What’s hot this week!

The Hijabi Barbie

Mattel, an American multinational toy manufacturing company, unveiled its first ever hijabi Barbie doll to honour US Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who in 2016 became the first American Olympian to wear a headscarf while competing. The Barbie doll, part of the toymaker´s "Sheroes" collection, is dressed in fencing gear as well as the hijab is said to be on sale online from 2018 onwards.

The toy-making company posted a photo of Ibtihaj holding the doll on all of its social media platforms stating, “We are so excited to honour Ibtihaj Muhammad with a one-of-a-kind Barbie doll! Ibtihaj continues to inspire women and girls everywhere to break boundaries.”

The 31-year-old Ibtihaj described the doll created in her image as a "childhood dream come true." She also expressed her gratitude towards the toy-making company on Twitter stating, "Thank you Mattel for announcing me as the newest member of the Barbie Shero family! I´m proud to know that little girls everywhere can now play with a Barbie who chooses to wear hijab!"

For those who don’t know, Ibtihaj Muhammad is the first Muslim woman to represent Team USA in a hijab as a fencer during Olympics. She joined fencing because it was a sport where she could be fully covered and did not have to look different. She started fencing at the age of 13 and committed fully to the sport while attending Duke University, where she became a Junior Olympic Champion in 2005 and earned three All-America honours. She currently ranks No. 2 on USA Fencing's national team and No. 8 in the world and owns an online clothing company in Los Angeles and describes her label as one that adds a fresh and vibrant look to the modest fashion industry.

What is it?

No-Shave November

Unless, you’re living under a rock, you must be aware of the term ‘No-Shave November’. Want to know what led this grizzly campaign take over people, especially men, around the world. Here are all the deets!

No-Shave November is a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness. The goal of the campaign is to grow awareness by embracing one’s hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. It is also a way to donate the money one typically spends on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle.

One can participate by growing a beard, cultivating a moustache, letting the body go natural, and skipping that waxing appointment. So put down your razor and set up your own personal No-Shave November fundraising page. If you're not ready to get hairy, sit back and support someone who is.

The rules of No-Shave November are simple: put down your razor for 30 days and donate your monthly hair-maintenance expenses to the cause. Restricted because of strict dress-code at work? Don't worry about it, the No-Shave November campaign aims towards participation of any kind, therefore, grooming and trimming are perfectly acceptable.


Déjà vu

The term déjà vu is French and means, literally, "already seen". Those who have experienced the feeling tend to describe it as an overwhelming sense of familiarity with something that shouldn't be familiar at all. For instance, you are travelling to Islamabad for the first time and visited the Faisal Mosque, but suddenly it feels as if you have already been there before – that is déjà vu. In another instance, you’re probably having lunch at a restaurant with a group of friends, while chatting about a hot topic, and you feel an abrupt nostalgic jolt of having discussed it before, with the same friends, over the same lunch, at the same place. Well, that’s déjà vu for you.

The feeling of déjà vu is experienced regardless of a person’s medical condition, however, there’s speculation about its occurrence. Numerous psychoanalysts have attributed the phenomenon to simply fantasy or wish fulfilment, while various psychiatrists ascribe it to a mismatching in the brain that causes the brain to mistake the present for the past. Many parapsychologists believe it is related to a past-life experience. Obviously, there is more investigation to be done. Until then, happy déjà vu-ing!


Republic of Iceland

Invaded and colonised by Vikings from Norway in the 9th century, Iceland has the distinction of having held the first parliament in Europe, in 930. The republic was ruled by the King of Norway in the 13th and 14th centuries. It passed to Denmark at the same time as Norway lost its independence to the Danes. The current flag was adopted in 1918 when Iceland became a separate realm in the Kingdom of Denmark, and became the national flag of independence in 1944. The flag is the same, as the Norwegian flag itself modelled on the Danish with positions of the blue and red colours reversed. The adoption of a Scandinavian cross and Norwegian colours shows quite clearly that Icelandic affiliations still lie with the Nordic countries.

Major leaguer

Stan Lee

A revered comic book creator, Stanley Martin Lieber aka Stan Lee, co-launched superheroes such as Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, X-Men and Doctor Strange for Marvel Comics. He was born in New York City on December 28, 1922, with part of his childhood spent during the Great Depression. As a writer, he went on to be hired as an office assistant at Timely Comics in 1939 and became an interim editor for the company in the early 1940s. He has also served in the Army during World War II, working as a writer and illustrator.

In the early '60s, Lee was called upon by his boss to create a series for Marvel Comics (Timely's new name) that could compete with rival DC Comics' hit title Justice League of America. When working at the Marvel Comics with artist Jack Kirby, Lee launched the superhero team the Fantastic Four in 1961, and soon created popular characters like Spider-Man, X-Men, Hulk, Thor and Daredevil. Marvel Comics became an extremely popular franchise, where Lee was promoted to editorial director and publisher in 1972. He later moved to the West Coast to be involved in Marvel's film ventures and eventually became Chairman Emeritus.

He was especially popular for instilling his characters with a sense of compassion for humans, dealing with real-world issues like drug use and bigotry, which then influenced numerous comics for decades. Lee started intellectual-property company POW! Entertainment in 2001 and the following year published his autobiography, Excelsior! The Amazing Life of Stan Lee. Later in the decade he received a Medal of Arts honour from President George W. Bush and launched the History Channel show Stan Lee's Superhumans, a series that looked at people with remarkable skills and abilities. In 2012, Lee co-wrote a graphic novel Romeo and Juliet: The War and launched a YouTube channel, Stan Lee's World of Heroes, which features comic, comedy and sci-fi content.