Monday, September 27, 2010

oh man...all my favourite fall shows are back. This is bad.

And yet, so good.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Muhammad Jibreel

I wish it had an English translation so more people could fully enjoy it...but this just makes my heart happy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New to Canada? Oh I'll show you what's new to Canada...

Today a woman tried to hand me a "New to Canada" flyer as I walked into a public library. I wanted to punch her in the face. But instead I said dryly: "I'm not new to Canada," and she tried to save her embarrassment by saying "oh okay, but maybe you know people who are." And I said "no, I don't" and walked away.

I wonder how long it will take for people to not assume every hijabi is a foreigner. To the naysayers who respond to things like this by saying "oh she's just trying to be helpful" or "she just made a mistake" was no mistake. To her (and to many others) hijab = foreigner.

It's an overarching mentality that is damaging and that needs to be addressed. The fact that we still have a stereotypical image of what a "Canadian" looks like vs. what an "immigrant" looks like is just mind-numbing. You'd think all this talk about diversity and such would lead people to realize they can't judge a book by its cover (or judge someone's citizenship status by her religious garb!).

Obviously this isn't the case for only hijabis - people of different races or cultural/religious backgrounds face similar assumptions being made about them as well.

Next time someone tried to hand me a flyer like that, I should have one called "Racist Stereotyping Problems? We can help!" (with a phone number that will lead them to a voicemail that says "if you have reached this line, you are guilty of being a racist bigot. Go eat some Kraft macaroni and cheese and wash it down with a lemon spritzer.")

Haha. Okay, only I would laugh. But that's what counts anyway.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hints that the field of social work may not be right for you...

You're lying in bed and you hear your little sister calling you from her room across the hall in a panicky voice - to kill a spider, obviously. And your response to her is: "man up and grow some."

Maybe I could run for mayor though.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Manufacturing Unhappiness

Everything is amazing and no one is happy as coined by Louis C.K.

A capitalistic society automatically manufactures unhappiness. In order for people to be transformed into consumers, they need to genuinely believe that the things they have are not good enough. They need to, from the very depths of their souls, develop a lust for materialistic gains.

Needless to say, that is not in our fitrah or our innate character when we are brought into this world. Perhaps some competition and some of our desires are natural. But the way we have come to perceive our needs is wholly and undeniably unnatural. We are no longer able to differentiate between our wants and needs! I NEED a new phone, I NEED a car, I NEED this beauty product to be presentably pretty. Nothing is ever about wanting anymore.

From the day we're born, we are constantly inundated with advertisements that make us feel bad about ourselves. Every single form of media out there propagates insecurity until human beings are stuffed so full of hatred of themselves, that they would spend all their wages and more to buy things. And the sad thing is, those things will never fill that unhappy void.

Look in the mirror, talk to yourself. Chances are that you hate something about your body, especially if you're female. You want the "flawless" body of Megan Fox and a timelessly beautiful face like Scarlett Johansson (not that I particularly admire these women, but they are rated as being amongst the most beautiful women int he world).

Okay, so you want to be beautiful, stunning even. What else do you want need?

A nice car, or two or three.
A big house, professionally decorated of course.
Admiration of people.
A summer cottage.
A boat maybe?

Pretend for a moment that you have all of those things, and whatever else you "need." Then will you be happy?

If you answered "yes," you have a rude awakening coming your way. Because guess what? You have been taught to hate yourself so much, that once you receive that rock-hard body, you'll think you need breast implants. And once you have those, you'll think your breasts are too big.

And once you have your beautiful house, it will seem hollow and empty and not cozy - so you'll install a fireplace. But it won't really change the fact that you are hollow and empty inside. Once you have your immaculate car, a newer model will come out, and you will absolutely need it.

And you'll race yourself to obtain material goods until the day you die. And then no one will remember you.

All because you hate yourself to begin with. You feel so incomplete that every day is the same struggle to add things and people into your life so you can finally feel whole...does it work?

Our society manufactures unhappiness so that you will need to be a different person than you are - so that you will buy their products, enroll in their gyms, want every latest techy gadget out there, and the biggest and the bestest of everything.

I never knew I could just wake up one day and decide to be happy instead. I never knew. And it makes me so angry to know that I wasted parts of my life pretending to need things that, when obtained, only made me feel worse about myself, more lonely, and less beautiful.

Personally, I can't ever imagine being happy without the blessing of Islam and the spirituality that accompanies it. To know that God is Al-Jabbar: the Repairer, Restorer, The One who completes that which is incomplete. When I learned that Name of God, it floored me. Absolutely floored me and challenged everything I thought I knew about what it meant to be repaired and complete. I know now that solace will never be found in things.

So look in the mirror again - and make a list of the things that you love about yourself. The things that are unique and beautiful and that you wouldn't ever change. Count every one of your blessings. And as God says, you will never be able to enumerate them all.

You are the only one who can decide to be happy. And when you decide to love yourself, even with the ridiculous flaws you have, YOU will be capitalism's worst nightmare.

And that's awesome.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Eat Mubarak

The ending of Ramadan is both sad and happy - the community starts to disperse, the warm masjid humming of kids and women making du'aa is mostly gone, and that high sense of spirituality is evaporating. But it's Eid, which is meant to be a beautiful celebration - and there's hope, lots of hope that God is pleased with our efforts and devotion to Him in the past month.

Yes, the ending of Ramadan is always so bittersweet. To make up for it, eat cake.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

whack job dreams

A few days ago I had a dream that a gay Chinese man was waxing my eyebrows and trying to convince me to make them thinner than they are. I probably had beans for iftar that day.

First day of school

Yesterday was the first day everyone went back to school. I went to the beach.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

This is why I'm so nice during the day

I really enjoy art - painting, sketching, and just about anything that's creative. It gets my mind's wheels a-turnin' and my creative juices slopping around (that sounded nasty). And to top it off, it helps relieve stress and is quite the therapeutic hobby.

Take for example my most recent masterpiece: 

I call it "Night at Sea."

(Or the alternate title: "Death on Silent Seas whose Nightly Depths Decry the Secrets of Dark Souls.")

Like I said. Therapeutic.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Quality Control...

Don't you just love it when you invite people over for iftar, they bring some kind of cookies or pie or cake, and you do some "quality control" over in the kitchen before dessert time? Don't act like you don't do it - sneak a piece when everyone's busy outside.

This is my quality control of today. Soft chocolate cookies with lemon icing and sprinkles. Actually I just found out as I was posting this that I still had a sprinkle stuck to my face. It was that good :D

As I always say, fatty food is good for your soul.


When I try to define the "type" of person I am, I'm often left drawing a blank. Some people can easily identify with one personality type over another, or one emotional disposition. But when people ask me to define myself in those categories, I end up saying something stupid like "well I like to joke around a lot, but I'm also serious. I'm a big goofball, but people also look to me for advice. I'm very emotional, but only about specific things."

You see how that can start to sound a little but schizophrenic-like? This isn't only from my perspective though. For example, I've been called a sap, but also been called "stone cold." The best one by far though, was being called "emotionally unbalanced" :D

Perhaps that last statement is the most true out of them all - but I'd like to re-frame that and instead call myself a very talented chameleon. I change and adapt depending on the situation. No one quite knows what my original colour is - but is that really important?

Why do I have to be a certain personality "type" anyway? I'd like to just be all the things you weren't expecting.