Tag Archives: Hijab

Fashion Blogger Naballah Chi on why Hijabi fashion is evolving and developing ones individuality

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Find out more about Nabballah Chi fashion through her  blog

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Afifah: home to cheap and chic hijabs!

Searching for reasonably priced hijab’s can be a nightmare nowadays? At Salaam Style HQ, I came across Afifah a family run business with a retail store in Luton that has been running successfully for almost two years.

Their aim is to provide customers with modest and stylish clothing, hijabs and fashion accessories for everyday wear and special occasions.

They specialise in exclusive handmade hijabs and offer garments with unique designs without compromising on Islamic values. They aim to accommodate to the Muslim clothing trends of the west.

Sales Associate, Noreen Mohamed,  said “At Afifah we focus on selling good quality products at affordable prices”

I chose a few of their fabulous hijabs that can revamp any look through the range of textures and colours they explore. Which one is your favourite? The scarfs pictured above can be accessed through http://www.afifah-hijabs.co.uk/index.asp.

Aab’s top 5 hijabs transformed into high street looks!

Aab the fashionable online website that caters for a hijabi’s every need has the perfect simplistically chic scarf’s this season where you would be sure to stand out. At Salaam Style HQ we chose five of the best scarfs that we have teamed up with on trend high street looks. Creating a fierce fashion fusion full of bright colours and strong textures giving you an ultimate Spring/ Summer feeling.

We have taken into account Aab‘s concept that is based on easy pieces, where a handful of interchangeable items work together to create an entire wardrobe that goes from day to evening, weekday to weekend, season to season so are you ready to mix up the fusion of Aab and high street must haves to create the ultimate fashionista look?

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3 Easy steps to a trendy turban hijab

This trend has been around for a while it can never get old as the turban headscarf is the ultimate chic trend especially for the Spring/ Summer season so get practising with Salaam Styles 3 step guide.

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1. First make sure all of your hair are tied up in a bun, bend your head over and pull the scarf over your head. Tie the ends of the scarf into a knot in the front, right at the centre of your forehead.

2.Twist the ends of the scarf around each other. Start from the base where you tied the knot and continue twisting until you reach the ends.

3.Pull the fabric back across your head. Tuck it underneath the scarf in the back, and make additional adjustments if necessary.

  • You may want to use bobby pins to help keep the turban in place.

Shireen Ahmed: Tales from a Hijabi Footballer

Here is my reality

I have been contacted many, many times since March 1 when FIFA announced that IFAB formally overturned their decision to ban headcoverings on the pitch.Family, friends and colleagues have sent me congratulatory notes and news reports.

Since July 2012, I have blogged, written and expressed happiness, hope, gratitude and sometimes frustration with this process.

One more step towards the pitch!

I was elated.

Women from all qualifying nations will attend the Women’s World Cup 2015 in Canada. My country. There will be women from Asia, Africa and from Europe. There will be women in hijab, in pants and in shorts.

As it should be. I was thrilled initially.

Now, I am exhausted.

I am drained from the process. I lost time away from the sport I have know and identified with since I was a very young child.

It was a part of my identity. It was a part of my routine. It was a part of my life.

I found other ways to be involved, be motivated, and get fulfilment.

I have written and opined about FIFA’s stance. I have shared pictures of radiating women who love the game and who defy cultural norms to enjoy it. Those connected and inspired by it.

Got this beautiful picture from Lela Ahmadzai’s website.   This particular image makes me incredibly happy. My mother always taught me I could “be anyone and play anything”.   I hope young women all over the world hear that message at some point in their lives.  It doesn’t have to be football. It can be something they love and something they crave. Women’s Advocacy, Sport, Environmentalism, Hobbies but something. So that they know, and the world understands, that everyone has a contribution to make.  Women need that chance. And that encouragement.   Lela has captured the resilience and passion of the women in Afghanistan and their love for the beautiful game.  Do check out her amazing work: http://www.ahmadzai.eu/en/allgemein-en/a-wmans-goal  I watch this short film a lot. It reminds me of my privilege. I am very aware of my ability to play safely and teach my daughter the same.   I have posted it and will continue to post it again. And again. And Again.

And those who risk their lives to play it.

What I did not say was how I suffered from sheer resentment and difficulty when I was not allowed to compete.

I am allowing myself to say it now.

I longed for the the thrill of the sprint, and the rush of the challenge.

And the goal. The beautiful goal.

I even craved the hit of the post or the uncontrolled shot that went wide.

I missed it desperately.

But I chose to cover for personal reasons and told myself my connection to my Creator was stronger than my connection to football.

What I didn’t recognize was those two connections were not mutually exclusive.

I understand the anger and frustration of women who were told “NO”. Who were told “NO” by an organization that is supposed to create opportunity and advocate for the Beautiful Game.

I started wearing hijab in 1997. I played my last season in the fall. I was told I had to either “take it off on the pitch” or “wait until I was ready to commit fully to the rules of the game”.

There was no specific law against (that would come in 2007) it but nothing allowing it either.

I walked away from the pitch.

My heart broke. But I quickly wiped my angry tears with my hijab. It provided me tight comfort and strength against this sporting injustice.

I played pick-up. I played at picnics. At family gatherings. I played at any opportunity. I played against my husband. I played with my children.

But I was used to playing in leagues, in matches with referees and full of politics and drama.

I remember watching one of my heroes, Zinedine Zidane hoist the World Cup over his head in glory in 1998.

It was the first summer I did not play.

His victory as a Frenchman of Muslim-Algerian descent was bittersweet for me. He was of my faith. But he was playing.

I practice his roulette anyway. Just in case I might need it someday.

Life went on. I cheered, I watched and I fooled around with a ball. I did not play regularly.

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After what seemed like several lifetimes, I found a league that would accept me.

I went back hesitant and I went back happily.

I tasted the joy in the sweat rolling down my face.

I loved it. I stayed for years and then I found the courage to venture out and challenge this.

I found a club that agreed.

And I remember what I always knew: I was a footballer who wore hijab.

Not a hijab-wearing woman who played football.

Fast forward to 2014 when Jerome Valcke announced: “It was decided that female players can cover their heads to play”.

Muslim women *could* always play.

Now they are *permitted*.

Semantics.

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How can I laud FIFA for striking down a law that should have never been implemented in the first place?

How can I be grateful for someone allowing me to do what I should ahve always been allowed do?

Why was I made to choose?

How can you choose between your heart and soul?

Thank God my daughter won’t have to face that choice.

Someone pointed this out to me: “funny how the west tells us that hijab is oppressive yet they use it to oppress hijabis by banning them from playing sports”.

That isn’t funny. It is horrible.

Last year, I was sidelined from football due to what turned out to be a full blowout of my ACL . Being ripped away from the game in this manner was painful. But it was of my volition. I was injured in a match, while in play. My choice.

Being ripped from the game because a lot of white, privileged men decided it was dangerous for me and the sport was torturous. Their choice.

And it was unfair.

So, today I am not “happy”. I am disappointed that I lost time and energy.

My joy is tapered with simple relief.

In future, I will not let it ruin other childhoods and affect and exclude people.

Football is for all of us.

It should always have been.

Shireen Ahmed is a writer and advocate focusing on Muslim women in sports. She writes regularly on her blog, Tales from a Hijabi Footballer.