EID MUBARAK!!

IMG_20170624_201147Eid Mubarak to all Muslims across the globe, I hope your day is immersed in peace and happiness. This Ramadan definitely flew by as usual, but more so due to my exams all being during this month. It’s also been a difficult month for many around the world, and including at home in the UK where a number of tragic incidents and acts of terrorism took place, such as the attack on London Bridge, the burning down of Glenfall tower and the attack on peaceful worshippers leaving Finsbury mosque in London recently. It’s also been tough for the thousands who have died in the hands of warfare and terror all around the world, with many continuously perishing in poverty and famine. May we think of them and keep them in our thoughts and prayers and the focus of our humanity and compassion. Always. ❤

Peace,

Bushra

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

 

WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE! #GeneralElection2017

The past couple of years has changed the scene of politics. 2016 bought the Brexit referendum, the election of Donald Trump as President of the USA and the resignation of former Prime Minister David Cameron following the referendum result, leading to Theresa May as the new PM. A general election has been called which, while spontaneous, gives the general population a chance to change the course of politics, or continue with a Conservative government. This election is all the more significant, considering the changes of the past few years. So why vote?general-election-poll-tracker-large_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqqVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8

  • IT GIVES YOU A STAKE IN THE GOVERNMENT’S PLATFORM: Young people, for example are significantly underrepresented as many choose not to vote or engage with political issues that will directly affect us as we grow older. By voting in mass numbers, you can become a cohesive group that parties are forced to be responsive towards and include in their manifestos. Many people complain of feeling disengaged with politics and see no point in voting yet so few are willing to re-engage and challenge the status quo. Politicians are there to serve the people, and be held to account – one vote contributes to that. A higher turnout gives the government a larger mandate to govern which is true democracy.
  • VOTING MUSTN’T BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED: In liberal democracies, it’s all too easy to be used to having the privilege of voting once you turn 18 and so . But you have to remember that marginalised and minority groups across the world have fought for this right, from the Suffragettes to the Civil Rights Movement, and so to vote is to carry their legacy forward of universal suffrage. In many countries in the world, including acclaimed democracies, the rigging and corruption of elections is not uncommon. Registering to vote and casting your ballot is so simple and easy yet so many don’t.
  • YOU CAN VOTE IN DIFFERENT WAYS: A common reason people give for not voting is because they either don’t know who to vote for, they feel too disillusioned from the party’s manifestos or see the voting system as simply wasting their vote. You don’t have to cast a firm ballot – you can protest vote by simply handing in a spoilt ballot. That way, you haven’t voted for any of the candidate but will be counted in the statistics of spoilt ballots, rather than be counted in the percentage of those who simply didn’t vote. This can send a clear message of discontent to political parties on issues such as electoral reform. You can even vote tactically by forming part of a voting bloc to vote out your least favoured party/candidate by voting for the most popular opposition. You can also vote by post if you cannot make it to your polling station.

Be sure to register by the 22nd May here: htww.gov.uk/register-to-votetps://w, and use your political power.

Bushra 🙂

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

GENERAL ELECTION 2017… Conservative? Labour? Lib Dems?

So Theresa May has done a U-turn and called for a general election to apparently give stable leadership to the Brexit negotiations. While I personally favour a softer Brexit and welcome an opportunity for people to decide on the Brexit they want seeing as there is a divide between a soft or hard brexit, it can’t be forgotten that the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to allow the PM to go ahead with the negotiations and trigger article 50 and Theresa May has consistently stated that she wouldn’t call an election precisely for ‘stability’, so it does seem more motive driven.

Many MP’s believe it is a distraction from the Tories recent election scandal in which they have been fined £70,000 by the Electoral Commission for failing to declare expenses used to re-elect MP’s in the 2015 elections. Some Conservative MP’s have decided not to  contest their seats this time round. An election therefore seems appropr4-large_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqqVzuuqpFlyLIwiB6NTmJwfSVWeZ_vEN7c6bHu2jJnT8iate for the Conservatives to act as not only a distraction, but also a means of confirming their mandate in light of the investigation, all acting under the guise of ‘Brexit means Brexit’. Let’s face it, while Brexit is the major factor being played out in regards to how many will be voting, it is not the only issue on the card. Domestic policy such as education, the health sector and the economy are causes of concern which people must not forget.  Ironically, many who voted for a Tory government are now suffering in regards to
cuts to school funding, the NHS funding crisis, cuts to the disabled and increase in the use of foodbanks. The rich are getting richer. The poor are getting continuously poorer.

There is more to Britain’s future than Brexit. While Labour more recently have appeared to dance around Theresa May’s hard brexit, with Corbyn allowing for a three line whip to ensure the triggering of article 50 without full scrutiny, the bigger picture must be looked at and a Labour government is the only realistic alternative. While it likely that the Conservative’s will retain their majority,  a shift in voting behaviour would send a clear message of holding the government to account. By all means vote Tory but don’t forget the bigger issues at hand.

Young people especially – politically educate yourself. Use your vote. 18-25 year olds have a low voting turnout and therefore do not form a major stake in policy. We must over time become a mass voting bloc. We won’t all share the same views, but will all bear the weight and policies of the next government. Vote Labour in Labour strongholds, or Lib Dem in Lib Dem strongholds. Protest votes in discontent of both the Conservative and Labour party will maintain the status quo of your constituency. They would however be useful to show discontent for a particular candidate. For example, in the Leicester East constituency, Keith Vaz is increasingly unpopular as many constituents now feel disconnected and feel the seat has been taken advantage of, though do want to vote for the Labour party, hence the continuous majority. I’d vote Labour if there was a replacement of candidate but would instead vote Liberal Democrat here. However, this only works if there is a united voting bloc, as it is a Labour stronghold. So vote cautiously.  Though if Brexit is your main concern, bear in mind that the Lib Dems are the only ones offering a softer approach to Brexit.

Stay politically aware and use your vote wisely. Think ahead as opposed to being swayed by a single issue.

Happy voting! DON’T FORGET TO REGISTER TO VOTE BY 22ND MAY if you haven’t already done so: (5 mins) – https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Bushra 🙂

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

 

Happy International Woman’s Day 2017!

As International Women’s comes around this year again, it’s important to remember who we are as woman. Friends, partners, sisters, wives, mothers, but most importantly, an inseparable part of society. We form approximately half of the world’s population and in an ideal world, should have half of the influence on the global agenda too.

Unfortunately, many woman around the world barely have the means to live a decent life, IMG_20170308_144205.jpglet alone be able to have the ability to discuss issues such as higher representation in institutions like parliament and equal pay. Woman’s literacy rates are shockingly low in parts of Asia and Africa, especially in Niger, South Sudan, Guinea, Afghanistan, Mali, Central African Republic and Burkina Fas0, where it remains under 30%. Education is often denied if a family cannot afford the costs or if she is to be married off due to poverty. This cycle must be intervened in as higher literacy and education for woman can drastically solve other issues too, such as escaping poverty with the chances of better job prospects which in turn can lead to a thriving national economy as well as a reduction in poverty which would reduce the chances of human trafficking, early marriages, and a reduction in the amount of children a woman has in her lifetime, especially if she is educated on and given access to contraceptive methods. Her increased participation in  educational activities could on a whole lead to a larger voice of woman in representative institutions as her part in society would be just as fundamental to the fabric of society as that of a man.

Beyond this, there are a whole array of issues which affect woman worldwide from female genital mutilation, gender based violence, forced marriages/honour killings and human trafficking to sexual harassment, the pay gap, body shaming and legal mandates on dress codes. We must also remember the different social, economic and political factors which affect our advancement as different woman which is why I advocate intersectional feminism. There is a long way to go, but with mutual empowerment and respect between the sexes and woman of all kinds, we can.

Happy International Woman’s Day!

Bushra x

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

Love Knows No Borders

love-knows-no-bordersI discovered the #LoveHasNoBorders on Twitter where interracial families, friends and couples are sharing their stories. In light of the upsetting xenophobia which has been pushed forward particularly by the far right, who fail to understand that every story has it’s own human face and merits, I thought this quick post was fitting.

As the world gets smaller, borders seem to be getting unfairly discriminatory towards people who just want to live, love and not have to face the horrendous attitude and prejudices towards immigrants at the moment. Borders are superficial, but the emotions created by treating someone without dignity are real. As I said, every story has a human face. People migrate to new countries all the time for many reasons whether that be for work, refuge or to join family. And through that journey there is love, hardships and potential fear, especially if leaving a dangerous country to seek refuge. Compassion does not have to mean accepting anyone anywhere at anytime without any form of criteria, but it does mean respecting that fundamentally we are all human, and fear of a minority group should not overtake our solidarity and desire to offer support to those who need it most. 

Let us build bridges, not walls and understand that we all have far more in common than our differences. Nationality is determined by a piece of paper but how you treat those who are different to you can never be bought.

Bushra

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

No7 Beautiful Skin Collection Review

Today marks 3 years of blogging with WordPress! :0 Coincidentally I’ve decided to review Boot’s (British pharmacy) own No7 ‘Beautiful Skin’ collection for all you skin lovers out img_20170113_175706there! This was reduced to only £7 after Christmas, and includes five of their skin products in sample sizes. I’ve never used No7 Skincare but definitely focus more on skincare that makeup, so had to try it! You can view it here: https://www.boots.com/en/No7-Beautiful-Skin-Collection_1893012/

No7 Beautiful Skin Overnight Revitalising Eye Balm (15ml):

I mainly bought this set because I wanted to try an eye balm for my dark under eye circles. In this set you’re given the full size for only a fraction of the price! It is a very soft gel which I use under my eyes before bed, and it’s definitely soothing. It has mixed reviews on the website and I can see why. While it applies without irritation for me at least, I haven’t noticed any major difference. Maybe this could change after weeks of usage; I’ll have to see. However, for the retail price of £12, I most likely won’t purchase it again.

No7 Beautiful Skin Day/Night Creams (25ml) each:

I definitely thought the full set was worth buying just for these! 25ml is quite generous considering the full sizes are 50ml and they were highly moisturising, especially the night cream. Like the eye balm, it was very soothing and comfortable on the skin, especially as I have quite dry skin.  It really helps with hydration, leaving me with baby soft skin and the day one also has an Spf of 15! They left no irritation in comparison to other creams, and they definitely seemed tailored perfectly for their title – beautiful skin.

No7 Beautiful Skin Radiance Exfoliator (15ml):

This is perfect to compliment your daily facial wash. I use Neutrogena’s Spot and Stress Control facial scrub on a daily basis, and now use this once/twice a week in addition which reveals smoother and brighter looking skin as it claims, especially as you use it over a couple of weeks. You can definitely notice it’s effects as it leaves you with beautiful skin even without any moisturiser afterwards!

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Lotion (30ml):

I don’t usually use cleansing lotions to remove makeup. I’ve tried a couple but didn’t find them convenient with removing it. This one was incredibly soft and moisturising on the skin, while aiding in removing makeup. It’s great on the skin, but I found it slightly stung as I attempted to remove eye makeup in comparison to skin makeup. It wasn’t a major problem, but it is the same problem I have with a lot of them and so for the original retail price, other than the fact that it doubles as a great moisturiser, I wouldn’t say it’s much different from less pricier ones!

Thanks for reading, let me know if you’ve tried any other products!

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! | 2017

2016 HAS ALMOST COME TO AN END! It has already begun in some parts of the world, and is serving as a beacon of hope for many to start afresh after a year of controversial events from Brexit and the US election to the coalition bombing of Syria and refugee crisis, as well Printas the devastating number of terror attacks all around the world that have occurred. Being such an eventful year, it has proven to be a testing point for our strength and therefore I like to think of my New Years Resolution to be universal to everyone.

I pray that time eases the grief and heals the wounds that have been caused by this year, and that the world moves on with hope, love, compassion and the strive to make 2017 not my year nor your year. But the year of humankind. And a year in which we actively embark on breaking down the artificial differences which have divided humanity.

Let’s go into 2017 with the motivation, passion and strive to truly do what is just and fulfilling of our time here on Earth, whether that be to achieve a goal you’ve always wanted to, or actively change how you interact with others. Always remember that although it is a new year, it doesn’t define the pace of or even when you start to make a difference to yourself or others. Whenever you feel change, take that as your new beginning. After all, time flies!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Bushra 😀

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks