'The Butterfly Mosque' Book Review




Recently I have picked up my old favorite habit of reading again, I used to read everyday while I was studying Islam, but have become quite busy after having my daughter. Now that my daughter is almost two, things are settling down and I am beginning to have a little more time for myself. When I say little, I mean LITTLE.

So I was out at our local library and picked up two books that seemed of interest to me. The first one was 'The butterfly Mosque' written by G.Willow Wilson. The second was a biography of Muhammad(pbuh), written by Yahiya Emerick in a book series called 'Critical Lives'.

Today I will be focusing on 'The butterfly Mosque'. The author Willow Wilson is a convert to Islam and this book is a memoir of her journey to Islam and to love. The author was born in New Jersey in 1982 and raised in Colorado. Now spending most of her time between Cairo and Seattle. She also authored a graphic novel,'Cairo'. Below are a few excerpts of what some famous Islamic writers had to say about her book.

"A gorgeously written memoir about what it means to be human in
fractured world, told with warmth and a wit to spare. It will
stay with you for years." -Reza Aslan


"An honest and uplifting memoir...that embraces-not demonizes-
both Muslims and the west as critical foundations for Wilsons
spiritual Journey." -Wahajat Ali


This is the summary of her book, just to put it in a nutshell.

"The extraordinary story of a young North American's conversion to Islam and her ensuing romance with an Egyptian man, The Butterfly Mosque is a stunning articulation of a Westerner embracing the Muslim world

After graduating from university, Willow Wilson, a young American — and newly converted Muslim — impulsively accepts a teaching position in Cairo. There, she meets Omar, a passionate young nationalist with a degree in astrophysics. Omar introduces Willow to the bustling city, and through him she discovers a young, moderate nationalist movement, a movement that both wants to divest itself of western influence and regain cultural pride. When the two find themselves unexpectedly in love, despite their deep cultural differences, they decide that they will try to forge a third culture, a new landscape that will embrace some of each of their cultures, and give their fledgling romance some hope of survival.

Wilson weaves this engaging personal story with deep insights into faith in a fractured world, and gives westerners rare insight into an important young reform movement. Butterfly Mosque is an inspiring account of an unlikely cross-cultural love, and the moving story of two young people working within the boundaries of contemporary religion and culture to forge a life together against the odds."

I really enjoyed reading this book. Although the book got off to a slow start, that quickly changed a few chapters in. I really enjoyed the insights the author gave into her personal life. Her writing catches the trials of an American Muslim after 9/11, but I really think this book could help others to understand why people do convert and some of the things that they go through in their everyday life. In the book the main focus is all about Willow embracing Islam, life and love in Egypt, meanwhile trying to keep her American Identity. In the end she finds something that works for her.
I think one of the reasons I enjoy this story is because being a convert myself I can relate to the things she is going through and I can understand her feelings and attitudes towards some of the things mentioned in the book. I think even for born-muslims, they can get a sense of what it might be like to be a convert, and how the experiences can be quite different.
This story is also about Willow finding love in Egypt and marrying into a middle-class Egyptian family. She explores what it's like marrying into another culture and the trials, surprises, and joys that can come with it. In my opinion you can really feel the connection they have as a couple but also their differences make for a really unique love story. Overall I really enjoyed the experience of this book, but I wish Willow would have went a little deeper with her reasons for converting, because most of the story was after the conversion happened. In my opinion: Recommended Read!

To Purchase this book simply click the link below:

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Hijab store review series *HijabFashionShop*




Asalam Alaykum, My next review in the series focuses on 'HijabFashionShop'. This is another lovely hijab shop, they have a website and a facebook fanpage. On the facebook page under the info tab section there is a bit of background information on the sister who owns the shop, here is the excerpt for the info:

"My name is Victoria and I'm convert Muslimah alhamduLlah! It took a while to cover my hairs, perhaps one of the reasons was the lack of hijabs I'd fancy! But now AlhamduLLah I've found beautiful hijabs and would like to share them with you and to encourage you to love your hijab and enjoy wearing it too (of course if you don't yet), that's why in Hijab Fashion Shop every sister or just a girl who wants to be modest and cover her hairs get huge variety of hijab choice so every sister can find exactly what she is looking for to fulfil her hijaaby needs . In fact not only beautiful, luxurious, rare and modest hijabs but also essential accessories like underscarves, hijab pins and even more."

Before I purchased from this shop, I was eyeing it for months before I could make a purchase. There are so many different scarves and accessories available. The thing I love about this shop is that they have many scarves that you don't see anywhere else, they have fancy scarves,limited edition scarves, and they always have a reduced section which is GREAT for the sisters who can't afford to pay full price. There is also a section that has faulty items, but I purchased two from this section and the faults are VERY minimal. I got my chain-linked brooch from this section,and I'm still not sure why it was even in that section.Here are a few photos of the brooch which I absolutely love.





The shipping is also very reasonably priced, for me in Canada, it can be quite pricey to have things shipped here, but for me it was affordable. Every thing is reasonably priced but it is superb quality. I love each and every item I bought, not to mention I didnt break the bank purchasing them. I got 6 scarves and 1 brooch. I can't remember what the total was but it was a really great deal.
The customer service is great, if you have a question it will be answered super quick on the fanpage on facebook, which I love because some other places take days to answer for something you want to buy ASAP. Also in my package I recieved a free gift, it is a cute stick pin with a little heart on it, the stick pin is the longer kind, which is great because I needed one of these. Also in the parcel is a cute note thanking you for your purchase which I thought was thoughtful.

Ok onto the products I recieved, here are the photos I had taken showcasing the products I bought(note the headbands are not from HFS):




Overall I have had a very pleasant experience with HFS, and will definitley be purchasing from here again, I am loving everything from their new crinkle collection. This will definitely be one of my top choices, when I need to buy hijabs and accessories. Keep up the good work Victoria, may Allah continue to bless your shop. Ameen.

Overall rating out of 5*: *****

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Palm trees sunset!

Asalam,

I just wanted to share my picture i have painted! Yay! I am so proud of this one:p. I just love how the sky turned out and I'm surprised at how my first attempt at my palm trees came out, my husband thought that I did them with stencils. I am not bragging or anything like that, the reason I say I am proud is because honestly about 2 months ago, I didnt even know i could paint that good, but I though I would give it a shot because I love art and used to draw alot. Now I love it and hope to never stop, it's so relaxing and fun too. I suggest to anyone who wants to try, just go ahead and give it a shot, you never know:)or go ahead with anything else you've been wanting to try, you might find your new favorite hobby.

Anywho here is a photograph of the new painting, I might do this one in 40x30 size or something for my living room:( and please do let me know what you think, or even if you would like to purchase this or something similar.

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*Hijab Stores Review Series* Pearl Daisy



Salams Everyone! I have embarked on the long journey of doing a hijab store review series on all the stores I have shopped from, it is going to be in 6 or 7 parts, 1 for each store. I have chosen to do Pearl Daisy as my first review because it is my favorite, and I have gotten the most items from this store.
So to start off I will give a little bit of background from what I know on the store, the sister who runs it, her name is Amena, she started this store a little over a year ago and has grown tremendously. I remember first visiting her website, she may have had 20 different items. Now her store has well over 200 different items and growing. I remember I came across her store through her youtube videos, she does lovely hijab tutorials, and it was from her videos that I learned to wrap hijab in a pretty way.
Anywho moving onto the review. I have purchased approximately 25 scarves and 5 accessories, I know it's crazy, I haven't purchased lately as I had to curb my Pearl Daisy addiction. My experiences so far have been wonderful, everytime I get my parcel I am so excited to tear into it. I have not yet been disappointed by a purchase. The shipping prices are reasonable and for the most part arrive on time. There have been a few delays when I ordered but I blame it on the holiday seasons. I know with some stores they keep restocking the same items and never get anything new in. Pearl Daisy on the other hand, always has something new to try, but still restocking the old favorite goodies. I must say it is sometimes quite hard to get the item you want, because it gets sold out so fast, but thats a good sign, I guess. My favorite items from Pearl Daisy comes from the brooch and pins sections, the photo below shows some of my top favorite accessories.


She has very pretty chain linked brooches, teekas, and 'Daisy Chains', which you wear around your head on top of your scarf, but you can also use it as a necklace or even a bracelet. Here is a photo showing one of the ways you can wear it.



Moving on to the scarves, there is a huge range of scarves to choose from, with beautiful prints and textures. I absolutely love the thin scarf range which is absolutely perfect for hot weather, which is approaching very fast. Here is a photo showcasing just a few of the many scarves I have purchased.


As you can see from the picture, there are unique prints with beautiful colors, I must say there is something to suit everyone in her shop.
Below is a picture of me wearing a few of the PD scarves.


I definitely recommend this store to anyone who loves beautiful printed scarves and unique products. I'm sure I will be back for more soon, it's been a long time and the craving is coming back(hehe). There was only one downfall I ran into and that was the fact it is difficult to recieve a reply if you email them, or sometimes it takes over a week to get a reply, but I think it is due to the fact that they are sooo busy, trying to get everybodys orders out and answer everyones emails, but overall I am very pleased with the service offered at Pearl Daisy.

Overall rating out of 5 *: *****

Keep the good working coming Pearl Daisy, and may Allah bless your store in the years to come. Ameen.

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ooooops...what happen to fashion?

I know this blog was supposed to be about fashion and hijab styles as these are two things that really interest me, I love pairing up cute things to create modest looks suitable for a muslim lady. This was my original intention for this blog and it still is, but I've been a little obsessed with painting in the last little while. I just keep coming up with new things I wanna paint and create. I am very proud of my painting I did today I just couldn't wait to share it with everyone. It is my favorite so far, I want to sell it but at the same time I don't want to part with it. I call this painting 'Daisy Meadows'.


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Fabric Necklace Trend

Looking for a cute and quick way to accessorize your look? Try the fabric necklace which is very popular this spring and summer. They come in many different colors and styles. From ribbons, to flowers, to pearls, you will find something that will suit your personal style. They are very hijabi friendly, some of them you can wear on your scarf and it will blend in and complete the look. I'm gonna grab a few of these styles this season myself. Check these cute ones out!


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Room for Improvement.......

I know there are many ways I can improve my paintings, many techniques I have yet to learn as I am just in the beginning stages. I tried painting my first flower painting the other day. Although it did look a little bit better than I thought for my first time, there is LOTS of room for improvement. I know the painting is far from realistic, far from neat, and very far from professional but I feel it's a good start. I will call it my abstract garden as it doesnt really look like a real garden but 'hey, it could be worse'. I also added some sparkle paint called 'hologram' to make it a little more interesting and a little more appealing to the eye. Here is a picture of my painting:


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My latest artpiece.

Asalam Walaikum,

I just wanted to share my latest canvas painting with all the readers. I feel like I'm improving on my sunset sky blending. Before I would only use red and orange, but I have kind of learned how to blend in some other colors like black, blue, and purple. Personally I like how it turned out, I may even do a bigger version for my living room. I'm pretty excited about that.
I would love to start selling some of my paintings but just don't know how to get started, I'm sure I will figure something out. I have heard of a website where you can have your own little paintings shop among a whole bunch of other artists but I have forgotten the name. If anyone knows please do let me know. So anyways here is a picture of my painting, it is a painting of a man making Dua out in the desert by a mosque at sunset. I find this painting has a powerful message and gives me a feeling of serenity. Hope you all like it:)





Here is another recent painting of mine:


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*Hijab Stores Review Series*

Asalam Alaikum,

I have decided to do a new series of blogs and possibly youtube videos on the different hijab stores that I have shopped at. I think I have about 6 of them to do. I will be doing one at a time, sharing how I feel about the customer service and the products. I will also be sharing the photos of the items I have got and other details. Stay tuned Inshallah!

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Finding something I love to do!

Asalam Alaikum,

I have decided to write about my recent struggle to find something that I would love to do for business, hobby etc. Since high school I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I really enjoyed the artistic world, but I just didn't think it could be practical. So for that reason I have yet to go college for any degree. I have finally found something I would love to do and I have given it a go. I have opened a hijab shop on facebook. Now I dont expect to make a fortune or anything but Inshallah it will allow me to work part time, so I can stay home with my daughter who is now 20 months old. More than anything I would love to supply all the lovely hijabi sisters of the world with a beautiful and affordable selection of hijabs, pins, and modest clothing. If Allah wills, I can continue to do this for a long time and continue to grow.
I have decided to name my shop 'The Preserved Pearl Hijabs'. I know some people don't like the analogy of Muslimahs being compared to pearls, but I think it is an accurate description. Just like the pearl preserved in its shell, our dignity and pride is preserved behind our modest dressing. So I decided to go ahead with that name as it means something to me.

I recently had a logo contest going on my page, whoever would create the most suiting logo would win a scarf and pin. I would just like to share the logo that was created by facebook user 'Bambo Crambo'.This will be my new store logo.


Here are a few examples of the things I am selling now, to give you an idea of what I will be provinding now and in the future, Inshallah.

A beautiful printed maxi.

A beautiful sparkling hijab pin

A thin flower printed scarf.

For more pictures you can visit my facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/Kitchener-ON/The-Preserved-Pearl-Hijabs/186700761369350

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