The Horizontal Expansion

September 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Sumayyah Meehan, TMO

big-bellyIt’s been just over a week since the Holy Month of Ramadan ended, however the effects of the holiday can already be seen on the waistlines of countless denizens of Kuwait. The grandiose feasts that marked the end of each fasting day are the culprit behind the weight gain. Deep-fried appetizers, calorie-laden entrees and sugary sweet desserts are the usual Ramadan suspects that cause the unwanted weight gain. For many, it’s now a race to lose the weight prior to the upcoming Eid al Adha holiday.  Clearly, putting on the weight is much easier than getting it off.

Ever since the Holy Month ended the streets and parks of Kuwait have been inundated with joggers, rollerbladers and cyclists clamoring for space on the scorching cement. With temperatures still topping off at over 100 degrees-Fahrenheit, it is difficult for those working out to keep the momentum up for long. The evidence can be seen on the faces of the fallen fitness enthusiasts littering park benches and nearby patches of grass as they gasp for a breath of air.

Exercising outdoors in Kuwait is not for the faint-hearted and can prove lethal for anyone with preexisting health issues. Fortunately, there are countless fitness centers that cater to both men and women. The segregated fitness centers allow men and women, respectively, to exercise in private without worrying about members of the opposite sex gawking or otherwise interfering with an intense workout. The downside of having a gym membership in Kuwait is the cost. Most fitness memberships cost several hundred dollars per year. And the poshest ones often run into the thousands of dollars.

Perhaps the high cost of gym memberships in Kuwait is the reason that “mall walking” has become the newest fitness rage to hit Kuwait. Mall walkers, from all walks of life and a variety of ages, can be seen at just about every mall in Kuwait. However, “The Avenues” mall is one of the most popular for mall walking, which is not surprising given that it is one of the largest malls in the region. The frosty air-conditioned temperature of a shopping mall makes it the perfect exercise venue. Mall walkers can be spotted easily with their spiffy track suits, pristine walking shoes and tiny handheld weights.  The best part about mall walking is the added bonus of being able to stop and shop while you work up a sweat.

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Ramadan-Wear 2011: What Are You Wearing this Season?

July 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Siddiq Ather, TMO

thobes 4We have been blessed to be this close to the holy month of Ramadan, a great month of brotherhood, sisterhood, and spiritual advancement. Everyone is getting their Ramadan-wear ready. Lines of e’thr are arrayed on tables, and thobes (robes) and shalwar kameeses (long shirts) are dug out from the closet. But, there is some conflict.

One man looking at the one Saudi thobe he got as a gift a year ago realizes it’s a bit worn. He thinks in urdu,” Kash mera paas aik neya thobe tha ( I wish I had a new thobe).” Another looks at his Friday thobe sequestered between his stylish array of dress shirts and sweaters and thinks, “Man, I wish thobes had a bit more variety.” A third comes back from work, and upon seeing his thobe back from the dry cleaners thinks, “I wish I had a thobe with enough presence to wear at a business meeting.” A sister, after running around the mall all afternoon, stops for a breath of air, and thinks, “All that looking, and I still haven’t found one proper outfit I can wear to the masjid.”

Brothers and Sisters, look no further. There are options out there. First, I would suggest looking up your local Muslim all-in-one stores, or indian pakistani clothing store. If you still can’t find what you are looking for, there is still hope. If you attended the recent ISNA convention of 2011 in Chicago you probably could not help but notice the two Muslim-wear powerhouses, Kamani Clothing and Lawung Ltd. On their two websites, www.kamanionline.com and www.lawungdirect.com , respectively, they have taken Muslim-wear to a whole new level. Kamani clothing has a variety of thobe styles: Legacy, Prime, Ideal, and Classic. Lawung has a nice variety of children’s thobes along with their adult collections

They have integrated styles reminiscent of brand name formal and casual wear into the thobe. They have re-invented the thobe as we know it. Their items are modern, sleek , and affordable. Prices range from about thirty five dollars to eighty dollars, depending on what style you choose; shipping and handling is an additional cost. However, these items would be ideal for Ramadan-wear for you or as a gift. Lawung is based in the United Kingdom, and Kamani Clothing is run by the young Midwestern scholar Mufti Hussain Kamani.

From ’Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood (R) who said that the Prophet (s) said, “No one will enter Paradise who has an atom’s weight of pride in his heart.” A man said, “What if a man likes his clothes to look good and his shoes to look good?” He said, “Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means denying the truth and looking down on people.” (Muslim) Muslims should try their best to be clean, neat, and nice, especially during Ramadan; this allows the environment in the masjid to continue to be inviting, even with the higher number of attendees.

Many sisters try wearing hijab for the first time during the holy month. Be supportive of such sisters, instead of ruthlessly criticizing there slight hijabesque blunders. If you are such a sister or are just looking for tutorial on how to wear the hijab in different styles, search “stylecoveredvideo” on youtube. Stylecoveredvideo is the Youtube channel by the Muslim designer Hana Tajima-Simpson, and her tutorials may make the transition to wearing hijab a bit easier. 

Hopefully, you all find the Ramadanwear you are looking for, locally, online, or elsewhere.

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