I first started learning the cello when I was seven years old in a group class in my primary school. I moved schools a few times and remember that at each school I would ask about cello lessons, but they weren’t available at every school, so my parents found me a private tutor, who I then learnt with till I was 18 and left school! It was so important to me to carry on learning the cello because it was so much fun and I was so keen to carry on! When I was approaching my A-Levels, I remember the only passion I had was playing cello, and I knew from that moment that I wanted to carry on with it and pursue a career in performing!

Coming from an Arabic background and having lived within the Arabic community in Swansea, music was seen more of as a hobby than a career. No one else in my family that was musical, so it was seen to have come from nowhere, but it was my passion from such a young age and I knew that this was the only career that I wanted. When I decided to pursue music, there was some backlash from family members and people in my home community. I remember thinking that I had to show all of them not only that I could make a career out of performing, but I wanted to show the other young people in the community that it is possible to pursue a career in the Arts.

I studied my Bachelor’s and Master’s at the Royal Northern College of Music, having amazing opportunities to learn with Emma Ferrand, Gillian Thoday and Victoria Simonsen. I also took part in some incredible masterclasses with Natalie Clein, Leonard Elsenbroich and Hannah Roberts. Whilst studying at RNCM, I had some memorable concerts, including performing The Rite of Spring in my third year and Rachmaninov’s Symphony No.2 at Bridgewater Hall. But it was outside of RNCM that I really explored and experienced my biggest moments.

During my second and third years at RNCM, I performed with The Women of the World Orchestra, which took part during International Women’s Day. There was a festival put on during this week in March which ended with a concert at the Royal Festival Hall. It was incredible being surrounded by such inspiring women and hearing about everyone’s different experiences and stories, and learning how they got to where they are in their industry. We got the opportunity in January 2019 to perform at the World Economic Forum, which was brilliant! And not just because I got to see David Attenborough give a speech, it was my first experience travelling with an orchestra to perform. In 2019, I also took part in The Nico Project, a show working with actress Maxine Peake and choreographer Imogen Knight. Working with Imogen really opened my eyes to the different ways of performing, influencing how I approach new performances now.

Since graduating, I have thrown myself into performing and opportunities around music. Something that was made harder with the COVID virus, but I stuck to it! I am now performing with a few different quartets in Manchester in events from concerts to weddings, and I work very closely with The Untold Orchestra. The Untold Orchestra is a Manchester based collaborative orchestra with aims to redefine what an orchestra is in the 21st Century. I not only perform with them as a cellist, but I am now on the administrative team which has shown me just how much work it takes to organise a team of freelance musicians! With The Untold Orchestra I have had many amazing opportunities to perform, from a project called ‘4 Women’ which celebrated the work of Nina Simone, exploring dance, poetry and music, to performing at the London Jazz Festival 2021 with Bill Laurance.

Outside of music I am very active, or try to be! I like to go on hikes in the Peak District or explore new cities with my friends. I am also known to be a bit of a foodie and like to explore different culture’s foods that I may never have had before! I do love to cook and love to cook for my friends and introduce them to Arabic food.


Royal Northern College of Music
Manchester, UK


The Untold Orchestra


What is your favourite piece of music and why do you love it?

This changes on such a regular basis it’s so hard to choose just one favourite piece of music! But one piece that has always spoken to me has to be Elgar’s Cello Concerto. Each movement has its own story and leads to the next so beautifully. I have been playing this piece since I was 16 years old and have used it as an escape from life on many occasions. My earliest memory of hearing Elgar’s Cello Concerto is when it was performed in a movie and I watched it with my Aunt, and I remember us both just tearing up at hearing it! So when my Aunt passed away, the first piece of music I played after was the third movement of the concerto, as a prayer for her.

What do you do with your time when you’re not playing music?

I really like to stay fit, whilst also being a big foodie! I like to go on hikes (especially in the Peak District!), walks around different national parks. I also love to bake, and experiment with different foods! Coming from a Middle Eastern background definitely means there is an abundance of good food!