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Muslims Around the World Tour!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Today I’d like to drag you all on a “Muslims around the World” tour to show you the extensive diversity that makes up the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world!

Often times when the word “Muslim” is uttered, a brown, arab looking male or female comes to mind, usually with a beard if it’s a guy, and a hijab if it’s a woman, but that’s far from the truth! 

1. Chinese Muslims

Eid al-Fitr prayer in Beijing

I was surprised to find that there are around 20 million Chinese Muslims, a number that might seem small at first when compared to the overall population of China, but great if you consider that pre-dominantly Muslims countries such as Iraq for example, also have around 20 million Muslims. The large community of Muslims in China have they’re own culture and traditions whilst holding on to their religion. It’s actually fascinating to see the differences between mosques in Jordan let’s say, and China. To learn more about the history and culture of Chinese Muslims you can visit this excellent blog: Islam in China

***Unfortunately, there are some crazy things going on in China right now. The Xinjiang region or East Turkestan, as it’s known prior to the Chinese invasion, is actually going through some insane changes. The Chinese government plans to eradicate the muslim culture present in the area and reinforce their communistic beliefs. Some really crazy stuff is going on there right now. You can check this video out to get an idea: China Detention Center

2. Israeli Muslims

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There are 1.2 million Muslims in Israel, and they comprise the 2nd largest major religion in Israel after Israeli Jews. 20 percent of those Muslims are believed to have settled in the region during the Ummayad Dynasty in the 8th Century. The remaining are compromised mainly of Palestinian Arabs who have stayed in the region, but who nontheless would still be refferred to as “Israeli Muslims”.

3. North Korea

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Before anything, I’d like to know how on earth those 3,000 Muslims got to North Korea, or any Muslims for that matter. From documentaries I’ve seen about North Korea, they do not have a religion, are not allowed religion, and they are all supposed to worship their leader. Even if they do practice a religion, it would have to be done in secret, so where did those numbers come from? Anyways, I thought I would include this because I think it’s really interesting to think that there are people with Quran’s about to break their fast in North Korea. Also, here’s an interesting article about the “First Mosque in North Korea”

4. Maldives Islands

This fabulous tourist destination was introduced to Islam in the 12th century*, prior to this it was primarily Bhuddist. It’s not very clear how the transition from Bhuddism to Islam happened, but today, it is a muslim majority country. There are plenty of mosques there and halal food is widely available, which makes it even more amazing and is definitely on my “Places I must visit as soon as I stop being broke!”

5. Fiji

That’s right! Did you know there are an estimated 62,000 muslims residing in Fiji (7% of the Fijian population). Workers were brought in in the late 1800’s to work on plantations in Fiji, these people mainly came from India, Pakistan and Baluchian-Afghanistan, bringing their religion along with them. Despite the passing of the years, the Muslim community in Fiji remains strong and intact with their religious beliefs. If you plan on visiting this lovely island, be sure to stop by Suva to enjoy some of the halal cuisine there as well as to visit some of their beautiful mosques!

That concludes our little tour! I hope you learned something new, did any of these especially surprise you? 

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Blog Post, Hijab Life, Uncategorized

Top 6 Reasons Muslim Girls Need to Visit Oman!

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One of the main reasons I haven’t been active on Muslimgurl.com is because 4 months ago I came to live in Oman. 

A quick recap of Oman; it’s a predominantly muslim country, one of the most peaceful and safest places in the world, and most importantly, a muslim country where even religious sects pray side by side in harmony. I’m talking like Shia and Sunni’s praying side by side without being at each others throats, like if that’s not an achievement, I don’t know what is.

And it sounds nice doesn’t it? Well, it gets even better 🙂

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Picture I stole from the blog Andy in Oman. It’s a photo of the food court in Muscat City Centre I believe.

1. EVERYTHIG IS HALAL

This one might be obvious, as a muslim country it’s readily assumed that everything there will be halal. However, in Oman it’s even better because they include all the major diners and restaurants you might’ve had back home, except now you can eat whatever you want in them at any location. Nandos, Subway, Pizza Hut, Burger King, McDonald’s, Chilies, Tim Horton’s… they’re all here and they’re all halal! No need to search online for halal
restaurants before I leave the house anymore :p

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Sunset at Yeti when we visited during Eid!

2. BEACH, GYM, POOL…BEACH!!

You know those stares that you get when you’re at the beach fully dressed while everyone else isn’t? You don’t get that here. You can swim dressed in anything you like at the beach. And there’s plenty of women’s only gyms and pools that you can go to without having to feel like you’re doing something horrifically wrong simply because of the way you’re dressed. And actually, you can wear whatever you want, put on an abaya, then take off the abaya in the locker room and voila. Zero awkwardness. Zero uncomfortableness. 

 

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A picture of Oman Avenues Mall from the outside that I stole from the internet!

3. SHOPPING 

The target consumer is you! Toothpaste ads emphasize things like “minimal breath” during ramadan and those delicious food commercials apply to you as well! Furthermore like with restaurants, all the major brands you’d want like Zara, Mango, H&M, Victoria’s Secret and a hundred others are all here. How sweet is that. 

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See that hat the guy is wearing? That’s a distinctly Omani hat to wear for men. Also, image credit goes to the British Council.

4. DIVERSITY

Many Middle Eastern countries now a days, lack diversity due to the safety issues prevalent in the area, however, in Oman, you will find a large population of Indian, Philippino, British, Bangladeshi, basically many ethnicities so you don’t feel ethnically bound to only one group, one culture and one way of thinking. 

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Sultan Qaboos Mosque (the 3rd largest mosque in the world) here in Muscat, Oman. Picture taken a few days ago, if you come early in the morning, you can head to the office and volunteer to help out for the day!

5. FITTING IN 

When I first stepped foot in Oman, there was a strange feeling of relief: not because we’d landed safely, but because I no longer had to prove that I’m a normal human being who doesn’t carry out terroristic acts for my religion to every single person I passed by.

I know it might sound a bit extreme, but the brutal reality is that unfortunately, some people really do believe that I, as a hijabi woman, would try to hurt them as part of my “religious beliefs.”

And the worst part is, there is no way to distinguish between someone who dislikes me for my personality and those who dislike me for my religion. The relationship is so gray that I’m constantly torn between, should I try harder to make a good impression to represent my reigion better, or do I change something about myself because it’s setting people off. Is it me they hate, or is it what I represent?


It’s a very confusing battleground, and the worst part is I can’t imagine the middle schoolers and high schoolers having to deal with this in addition to their life overload at this stage in their lives.

And that’s where the relief comes now that I’m in Oman: nothing is gray. The majority are muslim and the expats are here willingly, furthermore there is no sectarianism here. Meaning unlike other muslim countries, they don’t care about the political sunni-shia issues, the mosques here are beautiully packed with worshippers praying with their hands at their sides or across their chest, each to their own.

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6. ENGLISH, ENGLISH, ENGLISH!

Though it is an arabic country, the majority of transactions and interactions are done in English. Signs, prints, ads, everything is in big, bold beautiful English! To me this is a major plus since even day to day interactions such as at the cashier and restaurants are carried out in English, making my life so much easier since I no longer have to explain why yes, I’m arab, and yes I can speak arabic, but no, I have no idea how to communicate with you when I’m trying to order food or trying to open a bank account. 


And though Oman is a quiet and traditional country, it is organized and well-maintained, obviously there are downsides, but overall, it’s a not too shabby place to be in, and I will most definitely miss it when I leave next week. If you have the chance, give this charming quiet little country a visit.

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Who is Afraid of My Hijab?

This was a very interesting and insightful read that I had to share. I know it’s a bit lengthy but its worth reading!

Café Dissensus

By Safiya N.Y.

Today while sitting leisurely in the comforts of my home, I feel proud that my home got a few women always clad in a loose hijab. It is not an artificiality that accompanies them everywhere, but a personal artefact that clings to their hair as wind does with it or rain drenches it. After years of interaction with the outside world, I have many experiences to share with a world that genuinely wants to know how a little girl gets intimidated when she begins to wear a hijab. I have always understood from the beginnings of my girlhood that the secular world around expects me to be less medieval, less patriarchal, less conservative, less outdated, less freaking, less scary, less arrogant, everything less than what I am. It took me a while to realise that the world simply wants me to be ‘less Islamic’, whatsoever it may…

View original post 1,520 more words

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Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

I’ve seen this award several times when reading blogs, and it hadn’t struck me how meaningful the idea truly was until I was nominated. I want to thank the awesome strengthinwords15  http://torambleornottoramble.wordpress.com for the nomination! It really means a lot to know that someone out there actually reads my rants! lol.

1. How did you start blogging?

Honestly I have no idea, it literally kind of just happened, I was procrastinating and I was upset over something, and then it just kind of happened. And I’m so glad it did, because now I really enjoy putting my thoughts out there as well as being able to read other peoples thoughts about stuff 🙂

2. What is your aim for your blog?

My aim is that the muslim girls who are struggling with their identity in middle schools and high schoool’s can find a place where some of the topics relevant to them are discussed and explained so that they can form a concrete foundation for their values.

3. If you could sum up your blog in one word, what would it be?

All-over-the-place. I’m having a hard time sticking to one specific goal to target and discuss.

4. Is your blog ‘you in a nutshell’?

No. I’m a highly private person, so the majority of it has been my thoughts on public issues, or light topics, but nothing personal, which I guess is kind of the real me, so maybe it is “me in a nutshell” and I just don’t know it 😛

5. What part of the world are you from?

The midle east, originally I’m iraqi, but have lived all over the place and I’m currently living in the usa.

6. Favorite social media sites?

INSTAGRAM. Such a great place to stalk everyone :’)

7. Do you have a bucket list? If not, quick, what do you want to achieve most before you die?

Yes! My bucket list is like 9999999 pages long!

8. Who is the most important person in your life?

My mom ❤

9. Favourite book/movie/tv show?

Fault in our stars, pursuit of happyness, jane the virgin (<–it’s not what you think it is)

10. One place you’d like to see in your lifetime?

Maldives!

I’d like to nominate:

https://hananonblog.wordpress.com -because she draws the awesomest sketches!

http://mshabazz33.wordpress.com -because I learn so much from this blog

http://motimuslim.net -because I can relate so much to this blog

http://fitmuslimgirl.com – I just really love this blog and look forward to every post

http://zlifewithme.wordpress.com -because she goes to cool places in her blog!

http://papatia.wordpress.com – I learn so much about my religion from this blog

http://violetology.com – I get to see cool places in this blog!

Here are the rules if you accept this award:

1. Provide the link to the person who nominated you.

2. Add the reward logo. (Above image)

3. Answer the questions your nominator has asked

4. Nominate 7 other bloggers and let them know via comments.

5. Ask your nominees 10 questions.

 

 

My Questions for you guys is:

1. Which one of your blogposts is your favorite? Why?

2. Name something really neat that you did this year?

3. What places have you visited?

4. Favorite food? Best place to eat it at?

5. Do you have any secret talents?

6. Do you have a specific place you like to write your blogs in? (kitchen, outside, lbirary etc.)

7. Disciplined or a procrastinator?

8. What kind of car do you drive? (or what kind of car would you get if you could)

9. Favorite celebrity?

10. And the final question: iPhone or Android?

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TAKE YOUR TIME IN LOSING YOUR INNOCENCE

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بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

I’ve never understood why people are always so set on losing their innocence as fast as possible. I was reading this article about how parents believe their children are losing their innocence so early on now a days, and I felt the need to rant about the subject a bit lol.

In middle school and  high school especially, everyone was so set on doing all these adult things that took away from their innocence. They thought that by losing that innocence they became adults, and it never made sense to me. Innocence is beautiful. It is a form of blissful ignorance that you should try your best to keep, because the reality is, time will wear it out anyway, so what’s the hurry? Continue reading

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