Annual Elderly Eid Gift Drive

Eid driveAssalamu’alaikum!

We’re approaching that special time of the year again, abuzz with excitement, imaan and a little too much sugar from iftaar time.

As we step up our game for this last phase of Ramadan, cramming in as much ibada and good deeds as we possibly can, we also hope to maintain our spiritual engagement once the month is gone…

And The Y Factor has just the opportunity for you to make good on that intention inshaAllah!

Bringing you our annual Elderly Eid Gift Drive, the Y Factor team invites you to join us in bringing company and solace to the esteemed seniors of our community in hospitals and nursing homes.

As the festive air and spirit of Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations draw nearer and we enthusiastically throw ourselves into baking sweets, buying new clothes, decorating our houses and organising family gatherings, it is important to remember that many an elder will be spending it alone.

Through our annual campaign, and with the support of Mission of Hope, The Y Factor’s volunteers visited more than 100 elderly persons in hospitals, nursing homes and their private homes bearing gifts and flowers every Eid-ul-Fitr for the last two years.

We pray that we are able to bring joy and smiles to our honoured elderly again this Eid, inshaAllah, and we would love for you to join us in this endeavor.

If you want to grasp this good deed opportunity, fill out this quick expression of interest. We will then touch base with you, inshaAllah, and put you on your way to post-Ramadan rewards.

May Allah bless you all for your good intentions, and Eid Mubarak in advance from The Y Factor team!

Wassalaam,

The Y Factor team
E: theyfactor876@gmail.com

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Beating the stress monster

By Aya Al-Salti

Listen to Aya’s interview with Counsellor Samira Din on the negatives and positives of stress:

By: Anna Gutermuth

By: Anna Gutermuth


Stress is starting to affect a lot of society. Last year, Lifeline’s Stress Poll found that nearly two thirds of Australians were losing sleep over stress-related reasons.

Despite this, we curiously continue to brush it off like it’s nothing. Stress is definitely something; at worst it can overwhelm us, leaving our minds to hound us.

Stress is witty and has sass, because it leaves you speechless. It’s brutal and rude, because it intrudes on your psychology and frame of mind. But then, like that wicked double-fudge mud cake that we all love, it can also be beneficial in healthy doses. Stress can motivate us if it’s honed properly, allowing us to reach our full potential. Many high school graduates say that stress kept them on their toes. However, once you take that 1% of healthy stress, throw the other 99% of harmful stress out of your system.

It’s easy to fall into negative stress. Think of Mum at a family dinner on the first day of Ramadan. She flutters about, trying to set the plates of stuffed vine leaves, beef roast, biryani, chicken and mushroom soup all on the table in five minutes whilst preserving their pristine presentation. And don’t forget the samosas! As droplets fan her face, you know with certainty that it is not the right moment to ask her for something.

But why is that? Why is it that when you and I are in stressful situations, we don’t want to be approached? We have a palpitating ding-dong in our hearts, alarming us to an extent that can be quite harmful. In fact, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports:

“…Being overstressed can result in physical illnesses, and psychological illnesses such as anxiety and depression. These symptoms may also have adverse effects on family members and potentially result in relationship strains within the family unit…”

May Allah SWT safeguard our mothers, families and us from overly stressful situations.

However, in order to prevent falling into such overly stressful situations we must learn to understand stress and the ways in which we can relieve ourselves from it. And yes, fellow HSC student, I’m speaking to you. You’ve got your economics book open right now, with one pen writing away in your chemistry book – but you’ve just remembered that you also have an English essay due tomorrow!

You want to do well in your studies, to delight your parents (and yourself!) with your ATAR results. As a current HSC student, I understand these pressures completely. I too have subject, school and family commitments. In addition, I want to build my character. Having many different goals with no sense direction and organisation can stress anyone out.

And what about Mohammad and Sarah? At work withering away on the building plans and law documents that are due tomorrow. Their hearts too are beating in a ding-dong fashion. Stress isn’t discriminative: it’s not limited to gender or age. So how can we minimise this growing epidemic?

  • Understand that everything you will do and have done is reliant upon Allah SWT. Have faith in Him, and I assure you that with that tawakkul things will pan out.

  • Use a diary and organise your tasks

  • Set goals

  • Exercise and eat the right foods. Yes, that means eating fruits, veggies, legumes and the rest whilst taking only a small piece of that delicious double chocolate cake.

  • Minimise the amount of time spent on your electronic devices. From experience, whenever I have work to do and I procrastinate on my phone – whether by reading articles, texting my friends on Whatsapp or otherwise – I feel absolutely awful afterwards for time wasted.

And if stress ever becomes ever too strong, speak to someone about it. It doesn’t have to be a psychologist or a school counsellor, although both are great listeners. Speak to an older relative, a trusted older friend, or a mentor. They won’t judge, but they certainly will listen.

If you are experiencing overwhelming stress, see your doctor, talk to a counsellor or call Lifeline on 13 11 14. Under 25s can also call the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.

Welcome!

Welcome all to the first instalment of the long-awaited Y Factor blog! (Well, we’d like to think it’s been long awaited.)

Image by publik16

Image by publik16

What will follow (inshaAllah) is a series of serious, silly, wacky, informative and thought-provoking articles written by a variety of people on a variety of topics. If there’s anything you’d like to see covered please hit us up; even better, send us a pitch if you’re interested in writing something for our blog.

This has certainly been an eventful week. As much as I’d love to, I can’t avoid mentioning the release of Schapelle Corby after nine years of incarceration in a Balinese prison for the alleged importation of cannabis. Frankly, I’m finding the media circus around her release irritating to say the least. This isn’t the long-awaited return of some wronged hero; Corby is a convicted criminal.

Corby continually argued over the years that the drugs in the bag weren’t hers, but this argument didn’t stick. If it does emerge someday that Corby was wrongly convicted then I’ll feel sorry for her then. In the meantime, please spare me the schlocky faux-news pieces on her first ‘proper’ post-prison meal and the interviews with her parents’ neighbours’ uncle’s dog.

On a related note, Simon Gittany was sentenced this week to up to 26 years in prison for the alleged murder of his partner, Lisa Harnum. It felt like the whole of Australia tagged along for this did-he-or-didn’t-he tale, so this was a rather satisfying end for many. (The fact that the courtroom erupted in cheers when the judgment was handed down only confirms this.)

For me, the most fascinating part of the story was the part played by Gittany’s current girlfriend, Rachelle Louise. At every point in this tale of love gone sour, the heavily made-up, outspoken Rachelle Louise seemed to be by Gittany’s side as if to suggest that any man with a girlfriend this loyal couldn’t possibly have murdered anyone. It didn’t work, as the guilty verdict and sentence clearly demonstrate. But despite vowing to stand by her man ‘until justice is served’ Rachelle Louise is sitting pretty for now, having pocketed a cool $150,000 for a two-part interview with Channel 7’s Sunday Night. Please excuse me while I throw up a little in my mouth.

The final story to capture my attention this week was the tragic rape of a 14-year-old girl in the Western Sydney suburb of Doonside. Community leaders have warned of escalating racial tensions in the area, given the Pacific Islander background of the victim and the ‘African’ background of her attackers. The victim’s sister has called for calm, and Father Chris Riley of Youth Off the Streets is planning to send outreach workers to the area in the coming weeks in an attempt to quell tensions.

When I read about this I couldn’t help but recall the Skaf rape case of over a decade ago and the way in which the attacks were racialised both by the attackers and mainstream media. The Skaf case has cast long shadows; just last week it was making headlines again with the impending release of “Offender H” after a lengthy prison sentence. It’s important to note that tension between different migrant groups tends to be cast in a rather different light to those between ‘white’ Australians and others for reasons too complex for me to do justice to right now. Suffice to say I’ll be watching this space.

That’s it for now so please feel free to share your thoughts (i.e. we’d really love it if you did) on any of the above stories or whatever is bothering/inspiring/boring you right now.

Over and out!