2 minutes with: Sarah Joseph, editor, Emel

British Muslim lifestyle magazine Emel is launching a website. What’s new?

It will be a portal with lots of opportunities for open engagement, through blogs, chat rooms, and invitations to comment on pieces in the magazine. There will also be an online shop, for which we are looking to build alliances.

How long has the magazine been going?
About two years – we're the only Muslim lifestyle magazine in the UK. We cover a wide variety of issues including arts and culture, fashion and interiors, travel, politics and advice on health, ethics and finance.

How can PROs be of service?
We speak to PROs a lot in fashion – the contact is fashion stylist Shapla Halim. We are creative with the outfits, so if a dress seems a little skimpy we can layer it over a top, with a pair of jeans underneath. We don't use the models' heads, as we don't want to be seen to be telling readers whether or not to wear a headscarf, but we will use scarves as shawls. We also feature clothes for kids and men. And we use guest columnists – not necessarily Muslims – it can be anyone with something to say.

What doesn't work?
Food needs to be Halal or vegetarian. Alcohol and pork are a big no-no. Also PROs often place too much emphasis on the ethnic element of the magazine. Yes, we will use Moroccan-inspired interiors, for example, but there are many white Muslims too, and we want to use what's contemporary. And sex does not sell – we can't use a scantily clad person to illustrate a piece.

When is the best time to contact you?
We're very flexible. Some items we plan a year ahead, others are written close to deadline, two weeks before we come out. Remember that timings are different – we work around big festivals such as Eid and Ramadan for gifts, not Christmas. The first week of the month is not the best time to call, as that's when we go to press.

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