Just a few days before this year’s Ramadan started, I jetted off to Tanger (Morocco) where I teamed up with Aywa to shoot the #aywagirl video for the new Eid collection 2015. The idea was to choose my favorite three abaya’s for three different locations. A very hard choice to make, as the whole collection was truly beautiful. Choosing the location however was much more easier. If I had to name Tanger in three locations, it would be the Grand Bazaar, Cafe el Hafa and the Caves of Hercules.
Packed with a lot of excitement, we started the day in Casabarata. One of the most crowded areas in Tanger. Well known for the Grand Souk and the ‘Jamaah Saudi’, a mosque build by Shaykh Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, the King of Saudi Arabia from 1982 to 2005. And also not unimportant, it was the place where I was born. So when I was asked to be the #aywagirl for this campaign I already was excited, but when I knew the campaign was going to be shot in my hometown it made me even more excited!
After we did a photoshoot in Casabarata, we continued to the Grand Bazaar of Tanger. An old souk where small little boutiques sell traditional Moroccan products like lamps, carpets, leather bags, caftans, souvenirs and so on. A place that actually brings together shopping locals and wandering tourists. The perfect location for the first outfit showing a contrast between modernity and traditions.
For the second location, we headed out to El Hafa. A centuries old tea cafe with view over the ocean, that has welcomed many writers and artists over the years that were seeking for inspiration. Tanger can be intense and overwhelming sometimes, so I often like to escape to the quietly prosperous suburb. Accompanied by the Mediterranean breeze, the blue sky and the best seafront view of Tanger, I could sit there for hours and hours. Of course, we did not have time to do that, because we were heading quickly to our next stop: the Caves of Hercules.
On our way to the Caves of Hercules I was telling the Aywa team all about the legend of Hercules. Did you know that the sea opening of the cave is shaped in the form of Africa? Did you know that Hercules has actually really lived here? You could tell I was filled with excitement to take the Aywa team to the shooting location. When we finally arrived at the location a not-so-pleasant sign welcomed us: UNDER CONSTRUCTION.
There was no time to be disappointed, as the sunset was almost going down. We drove further and got past the beaches of Achakar and spontaneously stopped near the camels. A guy was untying his camels, ready to go home, when we approached him for a chance to do a quick photoshoot. ‘Sir, what’s the name of this camel?’ ‘I don’t know. I don’t give them names.’ A few seconds later he looked up and asked: ‘What would you name her?’ ‘Is it a she?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Then i would like to name her Camelia’ (I know I am very original et all with bringing up names). But looking at how the pictures turned out, I think Camelia was quite happy with her new name.
So, the result of this long day in Tanger? Watch the video below.
I had such a great time being a part of this campaign and being surrounded by so many creative people. Many thanks to the designer Waqaas Ahmed, and also to Halima Begum from the Photography & Styling company WWAGS.
The ‘Nostalgia’ Eid collection by Aywa, can be purchased here online.