Interview with …. Arab Cassiopeia

Dubbed as “Asia’s Stars” and “Kings of K-pop”, TVXQ!, short for Tong Vfang Xien Qi, are a K-pop duo that consists of U-Know Yunho and Max Changmin. Originally debuted as a five-member in 2003, TVXQ! have been actively promoting as a duo since 2011 and continue to top the charts in Korea and Japan. They have a hugely loyal fanbase, Cassiopeias, around the world and in the MENA region.

NorahSaharJumanah and Norah are the four Saudi Arabian girls, ranging from 24 to 26 year-olds, handling a dedicated TVXQ! Arab fan account @TVXQArabFans on Twitter. The majority of their followers are Saudi Arabian females in their late tens to early thirties.

“The reason behind us deciding to create this account and build a support platform 4 years ago is to contribute in helping TVXQ’s art reach as many Arabs as possible and to introduce the duo to their Arabic fanbase,” they add. “Thus, we have allocated a certain amount of time to translate the duo’s song lyrics, interviews, and other activities on a daily basis.”

What about TVXQ first caught your attention?

Uniqueness. We have all grown up with all types of arts and entertainment surrounding us but the kind TVXQ are providing is different. They put their own magic into simple songs turning them into master pieces. Adding to that the attractiveness of their polite and funny personalities.

What has been your favorite memory of TVXQ throughout their career?

Stumbling upon TVXQ for the first time has always been a favourite and precious memory. However, a new favorite memory shall be created once we actually meet them for the first time in SMTown Concert in Dubai.

“They are so passionate and determined about singing, performing, touching people’s heart with music, and spreading hope and happiness.”

What do you like most about the K-pop duo?

Their passion; they are so passionate and determined about singing, performing, touching people’s heart with music, and spreading hope and happiness. They have never given up on their musical dreams no matter how many times they were turned down and pushed back to the starting point.

What songs would you recommend for those who are new to TVXQ?

With the kind of art TVXQ create, it’s really hard to choose a few songs, but if we have to do so then we would recommend:

– Catch Me
– Spellbound
– Something
– I Swear
– Before you Go
– Off-road
– She
– Rising Sun
– Why ~ Keep Your Head Down

Please keep in mind that this list might change once TVXQ make their most annticipated comeback in the 28th of March with their 9th full-length album.

Is there anything in particular that you would like people to know about them?

We would like people to get to know their personalities. They have two opposite personalities that complement each other so well. Therefore, we recommend watching their interviews on different variety shows.

“They have never given up on their musical dreams no matter how many times they were turned down and pushed back to the starting point.”

Any projects (posters, banners, fan chants etc…) you’ll be working on for the SM Town concert in Dubai that you can share with us?

Yes, our project consists of all the examples you have mentioned; banners, fanchants, balloons, and lightsticks. We are also planning to send the duo a special welcoming gift from thier Arab fans.

What are you looking forward to mostly from their performance?

Their way of dominating the stage with their singing, dancing, and interaction with the fans. We are also looking forward to TVXQ talk-segment to see if they have learned any Arabic words/phrases to communicate with us more intimately.

Do you collaborate with other TVXQ accounts around the world on projects such as send gifts, create banners, display posters outdoors etc…?

Yes, we have done several projects for TVXQ before with the help and collaboration of different fans from all around the globe. For example, we are part of a world-wide project for TVXQ upcomimg record-breaking performance on Nissan Stadium.

If you had a chance to sit down with them, what would you like to ask them or tell them?

We would tell them about how much they are loved and looked up to by the Middle Eastern fans and they are the reason behind the happiness many of us are feeling.

Lastly, is there anything you’d like to share that I haven’t asked?

Not really. Thank you for your time. We really appreciate you reaching out to us and providing us this opportunity to voice out our opinion about and emotions toward TVXQ.

K-Pop Group EXO in Dubai

It was a big day for Arab EXO-Ls and all K-pop fans in Dubai. Not only was it EXO‘s first visit to the Emirates but also they’re the first K-pop group to have their upbeat Korean-hit song Power to be played for the first time at the world’s largest choreographed fountain, The Dubai Fountain.

Hundreds of fans of all ages and cultures gathered at venue, eagerly waited till 5:30pm and armed with the group’s official lightsticks and banners along with mobile phones to capture the historic moment and to celebrate EXO’s achievement.

The video consists of interviews with EXO-L’s and some footage from EXO’s private press conference.

Read the related article on Gulf News’s tabloid! here.

Interview with …. EXOinUAE

There’s a whole lot of excitement happening lately among K-pop fans in the Emirates. Why you might ask? Well it might be because one of South Korea’s hottest boy bands, who go by EXO, is coming down tomorrow to watch their song Power being played for the first time at the world’s largest choreographed fountain system, The Dubai Fountain.

EXO might be super talented and breaking records as they go, but the superstars have a loyal support of fans, who go by EXO-L or or EXO-LOVE, all over the world and their first to Dubai proves that the UAE is no exception.

I had the pleasure to interview Hend Jumah Al Ali, Fatima Omar Al Bannay and Sara Ahmed Ahmed, the head admins of @EXOinUAE, UAE’s first official EXO fanbase on Twitter, and discuss in-depth their love for EXO, why they created a fan account in the UAE, their song Power being played at The Dubai Fountain and much more.


Hi there, can you tell me more about yourself and the @EXOinUAE Twitter account?

Hend J.: Hello, @EXOinUAE is the first UAE Fanbase for the K-pop boy group “EXO”. Our account focuses on fan projects and EXO important updates.


Why did you decide to create an EXO fan account in the UAE? Who are the admins?

Hend J.: Almost all EXO’s Arabic fanbases accounts are dedicated to all Arab countries in general. Most of the international fanbases try to prove their selves as a fandom in that specific country to get more recognition as a fanbase. Therefore, we decided to open this account to gather all UAE EXO fans to do fan projects, supports, share updates and fangirl over EXO together.

This way UAE EXOL (EXOL is EXO’s fandom name) will get recognized by our favorite group and they will know more about the country and the fandom.

After opening this account and starting our own projects we received many messages saying that they are so happy about the UAE fanbase account and they never knew that there are this many EXO fans in the UAE-Dubai since no one ever talked about it before. We admins would like to thank all of those who supported us and kept on sending us sweet and encouraging messages it really means us a lot.


“The statistics of our account followers shows that there is a great number of fans in the UAE. In addition to those who do not use social media accounts but yet they are part of the fandom”- Sara A.


Who are your followers? (Nationality, gender, age groups etc…)

Hend J.: Our account Data shows that the TOP 3 nationalities of our followers are Emiratis, Saudis and Filipinos who are currently living in the UAE.

Most UAE followers comes from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah & Ras Al-Khaimah. In addition to the followers from the other emirates.

93% of the followers are females while 7% are males, The age range of the followers is between 18 to 26 years old.


What made you become interested in the K-pop group?

Fatima O.Prior to the debut of the group, I was interested in Korean culture, dramas and songs. In 2012, I saw EXO’s first stage with the song MAMA in a music show, I loved their song so I decided to listen to their album and watch other shows they guested on. I started liking their personalities and loving their talents. I searched more about them and got to know their names and position in the group. I was admiring all of the member’s talent and personalties even though I was trying to choose one favourite member (which is pretty common in K-pop).


Is there a big EXO fanbase in the UAE? 

Sara A.As far as we know yes, there is a large number of EXO fans in the UAE. The statistics of our account followers shows that there is a great number of fans in the UAE. In addition to those who do not use social media accounts but yet they are part of the fandom.


It’s been announced that EXO’s song ‘Power’ has been chosen as the first K-pop song to ever be played at The Dubai Fountain. How did you feel when the news came out? Were you expecting this?

Sara A.: Actually, a few months ago (during EXO’s 5th Anniversary) the admins had an idea of playing one of EXO’s song in The Dubai Fountain and we started contacting several companies and people who are responsible of the music played at the fountain. In 16-11-2017 we woke up in the morning with the news of Power being the first Korean song to be played at The Dubai Fountain! We were shocked and happy at the same time because finally our dream that we have been working on for months is coming true.

Additional comment: Many fans have misunderstood that we were the reason the song is featuring the dubai fountain. The actual thing is we were trying so hard and we were contacting everyone to feature one of their song at the fountain for their 5th anniversary! However, we didn’t have the pleasure of getting the approval!


How was the response of the public afterward? 

Sara A.: Most of the people around us who knew that we are EXO fans started congratulating us whether it was in university, work or on twitter. EXOL from all around the world were talking about the news in their social media accounts and they were admiring the beauty of The Dubai Fountain and loving the idea of EXO’s Power being the first Korean song to be played there. In addition to the Korean fans who were going crazy and wishing to visit Dubai just to witness the event.


Do you think it’s a major accomplishment for EXO and for K-pop in general, especially in Dubai and in the Emirates? How so?

Sara A.Considering a country that is not widely introduced to the Korean culture and art, it is surely a major accomplishment to play a Korean song in one of the most visited sites in Dubai. It is also considered as one of the major achievements in EXO’s career considering them being one of the most popular groups in Korea nowadays. This event might open a door to the Korean culture to fully introduce itself to the UAE and Arabs in general and many major events might follow this step.


Were you satisfied with the choice of song? If not, any other recommendations?

Sara A.: Absolutely, Power is the most recent EXO song from their latest album “The War: Power of music” which sold more than 1M copies in a very short time. Power is an existing EDM song that can suit everyone’s taste. The song talks about how we can become stronger and happier through music. However, EXO has so many songs with a slower tempo that suits the atmosphere of The Dubai Fountain and the Downtown area more such as Don’t  Go, lucky, First Snow (A song that suits the Christmas season) and walk on memories.


Have you managed to play any EXO songs on Dubai-based radio or work on any previous EXO-related projects in the UAE that we might have missed?

Hend J.: Actually, we have so many ideas on mind that we would like to do. However, we have been trying to do different projects but we could not get enough help and support from the companies here in the UAE. Nevertheless, we as the first EXO fanbase were doing group orders for EXO’s albums and official goods for the EXO-L living in the UAE. In addition to some successful projects in Korea and we are planning for more.


“I love the fact that they’re talented boys who work hard for their fans and never complained about it in front of us fans” – Hend J.


What makes EXO stand out from the rest of other K-pop groups/artists?

Sara A. and Fatima O.: First, EXO debuted with a unique concept which was not used before and they continued in developing their concept through the years with their new music and MVs and made it look like a series of fictional novel. It became a tradition for the fans to write theories using EXO’s videos and music. Even though the EXO story is connected, EXO’s music is always different than their previous album. EXO have tried and showed so many different genres of music to the fans starting from electronics, R&B, EDM, Reggae to ballads and more.

Second, EXO is the first K-pop group of this generation that have sold over one million copies with each album they made since 2013 until now, making EXO the best-selling Korean artist in twelve years. There are over four million members registered in the official EXO fan club website “EXOL”. Also, EXO have won over 100 music program awards, received 21 Daesang awards, which known as an Asian grand prize award, best concert award in 2017, in addition to many different awards from different countries. EXO has entered the Guinness World Records 2018 for being the most Daesang winning artist at the MNET Asian Music Awards.

Lastly, EXO is known for their continues donations. They have collaborated with SPAO and donated some of their profits ($25,000) they made from shirts to UNICEF. Donated profits of their albums “For Life, Sing For You, EX’ACT, Dancing King” to charity. EXO member Lay has started a scholarship fund to assist students in achieving their dreams and he participates in the  ‘2016 Bazaar Star Charity Night’ by donating more than 10 emergency trucks. Also, EXO Member Chen designed the fourth concert goods and he donates all of its profits.


As an EXO-L, what do you like most about the K-pop group?

Hend J.: I love the fact that they’re talented boys who work hard for their fans and never complained about it in front of us fans, they can sing, dance and make their own music, they even prepare their own solo stages for their concert and some of the members went to the acting proficient and succeeded on it.We can always see their passion for music and dancing, I have been their fan since their debut in 2012 and i can totally see how much they worked hard to improve their skills.

The most thing that i like about EXO is “Their Love for EXO-L” I’ve been a fan of the Korean entertainment since 2008 and I’ve never seen a group who sincerely love their fans like EXO do. The relationship between EXO and their fans is on another level. There are many articles mentioning the special treatment EXOL’s get. Not saying that other groups don’t love their fans but I’m just saying that the way EXO treat their fans is so different from others in a good way. I also love that even though EXO are now one of the most successful groups they are still as kind and humble as they were before fame or even more. I totally respect these boys.


Any upcoming projects you’ll be working on that you can share? Any hopes of them coming down to Dubai for a concert?

Fatima O. Sara A.: We are in the stage of planning for so many project that we will do in the near future. We’re always looking for new and original projects to do. After the success of our previous projects such as sending cake for EXO members Chen and Xiumin in a Radio show, sending refreshments truck to the venue of EXO’s third concert in Korea which made us the first fanbase to support their fellow Korean fans which made the Korean fans so happy and surprised to the point that they wrote an article in their top search engine  “Naver” about the project “Arab Fans Generously Gift Concert Audience”. This year, we celebrated EXO’s 5th anniversary, so we prepared a gift video that was displayed in the biggest LED SCREEN in Gangnam-Korea. A few days ago, we sent a flower wreath to congratulate EXO on their 4th concert that just started.

EXO have talked about The Dubai Fountain in their recent press conference, and they are aware of the number of fans in the UAE so we are hoping and always trying our best to make UAE EXOL wish come true and be able to see their favorite group holding a concert in the UAE.


Have you been to any of their fan signings or concerts? If you had the chance to meet EXO, what would you say? 

Hend J.: I’ve been to EXO’s concert in February 2017 and it was the BEST experience in my whole life.

If i had the chance to Meet EXO in person I don’t think i would be able to say anything because I’m really bad at expressing my feelings. But i hope that they would know how much they’re important to me as they are my source of Happiness.

Fatima O.: I will always keep on loving and supporting you regardless of the distance separating us, EXO Let’s Love.

Sara A.: Thank you for being born.


Do you think K-pop is becoming known in the UAE compared to last year? Is the public noticing the music genre more?

Fatima O.: Of course, K-pop nowadays is more popular and recognized here in UAE. After the major Korean event (KCON) that was held in Abu Dhabi happened, we noticed that so many people were introduced to K-POP and started enjoying the music. Al-Arabiya news new segment that features different Korean entertainment fields also helped in rising the number of people interested in the culture. EXO was the first group to be interviewed in this section and the rating of the episode increased by 80%.


Lastly, is there anything you’d like to share that I haven’t asked?

Nothing more Ms. Samar but we would like to thank you for choosing us for this interview and for giving us the opportunity to express our feelings. It’s a great pleasure to be part of spreading the K-POP culture in the UAE.

For more updates and upcoming projects, you can follow them on Twitter @EXOinUAE and on their website

EXO Fan Art You Need to See Pt.2

Only four days till the arrival of K-pop boy band EXO! Here are some EXO fan art I happen to stumble on on Instagram:



A post shared by ☆ Melissa ☆ (@smallish.kae) on

Note: All above images are from the users’s respective Instagram accounts.

EXO Fan Art You Need to See Pt.1

It’s official! The K-pop mega-group EXO will be coming down to Dubai Tuesday, January 16th for the premiere of their hit song Power, which will be played at the world’s largest choreographed fountain, The Dubai Fountain.

EXO are the first Korean artists to be featured at Dubai’s famous fountain show. In honor of them coming down to the Emirates, I’ve put together a list of the best EXO fan arts on Instagram:

Happy Holidays from the kims and sehun ❣

A post shared by ANA / 아나 💙 (@anardzart) on

#exofanart #chen #oilpainting #drawing #exo #kpopfanart

A post shared by fuka (@fu_ullmoon) on

Want your work to be featured? Send me an email here.

Note: All above images are from the users’s respective Instagram accounts.

Top things you need to know about BTS now

Bangtan Boys’ latest album, Love Yourself: Her, debuted at No. 7 on Billboard 200 album chart

Find out how this ARTIST is dominating international charts (and fans’ hearts)

At a glance, South Korean boy band Bangtan Boys (BTS) are the complete K-Pop package – they are multi-talented young men with good looks. The seven-member group has recently been conquering music charts, not only in Korea but also in the U.S. Their newly released album, Love Yourself: Her, debuted at No. 7 on Billboard 200 album chart, making it the highest-ranked album by a Korean artist. They also became the highest-charting K-Pop group to land on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with their title track, DNA.

But, why are they so popular? Well, here’s what makes them stand out from others in the K-Pop industry:

  • They compose and produce socially-conscious music

BTS, who debuted under agency Big Hit Entertainment in 2013, decided to take on a non-traditional path in music.

“BTS ultimately stands out in K-Pop for their emphasis on singing about relatable and realistic topics,” says Jeff Benjamin,’s K-pop columnist.

The Korean artist tackles personal and controversial subjects – politics, loneliness, mental health, adolescence, even women’s empowerment – that resonated with fans all over the world.

“Listeners are not only finding a group that is entertaining and skilled, but someone who represents their voices in topics they aren’t seeing discussed in the media,” he adds.

Writer Taylor Glasby, a freelance K-Pop writer based in the U.K. who has tracked closely the group’s releases, says: “They’ve become excitingly diverse with their sound, bringing in everything from trap to rock to EDM, and as idols who help write and produce their own work, they know best how to use their talents for each track.”

  • They are K-Pop’s social media kings

BTS has a huge fan following and lively presence on social media, which made them the most retweeted artist last year. They were also named one of The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet in 2017 by TIME magazine. After their win at the Billboard Music Awards for Top Social Artist, previously won by pop sensation Justin Bieber six years in a row, BTS proved themselves as this year’s kings of social media in the fan-voted category.

The K-pop group regularly connect with fans through live broadcasts and web videos that feature behind-the-scenes clips of the group while travelling, rehearsing, performing and more.

“I like the way they’re always giving back to the fans and constantly interact with them in more ways than an ordinary artist-fan relationship,” says Admin Ren from BTS UAE, one of the biggest BTS fan Twitter accounts in the country.

  • They’ve got an ARMY of fans

BTS has legion of fans, known as A.R.M.Y. – Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth, and their Billboard win was due to devoted fans, who tweeted #BTSBBMAS more than 300 million times.

BTS UAE on Twitter created a mass request project with the help of A.R.M.Y.s in the UAE and others around the world by tweeting and requesting various UAE radio stations to play BTS’ title track, DNA. The song successfully aired on Virgin Radio Dubai and Radio 1 UAE, while Tag 91.1 played it as part of their reaction segment.

BTS’ new album was soon spotted on the UAE iTunes store after fans conducted a joint project with other international fanbases to make it available to listeners in the Middle East.

“After the news spread, DNA became the #1 track and their new album Love Yourself: Her topped the UAE iTunes charts,” says Admin Kim, the head admin of BTS UAE.

This piece was originally written by the owner of this site and posted on Khaleej Times online and in print.

Samar Breitem

‘Samar Breitem’ is a name everyone should know. She’s bilingual, talented, gorgeous…. oh did I forget to mention she modeled for high-end fashion brands such as Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel. Should I go on?! Samar tells The Samar Project about her road to discuss, the inside scoop of the fashion and presenting industry, her thoughts on the Oscar mixup and much more. If you’re an aspiring model, MC and/or presenter, this interview is for you! Prepare to be entertained…

Can you tell me more about yourself and your background?

I was born and raised in Dubai, and I am half-Armenian, half-Palestinian. I did my university degree in McGill, Montreal, and spent a little time in the US before coming back to Dubai.

How did you get into the presenting and modeling business? Is it tough as many people think?

When I was in high school, I had a friend who asked me if I’d be interested in hosting a kid’s game show around shopping malls in Dubai, for the first ever Dubai Summer Surprises. At the time, it seemed like a fun thing to do, so I did it. Then I went off to Canada to do my degree, worked full-time for a while, and then was spotted by the founder of a modelling agency in Dubai, who asked me if I’d ever considered modelling. Again, I thought it’d be a fun thing to do, so I went for it!

One time, I was booked by Cartier for what I thought was a regular modelling job, and when I turned up at the venue, I was asked if I’d host the evening, which was attended by entrepreneurs from all over the world. After the initial hesitation, I decided I was up to the task and did it, and found the challenge exciting and enjoyable. So I asked the agency to book more events for me to host… and here we are!

Modelling can be tough. You need to put yourself in a position where people are judging your appearance, and while you will get compliments, you will also get negative comments (I once had an audition where the lady wrote on my card that my walk was great but my face wasn’t “top”), so you need to be able to brush those off and keep going. The hours can also be long and tiring. It’s not all glamorous.

What well-known brands have you worked for as an MC and model? How was the experience?

From the modelling perspective, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with the most amazing designers and jewelry brands, including Chanel, Van Cleef & Arpels, Yves Saint Laurent, Piaget, Chaumet and many more. The experience was incredible. I can say I’ve worn the most exquisite necklaces worth millions of dollars, with the most gorgeous settings. I’ve played characters in dresses that would make any woman feel incredible, and seen the hours of work that go into making a dress a masterpiece. Fashion is truly a work of art that you wear.

As a presenter, my clients range from fashion (Grazia magazine, Ahlan! Middle East, Mouawad Jewelry, Dior for Sephora) to corporate (Jumeirah Group, BMW, Porsche) to governmental (DP World, Etisalat, Jebel Ali Free Zone). I love presenting: the challenges it throws up, the mental stimulation, the feeling of accomplishment when a show goes well and when the audience is engaged and the client is happy!

What does it take to become a great presenter and model?    

Professionalism: It’s simple, but I would say professionalism has taken me much further than my looks ever did. I was always on time (meaning 15 minutes early), polite, and I followed instructions. A good attitude also helps. This applies to both presenting and modelling. Also, you need to be comfortable on a stage or in front of the camera. In person, I’m quite shy, but once the makeup is on, hair is done and the fabulous dress and high heels are on, I’m ready to get out there.

Where it diverges is where modelling emphasizes appearance (height, clear skin, slim physique), presenting requires brain. On a stage as a presenter, I’m usually the first face the audience will see, and the first representative of the brand they will hear, sometimes in two languages. I need to have some knowledge of the industry, whether it’s technology, cars, makeup, or government. I research as much as I can before meeting a client to find out more so I am more informed, even though a lot of events are scripted. It’s always better to know more than less.

What are the hard bits and what are the fun, easy bits on the job? 

The hard bits are when things are a little rushed, or even last-minute. When something goes wrong on stage, people will assume, naturally, that it’s your mistake, when it could be technology letting you down, or something not in your control.

The fun bits are the excitement of standing backstage, when the lights dim and the music starts, and you’re raring to go! And when the audience laughs at a joke, or claps enthusiastically, and when the event ends with a great audience and a client that is super-happy. Dressing up is also always fun for me!

With that whole envelope mix up at this year’s Oscars with La La Land being mistakenly awarded Best Picture, what would you have done if you were in Jimmy Kimmel’s position as a presenter? Would you have done the same?

Interestingly enough, as a presenter, in one aspect, you’re running the show, but in another, the show is running you, because you are one cog in a big wheel full of other cogs. So yes, he kept it going in the best way he could given the circumstances.

Of course everyone makes mistakes. We’re all humans after all. Has this somewhat similar occurrence happened where you’ve made an error? How would you try to smooth out the awkwardness and/or the mess up?

I have found myself in some sticky situations, where sometimes, as mentioned previously, technology fails you. I’ve had a microphone die on me at an event at the World Trade Centre ballroom. So I did the intro by speaking louder and projecting my voice as best as I could, then was informed that the issue had been sorted out, only to go back on stage to find out that it hadn’t and that the mic still wasn’t working, so I did the rest of the presentation by voice only!

Twice, on two other occasions, the autocue (those screens we read off at some events), froze, or died completely. These happened at awards shows, where I was listing nominees for each category and then announcing the winners, so it wasn’t something I could’ve just made up on the spot. So I apologized to the audience, explained that there was a minor issue, and got the problem solved, in one case by signaling to the autocue person, who thankfully understood me and sorted it out, and in another by finding the hard copy and using that.

As with most work, sometimes the event will not go smoothly, even when you’ve rehearsed. You just deal with it as with most things: you keep going till you get to the end, and you try to do it with calmness and grace, and all will be well.

What was the most memorable experience you had during your career?

Oh, so many great memories! I’ve introduced Saad Lamjarrad to a VVIP fashion and celebrity film crowd, only to have them all get on their feet, go nuts and start dancing on chairs and tables. I’ve launched a car to an audience that was watching the show from a fleet of yachts on some balmy nights in Abu Dhabi, while I was standing on a platform built over the water. I have presented in front of royalty: the Sheikhs of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ajman, and the princess of Belgium.

People everyday are always auditioning for roles, whether it’s as an MC or model, what does it take to reach that desired level?

A great attitude, enthusiasm, and professionalism. For many clients, whether it’s a fashion show or an event, it’s the culmination of months of work they’ve put in, and it’s lovely for them to see you invested in their vision and creation as much as they are. We used to do so many shows, sometimes several in a day, and yes it was tiring, but to give it 100% every time means a lot to a fashion designer/ event organiser.

What tips or advice do you have for those starting out in the industry, something you wish someone would have told you?

Dita von Teese said it really well: You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there will still be somebody who hates peaches. You can’t please everyone all the time, and to attempt to do so is futile. Just be confident in what you are bringing to the table, realise its value, and you’ll go far.

Who do you consider as your role model? Why?

I admire the eloquent speakers: Hanan Ashrawi used to fascinate me when I was younger, Barack Obama, Tony Blair. Politics aside, they are incredibly well-spoken, articulate people.

How do you stay in shape? 

I’ve always been on the slim side, but with time, I realized that slim doesn’t equate with healthy. I do a lot of weightlifting (and no, it doesn’t make you bulky!) and recently discovered a love for running (I did the 10k Dubai Standard Chartered Marathon 2017).

How can we achieve that model pose that us non – models fail to perfect?

Thanks to the wonders of Instagram, most people now seem to get it right. The only slight adjustment I would make is to elongate the neck. A lot of people nail the one leg out and slightly bent with one hand on the hip, but forget to push the shoulders back and stretch the neck out to achieve that beautiful, graceful long line. Although my common mistake is to smile too wide. My agent is always telling me not to smile too much!

What’s next for you?

I have a bit of travel planned for this year, but I’m hoping to work on some collaborations for some corporate clients on different platforms.

I am also working on some interviews with people from the fashion industry, but I can’t say too much. All I can say is: Stay tuned!

Thank you for taking part in this interview! Is there anything you’d like to add or share with our readers that we haven’t covered?

Thank you for reading! (I have a huge smile on my face typing this… yes, the one my agent tells me not to do!)

You can follow Samar Breitem on Instagram @samarbreitem

note: all answers are original and unaltered

Interview with Mimz Blog

Have you ever heard of Mimz Blog? Mariyam is a fashion, beauty & lifestyle blogger currently based in Dubai. Other than blogging, she is also a designer of Mimz Collection. Read below my interview with Mariyam to get to know her more:

Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?

My Name is Mariyam and I was born and raised in Dubai. I started my business by designing (Mimz Collection) and now I do blogging as well. Therefore, my Instagram page is now called

When and why did you start blogging?

Blogging along with designing have always been my passion. I started blogging 3 months ago with the intention and main reason of helping other businesses grow by creating more brand awareness

Describe ‘Mimz blog’ in one word.


How do you decide what fashion or beauty products to review or attend?

The fashion or beauty products have to be aligned with my business’s strategy to ensure that my page gets the right reputation.

Are there any fashion bloggers you follow? If so, can you please name a few?

I adore few, but at the same time I like being unique and exclusive

What have you learned from your blogging experience?

I learned that no matter where you start, you can always achieve what you want if you are passionate and determined

Can you tell me more about your fashion collection? Where did your inspiration come from? 

My fashion collection revolves around the idea of affordable luxury whether it is the Arabic traditional wear or western casual wear. The inspiration came in believing that all girls are beautiful and they deserve the best. That’s why, Mimz Collection was created to meet these needs by delivering high end quality at an affordable price

Who or what are your designs influenced by?

The designs are influenced by 4 pillars: modernism, style, affordability, and luxury.

Why did you decide to create your own fashion label?

I believe that the need for affordable luxury always exists, therefore, all girls should know how beautiful they are even if they can’t afford the high designer brands. I wanted to provide this while ensuring the quality meets the expectation of the consumers.

Do you follow trends or make your own?

Of course, when it comes to fashion, you have to continuously keep up with the trends and provide something that the consumer demands, while keeping in mind to be unique

Do you have a favorite outfit?

Yes. I love jumpsuits

How do you manage your time efficiently?

Time management is essential to every business owner. Therefore, I always set out my priorities at the beginning of the week and I work according to that schedule so that I don’t miss out on the important things that need to be done

What’s the biggest challenge of being both a blogger and designer?

I guess the biggest challenge is having to be in few places, all at the same time. Therefore, this is where prioritizing really helps

Do you have any tips or tricks for achieving an aesthetic Instagram page and launching a fashion collection?

Understand what your followers want and deliver that with consistency

You can follow Mariyam on her Instagram

note: all answers are original and unaltered

TV Shows Every ’90s Kid Watched in Dubai

Image Attribution – Photo by Sven ScheuermeierPexelsCC BY-NC 2.0.

Before there were online streaming sites such as Netflix and Stan, children of the 90s (including myself) would wait impatiently on coaches for TV shows, that were aired back then, to start. We didn’t really have much options to choose from like today, but that’s ok! Here are a list of shows that every kid used to watch in Dubai the 90s — that also may be familiar to you:

1. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Genre: Comedy, drama and family

Airing date: 1990 – 1996

Cast: Will Smith, Alfonso Ribeiro, James Avery, Karyn Parsons, Tatyana M. Ali, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Joseph Marcell

2. Full House

Genre: Comedy, drama and family

Airing date: 1987 – 1995

Cast: Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier, Candace Cameron, Jodie Sweetin, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Andrea Barber, Lori Loughlin, Scott Weinger

3. Sabrina The Teenage Witch

Genre: Fantasy, comedy and drama

Airing date: 1996–2003

Cast: Melissa Joan Hart, Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick, Nick Bakay

4. Mad About You

Genre: Comedy and romance

Airing date: 1997–2002

Cast: Paul Reiser, Helen Hunt, Leila Kenzle, John Pankow, Anne Ramsay

5. Beverly Hills, 90210

Genre: Drama, youth, and romance

Airing date: 1990–2000

Cast: Jason Priestley, Jennie Garth, Shannen Doherty, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, Tori Spelling, Luke Perry, Gabrielle Carteris

6. Friends

Genre: Romance, comedy and drama

Airing date: 1994–2004

Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc

7. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Genre: Supernatural drama, romance, action, fantasy and horror

Airing date: 1997–2003

Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Marsters, Anthony Stewart Head, Nicholas Brendon, Alyson Hannigan, Charisma Carpenter, David Boreanaz
Seth Green, James Marsters

8. Ally McBeal

Genre: Legal- comedy, drama and romance

Airing date: 1997–2002

Cast: Calista Flockhart, Peter MacNicol, Greg Germann, Vonda Shepard, Jane Krakowski, Portia de Rossi, Lucy Liu, Lisa Nicole Carson, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Gil Bellows

9. Charmed

Genre: Supernatural fiction, fantasy, drama and romance

Airing date: 1998–2006

Cast: Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan, Dorian Gregory, Drew Fuller, T.W. King

10. Dharma & Greg

Genre: Romance, comedy and drama

Airing date: 1997–2002

Cast: Jenna Elfman, Thomas Gibson, Shae D’Lyn, Joel Murray, Alan Rachins
Mimi Kennedy, Mitchell Ryan, Susan Sullivan