PALESTINIAN SYRIAN DIVA
25-year-old Palestinian-Syrian model, who’s based in Dubai _ LANA ALBEIK
Modeling for years and landing with big names in the industry such as Elle, Vogue, and Burberry beauty to name a few. Albeik achieves a delicate balance as she cherishes her Middle Eastern background, standing proudly as an Arab woman, while also extracting some beneficial qualities from the West.
There’s more to Albeik, however, than meets the eye. As her career started kicking off, the model was dedicated to keep focusing on her studies at college and she now also dreams of becoming a professor one day! Divaz sat with Lana to get to know more about her true self.
Shot on Location: Dubai, UAE
Photographer: Amina Zaher / Text: Aya Nassar / Hair: Deena Alawaid / Producer: Menna Helmy
Lana wearing FW21 collection from Dubai based designers like Mrs Keepa, Reemami and MKS Jewelery
What was your childhood dream?
To be a dentist, to be in the fashion industry.. to be a journalist too and to be a scientist. I can’t think of only one! An astronaut too!
What’s the greatest gift you have ever gotten?
My friends designed a little video game once for my birthday. It was so personalized & had so many references that represented symbols or moments of our friendship. It was the most heartwarming gift.
What's the number one question that you get asked the most but you find amusing?
“What do you think of when you’re being photographed?” I never know how to answer that! It’s such a strange question to me.
What would say for someone who's almost entering his twenties or at early twenties and still very uncertain about his journey?
No one else knows anything about their journey!! It’s okay not to know. It’s kind of liberating. It’s a struggle I think for everyone but people just rarely talk about it. Sometimes I just let the uncertainty come to me and embrace it so it can lead me and other times I don’t allow it to get to me. With this kind of thing, I feel there’s no standardized answer.
You already have roots in three countries in the region: Palestine, Syria and UAE. But which country, across the Middle East, do you think resembles your personality the most?
I identify as Palestinian & Syrian. I love both of these countries equally and I have deep roots and connections to both places even though I’ve only been to one. As for UAE, I’ve made so many memories in it and it will always have that sentimental value to me.
What's one thing that you know now that you wish you knew five years ago?
To save my energy for the ones I love. Spending my energy on people I knew that weren’t reciprocating was a disappointment and it drains you which is sad for the ones you love.
Can you recall any time that was particularly hard on you emotionally and mentally?
I think when I graduated university and was put in the real world. Having the freedom intellectually at an institute always felt so liberating and having all the resources to help you research and get into what you like gave me a sense of freedom.
Besides modelling, what other fields and interests of yours that you'd like to develop further?
Filmmaking and knowledge on the region’s history which to me go hand in hand. Films are not just stories about their main characters, but they also tell us about the stories and context of their time.
When your career started to kick off with big brands, did you find it hard to grasp the magnitude of all of it or it was logical steps that you saw coming?
It was certainly so exciting that I couldn’t believe it. Every time a big shoot came up, I felt so happy that I think I could be content and just stop there, but then, when the next thing comes, I feel the same all over again. I still always feel that way.
What are your own personal goals and career ones?
Personal goals: to be somebody that people feel no stress around— to provide a safe space for my loved ones.
Career goals: to become a professor!
Who is your Diva that inspires you the most?
Palestinian women inspire me, my sister, my friends, revolutionaries, actresses... I love them all. One artist I admire so much, in particular, and her work inspires me is Moshtari Hilal. My closest friend Jenan Ismail, who’s an artist and creative, is also a big inspiration for me.
DIVAZOFARABIA #Exclusive // Follow Lana and Amina on Instagram @lana_.jpg // @aminazaher // @divazofarabia