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

PRESS

CNN Arabic

The National

Scene Arabia

JDEED Magazine

Grazia Middle East

Lovin’ Dubai

Local Bahrain

On the Couch with Emz on Vuuzle.tv
(minute 17)

RESET talks with Omar Al Duri

Al Sharq Al Awsat

Hotelier Middle East

STORIES

Mowjood - Haifa Beseisso

My name is Haifa, like “High five 🖐” just with a “faa” in the end.

I find writing this caption to represent myself not easy. Answering the question of “Who are you?” always seems complicated to me.

As I believe we are diverse infinite beings that are constantly evolving.

Anyhow, let me try sharing a bit about myself.

My soul was born in a female body.

Ever since I was born I was a day dreamer, a thinker, and a little bit of a rebel.

One of my biggest achievements is challenging my strict school principle with the concept of the school system, then quitting my full time comfortable job in TV to travel the world and launch my YouTube channel.

I started as a girl who wants to bridge between cultures and wipe away stereotypes and racism creatively.

My videos reached millions of views and received many awards.

I then grew to care about my inner world fulfillment more than anything, this feeling of receiving an inner award means a lot to me.

I dream to use my voice on social media for a positive reason. I’m aware of how toxic social media could get and how it can affect our mental health, I want to be a part of the positive force and healing.

Lastly I was a girl who built a la la land in her mind, became a part time unicorn 🦄 part time workaholic. I guess that was my way to deal with the unpleasant part of life.

Then I became a person who was hit by reality especially when I had time to think about it, I saw many things that hurt me and I would cry some nights, feel helpless in another, or even guilty for not being able to do much for a lot of

suffering souls.

One of my biggest realizations was the effect of the patriarchy on our communities that I thought was long gone.

I was shocked to see the low key control it has over our community and women since history.

And sometimes, we don’t even know it.

We’re afraid to see it. Because fighting it will not be easy …. not only will we be dealing with patriarchy and what it brings, but we might be attacked by some women in the process.

I channel the energy and connect with all

The great women and men that lived and fought for a cause peacefully, creatively, and powerfully.

On this earth we may pay our human tax,

And be of service.

Yours truly,

High five

Mowjood - Big Hass

​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.

Mowjood - Maha AJ

My name is Maha Abdelghaffar Jaafar
I go with Maha AJ because it is easier.

I am a dentist who found herself on social media by a complete coincidence.

I’ve always had a passion for comedy and acting and when I got the chance to create this type of content on social media, it was one of the best moments of my life and I knew I had to hang on to it with all my power.

I created a lot of content and I was blessed with so much love and support that made me get to milestones I’ve never imagined I could ever reach.

However I started losing connection with myself in the process. I struggled with discipline, creativity and motivation. I forgot about my blessings and lost focus of what originally inspired me.

Today, with the power of love and so much gratitude, I officially stand strong and decide that this is a new beginning.
A new beginning where I am living life more true to myself.

I am in love with the richness of my culture and I believe in the potential of my people and that’s the reason I choose to continue creating content that empowers, represents and inspires.

Follow your passion and never give up on what you love, never let the fire inside you die because this fire can change lives and reshape your future.

Mowjood - Emma Brain

​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.

Mowjood - Hadeel Marei by Waleed Shah

Hala, my parents decided to name me hadeel so this is my name in this life time I guess 🤷🏻‍♀️my name doesn’t define who I am so I don’t care about it that much.
I doubt this year was kind to any of us, personally I’ve had my fair share of suffering and turmoil especially these past few months, been on the edge of insanity and back… For now 👀.
I live by unapologetically being myself, to not reflect what others want to see, to not reflect their egos and I suggest you do the same
I promise you the kind of liberation that comes with not lying about who you are is worth it, yes you will loose a lot of people but few will stick around and those are the ones worth your time and energy.

Mowjood - Curl Therapy

​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.

Mowjood - Momos Laughs

There is a fine line between comedy and drama.. They are both real, both will capture your attention, and.. here’s the irony .. When crafted well, they’ll both get you in tears!

Today I walked in at the @hotelindigodubai to meet @waleedshah and shoot my Mowjood with ZERO expectation! I did it intentionally cuz it’s good to let ur spirit free and let yourself go with the flow.

We had a nice talk, discovered that we mutually admired each others’ work. We had a discussion about the Magic of good content, the richness it brings to the world. We debated global struggles and reflected on the perfect imperfection that dominates our human kind. The imperfection that carves our identities and gears us up for the journey ahead.

My message to you today is.. Embrace your imperfection and seize every opportunity to laugh your tail off!

Mowjood - Sarah Shebani by Waleed Shah

My name is Sarah, but I go by my family and artist name: Shébani! I’m a singer, songwriter and a lover of many things that I sometimes can’t keep up with my own self. No, like seriously, there are handful of things I can obsess over for days on end. Makeup, fashion, visual art, mythology, baking, pools, books, colors, glitter, holidays and… yeah.. you get the gist.
I’ve been spending the past few weeks getting to know myself a little more. Identifying what stays in and what goes out of my life. Cleaning out my closet, my emails, my subscriptions, my contact list and my mind, to make more room for my creative juices to flow as they please, and I’m so here for it.
I’ve been learning to trust my intuition, and to really listen to what my soul and body need on certain days. I’ve been giving myself space to just be, and most importantly, I’ve been finding growth in all the small corners that I’ve neglected for far too long. It’s been a breath of fresh air.
The pandemic has taught me how to BREATHE. I’m my worst critic, in everything I do. I strive to overcome every obstacle that I see on the road, and I make no time for sorrow because it’s all about finding solutions for me, and that became too exhausting at some point. I’m beginning to let go, and to really let some things take their natural course. I’m beginning to understand what it means to manage your time between work and days off to spend alone or with family and loved ones. The non-stop grind is not meant to burn you out. It’s meant to discipline you and bring you closer to your passion and future goals. I don’t want to lose myself in the process, that’s counterproductive. So I’m listening to my feelings a little more, and being mindful of what my heart truly desires.
I’ve been writing new music, and it’s been hitting different. Something about the way it’s being molded is just very cosmic.. and I really wish I can share more news about it, but not yet! All I can say is that it’s been my pride and joy, and I’m working with one of the best producers/artists I’ve had the pleasure to meet. All will be announced soon. I can’t, REALLY CANNOT, wait to share it with the world.
I’m inspired by kind hearts, I find that we need that now more than ever. And of course, the women in my family, my sisters and my mom, they make my world a happier place, and I am the woman I am because of all their guidance, teachings and support. The women in my life are phenomenal. Whether they’re close friends or acquaintances. They not only inspire me with their art, but with the way they carry themselves every single day. I look at the way they work and get everything done with confidence, strength, passion, conviction and love, yet they’re probably fighting their demons in silence. We all are. Honestly if I start mentioning names, I’ll never stop. So I’m going to dedicate this to every artist who’s reading. Thank you for inspiring the world. If it’s not me, it’s many others, believe me. Keep shining your light.
The art world is going to be more than fine, it already is, and I don’t think we can ever live without art. It’s probably the most, if not the only, common language equally identifying us and what truly moves us. We find peace in it. And as cheesy as this sounds, the only way from here is up. Let’s keep moving.
To anyone who comes across this, and to the whole world: “Hey! How you doin’? Just here to remind you that you mother f*cking got this, and I believe in you and your voice. So speak up, we’re listening.”

Mowjood - Luz Villamil

Mental storms have been a part of my life since I was little. When I was 11 years old my dad was kidnapped for 3 months and less than a year later I lost my brother to kidnapping and murder when he was only 26 years old. We had to leave our country due to the violence, spending the next 20 years trying to unravel my brother’s disappearance.

My family and I made it through that but in 2018 a perfect storm was waiting for me: within a year I went through a divorce, was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer and faced the loss of my dad.

Pain and loss have defined a lot of who I am as a person. It has shaped my character and toughened my heart and mind. But it has also reinforced my belief that love is the force that help us heal and overcome even the most painful of circumstances.

A lot of what I went through seemed unfair, unexpected, and most was completely outside of my control. For so long I got caught up on the “why me?” “why us?” loop that often leads to nowhere. It’s easy to victimize yourself under such circumstances of pain. But, my parents amazingly didn’t do that. Seeing them face the trauma of the loss of their son with such strength taught me a lot about the ways in which we can control our minds through the storm.

Eventually, however, the storm catches up with you and comes at full force through guilt and sorrow. I felt guilty for being ill. I felt guilty for causing my family pain through my illness. I felt guilty for talking about it, or for not talking about it enough. There is so much guilt in trauma.

Working through my mental storm – thanks to different forms of therapy – is building a better version of myself: a more conscious, more loving Luz. Seeking help was a genuine act of self love. It takes courage and vulnerability to face our fears and our deepest most painful memories. But it is the most rewarding process I have ever embarked myself on. I am hoping my story can encourage others to seek help. It sounds ridiculously cliched but it is a universal truth: we can improve the world around us by improving ourselves and healing our wounds.

Mowjood - Molham Homsi

Caught between doing too much and feeling like It’s never enough. As of 2021 I feel like I’ve solidified my entrepreneur title. Celebrating @hrmnyco 3rd anniversary and making it through a tough 2020 with my partners & bros @aytheproducer @jeed . On the flipside, as an artist I’ll be completing a series of records I’m titling ‘Til Infinity’ with a 2 song release on March 5th. I don’t think I can ever do one thing at a time, I’m writing this caption while I drive to work, don’t tell RTA 🙏🏻. Thank you @waleedshah for creating this experience where I get to feel comfortable taking a minute to think of my journey and speak on it. انا موجوووود 🤞🏻

Mowjood - Alexandra Maia by Waleed Shah

Hi! I’m Alex but most times people call me House of Social I’ve noticed 😅

I’m the founder & creative media strategist of @alexHouseofSocial a consulting & education business I launched 4 years ago, when decided to quit the job I was so miserable at!

The last few months feel like a crazy looped rollercoaster…! You know the ones where you think it’s about to end and then it only keeps on going to the most unexpected places! One of which as been the re-launch of my Online Academy, what was once a paid model now, it’s totally 100% FREE to access all my courses online on Social Media Marketing, either you have a business, you want to start or you a marketter I’m on a mission to help you get to your ultimate happiness!

We are almost 2,000 students or as I like to call my community rebels. You need to find the courage to bet on yourself and create the life you want to work hard, and fight for what makes you happy! That’s the ultimate goal: Happiness. ❤️🤘🏼

Mowjood - Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo group have collaborated with the photographer Waleed Shah to celebrate its female leadership team for International Women’s Day on March 8. The UAE-based photographer has shot the team in a creative concept shoot called “Mowjood”, which means “I’m here, I exist”.

Shah aims to illustrate the powerful yet feminine character of each woman and express their pride in being a successful woman in the industry. Shah said: “The ladies at Hotel Indigo are rockstars. Their confidence in what they bring to the table shines through in this image.”

Fifty-six percent of Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown’s leaders at the property are women. Female colleagues have taken the majority of mid-management and top-management roles, some of which are typically occupied by males in the hospitality industry such as security manager or director of finance and business support.

The hotel’s general manager, Laura Eggleton, started her journey in hospitality at 13 years old, where she worked at a small family-run hotel. She was appointed to her first general manager role at the age of just 22, before venturing to the Middle East where she became the first female general manager for InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts in the region. Eggleton is now leading a team of more than 100 employees at Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown.

Eggleton said: “I’m so proud to be surrounded by a diverse team – loaded with professional and fun women who contribute so much to the everyday successes of our brand-new boutique hotel. I’m particularly passionate about supporting the growth of females in the hospitality industry here in the UAE and truly believe that a better balanced and diversified team will always yield better results for all.”

Other female leaders in the hotel include Neetu Sajnani, director of finance and business support, Sayad Ibrahimli, director of marketing and sales, Lauren Bracken, director of sales and Mansi Swain, reservation and revenue manager.

Mowjood - Rund Samman

​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.

Mowjood - Sawsan Saad

@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

Mowjood - Anonymous

Lost between 2 worlds the west and the east , coming from a conservative family but born into a society that excepts everyone as they are ….
Physically and mentally abused from the age of 13 , when my family decided to leave the west and move to the east of the world ,
A world that criticized me in every way “ your skin is too dark , your hair is too curly , you’re not supposed to work , you’re not supposed to wear this , learn to be a good house wife , cook and clean …etc.
Just literally telling me every day not to be ME !!
So with many contradictions inside of me , the biggest fight I have been battling is to be myself for myself !
The biggest battle was to say NO :
NO to the norm of the society
NO to emotional and physical abuse
NO to betrayal
NO to control
NO to mixing LOVE with ABUSE
and NO to making this seem normal in front of my child !!

Today I’m a proud mom and successful marketer … almost ABUSE FREE
Happy to finally accept and love who I am not what the society wants me to be
Teaching my child acceptance and love is my main goal in life
So, to all these BRAVE GIRLS out there struggling to be themselves:
PEOPLE WILL HATE U
RATE U
SHAKE U
BREAK U
BUT HOW STRONG YOU STAND
IS WHAT MAKES YOU !
And for the love of my child I’ll remain ANONYMOUS …..

Mowjood - Yasmine Akef2

I am not writing this from a place of vulnerability, weakness or shame. I have done that enough times growing up in this world, that it would fill hundreds of thousands of novels. I have hid behind society’s closed curtains and walls of shame for the vast majority of my life. I was told that sharing my story would bring me and my loved ones dishonor and humiliation. I will no longer play the victim card, for I am an unsung hero. I rose from the ashes of cultural oppression to speak my truth. The truth that has made me who I am – strong, empathetic and influential. The indignity brought on by my harasser has now depleted. Instead, I am brimming with incessant surges of power and resilience. I will shout from the rooftops and I will gather the herds of survivors. I will march and stride alongside the women and men who share my truth, with my head held high. From this moment on, I will speak how I please, I will wear what I please and I will do as I please. Don’t forget, that this is only the beginning of the march. I will continue to speak up and hold you accountable for your actions and misdemeanor. I am no longer afraid. I am no longer silent. I am no longer anonymous for I realised that this is not my story alone. I am you. I am her. I am your mother, your sister, your best friend and your next door neighbour. 

I am not anonymous. I am Egyptian. I am Arab. I am female. 

Mowjood - Paula Posea by Waleed Shah

From my mother’s stories I was the most awkward quiet toddler there was, I didn’t speak a word until I was 4 years old… but since then I am sure I have been compensating for each and every second of those first 4 years.
I am an open and talkative person, some might say too talkative, I know for a fact that the world is not ready for the things that we should be more open about, we have to have a conversation about every little thing there is that can make us feel uncomfortable or vulnerable, you’d be surprised, but it can be extremely therapeutic.
Where I come from if you would speak up or speak back, at least for me, the reward was being beaten, the pain is probably not that it happened for so many years, as much because my parents keep denying it and behave that they never did it; they used to say that I was a “curse” to be their child, so in order to “tame” me down they would give me a “good beating” so I would “learn my lesson”.
Many many years I have been such a toxic horrible person because of really thinking the words they used to tell me: “nobody likes you, you are a nobody”, I was lost, I was terrible, I was suffering like a wounded dog that would bite you if you’d try to come close and help, I still am always guarded, I am always expecting a punch either physical or metaphorical, words and punches hurt me for so many years and it takes a lot of practice and a lot of work and a lot of forgiveness to move on, what I have learned is that you need to go parallel with your past, know is there on the other side of the road walking with you forever, but don’t carry it on your back, the weight of that will break you down, it still does sometimes, I keep on talking about it again and again thinking that at one point it will just disappear and go away.
There is still a lot of work to do, I am always open to educate myself till the day I’ll have my last breath, I want to be the best version of myself tomorrow than I was yesterday, I want to collect all that pain and sum it up into fuel and determination, I don’t have all the answers and never will have them and I stopped being terrified if I can’t deal with the things I can’t control and they’re out of my power…
Till then, I tell myself to be kind with everyone, what I’ve learned so far is that we are all going through something that will feel like a bite bigger than we can chew, or that is unfair, why us, why like that… but the answer is more complex than we might think, and even if we relapse in pain and memories and depression, we shouldn’t put too much pressure on ourselves, in the end we are all humans and thus beautifully flawed.

Mowjood - Shereen Ahmed

‘Jane Of All Trades’, someone once commented on a post of mine, referring to all the shit they’ve probably seen me do. I’m a model, writer, host, and content creator who never thought I was skilled in anything at all. I started modeling at the age of 15 as a way to make extra money and take part in fashion- an industry I had been fascinated by since before I could remember. But another dream of mine was to be a published writer, something I pursued right after university. Soon after I achieved all those goals was when the feeling of emptiness kicked in. You see, I thought achieving the surface-level wins would change how I felt on the inside . I was fabulously mistaken.

Today, I’m a freelance content copywriter, model, actor for commercial shoots, content creator, and host. It is every bit as colorful as you’d imagine. Pre-pandemic Shereen was always on the run, never a moment to consider why I felt unhappy where I was and what needed change. It was only after I was made redundant months ago that I started believing in my true capabilities. This was also a period of growth, survival, and setting new personal goals after achieving my childhood dreams. I’ve come to accept that no matter where I am, as long as I control my narrative and create, I thrive.

Being around creatives during this pandemic keeps me sane and made me realize the importance of living authentically and doing anything that sparks joy to you, as Marie Kondo would say. I’ve moved back to Dubai to follow my intuition and to allow my vibrations to reach their peak and I look forward to keep on keeping on. Truthfully, I tend to ponder on the future of other creatives, especially during such a time. Still, I know we won’t ever dissipate because the creative community’s most prominent supporter is the creatives. And we’re all creative in our own right.

So if you’ve been feeling down, confused, and ready to give up on your passion- please don’t. You’re not alone, and you’ve got this. We’re all here for you.

Mowjood - Abbigail Laird

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 😉

Mowjood - Waleed Shaalan

My name is Waleed Shaalan I am an architect by profession and artists by passion, some call me the ARTitect. I have been spending the past few weeks doing 2020 things, taking care of my 18-year-old son who had Covid-19, drawing working online and, moving to a cheaper flat and dealing with what 2020 brings us. I love 2020, first, it is better than 536AD, second, it helped a lot slowing us down and making us remember what really matters. Pre pandemic I already started slowing down which made me prepared for post-pandemic!

​My latest professional project is in AlUla Saudi Arabia where I work as a design director for the French Agency for the development of AlUla on the master plan of what is yet to come. My personal project is a book of self-portraits sketches. Self Portraits are different than selfies, the selfie shows the world how we look, while the self-portrait shows how we feel. A mirror that can reflect beyond the depth of your skin and into your soul. The meditative process of drawing helps me reflect and look inside. I am inspired by people not just artists, people who are not afraid of being real and of expressing themselves whether it’s their clothes, words tattoos. People inspire me.

​The artworld is something I never could understand. I love art but I don’t know anything about the art world. I just love to doodle.

​I would like to tell the world to google the year 536AD and realize that 2020 is not so bad. Learn from it and stop complaining about it! Love Waleed 🙂

Mowjood - Ramy Shaalan

I want to speak about what’s on the mind of the Class of 2020, or shall I say, the Class of COVID19. The best part of our final year in school was cut short, put into a laptop, and packaged under the pretty label “distance learning.” We said, okay, maybe it’ll get better in July. At least I got into my dream school, @ubcsauderschool! As we waited behind our screens for a comeback greater than ever, mother nature made it clear to us that she wants her sweet, sweet revenge. University is now online, first term only. Okay, we said, spring is going to be crazy! We were wrong… again… Our entire freshman year is now online.

After celebrating my graduation on YouTube with ⅓ of my family, I waited for a better ending of 2020. My hopes were slashed once again when my study visa to Canada was rejected. Then again when my university announced full “distance learning” a.k.a. a student’s worst nightmare. Then again when I tested positive for COVID-19.

Studying 11 hours ahead of my university, on my dining table, with a sparse population of friends in the country is not desirable. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’m going a bit crazy, my temper and patience is dwindling, and my desire to study is near zero. This is an all too familiar situation for my fellow classmates.

But you know what? After all of the bullshit that has been thrown at us, the Class of COVID19 is still waiting for that comeback. The year that was on our minds ever since we waddled into kindergarten was unexpectedly the worst year of most of our lives.

The resilience and adaptability of humanity is most concentrated within the ambitious young adult. The fuel of education has readied us to launch into the galaxy, but it just so happened that launch day was postponed due to bad weather. But we will launch.

Let it be known, that when we are free, we will live the 2020 that we desired for so long.

The year that we come back is the year we live OUR 2020.

And you know what? On behalf of my classmates, we have one last thing to say: Fuck you COVID!

Mowjood - Alysha N

An Interior Architect by trade, but also a designer, music curator, DJ, design teacher, a sort of renaissance woman of all things creative? In this day in age, I’d like to believe there’s potential in excelling in all that you’re capable of, despite popular opinion.

Having worked corporate for over 7 years, burying myself in work, and the high expectations I set as a standard, I needed to take a step back and dabble in every avenue that I found pleasure in. Once you lose a consistent income, you may struggle to find places you can express your art in an already saturated market…here, at this place of discomfort, you find solace in networking and meeting others on a similar journey.

I ventured down this path of exploration so that when I did step back into the corporate world, I’d be able to not only enhance my skill set but more importantly create a healthy balance between work, my other passions, and of course family.

As a fresh Masters graduate, I’m now awaiting the right opportunity to present itself, given the current market, I’ve approached companies with a few different strategies, namely freelance consulting on a time basis, or project by project basis; it keeps me busy, and my creativity churning. It helps to keep an eye on the busy talent during this period and someone I look towards as inspiration is Jonathon Ashmore of Anarchitect; who has tapped into a unique client base, and created stunning scenes all over the country.

I’ve always had a vision for the creative world, and it may have taken a pandemic to cause it, but artists like painters, graphic designers, installation artists, may continue as they were, but architects, interior designers, photographers, advertising specialists, and graphic producers, most of whom work in collaboration with others, will need to hone in on their own talents as society shifts more towards third spaces, cafes, home offices etcetera, and though collaboration may still occur, I will continue to say, if you can acquire the skill sets of the team around you, acquire and conquer.

I’m Alysha N., and I’m stepping back into the workplace.

Mowjood - Ameni Esseibi

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

Mowjood - Maram Ashour

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

Mowjood - Shef Codes

I’m Shefan Lantra, some know me as Mr Shef Codes. You might have come across me in a club when I’m mixing in the DJ booth… or you might have come across my Instagram (insert insta handle) because of my love for collecting sneakers. In hindsight collecting Stamps would have taken up less space!
I’ve been spending the last few months searching for inspiration with music which has led me to pause, have a hard reset, re-strategise and come back out with a new plan, new way of thinking and a new way of executing.
That new way of thinking has made way for new projects for me personally, and also with some real good friends, which I’m going to keep hush about for now until they are off the ground.
The art world has been crashing lately and there’s nothing anyone can do about it other than help and support, whether it’s buying, sharing, commenting and actively talking about their work.
The world needed some time to breathe and it became apparent we’re all in this together.
I say wear your mask, wash your hands and listen to good music.

Mowjood - Noush Like Sploosh by Waleed Shah

je is @noushlikesploosh. as i recover from a mildly symptomatic bout of covid, embedded in yet another quarantine, i’ve been comforted by the distraction of making things. retreating inwards into a cave, speaking to a handful of special folks, and getting intimate with the moon cycles, my cycles, and craft. being isolated is uncomfortable AF. i’m going a little nutty, and i have to twist my head very sideways to make some semblance of meaning of things. i realize how my body is incubating a tiny baby virus, who has just burst forth into existence, who is also just trying to survive like any other being. perhaps if i think of this time as a collaboration, it may be more bearable. it’s been alright so far, maybe i’m lucky, or maybe my immune system isn’t feeling the need to treat this outsider as such a threat. i am an indian woman, i cannot deny even a virus some basic hospitality. i make songs and poems, i draw very nicely, but i struggled to understand why, until i read how @zara_mahmood_ described her practice of drawing as a form of research. i spent 10 years working on a music album, #whimcycle, and i promised myself this year i would finish all the videos, so i might call you for a favor about it. @gayamusic has contributed a great many of her talents to my art, life and sanity. these days, are no songs minus @nikimukhii and @vallsalexandre. lately i have been busying myself on some music vids for moi & @4ncurrency. i got back into animation and learned how to sew, and somehow making a film is the same thing as stitching a tablecloth. i’m [re]building a material practice, and [un]learning how to use my instruments. i work best intuitively, inviting my intellect afterwards. i’m making room for the unintelligible, handing over to embodied experience. one of my strategies for coping with crisis has been surrendering. for a recovering perfectionist, this has been liberating. it’s a treat to see myself in this glamorous avatar, in this series of photos @waleedshah has taken, to see my grey hairs embraced by the lens. i look like i know what i’m doing.

Mowjood - Niera Osama

I’m a fresh grad who never wanted to have a traditional desk job. I had so many goals to accomplish after graduation but 2020 had other plans. I knew I’d have to spend my life in front of a screen if I decided to work in the design field and that’s why I had planned to explore things this summer.

Covid didn’t really give me the chance to explore so I was just applying and applying on LinkedIn and getting 0 responses.

That’s when I decided to stop applying towards the end of July because I was sick of it. I filled my time with some freelance work and running when I felt like it since that was the ‘safe’ way to exercise post lockdown. 

@ahmedali12374 was running 5kms everyday around different parts in Dubai to raise money for @aljalilauae and I just joined him whenever I felt like it. It wasn’t easy. The humidity and the heat and the struggle after all the quarantine food. Running wasn’t that fun.

But also, that was how I reconnected with @raghadgomaa who suggested I should run with her and the @innerfight community on a Thursday morning at 5:59am and I thought that was waaay too early but I did it two weeks in a row and it was amazing. The community and the support and the coffee. Everything was just on point. And later that evening, after the run she forwarded me the job posting that they’ve put up on their Instagram and I applied straight away thinking MAYBE I’ll get a reply with this one. Just maybe.

This was after running with them for two weeks.

The week after I got an email from @mjd_smith for an interview after the run on Thursday and we discussed things and that is how I currently have a job in the middle of a global pandemic.

The one thing I want to tell people is, they should go out of their comfort zones more and interact with people offline more than they do online. Get up earlier. Go to different places. Find a community. Whatever it is, just know that LinkedIn is not the only place you can find a job. No one can see who you are or your personality through a CV application.

Mowjood - Yara Lazkani

​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!

Mowjood - Mohamed Almadfai

​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.

Mowjood - Yesica Portialla

@yesicaportilladancer for Mowjood

​Hello, my name is Yesica, with Y and an S, special writing for a special girl. I am from Colombia where people are happy fun and most importantly they love art. I am a professional dancer passionate about the waist swagger and good music.

​The last few weeks I have enjoyed my life dedicating time to the most important person “ME” and I feel happy for the being that I have found, I have realized the new things that I am capable of doing and I am happy to start new projects that I had in mind but sometimes being cowardly stopped me to do it.

I remember the last project I did before the pandemic dressed as samba, I went on stage, I did my show and I never thought that it would take a long time without doing it again, the only satisfaction is knowing that every time I do it, my heart surrenders completely.

​Currently, I do not have an artist to inspire me, I feel inspired by people who do not stop, who dream, who fight, who live, and above all who are themselves without fear of what they will say.

Art has left me the best years of my life and I know that this pandemic can never stop this universal language which makes people live.

I hope that everyone can fulfill their dreams, live, love, and do what we like the most without neglecting your inner person.

Mowjood - Diana Taha

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.

Mowjood - Hippie Cactus

We are Katy and Raz, a Hippie and a Cactus. One does yoga, and the other plays with cameras. We came back from our travels (wedding + honeymoon) a few days before the international lockdown, which gave us uninterrupted time to know and learn new things with and about each other.
During the lockdown, Katy started hosting yoga classes on Zoom to support friends and colleagues with their sanity and positivity. Seeing the positive effect these sessions had on the people around us, we started @hippie.cactus to share the love with more people.
Hippie Cactus is our journey of self-discovery: sometimes yoga, and sometimes just life situations. We’re passionate about what we do, but also enjoy the humor of the situations we find ourselves in, especially when it’s caught on camera.
We’ve always been supporters of the local art being artists ourselves. And we’re so grateful for the opportunity we had to work with some of the talented artists here on Hippie Cactus:
@unmutedshow – One of the most driven and pure hearted people. Also, super talented at everything he does.
@aheadandapen – Create beautiful art, but most importantly understand the essence of a brand/people.
@ghaem_jozi – Incredible musician with a unique oriental touch. He composed the music tracks for the yoga sessions we post on YouTube.
@godenzie – He’s a great photographer, and stepped in many times to support us while we figure out what we’re doing.
Our Mowjood shoot has been a very special day to us as we celebrate our 20th video. Thank you @waleedshah for celebrating it with us.

Mowjood - Michele Merheb

Hi my name’s Michele, with one L, not Michael, not Mitchell. I’m a peanut butter addict, I’m Lebanese and a quarter Brazilian, I speak French, English and Arabic (sarcasm in all languages) and I sing.
The pandemic really hit hard in all aspects of my life, and with everything happening around the world it definitely did not make it easier. But I always like to think that there’s a solution to everything and that as humans, whatever is thrown at us we can overcome so I’m trying to stay positive. And I just think we all need to take this time to reassess who we are as people and how we treat one another.
My latest project was a song called mirage that I wrote based off a dream, it’s basically a call for someone who is not there, who you miss and are longing for – I unconsciously wrote it about my family. Honestly, so many artists here inspire me with their art, work ethic and just overall who they are as people. I’m not gonna name anyone at the risk of forgetting someone, but they know who they are.
Without music and art in general the world would be a sad place so even though some of us feel like we’re not being seen or heard, I doubt that that’s true because even one pair of eyes or ears is enough, it’s better than none.

Mowjood - Azza Al Mughairy

​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 ..

Mowjood - Iryna Sadovska

By being a bright representative of a high-speed society, I am always in a rush and multitasking, looking for new adventures. The biggest challenge for me was always balancing between going wide and deep. But when the world around slows down and daily routines are subject to change, it allows us to see the overall picture in a high resolution.
This unexpected situation personally became a Litmus test to explore my strengths and weaknesses, I gained a new perspective on the people around me and was able to see the various ways people deal with challenges.
I found myself in a world of worriers where I chose to be a warrior. But not someone who would remain at war with myself, but would look back on trails and tribulations to move forward with better direction and more speed.
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I know for sure – when life and everyone around you slow down… it’s an amazing chance to gain a new perspective, new insight, and to rethink the speed at which often passes people by. We can’t add days to life, but we can add life to days. So be kind, work hard and amazing things will happen!

Mowjood - Haya Yasmeen

My name is HayaYasmeen yes that’s my full first name it’s a compound name!

I am currently a presenter and producer at MBC TV with a background in performing arts and theater.

I am and have always been a dreamer. Growing up in Palestine I always felt like my voice wasn’t heard. Therefore I constantly strive to be heard.

Today, I travel the world for a living… Telling my story and sharing the story of places and people around the globe.

Until this year where I found myself in a position where this pandemic has restricted me from exploring the world, and I felt very stuck.

This year taught me how to be more still with the lack of movement, how important human connection is, how to breath and be kinder to myself, and more importantly it taught me to take more chances by getting out of my comfort zone.

I’m unapologetic to the things I stand for and believe in. I never settle for mediocre and whenever I accomplish a goal, I set my next challenge. Youtube!

Launching my YouTube channel this year was the most unsettling and exciting experience.

My message to the world would probably be as simple as ‘Be Kind’. This year has served as a reminder that we don’t realize the challenges other people are going through. Specially effecting many people’s mental health. Therefore the next time you lock eyes with a complete stranger… Smile 😊 It goes a long way….

Mowjood - Stephon Lamar

​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.

Mowjood - Pirlanta Touba

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 😉

Mowjood - Faryal shahid

Ahlaain, the name is Fiya. And this one is just about me.
This time last year, I seemed to have lost my sense of self. My sense of existence and my sense of faith. I seemed to have lost my faith, in my religion, in my humanity and worst of all my heart. Halfway through, I was no longer lost, just tired of fighting everyone. And it’s been one hell of a fight so far.
And so my latest and never ending project became me. This shoot was a golden star for me and I couldn’t be prouder. Not only did it give me something to appreciate for myself, but it showed me the love, acceptance and hard work of the art community. 
So to the art community, I have immense love for you and if I can ever be of help to you, please do reach out. 
And to everyone else fighting, i’m not gonna say it gets better but it does change. & the thing with change is, it can never be a bad thing, can it?

Mowjood - Barbara borkhoche2

Hi! My name is Barbara Borkhoche. Just so you don’t wonder too much, I’m Lebanese, with what is said to be a Ukranian last name. No idea what my ancestors have done, but here we are. I’m a big fan of body art, comics and food, and a hotelier by profession. Inclusivity is very important to me. Unconscious bias in particular has been something I’ve faced for my body art. For that, I work hard to dilute the stigma that those who choose this form of art to express themselves are perceived as “weird”, “bad ass”, “uneducated”, “criminals” or other shitty labels of the likes.

Like everyone, I’ve had my ups and downs through the chaos of 2020. Can you imagine that the most negative word this year was “positive”? The explosion in my home country was a big wake up call for me to pursue what I’d been procrastinating, waiting “for the right time”. I’ve come to realize that there is no “right time”; there’s now and what we choose to do with it. And so, my deep love for connecting people to find ways to help one another and those in need inspired me to mobilize, through my network, Lebanese expats around the world, to help find solutions to help each other, be it through the crises we’ve faced, finding job opportunities and more.

Though 2020 has been unforgiving, it’s also pushed me to bring to life what I’ve been cooking up for a while. My next project is still a work in progress, but it’s moved along now more than it ever did! I can’t wait to share it with the world, to show you how you can have a great time while helping others. Basically, let me help you help J From more recent experiences, an important message I’d share is: don’t ever push anyone to be what you think is right, it isn’t your place. Saying that someone should be confident doesn’t mean that their confidence can only come from what you approve. The perception that beauty is only acceptable “a certain way” whether it be natural, airbrushed, makeup, body art or the lack of, is equally as toxic. It’s no one’s place to decide what is an appropriate source of confidence for anyone but themselves. Stay kind, always.

Mowjood - Anika Niazi

My name is Anika and I’ve been a freelance content strategist meets personal growth enthusiast the past 6 months.

Life has been a wild ride since COVID-19 hit. I want to share one big aspect of my journey, in case it could help just one person.

It started when I left my job in March, ready for a new chapter. Instead, the world shut down, my new role never showed up and my body broke, at the same time. The doctors found a large ovarian cystadenoma with a ridiculously high cancer marker, that had to be removed in 6 weeks. If it grew any bigger, the whole ovary would be removed too. I was also told my tubes were pretty much irreversibly damaged, so “might as well take those out too”. That was a really bad day.

I went home, mourned, then decided to pick myself up. 75% of disease is linked to stress alone, so I knew I had to actively DE-STRESS. First I watched the Netflix documentary “Heal”, which was an amazing reminder that our bodies are truly capable of anything. I’m lucky enough to have a holistic health coach as a mom, who helped create an alternative game plan for me. In a nutshell, we incorporated hypnotherapy, mindset work, meditation, herbal medicine, supplements, a simple but hormone-friendly, anti-inflammatory, gut-healing diet, homeopathy, moringa seeds, no real exercise (!), no coffee (!), and of course, prayers.

I went back to the doctor 8 weeks later. She was sweet, but was v amused that I delayed my visit in the hopes that I could shrink this thing. Apparently it wasn’t possible at all. She did the ultrasound, and basically almost passed out. Turns out, my cystadenoma had completely vanished… my tubes had completely healed… oh and my cancer marker had returned back to normal. She had never seen anything like this in her career!

It was an absolute turning point in my life, as you can imagine. I discovered that healing our bodies starts with healing our minds on a subconscious level – the mind-body-spirit connection is real AF.

If you’re going through anything like this or want to learn more, just shoot me a message!

Mowjood - Jay Abo

Hi, I’m Jean Pierre Abou Jaoude but for SEO reasons and to help you avoid tongue fatigue I go by Jay Abo. I’m a singer, a guitarist, and a songwriter.
Up until recently, I never really had a strategy or career plan. I spent most of my late twenties chasing money, gigs, and prestige and forgot why I started doing this to begin with.
I had lousy internal dialogue, I was my own tyrant, but I was still learning.
I’ve done a major reshuffle on my priorities recently and I owe it to myself and everyone who supported me to finally get on track with a solid release schedule.
The first song I’m set to put out is “Moonbound” a record that I think a lot of people are going to be able to relate to. It’s just a cooler way of saying everything I’ve already said in the previous paragraphs.
Looking at the city, I love @Monteath whose sound is impeccable.
I’m inspired by Colin Gordon @yayitscolin whose eccentricity and thirst for novelty are my kerosene, by @stevepacist Steve Bedford and @jdeligero Jerome Deligero who will play on my songs for free, by Dany Neville who’s pioneered a scene and been a big brother to me. This list can really go on and that’s why I love Mowjood for doing a phenomenal job at recognizing all this talent.
If I could pick one important lesson to share with whoever’s reading, it would be this overarching concept, best explained in these 3 different voices:
“The best is the enemy of the good” – Voltaire
“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble with none” – Confuscious
“Striving to be better, oft we mar what’s well” – Shakespeare
What they’re trying to say is you’ve got to prioritize completion over perfection. Your abilities will match your ambitions through the grind it takes to get there. It takes some people 15 years to get this and others 50. Lucky for me I landed somewhere in the middle.
Thanks for making me feel like Timothy Chalamet, Waleed.
Truly a pleasure.

Mowjood - Nawal El Masri

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

Mowjood - Carla Saad 2

Carla aka As Per Casper here..
A Syrian-Palestinian, androgynous singer-songwriter for the indie fusion band As Per Casper. Got back from Berlin just under 2 months ago and since then been finding inner peace during this manic state of the world by kick-starting a series of music projects including writing new music for my band, hosting a weekly open jam session where musicians can quench their thirst for music after it being restricted for months and lastly, I am in the final stages of launching an initiative involving some of the UAE’s phenomenal artists; a project by artists for artists so stay tuned!

I must say though that the most crucial project of all has been ‘self-development’. I took a decision earlier this year to see a psychotherapist. This decision came about after a dark thought, during a moment of anger, shook me to my core. It scared me. I felt at risk.

Through therapy I am learning to be kinder to myself; to stop judging myself, being angry at myself, strict with myself. I am learning to forgive myself, to step out of ‘victim mode’ and take accountability for the things I have done to myself and to others. I created a relationship with myself that had communication at the heart of it and I now understand more why Carla has been upset with me, causing her to rage ever so often. I am working on my co-dependency i.e. my need to rely on others emotionally and psychologically. I am learning to stand in my truth, to redefine what love and respect have meant for me and to find balance in all my relationships starting with the one with myself. I am learning to Be. And I am proud to say that I already see a shift to the better, in me and in turn in what/who surrounds me.

Mowjood - Linda Al Shami

Hmmm.. “Introduce yourself”! I always get nervous every time I need to introduce myself, not sure why, maybe because I don’t know who I am yet, and I had just started my journey of self-discovery. My name is Linda Al Shami; I’m a visual storyteller and animator. I moved to Dubai almost 4 years ago, after I lived my entire life in Lebanon.
I started to self-quarantine before anyone else since I’m living with my elderly parents. To be honest, It was super challenging, especially for an extrovert like me. But I kept myself busy with work and new projects, which opened new doors for me.
I have learned so many lessons lately, perhaps the most valuable was to think boldly about what makes me happy.. and go for it without fear.
Getting out of my comfort zone enabled me to embark on my latest project, a personal animation called “Fragile: Handle with care.” It was inspired by all the situations I went through in life where emotions drove my decisions, and my heart was taking over, and that’s why I always ended up with heartbreak and disappointment. So it’s a self-reminder that the past could be painful, but the secret is to learn and move on.
Most of the time, my inspirations tend to come from my current surroundings and my mood. Art in general is one of the things that inspire me the most. Especially during this unprecedented time where the role of art is central in our lives. Art sets us free, and really it’s just a great escape from our reality, and this is how it will always be.
As an artist, there’s one question I always ask myself every time I have doubts is: “What makes you different from everyone else on the planet?”
It’s hard to tell sometimes really! Especially because we are often so critical of ourselves in comparison to other people.
But rather than feeling weighed down by your differences, celebrate them and put them front and center in your journey of exploration.
I believe that if you allow yourself to be happy about who you are, you’ll find out that you are much happier in your life. So DO NOT BELIEVE YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS, because we have about 65,000 thoughts every day, and shockingly, 70% of them are negative. The choice to be happy is yours.. so make sure you choose right every single day!

Mowjood - Nader Agha

Salam. The given name to me is Nader. I’m interested in the truth. I love investing my time into creating content that would help, inspire, and motivate others. I invest 70% of my time on myself by my self, not necessarily reading or writing, just being alone and generally curious doing things on my own pace, it brings a special kind of peace to my soul. Many people ask me why don’t u become a Life Coach, why don’t you become a motivational speaker, why don’t u model, why don’t you sing, why don’t you do this and that. The truth of the matter is I refuse to label myself. I will become the best version of myself and I will dedicate the rest of my life striving to acquire more knowledge and wisdom. Always improving, altering, and evolving. Whatever that brings me to the table I will asses it and welcome it accordingly. I like to use my words to expose myself and other’s to their true selves and to inspire them to become better. I like to spread health awareness, but not only what we ingest in our bodies but also what we feed our minds. I also believe there’s many things we all should unlearn and relearn.

Mowjood - Raeleen Murugan

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 

for. 

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 🙂

Mowjood - Aemen Aisha

​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.

Mowjood - Ayham Homsi

​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.

Mowjood - Dina Saadi

My name is Dina Saadi and I’m a Syrian-Russian street artist/muralist based in Dubai.
The past few weeks have been “interesting”! I’ve been mostly painting, working from home, watching TV with my husband, and cooking.
I think one of the biggest aspects the pandemic affected in my professional life is traveling. That is mainly because I travel to get inspired and paint pubic walls in different places of the world. However, since I can’t do that now, and hence don’t have access to paint public walls (which is my favorite thing to do), I decided to invest as much time as I can in developing personal projects, designing fashion products & painting a canvas at home. My latest project was about global warming and it’s a big canvas that I painted from home as part of “home festival” that was organized by Pangea seed foundation.
Also since all my local and international projects & commissions are canceled or postponed, I tried to keep my spirit up by being productive, fixing my website & trying to experiment with things I never had the time to do before.
I think and hope that the world will learn from this pandemic and come out of it with some kind of a resolution that values compassion, real human connections and more contribution to mitigating the destruction of the environment. I also hope that government and private entities will have more recognition for the importance of local talents in the art scene and in all fields in general.

Mowjood - Nervana Noweir

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.

Mowjood - Reshma Chaoudhary

Hey, I’m Reshma (atleasts that’s one name my parents stuck with after changing it three times till I was 4 years old lol it’s a funny story).
Introducing myself here isn’t easy nor can I relate to one version of my self completely to talk about.
Since I’m super thrilled to have been part of ‘Mowjood’, Thought I’ll just freestyle my way through this and see where it goes 🙂

For a while now, I’ve been focused inwards, there is this entire universe inside of me that I discovered lol (almost like an episode of Rick and Morty). It’s beautiful and I’m loving it. Stripping myself with the unconditional truth of my being, every moment I’m living and aligning my thought patterns to match with the present has kept me fascinated about life (basically I don’t overthink and cluster my brain with silly stuff I don’t have a control over). The more I seek the more I discover and more and more I love.
In this moment, I realize how far I’ve come and how much more I have left to learn. Yes yes, I too am fighting silent battles due to this situation we are all in but it didn’t change waking up each morning feeling ‘Whole’. Grateful for being alive, who I am, what I’ve been through, everything I still have and everyone I surround myself with. I’m not hard on myself anymore, I allow myself to ‘be’ (by cracking myself up mostly). I grow each day. At least I think I do lol.

I project manage events across the UAE which has pretty much kept me running around like a headless chicken on tip toes till the events world got effected by the pandemic. Although, I’m very impressed by how quickly events adapted to being virtual. Initially, I too was involved in creating virtual event experiences and my creativity was bang on, it was all new. I remember having Zoom meetings conceptualizing with the rest of the team and every single one had insane creative ideas and possibilities of executing these events, which we did eventually. My point is, we will always figure it out and I’m sure the events world will pick up soon and soon I’ll be headless again.

What would I like to tell the World? Hmm.. I’m sure my message to the world would change constantly but hey change is constant and inevitable. Maybe this is my message, to have an open heart and an open mind as we move on <3

Mowjood - Dont touch my hair

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.

Mowjood - Oliva Jacoub

My name is Olivia. I’m a makeup artist and a color lover. been doing makeup for almost 7 years and I find something so soothing and comforting about picking up my brush and painting faces. Makeup to me is way more than a job I do it’s my therapy in life and my comfort zone. My inspiration comes from nature and our planet I think it’s extraordinary how the best color combination and shapes you find in nature.

It has been a very difficult time during the pandemic, I started to suffer from anxiety and panic attacks as the number of cases kept going up. Reality hit me as I had different plans in mind for this year but I altered and decided to take advantage of the situation while staying at home during the lockdown to focus more on filming makeup tutorials and using this time to practice makeup and get outside of the box with colors.

We live in a world full of plastic surgeries and major face and body transformation that’s why it brings me happiness and satisfaction when I get to enhance the natural beauty of someone with few brush strokes which leads to boosting their confidence.

One of my main role models in the region is @hudabeaty, her success and journey fuel me to have my own brand one day. I also appreciate how she always thinks of the makeup community and finds ways to give a supporting hand to the starters.

Currently, I’m working on how to expand myself beyond makeup and get into the beauty world more through learning how to do hair and photography to capture the essence of my work.

Mowjood -Pakinam El Sayed

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.

Mowjood - Fafa

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

Mowjood - Adnan Mryhij

​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

Mowjood - Dj Liutik

​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 🙏🏽❤️

Mowjood - Dj Sara G

Hi. I’m DJ Sara G and I live for music and discovering new adventures. I’ve been spending the last few months pushing the envelope with my music.
This year was dedicated to being a festival DJ. I played at a major festival in Saudi and then Corona hit. I was scheduled to fly out and play at Afrikaburn, a major festival in South Africa, but, boom, my plans changed.
My latest project was a virtual Afrikaburn. The team of people who put together the Burn are fighters so they decided that the show must go on. All the DJs who were scheduled to play at Tankwa created online sets and we had a virtual three day festival which was epic!
I am greatly inspired by two dope female DJs based in Dubai – DJ Taya Kruzz and DJ Liutik. They have been on the scene for several years and supported me when I became a DJ 5 years ago.
Artists are survivors. Some of the best art is created through struggle. If you can stay true to yourself, you can create something beautiful through the struggle of facing this pandemic. So never give up on your dreams. This summer I was supposed to Dj at the biggest festival I’ve ever got booked for. Afrikaburn is an annual festival attended by over 12000 people. Instead of giving up on my dreams, I found an alternative way to make them come true. Even though I was not able to get on a plane and fly to South Africa, I was still able to join in the Burn and made friends with people from all over the world through this experience. It just goes to show that when something is destined for you, it’s still yours irrespective of how much the conditions around you change.

Mowjood - Dia Hassan

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.

Mowjood - Layla Kardan

​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 🙏🏽♥️

Mowjood - Olena Kolibaba by Waleed Shah

I am Olena Kolibaba – musician, professional violinist, composer and artist who’s based in Dubai & belongs to the world.

My journey in music started when I was a 6 y.o kid and since then it plays one of the major roles in my life.

Skipping the part about the hard times we all had in 2020, apparently I can not be more grateful realising how many productive results and new amazing experiences this pandemic brought to me!
I am sincerely so much grateful for all the tough decisions I had to make. After all it gave me a chance to focus on creating and composing, to make a few great collaborations, to discover myself as a graffiti artist and even to travel a little more than previous years (which sounds quite surreal tho 😅)

Moreover I believe this pandemic was there to give each of us a place of inner peace where everyone could find himself being “original”, out of social influences that take places in our lives every single second, and to break some of the imposed rules we’ve put ourselves into.

For the last few years it was a racing game, in which I was performing nonstop and taking all the possible gigs, making the main focus on performing, earning and putting my first interests as a creating musician aside.
So the quarantine helped me to rediscover my preferences in creating, and it turned out into a wave of recordings. Starting from mid November I will release a cycle of my original tracks.

There are a lot of amazing, talented and creative artists and musicians based in Dubai, and that’s why it is inspiring to live and create within this environment. From the people who I personally know and support from the bottom of my heart I would like to mention spoken word poet @alysiaknowles , singer/ songwriter @IbbyVK, singer/songwriter @listentomichele , oud player, composer and singer @hosny.oud .

And finally I want to believe and really looking forward to some positive changes this pandemic brought to each of us. I hope it was productive period for artists and everyone found a source of inspiration, and after all I really hope we all can become at least a little less self-centred, more attentive and caring towards each other, more grateful and somehow more “real” in all senses.

Mowjood - Kiki Grinberga

My name is Kiki Grinberga & I am a fashion designer. For the past few weeks I have been relaxing more than I ever had in my whole life, enjoying creating new designs without any usual rush as well as strategizing future plans. I want to focus on creating more timeless pieces instead of focusing on seasonal trends. Let’s slow the fashion down!
So I am currently researching and planning to utilize more recycled fabrics, looking at organic options and creating ways to minimize waste. It is better for our planet!
I gotta say, I love Mrs.Keepa for her edgy yet feminine style & Kristina Fidelskaya for her classic elegant pieces. They are both so different!
I think art will only evolve post-pandemic. Art is escape! It will never disappear. Also, I think artists will collaborate more.
I want to inspire other women to find their creative outlet, whatever it is! It doesn’t have to be profitable, just as an expression of one’s individuality. It helps us to be better women, mothers, sisters, lovers. Create something!
For me, fashion is my escape, my sanity, my passion & my peace.

Mowjood - Aya Al Bousaily

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.

Mowjood - Nur Almhithawi

Hola! my name is Nur been living in the UAE for the past 3 years, I have been spending this time virtually connecting with close friends and family members and been also focusing again on my art and music. I have realized that this pandemic has reminded me to reconnect with my inner self again because before that I noticed that due to the pressure of my routine life I’ve lost some of my passion and forgot how much I enjoyed and missed these hobbies. This situation delayed my project of forming a new band but hopefully when this is over it will continue, as for now, I’m supporting my friends’ musical and artistic projects that I look up to which motivates and inspires me to not stop from my creative path. I would like to tell everyone to just be true to yourself, life is short it’s important to enjoy every single second of it.
Mucho Amor to everyone!

Mowjood - Yosr El Sherbiny

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

Mowjood - Nikith Nath

1. Introduce yourself
I’m Nikith Nath, a professional photographer based out of Abu Dhabi. I quit my job as a project planning engineer in the oil and gas industry and made my passion my profession about 4 years ago. The last 4 years of making a career out of what I love the most have been magical with every year just getting better than the other until of course our dear 2020. I have had the opportunity of working alongside talented photographers, makeup artists, models, and also had the chance to meet many wonderful personalities and people.
2. How have you been spending the last few weeks?
The last few weeks or more so the last 2-3 months had been something I hadn’t planned myself (I’m sure is the case for all creatives). However a creative always create, so have been trying and experimenting some shoots at home just trying to keep sane and occupied with the hope of a better tomorrow. Apart from shooting at home, I have caught up on most movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
3. How have you changed your strategy post-pandemic?
Focusing on key industries for potential clientele, offering more affordable rates to clients, expanding expertise to other fields like web designing (designed a website for a Boutique Salon based in India).
4. What’s your latest project about?
Something is in pipeline and coming up real soon. Stay tuned!!
5. Who are the regional artists you draw inspiration from?
Dorian Blond, Tina Patni, Drina Cabral, Alex Flint, Waleed Shah
6. What do you think will happen to the art world?
As I mentioned above, creatives create no matter what and where, and with everyone having the internet and social media at their fingertips appreciation wouldn’t also be scarce. But the real problem is the finance to help you sustain – that moolah to pay your bills, put food on the table, etc. I presume it would be survival of the best and the fittest cause it will take a while for clients to return to a stable state to spend as much as they did pre-pandemic for marketing and branding after recovering from losses.
7. What would you like to tell the world?
Always remember our lives can change in a day. This pandemic has taught me to be grateful for what I have while I still have it. Stop waiting for the right time to do things. And remember to always create!!

Mowjood - Laila Mokdad by Waleed Shah

​It’s difficult to remember who I was before June 14th, 2020. If we really need labels I was a graphic designer, foodie, baker, group fitness enthusiast and all around creative/renaissance woman. That all took a back seat when I was diagnosed with a stage1 rare ovarian cancer, post an emergency surgery to remove a 16cm cyst that caused me so much pain I couldn’t walk, not to mention losing an ovary in the process. I won’t go into all the details-you can read about it on my page, but suffice it to say it brought my world to a standstill. The pandemic seemed so insignificant now. Life went from working on some amazing brands & getting engaged to spending 8 hours/day in a hospital for 26 sessions of chemo over 3 months. It stripped me of my identity and robbed me of a year of major milestones. Life altering decisions had to be made and quickly, leaving me in bad shape.

Physically, it was tough. Mentally it was hell. I decided to share my entire journey online, posting on my stories daily. I felt I could do a few things: help/prevent someone from going through the same thing & it would also be my source of talking through it all – a kind of journal. The response is still mind blowing to me. I can’t count how many women messaged me saying they were going to get checked because of my posts. Women who ended up catching growths before they became malignant. Women who had been through the same thing offering support or sending care packages. When this first started I stumbled onto a few accounts like @luzieloo & @thecancerpatient where I found humour, insights, and strength in their stories. It seemed surreal that I could have made the same difference in other people’s lives. The power of social media can be truly amazing in these situations.

It’s been a month since my last chemo session. Having had tunnel vision for 5 months, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Today I’m starting to remember what it’s like to live again. Art is coming back into my life in various forms – baking, painting, writing. 2020 may be the worst year for many reasons, but damn it feels good to be alive again.

Mowjood - Gemma Louise Deeks

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”.

Mowjood - Dalia Badawiyeh

I am Dalia Badawiyeh 

A daughter, sister, friend, wife, and a mother of three wonderful children. 

If I am to describe myself I would start with my love for laughter, coffee, all kinds of salads, and working with my hands to create beautiful things out of nothing. I am a graphic designer, marketer, and an event planner. 

I have moved to eight houses and two continents in the last ten years but never felt out of place. I think unsettling was a foreign feeling to me until March of 2020 when Covid-19 became our reality, and I was told I could not travel back to the only place I called home. I realized then that everything I loved mattered the most to me, specifically my memories. It was then that my ‘November Events’ agency came to fruition, “Build Memories that last a lifetime”

I believe Moments should be celebrated no matter what life throws at us aka corona! And departing from that idea, I created a party in a box experience which allows people to celebrate together wether they are 6ft or 6,000,000ft apart

I am a firm believer that there is indeed a reason for everything, and through adversity, the most beautiful can emerge.

Let us help you celebrate your moments 

Mowjood - Marina Levda

My name is Marina and I’m from Russia. I’m educated as a ballet artist and I’ve got great memories from working in theater and opera but a situation changed my life and I learned to walk like a child again. I’ve now been working and living in Dubai for almost 4.5 years
The last couple of weeks for me were optimistic – the dance classes of the contemporary dance academy opened and I can learn important things for myself, and only now do I have this opportunity – I’ve got all the time for me!! :). Of course, my soul misses the stage and beautiful shows, but the planet is smarter than us, so what happened has to be, we just need to be patient.
The last project we were planning was to be in Dubai Opera. We had a lot of rehearsals and spent a lot of energy to perfect the choreography that speaks the voice of music. But this project was postponed because of the pandemic.
Who are the regional artists I draw inspiration from?! My friend @elvanita, a beautiful dancer with a beautiful soul.

Mowjood - Shatha Hazineh

Hi! My name is Shatha (Sha~tha – not Shaza, or Shada, or Saja…and the list goes on). A dietician by degree, a hotelier by profession.

I was born and raised in Jordan before moving to AUB Beirut to study Nutrition and Dietetics. An MBA came shortly afterwards. After graduation I literally had to pack 4 years of my life in boxes. That was the beginning … keep reading.

The beginning of a story I am sure a lot of you have been or are going through, which is not spoken about as much these days – anxiety disorders.

We live in a world where a man who cries is considered to be weak; where a woman with tattoos is too “wild”, and whoever visits a psychiatrist is “crazy”. We are all boxed by so many “no’s” and “cannots” which feed into the flame of our anxieties and depressions.

Mental health is a fundamental aspect of our well-being and its stigma needs to be destroyed. It is OK to break down, it is OK to seek professional help, it is OK to go through lows because you know what, it is exactly those lows that taught me to look for the light at the end of the tunnel. And is I can’t see that light, I learn how to be one.

Be a light that cuts through your fears, your struggles and agony. Be someone’s light .. make damn sure you start with yourself.

Mowjood - Alba Fernandez

​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!

Mowjood - Jindi

​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.

Mowjood - Elvan Aksoy

My name is Elvan, I’m from Istanbul and I’m a professional dancer & model. I’ve been working and living here in the desert for the last 4 years but the last couple of weeks have been the hardest. Mentally and economically. I can’t say that I’m over it but I can say that I’ve managed to deal with it by exercising at home, joining online dance classes, rollerskating, and baking (by basically keeping myself busy.)
This year feels like a time warp or some sort of science fiction movie and keeps adding more scenes to it. It has shown me that life doesn’t go as planned and the best strategy is no strategy!
My latest project was a commercial shoot for Nike Swim. It was intended to influence the women in the region back to watersports. I’ve been windsurfing and sailing since I was a child so this project really meant something to me.
There are so many people in the entertainment industry that inspire me. Seeing their strength and positive contribution to the community has given me energy and hope. My biggest supporter and influence is my boyfriend @StephonLaMar. He is a well-known musician here in Dubai and watching him working on his music and staying strong during this time has inspired me to keep my chin up.
I heard about @waleedshah s project from my friend @_organix_ and I want to thank Waleed for coming up with this project and Nawal for always pushing me to do stuff 🙂 Mawjood is written Mevcut in my language and means being present. We are here we are present and ready to bring arts and entertainment back. Because earth without art is just eh isn’t it? Entertainment businesses have been affected the most but the comeback will be amazing because it is now needed more than ever.

Mowjood - Anna

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

Mowjood - Abdulrahman Al Zaabi

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!

Mowjood - Saachi

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!

Mowjood - Omar Mass

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.

Mowjood - Anna Khmelenko

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.

Mowjood - Huda Abushaaban by Waleed Shah

I’m Huda by initial introduction, Hudy to those who know me. I’m a fitness professional/enthusiast & a freelance digital communications manager. I’ve got a playlist for every mood, & spend most evenings mixing music and practicing DJing for hours late into the night until I’m so tired I sleepwalk to bed.
The last few months have been a trip. My mantra has been “Day by day,” and it’s what’s gotten me through this mess we call 2020. I’ve always been a big believer in that you should love what you do, and that’s something I’ve always chased. Post-pandemic has only made that more important for me, whether that thing I love is contributing to my livelihood or just feeding my soul; because I honestly hold them both to be of equal importance. This year has brought on massive waves of angst and distress and it’s been unsettling for us all, but in the flurry of all the uncertainty, that soul food can really be a saving grace.
I guess you could say my latest project has been myself. Putting myself first, and realizing that doing so does not make me selfish, or a bad friend. A bad colleague. A bad daughter. A bad sister. Being my best self means filling my days with things and/or people that I love so that I can be there for the people I love- & making sure I’m never pouring from an empty cup.
Although most people may have had their first encounter with me in a fitness setting and have only come to know “The Silent Assassin,” fitness is only one dimension of who I am. Other dimensions that comprise Hudy and make me the person that I am are slowly but surely coming to surface….Day by day.

Mowjood - Maria

An Arab-Nubian woman is only a fraction of the characteristics that define me. I am not the color of my skin or the curves of my body. Unbound by the limits set by society, outdated laws written by men that define women’s freedoms, their right to education, equity, and environmental protection.
I am beyond my interests and set of skills. As I step into the light, I get to define who I am, whether as an artist, sister, designer, scientist, and intellect. By pursuing my passions, I create space for women in Arab communities and beyond to partake in their own and redefine their limits—my unapologetic presence advocates for positive body image, mental health, and women’s empowerment.

Mowjood - Jasmin Rueling

Jasmin Ruehling, an Actress? Designer? Artist? Scientist? All that I know is that I have always been that weird kid in the classroom scribbling on the table or just dreaming. I studied science but always knew that art was my passion. I’ve been labeled many things: the crazy one, the loud one, the rebel, the misfit– feel free to choose or add one to the list.
The past few weeks I have been trying to create as much as I can, painting, designing, and working with creatives remotely on projects, and helping anyone who needs it.
Post pandemic, I will take on more passion projects and work with people I always wanted to learn from. I will take more risks in my work and take a leap of faith instead of overthinking things.
My latest work was with the director Philip Rachid, we created a short film during lock-down called “YOU”.
The regional artist that inspire me are artists that changed the industry such as Hassan Hajjaj, Ruben Sanchez, Narcy, Ali Mustafa, Amit Shimony, El Seed, the list goes on and on and on.
I think the art world will thrive. Artists and content creators have shed light and kept the world busy during these trying times. There will never be a world without art.
Strive for your dreams, never settle for less than you deserve. Things don’t always work out the way you planned, or the way you think they should. There are things that go wrong. You can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones as long as you have people who love you. Be the source of positivity and lend a helping hand whenever you can. As long as you are armed with a positive mind and a big smile, everything will work out just fine.

Mowjood - Caroll Celedon

Hola!!!! I am Caroll….

I’m a young, talented & ambitious singer & DJ that 3 years ago, took a leap of faith & travelled to this distant land in the sand, that I, for now, call home….

I am also an enthusiast, happy & positive person that loves life to the full.I have always taken calculated risks to achieve my dreams, ambitions & goals & will continue doing so. My drive, skills & passion is second to none & I truly trust & believe that there is nothing I can’t achieve or overcome….

Having said that & taking into account what is happening in the world over last couple of months & weeks, it has highlighted to me personally, how vulnerable we are. Plans are not always aligned the way we want them to be & fate will always move us & myself in another direction & that after all is said & done that plans are just plans….

We have to manage & endure the changes in our lives, the things that have happened in 2020, wether it’s positive or negative & this is why I am confident in moving forward along this ever changing path because I have & will continue to grow as person, friend , woman & fellow human being….

I look forward to seeing what comes next…..

Mowjood - Alen Chalich2

When asked to introduce myself, I always find myself wondering, “where do I even begin.” People usually begin by stating how old they are, where they’re from, and what they do, now this is where it gets interesting for me. Age is something I never like to disclose when getting to know people, especially in the industry I work in because there is always that notion that comes with it. “oh my god! You’re still so young,” “so much to learn,” “so many things to see,” you know the rest.

Being born in the UAE to Syrian parents, mom and dad always made sure that I visited Syria every year to ensure that I have that “feeling of home” engrained within me… it was never like that. Growing up here, I never felt like I belonged either; however, I did meet the people that made it feel as close to “home” as it could get.

I’m a filmmaker. I love telling stories… I have ever since I held the camera for the first time. I learned to express my deepest emotions through this art, helping me better understand myself in the process. The pandemic truly hit hard for me as I had to leave Dubai and move back in with my parents, which I am truly thankful I had them to fall back on; however, it put a dent on my creative abilities and motivation.

I met the love of my life during the lockdown, and this person inspired me to get off my ass and do something I loved. I threw my money together and bought my equipment, then went on to film things I found inspiring and beautiful. I’m in the middle of working on a few short films that I can’t wait to show the world… (that and trying to pay the rent tbh). I want to tell the world that as unpredictable as the industry is at this time, creating something that brings you joy will ultimately help you make a name for yourself in this world.

Mowjood - Nairouz Wadidi by Waleed Shah

I am Nairouz Wadidi, a beautiful mind, body and soul.

I believe in myself and in human power. I am always positive and passionate about inspiring and supporting others to be the best version of themselves.

For me It has always been a dream to come and live in the UAE. Years ago, I took the decision to pursue this dream. I started from scratch when I came here and transformed my fears into a “no matter what” mentality.

I am grateful for all the remarkable achievements I met thus far. Now, my dreams continue to become bigger and bigger. More importantly, I am also ultimately grateful for my failures which only make me stronger and even closer to being unbreakable. Putting it simply, failure for me is a learning process and a step closer to success.

Life teaches me to always start with myself and take responsibility for my choices as the world will change around me only when I change what is inside me.

I always try to develop myself, use my strength and capabilities to achieve my goals while making sure I carry my belief in Allah along the way.

I believe that “2020” happens for me not to me. It changes me for the better, allows me to finally pause the race and re-evaluate my life, work passionately towards my dreams, plan well for the future and develop a better version of myself. So; I started my Insta LiveTalks sessions to inspire people during this time, working on my business while enjoying so many remarkable achievements at my day Job.

2020 must happen for me so I can reach this significant stage of health, wealth & happiness.

Always look into the positive side of any situation, try to find out the wisdom behind it, digest the message and accept it. Start with yourself, take responsibility of your life and believe in yourself.

“You can do anything you want; you just need to believe”

Much love.

Mowjood - Lea Abdelnour

I was never the type of person who spends time at home. I was always busy with something whether it was attending classes, studying at cafes/studio, working, exercising, or hanging out with friends. Spending time at home was rarely part of my schedule. I was living a fast-paced lifestyle. This pandemic has forced me to adapt to a new lifestyle where self-reflection, self-care, and getting out of my comfort zone (which for me is finding things to do at home) are major parts of my day. Staying at home encouraged me to explore different ways of achieving my goals. This photoshoot has been part of a turning point in my life. I’ve thought about face modeling for a while, yet never had the opportunity to try it out. A few months later, there I am, standing in front of @waleedshah super nervous yet excited about this new experience.
The outcome was truly amazing! I genuinely enjoyed the whole process and I’m glad I went through with it. It opened doors to areas in my life that I never thought possible.
Get out of your comfort zone. Do it, even if it scares you, you never know what exciting thing might come of it.