Saturday, December 22, 2007

"Eid Mubarak!"

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh...

... Eid Mubarak was my reply to the smart cashier at the Tar-jay who wished my a Merry Christmas as a well-thought-out 'afterthought' on 'Eid day. And I wish all of you an Eid Sa'eed as well.

It has been doom and gloom around here for a while, sigh. I'm hoping to pick up the tone. Today gave me hope- it was my mother's birthday (she hit a milestone today, alhamdulIllah!), but was one of the warmest Winter solstice days I've ever seen- we hit 61 degrees! It was beautiful. And the moon shone brightly through hazy dark clouds as we drove back from dinner. InshaAllah better days are coming, and we won't be living in sorrow as much. My brother is well, all praises to God for that.

Me? I'm baking cookies. I'm on break from the academy until the 2nd of January, and from day 1 I've been resting and alternately cleaning. And MYNA camp begins on December 26th! This will be my first time as a counselor, so I'm making dua'a for a good experience.

Now, I promised this to Dictator Princess a while back, please indulge me. I love memes! Gank away if you like this one- you have to answer five questions, and then others can ask for an Interview in comments. Let me know if you want in, and I promise to think up some good questions, inshaAllah.

1. A repeat of a previous question:What do you know now that you wish you had known before you converted? I am not talking about "big bad Islam", I mean like what do you know now that could have made the journey easier?

On a practical level- I wish I'd waited to start observing hijab. That's only because I think I'd've ended up wearing it regardless, but to do it when I did did NOT make my life any easier. Yeah. I really wish that I'd remembered that the most beautiful part of Islam is what occurs inside as a result of what I do outside. I lost track of that. This is a hard question- rarely do I take stock of what I've learned like that.

2. Children scare me to death. You teach several. What would you tell me to be more at ease in their presence?

Honey, be easy! They're sturdier than they look- you won't break them! ;o) Be the adult you always wanted to be around- loving and playful, thoughtful, considerate, listening, yet with limitations and boundaries. Have in your mind the image of each child as an interesting person that you want to know and to show love and affection, and watch how they open to you and you to them. Someone had to remind me not to hide the love I had for my preschoolers- for adolescents, the way to be around them is to still be at ease with yourself, but also be thoughtful and principled. They see adults as examples.

3. Speaking of small children, what do you like about teaching preschoolers versus teaching junior high kids (besides avoiding major 'tude)?
Oh, hmm, I guess I started to answer this in my last answer. I love that the world is so shiny and new with the little ones. I mean... words that rhyme are a big deal to a four-year-old. Snowflakes and rainbows are awesome to them. They wonder if Allah mixed in extra chocolate when He made black people. That kind of thing. I get to revive my sense of wonder in the Creation of Allah with preschoolers. That, and they are pure love, not afraid to hug or say hi, they rarely hide their emotions and they aren't deceptive at all. Jr. high kids are just getting into being adults, thinking, and taking action, so you have to think in steps ahead of them in ways that you don't need to do with pre-school.

I love them all for different reasons.

4. I know why it was important to me to find a French-speaking Hombre. In this post you mentioned you would like to have a Spanish-speaking Hombre. Why?

Well, I need to start off saying that's not an ABSOLUTE UNCHANGING REQUIREMENT or anything. But yes, I think a Spanish-speaking Hombre would be nice. I'm a Hispanophile, raised speaking the language and tasting and incorporating the culture into my manner and way of thinking (to a degree). It'd be nice to find someone who understands that part of me- that I'd want my children to learn Spanish as well as English and Arabic as home languages, that I can and do pronounce the rolled r and accents flawlessly, that I fix some mean arroz con habichuelas but still can't make coquito. Spanish language and the attending cultures are my first acquired love, and my huband would be number 2 in there, so it'd be nice if they could mix. *sigh*. Ojala... Too, Spain is a jumping block between the Islamic and the Western, or it was. I felt the connection was natural.

5. One month all expenses paid vacation anywhere in the world. Where would you go and why?

I'd commandeer a passenger jet and end up in Brasil, after first making stops in Culebra, Puerto Rico (or another similar PRIVATE beach), Malaysia, and Central Asia. Brasil is a passion of mine especially after I didn't go in undergrad for reasons I will not speak of here. Brasil received the biggest portion of the African diaspora and has a good number of Muslims. I speak the language and love the music etc. Culebra is this gorgeous teeny tiny island in the PR archipelago with crystal clear blue water and powdery-sanded beaches that are deserted in many places. I'd like to visit a private island and go swimming in the ocean freely again. Malaysia and Central Asia because they spark my imagination and the people I've met from those places have been some of the happiest and most centered I've ever known. And of course, they're all-expenses-paid- when would I get to do that again in my lifetime?

Thank you for the interview!

Eid Mubarak, y'all!!



  1. Salaam Alaikum,

    I need to put your blog on a rss feeder, as I can't believe this lovely post has been sitting here for ages and I've only just read it!

    Masha Allah, you sound like an amazing teacher, may Allah swt reward you for your actions. :)

  2. that's funny cuz i was just about to write the same thing as safiyya. i hadn't stopped by in a while and then today i came by your lovely way and here were all of these posts! I am so glad i came. i hope you are well habibti.