A Representation Of Us: Rayyana Baghazal

This Black History Month, we asked the students of LAU to tell us a bit about the place they call home and why it inspires them. Rayyana Baghazal from level Visual Communication tells us her favourite things about her home city, Mombasa.

 

Hi, I'm Rayyana and I'm a Kenyan-Arab, I find there's a bit of a cross over between the two cultures but I take a lot of inpspiration from the Swahili Coast and specifically, Mombasa where I'm from.

Mombasa is the coastal city in southeastern Kenya along the Indian Ocean and is largely known for its beaches and delicious coastal food.



Although it's known for its beautiful white sandy beaches, it is also known for its tiny streets and old historic buildings. The original founding of the Island is unknown, however 'old town' - a well known area of Mombasa - was built in 1897, it is the oldest part of Kenya and was at one time exclusively European.






You'll often see people wearing colourful, bright-patterned 'lesos' (scarves/wrappings) that are usually inscribed with sayings or Swahili phrases across them and adds to the beauty of the design. These are worn by anyone and everyone, it is very much the signature look of a typical Swahili.





Then of course, there’s the food! Mombasa is most famously known for its amazing home dishes. Delicacies like Viazi, Mahambri, Byriani and from my Arabic side, there’s Arabic coffee and Halwa which is traditionally known as a dessert and is served as a welcome meal in households.









Mombasa is a place of comfort and ease for most but it is also a big tourist hotspot. I love Mombasa because of how welcoming and caring the people are. No matter who you are or where you're from, if you need help with anything someone will help you out. You'll always find people sharing food, helping with chores or lending household items. There's a saying back home which is: 'Your neighbourhood is your best friend, because we treat each and everyone near us like family.'