SAVE THE WORLD

Hi everyone!! I’ve decided to add this new “SAVE THE WORLD” section to my blog and I hope this will urge you all to help make this happen. I think all of us dream for a better word, but dreams can only do so much. I’ve decided to take action, and I would like you all to follow along with me on my journey!

As many of you already know, the environmental and climate change crisis is growing rapidly, and despite our governments neglecting to take take the steps needed to fix this problem, it doesn’t mean that we have too neglect taking steps in the right direction as well. 

The reason that I have decided to change my lifestyle is because the idea that my children and the next generation will not be able to experience nature the way that I did terrifies me. Despite the fact that it may be difficult as first, I strongly believe that because I have full control of my day-to-day actions, I will be able to make a difference in our world! I know that it may seem like one person can’t do much, but the impact that each of us has is unbelievable. My personal ecological footprint is that it would take 4.7 Earths to sustain the way that I am living. I hope that by having positive attitude and changing small choices I make throughout the day I will be able lower this number, and create a better world.

The challenge that I am going to try and overcome is to change my diet and become a vegetarian! I am doing this because the meat industries abuse of animals absolutely disgusts me. Not only is do meat industries lack respect for animal life, but the have no respect for our environment and the damages that happen to it because of them. I think this challenge will be a little difficult for me since most middle-eastern food contains meat, and my diet consists mainly of Arabic food.

Fish?

If I am being honest, I have not done enough research to see what the final verdict for eating fish as a vegetarian is. However, since I am still transitioning I decided that for one night, fish would be okay. Even though I am not a big fan of fish, the food that I ate delicious!

 

 

Daughter of Diaspora

Daughter of Diaspora

Salam! This weeks post is a feature from my good friend Mona Hagmagids blog, https://daughterofdiaspora.com.

Mona is a Sudanese and Afro-American woman from Northern Virginia, who is studying at the University of Pennsylvania. She has a love for poetry and Islam, and is an amazing spoken word artist. I am honored to share this piece on my site and I hope you like it as much as I did!

It seems that there is an ideal Muslim “woman”, particularly in my generation of non-black American Muslim men. She is funny (but will never take up too much attention at a party), flirtatious (but still a virgin), wanted by other men (but a maximum of no more than three previous boyfriends, and she must still be a virgin), pretty (but not curvy lest she be immodest!), smart (but not the kind of smart that will raise her hand in class or challenge a man in a board meeting, that’s not smarts that recklessness!), and a good balance of religiously and modernity (shops at Haute Hijab and Forever 21, watches Game of Thrones but also subscribes to Bayyinah TV), and involved in something or two beyond herself (perhaps a charity organization where she helps to plan events but never gets near the microphone, never the leader, never threatening).

She is the perfect Muslim girl, who will make a perfect girlfriend and then, if she stays in demand (keeps up her figure and stays on trend) and doesn’t draw outside the lines (God forbid she excel beyond him in school or make more money or begin to change herself in anyway), will, and can end up as his wife. He will marry her, she will make room in her life to have his kids and post pictures with them on Instagram and it will all be a beautiful story after that. We will comment and congratulate and nothing will be any different than yesterday.

Of course, this stereotype is crude, insulting, and above all, desperately shallow. But it seems, more or less, accurate for a significant number of Muslim guys.

And so, there is a lot of anxiety when it comes to thinking about marriage and men for a woman who does not fit that mold. There is added stress upon girls that might be able to jam the parts of themselves into such a narrow ideal that they do so at the expense of themselves, their personalities, and at times, their own values.

There is strangeness in Muslim dating culture, a strong undercurrent of old and weathered ideals cloaked in new age synonyms for Housewife and Obedient and Just-Like-Mama. It seems that no matter how many Muslim men of my generation put “woke” (whatever that means) in their twitter bios and repost Linda Sarsour on Facebook and put Colin Kapernick as their profile photos, they still perpetuate toxic ideas about womanhood and marriage and relationships which value superficial, inconsequential, and ultimately useless aspects of a person’s social persona as the threshold for who is worth bringing home to Ammi.

Our Islamic tradition is one that exalts and honors strong women. Strong in their deen, their dignity, and their self-worth. A strong woman does not always have to be loud, but her strength is observable, felt, and noticed. And boys, these boys, our boys, run from women who they know are their equals and will remind them of it every day. Our boys choose comfort and ego and social status over growth over home over depth.

This community has raised a generation of boys. Real Question: where are the men?

girls in the hills

girls in the hills

The perfect fall outfit.

This outfit could be worn to an event, dinner with friends, or on a fun day trip. It can easily be dressed up with jewelry or dressed down with a more simple makeup look. I love these pop-of-color shoes, the flowy dress, and the classy look the shirt underneath gives.

I found this dress at Target and the undershirt and shoes at Marshalls!

 

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ophelia

ophelia

When I first saw this dress, I was at Target with my headphones in listening to the song Ophelia by the Lumineers. I knew I had to have this piece. Dresses like this are absolutely lovely because they are divine – beautiful but also modest. All of these photos are raw and unedited.

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Mondays Blues / Confidence

Thought I’d write this and share a little something from me to the world about confidence.

At one point in our lives, every single person feels self-conscious. 90% of the time, we feel this way because of our outside appearances, whether it be how we look, dress, or what car we drive. Our society has created very materialistic expectations, and not being able to keep up can sometimes really get us in a funk. BUT….. the truth is we are so so so much more than how we look, dress, or how much is in our bank accounts – and we all know it!

The best way to becoming more confident is to change our habits and behavior. A good personality will ALWAYS shine through. You are what you do, not what you say or what you look like. Here is my take on what confidence, and ways to achieve what you want in life!

The definition of confidence to me is being able to radiate and flourish in ways I didn’t think possible. It means trusting my self, and patting myself on the back regardless if I’m wrong. It means smiling at strangers and being filled with gratitude.

I’m not fully where I want to be, but I have goals. Working on oneself is one of the hardest things because we to come to terms with the awful things about ourselves. It scary, but very fulfilling. In the changing world, the only person we will ever have is ourselves, so might as well be happy with the person that you are!

here are my steps:

  1. Figure out who YOU want to be. Ask yourself questions like what qualities do you like in other people that you wish you had in your self? What are your flaws? Who are your role models? What are your beliefs? What do you like to do in your free time? What makes you angry? Question everything about yourself. Not in an “I suck why am I like this” type of way, but in a genuine “who am I” type of way.  This will take time, but thinking about these questions will help you realize more about your day-to-day life.
  2. Write it down. Write down everything from step one. Then write down who your mentors are, and why you look up to them. Write down the highest standard possible that you have for yourself. Write about what you want your future to look like. Even the simple things like, “I hope that one day I’ll drive a _________”. Write what characteristics you want your future spouse to have. Write what qualities you find amazing in your friends.
  3. Flip the page and write what qualities you see in other people that you don’t like. For example, you could say “I hate how ______ handles a situation”.  This will teach you so much about yourself.
  4. Write about your past, and how you’ve changed. We have all changed. If you are the same person you were a year ago something is wrong. Write about the positive changes you’ve made, and be proud. Recognize the negative ones, but have the mindset that you want to correct them.
  5. Remember that who you are today, isn’t who you will be tomorrow, and it isn’t who you were yesterday. Writing everything down, or even just taking time to think about these things will make you much more conscious. The next time you are put in an iffy situation, these lists will help you.
  6. Learn from what you wrote, and try to grow. Find people who you want to be like and shadow them. Don’t become them, but take the best from them. Tell them what you like about them. Show your gratitude to the people in your life, because a  will not only make their day, they will respect you more.

A personal example for me is that I always expect to be treated the way I treat others, and when someone doesn’t reciprocate I get offended. I find that sometimes people take advantage of me. I used to be really naive towards it, but as I grow I realize more and more what’s happening. Learning that not everyone is like me has probably been one of the hardest things. I’m a giving person, but the more I give the more people take without return. A quality that I thought was good about myself, turned out to be hurting me. Trying to find the balance between both is a new journey.

No matter what, we will never be able to change the way we look. Coming to terms with our outside flaws is sadly a life long struggle for many people. Becoming confident doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a gradual and slow process. What I’ve learned on this journey of self-discovery of mine is that the only thing we have control over in life is really just how we act. Our actions define us, the words we use represent us, and how we handle different situations will establish our credibility.