When great minds think alike, no matter how different they are, their paths will cross to create greater accomplishments. Such is the case with co-founders of the latest eatery, 10.oh.8, where Lama AlFadala and Mohammad Sultan are serving up a comfort food menu that brought us to our knees last month. Why we completely fell in love with 10.oh.8, a great percentage goes to a sponsored cause or charity every three months, and these philanthropists/foodies are going local with their causes, finding great pleasure in serving the local community in an effort to inspire others.
As co-founder of 10.oh.8, Lama spent her previous career as the managing partner of Design Squared, a boutique interior architecture agency. She states, “Although it was sad that the last design project done by Design Squared was 10.oh.8, I’m learning how to move onto new ventures. We were fortunate to meet interesting clients with extra-ordinary projects, testing the market with our own new project; it is a continuous learning experience.” Mohammad, Lama’s business partner and co-founder of the soul food haven, who surprisingly happens to be a gym freak, comically comments on his new venture, “ I deny it all the time to avoid believing it, but I love food!” However, we shan’t underestimate Mohammed, for this young fresh graduate bravely went forward with 10.oh.8, determined to prove that food can taste delicious, while also making a difference in someone else’s life.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Lama: When I see my children doing what makes them happy. Joah, my eldest, singing her favorite song and coming up with dance moves. Leen, horse back riding, as a princess of course. Zina, my youngest, in such a hurry to grow up, singing whatever Joah sings and starting horseback riding lessons a year early.
Mo: Perfect happiness is when I step on the scale and haven’t gained weight. Perfect happiness is when my dad doesn’t tell my friends that they seem to have gained weight. All in all, perfect happiness is when everything goes well and everyone is untroubled (and hasn’t gained weight).
What is your greatest fear?
Lama: Growing old and becoming a burden to others. It’s not the idea of aging; it’s being restrained from doing things on my own.
Mo: Cockroaches, especially ones that fly. Also, if a bird pooped on my head, I’d probably die. I honestly don’t think I’m scared of anything in this world more than those two things. No, but seriously, my greatest fear would be a death in the family. I seriously don’t think I’d be able to handle it.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Lama: I’m a nag!! Bil Kuwaiti: 7anna!
Mo: My expressive face. If you ask most of my friends, they’d probably back me up on this one. You know the Internet abbreviation ‘wtf’ and what it stands for? Well, my friends have given me a WTF nickname, except mine stands for ‘why the face?’ It’s something I can’t control; my face is very expressive.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lama: Being fake. People! Practice what you preach. The snowball effect taking place across the Arab world clearly shows leaders preaching for freedom, democracy and reform; yet none practiced.
Mo: Usually I’d say liars because seriously, what’s worse than being a liar? But between you and I, I find them funny and creative, and it’s especially hilarious when you know the truth but you just let them keep going and going. In my personal opinion, I also find people who are materialistic not to be my favorite. I want to say I find it a little sad, but to each his own. No judgment from my end, whatsoever.
Which living person do you most admire?
Lama: Dr. Sanad Al Fadala, a great doctor and even a greater father. He has the ability to bring about feelings of calmness and control. He listens to everyone and has solutions for any problem that comes up. He helped my siblings and I through hard times and always had a positive attitude with hope that tomorrow will be a better day. My father supported us with all of our choices and pushed us to excel and succeed. He’s a helping hand for people without discrimination – such a great trait to pass on to us. He’s reserved but has a great sense of humor, “He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it” Clarence Budington Kelland.
Mo: Oh, I could name a few people I admire. I could also Google a few names to sound intelligent, but I don’t want to be a liar (despite finding them hilarious). So, how unoriginal would I be if I said my dad? Because honestly, he really is the living person I most admire. I don’t know much about other people’s fathers, but I know that mine is the hardest working person I’ve ever known. He has accomplished so much, and each accomplishment is well-deserved.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Lama: A proud collector of Kathleen Caid’s handmade, one of a kind, antique lamps. Khayal!
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Lama: Seriously?! – Simply – Basically – Khayal – 3ajeeb.
Mo: “Yes” or similar words that yield the same meaning. I know people don’t want to hear the words “no” or “maybe,” so I just say “yes” to satisfy everyone. My “yes” may be sarcastic and completely untrue at times, but hey, it’s still a yes.
When were you happiest?
Lama: In 1996, senior year of high school at ASK. Definitely, one of my happiest times. Simply because the biggest responsibility was applying for college and the ultimate goal was making sure 15 years later it would be remembered. Nevertheless I’m a happy person at heart.
Mo: I’m happiest between the hours of 7am and 10am, because breakfast is my favorite meal. I really love breakfast and it makes me very happy.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Lama: Racing, to be a skilled driver fit for F1. I love speed!
Mo: I really would like to be able to sing like Adam Levine, rap like Drake or Nicki Minaj and move like Chris Brown. I want to be a triple threat. When I sing with them I feel like our voices match, but truth be told, I’m not sure.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
Lama: Basically, being completely independent.
Mo: Up until now, I think my greatest achievement would be the process by which we finally launched 10.Oh.8. I know everything should be systematic, documented and organized, but damn do I feel like I deserve a Noble Prize after this. I think more amount of work was put in hustling my butt to get this company started and getting all the required paperwork and signatures than was needed to get my Bachelor’s degree.
Where would you most like to live?
Lama: Beirut, the originality of the city, its narrow streets, the mix of the old and new architecture, beaches, mountain, amazing weather and also yummy food! Beiruuuut shoo shta’telik!
Mo: Where my heart truly belongs: Los Angeles. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kuwait and the perks that come with living here, but I’ve been back for two years now and not a day passes that I don’t sit and recall the good ol’ days of the City of Angels.
For more information about Lama and Mohammad, please visit www.10.oh.8.com .