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#BrooklynGirlCode™ #Weekend #Recap: Rihanna & A$AP Rocky Get Married (In a Video), #Drake #Swordfights (In a Video), #NancyPelosi Visits Ukraine + The 2022 Met Gala!

Well, well, well… it was another eventful week and #BrooklynGirlCode™ has all the highlights! Parents-to-be Rihanna & A$AP Rocky exchanged vows in A$AP Rocky’s new music video for his song “D.M.B.” Drake tried his hand in the ancient sport of Fencing in Future’s new video “Wait For U” featuring UK singer TEMS. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited war-stricken Ukraine and met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy making Pelosi the highest ranking U.S. official to visit the country since the war began. The stars came out in droves this past Tuesday for Vogue’s annual invite-only Met Gala. And lastly, Muslims all over the world celebrated the end of thirty days of fasting during the month of Ramadan with Eid-al-Fitr on May 2nd.

It was definitely a week for the history books but now that the weekend is here, we can kick back, relax and be happy that we made it! What are your plans for the weekend? Whatever you do, just make sure you enjoy yourself! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™ <3

A$AP Rocky and Rihanna in the "D.M.B." video
A$AP Rocky and Rihanna get married in the “D.M.B.” music video.
Drake sword fights in Future's new music video "Wait For U."
Drake sword fights in Future’s new music video for “Wait For U” directed by Director X.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on April 30th, 2022.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on April 30th, 2022.

Kendall Jenner at the 2022 Met Gala.
Kendall Jenner at the 2022 Met Gala. Photo courtesy of Vogue.com.
Lizzo at the 2022 Met Gala
Lizzo at the 2022 Met Gala. Photo courtesy of Vogue.com.
Women in Malaysia celebrating Eid al-fitr.
Women in Malaysia celebrating Eid al-Fitr.

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#BrooklynGirlCode™ Event Recap #NYCMenTeach Presents: A #HipHopCypher !!!

NYC Men Teach: A Hip Hop Cypher official event flier.

It was a star-studded event this past Friday when NYC Men Teach presented: “A Hip Hop Cypher.” Everyone bought their best rhymes and poetry to the cypher while some of today’s top Hip-Hop artists and influencers stopped by to drop some beautiful gems for the next generation of Hip-Hop artists. Celebrities who were in attendance included Big Tigger of BET’s Rap City, the lovely Free (formerly of 106 & Park), Philly’s own Freeway who was celebrating 19 years of his debut album Philadelphia Freeway; News anchor/activist Dr. Marc Lamont Hill who dropped tons of Hip-Hop knowledge on us, DJ Whutever and Umar Bin Hassan of legendary spoken word group The Last Poets who served as the elder for the evening’s festivities.

Everyone bought their A-game to this successful and positive event. What a way to cap off Black History Month 2022! Thank you to the moderators Nathaniel Smith, Vincent Deas and DJ Faro who kept us dancing to the hits all night! Special shoutout to all the great people over at NYC Men Teach for putting together such an informative and insightful event! Keep educating! -xoxo

Event moderator Vincent Deas as well as famous rappers Freeway, Big Tigger and Free were all in attendance!
Featured Poet for the night Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets and Event Moderator Nathaniel Smith.
Miss Free Marie giving some insight on the music industry.
Big Tigger holding it down for the Hip-Hop pioneers.
Philadelphia’s finest, rapper Freeway showing some love in the cypher.
News Anchor/ Activist Dr. Marc Lamont Hill spreading all of his Hip-Hop knowledge!
What a fun night shared with family and friends!
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#CoachFranke Celebrates 50 Years of Coaching Division I Women’s #Fencing at #TempleUniversity

Coach Franke and former Temple Fencer and #BrooklynGirlCode Creator, Aziza Hassan pose at the 2021 Temple Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Nikki Franke celebrates fifty years of coaching the Division 1 Women’s Fencing Team at Temple University this year!

Coach Franke and former Temple Fencer and #BrooklynGirlCode Creator, Aziza Hassan pose at the 2021 Temple Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Coach Franke (right) and former Temple Fencer and #BrooklynGirlCode Creator, Aziza Hassan (left) pose at the 2021 Temple Open in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

I was a young inexperienced teenager when I walked into Coach Franke’s fencing room in McGonigle Hall for the first time. Looking back now, I didn’t know anything (competitive-wise) about my weapon, Sabre. Coming from Brooklyn, New York and fencing only on a recreational level at the Peter Westbrook Foundation, I had only one national tournament under my belt. But, Coach Franke was still willing to take a chance on me.

This is what makes Coach Franke the great coach that she is, the chances that she’s willing to take on young inexperienced fencers. After transitioning over to Sabre from Foil the previous year at the suggestion of my then coach Mika’il Sankofa, I had to sharpen up my skills asap to prove to Coach Franke that she wasn’t just doing me a favor. Along with the help and support of Zoila Palacio who was the Sabre & Epee coach at Temple University, I went on to become a three-time NCAA Championship competitor as well as an All-American fencer for Temple University. Compared to my teammates back home who were already going on to compete at the 2000 Summer Games in Athens, I was far behind.

However, with the support of Coach Franke and Coach Palacio, I was able to go on and compete and gain high results in several international senior world cups all over the world between the years of 2006 and 2015.

This year makes 50 years that Coach Franke has been coaching up the young ladies at Temple University. I’m so glad that I chose Temple University as my school back in 2000. This is definitely a decision that I never regret. Here’s to 50 more years Coach Franke! Hoot! Hoot! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode <3

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The World 🌍 (and #Coachella) Before Social Distancing!

#TBT’s to #Coachella 2018 when social distancing was an unknown verb… 😢 It was the best of times and what a time to be alive! Who would’ve thought that just two short years later the whole world would be a different place? Thank goodness for pictures to help us hold on to all the special memories for a while. Check out some of our best photos from Coachella 2018 aka “Beychella.” While we quarantine, we’ll just close our eyes and imagine we’re there. Better days ahead! -xoxo #BrooklynGirlCode™

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Photo taken by Aziza Hassan for #BrooklynGirlCode™ at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival

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#BrooklynGirlCode Has a #SundayFunday in #Brooklyn with #NowThis Sports!

It was a Sunday Funday for Brooklyn Girl Code this past weekend when we spent the day at the Brooklyn Bridge Fencing Club with NowThis Sports! NowThis, a progressive American media website founded in 2012 by Huffington Post co-founder Kenneth Lerer and former Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau is known all over the world for its informative video content. NowThis Sports, a subsidiary of NowThis News will be highlighting the extraordinary sport of Fencing in a new video project and Brooklyn Girl Code’s very own Creator/Editor Aziza Hassan was requested by the video producers to be featured in the new video! But, it does make sense since Aziza is a Brooklyn Girl that loves to fence! 🤺

We’re so excited to see how this cool project turns out and we’ll be sure to let our loyal readers know as soon as it is released. But, until then, check out some cool behind the scenes footage from the shoot this past weekend in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Hey…. Is Brooklyn in the house?!?!

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The 38th Annual #TempleOpen Goes Down This Weekend at #TempleUniversity!

Temple University Division 1 Women's Fencers from left: Auset Muhammad (Junior), Safa Ibrahim (Senior) and Blessing Olaode (Junior)

Temple University Division 1 Women's Fencers from left: Auset Muhammad (Junior), Safa Ibrahim (Senior) and Blessing Olaode (Junior)
Temple University Division I Women’s Fencers from left: Auset Muhammad (Junior), Safa Ibrahim (Senior) and Blessing Olaode (Junior)

 

#BrooklynGirlCode will be heading to Philly this weekend to watch the lovely young ladies pictured above and the rest of the Division I Temple University Women’s Fencing team win at the 38th Annual Temple Open! The event which is the largest collegiate individual meet in the country will be held this year at the Liacouras Center located on Temple University‘s main campus. It’s always a joy to see the next generation of young Temple fencers compete and win knowing that I once was in their spot, fighting hard to get every touch to beat my opponent as well as my record from the previous season. Fencing is not an easy sport to compete in, however, the joy from winning each bout tops everything!

Dr. Nikki Franke who is currently in her 46th year at Temple is looking to lead her ladies to 1st place in every women’s individual event this weekend and judging from the past years, this is very accomplishable. Coach Franke, who was once my coach while I attended Temple has a stern but lenient way of coaching her fencers to victory that proves to work year after year after year. Good luck to everyone competing this weekend at the 38th Annual Temple Open. #BrooklynGirlCode will be in the building! “][“Uuu baby!!! <3

Temple University Junior Epee Fencer, Safa Ibrahim of Bronx, N.Y. showing her best fencing side
Temple University Junior Epee Fencer, Safa Ibrahim of Bronx, N.Y. showing her best fencing side.

 

Temple University Head Fencing Coach, Dr. Nikki Franke with #BrooklynGirlCode Creator and former Temple Fencer, Aziza Hassan at Temple University on October 29th, 2017.

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How Music Helps Mechanical Engineer Yassmin Abdel-Magied Relax In a Male-Dominated Industry

Yassmin Abdel-Majied

Yassmin Abdel-Majied
Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Yassmin Abdel-Magied is not your average 25-year-old professional. She has already established herself as a successful mechanical engineer, author, youth advocate, political commentator (her exclusive TEDx video titled What does my headscarf mean to you? has garnered 1,948,952 views). Plus, she almost became an official Formula One race car driver due to her love for fast cars but decided to put that career on hold and focus on her Youth Without Borders foundation that she founded when she was only sixteen.

On our initial meeting in a small patisserie in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Yassmin comes off as super humble. The vibrant colors in Yassmin’s Hijab or Kimar (head scarf worn by Muslim women) make the beautiful features in her face stand out even more. In addition to all this, Yassmin’s huge smile brightens up the already sun-drenched patisserie. After finally getting our coffee and finding two available seats, Yassmin and I formally introduce ourselves to one other. After speaking briefly about my Fencing career which Yassmin seems to be interested in, I begin to ask her a whole slew of questions. I’m the most impressed by Yassmin’s modesty. Although she has achieved a lot more in life than most people her age, her journey is one of endurance, patience and strength that started all the way back in her native land of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan.

Yassmin’s family, originally from Khartoum, migrated to Australia when Yassmin was just a young girl. When Yassmin and her family arrived to Australia in the early 90’s, they were one of only two Sudanese families in the region and had to acclimate to all the strange new ways of the Aussies. However, it was Yassmin’s mother, an architect herself, who always instilled in Yassmin to never forget where she came from. These words of wisdom would carry Yassmin through the more difficult times in her life.

The first question that comes to mind after engaging in conversation with Yassmin who seems so joyful and upbeat is — why mechanical engineering as a career? Yassmin obviously has the talents to be anything she wants but chose working on an oil rig as her full-time job (gotta keep your day job). Working on the oil rigs sometimes leaves Yassmin far out in the middle of the vast ocean for months at a time where she is often the only woman around several men. Once she explains to me that she comes from a family of engineers and architects and that the challenge of working on the oil rigs is what excites her, it starts to make more sense.

So now, the next question that comes to my mind is what does someone do to bring them joy and break the monotony of being away from family and friends for months at a time? “I love listening to music while I’m out on the rigs!” Yassmin replies boisterously. This makes perfect sense because if I know anything, it’s that music brings you joy no matter where you are in the world. When I ask her what particular artists she enjoys listening to, she shocks me when she answers that she adores popular 80’s singer/songwriter Tracy Chapman. The late 80’s was the time that Chapman was prominent in music and Yassmin had not even been born yet. I was definitely born and can recall this time clearly because I remember playing my mother’s Tracy Chapman cassette tape over and over again until the brown tape popped. However, Yassmin Abdel-Magied wasn’t even a thought when Tracy Chapman was on top of the charts, so this just goes to show how ahead of her time she is.

Yassmin Abdel-Majied and Aziza Hassan in Brooklyn on 8/19/16
Yassmin Abdel-Magied and #BrooklynGirlCode Creator, Aziza Hassan in Brooklyn on August 19th, 2016

Yassmin also mentions Drake (of course), Janelle Monae, and a few other popular artists that she enjoys listening to, to keep her up while out on the oil rigs. She then asks me who some of my favorite artists are and I reply with the usual, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and Nas. I also tell her that I enjoy listening to all types of Trap music and that more recently I’ve been listening to Nigerian-American artist, Jidenna. After promising to exchange our favorite music playlists online at a later time, Yassmin wishes me well in all my future endeavors and rushes off to her next appointment. Still, the short time that we got to meet and chat about our lives over coffee in that small patisserie on a warm summer day in Brooklyn brought memories that will last a lifetime.

Check out Yassmin’s blog Redefining The Narrative and her critically-acclaimed book Yassmin’s Story in bookstores now.

Yassmin's Story

UPDATE: On June 5th, 2020 Yassmin Abdel-Magied wrote a feature article for TIME magazine on systemic racism and its origins titled, Why the Protests in the U.S. Are an Awakening for Non-Black People Around the World.