Artizara Spring Summer 2009 Photoshoot

We just got done with our Spring/Summer 2009 photo shoot and had the opportunity to work with a really creative photographer and tremendously talented models. Everyone gave the shoot 200% and we shot over 70 outfits, finishing AHEAD of schedule!

And aren’t we excited about the new collection, lot’s of beautiful new things, that we cant wait to share with you!

But best of all, here is an email we received from one of our models after the shoot, which reminds us why Artizara is in business, and makes what we do worthwhile! We welcome your comments…

Hi, again, Sarah!

I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed working with you today. Your clothes are beautiful!

I also wanted to say that I browsed through your website and read many of your blogs. Thank you so much for posting them- I truly learned so much this evening! Your blogs are so useful for those who don’t really have a firm understanding of the Islamic religion and culture, how it has become integrated into western society, as well as what issues remain among Muslim women living in the United States (and everywhere) today! I loved the blog you have posted, “Love and Leaving the Head Scarf,” especially. I think it is very important for people to know and fully understand these issues, and what you are doing with your company is amazing and very productive in mending these matters of contention! I think that women from any faith can love and appreciate your garments- they are modest, beautiful and elegant! I can’t wait to purchase one of your tops from your website! Thank you, again! :)

Amber

Only 78% of young Muslims reported having smiled or laughed the day before…

Interesting article from the Los Angeles Times. Would love to hear your thoughts on whether/how clothing and appearance can help Muslim women be more integrated in their Western communities. Do you have any personal anecdotes? Share them with us!

The Los Angeles Times
March 3, 2009

By Sarah Gantz

Reporting from Washington

Muslim American prosperity is tinged with alienation, survey finds

They have a higher employment rate than the national norm but carry a sense of cultural alienation, a yearlong Gallup Poll reports. The young say they are particularly dissatisfied.

A study of Muslim Americans released Monday presents a portrait of an often-misunderstood community — one that is integrated socio-economically but culturally alienated; that succeeds in the workforce but struggles to find contentment.

The numbers suggest economic and career success among Muslim Americans — they have a higher employment rate than the national average and are among the nation’s most educated religious groups. Yet only 41% described themselves as “thriving.”

And though the report by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies states that Muslim Americans are more likely than the general public to hold a professional job, they expressed less satisfaction with their standard of living and community.

The disparity is a sign of the alienation some Muslim Americans may feel, experts say. Ahmed Younis, a senior analyst for the center, said some Muslim Americans feel a sense of “otherness” created by outside perceptions of their religion and a lack of involvement in their larger community.

Three-quarters of Muslim Americans polled said they were satisfied with their community, as opposed to nearly 90% among respondents from other religions. They also were less optimistic about the future of their communities. Muslim Americans ranked highest among American religious groups who believed their communities were getting worse.

The data reflect the responses of 941 Americans who identified themselves as Muslim in a survey of more than 300,000 Americans over the course of 2008. The nonpartisan research center is affiliated with the Gallup polling organization.

“There’s no doubt that there is a certain sense of isolation and alienation — there’s no doubt,” said U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress.

One reason for this may be because Muslim communities revolve around the mosque, Ellison said in an interview after the report’s release. The key to a better-integrated Muslim American community, he said, is to make the mosque more welcoming for non-Muslims.

Muslim Americans ages 18 to 29 in particular reported discontent with their jobs and communities.

On average, those youths were unhappier, angrier, and less optimistic than their peers in other religions, according to the report.

Only 78% of young Muslims reported having smiled or laughed the day before, while nearly 90% of Protestants, Catholics, and Jews of the same age said they had.

A great deal of the emotional turbulence among young Muslims is due to the stereotypes and suspicion of Islam since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, experts say.

“I can only imagine a 10- or 12-year-old getting the type of questions I get” about Islam, said Suhail Khan, a board member of the American Conservative Union and former public outreach aide in George W. Bush’s administration. “I grew up in the ’70s and ’80s, and it wasn’t an issue. It just wasn’t.”

Khan described Muslim Americans’ integration into American society as a long, slow process tainted with discrimination and stereotypes, but one that other minorities have overcome.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we will not only see an end to the discrimination and the fear-mongering,” Khan said, “we’ll soon look back and wonder why some of this even went this far.”

The entire report is available at www.MuslimWestFacts.com.