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The Universe of Sawwad

Sawwad kingdom
Map of the Sawwad Kingdom – Location: Parallel Universe
Once upon a time… in a parallel universe, there lay the Kingdom of Sawwad where our three heroines lived.

Nazrul had always known of the great prophecy. She even spent countless hours dreaming of the farfetched possibility of being the chosen one. But not until the night of the coinciding three full moons did a mystical turn of events take place and change the course of her destiny forever.

Meanwhile in the northern outer regions of Sawwad a new empire was being built to rival that of the capital – led by non-other than the Bionic Diva herself, Sufana, who will stop at nothing to claim her victory.

Nazrul will need all the help she can get on her quest towards Dragon’s Mount. An incredible adventure is about to begin, as Madina, the Oracle of Light and Love, discovers her magical powers and awakens the Ethereal Dancer from within. Will she be able to bring forth the secret key to unlocking Sawwad’s rightful ruler?

Next article: Meet the Avatars

Sawwad logo in Arabic

The Prophecy

Awaken The Dragon

As castles of tyranny begin to shake,

celestial monarchies will fall.

A new empire forged in the wake

will uphold our greatest call.

The collective unites to a common intention

and forces within will rise

A leader to harness the magical dimension

springs forth from the land of the wise.

But first a test that must be passed

with shadows of ashes and grim,

A quest to march to the Dragon Lands,

command the beast at their whim.

Body by Design

Have you ever had that horrible dream where you walk into a party and you and the girl to your right are wearing the exact same dress? Let’s take that further and turn it into a “Who wore it best?” competition. Cruel, I know. Seriously though, we’ve all been there, we’ve all seen 2 girls wearing the exact same dress, one radiating and the other just existing. Why does that happen? How is it that the same piece of clothing can look totally different on 2 different people?

Well, it turns out fashion doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Fashion doesn’t just exist in clothes. It’s a state of mind, the way you carry yourself through life, your thoughts, attitude, energy. It’s expressed in everything you do but very few actually see it that way.

We live in a highly exhibitionist world. The world of fashion is ladled with messages of “look at me, look at me” and “buy me, buy me”. You have to carry a thousand dollar bag, or wear a certain type of dress or Louboutin shoes to impress. These days, as Diane Von Furstenberg puts it, “The world is completely product polluted, too much everything, in every colour, in every price,” so what would you bring to the table that’s different?

I used to be a follower of trends for many, many years. I was always shopping the latest collections until one day, I stood in front of my closet and didn’t want to wear any of it. None of it looked good anymore. None of it felt like me anymore. When that happens, it’s time to reevaluate. What makes you, you? Is it the clothes you spend hours each week shopping for online? Or is it the mind and body that you’ve been taking for granted? What if fashion wasn’t about the clothes you wear but rather the skin you’re in and the body that carries us through life? How would that change the game?

I’m here to tell you, it’s never actually been about the clothes you put on. It’s about how you feel in the clothes and the energy you bring forward. If you start with the source which is you, not the clothes, then it’s a very different story you’ll be telling. What is the story you choose to tell?

“You can slip into the simplest black dress and look like a million dollars.“

I haven’t always been good to myself. I used to live a sedentary life, sitting at a desk for 10 hours a day and walking only to the car and back. Sitting on a couch at home eating chips and salsa was the regular. Until I realised that this lifestyle wasn’t a choice but the unfortunate side effect of not following my body’s instinct: it’s natural need to keep moving. In staying still, I drained my body of its energy and cut it at the source.

So I started to listen to my body. I went to boxing, spinning, barre, yoga; trying everything under the sun to figure out what it is my body wanted. With every workout, my body craved it more. It was finally being heard. The way I saw exercise started to change. Instead of seeing it as a burden, it was a celebration of what I can do, how far I can push myself. Eventually I found a workout that I love – barre, I’m looking at you – and I stuck to it.

Finding a workout you love helps you start to see your body as a source of fun. Just like when we were kids, running around the playground, riding bicycles, jumping on trampolines. That shouldn’t change because we’re older. Moving is fun, exercise is fun! You just need to find what is fun for you.

Your body is made to move. Follow that instinct, that urge to walk, to run, to dance, to jump. Your body wants to be as fit and strong and beautiful as you want to be. The more you exercise, the stronger you become, physically and mentally. Seeing your body change through exercise brings a feeling of accomplishment that makes you feel good about your body and yourself. Confidence will radiate from the inside out, and accentuate your fashion statement into a different realm. So you can slip into the simplest black dress and look like a million dollars. A powerful look starts with a powerful mindset, a beautiful look starts with a beautiful mindset.

Your body is the source. It’s the vessel of your life. It’s with you through good times and bad. It’s our duty to be good to it and nourish it. When you’re good to it, it’s good to you. Your mindset changes, your energy shifts, you become radiant, confident. So here’s your chance to design your life around your body. How would you build it?

The Power of Music: Why Beats Move our Soul

Missy Elliot’s song once infamously reverberated, “Music makes you lose control…” But does it? It’s hard to imagine anything making you lose control in these times that we’re going through.

The monumental effects of quarantine land amidst the Covid pandemic make the thought of losing control seem like a far-flung memory amidst the sluggish blur of lockdown.

It’s like Mother Nature has sent us to our rooms for a Time-Out and said, “Think about what you’ve done” – so why not use this time wisely?

I have noticed that two things happen when you live through an era of arm-twisting change, as we are now. Firstly, there is an inevitable surge of artistic creativity and second we remember our passions, our purpose and what truly moves us in this world. We witness the rise of our senses: acutely tuning into our surroundings – learning to decipher between the noises we need to block out and ones which we need to tune right into.

This is exactly the time when we have to reach deep into our childlike inner selves and remember.

The power of rhythm and beats is well documented throughout human history. Music is what moved us in our childhood, provided a soundtrack to our adolescent growing pains, been our solace during sad times and our cue to experiment with moving our body to a tempo – and I’m certain you can think of many more memories where its presence changed the very essence of the whole experience.

Its physiological cognitive and emotional benefits have been proven scientifically and utilized to increase oxytocin levels as it is associated with physiological relaxation. Studies also found that listening to fast-tempo music was accompanied by decreases in cortisol levels, which was associated with emotional excitement and power (Ooishi, Mukai, Watanabe, Kawato, & Kashino, 2017). Music interventions, quite literally, have the potential to enhance the overall quality of life (Vasionytė & Madison, 2013).

The joy of a melody is primal to our very construction as human beings – and lately I’ve been discovering that it’s not only humans who get psyched over a good beat – birds, monkeys and even sea lions share this fascination with us too! (I could go on this topic for quite a bit – but I will ironically practice some self-control and stick to the subject at hand.)

“It’s like Mother Nature has sent us to our rooms for a Time-Out and said, “Think about what you’ve done” – so why not use this time wisely?”

Even in the confinement of our homes, surrounded by the angst of uncertainty, we have the ability to block out all unnecessary noise, rediscover our passion for music and drift off into another vibrational frequency altogether.

I went out hunting for the best set of headphones the market has to offer today – and by ‘out’ I mean online… naturally – and stumbled upon two incredible findings that reawakened my inner roar!

Mixcder’s top of the range wireless E10s have an insane bang-for-buck ratio. They look amazing, feel amazing, are lighter than air and beautifully accentuate the sound of the beat as they minimise (if not entirely cancel) external noise. Their light weight and budget-friendly price tag does not compromise on aesthetics however – the build quality is top-notch, padding on the headrest sleek, they fold in half, the chrome hardware accents are meticulously designed and the carry case is pretty styling too.

They come built-in with 4 buttons for full control over your music, most exciting is the ANC feature (Automatic Noise Cancelling); which according to Mixcder, will reduce 96 per cent of ambient low-frequency sound. Although ANC mode drains the battery life faster, a three-hour charging session will fully recharge the headset. While off of ANC, a one-hour charge will give 30 hours battery life!

Wearing the E10s felt premium and inspiring – so much so that I wanted to explore all the different genres of music and how differently each would sound through them.

This is when I unearthed my second finding: 8D music.

What?! How long has this been around? And why have I not known about this before?

Go on… try and google this craziness. It’s like having your eyes – well ears in this case – open up to a whole new world out there!

Mixcder E10: Active Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphone $112

Welcome to the future: technology has conjured up the ability to cross into new thresholds yet again.  As you listen, you’ll notice that the music is not limited to your headset, but rather emanating from the space around you. Creating the illusion of being surrounded by the sound, you hear the beats from the outside rather than within.

The only drawback is that you need a solid pair of headphones to enjoy this creative marvel. Luckily, we now have the perfect ones on hand and an absolute abundance of time to relish in our new discoveries.

What my Aura Reading told me about my life

Straight of the bat, I need to come clean with you. You’re about to read a story about what most would consider a questionable experience so you need to know the lens through which it was penned. I love new-age everything! I enjoy the occasional chakra reading, read my horoscope on the regular, keep crystals in my home and burn sage when I’m feeling overwhelmed. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard about a little place in Chinatown, New York that does aura photography and readings.

Built on slightly more solid ground than chakra readings, aura photography was invented in the 1930s by a Russian electrical engineer, Semyon Kirlian. It is a process that visually captures the electromagnetic energy field given off by a person or object. The energy field, otherwise known as an aura, represents our state of mind and is constantly changing to reflect that. Basically, you have a big glow of light coming out of you.

On a scorching hot Friday afternoon in New York City, I dragged my ever-so-sceptical friends down to Chinatown to have our auras read. Magic Jewelry is a little shop that sells crystals and has a small photo studio set-up with a basic chair and white background to shoot your aura picture. With only two aura-readers working in the store, we patiently waited for those ahead of us to finish their readings. As we did, many more women trickled in and the excitement kicked in. “This must be good”, I thought to myself, “with so many people lining up to have their auras read.”

As my turn came, I sat down on a little chair and was asked to place my hands on metal fingerprints on the boxes to my side. The hand sensors measure the energy field around your body & the camera registers the different currents as different colours in the photo. As my aura picture was coming through it revealed bright hues of red and yellow emanating around me. It was finally time for my aura reading.

According to the lady at the counter, the way it works is that your energy moves left to right so the left side of the photograph represents your past, the right side your future, and the middle your present. The energy is emitted by your chakras, which are the energy points in your body, and changes every 21 days, depending on what is happening in your life and how you’re feeling.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with chakras, there are 7 basic chakras along your spine each associated with a colour and an aspect of consciousness.

The reading started off with a few generic comments, “you’re a positive person.” “you’re tired and need a break.” But eventually she got to the good stuff. She talked about how I had been grappling with the idea of a fresh start recently. I want to change careers, I want to move forward but I’m stuck on what direction to take. She continued telling me that I’m surrounded by people with lots of opinions on the matter, each pushing me to take a direction they think would be best but none of which feel right to me. Most importantly, she said, you know what you want to do. You know what you want for yourself, your career and your life, you just need to do it.

There’s the catch. I’ve always been a little slow to start. I know what I want to do. I know what’s right for me but I struggle to take that first step, and the next one, and the one after that. Instead, I listen to the majority and do what they think is best, which is probably why I had been struggling with this for so long. I have to admit she was pretty spot-on. She told me exactly what I needed to hear to help catapult me in the right direction.

“You know what you want to do. You know what you want for yourself, your career and your life, you just need to do it.” 

The experience gave me a lot of insight into my current state of mind but is it for everyone? Probably not. I think it’s helpful for those who would like some guidance or clarity on their current life or career situation. If you are looking for it though, aura readings could be a good chance to gain some awareness and maybe learn something new about yourself.

Meet Our Trend Expert


“ZAINA NASSER”

So excited to announce our newest member of the Sawwad family, Zaina Nasser, aka Z !!! She’ll be joining us as our in-house trend expert, keeping her finger on the pulse of the latest fashion & cultural trends through a unique & holistic lens. 

Zaina comes with a strong background in the advertising industry, starting her journey with Saatchi & Saatchi in Canada. In 2011, she moved to the UAE and joined TBWA managing brands such as Royal Opera House Muscat, Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Summer Surprises, and twofour54.

Her work focused on inspiring the youth and planting the seed for unique content creation in the region. Her most recent project was with Apple as a trend and local market expert, advising on content and local communication strategy. 


“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls” 

Joseph Campbell