International community of creative women leaders come together in Mumbai

Jan 14, 2018, 08:40 IST | Aastha Atray Banan

Camel Assembly starts chapter in Mumbai; says it's about creating a global support system

Keshia Hannam, co-founder
Keshia Hannam, co-founder

It's Friday night in Mumbai, and a group of women, all from different walks of life, are gathered around a table at a rooftop club. Conversation is flowing - serious discussions about their passions, their opinions on women's issues and world economics, or just about what kind of men they like. These women are part of Camel Assembly, an international community of creative women leaders who gather to make a change. In lay terms, they form a network of creative women from around the world who want to work, collaborate with, and help out other creative women.

Both, founder Yelda Ali, 32, who is also a DJ based in New York, and co-founder Keshia Hannam, 26, also a writer based in Hong Kong, have always wanted to bring the initiative to Mumbai. "Mumbai has long held a place in our hearts, given that we both have Indian heritage. Yelda is one quarter Indian by DNA, and my mother is Indian, born and raised in Orlem, Malad. The energy of a city that is responsible for so much creativity and spirit, can't be ignored for long," says Hannam. Their aim with the Mumbai chapter is simple: They want to see women #MarchingDaily, showing up for their dreams, passions, relationships and their health as consistently as they do at their workplaces and protests.

DJ Yelda founder of Camel Assembly
DJ Yelda founder of Camel Assembly

There will be physical meetings, once a month, and those meetings will act as groundswells of creativity and collaboration. "Camels [women of Camel Assembly] believe change begins with the self and spreads to families, communities, and leads to social impact. That can lead to everything from running DJ classes for the less privileged, hosting charity fundraising dinners and refugee campaigns, to exercising consistently, repairing your relationship with your mother or attending poetry nights," adds Hannam. They will also launch a chapter in Dubai next week. "We, as well as our scouts on the ground, are constantly keeping an eye out for creative, conscious and collaborative women," she says, and if you feel that's you, log on to their website

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