She is just 19 years old and lives in Amsterdam. She is studying Bachelor in Business Administration. She loves to dance the oriental belly dance and the brasilian samba. Last month she was crowned Miss Eco Netherlands 2016 and she will travel to Egypt to represent the Netherlands at the Miss Eco Universe pageant. Laura participated in a few minor pageants so far so we would like to get to know her a little bit better.
We asked Laura 10 questions….
Who is Laura Ghobrial?
I am free, optimistic, peaceful, happy, extrovert, slightly chaotic, eager to learn, creative and energetic. Just a few words to describe myself! In my day to day life, I study BBA at Nyenrode New Business School and I work out 6 days a week. In my free time, I dance, read books, cook for friends or travel. I have interests in so many things. One day I paint, the next day I will spend hours on writing a story or poem, and the day after I will have a photoshoot to hopefully make a beautiful, unique picture. I recently bought a darbuka (Arabic drum instrument) to play with, I always have new things to explore.
This was not your first pageant. What pageants did you already participate in, and what did you learn from those pageants?
I participated in three local pageants before. I remember the first one so well. I was 17 years old and so insecure about many things. The pageants helped me in the journey to discover who I am. As a teenager you just have to find out. You think you know but actually you have no clue! Now, two years have passed and I have developed very quickly in that time. The pageants forced me to think about myself as a person, and I saw some of the other girls going through the same process. Looking back, I am forever grateful that I had these experiences. Let’s see what there is more to come!
Why did you decide to enter the Miss Eco Netherlands 2016 pageant?
After three local pageants, growing up and sorting my life out, I thought it was time to take the plunge and fill in the application form. Miss Eco is special to me because it actually promotes a great cause that I fully believe in. I do not feel good with drawing attention just to myself. I am happy that I can draw attention to eco-tourism and hopefully make a change. This gives me the chance to use my capabilities in supporting or running projects.
What can you tell us about the Miss Eco Netherlands 2016 pageant?
I must admit that I was nervous on my way to the casting of the pageant. Luckily, after having met the organization and the other contestants, I calmed down. The positivity and openness of everybody, made it a fun day full of conversations and laughter. There were several activities, such as a forest tour, an interview, mini photoshoot and catwalk round. I enjoyed all of it. Until the moment of truth: Who would be the four finalists? After a great day and having heard the stories from Miss Eco 2015, I realized how bad I wanted to be one of the finalists. After the judges had called three names, I almost lost it. But then, the fourth name, was mine!! The crown was one step closer.
The organization started a private facebook group where announced the challenges that we had to do. The biggest challenge was to make a vlog about eco-tourism in your home town. Boy, I was excited! Since I am completely in love with my city Amsterdam, I was more than happy to show it! I worked very hard on the video and I am very satisfied with the result. Now, I am going to make another promo video about Egypt, so stay tuned!
How are you preparing for the international Miss Eco Universe 2016 pageant?
At this moment, the pageant is my number one priority. I work out six days a week, multiple hours a day. I skip dining out (what I absolutely love), and cook fresh meals everyday. I wear as little make-up as possible and I do not style my hair with heat. Basically, I am taking very good care of myself to be in the best shape possible in Egypt. Inner peace and beauty is just as important, so I make sure to get enough time for sleep and meditation. And of course, enjoy all the things that I do and make the best time of it. I will have to do some shopping as well, to make sure all of my outfits are on point during the entire stay in Egypt.
You are egyptian/dutch. What is typical dutch about you and what is typical egyptian about you?
I was raised Dutch, which I am very proud of, and I think I have a Dutch mentality. My feeling for music is definitely from the Egyptian blood. I listen to classical Arabic music everyday, and the joy it brings me is irreplaceable. A strong trait of mine is that I am very peaceful. I live in the moment, do not care for negativity and always take problems lightly. Maybe this laissez-faire thinking also originates from my Egyptian roots.
Miss Eco Universe is a new pageant; what will you do to make this pageant known in the Netherlands?
Since I think Miss Eco is such a great initiative, I will definitely do my best to make it as known as I can. I want to collaborate with people running different eco projects. This way, the pageant will get more brand-awareness in the eco community. I am just at the beginning of my year, but I have some great plans with making this a year to remember!
How do you live your life ecologically?
I am aware of the huge amounts of waste produced every day. The key to making a difference starts with yourself. I strongly believe in living a minimalistic lifestyle. This means that I do not own a lot of things. I own what I need, and whatever I do not need, I give to friends or donate to charity. Living minimalistic saves a lot in every way. Next to this, I follow a mostly vegan diet. Plant-based products are much more eco-friendly than those that are animal-based. Lastly, I like to use pure, natural beauty products such as argan oil and henna, since I do not believe in the effectiveness and need for chemical products.
What do you hope to learn at the international pageant, what you will take with you for the rest of your life?
It will be a true adventure, meeting ladies from all over the world who all have the same goal: Winning the crown. I will go into it without any expectations. I hope to enjoy, make friends and be happy, take in every moment and learn from it. Three weeks away is the longest I have ever been abroad, so even that will be new to me!
Where will you be in 10 years and what will you do?
After 10 years, I will be 29 years old. I will have finished several university studies and I will at least own one company. When my business becomes successful, I will fund education in countries that lack it, and I hope to support projects that fight child prostitution. I will either live in Amsterdam, another large European city, or in Asia. Next to having a career, I will be a very happy woman with a balanced life, great friends, many experiences and even more crazy stories to tell! I will still live as if I were 19, I enjoy my life as it is and I would not want to change for anything.
We would like to thank Laura for her time and we wish her all the best of luck in Egypt during the Miss Eco Universe pageant. We would also like to thank 12 Months of Beauty for their time.
photography: Johnny ten Have
Make up: Willemien Awuku
Dress: Bjorn Kersten
ECO dress: Albert Chapel
Crown and jewelry: BaroQco by Eduardo