The world’s most eligible Muslim royals 2014: Noble Princesses

Perhaps showing how she would deal with unwanted suitors, Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai delivers a stunning kick to her opponent, Hwang Kyungseon of South Korea, in a taekwondo match at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Jung Yeon-je/AFP Brains, beauty and even brawn abound in this alluring assortment of six … Read more

Why the funky hairstyle of a woman in hijab shouldn’t surprise you

What’s under my headscarf matters to me, say Muslim women with alternative haircuts and fashion styles. Elest Ali is but one of them. Whether or not you approve, the current fad of hijabi fashionistas and make-up tutorials seems here to stay. Yet with so much attention being given to the public facade, one wonders if there’s anything … Read more

‘Happy British Muslims’ sparks unhappiness

The “Happy British Muslims” video to Pharrell’s hit is trending, but Elest Ali explains why it’s not just harmless fun. If you’ve been plugged into social media lately, you’d know about the video-meme phenomenon for that Pharrell Williams “Happy” track, which spawned a new viral: the one with the very enthusiastic Muslims in it. Brought to us by … Read more

The empire strikes back: Turkish TV dramas and cultural colonialism

A wave of craze over Turkish soaps is washing over countries stretching from the Middle East to Greece. Elest Ali asks if this is a new kind of cultural imperialism. On my most recent visit to Dubai four months ago, a lady in a mall prayer room rushed up to my mum and me after hearing us … Read more