Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Too much on my mind
too much to do
too much to think about
too much to say
too little time to say it all

I'll go crazy if I try...

So I gotta just consentrate on my issues and try to resolve some before having time to blog about the world.

5:57 AM

My Co-Wife

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

She makes you so miserable!
Everyday you complain to me!
Yet everyday you return to her.
I miss you when you're gone.
I know when you're with her you're not thinking of me.
Your mind is full, your hands are full,
All your energy is expended.
You return to me tired and worn.
She gives you headaches and heartburn.
Yet if you never went to her,
You'd be miserable at home.
I and the kids can never take her place in your life.
Its a burden I must bear til death takes us all.
But the kids miss their Daddy.
I miss my Hubby.
She gets all your time.
Sometimes I hate her.
I hate that you need her.
I hate that I need her too.
"Kiss Daddy one more time...
He's off to work."

-Brandy A. Chase (c)2008

6:01 PM

A'yb -Shame

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

This word A'yb (pronounced Eye-b) has many meanings in Arabic and here's the story how I first learned it:
Dunce-cap of shame...

My husband and I spent the night at my sister-in-law D.'s house (her husband was there too). It was fun and the next morning we were lounging around having breakfast and watching a movie when they get a phone call that our other sister-in-law M is coming over. She rushes around cleaning things, swooping breakfast plates to the kitchen and washing them, vacuuming the living room and picking up the couches from misplaces magazines and paraphernalia... although I'm helping her in her mad dash (as we all are) I asked her why she was freaking out. This is our sister in law. She looks at me with beautiful brows raised incredulously. "It's A'yb!"
"What's A'yb?" I ask back.
"A'yb is shamefulness. To be ashamed of something." She says and continues her "perfect house" clean up campaign. I follow her intrigued.
"But you didn't feel all this was A'yb for me so why for her?" I question. She smiles.
"You're not Arab. You're different. You don't mind the scatters at all out houses and you don't talk about the messes at our houses to others. You don't know us Arab women yet. We can be back biters. So we must rush not to show our A'yb to anyone so they have no reason to back bite. We make our houses perfect because that is how they SHOULD be. Anything less in an insult to them and to ourselves." She said. (Paraphrasing the long conversation between all four of us talking about this) . So Sister-in-law M came over and praised D's house greatly and we had lunch together. The whole time though I did feel special that she felt close enough with me not to feel I would back bite her about her house. But I thought it's sad that even between sisters there was no trust. They were so worried about appearances. It's almost obligatory to praise a person's house excessively in Lebanon. This A'yb matter also worried me because I'm kick-back when friends or close family come over and don't tend to do the "white glove test" before people come over. I started worrying what bad things were being said about me and my house behind my back. Sure before important dinners or something I would "Lebanese clean" but other-wise my house looked like any other house.

At sister-in-law M's house I would try to help her to clean up the breakfast dishes as it's expected to show closeness and warmth by helping to clean up with fellow sisters or family that you want them to think you're close to (and I am close to my in-laws I'm not just SHOWING help). But she would try to push me aside and take my sponge saying "A'yb go rest." Meaning: you are shaming me as my guest by working in my house. Now normally an American would back off and go rest feeling that you tried and you backed off gracefully and the host is happy to be hosting you. But as an Arab this is WRONG! You are to grab that sponge back, forcefully if need be, and force your hostess to get out of your way, while you clean her dishes. She will hover and try to fight back for the sponge but if you're determined enough she will feel a close bondness towards you because you are doing something good for her and helping her out. But be prepared for the consequences that if you do this once you are expected to do this every time. At M's house the first four times I let her beat me and I went and sat and then i didn't see her for a long time while she took all morning to clean the kitchen by herself. I was bored and regretted giving in. I talked to my husband about this and he told me what was expected of me to fight them back. So I tried it first at my husband's sister's house. She was cooking so I tentatively picked up her sponge behind her back and started furiously attacking the pans when i saw she didn't notice me. But WHOA as soon as she turned around she was like !!!!"AHH! A'yb!!! Give it to me! I'll do it! Go rest!" She tried to get the sponge out of my hand but i used my then wider girth to hold her out of reach with my hip as I continued to scrub. "Nonsense! I'm helping you! I'm your sister! You have to let me help you." I rushed unable to believe I was doing it, was holding off an Arab woman in her own kitchen. It felt like some important battle being conquered. She feebly tried again to make me stop but I brushed her off as they used to do to me. She went back to cooking as I polished off the dishes. It felt good. I was a part of them now.
Next time I was at M's house I started in on the dishes and my husband's brother (M's husband) tried to stop me but I brushed off his protests so he called in the heavy guns, his wife. M came rushing in protesting and assuming I would back off again. That was her mistake. I had won a battle I was not gonna loose the war!
"No no Put it down! I will do it." M says trying to elbow me aside.
"Khalas, it's easy for me!" I said sticking out my hip blocking her access to the sponge.
"NO! Go rest it's my responsibility." She says trying to sneak in the other side.
"I love to wash dishes though!" I protest and jut out the other hip scrubbing furiously all the while. She backs off a second but I know better.
"A'yb! Come on don't be silly. You're my guest!" She attacks a minute later after she LET me wash a few glasses and spoons.
"You're silly. It's my fun. I'm your sister!" I demand and I was amazed she backed off. But from then on I always had to wash dishes at everyone's house :D But it was worth it to make them like me more.

Another way they use A'yb here is for people or children showing off what they shouldn't be. Or wearing something inappropriate. If a small girl shows off her underwear (as small girls are prone to do) the mother rushes up to her pulls down her dress hissing "A'yb!" If a lady wears (as i used to do) sneakers with a dressy abaya it's A'yb, the people whisper behind her back.
I'm sure you all have heard other ways this is used.

PS: It's been A'yb for me that I haven't gotten back to the comments you wonderful people have left me but I have done it now and gotten to all those past posts you can go re-check them now and I apologise!

12:09 PM

European Muslims

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

There is a big story in the lives of European Muslims and that's a story I'm dying to work with. They come from all over the world into the land of "traditional Christianity" or have converted to Islam having lived there all their lives. These people intrigue me, Europe intrigues me, the story of their lives intrigues me..... I dream of the chance to go there and discover their world.
My ancestry comes from Scotland. I'd love to live there for a while and learn about how the Muslims there are changing everyday Scotland. My husband prefers to see Austria which i researched has a small but good population of Muslims.
I'm thinking very seriously about these ideas and what I can do to write about them in the future.

To all nomad dreamers out there: Isn't it amazing that all of us dreaming of the chance to do what is a huge wish in our heart yet not finding the way? I think if you want something bad enough you will find the way to achieve it no matter the lengths you have to go to to get them. My life feels like a major example of this but everything I always wanted I achieved with great effort and something I didn't achieve was because I didn't put enough effort into it. I have two kids myself and yet I'm striving with all my brains to think of a way to make this happen for me. sure it would take sacrifice and determination but I can do those. I have those. You all do to. Don't let regular boundaries of society stand in your way to make something that is your dream happen. I'm talking generally too not just about traveling. There are many things in life worth striving for if you have the determination to get there.

12:29 PM

Ramadan Crafts

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Here are some great links of crafts you can make for your family (even if you dont have kids) for Ramadan! I'm planning out a full crafting schedule because my daughter understands more about it this year since she'll be 4 soon. And my son will have his first memorable experience as he was too young to remember last years Ramadan. has a lot of links within of good sites. easy cool

Sadly the only other links i found lead back to these three. But use your imagination and then blog about it!!! Hehehee. Like I will make Ramadan paper chains in sparly colors for the kids to relize 30 days of ramadan and i'll make the masjid one and also we can make paper lanterns.
Also on shiny wrapping paper i made a ramadan banner and I get the christmas ribbon and tie lots of swirly ribbons all over the ceilings. I have a decor box Kabba that will be the centerpiece. I'm thinking to get lights this year so at night they can still feel the effects and have fun. I will try to post pictures and projects we make as we do them inshallah.
On LBC Lebanese Broadcast Company in ramadan they have cute songs i will try to see if youtube has them bcause they are great for kids.

7:13 AM

Muslim Thoughts?

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

When moving to a new country what are some of the first things you'd be interested in reading about concerning your new residence?
About the Culture? People? Lands? Attractions? Job Availability? Local Muslim Community and people there-in? Where the Masjid is?

Your answers will help me a lot with a certain thought process I'm in the middle of -and currently unable to solve. So warm up your typing fingers and let me hear your great thoughts.

6:45 AM

Bedouin Blood

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Have you ever had that urge?
That urge to travel far and wide and see the whole of the Earth?
Ever thought of how beautiful it must be to just be able to roll up your house every day and go forth into a new day not knowing what new things you might see or experience?
Do you ever feel your blood comes from Bedouins? Gypsies? Nomads?
Do you ever think that we only have approximately 80 years to live and only one chance to view the whole world?
Do you ever feel like these four walls weren't meant to be all you see of life?
Have you ever wanted to wander an Irish field, dip your toes in an Australian Ocean, eat an Italian grape, smell Florida orange blossoms, eat a taco in Mexico, live in an igloo in Alaska or Canada, walk the streets of London, sail the seven seas, touch the south pole, pray at Mecca, walk through a Chinese rice patty, sink your fingers deep into foreign soil and know that you exist here and now and four walls can never keep you from the world?

7:55 PM

Baring shoulders...fairy style

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

My daughter has gotten obsessed with the fairy movies from Barbie Fairytopia. I thought it was innocent girly stuff until my daughter is changing her clothes 500 times a day. Refuses to wear pants under a short skirt, bares her shoulders in all clothes, demands short dresses not long ones, wants high heeled shoes why? SO SHE CAN LOOK LIKE A FAIRY!

Looks more like a hooker if you ask me... bared shoulders, short skirt, heels? SHE'S ONLY 3!!!!!! I'm so pissed off at Barbie, the fairies and worse myself. I should have screened the movies better. Arg.
A Learning Muslimah -Habayeb posted about the dressings of young girls too. I agree completely. Young girls today are wearing practically nothing and looking "oh so cute" as young adults (at the age under 11). I tried finding more appropriate Islamic clothes for my daughter last shopping session and could only find two long sleeved shirts (and one was see through so i have to put a shirt under it) and only one long floor length skirt of good price. I found 3 dozen spaghetti strapped tops and short skirts. Umm no thanks. i keep telling my daughter it's not allowed to wear clothes like the fairies wear that they aren't Muslims but she's so obsessed its like talking to a wall. I'm glad my DVD player broke so she can't watch it anymore..... onto new obsession Princess Anastasia who changes her long dresses a million times in the movie...*sigh*

I'm beginning to hate all movies and the fact my daughter can get into her closet. They should make some great children's movies that star great role model hijab wearing princess or something.... I do liek the fulla brand doll they have here to challenge Barbie. Fulla normally wears hijab and is middle eastern colored.

They even have praying Fulla that comes with prayer hijabs and a little carpet.

Masha'Allah. I'll be saving up my money for that instead of the midriff baring "sunburst" fairy doll.

6:49 PM

Welcome "Summer"!

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

I've been so busy to post anything or reply to your excellent comments because FINALLY after so long of waiting a needy person has entered my life and I'm trying to give her 100% of care since I'm well aware Allah is watching me and will keep me accounded for my treatment of her. I heard her crying outside my door one hot evening. We opened the door and saw how pitably thin she is and so young and invited her in for a meal and shut the door behind her. She was here to stay now! No way was I letting her go back to her life of ruins. I pampered her in everyway I know how. Treating her like my own children. After a few days of love I can see her contented full belly and the inner peace reflected in her amber eyes. She acclimated to my kids and a bit to my husband. But she feels the most peace with me. We sit together at night and I softly talk to her and she's a great listener. She puts up with my sons little "hard" pats and my daughter's rag-dolly way of carrying her. She's brought comfort and love to all of us and we love her in return. So welcome to the family "Summer", our beautiful new cat.
*Pictures to come later!*
Finally one goal accomplished!
Help Somebody....
..including a cat body.

6:14 PM

Winner: The Stained Hijab

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Thank you for all those that voted on last month's Poll "Which book would you read based upon the title?" The winner was "the Stained Hijab" followed close by "the 4th Wife". Insha'Allah they will ALL be written and published by me but let's have a chat about "The Stained Hijab".

This was a title me and my close high school friend (who isn't muslim) Amanda, were bandying about one afternoon. She made it up and it's been in the back of my mind for a very long time. So many different possible plots came to mind depending on the stain. Just imagine blood for example "who's blood? how did it get on there? it is a dark stain a fresh stain? Where was it found? Does she still wear this hijab? why would anyone wear a stained hijab?" Ooo the questions are astounding!

So I thought after it surprisingly won why not let you guys chime in. Why did you choose it? (or if you didn't choose it pretend that you did for the sake of this post) When you picked that title what did you imagine the book was about? What stain came to your mind? What kind of book sprang to mind? A horror? A romance? A good girl gone bad chick lit? A mystery?

How many times have you seen an intriguing title and then read the back and it was NOTHING like what you imagine the title to behold within it's covers. Let me tell you it's happened to me countless times. I usually still buy the book but I'm always imagining the OTHER book that sprang to mind based on the title.

This is YOUR (the readers) chance to think like an author. If this was your book and it was called the Stained Hijab what would be the plot? Answer a few of the following questions in your own way no matter how weird or silly. I'm all ears. I'm thinking it could be a cool series so any and all ideas will be thought deeply upon. You can also take the poll at the top of my blog (quick, take the poll, take the poll!) . I thought this might be a fun continuous way to show some people how a writer's brain thinks by formulating a book here on my blog so get to it people! (and this IS supposed to be fun so don't think TOO HARD about it :D )

What is the stain?
What is the hijab color?
What does the stain look like? A splatter? A streak? A huge blot?
What is the genre? Murder? Mystery? Romance? Chick Lit? Inspiration? Horror?
How did the stain get on the hijab?
Who owns the hijab?
What continent does this hijab owner live on?
What is the book about?
What do you imagine a brief scene showing of how the stain got on the hijab.

Answer any or all these questions and more you can think of to start a dialogue. No one is right or wrong :)

12:25 PM

a 3year-olds perspective on life

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

My daughter just said the cutest and most interesting thing to me a few mionutes ago have to post it lol.

"Mommy i gotta go potty!" she says coming up to me and pulling her dancing ball gown dress up to be tucked into the top so it wont get dirty. I tuck it but she continues, "You have to stay with me this time on our trip to the potty, because the potty is an adventure."

Laughter bubbled up inside of me. "Yes it IS an adventure darling."

Wow where did that come from hehehe. I supposed for a child going to the bathroom is an adventure and something new to do durring the daily routine that is surprisingly un-routine. A sudden urge, a mad dash to the parents, hopping around trying to get clothes undone, a mad dash to the potty with anxious parent behind, a last minute relief. I guess going potty is something exciting! For me it's been just another chore in a long list of things to do but today she sure changed my mind about that. It was just so cute how she said TRIP. As if we were journeying to Dubai today lol. Amazing.

How easily one can rethink a hundred things we have to do each day with a fresh perspective. How many more things would be so exciting. How we could make so many ordinary things an adventure.
cute potty party pic i found.. these parents went waaay overboard...

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