring a sketched outline of Iraq with a drawn dove at its center.

Kattan, who ranked 36th on Forbes’ 2019 list of the US’s wealthiest self-made female entrepreneurs, has spoken about her Arab heritage in the past.  

“Because I had grown up in the US, I had a very middle-eastern style, but also a very western influence as well - I always knew I wanted to be global,” she told the BBC in April.

“I grew up in the States in a very small town in the south, in Tennessee, and I didn't know why but I wore so much eyeliner - no one around me did, including my mother.

“I started to wonder when I left and moved to the Middle East whether, in fact, it was innate.”

The entrepreneur is now based in Dubai, where she runs the Huda Beauty brand and films episodes of her Facebook Watch reality show, “Huda Boss.”

COVID-19 lockdown brings out hidden kitchen talents of Saudi men

Updated 10 April 2020

COVID-19 lockdown brings out hidden kitchen talents of Saudi men

  • Curfews have provided opportunity for men to show off their kitchen catering abilities by cooking up some tasty meals

RIYADH: The famed home cooking skills of Saudi women have found a surprise challenger during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown — with men revealing their hidden culinary talents.

Curfews set up to help stop the spread of the virus have provided the opportunity for men to show off their kitchen catering abilities by cooking up some tasty family meals.

Quality auditor Ahmed bin Ibrahim has been staying at his family’s house during quarantine, and told Arab News that he had enjoyed pitching in on kitchen duties.

“I like to help my mother while she is cooking by cutting some vegetables, but I learned how to cook years ago when I was a student in the US,” he said.

His mom and YouTube became his culinary instructors during his time in America and his favorite dishes are kabsah, steaks and quesadillas.

“Lately, my dad has been cooking a lot and grilling in our back yard, so I’ve been helping him,” he added.

Ammar Albarakati, owner of Ammar Restaurant and TV presenter on Sabahcom on SBC. (Supplied)

Faris Al-Harbi, a college student from Tabuk, has been putting lockdown time to good use in the kitchen trying to create new recipes for his family to lighten the mood.

“Since home isolation started, I have cooked five dishes — mandi (a traditional meal with meat and rice), broasted chicken, pizza, grilled dishes, and pasta with pesto sauce.”

He said that it was only since the COVID-19 restriction measures had been put in place that his talent for cooking healthy food had emerged.

“My family really admires my cooking and loves the taste of my dishes.”

Al-Harbi added that he intended to continue cooking once the COVID-19 health crisis was over, but in the meantime had introduced a kitchen challenge for his cousins and family.

“Every day, a member of the family has to cook a dish and is evaluated by experts — my mother and father. This creates a bit of a competition which is nice. Everyone wants to cook something that is delicious and creative, which makes us excited to cook again.”

Abdulrahman bin Kasem, Saudi chef and food blogger. (Supplied)

He pointed out that under the current situation it was sometimes hard to find an alternative for some ingredients not available in the home. “It is also difficult to estimate the right amount of ingredients for the family. Preparing the dough and forming it is also hard.”

Al-Harbi’s brother Abdulrahman, an architect, had been challenged to cook madghout — pressure-cooked chicken and rice — for the first time for his family.

“It was the first time I had cooked, so I couldn’t say whether I was talented or not, but it definitely needed some focus,” he said, adding that his creation was well-received. “YouTube has a lot of cool Saudi chefs and their videos are so simple and easy to execute. It helps anyone who wants to try to cook.”

Al-Harbi’s sister Shahad told Arab News that she was surprised to see her brothers’ talent in the kitchen and would struggle to compete with them.

Speaking about her younger brother Khalid, who is currently studying in the US, she said: “He likes to try international foods and he uses fresh ingredients and different spices. He likes to make avocado toast, steaks, cheesecakes, exotic juices, and risotto.

Although a mess is inevitable in some kitchens as male family members go through a trial-and-error phase, most mothers will undoubtedly be proud and happy with the help they are receiving under the current difficult circumstances.