Durrani Popal: My mother is the inspiration for everything I do in life

The Dash Dolls reality television star opens up about her life as a first-generation Afghan American, her gratitude for her parents’ bravery, and her connection to her roots

Durrani Popal

The reality TV star Durrani Popal on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar 12–2022

Durrani Popal is best known for her role in the reality television series Dash Dolls, a spin-off of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, on the E! cable network. The actress was born in the San Francisco Bay Area to immigrant parents from Afghanistan.

When we met up, Popal just put Kareem, her son, down for a nap. She wore a comfortable Celine striped sweater and khaki trousers with Chanel loafers. We went to her balcony for some hot water with lemon and honey. It was chilly and crisp outside.

Durrani Popal

A love for her heritage

During our conversation, Durrani Popal constantly showed her admiration for her parents, “I am so grateful for my parents’ bravery to have left their country behind to start a new life from scratch.”

Durrani and her brother were raised to love and value the opportunities that the United States offered, and at the same time respect and carry on the culture and traditions of their heritage. She shared, “It’s very sad that we never have visited Afghanistan, but we are hopeful that one day things would get better.”

Durrani Popal

Path to stardom

Growing up, Durrani attended the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM). She laughed, “I originally wanted to do fashion design but I saw the struggle my friends were dealing with. I took the business route instead and I don’t regret it at all.”

After graduation, her passion for fashion led her to work at DASH, a boutique owned by the Kardashians. It was there that Durrani was selected to be featured on the show Dash Dolls. Her personal life and Afghan heritage were one of the central themes of the TV show, setting her path to stardom.

Durrani Popal, a happy wife, mom and businesswoman

While filming Dash Dolls, she started her jewelry brand called Jewels by Durrani, a high quality jewelry line that focuses on designing current trends at affordable prices.

Recently, she also developed a hair care line called Shumai. It is the short for Shumaisa, her mother’s name. “I named it after my mother, a hair dresser for 40 years, the inspiration for  everything I do in my life, especially my love for fashion and beauty.”

Now living in Los Angeles, Durrani is married and mom to Kareem, her beautiful baby boy. “I am fortunate that my job makes me available for my son, so I am able to have him right next to me while I work.”

Durrani Popal and son

Durrani Popal and son

Among Durrani’s fans on social media are young girls from Afghanistan. She hopes her life can inspire them and make them believe in a better future, “Always be true to yourself but never give up on your dreams.”

*** Team Credit***

Model: Durrani Popal @durranipopal.

Photographer: Laiken Joy @laikenjoy. 

Stylists: Athena Mesina and Devin Pornel @dev.ajm. 

Hair stylist: Gloria Vilcarromero @hairby__gloria.

PR agency: Say Media @say__media. 

Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam