11 – Reem and Arsalan, the Native Bohemians

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Emirati architect Alamira Reem Bani Hashim came back from 12 years in California with a PHD in Urban Planning, becoming the 1st female Emirati with that distinction*. In this episode she explains why she left the UAE at 17 to study abroad on her own. Describing herself as an overachiever and perfectionist, Reem experienced depression, an imposter syndrome, but finally found herself and her own identity.
Her husband Arsalan explains how they met and what matters for them as a couple in the Emirati context. Both are also partners in business after founding an interior design company with an original concept and name that resonates with their lives: “The Native Bohemians”.

This episode was hosted by Nathalie Gillet, and recorded in public at the French language institute Alliance française, by Fahim Benchouk from the company Fuzyo.

* Episode 10 of “Emirati stories” was dedicated to Reem’s work on Abu Dhabi and the story of city’s urban development. We strongly recommend her recently published book “Planning Abu Dhabi”.

** Music: “Unbury Your Heart”, by Snowflake

About the Author
Nathalie is based in Abu Dhabi and develops content strategies for local companies. Prior to that she worked as a business journalist specialised in the Middle East for over 15 years for a variety of media outlets, including France 24 TV, Radio France International (RFI), Jeune Afrique, La Tribune, Marchés Tropicaux et Méditerranéens and The National (Abu Dhabi). She speaks English, French, German and Arabic.

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