Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Post

To be found HERE.

As I will be moving myself to Egypt I am moving my blog over to wordpress for reasons to be explained in the future but pertaining to my family being given my blog info in order to keep tabs on me while I am gone. Obviously I am not terribly interested in having some family members read about my issues with them, not that I am seeking to hide them as they are obvious enough, I just would prefer to not have them read about it in a blog. Also my blog will become more expat-related and travel-ish so I think moving over to wordpress might be a good way to mark the change in my life. Poetic irony methinks. But I solemnly swear to still confess salacious and quite possibly useless things about the oddities in life. Just they might become more interesting while I'm overseas.

I hope everyone will be ok with the move.

Anyways check out my new post over on Wordpress.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Good News and Bad News

I have good news and bad news.

Good News: I've lost weight since the bridesmaid dress fittings.

Bad News: ...I've lost weight since the bridesmaid dress fittings...

My dress is pathetically large on me, and I wasn't even wearing the girdle I defied natural law and quantum physics to get into.

And its not looking to good in terms of bulking back up before the wedding, I am more stressed than I have ever been in my life.

I can't eat and I can't sleep. I'm almost constantly nautious and when I try to sleep at night my mind wakes me up about the most stupid things.

Yesterday was the Belmont Stakes horse race and I was really hoping whatshisface the guy who won the other two and has a son with Usher's disease would win. I don't even know his name, thats how unimportant it really is to me. But yet last night I woke up twice after dreaming about it.

I'm almost to the point that I'm ready to leave everything behind and show up to Egypt just myself and the clothes on my back. What? Luggage? No thanks.

Yesterday was the rehearsal dinner, don't ask me why it was a week before it just was, and it took place at Brunswick Bowl in Blaine. Now, it was great because afterwards we all went bowling and I found that Wii bowling has really improved my game. I'm not even kidding. But I also got food poisoning from the horrific stuff they passed off as food there. I haven't been able to keep anything down for almost 24 hours. I'm currently sipping campbell's chicken noodle and succeeding in keeping it confined to my stomach.

Small victories.

But I've got to figure out how to get my dress taken in one week before the wedding because stress+food poisoning ≠ filling out dresses one size too large.

As soon as I have the energy I'm going to upload a pic of the wicked awesome bag that mi habibtita Gulnari made for me.

{pic to be inserted later}

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Un Bon Voyage

Tonight my family and a few friends got together for a bon voyage party for me and it was absolutely wonderful. I really have an awesome family and awesome friends and they are a blessing from Allah swt and a light in my life.

And honestly these were not even half of all the people I count as good friends and family either, but basically as much as my mom could afford to feed. I won't be able to say a good farewell to many of the people I will miss while I am gone, but I'm trying.

It was a wonderful night filled with a lot of laughter, hugs, and love. I could never fully explain the extent to which I have been blessed in my life. Alhumdulillah.

The one down point of the night was when my paternal-grandmother handed me a brochure from ACT, a blatantly Islamophobic/xenophobic group backed by little to no research and filled with incindiary claims that are never really proven with facts, or well names or citations for that matter.

In example (quoted directly from the brochure):

Did you know...

-Hamas terror cells are in place in dozens of cities across America?

(Really?? Like where?)

-Islamic Militants have infiltrated the FBI, CIA, and our military, and some have been arrested and convicted for terrorism and related charges?

(Really?? Like who?)

-Universities throughout America indoctrinate students with pro-Islamic, anti-American, anti-Israel bias that whitewashes the truth about militant Islam?

(Really?? Which Universities are those and how come I never got accepted??)

Anyways, you get the point. Visit the website for more of their enlightened ideas: www.ActforAmerica.org because everyone needs a little xenophobia in their day.

One racist a day keeps the darky away.

I never blogged about how this grandmother also ambushed me at Oogie's bridal shower and told me she was not ok with my decision and that she thought I needed to do more research and talk to her pastor.

The same pastor whose apparent authority on all Islam-related things comes from ACT!, who gave her this brochure and must have thought this very well-written piece of golden 'truth' would set me back on the 'right path.'

Uhm, yeah.

But, this was only a minor speed-bump on the road which was my bon voyage party and all the love that was showered on me. I saw my dad, I went and picked him up actually and brought him with me and dropped him at home again so it was nice to spend some time with him.

Some of the family that came tonight I may not see until I return from Egypt, but some of them I will see again at Oogie's wedding two days before I leave.

Their love for me astounds me, I wonder how I'm worthy of it, but I love them just as much and will miss them so, so much while I am gone.

My maternal-grandmother wrote in her card to me:

"Do you remember when I told you that you will learn to fly your wings?! Funny, I meant down the street. Not around the world.
We will miss you."

I'm going to miss you all too.

Until we meet again...

In-Flight Entertainment

Reading on the Royal Jordanian website it lists the Audio channels (the radio stations you can listen to during the flight) and one caught my eye:

Channel 9 Holy Quran

Word up. I'm so excited to fly a "Muslim" Airline. Think I can make it through the whole Quran on a 12 hour flight?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Love My Ummah


Friday was a good day, since I skipped out of work two days early I had it off so I could go to Jummah. Woot! And then while in the khutbah lo and behold in comes Rahma! She of the Masjid An-Nur miraculously had the same day off as me and attended the Jummah at the masjid closest to our houses (she and I live quite close to each other.) It was fate. Afterwards we were chatting and I mentioned that I wanted to speak with Br. Samir Saikali who gave the khutbah (MashAllah wonderful brother if you ever get a chance to know him, his story is amazing) to ask him about the legality of amending my marriage contract to include a clause on second wives.

Many sisters do not know this but we can put clauses in our marriage contracts, it is perfectly legal according to shari'ah. The sister would write that in the cases of:

- the brother abandons her for 1 month (or more/less depending on desire)
- the brother marries a second wife

then she reserves the right to divorce herself one finalized divorce.

When I got married I was not given the opportunity to put any clauses in our marriage contract, also the marriage contract was in Arabic and I was not able to read it over before signing it. Alhumdulillah my husband is a trustworthy and God-fearing man and so I was not taken advantage of, but this is a very good example of why converts need to find trustworthy Islamic Guardians. I'll repeat myself: CONVERTS MUST FIND TRUSTWORTHY GUARDIANS to protect her interests. I do have a trustworthy walee (guardian) however I got married in Egypt and he is in Minnesota. Also the marriage was put together in four days and I was too busy trying to remember to breathe to remember that I could amend the contract and that I should get it translated before signing it. It was not the fault of my husband either because he was even busier than I during this period and cannot be blamed for forgetting to ask me if I wanted anything amended in it. Also I just don't think it ever occurred to him, SO many sisters (born Muslim and convert alike) do not know their rights! and justly he may have never known a woman to put such clauses in her contract.

But we can, and what I wanted to ask Br Samir was how I should word the amendment I wanted to add to my marriage contract, unfortunately soon after the khutbah and prayer the brother left and I missed my chance. Instead Rahma offered to have me over at her apartment so we could look over a couple of VERY good Islamic books about marriage and marriage contracts so we did, I wrote an amendment which her husband offered to translate into Arabic for me and translate my marriage contract into English as well for me. MashAllah, they are an awesome couple.

Then Rahma and I rolled wara 3einab (stuffed grape leaves) and ate dinner. I had a wonderful evening with her.

Halaqa and Cookie Kisses

After leaving Rahma's house I headed over to Dar Al Farooq for the friday night halaqa to spend some more time with my sister-friends there before I leave for Egypt *sniffle*. One thing I love about the friday nights at DAF is that so many converts and sisters married to converts are there. And most of them have babies that I get to play with and small gorgeous children to love to cuddle. One such little girl is my favorite. The last time I was at halaqa her mom told her they were leaving so she should say salaam and hug the sisters before they left to which the little girl proceeded to circle the entire women's section giving every single person a hug. MashAllah it was the most adorable thing. This most recent Friday I was playing with some other babies and once I had given them back to their moms I was dive bombed from out of nowhere by this cuddle-bug. She crawled onto my lap and smothered me with hugs and kisses. It was delightful but then the most amazing thing happened: while in the midst of being smothered by the little girl a little boy I had never really interacted with before came up and wrapped his arms around me as well. I quite literally found myself myself draped in cuddly children. It was one of those supremely happy moments of life that I am sure I will remember when I am 80 and still smile. As the night went on the little girl ate cookies and gave me so many kisses that I was covered in cookie bits and never happier.

Alhumdulillah for life and for good friends.

And alhumdulillah for cuddly babies.