Basma – Make-up artist, fashion designer.

Location: Gaza

Hobbies & interests: My hobbies are drawing, fashion-related activities, designing, and reading. I like reading about the history of religions, especially Islam and about the biography (seerah) of the prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him). I also enjoy tennis and volleyball.

My chosen Ayah: I like the Ayah in which Allah speaks to the Muslims and says “It is not by your fancies, nor by the fancies of the People of the Book. Whosoever does evil shall be recompensed for it” (Al-Nisa-4: 123). This Ayah shows that the majority of people have the same way of thinking and the way of extremism but their beliefs differ, and eventually, as I personally believe, no society has the absolute truth; however, the truth is approached by some people in different societies.

Generally, the way the Western societies view Muslims and Islam is kind of discriminative in my opinion. As there are no conversations between the involved parties, it’s only extremism, radicalism, blame-shifting and there’s hardly any interactive discussions or conversations amongst the people involved. And on the other hand, the injustice the Palestinians are suffering from whether at home or in the diaspora weighs more burned on this nation.

The Muslims of Gaza are trying their best to live like the rest of the world. We love life, we love fashion, we love following and interacting with other cultures and countries via social media and international websites whether in Europe, India, or the States. We love to experience, to learn, to travel, to follow the latest fashion trends, and to make mistakes and learn from them. We’re just like any other people but with the siege surrounding every aspect of our lives, denying us our rights and dreams, but it can in no way stop us from striving to live the life we deserve.

As a mum of three kids, I wish that my kids grow up to be the Muslims this country needs, I wish that Allah always guides them to what is best for them. I always teach them about Islam, about their hometown, I teach them to never judge people based on to their appearances for appearances are so deceiving and that’s what Islam taught me.