Monthly Archives: September 2008

Getting it Out in the Open

I was tagged by Mamamona as someone she wondered about (her comments really had me blushing!!) so I now have to come up with five people I wonder about. Well come up with is sort of a lie. I do wonder. A LOT. And I’m glad someone got it out in the open, lol. So I can now wonder out loud and get some answers!! 

First off, I wonder about Mamamona. I really, really wonder how life in Egypt is, and how different it is from life in Syria? I mean, for someone who lived in the West and took that step coming over, I wonder how the accommodation and adjustments are coming along? And I wonder if she sometimes takes a long look around and says: What in God’s good name am I doing here? (which i’ve found myself doing on more than one occasion)

Second, I wonder about Prairie Heart of Damascus. I wonder what she’s up to. After seeing her daily for about a month, I’ve sort of gotten used to hearing her voice.. and this void is getting to me. I also wonder if she remembers that I owe her some cash for her book (which is amazing, btw) and I wonder at where she got the motivation, dedication, and perseverance to actually write a book, mashAllah!!

I wonder about Unique Muslimah. I actually wonder about you quite a bit, Unique. You would be surprised. I wonder if she has any clue that she’s the reason I started blogging *gasp*!! I wonder if she’s doing okay, as her recent posts have become more reflective on self rather than society? 

I also find myself wondering about ATW. She always seems so informed on everything! I wonder if she knows that I am jealous (jealousy with a thousand mashAllah’s thrown in, of course!) of her limitless knowledge and opinions. I also wonder what she’s up to when she’s not posting? And I secretly wonder about her personal life, which we only see glimpses of on her blog? Hmmm… 

I wonder about Miss Specs. I wonder if she’s gotten any better from that mysterious illness she had earlier? And I wonder how she’s dealing with the raucous and extremely fragile state of Pakistan. And, after reading that Saudi Arabians aren’t allowed to go to Pakistan, I wonder what her reaction would be…?

Jana from the Hijab Style blog. I wonder if she’ll ever make a website for North America *hint hint* or make a magazine

Hmm.. well since I’m still new here, 3 months and counting, I still haven’t met that many bloggers to wonder about. But, for the above mentioned, consider yourselves tagged =D.

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Filed under Humor, Personal, Syria

I’ve Seen

I’ve Seen – Outlandish ft. Sami Yusuf

[Chorus]
I wish you were here
Here next to me
Been missing you so
So desperately
But lately I feel
Like you feel and
I see what you see
How I’m missing you  

What happened to the ummah 
Once known so well…

[Chorus]

What happened to the ummah once known so well
Greatness was known, but now can u tell?
Used to inspire others with our way of thinking and speech
People came from afar just to hear us teach
Yo what happened to the ummah once known so well
Greatness was known, but now can u tell?
Mosques are empty, refrigerators are stocked
We lost our deen we feel secure
‘Cause our mansions are locked
In my teen years Sallah wasn’t really that tight
Now I gotta pray each one of them twice
What happened to the ummah once known so well
Greatness was known, but now can u tell?
Brother we prefer light skinned women 
While righteously maintaining our deen against racism
What happened to the ummah once known so well
Greatness was known, but now can u tell?

[Chorus]

What happened to the ummah once known so well
Greatness was known, but now can u tell?
Kids in Africa are starving – can’t afford to cry
I’ll pay the bank interest on a car I can’t afford to buy
What happened to the ummah once known so well
Greatness was known, but now can u tell?
We used to smile at each other, with faces full of light
Now we frown at each other, we bicker and we fight
Pops in the mosque praying, kids in the streets hating
Kids on the corner selling, pops in the mosque preachin’
What happened to the ummah once known so well
Greatness was known but now can u tell?
The Quran has left out hearts stranded, hanging on out walls
6232 verses, so strong
9 out of 10 of us can’t even read or write
1924 feels distant like way before Christ

[Chorus]

Que le pasó a la maza como puede ser?
La grandeza conocida no la puedo ver?
He visto como mi figura cae en tentación
A pesar de que la vida a sido buena con luz e ilusion
He pedido perdón por mis pecados
Tengo la cruz sobre mi cama y el diablo a mi lado
Que le pasó a la maza como puede ser?
La belleza conocida no la puedo ver?
He sentido incompetencia buscando la verdad
Todos dicen conocerla solo veo la maldad
Que le pasó a la maza como puede ser?
La pureza conocida no la puedo ver?

[Translation:]
What happened to the people, how can it be?
Greatness was known, but now can you tell?
I’ve watched myself fall from grace
Even though life has been good, filled with hopes and dreams
I’ve asked forgiveness for my sins
I have the cross above my bed and the devil by my side
What happened to the people, how can it be?
Beauty was known but now can you tell?

If I was to fall on my knees and ask you to forgive everything and anyone out of Love, for the One,
oh oh oh… I’ve seen
And if u were to fall on ya knees and ask me the same
Brother, don’t even think about it, lets just break out of the darkness of ignorance

[Chorus]

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Filed under islam, Lyrics, Poetry

Unquenchable Thirst

I came across this story on another blog, Damascus Dreams, and just had to repaste it here.

A Persian poet relates the story of a young man who was devoted to worship and who sincerely loved the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam). This young man wished to see the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) in his dreams. But, night after night, even though he prayed and hoped for it, he was not blessed with this vision. He decided to visit a wise shaykh he had heard mention of who lived on the far reaches of town and seek his advice.

He made his way to his home one evening, and the shaykh invited him in for discussion and tea. After explaining his situation to him, the shaykh nodded sagely and said, “Be my guest for tonight, and tomorrow morning I will give you some advice.”

That night, the shaykh served the young man dinner. Everything in the simple meal was covered with salt or was dry. Salty fish, dry, hard bread… and not a drop to drink. The young man craved water, but was offered none. His parched throat made him yearn to ask the shaykh for something to drink, but his manners kept him quiet. He ate the food without complaint, his thirst increasing with each bite.

After the Isha prayers the shaykh unfolded a mat, offered it to the young man for his night’s rest, and bade him good night.

That night, the young man dreamed of nothing but water. Cascading fountains, gushing rivers and streams, oceans full of pure, delicious, thirst-quenching water. He dreamed of it until he felt he was swimming in it, drinking huge gulps, until it filled his every pore. He woke before daybreak, one word croaking from his lips: ‘Water….’

The next morning the shaykh asked him if he rested well. The young man then told him about his thirst and his dreams.

The shaykh smiled. He said, “When you begin to have thirst and desire for the Prophet, salAllahu alayhi wa salam, the way you had thirst for water last night, then you will be blessed with his vision.”

Lol. It’s funny, because I know so many people, myself included, who spend the fasting hours with images of exactly what they’re going to eat, planned from the first sip of water down to the sweets after iftar, dancing around in their heads. Their entire day revolves around their hunger and their thirst. If half that amount of dedication went into keeping the Prophet, pbuh, or heaven, or hell, or whatever it is that motivates you, in your head all the time, wouldn’t life be grand? That is Islam.

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Filed under Humor, Ramadan, Reflections

Git ‘yer sunday best on, hon. We’re goin’ grocery shoppin’!

The oddest thing happened at work the other day. We were discussing this article we had come across in our textbooks regarding Honesty Boxes. Apparently, this big newsagent in the UK, WHSmith, tried out this new idea of having newsstands at busy places, only without the till. Instead you have an Honesty Box in which you place the correct amount of change, grab your newspaper, and head out. 

In response, this TV programme did a little test to survey how honest people actually were. In one situation they had the cashiers, at a large supermarket and at a small shop, give back extra change. The results were that more people gave the money back at the small shops than the large stores.

Why, you may wonder? Well, personally, I thought that it might have had to do with the intimacy of a small shop as opposed to the anonymousness of large supermarket. I’ve worked at both a small shop and a large department store, and the interaction between client and cashier clearly differs in either situation. The article also pointed out that people tend to have a “They can afford it attitude” towards large banks and companies.

But what did the students think? Get this: my students agreed that it’s because people who shop at large supermarkets are much richer than those that shop at smaller stores, and are therefore less likely to count their change as they leave, as opposed to the poorer people that shop at the smaller shops!!

I swear, I felt like I’d been hit on the head with a blunt object. And when the shock of hearing something so totally absurd and unexpected wore off I laughed really, really hard. But then the truth sank in, and I felt like crying. When, in God’s good name, did shopping at a large supermarket become a sign of wealth? In Syria, that’s where.

I remember the good ol’ days, where supermarkets were generally cheaper than small shops, where you could buy in bulk, and where you didn’t get dressed up like you were going for a night out to go grocery shopping. So, I tried as best as I could to explain to them that this concept existed exclusively in Syria, and, quite possibly, other countries in the Mid East. 

Allah yerham iyamak ya Superstore, Co-op, and Safeway. Oh, how I miss thee.

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Filed under Canada, My Bread and Butter, Personal, Reflections, Syria

Caffeine-o-holic

nateliedee.com

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Filed under Cartoons, Humor

Sisyphean Challenges

 

The feel of frustration is overwhelming. It’s that constant burn in your gut, the tightening in your chest, the grit in your eyes. And it never burns as bad, or as strongly, as when you’re engaged in some Sisyphean challenge.

You take it step by aching step to build, to nurture, to protect this thing inside you. Its nourishment is your blood, its substance your soul. You’re promised great reward in the end, but the track you’re treading is being paved with your sweat, blood, and tears. It’s a steep incline; a long way up. And as soon as you reach a landmark, as soon as that thing gives back an inch you’re falling, tumbling, avalanching back down. The only mercy is, you stop a mere inch ahead of your last point. And so it goes: two steps forward, one step back. Locked in an eternal struggle against self and society. 

But there is hope. Unlike Sisyphus, we will make it.

Eventually. InshAllah.

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Filed under Personal, Ramadan, Reflections

How to Spot a Fake

**Please be advised. THIS IS A RANT.

My parents have been giving some thought to going to Hajj this year, inshallah. Applying as Syrian citizen though, was completely out of the question as they have a 55 year age limit on all applicants and both my parents are still under that age. 

So they done the next best thing. They decided to go leave as Canadian citizens. Which shouldn’t be a problem right? Since they have a passport, were residents for God knows how many years, and there is no age limit. Wrong! 

I called the embassy asking her about the procedure for applying to leave to Saudi under the premise of a Canadian rather than a Syrian. First off, the receptionist at the embassy is the most thick-headed person I have yet to meet. I swear to God. Explaining the above situation to her took no less than thirty minutes interspaced with why? what? who? when? hajj? GOD!!

When we finally got the situation down she comes up with this:
[THR – Thick Headed Receptionist.
SNS – Souvenirs and Scars] 

THR: But I don’t understand, you are Syrian, yes? Apply as a Syrian!
SnS:  As I said before, I’d like to apply as a Canadian so I can bypass the age limit. As Syrians my parents and I have no chance of going. 
THR: But, I don’t understand (by now I want to tell her that’s apparent as the process of understanding seems to be beyond her limited capabilities). Only real Canadians apply through the embassy. You should have no problem.
SnS: *insert incredulous note into voice* Oh real Canadians?
THR: Yes! Not Syrian-Canadians. Please hold.

I’m sorry. Did you miss the emphasis on real. Real. Not us lowly Syrian-Canadians. Good God. Then she puts me on hold, which all things concerned was probably for the best as had she not I would have verbally raped her. 

Now you may be asking why. Why did I let some under paid, accent laden receptionist get to me with a simple word. It’s actually quite simple. 

You see, as a Syrian my motives are constantly questioned by other Syrians. If I complain about traffic, the state of public washrooms, the poor quality of Syrian products, or the fact that Syria runs on an “I’ll bribe you you bribe me” basis, I’m being grossly unpatriotic. They, the real Syrians, can do all that and more. Me, on the other hand, the fake Syrian, can’t. Apparently, I don’t love Syria enough to be allowed to insult it. That right is reserved for true, real Syrians.

And then I go to the Canadian embassy, which according to the Syrians is where I belong (in Canada, not the embassy) and the receptionist has the nerve to tell me that I’m not a real Canadian. I’m one of those fake, counterfeit ones. A rip-off on the real deal.

They should do like Tyra Banks in How to Spot a Fake [handbag]. Scrutinize over my appearance to determine if I’m a fake or not. Then maybe cut me down the middle like she did the Gucci bag and say “See? The insides on this one are obviously different than the original. The original has plush, Canadian insides. This one is lined with a cheap, garish, Syrian lining.”

And when they’re done with me they can hand me over the Syrians who can then dissect my walk, talk, appearance, and insides if they like, and find encoded within them a lack of patriotism to Syria. 

Verdict: A double fake. Very rare and exceptionally misleading. Beware of letting the accent or cultural clothing fool you into believing these are real!

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Filed under Canada, Humor, Personal, Rant, Reflections, Syria