Matt Carr
Matt Carr

On how New York's Muslims stay stylish



I had just touched down in NYC after being away for the summer and one thing struck me: many more women are wearing the hijab on the streets. And not just hijabs. I've seen more abayas in my first week back than in 10 years here. After all the controversy about the building of mosques in the States and the anti-Islamic sentiments that dominated the American media in July and August, I came back to a more Muslim New York.

New York has always been a place where cultures and religions and fashion styles coexist effortlessly, so there shouldn't have been anything odd about these sights. I was struck because I was expecting the opposite. Non-Muslims always insist on describing female Islamic dress as "boring" or "oppressive". But at university in New York, significant numbers of girls wore the hijab, and wore it very stylishly. One friend of Pakistani descent, born and raised in New York City, had a way of matching her scarf to her outfit - which always included the latest jeans and jackets - so effortlessly that I wanted her entire wardrobe.

Anyone who has travelled to the Emirates will see that the abaya can be subject to the whims of fashion as much as any item of clothing anywhere in the world. Of course, some of the fashions, just like some trends in the States, I will never understand. For example, what my friends and I mockingly call the "Beehive" - where girls wear an elaborate up-do underneath their shaila - is as tough for me to understand as the "I-just-rolled-out-of-a-dumpster" look that swept NYC a few years ago.

As I'm in Abu Dhabi only once a year, I always feel the need to keep up. My latest obsessions are the abayas with one coloured sleeve, and the ones with flowing sleeves. My dad calls them gowns, not abayas, and that's exactly what women's clothing should be - flowing and elegant. Wearing an abaya, I can feel feminine without being in form-fitting clothes, which make me conscious of my body and can be uncomfortable (have you considered how much movement is restricted by skinny jeans?).

Designers are getting in on the abaya act, too. Last year I read about the Emirati sisters Hind and Reem Beljafla, who have started their own fashion label, DAS. And Rabia Z is an Emirati-Afghan designer who wants to make clothing (not just abayas) for the "modern" Muslim woman, who wants to be modest and respect the hijab but still be stylish. I feel proud that young women are finally taking part in designing styles for themselves.

Being modest means you aren't trying to attract unnecessary attention. It doesn't mean you can't be stylish. Showing cleavage or wearing mini skirts aren't the only ways to look and feel feminine. It's nice to see that this trend is extending beyond the Arab world. Last summer a fashion show in Paris showcased abayas designed by Nina Ricci, Jean-Claude Jitrois, and John Galliano for Christian Dior, and Italian fashion houses Blumarine and Alberta Ferretti. The show, held in June 2009, came right after the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, commented that full face veils were not welcome in France and made prisoners of women.

For many Muslim woman, these comments were patronising and offensive. Most women I know who wear the hijab do it willingly. Just because wearing shorts is an option doesn't mean that covering up is automatically a sign of oppression. I agree with the argument that covering up is actually empowering, allowing women to sidestep the prevailing culture of sexuality in the West. Modest dressing applies to both sexes (yes, young man decked out in head-to-toe Gucci, I mean you), and the fact that modest dress can be fashionable just makes it a whole lot easier.

The Roundup : No Way Out

Director: Lee Sang-yong
Stars: Don Lee, Lee Jun-hyuk, Munetaka Aoki
Rating: 3/5

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 620hp from 5,750-7,500rpm
Torque: 760Nm from 3,000-5,750rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh1.05 million ($286,000)

The five pillars of Islam

1. Fasting

2. Prayer

3. Hajj

4. Shahada

5. Zakat 

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

The specs: 2019 Infiniti QX50

Price, base: Dh138,000 (estimate)
Engine: 2.0L, turbocharged, in-line four-cylinder
Transmission: Continuously variable transmission
Power: 268hp @ 5,600rpm
Torque: 380Nm @ 4,400rpm
Fuel economy: 6.7L / 100km (estimate)

Results

4pm: Al Bastakiya – Listed (TB) $150,000 (Dirt) 1,900m; Winner: Panadol, Mickael Barzalona (jockey), Salem bin Ghadayer (trainer)

4.35pm: Dubai City Of Gold – Group 2 (TB) $228,000 (Turf) 2,410m; Winner: Walton Street, William Buick, Charlie Appleby

5.10pm: Mahab Al Shimaal – Group 3 (TB) $228,000 (D) 1,200m; Winner: Canvassed, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson

5.45pm: Burj Nahaar – Group 3 (TB) $228,000 (D) 1,600m; Winner: Midnight Sands, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson

6.20pm: Jebel Hatta – Group 1 (TB) $260,000 (T) 1,800m; Winner: Lord Glitters, Daniel Tudhope, David O’Meara

6.55pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round-1 – Group 1 (TB) $390,000 (D) 2,000m; Winner: Salute The Soldier, Adrie de Vries, Fawzi Nass

7.30pm: Nad Al Sheba – Group 3 (TB) $228,000 (T) 1,200m; Winner: Final Song, Frankie Dettori, Saeed bin Suroor

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Consoles: PC, PlayStation
Rating: 2/5

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

Champions parade (UAE timings)

7pm Gates open

8pm Deansgate stage showing starts

9pm Parade starts at Manchester Cathedral

9.45pm Parade ends at Peter Street

10pm City players on stage

11pm event ends

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

Zimbabwe v UAE, ODI series

All matches at the Harare Sports Club:

1st ODI, Wednesday, April 10

2nd ODI, Friday, April 12

3rd ODI, Sunday, April 14

4th ODI, Tuesday, April 16

UAE squad: Mohammed Naveed (captain), Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed, Shaiman Anwar, Mohammed Usman, CP Rizwan, Chirag Suri, Mohammed Boota, Ghulam Shabber, Sultan Ahmed, Imran Haider, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan, Qadeer Ahmed

All The Light We Cannot See

Creator: Steven Knight

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, Aria Mia Loberti

Rating: 1/5 

SPECS

Engine: Twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8
Power: 625 bhp
Torque: 630Nm
On sale: Now
Price: From Dh974,011

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

HAJJAN

Director: Abu Bakr Shawky 


Starring: Omar Alatawi, Tulin Essam, Ibrahim Al-Hasawi 


Rating: 4/5


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