Monday, August 31, 2009

My family is We ird

I'm sorry I've been skipping on the, My family is We-ird segments
It's not that I'm running out of material. Cuz trust me, I'm not. But I'm just lazy.

So here's this week's segment of my family is WE ird.

My family and I were taking a road trip to visit my cousin and her new baby. (The newest light of my life). And you know how during road trips, you bond, and spend quality time with each other?
Well, not with my family.

We re-learn all the lessons why we can't be in close proximity to each other. And evolve hibernating characteristics.

But this trip was slightly different, it was only my younger brother C, me and my parents. But that didn't stop my family from being weird.

I'm driving and my dad is on the seat next to me. My mom is behind me, and my youngest brother is pretend sleeping in the seat all the way in the back. It's a minivan.

My dad is reading an Urdu newspaper and finds something he decides to share with us, "Oh! Apparently Sania Mirza is engaged."

Uhh..Okay. But why do we care?

My mom looks up, "Oh really? That Indian tennis player right? She is? To who?"

Really why do we care??!

"To this guy she's known since school."
And then he goes on to read the entire biography article published by the newspaper. And I'm wondering if maybe we're related to her.
"But she' s not that great right?"
"No. No she's really good. She finished eighth in the 2007 U.S. open series"
"Yeah that's not that great"
"You speak like it's so easy to get that place. Compared to all these other tennis players in the world, she's really good"
"I guess if you look at it like that...Is she pretty?"
"Yeah she's pretty"
What Dad???
"Like really? She's really pretty?"
What the..?
"Yeah she's really pretty"
Where the heck is this conversation going???

"Yeah, look"
He points to a picture of her on the newspaper.
"What? Where?"
"Here look at this picture"
And he hands the newspaper back to her.

"......Ohh okay"
Now I wanted to see, "What? I wanna see. Do you think she's pretty?"
"Um but...she ....has a beard"
Me, my dad, and my younger brother (who woke up at this point) ".....................Um what?"
"She has a beard"

My younger brother C, "MOM you're looking at a GUY!!! THIS picture is her!"

"Ohhh...Ok yeah she is pretty"

My dad, turns around and goes like, "Why would you look at a guy thinking it's her?!"
"Well you're the one that pointed to that picture"
"I was pointing at the one below it"
"Ohh...yeah I was wondering why I was looking at a picture of a person with a beard. You should point more clearly."
"This is what happens when you don't wear your glasses. "

Me, " Oh my god. You guys are sooo WEIRD"

"What? What's so weird about mistaking a picture like that?"

Absolutely nothing. Nothing is wrong with wondering why the girl with the beard is pretty.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ramadan Kareem!!

Ramadan Kareem from Egypt!!!

I can't tell you guys how excited I was to spend Ramadan in Egypt...and now that its finally here I'm super giddy. I've never spent this sacred month of self-discipline and reflection anywhere other than the US, let alone a Muslim country. The first source of excitement were all the lanterns, lights, and decorations strung up around the entire city. All the Masajid (mosques) have lights around them...its gorgeous!

So let me tell you guys how it all goes down. During Ramadan Egypt turns back time one hour for the month which is awesome because we get an extra hour of sleep. We eat at 3:30 in the morning and pray Fajr (the morning prayer) then sleep. The day goes by with classes and running errands. Then around Iftaar time (time to break fast) the streets get filled with people passing out dates and juice, especially around the masjid. There's even special tents every few streets called "Ma'idat ar-Rahman" which are places that serve food to anyone who can't afford it. It's amazing!

Night is my favorite part of Ramadan here. We go to Masjid Bilal for the night prayer. People come all over the city just to come to Masjid Bilal even though there's a masjid at every corner. Ok so Masjid Bilal is huge, four levels and it has a HUGE garden around it. Because the masjid gets overflowed with people in it they lay out tarp on the garden for us to pray on. I've never prayed taraweeh (extra night prayers) outside before. Imagine straight lines and lines of hundreds of people
with the beautiful voice of Shaikh Rida riveting the entire city with his Quran recitation while the wind is billowing amongst the trees. Sigh. I've never enjoyed two hours of prayer so much. Then at the end of the prayer he makes a long dua (prayer) before finishing off. I just realized there's like 3 different words for prayer in Arabic and they all translate to prayer in English... maybe I should do a post on the language comparison sometime soon inshaAllah?

This is a video of one of the dua that Sheikh Rida made at the end of the night prayers.

This is a clip of his recitation. He's reciting the set of ayaat in the Quran about fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Man I'm really going to miss Egypt when I come back home. Note to all my friends... just be cautious of my mood! =D I have only exactly a week left. I miss my family a lot though so its a bittersweet feeling.

Anyhow I pray that all of you guys have an amazing month this Ramadan, that your prayers are answered, and that you all find contentment in your lives. Ameen.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

[Insert Title Here]

Ok this will be a quick one from me.

Just wanted to share two pieces of pure, raw, spectacular art. Click the links to see two short films that are superb in not only the cinematography, direction, plot and acting, but probably most importantly, the messages which they convey. (If you're an emotional sap like me get out your kleenex)

The first is 10 Minutes by Ahmed Imamovic, made in 1994 highlighting the importance of 10 minutes, especially in a war-torn country (in this case, the war torn country of Bosnia in 1994). After watching this I couldn't help but feel saddened at what 10 minutes to us are in comparison to 10 minutes of those in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Palestine, unfortunately the list can go on (and I'm talking about soldiers, civilians, everyone...all politics aside). Also made me sad because the Bosnian-Serbian war is so recent (in fact I was in elementary school when I made friends with many bosnian kids who migrated as refugees to the US), yet I forget it. Sigh.

The second is What Is That? made in 2008 by SOME awesome artist that should get their due credit; unfortunately, I have no idea who made it.
This film just reminded me of countless Hadith (recordings of the Prophet Muhammad SAW's advice/examples for many many things in life). My favorites are below:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his family) has said: “The look of a child towards his parents out of love for them is an act of worship.”
Meaning, just a simple kind/loving gaze towards your mom or dad or both is considered a prayer. How sweet is that? Just goes to show the rank that this relation holds in Islam and I'm sure most other religions as well.

Imam as-Sadiq (peace be upon him) has said: “Allah shall not accept the prayers of a person who looks at his parents with hatred, even if they have been unfair to him!”

So again, its not just for those who have a strong and healthy relationship with their parents but even for those who lack that. Perhaps the change in behavior would be a mechanism to work on strengthening that bond? Or in another sense this could be referring to those difficult times where you disagree with the parents, whether they're right or wrong, they deserve that respect and softness (in behavior/attitude). There's got to be wisdom in that!

That's all folks!

As Mrs. Cullen would say...

For the sake of Peace and Mothers (&Fathers)

Good night everyone =).

OH P.S. I know there's a way to "embed" , if thats the right term videos into posts, but I'm sorry guys I am just not that talented as a blogger =\. Shucks.
I couldn't figure it out, so I know its inconvenient not to be able to watch it right in this window but please do click the links. I bet you an ice cream cone they'll be worth it!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mrs. Cullen: The Kashmiri

Dear Friends,

Right now I could be studying. I really need to study. A lot. I could be and I should be studying right now. But NOOOO I had to write a post. I just had to. Or God knows what CC would do to me. Anyways. I wanted to write a few weeks ago when a stupid boy at my old job (YES!! I quit the Call Center just like CA) asked me a stupid question. We were just sitting there, calling away at the Call Center and he turned out and asked me, "Are you allowed to touch your brother?" I was like "WTF!?!??!" Just kidding. I don't swear. I said, "Uhh...yeah." I thought in my head, however, "What an idiot." But maybe hes not an idiot and a lot of people wonder that? Sorry if you wonder that too because I kinda called you an idiot. But you aren't. I am the idiot. I shouldn't assume everyone knows these simple things about Islam. Especially when (unfortunately) I don't know much about other religions.

OO that reminds me. I kinda learned a lot about Judaism. Last year my friend and I found a book at our College called What You Thought You Knew About Judaism: 341 Common Misconceptions About Jewish Life. That is the best book ever! I honestly learned a lot, and OK I must admit, it was pretty funny. Uh anyways. Today my sister came back from her vacation in Kashmir (and no, I am not talking about the Led Zeppelin song). Kashmir, India. She got me some pretty cool stuff. Oh and by the way, Kashmir is the most beautiful place on earth. Because I was born there and because its beautiful!! Honestly. Its known as "Paradise on Earth." Sigh.

Anyways, back to touching my brother. YES We can touch our brothers and our fathers and uncles and grandfathers and...DUN DUN DUN..our husbands! Yes its true, we can touch our (future) husbands...I know, I know..shocking, right? Ok I really need to start studying now. Ok bye.

Yours for the sake of Peace and Touching,
Mrs. Cullen

PS: Mrs. Cullen can touch Mr. Cullen. Hayyyy
PSS: In case you care at all, I am once again from Kashmir, India. Yes, India. Not Pakistan. There is a Kashmir in Pakistan but its not the "paradise on earth." Its lame. K. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

"Baaba Rahmatak": The Door of Your Mercy

So, speaking of time... Artistic Logic's last entry about quality vs quantity reminded me of this story:

Mawlana Jalal al-Din al-Rumi, the great mystic, scholar and poet, relates:

There was once a man of humble existence who used to supplicate to God every single day with a great amount of zeal and sincerity. He would weep profusely during his prayers, singing the praises of the Most High, and calling upon His Majestic Names for his needs in the world. Every single day, without fail, he would do this, humbling himself in the midst of supplications, raising his arms to the sky and asking from his heart.

One day, a neighbor of this man who was a skeptic approached him and asked him: "I have seen you supplicating every day for dozens of years without fail. I have seen you spend many a day fasting, denying yourself of food and water, and many a night standing in prayer, denying yourself of the comfort of your bed. I have seen you call upon your Lord with humility and sincerity, begging and asking Him to fulfill your needs. You have done this for many years, but what have you gotten? What have your acts of worship earned you? Where is the answer to your supplications?"

Upon hearing these words, the man was deeply troubled, for indeed his neighbor had pointed out the obvious: that he, like the dutiful and obedient servant that he strove to be, had prayed for years and asked God to fulfill his various needs and desires of the world. He had not asked for much. He did not want the wealth of princes or the fame of generals but only enough to live comfortably. And wasn't his Lord's treasure endless? Surely, he was not asking for much and for Him to give what he had requested would not diminish him in the least. How could his Lord not respond to him all these years?

Sorely shaken and wearied, the man fell into a deep slumber. And as he dreamt that night, he was visited by the enigmatic Khidr [a wise prophet], who asked him: "Why have you stopped praying when you have been praying all these nights for so many years?"

The man said: "What is the use? I have been praying for so many years and I have not gotten a single thing that I have asked for. I have done no wrong to anyone, I have not asked for much, and yet I have not received an answer to my supplications."

Khidr replied: "For all of those years that you humbled yourself before your Lord, every time you prayed and supplicated, you were at the door of His Mercy. You thought your prayers weren't answered. But did you not consider that if you were already at the Door, what other position could you have wanted?"

And the man realized then that therein lay the answer to his prayers: it was the prayers themselves.


I hope we all reflect on this, and not only look for quality and understanding when we read our holy book, but also when we stand for prayer. And not only for this Ramadan, but for the rest of our lives. Remember, Ramadan is about building character and good habits and to carry that on throughout the your life, otherwise what value did your month of sacrifice have?

Sacrifice your time for it now, and see how time is returned to you. Because: every time you pray, you are at the door of God's mercy. and What better place could there be? So revel in it. Spend time in your prayer and take it slow. Invoke God's Mercy. If you don't feel peace at the end of it, do it over.

and over and over and over....

No compromise.

Wishing a blessed and generous Ramadan to ALL!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tick Tock, goes the clock

Its that time of year again for us girls here at Symph-Discord AND for all Muslims around the world to celebrate =).

The phones have been ringing off the hook with Ramadan greetings, in fact I just had a 10 minute conversation, complete with the formal hellos and informal jokes, without even recognizing who I was talking to! (Sorry lady, if it makes you feel better, I thoroughly enjoyed our talk). But you know what? It doesn't matter! Stranger, friend, whoever you are, Happy Ramadan to you and yours!

And if you're not a Muslim and don't celebrate, well happy Ramadan to you too. Find a Muslim and have an "Iftar" (opening of the fast) with them, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

If you're wondering what the heck this Ram-a-dan thing is, then take a few minutes to read these great posts from a year ago. Yes, last year!!! I can't believe time has flown by so fast.

So in my preparation for this blessed month, I'd been thinking on the best strategy to tackle it and get the most out of it (as is everyone else I'm sure), when I had a good conversation with a wise friend from among these here bloggers. She gave me really good advice which, come to think of it, can be extended to just about anything in life!

Because a lot of Muslims set goals at the beginning of the month, I also go through this exercise each year. One of my goals, always always always, is to finish reading the Quran once from cover-to-cover during the month. (The Quran is 30 chapters). WELLLLLLLL, I'm going to be honest here, I have never gotten to completing that goal. EVER.

Sad as it is, its the truth because even though I take out extra time from my hectic life ESPECIALLY for that, I only get half-way through or 3/4's or somewhere in between.

Like CA mentioned in her recent post, the Quran is written in Arabic and it is highly recommended to be read that way if the reader is able. If not, then its his/her duty to try and learn the recitation in the best way possible. My native tongue is Urdu and as you probably noticed, I can read and write English too, thankuverymuch.

Arabic? Nada, zilch, zerooooo. Other than a few common words with Urdu, I can't really understand or form sentences enough to get what I recite. (I can read it fluently though which is lucky for me because there's no better feeling than to be able to read it in its true original words).

Luckily the Quran is translated in many languages so that's what I like to do, read the Arabic, along with the translation. THIS slows me down and at the end of the month I feel like a loser for not having completed my goal.

BUT, here's the thing, as someone said to me...FORGET THE NUMBERS!! Forget the 30 WHOLE chapters, forget how many verses you've done, forget the QUANTITY of what you read/do. Its all about the quality and the understanding and the meaning you EXTRACT from what you're reading. So there, my friends I can now set a new goal.

Which is.... hopefully hopefully hopefully to try to understand as much of what I can get through this month but never forget the bottom line: am I reading just to read? Or am I reading to grasp?

You know what else this makes me think? Excess. Get. Rid. of. IT!

We ALL have so many NUMBERS in our lives, too much of something but is it really beneficial to us?

Too many facebook friends (that you never talk to face to face, in this case maybe you SHOULD talk to them face to face, makes the world a friendlier place).

Too many distractions (texting, IM'ing, emailing).

Too much FOOD that isn't really good for you (fast food, junk food).

You get the point, right? Then there's just one thing left to say: What's the thing none of us can ever have too much of?


Yes, we're running out of time... With family. With friends. With ourselves. Running out of time to do good things.

So yea, keep the quality in your life, and don't worry about the quantity.

One of my coworkers told me today shes made the decision to go part-time because shes running out of time with her 3 year old daughter whose growing up way too fast. She doesn't want to miss out on all the cuteness and memories and bonding, so shes making this bold move which could effect her career, but its the more satisfactory decision in the long run. I was extremely happy for her.

Anyhoo I gotta go get started on my goal, don't you?

Disclaimer: I am in NO way endorsing procrastination or mediocrity. These will be harmful to you so try at your own risk.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Runaway Driver

I'm waiting for my driver.

See, we're supposed to go to a wedding. My Aunt's *maid/servant's wedding. I live with my aunt, by the way. My mom left us to go back home to the Americas.

He's not here and not answering his phone. He's late.

My aunt wants my driver and her servant's sister to get married. So does my mom.

I think that scares him. Crazy women trying to find him a wife. {obviously this is an arranged marriage, but I don't think that's what scares him. It's the way things are done here.}

So today he has to "meet the family" so they can see him and decide if they like him. I think my aunt gave him the heads up. And I think that explains his MIA since he usually never skips. And he won't answer his phone.

I personally think he shouldn't get married until I graduate. Otherwise he'll have wife issues. And then start skipping because that's what happens when people get married. Their wives go crazy on them. And then I'll have no one to take me to school. And then I'll fail.

It's like Runaway Bride. heehee.

*what would be a less degrading word choice? I hate it. Hired help??

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Analogs and Anniversaries

, originally uploaded by Rabujee.

How computerized is your mind?

Ever spilled coffee and wanted to hit Ctrl+Alt+Z (Undo)?

I have.

Ever made a mistake while writing an exam, and wished there was a Select All > Delete option?

I have, especially after completing 3 page long calculations only to find a mistake in the 5th step.

Dropped the last bite of your delicious kabob...and now you're thinking


mmm....can't say I've ever done that since my food disappears just as fast as it appeared on the plate.

And this should be everyone's favorite...

Have a blog post in mind? How easy would it be to just Ctrl+C (copy) straight to your desktop.

Oh, Microsoft, I curse thee and thy lazying ways.

I kid you not, as geeky as it sounds, my mind often automatically defaults to wanting to hit some computer command to undo/redo/take away/add on...etc get the point.

Where is the download-able App. that will allow me to make my oh so fast life...even FASTER? I mean iPhone can only set my expectations yay high when they put a freakin' GYROSCOPE inside their creation. So you know...LEVEL things "on the go". Cause everyone needs to make sure the ground is even before they step out the door, right? Or perhaps you wanted to hang up a painting inside your car?? Who knows what creative ways you iPhone users will dazzle us with...

I'm sure most of you didn't even know there was a gyroscope in the phone.


At work there's a Monday morning group meeting (I KNOW. What a terrible time for a meeting), and this Monday I managed to hear my supervisor describe a building as "ghetto." He made sure to look around the room, give a long pause, and lower his voice before saying the word. I wonder why?

Then today I hear him greeting our co-worker with "Yo wattup wattup"

I don't know where he's been hanging out, but I want in!

Next week I'm expecting....."Ey Artistic Logic-dizzle.... get this calc done NOW ....ya heard?"


I'm just about done with my first year at this company. Can't believe it but time really flew by. I love my job. No sarcasm here. =)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Preacher's Kid

My dad is a sheikh (Islamic scholar) and an Imam (leader of the mosque)

My siblings and I are his kids.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

If not, it's the equivalent to being the preacher's daughter/son (or rabbi, minister, guru , or what have you)

Lots of pressure.

My dad never wanted us to live near people from our "community" (I put that in quotes because we live nowhere near these people to call it a "community"), i.e. Bangladeshis.

So we stayed in little old Mexicantown to this day.

He was always afraid that we would be influenced by the wrong crowd or people would judge our family and think that my dad is "too strict" or "too lenient" depending on which side of the spectrum you're on.

Or people would think both.

It's not to say that my siblings and I did not rebel against certain things here and there. But in my opinion, for the most part, my dad is a very- wise- not- strict- not- lenient- just- your -average -kind -of-guy-that-wants-the-best-for-his-kids dad.

So where is the pressure, you ask?

Well, you know how some parents are REALLY REALLY hard on their kids when it comes to school. They want their kids to get the best grades possible, get into the best universities, and get a degree in a prestigious profession. They are constantly nagging their kids to do this and to do that and saying that they are not studying enough and wasting time hanging out with friends.

Well my dad is like that. Kind of.

Like I said, he is a sheikh and an imam. He has a lot of Islamic knowledge about..... well... Islam. Duh. And he has studied the Qu'ran (holy book of Islam) and narrations from the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). He has a lot of knowledge and expertise in that area, masha'Allah.

And well, to get to the point, we...really..

The balance is off.

I mean we do.

But we dont.

Basically we have the basic knowledge but there is so much more we could and
should learn.

For example,the Qu'ran is written in Arabic. I don't speak Arabic. Don't understand it. But I know how to read it. And so I can read the Qu'ran.

But when you read the Qu'ran you cant read it any old way. You have to read it in a particular style known as Tajweed. Meaning it has to be read with the proper pronunciation, precise articulation, and appropriate enunciation.

And well, it's extremely hard to do that and it's even harder to learn.

And to my dad, we're all idiots when it comes to Tajweed (minus my brother, but he's still an idiot too, but for a whole nother set of reasons. And that's a story for another time).

We are imcompetent and we spend way too much time watching T.V., going on the internet, blogging, facebooking,working, eating, sleeping, etc.

It's like a preacher getting exasperated because his kid can't recite passages from the Bible.

In his opinion, there is so much more we could be doing.

And he's right!

Hopefully my siblings and I will get to that point one day. God willing.

However, it's not to say that sometimes when he sits down with my sisters and tries to practice Tajweed, I hide in the basement or feign PMS. LOL. =)

Monday, August 17, 2009


Yeah, I quit.

And no, I dont mean the first grade teaching job.

But my other job.

For those of you who haven't been following Symphonic Discord for too long, you should know that, I, Constructive Attitude, have been working faithfully at the infamous call center at our University for the past three years.

I am by far, the loyalestestest employee they have. If I do say so myself.

However woe is me, because I was forced to finally depart from my beloved.

Being a teacher is going to take a huge toll on me. I can feel it already. And I need to give it my full devotion and die trying, otherwise I will just be a failure that didnt try hard enough.

So with that said, I will no longer be harrassing alumni from 6-9 every weekday and Sunday, all day asking them to make ridiculous contributions to the University. No longer will I drone on and on about how it is vital for alumni to support blah blah program because due to state funding cuts the university relies on their support. No longer will I pretend to care if people call us solicitors and telemarketers and state that indeed we are not telemarketers because we are a NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION.

For God's sake, WE ARE FREAKING TELEMARKETERS. We drive people NUTS! And we call during dinner/supper/Superbowl/News/Obama's Inauguration etc. PEOPLE HATE US!

Anyways, I began working as a student caller in May 2006 and became a supervisor in August 2007 and resigned twice and came back twice and resigned as a supervisor only to go back to being a caller.

Best employee ever, I tell ya.

I was the first one among friends to start working there and I think I referred about 20+ friends and my sister to this job. Half of Symphonic Discord has worked there as well (Including Artistic Logic, Mrs. Cullen and Controlled Chaos)

I've been told to Shut the eff up, don't ever effing call here anymore, asked if I understood English, spoke English, heard English, called foreign, laughed at, mocked at, probably spit at, barked at, snorted at,asked "You must not be from around here", and hung up on numerous times.

I've also raised approximately $300,000 for this place in the past three years. $90,000 this year alone. Not to brag or anything. ;)

But as everyone constantly keeps stating it's just time to let go.

So farewell to thee, but not farewell to all my fondest thoughts of thee

(Watch me write a post in about a week saying I just cant live without that place and how I went back)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Why are you kissing the floor?

I met a Nate.

Not a Nate.

But a guy with the name Nate.

I've been gone this past week to a New Teacher Orientation for my new job as a first grade teacher.(Insha'Allah)

I stayed in a five start hotel, and was spoiled like crazy. And loved every. single. second. (Alhamdullilah)

George Bush Sr. and Jr. stayed in this hotel and Colin Powell and some other really VIP-ish people.

(If you look closely, you can see me in the reflection. Don't you love my polka dot shawl. And my fake Coach purse :) )

And the chandeliers in the hotel were the size of a house.

There were 200 new teachers hired by our employer. Most from this state and others from other states.

It was a week filled with teacher stuff. Free stuff. And fun stuff.

The girl I was supposed to room with couldn't make it due to a family emergency and I thought the hotel and my employer would overlook that and let me stay in a room by myself.


They assigned me a random roommate. I checked into our hotel room first and decided to relax before our meet and greet.

I took off my hijab and started to unpack and a half our later, my roommate knocks on the door. I looked through the peep hole just in case it was room service or a guy or both.

My roommate turned out to be a really sweet girl that was going to be teaching fourth grade. We clicked right away.

Before we left to the meet and greet, I had to pray one of the five daily prayers that is obligatory on Muslims. Also one of the five pillars of Islam.

When we pray, we don't just bow our heads and clasp our hands. It's a totally different process. We recite surahs (passages) from the Qur'an. We prostrate in front of Allah. We kneel on our knees. And we bow down to our Creator. We go from one movement to the next while reciting Surahs.

Its a bit of a complicated method.

And to people who may not be familiar with it, you might not understand what exactly is going on.

I wanted to explain to my roommate what it was I was doing so she wouldn't judge me and think I was a weirdo kissing the floor.

I will admit that I was wary of explaining it and kind of shy about doing it as well.

I'm not ashamed to talk about being Muslim and explaining my faith. Nor am I embarrassed of it.

I am scared though, that people will judge me.

So I kept hesitating. But I needed to pray. And she wasn't leaving the room without me.

So what to do?

I just told her, "Muslims need to pray five times a day and I need to pray before we go to the meet and greet.Cool?"

And she said Ok and asked if I needed some privacy, and I said it would be ok if she stayed.

And that was that.

As the week went on, she asked more questions which I really,REALLY appreciated. I love it when people ask questions about Islam and Muslims instead of just wondering.

She wasn't the only one.

Remember the Nate I mentioned before? Well we spent an hour just talking about Muslims and Islam. And he even told me at the end of the convo that I explained (and hopefully wiped away) a lot of stereotypes that he had before.

I guess what I really want to say to you all is that, if you have questions for us, we would really appreciate it if you would just ask them, and would be more than happy to answer them.

To the best of our abilities that is. And in due time. (Because if you haven't noticed already, we are a bit of a slow bunch here at Symphonic Discord)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

All you will ever need to know

Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings on him,narrates from his Lord, mighty is He and majestic, that God said,

"My slaves, I have forbidden injustice to Myself and have forbidden it between you, so do not wrong each other. My slaves, all of you are astray except for whomever I guide, so seek guidance from Me, I will guide you. My slaves, all of you are hungry except for whomever I feed, so ask me to feed you, I will feed you. My slaves, all of you are naked except for whomever I clothe, so seek clothing from Me, I will clothe you.

My slaves, truly you miss the way by night and day and I forgive wrong actions altogether, so ask for My forgivness; I will forgive you. My slaves, you can not reach My harm so that you could harm Me, and you can never attain My benefit so that you could benefit Me. My slaves, even if the first and last of you, your human beings and your Jinn were according to the most God-fearing heart of any one man among you, that would not increase anything in My kingdom.

My slaves, even if the first and last of you, your human beings and your Jinn were according to the most wicked of any one man among you, that would not decrease anything in My kingdom. My slaves, even if the first and last of you, your human beings and your Jinn were to stand on one flat piece of land and they were to ask Me and I gave each one of them what he asked for, that would not decrease what I have except as the needle does when it is entered into the sea.

My slaves, they are only your actions which I enumerate for you, then later I will repay you for them. So whoever finds good then let him praise Allaah, and whoever finds other than that then let him not blame anyone but himself."
(Muslim narrated it.)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Maybe I'm the WE- ird one.

Dear World,

I think I'm going to give up on studying now. The idea that I have run away from for so long seems like the best plan in the world.
Who needs them.

Psshh. Useless. I can make a fake one at home. My university even has fake ones that it hands out the day of commencement.

Make something of yourself?
I already am made of something.
Bones. Muscles. Epithelial Cells. Connective Tissue. Cardiac Muscle. Nervous System. Digestive System.
Everything that seems to be failing already.

And I haven't even hit 25.
Maybe it's a sign from God. I'm getting old. I should settle down. Find a house. Be happy. Use whatever energy that is left in running around after some kids.

Or I'll get really old. And my charlie horses, and sore muscles, and random bumps and aches will become worse. And my kids will just point and laugh at me.
In fact, I think it'll be my husband that'll teach them to point and laugh at me.

And I'll just be lying there, some lump, shaking an angry fist at them.
To no avail.

But still it must be better than this. At this point, hope has flown out. (Dear God, that still means you need to pull some kind of miracle for me here. I'm lying. I still have hope in you....I LOVE YOU. PLEASE... Did I mention that I loved you?)

And I'm a walking zombie. Only a zombie that randomly goes and hugs her mom like a five year old would do while watching a scary movie. Or decides that there are a thousand better things to be reading and watching on the internet.

And my life should not have to be like this. I should be dancing in some flower field, hiding behind trees, to some Indian song. And I should be able to run faster than anyone else but still not be able to catch up to my "the one". And the only worry in the world should be convincing somebody or another that it's that "one" guy that dances like a freak that I should get married to.

I think I shall use facebook to its utmost potential and find myself some really rich Nate and forfeit myself to a life of servants, and lethargy.
And I shall flick off my books with three fingers (since I'm too terrified to actually flick something off) and get myself a horse and gallop into the sunset...With Indian music playing, of course.

Forever free of the evils of books, and exams, and failure.
Forever free of pressure, horrible professors, and physical sciences.
Forever free of GRADES, GPA's, STUPID POINTS!!!




....All I need to do is, figure out a way to move out of my house, and pay to support myself, and actually find a rich, Muslim Nate that would be willing to marry me.

Sigh...if only drugs were allowed in Islam.

Friday, August 7, 2009


So I know this is long overdue. I should have written ages ago. I actually had a million and one things to write about too. So I went to Palestine again with a good friend of mine last week. For those of you who don't know Palestine is currently being occupied and militarily controlled by Israel. The situation is extremely difficult on Palestinians because they're being caged into smaller and smaller lands and their IDs are taken away so they're not allowed to work. If you can't work you don't have income and if you don't have income you can't sustain yourself with food and shelter. So this time around, I absolutely loved my visit. I actually got to go to the West Bank, see the Apartheid Wall, and talk to locals about their situation. Honestly, just talking to people gave them hope that there are people on the other side of the world that actually care about them.

We checked out the Jewish Quarter too in the Old City. The local Israelis weren’t too happy about that. Imagine two hijabis at the Western Wall surrounded by religious Jews doing their thing. I was so intrigued by the whole thing and all of the sudden this lady comes up to me and starts yelling at me to leave because I’m Muslim. Then she calls some soldiers from the IDF to come check us out. So this soldier starts checking our American passports while this group of kids starts hovering around us waiting to see what entertainment they were going to get. After going through the passports the soldier turns to lady and says ‘they’re American, I can’t do anything,’ and walks away. The lady at this point was boiling red in anger and stormed off. My friend and I then started leaving and the whole time this lady was staring at us, fuming.

Thank God I’m American. Seriously. I don’t know what would have happened to me if I didn’t have that blue little book with me everywhere I went. I think it’s such a blessing for us because we can actually do things. We have leverage to have experiences many people around the world can’t. As Muslims, it’s a bigger responsibility on our shoulders I think.

Alhumdulillah (Thanks to God) I got to pray Friday Prayer at Masjid al-Aqsa. It was amazing. The entire Masjid al-Aqsa was filled with men and the Dome of the Rock behind it filled with women. After prayer the streets were filled with Palestinian families and little kids running around. It was so beautiful and peaceful in that moment... such a rush of hope came over me. It's impossible for a people to be oppressed forever. Justice will be served one day, I just don't know when.

On a lighter note, Palestinians are known to make amazing candies… gummies, Turkish delights, jelly beans… you name it. I think I spent most of my money buying almost 5 pounds of candy. Oh boy will my dentist have fun when I come back home.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And the award for laziest bloggerS goes to........


(Controlled Chaos, Artistic Logic, Snake Charmer, Falling Up, Provoking Invoking,Youthful Wisdom, and Mrs. Cullen... And me, Constructive Attitude too, I guess) !!!

I would just like to apologize on behalf of EVERYONE on Symphonic Discord, for taking a ridiculously long time accepting the awards we've gotten and thanking our award giverer people. And also taking FOREVA on sharing the wealth with other authors.

Do forgive us. Por favor.

Anyways without further ado,

Thank you to The girl in the Stilleto at Musings of the Corybantic painted Nails for the Vespa Blogger Friendship Award

and Muchos Gracias to Irene at Year of My Fake Engagement for the Love ya Award

and Jazakhallah Khair to Yasemin at A Journey Eastward to Tartary for

and Merci to Mel at Living Different for the Best Blogging Buddies award:

And since we are so incredibly generous here at S.D. I would like to tag all FOUR awards to the following recipients:

2. Cheryl
3. Kate
4. Kim
5. Mary (Little Weelos' Mom)
6. Fuelmybrain
7. SodaandCandy
9. Chuckle
11. BrunchatSaks
14. MuslimKid
15. LittleMsBlogger
20.Girl in the Stilleto
22.Mary (A million miles from Everywhere)
23. FaithinWriting
24. JennyMac
26. The Demigoddess
27. Andhari
28. And anyone else that has commented on our blog lately. We love all our commentators. Promise.
29. Please DONT HATE ME AND forgive me if you do comment frequently and I didnt list you, my hand hurts :(
30. I dont know.

And I dont care if I exceeded some stupid limit and broken some unwritten rule of blogger and recieving/disbursing awards.

If you have a problem with this, well then theres a reason why you didnt get an award from us, now isnt there?

Congrats to all of you for getting FOUR awards.

And Yay me for FINALLY posting this.

P.S. Make sure you pass these on :) :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Demise of Crocs

I hope you all are happy.

All you croc haters out there got your wish granted.

I'm not a big croc person. And I dont own a single pair of crocs.

But I never wanted this to happen to the inventors of croc.

According to Newsweek magazine, the Croc Inc. company people might be going bankrupt and the Croc stock is around $3 as opposed to what it was at before, a whopping $75 (I'm not sure what this really means, but it seems like some real bad news)....And the CEO resigned too.

I feel so bad for people who make crocs. They all might be out of a job.

So this could possibly mean that there will be no one making crocs anymore.

This is sad.

I mean, sure they can be an eye sore, but what isn't.

Who the heck cares what they look like. Have you seen some of the other trends out there that are still popular?

Leggings as pants.

Harem pants

Leg warmers


Kristen Stewart's Mullet

Chris Brown and people accepting his lameeeeeee apology

People still like all that stuff, so why doesnt everyone just accept crocs?

I have a friend who swore off crocs and ridiculed them like no other. Come to find that they were her savior during our trip to NYC. (She's the genius that packed a bajillion pairs of stilletos and wedges and couldnt wear a single one of them because all we did was walk. She would have died without Controlled Chaos' Crocs)

Now she loves them. She even went and bought herself a pair of pink crocs.

Anyways, I think everyone should go out and buy a pair of crocs so we can save the croc company!

Who's with me!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My family is WE-ird

It's the...MY family is WE ird Segment!!!!!!

I'm starving. The story of my life.
And I'm upset. Another story of my life.

So I go downstairs to see what my mom was cooking. It sure smelt good. (I love food. For me, water and good food are some of the biggest blessings of my life. I love water. I love God for yummy water and food. I'm not a freak.)

And I see a Hyderabadi Biryani in the making. (click on the link to see a picture)


"Mummy. I don't want Biryani!!! We just had it last week. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy??!!!!!"

".......I'll give you a yummy kebab sandwich for lunch. Go away"

"Yay. It's my birthday"

"It's your birthday?"

"No...I was being sarcastic. Oh never mind."

I go upstairs waiting for my yummy kebab sandwich.

My mom comes upstairs with a rolled up pita like bread sandwich.

I start crying.

Well, not actually crying.

She's on the phone.

And so she gives me a stare that could kill Hitler twice.
It was terrifying.

So I attempted to smile, which was a fail, and looked like I was giving her a sarcastic WTH kinda smile. So she raises her hand in a threatening gesture which roughly translated to,

EAT the sandwich, STOP complaining, be GRATEFUL for your food, SAY your prayer, or I'm going to BEAT you and see you actually CRY. NOW EAT IT.

All while she was saying, "Awww that's so cute....Hmmm yeah exactly! I completely agree...Yea....Oh Hahahaha"

I wonder what, the person she was talking to, would think if she saw the way my mom looked while she was talking to her.

And so the twenty-something year old, read her prayer,

in the name of Allah and upon the blessings of Allah,

and quietly ate her sandwich...which actually turned out to be pretty yummy.

Oh and my brother C, loves Biryani. So he does a song-dance combo for it.

"Birrryanii. Birrryaniii....Hyderabadi Biryani. Birrrryani. Birrrryani...Hyderbadi Birryaniii. BIRYANIIIIII...It's so yummy. I LOVE YOU MOM. Biraynniii..."

And he wouldn't stop until someone yelled at him.

Sometimes, I feel bad for my mom.