keeping-faith

A Sana Bakkoush Playlist (on spotify)

(requested by Anonymous)

Masterpiece by Jessie J / People help the People by Birdie / None of dem by Robyn (ft. Röyskopp) / Rescue by Yuna / We don’t have to take our clothes off by Ella Eyre / God don’t leave me by Highasakite / Arms by Christina Perri / Superwoman by Rebecca Fergusson / Don’t worry about me by Frances / Waiting for me by Rebecca Fergusson /  Crush by Yuna (ft Usher) / Best of me by Yuna / INTERMISSION: fLoWer by Zayn / Don’t let me be misunderstood by Yusuf/Cat Stevens / Gunerius by Amanda Delara / Brave by Sara Bareilles / Silver Lining (Clap your hands) by Imany / Roots before Branches by Room for two / Don’t give up by Noisettes / Changing by Sigma (ft Paloma Faith) / Shine by Take That / Ready for the good life by Paloma Faith / Keep holding on by Glee / Fight like a girl by Zolita / Hijabi by Mona Haydar / Let in the sun by Take That / Hall of fame by The Script (ft will.i.am) / Lean on me by Bill Withers/ Love me again by Katelyn Tarver

Enjoy!

I’m saying that I love you. I’m in love with you. And I’ve been waiting my whole life for someone like you and I’m not gonna let you go
—  Keeping the Faith
8

Get to know me meme: 18/20 animated movies » Cinderella (1950)
     “A dream is a wish your heart makes when you’re fast asleep. In dreams you will lose your heartaches. Whatever you wish for, you keep. Have faith in your dreams, and someday, your rainbow will come smiling through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true.”

Keep in mind that progress takes time. Changes are happening, but you may not be able to notice from one day to the next. Stay strong, keep persistent, and have faith that your actions are paying off; one cent at a time.
—  Nicole Addison @thepowerwithin

to anyone who lives in the uk or anywhere in europe and didnt go to the first secret session, please have hope that there well and truly could be more where that came from, and that either way, there is still tumblr and insta to reach out to t for the time being, and we will have the world tour to come. please never lose hope, for the best things come unexpected.

to anyone who lives in a country that t has never visited/toured, please never lose faith in her ability to swap things up this era and to reach out to as many of you as possible. also remember we have tumblr and insta and the new app to utilise. she’ll do everything in her power to meet as many of you as she possibly can.

to my fellow aussies, please keep the positive vibes going for an event to be made here, but also try to not get your hopes up as we probably did last time haha. we’re so lucky to have her come here so often, and to have her even take a holiday here last year (!!!!) we are very grateful to have her tour here every single time, and i’m so incredibly excited to go to a few shows this time!

and finally to anyone who constantly doubts meeting taylor, she’s just proven that she may never touch a single thing of yours but can know everything about you. we truly will never know just how much she knows and how many people she keeps up with, but what we DO know is that she cares more about us than anything in the world, and it’s us who have gotten her to where she is today. so please always keep the faith - after all, she’s always 2 steps ahead of the game :)

💛💛💛

A Michael Jackson Playlist For Every Need

Drowning in Heartbreak: Who Is It, She’s Out of My Life, One More Chance, Gone Too Soon

(+Need A Good Cry): Cry, Childhood, I’ll Be There, Ben, Stranger In Moscow

♥In Love♥: The Way You Make Me Feel, I Just Can’t Stop Loving You, Baby Be Mine, PYT, You Rock My World 

“In The Mood”: Lady In My Life, Liberian Girl, Human Nature, Break of Dawn, In The Closet

Saw Some Injustice?: They Don’t Care About Us, Earth Song, Leave Me Alone, Why You Wanna Trip On Me, Tabloid Junkie, Money, Scream

Therefore, You Probably Need Hope For Humanity: Black or White, Heal the World, We Are The World, Will You Be There

Motivational Pick Me Up: Keep The Faith, You Are Not Alone, Hold My Hand, Man in the Mirror, Off The Wall, HIStory, UnBreakable

Danceable House Cleaning Jams: Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough, Rock With You, Wanna Be Starting Something, Beat It, Billie Jean, Bad, Remember the Time, Blame It On The Boogie, Working Day and Night, Another Part of Me

Got an Attitude? These are just as aggressive: Smooth Criminal, Morphine, This Time Around, Blood on the Dance Floor, Dirty Diana, 2 Bad, Give In To Me, Dangerous

Halloween party!: Thriller, Ghosts, Is It Scary, Somebody’s Watching Me

This quote sounds sooo corny 😜😜. And I am sure you have read similar quotes. I created this quote to motivate myself. And I hate that I am even posting it LOL. But the reason I am posting it, is because following your dreams, your passion above anything else is a heavy burden 😔😔😔. Rejecting everything else and always motivating yourself, always keeping the faith in your dream is HARD. But we have to keep pushing, we have to look internally and PUSH ourselves. Because we only get one life. Here is hoping no one gives up on their dreams. Much love. xoxo

If you needed it today, this is your reminder to have faith in the universe. If things aren’t going how you planned, if what you want isn’t being realised or your dreams aren’t manifesting themselves to you, keep smiling and keep going. The universe guides you to where you need to be, teaching you the lessons you need to learn and showing you what you need to see. Keep holding on, have faith. Take those lessons and teachings and raise your vibration higher. Shine the light you know you have within you, and you’ll get there.

psa: for those of you who haven’t yet, you’re now one day closer to meeting taylor swift. in the meantime, keep in mind that she’ll forever adore and appreciate all of you with every fiber of her being. keep hoping, have faith and know that even if you’ve not yet been noticed by her, your dreams can truly become reality. whether it’s weeks, months or years from today, you all deserve to meet her and thank her for being a wonderful constant in your life. keep believing, as when your opportunity arises it will be the warmest, most blissful feeling in the world.

What Went Wrong?

I had an immense amount of hope for season 4 of Skam. And even though from the beginning, I didn’t like some stuff or was suspicious of some plotlines, I decided to trust the people who had previously made three amazing seasons of Skam to make sense of everything and to give us a beautiful and meaningful season for Sana as well.

Now that Sana’s season is basically over, however, I am more resigned to bitterness and accepting the fact that they simply couldn’t deliver. I don’t blame Julie. Not really. I did for a while, but now I just…feel nothing. The rage has worn off and what’s left is this deep sadness that comes from knowing something good has gone bad.

I’m being dramatic though! At the end of the day, it’s just a show and it doesn’t really matter. But for a second there, I thought I was watching something monumental occur; like when I watched season 3. To get a show from the perspective of a poc muslim girl in a European country seemed both risqué and innovative. But the problem with such a never-seen-before/never-explored-before concept is that, you won’t know just how wrong it can go.

For example, they could easily figure out what not to do in season three, by simply watching all the wrong moves other shows had made through the years. While Sana’s season needed delicate and thorough research to first: capture the essence of the culture and background she came from and then secondly: to use it in the fabric of the show in a natural and organic way. They also needed to have space to deal with the daily problems of muslim girls in modern Norway’s society and on top of that all, they had to make no mistakes and create interesting drama through it all.

Looking at it like that, I feel bad for Julie and the pressure she must have been under. I think considering how bad things could have gone…. they went moderately bad. And yet, ironically we can claim it’s the best of its kind because no one else has done anything remotely close to it before, either.

However, I’m not resigned to just accept this as an excuse and forget just how badly things went. Because this looks like a terrible accident to me, and no matter what I do, I find myself thinking things like “if only this part had been different”, “if only they hadn’t done that.”, if, if, if. So I’m gonna rewatch all nine episodes of Sana’s season and attempt to write a piece explaining just what I thought went wrong.

1.The pacing: Perhaps one of the most obvious things that went wrong with this season and that everyone noticed, was the pacing. This piece will be full of bitter nostalgia so let the first one be a callback to the amazing trailer. I will never forget the day we got season four’s trailer after four months of waiting. Everything about it seemed just perfect. Every detail seemed like a symbol, a throwback, a small wink to the viewer: “look! We put that there for you to find!”. And the ultimate message seemed to be that “it’s about to go down” and it will go down in a very complex way, too! A chain reaction! Millions of meta pieces were written. A thousand different takes on the chain of reaction and what each dilemma could be was written. So when the season started, we were all waiting for something to happen. We waited….and waited… and waited… and waited…. We waited for weeks! But what happened was that a tension, thick as butter, just kept on building for five weeks. And then BOOM! All hell broke loose! And yet…and yet nothing had happened yet. We actually had to wait two more weeks for something to really happen and suddenly by the eighth week, everything was resolved again! In short, the plot was one giant anticlimax! The conflict that kept on building to seem like an unavoidable fall out, a tsunami of dramatic interactions, ended up being resolved off screen. The real problem seemed to be the pacing. If the show had built the conflict in three episodes, presented us with the supposed dilemma in episode 3, tried to fix that in episode 4 and had the deeper, real conflict happen in episode 5, then had the after math in episode 6, and started to fix it in episode 7, have the characters figure it out in episode 8 and the resolve it in episode nine, then it would have made sense! Writing it down like that, it almost feels like that’s what happened! But clearly something prevented the cycle from feeling like a natural arc. Which brings us to the second problem:

2.Crowded narrative: So what was Sana’s season about? The imbalance of her Muslim/Norwegian identity? Being a muslim in an atheist country? Falling for a non-muslim boy? Falling out of touch with friends? Jealousy? Anger issues? Making up with family? Getting a Russ buss? What was this season about?

Ignoring the subplots (because there was so many of those I shiver just thinking about them!), there was three main plots for Sana in this season:

1.Finding a balance between her Norwegian identity and the people in that part of her life with the muslim/Moroccan side of her identity and the people in that part of her life.

2.the problem of being a muslim girl falling for a non-muslim boy and trying to keep true to her faith while still trying to not the love go to waste.

3.Finally making the last move in her friendship with girl squad and really being honest with them about her feelings and problems.  

However soon these problems morphed into different things entirely:

1.Getting a bus and proving to everyone that she can be a part of this Norwegian tradition like any other Norwegian girl.

2. Trying to let go of the boy who was both unsuitable for her and who her best friend had feelings for.

3.Dealing with the collision of her Moroccan and Norwegian on terms that were not her own.

Each of these plots kept on getting more complicated and more tangled to a point that they were not exactly resolvable. They were instead just forced into a state of equilibrium. Which was anti climactic to say the least!

*sigh* now let’s face the subplots! There were so many subplots! And at one point, it felt like these plots will wrap up in that infamous trailer “chain reaction”. But with the season already over, it’s become abundantly clear that that was never the case!

The subplots as seen from the very first clip on are:

1. Vilde and Magnus’s relationship (initially taken as a way to introduce lesbian Vilde but ending up being about trust and cheating. Resolved in episode eight’s sixth clip)

2.Noorhelm (the most unnecessary unearthing of a clearly failed relationship that somehow got revived again…*whispers*why?! Resolved in Episode nine’s third clip)

3.Balloon squad (Sana’s brother’s group of friends and the most adorable addition to Skam this season. I’m not sure what their conflict was supposed to be but last time we saw them they were pretty happy and content so I guess resolved in the last hei briskeby video) (actually they were there to destroy stigma surrounding poc/muslim boys and trying to create empathy towards them)

4.Getting a bus (resolved in the fifth clip of episode 8)

5.Hvem er Mikael?!(Still a mystery tbh but generally accepted to be the last guy Even tried to kiss…unsuccessfully I might add. Resolved in the last clip of episode 4?!then again in last clip of episode 5 and again in the last clip of episode 7…)

6.Sana and her mother (not really a conflict point but still she started from hiding things from her to telling her stuff. Resolved in the fourth clip of episode 9)

7.Even’s past (I honestly don’t know why this had to be mentioned but whatever. Resolved in the sixth clip of episode 8)

8.Yousana (resolved with an open ending in the fifth clip of episode nine aka Sana’s last clip)

9.Elias (Sana’s brother has issues! He’s drinking, he’s fighting with his mom, he’s rebelling and maybe even questioning his faith. This wasn’t resolved! This was just mentioned and to this day I’m haunted. What is happening with Elias?)

10.PM girls (The true let down of this season. There was no need to make 50% of the 99 girls evil, but nothing we can do about that. Resolved in the fifth clip of episode 8)

11.Vilde (Vilde was acting super weird all season long! From Islamophobic behavior to spreading stuff about Sana behind her back and such. Vilde deserved better because we never saw her acknowledge her wrong behavior but somehow this was already resolved by the end of the fifth clip of episode 8)

12.The syng fight (supposedly a climax for the other plots and subplots but it’s an even bigger mystery than all the plots combined. I don’t know anything about it! Nothing made sense but apparently already resolved by the sixth clip of episode 8)

13.Jamilla and Sana’s friendship (resolved in the fifth clip of episode 7)

14.Hacking and cyber-bulling (resolved by the fifth clip of episode 8)

15.Sana finishing her prayer (resolved in the last clip of episode 9)

I…I just think there was too much happening! 

All this aside, this season had one giant problem. Like a zit on the nose. Big, red, angry and full of gross pus. And that is the third problem…

3.Noora: To think I started watching the show for Noora! Oh Noora, Noora, Noora! I am so sick of Noora! The woman, the mirror, the foil, the ever-present heroin of Skam! It was so easy for Eva and Isak to fade into the backgrounds of the seasons that were not theirs but for some unfathomable reason, this is just not going to work out for Noora!

While Noora’s mirror presence in season 3 was dignified and reasonable, the ever-changing mirror/foil/symbol/metaphor/object of hate or jealousy-take your pick-  presence that she had this season was stifling! Present in almost all clips or at least the long clips, with a very tangible presence and a very lingering subplot, Noora mirror-foilingly(!) stole the show from Sana. Here’s how she did that.

In the very first clip of season 4, it’s mentioned that Noora is still not over William while he has apparently moved on to dating a new person. This sets the main plot into action, by girl squad trying to find someone for her to move on with. Which leads to a cute tête-à-tête between her and Yousef. But this is quickly side-tracked by Sana wittingly telling Noora to avoid muslim boys.

So basically, Noora and her boy trouble were the spark that started the season. This later affected other plots such as the Vilde+Magnus one, the Even backstory, Yousana and balloon squad.

Soon after this, we get a long clip in which Noora explained-with a painstakingly slow pace- why she really left William in London. An explanation that nobody needed and that just created the opportunity to restart an old storyline despite it being over for months. Long story short, from trying to help Noora move on to Noora kissing Yousef, from Sana being jealous of Noora to hacking and a lot of tears, basically this whole season was a chain of Sana’s reactions to Noora’s actions. The only plot that was there from the very first clip to the second to last one. The only story that evolved and developed, right beneath our noses while we were busy wondering about more important things like: “whether Sana will ever talk to her friends or not?” (she won’t) or “what the syng fight was about?” (nothing important!) or “what really happened in Bakka?” (What’s Bakka?!) or “Is Vilde lesbian?” (no!) or “will Yousana make it?” (eh…). And while we were busying ourselves with these silly small plots around the season, Noora and her epic romantic adventures were developing steadfastly towards a big climax that was delivered in the last clip of episode 8. A clip that was formerly reserved for a very important and dramatic plot twist in the main’s life.

So while all those never-explored-before plots were all just dismissed, the same old story of Noora got to be the main plot of the season. And that’s fine! But when they said we were getting a Sana season, it just led us to believe Sana would be a bigger part of her own main plotline.

I always thought Sana was the ultimate main for Skam, because in the past three seasons, she was the single character that held a real sway over the plot. She delivered important speeches and pushed the plot in a whole new direction with each of these talks. I thought she was ultimately the character we were meant to get to know. But I was wrong. Because Skam was always about Noora.

4.Bad research: While we all know that the authenticity and uniqueness that is provided in Skam’s plots is curtsey of the interviews they did with actual teenagers and the inspirations they took from their real life experiences; it is undeniable that the main reason season three became such a success was because they sought out the counsel of a professional. While we don’t know if they didn’t really do this for this season, it at least feels like they went in blind to write it. We know they spoke with muslim teenagers, but perhaps it would have been better to try to familiarize themselves with Sana’s situation on a sociological and psychological level as well. Maybe have a religion expert on the show? Or a sociologist who had studied the social disorders that second generation immigrants have to deal with? Someone who could guide them into writing a story that was perhaps a bit more respectful to these children’s experiences rather than a dramatic roller coaster of unexplainable events that led to nothing but drama.

5.Scattered storytelling: The most respectful way to put this is to say that (as mentioned before) since there were too many subplots happening in the season, none of these stories got to be told in a linear way. The stories got told in snippets, set too far apart that plots got lost or complicated simply because they had to wait in line for weeks, to take up where they left off last time we heard about them!

Take Yousana for instance, one week we see them talk, then for a whole week we hear nothing then we see Yousef kiss Noora. Then again we get a clip about Sana moving on but two weeks later, she talks about him again and decides to give it a chance.

For another, Sana’s faith. While initially it seemed as though we might see her practice her faith in some way, to actually normalize Islam, that plot was forgotten half way through the season and only got mentioned again in the very last clip.

Consistency was not the strong suit of this season for sure. Perhaps because this was the last season. Maybe they just ran out of a good way to see things through or to connect the things they wanted to connect.

But no matter how you will try to tell yourself that there was a good reason for the things that happened this season, you can’t deny how unfair this season was to Sana.

Before the season started, there were so many people talking about how a Sana-centered season was “needed” at times like these. But political climate and social anomalies aside, this season not only didn’t help any of those noble causes it was supposed to serve, but also pushed its narrator aside in favor of a more sought after story that only had dramatic value.