CRACK OF DAWN
On weekdays, my day starts at 5.45am. I get my girl Ayla (4) ready for school. We have a quick brekkie of waffles and Nutella (her favourite) and then we rush off with coffee-to-go in my favourite coffee tumbler.
My daughter Ayla’s new book, The ABC’s to Happiness, is what I’ve been working on for the past eight months. I randomly ask her what makes her happy and then I categorise her answers. It’s interesting that what makes a four-year-old happy can also make a 50-year-old happy – joy is truly universal.
CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME
My father Mohammad is my hero. I owe him for inspiring me to start the Happy Hearts programme – a charity that helps kids in need. He taught me the importance of being humble, and grateful. I always take Ayla with me to the field. Kids are never too young to be introduced to the realities of life.
MOUTHS TO FEED
I love cooking for my family. It’s a stress-buster as well. When I’m travelling, I love to dine out. My favourite restaurant is Trattoria alla Madonna in Venice. It serves the best spaghetti!
My secret to instant happiness are Twinkies. I stock up on them and never share!
I would jet off to Cuba with my husband Suhail whenever there’s a long weekend. I have been there many times and it would be a dream to live there. It’s a place where time has stopped still, but the place is so vibrant and stimulating. Salsa dancing in Plaza Vieja in Havana, yes please, anytime!
Weekend night outs are for red lipstick, big hair and heels. I love dressing up. It’s a huge contrast from when I’m with my family – then it’s always Repetto flats, jeans or a summer dress and of course big hair, always.
AROUND THE WORLD
Life as a UN diplomat’s daughter was awesome, I loved every bit of it! I went to 11 schools and four different universities; I made friends from all around the world and got a chance to learn so much about different cultures, languages and values. I have no problem packing up and moving anywhere in a heartbeat because you make a home wherever you go!