Showing posts from January, 2011

The Stolen Dinner Plate Conundrum

Note: Dedicated to my Almadina homies! :)

It was meant to be an elegant affair, one for refinement, dignity, and polite hoity-toity dinner conversation. We had planned to sip our waters and teas and coffees, nod politely and laugh gently at what was being said, and be examples of what the proper lady should act like at such an exquisite dinner function.
Oh yes, our little table in the back of the room did have our fun (even though we were the LAST at the buffet line for dinner!). It started with innocent picture taking, then led to potatoes falling off forks and making a huge 'THUD!' sound, then my superhero like instincts to grab a dinner plate to use for dessert (COME ON, there was NO room for fruit!) only to be CUSSED out by a server in a foreign language, and then finally to me having to steal a box of napkins from the ladies room because we were all laughing so hard we were crying, AND I even considered using my napkin as a nikab to stop the tears from streaming down …

Embracing Change

I was chatting with a few friends on Sunday, some of whom were transitioning from the role of a full-time student to that of a full-time employee. A theme emerged from our discussions, namely that of the differences in obligations between studying and working, specifically in the realm of 'free time' that most universities do not afford to their students! :) One friend in particular mentioned that the transition has been challenging, and that as a student, her time was predictable and quite full, whereas with work, there's the 'after 5pm and before bedtime' period that is a new concept!! Her concerns took me back to my transition from school-to-work in January 2007. I thought I would try and offer some suggestions to remediate the 'full-time job' angst! Here goes!!

1. Embrace the transition to full-time work!
How many times in our lives have we heard that change is positive, and that we should embrace what comes our way! Admit it, after trudging through the d…

The Sister Network

It was March 2010. My mom came home from work and announced "Sameera, I found you a friend!" I looked at her inquisitively, and a little confused, and asked for clarification. "I met a really good pharmaceutical rep, we chatted for a long time, and she gave me her number. AND she wears hijab like you! You guys would be good friends!" 

Let me give a little background before going on here! My mom knew that I badly needed and wanted a greater network of friends. Having made a critical transition recently, I didn't have the extended support network I needed. Working in my dad's clinic, my mom comes across pharmaceutical reps all the time, and that day, the rep of MY DREAMS walked in ;)

So Sara and I talked and then set up a blind date at Market Mall. The story is quite romantic actually, she told me she was wearing a leopard print hijab and was by the M.A.C. counter in The Bay. Sigh, I remember it like it was yesterday! ;) It was sister love at first sight HAHA! …

Letting Go

I've been recently thinking a lot about swimming pools. More specifically about the analogy of a new swimmer trying to tackle a full lap to the deep end for the first time. You feel safe in the shallow end, holding onto the wall, feet planted firmly on the bottom. But the thought of having to let go, and swimming all across the pool as the water gets a darker shade of turquoise blue from the increasing depth, is quite scary.

There are numerous times in our lives during which we are that swimmer. Everything from starting a new program of study or a new job, to making a life altering decision or lowering your walls and opening up to truly can be likened to letting go of the wall in the shallow end and starting to swim. At a certain point in the lap, we all know there's no turning back, and why should we turn back when we've come so far? 

Of course, there is no guarantee about how things turn out. Either you make it all the way to the deep end, or you're left t…

Yes We Can!

Last night, I had the privilege of hearing Dr. Jamal Badawi speak regarding 'I am a Muslim, can we be friends?' The short answer is of course 'yes', which may seem obvious to many, but as with many things in life, it's not the product that counts, but the process. Dr. Badawi, IMHO (In My Humble Opinion!!) did a thorough job of analyzing the 15 reasons as to why the answer is yes, as well as the common roadblocks to accomplishing this goal, and what we can do (as Muslims and non-Muslims peacefully coexisting) to further this goal. Using verses from the Quran and Hadiths from the Prophet's (PBUH) life, and spiced with a dash of humour, Dr. Badawi was successful in keeping his audience's attention throughout the night.
And a few of his points still have my wheels of which really hit me, perhaps because it's something I try to take to heart. The face that we are behind in showing the greater community that we care about them.
When Dr. Badawi men…

To a Beloved Sister and Friend

It's Monday evening at 6:30pm, and I'm sitting at my desk with a set of prayer beads to my right, and a little toy camera that shows pictures from Hajj. Hanan Farhat gave me that camera over a year and a half ago, sneaking one away from her bucket of goodies for her Kindergarten students, as they would receive a prize for memorizing a Sura or a few Ayats. Hanan knew I had never been to Hajj so she gave one to me, and it's been on my desk since then. I looked at it again today, half-smiling and half-crying, because while it's a good memory of Hanan, everything still feels very raw.

I have so many memories of my interactions with Hanan, from conversations, to in the classroom, shared meals at Iftar before parent-teacher interviews, and emails we exchanged over the winter holiday. Even down to Sunday night when she posted on my Facebook wall. I just re-play these memories over and over again, remembering every detail about her, knowing that I likely won't forget anythi…

Islamic Internet Lingo

These days, we all use acronyms when we send text messages or instant messages to our fellow homies. So it got me Muslims need SPECIAL acronyms for those long and hard to convey situations that may cause us to cut short our conversations in lieu of more meaningful activities!! LOL. Not that this is anything new, I've already seen ASA being used for 'As-Salaamun-Alaikum', WAS for 'Wa-Alaikum-as-Salaam', and ISA for Insha'Allah. So here's a list of acronyms I thought us Sisters and Brothers should start using:

SS: Saying Salat

BMF: Breaking My Fast

DA/DW: Doing Ablutions/Doing Wudu

RQ: Reciting Quran

PFI: Preparing For Iftar

CWPP: Communicating With Potential Partner (LOL how often would this come up?!)

GTM: Going to Mosque/Gone to Mosque

POH: Putting On Hijab

SID/BID: Sister/Brother In Distress!

DC: Drinking CHAI!!

EK: Eating Kabobs!

EBC: Eating Butter Chicken

LMHO: Laughing My Hijab Off

BMW BRB: (ready for this one?!) Broke My Wudu, Be Right Back

So you know…

Riddle Me This: The Hijab is to Sisters as the ? is to Brothers

A little while back, I was speaking with a Sheikh here in Calgary about how tough it is to get married, not only for Sisters, but also for Brothers. He likened the challenge of wearing the hijab to those Brothers who decide to grow a beard. The Sheikh appeared sad when he said he knew many devoted, professional and active Brothers who were turned down by Sisters because they have a beard. I was somewhat shocked by this statement, but then after thinking about it for a while, I decided to examine this issue a little closer.

This whole notion of Brothers being clean-shaven is obviously Western in origin, there's nothing in the Quran or Sunnah about this issue. Not to say that Sisters in the Middle East (i.e. motherland, LOL) don't have this preference either. But I really think it had to come from the West and then migrated out East. And I include Europe when I say 'West'. If we look at clean-shaven stereotypes that are out there (i.e. these are not mine but those that I&…