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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Of tribal cuffs and tanzanite stones: jeweller Amina Ghali reveals her favourites 

The jewellery designer and silversmith joined her mother Azza Fahmy’s label in 2005

Amina Ghali, head designer, Azza Fahmy Jewellery
Amina Ghali, head designer, Azza Fahmy Jewellery

If you could wake up anywhere tomorrow, where would you be?

I’d be on a blue beach with wonderful yellow sand and a beautiful atmosphere.

You are sitting down to the perfect meal. Where are you, whom are you with and what are you eating?

I’m on the beach with interesting company it doesn’t matter if I know them or not, as long as they are interesting. I’m eating pasta, my favourite dish.

Where do you like to shop?

I don’t like malls; I prefer streets that have a mix of cafes and shops, so I can do my shopping and then catch up with a friend over a cup of coffee.

what is your favourite piece of jewellery?

An old tribal cuff that I got from India, which is more than a hundred years old.

What three things do you always have in your bag when you travel?

My diary, the novel I’m reading at the time and my airport companion which is my iPad as it has all my movies and series on it.

What was your first-ever luxury purchase?

I recall the first couple of times I wanted to pamper myself. I saved up and bought myself a designer bag that I really wanted. The second time, I saved up for a beautiful tanzanite stone.

Are you collector? If so, what do you collect?

I collect movies, old music, books and diaries. I also like to collect jewellery, like my mother.

Whats your next holiday destination?

I’d love to visit South Africa.

What does your dream home look like?

It’s a one-floor house, with lots of windows and open spaces, right on the seashore. It has a chimney and a huge library, and is filled with plants and paintings. All spaces are utilised, nothing is unused, and it has a wonderful open-plan kitchen and a big walk-in closet.

What is your favourite city in the world?

Different cities offer me different things. London, Delhi and Cairo have always been home to me, while Florence is the most beautiful city aesthetically.

What’s the best book you’ve read?

I have many favourites. In Arabic, I love Naguib Mahfouz’s Children of Gebelawi and Mohamed Mansi Qandil’s A Cloudy Day on the West Side. In English, Jan-Philipp Sendker’s The Art of Hearing Heartbeats and Amin Maalouf’s Leo Africanus.

What's the best advice you’ve ever received?

Always be true to yourself.

What is life’s greatest luxury?

For me it’s to be blessed with what you want, not just what you need.

And what is the most overrated luxury, in your opinion?

Any luxury item that comes in excess becomes overrated.

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Read more:

Awesome at 80: a chat with the 'actress who can cook' Madhur Jaffery

Azza Fahmy preserves the tales and traditions of great civilisations through her one-off designs

Laurence Graff on his penchant for collecting masterpieces – art, cars and diamonds

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