Viktor and Rolf | KLM

KLM Viktor Rolf Darabzine

These days brand collaborations have become a thing of ceremonial observance. The most exciting results take place when different industries and services collaborate in tuneful juncture. Amsterdam-based fashion designers Viktor & Rolf, have partnered with Royal Dutch Airlines, KLM, to create a line of kits exclusively designed for KLM World Business Class passengers. Inspired by the bow tie, the Viktor and Rolf kit bag is genderless, and comes equipped with luxurious amenities. Think eye masks, lip balm, and designer toothpaste.

This is bound to make travel all the less detrimental for those who seek comfort in frequent travel. The partnership will entail that a new design be unveiled every year over a four-year period. The bags now have become  a collector’s item, with some appearing for sale online.


With A Brain and Belly Full

Brain and Belly Full By Faris Habayeb

He often laid newspapers around the house. Newspapers purposefully lay on the kitchen’s tiled floor, sometimes in our living room, and the bedroom. The operation ran the gamut: an incessant workshop dedicated to personal grooming, cleaning of fish and shrimp, pomegranate deseeding, and shoe polishing. Upon reading the Arabic and English dailies printed and collated from the world over, he would ensure that they were to be folded and stacked. They would pile into a dedicated space in the living room. He obsessed about his newspaper reserve. I could not recall a time where the supply was running low. The international bushy stacks grew taller, forming wild, shaggy structures. Subject to the frequency of utility, the size of these piles would vary, signaling a sense of panicked urgency on his obsessive part to collect and stow even more papers. Every now and then, my mother would sound the alarm, lamenting that the newspapers were plotting our demise as they began their invasion of our living room.

When it came to shaving, he kept an old, chipped, peach colored china bowl with a faded Grecian key pattern that wrapped around its lip. It held the freshly boiled water that he had me boil twice for him. His shaving toolkit also included a little mirror, a brush, and a disposable razor. A tube of Indian Godrej shaving paste, the color of a pale mint green was always coiled into the old bowl. The tube’s shriveling tendons would give to his relentless kneading and molding, ensuring he would get all the paste out prior to discarding.

In the late afternoon, after having had his siesta and three cups of turbo-strong Turkish coffee, he would lay a spread or two of newsprint on the floor. Turning the dial on the radio, a stuttering of static ushered the three o’clock news bulletin. Overlaid with political commentary, he would sit cross-legged, the orange and white Bic razor running along his lathered, rosy cheeks to the sounds of Big Ben’s chimes: A Palestinian Buddha fixated on a cleanly shaven path. I used to think that was the only way to shave. As I grew older, I was surprised to learn that people conventionally shaved standing upright, against the sink in the bathroom. Newsprint, a meditative posture, and BBC Radio, were completely discretionary.

A man of utility with tools for every trade, he also repurposed newsprint, a toothbrush, and an old t-shirt; to buff and polish his brown and black shoes. The cleaning of fish and deveining of shrimp, along with the deseeding of pomegranates, all took place in our kitchen. He had special knives reserved for the freshly caught and purchased seafood. After laying the newsprint on the floor, cross-legged, he would zip the jagged sharp edges of his large knife, along the contours of the fish. He would make a loud, scraping sound, as fish scales dispersed onto the newspaper, making way for the remainder of the gruesome cleaning process. During the month of Ramadan, he would dedicate a good hour or two to deseeding the tart and rosy, gelatinous fruit. With legs crossed at the ankles, his knees pointing outwards, he amassed mounds of glossy, red pomegranate pearls into a big vessel for feasting upon sunset. His hands, and the very tips of his fingers would be stained with the sweet gore of the fruit for hours after.

My father was a provider of function. He ensured we were fed and went to posh, British, schools long after he could no longer afford it. He was obsessively set in his ways and peculiar with his inclinations. His departure from conventional being, he is at a long-term care facility now, has often left me questioning the ways in which he cared for our family. My father was not one who hugged or kissed. He was a challenging husband and often bickered savagely with my mother. On the very rare instances I scored well in Math class, he would tell me he was proud of me. Other opportunities for praise and tenderness were left unnoticed, maintaining a good distance from the expressions of conformist familial love. A workhorse, he worked two shifts during the day, leaving our lunch meal after school, the sole chance for communion. But when he was served soup, it had to be piping hot or it was grounds for retaliation.

My father drove me to school almost everyday, until I graduated from high school. On those drives, in between blaring newscasts and the smoldering cigarettes that dangled from his lips, he would insist that for a Palestinian education was the sole option for survival. My father took care of us but from a distance. Summer holidays, like many other days in the calendar year were spent without him. He much fancied to engage in self-contained rituals, working extra hours at the office, or in solitary, cross-legged habits of utility. He nourished us with the kind of love that retained his independence but managed to keep our hunger and nescience at bay. It did not facilitate for frills or emotional indulgence. It was practical, efficiently maintaining the necessities for survival as he saw fit.

© 2013 words and art by Faris Habayeb

Soundtracking Moments: Colombia Trip 2013


1.  Adios – Natalia Clavier Feat. The Echocentrics
2. D.A.N.C.E – Justice
3. Parade – Garbage

4. Waterloo Sunset – Cathy Dennis
5. If This Isn’t Real – Texas
6. On the Quiet – Silver Swans 
7. I Saved The World Today – Eurythmics
8. The Last Dance – Clare Maguire
9. Made in America – Jay-Z, Kanye West, Frank Ocean 
10. Crash and Burn – Sheryl Crow

© 2013 Art by Faris Habayeb as inspired by S. Neil Fujita’s Walking Eye logo for Columbia Records

Mutya | Keisha | Siobhan

Darabzine MKS

When the Sugababes first entered the music scene as a teen act back in the early 2000s, their debut, “One Touch” set a discerning standard for good quality pop. The album, which included the hit single “Overload”, delivered a dose of unadulterated music that the British charts had been missing for a while. Be it the brains behind the scenes, or the brawny harmonies of three young British voices, the Sugababes were set to become the newest act to follow. Unfortunately, the departure of Siobhan Donaghy, one of the band’s original members, ushered the Sugababes into an unrelenting game of musical chairs. While the act continued with a plausible series of chart topping singles and albums, the band’s integrity began to diminish. With the most recent line up on hiatus, none of the original band constituents, and a bitter law suit too, the original members have joined forces, reuniting, to create a new record that promises to pack plenty of vocal prowess. Armed with an arsenal of producers and writers, the album’s first single “Flatline“, asserts that the original band mates are back in business. Produced by Dev Hynes’, the song retains the original sound of the band from back in 2000, albeit its more grown up, with harmonies stronger than expected.

Soundtracking Moments: Hot in July

Hot Darabzine

1. Surround Sound – Empire of The Sun
2. Motorway – Little Boots
3. Vowels = Space and Time – Grimes

4. Lay Your Cards Out – Poliça
5. Add SUV (Armand Van Helden Club Remix) – Uffie
6. Detroit City – Texas
7. Nightcall – Kavinsky
8. Marathon – Tennis
9. Sleepless – Flume Feat. Jezzabelle Doran
10. Bumper – Cults

© 2013 Art by Faris Habayeb