This year I decided to fulfill some long overdue ambitions and enrolled on a
play writing course with the Emirates Literature Foundation.
My play was a collection of seven scenes highlighting experiences of discrimination, acceptance and love.
Thank you Alex and best wishes to Brenda, Tvisha, Ashwarya, Padmini, Edwige, Deborah, Julia and Andrea for their love and support on this inspiring journey.
After a brave 4 year struggle with metastatic breast cancer my beautiful mother Mrs Meshar Mumtaz Bano returned to her maker.
My siblings and I miss her terribly.
I have recorded this video for World Cancer Day 2019 and hope it will assist others in the Pakistani and Asian community to talk openly about cancer prevention, palliative care and those left behind.
This January I completed my Social Business Canvas, Graduation Presentation and Reflective Artifact for the Badiri Social Enterpreneurship Programme and School For Social Entrepreneurs International Scholarship Programme 2018.
Congratulations to my peers on your graduation.
I wish you all every success with your concepts and businesses.
The 21st January 2019 was a day I will never forget.
I finally completed my scholarship programme with the Badiri Academy, NAMA, UAE and the School For Social Entrepreneurs London, UK.
I presented my graduation presentation and received my certificate.
Many thanks to Jo Van Osch my mentor for supporting me throughout the programme.
I was honoured to attend a workshop on entrepreneurship with renowned writer and computer tech expert/genius Bel Pesce.
Many thanks to NAMA and the BSEP team for organising this event.
During the final week of June I traveled to Thailand to visit Sister Louise of the Good Shepherd Sisters Bangkok, Thailand.
Many thanks to Sister Louise for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk about her pioneering work.
In a recently restored building in one of one of the oldest pats of Bangkok, the Heritage Craft Shop and Café is a beautiful respite from the heat and a wonderful place to conduct to some fair trade retail therapy.
Conveniently located in the old city of Bangkok near (Rattanakosin Island).
The Heritage Craft and Cafe is a treasure trove of lovingly hand crafted fair trade gifts have been selected by its founder Mr Stephen Salmon.
Highly recommended the gorgeous interior has been lovingly restored.
The cafe serves freshly brewed fair-trade coffee or tea and yummy chocolate cake.
I had the honour and privilege of visiting Mr Salmon again and thank him for his time.
This July I traveled to the UK and visited the London Textile Fair with my dear friend Sunita.
I attended the UK leg of the Social Entrepreneurship Programme in
London with the Badiri Academy, NAMA and the School for Social Entrepreneurs London and Cornwall.
Many thanks to all the guest speakers and the NAMA and SSE's teams for their support, expertise and wisdom.
This June I collapsed at the end of Ramadan and required urgent IVs for iron, glucose and vitamins. Betathalasemia minor is pain!
During the final week of June I traveled to Thailand to visit Sister Louise of the Good Shepherd Sisters Bangkok and Mr Stephen Salmon of the Heritage Crafts and Cafe, (ThaiCraft) Bangkok, Thailand.
Many thanks to Sister Louise and Mrs Salmon for taking time out of their busy schedules to talk about their pioneering work.
This May I was accepted onto the Badiri Social Enterprise and the School for Social Entrepreneurs Scholarship Progam 2018, UAE.
I received a message from Mr Anuj Agarwal Founder of Feedspot to say The Little Fair Trade blog had been included in a comprehensive list of the top 25 Fair Trade Blogs on the internet.
Embraced the blessed holy month of Ramadan once again.
Miranda Paul fair trade advocate and children's author visits Sharjah and Dubai, UAE.
I've been meaning to write an article illustrating my fair trade journey for the
Sister-hood team for some time but then I had surgery for a rototar cuff and everything stopped.
After months of painful physiotherapy I finally edited my interview.
This April I was invited 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.
I had the good fortune to travel to Oxford during my visit to the United Kingdom.
I am very grateful to Clare and Miranda for taking time out of their busy schedules to conduct interviews with me.
I look forward to returning to beautiful Oxford soon.
This March I was privileged to meet Professor Muhammad Yunus again.
Celebrated the second week of Fair Trade Fortnight 2018, Dubai, UAE.
Continued trading at the Boutique Market at JBR and asked friends to support my Six Items Challenge 2018 and participated in Earth Hour Dubai 2018.
This February I met with Mr Hassan Bello of the Ajala Project.
Was a panelist at the SHETRADES MENA HUB LAUNCH.
Started my Six Items Challenge 2018 and celebrated Fairtrade Fortnight 2018.
So here I am for the seventh consecutive year participating in the Six Items Challenge with Labour Behind The Label.
This year the challenge commences 14th February - 29th March 2018.
Six Items Challenge 2018
Everyday Hero Six Items Challenge 2018 - The Lilfairtrade Shop
For those interested I have also attached links to the Six Items Challenges, 2017, 2016 and 2012 - 2015.
Six Items Challenge 2016
Six Items Challenge 2012-2015
By sheer chance and after a coffee with Ms Arwa Hassan Al Qassim of Dubai Culture early February 2018 I was politely asked if I would like to be a panelist at the SheTrades MENA Launch. I said YES!
Many thanks to Dr Ashraf Mahate Chief Economist at the Government of Dubai and Dubai Exports and Ms Al Qassim for providing me with a platform to talk about my passion ''FAIR TRADE.''
This January I started trading at The Boutique Market at JBR, Dubai, UAE.
I invited two wonderful Social Enterprise lecturers from the Middlesex University Dubai to lunch at the Olea Restaurant Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates.
Received a new consignment of fair trade and fairly traded organic toys.
This December I was privileged and honoured to participate at the Swiss Business Council for the second time.
Many thanks to Ms Charoline Engel, Claudine and her team for organising another successful market.
It was lovely to finally meet the team from the Women's World Project, Manchester in association with The Pankhurst Centre.
I had a lovely afternoon meeting strong willed, ambitious, beautiful women.
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