Crush Of The Week
Discover MQAAAR the Palestinian lifestyle brand that brings the community together
MQAAAR is the new Palestinian brand you should be looking out for. Founder Mahmoud Hassouneh wished to “celebrate and strengthen communities everywhere around the world” through his label, an idea that was born out of observing the incredible sense of togetherness he enjoys in Palestine.
Think cool streetwear but not only; MQAAAR really emphasizes on the idea of bringing people together and interact through common interests, principles and ways of life. We spoke to Mahmoud to discover Faith, the label’s first collection and to understand better what the brand is all about.
Hello Mahmoud! MQAAAR offers a fresh take on streetwear made in Palestine; Can you tell us about you and how you launched the brand?
Hi JDEED! MQAAAR is a community-based lifestyle brand that came about as a result of my upbringing and my regular visits to Palestine. During the time I spent here, I got to witness how family and communities are an integral part of life. There is an overall atmosphere of togetherness, and it’s present in tough and happy times. This is not only limited to Palestine, it’s also common in the Arab world in general.
What has been most rewarding for you since launching and what were some of the biggest challenges you had to deal with?
Starting a brand in Palestine that aims to address the world as an audience is a challenge of its own, there are a lot of restrictions on movement and trading that leaves us isolated to an extent, but hopefully with MQAAAR we’ll start to write a different version of that story.
The most rewarding part has been the unwavering support I received in the making of MQAAAR, be it from people over here who heard the idea and rallied in support for the sake of it, or be it from friends and family who were happy to share their knowledge and guidance in different aspects of the come-up.
How was the Faith collection born and what does it represent?
“Faith”, was inspired by the Trevie Fountain in Rome, Italy. The fountain is famous for fulfilling the wishes of its visitors. According to the myth which originated in 1954, the fountain has become a place of good fortune to those who toss coins into it.
People have Faith in the myth of Trevi because it represents; a place of serenity where their wishes come true.
For us, the fountain represents our faith in returning to our homeland, and is a common factor amongst people here that helps us keep going on a day to day basis.
The designs also have insertions of Arabic Language and elements of Palestinian Roots (like the Olive Tree and Stones).
What do you think of the young creatives communities in the Arab world right now? Do you see a sense of togetherness, of support?
I think that the future is bright, we’re witnessing a rise of young creatives in a different light. The Arab audience is paying more attention to what’s being brought up locally which gives room for creatives to keep on creating and grow. However, the answer to togetherness and support is a mixed one.
MQAAAR is Palestinian and Arab in its origin, but global in its reach. We address everyone around the world who believes in our values and in the importance of acceptance and the advancement of communities. Like I always say, MQAAAR is from Palestine to the world, and from the world to Palestine. (Answer to 5 and 6 combined)
Do you have a word of advice for anyone who’d want to start their own brand?