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Q&A with: Farnoush Hamidian, the Iranian Model on The Representation of Middle Eastern Women in Media

Dolce&Gabbana, Vogue Arabia and you may also add D1 Milano to that list. These are just some of the names featured on Iranian model Farnoush Hamidian’s eclectic CV. Though she’s based in Germany following a move from her native Iran four years ago, the 5 feet 11 tall beauty – who also happens to bring brains to the table having studied architecture, interior design and microbiology – spends a significant dose of her time in Dubai. While on set in the UAE’s most populous city for a photoshoot, we got up close and personal with D1 Milano’s most recent campaign star, to talk Muslim stereotypes, what it was like working with Dolce&Gabbana, plus what makes Dubai one of her favorite spots in the world.

What do you think of the overall representation of women from your region, by the media?
The media haven’t been really kind to us Middle Eastern women, since the reality isn’t close to what you see on TV. First of all, women in the Middle East are really well-educated. I have five scientists in my family and my mom studied economy. I can guarantee you that we (Iranians) are doing well. Of course not all laws in our country are with us, but tell me which country is perfect and has perfect laws. As Muslims we say, “Perfection doesn’t exist, the only perfection is God.” Muslim women have the biggest hearts. It’s actually part of the culture to have a good heart.

Not too long ago you shot an editorial for Vogue Arabia’s debut issue.What did it feel like being part of regional fashion history?
I have shot for Vogue about four or five times, but Vogue Arabia is Arabic and I’m an Iranian lady, which makes it all the more special. It also felt political in the sense that the rest of the world thinks that Middle Eastern women or Muslim women, live in a cave or have no taste. Many have this scary image of us, but Vogue Arabia can show the world who we really are.

What did that process of working with Dolce&Gabbana look like?
I didn’t have to go to a casting for the job, since they booked me without seeing me. It was probably one of the most beautiful jobs I’ve ever done. Everybody had such a positive energy and was so humble and nice. Anna Dello Russo styled that shoot and she has been my idol since I’m really young. As a teenager, I always hoped that one day I would have her sense of style. We shot everything over the course of three days, dancing at bazars with people. It was so cute.in Brazil.

So, you’re born in Iran and based in Germany. What keeps you coming back to Dubai?
Besides coming here for work, I simply love being in Dubai. It feels like home. What I love most about the city is the weather, the safety, and the multicultural environment.

What would you say is the most beautiful place in the world you’ve visited so far?
I love Paris, mainly for the art and architecture. Then also Bora Bora in French Polynesia, and Lisbon, Portugal. But the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my life, would have to be Iran.