Monday, 31 May 2010

These Tell a Story


Rachel Corrie

Tristan Anderson





Tom Hurndal






These tell a story,




Don’t you think?




It is a story of courage, of heroism, of great and incredible sacrifice…





But it isn’t the story of Happily Ever After-




Not as we continue to sit down, idly, ignoring these deaths again and again.




Not if we ignore what is happening right now, before our very eyes-
 





As my good friend, “UmmHend” explained: [This] was an aid flotilla organized and carried out by an international group of people from 40 countries! Including a holocaust survivor, USS Liberty survivors, Nobel Prize recipient, women, humanitarian workers, aid workers, peace activists. They would not have done this way if it were an arms smuggling mission. Millions of people watched live what happened there last night, Israel is well known in the world community for spinning the stories to make themselves look faultless after using hugely disproportionate violence, this is all common knowledge...

The UN Rights Chief said: "We need to establish exactly what happened. However, nothing can justify the appalling outcome of this operation, which reportedly took place in international waters," Pillay said in a statement. 

"I unequivocally condemn what appears to be disproportionate use of force, resulting in the killing and wounding of so many people attempting to bring much-needed aid to the people of Gaza, who have now been enduring a blockade for more than three years."
 http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/world/05/31/10/un-rights-chief-condemns-gaza-aid-flotilla-interception





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P.S. Remember this:

His father screamed “Please, don’t shoot. Don’t shoot.”


They shot, anyways.


His son died in front of international television (a French camera got it all).

P.S.S. We may not be able to do much, but each blogger can help spread the real story- our words may at least spread awareness which can, hopefully, lead to action by our leaders of state. We need a global outcry and it begins with each of us…
P.+ 3’s: if you don’t know the stories of the people above, click here:  http://rtsf.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/american-shot-by-israeli-troops/
(Be warned, though, there are ‘graphic pictures’).  

Mountain Vs. Fly

The believer sees his sin as a mountain beneath which he is sitting and which he fears may fall down upon him.






The rebellious person sees his sin as a fly which passes in front of his nose and he swats it away…"


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P.s. I need to reply to all of your lovely and great comments. InshaAllah, tomorrow morning as I've been on the computer the last few hours!

P.S.S. this was inspired by our very intersting conversation over here: Christian Q&A session.

P + 3's: pictures from: http://www.dollysteamboat.com/img/faq/dolly_tall_mountain.jpg, http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs51/f/2009/261/f/c/Mr__Tiny_Fly_by_Sao_irse.jpg

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Not So Different


I’m back! So soon, haha! It's cause I just visited Texan’s blog (Texan in uae), and I noticed that one of the persons who commented honestly wrote how they felt sad for Muslim women. Part of their comment: ““when i see a muslim woman, i always feel sorry for her. You just have to be a good person in and you will go to heaven. I don't understand why it's a must to cover your hair”

It inspired me to share a true incident that happened that I had written about a while back.

Not So Different

We enter the store at around the same time. We are dressed similarly in long loose fitting clothes, although my dress is somewhat longer. Our heads are both covered; a matter of choice for both of us. (Well, at least for me. I know not her story but am curious enough.) From a far, we could be mistaken for as relatives... We are of similar height and both of us are noticeably Arab. From a near distance though, the differences are more apparent. Her wrinkles betray her and she is exposed as the middle aged woman she is. I smile at her and then leaving her, tend to my shopping.


It is winter and all the clothes are snuggly heavy. I am searching for the perfect outfit. My sister accompanies me on this (perhaps unfeasible) mission. I know what it is that I am looking for. I can see it in my mind and yet…if you were to ask me what exactly it is that I am hunting for, my answers would be more vague and mystifying than a “fortune teller’s.” We march up and down the aisles. Up. Down. Shirts. Pants. Skirts. Dresses. Jackets. Sweaters. I am almost at the end of the store and I still haven’t found it. Instead, it seems like the only outfit I will be trying on today is Disappointment and frustration. I am really beginning to tire of the store. I am irritated that I forced my mother to drive me here and more irritated that there’s nothing to be found. Is that shirt cute? Should I buy it? Desperately, I begin to grab anything I see and admire it (although it didn’t look any different four strolls ago.) I feel this enormous pressure to buy something…anything…but at last, reluctantly, I begin to admit the sad reality- there is nothing to buy.


I am about to leave but I take a look one more time at the pajama section. I reach for this sweet and comfy looking pajama outfit, but a hand reaches out first. It is the woman I saw earlier. “Funny,” I think to myself. “We have the same taste.” Smiling, I watch her. And once again….she doesn’t seem so different from me. She’s just older. And I’m a Muslimah.

And she’s a nun.



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P.S. I was very glad that person asked a Muslim woman (Texan) what she thought. It is just infuriating when people ‘speak’ for us. Anyways, I asked that person to see the post of mine titled “An Attitude Problem”- read that, if you haven’t :D It's in "April's" archive :)

P.S.S. This is an interesting article that I read yesterday Cover Girl -a little girl decides to wear hijab (From Oprah's Magazine)

Saturday, 29 May 2010

A Memory is Alive


Well, my big sister, her husband, and most important of all, my little niece have gone home. They left.
This sounds silly but it feels like the sunshine has gone away.



Anyways, I don’t have the heart to post up something new. Am I going to leave you with nothing, though? Nah, still a bit of torture…here’s a (not too old) piece of writing.
 A Memory is Alive
A memory’s got a mind of its own. Kinda like a mother in law or one of those friends you have that always ‘pops in’, was ‘just in the neighborhood’ and ‘thought they’d just drop by without telling you’. Sometimes, you welcome the memory, the thought of a time when things were better, simpler, more true. You sit back and try to wipe your foggy lenses- try to remember those days, the blurred faces, the names of your past and who you once were.
I remember, growing up in the States, how my mom would replay over and over again the videos she had of her brothers and sisters’ weddings. I didn’t understand it then, but now I know. I know she was looking for a way to remember.
T o   r e l i v e.
To be with them…despite the hundreds of miles apart, and the gigantic ocean that separated her from them.
Even now, to this day, I can sometimes catch her looking wistfully at the t.v. screen, at some stranger who coincidentally bears a great similarity to someone she knew…or bears no similarity at all, except in the eyes of a woman whose heart has been left abroad.
And sometimes, you don’t welcome the memory. It comes and BANG. Everything is wrong. Suddenly you remember what you would have been doing, who you would have been hanging out with…if things had stayed the same.
It’s funny how a certain smell, a color, a word can leave you with tears in your eyes…It’s funny how that’s all it takes for you to remember.
And then of course, there are those memories that you know are there, lurking just a thought away, just an inch away. They’re the memories you yearn to throw far far away…not just in another continent…A cruel word, an embarrassing situation, a time you messed up, a time when you did something terribly wrong.
It’s funny how a memory’s got a mind of its own.  Kinda like a mother in law or one of those friends you have that always ‘pops in’, was ‘just in the neighborhood’ and ‘thought they’d just drop by without telling you’.




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P.S. on a more positive notes, what's one of your favorite memories?


Saturday, 22 May 2010

Where is Waldo?


Asalamu aliauam wa rahmat Allah wa baraktoo and HellOooo!

Technically, I am not supposed to be online, but since my big sis and my niece have gone to sleep, I stole a few minutes to say thank you to all who commented on my last post-it means a lot to me. I will personally reply to each of you, God’s willing! Also, hellOooo to all my new followers. I’m very honored that you’ve decided to follow me :D
Well, what’s this particular post about? Let me ask you this question- where is Waldo?
 You know that game? (The British call it Where is Wally, right?)
Well, I’m asking you to apply it to YOUR LIFE. See, usually I share lessons I’ve learned in my life on this blog. This time, I’d like to ask you to share a lesson. That’s right. I’m taking a break and handing over this blog to each of you….
When you look back at all that you’ve been through, what lesson or lessons can you find hidden deep?
You can write as many lessons as you want! The only condition is to at least share one. They can be about anything- parenting, marriage, friendship, personal growth, self-esteem, or just life…
Now’s your CHANCE to share  some wisdom and also, if you’ve already written about it, shamelessly advertise your own blog :P Seriously, I’d love it if you did share anything at all, whether it’s a simple quote or a long life changing experience.
I believe each one of us has a story to tell…and I wanna hear them all!
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p.s. I say where is Waldo because  believe that whenever a tragedy/unexpected experience in our life occurs, I believe we should think of it as that game. Somewhere in the middle of it all,  is Allah's blessings and Mercy. He decrees things for us out of His infinite Wisdom, Grace and Love. We just don't see it clearly- but there is a detailed Plan out there for us :)
p.s.s.You inspired me. You know who you are. Thank you for that letter that you sent me.  I swear, it meant a LOT.
p. + 3’s: Picture from: http://findwally.co.uk/fankit/graphics/IntlManOfLiterature/Scenes/DepartmentStore.jpg (Tell me, did you really find him in the pic?!)




Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Let Me Draw You a Picture


Tomorrow is May 20.
All over facebook, there is a call for it to be ‘draw Mohammed day’.
Allow me to draw you a picture of him…
By putting up his quotes:


hadith,islam,quotes,equality

islam,quotes and sayings,poor


islam,hadith,advice,quotes

special,unique,hadith,quote,star

every small deed

a guarantee,quote,Islamic,jannah,palace




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P.S. These animations were created by my twin and me. Please feel free to pass them on. http://s816.photobucket.com/albums/zz81/thebanawantwins

P.S.S. I'll be going 'offline' for the next 10 days or so since my big sissy is finally coming. It's almost been a year since I've seen her. I will try my best though to catch up on you guys' posts as soon as I can! God willing :D

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Some Recitations + Name Game


Asalamu aliaukum wa rahmat Allah wa barkatoo and HellOoo!
The first part of this post- I came across a few beautiful recitations that I thought I would share! They’re simply divine. Tell me who is your favorite recitor?

The first one is of a young boy but his voice is absolutely mesmerizing. I know he’s grown up now, hehe, but I think to everyone on the net, he will always remain this young boy with the most incredible and phenomenal  voice, ma’shaAllah.




(I'm not sure if I embeded it correctly, so here's the link:  
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsj9GPd5YTg)

The next are recitations of Sa’ad Al Ghamdi, Sheikh Abu Bakr As-Shateri, Nassir Al Qutami, Salah Bukhatir, Mishari Al Afasi.

(Okay, well for the above link, I wanted you guys to click on Surat Al Mu’mineen or “The Believers”)




(Yeah, I'm too lazy to embed these, LOL :P) 

The second part of this post- I told Susanne on her blog that I might share some Arabic names and their meanings...so this is what this part of this post is about! I just love names- from whatever origin- but since I’m familiar with Arabic names, I thought include a few female Arabic names and what they mean. I tried to choose ‘interesting’ ones/ones also that you might have heard but may not have known the meaning to, hehe :D

The game, you ask? It’s for you to guess what my real name is :P It’s one of the ones written below. You will find out in about 31 days when I ‘close’ this blog, inshaAllah.
But anyways, you join in! Tell me what your name means? (If you want :D) Your favorite name? Who chose your child’s name (if you have one?)

·         Amel- hope
·         Amina- trustworthy
·         A’asyiah- wife of Pharoah ( she was a believer)- her name means one who helps others, has compassion for those who need help
·         Hadeel- Cooing of pigeons
·         Ibtisam- smile/smiling
·         Jumana- silver pearl
·         Latifa- gentle, kind, pleasant
·         Maha-big beautiful eyes of the doe/cow/shining bright
·         Mariam- “Mary”, mother of Jesus
·         Nada- dew drops (think of the dew drops on flowers)
·         Noor/a- ‘light’
·         Nawal- gift
·         Raneem- sound of the angels
·         Sara- has several meanings- to make others happy, princess, wife of Prophet Ibrahim
·         Sama- think princess, ‘elevated’, ‘high’, (this is not the same word as sama’a meaning sky, though :D)
·         Shahd- honey!
·         Tasneem- river in paradise
·         Wafaa’- loyal

Oh btw, one of the things that I love is that many “Arabian kings’ names” are “Abdullah”. Quite simply, this name means the ‘servant of God”. I just love seeing the title next to the name because it literally reads “King the servant of God”- it reminds me that in the end, king or not, we’re all God’s servants and all equal before Him.
Well! That's about it! Pressing publish before my internet goes cuKooo again!




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Monday, 17 May 2010

No Thanks Necessary


Asalamu aliakuam wa rahmat Allah wa baraktoo and HellOooo!
The other day, I was at the mall (at an insanely early hour- well for most people) and I had to …..run to the ladies’ room to speak.
And when I came to wash my hands…
I found,
that basically there was like no soap left in the soap dispenser.
Crisis?
Yup. Don’t worry, I was able to get the last drops out, lol.
But anyways, I’m thinking to go and buy a bar of soap and donate it to the bathroom. I’m sure the ladies would appreciate it. You see, it’s not the first time I go to that mall and find the soap is pretty much done. Sheesh, guys. Give a girl a break. I know I should have remembered that, before I went again, but I’m only human ;)
I’ve written it on my mobile for ‘things to do’.
What about you?

What is something small YOU can do?





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P.S. Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that."  (Book #54, Hadith #538)

P.S.S. graphic (like the banner and most 'graphics' on my blog) is from easelandink.forumotion.com (love that site!)

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!!! @-@!!


Asalamu aliakuam wa rahmat Allah wa barkatoo and HellOoooO!
So my mother turned on the t.v. the other day and I stared….in shock. There was this show I used to watch as a kid called “Yowmiyat Wanees”, “Wanees’s Days”, and it was basically an Arabic “Billy Cosby” kinda show. Basically, it was a nice humorous family oriented show that revolved around Wanees, the father, trying to raise his kids and instill in them good morals.
Why was I staring in shock?
Because right on t.v, it was Wanees. And it was part 6 of the show....
And he was now…a grandfather….and his kids were all grown up and were now parents on the show! 
The thing that shocked me was that I could tell that they really were still the same actors and that they had really grown up. I couldn’t believe it. When did that happen, I thought?
And then I remembered- well, Sarira, you’re 22 years old.
23, if you go by the Hirji calendar!  
And I was in even more shock…
It may sound young to some- but in many countries around the world, I have passed over half the average life span. In Swaziland the average life span of a female is 32 years. Being 23, that would mean, I’d only have 9 years left!
That’s scary.
It just makes me wonder…where did the time go? How did I spend my life so far?



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P.S. Okay, for some 'sunshine' after this dark and dreary post, hehe, there's another cute test. It's the cutsie cupcake test. I actually can't decide which cupcake is the cutest, but I checked a few different results and they'll all make you smile, lol ;)

ETA (edited to add) for Miss Karavita:
What is the Hijri calendar, you ask? Well, you see pagans of Mecca did not like the message of complete monotheism that the Prophet came with and the social reforms Islam brought with it. They refused to allow this ‘message’ to be spread, so they tortured, abused, persecuted, boycotted, tormented the followers of the Prophet. 

Let me give you an example of this torture. Bilal was a slave who accepted Islam; his master ordered he renounce Islam but Bilal refused. His master than ordered that Bilal’s hands and feet be tied. Then, he  dragged outside the city wall to lie, without shelter, on the sands, under the scorching sun.  But all the time Bilal reaffirmed his faith, saying, ‘One God, only one God.’ So then, his master ordered that a great, heavy heavy rock be placed on his chest. Under the weight of the rock Bilal could hardly breathe.  But still, through dry, cracked lips he whispered, ‘One God, only one God.’

Anyways, as you can see, the Companions were persecuted and tortured so greatly, the Prophet and his handful of followers were granted leave from Makkah and emigrated to Madinah. This emigration is known as the ‘hijra’; our calendar begins from then.
Oh and just for your information, when the Prophet came back to Mecca, with a force of 10,000, he did not come back as a conqueror. He came back with his head lowered in a humble fashion. In fact, while entering Makkah, Saad Ibn Ubadah said: "Today is the day of epic victory. Today, Allah will humiliate Quraysh (the pagans for all that they tortured them)." The Prophet was so angry and said "No Saad. Today is the day of mercy”. The Prophet then told the Meccans that they were forgiven! Needless to say, seeing such compassion and forgivness, many became Muslims.
 Jazaki Allah for your great question ;)

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Building Bridges



Asalamu aliakum wa rahmat Allah wa baratkoo! 

Today’s post is very short (I can hear your “yaaaaaaaaays” from here, hehe) :P
All I want to say is that as a twin, I know how it is to have people sit down and nitpick every difference my twin and I have. They’ll tell me “Your eye brows have more of a circular shape”, “your face is a bit more oval shaped”, “your voice is more nasal”, “your glasses”…

Sometimes, it seems like they’re missing the big picture.

The big picture is- like it or not (and I do)- we look alike, and share many many similarities. We are our own individuals but we are very similar.


This is the point that came to me when I checked out this presentation I received in my email, called Building Bridges.





Take a look at it.  That’s today’s (Sunday’s) dare.


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P.S. Nobody told me that last week, when I thought it was Sunday, it was MONDAY! LOL! I was so embarrassed the next day when I realized.
P.S.S. Just for fun, take the happy smiley test. All you do is click on the happy smile you like best and it analyzes your personality. I’ll tell you guys what I got, if you tell me what you got? Deal?   HapPppy Smiley Test
P + 3's. I got the bridge picture from photobucket where I tend to get most of my pictures.