Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Her Formula for Awesome

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?

Airport OOTD

Fashion, Self

Hey guys! As you all know, I went on a trip to Canada recently for Eid and had a wonderful time exploring. I went sight seeing, food hunting, shopping, and more. You can follow me on Instagram @rafafarihah to watch all the cool videos I posted while there. I even brought back Canadian candy and made a YouTube video of it! I put so much work into my videos so I would really appreciate if you all Subscribed ūüėė

Anyways, on with my OOTD at the airport:

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Normally I look like a bum at the airport, but this year, I reinvented myself and started dressing up more often. I was going for a laid back and comfortable look, which is why I chose the joggers (basically cute sweatpants) and a light knit shirt with long slits. I have to admit, add a touch of leather to¬†any boring outfit, and it becomes street chic. If you buy anything from my look, do invest in a quality faux leather jacket and pointed faux leather flats (which are about $10 sometimes if on sale). These two items will make any ordinary outfit go from “Okay” to “Wow!” And sometimes…we all need a little “Wow!” in our lives.

Shop my look

Top: JCPenney

Navy Faux Leather Jacket: Forever 21

Joggers: Charlotte Russe

Pointed Faux Leather Flats: Forever 21

Scarf: Get it on AliExpress here

Faux Leather Purse: Commercial Street, Bangalore, India

Concealer: Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer ‚Äď Deep 34, $25

Foundation:¬†Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Foundation ‚Äď Warm Nude 30, $10

Eyebrow Liner: Walmart; Salon Perfect Brow Pomade- Dark Brown, $5

Lipstick:¬†ColourPop Ultra Matte Liquid¬†Lipstick ‚Äď Avenue, $6

Watch this tutorial to get my hijab look and check out ColourPop swatches here!

Make sure to request on my Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat/Facebook any other makeup swatches/tutorials you want to see or other OOTD ideas you want me to try!

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 .

Are You Scared of Me?

Self, Thoughts

I am a Muslim and I have dreams and aspirations just like you.

Shortly after I was born in Missouri, my parents moved us frequently¬†during my childhood till my dad could get a stable engineering job and till we found the perfect “home”¬†that met all our needs. New Jersey was wonderful. I grew up there with the few cousins I have in America and I immensely crave that sense of family and homeliness.

New Jersey was too cold and pneumonia every winter wasn’t something I looked¬†forward to every year.¬†On the day of my 8th birthday, we hopped into our Denim Blue Mica Toyota Sienna¬†to drive to Texas, where my dad found his ideal job. Houston is my home now and I wouldn’t want to have been raised anywhere else. I am taken aback by the beauty of this city, it’s cultural diversity, and friendly Texans who ride horses to school (don’t tell me you fell for that).

Since I was a child, I always knew I would do something artistic in life. My dream has always been to go into the film industry and it still is. Now that I started wearing a headscarf two weeks ago, I am putting acting on the hold, but I can always direct films. For now, I am focusing on becoming a¬†journalist. It’s not going to be easy at all but this is a choice I made for myself. Not going to lie, I question my decision more frequently than I should. But I know that this scarf only makes me unique and stronger.

Maybe I am one step behind in my career. However hard others have to persevere¬†to break into the journalism industry, I have to try twice as hard just to convince people I am capable before they even consider looking at the resume I so carefully put together. That doesn’t stop me from pursuing my dreams. I am going to strive just so I can put an end to this discrimination and make life easier for¬†headscarf-wearing women all over the country.

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This one article of clothing changes everyone’s perception of me and I don’t understand why. I am still the same quirky, funny (at least I think I am), creative, ambitious and generous person¬†I was two weeks ago when no one even assumed I am Muslim at first glance. Come on, I am that girl who cries when she sees an animal in pain.

My parents are somewhat lenient in these kinds of things and I am so grateful for them. Not once have they pressured me into doing something I don’t want, so don’t tell me I am oppressed. What is oppression? Merriam Webster defines oppression as “the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control.” The only people oppressing me are those people denying me jobs in a career I know I am skilled in. It sure as hell isn’t my religion.

And for those people who randomly shout “Allahu Akbar” at the Muslims they see, does anyone actually know what it means? It means “Allah (our name for the same God Christians believe is Jesus’s Father, just through the preachings of their own religion) is greatest.”Atheists and people of other religions, you do you. I still respect and love you as humans.

Just because stereotypically, terrorists scream this phrase before murdering innocent people like us (because they psychotically think that’s what God wants them to do) doesn’t mean “Allahu Akbar” is a bad phrase that you say to insult Muslims. You can kill someone saying “Potatoes.” Does that make potatoes bad? No. I still love my french fries. And you know what? God is awesome. So Allahu Akbar. I wish peace for every one of you and I hope all of you are given all the happiness you can ask for.

 

Do I still scare you?

How about now?

Please share this on your social media. Change must start now. Let’s end this struggle¬†together.