Monday, December 30, 2013

Breakable, Breakable

People are so fragile, paper cuts so tormenting.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Birthday

I'm posting this here because I want to remember these forever. This was definitely the best status I've ever posted. I turned 23 on Thursday, and I wanted more than just the generic Facebook wishes (I have my needs). It's AMAZING to me how many of my friends remember exactly when we met and what that interaction was like. I couldn't ask to be blessed with more beautiful people in my life. Alhumdulillah! Click the comment count to view more.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Modesty

After publishing my most recent blog post, DC Mipsterz | A Very Mipsterz Xmas, I started thinking a lot about how I present myself online. I've had this blog since 2009, and I've always posted pictures of myself, my experiences, and my interests. I never saw a problem with sharing myself with the world. Also, I NEVER used to send my blog link to people unless they asked, and most of the people who follow me have always been strangers and fellow bloggers. Lately, I've been sharing my blog a lot more because it's something I've always loved and I want to feel motivated to keep up with it. I want others to be inspired to keep online journals and stay creative with what they love.

I NEVER get my makeup done... I rarely even have the desire to dress up. It was fun, and different. I posted the photos. Then I was talking to a friend and I passed on the link to my blog. He thought it was weird that I would post those photos and it looked like I wanted attention. Whether that's true or not (I'm still trying to figure that out myself), all of a sudden I felt really insecure. I started questioning my intentions. What does a follower count matter if people are only following you because they find you attractive? The photos from my last post hardly even look like me... I would much rather people follow me because they enjoy reading thoughtful, funny, or insightful posts. If I want to adhere to modesty as I define it, I don't need to attract unnecessary, meaningless attention.

My personal opinions, based on self-image, not on others' behavior (INWARD, in word):
I don't care about the turban. I find it completely appropriate and beautiful. I don't care about the makeup, in moderation. I dressed up for an event but on the regular, I'd rather people know my natural, organic face. I don't want to ever feel like I need to cover my face up and change my look, a phase I've already been through. What I'm more concerned with is how much of this I feel I need to post all over my blog and share with the world, and my reasons for sharing photos of my made-up self. It's fun, it's exciting, it's flattering when people follow you, comment on your photos, or compliment your look. It's tempting to want to be like this all the time, and be able to have all eyes on you all the time. I'd love to continue to share photos, I just want to make sure my intentions are right, and I'm not changing myself to please others, or solely trying to gain attention. This will always be a reflective journal for me, I have no desire to change it into a style blog. That's just not me.

I admire women who are studying to become change agents in this world. I admire women who inspire others, who are innovative, who DESIRE to help others. I ASPIRE to be a woman who others look at as an example for reasons other than her body, looks, or style.

This is not to say I'll remove images of myself I've posted in the past, or that I don't love blogs about fashion or style. This is just a reflection I'm choosing to share with you. You define modesty for yourself.

As always, this is a...

JUDGE-FREE ZONE

Monday, December 16, 2013

DC Mipsterz | A Very Mipsterz Xmas

Saturday Night -
Tamana is a makeup GURU; God bless her.
Tamana, my partner in crime & meee
took complete advantage of the penthouse restrooms, and we don't care
Don't let that smile fool you
clique-y
oh, you didn't know? locker rooms are FUN.
oxford rules: selfie
I RSVP'd to two parties in one night... UGLY SWEATERS, no curfews, graduations, and high school reunions
ARE YOU TIRED OF RED YET?

Mipsterz isn't really about anything too crazy, for those interested. Tamana and I walked into the room not knowing ANYONE. We didn't see a single familiar face. It really didn't matter for long... we were up and socializing and snacking on delicious sweets, and really just getting to know a bunch of really great people. Everyone was so openminded and to me, that's what a real Mipster is. Mipster isn't about the way you dress, or about your social status. It's about who you are and how willing you are to let your real self shine. It's so important to be an individual and to be comfortable in your own skin. We need to start supporting our community members and making some REAL progress in introducing Islam to those who don't yet know about it. How can we do that if we're too busy bashing one another within our own faith?? Seems ridiculous when I write it down... Seems completely counterproductive. Let's focus on what's important, and have a little fun while we're at it. Open your mind, extend your hand, and be YOU.

xx

Thursday, December 12, 2013

DC Adventures

throwback to Sue Sue and my adventure in DC one day...
Alleyway photo inspired by RidzDesign
by foot
Partner in crime, Sue Sue
people watching in Rosslyn
only when we arrive ;)


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

infinity

 At a George Washington University Muslim Student Association Eid party this Fall, we were asked to write our goal down on a chalkboard and take a picture with it. The sign behind me in the photos below reads "InshAllah in 10 Years I will be...". For those of you who are unfamiliar, InshAllah means God willing. When I was growing up, I didn't feel like I could dream this big... even now, I just don't. I never saw hijabi role models in the media. Now that social media has become the most popular medium for sharing ideas, my eyes are opened to all of the different Muslim men and women working to make changes for our community and beyond. It's fascinating to me that people have overcome so many insecurities about being minorities in the U.S. and have really embraced their differences and are working towards creating a better image of Muslims for all of us. So for this event, I wrote down a goal that I have no intention of obtaining, but it's the first dream a lot of kids write down and it's at the top of the totem pole. This was just to prove to myself that I can achieve my goals and I shouldn't be afraid to aim high. I haven't yet discovered my infinity but it's the journey of a lifetime. This is such a little kid mentality but maybe we should strive to be more like kids; fearless and up for any challenge. Kids don't see limits. So let's be kids.

Needless to say, I'm a good time.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Turban Trial

Brothers

Atlanta

Road Trips

Frank Ocean

Somewhere between Tampa and Sarasota, Florida
Forida was HOT. With the turban being a fashion statement piece all over the world, I decided to try it out to cool myself down. It was AWESOME. I felt extremely comfortable, and extra breezy, and even got a compliment. It's something I'm not transitioning too, but I'll rock it when I feel like it ;)

Rewind

I want to go back a few months to ISNA 2013. I was slacking on the blogging then, but I met some pretty cool people and had a nice time supporting Ridwan Adhami. I didn't get a lot of time to take my own photos because we were running a photo booth at the event, and things were HECTIC. I have to say that we had one of the most popular booths in town. Anyway, I'm going to be doing a few flashback posts in the next week or so, just so I can feel caught up with myself. Life gets busy, blogs get forgotten, but PinkGingerale is FOREVER.

Our RidzDesign booth ruled the world. #TeamRidzDesign
Photographing Mohamed Issa, founder of NoorVitamins, a halal certified vitamin brand.
I loved meeting Ibtihaj Muhammad, Olympic Fencer who visited our booth. Her and her sister Faiza were the SWEETEST. It's so great to see young Muslim women standing out internationally for their work. RESPECT!
Winnie Detwa, lifestyle blogger, was another one of my favorites. She had an awesome booth with super cute Turban Nation t-shirts. I had to snag one for my sister. She is one that you should all definitely look out for!
the perks of being on #TeamRidzDesign ... you get to pick the posted photo :) my default look
If you'd like to see the collection of photos from ISNA by Ridwan, you can browse the album here. I'm always really impressed to see huge companies and nonprofits run by Muslims because I didn't see a lot of that growing up, despite living outside of the nation's capital where we have an incredibly large Muslim community. We met filmmakers, authors, singers, bloggers, athletes, poets, actors, photographers, painters, fashion designers, and a lot of hooligans, too ;) It's always exciting driving up to the convention and seeing thousands of people who share the same faith as you. As a minority in the states, it's pretty rare that I come across this. So, when I do.. it's that much more magical.

xx

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wonder

Maybe I'm still working on my rough draft...
and I'll figure out the final soon enough

Monday, December 2, 2013

Mohamed Shaaban

On Friday, November 22nd 2013, a close friend of mine passed away. It wasn't that he was my best friend, or that we even talked all that much, but when we did it was like we had never missed a day. I considered him to be someone I could always count on to help me, make me laugh, be completely ridiculous with me, support me, and make me feel worthy. What more could you ask for in a friend? We were very similar, both free-spirited and young-hearted but ready to get to business when we had to. He was the kind of guy that NO ONE had anything bad to say about, and he had an enormous impact on so many peoples' lives, both directly and indirectly. He started two charity organization chapters at our university and has led a team in sending millions of dollars worth of medical supplies to countries in need. He was a very devout Muslim, and always had a beautiful story to accompany any tough situation we were dealing with. He was the kind of friend you wanted to keep around because he inspired you to do good and to be good.

I remember meeting him in 2009, our first semester in college, and we clicked immediately. Over the four years following, we would celebrate birthdays, days off, Ramadan iftars, donut cravings, and finally, graduation; a party complete with a very long Just Dance session, during which we all went completely nuts. He was my forever friend, and that's the last thing I told him a few months before I he passed away. I went to his funeral, and it was the first time I had to deal with a friend and loved one's death. When I think about things from an Islamic perspective, I realize that it's not so bad. He lived 21 years of serving God and others. He was a selfless person, and I'm certain he has a place in Heaven inshaAllah (God willing). I tried the whole day to smile over all of the great things he had done in his life. Nate reminded me that he's done more in his 21-year life than most people have done in their long years of living, which is absolutely true. He was a son, brother, uncle, student, teacher, and companion. He was Mohamed Shaaban.

my 21st birthday with Shaaban (far right)
A few days after the funeral, I finished reading Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury and I came across something beautiful that reminded me of my forever friend, told to the main character (Guy) by a new friend (Granger):

"When I was a boy my grandfather died, and he was a sculptor. He was also a very kind man who had a lot of love to give the world, and he helped clean up the slum in our town; and he made toys for us and he did a million things in his lifetime; he was always busy with his hands. And when he died, I suddenly realized I wasn't crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I cried because he would never do them again, he would never carve another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the back yard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all the actions stopped dead and there was no one to do them just the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I've never gotten over his death. Often I think, what wonderful carvings never came to birth because he died. How many jokes are missing from the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands. He shaped the world. He did things to the world. The world was bankrupted of ten million fine actions the night he passed on." (3.361)

and later by Granger again...

"Grandfather's been dead for all these years, but if you lifted my skull, by God, in the convolutions of my brain you'd find the big ridges of his thumbprint. He touched me. As I said earlier, he was a sculptor."

His grandfather had told him to "Stuff your eyes with wonder" and "Life as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world."

And reading this part came at exactly the right time. When you're dealing with the death of a loved one, it's hard not to be selfish. We're always missing the times we spent with those who have passed, and that's OK. I think about Shaaban every day. I'll continue to reflect on my friendship with him and in doing that, I'll continue to better myself as a person because that's what he did every single day.

Rest in Peace, Forever Friend!
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