This May I celebrated World Fair Trade Day 2017 with ladies at the Dubai Business Women Council and thoroughly enjoyed the workshop 'Thursday Night at the ER.'
My photograph was included in the Kindness.org community photo mosaic and I attended Beauty World Middle East.
I cried and prayed for the victims of the Manchester and London attacks.
Participated in live webinar with the World Pulse team.
I am grateful The Little Fair Trade Shop was featured in My Bayut website.
I welcomed Ramadan 2017 and continued my course of iron transfusions.
Me with Jillian Gay
A kinder world begins with ALL of us.
The Kindess.org team are a small nonprofit with big ambitions.
They work from London, New York, and beyond to work hard to answer the question.
How would our world transform if each of us put kindness front and center in our lives?
Kindess.org are a digital platform designed to reach across oceans and time zones to inspire small ripples of everyday compassion. They listen to the community and combine scientific curiosity with a willingness to nimbly put new ideas into practice.
They believe that together, ripples of kindness can create massive waves of change.
Earlier this year the Kindness.org team asked members to forward their photographs. I sent mine.
Here is the international kindness community mosaic.
Kind faces from the Kindness.org community
To read my act of kindness please click here.
All around us.
Impact and measurable.
Infinite, with imagination.
Serious, and seriously fun.
A choice for everyone.
What does kindness mean to you? Drop me a line.
I've been absent on social media recently and you may be wondering why?
For as long as I can remember I've always had issues with fatigue.
As a teenager I remember there would be days I would be gasping for air, feeing weak and tired, experience numbness in my fingers and toes, have poor circulation and hair fall.
In my mid twenties I had a awful turn while walking to work one morning, my legs and body did not want to cooperate with my brain and refused to move. I vividly remember my body stopped working. I watched everyone walked past. It was like an eerie nightmare.
Somehow, I managed to get to work and my line manager who was thankfully a first aider. I was grateful she drove me home.
I was diagnosed with beta thalassaemia minor when I was 24 at the Manchester Sickle Cell and Beta thalassemia Clinic, Manchester, UK.
The doctor prescribed ferrous sulphate tablets which weren't effective and I eventually turned to a diet that contained more rich iron content.
I have learnt to live with my condition, however, since January 2017 it has been a challenge and an immense pain and distraction. I have required a course of 4 iron transfusions maybe more if my iron levels don't improve.
Iron transfusion at the Dubai London Clinic
Many thanks to my GP Dr Akhtar and the nurses at the Dubai London Clinic for looking after me during my treatment.
What is Beta thalassemia minor?
Thalassemias are a group of blood disorders that affect the way the body makes hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. It's made up of alpha globin and beta globin.
Beta thalassaemia minor is an genetically inherited blood disorder and when the body has problems producing beta and globin.
Carrier/s or parents, in this case my mother passed the disorder down to me and my siblings.
With thalassemia, the red blood cells are destroyed at a faster rate, leading to anemia, a condition that can cause fatigue and other complications. Hence, the lack of energy and feeling tired all the time.
I recently watched an informative video by a lady called Melody and thought I'd share it with you below.
Melody DeForge's video about Beta Thalassemia Minor
I hope to record a video about Beta Thalassemia minor in the future.
Many thanks to Melody for explaining beta thalassemia minor and sharing her story.
If you are a beta thalassemia minor patient and would like to talk and share experiences please don't hesitate to get in touch.
This years World Fair Trade Organization campaign was 'Agent For Change' Human Chains for Fair Trade and the Planet.
I am very grateful to the ladies at the Dubai Business Women Council who graciously modelled posters for me.
Agent for Change badges
Beautiful Agents for Change in Dubai and the UAE
Amazing Agents for Change in Dubai, UAE
Wonderful Agents for Change celebrating
World Fair Trade Day 2017, Dubai, UAE
Agent For Change at Jumeriah Beach, Dubai, UAE
Agent for Change Sabeena Ahmed of The Little Fair Trade Shop
World Fair Trade Day 2017 near the iconic Burj Al Arab
I participated in a workshop Thursday Night at the ER organised by CCM Consultancy Dubai and the Dubai Business Women Council.
Mr Edward Matti, Managing Partner and Board Director
of CCM Consultancy and participants
The 'Friday Night at the ER' board game
The workshop and board game was an introduction to team building emphasising to need to improve communication skills and decision making between departments, risk assessment, utilise assets and resources, control finance and maintain or enhance quality controls.
We were instructed to choose a department to control.
I was surgery.
There were approximately 20 ladies who attended this session and we were divided into 5 groups.
The whole room and other groups video here
I particularly enjoyed working with the ladies in my group.
Two team members Elrona and Mobina thought of our dynamic title and named us 'HEAL CREEK' quite a befitting name considering we were near to the beautiful Dubai Creek.
I personally feel the purpose of the game was to effectively communicate with one another in our case each department and work to solve problems and create innovate solutions.
My lovely team members
L-R Me, Hana, Shikha, Elrona and Mobina
WE all shared many common traits, i.e. compassion, empathy and listened to each others needs.
It was wonderful to work with women who genuinely cared for one another.
WE achieved third place and pleased we achieved the best quality control figures.
Photograph of the results board
I decided to visit Beauty World Middle East's for the first time and approached Hall 8 which consisted of Natural and Vegan products.
As a mature consumer I have tolerated bad acne and sensitive reactive skin for over 20 years. I was intrigued to learn about other organic vegan cruelty free brands that didn't contain parabens, phtates sulphates and that could possibly tailor for my skin.
It was my first visit and the registration process and to put it mildly it was a bit of a shambles and a scene I wish to forget.
I had registered twice online held hard copies of my tickets but was still asked to fill out another registration form at the entrance while sweaty men pushed passed me. Severe lack of etiquette and manners.
I felt uncomfortable and didn't understand their odd behaviour. The stewards were simply overwhelmed and did what they could to control the mass hysteria to enter the conference halls.
Once inside hall 8 it became apparent that not all the brands listed in the brochure were organic or vegan, however, I pursued and visited stands to enquire about product ingredients and chemicals.
I decided it would unwise to take photographs of the event in case of social media violations.
Beauty World Bag
Natural and Organic Exhibitors
Beauty World Brochure
Organic creams and products produced in Italy
An organic soap produced in Bali
More organic products from Russia
It was a tiring experience and I hope to visit more organic and vegan producers next time.
I haven't used or tried any of the above products to be honest I'm frightened I may have a horrible reaction and contra indication.
Monday 22nd May 2017 will be another tragic day I never forget.
22 innocent lives were lost and I was overcome with grief and so was the rest of the world.
My deepest heartfelt condolences to the families and their friends of the Manchester and London attacks who have lost a loved one. My thoughts are prayers will be with you forever.
I still can't believe that this heinous act was committed in my home city.
As a proud Mancunian I can only echo the thoughts and prayers of thousands of Manchester residents.
'WE STAND TOGETHER!'
'CHOOSE LOVE MANCHESTER!'
I would like to praise all the selfless people of Manchester for their kindness, love and compassion through this terrible grieving period.
I have attached a beautiful poem by Mr Tony Walsh aka @LongfellowPoet who expressed the mood and sentiments of all Mancunians home and abroad.
Love peace and blessings from Dubai!
'THIS IS THE PLACE'
'THIS IS THE PLACE' featuring awesome Mancunians
You can see my friend Joyce Metz at 3 minutes and 6 seconds.
This is the place
By Tony Walsh aka Longfellow Poet
This is the place in the North West of England
It's ace, it's the best and the songs we sing
From the stands, from our bands we set the whole world shaking
Our inventions are legends! There is nowt we can't make and
So we make brilliant music, we make brilliant bands
We make goals that make souls leap in the stands
And we make things from steel
And we make things from cotton
And we make people laugh, take the mick summat rotten
And we make you at home
And we make you feel welcome and we make summat happen
And we can’t seem to help it
And if you’re looking from history, then yeah we’ve a wealth
But the Manchester way is to make it yourself.
And make us a record, a new number one
And make us a brew while you’re up, love, go on
And make us feel proud that you’re winning the league
And make us sing louder and make us believe that this is the place that has helped shape the world
And this is the place where a Manchester girl named Emmeline Pankhurst from the streets of Moss Side led a suffragette city with sisterhood pride
And this is the place with appliance of science, we’re on it, atomic, we struck with defiance, and in the face of a challenge, we always stand tall, Mancunians, in union, delivered it all
Such as housing and libraries and health, education and unions and co-ops and first railway stations
So we’re sorry, bear with us, we invented commuters. But we hope you forgive us, we invented computers.
And this is the place Henry Royce strolled with Rolls, and we’ve rocked and we’ve rolled with our own northern soul
And so this is the place to do business then dance, where go-getters and goal-setters know they’ve a chance
And this is the place where we first played as kids.
And me mum, lived and died here, she loved it, she did.
And this is the place where our folks came to work, where they struggled in puddles, they hurt in the dirt and they built us a city,
they built us these towns and they coughed on the cobbles to the deafening sound to the steaming machines and the screaming of slaves, they were scheming for greatness, they dreamed to their graves.
And they left us a spirit. They left us a vibe.
That Mancunian way to survive and to thrive and to work and to build, to connect, and create and Greater Manchester’s greatness is keeping it great.
And so this is the place now with kids of our own. Some are born here, some drawn here, but they all call it home.
And they’ve covered the cobbles, but they’ll never defeat, all the dreamers and schemers who still teem through these streets.
Because this is a place that has been through some hard times: oppressions, recessions, depressions, and dark times.
But we keep fighting back with Greater Manchester spirit. Northern grit, Northern wit, and Greater Manchester’s lyrics.
And these hard times again, in these streets of our city, but we won’t take defeat and we don’t want your pity.
Because this is a place where we stand strong together, with a smile on our face, greater Manchester forever.
And we’ve got this place where a team with a dream can get funding and something to help with a scheme.
Because this is a place that understands your grand plans.
We don’t do “no can do” we just stress “yes we can”
Forever Manchester’s a charity for people round here, you can fundraise, donate, you can be a volunteer.
You can live local, give local, we can honestly say, we do charity different, that Mancunian way.
And we fund local kids, and we fund local teams.
We support local dreamers to work for their dreams.
We support local groups and the great work they do.
So can you help us. help local people like you?
Because this is the place in our hearts, in our homes, because this is the place that’s a part of our bones.
Because Greater Manchester gives us such strength from the fact that this is the place, we should give something back.
Always remember, never forget, forever Manchester.
I was asked by the World Pulse team in Portland Oregon to evaluate 5 candidates and select two for the Impact Leader Programme.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading through all the candidates applications and watched their videos.
It was a difficult process and I continued to advocate for two of the ladies during the online meeting with World Pulse Training Coordinator Maya Munoz-Tubon.
If you would like to read about the all the applicants please click on their links below and support them any way that you can.
I've attached a link to my vblog Girls Compete, Women Empower and Great Minds Inspire.
I would invite you to support their initiatives and causes by sharing their work, donating or volunteering your time to assist them.
My World Pulse Change Maker - Ms Joanna Smeijka
Autistic Spectrum Educator and Therapist
Thank you for empowering all these inspirational World Pulse Change Makers.
Many thanks to the My Bayut.com website for featuring The Little Fair Trade Shop in 'bring an iftar gift that keeps on giving.'
I did write to the My Bayut team to ask for a backlink but haven't heard from them.
Hopefully, I'll hear from them soon.
May I take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy,
healthy and beautiful Ramadan.
Ramadan Mubarak 2017 Week 2
Ramadan Mubarak from the UAE!
Peace and blessings to all fairtrade producers, artisans, friends and family during this blessed month.
Ramadan Mubarak Week 1
A healthier iftar
Iftar for two
Fasting and Children's Ramadan books
This is my second Ramadan without my parents. I miss them dearly.
I will be spending most of my time reciting the Noble Quran and praying for my loved ones
For those who would like to learn more about Ramadan please watch the following videos.
A Very British Ramadan
If this is my last Ramadan than let me spend all my time performing good deeds and praying for forgiveness for myself, my dearest parents and my loved ones.
May my fasts be accepted, my transgressions and sins be erased and may I have the strength and patience to continue to raise awareness for fairtrade producers, social, environmental and trade justice around the world, Aameen!
Many thanks for dropping by and reading my blog.
Thank you for supporting fairtrade and ethical producers wherever you live.
Here's to living a more ethical and sustainable lifestyle.
Peace and blessings!
Further Reading and Links
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It was a dream come true to finally travel to the country of my parents birth, India.
I arrived in Dehli and was greeted by a beautiful warm evening.
I was humbled and privileged to visit two World Fair Trade Certified Organizations, M.E.S.H and Tara Projects.
Many thanks to Mathew K and Ms Moon Sharma for their time, care and hospitality.
Sadly, I was unable to interview Mathew, Ms Jacky Bonnie or the producer groups on this occasion and hope to interview them the next time I visit.
Despite struggling with my shoulders I completed my Six Items Challenge for the eighth consecutive year.
I interviewed Alex and Marie-Louise of Valy Export, Madagascar.
This April I was invited once again to judge 5 social enterprise businesses at the Middlesex University Dubai.
Many thanks to Shanthi Rajan, Sandra Stevenson, Suzannah Fernandes and Dr Michael Kloep and Dr Cody Paris for their hospitality.
It was a difficult decision as all the social enterprises were winners.
Congratulations to Pentagon and their initiative Mihriban for their concept and vision.
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