DUBAI: The Iraqi wedding planner, talk-show host and fashion blogger talks multitasking, trust, and acceptance.
I've always wanted to depend on myself. I started my first very small business in university. I love the flexibility of being my own boss and being able to distribute my time between different things that I love. I like to multitask. It’s in my nature. Sometimes I get so fed up with a certain area in my work, so I move on and do something else and then get back to the main one with a fresh mind and new ideas.
The last three years have opened my eyes to so many things. I had a mentor, who was more of a spiritual guide, who guided me to seeing things from a different perspective. That was something that really changed my character. Sometimes there are things you can’t see unless you step outside the box you are in, and sometimes you need someone to show you the different angles.
I really admire Huda Kattan because I've seen her journey. I really admire her business mind, her way of thinking and how she started the brand from scratch. And I’m very influenced by Oprah Winfrey, I love everything she does, how she started, her journey, her story.
I’m always quiet when I first meet someone. I like to get to know what kind of person I’m dealing with before I completely open up and be myself, so sometimes people think that I have attitude or I am not a nice person. But the most important thing in any relationship or friendship is trust. I have to know that I can trust someone, that I can be myself, and that I do not need to have a filter whenever I want to share something.
Social media is very tricky. I don't think anybody should pretend they are happy when they are not, but at the same time I don't think we should spread negativity. If I’m going through a tough time or having issues, I don't think it’s right to go on social media and start talking about it just for the sake of being real because that also gives a very negative vibe. I think in these times, it is better to stay quiet.
Generally, I don’t regret things. I think there is always a positive side to everything, even if you think you’ve made a bad decision.
My mom gave me some really good advice years ago: “Don't ever think about what your parents want and don't think about what people will say, always go with what you want.” Whenever I feel stuck I remember that. Because I think, “Oh OK. Maybe I’m being hesitant because I’m worried I will disappoint someone.”
My favorite thing to hear is “I find you interesting.” It’s good to be intriguing and interesting to people.
If you have the ability and opportunity to work towards your happiness, then do it. Someone once told me, "Always look at other people's problems.” They were trying to tell me "Everybody is unhappy” so it’s OK if you’re unhappy as well. I found that to be very bad advice. Just because someone isn’t doing anything about the situation they are going through doesn't mean I have to do the same thing.
People always assume when they see someone on social media that this person has always been successful, but they don't really know the background. Of course, there are so many people who’ve had struggles that I have never experienced, but at the same time it is not always correct how people perceive you. So many people assume I have never lived in Iraq, even though I actually lived there during the war. Before, during and after. So I know what it’s like.
Men and women look at things differently. Both sides need to understand that. But just because we are different, it doesn’t mean that one is right and the other is wrong. I mean, this is true between any two people, not just men and women: We need to accept our differences. It’s sometimes good to disagree.