So the COVID-19 pandemic hit us hard economically. Most of us freelancers are out of work. So I thought about highlighting the little guys that are hustling in a new concept called “Mowjood”, which means “I’m available, hire me!”
Check out everyone’s stories, expertise, and please reach out to them for work.
If you’d like to book a Mowjood session hit the button below
Mony and Sara, two passionate curly women who will stop at nothing. One of our favorite things in the world is curly & textured hair. We have been working relentlessly on opening the first real and authentic curly hair salon in Dubai. Our dream is to change the stigma around curly hair, that it’s messy, unprofessional, unattractive or any of the other bad reputations it’s always been associated with it.
We’ve struggled all our life to understand it to give it what it wants so we can make it look like we want it to. And after getting trained and certified by Lorraine Massey, the woman who unlocked its secrets, and after reading and continuing to research and make ourselves more knowledgeable, we are happily and eagerly sharing our knowledge and helping our curly clients reach this once-upon-a-time unattainable goal.
After COVID-19, we are working harder and more vigilant as ever to keep doing what we do in a safer and controlled environment. We draw inspiration from several international curly hairstylists, but nature, especially trees, is a constant reminder of hair shapes and silhouettes that resemble our curls in so many ways.
The word art has so many beautiful things that fall under it and we take pleasure in creating art every time we give a girl a custom-made dry curly cut that can transform the way she looks entirely.
If someone had told us just 3 years ago, that we’d be doing this, we would’ve both had officially declared you insane. But here we are, curly hair stylists, waking up every day, wondering how we’ll take a head of curls and sculpt with our shears something magnificent out of it.
Usually, I’d have everyone write their own story but Big Hass is one of those humble humans that will probably not do justice to his greatness. So I’ve decided to attempt to do it for him.
You cannot talk about our region’s music scene without mentioning Big Hass. In fact, I think he’s the most hard-working and influential figures in the industry. Some know him as the host of Saudi Arabia’s first Arabic hip hop radio station (Laish Hip Hop), while others know him as an MC, or en event organizer, or a host on Pulse 95 radio. Yes, he’s all of that combined but much more. This man has dedicated his life to lifting homegrown musicians up from a purely underground listenership to the sound systems of the average joe.
But hey, human beings have personal lives too, right? This man moved his family to Dubai solely so his autistic son could have more opportunities to develop. Since then, he’s become the loudest voice you that screams “AUTISM IS NOT A DISEASE!”
Unfortunately, there are a few idiots that come at him for the pettiest of reasons. Like this guy hasn’t done enough the community already. But hey, someone once told me, “life is like a video game; if no one’s shooting at you then you’re going the wrong way.”
ps. Big Hass can probably be president one day. I’d definitely vote for him.
I’m Emma Brain, and I’ve been in the UAE since 2003. What do I do? Radio and tv presenter, voiceover, writer, sometimes actress and model.
In the last few weeks, I’ve been working on personal projects to expand my portfolio, learning a few new things, and focusing on what I want to do next. The pandemic has really changed the way the media industry has been working and it’s super tough for freelancers, so it’s about reinventing and expanding horizons.
I’ve been working a lot on my acting skills and a few recent projects, one for a social app and another for a student film have really helped with that.
I take inspiration from so many people and am always listening and learning from others.
My industry, in particular, has been hit extremely hard and definitely online, self-promotion and working for yourself is the way to go.
My name is Rund Samman. I’m a 21-year-old Graphic Designer from Saudi Arabia. I wouldn’t really want to introduce myself as that though because I’d like to believe that I’m not just a graphic designer.. more of a creative and passionate soul, but I guess graphic designer sounds more professional.
The last few months starting lockdown were a disaster. I was at a very low point in my life.. lazy, demotivated, and kind of lost. I sat at home overthinking my entire life for 4 months. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life once I graduated and started asking myself, do I want to get a job? Do I want to study masters? Do I just want to do nothing? I guess I was just scared that I wouldn’t be able to succeed in anything I would do after university. I think I’m still scared of that because my family and friends see me as this great designer who can achieve whatever she sets her mind to, but I don’t really see it yet. I don’t want to disappoint anyone with my decisions but I also don’t want to do anything I don’t want to do, and I’m still trying to figure out a way to deal with that.
My latest project was my senior project at University, where I created a makeup brand that helps empower women in Saudi Arabia and helps them overcome all the stereotypical thoughts people have about them.
There are so many artists in the world that inspire us all, but I don’t really have a specific one that inspires me, it’s mostly the people around me that inspire me… my family, my friends, my professors. But my dad especially is someone I aspire to be like.
I believe that the art world is a place where people can express themselves freely without being judged, a world where you are free to be whoever u are and whoever u want to be and no one can tell you otherwise. And I hope it stays that way because everyone needs a place to escape to, and I guess art is my escape from reality.
I should really be telling myself this as well but, stop doubting their capabilities, because you really can do anything you set your mind to if you do what you love then you’ll never fail.
@sawsan_saad for Mowjood| موجود
Egyptian by blood, Emirati by heart and Jordanian in thinking best describes me. This combination made me an expert in multiple accents and languages. I am a known Tv and Radio presenter around GCC and MENA.
I started my career in 2009 with fox international channels and now in Dubai media. I am a proud 32 year old influencer also international announcer and Stadium MC. I was selected by FIFA to MC and announce the World Cup in 2018 and 2019. I also announced the AFC Asia UAE Cup 2019. My passion includes sports, adventures, entertainment, fashion, Food as well as hosting web and TV shows.
I’ve been spending the last few weeks on online courses, Cooking new recipes, YouTube fitness stuff, and going live every day with one of my friends.
The pandemic made me change everything, the way I think, the way I do things, and also to be a better version of my self to adapt the new changes coz the big challenge is not now, it’s after corona.
I’m currently working on two movies after the pandemic that will be in cinemas. One is a comedy and the other is a thriller. I’ve also got a new Instagram show, new YouTube show called “Top Dish”, new TV show called “After Corona”, and finally, I’m working to complete my Phd in Media.
When it comes to the art world, I think a lot depends on how long this all lasts, of course,I’m an optimist in a time of crisis. Creativity was with us in the caves; it’s in every bone in our bodies. Viruses don’t kill art. But even successful artists will be pushed to the limits and I think Instagram is almost all we’ve got. I really advise artists to think globally and act locally, Of course, art will go on. That goes without saying since art is much bigger and deeper than the business that supports it. Art will vanish only when all the problems it was invented to explore have been explored.
In times like these we have to support each other by “giving”. Trust your self, believe in your superpowers, focus more on your dreams, forgive yourself and love every day. Simply live your life with passion and love and wash your hands 5 times a day.
ps. Shout out to Mohamed Saeed Hareb creator of @freejcartoon
Being a performer ‘singing’ is one way I get to express myself and it makes me feel like it’s almost a better version of myself that I get to become… So I didn’t let it stop me singing and dancing in my bedroom when I feel I needed that release during lockdown to try and distract myself from the crazy world 🌎
Alongside this I did the usual lockdown checklist – Making banana bread(for the first time and it was great) – Pajama parties(gave it a name so I didn’t feel too guilty about being in pajamas all day eating popcorn) -Read a good lockdown book ‘When I Woke Up’ by @pauljohnevs (it’s a true story on having the spirit to survive and living life to the full) which was ideal at this challenging time!
Now the end is in sight and I am gradually getting back to doing what I love! I have been working with @dannylangston_drums on a duo act with vocals and percussion. We shot a promo video recently(find us @redlightinsta) We were outside and it took way longer than expected and ended up with heatstroke and was sick for three days! #behindthescenes that’s commitment for you 😂
I’m now well and raring to go more than ever before and ready to take your booking. So hit me up for your event today 😉
I’m Maram Ashour! An Egyptian / Canadian / Dubaian. You could say I’m an Art Director turned Fitness freak. Or you could say that I’ve turned fitness into my art.
I’m an everyday girl who, like everyone, had a battle with hating my workouts and being way too hard on myself & my body image. But once I found HIIT & used my creative background to make fun & diverse workouts, I fell in love with sweating. I just needed to share that feeling with everyone. My passion for fitness & for making a positive difference made me decide to take a leap of faith and work on me & my brand.
I’ve spent the last few weeks virtually training a badass group of women, who push me to be a better instructor and person! I’ve spent it hugging my 2 fur babies, enjoying morning coffees with my husband & Eid feasts with family & friends. I guess what I’m trying to show is that being fit & healthy is both physically & mentally. Find a middle ground where you get to enjoy life too! Don’t ever let your workout or “diet” interfere with important moments!
Post Pandemic? Is it even over? Haha. Well actually, I decided to quit my job pre-Pandemic and freelance as an Art Director, while I give my classes & Youtube workouts more focus. Suddenly COVID hit and boom zero freelancing jobs! I actually didn’t stress at all, I saw it as my opportunity to give my Fitness passion the chance it really deserved, and I am so thankful that I did that, it’s given me so much happiness & purpose. Post pandemic, I’m gonna work twice as hard to build my brand & get people loving to workout!
My latest project has been my 1 WEEK HIIT CHALLENGE on YouTube. Free workouts every day, just for 1 week so that it is a measurable realistic goal. Making it easy & accessible to every single person!
I hope Art can be carried everywhere, in paintings, films, ads, workouts, and just life.
I’d like to end this by saying be kinder to yourself.
We are each our own worst critic & we can be so damn hard on ourselves. There’s beauty every single one of you, find it and embrace the hell out of it <3
Hey, Hope y’all are safe, healthy, and happy. My Name is Mohamed; At first, I’m not a man of many words but once the ice is broken I can’t stop talking.
I am what some might call an entrepreneur. Lately, like many of us I’ve been adjusting, adapting, and redefining the coffee game. The pandemic was good to some and harsh on others. It’s all a matter of perspective and where you are in life. It’s easy to say you have a choice to others when you are the one with that choice. Hence I tend to go on with life taking in the now and not overthinking the later. I was blessed with a great team and a supportive family, and we saw this pandemic through and emerged as the fastest-growing specialty coffee company in the UAE. The two cents that I would like to leave you with is that you don’t have to be great to start but you have to start to be great, keep going and let things be.
I wish you a hundred years of success but it’s my time.
EXPRESSIONIST is the closest title to my purpose where I aim to help individuals fully express their most authentic selves in their own creative way. Content creation is all around us. And sometimes we wish to be part of it but we don’t necessarily know where to start and how to do it. For me, creating content has given me joy and enabled me to express my emotions and my art.
Before the pandemic, I created a community festival @chinchintalu that focused on art, mindfulness, and performances. I had also just launched an entertainment agency but then COVID happened. In quarantine, like many of us, I had a tough time finding my flow but I also had plenty of time to fully focus on experimenting with creating content and editing videos which triggered a new road for me.
Some friends were interested in my videos and asked me to coach them in choreographing videos for their own brands. Others had blockages in exposing themselves and their work which we worked through. And voila, with my previous experience in life coaching, I’m excited to announce that a transformative program is ready to help you tap into your own creative machine and overcome the fear of expression!
I tell the world that there is TRUTH in expressing yourself. Whatever it is. Your story, your life lesson, your skills, your silliness. Your gift is meant to be shared online or offline because someone in the world right now needs to hear or see what you have inside of you. Sharing who you are is your gift to the world. All you need is to find the courage to express and not care what others will think about you. Easier said than done. Hit me up if you would like to be shift and express!
You can say I come from many places that got mixed together to form one.
Every chapter in my life was so different, and it crafted a piece of my puzzle.
I believe originally I came from the ocean, it’s where my soul is! A daughter of the moon?
have been called something from everyone’s points of view.
Too crazy, too adventurous, low profile, too strong, too quiet, too blunt, fitness freak, too lazy, a nerd, too confident, too hesitant, too emotional, too heartless, too heartful, too stubborn, too understanding.
I heard unlimited opinions that weren’t asked for!
Today I do marketing for a living, tomorrow, who knows!
I am all, a little bit of everything, A human that is undefined.
My name is Stephon LaMar. I am a songwriter and entertainer, from North Carolina, USA. Over the last few weeks, I have tried to become a bit more introspective. With so much time inside, and to myself, I’m exploring new creative mediums. I’ve taken online courses, began studying acting techniques, and am now learning to write scripts/screenplays. I’m also reading a new script every few days to get more comfortable in that space. Some of the local artists that inspire me are @Megatronicuk: an amazing Dj and connector; @ExclusiveYossif: music producer, friend, and someone who motivates me; @Elvanitaa: a dancer and model, also my girlfriend and my biggest supporter.
I feel during this pandemic, the world is really taking notice of how valuable we as artists are. While everyone is stuck in their homes, we as artists are right there, digitally and virtually, entertaining in one medium or another.
If I could tell the world one thing, it is: Be understanding, be empathetic, and be compassionate.
I’m Pirlanta Toubba, I’m a filmmaker and the founder of @Phenomena.tv, the creator of @lastseenlive and the Community Ambassador @nomad _dxb my passion for culture is my key driving force to enable and evolve the film and music communities to more active scenes within the industry.
I’ve been spending the last few weeks on how to further develop the business in these challenging times. My team and I have enhanced our branding and made plenty of time for webinars where we’ve interacted with industry professionals across the globe and be in the present whilst also thinking of our next steps forward independently and collectively.
I draw inspiration from a lot of regional artists one being Nadine Labaki – I love controversy and appreciate the true depiction of our realities in the Middle East. We need more films and art in general that communicate our stories globally. Through storytelling, we can break a lot of barriers and change the misconceptions portrayed in the Middle East. Apart from film, music is really important. Last Seen Live is not just a platform to showcase and support artists, at its core, it’s a cause. Last Seen Live was born to address the issues faced in our community. It’s not a quick fix, it’s going to take some time for the planted seed to grow. There’s so much talent and there seems to be no secured destination for them so far. But with a positive mindset and hard work, everything is attainable.
I think art is becoming less of an expression and more of an impression. Meaning everyone wants to more or less ‘impress’ given all the tools and technology, it’s becoming ‘cool’ to create. I’m on the other side of the spectrum, I see art as a form of expression. It’s cool when it’s real.
If there’s one thing I want to tell the world is to keep learning and work on expanding their knowledge and applying it by working with others. Teamwork is key to attaining growth and success. Stop doing everything on your own or taking shortcuts to get to where you want to be. Enjoy the journey, choose your team, create partnerships, and invest in yourself. Doing all the work on your own doesn’t end you up in the right places and shortcuts don’t usually take you too far. At some point, you want to take the high way to reach another city, no shortcuts there unfortunately and once you realize that you have to take the long road, you realize at that point you’re driving it alone. Let that sink in 😉
Hi, I’m Aemen, a 22 yr old Marketer, figuring herself out.
For as long as I could remember, I’ve always been a creative individual who likes throwing herself into projects, I also recently discovered that I like writing poetry.
The last year of my life has been crazy but the most defining! I had to deal with the loss of my mother and figure out what grief is. I guess in a way her loss taught me a lot of lessons and gave me purpose.
Since COVID hit, it pushed back my process of getting a REAL job. I’ve been stuck in a constant cycle of internships & it’s about time I break free from it. I took this opportunity to do things I never had the time for before, selling my mom’s last assets so that everything can be donated to charity & running a private fundraiser to help a homeless man.
Currently, I’m trying to build upon my marketing skills so that employers don’t have a reason not to hire me.
I take inspiration from a lot of things being a marketer it’s mainly from brands, content creators & my friends. Here are some to list a few: @twinklestanly, @conceivedinthemind @omarghanem77 @tashyflashy @khalidalameri @waleedshah @amir.deleon
Life is short, pretty unexpected too sometimes so value your loved ones, chase your dreams, and make the most of life while we’re still alive.
As for me, I want people to know that I am worthy of a real job, I have the fire in me and I won’t let you down.
But the most crucial project of all has been ‘self-development’!
Nawal El Masri; founder & storyteller of exhale.ae ( @exhale.ae ) & a mental health activist.
lately, I’ve been building the blocks of exhale, painting, writing, journaling, puzzling, spending time with family & getting lost in books. I believe the pandemic has definitely given us a perspective on how important it is to press PAUSE on our life every now and then to reassess milestones. My next milestone project would be phase two of exhale which I’ll keep confidential for now and hopefully getting my master’s degree in Applied Psychology in Fashion.
My inspiration is derived from many different artists, speakers, photographers, producers, philosophers, and writers. All who color the world with their perspective and allow each of us to see a different light.
Without art, life would be dull and there would be nothing to relate to in my perspective. I hope the world gets #LOUDER, I truly do, in their belief, value, and journey. I hope they always find the courage to share their story, their internal thoughts. we are never alone and we will only heal within each other, together. We are humans, we need humanity, we need each other’s stories and perceptions. and if you ever feel like you have nowhere to turn you are always welcome to vent to us in the exhaler community group on FB.
Above all let us learn to listen and to accept one another and our differences. We deserve to live and let live and only God has the power to judge. Love to all #remembertoexhale
I’m Raeleen – practically a local to Dubai having been raised here for the past 20+ years! Yes I am that typical third culture kid; proudly South African and yet also lived in Dubai and Toronto as well. I have always been a creative soul and today that means a digital hybrid and creative director – does that make sense to you? Probably why I have a BFA in New Media & a professional diploma in Digital Marketing 🙃
Today, as a diverse and creative hybrid I am constantly pushing myself to learn and try new things that are never monotonous – yet instead stimulating and allow a free flow of creativity through all mediums.
I’ve been spending the last 6 months healing from a nasty accident, intense physiotherapy, focusing on mental health, also being redundant, committing to working out everyday and job hunting at the same time. It’s literally exhausting just writing that all out… yet I’ve learnt most about myself during this crazy period of life and I have so much to be grateful
I’ve decided to freelance during this pandemic (trying to), add a few more digital certifications to the resume, work on personal projects (i.e photography for @studiobyrae, web design and tattoo illustration for a 20 stitch scar) and help charities out. DM me to get involved. The job market is the worst I have ever seen it being raised here. I choose not to stress over soul sucking oversaturated job hunting as a main focus of the day and instead a prescribed recovery plan of self care & healing and helping preferred humanitarian causes.
My advice: have a savings account in your mid 20’s! That is what is financially tying me over. And help humanity wherever you can, even if that means saving that extra $ once every week or consuming less. Simply help – It’s intrinsic to our human nature 🙂
My name is Ayham, I also go by A’Y. I’m a co-founder of hrmny creative agency and music producer. I’ve spent the last few months working/thinking on how to create new ways to do business in the new world we are living in. I’ve realized that even though we were hit by a pandemic. Nothing has really changed. The approach is still the same. Execute as many ideas as possible. See what sticks. Repeat. The execution is different, but the mindset is the same. So in the spirit of reinvention and execution, I’ve launched a music producer product-focused division within hrmny called hrmny + Lab.
While I appreciate art and the art world. I tend to draw inspiration from entrepreneurial thinking artists. So people like @big_hass, yourself (@waleedshah), and @m_bailouni inspire me. Cause I love the consistency of execution, not just the art. And as far as the art world. I believe that it will do what it always did. Reinvent itself.
Do not treat this pandemic like it changed the world. Our world was changed when the internet arrived. The fact that we still enjoy the same level of reach means that nothing has changed. Again just the execution.
My name is Nervana Noweir I’m an Egyptian actress, model, presenter and architect.
Acting has always been my dream since I was a child but I thought it was hard to achieve. I always thought that I’m not good enough but attending Marwa Gabriel and Khaled Galal workshops changed all that I believed before. It is very hard to express those feelings as I believe that knowing yourself is everyone’s biggest challenge. Everyone has a talent that if he tries to pursue it. It will let him shine no matter how hard or how far it is. “Find what you love and let it kill you.”
In the past few weeks and after this pandemic I decided to take advantage of everything happening around. Although it wasn’t easy, I decided to be positive and to deliver this positivity to my family and friends. I spent more time with my husband and son and got back to reading and painting. I also started making videos to practice on my acting especially that I think that we were being distracted with unuseful things. So I decided to list my priorities and put a plan for my life and give my family and my career all of my time and energy.
This year I was lucky by participating in a series called “Kuna Ams” which is a drama series that highlights various social and cultural stories. Being my first work during Ramadan season, it was a remarkable milestone in my career.
Finally what I believe that we all should do this period is to try to find the beauty within everything and share love, kindness, support, and positivity to all people around. Trust yourself and believe in your dream.
My name is Tumi, I’m a fashion photographer, DJ & content creator based in Dubai and Muscat. I’ve been spending the last few weeks filming different kinds of video content to see what kind of YouTube channel I should start (I also got myself acquainted with tiktok recently)
The pandemic has forced us to take matters into our own hands, and no longer wait to be reached out to. I’m just creating content i like & people who follow me vibe with, and that interests brands to want to work with me simply because I’m releasing content that looks like something they would’ve wanted to be a part of.
My latest project that hasn’t come alive yet, is a comedic cooking show where I pose as one of my many split personalities, an African aunty.
I’m currently drawing inspiration from my best friend @drankin_leen who started upcycling clothes, which is basically taking pieces and reworking them to look completely different. I love the idea of transforming old to new.
I think the art world will be slapped into reality. Not from the creators side, but more so from the corporate side. I think people are uniting against not being compensated fairly, and that this might be the time for that change to actually happen.
I wanna tell the world that.. it is what it is, just make the most out of it.
I’m Pakinam. I’m a graphic designer (supposedly). I haven’t been doing much and I’m really enjoying it because life is hectic and when this is all over we’re gonna have to work twice as hard to recover from COVID. I just graduated so my life is confusing now anyway. The virus just made it confusing for one more reason. I’m trying to be part of creative projects so I don’t lose the creative flow I had pre-corona, it’s hard and a little depressing but it is what it is.
I’m inspired by so many artists and creatives here but right now I think everyone’s trying to figure their own shit out so I’m trying to be inspired by me before anything. Aside from myself, my boyfriend is something consistently inspiring in my life.
It’s important right now for creatives to be creative. No matter what, the art world will always be okay, it can get controversial or weird or depressing but people will always need art & especially now because people need to get things out of their system and you can’t really complain to someone because we’re all in the same shit right now. So… create.
Honestly, we all just need to be nicer (me included). People can be so awful and it’s just getting old. Hopefully this pandemic makes people realize that we need to treat the world with respect and our selves with more love. We also need to be more forgiving which I guess comes hand in hand.
My name is Fafa, I am an artist based in Abu Dhabi. These past few weeks I have been focusing on my mental and physical health by cooking and keeping active. I’ve written some music but not a whole lot and I’m okay with that.
My strategy post-pandemic is to take more opportunities and stop being scared of saying yes. I’ve learned that life really is short and I’ve got to make the most of it.
My latest project is about telling the ones you love you love them and meaning it. If we are all there for each other there we can come out stronger and happier! Tell your loved one what someone means to you and you will never live in regret wondering if they knew when it’s too late.
Regional artists I draw inspiration from are my good friends @emmacottermusic, @sachikosawah & @ibbyvk. Their art and hard work towards their goals are inspiring and I am thankful to be their friend and watch them grow.
I think people will appreciate the arts even more as it is becoming clear that it is essential. I may be totally off or dramatic but it’s like when the Black Plague happened and the Renaissance period started and creativity was overflowing and so many great artistic endeavors made an impact for the ages.
I would like to tell the world that this will pass. It’s hard on all of us but it will pass and we will be even greater than ever
I’m Adnan. I scream for @SvengaliMusic and make videos for @ctgpro. When the lockdown happened I started a live video podcast called Unmuted – a show about inspiration, motivation, and all things creative.
The idea was to have a conversation with musicians, actors, photographers, creatives in general about their journey so far.
I’ve always been a fan of all things “local” when it comes to art and music and doing the podcast with regional artists honestly just amplified that. The amount of insanely inspirational dudes and dudettes in, from and around the Middle East still blows my mind.
So just have conversations, connect with people and support your local – also, if you’re weird or want to get spacey with me for an hour or two, hit me up and come on the show @unmutedshow
Hey My Name is Maila aka DJLIUTIK
These few weeks have been very successful and creative for me. I’ve been having a couple of live shows on social media platforms and working on my new mixes. Plus I had a few shoots with my creative friends.
My strategy has never been based on analysis. I believe in energy and vibe, I do what I want and when I want unless there is a brand deal and they want specific timings and dates.
I am the official DJ for an artist called @freektv We had an amazing show with flash entertainment for Eid celebration, and just 2 weeks ago I had a show for @MDLBeast that was a fun and amazing experience. Shout out to them for being so professional and very easy and cool to work with.
My inspiration comes from different people and most of the time we all work together because we just come up with ideas on spot and go for it, but the 2 special people that I draw inspiration from are @freektv and @imasea
The art industry always strong and now it’s stronger than ever, I saw that during this rough time it brought the greatest artists out of people
Don’t stop living your life just because we facing some obstacles. Better time will come and we will all make silly jokes about it. On a bright side, the world finally stopped for a second to observe and reflect. Peace and love 🙏🏽❤️
I’m a creative at heart with a passion for storytelling in different mediums. Most of my days in the past couple months are usually spent with my team @createproductiondxb on zoom, they are the driving force for my creativity and business, but during this past few weeks, it’s been nice to slowly see people come back to an augmented version of our old Normal that’ll be a work in progress I’m sure & as it should be allowing us to reimagine the future.
During the lockdown period, I’ve been inspired to create through music, my personal projects have been mainly a reflection of journeys that represent various states of being. I’ve been releasing a new track every month on SoundCloud and Spotify for those who are curious, check out “Dia Hassan” on those platforms.
I’d love to see a growth of collaboration in the art scene, as creators we’ve been forced to reimagine our offerings to the world, although some might argue it’s non-essential but life without art in its various forms isn’t worth living in my opinion. I see great opportunities in creating experiential content through things like augmented reality that would allow us to create a new future for events and content interactivity. It’s what we’ve been investing time building with my team, and it’s inspiring to see the potential in that space.
In closing my message to the world would be to collaborate and lean on value and creativity to design our new future.
I’m Layla Kardan, a performer, singer/songwriter – feminine and fierce and hungry for life. The pandemic was initially so stifling and hard on me. I felt like a caged bird. Up until late Feb of this year, I was traveling and performing for 6months non-stop, which was amazing as I was riding the wave I had worked so hard for. And then it all came crashing down. At the start I struggled, I went on an emotional rollercoaster of questioning everything and trying to reconnect with myself. I quickly pulled myself back up and poured everything – the good and bad emotions from personal experiences and the weight of the world – into my new EP which is called Abscission – the process of natural detachment of dead parts of a plant, which is relevant to where I am in life – detaching from things that don’t serve me. I spent time recording and finishing the songs, and preparing the assets for the EP, which is due to drop next month. My business has been majorly affected so I am in the process of working out what’s coming next, but I’ve started to put my creative energies into creative directing and production for clients – I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m inspired by lots of talents in the region…I really love what @freektv and @prekairo are doing and I’m always inspired by @mohflowmusic and @aytheproducer. @shebanimusic and @listentomichele are creating beautifully raw and feminine music, and I love @fafa.music’s fire and energy. @ghaliaaofficial is the whole package with her instrumental and production skills and her voice makes me melt. @jaymiedeville is putting out non stop fire tracks. There’s way too many to mention – I have only love and respect for everyone out here trying to realize their dreams through the arts. The art world and artists have suffered a lot due to the pandemic. Artists are sensitive souls so it’s going to affect a lot of people and some won’t be able to sustain and keep going sadly. On one hand, it’s good as the audience have had more time to research music and not listen to what they’re fed through the radio. I pray there’s some normalcy soon. I’d like to tell the world to be kinder to one another, kinder to themselves and also kinder to the Earth. We’re enduring hard times and only love, tolerance, and hope will get us through 🙏🏽♥️
My name is Aya, a proud Egyptian that has been living in Dubai for over 5 years now! Singing is my passion; it makes me feel what cannot be put into words easily. It makes me feel alive, happy, complete, and connected with my soul and myself.
In addition to meditating, exercising at home, lots and lots of reading; singing accompanied me throughout the unfortunate COVID pandemic period, as I believe that Music has healing powers, it is a solution to almost every problem I come across in life. The past pandemic made me reflect on myself and my decisions in life, it made me realize how easily everything can change and how short our lives are, and I decided to make the most out of it by pursuing my dreams and passion rather than wait for the right opportunity to show at my doorstep. I am currently enjoying the great success of my latest single “El gaw hadi”. it takes us back to the origins and purity of love, the indescribable feeling at the presence of our loved one, and the way we fly away while we listen to each other.
Living and surviving the pandemic I realized that art (especially music) is indefinite, it has been around since ever and will remain forever. It is the sole companion that surrounds us through good and bad times, through happiness and sadness, through celebrations and unfortunate times.
In the end, I would like to thank everyone who supported and believed in me. Keep smiling, keep trying and exploring, do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.
An architect by profession (B.Arch, MAMD), but a writer and teacher at heart. Ever since I was old enough to express my imagination (and was introduced to the work of Neil Gaiman), I have been writing stories. A firm believer that architecture and storytelling are correlated, I founded Wrichitects. So.. what is Wrichitects? Wrichitects, or Writing for Architects, is an educational platform that provides regular writing workshops to help architects and designers improve their creative writing skills. Everyone has the ability to write, they just need a little push. Writing has several wonderful therapeutic notions that can even help your designs. So why not give it a try?
Holed up with my husband and tiny cat (always adopt, never buy), we held online debates with the rest of the world during the pandemic and grew accustomed to the digital world. People were scared to spend money, but people weren’t scared to speak and voice their desire, fears, and frustrations. I listened, gave a couple of online workshops, and ended up growing my network. I missed the one-on-one writing sessions, but I was able to reach many people around the world. This inspired me to work on my next major project .. which is to design a series of online workshops that can help architects and designers become bulletproof writers, and eventually write their own novels if they wanted to!
This pandemic has honestly shown me how much we can lose in so little time… empires.. businesses… and even people. I lost a lot of love who I looked up to in the past few months, but I am so happy that I took advantage of every single minute I had when they were in my life. Never take people for granted, because your time together is limited.
Moving forward, I’d say plan but don’t obsess, find a way to shift your business to meet this everchanging world, work hard, smile at others, and spend time with your loved ones. And eat that damn carrot cake, @khaldaeljack
I’m Gemma. I’m British and have lived in Dubai for 7 years. I am (was?) a fashion editor and stylist, but I’ve spent the last few months trying to figure out what I’m truly passionate about and how I can start a business. It’s time to get out of my comfort zone.
The pandemic has given me so much time to think, but whatever I do next, I want to make a difference. Whether it’s to people, or to the environment. I believe the fashion world won’t be the same again, but for the better. Fashion needed to be addressed. But it’s exciting to see brands taking a new direction.
The Middle East has such a huge pool of talents, I’ve seen it grow tremendously over the years. But what I love most is how much we all support each other. Magazines and brands are giving new talents the opportunities, and that’s essentially how I started my career at such a young age. I’ll always be thankful for that.
My latest project has been project ‘me’. Focusing on my fitness, health, and mental wellbeing. If I’ve learned anything in the last few months, it’s that we have to learn to ride the wave. My mum once told me “it’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning how to dance in the rain”.
1. Introduce yourself.
My name is Eman (@emanezzathelmi). Egyptian, born and raised in UAE. Performance Art has always been my dream and I believe that my whole life been bringing me closer and presenting multiple opportunities since I was 12 till the moment everything was aligned in 2019 And been lucky to be in acting workshops with big names like Khaled Galal, Jamal Sulaiman and Bayoumi Fouad.
I also very blessed being part of Arabian Radio Network family.
2. How have you been spending the last few weeks?
The highlight is that a fellow actor and myself started filming sketches about couples during the pandemic. I also learned to play the Ukulele. Some handyman work in my new place, stay in touch with people & maintaining physical activity.
3. How have you changed your strategy post-pandemic?
That I should not wait for things to come to me as an actress and even create more.
4. What’s your latest project about?
My latest project in addition to the sketches is the short movie “Expatriate”, which has been selected “Official Entry” in Emirates Short Film Festival. I’m also currently in preparation for 3 new projects.
5. Who are the regional artists you draw inspiration from? Without thinking “Soad Hosny” and “Faten Hamama” they are “Legends” in Acting and Performance Arts.
6. What do you think will happen to the art world?
I think there is a “Renaissance” in the Horizon but moving very shy and slow I hope to witness it in my lifetime.
7. What would you like to tell the world?
What I have on my Page intro;
Believe in YOU
DREAMS do come true
It’s NEVER too late
Hello guys my name is Alba Fernández, I am an international Spanish curve model, entrepreneur, and advocate for self-acceptance and healthy living.
I am coming to Dubai back and forth during the season since 2017 but this situation changed the world and my plans. I extended my staying.
Being more at home, spending more time with myself, looking at the world from a different point of view, and getting deep inside myself are things that I’ve been doing during quarantine. And you know what? I am taking it easy, day by day. I realized that my goals and my vision are still the same but the way of reaching them could be different.
It doesn’t matter anymore where you live, the physical place, and we are more than ever millennials living in an online era.
Outside of modeling, I am working in a lifestyle project focus on healthy living and destinations and I believe online is the best way to make it happen. It doesn’t matter what you do, do it online.
I am happy to stay here and to be part of the model industry in the Middle East especially being a curve woman as I feel myself identify with the Arab women and I hope they will see on me the Spanish version of themselves.
I really love the Arab culture, there are many things to learn. I recently discovered @zaidfarouki, @arwaalbanawi, and @WaleedShah, they are really talented and they really inspired me.
I would like to contribute to the Middle East community being a curve model and representing the natural woman figure. We live in the inclusivity era, where being healthy is totally compatible with having curves. Your body your rules!
Born on the 20th of August, Jindi began his venture into music by performing in various live venues across the UAE. The sudanese singer/ songwriter eventually formed “The J- tones” in 2014 who were mainly influenced by the sounds of 70’s funk/soul, and Motown music. Jindi has a distinct persona in the local music scene as he regularly incorporates this influence into his live performances, songwriting and production. He released his debut single “By your Side” in 2018 which was well received in the region and was often rotated on many local radio stations. This was followed by his second single “Running on my mind” – which was later included in his debut EP “1995”, released on October, 2019.
The second track off of “1995” is a Pop/Funk groove called “Dance Floor”. Originally released as a single, this track marks Jindi’s big break as it has found its way to the top 10 tracks on iTunes MENA, peaking at #2. Jindi is currently getting ready for his upcoming single release “Just A Dream” which is going to be available on all streaming platforms May 29th.
“Just A Dream” breaks down a romantic love story, the tale goes back to June of 2019 , When Jindi had a totally different idea for the song , when had written the track for the first time and realized there was something missing , everything took a different turn then .This song shows a variety in the singer’s catalogue as it incorporates a latin flavor that will get you up on your feet.
On a final note, so many creatives around the world are getting affected by what’s going on , but always keep in mind that your art can change someone’s mood , lift their spirits up. Use this as a tool to inspire other’s. That’s just a reminder of how crucial the art scene is and how it can impact others. Things will get better soon, keep on doing what you love.
We woke up in a different world.
All of a sudden, there’s no more wake ups in the middle of the night, no more places to change, no more people around.
When you’re used to see around 300 new people almost every day, when you’re used to change your location in the world every few days, when you’re used to have abnormal, sometimes inhuman regime – and it all becomes a routine for you. All that you dream about – is a “normal” life.
But apparently you don’t want it. You cannot adopt to it. What is normal even? You miss the craziness of your days. You miss the unexpected. You miss the life that keeps surprising you.
But it will never be the same.
And you either accept it, or move forward. You grow. You go out of your comfort zone. You finally chase your dreams, and you’re not scared anymore. You’re not scared to loose what you have, because you simply don’t have anything from the past.
And that’s the point of bifurcation. Your point of growth, through pain and frustration, but you move forward, you get all your strength and finally do all the things, that you’ve never had “time” for.
We’re in the situation, that we either do, or fall out.
So get on track! Just do it
Hey guys! My name is Abdulrahman but you can simply call me Abdul. I create video content highlighting Abu Dhabi and its people (@adaywithabdul). The last couple of months have put me in a bit of a rut to be completely honest. I derive my energy from exploring new places and meeting up with friends and family. Once it was all taken away, I’ve struggled to channel it through a creative outlet but I think I’m almost there mentally. I think the pandemic offers an opportunity to be creative about content and I’m exploring that at the moment. Anyhow, this is a great opportunity for local artists to shine as people find themselves looking around within their networks to connect. Everyone has a chance to showcase what they have to offer and so an uptick in creativity is bound to happen. So go on, try picking up a skill or two if you’re able to. Good luck!
1. Introduce yourself
Im SACHII, an Emirati/Filipino singer and songwriter. My mom says that I could sing before I could talk from what she remembers. I just remember always having a strong passion for the arts, since I was a child I always jumped at any opportunity related to it from music, acting, dancing, or modeling.
2. How have you been spending the last few weeks?
Playing video games and having group video calls with friends have been keeping me sane. I’ve also been singing and writing a lot of new material!
3. How have you changed your strategy post-pandemic?
I honestly haven’t changed much because I’m the type of artist that patiently waits for lyrics or beats to hit me. I always found it difficult to sit down and try to write, I want it to all come and flow naturally. It has been really hard to find inspiration though so I guess Ive been listening to music and watching movies more studiously than before to get inspiration.
4. What’s your latest project about?
Something never done before, a broken heart.
5. Who are the regional artists you draw inspiration from?
I can’t decide as I would honestly say all of them! Some that do come to mind are @andymusicproducer @fafa.music @ibbyvk @musicbyodd @aesthetictide26 Its really hard for me to pick because I think every artist in our region is truly inspiring since it’s definitely a challenge to pursue a passion in the arts in our region.
6. What do you think will happen to the art world?
I’m extremely excited to see all types of art that were made during COVID. I think we’re going to have a new age, the quaranaissance if you will like I wonder if all the art made during quarantine will all have a similar feel and you’d be able to tell that it was probably made during quarantine 2020.
7. What would you like to tell the world?
I hope that everyone’s trying their best to keep their spirits up, through these tough times. Since that is what’s going to help us be stronger than ever before once all this blows over. Oh and my favorite saying that I believe cant get stressed enough which is if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing!
I’m a designer and photographer raised and based in Dubai. I recently took the step to start my own agency, ONEPOINTSIX. I’ve spent the last few weeks in quarantine, Gaming, doing whatever work I need to do, and painting whenever possible.
My strategy was “see how it goes, one step at a time” before the pandemic and everything that’s happened. but obviously that’s changed. I’ll begin by making moves with other creatives, reaching out to businesses that struggled, and offer my services for less and see where I can help, the same goes for my fellow creatives as well. Being of service is my primary purpose in these times.
My latest project is about mental illness, I’ve yet to officially release the work as its been in production for a while.
The regional artists that really inspire me are Ibrahim Ahmed (Egypt) and Sadik Alfraji (Iraq). I think there will be a massive boom in content creation once artists are able to go back out there and draw inspiration from the world, we’ve all had some kind of trauma experiencing what we’ve experienced and we creatives will be able to process that into beautiful work once we get the chance.
Hello, my name is Anna. Before the Pandemic I was selling luxury international real estate, but when all borders closed, I was left with many deals that got postponed until “no-one knows when” (indefinitely). I was left with plenty of time “to stop the race” and look around, and more importantly, to dive deep down into my own world like Alice in Wonderland following the white Rabbit trinity to discover who I am and what I really want to do if it wasn’t going to be real estate.
Covid-19 helped me to understand that if you are a creative person you can’t think outside of the box when you are locked in the box. I started to connect with likeminded, creative people, and pressed the reset button. The House of cards that were my fears and worries fell down and allowed me to come up with ideas that seemed to be unrelated and didn’t make any sense at that point in time.
But “you can’t connect dots looking forward you can only do so by looking back” and when I surrounded myself with the right creative and supportive team it all fell into place. All of the ideas connected to become one huge, massive project. What I realized was that I see the big picture when my head is in the clouds, the horizon emerges and more importantly when you have the right people, they complete all the gaps. Covid-19 helped me to discover my true self and helped me to understand that I’m stronger when I work with my team.
1. Introduce yourself
MY name’s Esraa Aboushahin. I identify mostly as an animal and nature lover. Water is my element, which to me has always symbolized the power of healing, cleansing, and growth. I want to get to the stage where I can connect to water through all my senses; the ones who already have lived so differently and I do mean, beautifully. Even the process of this becoming is enchanting, I feel more empowered and myself by it day by day. My dog’s a water creature too; we love the mountains but we settle by the water.
2. How have you been spending the last few weeks?
Becoming stronger, however I can. My mental and emotional state fluctuated regularly, so I worked with my physical state first which helped steer a lot of my decisions to self-growth and doing the work, which is what really matters.
3. How have you changed your strategy post-pandemic?
I’ve started keeping a record of what I do every day, not in too much detail, but this inspires me to keep doing. Maintaining a practice is usually the most challenging part of any process. This way I give more integrity to my decisions, progress, and time- it shows me an overview of me – and I love looking back at it.
4. What’s your latest project about?
I’m starting a creative team; together we’ll be a combined force of truth-seekers and speakers. Hit me up, let me hear your voice (figuratively)
5. Who are the regional artists you draw inspiration from?
I’m particularly inspired at the moment by people who are starting over, not because they have to but because they’ve compelled themselves to. A leading example of this is Ahmedeldin (@ahmedeldin) and my sister Fida (@fidz_and_all)
6. What do you think will happen to the art world?
It wouldn’t be considered Art if it was predictable, and thank God for that!
7. What would you like to tell the world?
Thoughts to myself which I’m happy to share with others and hopefully it can resonate:
Do you get out of your comfort zone enough?
I think once you do, you’ll find your acceptance to love there
You’ll find more of what you want there too
It’s where the magic happens
1. Introduce yourself
I am this really tall guy who has his camera 24/7, love taking photos and making video and creating visual content, started taking photos at the age of 15 but age is just a number
2. How have you been spending the last few weeks?
Most of my work is event photography and videography and because of Covid-19, there are no more events so I had to stay ready and not get rusty. So I started re-editing old photos and videos to refine my skills
3. How have you changed your strategy post-pandemic?
I am trying to transfer most of my work to be appropriate to the current conditions and I may try to be able to adhere to social separation and reconciliation between my work and my university studies
4. What’s your latest project about?
I started a YouTube channel where I am planning to make tutorials and help others learn some stuff that I needed at the beginning of my journey in photography
5. Who are the regional artists you draw inspiration from?
To me, earth without art is EH so I am inspired by the EARTH and the beauty that surrounds us
And I gained a lot of support from my parents and friends @laith_me @n1yah
6. What do you think will happen to the art world?
Art lives with the artist, and as long as we exist, art will not disappear, but we will find a way to reshape it to suit our reality and what is around us.
7. What would you like to tell the world?
I know that we are in difficult times, but we must fight this situation and keep one hand until we overcome everything that stands in the way of our creativity.
Bits and pieces; My world is made of bits and pieces.
I find myself between writing another page in my book, scribbling a thought out or tip-toeing to every beat in and around me. I like to see myself as an art-enthusiast. In other words, I’m an artist, designer, writer, illustrator and dancer. Wherever there is art, you’ll find me.
I see art and inspiration everywhere. Everyone I meet is a walking piece of art. Recently, I’ve found myself having a lot of conversations in my head that led me straight to my newest project, highlighting and raising awareness for mental disorders. I published the first one in my virtual book @booknumber7 and there are more to come.
The human brain is a beautiful equation that has no constant and always varies. Flow with it, and let’s all try not to force it.
Here to spread self-love and acceptance.
Love & Light,
*Proud Mediterranean Girl
I’m a 25-year-old Dubai-based creative, working to promote sustainable fashion within the region. As the founder of a regional streetwear brand, SOUND.ON, I’ve been working on creating a 100% sustainable line over these past few weeks that are truly one-of-a-kind and good for the environment. Using vintage, recycled, pre-loved, and deadstock fabric, these upcycled designs are my way of showing everyone that sustainable fashion doesn’t have to be so limited. I get to tap into my creativity while at home working on these handmade upcycled pieces by transforming these old fabrics into something contemporary yet informative. What I’m doing relates to the current culture at the moment, because the world is moving towards adopting a more sustainable and conscious lifestyle that’s environmentally friendly. I hope my work inspires others to be more aware when consuming! I’d love it if i inspired some to start looking at sustainable fashion differently and begin upcycling their own projects 🙂
I am half Slovakian half Palestinian working in the entertainment industry and currently stuck on a quarantine break in Dubai where I used to be based.
The last two years I spent in Beirut falling in love with the beautiful chaos, which became my third home but revolution made me move back to UAE.
The life of a freelancer is very unpredictable so I got used to “how to deal with my self” (not gonna lie, there were few undoable moments)
Self-imporvement is a never-ending project so I have fun observing my behavior
“Making money spend money” was my life motto so the post-pandemic strategy would be “Make money save money ” let’s start with that …🙃
I am driven by questioning everything I come in to contact with, which led me to the realization of the never-ending gaps in the education system.
My latest project is a movement program for kids mainly focused on refugee camps where I am connecting movement with different self-discovery exercises. Kids will learn about who they truly are as individuals and how to deal with and control their bodies through the creative process.
If there is someone I look up to its @simadancecompany. It is an incredible community which brought lots of heavy dance art to Dubai, the way they are looking at the world and how they are expressing their vision is a big inspiration and being able to be part of the team and having the community feeling of art is rare
If I can share something with people which read this is to remember those times you are going through, what do you feel and what’s happening inside your head and soul so you can source from it any time because we can’t even understand yet what impact this will have on our lives in future. So take it as inspiration
Mowjood resonated with me as “I exist”. I exist as a loving mom, a dedicated professional, caring friend, loyal partner, grateful daughter, and supportive sister but above all, I exist as Noha Salem, a person who is on a super evolving journey of self-exploration, stripping off embedded fears of society, judgments, and traditions.
My journey taught me to look at the silver lining of every situation and when the pandemic started, I was having panic attacks, scared for my life and the lives of others – no silver lining there! But being emotional about it, in the beginning, allowed me to scrape off all the negativity and look at the bright side, Earth is healing! We’re getting all the time to pause and value the greatness of freedom, connect with our souls, and serve our communities.
Art is healing, it’s therapeutic. It disconnects you from the needy surroundings and flows your emotions. Furniture painting is my outlet, I love turning new pieces into vintage cottage pieces and because I had to buy a new desk to work from home, that was my most recent project that had my creativity and love flow into it. Just like Waleed’s pieces, he turns a photo into a story. Sami Amin is one of the most inspiring artists as well that I admire and feel that his pieces will go global one day.
Vulnerability is what connects us, and the most person we want to connect with is oneself. Be free, be vulnerable, be judgment free ❤️
Hey, I am Samreen Kazi. I am a 22yr old fresh fashion graduate straight into a pandemic.
I have spent the last couple weeks wrapping up uni and now I guess the incoherent look out into the black hole that is job hunting or freelance based work during this time and occasionally skateboarding to get a break from the whole situation in general.
I try to keep myself occupied at the most and realistically I can only try my best but the rest is beyond my control even though it’s been a hard couple months being home but I also learned to channel and pour all this into my artwork and have those creative juices running into illustrations and digital paintings.
My last project was my capstone graduation collection called “oil spill” along with some CAD-based artwork. It was inspired by the term oil Spill, oil slick or oil spillage in combination with modern or Urban ready to wear cuts. In the collection, I aimed to represent the feel of oil spillage and oil spotting using dual-tone reflective fabrics in combination with mesh and modern cuts that are very cosmopolitan of which almost half of the work was more towards the DIY side as universities decided to close their physical campuses due to the pandemic.
The regional artists I look up to and draw inspiration from are first, @Shoestova. I think she really knows how to translate and brand stories into imagery and content. Another person is Zahra. Most of Dubai knows her as @kunoi_chi. I think her work is amazing and really out of the box and transformative.
I think the art world will flourish after this whole situation is over as people are channeling all the emotions and state of mind either to create an escape or a reminder of this time. As for the world, I would like to say: appreciate your artists and creatives and pay them enough; we only tolerate the neglect towards our craft because we love what we do .
My name is Omar El Kays, I go by Kays. I’m a Palestinian Lebanese DJ, music producer, and creative mind. I’m 23 years old and have been DJ’ing ever since I was around 8 years old, and, produced music since I was about 12. I grew up and lived my entire life in Abu Dhabi excluding my time in University. I attended Manchester Midi School and took on 3 HND’s in music production, audio engineering, and music business. A year and a half later I ended up in the US studying marketing and psychology in Virginia & Ohio, then decided to drop out, come back to the UAE to pursue DJ’ing and music professionally. I’ve recently completed a diploma from Boston Berklee College of Music in the music business too.
I run my own home studio and creative agency in Abu Dhabi where I work with local artists and companies. Furthermore, I frequently host my own event’s throughout various clubs in the capital.
COVID has had an indisputable impact on my day to day life, however, I have chosen to take this in stride and embrace the opportunity to be creative and expand my portfolio. I have been testing new sounds and styles to try and enhance my current skill set, embracing the occasion. Furthermore, I have begun a monthly mix called ‘Mixed Mondays’, which is a 40-60 minute mix on songs that I like and that I would typically play at an event. You can find the mixes on my SoundCloud, releasing on the first Monday of every month. Also, I’ve been creating monthly mixes for a new local podcast, “The Flamingos” that my good friend Riad has begun. Topics range from discussions about the international and local music scene, film industry, pop news, and new trends. The monthly mix for the Flamingos is a playlist of regional artists based in the Middle East.
I am currently working on a few projects with my longtime friend, artist and partner NaJ @najvls on his upcoming projects and working with different local artists on their projects trying to grow the scene during these trying time, while also working on my own personal project which is set to come out sometime early July titled “Lulu”, which in Arabic means pearl. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have a rich history of pearl divers and considering that pearls are found in the ocean the EP has a “beachy” summertime vibe. It’s going to be a mix of RnB, Hip-Hop, Afro Beat & UK Afro Swing. If I was going to describe the style of beats in a different way I’d call it Tropical Trap.
Some regional artists I draw inspiration from would be NaJ, Moh Flow, A’Y, Prince Q, RoTation, Freek, and Pre Kai Ro. The first few DJs / producers I looked up to in the UAE industry throughout elementary and middle school were Danny Neville, Prince Q, and DJ Bliss. From the international scene, my idols are Kanye West and Dr Dre.
I believe the art world will become more digital than ever before but I also believe that once life gets back to normal whether you’re a musician, DJ, producer, photographer, videographer, painter, doesn’t matter, as long as you’re apart of the art world, I believe we will all be getting more support from each other considering it’s quite hard for us to make money without clubs, concerts, events, art galleries, etc being open.
If I had one thing to tell the world at this time it’s to be safe during this pandemic, to support one another and to get creative. I believe everyone has some creative quality even if they don’t know it yet, it’s there.
Hey, I’m DJ Soulninja and I’ve been playing music in the UAE since 2002. Last few months I’ve just been laying low, relaxing at home with my cat, playing PlayStation staying on top of the music. Looking forward to making people dance again and catching other local artists to do their thing. Lots of love for Jaymie Danville, Moh flow, Adam Balush, and Abri. I hope the creative communities around the world emerge from this time of uncertainty drawing inspiration for a brighter future for the people and the planet…
Hi there. I’m Fatima. A gym instructor in Fitness First aka changing people’s lives to be the best version of themselves. Basically people start to define themselves with their certificates and all, but I choose to begin with what I am currently doing and loving. ps. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Talking about the last few weeks, It has been the most productive period in my fitness journey. I started with consistent training, 100% commitment to nutrition (which is the part I struggled the most), a rapid increase in my fitness level, and the best part is the dramatic change in my physique.
The thing I wanted to say to the world is: What challenge you change you. ودمتم سالمين
I’m an architect / freelance boxing & Bodycombat coach, after a long run in fitness a part of me was unleashed through boxing, I fell for it and being a coach made me share my passion with the world.
In the last couple of months, I got in a phase of learning how to be easy on myself, how to handle things with an “ it’s ok “ attitude. It has been a struggle stepping down from my daily roller coaster into this slo-mo pace. My workouts and sketches helped me through it, and devoting more of my time learning percussion was the cherry on top.
This pandemic forced me out of my comfort zone and the stubborn me will always take a challenge. My forever project is me. Taking every opportunity to make a better version of myself.
I draw inspiration from those who helped me be the person I am today.. my idols and coaches @yasmin_wahbi , @fatomaa_salah , my talented instructor @biroomaan
Art, the infinite escape, the where and what we turn to when nothing makes sense anymore. It’s that unspoken solidarity creators have that made this time brighter. I see the art world untouchable only because of these creative minds who give it its immunity and forever will.
At last, be sure that you got everything you need on you.
Say yes to life.
Keep it real.
Stay with the fight.
Hi. My name is Mahmoud Essam. I am a photographer and artist born and raised in Abu Dhabi and have recently moved to Dubai. I chase after passion, the meaning behind everything, the never ending struggle of self-worth, and to matter in the art world. Over the past few weeks the world has been pouring gasoline on fire that’s been long buring. So, naturally, I’ve spent it watching best I could and occasionally jumping in. I am talking about the BLM movement of course. The past few weeks my mind have been sore from past wounds, exhausted memories and the constant moral struggle between who deserves my anger and who deserves my peace and patience.
This all started with the pandemic’s toll on the world and ever since I’ve been constantly bombarded by “HOW TO LEARN” a new skill, grow a third arm, or become a bicycle. All subtly telling me that I aint worth shit if I come out of a PANDEMIC without a new skill…
So naturally I did none of that, sweeped all the posts and pics of desperate celebs and influencers chasing to become relevant again and just sat home and did nothing. This has left a lot of room for me to think, something that I believed carried away artists like myself don’t get the liberty to do often.
Being unable to practice my art in the way I am used to and the feeling of impending doom looming outside my front door, I have decided that the latest project I will be working on is actively trying to relax and keeping my sanity in check. All while allowing myself to organically practice my art and allow it to manifest itself in whatever way it needs be. With the world on pause, the typical artist’s fear of sucking at something has faded a little due to the world coming to an end and all. This has led me to battle between the “is this really for me” question and the “these aren’t really normal circumstances” answer. However, I take comfort in that. That these aren’t the times to jump ship unless you have to of course. And judging myself during uncertain times like these feels incorrect.
In these hard times it’s nice to look at neighboring artists and see how they’re doing. Here are a few of the people that inspire me with their:
organic talent and shredding skill. @jdeligero
inescapable passion and humbleness. @abri.music
ability to master a craft. @noobovich
compassion, love, and strength. @imanofthemoon
bravery, unapologetically being your queer self, and textin bitches @texting_bitches
crafting a message with an image @skyseeef
discovering fire @narcynarce
teaching me how to walk for a second time @waleedshah
And finally @mustafayanaz for making hair look like remote controlled alien ships
I hope you all are doing well <3
After the spanish flu passed, movements like dadaism and modern architecture erupted. Strings of art that for the most part did not exist. Universal tragedies always open the door to new and unexplored types of art. One thing that’s always common is the significant intolerance society suddenly acquires towards fake unearned bullshit. If you’re some dude or brand who thinks way too much of themselves, don’t do the homework, are mean, racist, or phoney then you’re out the window. I am all for that. In a way that excites me and terrifies me. I can’t know for sure what artists all over the world will feel or are feeling but I have a good guess. This hurt, doubt and confusion are things we don’t have answers for. Hell, our parents don’t either. There is very little guidance on how to maneuver all your feelings during a pandemic. That being said, art is the greatest expression of humanity. With time artists will emerge from around the world to express how they felt in their own medium. But to be able to do that you have to allow yourself to feel. To feel scared, grief for the world, sorrow, and hopefully one day relief.
I plead to artists all over the region and the world to let go in the meantime. Feel what you have to feel, don’t hold back. It’s okay to slow down. It’s okay that you can’t find work. It’s okay that you got fired. You’ll get back up. We always do in one way or another, I am sure of it <3
And when you do, explore what you’ve felt during these hard times in the best way you know how to express. Make art.
My name is Jes Luisse. I am a UAE based photographer. To be honest, I haven’t been shooting since there weren’t a lot of projects in the company I used to work for. I went back to my old hobbies things like playing guitar and sketching portraits. It was also a good situation for me to take a good break from photography so I can do the things I love that I haven’t been doing for so long. I was being approached as well by one of the really great universities in my country to be a guest speaker in their webinar series to tackle about dealing with this whole pandemic as an artist which I wasn’t really expecting of. Until then I became one of those who got affected losing a job.
I’m still in the process of considering a new way of working, also aiming for survivability and resilience before economic efficiency. But one thing is for sure, pandemic or not, there will always be a better strategy for everyone who wants to be successful.
My last project was about taking portraits of the CEO of Gargash. But for me, every day is always a new project for everyone to become better at what they’re doing.
I never really look up to regional artists because I always do research on different international artists mostly. Though there’s really a lot of respected and talented photographers in the region.
I think the art world will remain the same and at the same time, there will be always an evolvement. Pandemic or not, do what you gotta do. Always do it for yourself.
My name is Hitesh Dewasi ( @iamhiteshdewasi ), Photographer, Videographer, Designer, and more than anything else a Seeker. What does it mean to be a seeker? It is to have a restless mind, to have a fire in the belly, to define, be consumed with and agitated by curiosity, to want to know the world, to want to map the world, it is to question dogma, to rage against the darkness, to scramble the self and constantly have a desire to upgrade and improve, understand oneself and refine in every way possible, and finally to not give in and not let go. What pulls me is the possibility of making something happen.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been incubating ideas and strategies, diversifying the skill set I possess which can lead to more projects and convert them into both financial and personal growth, some of the examples are like starting the steps to open an e-commerce portal for some of my photography-related products which will be launched on my website ( www.iamhiteshdewasi.com ). I have also started writing articles on topics I can provide good information on like photography, traveling, design, etc. which will be released on other mediums TBD.
The key I believe in diversifying and there is no post-pandemic the strategy has to begin earliest possible, each industry will have its own challenges and the ones who will be able to identify them in time and overcome those will thrive because opportunities will arise and like a wise man once said luck is nothing but opportunity meeting with preparation.
I have many projects at different stages of completion but there are some I am more excited about than others, making a short documentary of getting a bucket list shot is something I’ve been working on which was put on hold due to travel restrictions but I am still aiming to finish it by mid-2021.
Any artist who takes the chance to put themselves out there is an inspiration but above all, there are two who have not only become close friends over time but also are like brothers to me @mohflowmusic and @aytheproducer because when I first moved to Dubai 2 years ago they were the first to see something in me and gave me an opportunity which led me to where I am today, through them, I got to meet many other amazing artists like @Jeed @kchamadamusic @Behruzmistry @dhb.djtj @Shebanimusic @listentomichele @novemberus @Kays.wav @Abri.music @freektv and others.
PS: I also met @Waleedshah through them which led to another great friendship and a mentor in the photography industry.
Throughout history after a major crisis its shown us one thing that great artists and art are born in forms of music, writing, drama, paintings, photography, cinema, etc. So I am very optimistic about the future of the art world and any artist who will be willing enough to change and adapt with the time, use it as motivation and inspiration to create and bring to life ideas which will change the world, in fact, I dare to say this will be the genesis of a new art movement.
My message to everyone, take it as an opportunity to truly look into yourself and follow your passion because this life is really short nobody knows when it will end so don’t waste it doing what somebody else wants.
I’m Hanan and I hate titles because I believe we can do and be whoever we want to be. We are what I heard once on TED talks, multipotentiolites. Lately, I have been exploring what my natural and true self wants. I found myself going back to personal training, freelancing in production, and consulting in marketing & social media. I am working with clients in the education industry building their online presence. Regional artists I admire are @waleedshah and @munaamareen and I believe the word is shifting to authenticity and creativity and all the mass production will soon die because it won’t stand out. People are desperate for what’s real and real brands will stay. My final advice to the world, find your beautiful state, and live there. Be true to yourself. Namaste 🙏🏼
My name is Isra Rashid. I am the friend who will honestly give you several reasons as to why the fashion system requires dismantling at several levels, while at the same time gift you a well-crafted piece of clothing. As a sustainable fashion advocate, I believe if a person truly loves fashion they should value craftsmanship and buy purposefully. By simply taking a moment to mindfully consider all purchases, we not only end up with less waste but we own clothes that truly reflect our sense of style and values, empowering the maker and the wearer.
I feel fortunate to have spent a good amount of time between three different cities for the past 3 years; Dubai, Paris, and New York. My experiences in each of them have allowed me to explore the different ways in which the fashion industry operates, which can be unsustainable most of the time.
How have you been spending the last few weeks?
In the past few weeks, I’ve been watching the summer approach, our system failing and the earth restoring all at the same time. I’ve been thinking about ways to encourage brands to protect the garment workers in their supply chain that are currently the most affected by the pandemic.
How have you changed your strategy post-pandemic?
I’ve been very loud about the problems and silent about my privileges. Trying to count my blessings and plan things from a place of acceptance.
What’s your latest project?
Currently I’m organizing workshops to educate brands on sustainability literacy.
Who are the regional artists you draw inspiration from?
Artists whose leadership is driven by core values that align with both social and environmental goals. @waleedshah @exhale.ae
What do you think will happen to the art world?
Art is a powerful tool that connects people from different cultures and different times through images and sounds. I’m sure art will continue to play an important role. While physical spaces may be canceled, art fairs are already looking into virtual versions to showcase the artists’ work.
What would you like to tell the world?
The strength and resilience of the human spirit are uncanny. Together we will get through it all.
I’m Vinit Sadhwani, and when I’m not letting my curiosity get the most of my attention, I’m freelancing in the realm of Marketing and Content Creation.
That thing on my head is a skydiving helmet that I purchased when I took up the sport a couple of years ago – a sport that taught me the art of being fearless.
@50cent, one of my favorite artists of all time has written a book with @robertgreeneofficial, my favorite author, called “The 50th Law”, which gives some solid advice on how one can achieve a state of fearlessness. I’ve read that book thrice, and while it contains some profound information, I believe those 900 pages I read over a span of 6 months don’t stand a chance against one skydive.
Imagine jumping out of a perfectly good airplane 4 kilometers off Earth, nearing death, and then saving your own life!
I believe it is this irrational state of fearlessness that made me switch from working at a fairly stable job to an uncertain, unforgiving, and non-secure world of independent work a.k.a freelancing.
Vowing to provide exactly the same services as marketing agencies do at a fraction of the price, and with INTEGRITY, I kept hunting for business until I was juggling 6 major clients within two months!
To date, I’ve conceptualized events/brunches, rebranded businesses, enhanced brand positionings, held training sessions, and spearheaded collaborations for some solid brands in Dubai as a freelancer…and I AM READY FOR MORE!
Over the past four months, I’ve been sharpening the axe of my existing skillset and have also forayed into Digital Marketing, Photography, Videography, Sound Design, and…Cooking, which means I’m back on the market…BETTER, STRONGER, FASTER!
Hit me up! #AnaMowjood.
I always admired hustlers and entrepreneurs, so I started a podcast to talk to them. I love being surrounded by artists and content creators, and I feed off their positive creative energy. I aim to continue to use my voice and platform to support the local hustle.
Recently, I was blessed with the gift of time and got to reflect deeply about where I want my next decade to go, and the more I do so the more clarity I get.
With this heightened sense of clarity and awareness, I find myself driven by a need to contribute to the marketplace in a way that really empowers all sorts of talent, to take action, and create.
This drive, coupled with recent events has brought me to a project that I’m working on, an online canvas art store that aims to inspire and motivate you, while also supporting the artists behind the piece. I’m looking to collaborate on this so feel free to dm me if you can work on graphic design/digital art and are passionate about entrepreneurship.
I find myself inspired by all artists, creators, and dreamers who are putting themselves out there every day. These are interesting times, and I see that It will continue to have its effect on Art to reflect our culture, our desires, and our ambitions.
But I’ll leave you with 3: Happiness is a problem. Action is the source of inspiration. Love is the universal language.
My name is Natasha I have been based in Dubai for just over six years, I am a professional Dancer, Teacher & Choreographer. I have been spending quarantine connecting a lot more with my loved ones (thank God for zoom) also looking after ME physically & mentally.. Keeping fit, Dancing as always, also using this time to go even more “Within” lots of meditation and yoga it’s all about balance right? Hence to the headstand in this photo.
I believe in following the “Signs” so my latest project is a mindfulness certification I am working towards.
I respect a lot of regional artists here, they really do master their craft! The one who inspires me the most is my partner @asliceofkraftiness a Dancer & Stylest who shows his art beautifully!
We have no control over what’s going on in the world, but we do have control of ourselves so let’s make the most it! Keep moving to keep creating and when its over the art world will share the magic
Hi, I’m Celeste van Rooyen photography @celestevanrooyenphotography.
I AM a photographer, but by now, I’m so much more and manifest of putting my talents and abilities into bigger projects like directing, first AD, etc. for work and for personal growth, play a character in a movie…..
During the last COVID term, I wish I had some amazing life-changing revelation, but it included moving house, putting everything in storage, and keeping only the necessities so I can clear my space and mind for peace and be more in touch with that little voice. Catching up on the admin, planning some goals, and that long-awaited kite surfing trip as its seems to be part of growing for so many of us. Still contemplating and always asking others: What am I (YOU) living/working for and trying to figure out, without any more procrastination, how to reach it; find inspiring goals and projects.
Some interesting crockery inspired me to cook again, style my creations and shoot it for my food photography page on my website; My favorite lentil soup I’ve reinvented as a chunky lentil/butternut soup and I changed my potato salad into the healthier tzatziki sauce option. www.celestevanrooyen.com
Teaching my boutique photography course here and there, reminded me how much I L O V E (and how good I am) helping others grow in this art.
I draw my inspiration not so much from specific people but from everything.
A freelancer can be a lonely job, especially during our quiet summertime. During lockdown COVID, there was this mutual feeling for a lot of us: “now I don’t feel alone – the whole world is feeling what I sometimes feel – locked in, no work and no socializing, no growing.”
I sure love to see how creative some have become with alternative ideas and always love to see new ventures.
To be a freelancer already means you have a set of skills that puts you in a unique category. Time is so precious and yet everything needs time. Apply it well. Exercise like crazy, be mindful, focussed, and in control enough to override the ego.
Hiiiii! Emaan here! or as my friends like to call me, Money.
I was born and raised in California, and although I am American, born and bred, my Egyptian roots run deep. I moved to Dubai with the plan to stay for a year or 2, yet, here I am 4 years later, chasing my beauty business dreams.
The last few weeks have been, transformative, to say the least. I’ve been through all phases of quarantine, from living room workouts to baking banana bread, to staring at walls hoping my permit would duplicate itself so I could go outside again. And now, as I sit and watch a revolution unfold back home, it’s heavy, but it’s hopeful. It’s devastating, but somewhat divine, that the whole world would come to a complete stop and demand that changes be made when it comes to discrimination and race.
If I’ve learned anything while developing my own business during a global pandemic, it’s you can plan, and plan, but life will only let you so much. Even if you try to control EVERYTHING IMAGINABLE, you can’t control it all, and there’s a beauty in that. Gives strength to the belief that what will be will be, because it’s already written.
I believe that history books will tell us the facts and stats, while the art that comes out of this incredible time will tell us the emotions and experiences of those living through it. I am excited to see what diamonds come out of this time of immense pressure and uncertainty.
Hi! My name is Lana Makhzoumi (aka @lanz_tho) and I’m a content creator and co-host on @dxbabiespodcast. During the last few weeks, I have been working out, baking banana bread, journaling, and TikToking.
We have been given the opportunity to reset and recharge and as someone who never slows down, I took this moment in history to take some time for myself. I’ve been taking some time to really focus on the podcast @maramhendy and I started. We just released an episode on @dxbabiespodcast on dating in quarantine- I joined some dating apps in Dubai and gave the scoop on online dating in the UAE. Our podcast is raw and vulnerable and even during quarantine, we aim to give our audiences just that. Being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel the pressure.
The world as we once knew it has changed forever. I think future artwork will draw inspiration from the pandemic and what it taught us, I also think the way we communicate and show art will be more authentic and organic. Some of the artists I draw inspiration from are @dukkanmedia, @drankin_leen, and @linda.shami.
What do I say about myself that doesn’t sound trivial and boring, but not come off as arrogant and narcissistic? Ok, here we go…
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to make movies. My brothers and I would make skateboarding videos with my dad’s old Panasonic VHS recorder. It was crazy actually, now that I look back on it. This big, bulky ass camera, which we would lug around with us everywhere. I was also infatuated with scriptwriting and storytelling. I spent countless hours watching film and studying script structure, plot development, and even camera and lighting. I remember buying the script to pulp fiction in University because I wanted to see how Quentin Tarantino wrote it. What words he used to describe certain scenes and how he would even frame them in writing. It was eye-opening. When I got to college, I wanted to be a scriptwriter, but my dad told me there’s no money in that. That’s Arab parents for you. “Baba, you should become a doctor or an engineer, or something that can make you money instead,” he said to me.
Big mistake. Never listen to your parents when it comes to your life. They usually have their own interests at heart, not yours. That was my first major mistake in life. I would make many more but that is one that I regret to this day.
I ended up in Advertising and began my journey as a copywriter. I wrote TV commercials instead, which was ok in the end but not what I really wanted to do. I was still detached from the film making process. I wanted more. After about 15 years in the business, I was burnt out, fed up, and just completely jaded by the industry. I left my job as a Creative Director of a reputable agency in the UAE whilst my wife was 9 months pregnant. I never told her until after she gave birth. I decided it was now or never. Al Hamdullilah, I never regretted that decision. God is the best of planners and I found my way back to film. In 2016, I started Creative Animals – a Creative + Production Agency that focused on content creation in all forms. We’ve been very fortunate to work with some of the best brands, and people in the world.
Over the last 3 months, our business has definitely slowed down, but we are optimistic about its recovery. I’m personally doing a lot of introspection and trying to figure out what I need to do to become a better leader, and a successful person, both professionally and personally. Where are my weaknesses? As a creative person, and as well as a father? This time has been a blessing, to be honest. I think the whole world got caught up in the rat race, and now Mother Nature is telling us to ‘slow the f**k down”.
I think for me, I’ve learned to say “Yes” more and just jump into things more freely without associating a cost to it as I did before. I had become more of a Business Owner, and less of a Creative person and I think my strategy moving forward from this pandemic is to focus on the creation of the project, and not the bottom line of our business. The money will come and go, but your legacy as a creative person will live on. People remember an emotive piece of content, not the total price at the end of a quotation.
I’m working on a couple of projects now, but the one that I recently finished and held very close to my heart was my personal video diary of our Quarantined days together as a family. There was no pre-production, no fancy equipment or lighting, and definitely no production team. It was just me, my SonyA7, and my ideas. I shot it over 3 weeks in our home and edited the whole thing in 4 days. I’m really proud of the outcome. I also have something to share with my kids when they get older. Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB1muIfjPL0
Oh my god, I have a long-ass list of people that I draw inspiration from because the reality is I’m continually blown away by the level of creativity in this region. Sometimes, the West look at us like this “barbaric, uncivilized, unimaginative world” and yet, we are continually breaking all the barriers in every facet of the creative industry from Fashion Designers to Writers, to Photographers to Cinematographers all the way to Perfumists, and Canvas and Mixed Media Artists. Where do I start? Inspiration in this region is abundant but I’m a big fan of The Golkar brothers of Emperor 1688 (@emperorlondon), Abdullah Qandeel (@theqandeel), Tam Khan (@tam_khan), Laila Shawwa (@Laila.Shawa), my sister, Laila Mokdad (@tawlet.laila), Elias Trad (@eliastrad_dop), Bobby Dhillion (@bobbydhillon7) and even you, Mr. Waleed Shah. 🙂 But honestly, I could go on and on.
The art world will survive, thrive, and always stay alive. Art, in all its forms, manifests itself in our culture and into how we perceive and interpret the world. It’s a form of therapy and without art, we cannot express ourselves. It’s that simple. So, I believe art will live on just like it always has. It will evolve and take on a life of its own like it always has in the past. Look at the Renaissance period. The tech boom, and now, the influencer/app development enigma. All forms of art are expressed in their own unique way. Art imitates life… or is it life imitates art? 🙂
My final message to the world is simple. Stay humble. Stay creative, and make decisions based on your happiness. Legacy over Currency.
Thank you Waleed for giving us such an awesome platform to express ourselves. Life is difficult, complicated, and very emotional at times. Platforms like this give us permission to be who we are, NOT what we build ourselves up to the outside world to be. This was therapeutic. 🙂
My name is Omar Al Duri
I’m an international coach, an author and I host my own radio show.
I’ve spent the last few weeks working on my Brand Reset which is at the very early stages of the umbrella.
I released my Book RESET – 5 dominos that will change your life Pre COVID. Since lockdown due to circumstances, I wanted to channel my energy, love, and time to developing that further by adding the ReSeT training program and the ReSeT podcast!
The pandemic taught me to be grateful for the team I have at the @pulse95radio station from a producer, music executive, and IT to help me out whenever I need it.
Soon as we were forced to work from home to respect regulations – I learned how to produce, edit, and record my own show with all the edges polished! Of course, it did take a few errors to get it right but also taught me a lot about producing your own show.
So I want to use my platform to highlight topics I mention in the book by bringing on guests to tell us their journey and how they ReSeT.
From mental health to Gut health – I draw inspiration from each story that comes my way.
My beautiful mother and wife play a huge role in my life which defines unconditional which I’m very grateful and blessed to have under one roof.
All three industries I’m involved in are so different so it’s more about taking a little from different people.
More than ever I believe the world is unconsciously going through a Reset.
The things we are learning about ourselves, our loved ones, our friends past and present, and our minds.
The challenges we have all faced individually and collectively are relentless considering the different battles we have.
The world has been put on hold to highlight the value, importance, and priority when it comes to health.
If it’s this week, this month, or this year please take away its lessons into our future.
We are experiencing something together.
More than ever our mental health is in action.
Train it as if you were training your body..
Empathy gratitude self-love
Accountability in all the five dominos will help you have a better day tomorrow.
Stay at home
Omar Al Duri
My name is Alya Sheikh, aka DJ Liya. Here’s a little bit about me…I try to combine both my cultures, African & Arab, through the music that I play. Sometimes it’s difficult to balance, and I find myself stuck in between cultures, or leaning more toward one than the other… however, that doesn’t stop me from being who I am and celebrating the music from my culture and others! How crazy have the past few weeks been!?! As difficult as it’s been to adjust to the new normal, I’ve taken the opportunity to challenge myself to start a project I have been thinking about for ages, but too afraid to pursue. I just sat myself down one day and said, “THIS IS ITT! JUST DO IT.” My upcoming project is about connecting with, and entertaining people across the country (and beyond in the future, InshaAllah) with some great music. With my work, I hope to encourage our community to stop being overly critical of people, and start being more supportive of each other; to stop hurting and hating, and start spreading positivity & love! At the end of the day, I at least hope to be able to put a smile on some faces. STAY TUNED!!!!
Rebellious thinker, social architect, art enthusiast, and a soccer fanatic.
I am also an introvert! so this last period was kind of a blessing for me, basically, a guilt-free pause to an otherwise very busy social and personal life joggling between; a full-time job, caring for my dog, dancing, managing a personal business and whatever is left was for my family and friends … and trust me after all of that, little was left anyway, and I always felt guilty of not doing enough!
So during these recent events and the restricted movement, I obviously had more time, therefore I decided to do what I normally couldn’t; I decluttered and decorated my house, I started reading again, I connected with long lost friends, I reflected on my life (haven’t we all done that?), set some priorities and goals, I cooked and baked A LOT.
Last I kept a journal, different from my #DiaryOfAWoman. A journal only to capture my daily routine. These are extraordinary times and one day we will look back and remember when everything seemed strange, so I wanted to have something to remind me of this time, to remember this rollercoaster of emotions, the half-covered faces, the empty streets, the supermarket queues, the days fading into each others watching Netflix, in our sweatpants with messy hair and no makeup! I felt I am part of history in the making!
And I wanted to have my own version of it! Because “We may be in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat”.
So whichever boat we’re in, may we all navigate this storm smoothly in peace and love.
Life is not always easy, so we fight, and we sometimes win, and we sometimes lose, but we never stop fighting.
I like Great White Sharks, Jazz, and the smell of baked bread, other than that I am Head of Production at Create Productions. I have been blessed to have worked throughout this time and be part of an incredible team.
Making films is an art and storytelling is something that has captured me since I was young, working in advertising we don’t often have the freedom to express true creativity, so we look beyond. I often find that creative people are some of the most troubled and restless and there is not often enough support for the community, especially when it comes to mental health – the feeling of having to be strong and never show weakness is one I have battled with… but continue to fight…
So many people have inspired me, but a special shout to my dearest friend in creativity, we have journeyed since we were 10 years old and have accomplished achievements many people dream of.. @loganallanson keep fighting.
Thanks to Waleed for the cool tunes over the 3 weeks
My name is Haidy Elhakem I’m 30 years old and my profession is actress – last few weeks were a little bit hectic as I was moving to a new place.
Fortunately, the pandemic didn’t affect my job and I’m following the same plan that I set for myself this year thank God. I had a photo shoot last week, and I’ve enjoyed my role as a model it was a very good experience. Adel Emam the very famous Egyptian actor is my role model and I wish to meet him in person oneday. The art world will always be a real source of inspiration to many many people despite all the hard times we’re living right now. I have a dream and I will never give up 😇
I’m a full-time artist—born in Kabul, Afghanistan & raised between the UAE, and the USA.
Since the world changed in the last few months, I’ve become intimately acquainted with a talented, colorful presence. I look forward every day, to wake up, and to have the privilege of spending it with her. It’s surprising, especially since I’ve known this human my whole life and I would criticize, judge, and always compare her to others. I would lose my temper and take her for granted. In the past.
My latest project is my YouTube art channel where I want you to, also get to know this person, and become inspired by her. You see, she’s bold, a super-nice creative, and she would like to tell the new world that it’s never too late, to become an artist too.
This pandemic is a chance at a new beginning. And an opportunity to reinvent ourselves, learn the mandolin (I’m starting lessons soon,) catch up with the last few hundred seasons of Grey’s Anatomy while knitting (a much-underrated activity,) perfecting my banana-bread-making skills, and much more.
I’d love to get to know you too, so let’s talk!
I have described myself in many ways: A translator. A researcher. A filmmaker. A Swahili geek. A listener. A storyteller. The past few months have been so intense in all dimensions. The world is transforming, my beliefs have fundamentally changed and it feels like I’m becoming a new person every day. It’s quite exciting. As for now, I want to call myself a bridge.
I feel so deeply about human connections that I usually tear up when I witness it. Remember the videos of people singing together on balconies? There is something so beautiful and humble about people coming together as humans, no matter how big the differences between them may be.
As a global community, we need more of that. We have 10 years to halve our emissions – and the good news is that we can actually make it happen if we stand together in our shared humanity.
By sharing stories and creating opportunities for people to empathize and connect across cultures,
I see myself as a bridge in this process. One person in the region that has inspired me is @wrichitects. I love how the daily writing prompts make people open up and share their stories through creative writing.
The last thing I did before the lockdown hit was participating in a workshop on music as a peacebuilding tool. A few weeks later, I started an online Master’s program in Diplomacy. Having an excuse to read geeky papers on conflict resolution and the role of art and music in fostering intercultural understanding makes me super happy.
I’m currently finishing a short film about my 85-year-old grandpa. He is a forester and planted over 15 million trees. I want to be like him. My grandpa will never see his oak trees turning 500 years. And so, I may never see the climax of my endeavors. But as I leave, I want to know that I have given it all and left the best possible legacy for this planet and everyone who comes after me.
Hello, I am The Colourblind Artist and I love to make art, primarily music. I play a handful of instruments, sing, and I use my colour-blindness as a primary visual theme in my art. With that quick summary of who I am, it encapsulates my latest project that I’ve been working on during this crazy time in life.
If there is one thing that I have learnt during this pandemic, it is to stop planning so much; just go with the flow man. With my latest project (and everything I’ve worked on since actually) I’ve implemented that mindset. My latest project is social media-based, mainly on Instagram, where I post weekly performances of original music concepts and ideas in a unique visual setting, with the odd song cover or animation. The aim of this project is to provide a space for people to get to know my artistic identity and for me to get more exposure as an artist; what I perform is whatever I conjure up that week. I have also created a total of 8 songs since the pandemic started as well as a cartoon project; why not, go with the flow right?
I don’t think anything will be the same again after this pandemic. But what I’ve observed from the music industry in the UAE since I’ve moved back just under a year ago is that nothing will stop this train. With artists and producers such as @big_hass , @fafa.music , @ghaliaaofficial , @freektv and many more, this region already has its pillars set for the music industry, and I believe it will come back stronger than before once all this blows over.
Until then, stay safe and keep creating!
My name is Lara Meslemani. I’m a 21-year-old Lebanese, born and raised in the UAE. A fresh digital media graduate.
The last few weeks, more like MONTHS, have been a bit lazy for me. I’ve been wrapping up uni, site surfing, seeking out jobs on LinkedIn, and exploring TikTok for new tips and tricks, weird challenges, and funny voiceovers. This pandemic has slowed me down a bit and left me confused in certain ways, hence the “MA BA3REF”.
My latest project was actually my senior project for uni which was a short film about fear. My inspiration varies daily but mostly comes from my daily life and experiences. My friends like @rundsamman and @elisandro, and my professor @dinafaour truly inspire me. There’s also @eliefahed, @waleedshah, @nouriflayhan @filmbymashael @shessonia, and much more I’m bound to discover.
I think the art world is an interesting place, obviously, art helps people express themselves and it can get a little weird sometimes but it only gets better. I believe right now everyone is trying to expand there skills and abilities in forming art which is great and extremely competitive. Regardless, there’s always this one-touch that makes as unique from everyone else.
This pandemic felt like a big slap on the face to wake up and stop being so self-centered and appreciate the world more. So be kind, be loving, be grateful, meditate.
I am a mother AND freelancer MC and radio host / TV presenting as well as a content creator and X corporate and hotelier for 12 years. I have been spending these last few weeks busy and making this happen with everything that’s been happening ..this past pandemic showed me that being a mother and freelancer is the best decision I have made. Being a mother and hard-working and being able to be independent financially and being able to support my family and husband as well and being able to do a lot with kid and from home … that’s what has been my inspiration; A mother with a lot of AND’s. My latest project has been a lot of Instagram Collaborations with brands but the major one was presenting a whole event for a corporate bank from HOME on a digital platform with my daughter in the next room. Bigger things are coming if you want and never let motherhood stop you mama …أم و بعد موظفه مستقله في مجال التقديم و الاذاعه و صناعه محتوي .. مع خبره في مجال الوظيفي ل ١٢ سنه … في الاسابيع الي فاتت مع الازمه كنت مشغوله في تحقق اهداف كثيره في بالي و ما حبيت اوقف .. هذا الازمه خلتني اعرف انه قرار اكون أم و موظفه مستقله كان احسن قرار اخذتها في حياتي .. اني اكون أم و موظفه مستقله و معتمده علي نفسي و اساعد و ادعم بيتي معنويًا و ماديا و اقدر اكون في بيت و اسوي الكثير و انا أم و احقق الكثير من الاشياء و هذا الشي يلهمني الي هي الام و بعد .. اخر مشاريعي كانت كذا تعاون في مواقع تواصل الاجتماعي و اكبر شي كان تقديم حفل لاحد البنوك من البيت و عن طريقه المنصه الرقميه و بنتي في غرفه الي جنبي.. اشياء كبيره ممكن تصير في حياتك اذا كنت تريده يصير مهما كان و لا تخلي الامومه توقفك من تحقيق اي شي ..
My name is Jude Al Qubaisi, I’m a 21 year old still studying art history and philosophy at university. Sometimes I make art and TikToks but I am hardly consistent with anything I do.
The last few weeks have been hectic, I can’t even remember a lot of what happened because I think I just auto-piloted most of it. After the pandemic started, the main thing that I love, people, became inaccessible. I know that a lot should have changed, and some things did, but I am still waiting for things to go back to normal. In that capacity, my approach stays the same.
I started three paintings I haven’t finished, drafts in my videos I haven’t filmed, a lot of starts to things, but I don’t think anything is coming out soon. Except maybe my TikTok. I’m Judequeue across basically all platforms, in case you want to watch me overshare.
A lot of the things I find inspiring are found on friends’ stories, reposted things that mean something to them, but I never end up following the pages. The music and poetry scene here as well, the role @echoesabudhabi played in my life at times.
I think that I don’t listen to others as much as I really should, or keep in touch with them as much as I should like @billythefatkid is someone who changed my life through playing music with me and I fear checking in. They say never meet your hero’s but what do you do when you have and they’re great? Never open their messages?
As far as the art world goes, speaking in terms of here, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, I think that like everything else, greedy people will try to make money off of it, and they will. A lot of things are going to be commercialized and not for art but for profit. We already see that. On the other hand, a community is growing, that was always there but is becoming increasingly accessible. Arts are becoming more normalized, accepted, supported. It’s a good direction overall.
If I could leave one thing for people, I’d tell you to stop putting what you think you should do over what you know is right, and stop being so nasty to each other. Hug people, you love when they’re standing in front of you because that matters more than anything else.
Namaste. Its KOKO, creator of @braidboxx. I am a free-spirited being who has never been in peace with the restrictions that the culture and traditions force sometimes, so I finally broke free!
I’ve always been into art. Even when I’m not creating it, I’m appreciating it. Braids are a form of art that I’ve been intrigued by since I was a kid. With @braidboxx we are taking braids to a whole different level, accessible for everyone. We started last December ‘n it’s been amazing to see people’s reactions when seeing BRAIDBOXX at action.
You look at nature where art was born and you know its a hurricane we are going through that will have its damages after. Getting up after the hurricane is over is what matters. Currently, I’m doing home services and working on PEOPLE OF BRAIDBOXX; a before and after series, hit us up if you’d like to be part of making it or being in it.
Whats flexible cannot be broken. Get in a high state of mind and maintain it. You are way bigger and stronger than any virus. Go face your fears!!
☮️ & ❤️
Hey, I’m David Aaron Desouza and I go by the name of DJ DAD as a performer. I’m originally Indian but since I was born and raised up in the UAE I consider myself an Abu Dhabi boy. I’m an open format DJ and been hustling it out from time to time working for events and promotions. Music is something that impacts people so much and I love being part of that moment in nightclubs, weddings, birthdays, and other events. I’ve made 2020 the year of character building for me. Over the past weeks, I meditate, read books, improve my DJ skills, go for runs, quite bad habits and also be part of communities such as @darknessintolightad and @blankcanvas.community and I usually have zoom sessions with around 10 of my friends to end my day. Post pandemic I’m working on redesigning my entire system on how I work with my clients in a way that is more acceptable to both parties and more importantly improve my financial literacy during my work. I’ve started this online service where people can purchase customized mixtapes of all their favorite songs (Hit the link in my bio to know more). Someone who has always inspired me from the time I wanted to be a DJ is @saifandsoundofficial seeing him perform at events like beats on the beach or at du arena always drives me to pursue my goals he’s such an inspiration. The other artists who inspire me are @djkaboo , @djkeithdobbs, and of course my main man right now who thought me to be comfortable in my zone @waleedshah. I feel the art world has impacted most people to realize that art is more of an expression than just a monetary value as well as it’s been given new channels to connect with people through social media and live sessions. I would just like to tell the world just to look at yourself as a cell phone and it’s time for a software update or reboot so this the time to just take a pause and learn, understand and be aware of every situation you might face.
أنا I’m Sally Mourad
I’m a producer.. by no direct choice of mine!
It sort of happened as I gave myself the opportunity to go with the flow…that same flow made me who I’m today! AND ITS JUST LIKE I FELL IN LOVE… My sister and I have what we like to call Facilitator Syndrome… We describe it as a very natural and strong urge to help or support others “literally anyone around us” in absolutely anything they might ask of me or need to be done! I’m always the first to raise a hand when any sort of help is needed, sometimes even to things that I wasn’t sure I’m capable of doing… I’d just do it naturally! And I’d make it happen to the best of my ability… and I never realized it until I got a bit older and started to feel frequently overwhelmed by things that I wasn’t necessarily supposed to be worrying about or weren’t even my own to keep credit for!
I could talk about this plenty….but the point is; this is how I connected my personality to the job I handle and love today…
I MAKE SH*T HAPPEN and it brings me a healthy combination of joy, stress and income👽
I came to peace with the fact that It’s in my nature to see the wrong “or what seems to be wrong or irregular” in myself before or instead of seeing it in my environment or others around me and figured this is why I tend to beat myself for even the tiniest hiccups or inconveniences…I now understand that it’s ok to fail. It’s ok to not have my sh*t together all the time. It’s ok to distance away from people that aren’t necessarily good for me “regardless of how much they mean to me”. It’s ok to not have my future plans laid out in front of me to answer people’s questions about them. It’s ok to be afraid and unsure. It’s ok that I’m not in perfect shape and that I’m not using this time to exercise, read, study, or GROW…. because among all of that I was especially growing and as I spent more time with myself!! in peace!! I realized it… simply because I gave myself a CHANCE!
We don’t walk the earth to be perfect..heck most of us don’t even understand why we’re even here and now!!
I go by the name of Adam Kadabra. I’m a Magician, Musician, and aspiring filmmaker. The past few weeks have been interesting, I get productive days and lazy days. It’s hard to be inspired lying on my couch but eventually, boredom sinks in and I want to get the ball rolling.
The industry has defiantly changed, some good some bad. I feel close up magic will be hard to get back into events as the work involves spectators and hands-on. Film and media are in high demand and content is king for now. I’ve started to gear towards entertainment on social media and build my brand around it and hopefully, fingers crossed, when the epidemic has settled down I’ll be prepared.
I was lucky to shoot my short film New Angeles in January before UAE went into lockdown which is one of the latest projects I’m working on at the moment which you can follow on Instagram @newangelesthewebseries. It’s hard to be unique, and stand out as an artist where everyone expects you to play covers or just play the “safe” stuff.
The UAE has such a massive pool of talented people that are working on their own material. @aspercasper and @amansheriffmusic are good examples of two artists I really admire for sticking to their own work and it’s very inspiring.
The lockdown has been a good way to get break out those creative juices and to find your inner voice. They say when we fall down 9 times we get back up 10 times, always keep pushing and you will reach the top.
- Michael 37 years old happily married, working has a digital performance marketing manager and been living in dxb since ’08
– Looking for new job opportunities
– Not to take everything for granted anymore.
– I finally printed and framed some images I took during the last couple of years. Never really had the time to do it.
– I don’t have a specific artist, but I am really pleased to see how the art scene in Dubai has developed during the last ten years. My wife and friend are my personal daily dose of inspiration.
– Art will always find a way!
– Stop trying to make sense of life and embrace the ridiculous ness of it all and find joy!
Nada Tawhid, Actress.
Currently involved in a project that requires me to act almost daily “been shooting for 6months and counting” It’s like a military approach for acting that I feel is very intense, painful, and necessary.
My post-pandemic strategy is definitely more head-on. I feel like this situation glued together all the scattered parts inside me and pushed them out. We’ll see how that works out!
This latest project am involved in is a soap opera drama series @almeerathshow that is set to be 250 episodes, it started airing on MBC 1st of March, and a few days back we reached episode 100 “yaay”. It is a very special project cause it requires me to put A LOT of my self in, which is very exhausting and very rewarding at the same time.
Artists in general inspire me and as an actress, I notice my self drawn to the smallest details from different artists that come from different places. It is especially exciting and inspiring when I get to feel a new wave being created, which is currently happening in the Saudi entertainment industry ✨
HI! I am Dipa.
I always have a hard time defining who I am, where I am from, and what makes me “Dipa”. Officially, I am an interior designer – but that’s just my job. Because I also am a meditation mentor, ceramist, life lover, small things lover, food, tea, nature lover and so many other things!
I think everything I do, every place I visit, each experience -good or bad-, each person I met has made me the way I am now and who I am – so constantly changing, evolving with a core “Dipa” in me.
I am Congolese by heart – cause born and raised in DRCongo which is still my home, Indian by blood but been there only once, and also Belgian by nationality- lived in Belgium for 11years!
I struggled a lot to accept the fact I was none of those but also all of those with some bits of each of them… Different identities in one person, which makes me so rich now that I have accepted this.
Before The virus and lockdown, I started to open up to people about the fact that I was a meditation teacher, I started conducting classes at my workplace, once a week and then when the lockdown happened, I have been asked to conduct the sessions online, twice a week!
So that lockdown put me in the light and I was suddenly doing online classes to people and talks about meditation, breathing techniques, and mindfulness.
I have been focusing a lot on myself lately, on how to set my boundaries and stay true to myself, also developing the things I wanted to develop on the side such as my meditation practice and my ceramics skills. Sharing what I call a gift with people that needed some peace/stillness in their mind is a beautiful journey.
I have opened a door of new possibilities and I can’t wait to see what will come next!
I think more than ever the world needs art, creation in all its forms and nuances, we need to let everything we feel/sense out of our mind.
Compassion, love, kindness, understanding, letting go of the judgment when interacting with people is what we need for our future. And telling the people we love that we see them and we love them.
I’m a Russian who is always looking for and longing for something new. Photography is my latest desire. Although it always has been. I spent time in the darkroom with my Dad and as a teenager with my friends, Camera point and shoot, camera of my friends, etc. This is what I always loved but never took seriously before. Now I am! What else? Dressmaking. That one thing I never stopped doing )))
Honestly, my time during the pandemic was very confusing in the beginning. For most people, it is always easy moving on a clear predictable path. When someone pushes you to the side you need to sometimes return. I did it quite fast. My knowledge and experience helped me a lot! Ideas for new projects I had before became more realistic. Intuition was whispering “It is all for the better, lots of opportunities” ))
My strategy is simple and clear never put all your eggs in one basket)) I mean do different things, Diversity is not just a trendy word It helps you! It makes your life more interesting and even more safe in a certain way
My latest project is my new brand @UnicMe which was born as a combination of two of my passions. Fashion and Photography. Outfits for different kinds of photoshoots. The moto is “Be who you really want to be” I want to make people be closer to their dream, especially women. Because as little girls we were always dreaming to be someone. I want women to make their dreams come true.
I’m sure the Art world will become even stronger. All artists finally got a chance to finish unfinished projects or start something new. The new reality has created a new wave of artists!
My message to the world is Be Strong, Confident, and Creative, Always Follow your own path!
My name translates to Immortal Light, literally Dyae Khaled, a Moroccan 22 years old Artist and Designer. Graduated from NYIT as an Interior Architect. Art has always been my passion, I’ve been selling artwork since I was 15. Showcased in Emirates palace, Nation galleria, Art house café, Comic-Con, and Games Con. You can find my art on @dyae.arts. I spent the last few weeks gardening at @mother.of.tellus. Connected with artists in the UAE and worked on new projects. Focused on self-development. During the pandemic I graduated and worked on my thesis during the heat of it all, overwhelming became the new normal. I found the good in bad, decided to use the time for things I procrastinated like my love for plants, focusing on how to spend my time.
My latest project is a new freelancing Interior Design Studio. My team and I are building up (T- Design) @t_dsgn_ as co-founders. Designing interior projects in the UAE and hopefully globally. Since the pandemic, we had to adapt to the situation, reinvent an approach to overcome this obstacle rechanneling our energy and designs.
I draw inspiration from derived artists with unique visions. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be mentored by one of the most talented calligraphy artists in the region @diaallam. Working on projects together as a collaborator. Diaa Allam has introduced me to the powerful expression of calligraphy.
The future of Art is in its past and present. Due to the pandemic, art continues to express emotions like always, bringing us back to our roots and origins. Explaining how we feel with what’s going on. We’ve seen Art in several forms thriving in pandemics and history too, making statements and expressing louder than voices. Art’s world is eternal even if it changes from one form to another, art is art. Till art do us apart.
Kindness takes less effort than being uptight. Focus on yourself, it’s not selfish. You can’t love others if you don’t love yourself. Stay inspired and open-minded. No matter how big my imagination is, I’m very down to earth, but only because I know what it’s like to fly away from it.
I moved to the UAE 12 years ago from Canada to work on the launch team for a newspaper and never left. I’ve been a freelancer for the last three years and have never worked harder: reviewing restaurants, filing radio reports, writing features, editing magazines, and launching a website + podcast.
The pandemic forced me to slow down and realize that was a pretty fun hamster wheel, but I was also ignoring some important projects deep in my heart. So first I rested, and then I got busy: I launched @hotflashinc … a global newsletter exploring the powerful and complex transition of perimenopause and menopause. I also wrote my first personal essay for @elephantjournal; started the second draft of a screenplay I wrote and began actually writing a pitch for a memoir dancing around my mind for years. I’m even thinking about turning all the voice notes on my phone into standup or a one-woman show. (That’s why when Waleed asked what we are saying about me, I said “What are we gonna say about me?”)
When I’m diving into that urge to be creative, I draw inspiration from the beautiful women who launched @blankcanvas.community because they are igniting the artist within as many people as they can reach. Dominique @houseofdevereaux creates the most beautiful jackets and my bestie @katieellentrotter regularly blows my mind as fashion director for @VogueArabia. I love any time spent in front of musician @adambaluch and am so impressed with you @waleedshah – because of the tough projects you tackle, your gentle spirit, and no-barriers mind. I think regional artists will produce some amazing projects in the coming years, reflecting the collective and individual pandemic experience in beautiful and surprising ways.
I wanted to take these photos to mark turning 50 this year because it’s such an important milestone, I’m lucky to have reached it and I feel so damn good about it. Mostly I want everyone to know there is no right age to do things – although this one comes pretty close.
Que dice mi gente? My name is David and I’m from Venezuela. I am pursuing my dream and the biggest passion of my life photography and videography. I am hoping to become a full-time freelancer soon and look forward to working with my gear 24/7.
Since the pandemic started I honestly had more time for myself to improve and sharpen my editing skills. When almost all industries slowed down and some completely shut down, I decided to target the restaurants supporting them with food photos and videos to market their food delivery options.
These people are keeping my brain creative with their work:
They were positive and negative things at this time, but let’s be realistic is not the end of the world. People won’t stop making art and creative people won’t stop being who they are.
Don’t stop believing in yourself, pursue your goals until you achieve them, there’s not an easy way or shortcut to success in life.
Oh hey! So, I’m Yasmen but you can call me Yas! I’m a UK qualified Cognitive Behavioural therapist, Neuro-Linguistic Practitioner, and Clinical Hypnotherapist.
I take an integrated approach to well-being helping individuals towards healing, self-discovery, and growth and offer 1:1 therapy sessions privately and online.
I’m also the Founder of Inspire with Yas @inspirewithyas an online inspirational platform and community. A safe space to feel heard and valued filled with inspiration and resources.
I truly believe everything happens for a reason, as a few years back I hit an emotional and physical rock bottom. As hard as this experience was, it took me to the path that I’m on now. I’m now blessed with the opportunity to inspire and connect with many across the world supporting them on their healing journey. There’s truly nothing like it.
I love to write, read, and am a massive life-long learner (I got this aspect from my parents, who are truly my role models and inspiration as well as both my sisters). I love seeking ways to grow and develop myself personally and professionally, to be my best self for myself and those around me.
Born in Egypt and raised in the UK, I embraced both cultures and speak fluent Arabic, allowing me to communicate better with many clients since moving to Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where I currently live.
When the world came to a halting pause in the past few months, I moved all my work online and currently am working on an exciting project gathering stories and experiences via questionnaire and interviews of individuals worldwide during the pandemic.
Why? Because I want to use this crisis as a catalyst for growth and deep connection with others across the world. It’s through the power of storytelling we sharpen our compassion and empathy for humanity as a whole. This is what makes us human I believe.
So, allow me to leave you with this final note, even the most gut-wrenching feelings and emotions you may be feeling are temporary, I promise you. You will get through this. We all will. Together.
Hello, my name is Khaled Kaddoura and I go by the name of DjKadd ( open format Dj )
I started my first professional gig in 2017, however In the past few weeks I finished a course of video editing, therefore I am now familiar with editing and creating videos because I like to learn new things instead of sitting down and do nothing.
The artists that I get inspiration from, internationally @djkhaled, @Djstylez_dubai @saifandsoundofficial locally. Especially Saif because he is the one that stood beside me when I approached him 4 years ago to teach me some stuff that I couldn’t do my self.
I wanna tell the world support your friends, listen to their ideas, go to their events, and buy what they are selling when you can), share their posts, celebrate their victories, and remind them of their importance after their failures, push them. A little support can go a very long way. Most of us are doing it already for strangers and famous people why you don’t do it for your friends?
“Something I’ve never really thought about doing before was expressing myself through art.
Something the world never really thought it would be going through this way is 2020.
Don’t think…….just do.”
I am not a household name as many of the big entrepreneurs but I have accomplished feats of entrepreneurship and business management that I am so proud of. I have set up a company in Pakistan and moved there to run it when I did not know a single Urdu word or a single person. After exiting my business in 2013, I took another road to establish @manoushe_street when I did not have Fnb experience.
Being who I am, someone who is quick at taking actions and decisions, I have decided during the COVID19 pandemic to do a full digital transformation for the FnB business and build the largest brick and click food brand company. So this digital transformation is the most exciting thing that is keeping me busy day and night.
Looking now at the creative side of mine, @zenaassi, @ayman_baalbaki, and Havy Karhaman are always on the top of my list. Though when I look at the art scene these days, I feel it’s just a short phase and things will be back the way they used to be. It is so personal that certain industries can never become digital. The human touch and the relationship you build with the artist and his work is just irreplaceable!
Let’s remove all the boundaries around our hearts and love what God has given us!
Holaaaaa, my name is Lelyl Oñoro Berrizbeitia, born in Venezuela, living in Dubai for 6 years so far. I define myself as intensamente latina. I live everything with passion, I have a mixture of Spanish and South American blood plus what I absorbed living 18 years in Italy.
Modeling and acting were always my dreams. I never thought myself good enough to be a model or actress and time went by. A year ago, at 49 I decided now or never and here I am.
I have spent the last few months redefining my plans, what I really want to do, thinking about myself and what I have achieved so far and what I want to achieve. Being locked down allowed me to stop and start to face my fears.
My latest projects gave me the opportunity to meet amazing people, do things that I never imagined doing, and learn a little more.
Art is a word that cannot be limited and I believe that during this pandemic, art in all its manifestations has played a fundamental role, allowing many people to open a new window in this lockdown.
I would like to share my grandmother’s philosophy, which is also mine:
” Tienes el NO en la mano, busca el Si”. You have already the NO in your hand, look for the YES.
Un BESOTEEEE y siempre pa’lante
I’m Sali, aka faerie hooplah (fairy by name, fairy by nature) The circus hula-hooper/fire performer/aspiring costume designer,
When quarantine started I decided to make the best of this time instead of dwelling over what’s been lost, I appreciated that we were blessed with the time to do all the things we’ve been wanting to do, but never had enough time to.
I starter sewing which has given me a lot of joy, and I figured this could be a different avenue that I could explore, because no matter what, people still want to look good 😎 I connected online with incredible international artists to help me out with my Hula hoop act, (this wouldn’t have been possible pre-quarantine without travelling). I’m going to keep perusing my passions and working on my clothesline in anticipation for when we return back to show life. In the meantime, I am working on building my security blanket to protect myself in the future.
However, the faith is strong that the arts and the realms of creativity thrive once again.
Thank you Waleed for the pleasure of working with you on this project. You are a true inspiration in these troubling times.
Lots of love and light and all things nice 💖🦄💖🦄💖🦄💖🦄
We are Palestinian/Lebanese, naturalized Australian sisters, business partners, best friends and Co-Founders of Blank Canvas Community.
Blank Canvas is a human-centered social enterprise with a vision to re-connect people to their creativity – individuality – interconnectedness; we do this through collaborative art gatherings, creative consulting, storytelling, events production & design, installations, and wellness sessions. We started in Melbourne, Australia in 2014 and we re-launched in the UAE in 2016 – thanks to the legendary White Cube Studios.
We’ve been spending the last few weeks like this – Breathe. Heal. Adapt. Innovate. Repeat – pandemic first, then Beirut blast and all the other tragedies around the world. It’s been a lot, but to witness the power of community during these times has been a real testament for us, of the importance of what we strive for as an organization.
Our mission stands stronger than ever post-pandemic. In addition to events, which is what we spent most of our time on in the past few years, we finally have the chance to focus on – creative consulting and selling products which could help us invest in projects for social development in the region, and eventually the world.
There are a few projects in the pipeline – facilitating remote creative workshops for organizations, we launched our product line @blankcanvas.goods – ‘CollAboRaTe’ – an Art box that encourages group painting, in collab with @artcentraluae where 100% of profits will support @himayaleb. Also, ‘Yoga with Determination’, in collab with @iminclusive, an accessible yoga series for people of all abilities. There’s more coming!
What we would like to share with the world during this wild chapter is – Know yourself, take time to create Art (whatever that may be to you) & explore your unique blueprint, and be compassionate towards one another. These times are causing us all to grieve/heal in some sort of way, only to make room for the next phase our world is moving into. We have a chance to do things differently, let’s do it with each other in mind and heart. This is how we can thrive collectively. As one human family!
I’m Samar Hussien, a Visual Artist, Painter, and Art enthusiast.
My passion is to inspire people around me, I love to see the influence of my interactions with them! the feeling you get after sharing and giving is just beautiful.
I get my inspiration from a lot of different artists, especially the ones who are attentive to feminism, gender identity, and migration. Everyone has a list of their favorite inspirational artists, I personally respect any kind of art but my favorite artists are: Bahram Hajo and Adel Dawood.
Art &Music are my best friends, it takes my mind off of anything else, raw energy feeds the soul.
I’m a fund of horoscopes and signs and I love to have endless conversations with people who share the same perspective.
I was in Berlin for an artist residency for a month, and I did some new paintings which were supposed to be for my upcoming exhibition.
some of us get affected by the quarantine which’s normal because new things always leave a trace whether it’s positive or negative. for me it was normal, I have learned how to simplify things, life is too short so enjoy it!
35 years young, Nisreen Bashnak, Lebanese originally & a gypsy at heart.
Enough with the poetic talk (although recently I’ve come across dozens of forgotten poems that I’ve written some 15 years ago)
A word wizard is what I used to prefer people calling me when I pitch my ideas/hunt for a new client or project. But now, a green thumb lady with some ink on her fingertips makes more sense.
I am a bilingual content strategist & copywriter that takes good care of how your message & online image comes across to your people. Especially the Arabic content, it’s been needing a savior for ages now. The market out there is just filled with poor Arabic content that hurts the eyes and brain marrow before it humiliating the language itself. Hence here I come بالعربي يعني
What’s with the magic potion am holding up? It is my side hustle for now but my main project for the near future (crossing fingers under gloves). Creating mini forests & ecosystems to help bring breathing natural scenes indoors @kaia_from_the_earth
Trapping nature that thrives independently in jugs, bottles & aquariums is rewarding as much as challenging. But hey so much fun all in all!!
Few past weeks were an emotional rollercoaster, juggling current projects, upping the green project game & thinking about what’s next in general back home & here.
The best thing about the pandemic? It made many realize what’s a priority, broke the wicked cycle of punch-in & out & forced trust on employers towards their people.
Life is just too short to be trapped behind a cubicle & calculating for the next cigarette break. Just be, yourself unapologetically cause you’ll be surprised with the outcome.
Pssst….am a music & art addict, I also escape into my sketchbooks & ipad many times 1 am onwards. Check it out @nisreen_insta_art
Hi, I am Salma!
I am a coach & facilitator. I am a daughter, a sister, an aunt, & friend. I’m inquisitive & curious; passionate & compassionate, But most of all I’m human. Even though I’m an eternal optimist, I battle with inner critics just like everyone else.
The past months have forced me to slow down and silence the noise. With lots of space for introspection, I realized important truths about my humanness. Although I was living a busy life, out n’ about meeting people, dreaming and accomplishing things, I had also been hiding, shying away from actually putting myself out there. That realization left me craving for more.
I decided to launch a platform, a space to be vulnerable, and openly share myself and my stories with the world. On @salma.elshurafa, I share the exhilarating highs, the heart-wrenching lows, and all the A-ha moments in between. And I hope whoever sees me, feels invited to share themselves too.
Why? Because I believe that embracing and surrendering to the human experience leads to extraordinary breakthroughs, self-discovery, and healing. I also believe we all need to give ourselves the chance to read between the lines of OUR own story. The story only we know so well.
Storytelling is an art and an intrinsic gift we all hold. I encourage everyone to share their stories as they are our inner truths that shine a light on what wants to be acknowledged and freed. I am willing to go first. Will you follow me?
The way to reach further is not by reaching out, is by reaching in. Let us dig deeper, have raw conversations on what is within us. When we see each other, we see ourselves. And when we truly see ourselves, then we see it all. With love, Salma xox
Hellooo! I am Idil Koseoglu. I have a bachelor in graphic design and have worked as an Art Director/Graphic Designer.
Two years ago, I followed my passion for interior and founded @goomooddxb where I now work as an interior stylist. Since the launch of Goodmooddxb in 2018, I’ve been handling residential projects, holiday houses, office, and showroom styling projects. I fell in love with creating a pleasant, functional, and effective environment for people! I love to be creative with color in my projects, different colors make areas feel anything from more, calm, comfortable to cheerful, or dramatic. I am not a fan of working with one single style, I love to mix & match different styles for different projects. I always source my creativity from the different clients I’m working with.
I have spent the last weeks preparing for new projects. Currently, I am working on a full house makeover. My job is to always exceed my client’s expectations, I have been working hard for the last couple of weeks on this new house makeover project.
Post Pandemic… I am a bit of a control freak and a perfectionist. These unique times forced me to slow down my work process and what I learned is to stay in the present moment and enjoy it! It has been a useful time to stop and think, I had to tell myself “Calm down Idil!”
I am truly inspired by so many things I see around me, as I am walking down a street, I find art, fashion, architecture, different cultures, and nature. I find inspiration in all of it!
The pandemic spread all over the world, all of a sudden, we didn’t get any warning, It’s scary what has happened! However, art has the power to unite and connect even in times of worry. Bringing people together by inspiring and sharing is in a way soothing. That’s one of the reasons I fell in love with art – it is so powerful.
My motto is: work hard and love what you do. Life can be tough, can’t it? But for every challenge encountered – an opportunity for growth arises.
My name is Ivana Ribić and I am from Serbia.
Business intelligence consultant by the day and a muay Thai fighter on my lunch break.
Being obsessed with peanut butter, enjoying the Middle East, looking for a life purpose, overthinking occasionally, overtraining even more often.
Buying a new car and falling in love were the parts of my last life project. My new Mercedes is somewhere out there at the parking lot, and – I can’t wait to hug you. Yes, you. So, let’s say the project was successful.
No need to know more about me.
Waste your time wisely, hug more, kiss more, touch more.
Don’t skip your leg day.
Hey, @kanzydaf thanks for making this happen.
I’m a Palestinian-Canadian that moved to Dubai 15yrs ago, I just took a chance & thank God it paid off. I’ve always wanted to know how magazines came to life & that made me pursue my first big career here with one of the biggest media companies in the region, ITP. It was a pleasure producing titles like Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, & other international titles. However, as things started to shift more digitally, I began refocusing my talents on video content development & creation. I’ve established a strong career in Mixed Media Production from photoshoots/video to mini-documentaries. I’ve worked with many international stars like Bella Hadid and Maya Diab, & worked side-by-side with so many amazing beautiful souls out there.
I met my husband here & we’ve created a beautiful family & business together. Since the lockdown, I’ve been focusing on myself, & my 2 little boys. Also trying to get back into my true passion, which is drawing & painting & I haven’t done that in years!. 2 yrs ago I started working with my husband at Creative Animals, which is our Creative+Production Agency based in Dubai. It was such a thrill to see our creative ideas come to life.
Since the lockdown like most businesses we have seen a dip in new projects and I haven’t been able to contribute to the business as much as I’d like to. My new strategy is to fill my time up with potential freelance work & explore different creative avenues in the field.
My latest piece is called “Gold Fairuz” which is a painting of the popular Lebanese singer Fairuz. It’s was inspired by an unknown artist.
The 2 artists that inspire me today are @laila.shawa & @NoelleshawaPainting, both women have such beautiful and strong expressive styles, which are truly unforgettable.
The artworld is continually changing especially in the times that we live in. A lot has happened this year, and I believe all these emotions will manifest in some form of creative expression & will unfold into various mediums.
if you are passionate about something, build it & see how it unravels before you. Live, love & enjoy your life. We only have one life to live right?.
I’m a musician and actor Abdulaziz Alkhumais and I’m from the UAE. I know everyone has been dealing with the pandemic in very different and difficult ways but I think unlike most people, my quarantine started in October and I was set free when the pandemic started, insane statement I know but let me elaborate. Back in October 2019 I got diagnosed with Leukemia, at that time I had to leave to London for treatment and that has been the most difficult time of my life, my passion for music has saved me from being dragged in the spiral of dealing with cancer. I am mentioning this because it is the most thing that has driven me to make more music and ever since then I decided that once I get better I will stop at nothing, once the pandemic got out of control specifically on April I was happily forced to come back to the UAE to my family friends and loved ones and that’s when I got cast for a huge project that will soon be published. The pandemic was harsh and has hurt a lot of people and made it impossible for me to be able to do all the things I have dreamed of doing since I was trapped in a hospital in London. Slowly after the pandemic, I slowly started discovering myself more as an artist and I realized that acting is also one of the many things I wanna take on. I’m trying to make people recognize me as an artist after a battle that I fought by the pandemic is slowing everything down. But I just want everyone to know that you never know how strong you are until it’s the only option you have. I believe if we artist all work as one and help each other out, we can do it !! I hope everyone stays safe.