Sunday, 30 June 2013

A Strangers Child

I don't know how much longer I can do this, I just feel sad, upset, angry, teary and missing something that was never mine.
She woke up, beautiful little eyes, a face full of wonder yet somehow vacant and sad at the same time. I smiled and held her tiny hand, she didn't respond, we whispered 'hello', stroked her hand and made funny faces, still no smile, no cry, no nothing.....
I went up to the children's ward with my colleague the other day to prepare a little girl for her scan. She was a 3 month old baby, been beaten physically resulting in multiple fractures at different stages, including a skull fracture...yes, 3 months old!

We whispered to each other as she slept, trying to quietly unravel her bandage to inject the radioactive substance before her scan, she felt us there and woke up. Dummy ready in my hand, I expected her to cry, as most children do after seeing two strange people looking over her in her cot fiddling about with something alien attached to her little hand but no, she didn't cry or look scared. She just kept looking at me, like she could see straight into me, pleading for my help, and I looked at her, her eyes telling a million tales, her fluttering heart full of pain. She didn't cry because she's cried so much and learnt that it doesn't change anything, which in itself is heartbreaking.

We finished the injection as I played with her, it was like she wanted to smile but she didn't know how, for that brief moment she was just a baby not a victim, lifting her arms up and trying to reach for my hand as I hovered the soft toy elephant above her head.

I looked around and all the other children had worried parents by their bedside, or were curled up in their mothers arms as they comforted them, but this little girl had no one, no one to play with her, talk to her or just unconditionally love her like the other children, her parents were kept away as they were the perpetrators in this case, and rightly so because God knows how much I wanted to hurt them for hurting her (obviously I wouldn't).

I picked her up and moved her up the cot, she was feather light, so delicate and fragile. My colleague washed his hands and came back, it was time to say goodbye, but I wanted to stay, I wanted to take her home. I just can't shake the feeling of someone had hurt my child, I guess it's that maternal thing inside us all, to want to care for  and protect all children regardless of if we know them or not.

We said goodbye and waved as she turned her head to see us leave, I looked back, she kept looking around to see where we had gone, and there she was, in her cot, alone again. I felt like someone clenched my heart in their hand, choking up and fighting back tears, I asked my colleague 'how any human being could want to hurt such an innocent, beautiful little baby, let alone her own parents?'

Why did Allah let these evil people have her if they were going to hurt her like this, when there are tonnes of couples who would do anything to have a child? I know, Allah knows and I know not and Allah knows better, thoughts of why she had to suffer so much in her short 3 months of life and how unfair it is, keep going over and over in my head.

I've told this story to my mum, my friends... in fact every person I have met since I saw her because I just get her out of my head. I've been doing this for 4 years now including when I was a student and I thought I had trained myself to feel sympathy and empathy but not feel emotionally attached to people or their stories because if I felt like this about every patient, I think I'd have a mental breakdown.

I honestly don't know what to do, I'm just hoping time will get it out of my system. I mean she's one of the lucky ones, we caught her before she fell through the net, there are many others that are either rescued too late or not at all like Baby P, Victoria Cilimbie and the others unknown, there are thousands of children who die every minute from poverty, war and are victims of abuse. But in this baby's eyes I saw each and every one of them, the pain, the sadness, the vacancy. In her story I saw the unfair suffering of every innocent child out there.

I know by writing this I'm going to sound like some crazy emotional wreck, but seriously, this little girl has effected me in a way that I will never forget. That is why with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart I am writing this at 1 in the morning in the hope that writing it out and sharing my thoughts and feelings will help me deal with whatever this is I'm going through.

Please spare a du'a for this little girl.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

UMWS '13 - Part 1 | Fashion Show

Warning! This is an image heavy post

Assalaamu alaikum!

I attended one of THE most spectacular events in the Muslim woman events calender, the Urban Muslim Woman Show 2013. It promised to be one of the most glamorous events uniting successful Muslim women be they professionals, activists, bloggers/vloggers, business women, designers, make-up artists, stylists, designers, mothers, daughters or wives under one roof to celebrate womanhood and sisterhood and it didn't disappoint!

The event included stalls, AMAZING speakers including Rimla Akhter and Lauren Booth, fashion shows, delicious food and was just a great evening to meet and network with this diverse and multitalented group of people.

Because there is so much to talk about and I took around 600 pictures on the day I have decided to split my coverage of the event into several parts so this is part 1

I suppose I should write about the speakers and the event in general first, but I spent my 13 hour night shift last night editing over 160 pictures from the fashion show alone and figured that, as everyone is eagerly awaiting to see what went down on Saturday night I would just go ahead and share the fashion shows with you first!

Apologies in advance for the quality of my pictures, I had to zoom as I wasn't close enough to the stage, that combined with the ambient lighting and me still getting used to using my camera resulted in some of the pictures being a bit blurry. But I have added a few better pictures from the implausibleblog.com.

Now before I start I know I will get some sad people trying to put a downer on the event and the fashion show in particular so before you make any negative comments please read my disclaimer (In the disclaimer tab). This was a women only event and the show was for a FEMALE ONLY audience. Nobody is saying that what you see in these pictures is what is 'hijab' under Islam, the styles, extravagance and make-up are to put on a show for entertainment as well as demonstrate the talents of the various designers, stylists and make-up artists. If you don't agree with all this do yourself a favour, stop here and just press the little x in the top right corner, your comment wont make it on to the page anyway.

So now that the formalities are out the way, sit back and enjoy!

There were various designers showcasing their collections on the runway this season, some were big established names like Aab and Sheikha and others were new up coming designers like Maleka Abayaz, all of which had something special and unique about their designs.

Click on pictures to enlarge

Sri Munawwarah

Sri Munawwarah Designs are a pioneer in Islamic Fashion in Malaysia. They offer women a range of designer clothes for both men and women, along with consultation services on design, fashion and style.
Easy to wear, comfortable, versatile, yet stylish and feminine – look out for Munawwarah Malaysia.

The lovely designers from Sri Munawwarah

Acacia Label

Acacia is the name for classy and exquisite eastern fashion label. We hope to make fashion accessible and an identity of an individual. The modern trends in fabrics and cuts are very professionally incorporated in our designs to bring forward a chic outfit to meet your wardrobe requisites.
The elegant and fashionable dresses offered by Acacia are crafted for everyone's dressing requirements. We will provide all the assistance in making Acacia for you.
Acacia Team

Image credit: implausibleblog.com

Image credit: implausibleblog.com

One of my fav models of the show, just because she had loads of stage presence and demonstrated the outfits so well!

Image credit: implausibleblog.com

Image credit: implausibleblog.com

 I love everything Acacia, the reason they have so many fans and supporters from the online world is because they really live up to their promise and make each and every dress special and elegant. I wore my acacia label dress to the event (which everyone loved)...I will include my outfit of the event in another part inshaAllah.

Covered and Proud 

CAP Stores [Covered and Proud] is an innovative international Brand that has been launched in 2012.
CAP Stores is an international team based mainly in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and UK. Our international diversity as a team allowed us to combine the oriental fashion to the occidental fashion, while proposing a luxury , fashionable and chic Islamic wear for Woman all over the world.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CapStorescom
Website: www.cap-stores.com


Aab set out to create garments that take into account the simplicity, style and comfort desired by Muslim women. Established in 2007 when it's online boutique was launched in London, the timeless elegance and luxurious quality of its Abayas, Hijabs and Accessories has earned it a loyal and wide-ranging client base.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/aabcollection
Website: www.aabcollection.com


Nahara is a new luxury label, due for launch in Autumn 2013. Nahara combines a contemporary minimalist aesthetic with traditional silhouettes, and is inspired by the legacy of art, design and textile skill in Muslim cultures. With clean, uncluttered designs, the emphasis is on the movement and texture of beautiful fabric. All styles are designed and made in London. We will be showing our launch collection for the first time and exclusively at UMWS!
Facebook: www.facebook.com/naharalondon
Website: www.nahara.co.uk ( will be launching soon)

The designer behind Nahara =D

Jeny Tjahyawati

Moslem fashion is now holding important role in Indonesian Fashion World. One of the designers who work in Moslem Fashion field is Jeny Tjahyawati. Graduated from ASRIDE ISWI Jakarta majoring in Fashion Design as the best graduate, her signatures are modern and progressive; make her works look stylish, unique, and fresh. Jenny is also the writer of 'Gaya Praktis Berkerudung' ('Simple Style for Hijab') book. Her 'first line' label is 'JenY by Jeny Tjahyawati' and 'Ethnicant' for 'ready to wear' label.
Website: www.jenytjahyawati.com

Jeny's Designer

The Indonesian designer for Jenys
I love the greys and pastel/dusty pinks as well as the flowy designs and fabrics by Jeny's, they looked like they were practically floating on the stage. Beautiful!
Tuty Adib
The fashion house Bilqis has brought Tuty Adib Ajiputra fame as a leading modern, Muslim fashion designer.

Opened in 2000, Bilqis has set a trend followed by not only Muslim-wear boutiques in Indonesia but also those in Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, which have become regular customers over the last seven years.

Tuty Adib will be showcasing her designs at the Urban Muslim Woman Fashion Show
Website: www.bilqis-mode.com/

Another designer from Malaysia, Tuty Adib exploded on the the catwalk with bright colours and unique designs.

Maleka Abayaz

Maleka Abaya'z is an online boutique that offers women the freedom to explore their beauty yet remain modest. We believe women should look and feel stunning, so with this in mind we offer a range of hand crafted Abaya'z and stylish maxi dresses; which bring a touch of colour, elegance and timeless classics.

We offer a made to measure and bespoke service with a selection of high end fabrics and designs allowing clients to express their individual style. We customise each garment transforming them into unique & truly individual pieces. All garments are designed and made in the UK by Nadia Safeer.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/MalekaAbayaz
Website: www.malekaabayaz.com (coming soon)

The beautiful Maleka Abayaz designer Nadia Safeer

 I remember when I was first asked by Urban Muslim Woman Show to spread the word about the event and try to find some designers who would like to showcase their line on the day, I straight away thought of Maleka Abayaz as I was following them on facebook for a while and saw how each of her designs were not replicas but were something totally new and original. After I messaged Maleka Abayaz I didn't know that Nadia would actually take up the offer but I'm really glad she did because we got to see how a small business like this one can take on the big guns with international stockists and an entire team behind them like Aab and do just as well.

Maleka Abayaz outfits on the runway were spectacular and I love how she also designed for bigger sizes which still flattered the person wearing it. This one person proved how a small business on Facebook can achieve big things if you work hard enough.

Ummie Tinie

Exclusive Swarovski Crystal Abaya's, Kaftans, Evening Dress's, Belly Dance Outfits & Accessories and many more Arabian Perfumes and house hold goods.

One of my favourite outfits of the entire evening!

Before you say it: no that's not how you're supposed to wear it lol it was for demonstration purposes only

Photographer & author Sara Shamsavari wearing sheikha

Sara Shamsavari & the Sheikha designer

I don't know why but I really like this picture, it makes me smile (=

When the Sheikha models stepped out on to the stage the literally wow'd the audiences (I think I heard a few gasps as people tried to take in the beauty of these garments), all of the outfits oozed elegance, beauty and luxury.
Amalina Aman
Amalina Aman from Australia has always wanted to express through her clothing that a Muslim woman can still be fashionable and not stray from modesty. Her main aspiration is to design modest, beautiful, modern, fashionable and affordable clothing for Muslim women.
Amalina Aman designs using various materials from; batik, chiffon, lycra, lace, jersey, cotton to silk depending on the garment and the season. Inspired by Australian and religious heritage her dresses are unique and exclusive.
Amalina Aman will be showcasing her designs at the Urban Muslim Woman Show..
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Amalina.Aman
Photo credit: implausibleblog.com
Unfortunately after the sheikha show I had to leave as it was getting too late and the show ran over time so I missed the Amalina Aman fashion show, but I have included a picture from theimplausibleblog.com and you can check out more of their designs through their facebook.

The make up artists for the event were FAYE 
A successful International Hair and Makeup artist in London and Paris, specialising in all aspects of make up including Bridal, Catwalk, Media, Fashion and Editorial. Faye is also a Hair and Makeup Educator and mentor teaching one to one courses and Full intensive Hair and Makeup courses.
Website: www.fayemakeup.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/Faye Makeup
Twitter: www.twitter.com/@FayeArtist
Facebook: www.facebook.com/fayemakeupartist
and Taniya Khan

Taniya is recognised for her creative style in the art of bridal hairstyling and makeup specialising in both traditional and contemporary. Taniya has the ability to be creative in such a way that her makeup can be appreciated by everyone. Taniya uses the highest quality makeup to ensure a professional and stylish finish.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/taniya.mua
Twitter: www.twitter.com/Taniya_MUA
Website: www.taniyakhan.com

The Stylists for the fashion show were Styles by Naz and WWAGS

WWAGS is a creative company specialising in Styling, Editing, Visual Merchandising, Point Of Sale and Photography. We are also a Muslim women's modelling agency for women who are on the search of gaining experience and confidence.
Established in 2010, WWAGS have been involved in different roles and projects. The CEO and Founder Halima Umm Zackariya has been in the Visual Merchandising and styling industry for 6 years.

Image credit: implausibleblog.com

Image credit: Implausibleblog.com

Image credit: Implausibleblog.com

Image credit: WWAGS

Image credit: WWAGS

Image credit: WWAGS

Image credit: Implausibleblog.com
I was really impressed by the stylists of the fashion show, every model looked absolutely stunning and I love how they captured the style of the dresses and designers. The creativity shown by WWAGS and The make-up artists was out of this world mashaAllah I'm so glad to have been able to see their work first hand.

Overall I had an amazing time at the event on Saturday. I was impressed with everything as it was all well organised and very professional.

So this was part 1, in parts 2 and 3 I will show you some more of the super cool things that took place including my Outfit Of The Day, the DELICIOUS food, the inspirational and motivational speakers and when I met Amena from Pearl Daisy and Lauren Booth.

In the meantime do go and support all the people mentioned in this post by liking their facebook pages and sharing this blog post.

Until my next post...Massalaama!