THE REASON I AM GOING TO AMERICA.

I’m sitting in Heathrow Airport now, after a 13 hours flight from Singapore. I’m waiting to take another 8-hour flight to spend the rest of the year halfway across the world. I’ll be on a leadership fellowship program with the US Department of State. This fellowship brings together 100 of the best community leaders from…

Refugee Awareness Week

A few years ago, I’d visited a Rohingya refugee camp in Aceh. I met S, and remarked that he had a cool necklace. He’d smiled sheepishly, and in that moment, I saw a glimpse of every other teenage boy I know. S followed me around the camp as we did our activities, and I fussed…

Muslim and Depressed

Hello & assalamualaikum (peace be upon you). I’m Atikah, I’m Muslim, and I have depression. Well, if we really want to get into it, I have been diagnosed with manic-depression (bipolar disorder), panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. I’ve been writing about living with mental health issues for the past few years, and have seen…

Eid Mubarak!

Eid Mubarak from my family here in Singapore!   Eid ul-Fitr, the first of the two Eids celebrated in the Islamic calendar, celebrates the conclusion of the month of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the month of Ramadan. Here in Singapore (& Malaysia too), we practice seeking forgiveness & reflection during Eid as we visit family and friends,…

Help raise funds for HIV women shelter!

Last Sunday, Singapore’s The Straits Times featured Kak Rahayu, founder of Sinar Sofia, and the fundraising campaign that I am running for the HIV Women and Children Shelter that she runs. The Launchgood campaign aims to raise enough funds for them to sustain medical and daily needs for the shelter for at least a year,…

This Ramadhan, I’m okay with Crawling

I’ve a complicated relationship with faith and religion, which is why I shy away from writing or speaking about it. (Yes, women in hijab face this too) I used to beat myself up because of the struggle, only to realise that it served to push me further away from the goal of finding God. I…