U.W • Magical Connections to the Wizarding World •

Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Anyone, who grew up in the early 2000s, can agree that The Harry Potter Series written by J.K Rowling, is the ultimate childhood book. The series started in the late 90s, when the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was released in 1997 and series unfolded into 7 novels, a play and a series of short stories, which are connected to the original book series. But the craze of it didn’t start, until 2001 the first book was transformed and it became the second biggest film franchise worldwide.
The writer and creator of the series, J.K Rowling, said she discovered the idea, while she was travelling back from Manchester to London on a crowed train, in the early 90s. At the time of her discovery, She wasn’t able to write the idea down, but she spent that entire journey thinking about details and the character of Harry Potter began to come to life and it became a story about a boy, who didn’t know he was a wizard. One event in her lifetime that heavily influenced the story and the character of Harry Potter in greater detail was the death of her her mother, which transformed the story and was then developed into a young wizard boy, who lost his parents at an early age, but didn’t know he was a wizard.
The Harry Potter series was the reason why kids would enjoy reading for fun. This was at a time, where they would watch cartoons in their leisure time, instead of reading and learning something new. They would read the books because it had the balance of real life and the magical world and the readers would learn with the character, throughout the series. In a study done by Scholastic, that have stated that kids and parents credit the series for getting more kids into reading and that it helped kids do better in school.
For some people, who read the books first before watching the films, used our imagination to think about; how those characters would dress ?, what they would look like?, how they would cast spells?… etc We created an image of what these characters were like and when we watched the films afterwards, we saw those characters come to life on the big screen and we could instantly relate to them because the actors that portrayed these characters were kids like us. As they grew up in the films, we did too and it became our childhood journey together.
Even after the last film and book; The Deathly Hallows was created, “The Harry Potter experience” has still reminded with us with The Harry Potter Studios, which was opened in 2012 in Leavesden. The Studio Tour includes the props, sets and costumes used throughout the series.
This year, House of Minalima, a shop and exhibition in London opened their doors to display the graphic art, as well as the authentic props that were used in the films. These were on loan from the The Harry Potter Studios in Leavesden. Having all of this in one space, gives the fans more appreciation to the details used throughout the series and see how it call came together.
At the end of the day, we all have some sort of personal connection to the series and if it wasn’t for J.K Rowling, this series would not part our childhood and part of who we are now.

BuzzFeed Link: https://www.buzzfeed.com/urbanista/magical-connections-to-the-wizarding-world-2slq9?utm_term=.lcMypXzoa#.aae8epBby

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

• Azza's Adventures CV •

Thursday, 26 January 2017

For the past few days, I was thinking of ways to enhance my CV and I came up with the idea of doing it as a virtual comic book, which includes links to my blog, my portfolio and social media accounts.

I present to you... "Azza's Adventures.."

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

U.W • The Lion King Effect •

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

This was an article I wrote for Urbanista Writes on BuzzFeed, where I compared my life in the present to one of my favourite film, The Lion King.

Part 1

For as long as I could remember, The Lion King has always been one of my favourite films. I couldn’t figure out why I loved it so much, until I analysed it and realised that the story they are showing in this film, which talks about love, loss and the true meaning of life. These are all life lessons, that we all face every day of our lives and how my life has has The Lion King Effect on it.
Let’s start from the beginning of the film, where we have young Simba, an ambitious lion cub, who wants to rule his fathers kingdom, when he gets older. I remember, when I was young, my dream was to be an artist or a designer. But the difference between me and Simba is he is fearless and heroic character, where as, I am more shy and humble, who knows that one day, that dream can happen through hard work and determination. This was one life lesson I learnt from watching my dad work everyday helping people, as a GP Doctor.
On his discovery to the kingdom, Mufasa introduces “The Circle of Life” mentality to Simba. This is where he explains to him about equality and the fact that, we all go through the same things in life; love, loss and the true meaning of life. So whether you are a child, teenager or adult, black, brown or white, female or male, we are all equal and we should all respect each other and live in a peaceful world.
“Everything you see exists together, in a delicate balance. As king, you need to understand that balance, and respect all the creatures….And so we are all connected in the great Circle of Life.” - Mufasa

Part 2

It then moves on to the part where Simba’s uncle, Scar, who is manipulating him into visiting an elephant graveyard, knowing that place is off limits to him. This scenario is due to the manipulation from his uncle and bad decision made by Simba, to prove that he is as brave as his father is. When this happened, Mufasa (Simba’s dad) shows that his biggest fear was loosing his son and that you only have to be brave, when its necessary.
I’m sure we have all been in situations at school or at home, where a family member or a school mate has used peer pressure or manipulation to make us do something we don’t wan’t to do and at first, it may seem like a great idea, but then it ends up being a bad decision, which we could regret for the rest of our lives.

Part 3

Loss and how to overcome it defiantly takes a big part in “ The Lion King Effect.” The concept of death is first introduced, when Mufasa is having a heart to heart conversation with Simba about his legacy of becoming the next king and how there will be a time, where he will have step down or die and Simba will have to take over as the future king.
For any child watching this film, the most memorable part and toughest part to watch is when (SPOILER ALERT) Mufasa dies in the stampede. This whole situation all comes back to manipulation again from Scar ( Simba’s Uncle) telling Simba he has a surprise for him in the Canyon. This ends up as a giant stampede in the canyon and Mufasa is alerted and is risking his own life to save his son’s. As he does this, Scar is overseeing this whole situation and when Mufasa is pleading for help from his own brother, he refuses and allows his brother to get killed by the stampede. After seeing this whole event happen with his very own eyes, Simba is brainwashed into thinking that this whole situation was his fault and is banished to the outlands, which is yet another, manipulative tactic from his uncle, a bad influence in his life. I’m sure we have all had those days where we make a bad decision or a mistake and we have taken the time to re think our options. So when Simba is banished, it reminded me of when I moved back to the UK last year, after being in Dubai for 5 years. In that time, I attended a fashion university and got my degree and started my job search. For anyone, who has experienced loss or a change in life, its not easy to overcome. It takes time and a new perspective on life to change that mentality, In Simba’s case, he made new friends and learnt a whole new meaning of life.
“ Hakuna Matata. It means no worries.”
“..This is the great life. No rules, no responsibilities….And best of all, no worries.” - Timon and Pumba

Part 4

When Simba finally discovers that his dream of being king is behind him and is in the past, he has allowed himself to be open to new opportunities. But he is then reminded of it, when his best friend Nala is in the vicinity looking for help. Nala has been Simba’s friend from the beginning of the film and what they don’t realise is that along the way, they will fall in love and live happily ever after. I value Nala because she can see Simba’s true potential and bravery, that no one else sees. However, having her there, triggers all thoughts and emotions that he has been blocking out for a while and she reminds him that he has some unresolved responsibilities and decisions to make. Heres an example, the pain and emotions I went through, when I moved back to UK was a roller coaster ride. I couldn’t understand why we were leaving so soon?, what I was going to do when I came home?… Too many unanswered questions were going through my head for a whole year which eventually allowed me to be depressed and different person. But over time, I began to accept the situation and see what I could do to move forward and how I can be a better person. Now, when Simba takes this time to think about his situation and responsibilities , he is approached by Rafiki, a wise relative, who reminds him of who he is and showing him with the help of his father’s spirit that he his the king and discovers, who he really is on the inside.

BuzzFeed Link

It also includes this sketch that I created inspired by the film;

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

Urbanista Creates and Writes... 2017

In order to for me to expand on my creatively, I need to find new ways of expressing myself, which is why I am going to start a new series called "Urbanista Writes" and "Urbanista Creates" .

"Urbanista Writes is going to be creative articles or blog posts that I will share on this blog and on Buzzfeed as a community writer.

"Urbanista Createsis following my artistic side, whether thats creating my Bitmoji Comic Book Strip that I will call "Azza's Adventures" or creating commissioned sketches and personal sketches, which I will be posting on Instagram.

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