We just finished our first collaboration at Rebel Cairo and we're here to share with you all the details. Alongside Neya, a community-based platform for giving back founded by Hana El Sadat, we were able to create a piece by the name of Hanem that helped support an important objective.
Hana approached back in August and not so long after, we were able to set a time and place to meet in person and discuss the possibilities of collaboration. Getting to know each other was pleasant. We found common ground quickly and leaned towards similar things aesthetically. Hana’s first suggestion was to offer something that empowers women. Initially, I was a bit hesitant. I wanted to avoid so many cliches but as we talked deeper into it, we were set on a tone and direction that convinced both of us. Taking away notes from our meeting, I jumped into sketching immediately. It was one of those projects that flowed effortlessly from concept to sketches (which is rare.) I sketched down the first two women and a few other elements and already had an image of how it could look like when complete.
Beginning of January, we had our final illustration ready and both Hana and I were happy with it. Fast-forward to mid-February, we had an approved sample and a name for the scarf: Hanem.
The final pictures were taken to represent the four generations of women: the new-born, the young lady, the mother, and the grandmother, passing down stories to each other. We took excerpts from our conversation with each one of them around topics like motherhood, family union, strength, self-care, and pregnancy. We shared an introduction to Hanem on March 1st and gradually shared each story until Mother's Day. I feel like a lot of people reading the women's stories/advice were able to take away something they said or relate to their characters.
"The funniest thing I've experienced during pregnancy is my addiction to weird smells. I love the smell of laundry detergents, you can find me at the detergent aisle at the supermarket just chilling." shared Dana, who is expecting her second child.
"The definition of a strong woman to me is a woman who trusts her intuition and knows what's worth her energy" said Nour.
"My advice to the new generation is that they must learn to give. It's a beautiful thing to be able to give unconditionally. This is the most important pillar to keeping the family tight." - said Satouty, as her grand-children call her, during our sit-down.
She also shared the secret to her young spirit: she loves to dress-up, put on a lot of accessories, and laugh.
To fill you in on where we are right now, both Hana and I are finishing our remaining batch and together, we'll be donating a percentage of proceeds to Al Noor Wal Amal, a non-profit organization supporting visually-impaired women.
Many thanks to baby Dana, Dana, Nour, and Satouty for bringing this to life
and sharing their thoughts with us.
Photography & Direction by Aly Soliman
Update: The situation regarding the COVID-19 lockdown hasn't been easy, but seeing people still care about gifting their loved ones amidst the chaos was pleasantly surprising.