(This post should be properly titled: For the love of HijabFest and Getting Over My Fear Of Public Speaking but I decided due to the longevity I wouldn’t use that as my title. But that’s exactly what this post is)
New Brunswick Islamic Center (NBIC) hosted its first ever HijabFest in New Jersey this past Sunday. I was invited to give a small presentation on modest fashion. I agreed. I thought it would be more of a workshop on the side and I didn’t realize I would be on stage front and center. One of my greatest fears is public speaking. I despise it. I get nervous, start sweating, stammering, shaking etc. It’s not a pleasant sight to see and it’s quite embarrassing actually. Some people are scared of heights, bugs, spiders, whatever it may be and public speaking is it for me. Friends and classmates can attest to this fact and they all say it’s the strangest thing because it doesn’t fit my personality at all. For whatever reason, it is what it is. I decided not to cancel after realizing I would be front and center because I had already given my word. I debated taking drugs to calm my nerves but I don’t like taking prescription drugs unless it’s very necessary and so I decided against it. (OTC drugs are a different story. If you have a minor ache, pain or fever take a Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Or take two. You will feel great afterwards)
Upon arrival, Hijabfest was a sold out event (it sold out a few days before the event) and the entire area was buzzing. It was a smaller venue so it was pretty full to capacity. There was a great fashion show from some of the designers there. Each designer showcased 3 looks. I captured a few of them but it was hard to because I was running in and out because I had to make arrangements for my presentation. Some of the designers at the event included: Kotton Love, May Ade Designs, True Faith Apparel, Bulbul, Laila’s Collection, Unique Hijabs, and Amirah Couture. I especially loved the jilbabs from Bulbul, the scarves from kottonlove and I loved the variety and affordability of the hijabs at Al-Mujalbaba.
There was some enlightening speeches which were great everyday reminders. It was a well thought out, well organized event and it was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
My presentation was scheduled for 3:45 and at about 2:30 I met backstage with my models, one of them being my sister. I was going to present 4 outfits and 2 hijab tutorials. I got all the girls dressed in coordinating outfits and hijabs from my personal collection. Then it was showtime. I was shaking, my heart was beating through my chest and I couldn’t even stand. I took a seat behind stage while I was being introduced. My sister and all the models were so supportive and told me to relax and calm down and breathe slowly. That helped a bit. I wanted to turn around and run (just kidding?) but obviously I knew I couldn’t. So there was no turning back, indeed it was showtime.
Prior to HijabFest, I went over what I wanted to say a few times and I went over it with a friend the night before. I didn’t write anything out because that tends to make me more nervous. So I just winged it. No papers, no index cards, no cellphone and I just did it. I was nervous and my voice did stammer at times and when it was done I realized my presentation was 20 minutes long! It was so much easier than in school because this wasn’t a report and I wasn’t getting a grade on it. Also, I was doing something I take pleasure in so that must have made it easier. I was thoroughly impressed with myself. Alhamdulilah. I may have overcome one of my fears in doing something I enjoy. How wonderful!
I met some great girls from NYC and NJ. I added some backstage pics with my models and some pics during the presentation on my instagram account @sanahrashid. You can check that out here.
My Outfit Of The Day (OOTD) details:
Maxi Dress: Loft. I bought it on sale for $28. It has a flowy fall and a black braided rope tie as a belt.
Jersey Hijab wrapped like a turban: purchased at ISNA convention
Summer scarf: Loft
Beaded matching brace cuffs: Arden B
Bag: Rebecca Minkoff with rosegold tone hardware and spike details
*This is one of the first times I have experimented with mixing 2 different prints. If they are of similar colors you can totally do it. I think it perfected the outfit by giving it a casual trendy look. What are your thoughts on mixing prints?
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