Muna Arzouni

26 - 10 - 21

There is something admirable about every woman that honors the role of being a mother, in which ever way, shape or form possible. Oodles of time and energy poured into raising conscious and empathetic people of the future — it is a journey that is as much about the child as it is about the person guiding them.

We visit Muna Arzouni at her West London home, where she and her two girls; Shahad and Hind, get ready to take a walk through their local community’s offerings. Here, we catch a glimpse of the way Muna elegantly weaves her Middle Eastern roots into her family’s modern London lifestyle.

If you’re feeling stuck, or uninspired, how do go about transforming your thoughts?

I would go for a long walk, somewhere I can reconnect with nature. Having some time to myself never fails to reignite creativity and makes me feel more focused. The hustle and bustle of the London living can be a major block.

What practices do you have around analysing or being critical of your own work?

I had this conversation with my eldest daughter recently, when she used the word ‘cringe’ to describe how she felt looking at her art work from last year. I explained that observing and analysing is how we develop. It often unfolds new ideas. No matter how unlike us it may appear as time passes by, it will always be part of us and how we felt then.

How do you overcome feeling anxious or nervous?

I would remind myself that the cause of my anxiety is only negative thoughts, and by doing so, I am able to free myself from their control. Also, thinking of the present moment and how I am feeling now, normally works. Gentle music and a cup of coffee also helps!

"I explained that observing and analysing is how we develop. It often unfolds new ideas. No matter how unlike us it may appear as time passes by, it will always be part of us and how we felt then."

What are some systems you have in place to successfully get out the door on time?

Waking up early. Morning feels like a start of a new life to me. I allow enough time to take it slow. Combining the care for my body and soul. The scene includes a shower and coffee aroma filling the air in my tiny flat.

How do you manage boundaries in relation to technical devices?

I will happily switch my devices off when I feel I need to. I am not heavily dependent on technology, and find it overwhelming sometimes. Being an eighties child, I never had so much news and visual inspiration streaming through my mind. I appreciate it, and make it work for me by limiting the time I spend on technology devices.

Do you practice any of your family’s traditions from when you were growing up?

I burn Frankincense once a week. It is something my mother used to do on Friday morning, before my brothers would leave for Friday prayer at the mosque. It’s a tradition in some Middle Eastern countries in cleansing the home of bad energy.

She would also play ‘70s Egyptian music in the background when lunch was being prepared and served. Each song is an hour long, if not more. That would be our main meal at home, and the only time all eight of us would sit together on the floor around a large silver tray, eating from the same large dish. I love playing these songs in my kitchen too. My youngest daughter calls it “camel music”!

What rituals do you practice in taking care of yourself?

Having the morning to myself feels like a ritual. It’s the time I take to focus on my needs and nothing else.

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