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I’m a big fan of small businesses. I like the personal touch, and the uniqueness of small ventures. In an increasingly homogeneous world where I can see the same stores, fast food joints and corporate giants in my home town back home in Blighty as I can see everyday in my adopted homeland of Canada, it is so refreshing to see the small, local and unique businesses. In my recent (and fruitless) quest for a decent snowblower, I have discovered a small, local business that sells nothing but snowblowers and lawnmowers, according to season. They have the time to answer questions, make recommendations and offer advice, and I’ll never wander in, fail to find what I am looking for and search for ten minutes for an employee only to be met with an I-don’t-care shrug and a grunted “Don’t work in this department.” The snowblower quest was fruitless because I started looking too late in the season, i.e., when the first snowflake fell. The friendly local folks at my new favourite store advised me to come in and order one early… in August!

 

But I digress. Bumbling back towards the love of small businesses, I must also add that the appreciation level rises when it’s a woman running the show. Never mind feminism, women still face challenges in the world of business, and when the woman is also a wife and/or mother, there are even more hurdles to business success. Domestic and maternal roles can so easily be full time, but for many women, financial necessity or inner drive motivates them to do more.

 

When I find a small business that caters to one of my various wants, needs or whims, and is also run by a person or persons with a professional approach and pleasant manner, it is a real treat. (I don’t suffer fools and poor customer service gladly, but that’s a rant for another day…). Bonus points if the business is run by a sister in Islam, of course. And extra props when the business serves both Muslims and non-Muslims, thus building bridges and demonstrating diversity in action.

 

So I think that one of the things I want to do here on my blog is make noise about any cool small businesses that I come across especially those that are run by Muslim sisters. But anything that I find cool is grist for the mill, so look out world!

Footwear optional.😉

This will leave no excuse for anyone who cares about Gaza. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, how bad you think your  spelling is or how difficult you find it to write in English. Go to this website, and in a few seconds you can send a letter to your local MP voicing your concerns about Gaza and asking him to make a stand for justice and peace. The posted takes you to the Canadian version of the site, from there American and British readers can link to sites which will let you find your own democractically-elected representatives.

Hijab flutter to Fizza M. for the e-mail that set me off on this particular trail…

They took a brave stance against the injustices being perpetrated in Gaza.

This is the slogan I came up with for the bright-eyed young ‘uns I saw in the mosque last Friday, who were going home to make banners for the next day’s protest downtown and decided I would be a good person to ask for help in slogan writing because of my habit of stringing words together for a living and all that.

It’s the only slogan I have come up with so far, and it merely reflects my non-expert assessment of what is going on, with a gratuitous Biblical/literary reference thrown in for good measure. I doubt I can add much more to the torrent of words and pictures that are to be found on the airwaves and the world wide web. This is one of the cases where words really do fail one.

Other blogs and websites are coming up with things that we can do for Gaza and for the Palestinian cause as a whole. One of my favourites is over at Muslim Matters. Please check it out.

The Royal is a Toronto institution. We’re off to check it out tomorrow, in honour of which I am posting one of my favourite videos. Enjoy.

And here is their rather over-wrought ad for 2008. Lol.

… but blogging takes a back seat sometimes. I’m not one of those high-energy, super-organized types who can put up scintillating new posts every day. In this delicate juggling act that is life, balls/flaming torches/chainsaws sometimes get dropped. I have lots to say but there is too much to-do list left at the end of the day. Please be patient and watch this space. Normal service will be resumed when all the cliches have been knocked on the head and kicked into touch…

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