Zahra is one of our delightful optometrists at FINLAY who has been part of the team since 2020. With almost 20 years worth of experience, Zahra has worked mainly in general practice and part time in specialist hospital settings. She shares with us one of her biggest career highlights, her love for FINLAY and if eating carrots can actually help you see in the dark...
Zahra wears Percy Dark Rum Spectacles - $200
Where do we find you?
You will fine me at the FINLAY store in Notting Hill on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
What do you enjoy most about working at FINLAY?
The work ethos. Working at FINLAY feels like you are part of something very special. This stems from the founders and permeates to the wider team. It's not just a workplace, it's a family.
Your current favourite FINLAY frame?
I am loving the Henrietta sunglasses at the moment. They're extremely elegant and are perfect for all year round.
When did you know you wanted to become an Optometrist?
I don't have a great childhood story about visiting optometrists, as I didn't wear glasses or have a lazy eye as a child. I guess it stemmed from an interest in biology and physics in conjunction with wanting to have a positive impact.
Can eating carrots actually help you see in the dark?!
Yes, it's true carrots are rich in the compound beta-carotene, which your body uses to make a form of vitamin A that helps your eyes adjust in the dark. If someone suffers from severe vitamin A deficiency, this can cause night blindness. This is just one of the important links between Vitamin A and eye health. Vitamin A also plays a crucial role in maintaining a clear cornea, which is the outer layer of the front of the eye. Adding powerful vitamins, antioxidants and minerals to your diet can improve your vision and overall eye health. Eye nutrition is an area I am very interested in.
Throughout your professional career, what has been one of your biggest highlights?
To date, my most humbling experience as an Optometrist has been the time I've served as a volunteer with OneSight, an independent non-profit providing access to quality vision care and glasses in underserved communities worldwide. In the last 14 years, I have helped develop a sustainable eye care model and successfully set up vision centres in The Gambia, Rwanda, Zambia and Myanmar. This has provided me with a life changing opportunity to utilise and transfer my optometric skills to global communities, so as to reduce their dependence on humanitarian aid and facilitate a transition to more sustainable, self-reliant, long-term vision care solutions.
A piece of advice you live by?
My mum always taught me to see the best in people.
Zahra wears Henrietta Dark Havana Sunglasses - $225
Any exciting plans for 2024?
I'm super excited about exploring Zanzibar this year. This is where my dad was born, so will be a definite highlight!
If you had to pick one, what is your favourite FINLAY frame of all time?
Always a hard one, I think it would have to be the Archer! The pantoscopic, round-square shape is extremely versatile.