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Style Insiders Remember Their Most Cherished Memories

Rawdah Mohamed

Somali influencer and hijabi model

Rawdah Mohamed. Photo: Costume Magazine/RRenate Torseth

“One of the peak experiences of my life was when I was seven. My older brothers took me to a lake near our home for swimming, against my mother’s wishes. The lake had crocodiles, so my brothers were teaching me how to swim and how to avoid the crocodiles. I have never been so happy, so terrified, and so alive in my l life. We stayed in that lake for hours. On our way home, we remembered our mother was waiting for us but we had ‘ashy’ skin from the water. Needless to say, she busted us and my brothers got into trouble! I have had other moments of happiness in my life but none so certain, so unconsciously – perhaps a happiness only a child’s heart can receive and accept. I still smile whenever I think of that memory.”

Ingie Chalhoub

Creative director, Ingie Paris

indie Chalhoub

Ingie Chalhoub. Photographed by Alex Wolfe for Vogue Arabia

“My birthday this spring was definitely one of the happiest and most memorable moments for me. It was a lovely four-day celebration with different activities each day. My husband, Patrick, had been planning it for more than six months. It was completely unexpected and a wonderful surprise to see my family and friends from around the world reunite for this occasion.

Ingie Chalhoub. Photo: supplied.

I was really emotional, as my youngest son had flown from California with my sister and her husband over the weekend just to celebrate with me. This will remain a very special birthday for me, filled with beautiful memories surrounded by my loved ones.”

Tamara Ralph

Creative director, Ralph & Russo

Tamara Ralph

Tamara Ralph. Supplied

“It’s so difficult to pinpoint one particular memory, but one that I do cherish is that of surprising my father for his 60th birthday with a family trip in Vietnam. Our entire family, including all of my nieces and nephews, flew from all over the world to surprise him when he arrived. We then spent 10 days traveling from the top of Vietnam through to the bottom. It brought him so much happiness to explore a new country with his full family in town. Spending that time and celebrating his life together will forever stay with me and bring me joy.”

Rakan Abdulwahid

Actor and model

Rakan Abdulwahid. Photo supplied.

“My happiest memory was the day the video game Grand Theft Auto released a 3D version for PlayStation. I remember this day vividly because I spent years playing the 2D version on a PC and, all of a sudden, a whole new dimension was added. Mind blown. Although the game is known for its violence and I probably did run over a few pedestrians on purpose, what I loved about it was the ability to have free will, dress your avatar to your own taste, and roam around a big city being a badass – basically what I do daily in the physical realm. Life is a video game – just don’t run over any pedestrians, please!”

Bassam Fattouh

Celebrity makeup artist

Bassam Fattouh. Photo Supplied

“Whenever I undergo a flashback to a happy and joyful moment, I always go back to where it all started: Paris. My heart still beats faster when I remember the day my parents motivated me to join Carita Institute in Paris to pursue my studies in beauty and aesthetics. My Parisian days were magical. I felt content just looking around and getting inspired by all the authentic beauty surrounding me. Going in-depth in the beauty industry alongside the never-ending inspiration brought so much delight and gratitude to my heart.”

Layla Kardan


Layla Kardan. Photographed by: Ziga Mihelcic

“My happiest moments tend to be ones when I am surrounded by loved ones in nature, and I have many of them, so it’s hard to recall just one. But more recently I had a gathering for my birthday last year in Sydney, Australia, where I spent an afternoon at my favorite beach in the world with my closest family members, my best friends, and their adorable babies at an organic restaurant in the sunshine (below).

There were so many of us so it was a little manic, but we had a happy and memorable afternoon filled with laughter and plenty of love and affection. I remember taking a moment to reflect and thinking that this is what life is about. When I need to recharge, I think of moments like that.”

Sandra Choi

Creative director, Jimmy Choo

Sandra Choi. Photo supplied.

“When I think about work, New York always holds happy and special memories for me. It’s like my second work home. When we opened our first US store there in 1998, it was the moment when I realized we had made it as a brand. ere’s a comforting sense of familiarity when you first visit New York that comes from having seen the city as the backdrop for so many films. Looking down
the wide avenues makes me feel like opportunities are endless. It is an open road ahead where anything is possible – it feels infinite. I only get this feeling in NYC. No doubt, personally, the happiest and most joyful memories are attached to the family holidays and spending quality time with my husband and our two children.”

Aiysha Hart


Aiysha Hart. Photographed by Philip Sinden for Vogue Arabia

“It was December 2013. I’d just wrapped on a six-month shoot, and I found myself booking last-minute tickets to the city I’d always dreamed about – New York. Walking the streets of Manhattan for the first time, everything seemed like a movie, but I also just felt totally at home. To me the city was a living, breathing entity. Fifth Avenue was lined with thick snow, the Christmas lights were twinkling, intoxicating steam rose up from the subway, and the atmosphere was electric – I remember it all with vivid precision.

Aiysha Hart. Supplied

But there is one moment that shines through: crossing the Williamsburg Bridge on a sunny day. Perhaps it was a poignant metaphor for a period of change in my life, but I have never felt so at peace, so grateful, and so inspired. It had been a difficult year, but suddenly anything was possible, the journey made sense, all roads had led to that moment of happiness.”

Huda Kattan

Creative director, Huda Beauty

Huda Kattan and Nour Giselle

Huda Kattan with daughter Nour Giselle. Photographed by Domen/Van De Velde for Vogue Arabia

“This might sound cliché, but the happiest moment of my life was when my daughter Nour was born. Everyone always told me that your life completely changes when you have a child, but I underestimated how impactful she would be and how it would change our lives forever.

Huda Kattan and daughter Nour Giselle

Huda Kattan with daughter Nour Giselle.

She is my best friend and one of my largest sources of creative inspiration. She truly keeps me sane, keeps me stimulated, and can brighten up any day.”

Originally published in the November 2019 issue of Vogue Arabia 

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