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Stories of Eid: Anum Bashir

Anum Bashir is a multitasker. We’re not just referring to her multiple roles as creative consultant, stylist, influencer and mother, but her ability to conduct an interview on Zoom while feeding her nearly two-year-old daughter Eden and pottering about tidying with complete grace and ease. We're pretty sure this must be run of the mill for the Riyadh-based creative, also known as @desertmannequin.

Childrensalon caught up with Anum in the midst of this domestic scene, to find out how her family intends to celebrate the upcoming Eid festivities, how becoming a mother has changed the way she feels about this exciting time and how this year’s plans will be a break from tradition.

29 Mar 2023

Old Traditions and New

Your daughter Eden will be turning two just before Eid, so this is officially her third time celebrating. How has Eid changed for you as a family with the arrival of a little one?

Eden’s first Eid — that has a ring to it! — came around when she was just a few days old and it was so lovely. We were all in Dubai as that's where we were living at the time, and she enjoyed being the brand-new bundle of joy at her first ever Eid celebration, surrounded by family and loved ones. I'll never forget that moment. One really wants to strive to embed beautiful traditions and customs into children's lives. Eid was so significant to my sister and me growing up, so I definitely want our children to understand the importance of those memories and celebrations.

What are your earliest memories of Eid?

Growing up, food was such a big part of Eid culture. My earliest memories of Eid are waking up early — like, 5am–5:30am — and I would hear my mum darting through the house saying, “I’ve got to get the food ready” and “We need to get this done in time for the guests." It was this amazing, beautiful, kind-of jubilant chaos that existed in the house early in the morning because 50 people were going to show up for brunch at our house and have a beautiful meal together. 

Where will you be celebrating Eid with your husband and daughter this year?

The culture around Eid has changed a little bit since my husband and I moved to Saudi as we don’t have family nearby. That's a big con for us, which obviously has caused a big hole in our hearts. So this year Waqas, my husband, said merrily, “Oh, we should go away somewhere. We have so much to celebrate.” This year we’re celebrating both Eid and Eden’s second birthday, so we’re thinking about going to Thailand or possibly the Maldives.



An Island Eid

What are the essential things you're going to be taking to create an Eid celebration away from home?

So, I'm a big planner. By nature, I love organising events and outfits for events. As this trip is going to be a combination of birthday celebrations and Eid and it’s going to be a beach destination, we'd love our memories and our photos to reflect this really special time in our life. With island style in mind, I think this year might be a little different in terms of how we dress. There will be lots of colour and print for all of us, which is very different from how we would dress for Eid at home with family. We’d usually wear more traditional South Asian garments and attire.


Pretty as a Picture

"I would say the majority of the edit is beautiful, breezy cotton dresses with broderie anglaise and lace."

What is on Eden’s packing list?

I was so excited to see Eden's Childrensalon wardrobe. It's so cute. Comfort is obviously going to be a big thing especially for an island, so I deliberately went with cottons. I would say the majority of the edit is beautiful, breezy cotton dresses with broderie anglaise and lace. So nothing too heavy, nothing too opulent. The swimsuit from Stella McCartney Kids is just adorable and I think those oranges and yellows look so beautiful on her skin. When putting my edit together, I thought 'Is she going to be comfortable in it? Will that photograph well? Is this something that we don't already have in her wardrobe?' — I just wanted to pick things that were new and fresh and obviously from brands that I love, so I know that the quality is great.

What about the finishing touches? Does Eden like wearing hair accessories or jewellery?

Oh, she is so into jewellery right now. So she wakes up every morning demanding where her 'neckie' is. Her neckie is her necklace! We lost two pairs of sunglasses on her last vacation, so she's definitely due a new pair. We opted to go for some open-toe shoes from Children's Classics, which are a fun light gold colour. They’ll work really well on a beachy vacation and will go with all her dresses and evening outfits. She's very fond of purses too; I have to say she really adores her clothes. Oddly, she’s always gravitating towards my Dior and Prada purses! It's so funny. She goes, “Mummy bag the best.” 

"Eden asks every morning where her 'neckie' is. Her neckie is her necklace!"

Ready for the Tropics

Making Memories 

Are you going to be packing Eid gifts to give while you’re away?

I think Eden is still quite young to process the meaning behind Eid gift giving and taking but obviously we’ll be giving her a whole bunch of gifts that she doesn’t even know she needs. My husband and I are very enthusiastic, young art collectors, so I got a beautiful piece of art for my husband this week but that definitely won’t be going with us. That’s what we have both been blessed to get this year.

And what will you be doing on the day of Eid itself?

Irrespective of where we are, whether that's home or abroad we usually get a 6–6:30am wake-up call from Eden, we hear her cooing and shouting for mummy and papa. Then Eid breakfast is a huge deal for my husband and me. We really enjoy a beautiful lavish breakfast-brunch kind of layout. Eden is her chirpiest in the morning, so she really enjoys breakfast too. Then we'll hopefully swim in the pool and I might even treat myself to a massage. In the evening we'll have an early dinner and then we'll tuck Eden up and either watch a movie in bed or sit out on the porch and relax in the ocean breeze. I love taking photos and we'll try to capture moments throughout our day, whether that's at breakfast or walking around. My husband usually has a camera on the go and we'll just be capturing some really, really beautiful moments. I love to shoot during golden hour, especially at a resort or at a beach location. That light is so beautiful. I remember during my pregnancy reveal when I was pregnant with Eden in the Maldives and we shot at golden hour and that photo was so beautiful it's burned into my memory.

Eden's Eid Outfits

And will there be lots of FaceTiming the family at home?

Yes, for sure. My mum will probably call us three times a day to say, “Oh, what are you doing now? What are you eating? Where are you going now?” so yes, that's definitely a given. We have a big family WhatsApp group so there will be lots of messages, lots of love, lots of photos being sent across the group. And then at some point, we're all going to try to get together on a seven-, eight- or ten-person FaceTime conference call so that everybody can wish each other a happy Eid. And the number one requirement is to see the kids. My parents are grandparents to three. They just live for those FaceTime sessions where they can see my sister’s boys and Eden.

All images by Anum

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