Sunday, April 29, 2007

From Egypt, with Love

My dad and sister came home today from their 3-week visit to Egypt. So they brought gifts for us and all sorts of interesting things. Amongst these interesting things are the following pictures...

These are the pyramids from the airplane:

The view from their window at the hotel in Cairo, this is the nile:

Some weird art in their hotel room (clearly, my sister's hand does not approve):

A man reading Qur'an on the Mediterranean:

The Mediterranean at sunset:

A view of the seashore at night:

Stanley Bridge that overlooks the Mediterranean:

The streets of Alexandria, you have to love the donkey carts:

All the food stuff we sent to my other sister in Egypt, as per her request:

Enjoy some mango or guava juice.

Some crazy deathly desserts:

More death by ice cream:

Some fruit thing that looks awesome. It cost 5 pounds, which is equal to a Canadian dollar, yum:

And, my all time favourite, a shirt they found while shopping (hey, every day is worlo love day at!):

And for all my special and valued blog readers, a wink from my cousin:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Makeover Shows: a Confession

So I'm kind of obsessed with makeover shows. I don't know why--especially since I'm always complaining about the fact that men judge women by their outer appearances, etc. I must be some sort of hypocrite. But still, there's some kind of perverse fascination in seeing an ugly before and pretty after of someone.

Okay, so there's 10 Years Younger , What Not to Wear, Style by Jury, and a bunch of others that I won't get into. So yeah, my ultimate dilemma is that I'm overly enjoying these programs, while totally not agreeing with their core messages. Oh what to do...I feel like a vegetarian who sneaks in some chicken once in a while.

In my defense, I hate makeover shows that involve any type of plastic surgery, that's just wrong, no matter who you are.

In other news, my last exam of undergrad is tomorrow, which explains why I'm blogging. Makes perfect sense. More on that later.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Every baby is a miracle

One of the members of our MSA's executive now has a newborn son :) Some of us went to visit them in the hospital today--needless to say, we acted very excited...all taking turns to hold the baby and coo at it in various ways. So he asked us why we were acting as though this was an anomolie or miracle. And we said, because it is a miracle.

SubhanAllah, every new life is a miracle.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Revolutionary Wudu Maker

Ever on the lookout for strange and unusual items, The Fool was amused to discover what was being celebrated (at a conference) as the revolutionary appliance for performing one's ritual ablution before prayer: It's a pretty thing, sure, and perhaps it will entice those lazy worshippers who skip their ablutions (and maybe even their prayers!) because the wudu area's just too wet and stinky. Unfortunately, The Fool isn't all that convinced this contraption's new and improved. The main difficulty an intrepid wudu-maker experiences is the splashing of large amounts of water on one's clothing - particularly on inopportune parts of one's body - and this pearly white thing, lovely though it may be, doesn't seem to do the trick.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Reasons not to study

So, I have two exams next week, which I'm not studying for because:

a) I slept in because I needed the rest since uhh, I was doing heavy lifting the day before. Okay so I'm lying. But I did sleep in.

b) I had to clean my room - who can study in a messy room?! That took a while. Actually I'm not quite done yet.

c) I had to play with two kittens all day, my sister-in-law brought them over for a visit. She saved them from a shelter that was going to kill them :( So we were thinking of names for them and we came up with these: one is fil-fil (pepper in Arabic) and the other is between 'Asal (honey) or Jasmine. I personally like 'Asal. Jasmine is too Disney. And come now, I couldn't possible study with the cute little fluff balls running around.

d) I talked to a friend on the phone about what kind of wedding dress she wants to wear to her nikkah vs. walima. And no, she's not engaged.

e) I had to watch TV. Because my brother came over and we were watching know, like family time.

f) Night time, too late to study.

I'll study tomorrow. Or something.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Disney in Arabic

Here are some Arabic versions of scenes from The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin. It's quite fascinating, especially since it's in the Egyptian dialect, hard G and all. You can find more stuff like this on YouTube.

I always found the Arabic dubbed versions of stuff to be lame, but these are actually pretty sweet. Plus, parents feel better showing their kids stuff in Arabic because not only are the children being entertained, they're also learning their mother-tongue. Two birds with one stone?

I have the sudden urge to watch the old Disney movies now. Even though Disney gave us all unreal expectations of love =)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Made in Canada

I am told that I am from a land where
pigeons are liable to be eaten
and language flies in curves, snapped out like sandstorms
whipped onto urbanized streets.
Men and camels spit here and taxi drivers
care little for the lives of pedestrians.

They tell me the sidewalks are painted in
black and white squares, and children are kept on leashes.
Women here are colourful, dazzling,
buttoning blouses tightly over their chests
and showing just enough coiffered hair
through transparent scarves.

Coffee shops and sheesha, the culture
of a defeatist nation, men leer at women
like pigeons to be eaten with cheese,
white salty cheese in fresh pita
from ahmed in the shop beneath the complex
who screams at little boys sent by their mothers
without faded pounds in hand.

Internet cafes and men
with mustaches and tattered slippers
humming faint tunes to the music on beaten up radios,
their shirts sinking in the sun and sweat.

Shops are still open at 2am and
lights send blinding glares into their eyes,
mobs of people on the meditteranean,
shaking hands, laughing time into the frothing waves,
corn crackles in the vendor's fire as he chants
in his rusty voice, two for three pounds.
Loofas sold on the street by a boy,
no older than ten and
fool shops, fanta and co-co-cola, roaming cats
forage for their evening meal.

Back in Canada, made in Canada.
I sit lulled by the buzz of my computer
feeling profoundly, alone.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tell Your Government When You’ve Last Had Your Period

Just yesterday, The Fool was aghast at the discovery that female civil servants in India have to reveal when they’ve last had their periods on annual performance appraisal forms submitted to their employees. Apparently these forms are used to "evaluate the officer's fitness". But what intrusiveness! What an invasion of one's privacy!

The Fool is now pleased to learn that the uproar these women have raised has led to the quick withdrawal of these questions:

"A decision to this effect has been taken considering the sensitivity of the issue," an unnamed senior official of the Ministry of Personnel told a newspaper.

"A fresh notification deleting those female-specific clauses will be issued shortly," the official said.

The Fool remains bemused that employees are evaluated on the basis of their health, but she can live with this phenomenon more easily than that of being forced to share the details of when one has last seen blood with all and sundry.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Love-Hate Relationship

Hijab. You love it, you hate it. I love the liberation it gives me. I hate that people, Muslims and non, won't stop talking about it. This piece of cloth has been on my mind recently, no pun intended.

Being part of the MSA, it's been ingrained in us that hijabis discriminate against non-hijabis and that this "has to stop" within our community. We apparently think we're holier than them. And I hear that kind of rhetoric from hijabis, non-hijabis, and what annoys me most: males. I'm getting off topic here, but males shouldn't try to understand the dynamics between girls and then advise us on it. Go apply your presumptuousness elsewhere. But aside from my usual male-bashing ways, I have a proposed theory....

I have never, in my 21 years of working and studying with multitudes of hijabified women, tangibly seen or heard a girl put another girl down for not wearing hijab. Are you surprised? Don't be.

All the hijabis I know have close friends and/or relatives that do not wear the hijab. And I do, too. I don't think they are lower than me or less pious than me. They could very well be ten times better than I could ever be. So why are hijabis sometimes made out to be these monster females who can't wait to turn their noses up at anyone? It mystifies me.

The only conclusion I can come to, then, is that some non-hijabis discriminate against hijabis, thinking that we are arrogant or pretentious. Then, they lay the guilt on us so thick, that we begin to believe we actually ARE discriminating.

Wrap your head around that.

And in case anyone wants to send me hate mail for this, please first keep in mind that this is a generalization and is meant to be a somewhat light-hearted post :)

Friday, April 06, 2007

A day in the life of asthma

Going home today, I was leaving my two friends behind, and I was on the phone at the same time. So, while trying to speak on the phone and leave all at once, my brain was the similitude of a scrambled egg. I was trying to say "take care" and "I'll see you later," and I ended up saying "I'll take care of you." At which point they had a hearty laugh at my expense.

Needless to say, I need someone to take care of me.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Psst, hey you!

So the dude in the last picture was actually an old perverted man from Family Guy. Life seemed so simple before I found out. So I've provided you with an alternative.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


Dear Friend,

It is my pleasure to reach you after ourunsuccessful attempt on our business transaction. I am obliged to inform you that I have succeeded in receiving the funds with the help of a new partner from Paraguay Mr.Fernando Alvaro Gomez. Everything was perfectly done because we strike a deal with one of the ladyAccountant who works with the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF), and she rendered a tremendous help to us.

In appreciation of your earlier assistance to me in receiving the funds, I have decided to compensate you with the sum of $850,000.00(Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) in a Cashier's cheque.This is from my own share. I did this simply to show appreciation to you for your kind support an assistance even though we could not succeed due to some unforseen circumstances and reason.

Presently, I am in Paraguay for investment project with my own share under the advice of my partner. In the light of the above,you are therefore, to contact my Secretary Kaba Ousmane , and do send him your contact address where you want the cheque to be sent to you and phone number. His e-mail address:

Please do let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy together after all the suffering at that time. In the moment, I am very busy here in Asuncion the capital city of Paraguay because of the investment projects, which the new partner and I are having at hand. So feel free to get in touch with him to send the cheque to you without any delay.