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Showing posts from July, 2011

Musings

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I really don't have one specific topic for this entry, so I titled it "musings" only to make it sound more artistic and meaningful than "ramblings" ;-) Enjoy!!


1. Passport Picture Petrification
So...I was lucky enough to get my passport picture taken a few days ago at Wal-Mart. I sat down on the chair and had the perfect look on my face, to match my slightly glittery and very-summerish hijab, in an attempt to look as non-threatening as possible for my mug shot. The lady then proceeds to tell me "can you push your scarf back, your entire eyebrows have to show in the picture". Say whaaaaaaaat?! As I tried to contain my laughter and incredulous-ness, I bit down on my tongue, therefore elongating my face and causing me to furrow my eyebrows into a snare-like look.


I look like a mean Muslim Sistah about to pounce in my picture. All I need is the caption 'Allahuakbar' above my picture and I'll be screened at every airport. So much for my slightly g…

The Fast but not the Furious

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I attended Sheikh Fayaz's lecture today on the virtues of Ramadan, along with approximately 40 others at the Northwest Musallah. As always, he placed a great spin on facts or information that we may already know, but seem to have difficulty implementing into daily Ramadan practice. For myself, I learned many things I did not know, and heard things I did know confirmed, which was reassuring!!

Sh. Fayaz spoke about the two virtues of Ramadan being fasting and zakat (i.e. obligatory giving of a portion of what you own monetarily to those in need). During Ramadan, the two goals we have is (a) to ask for forgiveness, and (b) to earn compensation for good deeds.

The Sheikh spoke at length regarding fasting, especially around the topic which we have all heard of: over-eating! It's not only within Islam, but also within Christianity that it is stated that gluttony leads to lust. Within Islam, if a person is unable to marry, they are recommended to fast to control any feelings of desir…

Countdown to Ramadan '11!!

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Ramadan this year starts on August 1st. Call me crazy, but I love this time of year! Why? If you know me well then you'll know that I can be intense and serious towards my endeavours, and Ramadan is no exception. And regardless of the fact that over the past few years the fasts have become much longer and challenging, I've grown to cherish and love this time of year even more.

And no, it's not because all fasting Muslims during this time have the same ketone-smelling breath from close to 17-hour fasts from food and water! But nice try :)

Each year around this time, around a week before Ramadan starts, I start thinking about pragmatics. I'm thin to start with and can't afford to lose weight, so the annual theme running through my frontal lobe is "how can I cram more protein into my pre-dawn meal?!" And each year, without fail, I fail! I've tried milkshakes, protein bars, eggs, cheese, etc etc etc. Over the past couple of years, I supplement my meals wit…

"Sweat Once a Day"

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If you know me really well, you'll know that I love all things created by Lululemon. Really, they are a taller-than-average-and-very-active girl's dream, and also, a Muslim girl's dream!! Who else creates lightweight, sweat-wicking, and COOL TO WEAR dance pants that work great for biking and hiking too without sticking to your legs?! How about extra-long tanks for layering that won't ride up with activity?! Yah, you got it!

I've thought about other pieces of clothing that us Muslims gals would need if only Lululemon could create them with their amazing Luon material and anti-stink silverescent fibers. Since a co-worker/friend of mine (you know who you are!!) recently told me that he's stealing one of these ideas that I recently posted as my Facebook status, I'm officially TRADEMARKING (TM) the following if they ever do come to fruition at your local Lululemon store! Here goes:

1. The "Going Nowhere" sport hijab (with Lulu's best grip close to t…

The Schoolyard Blues

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It's a well known fact that children and youth today are exposed to more bullying than in the past. And it's not solely verbal or physical anymore, these were the old school techniques! Girls' relational aggression (i.e. social bullying, think 'Mean Girls') is starting as young as Kindergarten, and cyber-bullying through the use of technology is making anonymity and hateful targeting much easier to achieve. The good news is that the recognition of the effects of bullying is much more in the forefront now than in the past, and children and youth are being taught proactive and preventative ways to handle bullying.

Personally, I endured years of bullying from elementary into middle school. Adults are surprisingly tolerant and admirable of unique differences and characteristics among their peers!! I really couldn't say the same about my childhood peers.

Growing up in a small town in the UK just outside of Manchester, there was no diversity in ethnicity where we liv…

Signs

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In 2002, a movie called 'Signs' was released by M. Night Shayamalan, starring Mel Gibson. The premise of the movie is that a family starts discovering crop circles being formed on their land, which leads to the father (Gibson) questioning his faith as events during the movie unfold.

But no, this post is not about alien crop circles. Sorry if I disappointed you!

I truly believe that we are always given signs in our life either leading us away or towards a certain path. Some of us have experienced these events and some of us may not have, and some choose to attribute them to coincidence, luck, or a higher being. I'm not distinguishing between religions or cultures or beliefs, I'm speaking very generally in this post as many of my friends have admitted to having signs appear in their own life.

I for one have had many appear, and I've tried to be more in tune to them as I've grown older. And I do attribute them to spiritual causes.

The first clear one I recollect a…

The Shelf-Life Postulate

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We all know that the average marriage age is rising, not only for Canadians in general, but for Muslims in the West too. While I couldn't find exact stats for Muslims, I am willing to take a guess that our average marriage age in Canada is still a little lower than national norms. In 2007, the average Canadian marriage age was 30.5 and 29.6 for males and females, respectively. While I personally LOVE these stats (since I'm 29.3 years of age and single!), many Muslims do not. So let's get the elephant in the room out of the way... the community's perspectives of Muslim women being unmarried after a certain age is apparently not a good sign.

"Vhy are you not married, beta? You are educated, tall, look so-so with hijab, so vhy beta?! Is there something wrong vith you? Huh? Vaat are you doing with your time? There are SO MANY brothers out there, I am sure you can find one beta, just marry one already, ok?"

Umm, how about...no?! In simple terms, it just ain't …

Sink or Swim?

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It only took close to one year to bring MOOZ-lum to Calgary for our viewing pleasure! Having received amazing reviews across North American cities where it has been screened, it was the turn of the "New Heart of the Old West".

I purposely didn't watch the trailer or read its synopsis, since I wanted to go in not knowing anything and gauging my reaction post-movie experience! I have to give full props to the director, Qasim Basir, for writing and directing a movie with this topic. For those who haven't seen the movie, I won't give the storyline away, because you need to watch it for yourselves. It's out on DVD on July 12th, and you can pre-order at www.amazon.ca! How's that for a pitch?!

What I will say about the movie is that it highlighted common struggles facing today's Muslim youth being raised in the west. However, it was quite conservative in portraying those struggles, doing well to skim the surface of the complications that arise when Muslim yo…