Saturday, January 31, 2009

Sometimes I want to stop pretending like I'm strong and free. And raise my white flag, quietly admitting that I'm weak and constrained. Trying to be strong is exhausting, I don't want to do it anymore.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rejection Hotline

I'm probably years behind, but my little sister recently introduced me to this, and I found it quite brilliant.

In theory you give this number to someone who asks for your number (if you're not so interested in him/her): 647-476-4910

Try it. It gave me a bit of a laugh.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

16 random stuff (yes, I used "stuff" in the plural)

I have been tagged by Iffat to enlighten you with "16 random things, facts, habits, or goals" about me. And naturally, I always comply with tags, because I am very nice.

1. Today I spelled wimps "whimps" and it made me ashamed.

2. Once I had this rishta thing/"blind date" as my brother likes to call them. The guy rang the doorbell, and I opened the door and I pretended like he had the wrong house. (Hey, if I'm going to do something awkward, why not make it fun, too?) He looked very confused, so I said I was joking. Anyways, he didn't come back.

3. I broke my glasses a few days ago. You know when you get up in the morning and you're still 90% asleep? I grabbed for the spectacles and knocked them over instead. I now walk around with a big crack in one of my lenses. I think it adds character.

4. Hi.

5. I had a dream that my nephew (8 months old) came up to me and said "hi." That was the whole dream. I have snippets of retarded dreams like this on a regular basis.

6. Only guys who are shorter than me want to marry me.

7. I like purple these days. Dark purple.

8. I found a video of Barack Obama dancing. It's really just the bees knees.

9. I say things like "bees knees" and other outdated phrases.

10. I like sappy stuff like this.

11. One of my goals is to change the world. Yes, I want to change the world. And I don't think it's an unreasonable goal. My definition of changing the world is making a positive difference in people's lives, one person at a time. Maybe when I die the world won't be all that different, but their worlds will be. InshaAllah.

12. I own a fake beard, and a (separate) fake mustache. That I wear on occasion.

13. The sillier things are, the more I like them.

14. If I ever decided to quit social work, I'd definitely become a wedding planner. I don't think anyone would hire me, but I'd have a business card anyways.

15. I judge a book by its cover, and I'm not sorry.

16. I hate endings. Of any sort.

Unfortunately, the end. Get on with your lives, people.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

thus far

As part of my social work program, I'm doing a placement at a community centre in Parkdale. So far (this is only my 4th day) I've seen:

1. Several drunk men.
2. A man with a dog that wasn't on a leash (much scarier than drunk men).
3. A fire truck coming to pick up a man who fainted. (Why a fire truck? The man wasn't on fire.)
4. A man who was banned from the centre for making threats came back to yell at the security guard.
5. A Tibetan man who named both of his children "Tenzin." One is a boy, one is a girl. I don't get it, but okay.

I need to see more action, baby!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Buttons or a Lack Thereof

Okay. I have a problem. Well, one amongst many. Namely, the buttons on my clothes keep falling off. Now, I'm not sure if I'm simply handling them too hard, or I suddenly gained 30 lbs and my buttons feel the need to pop.

It is very unnerving to see your buttons hanging by a thread, and you being forced to rip them off lest they roll into the street whilst you're walking around blissfully unaware.

Then you make solemn promises to yourself that you will sew them right back on when you get home. But the allures of the couch and dinner are far too strong! Thus, you are left with clothing that is missing a button or two, silently hoping no one will notice.

Damn you, buttons!

Friday, January 16, 2009

be the change you want to see in the world

I have spent the last week or so holed up in my room in front of my computer screen reading about the Genocide in Gaza, watching documentaries, and feeling absolute helplessness. I have not done a single reading for this semester's courses as of yet. I have so far skipped two classes since January 5 (out of six classes).

I find it difficult, and slightly unbearable to sit through meaningless class exercises or conjure up words of small talk with classmates or friends. It feels fake and shameful. I'm exhausted. And I'm beginning to believe that this feeling of incapacity is part of a larger problem. It isn't simply about Gaza. It's about you and I and Muslims around the world.

Allah (SWT) says in the Quran: "Verily never will Allah change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)" (13:11).

There are enough blogs and outspoken individuals condemning Israel for its horrific war crimes. Instead of me ranting about Israel, how about we take a look at ourselves? At the state of spineless Muslims around the world. Every Arab country is supporting Israel, whether through their refusal to open their borders (read: Egypt) or by simply remaining silent. It astounds me, really. And this is not unique to the Palestinian struggle. Our "leaders" no longer care about what happens to human beings, they only care about it if it affects the dollar amounts in their own pockets.

Let's set aside the fact that the killing continues as I write this. Let's set aside the fact that every hour that passes leaves more people dead and injured. What disturbs me the most is that some of us have lost our humanity. Our ability to feel sadness and empathy is what makes us human beings. For any of us who cannot feel this, I have no words for you.

This is for me, this is for you. Not for the cowardly men who claim to be our leaders, not for the Zionist murderers. I have lost hope in them all. But I haven't lost hope in us, the common people. I haven't lost hope that we can turn to Allah in sincere prayer, and ask for the liberation of our people around the world. But don't stop there. We are in such dire need of the Mercy of Allah. Each one of us. It hurts to think how much mercy we need. Ask for it.

And finally, I haven't lost hope in you and I being the change we want to see in the world. If we want peace, we have to start within our selves. Is your own heart at peace? Ask yourself that question and answer it truthfully, honestly, and without restraint. Is our family at peace? Is our local community at peace? If we don't have peace here, how can we assume peace will come elsewhere?

I know how difficult it is to continue life smiling in the faces of people while your heart is enraged and sorrowful all at once. I know that the images we've been seeing have left a permanent imprint in our minds. But unfortunately, most of us cannot change what we see with our hands, or even our mouths.

But we can hate it in our hearts, and we can struggle to bring peace here, in ourselves and our own communities that also suffer a great deal from many problems.

Allah (swt) says His victory is near. And I do not doubt that for one minute. But the only way it will come, is when you and I decide that it's time to change ourselves.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

we will not go down

Gaza has no throat.

Its pores are the ones that speak in sweat, blood, and fires.
Hence the enemy hates it to death and fears it to criminality, and tries to sink it into the sea...And hence its relatives and friends love it with a coyness that amounts to jealousy and fear at times, because Gaza is the brutal lesson...and the shining example for enemies and friends alike.

Gaza is not the most beautiful city.
Its shore is not bluer than the shores of Arab cities.
Its oranges are not the most beautiful in the Mediterranean basin.

Gaza is not the richest city.
It is not the most elegant or the biggest, but it equals the history of an entire homeland, because it is more ugly, impoverished, miserable, and vicious in the eyes of enemies.

Because it is the most capable, among us, of disturbing the enemy’s mood and his comfort. Because it is his nightmare. Because it is mined with oranges; children without a childhood; old men without old age; and women without desires. Because of all this it is the most beautiful, the purest and richest among us and the one most worthy of love.

Mahmoud Darwish

Sunday, January 11, 2009

and they lived happily ever after (under the condition of course, that she would agree to everything he said)

I don't usually reveal very personal information on this blog, aside from some bits of crazy every once in a while. But I want to tell you all a story.

Recently I was considering someone for marriage purposes. And from what I could tell, he was a decent sort of person. And by that I mean he was religious, had good sense of humour, and seemed generous. So we talked for a while.

But as the days went on, I started noticing weird things. Every time I would disagree with him about something, he would get offended. At one point, he actually said "I don't like it when you challenge me." And upon further questioning on my part, he revealed that I was like a guy friend of his as opposed to "spouse material." When I asked why, he said I was very straight forward, as I just said things that were on my mind as opposed to being a sweet girl who would accept everything he said at face-value.

Needless to say, it didn't work out.

And I was left wondering why it is that some men are like this. I was/am angry and disappointed that someone could have such disregard for a woman's opinion and feel threatened the fact that she feels comfortable voicing her thoughts. The sad thing is that this isn't the first guy I've encountered like this.

I think it has a lot to do with being an educated female. You can refer to my thoughts on female education here. Are men intimidated by educated females? I just don't get it. I don't think my education makes me better than other people or anything like that. But by far, the worst thing that happens when I come into contact with people like this guy, is that I begin to second-guess myself. I start to wonder if there's something inherently wrong with me that I'm unaware of. I know it sounds a little pathetic that I'm this vulnerable, but it's very easy to fall into that line of thinking.

Is it asking too much to meet a guy who is comfortable enough with himself that he can accept dissenting opinions? Those of you who know me in person know that I don't argue violently or anything of that nature. But I do say it like it is, usually with a touch of sarcasm or humour and in a very laid-back way. But even this is too much apparently.

It's all a little silly if you ask me.

Friday, January 09, 2009

No Comparison

At the end of the battle of Uhud, even though the Muslims suffered a loss, Umar Ibn Al-Khattab said to the leader of the Meccan army: "there is no comparison. Our slain are in Paradise and your slain are in Hell."

Let Palestine be in our prayers.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

only a little good

Today I was walking down the street and I saw a man asking passers-by for money. He seemed to be fairly young, perhaps mid-thirties, with a beard and sunken cheeks. He was eating a chocolate bar while simultaneously shivering in the cold.

I handed him a dollar and he said something generic like "thank you, miss."

I walked off feeling kind of happy that I had given this man money. After a block or so, I slowly realized how silly and arrogant I was being. What kind of a difference would a loonie make in this man's life? Would it get him a warm place to sleep, or healthy food, or any peace of mind? I don't think so.

I gave it to him, not for him. But for myself, so I could feel better because I gave to the poor.

This applies to so many situations we find ourselves in. We do a little bit of good so that our consciences are slightly less burdened with guilt. But the world doesn't just need a band-aid. It needs many, many stitches.

And some operations, a couple of transplants, lots of pills, IV drips, and intensive therapy sessions.

My dollar is probably gone now, into the hands of some shop owner perhaps. And that man is probably still wandering the streets somewhere. I want to bring him by the hand and ask if he'd like some stitches to go along with that chocolate bar.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Semester II & Alhamdulillah Lists

I start school bright and early Monday morning. Which is...great, considering I've been sick since last year (ha-ha, yes that joke will be used all throughout January). I got sick on December 29, and am still sick at this moment. Sniffling all over the keyboard here, leaving trails of used tissues wherever I go. Pretty sickening stuff, no pun intended. If I'm still ill by Friday, I'll consider seeing a doctor (therapist?).

School is like a bitter pill. Especially in the bleak weather of January. And when times push me to low points, I like to make an "Alhamdulillah" list with all the stuff I don't usually think about being grateful for. So, here goes:

Alhamdulillah for closing down sales. Yes, I'm afraid your store has gone out of business, and for that I am sorry. But that sweater looks a lot nicer when it's 50% off.

Alhamdulillah for the time I have. I thank God for giving me the blessing of time so far, and so many opportunities to turn back to Him. Alhamdulillah for this little heart of mine (I'm gonna let it shiiine. Okay, I'm getting back on track now).

Alhamdulillah for chocolate that makes you forget your troubles momentarily. And friends who serve the same purpose.

Alhamdulillah for my comfortable bed and pillow, where things are a lot simpler and sweeter.

Alhamdulillah for Jeffrey Dean Morgan and other men who are easy on the eyes. Don't pretend you don't feel the same! Sacrilege? Maybe. I got this bug from Grey's Anatomy where he was a patient who died. And don't think I can't see you judging me. Stop.

Alhamdulillah for honey & lemon tea.