For the love of the ICNYU Gala

program for the evening

program for the evening

On Sunday February 23rd, The Islamic Center at New York University (ICNYU) held a fundraiser gala to mark 35 years. I attended with one of my friends. Living in NYC my whole life I bumped into many friends and familiar faces that evening. It was a black tie event and everyone looked fab!

Sadia, Amira and I

Sadia, Amira and I

I graduated 6 years of pharmacy school back in 2007 from St Johns University and directly after was distracted by huge milestones in my life including licensing exams, starting a job,  hajj, pregnancy, birth of my first son, pregnancy and birth of my second son etc. During this time, I felt disconnected with my Islamic community mostly because I didn’t have enough time to attend events and my university- St Johns University rarely held events or I would not get notifications of these events.

ICNYU holds tons of events and I always knew when they were having events due to emails, facebook and word of mouth. I have attended lots of different events in the past. I have been familiar with ICNYU for over a decade, since back when I was in college and because my elder sister attended NYU. More recently I started coming to events at NYU and I never ever felt out of place. The Muslim community at NYU is so diverse and welcoming and it truly depicts Muslims across America. This is one reason why I wanted to attend this fundraiser. The IC at NYU caters to the Muslim population in NYC and it caters to it well.

Laila and Bari

Laila and Bari- the founding members of the IC at NYU. They were both presented with an award

Below are pictures of highlights from the event also including pics of my friends and I and unnecessary solo shots of myself. My apologies in advance.

 

Preacher Moss and I

Preacher Moss and I

Preacher Moss provided laughs towards the end of the evening.

The man of the hour- Khalid Latif- and he's looking exceptionally tall

The man of the hour- Khalid Latif- and he’s looking exceptionally tall

oh, it makes sense now

oh, it makes sense now :)

 

cool cats- Ismail and Khalid. Ismail took the previous 2 pictures

Ismail and Khalid. Ismail took the previous 2 pictures

With Sumaiyah, one of the organizers of the event

With Sumaiyah, one of the organizers of the event

**Up to date, they raised $130,000 from the fundraiser Mashallah. If you were not able to attend and still want to donate, you can donate to the IC at NYU here.

kaftan

kaftan

 

I wore a kaftan which I just purchased from my recent trip to Dubai. I blogged about my trip and you can read all about it here. This beaded and jeweled kaftan was only $40! I thought this gala would be the perfect opportunity to wear it. This Kaftan has light shoulder pads which enhances the shape and flow of the dress. It’s very loose but it has an inside tie belt which practically makes it one size fits all.

 kaftan

kaftan

I paired the kaftan with a turban hijab. This turban hijab was unique because I used 2 cloths. The green cloth on the turban is perfectly matching my kaftan because it was the extra pieces that I had to get hemmed from the bottom of the kaftan because it was extremely long. The 2 inch extra cloth was perfectly wrapped in the gold turban hijab and made both the turban and kaftan complement each other. The heavy detailed neckline required no necklace because that would be excessive.

Ayesha and I

Ayesha looking stunning in silver!

Nabila, Fariqua and I looking black tie event ready

Nabila, Fariqua and I looking black tie event ready

 

my date for the evening

my date for the evening

 

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last one, I promise

last one, I promise

Thanks for reading! Xoxo

For the love of a Desert Safari

keeping warm with the fire

keeping warm by the fire

I just got back from a short trip to Dubai which was a pit stop on the way to Madinah and Makkah to perform Umrah. I traveled with my husband and 2 of our friends. We stayed in Dubai for 3 nights but it was a very short trip because we arrived Friday night and left Monday morning. In Dubai, our itinerary was jam packed with things to do because, well there’s so much to do! Dubai is such a new city. Everything is extra beautiful, extra over the top and extra lux. But my favorite parts of Dubai was the old city of Dubai- Dubai City of Gold also called the Gold Souq.

Dubai City of Gold

Dubai City of Gold

 

The old city of Dubai reminded me of Pakistan and the walled inner city by the Wazir Khan Mosque (I blogged about my trip to Pakistan and you can read all about it here) but a cleaner and safer version of it. It was 1 dirham (about 27 cents) to get there by boat and it was so enjoyable that we did it twice. The Gold Souq was a great place to buy souvenirs, clothes, and small odds and ends. Being a New Yorker, the feeling of safety you felt in Dubai was unparalleled; Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world.

couple selfie inside one of the shops at the Gold Souq

couple selfie inside one of the shops at the Gold Souq

 

The absolute highlight of my trip was the desert safari hands down. We booked it in advance through: beyondthedunes.com and it was a private tour. The rest of the tours are in groups. We thought it would be a great experience for just the 4 of us and the guide and it definitely was. We were picked up by Ahid himself. He was in charge of everything and he’s a one man show. The desert safari included everything. He does everything from picking us up, to sand dune bashing, sand boarding, to setting up the tents, and preparing the meals and setting up the fire.

ATVing- my first time

ATVing- my first time

Our first stop was the ATVing, then we did sand dune bashing with Ahid in control of driving and after that we did sand boarding. I posted a ridiculously funny video of me sand boarding and it is up on instagram. While sand dune bashing we saw Arabian Oryx which is a rarity. These animals were almost extinct and now there are only about 1100 living in the wild. We saw about 10 in the desert that day.

Arabian Oryx

Arabian Oryx

cartwheels in the sand are always necesary

cartwheels in the sand are always necessary

 

 

tents set up in the middle of the desert

tents set up in the middle of the desert

Ahid setting everything up

Ahid setting everything up

 

candlelight dinner

candlelight dinner

The dinner was perfection. There was spicy wings, chicken kebabs and lamp chops accompanied with humus and different sauces, salads, and bread. We devoured the whole meal which was so fresh and delicious.

all of use huddled by the fire

all of us huddled by the fire

It was slightly cold but being seated on the cushions by the fire, you could hardly feel the cold. I even took a nap under the stars in the night sky in the desert. It was so peaceful. If you are ever going to Dubai I can’t recommend this desert safari tour enough. Our entire trip was a hectic rush because we wanted to make ample use of our time and during the desert safari we were finally able to fully relax and enjoy the true beauty of Dubai and experience the desert as it should be enjoyed.

 

about to do a cartwheel, or just posing awkwardly

about to do a cartwheel, or just posing awkwardly

Outfit of the day (OOTD) details:

Khaki style pants in neon orange: Gap purchased on sale for $8

Jeweled velour hoodie: Express

Summer scarf: Loft

Shoes: Crocs, perfect for the sand because the shoes are completely washable

 

(All pics were taken with my Iphone so it’s not the best of quality but we didn’t want to be burdened with an actual camera in the desert. Also, I wish I took more pics but we were enjoying ourselves and the serenity of the desert that even these few pics I had to remind myself or someone else to take it.)

Thanks so much for reading. I’m so embarrassed that I have not blogged in almost 2 months but work and life has taken over the last few months. I’ve been extremely busy and I’m so sorry for the lack of posts. Last month marked my one year blog anniversary! I don’t believe its been an entire year. I really wanted to do a post on my reflections of the past year but this trip and work consumed my life the last few weeks and I truly just did not have time. My apologies.

 

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just me

just me

 

** Upon returning from my trip I saw that I hit over 3500 followers on instagram and I wanted to thank everyone for following, It really means so much to me. What a pleasant surprise that was. Xoxo

** I will be attending the IC NYU Gala this Sunday February 23rd. I hope you already purchased your tickets because there will be no sale of tickets at the door. You can donate here. I hope to see you there!