Azad-Hye, Dubai, 15 August 2006: From the moment Joelle Mardinian appeared
on MBC (the leading free-to-air, pan-Arab, news and entertainment channel),
she managed to keep the spotlight on her, although her frank comments
stirred rounds of debate in the audience.
To make things worse, the nature of her show "Bel Saraha Ahla" (Better with
frankness) is based upon how to change the look of the participants and
unmasked everything hidden in their characters.
Nevertheless, Joelle succeeded in getting closer to the public. She
established herself as an authority in matters of elegance and beauty.
Below are parts of an interview with Joelle Mardinian (originally in Arabic
language) published in the no. 153 issue of Dubais "Ahlan" weekly (3-9
There is something that sets you aside, that is your multi-national status.
To which country you feel that you belong?
My paternal grandfather is Armenian (married to a Lebanese lady), while my
maternal grandfather is Italian (married to a Syrian lady). This variety has
created a feeling of uniqueness and distinctiveness inside me, which
accompanied me even in Lebanon. This is why I am not a hundred percent
Lebanese. I lived for some time in London, where I felt integrated in the
British society, but at a certain point I needed a change in my life. My
next station was Dubai, where I sensed a kind of stability, something which
I lacked in the past.
How did you use this richness inside you to fulfill your quest for beauty
My interest in fashion and beauty is party of my personality and I admit
that this controls even my everyday life. For example, when I see a passer
by or meet someone in the street, I instinctively start to observe him or
her and get into the details of the clothing, hairstyle or face, checking
what the person wears, in an attempt to define the best combination to
obtain a better look.
What about information circulating recently in the Arab press criticizing
your claim to be an ex-Miss Italy?
I think some people misunderstood the whole issue. In fact I was elected as
Miss Italian Communities Worldwide during a contest in Britain. I have
pictures to prove that. Some people misread this and used it as a tool to
harm my image and to accuse me with forgery. It would have been better if
they had contacted me prior of making a big issue out of it. By the way, I
acquired this beauty title by mere coincidence. When I was 18 years old, my
teacher encouraged me to take part in the contest. This was not close to my
future dream. It was a mere experience. My main interest remains the same,
be make-up artist. I did also some modeling for a short period of time.
Did you find the visual media suiting your taste?
I do not like to be an ordinary presenter. I do not believe that after my
current MBC show "Bel Saraha Ahla", I will be willing to do other shows
without having make-up and beauty as main topics. This particular show was
the first of its kind in the Arab world.
Did you find difficulty in asking people to participate in your show,
especially that you are known with your frankness and forthrightness in
criticizing the look of some people and asking them without hesitation or
consideration to their feelings to change their clothes and overall style?
In fact, after two years of working in the Arab environment I became less
daring, compared to what I used to be in the past, especially after noticing
how fond the participants are in accepting compliments. This in fact is
against my personality. I need to tell the truth, especially since I believe
everyone has special type of beauty and all a person needs is to know how to
bring forth the inner elements.
The present trend of programs that change the look of a person depend mainly
on surgical interventions. Do you think your show can compete with this kind
I have added several new sections in my show, such as the section on advices
and instructions, where I answer the viewers enquiries. There are also
other sections, such as the experts advice on certain issues (dental, skin,
etc.) The most recent surprise is the addition of a section on surgical
treatment for participants who have great need to do so.
What about comparing your show with another one in MBC called Sytle,
presented by ex-Miss Lebanon Joelle Bohlok?
There is nothing to compare. Style focuses on fashion and design news,
while what I do is to provide instructions on how to choose what to wear and
how to take care of your appearance, etc. The only resemblance between the
two programs is that we both carry the same name Joelle.
We would like to know something about your private life and your relations
with your husband?
I agreed with my husband to get a divorce. Despite that we will still
maintain strong friendship. My four years old son lives with me and visits
his father during the weekends.
Do you have any new person in your life?
All I can say is that I am in love with someone.
What about the beauty DVD that you are planning to produce?
It is a DVD with step by step instructions in beauty matters. I consider
this project as a dream that came through.
MBC's show "Bel Saraha Ahta", presented by Joelle Mardinian
Each episode features a not-so-fashionable teenager, who will undergo
drastic transformations. Of course viewers will witness each stage in the
transformation. This includes watching a document showing the person in his
or her own daily life prior to the makeover. Further, family and friends
share personal background about the participant. As for the viewers, they
will get free tips on hair and make-up styles.
The host of the program is a celebrity wardrobe and make-up artist Joelle
Mardinian, who has worked with top print magazines.
Joelle Mardinians beginnings
Born in Beirut to an Italian/Syrian mother who is also a professional
make-up artist, Joelle has a deep understanding of make-up in her genes.
Growing up, her mother was her greatest inspiration as she inherited her
passion for fashion and make-up. Joelles fascination for beauty and make-up
started at a very young age, she was just 8 years old. At the age of 14 her
family took her and moved to London. Where she formalized her love of
make-up by earning a qualification from Grease Paint make-up school in
London. Then there was no looking back. She worked with many famous stars
for Sony Records on Photo shoots, Video clips and Concerts.
Joelle moved to Dubai to work for MBC as a professional stylist and make-up
artist in her own show Be Saraha Ahla. Joelles reputation of reinventing
a face attracted attention from her audience and fashion experts alike. Her
ability to take any face and finish with a unique make-up look became her
Continually driven to expand the name of Joelle Mardinian, she is currently
working on a number of projects for the future.
Some professional services provided by Joelle Mardinian:
1- Private makeup application for special occasions:
Bridal Make-up, Photoshoot Make-up etc.
2- Private Make-up teaching skills:
Teaching how to choose the right male-up and colors. How to apply make-up
correctly. Different styles that suit your facial features etc.
3- Styling / Shopping trip:
Styling your existing wardrobe. Shopping trip for a special dress or an
entire new wardrobe.
4- Total Makeover:
a. A shopping trip, a trip to the hairdresser and make-up application.
b. A trip to the hairdresser and a make-up application.
In the summer of 2006 Joelle Mardinian continues her seminars at the Dubai
Ladies Club, teaching different age groups skills on Make-up, hair, skin
care and clothing.
Website of Joelle Mardinian: http://www.joellemardinian.com/
1- Upper photo: Joelle Mardinian and her Bel Saraha Ahla show on MBC TV
2- Other photos representing Joelle Mardinian as front page cover of known
Arabic magazines ("Ahlan", "Zahrat Al-Khaleej", "Oyoun", Al Maraa", Nisaa
See several photos of Joelle Mardinian at the following link: