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Cosplay Arabia - December 2018

Inaugural edition of Cosplay Arabia Magazine from December 2018 feat. Anya Dogari as Dark Pheonix, Fresh and Unforgiving segment by Angel & Bahrain Animania 2018 coverage.

Inaugural edition of Cosplay Arabia Magazine from December 2018 feat. Anya Dogari as Dark Pheonix, Fresh and Unforgiving segment by Angel & Bahrain Animania 2018 coverage.

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December 2018

DARK PHOENIX

ANYA DOGARI

TURNS UP THE HEAT

48

PAGE EDITION

MEET THE

FINEST

COSPLAYERS

IN BAHRAIN

EXCLUSIVE

INTERVIEW

HASSAN AKA

AWESOME_OLOGY

NEW KID ON

THE BLOCK

AMANI AL SHAIKH’S

PENNYWISE SPINOFF

FRESH &

UNFORGIVING

ANGEL TALKS

BAHRAIN COMIC CON

ANIMANIA 2018

EVENT COVERAGE


2

Cosplay Arabia

Editor’s Say :

Cosplay Arabia / Vol01

It is one thing to take the path less trodden, to carve your

own path in the sands of time. No markers, no guides, no

footprints left behind by those who have traveled before.

But what if we weren’t meant to look for guides? What if

we weren’t looking to carve a path even? What if we were

meant to take to the sky like birds, leaving no footprints

behind.

Launching this magazine has been just that- a culmination

of talent across the board, from creative published writers

to social media influencers and bloggers – all the way to

cosplayers who have been showcasing their art at events

across the region. What was once just snippets of news

articles and considered a photographers muse is now a full

blown magazine with insights into the regional cosplay

saga. Expect to learn about the origins of this artform in the

middle east along with the challenges faced by cosplayers in

the region with this edition.

This Magazine would not have been possible without the

love and support of the Bahrain Cosplay Community. We’d

like to thank Baraa Abdullah for his insightful thoughts &

brilliant advice, Samar Almeer for supporting us with the

launch and all the cosplayers featured for their time and

patience.

Personally, I’d like to state this magazine would not have

been possible without Haneen’s tireless support and

understanding. We both would collectively like to thank our

parents, siblings, friends and sponsors who believed in us

and gave us their feedback & support.

We can go on and on about cosplayers, profiles, DIY, Comic

Book Conventions we’ve attended, amazing people we’ve

met through this medium and tons more – but it’s time we let

you “get on with the show” that’s awaiting you just beyond

this page!

Editor In Chief : Ibrahim Ansari

Associate Editor: Mohammed Farija

Talent Relations: Haneen Farwan

Journalist/Writers: Sanchali Roy,

Mirna Almaz, Ouiam El Hassani,

Noor AlNoaimi, Zeeshan Asghar

Graphic Designer: Bogdan Eric

Marketing: Yasmina Koshel

Publisher: The Silver Kick Company

facebook.com/cosplayarabia

- Ibrahim & Haneen

@cosplayarabia / @mia.shot

www.cosplayarabia.com

The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion

of Matski Resources Co. WLL or its product “Cosplay Arabia” nor its publisher. They carry no responsibility for

the opinion expressed therein. Due to the social nature of this magazine, it may contain content copyrighted by

other individuals or entities. Cosplay Arabia does not claim copyright to said content in the form of names or

references to certain fictional characters or their likeness, usage of which falls within “Fair Use” under section

107 of the US Copyright Act.

Copyrights: Matski Resources CO. W.L.L | CR# 122164-1 | P. 973-34-211-869

E. info@cosplayarabia.com


CONTENT

Cosplay Arabia

3

6

Reem

Hajji

14

Hassan

Awesome_ology

18

Amani

Alshaikh

We interview the SFX

makeup extraordinaire !

Young blood bringing

creativity to the front

Meet the new kid on the

block tearing it up !

20

A n ya

Dogari

Cover Story - Animania

2018 Winner

24

Animania

2018

Event Coverage by

Mirna Almaz

34

AlAradi

Sisters

Maram & Marwa give us

Overwatch vibes

40

Arah

Bella

Our International

Cosplayer from the UK

42

Isa

Sadat

Tearing up zombies -

Aim for the Head !

44 Angel

Lioness

Bahrain Comic Con

Cosplay Judge Shares All


4

Cosplay Arabia

“Hideous is the New Beautiful”

In a world full of creatures with gorgeous hair, long legs, stunning looks, and

killer abs, I want to be “Hellboy” …. and if you don’t know who that is, it is a

cosplay character: The son of a demon and a witch, who didn’t exactly win the

genetic lottery. The likable and good-hearted Hellboy, doesn’t really have the

classically handsome superhero look; However, this adventurous tough-guy has a

strong will and a desire to do what’s right.

If you are still wondering why would I opt for hideous when the cosplay world is

full of beautiful, sexy characters, my answer is very simple! Because I want to be

different! I want to stand out and display what is far more important than how I

look.

In this endlessly creative and truly artistic world of role playing, freedom is

given to you on a silver platter! You get to pick and choose what speaks most to

you, your soul, and mind. You get to live your wildest dreams, but in order to do

that you will have to be brave enough, courageous enough to face the outside

world. The ugly looks that “normal” people will shoot your way, and the nasty

comments, but most of all you will have to face your worst critics, and the most

heartless judge of all! YOURSELF!

In the normal world where Fashinistas and Models have sabotaged almost

everyone’s choices of what’s really beautiful, one finds himself in a tricky

war against himself. When the screens are filled with perfect bodies, perfect

shapes, perfect skins, perfect lives…. it is almost a sin to be on the other side of

the equation. When your hair isn’t silky and your skin doesn’t glow, you start

wanting to feel invisible … You doubt yourself and your values. So when it comes

to defying the community and its standards, dressing up like a fictional character,

and swaying around giving a chance to every wandering eyes to squint and

every turned head to shake and every eyebrow to raise, not only you are

considered different, but you are also seen as “weird” and “unwanted”. Especially

when we live in a relatively conservative environment, you become the odd one,

the creepy one.

Cosplay –ing- is a transformation that allows you to break free from a world full

of rules and regulations. It is incredibly enticing and unbelievably rewarding! It

is a way to reinvent yourself very elaborately, and be very comfortable with it.

Even if your body doesn’t look exactly like what you want it to, even if it means

that you will not look pretty, and desirable, even if people stair! It is something to

be proud of. It should add value to who you are, regardless of how you look.

So the next time you look in the mirror and meet the slightest hint of doubt,

shame, or uncertainty in your eyes, remember that different is great, different is

beautiful!

Ouiam El Hassani


CONTRIBUTORS

Cosplay Arabia

5

Sanchali Roy

Blogger

Sanchali Roy is a Lifestyle Blogger, Content Creator,

Newspaper and Magazine Contributor. Her columns have

been published in “Weekender Bahrain”, “The Daily Tribune

(News of Bahrain)” and many more.

She is the Social Ambassador for brands like “Radisson Blu

Bahrain”, “The FaceShop Bahrain”, “Reef Resort”, “Vivanta by

Taj”, “Mikasa Beauty” to name a few.

Contact her via her website SancSuum.com, via e-mail at

sanchali@sancsuum.com or @sancsuum on Instagram.

Ouiam El Hassani

Journalist

Ouiam El Hassani is a Blogger and columnist with Woman

this Month magazine.

At her core she is a Journalist, Tai Chi Teacher, Childbirth

educator, and a former HR manager. She is passionate about

writing and about life in general.

You can contact her via her blog: www.chanelmama.com ,

via Email: ouiam.elhassani@hotmail.fr or via her social media

account on Instagram: @chanelmama.bh

Mirna Almaz

Entrepreneur

Mirna Almaz is an ex-creative director who is now a full-time

mommy and business owner.

She is passionate about art, design, music, self expression

and improvement, books and the world of fantasy and sci-fi

culminating into co-ownership of “The Ravens Nest Cafe” in

Budaya. She is also the co-owner of “The Little Design Shop”.

You can contact her via her blog: www.mirnaalmaz.com, via

twitter @AlmazMirna or via her Instagram - @almazmirna &

@Theravensnest.bh

Noor AlNoaimi

Writer

Noor Al Noaimi is a professional writer currently juggling

motherhood, a day job and a passion for literature.

Her first novella “The Pearl Thief” set her on the path of

professional writing with the likes of Guide Magazine,

FP7, The Daily Tribune, Perle Magazine and other local

publications. Her best work, she says- is still unpublished.

You can contact her via e-mail : njalnoaimi@gmail.com


6

Cosplay Arabia

SFX

QUEEN

REEM

HAJJI

Characters: Corpse Bride & Chucky

Text: Haneen Al Farwan

Artistic, Multi-talented, Creative,

the OG of Cinematic Special Effects

& Glamour Makeup as well as a stage

actress - Reem Hajji AKA “Vanity

Toonz” is a 19 year old self taught and

self made freelance makeup artist

who entered the world of cosplay by

chance !

Her Instagram feed led her to win

first place for cosplaying as Chucky

and the rest is history.

Q. So Reem what inspired you to

enter the world of cosplay?

A. It was honestly seeing other

cosplayers at IGN 2014, which was my

first convention ever that fascinated

me to do this. Knowing that there

was a community out there wherein

everyone was turning into different

characters from games, movies,

Anime, etc. was very interesting and I

thought “huh, maybe I should give it a

go” and I just went with it.

Q. You are also known to be a special

effects makeup artist. When did that

start?

A. Funny thing is that getting into FX

was also just a spur of the moment


Cosplay Arabia

7

type of thing. I grew up in a home

of artists and I used to draw a

lot of cartoons as a kid. One day

a friend of mine sent me this

YouTube video of “pinkstylist”,

a famous FX artist on YouTube

saying “hey this guy seems

interesting, he is very good at

what he does” which also sparked

my interest - a moment of “hmmm

let me dabble in that”. And

that’s how I started it - initially

from face painting all the way

to bringing characters such as

Chucky & Corpse bride to life.

Q. What’s the best reaction

you’ve ever gotten from people?

A. Oh God (laughs) I remember

at a convention I was cosplaying

as the Devil. Me and my friends

were practicing for our skit under

a staircase which was kind of

dark. A group of guys passing by

freaked out and got scared of me

due to my sudden appearance,

it wasn’t my intention to scare

them, but hey - it worked.

Q. Oh My God (LOL), so basically

the character worked it came

to life. By that, do you believe

that a person has to have

certain qualities to pull off their

characters?

A. I believe if you set your mind

to it, anyone can pull off any

cosplay. I don’t think it should

matter if you look like the

character or not, you just do you!

Q. On average how long does it

take for you to achieve a look?

And what part of the process

do you find takes more time for

you?

A. What takes the most time

for me is the hair and makeup

because I heavily focus on that.

I don’t really take a long time to

assemble the look, I usually build

up to it using what’s around me

or just purchase it piece by piece

and props I usually have on hand

like Chuckey’s knife which I got

from my mom’s kitchen.


8

Cosplay Arabia

“...Don’t be afraid to be judged, and

don’t be afraid to make mistakes...”

Q. If you could cosplay

anywhere in the world,

where would it be?

A. Oh definitely Dragcon

in LA.

Q. What advice would

you have for those who

are new to the cosplay

scene?

A. Don’t be afraid to

show your skills, don’t

be afraid to be judged,

and don’t be afraid to

make mistakes. We are

all human in the end,

you can do whatever

you want - don’t let

anyone stop you with

their mean comments

and judgment, just do

you and be yourself.

RAPID FIRE

1. Marvel or DC ?

DC

2. Batman or Superman ?

Batman, Superman is stupid

(laughs)

3. Sony or Nintendo ?

Sony all the way

4. Anime or Manga ?

Anime

5. Console or PC ?

Console of course

6. Cats or Dogs ?

Cats

7. Three things you can’t live

without?

My car | Contact lenses |

Hope for the future

8. Social Media ?

Instagram @vanity_toonz


and act like them. For

example - Corpse Bride

- I saw myself in her.

She is a corpse who

could have married the

love of her life “victor”

but instead sacrificed

her happiness to see

him happy - a tale of

forgiveness and sacrifice.

Q. Why choose Chucky?

A. Because he is cute and

he is crazy, I think he is

very funny, he is happy

killing people and I like

that.

Q. Do you think

anything is missing

in Bahrain in regards

to special effects or

cosplaying?

Cosplay Arabia

9

Q. Have you had

any opportunities to

showcase your work,

besides conventions and

this magazine?

A. (Laughing) well yes

for the magazine. I’ve

had many shoots but it

wasn’t for cosplay - it

was mostly to showcase

my art and my work as

a special effects makeup

artist.

Q. Do you think there is

a career opportunity in

Cosplay?

Definitely, anyone can if

they wanted to.

Q. How do you choose

your character? What

makes you say I want to

cosplay as this person?

A. We definitely lack

lots of professional

Courses in Special

Effects and products like

“Pro Makeup” wax, liquid

latex, and for cosplaying

wigs and costumes.

Q. Any future

characters you would

bring to life soon?

A. Nothing planned

yet, but people do

recommend I cosplay as

the queen of hearts from

Alice in Wonderland.

Q. Finally, what’s next

and where to from here?

A. Growing my brand

Vanity Toons and

becoming a Certified

Special Effects and

Cinematic makeup artist.

And I would love to be a

MAC certified makeup

artist as well and of

course graduate college

(laughs).

A. If I see myself in the

character I will do it, it

makes it easier to mimic


10

Cosplay Arabia

LAYLA

BALOOSHI

Character: L | Deathnote

Text: Sanchali Roy


Mild mannered

Cosplayer, Performance

Poet, and Model living

in Bahrain, Layla Yousif

is known as a calm

Graphic Design student

who never misses a due

date. A dreamer, full of

positivity and optimism,

she believes in making

the best of a situation

and turning it into a fun

ride. We sat down with

this beautiful soul who

is out to decorate the

world in glitter.

Q. Before we start, let’s

first talk about you and

cosplaying. What got

you interested and how

long have you been into

it?

A. What first got me

interested was a close

friend of mine I saw

cosplay for the first time

in one of the events.

Since then, just

seeing everyone was

so refreshing and

interesting [I just had

to try it]. I’ve been

cosplaying (for about) 3

to 4 years now.

Q. What was it like

dawning a suit for the

first time?

Cosplay Arabia

A. Cosplaying for the

first time was fun and

nerve-wrecking at the

same time. The character

I chose to do (The Joker)

was more complex than

expected.

Q. That’s awesome.

Being a student, how do

you save money up for

your hobby?

A. Well, finance wise

taking care of cosplaying

can be tricky. Since I’m a

graphic design student, I

don’t have enough time

to have a job and balance

my studies at the same

time. So I save up as

much money as I can

from what I get from any

part of my life (laughs).

Q. When you were just

starting out, what were

your biggest Questions?

A. Well, my biggest

questions (starting

out) were usually

around how to fill in

my eyebrows the same

color as my wig, how

to determine a good

wig and a bad one

quality wise, and (most

importantly) how to

stay comfortable with so

many props.

11


12

Cosplay Arabia

“the worst cosplay advice I’ve gotten is that I

should let any type of confliction slide in the

event. If someone bothers another person it is

important to speak up”

Q. Spot on. How do you

pick your costumes?

Do you have a special

connection to the

character?

A. Connection to the

character! Yup, I pick

my characters through

admiring them in some

way or form. (I do feel a

connection) with most of

them, that is correct.

Q. What do you consider

your most memorable

outfit to be?

A. Ahh, my most

memorable cosplay

would be my “Classic

Harley Quinn” cosplay. I

love the character and I

worked hard on it. I was

glad to see the audience

love it [just as much as I

did].

Q. What’s the worst

cosplaying advice

you’ve ever received?

A. Ehh, the worst

cosplay advice I’ve

gotten is that I should let

any type of confliction

slide in the event.

If someone bothers

another person it is

important to speak up.

Q. What are you

planning on doing (or

redoing) in the future?

A. I’ve already redone

some but there are

a few I can’t wait

to do. (For instance)

certain characters

like “Marceline” from

Adventure Time, “A

Genderbender of Hades”

from Hercules, “Belle” from

Beauty and the Beast, and so on.

Q. What are some of the best

things you’ve learned about

yourself since you’ve started

this new hobby?

A. Oooh! [I have learned so

much]. I realized that i have so

many sides to my personality

and I believe that everyone is

like that. It’s very fascinating to

be able to see how I and other

people are able to adapt to

certain situations.

Q. Currently, how many

costumes do you have?

A. I still consider myself an

amateur so I would say I have

over 6 (six).

Q. Not bad for an amateur. Are

there any other cosplayers that

you really admire?

Layla: I admire all cosplayers

(because) I can see how much

effort they put into their

cosplays. It’s always nice to see

people doing what they love.

Q. Are you competitive when

it comes to cosplaying or is

it just a way to express your

creativity?

A. For me, it’s not about being

competitive, it’s all about

having fun and being creative.

Every cosplayer is unique and

brings something different to

the table for me.

Q. Lastly, where can we find

you online?

A. When it comes to following

me online, I use my Instagram

to showcase my cosplays and

just my life in general. My

Instagram is @laylabalooshi96.

Thanks so much Layla for

taking the time to talk with

us.

Layla recently participated at

the Ravens Nest Halloween

party in costume and continues

to hone her skills for future

events.


Cosplay Arabia

13

ALI

ASHOOR

Character: Reverse Flash | DC

Ali Yusuf Ahmed

Ashoor, a familiar

face to those acquainted with

the comic book convention

scene in Bahrain. That’s

because he has been actively

participating in almost

every single pop culture

event for the past 5 years.

Unsurprisingly, he loves

geeking out and playing video

games in his spare time – but

what caught us off-guard

was his love and subsequent

training in the Bahrain

Aviation Sector.

The first public event he

attended in Bahrain was the

IGN 2013, but off late he has

been attending international

events such as Middle East

Film & Comic Con in Dubai

& more recently the MCM

London Comic Con. The

primary difference between

our locally organized events

and those on an international

level is the sheer size, better

organization and availability

of more celebrities on hand to

enrich the overall experience,

according to Ali.

Being an avid DC fan - his

reverse flash costume

featured here is one of his

most cherished costumes. It

also happens to be his most

expensive outfit to date.

While Ali isn’t intent on

competing to win when it

comes to contests - he is very

content being part of the

Bahrain cosplay community

which he says is “a group of

very passionate good people”

- his favorite local cosplayer

happens to be retired cosplay

queen Fofie Sarhan while

his favorite international

cosplayer is Enji Night.

Ali recently won 3rd place at

the VR Cube launch event at

Avenues Mall Bahrain.

The main difference between

our locally organized events

and those on an international

level are RAPID the sheer FIRE size, better

organization 1. Marvel and or availability

DC ?

of more celebrities on hand to

enrich the overall DC experience

according 2. Batman to Ali. or Superman ?

Being an avid Batman DC fan - his

reverse 3. Sony flash or costume Nintendo ?

featured in the images is

Sony

one of his most cherished

costumes. 4. Anime It also or happens Manga ? to

be his most expensive outfit

Manga

to date.

5. Console or PC ?

You can find

Console

Ali on Instagram

@aliyusuf_ashoor2 & at the

next Bahrain 6. Cats Comic or Dogs Con ? in

2019. Cats

7.Dream Con Destination

Japan, best place for Geeks

8. Social Media ?

Insta - @aliyusuf_ashoor2


Cosplay Arabia

14

HASSAN -

AWESOME_OLOGY

Character: Marilyn Manson

Text: Haneen Al Farwan

Hassan AKA Awesomeology

is a vibrant cosplayer,

a walking canvas and a role

model to thousands, but

when not in character – he

has a quiet personality and is

surprisingly down to earth.

His cosplays generally consist

of Disney characters, original

creations and sometimes

crossplay wherein he loves

adding his own special touch

to set them apart.

Q. You have been in the

Cosplay Scene, performing,

competing, and bringing to

life many attention-grabbing

characters, what inspired you

to pursue this?

A. It first started when I

saw a friend of mine – Farah

Sarhan (Fofie) having these

cool pictures on Instagram

of herself in different wigs,

outfits and a lot of things at

various venues. I sent her a

message, asked what she was

up to? And without answering

all she said was “there is an

event today at BIC come now

and I’ll explain” - literally no

other explanation. I got there

& the event was AICON 2013

- she was wearing a purple

wig and I also got to see @

Geekyemokun (cosplayer) -

basically she introduced me

to this world I didn’t know

anything about at the time.

Fast forward a few years

and we’ve become great

friends and attended several

conventions together. I’ve

learned so much from her

and get teary eyed when she

compliments my cosplays - I

consider Fofie my cosplay

mother.

Q. How touching ! Since she

is, as you said the one who

inspired you to cosplay,

tell us about your first

convention.

A. Oh god it wasn’t something

I prepared for very well. I just

wanted to show a character I

could relate to so I eventually

narrowed it down to Peeta


Cosplay Arabia

15

from Hunger Games because I’m a huge fan and read all

the books. The cosplay however was very minimal - I

just wore a black jacket and covered myself in bruises

(Laughs).

“I get teary eyed when

she compliments my

cosplays - I consider

Fofie my cosplay

mother”

Q. What do you feel is the most important part of

cosplaying?

A. Just have fun, I mean it’s all about bringing a

character that you admire to life and having some fun

with it. In the end, focus on having a great time & don’t

stress over it. Like when I cosplayed as the mad Hatter…

well… Cross played if you want to categorize it - I was

wearing a corset, a wig, a giant hat, huge boots and

it was extremely uncomfortable but I didn’t feel it as

much because I was having fun with the character - I

absolutely forgot about the pain.


16

Cosplay Arabia

“I really enjoy adding my

own twist to the characters

I portray”

Q. Which one do you

feel stood out the most?

A. Laughing Jack! I’ve

gained so much from

this character. There

were both kids & adults

contacting me on a

daily basis who found

my video on YouTube,

which has over 100,000

views and was taken

by a close friend. These

people were giving me so

much positive feedback

on the cosplay and the

performance. I’ve made

some close friends

and even got some fan

sketches from that.

Q. You have over 15 different unique looks on

your social media account - each a masterpiece in

its own right. How do you choose your looks?

A. I always look for something I haven’t seen

before, especially in Bahrain. I tend to look for

characters that aren’t commonly portrayed -

ultimately narrowing down my choices to one.

Like Maleficent for example - yes there have been

a few versions portrayed by cosplayers here before

- but never a “gender bend” cosplay. I really enjoy

adding my own twist to the characters I portray. Iv

seldom done a 100% accurate portrayal - It has to

be personalized in some shape or form for me to be

satisfied with my creation.


Cosplay Arabia

17

who doesn’t care much

to fit in with a certain

crowd or group.

I like to bring my own

thing to the table and

Marilyn Manson is kind

of that way if you look at

it. He definitely stood out

and did not fit with the

pop culture, everyone

considered him as a freak

but he is just a musician

like the rest of them -

albeit unique in his own

way.

Moreover, I like to add

my own element of

surprise, a “twist” so to

speak. Even though he

is a real life musician yet

his appearance and his

individuality makes him

unique - almost like a

fictional character.

Q. What Would be your

dream Cosplay?

A. I would love to do

Effie Trinket or Caesar

Flickerman from The

Hunger Games. Their

style and their look

is very vibrant and

colorful - so much detail

goes into their look and

the embroidery in their

costumes gives it great

charisma which exudes

power with a Victorian

yet an Avant Gard style

of elegance.

Q. For this magazine

shoot you chose Marilyn

Manson, a real non

fictional character. Why

choose a musician and

not a fictional cosplay

character?

Q. What are your

interests outside of

cosplay?

A. I have an immense

amount of love for

theatre and acting. My

grandparents are actors

so maybe its inherited. I

love being on stage and

bring fictional characters

to life through acting !

I remember back when

I was a kid I used to

play songs from High

school musical in my

bedroom and film

myself performing while

putting on different wigs

and props pretending

to be the characters

from the movie! It was

hilarious but I enjoyed

every second of it.

Follow Hassan’s cosplay

journey via his Instagram

@awesome_ology

A. I always love standing

out and being different,

I’m the type of person


Cosplay Arabia

18

AMANI

ALSHAIKH

Character: Pennywise | IT

Amani is a 17 year

old high school

student who finds passion in

cosplaying. Her introduction

was a stint at IGN 2014

wherein her sister did her

makeup. The experience left

her mesmerized and she began

participating regularly from

2015.

Q. Being a young cosplayer

- do you see cosplaying as a

growing trend among the

youth?

A. Yes, I do! Most of my friends

have been trying to cosplay

and they ask me all the time

about how I achieve certain

looks.

Q. What has been the general

reaction at home to you

cosplaying? Is it something

that is encouraged?

A. It’s very encouraged

especially by my mom! She’s

the most supportive as she

always sends me pictures

and cosplays to do, buys

me the makeup, surprises

me with tickets to events

such as Animania and IGN,

so yeah very supported by

the family when it comes

to cosplaying.

Q. Would you consider

cosplaying professionally

some day? Visiting

and even competing at

international events?

A. Of course if I get the

chance to I would be

totally down!

Q. What would make

cosplaying better?

A. If it was encouraged

more by our society and

if we had more events

and meet ups such as IGN,

Comic Con and Animania.

RAPID FIRE

1. Marvel or DC ?

Marvel!

2. Batman or Superman ?

BATMAN

3. Sony or Nintendo ?

Sony

4. Anime or Manga ?

Anime

5. Console or PC ?

PC

6. Cats or Dogs ?

Both

7. Three Important Things

Netflix / H2O / Milk (lol)

8. Three Favorite Movies

The Fault in our Stars /

Paper Towns / Titanic


Q. How do you research

the cosplay before you

make it?

Cosplay Arabia

19

A. Whenever I see a

character that I like,

whether its 2 am or 2

pm - that’s irrelevant - I

have to write it down and

think of ways to adapt it

to my persona. Then work

on getting the materials I

actually need to complete

the cosplay.

Q. What are some of your

dream cosplays?

A. The Grinch & Mystique

(X-Men)

Q. If you could cosplay

anywhere in the world,

where would it be & why?

A. Japan or the USA,

because the sights are

beautiful to take pictures

in and you can find the

right materials to use for

your cosplay.

Q. Do you try to stay

cheap or do you splurge on

materials?

A. Sometimes I make

budget friendly cosplays

from things around the

house and sometimes I just

go crazy and splurge

You can follow Amani’s

journey on her official

instaram @aurora_ayee

“Whenever I see

a character that

I like, whether

its 2 am or 2 pmthat’s

irrelevant

-I have to write it

down...”


20

Cosplay Arabia

ANYA

DOGARI

Character: Dark Pheonix | X-Men

Text: Noor AlNoaimi


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21

Cosplay for most of us is usually a group of

oddly clad fans, dressed as a favorite character

from an anime, comic, movie or video game.

Picture them with bubble gum hair, impossible

physiques and animated expressions as they pose

for the cameras. Most onlookers, would never

truly dwell upon the extreme measures each of

these individuals would take to achieve such a

finished visual. Our cover girl, Anya Dogari; a

young accomplished cosplayer with a passion for

redheaded characters is another fan of this form

of escapism- Her Dark Phoenix won her first

place during last year’s comic con and we are

curious to know more,

Q. Tell us about yourself.

“I was blown

away. I felt like I

belonged. I finally

found the perfect

blend of all the

things I liked. The

colors, the details,

the creativity”

A. I was born in Moldova in 1993, and was always

passionate about the creative arts. When I walked

into my first Cosplay event back in 2016, I was

blown away. I felt like I belonged. I finally found

the perfect blend of all the things I liked. The

colors, the details, the creativity- I knew then

and there, that I wanted to be part of any Cosplay

fandom.

Q. Details? Is that what’s most important in a

costume?

A. Of course! That, and the color and shape of the

garment. A finished costume should really suit

you.

Q. Sounds like a challenge, how do you usually

go about it?

It really depends. First, I must choose a character.

Then, I tend to research the general picture of the

character’s costume. I draft a sketch of it and go

from there.

Q. So, you sew everything from scratch?

A. Not always. But a good sewing hand is

necessary, even a ready costume needs a bit of

altering to fit it’s owner.

Q. You mentioned choosing a character, is it

always going to be a redhead with you?

A. Unless it’s Khaleesi from Game of Thrones,

than yes…always.

Q. I take it you believe a person must possess

some similarities to their chosen character

before pulling off a cosplay?

A. It’s really about passion. Anyone can be

anything they aspire to be.


22

Cosplay Arabia

Q. Tell us about your first

costume.

A. I was Misty from Pokémon.

Another red head, It was an

easy costume for a beginner.

Q. So it could be hard,

depending on how intricate

the costume is. How long does

it usually take for you to pull

off the finished look?

A. It takes a week to make

a plan, a month to actually

finish the costume. I also,

practice my Cosplay skit a

couple of weeks in advance.

Q. A skit? Do you try to

mimic your character’s actual

movements and speech?

A. I do. I try to become the

character herself.

Q. What’s the most difficult

thing about accomplishing a

finished costume?

I find it stressful to meet my

goals, despite starting months

before the event. I suppose it’s

my beginner’s jitters.

Q. Do you ever ask for help?

A. I’ve got friends and

colleagues who are always

around for guidance and

support. I also follow a couple

of very talented Cosplayers

who never fail to inspire me.

Kamuicosplay from Germany

and Narga_lifestream from

Russia give awesome tutorials.

Their experiences really help

me a lot.

Q. What do you think

of Bahrain’s Cosplay

Community?

A. It is much bigger than my

home town. The community is

quite warm and friendly, and

everyone’s so encouraging.

It’s amazing to be part of.

Q. If you could be part of

another Cosplay event, where

would it be?

A. BLIZZCON!

Q. What will you go as?

A. Another red suit? It’s

supposed to be a secret.

Q. What are your thoughts

on escapism through

Cosplay? Do you believe in

such a thing?

A. For me, when I put my

costume on I remain Anya. I

act as my character only on

stage or during a photo shoot.

I’m not going to lie, it’s a great

feeling when people recognize

the character and ask me for

a picture…but this does not in

any way erase my true self.

I don’t think I could create

a decent costume if I was

in denial about my reality.

Cosplay is art. It’s inventive,

and fun.

Q. Being a woman, and an

attractive woman at that…

were there any incidents

during the many comic con

events you’ve joined?

A. Nothing like that. I just

get asked for pictures but

then I never go alone to these

conventions. I’m almost

always with friends or my

‘bodyguard’ (husband).

Q. Lastly, is there any advice

you’d care to give to new

Cosplayers?

A. If you can dream it, you

can do it! Believe in yourself,

believe in everything you do.

Try, make mistakes, try again!

Start with a simple costume

and then improve it. Don’t be

scared to show your work.

RAPID FIRE

1. Marvel or DC ?

Marvel!

2. Batman or Superman ?

Superman (He’s an alien!)

3. Sony or Nintendo ?

Sony

4. Anime or Manga ?

Anime

5. Console or PC ?

PC

6. Cats or Dogs ?

Meow :3

7. Social Media ?

Instagram @anyadogar


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24

Cosplay Arabia

ANIMANIA

2018

Text: Mirna Almaz / Images: Haitham M. Al-Issa

If there is one yearly

happening on the Bahrain

events calendar that gets me

psyched and excited, it is

Animania!

Animania is, and has always

been, very special to me. Don’t

get me wrong, I’d enjoy any

event allowing me to geek out

shamelessly, but there is just

something extra special about

Animania.

Maybe because it was the

first event of its kind on the

island? Maybe because it let

me discover and connect with

others just like me? Not sure,

but there is something with

this particular event that feels

like home.

Admittedly and to be

perfectly honest, it isn’t the

biggest Pop-culture event

that happens on the island,

but there is something about

it that us, the devoted fans,

know and understand; it

triggers a nostalgia we cannot

shake off.

In the day, who would have

thought an anime convention

would actually get this much

hype and footfall in this part

of the world! But it does, and

it works! What a success it has

been and still is!

Enough with the mushygushy

stuff, let’s get down to

the reason you are reading

this:

Animania Bahrain hit it’s

8-year mark on September

28, 2018. Just in case you

hadn’t already noticed, I have

been an avid and passionate

supporter of this geek-fest

since its inception at Adhari

Park back in 2010, which

I remember it as if it were

yesterday; the venue was

packed with positive energy,

happy cosplayers geeking out

and role playing as pros! That

day, a community was born.

Anyone obsessed with anime,

gaming and comics found

their place. We finally had a

venue to gather, be who we

are, and let our interests and

talents shine. It was historic!

Fast forward to 2018, the

event has moved to the

Bahrain International Circuit.

It’s now a two-day event, and

it’s been reported that more

than 15,000 people attended

this year.


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25

@himo_917

@hazeofflames

@venset_vala

@sa7ooori_art

@udaidshabbir


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Cosplay Arabia

MC Baraa Abdulla, the always entertaining and geek-know-it-all, was behind the mic as usual.

Nothing hits the nostalgic spot more than walking into a venue and hearing Baraa’s voice blazing

from the speakers!

Upon entering, the first thing to catch your eye is the Cosplayers and all the friendships

developed over the years. Every year you see more new faces daring to cosplay, and every year

they upgrade their game. It’s always awesome to see new people coming out of their shells and

showing off their cosplay powers. The majority of costumes are designed and fabricated by the

cosplayers. Seeing how proud they are of their work shows how much this convention has done

for all the geeks and nerds who struggle to shine and find their place!

This year’s celebrity was famous voice actor Doug Cockle, who played Geralt of Rivia from the

legendary video game, The Witcher. Fans were able to participate in a Q&A session, get their

pictures taken, and get their merchandise signed. Comedian and TV presenter Bader Saleh was

among the celebrities to visit this year.

Gamers got to shine and show off their gaming skills with countless gaming tournaments. Some

of these that made a mark were FORTNITE, Overwatch, FIFA18 and TEKKEN7. Competitions are

always great entertainment and this year presented a broad variety of contests. For example,

there was a burger eating competition.

@maou.dwz

@shido_cosplays

@faisalmohammedx

@itssamsenpai @zizocosplay @ahmeddragunov


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27

@spiderman.bh

@rxgxdx

Cosplayers participated in the

convention’s annual cosplay

competition – always a main

attraction - where each

cosplayer gets the stage to

themselves for a few minutes

to entertain, play the role,

and convince the judges why

they deserve to win. A truly

exciting moment for anyone

cosplaying.

This year local and regional

YouTubers were put in the

spotlight too, and if you ask

me, it’s about time these

guys got both the support

and media recognition they

deserve.

“Walk with Aziz”, “Monster

BH”, “WEBARI” and “XZIT

THAMER” were amongst the

more well-known YouTubers

attending and covering the

event. Scores of their fans

were delighted to get their

shots taken with them and to

get their autographs.

@usforever2806

@amy.gamer

My favorite part of the

convention is the Artist Alley.

An entire hall dedicated to

local and regional artists who

get to show off all their work,

talent and socialize with

like-minded individuals on

the art scene. Artist Alley is

all smiles, along with a potent

shot of art and creativity.

Animania gives Local

businesses a chance to

participate as vendors,

presenting visitors with an

unequalled chance to get their

hands on collectables, comics,

clothing, statues, games and

much, much more. There is

something for everyone.

This year’s activities included

The Haunted House,

Boardgames and Dungeons

& Dragons sessions from

The Ravens Nest, Illusionist

Redmaw, a Nitro Live show,

live performances from the

local band Until Dusk, just to

mention a few.


28

Cosplay Arabia

@moumen86

@bidzsaleh

It was a proud day when

The Raven’s Nest was

selected to participate

this year. When we were

approached, we couldn’t

say no. We created a drink

in honor of the occasion,

and we specifically made

sure that it was pink (a

special request from Samar

Al Meer - the mother of

Animania). We were proud

to see so many gathered at

our booth. I never thought

that a day would come and

I would be participating as

a vendor and part of the

entertainment.

Organizers and backers,

along with every

participant and visitor,

have done an unbelievable

job. Animania is definitely

here to stay. If I were to

give the whole experience

a word, it would have to be

“Magical.”

- Mirna Almaz,

Co Owner - The Raven’s Nest

@coranellya_5

@mykryptoncomics

@ameerakojder

“My favorite part

of the convention

is the Artist Alley

- its all smiles,

along with a

potent shot of art

and creativity”


MOHAMMED

OSAMA

Character: Rambo

Cosplay Arabia

a girl because I had a wig

on over and over again, it

was frustrating !

Q. Least favorite part of

cosplaying?

A. People bumping

into my props which I

barely managed to stick

together. They need to

be handled with care

and people in attendance

should be courteous to

cosplayers.

Q. Do you have a

cosplayer who motivates

you?

A. Not particularly, I feel

like the Bahrain Cosplay

Community pushes me

to do better more than

anyone or anything else.

You can follow Osama on

his Instagram account @

bubbersapr

29

Osama is a

university

student who is currently

pursuing his chemical

engineering degree. He

was first introduced to

cosplaying by his close

friend Aziz and they’ve

been cosplaying ever

since.

Q. What drives you to

cosplay ?

A. Getting to wear

whatever I want without

social restrictions is

refreshing sometimes

but what keeps me going

is the fact that it’s my

favorite hobby and I

enjoy doing it immensely.

Q. Do you prefer buying

or making you cosplays?

A. Making your cosplay

is part of the fun ! I am

extremely proud of

whatever I make even if

it doesn’t look that great,

it’s my personal effort

& there’s satisfaction in

that.

Q. What is the funniest

reaction you have

gotten cosplaying?

A. I got kicked off

stage and out of the

convention once because

people didn’t like my

Donald Trump cosplay.

Q. Favorite part of

cosplaying?

A. The car ride to the

convention, we stop at

red lights & freak out

people in other cars

(laughs)

Q. What was your worst

Experience cosplaying?

A. Guys mistaking me for


C

I

30

Cosplay Arabia

PHOTO

GALLERY

A glimpse inside the ever evolving world of Cosplay in the

Middle East.

Cosplayer: Mutab M. AlDawsary

Instagram: @toobytag

Photographer: Saleha Mandili

Instagram: @mandeelyo9797

Cosplayer: Hassan

Instagram: @awesome_ology

Photographer: Hussain Mahdi

Instagram: @hm.bh

Cosplayer: Afi Sama

Instagram: @afi_vaqar

Photographer: Naveen

Instagram: @3podphotography

C

I


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31

Celebrating the creativity of cosplayers and talented photographers from all over the Middle

East, the photo gallery aims to promote the art of cosplay as seen through the lens of these gifted

photographers.

If you are a cosplayer or a photographer looking to make your mark – tag @cosplayarabia on

Instagram or Facebook for a chance to be featured on our social media or print editions.

Conversely, you can write to us at : info@cosplayarabia.com

For now, enjoy these amazing images.

Happy Browsing !

Cosplayer: Sam

Instagram: @itssamsenpai

Photographer: Hussain Mahdi

Instagram: @hm.bh

Cosplayer: Zainab Allawi

Instagram: @zainab_allawi

Photographer: Lee Crow

Instagram: @leecrowphotos

Cosplayer: Leen

Photographer: Lee Crow

Instagram: @leen__666 Instagram: @leecrowphotos

Cosplayer: Saud Al Hazzani

Instagram: @vegacosplay

Photographer: Abdullah A. AlJughiman

FB: Facebook.com/Ecco.Fantasy

Cosplayer: SumiCosplay

Instagram: @sumicosplay


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Cosplay Arabia

Cosplayer: Mexii Said

Instagram: @yara_mexii

Photographer: Naveen

Instagram: @3podphotography

Cosplayer:Roshan Joseph

Instagram: @roshan.joseph1.0

Cosplayer: SumiCosplay Photographer: Jeffrey Pabroquez

Instagram: @sumicosplay Instagram: @dxb.photographer

Cosplayer: Ahmed

Instagram: @ahmeddragunov

Photographer: Naveen

Instagram: @3podphotography


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Cosplayer: Rana “Cherrie” Elnajmi

Instagram: @dreamcherries.cosplays

Photographer: Naveen

Instagram: @3podphotography

Cosplayer: Saud Al Hazzani

Instagram: @vegacosplay

Photographer: Jeffrey Pabroquez

Instagram: @dxb.photographer


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Cosplay Arabia

MARAM

ALARADI

Character: Widowmaker Huntress | Overwatch

Text: Zeeshan Asghar

Maram Al-Aradi is a familiar face in the Bahrain cosplay community and has also been

a judge at Dreamland Expo 2018. She is currently part of the cosplay department at

Bahrain Comic Con for 2019. When not involved in cosplaying, Maram tends to her day job

working with the supreme council of environment and has a Chemical Engineering background.

She is famous for her Grim Reaper attire for which, she says, she had the perfect persona to pull it

off.

Being a dedicated cosplayer means Maram pulls out all the stops, she makes her own cosplays

and even prepares props, custom built helmets, guns etc. as needed without which – she says

– cosplaying would be tasteless. She makes sure she does justice to her chosen character and

focuses on overall appearance. A cosplay she is proud of is her Original Character Scarlich, which

is a cross between a normal human and a witch which took about 3 hours to dress up - adding

testament to her commitment. Some of her dream cosplays are Miss Fortune, Dancer of the

Boreal, Shyvana and Daenerys Targaryen.

Maram has also worked with her sister Marwa on a group cosplay at Bahrain Comic Con 2018

wherein they won 3rd place and they have an interesting future project of playing characters

from The Avengers: Infinity Wars series.


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35

Her motivation to cosplay,

other than being a hobby

and challenging herself is

the words of appreciation

she receives and admiration

from people at conventions.

She has a soft spot for kids

who get excited to see

her in character. A gripe

she has with conventions

though is the long wait in

ques to enter the gaming

area and having to pay

the full ticket amount

even though cosplayers

remain a major attraction at

conventions.

Maram would love to

cosplay in japan, the

birthplace of cosplaying.

She strongly believes this

is a career orientated path

which helps develop talent

and opens doors to several

fields including voice

acting, make-up artist, VFX

and more.

She has no plans of stopping

any time soon and hopes

she can continue cosplaying

all her life, especially

wanting to cosplay as a

family with her future

husband and children.

Follow Maram on Instagram

@m.alaradi & Facebook -

Maram Al-Aradi.

“If Cosplayers are

not encouraged

nor appreciated

properly, the

community will

die in Bahrain”

- Marwa


36

Cosplay Arabia

MARWA

ALARADI

Character: D.Va Back Cat | Overwatch

Text: Zeeshan Asghar

The other half of the

Aradi sisters duo –

Marwa is a 21 year old gamer

& anime fan who stumbled

upon cosplaying when she

attended Animania with her

family back in 2010.

She recalls wondering

what was stopping her from

cosplaying, just like any other

fangirl her age, who admired

other cosplayers at the

event. She began cosplaying

consistently 4 years ago and

hasn’t stopped since. Marwa

is also a senior IT computer

Science student at University

of Bahrain.

Her early cosplays were

simple and appropriate for

a beginner who was new

to styling her own wigs

and props. While she hasn’t

particularly cross played

(gender switched characters),

she finds boy wigs

interesting, they seem “cool

and different” which gives a

nice twist when she feels like

mixing things up.

What’s essential for a

cosplayer to get right ? Well

Marwa feels a cosplayer

should be instantly

recognizable by the audience.

“If you have to explain who

you are then you haven’t

done the job” she says.

Her motivating factor to

continue cosplaying are

recognition, acknowledgment

and appreciation from the

attendees. While some

aspects of your cosplay

cannot be made locally due

to time or material shortage,

Marwa believes the most

attention is gathered when

you put in all the effort by

yourself and as such she tries

preparing everything.

Another aspect of cosplaying

important to her is that the

costume should be Hijabi

Friendly (not tight, not short

and generally decent). She has

played Ahri, Black Cat d.va &

Game Master (original).


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37

“The community needs a big bang

to be reborn again”

In the near future she would

love to play Ling Xiaoyu,

Mercy from Overwatch, Star

guardian Jinx, & Sylvanas.

She consults her mother

on the type of material

required & availability while

researching her cosplays.

It’s important to know if it

can be stitched or not. Good

tip for a beginner is to avoid

complicated designs as it

could be both frustrating and

expensive to fix.

Marwa also competed in a

recent Cosplay Competition

where she gave her best shot

to achieve an award, but

her experience wasn’t quite

tasteful, judging was unfair

and some people suspected it

was rigged, the prizes were

announced late which wasn’t

worth it. Although she was

able to secure 3rd position,

which is still very respectable.

She fears the Bahrain cosplay

scene is slowing down,

conventions are becoming

expensive and messier.

Mistakes are being made

which are prominent to the

audience. “The community

needs a big bang to be reborn

again” she says dreading

next year might be her

last competing unless the

community is reborn.

Not all is doomed though - She

once got a funny comment

while cosplaying ASHE from

league of legends: “You are the

most useless character in the

game.” She couldn’t help but

feel amused. A convention

she would love to attend ?

“BLIZZCON!!!! You can find

exclusive merchandise in

that convention related to

the games of blizzard which

I would look forward to.

Bahrain doesn’t have that sort

of thing.

A cosplayer she admires &

would love to meet there -

“Alyson Tabbitha - I followed

her on Instagram and she is

the best!”

Follow Marwa on Instagram @

marwaalaradi


38

Cosplay Arabia

BARAA

ABDULLAH

The man, the myth - THE LEGEND.

Seldom do you come

across a man who can

claim to have seen it all

when it comes to gaming

conventions, not just in the

country he resides in - which

for the record is Bahrain - but

the middle east as a whole.

Baraa is now officially the

face of the Middle East Game

and Comic book convention

scene - be it Animania where

he made his start a lifetime

ago, or the more recent

GamesCon which was held

in Abu Dhabi last month,

he’s seen (and hosted) it all.

We knew this magazine just

wouldn’t be complete without

his presence to grace our

pages. Without further ado -

let’s get cracking!

Q. Over the past eight years

– you have been the voice

of the Gaming and Comic

Book Convention scene in

Bahrain as well as the middle

east. Can you elaborate on

that journey and what it has

been like to watch this trend

grow?

A. The journey has been a

blissful one, beautiful full of

adventure, challenges, and

drama. If it ends now, I will

thank God because I feel I

have served and have been

part of a lot of memories and

beautiful moments. I hope I

get to live more of it in the

future. 8 to 10 years that’s a

lifetime full of moments and

adventure. At this point, it

feels like there’s more to give.

How does it feel to see this

trend grow? It grew to the

point where it became

overwhelming, to the point

it became oversaturated. We

want to serve everybody, but

it became challenging. We do

see a sense of change right

now regarding events – what

works and what doesn’t, so

that’s what I see so far.

Q. Eight years is a long time

– do you think the trend is

just starting to pick up or

has it lost its steam/appeal

to the youth (to which it is

generally aimed at) already?

A. First of all, I don’t think

it’s a trend. It’s not something

that’s going to lose its pace

because at the end of the

day pop culture is a culture

that goes around in different

platforms, and gaming it goes

around different platforms

– an event is just a station to

the platform itself. So would it

lose its pace with the youth?

I don’t think it’s going to lose

it at all. Maybe the style of

events might change – some

will go bigger, some will go

smaller, some might stop – but

people will not stop talking or

experiencing pop culture.


Cosplay Arabia

There’s still a lot to

experiment with, and there’s

still a lot to go– ComicCon

San Diego is 60 years old. I’m

predicting that there will

be an industry around here

that will develop comics and

games that are catered to our

nation and start exporting it

to the world – the same thing

has happened in Japan,United

States, Germany, and France.

Q. Do you think cosplaying

is getting the attention it

deserves in Bahrain? What

more can cosplayers as well

as establishments such as

this magazine and event

organizers do to promote and

encourage cosplaying in the

GCC?

A. The cosplay scene is a

niche of a niche. For it here

to actually get more attention

people need to understand

what is cosplay and you

need to give it more passion

and interest for it to get

more attention. People need

to understand the trade of

cosplay – they think it’s just

costumes and that’s it. They

don’t realize there’s a lot to

consider. I think cosplayers

not only in Bahrain but

around the world need

attention but it needs more

time.

Prizes are always nice – but

then it creates competition

and when you create a

competition you only have 1

or 2 winners out of 20. Media

is always good to help shed

some light on them. One

thing cosplayers have issues

with is they ’re dependent on

events as the only place they

go showcase their work. So

let’s say you do one cosplay

at one event – now it’s time

for that cosplay to go to other

platforms such as corporate

events, charity, etc. If I sum

it up – its media strategy –

cosplayers need to work on

their media strategy and how

to showcase their work.

Q. Most cosplayers do it for

fun but don’t really see a

growth arc outside contests.

Do you feel there’s more

they can do to grow and

perhaps start a career from

cosplaying?

A. They need to see a broader

horizon to what they do. Not

just cosplay to certain events

and if you afford only to go

to your own country and

your country offers only 2 or

3 events a year – that’s not

enough to get you out there –

you need more exposure.

Sometimes people need to

offer their skills in different

places like theater or movies –

I know a person from Kuwait

who is into that and he can be

a case study of how cosplayers

make it bigger and make a

career out of it by stepping

out of their comfort zone.

Q. Apart from being a TV

personality and an Event

MC, you also have your own

YouTube production and

show on Bahrain TV which

ties into gaming and pop

culture. Tell us more about

that.

A. It’s called VG55 on Bahrain

TV based on video games &

its been going on since 16th

of November 2016. It caters

more to the gaming world,

shedding light on the gaming

community. So it’s simply a

Bahrain TV show on gaming –

the first of its kind on Bahrain

TV ever.

Q. It must be very hectic

for you being involved in

4 simultaneous projects

while being a Family Man as

well? How does one strike a

balance?

A. It’s not easy. Time

management is so important

right now, not losing track of

things is so important right

now. I guess what keeps us

going is we see people smile

“Experiment, invest

money, get broke, make

mistakes, you have to

make mistakes, feel bad

about it, no problems,

just get back up again.”

and when I come back home

I see I’m putting food on

the table and opening more

opportunities for my family

and me and other people.

It seems like we are on the

right track. We’re in the

right age to make it happen

until something big comes

along and we feel like we can

relax a bit and build on the

momentum we’ve developed

over the last few years.

Q. Any last piece of advice

you would like to give our

readers?

Experiment, invest money,

get broke, make mistakes, you

have to make mistakes, feel

bad about it, no problems, just

get back up again. Remember

everything you feel right now

will pass through – whatever

challenges you have right

now they are there for you to

learn. You will be challenged

by your family, challenged

by friends, challenged by the

community and it may seem

sometimes you are alone in

a path. Remember just keep

working keep focused and

keep going. Try different

things and see what clicks.

Right now you have the most

powerful tool at your disposal

which is social media – you’re

so lucky to have that so make

the most out of it.

Interview & photograph by

Ibrahim Ansari for Cosplay

Arabia on 23rd of October

2018. Edited by Mohammed

Farija prior publication.

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Cosplay Arabia

ARRAH

BELLA

Character: Android 18 | DBZ

Bella is a student game

developer from the UK

who has been cosplaying for

the last 3 years. She frequents

MCM Con in London and is

now an advanced wig stylist.

We got her for a few hours

during her last trip to Bahrain,

and this is what she had to

say -

Q. Tell us a bit about

yourself & what got you into

cosplaying?

A. I became hooked on

cosplaying during the

beginning of 2015. The thrill

of dressing up as my favorite

character and having people

recognize me, it was as

something unique that I’d

never experienced before.

Q. Do you have someone who

inspires you to cosplay?

A. “Cowbuttcrunchies” is

incredible. I’d highly suggest

looking her up. Her work

ethic and attention to detail

is so inspiring!

Q. What are some of your

dream cosplays?

A. Griffith and Guts from

Beserk, big swords man.

HUGE SWORDS. That and

final form Senketsu from kill

la kill. It would involve SFX,

latex, lights, props, armor,

and wigs. All in one costume!

Q. How do you research the

cosplay before you make it?

A. I use google, cosplay

amino, deviant art, YouTube

and Instagram as my main

sources for tutorials and

tips! I look at how other

cosplayers have done the

character for inspiration

and helpful hints, giving

them credit where it’s due

of course. This is helpful for

characters with unrealistic

aspects to them (Junkrat’s

missing leg for example).

Q. What is the funniest

reaction you’ve gotten

cosplaying from people?

A. People asked me if my

Caulifla wig was my actual

hair. OVER TEN TIMES. “Yes,

I take my vitamins.” Was my

answer.

Q. What was your worst

experience acting in

character?

A. Having to buy food in

a supermarket, as a super

Saiyan, with a crumbling

wig. A man insisted I was


Cosplay Arabia

41

“to compete for contests in the UK, your costume has to be 80%

handmade...”

sonic the hedgehog and wanted to take a photo of

me for his friends. I also had a man gasp “Oh my

god!” at me in a strong Dutch accent.

Q. Do you compete in cosplay contests? Have you

won anything?

A. I compete in masquerades all the time,

but to compete for contests in the UK, your

costume has to be 80% handmade, so not yet.

However I have great ambitions to compete with

Diamondhearthero for the world cosplay summit

in the next few years. He’s great at skits!

A. I can’t speak for others, but for me, not

particularly. He showers me with all the attention

and love I could ever want, and I trust him

completely. In the end it doesn’t matter how many

people fawn over him, if anything I’m happy on

his behalf! If he’s worked hard on a costume or to

look attractive, I’ll celebrate his success along-side

him. He’s the one going home with me after all!

You can follow Bella’s latest creations on her

Instagram page @mx.crescent

Q. You are engaged to a cosplayer as well - does

that mean all future cosplays will be couples

cosplays only ?

A. Definitely not, although I could not be more

excited to do those! People have such sweet

reactions to couple cosplayers.

Q. Do you think it is a positive or a negative

thing having a partner who cosplays ? Does

jealously creep in ?


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Cosplay Arabia

My name’s Isa,

I’m 28, born

& raised in Bahrain, my

mother is half Spanish/

Pinoy, while my dad is

half Turkish/Persian. I

got into cosplay because

it sounded fun but

after seeing everyone’s

reaction, them being

in awe, it was very

motivational & just

made me want to do

more.

Someone who truly

inspired me to keep

pursuing this was

my late best friend

Mohammed, he adored

his cosplay of Deadpool

to the point that his

own personality

improved, in terms of

confidence, fitness, his

love for spreading joy

to everyone and overall

quality of life really.

ISSA

SADAT

Character: Leon| RE4


Q. How do you research the

cosplay before you make it

A. Initially, I try to find

inspiration from other

cosplayers & fanart, then

find good quality fashionable

casual outfit that can also

work as everyday wear, it

gives it a more live-action

feel/touch to it.

Q. Do you style your own

wigs?

A. Yes, but sometimes ask my

fiancée Arah for professional

help in wig styling!

Q. Do you try to duplicate

your character’s expressions,

walk, movements, etc.?

A. Of course! Roleplaying the

character is one of the best

things ever.

Q. What is the funniest

reaction you’ve gotten

cosplaying from people?

A. Shy fans screaming to

catch my attention from a

distance haha, it’s cute.

Q. What was your worst

experience acting in

character?

A. I was in my chubby phase

as Maes Hughes character

from Full Metal Alchemist,

and one of the judge asked if

I made the cosplay, I said I did

not, he said: “What a shame.”

Q. What is your opinion

of the Bahrain Cosplay

Community?

A. It’s still very young, as

many come into the Cosplay

Community with a wrong

mindset about the Cosplay

Concept, Cosplay is simply

meant to be for fun, find old

& new friends, to explore

one’s capabilities, to challenge

yourself and improve in many

aspect of your life.

Q. You are fond of RE characters

and usually cosplay as them at

conventions - do you think this

is limiting you as a cosplayer ?

A. Not at all! Having the drive

& passion for any cosplay, be

it repeated style or theme, is

the most important aspect of a

cosplayer, as with every version

it shows obvious improvement.

Q. You are engaged to a

cosplayer as well - does that

mean all future cosplays will be

couples cosplays only ?

A. Most probably, as the hobby

is very contagious & a fun

experience to be shared with

friends, family & especially loved

ones!

Q. How extreme are you willing

to go to emulate your character?

A. I would go as far as to body

build & dye my hair, both

equally expensive but worth the

challenge as it pays off big time!

Q. Do you think

it is a positive or

a negative thing

having a partner

who cosplays? Does

jealously creep in if

they get too much

(male) attention at

conventions ?

A. It’s definitely a

positive thing, as they

become both your

partner & rival. You

constantly grow in

cosplay progression! I

feel quite proud to see

my partner making

new friends & being

even more popular!

You can follow Isa‘s

cosplay journey via

his Instagram account

@diamondhearthero

Cosplay Arabia

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44

Cosplay Arabia

ANGEL

Character: 2B | NieR:Automata


Cosplay Arabia

45

Q. Best fan related experience you

would like to share?

A. One of the girls came yelling

Missa! Missa! (my character cosplay)

and hugged me, that felt so nice

because she didn’t know me, yet she

was so fond of me and ever since

then she comes and says hi to me at

conventions with a big smile and a

huge hug.

Long time veteran cosplayer Angel shares her

journey & experience at Bahrain Comic Con in

this Cosplay Arabia exclusive.

Q. Tell us about yourself when you aren’t dawning a

suit.

A. I am a crazy full time mommy (2 Baby Dinosaurs

and 5 Fur balls to be precise), coffee and chocolate

addict and I love to wake up early. I enjoy doing things

that make me feel content, even if it means going to

the same cafe twice a day, enjoy music, singing in the

car and I love food. I might be the craziest person you

know.

Q. Speaking of suits, any regrets or horror stories you

would like to share from your time cosplaying?

A. Regrets on the costumes definitely - It’s 100 degrees

here - stay away from Leather! Try to go with minimum

makeup or face paint. Also try to choose a light cosplay,

something you can breathe in (which definitely means

no thick fabrics used in your costume) Lastly, don’t

wear high heels because you’re going to walk a lot. Try

to wear the most comfy shoes.

Q. Worst fan related experience?

A. Fans that became stalkers in

real life - following me and taking

pictures or videos of me with my

kids or other people. Also, people

who get too close or touchy while

taking selfies at the events.

Q. How was your experience with

judging the cosplay contest at

BCC? Would you say being a judge

helped or hurt you as a cosplayer

in the region?

A. It was a challenging & learning

experience, an eye opener, to see

how things work from a different

perspective, from “the other side

of the table” so to speak as I’m a

cosplayer who is now scoring other

cosplayers on their work, where

you get to see the good and bad, the

ugly and the beautiful.


46

Cosplay Arabia

“Sometimes you

have to stop thinking

about other

people’s opinion

and just be yourself”

I heard stories before about

how judges can be misjudged

for their verdict (which I

found to be true to an extent)

and the aftermath continued

well past the event itself

which was disheartening.

However, I learned a lot about

myself and how to handle

things around me due to this

which is why, overall, I felt it

was definitely an experience

worth trying that am

thankful for.

Q. If you were called back -

would you be interested in

reprising your role as a judge

or participating in any form?

A. Well, first it would depend

on their approach and second

it would depend if I had good

coffee or not (laughs). I’d like

to give back to the cosplay

community– as long as they

maintain professionalism I

don’t mind helping.

Q. Cosplaying is very

focused on conventions in

Bahrain - do you think it’s

better cosplayers move away

from cons and display their

creations elsewhere as well?

A. Yes, I totally agree with

that because we don’t have

many conventions, so if you

love cosplaying you can create

your own place to cosplay

like visiting charities and

orphanages or you could do it

at a mall. I’ve done that before

and it was really nice.

Q. Any cosplayers you look

up to or follow on social

media?

A. 1. Jessica Nigri, 2. Riddle,

3.Yayahan and 4. Alodia

Q. Will we continue seeing

you cosplaying in the region?

Perhaps elsewhere in the

GCC as well?

A. I’m going to keep

cosplaying, I have great plans

for the future and want to

take it to the next level with

the upcoming cons. For GCC,

as you know I have kids so

it’s hard to move around – I’d

love to though and if I got

the chance I’d definitely go

to other events both inside &

outside the GCC.

Q. Any last words for our

readers?

Life is all about you and

having fun, sometimes you

have to stop thinking about

other people’s opinion and

just be yourself. Enjoy every

moment and do whatever

makes you happy as long as

you are having fun and not

harming anyone that’s the

best you can do!


Cosplay Arabia

47

Interactive

Corner

Hey CA Fans !

What did you think of our new print edition?

Hit us up on Instagram or Facebook and let us know the answers to these questions:

1 2 3

What was your

favorite

article/feature?

What was your

least favorite

article/feature?

4 5 6

Are you an

aspiring writer/

artists/cartoonist

looking to make your

mark?

What kind of content

would you like to

see more of (projects,

con coverage,

cosplayer interviews,

art ?)

Who would you

like to see featured

next in the

magazine ?

Would you like to

showcase your

photography skills in

the next edition?

We’ll be doing a drawing from all the responses for a free copy of our next print issue,

as well as contacting cosplayers & photographers to be featured so get your answers in

before the 1st of February 2019.

Photography Credits

All featured articles have been

photographed & edited by @mia.shot -

Bahrain’s premier portrait photography service

catering to Cosplay themed shoots.

Other services offered include Fashion,

Advertising, Events & Product

photography. Contact: info@miashot.com

or @mia.shot on Instagram for more information.


48

Cosplay Arabia

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