The light is always lovely where I am from, there’s always sunlight that you can say we don’t have a thing called winter. Winter could be there for two months or so, to just give you the freedom of layering, and believe me, we feel so cold on these days that we layer everything.
That perfect climate helped me a lot with the term of “natural light is the perfect light to shoot on”. I remember I was going to my friend on the weekend to shoot me on multiple looks to have the materials I need to publish on my school days, I remember I was going to her at 7 am because I wanted to be alone on the streets, that’s what I wanted to deliver– clear bright streets that you can compare to any other street style photo and say it has been taken in one of the biggest European cities.
The comparison failed, the moment you compare the moment you lose it all. I felt that it’s not what I want to send out there, I’d have never fallen for NYC if it’s without people, and Egypt has a lot of people, like 100 million of them.
But it’s not that easy to shoot a full Zara outfit on the streets, which for the public it felt like a high-end look worn by a culturally ambiguous girl– fooled by my complexion without any attention to my demonstrable African features– aka she’s definitely a foreigner aka she is somethin’ and we have to step in. Pose for the camera with 15 million people passing by; some would look, some would harass, some would think you’re doing it for commercial purposes, someone would even laugh. No-one understood what street style is back then, it wasn’t easy, It felt like the easier choice– and sometimes the only one– here to shoot from home with a remote in one hand covered by the volume of the sleeve; and that put more pressure on what I do because this was not what I wanted to create. I wanted to deliver a full feeling, I wanted to deliver the smells around me if I could.
When you go to Jeddah with a double sun that you’d feel the burn, you feel like Cairo was the best of all, while you’re wearing abayas everywhere you go, your look would never see the light of the sun, talking about dressing for yourself, now show me how would you do it, because it is what it is, you are your own daily complement-er, and sometimes it can be the best of all, because you literally dress for yourself, you get bored fast and you challenge yourself more.
I still wanted to translate that on my platform, I wanted to express what I feel through the clothes I wear nevertheless with words. I love both cities and the struggles they put me through make me think of different ideas to post, like add those pieces, this shoe or that pink highlighted hair just because you got bored with the whole outfit; the results is always new whether it’s good or bad.
The reason behind moving to those specific two cities is that because my parents are between the two. We live with our parents until we get married and I think after founding this 2016 Pew Study that shows that 32.1% of adults between 18 and 34 live at home with their parents. It should become less shocking to your ears now. It doesn’t make you any less responsible because under some circumstances I do live in Cairo for months alone to get some work done and my parent would still be in Jeddah. It’s our culture, in fact, it’s weird if you’re a girl and not living with your family.
I always feel the pressure to do more because I always feel it’s not enough. The impotence that I constantly feel can drive me crazy and makes me depressed for days, I feel so low and depressed that I could leave the thing I love the most in the world, that I’ve been working on for ages behind. It’s nonsense to me but at this stage, you just give it all up.
The anxiety attack of one contentious question that I keep asking myself “what if I worked as an architect? What if I succeeded in that field?” I feel that my rejection of working in my field that I’m afraid of failure, leaving the field for so long BUT also not to forget that I really really don’t wanna work on it completely, if only I can combine the two worlds together, the hunger of working in fashion, and the architect perspective that I feel is the core of my creations. I can’t create without thinking as an architect.
I’ve been on this blank that I can’t create or even write the simple truth of how I feel. I felt that there’s nothing I can do here, I’ve tried for years to share what’s in mind about style, fashion and the real struggle of a twenty something years old woman who’s living in between two cities that wants to experience living for a month or so in other countries like Paris, Switzerland, Holland, LA, London, Milan and NYC in this order. To travel the world but can’t do it for the financial issues.
I always have that feeling of “you’re not in the place you want to be because you’ve not done enough to earn it yet, in a matter of fact, you’re not good enough to be there anyway” that thought only could be able to destroy whatever idea you’ve been excited to create for weeks, it could demolish any creative mind if you really believe it.
I know I’m not alone in this and it’s more of a first world problem than a third, but I know how to fight those feelings, I’ve been doing it for years, the work now is how to beat the hardest of them; you keep on fighting until you get what you want, eventually you will. I absolutely will.