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.

Monday, August 31, 2009


In my speech class I was assigned an informative speech. So I chose to speak about the Holy Qur'an in 5-7 minutes (it was very difficult to stay within the time limit). I had just recently begun wearing the hijab (Islamic headscarf) so I was slightly nervous about standing up and speaking in front of the class. But I said Bismillah (in the name of God) and got up there and did it.

After I gave the speech this guy sitting in front of me turned around and said, "That was really good, it was better than all the other speeches given so far." I said thanks, and the girl next to him concurred. Then he said "I have a Muslim friend, but I don't think he is how he's supposed to be, like you." He went to high school with one of the other guys in class and asked him "Yo man, remember Amir?" The other guy did and they both began reminiscing about the great times they had together partying with Amir.

First of all, I would like to say that I am not a perfect Muslimah, nor will I ever be. But I am glad he saw me as an example of how a Muslim is 'supposed' to be, as opposed to his other Muslim friend who regularly drank alcohol and did other things against the teachings of Islam.

Second, no matter who you are or how religious you are, you are bound to make mistakes because you are human. God knows humans better than they know themselves, and it is a huge blessing that He is so merciful and forgiving. The door is always open for repentance and if you are sincere, you will be forgiven for your sins, InshAllah (God-willing). Muslims must always strive to become better in the eyes of God.

So then this begs the question, how are Muslims 'supposed' to be? And if Islam is the truth, and it is perfect, then why are there extremists, terrorists, hypocrites, and Amir's in this world calling themselves Muslims? I heard an interesting example given by Dr. Zakir Naik that might help answer this question. It was something along the lines of:

"Imagine there was a brand new Mercedes-Benz at a car dealership. A man comes and wishes to test-drive it. He gets behind the steering wheel and immediately after he crashes the beauty. It turns out he didn't know how to drive. Would you blame the car or the driver? You would blame the driver, the car was perfectly fine. How would you know if the car was not at fault? You would check its specifications and safety features, then get a professional driver to test-drive it. In this example, the car is Islam, the specifications are the Qur'an and Sunnah, and the professional driver is the Prophet Muhammad."

In truth Muslims are supposed to be like the Prophet Muhammad (saw). He is the one and only true professional of Islam. If one wishes to pass judgment on Islam, do not base judgments on individual Muslims, that is illogical. One should base judgments on the authentic sources of Islam [the Qur'an and Sunnah] and the original teachings of Islam exemplified by Prophet Muhammad (saw).

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bathroom bridesmaid

On Saturday I attended a dinner. It was being held in a party room at a civic center, which was quite large. There were simultaneous events being held adjacent to our room, specifically a graduation party and a wedding.

The food was scrumptious. There was chicken tikka, rice, salad, kibbe, laham b3ajeen (meat pastries), hummous, and plenty more, including a whole roasted lamb (even though I don't like lamb, it's still impressive). The dessert was awesome too, with many kinds of cakes and fruits and pastries waiting to make me fat.

After I finished my meal I went to the bathroom to straighten my hijab. I was just chillin in front of the mirror doing my business when a lady walked in. She had a sky blue halter dress on and she looked exhausted. Then she started talking to me. Usually bathroom conversations with strangers are awkward, but this one wasn't too bad. Apparently she was the bridesmaid. She told me about the bride's dress, and how on the back there was this long line of buttons that she had to fasten which took forever and she got sick of it. She wondered why the bride chose a dress with so many buttons that would just make it harder to take it off that night...

The conversation went on and I learned a big chunk about bridesmaid duties. She was so exhausted because being a bridesmaid was like a full-time job. She had to make sure the bride's hair looked good, that her dress was in order, that arrangements were executed properly, and many other things. I had finished straightening my hijab when she asked "So what's going on in that room? I can't tell if it's a graduation party or something else because people are kind of dressed up but some are still casual, and some are not dressed up at all, but there's a lot of people.."

I didn't really know how to answer, so I told her it was a dinner party. I told her about Ramadan and how it is the holy month of fasting for Muslims, and that sometimes we host Iftars to break our fast together. I don't think she knew much about Muslims or fasting, she just kind of nodded "oh..." and continued talking about the wedding and how tired she was. Some people just need to let it out sometimes.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


A proud father cradles his newborn child and asks his wife, "What's for dinner tonight honey?" She looks lovingly at the new bundle of joy and softly answers "our baby's placenta."

When it comes to food, I like to think I'm adventurous. Plain foods, exotic foods, or scary foods, I'm willing to try mostly anything. My motto is you never know what could be your next favorite food. As open-minded as I am about food, I was in utter shock and disbelief to learn about this.

My friend told me about it over dinner of all times, "It's becoming more common now, eating placentas. There are even recipes and techniques for cooking it." I did not think she was serious, but later that day I googled it and nonetheless, it was legit. I found this article by Time Magazine describing one father's culinary placental experience...

Apparently eating placentas after giving birth is widespread throughout the animal world. The placenta is said to contain many vitamins and nutrients that sustain the fetus throughout the pregnancy, and instead of disposing of this valuable nourishment after birth, the mother ingests it.

I don't care how loaded that bloody mess is of vitamins and nutrients, that is plain disgusting and disturbing! Come on eating your own temporary organ that came out of your own reproductive tract?! That is so nasty!

Just because it's common in the animal world doesn't mean humans should eat their placentas too! It's also common for animals to eat their own excrement, does that mean we should follow suit? No! Last I checked we were civilized human beings, we have the luxury of grocery stores and refrigerators to store healthy, nutritious food in. Must people resort to eating their own body's organs for nourishment? Ugh, this conjures up images in my head of naked hairy humans running through the forest like apes grunting and chowing down on their placentas...


I have never really watched a Hindi movie before which is kind of strange since I have many brown friends.

So I decided to have a Bollywood night and invited some girls over.We ordered pizza and baked some caramel walnut chocolate chip cookie bars (the remainder is sitting next to me as I type this heh). Junk food to the max ya! My Indian friend brought a selection of movies and I assigned my experienced Desi friends to choose a movie they thought the bollynewbies would enjoy. So they chose Khabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham.

They failed to inform me the movie was three and half hours long.

Seriously that is SO long. But overall it was a cool experience. I'd probably say my favorite part about it was the colors!! There are so many pretty colors of clothes they wear during the 10 minute long choreographed songs to tell each other they can't live without one another or how they missed the sound of their pattering feet or something silly like that and rub up against one another in prolonged sensual movements close enough to kiss but never actually touching lips. Seriously what is with the nose rubbing the neck syndrome?

In a nutshell the movie was about the adopted child of a multi-millionaire who loved the wrong girl from a lower class and was therefore disowned. He moved to London with his wife and years later his little brother finds out the real story and sets out to reunite the family.

It helped to have my friends from India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan there to translate weird parts and explain some cultural background throughout the movie. Apparently many Muslims in India don't really show [or act] like they're Muslim.

I found it kind of strange that throughout the movie the actors would say 'by Allah' or 'oh Allah.' They even had a whole song saying Allah at random intervals. A scene in the movie showed two engaged people agreeing to marry by an Imam. And then immediately after there would be a scene with the same people praying or chanting to some gods with incense and the works. This is probably not the case in reality, as you cannot be Muslim if you practice shirk or polytheism.

I also noticed there were some Hindi words that sounded just like Arabic words! For example, problem = mushkeela or store=dukan or aunt=kala or sir=ustadh. That was pretty sweet.

Will I be investing time in the future watching more Bollywood movies? Most likely not. I think I've had enough drawn out drama and cliche lines to last a lifetime.

Monday, August 3, 2009


The time has finally come. I've been meaning to start a blog for over a year now and I've finally done it. What's been holding me back? I could say school, time, or life have been the main factors, but in reality it was my perfectionist personality.

The blog design must be attractive and eye-catching. The writing must be entertaining, enlightening, and have impeccable grammar. Absolutely no misspellings allowed. I must only write about relevant and worthy topics. I must read a massive amount of other blogs to get a feel for blogging.

These things kept delaying my blog because it had to be perfect, but I've realized that the only way to make a good blog is by actually blogging. The words have been pouring out of my mind and the time has come to stop wasting them.

Let us begin.

Who am I?

My name is Yogurt. Yes that's my actual name, my parents looked into my pink wailing face on my birthday and exclaimed "We shall call you Yogurt!"

That's just messed up, what kind of parents would call their child that? I'm just kidding but forreal Yogurt is my virtual name, because I already have enough stalkers in my life.

Anyways, I'm just your average Muslim American girl wading her way through life and cared to share some thoughts. I'm currently in college pursuing a double-major in Nutrition and French. I know it's a weird combination, leave me alone. I love writing and now that I've made a blog brace yourselves for my crazy ideas and musings!

There is no specific aim for this blog, but I predict most of it will be geared towards food, Islam, and my experiences. But who knows maybe in the future I'll become obsessed with bird-watching and I'll post techniques on how to open up a whole new world in your very own backyard.

That said, welcome to my mind.