Saturday, 23 September 2017

Sister Spotlight: Deaf Not Stupid

My youngest sister wrote recently about the hearing impairment she has had since birth and the way it has impacted her life.  I loved the article:

I learned from an early age that if you don’t make a fuss about something, neither will other people. Because I didn’t make a big deal about my deafness or draw much attention to it, other people didn’t either, and assumed it wasn’t a big thing, nor did they treat me differently. In hindsight, this had its blessings but also its drawbacks too. It meant that I didn’t feel too much of an outsider or felt too different, but it also meant that I wasn’t always able to talk about my disability with some people when I needed to. In one way, I normalised the issue, but in other ways I blended in a little too much, so people couldn’t see that sometimes I had to try harder, or I would struggle to make up for my deafness.

One of the reasons I wrote this post was because I wanted to articulate how important it is for me – as a woman of colour, as a Muslim woman,  as a deaf woman – that these things do not limit us or stop us from being like everyone else, or doing our best. As a child I was very conscious of my disability because I was surrounded by it – fellow deaf students, support teachers who shadowed me, speech therapists, and even the equipments we had to use to aid our hearings, and it made it harder for me to make friends quickly, nor did I have a lot of confidence. But I will also say that this didn’t stop me in my achievements either – I continuously got the highest grades and awards for my years through most of high school, and left with the highest GCSEs and A Levels in my year because I was determined to not be held back.

The thing is, I have never seen her as disabled in any way.  In fact she made me understand very clearly that having a disability does not mean you have to be dis-abled in your life.  There are those who don’t have an impairment, but disable themselves through their laziness, lack of confidence or procrastination – having avenues to do so much, but never really getting anywhere in life.  Then there are people like my youngest sister who is bright, competent and sociable and has achieved and continues to achieve so much mash'Allah.  This article illustrates just that to me.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Good Deed Friday: Our Rohingya Brothers and Sisters

We have been hearing about the frightening situation of the Rohingya people of Myanmar over the last two years or more, over 146,000 children, women and men have been forced to flee to Bangladesh to escape violence since August 2017, but until recently it has seemed that the ethnic cleansing of these people has been ignored by most of the world.  In more recent days we have seen the President of Turkey speak out about the need for action to stop the genocide and bring aid and relief to the Rohingya.

With others also speaking out including Malala Yousufzai and Desmond Tutu, awareness of the situation is increasing and pressure is being placed on the UN to intervene.

What can we do?

Learn More:


Raise Awareness and Taking Action:
Restless Beings is an international human rights organisation that has been championing the human rights of the Rohingya, including through lobbying for international media and political attention, petitionsprotests and through sharing footage and witness statements of the situation in Myanmar.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Picture of the Day 07.09.17 - Missing You

This week my children started to go back to school, staggered throughout the week.  Today Darling started full time for the first time.  She was so excited she could barely sleep the night before and was up with a smile this morning.

When I went with Baby to pick her up, she bounded out of her classroom and grabbed her little sister in a hug telling her “I missed you so much!”

It made me smile all day.

Eid-ul-Adha 2017/1438 - Day 3: Laid Back Fashion, Biryani and Barbeques

The good thing about hosting everyone for Eid on the first day is that all of the hard work is over and we spent the next two days enjoying invitations to relatives.  Day three was hosted by my favourite Uncle who doesn’t miss a chance to get a barbeque going. 

My outfit for day three was from Fariha London whose good quality, practical separates I am a fan of.  This was on clearance for £10 and light, very soft and comfortable:

I accessorised with pearl jewellery and a scarf with pastel stripes.

Little Lady picked this up for £10 too.  I really like the print and the silver and pearl detail on the front.

In the end she wore a tunic top we found on sale for £10 at Aisha's Boutique (who I bought my day 2 outfit from):

The babies were also in salwar kameez:

The barbecue was in full flow and 
my uncle kept passing back bits of chicken and lamb to me whilst we waited for dinner.

I liked that everyone helped out with Dinner.  My cousin made the biryani from scratch and it tasted better than her mums, her brother made the salad.  My uncle barbequed cubes of chicken and lamb and also lamb kebabs and chicken legs.  My aunty made the curries.  The dessert was homemade cupcakes.

Just as we were finishing up, my uncle went back into the now dark garden and brought in some very well done corn on the cob much to everyone’s delight.

We finished the evening with good conversation and trying to stop the babies from dropping ice lolly juice everywhere.

I expected Eid to be a bit boring and not the same without my other half in Pakistan.  My heart was not in having fun.  But alhamdulilah my parents, siblings, the kids and my neighbours between them turned this into a happy, enjoyable and gentle eid full of good food, lovely babies, pretty outfits and interesting conversation.

*Additional pictures courtsey of my sisters Shutterbug Sister and Harlequin Sister
**Please note that none of the brands mentioned in this post have compensated me for mentioning thier products, these are simply my view.

Eid-ul-Adha 2017/1438 - Day 2: Mums Cooking, Pretty Outfits and Games

For the second day of Eid, my mum hosted dinner, so we spent a lazy day tidying, eating Eid leftovers and reading before we headed over mid-afternoon to my mums.

For the second day I wore this long tunic that I bought from a local vendor in east London called Aisha's Boutique, she is a friend who does online orders, and gets outfits made in Pakistan.  This one cost me £15 and I ended up buying another for Little Lady for £10 which she wore on day 3.  I love the cotton fabric and was surprised to find it had a slight stretch to it.  It looks like a church stained glass window, so I had to ask Little Lady to check if there were any crosses on it as it would mean I couldn’t pray whilst wearing it.  She cheekily reassured me there was no crosses, no saints, no last suppers anywhere.

I accessorised with the deep green scarf below, some sparkly green earrings that I have been wearing ever since, a sparkly bracelet my lovely sister-in-law gave me and  this big blingy cocktail ring that my cousin gave me for Eid.

Dinner at mum’s was a treat.  She always makes lamb pilau which I wait for Eid for, very fragrant and flavoursome, I would happily eat it with my fingers without any accompaniment.  There was also tandoori chicken, chicken karahi, meatball curry and lamb kebabs. The cake from the day before was dessert, along with my mum's rice pudding.

After dinner we spent a happy few hours playing a guessing game called Taboo, playing with the babies and posing for our annual Eid photoshoot.

Harelquin Sister's outfit was so elegant:

My mother-in-law had to drag us away or we would have been sitting talking late into the night.  I enjoyed the day so much, but most of all I enjoyed how the babies fell asleep as soon as we got them home.

*Additional pictures courtsey of my sisters Shutterbug Sister and Harlequin Sister

**Please note that none of the brands mentioned in this post have compensated me for mentioning thier products, these are simply my view.

Eid-ul-Adha 2017/1438 - Day 1: Hosting the Feast, Babies and Sweet Treats

I hosted Eid the first day and decided to invite as many close and extended family as I could muster and get everyone fed in one go.  I am a big believer that where two eat, three can share and where 20 can eat, another 10 can squeeze in insh’Allah.

I planned the food a few days before and started cooking the day before.  The kids helped with the cleaning and decorating and everything was ready for noon as the men had to pray jummah that afternoon and wanted to eat and get to the masjid on time.

My outfit for the day was one that I already had, but which was comfortable and easy to dress up:

You can forget the lovely red heels though, I spent most of the time in the kitchen in my slippers.

Little Lady wore a long jacket she had been pestering me for, this denim coloured kimono with lace panels from Haiqa, which seems to be turning into her go to place for eid clothes (she wore this outfit from them this last Eid).

We had the decorations up and the sweets and drinks laid out well before guests arrived.  Everyone brought cakes, sweets and donuts and flowers.  

Little Man made a lemon mocktail drink: fizzy lemonade, slices of lemon and lime, fresh mint, castor sugar and lots of ice.

Lunch was pilau rice with peas, lamb curry, chicken and potato curry, tandoori chicken, mint chutney, salad and channa chaat.

After lunch and midday prayers we spent a few hours eating cake and sweets and playing with the babies (or as Little Lady calls them collectively the Baby Squad).  We really enjoyed the mischief, pretty outfits and general mini-diva-like behaviour.

Once all of the guests had gone home, my neighbour came by to share Eid sweets and keep us company.  My neighbour is really good at henna and even better at keeping the babies still for long enough to apply it, so we managed to fit a henna session in.

We ended the day with a quiet dinner, the babies falling asleep early and hanging out with my older kids eating chocolates.

*Additional pictures courtsey of my sisters Shutterbug Sister and Harlequin Sister

**Please note that none of the brands mentioned in this post have compensated me for mentioning thier products, these are simply my view.

Eid-ul-Adha 2017/1438 - Eid Mubarak

A belated Eid Mubarak everyone.  Taqabbal Allahu Minna Wa Minkum (May Allah accept it from you and us).

I hope everyone had a happy, peaceful and blessed Eid insh'Allah.  

Hajj Mubarak to those lucky enough to be invited by Allah (SWT) to His sacred house this year.  I hope your dua's are accepted and that you attain a complete and accepted hajj insh'Allah.  May Allah (SWT) give us the opportunity to visit his house again and again also insh'Alah.