Greetings from Africa!!!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

I'm currently on holiday in sunny Sudan and I am absolutely loving it! (and yes, I have been told I'm insane for feeling this way countless times). It's been just over a month, and the reality of knowing I gotta go back to London is slowly creeping up on me *cries*. But oh well, I've got 2 more weeks to enjoy, and that I shall inshallah. 

So far...

Okay, so, so far, what's happened?

Well the first thing I noticed about Khartoum is that it's hot, it's hot, it's hot and oh, it's hot. Most of this holiday has been spent living the 42 degrees Celsius life, which is why me and ACs have become best friends :D. No but really though, it is hot but it's bearable... if you stay indoors.. with all fans and ACs on... and don't leave till sunset. 

Apparently I landed during wedding season since I seemed to be going to and prepping for engagement parties and weddings more than I have in all my time in London. [By prepping I mean picking out outfits cos I'm very indecisive and have to deal with the criticism of countless aunties :)] One of the perks of all these weddings is being able to get henna done, and let's be real, Sudanese henna slays js. 

We danced, we partied and we celebrated with the lucky couples Sudanese style - aka clapping and shrugging our shoulders to the beat of the music - but no doubt were they live and did I enjoy myself. It really puts you in the mood to get married yourself, and soon you find yourself fantasising about the hall, and the perfect wedding dress, and... I'm getting carried away now.

I came to Sudan to slim down but I really think this country is fattening me up. I've eaten more take aways now than in the upcoming months of my holiday - especially pizza. They have hotdog pizzas here, like, whoever came up with that deserves an award. Plus they have all the different chocolate bar milkshakes. And the all the chocolate bar ice creams. We need this back in London, asap. 
I've visited both Afra mall and Al Waha mall and all I literally do is go to restaurants and eat. Maybe look around and buy one thing, but primarily, eat. It's not all unhealthy though, the fruit here is much more delicious. Especially mangoes. I love mangoes, they're the best fruit idc, and Sudanese mangoes are just orgasmic. I'm really tempted to fill a suitcase up with them and bring them back with me. Sorry but I needed to mention about food and restaurants cos food = life. 


Of course there was another wedding, of a relative I've never met, but this one was in Kassala, a city far from the capital, located near the Eritrean border. At first I was a bit skeptical about going but you gotta try new experiences right? We were up at 5am and on the road for 9 hours so you can imagine how I was feeling. That all changed when we arrived and it was obvious that this was a beautiful town, much greener, more nature filled than where I was used to and so much colder! We were welcomed with open arms to stay with our distant family. By the way, whenever you feel like you know who your family are and that you've met all your relatives.. think again, because I guarantee there are more cousins, more aunts and uncles, more great aunts and uncles that you didn't know existed, but they somehow know of you..? I never really understood this.

The day before the wedding, my family (the close relatives I actually know) and I went to go see the mountains. Kassala is known for the huge mountains that overlook the small city.. 

The view was breathtaking, I think the picture above says more than enough.

Of course, I had to climb one of the mountains, and take an awesome picture..

that my brother had to so kindly photobomb. 

This was 100% worth the hike in my sandals and was another thing ticked off my bucket list. Tradition says that if you drink from the water of the mountain, you must return, so of course I drank from it and hopefully I will be back in good time inshallah. Kassala is definitely a must go for anyone in Sudan!

I think I was more excited about the mountains and greenery than I was about my second cousin getting married and getting to be one of her bridesmaids. This wedding was better than the other, and consisted of much more dancing and fun and more of the traditional Sudanese stuff they do in weddings. 

Back to Khartoum, one place I went more than a few times and will definitely go again is the Nile street. Sitting by the river Nile at night with the cool breeze and the quiet sound of the water flowing is one of those small things in life that just makes me feel at peace. This world has a lot to appreciate, just in its beautifully natural state, which is one of the reasons why I love this country so much. You can't beat sitting by the longest river in the world, or climbing huge mountains, or walking among a gorgeously green orchard, filled with bananas and guavas and mangoes. Technology has nothing on that. 

I know this post is super long - sorry! - but this is probably the only time I'll have so much to say. So yeah, I've had an awesome holiday so far, one I'm glad to share with you. 

Lots of love

- Mars x

Saatchi Gallery.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

So... about a week ago *shmoney dance* (yes I have to do it every single time I say or hear it), The blogger and also my friend, Zahra and I decided to go get lost in the world of art; and next thing we knew we ended up at the famous Saatchi gallery. Can I say first off that this place is absolutely INCREDIBLE. It got some very interesting art pieces on display, which allowed me to use my brain for once.

First let me tell you a couple of things about the gallery. The gallery is based near Sloane Square Station (one stop after Victoria on the District line). It's about a 5 minute walk from the station. The gallery exhibits contemporary art from unknown artists all over world, which is awesome. 

We got there at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon because the oh so great Maps app on my iPhone seem to lose us in the city, making us waste about half an hour trying to find the place. Luckily I wasn't wearing my heels, cause my feet would've been dead by the time we arrived there. The building was so huge, you can't miss it at all. 

The first section we entered had a massive installation of blue plastic bags
The installation was made by Jean-Francois BoclĂ© and contains 97000 plastic bags! We were so tempted to jump in it..

From there we went from section to section, most things were very interesting and eye catching. 

Painting by Federico Herrero, one of my fav paintings that was displayed at the gallery. It felt like I belonged in that colourful fantasy world more than the world I live in.

Piece by Ephrem Solomon made of wood, had to get so close to see all the detail. 

LADIES WE MADE IT! I felt like shouting that in the middle of the quiet gallery. This piece actually contains arabic writing too, but the writing was very hard to read. By Eddy Ilunga Kamuanga. 

Was checking out all the pieces while Zahra caught me off guard..

All pieces by Darrel Hawkins, fantasy.

My absolute fav! you can interpret this piece in so many ways, so many meanings to it. As I captioned this pic when I posted it on instagram " And I promise you, even when you go your separate ways.. If it's written for you that your paths will cross again, it shall happen." Piece by Diego Mendoza Imbachi.

Photographs - Mikhael Subotzky
Paintings - Aboudia
Jute sacks - Ibrahim Mahama
I have to admit, most photographs were heartbreaking.. We have such a blessed life compared to so many people.

Almost everything was so intriguing and interesting, Zahra found it kinda unusual that I loved the gallery so much. Felt like I was in my element. 

If you can't tell how much I enjoyed myself there, then I'll tell you - I absolutely loved it. There were some pieces on display that were somewhat (very) inappropriate, and of course Zahra and I had a laugh about it! 

We wandered through a whole floor called "Dead: A celebration of mortality." Yeah as I'm sure you can tell, it had paintings and photographs of dead people, even some "bodies" made out of clay and whatnot laying down on the ground... dead. Yeah.. pretty morbid and kinda scary if you're not into that stuff, and.. let's just say I'm not. 

After our visit to the gallery we decided to go eat at a burger place based near Oxford circus. Because burgers. And because, you know, looking at paintings makes you very hungry. Well, actually doing anything makes me hungry. Hahaha don't judge. After filling our stomachs we hung out at the park near my house and took more and more pictures cos that's just what we do. 

Awesome day, and I have to say, the Saatchi gallery is definitely worth a visit!

Lots of love

- Ze x

Ps. Entry to to gallery is free!

All photography - Zahra
Edited by - Mars (duhh, can't do it without my other half)

First things first..

Friday, 31 July 2015

Hey guys!

It's Zahraa & Marwa [aka Ze and Mars] and welcome to our blog - full of fashion, art and photography. First up, let's tell you a bit about ourselves.. We are both university students, aged 20 and 19 from the oh so great UK.  

So who is Ze? 
Ze's the fashionista, the wild one, so feisty, and the girl is totally loca. But deep down she is a total sweetheart. 
And so who is Mars?
Mars is the brains, the creative and funny one. Oh so stubborn but yet so warmhearted and cute. 

Our love story began around 3 years ago, when the beloved Ze decided to fly across Europe and make London her new hometown, and met the love of her life Mars in college and sparks flew instantly. They knew it was true love when they found so much in common - their love for music, dance, photography, and just generally being wild. Rarely did the two ever fight, and their love grew stronger by the day and still it grows.. 

Although we question each others sanity all the time.. The mutual love, understanding, connection and our strong friendship makes us great together. So why not share how great we are (not really no..) with you guys? 

Follow our journey in this crazy world and we hope you find our posts both interesting and beneficial! :)

Lots of love