GRAZIA JOINS THE ORCHESTRA
EDITOR IN CHIEF ALISON TAY’S CAMEO IN THE NATIONAL DAY CELEBRATIONS
I’VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR A WAY TO BRING MUSIC back into my life in a real and meaningful way, but performing in Expo 2020’s National Day orchestra was far beyond my expectations of how it would happen.
As Editor in Chief of Grazia Middle East, I’m more likely to be found sitting on the front row at Milan Fashion Week than on a piano stool. However, music’s my first love. I had my first music lesson at the age of four, and when I was growing up, I had the privilege of playing in orchestras at the
Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall in London, but as performance venues go, taking to the stage on the desert plains of Al Qudra will forever remain seared in the memory of even the most accomplished musician.
It was such an emotional moment for me, not only to find myself playing in an orchestra again, but as part of such an important moment for the UAE, serving as a moving metaphor for the spirit of Expo 2020. And being on set and witnessing the first Emirati film director, Nayla Al Khaja, in her element is more inspirational than you could ever imagine.
Listening to the stories from musicians from all over the world reminded me what rich and diverse talents we have walking among us, who have chosen to make their life in the emirate. And as for me? Having followed my dream to Dubai, sitting at a baby grand piano, and spending the day with my first love, made me realise that I had to make the journey all the way to the desert to find my way home.
THE DUBAI FITNESS CHALLENGE
may have reached the finish line, but Nike’s new campaign is inspiring us to continue the journey.
We Play DXB reveals first-hand stories told by athletes from across the globe, who have each made the UAE their home in recent years and all share one common interest: sport. The 12 incredible young athletes, aged between 16 and 28, include Farah Ahmed, a Lebanese contortionist; Mariam Alhamad, a Bahraini runner; Nigerian football players Mira and Aisha Zailani; and Mo Mansour, a RussianEgyptian skateboarder.
Farah, 26, came to Dubai at the age of 23 to try her hand at “the Dubai Dream”, as she calls it. Two years later, she’s enjoying success as one of the first contortionists in town, turning her dream into reality and her sport into a livelihood. Farah tells Grazia she’s glad to live in Dubai because it’s where she discovered her sport, adding, “I started this sport after practicing yoga moves on my own
at home. I discovered moves and kept training until I realised I can do so much with my body. If I want my body to reach anything, I can make it happen.”
Farah continues, “This sport chose me, it’s like my superpower. It amazes me how much I can twist and turn and I’m constantly trying to improve myself. It’s time wasted when I’m not progressing or training on a new move. I owe a lot to my sport, and it will always come first because it was there for me when I needed it; it pushes me.”
The super-cool campaign – which has launched in anticipation of the December opening of Nike Dubai, the largest Nike store in the Middle East – was photographed in multiple points of the city. Think of the colourful streets of Karama, to the industrial warehouses in Al Quoz, and all conveying one message: that home isn’t where you were born or where you see yourself in the next 10 years – it’s where the sport is. *Dusts off trainers and goes for a run*.
Behind the scenes with Editor in Chief Alison Tay on Expo 2020’s National Day shoot
The campaign tells inspirational stories from the eclectic mix of the city’s youth
Farah Ahmed is a Dubaibased contortionist