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SELF ISOLATION 101: Shuks Mohamed.

IN AN ATTEMPT TO CONNECT AND CREATE, I’LL BE TALKING TO WOMXN ALL OVER THE WORLD ABOUT HOW THEIR LIVES HAVE CHANGED DURING QUARANTINE…

Shukriya Mohamed is a young, fierceness womxn. Pushing things forward in the UAE in terms of feminism and plus-size fashion, she is a go-to for many when wanting an honest opinion – hence why I have interviewed her previously on the effect of social media on MENA girls. She is currently self-isolating in her apartment in Dubai: “I live with my sister Kiwi thankfully! I’m really blessed to be with her during this time. She’s stopped a lot of my spirals and panics – she’s like my second mom – and even though she’s still working full-time from home, she’s taking care of us and keeping me from shaving my head.”

Shuks always assumed she was the kind of person who could handle change, “maybe I wouldn’t be the happiest about it, but I would still get through it.” Although, she states that being at home for this amount of time, and away from my friends initially took its toll on her mentally. “I didn’t realise how much I loved being outdoors and surrounded by my people. I miss going to work and seeing my colleagues and I miss routine.” Right now, that routine she mentions is gone. Her sleep schedule has been completely disrupted – sleeping around 6am and waking around 4pm – although she doesn’t find it too surprising. “I usually function this way during Ramadan, or when I’m between jobs,” she says, “I’m a lot more creative and productive in the night than I am in the mornings. I come alive when it’s dark.”

What about the mundanities of life: what has she been missing during these unprecedented times of quarantine? “I miss being on set and working. I miss my friends so much, [just] being physically around them and being able to hug or touch them. I even miss my nail lady – I hope she’s keeping safe. She’s probably my first call when we’re allowed outside.” When I ask about what she’s enjoying now; what joys she’s finding in her downtime, she mentions her skincare routine, and how it had become almost robotic before isolation began. “It used to be selfcare heaven for me, but I just got so busy that it took a back seat. Now I look forward to it: caring for myself and grooming myself is so fun and I can actually track how much better my skin is doing. It’s really simple but I look forward to it now when I wake up.” The other thing getting her through these tough times? Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding.

Shuks is a creative. She is in the in media and film production industry, so for her, everything has come to a screeching halt. Of course, this is quite upsetting, but she is fully understanding that it is for a greater good. So, to past the time, she has taken up some personal projects: “I’ve been reconnecting with my roots as a Somali womxn, and doing quite a bit of research on my culture. Immersing myself in as much information as I can find.” For escapism, she’s discovered African house music, and in particular a genre from South Africa called Gqom; “not sure what I’ll do with this super random new interest, but we shall see.” She is also relaunching her website… sitting still isn’t really her forte.

Social media is keeping Shuks entertained, for sure – mainly all the cooking and cat posts she says. “The workout videos are getting a little out of hand because there’s just so many, and it does make me feel like I’m not doing enough but I dismiss those thoughts just as fast as they come to mind.” She’s also relishing how much creative output there right now, considering we can’t leave our homes, “I love seeing what people are producing. There’s a silver lining on social media in times like this, and it’s creatives under pressure from the universe.” I certainly agree.

Follow Shuks on INSTAGRAM.