When you make the time to remember He who made you it fills your soul with peace and your mind with tranquility. We are drawn towards religion to fulfill our heart's search for purpose and the need to know we belong. In my long quest for the "right" religion I have found only Islam answers the many Questions I ask and always with logical and heartfilling answers.
Here are a few Ayahs from the Qur'an to fill the ache in your heart.
Surah8, ayah2 "For, believers are those who, when Allah's name is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His signs rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and put all their trust in their Lord;"
Surah13,ayah28 "Those who believe, and whose hearts find satisfaction in the remembrance of Allah: for without a doubt, in the remebrance of Allah, do hearts find satisfaction."
Surah22,ayah34-35 "34: To every people did We appoint rites (of sacrifice), that they might celebrate the name of Allah over the sustinance He gave them from animals (fit for food), but your God is One God: Submit then your wills to Him (in Islam): and give thou the good news(2811*) to those who humble themselvess-- 35: To those whose hearts, when Allah is mentioned, are filled with fear, who show patient perseverance over their afflictions, keep up regular prayer, and spend (in charity) out of what We have bestowed upon them."
Surah29,ayah45 "Recite what is sent (3471*) of the Book by inspiration to thee, and establish regular Prayer: for Prayer restrains from shameful and unjust deeds; and remembrance of Allah is the greatest (thing in life) without a doubt. And Allah Knows the (deeds) that ye do."
Surah39,ayah23 "Allah has revealed (from time to time) the most beautiful Message in the form of a Book, consistent with itself (4276*), (yet) repeating (its teaching in various aspcts):(4277*) The skins of those who fear their Lord tremble therat: then their skins and their hearts do soften to the celebration of Allah's praises. Such is the guidance of Allah: He guides therewith whom He pleases (4279*) but such as Allah leaves to stray, can have none to guide."
Surah39, ayah45-46 "45: When Allah, the One and Only, is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Heareafter are filled with disgust and horror; (4313*) but when ('gods') other than He are mentioned, behold they are filled with joy! 46: Say: 'O Allah! Creator of the heavens and the earth! Knower of all that is hidden and open! It is Thou that wilt Judge between Thy Servents in those matters about which they have differed.' "
(#*) is footnotes in the passage that explain the passages more in detail and explain the meaning behind it.
The last one especailly I love because it shows that sometimes when you recite Qur'an and even say "Allah" instead of God people turn away from you in disgust. Yet don't be discouraged by them because Allah will Judge later who was right and wrong. Continue to remember Allah with Thikr(Remembrance and Praise of Allah) and be at peace.
Notice that each time it also says Regular Prayer because the 5 prayers are different from Thikr. Sure there is THikr in the prayers but they are differnt and are awarded a spereate catagory even in the Qur'an, though they are tied together usually. So yes though it is good to say thikr but establishing the Regular Prayers must also be done.
When you make the time to remember He who made you it fills your soul with peace and your mind with tranquility. We are drawn towards religion to fulfill our heart's search for purpose and the need to know we belong. In my long quest for the "right" religion I have found only Islam answers the many Questions I ask and always with logical and heartfilling answers.
When I follow Islam and follow what my heart tells me to do (i.e. follow Islam) I feel better and more at peace. Everytime I try to break away from who I REALLY am on the inside I feel lost and torn and end up posting drivil at 4am on my blog "See TORN". What makes me special is that I AM Muslim and I do follow strictly Islamic teachings. Ok So I may not be a savvy news reporter or blogger with 50 comments for every post but I do say what is on my mind freely and know that it IS me. If I try to follow others instead of leading my own way I'll never be successful at what I want to achieve. So I must push away my doubts and stop critisizing myself for not having 50 comments for every post and just remeber if I don't get it out of my mind and onto the blog it'll keep eating at my heart until I do. I was born to write and to express my thoughts but I was also born Muslim and need to express that too.
So i decided each time i blog I will write a few Ayah that make people feel better and closer to Allah from the Qur'an. INsha'Allah this will inspire people to do good and to read their Qur'an.
For some people a life without use of creativity is like death. For some it's just another day. As I've seen in other blogs, and was forced to add my two cents, this is a widespread idea, that today, especially in the Arab countries, more and more men and women are being led away from creativity and more towards technical applications of their brilliance.
More people are told by their families that a life goal of being a painter, writer, dancer, movie maker, crafter, specialty designer is a waste of time and money spent on education. They want their children to do something that will bring them financial stability and home "honor" like being a doctor or scientist or computer technition etcetera. Now there is nothing wrong with these professions in the least, all are noble undertakings and if that is what suits your personality then go for it. But for many they do it just to please their families and go through most of their life feeling hollow and empty inside. Why? Because maybe in their pursuit of a stable career they have no time for their real passion which is the Arts (all arts). Which is using their creative talent to better the world and themselves.
Here in the Middle East especailly it's practically shameful for a man to want to be a dancer or a woman to be a film director or other such gender-related roles. Of course there are those that are brave and do what they like but many are pushed away from these goals. My Phillipino neighbor is an example of this. Now he may be good at his technical job and may even ENJOY it. But what is his REAL passion? Gardening. Expresing his creative talents through planting and nuturing Allah's creations. He's very good at it and you can see he really enjoys it.
When I moved into this small neighborhood the plants were dead from lack of water. The residents who lived in the main house apartments instead of the new ones bordering the "garden" didn't take care of the plants. They didn't have time or energy to expend. My husband and I were enthusiastic and had a dream of taking care of a beautiful garden that our kids could play in. In Lebanon especially Beirut, people don't have backyards to make gardens they just have potted plants on their balconies, so nature is a wanted commodity. After moving our stuff in we got a worker (paid of course) to clear the dead plants for our half of the garden. We had no neighbors yet on any of the other garden properties so the other dead areas still looked ragged and pathetic. We started planting and toiling in the sun. The first few days worms popped to the surface with all the water and earth mixing. The birds flocked in for the feast. And within a week things began to turn green again. Then soon our garden became a nice place to look at instead of an eyesore. But the rest of the neighborhood looked even shabbier in our splendor. Then my neighbor moved in and took his time getting his hosue in order and we feared at first he was the lazy sort that wouldn't fix his garden too and we'd be stuck sharing a weed lot. Then one day we come outside to see a bonfire of all the dead plants being burned. It was great. He cleared the lot and started his planting and it began to take shape. Day and even in the middle of the night my neighbor toiled and soon his garden put mine to shame. He had friends with beautiful plants that I couldn't afford to get. Soon more neighbors moved in and new bonfires were made because of this man's effort to beautify the neighborhood. Now about 6 or 7 gardens later everything is green with food or flower plants and people actaully spend time outside and let their kids run around outside. My garden is my comfort for being indoors too much. It's beauty is in thanks to my neighbor and our combined vision and creativity. If he had suppressed his talent only going to work and home to sleep we wouldn't have a thriving place to relax. We owe him a lot.
Other people too have such wonderful taents that need to be shared and expressed and if we urge them to just work for money we are loosing a vital part of our humanity. We are not cattle to be herded and worked. We are people allowed to dream and make increadible things. Our ancestors would have never imagined this world full of fast cars, internet, space rockets, and movies that seem so real. But a few DID dream it, did Imagine it and they changed the world. If we view creativity as only a dream instead of the hope for tomorrow then we are throwing away our futures. Allah gave us the ability to express our souls and to supress that is to deny our rights.
I visited someone recently and told them about my project for a craft store and I thought she would be suportive because she is in charge of a "western" pre-school which encourages creativity. She laughed and said it is a bad idea because here in Al-Ain the Emeratian women are "ONly caring about shopping, eating, buying toys for their babies, and visiting each other." I asked what about their children don't they value creative education and she said NO. They just think to let the children know their ABC/alif,ba,ta and numbers and that is good enough. "Most of the women will not try to get jobs here, why would they? They have money. ONly if they want to be a doctor or something that will get them more money will they work." I was angry at her(momentarily) for refusing to encourage her friends more to change thinking. But I know sometimes it is futile.
In Lebanon most men and women dont have time for arts and crafts and even reading books. If they can't make it in Lebanon's tough school system (tough in some private schools that teach 3 languages manditory and everything by memorization) they drop out at 15 and get married and within a few years start having children. Usually if their parents are highly educated the women may wait until they finish the schooling and then get married at 18. Then the burden of keeping your house perfect and then keeping your kids in line and helping them learn their memorizations becomes too much so they have no time to have hobbies. Most women relax by visiting their friends and having tea and maybe religious classes. The few who continue on to university usually become doctors and nurses and such. A very few become architects, painters, musicians, writers. When an economy is as bad as Lebanon's the arts are put last and day to day survival is put first.
When people ask me in Lebanon what I do in my spare time (when I first got there and didn't have kids and a house to manage) I would tell them I read, or draw, or write stories and I swear by ALLAH they would laugh. "Time to do these things IN Lebanon? AHAHAHAHAHA!!!!" or "Masha'Allah you have so much time to WASTE. I wish I had so much time." Soon I stopped telling people. Then soon I began to have no time slowly and slowly I was immersed into their patterns of spending the day cooking and cleaning and then just relaxing with a cup of tea and good conversations. I'm not saying the life is bad or boring it is just lacking art. And for me that is like death. Slowly I began to have exagerated nervous tendencies. I was over stressed, biting my nails like crazy instead of idly like my whole life, my face would break out constantly from stress then I'd scratch it because I dislike anything on my face. People would ask me what happend to your face and i just say stress. They nod knowingly. But then I started demanding myself to make time to sing and dance and WRITE. I felt better and more alive and though yes my cleaning and cooking skills slipped but I was happier. My face cleared up and I laughed more. But sadly in this society if you can't keep up your house, problems soon surface. People will visit you unexpectedly and you have to rush around cleaning in minutes and preparing food on the drop of a dime. That was too much stress and I broke out again on my face. Soon I had to learn to schedule myself only an hour or two of creative time. The rest of the day was spent working the house.
So when I got to UAE I assumed since the poeple had more money and had maids to deal with the majority of cooking and cleaning I'd find more creativity here. I guess that's not the case. Sure there is MORE creativity here compared to Lebanon. But still not compared to the amount of people who do hobbies in USA. Architectually this is a beautiful country. Straight lines mixed with curves in a plesent manner everywhere even the malls are glamorous. But that is the work of a few not the whole society. We need to Dare to dream that our creativity can change things for the better in our society and let our kids do more to satisfy their hearts.
I'm glad recently there has been a movemnt to change. Now when I go places I see some differences, "Kids for arts" campaigns (Al-Ain Mall), more arts and crafts in some westernized stores (ELC and BabyShop). I think with so much western influence and the excess of money and freetime peole are starting to notice the arts more and be compelled to them. At least that's what I'm hoping. SO I hope also that my arts and crafts store will support the artistic community and encourage others to take up something new. We can't let creativity be just a dream. We have to LIVE it.
I feel like that old song by Natalie Embrulia (sp?) TORN... "Nothing's right I'm torn..." but unliek her I'm not "all out of faith". I read Muslim blogs and it makes me scream at myself that why aren't you being a better Muslim and promoting Islam, Qur'an, Hijab etcetera. Why do you just whine about business and politics and spend so much pointless time reading "controversial" blogs. Sure it's interesting to see them fighting their opinions out but does it really matter? DO they change their opinions? Nope. The same A-holes keep slamming Islam. Ignorant of what it REALLY IS. Sure some are corrupt and don't follow it but there are SO MANY who do! In Lebanon I used to get my weekly deen lessons and not only that I learned from my friends who were so good. One friend especailly I miss. She IS strong and mash'Allah so sure of herself and her role in this life. She's a convert too so I know where she's coming from. She doesn't accept to be lazy at all in Islam and I always looked up to her but now I'm so far away. I was better when i was around her.
So now I'm so torn should I yet again change the style of my blog? It must be pathetically confusing for anyone reading this. First I'm a writer, then business wanna be tycoon(or just lady), then arab news blogger, then? then? then? Being from USA means I see the other's point of view so easily but sometimes I'm missing the biggest part of my own life. I'm Muslim and a strict one at that. Strict doesn't mean I'm alwzys good though. I have my lazinesses and weak spots. My friends in Leabnon used to help me with these. Masha'Allah I had THE dream about PROPHET MUHAMMAD (sallahu alayhi wa salam-sp?) the night before i was to see my friends and ask them for guidance about missing prayers. This dream has always given me strength to remember I can do it.
My blog doesn't stand out and say READ ME. If I wanna whine I should do it on my other blog but this blog needs to be something special. And most the time i feel it's sadly lacking. I saw a really good blog which posts nothing but self-improvement Islamic things and i was so happy. I felt better after reading her blog. DO people feel better after reading mine? I doubt it. SO I must ponder things more and decide what I will do. Maybe it would be better if I had a larger fanbase.... I could poll them hehehe. But the only way to get the huge fan bases like i see on these political blogs is to get everyone all fired up and fighting and then that doesn't make anyone feel good either. Is it a catch 22?
DaVinci says I should be following my impulses and I try to. I did chase a marching parade. But I want to be impulsive on my blog too. Should I reveal more of who I am? Should I reveal more opinions or facts or passages or or or or or!!!!!!?
*sigh* this is what I get for blogging in the middle of the night...nothing but questions and a headache.....if I had an investor or a book contract I wouldn't be in this mess ebcause I wouldn't have time to blog I'd post one of those "I'm too busy being rich and famous to blog today" remarks I see someties and my audience would sigh and go I wish I could say that instead of BLOGGING AT 4AM!!!
hmm maybe I should reveal a strange quirk about me everyday.....
this is besides the point all this!!!!!!
I have a duty to Allah to spread my knowledge far and wide, all of it! What is the point of gaining knowledge is you don't apply and then teach. Example: We learn to pray, we pray, we must then teach others to pray. There are dozens of websites out there about each topic and I feel lieka copy-cat if I try to be like them but inside I'm so many different things so it's hard to label my blog to one thing.... off topic again... should i change something? if so what? Or do people like my quirky blogs the way they are?
Well my family had a treat today!
All of a sudden when we were sitting in the garden (to get away from the noicse of my hubby's drill fixing stuff in the house) we heard a marching band practicing. I knew there was an empty lot next to the boys school a half block away where they might be practicing but i didn't know what for. I shrugged and put it out of my mind. Then my husband left for work and had to have his co-worker pick him up but he couldn't park outside our house becuase the street was suddenly closed off by a police SUV. That made me more curious so I took out the stroller and plopped the kids into it then ran into my house to change out of my "gardening" hijab into my "street" hijab. By then the muslic was out of earshot but I was determined to catch up. I raced the stroller as fast as I could walk down the street and around the corner where i saw the traffic backed up. I wanted to run but that would look bad: a hijabi, with kids, in a stroller, running...people might panic i'm in trouble. So Finally I caught up with the baked up cars then passed them to the end of the "parade". There were beautiful horses in three lines (about 12 horses total) and they were trotting slowly and some doing circles. I told my daughter to wave to them and she was in awe but waved. Next came some scouts (based on their uniforms not actaully my knowledge of who they are) and they were shouting slogans in Arabic. Next came a mixure of locals men and (for the first time i see) women and their children all dressed in local clothing but with UAE flags or the kids with UAE flag colored balloons and dresses. There was a large number of wheelchairs and I figured this might have something to do with the theme of the parade. Next came a group of about 7 men walking in the front --with security all around the sidelines (avoiding my fast walking stroller). Then came the best part for my kids, the marching band in red uniforms with black, red striped pants. They were marching in perfect unison (I know because I used to be in Orchestra and my friends were in band so I used to watch the bands too) They were playing alively tune to catch the neighborhood (and tv presses) attention. The funniest part for me was seeing the BAGPIPES!! I was like is this tradition to play them or they just like the sound and adopted it from the scottish? (I have scottish ancentry so i was very curious). The leader did look pompously proud of his group and i guess he had the right to be he was leading princes (or high local authority).
They marched (and I followed like the nosey American I am) to the front of Al-Ain Mall's main entrance. By then i could see the front banner and the part that was in English: Zayid (local rulers) House Welfare for the Handicapped [or something to this extent]. SO this was a good cause and so the rulers posed for the cameras in a line and then went into the mall. I was able to follow surprisingly close and was like only 4 people away from them on the escaltors up to the second floor. Then they took the next stair escalator up and i had to take an elevator so it was slower. I rode up with the handicapped chairs and got to the presentation stage. I missed the cutting of the ribbon but I watched the high locals tour the handmade crafts for people to buy. Then they all sat in a row next to this stage (2nd floor) on blue cushoins while the others sat behind the half fence in the dining area for the food court. They had a projection screen down and were loading a powerpoint presentaion on the handicapped children and adults making crafts and how much they need finances and such (all in arabic I'm just guessing from the pictures). The royalty were offeered first pick at a basket or chocolates and then it was passed to the others. Then the royals were offered first coffee in special cups then fruit drinks and then i think it was a tea. The others weren't offered anything to drink that I saw. I was in spitting distance of the royals since i was standing behind the fense but on the sidelines. (No offence about the spitting part it's jsut a phrase) SO I watched the going-ons until my daughter was being difficult and my babay boy was whinning. SO I took them to browse the crafts and felt bad i didnt' have money to help buy some when clearly I'm supporting their cause by following them upstairs. (I just didn't have any cash--I AM a poor writer). So finally after their hopeful looks had passed to the next in line i was free to leave and by then the kids were really acting up and so I rushed them home.
Which is good because I had accidently left the door unlocked and my cell phone in the garden in my haste to leave and catch the band. I love the lack of crime in Al-Ain.
Well so far no sponsor/investor. I'm a little downhearted but I'm sure soon things will turn around. I have a gut instinct and it tells me to keep waiting and soon someone will come to the rescue. Things do fall neatly into place though. I went and saw a location again and this time talked with the manager of the real estate. He gave me some pointers so I wrote a business letter to secure placement for the shop i want for a whole 10 days. My Hubby will take it to the manager tomorrow. I made him laugh by not knowing who the owner was (who is a Sheik of high importance in UAE). But in a good way laughing. He liked that i was clueless. I hope this works to our advantage. I'm just hoping everything falls in place IN TIME! I know it's ALlah's Will what happnes and doesn't so I'm not very worried just hopeful that Allah has WIlled for this to be the place for the shop.
I've talked more with my co-partner in this business and we clearly need to hash out more ideas because we had two completly different business ideas. This is a flaw of Arab business, very little "pre-planning". They talk on the phone: "I wanna make X Business and 50-50 profits."
Investor "OK lets meet." So they meet and what happens it all gets explained verbally with very little written. Later down the road a problem happens between the partners and no written agreement was made and someone gets screwed royally. I will be sure everything is written down to the littlest remark so everything is clear.
So I clarified what I want my business to be but it's kinda scary to demand what you want and put the other person's idea to the shreader. But I know for sure what I'm planning will be big and awesome and work to not only bring in the money but will provide a unique service to the town. That's what's important after all. No one will buy from you if you're not helping them.
On a new note I just recieved "The DaVinci Method" a book to help those of us with the gift of DaVinci/ADD/ADHD/Bi-polar/etc.. learn to control and use our gift to the best instead of repressing it with medicine. Everything rings so true for me. I'm the kind of person who sits around dreaming using only 10% of my ability until a crisis happens (usually made worse by my waiting) and I rev into 100% and demand everyone around me do the same. But it expl;ained to me that people i work around may be giving normally their 20% and rev it up to 30% max and then think i'm putting too much preasure on them for they work best as a cog in the wheel instead of the axle that turns things. It's so facinating. And fianlly a relief to stop thinking of myself as lazy, ADD, procrastinator and finally as a creative genious who has all the potential i give myself to have. So parents if your kids need ritalin or you need ritalin or adderal then read this book first and save yourself moeny in the long run not buying drugs. Google it: "The DaVinci Method" It's fabulous! I've read half the book so far and I can't put it down. It also lets you realize the different brain waves you use diffeernt situation and what you should use to get what you want out of your mind/body. Like I'm usually in Alpha/Theta phase most the day unless my HUbby comes home and is like why haven't you done this or that then I rev it up to 100% (in Beta, where Normal people always stay) and get things done fast then kick back to my alpha stages. He just sees a clean house and doesn't understand what I had to go thorugh to get things done. But we're working on harmonizing.
See the arival of my book to help me learn to focus better (which i thought was lost in the mail and never would come) came that ezact day and moment I was feeling bored and anxious in the house because i had no sponsor and was running out of things to do with planning the business. Now suddenly I have so many new ideas again. Alhamdulliah, Allah KNOWS when we need something and gives it to us.
All this spare time though has let me pent out my frustrations on my garden by shaping it up after staring at it everyday blankly. Nothing better to tune your thoughts back to sanity than to kick a shovel deep into the earth and rip up a mountain of black gold (dirt) and spread it where it needs to go. I have now a carfully bordered L-shape flower bed to put in transpalnts and new seeds. Masha'Alah nothing so comforting than to plant seeds and watch them grow. My neighbor helped me last night and I took the initiative while he wa at work to finish the rest of it because he doesn't liek to see me working i think. Everytime I shove that massive shovel into the ground happily he goes Pleas please let me do it for you. And because i know he LIKES to do it and I like people to do their passions I let him and fuss around with a small shovel just so i have something to do too. But today I did it! Muuahahahaha!!! Then i have to go to Carrefour to buy more seeds before he sees the empty bed and runs for his seed bag beats me to the planting hehehe. SO Maybe if my Hubby will give me more money tomorrow i'll go get seeds. I'm thinking blue for that side. The other side has purple and Multi-colors so I think we need more even colors for the small side of the L.
Thanks to all the recent comments I was so pleasently surprised to have so many after months of jsut one or two I actaully had 7 today. I was shocked. Happily. Thanks and I' m trying to comment on yours too but some websites I write a long comment then never see it posted and that's frustrating!
By the way I DID go to the Rugby Club Arts and Crafts Show. It was terrrific! It felt just like being with my mom at her shows but only smaller. Lots of Photographers too with their awesome pics. I really wish I had money to buy something but I had nada. I really wanted this children's book with beautiful hand colored pictures but my Hubby said we couldn't afford it. It's a beautiful book though. It encouraged me though that there was a high calling for arts and crafts in AL-Ain. (Aso the day it was held was the day after I thought of having an arts and craft store and low and behold a show was that same day? Coincedance or fate?) Allah's Will for sure.
It's in quotes because it was fun so not totally allowed to call it out-right research.
We first started out late for our Dubai trip because we overslept becuase little man was howling all night. We picked up Hubby's co-worker and hit the road. We got to Dubai easily but then Hubby started freaking out that we have to find Masjid quick so we can pray Jummah (Friday Prayer). SO I'm the map reader and have to direct us. But no masjids that aren't historical sites aren't listed on said map. I get us near where we need to be to meet my new friend. We get to pray on time. Well they do I sit in the car and wait because there are all men and I doubt women at this masjid but it's ok cause I can pray a little later.
So we drop Co-worker off at Mall nearby and get lost in residential areas until we find a highway again. Then call my new friend who I'm late by 2-3 hours to visit. FInally we meet and it's sooo wonderful! I learned so much about Emeratian culture and I realized there is SO MUCH MORE I gotta find out. Cultures amaze me and I just soak up all info. Yes i can use it in a book later but the most part is learning why people behave in certain ways. And I like the reasons behind it. I openly questioned and she openly answered even the things i didn't think she would hehehe. I learned one important tool: How to eat a plate of rice with no utensils, bare hand (right hand of course) only. It was fun and more important the sunnah is right. It is more filling when you touch your food and more satisfactory. Gnashing your teeth on a cold metal spoon isn't nearly as plesent as scooping with a few fingers and being able to leisurly eat. It takes time to scoop and gather and bring to mouth than to scoop on spoon and eat. Fabulous! I loved it. Important other thing i learned is don't trust most Expats (a certain one who write controversial things about emeratians which i wont link because she has enough hate on there to scare anyone from UAE) blogs about emeratians or locals because just like every people and every country there are good and bad and I just met a bunch of good and I'm hoping to meet more. She said with over 300 cousins most Emeratians don't have time to deal with expat friends ebcause they have to make visits and such to keep family ties strong, it's not a matter of being stuck-up liek some people think they are. Of course she said some ARE stuck up but they aren't as many as the normal people. So this goes to show you out there don't judge people until you know them well.
After I said a fond good-bye to them, i can't help it I'm a hugger and i doled out many hugs! Hubby kids and I went to pick up co-worker and then go find Wafi Mall. Ok we saw it and drove past it as we were lost a billion times and trying to avoid toll roads called Salik. FInally after watching it pass by the window with no way for my road to connect to that road i was liek FORGET WAFI!!! We go to Jumaira. I know that area better! So we went to Jumairah Center which has an amesome bookstore outside the mall itself. I snooped prices and ites in stock at any and all craft stores and the decor used. Most craft stores had same decor BORING!!! But one THAT WAS CLOSED! had awesome American themed and I was peeking in the window so long and writiting everything i saw I was nervous the security might come and question me hehe. Then we all went to dinner and that was nice. Then my little man went to sleep fairly quickly with a soothing feed and a noisy car and I had freetime to think about the business but my mind kept wandering and I nodded off every so often only to startle awake to make sure my HUbby wasn't falling asleep while driving becuase sometimes he gets sleepy on long drives at night. He did fine then crashed into his bed (without the car) to sleep solidly. Of course long car ride with baby sleeping means he stayed up LATE but he was being cute not difficult so it was fine. So I had very good day of research! Now if only i can get the funding!!!!
Gulf News said "It doesn't run ads like this from people who don't have a company already." I guess only people WITH companies can run ads saying they want financing to START a company.....hmm GOOD POLICY!!! NOT!!!!!! So now either i have Hubby translate my ad to Arabic and run it in AL-Waseet arabic classifieds or i rely on word of mouth and meetings to get a sponsor..... I WANT a sponsor soon though before someone takes the shop i'm looking at!
I found great new links for Expat Women that I'll link soon (when it's not 5am and I've been up all night) but I feel like I don't quite belong because I'm Muslim and they are mostly not. I miss Lebanon where I had Lots of women jsut like me, Marrried to Lebanese Men, Muslim Converts all living in Lebanon.
That's the new name of my Arts and Crafts Business! Isn't it fab! Don't you just wanna pick up anything artsy and do something with it? Don't you want to buy my products!
Heh ok so back to the moment of inspiration! I've been thinking deeply about my goals this year and teh fact taht I've dared myself to complete them. I also looked at a site ina small mall where everything was fancy and had catchy names and i was like AMerican Quality A&C wont hold water here. Thus as I was feeding my son and daydreaming (the best part of breastfeeding) how to decorate my shop i thought about painting a slogan on the wall like Dare to Succeed, or Dare yourself then Dare yourself to create but create is a term used by Alah so taht was no good. So Creativity came in suddenly and BAM!!! Dare Your Creativity! Now I'm here 3rd night in a row i can't sleep from excitement. How am I living...i dunno but it's working. I haven't been so excited about soemthing since I had my babies and also fell in love with my Arab Hubby.
OK I've been up all night many times to do writing of books but never to the point of constant awakeness. I had to force myself to lay down yesterday afternoon and do hypnosis relaxation methods just to get rid of this feeling like I was hungry but stuffed to my ears at the same time. Maybe it's called strung out. I know about being Manic Happy (I used to be Manic Depressive) but this tops it all!
I read about Enrepernurials(sp?) and Business People on CNN INTL. and i was like man I'll never be like that and like them driven in the business world and LOOK AT ME NOW! I don't recognise this sudden drive! Arab Hubby will go put an ad tomorrow in GULF NEWS the english paper here in UAE. I am seeking afemale investor for a whole lota monaaay. A female so i can be close to her as friends not just finacier. Also I have a secret new partner who will suppiment my weaknesses.
GO GO GO!!!!
I'm getting a big reality check on my excitement for the past week. I've done tons of research on how to start my own small business (though it may be a large businees by all the factors i can make) and have decided to run a better ad to get a finacial backer (preferably a woman from UAE). It's been a little scary recently trying to work out a Business Plan when i still have more research to do and not enough time to do it...Why can't today be friday so I can go do the things i need to do in my head instead of waiting and waisting valuable time?
Friday I need to check out my rivals in AbuDhabi and Dubai, yes i said AND. Big road trip there! I want to see if my vision is already in effect or if I'm really as brilliant and I hope I am... I will try my very best to ensure my Arts and Craft Store in Al-Ain will be the thriving hub of the artistic communities.
I have a MESS of Goals to do and they all needed to be done yesterday!
My poor head! I was not able to sleep last night thinking about my new business idea! I got up about 3am (having gone to bed at 2am -remember i'm a breastfeeding mother) and went internet exploring about my business. My mom came online and told me to do even more research about starting abusiness and so i did! Now my brain hurts more! But somehow in a good way like when i used to go to school and had to cram for exams. Lots of info in short period of time. I just learned how to make a Business Plan and use it to set up a profitable business and attract investors and how to make profit projections. I realized quickly how ignorant I was previously and how Ignorant I still am...Learning sucks in that way... just kidding please don't throw things at your monitors.
I went though a "start you business" checklist and defined the areas I'm the weakest at (uh mainly the fact I've never run a business and haven't a clue how to...) Halfway through the list I of course thought I should write about a character opening his or her first business in Arabia and it being such a nightmare and everything goes wrong but they meet the person of their dreams and come out successful in one way or another and.... ok back to reality.....(make mental note to jot down my cool book idea later)
Even though I'm way inexperienced I think i have a good shot of making this work because I really believe in what I'm doing and that it will work out in the end. Al-Ain BADLY NEEDS a Arts & Crafts Store and I'm the gal to do it! And being the first to hit the market means I get all the money right?! RIGHT!? R I G H T !!!??? I'm begging you to afirm not shouting...
SO far the only area unconquorable is TAXES. No way after looking at an IRS site will i ever figure out what that all says and incorporate it into my actual life. I will gladly hand over my info to a tax Professional, it's their job, let them figure out my mess.
Hmm my daughter is at school now so theoritically I should go clean my hosue while the baby is sleeping but considering I've been up all night I should do the good thing and go curl up with a soft and warm baby. Ah it's the best moment when he cries and I can just lay next to him to feed him and realize he's gonna sleep for a few more hours and i get to sleep too.
Then the moment wears off when i wake up and look at the clock and realize my husband and daughter will be home NOW (thanks to split-shift working hours in Al-Ain) and I haven't Made Lunch, Picked up the house, or even brushed my hair. TOO bad no excuse to wear hijab in the house heh. Then i Have to scurry around doing everything at once and inveriably the baby wakes and wants full attention!
Hmmm maybe i won't be going to sleep now then.... Well see ya later then no matter the choice!
I was so angry by the treatment of one of my Arab neighbors (AN) to my nice Phillipino neighbor (PN). SOME Arabs are so biased agianst other nationalities. My PN was watering the gardens around all of our houses (which he personally helped shape with his own hands -for free!) and there was this expensive car parked nearby. The wheels somehow got gently splashed with water and some dirt kickup. The AN raised a fuss and started calling my PN stupid and such and threatening him. SO my easygoing PN got angry and was yelling who was this AN to be calling him names like that -his daughter standing in the garden baffled why her father was shouting. This is where I became concerned about my PN sudden temper and spied out the window. They continued the name calling and such and I got more worried and went to the door to peep through a crack. The AN came up to PN and started raising his hands and puffing his chest like he was gonna start something and my PN was holding the hose like he really wanted to strangle or spray the AN (dont blame him I would have done it- i'm hotheaded). They seperated but I rushed my daughter to go out and grabbed my baby and put on hijab. We went out and i asked PN what was wrong and he told me the story and then the AN started up to me in Arabic but I demanded he speak in ENglish so he knows he's not dealing with someone uneducated that he can mess with (they respect Americans here). So he told his side and I pointed out to his that he shouln't park next to a Garden and not expect a little dirt to get on his car. He said he doesn't mind the dirt he can clean it off for under a dollar he just wants my PN to admit that he splashed his car. I told them both it was harmless accident and just drop it. But PN made it worse by demanding again to know who AN was and what connections he had. SO AN threatened to show him tonight when he called the owner of our buildings how powerful he was. Then AN saw I'm still staring at him like the pathetic P-of-SH- he is and shut up and left kicking up a cloud of dust which landed on his precious car... I stayed in the Garden to calm PN and tell him I got his back if the AN and the owner try to pull something with him. There were other witnesses too but they were all Phillipino. Of course the AN will just call them liars too but if he tries to mess with me, uh-uh he's gonna go down. My PN is so nice and generous he's giving me free internet before he even knew us and the first time we met him through the company he works for. He's awesome with plants and knows how best to deal with them and change them around when my whim dictates to re-make a bed of flowers. He's awesome and I'm not gonna let an arrogant AN mess with him because he thinks he's superior to Asians.
Wow, as if i didn't have enough goals to deal with this year my husband threw a whollop at me!
Not a punch heh, he threw an idea at me that I should open my own business. He had already placed an advertisement in the newspaper that i wanted a sponsor for it so I had 24 hours to come with a good idea and make it marketable to the callers. I wa so shocked it took me a while to think of what things i like to do. Finally (up til 4:30am) i thought of the fact I've always been around crafts and arts so a store that sells these goods in Al-Ain would be wonderful! There currently isn't a specialty store for arts and crafts so it will be good no major competition. In AbuDhabi and Dubai are a few stores but for people here nada. Only the basics. SO the past 48 hours I've been telling interested sponsors about my idea and seeing if they'd like to finance it. Wow I never thought I'd be able to open my own business! Its a tiny bit daunting but i think it will work out in the end and do extremely well. Every teacher i met or mother i met has lamented the lack of arts shops in Al-Ain. So here goes on another Goal: Open Arts and Crafts Store.
Oh and update I've been working hard on my book and am up to page 15, every book has a begining!
YAY! Today my daughter has gone to school and I have time to work out a viable schedule! She's excited and we're all excited (even my baby son who doesn't know he's excited) because Mommy having free-time means things get done better. House cleaner, baby more play time, Writer more writing time, More cooking time for happy meal eaters! My favorite part is just having time to look around me and take a deep breath without something rushing to take my time. No Mommy i gotta go potty now before i go on the floor!! *drop what doing and rush girl to potty*
SO now I'm free til about 2 o clock. Of course today being the first day I've slummed it a little. I watched news about the presidential race in California being close and heating up... of course i do have a favored canidate but the reality is they are all not muslim so I'm not voting for them... Islamically it's not allowed to vote for anyone not forming an Islamic state. Though naturally people dont follow this rule often but i and my family do (yani in-laws not USA family). But i have my hopes set on a certain canidate who seems to be reaching out to make a lasting peace with middle east. Not more wars like F-up Bush.
So what's my new vision hold for writing you may ask...
I realized that being American AND Muslim is unique. Being these and living in Arabia makes MORE unique. Being married to Lebanese I've been able to live the culture and now moving to UAE I've learned how the cultures differ in different countries. All this adds to a lot of knowledge about Middle East and Arab behaviour. My goal is to use my knowledge to write more believable books featuring Arabs (men or women) as my lead characters. Some I hope to base on principles of Islam and falling in love. Others will have more "western flair" but still conform to my beliefs. I'm hoping that with my insights the books wont be just another "silly Arab romance novel" but something substantial that has meaning and is memerable as something real. My books will take place in REAL Arab countries that I've extensivly researched not the normal "fictional countries" listed on the website Shiek and Desert Love listed below in my "Daily Read". They [other Authors] who have writen for fictional countries are afraid to offend the culture becuase they dont KNOW the cultures as I do. This is why I'm not afraid to write for Real countries.
Some may ask why not write non-fiction if you're a stickler for mainly facts? The honest answer is I LOVE FICTION! I daydream almost non-stop about what i write and even daydream and spend my day in imagination on stories that will never become a book but they are just fun to play. Not that I don't have my serious time too like taking care of house and kids and husband but I try to fit these things when plausable into my imaginations. I'm sure if there were hidden cameras People would really think I'm strange talking and murrmering to myself as I talk out characters but *shrug* each to his own. There's more a sence of idealism (me being an idealist) in romance books that I love. Sure maybe a man WONT give a woman multiple O* 10 times in a row but it COULD happen if someone took the time and EFFORT. HAHAHA ok I hear you saying get real... see this is where you (actaully I) have to decide what needs to be real and what needs to be fiction.
For example I do need to know how Tribal systems work for my current book in ANcient Arabia in the time of Ignorance before Islam. How do I learn about this? Through mainly my father-in-law, my grandfather-in-law, my other in-laws and internet research. Also being in Middle East i can visit some of these sites and get a clearer idea. As for Arab relationship problems I got that covered personally being marriedto an Arab, having read hundreds of romance novels, and asking quite bluntly to all my sister-in-laws if this or that would really happen. It's a nice system.
Sure I have DOZENS of books that are non-Arab, romance, or sci/fi/fantasy, in development but when it came time to pick a "first book" me and my family and in-laws thought my Arab books were best for now. As I grow as an Author someday I will have time for my lovely others.
So here's a last note: I am trying to interview currently Arabs with unique marriages that are "different" from AMerican standpoints. Like the prevalence of cousins marrying each other. Sure it does happen in USA but not like it does with acceptance here. So anyone out there who would liek to be interviewed and are married to an Arab or are Arab let me know and I'd be happy to ask a few questions. Also helps if you come from UAE, Yemen, Syria, European countries other than UK, Saudi, Jordan etc... I want to pick your mind of all the inform it has about your culture and personal relationships (within Islamic boundries of course). I don't need to know stuff like how many times and when you sleep with your spouse. I'm talking about basic questions like How did you meet? WHY did you like this person? What about their culture is hard to deal with? Etc... I wont write your life story I will just break it down to be used randomly (with your permission of course) within many books. LIke if I write about Yemen I'd take waht you said of the culture and what that guy said about his wife and what that lady said about her cat and bam there's the story.... well it works in my mind and on paper but describing inspirtaion proccess is hard...
So that's a little bit of what's going on in my writing head all day.
First know I'm not racist in any form. My daughter was just attending a predominate Indian School (I'm talking country Indian not Native AMericans) and had lots of little friends of multi-cultures and ALL my neighbors are either Indian or Philipino.
I was going to leave polotics and such out of the blog but this was so terrible i have to share. I watched the CNN news Special about the Horrors happeneing in India of women and men BURYING THEIR DAUGHTERS (JUST BORN) IN THE DIRT AND LEAVING THEM TO DIE. They found one baby and subhan'Allah she was still ALIVE and they saved her. They found her A-hole "father" and asked if he wanted her back and he said No of course not! He already has 7 daughters he doesn't want and two precious sons he does want. They interviewed the daughters who szid they never get new things and have to work their fingers off rolling cigarettes all day while their brothers study and get new clothes. Families after families talked about how they wanted to know the sex of the baby before it was born to know if they should get abortion. They all want sons. WHY!?!?! Because they want someone to pass the name on AND becuase of the stupid DOWRY! The BRIDE has to pay a dowry to the MAN.. obviosuly has to be paid by her parents. This is horriable because of this stupid rule hundreds and thousands of babies are ebing aborted OR BURRIED ALIVE! So parents dont want the burden of paying their daughter's dowries. The Qur'an states how the IGNORANT PEOPLE before Islam came used to bury their daughters in shame. The Qur'an from Allah forbaid this and it stopped --except for few evil sinners-- I thought I'm so glad it doesn't happen anymore those people were truly ignorant! It's shows how sheltered I am coming from USA! It is happeneing and I'm sure not jsut in India. I only could watch the show until they were pulling baby bodies from wells and pits where they were buried or thrown there from abortion clinics then i just cried so much. My husband came rushing to calm me and turn off the tv. I held my daughter and thanked Allah I'm not from these ignornat people (not all indians just the ones who do this practice). She was liek " why are you crying Mommy?" I said "Because there are some very bad people i saw on tv doing Very bad things." She tried to cheer me up and I thought how can anyone not love a daughter! They are sooo sweet and adorable and are the basis of life existing. "Man cannot live without women and Woman cannot live without man".
Surah6,ayah140: "Lost are those who slay their children, from folly, without knowledge, and forbid the sustinance which Allah hath provided for them, inventing lies against Allah. They have indeed gone astray and heeded no guidance."
Surah6, ayah151: "Say: "Come, I will reherse what Allah hath Really Prohibited you from": join not anything as equal with HIM; be good to your parents; Kill not your children on a plea of want-- We provide sustenance for you and for them-- come not nigh to shameful deeds, weither open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: Thus doth HE command you that ye may learn wisdom."
Surah17,ayah31: "Kill not your children for fear of want: We shall Provide sustenance for them as well as for you. Verily the killing of them is a great sin."
Surah81,ayah1-14: "In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 1.When the sun (with its spacious light) is folded up; 2.When the stars fall, losing their lustre; 3.When the mountains vanish (like a mirage); 4.When the she-camels, ten months with young, are left untended; 5.When the wild beasts are hearded together (in human habitations); 6.When the oceans boil over with a swell; 7.When souls are sorted out, (being joined like with like); 8.WHEN THE FEMALE (INFANT) BURIED ALIVE, IS QUESTIONED-- 9.FOR WHAT CRIME SHE WAS KILLED; 10.When the scrolls are laid open; 11.When the World on High is unveiled; 12.When the blazing Fire is kindled to fierce heat; 13.And the Garden is brought near-- 14.(Then)shall each soul know what it has put forward.
These are proof for those who may think it's accepted by Islam to do this-- IT'S NOT!
I was given courage by the last Surah not to cry more because on the day of judgement the infant will have it's chance to exact its revenge. Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest)!
So far things having been going well the past year. I've stabilized my life enough to where I can take the time to write a lot more. I've only been able to write off and on the last 3 years. Ah the good old days when i was pregnant with my first baby and had SO MUCH TIME I never knew I had-- All to myself!
I've taken to walking an hour or more around AL-Ain just to see how far I can walk and see what there is down all those side streets i never take when my husband is driving. Not that I can buy anything but window shoping and window eating is always nice! Plus it gets my head out of the house and gets my kids a breath of fresh air. Near the Downtown building of "Homes R US" are massively expensive houses all parked up with the fanciest cars imaginable. I'm looking at it mouth agape knowing the only way I'd ever live there is if I sell everybook I've ever thought of and they were all best-sellers. (I.E. It will never happen) I don't REALLY want a house and car liek that though because i can think of dozens of better things i can do with the money like help poorer people.
My daughter will start pre-school soon again and I'm so happy to have the mornings inbetween brestfeeding my son to myself for writting. I also re-designed my garden today now that my very generous and helpful Philipino neighbor has gotten me more bricks!!!