Category Archives: London

London’s Muslim Girl Power!

A recent visit to the corner Barnes & Noble store led me to a cozy corner near the magazine section where I picked up a copy of Swindle Magazine.

I love this magazine for their great artwork and neat articles. I happened to be drawn to this issue in particular because of the cover.

JULY SWINDLE

JULY SWINDLE

The issue focuses upon the city’s absorption of a rising Muslim population—and we feature the young Islamic artist Sarah Maple.

Here is an excerpt:

If you want to see where London’s future lies, look to its Muslim demographic. Today, about 40% of Britain’s Muslim population resides in London, where they make up just below 10% of the residents. And half of the city’s Muslim population is under 24—the youngest age profile in the capital. According to the BBC, over half of all British Muslims were born in the U.K., making this subgroup an increasingly intrinsic part of British society. “We’re the second generation, we’ve grown up here like the kids around us and we haven’t faced the strains most of our elders felt such as not understanding English,” says Warsan Nur, a 19-year-old anthropology student at the University of London, and aspiring journalist. “Racism isn’t so common because people are growing to accept us, so the possibilities for this Muslim generation are endless.”

Fore more visit: http://swindlemagazine.com/issue16/

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Catwalk To Closet


 

I was just searching the web as usual and came across this uber-chic site. It’s called: Catwalk to Closet

Here is a little about them…

CatwalkToCloset.com is an on-line designer sample sale offering the most wanted international runway collections at sample sale prices.

Attracting over 40,000 visitors a month and a world wide customer base we offer carefully edited collections from designers direct and boutiques.

We often find exciting, hard to find pieces sourced from press or buyer samples, these items have detailed descriptions of their use.

Sample sales allow designers and stores to clear their garments and accessories used by the fashion press, stylists and retail buyers. These can include waiting list items which cannot be sold through traditional channels because they have been handled.

CatwalkToCloset.com works with designers and boutiques to sell sample stock as well as over produced stock, order cancellations and occasionally pieces with minor manufacturing or handling imperfections.

Just like a regular on-line boutique. However, we may have many of one item or we may have only one, we may have limited sizes and colours – and when they’re gone they’re gone. Be the first to know when new stock hits the website by registering with us. All handled pieces or imperfections are clearly photographed and described.

If you are a designer or retailer and would like information on how we work with our suppliers please call or send an e-mail to honorriley@CatwalkToCloset.com.

Be sure to check them out. I know I will be in the future.

Happy weekend to all!!! 

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For: Zadie Smith Lovers

If you are reader of Zadie Smiths work like myself; you will be excited to know that Zadie Smith has edited a new book called : 

The Book of Other People

In a nutshell…

Eclectic mix of authors showcase their different styles and media through the eyes of different characters. The result is a collection that is by turns poignant, comic and thought-provoking, but always engaging.

What it’s all about?
The Book of Other People is simply about character. The 23 authors who each render a character do so in a fantastic variety of ways, from short blurbs (Nick Hornby) through inner monologue (David Mitchell) to pictorial (Chris Ware). Equally the focus of the authors, who were asked to contribute a story each on a character in the name of a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting young creative writers, is similarly varied. In one instance we watch the expiration of a judge (Heidi Julavits), in another the perspective of a paranoid cultural critic (Jonathan Lethem), a giant (Dave Eggers) and, elsewhere, a child (Andrew Sean Greer), a mother (George Saunders) and a monster (Toby Litt).

The variety is one of the hooks and central tenets of the book, but there are some themes which recur. Family, love, loss, sanity and subjectivity are all explored through different eyes, with the one constant – character – exploring the interaction between the individual and the world.

Who’s it by?
Zadie Smith edits, collates and contributes one character; the other authors and their creations comprise the rest of the book in individual chapters:
David Mitchell
Daniel Clowes
A.L.Kennedy
ZZ Packer
Andrew O’Hagan
Zadie Smith
Nick Hornby with Posy Simmonds
Edward Danticat
Aleksandar Hemon
Chris Ware
Hari Kunzru
Toby Litt
Adam Thirlwell
Heidi Julavits
George Saunders
Jonathan Safran Foer
Vendela Vida
Miranda July
AM Homes
Dave Eggers
Jonathan Lethem
Colm Toibin
Andrew Sean Greer

As an example…
“I told her with courage and dignity. ‘I am here to bury my husband. Iraq. I’m not at liberty to tell you any more.’ Before my very eyes, she transformed into a real receptionist. She checked if a quieter, more spacious room, away from the conference wing, was available. Lo and behold, it was.”
(Judith Castle, David Mitchell)

“Being known by Magda is a messy and unavoidably carnal experience. All of us neighbours are known by Magda. Last time she knew me, she pushed me up against the side of my car.”
(Magda Madela, Hari Kunzru)

“He was, that first time, in what I would soon learn to call one of his ‘ellipsistic’ moods. Perkus Tooth himself later supplied that descriptive word: ellipsistic, derived from ellipsis. A species of blank interval, a nod or fugue in which he was neither depressed nor undepressed, not struggling to finish a thought or begin one. Merely between. Pause button pushed.”
(Perkus Tooth, Jonathan Lethem)

Likelihood of becoming a Hollywood Blockbuster
There is little doubt that some of the authors here have the potential to make it to the silver screen with their taut mini-plots and skillful, readily identifiable characterisation, but a film of the book as a whole would make for schizophrenic viewing.

What the others say
“If you are looking for the ideal Christmas present for a bookish relative, then look no further than this collection.” (The Scotsman)

So is it any good?
There are some pieces which seem to suggest the author decided not to overdo their contribution and certainly some characters, and indeed authors (Hornby), look insubstantial when placed in comparison with others. However, this is testament to the quality and variety of the authors on display. The chapters each have their own particular allure and the chocolate-box nature of the book adds to the pleasure of starting a new one.

As an introduction to some of modern fiction’s finest authors – Smith, Mitchell, Eggers – it captures the style and focus of their work, as well as offering a self-contained set of polished stories.
For those unfamiliar with genres such as Chris Ware’s poignant comic strip – to which I add myself – it is a fascinating snapshot of different approaches and reading the book is likely to spark a rash of purchases, as readers follow up their favourites and those they have not previously been acquainted with.

Reading the book is like walking through the National Portrait Gallery: some of the pictures you recognise, some are less familiar; some are in brilliant colour; some monochrome; some old, some new; some funny, some sad – but all done with a deft hand.

Published by Penguin, out November 1st, 287 pages, £16.99.

 

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Filed under Books, Culture, Current Events, Essays, Life, Literature, London, Media, Thoughts, World, Zadie Smith

Craig David Returns…

image 

Fresh from collaborating with Kano, Craig David is set to return with a new album and single this autumn.

His fourth long-player ‘Trust Me’ hits the shelves on November 12 through Warners, with the single ‘Hot Stuff’ preceding it a week earlier.

‘Hot Stuff’ features a sample of the David Bowie classic ‘Let’s Dance’ – a move that will no doubt earn the track some much needed airplay.

‘Trust Me’ was recorded in Havana, Cuba with K T Tunstall producer Martin Terefe and is said to contain Cuban influences on album tracks.

A UK tour is being scheduled to coincide with the record’s release. I can’t wait…

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British Airways: True Story

  

This was a scene that took place on a British Airways flight between Johannesburg, South Africa & London.
A white woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a
black man.

Very disturbed by this, she called the air hostess. “You
obviously do not see it then?” she asked. “You placed me next to a black man. I did not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat.”


“Be calm please,” the hostess replied.
“Almost all the places on this flight are taken. I will go to
see if another place is available.”

The hostess went away & then came back a few minutes later.

“Madam, just as I thought, there are no other available seats in Economy Class.

I spoke to the captain & he informed me that there is also
no seat in Business Class. All the same, we still have one place in First Class.”

Before the woman could say anything, the hostess continued.
“It is unusual for our company to permit someone from Economy Class to sit in First Class. However, given the circumstances, the captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting.”

She turned to the black guy & said:

 “Therefore, Sir, if you would like to, please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits you in First Class.”

At that moment, the other passengers, who’d been shocked by what they had just witnessed, stood up & applauded.

This is a true story that happened recently.

If you have any interesting stories such as these send them to me or reply to this post!

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Filed under 3arabi, Africa, Colorism, Culture, Current Events, Discrimination, Euro, Life, London, News, Racism, Racist, Thoughts, Travel, World

U.K. Schoolgirl Loses ‘Virginity Ring’ Court Battle

LONDON – A teenager whose teachers had stopped her wearing a “purity ring” at school to symbolize her commitment to virginity has lost a High Court fight against the ban.

Lydia Playfoot, 16, says her silver ring is an expression of her faith and had argued in court that it should be exempt from school regulations banning the wearing of jewelry.

“I am very disappointed by the decision this morning by the High Court not to allow me to wear my purity ring to school as an expression of my Christian faith not to have sex outside marriage,” Playfoot said in a statement Monday.

“I believe that the judge’s decision will mean that slowly, over time, people such as school governors, employers, political organizations and others will be allowed to stop Christians from publicly expressing and practicing their faith.”

Series of disputes
Playfoot’s legal challenge was the latest in a series of disputes in British schools in recent years over the right of pupils to wear religious symbols or clothing, such as crucifixes and veils.

Last year, the Law Lords rejected Shabina Begum’s appeal for permission to wear a Muslim gown at her school in Luton. That case echoed a debate in France over the banning of Muslim headscarves in state schools.

Playfoot’s parents are key members of the British arm of the American chastity campaign group the Silver Ring Thing, a religious group which urges abstinence among young people.

Those who sign up wear a ring on the third finger of the left hand. It is inscribed with “Thess. 4:3-4,” a reference to a Biblical passage from Thessalonians which reads: “God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin.”

What are your opinions was the courts decision the right one?

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Destination Europe…

Having a Djiboutian and Somali background means I am not foreign to the idea of migration.

Subsequently, I have been fascinated by this article that points out clearly where and why Africans migrate to Europe. This article is very informative.

Migrants

Thousands of Africans try to make the journey to Europe each year as illegal migrants – risking people smugglers, deserts, sea crossings and the possibility of being sent home, all for the dream of a better life.

Economic attraction

Routes to Europe

Destination Spain

Immigrants in Europe

Sending money home

ECONOMIC PROFILES

GDP comparison

EUROZONE

Life expectancy: 80 years
Population growth: 0.6%
School enrolment, primary: 98.9%
HIV prevalence (aged 15-49): 0.3%
Internet users (per 1,000 people): 439.4
Time to start a business: 26.9 days

SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

Life expectancy: 47 years
Population growth: 2.3%
School enrolment, primary: 65.7%
HIV prevalence (aged 15-49): 5.8%
Internet users (per 1,000 people): 29
Time to start a business: 61.5 daysSource: World Bank 2005

ROUTES TO EUROPE

Key routes

The main aim of migrants is to reach European soil – be it mainland Europe or the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla or islands in the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

The main departure points are:

  • West coast of Africa: Northern Mauritania, Western Sahara and southern Morocco from where most head for the Canary Islands.
  • Northern Morocco to cross into Ceuta and Melilla or cross the straits to Spain.
  • Tunisia and Libya for boats heading for Italy’s island of Lampedusa, Sicily and Malta.But first the migrants must cross great distances.
    The main routes are:

    SMUGGLERS’ PRICES

    BY SEA:

    Africa to Canary Islands:
    1,000-1,500 euros

    North Morocco to Spain:
    1,000 euros

    Libya to Italy:
    1,500-2,000 euros

    BY LAND:

    Sub-Sahara to Morocco:
    1,000-2,000 euros

    Through Mali: 1,000 euros

    Across Sahara:
    1,700-3,400 euros

    BY AIR/LAND/SEA:

    South Asia to Africa to Europe: 9,000-16,000 euros

    Source: UN

    Route: West African coast
    Destination: Canary Islands
    Via: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, The Gambia, Mauritania and Western Sahara to northern coast of Morocco
    Dangers: sea crossing to Canaries
    Who: Mainly migrants from these countries

    Route: Western Sahara
    Destination: Canary Islands
    Via: Mali, Mauritania, Western Sahara or southern Morocco
    Dangers: Crossing Sahara, guerrillas
    Who: Mainly migrants from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin

    Route: Central Sahara
    Destinations: Canary Islands, Spain, Italy
    Via: Niger, northern Mauritania, Western Sahara or southern Morocco; northern Morocco; Tunisia or Libya
    Dangers: Crossing desert and sea
    Who: Mainly migrants from countries south of Niger, via Cameroon and Nigeria

    Route: Eastern Sahara
    Destinations: Lampedusa, Sicily, and Malta
    Via: Tunisia and Libya
    Dangers: Desert and sea crossing
    Who: Mainly migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa

    Route: Horn of Africa to Libya
    Destinations: Lampedusa, Sicily, and Malta
    Via: Sudan
    Dangers: Desert and sea crossing
    Who: Mainly from Somalia and Ethiopia

    DESTINATION SPAIN

    Migrants in Spain

    As the closest European country to the African continent, Spain is on the frontline for illegal migration. From there, migrants often make their way to other European countries.

    Spain’s enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in northern Morocco are initial targets for many migrants. Once detained they can be expelled, repatriated or sent to mainland Spain, where many are reported to be released, pending expulsion.

    The enclaves’ authorities were forced to double the size of border fences around the coastal territories in 2005 when hundreds of migrants attempted to scale the defences. Two migrants were shot dead by a Moroccan guard.

    For years, people have risked crossing the sea to get to mainland Spain, but in 2006 there was a closer focus on its islands – thousands headed for the Canary Islands in former African fishing boats, prompting an increase in joint “Frontex” patrol operations by Spain, the EU and African nations. But tightening security at one departure point simply seems to shift it elsewhere.

  • IMMIGRANTS IN EUROPE
  • Origin

    The latest report on migration by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says African migration to developed countries is marginal in relation to overall flows.

    The majority of African migrants living overseas are in Europe – about 4.6m compared with 890,000 in the US, according to the International Organization for Migration. But the Migration Policy Institute believes there are between seven and eight million irregular African immigrants living in the EU – the actual number changing depending on regularisation schemes in the member states.

    About two-thirds of Africans in Europe are from north Africa (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia). An increasing number are travelling from Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly heading for the former colonial powers of France, England, Germany and Italy.

    Most Sub-Saharan migrants are from West Africa – Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal, in particular.

    About 22,016 people reached Italy by boat in 2006, down slightly from 2005. But the sea crossings are not without their dangers – it is thought hundreds die attempting to reach Europe. In June this year, 24 Africans drowned after a dinghy capsized south of Malta.

  • SENDING MONEY HOME

    Remittances

    Having migrated, many migrants send money home to family they have left behind. Billions of dollars each year is sent back to Africa from the diaspora around the world – in some cases making up a sizeable chunk of the home country’s GDP.

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    Filed under Africa, Current Events, Diaspora, Horn of Africa, Life, London, Media, News, Somali, Somalia, Thoughts, Traveling, World

    Tony Blair- Middle East Envoy

     

    Tony Blair is to become a Middle East envoy working on behalf of the US, Russia, the UN and the EU.

    The announcement comes just hours after he stood down as UK prime minister and shortly before it was announced he was to quit as a member of parliament.

    Mr Blair said a “solution” to the problems in the Middle East was possible but that this would require “huge intensity and work”.

    Russia opposed his appointment initially but has since agreed to it.

    During his final prime minister’s questions on Wednesday, Mr Blair was asked about the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

    Challenge

    He told MPs: “The absolute priority is to try to give effect to what is now the consensus across the international community – that the only way of bringing stability and peace to the Middle East is a two-state solution.”

    Mr Blair’s appointment comes at a time of heightened tension in the region.

    Earlier this month Hamas militants overran the Gaza Strip, defeating the Fatah movement led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

    Mr Abbas, who is supported by Western countries and Israel, now effectively controls the West Bank only.

    He has sacked the Hamas-led unity cabinet and declared a state of emergency.

    BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen says failure in the Middle East is more likely than success.

    Israelis like Mr Blair because they believe he is on their side and Palestinians in the main do not trust him for the same reason, our correspondent adds.

    ‘Peace maker’

    But senior UN officials describe Mr Blair as a star player who will bring energy to the peace process.

    Mr Blair, who had been UK prime minister since 1997, was replaced by Gordon Brown on Wednesday.

    He has proved a controversial figure in the UK and elsewhere for his decision to lead the UK into the Iraq war.

    But he has also been widely praised for his efforts in bringing the peace process to fruition in Northern Ireland.

    At prime minister’s questions, Northern Ireland First Minister Ian Paisley said: “I just want to say to the prime minister this one word: He has entered into another colossal task.

    “I hope that what happened in Northern Ireland will be repeated and at the end of the day he will be able to look back and say it was well worthwhile.”

    ————————————————————————————————————————–

    What are your opinions on him taking on this high- profile position? Do you feel he can bring peace to the Middle East?

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    Movie Review- Salaam E Ishq

     

    Last night, like old times, I decided to rent a Hindi movie. The movie I chose was by Nikhil Advani - Salaam E Ishq.

    The film is based on another film which I love and own: Love Actually. Basically, like Love Actually, it tries to weave together 6 different love stories. The film features an all-star cast, Priyanka Chopra, John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Vidya Balan, Sallu Mian, Govinda, Sohail Khan/Isha, and Akshaye Khanna.

    I give the film a nod for great cinematography, and beautiful costumes. However, the 6 different stories did not tie together as much as I would have liked. I wish they would have elaborated on Govinda’s story. That would have been great…To me his acting as well as John Abraham shut it down. The rest were kind of mediocre in this film.

    FYI: Please make yourself comfortable the movie ran for 3 hours and 30 min. Also, keep a tissue box close to your hand. You will need it ( As usual with Hindi films). I often wonder when the creators of the film come together, is their main goal : “How can we make our audience cry?” 

    All in all, if you’ve got some time on your hands, and you’re looking for a light-hearted film this is a great choice.

    Official Website: http://www.salaam-e-ishq.com/ 

    Take a look at one of the musical performances in the film below:

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    Fair and Lovely – “Heavy Cost of Light Skin”

     

    I recently started a topic discussion on Blackplanet.com

    Titled: Heavy Cost of Light Skin.

    Here is a preview as well as some of the comments people had to say about this growing issue…

    By: Joan Baxter

    The use of bleaching creams to lighten complexions seems to have reached epidemic proportions in Mali, despite widespread education campaigns. Women who refuse to bleach often find themselves regarded as second class citizens.
    A woman who did not bleach her skin said she is often not offered a chair at baptisms, and is asked to make herself scarce when group photographs are taken at marriages.

    How does everyone feel about this…being that it’s a huge issue nowadays?

    —————————————————————————————————————————

    Male, 22, Los Angeles, CA

     

    Just sad that any society would have a perception like that.

    —————————————————————————————————————————

    Female, Age Private, Kansas City, MO

     

    Self hate just like some in the US….strong feeling for an African country to emulate the beauty standatds of whites…

    To read full article visit: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/718359.stm

    For full comments on this topic (blackplanet.com)visit this url : http://www.blackplanet.com/forums/thread.html?thread_id=50213

    —————————————————————————————————————————

    For more articles on this issue visit:

    www.counterpunch.org/mire07282005.html

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/6232343.stm

    For more interesting information visit:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorism

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonial_mentality

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_is_Beautiful

    Not enough info (wink)…here are some books:

    The Color Complex by Kathy Russell

    Don’t  Play in the Sun by Marita Golden

    Blacker the Berry by Wallace Thurman

    —————————————————————————————————————————

    This video below is an ad by Fair and Lovely products… The video is in Arabic, but basically what’s happening is the young woman is discriminated because of her skin tone…

    The video below is a scene from Spike Lee’s film School Daze which does a great job satirizing the issue (colorism).

    The following video feature Shah Rukh Khan in an ad for

    Fair and Handsom Cream- Emami

     

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