Monday, December 26, 2011

A Post to Distract You From My Lack of Outfit-Recording

Would you like a beauty tip that will not denigrate your self-esteem and consequently your self-worth? Try flicking glitter upon your lashes; view the world through kaleidoscope eyes when basking in any form of light.

I followed said beauty advice when I found myself spending a December evening with 13-year olds. Some gems from their conversations, of which I eavesdropped on whilst flipping between reading scholarly essays on how fundamentalism has betrayed the true spirit of Islam, and the epic unrequited love story, "Love in the time of Cholera":

 Urooba Jamal 
"My mom was a tomboy. The only girl things she did was, like, cook and clean." *cringes forever** 
 Urooba Jamal 
"Mature is, like, when you don't laugh at sex jokes." 

Oh hai therr, embedded-tweets feature.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

éclatement de l'inspiration

"Women are not created weaker but more generous than men. They are created more beautiful and less fierce, as beauty hates to hurt and harm others. That is why they seem weak to people, but in reality they are not. Angels are the strongest of created beings, and women are closer to the angelic nature than men, as they are readier than men to carry angelic light. It is the good manners and ethics of spirituality which they carry which makes them less forceful than men. Even physically, however, they are extremely strong. They undergo great upheavals in their body without flinching for the sake of childbirth, and face the direst physical conditions more successfully than men because God has enabled them to insure the survival of generations."

-Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.)

Just a quickie post; burst of inspiration & what not. It's been way too long, mes amies. <3
Life's been crazy-busy, obvs. Fear not, been doing errrr'thang in tacky, thrift-y, vintage-y clothes, bien sûr. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bell Bottoms and bedroom Eyes

The word 'undergraduate' seems rightfully accurate--these undergraduate years are so underrated!
The cognizance of this fact hath made me commit acts of the socially deviant kind:
I decided to ornament half my limbs with the most ridiculous/fan freakin' tastic/groovy/happiness-inducing floral bell bottoms.

The two best accompaniments? A velvet blazer and a pompous, hip-jutting demeanor, of course.

  The pants also serve as a means of protection against dangerous suburban terrain.

The unveiling (pun not intended, for once) of lethargy or sexy bedroom eyes? You decide.

who what wear?
  • velvet blazer: < $3, F as in Frank vintage sale
  • floral fab-freakin'-tastic pants: Urban Outfitters, $10
  • gold metallic, zebra-print scarf: H&M, $5
{word of the moment}  

[kog-nuh-zuhns, kon-uh-]
noun 1. awareness, realization, or knowledge; notice; perception:  
"The guests took cognizance of the snide remark."

{phonetic gem of the moment}
This man. His voice. That is all. (When is he coming to Vancouver!?!?!?!?!?)

{book of the moment}

{quote of the moment}

"Why do you stay in prison, when the door is so wide open?" ~ Jalal ad-Din Rumi

Till next time, lieflinges*!

 (*darlings, in Afrikaans)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

[video!] What's Happening Write Now

In between constructing coffins for the most enjoyable (pretend) funeral/murder mystery I have had the pleasure of organizing and attending; and receiving mail in an actual mailbox that is not an email inbox; and having my lips formulate the shape of a bowl every time I hear Joshua Radin's "I Missed you"
[]; and getting abnormally excited at the fact that as of late there have been many parallels between my Urban Studies, Sociology of Racial and Ethnic Inequality and World Literature classes; and having my breath taken away as I behold the sight of fall on campus; and drawing out dramatic, induced-by-pseudo-annoyance sighs every time someone wrote a generic "happy bday :D" greeting upon my Facebook wall; and smiling copiously every time someone did not do that; and connecting with the Pakistani diaspora on campus by being an executive of a Pakistan Students' Association, and having conversations with my residents a.k.a. children in the washroom with toothpaste-foam-stuffed mouths, and by thrifting a string of lights for $1 that I have put up in my room and that are much too romantic and reaffirm my desire for a significant other but not really just joking; and being somewhat relieved my french class is much like highschool french parce-que c'est tres facile; and actually resorting to penciling in time in our schedules to have casual hang-out sessions with my BFF because our lives are just that divergent and busy now; and discovering that if I were to be an academic discipline I would most likely be sociology, seeing as I think like a sociologist a lot of the time now; and wearing glittery black slacks to an interview because metallic gold tights and tie-dyed denim will just not do; and repeating jokes far too often in the day that even I tire of my redundancy; and having conversations about political efficacy and racial segregation with 75-year-old men in groovy cafes that have gender-neutral washrooms; and being of an interest to 26-give-or-take-year-old fobby sales clerks at convenience stores who offer me free samosas whilst slippng me their number....

...a  friend and I made a video! It's a tribute to Vancouver and some of the reasons why we love this place. Originally for the creative part of an application and now for your viewing pleasure, too!

p.s. outfit post soon!
p.p.s. hello new followers!
p.p.p.s. 2  milestones: am now 19. This l'il 'ol blog, UUU, is about to turn TWO YEARS OLD. Aw, my baby! <3

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

[Confessions of an Academic-Hedonist]

Because I constantly receive large 'mounts of gratification from being verbose, and because I enjoy steadily increasing my superfluously-hyphenated-self-identity I have added something else to the way I will now classify myself:

I am an academic-hedonist.

Damn straight.

Monday, September 26, 2011

It Never Gets Ti(g)ering

This post will not ooze collegiate-chic as it so rightfully should. Won't ooze sophomore collegiate-chic to be exact. No, won't ooze second-year collegiate-chic to be exact exact, seeing as I am no American (& do not particularly aspire to be. Re: Troy Davis sad-edy. [tragedy + sad]).

Instead, it will attempt to reinforce the norm of longing for summer. Please sit back & enjoy me having ascendancy over you for the next few moments in time.

 Longing for summer reaffirmed yet? Oh, no? Fear not, there's more captured moments of time where this came from.
 who what wear?
  •     shiny blue scarf, $2, F as in Frank
  •     vintage floral dress, $3, Value Village
  •     gold metallic tights, $10, h&m  
  •     bright blue pumps, $3, thrifted
  •     bedazzled vintage vest, momma's from the 80's
 The beautiful thing about being a maximalist is that you can repeat outfits (gasp!shock!horror!) with a simple switch of accessories. Case in point: I've worn this ensemble to convocation ceremonies, birthday dinners, & summer Microeconomics classes.

[jewellery] who what wear?
  •  blue ring, Old Navy, $3
  • gold cuff, Forever 21
  • white & gold necklace, Aldo, $10
  • blue & gold necklace, Value Village, < $2

Now, here: gallivanting graciously amidst suburban terrain...or picking a frustratingly deep-seated (literally) wedgie? You decide.

p.s. Exciting Life Updates in This L'il Life O' Mine vis-à-vis Photographs
In this photo I am in the possession of the Delicious Boy, who is my 7-month old baby brother who has not made an appearance on UUU yet (!!!!!!!!!!!).

I am currently a Residence Advisor at school. In short, I get paid to have TONS OF LEGAL FUN.
Above is my Small Team. & a cheer we never get tigerd (heh) of re-enacting: "1-2 KU, 3-4 Hear us roar! *roar*)

bisou, bisou, mes darlings. Till next time (which will not be a month later. *winces*)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Y'know, if it wasn't for my passive consumption of media-induced gender & beauty norms, the frustratingly superficial expectation of and infatuation with becoming trophy wives as per the tradition of the Pakistani(/desi?) diaspora, and well-intentioned (??) passing remarks from friends and/or relatives...

...I think I would be 100% okay with my 'curvy' body.

Screw you, socialization!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

[Happy Independence Day!] This is the Pakistan I know.

Despite the 3 Ps, (corrupt) politics, (frustratingly deep-seated) patriarchy and (dismal) poverty, I am forever enamored by Pakistani art: food, music and clothes. Happy Birthday to *my* birthplace and the region of the world that forms one-half of my cultural identity!
Below, the Pakistan that I know.
(yours truly)
Born in a hospital in Nazimabad, Karachi, in 1992, it has been mentioned by my mother I began accessorizing since day 1.

(me, my sister, my Dad)
There it was, too, where I developed a head full of curls, and my sister, a hairless scalp.

(me, my sister)
Sitting pretty; attending an authentic Pakistani wedding (@ age 8.5).

(my sister, other sister, brother, et moi)
Sitting pretty; attending an authentic Pakistani wedding (@ age 8.5)...with more siblings in tow (and now there exists one more Generation Y sibling, aged 6 months m'A!)

(mama dearest, my sister, brother, dad, aunt. top: me, my sis. bottom: cousin)
A true Pakistani venture, shawarmas and lassi (*mouthwatering!!!!!*) at Clifton Beach, Karachi, with all types of family members in tow. Even your uncle's brother-in-law's cousin's son's old college friend.

(sister, me, sister)
Devouring our childhood: days spent being as innocuous as possible: accepting candy from the chauki-dars (security officers), befriending the massis (housekeepers), and riding oont (camels) at the beach.

And celebrating 9th birthday parties on chuths (rooftops). 

The following quotes are by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan (1876-1948). 

“There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is great competition and rivalry between the two. There is a third power stronger than both, that of the women.”

“Come forward as servants of Islam, organize the people economically, socially, educationally and politically and I am sure that you will be a power that will be accepted by everybody.”

“No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you.”

“Our objective should be peace within, and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial friendly relations with our immediate neighbours and with the world at large.”

“We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live.”

“We should have a State in which we could live and breathe as free men and which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play."

.چوم ,چوم

 (kiss, kiss). (bisou, bisou).

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer, don't leave white away.

This summer has been the perfect blend of work, play, and all-around general lounging. This dress embodies that to a tee.
When I'm hard at work passively flopping my hands into the hands of manicurists, it's appropriate.
When I'm conjuring up wordplay spontaneously, it's appropriate.
When I lounge around all general-like, it's a little less appropriate. (I prefer to be lackadaisical in clothes that severely lack opulence).
*this is a satirized pose. No one in their white mind (ha) configures their limbs like this intentionally.

*this is a semi-satirized pose.


who what wear? 
  • geometric-patterned dress, $3, thrifted 2. 
  • vintage, tattered, pre-loved sandals, $2, thrifted [my Summer Sandal as of late] 3. 
  • black tights, $4, Forever 21  

[jewelery] who what wear?
  • blue ring: Old Navy (I know, right!?), $3
  • coral & gold necklace: Stitches, $1
  • silver ring: Zellers, $1.50
  • silver bracelet: Pakistan
  • studded bracelet: thrifted, $1.50

Hope y'all are having a fantastic summer! Connect with me, else I seldom know of your existence.
I update very infrequently (#blamethemuslims, am I right, am I right?), so the most active I am in cyberspace is over @ Twitter, dear comrades:!/uroobajamal
Come. Follow me.
(Let me believe I have much ascendancy over y'all. *Wink, wink.) 

*attempt at winking. I refuse to believe otherwise. What! No! It is not an Awkward Face! Awkward phase? Maybe.
Toodles, mere pyarein.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


My plunges into the world of literature as of late have been met with such positive reverberations, it is read-iculous.

It all started with 'Child 44' by Tom Rob Smith. I devoured that thrilling fictitious-but-based-on-true-events-thus-historical-murder-mystery-crime-laden-political…thriller with such vulgarity during finals time, I got a B in Microeconomics. *whimpers*

Still, sacrificing a vivacious future was so worth it.

Like comic relief in a dramatic, tragic play, the following quote, besides being an utterly sweet thing to muster to one’s significant other, serves as ‘romantic relief':

 "Do you remember the first time we saw each other? You thought I was rude, staring at you. I got off at the wrong metro stop just to ask your name. And you refused to tell me. But I wouldn’t leave until you did. So you lied and told me your name was Lena. For an entire week all I could talk about was this beautiful woman called Lena. I’d tell everyone Lena’s so beautiful. When I finally saw you again and convinced you to walk with me I called you Lena the entire time. At the end of the walk I was ready to kiss you and you were only ready to tell me your real name. The next day I told everyone how wonderful this woman Raisa was and everyone laughed at me saying last week it was Lena this week it’s Raisa and next week it’ll be someone else. But it never was. It was always you."

I read a few more books in between (and that I'd whole-heartedly recommend: 'Summer Sisters' by Judy Blume, 'The Blind Assassin' by Margaret Atwood, & 'Bossypants' by *Tina Fey).
*I now have a platonic crush on Tina Fey.

And then I had the privilege of stumbling upon Nafisa Haji's 'The Sweetness of Tears'. It weaves together the stories of individuals from different generations, different timezones, different faiths and toys--nay, beautifully treads--through topics such as religion, war, patriarchy, emotional expatriation, friendship, and love.
I urge you all to give it a read and have your soul shaken! 

This quote was poetic. And heart-breaking, given the context.

"The fact is, Deena, that you and Umar are no longer children. You have gone from sharing fruit to sharing poetry. It is time to set this part of your childhood aside, before you also move from broken bones to broken hearts."

This quote needs no explanation, I hope.

"The only way to rise above is to rise above. The only way to respond with wrong is with right. The only way to deal with injustice is to be just," said Abu.
I told Ma what Abu said. "Hmm. Abu carries a lot of wisdom around in his head. But the problem is that in the real world, wisdom is very hard to detect from foolishness."
"What are you saying, Ma!? That Abu is foolish?!"
"I am saying that most people would consider him to be so."
"Do you?"
My mother sighed. "No, Deena. Don't tell him I said so--but I think he is wise. It's the rest of the world that is foolish."

This quote made me angry, as it reminded me of the cultural misogyny that is so often wrapped under the pretense of Islam and is used to justify the subjugation of women. But I cooled off (sort of--am currently amidst Californian heat!) and went on reading Haji's brilliant words.

"But there's nothing in the Quran that says so!"
"No matter. The interpretation of the learned ones is sound."
"The learned ones! They must all have been men!"
"Of course they were!" he said, shocked, "You think it's a woman's job to determine what the law of God is?"

And this one brought tears to my eye and I have no freakin' clue why. Closet hopeless romantic? (Other passages brought out saltwater from my tear ducts, too--tears actually worth shedding! I am embrassed to have been misty-eyed because of the preceding quote).

"What I saw there explained everything--the reason he had stayed away, why he had come to say good-bye. I can only describe what I saw by its effect on me. Every woman should be looked at in such away, at least once in her life. With a longing that cannot be the verse of the poem he had read...I felt my face flush and waves of knowing suffused every pore, every cell of my being. that love, I felt beauty--my own....Have you ever felt that way, Jo? Have you ever been looked at with such soulful longing that you are transformed, the object and subject of Love, capital L? You look frightened, as if you didn't know what I was talking about and were afraid of it somehow."

And that concludes my summer reading list thus far.
And yours?
(p.s. new followers-welcome!)
(p.p.s. read a review of 'The Sweetness of Tears' by my cousin, on Altmuslimah--your platform for gender issues in Islam and beyond!:

"And never let hatred of anyone lead you into the sin of deviating from justice." - (Qur'an 5:8)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Date's Weird

One of my many, many, many talents (besides being humble) includes remembering dates of milestones not typically considered milestones.


The day I started wearing a hijab: July 1st, 2005 (all of Canada was celebrating along with me).

The first day my endometrium shed: Dec 29th, 2004 (the world would wait a couple of days 'fore celebrating).

And you?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fill-a-heart sale.

In between trying to refrain from becoming too angry whilst reading about rape apologism and/or the comment section on any non-alternative media about Muslims and getting lost trying to find new restaurants when hanging out with new friends and shedding superfluous tears at dumb Bollywood movies and kissing my gorgeous 5-month-old brother incessantly as the summer sun kisses us and coyly fueling my sister's apprehension about graduating high school by feeding her false horror UBC Science stories and mentally preparing for an August Ramadan and tweeting too much and having dangerously volatile opinions about third-wave feminism and becoming simultaneously anxious and excited about second year of university and trying to find ways to diverge from slacktivism and rediscovering the joys of devouring a large number of books in a relatively short period of time and getting dolled up as extravagantly as possible for a friend's pre-wedding functions and increasing my Urdu vocabulary by listening to the collection of phonetic gems otherwise known as Coke Studio....
 ....I got the chance to indulge in a false yet strangely valid kind of happiness: vintage clothes shopping. Yep, F as in Frank (Main St. & Broadway, Vancouver; held their bi-annual $10-fill-a-bag-sale and me and my wallet naturally gravitated towards it.
Below, my delightful finds:

A riveting silver metallic and black velvet cropped jacket. Fits like a dream. Will add that hint of pizazz to a plain-jane outfit lest I opt to adorn myself with such an ensemble. Love and lust at first sight. I saw someone toss it into their bag and my heart broke into an infinitesimally small number of pieces. Later, I found it amidst a stack fuzzy sweaters. Two emotions ran through me: joy and relief for being able to have this jacket a part of my life and shock that anyone else would even think to not have it a part of theirs.
A closeup. Look at that delicious button!

Instantaneous Chanel-channeling will occur with this little number.
Faux pearls--what more could ya want!?!

Obnoxiously 80's and has the skyline of a city I would  love to visit. A generic desire, but this sweatshirt is anything but. (Neon fabric paint--OH. MY. GOD.)

Fuzzy yellow sweater. Photographs do not do it justice. Emits feelings of autumn joy. And the right amount of collegiate-chic for my second year of university iA. (!)

The Perfect Black Blazer. Fits Perfectly. Has the Perfect sleeve length. The Perfect number of buttons. The Perfect collar shape. It's Perfect*. 
*photos do not do justice.
Closeup of Perfection. (Velvet cuffs and buttons! Rejoice avec moi.)

Neon hot-pink-and-orange trench? Swoooooooon. Can't wait to strut this on campus amongst my fellow peers a.k.a. hipsters who dress in colours that range from brown to gray to black to olive green to the *daring* navy blue.

Is an explanation even necessary? Commentary mirrors that of the commentary above.

To casually toss on, with my fat jeans. Lazy summer outfit complete. (Why yes, this is a maternity shirt. Any negative reverberations you have with this fact?)

Black sweaters. All unique in their own set of sequin-laden hotness. I couldn't resist bringing them all home. <3
A 'di'-hard fan of diamonds I am.
This one scores all the golds.
Lace white skirt with a flounce so fresh you'd think it was still ripe! Perfect in fulfilling all of my (halal) Taylor Swift music video dreams. (Of which I have none, pfft.)

And I don't know what to do with this one. El-oh-el. 
But how could I resist?

And my vintage Chanel bag. Okay, huff, puff, faux Chanel bag. Nothing gets past you, huh?

Last but not least, these fine booties:
Some good news and some bad news regarding these feet embellishments.
Bad news :(! they are too small for my size 8 feet.
Good news :)! could this be a potential giveaway? Would you, dear comrades, be interested?

p.s are you following me on TUMBLR   yet?
p.p.s. shout out to Drew for allowing me the extra bit of shopping time! Customer preferences, I dig ya. ;)
p.p.p.s of course all this cost < $30!

~bisou, bisou.