THE BIGGEST HEADLINES OF 2015!

WOW, 2015 has come to a seemingly quick end with a fast start to 2016 in many countries already. Here in the UK, there are a couple of hours to go and so I thought I’d make a post highlighting some of the biggest, happiest and tragic moments of 2015, many o2015headlines-header-770x433.jpgf which I wrote about on my blog throughout the year so I will include links, to truly bring the year to an end and start with a new year desiring for peace everywhere. So in no particular order…

TERROR ATTACKS IN FRANCE, LEBANON, BAGHDAD, YEMEN. ETC:

This year began with a fatal start as armed assassins stormed the Charlie Hebdo office and killed the cartoonists for drawing the Prophet Muhammad. , as well as later in the year when armed terrorists went on a major surge across Paris, killing around 130 people in Paris and injuring hundreds more, as well as attacks on a Shia Mosque/funeral in Beirut and Baghdad, as well as earlier on in the year initiating suicide bombings in Yemen during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. This year particularly distressed me as there seemed to be an attack by politically driven terrorists every second, who raged their anger on completely innocent people, justifying it with the same religion which has motivated me to speak out against them and stand for justice.

Post speaking on these attacks: https://bushrajalilblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/14/terror-attacks-on-paris-beirut-baghdad-condolences/

PLANE CRASHES

This year proved abnormally high in the amount of plane related incidents. Early on in March a GermanWings flight crashed through suicide of the pilot, killing all 150 people on board as well as an apparent  an act of terror bringing down the Russian A321 airliner in Egypt later in November, killing all 224 people on board.  A couple of weeks later, the Turkish military downed a Russian fighter jet on claims that it had entered Turkish airspace.

HAJJ STAMPEDE and CRANE CRASH

During the annual Islamic pilgrimage in Makkah, Saudia Arabia during September, thousands of people were either killed or injured as a stampede broke out due to poor crowd management of the authorities, with a Saudi Prince blocking many roads that day for his arrival, contributing to this tragic end to many people’s lives. This came so closely after the deaths on site the pilgrimage as a result of the crane, working on expansion,crashing a few days earlier, killing over 100 people.

POST ON THESE EVENTS: https://bushrajalilblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/eid-mubarak-condolences-to-makkah-yemen/

MAJOR REFUGEE CRISIS’ 

This year proved overwhelming as the millions of refugees fleeing war torn Syria proved historical, with many heading to Europe in search for refuge. Some found the hope they’d been looking for, when Angela Merkel opened her arms in warm embrace to over a million refugees in Germany, with Justin Trudeau in Canada later welcoming thousands. For others, the treacherous journey proved fatal and cost their life, as seen when 3 year old Alan Kurdi washed up on the shores of Turkey after drowning in the Mediterranean sea. Earlier on in the year, the heavy persecution and deportation of the Rohingya migrants from Burma also made headlines, as they faced ethnic cleansing.

NEPAL EARTHQUAKE

In April, Nepal faced the tragic event of an earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, the biggest impact in almost 80 years, as well as facing several tragic after shocks. 5,000 were quickly confirmed dead, an understatement to the actual reality, with countless numbers of injuries.

https://bushrajalilblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/nepal-earthquake-donate/

ELECTION VICTORIES

In the UK, on May 7th The Conservative Party took an unexpected victory, securing almost 31% of the votes and becoming the winning party once again. While not a majority, was enough to win as the dominating party of parliament due to the current system of ‘First Past The Post’. Also, in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) won a landslide victory in Myanmar after general elections on 8 November. It was the country’s first national vote since a nominally civilian government was introduced in 2011, ending nearly 50 years of military rule.

SAME SEX MARRIAGE LEGALIZATION IN THE USA

In the United States of America, same-sex marriage became legal nationwide from June 26, 2015, when the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that state-level bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, leading to celebrations across the US, and some couples who has dreamed for this day getting married on the minute it became constitutional, with millions of Facebook users burying their profile pictures in floods of rainbows to mark and show support of the ruling.

UK VOTES FOR SYRIAN AIRSTRIKES TO GO AHEAD

Britain carried out its first airstrikes in Syria, hours after MPs voted overwhelmingly to authorize military action in early December, with 397 to 223 votes. Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party remained firmly against this notion with opposition even within his own party, as many Labour MP’s rebelled anyway, with Hillary Benn of Labour making a historical speech in favour of the airstikes, causing a standing ovation in Parliament.

PARIS CLIMATE DEAL

At the Paris climate conference (COP21) in December 2015, 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. The agreement sets out a global action plan to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and is to be enforced by 2020.

UN GLOBAL GOALS

And finally, in light of some of the atrocities and violence, as well as the deteriorating situation that remains in many third world countries, sparking poverty, lack of education and denial of Human Rights mainly to woman, initiated United Nation’s Global Goals which aims for the betterment of the world we live in. Read all about them here: https://bushrajalilblog.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/united-nations-global-goals-campaign-share/  and SHARE THEM. Let’s truly aim for peace and try and spread that to the world. We only have one.

Thanks for reading, it was probably the longest post I’ve ever done! Don’t forget to share and follow for more posts as we enter 2016! Stay safe and hopeful 🙂

Bushra xx

 

 

 

 

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Beauty/Skincare Favourites of 2015 Under £5!

So another year has almost come to an end and once again has flown by so quick! To sum up the year in terms of some of the products I’ve continuously used throughout the year and found most beneficial, here are some of my top beauty favourites, all bought under £5 and so are all very affordable:

 

These are both by Nivea, available from most good drugstores and are part of the Daily Essentials Collection. They are the Sensitive Night Cream and the Express Hydration Primer and cost around £3-4.  These have been used throughout the year and have kept my skin soft and smooth with their formulas. The night cream is used before bed and helps with redness and dryness whereas the hydration primer can be used as a ‘day cream’ on it’s own or underneath makeup. I use it for both and have found it to be better than the actual day cream as it’s very sheer and such a small amount is needed for the whole face and neck!

 

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SOAP AND GLORY: THE RIGHTEOUS BUTTER – This cost £3 and is great after the shower and has such a smooth and thick formula with an amazing scent! I actually bought this on Boxing Day 2014 and the review was my first post of 2015! Since then, it’s been a fave.  For a full review click here:  https://bushrajalilblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/soap-and-glory-the-righteous-butter-review/

 

20151228_115725QUICK FIX FACIALS – These are sold as a  wide range in Boots (UK drugstore) for £4.99 each  so you can choose according to your skin type. I have dry skin so bought this one. They are designed to be used as a gel on the face and washable in five minutes so are very convenient if you don’t have the time for a full face mask. It says it can last 10 applications but for me it has lasted many more! It is ideal to use regularly! For a full review on this with other face masks click here: https://bushrajalilblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/06/face-masks-montagne-jeunesse-vs-quick-fix-facials-review/

AVON SUPERSHOCK GEL EYELINER: This eyeliner by Avon cost £3 and has been my favourite and I have found it to be way better than pencil or felt top liners. It simply lasts much longer and the application comes out bold with one line, as shown in the swatch, without the need for going over it.

 

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MUA HIDE & CONCEAL – This concealer by MUA is only £1!!! It is applied in an easy stick form and I have found this to be far more high in coverage than some higher priced liquid concealers. There are only 3 shades to choose from but at £1 its a bargain and perfect for students. You can see other MUA concealers, including the felt tip and liquid ones in my review here: https://bushrajalilblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/17/drugstore-eyeliner-review-collection-vs-mua-d/

 

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NEUTROGENA VISIBLY CLEAR GENTLE EXFOLIATING FACE WASH – Neutrogena have some of the best face washes in my opinion, with something for everyone and all under £5. This one was on sale at £2.50 and retails at £3-4. I’ve used the Pink Grapefruit one before too, and it was just as good. I use it every day and it has kept my skin free of any major spots or blemishes! Check out my full review on this amazing product – https://bushrajalilblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/review-neutrogena-visibly-clear-spot-control-face-scrub/

Thank you for reading, these were just some of many great products I have discovered this year. Let me know what products you’ve loved this year and don’t forget to like, follow and share if you enjoyed for more!

Bushra xx

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I would like to wish everyone celebrating a very Happy Christmas! Have a fun and joyous day with lots of presents and plenty of turkey! Let me know how your day goes 😀download

I’d also like to wish you all an early Happy New Year, though I will probably post something before that as I will be in London soon, but also New Years Day will mark two years of being a blogger!

Have a safe, easy rest of the year and let’s all try and make lasting resolutions as we approach 2016! I can only pray for the safe and well being of humanity and as always, peace for all, as well as the chance for all of us to take a new year as a new chance to strive closer towards our goals and self improvement!

Once again, Merry Christmas if you’re celebrating and a Happy New, and prosperous year! Cannot wait for the fireworks! 🙂

 

Bushra x

 

TERROR ATTACKS ON PARIS, BEIRUT, BAGHDAD ~ CONDOLENCES

Once again, a surge of terrorist attacks have taken place across the globe in France, Lebanon and Iraq, which sadly shadow the countless terror attacks earlier this year, including the Charlie Hebdo attacks, as well as the suicide bombings in mosques in Kuwait and Sanaa. Again, referring t379222_img650x420_img650x420_cropo Paris, the attack seemed heavily politically motivated in an apparent response to Syrian airstrikes, and the suicide bombings were both against Shia Muslims simply practicing their interpretation of their faith. The bombing at the funeral in the Mosque in Baghdad killed 19, with 41 deaths at least in the incident of Beirut and 129 in Paris. Reactions are just as equal to my reactions in recent attacks which I’ve passed grievances too – the feeling of distraught and pain for the grieving families but also anger and the feeling of absolute intolerance to the perpetrators, regardless of whether they are affiliated to an Islamist terror group or not.

It not only hurts and upsets m_86660606_86660603e that these terrorists, who clearly are not right in the head have once again hidden behind and disturbed the name of a religion that 1.6 billion cherish, but the fact that they have some form of twisted logic which makes them think that innocent people, regardless of the political situation or what a certain government is doing, should be dragged into a conflict that they have no affiliation to. This is certainly a type of terrorism which is difficult to explain as these people selfishly kill harmless beings to feed their perverted and twisted interpretation of Islam (in fact, what’s left of it) and then have the nerve to destroy Islamic history, some of which is attributed to the Prophets, as well as kill people of their own apparent religion at a funeral IN a Mosque! It is upsetting that the people stuck in the middle of the conflicts always suffer the most, most probably as they have nothing to do with the conflict, and therefore the most vulnerable. It’s devastating how 129 Parisians were killed enjoying themselves, while 19 Shia Muslims were killed at the worst state – at a funeral, as well as countless killed in prayer. It can’t be denied that it makes you think that there is more to these terrorists than we are led to believe.

My deepest thoughts and prayers go out to the families and victims of these abhorrent attacks, which are likened to killing the whole of humanity, in the words of the Quraan. You will not be forgotten. A world in which we can put religious, political, racial and any other divisional factors aside will be a world more valued and loved. It is my deepest regret that innocent souls continue to unfairly pay the price of them. Terrorism has no affiliation with any of these factors, but rather come from people who are unlike the true upholders and protectors of these factors. And if it wasn’t loud enough, for whatever reason, or clear enough, then I, on behalf of over a billion of Muslims condemn these attacks and always will. Before anything else, I am a human and will ALWAYS be in solidarity with the victims of any attack, regardless of who they are. This goes without saying and to be honest, should not even have to be said. I may be Muslim, but I am also human. RIP, citizens of humanity ❤

#PrayForHumanity #PrayForParis #PrayForBeirut #PrayForBaghdad #UnificationNotDivision

Bushra x

SAUDI/UAE TREATMENT OF FOREIGN WORKERS

Dubai has pretty swanky five star hotels and skyscrapers beyond belief. With a mere population of just over 2 million, and less than 10 million for the whole of the UAE combined, who is under the lavish constructions? Migrant workers, especially from South Asian countries of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan and from parts of South East Asia are wholly behind this, yet are rarely credited for it. In fact, what goes on behind closed doors of some of these construction companies is disgusting.Burj_Dubai_Construction_Workers_on_4_June_2007

Many of these foreign workers come from poorer countries and therefore look to the prosperous Gulf countries for work in order to have a better chance at earning an income and supporting their families abroad. Advertisements are often promising with reasonable paid salaries and better living conditions than their former country. However, quite often for many workers this is not the case and on arrival, passports are confiscated, the working conditions are vile – with several people sharing a room and toilets, with no concern for their well being, as well as wages highly reduced from what was promised, and quite often, not paid for months at a time. The contract is effectively destroyed thereon and they are subjected to a binding contract of hell as I call it.

They need the money badly, but at the same time are subject to a horrific new life. Migrants workers make up a majority (approximately 80%) of the resident population of the UAE, and account for 90% of its workforce, so to think that there is a dark side to the luxury holidays that attracts foreigners across the entire world, particularly the West, is daunting as to just how bad of a life the workers behind it are living. Human trafficking, slavery and torture of migrant workers is not uncommon. The fact that the majority of the UAE itself is simply foreign workers points out the fact that there is often a clear separation between Arab nationals and foreign workers, despite many being Muslim themselves and therefore distinguished by race.

Foreign workers in RiyadhMany have worked most of their life there, yet will never be granted citizenship on the basis that they are not a national of the country. It is due to this that their rights, often scarce are not fully recognised, and therefore rarely enforced, even though practices like confiscating their passports are illegal in the states. They are essentially treated as slaves by certain companies and quite often seen as lesser than their Arab counterparts. There are Arabs who silently disagree with their treatment by their counterparts, though can rarely speak out, or in fact are simply not aware of the harsh scale of it. There are maids who work in the household setting of some families in Saudi/UAE and there have been cases where they have been beaten, tortured and denied their wages, as well as some female maids having been assaulted by the male householder. Quite recently, an Indian maid had her hand chopped off by her Saudi employer, and she has claimed that she has been denied food and forced into long hours of work, as well as having been abused. The overwhelming majority of Saudi/UAE citizens are employed in the government sector, and it is therefore jobs such as construction and cleaning in 50 degrees heat left to the migrant workers, who receive no enforced rights to basically ‘do the jobs that nobody wants to do’.

Migrant workers are human too and deserve to work in the same conditions you would expect a non migrant worker to work in, They are not slaves! The ones from South Asian countries are often seen as 2nd class citizens and not treated as respectfully as those from the West and fellow Arab countries They cannot speak out on fear of being punished, so it’s time to speak out for them. This is a serious human rights violation so let’s push for their rights to be regulated and recognized, with the salaries promised non negotiable after they arrive and the freedom to leave as they will if they are not being treated right. They built what is Dubai today, for example, so let them be recognized for it and live as a full citizen of Earth. It’s sad, as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are beautiful countries, yet this is disturbed by the lack of humanity for the foreign workers. Of course, not all employees think this way,  nor would many citizens agree with their treatment.. but those working in these conditions are silenced far too often….

SHORT DOCUMENTARY ON TREATMENT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMh-vlQwrmU

Thanks for reading, please share and SUBSCRIBE!

Bushra 😀

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks | https://twitter.com/BushraSpeaks

 

ZAYTOUN PALESTINIAN SOAP REVIEW

Recently, some Palestinian youths visited our college to perform a traditional dance and explore different skills in workshops hosted at our college. There was also information available on the deteriorating situation of the citizens of Gaza in what is the West Bank. There was also the sale of natural goods imported from Palestine, such as dates, olive oil, soaps and spices! They are all by Zaytoun, a non profit organisation established to support Palestinian farming communities by h570-20141203_112811elping to increase the market for their olive oil products internationally, and also by helping the farmers themselves improve the quality of their oil through training and equipment provision. You can purchase their products here: http://www.zaytoun.org/

I bought one of the soaps in the pomegranate flavour, made in Nablus, Palestine and of 100% natural ingredients including virgin olive oil and pomegranate itself. I love the fact that it is handmade and has such a sweet smelling scent! It is perfect if you have sensitive skin or like me, dislike using soaps with additives that can irritate your skin easily. Usually I always use Lush soaps, which are amazing, though some are very strong scented (not that it’s a bad thing, but it’s nice to have a change) and so this was a far soothing alternative! It can be quite hard to find a 100% natural soap, so it’s great! 😀

The situation in Palestine is getting increasingly worse, with the latest UN report stating that Gaza could become completely uninhabitable in the upcoming years. I haven’t spoken much on the conflict on my blog, however, politics aside, there are people of all faiths and beliefs suffering from what seems to be an exaggeration on the claim of ‘defense’. Despite political differences between both sides, innocent people are stuck in the middle of an ongoing conflict with people who have done nothing wrong and thousands of children who were born into a war zone. It’s intolerable that something like this can go on for so long – the breaking of international law and ethnic cleansing of a group of people in their own land.

You can support the cause here: http://act.palestinecampaign.org/petition/camerongaza

or donate: https://humanappeal.org.uk/appeals/help-us-rebuild-lives-in-gaza/?gclid=CjwKEAjwyqOwBRDZuIO4p5SV8w0SJAAQoUSw_xpla8YHcSSAZnKIKwE6kv9odt-pSufrjsPs3hBpnBoCDn3w_wcB

http://www.islamic-relief.org.uk/about-us/where-we-work/palestine/?tmad=c&tmcampid=15&tmplaceref=Where+we+Work+Palestine+Ad&tmclickref=GAZA-Palestine&gclid=CjwKEAjwyqOwBRDZuIO4p5SV8w0SJAAQoUSwiDAYbzrRy9OKBlLKi0kUFJ66cpr2FMTqRCy2uK3X9xoCtNLw_wcB

Thanks for reading

Bushra 😀

Don’t forget to share and subscribe!

EID MUBARAK + CONDOLENCES to MAKKAH, YEMEN

So today was initially meant to be a post casually wishing my fellow Muslims across the world a Happy Eid – Al – Adha as I do every year on social media, however in light of the devastating incidents that happened to occur today, I would like to send my condolences to the victims of them:

The main coverage has been on the incident at Makkah, Saudi Arabia where the Muslim pilgrimage to the Holy city is 060112_hajj_hmed_10a.grid-6x2currently taking place. As it gets towards its end, the traditional ‘stoning of the devil’ event has led to a rampage of people stampeding towards the location, while simultaneously people were exiting it and this clash led to vulnerable people being stamped on and killed, leading to well over 700 deaths and almost 1000 injured. This came so closely after the deaths as a result of the crane crash a few days ago, which killed over 100 people. Reasoning behind this all aside, it is a devastating thing to occur, especially due to the fact that every single person who made this pilgrimage, went in the goal of purifying themselves, and spiritually cleansing themselves as a person, as well as devotion to God, and so it is upsetting, like any incident, that this has happened once again in a place of worship.

Alongside this, on the same day, a Mosque in Sanna, Yemen fell victim to a suicide bombing during the traditional Eid prayers, which left 30 people killed, and many injured. Political motives are never a justification to incite death upon any innocent being, and the fact that this happened in a place of worship on Eid is even more sickening.

As always, my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of these incidents. Eid is supposed to be a day of peace and joy, but today was sadly darker than a typical Eid day, due to the atrocity of the suicide bombing and the stampede at Makkah.

Deepest condolences and prayers go out to all victims, and families who are grieving ❤

May the innocents and good willed people everywhere always be safe from harm.

Bushra