Followers

7:36 AM

Remember Remember November

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

How could I get this month out of my head?


It seems like October doesn't even exist. It is some transport time of waiting from the interesting month of September to the bliss of November.



I had plans for November
I had dreams.



And they've all been shattered, quite efficiently and brutally.



It was actually the Front Receptionist Security/Military Man at the Jaflia Immigration, Building 15, who was the sign that things were about to turn. The way he double blinked at my daughter's papers. The way he frowned. The furtive whispers between other deck-out-in-military-regalia-men about the problem.

And finally the verdict:



"Sheikh Muhammad has stopped all reductions on Visit Visa Violation Payments."



Those words just ripped through me. WHAT the WHATY WHAT WHAT W H A T ?!?!?!?!?



The tears started flowing and as we stepped outside to face our disappointment I couldn't accept the cold words so carelessly tossed. Blubbering tears and sniffling desperately I turned back in and begged them that there must be some way. ANY way to reduce the amount. There-in lies the beauty of Emirates and being a woman here, especially a Muslim Woman. In a flash I had three high officials swarming us wondering why I was upset and crying. They had a debate about my daughter's papers and decided I might have a chance by talking to upper management or something. We made the rounds at least four times between different sections, no one wanting to take responsibility for helping us. *Such a lovely feeling really* finally we ended back up at Building 15 and pleading again that we've been everywhere and they just send us back here.

Finally this man who so coldly shattered my dreams took the papers to some high officials a few tables down and disappeared into a back office.



Our problem without too much detail: My daughter is 1 year and 7 months over her visit visa stay. AKA Illegal Immigrant. How this happened? When my husband and I didn't have jobs we couldn't afford to pop over the border and get new visit visas monthly, much less paying for a new residency visa. We were too busy just keeping food in the kid's mouths. SO here we are: I wanted to travel to USA to see my family in November. I had this beautiful vacation planned out.......



Arrive in California, parents pick me up in a happy reunion, (as I haven't seen them for 5 years and my father hasn't met my son) we stay in an inexpensive hotel and spend a few days at Disneyland giving the kids the vacation of THEIR dreams. Then return to Tucson, where I see my friends of old, my grandfather and family. I go bowling, I drink American American-Coffee, and I walk the old malls from my youth (turning heads in my “foreign garb”. Most important I have Thanksgiving with my extended family and my kids get to meet their cousins from my side of the family. Also I wanted to get back in touch with my siblings.

And eggnog, glorious glorious eggnog in the chill of November....*sigh*



It all hung on getting my daughter's visa sorted and paid off because she can't leave the country until it's paid. And I can't leave her here and go on my own.

So here we are waiting for the final answer from the Immigration.

The door opens and the man returns:
.....
.......
.....
.......
.....
.......
.....
...
..
.
"We've reduced the fine from 60,000 dhs to 27,500 dhs. You pay it or you take your daughter to be banned for one year." He said giving back our papers with a small ripped scrap of paper written 27,500 on it. I begged him again, there must be something!!!! I was thinking it was at 13,000dhs and needed it reduced to like 4,000. Here it was a staggering 60K!!!!!

There is nothing he can do. So we left.

I had to go directly from that emotional disappointment to teaching happily with fun energy and it was all I could do to not break down and cry in front of my students.

Now we are working on different options to get it reduced. Talking to Locals that might know a way through Immigration better than us. Other than that finding someone to loan us 17,500dhs and I pay it back monthly through my Salary.



*sigh* what a mess. Otherwise we are just to go on how we have been with her illegal until we can get that amount saved up.

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Also in late October and November I wanted to move out of my apartment. It’s the only way we WILL ever be able to save. So I've been looking but everywhere wants the payment in 4-6 checks and high upfront costs. I found a lovely little place that is stuck in my heart and I'm dying to move there but it'll cost a nice 11,000dhs to move in (plus 2,000 to MOVE). So how the heck can I manage that or the first Immigration problem? Seems like I'm destined to be stuck where I am for November.

I love this place I found, included swimming pools, with a children's pool, children's play area, grass lawns, gym, security, and best the apartment Ii want has bathTUBS!!! and it faces the playground. I can sit in my house and see them play. Who wouldn't love that? *SIGH* eleven-friggin-thousand dirhams between me and bliss...........



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I have a goal, a large goal, and enormous monstrous goal ahead of me in November though now. I made it a few days ago on my 9th Wedding Anniversary (October 13th). I will go from my current "official*" weight to 66.5kilos by December 1st, 2011. I've been stuck in the low 70's for sooo long now I need to kick start it down. I've been changing my clothes and my hair and a lot of things about myself and my husband and kids are loving the new me, but I'm not loving all myself as my weight still isn't the healthier me I want.

So that is my huge goal I set for myself. Insha'Allah make strong dua for me to make it.

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Can you believe in the craziness above I also remembered it is National Novel Writing Month in November. I have already signed up and will be battling time and wordcounts again to reach 50,000words at the end of November. So gain words, lose weight.

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SOOOOOOOOO that is my update as many friends have pondered if I've fallen off the face of the earth.

Love ya, update you again later :D




1:34 PM

6 Week Plan

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

So I read this Awesome Book! "The Illustrated Pratical Encyclopedia of FITNESS TRAINING" by Andy Wadsworth

Very very excellent book. Really taught me where I've been going wrong in my previous workout attempts. Now I have a new Fitness Workout Plan for the next 6 weeks. Grueling of course.
And I've been working on my eating plan, made myself a comprehensive healthy eating plan.
Instead of making a specific food for each meal I put the things I can have at that meal time and how many servings of each kind so I can make an informed decision even when I don't have a specific food on hand. (common in my house).

Also working on resisting again my "happy" foods. My sugar-drug. OMG DID YOU SEE THEY CAME OUT WITH COCONUT M&MS!!!! I LOOOOOOVE COCONUT AND CHOCOLATE COMBO......
*ahem* yes as I was saying..... RESISTING!!!!  Like last night went with my kids to the park (at 11pm) and on the way we stopped for gas and "snacks" I told them before we went in Healthy snacks only.
OH MY GOODNESS trying to find a healthy snack in a convienience store was like a needle in a haystack. Sure they had fruits, like a pre-packaged Banana and an apple but my kids were not gonna be fooled into thinking that is a snack for parks. and I didn't want to deal with the sticky hands from the juice.  My son started out looking at the marshmellows and I firmly said no, put it back. Then my daughter saw Gummy Cherries, "Look Mommy, your favorite!"  No NO! Put them back!
Then I saw JELLY BEANS!!!! OHHHH I LOVE JELLY BEANS!!!! I was like ok just one bag.... I held onto them as I strolled around. We got to the cookie and cracker aisle. I started checking every package for Carb and sugar counts.... OH the HORROR of high carb counts! 60carbs per serving in most if not more! THen I looked at the back of the Jelly Beans.....WAY more than 60! Stupid me why did I even pick them up...old bad habits! I tossed them aside and finally settled on TUC crackers and SKYLINE crackers. Meanwhile both kids were literally crying and screaming everytime they brought me something sugary and I said No. But their tears just confirmed to me how badly we are all getting sucked into the unhealthy trap.
We made it to the Check-out with only the crackers where COCONUT M&MS assaulted my mind.
I even got sucked into thoughts of "health Bars" with rediculously high carb and sugar counts....which made me put it back....and then on the way out CHEX Trail Mixes in multi-tempting-flavors. I checked the carb counts and was like ummmm not bad carb count until i saw the serving size and servings per bag.. 7-10 servings each bag. So multiply 72 carbs by 7.  342 calories by 10...yeah no thanks......
we got in the car and realized we had forgotten water...but i was NOT going back in there.

 Any of that junk at the park wouldn't have lasted more than 5 minutes, ten max, but those two small packs of crackers lasted the three of us 50 minutes. pretty good! We even found a vending machine at Safa Park (which closes at 11:30pm so we got in free) and I thought the kids would beg for soda but lo and behold they lvoed healthier and begged for water!  YAY!!! Small steps!

It was amazing reading a Weight-Loss Blog "Escape from Obesity" about the brains pathways in habits. Very interesting! Go check it out!

So the last week I spent writing down my plan and fine-tuning everything and prepping myself to resist junks so that on Saturday I can start the workout part.  Yay!  They also have a nice spongy jogging path around the park I'm thinking to use for Rollerblading by myself. Weeee!!!!!

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Ah and of course Homeschooling and Work and everything is going on track too!  :D

Thanks for all your support and comments the last post :)

12:59 PM

It's a Confused World

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Just read in India they are getting their daughters sex-changed to be boys.
They claim (just like with the infantcide post that first started my blog years ago) that they need boys to make more money for the family, and the high dowry and wedding costs make them fear daughters.

BULL SHIT!!!!

I don't like cussing but here it's necissary!
If they could see this is where the beauty of Islam comes in, it would help things a lot in India.
In Islam the SON pays the WIFE a dowry!
In Islam you don't have to have extravagant dowries or weddings.
And the Quran says (to the effect of): "Don't bury (or kill) your children for fear of poverty."

The stupid part is that these children most likely will grow up sterile (not to mention have gender-complexes) and not be able to have children when they are older. Now India's male population is so large where are all these boys gonna find wives to marry and continue their noble line with sons? Other countries?
Here's the Link GULF NEWS.

SubhanAllah, the crimes, NUMEROUS NUMEROUS CRIMES, in India make me fear for them as a nation. God's Wrath comes swiftly when you least expect it. May Allah protect us and guide them.
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Another Country high on my radar is Brazil.... OMG!
Have you people SEEN what is happeneing there? *shudder* Don't even wanna blog it.....

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And of course we have USA and Europe.....  high HIGH crime rates of all bad morals.
Of course not ALL people but a whole damn lot.

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TO be fair we have to include the Arab countries.  Quickly following the Western bandwagon!
Dubai as the most "western" city in the Middle East, sure is leading the bunch.
And we live near the sea........

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On that note, I'm hoping to look in far Sharjah or Ajman for a nice house with a YARD for my kids to play in and have lesser rent prices. The only drag will be the long drive to Dubai for fun or Work, and lets hope the car doesn't break down....
But at least we will be further from the corruption and ........ the sea......
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In other news.... this is the first gun-crime I have heard of in UAE since I've come here!
Armed robbery in a convieninece store I believe in Sharjah!!!! They got 80,000 DHS!
No one has guns here except Police.
It was like some weird twilight zone feeling reading that news article.
"What? ARMED robbery?" "Maybe it's a typo?"
"There aren't guns here!"

It's a sign for sure.....     yeah maybe just stick with Ajman, Sharjah's getting pretty rough.
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Ah and good news finally for Quoz Industrial 2: Al Khail Gate Complex:
They started planting Palm Trees on the main Road entering near my house. And they got a BUS(F-15) to come into our area now that goes to Noor Islamic Metro Station.  So actaully people wont have to walk across the desert now. Althought he bus takes so darn long poeple walk anyways. But there is hope for the poor poeple here.  We might get some more trees and flowers in the next two years...it's hoped. I still can't see greenery near my house and kids still play in dirt... but still....slowly things are changing.




....of course as I want to move out......  :p

So much to discuss where can I start?
It is the new Islamic Month of Rajab, the Holy Month of Allah, to ask for forgiveness and make Astagfirullah. Purify your hearts more in preparation for Ramadan only two months away.
Seek deep connection with Allah in Sujood and in the night.
I am dealing with a mess of problems right now and it's all converging on my head and sometimes when you feel so overwhlemed you need to just step back and let some of them gloss over or leave them up to Allah.

I finally got a job last month as an English Teacher for an Education Center. It's a very demanding job with not nessisarily long hours but longer than I'm used to from my past work. But on the side it needs a lot of preparation at home. Hours and hours at home with my kids but having to ignore them so I can plan out lesson after lesson for all my classes of various levels. It breaks my heart. Completly.
But this is the Dunya and life is not easy.  I must help provide for my family. There is no other choice.
My children would suffer far worse than lack of time with me if I didn't work.

Having time to homeschool my kids has been the most difficult problem to overcome.  Last year when i was overwhlemed time wise I delayed my daughter by giving her "vacation periods" as needed. Where learning was minimized liek a summer vacation but still would cover the basics. I can't do that at this point. It's time for her 1st grade to end if I want to keep her on track. I had hoped this was the year to kick start her advancement but too many issue kept mounting up. I wanted her to start 2nd grade last september and then latest in January but it all fell through. Now I really need to kick it into high gear and get her through the last unit and finished then plan out the 2nd grade curriculum.
Also I really need to get my kids into some kinda club or outdoor playing routine for the Summer. Expenses are tighter than ever so that will be a big challenge.

Always there are the problems in a family, especialy a marriage relationship, to deal with. Always wifey stuff that has to get done and motherly stuff too.

Also I have a big SUPER challenge to get the rest of this weight off. I started out after my daughter at 115 kilos and got it down to 88kilos before preg with my son. Then after the birth of my son I was 104kilos. I've lost 30 kilos so far but I've been hovering at 74-73 Kilos now for a year unable to get under this palateu. My goal is by October 13th to reach 63 kilos.  Which will be healthy for my height. I've been getting stronger and more toned but the fat has still remained on top. It's not going to be easy to balence all these pressures on my time. I think 4 months is plenty of time to lose 10 kilos in a healthy way. Especially squeezing Ramadan in there and weight can madly fluctuate.

Speaking of Ramadan I need to make up some past fasts urgently.....

Nothing can be set aside at this point for a few months.  It's all going to take a seriously dedicated super organized schedule to pull it off and a serious firm commitment from me to actaully follow it without slacking.
*sigh* makes me exhausted just thinking of planning it.  I'm sure I've said all this a half dozen times before but I'm ever committed to always having hope of improvement.

Never give up hope in your life or you'll never win. Good Luck to you all this summer.

9:08 AM

More Natural Life

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Where on this whole earth would you want to live if you could go anywhere for free and live there? What's your dream?


In my Queenly domain of Al-Quoz Industrial, covered in sand and a few paved roads. A lone tree on the side of the road attracts many world-weary men to crouch under it in the heat of the day. It is the sole source of shade between an intersection of hot asphalt and the remainder of the journey across dusty sand. There is no sidewalk to ease the journey to the local market. If you can't bare another trip through the sands you can walk on the road, at your own hazard of being hit by speeding cars or large industrial trucks hauling their goods.

Once you finally reach your haven of home and the shade of the buildings there is relief from the heat for the skin, but what of relief for the eyes? The eyes grown too accustomed to the tan color of sand, the beige buildings that cry for color. Here and there a shirt hanging or a window left open provides a hint of brightness to a stark landscape. Sometimes I used to wonder why the native desert people had such garish taste in color patterns for their clothes. Now I understand. It's so damn dull to see sand color day in and day out, you need something garishly shocking to make you feel a bit happier.

There are sections placed in our area for plants and even black hoses to water them installed, but where is the greenery? There is nothing here to cool our eyes. There is no leafy tree for our children to climb and feel the amazing texture of bark. There are no flowers for young girls to pick and tuck behind their ears. There are no worms for young boys to dig up and explore. There is only sand, sand, sand, and asphalt. These companies that own these properties make billions and billions of dollars a year and they can't even put in a few trees and flowers!?!?!

Sure this is the price many must pay for city life. You get to be close to a Metro, Malls, Money-opportunities...all those "good" things that begin with M. But what is it doing to our children? I grew up for a few years in a poor neighborhood just off the ghettos of South Tucson. There were trailers and poor people galore, but AT LEAST THEY HAD TREES AND FLOWERS!!!! My best friend had an awesome climbing tree in her own yard! Man the joy we had on that! I'd wander the neighborhood collecting flowers and plants I liked. Sometimes I'd get told off in Spanish but it was worth the price. I helped my parents take care of our little garden. Enjoyed running my feet through the grass. With such richness to explore what does a child care about poverty? What do my children have? Sand, lots of it. They have become excellent diggers. If I let them bring water they can make mud and build things.

Sure there are parks in Dubai. But for many families these aren't feasible to reach. Especially daily as kids need to get out and get rid of built up energy. It takes a long walk across aforementioned sand with the lone tree to reach the buses to take you to the park or you have to pay an arm at least to take a taxi. If you want to take the free shuttle to Mall of Emirates you cannot bring bulky items that you will be forced to haul around like scooters and such. Trying coordinate times to catch the next shuttle back home without missing the last one or having to sit for an hour or more with two fidgety kids is a tricky feat.

I want more for my kids. I want them to have their own space full of greenery. I want this for all the other kids suffering here forced to play with asphalt and dirt. Maybe we are better off then most but even many impoverished people have trees around them. When I get a job I was planning to save up and buy a lot of plants to put on our balcony and make it our own private garden. But when they go downstairs to play there will still be roads and dirt.

Sometimes the life of a farmer or nomad or anyone who gets to live off very close to the wildreness pulls at my heart. I'd love for my kids (me too) to be able to frolic through a forest searching for mystery around every tree. Jumping over a creek or climbing on rocky slopes. Feeling fresh and natural. Like life was supposed to be lived. Allah created plants for our use and for us to recognise His Greatness in the creation of Beautiful things. That is one of His Names: Al-Musawwir, the Shaper of Beauty. One of my favorite Names.
We weren't meant to be contained in a concrete jungle like we live in a zoo. Everything artificial and dull.
How do you gain such a life? How do you find means to live?


Where on this whole earth would you want to live if you could go anywhere for free and live there? What's your dream?

7:17 AM

INDIAN GIVER: RAFFLES SCHOOL

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

OK so it's a derogatory term that I never liked but in this case it's well aptly used and has no actual conitation to Indians.
Indian Giver was a term given to Native Americans who would "sell" you something of theirs, say Fur-lined boots for $20, but with their religious beliefs nothing was ever NOT theirs even when given away/sold, so often they would return and "take back" their item, without refunding the new owner their money. So basically they would take back what they had given.
Yeah like i said it's a crappy term but some people would do this. Not all American Indians of course are like this or would condone this, and I agree. It was a rough life out there on both sides of the fence and sadly the Indians often got the short end of the stick.
Which brings me to my Blog topic:
I've been searching long and hard for a job once Magrudy's Layed me off, (and SEVERAL others). Everyday I and my husband (especially my husband) have been sending out my CV (RESUME) for any job I remotly even had a chance at, and many I'd be perfect for. My Husband's Salary cannot support us alone. Not even close. Which is no fault of his, just reality. So I have to work (for those who would insist I should stay home).
I've had many many interviews with such a variety of companies. Each one you set out early in the day, dressed to the Business NINES, carrying a sunny smile and a winning attitude. You go through the ordeal of a tough interview with your dignity intact and then sit and WAIT AND WAIT for a call or confirmation.
Mostly nothing returns. Even though I keep getting top-listed for jobs there is always that SOMEONE who has that tad more experience or WASTA or degree that puts them in front of me. Finally FINALLY I recieved a callback for a second interview. Thrilled, I double prepared! Triple prepared!
I went to the second interview and nailed it head on! They e-mailed me the next day with an offer for a high Administration Position! My whoops of gleee could be heard at the top of Burj Khalifa. I jumped around screaming with my kids in the hallway as I told EVERYONE the good news. Thank Allah! My children wont starve next month! My Nanny wont be forced to leave from lack of pay!
Do you FEEL my excitement here? They called me the next day to confirm the offer and Salary.
A few days passed and my husband started to worry why they aren't calling me back to sign the contract. I said no problem they are busy, everyone just got back from Spring Break, maybe things are chaotic.
Finally I emailed them and waited a few more days then fianlly called them (twice). On the phone again I asked if the offer still stands despite the delay and was assured yes it does.
WOO HOOOOO!!!!
Stopped sending my CV out. Stopped accepting interviews. I prepared a detailed schedule for my kids and Nanny and began implimenting it so there would be a smooth transition back to working life. It's certainly not easy to get kids to bend to new rules and timings! It was a cranky house for a week, but it got smoothed out!
I even went shopping for groceries for the begining of next month, over spending a little just to make sure I wouldn't have to go shopping for a few weeks while trying to get into the routine of my new job.

I was mid-shower when the phone rang.

I finished up and hopped out and called the School back. The CEO changed the contract details of the qualifications, thus denying me the position. The offer was taken back, despite the overwhelming approval of my canidacy from the Head HR and Admissions Manager.
I do not get the job after all.

I'm a Customer Service Executive, so I keep my cool when people say and do crappy things to me (well professioanlly anyways), and so I polietly thanked them and calmly hung up.
I sat there on the edge of the bed, wrapped in a towel, drops of water rolling off my hair to splat on the tile floor and just looked numbly at the sun shining through the curtain of my bedroom sliding door. I just kept thinking SubhanAllah, Allah didn't want me to have this job and He wanted me to have insha'Allah something better than this. So I said my Alhamdulillahs despite my depressed mood.

 A heartbeat later my husband comes home in a jolly mood, cracking jokes and nuzzling our kids hello, making them giggle. I swollow hard. I don't want to break his cheerful mood. He greeted me and asked me if I heard back from the school. I winced and nodded. At my unhappy face he was like "What happened!"
So I told him.

It was downhill from there. Sunshine gone like a sudden blizzard on the praire. He couldn't sleep that night too angry in his heart about the sudden taking back of the job offer, and my Nanny too. It was confirmed in writing and verbally TWICE! I googled if this was even LEGAL, apperently it is even though it's crappy.

It's now the end of the month and because I lost a week and a half from the job search market I have no interviews scheduled until hopefully into the last days of April or begining of May. I'm mentally kicking myself for stopping sending my CV. On top of that through a glitch in the system of my husband's company he wont be getting his full paycheck until NEXT month at the end of May.  Thank Allah I stocked up on food but that was the last of our money. We'll have to resort to borrowing again and paying them back when I get paid, which is what we had to do when I had to start working for Magrudy's thus most of my monthly salaries went back to paying off people, May Allah Bless Them. Living like this is just depressing though. Having to resort to begging and borrowing again. UGH!
I was soooooo done with that when we left Al-Ain.

But I always have my Faith. Allah wont let us starve to death. He will give us something better soon. I put my trust in Him to get me a job or some means of providing for my family. Insha'Allah something turns up. Make du'a. There are a lot of people in worse situations.


So Raffles School, you are officially and professionally.......the Title of my Blog Post.
May Allah guide you from doing this to other people.

3:02 PM

APRIL SPRING SKY

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

My Beloved Month of my Birth has arrived again. APRIL!
Normally I feel like Yellow when this month comes (see last year's post) but this year I just have the aching for BLUE! A lovely light fresh blue like the gorgious spring sky.
I found myself some lovely internet cakes and sugar flowers.
I'd love to get these dresses one day!

It just a refreshing color, the perfect start to a new year of renewal and figuring out things for my life.

I have my work cut out for me.  Trying to find a new job which has been tough.
Trying to sort out opening a new business and finding an investor.
Homeschooling, mommy stuff, wifey stuff, exersizing, dieting, friend stuff.
Want to get another book published this year insha'Allah.
New idea for another book plot to write in November's Nanowrimo.
Gotta just get stuff done this year and not let it pile up!
AS soon as I get a job I also wanna get rid of old things in my house like my couches and re-do them or get new ones.
Also hoping to travel to Lebanon and USA this year.  It all depends on what Allah gives me o work with this year. Insha'ALlah it will go smoothly.
I really can't beleive I've reached 27! I keep thinking really 27!?!?! Like almost 30?!?! What happened to 22? 24? oh yes, children..... hmm.... LOL!
I feel weird because I thought 24 would be my healthiest and now at 27 I'm getting much more healthy. Loosing a lot of weight and trying to keep it off.
I'm trying to reach 60kilos or under by July. Insha'Allah.
I wanna finish organizing my papers. As a writer I have boxes and boxes of papers. I decided that to get rid of them I'm going to just scan them all and save them on my external harddrive but finding time to scan has been the hard part.
Also wanna go through my closet and get rid of all those ugly enormous clothes I've had for years. Just get rid of them all and then slowly start a new collection. Much better styles now I can fit into better clothes.
Insha'Allah.
So a lot to do this month and take stock of and deal with but I'm looking forward to it. I love the number seven and I had a great year in 17...hehehe.  So enjoy this beautiful month and take stock of your own lives.
Have a slice of internet cake on me ;)
Love and Hugs!

4:01 PM

More Bloggers!

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Masha'Allah I am continuously amazed at all the wonderful Sisters Blogging out there in the world now.  When I first started up years ago there were maximum 200 sisters around the world daring to blog their opinions.  Now look at them! So many I can't even keep track or keep count!
One of my many goals in this life is to let Sisters come together more easily. By making my Blog Directory (when there wasn't any around years back) allowed Sisters to do this. To read about topics they loved, by fellow Sisters they can relate to. For a while I couldn't add any more Sisters to my Directory because it was taking up too much of my time. I was complicating the process more than I had to. Now I just streamlined it and have started adding Sisters again.
And OH! the blog fever returns!!!!  I Love seeing Sisters showcasing their lives and talents! And from all over the world!  I like a new Blogger out there http://notsooperfect.blogspot.com/ NOT SO PERFECT. Okay I'm partial to this blog cuz she's into Designing like me but it's more than that it's the outlook she has and the enthusiasm she writes with.  Go add her to your followers, she's really cool.
Of course there are countless others I've just added to the Blog Directory too that are really awesome.  One Sister in Arts Crafts n Hobbies (under the section Arts and Crafts) is having a giveaway of a beaded bracelet so go check her out too. The countries are starting to fill out more too. Recent newcomers from Pakistan, Nigeria. UK, USA, and European Countries!
I'm so excited really I am!
I do apologise and please forgive me Sisters who have asked months and years ago to be added, I will get to you!!!!!!  Life's rough sometimes, but Allah has given me time to add you now.
Please do go check out the recent blog additions and perhaps you'll discover a new friend!
Salams!

7:35 PM

Earth Hour! We're doing it!!!!

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

You can still do it too!  March 26, 8:30pm Your LOCAL Time! Turn off your Lights and Electricity.  Light some candles (optional, but if you have to run to the toilet you'll be thankful for the flame), and enjoy some quiet activity with your family.
I suggest to further show your children you support this concept you should strive to do this weekly or bi-weekly.  After all why only once a year!?!?!?
Of course Lebanon being way ahead of it's time has Earth Hour daily for many hours of the day. The Government strategically cuts off power to residences forcing them to observe the value of having Electricity.
Ahhh, the good old days in Lebanon....

So the Earth Hour website also has games and activities for kids to do and interesting things for parents!

1:03 PM

Favorite Posts!

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

I changed my Blog Sidebar a bit and added my top favorite Posts.  The option you can add on Blogger of putting posts that recieve the most clicks is skewed! They will always remain top clicked because they are advertised so I wanted people to know more about me than my post on scarlet fever LOL. SO there they are in the sidebar on my blog! :D

11:20 AM

Hearts Lift

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Those not living here in the Middle East don't know the fear and oppression the people have faced daily for years and decades. In Lebanon they told me I'm so lucky we're not in Syria, where if you even whisper against the government you can get shot. Lebanon has it's own share of Politically Charged Environment but at least people are open there about their feelings.


I've always asked if there people are so miserable why don’t they take a stand? They OUTNUMBER Government officials! History has shown Civilian Revolutions are largely successful in large numbers.
I was always told, they'd love to, but they fear being shot to death in a large massacre.
Now here we are in the middle of an Arab Revolution.

Finally people are daring to get together and stand up against the injustices being done to them.

May Allah Bless and forgive the man who started it all when he set himself of Fire in a fit of rage to protest the injustice done against him. He was literally the spark of the revolution. Every person in the Middle East felt his pain and their hearts lifted. SOMEONE FINALLY HAD THE GUTS TO STAND UP AGAINST INJUSTICE, DESPITE BODILY HARM!


AND


THE


HEARTS


WERE


LIFTED.



As Egypt succeeded this showed the regions nearby that they could succeed too and no matter how many were killed to achieve it, the results would be worth it.

No one knows how far this will reach or how it will affect the future but I for one am with it.
I cannot participate physically but I participate with my du'a and with my words.
Every country here with a dictator type regime and a score to settle is preparing.
Those forced out of their jobs and livelihoods are preparing.
Those with family members killed viciously are preparing.
Children and grandchildren under decades of oppression are preparing.
May God help them all.
May HE keep their intentions pure.
May HE guide them to having Justice.


Has anyone actually looked at the map where this is happening? DO you see the circle widening? Yet the true center of the circle that has yet to be untouched is Jordan/Palestine/Israel/Lebanon!!!!! One of the most previously volatile areas in the Middle East!!! I think the eventual plan is to oust the dictators around this epicenter and install more friendly just governments in their place. Thus backing humanitarian efforts and having larger support to finally end the Israel/ Palestinian conflict. ALL these people standing up for Justice in the face of death, do you really think they will stop at the edge of their borders? No they will continue on. I guarantee you. It's all heading back to Israel. And this time they won’t get away with their atrocities. The world will now have their eyes opened to the real Middle East and what is happening here. Including those in USA. Now we will just see if they can actually stand up for the right thing or continue to shuffle their feet and stand there awkwardly at Israel’s side supporting their inhumane bloodshed.

The ironic thing I find though is the American People protested the War in Iraq against Bush. But they didn't do it with enough people and with enough heart! What they did gain was quickly stifled. Bush was a Gaddafi/Mubarak dictator who got away with oppressing his people and ignoring their demands for justice and peace. America you should feel with the people here and support us. Encourage Obama to help in a GOOD WAY. Lift your hearts and speak out.

People in the Middle East are reaching out to you, not against you for once. You should take that gift not shun it.

May God guide us all to correct decisions and bring a lasting peace to this region and further to the world.

AMIN

8:46 AM

Professional Make-up

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Since someone has expressed an opinion in my last few posts on my choice of make-up. I would like to elaborate on that.  NEUTRAL VS GLAM


I wear it for work. I'll be honest: I don't always like it. It's tedious to put on, horendous to scrape off nightly, and I prefer the fresh face look anyways.  Sadly though the reality is even in my twenties, I'm breaking out badly like a teen. Everyday suddenly there might be anywhere from 1-5 zits popping out and on a personal level I wouldn't be comfortable sticking my zitty face near others and advising them at work. Having the ability to put on a mask, or a Professional Face, is part of a Customer Service job.  Look at Airplane Stewardesses and Check-In Crew! PROFESSIONAL! and yes MAKE UP. Half my neighbors are in this field and their make up is thick and bold! Although the Muslimah ones wear just neutral like me.


People naturally gravitate towards that which is nice to behold. In my work I do want people gravitating TO me not away from me.
That said let's talk about Islam. We should be modest. We should Not attract undue attention to ourselves.
Okay, so, lets look at what I am wearing exactly. I'm not shy to reveal my so called beauty secrets. :p

Liquid Foundation: Covers those zits and provides a skin evener that lets me not stand out with red spots or healing scabs, all over my face.

Powder: Both of these in my natural skin tone not too lighter or darker as some ladies do (especially here in UAE). I wear it to preserve the liquid to last all day and not run or flake off, or look shiny.

Eyeshadow: Lightly applied in complimentry neutral colors to what I'm wearing. Mostly hidden behind my glasses as you can see on the side. Because if I didn't add this my face would take on a ghostly sheen from no accent color to the powder.

Blush: a softest pink with a fluffy brush and only a dab under the apples of cheeks, seriously you can hardly see it, even me and i know it's there. But if I didn't put it again you have the ghostly face effect. Beleive me I've tried to not put it and people have asked me if I was unwell.......  :(

Mascara: Only worn once a month on my period days, since to make wudu we can't use the waterproof kind , and the non-waterproof will run all over my face at work....yeah, sooo not professional. I actually wear it because it's always made me feel more confident and it's my one vanity that has no basis other than the fact I like it. I told you I'll be honest here. My lashes are naturally very light brown almost blonde to the point it looks as if I have hardly a lash. I dont CAKE IT ON, as some do. Just one swipe to put a touch of color.  If I need a pep-me-up on my non-period days I wet them with water and use black eyeshadow to dust them but it washes off with the first wudu.

Lip Color:  The reason I call it that instead of lipstick is that what i wear isn't technically lipstick. Again because I'm a white girl my lips have a naturally pale color and again as we discussed before, once that powder is on I get the ghost effect. It seriously doesn't even look like i HAVE lips, which freaks me out in the mirror! I put a tiny dab on my pinky of a gloss with a shimmer one shade darker than my lips.
This goes off easily many times a day, while talking (which i do a lot of at work), or drinking water etc.... so reapply as needed.

And thats it.

But guess what, on the days my face is clear of zits, I wear NO make-up.

But a few times (for those that argue to try it naturally) when my face was really badly spotty, I didn't have time (cuz it does take 30 mins to put that on) for make-up before work. I had to run to catch the bus. When I got to work literally every single co-worker asked me in a very shocked concerned voice "OH MY GOD! What happened to your face!"  I embarrassedly explained to them this IS my face. All day I felt horrible and self concious instead of confident. I had less customers and things did not go well.  ( Not to mention everyone kept staring at me, which i hate)




Color RED I LOVE

Let me also add that before I was Muslim I rarily left the house without Mascara and Bright Red Lipstick. I would even do Black or Dark Green in my Punk Days. But never NEVER did I wear light pink or "girly" or "natural" colors.  It was always shocking bright color. My eyeshadow too had to be bright colors. So there is a differnce in wearing make up to SHOW OFF YOUR FACE, and wearing Make up to Neautrilize your face or to look Professional. BIG DIFFERENCE.  I personally feel more natural at work with it than without. On my good days of a clear face no zits and no make up many people have actaully told me I'm prettier so... subhanAllah..... what's a girl to do?  Allah knows my intention. Allah knows my limits. And it is for Him to Judge.

If you don't like it well, you're free to say so as this is blog world, but you also have a choice to go to another blog. I've been honest though.

7:32 AM

United Nations grow up from Boys to MEN

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

Alhamdulillah for once the UN finally takes a stand and does something right. After years of Palestinians and Iraqis and Lebanese etc... being killed and slaughtered by overwhelmingly advanced enemies, and the UN standing by wringing their hands, they have grown up from the ineffectual boys they were toward taking steps to become Men who do what is right for humanity; Saving People especially women and Children.


I applaud the West and Arab Forces interference into the Libyan Revolution. May they turn the tide against their evil dictator who doesn't flinch at massacring his own people. May they Humble him and raise the Rebels chances. Insha'Allah it will be over fast to spare undue death.

May Allah guide their hearts and actions to work swiftly and not have the blood of civilian casualties on their hands. AMIN.



Salam Everyone out there.


Today subjects: Blogging, Jobs, Male Friends, Family Time, and UAE Culture.

It's hard to believe I was a "post a day" Blogger at one point! Where does time go? I still love the blogs and although I rarely get a chance to read any I love seeing new sisters starting up theirs and connecting with others. I'm really gonna have to sacrifice a night or two of sleep and add the rest of the Sister's blogs they've been requesting onto my Blog Directory http://www.allmuslimah.blogspot.com/ because I know how much benefit I gained in my life from Blogging. I want other sisters to gain the same. New friends, new ideas, a place to vent, and more importantly to learn. Also to keep your iman up. Sometimes when you're lonely and you feel there are no Sisters out there who are sharing what you feel you only have to search for a relevant blog and I'm sure there will be dozens facing the same issue as you.

I'm happy I've gotten this month of March to refocus what I want in life and to have more time with my kids. It was seriously depressing having to leave them daily for work. When taking care of the Mother and Baby Books section at Magrudy's I'd seriously get into a mental funk wishing to be with my kids. I would literally have to stop organizing half way through and go walk around the store for a while or text my husband how I felt. He was very supportive and always encouraging me that my sacrifice for our family would be rewarded by Allah SWT.

Am I happy I lost my job though? No. I enjoyed seeing new people and learning new things everyday as I browsed the books. I enjoyed helping people. Plus the job search going on now at home is daunting and annoying. Just when I think an interview went well and I'm sure to be a shoe-in, they never call back or they email me the position has been filled. Obviously not by me. UGH! Oh well...! But as I said many times I made Dua for this chance and Allah has given it to me. Be careful what you ask for does apply here. I do have the chance to explore new options and new fields I might be good at but on the other hand I'm disappointed when they don’t materialize.

I've received counsel about my huge Masjid-Humanitarian idea. Although the source of that counsel is a confusing person who seems to have two faces.....I did take his words and used my personal indicator of truth to figure things out. Now is not the time for it. and The Govt. won’t be very supportive. So I've had to move to Plan C. (Plan A: JOB, Plan B: Masjid). Open my own viable company and raise awareness and do good through that and earn enough money to start up my own humanitarian efforts.

Working at Magrudy's also taught me something that has serious made me think deeply: Can men and women really be friends in Islam?

I had many GOOD Muslim Male co-workers. They were polite and respectful to me. But they were also fun, funny (yes there is a distinction), likable people. Their worldly concerns I gave my advice to. I would look forward to seeing them everyday from the tediousness of the job. When transferred from City Center to Ibn Batutta I was glad one of "guys" was transferred with me. And at Ibn Batutta I met more "guys" who I got along well with. But as a strong Muslim I do agree that men and women shouldn't be close friends as it can make fertile grounds for problems in the relationship. I do keep myself mostly a little distant from them. Try to advise like a Sister or Mother would. When joking stay away from Haram topics or lewd jokes that I might talk about with my GIRL friends. Keep my distance and maintain my rule of no physical contact. I never have shook their hands and I was very careful never to bump into them even by accident. They too respected the boundaries and encouraged me to always be a good muslimah and reminded me of praying times and made sure I had an adequate place to pray from the eyes of strangers or anyone. They watched over me like a Brother or Uncle would. Not having Islamic Brothers or Uncles it was nice. So I've come to regard them in my heart not as co-workers but actually as friends. Friends I have to maintain a strict code with, but still friends. A friend is someone you care about what is happening in their life and how their life is going. A co-worker or an acquaintance is someone you just see during working hours and go home and don’t think about them again. When I go home I still think about them and hope they are doing alright and make dua for them. Having pure intentions and a pure heart makes this kind of relationship possible. Perhaps this is what they call a Business Friendship? A friendship with rules? I'm not sure and it's a strange feeling for sure. I don’t recommend it for any guy girl relationship but both parties have to be respectful of Islamic Laws and not compromise that in any way.

I'm working on the Business Plan of my new Business Idea which is a Luxury Cafe. I have chosen my key staff from the friends I have made during work, both male and female. I have assessed their personalities and work ethics and have chosen them for specific positions based on their talents not just that they are my friends. So now I'm in the position of having not only them again as my co-workers and Business Friends, but as my Employees, which creates another dimension to the relationship where I will have to have another set of rules to govern all behavior. But so far it has been interesting having Business Meetings with them and seeing their new talents emerge and trying to let them have enough freedom in their roles to build the Company but not too much to have 5 or 6 Directors.

Having an open honest policy Rule helps. I don’t want there to be a secretive atmosphere where everyone is walking on eggshells never knowing what comes next. Companies like that never thrive. We know each other’s salaries and all have the goal of making the company achieve using our best assets. It has been fun and exciting to plan it all out and their ideas are supporting mine and subhanAllah its turning out a great idea. Meanwhile in case this doesn't work we are all still trying to get regular jobs. But we are closer and closer every few days to getting things in order. We've organized most of the basic Plan and are now looking at locations and then it will be time for involving an investor. I'm hoping to find a Lady Investor because I want to promote Women Business Goals. She wouldn't have to do too much either and would still get a large profit since we already have a full team. Insha'Allah, Make du'a for us.

On another note one of the places I had an interview at is The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding: "is a non-profit organization established to increase awareness and understanding between the various cultures that live in Dubai. Operating under the banner of “Open Doors, Open Minds” the SMCCU strives to remove barriers between people of different nationalities and raise awareness of the local culture, customs and religion of the United Arab Emirates."

They are the ones who run the Tour at Jumeirah Mosque for Non-Muslims to learn about Islam and the Mosque. Also they have Cultural Breakfast, Lunches, and Private Meals to teach the Culture of UAE for those wishing to learn. As an interviewee I was invited to attend these events and it was amazing really how open tourists and Non-Muslims were to learning Islam and UAE Culture. Another Interviewee who I became good friends with, a German Muslimah, also attended and afterwards we were asked many questions by the tourists. It was fun being able to inform them and change misconceptions in a friendly way. The tourists were also excited to be able to have access to Muslims and be able to openly talk to them without stigma of seeming stupid or ignorant. I like their Open Door, Open Minds Policy. It really benefits both sides. Even if they don’t need me in the job I'm still going to fully support their organization. I suggest you check it out too. (I'll be adding a permanent link in my sidebar later). UAE has such a rich culture and is full of interesting customs and tidbits that NOT learning about them is such a loss. Insha'Allah more people will benefit.

Now for the next week I'll be wondering what Allah Wills for my life. My family cannot survive without me having some kind of pay soon so I hope He brings it swiftly enough. As HE is ALLAH, He knows how long I can live without money, but we still must make du'a for an opportunity to come and not just sit on our bums waiting for it.

Until next update I wish everyone out there health and happiness.
Pray for the troubled regions in the Middle Eat and the People of Japan.

7:07 AM

Poem: Viva Egypt!

Wrote: American Muslima Writer |

VIVA EGYPT!

A Spark Ignites
Hearts Swell
Into Throats
Voices Rise
Fingers Type
Feet March
To Squares
Bodies Stand Firm
Patience Wins
VIVA EGYPT!

~Brandy AZ Chase (c)2011

I have to wonder what would have happened if the Iraqi People had done the same thing to Saddam. Would they have been massacred in the streets or would they have won and ousted him? And saved themselves and invasion and war. Allahu Alim.

And Blessings and Good News to Mousa's Family, as Justice was recieved with the evil child rapist shot by firing squad. A real tribute to the Justice System here. We all thought he would get away with it by serving prison or paying blood money BUT alhamdulillah he got what he deserved!
As Mousa's parents warn, Keep your kids close to you and keep them in your sight. I've lamented many times on my blog and in real life that people here don't take the threat of rape, molestation, kidnapping seriously here. Know where your kids are and who they are with. Ask questions about their Bus drivers too if you send them to schools.  You have the RIGHT to know who is watching your child while you are away.  When my daughter was in preschool I'd have horrid dreams of this happeneing to her on the school bus and finally followed my instincts and took her out of that situation before it could happen alhamdulillah.  It's happened to many children already.
You have to realize even if the man is married with children, he is far from them and suffers from not having his needs met as all men need. Plus living with all men who swap dirty stories and most likely forms of porn, especially through phones, exaberates the problems. It's a harsh world out there poeple, protect your loved ones.



Magrudy's City Center and Dubai Mall branches have closed. Which would leave me where?

Was given my 30 day notice and working Ibn Battuta Mall's Branch until it end March 3rd, is where. I'm on borrowed time to find another job to support me and my kids.
But I saw it coming and made Dua for a chance at something new, and thus here it is, and I'm not sure what to do about it.
I'm applying my CV/Resume everywhere I think will likely work....


But there are the dreams and that niggling little voice who is never wrong and she knows it too.

They are telling me it's time to put words into action and do something to start the fulfillment of my Destiny. I've been talking about it to close family and friends for over a month now and even worked up enough courage to hint about it on my blog but you never can get anything started until you take a deep breath and risk it all.

You see I was afraid. I was afraid If I went and told you all my plans then there would be criticism, there would be discouragement, there would people that *gasp* expected me to live up to my declaration. I didn't want that pressure for something so precious to me. But then on the flip side of the coin you have encouragement, support and *gasp* someone who might read about it and hook you up!


So the time has come....

No wait, I need another moment to get this lump in the back of my throat down my suddenly parched esophagus.....

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*gulp*

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Ah, there we go, moving on.....


I'm going to build a Masjid (Mosque) / Islamic Community Center.

BUT

it will NOT be like any other masjid/ICC out there currently.
It will be insha'Allah the pure essence of Islam.
I want people to walk into there and breathe deeply and go "Yes, this is Islam".

It will have many features that are Humanitarian.
A new way never done in UAE to feed the Poor.
A way to shelter the victims of Violent acts.
A way to keep families together and solve marital conflict.
Bringing Dawa' to non-Muslims on a whole new level.
Learning the beauty of Islam for anyone in society.
A way to receive discounted healthcare.
A fun place to mind the children while their parents learn or pray.
A it will feature many attractions to bring people to the masjid 24 hours a day.
Yes 24 hours a day. A masjid should never be closed to shut out Allah's Mercy.



I've been working and designing and researching these past few months how to make it all work and come together.
Now I'm going to be approaching investors to join in. It's a big step to take but insha'Allah it will come together and I will find someone with the right Vision to understand how this will all work out.

I will build this brick by brick if I have to, but it will be done.

I had other plans yes that haven't worked out so far but none of them have I felt so strongly about than this one. I know this is what Allah wants me to work on, and I'm ready for it. None of my other plans and ideas had a good purpose you see. It was a plan to mostly help me. It would be MY Business. Now I'm making something for Others. It will be YOUR MASJID. For Allah. To WORSHIP HIM.

I beg Allah to make me His tool for goodness in this life and this project will be just that, a tool to spread the Mercy of Allah.

So now I have to figure out a way to make this happen, while still providing for my family on a daily basis.
I'll be updating you all on updates for how it's coming along and when I get a website for it.

Until then I only ask for your Dua that this comes true and will benefit those who really need it.

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