Drumming a New Beat
COVID-19 has left stands and performance theaters empty across the world in 2020. Kharsha, an Emirati / Japanese drumming band, have felt first-hand what that feels like. With a great question mark cast on the band’s future, they can only hope for the show to go on soon.
The Unlikely Saviour
Isolated from friends, family and the rest of the world, Twitch — a live-streaming platform— has provided individuals with a window into the world throughout COVID-19. The pandemic has continued to fuel the growth of live-streaming and created a community impact, connecting individuals from all over the world with one another in these trying times.
The Secret Behind UAE's Vanity License Plates
Talal Al Khoori is the owner of vanity plate Abu Dhabi #5. It is the second most expensive plate in the world and Talal broke records when he purchased it. To some, the practice of spending millions of Dirhams on vanity plates in the UAE is a sign of conspicuous consumption. But when you speak to Talal, you learn that spending so much on a simple alumimum plate has a positive impact on the wider society. Music courtesy of Mansoor Gottem.
Agility Towards Success
Abdalla Almulla, the founder of MULA design studio, was one of many other designers and business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. But through innovation and agility, Abdalla was able to handle the situation by changing the nature of his work from designing exhibitions to interior design projects.
A Tale of Perseverance
Saleh Al Yaroubi suffered an accident requiring him to use a wheelchair for more than 40 years. We hear how he overcame his hardships, both mental and physical, seeking from his experience advice on coping with the mental effects of the COVID-19 pandemic today.
There From the Start
The media industry in the United Arab Emirates has grown exponentially over the past 50 years. This piece profiles one of the first Emirati radio and TV reporters, and my uncle, Obaid Kaboos Alzaabi.
Portrait of an Artist During a Pandemic
This story is about an artist and a painter who gets his inspiration from people’s faces and facial expression to put it in a nice drawing. He started drawing since he was a child and going through the pandemic lockdown kept him going and continue the thing he love the most which is painting.
Passing Down the Wings
Falconry is an Emirati tradition passed down from one generation to another. Rashid Ahmed Mujrin is a professional falconer competing in major events. He's also keeping the tradition alive by teaching his sons the art of falconry.
Pandemic Through the Eyes of a Child
Like many kids, seven-year-old Julie Kayali has been doing online schooling for over a year. With her family welcoming a newborn during the pandemic, how can Julie balance second grade and playtime from the safety of her own home?
South Asian weddings are known for being huge and lavish affairs. During the pandemic however, South Asian couples were forced to shift these celebrations online and say I do through the screen. This piece revolves around the experiences of South Asian couples and a wedding planner who are now adapting to the new norm of virtual weddings.
A Special Year for Special Kebab
Al Ustad Special Kebab is the oldest Persian family restaurant in the UAE. This is a story about the lessons it learnt from the pandemic a year after lockdown.
Fashion and Faith
This is a piece about the representation of the Hijab in the fashion industry and the discussion surrounding hijab tokenism and the importance of representation. The topic has been ignited because of the departure of Hijabi supermodel Halima Aden from the fashion industry.
Knocked Down But Definitely Not Out
Michelle Kuehn is a long-term Dubai resident who turned her passion of boxing into a successful business. Then the pandemic hit and everything she worked toward was crumbling in front of her eyes. This is the story of how she fought back and reclaimed her boxing gym from the grips of the pandemic.
Ines Boubakri became the first Arab and African woman to win an Olympic medal in fencing during at the 2016 summer games. She's dreaming of greater olympic glory during the upcomig games in Tokyo. But first she has to get through a global pandemic.
Finding a Friend
My story focuses on the integration of Emiratis and Expats in the UAE. It follows my personal experience; for the first time in 14 years, I found myself in the same (virtual) room as Emiratis, thanks to CNN Academy. My story explores integration from various perspectives to ultimately celebrate the diverse social fabric of the UAE.
Pressure, Parenting and Pandemic
The pandemic has put a lot of mental, emotional, and financial strain on multiple individuals. This is especially true for mothers who work full-time, take care of the family and the house. This story is about mothers finding a healthy stress outlet and taking time for themselves without feeling ashamed or guilty about it.