Dubai: Ukrainian, Russian students unite to create design now part of school uniform

The two learners' creation is available for online purchase, and is being worn by fellow students


Nandini Sircar

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Photos: Supplied
Photos: Supplied

Published: Mon 8 Jul 2024, 8:52 AM

Last updated: Mon 8 Jul 2024, 8:23 PM

While Russia and Ukraine may be at unfavourable odds, two young innovators from these countries have joined hands at a Dubai school, transforming their classroom project into a product that is now part of the school uniform. It is officially available for online purchase.

Year 5 and 6 learners were asked to design their own T-shirts, as part of the school's Citizens’ Entrepreneurship Curriculum and Project-Based Learning (PBL) programme.

This initiative led two learners, Artem Buhai and Bers Nikaev, then in Year 6, to create a unique design, that has now become a part of the official uniform and is already being worn by several learners.

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Ukrainian expat Artem, and Bers, a Russian expat, initially created three designs, but the boys did not like any of them.

“We did not like any of those, so we decided to go with a planets theme instead. We created three new designs and selected our favourite. We drew many designs, aiming to choose ones that symbolised world peace and showcased simplicity. Throughout the process, we kept the school's preferences in mind,” said Year 7 student, Artem.

After creating their initial three designs, the duo later discovered that other teams had also developed similar ones.

Artem said, “Then we considered our home planet and aimed to create something inspired by it. Initially, we designed a 'Galaxy' motif, but it felt overly intricate with lines everywhere. We experimented with representations of the world and rivers before settling on a simpler approach.”

The Ukrainian expat added, "So, we finally conceived of planet Earth with water and grass elements on the T-shirt.”

“I was drawing, I was too lazy to colour,” he quipped.

By the time they reached Year 7, the duo had completely forgotten about their creation, as a year had elapsed since its inception and implementation.

“When we realised a year later that the T-shirts are available on the school’s website and have become a part of the school uniform, we felt incredibly proud of ourselves. We aspire to create more such designs and maybe become entrepreneurs someday.”

Artem and Bers Tee

Artem described how his mother, a designer, has consistently inspired him. “I enjoy drawing. My mother is a great help. She has a wealth of knowledge. Thanks to her, I learned how to draw. It’s really satisfying to see something that I have created being used by others.”

“When the T-shirts were printed and they arrived, we were amazed. We were thrilled to see people wearing them. It’s a pretty cool outfit.”

Currently, many students at Citizens School are seen sporting the popular “Artem and Bers Tee.”

Year 7 student, Bers said, “Initially, everything was in black and white, and I introduced the colours while Artem sketched it. Together, we brainstormed and conceptualised the idea. We decided to include our school's logo on the sleeves which complements the overall design. Seeing my friends wearing the uniform gives me a great sense of pride, knowing that we created it for our school.”

Bers explained the design looks visually appealing and conveys a powerful message about the importance of protecting our natural environment.

“In the future, we aim to collaborate more on designing clothing. Seeing your designs come to life is truly gratifying. The incorporation of our creations into the school uniform is particularly motivating. Currently, we're considering designing shorts too, if we get approval from the school. This would complete the set, which is very exciting. Seeing our names featured on the school website, Artem and Bers, adds to the thrill,” added the Russian expat.

Entrepreneurship curriculum

Shedding light on the school’s ‘Entrepreneurship Curriculum’, the school head explained such exercises provide hands-on experiential learning and real-world application of knowledge.

Dr Adil Alzarooni, Founder, Citizens School, said: “We provide learners with the opportunities, resources, and support needed to turn their ideas into reality. This helps develop critical thinking, problem-solving, resilience, and teamwork, all the skills essential to survive in today’s ever-evolving world.”

Alzarooni stressed that this collaboration proved that entrepreneurship is accessible to everyone, regardless of age, background, or experience.

“It’s a skill that can be learned. The T-shirt designed by our young entrepreneurs is now part of our official school uniform, which further encourages them and inspires all our learners to pursue their innovative ideas,” he added.


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