The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.
The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.
Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.
Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.
Ever since she exploded onto the fashion blog scene Naballah Chi has made a name for herself as a fashion forward hijabi. The island girl from Trinidad and Tobago explores culture and heritage through modestly fashionable clothing, her aim to bring out ones individuality through the comfort of the hijab and fashion.
M: What makes you feel most comfortable with your hijab?
N: I’m honestly comfortable with my hijab no matter what I do. I think I’ve came to conquer being confident in hijab, no matter what the circumstances are, being around other confident Hijabi’s makes me feel right at home.
M: Why have you chosen fashion to express your style?
N: Fashion is something I was born into, so it comes natural. My parents both worked in fashion. My dad was a fashion designer and my mom is an avid fashion designer/seamstress. Being involved in fashion is being engulfed in my natural element…it brings me all kinds of happiness. Fashion has also inspired my life in so many ways, namely to take my natural creativeness far beyond what I think I am capable of achieving.
Style is thus born when I am able to be creative and personalize my pieces, through the conscious arrangement of colours, shapes and movements in an artistic manner, while wearing clothes that fit my lifestyle. My style is a reflection of my personality. It is only when I become creative, then can I become consequently stylish. So in a nutshell fashion enhances my creative ability in expressing who I am.
M: Who are you most inspired by?
N: There is no particular person who inspires me. My inspiration is my life as every aspect of my life has taught me how to rise beyond any circumstance, no matter how hard I fall.
M: How do you feel about the Hijab being expressed through the media?
N: I believe the increasing power of the media to define Islam and aspects of Islam, such as the hijab, causes tremendous negative associations with hijab. As a result, people view hijab as oppressive, because the media, which is supposed to be the peoples trusted source, falsely tells them that hijab is oppressive.
Also most people don’t take the time out to educate themselves on the concept of a woman dressing modestly and what Hijab means to Muslims. Hijab is contrary to images that we are bombarded with where women wear little clothing and expose their bodies in the name of freedom, therefore some people see hijab as taking away a woman’s freedom to choose what to wear, how to live etc. Hijab is meant to free us as individuals and reinforce honouring of the Muslim identity not hold us as prisoners to ideal beauty standards and scrutiny.
M: Why do you choose to explore the hijab?
N: As a hijab stylist, hijab is now a social enterprise that introduces me to business savvy entrepreneurship and stylish flair; essential skills for any modern Muslim female pioneer. Muslim women, young and old are always looking out for new ways to incorporate fashion into the way they wear their Hijabs and so Muslim fashion enthusiasts and professionals like myself have found innovative ways to blend both modesty and style, without having to sacrifice the basic elements of what constitutes Islamic dress or the basic elements of fashion.
Being a trendy hijab stylist is how I explore hijab in today’s society. Fashionable hijab has spread vigorously throughout the Islamic world and in some cases in the non-Islamic, as non-Muslims can occasionally be spotted donning headscarves and Islamic-inspired wear for modest fashion. I’m not a gatekeeper between my hijab styles and the general public, because I know my work is surely a way to inspire other women to share their talents and to empower themselves through a positive turn on self-esteem.
M: Why is there a rise of hijab fashion with modern society?
N: The rise of Hijab fashion redefines what it means to be a modern Muslim woman and now I can enthusiastically flex my marketing muscle in the world of fashion- something that didn’t exist a couple of years back. Having an online hijab store, or even a brick & mortar store, with an array of designs shows that Hijab fashion is empowering Muslim women economically.
I think that Hijab in today’s society has done enough to empower Muslim women and change attitudes towards Muslims in general. In today’s global competitive market, hijab fashion is evolving and one of the utmost advantages of fashion is the development of one’s individuality. When you become confident you can do bold things in the society you live in and as a result you experience inner happiness.
Find out more about Nabballah Chi fashion through her blog
I am miles away, away from sense,
I am a falling bridge a collapsing fence,
My muscles feel tense,
Especially when I remember you,
But still commit the sins I threw,
You are watching me and I knew,
My precious acts are few,
Nothing much than its due,
Whenever I remember you,
I weep the nearer I drew,
Fear gropes my heart-pump and chew,
Without a helper I still call upon whom I knew,
My Lord forgive the sins I blew,
One last glimmer of hope grew,
I remember you,
And tears rush down a little queue.
O’ God replenish my heart,
It feels like art,
This night I stand tall,
And for You I do this all,
I don’t know where my fate befall,
This my only plea,
Before I am summoned at the cemetery,
The grave, my home to be
This month Salaam style explores the Egyptian gypsy through the fashionable art of a coined scarf and dark statement lipstick that makes the look colder then ever.
we love how this heritage look of a gypsy can be evolved into a fashion statement through the creating layering the hijab followed by a long length mango maxi dress with finely detailed print which adds towards the edginess of a fashionable gypsy aesthetic.
Still lusting over French fashion designer Louis Vuitton’s bag collection for 2014? Don’t we feel the same. the stunning collection is a key to any women’s heart it features all forms of textured leathers, trendy shapes and sizes, bolder
colours and most of all the L.V. stamp that finishes the statement accessory.
Yes L.V. is a weakness that’s why at Salaam Style HQ, we put together all of our favourite bags from the collection (it’s probably all of the collection). which one is on your wish list?
To dedicate one’s life to art is a struggle even in the most stable society. There are inherent barriers that weed out those who aren’t serious. Those who remain are truly passionate and dedicated to an artistic and creative life. But, in times of upheaval, extreme chaos and war, even the most dedicated artist can be stifled by the immediate concerns of his or her life. Those who continue to produce despite the horror that surrounds them can truly be called an Artist
Unfortunately, artists are the first group to be abandoned in times of trouble. Art is seen as a luxury when starvation, misery and murder are the norm. A fundamental tenet is that art and artists are not a luxury, but are in fact the foundation of society. Art is essential to the survival of culture. It is the very medium of culture. If culture is the foundation of society, then how important the artist?
The role of artists becomes even more critical during times of social upheaval. Unfortunately, support for the arts disappears in these periods, and artists are marginalized. Iraqi Art strives to move the artist from the margins to the centre, to shine a light into the shadows, to give voice to those who have been muted.