May has been an interesting month, an important month. We have seen people from different races, religions and backgrounds uniting to fight for black lives, fight against racism and to dismantle white supremacy. It is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. But the fight is far from over, so keep protesting, keep donating, keep signing petitions, keep on using your voices and keep on amplifying black voices.
The UK is far from innocent. There will be a peaceful protest for Shukri Abdi taking place on the 27th of June in Hyde Park at 1pm. Please attend if you can. To learn more about Shukri’s story, gal-dem has reported on the case which you can read here.
I hope a protest for Belly Mujinga is organised soon. You can read more about Belly Mujinga’s case here as well as how you can help fight for justice. We can’t forget that we haven’t received justice for Breonna Taylor either and so many more countless black lives. You can also find a thread of petitions to sign here too.
I did see someone from my former workplace, Suzan Ismail, posting on racial gaslighting which absolutely infuriated me because… she did it herself to me. And then attempted a ‘Kendall Jenner in the Pepsi ad’ by handing out sweets to me and my abuser as a way to start resolving the abuse inflicted on myself by Nelini Sharma. And then she lied to the board stating that Marian Moore, Service Manager, didn’t talk about how it would be difficult to replace Nelini Sharma because it would require a lot of retraining. Dear Lord. I have spoken about it on my blog a few times now, but I’m just going to name the organisation because enough is enough. The organisation is the NSPCC, a major children’s charity in the UK and the parent company of Childline. You can read more about it in my February Wrap Up, Breaking the Silence, and Milestone – My Writing is being Performed blog posts. The next time I apply for a job or go for an interview, I’m going to be brutally honest and say I was abused out of a job, and I was one of the four staff she bullied and abused in the span of a year – three black women and one brown woman (me). There was enough evidence to dismiss Nelini Sharma and Marian Moore (Service Manager at NSPCC Camden who ignored all of our complaints) which the board then ignored from myself and two of the former black staff mentioned. And to think they’re using Nadiya Hussain, Oloni, Kevin J. Marshall and Maya Jama for the optics of diversity.
It has also been mentioned on Twitter that both Instagram and Twitter’s algorithm has been working to decrease the visibility of posts on Black Lives Matter, so if you see your timeline returning to normal, it isn’t because things are going back to normal. Protests are still happening and will continue to happen, and there is no ‘normal’ to go back to. A new normal has to be created by us, collectively, together… because that’s the only way things will change. It’s been a long time coming.
Posts I’ve Loved Reading:
Tiara @ Muted Mouthful – ‘I Can’t Hold Your Hand’: “I would have gladly engaged in conversations around race relations, reformation, and history, but it wasn’t a priority. That’s a privilege. You don’t get to overwhelm me now because it’s trending.” Please read.
Neelam @ thetsundokuchronicles – ‘Muslim Shelf Space Books Available on Scribd’: Neelam recommends books to fill your Muslim Shelf Space. I’ve found a lot of new books through her series.
Katherin E Garland @ kwoted – ‘Psyche of an Adoptee’: This was a really eye-opening read, and Katherin writes with immense warmth, openness and vulnerability. Katherin shares her journey as an adoptee, the impact on how she relates to her own identity and, consequently, her mental health.
Maha @ sunshinebooks – ‘the bookish Muslim experience: six bloggers on what it’s like to be Muslim in the book community’: I had a lot of fun (and loads of time spent introspecting) contributing to this, and I loved reading what everyone else had to say. It’s fascinating how we’ve all had a different journey and, ultimately, varying perspectives.
Well, it was my birthday last week! I got baking utensils (I’ve been wanting this for ages), Yankee candles and a new bookshelf. My first ever! The candles will go on top of the shelf as decorations eventually. Right now, it contains half of my books and I have another 100+ books in my aunts house, so… if you live in London and you’d like to borrow or take a few books, let me know. A Suitable Boy (borrow only), Misery, The Constant Princess, A History of Britain in 21 Women, feel free to send me an email if you’d like these! I also got a few free merch and free books from Penguin Random House (Rise Up by Stormzy, My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh, Taking up Space by Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi, The Survivor by Primo Levi, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari).
What I’ve Been Reading
- I’m still reading The Path to Perfection by Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Muhammad Masihullah Khan and Love from A to Z by S. K. Ali. A few Libby holds became available, plus I had an arc and another book to read and now review! But my reading attention is now fully on both of these delightful books! I’m also loving how Love from A to Z has characters whose names are the same as my first cousins – Adam, Zayneb, now Zahid, Samir (short of an ‘ah’ at the end) and the authors name is Sajidah, once again, short of an ‘n’ after ‘sa’. It’s literally a rundown of names of my first cousins and my sister!
- I’ve loved reading I Felt Sad – Bens Life in Quarantine by Fajsin Ali. “It’s been hard for little Ben. He is missing his friends and relatives during the quarantine. Things begin to look up when he finally opens up about his feelings.” It’s a sweet children’s book which encourages children, especially young boys, to open up about their feelings to their parents, guardians or loved ones. If you’re a parent or a guardian, I would recommend reading along with young readers aged 5-11. You can purchase a paperback copy for £3.99 on Amazon.
- Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid: It was a fun ride while it lasted.. and it didn’t last that long. Some of it was very much a rip off, and I’m surprised at people’s surprise at the ending. I saw it coming from the halfway point. Hardly anyone is likable, but yet I did enjoy it. But, then again, it was just all very predictable. Rating: ★★★
- The Name of Red by Beena Khan: Obviously, I’ve already reviewed this! But, once again, this was a beautiful love story with a dreamy love interest and he’s Muslim, and it’s just.. agh! Where are the real life Kabir’s?! Got my hopes up for nothing, thanks, Beena Khan. Rating: ★★★★
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson: I learned a whole lot from this, a lot to take away from this such as distinguishing what to give a crap about and what not to give a crap about it, but, within this, to really evaluate our values and whether they make any damn sense in the first place and how to know when it makes sense! I would have rated it a full 5 stars, but the pacing of the final 20% was slightly slower, so I rate this a strong: ★★★★
- Diversity and Representation in Books and Publishing – Why is it Necessary?: I take a look at the recent Mackenzi Lee controversy and how we can apply a holistic approach to increasing and improving diversity in the publishing industry and book blogging community, and why it doesn’t really amount to much if we don’t care about marginalised identities in real life.
What I’ve Been Watching
- Love Island UK Season 5: better known as Amber’s season. I’ve loved rewatching this season because it was by far my favourite. The sisterhood was strong, Ovie delivered… everything, looks, humour, maturity, everything, nothing was missed, there were explosive fights, Storm Anna hit the villa, lessons learned, and even Tommy and Molly’s adorable romance. I don’t think any other season will top it.
- New Girl: it’s finally on Netflix! I’ve been taking my time with this because I don’t want it to end. I’m patiently waiting for Winston to finally find the first love of his life, Ferguson. Nick and Jess’s chemistry… Oh. My. God. It has been strong from the beginning. I love how Nick and Jess get married to ‘Groovy Kind of Love’, the first song they ever danced to together.
How was May for you? Do you have any links to share? And what have you been were reading and watching? Do you have any self-help advice to share? Let me know in the comments!
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