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!

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