Supermodel Iman: “The Struggle Is Real, But So Is God”

Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid, better known as Iman (which means “faith” in Arabic), has had a 15-year career as a fashion model, actress and continue to thrive as entrepreneur. She is fluent in five languages: Somali, Arabic, Italian, French and English.

She quickly rose to fame, modeling for Valentino Garavani, Yves Saint Laurent, and Donna Karen. In 1989, she retired from modeling and founded Iman Cosmetics in 1994.

Since then, however, her true passion has grown to be philanthropy and charity work, according to The Independent. She supports Hawa Abdi Foundation, an organization focused on bringing basic human rights to Somalia. She has also worked at shining the spotlight on racism in the fashion industry. In 1998, she helped start a charitable cosmetic line, Misdemeanor Lipstick, that supported an organization called Break the Cycle that was focused on helping children and teens who were victims of domestic abuse, The Borgen Project reported. IMAN Cosmetics also raised money to protect and empower Congolese women.

While her business and legacy are solid as a rock, Iman suffered a personal blow that no one could be prepared for. First her husband of over 20 years, iconic rocker, David Bowie died. Then her mother passed away just two months later.

photo courtesy of Iman Instagram

photo courtesy of Iman Instagram

“Saddened by death of my mom Maryan Baadi. May Allah grant her the highest jennah. I beg that you respect my family’s privacy during our time of grief #ripmaryanbaadi,”

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While it’s still unknown what her mother died from, her husband died of liver cancer.

Despite his cancer diagnosis, Bowie continued to make music, releasing his final album Blackstar just two days before he passed away in New York on Sunday, surrounded by his family.

NEW YORK - JUNE 07: Musician David Bowie and model Iman attend the 2010 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 7, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

(Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

During his illness he was sometimes too frail to work, but weeks before his death he told the director of a musical based on his songs that he wanted to “make a second one now” in a sign that his creative spirit was undiminished.

Nearly a month after Bowie’s death, Iman broke her silence in a simple Instagram message.