Journalism, Body Positivity and Lipsticks with Arfa

Hello Hayaa Ladies!

Hope the end of summer is treating you well! It’s back to school season so if you are starting school or have started school the team at Hayaa wishes you a wonderful year ahead!

It is almost the end of our summer season and we have some really exciting plans for our Autumn and Winter collection, but we slipped in one more photoshoot for this collection before going on vacation for Eid. Sakina has already left UAE to visit her parents and I leave next week to visit mine. We’re excited because this gives us an opportunity to share our products with those of you who are international and like our stuff so if you are in the US of A and want to order you have a few days left so send us an email (

Now the photoshoot we had a few weeks ago wasn’t just a photoshoot but a really awesome opportunity to meet a passionate young woman who is also an up and coming journalist. We got to speak to her about a variety of topics from wearing Hijab, to body positivity, her passions in journalism and even some great makeup tips

Arfa Siddiqi is a Pakistani born- Dubai raised independent journalist. She graduated just recently with a degree in journalism and international relations. Arfa has her own blog, (here) and also freelances to other online journals such as the Social Lifestyle Magazine. She is passionate about social and human rights such as female empowerment, media deconstruction, post colonial thought, body positivity and labour rights and uses her writing to create a conversation which she believes will make a difference.


Besides saving the world, Arfa is also passionate about exploring it. She calls it a wanderlust bug and says that documenting her travels is what got her started on her blog. Her blog then blossomed as a way of expressing herself through her writing and photography! Her instagram also doubles as her travel diary and features really great pictures


During our day out with Arfa we really got to talk about important topics such as body positivity. We spoke about the pressures of media and the problems of using only one body type in advertising

“Body positivity is something that resonates with me deeply. Our society and the media around is constantly objectifying women (and men), and telling them they need to look a certain way in order to be accepted. We are humans, we are born free, and we are INDIVIDUALS for a reason – we are all different. This constant policing of our bodies, especially women’s bodies, has had a deeply negative impact on our psyches. We constantly find faults within ourselves and are taught to hate the skin we live in. That is unacceptable. We need to be kind to ourselves like we are kind to others. We need to love and respect our body.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that I advocate an unhealthy lifestyle, not at all. To give you an example, I’m not a size zero model or even athletic. But I’m participating in a marathon in about a month’s time. So body positivity just means that as long as you are a healthy individual, happy with yourself and have a healthy body image, you don’t need to be a certain size to be acceptable. You don’t owe beauty to the world, and you certain don’t owe outer beauty to anyone else. It is not your job to look pretty for others. But yes, you owe a healthy, energetic and positive persona to the people you care about. “
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In short, Arfa is all about Self Love and Self Acceptance as long as the individual is taking care of his/herself. At Hayaa we completely agree and are all for loving yourself!
As if that didn’t make Arfa and all rounder, we also learned that Arfa is a freelance, self taught makeup artist. Arfa believes that makeup can be empowering, especially with the right lipstick color but of course only if you want it to be. We loved her bold lipstick choices and cute and modest outfits. Check out some of our highlights from our photoshoot with Arfa and definitely check out arfa’s blog and instagram!
All of the Hijabs (Scarves) Afra is wearing are from Hayaa and are available on our website, 

Hayaa’s First Pop Up Market

Hello All

It’s been some time since we’ve last posted but the team behind Hayaa has been busy creating and preparing gorgeous new products for our first pop up market. Part of the 45 days of Summer by Dubai Tourism, the Little Majlis Pop Up market which started on July 30th featured businesses which are part of The event was at Dubai Festival City and it lasts until August 15th. We were there until August 4th.


Being our first market, we didn’t know what to expect, but it turned out to be an amazing opportunity. We networked we advertised and we sold out products to people who loved them. It was exciting and encouraging to hear people compliment the things we created with our own hands.


Meeting the Little Majlis team and Little Majlis small shop owners was wonderful. We got a lot of great advice and were inspired by their success stories. Our little Naaz also had a great time, making friends with everyone on the floor. Here are some pictures from the event

Day 1:


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Day 4:

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Day 6:



We loved meeting past and future clients, if you took any pictures and post them on Facebook or Instagram remember to tag us (@hayaahandmade) and use the hashtag #HayaaLove

We look forward to doing many more markets but in the meantime check out our products at

Welcoming Summer!

Helloo Hayaa Ladies (& Gents)

It’s been quite a while since we’ve last posted. Sorry about that, my life was filled with weddings and travelling and after coming back creating new scarves! Sakina and I have been shopping like crazy finding the perfect fabric for this intense heat. This is my first summer in UAE and so far its bearable… indoors *cue audience laughter*

So we know scarves and summer are quiet the awkward pair and thus we created our summer scarves. Using a blend of linen and cotton, these scarves are light and airy

Our good friend Maha helped us in presenting these lovely items in a summer themed photoshoot


Maha is a news reporter for a radio station in Dubai. She’s been born and brought up right here in UAE


She describers her style as comfortable, shes not really too focused on the trends but rather believes if you are comfortable in what you are wearing you can pull it off.


Maha’s favorite summer foods are melons, all types of melons


She feels like swimming is the best summer activity as it rejuvenates as well as exercises your body

We had a blast with Maha!



Keep a lookout for our summer scarves on littlemajlis

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and if you haven’t followed us on instagram/facebook/twitter go @ /HayaaHandmade

Until next time


10 Last Minute Mother’s Day gift ideas

March 21st is UAE’s day to celebrate our greatest blessings, our mothers. That means if you haven’t gotten your gift yet you have three days to do it and we want to help

Using our online shopping and pinterest skills we came up with a list of 10 gift ideas to make/buy for your mother or mother-like figure

10. Create a Mother’s Day Spa Kit


We got this idea from Mom 4 Real; click the link to see more

9. Arabic Alphabet Tea Towels


We’re in love with these Arabic Alphabet tea towels from Little Majlis. (If you’re located in UAE shipping is free!)

8. DIY a customized Mug

mother's day mugs

These DIY mugs are super cute! You can learn how to make them here at Maiko’s blog 

7. “Starry Night” print set


Of course we’re going to love our own prints, but we’re certain your mom will too! These prints will look fab in any part of her home and if you buy the pair together they’re only 30 aed check them out here!

6. DIY Lotus Flower Ring Holder


How adorable is this ring holder? And its all handmade! Check out how you can make one at Yay For Handmade

5. Personalize Map Greeting Card


You can customize this greeting card! Just message Made in the Desert !

4. Map plate


This easy and beautiful project can be found here at DIY Easy time

3. Scarf


This is one of my favorite scarves from our shop. The colors and patterns are super chic. check out this scarf plus more here

2.  Flowers


Flowers are a wonderful gift, and flowers that can last forever and handmade by you make it a little sweeter. Check out how to make these plus more flowers here at It’s Always Autumn

1. LAST idea on our list is a greeting card from Hayaa


The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him) has said Your Heaven lies under the feet of your mother and that was the inspiration behind this card. Our moms do so much for us and we can only do so much back. Hope these ideas help you make your mom feel special

Happy Mother’s day to all the wonderful moms reading this

DIY (under 10 aed): T-shirt Tote Bag!

Hello Everyone!

I’m here today with our first DIY post. We thought it would be cool to create a challenge where we find DIY projects under 10 aed because we love a good DIY and a huge plus point is its less than 10 aed!

I saw a DIY post for a T-shirt Tote Bag and thought it would be fun to recreate it. I just recently moved so I don’t have any old t-shirts lying around however Sharjah is filled with fun 1-10 aed shops and so I went shopping! But if you have any old t-shirts you can easily use those for this project

The materials you will need are:
-T-shirt (look out for thick shirts for strong tote bags, and long shirts for longer tote bags)
-Needle and Thread

So like I said, I found a cute t-shirt from Gift Market for 5 aed

Now to create a Tote bag out of a T-shirt all you need to do is follow these three simple steps

1. You cut out the sleeves.

The tricky part is that these are going to be the straps of your tote bag so if your shirt has short sleeves like mine, then you’ll have to cut a little more than the sleeves

2. You will have to cut a deeper neck, you can use a bowl or any other rounded object or just do it free hand

3. Lastly what you want to do is flip the shirt inside out, then take the two ends of the bottom of the shirt and sew them together with your needle and thread (or sewing machine)

Flip the shirt back out and you are done!

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Hope you enjoyed it! It was a lot of fun making it

Share with us your results!

If you’re curious about the polka dot camera strap or the yellow hijab check out all our products at


Valentine’s Day: Red Velvet Cupcakes

Valentine’s Day is in three days! Some times the best gifts are the ones made with love; Here is a delicious red velvet cupcake recipe for you to try at home!

This recipe is one of my favorites. It makes 12 cupcakes

First what you want to do is preheat your oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F) and line your cupcake tray with cupcake liners.

Secondly you will mix all your dry ingredients together: 1 1/4 C flour, 3/4 C sugar, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp cocoa powder. Now set this aside

In a mixing bowl add the following ingredients: 3/4 C vegetable oil, 1/2 C buttermilk*, 1 egg, 1 tbsp of red food coloring, 1/2 tsp of white vinegar, and 1 tsp of vanilla

*to make buttermilk all you need is a little under 1 cup of milk and 1 tbsp of lemon juice OR vinegar. add them together and let it stand for five minutes and then use as much as you need

After your whisk those ingredients together, add the dry ingredients in parts mixing in between

Pour the batter into your lined cups (about 3/4 full) and place it in the oven for 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.


Cream cheese frosting goes great with red velvet cupcakes and it is my favorite

To make you’ll need 8 oz of cream cheese, 1/2 cup of butter, 2 cups powdered sugar and 2 tsp vanilla. whisk the cream cheese and butter together first and then gradually add the powdered sugar and lastly add the vanilla.

I love piping roses using a 2D decorating tip


Hope you guys enjoyed it!

Leave us a comment if you tried it or if you have any other great Valentine’s day recipes!

Remember our Flash sale ends tonight (Wednesday the 11th) Get your hands on these great products by emailing us at


Valentine’s Day: Pre-Launch Flash Sale

We have some exciting news!

As part of the countdown to our launch we are also hosting a pre-launch sale for Valentine’s Day! From today until Wednesday the 11th, we are revealing three products you can purchase by emailing us (at the product you wish to buy and we will email you back with further instructions, but act quick the products are limited in quantity and are only available for a short time! (*We love all our followers from around the world, but unfortunately because of shipping rates these products are only available for customers living in the gcc)

Chocolate Kisses: This jersey scarf is a beautiful cranberry red color paired with cream and brown. The scarf is 180 cm, pure jersey. There are two pieces for sale and they make the best gift for your valentine or a beautiful accessory to don. Each scarf is 60 aed
Pink Polka dots: This handmade camera strap 104 cm long with the ends bound with real leather. The camera strap attaches to any SLR. This sweetheart pink is bound o be an eye catcher. There is only one piece so get your hands on it quick! The camera strap is for 45 aed
Print: “Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they are in each other all along” is a quote by Jalal adin Muhammad Rumi, aka Rumi a 13th century poet. This print is available in 2 sizes, A4 (20 aed) and A5 (15 aed)

The sale ends Wednesday and these products are only available in this sale so get them quick!
Email us at