Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Blog!

Hey everyone, you can find my new blog here:

Have a good day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hijabi Monologues

We recently had a Hijabi Monologues performance at my school and it was pretty awesome. If you haven't heard of HM it's basically a play wherein monologues are performed about Muslim women who wore the hijab. They are all true stories but the actresses are not necessarily Muslim, and they are not necessarily the ones whom the stories happened to.

At first when a close friend of mine told me about HM and how we should bring it to our school I was a bit hesitant. We are both part of the MSA so it would be sponsored by us, and I was concerned whether the content would be "Islam-friendly" or not. Early on in one of the pre-organizational meetings I learned that one of the monologues contained swear-words and another was about a teenage girl who had an illicit intimate relationship with a guy, became pregnant, and after struggling eventually removed her hijab. "These are bad representations of Islam, why should we be showing this side of Muslims to the world?" I thought to myself.

I voiced my concerns and it took me a while to wrap my head around this but I realized that Hijabi Monologues is indeed not a 'Dawa (outreach) Event' or an 'Islamic Lecture.' It's not telling you how a Muslim should be, should not be, or what is halal (permissible) or haram (impermissible) in Islam.. It's simply real stories that happened to real Muslim women who wore the hijab.

To say outright that these stories are un-Islamic does not apply here. What does that even mean anyways?  These stories happened in real life. Should they be changed, not told in their entirety, or altered to leave out 'un-Islamic' details like how the naive, low self-esteemed teenager was knocked-up or how the f-bomb was dropped by an ignorant racist on two innocent hijabis waiting in line just to appease the disillusioned ideal that we are all perfect Muslims and none of that stuff happens to us?

I'm actually glad that some people respond negatively to Hijabi Monologues, and some positively, because this sparks dialogue and discussion, which I believe is very lacking in the Muslim community nowadays. For those who disagree with showing this side of reality of living as a Muslim woman, how else will we relate and learn from each others' experiences if we are sweeping things under the rug? Yes, there are illegitimate Muslim pregnancies. Yes Muslim and non-Muslim men do hit on hijabis. Yes, Muslims are confronted with scary incidences and angry/ignorant comments. Yes, Muslims do face heartbreaking situations dealing with death. And yes, apparently niqabis do go to college football games? (this was new to me)

All in all the Hijabi Monologues was at some points funny, and at other points tragic and serious. I feel it is a lifeline for those who struggle with being a Muslim in America. It's for those whose voices are silenced by the idealistic cultural microcosm Muslims have created for themselves. It's for those who have even more shocking and tragic stories that they are keeping inside because they're not socially or 'Islamicly' acceptable to talk about.

It's for those who have yet to realize that we are all human deep-down and undergo experiences that connect us all. We are all slaves of Allah and we can only do our best, let's talk, let's grow, let's help each other out on this temporary journey...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Life Update

What up. I'm on break for the holidays and I have 1 week left until school starts. So far it has been a very lazy, unproductive break. I have been sick now for 6 days and it's not going away. I am sitting in bed as I type this trying to finish a 1.75L Simply Orange bottle in record time, frequenting the bathroom often. I am told if you drink massive amounts of OJ when you're sick you'll get better faster. 

My sophomore year has been okay so far, Alhamdullilah (thank God). I received decent grades in my classes (French, English, death a.k.a. organic chemistry, and ceramics) and I'm gonna try for straight A's next time. I get to take my first nutrition class ever next quarter and I'm so excited!!!

I bought my MCAT (medical college admissions test) book, and it is very scary and imposing. It's the biggest book I have ever owned. InshAllah (God-willing) I'm going to try and get at least 1 hour of MCAT studying in per day. I really hope I get into med school...

Winter is cold. Ew snow. I am cold all the time. Especially my feet. I leech off human body heat whenever I can by sticking my feet under their bums. 

I made a huge to-do list at the beginning of break and so far I have barely completed any tasks.. I wanted to memorize 2 surahs (chapters) from the Qur'an, and I haven't even memorized 1 ayah (verse).


So there's my short update on life... peace out.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Parking appeal

It was quite an eventful Saturday. Here is my parking violation appeal for my $90 ticket. God-willing it will go through.

I have received a parking violation for parking in a lot designated for a band competition. I am not used to having a parking pass as this is my first year with one, so I was a little perplexed when I went to get my car in the afternoon and found it gone, replaced with many brightly colored uniformed high school students with musical instruments marching in single file lines scattered among several yellow school buses.

At that point I called traffic and parking and asked them where my car was, and they said it was towed to the northwest stadium parking lot. I spent a half hour looking for my car, going up and down the rows, with no luck. I figured that I was looking in the wrong lot, so I asked a traffic and parking man. He said it was in the same lot the lady on the phone said. I went and searched again, and couldn't find it. I thought my car was lost forever. I asked another traffic and parking person for help, and gave them my license information. They checked the list of towed cars, and mine was on it, but it was not in the lot all the other towed cars were. The traffic and parking man radioed his people and apparently one car had been relocated to another lot, but that car was allegedly a station wagon, and not my car.

I didn't know what to do since I had asked 3 separate traffic and parking people and I still had not found my car. Then the traffic and parking man radioed his friend and he drove over to the lot the 'station wagon' was in to see if he could find my car. At first he radioed back and said he couldn't find it. But then he radioed back and said he found it. Out of all the cars that were towed, only one car was relocated elsewhere, which was my car, and no it was not a station wagon.

The traffic and parking man drove me over to the other lot and I had at last found my car. He told me that the sign about the band competition had been up since Thursday. But I had not seen the sign, since I don't usually park on this side of campus. I had double checked the traffic and parking website to make sure I could park in the stadium lot for the weekend, and it said I could since it was not a football Saturday. But apparently it was a band Saturday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bathroom buddy

Early this morning a curious incident occurred. My suitemate woke up to pray Fajr, the morning prayer, and had gone to the bathroom to perform wudu, or ablution. She had not seen anyone else in the bathroom when she entered, as it was pretty early in the morning. She was sitting in the stall doing her business, when suddenly she heard water gushing into the sink.

Then she felt a cold draft and heard a soft whoosh sound.

At this point she was very scared, and stayed in the stall for awhile, not knowing what to do. She finally came out and turned the faucet off, and left the bathroom as quickly as she could.

My roommate told me this when I had returned from class today, and I was skeptical. I had to hear it for myself from my suitemate. So I saw her later that day and asked her if her story was legit.

It was legit.

I have known her for 8 years and I could tell she wasn't lying. She described the sound the "thing" made as if someone were walking, but without the pattering noise of feet.

Growing up I always heard about jinn (where the word Genie is derived from, click for description), but I never actually realized they were so close to home. The duaa, or supplication, that Muslims should say upon entering a bathroom now carries more importance to me:

O Allah, I seek protection in You from the male and female unclean spirits.
I did some research and apparently some jinns like to chill in dirty or impure places, which is probably why it was in the bathroom this morning, if it was a jinn. I don't really know much about them, but I do know that there are good jinns and there are bad jinns (Satan is an example of a bad one, actually the worst one) and that they have free will. Jinn are living along side mankind in a parallel unseen world, and there are believers and disbelievers among them. They will also undergo judgment for their deeds in the Hereafter.


Going to the bathroom alone now is creepeh...or at least you think you're alone.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Apple pie

I LOVE FALL, a time for apples and pumpkins and beautiful changing leaves!! In the spirit of fall, I made this pie from apples growing in my backyard. They're the juiciest apples I've ever had. YUM. Here's the recipe I used: Grandma Ople's Apple Pie

delicious homemade apple pie

yummy apples from my backyard

Monday, September 14, 2009

9/11 Reflection: A Deaf Encounter

Broccoli: check. Grapefruit: check. Milk: check. Only a few items remained on my grocery list. Next was orange juice. Since I began wearing the hijab this summer, I had not been to the grocery store alone many times. I'm not sure why but I'd always try to bring someone with me when I went. Maybe I was scared someone might make a comment about my clothes, or stare at me, or do something worse. I felt very self-conscious.

So I headed to the aisle with the orange juice, and as I was deciding between the Simply Orange o.j. or the Simply Orange with Pineapple o.j. (such a hard decision to make) I felt a tap on my shoulder. Surprised, I turned around and there was a man standing there holding something out for me. I took the card and said thanks. The card read: "Happy Holidays. I AM DEAF. I LOVE YOU. I am selling alphabet cards. I am doing this for a living for me and my family. PAY ANYTHING YOU WISH. Any donations will be greatly appreciated. KEEP SMILING :) THANK YOU!!!" With pictures of the sign alphabet printed on the back.

Flustered, I replied "Oh, ummm," and I got out some cash and handed it to him. He took it and smiled and tipped his head. Then he signed a message I wasn't expecting.

He pointed to my headscarf and made a motion as if he was wearing one, and then gave a thumbs up. Then he pretended to have a gun and began shooting all around. Then he motioned a building and blew it up with an exploding noise. Then he pointed to me and shook his head, not attributing these things to me. He gave another thumbs up, smiled, motioned thanks in sign language then walked away.

After this incident I recalled 9/11. I remembered my reaction to hearing about the twin towers 8 years ago, to hearing it was attributed to Muslims. "This can't be right," I thought, "How could they do such a horrible thing against Islam? How could they kill innocent people and call themselves Muslims?"

The World Trade Center bombings were an atrocity against mankind and against Islam. Islam is a religion of peace and it does not condone killing of innocent people. These bombings were despicable, and as a Muslim I feel great sorrow that people attacked us and claimed it was in the name of Islam.

But amidst the onslaught of propaganda, disillusionment, and misleading biases in the media about Islam, a deaf man saw through the lies and heard the truth in his heart.

My encounter with him gave me confidence and hope. After hearing lies and attacks again and again toward Islam you begin to question yourself subconsciously. You become apologetic about your beliefs. You seek to justify your ways according to the media's standards. It is a destructive trend because playing by the media's belittling rules you will never win. I now play by the rules of Islam, which felt right since the beginning. The intruder certainly did his damage but now I am definitely stronger because of him. May we all be guided to truth, and protected from the evils of this world.