Sister Soljah
December 07, 2004

The whole week was great with meeting and spending time with family. They had four parties for me. Everything was done in the Hyderabad way...

1. Melad (spelling?). First party. It was nice with all the women doing the various things. Tying ribbons on us with charity items. The perfume and stuff. Recitations.

2. Mehndhi - so much fun. I loved the songs the women sung with the drum. And having my hands and feet henna'ed was just awesome. The lady was good. She did most of the women's hands and both my hands and feet. My dad had a good time too and even had a tiny part of his palm henna'ed. Too funny. A lot of people thought he was a Pakistani. A betan (spelling?) from northern Pakistan. He did blend in well. This night was just a blast. And i got the royal treatment. Getting fed etc.

3. Nikka and Nikka party - just awesome. I was so nervous but felt so calm afterwards. The nikka was done at my inlaws house. The sheik that did it was awesome and what's funny is that i read his books on marriage. Too cool. His contract was also the one i used although i didn't know he was doing the nikka. He did a little lecture which was good i think for my Dad (did it in English). I didn't hear everything since i was in the other room with the women but heard most of it. But when he did the dua i felt calm just like one of my friends said i would. All the pent up stress and anxiousness melted away and i just felt happy. The nikka party was great as i got to meet more family and be amongst so many loving and happy family.

4. Walima. Sitting on a platform eating was amusing. Seeing 150 or so people below us made me a bit nervous while eating. lol. It was great though. One of M's family is a famous poet from Pakistan and he wrote us a poem which from the translation i got was just beautiful. He recited it to the group. Pretty cool what he said about me having already been Muslim before marriage. That was a great part of the poem. I can't wait to see his (the authors) translation. I didn't know there was some royalty in the family either. Pretty cool hats they were wearing.

All in all is was great meeting the family (all hundred and fifty of them) and spending time with them. The clothes were awesome too. I was shocked at first. That's a lot of cloth on some of those things and the walima clothes were heavy. I felt like a princess marrying my prince though. The heavy gold and what not. Thank God that night was mostly spent seated. :-) I had fun with the clothes. They arranged them all the Hyderabad way. I like the tikka thing (spelling prob wrong...but the gold ornamental thing hanging on the forehead).

Well that's the cliff notes version...


It was awesome but be forewarned. If you ever go to Spain and are a Muslim, eating is difficult. How these people came to love pork so much is beyond me. It hangs from the ceilings and little tiny skinned pigs sit in the window. For such a religious area you'd think they'd read the Bible and read that pork is forbidden but alas.... There is even one place called Museo de Jamon. Museum of Ham. It was pretty disgusting. We had a hard time eating because if a place served a lot of pork we wouldn't eat there. Ending up eating a lot of schwarma at semi fast food kebab places. Paella was good too though.

Alhambra and the Mezquita were awesome. The Cathedral was depressing. They took such a beautiful mosque and then just plopped Christian and pagan images all over the place. Not to mention the depictions of Christians beheading Muslims and standing on their heads. Other depictions of making the Muslims convert to Christianity. That Isabell was one evil chick. I was talking to a friend from Spain about this. We were discussing how it's odd that Christians have this stuff up in their churches and are considered the peaceful religion and Muslims don't show any of this stuff and we are the violent religion. They have it on their altars. It's pretty sick that they put it in a house of worship. Freaky really. But anyhow, the palaces were way cool. Alhambra blew my mind. I'll post some pictures soon insh'Allah in my picture blog (link to the left top). The caligraphy was so beautiful. All over written "Allah is the only conqueror". There was one part where the king wanted it to say "X is the only conqueror" and the Muslims slyly put in Allah instead of his name. The Muslim part of the palace was just so beautiful. The gardens too. We had an awesome time there. We look forward to going back one day. could i forget the orange and lemon trees everywhere. We were amazed at the abundance of them. The small cities are like orange groves with buildings. So awesome with fresh squeezed orange juice. The date trees were cool too...fully loaded. So cool.

There's so much more to tell but i'll end here....
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Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

A recent convert to Islam...finally found what I was searching for. I am a writer and love to read and learn. I also love travelling and getting to know new cultures and ways of thinking.

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