‘Sitting with Sass’ Featuring Yara Ashkar

Yara describes herself as rather being a jack of all trades than a master of none. Whilst working within the fashion industry as a designer, she has also launched her career as a yoga teacher in Haifa, Israel, one of the first to be leading classes in Arabic. It is also Yara’s knowledge and practice of Ayurvedic treatment has led to her involvement with start projects which aim to promote self-care and wellbeing to women living as refugees in the West Bank.  Yara was kind enough to answer some of my questions I had about the pressures woman living as an Arab Palestinian in Israel feel and the effect their society has had on… Read More

Singer Maysa Daw: “If I want to end the unrealistic standards of beauty that we live by, I should start actively changing my own approach instead of just talking about it.”

Maysa Daw is a Palestinian Singer/Songwriter from Haifa. She performs both as a solo artist as well as with the renowned Palestinian rap group DAM (Da Arabian MC’s). We sat down to discuss the sense of responsibility Maysa has as a female Palestinian musician, and the path she is treading to encourage a sense of self love. I love singing, it the thing I am most grateful for in the world and I think choosing a career in music has given me a responsibility that I very much respect and love to be a part of.   Being… Read More

The Anomalies by Bethany Burgoyne

On the anniversary of Sassy Stories 1st Birthday, Founder and Artist Bethany Burgoyne has been reflecting on the catalyst for this project’s existence. She leads us through her own story that has unraveled in the last 12 months, and questions why, even though she is advocating the ability for women to speak up, she still finds herself hitting her own mute button.   “The act of making art exposes a society to itself… It illuminates us…(and) casts a beam into the heart of our own darkness and says “see?”.  Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way     I obsessively file… Read More

Maram Kablawi. Empowering Arab girls one step at a time.

A year ago in London, Sassy was introduced to Maram Kablawi, the Director and Founder of Andalus School of Flamenco and Culture in Haifa, Israel. Hearing how passionately Maram spoke of her project and her aim to empower and educate Arab girls through Flamenco, was a catalyst for the recent research trip Sassy has undertaken.   Spending two weeks in Andalus observing, documenting and understanding Maram’s vision provoked questions about the culture of Arab Society, it’s affect on women and girls, as well as the challenges faced when living as Palestinian Arabs… Read More

From Enemy to Friend

I never thought I could be friends with my enemy. I never thought I would be able to sit at the same table with someone so different from me and carry on a conversation. I was frightened to open up and let out the feelings I’d been taught to hide to avoid being singled out for retaliation. It was like a mouse becoming a cat’s best friend. Absurd. Growing up in an environment where I was taught my entire life that the Israeli government had taken my family’s land, which had happened during… Read More

Searching for Sassy. Chapter 3

  After spending two months in Romania, travelling through the country and having conversations with locals and foreigners, I can introduce to you the ladies. Four characters inspired by the women and girls who engaged with Sassy and shared their views of female identity within the Romanian society. Chapter 3 A Sassy Society                   Stories written by Bethany Burgoyne Illustrations by Bethany Burgoyne  

Suzanne’s Story

   * Vulvodynia is a persistent, unexplained chronic pain that effects the vulvar area and occurs without an identifiable cause. It has only recently been recognised by doctors as a real syndrome.* * Bulimia is an emotional disorder involving distortion of body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight, in which bouts of extreme overeating are followed by depression and self-induced vomiting, purging, or fasting.* What is your relationship with your body? It depends on the day, the hour, what I’m doing and it depends on my underwear. I could look… Read More

Searching for Sassy. Chapter 2

  By taking Sassy up to the North of Romania revealed a dramatic change in mindset from the South. Introducing the people of Maramures; one man, one Swiss, one teen, one inspiring woman! Chapter 2 Maramures Mentality                  Stories written by Bethany Burgoyne Illustrated by Bethany Burgoyne  

Searching for Sassy. Chapter 1.

In a search to understand how culture effects the identity of a woman, Sassy has taken itself off to do a bit of research in different countries. Searching for Sassy is a story book of introductions. Welcoming you to meet the people you haven’t seen before and hear the views they have to share. Made up of fictional characters from different walks of life, each introduction is an impression of the people Sassy met along the way. Chapter 1 Bucharest (and a little bit beyond).                

When I feel the most vulnerable? Stripping down to the naked truth.

This month I have been exploring the relationships women have with their bodies; what effects their self-confidence and where insecurities grow from. When I asked Rosa if she would be involved with this month’s project of Embodying, she suggested I painted her body. This process and the conversations we had throughout exposed a fragile side to one of the most confident women I know. As we discussed the relationship she has with her body, it became clear there was still a vulnerability she was wanting to face.     BB: Hi Rosa! Thanks for being a part of this project. So we’re talking about body confidence. Personally I have felt… Read More