A few things have been going on so I thought I'd share a few links, thoughts and announcements...
1. I wrote this piece after attending an Iftar with the Prime Minister of Australia, the first Iftar held by a sitting PM in the history of the nation. It was also in response to some pretty vicious reporting following the event... check it out here!
The fallout has been pretty rough, and has definitely provided lots of food for thought. I'm still ruminating but hope to share some reflections soon. Stay tuned inshallah.
2. I had the pleasure of being interviewed by the lovely Meri Fatin for Cover to Cover WA talking about 'Yassmin's Story' and the process of writing a book. It was broadcast on Westlink TV a little over a week ago. Check out the video below!
3. I started a new Instagram! It's very self indulgent...
@HijabKween is where I'm sharing my hijab/turban styles, fashion influences and bits and pieces of inspiration that I collect on my travels. Hit a sista up!
4. Junkee let me reminisce about the last year. Subhanallah, it has been a full year, Alhamdulilah! Check it out here...but more importantly - if you'd like a nomination for Junket let me know - and nominate someone you think is cool for Aus or Young Aussie of the year! It's how we recognise those changemakers around us! <3
5. Amaliah are doing this really awesome thing where their readers 'takeover' their Snapchat for a day and show what Ramadan looks like in their world! Follow the account below...I'll be doing a Ramadan Takeover on the 29th of June inshallah! Watch out for it!
7. I'll be cruising around Switzerland, The Netherlands, Berlin and Uganda over the next month inshallah. Follow my travels on @yassmin_a (twitter, snapchat and insta), but if you're in these areas and you'd like to catch up and say hello, holla @ me! Email firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd love to meet you inshallah, and bonus points if you have a copy of the book for me to sign ;)
8. Last note... this is what I wrote on my FB wall today. Food for thought.
The Allens Law Firm just held an amazing event - Womens@Allens for Queensland week and I thought it was worth sharing and discussing before the awesomeness faded from my memory (as things tend to do so quickly these days!). The pearls of wisdom that came out of this panel of inspiring Queensland women bear repeating.
Madonna King talked about one of her biggest successes being choosing her husband. An interesting point, but one I think that is quite pertinent - your choice of spouse and the subsequent spousal support (or lack thereof) can play a big part in your future options.
Peter Hackworth's story (second from the left) is also amazing, and she pointed out that it is a smart and lovely thing to do to always be nice, charming and smiling to everyone, regardless of how you may feel or what their standing is. A cliche you may say, but so underestimated and such wise advice! Because we're all humans at the end of the day, and life really is about those interpersonal skills. I used to think I shouldn't be 'nice' on the rigs because that's 'too feminine'... until I realised that a) there was nothing wrong with being feminine and b) there was nothing wrong with being nice! In fact, the guys usually appreciate it. Those who don't, well, you can't win 'em all!
(She also talked about the value of picking up the phone and talking to people as a pose to emailing and texting which honestly, is so true! Fastest way to get an answer usually, right?)
Chelsea de Luca also talked more broadly about taking risks (she left a stable job to start her own jewellery line) and doing things that ultimately, in the broader scope of things, make you happy - and to see happiness as the final outcome. Not every day is going to be joyful, but it's that final outcome that counts.
Some other tidbits from the night:
- Don't take things personally (something especially women do, perhaps?);
- Understand that failure and risk are part of the process;
- Hindsight is 20/20 but you are who you are today because of the tapestry of your past (life's too short to wonder about what could have been!);
- Balancing family and career is always going to be a huge juggling act...but don't be afraid to ask for help either;
- Just ask! (for that promotion, for that leave...);
- ...and if they say no, sometimes go ahead and do it anyway! (start your own business etc).
One last thing that came out of a conversation right at the end (and a previous conversation with a good friend) was about the 'should do's' and dealing with what society tells us we 'should be' doing - as a woman, as an academic, or an achiever etc.
"You should be getting a good job and climbing the ladder"
"You should be working harder than everyone else"
"You should be focusing your career"...and so on and so forth.
Sometimes though, the rules aren't the be all and end all. They are societal expectations and they are there because society likes people to conform.
They are not hard and fast rules. 'Should' is not the same as 'must'.
There are always exceptions to the rule, no?
The question is - are you brave enough to be that exception? We don't need permission from anyone - just ourselves.
At the end of the day, it is up to us to choose what we want to do. It is safer to get that legitimacy from an external source like a company position, but it is also just as viable to find it yourself, doing it your way.
It might not work, but at least you'll have tried. You will definitely come back from that experience a different person. After all, the best experience comes from the worst situations! What is the worst that can happen, really?
So stop waiting for someone to give you permission to break the rules and do what you feel like doing. Just...do it.
When have you ever felt the urge to do something different? What 'should be's have you experienced? How have you broken through...or what stopped you??
Hello all! How are we this week? I’ve been flat chat at work doing the oil and gas thing, while also working on getting a few things moving on the Youth Without Borders side and writing a whole bunch of different articles… anyhow, enough about me! Let us look at interesting things on the net recently…
But that's the thing about racism: it goes way beyond bad intentions. The most insidious racism is just so ingrained it's involuntary.
Waleed Aly’s brilliant piece on ‘The Curse of Australia’s Silent Pervasive Racism’.
This one is pretty cool: Miracles of Engineering in Peru: Drinking Water Out of a Billboard!
“Each generator captures the air humidity and from there it goes to a reverse osmosis system. Each tank stores about 5.28 gallons of water. These 5 generators purify the vital liquid and its total is gathered in one tank,” said one of UTEC’s engineers involved in the project. The billboard has already produced about 2,496.42 gallons of drinking water in a 3 month period, an amount that equals the water consumption of hundreds of families per month.”
An interesting piece by the Australian Government’s ‘Resilient Communities’ initiative on ‘advice to young Muslim Australians’. I don’t enjoy motherhood advisory statements, but this was rather good.
And, don’t wait for someone to come and take you by the hand. Don’t wait for the leaders and Imams. They have their hands full. You must initiate the process.
You must lead the way.
There is a perception among many of us that it is fine to be an Indian Muslim, Pakistani Muslim, Algerian Muslim, and Palestinian Muslim. And so on. But, for some reason, there is a false perception that it is not fine to be an Australian Muslim. The ‘Australian’ part is seen by some as ‘kufr’ (unbelief). Don’t be fooled by this simplistic and false understanding.
Don’t be afraid to say you are a Muslim and an Australian. Don’t be afraid to say that you are an Australian Muslim.
An interesting and informative perspective: How to move beyond youth tokenism into real engagement.
My piece for Future Challenges on women in the workforce, and why there is more to it than just numbers.
Why volunteering in orphanages sometimes does more harm than good. This is part of the ‘well intentioned but misguided’ mindset my father and I share about a lot of aid work…
Again on the ‘well intentioned but misguided’ note, a piece on WhyDev that really resonated (and challenged me in equal parts) on Why making the world better does not make necessarily make YOU better’.
It sounds harsh, but it has to be said. It’s important to understand that doing good things does not make you good. It is important to understand that good people can and frequently do do bad things. Not all good doers (confession: I positively loathe the term “do gooder”) are nice. You need to enter the aid world understanding that you will have to work and deal and maybe even share quarters with some truly nasty individuals. You need to understand that you, too, may do things that are not nice, things that you’re not particularly proud of. And you need to understand that this is nothing at all about your competence as a humanitarian. Being deeply committed to reducing the amount of injustice in the world, and expending great amounts of energy and personal resource towards that end in no way precludes you from treating your staff unjustly. It’s the opposite of “but he/she/they mean(s) well…” argument, all too frequently used to justify everything from poor individual performance to ridiculously reasoned startup NGOs.
On a totally different note, looking for some crazy cool (modest) fashion inspiration? Oh, check this out. I couldn’t get past the first jacket…
Thank you, Mr Sartorialist.