First Muslim American family vlog on YouTube!

Bismillah Al Rahman Al Rahim (In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most kind)

Assalamu Alaikum! (Peace be upon you)

I am so excited to announce, In sha Allah (God willing), that our family has begun a new adventure in da’wah (outreach).  We have joined the YouTube vlogging realm, and added our own family to the ranks, In sha Allah (God willing).  After much planning and discussion between my husband and I we decided that with the popularity and reach that YouTube provides, and the current tensions that Muslims in America are facing, our efforts would be better spent vlogging. If your not familiar, vlogging is “video blogging”. We basically have our own channel on YouTube where we can share whatever type of content that we like. We decided to utilize this space to share a peek into the lives of our American Muslim family, in hopes to bridge gaps with our non-Muslim viewers and create a space for understanding and learning as well as offering plenty of entertainment for those who love and appreciate family vlogging. I really hope you will help our intentions!

How can you help?

 

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Target has everything… even dawah!

You know…it never fails that your gonna find something great at Target.  We all go there just to grab a pair of sandals or a gift and end up at the cash register with a buggy full of randomness!

 

Today was exactly that type of day.  I took my MIL to lunch with some other girl friends and afterward we stopped by Target just to return a pair of sandals (yeah right).  As soon as we walked in my MIL and I both grabbed our own buggies and set out to get ourselves into trouble.  After we cruised up and down every single aisle in the store, browsing in departments that we had no business in, LOL…we made our way to the cash register.

Now, sometimes I am not always looking my best. For some reason, this was a side effect of having a toddler, LOL.  As a Muslim, we should always look our best though and I will tell you why that is extremely important in America. I know I could do an experiment and it would give me the same result that I experienced today.  Today, I noticed myself spending extra time choosing a nice outfit and nice hijab, mainly because I was heading out for a luncheon with friends, no offense Target.  I was way too overdressed to just be out buying random goodies and way too happy about the craziness that I was purchasing. All of these things though led to the following…

First the cashier happens to be from Iran, she was quite lovely and super sweet.  As soon as she gets to me, as if she’s been holding it in all day, she blurts out, “Your just so pretty! Are you from Lebanon?”. For some reason, anytime I look “pretty”, I always get this question.  So I’m guessing all the pretty girls are from Lebanon? I dunno, I hear crazy stuff all the time so I added this to my list of crazy ME ideas…LOL. Well of course it was nice to hear this compliment, especially since I am 6 months pregnant.  I didn’t realize the domino effect that “looking pretty” would have and how it really opened a door for dawah, which is way cooler than someone thinking your “pretty”. I told the girl of course, that I am American but I converted to Islam, so that is why I chose to wear the scarf. So here we go with lots of questions in a very quick amount of time since there is another woman behind me that would probably like to check out her randomness too…

Being open and smiling and talking with the cashier opened the door to dawah with the lady behind me in line, LOL. On top of the fact that my son was flirting with her daughter, both of them sitting in the buggy seat baby blabbering to each other.  My son, for some reason, likes blondes and this darling little girl was a cotton top, as was her American Mother and baby brother. So her Mom strikes up a quick convo asking if I’m having a little brother or sister, I happily tell her a sister and she lights up with joy! She says, “So your American?”, “Where is your husband from?” and then we go on and on it seemed, although this all happened in about 5 minutes. I told her how I came to Islam, starting covering and married a Jordanian man, She was so intrigued like it sounded like a romance novel to her, something different she said…sounds like an exciting life…

I guess we don’t always consider our own lives to be very exciting but the “grass is always greener” totally rules here in the US. I remember how interesting I used to think my husbands Jordanian accent was…LOL.  So to summarize, I really learned a lesson today that I wanted to share.  Always look your best, not just to meet up with friends. You never know how appearance affects the invitational view people have of you. If I was standing there, looking tired in baggy clothes and a miss matched hijab, I would not have looked approachable or “exciting” by any means! LOL.  Then, no one would have cared to ask, “Where are you from?”, which doesn’t allow you, as a convert, that key moment which is to blurt out with excitement…”I’m an American! I chose to dress this way and I’m a Muslim!”  I can attest, even to this day, is still a very, very exciting thing to blurt out and feels even “cooler” than it did the first time!

Look great, look for open doors to step through and talk about Islam, and always, always look like you are from Lebanon…LOL, I’m just kidding! Always, Always, look warm and inviting.

Motherhood and well, it’s just getting started…

Assalamu Alaikum

Inshallah I hope you are all doing well! I can’t believe Talal, my sunshine, is already a year old! I will attach a recent pic with his cowboy outfit!  I can’t wait until he’s bigger and can start riding lessons, he’s gotta ride horses like Mommy loves to do!  I am definitely not a “baby” Mom, I can’t wait until he’s a full size “kid” so we can play and go camping and have soccer games, Inshallah…Babies are so fragile and Mommy is so nervous around them! LOL.

Aside from that I got through a busy winter full of weddings and photo shoots, Hamdulillah it’s always good to work and feel needed and also feels good to contribute to the honey pot every now and then, I think all wives can relate to that.  The fall was quite busy between having speaking events every weekend, and shoots and arranging for Talal to be taken care of when Mommy needs to be somewhere. Nothing can change up your schedule like having a little one! I felt so out of the loop for a while. Like I wanted to do so much more and be more involved in the Islamic community but it does sometimes put a lot of pressure on Hassan, who ends up staying with Talal, and when we try to all go to an event together as a family, we are at the mercy of Talal who sometimes like to scream when he hears Mommy on the microphone. LOL…Lord have mercy on Baby Talal! LOL…

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I always told myself, I want him to be used to that environment, so I can still reach out and spread Gods word while being a Mommy.  We are doing our best to give him plenty of at home time, but also trying to expose him a little too. I always dream that one day he will be a strong leader, a strong American Muslim leader. Maybe in politics, who knows…I just wanna give him the best first steps to help him have endless reach to his goals. All parents want this and it’s so amazing how you really have to prepare from birth for their future. Even something so simple as choosing a name. Sure I would love to call my child a long lengthy beautiful Islamic name, but I also have to remember to think of his future as an American and names mean a lot in this country.  It needs to be Islamic, and also easy to pronounce, LOL.

Raising a child with an American Mommy and Jordanian Daddy, it’s not at all what I thought I would be doing, LOL.  The most important thing, and biggest relief to me is that my son will be raised in the safe, nurturing, and God respecting environment of a Muslim family. He has a Muslim Mommy and Muslim Daddy. He won’t have to worry if his family will accept his faith, or feel as if people he’s known forever will judge him for his lifestyle or being different.  He has the modern identity of an American and the traditional love for God of a Muslim.  I think it’s a perfectly blended combination to make him one really sought after husband one day! On top of the fact that he’s already exceptionally good looking, (thank you God for your small gifts).

Just wanted to share a few thoughts…now back to working on my book 😉Image

Check out Nicole Queen on BBC’s “American Muslim-Faith, Fear, and Freedom in USA”

During the spring, BBC was here in the states filming for their newest documentary on Muslims in America.  I was so excited and honored to be a small part of this project!  First we filmed a little in Manhattan with my close friend, Elif Kavakci.   You can check out her Islamic fashion designs at www.KavakciCouture.com.  It was so fun, BBC filmed me doing a fashion photo shoot in a busy area of the city and they got some amazing footage of Elif hard at work with her designs.  They filmed all over the place in the US, so this documentary is packed with all angles and sides of what it means to be a Muslim in America.  Later, BBC came to Dallas and filmed me doing more of my photography, and even a speaking event at our local mosque.  We finished my section with a pretty tough yet intimate interview with myself and the host of the show.  I can’t wait to see how the entire program turns out, I know it will feel great to see so many different stories!

BBC crew films Nicole’s photo shoot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“American Muslim-Faith, Fear, and Freedom in the USA”

UK: Sep 3rd 03:10 & 16:10(Newschannel)
US Eastern: Sep 2nd: 22:10 -Sep 3rd: 11:10 -Sep 4th: 05:10 & 17:10
US Pacific: Sep 2nd: 1910 – Sep 3rd: 08:10 – Sep 4th: 02:10 & 14:10

Don’t see your country or time zone above?

Follow this link to find yours :

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-radio-and-tv-12957298

My Newest Project, Inshallah!

Assalamu Alaikum! (Peace Be Upon You!)

I have been doing a lot of thinking and talking and thinking…these are the two things I do best, LOL.  I have had so many sincere requests for me to start production on more videos about Islam, as an American Muslim.  After a lot of pondering I have decided that I would like to begin producing a small line of videos, accessible online of course, to help New Muslims embrace the greatest most challenging decision in their lives!  I remember how difficult it was for me to make my decision and come to God, well it’s not difficult to decide on God, but it is VERY difficult to make all the appropriate changes to your lifestyle to accommodate this.  With this being said I am planning out the first set of videos. I want them to be really easy to follow, short and informative. Of course they will also have a lil of my humor/sarcasm added as well!

Your Feedback!

I have created a poll below.  Please tell me which videos you would like to see first?  Which titles are most important to you?


New Muslim Friends & Family Day!

New Muslims Family Social Gathering!

Date: January 29th, 2011  2pm-5pm

Location:  Islamic Center of Irving, Texas

RSVP: outreach@irvingmasjid.org or call 972-812-2230

Featuring Speakers: Nicole Queen along

with Br. Khalil Meek and Br. Md Martin

New Muslims are invited to bring their friends and family members for a day of sharing and meeting new friends!  It’s always difficult when making large decisions in your life, and choosing Islam can sometimes create confusion amongst friends and family of new Muslims.  At this amazing event you will be able to bring your loved ones to the Islamic Center of Irving, for a chance to learn about your new faith and meet other new Muslims and their families.  Well known reverted Muslim speakers will be opening a warm dialog and teaching the foundation of Islam and answering the tough questions!  There will also be lots of familiar friendly faces you can introduce your loved ones too and enjoy tasty refreshments!