In Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, five-piece girl band Random Stars can be found rocking it out in abayas and hijabs covering classic rock songs from the 60s and 70s.
Random Stars is comprised of five students from the Higher Colleges of Technology of Al Ain and were brought together by the school’s guitar club. Although there was already a music club, English teacher Jackie Small created the guitar club with the intention of forming band. Small taught members how to play several instruments, including the drums and bass guitar.
With her efforts, Small was able to make a band that included Hamda al-Ghaithi as lead guitarist, Bushra Hassan al-Hashimi on rhythm guitar, Ayesha Salem al-Kaabi on bass guitar, Almayasa al-Kaabi on keyboard, and Ayesha Abdullah al-Maskari on drums.
Like other bands, such as Pragaash, Random Stars is from an area where the majority religious group is Islam. However, unlike Pragaash, Random Stars has received widespread support from their friends, school, and family.
None of the girls had ever played an instrument before joining the band, except for al-Ghaithi who has played guitar and piano for two years prior. The band has become a source of pride and relaxation for the girls.
“It takes us away from the stress of homework and other college stuff – we play some music and we work on our songs. I’ve always liked rock ‘n’ roll,” guitarist Hassan al-Hashimi said in an interview with the National.
“It’s very exciting being on stage. Drumming is hard work, but when I started doing the hard stuff I started to enjoy it because I didn’t know I could do it,” drummer Abdullah al-Maskari said to National.
In the one year Random Stars has been together, they have mostly played cover songs at school events. The group has planned to start writing their own songs this September and continue rocking on.
Maggie Rivers for Tom Tom Magazine