Weekly roundup of altM news: April 11

In this Wednesday, April 6, 2016 photo, Sesame Street's new Afghan character, a sassy, fun 6-year-old Afghan puppet girl called Zari takes part in a recording session ahead of her television debut on Afghanistan's local production of the show in Kabul, Afghanistan. Zari - whose name means “shimmering” in Afghanistan’s two official languages, Dari and Pashtu - made her debut on Thursday on the fifth season of Afghanistan’s local production of the show called Baghch-e-Simsim, which translates as Sesame Garden. Photo: AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

With all the stories on the Internet it can be difficult to always stay in the know. To help, we’ve searched the web for interesting pieces of news, videos and tips to help you start off your week on the right foot.

1. New female puppet joins Afghan Sesame Street

In this Wednesday, April 6, 2016 photo, Sesame Street's new Afghan character, a sassy, fun 6-year-old Afghan puppet girl called Zari takes part in a recording session ahead of her television debut on Afghanistan's local production of the show in Kabul, Afghanistan. Zari - whose name means “shimmering” in Afghanistan’s two official languages, Dari and Pashtu - made her debut on Thursday on the fifth season of Afghanistan’s local production of the show called Baghch-e-Simsim, which translates as Sesame Garden. Photo: AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

In this Wednesday, April 6, 2016 photo, Sesame Street’s new Afghan character, a sassy, fun 6-year-old Afghan puppet girl called Zari takes part in a recording session ahead of her television debut on Afghanistan’s local production of the show in Kabul, Afghanistan. Zari – whose name means “shimmering” in Afghanistan’s two official languages, Dari and Pashtu – made her debut on Thursday on the fifth season of Afghanistan’s local production of the show called Baghch-e-Simsim, which translates as Sesame Garden.
Photo: AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

Sesame Street, with the help of a team in Kabul, has welcomed Zari, a fun 6-year-old puppet with purple skin, an orange nose, multi-colored hair and a brightly colored hijab. According to the team she is a “universal character.” Zari made her television debut April 7 on the fifth season of local version of the show titled, Baghch-e-Simsim. Zari is slated to have two segments per show; one where she talks alone and one where she interviews guests of different backgrounds.

2. Muay Thai fighter launches sport hijab line

British champion muay thai fighter Ruqsana Begum (right) trains with a student wearing one of her sports hijabs. Photo: Ruqsana Regum

British champion muay thai fighter Ruqsana Begum (right) trains with a student wearing one of her sports hijabs.
Photo: Ruqsana Begum

Ruqsana Begum, a Muslim muay Thai fighter, has launched her own line of sports hijabs. The British champion of female Atomweight muay Thai boxing, has won a bronze medal in an international competition in Bangkok, won a gold medal in a European competition in Latvia, was a torchbearer at the 2012 Olympics and is captain of the British team. Begum told CNNMoney, “Being a Muslim I understand the need for a sports hijab, to feel empowered by a sports hijab. Sports need to be open to all backgrounds including Muslim women who might be intimidated by the idea of walking into a gym.”

3. Marks & Spencer launches new “burkini”

The Marks and Spencer full length swim suit. Photo: Marks & Spencer

The Marks & Spencer full length swim suit.
Photo: Marks & Spencer

Major British retailer Marks & Spencer has rolled out the burkini. The burkini made waves five years ago when Nigella Lawson, an English television personality, wore one during her holiday at the beach. The M&S version promises to cover the body “without compromising on style.” This is the first time the suits will be available in the UK, although they have been selling in Dubai and Libya for three years. The three-piece suit is available in two styles, blue with a floral pattern and black with a paisley design. The retailer claims the suit to be “lightweight so you can swim in comfort” and comes in UK sizes eight to 22.

4. Muslim women strike back against hate

Video: The Washington Post

Rana Abdelhamid, a women’s activist and karate teacher, is helping Muslim women take their safety in their own hands. With the help of her foundation WISE, Women’s Initiative for Self Empowerment, Abdelhamid leads self-defense workshops around the world for women of all ages. The Egyptian American Queens, NY native, started the group at the age of 16 when a man tried to forcibly removed her hijab. She is a Shotokan Karate black belt and focuses her workshops on how Muslim women should react if they find themselves in situations where their personal safety is threatened.  Tweet This!

5. Study shows Muslim women are just as religious as Muslim men

According to a new study by the Pew Research Center in Washington, DC, Muslim women are as religious as Muslim men.

According to a new study by the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., Muslim women are as religious as Muslim men.

The Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C., has released a study that shows what while Muslim women are as religious as Muslim men, Christian women are more religious than Christian men. The study found that women are more religious than men due to several standard measures of what makes someone religious. However, the correlation between religion and gender is more complex than many might think. The study complied data from six different groups (Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and those that are religiously unaffiliated). The data was pulled from 192 countries and collected from censuses, demographic surveys and general population surveys. One of the key findings from the study includes that in 61 of 192 countries where affiliation was studied, women showed to be at least 2 percentage points more likely than men to identify with a specific religious group.  Tweet This! 5 things you should know to start your week off right  Tweet This!

This list was curated by Kaitlin Montgomery, altM News Editor

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