If you’re looking for a unique spot, you will absolutely fall in love with this one.

Chefchaouen is known as the The Blue Pearl of Africa, it is a heavenly city in Northern Morocco situated in the Rif Mountains, just inland from Tangier and Tetouan.

Chefchaouen was established in 1471 in the Rif mountains by Jewish and Moors fleeing Spain. There’s a lot of different theories about why Chefchaouen is blue. Some say it was painted blue by the Jewish settlers after fleeing Hitler, others say it’s to keep the mosquitos away, while some just said it represents the colour of the sea or because it looks like the sky and reminds them to think of God.

We’ve always wanted to go Morocco but weren’t sure at first. We have seen plenty of photos from the city with blue walls on instagram and travel media. Firstly, it is very far from Tangier, we’ll tell you how to get there but you have to be prepared for that, don’t expect the luxury lifestyle.

Chefchaouen is full of surprises, as you know Africa is our home and this reminds us how Africa can still surprise us. It’s like stepping into a fairytale, blue everywhere like a dream and there is absolutely nothing else like it in the world. A very rare gem and this place reminds us of Santorini so much but different colour.






Things to do?


 The small city of Chefchaouen is well worth exploring for a day or two

It’s amazing vibe was very relaxed when wandering in Medina. The best way to explore the old city of Chefcaouen, is to get lost. Every corner you will find hidden gems shining with 50 shades of blue. There is no one street you need to see, you will see them all.

There are fewer tourists which is a bonus, you can take a lots of picture out there! If you fancy watching the sunset, Spanish Mosque is a must.

If you’re itching for hiking or a dip in the pool, hire a guide to take you to the beautiful surrounding countryside and visit Cascades d’Akchour ‘Waterfall’

This is a best place to shop in the street because its high quality, genuine and reasonable prices.









Where to eat?


The “Plaza” Uta el-Hammam, there are cafes and restaurants all around. This is a peaceful place to relax and try some delicious treats after a long day exploring. We had Tagine for 35 dirham, it is very very cheap and tastes amazing and authentic.

Chez Aziz – For a decent selection of pastries, make your way here. Pizzas and paninis are also delicious. You can get lovely smoothies and juices.

Cafe Restaurant Sofia and Beldi Bab Sour family run restaurant with typical Moroccan cuisine, quality and affordable.

We had a lovely drinks at the terrace of Hotel Parador, perfect place to view Chefchaouen.






Where to stay?


We had a wonderful stay at Puerta Azul, very traditional, beautiful hotel with kind hosts, breakfast is also included, we really enjoyed the Moroccan cuisine! Its easy enough to get to the main Medina of the city by foot from the hotel. If you really fancy having a spa, theres a hotel called Lina Ryad & Spa









How to get there?


Surprisingly the flight only takes 3 hours from Europe! But If you’re flying from London, there is no direct flight. So, we flew into Tangier via Casablanca, so to get to Chefchaouen from Tangier we took a taxi, please make sure you book in advance which took 2.5 hours and cost 360 MAD return.







Tips?


Morocco is a muslim country, it’s important to be respectful of their culture and dress appropriately.

Carrying cash is highly recommended as not many cash machines.

Make sure you bring your own toilet rolls everywhere, public toilets don’t provide.

Ignore the random people offering you a free guide or direction. Go to official tour guides.

 It’s really a place to chill out and enjoy being there! Taking in a wonderful culture and architecture.


 

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Happy Sunday!
Stay tuned for Casablanca x

 

 

 

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The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is the most famous flower show and it inspires millions to get outside and get green fingered. RHS takes place every year, its in full swing and the shops in Sloane Square have decided to brighten up the district with flowers.

To celebrate the Flower Show, warmer weather and those blossoming flowers, we chose some beautiful floral print perfect from River Island. We were invited by River Island Studio to select a collection (how cool is that?!) We’re sure you’ll agree the floral collection is stunning and perfect for Summer cocktail parties, BBQ’s or lounging in your favourite park. Who doesn’t love colourful and vibrant prints? We loved this collection by River Island, it feels young, fun and still manages to be chic!


Enjoy the sunshine, smell the roses and rock a floral print or two!














 

Hermon’s wearing:

River Island Kimono (similar here)  | River Island Frill Short (similar here)  | PLT T-shirt (similar here)  | River Island Heel Sandals (similar here) | River Island Earrings

Heroda’s wearing:

River Island Frill Top (similar here and here)  | River Island Trouser (similar here) | River Island Mules (similar here) | River Island Earrings

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“It has been honour to celebrate you and 98 of your fellow honourees this year with the OkayAfrica 100 Women Campaign”

By

OkayAfrica X Studio 189

Thank you for choosing us as the honourees of 2018 this year. We are still humbled to be mentioned with 98 incredible women.

“The three-piece capsule includes a kimono, head wrap, and Obi belt, each designed in colorful, earthy fabrics, and tropical designs hand-batiked in Ghana.  It was designed with the African woman of the world in mind, who works, wakes, and wanders finding her likeness and community throughout the continent and diaspora. It’s the effortlessness of a patterned layer Kimono, the accent of an Obi belt, and the command of a perfect headwrap updo that makes this collection unequivocally our own.

Hand-batiked in Accra, Ghana”














Hermon’s wearing:

OkayAfrica x Studio 189Kimono and Belt | Zara Trainers | ASOS Earrings

Heroda’s wearing:

OkayAfrica x Studio 189Kimono and Belt | Zara Trainers | ASOS Earrings (similar here)

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Spring is finally here, but the weather is so puzzling, one moment it’s sunny and the next it’s snowing or raining. On the day of the photo shoot, you have no idea how freezing it was! Yes, Mother Nature decided to punish us. All we could do was try to warm ourselves up and go with it. It all worked out well in the end as the photos look great!

We found an oversized cardigan from River Island in the sale, we loved the pop pink colour which goes so well with the gorgeous jeans by Parker Smith from Los Angeles. The dark blue, high-rise, ankle skinny jeans are a perfect fit. We still love striking flat mules, they are chic and super comfortable to walk in. They are absolutely perfect for all occasions, no wonder we are so obsessed with our shoes.

We also love Le Labo fragrances, they are a bit pricey, but worth it! Le Labo is a trendy New York-based fragrance house. Our chosen fragrance, Another 13, is clean, musky and refreshing, it makes us feel like we have been transported into the middle of a beautiful nature reserve.  Their brand is both unique and iconic producing excellent handmade perfumes and home fragrances. Once you smell one of their scents you will be totally hooked..

We are so excited the warmer weather has finally arrived and the flowers are blossoming. We are full of the joys of Spring.













 

Hermon’s wearing:

River Island Pink Cardigan (similar here)  | ASOS Stripe Tops | Parker Smith Jeans | River Island Mules (similar here) | Le Labo Another 13

| ASOS Earring (similar here)

Heroda’s wearing:

River Island Pink Cardigan (similar here)  | ASOS Stripe Tops | Parker Smith Jeans | Mango Mules | Le Labo Another 13

| ASOS Earring (similar here)

 

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It’s hard to believe we are already in March, one of our favourite months of the year, flowers are in bloom and of course, it’s Women’s History Month. Which women inspire you the most?

Haben Girma. She is an inspiration to people with disabilities as well as people without disabilities. She is living proof that if you are determined enough and if you try hard enough you will be successful. She is deaf-blind and she went to Harvard, the number one school in America.

We are excited to tell you that we have been selected by OkayAfrica as two of the Top 100 Women in the Continent. We are truly honoured to be OkayAfrica honorees 2018. Looking back, never in a million years, would we have thought we would be seeing ourselves as one of OkayAfrica honorees 2018 during Women’s History Month. We gave up everything in order to follow our dream, Being Her was created from ZERO, but also it’s proof that in the modern world many things are possible.

It’s amazing to be recognised for the work that we do.



We are proud to be part of Casetify Beautiful But Tough Campaign.

“We happen to be Deaf, we say happen, because we don’t see it as a disability as, others do. We see it as an advantage! With our hearing diminished our other senses become heightened, therefore our touch, taste and vision can appreciate different aspects maybe a hearing person wouldn’t.
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We both suffered our loss of hearing under strange circumstances. We were seven years old, playing outside (in our hometown Eritrea) one moment we could hear, the next we couldn’t. We refuse to allow being Deaf to define or hold us back. We thrive on positive thinking, taking up new challenges. We have had many difficult experiences but no matter how many up’s and down’s we experience it always brings us closer together. Our relationship is so strong because we understand each other. BEING HER was borne from frustration. We were frustrated by the Fashion Industries lack of accessibility. For a creative Industry the volume of constraints being applied to who and what can be achieved is surprising. When we feel limited, that’s when we decide to push boundaries. Our aims to challenge the world’s attitude and views towards people with disabilities
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We never allow being deaf to limit our ambition and disability doesn’t mean inability. We had to do something about it and make our voice heard! We want to inspire disabilities or people that they can make their dream come true.
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Being authentic makes us feel beautiful. Imperfections add to beauty, they draw you close, so you can fully appreciate it. Being deaf may be difficult but being scared is the real barrier. If you really want something in your life, you have to take a risk and never let anyone tell you you are weak because you’re a woman! Love being yourself and the world will love you!”



We were invited to be part of the Deafness and Self Care panel at the Women of the World Festival 2018, which was held at the Southbank Centre and were also WOW den judges.

WOW Den Judge: What do you think will change women’s lives for the better?

 It’s a bit like Dragon’s Den meets WOW, people are invited to suggest their ideas for making the world a better place for women and girls. We as judges have to decide which ideas should win. We had the best time, there were so many incredibly inspiring women conveying their ideas. The first place decision was made by a group of judges, including Olga Miler UBS Director, last year’s WOW Den winners Gabby Edlin, Mandu Reid and the founder of WOW Jude Kelly. We picked a former prisoner’s desire to help other women who have been in prison and the audience voted the second winner for a self-care festival.

Thank you to Hannah Poole for inviting us to be apart of the WOW experience it was surreal and exciting, both at the same time. It just goes to show being deaf, anything is possible.

Let’s focus on that…

Deaf Women are twice as likely to experience mental health issues as hearing women, yet most “talking therapies” such as CBT are not Deaf Aware, and self remedies such as mindfulness apps or mediation classes only cater to the hearing community. With higher risks of depression, suicide and self-harm.

 We had a discussion about the Deafness, mental health and self-care. We have learned a lot about mental health and deafness, the deaf community struggles daily with stigma and communication barriers, functioning in a hearing world can lead to mental health issues. The problem is, mental health services are too difficult for deaf people to access because of these communication problems.

Think about it, if you were a deaf person seeking help from the mental health services having a BSL/English interpreter isn’t good enough. This approach isn’t working for deaf community as three-way conversations can cause stress and/or misunderstandings. What is needed are trained therapists who are either deaf or fluent BSL users themsleves.

It’s very scary that hearing people from the profession are not aware about the issues surrounding deafness and mental health. This is something we need to discuss openly due to the high risk factor. If there are no BSL therapists or interpreters, how can they communicate? It’s important to make sure everyone has equal access to mental health services.

Any deaf people who feel that they can’t cope with their feelings or are feeling depressed, please go to SignHealth, it is a charity that is making sure Deaf people get the same access as hearing people to healthcare and health information.  We have met some amazing people who have made an impact on us concerning this issue and we applaud all their work. It’s time to change now, more awareness, will be better for everyone.

 You have to watch the Silent Child, the 2018 Oscar winner for best short film and then you will understand the issue…

We moved to USA first for several hearing tests, to get new hearing aids and speech therapy, everything we needed to help with our disability. Our mother knew we were going back to Eritrea after one year in USA because we had a wonderful home, our parents had good jobs. However they decided to move to the UK for our-sakes as the UK offered a better education and safety. There was a civil war in Eritrea. As a child we didn’t know where we were going which made us feel anxious and overwhelmed. Without the support system put in place by our parents we would have ended up in a lost world.

 We found our identity at boarding school. Sign language was so beautiful, and the deaf community just became our family. Within the hearing world, it can be lonely. As soon as we were in that deaf world, we fitted in. It was where we belonged. Signing is physical and beautiful. It’s visual, it relies quite a lot on facial expressions and a positive vibe. We want to educate you on what sign language means and give you a sense of deaf awareness. You need to be more open minded and learn sign language.

Our identity is so important to us because if we weren’t deaf, we would simply not be the way we are now. Life for us would be so different, we are proud of who we are with our deafness. Being deaf hasn’t held us back from doing what we want to do in our lives!













Hermon’s wearing :

Zara top |  Zara trouser | Lack of Color Hat (similar here)

Heroda’s wearing :

Zara top |  Zara trouser | Lack of Color Hat (similar here)

Photos by Nabih Kassam

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