Only If You Try II

Part I Part II My 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… Read more

Only If You Try I

Part I Did 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… Read more

The Little Things

I’m a full time working mother and wife. My alarm goes off at 6:15 am every morning, and ironically my 11 month old is sitting upright in his crib ready for action at 6:18 am. Note, even if I get up earlier or later, within 3 minutes, he is too. So I attend to him first. I change his diaper, dress him up, give him some milk, then pass him on to his father so that I can get ready…. Read more

Modesty

There are plenty of large and fancy shopping malls located in Jeddah, but the biggest and most extravagant are the ones in the northern part of the city where most of the wealthy families live. A couple of these malls happen to be near my daughter Maryam’s home, so she goes there for grocery and other shopping. With seven children and ten mouths to feed at home, you can imagine that Maryam has to shop frequently, and she’s quite familiar… Read more

My Struggle With Infertility III

Part III Well, ALHAMDULLILLAH, I didn’t have to do a second round, because I became pregnant. Alhamdullillah. I was now having ultrasounds done almost weekly and I will never forget when I saw the heartbeat on the screen. My doctor said to me, “It looks like we got it right this time!” With every week that passed and no miscarriage, my doctor was feeling more and more assured that this pregnancy was healthy. After my first trimester passed, she transferred… Read more

My Struggle With Infertility II

Part II At my follow-up appointment where we would discuss our options, my doctor mentioned to me that this radiological procedure which I had done was not always 100% accurate. She wanted to perform a surgery on me which would be for completely diagnostic purposes; to either confirm the results of the radiological procedure or to adjust the diagnosis. I went through with the surgery, and lo and behold-my tubes were fine!! I was confused, but relieved. Around this same… Read more

My Struggle with Infertility

When I got married at 19 years old, I didn’t expect or even plan on trying to have children right away. I was in college and my husband was just starting his career here in the US. But as a result of a routine doctor appointment, I happen to find out that I had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)-a condition that would make it very difficult for us to conceive, we were told (and that doctor was right). So, even though… Read more

Old Friend

Procrastinating, I checked my SPAM folder, telling myself maybe something got misfiled. One thing led to another, and soon enough I was browsing an Islamic education website – the children’s section of course. And then there it was – the familiar name that appeared as the author of a new charming children’s book. I looked at the name again and realized that it was my old friend who had moved away about a year after both of our first children… Read more

There’s No Other Name for Mama

I see her in the spaces she no longer occupies. Every room still holds outlines of her presence, and as I walk in, I feel like I just missed her. When I am still enough, I feel her being superimposed inside me; and she is breathing through my pores. Sometimes I want to rage against the thin veil that separates us. I know she is just on the other side, not so far away that her scent no longer lingers…. Read more

Reason Number (insert high number here) I’m Grateful To Be Muslim

A generation ago there were two brothers in my family (my grandmother’s brothers). One was a laborer. The other was a doctor. They were both married. They were both alcoholics. The laborer lost his life to a failed liver (a direct result of his alcoholism). The doctor took his own life leaving behind his wife and children (although it is impossible to know the exact reason he committed this act, the increased depression that resulted from his addiction to alcohol… Read more

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