We’re all watching the situation in Iraq with complete sadness and horror. Since March of 2003 till today, Iraq has been struggling with the damage the US-led invasion caused that literally opened a Pandora’s box of sectarianism, endless conflict, and social diaspora. As an Iraqi myself, my family was lucky enough to escape the horror that was caused by the war, no one can understand how hard it is to start a new life away from the conflict, and for me to witness other people who also flee after the invasion and succeeded in creating a life and start a career from scratch just makes my heart grow ten times bigger.
During conflicts, women are usually the most vulnerable, however, below you’ll get to see ten ambitious influencers and business owners who built their platforms and brands on their own, focusing on fashion, beauty, and makeup. These Iraqi women didn’t allow the post-invasion context to define them or stop them from accomplishing their dreams.
Rania is the daughter of the brilliant fashion designer, Zeena Zaki. It’s no surprise that Rania grew up to be such a fashion icon to her generation. She uses Instagram to keep us updated on the latest trends and fashion tips and tricks. With great fashion sense, a witty personality, and a slightly broken Iraqi accent, she managed to attract over a million followers in a short period of time.
Talia is Rania’s sister and the youngest daughter to Zeena Zaki. She grew up in a fashion-centric household, with her mother being such a successful and well-known designer, and her older sister being such a fashion icon, Talia mirrors a perfect combination of both of them.
Mina Al Sheikhly
Mina first appeared to the Iraqi community as MBC Iraq’s TV host of ‘Beit Beauty’ show. We fell in love with her kindness, ambition, and pure soul. From there, her Instagram started to grow massively, forming a solid fan base till she finally launched her Mascara brand By Mina Al Sheikhly.
Dima Al Sheikhly
Dima is Mina’s younger sister, she is known on Instagram and YouTube for posting and creating content on the latest fashion brands and makeup tricks that keep us informed 24/7.
Although she holds a Master’s degree in Diplomacy and International Relations, Mays chose TV to be her career. She first appeared as a TV host on MBC Iraq’s ‘Beit Beauty’ show along with Mina Al-Sheikhly, and now she continues to use her Instagram account to talk about topics that vary between beauty, fashion, makeup, and even politics!
Hind holds a degree in Arts and she initially started her career as an actress, later becoming a very well known TV host on Iraq’s number one channel, Al Sharqiya. Currently, Hind continues to host on Al Sharqiya, and she also uses her social media account to talk about Iraq’s culture, fashion, and her day-to-day life.
Shahd Al Jumaily
Although she holds a degree in Architect, Shahd like the other girls, chose TV as her career as she’s also one of MBC Iraq’s show hosts. Shahd was also appointed UNICEF Iraq ambassador, where she used her platform to not only talk about fashion, but she also tackles important topics that positively impact Iraq’s community.
Deema Al Asadi
Deema is also an influencer who uses her Instagram account to talk about fashion, beauty, travel, and lifestyle. She recently did an interview with AbTalks, along with Mina Al Sheikhly and Shad Al Jumaily, where we all saw the three girls in a completely different light; they talked about not only their platforms but also about their lives back in Iraq and how they made it here, being such successful women.
Shahad Al Khattab
Shahad is a TV presenter on Al Sharqiya, fashion and lifestyle influencer. Since day one she appeared on TV and everyone was instantly drawn to her beauty and confidence. With the time passing, she proved to everyone that she’s not just a pretty face.
Haifa is a TV host on Al Sharqiya, she’s known to be the hostess of the famous Ramadan TV show ‘Bat’. She’s known to have a great personality, she succeeded in stealing all of our hearts when she first started hosting ‘Bat’. Haifa continues to host, and she uses her social media platform to mainly focus on fashion and beauty and promote small business and local startups to boost Iraq’s economy, especially after February’s revolution.