As 2017 comes to an end, we’ve taken some time to look back and appreciate our favourite projects & moments from the year.
From combining forces with Gould.Sydney to sharing our Salam Sisters dolls with you, it’s been a year to appreciate our achievements as a team. Powered along with truly international calls (covering as many as 9 different timezones at one time), copious amounts of coffee, and lots of positive thoughts & prayer.
We’re happy to share our highlights from the year, and some stories on what was happening behind the scenes!
Gould.Sydney joining the team
The talented designers at Gould.Sydney were part of Zileej before Zileej even started. When our CEO Ridwan first had the idea for the 5Pillars boardgame - he turned to Gould.Sydney to design the very first range.
It’s been great to officially join forces by name, especially since we've been sharing the same vision from the very start!
5Pillars new range
This year, 5Pillars has grown from one boardgame in 3 languages to 3 boardgames, pop quizzes, and a funbox in 10 different languages. Shoutout to Daryl who designed 10,000+ cards on Islamic trivia knowledge.
He might not be Muslim but we’re certain he can beat many of the Muslims on our team in the 5Pillars app — and probably in about 3 different languages!
We were keeping our dolls away from the public eye for the most part of the year so it was super exciting to finally share photos of them with you all! The response has been wonderful with your support. We’re working hard with our manufacturers to bring the dolls to you next year inshallah.
Click here to sign up and be one of the first to know when you can get your hands on them!
Learning, teaching & connecting
Many from our team have also had the opportunity to learn, connect, and share their knowledge with like-minded people from Dubai to San Francisco.
Peter Gould ran 5 different workshops on Islam-inspired innovation, branding, and design thinking in 3 different cities. He also attended an epic design thinking workshop at Stanford in California.
Daryl presented at the Thailand Halal Assembly, Nick at the Halal Expo in Australia, and Subhi presented at MLE Connect in London, and at the 24th WIBC in Bahrain.
Nominated as a finalist
Our design team in Sydney were nominated as finalists at the Australian Multicultural Marketing Awards for their work on a Ramadan campaign with local school Arkana College, and Westfield shopping centre.
Meet the team
Salam! Although I go by my middle name, Ridwan, my first name is Ansarullah. I don’t know how that happened but my guess is since I’m from Trinidad my middle name was probably easier for people to get right. I enjoy solving problems, visiting places and learning about its history, running, playing football and cricket, and spending time with my family.
Through Zileej, I hope we can together make a positive change in the world!
I’m Peter from Sydney, Australia. I feel truly blessed to have a beautiful young family with 3 kids. Zileej is my dream company and feel so lucky to be part of this journey with you all.
Fun fact: In 2018 I hope to reconnect more with outdoors / nature and try to see the world fresh through the eyes of a child. Pablo Picasso said “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child
Mawlid, currently based in Barcelona, Spain.
There are few things in my life which makes me happy. Being near the sea, watching kids playing football or looking to the faces of the fathers when they meet their kids at the airport after their arrival flight....
I love playing football and my dream job is to train small kids in playing football in few years inshaAllah.
While the astronauts, heroes forever, spent mere hours on the moon, I have remained in this new world for nearly thirty three years. I know that my achievement is quite ordinary. I am not the only man to seek his fortune far from home, and certainly I am not the first. Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept/worked. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.
Edited from Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies
Hello! I'm Mara, I'm passionate about designing toys because it brings me joy to see young kids having fun with toys I've designed.
I like reading science fiction books, gardening (especially growing lots of different flowers), and spending time with my beautiful cats.
I love all kinds of art and visiting museums. I also do Yoga and Pilates and enjoy living by the sea in beautiful Denia, Spain.
I have a real respect for people who are talented in multiple fields. I love stories of other worlds and hope to one day create my own. I’m an avid gamer who struggles with a gaming ‘to do’ list that keeps growing. After I was born, the first night I was brought home was the biggest storm my family had ever experienced. As the first child, this was probably both literally and metaphorically. I don’t know if this storm made an impression on me, but I always get excited when thunder and lightning crack the skies.
I'm a 3D artist looking to improve every day. In my spare time I sculpt characters (digitally) when my gaming needs let me.
I'm not normally one to take selfies and usually I'm the photographer so, was hard to find a photo of myself. This is a special one actually. One of the highlights of this year (other than having one year with all you in Zileej) is finally having the chance to leave my home, my country to begin looking for a better future. Just the first step of many to come.
Hey I’m Daryl, from Sydney!
When I’m not designing, I’m either at an exhibition, at a gig or eating too much.
I play music in some punk bands and spend a lot of time looking for obscure disco records. I think my parents named me after this movie.
Originally from Radelaide, (it's real, look it up) currently in Dubai. I was supposed to be here for two weeks—it's been two months so far!
I love travelling to connect with family & friends I've never met. I believe simply buying less clothing is better than buying ethically-made clothes. When visiting a new country I love getting locally-made items. Chocolate is life. Boxing is fun! Kindness & generosity are always the better options.
I’m Dhon, I like bubbles and I’m an Illustrator at Zileej, based in Dubai. One time, I was invited to a children’s birthday party and was tasked to take care of the bubbles. It was a hit with the kids, good times.
I’m a big fan of old animated films, I hoard video games and I never play them. I treasure artworks from friends. I always wanted to be a Doctor when I was a kid. I pretend I know how to swim. I never dreamed that I would work as an Illustrator but this is best job I’ve ever had.
I'm Peter Pham (aka Peter Pan while growing up) and I like hash browns, matcha lattes, gaming and Arabic graffiti. I love learning new skills - both digital and physical.
I believe Marvel and DC Comics can coexist and have a deep respect for old school sign painters.
My humble family is my inspiration for becoming a better person and my motivation to work harder to leave a positive impact on the world.
Ismail Kamdar from Durban, South Africa. Content Manager at Zileej, and a lover of good food, coffee, video games and books.
I juggle many roles in the community but they all revolve around one major goal: Helping the next generation of Muslims succeed in this world and the next.
Through our various products at Zileej, I hope to achieve this goal and inspire entire generations to succeed in every possible way.
Hello! My name's Navira and I'm from Sydney, Australia. I'm currently in my second year in my Bachelor of Design in Visual Communications. In my spare time, I like to read books or play video games like your typical millennial!
I am a huge fan of K-Pop and I like to create designs for their merchandise. I'm a coffee addict and like the occasional avo smash on toast for breakfast. Like most of the team, I'm also Star Wars nerd!
Abdullah, Indian from Makkah, Originally from Yemen from my grandfather's side.
My favourite things to do are eating, reading, and playing Sports ;)
I have an interest in learning new languages & new cultures. My message is "to be polite to the people"
I always have dreams that I am flying, so inshaAllah it would be nice to continue flying upward with our Zileej team.
Thank you all for being part of our journey this year, we’re excited about what 2018 will bring. We wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday and a brilliant start to the new year.
— Peace, Zileej Team 2017