RAMA-WHAT?

Thoughts

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is considered a Holy month by Muslims across the globe. Muslims endure a month of daily fasting in order to honor the first time the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), according to Islamic belief. This month lasts 29–30 days based on the sightings of the crescent moon.

This year, Ramadan begins on June 6 and lasts until July 5. We celebrate the end of Ramadan with the religious holiday Eid al-Fitr (or just Eid).

I Felt Numb After Watching 13 Reasons Why

Thoughts

For those of you who have been living under a rock with Patrick Star, Selena Gomez has produced a Netflix original series — an adaptation of the Jay Asher novel, 13 Reasons Why. The entire plot revolves around suicide. If you are sensitive to this issue, consider this a trigger warning, in which case, please do not read on. Also *SPOILER ALERT* if you haven’t seen/completed the show.

This post is a response to this article written by a psychotherapist.

Complete Yourself

Uncategorized

The empty canvas stares, mocking her

fears meant to be poured out as vibrant splatters.

Beastly secrets seething in the artist’s soul gather,

pounding on the doors of Hell, summoning to be released.

Into a dream of fairy tales and lovers’ sacred decree.

 

The artist must choose, a life of murder or letting go.

Release the demons within, and row

the boat in a river of untouched goals.

She escapes to become one with God, her savior truly.

Takes off like a bird, and revels in the world’s trivial beauties.

 

Travel this game of life one place at a time,

Roll the dice and see where you go,

like a drop of rain before the rainbow.

Expand the bounds of your horizons, illuminate them with pastel.

Go conquer your fears, and complete yourself.

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Review: Anastasia Eyebrow Pomade

Fashion, Thoughts

Here is a makeup review for many drugstore and higher end makeup products, including the Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade from Sephora! I absolutely love it, but I also mention a cheaper Walmart dupe in the video.

Make sure to Subscribe!

Islamophobia Discussion Shines Light on Hasty Fear

Thoughts

On Wednesday at the University of Houston, the Urdu Baithak student organization and Indus Arts Council held their largest event of the semester, “Islamophobia,” to discuss the prevalence of anti-Islamic thoughts in modern culture.

The event took place in the Kiva Room in Farish Hall and featured Jibran Nasir, a prominent Pakistani lawyer and political activist. The event commenced at 4:40 p.m. with Nasir showing an audience of approximately 30 people “Reclaiming Pakistan,” a documentary about his political activism since 2014.

“Muslims are thought to be the masterminds behind planes being hijacked and crashing into buildings,” Nasir said. “The world’s most popular airlines are Emirates, Etihad and Qatar from the Middle East, and Westerners are very comfortable flying in those, knowing that even when they take off, all the announcements are made in Arabic.”

Nasir said things are different on a U.S.-based airliner.

“If someone were to make the similar announcement to him, reading the Quran or exchanging greetings on Southwest or United Airlines, they will be thrown out of the plane,” Nasir said.

Blindly fear thy neighbor

Nasir is known for his youth outreach on nonviolence and combating Islamophobia.

As a result of myriad political scandals and terrorist acts such as the Peshawar attack in Pakistan, Nasir has been committed to eradicate extremist violence. He co-founded social welfare organizations such as Elaj Trust, Pakistan For All and Never Forget Pakistan.

Nasir discussed that although the media portray Islam in a negative light, Muslims and non-Muslims are guilty of being ignorant. He said that Muslims don’t know enough about their religion and non-Muslims don’t make the effort to research about what Islam actually preaches.

Most Muslims rely on the interpretation presented by clerics that Nasir said can possibly be biased.

“You see anchors sitting and speculating that once an attack has happened and a person is found to be Muslim, it becomes more about his religion than his socioeconomic circumstances,” Nasir said. “The question will immediately go to ‘Which mosque did he go to?’”

Nasir added that while Muslims are obliged to condemn an attack after it occurs, the Pope doesn’t defend all Christian Catholics when a Christian commits a crime. Muslims are often considered guilty unless proven innocent, Nasir said, and to mitigate the extent of Islamophobia they must be compassionate and increase their tolerance to criticism.

“Personally, I am just going to get out there and talk to people about being involved, the same way that he does, but in Pakistan,” Public relations junior Mehreen Arshad said. “I think the best way to be the best representative that you can be is to talk to people about their problems.”

A sentiment needs changing

As Nasir’s discussion continued, the audience became more engaged.

Some asked questions, and Nasir responded with information gathered from his research and personal experience. He said it isn’t always the religion that preaches violence, but a violent person can make their religion violent because they incorporate their behavior with their faith.

“People tend to generalize each other, and one of the things that my family does that they think is innocuous is they will see someone who is covered or someone who is dark-skinned and say ‘That man is Arab’,” Environmental studies senior Oscar Lázaro said.

Lázaro then took initiative to reshape his parents’ perspective.

“I finally corrected my parents and told them, ‘Well, that person may not be Arab, and if they are Muslim at all, you have no way of knowing what sect they are in or what their beliefs are, or if they are homophobic as you presume them to be,” Lázaro said.

Urdu Baithak will host an event with Nasir at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Athletics/Alumni Center. The event will be in the Urdu language for native speakers.

Nasir will continue his tour to multiple universities across the country once he concludes his event at UH.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Her Formula for Awesome

Lifestyle, Thoughts

I recently had the privilege of meeting renowned Australian TED Talk speaker, Yassmin Abdel-Magied. Looking at that gorgeous feature photo of her, what kind of person do you think she is?

An oppressed woman trudging through the world wearing colorful scarves to alleviate her every day pain of being a woman? Is she a musician? An artist? An activist?

My Fate in the Hunger Games

Thoughts

Most of us know what Buzzfeed is. The one site and YouTube channel that has some of the coolest quizzes, listicles, and videos I have ever seen. I have to admit, they are very addicting sometimes. The moment I get on, I have to allocate an entire hour for it, because I know I won’t stop browsing. That’s what happens when videos like that are in reach
and accessible to all with a click of a button and social media.  Anyways, I was browsing quizzes, and I came across a quiz about my fate in the Hunger Games. Of course, I had to take it. I took it with a friend and we filmed it together. Check it out!

I am actually thinking of applying for an internship at Buzzfeed. Let me know if you know anything about that. You can find the quiz here. Let me know what your results were in the comments of my video!  Subscribe and give it a thumbs up!

What Have We Become?

Thoughts

Gone are the days when youngsters go outside in the beautiful weather and come up with creative games to play, ideas to earn some money, or even converse with each other on a face-to-face basis. Since the rise of technology this century, children are glued to their electronic devices like a baby to its pacifier. That is basically what students are doing to themselves. Pacifying themselves, and I don’t mean that in a good way.

The youth is meant to be energetic, adventurous, and involved in the community. As a child, I would knock on my neighbor’s door to ask if their kids wanted to come out and play after school. We would play hopscotch, four square, hide and seek, ride bikes, and anything else we could come up with. In the early 2000s, children would ask around in their neighborhood if anyone needed a babysitter, someone to mow their lawns, or wash their cars for some extra cash. I haven’t so much as seen a child in my neighborhood since I moved there 3 years ago, other than as they drag their groggy selves to the school bus every morning. Yet, the road sign stating “Drive slow. Children at play,” remains posted on my street since who knows what century. In this situation, electronic devices are not validating our existence, but are providing us a shield to hide behind, every moment we are too afraid to speak up or associate with another mortal being.

I recently read a book called The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. That is what inspired me to write this post. I highly recommend you all to give it a read! It poses some very reflective questions we have to ask ourselves once in a while.

How to Look American

Thoughts

Hold up. Before you do anything else…

If you have not subscribed to my new YouTube channel, PLEASE SUBSCRIBE NOW. Next video will be out in a few days and it is for everyone!   https://www.youtube.com/c/RafaFarihah

Here is a video on some tips to look as American as ever. Anyone can do it! Whether you are an undocumented Mexican, a Jew or Muslim who covers their head, a nun, or any other religion/race, there is still hope for you to assimilate 👍🏽

It is absolutely pathetic that videos like these even have to be made to ridicule society’s backward thinking. Unless you came from the uterus of someone who founded this country, you are an immigrant as well, even if your skin color is white. That basically puts all of us on the same boat then, doesn’t it? Now sifting through society to pick out who belongs and who doesn’t makes no sense. Are we some kind of insects that you just throw out?

Religious practices don’t define your ethnicity either. Just because most Christians live in America or Europe, that doesn’t mean you won’t find Christians in India or Saudi Arabia. You can find white people in America who converted to Islam and cover up as well. If you tell them to go back where they came from, where would they go? If they took off their hijab, you couldn’t even tell they are Muslim.

Bottom line is, if you are either born in a country or raised there, that makes you one of the members of its society regardless of what you practice or how you look.

The Orlando Shooting: Little Did We Know

Thoughts

It was like any other day when I woke up on Sunday morning. I sat up in my bed, groggy  and a tad bit hungry since I was fasting for Ramadan. My first instinct was to check my phone, as if I am immobile unless I am constantly updated. I checked my e-mail hoping to hear back from an online magazine I had applied to write for. No luck.

“Oh my God, my group chat is blowing up again. These people stay up all night talking about who knows what,” I thought to myself. Little did I know that America had its deadliest mass shooting a few hours before, in the city of Orlando.

I grabbed my laptop and scanned the headlines sprawled across Yahoo News. The first thought that sprung to my mind was “Please don’t tell me the shooter was Muslim.” We already get so much loathing from several people as it is. We don’t need psychopaths stirring up any more trouble for us.

Omar Mateen. Such a beautiful Arabic name, meaning long-lived, powerful, and eloquent speaker. It’s a shame the shooter didn’t know how to live up to it. If his heart was suffused with that much rage against the LGBTQ community, why not post a Facebook rant? Worst comes to worst, he may have lost a few online friends. Not literally.

This man was enraged when he saw two men kissing at Pulse night club that night. What did we assume? We assumed he was a radically religious man who wanted to put an end to something he hated, gays. But what we didn’t know was that this man wasn’t as religious as he seemed. If he was, he wouldn’t have picked up his Sig Sauer MCX that day and snatched the innocent souls out of 49 bodies ruthlessly. But what did we do wrong? Assume. We assumed his motives before we had any evidence. Just because he was a “Muslim”.

Little did we know that he was gay. All the dating apps he used prove it, but this man was too cowardly to come to terms with it. Sources say that most of the people he reached out to blocked him because he was too emotionally unstable. Maybe he was furious at the men he saw not because he was repulsed, but because he was jealous. Little did we know that he was trying to fight his inner demons and get rid of his homosexuality that he didn’t want to deal with. So he took out his gun and killed the joyous spirits of those who accepted themselves and were proud of their identities.

I am proud of who they were because they put smiles on faces, loved one another, formed a community to withstand the hate that society throws their way, and they owned up to who they were. My condolences go out to their friends, families, and loved ones who are grieving.

Omar Mateen was not a human, nor were his actions Islamic.

 

Watch the emotional story of Orlando shooting survivor, Patience Carter here .