Latest published writing
Here I will keep you updated on my most recent published writing. My focus is cultural storytelling, think pieces, interviews with artists or cultural movers, as well as the occasional travel guide.
Dardishi x Document Zine
My essay, ‘On Miss Universe 1971 and My Mother’s Smoky-Eye’, first published on my blog, is now part of a collection of essays published by Dardishi and Document Festival, Scotland. To order the publication, click here.
Interview with follow the halo: “Our family histories are the real museums of the region”
MIDDLE EAST ARCHIVE PROJECT is taking the accessibility of instagram and using a space typically used for self-promotion and the ‘archives’ of contemporary life to bring to the forefront personal Arab and MENA generational narratives that are brushed over and rarely seen all in one place. Read the conversation between sisters and co-curators Rama Ghanem and Darah Ghanem discussing the project here.
Minaazine: “On Miss Universe 1971 and My Mother’s Smoky-Eye”
For as long as I can remember, my mother has been enamored by the beauty of Georgina Rizk - former Miss Lebanon and Miss Universe in 1970 and 1971 respectively. Although my mom frequently referred to Georgina Rizk in conversations about fashion and style, it never occurred to me how similar their lives were until after researching the turbulent life of Miss Universe 1971. Through this piece, I hope to challenge current understandings of the Occupation by looking at it through the lens of history and storytelling.
AZEEMA Magazine: “I couldn’t find flowers the color of your smile”
This piece was originally published in print in the HARAKA issue of Azeema magazine. The piece examins the ways in which the Occupation influenced my parents’ relationship, and therefore my upbringing. It aims to highlight how love, family and relationships are often influenced by political forces beyond our control. To read an online version of the piece, click here.
Feature on ArtMeJo: Interview with Darah Ghanem Founder of ‘follow the halo’
I didn’t write this piece, but this is an interview where I talk about the impetus behind my brainchild, follow the halo. Read here.
Sekka Magazine: The Dubai you don’t see in the media.
In conversation with Jalal Abutina, the creator behind “Inside Dubai”, a photo-book series that documents a unique account of the city. Read my conversation with Jalal, who candidly spoke to me about representation, storytelling and the city we both grew up in. Link here.
Why Latin America is on My Bucket List
Latin America and the Arab World have influenced one another for over a century, and it is that connection that brought me to the continent time and time again. Read more here.
Dame Traveler: 8 Reasons to Visit Cuba You Least Expect
For as long as I could remember, visiting Cuba was on my bucket list. The vintage convertibles and colorful communism have made it a go-to destination for myself and many other young travelers looking to experience a time warp of communism, rum and tobacco. Read here.
Sekka Magazine: What is Ethical Travel?
Today, the youth are eager to combat global issues like climate change through ethical shopping, lifestyle, and consumption. Despite this, similar trends in travel and tourism are lagging behind. Read more.
Sekka Magazine: Why I Love Women-Only Travel
I travelled to Colombia in November 2016 to give back to the local community. I booked an immersive trip from the Caribbean to Antioquia with the goal of supporting local farmers, artists, indigenous rights groups and other charitable activities. While all of those activities made me an ethically-conscious traveller, there was an unexpected aspect that changed the way I travel: travelling with women. Read more here.
Roam Magazine: A Guide to Kharoutm, Sudan
Like many young Arabs, my first introduction to Sudan was through the writings of critically acclaimed novelist Tayeb Salih. His depiction of Sudan was captivating. In his writing, Sudan was where richness came from simplicity and civilisation was based on human connection. Luckily for me, Salih’s writing wasn’t the only introduction I had to Sudan. Read more here.
Sekka Magazine: The Nubian Pyramids of Meroe
My fascination with Sudan’s little-known ancient history, and the diversity of its historic artefacts, is what motivated me to explore one of Africa’s largest, and most underrated, nations. Read more here.
Sekka Magazine: The History of Coffee From Yemen to the World
If you dig heavily into the history of coffee, you’ll realise that much of how we consume coffee today is steeped in historic Arab custom. Read more here.
The Culture Trip: Interview with Jordanian Designer Tania George Haddad
Designer Tania George Haddad is dedicated to creating easy-to-wear clothing that tells a new story about Jordan. Her brand tagline is “Clothes for a Cause”, reflecting her use of local fabrics and traditional techniques as well as her work with displaced communities. All of Tania’s designs are inspired by everyday life in the Jordanian capital of Amman, making her line a homage to the country’s culture. Read my interview with her on The Culture Trip here.
Sekka Magazine: Why the UAE is Investing in Arts and Culture
Writing this piece coincides with a timely occasion: the opening of the highly anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi. The Louvre Abu Dhabi caused a media explosion, with different outlets debating the true motive behind establishing the region’s most ambitious museum project. Read more here.
Interview with Spirited Pursuit: Breaking the Barriers for Arab Women in Travel
I was recently interviewed by travel blog Spirited Pursuit to discuss everything travel, photography and Arab feminism. Read more here.
Roam Magazine: When Arab Women Travel
Few know what it’s like to travel solo as an Arab woman. Our stories are rarely told and our experiences are often overlooked. As a female travel writer from the Middle East, I hope to challenge stereotypes about Arab women by sharing my story. Read more here.
Yalla Girls Blog: Alternative Travel Guide to the UAE
Although ‘alternative travel’* is a relatively new term my infatuation with off-the-grid experiences began years ago. But there was one place I was yet to explore in the same way… my home, the United Arab Emirates. Read more here.
Dame Traveler: Amman City Guide.
Amman is easily the most underrated city in the Middle East. With neighbours like trendy Beirut and cosmopolitan Dubai, as well as historically dazzling capitals like Cairo, Jerusalem and Damascus, Amman has a modest reputation. Read more here.
George Rishan Travel Blog: 6 Quirky Things to do in the UAE
I’ve always been infatuated with alternative* travel. From frolicking in Colombian coffee plantations to cooking local foods in Jordan, I always make sure to experience culture first hand, staying away from tacky tourist traps. Yet, there is one place I’ve never explored in this way — my home, the United Arab Emirates. Read more here.
George Rishan Travel Blog: 10 Reasons You Should Visit Colombia Right Now
From the moment I arrived in Cartagena to the minute I left Medellin, my experience in Colombia was truly #MagicalRealism. Read more here.
George Rishan Travel Blog: 8 Unexpected Reasons to Visit Cuba
For as long as I could remember, visiting Cuba was on my bucket list. The vintage convertibles and colorful architecture have made it a go-to destination for myself and many other young travelers looking to experience a time warp of communism, rum, and tobacco. Read more here.