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Mindful : April 2016
FOCUSED ON KIDS Apparently, it’s never too early to star t teaching kids the benefits of a calm mind. Consider, for example, the Valley Settlement Project, a Colorado-based program that helps low-income Hispanic immigrants settle in and connect with their communities. “It became ver y clear that this population, especially the chil- dren, needed the skills of mindfulness to shape their brains and manage them- selves to move forward,” says Kathy Heg- berg, who developed a program for VSP called FocusedKids. Young kids and their caregivers learn how the brain works and use mindfulness tools—like chimes, pup- pets, and squishy balls—to focus on the here and now. So far, the program seems to be paying dividends. “These kids have gone from being way behind to being in the top 10%,” Hegberg says. Iman Aldebe, a fashion designer born in Sweden to Jordanian parents, wants to break down biases against Muslims using the humble hijab. Growing up in a religious Muslim fam- ily in Stockholm, Aldebe’s passion for fashion began in high school, when she started designing trendy- yet-modest graduation and wedding outfits for her friends and family. Eventually, Aldebe was able to transform her youthful passion into an HIJAB COUTURE enterprise that places her haute couture hijabs in department stores in Swe- den, Paris, New York, and Dubai. She even created a design for a hijab hat that’s now part of the official Swedish police uniform. “I use fashion as a tool to eliminate prejudices against Muslims,” she told Al Jazeera. “I want to challenge the image of the oppressed Muslim woman in the West who volun- tarily isolates herself from society.” PHOTOGRAPHS:©ALJAZEERA,©THEVALLEYSETTLEMENTPROJECT AD 14 mindful April 2016 what’s new