This October I was interviewed by Voice of Islam Radio Station, London, UK.
My interview with Paksy Plackis-Chang and Impact Mania was released on Twitter and Facebook.
I presented fair trade to ladies at a coffee morning.
I finally had my surgery for my rotater cuff. My right shoulder is painful but healing.
I welcomed my friend Joanna Smieja from Poland. It was Joanna's first visit to Dubai and the UAE.
Suported Anti-Poverty Week 2017, Dubai, UAE.
Recorded my tribute to my beloved mother for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Received my ''This Is Manchester'' tribute book.
I was invited by Manor Primary School and children of Year 5 to talk about fair trade.
We started the lesson by watching the Max Havelaar Chocolate Song.
The world in my shopping basket - children learnt where fair trade products came from.
Year 5 tasted fairtrade Divine Milk Chocolate and Green & Blacks Maya Gold.
The children watched a fairtrade video about Tayna a young girl who visited cocoa farmers and their communities in the Dominican Republic.
Children learnt about the fair price, social premium, social standards and the environment.
The children showed their support for fair trade and we ended the session with lots of happy memories.
I hope they will be the future fair trade stars and campaigners in Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.
This September I am still tolerating the torn ligament in my right shoulder, however, I managed to Skype with Paksy Plackis-Cheng founder Impact Mania based in Calfornia, USA.
My tribute to my late mother was tweeted by the Women's Words Manchester project.
I received a wonderful birthday present my new business cards from my Creative Director Helen Barlow Scott.
Attended the Salam Sisters Network Dubai (SSND) monthly meeting.
Taught fair trade to Year 5 at the Manor Park Primary School, Dubai.
Attended the ZB Foundation lunch with founders Dani Wilson and Saima Khan and presented a fair trade talk to over a 100+ ladies.
Participated in Live Create Meditate event with Mariam Yasin and Amruta Kshemkalyani.
This August I was diagnosed with a torn ligament in my right shoulder which will require surgery and physiotherapy.
I finally managed to Skype with Dr Sara Calvo Martinez founder of Living in Minca and professor at the Middlesex University Business School, London.
My fair trade story was featured in the Story Exchange Women Mean Business website.
I organised meetings with Mr Daniel Ludvig and Mr Sayed of Sheraa, Sharjah.
Had coffee with Sandra Stephenson senior lecturer at the Middlesex University Dubai, and met founder and chairperson of ZBFoundation Dani Wilson and Saima Khan.
During October 2015 I had the privilege to interview Mr Stephen Salmon of Thaicraft, Bangkok, Thailand.
I had previously visited Thaicraft during 2009 and 2011 and was interested to learn about the history of the fair trade movement in Thailand.
Many thanks to Mr Salmon and his team for their time.
It was inspiring to finally meet Dr Sara Parker professor who is a lecturer and reader at John Moores IUniversity Liverpool.
Dr Parker has spent the past 30 years researching Nepal in particular Sikles a town in Nepal and supporting fairtrade producers WEAVE in Pokhara.
She has written and designed a fairtrade puppet set for children called Fairis the Frog and established her own company Fair Connections and Fair Connections Foundation supporting local schools in Nepal.
For every fair trade puppet set purchased one is donated to a school in Nepal educating children in the most rural areas and regions.
I had the good fortune to visit Bruce Crowther, MBE during November 2016 and spent a morning learning how to produce fair trade chocolate bean to bar.
Fredrick is a member of the Kuapa Kukoo Farmers Cooperative Ghana, and it was wonderful feeling knowing he had grown the cocoa for our chocolate.
We began our chocolate making at the crack of dawn and I was nervous not to make any mistakes and spoil Bruce's batch of chocolate.
I have posted all the photographs chronologically as we produced the chocolate.
This month I was I was approached by Ellen van Dongen of the Responsible Shopping Dubai website and asked if The Little Fair Trade Shop would like to be featured. I said YES!
Attended my first Dubai Vegan Meet Up, continued with my Who Made My Clothes course and was diagnosed with a painful frozen shoulder.
I spent most of August 2016 with my siblings in London and mustered the energy to board a train to historical York to visit Shared Earth and talk with founder and owner Jeremy Piercy.
Many thanks to David Piercy for his time and support during my visit.
I would like to introduce you to another leading fairtrade pioneer and champion of the fairtrade movement of the United Kingdom, Ms Christina Longden.
Christina is a humanitarian, an accomplished author and Director (Fundraising/Information) at The Lorna Young Foundation.
The FIG Tree Garstang/Lancaster, United Kingdom
I first visited The Fig Tree October 2011 when it was a mere shell and was invited to a fair trade tea party, August 2012.
The enthusiasm, passion and the warm welcome I received was overwhelming and humbling. I was impressed by its amazing transformation.
I revisited The Fig Tree November 2016 where I was invited to participate in a Chocolate Master Class with the Godfather of Fairtrade Bruce Crowther MBE.
I fulfilled a life time ambition to visit Pakistan December 2011 and February 2015 and met the only two fair trade certified organisations in Karachi and Rawalpindi.
I also conducted interviews with a government official and non profit organisations who are working towards implementing the ten principles of fair trade. Each organisation has a dual role and purpose;
1. to support rural artisans establish and develop strong sustainable projects and
2. revive traditional skills and techniques.
I have attached interviews with Fairtrade and NGO's I visited during December January 2011/12 and February/March 2015.
THE DOMINION TRADERS
THE RA'ANA LIAQUAT CRAFTMEN'S COLONY
THE HOME BASED WOMEN'S WORKERS FEDERATION
AHAN - AIK HUNAR AIK NAGAR
KAARVAN CRAFTS - PRIDE PAKISTAN
AL FALAH TRUST AND EMBROIDERY PROJECT
The Ra'ana Liaquat Craftmen's Colony
Income Generation Programme
The Ra'ana Liaquat Craftmen's Colony was founded by Begum Ra'ana Liaquat, 1954.
I visited their inspirational headquarters and observed training workshops where ladies were taught to produce beautiful up-cycled products.
Mrs Nisreen was happy to share her story and work experiences. It was wonderful to learn how the income generation programme had empowered her and given her the opportunity to supplement her income by designing crochet products.
The Dominion Traders
Fairly traded Marble and Onyx Producers
The Dominion Traders have been promoting fair trade in Pakistan since 1947.
I had the good fortune of interviewing Mr Syed Fahad Ali, Chief Executive Officer and his team of talented artisans when I visited their offices and factory, December 2011.
Since it's inception the organisation has supported approximately 60 employees who are treated with the utmost love and respect. Employees receive fair wages, are employed in good working conditions and are provided with medical care.
KAARVAN CRAFTS - PRIDE PAKISTAN
Kaarvan's mission is to be a fairtrade market leader by producing and retailing affordable and sophisticated hand crafted products in local and export markets.
It provides employment opportunities and marketing and advisory services to women and girls in low income communities so that they can enhance their economic realities.
AHAN - AIK HUNAR AIK NAGAR
Ahan is a non profit company created by the Pakistani Industrial Corporation in 2006.
It has 4 offices based in Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi.
It aims to provide employment for small marginalised craftsman and artisans around Pakistan.
It works to revive traditional handicrafts through skill enhancement, product development, technological output, quality control and market and financial support.
I was honoured to interview Dr Badar Siddiqui of The Al Falah Trust and Embroidery Project, December 2011.
The Al Falah Trust and Embroidery Project was founded by Mrs. Shahina Siddiqui in 1995.
The organisation supports disadvantaged and marginalised women from, Taluka, Mirpur, Sakhro, Thatha (Tatta) in the province of Sindh.
Traditional embroidery and home accessories are produced using traditional patterns and colours that promote their rich heritage which would otherwise be lost or forgotten.
This June I continued to fast during Ramadan and took a break from Facebook.
I devoted my time to abstain, reflect and connect with the Almighty. Concentrated on my health and prayed for my beloved parents.
I managed to sign up to Do Nation. Do Nation helps people commit to make small behaviour changes that add up to a better world.
I supported the I AM ROHINGYA theatre production group in Canada.
Enrolled on the Future Learn Fashion Revolution Course 'Who Made Your Clothes?'
The Macmillan Campaigns team UK asked to share my World Cancer Day vlog about my late mother on their site.
As a passionate advocate for fairtrade and ethical slow fashion I decided to enroll on the Future Learn 'Who Made Your Clothes?' Course with the University of Exeter.
This online course is free but you can receive a certificate and unlimited access to resources and materials for $39 which is approximately £30 depending on the exchange rate.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and my participation with all the other candidates.
I also enrolled on the second course Social Enterprise: Turning Ideas into Action.
Lesson 3.11, all participants were asked to submit a video about their social enterprise and enter the International Social Innovation Challenge 2016.
I won my social pitch and would like to congratulate Palma Milicevic and Emma Butler who were awarded consultancy and support.
Thank you to all the candidates who entered and voted for me.
Many thanks to Dr Sara Calvo, Jeremy Wade and all the other mentors.
Best wishes to everyone with their social enterprises.
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 beautiful ladies at the Dubai Business Women Council who very kindly modelled the Agent for Change posters for me.
I also managed to go to Jumeirah beach and conduct an impromptu beach photo shoot near the iconic Burj Al Arab.
Best wishes to all fairtrade producers, artists, supporters, volunteers and friends around the world for being the voice and change for social, environmental and trade justice.
RESPECT, STAY STRONG, PEACE AND BLESSINGS!
Fair Trade Lebanon
In this month recap I've talked about my Ramadan reflections and participating in my first ever International Fair Trade Towns Conference 2016, Baskinta, Lebanon.
I have been campaigning for fairtrade and ethical producers and ethical consumerism in my beloved home city of Manchester, London, Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the past eleven years.
One of greatest accomplishments is converting my mother to fairtrade products.
It was a wonderful experience to meet Professor Mohammad Yunus at Salford University.
A privilege to discuss fair trade with Dr Jamil Sherif and Mrs Naseema Begum at the Muslim Council of Britain November 2016.
As the only fair trade campaigner, educator and modest retailer in the United Arab Emirates I have struggled to create a niche market for fair trade products.
Nevertheless, I have never lost heart and am more determined than ever to dispel the myth about fair trade being ''charity.''
I continue to educate people about fair trade artisans and groups by promoting the principles of a living wage, self-reliance, empowerment, transparency, environmental sustainability and dignity and self respect for all.
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