Wednesday, December 20, 2006

1st leg of journey

Here are some views from my camera. I am learning to use the different styles it has and haven't mastered it yet. I like sepia tone one and there is another style that highlights a certain color. I will add more pics as I take them. Enjoy.



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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A midflight proposal


I mulled over where to plug in my computer so I could recharge my ipod but all I could see were sockets that looked destroyed. I was restless and irritable and became more so as people started filling the little waiting area. An hour before the flight was scheduled for take off, I was sitting snugly between two swahili speaking girls and swapping stories. I had also figured out that since I wasn't in the US the plugs in Amsterdam airport had a different look and I had my converter out and my ipod charging. It was fixing to be a nice flight considering it was going to be almost eight hours long. The only scar to the trip was going to be the security officer who tossed my cleanser and moisturizer because it was 18 mls above the limit. Which was ridiculous since the bottle said 118 mls but it was half full. I was pissy as I walked into the plane and ended up knocking into someone with my backpack. I apologized and sat in my seat. There was an empty spot between me and the lady at the window. Finally an aisle seat! I was hoping the middle seat remained vacant but a few minutes later a middle aged man walked up to my seat and started peering at his boarding pass curiously. He was supposed to sit opposite from me but another lady had mistakenly taken his seat. Graciously he said he didn't mind taking the lady's seat if she could point him to the right one. It was the middle seat. Damn it, I thought.





As he settled in his seat, he turned to me and inquired about my well being. We started talking about books, politics, airport security and kenyans. He lived in New Hampshire. His father had died a week ago. He was smart and funny. He spoke about religions. Apparently wearing hijabs is a fashion statement and he inquired to my faith. I pointed to my headscarf in exclamation and his laughter boomed across the plane. I assisted him in operating his movie console and remote, he in turn kept me entertained the whole trip. The lady he switched seats with was as delightful. She was full of wisdom and stories. She was heading home to properly mourn the loss of her first born son. Coincidence? I was going home to visit my great-grandma who was sickly and in fear of death. We discussed death for a while but I decided not to venture too deep into it. I was scared of what would meet me when I got to my great-grandma's bedside. After eating and drinking a couple Heineken, he dozed off leaving me to my ipod and movies. Around breakfast time, I got up to freshen up and nudged him awake because the hostess was coming around with food.


I walked back to my seat to find my food waiting and my drink of diet pepsi fizzing on his table. He smiled coyly at me and says, "I told the hostess my wife needs her breakfast and would be mad if she didn't leave anything." He also points out the diet-pepsi making me gape at his observance to my drinks all night. My admirer was on a full fledged attack now. He spoke of how he never gets along with people under 27 but with me it was relatively easy. He spoke of how he is willing to give up his religion to become a muslim if I gave him a chance. He also spoke of his past which was colorful. I giggled because he wasn't shy about his interest, but he knew he was not getting anywhere. As we got ready to land, he asked if I was staying for a while. I told him nope and wished him a pleasant stay. My trip was over and I had been entertained and I wasn't about to take this man up on his marriage proposal.


Ps:- the pics were taken by me while waiting to board the plane.

Friday, December 15, 2006

tranSIT till my butt fell asleep

I am halfway through my journey to the dark continent and I am already tired. I am exhausted physically and mentally. I wish I could shut off like half of these people on the plane but I can't sleep a wink. So far from Detroit to Holland I have watched three movies in succession, ODed on diet pepsi and eaten breakfast and dinner. My eyes are itching cause my contacts want out and my butt is half asleep. The airport in holland is beautiful but the way I am feeling I couldn't be bothered. I looked for a Wifi hotspot and plugged in but I have to get back to my terminal soon because I want to schmooze with folks and kill boredom of the flight. I haven't read but two chapters of my book and my ipod hasn't had any playtime yet. All I can say is I can't wait to lie on a cold pair of sheets and taking a bath. This is how bad I hate being on transit, I actually went to a KLM desk and asked them to put me on the next flight available to my destination. I can't believe they only operate one flight per day! Are you kidding me? Its Christmas for Christ sake, don't you think you can add another flight on the rooster. Anyway I am done bitching. I am off to look for a place where I can get a decent cup of espresso and maybe go wash my face and freshen up. SAVE ME PLEASE!! Some dude from West Africa just came up to me to ask me about flights and stuff. He can't speak good english and all i can gather is he is heading to Kiev and wants to pick up his luggage. I thought if you are in transit you don't pick up your luggage, the airline takes care of all the headache. Maybe I should be worried about my luggage?? nah.......I got what I need in my carry on: My laptop, my books, my contacts, my feminine toilteries and my cell phone. No wonder my back is breaking. Pray that I don't have to have any issues when I get to Africa, I would hate to have an excuse never to go back there.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Mixed Union

My friend is getting married this December. Its been close to a decade since she met her husband to be and now after all the struggles they are getting married. She will not have any family at the wedding because her mother is against the wedding and its out of the country. When she told me I felt bad for her because a wedding is a joyous occasion to share with all those you love. She will be with her husband's family but no one she can call her own. I will be traveling towards that area so I meaning to suprise her and come to her wedding. Its in Addis-Ababa. I don't even know how I will get there but she is a friend and a sister and least I can do is fly a few hundred miles and see her through the greatest step in her life.

I was thinking about her mother's objection to the wedding. It used to be she needed to finish school but she is done and still the objection remains. Could it be because the guy is half Ethiopian-half Italian? Could it be a discriminatory objection? Would my mother object if I did the same thing? I love my mother but I would like to think if I chose a husband and he was a God fearing muslim she would accept him. Is there something in the older generation that makes them think that mates should be from within their own race? As transportation gets easier and people move from place to place its getting more common for men and women to find mates from other races. Yet, in somalis there is not much conformation to this thought. In my family alone I have had cuzzins, grandpa and aunties who married white people. They have never being accepted by our extended family but in our house they found refuge. I remember the guy who married my cuz even came to my grandma's funeral at our house, even though his marriage had being destroyed by all the talk within in the family. I remember him wearing a khamis and giving hugs to us and telling us sorry. Instead of accepting his condolences the extended family kept asking what the hell he was doing there. I felt so ashamed and made it an effort to keep him a company during his visit.

Its unfortunate that we get caught up in our differences instead of our similarities. There are Mashallah plenty of great somali guys out there but if Allah places a brother (from another race) in your path who seems to meet all the criteria shouldn't you then say Alhamdullilah and accept him? Shouldn't your family be happy that you found a person to complete your deen with? I also noticed a trend that many woman prefer reverts as husbands because they tend to be more steadfast in their faith.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Di Dutty Wine Anyone?

A new craze on the dance floor ladies and gentlemen. Fair warning though there have been cases where injury occured while getting your dutty wine on. I luv dancehall and ragga, hell anything that can keep me on the dance floor (my room) for more than five minutes sits well with me, but i am not sure about dutty wine. In Jamaica a girl got injured and now some people are asking for the dance to be banned from clubs. Seriously, forget getting injured, I am wondering what a man watching a girl do the dutty wine is thinking. The dancing is more than provocative it is plain suggestive. The neck is rotated with the same vigor as the ass, not to mention the splits performed in the dance. Watching Tony Matterhorn perform with audience members onstage, even he can't resist grabbing the woman and resting her squarely on his pelvis. Its a nice tune and all but looking at the different clips on youtube I can only imagine what messages this dance sends.

My fav clips of Dutty Wine is by a Colombian Dude and he kills it!

Ps:- For some reason the head swinging makes me think of arabic dances. In mombasa at weddings the bride used to swing her head till she fell. Wondering if thats arabic influence on dancehall?? I can't tell.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Concept of Forgiveness


I ask for no forgiveness father, for I have not sinned. I only did what I had to do to survive. A small boy asked me once if I was a bad man. If I could answer him now, I would tell him that when I was his age, I killed a man to save my brother. I am not sorry for this... I am proud of this. I was not asked for the life that I was given, but it was given none-the-less... and with it, I did my best


I am thinking of this remark made by a character in the show Lost. Eko, who is the character, caused his brother's (priest) death due to his greed and has being followed by his demons since. The scene in which he makes this remark, he is been told by the ghost of his brother to confess and ask for forgiveness and the above is his reply.


Sometimes I question the obvious but when Eko said what he said it triggered something in me. There are moments in my life, and I am not ashamed to admit it, where I ask the same thing. People accept many things in life and one of which is the religious doctrine we are handed. Sins and the concept of sins has always alluded me. I could be just thick in the brain but from the creation of Adam and Eve, humans have being slated to sin. Our life revolves around either dodging sins or getting caught up in it. The DOs and the DON'Ts. See, I don't think its blasphemous to ask or maybe its due to the nature of my upbringing (my dad always told me to question everything someone handed to me including religion). So, here are a set of questions.



  1. Why is our life revolved around sins?

  2. If our time on earth is a test, and many of us failing this test, what is the point?

  3. Forgiveness is granted to the sincere and remorse, but if they stumble again they are eligible for forgiveness. How does that work out with an end goal?

  4. "I am human, I stumble and fall." I do my best but what if my best is never going to be good enough?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Please Leave Your Senses at the Door

I do. I forego my senses everytime I walk into this room. Its not an ordinary room. The whole room is made up of mirrors and not just mirrors but mirrors of different properties. The mirrors make me see things I never usually pay close attention to, like the crinkle by lips that is getting deeper due to the increase in the number of forced smiles or the clearing up of my skin due to my use of proactive. Today, I walk to the center of the room and turn to stare at the different individuals looking back at me. They each take form. One is mad at the world. One is patient with the world. One is in love with the world. One is betrayed by the world. Each individual showcases their emotion clearly on their faces and bodies. They take on a form in their own entirety, shedding me in the process. I stand watching as each starts speaking. They have voices! Angry voices! Smart voices! Nice voices! Sweet voices! Loving voices! Crying voices! Sad voices! I struggle to understand them but their voices rise together like waves and crash with a roar upon my ears. Their emotions jump across the mirrors and envelop me, caressing me and touching me, begging me. I cringe yet its not out of disgust. I know what these emotions are. I have continually denied them in my life, always pushing them to the back of my mind and hoping they would stay there. I hug my arms to my body and kneel on the ground. I rock back and forth in the familiar motion of mother to a sleeping child. Pretty soon the roar subsides and when I look up the mirrors reflect only me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

How biased can one be?

I am pissed, not mad but pissed off. I was sitting back today when a friend of mine posted a link for me to check out. It linked to a documentary that FOX channel aired. The documentary was titled; Obsession:Radical Islam's War Against the West. Is the title supposed to make me feel better that Fox takes apart my religion by separating the radical from the moderate, while in their documentary there was no moderates but only radicals shown. Prayers and khutbah's are seen as congregations of potential terrorists. No wonder we can't even pray in public places without drawing suspicion to ourselves. They talk of Arab media spreading propaganda but American media spreads more propaganda than any media outlets out there. Talk about bias. The mind boggles at the kettle calling the pot black. Lets talk about the children depicted in the video. These children were mainly from palestinians who live in a war torn country, constantly dehumanized and desensitized to the violence. I am sorry but I would have to be dumb to expect a mad person to act sane. These are people who have moved their reasoning to the far left as a reaction to the atrocities commited to them. How many of the clips were taken out of context? How much of the clips shown aren't doctored to throw Islam and immigrants in bad light? "America is being strangled by its own laws?" So, basically throw out all muslim immigrants because you don't know whom among them is a potential radical. Its absolutely revolting that a susposed news channel that should give two sides of an arguement can be so blantantly biased. Worse still is the comparison to Nazism. If anyone was really interested in finding out what motivates these acts of violence then perhaps they should do an investigation on what it is that makes a moderate muslim a radical? What must he have seen/experienced to dehumanize and desensitize him so much that he would forsake his life? Everytime I turn around these days its one thing or another about Islam. Our religion's name has being placed in the context of radical and acts of terror so much that most people can't distinguish between the two. I weep for our Ummah.

Watch Obsession.

Pesky Weddings

I haven't gone to a wedding for two years but I had to go to one on Saturday night. I say had to because if it was a personal choice I would rather not turn up to the gathering. My first cousin was getting hitched to her hubby, someone I didn't even know nor have I met ever. She informed me of her wedding three weeks before the date via a phonecall informing me that I was expected to do the camera work. What irritated me was the fact that its not the first time that my extended family feels like my services are available for them at their every whim. I was scheduled to work that saturday till 6 pm and I didn't feel like standing, with a camera permanently attached to my hand, for another 7 hours. Furthermore, for a person that doesn't talk to you nor see you except once a year, thats a mighty favor to ask of them. I might come across as embittered but here is my reasoning. If you are going to have a wedding its your wedding, not mine. You want to make a big hoopla about it go right ahead, but do not drag me into it just because you are trying to cut corners financially. Thank God she got the hint that I didn't want to do it and got someone else to do it.


I hate weddings especially family weddings cause undoubtly talking will begin on how everyone is dressed, what hairstyle they have, what food is being served, how much money was spent etc. Its everywhere you turn and I can't stand it. The chickenheads trying to outdo each other with their dance moves and gyrating their bodies to the floor just so that they are seen as cool. Its a ritual that I fail to understand. The same girl you see doing the nasty with the floor will be wearing an abaya tommorrow and telling you she is sanctified and holy. Its like they conviniently forget the camera is trained on their butt shaking the whole time. I told my mother I am not cut out for these kinds of events. The only ones I seem to be comfortable in are the ones hosted by somali sujuis, and maybe those are because they tend to just focus on celebrating the union instead of all the other lil evil things that most somali weddings seem evolved to become about. I hope it will be another four years before I attend another wedding!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Female abuser


Last night as I got home from work, I sat on my bed contemplating my horrible day. My head was pulsating with an urgency, signaling the ever present headache. I reach out to grab my bottle of water and a couple tablets of my topamax. I knew it was no use because the migraine was going to be full fledged within an hour, but that didn't deter me from being optimistic. My head had barely touched the pillow when I heard raised voices from the living room. Not wanting to get up from sheer lack of energy, I listened to canopy ensuing between my younger brother and my younger sister. I told myself that they were old enough to resolve their differences without me getting involved each time. "Leylaaaaaaaaaa! Leeeeeeyla!" screamed my older sister as the tumbling of bodies echoed throughout the hallway. Pissed and irritated I get my butt out of bed to play the mediator. This was not a good day for me and I was stupid enough to believe I would find peace in this house. I walk into the living room to find my younger sister lying on the floor ,my older sister's body shielding her from the blows my brother was throwing. I almost burst out laughing but realize the seriousness of the situation and take action instead. I quickly maneuver my body in between my brother and my sisters. Planting my weight against the sofa I pushed him off them and turned my steely eyes to him. "What in the Hell do you think you are doing?" I yell. My older sister helps the younger one up and they all start speaking at the same time. I turn to the younger girl and tell her to shut up because her voice grates against my nerves. Facing the 5 ft 9 " teenager who seems to be ready to pounce on me, I ask my question again this time counting off my exasperation at this show of idiocracy.


The argument begun with my sister donning a pair of jeans and my brother, "the wadaad", ordering her not to step out the house with the jeans on. I smile as I listen to how passionately he positions his argument. Meanwhile, the chickenhead is slowly seeing that she will come out on the rosy side of things and start clucking her head off. I let her blow off stem for a while and pretty soon a shouting match ensues between her and her assailant. She turns on her heels and grabs the phone threatening to dial 911. He beats his chest and states he is not scared of 911 because his religion assures him he is right. My older sister looks to me for intervention and I can't be bothered to mother these two adolescents. I claim my phone back from the chickenhead and tell her to sit down and let me deal with this. She doesn't pay me any attention and keeps grating on my nerves with her shrill voice. **Slap**, I let my palm make my point, she instantly shuts up and sits down.

I turn my attention back to the so called "man" of the house. I lay down reasons why he can't raise a hand to her. She has parents who are living and breathing, she is not your wife nor your daughter, she is her own person and the most you can do is advice her on her course of action. "You and your western values, who do you think you are?" he throws it back in my face. I calmly look him in the eye and smirk, "I am the one who pays for your roof and your food." He opens his mouth to retort something but instead chooses to go to the bathroom to take a shower. I breath deeply as I try to fight the urge to punch the stupid out of him. I face my younger sister, by now she has a golf sized bulge on her head. I grab an ice pack from the freezer and slap it in her hand, after which I go off on her. I tell her how dumb she is that she can talk back to people but can't defend herself against a beating. She is asinine because this is the second time I bailed her out of an ass-whuping, courtesy of my brothers, due to her afka dheer. The last time she ended up with a grapefruit sized knob on her head. I shake my head at her and tell her to lie down. I grab my phone and proceed to let their mother know what happened and let her deal with the punishment.

The rest of the night went by relatively quiet. I sat up in my bed trying to nurse my migraine when my other sister came in from her night classes. I share with her the events of the night and we share a good laugh over how childish the squabble was, but we both understand there is a deeper issue we need to address; our brother's aggression against women. He seems angry at the world and more at women than anything. I can't seem to find an inlet in his psyche that I can penetrate and explore why he feels the way he does. My sister and I talk about the numerous ass whupping I used to deliver to my older brother everytime he felt an urge to exercise control. I used to be a tom-boy in my hey days and didn't take crap from anyone especially a man. If he could swing from the branches, so could I. If he could dive from the highest diving board, so could I. If he scored so many goals in soccer, I would work to score twice as much as he did. I was competitive and brazen. My best friends were male and I formulated my male ego, but I digress. My uncle had christened me Tyson. I had the knack of showing my frustration by punching something or somebody, but if I recall right he called me Tyson because one time my brother and I had a fight and my brother tried to defend himself by tangling my body with his and scratching my arms and face to stop the flurry of fists. I ended up doing more damage than he did, plus he left evidence of his attack while mine melted into his skin tone. The next day, my dad watched me out of the corner of his eyes noticing the scratch marks. That evening as my brother walked in from masjid, my dad lay in wait for him with a TV-VCR wire. I felt sorry for my brother at that time, but I remember thinking that he was learning a critical lesson and that was never to lay a hand on a woman. I can't help but make a comparison. I wish my younger brother could learn his lesson now otherwise I fear he will carry this mentality with him throughtout his life. The mentality that he is the man and therefore all should do as he wants. That he free to punish whenever & whoever he feels like. I am now scared of leaving the younger ones in his care due to his aggression.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Weirdo.....Schmeirdo

So Fallen Angel tagged me to list 6 weird traits about me. I don't know if I can fulfill the full 6 but I will try my best. The origin of this lies in this rule :

Each player of this game starts with the “6 weird things about you”. People who get tagged need to write a blog post of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names (Sunshine).


    1. I sound like a white woman with no accent but look like a black woman, even my mother sometimes thinks I am white when she calls my job and I happen to pick up the phone. I also sound younger than I am and often mistaken for my younger siblings.
    2. I carry a book and camera with me everywhere I go and stop to take pictures when I feel moved to.
    3. When I am nervous, there is no infliction in my voice. I could be nervous and sweating during a speech but you can never tell from looking at me. I project confidence.
    4. I am too intune with my body. I can skip my monthlies just by telling my body, " I can't deal with it this month, I'm too wired". I can also tell when I am about to get ill and how long it takes me to recover. Often this also translates with me being able to diagnose other people's ailment to the T.
    5. I am fearless of everything except needles, but alhamdullilah I am getting over that fear these days.
    6. I suffer from an odd form of OCD. I like everything in their place and if its not I can't work. When I come into my work and find it messy, I clean it up before i can begin filling prescriptions but on the other hand in my room its a form of organized chaos. I know where everything is and if anyone moved it but to others its a disaster area.

So now I have to tag six other folks to air out their quirks. I tag:-

  • BlueEpocha
  • Twoadvocates
  • Angry Somali Man
  • Pucca &/Idil
  • Aya
  • Doubting Thomas.

Ps:- I have no delusion as to how many of those tagged will actually participate. Godspeed.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Political Ads

Since the midterm elections are over, 2008 election campaigns are just beginning. This is one of the anti-bush that makes me chuckle each time. Take a look @ "Bush ad".

Consumerism @ its best


There are a bunch of people sleeping outside today in the cold. Why? Because the Playstation III is coming out tommorrow. I was huddled into my coat, sweater, sweatshirt and gloves as I walked past weirdos just like these. Ok no offense, but what is so important about this system that you would be sitting out in the cold air to get it? Is it going to prevent world hunger? Going to cure AIDS? I just can't see the logic behind this. There are only going to be 400,000 available for sale in the US. Whats more bizarre is the madness thats going to occur in the morning as people push and shove to get in the door first. The madness is going to be people paying $ 7000 for the system on Ebay and my friend is one of the people selling it on Ebay. The day I will mimic this behaviour is the day that anyone is welcome to take a shotgun and take a shot at me.

Photo by TGdaily.com

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Understanding your child

Lots of my friends will tell you I have certain philosophies about children. I love children so much and for some reason unbeknownst to me they love me too. But this is not about my love for children but more my understanding of how they work. There are two articles that caught my interest. The first one deals with babies and the second one about learning.

We all know that babies have their own language. Hell most of us have tried to imitate them by going "goo goo gah gah". Did you know that you can understand what their cries mean? Each cry signifies a need that will stop the endless fussing that mothers go through trying to figure out what their child needs. No matter what race or culture, all babies, between 0-3 months, use these five basic "words".


"Neh"="I'm hungry"
"Owh"="I'm sleepy"
"Heh"="I'm experiencing discomfort"
"Eair"="I have lower gas"
"Eh"="I need to burp"



Priscilla Dustan, an Australian mom, has a photographic memory for sound. She was on Oprah plugging her cd coming out on 11/27 and she showed examples (clips) of what these sounds are like. Inshallah I will be getting the cd and add it to my library. I think its such a wonderful breakthrough and a lot of mothers not to mention children will be better off from it. On a side note though, most mothers do develop an understanding for their child's needs but there are some mothers who do not develop this connection. For these mothers its absolutely horrible and they go through depression and sometimes do harm unto themselves or children because of it.



The second article was about Dr Mel Levine, a pediatrician from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Dr Levine has a theory about children and learning. He believes that all brains are wired differently. Though many critics cite his theories as unfounded, the speech I heard him giving was full of Aha moments. A website with more information is www.allkindsofminds.org. I probably will pick up two of his books, A mind at a time & Ready or not, here life comes. Intrigued? Here is an excerpt of his speech:

Ricky is a sixth grader with a brilliant imagination and advanced language skills, but he can't write. That's because he has trouble handling spelling, punctuation, grammar, letter formations and facts all at once with a sheet of paper in front of him. Adults call him lazy, and he is fast becoming a 'bad' boy.

Then there's Beth, a bright kid who gets stymied by sequences of anything – multi-step instructions or math problems, or even presenting her ideas when she talks or writes. Her classmate Wendy is an effervescent red-haired girl of many talents who nevertheless endures constant frustration because she has serious problems remembering what she has read, even though she can understand the content quite well. As she puts it: "Whenever I read, each sentence erases the one that went before it."

These are examples of children with normal or superior overall cognitive ability who are contending with differences in the wiring of their brains, subtle but important neurodevelopmental variations that impede their learning productivity and enjoyment of education. In addition to deficiencies in basic skills – such as reading, writing or mathematics – some of the manifestations are less obvious. The kids may have difficulties managing time, expressing ideas in language, remembering facts or problem-solving methods on a test, understanding key concepts or gaining social acceptance from peers

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Preparations

Say Hello to Mama's toy! I got me a toy last weekend. I haven't splurged on gadget tools since I last bought my ipod three years ago and so I feel like I totally deserve this gift. Its a sony touchscreen hardrive camcorder. It holds about 40 hours of footage and with one touch you can burn your footage on DVD. The LCD monitor swivles 270 degrees which for me means this time around I have no excuse not to be in my shots.Its not the smallest thing out there but my small hands can firmly grip this lil gadget without the risk of me fumbling. My favourite part though is use of touchscreen for navigation. I can't wait to put this baby into action on my trip Inshallah.

On a sadder note, I am bed ridden with a cross of bronchial infection and pneumonia. Its unpleasant especially when I keep getting night sweats each night. I finally broke down and went to the doc and now I am on a strict regiment of antiobiotics which lets face it if its viral I might just as well pull a rabbit out of a hat. Only light to my day was finally watching Da Vinci Code and getting a round trip ticket to Cairo for $900 bucks. I am such a trip addict and I am anal about planning everything and at the last moment throwing all my plans to the wind and just living in the moment. I am getting plenty of tips from friends and I even found out that my brother in law's brother (is there one word to say that?) lives there, so I can get to see the other side of my sister's nuclear family. Obviously there is that tiny itsy wintsy problem of not knowing where I will lay my head once I get there but I am fully confident that Inshallah it will work itself out.

Gerald Levert died last week of a heart attack. He was the son of one of the Ojays and was once a member of LSG. I remember many a night me listening to his album the G-Spot. His musical contributions will solely be missed. In an era where music leaves little to the imagination, Gerald knew how to croon to a lady's heart.

I think I have to quit because my head is stuffy and I can barely get enough oxygen in my lungs. Dress warm and always disinfect surfaces because you never know what germs might be lying in wait for you.

Ps:- Has anyone noticed a pesky pop-up everytime my page pops up? Anyone know how to address this issue? Or do I just write to blogger staff and let them deal with it?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

In & Out of Time

The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance...
our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We have loved each other in and out of time.
When the first stone looked up at the blazing sun
and the first tree struggled up from the forest floor
I had always loved you more.
You freed your braids...
gave your hair to the breeze.
It hummed like a hive of honey bees.
I reached in the mass for the sweet honey comb there....
Mmmm...God how I love your hair.
You saw me bludgeoned by circumstance.
Lost, injured, hurt by chance.
I screamed to the heavens....loudly screamed....
Trying to change our nightmares to dreams...
The sun has come.
The mist has gone.
We see in the distance our long way home.
I was always yours to have.
You were always mine.
We have loved each other in and out
in and out
in and out
of time.

by Maya Angelou

It is what spices up life. Yet, when we seek it, it is never there. We impose our definition of it when we do find it & in one swift motion kill its purpose.Our trials and tribulations mold our view of love. I started off rejecting the notion of love, progressed to embodying it and finally like everything in life I ended up where I started. Love trancedes gender, race, religion, tribe and everything in between. Love is universal and it is this trait that makes it a scarce commodity. It sends shivers up your spine and in the same instant it can bloody your nose or worse break the very organ that beats its rhythm. The rhythm that resounds and is amplified by the weakness in my knees, my tummy doing the cartwheels and the inevitable rush of blood to my loins. 'Tis a bittersweet fruit this love but I am entraced by it. It weaves a web around my writhing body as I try to escape. Leave me be, I yell. This ride is not yet begun comes the swift answer as the beating of my heart increases twicefold. I twist and turn, look south and north but never at the object of my frustration or should I say desire. The clock chimes the witching hour and I cringe for time is a bitch to chase. Must be due to the two xtra hands it possess. I got you NOW, as I manuever into a more comfortable position. I look up and gasp, for the image I see is me alone, haggard and alone. All this time I was running away from myself and time wasn't even a factor.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Nationalist pride



I was visiting my cuz this morning when he made me watch this clip from youtube.com I didn't understand everything about what she said but something about her voice and the way she seems to convey her message pulled at me. So, can y'all help me out in translating the whole thing? Much appreciated to anyone who does.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Season Begins


NBA season is finally here! First night and the bulls are dousing the heat. I can't wait for tommorrow night. Lakers and Suns are playing now and I can't even finish watching the game cause my sis has a craving for Wendy's. You know the slogan, eat great even late. Why can't a man enjoy a good game on the telly without being bothered. Opps I mean person. Gosh, this brain of mine belongs in a man body. I got to run and take this little girl to the fast food joint and maybe put some gas in my car. Or better yet coax her into paying for my gas. My stress levels are peaked to the point that I don't care no more. Work was busy per usual but what was worse was when I looked at tommorrow's schedule and noticed I was going to fly solo without a cashier for two hours. I almost quit. The good thing was my boss was there for me to point out the unfairness of the situation. He was pissed! but I hustled and convinced one of the cashiers to work. Hopefully tommorrow should be a better day and I can come back and watch some B-Ball with my feet up cause Thursday I am OFF!! What to do with myself? Lock myself up and study for my midterm thats what. Or at least thats the plan. Wish me luck! After this week ends, I will be concentrating on pinning down the issues for the candidates in the MN races. That alone requires my calm persona coupled with my critical brain. Ha, look out political analysts.

Ps:- Don't #23 Lebrown look mighty fine. **sighs** (I had to put that in to convince myself and you, I was still a woman)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dire needs within my sphere.

I need a holiday. I am overworked and miserable. I have never hated going to work but after this week I am beginning to despise the darn place. Everytime I walk in the place is a mess and I have to clean it up. The person in charge always find managerial things to do instead of working. She is new to our team and I am personally beginning to despise her. I have never seen my boss so wound up, never seen Joe grumbling or cussing under his breath. Something has to give. There is no system in place. The workflow is hectic and personally I feel drained by the time I leave the pharmacy. I feel like I was mining instead of filling drugs. Ughhhhhh......I am in desparate need for a holiday. I am thinking of going to Egypt and spending the five weeks from school learning arabic and maybe doing some sightseeing. Moonlight boat trip on the nile, camel ride to the pyramids, ancient & vibrant culture, islamic enviroment, beautiful abayas, all this and getting away from my life propels me to ask for the weeks off from work. Normally, I would feel guilty for leaving my poor boss with a handful of competent staff but seriously he dug himself into this hole, he can get himself out of it by firing Ms Alabama. She just is not working out and is going to drive me bananas if I see any more 30+ Rx's sitting and waiting to be filled when I walk in!

My sisters are going to send me to my grave faster than death. One of the tween aged girls decides that whenever I am home I should be in the kitchen slaving for them. Excuse me but i finally got a day off from school, I got laundry piling up and sleep to catch up on. I felt guilty waking up at 10 am but to my amazement she turns to me, in her bed mind you, grumbling when I open the windows at 11am. Then, she proceeds to watch TV instead of cleaning the house. Finally, I just tell her politely that I will throw the big a$$ TV out the patio if she doesn't clean the house. I had a couple errands to do, so I left the house and when i come back she was right where I left her. Holy guacomole, do you isbeak ingris nayaa? I was fuming but I had other things to deal with, so I did my laundry and got ready for work. Work suxed. I came home and cleaned up my room and put away my clothes when the younger ones (8 and 10 yrs) decide to help me. Everything was going ok till one of them couldn't figure out how to plug in my charger (cell) and powered off my power supply. My laptop went dead and it won't turn back on. I called the company and they think my motherboard is fried! I was cussing like a drunk sailor. All my assignments were on my laptop, my articles, my lifeee..............I could have cried. Needless to say my little sister ran to her bed and promptly feel asleep. Now I am without a laptop (not really i can use the desktop and my sister's laptop but its not the same) till Tuesday when someone will come to replace my motherboard.

To calm down, I call my friend Tricia. She is asleep but she listens to me vent then she does some of her own venting. Someone finished off her last peanut butter and she was broke. Let me put this in context for all y'all going HUH? This girl is a strict vegetarian. She doesn't eat nor touch anything with meat in it and to compound things she is broke. She has been basically living off PnJ sandwiches (PeanutButter and Jelly). For two days she has been sleeping hungry. I could have wringed her neck. She talked to me the day before and it would only take me a minute to wire her some cash to tide her over till she starts her job next week. We talked a while about things with me pressing her for bank info but she declined saying I did enough. She cited how for the whole of last semester in uni I basically paid for her grocery since she didn't have a job. Why do people get so proud when it comes to help? Seriously, if you are dying of hunger tell someone. There is no need to punish your body because of your pride.

In the midst of all this, my brother in law goes sexist on me. He asks me why I am watching ESPN all the time. Well, lemme see could it be because I love sports? Then we started discussing the NBA season starting next week. Here is the deal. I love my pistons, they my boys and all but for real the Eastern conference this year is going to be HEATED (no pun intended). Straight up, no joke, we talking caveliers with Lebron James , Bulls with the oh so sweet crew of Kirk, Gordon, Nocioni, Deng and BEN WALLACE, The Pistons and the Miami Heat. Anyways B in law picks his team but he is picking for trivial reason not understanding the beauty and art of the game, making me wish I was a dude man so I could tell him to man up ;)

I am a scatter brain. On thursday my prof hands me a personal invite to this dinner the school is hosting for some press dude or other. It was during my midterms so I didn't have time to read it but out of the whole class there were only two other people who were handed the invitation. I lost my invitation. I had it with me in my car but between my car and getting ready for work I lost it. Now I have to write to my prof and let her know I need another invite so that I can get into the dinner hall. I am absolutely enjoying her class. She is a hoot. I did a career test a few years back that said my personality matched that of a reporter/journalist then a doctor then a pharmacist then nurse. Anyway, I am thinking more and more about taking this course as a second major. I just don't know if I would contribute to the solution or compound the problem that assails the media these days. I just believe there are an elite few who control what we hear and see. There is no across the board discussion nor are there any grassroots movement. Plus I just want a reason to be traveling around the world.

Thanks for bearing through my dire needs monologue. Stay tuned for my politicking monologue in light of the coming elections on Nov 7.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Different Faces of Muslim Artists

Names of Allah

Only fitting we start with the beautiful names of Allah Zawajal.


Nasheed - Dust is The Bed

This video is about death and nearly made me shed tears because it brought memories of my grandma and her funeral. She was the first person I actually went through funeral rites with including the washing and procession to the ground. I remembered staring at the earth covering her as we read dua over her grave and the only thing I could think of was I wish I was in there with her.


Zain Bhikha - Have you heard? (acappella)

We could add somalia to this list now couldn't we?


Burdah

Anyone know if this is wrong to be listening to. In my collection I have a few and I love them, but the other day I saw a lecture about burdah by Hamza yusuf and I haven't listened to it. I hope he doesn't say we can't listen to them. :(



Mecca2Medina

Ok are these dudes from UK and is one of them somali?


What happened to the Ummah

Great video with impactful images.



Sami Yusuf

Mashallah when he could be earning major bucks singing in bollywood with his voice, he exalts Allah instead. May Allah grant him his hearts desires.



Amir Sulaiman, the Muslim poet

This is especially for Native Female since she was looking for Amir Suleiman.



Taleal Bedru Aleyna-Yusuf islam

We cannot forget the nasheed's of all nasheeds.My little sisters' and niece favourite singer. I just have to pop this cd in for them to all stop quarelling and start singing and hugging each other. Its the cutest thing.



Ya Umi/Ya Hooyo/Ya Mama/Ya Maman

Mashallah this song/video touched my heart. I got a wonderful idea for a gift for my mother using this song as a background & a couple somali & swahili songs dedicated to moms.



The Heart of a Muslim

I hope the message came through with this song.



The 99 Beautiful Names of Allah

And we shall end with another version with english translation of the 99 beautiful names of Allah Zawajal. Hope you guys enjoyed it.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Alhamdullilah Streaming Audio



The BEST lecture I have listened to

I have tried to find a way to stream this lecture so that you won't have to download it but I have failed. Download it and burn it on a cd and distribute it to your loved ones and friends. A brief bio on the lecturer.

Imam Anwar is the Muslim Imam at George Washington University. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University, a M.A. in Education Leadership from San Diego State University and is currently working on a Doctorate degree in Human Resource Development at George Washington University.

He is the author of a series of Audio lectures on the "Lives of the Prophets", covering the stories of the Prophets from Adam to Jesus (pbuh) of which over 20,000 copies have been published. The series is drawn from Imam Ibn Kathir's "Al-Bidayah wa An-Nihayah".

He was born in New Mexico, USA. His parents are from Yemen where he lived for eleven years and received the early part of his Islamic education. He has served as an Imam in Colorado, California, and Washington, DC.

Allah is preparing us for Victory Part 1

Allah is preparing us for victory Part 2

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Racing thoughts

"I want to talk to the pharmacist about my racing thoughts!" asked one guest as she called into the pharmacy. We (the pharmacy crew) were amused by the mere thought. I am no longer amused because I am plagued by racing thoughts and to slow the thoughts down I decided to blog them.

V for Vendetta

The other day, I was sitting in journalism class when this thought popped in my head. I compared the movie V for Vendetta to the current state of United States of America. First off that the fascism government in place in the movie is only there due to fear. Sutler bears semblence to Bush. Prothero resembles Bill O'Reilly and V is off course the terrorist. He places bombs to further his cause. The scene that most resounds in my mind is the one when V takes over the airwaves and says:

There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now,
orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on
their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation,
words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for
those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is
something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice,
intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, think,
and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillence
coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen?
Who's to blame? Well, certainly there are those more responsible than others,
and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking
for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know
you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of
problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common
sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now High
Chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all
he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to
end that silence.
Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words,they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you, then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot."

Adrian Peterson

Ok seriously the dude sustained a collar bone injury today. Whenever I get a chance I watch this dude because he doesn't seem to be stoppable when he is gaining yards. You can pull his legs, pull at his shirt and he will still keep going. I am sorry to see him sit the rest of the season out and hopes he is back to play @ the bowl. I don't see why this injury should factor into his worth as a heisman trophy winner. He certainly deserves it in my books and I wish him luck in the NFL. Brief bio about where he is from. His dad used to play basketball, got cocky, got shot accidentally, nearly lost his legs, got caught up in a drug traffiking ring, got jailed and look at his progeny.

Other corner of the sports world. Rookie of my month would have to be Laurence Maroney of NE Patriots. He is from the good ol' state of Minnesota. He plays in running back position and last week seem to cut through the Bengals defense. Can I mention this? For all y'all who hyped Reggie Bush, compare these two player's stats. Laurence has had 3 Touchdowns and Reggie nada. Aight, preseason games for NBA are beginning. I didn't catch Bulls game against Wizards but Bulls beat them by a point. Inshallah I hope to catch tommorrow's game against the Sonics. It'd be good to see Kirk, Wallace and crew. I definately want to see how they work as a team especially with Defensive playa of the year in the mixx!

Social blabber

So, the farmers in California are complaining that their fruits are rotting because of labor shortages. The mexicans that the government don't want to let in the country. What I don't understand is why there is no automated system in place for harvesting. I would think in a country like this (we like the easy life) there would be an automated alternative. The other way to tackle the labor shortage is an economic increase in wages for those poor immigrant workers.

How about that book? Which book you may ask. The one that talks of teenagers surveyed around the world. "Teenagers around the world believe Americans are extremely violent and criminally inclined, and they believe American women are sexually immoral" is one deduction from the survey of 1300 teenagers in 12 home countries. Sometime in the future, Inshallah, I hope to read this book. It is thus named, Learning to Hate Americans:How US media shape Negative Attitudes Among Teenagers in Twelve Countries.

How out of touch am I? I remember a while back reading about child soldiers in Uganda. Now apparently we got activists lobbying on capitol hill for intervention in Northern Uganda. A civil war has been going on for 20 years? Its between the government and the rebel forces. Go figure we were neighbours and I didn't even know about that. I really ought to check into african news outlets. I am too lax in that department.

Below is a clip showing some moves of Adrian Peterson (#28). His agility and stamina is beautiful to watch.

OU vs ISU offensive highlights

Monday, October 09, 2006

Images from the past

I was deleting some much needed pictures when I decided to create a slideshow of my past. I stopped taking pictures for a year or so now but Inshallah with a purchase of a new camera I will be back in business.


Friday, October 06, 2006

Fragility to rememberance

It had been six weeks since it happened. Salwa smiled begrudgingly at the couple infront of her walking away from the mosque. Her marriage was supposed to happen SIX weeks ago but didn't. She had been duped. There was no marriage forthcoming nor any compensation for the time and energy dispensed at the failed transaction. Did it really boil down to the tick tock of the clock? she questioned. There was no other explaination. Opening her car door, Salwa started the engine. She fiddled around with her dials till she found the Islamic lecture she was looking for. Salwa tried in vain to focus her attention on the material but pretty soon she was back in the pity zone manning the goalpost. Her mind took a topographically picture of her failed engagement as she zoomed in on what she thought was the bend of the river, the slight curve of the foothills, the tiny speck that she didn't see when it was most vital.

**phone ringing**
[Salwa] hey lil mama (trying for cheery)
[Tania] heeeeeeeeeey girl. U ok?
[S] course I am heifer, what you think? I was gonna lie down and die?
[T] nah, I ain't said that but for reals your voice is wavering.
[S] I can't help it, it hurts even though it shouldn't
[T] Bullshit. Let yourself go through the emotional rollercoaster, you need it to get him out of your system
[S] I can't T, I wasted 4 years of my life on this.
[T] We can go over and do some body damage girl! Give me 10 mins with him and I promise he won't do nothing like this to a woman again let alone think it.
[S] He is not worth it T. He used to be the apple of my eye but now he is not worth it. I guess there is a thin line between love and hate.
[T] Go ahead girl, let it out.
[S] Anyway, much ado about nothing. What's g'waning?
[T] Nothin, just chillin...........can't seem to walk down the street without a bitch hollering at me.
[S] **giggles** I done told you before. Its the way you switch dem hips girl.
[T] Whateva yo! Punk azz men who needs them.
[S] You know ima argue with you on that point even thou I should b a man hater right about now.
[T] Youze a strong bitch. No way, no how when I broke up with Jeremy was I able to talk like this in 6 weeks. I was still crying into my cereal.
[S] God giveth, God taketh away girl. Plus he got his coming on this earth and heaven cause you have got to be evil to do what he did. I still can't believe he did it.
[T] I still think he was cheating on you. I don't care what he said. I just don't think a man gonna come off a rejected proposal and get married a week later. I mean WTF? Who does that?
[S] God knows T. I got to get up outta here cause I got to write me a paper for class.
[T] Aight girl. Call me anytime.
[S] I will. Take care of you.
[T] Take care of you too.

Salwa set the phone on her lap as she grabbed the steering wheel. A wave of grief came over her body and sure enough tears started streaming down her face. She regarded the now dark house of God and wished she was inside that cocoon. Salwa knew she did everything right in regards to Khalid and her. Her mother had said no because she was convinced Khalid didn't have her best interest at heart. Salwa had prayed and fasted all through that period asking God to intervene and he had. God had intervened by completely changing the font of the script, thats what everyone told her. She also heard the usual " you are too good for him". It wasn't enough, Salwa's heart still couldn't understand what went wrong and why so late. The long stretch of time they knew each other he could have stopped it at anytime but he didn't. He strung her along and when all was finalized with the parents is when Khalid decided to pull the rug from under her feet. She was disgraced. How was she going to face her family? Most of them were already asking her when the wedding date was. Salwa wrung the steering wheel some more. She gazed at the door of the masjid and finally got out of the car. She slid her key into the lock and set her things on the corner. Grabbing the Quran, she sat crosslegged by the mimbar and let the words from the Quran envelop her being. It was the only place she felt at peace at this moment.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Kite Runner Lecturers

I am going to warn you right off top that this is going to be an opinion piece.

I was walking towards my class after Jumaa prayers last Friday when I noticed a poster announcing a lecture. The title caught my eye "Conceptualizing Islam". I was intrigued so I marked it down on my PDA for Tuesday. Tuesday came and I found myself sitting in a large lecture hall with a sprinkling of students. There was background music that sounded pakistani but in retrospect it was probably afghan. I was the only muslim, black female there.........kinda got used to that in this school. The lecture begun with an apology for not serving lunch due to observance of Ramadhan. Hypocritical at best if you ask me because the lecturers Mr. Azizi and Mr. Azizi were both drinking water. What Ramadhan were they practicing?

The first Mr. Azizi got on the podium and explained his background. He used to work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Afghan between 1966-79. He held a Law and Poli. Sci degree from Kabul and an MBA from Georgia State U. He gave a background of Afhaganistan:99% Islamic and tribalistic. Seriously, doesn't this sound like Somalia? This is not the only time that I would draw this conclusion when it came to this lecture. He explained that before they were invaded by Russia (1979) Afghanistan was a secular society on a democratic path. During the war Pakistan was the only channel through which help was received in Afghanistan. Afghanistan decided that in order to defeat Russia they would support smaller factions as opposed to one unified factions. After this bit of preamble the dude turned me into a critic. Let me quote some of the things he said:

"Pakistan is the biggest problem"
"Terrorist were arabs with the help of Pakistan"
"Musharaf is arrogant and has decided to put Pakistan ahead of the world"
"Pakistan are instigators of Taliban"
"Pakistan seeks strategic depth by taking over Afghanistan"
"No matter what Bush says we have to realize Pakistan is not our friend, the sooner we do the better."

See a thread? He was blaming everything on Pakistan. He used references of liberal think tanks in Washington that prove that Pakistan army is directly involved with insurgents operating in Afghanistan. He also cited a statistic that 92% of drugs produced in the whole world was from Afghanistan. This is important because Pakistan is the closest port that is used to get the opium out. Mr. Azizi then states that drug lord pay 3x more than afghan army to soldiers and thats why there is more insurgents. Post 9/11 for him shows promise because kids are allowed to go to school, women have rights and there is progress. In closing he states that Pakistan was created on a religious basis and there is no true democracy only a military presence.

The other Mr. Azizi got on the podium. His theory was that all the conflict came from these artifical borders carved by colonialism. Wait a minute isn't that the problem in Africa? What pissed me off about this guy was he targeted Islam, specifically madrasas. He claimed that madrasas brain washed the children of Afghanistan feeding them all these lies. The children were susceptible because their honor was vulnerable. He pointed out that when Afghan's immigrated to US their children were seen as social misfits in schools and would then turn to religion.I think this is true with any immigrant but for me it was somalis and gangs. These children would then come home and chastize the lifestyle of their parent's. DUH! maybe because they actually understood their religion more and saw their parent's version of religion as completely secular?

Now came the Q &A. What was the solution?

  • Think of earth as a village.
  • Educate from childhood.
  • Create a popular group that can control Afghan that R friends of USA (u mean puppets?)

I liked some of the questions posed. Here are some:

  • How do you create a sense of nationality when 1st they are Punjab's, then muslims then afghans?
  • There was Moderate Islam (I think it was secular) in the past, Extreme Islam came with Russian invasion. can you purge out the Extremism?
  • Isn't there a catch 22? The economy of Afghan comes from Poppy but then you can't stop it because it provides funds to build the hospitals and schools.

Here is the lesson I got from all this. First, I won't believe the title of a lecture ever again. I should have read the fine print but I learnt something from this lecture. One phrase Mr. Azizi said rang true. He said"War is poison." He explained that when a generation is brought up surrounded by war they cannot be expected to be peacekeepers or peaceful people. He drew an analogy. A soldier is built and trained for war, he can't be expected to turn into a peacekeeper after the war is over and thats why more "accidental" shootings of civilians is happening in Afghanistan and Iraq. I think this lesson can be used in Somalia's case. The people in power are warlords or had some hand in the war. They know nothing but war. How can they lead us into peace? It is also a plea I guess on my part that some of us in the diaspora should think about being active in the reconstruction of Somalia or even contemplate going back and actually living there.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mwezi mtukufu wa Ramadhan na fadhila zake-Juma Amiyr



Thought I should share this lecture ni kiswahili to those who understand it. Inshallah I will try to post a couple other lectures in English I love.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Lessons of my week

I learnt a few lessons this week. My first lesson was with corporate America. I finally talked to my boss about Mr T. (the harrasser) and she defended him and said he jokes a lot and she would prefer I talk to him once more before she steps in. I wasn't scheduled with him for the next couple days so I bidded my time. I have to mention that during this time I also changed my schedule at work and told the scheduler I can only work in the afternoons and evenings. She didn't seem to have a problem with it and I was under the impression everything was Kosher. Anyway, On Tuesday she runs to me and says I need to talk to him that day or else she will talk to him whether or not I do. She is very firm about it and I am wondering what the heck got you in a tizzy? So, I say I would like to talk to him and she can sit in and listen. We have our little meeting and Mr. T keeps apologizing profusely that I felt real guilty. On Thursday, she calls me in her office to inform me that her and the other african dude (friend of Mr. T) have decided to let me go because "you were hired as a permanent full time and we can't have you switching your schedule and taking hours away from people who have worked here for years". I was a little suprised but I wasn't worried because this was a second job and lets face it it was cutting into my school schedule as it were. What bothered me was the coincidence of the complaint, the friendship of my direct supervisor and Mr T, and the obvious fact that when I was hired the lady knew I was in school and come fall semester I would be changing my schedule. Another factor is the majority of the workers there are students and most of them worked one day every week and in the evening. What can I say? I understood the fact that maybe I shouldn't have opened my mouth about his harrassment. Knowing this made it easy for me to walk out that door with my head held high because I figured if thats the environment they work under I never want to be there. So, I get one week off and I am back to working fulltime at my old job, with people I have come to regard as family and love as such. Mr T can have his playing field!


The other lesson, I learnt was that I am addicted to music. My friends used to joke about it alot. The fact I have +3000 songs on my laptop, +300 CDS and my ipod. I had mp3s but I gave them out to my sister and brother. I can't get into my car without music, I can't work without music, I can't study without music, I can't cook without music..........I hope you get the point. I was asked to roughly estimate how many hours of music I listen to a day and I casually replied 6-7 hrs. When I saw the look of shock on the people's faces I understood the fact that maybe that is not a good thing. So, I am left to wonder if I can shed this addiction like I did my others i.e internet? Especially in the light of Ramadhan. I have always brushed off the fact I could listen to music during ramadhan as long as I fulfilled my fast and didn't let music affect my mood of introspection. Its not true. Music affects me. My mood reflects my music. Sadness brings on the sappy songs, longing brings on Ginuwine, Tyrese et al.........................yada yada yada. So if anyone can give me clarification on what the Quran says about music in regards to ramadhan and regular islamic life I would so appreciate it. **listening to music as she is typing**


My last lesson was last night. It started around 3 am. I woke up to the sound of a blaring horn. At first I thought it was my ears (I have being having inner ear problems) but when I shook my sister awake and asked her if she could hear it and she confirmed it, I was irritated. No one moved in the whole complex. I looked outside and didn't see anything fishy. My sister thought it was the AC so I turned it off. Nope. I couldn't believe how anyone can sleep through that racket. I mean it was loud as hell. I live in a predominately white neighbourhood and y'all know how white people be all sensitive about their sleep during weekdays. I was expecting someone to take action. Nada, no movement could be seen or heard. Finally, I grabbed the phone cussing and called 911. " I can't sleep cause someone's car is going off out there, can you send an officer to check it out cause I ain't finna walk my ass out there in the cold in the dark" I waited 10 mins then two cruisers pulled up. They identified the car as soon as they pulled up. Walked around the car making sure ain't no one dead in there leaning on the horn (I suppose) then walked toward the complex entrance. I walked down and let them in grumbling about the fact that some of us have to be up by 6 am and like our sleep to be undisturbed. They must have thought I was crazy. I was in a foul mood and didn't invite them into my home. I let them go knock on that person's door and after they got dressed they turned the racket off. Bloody hell. I couldn't believe anyone slept through that irritating sound. My stereotypes of whites was wrong. They weren't nosy, sensitive people.


Hopefully with Ramadhan a couple days away it should prove to be a better week. I got invited to a proffesor's BBQ on Sunday, even though I will be fasting. I am looking forward to meeting the IJs (International Journalists) and talking with the faculty, though I dunno how I will handle seeing burgers being cooked on the first day of Ramadhan. Ramadhan Kareem to y'all.

Friday, September 15, 2006

And so it has begun.

It wasn't that long ago that the controversy of the cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was all the rage in the mosques. There were boycotts of products and governments. Now the leader of the catholics seems to have dug himself into a corner. Pope Benedict went back home to Germany this month after a long hiatus. During a speech he delivered at Regensburg University, he quotes a book. The book quotes a conversation between Emperor Manuel II and an "educated" persian. Allahu ya3lam you be the judge. Here is an edited version of his speech that I found on timesonline.co.uk




"I was reminded of all this recently, when I read the edition by Professor
Theodore Khoury (M√ľnster) of part of the dialogue carried on, perhaps in 1391,
by the erudite Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus and an educated Persian on
the subject of Christianity and Islam, and the truth of both.
The dialogue ranges widely over the structures of faith contained in the Bible and in the Koran. . . In the seventh conversation the emperor touches on the theme of the holy war. The emperor must have known that Sura (Koranic chapter) 2, 256 reads: ‘There is no compulsion in religion.’ According to the experts, this is one of
the suras of the early period, when Mohammed was still powerless and under
threat. But naturally the emperor also knew the instructions, developed later
and recorded in the Koran, concerning holy war . . . He addresses his
interlocutor with a startling brusqueness on the central question about the
relationship between religion and violence, saying: ‘Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.’
The emperor, having expressed himself so forcefully, goes on to explain the reasons why spreading the faith through violence is something unreasonable. Violence is incompatible with the nature of God and the nature of the soul. ‘God,’ he says, ‘is not pleased by blood — and not acting reasonably . . . is contrary to God’s nature. Faith is born of the soul, not the body. Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence
and threats . . . To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm,
or weapons, or any other means of threatening a person with death . . .’ The
decisive statement in this argument against violent conversion is this: not to
act in accordance with reason is contrary to God’s nature. Theodore Khoury,
observes: For the emperor, as a Byzantine shaped by Greek philosophy, this is
self-evident.
But for Muslim teaching, God is absolutely transcendent. His
will is not bound up with any of our categories, even that of rationality. At
this point, as far as understanding of God and thus the practice of religion is
concerned, we are faced with an unavoidable dilemma. Is the conviction that
acting unreasonably contradicts God’s nature merely a Greek idea, or is it
always and intrinsically true? . . . John began the prologue of his Gospel with
the words: ‘In the beginning was the Word.’ This is the very word used by the
emperor: God acts, with logos. Logos means reason and word — reason which is
creative and capable of self-communication, precisely as reason. A profound
encounter of faith and reason is taking place here, between genuine
enlightenment and religion . . . This inner rapprochement between biblical faith
and Greek philosophical inquiry was an event of decisive importance not only
from the standpoint of the history of religions, but also from that of world
history . . .
Given this convergence, it is not surprising that Christianity, despite its origins and some significant developments in the East, took on its historically decisive character in Europe. In the Western world it is widely held that only positivistic reason and the forms of philosophy based on it are universally valid. Yet the world’s profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions. The West has long been endangered by this aversion to the questions which underlie its rationality, and can only suffer great harm thereby. The courage to engage the breadth of reason, and not the denial of its grandeur — this is the programme with which a theology grounded in biblical faith enters into the debates of our time. ‘Not to act reasonably, not to act with logos, is contrary to the nature of God,’ said Manuel II, according to his under-standing of God. It is to this great logos, this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures."



Now I don't know what they edited out but if the pontiff couldn't see quoting such a book would lead to problems then i dunno what to say. I will leave you with a paraphrased hadith. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was telling a sahaba that they will come a time when islam will be attacked from all sides. The sahaba was puzzled. He asked if the Ummah will be small in numbers during such times. To which the Prophet replies, " No you will be many." Sahaba continues asking, and what happens to make our ummah stand by when we are attacked. The reply is, The ummah falls in love with dunya and disregard the afterlife.

Do you know that Islam commands the position of the second largest religion in the world? It is an all inclusive faith boosting muslims from Africa, Arabs, Asia, North America, Australia, South Americas etc. We are indeed a weak ummah and the only way we can strengthen ourselves is by educating ourselves in not only the secular but the religious. Especially now that the month of Ramadhan is more or less a week away. During this month, when the gates of hell are closed and the gates of heaven are open, we should strive to be our best. I forget what my macalim used to say. The first 10 days of Ramadhan if you fast in accordance to Islam, you get forgiven ( I think), the second 10 days, the Islamic Ummah gets forgiven and the last 10 days (lailatul Qadr) you are freed (metaphorically speaking I believe your soul is cleansed and your slate is washed clean). Don't quote me on that because I am getting old and I might have forgotten the exact rewards. Anyway my point is that we should strive to be better muslims and strengthen our ummah. Make it your resolution this Ramadhan. There are usually wonderful lectures during this period not to mention the atmosphere itself nourishes and rejuvenates the soul.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A homegrown bug bit me

Ebu nione kama bado naweza kuandika kiswahili asili. Sijaandika kiswahili kwa miaka kadha wa khada. Natumaini haitakuwa ngumu hivyo. Ningetaka kusema mengi lakini kwa sasa nitaandika juu ya roho yangu inavyolia kila siku. Ndio, mimi ni mchovu. Sababu ya uchovu wangu ni masikitiko inayonishika kila nikifikiria kwetu;pwani. Majirani wetu akina dida na uncle hubesh, kadindo, sambaba, faiz, sofia na latifa. Kila nikitembe njee kusalimiwa na jina langu. Siku za ramadhan kupelekeana chakula kisha sahani yako inaregeshwa na chakula ya jirani yako. Asubuhi na mapema Mzee Ali akigonga dirisha la nyumba kumamusha buda kwa sababu salatul fajr iko karibu. Mwadhini wasikia kila mara na hata si moja pekee. Mskiti, leso, taraweh, udi, qasida, mshakiki......ramadhan si kamili bila vitu hivyo. Ukitoka shule, AsemaNaye yupo nje akiuza victoria na maembe za pilipili. Au kama hutaki matunda waweza kukula kachiri, mahindi, muhogo, viazi vya urojo, viazi vya pili, kaymati, mbaazi, mabuyu ama hachari . Majioni mengi tukienda lighthouse kubarizi hewa. Arusi za kiswahili na kucheza chakacha kwa mviringo. Ah! jemeni. Nitaenda nyumbani siku gani?

Mwembe tayari, makadara, blue room, steers, nyali, mamba, mombasa beach, bamburi beach bado mpo? Ama kutokuwepo kwangu imekubadilisha. Hussein bakery, nilivyopenda kununua biskuti zako kila jumapili baada ya kutoka kuogelea kwa bahari. Kila jumamosi, kuenda dil bahar kununua chicken tikka na mkate mayai. Aisee chakula si kutu peke nichohisi, lakini harufu za chukula ndio unakumbuka. Kisha nikakuwacha pwani wangu. Mpenzi wangu.

Nilisafiri kuenda Nai. Kule naye nilianza na manumba 9. Kusikia muziki na kupewa sare. Nikapata paka wangu, KCI. Nilimpata akiwa mtoto. Alinichukia kwa sababu alikuwa anamtaka mamake, lakini nilimlaza nami kwa kitanda changu. Nilimpa maziwa na vidole vyangu mpaka akawa kama mtoto wangu. Kila siku nilipotoka shule alikuwa barazani akiningojea. Akinifwata kila pahali naenda. Kisha akawa dume wa kijiji. Mapaka wa kike walijaa kwa baraza na ukuta zetu wakimlilia. Nakumbuka nikirusha kiatu changu baada ya kutoshindwa kulala usiku nzima. KCI, uko wapi sasa?

Lazima, mola akinibariki, niregea 2007. Lazima!!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Did you exercise your right today?

This petite woman stood infront of our class and coaxed us to follow her through the semester. Dr Ischida was going to change our mindset. The way we viewed media specifically. I had liked her from the get go. She was different from the other professors I had taken before. She was passionate about her subject. She asked us to talk about our assigment as she walked around listening in. We were discussing how we were swimming in mass media each day and didn't know anything about it. She asked us to explain how the TV stations could create a niche market and know we are going to tune in. Nielsen Ratings off course.

When we talked about the net though I was suprised to see that apart from two other students in the class, no one else knew what cookies was? Dr Ischida nearly fainted. She looked shocked as she tried to explain what cookies was. You'd think that would be the last of the suprises in store for the poor woman. I don't know how we came upon the topic of the primary's but today in MN, everyone was voting. Katelin and I were the only people who knew that was going on. The rest of the class was dumbfounded and unconcerned.

I am a bonefide American now but I confess that today I didn't exercise my newly earned right. Why? because I didn't have the right tools to make the right decision. I haven't being able to look up the candidates and see what their platforms were. The presidential elections are not that far away. I should get cracking on this. I feel appalled that even though I knew the primary's were today I didn't know the issues. I am turning into an uninformed American.

Should non voting be considered political suicide or political action? Should the young voting masses of Americans remain uninformed because they don't see a reason why they should be?They are cut off from the world off course. Their closest neighbours are Mexicans and Canadians. Americans live a relatively comfortable life without war, hunger, disease breathing down their necks. Has this made them complacent? Have I become complacent?

Whether we like to admit it or not Americans shape the world. Their vote puts someone in the Whitehouse who will change domestic policy and moreover change foreign policy, thus shouldn't Americans be informed? Shouldn't they be able to strike off the issues that each candidate represents at the drop of a hat? Should the world be scared to know that a large percentage of the 10 million young people who vote, are not even sure who their state representative is?

All I know is I will be reading newspapers and checking up on C-Span and the net each day to make sure I don't become an uninformed consumer. If you have a brother/sister/mother or father who is eligible to vote this year please make sure they are aware of the power they possess. We shouldn't commit political suicide by not voting or by voting without the right information!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

'Tis that time of year

As the night cloak spreads across the city, most new yorkers are glued to their TV sets. Its the night before 9/11. Most TV channels are running specials featuring touching stories of survivors and heroes. The channel most of them are watching though is NBC, which features the opening game of COLTS and GIANTS. Or, as they have being calling it for the past year MANNING vs MANNING. Considering I caught the last eight minutes of the third quater and all of fourth quater, I can say I was not impressed by the colts. Oh, no doubt they will make it to the playoffs if Tony D. has anything to do with it but they seem to be still lacking in the running game category.

I got to be honest, I don't like COLTS and was so rooting for GIANTS. I didn't think that last penalty call was warranted. Harper slipped!!! There was no push off. Come on now ref. The pass was perfect and it could have won the game for the Giants before they embark on going head to head with Philly and Seahawks. I am liking Jacobs he has the strength and Tiki has the speed and agility. This could definately work out.

So tommorrow night. Viks vs Redskins. I haven't followed any of the viks game preseason so I have no idea how they will fair. This game will help me deduce if I should smirk when I drive by the Viks fans or cheer with them as they cross under our skyway system to head to the dome.

PS: I was meaning to discuss one show I was listening to that had to do with 9/11 but I am too tired to gather up my thoughts. Inshallah I will post the commentary soon.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Really I am just me ;)

Ok. Here is my not so amazing list. I am just going to type what I think of.

a) I am very,very friendly to complete strangers actually I tend to trust them with my life on the first day. (This is only true if you pass my gut feeling test. PS: I haven't being terribly burned yet)

b) I go out of my way to make people comfortable by mimicing and assimilating into their life. I literally can blend into anyones life

c) People have a natural tendacy to talk to me about their problems and I have a natural tendancy of trying to solve them.

d) I laugh at almost anything. I tend to find humor in the most weirdest things hence I am either smiling or giggling when I talk.

e) I am very forgiving and understanding. I don't begrudge people but here is a disclaimer. If I ever begrudge somebody it must have being a very horrible thing they did because I have a high threshold.

f) My memory is in both extremes. Alhamdullilah bad things are forgotten in a matter of minutes and good things remain in my mind for a very long time.

g) If I have money I spend it on whoever is close to me that needs a pick me up. I'll use any excuse to shower someone with a gift.

h) I say what I mean in the most diplomatic and honest way;amazingly I actually have less enemies than friends.

i) This is necessarily not amazing but most people remark that I love debating and winning it. I can go on for hours discussing something if there is any chance I can convince you to side with me.

j) I get nightmares a few days before something horrible happens in my life otherwise I usually don't dream.

Alternates:

k) I am rarely fazed by any emotions. Anger makes me laugh and sadness makes me uncomfortable. Upside to this is I cry when I read books and watch movies but in real life situations I am what my mother refers to as stone.

l) This is a noteworthy one. Most of my male friends and some female ones have refered to me as a man stuck in a woman's body because I think and usually act like a man but I love shopping, so yea BEWARE!

Phew, that wasn't that bad. My list isn't exactly amazing but its me. Lemme see who I can tag. I tag borderless,shirwac and angry somali man.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Part II of Taalam Acey

We need you to come back forward
Sorted into the monolithic mysteries of missing links
Between cotton fields and killing fields
These brothers need rebuilding
Whether they've burned out in cubicles
Or burned up on blocks
Whether they've been pushing pencils
Or pushing rocks
They done tried to go from capital to capitalist
But it wasn't enough action in their auction
So they been walkin' into prisons
Like roach motels
And the prison industrial complex
Done eliminated the division
Between slave quarters and cells
And look at him sitting there
Still thinking this is a white man's world
When his cell mate is white
And his cell mate is thinking if we could just
Get rid of these niggas
I could economically improve my trailer-park life
become a father to my children
And a husband to my wife
He has yet to figure
That he's just a flesh-colored nigga
Who can't even afford the luxury of being white
Both of them sitting there blaming each other
Living the same cell, Living the same life
Meanwhile the Net is destroying the minds of young men
The Net, Nigga Entertainment Television,
constantly broadcasting the crippling passions of the at-risk young population
showing videos and shows that make seventies blackXploitation films seem like the work of August Wilson
that's why I needed to have daughters
to give Ida B. Wells, Harriet Tubman and Queen Mother Moore
The opportunity to come back forward
I tell them he says he can't get past
"Her breast ... Her ass" but you gotta make 'em
take 'em under your wings make 'em rise
make 'em understand that the heaven between your thighs
can't compare to the salvation thats behind your eyes
revolutionary negotiation
He can't get wet if he can't get wise
remind him of the late nineteenth century and southern reconstruction
when black women made a pact not to touch him
if he wasn't about nothing, what happened then?
Brothers couldn't smoke ses on corners
Cause they were too busy smoking sessions in congress
But in this millennium the next could've been Malcolm X
Is somewhere taking a swig off of a 40 oz malt liquor
Called Black Death talking about "Damn that Billboard was right,
This shit here do put hair on a nigga's chest."
Tell 'em you ain't impressed.
He can go home and feel his own damn chest
If he can't take kids then he can't take sex.
Like Frederick Douglass "No Struggle. No Progress."
You can't process his request
Till he stops confusing his manhood with his baguettes
Tell him to tuck in his long-ass chains
And pull out some self-respect
Holdin' up street signs
Like somebody's paying him overtime
Grown-ass man gotta run like a bitch
Every time the police comes
And cause he calls himself a player
Now your son wants to be one
Tell him the cost of clowns in the community is buildin'
And our children simply can't afford it
Tell his backward ass to play the bottom
Till he's up and ready to come back forward!