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, February 18, 2009

A DiStUrBiNg Post Every Mother Should Read

I was catching up last night on my daily blog readings and I came across this post (click here) by our gracious sister, Habayeb, over at A Learning Muslimah.

Her post included this link that I feel ALL MOTHERS should click and read- carefully and slowly... this could affect ANY of our children and what some of us may learn, could mean the difference between harm or intervention.

As a current Mother of three, I know this has to be one of the most feared thing by many parents... I know it plays heavily on my brain, especially when your offspring is VERY young like mine. We could NEVER be too cautious- let's all be diligent in protecting our children from evil, InshaAllah (Ameen).

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mom of the Year Award!

I just received what I deem to be, one of the coolest honors to be bestowed upon a woman... a Mom of the Year Award! My lovely sister Mona over at Mama Mona nominated ME as one of her choices- thanks sis!

Here are the rules of this tag:

1. Admit one thing you feel awful about (involving being a mom). Once you have written it down, you are no longer allowed to feel bad. Remember you are a good mom!

2. Remind yourself that you ARE a good mom, list 7 things you love about your kids, you love doing with your kids, or that your kids love about you.

3. Send this to 5 other moms of the year that deserve a reminder that they too are the best moms that they can be.

Remember to send them a note letting them know you have selected them, and also add a link to your post that directs people back to the person who nominated you!

My Number One peeve about myself....

1.) Well, my number 1 is basically the same as Mona's: I yell.... ALOT. So much so, sometimes I get irritated hearing myself. But let me give you an inside idea of my house: my kids are 4, 2 and 6 months and when the bigger two are playing, you can hear them throughout the house! Then they start to fight, bite each other, scream and when they're done abusing each other, one tries to outrun the other to come and tell me... and I'm usually somewhere in the vicinity of the bedroom where the 6 month old is sleeping... can you guess what happens next??? Exactly, couple their screaming with the high pitch, agitated baby and you've got total chaos- especially when you're trying to pack, wash dishes, vacuum and keep your sanity ALL at the same time. Geesh, never told anyone that one... felt good.

And to boot, everyone is on their BEST behavior when the hubby comes in.... sweet and smiling while playing NICELY. Then he says "WHY is Mommy always complaining you two are bad? My little darlings..."- yeah, right.

My 7 things I love about my little terrors (MashaAllah!):

1.) The simplest things make them happy- give them a new batch of crayons and watch their little faces light up!

2.) I love to watch them in the park- there's one park they love most of all- down by the water so they play on the rides and then we go watch people fish, watch the boats sail by and watch the birds fly around. They especially love the geese and the ducks when they're around!

3.) I love that they ALWAYS tell me they love me- especially my Big Papi. Not a day goes by when he doesn't say at least once, "I love you, Mommy!" My Princess says it too but not quite as often as he does- she's definitely her Baba's girl....

4.) I love that they are very social kids- they make friends very easily. Some kids have hang-ups and don't play with other kids especially when there's a difference in skin tone, race and/or ethnic background. Mine will run up to ANY kid and start blabbering and playing- and I like it. My kids are exposed to ALL kind of people- and it shows!

5.) I love that they never forget about each other- when they are out and some one gives one of them something, each will ALWAYS look for the same for their sibling... I didn't exactly teach them that but I always tell them what you have, you share with your brother/sister- what is yours belong to them also... always share. So when they get anything, they look to collect for the other one too! And now, they include my Little Papi too...

6.) MashaAllah, at this very young age, both are quite bright for their ages... I hope their love of books continue! My daughter and her "constellations" and my son tells everyone he wants to be an astronaut... and he look sooooo serious when he says it too- he's only 2. Who knows, too early to tell- my husband tells him, "No, you're going to be a hafiz!" And I always chime in, "Well, he can be a hafiz astronaut who gives dawah in space!".... HA! My daughter pretends to be a doctor on a regular and she says her name when she gets big will be "Dr. Ben"- it's from one of their cartoons... InshaAllah!

7.) I love that they watch out for each other- THAT one I taught them. I tell them always, "Never leave your brother/sister... always look out for each other, let no one hurt you!" Even though they're young, they get the picture. I remember when they were playing in the park and someone knocked into my daughter, and my Big Papi said, "Hey! watch out for my Nana! (that's my Princess's nick name) She my friend!!!" He calls her his friend- see, he totally understands at the tender age of 2.

Now... I nominate the following AWESOME women to receive this prestigious award:
Umm Ismail over at Umm Ismail's World

Umm Khadijah over at The Striving Muslimah

Queen over at The Life of a Bangladeshii Wife

Sis. Najea over at Hijabi Couture

Desert over at Desert Monsoon

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Boring life???

I have read lately and have listened to more than a few people complain about being bored... their lives are boring... what they do is boring... the people they know are boring... their everyday surroundings are boring... blah blah blah. I'm one for self-motivation so when I read that people lives need " a shake up" I think you have many options to turn to such as articles, books and lectures in order to feel and/or remain "on track"... with that being said, I came across this wonderful article for those who need to break out of the rut:

If you feel like you are living a boring life, that there is more to life, and are willing to do something about it, you have just made the first step to creating a great life. You see, most people want a great life but are not willing to do what is necessary to get it. So how do you create a great life once you know you want it?

First of all, if you feel that you are living a boring life it’s because you are not living to your life potential. I believe that you were born to live a great life full of excitement. Begin to do some brainstorming and figure out what things would make you feel like you are living a great life.

Once you have come up with these things, it’s time to start doing some of them. I know that many of the things you came up with might be a bit scary for you but you are just going to have to get past the fear if you want to live great. Fear is the number one reason why people don’t live the lives they are meant to live. Don’t become another casualty of fear.

After you have started to turn your life from boring to great, make a decision that you will never let your life become boring and mundane again. This means that as soon as you feel yourself slipping into a rut, you immediately begin to find ways to liven up that area of your life again.

Is there greatness on the inside of you but you don't know how to achieve it?

Friday, February 13, 2009


Just felt the urge to post about sisters... was chatting with one of the funniest and coolest, MashaAllah, Muslimahs I know, Umm Ismail!

A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.
- Isadora James

A sister smiles when one tells one's stories - for she knows where the decoration has been added.
- Chris Montaigne

A true sister is a friend who listens with her heart.
- Author Unknown

Having a sister is like having a best friend you can't get rid of. You know whatever you do, they'll still be there.
- Amy Li

Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood.
- Louisa May Alcott

Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister.
- Alice Walker

Sisterhood is powerful.
- Robin Morgan

Sisterly love is, of all sentiments, the most abstract. Nature does not grant it any functions.
- Ugo Betti

Sisters don't need words. They have perfected a language of snarls and smiles and frowns and winks - expressions of shocked surprise and incredulity and disbelief. Sniffs and snorts and gasps and sighs - that can undermine any tale you're telling.
- Pam Brown

Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other.
- Carol Saline

When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us?
- Pam Brown

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Some benefits of cinnamon & honey

I had received some great health information from my beautiful sister, Umm Ismail, over at Blaque Queen, in regards to some of the wonderful benefits of cinnamon and honey....

It is found that a mixture of honey and cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also accept honey as a 'Ram Ban' (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without any side effects for any kind of diseases.

Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients... Weekly World News, a magazine in Canada, on its issue dated 17 January 1995 has given the following list of diseases that can be cured by honey and cinnamon as researched by western scientists:

Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread, instead of jelly and jam, and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also, those who have already had an attack, if they do this process daily they are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as you age, the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged... honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and veins.

Arthritis patients may take daily, morning, and night, one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured.. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon honey and half teaspoon cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week, out of the 200 people so treated, practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain, and within a month, mostly all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis started walking without pain.

Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.

Make a paste of one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and five teaspoons of honey and apply on the aching tooth. This may be applied three times a day until the tooth stops aching.

Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of cinnamon powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, given to a cholesterol patient were found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. According to information received in the said journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol. By the way, if you're taking cholesterol medicine, STOP! They all contain STATIN which weaken your muscles...including YOUR HEART and none has been shown to stop heart attacks or strokes!!!!

Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and clear the sinuses.

Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root.

According to the studies done in India and Japan , it is revealed that if honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant Use of honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.

A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ingredient which kills the influenza germs and Saves the patient from flu.

Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Take four spoons of honey, one spoon of cinnamon powder and three cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans also increases and even a 100 year old, starts performing the chores of a 20-year-old.

Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root.

Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts, cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections.

Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast on an empty stomach and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. If taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month three times a day.

Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens, who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts, are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 p.m. when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, increases the vitality of the body within a week.

People of South America, first thing in the morning, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water, so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restore hearing.

I'm sure some of us NEED to implement a few of these things in our lives for better health... I know I do and will, InshaAllah! Just some food for thought......

Saturday, February 7, 2009

High Expectations

Lately, I've basically been having the same conversation with people in regards to personalities and our expectations. When I was younger, I used to "dismiss" people who couldn't "rise to the occasion" or "make things happen" from their will to achieve or they "let go" of their dream or end goal because they suddenly felt weak or felt they "just couldn't do it" . I believed that, it was totally, another sign of weakness like laziness. Self-doubt and pity are our worse enemies! I totally STILL believe that...

Needless to say, those who know me, know I have a very strong personality- not one to succumb to situations but I search out alternative options (which I usually have already put in place) and look to meet those goals or tasks. I've always lived my life around Plan A, B and C. Of course, Plan "A" is the ultimate goal and the direct route to achieve it... Plan "B" is the same outcome but a different course taken to achieve the same end result... and Plan "C" is the option when all else fails- I don't know how to live my life without this scenario. Some may see it as sick or too rigid but you know what, all my life it has worked for me. I know I do possess an "Alpha" personality, and to understand WHICH type of Alpha I am (for those who know what I'm talking about) I need to tell you that I'm about 30% Alpha 5 and 70% Alpha 7- this is who I am. I've tried to deviate from this in the past but I couldn't... I can't... this is me.

I have learned over the course of my life NOT to dismiss people but try to help them achieve their goals with my, should I say, "steps to success". I tell people that for one, I'm not a crier- on rare occasion when the struggles of life REALLY get to me and it seems like the whole world is about to cave in, I break into tears. When this happens, I lay down and give myself the ultimate pep-talk, "You're not weak... crying is for others, not you", "you're better than this situation", "get over yourself", "rise above it OR lay down and succumb to your failure", "find a way to make it happen", "self pity is a sign of weakness", "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO???". Usually at this point, I cease crying, wash my face, I sometimes pray and then I relax. I clear my head and tell myself, "What's the next course of action?". I then assess the situation at hand and revise my immediate goals and the put in place the new outline of Plan A, B and C.

Over the years, my husband and I have to come to crossroads where he has said on numerous occassions that he doesn't understand me or my mode of thinking... but with knowning how I am and my personality, I have come to realize that you can not explain your attempt or end result to him as he sees it as thinking too far ahead or sometimes too abstract... but I think most can agree that men tend to see with "tunnel vision" or like I sometimes like to say, "they can only see to the tip of their nose" while most women tend to look at the broader picture and keep the end goal in mind. There have been times when situations have taken days, weeks and even a few months before the end goal was achieved... and he would say things to me like I'm not working on getting something in order or making any effort to get things cleared up (not realizing that things have been working in the background) and then when it all comes together, the hubby would just look at me and I at him and say, "Exactly...."- enough said!

As our lives evolve, so do our plans and/or goals so we are ever modifying, changing or tweeking our outline in order to achieve our desired end results... it's to pray to Allah and seek his guidance... and USE the brain Allah (SWT) gave you- that's why we all have one (well, most of us anyways). ;)

We must learn to rise above the petty everyday sorrows and the misery it usually brings in order to get through this world... you have to learn to pick yourself up and dust off the issue(s) at hand and work towards making the situation favorable if not totally better. If you don't know who you are and what you want out of life, and don't have a general idea as to how to achieve your goal(s), you could easily be swallowed up by this mean, unforgiving, disgusting world and forever lost in the dark abyss of doubt and self pity. That's definitely NOT an option for me... is that an option for you???

What are some of your common practices to "making it happen"? Though my method of madness may seem extreme to some, your reply concerning your method might help someone who doesn't know how to achieve their end goal(s)...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Do you realize for every breath that we take we are fortunate to be in this world? Many times, I take for granted the good health that I have, the love I received from my loved ones. I say "Thank you for Life".

There are many ways we can make the most out of our lives and cherish the people around us. We can start with a heart of gratitude for where we are in this moment. Our needs are taken care of and we are surrounded by people we love and who love us. When we have a heart of gratitude, we can thank God for everything. We can thank God for our physical needs being taken care of, our mental mind and our stable emotions. We can make the most out of life by being joyful in the moment. When we are joyful, even the taste of ice-cream delights us and brings us to the edge of heaven. When we are joyful, we just feel like singing and dancing. We smile and laugh and all these positive emotions are reflected from our inner beings and these positive emotions can charge another to feel better. We just hug the first baby that comes along be it from strangers or friends because the wonder of the world is reflected in a baby or a small child. The smile on the baby or child's face says it all.

When we are thankful for who we are, we are in a better position to make the most out of life. Even a walk in the evening is something to be thankful for as we appreciate our surroundings and our physical and mental faculties to appreciate what we can see, do or be. The green grass and the blue sky is ours to see and feel good about it if we so choose to do so and that's what Life has given to us, to cherish the moment of where we are. When we have people who make us laugh, understand us and cherish us, we have been given the greatest gift of love by being here. In this moment, when we realized that by loving the people around us, we are cherishing them for who they are and are grateful for them being in our lives.

Life is beautiful and it is how we look at it. Appreciate the beauty of our lives and when we appreciate the gift of life, we cannot but be thankful for the people in our lives and for being here in this moment. We can make our world a better place by encouraging another person and be with them when they need us. Life is meant to be lived with passion and when we forget that is what we need to do, remind ourselves that we are here for a reason. We want to live when the flame is lighting and when it is done, we know we have burn brightly and the warmth of the light has touched someone else.

A few simple things we can do to start to make the most out of life and cherish the people around us:
1. Show love and care to people we love
2. Be joyful
3. Appreciate others by telling them that we appreciate them
4. Simply say "I love you" to people we love and let us not assume they know we love them
5. A pat on the back or just listening to someone also indicate that we care
6. A note of love and appreciation to people we love

There are so many ways we can cherish the people around us and most importantly is to start with one way and then we will have more ideas to do so and let us just do it. It is never too late to tell someone you care. Live life and let your joy shine through.

-Helen Tays