Celebrating Our Second Year at The Pemberley
Good day everybody!
It is with great pride that I announce the 2-year anniversary of The Pemberley Magazine!
Over the last year, a lot has changed. The website has had a complete makeover (Tres Sophisticate, I must say). Our Instagram has grown in numbers and we've partnered with some amazing people all the while our readership has grown by thousands all over the world. Thank you for joining us!
I think the proudest moment of this year was an email I received from a 21-year-old college student in Cairo. He told me his story and it made me cry. It amazes me how someone so young, living in a country so full of negativity, can have the most positive outlook I have ever witnessed.
Ahmed was kicked out of his father's house when he was a child because his father couldn't afford to feed him. He was picked up off the streets by a kind neighbor and was sent to school and given a sofa to sleep on. He grew up thinking no one wanted him and it got to him. He found a job and was just "getting by", allowing every day to pass. His father still didn't want to have anything to do with him because his young son had dreams and couldn't accept his fate of just being another poor Egyptian. His bosses laughed and told him to keep his head down and focus on his work. And then he foundThe Pemberley.
The Pemberleygave him a glimpse into a world of men who have accomplished something. Men who have the rights to their own fate. Ahmed read a book called "Start With Why" by Simon Sinek because it was a book listed as a must-read book in a feature we did two years ago. His view on life changed and he took life by the horns and is making it work for him.
Over the past year, he has quit his job with the laborious tasks and negative bosses and has enrolled full time in a university in Cairo. As long as holding down a full-time job in the tech industry AND helps out an older gentleman who bartered an almost free bedroom in exchange for daily errands for the old man. Oh, and did I forget that he also has dreams of becoming a bodybuilder and will be running a full marathon this month?
During my visit to Cairo in the beginning of August, I met with this young man for some shisha in a street cafe downtown. He is a marvel. I have never met a young man quite like him before. He couldn't stop talking about his life and how he owed everything to me. While the words were sweet to hear I had to keep telling him that it was his discipline that is changing his life and nothing else.
He then asked me for my help. He has a cousins wedding coming up in September and while most of the folks there would likely wear a pair of khakis and a button down shirt for a wedding, he wanted to be different. He wanted to buy his first suit.
I was ecstatic as there is nothing, apart from tulips, that I think is more beautiful than a men's suit. We had walked past a suit store earlier so we backtracked and made our way to the store.
I learned he had never even tried a suit on before. You and I both know that the bespoke suit is the ultimate form of sophistication, but I did not wish to push anything on him he did not fancy. We looked first at the sports jackets and slacks. I was worried that leaning to more of the formal side would scare him. He did after all come to our meeting in jeans and a red T-shirt and sneakers— a 3-piece suit might bring an onslaught of emotions and I thought best to start slow.
But he wasn't having it. He led me straight to a grey checkered suit that caught his eye. This 3-piece suit was the first suit he would ever own— a benchmark for greater things to come. As I took the suit off the hanger and showed him what's what, we were approached by the manager of the store. What we hadn't noticed was a film crew in the corner. The manager asked us if we minded being filmed for a news special. All we had to do was keep doing what we were doing.
So I led Ahmed around the store, showing him how we could style the suit for different purposes and moods. A darker black and white polka-dotted tie with black shoes for a more formal event or the light pink striped tie for more casual days and when he feels like complementing his darker complexion.
He headed to the dressing room armed with goodies and walked out of the dressing room as a gentleman. The tailor pinned here and there, but even off the hanger, it was near perfect on him.
He told me he didn't think he would ever wear a suit or ever have a reason to ever wear a suit. And as he said this, I think I spotted a tear. I knew they were in my eyes!
I feel so privileged to have met Ahmed and to have gotten to know him on such a personal level. I asked him what his plan was for the future. He told mewith every detailof a 5-year plan he created for himself. I won't share every detail with you but let's just say it involves working for one of the greatest technology companies in the world and living in Italy.
The Pemberleyhas a major focus on suiting and etiquette, but that day Ahmed confirmed that a gentleman needn't always be flawless, he just needs to have self-awareness and the desire and discipline to grow.
To all the Ahmed's out there,The Pemberleyis here to lift you up and show you the way with inspiring interviews, styling and etiquette tips, and travel stories that inspire you to see the world and to get to know its people. The world is so much bigger than the street you grew up on and it's ok if you weren't meant to stay there forever. The world is a big place and I hopeThe Pemberleyfamily will in some way help you to find your place.
If you'd like to get involved with a new project to help our next generation of young Arab men reach their full potential we would love to hear from you.
Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Call/Whatsapp +971559714244