What’s in the Soup?

During the last several months, I discovered the importance of “my time” during my work day. I have an hour lunch break and while some people would choose to socialize during this time, I have begun going out by myself for fresh air, coffee, and sometimes shopping. It has become a precious gift of solo time that I savor. If I need to run some errands then that’s what I do, but if I get an opportunity to reflect during this time, it’s even better.One day recently during one of these breaks I w … [Read more...]

I Pray, He Plays

So, my 3-year old Mohammed's latest favorite activity is climbing. Not trees or hills, but me! Yes, me...and when I'm praying! It's almost become automatic and habitual for him, now. His eyes see me praying and his brain says, "Must drop whatever cool toy that's in my hand now and go climb all over her!"Now, I wear one of those long one-piece prayer gowns while I pray and when he starts climbing all over me, he starts to pull it back. Now, THAT'S annoying.Sujood is his all-time … [Read more...]

Umm Hamza

Umm Hamza has been my friend for several years. We see each other once a week, every Thursday morning.Umm Hamza is divorced with three young sons. She works hard to make ends meet. She lives with her parents and sons, and, among other living expenses, she pays for her boys’ education, her mother’s and father’s medicines, and her grandmother’s, too, when the grandmother is staying with them here. These take up a great deal of her income.Umm Hamza’s sons go to a private Qur’an memorization … [Read more...]

The Stubborn Why

We’ve all done it, whether intentionally and out loud or in our minds and hearts. We’ve questioned a happening. Why? Why me? Why now?I was 25 weeks into my first pregnancy when things took a turn for the worst. Or so I thought, at the time. Baby’s movements came to a sudden halt. That’s when what I like to call “the stubborn why” began. I was calling the doctors frantically, demanding an answer. I was seen every day that week, but no one was able to satisfy my desperate need for answers. “Bab … [Read more...]

How I Lost My Head

Homeschooling an almost five-year-old and a three-year-old has been a mixture of thrills, scary self-doubt, sweetest moments, and frustration galore. There are moments of brilliant discovery and moments of wondering if anyone is home up there. Some mornings, no chug of caffeine can lift the bleariness, and since the baby has already raided the morning trash twice and since I cannot bear to remain in the vicinity of such a dirty kitchen, I herd the gang into the car to spend the day at the … [Read more...]

Small Steps in Women’s Rights

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson: I loved this book. I was so inspired that a man can give up so much and have such a passion for helping out people who live thousands of miles away from him, who have no 'physical' connection to him.  Give up his home?!  Not just his cup of Starbucks, but his home!  Amazing.Here was a scene from the book that really touched a chord with me. When Mortenson returned to Korphe after the bridge had been built, he noted that a dozen Korphe women were dressed in … [Read more...]

Others Have Eyes

Oh Eye! Others have eyes and Allah is the All-Seer and All- Knower of hearts and Conditioner of them.I often think of things to write about but when I saw the “When I See a Mother”…forum entry (posted from the Holistic Mama blog on the GrowMama forum), this was an opportunity timely and close to my heart. Women are delicate beings who at times judge others harshly but wish not to be judged harshly. We can be self-centered and arrogant as the Holistic Mama alludes to in the classifications of … [Read more...]

Only If You Try III

Part IIIYou don't.You look in your bag and Allah will provide. So I told her Mama would look in the diaper bag, and what did I find? A long-forgotten container of cheerios and raisins. I was so happy I shrieked out that I had found cheerios and raisins, can you believe it girls? I found cheerios and raisins!! Everyone in the room looked at me, but I was so happy I didn't care, and the girls feasted on those until they were full. Then they were thirsty, and they started up their loud … [Read more...]

Only If You Try II

Part IPart IIMy mind goes blank. I see a Muslim brother and ask him if the masjid has any other kind of payment machine, like a debit card machine, or something. He says that's all they have. A voice from inside calls to see what the problem is. Another voice answers that the woman needs money for an embassy and she has kids. They tsk away, saying that the nearest one is on 24th and California. No, another corrects, 21st and California. I neither know where 21st nor where 24th is, so it … [Read more...]

Only If You Try I

Part IDid I ever tell you how much I hate taking care of official business? I grew up in Saudi Arabia, where going to the bank, getting papers signed at the consulate, renewing passports, and getting visas were all my father’s job. It never occurred to me that one day I’d have to do that kind of thing.Well, today I had to pay a visit to an embassy in D.C., and I took my two 19-month-old girls with me, since my husband was at work.After we had left the house and were on our way, it … [Read more...]