2016 • The Year of the Afro and life changing year •

Saturday, 31 December 2016
As the new year slowly approaches, it gives the chance to appreciate all the blessings that have come my way this year. 

I know I have mentioned several times about the move back to UK, which wasn't my choice but it was a decision that had to made because I didn't want to waste anymore time job searching and slumming and letting time pass me by. So I decided to take it upon myself to get out of my comfort zone and create a a list of goals for the year and aim to cross them off, as the year progressed.

These goals were as follows;
1. Get my driving license ( Got that in May )
2. Find work to build experience, which I covered this summer in London.
 3.Travel more. ( Done that too! Holland in August, Italy in October and now I will be heading to Dubai and Sudan)

The other thing I did this year was that I made the decision  to set the Afro free and not damage my hair with any heat. I have to say, I'm so proud of myself for doing this.
My Afro represents my personality and with having it set free, has allowed me to be more creative and I haven't never felt more like myself because of it! I hope that 2017 and the years to come will help bring out the best in me creatively and spiritually. 

Life Changing 

One last thing, this is something I wrote to salute 2016 and invite 2017 with open arms!

"From the day we are born, we are full of life and wonder. Dreaming and believing that we can be whoever we want to be and as time passes, we work hard and strive to make turn those childhood dreams into goals that we can achieve. 

Along this long winding journey, we faced with difficult situations that shake up our world which makes us feel like our world is crashing down us and that it is the end. Little do we know that these minute situations are a fraction of life will offer us in the future. 

As we grow older our surrounds, our friends and our mindset changes to where we are forced to make tough decisions that are not easy to make. This may cause us down a downward spiral and our world is shaken again, but it  ends up occurring for reasons that we may not understand now, but overtime, we see the final outcome of the situation that we are in. 

With all these experiences and life changing moments, we reflect and realize that it was all for a greater purpose and we become stronger, happier and better people. "

Posted By Urbanista ( Azza Gasim) 
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram (@azza_urbanista)

Shopping for Knowledge at the Dukkan Show

Friday, 23 December 2016

Everyone who knows me, knows that I love the street and urban family culture that Dubai has to offer and I was deeply disheartened when I found out I had to leave Dubai and go back to UK. The idea of me going back home so early, wasn't something I was prepared for. But, I took it one day at a time and I can honestly say,  this year has been one of the most productive years i've had, since I  graduated in 2013.  The reason why I say this is because I could understand why I did that and began to grow more as an adult and see the world in a whole new perspective.

So while I was developing my sketches, I began to receive all of these different signs from above showing me that what I was doing, is what I should be doing.

The Dukkan Show is a weekly podcast based in Dubai and they are a collective, who love to celebrate other creatives and have inspirational conversations with them.
I came across their podcast for the first time, when they went live on Facebook at Sole DXB this year and watching them talk about the urban culture in Dubai made me feel so happy and that I could still feel connected to Dubai through their podcast and from that point, I continued  to listen to everyone of their episodes and i was blown away by the amount of in depth conversations they had with other creatives.

One of my favorite episodes that they did was with Dina Yassin, which I reposted on my blog earlier this year. The reason why it is my favorite is because I could relate to everything the did in her life and because of our connection, she reached out to me to do a commissioned sketch. I was ecstatic by this and I managed to do a few pieces for her and since I was already traveling to Dubai for a family visit, I made it my mission to print them for her and actually meet her in person. So on Sunday night, I headed down to Dubai Mall and had a lovely dinner with her. 






After meeting her and listening to her story and her tips on conquering the industry, I felt it was only right to meet the inspiring intellects behind The Dukkan Show and give them their own personalized sketch just to say thank you and to show them how powerful their podcast is. Luckily they were free to meet yesterday evening and I headed down to their studio and sat down with them, discussing my experiences and absorbing all the tips and stories they shared with me. 



When it comes to things like this, where you meet like minded creatives, it is refreshing feeling that cannot be recreated and it helps you build up your creativity knowing that their people out there in the world, who believe in what you are doing. So when you find these people, keep them close and don't ever let them go. 

(OT, Reem and Irshad if you are reading this, I know I keep saying thank you. But I really mean it. Your knowledge and tips on the industry is something I will take to heart and motivate me next year. Keep doing your thing and I will continue to support you guys from wherever I am in the world.) 
Where to find The Dukkan Show 
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/dukkanshow/

Posted By Urbanista ( Azza Gasim)
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram (@azza_urbanista)

Every Ting Irie

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

For a long time, Italian Food used to be my favourite kind of food and it wasn't until I visited London a few times and visited places like The Rum Kitchen,  that it changed to Jamaican. There's something about it that is aesthetically appealing to me and the fact that they mix fruits with their cooking which makes it more healthy.

So, while I was living in Dubai, I hoped and prayed they will open up an Jamaican restaurant and it seems my prayers have been answered with Ting Irie and Miss Lily's . Having these places open up in Dubai makes the universal culture of Dubai more global and I hope that more international and new places open up here.

Here are a few images from the restaurant;


Website: http://www.tingirie.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TingIrieDXB/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tingiriedxb
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tingiriedxb/

Posted By Urbanista ( Azza Gasim)
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram (@azza_urbanista)

Emirates Experience

Wednesday, 14 December 2016
Every since I can remember, my family and I  have been travelling to Dubai all over the UAE to visit our family and the best way to get there is with Emirates. When you fly with Emirates, the atmosphere onboard the flight feel so comfortable with the hight tech entertainment system, the restaurant quality food and the comfy seats ( even in economy!) 

I have been flying with Emirates, since I was young and I can remember how friendly the staff were and enjoying all these different films available on the inflight entertainment system.    ( Sidenote: When I was in school, I would talk to my friends about my latest visit to Dubai and how I watched X,Y and Z on the plane and they were shocked because they had no idea some planes had inflight entertainment systems. With all due respect to them, i'm sure they were used to flying on short cross country flights.

As I grew up flying with them, I have experienced a majority of the planes from the large planes to the small planes and I can honestly say hand on heart, the Airbus A380 is by far the best plane. Every time I fly with them, they are always one step ahead of the game for example in August 2012, I was blessed to have opportunity to fly in business class for a my flight from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to Dubai. It was so mind blowing to be on a double decker plane with killer service, which makes you feel at ease with flying.

Now fast forward to where we are now, I have just arrived in Dubai this morning from Birmingham with the new Airbus A380 ,  which they have just launched in March and the experience I had was very relaxing and I loved how they upgraded the inflight entreatment with the latest films from this year and the defiantly excelled with the dinner onboard the flight. 

Kudos to them and I will always continue to fly with them around the globe.

Posted By Urbanista ( Azza Gasim)
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram (@azza_urbanista)

4 Your Eyez Only Thoughts

Sunday, 11 December 2016

4 Your Eyez Only has now been released on Friday.

This is J Cole's fourth album, after releasing his platinum album  2014 Forest Hills Drive  which does not include any features.
With regards to his previous album, which is more of a storytelling of his life and this new  album is comes from a more soulful and deeper place.

Prior to the release of this album, J.Cole released a 40min documentary, which shows the production of this album and he also dropped 2 singles False Prophets and Everybody Dies

My Thoughts...

After spending the whole weekend listening this album, I can't say that its better than the previous album. I will just say they are very different and were released at different times of his life; One talks about his start to the industry and his inspirations..etc and the other one talks more in depth about his views on drugs, gun violence and his wife and his  new born daughter and what he would say to her.

This is one thing I rate about J.Cole  is his way of rapping is very visual, which allows you to relate to his situations with your own experiences.

To finish off, I would say the following songs are my favourite;
1. Deja Vu
2. Change
3.  Vile Mentality
4. Foldin Clothes
5. She's  Mine P2.

If you haven't listened to the album or bought it yet, go and buy it now!
Link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/4-your-eyez-only/id1181454816

Posted By Urbanista ( Azza Gasim)
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram (@azza_urbanista)