Malala Yousafzai Makes Emotional 4-Day Return To Pakistan, Will Travel To Swat Valley

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My heart just dropped a bit, reading that Malala Yousafzai is in Pakistan. In her Netflix David Letterman interview, the world's youngest Nobel Laureate talks about how she misses "the rivers and mountains" of her home in Swat Valley and all she wanted was for her "feet to touch the ground of home."

Malala is now home for the first time since she was attacked on her school bus, shot at close range with a bullet to her head. Now 20 and studying at Oxford, Malala is expected to stay primarily in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, during her four-day visit. 

“I still can’t believe that it is actually happening,” the global activist for girls education said in a visibly emotional speech at the office of Pakistan's Prime Minister Shadid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday. “In the last five years, I have always dreamed of coming back to my country.”

As the audience erupted into moved and emotional applause, Malala broke into tears and for a moment cupped her hands to cover her face.

“I am just 20 years old, but I have seen a lot in life,” she continued with a choked voice, recalling how she grew up in the picturesque Swat region only to watch it slide into extremism and terrorism. “I never wanted to leave my country.”

Malala wil be traveling to the Swat Valley in her four-day visit, Earlier this month, a new girls’ school built with her Nobel prize money opened in Shangla, near her home district of Swat. Malala will inaugurate the official opening of the school.

Personally, I can't imagine how wonderful it must be for her to return -- but the sooner she is out of there, the better. Now that it's known that she is in the country, Taliban forces will be on the move. They have vowed to kill her if she ever sets foot again in Pakistan. No one can be trusted, given how much they hate her.

Marriyum Aurangzeb, Pakistan’s state minister for information called Yousafzai's visit a “big, big moment for Pakistan.”

“She is a person who had the guts to stand up against militants,” she added, “and her coming back to Pakistan is also symbolic that we are winning in our fight against extremism and militancy.”

Besides Malala, two other schoolgirls in Swat were shot by Taliban militants in October 2012.

Arizona Muse Joins Julianne Moore In Celebrating Chopard's Move To 100% Ethical Gold


Chopard made a landmark announcement on March 22 that by July 22, the Swiss maison will only use ethical gold in all its jewelry and watch creations. Long-time friends of Chopard including Colin and Livia Firth, Julianne Moore and Arizona Muse joined Chopard's Caroline Scheufele and Karl Friedrich Scheufele in making the announcement. 

The commitment to sustainability is a long one. More than 30 years ago Chopard brought all its jewelry-making processes in-house in order to guarantee control of every aspect of their relationship with miners as well as promises made to Chopard clients. 

In 2013 the Maison made the decision to invest directly in artisanal gold, to increase its availability to the larger market. The company has a long-standing relationship with Olivia and Colin Firth, who champion sustainability through their Green Carpet Collections. Chopard defines “ethical gold” as gold acquired from responsible sources that have been verified to meet international best practices. From July 2018 Chopard gold will be responsibly sourced from either artisanal small-scale mines in the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA), Fairmined and Fairtrade schemes, or from the RJC Chain of Custody gold through Chopard’s partnership with RJC-certified refineries.

This Chopard commitment is the latest step in The Journey to Sustainable Luxury, which is in alignment with UN Global Goals. 

Caroline Scheufele, Co-President and Creative Director of Chopard, said at the event, “True luxury comes only when you know the handprint of your supply chain. As Creative Director of the brand, I am so proud to share the stories behind each beautiful piece to our customers and know they will wear these stories with pride.

Related Chopard:

Ascia AKF Talks Modest Fashion, Navigating Islam As A Top Influencer In Global World

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Ascia Al Faraj,  also known as Ascia AKF, is a leader of the pack of influencers promoting modest fashion with a streetwear edge. Writing for Fashionista, Whitney Bauck talks frankly with Ascia about redefining Muslim fashion, how K-beauty changed her life and what the West doesn't understand about Arab women.

With 2.3 million followers on Instagram, Faraj strikes "the coveted perfect balance between aspirational and relatable" writes Bauck. She is a true global citizen, raised by a Kuwaiti father and American mother. Signing on to her original blog 'The Hybrids', we meet the message 'Let's talk eating disorders', confirming that Faraj is willing to deal with complex topics head-on.

In what is an excellent interview and not a hits-generating puff piece, Bauck and Faraj explore serious questions, including a common one about covering your head as a Muslim woman.  AOC has written about modest fashion, hijabs and burqas for years, and we learned some new facts in their exchange.

How did you start covering your head, and when? I noticed your mom doesn't cover hers.

Explaining that her father's side is "quite religious" and that she was trying to understand her own place within Islam and "the confines of religion", Faraj "covered". Her mother didn't speak to her "because she had been fighting so long to keep me doing what I wanted to do without having to worry about the confines of culture or religion."

Note that many younger Muslim women don't understand that their mothers and grandmothers living in the Arab world often dressed like Western women in the 70s and 80s. 

Faraj's experiment with "covering" made her miserable, causing her to reject the practice.But her father explained that she had now made a divine decision, explaining "Well, it's kind of a contract between you and God. Once you have it on you're really not supposed to take it off."

In response, Faraj was like, "Okay, I'm going to wear it the way I want to wear it." The way that I have it on now I feel that it's more cultural than it is religious. To show just how introspective Faraj is about the messages she sends as a role model, she tells Fashionista: 

I try to stay away from calling it a hijab, because I feel like there are women that represent the hijab a lot better than I do. Hijab means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but within the Gulf region, once you wear a hijab, there are certain parts of your body that need to be constantly covered, including your neck, ears and wrists. Because I don't fall into that, I don't feel it would be proper for me to call it that.

Read on: Meet Ascia Al Faraj, The Kuwaiti Influencer Bringing A Streetwear Edge to Modest Fashion