The Women Behind Unity; Get to know Hanan…

Being Moroccan and born in France has provided Hanan with a vibrant and cultural upbringing surrounded by beautiful landscapes and nature. Get to know Hanan and how Ayurveda has inspired her…

In the 1970’s, my parents emigrated from Morocco to a very small village in the North East of France in the Alsace region. I have a large family with 5 siblings, 7 beautiful nephews and nieces, and many cousins.

Pictured above, Han (middle) with her Mum and siblings in the 1970’s.

I love to travel and I have lived and worked in many countries including, France, the UK, Spain, Portugal, India, Mexico and now Switzerland. I have spent most of my career working in the travel industry as a holiday advisor, holiday rep and a translator.

Today, I work in the town of Winterthur, just outside of ZΓΌrich as a Purchaser. I live in a nearby village where I can access beautiful walks and nature reserves.

Having spent many years travelling and working abroad, I really appreciate the free time with my family in the Alsace region in France. This is my favourite place to visit when I’m not rushing around with work and other obligations. This is a place where I can ground myself, surrounded by nature. The smells remind me of childhood – the fresh scent of pine trees, the clean mountain air and the spices from my Mum’s cooking.

Being β€œ home” humbles me and there I can enjoy the most delicious homemade cuisine and share secrets with my Mum.

When I was younger, I would love to watch my Aunts and Grand Mothers in Morocco using plants all the time to heal anything from insect bites to skin allergies. They would also use natural plant-based products for their beauty rituals in the local hammam to have beautiful hair, glowing skin, or at home to whiten their teeth or to create Khol to protect their eyes. I remember this giving them that hypnotic stare.

Nowadays, I have to say that my favourite pastimes are to create natural cosmetics and to experiment with plant-based foods to be healthier. I enjoy cooking for my friends and loved ones creating traditional Moroccan dishes such as, tagines, couscous and vegetarian starters. I like to use the treasured spices that are famous for bringing Moroccan flavour.

I also love to cook food from around the world and during my time abroad, I have learnt many different recipes from new friends and classes in Mexico, Vietnam, Cambodia, Italy, Spain and India.

Since visiting Kerala in 2018 and learning about Ayurveda, I have been inspired to experiment with different spices, coconut based ingredients and to prepare Ayurvedic meals according to the season, or the people I am cooking for. Ayurveda helps us to find the food that benefits our individual constitutions and encourages us to be mindful about what we are eating.

My travels, encounters and the things I have learnt are inspiring me to nourish myself differently. I have created a whole range of natural cosmetics such as face masks, soaps, scrubs, oils and serums. I am so excited to share my favourite recipes and the benefits of the natural ingredients I choose.

Travelling remains a large part of me as I can continue to find inspiration from different cultures. Searching for local treasures is my biggest fascination – shopping for rare spices, beauty products, jewellery, haggling in markets and going to the local spas.

When I’m visiting new countries, I love to discover the beauty rituals of the local women and the natural products they use. I like to share my discoveries with friends and family and practise facial therapies using the masks and serums I have created.

My favourite mantra is “be your own kind of beautiful.” I am passionate about inspiring others to appreciate their uniqueness and to help them understand how they can find fulfilment.

In future articles, I will be exploring Ayurveda, my natural cosmetics range, delicious recipes and how I discovered yoga.

With love, Hanan.

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