choice, fate and the phoenix


The video I attach to this post I first came across on chocolate mints in a jar blog. It contrasts two myths, the cinderella myth vs the phoenix myth. Both myths deal with change, but cinderella requires some external fairy godmother to come along and ‘save us’ from whatever situation we are in. The phoenix on the other hand is within us, by picking apart what makes us ‘us’ by getting down to the nitty gritty, we get to the core of our being. We can rebuild our lives in the image that we want, away from the chains of society. We can decide what is important and what is not. This in turn opens up the channels of creativity, allowing for new ideas and such.

The Phoenix does not necessarily need to facilitate profound change in our lives or our achievements. But it can lead to greater fulfillment and happiness. I have have burned some of my phoenixes, boiled down my beliefs to their very essence, and as a result I know I chose to be Muslim for example.

I really connected with the speakers example of the ‘good girl’ who does everything according to ‘expectation’ and desires recognition for that by those who imposed the expectations on her, only to b badly burned and left feeling trapped and depressed.

This also reminds me of a friend of mine who truly is a victim of the fatalistic mentality. She is of the opinion that things will come to you. So, for example, even if you fell into a well (her example not mine) the man you will end up marrying will fall into that well with you. This total surrender to the whims of time and chance scare the living daylights out of me.

But I wonder, what false beliefs do I hold that may be holding me back from trying to achieve certain things in my life?


Reviews of Islamic Swimsuits

Since publishing my various posts on islamic swimsuits (here, here and here) I have had about 2000 hits solely for these posts, my most popular posts of all. Most of the comments I received were from companies which manufacture such suits advertising their products, which has been absolutely fantastic! In this post I will post sample pictures from each website of the suits with a short summary of what each one offers. If anyone has tried any of them, I would like to hear from you, and I can incorporate your comments/reviews into this blog.


“Aheda seems to design mostly for those heavily into sports” [Um Reem]

Country of Origin Australia

Company Name: Ahiida Website

Description: 100% polyester, 50+ UV protected, water resistant, water repellent, low water absorbency and quick to try. They come in three catergories: slim-fit, modest-fit and active-fit Images: burqini-modest.jpgburqini-active.jpg Notes: I believe this suit is available in the UK. It costs nearly £65. Phone: 0845 052 4686. Now also available in the UK online (retails at 80 GBP) Customer Reviews:

The material is great, and it is very easy to swim in. It doesn’t tend to do the blow-fish look in the water, and the pants/shirt tie together on the inside. There are only two downsides I found to the suit: (1) The headpiece which is attached to the top, tends to be too tight on my neck. Very petite types may not notice this as much as myself, though. (2) Although very functional, not very fashionable (however, the newer models are looking much more stylish). Aheda seems to design mostly for those heavily into sports, and this swimsuit definately hits the mark for those who need the headpiece to stay in place when they are competing. I went to the pool with my children today (10, 4 and 2), and wore my suit from ahiida. I must say that I even though the neck was a little tight, it was so much easier having the hood attached when my 2 little ones were grabbing away at my suit. I did’t have to fix the headpiece once!!! [Thanks to Um Reem] I bought Ahiida swimsuit ( slim fit unfortunatly) when everybody was praising burqini. And I am not pleased with it. 1) Their trousers are tight so I can’t wear them. I don’t understand how it can be called a modest swimwear if pants are tight? So I had to wear dress trousers instead of burquini’s in the pool . :( 2) Burquini Headpiece( hijhood) are also poorly designed, It makes my head looks ugly and slips back all the time. It is sooo frustrating that I have to wear amira hjab on it. :( Also hijhood has stitches that lay right on my ears which causes pain and discomfort in my ears. 3) Slim fit top a bit short, but with my splashgear pants it looks modest. [Thanks to Muslima]


Country of Origin: USA


Description: based on the gear surfers wear. This product is, made of lightweight and quick-drying 83% Nylon 17% Lycra constructed with flatlock seams for comfort, fabric provides UV protection Images splashgear 1in the water–splashgear Notes : this is available in Bristol (UK) and Dubai (UAE) check website for further details. Customer Review: I reviewed this suit here, I have used it several times since and I absolutley LOVE it. A summary:

From a practical perspective, the suit was good. Swimming was easy, and I just need to get used to having something next to my skin while swimming. It did introduce extra resistance while doing the aqua exercises, and the trousers did balloon while I was standing. I think next time I will get the narrower leg trousers (I got the wide leg ones). When you exit the water the top does stick but a quick tug at the bottom loosens it immediately, this is something that was made clear by the manufacturers though. In all, if asked, I would give the suit 9/10. Marks deducted for the head piece, and 1/2 for increased resistance (if only very slight). [Thanks to Loolt] Luckily I found SPLASHGEAR website and bought swim pants from them. They are really lose and comfortable that’s what I call modest. [Thanks to Muslima]


Country of Origin: United Arab Emirates (UAE)


Description: Images mycozzie1mycozzie2 Notes: This is available in Mall of the Emirates, Dubai.

Customer Reviews: I ordered a couple from MyCozzie, and couldn’t wait to try them out. Their design is incredibly cute, and stylish, but the material is not so great. The light colors become see-through when they get wet (the white became completely transparent), and the material holds way too much water. The pant leg stretched out under my feet when I got out of the water. This company has great potential with the design, but needs to reevaluate the fabric. The one plus is that the design of the hijab is really great. It stays on while swimming much better than the design from Hasema. [Thanks to Um Reem] I bought mycozzie swimwear for my daughter and I. The customer service was absolutely outstanding and delivery time was next day. As fashion concious woman who wears the latest in fashion, I cannot fault mycozzie. It lives up to their reputation of conservative but fashionable swimwear. [Thanks to Fatima] MyCozzie rocks……!!!!!!! Theyre gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They sell them in Dubai and online. The customer service is amazing. They even delivered same day as ordering. I now have 3 suits and I mix and match the tops to the pants and hoodie it gives me so much flexibility and my kids think I look great. Off to Atlantis this weekend!!! Thankyou mycozzie x [Thanks to Jenny] I actually bought the MyCozzie suit a year ago, and decided to ‘test’ it at a women only swimming session. I was so pleased it was women only because after only one length of the pool, I had to take the trousers off, they had stretched to below my feet, making swimming difficult 😦 I dont know if other people have had this problem too. My sister has one but has only used it for water sports like kayaking and it is fine for such things. [from loolt]


Country of Origin: Brazil Website: Description: Images aquagym Reviews:

I did receive the suit from Primomoda, and it is not the same as the one that my friend received from AcquaGym. The cut is slightly different, and the pants are the same as the ones that AcquaGym puts with the “comfort fit” design. I preferred the fit of the suit that my friend ordered directly from Brazil. She did not have any trouble getting ahold of the guy from Acquagym, and she actually requested the “comfort fit” pants to go with the zip premium. She also ordered one of the suits that did not zip (which, by the way is nearly an exact copy of the original design by Aheda Zanetti). She really loves both, and after trying on hers, and the one I bought, I definately liked hers better. The zipper on the one I ordered was very rigid, and hit me right in the jawbone everytime I turned my head. I couldn’t stand it on my head for more than about 5 seconds. However, my friend’s suit (she and I are the same size) fit perfectly, and did not have the same zipper issue. She tried on my suit, and did not like it as well. As you can tell, I really like her suit better. I returned mine, and will probably order one from Brazil. […] On the sizing for Acuagym […]. The measurements are body measurements, and seem to be true to size based on the one that my friend orderd. [Thanks to Um Reem]

I love the color (purple with light print and trim)…it is the Comfort 105 in their lookbook. It looks very fashionable… As for the fit, the pant fits very nicely (elegant fit), the top is a bit larger and reached to my knees (I am 5′ 2″)… slightly longer than on the model…which is fine with me. The headpiece was large too, I pulled and held it with a pin at the back of my neck! In the water, the top tends to ride up (very slightly)…I think the “burqini” has inside ties…which addresses this problem. Once out of the water….the suit clings to you but a quick tug and it is released and hangs loosely. I like it so much and I enjoyed swimming (playing with my 2 yrs.old daughter!!!). It was fun and very nice to be in the water again! The looks really doesn’t matter (I was expecting it!)…I think it is curiosity more than anything else. I felt good and comfortable wearing it and was happy to participate in an activity in a way that doesn’t compromise my need for modesty and style! Ordering was a breeze…I recieved the order within 2 wks of purchase. Their customer support is great…very courteous, helpful and accomodating. The order was shiped and custom cleared in 5 days only! I definitely recommend this product. [Thanks to Um Reem]


Country of Origin: Turkey Website: Description: Images Customer Review: Nido has tried the first suit, and here is what she has to say about it:

I love it! It is so comfortable! easy to wear and to swim while wearng it! I used it in swimming pools and in the sea…the vest top is water resistant, and it stays loose! The 3 other parts’ material is like any other swimming suit… Can’t wait for summer time to swim outdoors D This is a review for the same suir that Jeedo has Last summer I stumbled upon the Hasema swimsuit with the little dress on top. So far, this has been the best for my own use. It is cute, comfortable, and works well in the water. One thing to note, though, is that there are two versions of the suit. A 3 piece and a 4 piece. The one I like the best is the 3 piece. It is a full body suit with hijab and outer dress. What I don’t like about the 4 piece is that the top snaps at the croch, like a baby body suit, with separate pants. It does make it easier to use the toilet, but it just feels weird. Also, the hijab on the 4 piece I ordered was designed a little different, where it wraps around your neck and velcros at the back. Overall, this is a great suit if you are looking for something functional and stylish for leisurely swimming. The headpiece is not the best if you are going to be doing heavy swimming under the water, or if you have a small child that likes to grab at your hijab. [Thanks to Um Reem]


Country of Origin: Singapore Website : Description: Images rubyzent.jpg

I would like to give a review of Rubyz Swimwear. I ordered the Stripes, which is 4 pieces, a bodysuit top with long sleeves and skirt, comfy long pants, and a two part hijab w/ sporty cap. This is super-comfy and very practical even when diving underwater. Fabric is spandex/nylon and so it does stay close to your skin when wet! It doesn’t show any skin, because you wear the pants under the bodysuit piece, and has a zipper that goes all the way down past the waist. The hijab and suit design is very sporty looking and the fit is super comfy. The hijab can be a little tight after awhile, but it doesn’t budge in the water! I love this suit in the water, but am very self-conscious when lounging around at the beach, because the fabric fits like a regular swimsuit, which will reveal some feminine curves, but the pattern tries to conceal them.

[Thanks to UmmAmeena]


Country of Origin: Spain Website: Description: Provides a perfectly uniform and elegant surface that enhances the beauty and style of garments, ensures maximum comfort and fit thanks to “four-way” stretch equal in all directions), aids the evaporation of body moisture and keeps the skin fresh and dry, ensures an effective anti-static effect, ensures the best aero-aqua dynamic performance in competitive sports, ensures maximum breathability, protection from UV rays (UPF+50), high chlorine resistance Images: bodykini-brown-orange-270.jpg Customer Reviews:

[From Anna] I bought the Bodykini because I liked the sporty look. Both are nice but they are different, the Bodykini is designed and cut differently around the shoulders so it is much more comfortable to wear especially around head as the headpiece doesn’t slip around even when you dive into the water head first! I am definitely pleased that I chose the Bodykini swimsuit. PS. I did not have to pay any customs to the UK when I ordered my Bodykini and the customer service was really good [Thanks to Anna] With choosing the Bodykini my wife’s dilemma on swimwear is solved. It is important to me that she is comfortable when we are in the pool. Interesting to see that there are many different styles of modest swimwear on the market. For my wife the Bodykini was the solution. I love her very much and want to thank Bodykini again for creating a swimsuit that makes her happy.

[Thanks to Ali Hassan]

child abuse… why?

Dont people realise that there are people in this world desperate for a child? who put themsleves through the painful and undignified process of fertility treatment just for a baby?

Then others are handed children on a plate and do this to them.

The little girl had boiling water poured over her hands, had huge clumps of hair ripped from her head.

She was also kicked so hard in the groin she suffered internal injuries, was locked naked in the toilet each night and forced to eat her own faeces.

the girl is 4, and this was done to her by her parents, she also suffers cerebral palsey.

A fact that I find absolutley shocking, published by the NSPCC is that each week a child will be killed by a parent or carer!!!!!

But why do people do this? why abuse a child? this is not even a case of ‘fit of range’, this was cold, calculated torture of the only person that will love them unconditionally after their own parents…

Budget Meals for One

Thought I would share some of the easy recipes I used during my uni days, many rely on frozen foods and rice. Meat can be replaces/not used, and extra veggies can be added to suit palate/what is in fridge.

Chicken peas and rice

Can be made vegetarian: no chicken, and swap chicken stock with vegetable stock cubes


  1. 1/2 onion.
  2. 1 chicken breat
  3. 1 chicken stock dissolved in 1/2 pint hot water.
  4. 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  5. salt
  6. allspcie
  7. oil
  8. 2 cups frozen peas
  9. 1/2 cup basmati or long grain rice.

Method (sauce):

  1. chop chicken into cubes
  2. chop onion into small pieces
  3. heat oil in pan and add onions
  4. stir till tender.
  5. add chicken and stir till it all changes colour.
  6. add tin of tomatoes
  7. add salt and allspice
  8. add stock mixture
  9. when boiling switch to low heat and add peas.
  10. will be ready in 1/2 hour in the meantime make the rice.

Method (rice):

  1. chuck rice in small pan
  2. cover with 1 cup cold water
  3. sprinkle a bit of salt
  4. put onto a moderate flame
  5. cover
  6. should be ready in 15 min.

Toast mana2eesh


  1. 2 slices of toast
  2. olive oil
  3. za3tar


  1. preheat grill to maximum
  2. smear oil onto pieces of bread
  3. generously add the za3tar
  4. put under gril for 2 to 3 min.

Pitta Pizza:


  1. 2 pieces of pitta bread
  2. ketchup
  3. cheap pitted black olives, 6
  4. 2 mushrooms
  5. 1/2 green pepper
  6. oregano
  7. grated cheese… mozeralla or cheap cheddar


  1. preheat oven to 200 celcius
  2. smear ketchup onto both pieces of bread
  3. finely chop mushrooms and pepper
  4. halve the olives
  5. add mushrooms, olives and pepper to bread
  6. sprinkle oregano
  7. cover in cheese
  8. put in oven for 20 min

Ma’loobi is a traditional middle eastern dish, and is thus desgined to feed a million people, getting it to taste ‘right’ when making it in small quantities took some work 🙂


  1. 1/2 aubergine (cubed) or some cauliflower
  2. 3 pieces of lamb, or 1 chopped chicken breast (or 2 chicken legs)
  3. allspice, and salt
  4. oil
  5. 1 cup of rice (basmati/long grain)


  1. Heat oil in small pan
  2. fry the aubergine/cauliflour in pan (not frying), remove from pan and set aside.
  3. in same panfry the meat/chicken till COOKED, may need to fillet them (i.e. bash them withwooden spoon till flattish), remove and set aside
  4. we’re sticking with the same pan (lazy guide too!), sprinkle some rice onto the botton, then chuck in veggie and meat, add rest of rice.
  5. In jug, dissolve stock cube in 1 pint water, then add to pan.
  6. add the salt and allspice too.
  7. put onto moderate heat and cook for 20 min. If rice is cooked, eat and enjoy.

best served with yoghurt and a salad.