Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Special Random Wednesday

* This Random Wednesday is a very special one:


You can thank/blame her as you wish.

* Why is it exactly that one half of my body has to be bigger than the other half of my body? I don't enjoy it.

Its down to shoes even! I could *almost* do two different sizes on my feet. And don't even get me talking about bras...

* I know that people love their dogs and religious issues with owning a dog aside I really just want to know why anyone would actually buy clothes FOR THEIR DOG.

For real, why?

And cats (Carrie) I think thats just downright cruel.

* Over lunch some of my co-workers were talking about the pigeon problem here in Minneapolis, and I was reminded of a friend who's Egyptian husband (accustomed to eating pigeons in Egypt) didn't understand why he couldn't catch the ones here. They're fat, lazy, and will often walk up to people hoping for some food. I wonder how friendly they would be if we could hunt them.

* My bus pass is up tomorrow, I'll have to shell out another $100 for a new one. I'm not happy about it, but it beats the hell outta driving.

* I really hate it when people have word-capture on their blogs for leaving comments. I might just be deficient in some way but I almost NEVER am able to get it to take my comment on the first try. I always type in the word they have, but the program hates me and spits it out.

My life is hard.

Ok! You guys know what to do. Sound off!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Elephant in the Room

I'm not sure how I'm doing with the move, I think its just that it really hasn't hit me. I'm excited to go to Egypt, I'm definitely excited to see my habib, but the fact that I'm going to be there for an undetermined amount of time still hasn't reached the surface for me.

Trip? Way excited. Not seeing my friends, family, and mom for a long period of time? Wha...

I feel like I have a concrete wall built up between myself and that reality. And its not as if I've never been away from home before. I moved down to Arizona with the full intention of living there for if not the rest of my life then a huge chunk of it. So I've said goodbye psychologically to Minnesota before, maybe thats why I don't feel the need to do it again. But I think what is getting me is the idea of no longer living in the United States.

Am I scared? No. Nervous? Ok, maybe a little. But its my lack of trepidation thats concerning to me. I should be scared, something...

I should be more emotional, I know I would be if I could only convince my psyche that this is real.

I am really moving to Egypt.

Fo' reals.

The other day my mom was talking about having a dinner party for me because "her daughter is moving away" and I was totally blindsided. Oh thats right, this is a slightly momentous occasion. I'm so focused on myself and getting things set up that I didn't think about the rest of my family- except when they are reminding me that they think I am moving to my doom and enslavement. I'm focused on everything I have to do, and all the days I have left, and my cousin's wedding.

There is so much I should be doing and feeling, but instead I'm putting my head down and trying to make it through each day until I leave.

48 days today. 47 days tomorrow.

I know there's an elephant in this room, I'm just having a hard time finding it.

I Love Spring

Of course this spring kind of sucks around here, I woke up to 28 degrees this morning.


But still I'm not bitter, spring means fresh fruit and veggies and that makes my tummy happy. I went to the grocery store Sunday night to get my weekly groceries and emerged with a beautiful bunch of asparagus, three scrumptious avocados, and two amazingly delicious mangos (and a partridge in a pear tree). Like I haven't had mangos this good since I don't know when and I haven't taken that much enjoyment from eating in a very long time as well.

I think I'm going to go tonight and see if I can get more.

I love spring, I just wish our weather would catch up.

Traditional May Day song:

Last May-day as I skipp'd the garland round,

Cheer'd by the merry hurdy-gurdy's sound,

I look'd, methought, with an unusual grace,

For Molly herself had wash'd and chalk'd my face

Anonymous c. 1773

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Al-Farhan Released

Saudi blogger Fouad Al-Farhan, who was detained by the Saudi government without charges for four months, was released on Saturday according to the BBC and another well-known Saudi blogger Ahmed Al-Omran who blogged the release on his site Saudi Jeans.


Journalism is not a crime!

Speaking your mind is not a crime!

Fight censorship for a free world.

Ps- this is my 100th post!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A little less dependant

I was raised by my mom on our own.

Her and I.

Me and her.

I relied on her and she relied on herself.

My father was gone and I have no brothers.

I was raised by an independant woman... to be an independant woman.

But now I find that independant is not what I'm supposed to be.

And I struggle to become a dependant me.

This Made My Day


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wednesday and Random (Updated with even more delicious Randomness)

* I looked for the price of flights last week and was so excited, and then I looked for the price of the same flight today and it has jumped by $400. Please, someone, shoot me now. I literally feel like I'm going to throw up.

Except now I looked for just a one way flight and its cheaper, which is the first time I've found that. Alhumdulillah. I might go home and book it tonight inshAllah. Before they raise it due to gas prices... again.

How do you say high blood pressure in Arabic?

* If I get the aforementioned flight (inshAllah) then I will have a layover in Amman, Jordan. I'm so excited about that you have no idea. I don't think that having a layover in an area means than you've been to that area, but I'm sure excited about being able to see it as we land.

* I HAVE THE FLIGHT. Alhumdulillah. I love my mom.

* I remember flying into Cairo and seeing the pyramids as the plane did a turn for landing. It was a spectacular moment. There was also a time when my husband and my inlaws and I were at DreamPark and hubby and I were riding the Condor. Everytime the ride would turn the pyramids would rise up against the desert at the edge of the park. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen but my husband, the born and bred Cairene who long long long ago ceased to be amazed by them, had the camera and it didn't occur to him to take a picture. Such a shame. Next time we go I will make sure to be well photographically armed.

* Every morning on the same bus I find myself in the same intersection with a tiny black car that has a big huge sign in its back window saying "NOT ONE MORE DEATH, END THE WAR IN IRAQ" and my insides brighten just a little bit. Now I'm just awed at the fact that we always seem to be in the same intersection at the same time. Every. Day.

* I just bought my first cd in like, I don't know, five years. And it was worth it. I discovered a (new?) band called Pacifika. They're from Canada (but don't hold that against them) and they play these absolutely wonderful fusion sunny afternoon type songs. I love it and you probably will too. Oh, but they sing in Spanish, though even if you don't understand the words, I think you'll understand the meaning. I highly recommend checking them out. They're first single is on youtube and its called "Me cai" and I recommend playing it but not watching the video because its nothing but the main singer making body contortions. And its kind of weird, but the music is good. There's also another video that has their second-best song on the LP called "Paloma" and its this great flamenco-flavored song, but I can't remember the video title.

* I'm still freaking out about flights but my mom promised to book the flight when she got home this morning. InshAllah.

Omg. Breeeeeeeeeeathe.

* OH! So I totally forgot but last night after work I had a serious craving for Pho Tai so I went over to Frogtown to one of the many Vietnamese "cafes" on University Ave. I went to one I hadn't been to since my first prom night SO many years ago, and on my way there stumbled across an Islamic Dawaa Center. In Frogtown. How awesome is that? And not only this but when I went into the cafe I was reassured by the waitress, without even having to ask or insinuate, that everything on the menu was only beef and chicken, no pork. Again how awesome is that? I will definitely go in there more often. I also enjoyed the 1980's Vietnamese lounge music, which furthered tickled my kitsch-bone when it turned into 1980's Vietnamese French lounge music duets. Awesomely cheesy.

I'm so discombobulated right now, I can't put two thoughts together. I might add more randomness later, but I'm looking to you guys to fill the randomness quota for today in my comments section.

You know you wanna.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I need to what?

So alhumdulillah I've gotten so much done this morning, I took a half day off from work and went to the chiropractor- my back was so tight it barely moved- and then I went to the DMV to renew my license and to hopefully get a new passport. InshAllah I'll be 25 next month (egads!) and my license expires, I wish I could keep my picture from when I turned 21 (Hottie McSteam) but alas I could not, nor would I want to since me now= hijab and me then= none.

I renewed a month early because I wanted to, at the same time, apply for a new passport because I look very little like I did when I was 18 and took the picture, and also again because of the hijab.

And my hijab is the reason I left the DMV without a new passport but with a brand new chip on my shoulder. Apparently if I would like to keep my headscarf on in the picture for my passport I must write a sweet little letter to the passport authorities on why I'm wearing it.

Excuse me?

If an Indian woman comes in with a bindi in the middle of her forehead and a massively huge gold nose ring, do you ask her to write a letter? If a punk rocker comes in with bright green hair and 15 facial piercings, is she asked to remove them? Or write a letter stating her anarchist belief system?

What the #&^$ does it have to do with you OR the passport authorities OR the US government whether I wear this headscarf for religious or purely fashionable reasons?

What do they expect me to write?

Dear US Government,

I wear this scarf around my head because I'm a terroristic extremist who will stop at nothing to see the pigs of the kuffar goverment fall to their knees.


PS- I know where Osama is.


I am an American who was born in a country where state should be completely separated from religion, and where my choice to cover my head DEALS DIRECTLY WITH ME AND MY PERSONAL CHOICE.

If I want to shave my head and tattoo it completely, do I have to write a letter in with my passport stating why?

Do Menonite or Amish women have the same problem?

Or is this hand-written permission from me for them to delay my passport process and mark me, once and for all in their big book of no-no, a danger to my society?


I walked out with my old passport, which is current through 2011, and left that idea behind.

And I wonder why it is that America is looking less and less American each day.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dear God

Dear God,

Thank You for making today the quietest Monday I have ever worked.
Thank You for making all of my patients full of laughter (minus that one psycho.)
Thank You for making my coworkers awesome even though I missed the bus and came in 15 minutes late.
Thank You for knowing that I needed a break and for easing my heart.

Truly Yours,

PS- Triple Thank You for my chiropractor who gives a discounted price to those without insurance AND had open appointment tomorrow morning. That definitely brightened my day.


Today is a bad day. I don't want to go anywhere, I don't want to do anything. I don't want to be here working, I don't want to help people, I don't want to read, or write, or think.

I think I've hit my wall. The wall against all the stress, the loneliness, the worries, the planning, the goals, the expectations, and the world entirely.

I just want to walk, and walk, and walk, and find somewhere to get lost.

Today is definitely a bad day.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Poetic Justice

I just want to acknowledge the poetic justice I find in using the economic stimulus check I will (inshAllah) be receiving to pay for my flight out of here.

They're paying for me to leave.

Thank you, Mr. Bush. I can't think of a better way to spend it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Random Wednesday!!

* ALI WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thats all I gotta say.

* There are some things I've noticed about bus drivers; and I mean everyone complains that they're a bit loony but its a tough job and I don't blame them. Heres the thing I have noticed though: the freaky-looking drivers (you know the ones that resemble picasso's work) are always way cool and down to earth, but the ones who look completely normal are absolutely crackers. Like I-will-follow-you-home-and-kill-your-dog crackers.

* Just to follow up on the city bus, do you remember your school bus driver from back in the day? Didn't they always seem old? Positively ancient? I remember my bus driver was like in her mid-30's but now when I look at the people driving the buses I can't imagine they're much older than the kids they're busing around. Yesterday the city bus I was on passed a school bus and I'm not sure the driver was much older than 11. I mean, of course she is but she didn't look that much older. It kind of creeps me out.

* Reason number 3,456 for why living in MN is so cool: Regions hospital is doing some major construction and, ever ones to squeeze ad space out of everything, they covered the orange plastic construction fencing with a very HUGE ad for the hospital.

Why is that cool? Because they're advertising with a picture of a hijabi.

Word up. Adveritising. With a hijabi.

Who would have thought we were more open-minded than most "Muslim" countries out there?

* I'm becoming like super anal about plastics, I hate them because its just a bunch of trash that NEVER GOES AWAY. Paper? Whatev, it disintegrates. Water conservation? Most of our water is recycled anyways. But plastic, oh plastic hangs around longer than our gene pool probably will. So I get mad when products like Benadryl Perfect Measure come out and people buy it. Quit being $&%#ing lazy and measure out your kid's allergy meds with a spoon.

I swear this kind of cultural attitude will be the end of our world.

* Speaking of trash, now that the snow is melted all sorts of trash that was ensconsed in said snow bank are out for the world to see. In the middle of the divide on 36 is a teddy-bear someone lost at some point. Face down and lonely. I notice him every day on the way to work. Poor teddybear.

* I got a chance to chat with the lovely Organica and it turns out she knows everyone I know, its kind of creepy.

* A few minutes ago one of the guys who works in Med Records popped his head in the room and says, "There's peanut-butter cookies in the break room." When I jumped up to get some I asked, "How did you know I love pb cookies?"

He laughs and says, "Cuz you a woman."

Ladies, they're on to us.

Ok miss muslimah and hijabi apprentice, happy? ;~)

Its YOUR turn everyone. Sound off peoples, whats your randomness for today?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Misery Loves Company

I've had a migraine since yesterday and I can't seem to think my way through it.

Hopefully I can shake it before tomorrow so we don't miss Random Wednesday.

I know how sad you'd be.

If only someone would hit me with a hammer right between the eyes, somehow I think that would make me feel better.


Saturday, April 12, 2008


The email me thing didn't work so well, so I will put my email here.

I'm a dork, what can I say?


Friday, April 11, 2008


I published the dorky pic I took to put on my CV for Egypt on my wordpress account.

I had to share the inanity.

Email me for the pass, but this is a girls-only activity


Dear God,

Please fast forward today to 4:30.
Thank You.

Your's truly,

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Looking at the pictures of the riots in Al-Mahala I was startled by the youth of those involved, and one picture in particular stopped my heart.

all photos taken from here

The young boy looking back at the photographer looks a lot like my nephew and for a second I could imagine that it was him.

Him kidnapped and beaten.

Him held prisoner for days.

And as much as the situation had affected me before, just taking that fear and pain and suffering that I felt while only imagining that it could have been my nephew, and knowing that it wasn't, I tasted the tiniest trace of the fear, pain, and suffering of those who's children it really was.

I look through the other pictures and see the young men full of fury and pride and fear and excitement and the mass hysteria that comes with crowds, and I feel inside me a weak echo of the range of emotions on their faces.

Especially the young man in the middle who is glaring so intently into the camera, as if ready to go around again, to face the worst possible outcome, and for what?





Because theres nothing left...?


I feel pride when I see them fight, when I see anyone fight, for freedom from oppression with the only possible weapons they have: their hearts, their minds, and their hands.

And I'm shaken to my very core.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It's Random Wednesday Ya'll

* Last week I was on the bus ride home when I noticed another woman from the corner of my eye who kept kept giving me surreptitious glances. I realized why when I glimpsed the cover of the book she was reading: Inside the Jihad

* Last week I was walking to the bus when I was ambushed by a creepyoverly-friendly somali woman with a very odd lisp. What I was able to understand from her heavy lisp (we're not talking accent here we're talking lisp; she turned c/k sounds into t sounds) was that she didn't want to marry (or had already married more than once) a Somali guy, and so could she marry my brother, please? (Assuming he was an Ameritan like me.)

My non-existant brother was very flattered but unfortunately unable to take her up on the offer.

* It is the end of winter (thank God) and, as usual, the roads in Minnesota have begun to resemble crater-filled battlefields. Weather in Minnesota is so tough on roads that road makers test out new road materials up here; if they can survive, they're good to go for anywhere else. This doesn't help me much when I'm dodging shetland pony-sized potholes and cracks that could swallow small cats.

* I finally went and got the necessary tax forms (procrastinor? me? nah) to do my taxes this weekend, and I really think it is idiosyncratic to have the statue of liberty on the front of the forms. Not now, not in this government.

Maybe I grabbed the tax forms meant for the rich people, that would explain the statue on the front. They're the only ones who are liberated from taxes.

But you know what the say, two things are certain in life: death and ....

* I hate it when people call in to make an appointment and then hmmm and haaa or even look around for their calendars. YOU CALLED TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT, KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE TIME OPEN. Its not that hard of a concept, I'm not here to sit on hold while you dig through two feet of paper on your desk to find out when you're available.

Oh, and for those of you on the opposite end who have already decided you want to see Dr Soandso on Friday at 11 am, its not my fault if they don't have an opening. Get over yourself.

I feel mildly better.

* Hi, I'm Molly and I'm addicted to the Biggest Loser. And I hope Ali wins.

* I BOUGHT GLASSES!! Ahem, someone never sent me my glasses (s...) and I kept getting red eyes, eye pain, and the occasional icky infection because my eyes couldn't take almost a year of wearing nothing but contacts. I had no choice (something I'm slightly bitter about) but America's Best had a two pair for a deceivingly low price sale. I say deceivingly. Its kind of like the old joke: "the ice cream is free, but its $5 for the spoon". That deceivingly low price included the eye exam and the frames, if you actually wanted the pieces inside the frame that correct your vision... well that was a different story.

I knew it was too good to be true. I plunked down $200 but I get two pairs of glasses with an updated perscription. It all worked out for the better I guess, and I'll get them inshAllah in a week. I sure do hope I get those other glasses back (s...) since they have some sentimental attachment to them (please s). I'll upload pics when I get the new glasses and see what you guys think.

* Oh, I made a wordpress because I wanted to make sure I got my name and for protected post privilages. Don't worry I'm not gonna switch over to them because, well, I have decided that the wordpress format is of the devil. I've never had to work that hard on a website since my intro web development class 4 years ago. I failed that class for a reason, now I remember why.

I will, however, use it for protected posts like the aforementioned picture of me in my new glasses.

* I love coffee. Preferrably starbucks. Yes I know they are evil, but God their coffee is good.

Sinfully good some might say.


* Apparently my cell phone's text mssging program does not recognize the word "heist", I guess they don't want to be used for clandestined bank robbing schemes.


Alright kiddos, you know the drill, anything random you want to spout, feel free to hijack my comments section.

Its all yours.

You know you wanna.


I got meme'd again, and since its random wednesday why not.

I got tagged by Alajnabiya(apparently because she ran out of other people who have never been tagged) for the 6 word memoir meme. Here are the rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post
4. Tag six more blogs with links
5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!
I'm totally not going to tag anyone else for this

Multicultural Muslimah loving life and world.

K** O*** ya Hosni

Riots in Mahala, at the end you can hear them chanting "f**k you Hosni, f**k you."

this post has been censored at hubby's request.

*Sorry for the heavy language.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Strike April 6th in Egypt, two were killed in demonstrations in Mahalla, read more HERE

Allah be with those who fight against oppression.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Usually I answer the comments on a post in the comments section, but I believe there is so much more for me to say about the comments I received on my post about missing Egypt that another separate post is called for.

Some questioned how I could miss a country I was not born to, others questioned what exactly I missed, and some questioned whether I was actually searching for a happiness I may not find there. All are valid curiosities and many are rooted in reality but, as seems to be a running theme in my life, I don't really fit into anything that makes sense.

Missing Egypt even though I'm not Egyptian, what do I miss? I have been to many foreign countries and have seen many cities and cultures, but there is something in Egypt that makes it different from anywhere else. Lets narrow this down to Cairo though, because when I talk about Egypt I am mostly talking about Cairo. What makes it different?

The life.

Cairo lives and breathes on its own as a city, it is the only place that I have been to where there is an active city at all hours of the day and night. I spent a whole day with my husband, and my brother and sister-in-law, and when it came to fajr there were still things for us to do: we sat on a bridge full of early-bird (late-nighter?) fisherman and families still in the street as we were and ate hummous. Prior to that we had been in a cafe on the nile that was filled with people at one in the morning, the streets had still been deadlocked with traffic and the bridge next to it had still been filled with groups leaning over the side. The small boats strung with lights and blaring loud music were still moving up and down the Nile until early in the morning. The city never sleeps.

During the day you hear the traffic, the ubiquitous junk dealer leading his donkey up and down the streets yelling through an ancient amplifier that muddles his words into a garbled mess of noise. No one could really tell me what he was saying but everyone knew that he would buy your useless junk. And the donkeys, oh the donkeys; next to the blare of car horns the second most common sound in Cairo is the braying of all the donkeys. What about the carts of neatly stacked watermelons? Everywhere just waiting even stacked on the sides of the road as we drove between Cairo and Alex.

The million restaurants, the ring of the koshary shops, buying cheese and foul sandwiches at two or three in the morning. The bazaars on every corner selling everything you could imagine. Or the tiny carnival I once spied while with my friend Merhan and her cousin and them taking me to it and paying for us to all drive bumper cars.

The smiles of the bumper car crew who grinned and welcomed me to Egypt. The smiles of everyone in the street, the warmth and passion with which friends argued, gestured, laughed, talked, cried, and watched everything that went on around them. Even though I didn't know them they were connected to me, to eachother, and to others they didn't know. Life, while poorer economically, was lived fuller for its very tenuousness. The food tasted stronger, the colors brighter, the air thicker even if it was with pollution, and I felt a million times more alive. Pain, love, happiness, and sadness were felt more vividly.

Thats what I miss, and moreover it is so different from anything else I have ever felt. When I walk through downtown Minneapolis now I get a wiff of that same feeling. Not as bright, nor vivid, nor passionate as Cairo, but for a split second I feel a bit more alive. And the fact is that despite being surrounded by people I am completely alone. No one is connected here, friendships are not expressed as fully, no one smiles, no one laughs, no one sits and talks just because they can. Here life is about point A and point B, in Egypt life is about the trip between the two. Thats what I miss.

I've been to other ginormous cities. I've walked the midnight streets of Madrid and never found what I found in Cairo. I've walked the midnight streets of Paris and not found what I found in Cairo. I've been to Istanbul and found that people affect the same coldness and individuality of Europe and America, and while in Athens I found the same sense of living life as I found in Egypt, but I could not stand the rudeness; while close to Egyptians in passion the culture was still basically different and offensive in many ways. The Greek were passionate but almost eager in their passion to offend you.

Everyone I have ever met who has been to Egypt returns saying that they had never met a culture so warm and welcoming. Thats what I miss. Smiles, I miss. Laughter, I miss. Being hugged to the bosom, of a matron I had just met, with joyous abandon, I miss. Being handed babies to kiss like a presidential hopeful on campaign, I miss. Listening to the curses and shouts and laughter and arguements of those around me and those in the street, I miss.

Sitting here staring out into an empty street, shuttered houses of people I've lived next to for six years and still never met, knowing that unless I go to the house of friend I will not be greeted with anything but wary aloofness, I feel completely alone. The sense of belonging to a whole, I miss.

And that has nothing to do with not being born in Egypt, and everything to do with finding a home there anyway.

And my pursuit of happyness; sure I am a person who can never be 100% happy in one place and its a curse (?) that I've dealt with for a long time in my life. When I lived in Minnesota I ached to be somewhere else, when I lived in Arizona I love it but missed Minnesota, in Minnesota again I ache for Arizona. When I am in Cairo I am sure I will miss both places at the same time. Do I think I will find some happiness in Cairo? I am certain of it. Do I think I will find the be all and end all of happiness there? I doubt it, but I am open to the possibility. I am a wanderer by nature, I don't know that this will ever change. And I don't find that missing someplace detracts from my enjoyment of being where I am at the moment. In Arizona I found a happiness I could only find in Arizona and I partook of it wholeheartedly, and in Minnesota now I find so much fulfillment in my family and friends and wonderful ummah here even though I miss Cairo and Arizona that my desire to be elsewhere does not keep me from enjoying the beauty I have here.

Everyone is always pursuing happiness but, with the exception of when I first went down to Arizona, I don't believe that a place will ever bring me a peace I can't find where I am. My peace, my home, my happiness exists within me and I carry it wherever I go. And I think I am blessed to have pieces of happiness waiting for me wherever I end up.

That being said Egypt is my home as much as Arizona is my home and Minnesota is my home, and all for very different reasons.

That is, I guess, the nature of my own happyness.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Memory of Egypt

In keeping with my 'missing Egypt' mood. Something written when I missed and remember my husband.

I can taste it, the dust in the air poignant, stagnant, choking, breathing, living dust. Laughter in warraq the smoke of trash burning, the bark of the dogs. Horns and donkies side by side somewhere, but here, just him and I. I can taste his sweat and he pulls my hair, hushed love above the dirt streets. No, alleys. It is an alley where the bawebs' children play. Women peddling fateer and sweets. Below, loud voices. But above the caucaphony hushed, quiet, hurried love. He pulls my hair, heavy lidded eyes. I love you, he says. Awy, awy, awy, I reply, hushed by lips and laughter in warraq. Hushed, sweet, sensitive love, I love you, he says. Awy, awy, I reply.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


When I see pictures of Cairo I feel like I'm looking at pictures of home. I have no claim to Cairo but through my husband, and I only spent eight weeks there last summer, but its very essence has become so ingrained on my spirit that I feel like I will always be connected to the city just as I am connected to my birthplace.

I don't negate its ugly side, and I don't pretend to ignore the harsher reality beneath the bright lights, but when it comes down to it a piece of me still exists there and probably always will.

So when I think of moving to Egypt this summer I don't feel as if I'm moving to a foreign country, I feel like I'm going home.

I don't speak the language and so many of the finer nuances of the culture escape my American-bred literalness, but when I think of being there this sense of loneliness and desire squeezes my heart inside.

Ana Baheb Masr.

Check out the smog yo, I don't miss that.

This is just a cool pic

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Its Random Wednesday!

* Yesterday I got lost trying to remember where to catch my bus back home (the Mpls' one-ways making it impossible to have drop off and pick up on the same block) but was able to -finally- find another stop for my bus. But there's always reason for everything right? As I was just about to get on the bus, one foot on the step and everything, when I heard someone yell my name. I stepped off the bus and looked around to see my dad from a block away waving and yelling my name. Needless to say I missed the bus again. It was cool, I talked to him until the next bus came, kissed him, and headed home.

Remember kids, everything happens for a reason.

* I think having to wake up before eight a.m. is evil, fajr is something different because you can sleep again afterwards, but being up and functioning before the sun is something I am adamently against. Sometimes rebels have to suck it up, put on suits, and give up revolution in return for a steady paycheck. I intend to inistigate anarchy from the inside. I'll let you know how it goes.

* I complained about my last position because it didn't have any windows and I felt like I was being entombed for eight hours a day.

I have decided that windows that open up to a narrowed view of the parking ramp next door really isn't any better. But at least I feel like I can breathe.

* I miss working with M, she'd be the cherry on top of this sundae. That and cheaper bus fare. (sorry about your test honey, but good luck on thursday!)

* You need to go to this website and keep this family in your prayers. I am friends with the wife, who is an AMAZING woman with an absolutely golden heart. She's one of the few Egyptian women in the masjid who actually make me feel welcome and kind of treat me like I belong. They don't deserve this, please pray for them to win their hearing. I've never met her husband, but I believe he is the one who does the translating of khutbahs and dars (halaqas) and the things I have heard about him are nothing but outstanding. Good people don't deserve bad things.

Unfortunately a part of growing up is realizing that the boogeyman is real (and much meaner than five year-olds could ever imagine) and that fairytales don't exist. No one ever lives happily ever after and no fairytale shows Mr and Mrs Cinderella during tax time.

* I also have not done my taxes yet.

Now, remember guys, another thing about random Wednesdays is sounding off on your own random thoughts in my comments section.

You know you've got annoying thoughts that don't really matter or apply to anything always buzzing around in your head. Let them free.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


You can always get it dooooooooowntown.

I started my new job yesterday (btw people I'm not that flaky on jobs I'm just a temp worker) and it is immensely better than my last position. And even cooler I'm working DOWNTOWN Minneapolis which is a pain to get to in the morning, but oh so worth it. My last position was also in Minneapolis, but in the ghetto and not near anything cool. Here I'm in the thick of things, surrounded by cool bistros and sky scrapers with endless possibility of fun times. If only my husband were here and working in the same area, so many places for us to explore. I even have a Starbucks on my walk from the bus stop to my work, which is a blessing and a curse all at the same time.

But really, really? I went last night to buy a bus pass thinking its gotta be cheaper than paying cash each time I got on, only to drop $76 for a 31-day pass. Sweet mother of Daisy! I sucked it up and figured it was cheaper than driving (definately cheaper than parking downtown) and good for the earth. Whats $76 when you're cutting your carbon emissions?

Only to get on the bus this morning and be told I need to pay 75 cents extra because its an EXPRESS bus.


I was pissed. Luckily I walk right past a transit office on my way to work as well so I slipped in there only to find that if I wanted to by a 31-day for the express bus I needed to cough up $104 not $76.

I might have turned purple at this point. I'm not sure.

$104 for 30 days. Are you serious? That comes to about $4.52 each day (weekdays yo, I ain't about to come down here on the weekends on the bus) which ok, so thats an average of $1 less a day. Still.

My pocketbook hurts.

And, just to add some insult to this injury, prior to this job starting I was thinking that if I was going to ride the bus at least this position would be spring and summer so I'd have some beautiful weather to be tromping around the bus stops in.

Yea. Yesterday we had a freak snowstorm that dumped six inches of snow on us. Snow (mixed with sleet as the temp hovered at 32/0C all day) and slush I had to slosh through- in my inadequate mary janes- to get to the bus yesterday evening and dig my car out of.

Not cool. But, the upside was that I was not the one driving through the slush and traffic to get home. Nope, I had an insane bus driver to do that. And now, I know that buses are (almost) the biggest thing on the road, but the way the driver drove made me think he considered himself the godzilla of 35W. He was driving one of those accordian buses and as he flew past a tiny two-door car (who was driving quite sanely for the condition- blinding sleet/blizzard) he cut over in front of them so close that I could almost imagine the tail end flinging that little car off the road behind him. Around about the time he played chicken with a semi and dropped one side of the bus off the road I just closed my eyes, turned up my ipod, and imagined I was someplace else.

It was an adventure.

If only I could figure out a way to drop down the price of riding the bus.

And hey, I just want to put a proposition out there for the powers that be:

If you're gonna raise gas prices and thereby raise the price of EVERY OTHER THING ON EARTH, do us a favor and raise our salaries as well.