Random Stars - Emirati All-Girl Rock Band
Over a week ago, The National featured a story about Random Stars, "the first Emirati all-girl rock band". The papers here like to sensationalise anything done by an Emirati that is otherwise deemed quite ordinary in any other country. There's also a tendency by many Emiratis to claim they're the first to do anything (in this country), which again if it happened anywhere else, no one would bat an eyelid (e.g. first Emirati metro driver, first Emirati taxi driver).
But I must confess, even I found this story about Random Stars quite charming. Not sure about the accuracy of them being the first Emirati all-girl rock band (I'd like to think there are/have been other Emirati girls jamming in a majlis somehere in this country) - but it was great to see these young girls pursuing music, something that isn't necessarily encouraged in this part of the world.
About Random Stars:
The young women are all students at the Higher Colleges of Technology at Al Ain, and were brought together by English teacher Jackie Small from the UK. Remarkably, given the standard of their performance during an art exhibition at the college yesterday, only one of them had played an instrument before the band formed last year.
"I've always started bands wherever I've gone. I used to do that in the UK," said Ms Small. "When I started teaching here there were clubs so I thought I'd start a music club, but there was already one.
"So I decided to do a guitar club and there were a few people interested. I had in my mind a band so I got a drum kit and taught someone to play the drums, and I got a bass and taught them to play that.
"So we had the basis of a band, and last year they really got together and played a few songs."
Initially Ms Small was the driving force behind the project, but she was determined from the start to hand it over to the members.
"My idea was to let them own it, I had to step back so that they could take over so it's their band. They get together, they organise rehearsals, they do the hard work."
Initially the musicians, who all live in Al Ain, adapted classics such as Smoke on the Water and less rocky material such as the Jack Jones' 60s classic Baby, I'm Yours. However Ms Small added: "When they come back in September they're going to work on their own songs." (via The National)
So far, Random Stars which consists of Bushra Hassan Al Hashimi (rhythm guitar), Hamda Al Ghaithi (lead guitarist), Aysha Salem Al Kaabi (bass player), Aysha Abdullah Al Maskari (drummer), Almayasa Al Kaabi (keyboard player) have been performing college events, but hope they get a chance to play to a wider audience.
I'd like to dedicate this song, "Girls Who Plays Guitars' by Maximo Park to Random Stars. Hats off to them, hope we get to see (and hear) more of them in the near future. And here's to girls everywhere that follow their dreams.
[image via The National]