The times she felt like giving up, she continued to persevere and defy the odds, making the universe bend and conspire in her favour. Just when she felt like shouting at the skies ‘It’s not fair!” It was her courage and her tenacity to stare at every challenge in the eye and defeat it with a powerful hook, that surely did more than just shattering the glass ceiling. Our featured artist on these pages is not here just because she is a multi talented and versatile ace in her respective career, donning several hats. It is also not only because she was the first of her kind on the shores of U.A.E to do what she did. She significantly and irrevocably reshaped the landscape of which you and I are a part.
While Ghazal Sadat has proudly called UAE home for 13 years, her roots are deeply embedded in her native country of Afghanistan. Ghazal was born in the city of Kabul but had to flee the country at merely two years old, along with her family, due to the civil war. Ghazal’s journey to the UAE had many stops along the way from Turkey to Canada. Though some may see the constant uprooting as challenging, Ghazal saw it as an opportunity. An Opportunity for her to grow, learn, persevere and shatter the glass ceiling that inhibits female empowerment. And that is exactly what she aimed to do when she finally arrived in the UAE, the land of endless opportunities.
Today, Ghazal can confidently say she has made her dreams into reality. A multi-lingual international businesswoman and celebrated musical artist, Ghazal has achieved success in all of her ventures to date. She built her brand from the ground up starting from bringing an oxygen mineral water to the market, as well as investing in the oil and gas industry.
Apart from creating bestselling and chart-topping songs that seemingly connect the unconnected, Ghazal is also a bonafide entrepreneur. Dangerously smart and fascinatingly eloquent when it comes to multiplying her success. Wanting to share her love for her culture and cuisine, she opened Kabana restaurant in Dubai. Frequented by locals, tourists and celebrities alike, its success led to the opening of more locations in Saudi Arabia.
Her most recent release is Gaga clinic, a medical spa offering a variety of beauty-focused services. Through this project, she aims to gain the right knowledge and experience to enable her to open a hospital in Afghanistan. Though she has come a long way from her early days in Afghanistan, Ghazal has never forgotten her people and her country. Whether it be through her music, her business ventures, or her philanthropy, Ghazal strives to be a role model for young females and instil hope in the hearts of all Afghans.
The hope that they can persevere through all obstacles and achieve their dreams. Here is our tete a tete with our cherished artist, Ghazal Sadat. Feel, hear and surrender to her rhythm.
Q.1 Hi Ghazal! It is such a pleasure to interview you! I’d first like to know…how would you describe your individuality, as reflected in your creativity that you show in your music and your entrepreneurial ventures?
I’d like to think of myself as a diverse individual. I see the beauty in other people’s differences and I like to inculcate them as ideas that I can use for my creative endeavours. Every time I create something new, I refer to international influences. My music, though mainly Afghan, also has Arabic, Hindi, and Turkish influences. My restaurant, which is mainly considered contemporary afghan cuisine, also includes dishes from Turkey, the Middle East as well as the West. I am a culmination of all of the places I have lived in that have made me who I am today. I find it important to be able to represent those influences in everything I do.
Q.2 It goes without saying that there are multitudes of artists who have ventured into various forms of creativity that makes them stand out from the rest. Having said that, what do you think makes people drawn towards you?
I’m a firm believer of positive energy and good vibrations. I’d like to believe that people are drawn to people whose frequency matches theirs. In a positive and vibrant mode. It’s akin to how moths are drawn to light. Since I try to always stay positive and maintain a composed harmony, I believe this is what draws people to me.
Q.3 Tell me more about the challenges you had to face in terms of perseverance and defying all odds. When faced with a challenge, the first question we ask ourselves would be “Why Me?” But you saw it as an opportunity and you transformed your dreams into a reality. You are now a multi-lingual international businesswoman and a widely acclaimed musical artist. I’d like to know…especially in your music, do you at times find yourself being caught up in the moment, that may expose a vulnerable part of you that you may not want your audience to see?
I have a deep love for my country and my people. It’s no secret that Afghanistan has a history of devastating wars that have had lasting impressions spanning for decades. There are moments I find myself deeply moved or emotional when connecting with my audience, especially the ones who’ve faced tragedies or who’ve had difficulties as a result of the conflicts that happen in Afghanistan. However, I always strive to possess a combination of strength and resilience to my audience, so that they know they shouldn’t lose hope.
We all need to remain hopeful and headstrong in our mission to help our fellow Afghans.
Q.3.0 (Follow up) What have those experiences taught you in terms of empowerment?
Through all of the experiences I’ve had in my life leading up to now – good or bad- I have learned that I am a resilient and optimistic woman that can turn the bad into good and the good into something more better. That, in itself, is empowering!
Q.4 Whether it is through music, your business ventures or your philanthropy work, you have so many young females who not only look up to you but you surely won their love. Can you describe the feeling you get, when your fans and other people come up to you and thank you for inspiring them?
There is no better feeling.
To know I have left a remarkable and positive impact on others and my audience- especially young females – is the most gratifying feeling. I strive to always be a great role model to young girls, especially those in Afghanistan. So when I hear from them directly how I have inspired them, I feel reassured that I am on the right path and know that I have connected with them the way I had intended.
Q.5 Wanting to share the love of your culture, you own a Kabana restaurant that is frequented by locals, tourists and celebrities alike. Not to mention, its success has led it to open up in more than one location, especially Saudi Arabia. With that being said, what makes Afghan culture diverse and exceptionally unique?
For starters, Afghan cuisine is well-known to be one of the most sought after cuisines in the world. I wanted to share the best side of Afghanistan with the international community, so that they can get a taste of what Afghanistan has to offer. I’d also like to mention this: because Afghanistan is a unique geolocation, it has a culture that is rich in diversity, influenced by all of the surrounding foreign parties passing through over time. Due to the invasions of invaders from different countries, like Gengis Khan and Alexander the Great, Afghans have a wide spectrum of physical features ranging from blonde hair and blue eyes to East Asian traits. However, regardless of what every afghan looks like, they all share a commonality of being some of the most hospitable people in the world. No matter who you are or where you come from, you will be treated like a king in the home of any Afghan.
Q.6 Your most recent release is Gaga clinic, a medical spa offering a variety of beauty-focused services. For anyone who hasn’t heard of it, what do you offer at Gaga Medical spa? What is the philosophy of the Gaga Medical spa brand, and how do you work to spread that philosophy?
Gaga clinic offers services ranging from specialised facials to dental veneers, to fillers and botox, among many other services. The philosophy at Gaga Clinic is providing the best care to our patients to help them look and feel their absolute, personal best.
Q.7 You are the hallmark of your music and entrepreneurial ventures. How would you want your legacy and empire to continue to grow?
I am happy and grateful to God for where I am today. However, I would like to shift my focus more towards philanthropic projects. The mark I want to leave in this world is that of doing my part to help others. Especially the ones who are less fortunate. I want my legacy to be that of female empowerment, uplifting those that are struggling, and providing aid in any capacity to my country and my people. This is what I want my everlasting legacy to be.