I was born into an Arabian-African family and raised in the Sudan with strict Muslim values. As a little girl, I was inspired by my mother, a strong-willed, fashionable, and creative woman. When she could afford to, Mother dressed my sister, Nadia and me in trendy clothing made of fine fabrics, such as georgette, silk, satin, lace, and soft cotton. Mother’s first husband was a tailor who owned a popular shop. As an inquisitive and industrious artist, Mother spent most of her time watching and learning from the seven tailors who worked at her husband’s store. These professional craftsmen and artisans helped Mother become an expert in the latest fads. Mother’s creativity sparked my passion for fashion, but it was my father, a highly respected Army major, who taught me discipline and perseverance—qualities that made it possible for me to pursue my dreams.
The inspiration for the products I have created began at an early age, when I would run errands for Mother at the homeopathic store. There, I bought the oils and spices Mother and our neighbors used to make cosmetics and perfumes for the holidays, weddings, and special occasions. While I was alone, I would make my own face powder from pink chalk and eyeliner from the ashes of Frankincense. As the years passed, I began researching the cosmetics used by my ancestors, the ancient Egyptians, such as Queen Nefertiti and the Queen of Sheba.SEE MORE >