Saturday, April 30, 2011

Everyone Deserves Some Respect

I've been working on a project with my friend Irfan Mujeebudin, and I'd like to share it with you all. For a while I've been wanting to make a short video about the homeless people in Monroe Park, and I recently had the opportunity. Tonight there is a Coffee House event, and we decided to submit a video as our performance.
A lot of people walk by Monroe Park and avoid and ignore the homeless people. Sometimes what they want is more than just your change. They want an interaction, and they want to feel like they are a part of society. Through this project, we made many friends and learned the stories of many people. In this video we hoped to show a different side of the homeless people. Everyone deserves respect, no matter their social class. I hope that we can all respect each other and reach out to those in need.

MSA VCU Coffeehouse 2011 from Irfan Mujeebuddin on Vimeo.

We finally completed our video after weeks of planning, days of interviews and 12 hours of editing. That was just to make the deadline. This is something I'm interested in expanding on. There was a lot of background noise in some of the clips, so if you didn't catch something, feel free to ask. We cut down over 30 minutes of footage so it would work with the time allotted for tonight's show.

I hope you all enjoy and take something away from this.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Yesterday while I was grabbing something from my room really quick, I looked outside of my window and saw this....
The camera I had in my room was out of memory, and my other camera was on the first floor. So this is from my cell phone!
It was incredible.
I love living on the 18th floor :)
Storms are pretty cool up here, too. Kinda scary, but definitely cool. And when it's foggy, it's insane. This is the best view of a rainbow I've ever had! I bet if I had a car, I could drive to the end of it and claim the pot of gold.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Friendship Tax

Congratulations to my best friend Rachel for getting accepted into nursing school at the University of South Florida! She'll be there starting this summer which means we won't get to see each other at all, but I really would like to visit her later this year, so we'll see what happens. Anyway, I'm really proud of her because she's been working so hard to get to this point and it's good to know that it's all finally paid off!
I actually don't remember how we met, but it was in 5th grade when I moved to her area. Throughout middle school we walked home together, went back to our elementary school to swing on the swings, and sometimes chased after the ice cream truck. We rode our bikes around all the time, discovered new routes through forests to take home, and ran away from this girl that kept following us (LOL). I went to her house after school a lot, and drank more Capri Sun than you've ever seen in your life. In high school, Rachel's ice cream shop, Lazy Sundae opened up nearby and we got fat off of the best homemade ice cream in the world.
what Rachel says when she sees this photo: "I'm so glad we're pretty now."
we love ice cream 2006 (the care-free days)
Later in high school, we took driver's ed together, played Powerpuff football, went thrifting, and decided we weren't getting accepted into college, so we would get a flat in New York City and become interior designers.
That didn't happen, but it's secretly still our dream. Now we both go to great universities a million miles away from each other.
Rachel, me, Zachary, and Schlomit at Clare and Don's Beach Shack
Winter 2009
And that's our friendship in a nutshell. And it's been written countless times in countless yearbooks over the years. Rachel's one of the strongest people I know, and she's not at all influenced by those around her. Which is the opposite of me, and probably the reason we are such good friends. She's also the realest person I know. Lovee herrr. CONGRATULATIONS.

Monday, April 25, 2011

the ethinicities in Paris

clip via Beauty of Islam
When I was at a protest in DC one year (I was probably 15 at the time), this man walking past my friends and I said, "You can take that thing off your head, you're in America now." This clip just reminded me of that. It's a shame some people are still so ignorant about cultures and religions outside of their own. I thought the girl in the clip could have done a better job at covering her hair if she was a hijabi haha. I really like this, though! I like that the grandfather was so open-minded and invited the young man to walk with them. It shows how Muslims need to treat others, no matter their backgrounds. Some Muslims complain about not being treated equally, but they have no problem denying others respect. That's unIslamic and shows ignorance on their part, as well. I want to see the rest of the movie!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


For Earth Day this year I painted a pot for my mom and planted sunflower seeds in it. I honestly don't know how to make these seeds grow into flowers, but I can't wait. Sunflowers are my favorite.
What did you all do for Earth Day? Normally while I'm home, I force everyone to turn lights and all electronics off for Earth Hour, and I light candles. I love candles. I hope to decorate my future home with scented candles in every room. I like dimmer light in the evenings, and it saves energy. BESTDAYEVER. Everyone should take part.
I'm obviously not an artist, but I do like how the clouds came out.

sitting right beside my year-old money tree on the window sill :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

El Teide

"Spain´s highest mountain @(3718m) is one of the best places in the world to photograph the stars and is also the location of Teide Observatories, considered to be one of the world´s best observatories"
Imagine camping here. It'd be insane.Bucket List material, for sure :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"You can tell more about a person by what he says about others than you can by what others say about him." 
-Audrey Hepburn

Alex Paradis

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nike Advertisement

Thursday, April 14, 2011

haters gonna hate.

Instead of silently judging me, I'd rather you approach me and question my actions. Then there's at least the slightest chance that I'd understand your perspective, agree, and then change my way of thinking.
Thank you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Wat een foto."

via Denver Post, tweeted by Peter van der Ploeg

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Beauty & Perspective

source: unknown
  I'm writing a research paper on the affects of commercial advertising on women's confidence in their body weight, because ever since last semester I've noticed more and more the impact the media has on our self-image. I just remember in middle school talking about wanting to lose weight. I can't even imagine being thinner than I was. When I hear girls around me talk about wanting to lose weight, I wonder how these ideas even entered their minds. It's so easy to want to look like the women on TV because unfortunately, that's the look (the ultra-thin model physique) that we've associated with "normal". And I admit, I sometimes feel I want to look like the women on TV because they seem to be completely flawless, but I never consider dieting because I'm already at a healthy weight. It's terrible that girls are developing unhealthy eating habits to attain this "beauty". Most companies are not at all concerned with the negative impact that their advertisements have on women. They're only interested in selling their products. Some of the things I've read throughout my research this semester have been insane. Kudos to Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty.
  Anyway, I thought I'd share my thoughts on the issue. A friend told me yesterday that I was gaining weight, in a good way, and I was immediately self-conscious. Terrible.
Edit: I just got back from a late lunch with my friend and I asked him if I should get more food (I always ask people this, I have no idea why). He told me I was skinny and beautiful so it didn't matter if I ate any more, I could eat as much as I want. Made me think. Beauty is so often associated with weight... I wasn't asking because I thought it would make me gain weight if I got more food. I was asking because I just couldn't decide!
Imagine conversations of the youth today.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Everyone needs to learn the words, "I can"

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter ...

There's nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it's sent away.

Why do I all of a sudden REALLY want to join a spoken poetry club? I wish I spoke more eloquently like this 22 year old (I know!). I've been thinking of wearing a British accent around so that my words sound prettier.
link via Abrar

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Letters to Terry Jones

I borrowed this from the Facebook group, Smother Terry Jones with Kindness. Please. It was originally created by Wajiha Akhtar, a PhD student at the University of Florida. (*Thank you to Awais for correcting my source!)

As many of you know Terry Jones from Dove World Outreach Center burned a Quran after conducting a mock trial (which he called Internation judge the Quran day) where Terry Jones himself was the judge. According to him his actions has led to death threats from people around the world.

On April 22nd, he'll be traveling to Dearborn Michigan to protest in front of the Islamic Center of America because he wants Muslims "to ho...nor, obey and submit to the Constitution of the United States."

Pastor Jones just has the wrong idea about Muslims--Lets be real. Muslims in America love the Constitution! We've been living under it our whole American lives.

So let's smother (in the non-killing way, you know like hugs) him with kindness. Follow the link below and tell him about the best places to eat ( let's be real, some good ethnic food has proven to win over even the most hardened bigot!). If you have a relative/friend that lives there, offer their homes. Tell him the best place to buy souvenir magnets and keychains for his congregation.

I understand that people might disagree with this approach to Pastor Jones. For those Muslims out there, keep in mind the story of the Prophet (PBUH) and those that mocked him during his time. And for all other people of faith or morality, the principal of winning over those that hate you with honey as opposed to vinegar is universal.

I strongly encourage all of you to send him a friendly message, not about his actions, but instead about some ideas you have, or something you think he might be interested in.
Here's my post:
Dear Pastor Jones,

During my University's Spring Break, I was lucky enough to be accepted to be a part of Alternative Spring Break, an organization that sends students to do volunteer work for that one week. I got the opportunity to travel to Kissimmee, Florida to volunteer at a place called Give Kids the World. It's a non-profit organization that fulfills the wishes of children who have life-threatening illnesses. Children from around the world stay in these castle-like houses with their families to experience a memorable, joyful, cost-free visit to the Central Florida attractions. It's probably the most magical place I've ever visited. The place runs completely off of donations, and relies mostly on volunteers to run it. Seeing as you are the pastor of this Church, I think it would be a great experiences for you and the Church members to meet these beautiful children and help grant them their wishes by volunteering at Give Kids the World.
Our university group drove 14 hours to get to Kissimmee. You're lucky to be such a short distance away from all the magic.
I am an American Muslim, born and raised in Northern Virginia, and I hope that you will help put some magic in a child's world by volunteering like I did.

Thank you, and God bless.
Love Always,


Monday, April 4, 2011

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