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The Sassiest Mama 2014 DXB: Emily Madghachian

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Mamas if you’ve got an aspiring actor or actress at home then chances are you’ve come across Theatre Works after school drama classes. Founded by boho-esque mama Emily who shares a passion for film with 12 year old daughter Skye (and has a penchant for chocolate and coffee – don’t we all!). Having lived in Dubai for over 30 years, Emily is certainly one of the city’s Sassiest Mamas!

Name: Emily Madghachian
Occupation: Founder of Theatre Works!
Children: Skye Rose, 12 years old
Nationality: British and Canadian
How long have you lived in Dubai? 32 years

Tell us about your business/businesses and why you started them.

I started offering Drama classes in 2002 to children aged 4-11. Having grown up in the Emirates and in Egypt where very little creative was on offer for children, I wanted to give kids the opportunity to delve into something other than sports which abound. A keen sportswoman myself, I had studied Theatre at University and understood personally the benefits for growth and development through Drama. Through my subsequent travels I had the opportunity to ‘play’ with kids using what I had learned at Uni and saw enormous benefits in shy children in a short period of days and wanted to spread the magic! Since then I have developed a keener interest in preparing kids’ for their futures through the Dramatic Arts.

What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?

Being able to run a business and provide for my child while enjoying a wonderful relationship with her is something that I am very grateful for.

As a child what did you dream of being when you ‘grew up’?

Before I turned 5, I used to dream of being a princess like all little girls did, which is strange as I have a passionate aversion to ‘princess’ culture!   I mean, could anything be more dull than doing nothing but looking pretty and perfect all the time while waiting for a prince to come and take care of us?   We girls can be so much more!

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

  1. For my daughter to live a long, healthy life.
  2. For all of the suffering of children around the world to stop
  3. And selfishly, a little more time in each day to relax.

What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?

I associate the term with women and mothers who have enough attitude and self-belief to create a difference. And I really like it that I have been acknowledged as such… makes me want to walk a little taller in fact, so thank you!

What’s a typical day in your life like?

Hectic but productive!

What’s your guilty pleasure? 


Good coffee, good dark chocolate and good red wine.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?

Don’t be afraid to make your mark, or to own your space in the world.

What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?

My daughter Skye and I are film buffs, as are my father and his mother before him, so we love to disappear into movies together and then come out dissecting the details about the characters and the production. We also love to eat out together on the weekends and catch up on the week.

What is the ‘best-kept’ secret in Dubai, something fellow mamas should know about?

I really do enjoy the Bu Khtair Fish shack in Umm Suqueim 2. To eat there with friends is to be transported away from the luxuries and lifestyle of Dubai for an hour or so, while enjoying truly scrumptious fish and a vibrant atmosphere made up of people from all walks of life. I really enjoy that slice of Dubai where all come together as one.

Which three words best describe your personality? 

Extrovert, caring, passionate.

What advice would you have for a new mama?

Read your kids bed time stories every night and keep them away from screens for as long as you can!

What advice would you give to a mama who wants to go back to work or start her own business but is worried about juggling family and career?

Don’t feel guilty about your desires to make something for yourself… you will be serving your children a wonderful example for enterprise. But get organised, and get yourself some good support in the form of a wonderful nanny who can pick up the pieces that you simply won’t get to. There is absolutely NO shame in having a nanny/housemaid… remember you are providing them with honest and fair employment. Treat them well and they will be an integral part of your success.

If you were on an island and could bring only 3 things (family not included) what would they be?

Good coffee, good dark chocolate and good red wine! 😉

Top three books?

The Tennis Partner – Abraham Verghese, Wonder – R.J. Palacio and Eye of the Sun – Ahdaf Soueif

Describe your style.

Generally quite a boho, beachy type, but can be known to be a rock chick from time to time….

If there was a movie produced about your life, who would you choose to play you and why?

Julianne Moore or Julia Roberts – both have enormous range as actresses as well as possessing a quality on screen that I greatly admire. And of course, because it would be an enormous honour!

images of our Sassiest Mamas 2014 are courtesy of Jo Cole 

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