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  • Coaching Plans

    The goal of living a more fulfilled life is not far and I hope to make this an accessible service for all. Whether it is a twice per month with additional group coaching or if its 4 times individually. The goal is to find something that fits your lifestyle.

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Blog Posts (3)

  • The Muslim Woman Experience

    When I think about being a woman in this world, I find myself with a multitude of emotions ranging from honor, anger, shame, horror, and so much more. Being a woman in a world where our value of existence is given to our male counterparts, based on their standards, makes me want to just keep slamming my head against the wall until I can forget this nightmare. Why does someone else get to decide what happens to my body? Why does that someone feel that it is what's best for me? Why do they not understand my perspective? This nightmare does not overlook any setting or situation. It especially does not overlook religion. This is what I want to uncover in my thoughts as being a muslim woman. With the story of Mahsa Amini unfolding, so many woman across the world have come together to highlight the injustice of our inability to choose. Whether it's how we would like to dress, what careers we can sustain, how we can communicate, women are always peered under magnifying glasses. This is even suggested on the other side of the spectrum with women fighting to wear their hijabs. With countries such as France and India, who connect the hijab to oppression, weak, and "unwestern". I propose that within the center of these nauseating control mechanisms are those that wish to minimize the diverse views of muslim women. I have noticed that as groups of muslim communities have decided to taper away from understanding the range of womanhood in Islam, we may find situations such as Iran where women are killed for not "being Muslim enough" because of not wearing the hijab "properly". Again, no one has the right to kill anyone for making their choice on how they want or don't want to observe their hijab. Even if the hijab is solely prescribed to women in Islam. Prior to going into my opinions about this event I do want to highlight the symbolism and spiritual connection that women feel when wearing the hijab. Now as a non-hijab wearing muslim woman my experience with being told to wear the hijab as a child was to prevent rape and sexual assault because apparently men can’t control sexual advances unless you’ve covered your neck, head, and wrists. As you can sense, this actually pushed me away from wearing the hijab, because I felt there was a double-standard of telling women to act one way, but not teaching men to act in a certain way as well. Now that I am an adult, I realize how certain cultural practices may have led to this ideology and completely minimized the empowerment within the journey of the hijab. If you're unfamiliar with the practice of hijab wearing it is a choice that every woman of Islam gets to make. It symbolizes so many things to various people, but from a psycho-spiritual perspective, it embodies the connection you feel to your lord. Also, in some Islamic contexts, it grants women the ability to control the narrative because it empowers us to feel that our beauty is not solely defined by physical attributes defined by society. This role is only given to women, whether you take that as positive or negative is based on your ideology. However, the important part is being able to choose. When not given a choice, it subliminally gives the message that there is only one form of piety that embodies the Muslim woman experience. I would like to challenge this notion. Whether you wear hijab or you don’t shouldn’t be the sole aspect to being connected to your higher power as a woman. I think coming into who I am as a Muslim woman has been a rollercoaster of a journey as I find that the range of womanhood in Islam is so diverse. I take this perspective by highlighting that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was married to multiple woman that embodied various personality traits. Now, before we get into the debate of having multiple wives, let’s look at historical context during the time of the Prophet (SAW) and the reason for polygamous-relationships ranging from political alliances to supporting war-inflicted widows. Rather, if we focus on the different personality characteristics that are presented with each woman, you will find that they were not the same. What this means is there is no right or wrong way, there's just the way that speaks to you. We as a community have not done a good job honoring all the diverse woman that embody the essence of Islam. Discussions about the strong-female community that guided our Prophet's (SAW) were quickly pushed aside to discuss other aspects of life. Again, context, all aspects of the Prophet's (SAW) lives are important to highlight the standard of being Muslim, but what has minimizing the voices of the women in our practice done? We didn't process actions of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that were supported, guided, and honored towards the woman of Islam. Or discussed things like the fact that our beloved Khadijah (RA) was one of the strongest business women of her time and proposed marriage to the Prophet, I mean can we say breaking gendered-norms? Now, I propose that this process of pushing aside the muslim-woman experience is because majority of current Islamic scholarship is male-dominated. Again, not right or wrong, just being mindful of how this could impact the voices of woman that have also contributed to the spread and practice of Islam. What I feel would be better appreciated within my muslim woman experience would be to highlight and draw from the stories of leading women of Islam. Honoring this will help us better bring forth diverse-views of Islamic womanhood with tolerance and respect.

  • New Mexico's serial killer: what are we afraid to address?

    When we think about murder our society has conditioned us to point a finger and blame another person. Of course, this is easier because it takes the pain away and we feel that we found an answer. You did this to me. Until… it happens again and again and again. With no justice in sight. What we find is that blame solely masks the underlying issues that are too scary to address. Then, the real question becomes what are we afraid to address? This is what I want to talk about with the most recent articles discussing a serial killer targeting muslims, who turned out to be muslim. In just a few sentences: 4 Shi’a Muslims were murdered by a Sunni Muslim because he was mad at his daughter for marrying a Shi’a man. Although this case is still under investigation, the police are following this specific lead. Even though we’re not certain about the specifics of the case and whether this was really the motive behind the murders of the men. I do feel that this is an important topic to go over. If you’re unfamiliar with the practices of Islam, it is similar to other religions, where there are different sectors that claim to be the right sector. Sunni’s think they’re right because it feels right and Shia’s think they’re right because it feels right. Mixed in with these feelings are rituals that are different which each group attempts to tell the other YOU’RE WRONG BOO GO HOME. In reality, religious practice is intimate for each individual and it’s important to understand that your practice is not right for everyone. It is no hidden fact that within religious practices, any of them, we feel that we’ve found that answer, the only answer. The answer of connection... of purpose. We get so consumed believing that is the only way of doing life. Once challenged it ignites anger. Now as a future psychotherapist, I am aware that there are so many thoughts packaged into the feelings of anger, but what does this specific anger suggest? The anger to end the lives of others because they do not fit into someone's mold? The inflexibility that people have towards accepting the right to a difference of opinion. Or in other words people don’t like to feel wrong. I myself do not identify with a sect of Islam, but identify as a Muslim. I believe that the word of a Supreme Being is not placed with solely one practice. People find their path in multiple ways to meet the same goal: their idea of peace. This is even said in the Quran: "Let there be no compulsion in religion, for the truth stands out clearly from falsehood" (2:256) With that in my mind the only question that comes to play is: who are we to play God? By thinking I know what’s best for you, we instead lack the acceptance of others. We justify the inability to tolerate differences which has lead us down the path to justify actions such as murder. This, in my opinion, goes against the very word of God. In the Quran it states: "And one of his signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the diversity of your languages and colors. Surely in this are signs for those of "sound" knowledge" (30:22) This is where the true power of fear gives us a choice, do we choose to continue to live in a world where we are angry because we do not have others that share the same views? Do we allow it to drive dangerous motives because it challenges your very existence? Can’t we just be happy knowing that another person has found something that brings them closer to their creator? Why do we have to be right? Can we say that certain religious practices have actually become a checklist and that we as people have lost true connection? I don't know, but what I do know is everyday I get to choose to look at every devastating piece of information as an opportunity to learn about the differences that make us appreciate creation. I get to choose to love the beauty within differences. I choose this because I want to love the diversity that leads us to our creator that makes us connected. I do this to challenge myself to push past fear and to do it because the world deserves people that can accept others for who they are and guide if asked. Again if asked. But we all need to start somewhere to address this fear. So I wouldn't be me if I didn't leave you with some tools to guide this practice: Reflect on your own prejudices: ask yourself where do they come from? Have I personally been effected by this? What did this do to me? Does this bring me peace or anger? Educate yourself: find people that share opposite perspectives to challenge what you already know so that you can see the other side. Seeing the other sides can strengthen our views and it can question our views, but all of this is normal in growth. Also, don't listen to someone's story to formulate an argument that invalidates their experience. Their journey is not your journey. Practice Mindfulness: When you start to become aware of your prejudices begin to actively re-direct your thoughts. "Oh that was prejudice because... I want to change this because..." Re-enforce Humility: we don't know everything, if we did we would be the creator. We need to ask ourselves what can this practice teach me? So say it over and over again “I am open to learn the things that challenge my views”. So all in all I hope that as time unravels the complexity of this case that we as a community can find healing in loving and forgiving ourselves and others. Beginning with sparking a conversation with someone who is different.

  • How we as the South-Asian Community must do better...

    I came across this article a few days ago and what I read truly left me with a loss of words. Sania Khan, 29, found dead in her Chicago apartment. The initial sentence itself doesn't appear as controversial. Chicago? Another murder...? Now we all know that Chicago at one point was one of the least safest USA cities, so the headliner itself would not be a shock. But as you keep reading the article it begins to draw on another theme. One that may not be familiar to those that are outside of the South-Asian (Desi) community. The young photographer recently divorced, moved to a new state to draw comfort, probably intending to leave her previous life behind. Looking to find whatever her late 20's could guide her too. We all want it, the feeling of being happy once again. However, what she was met with was tragedy as her ex-husband killed her and committed suicide. Now this is not going to be one of those articles that draws on a victim and a perpetrator, rather I hope to draw on a complicated and unaddressed cultural practice that perpetuate cycles of violence. Now... as a young-South Asian woman whenever I hear or read the name Khan it pulls my heart strings, probably because its my last name, but also because it reminds me that this could be me, my mom, a friend, an aunt, or someone quite near to me in my community. It also brings me to a place of enragement with the toxic four words: What will people think. Even just typing this brings me to a place of utter fury. Why? Why do we draw from a place of pure shame? Why do we try too hard to control others, to mold a fake happiness for others to envy. I'm not sure but what I do know is that it hurts and in this scenario, kills. The toxic-four word statement when broken down draws on solely one thing: external pressure. A pressure to meet the demands of others. A demand that has no reachable standard because the individual person didn't set the standard. It holds a silent cage in whether you can be accepted by others. Sania even said it herself: ""Going through a divorce as a South Asian Woman feels like you failed at life sometimes," she wrote. "The way the community labels you, the lack of emotional support you receive, and the pressure to stay with someone because 'what will people say' is isolating. It makes it harder for women to leave marriage that they shouldn't have been in to begin with." This in my opinion led to the devastating event, the pressure to maintain an image that was no longer attainable. Now, Sania was ready, she was in a place of growth and moving towards her next steps. She was even using social media as an outlet to highlight the practices within our community that push women into very vulnerable places, but Raheel? Raheel's pressure is not quite talked about in the desi-community. We don't ever highlight the effects of external pressures on the mental state of men. We don't ever talk about how we place men on emotion-less pedestals that instate control. The control to meet: What will people think. Which in reality is unreachable. In a perfect scenario: both persons would have gained the support from their families, friends, and community to make the decision as adults to obtain a divorce. While, also going through therapy to gain spiritual and psychological insights on how to go on with life as an empowered being. This process would highlight that they're not bad people, but rather two people that are growing apart, which is a natural process in life. Some couples make it and some don't. But the horrific reality of forcing a relationship isn't something sustainable in the long-run. Fear-based relationships die out, we forget the importance of loving ourselves and the journey of self when we are so hyper-focused on other people who have their own lens on life. That's why as a community we need to do better to have conversations that highlight the strength in each individual journey. Whether that is looking at Sania and identifying the courage to walk away or validating the fear that Raheel had. We need to open our arms to support and push shame-based thinking to the side. With this in sight, I hope that we can begin that journey to rebuild our narrative as a Desi-community to better support our Sania's & Raheel's.

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  • Quick Insights | Salaam Initiative

    To see this working, head to your live site. Categories All Posts My Posts Forum Welcome! Have a look around and join the discussions. Create New Post General Discussion Share stories, ideas, pictures and more! Views Posts 3 Follow Questions & Answers Get answers and share knowledge. Views Posts 0 Follow New Posts Newzaira Khan May 16 Welcome to the Forum General Discussion Share your thoughts. Feel free to add GIFs, videos, #hashtags and more to your posts and comments. Get started by commenting below. 0 comments 0 0 Newzaira Khan May 16 Introduce yourself General Discussion We'd love to get to know you better. Take a moment to say hi to the community in the comments. 0 comments 0 0 Newzaira Khan May 16 Forum rules General Discussion We want everyone to get the most out of this community, so we ask that you please read and follow these guidelines: Respect each other Keep posts relevant to the forum topic No spamming 0 comments 0 0 Forum - Frameless

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  • Consulting Plan | Salaam Initiative

    Consulting Plans Major organizations experience a multitude of problems that require unique perspectives to help identify and strategize new methods to enhance organizational development. This service is used to support this goal. Needs-Assessment This step will require an organizational "temperature check" to identify the functioning pieces and the barriers towards successful development. 1:1 to Group Consulting Once assessed and a baseline is identified. The consultant will identify and work with multiple individuals and groups on a weekly basis to develop interpersonal and challenge barriers to motivational drive. On-going Organizational Stabilization Once organizational stability has been determined, the consultant will then move onto quarterly education workshops to help sustain the development of the agency.

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