Thursday, December 25, 2008


I was sitting on our couch reading a book while the rest of the family watched something on the telly. This included my four sisters and my brother. A man walked in and stood by the hallway entrance. He seemed familiar but I didn't/couldn't place his face. He motioned my brother to step outside with him for what I assumed to be a private affair. After a few minutes my brother comes back in and beckons to my other siblings. Realizing this was odd I just kept on reading. The minutes dragged on and finally everyone reconvened back in the living room, including the man.

The man came to sit across from me and waited silently. Finally I looked up. His eyes were the most beautiful hazel eyes I have ever seen. I stared willing a memory to resurface but I must have been staring hard because he flashed me a brilliant smile. Blushing I went back to my reading. "Ahem....I came to ask for your hand in marriage.***insert long silence***I talked to your family and they will support whatever decision you come to. **blink blink**All I am asking is for you to hear me out." I turned to look around to make sure this was really happening. A strange man walked into my house and asked for my hand. My siblings looked back at me with expectant faces.

I turned back to my suitor and examined him closer. His pants were ironed, his teeth were straight, he sat up straight, his nails were clipped and clean and by instinct I sniffed in his general direction. The scent he had on was unmistakable, it was Black by Kenneth Cole. I got up from my seat and motioned him to follow me. I lead the way towards the door and he followed close, holding the door open. In the crisp air outside, he took charge leading to me to a black Audi parked next to my Camry.

Beep Beep Beep Beep. I hit my alarm with my arm as I turned to squint at the clock. It was all a dream. This I find peculiar because I never dream. When I sleep I rarely get into REM sleep but I must have to dream this vividly. What remains to be answered is what it means.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Xcruciating pain

I once broke my wrist bones and refused categorically to take pain meds. I dealt with the pain. I strained ligaments in my ankle and hobbled my way up the gangplank of a ship and through an airport with a heavy backpack. I didn't whimper then, but now I did something to my MCL and every time I climb into my car I scream in pain. When someone bumped into me at work I laughed with pain.

It is unbearable, nerve raking pain. I take my anti-inflammatory tabs and ice my knee when I get home but I almost feel like hacking the goddamn leg off. The doc asked me if I wanted pain meds and I resolutely refused, now I wish I had taken them. Turning in my sleep makes my nerves ring out the alarm bells.

How do these athletes do this? I swear if someone intentionally tackled me at a football game and caused this much pain I would probably hunt them down and cause them as much pain. Instead my dislocated patella and subsequently MCL injury was caused by testing out a MATTRESS. Yea, I know dumb but it happened. I just wish this doc would hurry up and see me and give me an answer as to how I am to survive and heal. Gosh, my body is giving up on me already.

Be kind to your body parts you never know what it means to function without it. I miss stretching my leg languorously while reading my books.

Monday, December 01, 2008

World's AIDS day

December first marks the one day the world set aside for one of the deadliest epidemic; AIDS. I would like an opportunity to highlight a program that President Bush heralds as one of the success of his presidency Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief - commonly known as PEPFAR.

This program was launched in 2003 and its aim was to provide treatment to two million people (afflicted with HIV) in 15 focus countries. 13 out of the fifteen countries are in Africa.

....... In FY2007, PEPFAR-supported programs reached 57.6 million people with support for prevention of sexual transmission using the ABC approach (Abstain, Be faithful, correct and consistent use of Condoms). The U.S. Government (USG) has supplied nearly 1.9 billion condoms worldwide from 2004 through 2007 — as Dr. Peter Piot of UNAIDS has said, more than all other developed countries combined. From FY2004 through FY2007, PEPFAR has supported prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) for women during more than 10 million pregnancies. For PMTCT clients who have been found to be HIV-positive, antiretroviral prophylaxis has been provided in over 827,000 pregnancies, preventing an estimated 157,000 infant HIV infections. With Emergency Plan support, focus countries have scaled up their safe blood programs, and 11 of them can now meet more than half of their annual demand for safe blood — up from just four when PEPFAR started.

PEPFAR has supported HIV counseling and testing for over 33 million people to date, and supported care for more than 6.6 million people infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, including 2.7 million orphans and vulnerable children. Through September 2007, PEPFAR partnerships have supported antiretroviral treatment (ART) for approximately 1.45 million men, women, and children — approximately 1.36 million of whom live in 15 PEPFAR focus countries, and over 1.33 million of whom are in sub-Saharan Africa. Illustrating the broader effect of treatment, PEPFAR treatment support is estimated to save nearly 3.2 million adult years of life through September 2009, and many more beyond that time frame. These additional years of life are ones in which people can play their vital roles as parents, teachers, or caregivers......... (PEPFAR)

It is common place for people to make fun of Bush's presidency but with an initiative that has such results I will give credit where credit is due. Whether this program will continue to flourish and help in easing the burden of many AIDS/HIV afflicted families in the Africa is yet to be seen, but for now it seem to be accomplishing what it set out to do.

We can all do our part to commemorate World's AIDS day by increasing awareness of this deadly virus. More so in our culture where it is taboo to talk about anything sexual. Many of our teenagers and adults practice unprotected sex cocooned in the firm belief that none of us could be a carrier of the virus. It is a childish assumption and instead of sticking our head in the sand pretending that sexual encounters don't happen in our circles, we should instead seek to spread the ABCs of AIDS;
encouraging abstinence, being faithful, and using condoms, with abstinence as the only sure way to avoid the sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Character flaws

I have them so do you. I just have a problem with people pointing them out. I got irritated today because a couple of my friends teased me about my continuous habit of being tardy. Now, I know this character flaw exists in a fair number of Somalis but I try. I really do.

Needless to say I got very offended. I didn't think that my friends should pick on me especially when its something they know I am sensitive about. When I got home I turned all my clocks and watches another five minutes ahead knowing fully well its not going to make a difference.

My tardiness has just become the norm. At work my boss knows I am consistently eight minutes late.It is now a private joke between him and I. When we make plans for meetings outside work, my co-workers always ask me to be somewhere ten minutes ahead of everyone else thereby ensuring I get there on time.

I really just don't know what to do to improve on this character flaw. Help me ;(

**curling up doe eyed under her blanky***

Monday, November 24, 2008

One of the seven deadly sin


The other day I was listening to a couple people talking with my mother. I was struck with the way some of them were proud of murderers and killers. The topic of course of Somali's ongoing turmoil. I can't say I have an insightful lock on Somali culture but I am amazed by how certain illogical things become matters of pride.

For example, when a woman is beaten senseless by her husband, it becomes a matter of pride to hide this fact from others. I think the man should be placed in the public court for being inhuman to his spouse. The above example is not the reason why I had to pen my thoughts, so to speak. My chagrin comes from the Israf that people indulge in so that others might not know the true depth of their pocket book. Spending lavishly (willy nilly) when in reality they cannot afford what they are acquiring.

Personally, I have no problem owning up to the fact I am broke. I was out with my friend the other day shopping for jackets. I didn't need a jacket but I could have used one for a change of colors. As we flipped through racks and racks of jackets, I suddenly realized I am flat broke for the next couple months. This is largely due to paying rent and mortgage on a house that we haven't moved into yet. Finally, I turned to her and told her I can't afford these high prices for the jacket. I am content with my black one for now till I can afford it. She didn't back away from me like I had leprosy, she actually understood. Now if someone else in my family had been in my shoes they would have gone ahead and purchased a jacket just so as to keep appearances.

Does anyone else notice that about relatives or is this a problem that exists solely in my head?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Historic Moment

Will you recall where you were tonight? I will.

Holding hands with my friends as we watched the numbers coming in. First came Pennsylvania then the most crucial Ohio, after that it was a rapid cataclysmic addition of electoral votes. My phone was going off the hook when CNN projected him the President Elect. President Elect BARACK OBAMA. I can't believe it still, its a shock, a pleasant one, but a shock nonetheless.

This is the America we believe in. One that saw past the color of someone's skin and elected the best candidate solely on issues. So maybe McCain's chances were hurt when he chose Sarah Palin but still I am so proud of being an American. So, so, so extremely proud of the young generation that rode the wave of change and believed in it. They believed in it so much that turn out for this demographic was record high.

Congrats President Barack Obama. I am proud to say I stood in the cold waiting to hear you speak when you came to Minnesota, not once but twice. I am proud to be alive to watch this most historic moment and I wish you the best as you take the reins of this country into your hand.

I believe in you. WE believe in you.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Its sprinkling books

Within weeks of graduation I had devoured three books that probably altered what I thought of the world. I won't review the books because I think people should read it and come to their own conclusions.

The first book is HOW SOCCER EXPLAINS THE WORLD. This book uses soccer as a metaphor to explain globalization. Riveting facts about soccer in different countries and whats more you get a little bit of pol sci interspersed within the text that you barely notice it.

The second book is Ayan Hirsi Ali's book Infidel. The book was a gift from a friend who didn't know what Ayan's stigma in the world is. She just saw a Somali female writer and she thought I would like it. Her book documents her journey through most of her adult life. For the most part it provided insight on her views and how she came about it. It was also reinforced the first book's message of encroachment of liberal values on traditional societies and the fallout that occurs after the fact.

The last book is a book written by Quinn and its titled Ishmael. Ishmael is the name of a gorilla who telepathically teaches a human that life as we perceive it is mythological. It definitely changes the way you view the world and perhaps how you will act in the world.

I still have a stack of books left by my bedside that I am working through. I am looking forward to reading the new Naomi Klein book and ALL THE SHAH's MEN. If there are any books you feel will contribute to character building recommend them. Toodles.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Still breathing for another year

Hello folks,

I have gotten a year older. Alhamdullilah! Since my trip I have noticed that I have a new outlook on life. It seems I needed the time away to access what I am doing. I have decided to balance my life as an adult and my life as a mommy. It seems to be working for the most part except I happen to also piss people off with my candid nature. Oh well, I can't win all the time.

Anyway I have been hanging out with my friends more. I go out every weekend to dinner or a play and seriously I think I have never been less stressed. This is my attempt to explain why I haven't been blogging so much. :(

I am still working through my pictures and footage from my Aussie/NZ trip and hopefully will get it in order one of these days. I still have to drop off my roll for my snorkeling trip to the Great Barrier Reef and see what goodies I shot underwater. Other than that trust me I got horrific and funny tales to share about the trip. I also want to give a shout out to my cousin for being a doll and not losing his patience with me whilst I was visiting. Bridget says hi too and says she enjoyed her visit. I also want to know how to return what I borrowed since it looks like you don't read your e-mail. (I hope this message gets to you via proper channels) :)

Spring is here! Get out and enjoy life.

Ps:- I am trying to figure out where to visit next. Japan and South America are my choices. If anyone got tips let a sister know.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Obama '08 and Feb 5th

When Jess told me Obama was coming to Minneapolis on Saturday I was ecstatic. I was above the moon when she scored us tickets to the event. I had a prior engagement to go to in the morning and so did she but at half past noon I was on my way to pick her up. "Ten minutes left before the doors open. Hurry Leyla!" yelled Jess excitedly. We walked to the Target center discussing the different candidates and where they stood on issues. Jess was undecided but all I needed was reaffirmation. Target center had people everywhere. There were lines for waiting list people, lines for green tickets, lines for E ticket and gold tickets. The line snaked a mile long. Almost down to the I-94 exit for Olson Memorial Highway.

People stood in the cold stomping their feet trying to stay warm. There were people of all ages, from 1 year olds to 60 year olds. Talk about a change? This was an amazing sight to see. Minnesotans braved the cold to listen to Baraka Obama speak. 20, 000 people had gotten the tickets before hand while there were 10,000 more on the waiting list. The Target Center, which doesn't even fill up during a basketball game, was full to the top bleachers. Obama openers included Minneapolis Mayor R. T Rybeck, Keith Ellison and Lady Freeman. He spoke eloquently and talked about issues he believed in from veterans rights, college affordability, health care, war, foreign policy, poverty, economic issues. Baraka peppered his speech with comedic moments that made him seem like one of us.

Obama's father left the family when Obama was only two years old. His mother raised him while going to school and working. Obama recounted instances when he was on food stamps. Obama watched his mother die from cancer at the age of 52. He watched as his mother's face bore the worry lines from reading letters from insurance companies trying to deny her health reimbursement. I feel that he takes a lot of things that many Americans go through with him wherever he goes. He is young and inexperienced but maybe thats what America needs. A person who is untarnished and still idealistic.

For all the Americans who can vote in the upcoming November elections, remember Feb 5th is caucus day. From 6:30 pm -8:00 pm. Please go out and vote for the candidates of your choice. More Americans watched Superbowl than voted last election and thats a horrible statistic. We need to exercise our civil rights. So please find out your caucus center and go vote!

Friday, February 01, 2008


Last night I went with a couple friends of mine to watch Persepolis. I normally don't go to movies in the middle of the week but I couldn't pass up a chance to watch a foreign movie at an independant theatre.

All I knew about this movie was that it was a girl's story during the Islamic revolution in Iran. I was not prepared to deal with a tragiccomedy that mirrored the life of my Iranian friend. Marjane Satrapi released a comic book in France in 2000. The movie was in french with English subtitles. Most of the scenes in the movie are memories of what she was told as a child and what she saw.

Marjane is a descendant of the royal emperor of Iran before the Shah's regime. She moves from being curious, idealist to depressed to realist. The profound thing for me was that at the beginning Marjane thinks she is a prophet and has personal conversations with God but after the desolutism she goes through she chases him away. At the end it is God who provides her salvation by sending her back when she has given up on life.The movie shows the relationships she makes and breaks. More than that it is a journey of self discovery for Marjane, whose parents are Marxists.

Scenes of her wearing hijab and "punk is not dead" jacket,walking the streets of Iran in search of banned music. Marjane rocks out to classic rock in her house as the country goes through a purging. Marjane watches as people around her change and die. Her uncle is imprisoned and requests to see her. Marjane braves this prison visit at such a tender age but what is told to her stays with her. Her relationship with her parents is unique and her grandmother is a character to say the least. Definately a must see movie and a must get when it is released. By the by the movie is banned in Iran.