Friday, October 19, 2007

Ramadhan Kareem

I have been meaning to write this post for ages. I cannot blame time constraints. I can only blame my laziness.

During Ramadhan, we were invited to iftar at the Ranches. The Ranches is about half an hour from where we live in Jumeirah. Since we left late from home, we would be in the car during fast breaking time. I sat in the car. I gazed out of the window. I occupied my thoughts with anything and everything - but food found its way back into my head. As I consoled my poor stomache, I was greeted with a pleasant suprise. We had stopped at a red light and I saw men running to cars and giving them packages. Turns out, The pharmacy on Al-Wasl road was running a promotion but providing care packages to people on the road at magrib time. What a kind and thoughtful thing to do. Asif described it as a "good deed" and it surely was a good deed.

I wish I had taken a picture of the little box - blue with a picture of a silver sky and mosque. The box contained 2 dates, a glass of water and a little juice packet. I savoured the contents in my box hungrily and happily.

I want to thank the pharmacy on Al-Wasl road for providing us with food to break fast on two occasions.

May Allah bring prosperity to their store - Ameen.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Move - Questions - A post that went unpublished

This post went unpublished. It was written about a year and a half ago. I remember sitting at Somji and Company writing it at the speed of light. Reading it today and rereading the post I have just written, I can truely say that I have grown. Reading through this post, I am aware of the grammatical errors and sentences that dont quite make senses. I am tempted to change it but I think to be true to how I was feeling at the time, I will not. The post has left unfinished. I dont know why - maybe it was awaiting a post that act as a balm to make it better. Whatever the reason - it was left uncomplete, my emotions and questions were raw. I hope you will enjoy it.

I have moved - where to, I hear you ask (well, most of you already know) - Dubai!

Before this experience, anytime I heard someone was moving - I asked those typical moving questions.

"How do you feel about the move?"

"What are you going to do there?"

"Are you excited?"

And if I was close to the person "Are you ok with the move?"

When you are the one doing the asking, you feel like you are the only one smart enogh to think of those questions , you are the only one who has taken the time to ask these questions. It is the quesioners way of showing support.

For the first time, I was the responder. I was overwhelmed with how many times I was asked - "How do you feel?".

I had the standard reply downpacked - "You know, taking it one day at a time" or "I am not feeling - just working". By the time it was time for me to leave, these questions were breaking me down. I heard my real thoughts and feelings being voiced.

Really, while I acknowldged the concern and support of these questions, most times I didnt really want to talk about the move. Denial was a good place for me.

Arriving into Dubai, I was scared. I know I always say this - but really, I was scared. I honestlty think the reason I was so frightened was because I had talked about my feelings so much. These questions make you realize all your fears and multiplies them.

Dubai brought fresh faces, but the questions were stale. I got the revamped moving questions.

"How are you settling in?"

"How do you feel about the move?"

"What are you going to do?"

Really, I dont know what I am going to do! I am scared and the more you ask me - the more frightened I get! I see my skillset I developed so eagerly over that last few years fleeting right before my eyes. I cannot remember how to drive, how to cook, and most importantly - how to teach!

How to say all this to a person whose name I can barely recall?

I dont have any solutions however. I know what made me the move easier though.

The overwhelming amounts of "I will miss you" I heard. Even if it was fake, it was nice to feel irreplacable for a few days.

The well wishes. These came in form of words voiced, cards, facebook messages and hugs. It sounded something like - "Good luck", "I will pray for you", "Take care of yourself" and "Thank You". I loved the occasional hugs I recieved - tight but gentle - telling you everything you needed to hear without having to say a word.

The food - I loved the hanging out with people you had been meaning to hang out with for all your life, but never really got chance. I loved the hanging out with my friends and my family.

The smiles :) :) :)

The words of encouragement - "You can do it"

Text messages, emails and facebook messages from friends and family from Toronto home(I have to figure out what is home - Mombasa, Toronto or Dubai - can all three be home?)

The Long Awaited Return - Yea RIGHT!!!

The last few months have been a flurry of passing moments. I cannot believe how quickly they have passed. Amongst the commotion we like to call life, I ignored things important to me such as my blog. I distinctly remember the day my blog came to a stop.

The week had been busy - dates with friends had been planned all week long. I had barely a momemt to myself. Being the loner that I am, I was suprised to find that I was actually enjoying the large amounts of socializing that I had been upto. Anyway, walking along the Main Streets, admiring the old streets and taking in the european charm, I realized that I hadnt blogged all week long! Random thoughts then came to mind - and lingered a little too long unfortunately.

Could it be that until now I watched life from the sidelines and simply wrote about it in attempt to forge a more exciting life for myself?

Could this new exciting life, full of friends, coffees and laughter take over my need to write?

Was I busy living the life I wrote about that I now had no time for recounts?

Was my blog not important to me anymore?

I could go on but I will spare you. In the last five months, I often logged on determined to write something, anything .... but nothing came to mind. Nothing motivated me!

Now sitting at Lolly's desk at Somji and Company, I have this need to write. To retell all the adventures I have had, all the dreams I have realized, all the random thoughts that pop into my head.

For those who have been asking why I havent blogged in a while, I hope I have answered your questions - well, facebook has to take some blame. For those that have asked when I would blog again - OFTEN is my reply.

With Love......

Monday, April 16, 2007


Excited does not begin to explain how I feel today. I woke up this morning to the lovely sound of pitter-patter. Usually, this sound would explicit a groan from me - rain...urg!! But today, my thoughts went to my shiny new rubber rain boots waiting in the closet. YES!!! I could wear my boots and with good reason too.

I put on my jeans, rolled up the pant legs enough to let a peak of rain boot delight flash through and smiled. I loved my new boots.

I felt like a stylish farmer girl.... How could the swirls of brown and blue flowers painted on my boots make me so happy??

Driving to work, each raindrop that fell on my windshield made me happier. I couldn't wait for my outdoor yard duty at school. As luck would have it, it was an indoor recess :(

Maybe not today but watch rain puddles - here I come!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

A long short kinda week

Have you noticed that short weeks always seem to drag on longer than a regular week?

First of all, I think Muslims should have Friday off - afterall it is Juma' .. shouldnt that count as a continuous religious holiday in addition to the weekend? Muslims are law abiding citizens and we follow the law of the land so we have to follow the Saturday and Sunday weekend rule. I mean, is it too much to ask to be able to attend Friday prayers? This will also help to eliviate the long short week stress I have been dealing with! I guess I may be fighting a losing battle there!

I am trying to figure out what helps to make the week go faster - keeping busy or doing nothing. This week had been a busy busy week, but that didnt help... and usually, I am glued to the tv doing nothing - that doesnt help.

Why is this soo complicated???

Well, Friday is here! Enjoy the weekend!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Vegetable Trick

I have been trying to watch what I eat. Someone told me to try not to mix protein and starch - so meat and veges or potatoes and veges. Not meat and potatoes with veges rotting in the fridge.

Now this makes it really hard to make Sheppard's Pie b/c the two main ingredients are potatoes and meat. Anyway, I was determined to try this new meal plan. So I made Sheppard's Pie today substituting the mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower. When I served the food, Asif noticed a difference in the texture. I told him not to think too much about it - I tried a different recipe using a different kind of potato. I watched Abbas and Asif play with the food out of the corner of my eye. Abbas tried a little forkful.

"How is it Abbas?" I asked bright eyed.
"Its.... interesting" Abbas replied. He is too polite. He continued to eat.

I told Asif what it was and he pushed the plate aside and made himself some eggs. I was insistent that it was good and healthy! I had two helpings just to make a point. It was awful!

I have tons of this Sheppard's Pie left. Feel free to come over and try it before it goes into the compost!

Oh yea - the compost! I LOVE the compost!

The Lost Wallet

I resort back to retelling uninteresting blurbs about my life. At this point of my life, I have no insights, political/religious views I care enough about to share.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand - A lost wallet. On my way home on Wednesday after an exhilarating cycle class, I tried to fish for my wallet. My hook came up with NOTHING. I couldnt find my wallet! I was frantic and spent the first few minutes taking deep breaths in my car to calm myself.

I am thinking a few things -

1st thought - I lost my wallet at the mall I work out at. A few months ago, I lost my hijab at the gym... someone thought a two piece scarf held together with a safety pin was a good steal. Now, I lost my wallet! Are these signs? How am I to read these signs? What will be the next thing to get lost there - I sure aint losing any pounds!

2nd thought - When I lost my scarf, I thought it to be the funniest thing. I ran out the mall sheltered my by winter hood. However, when I lost my wallet, I was so upset. Shouldn't it be the opposite? Shouldn't I have been more stressed to have lost a symbol of my religion over a wallet of only materialistic importance (pointed out many times to me by Asif and my mom).

3rd thought - Having no one to listen to me complain at home, I shared my wallet story with my students at school. These 6 year olds impressed me to bits. After I shared, one of the kids put his hand up. "Ms. Fazal, I am going to look for your wallet everywhere", he said sincerely. Another kid said, "Ms. Fazal, I have a dollar to buy a snack, do you want it?". At the time, I started to laugh explaining to them that I had some money and thanked them for their kindness. As the day wore on, my thoughts went back to those kids. What a lesson in generosity and kindness I learned from that day - the day I lost my wallet!

Anis, if you are reading, I need a new wallet. Any samples??

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Never ending Writer's Block

I have a problem. I dont know what to write about. Its weird! I think I have a bad case of writer's block. I havent updated my blog since the beginning of March, and I keep hoping something interesting will pop into my head to write about, but alas - the vacuum in my head is getting larger with every passing moment. What's going on?

I think facebook plays a role in this problem. While I worry about my writer's block, 30 grade 7 kids join me in the library...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The hijab debate continues....

A Quebec girl was asked to remove her hijab so she may be allowed to continue to play soccer. The girl was asked to do so in accordance to FIFA rules. What upsets me is that Fifa has left the decision to enforce this rule upto to the discreation of the refree.

I am not impressed! I wish a stand had been taken!!!

Click here to read the article.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Identity Theft - Simple as 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

Last weekend, when I was asked what my hijab meant to me, I replied - security. This created some discussion amongst us. Can the hijab keep you safe?

Wearing the hijab provides the hijabi with a sense of comfort in her environment but - I hate to be the one to break it to you all - it wont keep predators away! (Sabira, thanks for shattering my sense of security ;))

Click here to watch some steps you can take to keep yourself safe at all times.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Donald Trump vs. Vince McMan

Its about 11:30pm. I am sitting with a cold cup of tea aimlessly watching tv. Nothing interesting to watch - Post Oscar reviews, reruns, Anna Nicole's courtcase, news....Despite the array of shows, I am watching WWE!

Asif and I are waiting to see who is going to have a shaved head. Here's hoping it is the Donald! That awful hairdo needs to go!!

More Views on Hijab

On the weekend, a few of us gathered to celebrate the fabric that covers our hair - the hijab. One of the questions we addressed in our gathering was:

"What does hijab mean to me?"

Here's a clip from from CBC. Check it out.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The-the-the Stammer

As I recite my few verses of Quran in the night, I am always confused about why I reread parts of an ayah, even though I know I have read it correctly the first time. It really began to annoy me, because my rereading was spoiling my flow.

I began observing my overall reading patterns. As a primary teacher, I am forced to read aloud everyday - not just read aloud, but read with theatricals.

Today, I was presented with a big book to read filled with a flurry of tiny words I did not completely understand. I began reading the book word for word - repeating parts as I read(hmmm... interesting. I do this with my Quran, I thought to myself). I did not understand what I was reading aloud. The more I read, the less I understood, the worse my reading aloud got. To save myself and my kids the grief of sitting through that awful read aloud, I stopped reading. I looked at the pictures in the book and ran my eyes quickly over the words I had just read. I got it! I picked up the book again and began reading out loud again - looking at the pictures to guide me and subsituting the words in the book for words that flowed out of my lips easily.

I began to think about my quran recitation. To describe my recitaton, it is stuttered at best - even after I practise. But then again, so is my reading in english! What gets me through in my daily english reading is my comprehension and the pictures. I cant use either crutch when reciting Quran. I dont get arabic and I cant use visual cues to guide me.


I am wondering why we cant have picture Qurans? So take a story from the Quran like the story of Prophet Yunus. Write a few ayats on a page and illustrate those ayats on the next. I think it would greatly assist stammering reciters like myself and would help Muslims comprehend Quran!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Trouble With Islam - according to some!

I am getting really tired of the images of muslim women shown on media - images of women fully clothed in dark colours, walking along dark, unhappy streets accompanied by - can you guess - dark, unhappy, scary music!

I am a muslim woman, who has visited various Muslim counties along my little travels, and have yet to see the the kind of women portrayed on TV. From my observations, there are women who wear the scarf (headpiece), others who wear an abba (robe-like dress) or a variation of it, and some prefer to wear the niqab (cover of their face with the exception of the eyes). But if you peer into our lives, you will see we are quite normal - and in no need for saving or freedom. My hijab liberates me in the same way that contact lenses liberates the optically challenged.

Anyway, I watched this clip on You Tube the other day. I know I wasnt an objective listener because I was angry before I even began listening to the guest speaker. So I waited a few days and listened to this clip again.

To view clip, click here

This time, more than angry, I was left confused. What is Irshad Manji's point? What does she want to reform with middle eastern women? Reform is only needed when something doesnt work - I am no expert but here are my thoughts. I am a Muslim woman, veiled "under a shroud of cloth", and I am happy! Imagine that - A content Muslim woman! A muslim woman who doesnt feel the need to be saved! What a blasphemous idea!

I did like one thing she said, "Muslims are going nowhere but forward"... I agree with her completely. I think Muslims are showing the world there is more to them to a terorist label!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Who Gets Valentine Day Royalties?

Another commercial holiday on my calendar - Valentine's Day!

For all those who celebrate this day - Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

Now, I am not cynical and it is not that I am not loved - at least I think I am - but really, to have a day specially designed to celebrate your love? C'mon!! My problem with V. day is how commercial it has become and how it makes those who are not in relationships feel.

Until I got married, I was one of those people. I remember being really sad on one V. day and my mom (in typical Anis Fazal fashion) gave me a Quran to cheer me up... hehe.

Anyway, I was thinking about it. Did St. Valentine die for love? Well, sort of I guess. He died for the love of his religion - Christianity. He was then jailed and beheaded as as result of not converting to paganism. In his final farewell letter to the jailer's daughter, he wrote "From Your Valentine". Interesting isnt it? How many times have you seen that in a card or have signed off your card with that phrase?

So who gets royalities for this phrase - Hallmark or St. Valentine?

St. Valentine did not die for the love of cards and chocolates! Nonetheless, February 14th is the national day of LOVE. If Valentines is supposed to be a day to celebrate love - then do something kind for all sorts of people.... spread love and joy through your actions.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Quran Link

To help me in my journey to learn Quran ( and maybe to free him from his tutoring position), Asif sent me this link today. I have been listening to it for the last few minutes ... and it is great!!! It is Quran recitation followed by the translation. So after ayat, the translation is read. You can change it to listen to the translation in Urdu or just to hear the Quran recitation.

Great for beginners!

A Guiding Hand

Allah definately works in mysterious ways.

Last weekend, I went for a retreat. My intention for going for this retreat was "I am always up for a trip". I pretended that it was to continue my haj journey into my western lifestyle, but I knew as I know Allah does - that it was just that - pretending.

Little did I know that Allah may have had other plans for me. When I left on Sunday from the retreat, tears were flowing freely from my eyes ( and you all know that I am not a cryer). I felt something within me change.

I will go into further details about my retreat in my next blog.

Anyway, I made some resolutions as I was leaving - like praying with conviction, trying to learn to recite the Quran and not listening to music. All three are my big jihads.

When I got home today, I shrugged away my thoughts of practising my Yasin. I sat down infront of the TV and turned on my laptop. Allah wasnt going to let me get away so easily. I recieved an email from one of my dear cousin who directed me to his blog.

As I read his blog, I couldnt believe I was going on a journey similar to his. I pulled some inspiation from his writings.

Check this site (if you want to begin to rejuvinate your soul). It helped me. Thank You

Saturday, February 03, 2007

What's Wrong With NOW??

It is Saturday, the first official day of the Women's Spiritual uplifting camp and I found myself awake at 5:45am!!
Anyway, an hour and a little later, a prayer and a ziyaraat later, a giggle and some chatter later, I am sitting on my bed thinking on yesterday's session. We began to embark on a journey to "wake up" our souls. We discussed that the soul can be either:

dead or alive
asleep or awake
ill or healthy

To understand our souls, we first need to wake it up. Perhaps most of our souls are in deep slumber. However, I found myself thinking - I think my soul is stirring, trying to awake, but I keep hitting the snooze button - hoping if I snooze for long enough, I wont have to wake up!

I loved the question it we ended with - "What is wrong with NOW?" Good question!!!

Why not wake up now?
Why dwell on the past?
Why worry on the future - which changes at every stroke??

Now is the time to wake up and do something - for your community, for Allah, for YOUR soul!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Mission Packing -

It is close to midnight and my eyes are almost closed, but so rarely do i get a blog request. So Azmina, this is for you. Ladies who are going on the retreat - have you seen the itenarary??????????? What have we gotten ourselves into??

To Pack (in order of when you will require them)
1. Bathtowel (for those who require their own! for the rest of us, it will be provided)

2. Supplies for the bath ie.. shower gel, shampoo, and deo
OPTIONAL: Face products, perfume

3. Clothing:
a. Track pants
b. Comfortable tops (I dont think there will be much emphasis on hijabi clothing as it is a women's retreat!!)
c. Abba - incase of black clothes alert!
d. Intimates -should i go into further detail??? All i have to say about this is - disposables alllllll the way!!!
e. Socks
f. Winter jacket
g. Scarf (for those that will not be wearing one on the trek to Barrie)

4. Food:
a. Chocolate
b. Candy
c. Any junk food!!!!!

5. Islamic gear:
a. Quran with translation
b. musalo with muhr (bring the one we got at haj)
c. Dua book for after namaaz
OPTIONAL: paper and pen - incase of sudden interest!

6. Meds:
a. Immodium (important!)
b. Tylenol
c. Cough syrup/tablets
OPTIONAL: Cyprol :)
Ladies, pls refrain from taking any vaccinations for the purpose of this trip. The organizers are preparing a special retreat vaccine - to boost our spiritual immune systems. Results may vary!Pls note: This vaccine has never been administered before! Pls excerise caution.

7. Tons of personality

Am I missing anything???

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Where's Waldo?

Align Left

Try and follow the tune:

Dear Allah has a home - E I E I O

And in his home, He had some pilgrims -E I E I O

With people here and people there,

Here people, there people,

Everywhere people, people!

Dear Allah has a home - E I E I O

The Criterion by men

I am going to take a detour from my haj trip.

Last Saturday marked the first day of the Islamic calendar - Muharram. Shiites mourn the massacre of the grandson of the Muhammed (PBUH) and his family. One of great traditions of this month is the daily majlises.

Today's majlis made me go hmmmmmmmm. The maulana talked about marriage and its benefits (which I completely agree with). What bothered me was his stereotypical potrayal of women.

Women shouldnt choose a partner based on the car a man drives or on his wealth was his message. I waited for him to continue, but he didnt.

First of all, few women still enter into a marriage for financial gain. I think as a result of our education, women make marriage decisions after considering akhlaq, chemistry and education.

More importantly, what of the criterion the men have set? Sounds a little like this:

The woman I will marry
- will not wear hijab
- must cook and clean
- will contribute to the running of the household

And so on ..... I can deal with the 2nd and 3rd point, but the first is a huge problem. This problem needs to be addressed especially from the mimbar. This new criterion some men have set have put women who observe hijab in a difficult spot.

I wish, rather than furthering wife and mother in law stereotypes, issues such as the above would be addressed from the pulpit!

Most Compehensive Pictures To Date

I want to say a special thanks to Nishat and Ali Jessa for taking some great haj pictures. I love the candid shots, and how the pictures reflect the diversity around us. Love them!!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Thinking About Blogging

Today I realized time is slipping away. When I was in haj, I made mental notes about interesting things I would love to blog about, but when I think about it, I am overwhelmed. I cannot figure out whether I should write chronologically, or to write based on significance. The problem is time. It is not the lack of it, but with every event comes a "write" time frame. I feel like my "write" time about haj is quickly coming to an end and I haven't even started writing. I am feeling pressed for time!!!

I will soon begin documenting my trip - according to importance to me. Should I run out of time, here are some things I would have loved to talk about.

1. The "khhhh" phenomenon (you know - the sound that accompanies the dispelling of phlegm - urg)
2. The paradox of value - our reverence of Janaat -ul - Baqi and little attention paid to Janaat -ul- Maula
3. The Exodus - connections I made to the India/Pakistan separation during our journey out of Mina
4. Squatting in style - my expert advise for the wanabe Hajis
5. Beyond the books - looking beyond dua and quran for spirituality - looking at my surroundings and reflecting on my journey was the best part of my trip
6. Vertical and Horizontal relationships. Bonds are created - between you and Allah (vertical relationship) and between you and your community (horizontal relationships). For me haj was all about the horizontal - creating new bonds and re-establishing and mending old friendships.
7. Rooftop spirituality - numb noses and toes did not stop us from attending the rooftop majlises led by Abbas Virji and Sheikh Amar (why isn't Abbas referred to as Sheikh)
8. Appreciations - Where should I begin?

Enjoying nearness to Allah on a quiet day :)


Haj is all about change - well, for most. Looking around me in Mina, I realized that while we were all trying to make some changes in our lives, most of the men made a significant change in their physical appearance.

Here is Asif before Halaq:

Asif and friends after halaq

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Arsenal Who?

That's what people are going to be saying after their match on Sunday against Man U!!

For the past four years, Man U has gotten no respect in this house. I have had to work in an Arsenal glorifying environment. I have been tricked into not purchasing Man U memorabilia and many attempts have been to brainwash me(And I almost budged after I saw Reyes ... ohhh!!).

I have a feeling my luck is changing... Arsenal's God - Henry - has been sleeping and his goals seem more like luck than skill! On Sunday, skill will challenge luck! On Sunday, Man U will find glory in this house!!


Anis - I am rooting for Chelsea as well. There is no place for Liverpool in the English Premire League - its a league for champions.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Materialistic joy!!

Introducing my new love - my new laptop! So excited to be blogging infront of my tv!!


Celebrating History

This month, let us celebrate history - it is Black History Month.

Monday, January 15th marked Martin Luther King Day. Martin Luther King, along with individuals like Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges helped to change the face of racism.

One of the special books I read on this day is "Martin's Big Words". This book really has the power to move me - almost to tears (tears are rare for me). It introduces people to words important to the revolution - words like FREEDOM, PEACE, LOVE, KINDNESS and JOY!

I would like to wish all those who have dealt with some sort of racism - joy and peace!

Who knows? Maybe one day we will have Islamic History Month and we will celebrate history through individuals like you who have taken daily strides to promote peace and joy.

Maybe one of these guys??!!

With Love...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Generations of Silenced Girls

I cant get over I almost did not go for the walking ziyaraat in Mecca! To think I almost went shopping - my vanity continues to surprise me!

I stood in silence for several minutes at this spot.

During the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), women were not held in high regard (somethings never really change). One of the cruelest practices of this time was to bury new born baby girls alive. Why? Girls were regarded as "shameful" and girls cannot carry their father name through history. I don't know... call me crazy, but if I had a father who wanted me dead, I wouldn't want to carry his name either!

Here is the graveyard where the newborn baby girls were buried alive. Let their death not go in vain. Their silence says more than my words can -

"I wasn't free", I hear them whispering in my ears. "You are, you are, you are...."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Little Mosque On The Prairie

Love it! This new sitcom aired today - Tuesday on channel 6 at about 8:30pm

Basically it is about a little Muslim community trying to purchase a mosque and build a community.


I loved the character of the typical maulana (the kind that takes his pagri off and cries into a huge rumal). Shortly after being introduced to typical maulana sahib enters the "Abbas Virji/Sheikh Amar" type maulana! I need to say it again - LOVE IT!

For anyone who thought of the hijab as unattractive, this show will make you think again. The female lead - fully covered - was absolutely gorgeous.

And what Muslim community would be complete without Mama Fatema - a proud Muslim woman tightly holding on to traditions and lamb curry!

While I think this show is the best thing to air on national television since Dancing With Stars (conflict of interest here!?!), I am afraid to find out what the rest of the Muslim population thought of it... I hope it is viewed with humour and an understanding that such media attention will serve to educate people. What kind of education can people get?

1. Muslims are normal - sometimes even funny!!
2. Constantly labeling us as "terrorist" affects our daily lives
3. Like all other communities, we have insecurities
4. Hijab is beautiful

And I got all of this from watching ONE show! It is a MUST see!

Name: Little Mosque On The Prairie
Airs: Tues, Channel 6 @ 8:30pm and/or Weds - CBC @ 8:00pm

Monday, January 08, 2007


Standing, well more like sleeping, on the photocopying machine during lunch, a teacher asks me,
"Fatema, how are you here after your trip?"
"With great difficultly" I responded and I meant it.

My eyes are drooping. I long for either a large Tim Horton's double-double or my bed!

Okay, so I know I resolved not to complain but I think it is okay - just this once!

I feel upset because I was unable to enjoy my morning coffee. When I walked into my class this morning, I was so unimpressed to see the state of my class .. books on the carpet, food on the floor, papers everywhere.. urg! I spent the whole morning cleaning. In all this chaos, my hot coffee quickly turned cold and stood unhappy and forgotten on my desk! All because of my inefficient MALE supply teacher!

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Never has my soft mint-green comforter looked as good as it did yesterday. After wolfing down a home cooked meal (thanks mom), I jumped into my bed and embraced my comforter. Familiar scents of home greeted me. I fluffed my pillow. Hmmm..... life was good. Thoughts I had been harbouring of changing my comforter for the past few years quickly left port. I LOVE my comforter, my bed, my kitchen, my dingy, old desktop computer! I love it all. I am definitely happy to be home!

Like all the other 2006-2007 hajis, I have come down with a case of Hajities. Coined by Ruqayyah and Sidika, Hajities comes from the root word Bronchitis and it simply means having a severe cough and an uncomfortable cold. I would like to add another dimension to this term.

Hajities affects not only a haji's physical being, but his or her mental capacity as well. I awoke quite a few times last night, unaware of where I was. I guess being on the road for three weeks and staying at random "NO FRILL" hotels, overloaded tents and outdoor airport terminals would do that to you. In addition to feeling misplaced, all day long I have been expecting people to come home. I need to keep reminding myself - I no longer live with eight roommates, I can take a fifteen minute guiltless shower, zuhr and asr is 2 and 2 rakaats, I mean, 4 and 4 not 2 and 2 rakaats, and food will not be served on the mezzanine level... I have to cook again :(

Wow... getting over hajities is harder than I expected! While I am definitely glad to be home, I think I am already missing my haj family! I believe it is true what people say - "The friends you make during haj are the friends you will have for life!"