Chefs, Restaurants Help Survivors of London Fire


London – Many residents of London’s Grenfell Tower may have survived the blaze that destroyed their homes on Thursday, but they have not escaped homelessness and hunger in the holy month of Ramadan, especially since 80 percent of the residents are Muslims from different Arab nationalities.

Many volunteers have since come to their aid.

Restaurants in London rushed to help the survivors, who found themselves without a home or food. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver used his account on Twitter to invite all the survivors to head to one of his restaurants, “Jamie’s Italian”, in Westfield near the Grenfell Tower where they received free food.

Simon Cowell, who produces shows such as “Britain’s Got Talent” and the “X-Factor,” contacted renowned artists like Adele to record a song and dedicate its profits to people who survived the fire.

London’s Chopstix restaurant chain has since the eruption of the fire provided hot meals for survivors in their gathering spots in the center of the capital. Italian restaurant “Cucina” announced that all profits it makes on June 19 will go to the survivors.

Volunteers came from all across Britain to offer help. Some organized campaigns on social media to urge London’s citizens to donate clothes, while others sought to help them find lodgings.

Among the volunteers was Moroccan businesswoman Jalila al-Mastuki, who launched a campaign to donate food and organize iftar meals for Muslim and non-Muslim survivors alike.

She told Asharq Al-Awsat: “I rushed to help people who survived the fire in London because most of them are Arabs and Moroccans. I had to do something.”

“I launched a campaign on Facebook and asked my friends to help in providing food. Things were complicated on the first day because the municipality was not responsive and it relied on Red Cross relief. However, I managed to convince officials that it was important to serve hot meals and halal meat for Muslims, along with the iftar meal for the fast observers. Two days later, I received the municipality’s approval.”

Mastuki said she launched a similar campaign after devastating floods hit southern Morocco. She organized three fundraising campaigns on social media and collected a lot of funds that allowed her to build more than five residents for the displaced.

Asharq Al-Awsat also contacted Moroccan chef Khalid Dahabi, who served food in the campaign.

He said: “The scene was very painful. Seeing the building burning on TV is totally different than seeing it live. We had to do something to help those poor people. I helped Jalila al-Mastuki by cooking healthy and hot food for survivors.”

Dahbai explained that the process was complicated in the beginning because the municipality did not want to appear as if it was not providing enough support.

The Moroccan chef shared his call for help through the daily “Evening Standard,” saying: “I had to give something. Everyone donated clothes, but as a chef, I contributed in serving healthy food for people who need help.”

Ban of Electronics on Flights Bewilders Companies, Travelers

London- The ban of laptops and electronic devices, which are bigger than mobile phones in size, on airplanes heading to the US from airports of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Cairo, Jeddah, Riyadh, Kuwait, Doha, Amman, Istanbul and Casablanca has caused confusion among travelers and airlines.

The same curb on electronics will be applied on travelers to the UK from Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Jordan. Authorities in Washington and London attributed these restrictions to concerns of terrorist attacks.

However, the ban was widely criticized by passengers and airlines as well.

Emirates spokesperson told Asharq Al-Awsat: “It is still early to estimate the influence of the ban on navigations and passengers because it hasn’t come into force yet.”

Yet he expressed disappointment by these restrictions, especially that Emirates has 12 daily flights to the US. He said: “This decision should have been applied at all airports and not only some of them.”

The spokesperson further stated that the safety and security of passengers is a priority and can’t be disregarded. “The company will work on maintaining the traveler’s comfort no matter what,” he added.

Etihad Airways spokesperson declared that the company was officially notified about the decision and will start implementing it next Saturday.

He stressed that the passengers’ safety and security are a priority and that “The company staff will do their best to assist passengers in complying with these guidelines.”

A source from the British government said that the ban will become applicable within days and that 14 companies were notified promptly.

The source added that passengers must contact airlines to verify if they are included in these restrictions, stressing that the British government is cooperating with the companies to implement the ban.

‘Black Friday’ Backfires on the British Markets

black friday

London – The British stores held high expectations after adopting the U.S. “Black Friday” tradition, however, the dream of ideal profits and crazy sales rates had swiftly vanished as costumers did not respond to the market’s new offer and left the owners of big stores deeply disappointed.

The markets didn’t witness the expected loads of crowds despite the massive discounts which only attracted a shy number of shoppers who were aligned outside the stores, according to local media outlets.

Stores in London opened their doors at five o’clock in the morning to welcome shoppers, however only few people who stood in modest rows attended, which turned this day into a “black day” – literally. However, the biggest beneficiaries of this exceptional shopping day were the online shopping websites, where sales exceeded GBP1.5 billion; e-shopping was considered a smart step took by shoppers who became aware of the policies practiced by stores.

This year’s figures shed lights on the growing attraction toward e-shopping and its very bad impact on the crisis of “empty stores”, threatening the major markets in Britain, which are still suffering from the last economic debacle in 2007.

e-Shopping websites

The e-shopping websites have won the biggest share of turnovers and acquired 40% of the total sales rates. Shoppers in the British stores have dropped by 7% compared to last year. As per sales, more than 51% went to smartphones while five e-shopping websites including e-Bay have witnessed remarkable activity.

Shopping websites were not the only winners on this day, some delivery companies have also achieved remarkable gains given that Hermes Parcelnet Ltd, one of the biggest delivery companies in Britain, was expected to deliver 750,000 parcel on one day to consumers.

According to experts, consumers are expected to refund five million parcels representing 27% of the sold items through e-shopping websites especially that refund and exchange policies in Britain have been so flexible.

It is worth noting that sales rates of “John Lewis” stores scored massive sales between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm, with one registered order every five seconds.

Maha Al-Lozi: My jewellery blends East and West

The designer Maha Al-Lozi and some of her creations. (Asharq Al-Awsat)
The designer Maha Al-Lozi and some of her creations. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—“Maha Al-Lozi, or ‘Lozi,’ is the late journalist Salim Al-Lozi your relative?”

“Yes, he is my father,” Maha answers, with a lump in her throat. She quickly looks over to one of the jewelry pieces that are displayed innovatively on a carpet of grass, as though she would prefer to change the subject.

Salim Al-Lozi was a famous Lebanese journalist and publisher who was kidnapped and assassinated in 1980; the identity of his killers was never revealed. Maha contents herself with saying that she is proud her jewels carry her family’s literary and press name, which is well-known in Lebanon and the wider Arab world.

We met in a luxury apartment in the heart of London. Maha chose the place to display her jewels and designs, which reflect her lovable, fun and cheeky character. Her neck was adorned with a long pendant necklace and two earrings of her own design, making her look like a butterfly.

Moving from one corner of the room to the other, Maha’s innovation and creativity were obvious from the outset. A unique display was constructed: two steel ladders with three pieces of wood placed in between, all festooned with ivy representing the “Poison Ivy”—her signature design.

Different items were displayed on shelves in plastic transparent boxes. The phrases she had written on them conveyed her quirkiness: “‘I have enough jewelry,’ said no woman ever” and “Grab life by the horns” in reference to her design that takes the form of a horn encrusted with zirconia gems.

The phrases are also evidence of the Lebanese designer’s spontaneity, who loves her home country from afar after spending most of her life in London. In 2006 she moved to Dubai to initiate a new phase in her career designing clothes for mothers and daughters before she moved on to jewelry design.

Maha started her interview with Asharq Al-Awsat by recounting the story of the bracelet that encouraged her to change her career. In 2009, one of her friends asked her to design a bracelet, which Maha did and the result was wonderful, she says. Maha purchased the gems from a jeweler in Dubai who encouraged her to continue designing. She started selecting more precious and semi-precious stones, and so the success story of Maha Al-Lozi, or “Lozi” as she is called by fashion critics, began. Maha is now launching her new collection in London at the shop at Bluebird located on King’s Road—the UK capital’s renowned luxury fashion avenue.

On the differences between dress and jewelry design, Maha says selling jewels is much easier. She loves her profession, which allows her to express herself through her own creations, also seen in the names of her collections, such as “Je m’en fous,” (I do not care), and “Vraiment, Je m’en fous” (Really, I do not care).

Maha loads her designs onto the computer before the image is transformed into a mold so that the craftsmen can begin their work. She deals with artisans from Lebanon who produce all the pieces by hand, a process that sometimes takes up to six weeks. As for the price tag, it ranges from 500 to 1,500 US dollars. Maha says that she tries to sell her work for the lowest price possible so that more jewelry and design lovers can afford her pieces. For this reason, to keeps costs down, she tends to use the zirconia gems instead of diamonds (in spite of her love for the latter), and uses 18 carat gold for the back of her earrings, but gold plated for the front of the design.

However, the majority of the cost of her designs goes to the craftsmen themselves, something that Maha encourages. Some of her pieces contain as many as 1,500 gems. Maha says that when one customer complained that the gems were not properly fixed, she answered “we are not perfect and so things around us cannot be perfect,” she added smiling, “This is what makes pieces unique because they are handmade and professionally done, and so they are individual and look different from one another.”

Maha says that she is not looking for fame, instead she just feels extremely happy to see a woman wearing one of her designs at a special occasion or in a restaurant. She says she is looking forward to expanding her business due to an already high demand on her products. Last year, she sold double the amount she sold the year before, she says. Today, her designs are available in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and London.

It is clear that the inspiration for many of her designs is drawn from the times that were special to her. Maha comments that her work is inspired by her own Middle Eastern heritage, she is greatly inspired by falamank, a Middle Eastern princess cut design, and concentrates on this type of cut in much of her work. Yet, her pieces also have a bohemian feel, which she acquired during her stay in Sloane Street in West London, where the native residents are called “Sloanies.” Maha Al-Lozi blends all these influences within a mold of superiority and femininity, unlike the classicalism repeated in past epochs.

Maha is of the view that jewels are the most important possessions a woman can have, for they can change the appearance of their clothing; a necklace, earring or a ring and transform a dress from day-wear to night-wear. Maha says she’s a fan of wearing more than one necklace, a style commonly known as “layering,” provided that the selection of the pieces is elegant, streamlined, and harmonious.

Asked about her own style, she says she likes anything organic, as manifested in the way she displays her pieces and in the ivy motif in her most prominent designs. At the same time she is an advocate of vintage and antique pieces, although she does not go for those by famous designers as you can easily find vintage anywhere. She prefers customized pieces that fit the character of the person wearing the item.

When asked whether she repeats her designs, she says she has no problem with redesigning an old collection with a small twist. Throughout the years, some pieces have proven to merit reproduction and remain firm favorites. Maha admits that she, like most designers around the world, is influenced by a design she sees and then imitates it to come up with her own version. This is exactly what happened with the design of an earring that Christian Dior is famous for: an earring with a small ball behind the ear. Maha developed this design into something completely different but relied on Dior’s main idea. The result was an earring with two wings around the ear. This collection also includes rings and a pendant so that it is complete.

Speaking of her future projects, Maha says she does not plan ahead and she lives her life day by day. She is very happy with the recognition she has received among fashion lovers. Her only goal is to keep pace and introduce designs that reflect her own character and vivacity.

First Saudi Female Radio Presenter: Self-belief is paramount

Najdiyah Al-Hejailan speaks to Asharq Al-Awsat at the newspapers headquarters in London. (Asharq Al-Awsat/James Hanna)
Najdiyah Al-Hejailan speaks to Asharq Al-Awsat at the newspapers headquarters in London. (Asharq Al-Awsat/James Hanna)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Najdiyah Al-Hejailan is better known as Salwa Ibrahim, but it is her voice that is perhaps best known of all. She is a pioneer: hers was the first female voice to be broadcast on Saudi airwaves.

Although Najdiyah only worked in the media for a scant four years in the 1960s, her impact can still be felt today, with female media figures following in her footsteps to join a profession that is traditionally dominated by men. During her brief time on the airwaves, Najdiyah presented a number of well-known radio programs, including Sabah Al-Khair (Good Morning), as well as news reports.

Najdiyah Al-Hejailan visited Asharq Al-Awsat’s headquarters in London, where she met with Editor-in-Chief Dr. Adel Al-Toraifi and a number of journalists working at the paper to discuss her pioneering role in Saudi media.

Asharq Al-Awsat: How did you begin your career in the media?

Najdiyah Al-Hejailan: I’d loved television and broadcasting since I was a child in Cairo, and I would try to imitate the Egyptian female broadcasters in the hope that I could be like them. When I was 20 I married Abbas Ghazzawi, who was studying law in Cairo, and we moved to live in the Kingdom. With encouragement from my brother, former Information Minister Jameel Al-Hejailan, and my husband, who was working as general manager of radio and television at the time, I started my experiment in broadcasting. He needed a women’s radio program to be presented by a woman. After this, it was agreed that I would present the Al-Bint Al-Saeed [The Happy Girl] program. Many female colleagues later followed me into work as presenters, and months later I began to participate in radio broadcasts and news broadcasts in both English and French.

Q: Who trained you in elocution and radio presenting?

I never studied media or journalism, although I love this profession, which was and remains my favorite hobby. But I submitted to training in presenting and pronunciation at the hands of my husband, who was one of the biggest supporters of my professional career.

Q: How did you move from radio to television?

I worked in [radio] broadcasting for four years, [before] television broadcasting came to Saudi Arabia. I did not participate in television media but I did participate, along with my husband, in helping to select female presenters . . . I was responsible for the task of editing foreign programs that we would source from the BBC and a number of other channels, so I would delete the scenes that were not allowed to be shown [in Saudi Arabia] because television was new to society, which meant there was a duty to monitor some scenes.

Q: What was the main age group in your audience?

In the early days there was no specific age group of listeners or viewers because there were not a lot of options; radio was the one media outlet for everybody.

Q: What most annoyed you in your early days?

The only thing that annoyed me was intolerance and tension, and lack of respect.

Q: How would you compare TV and radio?

Working in television requires clarity. There cannot be mistakes in live television, which gives a lot of responsibility to the presenter, but radio has its allure as well, particularly as that is where I began my career.

Q: How important is it for a presenter to be cultured?

Both TV and radio presenters need to be cultured— this is the key to media success. In the past, presenting was harder than it is today. For example, we did not have the tools that facilitate the task of reading, such as the teleprompter. Even our scripts were written by hand, so things were much harder than they are today.

Q: How would you describe the media today?

There is an unnatural and annoying media proliferation, while radio and television stations are also very politicized these days. You only need to listen to two news reports to know their political background.

Q: What do you think of Saudi broadcasters today?

It is hard to judge female Saudi broadcasters now, because they began late amid fierce competition between satellite stations. But we must acknowledge that they are exerting a lot of effort. I cannot comment on female Saudi broadcasters because I was one of them, and my daughter has chosen to work as a presenter to complete the role that I began.

Q: What are the qualifications a broadcaster should have?

Self-belief and not being over-reliant on one’s looks, even if this is important, as well as one’s voice, clear elocution and lack of vanity.

Q: What are the characteristics of a successful media figure?

They must love the media, relaying the truth to the audience, whether listeners, readers or viewers, and be diplomatic and calm in discussions.

Q: How do you follow the news?

I begin my day by following the news broadcast on BBC because I am living in London. After this I watch the news on Al-Arabiya, and other satellite television stations. I like Lebanon’s MTV and various other satellite television channels as well.

Q: What do you think of social media?

It is the main artery of the media these days. Living without communication [through social media] is akin to solitary confinement. We wake up and go to sleep to the latest news from a variety of sources.

Q: What is missing in Arab media?

A unity of vocabulary—I would describe the verbal battles on Arab television channels as a “Media World War III.” I would hope that the credibility of the news was the most important thing, particularly during this stage.

Q: What do you think is the biggest flaw in Arab media?

Jealousy between broadcasters and unfair competition; this was not present in my day. We all worked together as a team, and success was for all, not only the individual.

British Airways exec: Competition for Middle East strong

A British Airways airplane waits on the tarmac for a flight to Heathrow airport in Britain on January 1, 2014. (REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel)
A British Airways airplane waits on the tarmac for a flight to Heathrow airport in Britain on January 1, 2014. (REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel)
A British Airways airplane waits on the tarmac for a flight to Heathrow airport in Britain on January 1, 2014. (REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—British Airways’ Middle East regional commercial manager highlighted the importance of the Middle East to the British flag carrier, saying that British Airways (BA) has increased the number of flights it operates from the region to London’s Heathrow airport by 40 percent over the past five years.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, BA Middle East and Central Asia manager Paolo De Renzis placed the airliner’s Middle East expansion down to “continuing high demand,” adding, “this allows us to further invest in our routes in the region.”

He said: “We are constantly investing in our Middle East business, and over the last 18 months have invested in our Saudi Arabian services in particular. In early 2013, we increased capacity on our Riyadh route by more than 1,000 seats per week and also introduced an improved flight schedule, meaning better timings for Saudi customers arriving in London for business and those connecting to North American flights.”

“We also recently announced that we are introducing a four-class Boeing 777 aircraft on our Jeddah service from March 31, 2014, while we are also increasing the frequency of the service to daily. The Boeing 777 aircraft means that customers from Jeddah will be able to enjoy British Airways’ award-winning first-class cabin and latest Club World cabin, with an increase of over 250 seats each week to London Heathrow’s Terminal 5,” he added.

BA’s expansion in the Middle East comes as a number of other international and regional airliners seek to expand their business in the region. De Renzis said: “The Middle East is home to airlines that are really making their mark in the aviation industry, while it is also very competitive from other European carriers. We are very comfortable competing with both, and I am proud to say that we compete well.”

The senior BA executive stressed that his airline is continually monitoring where and when it can increase routes, capacity and flying schedule in the Middle East. “Our London to Dubai and Beirut routes are doing extremely well and we are seeing strong demand from both leisure and business travellers,” he said.

In the week that Abu Dhabi International was named “Best Airport in the Middle East” by the Skytrax World Airport Awards, De Renzis highlighted the quality of airports in the UAE, with Dubai in the process of developing the Al Maktoum International Airport.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The investment from the Dubai government into providing a second airport in the emirate, Al Maktoum International Airport, will help cement Dubai’s long-term future in the aviation industry for the UAE and the wider region. When fully complete, Al Maktoum International Airport will have the capacity to handle 160 million passengers, and we definitely feel this will open up more opportunities for British Airways as well as other airlines.”

“There is huge growth in this market, which is important seeing as the Middle East is expected to be the fastest-growing region globally. The International Air Transport Association forecasts that passenger traffic into the UAE will hit 82.3 million by 2015, driven by a 9.4 percent Middle East-wide rise in air passengers,” he said.

The Plastic Surgeon Who Says “No”

File photo illustrating the use of injectable dermal fillers.
File photo illustrating the use of injectable dermal fillers.
File photo illustrating the use of injectable dermal fillers. (Shutterstock)

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Some view the signs of aging as an inevitable part of life and are proud of the lines that time has etched on their faces. These people live in peace with the wrinkles that represent their past life. Others, however, do not share this outlook and will happily resort to cosmetic surgery as well as non-surgical cosmetic procedures for help. But if they do make that choice, what’s important is to choose the right surgeon at the right time.

Doctor Olivier Henry de Frahan is regarded as one of the best cosmetic surgeon in the world and is ranked one of the top 10 doctors globally. He has two clinics, one in Wilbraham Place, close to upmarket Sloane Street in the heart of London, and another in Paris. Recently, he spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat about cosmetic surgery, facelift methods, how to get rid of bags under the eyes, procedures to tighten eyelids and liposuction.

When we arrive at his London clinic there is already a queue of men and women waiting to see him. His time is precious, especially as he splits his days between the two clinics. After waiting more than half an hour, Dr. de Frahan appears, tall, slender and lean-faced. After greeting the patients in the waiting room he approaches us cautiously, claiming he does not like interviews very much and believes that a good doctor should appear infrequently in the media, and successful doctors should focus mainly on their work in light of the severe time constraints they face.

We start by talking about the doctor’s nicknames: “The No, No Doctor” and “Dr. No.” He smiles and says they arose from the fact that he is “very frank, and I say ‘no’ to patients who do not need surgery.”

In his French accent, Dr. de Frahan adds he will sometimes tell women who do not need surgery, “Go change the lights in your house.” And if the reason for her wanting surgery is that other people have told her she needs it, he will say, “Go change them, too.” But what if it’s the man in her life telling her she needs a facelift? He stops for a moment, and I ask him, “Would you tell her to get rid of him?” He answers, laughing, “No comment.”

When we ask him how he can refuse to perform operations when as a doctor he has to make a living, his answer is, again, very frank: “My family is rich.” He adds that some doctors who do cosmetic work these days do so only to make money and not because of their love of medicine. He says: “When I see that the patient needs surgery of any kind I do it without hesitation, but when I see that he or she does not need an operation, I apologize and advise him or her to see another doctor who will perform it. When there is a real need, the practical result will be better. Everything must be done within its time. It is not helpful to do an eyelid lift too early or too late. I decide to perform the operation when I am 99 percent confident that I must do so. Otherwise, I won’t do it.”

He talks about his role in choosing what is appropriate for an individual’s face, using the example of enlarging lips. He says he does not like to impose his views on a patient, but he does choose what fits best with a person’s facial structure, including the amount of product used and the style of the procedure. These are key to the success of any cosmetic procedure.

When asked about the types of patients he encounters, Dr. de Frahan laughs again, saying: “The question is complicated. There are several types of patient, ranging from celebrities to active and successful people within the community who know what they want. There are also people who refuse to succumb to the aging process. My patients come from all over the world, from New York, Russia, France, Britain, Turkey and the Middle East.”

Dr. de Frahan says one problem for many of his patients in the Arab world is the excessive and random use of facial injections, which do not completely dissolve with time. This is known as the ‘soft technique’ in the Middle East, and most often the problem lies with the materials used, as filler injections differ from one doctor to another. A large percentage of Middle Easterners come to him to look younger, repair errors or eliminate material injected in the face. This type of work is the most difficult, because the doctor has to both reshape the face to its previous form and improve it at the same time.

He rejects the recent phenomenon known as the “Frozen Look,” which erases facial expressions completely and makes one’s face look, in his opinion, like a “wax statue.” He continues, saying, “I believe in natural beauty, which does represent a contradiction because I perform facelifts, but my philosophy is based on surgical and non-surgical procedures that retain the patient’s original facial features . . . It is very important to work in a way that complements each patient individually based on customs or other considerations. The same technique cannot be applied to all patients, as facial forms vary and each person has a different percentage of fat in their body.”

When asked about the optimal age for operations to remove under-eye bags, Dr. de Frahan says there is no fixed age because genetic factors play a large role in the aging process. It is possible, he says, to find people with bags under their eyes at the age of 20, and in his view the operation could be performed then. Several problems other than under-eye bags require surgical intervention, such as excess skin around the eye and droopy eyelids at the corners. The solution is not always an operation: sometimes the problems can be addressed using Botox, which Dr. de Frahan claims does not have negative repercussions so long as appropriate quantities are used. But he says Botox injections should be administered only twice a year.

On the topic of whether he prefers dealing with faces that are already beautiful, Dr. de Frahan says starting out with a beautiful face leads to special results. When working on a less beautiful face, he says, the result will be satisfactory, but not as impressive as work done on an already pretty face. “When I work on a pretty face, I feel challenged because you have the key to the details of the original beauty, then refreshing or restoring them without changing them.”

It is well-known that many stars deny they have had cosmetic surgery and Dr. de Frahan says he resents this—in fact, he says when he sees a star who has had one of his operations on television denying they have had cosmetic work done, he wants to smash the screen. However, at the same time he feels proud because it means he was able to improve this person’s appearance without making drastic changes. “In the past I was upset when I met a celebrity at a public event and she acted like she didn’t know me, but today I feel that this type of denial is actually paying homage to my work, which strives to produce a natural form,” he says.

Cosmetic surgery is not a profession like sewing, the doctor continues. He observes that the seamstress may produce many dresses from one pattern, but the plastic surgeon must devise a different plan for each operation. Faces and cultures differ, and that’s what makes his job beautiful, he says, because he is eager to see the result every time he performs a new operation.

Twenty percent of his patients are male. It is a significant proportion compared to figures in the past, and the most common procedures undergone by men include facelifts, tightening up the area around the eyes and both traditional and laser liposuction.

Liposuction is one of Dr. de Frahan’s specializations, along with facelifts and eyelid work. He says that the traditional way is best, because skill and technique is more important than technology. He spends hours on these procedures because it helps him achieve better results in terms of both the resulting form and reducing the patient’s pain after the operation.

He claims that many misconceptions exist about liposuction. Some think it will help them lose lots of weight, but he stresses that the operation should not be considered a weight-loss method but as a “reshaping” surgery. Losing weight happens through exercise and a healthy diet, he says, and it is very important for patients to heed their doctors’ advice, so maintaining a healthy weight after undergoing liposuction is very important.

On defining beauty, Dr. de Frahan says the issue is a complex one and that there is no one standard for beauty. It is defined by personal preferences and sense of taste.

Maintaining beauty is important, but it is not important that we look 20 years younger, he claims. In his opinion, after plastic surgery some stars, whose names he said he cannot reveal, look younger in age but don’t actually resemble their younger selves. When a person looks this dramatically different, it means, in Dr. de Frahan’s opinion, that the operation has failed.

He says that he looks at women through the eyes of a man. When he sees a woman in the street, he often thinks to himself, “She would look better if she removed the pockets under her eyes.” He does not get upset when women ask him about his work and whether they need a cosmetic procedure at private parties. However, he stresses that he refuses to perform surgery on his partner, saying, “This is my style. Other surgeons are proud to perform surgery on their partners.”

As for non-surgical procedures such as heat facelifts, Dr. de Frahan says he does not perform them. He believes these procedures are being carried out too early and that a minimum of two years is required to understand the side effects. He reasons that, in the end, a facelift cannot be completed without cutting the skin and working to restore muscle and fat distribution in a balanced way.

At the conversation comes to an end, Dr. de Frahan advises the use of hyaluronic acid fillings instead of utilizing materials that are irreversible. He only uses uronic acid when injecting into the face or lips and does not use it at all when enlarging cheeks. He also advises that patients meet with their doctor before agreeing to undergo a procedure, as it is essential the patient feels comfortable with the surgeon. The best way to find a seasoned practitioner is to ask friends and acquaintances about their positive experiences with surgeons. Patients should also check the doctor’s certification and ask to see pictures of patients the doctor has worked on before and after the operation.