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DANDERMA
A dowdy girl with a dream

By bazaar staff, October (2011) edition of bazaar
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Danderma
Danderma
 

Life’s fiercely earned accomplishments typically start with a dream. In the case of the witty, self-made author and established blogger, Danderma, it all started with a rant. With one simple glance through her ‘About me’ tab on her website, the author effectively describes herself as a relentless freak-magnet. Considering her inability to conform to society and her refusal to be labeled a mindless sheep in the herd as her strongest asset, Danderma’s ‘unforgivable’ notions of having an opinion stimulate an ever-growing following, evolved into her first published book, The Chronicles of Dathra, a Dowdy Girl from Kuwait.  She had us hooked by her choice of the word dowdy in her fist title to translate the commonly used ‘Dathra’, also defined by the author as plain, old-fashioned and out of style.

Honest, witty, emotional, and comically critical; these are the posts, or stories, of a woman looking to never have any regrets in her life, unrelenting in her effort to refute the typical norms and question the expected. Danderma fights for her words and her thoughts by writing her stories. A dream to express, or rather rant, has led to the first of, hopefully, many books by this eager author, who creatively writes in the language we speak and think in today, Arabish. 

Available today as a physical manifestation of her rants, The Chronicles of Dathra, a Dowdy Girl from Kuwait, is an absolute must-read, serving both as an eye-opener and a hilarious series of a typical Kuwaiti girl who simply wants to be happy.

How would your mother describe you in one word?

Imaginative.

How would you describe your mother in one word?

Mommy!

What is the most insane question you’ve ever been asked?

In the USA I was asked “Is it true that each Kuwaiti family has its own oil well in their backyard?”

What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

In Vancouver, Canada. I decided to go Bunjee Jumping on the whim. That moment, up there, when you are hanging in the air with the release cord in your hand, when you know that if you let go you will be plunging down - It was scary and I almost chickened out but then in a crazy moment I found my courage, let go, and screamed my lungs out on the way down. When I landed I went back up again! I would have gone a third time had my friends not refused to go back up –two had to jump at the same time.

What word in the English or Arabic language do you wish you had invented?

Kekh! Used for little kids to denote that something is dirty. It is said to originate from the Egyptian Language used in the Pharaohs’ time. I’m not sure how accurate that is though, but I would like to believe it’s true. If it has to be Arabic I would go with the Kuwaiti word Ekmakha.

Where would you like to live? / What is your dream retirement location?

In London or any place in the UK. I want a tiny house in a quiet neighbourhood with a little garden planted with fruit trees where I can spend my days sipping freshly brewed coffee with fresh milk, brought to my doorstep in the morning by the milkman, while sitting underneath the shade of the trees, reading good books, delivered to me by post. Nothing but a good read, good coffee, amazing weather, and peace & quiet interrupted only by the chirping of the birds.

What is the first famous quote that comes to your mind?

“Phoebe. That's, P, as in Phoebe, H, as in hoebe, O as in oebe, E, as in ebe, B, as in bebe, and E as in... Ello there mate.”~ Pheobe from F.R.I.E.N.D.S

What animal best describes the kind of partner you’d be interested in?

Me? An entire zoo wouldn’t suffice.

What do you miss about your childhood?

The innocence, oblivion to the mayhem in the world, summer vacations, oh, and Kids R us! 

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?

Noor… I just love the name. 

How would you describe your handshake in one word?

Reluctant. I am not much of a hand-shaker.

What is the toughest part of your character?

It would be my very short, bad temper.

Who is your favorite historical figure?

I don’t have a favourite, but I am currently reading about Henrietta Lacks. She was an African American woman who lived in poverty and died in her early 30’s from cancer, leaving behind her poor husband, kids, and her immortal cancer cells which were the first cells in the world to successfully survive in culture and have been alive and reproducing since 1951! Her cancer cells, ‘HeLa cells’, have contributed greatly to modern medical research and cures. Her story is mesmerizing!

What in the world do you least desire?

Prejudice, discrimination, hypocrisy, snobbery, and greed.

What do you think is lacking in the world, which would make the world a better place?

3-day weekends for everybody. People need to relax, recharge, sleep in, and enjoy their youth and life, doing things they love. Relaxed people are happier people. Happy people are more productive people. Productive people are more helpful…Etc.

Why do you think most girls/guys like you?

To be honest ,I am in search for the answer to that question, still.

Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”

Curling up with a good book and a cup of bubbling, hot, freshly-brewed, delicious, black coffee.

 
For more information about Danderma, visit her blog at www.danderma.co.
 
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