This Dubai beauty is on a social mission

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This Dubai beauty is on a social mission

Dubai-based Miss and Mrs International 2018 winner and social activist Isha Farha Quraishy chats with City Times about her journey thus far

By Anamika Prem Kumar

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Published: Tue 11 Dec 2018, 9:23 AM

Last updated: Wed 19 Dec 2018, 2:13 PM

Dubai-based Isha Farha Quraishy, added another feather to her cap when she was crowned the Miss and Mrs International 2018 titles at a glitzy event at the Atlantis Palm Jumeirah recently. When she is not busy with beauty pageants or volunteering for the betterment of society, Isha works as an IT Project Manager. The multi-talented beauty who has worked as an anchor, and an actress and is also a classical dancer.
Isha prides herself in being a "mankind volunteer" - helping out those who need it the most. "More than being an anchor, emcee or performer, people know me as a social activist. I connect with the people more," explains Isha.
She worked during the amnesty helping expats faced with legal issues. Isha is a UAE coordinator for the World Malayalee Federation (WMF) and also has her own foundation in her home country, India.
"People in Dubai see me as a social activist rather than a woman in the limelight, so I feel like that is something I have actually achieved," she says. City Times caught up with Isha to know more.

How does it feel to be crowned Miss and Mrs International 2018?
I feel very excited and happy. This is a very big title, a big responsibility towards myself, people around me and the society. I always wanted to place myself as a volunteer for mankind and this title will definitely help me become the voice of the people who are in need. I am thankful to God and all my friends and family who supported me.

When did you start doing pageants and fashion shows?
Actually, I am very new to the fashion industry. I am more into dancing, anchoring and acting. I used to do advertisements and model for jewellery and cosmetics companies. I got my first entry into the fashion world when I entered the Mrs Kerala pageant. Until then, I was never part of any ramp show. I didn't know I had that X factor to showcase myself on the ramp. Later, I was a part of the Dubai Fashion League where I was the showstopper. The Miss and Mrs International competition was my second entry. This has been my journey into the fashion industry.
A couple of years back, in an interview, you spoke about your preference for doing art movies. Can you tell us more about it and your career in films?
I've always had a passion for acting, but I could not pursue it in my childhood. My parents always stressed on the importance of education, having a job and earning. Even though I got many offers, I didn't join the movie industry. I have mentioned in many interviews that I would prefer doing art movies mainly because that's where you get opportunities to explore your talents. Commercial cinema has a different aspect altogether. It's more about marketing and 'exposing'. I believe content is important, not showing skin on screen.

What's the hardest question you've answered in a pageant?
I participated in only two pageants -  Mrs Kerala 2017 and Miss and Mrs International 2018. The questions at both events were easy to answer. I had not pre-prepared any answers and purely expressed my opinion. In the first pageant, I was asked how, as a beauty queen, I would contribute towards society and help build a clean India. As a social activist, my focus has always been towards the newer generation, so my answer was targeted at schools and getting volunteers. In the second pageant, I was asked if I could change something in myself, what would it be? I replied: 'I love the way I am,' and I just elaborated on that.

You have said that you stand strongly for womanhood. Why is that topic important to you?
I have seen many women struggling in their lives. I have a group of single mothers who are struggling in society. Working for an educational institution, I know that nearly 70 per cent of the total head count  in the classes comprise girls, but when it comes to the professional arena, irrespective of the field, you will never see 70 per cent females in the workforce. Men dominate professional fields. Why not women? Many women get into a cocoon, especially after marriage. A successful woman is one who is able to balance both family and professional life and many of them are doing it now compared to earlier days. My idea is to have a virtual assistance company wherein a woman can work from home and earn an income, she does not have to depend on anybody else.

What or who inspires you?
My biggest inspirations are my friends and family. More so friends because I am socially connected with people. I'm always there to help them as I cannot see anyone struggling. They support me and criticise me.

What's the best piece of advice you have got, and from whom?
My family and friends advise me, big time. I consult my family and friends ahead of any decisions I make.

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