Fashion Friday: A Hijabi In Autumn

Friday, May 28, 2010

As we gradually enter the winter season in New Zealand I just thought it'd be nice to bid farewell by dedicating a post to the loveliest and warmest autumn I've experienced here.

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Now it's time to take out the winter woolies and add an extra layer (or 2!) to my daily outfits. Au revoir autumn!

Wednesday Woes

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It hasn't stopped raining cats and dogs since yesterday morning. I mean, literally. Hardly a pause and I know because I was up studying until 4 am last night.

I woke up at 7.45 am just to get a good spot in the overpopulated Central Library only to have a guy with smelly socks and an annoying habit of talking to himself while studying sit right in front of me at one of those 2-persons per table kind of table (get what I mean?). OMG.
(Oh yay he left... * a few moments later* Oh no, he's back... with steaming hot instant noodles! Okay at least the smell of his socks is gone.)

I have a Politics test in 2 hours.

I'm really hungry thanks to the smell of instant noodles coming from opposite me.

What are your Wednesday Woes, if any?

A Sad Autumn's Day

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I woke up to the sound of raindrops falling heavily on the roof. I looked out and saw that it was pouring outside. As I lay in bed mentally preparing myself for the day ahead I switched on my phone to check if I had received any messages and to see the latest updates on Facebook.

I was shocked to read that my cousin's husband had passed away yesterday. I couldn't help but shed tears. He spent over 3 months in ICU as he was suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). A few days ago he was finally discharged on his 100th day in hospital. I can't believe one more person I know is gone even though I have only met him once and that was during my last summer break in Malaysia. I remember how much he loved durian and that's a little strange for an Austrian, but in a good way =) Mum and I bought a few and we ate them at my cousin's condominimum and he joined us.

He just enjoyed it so much! And I thought it was funny. I didn't know him very well but he seemed so gentle and kind and I can tell how much he meant to my cousin, Amirah, whom I refer to as Kak Amy. She frequently updated her family and friends about his condition through posting notes on Facebook. Here's one of her latest pieces:

Saturday 8th May 2010

Today Norbert is in ICU for exactly 90 days. What has it done to me? It teaches me how important it is to give love and to feel loved. So I consciously show as a matter of spiritual practice. Now I truly understand what all great religious teachers have talked about - loving those who irk or wrong us. It makes me appreciate more of what I have.

Loving a man who is sick is like when a parent who is being stressful and irritated by her child, yet she continues to express love. It's just a matter of deciding to do so. I show him all the love I can give especially when I recall all the things that makes me appreciate him (all the good things he has done for me). I also bring to my mind a sense of his suffering, struggles and yearning (placing myself in his shoes).

I can't do much for Norbert, but all the small moments we shared together in the hospital, adding up day by day, often just a small gesture, maybe a back scratch, a smile or gentle look, help knit a relationship of a lifetime.

Norbert and Kak Amy, I am so proud of both of you for staying so strong during challenging times. I think you two truly made it. My deepest condolences to your families and I will keep you in my prayers. May Allah swt grant him Jannah, Ameen. Al-Fatihah.

A few moments ago I turned around and looked outside my window again. It's still pouring and I still can't over Norbert's passing away. I can't imagine loving a man so much and losing him. Oh it is going to be so hard to put on a smiley face today.

"Innalillah wa inna ilaihi rajioon"
"To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:156)

Fashion Friday: All About Maxi Dresses

Friday, May 21, 2010

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Maxi dresses are in every woman's wardrobe must-have list this year! That's what you get when you mix elegance and glamour. For the stylish Muslim woman, the maxi dress is Heaven sent because it's trendy and modest. It doesn't matter if you wear hijab or not, it's hard to go wrong with a maxi dress.

We've seen the likes of Mischa Barton and Nicole Richie who wear maxi dresses with such glam and earthiness at the same time. There are various kinds of maxi dresses - plain, print, sleeved, short sleeved, sleeveless, halter neck, strapless, one shouldered and the list goes on. So where do you start? How can a Muslim woman pull it off? Here are some of my ideas.

Maxi + cardi. This is the simplest way to wear a maxi dress while maintaining a good level of modesty.
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Look wise, formalise. If you want to look less casual and smarten up your look, pair your maxi dress with a blazer. It's as simple as that.

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Cover up with a denim or leather jacket. I've also seen some girls wear their maxi dress with a vest or bolero. This is suitable for a day at university or a girl's day out in town.

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Layer with a cropped top. A lot of maxi dresses tend to accentuate the chest. If you want to reveal more of your dress while covering the chest, cropped tops look ultra cute and very bohemian with maxi dresses. Plus you don't have to worry about feeling like you're boiling underneath all the layers as they are loose. Non-hijabis, you can opt out of the long-sleeve top if you want.

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Add some flair to your hair/hijab. We can thank Nicole and Mischa for making us craze over these chic bohemian headbands. They definitely add a sense of mystery and charm to the ensemble. If you don't wear hijab, a messy braid can also complete the bohemian look.



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Hijabis, don't feel left out. You can also accessorise your hijab with a funky headband. I say think Greek-inspired, floral or sequin/bead embellishments. Or you can wear some gorgeous Indian-inspired chandelier earrings or gypsy earrings.


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Glamorise, accessorise. Remember that the main focus is your maxi dress so you don't have to fuss too much over the accessories but they can definitely add some glamour to a simple ensemble. And if it's slightly cold outside, drape a scarf around your neck.

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[Done uniquely by her]


Shoes; a woman's Achilles heel. Open-toed flats, sandals or heels go best with maxi dresses because the casual look is what we're after. But you can definitely wear a cute pair of ballerina flats if it's too cold to leave your little toes bare.


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Most importantly wear your maxi dress with some individuality. When you're comfortable with who you are then nothing else matters quite as much. I hope you found this post helpful! Thank you, Sarah Elizabeth, for the request. If you have any requests/ideas/suggestions for future Fashion Friday posts please send them to me by emailing me at elaiza_(at)hotmail.com, or by leaving a comment below or in the chatbox.

And now it is almost 3 am and I'm so going to bed. Adios!

Human Rights: The Right to Be

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Article 1 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Last night I deactivated my Facebook account to protest against the Facebook page entitled Everybody Draw Muhammad Day!. For those who argue that it's their right, I will have to humbly disagree because freedom of speech isn't about having the right to disrespect others by expressing derogatory remarks which you know will have a negative impact.

I believe this shouldn't only be applied exclusively to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) but also Jesus (a.k.a. Prophet Isa) and all other prophets (peace be upon them). Why are Muslims sensitive about this issue? Because we believe in honouring them and the last thing we'd want is to show our disrespect by trying to depict or mock them. Have you heard of a Muslim who makes fun of Jesus? I doubt it.

I know deactivating my Facebook page temporarily seems like an insignificant act but it shows that I give a damn.

Know your rights. Take a stand and make human rights a reality. Start with yourself. Start today.

"Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world."

Eleanor Roosevelt

UFO (Unidentified Floor Object)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I found this on the floor the other day.


Can you guess what it is?

Jizo Japanese Cafe and Bar

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love sushi and sashimi. I love them so much I don't think I can be married to someone who doesn't enjoy Japanese food as much as I do. "What if he was Mr. Perfect but his only flaw would be that he doesn't like sushi?" asked my friend, Lamya. "Well then he wouldn't be Mr. Perfect!" I replied. My favourite Japanese restaurant in Dunedin is Jitsu just by Stuart Street but out of curiosity, Lamya and I had dinner last night at another popular Japanese food spot in Dunedin called Jizo at Princes Street.

As we entered the restaurant we noticed how the place was buzzing with people. There is also a counter where people could eat and watch the sushi chef work his sushi-making skills. We ordered our food downstairs and then discovered that it's a one and a half-storey cafe. We decided to go up their spiral stairs to sit where it's more cosy and private. I must note that Jizo is a lively little cafe and it's not where you should go if you are hoping to have a quiet dinner.

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I would say that in comparison to Jitsu their menu is quite limited in terms of the food that they serve. Their mains include sushi, sashimi, udon, teppanyaki, teriyaki, katsu and Japanese curry. One thing they do have is an extensive list of Japanese wine and beer. They also serve california rolls and a range of Japanese ice cream (green tea, black sesame and plum) and those aren't available at Jitsu. The pricing is reasonable as an entrée would cost between $2 - $20 and their main meals are between $10 - $30. It didn't take very long for us to get our food so the service was pretty good too.

Here's what we ordered...

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Entrée: Grilled tofu.
Price: $2
I highly recommend this. The tofu was soft and delectable, while the garlic sauce greatly complemented its texture and flavour.

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Main Meal: Grilled salmon teriyaki with garlic sauce
Price: $15.50
At first sight, Lamya didn't think it would be filling but she was pleasantly surprised as it managed to satisfy her tastebuds and hunger. She really enjoyed the meal as it was flavourful without having an overpowering aftertaste.

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Main Meal: Sashimi Platter
Price: $14
Nothing to die for but hey it's sashimi and I'm not going to complain.

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Main Meal: Raw tuna zushi (I called it a 'california roll' because it's very similar to one )
Price: Around $5
One of the biggest california rolls I've ever had! It was pretty filling and had a good portion of raw tuna.

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Dessert: Green tea ice cream with red beans
Price: $5
I've been craving this ever since I came back to Dunedin but I couldn't find it anywhere until last night. The green tea flavour wasn't very strong and it was a nice finish to our dinner.


Verdict: A good place to have dinner but most people don't linger around to chat and socialise because it's a tad noisy. From what we had last night, I'd say the food is enjoyable but I still prefer Jitsu as my source of yummy Japanese food in Dunedin.

Fashion Friday: Forever Love

Friday, May 14, 2010

A simple, romantic look inspired by fresh roses, baby's breath and Anna Nalick's 'Forever Love'.

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My friend, Chloe, spotted this dress while we went shopping together. It's a size too big but I got it anyway because I love the lace detail and the fact that it's in my favourite colour. It is such a pretty and wispy dress. I don't think the pictures do it any justice at all.

Soulmates

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I've learned the importance of surrounding myself with good people and appreciating sincere friends. I know that they are blessing in my life and once in a while I do meet people I find myself naturally inclined to. And it's not often that I meet people I automatically click with. I'm sure you've experienced this too. It's a rare phenomenon which is hard to describe, right? Like they could be from another country and of a different culture, religion and upbringing but there's an unexplained connection that's there right from the start. I guess you could say I was in luck when I found an article which helped me to understand how this could be...

Photo credit weheartit.com

Do hearts have connections to one another? Sometimes, a person happens to meet someone whom he or she immediately loves and spontaneously develops some sort of affinity with. The reverse can apply when the same person meets up with another person. The point is one does not know the reason why one feels good toward some people and feels bad toward others. Is there some sort of connection between their souls?

`A'ishah, the Prophet's wife, narrated a hadith, that she heard from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), which gives us a glimpse of the nature of the soul and clears some of the vague feelings that we might find:

"Souls are like conscripted soldiers; those whom they recognize, they get along with, and those whom they do not recognize, they will not get along with" (Sahih Al-Bukhari).

Also Abu Hurairah reported Allah's Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying,

"Souls are troops collected together and those who familiarized with each other (in the heaven from where these come) would have affinity, with one another (in the world) and those amongst them who opposed each other (in the Heaven) would also be divergent (in the world)." (Muslim)

What this hadith means is that Allah created souls and gave them their qualities. Those of similar qualities will easily be friends when they meet in this life, while those who have different natures are likely to be in conflict. This in fact accounts for endless cases of people getting along together when their apparent circumstances should have kept them well apart. Moreover, it tells us something about what brings good people together and what allows evil ones to flock together and even trust one another, when they know that they are evil at heart.

Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the hadith "Concerning the phrase 'Souls are like conscripted soldiers…',

This may refer to their similarity as regards good or evil, righteousness or corruption. Good people are inclined towards other good people, and evil people are similarly inclined towards other evil people. Souls feel affinity with others according to the nature in which they were created, good or evil. If souls' natures are similar, they will get along, otherwise they will not be on good terms with one another. It could have happened in the beginning of creation in the realm of the unseen when souls were created before bodies, and used to meet one another. When souls have entered bodies (come to the physical realm) they may recognize one another from the past, and may be on friendly terms or otherwise based on that past experience.

Al-Khattaabi also commented on this hadith,

This getting along with one another has to do with what Allah decreed from the outset about the ultimate destiny of souls, whether they will be among the blessed (in Paradise) or the doomed (in Hell). Souls are of two opposing kinds, and when they meet in this physical world, they will either love or hate one another depending on the way they were created. Good souls will be inclined towards other good souls, and evil souls will be inclined towards other evil souls.

Thus, the souls of righteous people have connection as if they are recruited due to the purification in their hearts...

That is why Allah says about the believers: And (moreover) He hath put affection between their hearts. (Al-Anfal 8:63)

[Abridged]

Excerpt from IslamOnline.net

Don't you think that's amazing? SubhanAllah. The human soul is quite a mystery but this actually makes sense to me. Soulmates do exist after all and it's not a matter of finding them or not, it's just serendipitous or simply fate when you do.

MUSA's Annual Sisters Camp 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yesterday the ladies of the Muslim Students Association (MUSA) held their biggest event of the year.

The Annual Sisters Camp!

As the Ameera (female president) of MUSA I was given the responsibility of organising the camp with my committee members. My life has been so topsy turvy and busy during the last 1 month because I've had to juggle lectures, assignments and camp preparation. If it weren't for my hard working and dedicated committee members I'm pretty sure I would've had a nervous breakdown.

The Sisters Camp is a major event with at least 50 participants but this year over 70 people signed up. The camp's theme was 'Chasing Jannah'. Although we do get funded for the camp, we don't get any money before it is held so we pretty much had to fundraise our way through it. I decided that a food or bake sale after Friday prayers at the mosque would be the best way to do it because everybody knows the best place to sell food is where a bunch of hungry men will be present =) So that's been keeping us pretty busy as well. We managed to raise enough money to have a pretty decent camp, I must say.

I was up until 3.30 am on Saturday night to make sure we got it all sorted out. Why so late, you ask? Because that was pretty much my normal bedtime last week due to tests and assignments but also because I was nervous about how the day will go! I was meant to wake up at 5.30 a.m. but I must've ignored my alarm because when Lamya woke me up it was 6.20 am and I was all, "Oh sh**!!!!". We had to be at the mosque by 7 a.m. as the bus was scheduled to pick everyone up at 7.30 am. Obviously I arrived late because my friend Nourah and I had to load all the food and other camp stuff into the van we hired. Despite how tired we all felt from the preparation I can honestly say we were very, very excited. Did I tell you Berwick Camp is surrounded by forests and mountains? I was absolutely mesmerised by the scenery the first time I went there to check out the area. It is by far the best camp site I've ever been to.

Anyway, in the end we arrived at Berwick Camp on time but the actual camp started late because breakfast took a while to prepare and everyone was settling down. We organised a range of activities - ice breaker, kayaking, confidence course (initially I thought it was some sort of a seminar, silly me!), screening of Bilal Dannoun's lecture "Jannah: The Ultimate Retirement Package", Islamic pop quiz and a children's Mother's Day art competition, just to name a few. We actually planned more activities for everyone but ran out of time and had to cut short to the afternoon tea and prize giving session just before leaving the camp site. I can't believe 8 hours felt so short to me... time just flew by! But I will never forget how good the food was (although I barely had time to eat)....

We had a simple breakfast with cereal and toast but for lunch we served briyani rice, BBQ chicken and sausages for lunch and then during afternoon tea there was pizza, kunafeh, basboosa and pisang babujah (banana springrolls courtesy of the Bruneian students).

Today I woke up with really sore arms and legs! I was so exhausted and I couldn't even find energy to leave the house but all in all, I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Many people personally told me how much fun they had so I'm glad all our hard work paid off. Oh and I should probably add that it was such a beautiful and warm sunny Sunday, so that was the cherry on top of our ice cream! I managed to take some photos but not as much as I had hoped to, unfortunately. I was running around like a mad girl yesterday and I swear I had less than 30 minutes to actually walk around Berwick Camp and snap photos. Here are a few courtesy of yours truly and Lamya.

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This, my readers, is what they call a confidence course here in New Zealand

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Mother's Day card competition for the kids

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A tired but happy 'Ameera'


So if you've been wondering what has kept me so busy lately, this is your answer! Although I had a great time I'm so glad the camp is over and done with. My life is back to normal again...

P.S. A belated Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful yummy mummies reading this! Hope you had a lovely one!

Short Hiatus

Friday, May 07, 2010

Hey ya'll. I won't be blogging for the next few days. The Annual Sisters Camp is this Sunday and there's heaps to do. I promise to come back with awesome photos from camp. Until then... =) 

Just a Thought Before I Shut My Eyes

Thursday, May 06, 2010

I often hear about people trying to change the world. 
They think big, dream big. 

Not that there's anything wrong with having dreams and ambitions. 

But it's not often I hear people say that they want to change for the better. As in start the change from within. The quest to conquer oneself is just as important as the quest to change people's lives.

Don't you think so?

Dunedin Exposé

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I haven't really written much about the city I live in. I could go on and on about what a quaint and peaceful little city Dunedin is but I can't ignore the fact that it has a naughty reputation. Yes, Dunedin is famous for its notorious students and the crazy antiques they get up to - the couch burnings and the riots. I remember a conversation I had a with an Auckland University student last year while I spent my winter break there.

Auckland Uni student: So you're studying at Otago Uni ey? I was thinking of going there before.
Me: Oh okay. Why'd you choose Auckland Uni in the end?
Auckland Uni student: Oh I have some mates over there and they told me about all the parties you guys have down there! Like every weekend there are parties everywhere and everyone gets drunk and start setting stuff on fire. And I want to study Medicine so I don't want the distraction.
Me: *laughs* Well, yeah but you don't have to go if you don't want to. But isn't it the same anywhere?
Auckland Uni student: Nah, we don't have as many cool events like the Toga Parade and the Annual Hyde St. Keg Party.
Me: Oh wow, really? I just assumed every Uni city would be the same!

Apparently, I was wrong ya'll.

By the way, it was last year's Toga Parade that changed everything. Dunedin was even featured in the news back in Malaysia! Yes, tiny Dunedin with approximately 120,000 residents made it to the international news. The Annual Toga Parade got so out of hand that it's now banned. Relatives even started asking my Mum how she could ever let me study in such a place.






Honestly, it's not always like this. When the media highlights certain events I guess the audience makes generalisations about places and people. We forget that a lot of the news that we see on television or the Internet are being sensationalised because whether you believe it or not most people are drawn to exaggerations. Thus the media will frame it in such a way that makes people go OMG.

To those who don't know much about Dunedin or where it is to begin with, there is definitely a very pretty side to this city. Plus, there are plenty of other ways to have fun here.

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L-O-V-E

Top 6 American Idol 2010: Michael Lynche

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I've always been such a huge fan of Shania Twain and her songs but Michael Lynche took this song to another level and completely took my breath away during this performance. He's right, this song does show strength and vulnerability at the same time. And that's absolutely beautiful.


The studio version's out and it's available for download here.

P.S. As usual, Simon tries to make a smart comment but he ends up being so funny! "What does 'wet' mean?". "Well it's the opposite of dry!"

Update: There Goes My Social Life

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Last week I did the unthinkable...


Mhm, that's right. I can't believe I'm saying this but I don't have time for my friends these days. When I actually do interact with people it's during lectures, tutorials or student group meetings. Or worse, on FACEBOOK!!! I don't do anything for fun anymore. Occassionally, I head out to the supermarket to purchase some sustenance and once in a while I'd treat myself after a hectic week by going on a little shopping spree. But for the last few weeks, I've had assignments due in every week and tests every 2 weeks. I'm also organising the Annual Muslim Students Association Camp for Sisters which is on Sunday, 9th of May. If it weren't for the help of my committee members I don't know what I'd do!

When I come home I am physically and mentally tired. All I want to do is crawl under the sheets and rest. I wish I could go for one minute without having something to think about. Instead I force myself to continue with whatever I have to do. And guess what? I just realised 30 seconds ago that my final exams are in 1 month. HOLY MOLY. Are you serious?! I've been so caught up with weekly assignments and such that I almost lost track of time.

The person I see and talk to most is Lamya because she has been kind enough to share her room with me throughout this crazy time in my life. So there goes my social life. It's a sacrifice I had to make and blogging is my escape from now on. That's okay, it will all be worth it in the end inshaAllah. So thank you, readers, because you have no idea how happy you make me after a long and stressful day when you leave comments and messages for me. I heart you!