Tuesday, August 31, 2010

...and Muslim is the new Witch

A few days ago I was at an iftar at a friend's place. Apparently I was the oldest one there, as I so neatly found out while everyone was introducing themselves as 19 and 20 year olds. So my turn came around and I said "my name is Asmaa, I'm 24..." and a girl turns to me with a shocked look on her face and says "but you look so young!"

Well gee, I didn't realize 24 was the new 40.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Time for a Change

So as you can see, I revamped my blog layout because I hadn't really done so in the past five years. I think I like it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Qur'an: cooking with omee, driving with abee

The other day I was with my sisters and we were preparing for an iftar because we were having guests over. We decided to play some Qur'an while we worked, and there were several different options for recitors we could choose. The three of us were arguing over who was the best recitor was...and every time my sister put a different recitor on, we would have an associated memory with his voice.

For example, Abu Bakr Al-Shatery reminded us of cooking with our mom in the kitchen, since that's what she plays when cutting onions and such. Muhammad Jibreel reminded us of riding in the car with our dad, because that's what he plays on long drives.

Then there are certain verses that remind us of our own histories. Like when I come across the ayat in Surat Yusuf where Yaqoub's eyes go white with sorrow and he says: "I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah, and I know from Allah that which ye know not...O my sons! go ye and inquire about Joseph and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah's Soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of Allah's Soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith."

The ayat bring back emotions and memories from the past - a time when I found such great comfort in the verses. And every time I read or hear them, I'm filled with such gratitude that I have Allah (swt) to complain to of my own anguish.

Or one of my ultimate favourite surahs Ad-Duha when Allah (swt) says to His prophet: "Thy Guardian Lord has not forsaken you, nor is He displeased" it brings to mind the beautiful mercy and compassion that Allah had for our prophet, and the same mercy He has for all of us...subhanAllah.

It's kind of cool to have those homey memories associated with the recitation - the Qur'an holds greater significance even beyond it's literal meanings. It's so intertwined in our actions and memories that we can't separate it from our beings. It lives with us, even if we don't realize it. I guess the only thing remaining is for us to live with it, too.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

brownies and obedience

Today I made brownies. And honestly speaking, they were frikin amazing. I should add "mad baking skills" to my marriage resume (right beneath "weak ability to be obedient"). I think the former makes up for the latter.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the universal gift

What makes a mug the one neutral gift that is acceptable to give in almost any situation? Come on, how many times have you received a mug as a gift? In both my social work placements, my supervisors gave me mugs at the end of my term with them. Case in point:

Currently found in the communal cupboard of the home kitchen.

I guess a mug transcends culture without the risk of offense or cultural inappropriateness. But to be honest, I would've appreciated a couple of unmarked bills in a sealed white envelope.

If anyone who ever plans to give me a gift is reading this post, you know what to do.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Marriage proposals that make you want to run away into the wilderness and live your life as a hermit and part-time beaver

A girl my age must be in want of a husband, right?

BUT it always strikes me as odd when people try to hook me up with the most random and clearly incompatible guys. Guys who are 8-10 years older than me, possibly divorced, sometimes with one or more children already, fobs (but not even Arab fobs which at least would be somewhat understandable! - sometimes Bengali, Indian fobs).

What on earth would make you think that a 24 year old Egyptian semi-professional (I say semi, because I am still unemployed) female would want to marry a 30-something Indian divorced male with a kid, who only came to Canada a few years ago?

People are absolutely WHACK. I don't know how else to say it.

So I say with utmost appreciation for your gallant efforts: stop trying to hook me up, because your attempts are just sad and scary.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bin Laden Funnies

Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are generally not funny. But there are 2 things I came across recently related to them that just made me LOL (yes, they actually made me laugh out loud, not just fake 'lol').

1. This video:


2. Just the name of this Facebook group. If you're not on Facebook, the name of the group is: "The Awkwardness When Osama Bin Laden Asks You For The Time And It's 9:11." Whoever came up with that name is a genius.

No disrespect is meant to anyone with this, nor am I condoning any violent acts against people, but I'm sorry - these are just HILARIOUS :D

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ramzan & eighteen

I remember holding my little sister in my arms when she was born...her jaundiced little body, and the sleepless nights my parents endured with her. She turns 18 on August 13 (which is in precisely 17 minutes). EIGHTEEN. She even has her own blog.


1. I feel old.
2. Years are going by a lot faster than I want them to.

p.s. Ramadan mubarak freaks, geeks, nerds, and babies.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

> a man

I'm a 24 year old female, and yet I always have to be the bigger person. I have to have strong leadership qualities. I often have to suck up my emotions and just MAN UP because the situation calls for it.

The sad thing is, I'm a better man than most men I know.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Kauthar and the Ridiculous Beard

At the behest of her worn out mother’s advocacy, Kauthar decided she would meet Omar. If anything, it was just another blind date of sorts to add to her arsenal of interestingly bad marriage experiences. The optimism was practically oozing out of her mother as they both made their way to the meeting spot at her uncle’s home.

The cab ride was much shorter than Kauthar had anticipated. She kept mulling over the ever-important questions and thoughts every girl asks herself before she meets a prospective. What should I ask him, I wonder if he’ll be taller than the last one, the dude had better have a nice beard if I’m going to waste my time meeting him, I should have worn black so as not to look so attractive, if he has bad breath I will pretend to be a niqabi.

Kauthar wished she had more time to mentally prepare.

They unloaded themselves from the taxi and walked through the narrow streets to her uncle’s home. Her skirt was too long, and swept up the dust and sand off the badly lit streets. Later she would find her ankles to be discoloured to match the dirt. Her uncle’s building had no elevator, so they lifted their skirts and made their way up the stairs while Kauthar wondered how disabled people could possible live in this part of the country. They stopped at the 2nd floor and signalled to each other to wait to catch their breath before ringing the doorbell.

They were let in with warm kisses and hugs, and intrigued looks indicating that everyone just automatically knew Kauthar was here to meet her supposed future husband. She felt an urge to excuse herself and vomit over the balcony rail. She refrained from doing so, however, and sat nicely with her stained ankles crossed, making small talk about the weather, how awful her last seamstress was, and whether or not she wanted a piece of cake baked in a gas oven. No thanks. Her left eye had an odd habit of twitching under a relatively minor amount of stress, and it was twitching away at the beat of the ticking clock that was to signal Omar’s potential arrival.

The doorbell rang and Omar was let in. He had a seat in an adjacent room with Kauthar’s uncle, and they chatted about the important things she would not have the patience to ask. Minutes later, at the time Kauthar’s eyelid was about to stroke out, her uncle called her into the room. Her uncle was a remarkable character – he was shorter than her (naturally) but was like someone who had swallowed a boom-box: loud, exciting, and always laughing. He had a sickening twinkle in his eye as he summoned Kauthar to make her entrance. She inwardly grimaced and said to herself: get it together, it’s just a random boy to add to the arsenal. Oh yeah, and bismillah.

She entered the room as graciously as she possible could – which was not very gracefully considering she was a bona fide klutz wearing a too-long skirt. She managed however, to walk those few feet and sit down on the sunken couch without major incident. Phew.

The boy, oh the boy was ridiculously bearded – so much so that it covered about 60% of his face she estimated. He was sitting directly across from her and seemed almost too shy to look up when she greeted him. He had the audacity to wear jeans and a vertically striped shirt that was open at the collar. This dude should’ve dressed up Kauthar thought, amused at his inability to look her square in the face. Sure, the beard covered 60% but there was definitely a pink flush to his cheeks. Suddenly Kauthar was very comfortable now that she knew she had the upper hand. She chuckled to herself and felt her eye stop twitching almost on demand.

Kauthar decided to attack Omar with her first question, feeding off of his discomfort: So Omar, why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself.

They talked about nothing and everything, and Kauthar let herself notice that the boy had a deliciously sweet and easy smile. His eyes were searching, trying to make sense of what he was hearing and seeing. They focused under raised eyebrows when Kauthar asked puzzling questions, and became pleasingly narrow when he laughed at any one of her numerous ludicrous comments. His gestures mimicked hers – a subconscious indication of interest.

Out of the corner of her eye, Kauthar could see her uncle smiling mischievously as though he knew something he would never disclose.