Monday, 9 March 2015

BBC 100 Women - All things women

Who are the BBC's 100 Women of 2014?:
Read Daily StarArticle

26th October 2014- BBC 100 Women
From one TV and Radio appearance (Latvia) to the next, next up - BBC London as one of BBC's 100 Women again... Three women's conferences in the space of 2 weeks...Any issues or questions you have are welcome - to raise on "bringing up young girls". The keynote speakers include Joyce Banda, President of Malawi from 2012 to May 2014 and named by Forbes magazine as the most powerful woman in Africa and Shappi Khorsandi, the Iranian-born British comedian. Joining them will be Professor Lesley Yellowlees, the first woman president of the UK Royal Society of Chemistry in its 171 year history and the inspiring young entrepreneur, Shazia Saleem will be sharing her experiences of setting up her own ready meals company.

Monday, 9th March 2015 - International Women's Week
I am full. In a good way. I have met some strong, inspiring women in the past 7 days. I attended a workshop at the most amazing IKWRO where Middle Eastern women exchanged recipes, laughed and told their life stories. One Afghan woman I met had 7 children (including two sets of twins!) and sought asylum in the UK. She had been through a lot, I won't go into detail here, but it is pretty gruesome how they treat women there. What fantastic work IKWRO is doing.
Yesterday, I attended the last event of the Women of the World festival, where Salma Hayek delivered an empowering message to women from all walks of life, after presenting animated pic “The Prophet,” which she produced. 'The only barrier we have is our brain', she says. Everyone should have Gibran's The Prophet on their bedside table. What an ethereal work.
Oh, and apparently we are related through my maternal grandma!…/salma-hayek-closes-women-of-the-world…/

Saturday, 21 February 2015

1-Woman, Many Hats - interview by Nauf AlBendar

1- What was your dream as a kid and why?
To be a writer, a doctor or diplomat. In one way or another, all three ambitions were about making a difference in people’s lives.

2- What woman inspires you and why?
I can’t think one in particularly, but both the women and men in my life who have influenced and inspired me have had a common ground, in that they are all their own person. Despite external obstacles, they have fought hard and their minds are flying like birds. They have an endless amount of generosity oozing out of them. And they treat everyone equally.

3- How and where do you find inspiration?
When I’m most relaxed and in transition, e.g. on the way somewhere.

4- Whats your productivity secret? and how do you balance your interests?
Telling yourself that there is a time and place for everything. Mornings are crucial to have for myself as creative space. It’s the time when I’m most clear. Birds tweet, sun rising, the world’s cogs haven’t started yet.

5- What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I count all my endeavours big or small as an accomplishment. A little pat on the back should always be given to oneself.

6- What does ‘successful’ means to you?
‘Successful’ means exuding confidence in whatever path you have taken, since there is no one path. ‘Successful’ doesn’t necessarily mean what others have branded you.

7- What do you want to be remembered for?
For my heart.

8- What is the best piece of advice you ever got? your worst?
Well, health comes first. And remembering Woody Allen, 80% of success is turning up.

9 – What did you learn from your biggest failure and what was it?
Well, a lot of my failures were a result of them not feeling right in the first place. And I learnt that that niggling feeling inside you prevents you from trying too hard to try to make it work. I am speaking of career choices or relationships.

10- If you could call yourself 5 years ago and had 30 seconds , what would you say?
Listen to yourself, dear Bushra. And don’t be afraid to take risks, even if it is against the status quo.

11-Who is the real Bushra when no one’s watching?
Brilliant question. Not far from the Bushra that people are watching, I hope. (apart from the messy hair and pjs at home ;-))

12- What was the best question anyone has ever asked you? what was your answer?
Who is Bushra when no one is watching?

13 – What are you most afraid of?

14- Night owl or early Bird? What is your daily routine?
Early bird. Compose in the morning, walks, exercise…

15- How do you spend your free time? and how do you unwind?
I watch some comedies in my transitionary periods, i.e. between my creative time and the real world.

16- From the Many hats that you have is there an extra skill you would like to learn? and why?
Well I am quickly falling in love with making films. It’s not too far from composing at all. There is a kind of freedom in creating something without having had any formal training in it.

17- I am not very good at
……relaxing. That fear of missing out is always there.

18- People often say……
that I am quirky, sparky, genuine, witty, warm…

19- My Life Mantra is……
everything is possible, and that is what I would like to hear from other people too.

20- A Woman can have it all….Myth or Reality?
Reality. It’s a mindset at the end of the day.

Monday, 30 September 2013

View from my studio

1st Blog post: (29th September 2013) Greetings from an autumnal seaside town- Visby International Composers Residency. After a few intense but rewarding days in Marseille with the Latvian Radio Choir and Saraband Ensemble and the loud banging building works above my flat, this retreat/residency was much welcome.  It is the first time I do a residency. Fears of demons appearing, etc.  Self- expectations are high as this is the place to really focus and introspect like you have never done before. What does one do in an artists residency? People go to residencies for different reasons. To focus, to breathe, and some don't even do any work, they just go around visiting places 'for inspiration'. 

 I am working on a set of piano miniatures. I thought to structure it musically on the El-Wasla Suite, (explain) usually performed at the beginning of the 19th century and typically lasts 45 minutes. After listening to an interesting piece by George Crumb's 'Voice of a Whale' piece for flute, cello and piano, I wanted to base my miniatures on a true ancient source of history. I thought that basing the miniatures on this suite wasn't enough 'food' for creative stimulus.  I had been reading about Arab superstition (which led to calling my ensemble its name- Ensemble Zar) which led me to have a chat with my good trusted source, an archeomusicologist friend of mine, Dr Richard Dumbrill who is the expert on ancient Near Eastern cultures and musics. Ideas aplenty with this residency. And time to reflect deeply upon them .

The sun sets. Each day a different colour. I ate a delicious entrecĂ´te with wine thanks to my Swiss composer flat mate here.  

 View from my room