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Yasmeen Elajou

Photographer: Leslie Hakim-Dowek

London is a tough city, and it is definitely not for everyone. When I first arrived, everyone I met told me the same thing – do not judge London from your first year. Boy, were they right. It is big and the distances between places are really far. But somewhere along the line you have to stop and think, "Wow! This is one crazy place."

Every day is different due to the weather. On sunny days, I can either go cycling to Richmond which is amazing, or kayaking in the Thames, or simply relaxing in one of the many amazing parks. On rainy days, I go indoors – to museums, the theatre – everything is here, just name it! A true Londoner is a person that knows all the secret gems here and I am still in my discovery/adventure phase.

by Yasmeen Elajou

Yasmeen was fasting for Ramadan and therefore had to eat before day breaks. We went down to the river, near where she lives, shortly after dawn. Fasting for a whole month, between sunrise and sunset, is meant to increase your spiritual awareness and bring about a renewed energy. This portrait was taken on a deserted riverbank in the first light of day.

Leslie Hakim-Dowek, photographer - www.lesliehakimdowek.net

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