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Here you will find children and parenting books that I love and recommend. Library* Library Part 2* Islamic Library *Hair Library *Chapter Books

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Jul 16, 2009

Free Republic twist it's nose up at Malia's twist



When Obama won I was worried that it would make it seem as if there was no racism in our country. "Obama did it. What’s your excuse?"; you know the pull yourself up by the bootstrap theory. I was also worried that people would put so much stock in him, that if he came up short there would be an 'I told you so' scenario. The fact of the matter is racism is real. The glass ceiling may have been broken for a few, but for most it’s still pretty solid.

Well I see now that I don’t have to worry about people thinking racism is gone. If anything the Obama’s being in the White House has shown this country for what it is. There have been so many racist comments directed towards Obama I wouldn’t have room to list them here. But the worse things I have heard were the recent comments directed towards his daughter Malia. I won’t say them here but if you want to read some of them read this article in Vancouver sun.

It has been said that these comments were initated as a reaction to Malia’s hair. It is quite sad that an eleven- year- olds hair style spurred such racist comments; but I cannot say I’m shocked, after all this is America. She was rocking two strand twists, a style I happen to love. In fact, I love love love the that the girls still have their natural hair. I cringe when ever I see little girls with perms; the damage to their hair, the damage to their sense of self (Allhumdulliah, that’s one argument I won’t have to have with my child’s father. We agree that creamy crack is wack). As Assatta Shakur said "When you go through all your life processing and abusing your hair so it will look like the hair of another race of people, then you are making a statement and the statement is clear." More manageable smanagble, it’s a reflection of self-hate. A reflection of society’s standard of beauty.

I know hair should be hair, but it’s not. Hair is sometimes superficial and always political. Why? Because it’s an outside representation of self. The problem with Malia’s hair was not that it was in twists, but that it stood in contrast to the image of “the girl next door”. Although it didn’t shout Black Power like the afro, it said "I’m not blond, I’m Black and I’m proud." The Obama’s in the White House took the cake and the girls’ staying natural was the icing. For the racist at the Free Republic that was just too sweet to eat. I, however have a sweet tooth.

More on this topic

Afrobella

Black Spin

Daily Kos

Jul 14, 2009

Islamic fashion is catching.

Maybe you have caught a news clip on Muslim fashion on the news. But if you’re like me you missed it. Not much to say other than here are clips of Islamic fashion in the news. Just a lil bit cool.

Muslim Girl Magazine and fashion on The today show


Click here to watch France 24 International News cover Muslim fashion in Turkey.

Click here to watch Riazat Butt cover Sarah Elenany's clothing line on news show The Guardian. You can also check out Elenany's website here.

Click here -> Rabia Z to go to Rabia Zargarpur'S website.
You can also view interviews with her here on Current TV and here on CBS.

While the previous designers do work for the average muslima Jean Fares is all about couture. His and Rabia Yalcin's designs can be seen at the infamous stage or New York Fashion week. Check out Jean Fares web site here -> Jean Fares and view an interview with him on New Tang Dynasty Television here

Like Jean Fares Rabia Yalcin does couture for Hijabis and non-hijabis. View her interview on cbs here and another here.. Also take a look at her website

Find out about young up and coming designers Nyla Hashmi and Fatima Monkush here at atl Muslimah and read more about them here and check out there clothing line here


For more hijabi fashion check out my modern muslima list.

Jul 13, 2009

Women out the womb

The marketing strategies for baby bangs and heelarious are funny but the implications behind the products are not. What morals are we installing in our daughters? Is it not bad enough that they will be faced with society’s unforgiving standards of beauty as they get older must we start right out of the womb?

Baby bangs "For the girl who has everything except hair."



and Heelarious "her first high heels"

The Coil Review

I love this commercial. NuNu gets so excited when the natural sistas step on to the scene. She starts smiling and trying to move. Oh I love my baby. I don't know if it's because of the music or the colors or a combo. Anyway this commercial is mommy and NuNu approved. It is so nice to see things that celebrate natural beauty.

The woman formally known as the fashionista

So I was once told I was a hijabi fashionista. I never quite agreed and now after becoming a mommy….well lets just say my black hijabs have become my friend, MY BEST FRIEND. It’s funny cause when I was prego I wore shoes n stuff, but perhaps that’s because I was working and ya know had to be presentable. Hmmm this is sounding bad. I’m not slumping around in like sweats nor have I lost my ability to match. What I’m saying is I need a new look. Not for me, for MY dd. I want her to grow up saying, “I got a fly mom” not “mommy don’t walk me to school”. I guess she will say that anyway (lol I remember my mom walking across the street from us on the way to school so we can be grown, oh my future). I want her to think wearing the hijab is cool, that she has options. I don’t want her to associate the hijab with a frumpy mummy. So I gotta step it up a notch. Nothing too crazy. Maybe some new styles of wearing hijab, a bow here a flower there. Spice it up. When I’m no longer broke I can expand to new clothes. But we will make do with what we have for now. I have plenty of hijabs, so I should have plenty of options.
With that I have found a few hijab tutorials online. I will post some links here.


Below are youtube channels that feature several different hijab tutorials.

hijabtrendz


aberdeenchap's Channel


GWHijabi Channel

ateeq1588's Channel

HijabulousTV: How-To's

Below are some examples





THE HIJAB OBSESSION

To be brief I am tired of the Hijab obsession. If you do any search on women and Islam at least 80 to 90% of your results will be on Hijab. Quite frankly I want to read and/or listen to something else. This is not to say that Hijab isn't important, it is. This isn't to say that women don't face issues related to hijab. However, this is to say that hijab is only one small part of the deen.


There are numerous things that effect Muslimahs, today and the past. Why are we not addressing them? What is this obsession with hijab. Why is it “Sister you need to cover!” instead of “Sister you should improve your salah?” Why is it “Sister the mothers of the believers coverd, you should too!” and not the mothers of the believers were scholars in Islam, you should be one too. Why it is in country X hijab is banned while in country y hijab is compulsory. Why don't we address female mutilation, masjids that close doors to women, women who cannot leave abusive marriages, why don't we rave about sisters who are in government positions, start non-profit organizations, participate in the Olympics, historical and contemporary female scholars? There are so so so many things, that relate to women in Islam let's acknowledge them.

There is an over emphasis on the part of, brothers, sisters, lecturers, Muslim and non Muslim media etc. on hijab. And when you see this emphasis, it tends not to be on the importance of hijab in its entirety, but a focus on dress, more specifically the dress of women. I wrote this piece only to inspire more overall focus on things outside of the dress of women. Regardless of whether hijab should be or is practiced or not, in the end, there is more to life, more to paradise, more to hell-fire, more to everything then hijab. Without a doubt hijab is important, however there is no reason why the world’s attention should be on hijab. Instead of us being balanced as Muslims should be, and looking at Islam related and women related issues in a holistic fashion we tend to reduce the woman and her worship to her hijab. Where are the lectures on women scholars, women judges, women in the masjid and woman martyrs? Where is the news report on Muslimat Al-Nisaa Health & Shelter Services, INC, a homeless shelter created by a sister for sisters, or the work the Muslim girl scouts are doing? In short I am not my hijab.

Written March 2008

Random...really random things about me

1. Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you.
2. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged.
3. You have to tag the person who tagged you.
4. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

1) I think milk and sugar or milk and honey taste really good
2) Milk and Pepsi or coke is also quite thrust quenching
3) I can eat a whole block of Mozzarella cheese in one setting( I used to search for change to buy some in JHS)
4) Cheddar cheese and grapes are great
5) Pizza with gyro meat and green peppers is the business.
6) I have high cholesterol (I wonder why?)
7) I’m obsessed with children’s books (I also enjoy reading them to kids…I once read a book to a random girl on the bus…I won’t tell you how much money I have put into my DD library)
8) I smuggled food into the hospital when I went into labor and snuck and ate when no one was looking ( ice chips my ….)
9) In the fourth grade I just knew that I was going to be the first African American Female President. (Now I know better, my DD will be)
10) I ran for school secretary in elementary, my slogan was Vote Byas she’s not Biased (or something like that)
11) I like to do the hustle (the dance)
12) I have been working on a list of shows my children can and cannot watch since…lets just say a long time
13) I really wanted to go to Spellman, but I’m so glad to be a Howard grad.
14) I think my mommy’s bed is the most comfortable bed in the entire world.
15) I love shoes and I hate shoe shopping. (yea I know I have a lotta shoes for someone who hates shopping for them.
16) I’m an emotional shopper.
17) I have written several essays for fun.
18) I have a thick book of business plans of businesses I want to start (anybody wanna invest)
19) I hide books in the library so no one else will check them out.
20) I enjoy crossing the street in the middle against the light.(and saying things like “hit me I have loans to pay” and “I stop traffic”)
21) I wrote my death will in highschool and revised it last year.
22) I hate pickles.
23) Despite her dismay I like taking out my DD's boogies (seeing them frustrate me)
24) I look forward to the day when I can tell my daughter, “This is how you treat your mother after I was in the hospital for 9 days when I had you!!!”
25) I don’t like when people look at my feet (notice my skirts always cover them)
26) I hate pants (even when I was younger, I refused to wear them in the 2nd grade)
27) I want to pierce my wrist.
28) I tried to teach myself how to read and write hieroglyphics in elementary
29) I still have my collection of baby sitter club books.
30) I like to rhyme… I do it all the time.
31) I pace when I’m on the phone.
32) I like to make my own hair products.
33) I only use natural products on my skin and hair( and on myDD's’s skin and hair Burts baby bee’s smells so good)
34) My big toe is really big and my pinkie toe is really small
35) I like dancing and making up songs when I’m alone(most of my recent songs are dedicated to Nunu, Nunu the one who holds the key to my hearrrrrrrtttttttt)
36) I get nightmares when I watch scary movies
37) I have two beauty marks on my right arm
38) I get excited when Nunu makes a stink stink ( why you ask? it means she is eating enough and her digestive system is working well)
39) I want another degree after I finish my masters
40) I have been to Mexico but not Canada.
41) I did not always love boiled eggs(yes I know it’s hard to believe)
42) I strongly believe that breakfast is for breakfast and lunch is for lunch and dinner is for dinner….do not try to serve me dinner food in the morning, we will both be pissed off.
43) I enjoy public speaking
44) I aspire to be supermom
45) I love being a teacher...but I'ma have to open up my own school in the future.
46) If I could have triple majored I would have
47) I'm an over achiever
48) I procrastinate (to 47 and 48 contradict?)
49) I'm tiered of being in the house as soon as she gets her shots we are spending our days in the library and the museum bump this
50) I can make this list go on forever and ever and ever……..

Pro Polygamy

At first glance my title may appear to be an oxymoron, but with a closer examination you will be able to, if not agree, understand this point of view. As a Muslim woman I could have easily come to the same decision by simply stating “I am Muslim, Islam allows for polygamy, I have freedom of religion, so polygamy should be legalized.” Instead my conclusion on the legalization of polygamy comes with out putting my religious beliefs into the equation. I will also present this argument absent of my personal opinions of polygamy. In other words, this paper does not aim to discuss the moral, cultural or religious value of polygamy. Nor is it designed for me to discuss whether polygamy is right for my life or yours. It is not even on whether polygamy should be practiced or not. It is however concerned with the legalization of polygamy and women’s rights in relation to its legalization.

The fact of the matter is polygamy exist in the United States. Christains practice polygamy. Muslims practice polygamy. People who practice Ife practice it. People practice it absent of any religious reasons. Immigrants practice it. Nationals practice it. Thousands of people in the United States practice polygamy. Polygamy being outlawed has not and will not prevent it from existing in the United States. In addition polygamist are generally not brought up on charges for practicing polygamy. If a case does come to court it is typically for “polyabuse”, crimes like incest, underage marriage or welfare fraud. Crimes that are crimes on their own. However otherwise healthy, plural marriages between consenting adults should not be a crime.

Furthermore, putting legalizing polygamy will allow for controls to be place on a practice that is not regulated. Which allows for abuse of the practice to go on unquestioned. However, if persons are required to obtain a license for a second marriage, they may be required by the states to ad hear to rules. They will be forced to ad hear to rules that they are not forced to ad hear to now. Both respecting their rights to act as adults in control over their personal life's and the well fare of society. In addition crimes that are masked under polygamy will be exposed (Walfare fraud, underage marriage) One because the government will now have documentation of the relationship. Two because marriages that don't meet the requirement for a license will not be allowed.

The point is polygamy is practiced and it will continue to be practiced. Since it is illegal it places the women who practice it at a tremendous legal disadvantage. For example, say a woman is a second wife and for some reason she seeks a divorce, her marriage is not recognized by the state so she cannot be afforded the same rights, as would the legal wife. Another example is if a man has two wives and passes away, if he does not have a will only the first wife has legal authority over their property. This again leaves any other wives in a bad situation. Illegal plural marriages also leave children at a disadvantage, when it can easily be an advantage. A plural home for children is, no doubt a more stable home for children then one in which a man is flipping between more then one home with no social or legal responsibility to the mother and child. For one it is more economically stable, but even more important it is more emotionally stable. It is easier for a child to understand daddy has other children who he loves as much as you that he has to share his time with, and then daddy is expected to put these children and their needs above yours because they are legitimate and you are not.

Polygamy it self does not put women at a disadvantage. It is the criminalization of polygamy that places women at a disadvantage. Not only does this criminalization of a historically practiced institution put women in an unstable situation; it has created a stigma where one did not exist. As journalist the issue of polygamy continues to frighten and scandalize Americans, and steers us toward the most manifestly backward and veritably un-American of practices: acceptance of social and legal discrimination”. It is an infringement biased purely on the valuing one religious and cultural understanding of marriage over others. Not on its implications on society.

You may be wondering if legalizing polygamy will contribute to our already morally declining society. The answer is no. For one, there are not flocks of men and women sitting around waiting for polygamy to be legalized. In fact in a world where polygamy is allowed in many countries, less then 15% of the Muslim world practice it(I am sure that the numbers are similar amongst other groups that allow for polygamy). Most people, regardless of their cultural or religious allowance for polygamy, would prefer to remain in monogamous marriages. Legalizing polygamy will not insanely increase polygamy it will however protect the rights of those who choose to practice it.

What it will do is make those who practice polygamy socially and legally responsible to their wives. It will also serve as a regulation of polygamy. It will eliminate many abuses that happen. For example men taking second wives with out the first wives permission. If polygamy is legalized it can be a requirement for both wives to consent before a marriage license is issued. There may also be an age requirement instated, to eliminate minors becoming second wives. It will protect non legal wives from being divorced for frivolous reasons. Like other marriages their will be no willy nilly divorces of second wives. Couples will have to go through the same divorce proceedings of monogamous marriages. There will also be no me so horny marriages as the parties will have to apply for a marriage license. If plural marriages are indeed a decision of three or more consenting adults of sound mind, it should be allowed. And if there are no other alternative motives behind polygamy then those who seek to practice it will willingly ad hear to the rules the state mandates. As to what those rules should specifically look like, that is up to the state. But one would assume that they would not be based on the rules regarding polygamy as prescribed by on religion over the other, but rules as designed by the states. So that they best meet the needs of the state and the various people following the rules.
As Justice Anthony Kennedy said in his opinion of Lawrence and Gardner v. Texas
“[America] has been shaped by religious beliefs, conceptions of right and acceptable behavior, and respect for the traditional family. For many persons these are not trivial concerns, but profound and deep convictions accepted as ethical and moral principles to which they aspire and which thus determine the course of their lives. These considerations, do not answer the question before us, however. “The issue is whether the majority may use the power of the state to enforce those views on the whole society. Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code. In all events we think that our laws and traditions in the past half-century have the most relevance here. These show an emerging awareness that liberty gives substantial protection to adult persons in deciding how to conduct their private lives and in matters pertaining to sex.”

Polygamy is with out a doubt a private matter pertaining to sex and should be protected as such. Protected not because men have the right to more then one wife, but because women have the right to be protected under the law.

I guess in effect I am pro choice. Much like legalizing abortion did not necessarily increase the abortions, reduced the number of deaths associated with having illegal abortions. Legalizing polygamy will reduce the number of abuses that take place while it is illegal. In addition much like many people disagree with abortions, those same people agree with abortions being legal. Agreeing that polygamy should be legal does not mean you must believe in the practice of polygamy.

note: I am aware that polygamy technically means both a man marrying more then one wife(polygny) or a woman having more then one husband(polyandry)...i chose to use polygamy as opposed to polygny because polygamy is more often then not polygny and is popularly used as such.

Written
April 2008

Tinkerbell


I think I will approve the Disney Movie Tinkerbell. Of course I will have to watch the movie again before I make my final call, but from what I remember it seems decent. I love the fact that the movie is about her finding and loving herself and not some prince (Not that being in love isn’t wonderful, I myself “wanna be like those girls in the movies”, but which girl? and what Woman do I want my DD to grow up to be?). Equally refreshing is her job. She is a handywoman and an inventor. Yes, the movie shows her saving the day with her mind and skills, not her oh so perfect good looks. This is not to say that the movie was faultless. Old habits die hard. Tinker bell was of course dressed in no more fabric than what was used to make my hijab. Her transformation from the oversized clothes to the where is the rest of it outfit resulted in a fellow fairy’s eyes bugging out (at least it wasn’t a black fairy’s eyes). I guess if they changed her outfit too much she may not be recognizable (huumm). I’ll let it slide a lil. One jacked up message as opposed to the whole movie dripping with misogynistic messages is manageable. After all she is my daughter and will have to learn that although she able to stop traffic, it is far more self respecting and virtuous to relay on and tastefully (not boastfully) display her mind and not her behind.

The movie even made attempts to be multicultural. Yes, I admit before I got into the movie I was counting how many Black fairies(Iridessa,Raven Simon and Lily were the most shown Black faries) there were. Of course there were far less Black fairies than White, but I give it to them it did seem to be an Asian fairy(Silvermist, Lucy Liu in the mix. Oh and let me not forget that there were male fairies as well. Their jobs were still masculine; two were tinkers like tinker bell and one was in charge of giving out the magic dust. Notice I didn’t say any were rulers. Yes, this fairy world was lead by women and it functioned like clockwork. How’s that for empowerment? I know some people will be like the men should also have jobs that tap into their softer sides or they should have positions of power. But, I am satisfied with their roles in their community Pixie Hollow. It was a middle ground; not too wimpy, not too I’m Man, You Woman. I guess at the end there was a part when her two male friends carried the music box for her, with her sitting on it. Not that she has to be macho woman but I’m sure she was able to carry it herself. I tell you she was just trying to make them feel important and give ‘em a reason to visit the mainland. Besides, after all that inventing she deserved a break and just because you can do it all doesn’t mean you always have to (we’d get worn out). Anyway, let’s look at the male fairies as sprinkles on ice cream, there to top it off but far from necessary. This movie and response is about what Tinkerbell would say to Nuriyah should she get the opportunity. I say the conversation would go something like this.

Nuriyah: Your nickname is Tink, I have an Aunty Tink.

Tinkerbell: You do? My friends Bubble and Clank gave me that nickname, but you know I was not always proud of it.

Nuriyah: You weren’t? I was not always proud of my name either until I found out what it meant. In Arabic it means radiant, brilliant and in Hebrew it means light of God. I even like the nick name my umi gave me, Ayah; it means miracle in Arabic. I know it means other things in other languages but I forgot we can ask my mommy if you want though. Do you like your name now because of its meaning?

Tinkerbell: It’s ok we don’t have to ask your mommy. If she found out that children can talk to Disney characters telepathically she’d never let you watch another Disney movie again. I guess you could say that I like my name because of its meaning. I’m named Tinkerbell because I’m a tinker fairy. Tinker fairies make and fix things. They say I’m the most gifted of all Tinker fairies, but at first I was determined to be something I wasn’t. Not only did I hurt myself but I hurt the fairies closest to me.

Nuriyah: Did you say sorry? And why didn’t you want to be gifted? Being gifted is cool, I’m in the gifted class at my school and my umi says that Malcolm x said "Without education, you're not going anywhere in this world."

Tinkerbell: I agree with your mommy education is important you should listen to what she says, mommies are pretty much always right, especially your mommy she is one intelligent woman. Now I’m proud of whom I am. I’m now determined to use my talents to help my community. Not only do I invent things that revolutionize Pixie Hallow but I try to help the world as well. I fly around and talk to little girls like you. I tell them don’t be ashamed of who you are stand tall, don’t waste your talents use them all, remember what Malcolm said a stumble is not a fall (I like Malcolm too). Don’t be afraid to humble yourself and apologize, nobody likes a snooty-pa-touttie, don’t listen to those other Disney movies, you’re way too young to be thinking about some cutie and give back to your community it’s your duty.

Nuriyah: You forgot one.

Tinkerbell: I did?

Nuriyah: You don’t have to display all your beauty. Why do you wear miniskirts in the winter anyway, you’re gonna catch a cold.

Tinkerbell: Well fairies don’t get sick but your right, that one is a work in progress for me…we can always improve ourselves, remember that too.

Yes, I told you I’m raising a beautiful, spiritual, genius child, insha’allah.

Written January 2009

Ponderisims

Just a few random thoughts of mine

Does your bellybutton ever look the same after you have a baby?

How the parents of actors who take demeaning roles feel about their children?

Why we sing scary lullabies to babies? Rock a bye baby…down will come baby cradle and all?

Perms: If you have to wear gloves to protect your hands how safe is it for your head?

Formula: Why pay for an imitation of something your body makes naturally makes for free?

How do people who are afraid of heights go above the first floor?

Why does just about every female on myspace have something about someone hating on them on their page…

Lyrics that don’t lye

I love my hair but sometimes it doesn’t love me back. And when things get ruff a little lyrical inspiration goes a long way. Of course showing my hair some loves goes a lot further, but music always sets the mood.

Afrolicious by Rhonda Ray. Rhonda Ray is a artist, singer and entrepreneur. I can't tell you what I love more her music her art or her earrings. Check out her website.


The Poetry of UVA. UVA is an Afro-Latina spoken word artist, writer and educator.

Lost


I’m finally writing
No longer able to run from myself

I have willingly chosen the wrong path
With hopes that your mercy will allow these roads to cross

Instead I am left lost
Walking without your map

I hear your voice calling me back
And still I wonder

So you stumbled across my blog

Many have suggested that I start a blog but for some reason the idea never sat too well with me. Do I share my personal writings? If not what would I write about? Everything? Nothing? Do I pick a part of my personality or just write freely? And who has time for blogs anyway? Well I now have all the time in the world and no time at all. I still have everything and nothing to share. Why now? What’s different today? Nothing has changed, other than being in a different place in life. I am closing one chapter and starting another. But this chapter of my life I will record here. So feel free to flip through the pages of me. Here I’m sure you will find poetry I wrote and poetry I like, hair care advice, all things mommy, book reviews and my reflections on teaching and learning all from the perspective of a young black muslima. I welcome you to read the randomness that is me; I welcome you to my mind.
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