Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Best Dressed At The Grammys 2014

Every year, the Grammys bring out the best (-and worst) out of celebrity fashion choices. But this year, many stars bedazzled the red carpet. There seemed to be an on-going theme of long sleeves, beads and sparkle! Countless celebrities attended music's biggest night of the year, but here are some of the celebs that stood out with their class and elegance!

Paris Hilton stunned everybody with a gorgeous completely covered neckline, white beaded, long sleeve dress designed by House of Milani. Her hair and makeup were flawless, and many fashion critics considered her to be one of the best dressed celebrities that evening. 

Taylor Swift looked gorgeous in a gold, metal-like fabric Gucci gown. A voluminous ponytail worked perfectly on her, keeping the focus on the gorgeous gold gown. This has to be the classiest, and most mature look Taylor has ever rocked. During her Grammys performance, she switched into another beautiful gown, see it here!

A pregnant Ciara showed off her baby bump in a beaded gold gown by Emilio Pucci, which left her literally glowing on the red carpet. With her hair pulled back in a messy bun and  her lovely complexion, she pulled off the look so flawlessly.

Ora opted for a knee-length, metallic Lanvin dress on the red carpet. The dress was quite complex, and its shade varied from purple to green depending on the lighting. Her hair and makeup were absolutely perfect, click here for a close up!

Other celebrities such as Katy Perry, Pink, Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat were some of the unlucky ones who they landed on the "Worst Dressed" lists. 

Farah A. for Hijabitopia 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Kaz Kouture

If you are looking for beautiful Middle Eastern inspired jewelry, check out Kaz Kouture! They are a fairly new business that creates elegant pieces of jewelry and other accessories that are perfect for the modern day Muslim Woman. Set at affordable prices, the product line ranges from bracelets, to rings, to scarves and even headpieces. They make a great gift and also a must have addition to your collection of accessories!

Inspired by their trips to the Middle East and Europe, Ayesha and Javeria have created a unique collection of timeless pieces. The two sisters fell in love with the colors, textures, and designs found in these countries and converted their memories into a chic collection. Sarah, the youngest sister, decided to join in on this adventure with her sisters. All three sisters studied and reside in the fashion forward city of Dallas, TX and want to ensure that their fashion loving clients will get years and years of wear and compliments with these timeless pieces.
The Founders of Kaz Kouture: Ayesha, Javeria and Sarah

Farah A. for HijabiTopia

Monday, January 20, 2014


Photo Courtesy of Gulf News

Today we feature a super niqabi who is debunking stereotypes with her talent. 31 year old, Emirati engineer Fatima Al Zaabi, received an invitation to the White House for having renovated powerpoint. We applaud this talented Muslim woman for her success and for proving the world that Muslim women are not oppressed contrary to what the media portrays. Fox News, let's see you put Fatima on the headlines. LOL!

Emirati woman renovates PowerPoint

Fatima Al Zaabi received an invitation to the White House and was also approached by Google and Microsoft to sell her product
By Mariam M. Al Serkal, Senior Reporter
January 19, 2014
Dubai: Emirati innovator Fatima Jasem Al Zaabi, 31, has received an invitation to dinner at the White House from US President Barack Obama, in recognition for her innovative use of Microsoft PowerPoint for creating architectural designs for homes.
Fatima, who currently lives with her family in Abu Dhabi, has always had an eye for technology and although her last qualification is her high school diploma, she has been self-taught on everything she needs to know about computer programs and technology.
Gulf News spoke to with Fatima ahead of her Washington trip, which will take place in the coming months, and discussed her achievements, her motivation, and her future plans.
Why did you decide to renovate PowerPoint, and how long did it take you?
Fatima: I first took up an engineering course at Al Khawarizmi International College in Al Ain because I wanted to become a civil engineer. But when I started using the software application Auto Cad, which is a specialised program that enables users to draw villas in 2D or 3D designs, I found it very difficult to use. After a year, I decided to drop the course and took up the challenge of finding an easier alternative so that everybody could have the tools to draw their ideal home, without having to enrol in a professional course. It took me six years to install new options on the tool bar, and to come up with ways on how to change the regular elements of Power Point so that users can draw their own shadows and dimensions, and give it a 3D effect.
What were some of the challenges you faced while redesigning PowerPoint?
It was a struggle because I was not sure exactly which tools I needed to incorporate, and I had to structure it in a way that children and adults who are not specialised in computer programs could both use. It took a lot of trial and error but over the years, each version was better than the last. At the time, one of my sisters wanted to design a new home for herself, so I was testing the new tools out and looking at whether the requirements needed to design a home were met.
Once you finished your project, was it easy to gain recognition and market it?
When I finished working on my project, I published the first edition of my book on my own expense, which thoroughly discusses how PowerPoint was improvised and the new tools that I incorporated into it. I approached a number of establishments but they did not take my work seriously, as they presumed that it already existed in Microsoft’s latest version of Power Point. I then went to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and through their guidance, encouraged me to take my work further. Before I knew it, I received a Microsoft certificate of appreciation and an invitation to the White House for dinner. I have also recently been approached by Microsoft and Google who are interested in buying my program.
Do you have an agenda during your visit at the White House?
When I go to the US, I want to project the image of women in the Arab world. There is a preconception of what veiled women can do, and in the West, they think that our capabilities are limited. I made a personal decision about five years ago to veil my face, and I want to show everybody that it has not limited me in any shape or form. One of my favourite hobbies is playing basketball and I am now captain of the women’s basketball team at the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood. I want to show the rest of the world how empowered women in the UAE are, and that since the country was founded, the late Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan had made it a mission to eradicate women’s illiteracy and empower women.
Have you always had a penchant for technology?
Since I was a child, I was fascinated on fixing things and even though nobody taught me how, I would open up the broken electronics we had at home and find a way to repair it. My brothers also turned to me to fix their computers, and if I ever came about a problem I did not know how to overcome, I would read and teach myself.
Your plans?
For the time being, I want to focus on writing nasheed and working on my job at the Royal Group, which was launched by Shaikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. So far, I have written 30 nasheed poems and plan to write more. Any free time I have is dedicated to the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, where I advise young women on starting up their business and the means on how to get investors and to market it.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

How should women dress in Muslim countries?

Here is a very interesting research that was done by University of Michigan:

How people in Muslim countries prefer women to dress in public

An important issue in the Muslim world is how women should dress in public. A recent survey from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research conducted in seven Muslim-majority countries (Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey), finds that most people prefer that a woman completely cover her hair, but not necessarily her face. Only in Turkey and Lebanon do more than one-in-four think it is appropriate for a woman to not cover her head at all in public.
The survey treated the question of women’s dress as a visual preference. Each respondent was given a card depicting six styles of women’s headdress and asked to choose the woman most appropriately outfitted for a public place. Although no labels were included on the card, the styles ranged from a fully-hooded burqa (woman #1) and niqab (#2) to the less conservative hijab (women #4 and #5). There was also the option of a woman wearing no head covering of any type.
Overall, most respondents say woman #4, whose hair and ears are completely covered by a white hijab, is the most appropriately dressed for public. This includes 57% in Tunisia, 52% in Egypt, 46% in Turkey and 44% in Iraq. In Iraq and Egypt, woman #3, whose hair and ears are covered by a more conservative black hijab, is the second most popular choice.
In Pakistan, there is an even split (31% vs. 32%) between woman #3 and woman #2, who is wearing a niqab that exposes only her eyes, while nearly a quarter (24%) choose woman #4. In Saudi Arabia, a 63%-majority prefer woman #2, while an additional 11% say that the burqa worn by woman #1 is the most appropriate style of public dress for women.
In several countries, substantial minorities say it is acceptable for a woman to not cover her hair in public. Roughly a third (32%) of Turks take this view, as do 15% of Tunisians. Nearly half (49%) in Lebanon also agree that it is acceptable for a woman to appear in public without a head covering, although this may partly reflect the fact that the sample in Lebanon was 27% Christian. Demographic information, including results by gender, were not included in the public release of this survey.
FT_clothing1314Even as publics in many of the surveyed countries express a clear preference for women to dress conservatively, many also say women should be able to decide for themselves what to wear. This attitude is most prevalent in Tunisia (56%), Turkey (52%) and Lebanon (49%) – all countries where substantial percentages are open to women not covering their heads in public. But nearly as many in Saudi Arabia (47%) also say a women should be free to choose how she dresses. Smaller, but sizable percentages agree in Iraq (27%), Pakistan (22%) and Egypt (14%). What the survey leaves unanswered is whether respondents think social or cultural norms will guide women in their choice to wear more conservative or less conservative attire in public.
  1.  is a Research Associate at the Pew Global Attitudes Project.