Saturday, June 29, 2013

DYMag June Issue

So, after 3 delayed weeks, DYMag's 2nd Issue is out! (whee!). Making a magazine is extremely hard. So many nights of transcribing interview, re-reading articles, and setting up interviews. Days and days of getting people to write something, checking up with them, trying to meet deadlines and being broke. But all that hard work does pay off when people enjoy it, when people tell you you are doing a great job. Then the cycle continues again.

The June issue is definitely a big improvement. A big thanks to Wuff and Reus for being the awesome team that we are, and to the contributors who send their articles and didn't have to be bugged too much (sorry for that!) and to the three photographers. It was fun working with you guys.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Monday Playlist: Eh Eh

Ah, been so long since I posted about my playlist, eh. It's been rather music-less days. I hardly remember to listen to any. Every day is extremely busy with work and whatnot. Anyhow, here are some songs that I'm currently loving. 

It's Time by Imagine Dragons
I am definitely a fan of Imagine Dragons now. They are pretty crash and I love their songs.This song reminds me of a Bollywood song, and you all probably know that I love the B-town!

Girl at Home by Tay
This is another Tay song that just clicks. I love her revenge kinda songs (and most of her songs are like that). This song is about her trying to stay away from a  guy who's already occupied. Kinda fun.

My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark by Fall Out Boy
Not exactly my kind of music, but this song is very nice, easy to listen to and I love the title. Yes, I sometimes judge songs by the title. Honestly, I can;t be the only one. haha

Troublemaker by Olly Murs
Since I first saw this video, I knew that I was gonna end up loving this song. It's so fun, so uplifting and the beat is amazing. Also Olly is pretty hot. Pretty and hot. 

Downtown by Lady Antebellum
Everyone pretty much knows that I love country (and some despise that, oh well!) and this song is so very me, so beautiful. Lady Antebellum is definitely one country band that I keep the tabs on, because they are awesome. 

Hall of Fame by The Script
Again, not my type of song, but recently, I have been opening myself up to new music styles and haven't been disappointed. This song is very inspiring and I absolutely love the video. 

Started from the Bottom by Drake
Some Drake songs are nice, like this one. Some, not so much. This however is not a regular because I often get annoyed by it, but this song is amazing in small dozes. 

So, that's pretty much it for right now. I am putting together a Self Love playlist for motivational purposes and it's definitely helping. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

LTLT Majeediyya

Last weekend, I was at an LTLT training. For those of you who don't know LTLT is a Learning to Live Together program hosted by Democracy House where I often volunteer. Wuff and I were the facilitators and along with four really cool volunteers (yes, I am talking about you! You Wannabe CG but TCG Areen, the tall dude Iyad, the girl who got stared by the CG Shafa, the totally awesome teacher Isham and Zaain of whom pre-pubescent boys are apparently intimated by. haha, you guys were so much fun!) we held this awesome two day training for 30 something eighth graders. 

It was so much fun. We had to learn their names, play really fun games and leave (and sometimes get ) funny, weird and cool mails on our mailboxes. We started with simple name games and team building exercises and then went to deeper discussions abut stereotypes and conflicts. We showed inspiring videos, talked about random acts of kindness and they all made plans for really cool projects. Them kids were so mature for their age and they have so much potential. It was truly inspiring and I can't wait to see how they would turn out 5 or 10 years later!

There were also so many memorable moments playing fun games, eating together, taking crazy pictures and being excited about cool kids. 
Here are some pictures, coutesy of Isham.
WIZARDS! We were the best!
Also, I love this turf ground. Look at us being very interested in their solutions for the conflict tree. 
Me, in the middle during the stereotyping session, which is one of my favourite sessions.
AND US! These kids are seriously amazing and so were their parents, who provided us with food! A parent also brought snacks for the kids to munch on. It was one of the best work-weekends ever!
and ofcourse, no LTLT would ever be complete without selfies by wuffle and I. Also green. :3

Thursday, June 20, 2013

TV Series Update

So, I finished watching Go On (and find out it was cancelled!) and loved it. Matt Perry is just all sorts of awesome. 

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Also, the only TV series that I'm on track currently is 2 Broke Girls, which I think every person should watch. It's hilarious and Kat is awesome. The jokes, the weird stuff, everything just makes it such a great series. I'm totally rooting for Max's Homemade Cupcakes. Also, Caroline's wardrobe is so neutral and Sophie wardrobe is just oh my goodness! 

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I started watching Being Human ( the US one) and the pilot was kinda meh, but I kept watching, and now it's very very interesting. I love Josh and Sally. Between being a werewolf, a vampire and a spirit, I think I'd rather be a spirit. So much fun, eh! 

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I'm also on he last season of 30 Rock and I'm going to miss Liz and Jack and the crazy characters, especially Kenneth Parcell. That guy is just insane. After a good 7 seasons, 30 ROck ended and I think I am coming to terms with it. 

On my list to watch is Once Upon a Time S1, Castle S5 and the rest of 1600 Penn (which also got cancelled. -.-) What are you currently watching?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Guest Post: The One About Death

The following is a guest post by my very awesome friend Shaam-pot. He's really fun and he likes almost the same stuff I do, so you'll get along well with him. 

Hey there!

I’m Shaam, as Shaha has introduced me. I’m sure you have heard a lot of good things about me… all of which is true. (Yes, modesty has never been my strongest suit, I guess. Haha!)

Anyway, I’m sorry I’m about to make the cheery, love-able and wonderful blog that is Diary Girl, a bit dark and somber. But I feel like I should talk about this now, because this may be a good time as any, to talk about it.

What is the only thing we are definitely sure of in our lives? What is that incomprehensible, unavoidable, inevitable denominator in every living thing in this world? For some, it may very well be obvious. For others, it may take a few seconds or even minutes to register what it is. 
Still not sure of what it is?

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It’s the fact that we will all die; everything living has an expiration date. I don’t blame the people who didn't get what it was as promptly as others, because I was one of those people too. The fact that I will die has been shoved so back in my mind that I often pretend like it won’t happen to me. Sometimes, we often think of death in a third person perspective – like it won’t ever happen to us. Sure, we say that we all will die, but deep inside, you don’t believe it would happen to you.

Why is it though? Why do we do our best to push it to the back of our minds, and pretend like it isn't there? And if you somehow come across the thought of you dying, why do you do your best to not think about it? Why are we so afraid of death?

Is it because you are unsure of what lies ahead, despite your religious and spiritual beliefs? Is it because death could be painful? Or is it because you have so much to lose?

I don’t know about you, but often, I lie awake in my bed at night, just before I fall asleep and think about where my life is going; and this one time, I lay awake for about an hour or so, thinking about my whole life, and what it has meant so far. I thought about all of the people I have met, the things I have done, the things I failed to do, and the people I have pushed away from my life. Mind you, those days were kind of hard for me, so all the good, the bad and the really bad came flooding like the crashing of a dam. While the memories flooded my brain one by one like some sort of sordid slide show, it then concluded to a question; a single question which made me shudder;

Will I be remembered?

Have I made a lasting impression on anyone in my life? What will I leave behind in this world when I die?
At that moment, I couldn't help but feel a sense of urgency in myself. I began making amendments in my life the next day; talking to that ex-girlfriend who I stopped talking to, apologizing to a friend I've abandoned over some silly misunderstanding, and other things (I can’t write them on here. Sorry).

Thinking back to that day, I wonder why the question of me being remembered was so profound. I now realize that it is because I had so much to lose, because I have not given any of myself away, if that makes any sense. My mind, body and soul were never shared with anyone in any meaningful way, that I was scared I would die before I got to do that.

I’m not speaking of love. I’m speaking in a broader sense, of offering myself to the universe and being one with it. Making sure I’m not just a passer-by. I need to make it meaningful – every moment, every breath.  I for sure, do not want to be forgotten when I die.

But then again, it is so hard to make everything meaningful in life. It gets tiring and exhausting to be in a constant state of appreciation, doesn't it? Because let’s face it, life is not always an enjoyable ride. The heartbreaks, the failures, the loss often take a toll on you, doesn't it?

Which is why we need to take that thought of death, from the back of our minds; we need to rummage behind those figurative shelves of memories, and take that thought out, dust it off, and place it somewhere we can reach it. Because, I believe thinking about death shouldn't always a somber affair. It can be a reality check, which brings your life into perspective. Because when you think about your death, you begin to see the larger, broader picture of your life, and begin to see what is really important. You realize your time is limited, and the limited time you have should not be wasted on momentary bumps along the ride. And when you see that end of the ride, you want to make everything right before you leave.

I sound like I have found the meaning of life, don’t I? But to tell you the truth, I am nowhere near finding it, and I don’t think I will find it anywhere near in time. I constantly forget about death, and neglect my life in more ways than one. I suppose we all struggle to find the answers to the crucial questions; what is the meaning of life? Why are we here? What am I supposed to do? And I think our lives are a constant journey to find the answers to those questions.

I think each individual’s meaning of their life is different from the other. It all depends on what we do with our lives, I guess. But one thing is certain in life, perhaps a little more so than our death;
We all want meaning.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

We are up all night to get lucky

Life has been weird. I want to say it's exciting, but not really. It's not un-exciting either. I've had great times with people and everything. Somehow, I feel like things could get better. 

There were almost breakdowns (eep, I know, it's so scary!), lots of binge eating, watching too much 2 Broke Girls, rejections, cancelled meetings and little happy things. Exciting things are lined up for the next weeks including runs, more volunteering, cooking, and clothes. 

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Work is as usual very fun and home is a place to just sleep and watch last week's chocolate fudge slowly disappear, unable to eat. (sigh!). There were birthday celebrations, inhaling helium and talking funny and running to get some flowers just because. When is this crazy town going to appreciate flowers? 

Here's to more apple juice and chocolate milk, buying flowers just because, hearting on a giant muffin tray, wishing for more days to read on bed, and trying on shoes that you cannot buy. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Inspirational Women: Saima Chowdury

Some of you might already know how much of a big obsession I have with this Youtuber named Saima, who might be mostly known among you guys for her Sexy hijab tutorial. I don't know how I found her channel, I think I was going through some hijab tutorials and I loved her ones and then I probably subscribed. Great decision!

This girl is funky, and she's all kind of amaze-balls. I love her style and her vlogs are so much fun. She talks really fast though, but then again, doesn't all cool people? She is kick-ass and the way she handles the haraam police is super fine.

She's one f those people whose videos can just make your day and I may or may not have "borrowed" her hijab style on more than one occasion. She inspires me to stay true to myself no matter how hard the world around me can be. I would definitely recommend her channels for everyone. She is funny, resourceful and inspirational! Here are some of my favourite Saima videos. 

This is my facourite hijab style video from her, ever. I try this sometimes and I love it. 
This video is all kinds of fun and her comments in this video are the best part! Also, that headband is amazing. 
Even her life story is inspiring. I wish her and her batman all the best and keep posting! :D

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Seriously, why is everyone getting married? It's inevitable, yes. So far this month,  four of my classmates got married and three of them were girls. 

It's kind of scary to see people take such big steps. I would majorly freak out and move to Yemen probably.     I am happy for them though. In fact, I was a little bummed I couldn't make it to Em's wedding, or Shaf's wedding. Fishy's wedding was last night and it was all kinds of amazing. I finally finished food I put on plate, skipped some dessert (eep, I know!) and made around without making eye contact with people. 
However, the way we do wedding here are a bit weird for me. I mean reception and ceremony is not separate? No wedding toasts, or photo-booths? bah!

Seriously, I think weddings are all kinds of awesome, except when all of your friends are getting married because that reminds you how completely crazy it all is. You were planning your wedding when you were 9, saving up something blue and thinking what you want for your something borrowed, and yesterday your friend got married and even though it was most magical it scares you. Getting old is scary, growing up, all that responsibility! *sigh*

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Anyhow, happy weddings and marriages to all recent brides and grooms! May the odds be ever in your favor. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013


Just a random post to wish a very blissful and happy wedding to my girl, Em. You are going to be one beautiful bride and I wish I was there. I hope everything's pretty and that you're happy.

and it'll all be alright, and days go by and we'll laugh and tell tales of our teenage years. I miss you!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Forever 21

At times you just realize how completely insane everything is. You have a degree and a job and you can't even comprehend how the years has gone by since you used to play outside and get soaked in the rain. So much expectations, so much emotional baggage. You want to reminisce your teenage years but the time you get back from work, all daylight has gone and it's all black. Your friends have big jobs and those lunches that you promised you'll have when you get jobs are long forgotten. 

There are bills to pay, chores to do. Everyday becomes a struggle for survival of the fittest. You can no longer take pride in your good grades because people who are younger than you have better grades and you try being happy for them but instead you just find yourself sitting there being mundane. 

Life is not that happy exciting thing you imaged. Growing up is not the same, and you just wish you could go back in time and hide in the rose bushes and catch raindrops on your tongue. You keep wishing that people won't talk about you behind your back, that you don't have to explain your actions and words, but you do. 

Sometimes you just stare at clouds and you feel happy but then you are reminded of the responsibility you have. The friendships you have to maintain, family fiasco's, and your phone constantly keeps on ringing, making you deal with work and things when all you want is just to curl up with a book.Your whole life becomes a routine of actions and days pass by.

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You have to explain things to people, your arguments make no sense, and you are questioned at every point in your life. You can't just go crazy because you are an adult and you are expected to behave a certain way. Your beliefs are somehow not as important as other people's and you are called selfish. You try to do good things, you try to be that person that your fifteen year old self wanted but little did she know that life at 21 is not all cupcakes and tiaras. 

People make you feel inferior, they judge your shoes and rings and point their finger at you and tell that you are wrong. You get called a liar and your taste in music is called outdated. Your pen and paper are mocked with their iPhones and iPads. Every thing you do, people ask you if there's a point to it. 

But despite all this, there are good times. Your parents are amazing and you find chocolate fudge in your fridge and even thought you'll regret eating it later, it just makes all problems fade away for a little while. Those few friends who do care make time for you and doesn't judge you no matter how selfish you may be. You are forgiven for the small mistakes you make and people at work are really nice and having breakfast together makes every morning pleasant. Your sisters lend you money when you become bankrupt in Monopoly and your dentist doesn't scare you anymore. Your little sister lets you use her tablet so you can read e-books before you go to sleep. Maybe being 21 is not so bad after all. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Most Popular Girls in School

I have very recently been watching Youtube regularly. Previously I would just scroll through some and not be subscribed to anyone. But now, between Saima's fashion posts, Ellen show, Teens React and hilarious musicals, I hardly have time for anything else, haha. 

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One very fun thing I discovered is this web series called The Most Popular Girls in School (TMPGiS) and it's crazy funny. There is more than enough inappropriate language ans swearing and soncisdering it's a show done using dolls, it's kind of hilarious. Mainly, the cast is filled with Barbie and Ken dolls. It's based on the day to day happenings within the popular girls in Overland Park High. There are the three cheerleaders, the rival family, the geeky weirdos, the jocks, the one gay guy, and the new girl. The fun thing is that everyone is called in their full name and really weird stuff happens. 

I love Saison and her "crepe" jokes, Brittany's temper, Deadra's arm thing, and Than. The episodes are very short, but they are filled with so many jokes. I found it during 12th episode, and I watched all previous episodes and since then have been a major fan. 

Other web series I love include the React series (I'm not a fan of Elders react though) and Emo Dad. What are your favourite web series?

Monday, June 10, 2013


If you have not heard of Youthfest, then you are about to. It's this really really cool website with articles for youth, by youth and I'm one of the writers. Yes, having a blog and running a magazine is not enough writing for me. :P

So these two really cool guys named Xef (Captain Xef Sparrow, for those bloggers!) and Asward (reporter extraordinaire from Raajje TV) decided to do an online magazine and they were nice enough to invite me into this and me being a supporter of all youth related things, I didn't even have to be convinced. We also have some other amazing writers and good friends and Youthfest content meetings are just brilliant with all the ideas and fun and controversy about it. 

I write about fashion and column, and just about anything that takes my fancy. I've written about alien heads, smart phones, dates, breakfast club rules, acts of random kindness, the haram police, hippies and flip flops

You can also contribute, and it's honestly one of the best ways to reach youth through words. There are also some very deep and meaningful article such as Azzam's one about Thalassemia and Manal's one about changing decisions. I also absolutely love Shuma's fashion articles, Nattu's dating advice and Moony's reviews. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

You are an expert at sorry and keeping lines blurry

I have no idea why, but that song has been stuck on my head all day. Life has lately been a mixture of happy and sad days. I started running regularly (well not regularly, but I'm trying okay?) and I am trying to keep away from sweet stuff. Even while I write this, my teeth hurts. I have only one advice to you guys. See a dentist every six months and floss daily. 

Work is as usual, exciting and between working in DYM and some new projects, time seems to just go by. I'm currently loving the Gen Y talk and I seem to go through online lifestyle magazines while sipping vanilla tea. Vanilla is my second favourite tea flavour. I'm also going through a major wardrobe change. Time to get rid of my Hannah Montana PJ's (even if I say this, it will probably take another year to actually do this, I'm just way too attached to when Miley was enjoying the best of both worlds) and include pastel blazers in several colours. 
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I'm also purposefully not repairing my shoes after a fiasco where I bought an entire shoe collection of a clearance sale and suddenly find myself in the midst of cheap and low quality shoes. Since then, I've grown to dislike them as they break so easily and I had to walk barefoot three days this year alone (only one of those days did I intentionally wanted to walk barefoot so I hid my shoe. :| If you haven't done that, then clearly you have not lived.) and I'm just at the verge of a mental shoe breakdown. 

All that crazy shoe talk aside, life's getting better. I'm trying to adjust to emotions (I cannot understand emotions not even if my life depended on it) and try to read 100 books by the end of the year. 

Tell me what crazy things you have been doing. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

June Books

I am very much in a reading spree these days. I regularly read at least two books, one physical, one e-book and it's amazing. Here are the books on my June reading lists. 

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The Not Just Anybody Family
A very adorable book about family and childhood. Brought back lots of good memories and the characters were so lovable. heartwarming, all around nice book. 
Rating: 3/5

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Currently Reading
The Casual Vacancy
I cannot believe I am still reading this. Honestly, I haven't read a word all month. I am baffled by how my favourite author who made my childhood so magical could also something so boring. So very boring, but I am determined to read it, because I never leave a book I started unfinished

Girl in the Water
Loving this book so far, so thought provoking, making me re-think the sibling relationship. I also like the way the story is told. Sometimes though, I wonder how the author so clearly remembers things from when she was two years old. 

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To Read
Til the Streetlights Came On
I love the title and how intriguing it is. This book is about lessons learnt from childhood games and I cannot wait to read about all these nostalgia arising things. 

The House at World's End
A story about three adventurous children who are sent to live in a house at world's end when their own house burned down. My sister read it and she liked it, so I;m sure I would too. The title again, is very interesting. 

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A Game of Thrones
Imma gonna find what all this fuss is about. I can't believe I haven't read this already. I want to read first, and then watch the series. 

Raising Dragons
A boy finds links to a dragon past, while a girl has known long ago and they team up, sounds very interesting. Which species has not had human interference? Vampires, zombies, cats, and now dragons. 

There are Reasons Noah Packed no Clothes
The title is extemely introguing. Noah,packing, no clothes. I'm already thinking of a million storylines. It's about a 19 year old guy named Richard and his life. 

What books are you reading this month? I would love to hear book recommendations. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Founders Issue

I'm not sure if I have told you this before, but I am the content directors for DYM's very own magazine, called DYMag. It's like my little baby. Having grown up reading magazines such as Home Decor, Seventeen and Reader's Digest and later moving on to the world of online magazines (hello, Sweet Lemon, Matchbook and Framework!), I have always wanted to create an online magazine. 

And last month, that is exactly what we did. So, what does a content director do? I get people to write for topics, get them to the editor, get people to feature, interview them, transcribe the interviews and then I am on their toes always getting them to finish the work. It's a tedious task and I'm constantly working them through my work (it kind of helps that even at work, I work at making a magazine happen). There are a lot of perks though. Being inspired by people who do amazing things, and seeing their creativity and getting feedback on out work are a few. I absolutely love the journey so far. 

The first issue, the founders issue even features me (how cool is that!). The photo-shoot was so much fun and we had a great time. I'm very very proud of our team of three people and all our contributors. 
We are working vigourously on our June issue and it is going to feature three really cool people and I'm very excited about it. 

We are also looking for contributors for July issue, so if you are a creative and would like to contribute, let me know.