Wow! I just came back from my weekend at the Muslim Lifestyle Expo in Coventry and I have to say I am so happy I was part of this. It really felt like a celebration of British Muslims.
They had asked be months ago to be part of the event, I think I might have been one of the first few they asked and I am so happy I accepted. It was a risky choice back then since it is the first time they were doing this. It could have been a total disaster. But the event in my opinion was a huge success. They not only covered the usual halal food aspects but also everything else in the Islamic economy; because Muslims are so much more than just food.
The whole event was very well organised, considering that the guys who are behind the event are all working full time jobs too. It didn’t feel that it was missing anything and it was professionally organised. Finally Muslim events are getting better and raising the bar of professionalism.
The event was over Saturday and Sunday and we drove down the night before just so I only have to worry about my talk and not to worry about the 2.5 hour long drive to Coventry as well.
We arrived at the event around 12 pm to listen to few talks and check out the Fashion show and see some of all the people I had on my “must meet list”.
I was so happy to see some of my old colleagues in the event too. I used to work in the halal food industry before. I hadn’t seen them in a few years so it was great to catch up. I met some of the companies I have been following on twitter and Instagram as well as people that have actually published some of my articles like Muslim Vibe. Great to be able to put a face to email and Facebook chats. 🙂 It is one of the reasons why I loved this event so much because otherwise we wouldn’t have probably met with all these people in one place.
One of my highlights of the event for me was the opportunity to meet some of my blog’s readers, yay! Which was amazing. Seriously I felt so much love that brought me to tears. I could have not been happier. Few ladies said they came to see me speak and ask me questions; honestly totally humbled. I also met a reader all the way from Turkey, ( Hi Christina!); from Aegean Dream Homes who was also exhibiting at the Expo.
It truly felt like a celebration of the British Muslim culture, identity and style. Majority of the businesses are actually from Britain and there is so much talent in this country.The media give little credit to all the hard work and beautiful things that they create. We should have more of these positive images of Islam and British Muslims on the media rather than talks about all the negatives a tiny percentage that call themselves‘Muslims’ do.
With regards to my talk what can I say. I was so nervous on Saturday but since I am an extrovert I feed of people’s energy. Before my talk I went around and spoke to everyone to forget about my nerves; when it was my turn I was so excited and hyped up that I just knew I have to share it with the audience. I think my sessions had some of the most attendance with a full house; and I could have not been happier.
Talking about travel, deals and tricks is my favourite topic and what I realised is that Muslims want to know more and I am definitely on the right track. Yay! I received great feedback and so many questions to answer. I will be making some videos with the answers so it’s easier for you guys to watch and absorb all the information.
I really want to thank the people who came to listen to me, it means the world to me. It gave me more courage and support to keep it up insha’Allah (God willing).
Another thing I realised this weekend is so much of an important role my husband plays in all this. Without him and his support it wouldn’t have been possible to attend or enjoy this event as much. First because I can’t travel without a male companion (mahram) and second because nobody wants a grumpy husband waiting for them at home. It feels so much better to enjoy all these blessings together and it really shows we make a good team. I keep thanking God for all these blessing and match making skills. 🙂
Enjoy some of the hundreds photos I took at the event.