Image consultant Ferial Youakim has used her struggle as strength. An internationally accredited and award-winning image consultant, Youakim is also the first Australian advocate and spokesperson for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) #DignityIsPriceless campaign.

Youakim gained an interest in personal styling and image from her experience as an underprivileged immigrant. A former Palestinian refugee, Youakim felt ostracised as a young girl growing up in an unfamiliar environment. Youakim believes that self-value and confidence starts with dressing dignified. “I want others to feel good about (themselves) and not go through what I went through,” Youakim said, talking about the current refugee situation. “I feel so strongly about stepping forward to help these (refugees) and give some their dignity back by bringing awareness and raising funds for #DignityIsPriceless.”

With decades of experience in running her own empire, ByFerial, of successful image seminars for various charity groups and businesses, Youakim aims to help men and women express personal presentation in both business and social situations. “My dream in life has been to share some of the tools I have found in my own frustrating struggle while not believing in myself,” Youakim says. “You dress to reflect what is within you. The harmony is in your personal style, colour and mood, and with what is inside and outside. I want everyone to not only look good but feel good no matter what age, size, colour or budget they have.”

UNWRA recognised Youakim for her talents, struggles, passion and dedication and officially awarded her The Voice of Success in Struggle in its campaign #DignityIsPriceless. Youakim offers a word of advice to other women facing tough times, “Fight for your rights. Dream and dream big only; then the dream can become a reality.”

In early 2018, Youakim published her first book Beyond Beauty to share her story of success and toil, and moments of overwhelming stress. “I made a name for myself in one of the world’s most glamorous industries but I will never forget where I came from. Be humble, appreciate what you have, be the hope and rock for others. Life is not easy but you need to keep going.”