|Photo Credit: Nada Hakeem Photography|
Daryna is a 22-year-old model/banquet coordinator who was transplanted from the Ukraine to Saudi Arabia when she was four years old. Her father, Vladmir Tkachenko, was an Olympic swimmer who was lured to Saudi Arabia by a lucrative job offer in 1993. Daryna’s mother was also a swimmer as well as a model, and both her parents have been working in KSA as personal fitness trainers for the past ten years. Daryna, who has a sister who also lives in Saudi Arabia, says she comes from a traditional Russian Christian family with lots of cats. She is single but hopes to marry one day soon and start her own family. This talented young lady is fluent in English, Russian, Ukranian, Arabic, and French.
Daryna was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions for me.
|Salmon Turban by Sotra.|
WHEN I WAS FOUR YEARS OLD, MY PARENTS’ FRIENDS NEEDED SOMEONE TO ADVERTISE FOR SAUDIA AIRLINES. I WAS ONE OF THE LUCKY NON-ARAB KIDS TO PASS THE CASTING! EVER SINCE, FRIENDS OF FRIENDS HAVE INVITED ME TO HELP PROMOTE THEIR BRANDS AND I AM ALWAYS THERE TO HELP OUT!
Did you take any modeling, makeup, or fashion courses or have special training to be a model?
NO SPECIAL TRAINING – NOTHING BUT LEARNED BEHAVIOR. MOM WAS A PROFESSIONAL MODEL BACK IN THE 1990’S.
Have you ever modeled outside KSA?
NO, I HAVE NEVER HAVE MODELED OUTSIDE OF KSA.
Have you ever thought about acting?
YES, ACTING ALWAYS SOUNDED LIKE AN INTERESTING OPTION.
|Photo credit: Mokhtar Chahine|
NOT AT ALL – I ONLY RECENTLY JOINED THE GYM. THE MAIN REASON FOR THAT WAS MY BLUE-BLOODED STATE – AFTER A 10 HOUR DAY OF ZERO MOVEMENT, ONE LOSES FEELING IN HER LEGS.
Do you watch what you eat or are you one of those lucky people who can eat whatever she wants and not have to worry about gaining weight?
I AM ONE OF THOSE KIDS OF ATHELETES WHO INHERITED GOOD GENES. I EAT NON-STOP :D
Tell me about your education.
FROM KINDERGARDEN TO HIGH SCHOOL I STUDIED IN KSA. I FINISHED UNIVERSITY AND BUSINESS SCHOOL IN UKRAINE.
|Photo credit: The Passionates|
How often do you get to visit the Ukraine?
NOW THAT I WORK, I BARELY VISIT. I USED TO TRAVEL THERE EVERY SUMMER WITH FAMILY WHEN I WAS GROWING UP.
What other countries have you visited?
UNFORTUNATELY I HAVEN’T TRAVELED ALL THAT MUCH HONESTLY. I HAVE BEEN TO UKRAINE, RUSSIA, PARIS, TURKEY, AND MOROCCO.
|Photo credit: The Passionates|
What countries would you like to visit that you haven’t yet been to?
ENGLAND - EVERYONE SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN & SEEN IT ALREADY.
Tell me about your job at the Movenpick Resort.
I WORK FULL TIME AND AM NOW A COMMUNICATION AND BANQUET COORDINATOR, SO I HANDLE TWO DEPARTMENTS. MY DUTIES INCLUDE MAINLY COORDINATING AND COMMUNICATING THE GUESTS’ REQUESTS TO THE CHEF AND THE BANQUET STAFF FOR MEETINGS AND OUTSIDE CATERING EVENTS, PLUS MEDIA AND PR FOR PRESS RELEASES, ETC.
What are your favorite foods?
UKRAINIAN DISHES ARE MY FAVORITE. WHEN I AM IN SAUDI, I ENJOY ARABIAN DISHES (RICE WITH CHICKEN OR LAMB, HOMMOS.
|Photo credit: Ala'a Kutbi|
What do you like to do in your spare time here in Jeddah?
IN MY SPARE TIME I LIKE TO VISIT FRIENDS. OUR GATHERINGS MAINLY TAKE PLACE IN COMPOUNDS, WHERE WE FEEL FREE TO WATCH MOVIES OR SIT & CHAT IN A LIVING ROOM WITH SNACKS, PLAYSTATION, AND NICE MUSIC IN THE BACKGROUND.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you like to live?
I WOULD LIKE TO LIVE IN JEDDAH, MY HOME IN THE DESERT . I DON’T SEE MYSELF BEING AS COMFORTABLE ANYWHERE ELSE.
Do you think that living in KSA has affected the person that you are today? If so, in what ways?
ABSOLUTELY! I WOULD SAY I AM ONLY UKRAINIAN ON THE OUTSIDE. FROM HOW I ACT TO HOW I DRESS TO HOW I SPEAK AT TIMES, GROWING UP IN SAUDI SHAPED ME, AND I AM BLESSED TO HAVE BEEN BROUGHT UP HERE.
|Photo credit: Reem Bajabaa|
Women's status in KSA is a frequent topic of news reports - what are your feelings about this and are there changes you would like to see happen in this country?
BEING FEATURED IN THE NEWS MYSELF, I SEE FREEDOM EVOLVE – BUT THE MENTALITY OF MOST WILL ONLY BE PASSED ON TO THE NEXT GENERATIONS. I THEREFORE DON’T FORECAST MUCH CHANGE FOR FEMALES IN KSA.