Monday, November 23, 2009

Top Ten Brands to Boycott

I'm slowly working on removing these products from my life. There are a few that I have conquered, but several others that I am still struggling with. I'm continuing to make an effort though.

This brand’s cosmetics are produced using salt, minerals, and mud from the Dead Sea — natural resources that are excavated from the occupied West Bank. The products themselves are manufactured in the illegal Israeli settlement Mitzpe Shalem. AHAVA is the target of CODEPINK’s “Stolen Beauty” campaign.

2. Delta Galil Industries
Israel’s largest textiles manufacturer provides clothing and underwear for such popular brands as Gap, J-Crew, J.C. Penny, Calvin Klein, Playtex, Victoria’s Secret (see #10) and many others. Its founder and chairman Dov Lautman is a close associate of former Israeli President Ehud Barak. It has also been condemned by Sweatshop Watch for its exploitation of labor in other countries such as Egypt, Jordan, and Turkey.

3. Motorola
While many of us know this brand for its stylish cellphones, did you know that it also develops and manufactures bomb fuses and missile guidance systems? Motorola components are also used in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) and in communications and surveillance systems used in settlements, checkpoints, and along the 490 mile apartheid wall. The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation has launched the “Hang Up on Motorola” campaign.

4. L’Oreal / The Body Shop
This cosmetics and perfume company is known for its investments and manufacturing activities in Israel, including production in Migdal Haemek, the “Silicon Valley” of Israel built on the land of Palestinian village Al-Mujaydil, which was ethnically cleansed in 1948. In 1998, a representative of L’Oreal was given the Jubilee Award by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu for strengthening the Israeli economy.

5. Dorot Garlic and Herbs
These frozen herbs that are sold at Trader Joe’s are shipped halfway around the world when they could easily be purchased locally. Trader Joe’s also sells Israeli Cous Cous and Pastures of Eden feta cheese that are made in Israel. QUIT, South Bay Mobilization, and other groups have targeted Trader Joe’s with a “Don’t Buy into Apartheid” campaign.

6. Estee Lauder
This company’s chairman Ronald Lauder is also the chairman of the Jewish National Fund, a quasi-governmental organization that was established in 1901 to acquire Palestinian land and is connected to the continued building of illegal settlements. Estee Lauder’s popular brands include Clinique, MAC, Origins, Bumble & Bumble, Aveda, fragrance lines for top designers, and many others. They have been the target of QUIT’s “Estee Slaughter Killer Products” campaign.

7. Intel
This technology company that manufactures computer processors and other hardware components employs thousands of Israelis and has exports from Israel totaling over $1 billion per year. They are one of Israel’s oldest foreign supporters, having established their first development center outside of the US in 1974 in Haifa. Al-Awda (the Palestinian Right to Return Coalition) has urged action against Intel for building a facility on the land of former village Iraq Al Manshiya, which was cleansed in 1949.

8. Sabra
This brand of hummus, baba ghanoush and other foods is co-owned by Israel’s second-largest food company The Strauss Group and Pepsico. On the “Corporate Responsibility” section of its website, The Strauss Group boasts of its relationship to the Israeli Army, offering food products and political support.

9. Sara Lee
Sara Lee holds a 30% stake in Delta Galil (see #2) and is the world’s largest clothing manufacturer, which owns or is affiliated with such brands as Hanes, Playtex, Champion, Leggs, Sara Lee Bakery, Ball Park hotdogs, Wonderbra, and many others. Similar to L’Oreal (see #4), a representative of Sara Lee received the Jubilee Award from Netanyahu for its commitment to business with Israel.

10. Victoria’s Secret
Most of Victoria’s Secret’s bras are produced by Delta Galil (see #2), and much of the cotton is also grown in Israel on confiscated Palestinian land. Victoria’s Secret has also been the target of labor rights’ groups for sourcing products from companies with labor violations, and by environmental groups for their unsustainable use of paper in producing their catalogues. That’s not sexy!

Additional information:

Friday, November 20, 2009

More Wedding Planning Fun

  1. We thought we would save money by designing and printing our invitations ourselves. We had a total of EIGHT people proofread them, and yet somehow we missed the spelling error in "Janurary." So that money we saved? It was spent on a reprint.
  2. We sent 'save the date' cards to the groom's out of town relatives. The problem: they received them and didn't know who the couple was. The sending name and address was mine, and for the groom we didn't use his birth name. Waste of postage.
  3. If you're not saying 'no boxed gifts' (from my culture) and you're not doing the money dance (from his culture), should you do a money tree? It was suggested by family and the wedding location's coordinator. Seems strange, risky for tacky and rude, but also possibly just new, different and fun. (What's a wedding tree? Love to Know.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Veterans Day

I really liked this quote from Abrahim Appel re: Veterans Day:

Veterans Day should have been a day of remembering all the useless killing for every army. [It] should have been a day where we thought about the poverty and dead ends that help recruitment. How about a vetrans day where we studied post tramatic stress disorder? Or the poverty and isolation facing soldgers upon returning? We celebrate vetrans day because we dont understand it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

10 Good Reasons to Marry a Muslim

1. Cool Kids’ Names

2. In with the In-Crowd- Get with it!

2a. Diversify Your Gene Portfolio

3. Wedding of Your Dreams

4. Instant Celebrity

5. Pull the “M” Card

6. Family Drama and Not Just Yo’ Mamma

7,8,9 &10. You totally thought I was going to list something about ”multiple wives,” didn’t you? Didn’t you? Like saving on wedding expenses by doing 4 brides-in-1, or creating a dynasty of little you’s in one-quarter the time. You were just waiting for it, weren’t you?

Well, sorry, I couldn’t resist: Reasons 7,8,9, &10 = Wives 1,2,3 & 4.

Polygamy: expanding the Muslim empire since 600AD.
Laugh and read on at: ELAN

Monday, November 09, 2009

Sikh and Muslim women seek freedom to wear head coverings

Their head wear displayed a full palette of colors and patterns, and symbolized different faiths. But the two dozen Sikh and Muslim women who gathered Saturday at a Fremont community center knew their turbans and scarves had a singular effect on many others in a country where their beliefs are in the minority.

They make the women stand out as different, and to some, threatening.

"Around Sept. 11 this year, I had someone call me a terrorist," said Jasdeep Kaur, a middle-school counselor and volunteer with the Sikh Coalition in Fremont that organized Saturday's unusual joint forum with the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Santa Clara to address discrimination that women of both faiths face because of traditional religious head wear like her black dastaar turban. "We are visually standing out compared to everyone else."

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Universal Double Standards

Prostitution is illegal in Iraq. According to Mohammed, a typical prison sentence for women convicted is three to four months in jail, but their customers are rarely, if ever, arrested.

May Allah (swt) forgive us for not fulfilling our responsibility of caring for Wedad, her family and the thousands of others in similar situations.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Some of the fun rules I've learned about wedding invitations thus far:

  • Hand addressed invitations are traditional and preferred over printed labels
  • Better than saying 'no children,' one should say 'adult reception'
  • Always put a postage stamp on your Response card or envelope so people can drop it straight in the mail
  • If it is a religious ceremony, you ask for the 'honor' of their attendance. If it is not, you ask for the 'pleasure' of their attendance
  • Do not mention gifts in your wedding invitation. Apparently this is the ultimate faux pas. As one site said, 'it is a wedding invitation, not a request for gifts.' So the Muslim trend of saying 'no boxed gifts' is apparently out
  • Be careful about sending out 'save the date' cards, as you are obligated to send an invitation to whoever gets one of those
Additional information at: Weddings
More wedding planning adventures to come...