Sunday, April 25, 2010

5 Years of Randomly Placed

Today marks my blog's 5 year anniversary. I'm not sure whether to celebrate the deliciousness of creative expression or mourn the copious amounts of time I've wasted.

I was contemplating doing something special today, but my procrastination got the better of me. As it turns out though, I did do something special today without even knowing: I went to a seamstress to get a bridesmaid dress made for myself for my friend's upcoming summer wedding. I am wearing peach. I think it will be kind of hilarious (as you may know, there are very few things in life that I don't find at least slightly hilarious).

It made me think about how we go through life observing the changes around us - people marry and divorce, they come into our lives and leave, our family members grow older, fashion trends change, and seasons shift and merge into one another. But rarely do we contemplate how we ourselves have changed throughout all of this.

It's a little frightening to realize that change is so automatically internalized - that the small details we encounter in life have the potential to plant or water the seeds of love, compassion, hatred, sadness, wisdom. And do we change because the world has changed, or does the world change because we have?

I have changed in the past 5 years, and so have you! I bet most of you reading this right now weren't here at the inception of Randomly Placed. A few of the keepers have stuck around, but my readership evolved, just like I did. And doesn't all this change feel so seamless?

Some sad things have happened to me over the past five years, but also some of the most beautiful and lovely things have happened, too. And interestingly enough, only in retrospect are we able to examine the good things and good decisions of our pasts and conclude that we actually had very little to do with any of it.

The more I study my life and realize how much laughter and tears there were, and how utterly imperfect I am, the more I realize how free from imperfection my Lord must be. And how content I am in the deepest, most profound ways to have Him as my Creator.

I've learned so much, but I still have a long way to go. It has been an honour hosting you, and I hope you will stay with me as this journey continues.
My sister Nusaybah avenges me. And that's what sisters are for.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Top Ten Criteria for a Wife

In case the men are clueless, I'm sharing this list out of the goodness of my heart. This is what you should be looking for in a wife:

1. Ability to withstand stupidity of males.
2. Cooking, cleaning, foot massaging.
3. Ability to withstand your mom.
4. Relatively nice.
5. Ability to bear at least 6-8 children.
6. Should probably be female.
7. Medical Doctor.
8. Should be funny, but not excessively so.
9. Successful, but not as successful as you.
10. 18 years old.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kauthar's Recurring Dream

Kauthar had a recurring dream.

In the dream, she stood behind a one-way mirror looking at a line-up of men. Perhaps they were convicts. They all looked eerily familiar and seemed to be able to bore into her soul with their tired eyes, despite their shielded vision.

The first in the line-up was a thin, short man who looked as though he were from the Indian subcontinent. He wore spectacles, though they could not hide the burden of worry weighing down his eyes. His glance was accusatory, as though to say you put me here.

The next two men were gruff with Middle-Eastern features. One with Cheshire-perfect teeth, and the other with a menacingly boyish grin. Their mouths were both closed, and Kauthar wondered how she knew their smiles so well. Their shoulders were relaxed and hands identically clasped over their groins. And though she knew they were different in every way, they were strangely the same. Their eyes were impatient, hallowed, devoid of compassion.

The last was a white man - short, but with round features. A timid smile tugged at his lips, but he fidgeted the most amongst the bunch; looking at his watch, rolling his bespectacled eyes up to the ceiling (presumably to count tiles).

Kauthar looked them all up and down, desperately trying to remember why they were behind the glass, what she needed from them. Just as her mind was about to grasp the tip of the answer, the glass between them suddenly shatters and falls to the ground, and they catch a glimpse of her shocked expression.

Then she wakes up.

For the life of her, Kauthar did not understand the depth of the dreams and wished they would stop. But the dream followed her into the day, dug its nails into her skin and made her afraid to step out from behind the glass that was her heart. It made her want to drink coffee.

We become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren't, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because, when these things happen, we suffer terribly. But the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself.

Friday, April 16, 2010

why I need to stop taking the bus

Someone sent me this message on facebook today:

"Hi, This may sound weird, but I see you almost every day on the bus in my area. I never thought I would say hello, kind of shy, but I see you on facebook now, so I thought I would say hi. How are you?"

I don't approve of this stalker-esque behaviour.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


My nephew has been calling me "Aamaa" for a while now, so today I was trying to get him to pronounce the missing "S" sound. I kept saying "aSmaa, aSmaa, aSmaa" and finally it took all his effort to blurt out "AMMSA!"

And I'm satisfied with that :D

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dua for You

1. I'm done school! Alhamdulillah.

2. This video kills me, it's hilarious:

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

"They're not like you and me, which means they must be evil!"

According to recent media coverage, the Niqab is:

1. The cause for vitamin D deficiencies & teeth falling out.
2. A manifestation of vanity/a fetish.
3. A symbol of the female being submissive to the male.
4. Hideous.
5. An affront to Canadian values.

I really only have one main question: how many of the people writing these articles actually spoke to any women who choose to cover their faces? I can safely say none. Those who write articles begin by saying "in my research..." I don't know about you, but I'd like to know what this research is (which, conveniently is never mentioned).

Quebec's proposed niqab ban is outrageous, wrong, offensive, and disturbing on every possible level. But who's speaking up about it? Feminists? Nope. Muslim groups? Nope. Academics? Nope. Government officials? Nope and nope.

Why aren't we saying anything? Why aren't we doing anything to battle this xenophobic turn of events? People may think this will be isolated to Quebec, but that is far from the truth. It's a slippery slope - first niqab in Quebec, then perhaps the niqab in other provinces - and then any number of other civil liberties we hold so dear.

And even most individuals who are speaking up against the niqab always start their sentences with "look, I am against the niqab, but I think this ban is wrong." I find this a dangerous trend because by issuing such a statement, the person immediately distances him/herself from the issue. So if the niqab ban happens, well it's okay, I'm still safe because I already said I'm against it.

When was the last time someone opened your closet and told you that you couldn't wear what you chose to wear? And I don't start my sentences off with "look, I'm against cleavage showing, but you have a right to wear low-cut shirts." Why is that even my business? If a woman truly chooses to wear that, then that's her right - regardless of what I say or do. So why is it then, that we think we can make a decision on behalf of someone else in this case?

This reeks of colonialist mentality. You can decide for yourself what's wrong with this picture?

I don't wear niqab. But for those women who choose to wear it, all power to you, and you deserve serious respect for putting yourself in the public eye like that.

Anyone interested in keeping up with news/action campaigns can join this group on Facebook.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Things that Make Asmaa Happier

I am writing this post because apparently people think I'm too pessimistic on this blog. I used the name of this blog to inspire this list.

10 thing that make me happy:

1. Sunshine with a cool breeze. There are those few perfect days each year where everything is bright and lovely, with a nice cooling breeze.

2. A full moon. It makes me think about how beautiful the sun is - to give us light during the day, and then reflect off the moon for us at night. SubhanAllah.

3. Shopping. Although I would like to claim not to be materialistic, I can't deny that a brand new shirt, sweater, hijab make my heart feel good. And pretty earrings.

4. Hair cuts that make girls look like boys.

5. All the amazing, funny, intelligent people in my life.

6. Sitting in front of large bodies of water shimmering in the sun or moonlight. There is such wondrous peace that infiltrates my body when I am not preoccupied with the world.

7. Clouds & lying in the grass trying to figure out what shapes the clouds are in.

8. Doing cartwheels, even though I always land very awkwardly and more often than not, injure myself. It makes me feel youthful.

9. Abdulbaset Abdulsammad's Qur'an recitation.

10. Telling the corniest jokes of life & watching people pause and roll their eyes in annoyance.

Yay for happy things! :)

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Vitamin D Deficiency + Life after School + 5 years of Blog

I am currently suffocating in my office at the hospital. I need vitamin D! I think it is cruel to be stuck here behind a computer screen being pessimistic, when I could be outside beign pessimistic. The agony!

In other news, in the spirit of not wanting to wait to do the stuff I love, I enrolled in a painting class for the next few weeks, which will be super awesome inshaAllah. I think it will be a good opportunity to get all my rage out through art.

Similarly, I'm officially done school in ONE WEEK inshaAllah!! The next few days will be very painful, but there is light at the end of the tunnel! I can't decide whether to start looking for a job or not. A part of me just wants to lie on my bed for 2 months and eat ice cream and watch the food network and look at the full moon at harbourfront and write poetry under the stars.

Also, April 25 will apparently be my 5 year blogging anniversary...any requests or suggestions as to what I should do to celebrate (or mourn)?