Posts Tagged ‘Blogging’

New Blog & FOSIS Video Competition

// June 24th, 2010 // No Comments » // Announcements, Video

Salam blog. It's been a while. I have something to tell you. I think you may want to sit down.

I've been playing away from home.

No, no… don't cry, blog. I still love you. You'll always be my first. No, wait second… Actually, more like my third.

Anyway, stop blubbing foo, and listen up.

Sisters' Film Club has officially launched! We have produced our first videos, and have a
sparkly new blog to match, māshā’Allāh.

The videos are part of a submission to the FOSIS video competition – an annual contest open to all UK Islamic Societies. As this is our first production, we would really appreciate your support. Please watch, vote for, and share our videos via the SFC blog. Feedback welcome!

JazakumAllah khair.

Brass Crescent Award 2009 Nominations

// November 17th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Announcements

Update: The results have now been announced… as predicted, I didn't win an award, but many of the people on my 'recommended' list below did, māshā’Allāh. Congrats to all!


I learnt this morning via the Twittervine that my blog has been nominated for a Brass Crescent award, under the “Best Design” category.

England's self-proclaimed Desi Dreamer and Mad Muslimah, iMuslim offers extensive photos, videos, and a clean interface. “She's a good all rounder.”

Credit where credit is due: the theme that I currently use on this site was designed by WooThemes. I tweaked it slightly to fix some bugs and improve the layout, and I obviously replaced the header with something more relevant… but that's about it!

However, I'm still grateful for the recognition. So jazakumAllah khair to the peeps who nominated me. :)

The following are some of my own recommendations:

Best Blog: MuslimMatters.org… I'll admit that I'm also a fan of SuhaibWebb.com. (Just don't tell my MM team mates that I said that!)

Best Group Blog: MuslimMatters.org

Best Humo(u)r Blog: This one is tough as I seriously dig three out of the five blogs listed! McPagal, Mr Moo and Mummyjaan.

Best European Blog: Indigo Jo

Best South Asian Blog: The View from Behind My Specs

Best Retired Blog: Kelly Izdihar's Blog (aka Izzy Mo)

Please visit the site and vote… May the best blogs win! :)

How Old is iMuslim?

// November 9th, 2009 // 3 Comments » // Blog

Well, as of this entry, the blog is 500 posts (and just over three years) old. I have deleted the majority of posts created during the period of experimentation with imported status messages, so it is an official milestone this time – no cheating.

I now present my – I mean, my blog's – birthday wish list. And if you think birthday presents are too much of an innovation, then consider it an ‘Īd al-Aḍḥa wish list instead:

  • a Nintendo Wii, with Wii Fit/Active/Sports/whatever makes me sweat and get fit enough in the privacy of my own home, to eventually allow me to return to the kickboxing classes that I so dearly miss.
  • a compact DSLR
  • a decent haircut (blonde curls are a real possibility – an in-joke for my FB sisters)
  • a Maths tutor
  • a big ol' punch bag, like I saw on TV last night. Awesomeness!
  • Really good chocolate. I mean, so good that I don't care that it makes me fat, because it's that amazing. Cadburys and Thorntons do not fit in that category at present. Maybe Hotel Chocolat?
  • a trustworthy builder to knock down the wall that currently separates our two living rooms, so that the middle room can finally have some natural light, and not be so depressing a place to sit in – especially during the Winter.
  • a jacuzzi
  • someone that makes me feel less 'bleurghy'
  • a good, non-trivial, real life, face-to-face conversation, that doesn't involve discussion of the weather (unless it's related to a debate on climate change), or the stupidity of lecture timetables.

List to be updated as and when I – I mean, my blog – decides.

Btw, the above wish list is clearly pure self-indulgence. There are many things that I – and my blog – wish for, that are less selfish, and more altruistic. I am very blessed with what I already have, alhamdulillah, and don't feel at all lacking in respect to material goodness. I just felt like writing a 'me, me, me' post today. :)

What's on your (or your blog's) wish list?

A Safe Space

// September 28th, 2009 // 4 Comments » // Blog

I've noticed that I refrain from commenting on several blogs, even my regular reads, because I don't deem them 'safe'. I don't mean that I fear being tagged by intelligence services (I don't think I'm controversial enough for that; though Allāh knows best), rather, I just don't feel comfortable speaking up, for one reason or another.

I wonder, do people feel the same on my little corner of the web? I don't think I have enough readers to warrant attention from Islamophobes and general nasties. But there are many other reasons to be timid.

Which sites to you feel safe on and why? Do you do anything special to welcome and reassure your readers?

Speaking of fear, last night I had a mini-panic attack that took me a while to overcome. I was already emotionally vulnerable as I had been suffering minor illness for several hours.

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My Big Day Out

// July 27th, 2009 // 7 Comments » // Blog

As I mentioned in my last status update, Thursday 23rd July ended up being quite a productive day for me, māshā’Allāh. For a start, I was actually active between the normal working hours of 9.30am and 4.30pm. Amazing! I didn't even manage that during my PhD.

The day involved two major meetings, each relating to the two main projects that currently dominate my unemployed life: Deaf Muslim initiatives (e.g., SignLabs), and blogging. As the content of both meetings was pretty much confidential, I'll skip the details, and just describe the basic aims.

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Watch iMuslim ‘Live’ Tonight, on Divan 2.0 (7.15pm, UK Time)

// May 22nd, 2009 // 1 Comment » // Blog

I've been invited to be a panellist at a Radical Middle Way event tonight. The subject up for discussion is Islam and the Internetz… so at least I'll be familiar with the subject matter – inshā’Allāh!

I'll be representing MuslimMatters, so please make dua that I don't let the side down, as it'll be my first time doing anything like this (I'm trying to minimize your expectations; remember, blogging and public speaking are two different animals!).

Welcome to Muslim 2.0 – a wired generation whose members would rather pose their tough questions to Shaykh Google than their local Imam and who feel more connected to the Facebook ummah than the congregation at the local mosque. Never has Muslim conversation buzzed with so many divergent, combative and off-the-wall perspectives.

But is more Muslim chatter really better?

Has Web 2.0 democratised Muslim debate, and if so at what cost?

Are we talking to each other or at each other?

With so many blogs, websites and forums to choose from, are we actually engaging with other points of view or are we comfortable staying in our intellectual (and spiritual) ghettos?

Join us for Divan 2.0, as we bring together some of British Islam's most (in)famous bloggers, web pioneers and online warriors for some face-to-face debate. They will be taking your questions in this special “Question Time” style event.

Challenge and be challenged – submit your questions in advance and come ready to jump into fray!

For those who can't make the free event in London, you can watch live via the little video box below. It'll start approx. 7.15pm BST (GMT+1), inshā’Allāh.

Wanted: British Muslim Bloggers

// May 20th, 2009 // 22 Comments » // Announcements

I don't know enough of them… they must exist. Where are you?

If you're a Muslim blogger based in the UK, please leave a comment below with your blog address in the URL bar. Alternatively, paste the relevant link in the comment field… but a warning that your comment may get spammed if you add too many URLs.

Evil Evil Spambots From Hell!

// April 25th, 2009 // 5 Comments » // Blog

I am so thankful for the Askimet plugin, because my blog has been getting spammed to the max lately. Take a look at the stats:

It was only today that I realized why the spambots have been crawling over me like ants on a giant sticky bun: this post.

A little tip for my fellow bloggers: using the word “c-r-a-z-y” in the title of a blog post is a definite no-no. Not unless you want to be bombarded with spam comments that read like a cross between a bad Mills & Boon novel and a schizophrenic's monthly pharmacy prescription.

Yeah, I'm trying out exaggerated similes today. What do you think? Too much?

Tweaks, Tweets & Twoughts

// April 23rd, 2009 // 8 Comments » // Blog

Tweaks: it's amazing how much time I can spend (some may say “waste”) making little changes to a website, both aesthetic and functional. For example, I must have spent a good few hours 'tweaking' this blog yesterday, making adjustments that, in all likelihood, will only be noticed by myself alone.

In fact, let's test that theory: I made four changes to the site in total. The person who spots all of them will win cheers and my admiration (sorry, I can't afford anything else right now).

Tweets: my latest status message should have already notified you of my decision to become a Twit. It's more a matter of gaining experience, rather than anything else. I don't see it changing my life. In fact, I plan to cheat and only update my Twitter stream with the same status info that I post on Facebook, via Ping.fm.

Twoughts: I miss WordPress.com. Don't get me wrong; I lurve my new site, especially all the extra room I have for customization. But the problem is, I seem to feel the loneliness more in this big, ol' house. The previous site was definitely more 'cozy'. Indeed, I can tell from my stats and the number of comments that I don't get as many visitors popping by as I did before.

There are a few reasons for this, I suspect.

It'll take time for this site to make its way up the Google index, especially as only a small fraction of people have updated their blog rolls with the new URL (big hint). Plus for some odd reason, many people are still subscribed to the RSS feed of the old blog, without bothering to at least add the new feed address – what's with that?

In addition, it's harder for wordpress.com users to follow me now, as they can't make use of the very nifty “My Comments” feature. Commenting is half the fun of blogging, and a quiet comments section makes for an unhappy blogger.

Finally, I wonder if I'm just not as interesting now that I've finished my PhD, and have generally less to write/whine about? Maybe whatever drew people to my humble blog to begin with, has been diluted down in all this extra space. I'm definitely less outspoken, even on other people's blogs.

In one sense, that's a good thing: the less I say, the less I am accountable for. But I do miss the buzz of an active blog, especially contributions from the “old gang” of regulars. Where are you guys? I know you haven't all been married off – marriage being the death of most forms of activism.

I don't live to blog, but I do blog to “live”. And I need more excitement in my life, yo.

So unless you want me to start writing silly marriage articles again, speak up already. Else I will have to resort to a triple feature on polygamy, hijab, and the role of women in society, and watch this place BURN.

Btw, twoughts isn't a real word – unless you're Tweety Pie, and you twought you twaw a puddy cadt.

Though now my iPod dictionary seems to think that it is (I'm blogging from bed again). All for the love of alliteration…

Wanted: A Little Slack

// March 3rd, 2009 // 9 Comments » // Blog

This rantish piece was originally intended as an email response. I then realized that I was 'blogging' at the recipient. Blog rants belong on blog posts. Hence my decision to paste it below for public viewing:

Well, if I was happy to stay in research, I wouldn't have a problem finding a job either, Allahu 'alam.

It's because I cannot tolerate that claustrophobic, isolating environment any longer, that I decided to look elsewhere for employment.

Unfortunately, I am quite clueless as to what I should concentrate on in the long term. I have to factor in the remote possibility of future wifely and motherly duties, which realistically, precludes the pursuit of any career that demands a great deal of my time and energy. This is not helped by the dearth of part-time jobs in my sector (the ones I find are either managerial roles for which I am underqualified, or technician jobs for which I am overqualified).

Add to that the fact that this is the first time I am job seeking as an “obvious” Muslimah (i.e., avec hijab), which does actually put some employers off.

Then there is the debate about whether Muslim women should be in the Western workplace at all. Yes, I do think about such things, and definitely don't miss the regular angst of 'handshaking' incidents, and having to constantly reign in my blabber-mouth personality in front of the opposite gender, all of whom so far have been non-Muslim, and thus don't usually understand the internal conflict that their “friendly” behaviour (and even antagonistic behaviour, at times) can pose for me.

I know I'm not the only one going through this. But my point is that I'd like people to cut me some slack.

Alhamdulillah, I am not in debt. I live at home with parents who can afford to house me. Indeed, if it wasn't for the pressure that they're placing on me, I wouldn't even bother looking for a conventional job. I am happy to tell friends and strangers that I am officially unemployed, but spend my time on other important pursuits – leaving the exact details vague, so as not to show off.

In fact, the only two things that I miss from my eleven years of working are:

  • A regular, stable source of income. I am useless at budgeting. Therefore, when I try to save money, it usually ends up that I don't spend any money, whatsoever. Miserliness sucks, and so I do need something coming in to avoid that extreme. Plus, I hate scrounging off my dad.
  • A regular, stable source of human company. My personal tradition has been to make friends through school, university, or work, usually because that is where I have spent most of my life. Recent exceptions have been some sisters that I met through local classes, such as self-defense and Islamic studies. But they work/study full-time, which means Mon-Friday, I am friendless, bar the odd evening meet-up.

Yes, it's a little embarrassing that a woman with three degrees, and the title “Dr” before her name should be unemployed, and more than that, is now facing a problem that most people sorted out in their late-teens/early 20s: the question of “What should I do with my life?”.

However, the embarrassment factor is relative. People make me feel ashamed, by inferring that I have something to be ashamed off.

Did I purposely pick the wrong career path, so I'd end up in this position? Err, no…

Could I have thought about it more before deciding to pursue a PhD? Err, maybe? Allāh knows best. Hindsight is 20/20, after all.

I am not looking for anyone's sympathy. More like: I want to be left alone. Unless you have a real job to offer me; then hey, I am all ears! Other than that, general concern is welcome, but making me feel small, and a bit useless, is not. Maybe I am being overly sensitive, but there you go.

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