Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hijab Barbie!

Growing up in New Jersey, the Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad used to fashion tiny hijabs out of tissues to wrap around the heads of her Barbie dolls so they'd look more like her and her sisters.

Now, Muhammad is the face of the first hijab-wearing Barbie doll. It's a feat she described on Monday, when the doll was unveiled, as "amazing."

"When I think about my own journey, me being a Muslim girl involved in the sport of fencing, there were people who made me feel like I didn’t belong," said Muhammad, speaking at Glamour’s Women of the Year summit, where the doll was unveiled. "For all those people who didn’t believe in me, this Barbie doll is for you."

Muhammad became the first U.S. Olympian to compete while wearing the Islamic head scarf during competitions in Rio de Janeiro last year, winning a bronze medal along with her teammates in the women's team sabre event.

The daughter of a police detective and a teacher, Muhammad grew up with four siblings in Maplewood and discovered fencing when she was 13 years old, winning medals and accolades until she qualified for the Olympics in 2016. A Duke University graduate, Muhammad has become a role model and an outspoken voice for Muslim women, challenging negative stereotypes and discrimination.

Ibtihaj Muhammad was presented with the "Breaking Barriers Award" at a parade held in her honor in Maplewood last year. (Photo: Chris Pedota/northjersey.com file photo)

The Barbie, designed in her likeness, has full fencing gear, including mask and sabre, with sneakers on her feet and a hijab around her head. In her speech, Muhammad said she hoped the doll would inspire girls "to embrace what makes them unique."

"Today I’m proud to know that little girls who wear hijab and, just as powerfully, those who don’t can play with a Barbie who chooses to wear a headscarf," she said. "She’s a Barbie who is strong enough to wield a giant sabre and dedicated enough to spend years working her way to an Olympic medal."

he doll will be part of Barbie’s “Shero” line, which includes iconic women like Trisha Yearwood, Gabby Douglas and Misty Copeland and will be available for purchase in 2018.

"Barbie is celebrating Ibtihaj not only for her accolades as an Olympian, but for embracing what makes her stand out," said Sejal Shah Miller, vice president of global marketing for Barbie. "Ibtihaj is an inspiration to countless girls who never saw themselves represented, and by honoring her story, we hope this doll reminds them that they can be and do anything."

Monday, November 13, 2017

Kuwait Earthquake 2017, where were you?

This earthquake totally freaked out so many people but for my family and a few other peopl from California we are used to it but we knew our buildings were earthquake proof. I just imagine those people in those shoddy built apartment buildings were probably freaked out! Most of the buildings in Kuwait are built on what looks like stilts that hold up a massive 10 plus story building. I have a floor on a Kuwaiti house so it is a little more safer.

As for me, I was lying in my bed talking to my daughter who was standing beside me when I felt the bed moving back and forth. As it continued I asked if she felt anything, I had her touch my bed and feel the bed moving and shaking. The nanny and my younger kids came out of the room not knowing what was going on. The doors of their closet came open and was shaking.

The owner's granddaughters who are little were screaming and crying which broke my heart. My sister who is on the fifth floor of an old building called me and was like, did you feel it? My friend was driving so she felt nothing as a few other people didn't know what we were talking about either.

At first I thought it was a bomb to be honest, with all of this talk about war and fighting I honestly thought the new war had began, thankfully it was just an earthquake and my prayers go out to those who were injured and died.

a funny video of the police telling the people to go back inside, remember, most of the police don't speak English in this area.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cuts Steakhouse Kuwait

I've see pictures of the Brazilian meat served on a big skewer table side which looked amazing.  I got the chance to check out their location Gate Mall last week. The restaurant was a little small and the a/c wasn't working too good but we decided to stay for dinner. We ordered the 'all-you-can-eat' steak from the menu, we were served bread, butter and broiled garlic half while we waited.
 As it got closer to the time to be served we were given this wooden plate for our meat.

 The first course was chicken shawerma which I wasn't expecting. Next was the meat pictured below, I asked for it medium well but the one they brought was really well done and dry as I needed to use the barbecue sauce to be able to eat it but I did enjoy that cut. The next meat was a meat kind of shawerma which I tried but didn't really enjoy and finally doner kebab skewer. I can't eat doner kebob because it is way too salty for me.
The last course was cooked pineapple and sausages, the pineapple was good but I didn't try the sausage. Overall I wasn't impressed with the experience and wouldn't go again. As the shawerma meats were being cut the pieces were flying all over the table and the meat I did like was over cooked. Some people have told me it was the location and the other ones are better but for 15 KD a person I wasn't impressed. Everyone can make their own opinion and may have a better experience than I did.

You can follow them on IG @cuts_steakhouse

Thursday, October 26, 2017

The updated dining area in 360 MAll

My friend and I decided to check out 360 Mall, it had been more than a year since I last visited there and Marina Mall is rather boring. We wanted lunch and I knew the area had been updated and I must say it is the best looking dining area I've seen lately in Kuwait. The greenery made the place feel as if you were in another country. It was clean and crisp and the restrooms were clean and smelled good as well compared to other malls.

 The designer of the dining area gets my applause!

 If anyone is looking for Mexican food this restaurant Chili Pepper is in 360 Mall, they serve soft tacos and burritos. I will wait for my visit to Qatar or Dubai where the have amazing Mexican restaurants.

I'm loving these forever roses!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Shakey's Pizza Kuwait

Shakey's is a pizza chain from California and I grew up eating their pizza. The one that was brought here is a Filipino franchise originating in USA. I took my friends and the kiddos to try it out which was a total of nine starving people. The restaurant is located in Salmiya about the new 5 Guys location. You have to go inside the building and up the stairs to reach it.

 It's a nice big area with ample seating

 We had a big family deal which cost 30 KD which is quite high but it came with 2 pizzas, 12 pieces of chicken, 2 baskets of mojos, 2 pasta plates and 2 pitchers of drinks. The ice tea is made from a mix and was really sweet.

 The bread sticks were so good as was the creamy pasta dish, the red sauce dish was not real good. The Hawaiian pizza was a must have where as the pepperoni pizza was so salty the kids refused to eat it and it had to be changed. The fried chicken was pretty good but I don't remember the mojos being so tiny.

It was a good visit but not one that I would travel far for to be honest. I might stop by if I was in the neighborhood and wanted pizza but it wasn't exactly like the states.

Their location: Salmiya, Salem Mubarak St, Noor Tower opposite Galleria 2000 and you can follow them on IG @shakeyskw

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Hijab discrimination in Kuwait made Yahoo News! What a nightmare for English Playgroup!

A preschool English teacher was told to remove her hijab if she wanted to be hired by a school in Kuwait. The 23-year-old applied for a job in Kuwait’s the English Playgroup. After an interview, she received an email from a school official saying that her new job depended on whether she was OK with teaching without a hijab on.

Fouzia Khatun shared a screenshot of the alleged email on her Instagram page. The email was sent by Caroline Brooks, a human resources employee from the English Playgroup, a prestigious education company dedicated to early childhood education, with over 25 schools throughout the country.

Brooks wrote, “The customer (parents) do not want their children taught by covered teachers. It is an English school.” She continues, “if this isn’t acceptable to you I wish you every success. This is s a non-negotiable.”

Khatun’s post has received nearly 2,000 likes and 1,000 comments. Khatun, who currently lives in the city of Bradford in England, shared a thorough message, reflecting upon the alleged discrimination.

The teacher wrote, “I applied for a job in Kuwait where I felt I would easily fit in due to same religious beliefs and Islamic mind of thoughts, where I thought being a hijabi would be an honour rather than an accepted dress code, where I was hoping to feel free and liberated, only to go and be asked to take off the one piece of clothing that made me want to move to Kuwait in the first place.”

“I find It disgusting that you think it’s acceptable to ask your employees to remove such a personal and important thing for the sake of appearing physically acceptable to parents, when in fact you should be demonstrating to your students’ acceptance of all kinds of people and presenting this with your varied choice of employee.”

She continued, “There is enough discrimination against female Muslims from non-Muslim countries, it’s extremely sad to see that your school in a Muslim country like Kuwait also demonstrates this kind of discrimination and frankly such a superficial judgmental ethos! I am sorry that you have judged the capability of a teacher based on a piece of clothing that covers my hair.”

“Please stop corrupting the minds of innocent angels and let them blossom into beautiful human beings and not the narrow-minded monsters that you are guiding them towards.”

Khatun told Yahoo Lifestyle she is now suing the English playgroup. She declined to comment any further, citing “legal purposes.”

In a comment on her Instagram page, Khatun states that the school denied her allegations at first and said that they didn’t have an employee named Caroline Brooks, but that they then changed their story. She wrote, “If it was a one-man mistake, an apology would have sufficed but they disappeared for a few days then come back saying she doesn’t work for them. Then come back again saying they didn’t accept me because of my social media and that they have taken action against her.”

The statement reads, “The English Playgroup and Primary Schools employ qualified teachers from all nationalities, religions and backgrounds who serve students as excellent and caring teachers. Allegations of discrimination against hijab-wearing staff are untrue. Our schools proudly employ many hijab wearing teachers and administrators across our schools. The allegations against the school have been disseminated by an unsuccessful overseas job applicant who was refused employment because of inappropriate behavior as illustrated on her social media platform. The opinions expressed by a new employee in the HR department are against company policy and necessary disciplinary action has been taken.”

The English Playgroup then released several images on their Instagram of teachers wearing a hijab while on the job. link

WOW! EPG has a PR nightmare!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hijab discrimination strikes Again

Once again here's an episode of 'discrimination of Muslims in a Muslim country' as a British teacher was sent the following emails in regards to her wearing hijab. 

It's sad but not the first or last case in Kuwait as it happens all of the time. I was working for a big medical company in Salmiya for the consultant to the CEO who was Tunisian with a French passport. I wasn't wearing hijab at the time but once he found out I was praying he asked me if I was Muslim and I said yes, he then told me he wouldn't have hire me if he knew that as he can't take me out for a drink. He continued to sexually harass the female Lebanese lawyer and myself in front of the Kuwaiti CEO and managers. A female who worked at the school who sent those emails was told not to wear abaya or any 'Arabic' garments while working there, she wears hijab but wasn't told to remove it at that branch.

I will also say shame on the Kuwaiti parents for what they are doing just because they want to westernize their kids doesn't mean they should discriminate towards others.

This was sent out today on their IG account in regards to what happened.