The Shame Game

There is a scene in the movie Bride Wars where Kate Hudson’s character, while trying on a wedding dress, is told by the sales associate, “You don’t alter Vera (Wang) to fit you; you alter yourself to fit Vera.” It’s meant to be funny because it’s so ridiculous. Or is it? Lululemon founder Chip Wilson recently said in an interview that the problem behind (pun intended) their see-through, pilling pants is fat thighs and big butts. And with that we bury the old adage of ‘The customer is always right … [Read more...]

Where Endurance is Tested

Today was a blessing from God. The weather was beautiful and I had an opportunity to stroll through town. With my camera on my side, I stuck out like a sore thumb, which didn’t bother me at all.I stopped by my cousin Mona’s house after she graciously invited me over at my request to see how she makes cheese. She raises her own goats and uses their milk to make the cheese, which she then preserves in salt water. It’s an art, and a skill, and ultimately a service that she provides to our town a … [Read more...]

Where My Inspiration Lives

One of my goals for my visit to my family this past summer was to just be around them. Not to see fancy sites or attend weddings, but to sit among them, be with them, and get some fresh perspective. To that end, I was blessed to spend the day with my grandmothers today. I was able to pray Fajr (pre-dawn prayer) on time for the first time in a while (ugh, jet lag!), which was a great start to the day. I know better than to miss Fajr, but praying on time depends little on setting an alarm and more … [Read more...]

Where My Roots Lie

The place where my grandfather lies, alongside his father and mother, their parents, my uncles, and generations of other relatives is in a patch of land on the hillside of a hamlet in the occupied West Bank. My last memory of him was seeing him leave to go “home” after being diagnosed with cancer almost 20 years ago. Standing now at the green gate where my roots lie, I see the sign for a prayer: “Peace be unto you, the people of this abode from the believers and those who submitted, and we are, b … [Read more...]

Blast from the Past: Acorns and Autumn

Something trivial and maybe insignificant, but I was on a trip with a friend to a farm a while ago. She bought a couple of gourds and squashes, and I asked her what she was going to cook with them. She replied , “No, they’re for decoration.” For an instant, I was confused. My mind instantly associated the gourd decor with Halloween.But Alhamdulillah, I had a window of understanding opened, and a bit of stereotyping removed.I went to another farm a couple of weeks later, and on leaving, th … [Read more...]

Grow Mama Picks for October

Try practicing a Sunnah of love in all your relationships, like this article recommends. Not sure how to approach Halloween when interacting with your kids and neighbors? Here is a great Grow Mama piece on how to talk to your kids about Halloween. Also, readers chime in about what they do with school celebrations of Halloween. Want to reap a great reward while simultaneously renewing your marriage? This piece contains some very nice ideas about how to treat your husband. This “Map of the U … [Read more...]


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