EASY WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Keeping in line with Ramadan themed posts, here’s some easy and cheap ways anyone can make a difference to someone’s life, while feeling content with yourself in the sense that you’ve made change. Any change, no matter how small or big it is, is just what we need more of in this world!

INFORM YOURSELF ON THE WORLD! Far too many people are cluelimagesess on daily events, tragedies and misconceptions that circulate the world on a daily basis, leading the way to ignorance which can cause misunderstanding and therefore an unnecessary conflict between people. The most simplest way is to watch more of the news or download an app! However, don’t rely too much on one politically inclined newspaper else you face being told what to think! The most healthy thing is to self inform yourself on the in and outs of our planet through different sources, coming to your own conclusion. It’ll teach you to love more and bring you towards truth 🙂

BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS! Following on from this, far too many people are too stuck in their own social sphere to understand other people. Immerse yourself in a foreign language or different culture, make a foreign friend/pen pal, talk to people that are not exclusive to your own social, ethnic or religious background. If we all did this, we could remove some of the unfortunate barriers that lead to misconceptions and lack of understanding of our one race – the human race.

LEARN SOME EMERGENCY FIRST AID! This is arguably very important, and can potentially save a life. It’s clear that so many of us, perhaps through no fault of our own, lack knowledge in basic emergency medical attention that could potentially save a life. We’re not all doctors, but there are very simple things we can do in life threatening moments such as heart attacks. You’d be surprised at just how easy they are! If you are a UK resident/national you can get a free pocket first aid guide delivered to your door from St Johns Ambulance here: https://www.sja.org.uk/sja/first-aid-advice/get-a-free-first-aid-guide.aspx And if you’re not from the UK, you can still download it!

FEED A HOMELESS PERSON/VOLUNTEER! For less than a fiver, you could instantly help someone who may not have eaten in hours. It also is a way to avoid the worries that some people have in directly giving cash to the homeless. But if you want to donate or feed in mass numbers, it’d be great to aid a homeless shelter with food or cash donations! You could even volunteer, particularly if you are young, as not only will you feel great, but you’ll gain vital experience for your future work prospective!

SIGN A PETITION! This is perhaps one of the easiest things to do at the click of a button! Your signature may feel minute, but it all adds up and collectively, could bring social awareness to some of the major problems in the world which you may feel strongly about, from mental health and woman’s rights, to child labour, persecution of ethnic and religious minorities, poverty, children’s education and human rights. The list is endless, and you may end up discovering more about issues that affect us all collectively, whether it be direct or indirect.

And finally, SMILE A BIT MORE! Yes, there are important issues to tackle in the world but how can we do that without more compassion and solidarity to them? If we can all unite under the fact that we’re human, then ‘differences’ will seem irrelevant in tackling the issues together, united.

‘Even a smile is charity’

-Prophet Muhammad

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW for more 🙂

Bushra xx

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HOW TO MAKE SIMPLE & EASY VEGETARIAN SAMOSAS

For some reason, I was really craving an Asian’s favourite today – somosas! I love the large vegetarian puffy ones (I know, great somosa terminology) but couldn’t find them anywhere and so here is a very simple recipe (and my firIMG-20151107-WA0019st on this blog) to make your own!

You will need:

For the dough: Water, self raising flour, salt, oil

For the somosa filling:

Potatoes

1 onion

Peas (you can add any other frozen veg if you want)

Optional – sweet chilli sauce for some savoury flavouring, or your favourite herbs/fresh crushed chilli

+ oil to fry them in

Instructions:

Add the salt to the flour, and rub the oil into it. Add water and knead into a stiff dough. Flatten the dough using a rolling pin.

Meanwhile, chop IMG-20151107-WA0012and fry the onion into tiny chunks.

Boil the potatoes and mash them with a potato masher or simply use a spoon, as I did.

Stir the peas into the mash once they have unfrozen as well as the fried onion. At this point, you can choose to add any herbs/spices to spicen the filling up. I simply added some sweet chilli sauce.

Using a somosa cutter, (or if you haven’t got one, then you can use a knife to make diamond cut outs) fill the centre with a spoonful of the mix and seal the edges with a fork. Note: These somosas will look best if you make them larger than typical ones as they will be softer!IMG-20151107-WA0018

Simply let them fry in some oil 🙂

You could even make your own chutney/sauce to compliment the somosas. I simply mixed mint, garlic and chilli sauces, but if you want to go the extra mile you could make a proper chutney with things like fresh chilli, crushed garlic, tomatoes or onions 😀

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to FOLLOW for more future recipes & posts! 🙂

Bushra x

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/BushraSpeaks

UNITED NATIONS GLOBAL GOALS CAMPAIGN #SHARE

Our world.

1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat.

Nearly 1/2 of the world’s population — more than 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day. That’s more than some can spend on things they want, let alone things they need.

Over 130 million woman worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation.

1 in 3 girls in the developing world are married by their 18th birthday. This reduces their chances of completing their education and being able to earn their own income, as well as increasing their chance of experiencing domestic violence, something that affects 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men in their lifetime

An estimated 1.2m children are trafficked into slavery each year; 80 percent are girls.

40% of Africans over the age of 15, and 50% of women above the age of 25 are illiterate. Woman and far less likely than men in underdeveloped countries to be encouraged into further education.

Today, 783 million people do not have access to clean water and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related diseases.

It is estimated that approximately 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem, which in many countries can be stigmatized, leaving them prone to facing inequality in the workplace, and not receiving the appropriate treatment and support they require.

Basic infrastructure like roads, information and communication technologies, sanitation, electrical power and water remains scarce in many developing countries

  • About 2.6 billion people in the developing world are facing difficulties in accessing electricity full time.

There were 19.5 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2014 and 51% of refugees were under 18 years old – the highest figure for child refugees in more than a decade.

Currently, there are countless ongoing armed conflicts, especially in Africa and the Midd775x775-global-goals.jpg__775x775_q85_crop_subsampling-2_upscalele East, 5 of which have killed more than 10,000 people (mainly civilians) in the past year.

The wealth of the 1% richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion—15x more than the wealth held by the bottom 70 percent.

These statistics shockingly are an understatement as to just how much peace and equality has been unsettled in the past decades. Though, it can be argued that it never really was fully there. Global Goals is the latest UN campaign to restore the peaceful world we’ve never seen in our lifetime and for sustainable developments in vital areas such as infrastructure, poverty, equality and education. The Global Goals broadly cover the problems in this world that must be tackled. Supporting the campaign is for once not about being just a feminist or just an activist, or being affiliated with a certain cast or creed. It’s
about being a human. #TheWorldsLargestLesson focuses on promoting and making these goals heard and known in over 100 countries, through lessons and radio. You would be surprised as to how many people don’t know the universally recognised Human Rights Act. These daunting statistics show that it is more important than ever to push for change. This is our world, and we all are citizens of it, regardless of borders. People are not statistics, and those suffering are just as important as those who aren’t.

Share these goals in your language and make peace and prosperity something we can forsee in a lifetime, not just dream. It’s about time the world was what they preach.

GLOBAL GOALS WEBSITE: http://www.globalgoals.org/

UN WEBSITE: http://www.un.org/en/index.html

Please share! 😀

Peace,

Bushra 😀

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

INSTAGRAM: bushrajalil

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!

TOP TIPS FOR COLLEGE! & MOTIVATION

SO I recently started sixth form this term and have to admit that although I am in the exact same school environment as secondary, there are definitely new changes that hit you such as being in non uniform every single day, suddenly having a bunch of free periods with nothing to do (at the moment), and a drastic change from being carefree teenagers to young adults who are suddenly the role models for younger pupils. Not to forget the workload. It’s a lot. I’ve only been here for two weeks and have already found things which are important to mention.

My top tips:

  1. BE ORGANISED and PRACTICAL! This sounds like such a cliche but it’s as real as ever. To be honest, I like to be as college-student-studying-clipart-Girlstudyingorganised as possible to keep my mind at ease and had bought folders, pens and a planner for college. Guess what I found? You need more! I’m not suggesting for you to raid the entire shop (though that’s what school supplies shopping feels like for uni students, I guess!) however, be open minded as to how much you will need. I’m taking four subjects so bought four huge binders, yet in reality I would not be able to carry those all to school, especially when I have all the lessons in one day. Therefore, it made sense to buy four smaller ones as ‘modular’ folders and transfer the work after terms into the larger folders! Simple! Be sure not to waste money on things you don’t need – after all, full time college students generally need a lot of books and they cost! Be practical about it too – eg. don’t waste money on a book you need in the short term when you can borrow it for free! The library is officially your best friend this year if you let it be!

2) STUDY AS YOU GO and THINK FOR YOURSELF It’s not GCSE’s anymore where you could simply get away with with doing homework the night or even hour before, or be given a sheet with all the criteria to get an A*! A Levels require much more logistical thinking and therefore, studying! It’s simply not possible to cram a week, or even a term before, in my opinion! Keep on top of the heavy workload, and it won’t seem as heavy anymore! Homework at A Level is a form of studying as it is in a lot more depth! After all, teachers have a lot of the specification to get through in a short amount of time and so going through your work regularly is key! And also, as much as it saved your life at KS4, copying homework at A Level just doesn’t work. You need to think for yourself a lot more here and that won’t happen by blindly copying the knowledge that your friend has researched.

3) Most importantly, WORK HARD, DREAM BIG, SACRIFICE & ACHIEVE. You most likely chose A Levels with the intention of going on for even higher education or maybe a career you have set in your mind! College is the perfect stepping stone and every day is another chance to contribute to that success at the end of the year. This is the crucial moment where the reality of your future comes together, and as scary as that sounds, it’s also to be taken advantage of, You have an amazing chance to be whatever you want IF you work hard and effectively, envisioning the reward at the end of it. SUCCEED; don’t screw up! A student that gets a A and sat around doing nothing is not much of an achiever compared to someone who gets a C but worked hard for it. It’s about the journey and the leap of a grade you can get to. An F grade up to a C is just as impressive as someone who gets an A. Rant over, get your books out and work for it! Nobody is going to do it for you but yourself! 😀

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to SUBESCRIBE and SHARE! 🙂

Bushra xx

TWITTER: @BushraSpeaks

INSTAGRAM: @bushrajalil

REFUGEE CRISIS… again! | Important message

So the news has been covering the refugee crisis recently, where millions of refugees from Syria/Middle East are making the dangerous journey to Europe in an attempt to secure a safer habitat. I initially wasn’t going to comment on this on my blog because my thoughts are exactly the same as with the Rohingya crisis that erupted earlier this year, however, I wanted to add some thoughts. You can view my post on the Rohingya refugees here: https://bushrajalilblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/migrant-crisis-important-message/     05TH-OPEDLIBYA_494232f

The Rohingya refugees fled Burma on the basis of persecution, whereby millions of Rohingyas are kept stateless and forced out of their homes due to not being able to be accepted as citizens, despite having hundreds of years of history there. Burma views them as ethnically Bengalis which, even if they are, is not an acceptable excuse and pathetic considering they have lived in Burma for hundreds of years. Now, onto the Syrian refugees, who are escaping mass civil war and persecution, also left displaced. Both sets of refugees have gotten to the point where they are escaping their home country – where they have had hundreds of years of history – for refuge. That is questionable itself. The persecution/civil war has been ongoing, and despite intervention from worldwide governments to provide aid and drone attacks against terror groups and corrupt governing, which are destroying Syria, the country seems to be getting worse and close to breaking point.

Now enough on the politics of the war, because that isn’t the important thing. The sad thing is that we live on a tough world where people will naturally leave the place which is causing themselves and their families discomfort and wish to heal the wounds by embarking on a journey in hope of a new life. Certain political parties have given off the notion that they are all here to ‘feed of the benefit system’ or ‘take away our culture’ which in my opinion is a little insensitive and if not, insulting considering they are leaving a life of terror. Why would you put them in the same boats as the oppressors they are escaping from? And many of them are indeed equipped with smartphones and nice clothing as well as many who are not. Let’s not forget – they are NOT ALL POOR. There was an ICT software developer who fled recently. Refuge is refuge, and I’m pretty sure all they want at this difficult time is a safe place away from the war which they have coped in for so long. It is not their fault they were forced to flee, and I guess the overwhelming number of refugees flooding in at the same time into Europe is a dark reminder for humanity that although the West flourishes with mass opportunity,advances, multi multiculturalism and generally a higher standard of living, there are parts of the world which do not and instead are facing battles unlike any first world problems. They are facing corruption, persecution and discrimination and lack of human rights – something we take for granted.

It’s clear though how long the civil war has been going on for and it’s a shame that children are having  to risk this perilous journey alongisde theirrefugees-germany-volunteers-donations families (many of which die on the way) to simply get to Europe. Surrounding wealthy gulf Arab states could save them this journey by opening their doors to more refugees on an emergency placement. The trend amongst refugees is that they naturally look towards where they see compassion, as humans do, and that I think is the beauty of humanity. Germany, for example suddenly offered to  take hundreds of thousands in, with German citizens greeting them at the station and showering them with toiletries, food, water and gifts bought tears out of some Syrian refugees. There was a symbol of hope after the hardships they had faced. There was a chance to perhaps live a more fulfilling life. Even if the refuge was for a week, a month or until it was safe to go back, in the moment of solidarity between German citizens and people who have made this journey despite being abused by some fascists and accused of things which have not happened (and most likely will not), it was beautiful.

I’m not being naive; it’s a difficult situation. The UK is an island, and many European states are finding this extremely overhwelming and especially with the sort of system we have, hundreds of millions of people probably wouldn’t work out in the long term, but the best medicine is to keep the spirit of hope and encouragement amongst them going and to have solidarity with the suffering they have had in the war zone. It’s indescribable and I couldn’t possibly comment on how fearful for children and worrying for mothers it must be. Just remember, you don’t have to let every refugee on the planet into a country to support them and show you support their wellbeing. We are all humans and this world belongs to all of us ❤

Bushra x

Don’t forget to FOLLOW and SHARE! #RefugeeCrisis

5 Things I Wish I’d Known Before NCS | National Citizen Service ADVICE!

Head onto the official NCS website: http://www.ncsem1.org.uk/

My name is Bushra Jalil and recently I completed a whole month of adventure, challenges, new friendships and plenty of laughter with the National Citizen Service in Leicestershire.

I joined in the Summer of 2015 it was one of the best decisions I have made this year.Believe me – if you want YES to confidence, YES to meeting new people and YES to overcoming challenges and becoming the best person you can possibly be then YES to NCS is what you need!

It was genuinely more than I expected it to ever be and when I signed up less than a year ago, there were genuine fears and nerves I had, especially because I am quite an over thinker generally, and so it was quite a big step naturally for me to say YES. NCS may seem like a big challenge but now I look back I honestly don’t know what I was so worried about. In this post I will address some of the worries I had before NCS, and what I wish I knew back then.

1. You won’t be alone

The first two weeks are residential and an incredible experience. The first week involves staying at an outdoor pursuits centre, and the second is a university style experience in your home city. I was nervous, especially just before leaving but some of the major worries I had disappeared by the first day.

I felt worried and scared that I wouldn’t fit in. Would people accept me? Was I good enough? Could I spend the next four weeks with my group? But I completely forgot that these people are all on the same journey and experience as me, set to partake in the same activities and make a genuine difference.

Almost everyone felt the exact same way – even those with friends! It actually hits you as to how your mind controls you because as soon as I got onto the coach with my luggage to set off for the first week, the person behind me in the coach greeted me and, despite not being in the same group, we talked throughout NCS when we had the chance and became pretty close. I remember thinking ‘Wow, these people are too nice, it’s unbelievable’ – but it’s true! They are here for the same reasons as you are. You WILL have an amazing time, and meet people you never thought you’d speak to.

I’m not usually good at speaking to new people, but it came naturally at NCS. We are all on the same journey – embrace it! Be confident and comfortable with who you are and rock it! Be you and people will see that shine through, and making friends will be a piece of cake 😀

2. You won’t want to leave after the residential

This had not been my first residential, however it had been one of the longest. I feared beforehand that if I didn’t form friendships well (which most definitely wasn’t the case), I would be sharing rooms with people I didn’t bond with. But I honestly can’t explain how naturally friendships at NCS form, you have to see it to believe it! There is always someone who is willing to help you that you’ve never even met.

I shared a room on the first week residential with two girls from different groups and as soon as I entered the room, I felt like we’d been friends for years! You actually look forward to the nights, chatting away before bed. The vibes and spirit at NCS is just so warm and embracing, that you forget everything else and grasp it as a second home, and the people around you as family. You grow so close so quickly, that staying away from home isn’t really a major issue anymore and by the end I didn’t want to leave!

3. You can overcome anything

The first week residential away from home at an outdoor centre was definitely one of my favourite weeks, and a great way for your new team to bond though teamwork and group activities. There were things like indoor caving, abseiling, raft building, low ropes, archery and the leap of faith. This is definitely a week to face your fears and take on personal challenges!

If you’re afraid of heights for example, come to NCS with confidence and set yourself a target. For some it may be getting halfway up the rock climbing and for some it may be all the way to the top. Whatever it is, come to NCS with an open mind and don’t give up the chance to try something new, remember your whole group will support you to achieve the goals you’ve set, so you aren’t facing these things alone!

The feeling of carrying on despite the fear is something that will definitely have a lasting impression on you and will show you that you can overcome any barrier between you and your goals – something invaluable for the future.

4. Mud will wash off, but great memories will last you forever

Something I would also definitely suggest in order to really make the most of your NCS experience is DO NOT BE AFRAID OF GETTING MUDDY OR WET. This really applied to me in activities like raft building. Eventually, we all got stuck in and to my luck, I fell in the water up to my waist (not a pleasant feeling!) though now that I look back, I don’t necessarily remember the mud or the wet, but the laughter and memories made from those moments. I was clean and dry again after a quick shower, yet the memories are unforgettable.

Words of wisdom? Enjoy the moments as they come, and take it all in, because they will form the basis of your unique, once in a lifetime experience at NCS!

5. It’s a journey, not a competition

After the residential, you’ll move on to social action project fortnight, where you truly leave your mark and make a difference to the community you live in. As everyone picks their different charities from the countless ones available on the university experience week, everyone gets really excited, as you should be, to raise lots of money for their charity. However, despite everyone wanting to raise the most, it’s not a competition but an act of charity and will to give something back to your community, as well as a chance to really put into practice the skills you have learnt throughout the intense residential weeks.

You will learn valuable skills during NCS but the experience will always be unique to you, so learn from your mistakes but don’t forget to have fun with it and applaud yourself for all the incredible things you do!

These were the main worries I had before coming to NCS, it turned out I was worrying over nothing, so hopefully if you’re nervous about starting your own NCS journey this will help you. I’m so glad I didn’t let the nerves hold me back and said YES to NCS. 

Thanks for reading, hope you have the confidence to go ahead and take part in this unforgettable experience!

Don’t forget to share to potential NCSers and SUBSCRIBE 😀

Check out the official NCS blog: http://www.ncsem1.org.uk/blog/

Bushra xx