I was in L.A. last week for fun family reasons and an event I was very happy to attend for the fun and most importantly to comply to my social responsibility towards my community. It was a Runway Relief hosted by Nahda Designs to raise funds for Syria refugees. This is their second annual charity fashion show where they also showcased their latest designs along with the designs of other designers. This year it included Al Sundus, CoveredGirl and Resplendent Fashions.
The setting was a very beautiful hall, comfortable, dimmed lights and very airy. A dinner sit-down affair which was very enjoyable. The night begin at the registration table, a name tag and a goodie bag that included a catalogue of Nahda Designs latest collection(I will share on a separate post). I made my way around to the vendors and chatted with the designers and shop owners. I was very impressed to know we are getting down to business and really making it personal by designing and producing our own clothing. Of course, I picked up a few items that my family liked when I wore them to our family functions. I sat next to poetry artist Lulia, who voluntarily emailed me the words to her performance(below) and chatted with poetry artist and clothing designer Umm Issa. She is the designer of Rebirth of Chic. All poets were very touching and my eyes filled with tears as I heard them.
There were three designers that really caught my eye. One is NEW U.S. based label, Abayage, releasing designs in January, per designer Suzanne Khazaal. We chatted together on the need of designs that help us(Americanos) that are versatile to our society and needs for school, work and social events. I'm really excited about this new line. The other was Resplendent Fashions. The simplicity of the abayas/caftans were so captivating. They also make hand-crafted jewelry. The third designer is Sabika Seattle for their unique tunics.
Freedom is instilled within our desiresIt is something every individual aspiresAs we grow up under our parent’s wingsWe yearn to break away and cut the stringsthat tie us closely to confinementWanting to be freeto speak as we pleaseand to be unleashed from the decreethat we are held to by an authorityand we put that as our prioritybecause whats the difference if your alive or deadwhen the majority of your mind is left unsaidI commend those that fight for their God-given righteven though their death is in close sightI commend those who put their lives on the lineThose who give their lives to help refineSyria’s corrupt system of atrocitythat feeds on innocent bodies with pure animosityhand in hand they stand in unityproviding themselves with the opportunityto finally be free from this corrupt regimefor decades freedom seemed to be just a dreamsick of suffering from sorrow that seems surrealGrowing up they were instilled with fearnow you look into the eyes of a country where freedom is near.I’ve never seen people fight with this extent of aspirationwitnessing repulsive acts but they continue with dedicationputting feelings asideno time for emotions to subsidecollectively on the streets they ragechanting for freedom and a way out of this cagebut the hope within them shinesand the power of each Syrian combinescreating an invincible entitynever giving upbecause for too long their opinions have been demolishedbut now it is time for this regime to be abolished
O Bashar, you think its ‘a game you play’?bombarding cities every minute of the day?O Bashar, did your father teach you toaimlessly persecute people of all kinds,young or old, male or female, some would say you are blindO Bashar, you have reached the last levelat this point I’m sure you’re one to give advice to the devilO Bashar, you are in too deepand it is now time for your eternal sleepFor although indeed, on us you have left a scar,to you I confidently say, game over ya Bashar
Written by Lulia(below)
Word spoken, Lulia
"...it's not too late, he broke your heart not your mind." - Jamisa Ivy Fields
Performer and clothing designer, Jamisa Ivy Fields(left) and I just loved what La'Tanya(right) wore.
Behind this door was the backstage of the runway.
Upcoming design label Abayage designer, Suzanne, (4th right), her designs and models.
Abayage designer taking a picture of her models.
Another highlight I enjoyed very much was the guest of honor, Debbie Almonstaser, who is the board chair member of Mulsim Consultive Network(MCN), a NYC muslim group who responds to urgent needs after 9/11. Her speech reminded us of how the women in the time of Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon You) were strong and active in helping. One of her examples were Aisha(May God be pleased with her) used to carry water to the men in battle. We talked fashion, but importantly she talked about one of the monthly programs of MCN, which really motivated me to return to NY. Once a month MCN runs a program called Muslims Against Hunger. She told me a story of a volunteered niqabi(women who covers her face except eyes) and how a lady didn't want to be served by her, but as she seen the rest of the people embrace her, the lady at the end changed the way she thought about muslims.
Here are some goodies I got myself
It truly was a night full of soul and style! The organization Nahda Designs chose to give raised funds to was Shaam Relief Foundation. Please do check them out and donate if you may. The stats that night are: Over 35,000 Killed. 500,000 Refugees. 2 Million Displaced.