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Good evening, everybody.

You know, this award is not just for me. I think it’s really for everyone who is working on a dream or who has accomplished a dream, in any field.

So, it’s really an honor to be here with you tonight. Your support and encouragement inspires me to continue to follow my dream. This moment reminds me that a passion, dedicated drive, combined with hard work, brings forth wonderful fruits. I am able to stop, and look back, to realize that I have traveled a long and challenging road, but it has been quite worth every difficulty and every challenge.

I left Palestine to live in the United States eleven years ago. Due to the complex political situation and the limiting occupation, there wasn’t much hope nor space in a future on a career to becoming a fashion designer. In spite of the difficulties of being abroad, I had two things that kept me confident and reassured: an unstoppable childhood dream, and a supporting family and two loving parents who believed in me before I even started believing in myself. I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for them, or the homeland that I come from and am very proud of. I come from a rich culture that is threaded with so much history and painted with a mysterious beauty that shines and sparkles if you looked at it long and close enough.

I find it impossible to exclude the whispers of elegance, pride, and sophistication that outline every detail of my work. I wake up every morning in hope to add a little bit of beauty and inspiration into the world of women. Last but not least, being acknowledged here by all of you is a dream by itself. I am hopeful that this event can bring hope, inspiration, and endless possibilities to many of us, especially our younger generation. I am confident that believing in an idea, dedicating time and effort into a vision can eventually lead to success. I believe that the more we allow ourselves to dream big, the closer we will reach to better results that can be groundbreaking. I have no doubt that as a people unified we have the courage to persist and the will to build.

Thank you so much.

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