I searched the internet to finally find this! Hope you enjoy it :)
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Egypt 3 (9%)
Oman 2 (6%)
Morocco 4 (12%)
Qatar 0 (0%)
Turkey 2 (6%)
U.A.E. 4 (12%)
U.S.A.--don't go! 10 (32%)
OK, so most of you thought that I should stay. I hear where you are coming from. I have family in the States and I really do love them.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Until it falls and the blocks scatter all over the place.
The blocks sit there in a heap. Unused. It is not going to build itself again.
The builder has to eye the mess and figure out what went wrong. Now, that process can be short or long, but it's a process. It takes a level of maturity.
Sometimes, others can come upon the scene of destruction and view it only as a negative. The tower was good and the pile is bad.
When we view life in such snapshots, we forget that life is a cyclical process. The pile of debris is necessary in order to build a better tower. It actually still is the tower. It is simply the tower waiting to be rebuilt.
What was needed?
More base. Widen the base; just like you need to gain information and widen understanding.
This graphic comes from a nice parenting site.
However, we focus on the building blocks of early childhood development and keep that image in our minds only. We forget that, even as adults, we are continually developing ourselves because we are organic beings. We keep changing because we are alive.
Everytime we learn a new aspect to being our authentic selves, we have to dissemble in order to put that missing piece in place. We can't build higher, higher, higher, or we crash.
We need to take it all down.
Look at it.
And when we rebuild, inshahallah, it can be the structure that can withstand the ravages or war and the sands of time. It, or rather we can be the glorious creation we were meant to be.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
It was a good movie.
Loved the character of Joe. He's my kind of guy. A bit of a goof. Good looking. Funny. Talkative. Friendly. Always looking for the next excitement. That's how AbuBoo was when I first met him.That actor is playing the character of "Cupid" on TV now. I refrained from contacting him on Facebook.
But that was the closest I came to being with a man on Friday.
So, my night away from the apartment wasn't a big romance. Honestly, there are moments of weakness when I wish I could just take the strength from a man and rest.
I was sooooo exhausted. Some days of the month SHOULD NOT be days when you move. I guess I was overestimating my abilities. I would really like to know how Wonder Woman or Bionic Woman handled their Aunt Flo!
It was, however, good enough. Mom actually was happy to have us there. She for real pinched my cheeks upon my arrival and tucked me into bed at night.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I'm downloading pics right now so you can see the subject of this posting.
That is the subject.
I've been taking pictures of my pictures from years ago. Cute little girlie with golden curlies. Funny little dude holding up his thumb and grinning in every shot. Ya, my older kids and the life before. Me in my long, long hair---I had wanted to have that one single braid down my back ala' Bollywood heroines. There's the duplex which we lived in for eight months. There's the Montessori school where my girlie was enrolled. And then there's me in full stage make-up from theatre days. Me as a teen with very short hair sitting around in a swimsuit---like I would do either now.
Well, actually the posting was about "Y" not "why". But I'll answer.
Man! Life is a jumble of times and thoughts and places and people. I truly was meant to go through those times. Seeing those pictures, it absolutely amazes me where I've been. Why was I there? I was supposed to be. Couldn't be here now, if it wasn't for there then.
"Y" starts my name---my new name. Yes, it's my legal name. No, I no longer consider my birth name as being real for me. Real is NOW. And real is Yosra.
When we were living with my mom last fall it was real hard. Sometimes "now" can be that way. We needed to leave and so I made plans to just leave and the only place I could think of was Egypt. Returning to Egypt has always been a dream. I made the plans to make it into a reality. I bought the tickets. And nothing is more real than spending $1,500.
The next day I was offered the job here. Why? I asked God that a lot. Why have me spend the money when a job here was coming the next day? So, I didn't have the money for first and last month's rent and had to borrow it from my mom. I didn't have money for a car and had to walk until one became available.
Then, my lovely friend's daughter passed away in the blink of an eye and my friend needed me and I was able to fly away. Jobless and penniless but with a $1,500 airline credit, I could fly. I did. I know it was right to go. Those 10 days were incredibly meaningful to me.
And now? There is a job offer in Egypt which won't pay my full airfare over and won't pay any for Mr. Boo. If I still had all that airline credit, I could just zoom-a-zoom-a-zoom-a-zoom over there. For some reason, I'm not supposed to.
I don't know.
But I feel like I'm supposed to be here a little longer. I'm supposed to move back to my mom's. The day I started moving back felt strange. There was AbuBoo loading boxes again. It is the third time he's moved us. Would have been simpler to just stay married to me! But there he was. Moving. Us. Again.
We didn't grab everything. I am still in my own place with my own vibe. I'll miss having that and I KNOW it will spur me on to move once again---and maybe it will be to Egypt, inshahallah.
That day, there was something that I was sad about losing. Somewhere in the move from mom's to here I had lost my "Y". Those alphabet magnets I loved so much had every letter except mine. "Y" was lost. My son couldn't spell "Yosra". I felt a bit like I was lost too; lost in transition.
Back in October, I had checked all over my mom's house for that "Y" and never found it. And honestly (I kid you not) with all that's in my head about money, bills, moving, jobs, documents...I still was wondering if I could send away to VTech for that missing "Y".
As it turns out, there was no need.
This week, after the first load was re-deposited in mom's spare bedroom, I was surprised. Mom called Mr. Boo to her in the kitchen and told him to give something to me. He ran to me.
"LOOK, MOMMY! THE Y!"
Yes, on the day I started moving back. That Y had shown up in mom's rakings. It hadn't been in her house. It had fallen into the leaves outside the kitchen door. It was dirty in the crevices and a little more worn than her brothers and sisters. But she was back. She was no longer lost.
Maybe she never was lost. Maybe she just needed that time to be there.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
American-born Muslim 16 (51%)
American revert 11 (35%)
Foreigner living here 3 (9%)
Man Overseas 0 (0%)
Go back to AbuBoo 0 (0%)
Maybe the best person would be someone who spent time overseas but has lived here most of his life. This would fulfill both what I want and what you say I need.
Allah knows best.
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُ
And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sometimes, you can't wait until you get home because if you wait, you'll miss the prayer time. So pray! This is America! You can pray while sitting in your car. You can pray in the dressing rooms. You can pray on a park bench.
What if you never made it home? So, pray NOW!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
This article talks about overcoming racism among modern-day Muslims. Obviously, our beloved Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) honored Bilal, with all his plentiful melanine, by bestowing leadership duties upon him.
Islam is perfect and Muslims are imperfect. Alhumdulillah that this Imam can break barriers and bring others to Islam through his observance.
A Black Imam Breaks Ground in Mecca
Bryan Denton for The New York Times
Any qualified individual, no matter what his color, no matter where from, will have a chance to be a leader, for his good and The king is trying to tell everybody that he wants to rule this land as one nation, with no racism and no segregation.
SHEIK ADIL KALBANI
TWO years ago, Sheik Adil Kalbani dreamed that he had become an imam at the Grand Mosque in Mecca , Islamâs holiest city.
Waking up, he dismissed the dream as a temptation to vanity. Although he is known for his fine voice, Sheik Adil is black, and the son of a poor immigrant from the Persian Gulf . Leading prayers at the Grand Mosque is an extraordinary honor, usually reserved for pure-blooded Arabs from the Saudi heartland.
So he was taken aback when the phone rang last September and a voice told him that King Abdullah had chosen him as the first black man to lead prayers in Mecca . Days later Sheik Adilâs unmistakably African features and his deep baritone voice, echoing musically through the Grand Mosque, were broadcast by satellite TV to hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world.
Since then, Sheik Adil has been half-jokingly dubbed the Saudi Obama. Prominent imams are celebrities in this deeply religious country, and many have hailed his selection as20more evidence of King Abdullah cautious efforts to move Saudi Arabia toward greater openness and tolerance in the past few years.
The king is trying to tell everybody that he wants to rule this land as one nation, with no racism and no segregation, said Sheik Adil, a heavyset and long-bearded man of 49 who has been an imam at a Riyadh mosque for 20 years. Any qualified individual, no matter what his color, no matter where from, will have a chance to be a leader, for his good and his countrys good.
Officially, it was his skill at reciting the Koran that won him the position, which he carries out” like the Grand Mosques eight other prayer leaders” only during the holy month of Ramadan. But the racial significance of the kings gesture was unmistakable.
Sheik Adil, like most Saudis, is quick to caution that any racism here is not the fault of Islam, which preaches egalitarianism. The Prophet Muhammad himself, who founded the religion here 1,400 years ago, had black companions.
Our Islamic history has so many famous black people, said the imam, as he sat leaning his arm on a cushion in the reception room of his home. It is not like the West.
It is also true that Saudi Arabia is far more ethnically diverse than most Westerners realize. Saudis with Malaysian or African features are a common sight along the kingdoms west coast, the descendants of pilgrims who came here over the centuries and ended up staying. Many have prospered and even attained high positions through links20to the royal family. Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi ambassador to the United States , is the son of Prince Sultan and a dark-skinned concubine from southern Saudi Arabia .
But slavery was practiced here too, and was abolished only in 1962. Many traditional Arabs from Nejd , the central Saudi heartland, used to refer to all outsiders as tarsh al bahr” vomit from the sea. People of African descent still face some discrimination, as do most immigrants, even from other Arab countries. Many Saudis complain that the kingdom is still far too dominated by Nejd , the homeland of the royal family. There are nonracial forms of discrimination too, and many Shiite Muslims, a substantial minority, say they are not treated fairly.
The prophet told us that social classes will remain, because of human nature, Sheik Adil said gravely. These are part of the pre-Islamic practices that persist.
BLACK skin is not the only social obstacle Sheik Adil has overcome. His father came to Saudi Arabia in the 1950s from Ras al Khaima, in what is now the United Arab Emirates , and obtained a job as a low-level government clerk. The family had little money, and after finishing high school, Adil took a job with Saudi Arabian Airlines while attending night classes at King Saud University .
Only later did he study religion, laboriously memorizing the Koran and studying Islamic jurisprudence. In 1984 he passed the government exam to become an imam, and worked briefly at the mosque in the Riyadh airport. Four years lat
er he won a more prominent position as the imam of the King Khalid mosque, a tall white building that is not far from one of the Intelligence Ministrys offices.
Theologically, Sheik Adil reflects the general evolution of Saudi thinking over the last two decades. During the 1980s he met Osama bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam, a leader of the jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan . He initially sympathized with their radical position and anger toward the West. Later, he said, he began to find their views narrow, especially after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Now he speaks warmly of King Abdullahs new initiatives, which include efforts to moderate the power of the hard-line religious establishment and to modernize Saudi Arabias judiciary and educational establishment. He reads Al Watan, a liberal newspaper.
Some people in this country want everyone to be a carbon copy, Sheik Adil said. This is not my way of thinking. You can learn from the person who is willing to criticize, to give a different point of view.
His life, like that of most imams, follows a rigid routine: he leads prayers five times a day at the mosque, then walks across the parking lot to his home, which he shares with two wives and 12 children. On Fridays, he gives a sermon as well.
HE expected it to continue that way for the rest of his life. Then in early September he woke up to hear his cellphone and land line, both ringing continuously. Stirring from bed, he heard the administrator of the Grand Mosque leav
ing a message. He picked up one of the phones, and heard the news that the king had selected him.
Two days later he walked into a grand reception room where he was greeted by Prince Khalid al-Faisal, the governor of Mecca Province . Sheik Adil tried to introduce himself, but the prince cut him off with a smile: You are known, he said.
Next, Sheik Adil was led to a table where he sat with King Abdullah and other ministers. He was too shy to address the king directly, but as he left the room he thanked him and kissed him on the nose, a traditional sign of deference.
Remembering the moment, Sheik Adil smiled and went silent. Then he pulled out his laptop and showed a visitor a YouTube clip of him reciting the Koran at the Grand Mosque in Mecca .
To recite before thousands of people, this is no problem for me, he said. But the place, its holiness, is so different from praying anywhere else. In that shrine, there are kings, presidents and ordinary people, all being led in prayer by you as imam. It gives you a feeling of honor, and a fear of almighty God.
Muhammad al-Milfy contributed reporting.
A version of this article appeared in print on April 11, 2009, on page A6 of the New York edition.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
He is currently on the internet with a 20-year-old. Mr. Boo didn't even recognize him. Mr. Boo said the man looked like a cowboy (must have been the black hat and boots). Why wear that on the beach?
Because I wouldn't agree to write the, "make nice," full-of-lies email, AbuBoo pulled his offer to stay with his mom.
Do you know how that makes me feel?
Caught in a web?
Angry! Angry that I'm in a never-ending love triangle even after a gut-wrenching divorce, a different marriage AND different divorce and two years of my life!
Be very, very careful who you marry.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Hey, could this maybe explain why I am a big fat panda?
There is a moment when Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) was placing his full trust in The Lord and raised the knife to slaughter his beloved son. His son was spared.
I have been placing my full trust in The Lord at various times throughout these last years. I would go down a path which I thought was the right direction---even if it meant sacrificing a significant part of my life or an integral part of my being. Often times, I was stopped and spared.
Now, I am at another crossroads. I can accept this idea to travel to Egypt and be that teacher overseas. It truly is a life’s dream many years in the making. I want to commit to it 100% before accepting. I'm almost there. I want to be ready for the sacrifices: my home, my belongings, my older children, my mother, and Mr. Boo’s father…my friends. Sure, there is the internet connection, which makes all of us tethered together no matter the distance, BUT there is still a loss.
I can’t have it all.
I don’t think I can have this security of people and places around me while really gaining true financial and emotional stability for me and my young son. I am making up my mind to leave. I have to go with God and place my trust in the unthinkable.
It was sooooo near to coming true when I was pregnant with my little guy. He was going to be the cherry on the sundae. You know? He was the one thing we didn’t have. We had the home, the businesses, the cars, the jobs, the love and the faith. We just needed him. Once I was pregnant, it all came crashing down.
I have never had it all. Maybe none of us ever do. We are always asked to sacrifice.
So, now I am scared. I’ll ‘fess up. While I am willing to sacrifice, I am scared to hope right now. I need a time in my life when God doesn’t ask so much from me. I need a time when God is easy on me and doesn’t ask me to sacrifice and then spare me. That revving up and then crashing is just doing me in.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
Life is funny.
I watched a movie tonight which I had orginally ordered from netflix for my mom. I ordered it for her because I keep getting her films with some Muslims in the storyline. Call it subliminal advertising. She told me that I would really like it. She dropped it off on Tuesday.
So, in the movie there was an actor I liked.
Guess what I did?
Ok, if I was a normal person, I would be all dreamy-eyed from afar for him.
Since I am not normal, I looked him up on Facebook and wrote him a message.
I wrote back.
Eventually, I got his number and I called him. We talked and he's fascinating. I kid you not. Any future for us? Have no idea. I leave it to Allah.
I do, however, think it totally cool that I talked with him tonight.
because I was up late, I saw an email come to my inbox.
I have a job offer from Egypt!
When I was writing the cover letter for this job, I realized that I would rather work in Egypt than any other place. It was where I've been dreaming of going for years and it's hard to rewire my brain at age 40. I've been there. I know the country. I know the culture and it's more open than most places in the Arab world. I have people there I know and love (and can rely on in an emergency). I could actually meet a man there and marry him (as opposed to Oman).
Here's the offer:
Monthly salary for 12 months is $1,500 per month
Work for ten months
Two months paid holiday
Housing 1,500 Egyptian Pounds for 10 months
Air Fair 5000 Egyptian Pounds. 2500 will be delivered upon arrival and 2500 before departure .
I went to the money converter for that and isn't really enough to get us there. I'm going to see if I can get it all up front.
Teachers are expected back to school by August 30th
School starts on September 13
OK, Gang. I will of course pray istakkarah. I will talk to AbuBoo (who ironically is trying to bring his wife and kids FROM Egypt the same time I'm trying to get to Egypt). I will sleep on this. BUT! I need you to be my true sisters and advise me.
Your thoughts? Tell me now!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
When I lived in the Virgin Islands during eighth grade, I was one of the only white girls in my school. There were four of us in the middle school, but you can't really count Heather, as she thought she was black. I stood out and often being the stand-out means being ridiculed.
This one girl, I'll call her L., was one big bossy mama. She was in my face from the first day. She was cute and smart and wanted to be sure that no one else was cuter or smarter. She was threatened by my sudden apperance in her class. For weeks, she treated me as a lower life form.
Then, one day she blurted out, "When I was in New York last year for school, I got this treatment. Now it's your turn."
I felt sorry for her.
This week I went through my old yearbook. I really wanted to find my former best friend. I went to Facebook and typed in names. I love Facebook! I found my former best friend's sister---still haven't heard back from her. Then I found the girl who, at age 12, had given birth shortly before my arrival on the island. I wrote to her.
She wrote back and YES she is a grandma now. I asked her about various people. I asked about my former best friend. I asked about Maxentius---DANG! He was a honey! I asked about the girl Maxentius liked better than me. I asked about the prettiest girl (Top Model pretty). I asked about the other two white girls who were my friends (not Heather, as we never clicked). I asked about my former nemesis.
When I asked about L., I really thought that I would like to write to her in kindness and let her know that I understood her troubles adjusting to New York and then back home to the Carribean. I was going to....
but you know what?
Maxentius is married with two kids...but not from Marigold.
The prettiest girl went to jail for embezelment.
The other white girls' fates are unknown.
My former best friend left the island.
And my former nemesis died.
Ya, she died.
L. died and left behind two children. I was shocked a bit. Afterall, I hadn't expected anyone to be dead. We're too young, right? We're like 40 or 41.
I had to ask, "How did she die?"
She died of AIDS.
I was almost fainting.
Sure, people die of AIDS. I know. I even had a former highschool classmate of mine die from AIDS long ago. But, he was a gay guy. Gay guys die from AIDS not women.
Stupid. It's what we want to believe but it's stupid. Anyone can contract an STD and that includes AIDS.
It really got me thinking.
Before I got married in 2007 to Mr. Florida, I took an HIV test. I knew my conduct, but I wasn't 100% sure that who I'd been with hadn't been with someone else who...GOSH this is hard to talk about! OK, so you get me? I wanted to be sure. I took the test and I was alhumdulillah fine.
Since I got back? I have not been to Planned Parenthood again. This is dumb because this means I have not had an annual exam. I have therefore not had another HIV test. I should.
Then, because I'm a hypochrondriac, I almost passed out from the thought that I could have contracted AIDS. My great imagination can be my worst enemy as I create storylines in my head of events that never happen.
Over the last months, I've worried I had ectopic pregancy, appendix about to burst, tumor in my jaw created by my cell phone, colon cancer, strep throat, polyps in my larynx, tetanous from nicking myself with the razor, strokes from stress and probably more I'd like to forget. I truly know this is nuts how much I worry about my body. I think this all stems from having my body taken from me in the years of sexual abuse I endured from my former stepbrother.
Don't freak. I'm not coming to terms with this past abuse as a new thing. I've dealt with it and gotten counseling for it. I speak about it openly. If I do, then someone else knows that you can be abused as a kid, and grow up in shame, yet come out OK in the end. Alhumdulillah, I am OK.
But, I do know that I have to work diligently to keep my body as my own. I have to remember that love isn't love when a man demands what isn't right. I have to guard against using my body to gain acceptance.
Islam is so helpful in this. I get to clothe my body so that only kind eyes can see my true shape. I get to set limits that keep me safe. I get to say, "No, " to lots of things that could hurt me.
Islam doesn't say that I have to abstain from sex. It only says that I need to be in a marriage to experience it. It's ludicrious to say that anyone should practice chastity. THAT is impossible as a long-range plan. Islam says, "YES!" to sex and that we all need to marry as soon as possible to satisfy those urges. If a Muslim is not able to have sex within a marriage, then there needs to be fasting until that is feasible.
Did you know the things which should never be delayed in a Muslim society?
Burial of the dead
So, the Muslim version of abstience is much better than that version taught in schools. It says that you must not enter into any of the activities which lead to sex outside of marriage. The schools are preaching abstience to boyfriends and girlfriends who go out every Friday night and kiss goodnight and then touch and then WHOA!
Muslims need to stay away from dating. Yep. Only meeting for marriage is allowed. We are not allowed to be alone together either. It's that slippery slope. Shaytan fools you into thinking that you are only going to sit together and talk or watch a movie. Eventually, you don't just talk. Eventually, the movie ends. Then what? Then there's that moment when you could do more and Shaytan will be there with you...whispering