I was planning to go here
suggestion a few weeks ago in my blog, but insh'Allah next weekend as this weekend has gotten quite full. Today was chores and stuff. Tomorrow is Helen, Georgia
, a Bavarian looking town near the mountains that has waterfulls and charm. Population 400 and some. I'm going with Tahira, who I recently met, and her family. I really look forward to getting out with them. Afterwards, I'm supposed to meet some other people at Muslim Day 2004:
Muslims to highlight religion's diversity. Different elements of Atlanta's Muslim community have joined to sponsor Muslim Day 2004, a celebration of diversity in Grant Park on Aug. 1. Muslims ranging from Bosnian refugees to Middle Easterners and African-Americans will gather starting at 10 a.m. The event, which ends at 7 p.m., will feature Islamic handicrafts, clothing, picnics and an international bazaar. An estimated 75,000 Muslims belonging to at least 32 mosques live in metro Atlanta. Non-Muslims also are welcome. "Many Americans have grown accustomed to thinking of Muslims as a completely homogenous body," said Amjad Taufique of the Majlis Ash-Shura, a citywide council of mosques organizing Muslim Day 2004. "We are taking this time to remind ourselves of the vast diversity defining Al-Islam and the contributions Muslims make in America every day." The free event will include an educational component. There will be cultural showcases and children will display knowledge of the Quran.
Sounds interesting. That's a lot of Muslims...75,000 - whoa. And I am definately seeing Before Sunset
this weekend. It keeps getting postponed and so does the park Zack provided info for and I'm anxious to do both.
I now have a blog for pictures. I like taking pictures and figured I needed a place to post them. The link is off to the left in the About Me section.
Sad that people think this way
about how Muslims are growing and the wall should stay up from Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in the USA. CAIR's response can be found here
So since I am done with some stuff and had a little free time, i was catching up on some blogs. Here's some of what I found that i want to share. Read the July 26th entry from A Family in Baghdad
(on the left side under links). Excellent blog entry comparing Baghdad in it's golden days and now...and some other stuff. All in all, an excellent entry.
Also saw this 'joke' on Back to Iraq 3.0 and thought it was appropriate: "Iraqis don't know what democracy is," said Jumaluddin as he chewed on a truly magnificent Cohiba. Then he told me a joke: An old woman asks her son, "What is this democracy I hear so much about? What does it mean?" Her son tells her that every four years there will be a new president. "Isn't that wonderful, umma?" The old woman thinks about that for a moment, and then asks, "Does that mean every four years there will be looting and fighting?"
and check this
out: - omg...i couldn't believe it when i saw it. Those of you personally know me will know why i was taken aback. ;-)
Things to do today: Finish book that I'm reviewing and watch a movie (The Hidden Half - an Iranian one that i saw 20 minutes of months ago and never got to finish) therefore I'm preparing myself for the letdown that every Iranian movies puts us through: an unsatifying ending (if there is even an ending) or a depressing end.
You may not always get what you want but you get what you need...
Lately it seems my prayers are getting answered very fast and good things are just happening to me. I'm not even going to question it, but it's like I have speed dial to God lately. I pray for something and it happens the next day. Prayers and Allah are kind of like the Rolling Stones song (from above title) and we don't always get all of our prayers answered exactly as we'd like, but we get what we need. For example, I was praying to meet people here in my new city and boom, it is just happening. Like today for example, a girl I had never spoken to called me out of the blue (she was told to contact me) and we now have plans for next week and she wants to introduce me to some other Muslims and she also wants to give me contacts for two magazines here that could use my writing. Wow. Double bonus. Also, I have plans for this Friday and Saturday with two girls from the mosque. Mashalla, Allah gives us what we need.
And a funny little tidbit from the weekend. We were driving around looking for ice and didn't find any...then, M, being overprotective as he is, asked me to pull over for gas because i was less than a quarter of a tank (i tend to not fill up until the warning light comes on) so grudgingly i pouted then gave in and and pulled into the next gas station. I was very thirsty so i walked towards the entrance to go get a drink when i saw a half used bag of ice sitting there on the sidewalk unmelted and unused. I looked around and no one was there. Someone had only needed half a bag of ice, just like we did. Well perfect, we used it. Now, some would say that is luck or chance, but i say it's the hand of Allah providing a small blessing.
And these types of things (prayers getting answered super fast and other small blessings) keep happening. I'm very happy these days. I'm about done with that editing project so am about to finish 2 other projects with deadlines and also the three book reviews i have due. I can't wait until everything with a deadline is complete so I can work on my own book which is basically being written in my head nightly as i lay down. I just need the time to work on it during the day. I also have the urge to paint (badly) again and have a pile of books to read. But no matter, these blessings and all the blessings Allah has given me makes me feel at peace and very happy. How lucky can a girl be?
(Even if my aunt keeps sending me fundamentalist Christian emails trying to tell me I'm on the wrong path.)
Quote of the day: "The drop of dew curled up in the heart of the lily is no different from you when you deliver your soul into the heart of God." ~ Kahlil Gibran, The Eye of the Prophet
Interesting (must-read) Article
:Bush-Hitler: Hypnotizing The Masses
Interesting about the language stuff that was brought up.
Am I am supposed to be a writer?
excerpt: It combines as auxiliary with introverted Feeling and gives rise to unusual skill in both character development and fluency with language--a sound basis for the development of literary facility. If INTPs aspire to word mechanics, INFPs would be verbal artists.
I scored as a INFP (Introverted Intuitive Feeling Perceiving)
I liked the verbal artist juxtaposition. It's like a tattoo i almost got when i was younger (chinese symbols for writer which translates to "Dancing Ink." )
Myers-Briggs-Jung Test (short version)
Thanks to Sister Scorpion for providing these links.
Stone Mountain (link in previous entry) was a lot of fun. We drove around first and did a few geocaches. Walked around the quarry and other side attractions and did a few short hikes. We then went pedalboating which I haven't done since I was 13 so that was a lot of fun especially following the ducks. From there we took a tram to the top of the mountain and enjoyed the view. It's interesting up there as it looks like you'd imagine the moon to look. We then hiked all the way across and down the mountain and back to the car. HOT and a long way. I also learned that the confederate flag story is crazy...the south is very rebel...enough to change their flag 5 or so times just to be rebellious. The night lazer show was pretty cool too but we left about halfway through then went out for halaal chinese food which was so spicy that neither of us could eat one dish but the Mongolian Beef was pretty good. Some pictures:
On the way up... Rockface Generals... monolith (2nd largest in the world)Posted by Hello
Funny sign...a mountain is "slippery when wet"Posted by Hello
View from the topPosted by Hello
Are we on the moon or what?Posted by Hello
Found this interesting rock on the way down...with an accent evenPosted by Hello
Covered Bridge in Stone MountainPosted by Hello
Going to Stone Mountain Park
today. Yip E I AY!
Finally made it to a mosque here in Atlanta. Chose the Pakistani one first. And as a sidenote, it seems just wrong for mosques to be divided by ethnicity. We are already divided into sects which wasn't supposed to happen. I wonder what Allah, or the Prophet, would say about the division amongst us all.
Anyhow, i went to this one.
It was the Pakistani one. Got there just in time to do prayers. Then they recited hadees-e-kisa
I had never heard that recited except right before our engagement party. His Mom read it before we left. [beginning of a tangent....I experienced a few things there in Toronto...like when leaving the house, she circled the Qur'an around me for safety, and a dua in my luggage on the way home. The culture/tradition stuff I don't get with non-Muslim parents I do with inlaws...kinda cool...end of tangent] After this was the typical Dua Kumayl and Salam... Dua Kumayl didn't have the same quality as my friends husband did it. He did with heart and soul....this guy basically recited it.
So I was sitting there alone while everyone spoke in Urdu. Then two nice Afghani sisters invited me to sit with them and we started talking and made friends fast. We exchanged numbers and email addresses. M also met a guy there so it looks like friends are starting to be made. Tahira (this girl) is going to take me to the Iranian mosque soon on a Friday to meet some converts. She said that's where they all go since most marry Iranians. Leave it to me to do something different. I'm the only convert I know marrying a Pakistani. I guess I just have "desi fever" haha. Anyhow, looking forward to the next mosque and meeting more people. Maybe it will make Atlanta seem and feel better if I actually know people here. I shoulda gone sooner...shy i guess.
Also...this was the first time I was in a coed mosque...i mean the women were behind the men and all that but there wasn't a big deal made about men and women in the same room. There are separate rooms for the two but I guess they only use them during Eids. Kinda cool since it would have been weird to sit in there with just a speaker talking to us. I get distracted if i can't see the face talking. It was HOT though as the air conditioner had just broken yesterday.
Oh my! Did you really get to my blog this way?
Someone searched for Muslim Shower twice and got to my blog twice. Me oh my I didn't realize i had that in my blog and that often.
Watch this movie: This Land
. I can't help but pass it on. Yeah, some not so right stuff (one really bad word) but HILARIOUS. Very very verrrryyyy funny.
I have never liked Arafat nor Sharon...neither really want to help their people. Both prefer violence over solution. Anyhow...here's a pretty good article on Arafat: "The Arafat Problem."
More than you ever wanted to know about the rickshaw.
The summary makes it sound so scandalous:
The auto rickshaw is a vehicle for hire that is one of the chief modes of transport in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It is a motorised version of the traditional rickshaw, a small two- or three-wheeled cart pulled by a person, and the velotaxi. The auto rickshaw is also related to its Thai cousin, the Tuk-Tuk. In many cities in Southern India, auto rickshaws have a notorious reputation as the vehicle of operation in shady criminal activities, which range from petty thievery and "chain snatching" (slang for stealing the necklaces worn by Indian women) to murder.
And what is up with the trendiness of this word
I'm tired of hearing it. Why can't they just say "predicament" instead of this synonomous arrogant buzzword?
I don't like it when people try to sound smart by using big/obscure/unnecessary words when smaller/simpler ones make more sense, sound more natural and have a better flow.
The best book i ever read regarding writing well
emphasized this point. Someone once said: "Say it simple stupid." This is how I approach writing. I read the out-of-print copy of this book, but I am sure he still approaches writing with simplicity instead of arrogance. My blog is a messy... I don't edit or think too much about it although I may be somewhat addicted to doing it, so no critiquing. Ha!
Sister Soljah, not the greatest writer, but still a writer.
Stuff of the day
Quote: "I hate it when they say, 'He gave his life for his country.' Nobody gives their life for anything. We steal the lives of these kids. We take it away from them. They don't die for the honor and glory of their country. We kill them." - Admiral Gene LaRocque.
Check out this story from Information Clearing House: US media killed the story about the Iraqi PM executing 6 prisoners himself
And look at the multitude of stories out there about how converts are now possible terrorists. They realized while attacking Muslims, that not all of them had an Arab or brown face, so to be sure to cover all their bases, they now also warn of us whities. Man o man...just don't know what to say anymore. Bush looks more like Hitler every day.
And of course the Bushism of the day: "I know what I believe. I will continue to articulate what I believe and what I believe- I believe what I believe is right." Rome, July 22, 2001 (see above picture - he may believe what he believes but i think we can all agree that he doesn't articulate it.)
From Nahjul Balagha - Sermon 1
(the last line blew me away...)
Then Almighty created forth wind and made its movement sterile, perpetuated its position, intensified its motion and spread it far and wide. Then He ordered the wind to raise up deep waters and to intensify the waves of the oceans. So the wind churned it like the churning of curd and pushed it fiercely into the firmament throwing its front position on the rear and the stationary on the flowing till its level was raised and the surface was full of foam. Then Almighty raised the foam on to the open wind and vast firmament and made therefrom the seven skies and made the lower one as a stationary surge and the upper one as protective ceiling and a high edifice without any pole to support it or nail to hold it together. Then He decorated them with stars and the light of meteors and hung in it the shining sun and effulgent moon under the revolving sky, moving ceiling and rotating firmament.
An article my friend Mariam sent me saying it reminded her of me. :) Hmm...
Also, here is an excellent 2 minute documentary on Saddam Hussein: Thanks for the memories.
Took it easy this weekend. Watched quite a few movies:
: Loved it. Didn't need the nudity but the movie was very cute. What was particularly amusing was the politics and how they characterized Brittain's prime minister and the US president. Too funny. Also, how at the end, in a collage of pictures of people, they had a hijabbed woman kissing her daughters and put that center. The resemblence of two characters to Hillary Clinton and Monica L. were also too obvious to not be on purpose. Very funny movie though.
: Hilarious. I haven't laughed outloud at a movie that much in a long time. I have horrendous upstair neighbors so i could totally relate to this movie.
I wanted to go see Before Sunset
as I've been waiting years for the sequel (this is the sequel to Before Sunrise) to come out but didn't make it. Watched these instead since M. had some friends in town and all of us hung out. We had tapas
which i haven't had much of since Spain. Yum. Nice afternoon with them. A three hour meal and then gelato. Didn't do much else this weekend. Lazy. I did manage to read another Surah of the Qur'an.
This week is going to be busy. I need to finish an editing project, write a review for one book, finish reading another book for another review and start a third book. I also need to go grocery shopping (read as: shopping at many different stores - indian/paki store for spices, halaal meat market,Whole Foods for fruit and veggies etc.). I'm going to try out some new recipes this week. Should be fun. Got the pictures back from Niagra Falls and they turned out great...especially the ones with the rainbow...was looking at them again this morning.
Bushism of the Day: "And, yes, we're always interested in dealing with people who have harmed American citizens." Washington DC, February 25, 2002
I'm off to work now. :-)
These Left Behind books bother me for several reasons (all are about the end times according to Revelations) and they gained their popularity after 9/11. Weird cultish stuff. Anyhow...I like what the guy said - that if Muslims wrote these books people would have a fit. So true. Jesus and Jihad
A bit down today...
Feeling a bit grumpy these days. I don't really like Georgia. There's nothing to do here, it's HOT, muggy, and bug infested. There's no where to go hiking and nothing natural to do. Nowhere to pray outside unless you want to be eaten alive by bugs. The drivers suck and intentionally try to kill you sometimes. And most people's lives here seem to revolve around drinking and eating pork. It doesn't help that I'm a minority here - not that this in itself bothers me, but the rudeness around it does. I just really don't like it much here. I do like the green, the rain, and my fiance...but I don't have friends here and without there being much to do, I'm lonely.
We're going to go and try and do something fun this weekend to get me out of this funk and show me that this state has more than a defunct people that quite frankly, explain why the south didn't win the war.
* I was thinking about what someone said to me last week (I don't think it was intentional, but it has stuck with me and I wish I had said something at the moment....) A (born Muslim) woman was talking about a Muslim couple, and had said something along the lines of: "He converted to Islam, but she was a real Muslim (born Muslim)." It bothered me that she considered a born Muslim a Muslim and a convert not. What does that make us? Fake Muslims? Actions define us and deeds, not necessarily a title or identity.
* Fiance's Mom just called him to tell him how much she likes me and how sweet I am. Also that she loves me and misses me. Man my parents don't call me ever. What did I do to deserve such a great family when I feel less than worthy most of the time? I guess i no longer have to worry whether or not she liked me...that about says it all. How lucky am i?
* I'm glad it's Friday!
Bushism of the day: "Laura and I really don't realize how bright our children is sometimes until we get an objective analysis." CNBC, April 15, 2000
Uplifting Hadith of the day: Allah does not look at (value) your faces and nor your wealth, but He looks at your hearts and your practices." Imam Ali (Biharul Anwar, Vol 77, pg 88
Scary Hadith of the day: "One who postpones and delays the performing of Hajj (having got it's capacity) till the time he dies. Allah will resurrect him as a jew or christian on the justice day." Imam Ali (Bihar Ul Anwar, Vol 77, pg 58
Ayah of the day: (from Surah 16)
13. And the things on this earth which He has multiplied in varying colors (and qualities): verily in this is a Sign for men who celebrate the praises of Allah (in gratitude).
14. It is He Who has made the sea subject that ye may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender and that ye may extract therefrom ornaments to wear; and thou seest the ships therein that plough the waves that ye may seek (thus) of the bounty of Allah and that ye may be grateful.
15. And He has set up on the earth mountains standing firm lest it should shake with you; and rivers and roads; that ye may guide yourselves
16. And marks and signposts; and by the stars (men) guide themselves.
17. Is then He Who creates like one that creates not? Will ye not receive admonition?
18. If ye would count up the favors of Allah never would ye be able to number them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.
19. And Allah doth know what ye conceal and what ye reveal.
Busy week. Editing a book that really needs rewriting. :-( I hate to say that, but it's true. And when I finish writing my book, my friends better tell me the truth about it...tear it apart, etc. Anyhow, getting closer with it. Placed another cache (Trash Cache)
last night. The comments this one is getting is pretty funny. I guess homeless people like this park. Weird, cause we placed it after dark last night and no one was around, but everyone is running into them in the day. I guess these bums like to go to bed late and sleep late. I'm the same way. Anyhow, the comments are hilarious. One guy had to explain to one less fortunate what he was doing so he made this up:
I don't know how this was placed at night. I had enough trouble with the locals at high noon. I tried earlier in the day, but apparently several people had overslept. Finally was able to get close to the cache, but had to answer questions from many of the more curious locals. I told them I was measuring the density of the tree canopy for a project at Georgia Tech. They seemed to buy it. I don't think they would have understood geocaching....
Read some of the Qur'an, and about halfway through this book (God and His Attributes)
, and I read a chapter of one of the books I'm reviewing. I'm tired of reading, and my computer. I long for the outdoors but it's about to thunderstorm so it looks like i'm stuck inside so I'll just keep working.
This just in
Aw... I feel so loved. FutureHubby's parents just called me... How sweet to hear from them. :-D Super big grin.
Very interesting article
is absolutely fascinating. It's about a Cherokee Blackfoot American Indian who is Muslim. Do read. Thanks for sending it Masooma.
So now Bush is planning another terrorist attack (the elections or at least making a threat of a terrorist attack). His first *known* terrorist attack (9/11) went so well and let him be dictator for four years and let him wipe away constitutional rights, violate Muslims, and kill thousands in countries that never posed a threat to the US.
Well since that one went so well, now he wants to do another one (or threat to do one) to end the whole democratic process which, ironically, is what he preaches about instilling in other countries. I guess he wants those oil countries to be democratic and make America a dictatorship. Well, Mr. Bush, bring it on. If you succeed in this, you will be like all the other dictators. Revolution will flourish and this country could finally get the facelift it's needed. You like creating radicals and fundamentalists and mayhem. Well do it Mr. Bush. I dare you. I have faith in the American people and they won't let you do it twice.
Here's part of a song by Ani DiFranco called Roll With It...the song has been on my mind the last couple weeks... Her disdain of the military and politics.
the mainstream is so polluted with lies
once you get wet, it's so hard to get dry
we're all taught how to justify
as it passes by
and it's your world
that comes crashing down
when the big boys decide
to throw their weight around
but just roll with it baby
make it your career
keep the home fires burning
till america is in the clear
what if the enemy
isn't in a distant land
what if the enemy lies behind
the voice of command
the sound of war
is a child's cry
behind tinted windows,
they just drive by
all i know is that those
who are going to be killed
aren't those who preside
on capitol hill
i told him,
don't fill the front lines
of their war
those a**holes aren't worth dying for
but he said
roll with it, baby
make it your career
keep the home fires burning
till america is in the clear
Placed a new cache the other night. See Midtown Magnolia here.
Okay. Toronto was AWESOME and I want to move there now. It was so cool to see so many desi's in one place and so many hijabbed sisters. There is a different atmosphere in Canada. I loved it and am trying to convince FutureHubby to move there.
Arrived in the afternoon and was picked up by FutureHubby's brother and mother. Mashalla, what a sweet and loving family. Got to his parents house and his neice and nephew were there and we started playing together right away. His mom was real quiet so i wasn't sure if she liked me. After prayers, me, FutureHubby, his brother, and nephew went bangle shopping and Khussa shopping (those pointy traditional shoes). We also looked around at the desi stores and got some samosa's and other snacks. Very cool.
was awesome and I felt like a princess. FutureHubby and I were both wearing shalwar khameez's (mine was made by his aunt and she did a great job!) and I was all bangled and wearing his mom's jewelry. The way he looked at me was just like I was a princess. The party was great and I met some more of his family and inlaws, etc. I felt very special. When he bent down on one knee and put the beautiful ring on my finger, he was trembling a bit but smiling big. He loves me. I can feel it. And I love him. It was a great night. Afterwards, he talked to me for a moment and told me how lucky he felt and how beautiful I looked and that I looked like a princess in the shalwar khameez. He was so emotional and me too. A very happy night.
FutureHubby left the next day and I stayed on with his family. The whole week was great and it gave me and his family an opportunity to get to know each other. I ate a ton. His parents are all about making sure I'm fed. And even when I said i was full, more food would be put on my plate. And then desert. Etc. It was a week of feasting and visiting relatives and friends. Our days and nights were booked with meeting people...which of course included lots of Pakistani food. FutureHubby's brother took me and his mom + neice and nephew to Niagra Falls one day and it was very very pretty. Just as we were on our way out, a big rainbow fell across the gaping falls area. Just beautiful.
I'm very lucky and happy to have such a loving family. They already include me as part of the family. His neice and nephew were got attached to me right away which made me feel special...like i had an alliance ;-). I was worried about his mom at first but she loves me. I could feel it by the end of the trip. I think she may have wanted him to marry a Pakistani girl, but I think she's just happy that he's marrying a Shia. She accepts me which is what I was worried about. By the end of the week, both his mom and dad were saying "Shabba khair beta" - and I knew i was in. His dad is awesome too. If you can believe this, he has read Michael Moore's "Dude Where's My Country." I'm so glad I don't have to turn off my politics when I'm around them. They think like me and me and his dad compared conspiracy theories.
I'm sure I'm forgetting to write a lot, but it was an eventful week and the most important thing was the committment we have made to each other. I love Toronto and want to move there. It's so awesome. And I am a lucky girl...
PS. I'll be sending some pics out by email soon insh'Allah.
Funny personality test!
You are a WECL--Wacky Emotional Constructive Leader. This makes you a people's advocate. You are passionate about your causes, with a good heart and good endeavors. Your personal fire is contagious, and others wish they could be as dedicated to their beliefs as you are.
Your dedication may cause you to miss the boat on life's more slight and trivial activities. You will feel no loss when skipping some inane mixer, but it can be frustrating to others to whom such things are important. While you find it difficult to see other points of view, it may be useful to act as if you do, and play along once in a while.
In any event, you have buckets of charisma and a natural skill for making people open up. Your greatest asset is an ability to make progress while keeping the peace.
Click here to take the test
- and thanks to Sister Scorpion
for the link.
All right, I'm back. Engaged and all and about ten pounds heavier. I spent most of the week eating and meeting people. I never realized that in Pakistani culture, if you visit someone you will get fed. And if you visit several people in a day you may get 3 lunches and 4 deserts in a time span of 4 hours. It seemed as though when breakfast was over, lunch was already starting. Whew.
I have lots to do today and this weekend but will blog it all soon insh'Allah -it's going to be a long one. What I can say is that I'm very lucky to have inlaws that accept me so fast and already consider me part of the family (the cake even said it: "Welcome to the family + my name"). I'm lucky to have a fiance that loves me as much as he does. Thanks for all the duas and Mubarek's. I'm very happy.
I've got so much to tell but have no time between eating and meeting/visiting people, etc. Will make up when I get back insh'Allah on Friday night. I can say, I am spoiled and the luckiest girl in the world...
AND, he didn't go to Jared. He went to Tiffany. :-) I did say I was spoiled didn't I? I'm loving every minute of it.
Gone with the Wind (Geocache) Approved
Gone with the Wind
Geocache approved and someone already found it. We placed it last night.
Going to the chapel...er, I mean Mosque...
Yes... When I get back from my trip I will be an engaged woman. One step closer to marriage and half the deen.
Saddam Hussein to the Iraqi court
"This is all a theater," Saddam said with a half-smile. "The real criminal is Bush."
"I'm surprised you're charging me with that as an Iraqi, when everyone knows that Kuwait is part of Iraq."
Judge: "Do not use that language in this court. Will you now sign this document listing your rights?"
You know...these guys, Bush, Rumsfield, Saddam - put Hollywood to shame...I mean no one could make up stuff this good. Unbelievable. Here is the transcript (it's really short.
I don't think anyone but two will care about this (except Masooma
a fellow Geocaching
addict, but I activated two travel bugs today for Geocaching
. One is Paris Bound
and the other is Sikh
. I also made a Microcache
to hide...I won't release the bugs or hide the cache until I get back from Toronto in a week or so... BTW... BIG news on return... Happy days.