Book Review: Out of Egypt

115161 Book Review: Out of EgyptOut of Egypt: A Memoir by André Aciman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I started reading the book to get to know how Alexandria was like at its prime years. I was amazed by how modern life was back then. The story describes how the aristocrat foreign community lived so lavishly even if they didn’t have the money they had to have the servants, drivers and beach houses. Though I was impressed by the cosmopolitan society I was shocked how they hated and looked down at Arabs and anything related to Arabs! The first few chapters were slow up until the story got real when Andre described how his father met his deaf mother. I found the mother’s character very interesting and her struggle to communicate but also kept a normal lifestyle driving and even haggling with butchers a true Alexandrian as it was described. The complicated family is what made the story interesting. I can’t believe these people actually existed and lived together at one point! My favorite chapter was “Tuff Alnoor” when the war has just started.
As I reached the last few chapters I couldn’t put the book down. The mix of emotions, nostalgia and detailed description of Alexandria was just so beautiful it only made me want to go there again and revisit all the places mentioned at the book.

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I love VSCOcam app in my iPhone and VSCO film presets at lightroom. It is my favourite iOS photography app I use religiously and just love it. Since I started using VSCO I really think that my iPhone photography has changed. I now consider myself an artist than photographer. Don’t get me wrong I still believe in composition and exposure and all that stuff but I care less about sharpness and perfect composition (actually I started hating extra sharp images). Everyone can get a sharp photo and it can easily be replicated (I think!). Artists are unique they almost never produce the same work twice.

VSCO Grid℠ is a publishing platform for original content, a commonwealth of artists united in their love for photography. It belongs to “us” – the creatives, the dreamers, the fighters and those that see beauty in the boring. With the commitment of the creative community, VSCO Grid has grown into the finest living collection of original photography.

Also check out VSCO curated grid their selection is really inspiring. My photos have been featured at VSCO curated grid a number of times.

I didn’t mean to ramble, here is my VSCO grid


Grid black 48 VSCO Grid

Photo credit Mohammed Ismail

Keeping up with Rasha

2014 has been really a productive year to me. I’ve been very active and so was my airline miles counter.


Here is a recap of what I’ve been up to lately.


Sleeper Class 640x341 Keeping up with Rasha
Photo credit Mohammed Ismail


I exhibited my Sleeper Class series in a joint photography exhibition entitled “Inside India”. The exhibition was open for a month at Bin Mattar house Muharraq part of Sh. Ebrahim cultural center. Inside India was a success and received a lot of media coverage.



IMG 85581 Keeping up with Rasha

I was selected as one of 8 Arab photographers to be part of a reality TV photography competition called “I’m a Nat Geo Photographer” a production for National Geographic Abu Dhabi.

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Mecca through my iPhone

I was lucky enough to visit Mecca last December. I needed a getaway and there is no better way to recharge than a spiritual reconnection with Allah at the holy grounds of Mecca.


IMG 5147 Mecca through my iPhone


I haven’t been to Mecca for more than 4 years, things have change drastically there. Invasion of high-rise buildings, and massive construction everywhere. The old Mecca and ancient markets around it were mostly gone. I wasn’t fond of the clock tower (the highest building in Saudi Arabia) but I have to admit that it is visually stunning.

IMG 5092 Mecca through my iPhone

IMG 5094 Mecca through my iPhone


Since photography isn’t allowed inside the Holy Mosque in Mecca, I used my iPhone to document the atmosphere inside and around the holy mosque.


IMG 5681 Mecca through my iPhone

Getting close to the Kaaba was really hard with the huge number of people performing pilgrimage

IMG 5675 Mecca through my iPhone



IMG 5652 Mecca through my iPhone   IMG 5640 Mecca through my iPhone   IMG 5821 Mecca through my iPhone   IMG 5619 Mecca through my iPhone

On the last day I saw the construction workers pray before starting their work day. Watching them was very touching.


IMG 5633 Mecca through my iPhone   IMG 5632 Mecca through my iPhone   IMG 5622 Mecca through my iPhone       IMG 5645 Mecca through my iPhone           IMG 5680 Mecca through my iPhone       IMG 5709 Mecca through my iPhone   IMG 5599 Mecca through my iPhone   IMG 5520 Mecca through my iPhone     IMG 5486 Mecca through my iPhone   IMG 5372 Mecca through my iPhone   IMG 5370 Mecca through my iPhone

Though it was a short trip and it was super crowded due to the massive expansion work at the holy mosque but I really came back full of energy.

Photos were taken with iPhone 5 and processed with VSCOCam



Remember me?!

I’m sorry for not updating my blog for way too long . I had and still having some technical difficulties which will be resolved soon. If you are following me on Instagram (@Rshrsho) or Facebook you would know that I’ve been busy doing many projects which I will share the details at the blog very soon.

I hope this beautiful photo (post card like) from my last trip to Vietnam will forego my absence


DSCF63571 Hello



inside india

INSIDE INDIA – Photographic exhibition

I’m very happy to announce that my work will be displayed at an upcoming exhibition in Bahrain. I will be displaying my ‘Sleeper Class‘ series which I took last year in Ajmer railway station India.

inside india INSIDE INDIA   Photographic exhibition


The Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center is pleased to announce the upcoming exhibition by four Bahrain based photographers Haya AlKhalifa, Rasha Yousif, Saji Antony and Stephanie Ravel. INSIDE INDIA – A photographic exhibition of dramatic imagery and intimate moments will open on Tuesday, 21 January 2014, at 7pm and run until Thursday, 20 February 2014. The exhibition will be held at the Bin Mattar House in Muharraq. Opening times are Saturday – Thursday 9am-1pm and 4-7pm.


My Vietnam travel adventure with Fujifilm

I took 2 dare decisions last October. First I decided to travel to Vietnam solo and second I ditched my Canon DSLR to travel only with Fujifilm cameras x100s and X-E1.

The actual planning of the trip started couple of months back. I was a bit confused where to start the trip south or north of Vietnam and whether to include the middle part of Vietnam. The thing about Vietnam is that everything is possible. Airlines were available and my options were wide open. After some serious research I decided to stick to the north for this trip and leave the other parts for another trip (yes there will be other trips!).  Hanoi, Lao Cai (Sapa & BacHa) and Halong Bay were the areas I visited in this 10 days adventure.

DSCF6001 My Vietnam travel adventure with Fujifilm


I managed to get the visa on arrival. However I did arrange a soft visa (no objection letter) from Vietnam embassy in Kuwait. I didn’t have to send my passport or anything physically, I just emailed the required soft copies to the embassy and the fees via western union then I got the letter through email.


DSCF5807 My Vietnam travel adventure with Fujifilm

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Rasha Yousif photography blog