Meet the Team: Daliah Zarour

For this edition of Meet the Team, we would like to introduce Daliah Zarour!  Daliah has been with Aria for a year and we are lucky to have such a talented and experienced hospitality designer on our team. Daliah got right into the mix and has helped out with some really fun projects such as Phase Three Brewery, a new restaurant in the Fulton Market neighborhood of Chicago, as well as one of the newest Protein Bar locations at O’Hare Airport. Daliah enjoys the creative process of designing new and unique concepts for restaurants that brings the client’s vision to life.  To learn more about Daliah including hearing about all of her many creative talents, read on below!

Daliah’s background in photography eventually led her into a career in Interior Design. 

What did you study in college?  My undergrad journey was quite dynamic.  I double majored in English Education and Fine Arts for two years.  I worked with jewelry, stained glass, and photography.  I didn’t see myself building a fulfilling career in either, so I took some time off from school to explore a different career path.  I then decided to pursue historical preservation and architectural adaptive reuse in Chicago. Since that program was not available at the time, I worked on my Interior Architecture degree at Columbia College in Chicago to pursue commercial interior design in adaptive reuse of existing structures.

What was your first job?  My first job was a complete accident! I was volunteering as a face painter for a summer camp and there was a live clown show scheduled. One of the clowns didn’t show up, so I hopped into the costume and improvised the show.  Because I did such an outstanding performance, I was hired for the job all throughout the school year.  I would dress up in different characters and do shows all over the city, and later it developed into storytelling and an improv show for kids!

Daliah’s cute pup Phoebe is actually an undercover body guard for her owner.

Do you have any pets?  I have a Shih-Tzu Apso and Bichon Mix. She’s named after one of the Friends characters – can you guess who?  She was found roaming the streets of Chicago city in 2016 and I was lucky enough to bring her home on Christmas that year.  She is the sassiest and most protective dog I’ve ever had.  Unless you approach her with confidence, I can’t guarantee a safe encounter.

Have you ever met a celebrity?  When I was 13, I participated in the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy as a Child Actor Juror.  I had the opportunity to meet Danny DeVito, who is even funnier in real life, and had the honor to attend a private dinner with Gillian Anderson. She was so kind to give me such enlightening advice on acting at a young age and joining the industry from her personal experience.

What’s the last book you read?  Since I don’t enjoy watching TV, I tend to read a lot.  The last physical book I’ve read is the The Prophet by Gibran Kahlil Gibran which speaks on different aspects of life.  I’m also listening to More Myself by Alicia Keys and Think like a Monk by Jay Shetty.

Daliah is a candy addict and a proud Bourbon on Broadway connoisseur.

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Candy! Gummies, chocolate, and ice-cream.  Sure it’s not a meal, but I would not hesitate to eat candy for every meal for the rest of my life.  I have a weak spot for gummies and love trying out new flavors.  I never fail to visit local candy shops when I travel and try new sweets.

What is your drink of choice?  I stumbled into Bar Louie one night while waiting for a table at a busy restaurant. I asked the bartender to surprise me with a drink, which now that I think about it sounds like a recipe for disaster, ended up being the recipe for my new signature cocktail. He called it Bourbon on Broadway.

If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would you choose and why?  Greece. I would love to work on historical preservation to projects. A year roaming the small beautiful villages of Greece, visiting all the historical ruins and architecture, learning to speak Greek fluently and spending the summer on the Mediterranean.

Daliah’s creative juices stretch way past interior design as she experiments with Palestinian inspired fashion as well as painting.  

What is in the trunk of your car right now?  My sewing Machine! Yup, I picked up Fashion Design this year and have a traveling sewing machine to keep me busy.  I generally have a simple taste in fashion but appreciate unique patterns and handmade embroidery.  I would love to incorporate traditional Palestinian embroidery in contemporary everyday fashion to preserve the cultural heritage for upcoming generations.

Words you live by and why:  Life is not short, it’s actually quite long.  So take your time!  There is no need to rush or a need to follow previously paved paths.  Learn from your past experiences and those of others, but create your own route and take your time paving it.

Check out other editions of Meet the Team on our Blog!