POETRY: The Liberator

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To be liberated means that we can clearly see, 
That we should follow a leader for all of  humanity. 

His name is Prophet Muhammad (Upon Him Be Peace): 
ALLAH raised him with Truth, so falsehood must cease! 

ALLAH sent to His Last Prophet, the Mightiest Message of  All… 
His heart was Right, so he heard ALLAH’s Call. 

Some people said Prophet Muhammad was mad and possessed: 
His wife Khadijah comforted him, for she knew he was blessed. 

Prophet Muhammad delivered ALLAH’s Message throughout the land; 
It is the Light of  Truth that will always stand! 

Prophet Muhammad taught humanity to constantly strive for Right; 
ALLAH, The One and Only God has everyone in His Sight. 

So always teach The Holy Qur’an from now to your death, 
And live ALLAH’s Universal Message with every breath! 

“May the Peace and Blessings of  ALLAH be upon Prophet Muhammad.”

by Muhammad Ali

A self-confessed ‘style hauler’ Dina Tokio the inspiration behind hijabi fashion

Dina Tokio a 24 year old social media sensation, fashion vlogger, designer and vintage extremist from Cardiff, proves how the hijab is a representation of modernity and modesty through her works. The stylish and relaxed cosmopolitan Muslim style icon has established herself as a dominant figure within hijabi centred fashion since rising to fame in 2010 showcasing her first designs through social media.

Her state of the art designs and inspiration behind hijabi fashion has changed the nation’s perception on the hijab. Dina says “I wore the Hijab at quite a young age but I didn’t care about how I presented it, until I hit the age of 17 I valued the importance of the hijab and living in a country surrounded by great artist and fashion designers I wanted to express myself through the hijab. I also started designing hijab wear at A-level stage of my course.”

Dina has designed hijab wear for over seven years, embracing the concept and the art behind Muslim women of today. Her designs are fresh and vibrant; Dina uses traditional techniques to create modern contemporary looks. All of the hijab’s Dina creates are handmade and showcased through her website Lazy Doll and also through social networking sites.

Her fearless, fun and statement looks celebrate vintage aesthetics and qualities. She says “the ‘bintage and vintage’ page on my website provides the perfect pieces at the perfect prices. I have a love for vintage clothing and have embraced it through offering inspiration from the 20’s all the way till the 90’s.”

With the rise of hijab wear Dina states “It is much easier now to shop and create modest looks through western high street stores… you are free to express yourself.” She is currently working on her latest collection where she has partnered up with another designer that will be released by the end of the year.

Focusing on a chic and contemporary twist combined with sublime colours and luxurious fabrics, Dina says “I want to make every piece as different and unique from the last, I am constantly developing my looks to fit the ultimate Lazy Doll. One of my biggest fashion inspiration is Rabia Z I love her work and take it on board through my personal style.”

To find out more about her unique style through  DINA TOKI-O

Behind Dubai’s daringly detailed dresses: Interview with fashion designer Ahmed Yousaf

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Heating up the fashion stakes in Dubai, British Fashion designer Ahmad Yousaf, 25 years old, born and raised in London the capital of fashion has become renowned for designing finely detailed couture gowns featured twice a year at Dubai Fashion Week. He has recently had the opportunity to design for UAE’s royal princess Maryam Al Maktoum with no expectations of stopping just yet.

 His latest project with L’nette Boutique owned by Dubai’s royal family focuses on the modern day Muslim women aspired by the cultural arts of eastern fashion forms blended into the fine attributes of feminine couture pieces defining detailed silhouettes.

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M: When did your passion for fashion arise?

 A: I have been passionate about fashion ever since I chose my own ensemble to wear at the age of six. I was hooked on colours shapes and fine detail. I gained an eye for detail and also learnt the importance of organisation at a very young age this made me reliable and competent which was a good attribute to take forward in both personal and work life.

 M: Who have you been most inspired by through your designs?

 A: Since my childhood I was fascinated about creating new stuff which drawn my interest into architecture my favourite architect is Zaha Hadid I was inspired by her style and her quality of capturing fine detail. I focused on exploring this particular aspect through fashion that soon became my signature drawing upon new shapes and the finer details of the female silhouette.

I have also drawn inspiration to the British legend that is Alexander McQueen his unique sense of art and fashion is a perfect combination in creating unique collections. I also find Christian Dior’s colour scheme through couture pieces particularly fresh and stimulating.

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M: How do you feel about exploring modern couture pieces in Dubai?

A: Working in UAE is a great experience, as I explore pieces that have a strong emphasis on the Arabic culture. It’s all about glamour long dresses and full of embroidery that emphasise modern couture. I have never explored this type of work beforehand but learning from the best it was a great combination of shape and embroidery.

Individuals always want to wear the latest creations so being innovative through shapes and the female silhouette is of particular importance in the UAE. There are two seasons that very important for fashion designers in Dubai one in April and another in December where collections are featured on public and private fashion shows. Therefore designs need to be of a particularly high standard. I do design in between these dates for younger and older females exploring both traditional and new styles.

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M: You often talk of the future, being avant-garde. What does innovation of western and eastern fashion forms mean to you?

A: My creations have always been innovative through the western and eastern culture. I explore the modern Muslim woman defining sharp shapes with delicate embroidery and patterns taking route from western influences including Alexander McQueen I focus on Dubai as a developing modern art form through my works. These two cultures in fashion are very strong when applied together as I am able to create gowns that have a strong concept of today’s innovation within fashion. I also design bridal gowns that are very similar with the west yet have a twist of the traditional eastern culture.

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M: The cultural heritage and crafts of Dubai are very important to your creative process. How important is the Western perspective on Dubai?

A: The world’s view of Dubai is very important it’s what I call a modern fusion of mutable fashion of different cultures. I have designed for the royal princess drawing inspiration on the western culture Dubai is very good at celebrating that arts behind every culture which is why I believe it is so successful. Unfortunately, the centre of fashion and art is not Dubai, but nonetheless I find the opinion and point of view of Dubai very useful.

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M: How long does it take you to design?

A: Well about designing something I can’t say how long it takes, sometimes I cannot design for whole day and sometimes ideas just do not stop coming that why I always carry a pencil and paper with me. It may sound very unusual but a few times I create designs in my dreams that I wake up and develop.

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M: A lot of you designs explore modern day glamour what does that mean to you?

A: Glamour is about confidently showing your style, it means standing on your own feet and explore through the arts of culture it’s the way you present yourself through strong shapes and detailed quality designs.

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Interview by Maryam Ali