The Dharna was Not Shia!I spent 12 hours at the Dharna at Teen Talwar, Clifton, against the Shia genocide. When I joined it at Bilawal House last month, I had arrived 10 hours after the proceedings had started. The place was already packed with thousands of Shia protesters and being a Sunni I was intimidated. The repeated chants of "Labaik Ya Hussian" and "Ya Ali" were deafening and frightening. I was confused whether I should join in as I actually pondered if these chants were blasphemous. I felt alienated listening to various references to the Imams who aren't discussed in our mainstream curriculum. Speaker after speaker made references to how the Shia population was a target, how they were the oppressed, how they were the victims. I felt frustrated thinking that the Quetta bombing was first and foremost a human tragedy, a national tragedy so why wasn't it being treated as one. I looked around and found the answer. If the protest was not a national protest, then why should I expect the victims to be identified as Pakistanis. If the organizers were Shia and the vast majority of protesters were Shia then why shouldn't they have the right to highlight their victimization at a sectarian level. Belonging to the majority sect of Pakistan, it was embarrassing to find myself in the minority in this protest. At that time I realized that I was not intimidated because the Shias were hostile or unfriendly upon learning about my sect. In fact every Shia who learnt about my identity, came forward, shook my hand and thanked me for coming. The fear crept from inside from my deep rooted bias which is instilled in most Sunni children as how Shias secretly hate Sunnis. Sadly, the opposite appeared to be true. Hence, this time I had made a point to be there from the very start and encouraged all my Sunni friends to do the same. When I arrived along with my friends, there were just three people standing on Teen Talwar looking in all direction trying to spot co-protesters. We walked up and joined it. People drove by paying no attention. 10 more people joined in, but the bystanders appeared unbothered. Suddenly, I heard someone scream at the top of their voice "Naray-e-Haideri!". The cars slowed down, the traffic Police took notice. I turned around to find that the voice was not of a Shia protestor, but of my friend, Nadir, a Sunni. I couldn't hold back the smile on my face. What started with 3, reached the strength of close to 3000 in a few hours. This lot of protestors appeared more mature and well aware than that at Bilawal House. This time slogans were not chanted against America but against Taliban. Western Powers were not blamed for sectarian violence, but Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Sahaba were bluntly blamed. This Dharna was not in denial. They were willing to accept that terrorism is a home grown problem. Protesters stopped chanting "tum kitnay shia maro gey?" and asked "tum kitnay insaan maro gey?" The goods things from the Bilawal House Dharna were also carried forward here and one had to be there to note those finer details. Teenage boys who were risking their life by volunteering as security guards (unarmed), then there were volunteers who had made a makeshift kitchen and were serving tea, then there were those who were distributing juices, biscuits and biryanis, then there volunteers as young as 5 and as old as 70 carrying out trash bags collecting used paper cups and wrappers. No public or private property was allowed to be damaged. In all of those volunteers there was a lesson to be learnt; the lesson of selflessness, the lesson of civic responsibility, the lesson of unconditional patriotism and the lesson of community. Unfortunately, one sad fact also remained common between both Dharnas. Sunnis were again a minority. And now I want to ask the Sunni readers why? Why is Hazara killings not our concern? Why is Shia genocide not our concern? If it is then where were the Sunni Protesters? Why did we let this Dharna be reduced to a Shia protest too? Does only the death of a Sunni boy or girl has the exclusive privilege of being reported as a Pakistani death? For those Sunni readers who really aren't bothered about a Shia death, they should know that not all Hazaras who died in the bomb blasts were Shia. Every single time such a tragedy takes place the ignorance of the Sunnis results in only more ridicule for Pakistan at the international level as we expose to the world how polarized and inhumane we are that we cannot even condemn terrorism and loss of innocent lives as one united nation. But at home, the damage is worse. We make our Shia countrymen realize that they are alone. We tell them that we will celebrate 14th August together, that we will dance on the streets upon our cricketing victories together, that in the good times we will be there, but that's where the brotherhood stops. In the time of mourning and against threat you are alone. At most, we will extend our sympathies on social networking websites. Attending the protest as a Sunni did not make me a better Pakistani, but what did sitting at home and just updating your facebook status against the genocide made you? There were thousands of Pakistani students who took part in the "Occupy University" Campaign in England in 2008 in protest against Israeli occupation of Gaza. Sadly, most of them choose to sit at home now because apparently Palestinians are more Pakistani than Shias. Step up and step out. Be a part of something. Make the protest Pakistani. Make this tragedy Pakistani. Make the demands Pakistani. Make yourself Pakistani.
Friday, February 22, 2013
Saturday, January 19, 2013
The following post is about the LONG MARCH which yielded us the Islamabad long march Declaration 17th January 2013.The reason such a political event is being discussed in my blog is because it was one of the biggest ever most peaceful sit-in we have ever witnessed in Pakistan and surely it ended in a wave of joy for all those present there and many others.
Sunday, December 16, 2012
I live in Pakistan and we have problems of our own. but we dont have kids shooting toddlers....I have studied sociology and world history etc and feel i can comment about the deep rooted social problems that plague the American Society. Along with the Media that is a monster on the loose.
The fact that majority of the people cant maintain to stay in wedlock with one partner...if there IS a wedlock to start with...leads to the fact that majority of the children do not have a mentally calming and secure environment to grow up in. We all know how disturbing it is for children to grow up with single parents or lesbian and gay couples or parents who keep changing partners...because nature didn't intend it to be that way. why isnt there a natural way to procreate in a same sex marriage? if one were to study child psychology a strong family environment is essential for perfectly mentally healthy child.
a child in his secret thoughts always yearns to draw a family with a permanent dad and mom!!!!
the seeds of discontentment are sown here. mental health is seriously damaged.
The Media on the other hand promotes movies like the Batman and the homocidal clown.I couldnt even beleive that kids were watching such horror films..and yet parents let them. going around killing people for a thrill are not looked down upon, the censor board of Hollywood movies needs to take these things into account but they dont care about your child they only care about money. its sad how majority of the people find nothing wrong with these things.
the fact that some kids have special needs..yes i absolutely agree . but the idea is that a bad environment that is emotionally and mentally unsatisfactory for a normal child will be worse for a child with special needs. When a normal kid is denied these basic family needs, there is no surprise he grows up to acquire special problems. becasue there is never a way to pin point what triggered a mental condition.
I feel very strongly that Americans are in a sand quick that is sucking away normal family life from them which is spreading all over the world....and the Media like i said is a monster on the lose. We need to fix these issues or else the degeneration of the society may lead to even worse incidents. May God Help us....but first we need to help ourselves.
Those who have a a motor bike or a cycle or just enough fair to ride on a bus..go every day to work but one day they never return...because they were SHIA....because of the name on their id cards or the aqeeq ring in their hands...they are butchered.their families suffer..anguish, trauma and frustration culminates...so when they get an opportunity to protest. ..their prayers seem to have been answered. ..
Yet the guy who drives with gps, trakker, security guards etc ..lives a life of a callousness, a numbness, self centeredness.then one day he gets a threat call and the next day he moves out of the country.this man finds no reason to protest.this man has no reason to put his life at risk for a greater cause.this man waits until he dies his death of cowardice...you will not find this man's car in the parking lot near a protest in karachi.
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Assalam o Alaikum
Here is my recent interview with a student from Brown University on the impact of Islamic art and culture on American fashion.She wanted to know what goes behind my designs and poured out my heart to her :)
I think it clearly describes the way i feel and think about
designing clothes. Hope you will enjoy reading it :) and please share your feedback.
|This is one of the posters designed to be put up in mosques across many cities ..|
my name is Fatimah and i was born and brought up in Pakistan. i come from an educated and open minded family where logic and reason are of importance. i was also brought up to believe in Islam with my logic and reason and no coercion. therefore my understanding of religion is, so to speak, not influenced by culture or prejudices of any kind. i have always tried to understand the various aspects of islam through logical means.
therefore to me a religion is something that should be beneficial to all cultures, ethnicities, races etc. it should be user friendly and a complete way of life. a way in which we can grow spiritually, physically, intellectually, morally, ethically etc
Around 10 years ago i got married to a practicing muslim, open minded man who had just finished college from California Fullerton University. A very good man at heart and full of solutions and passion to change the world.
He suggested that a muslim woman's clothing should allow her to be active, comfortable and beautiful all at the same time respecting the boundaries of modesty as suggested by the Islamic Sharia Law. One can say that casual american clothing allows mobility for women, but mostly ignores the ideas of modesty as i know it. I wanted to create clothing that was an amalgamation of all these traits. Most of the fashion clothing available on muslim websites don't respect all the aspects of modesty. For example they don't consider it vital that the silhouette of the body shouldn't be obvious or fabric shouldn't be clingy. they also don't specifically care for the coverage of the chest, which to my understanding is vital for hijab. clothes need to be loose! period.
Some of the the good quality muslim clothing available is too expensive. Other cheaper ones provide low quality garments.
I feel that since my garments are made to the specific needs of a person, my prices are very reasonable for a custom made garment, as my cost per piece is very high.
........Therefore, 6 years ago when my sister moved to Australia, all she wanted was chic modest clothing. she loved to be an Australian Muslim and she wanted to look as much of an Australian as much a muslim...but no one was catering to that..at all!
My understanding of religion told me to apply the formula of modesty to an equation which supported comfort, beauty and mobility as well as Assimilation into any western Culture. It didn't mean that we will lose our identity and fall into the traps of the west threatening our culture, but that together we could evolve for the betterment of human kind.we can take the best of both and create solutions...
These are my personal inspirations and thoughts that go into the designing of each garment..furthermore, i recently finished a beginners' course in fashion designing from a prestigious Art School of Pakistan called " Indus Valley school of Arts and Architecture". here i was given an assignment to write about a fashion designer that inspires you... and i wrote my essay on "Ralph Lauren"
I came to realize that just the way Ralph Lauren gave Casual Clothing a class of its own, i wanted to create clothing for muslim women who could look like they are going for groceries...wearing awesome casual clothes..so yes i am a huge fan of and truly inspired by Ralph Lauren Designs.
The other thing that truly makes my work absolutely different is that i only deal with customized orders. My aim is to benefit people with a clothing store that caters to their individual requirements. they shouldn't need to run through the malls of the entire world and still come home disappointed for following their faith and the tenets of modesty. My self and many many other muslim women find it frustrating to find beautiful and elegant clothing, that fits into western culture and yet stays comfortable and modest. my sister told me" i need to cover my arms and my hips, but for that either i find a short length shirt with long sleeves or a sleeveless/ shortsleeve shirt with long length shirt... i'm tired of layering myself in hot weathers and i still end up looking like I'm wearing a million clothes..."
this is the story of many muslims i know and i want to ease their lives by doing my part.i want them to wear minimum number of garments with maximum beauty and modesty!
So guess what.... majority of my customers are new converts to Islam along with a lot of non-muslims looking for modest clothing. New muslims don't have to leave their culture and jeans just because they have a change of heart and faith. Islam teaches us to respect every one. it teaches us mercy, compassion and reasoning. I believe each one of my garments have these deep and strong inspirations, thoughts and ideas behind them.
One of my most popular items is the salat outfit. this out fit takes seconds to put on and makes sure all the requirements for coverage in salat are met. e.g., hair, chin, arms till wrist and legs till ankles and that the figure of the body shouldn't show and clothes shouldn't be see through. many converts, new to the idea of coverage, like it that they have a way to be ready for salat without the hassle of tying a million clothes...that is a SOLUTION..this makes world a better place by helping some one and causing ease in their lifestyle ;) islam isnt restrictive, many times its applications are inappropriate and proper solutions haven't been sought.
I chose fabrics that are not see through but breathing so that with covering up, we don't feel hot. cottons are also not clingy and that too is very important so i like cottons. Georgettes stay dry and washing and drying is very convenient. i like to use light pastel colors but i welcome individual choices and i want people to love what they wear.. with 100% satisfaction...thats what i'm passionate about.
So that's about it.
with best wishes
|New tags and labels :)|
|work done at the fashion designing course|
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
|Name of Allah "Ya Rahmano" - All Merciful|
Hand painted in watercolor
Inshallah today I will try to sum up most of the important aspects of Ya Rahmano
that i have been making notes of as a continuation to my last post. Plus a short tutorial into creating a unique background in watercolor paintings as you can see in the painting shown above.
The idea of unconditional love from Allah swt is a very comforting feeling. But I must say that this comfort only came to stay once I had developed a certain amount of trust in Allah being all merciful. so much trust that when things go wrong, instead of blaming God for messing up my life, I started looking for the reason behind an event or a circumstance.I started wondering, that if the equation only results in mercy then I need to find His mercy in this time of trial...Almost like a crossword puzzle..trying to figure out the secret-lesson that He wants to teach me! Wow...I started feeling liberated and at ease....so much less blame, hurt, negativity and bitterness... and so much more to live for. I started to see how much i had learnt out of just trying to be patient.
But how does one get to that stage of stability. A place where your inside is calm and focused. How can we trust Allah's Love and Mercy so much that no matter what calamity (in our point of view) falls on us, we still say...ShukrAlhamdolillah ( Thank you Lord)!!
A friend once said...that such a thing is only possible if you "pretend" you are thankful. How can anyone ever, in their right mind say thank you God if they lose a leg... for example..
A woman was seen saying thank you Lord all the time. There are a lot of people who
say that all the time but its not surprising. What was shocking about this lady was that she had no eyes, no arms and no legs!!!!
(Hello!!! what is she saying thank you for... such a deprived life...can God be any tougher on her !!!)
and yet she was always seen saying thank you Lord...
Once she was asked why she thanked Allah when she was so crippled
and the reply came,
The more one meditates about Allah's perfect ways of working, the more one absorbs a sense of trust and a constant feeling that 'I have some one PERFECT, REALIABLE and WHO LOVES ME SO MUCH AS THOUGH HE'S CRAZY ABOUT ME (so he would never ever leave me alone) and FULL OF WISDOM (he would never take a wrong decision for me) so as to rely on Him at all times ...24/7" ....
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could experience that kind of absolute serenity where we have nothing to worry about!!! ... lets keep trying inshallah! Allah says you take one step towards me an I will take ten steps for you .... SubhanAllah :)
(Please leave your comments so i can get a feel of how much more i need to go into detail in this subject...
there is lots and many resources you can go through for a better understanding too...let me know)
Now its time for the water painting tutorial:
|waterford paper seal of authentication|
ok so here goes:
1. Apply water to the entire area of background with a thick paint brush.
2. use colors like raw sienna, yellow ochre, Red umber, burnt umbre, vandyke brown. use the guide given below to find the corresponding colors from your palette. the following is available on the leaflet that comes with Cotman watercolor paints by Winsor and Newton.