The daily chronicle of my family as we embark on our quest to relocate from New York to Cairo... the impending journey to get there and the daily lives of myself, my husband and our four children... and other random thoughts while living in Cairo!

Looking to make contact with other Muslimahs who are like myself with small children living or will be living in a foreign country.

I invite you to share the experience with us as we try to make this happen!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How time flies....


My best girlfriend who recently moved to Saudi is currently visiting Cairo and we were chatting today about how fast time flies... on this same day, one year ago, we boarded Egypt Air from New York to Cairo- her and her youngest daughter and me and my two little terrors... with intentions on having a blast! Just a getaway, to take care of somethings for herself and me, to confirm my intentions (again) as to whether I really wanted to make that move. We had a trip planned to Hurgada when we were finished with shopping, shopping and did I mention shopping? lol

But things didn't exactly work out that way in the end- we had to cut our trip short after about 9 days as she had a very serious illness in her family. And on the night before we left, I had to have a frap from their Costa Coffee house in Al Rehab... it was raining and instead of me walking which seemed like a 1/4 of a mile (wasn't) I decided to cross a very wet wooden bridge which extended across a very elaborate water fall display... so guess what happened next? I went up the steep bridge okay but with having on high heeled boots, on the steep decline down, my feet began to slip... so I started to run-walk to avoid slipping... and all of a sudden, I couldn't stop! So, I had to think quick as I knew I was going to fall but definitely didn't want to fall on my stomach since I was 2 months pregnant and just a little paranoid (I had 2 miscarriages before that pregnancy) so I decided to brace my feet when I came to the end of the bridge so I ended up in a "arched cat stance"- when that happened, I heard three VERY loud snaps.... I couldn't walk! I managed to get up, limp to the coffee house (still had to get that drink... hey, I was pregnant!) and as I was standing there, I could feel my right ankle start to balloon up so big my boot felt tight around my ankle. Trying not to panic, I wasn't sure if it was broken as the pain was unbearable but I held it in like a trooper (helps to have a high pain tolerance...) and made it back to my hired car. The driver asked me what happened, and I told him I fell and I'm not sure if it's broken... he immediately drove me to my friend's flat, took my kids home and raced me to the hospital there in Rehab. Not long after arriving, they summoned the doctor from I think home, took three x-rays of my right ankle and we awaited the results... totally fractured in three places! The doctor made a cast, told me to buy a shoe, bear the pain since I was expecting and follow up with my doc when I got back home- I was ordered to wear it for 6 weeks and then have it evaluated further...

We left Cairo the next morning in route home... my husband was a wreck when we arrived for some reason he thought I said my right hand so he was a bit relieved to see it was my ankle... and that everyone in the end, was okay. On the flight home, I was miserable and feeling a little queasy which I NEVER do when I'm pregnant- my husband ALWAYS have my pregnancy symptoms eg: back pain, nausea, vomiting, food cravings, etc... talk about funny! But I couldn't wait to get home, in my house and elevate my feet...my kids were trying to rub it for me to make me feel better while I suffered thru that immense pain- I kept trying to sleep it off.... didn't work.

So we laughed today at exactly how time flies and reminisced about our lovely trip... I can't wait to see her late next month / early February, InshaAllah- may Allah reward her for being a very good sister (Ameen). I can't wait to have henna parties and sleep-overs! (LOL)

Raf, I love ya!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Just a little more closer now.....


I've been going a little nuts lately with trying to figure out what should be my next move with the BIG move we're untaking... I kinda feel like I'm in limbo- so much to do but don't where to start while other things can't begin because other things need to happen first... Ugh.

But, finally a step in the right direction, my hubby's friend has a shipping company he uses for his business and they, Alhumdulillah, have an excellent rate with shipping goods overseas so InshaAllah, this is the company I'll send my things with- that was a HUGE relief! Now, I spoke to my contact in Cairo earlier today and he's finalizing who he will deal with on that end to get my things from Alexandria to Cairo.... he's going to give me the details tomorrow, InshaAllah!

So.... here we are.... getting closer.... bags are being packed slowly.... finding out what's left to be bought (probiotics, vitamins, kid medicine, etc.)... last minute things to sell.... things to give away as charity.... buy my tickets.... get together with my girls before I leave and they leave for their destinations (Saudi, Australia, Florida and such)... make my rounds for my goodbyes to my family and friends.... take my kids to their last Disney show in New York.... call those I won't see to tell them I'll contact them when I arrive in Cairo via phone or after I get internet service (which I hope will be ASAP- I must have a computer at my immediate disposal!).... and the list goes on.

I really don't expect to have any entries about anything exciting until we actually get there- I'm sure that's when the REAL fun is going to start (yeah right) ;)

What do you think?


I posted more than a few new pictures of sisters I found along the entire length of the side bar... what you think? Some are actual photos, some are more of a fashionable photograph but I thought all were beautiful- and represent a small cross section of who we are.


Too many pics, not enough variation... too much variation? Feedback, please!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Desktop Backgrounds

I paid a visit to the blog of our fellow sister Mona on this very still, quiet Christmas day (it's like the world is standing still here) and she posted her favorite desktop backgrounds... so as a tag, I'm posting my favs here:

The ever beautiful, awe-inspiring Taj Mahal... InshaAllah on my list to visit after I complete Hajj














Some women in the marketplace















The peaceful escape of Maldives














A few shots from Anne Geddes various collections.....


















A beautiful black sand beach- ahh, it's calling me.....













What are some of your favorite backgrounds?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Care for a little sisterly advice?

Let's see... I don't even know where to begin- Hmm, we'll start here with: pretentiousness, self-righteousness, arrogance, humiliation and superficial behavior have NO PLACE IN ISLAM. Over the course of the last few days, I've seen sisters belittle each other- and I found it to be quite disturbing. One can TRY to relate to the plight of another, but as stated before by me in other blogs, unless you've actually been the receiving end of that EXACT situation, regardless of what it might be, you will be able to SYMPATHIZE or some may EMPATHIZE but you CAN NOT understand the full magnitude unless you've been there yourself.

I think we should all know by now that it's okay to agree to disagree with certain issues that people might hold near and dear to their hearts- we all will never see eye to eye on certain issues, and that's okay- it's to listen, try to understand and offer a possible solution but not one that seems to belittle the situation or argument... that just leads to more division and resentment- and with each resentment, there is usually some form of retaliation... and that is a normal human reaction. To be human is to err, none of us are perfect, but to willingly cut your sister down to make yourself feel better IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. If you've offended your sister with words or your actions, you should seek her forgiveness- it's not about being the bigger or better person in the situation but as Muslimahs who supposedly follow the doctrines of Islam, we should not let things separate us- I kid you not, I can almost feel the bitterness and resentment out there... and that's UNISLAMIC.

Also, let's not generalize people's situations- it's just another form of belittlement. Yesterday was yesterday and today is a fresh slate: don't reference yesterday's infested sore on your blog with post that have nothing to do with the previous agrument(s)- don't beat a dead horse... let the ignorance lay where it is- if someone didn't see it, good because that display of contempt is nothing to be proud of.

Your sister has the right to defend herself! If points or inferences are made about an idea or statement that was made, a sister should be able to defend her statement- maybe she IS wrong or lack understanding in your plight but all the same she has the right to be heard- do not delete the comments. Someone out there might be able to explain to her where she is wrong or missed the point of your argument- you can't have that exchange if their words are deleted. By all means, if some donkey comes along from the outside looking in, spewing total ignorance, then delete them without hesitation. Do it in the spirit of fairness- people aren't always going to agree but someone out there with a similar view may become enlightened when some points of the argument are explained- nor should you "pick and choose" whose comments you'd like to publish if someone's view doesn't strike your fancy....

Maybe some will read this and say who asked her... or I don't care about her outlook on the situation- but we as Muslimahs SHOULD care about each other regardless of what race or creed we hail from. We are all responsible for our actions and words and on the Day of Judgement, we all will surely answer for our deeds...and if you could care less about what I said above, I will say this to you- FEAR ALLAH... full stop.

I love all of you, my sisters, for the pleasure of Allah regardless whether you are white, black, purple, green, magenta, grey, yellow, blue, ugly, stunningly beautiful, short, fat, tall, skinny, scarred or flawless!

Now, can we ladies climb back into the sandbox and play nice? As always, all comments are welcomed! ;)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Reminiscing about my marriage weekend...



















My beautiful sister, Hijabee in DC, had a post concerning family and it talked about a certain Hindi movie- I used to watch them ALL the time and my first intro to Bollywood films was thru my husband (wasn't the hubby then) and being as sweet as he is, MashaAllah, he translated the entire movie, Devdas.

When I thought of Devdas, I thought about the weekend we got married and how I ran around looking for a beautiful lehenga that I knew would please my hubby... now of course, I'm not Desi but I knew it would bring a smile to his face to see me dressed in the traditional garment of his culture... and he had no idea!

So, if any of you know anything about New York, the best place to shop for traditional bridal wear is in a place (area) called Jackson Heights in Queens- you can always go there and find brides and their sisters and Moms checking out lehenga cholis, salwar kameez and saris... all heavily beaded and quite exquisite! Now, me being a big girl and tall, the quest wasn't an easy one as most bridal shops carry no sleeve, cap sleeves, mid section exposed, back out lehengas- and not in ample plus sizes! I didn't want to go the salwar kameez way- felt funny with wearing pants to the masjid... so I searched and searched until I found the perfect one!

I ended up with a VERY beautiful soft powder blue one nicely beaded with long sleeves- it was meant to be! I thought of my husband's face when he would see me- and it made the mad hunt worth it!

We were married on a Friday after prayers and there was a nice gathering at the nikkah- then we went home to a few friends and family to have a nice lunch. We had established before we married we wouldn't get crazy with the expenses (it's not like we were 18 anyway... lol) so we could put alot of money to the side for something else. My walimah was the next day- and it was fabulous, MashaAllah! I left home hours before him to go to the mall in Long Island to have my makeup done at M.A.C. and I took my dupatta so they could see what I was wearing to use complimentary colors on my chocolate brown skin... and the end result? Simply stunning if I say so myself, MashaAllah... it all turned out better than expected!

When I arrived at the masjid, everything was in place in the sister's section and the guests was arriving in a steady stream and next thing you know, the place was packed! Everyone had a wonderful time and my family and friends (who are all Non-Muslims) had a great time as well... you should've seen everyone's face when they saw me! It was nice to play "dress up" since we can't do such things everyday... but we sisters have worn ours lehengas to our all-girl Eid get-togethers- all of us modelling our finest Desi wear... I'm gonna miss that *sigh*

Later that day when my hubby wanted to speak to me, I met him by a door and when I opened it he said, "Wow..... MashaAllah!"- and it made the running around in the freezing cold worth every second! I'm obviously not Pakistani but I was his Pakistani bride that day- only a chocolate version! I thank Allah (SWT) for my hubby... he was my friend, introduced me to Islam and became my other half... what more can a girl ask for?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Randoms thoughts on living life







Oh, I'm in a reflective mode right now so I thought I'd share some quotes from random authors on living life:

Life is like a taxi. The meter just keeps a-ticking whether you are getting somewhere or just standing still.

Life is a grindstone. Whether it grinds us down or polishes us up depends on us.

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.

Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

In the game of life it's a good idea to have a few early losses, which relieves you of the pressure of trying to maintain an undefeated season.

In the book of life every page has two sides: we human beings fill the upper side with our plans, hopes and wishes, but providence writes on the other side, and what it ordains is seldom our goal.

Expecting life to treat you well because you are a good person is like expecting an angry bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.

All of the animals except for man know that the principle business of life is to enjoy it.

Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before, how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever...






Friday, December 19, 2008

Ay! Tagged yet again!


Okay, I tagged my sista-gurl, Halal Honey and she tagged me back! So, here are the rules again:


- Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following questions
- They have to be real place, names, things, nothing made up!
- Try to use different answers if the person who tagged you had the same 1st initial.
- You can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.

What is your name: Anisa
A 4 letter word: arch
A boys Name: Amir
A girls Name: Anjali
A color: amethyst
Something you wear: ascot
A food: avacado
Something found in the bathroom: air vent
A place: Aruba
A Reason for being late: accident
Something you shout: Ay!

Ahh... the awesome letter A






Salaam 'Alaikum sisters... I was tagged my beautiful sister, Hijabee in DC, so here are the rules to this tag:

- Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following questions
- They have to be real place, names, things, nothing made up!
- Try to use different answers if the person who tagged you had the same 1st initial.
- You can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.

What is your name: Anisa
A 4 letter word: ache
A boys Name: Abdullah (my Big Papi...)
A girls Name: Asiya
A color: azure blue
Something you wear: anklets (many of them!)
A food: apricot
Something found in the bathroom: aspirin
A place: Argentina
A Reason for being late: aggravation
Something you shout: Aha!

I will tag these ladies:
Desert Veil
Halal Honey
Inspired Muslimah
Momamona




Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why are women so.....


Actually, you could end that sentence with just about anything but I can't take women who are catty and just down right phoney.... they annoy me to no end- maybe because I'm older or maybe it's not having much tolerance for ignorance, who knows, but I don't have the stomach for most women. It's a sad thing to say but why are women this way? And it starts from so very young.... when I see young girls behave in this manner, I give them "the look" like you shouldn't act like you are right now and if I personally know them, I ask them, "What's going here? None of that garbage!" Yes, there are times when people (women) do things and we "share" the information with each other but you gotta know when to turn that stuff off- that's backbiting and usually a dose of slander thrown in for good measure.

Or those who want to be with you, associate with you, form an alliance with you to benefit themselves... pleeeze. Just how old are we anyway? Most act like children or young school girls- as that old song goes, "act your age, not your shoe size". Alot of people use to think I was "uppity" because when they start this same mess, I look at them like they have about 18 heads or walk away but I don't have time for gossip- my life is too busy for it and I don't need any extra sins, thank you. I gave that crap up when I was about 16... lol

Anyhoo, just observing a few things... it wasn't really worth talking about but some women can take you there.... and for those who don't have a plethora of knowledge, here's the dictionary definition of phoniness:

Phoniness

Main Entry: pho·ny

Variant(s): also pho·ney \ˈfō-nē\
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): pho·ni·er; pho·ni·est
: not genuine or real: as a (1): intended to deceive or mislead (2): intended to defraud :
counterfeit b: arousing suspicion : probably dishonest c: having no basis in fact : fictitious d: false , sham e: making a false show: as (1): hypocritical (2): specious
— pho·ni·ly
\ˈfō-ni-lē\ adverb
— pho·ni·ness
\ˈfō-nē-nəs\ noun

Just wanted to put that out there... now I can get on with my day

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

5 things......


I love these... I was tagged by my sis, Umm Travis... so here's my story:

5 Things I was doing 10 years ago:
- I was at the VERY tender age of 28 (tender- yeah right) just started working at my last job (laid off last year) and taking a much needed break from college (pursuing too many things)
- Hanging with my girlfriends... doing ALOT of shopping ( you know us girls!)
- Vacationing every chance I got (one of my favorite past times.... *sigh*)
- Moving into a new apartment
- Making plans to move to the West Indies after finishing my degree (which one, wasn't sure)


5 Things On My To-Do List:
- Packing... and more packing!
- Buy some stuff I want to take to Cairo
- Make more brown sugar scrubs
- Possibly drive my kids upstate New York this weekend by the Canadian border to stay at my fellow Muslimah's house (so her kids and mine can go bonkers!)
- Call some friends


5 Snacks I Like:
- Haagen Dazs and Breyers brand ice cream (Yummy!)
- Granola bars
- Cannolis (Italian pastry)
- Pillsbury dough cookies (the ones you make yourself)
- Salted pistachios


5 things I would do if I was a millionaire...
- Buy a HUGE home (perfect- no riba!) and have at least 1/2 acre backyard to build my kids the ultimate playground
- Fly my nearest and dearest family & friends from all over the world to Cairo so I can host the ultimate BBQ (I'm famous for those)
- Finally open the clinic I was thinking about doing years ago for the Native American women & children for ob-gyn & pediatric care (the idea was to give back to the people which they are a huge part of my heritage) at a low cost or free of charge
- Give sadaqah to all the Muslimahs around the world with children and no husband (do you know how many of them are out there?)
- Put all the kids I personally know thru 4 years of college


5 places I have lived ( for various lengths of time):
- Long Island, New York (where I grew up)
- Queens, New York
- Inshallah... Cairo, Egypt!


5 Jobs I have had:
- Sales clerk (1st job at 16.... awwwww)
- Medical collector
- Head customer service rep/area asst supervisor in a optical lab
- Customer service for an aircraft repair company (somebody has to fix the planes we fly in...)
- Senior rep and salesperson for a packaging distribution company (last job)

5 people I will tag:









Monday, December 15, 2008

Where I would be right now...




I was just chatting with a girlfriend on-line and we were talking about where we would be right now if we weren't married with children... we laughed about the many places we have each visited in our lives so I thought I'd share where I feel I would be right now and what I'd be doing... kicking back, relaxing on a nice black sand beach... just the sounds of the ocean and my Khalil Gibran book- some of his many passages listed here:

Coming generations will learn equality from poverty, and love from woes.

Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.

I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.

Knowledge of the self is the mother of all knowledge. So it is incumbent on me to know my self, to know it completely, to know its minutiae, its characteristics, its subtleties, and its very atom.

The just is close to the people's heart, but the merciful is close to the heart of God.

The person you consider ignorant and insignificant is the one who came from God, that he might learn bliss from grief and knowledge from gloom.

To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.

As usual... wow.... now take time to reflect........... he's definitely my favorite!




Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rampant racism in Saudi?


I was talking to a few sisters over the last couple of days and we discussed making Hajj and Ummrah and one sister told me of her unfortunate experience last year when she made Hajj with her husband... she needed to use a restroom and the went to the nearest place, a hotel, to gain relief. Upon them leaving the establishment, one Saudi there began to verbally assault them... told them they couldn't afford to stay in such a hotel and what gives them the right to think they could use the restroom? She said he was screaming and looking at them with total disgust so her husband asked the guy where was his Islam? And all she did was use the restroom... the guy started screaming that "they" are not allowed to use the bathroom and "they" aren't even allowed in such places and he was going to get them in trouble and make them pay a hefty fine for entering the hotel... in Saudi?


Talked to another sister who left today to visit her in-laws in Pakistan and as we were discussing cultures, we arrived on the subject of Saudis and her feelings about how the Saudis treat people... other Muslims, who hail from other nations, like animals. I heard stories of visas being denied because Saudis feel that certain groups are MUCH lower than them and they're not wanted there...more "deserving" people for Hajj come from America, the UK and the sorts. Reminds me of the caste system that STILL exist in India...


Now, I heard how they treat workers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and other nations in that region like animals... even worse than animals- most are treated like slaves. Then I went on to hear how some of them work and don't get paid for it... another gave me a personal experience of being sponsored by someone in the country only to be extorted for money when they needed to letter or note to travel within the city... didn't even know you needed that until my friend moved there in September. If you don't go with a job from an actual employer there and you decide to inhabit the place via sponsorship thru someone else, you need that person's permission to go anywhere WITH a note or letter stating they GAVE YOU PERMISSION to do so... if not, and you're caught, you're in trouble and so are they (who sponsored you). But this part isn't soooo bad until people start robbing their own brothers and sisters- where's the Islam in that?


The sister who had the bathroom incident told me this is how things are in Makkah but not in other places like Jeddah. I remember she used to be so gong-ho on her husband completing his degree and getting a job there so they could leave... now she has a real bitter taste in her mouth about the whole thing. Once your skin isn't light, they have an issue with you- I heard even lighter skinned Saudis won't marry darker skinned ones... WTH?


I know there is alot of Arab pride and most of this stems from that but where exactly is your Islam? Your brothers and sisters from other countries are all beggars (this term is used often) and less than dirt in your eyes since they're not Arab? I know racism exist everywhere but to my understanding there the situation is not even concealed... they call you out whenever they feel like it... and they feel it's okay- and right! Subhanallah......


It made me start to think, have any of you gone to Hajj or Ummrah and was made to feel "less than" because of where you're from or your skin tone? I know these things don't happen to white expats there- it seems they're accepted, no problem... and they're non-Muslims.


Have they (and those Muslims from other countries who suffer from this same ignorant disease of the mind) ever heard of these?:
That ye may recognise each other
(Not that ye may despise each other).
Verily, the noblest of you
In the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you."
(Holy Quran 49:13)

"And mankind is naught but a single nation."
(Holy Quran 2:213)

"And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens
And the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colours;
Verily in that are signs for those who know."
(Holy Quran 30:22)


"All men (includes women) are equal in Islam, the Arab has no superiority over the non-Arab, nor does the non-Arab have superiority over the Arab, save in the fear of God."
Prophet Muhammed (PBUH)

Any feedback on your personal experiences?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Are you covered?


While browsing through Sister Najea's beautiful collection from Hijabi Couture, I found that cute little quote to post... enough said!


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Allahu Akbar!


Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... wa lil-lahil-hamd
Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... la ilaha illallah

Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... wa lil-lahil-hamd
Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... la ilaha illallah
Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... wa lil-lahil-hamd
Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... la ilaha illallah

Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... wa lil-lahil-hamd
Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... la ilaha illallah

Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... wa lil-lahil-hamd
Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... la ilaha illallah...

For those who read this and don't understand what that might mean, here's the translation:
Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... wa lil-lahil-hamd
Allah is Most Great... Allah is Most Great... to Him belongs all Praise

Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... Allahu Akbar... la ilaha illallah
Allah is Most Great... Allah is Most Great... Allah is Most Great... there is no God but Allah

To all my sisters and brothers in Islam- Eid Mubarak!










Friday, December 5, 2008

Change



I was catching up on some reading and alot of them had to do with transitions- good, bad and the unknown... change can be a very overwhelming thing and depending on your strength and outlook towards it, those factors can determine how the outcome will be... so, do you have the constant feeling that your life is miserable? Do you wish you could somehow redo everything? In a sense, you can. I read this excellent article below:


If your life is miserable, you think almost everything about it is bad... you hate your job, you're dissatisfied with the way you look, you're tired of your friends, you're even sick of where you live. In short, life stinks... or does it?

I'm not saying that you can instantly get a happy, problem-free life just by changing your thinking, but you can start to improve things if you'll accept one simple truth- I AM NOT POWERLESS!

As odd as it sounds, sometimes we're comfortable being miserable. I don't mean that we enjoy our misery, but it may be easier to stay in a familiar, bad situation than it is to change. Change takes courage... change takes faith. Most of all, change means venturing into the unknown and that can be even scarier than where you are now, even if your life is miserable where you are now.

When your life is miserable, you begin to approach your individual "misery threshold." This is very similar to your pain threshold. Maybe you have a very high misery threshold and you can go for years and years in a rotten situation... or maybe your misery threshold is much lower and you're jumping in and out of things all the time, hoping life will get better. The ideal is probably somewhere in between. Pain, even spiritual or emotional pain, is a sign that something is wrong. However, life is never perfect and never will be, so all of us have some difficulties we have to learn to live with.

Change is a very scary thing- I have bouts of doubt as I pack my bags to make my move, Inshallah, but then I remind myself- change can be good! Sometimes the most important change is being able to look at things in a new way. I know that when you stop beating yourself up, your life can begin to improve in a dramatic way.

Constructive change requires thought and planning, and we're capable of that. You can do more, be better, and be happier than you've been in the past but the first step is believing, with Allah (SWT) help, that it's possible!


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Moral Support


It has been said that a health benefit of friendship (or what I like to refer to as sisterhood) is a longer, healthier life... another great benefit of having "real sisterhood" is that your attitude and ability to deal with stress and problems are greatly increased.


Surprisingly enough, even spending time with your significant other can not provide the same healthy benefits as friendship. Good sisters offer a different kind of support than our husbands, siblings, parents or children can. Caring Muslimahs can provide a different level of understanding and communication... and this can positively affect your health, wellness and attitude coupled with a strong feeling of connectedness or place of belonging.


A good friend/sister can help you relax, take a deep breath and remember what really matters... and why. The connection you feel when you’re with your friends can boost your feelings of hope, faith and belief that things will eventually be okay. Friends provide comfort and companionship... laughter and honesty! A strong support network can make you feel motivated and energized... as it isn't just about our emotions and/or feelings.


So when you see your sister having a rough time or she may seem depressed or if you just feel things might not be so right in her life, ask her how she's doing and if she needs to talk about anything- and actually listen to what she has to say... you never know... just by asking a question you could lift her spirits, lighten her load and help put her on track to recovery.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Strange creatures, aren't we?

Cleaning up and looking around, I came across this sad but true statement:


Funny how $10 looks so big when we take it to masjid and so small when we take it to the store...

Funny how big an hour serving God looks and how small 60 minutes are when spent playing golf, fishing or playing soccer...

Funny how laborious it is to read a juzz in the Quran and how easy it is to read 2-300 pages of a best selling novel...

Funny how we believe what newspapers say but question what the Quran says...

Funny how we can't think of anything to say when we pray but don't have any difficulty thinking of things to talk about to a friend...

Funny how we need 2-3 weeks to fit an Islamic event into our schedule, but can adjust it for a social event at the last moment...

Funny isn't it? Nope, not in the least but... is this you?






Friday, November 28, 2008

When in the Masjid...

Yesterday, I was tagged by my beautiful sister, Umm Travis so here it is:

The Rules:
Link back to the person who tagged you;
List three hadith you’d like to pin up in your masjid... and why;
Tag some of your fellow bloggers by linking to them in your post and send them a comment to let them know they've been tagged

All hadiths were taken from Sahih al-Bukhari

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 40:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle said, "If any one of you improve (follows strictly) his Islamic religion then his good deeds will be rewarded ten times to seven hundred times for each good deed and a bad deed will be recorded as it is."

To remind us that if we hold true to our religion and do what is right (even though it's easier to do what's wrong) we will be rewarded on the Day of Judgement for our efforts

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 32:
Narrated Abu Huraira:
The Prophet said, "The signs of a hypocrite are three:
1. Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie.
2. Whenever he promises, he always breaks it (his promise ).
3. If you trust him, he proves to be dishonest. (If you keep something as a trust with him, he will not return it.)"

This one would be posted so we make sure we keep ourselves in check....

Volume 1, Book 2, Number 27:
Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr:
A person asked Allah's Apostle . "What (sort of) deeds in or (what qualities of) Islam are good?" He replied, "To feed (the poor) and greet those whom you know and those whom you don't know."

To remind us not to forget our brothers and sisters !

Okay, I will tag my sisters listed here:

Chronicles of Super Hijaabi

Desert Veil

Chasing Jannah

Hijabi Couture



Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Beautiful Poetry



Again, going through some stuff here and found another piece that use to adorn my desk... enjoy!





Pity Me Not

Pity me not
For the clothes I wear
Nor for the scarf that covers my hair

Pity me not
For my black garb
My modest air
My humble heart

Pity me not
For my lack of speech
Because my silent voice can always find a heart to reach

Pity me not
For my Muslim name
It is the sign of my honor and the badge of my fame

Pity me not
And call me oppressed
Because from society's norms I'm differently dressed

Pity me not
But try to understand
That I love my religion and I'm proud of who I am!

Pity me not
For following the divine way
But pity those who have been led astray!

Hmm... maybe this is why everyone (not all but some) in my office took such a disliking to me when I reverted- too much Muslimah pride! Oh, well.... LOL

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Slowly... but surely


Well, just wanted to say that things are stagnant right now with the moving process... I guess there's not much else to be done except find a credible shipping company that can come to my home and pick up what I need to ship. The hubby keep long hours and I can't get these boxes to any of the many local carriers by myself as I need a commercial van or open pick up truck to get the stuff there- and it's all heavy! This seems to be the hardest thing left to handle before I bid my home adieu...


Not looking forward to arriving in Cairo in the winter but it'll still be WAY warmer there than it is here! lol


Hijabi Poem







Greetings Sisters....

Going through some files from my office and came across this one that was sent to me from a very dear girlfriend who resides in England now... Anisa, if you read this, I love you!



Who I Am !

What do you see when you look at me?
Do you see someone limited... or someone free
All some people can do is just look and stare
Simply because they can't see my hair
Others think I am controlled and uneducated
They think that I am limited and un-liberated
They are so thankful that they are not me
Because they would like to remain 'free'
Well free isn't exactly the word I would've used
Describing women who are cheated on and abused

They think that I do not have opinions or voice
They think that being hooded isn't my choice
They think that the hood makes me look caged
That my husband or dad are totally outraged
All they can do is look at me in fear
And in my eye there is a tear
Not because I have been stared at or made fun of
But because people are ignoring the one up above

On the day of judgment they will be the fools
Because they were too ashamed to play by their own rules
Maybe the guys won't think I am a cutie
But at least I am filled with more inner beauty
See I have declined from being a guy's toy
Because I won't let myself be controlled by a boy
Real men are able to appreciate my mind
And aren't busy looking at my behind

Hooded girls are the ones really helping the Muslim cause
The role that we play definitely deserves applause
I will be recognized because I am smart and bright
And because some people are inspired by my sight
The smart ones are attracted by my tranquility
In the back of their mind they wish they were me

We have the strength to do what we think is right
Even if it means putting up a life long fight
You see we are not controlled by a mini skirt and tight shirt
We are given only respect, and never treated like dirt
So you see, we are the ones that are free and liberated
We are not the ones that are sexually terrorized and violated
We are the ones that are free and pure
We're free of STD's that have no cure

So when people ask you how you feel about the hood
Just sum it up by saying 'baby its all good'


An excellent poem about Muslim women- this is me... is this you?








Friday, November 21, 2008

Educating our daughters


I look at the current state of the world today and wonder sometimes how the world might be when my children are older... and when they become adults. Especially my daughter since most people are of the premise that we should not really send them out to school beyond high school (if even high school) as it is better to keep them home and teach them how to cook, sew and keep the house tidy- but in this world now, is that enough? We all hope and pray that our daughters will find good, honest, pious, hardworking husbands who will love them, care for them and treat them with the utmost respect but not to seem hard, the current state of men today leave alot to be desired. Not saying these brothers don't exist but I can't see too many of them out there!


I have had this discussion with more than a few of my sisters here when we talk about our children and them growing up in this world- some laugh at my criteria (a system I almost pretty much have completely established) that I intend to use, Inshallah, for "weeding out the undesirables" when the time comes to marry off my children- which is many years from now, Inshallah! I personally feel we have a responsibility to our children but especially our daughters to educate them well just in case things don't work out in life where they can stay home and tend to their children and husband. What if she NEVER marries? What if the husband is suddenly disabled and can't work? What if he is abusive to her? Should she leave one marriage to enter another because she doesn't know how to support herself? And sadly enough, alot of men today see an uneducated woman as a slave they can do anything to and she'll HAVE TO TAKE IT as she doesn't have many or ANY other options- what should our daughters do? Become a doormat because she has no other options??? And what about her children if he decides to divorce her... do they suffer and starve as well? We as parents are going to live but so long and after we're gone, what do they do? As we know this world is quite competitive now just to be able to survive- are the "basics" for them still enough?


I'm a total advocate of educating ALL our children equally to become whatever they choose as long as it is not something haram... she can be a doctor, nurse or nurse practitioner, teacher, scientist, chemist and the sorts just like her brothers AND be a good wife and excellent Mother to her children. I feel we should equip our daughters with all the education we can as we can not predict the future and to send them out into this unforgiving world with less, I feel, is a great disservice to them. I want ALL my children to become scholars in their worldly academe and their Islamic studies as one need is for this world and the other is for their hereafter... give your daughters the education they need to succeed in this world... so let her get her bachelors, or masters or Phd- (not in lieu of marriage, of course) just in case IF they have to use it and pray to the Almighty Creator of all things that they never need to.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Reflections...


I came across this little reminder that I use to have in my office sitting on my credenza- it brought back memories... enjoy!



"The secret to life is living it… one day at a time. Our lives are made up of a million moments, spent in a million different ways. Some are spent searching for love, peace and harmony. Others are spent surviving day to day. But there is no greater moment than when we find that life, with all its joys and sorrows, is meant to be lived one day at a time.

It’s in this knowledge that we discover the most wonderful truth of all. Whether we live in a forty-room mansion, surrounded by servants and wealth, or find it a struggle to manage the rent month to month, we have it within our power to be fully satisfied and live a life with true meaning.

One day at a time… we have that ability, through cherishing each moment and rejoicing in each dream. We can experience each day anew, and with this fresh start we have what it takes to make all of our dreams come true. Each day is new, and living one day at a time enables us to truly enjoy life and live it to the fullest."



And 2 thoughts from my favorite poet:

- You pray in your distress and in your need;
Would that you must also pray in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.


- Our appearance, our words, our actions are never greater than ourselves.
For the soul is our house, our eyes its windows, and our words its messengers.

-Khalil Gibran

Monday, November 17, 2008

Where has sisterhood gone?


I've been reading a couple of blogs here and there and one or two made me reflect upon the current state of our sisters today... where has our "sisterhood" gone?


Some people naturally become close or gravitate to one another for many reasons: culture, color, school, choice in clothing (fashionably modest to unmodestly "how-is-that-Islamic-wear"), kids, neighborhood and such- but when we ONLY to speak to each other because of culture or color, how is that Islamic?


I know when I first reverted and attended my first few gatherings at my mosque, it wasn't exactly friendly... I was one of two actual Americans who attended there- and I felt it. There were some sisters who made me feel welcomed but others didn't even bother to give salaam and some would look and then look away. I notice these days that alot of sisters are just too much into this "clique" thing. I even read "either you're in or out"... how is that Islamic? I tend to gravitate away from drama (we have enough of that just trying to get through the day) that might be going on with any sisters but I don't exclude or include someone because of the color of their skin or the region they hail from... to me that's just plain stupid.


Love and respect your sister wherever she may hail from: Bosnia or Boston, Morocco or Maryland, Canada or California, Germany or Georgia, Turkey or Texas, Somalia or South Carolina- we are joined by a common bond and we should love one another and show no indifference towards each other because of our culture, native tongue or hue of our skin- we are Muslimahs first and we should conduct ourselves accordingly.


And on that note, I love all of you... MY sisters, from wherever you may hail for the pleasure of Allah!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Superwomen!



It's been a short while since I've had the chance to sit down to breathe... and even contemplate about sharing something with everyone... busy food shopping, shopping for winter clothes, doctor appointments, gatherings with family, gatherings with my Muslimahs, paying household bills, selling stuff, buying stuff, rearranging part of my old life to start life anew in a new land, Inshallah.

I always try to schedule my days with errands grouped together to make things more efficient since it's always me and my three little ones in the back seat. One day, I had to stop for my usual frequent visit to the salon/barber shop where I get my daughter's hair braided every 2 weeks as it's very long and curly/wavy to boot, Mashallah, and this is the only way to keep neat and tidy. So in one section of this shop, the African sister who braids my daughter hair was talking to me about my big move and how things were coming along- so I started rattling off all the things I have done, in the process of doing and what's in the cooker to be handled next... and she started smiling and said, "You're busy!"... which I always am and sometimes I do feel like a single parent as my poor husband works such long hours- an average day for him is about 11-12... so this move is being orchestrated by me, alone. When I come to the shop to either braid my daughter's hair or cut my Big Papi's hair, all of them are with me and I'm ALWAYS on my cell phone trying to conduct business with someone in some part of the world! This day in question, I had spoken to a few of my Muslim sisters out there and we were all talking about what we did, had to do and such- and in this shop they have a huge flat screen where they show videos for their customers viewing pleasure and on came this song that I never heard before but I knew the voice and the lyrics is what caught my ears and made me look. To be honest, whenever I'm there, I always just "tune it out" since I don't listen to music any longer but this day, the song caught me and I felt it explained us women, especially us Muslimahs! We usually have more than a full plate with studying, keeping our home(s) organized, rearing our child(ren), maintaining ourselves, keeping the hubby happy (or at least trying to), working outside the home, paying the bills and the list goes on! Now, I don't advocate listening to music but I wanted to share this with you all- and for those NOT interested in hearing it, just look up the lyrics on the internet...

We are strong, diligent, beautiful, smart, resilient, merciful, loving, forgiving, understanding, thoughtful, mindful, objective and whatever else you can think of that I forgot to mention here. Superwomen... Yes, we are!


(It's bedtime so there's no time to figure out how to embed the video so do the obvious below which will navigate you away from the page):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK8t0gP4isE

Monday, November 3, 2008

In the spirit of entrepreneurship...


Greetings sisters!


I was sitting here toying with the idea of making a new batch of my brown sugar scrubs while the kids are busy and I thought it might be a nice idea if all you ladies (not only sisters read these blogs) who make items or provide a service that you feel the rest of us might be interested in utilizing, send me your business in the comments so I can post them... that way we can know what's available out there.


As for myself, I make all natural brown sugars scrubs and I offer organic bath salt scented with essential oils. My "flavors" on the scrubs: chocolate, coconut, lemon & poppy seed, coffee, golden goddess and ohsosexy empress! :-o

The bath salts are nice as well, they contain either lavender buds, rose petals or chamomile buds based upon the scent you select- great for those who have TIME to soak! Scents currently available are ocean, passion and calming.


I started my little side business while working... I am one in the masses of people who've been laid off- my office was the satellite location and due to a business restructure, we lost our jobs last year... but Alhumdulillah, I've been busy with this and added a new addition to the family! (Mashallah)


So send your comments- I'm interested in seeing what's out there... we can support each other!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Is there something wrong with Muslimahs blogging?


I just had to share this thought with all of you- I recently mentioned to someone my maybe new found hobby in blogging and the reaction was quite negative. The questions asked was "why would you want to share your life on the internet?" and "there are OTHER MUSLIMS doing this?????". Should blogging be only for the kaafir? They proceeded to skim the blog and with a look of utter disgust on their face, they said "Subhanallah...". Now, I'm definitely not a quiet nor shy person but I decided to take the non-argumentative way out and just said, "Wow..." You would've thought I talked about being intimate with my husband or worse committed shirk. Why can't sisters share with each other the things that make them laugh, cry, something they found funny, moving, family life, their kids, their jobs, their habits, pet peeves, shopping and the sorts? Is this haram?


We reach out to make a new friend, reconnect with old ones, jot down our thoughts for ourselves to look at or simply just want to share our world with others... is this so wrong?


Anyhoo, I'm not going to let this person get to me... I will record my thoughts for those who elect to read and for myself- it's like getting it all off your chest with the world as your audience... can't see what's sooo terrible about this.


The reaction caused me to look at blogs of other Muslimahs out there... and I found funny, serious, shoppers, home schoolers, newly married, co-wifes, etc. around this world and I added some of them to my list of blogs I will follow, Inshallah. And I see the sisters reach out to one another by leaving their comments... it made me smile. As long as your sisters keep blogging, I'll keep reading to know what's happening in the lives of my people out there.


And I'm not going to stop sharing my thoughts just because some people have issues... geesh!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

All the litte things...


I've spent the last few days trying to tie up a million loose ends before we reach our actual week of leaving, taking the kids to the dentist for checkups, took my daughter to have her little doe eyes examined as we found out last year she needed to wear glasses... needless to say at the age of 3, she wasn't very interested in keeping them on. I still need to sell my Jeep, change all my banking information, handle my student loans, call the shipping company to find out what'll cost me to ship the many things I've bought. As mentioned previously, the hubby thinks I'm nuts but I've been checking with my girlfriends over there with what's readily available and what's not and of course, the quality. Many things we take for granted here in New York would definitely be considered a luxury item there so I'm trying to cover my bases with getting what I need... and want!

The only part of this move I'm not looking forward to is the time when my husband will be here in New York- his business is here so he'll constantly be back and forth- the kids are going to go bonkers! My eldest son even cries when he leaves for work... I had to deal with this situation 2 years ago when the hubby left for Hajj- Maryam was 2 at that point and trying to make her understand he went away wasn't easy- I tried but she kept thinking he went to work... and she had the tendency to wait up for him to come from work at night so for about 2 weeks she didn't sleep and kept whinning in her sleep when she had to give in to it... that was one the most miserable times in my life. My son was 5 months old then so I was up during the night nursing and had to get up very early to go to work. I couldn't wait to get to Cairo as we were meeting him there after he left Saudi. We decided that would be the perfect time to check the place out to see if we actually wanted to make the move considering we're thinking long term. I pray to Allah daily to make this move a success and make it feel like we were just away from home- please make dua for us!

I constantly get mixed reviews from my friends and family on our decision on moving there- most of the family are concerned about the kids and not being able to see them on a daily basis and my friends... they're comments run the gamut: why are you doing this? That's a third-world country! Aren't they "warring" there? What will you do there? It's not clean there... and what type of houses do they live in? Egyptians don't like Americans... and it's dirty there. And my favorite, are you crazy??? I must mention, most are comments from people who were my friends before I converted but also, surprisingly enough, some of those comments are from my fellow sisters... yes, you can raise your kids Islamically in this environment but the daily everyday life makes it difficult. Why not raise them in an Islamic country where they can truly benefit and receive an excellent academic education (and you can choose which type of track they pursue: American or British) and receive some of the best Islamic instruction to boot? I'm looking to prepare my children with the tools to Inshallah, live through the life of this world both academically and Islamically and their hereafter as well... this is important to me. Okay, Cairo won't be exactly what I'm used to but it's a sacrifice I'm more than willing to make for the sake of my children. And the intention is to be pleasing to Allah... and by his mercy will we prevail in this endeavor! You can't understand this point fully unless you've known someone who've left here or wherever you may live in the world and moved to Egypt or Saudi and come back home to visit their families and HEAR their children recite the Quran so beautifully you want to cry... and they left knowning just about nothing at all! This is what it's all about educating the children, the next generation, to be strong and knowledgeable in their deen.

Sisters, send me your thoughts- and I'm looking to meet all the sisters I can there in Cairo so hail me when you can!

I had the oppportunity to read some the other sisters blogs here- Mashallah, so many sisters out there! I'm glad to see so many of my sisters from around the world sharing their thoughts- may Allah reward you all and give us all the best of this life and in the hereafter! (Ameen)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Setting up shop!

I don't know just how easy my blogging is going to be... already it was an all-day affair just to set up my page! With three small children, it made the task become an event but as always, I managed to finish in time to clean up, dispense the nightly chocolate milk and tuck everybody in the bed.

I'm ready to share my experiences with everyone on my journey to making the move from my home here in New York to Cairo within the upcoming months... this is something my husband and I have discussed back and forth for the last 4 years as we agreed when I was pregnant with my eldest child, my daughter, that when she reached school age we would pack our bags and make the move so many of our other friends had already done. Most left for the same reasons with the desire of educating their children abroad so that they would be exposed to the best possible education both academically and Islamically while others left for the sheer experience of saying they lived for a period of time in the land of the Pharaohs! For the last 2 years I've been shipping suitcases with my friends travelling back and forth so when we exactly make the move, I would have all my heart desired there to set up my home- my husband told me I was crazy for buying all these things but us women know what we like and the things I can get here in New York is definitely not available over there! He'll understand when it all comes together...

My last visit to Cairo was this past January when I packed up myself and the 2 kids at the time (I was 2 months pregnant then) along with my girlfriend who owned a flat there in Al Rehab (nice compound) to make sure I wanted to make the commitment of moving for sure- and with a little more time on my hands to look around than my first trip there which was beginning of last year, I decided that as long as I lived in an area that had all the things I would need on a daily basis including a good all around school for Maryam, that making the move wouldn't be so bad. I proceeded to buy a washer/dryer combo, lights, fixtures, etc. to start preparing a flat to move into. Anybody who hails from there or ever lived there knows that the apartments only come with sinks and a toilet! Talk about being shocked when I looked at a few places to rent... but it gives you the opportunity to make the place as nice as you would like or keep as bare as you would like- still it was a challenge trying to shop at the flea markets for goods with the little ones (my daughter was 3 then and my son was 1) but with the help of my girlfriend and her driver/friend there named Osama, we made it happen! This man was our baggage handler, private driver, negotiator, friend and confidant. He's good friends with my friend and her husband so she passed him along to me in a sort of way since she just moved to Saudi Arabia to live... I've been calling him back and forth as he's looking for an apartment for me since I didn't find one I liked while I was there. He sends me pics via cell phone and we text constantly as to "yes" or "no" to what he has found- may Allah reward this hard working brother for all his help (Ameen).



It seems kinda strange to actually jot down all that flows thru the mind to share with the world... lol



I look forward to sharing my thoughts with all of you as the entire process unfolds- be sure to check back in and if anyone knows or can suggest an area in Cairo that perfect for families with young children, please feel free to drop me a line! I'm looking in New Cairo just outside Al Rehab because inside the compound the rent has skyrocketed to an extreme degree so it's not worth it anymore although it's nice but not that nice for what they're asking. I know Maadi is a great place for expats and the greenery is definitely a plus in my book but I don't want to have to deal with very heavy traffic and the smog- not good for the babies!



Comments are welcomed from one and all