For The Disco Issue, we flew in internationally-acclaimed Arab actress Dorra Narrouk, who we interviewed and shot exclusively for the December issue. Here’s a sneak peek of the interview…

Dorra Zarrouk is a sight to behold. The Tunisian-born, Egypt-based actress effortlessly straddles the line of beauty and brains. With a background in political sciences and a love of the arts in all forms, Dorra has an expert capacity for critical conversations – but she doesn’t like to mix the two worlds. She tells us how her parents went from being skeptics to being her biggest supporters, where she draws the line on character research and why Arab cinema could do with more fantasy.


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Coming from an Arab background, how did you embrace theatre? Were you exposed to it as a child?

I’ve always taken an interest in theatre. Taking part in school plays was a passion that continued to grow in me and made me realise how strongly I felt about acting. Growing up, my mother used to take me to see plays all the time and I remember telling myself that I was going to do this one day. In fact, I actually started my acting career in theatre.

Dorra Zarrouk

There is a saying that you can’t be what you can’t see. Who was your big inspiration growing up?

It would have to be the Egyptian actress Faten Hamama. She was someone I’ve always watched and admired for the influential effect she’s had on women’s rights in the Arab world. As a pioneer in the industry, she’s inspiring because she was really able to make a difference and no matter what role she took on, she was always able to preserve her refined image.

What did your parents think of your career choice?


At first it was very difficult to gain their support. My parents were very concerned about me entering this industry, especially my father, and they were quite skeptical about me succeeding. This was one of the main motivating factors in pursuing this career path, because it became a challenge for me to prove to them that I was capable of doing it. They were eventually extremely supportive and were truly my biggest fans.

You also studied law before going into cinema. Did you ever practice it?

Law was my father’s dream. I never really saw myself practicing it because I knew what I wanted to do. He was a lawyer himself so I felt like I could at least give it a try.

Dorra Zarrouk

How important is it to you to balance your art with political sciences? What do you do to bring both worlds together?

I benefited a great deal from studying political sciences, but I don’t try to integrate it into my career. I believe that one could have strong personal opinions and political views, but they shouldn’t let them affect what they do in their career. As an actress, I wouldn’t want any biases preventing me from taking on any challenging or unconventional roles.

To read the full interview and see the photo shoot, pick up the latest December issue of Emirates Woman. 

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Cover star: Dorra Zarrouk

Jewelry: Bulgari 

Fashion direction and styling: Carmel Harrison 

Interview: Georgie Bradley 

Hair: Bianca Hartkopf

Photographer: Greg Adamski  for Emirates Woman 

Make up: Manuel Losada  

Nails: Tips and Toes Middle East