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EUNICE OLUMIDE Happy with the universe FASHION













students are At alike. At our Dwight, ourfoster aimthe is to foster theof development NoNo twotwo students are alike. Dwight, aim is to development the whole child. of the they whole Whether are a athlete. budding artist. A top-ranked athlete.... Whether are child. a budding artist. Athey top-ranked A brilliant scientist in the making Whatever the talent or passion, committed to realising every potential. A brilliant scientist in the Dwight makingis... Whatever the talent orstudent’s passion,fullDwight is committed to realising every student’s full potential.

Dwight is an International Baccalaureate World School serving students aged 2-18, featuring EAL, Mother Tongue support and a door-to-door bus service.

Dwight is an International Baccalaureate World School serving students aged 2-18, featuring EAL, Mother Tongue support and a door-to-door bus service.

Learn More by Attending our IB Diploma Infomation Evening Tuesday 25th November 2014 Learn More by Attending our IB Diploma Infomation Evening

Tuesday 25th November 2014 Reserve your place by contacting us at or 020 8920 0634 Reserve place| by contacting us at 6 Friern Barnet Lane your N11 3LX or 020 8920 0634 6 Friern Barnet Lane N11 3LX |




Founder & Editor in Chief Mirela Sula


Sub-editor Trevor Clarke

Eunice Olumide Happy with my Universe

Editorial team Ada Albert Lira Sejdini Kristale Rama Ermonela Kapedani

Our crew page 4

Editorial page 5

Update and letters page 6

News from September page 8

Ask Judy: Relationships page 10

Ask the Dragon: Business advice page 12

Special Feature - London Real Estate pages 22 - 35

Relocating to a new country page 25

Ok I belong here, I love it page 26

Moving home was more stressful than moving countries page 27

The appeal of buying a high value property in the heart of London page 28

From a studio flat to now selling my seventh house

The free souls behind barb wired fences page 38

What I learned from depression page 40

I consider myself a survivor page 42

If you struggle hard enough you will reach your goal page 44

Prepare a marketing plan for your success part two page 46

Parents raising questions about bilingual children page 48

Whatever the difficulties, never give up page 50

Dwight School London page 52

I want to share my message with women around the world page 54

How to be stylish in everyday life

page 30

page 56

I went to look for a house and I became a broker

My clothes smile when I wear them page 58

page 33

Joy and fashion go hand in hand together

Tips on buying and renting

page 61

page 34

Life, health and beauty is in your control

What can the Queen teach us about a successful life?

page 64

page 36


Tas Head Chef Onder Sahan’s recipes page 78

Board Members Baybars Altuntas Adelina Badivuku Aura Imbarus Marita Flager Julia Goga Contributors Baybars Altuntas Judy Piatkus Sarah Alexander Julian Childs Sahar Shahid Aura Imbarus Marita Flager Julia Goga Vivienne Aiyela Simon Newsham Shamin Iqbal creative Director Henrik Lezi Photographer Francisco Cruzat Rinaldo Sata Linda Scuizzato Web Designer Ken Doughty advertising Director Rudina Suti Marketing and PR Trevor Clarke Elisjada Canameti Amarilda Canameti Ada Albert ADDRESS Migrant Woman LTD Company Number: 08839812 E-mail: Web: London, UK



Contributors | issue #6, october 2014

Our crew for this issue

Judy Piatkus Judy Piatkus achieved a diploma in psychodynamic psychotherapy and counselling and worked in an NHS surgery in Harley Street London, for 450 hours, as well as in her own private practice. Judy now works with a wide range of organisations and businesses as a leadership development coach, consultant and mentor. She is also in much demand as a speaker on the topics of entrepreneurship, future trends, angel investing and building a great business.

AURA IMBARUS Aura Imbarus is an educator, professional speaker, and the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, a Pulitzer Prize entry and Amazon best-seller, Out of the Transylvania Night: A Story of Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity. Born and raised in Sibiu/Hermannstadt, Romania –or more precisely in “Dracula’s county Transylvania,” Ms. Imbarus attended Lucian Blaga University, earning an MA degree in American and British Studies and a Ph.D. in Philology with the distinction Cum Laude.

Baybars Altuntas Baybars Altuntas is a Turkish entrepreneur, speaker and author based in Istanbul. He founded Deulcom International, a vocational training school in 1992 and currently serves as the president of the executive committee of Deulcom. He is also a dragon on the Dragon’s Den Turkey, The Turkish version of the Dragon’s Den TV show. In 2011, Baybars wrote Off the Bus, into a BM. The book has been reprinted 24 times and translated into five languages.

Rita Rosenback Rita Rosenback is a Finland-Swedish author and blogger who 1998 moved from Finland to the UK. After studying languages in Finland and Germany she worked as a university teacher, translator, interpreter and a manager of multinational teams and is now a full-time writer and coach. Rita has two grown-up daughters, Minna and Daniela, who are both fluent in several languages and are the inspiration for her book: “Bringing up a Bilingual Child”.

Shamin Iqbal Shamin Iqbal is an International leader in Headhunting Recruitment and Training with fifteen years experience in running businesses and sourcing to Multi National Corporate Technology clients. She has the ability to succeed in difficult markets and launched her first business during the Dot Com Crises. Currently running a Training company focused on the Professional and Graduate market sector.

Vivienne Aiyela Vivienne Aiyela, is the founder of Clothes 4 REAL Women which is a Bespoke Personal Styling Concierge Service. She specialised in providing a service for business and entrepreneurs /professional women/ mothers and mothers returning to work, or starting a business. Also she provides a range of services for women such as wardrobe management, personal shopping, advice and workshops, a full style make-over.



Letter from the edit r What you are looking for? Mirel a Sula

Founder and Editor- in- Chief

Sweet dreams are made of this Who am I to disagree I travel the world and the seven seas Everybody’s looking for something

Y Please show your support for Migrant Woman by liking us on our Facebook page, signing up online to receive our newsletter for keeping you informed and up to date, and take part in completing our survey on the website, which will be a great help in shaping the future direction of Migrant Woman magazine. Check our website for all the articles, posts & news

ou may know this verse in the well-known song Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics. When I decided to travel the world my mother asked me “Are you serious? You have everything here. What you are looking for?”. One moment subconsciously my voice wanted to say “I am looking for happiness” but knowing that, for a lot of people in my country, this was an unrealistic dream, I said: “You are right, I am looking for something, but I don’t know what it is”. She didn’t take me seriously: “Everything you want is here. Here is your home”. My home? I was born in a small village, and then moved to a bigger town and then to a small neighbourhood of the capital city and every time that I decided to move I have been looking for something that was not there. I am a person that connects with people very easily, and everywhere I go I build my home very quickly. It is like I am taking it with me, but with a need to extend it and make it bigger and bigger. I need a home with a big space where I can invite a lot of people and share experiences, affection, memories and emotional interaction with them. I always knew that this home is within me, but to make it eligible I needed to extend my borders and open its doors for everyone no matter who they are, where they come from, the colour of their skin or the language they speak. I needed it to connect with humanity on a soulful level, a connection that gives birth to a new sense of belonging. I am looking for a home where the address is everywhere in the Universe, a place where we are all family members. In this issue we have met women that are looking for something. Some of them they have found it, others are on their journey. They have shared with us their dreams and the secrets of being who they are today. By the way, everybody is looking for something - may I know what you are looking for? If you have a story to share with Migrant Woman magazine contact me at




Fresh Look for Migrant Woman Magazine The new website for Migrant Woman magazine will be live from the beginning of September and replaces the old one. While keeping the content and main features, it has been redesigned to operate faster, is easier to view on mobile devices, and has a fresh, clean and stylish appearance that befits the Migrant Woman magazine content, contributors, subscribers and viewing audience. The printed magazine can now be purchased online, individually or as a 6 or 12 months subscription. This will provide the full experience of the quality, appearance and design that is of a superior level to reading an online article or digital edition. However, you will be able to download a digital edition or read any article for free after registering your details and subscribing to the newsletter. A more limited range of articles can still be accessed without registration. Watch this space for more developments! Meanwhile, your feedback and comments on the Migrant Woman Facebook page or email will be much appreciated.

The printed magazine can now be purchased online, individually or as a 6 or 12 months subscription. This will provide the full experience of the quality, appearance and design that is of a superior level to reading an online article or digital edition

Using the Media to Promote Positive Migration “Using the Media to Promote Positive Migration”, this was the topic that Migrant Woman magazine presented at The Enfield Civic Centre for the Black History Month Opening Ceremony. Editor in Chief, Mirela Sula, was invited by Enfield Council to talk about her experience working with migrant women. Mirela emphasised the idea that it is very important to focus on the positive side of migration and on the strength that migrant women show while going through the stages of migration. Migrant Woman magazine is always trying to identify positive stories, with the maxim to: ‘Inspire and Empower Women of the Universe’. The well received message was, “We are all migrants and visitors of this world and it is great to connect and empower each other”.

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news Amal Alamuddin, a London-based dualqualified English barrister and New York litigation attorney who has long been a high-profile figure in international refugee and human rights law, has gone against the trend for professional women in her field and married… an actor. Amal, 36, is an educated and successful career woman we’ve long admired. The high-flying barrister has notched up many career highs, including representing the controversial WikiLeaks whistleblower Julian Assange, and also has multilingual fluency in English, French and Arabic. Amal attended St. Hugh’s College, Oxford University, earning her BA/LLB and receiving the Exhibitioner, Shrigley Award. She also attended New York University School of Law earning her LLM and receiving the Jack J. Katz Memorial Award. Read more:


Internationally acclaimed barrister Amal Alamuddin marries an actor

Migrant workers The untold story of how a culture of shame perpetuates “needed to abuse. I know, I was a victim support growth”, claims CIPD The extraordinary story of Ruzwana Bashir: the Oxford-educated entrepre-

neur brought up in a British-Pakistani community shares her own story to tear down the wall of silence around the exploitation of Asian girls. It was with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes that I read about the horrific cases of abuse and neglect revealed in the Rotherham report this week. Much of the media coverage has focused on how men of mostly Asian descent preyed on vulnerable young white victims. The details of this abuse are awful. But what has largely been ignored is the report’s finding that sexual abuse has been systemically underreported among Asian girls due to deeply entrenched cultural taboos – obscuring the reality that there is a similarly rampant problem of minority girls being abused by members of their own community. Read more: http://www. t h e g u a r di a n . c o m /s o c i e t y/ 2 0 14 / a u g / 2 9 / - s p untold-story-culture-ofshame-ruzwana-bashir

A new report from the CIPD found that employers often turn to EU migrants as they have the experience and commitment “needed to support growth”. According to the CIPD report, organisations that employ EU migrant workers are more likely to report business growth over the last two years (51 per cent) compared to organisations that don’t (39 per cent). This suggests that as companies grow and expand, employers rely on migrant workers to fill vacancies. It is stressed, however, that there is little evidence to suggest that migrant workers are being recruited because they are cheaper than UK workers or because they require less training. In addition, the research finds that employers recruiting migrant workers are actually more likely to invest in work experience, internships and apprenticeships. This could be the underlying reason why employers are more likely to offer such when they employ migrant workers.



Don’t Let Your Mind Go

Available on Amazon now!

In "Don't Let Your Mind Go" psychotherapist Mirela Sula draws on her own personal and professional experiences and those of her mother to produce a book that is poignant, profound and moving. The stories she shares are wise, insightful and beautifully written. NORMAN E. ROSENTHAL M.D., BEST-SELLING AUTHOR OF TRANSCENDENCE AND THE GIFT OF ADVERSITY “This book is filled with pearls of wisdom laced with stories that make the pearls shine. Anyone reading it will be inspired and guided in the process of cultivating a healthy, thriving mind. I recommend it to everyone. “ HARVILLE HENDRIX PH. D. AUTHOR, GETTING THE LOVE YOU WANT





Do you also have a question for Judy? Write to:

I feel so isolated…


Dear Judy, I love your letters, thank you very much for

I don’t have friends here, and the only person that I speak with is my

your advice. I am writing to you because I feel trapped

sister who lives in London. I have asked my husband for us to go and

in my marriage. I came to England four years ago

live in London several times but he will not agree with me because of

through an arranged marriage but no one forced me

the job. He is not sure if he will find a job in London.

because I liked my husband. It may be that I also liked

I feel so bad and depressed where we are and our relationship is

the idea to come to England as well. At that time I used to live

aggravated as well. When he comes home he is very tired and not

in a small town (I am from Eastern Europe) and I was excited

able to interact with me or his daughter. I feel alone, and afraid that I

by the idea that I was coming to the UK.

can’t continue like this for long. I have read your answers in Migrant

However we live in a very small town here as well and I feel

Woman magazine and I felt that you are the only person who can I ask

so isolated. I expected something totally different. Every day

for help. All the day I just have the TV and my daughter, and I don’t

he goes to work from the morning to the evening and I am

know where to seek help. Please can you give me any suggestions of

inside all of the day and isolated with my 3 year old daughter.

what to do? Thank you, H.K.

All relationships encounter difficulties at some point


Dear HK, It is very difficult to be a young mother on your own for many hours each day in a place that is distant from friends and family and with only a small child for company. You must consider the resources that you have and the most important of these is your husband. All relationships encounter difficulties at some point, whether arranged marriages or otherwise. In your case, you have both come together to a new land and you have a child so there are many challenges to be overcome. It is important now that you and your husband find a way to open up communication with each other in a thoughtful and loving way. You must both take time to understand each other’s point of view and to continually review together what is best for the marriage which is not about individuals but about the unit of the two of you as man and wife and now parents. At the same time you must look at how you can make new friends. Every town has its share of new mothers wanting to make friends. You must look for them. Are they at the local nursery, taking their children to a class or a playgroup, sitting in the park or perhaps enjoying an evening class? Can you locate them on the internet? Make it your personal

project to find one or two friends. Set your intention to do this and be ready for the unpredictable. When you and your husband are able to work together as a team, communicating gently with each other and setting aside time as a family to have some fun, then you will find it will be much easier to solve the problem of where and how you should make your next home.





Entry clearance (visitors, business visas, entrepreneurs, student visa, family visitors, Points Based System) Naturalisation and Registration for British Citizenship EEA applications (including Permanent Residence applications and Family Permits) Student applications (leave to remain as a student) Marriage, fiancĂŠes and unmarried partners visa Deportation and removals (including detention centre and prison visits) Appeals and Judicial Review applications Settlement applications (Indefinite Leave to Remain) Asylum and European Convention of Human Rights applications (e.g. Article 3 and 8) Bail/ Temporary Admission applications


Employment contracts Salary problems at work Bullying and harassment Unfair Dismissal Redundancy Disciplinary process Whistleblowing Employment Tribunal proceedings We are qualified English Lawyers (solicitors) regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. If you need advice you can send us a confidential email at:


Defended divorce petitions, judicial separations Injunction Applications Maintenance Domestic violence Out-of-court settlement Parental rights/responsibilities Contact/residence orders

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Issuing claims at the County Court and or High Court Business, contract, corporate and partnership disputes Property litigation Negotiation of alternative methods of dispute resolution Enforcement of judgments Languages that we speak include: Albanian (Shqip: 077 3741 3235), Italian and French (079 0638 2358), Hungarian (Magyar: 079 5157 8810)

ADDRESS: Morgan Pearse LLP, (Suite 6) 63 Broadway, London, E15 4BQ Telephone: 0203 583 2129 Fax: 0203 475 4544 Website:



baybars altuntas .tr or visit my blog to You can send your questions and find me on com. Follow me on Twitter at ww w.baybarsaltuntasnotes. as soon as possible. me to start creating new jobs Facebook. Get in touch with

How do I source a good

web designer and marketer? Dear Baybars, I am a 28-year-old woman from Macedonia that has lived in London for 18 months, working in a hotel restaurant and then on reception. I am well educated but do not have experience of running a business. London is expensive and saving money on a modest income is very difficult so I have only a small amount of money that I can spare. I have a great idea for an online business to start up, which I believe no one else is doing at the moment (forgive me for not sharing openly what it is at this stage). If you were in my position, what would you do next to try and get the business venture off the ground? How do I source a good web designer and marketer that I can trust and what should I expect to pay? What are the most important things I need to know before getting started? I look forward to seeing your reply. Katerina



The Dragon’s Answer

Everything depends on you, not on the finance I completely understand your hesitation about sharing your business idea. It is not uncommon for new entrepreneurs to feel uncomfortable sharing their new ideas with third parties for fear of having their business idea stolen. My experience, however, shows that it is entrepreneurs themselves who are more crucial for the success of the business than the original business idea. So you needn’t be overlycautious about sharing because in the future you will need money from angel investors to grow your business – which means you will have to share every minute detail of your business with tens of investors and matchmakers. My advice to you for starting an online business on a limited budget is to prepare a demo in collaboration with a designer who has an entrepreneurial mind-set and who believes in the potential of your

business. Try to convert the idle capacity (time and skill) of a good web designer into an asset. Pitch your business idea first to web designers and ask them to be a shareholder of this business by investing their skill and time. By doing so, you will have hit two, even three birds, with one stone by gaining a: 1. Good website with no out-of-pocket expenses 2. Valuable team member and a shareholder you can trust 3 Web designer who will not leave you stranded in the middle of the road. The second step is to prepare a professional pitching presentation and a demo of the business. Then start visiting the incubation and acceleration centres in London that will provide free office space and mentorship to help grow your business. Of course, you have to convince the selec-

tion teams at the incubation or acceleration centres. To be ready for investment pitchings, visit the Angel Institute and find Modwenna Rees-Mogg, the co-founder of the UK Business Angels Institute. She can help you develop your pitching skills. The third step is to visit the British Business Angels Association (BBAA) to reach qualified business angels in the UK who would like to invest in you and your business. Please find Jenny Tooth, the CEO at BBAA and I am sure she will direct you to suitable investors in the UK. As you see, everything depends on you, not on the finance. If you can convert the idle capacity of people around you, then it is your turn to be identified as a successful entrepreneur! Baybars Modwenna Rees-Mogg, UK Co-founder, UK Business Angels Institute

My advice to you for starting an online business on a limited budget is to prepare a demo in collaboration with a designer who has an entrepreneurial mind-set and who believes in the potential of your business. Try to convert the idle capacity (time and skill) of a good web designer into an asset


Picture credits: Photography: Lee Howell Make Up: Samantha Jack Styling: Enigmatic Production & Promotion, Arslan Creative Direction: Enigmatic Production & Promotion Doveteam Casting




cover article

Eunice Olumide

Happy with my Universe

For Eunice Olumide, growing up in Scotland has certainly been an experience. As the first black person in her nursery, primary, high school and right up until she was at university. She tells us through this interview that it gave her something special, and it produced an interesting contrast of her Africaness and Scottishness, and helped her to see and understand things from an alternate perspective. Today she is a talented model, actress and presenter appearing on programmes for the BBC, SKY, and Clothes Show TV. The interview underlines how Eunice Olumide became who she is today, not randomly but because she worked hard, shared love and empathy with other people, had the support of her mother and brother and kept believing in a better future. In harmony with her Universe, she is a great role model for all the women of the world, no matter what the colour their skin is By Mirela Sula


cover article

You were born in Scotland but travelled all over the world – how do you connect with the Universe and the environment you live? I don’t think that humans were necessarily designed to stay in one place as we do now. I think in many ways the things we collected along the way can act like a weight, which keeps us bound to the same circumstance. If we look at the world we live in we can see signs such as the birds and other creatures that migrate regularly to ensure their environment is conducive to how they want to live. The best thing about my particular cultural dichotomy is that it helps me to be able to understand things and explain two very different social spheres as well as the com-


plex issues which exist today. The world we live in is phenomenal and fully equipped to support all human beings. It is only ourselves who hold us back from true happiness and the fulfilment of our own potential, not only as individuals but as one human race. I think that when you learn that everything and everyone in the world is connected and when you treat others how you would like to be treated, you then begin to see the power of the universe. Your achievements show that you are a multi-talented woman – is this something you are born with or is it developed through the years? I was always really active in sports, arts and science when I was younger. I think

one thing about British culture that I do not like is this idea that we must all only do one thing. Although in saying that when I am producing work I do want people who are dedicated and qualified in certain areas, however this does not mean that some people cannot do this in more than one specific field. The US has many examples of people who have literally gone from actor to politician or who produce, act, write, direct and do music to the most high and significant level within their industry. My mother always taught me that I could do anything, she believed in me, even though she didn’t always understand my work and encouraged me. What feeds your mind and spirits?


@euniceolumide Actress, Broadcaster, Columnist



cover article

I believe in God, that Great Power, the Energy, the Universe, or however people want to describe it. For me being at one with my environment, doing good deeds, helping others, looking after my family and anyone I come into contact with is imperative. When I do this, amazing things just happen. I remind myself daily of how blessed I am and I often think about the millions of innocent people suffering through war and poverty. I volunteer regularly and do my best to give some of my energy back to those who need it most. What makes you motivated to wake up happy in the morning? I try never to be sad, for this sadness in some ways undermines the great gifts that we often have and cannot see. Instead I focus on the good things that I have done, the good deeds that I have done and the good deeds


other have done to me. I am grateful and truly happy with the universe for my family and for who I am, even if I suffered a lot in my formative years. This month is Black Month History – what is the significance of this event for you? Marcus Garvey said “A people without the knowledge of their past history and culture is like a tree without roots”. If we do not understand the past and what happened, how can we begin to understand the complexities of the modern world? There is only action after cause. African people suffered systematic colonisation, physically, mentally and socially, and so it is essential that not only African’s but the entire human race is educated on this inconceivable tragedy, in the same way that we are

educated about what Hitler did to Jewish people or any other abomination. We do this not because anyone wants to go back in time or has a chip on their shoulder but because it is the only way of preventing his happening again. Have you ever felt any discrimination because of your skin colour? Of course, I suffered a huge amount of discrimination and abuse because of my skin colour but I realised two things recently. It still has not changed and will need maybe another 50-100 years for human to rid ourselves of the disease of racism, and also that we cannot lament laboriously on bad or evil actions by others but try to understand what, how and why they were motivated to do this deed. Through that understanding we can begin to look at our own painful situation more objectively and understand that these things are



part of life. Only then can we begin to understand that sometimes the people who do the worst things actually had them done to them first. When we have this knowledge we can free ourselves and live in the future. Scotland has just voted in a very important referendum – what was your experience of the events leading to it and after? Independence for me is not about hating England, it’s about ensuring and prioritising the best interests of Scottish citizens. For me centralisation of power in any business can be limiting to the actual customer or people that it serves. What works for one part of the UK may actually be damaging to others. In all walks of life as human beings we enter into relationships and agreements. If I were to have an employee who wanted to leave or

stop working for me I would be disappointed but I would remind them of their value to me and I would respect them for telling me. I would advise them that I appreciated, and in fact needed them, leaving on good terms with the door open. Life is not just about economics, although I think that Scotland will be better off both economically and ideologically. People must feel a part of their locality and they must feel appreciated. A union of this type is so indepth that it is almost like a marriage that is not working. Even if there are benefits of being in the union, if one partner is not happy it just cannot work. To me there have always been great leaders produced in Scotland who have governed the entire UK, so I have no doubt in my mind that Scotland will be a successful independent nation if the people want it one day.

Having a career in the field of art, fashion and journalism is not easy – what is the secret of your success? Which of these is more important for you? Everything I do is simply a continuation of my progression through life. I enjoy working in different fields and having different skills as I feel more secure. In the future I hope to concentrate on my presenting and acting work. I will also continue with a small line in accessories. Who has supported you mostly in life to become the person you are today? My mum and my brother have been my greatest supporters and still are. What has impacted your way of



thinking and achieving things in life? The necessity of supporting my family and helping those who do not have enough in the world is the most important thing. You are currently the Ambassador for Breakthrough Breast Cancer TLC. How did you get involved and what is the significance of this campaign? Being an example is imperative and I work with several charities from Fashion Targets to CHAS. I founded Youth on The Fringe in

Everything I do is simply a continuation of my progression through life. I enjoy working in different fields and having different skills as I feel more secure 2013 which is aimed at giving young people the opportunity to hone, create and showcase their talent to industry professionals. It also creates a space for people of all ethnicities to grow together and understand each other, and produce some brilliant work. I run two youth groups in the summer and I work with several

outside essential organisations across the UK, such as Slenky, who help people to achieve their goals and dreams. What drives you to succeed and do good things in life? My mum was pretty ill several years back



What is your favourite? Food? Plantain Car? Anything Electric Perfume? Natural Oils Cream? Gelatto, has to be Italian House? Compound in West Africa with garden Holiday? Africa Model? Iman Leader? Malcom X Spiritual leader? Dalai Lama Book? Noam Chomsky (from the interview with David Barsamian) Film? The Birth of A Nation

as she suffered a stroke and I was her main carer over the last six years. This love and support has motivated me to be the person I am today. What is the biggest mission in your life? I am currently working on my first book but my biggest mission in life is to try to communicate that there is nothing on this planet more important than life, the life of humans and all the creatures and things which exist. When we realise that we can change the world forever.




London Real Estate – Unique perspectives

Anywhere you land is an

inside job Photos provided by Fransico Cruzat


ondon is the city where everyone buys and sells – a dynamic place that is alive with energetic people from all over the world. All migrants have left a home somewhere and detached from their roots to build a new home in another country, and to create a new relationship with a different environment. They start from scratch with huge courage and creativity to rebuild their lives and improve the world that they live in. Home environments are very important to people, meeting both their practical and psychological needs. We all have this ability to re-build our lives in a new location and to adapt, while still remembering the wonderful place we came from, and sometimes finding our way back to. We have interviewed six women coming from different countries and bringing their own experiences as brokers or tenants, which are shared in this special report with a unique perspective.



here here








LONDON REAL ESTATE FORUM 2014 The Financial Times in June gave news of how the real estate in London was surely and firmly showing improvement with positive numbers. With that news it announced the London Real Estate Forum to be held at Berkeley Square in Mayfair By Federico Fiorentini

The location and event all presented a very positive vibe. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, was very happy to proclaim that the London Real Estate was living a “golden age of construction” especially in the city that is bursting with investments, where construction sites are popping up continually. He added “It is an extraordinary time to live here. The future of London is transparently bright.” The Forum in presented evidence of all the key development areas and opportunities across London with major office, retail and residential developments available to let or invest in over the next decade. The Mayor pointed out the need to “Use this golden era to build more homes for Londoners that will be loved and venerated in years to come”. He then went on to say “The landscape of London resembles a speeded up time-lapse of the David Attenborough ‘return of the spring’ documentary. London is bulging and sprouting with growth and astonishing things are happening at all points of the compass”.


A confident Mayor also welcomed London’s ability to attract inward investment, stating: “London is to the billionaire what the jungles of Sumatra are to the orangutan. London is the financial, cultural, artistic and scientific centre of the world and we are where everyone wants to live, work and enjoy themselves.”

The landscape of London resembles a speeded up time-lapse of the David Attenborough ‘return of the spring’ documentary. London is bulging and sprouting with growth and astonishing things are happening at all points of the compass The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson (pictured left with federico fiorentini)

Nick McKeogh, Director of Pipers, which organises LREF – as well as the London Stand at MIPIM and New London Architecture, said: “When we established LREF last year it was because we were convinced London needed a really high quality exhibition and seminar programme, for the most senior people in the real estate industry and all located in the very heart of London. I am thrilled that in only its second year LREF has become so established and over the next two days we will welcome 1,400 people representing nearly 600 companies spanning investment, development, delivery and occupation. Nick added “I can already confirm that LREF will be back next year and I am sure a great deal of business will be done and partnerships formed as a result of the coming together of so many people made possible by this event.” All of us in the Real Estate world look forward to seeing the London landscape change giving Londoners a city to be proud of. Translated by Gero Misuraca


Relocating to a new country Finding the right home in the right location

Living away from your homeland comes with choices and compromises and at first people are more likely to rent than own their abode in their new country. Renting or buying a property, both of these two choices can bear a significant emotional involvement and time-consuming endeavour that comes with a lot of excitement, too. It’s remarkably a journey that ends in joining the property market with a dwelling that would mirror the contours of the owner’s expectations By Ada Albert



finding a home

Beatriz Traquina “Ok, I belong here. I love it”

We decided to adapt to its smaller size, because the beautiful view made up for it. In Lisbon we don’t have so many green spaces and for us it was very surprising to find that here in London



eatriz Traquina is our first case study who reflects this journey and shares it with our readers. Beatriz’s family previously lived in Portugal. “We had a three bedroom flat over there, in a nice area, next to the good schools, so basically the dream house and we were quite settled in Portugal. Then we received a bigger and a better opportunity for my husband to have more visibility within the group that involved relocating to the UK and so, yes we just jumped at it” says Beatriz. Relocating also involved looking for a property to rent. You had already made a big move as you are originally from Puerto Rico and your husband from Portugal. Having previously taken a big step in your life transferring from Puerto Rico to Portugal, how was it this time? It was actually very controlled. The company helped us out in every possible way. We were appointed a consultant who helped us in every step, not only housing but also with the kids’ school. Six months before the actual move our first visit was to see the schools we had shortlisted and were interested in. During this visit we scheduled to see properties, not for renting, because we understood the market here moves very fast, but just to get an idea of what we could afford with our budget. We visited two places, one in Belsize Park and another one in Hampstead. It was helpful to know what money could buy us here in London and so that was a good experience. With the school playing a very important role in choosing the home you were going to rent, were there any other things you looked at before deciding? Yes definitely, but we also realised that we needed to be close to the school but also some of the schools were quite far away so we had to compromise with the commuting times. Having a consultant to look after our needs was very important. Actually, I had no idea where were the estate agents here in London, so the consultant did all the internet searches that we do right now, because we know how it works and where to look for that information. We selected a house that I really loved from the list that the consultant prepared for me, so I didn’t really need to look independently for any other property.

When you visited the estate agent that had advertised the property you were about to rent, what did they expect from you? The first time, my husband’s company provided some documents, like proof of company address at the time, and the references which were required to enable us to rent the property. With our next move they asked us for a bit about our background, and how many people we are. I have a feeling that the estate agents do favour families, with older kids. More or less what they are looking for is families, no pets, and non-smokers. They ask about your professional background to make sure that you have the means to pay. Once you moved in what did you need for your new home, or any little adjustments to be made to fit with your gusto? When I went to view the house all the curtains were shut. I walked into the living room and they opened the curtains and I saw the beautiful back garden I said to myself “Ok, I belong here. I love it”. It was a small house with a beautiful view, compared to our flat in Lisbon. We decided to adapt to its smaller size, because the beautiful view made up for it, definitely. In Lisbon we don’t have so many green spaces and for us it was very surprising to find that here in London. In fact I didn’t change anything, the house was newly refurbished. We decided we would not transfer our things from Lisbon, but of course some personal things, books, picture albums, things like this. This is your third home that you have rented in the UK - what has been your experience so far? In Portugal we didn’t rent, we bought the home immediately, and so I didn’t have any experience of renting. I came to learn how things work in England and found it very straightforward here, especially with the technology as you can get all the information you need online, before you start this process. Our next move is to buy. You have grown into London in a way. Did you feel that in your first visit when you came as a tourist? No, but like all great loves they are completely unexpected and we as a family love London.




ary Scott, our second case study, is a mother of two boys and has been happily married for eighteen years. They originate from Australia, have lived in different countries and moved to the UK in 2007 when they were being relocated with her husband’s company. At first sight, for most of us who live in the UK, we find this type of migration exciting, fun and think of it as a time of their life. There are challenges along the way, whilst considering the journey into the property market or looking for a property to rent before even relocating to the UK. For Mary Scott’s family it is a remarkable journey that ends in finding a dwelling that would mirror the contours of their expectations, with room for their family and a little extra for their family visiting from overseas. What was the first step for you? My husband’s company set up appointments with a few estate agents. We met with them and viewed several properties. Our challenge was to find a property that suited our young family. We also did our own research - we checked schools, transport and amenities in different areas. How did you find the process in the UK, and how was it different to Australia and other countries? What would you advise newcomers to avoid or pay more attention to? The process is fairly similar to other countries we’ve lived in for the documents required, such as identity, proof of residency in the UK, and a copy of my husband’s work contract, along with the mandatory deposit. We were pretty open-minded when finding a property. The main thing for us is that it suited the needs of our family. We had references from previous overseas landlords, which were not of interest to the estate agents in the UK and so we obtained references from my husband’s employer. What is your journey from renting to buying a property? How complicated is the whole process and what do you think is important to know or to have before owning your own home in the UK? We lived in our rented home for three years.

MaryScottMoving home was more stressful than moving countries We had a few issues with our landlady as she was reluctant to spend money on any repairs when they arose. However, eventually she would agree to repair or send someone out. This made our decision to get on the property ladder. We saved up very hard to have a deposit to buy our own property. It wasn’t easy and we had to budget quite carefully. We checked in advance what was required to purchase our own home and what mortgages were on offer. Again, we researched a fair bit to make sure we made the right decision. Nothing is like home, but if you were to choose the things you had to compromise along the way what would they be? Moving from our home country to various countries around the world comes with compromise. In the UK, that was the weather and a spacious home. Properties in Australia and in particular Sydney, where we are from, are expensive. London properties are also expensive and are much smaller but don’t lack character. Most properties in Sydney are modern in comparison to London. Are there things you wish to forget during property search? What are the things that you enjoyed the most? We finally found our home after some time. The packing was the worst part but getting rid of ‘stuff ’ we longer needed was liberating. It was quite stressful for us. In my opinion, moving home was more stressful than moving countries. Shopping for our new home was less stressful and could be described as exciting. We enjoyed furnishing our new home once we moved in. We love our new place and making it our own, and should we need to repair or change something, we can do it ourselves instead of relying on a third person!

Our challenge was to find a property that suited our young family. We also did our own research - we checked schools, transport and amenities in different areas. We had references from previous overseas landlords, which were not of interest to the estate agents in the UK and so we obtained references from my husband’s employer



Inessa Falina The appeal of buying a high value property in the heart of London For decades London has been a financial and educational centre of Europe and this makes London a city of opportunities, which attracts immigrants from all over the world By Ada Albert


nessa Falina, head of property division at Oracle Capital Group, moved to London from Italy more than eleven years ago. For twelve years she had her own business in Italy, a travel agency that organised the first charter flights in Italy from Latvia, Russia, and Armenia, and an export-import company for the last eight years. In Inessa’s first year in London, she had a meeting with the chairman of Hamptons International, who invited her to set up and run the Russian Desk for this company. That is how Inessa Falina started her career in the property industry. After ten months, a big Russian Desk launch was organised for her department by Hamptons International, attended by members of the Royal Family. The Russian Desk has been working with more than thirty branches in the UK and abroad, selling beautiful villas to Russian speaking clients for years. When she left Hamptons International, Inessa set up her own company and started dealing with off-market residential and commercial properties in London. “It was a tough time as it was a credit crunch but I was doing quite well. Even if most people think that property is a man’s business I enjoy it very much. It’s my work and my passion.”

The process of buying and selling a property can be both time consuming and stressful. What role do you play to make sure that isn’t the case? Our clients are extremely busy business people and investors. When they are selecting properties to buy they often have very limited time for viewings and making the decision. We value our clients’ time and only show them the properties which comply with their requirements, arranging transport and taking care of all the logistics to maximise the number of viewings within the limited timeframe, while also making sure that the buyer does not waste time on viewing something which is not the right option or has hidden defects. We try not to disturb our clients with day-to-day details of the purchase process as we appreciate that they have other things to focus on: their business, family, etc. We only contact them when their decision is necessary regarding a certain aspect of the deal, so the purchase or sale transaction is a smooth process without any hustle or stress for them, clients trust us to take care of all the details. Does the rapid recovery of central London residential markets from the global credit crunch, play a key factor in influencing investment decisions of overseas entrepreneurs to make England their second home? The decision to purchase a property in central London by overseas entrepreneurs is often motivated by the following reasons:

- Attractive level of capital growth in central London. In spite of the credit crunch, the central London property market has indeed made a rapid recovery - Liquidity of the property asset in central London. London being an important financial centre of the world means that the capital’s properties are always in great demand, not only with local buyers but also international buyers - World economy plays a big role: economic events in the EU, Middle East, United States and other countries influence the behaviour of property buyers in central London. When foreign investors experience political or economic instability in other countries, they tend to transfer their money from their accounts in those jurisdictions to London and invest into properties in central London. England attracts them because it has an impeccable reputation of stability. Entrepreneurs strive to invest their money in a safe asset in the country with a stable government. Why does London remain one of most preferred



places to relocate or buy properties? There are many reasons why London has always been one of the most popular cities to relocate. One of the most important factors is the social, economic and political situation, tax regime, and geographical location, as well as cultural and art traditions. For decades London has been a financial and educational centre of Europe. This makes London a city of opportunities, which attracts immigrants from all over the world. Never ceasing interest in London as a place to live makes the UK’s capital property market one of the most stable in the world. Of course London property prices are volatile, but average historic annual property growth is reaching almost 10%, which makes it a safe haven for investors from around the world. Why do overseas clients relocate or buy properties abroad? Would it be right to say that central London remains the most desirable option for most of the wealthiest property buyers and High Net Worth Individuals across the globe, not only for men but also for women? As London is a truly international city

with so many languages spoken and cultures synergised, international buyers do feel like they are at home here. HNWIs relocate here to give the best education for their children – starting from prestigious private and state primary schools through to the best universities. This especially is important for women and very often our clients choose buying ‘offplan’, a payment scheme where the buyer does not have to pay the whole price at the time and pays only 10% at the stage of the reservation. This is very attractive for families who are not planning to relocate, but are buying for their children who are aiming to go to London universities or work in one of the world’s major financial companies with offices in London. Women in most cases are looking not for a property but for a feeling – it is important for them that the property is cosy and gives the right emotion and atmosphere. Women always looks at a property as a home even when buying it as an investment. A large part of our clients are women, and as well as men there are some who like only traditional London properties

and some who prefer newly built properties. A great thing about the London property market is that you can find your ideal home here. It does not matter if you are dreaming about the high-tech newly-built penthouse with 360 views over London, or a large family home with high ceilings, fireplace and a private garden hidden from everyone’s eyes. What makes a prime location the key to choosing a residential or a commercial property? Prime London areas are not only prestigious, but less volatile in times of any crisis. There are opinions that the super prime London property market lives its own life and does not depend on microeconomic factors – it is the situation in the world that affects it. However, we always try to show our buyers different London areas and try to give them a wider view of London – it is not only Knightsbridge, Mayfair, Chelsea or Belgravia. In some ways you have to be a psychologist to help buyers to find the right area as every person is different with his or her own habits and lifestyle.



Soledad Martinez From a studio flat to now selling my seventh house Soledad was born in Vienna to Chilean/Spanish parents. She moved to Chile with her mother and brother at the age of ten where she lived for the next twenty five years travelling back and forward to visit her dad in Vienna. Soledad studied architecture and married a Chilean businessman. She has two children Sofia (17) and Juan (15)



oledad always had a fascination for Europe. That is why, when with her husband they had decided to move abroad for a couple of years to do some post graduate degrees, Europe was the only option in her mind. They wanted their children to learn English (they where 10 and 8 by then), so that narrowed it down to the UK and Ireland. They had to decide between living comfortably in

a smaller city or very tightly in London. They chose the second alternative. With their budget in mind, they travelled to London for a few months before moving, only to discover that the prices were ridiculously high. Hampstead was the area that someone had recommended to them as leafy, intellectual, laid back and incredibly beautiful, but was actually a very low profile and secluded patch for millionaires. They rented a

very small flat in Parliament Hill where their adventure started, first as post graduate students and then as property developers. Soledad shares with us that they were welcomed to the area in the most warm way she could ever imagine. “I thought we were going to have to be lonely for a while but very soon, we started meeting people and making friends. The children settled in school and we started a new life�.



How did you buy your first flat and how do you remember this experience? We were at the end of our first year when the 2008 recession hit the UK and the rest of Europe. Chile was in the middle of an economic boom, so selling our assets in Chile and buying in London looked like a good option. We started looking for a place to buy to stop paying rent. I was looking for a place close to where we lived, as we loved the area and the children where very happy at school. But I was finding it very difficult. Everything sold so quickly, each time I found something, it was too late. I had never experienced anything like this before. The property market was suffering from a huge recession, and around the areas where I was looking, the stock was almost zero. No one was selling waiting for the prices to recover. What motivated you to invest in properties? We were invited to a new year’s cheese and wine party at our next door neighbour, where I was introduced to many of our neighbours. I thought that could be a good opportunity to find out if they knew about anything that would come on to the market. During my conversations I asked them to let me know in the event of something becoming available. A few weeks later I was informed of an elderly lady that had lived across the road who had died. A neighbour learned from her visiting children that the house was to be sold and gave the name of the estate agent in Hampstead. The house would go on sale the following Monday and I called first thing and was there visiting the property before midday. The place had been neglected for years, the garden was a jungle, but it had the most amazing views to Hampstead Heath. It had huge potential. I made an offer on the spot and left. The following day the estate agent called me and told me that there were another four people interested and that the owners had decided to go for the option of last and final offer on top of the asking price, which would be received by 10am the following Monday. I struggled to find the adequate price. In my experience, I had never offered more than the asking price and the idea of not having a limit was too vague and uncertain. I finally went for a figure that looked very random but for me it was a lucky charm, I had in-

cluded my year of birth into the figure. The following day the estate agent called me and told me that out of the five offers, I was the second highest but the owners had chosen to sell it to me because they knew I was local and very serious about taking the deal forward. They had heard this from my neighbour. The rest were all property developers. I was about to become one too. Wow, that is amazing. How did you start this venture of becoming a property developer? The process of buying was very straightforward with a lot less bureaucracy than what I was



used to in my country. There was a new concept that I had never come across before and this was freehold. The flat had a lease and if I wanted to make important changes to the flat I needed the freeholders consent. The importance of the neighbour’s comments and all the planning permission process was also new to me and a very difficult hurdle. At some points it can be very frustrating because although I was doing things correctly and following the legal procedures to develop my flat, there was always something that would delay the whole project that didn’t have to do with the actual building works.



seventh flat and we are very positive about the future. We have also managed to buy our first flat in Spain that we developed and finished only a few months ago. We are doing this with much bigger flats now, and we even have investors that like what we do and have invested with us. Investors came to us and not the other way around. That is very flattering and although it is a huge responsibility, it is an unequivocal sign that we are on the right path. At what stage are you now and how can you describe it? Our life in London is fantastic. We work on what we like and each project is a fresh start. We own every property we develop so we don’t have clients, which gives us the freedom to design and develop the places as we want. There’s no development the same as the other. We have a small office at home and no employees. For every project we appoint the people we need. By now we have a very loyal and reliable team of solicitors, surveyors, engineers and builders. We have decided to stick to areas around Hampstead, West Hampstead and Maida Vale and have built very good relationships with the biggest estate agents covering those areas.

Throughout all this and sometimes a painful process, I learned a lot about how the property development business works. Only later did I understand that things happen for a reason. I needed this experience to be able to be successful later. Coming from another country and investing in properties is not easy - how did you succeed? This was the point when my husband and I decided to join skills and make this into a business. We had a house in Chile that we decided to sell in order to buy a second property as the one we already had would be our family home. It was shocking to realise that the money from a beautiful four bedroom house in one of the best neighbourhoods in Santiago would only buy you a studio flat in West Hampstead. Yet we felt more confident now. Before we had finished our first project, the one that would be our home, we de-

cided to buy our first flat purely as a business. We did quite well but we wanted to grow and the only way to do this was by getting a loan. Unfortunately we were in a very difficult position because in this country we didn’t have a financial history and our experience and assets abroad were not an acceptable guarantee. We visited a few brokers and we always ended up with the same problem. Until one day we had a meeting with the broker that made things possible. He looked at our previous experience in the UK, which was not much, only a tiny studio flat and our flat that was still a building site. He didn’t promise anything, but we came out of that meeting with a very good feeling. We were not wrong, as a few days later our first loan was approved and we bought a big flat that we developed into two bedroom maisonettes that sold very quickly. We have just exchanged contracts for our

How can you describe the life you live in London, in comparison with the life in Chile? London is a fascinating city, endless really. We have met amazing people from all over the world. Our social life is very diverse and each time more intense. We are not even close to the lonely and isolated foreigners that we thought we could be when we first came here. It has worked out to be exactly the opposite. And I love it, because I am a very social person. Chile is where my parents, brother and many of my best friends live and I go back every year and have a wonderful time. But the dynamic that London has nowadays I think, can’t be found anywhere else in the world. In respect to my interests, the things I like and enjoy at this stage of my life, London is the capital of the world. How do you see your future - what is your aim in life? In the future I would like to split my time between London and Chile. As the hemispheres are different I could manage to live all year around in summer, which sounds lovely.



Sarah Yavari I went to look for a house and I became a broker

Sarah was born in Iran. She is 30 years ago and moved to the UK 10 years ago By LELA STRUGA


fter four years of living in Sheffield, Sarah decided to move to London. Passionate about cooking, she came with an idea to find a job as a cook. However, before this, she had to find a house, and this led her to knock on the door of several agencies. Sarah’s story shows that this might have been her destiny. While viewing the houses, she became friends with the owner of the agency, and once she found the house she was looking for, the lady asked her “Why don’t you come to work with

me? You are a very talented woman for real estate”. Sarah’s reaction at the beginning was “Oh no, I don’t understand this job. I am looking a job as a cook”. The lady of the agency insisted “I recognise talented people immediately, I am sure you could be very successful in this job. Why you don’t try it”. Her answer was again “No, this is not my type of job”. In fact she never imagined herself working in real estate and she had no idea what this was about. Sarah found her house, said thank you to the lady for the help and continued her new life in London with the hope that

she would soon be working as a cook. Six months later she received a call from the Real Estate agency. “Did you find a good job as a cook”? It was the lady that had helped her to find the house. Sarah informed her, in a frustrated voice, that she hadn’t yet found a job yet. The lady replied “I need someone to help me with some administrative things in the office. Why you don’t come and work with me until you find the job that you want?” Sarah gratefully accepted her offer. Here is where her story in real estate begins. The early days in the office were very



difficult as Sarah had to answer the phone and speak the English language but her understanding and communication level was very poor. Sarah was feeling so shy and embarrassed when people called and asked her questions. Her boss insisted “Keep talking, you will learn English only by talking”. After a few weeks Sarah started to feel more confident and within the first month she did the first transaction. The reward was a great commission payment, which motivated her to work even harder and start loving the job. After three years Sarah decided to leave and start her new adventure of building her own business by creating London Sweet Homes Real Estate. Now she is a business woman dealing with a lot of clients and properties in North London. Sarah says that it was not an easy decision, as there are many challenges that need to be faced in this fast paced business, but she doesn’t regret setting on this path rather than becoming a cook. I thought that an estate agency job may be easy

I thought that an estate agency job may be easy, driving around showing fabulous houses, working a flexible schedule, and sometimes landing a big commission payment but it is harder than I first imagined. Uncertainty about income, a lack of package benefits, a decline in the housing value, and the risk associated with meeting strangers in vacant homes, can all make this a stressful and dangerous occupation.  The truth is that it a business that is changing all the time. What worked a year ago might now not be the best approach. Recognising and overcoming the common pitfalls associated with growth is essential if your business is going to grow and thrive. You need to ensure that the steps you take today don›t themselves create additional problems in the future. Effective leadership will help you make the most of the opportunities, creating sustainable growth. The house of my dream

My dream is to be with my family in a castle house built with my own two hands. I love concepts and creating my own design. I dislike modern homes as they feel cheap to me. I love the castle structure, which can feel like warm and cosy and is built to last for centuries. I prefer a natural environment that fits with my dreams.

Teuta Vraniqi Tips on buying and renting You will need to be able to pass any reference checks that we undertake on the landlords behalf and you will need a deposit, typically six weeks rent plus the one month of rent in advance. In addition you will need to be willing to sign a legally binding tenancy agreement and provide proof of ID. – Says Teuta Vraniqi, Property Consultant at London Habitat By LELA STRUGA



What is the biggest challenge you face with clients while trying to help them to find the house of their dreams? The experience with migrant women/families is variable. You can come across all sorts, starting from those who are still relying on government help to buy and those who have high profile jobs, in search of luxurious properties. Let me not rule out those in the middle, who have decent jobs but a limited budget, to live in the well known areas of London. There is a boom in the property market which is an ongoing process. Whatever the situation, I always try to be helpful in the best way that I can. What are the criteria to rent or buy a house? You will need to be able to pass any reference checks that we undertake on the landlords behalf and you will need a deposit, typically six weeks rent plus the one month of rent in

advance. In addition you will need to be willing to sign a legally binding tenancy agreement and provide proof of ID. Which is the most expensive area for houses in London? Areas such as Knightsbridge and Mayfair are amongst the most expensive areas to live in London. What do people prefer in general and in what area? Their budget will determine the area that they choose to live in. There are some areas which are quite close in distance but vary vastly in terms of image and property prices, for example: West Hampstead and Kilburn. West Hampstead is a popular area to live in. It offers security, good transport links and easy access to shops and cafes. Furthermore, people have opposing preferences, some like quiet, resi-

Who is Teuta?

Teuta Vraniqi is from the capital of Kosovo, Prishtina, who came to London twenty years ago when she was seventeen years old. Throughout these years Teuta graduated in Finance, Money and Banking, and has worked at several companies. She currently works as a property consultant in Lettings at London Habitat, where we met for this interview to learn more about her work in the property field.

dential areas and others like urban, lively areas. Some need to be close to the Tube whereas for others being further from the station won’t be a major issue. Some like period conversion properties and others like flats in a block. It is very important that we gather the correct information and empathise with the tenants to try and understand their needs in order find the perfect property for them. What types of properties let or sell more easily? Studio flats are generally let quite easily. In most cases there will be single people enquiring for those types of properties. The decision is entirely theirs and not shared with another person, which makes it much easier. What tips can you give for people that are looking for a house to rent or buy? a) Determine the budget b) Imagine living in that property and commute from there c) Prioritise your needs, and be aware of the most important things to you which you could not live without d) Be prepared to compromise within reason I believe that when renting or buying it is vital that you deal with someone who is qualified and knowledgeable about the process. You can then rest assured that your important financial decisions are in the hands of experts and are being dealt with care and attention. Who is Teuta? Teuta Vraniqi is from the capital of Kosovo, Prishtina, who came to London twenty years ago when she was seventeen years old. Throughout these years Teuta graduated in Finance, Money and Banking, and has worked at several companies. She currently works as a property consultant in Lettings at London Habitat, where we met for this interview to learn more about her work in the property field.




What can the Queen Teach us about having a

successful life? Christmas is coming around again. Soon the shops will be full of Christmas ideas,

Christmas music and all of the Christmas decorations for us to enjoy. When I think all the way back to Christmas Day 2013, something that stood out for me was the Queen’s speech and her message to us all for the year ahead By Sarah Alexander


he Queen spoke so eloquently of the need for balance between action and reflection, which is what our inner, Spiritual Intelligence is always guiding us to do. She said: “With so many distractions, it is easy to forget to pause and take stock. Be it through contemplation, prayer, or even keeping a diary, many have found the practice of quiet personal reflection surprisingly rewarding, even discovering greater spiritual depth to their lives.” I believe this is a message we can all take with us every day. To embrace this approach, we have to be willing to give ourselves the space for these periods of reflection, contemplation, and meditation that the Queen referred to. With this time, we can still our minds sufficiently to hear the inner whispers, the intuitive hunches, and the sense of new direction, purpose and change that life is wanting to bring us. I work with many business owners who rely on this time out as essential for their success. ‘White Space’ that they place in their diaries on a weekly basis during which, they are unavailable to the outside world. During this ‘White Space’ time, they quieten their minds and seek inspiration from their inner world and

guidance from their own Internal Leader. They use this time as a space to gain new creative ideas about their business and to be given solutions from within to ongoing issues. They go deeper into their own inner world, gaining perspective and insight on their lives and that of their business, and they use the time to powerfully envision the future. This White Space is a pre-requisite for aligning with their flow and with all that they are truly meant to be doing and being. It connects them both with their silent inner world of stillness and wisdom and also with the huge power to generate change that is within. This in turn leads them to resolutions of problems and greater business acumen and success. The ideal time for us all to create this White Space is first thing on awaking in the morning. At this time, our subconscious mind is open after our night’s sleep, and we have the opportunity to fill it with our positive intentions for the day. These intentions may include: • placing the day in the hands of the Divine • having a day filled with happiness, joy and love • showing up in all that we do as our highest and best • being guided throughout the day

Sarah Alexander runs 8 week transformational programmes for business owners worldwide and uses Spiritual Intelligence to help them to make the most of their life’s work. She is the author of ‘Spiritual Intelligence in Business: The Eight Pillars of 21st Century Business Success’ and ‘Spiritual intelligence in Leadership: From Manager to Leader in Your Own Life’.



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by our inner sense of purpose being present in our work and relationships opening our heart and expressing love to all we meet giving ourselves time to still our mind regularly throughout our day being open and willing to see new perceptions and insights being willing to be of service where we are guided

We can use this time for re-affirming our Higher goals and values, and include time in meditation to align with the Truth of who we are. From here, we can ensure that we can come to our day with a truly open mind - a mind that itself is filled with white space,

ready to receive our inner directives. Remember, our ego’s thinking will often resist these gentle nudges, and yet they are our place of power and alignment with our f low. They guide us to know ourselves and to let go of our mental habits and patterns of behaviour that are preventing our greatest good and highest joy. The end of the day is another good time for White Space reflection. I find it very useful to affirm all that I am grateful for from my day, as well as express my overall gratitude for my life. Personally I use this time to recognise, forgive and let go of any grievances that have come up over the day, so that my mind is free of them before I go to sleep. I also like to use this time as a quiet period, preparing my mind for sleep which I

then place in the hands of the Divine To return to the Queen, and her message: “for all people of faith, reflection, meditation and prayer help us to renew ourselves in God’s love, as we strive daily to become better people. The Christmas message shows us that love is for everyone. There is no one beyond its reach.” Something for us to consider in our periods of White Space, is how we can be more loving both to others, and to ourselves. At its essence, our spiritual nature is love, and the more we express this love outward, and inwards, the more we inherently are our True Selves. So, use this time of reflection as an opportunity to connect with your loving nature. As you embrace this love, so you are expressing your spiritual nature in the world.

“With so many distractions, it is easy to forget to pause and take stock. Be it through contemplation, prayer, or even keeping a dairy, many have found the practice of quiet personal reflection surprisingly rewarding, even discovering greater spiritual depth to their lives”






The Free Souls Behind Barb Wired Fences


Aura Imbarus, PhD Clinical hypnotherapist, motivational speaker, and author of the Amazon best-seller - “Out of the Transylvania Night: A Story of Tyranny, Freedom, Love and Identity”

“You ever share your soul with a stranger Only to realize he was a long lost friend? Ever talk to a man like you talk to a woman And share what you can’t with other men? Can you picture your love being given To a criminal stuck in this hell? Can you promise to hold off from judging Until the day when you really know him well. Can you close your eyes and imagine If everything went right The power of passion finally possessed After all those sleepless nights. I bet you think I am gaming you Just like all the men in your past Because all of them promised Heaven on Earth But none of them seem to last. After all, what can I offer you? Besides lonely nights and sweet words Promises of pleasure to come And lines you have already heard All I can say is have faith in me And in time maybe you will come to SEE. (Poem written by Tupac )

all, red brick walls standing still in their futile attempt to defy God while covering up the lost souls of an unseen and unexplored world of “law breaking citizens,” were head facing me mercilessly on an early sunny morning. San Gabriel Valley was coming out of the morning doziness, and nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary until the barb wires on top of the brick walls started glittering in the sun’s embrace. “Am I in LA or communist Romania?” was the first thought that crossed my mind as I was parking the car outside the juvenile facility, fostering Glenn Rockey High School. The warmness of the air, the chirping of the birds, and the carefree flight of the butterflies were in acute contrast with the law of nature and the idea of freedom. The universe’s first law of creation has been “adjusted” by other humans in the name of a collective truth that judges people on the ideas of right and wrong. The ones who went astray are now punished behind the walls of justice, incarcerated for their deeds, admonished for their behavior, while being looked down by society as being the misfits, the pariah of a law abiding regime. “You either hold your purse very close to your body or leave it in the car,” said the smiley but firm woman officer as I was buzzed into the “other world.” There, Neil, the counselor who invited me to be the guest speaker was waiting for me, extending his hand in a nice, welcoming gesture. I was supposed to talk about my book, “Out of the Transylvania Night” as it had so many common points with these students, being a walk down the path of reminiscent Communist Romania, the flying bullets of the 1989 Romanian revolution, my trial and tribulations of starting anew in a brand new country and pursuing

the American Dream. These students and I grew up in different times and in opposites parts of the world, and still we have been sharing universal cruelty, fearless adversaries, blood and crimes, fear and distress, faith and death. How powerful is this universe, after all, to bring all of us to the same universal denominator called humanity? Here I was facing the “troubled ones” in my first round of speech, while curious eyes were screening me from top to bottom, analyzing every move, questioning the presence of five adults in the same room – their teacher, the teacher’s assistant, their counselor, the police officer and a brand new face – me. Even if their first attitude was rebellious, there was something behind those numerous pairs of dark eyes. A flicker of warmness, a spark of unaltered beauty was still there, ready to come out, ready to be shared with the ones willing to perceive the bottled up emotion, the “sacrificed” goodness for the displayed badness of a place that was already labeled as evil. William, Terry, Cesar, Adam, Jesus were just names of good souls lost in the jungle of human survival. They are not their addiction to drugs; to murder, to robbery, to control and domination. There are not any of these labels, but the product of a careless society who has forgotten about its own children and threw them out in the dangerous streets without the proper training, the adequate ammunition of human survival traits as self-confidence, love, courage, sincerity, trust, and kindness. They are the pure souls behind the barb wired fences, the ones who overnight have forgotten the link to their own goodness and embraced the dark side as their only true remaining friend. William, Terry, Cesar, Adam, Jesus didn’t fail us; we failed them in helping them when it was most needed!




Angela Morris What I learned from depression

Angela is a great social media enthusiast with over 25 years’ experience, in Leadership and Management in both the corporate world and within church circles. She loves being a motivational speaker and seeing the transformation of individuals across the globe By LELA STRUGA

You are a very active woman playing a great role supporting other women - what motivates you in life? I love see women “get on” in life. A wise person told me it’s one thing to “get in”, but it’s another thing to “get on”, anyone can “get in” but the real question is how are you “getting on?” What is the beginning of this story - how did you start this path? As a qualified Financial Adviser I have worked in banking and real estate. After several years in this field I went into the sector of Health and Social Care where I have managed both children’s care homes and residential schools. I continue to have a passion for seeing better outcomes for children leaving care services. After a brief spell as an Adult Services Manager in the domiciliary care industry, I decided to branch out into running my own business, which provides training for startup companies and helps SMEs to thrive, through product delivery and networking. You work with different communities and cultures what are the similarities and differences that women have, regardless of where they are from? The similarities are that “glass ceiling” women face as they try to move up the corporate ladder, I still think that we have to run harder and jump higher than our male counter-

parts simply because we are not male! Differences are now the prejudices that those of us who are economic migrants, or born of those who were, lies more in the way we speak (by this I mean foreign accents) not purely the colour of our skin. What people may not understand, is that you do not look like an “outsider” to feel like one. I think we can all take a little consolation from that. What is the most important thing in your life and why? Right now the most important thing in my life is the happiness of my children! Why? Because you truly are as happy as your least happy child. Aside from that the most important thing to remember is that life is incredibly short, none of us are promised tomorrow so we must maximise our moments today. I cannot spend my time trying to live your life, if so, who will be living mine? How do you keep your self-motivated and inspired? I love to read books and to study, these are true passions of mine. I have been doing this for as long as I can remember. To me, learning new things is fun! I also get myself out and about. When I go to network meetings (which I do on a regular basis) I never fail to be inspired by the people I meet. Everyone has a story to tell, this is what I love about people in general.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced in life? There are too many to list. I have battled on and off with depression for the last few years however, the biggest challenge I have faced by far, is to not be afraid of my own gifts and talents. I know it may sound strange but as women we have so much in us that we can become afraid of our own success or the major steps of action we need



Who is Angela?

Angela holds diplomas in Advanced Psychology, Leadership and Management, PTLLS and Health & Social Care (Children and Young people). She is currently completing a Master’s of Science in Applied Psychology and also sits on a foster panel as an independent member. Once a former presenter on BEN TV, she launched AngieStrategy TV (YouTube channel) in May 2014. She is also a blog writer with her own column.

to take to make it happen. That can cause us to become depressed too.

beating yourself up. An occasional glass of wine in the evening is helpful!

What is the way you manage difficulties in life? I do pray and meditate regularly and in addition to this, I also have a small group of close friends with whom I can share my concerns and fears. I think it is important to surround yourself with non-judgemental people, so they don’t join in when you are

What makes you feel proud of who you are today? I have been on an incredibly long journey and feel like at times I have survived against the odds. Every day I am here and remember the dark days where I couldn’t find the light at the end of the tunnel. This makes me proud of who I am.

What is your biggest dream? Now you’re asking! My ideal is to bring encouragement, education and empowerment to women (and men too) through my motivational speaking. I believe words are powerful and being in the right place at the right time and then to hear the right words can literally change your life. I really do believe in healing the world one person at a time.




Izabella Niewiadomska I consider myself a survivor By LELA STRUGA

After losing her health through stress and ending up temporarily paralysed, and with a loss of speech, Izabella quit her successful career as a journalist and discovered her passion for wellness. She read countless books, and attended training events and seminars with famous scientists, including a Nobel Laureate in medicine. In addition, Izabella studied nutrition, NLP techniques and personal development strategies, and became a member of Andy Harrington’s Professional Speakers Academy. Her personal great results inspired her with the confidence to help others, with inexhaustible energy and passion. In her work with people she draws back to her personal dramatic experiences and the skills she developed during the last twenty two years as a Wellness Coach & Herbalife member.

You have been in living in London for more than twenty years now - what has been your experience of life during this period? As it is for many migrants, my journey wasn’t easy and straightforward. I came to the UK over twenty four years ago on a provisional visa (that was the procedure back then) which meant that I had to arrive on a specific day without any guarantee to enter the country. The interview with an immigration officer at the border was a final deciding factor. I felt relieved and grateful when I got through. After that, there I was, all by myself, speaking only basic English, without any support, and ...pregnant. That was a challenge in itself! I came for three months to study English but then my husband followed me, leaving behind his career as a veterinary surgeon and we decided to stay. Our families couldn’t understand why we have chosen to swap a good life in Poland for a hardship in another country. I guess sometimes that good is not enough. And then you have to take the risk and cope with the temporary difficulties if you want to follow bigger dreams. Our early days were full of challenges and humbling experiences. Poland wasn’t part of the EU and our qualifications weren’t recognised here. We had to study and work very hard to pay for our choices and to put food on the table. We stayed true to our values, maintained our dignity and took pride in every job we did, giving our best and having a positive attitude. As my English improved I was able to study more and learn new skills, get better jobs, start my business and be a mum at the same time. Our lifestyle improved and things got better. I would have never achieved that and to become who I am if it were not for the struggles I faced that shaped my character. My journey was a mixture

of ups and downs, personal challenges, growth and self discovery. What are the best steps you have made to integrate into British society? I was always looking for opportunities to meet people outside of the Polish community, to engage in the social and cultural life of London, constantly forcing myself to speak English – the best way to learn the language. I wanted to find my place as a migrant woman on British soil and strived to become a more valuable member of the society. In the quest to expand my knowledge and skills I completed many courses, became a member of different groups and organisations, and got involved in projects serving people in the community. My Herbalife business helped tremendously with that. I encountered amazing people in the process who are now my friends and they represent different cultures of the UK. I read Shakespeare since I was twelve, dreamt about adven-



tures of Sir Francis Drake, James Cook, Dr. Livingstone, and got inspired by famous British people who influenced and shaped up the course of our history. My fascination with British literature, history and culture helped me to understand better the origins and dynamics of my new country and its people. How much do you still feel connected with your homeland - and where do you believe that you more belong? Like most migrant men and women, I consider myself a survivor. To live and thrive in another country, you need to have the ability to adapt and adjust. You need the spirit and the courage of an adventurer to face obstacles and the unknown. You also need to allow the past to live inside you but without holding you back. My Polish roots are part of my identity. Poland is where I was born, received an education and where my parents live. Now, London is where my home has been for the last twenty four years. This is where I run my day to day life. My son was born here, and so in my heart I’m both Polish and British. You have become a successful woman - do you feel fulfilled in life? If I said yes, that would mean that I have nothing more to look forward to. Fulfillment to me is not only a state but also an ongoing process. I have a wonderful son, a fine young man of 23. I have a successful business I am passionate about. I live and breathe what I teach. I’m healthy and feel great. I started running last November and recently completed 25 kilometre race. At 51 my metabolic age is 19. I’m grateful for my life but there is so much more to learn, to achieve and to give! People fascinate and enrich me. I know that I needed to experience struggles, to develop a deeper level of understanding and compassion that allow me to be more effective in helping people with their lives. That’s where I find my fulfillment. That’s what I love doing – to be of service to people. I don’t think I will ever want to retire!

Like most migrant men and women, I consider myself a survivor. To live and thrive in another country, you need to have the ability to adapt and adjust. You need the spirit and the courage of an adventurer to face obstacles and the unknown. You also need to allow the past to live inside you but without holding you back

What is your secret of looking so young and full of energy? I believe in living life with passion, and loving what you do, which makes you feel inspired and good about yourself. Together with a balanced nutrition it is a brilliant formula for a youthful look and boundless energy. However that is not enough. I don’t think I have all the answers but I know what works for me and why. I would happily share it on a regular basis in Migrant Woman magazine. There are many factors affecting our body, energy and the aging process. The more we know, the better and healthier choices we’re likely to make. Email: Twitter: @24wellness Facebook:




Irina Bond If you struggle hard enough, you will reach your goal By LELA STRUGA

Irina continues her family’s passion for and expertise in naturopathic medicine. Part of the reason her family were so interested in holistic health remedies was because they lived in the Belarusian town of Hoiniki, where she was born, just 50km from Chernobyl, Ukraine, and one of the three towns in Belarus most affected by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Irina also took an early interest in alternative health remedies to help deal with digestive problems she suffered as a teenager


n the early 1990s Irina had the opportunity to move to Poland to study, and worked there for six years before moving to the UK in 1998. After obtaining a degree in Business Studies, she moved into the corporate world and worked in investment banking.

During this time, she continued to research and further develop her strong interest in natural health remedies, partly to help her overcome her own digestive disorders. After experiencing the benefits of a seven-day juice cleanse programme several years ago, Irina says that she had never felt better, with unbounded energy, enhanced mental clarity and, above all, the elimination of any digestive problems. Based on her own personal experience and considerable further research into the power of raw juices, she decided to establish Purifyne, to provide organic, cold-pressed and nutritionally rich fruit and vegetable juices. Irina combines her juice cleanse plan

with regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet with the infinite power of positive thinking in her daily life; a philosophy she shares with her friends and clients. She has been a keen Ashtanga Yoga follower and practitioner for the past twelve years, as well as a passionate classical ballet dancer. Your story tells of great courage and a strong desire to change your reality. What drove you to this path? In the former Soviet Union, we all - at school, work and university, were taught to be the same or as equal and I didn’t agree with that “label”. All of us were individuals with different aspirations, abilities and capabilities. We were individuals with dreams that were completely disregarded by the government. My dream was to be ‘free’ and do what I want in my life with no restrictions, borders or status quo. What has been the darkest moment of your life during this journey?



deep in your heart that it’s the right thing to do – it becomes so much easier to succeed. We have a saying in Russia: “If you struggle long and hard enough, you will reach your goal”. I was brought up with a belief that things don›t come easy and that one has to work hard on what one wants in life. When you do that and believe in what you do, things tend to fall into place and the ‘universe’ helps you to succeed. What are your strongest points that made you become so resilient?  Optimism, determination and selfbelief.

One of the most difficult moments in my life was six months after arriving in London. My studies, two part-time jobs, exam pressure and financial problems began to take its toll. The stress and exhaustion had a huge impact on my overall health. I developed hypothyroidism, adult acne and gastrointestinal issues. The acne hugely knocked my confidence, and self-esteem. From a confident, positive and outgoing

young woman I turned into an introvert with insecurities and doubts, and I couldn’t recognise myself. Every day became a battle, with myself first and foremost. What helped you overcome this and kept you believing that you will succeed? When you do something that you truly believe in, are passionate about and know

What inspires you in life? My business. I am immensely proud of what we do and the positive feedback from our clients. According to you, what makes a woman successful in business? Staying positive and upbeat despite any obstacle, listening to your gut and having the ability to adapt to change     In your opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of being a migrant woman in creating a successful life story? Being a migrant woman makes you very adaptable, resourceful, creative and innovative as the environment forces you to be so. Because you don’t have your family support as much (it certainly was in my case), you become very focused and strive for being the best you can possibly be. In your mind ‘you’ don’t represent just yourself but you represent the whole country.  The main disadvantage is a lack of your close family support around you.   What is your destination on this journey to success? I don’t think that there is ‘a destination’ to reach as such. Things change and evolve on a daily basis so quickly and our ambitions, aspirations and what we want from life changes with it. I believe it to be a constant work in progress.




Prepare a marketing plan for your success - part two By Shamin Iqbal




n the last issue I stressed the importance of starting your job search by getting focused and setting your career goals, and really thinking about what it is that you want to do. This exercise will help you to become lucid and the more clear you are about what you want to do the quicker and easier it will be for you to achieve it. You can now put some structure around your goals and produce a Marketing Plan. The aim of the Marketing Plan is to generate opportunities. This is an important document and will require a number of different approaches depending on the type of jobs. In essence having identified an area, it is your role to become an expert in the area of your choice by becoming involved in your chosen field. This will involve doing research, reading articles and attending seminars and groups where you can network within the sector.

Choose the Companies that you want to work for

The Marketing Plan will require you to do a long list of fifty companies that you would like to work for. From this list you can become more focused and as you research each business there will be a separate strategy for each organisation as to how you intend to interact with the company with a view to getting the job. Larger organisations have a huge amount of available information on their website and also have open days for Graduates Schemes. It is easy to find out who their ideal candidates are and how they hire. Smaller and medium size companies may not even have a human resources department so you will be required to get on the phone and position yourself and your desires to become involved in their organisation. Shamin Iqbal Founder of Interviewcorp. You can follow interviewcorp on twitter @InterviewCorp.

Immerse yourself in your sector to see if it fits with your goals

This is a hugely important step and often when I have been working with clients

this is where we go off in one direction and having immersed in the sector, some clients will have a realisation that this is not what they want to do. For example one of my clients qualified in the sciences and pursued a career accordingly but did not relish the prospects of working in a laboratory on a daily basis. This fact was only discovered after he absorbed himself into the organisation that he wanted to work for and spoke with the people working there. It is good to discover this sooner rather than later so that you can change the Marketing Plan and gear it towards what feeds your passion. The fact that you have academically qualified in one area does not mean that other areas are off limits. One of my candidates had a degree in Fashion from the London College of Fashion yet pursued a highly successful career in the technology sector and is currently heading up a department. Where you start is not always where you end up but it is important to make wise choices and if possible avoid being in a job that does not satisfy you for a prolonged period. Prepare Pitch, CV, Profiles and Cover Letter

The Marketing Plan is very much action based and of course before you pick up the phone you will need to have a good pitch, an excellent CV and cover letter. Your strategies will also involve using Headhunters and recruitment companies as well as having a killer profile on Job Boards and LinkedIn since 70% of jobs are not advertised but employers are actively looking for good candidates. Where do they look? In places like LinkedIn and other sites where candidates place either their CV’s or Profiles. In summary, the Marketing Plan is a comprehensive document that requires a huge amount of research and data, strategies and an action plan. It will be your Bible when you are looking for work and along the way it will change.




Parents raising questions about

bilingual children It is a big responsibility to raise a child and as parents we have all been in situations where we would have loved for someone to advise us on the best way forward. Adding one more language to the mix does not make the process any easier. Below are some of the common questions parents raising bilingual children have By Rita Rosenback What is the best way to bring up a bilingual child?

Every family is different, so there isn’t one best way that would be the right one for all parents. The most popular approach is perhaps the ‘One parent, one language’ strategy (often referred to as OPOL), where the children learn one language from the mother and a different one from the father. However, especially for a migrant family, I find that the ‘Minority language at home’ strategy (ML@H) is probably the most effective one: both parents speak the family language and the child learns the majority language from the environment (TV, friends, other children) or by the latest at nursery or school. The third strategy is called ‘Time and place’ (T&P), which means that the parents use different languages depending on, for example, which day it is: one language is spoken during the week and another during the weekend. The easiest strategy to implement is the ‘Minority language at home’ and ‘Time and place’ probably requires the most commitment from the parents. My husband and I are both bilingual and we switch between the two languages when we speak to each other and our baby daughter. Lately we are speaking more and more English at home. We want our daughter to become bilingual as well – will she automatically learn both languages? Your daughter will of course learn

English and, depending on how much you speak of your other language, also learn to at least understand that language. Whether or not she will speak it depends on if she feels a need to do so. If she regularly interacts with other speakers of the language who expect her to speak the language, then she may well grow up to be fluent in both languages. Research has however shown that in bilingual families where the parents readily switch to the majority language when speaking to their children, the children are

more likely to stop speaking the minority language. Typically this happens when the children go to nursery or school and spend more time in a majority language environment. I would like my son to learn my parents’ language, but I feel a bit rusty myself. Can I still do it? Yes, you can. As long as you make sure that your son also interacts with other speakers of the language – which I presume he will do with your parents and other rela-



tives – he will become fluent in it. Even if you were to use the odd incorrect phrase or word form and he may initially pick these up from you, he will correct himself when he hears the correct version from others. What you will find is that your own skills will improve alongside his and soon enough he might be using words you had forgotten. Isn’t it confusing for a child hearing two languages at the same time growing up? Wouldn’t it be better to wait until the child knows one language properly first, then introduce the second one? The answer to both questions is ‘No’. Children have an amazing capability of picking up languages at an early age. The earlier, the better is the mantra when it comes to bringing up bilingual children, so I wouldn’t recommend any family to wait with the second language. Another reason not to wait is that it is not easy to change a language pattern in a family once it has been established – I have had personal experience of this situation, so I know how hard it is! We have just moved to the UK and we have been told by our son’s primary school teacher that we should stop speaking our language with him and only speak English. What to do? U n f o r t u n a t e l y, parents are still given this incorrect piece of advice. I can see the teacher’s point of view, especially if there are many children in the class with English as the second language, but changing the home language is not the way to support your son. The move has brought with it enough of changes in your life, so changing something so fundamental as the language

you use with each other is not a good idea. Also, if you stop using your language with him, he may become what is called a ‘receptive bilingual’, which means that he understands but doesn’t speak the language. Research has shown that children with a solid knowledge in their home language more easily learn English, or any other language. What you can do to support your son’s English is to watch quality children’s programmes in English together and let him play with English-speaking children in his free time. My 4-year-old daughter is learning two languages: one at home and the other at nursery. She is now mixing the two – should we be worried? No need to worry. Most bilingual children at some point mix their languages. She will soon learn to separate between the two and use the correct language with the right person. Grown-up bilinguals also mix their languages when they speak to other bilinguals who know the same set

of languages. This is called ‘code-switching’ and has its own strict rules. My husband does not understand my family’s language but I would like to teach it to our daughter. How can I go about this without him feeling left out? First of all, discuss this with your husband – how does he feel about the situation? If you discuss and agree that you want your children to grow up learning both languages, then he may well be okay with not understanding everything. Also, children do not learn a language overnight, so he will have time to adjust to the situation, and initially he will understand most of what is said from the context anyway. Perhaps he could try to learn a bit of your language as well? If he is uncomfortable with the thought of now knowing what is said when he is present, I suggest that you translate whenever necessary. Don’t let the languages become a cause for disagreements in the family.




Mirella was born in a town next to Naples called Pozzuoli. It is quite popular because it was a roman port and because Sofia Loren was born there. She has always had the passion for science and for writing. In fact, she took a masters degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. She moved to London to learn English but after two months she decided to stay. At the beginning, writing was a hobby, and it became the work that she does every day with great enthusiasm

Mirella Orsi Whatever the difficulties, never give up! By LELA STRUGA

Please explain your thoughts and your feelings about the language during your first week in the UK? When I came to London, I did not know a word of English. Therefore, I felt a little disoriented. However, challenges are a part of life, and for this reason, I tried to be positive and faced the difficulties as an adventure. After all, I was here to learn English! Fortunately, I had already booked a room and an English course before arriving. I cannot imagine how difficult that might have been when it was very hard for me just to ask for simple information. In addition, it was my first time in this amazing city, so I could rely only on my sense of direction. During the first weeks, I was only with Italian and Brazilian friends and able to communicate just with them. It is very fascinating how someone starts to speak a foreign language. In my case, it happened after two weeks in London. I was with some friends on the escalator in a tube station. I started to speak English, as a baby that says their own first words and it looks like that she have always

spoken them. What was your motivation to learn English? I had travelled a lot in Europe, in America and in Brazil, but I was not able to communicate and I wished to. However, I had a very bad school English teacher so I have never had a good relationship with the language. In fact, when I decided to learn English, my idea was to learn just enough to communicate. I never thought that I could really like this language as I do. It all started with the wish to communicate, but I enjoyed learning this language and to improve myself. Currently, I have proficiency level and an English international academic certification. However, my goal is to become mother tongue level. What has been the impact of language in your personal and professional development? I have read in some science journals about the benefits of learning a new language for our brain. In my point of view,

it is definitely true. It switches on a part of your brain that was off. I can definitely say that learning English has been a big step forward in my personal and professional development. When I came to London, I had my masters degree in Chemistry and some work experience in Italy. However, it was nothing compared with the experiences that I was about to have. I did many different jobs, sometimes in my field and sometimes not, but I have always learned something new. In addition, this experience changed my personality. When I decided to take the IELTS (an international English qualification) my English was not enough to undertake the course at that time. The course was very hard. After two weeks, I was thinking to give up. I was talking about that and about my degree with a classmate when my teacher asked me to talk in private for a minute. We went outside the classroom and he told me that he was very disappointed. I remember his words “So, you are able to take a masters degree in chemistry and you think that you cannot



face this course? You understand the things that I will never understand. I am an English native speaker and I teach English, what a great mental effort! It doesn’t matter that your English level is not enough for this course, you are a clever girl so, you finish this course and you take the certificate, period!” He was right! In fact, I did it. Therefore, I can say that in London, I learned a language and to not give up. Last spring, I had an amazing experience in the science department of the most important television broadcaster in the UK. Currently, I am working as a writer for some magazines both in English and in Italian. My main field is science and medicine, but I am very flexible. In addition, I work on different independent projects, and one of them is about a new web TV, where I will make my first science documentary. What was the impact of the new language in your closest relationship? My old friends are still my dear old friends, but largely they live in Italy. Instead, my friends in London are from every corner of the world. Maybe this is one of the best things about the English language. You can talk with people from very different countries and you learn a lot. I now have a multicultural point of view. This has changed my way of seeing things and I try to share this experience when I can with my old friends.

I think the best advice that I can give is something that I have learned from English people. They have a special sense of obstinacy to pursue their life goal, because, as one of my English friends uses to say “No one can hold back our dreams, just ourselves”. Whatever the difficulties and problems, never give up!

Can you give some tips and advice for newly arrived immigrants? A friend once told me: “When you spend your money to learn something, like a new language, you don’t spend, you invest. So, don’t be cheap on this “. Therefore, my advice is to think about this when you choose an English school. As a practical tip, try to have friends from everywhere to improve the language skills. However, I think the best advice that I can give is something that I have learned from English people. They have a special sense of obstinacy to pursue their life goal, because, as one of my English friends uses to say “No one can hold back our dreams, just ourselves”. Whatever the difficulties and problems, never give up!




Dwight School London and the Future of Education

Along with technological advancement, education remains one of the most spoken and written about topics in our lives. What is it that we look for in the education of our children living in our globalised world? Today we see more and more people travelling around the world, becoming successful entrepreneurs, expanding their barriers and indeed becoming more global By Ada Albert

In speaking about his school experiences Albert Einstein said: “School failed me and I failed the school. It bored me. The teachers behaved like Feldwebel (sergeants). I wanted to learn what I wanted to know, but they wanted me to learn for the exams... I felt that my thirst for knowledge was strangled by my teachers; grades were their only measurements. How can a teacher understand youth in such a system...?” This applies today to the British education system and to individuals all over the world in acknowledging the need for a better understanding of self-advancement in life. This is where the International Baccalaureate (IB) comes in and we approached one of the leading IB schools in London to find out more on the subject. Dwight School London (DSL) is an inclusive, independent, international school that has been around for 145 years. It is unique in terms of what it offers and is open to children from kindergarten to sixth form. It moved from being a Prep school, a very traditional local one, to becoming much more international, with almost 60% of students from overseas. DSL is a highly established IB World School and part of the Dwight Schools Group. David Rose, Head of Dwight School London, enlightened me further. “We are not affected by continuous changes of the British Education system. I have taught both the English National Curriculum and the International Baccalaureate. I remember back in 1989 when a new National Curriculum was devised. Teachers made it work, but it was crazy in the amount of time that was needed to plan for it and then it changed the following year and the year after that. I like

David Rose (Head of Dwight School London)

the expression that ‘the English curriculum is a mile wide but only an inch deep’ as the government pile more and more onto state schools. British schools are very conscious about league tables. I think that league tables are a crude measure of a school and do not measure individual achievement –‘value-added’. They mean that the emphasis is more about passing exams and tests rather than learning. That is different in the IB. For international families the IB is a good choice, but some families in Britain may see it as perhaps not relevant or necessary for them, often because they don’t know enough about it. I think that local parents choose us because of our size and our approach, and some who understand choose us because of the IB. We are proud that we try to be different and to really focus on what matters rather than what is general.

We are proud of our students they are resourceful, understanding and they support each other very strongly. We recognise that with many of our local students there is probably an international mix in their background. They may live in north London but that doesn’t mean they are born and bred in this area or this country and we have more and more students joining us from different parts of the world bringing different viewpoints and experiences. As a school we are playing an important role in the latest development of online learning. It gives students better choices, on a wider range of subjects and offers them the opportunity to use the technology that they are familiar with. Students can work at their own pace and they don’t have to wait for the rest of the class to catch up. If they need it, they can spend more time on their work, but mainly it is making authentic use of an important part of our education landscape.” DSL is inspected by the IB, and by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. IB inspections look more at the quality of teaching and learning rather than the final outcome. “The IB has been around for more than 50 years. It is based on a board and balanced approach and recognises international and intercultural perspectives. It also is clear that young people need more than just academic understanding. The IB allows the student the full range of academic disciplines, physical and social skills and much more. I have taught in six different countries and several different systems and I think that the IB is the most relevant and useful and nowadays we see our students getting more and more recognition for their efforts.



Dwight School London receive ‘ Top Independent School Crystal Award’ this September in recognition of their position in the 2014 Independent Schools IB League Tables

I think that league tables are a crude measure of a school and do not measure individual achievement –‘value-added’. They mean that the emphasis is more about passing exams and tests rather than learning. That is different in the IB. It’s time to take a fresh look at the education and the learning that young people will need to thrive and survive in an increasingly changing and globalized world As a school we are playing an impor tant role in the latest development of online learning. It gives students better choices, on a wider range of subjects and offers them the op portunity to use the technology that they are familiar with

The British educational system has introduced the IGCSE, but what does that really means in terms of the IB and the future of education in Britain? The IB in China, India and the United States is growing rapidly. It is growing in places where there is recognition that their own education systems need change. Yet here in the UK, politicians are reluctant to make the big change to the IB. UK universities are saying that they want IB students, because they see them as better prepared, independent thinkers, and more able to carry out the tasks individually, but still there is reluctance. IGCSE was introduced because of concerns over standards and hard to fail courses but there is little that is international about them- just the procedures for final testing. “ What Dwight London School is to families is an education for life, not just an education to pass tests, it’s not about reciting

facts and figures, it’s about having an understanding, acquiring learning skills and being able to utilise the knowledge in future life.” says Rebecca Curtis a – DSL parent. “We have something we are very proud of which we call ‘Spark of Genius’ for students who can be successful in all fields, and we find different ways to encourage and provide opportunities for them. We are inclusive and are really proud of our results. We always exceed the world average point score for the Diploma and we have students who are right at the top of the scale in terms of achievement. However, a student who has tried their hardest who may not gain a high points score but they can still be proud of the achievements they have made. It’s time to take a fresh look at the education and the learning that young people will need to thrive and survive in an increasingly changing and globalized world.”




Gabriella Guglielmwwinotti Trivel

I want to share my message with women all around the world



Gabriella Guglielminotti Trivel was born in Italy and studied foreign languages at the University of Turin, her home city. She is a qualified Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and has travelled around Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Antarctica. In 2012 she published a book, ‘Antarctic Odyssey a New Beginning’, about her adventures there. She is an author, speaker, visionary and coach who helps women gain confidence, authority and fulfillment in life by knowing better their body. Her signature ends with ‘A Woman of XXI Century”. What does a ‘Woman of XXI Century’ mean for you? I became aware of my vision of ‘The Woman of the XXI Century’ three years ago when I was becoming more and more aware of my work with women around the feminine cycle. The feminine cycle is still a taboo subject in our society and therefore it is difficult at times to publicly speak about it and be positively received by men and women. Men are curious at times, as they all have experienced being at the receiving end of it, but women tend to show a straight face and not wanting to talk about it in some cases. This is partly understandable as women have been on the receiving end of patriarchy for thousands of years and many times they paid with their lives in past centuries for being themselves and outspoken. We find ourselves here with curiosity at one end and fear and concern at the other end, so what for the future? I have this vision of helping and facilitating the birth of ‘The Woman of the XXI Century’ because I think that it is time to free ourselves from the past! A ‘Woman of the XXI Century’ is a woman who is aware of her body, her values, her mission, and lives in a graceful way, enjoying her life to the fullest and radiating love and wisdom. She does this by being in contact with her womb and respecting her ‘inner seasons’: her feminine cycle. What is your experience of being a migrant woman in London? I moved to London in June 1998 from Italy to join the man I loved who had been living in London for decades. Being an adventurous woman who speaks four languages, I liked the challenge of a brand new start and I fell in love with the city, as it is such a multi-racial metropo-

lis. Little by little I got used to it and, within a few months, I felt at home for the very first time in my life! I liked the variety of boroughs, people, accents, languages, cultures, events, etc. I also became aware very early on that this would be a place where I would just reside for a period of my life and then I would move somewhere else. I was unconsciously aware of being a ‘Migrant Woman’. How would you describe the role of women in migration? The reason why women migrate is multifold and can be very personal. I think women are very instinctual beings and behave accordingly following their spirit. Allowing oneself the freedom of being a ‘migrant woman’ is not for everybody though, but it is more and more present in the new generations. These days people in general realise that they can change country, if they want to change their life and maybe get more opportunities to get what they want in life. I have a very philosophical and metaphysical take of this though, I see ‘migrant women’ as pioneers and visionaries who plant new seeds in different cultures to advance humanity. What is the biggest success in your life? I consider my biggest success so far is having decided to join an expedition to Antarctica in 2008 when I was just coming out of my divorce and felt very vulnerable and lost as a woman! I had enough strength inside myself to realise that my spirit was calling me to let go and free myself. I wanted to jump back fully into life and find myself again. I needed to trace back my dreams and visions of when I was younger and was more aware of myself.

I listened to my heart and followed it, even if the whole thing was pretty crazy. Remembering how low I was then, I admire my inner strength and courage and can see that it was the same strength I called upon when I decided to become self-employed and step even more outside of my comfort zone. What makes you happy? I feel happy when I see that I make a difference in someone’s life by being myself and sharing my wisdom, knowledge and enthusiasm for life. Happiness for me is the realisation that I am part of the whole and as such I can contribute to humanity. I feel happy when I fly in a glider and feel free as I look at the clouds and at the birds that sometimes choose to share the same flow with me. I feel happy when I travel and see new places and experience different cultures, because that broadens my mind and my spirit feels alive, free and ecstatic! I feel happy when I see that I stretch myself and dare to live beyond my limiting beliefs, what is considered okay by the majority of people and dare to think and live the impossible. What is the biggest dream you are waiting to come true? To be able to share my message with women all around the world and help them to feel empowered and happy by being aware of their body and feminine cycle. I want to change globally the perception of the female cycle and be perceived as a ‘woman’s best friend’ rather than a ‘curse’! I also want to start ‘Flying Inspiration’ centres around the world where women can go and find what they need to have a break, feel safe and allow themselves to be, so that they can dream the life they want to live.




How to be

Styl i in everyday life

By Vivienne Aiyela

I Vivienne Aiyela Founder and CEO of Clothes 4 Real Women Follow or contact Vivienne at: Twitter: #GoddessofGalmour1

don’t consider myself to be a drop dead gorgeous beauty queen but I do consider myself to be resplendent and stylish. I did not wake up that way but it came to me over time. Learning to understand what clothes suits me, to love my body shape and height. I am 6 feet tall (183 centimetres) and can be seen wearing at least 4 inch (10 cms) heels and know my proportions. Never a fashion victim, I dance to my own beat.

Style over beauty

We have all been to a function (wedding, party, networking event) when a beautiful woman walks into a room. We

glance up for a moment but soon return to our conversation. Beauty is not really that interesting, it may give you that wow feeling for a fleeting moment but seriously that’s about it. However, when a confident woman walks into a room, it is entrancing. Look at how she moves with such poise and selfpossession. Like me, she is not the one wearing the black dress, that just fades in with the other black dresses. She is probably in the bright coloured interesting dress, not the run of the mill one found in your everyday high street shop. This woman is wearing heels and has a great coat and accessories. Definitely, she is not the most stunningly



ish attractive woman but she exudes confidence which is captivating, powerful and it does not fade – all endlessly more interesting than beauty. We all know that beauty fades and many women are rushing to turn back the clock under the knife, yet no matter how many times a woman goes under the knife it still doesn’t give a woman style. Remember “Fashion fades, style is eternal” by Coco Chanel. The first and most important step for developing your style is to project confidence. The kind of confidence that tells others that you respect yourself, love yourself and dress up for yourself

and nobody else. Many women are too concerned with what other people think about them. Style comes from knowing who you are, where are going and who you want to be in the world. It certainly does not come from wanting to be somebody else, having issues with wanting to be thinner, shorter, taller, prettier or a different skin colour. Many refined women are not stunning beauties but they all have a huge amount of aplomb. Chic women define themselves and do not require confirmation from others. Standing tall in my heels, I am very proud of my height. I stand out in a crowd, and yes I do turn heads with my poise, appearance and knowing which clothes suit me. I often admire women who are not cut from the same cloth. They stand out in a crowd. The woman wearing the dazzling vintage dress and hair style to match, a curvy woman with a large bottom in a figure hugging pencil skirt, a woman dressed (dancing) to her own beat in her own designs, a true fashionista, she has mixed up her style from her own wardrobe and from the small boutique hidden away in the market. Michelle Obama may have a stylist that makes suggestions for her outfits, designers scampering over themselves to dress her but even in casual clothes she oozes confidence and carries herself with such self-assurance. Yet she isn’t perfect and doesn’t have impeccable straight teeth. However her head is always held high and her flaws are always flaunted, never her hand over her mouth. Flaunt your flaws and hold your head high. Others may not even notice them because all they will see is your confidence. “Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess” Edina Woolman Chase

Anyone can do fashion. Just go out to the high street and buy the entire outfit you see on the mannequin but many don’t do style. People who do fashion normally follow the herd of fashion crowds, and blend in but never stand out. Elegance is personal and comes from within. How you dress tells the world who you are. A stylish woman mixes her outfits up, not dressed in one shop head to toe and

everything in between. Her outfit is not in a magazine, you may recognise her handbag but you’ll be hard pressed to name the shop(s) where she purchased what she is wearing. Tailoring – the secrets

I am going to let you in to a top fashion secret. With the models you see in fashion magazines, their clothes are often held together at the back by bulldog clips because they don’t fit properly. The clothes are made in a standard-size which don’t fit well on many of the models. When you buy clothes from the shops they vary in size. Yet great tailored clothes from a good tailor that fit you perfectly is the single most critical factor in raising your style profile. High fashion and must haves vs stylish clothes

Flicking through the latest fashion magazines and rushing out to buy the latest trends without regard for how they look on your proportions is a recipe for disaster, and where style ends and fashion enslavement begins. Women without a realistic sense of fashion waste a lot of money driving themselves crazy trying to get the ‘look’, and often left feeling that they have nothing to wear in their wardrobe. Fashion victims are seen everywhere. They mix high end logos blazing for everyone to see, a walking advertising board for several designer shops promoting their clothes, without even getting a discount for doing so. Wearing labels selectively (not brazenly across your chest) shows the world that you have an eye for sophistication. Mixing and matching with the independent boutique, designer and high street shows the world you have an individual sense of style. As a Stylist I love to people watch, sitting in a café by the window watching people walk by looking at what they are wearing and how they have put their clothes together, is at times even better than eating cake. And I love cake! As I make 95% of my clothes it also gives me ideas of what to make. No woman is the same and it is important to express your personality in how you dress. Don’t be a slave to fashion.




My clothes smile when I wear them

Adelina Badivuku is originally from Kosovo and lives in London. She is 40 years old, married, and mother of two children. Her professional background is in Family Therapy and she works as a manager in a local authority setting. Adelina loves fashion and always pays attention to the way that she presents herself. As a beautiful and professional woman, caring about how she looks, this is an act of respect and love for herself By Lela Struga

How much is fashion important to you? I have never thought of fashion as something relevant or having a great importance in my life, although I love clothes and anything beautiful. I am not the kind of woman that invests in fashion magazines or religiously follows the latest trends. I have been blessed to live in Camden Town most of my life and equally to work close to Portobello Road. Both these places are a source of beautiful ideas and accommo-

date shops and market stalls that sell the most amazing clothes. How do you show your fashion in everyday life? I experiment with clothes and love accessories; bags, shoes, scarves and jewellery complete all my outfits. I am very spontaneous by nature and that does have an impact on my outfit choices daily. Hence my moods dictate my look for the day. I don’t spend ages planning

what to wear; it only takes me a few minutes to decide and I hardly ever ask other for people’s opinions. Although I love compliments, I need to feel good in what I am wearing. What kind of outfits do you wear at work? It depends on my daily schedule. Important meeting days call for smart suits and the rest of the week is always more relaxed. Dresses are my top daily choice and I love experimenting with different


Photo Credits: Rinaldo Sata


coloured tights to add a touch of colour to my outfits. I would love to be able to wear jeans at work but that’s not a possibility, although it does not prevent me from continuing to add to my denim collection.

gowns and I wish I had more opportunities to attend events that require them to be worn. I guess my desire to glam up goes back all the way to my childhood and my admiration of women wearing the most beautiful long dresses.

What do you wear when going out to a party or an event? Parties are almost always an excuse to buy another dress. I enjoy shopping for occasion wear and enjoy getting ready to party. I love full length

How has your style changed over the years? My style has changed a lot. Growing up I feel like I had other priorities dictated by the time I was living in. I became a mother at a very young

age and that became my priority. I feel that for many years I concentrated on my children first, then studies and as a result of being so busy I stopped socialising and taking great care of my appearance too. Then something changed. I decided to chop off my long hair, another spontaneous decision. With the new hair came a new style. As I started experimenting with my hair going shorter, I became more confident in experimenting with clothes




as well. I believe I rediscovered myself about ten years ago and as a result of spending a lot of my time in and around Camden Town, I opened my mind and started taking in these new ideas about the meaning of clothes and the impact that our appearance has on our confidence. Although I love high streets, I must say that most of the contents of my wardrobe come from vintage shops and stables in Camden and Portobello markets. Is fashion important for your career as well? No, my career has no connection to fashion whatsoever. Although being part of a management team, looking smart is part of the role. We also have a very clear policy that dictates our appearance when at work. What does what we wear reveal about our personality, our culture and background? A lot! I strongly believe that our fashion sense or what we wear and how we look daily is strongly connected with who we are. Culture defines our way of doing things and the way we do them. We witness women of different cultures wearing traditional outfits on a daily basis. I grew up believing that women should look after themselves and make themself feel good, not that they should be objectified and wear clothes dictated by media and societies perception of what is beautiful. Income plays a crucial role in a woman’s ability to afford clothes; but what I have learned is that you don’t need to wear expensive or brand new clothes to look good. All you need to do is to wear what you like, what you define as beautiful, and experiment. Find time for yourself, as looking good does make you feel good, and that always results in confidence. How do you imagine yourself with what you are wearing in 20 years time? I live in Camden and I have no doubt that my style will change and evolve as Camden does. Since I have great love for vintage clothes I don’t see myself making drastic style changes. I just hope I learn to wear age appropriate clothes. My grandmother used to say “clothes don’t cry, but you need to find ones that smile when you wear them”. My understanding of that saying is that there is no age limit in clothes and you have to learn to set your limits based on age, occasion and place. I see myself growing old gracefully and remaining in love with beautiful clothes for a long time.

I grew up believing that women should look after themselves and make themself feel good,

not that they should be objectified and wear clothes dictated by media and societies perception of what is beautiful. Income plays a crucial role in a woman’s ability to afford clothes; but what I have learned is that you don’t need to wear expensive or brand new clothes to look good






Sonia Khanna Joy, life and fashion go hand in hand together When thinking about dressing and fashion, if you are from a different background there is so much that every country has to offer for your fashion sense. I believe in incorporating an authentic ethnic look with a western look. Mix and match. It is lovely to be able to do that. Never be shy of who you are, and put yourself out there. Have the courage to represent your background. There are times where I feel that when wearing a pair of jeans with a very ethnic top, it is surprising to see how much more it can bring to my fashionista style By Ada Albert

What do you like about fashion? Fashion means different things to different people. For me it is not just about clothes, but also accessories that are very much a part of fashion. You can make a simple outfit look absolutely stunning by accessorising it, which is also much a part of the fashion trend. What do you tend to follow in the current and future trends of fashion? If you like fashion it is important to keep up with the trend. It’s good to go through magazines and look at what the in style is. Colours are very important so that you don’t end up with an outdated look. Just because it’s trendy, it doesn’t mean that it works with everyone. Change, tweak a bit here and there, while trying to keep up with the times and trends, always making it work for you.

How would you define women’s fashion? Fashion is very personal, what works for me might not work for another woman. It is important to keep in mind comfort as well as trend. Every woman should have a black skinny dress in their wardrobe. Black is undoubtedly associated with what brings the elegance out in a woman. It is also nice to be adventurous, and try wearing a trendy pair of shoes. I absolutely love my wedges, they are so versatile. Age and culture also play an important role in our fashion trends. Depending on the event, one has to dress in accordance to the occasion. How comfortable are you with the designers new looks? Designers are amazing. They contribute so much. They have a keen outlook as to



what works for people. There are so many amazing designers out there. If you were to mention some who would they be ? I adore Diane von Furstenberg. I find her designs complement the women figure. Diane von Furstenberg uses vibrant colours. She works her magic with colours. When wearing her designs it makes me feel like a fashionista. Although it’s not just about the designers outfit for many. If you are able to get out there and buy yourself a designer outfit, that is wonderful. It is still nice to be able to maybe incorporate a designer top with a casual pair of trendy Zara jeans. This may not be at the very high end, but a great pair of skinny jeans from Zara works wonders to create and complement your fashion style. For me it is also about seeing what works best, always mixing and matching and taking outfits from different stores to see what goes together.

Photo Credits: Rinaldo Sata

What hobbies do you have that relates to fashion? I have always had a very keen eye for colour, I think it’s due to my ethnic background. I come from India and I love earthy colours. I grew up with my mum wearing saris. When you live in India you are exposed to so many vibrant colours everywhere. I am very drawn to the beauty of colours, that’s what inspires me, and fashion is all about inspiration. I am currently pursuing a career and studies in interior design. My fashion sense inspires me a lot to follow my dream. What can you say about comfort zone and fashion? I think it is about playing it safe and being happy with what you are wearing, and feeling confident about yourself. When you put on an outfit, look in the mirror and find what makes you feel good about yourself no matter your size, age or shape. It’s about feeling good with what you are wearing! For me personally, a pair of skinny pants or jeans is very flattering. Do you go with your instinct or experiment with the fashion?




I love fashion, I am able to get out there to see what is new. It is always nice to appreciate some vintage designers outfits and to have them in your wardrobe, if you can afford it. Shoes are a part of fashion and yet it is so much about as well. I have a few pairs of Stuart Weitzman shoes, which are the most comfortable. It is a shoe company that has been around for such a long time. They have the trendy high heels and high wedges, but you don’t want to wear a pair and have your feet ache at the end of the day. Finding a comfortable pair of shoes is my guide, and yet be stylish. I play tennis and go to the gym and for me it is very important to look after my body and shoes play a great role in that. We are active and out there so it is really important we take care of our wellbeing. Investing in a cheap pair of shoes, sometimes that is the wrong thing to do. You can’t compromise on your wellbeing. I consider myself to be a tall woman, 5 feet 6 inches (168 centimetres) but I love to put on a pair of 6 inch (15 centimetres) heels. I think it boosts the confidence in a woman and makes her stand tall. I love being able to look at my partner at the same eye level. Heels are very flattering for women, to feel good and confident about themselves. A woman should not go out without her handbag, how important is the handbag for you? It is such a personal choice regarding what bags to wear. I would say be adventurous with vibrant colours, bags add so much to the overall persona and fashion trends. Bags are part of my fashion trend. Having that special bag from Channel, is like owning a piece of jewellery that is both complimentary and flattering. Which cities do you consider are the best for shopping New York, London, Milan or Paris? New York is the place to go and shop. It’s all about the latest fashions and trends. They all have so much to offer in my opinion. If you have the opportunity to go to some boutique stores you never know what

If you are from a different background there is so much that every country has to offer for your fashion sense. I believe in incorporating an authentic

ethnic look with a western look. Mix and match. It is lovely to be able to do that. Never be shy of who you are, and put yourself out there. Have the courage to represent your background you might find. Don’t be afraid to visit high end boutiques as you never know what gems you can find, and sometimes at great prices, too. It’s exciting what you can find. Do you have an outfit for every occasion? You have to have that one outfit for

the occasion when you are not sure what to wear. Something that you can pull out of your wardrobe, and always rely on, but don’t get too comfortable with it. A black dress makes me feel special and elegant and I do have a red outfit that makes me feel fashionable and trendy, a woman with the 100% gorgeous factor.


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Kristèle Ng Man Sun Founder of oMoi! Natural Skincare My husband and I work as a team for hair stylist and makeup artist and photography. When we went to Mauritius in July, we thought of doing a photoshoot to showcase beautiful models from our island, as well as the work of the local fashion designer, Lionnet Couture. The team from Le Meridien Hotel has been so welcoming, providing us with their Royal Suite to get the models ready and allowing us to shoot within their premises. To all those involved in this work of art from dawn to dusk, thank you.





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Life, health and beauty is in your control


By Ruth Coste

ever did I imagine that I would have a network marketing business, nor be involved in the health and wellness industry. I am a busy full-time newspaper journalist, a wife and mother to two grown children, and other than using products I had no interest in working with them - my life is about hard news from around the world. Although I remember in my twenties, a few decades ago now, often saying how I would love to have my own business, however I had no idea in what, as I had no special talent. Funny how life weaves its magic. I met Lucy at my local WeightWatchers meeting. I was helping weigh members and she was there to support a friend - Lucy is a dancer and certainly did not need to be there. We exchanged pleasantries. I asked questions about her career as my daughter was training in musical theatre and dance. When we saw each other we always took the time to chat. Then one day our leader announced that Lucy had just started a business and wanted to tell us all about it. Everyone politely listened and one by one drifted away until I was the one woman left standing. During the 20 minutes presentation my interest and intrigue ranged from ‘no way’, to ‘interesting’ back to a cynical ‘really?’, finally landing on ‘what if?’. What if it works? What if I could have the life of my dreams? Of course, I did further research, as you might expect from a journo, and read a forty page supplement that came out in the Wall Street Journal a couple of years ago. I couldn’t believe what I was reading because far from lots of negativity I discovered revelations that some top investors, such as Warren Buffet and Robert Kiyosaki, highly back network marketing as an in-

dustry and were buying up companies to own. Nobel Prize-winning economist, Paul Zane Pilzer, was singing its praises and predicting that 50% of households in the next 10 years would earn an income through network marketing/direct selling, and this from the man who correctly predicted the boom and its effects. I was sold. I realised that I had just been uneducated about this industry. Why would I not listen to such highly successful people? It told me unequivocally that network marketing and direct selling had changed from what it was and, more importantly, was not what I thought it was. I had to take this opportunity seriously if I wanted greater things for my family and me in the future. So, with fear of the unknown yet excitement at what the future could hold, I jumped in. Two and a half years later; has it been an easy journey so far? No. Has it been amazing so far? Absolutely. Why? Mostly because I have rediscovered the real Ruth. I have, through all the reading, training and stepping out of my comfort zone time and again become the person I should always have been; the Ruth that is confident, believing in herself, liking herself, feeling capable of doing whatever she puts her mind to. I am now the best version of me - and I continue to grow daily. Back to the business now and that same journey has led me to understand how important it is to pay attention not only to what we eat daily but also to what we use on our bodies every day. If you truly care about your health and the health of your loved ones it should be non-negotiable. What do I know that I can share with you? Firstly, the shocking facts are that the average woman applies 515 chemicals to her body every day and that women also absorb 5lbs of damaging chemicals a year.

ruth coste For more information about vegan and botanically based products or how to earn an income through them, email



Harmful things we do not want to have in our daily products Synthetic parabens Chemicals widely used as a preservative in cosmetics. They include butyl, propyl and ethyl parabens. Harmful effects? Premature ageing of the skin. Scientific studies have shown parabens to have a carcinogenic and comedogenic (that’s blocking the pores and forming blackheads) effect. Natural alternatives considered safe to use as a preservative to reduce the effects of bacteria are trace amounts of cinnamon, prunes and blueberries. Phthalates A group of oily compounds used in plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability and longevity. Harmful effects? There is on-going research, however Swedish scientists have found high levels to cause infertility. The European Commission is proposing a ban on its use in cosmetics.

Mineral oil This is a by-product of black crude oil. Mineral oil is a common ingredient used in a vast number of everyday products as a cheap bulking agent to make the products go further hence keeping costs down for companies. It is present in baby lotions, cold creams, lip moisturisers and many cosmetics and sun creams. Harmful effects? Mineral oil cannot be absorbed by the skin and sits like Clingfilm on the surface blocking absorption of any other product. By coating the skin with, effectively, a thin layer of plastic it interferes with the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins and it slows down cell regeneration that results in premature ageing - yes, you read that correctly. This ingredient is not healthy, contrary to popular belief. Propylene glycol Another petrochemical like mineral oil that stops the skin’s function of absorbing ingredients and getting rid of toxins from the body. It is also used as an antifreeze in break fluid for cars. Harmful effects? Propylene glycol is found in medical moisturisers, cosmetics, toothpaste and mouthwashes. It is a carrier in fragrance oils, which can cause a sensitising effect on the skin, which means itchy, dry and cracked skin. Petrolatum This is also known as petroleum jelly or soft paraffin and is a by-product of petrol that was thought of as a good ointment for its healing properties and so is widely used in cosmetic skincare. Harmful effects? Teenagers need to know that petrolatum can promote acne and other disorders because it clogs the pores and interferes with the skin’s PH balance. There are also concerns about its association with breast cancer.



Paraffin Also known as kerosene. It is used in toiletries such as shampoo and cosmetics as a moisturiser. Harmful effects? Paraffin is a cheap lubricant that is highly inflammable. It is commonly used in jet propulsion and for candles. If swallowed or inhaled it can cause respiratory problems and skin and eye irritation. Diethanolamine (or DEA) DEA is an organic lubricant used by the cosmetic industry particularly to enhance colour such as in nail polish, lipstick, shampoos and conditioners. Harmful effects? The jury is still out but there are strong concerns that it can contaminate and irritate the skin, eyes and hair follicles and there is thought that it is also a carcinogen. I was not knowledgeable about any of this before I started my Arbonne business but


These are just some of the ingredients found in 94% of our daily products. Simply put, the average number of chemicals in: Shampoo 15 Hairspray 11 Eyeshadow 26 Blusher 16 Lipstick 33 Foundation 24 Nail varnish


Deodorant 15 Perfume


Body lotion


Fake tan


my education has opened my eyes and made me realise that we really have no idea about what our everyday products are doing to us. Being enlightened means

that I can choose to use products that do not harm my family or me and I love being able to re-educate others and to offer them alternatives to help them lead a healthier life. Through owning my own business my life has changed beyond what I ever imagined possible, even in my close relationships. The people I have already met and will come to know are and will be the most positive and uplifting you could ever wish to meet. Hanging out with like-minded successful people is what the world’s top entrepreneurs recommend as one of the most powerful ways to build a life of your dreams. This is possible for anyone who is determined and unafraid of working hard for what they desire. It is possible for you, too.



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Recipes from the Head Chef

Önder Sahan

Önder Sahan is the head chef of Tas Restaurant. He is also

the owner of 19 Turkish restaurants spread across London, all of which are in busy locations. He has personally trained the head chefs at each and continues to take an active role in their management. His first restaurant, TAS Cut in the Waterloo area of London, was recognised as the best vegetarian restaurant in its neighbourhood within the first year of its opening

Soganli Dana Kavurma

Karides Guvech

Mushroom rice

18 (for 2 people) mins

12 (for 2 people) mins

(for 2 people)

Ingredients • 300 grams sirloin steak • 100 grams roasted almond • 1 spinach onion • 1 table spoon red pepper flakes • 1 tea spoon black pepper • 2 peeled tomatoes • 1 tea spoon paprika • 2 table spoons olive oil/ butter • 2 table spoons salt

Ingredients • 20 medium sized prawns • 1 table spoon chopped garlic • 100 grams chopped mushroom • 2 medium sized tomatoes • 100 grams onion or leek • 2 table spoons white wine • 3 table spoons olive oil • Salt (as much needed) • Dry red basil

Ingredients • 1 cup basmati rice • 50 grams butter • 1 table spoon dry mint • 2 cups of boiled water

How to prepare Put the finely chopped meat in a pan and roast in hot oil and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in finely chopped onions. Then add almonds in and cook for another 5 minutes. After that we must add in the peeled tomatoes, black pepper, salt and paprika. (Cook for 8 minutes). Ready to serve.

How to prepare Heat olive oil and cook garlic, prawns for 4 minutes. Then add in the onion, mushroom, tomatoes and the white wine and cook for 8 minutes. After that, add in the herb spices and then serve.

How to prepare Chop the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes with butter and add in dry mint. Previously washed 3-4 times starch will be added into the rice. Then add in two cups of boiled water and cook for 13 minutes on low heat.



No two students are alike. At Dwight, an IB world school, our aim is to foster the development of the whole child. Whether they are a budding artist. A top-ranked athlete. A brilliant scientist in the making ... Whatever students are At alike. At isour Dwight, our aim is to foster the talent orarepassion, Dwight committed to realising every student’s fullchild. No two students are alike. At Dwight, anfoster IB world school, ourthe aim is towhole NoNo twotwo students alike. Dwight, aim is to the development of development the foster development whole child. Whether aretop-ranked achild. budding We this “igniting the spark of genius” inthey every ofpotential. the they whole child. Whether they are a athlete. budding artist. A athlete.... Whether arethe acall budding artist.ofAthe top-ranked A brilliant scientist in the making artist. A top-ranked athlete. A brilliant scientist in the making ... Whatever Whatever the talent or passion, committed to realising every potential. A brilliant scientist in the Dwight makingis... Whatever the talent orstudent’s passion,fullDwight is the talent or passion, Dwight is committed to realising every student’s full committed to realising every student’s full potential. Learn Attending Open House potential. We call this “igniting theMore spark ofby genius” in every an child. Dwight is an International Baccalaureate World School serving students aged 2-18, Lower School ages 2-11, Thursday 16th October 10:30 am–12:30 pm featuring EAL, Mother Tongue support and a door-to-door bus service. Dwight is anSchool International Baccalaureate World School students Learn More by October Attending anserving Open House Upper ages 11-18, Tuesday 14th 10:30 am–12:30 pmaged Lower School ages 2-11, Thursday 16th Tuesday October 10:30 pmservice. 2-18, featuring EAL, Tongue support and a door-to-door bus IBMother Diploma Info Evening 25tham–12:30 November 2014 UpperLearn SchoolMore ages 11-18, Tuesday 14th 10:30 am–12:30 pm Evening by Attending ourOctober IB Diploma Infomation IB Diploma Info Evening Tuesday Tuesday 25th November 2014 25th November 2014

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Profile for Migrant Woman

Migrant woman magazine issue 6  

Migrant Woman Magazine is an inspirational voice for women of the Universe. It provides a platform for women to celebrate diversity, culture...

Migrant woman magazine issue 6  

Migrant Woman Magazine is an inspirational voice for women of the Universe. It provides a platform for women to celebrate diversity, culture...