MUSE: Life lessons from inspirational Lebanese actor Cynthia Samuel

Cynthia Samuel is an actor, model, social-media star and former Miss Lebanon. (Supplied)
Updated 11 October 2019

MUSE: Life lessons from inspirational Lebanese actor Cynthia Samuel

The actor, model, social-media star and former Miss Lebanon on gender equality, connections, and staying grounded.

When I was around 10, living in Canada, I got cast for a Disney Channel TV show. But my dad didn’t want me to go to Los Angeles — he wanted me to finish my education. And once that was done, he said, he’d support me going into an acting career. Which is essentially what I did. I lost my father when I was 16 years old, so I wanted to give him this back. It was a way of paying tribute, and showing him that I’m fulfilling his wishes.

I feel lucky every day. I have a really loyal fanbase and they’re the reason I’m here today. Every morning, when I wake up and have something to do — an event, or an awards ceremony — it’s because of them, because I connected with them and made them feel something one day.

Cynthia Samuel was raised in Canada. (Supplied)

Having your feet on the ground — being down-to-earth and modest — is one of the most beautiful characteristics that someone in this field can have. A lot of people, when they meet me, say they’re surprised that I’m actually nice. They feel that because I’ve reached a certain level of success, I could get away with being mean, or arrogant.

Stay true to yourself. If you try to act like somebody you’re not, or try to copy another person, then people will never believe that you’re credible in any kind of way.

I have no regrets. I know that’s cheesy. But I believe everything I’ve been through is for a reason. I believe in God’s plan, and I believe that if something is meant for me, it’s going to happen. So the negatives and the positives built who I am today.

Cynthia Samuel competed in Miss Universe in 2015. (Getty) 

My proudest moment was (competing in) Miss Universe in 2015. I was 19, I had no experience, and I was put on the spot in a very dramatic way — every day I’d face some backlash about my body or the way I walk or the way I act. It was very hard to have all that negative energy directed towards me. But I decided to let myself ignore the negatives and really breathe in the positive. That’s when I felt, ‘I can actually do this.’

Men and women are equals. We have a voice. We need to speak up and share our experiences. Women think with our minds *and* our hearts. And that’s a beautiful thing.

Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf ties the knot in intimate wedding

Updated 10 August 2020

Palestinian singer Mohammed Assaf ties the knot in intimate wedding

DUBAI: It’s official! Palestinian pop singer Mohammed Assaf is married.

The “Arab Idol” star tied the knot in an intimate wedding on Aug. 8 that had just family and close friends attending.

According to ET Bilarabi, the Palestinian-Danish bride is 22-year-old Reem Ouda. She lived with her family in Saudi Arabia for a few years, then moved to Denmark after her father died.

Palestinian singer Qasem Al-Najjar, who is Assaf’s friend, announced the news on Instagram on Monday.

“Finally good news in 2020,” he wrote. “Congratulations to my friend and brother Mohammed Assaf on his marriage. God bless you both and bring you together for goodness and happiness.”

It was rumored that the wedding took place in Dubai, where the couple will be living.

The 30-year-old singer has not yet confirmed the news.

Assaf is expected to perform in the UAE on Aug. 20 at Dubai Opera along with Iraqi singer Saif Nabeel. The concert is part of Dubai Summer Surprises, which is the city’s shopping and entertainment festival and is in its 23rd year.