Model Elisa Sednaoui celebrates her birthday with social media tributes

Model and humanitarian Elisa Sednaoui turned 31 on Dec. 14. AFP
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Updated 15 December 2019

Model Elisa Sednaoui celebrates her birthday with social media tributes

  • Model and philanthropist Elisa Sednaoui Dellal celebrated her 31st birthday on Saturday
  • The Egyptian-Italian-French model took to her Instagram Stories to share reposts of birthday tributes from her close friends

DUBAI: Model and philanthropist Elisa Sednaoui Dellal celebrated her 31st birthday on Saturday, and received some very special gifts from her nearest and dearest.

The Egyptian-Italian-French model took to her Instagram Stories to share reposts of birthday tributes from her close friends, in addition to heart-warming illustrations hand-drawn by her two sons, Jack, 6, and Samo, 3, with her husband Alexander Dellal.




She shared heart-warming illustrations hand-drawn by her two sons. (Instagram)

 

The sister-in-law of accessories designer Charlotte Olympia also took to the social media platform to upload a sweet screenshot that showed herself on a Facetime call with her dad, who gave her “the best birthday gift.”

The Italy-born beauty, who spent much of her childhood in Egypt, wrote alongside the snap: “My papa giving me the best birthday gift. He tells me he met the father of one of our Funtasia Egypt students, who told him his son eagerly waits everyday for nearly an hour in front of the door of his house for the Funtasia van to come get him because he loves being at the center so much.” 




'My papa giving me the best birthday gift,' she wrote on Instagram Stories. (Instagram)

Funtasia is a cultural center located in Luxor that was founded by the non-profit Elisa Sednaoui Foundation in 2016 to provide creative learning programs for youth across Egypt. 

The Elisa Sednaoui Foundation’s mission is to promote the educational development of children and adults, as well as provide access to hands-on creative learning experiences and programs. Today, it operates in more than 15 different locations inclusive of public schools in Italy and Egypt. Funtasia has supported more than 5,920 children and youth and trained over 700 adults in both countries, according to its website.

In addition to her philanthropic efforts, the now-31-year-old has plenty to celebrate. Having modeled since a young age for Giorgio Armani and Ralph Lauren, Sednaoui has also appeared in a string of campaigns for other renowned brands, including Alberta Ferretti and Christian Louboutin to name a few.

Meanwhile, just last month, she partnered with former Princess Alia Al-Senussi of Libya to guest curate the “Contemporary Curated” auction at Sotheby’s London. 

The sale of ten of the works collected for the auction — which included pieces donated from Arab artists such as Youssef Nabil, Basim Magdy, Etel Adnan and Nadia Ayari — benefitted the Elisa Sednaoui Foundation’s Funtasia project.


Lebanese luxury soap brand sees boost in sales amid pandemic

Updated 27 May 2020

Lebanese luxury soap brand sees boost in sales amid pandemic

DUBAI: In 1999, Syrian-Palestinian fragrance connoisseur Hana Debs Akkari pursued her passion project in Lebanon by founding a sophisticated soap company called “Senteurs d’Orient,” or “Fragrances of the East” in French.

Akkari envisioned that her handcrafted soaps would symbolize the beloved floral essences of the Middle East, particularly the Levant, which is reportedly the world’s oldest soap-making region.

With the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Akkari’s small, family-run luxury soap business has witnessed an increased demand in their natural products nearly twenty years since its founding.

Portrait of Sarah Akkari, CEO of Senteurs d’Orient. (Supplied)

“Since the pandemic was declared, we saw a spike in our online sales,” said Lebanese-Canadian and New Yorked-based Sarah Akkari, Hana’s daughter and CEO of Senteurs d’Orient, to Arab News. “People are washing their hands more often, and their hands are becoming drier as a consequence. So, they’re also looking for a natural soap, such as the ones we offer. Our antibacterial soaps are packed with different nourishing ingredients like glycerin, Shea butter and Vitamin E.”

Operating from Lebanon, Senteurs d’Orient’s factory is run by a diligent team of chemists and artisans, many of whom are women as female education and empowerment in the workforce is at the heart of the company’s ethos.

Engraving soaps at the Lebanon factory. (Supplied)

After mixing the chemical-free ingredients by hand, the soaps are air-dried for 10 ten days and later machine-molded and carefully hand-wrapped. True to the company’s name, the delicate floral scents of gardenia, jasmine, tuberose, and rose of Damascus draw their inspiration from eastern gardens.

To show support for the selfless medical workers, some of whom reached out to Akkari and expressed interest in Senteurs d’Orient’s soaps, she recently donated nearly 500 packages to doctors and nurses from four American hospitals — two in Los Angeles, one in New York and another in New Jersey.

Each package is an ‘Oriental Trio Box’, containing three bars of soap, the shapes and engravings of which are inspired by the decoration of ‘maamoul’, the Levant region’s quintessential pastry.

“When you’re facing this type of crisis and you’re receiving emails from doctors and nurses or anyone on the frontlines, it’s a not a request you can reject,” explained the 32-year-old entrepreneur. “It’s something that we really wanted to be part of and it brought us much satisfaction knowing we could contribute in this way.”

The company has expanded its international presence and line of therapeutic products, creating bath salts, multi-purpose oils and thinly sliced, single-use soap leaves. (Supplied)

Under the leadership of Akkari, the company has expanded its international presence and line of therapeutic products, creating Mediterranean orange blossom bath salts, multi-purpose oils and thinly sliced, single-use soap leaves of amber and tea flower.

It is the authenticity of Senteurs d’Orient’s products that Akkari hopes will come through.

“You feel the fragrance is coming straight from the flower,” she said.