Pretty Things Come in Small Packages

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Ola readers! It’s so good to find the time to blog this weekend. The last two weeks have been crazy busy for me and last week was especially tough. I was working hard on an essay about Shi’a Muslims and because I chose a topic I barely knew anything about, the essay was quite a challenge! I was so happy when I finally finished and handed it in yesterday.

Today I slept in for the first time in two weeks. When I woke up and went downstairs for breakfast there was a parcel with my name on it waiting for me on the table.

It was the pair of earrings I had won from Saba Azam Jewellery when I entered a competition over at SSouq during Ramadan! It was such a lovely surprise and I couldn’t wait to see them with my own eyes. When I opened up the box what I saw truly made my day.

These earrings are so me! I love how they're elegant and dangly, and I adore the heart-shaped stones and not to mention the beautiful turquoise colour as well. I was also delighted with the professional packaging and the personal touch added by the designer. Saba wrote me a note on her company’s very own personalised postcard. How sweet and impressive is that? 

Thank you so much Saba Azam! You’ve made a sleep deprived and stressed out girl oh-so-over-the-moon today. I feel all warm and special now. To top it all off, I have always loved UK fashion finds because I personally think they look less generic so this is just perfect. And thank you to Amber from the Sisters Who Blog  network for coming up with Ssouq. I’m sure all the other winners are enjoying their prizes too.

I, for one, am so in love with my gorgeous brand new earrings.

Fashion Friday: Eid Special - Think Pink!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

to all Muslims from every corner of the world!

I had an absolutely amazing first day of Eid with my Mum and friends and the rest of the Dunedin community yesterday. We even appeared in the local newspaper! I don't care that it's a horrible shot of me (oh who am I kidding, of course I care) but I'm just so happy that there's a positive article about Muslims in the news.

Eid in New Zealand is not too different from Eid in Malaysia but I definitely think it's more interesting because the Muslim community here is very diverse. It's so nice to see the different cultural outfits and dresses, although some do opt to dress casual chic. I just love seeing all the beaming and happy faces too!

What I wore in the morning for Eid prayer

After prayers we headed to the town octagon (yeah we don't have a town square 'cos octagons are way cooler). Here you'll see 2 beautifully dressed kids and 2 very grown up kids.

Can't help but admire these girls' dresses

Lamya did this by herself. Ah-mazing.

What some of the men wore; taken at the Octagon during an annual Eid performance done by Arab men from various parts of the Arab region.

Back at the masjid for breakfast. Hey even babies get totally styled up during Eid.

Later on my girlfriends and I went to Tunnel Beach, which by the way is only 5 minutes from my house, and I never knew. Well actually, it was more like a mountain and a beach because to get the the actual beach we had to walk down a mountain and that took us about 20 minutes. It was lambing season so there were sheep manure EVERYWHERE. It was gross but we just laughed it off and had an incredible time together as you can probably tell! 

I hope you're all having a blast with your loved ones at the moment! Once again, Eid Mubarak and kol 3am wa antum bekhair (may you have goodness in the years to come).

I Love Me Some Countryside Fresh Air

Monday, September 06, 2010

Yesterday we drove out to the countryside to get some new flower plants for Spring time. It's quite a world of difference out there. The air is fresher and cleaner and life is simpler in the spiritual sense, at least. Although I've lived in New Zealand for almost 6 years I still get really excited and say "awwww" way too many times when I see lots of cute little lambs as we drive by farms in the rural areas. 

*munch munch* Hey huuuumans, whatchabaaa loookin' aaat? *munch munch*

"Awww.. lambs!!" (typical me)

A beautiful and dignified wattle tree

The flowers emit an amazing sweet and powdery scent

Pink rhododendrons (I know, quite a mouthful to say)

Al Zalzalah

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Two nights ago, Chloe, N. and I were having supper and dessert at a local cafe to celebrate Chloe's birthday...

11.45 pm;
Me: So you have a younger sister right? What's her name?
N.: Yeah, her name is Zala.
Me: Ooh that's different! What does it mean?
N.: It doesn't mean anything, my parents just came up with it.
Me: Oh? Hmm... is it related to zalzalah (earthquake), you know like Surah Al Zalzalah?
Chloe: Oh yeah, it could be.

4.40 am;
Me: *fast asleep in bed when the bed started to shake and things in the room started to move* 
My brain: Hmgzhhrhh?????!! Probably just another one of those tremors we get once in a while. *ZzzZzzZz*

6 am;
News reports about a massive earthquake of about 7.0 on the Richter scale had taken place in Christchurch (a city about 45 minutes away by plane) were all over the media. Texts messages were sent around and Facebook status updates about the earthquakes were posted. Christchurch experienced aftershocks throughout the day and the city was literally shaken; buildings were reduced to rubbles, roads cracked and people were injured and in shock. Debris were reported to be everywhere in the city centre and power supply was disrupted. 

Although we felt the earthquake we weren't really affected by it. Earthquakes and tremors are no strangers to people who live in New Zealand but it has been quite a while since an earthquake of this magnitude happened. I texted some friends in Christchurch to check if they were okay and alhamdulillah, they are all physically fine. Nothing more than some broken plates and some mess to clean up. Some feared another major quake would happen but so far it's been clear. The government has ordered an evacuation and a curfew for people who live near the central business district (CBD) just in case. By looking at images of the aftermath I can understand how shaken Christchurch residents must feel right now. They reminded me of scenes from that movie called 2012.

For more pictures look through NZ Herald's Christchurch Earthquake gallery

Funny how we were talking about Surah Al Zalzalah just hours before the earthquake happened. SubhanAllah, another reminder for all of us during the last days of Ramadhan. I should also mention how it was also snowing, raining, hailing and then back to sunny that day before the earthquake happened. Freaky weather. Coincidence? I think not.

P.S. I think Lailatul Qadr was last night. It was very, very calm and still. I couldn't even feel the slightest breeze and the weather was temperate; not cold at all considering that it was snowing the day  before! Plus it was the 25th night of Ramadhan. Allahu3alam. What do you guys think? What did you experience last night?

P.P.S. Thank you to all those who sent messages to ask if we were okay! Yes, we are all good alhamdulillah =) 

Happy Birthday, Chloe Inga

Thursday, September 02, 2010

It was around two years ago when I saw a young Kiwi girl in the sisters’ prayer area in the mosque. If I’m not mistaken we were the only two people there at the time. My first thoughts were, “Hmm, I wonder who she is? Should I say hello? She looks so young and innocent.”

I didn’t want to intrude so I left without saying anything but I made sure to smile at her before doing so. I saw her around campus and in town and eventually we were introduced to each other by a group of mutual friends. Slowly our friendship developed. I found out her name - Chloe - and my first thoughts were confirmed. She was only 18 years old! Chloe is quite shy but once you get to know her she’s lively and has a lot of funny and interesting things to say. I also found out that she had converted to Islam after doing some extensive research about the religion when a friend gave her some brochures about women in Islam.

Three years later, here we are.

Chloe is happily married, mashaAllah. She is also a talented artist who designs clothes and jewellery. At the moment, her main focus is on jewellery and she makes them so beautifully. (InshaAllah, there will be a Fashion Friday feature all about her jewellery and accessories coming in the near future)

Today, Chloe is celebrating her 21st birthday. I'm incredibly proud to say this beautiful, courageous and intelligent girl woman is one of my sisters in Islam. Don't believe all these praises I'm singing about her? Read her post about turning 21.

Happy birthday, dearest Chloe! 

Always remember to smile...

take chances and have some fun along the way! 

May He always bless you with iman, happiness and rizaq. You deserve it all.