Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

August 15, 2015

Hugs for Aishah's Grandchildren - Explained

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
 (بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم) 
A few words of explanation regarding the online fundraising campaign
"Hugs for Aishah's Grandchildren."
Although Aishah has, over the years, become somewhat of a public figure, that cannot be translated to her being independently wealthy. lol. On the contrary, this is a trick of Shaytaan; when we PRESUME to think, act, or judge without having knowledge of the facts. (Read: Why Do We Judge Others?)

It is not for us to wonder, ask why, or to judge. Try instead to consider that, while it is true there are other choices you can make for contributing in charity; each cause has its own merits. And each contributor has the option, from their own free will, to choose the cause he/she wishes to support.

From the first day that Aishah became Muslim 14-years ago, she has dedicated her life to serving Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala (in ways demonstrated below and above via photos and links), and the Muslim community at-large, as well as others.
On the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar (ra), who said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) took me by the shoulder and said, “Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a wayfarer.” [Bukhari]
Additionally, Aishah believes wholeheartedly in the hadith that tells us to live in this dunya as a traveler. She lives a simple life; even her clothing is still kept in suitcases; and you will not find decoration in her home. In fact, the one pair of sandals she wears is was bought secondhand for just 50 Egyptian Pounds ($6USD), and anyone who knows her, recognizes that her wardrobe is simple; in fact, 9-10 times you meet her, she is wearing a simple cotton abaya that Egyptian women typically wear only in home for prayer. Aishah finds the cotton garment comfortable and wears it simply for that reason.

In this fundraising campaign, Aishah does not bare the personal details of her struggle for the sake of grabbing your attention or pulling on your heart strings; on the contrary.

Instead, at risk of personal backlash from hardened or blinded hearts and minds, she sets out a simple plea for your support.

Why?

Because Aishah believes that when we make a step toward a journey, if Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala wishes to facilitate it, He will. And this fundraising campaign is just a tool through which Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala can fulfill Aishah's continuing journey toward the reunion of a lifetime, reuniting her with the family she has been estranged from for the past eight years.

No, there was nothing forcing Aishah to remain outside her country for eight years, she was simply submitting to Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala's Plan; He brought her to Egypt in 2007 for Ramadan on a gifted airline ticket and gifted accommodation.

At the end of Ramadan, much to her dismay, Aishah was gifted a kitten as an Eid present; at a time when she was preparing to return to the U.S. - pre-purchased return ticket in hand - a kitten stole her heart. Aishah took it as a sign that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala wanted her to remain in Egypt - and so she did.

You may say, "It's just a cat!" But no creature of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala's has been viewed as expendable (well, there may be exceptions, like mosquitoes and cockroaches!), in Aishah's eyes. Thus, as you might imagine, she brought the kitten a companion as well.

That is how Aishah's journey continued in Egypt. It is really as simple as that. No tricks. No smoke-screens. But oftentimes people are skeptical of the simple things in life; and Aishah can't change that; but she does trust that Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala can change hearts.

So if you feel Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala touching your heart, and it is within your means to help reunite Aishah with her family, please do make a contribution toward her journey.

Landen's 3rd birthday; he will be 12 in Nov.
Aishah received the gift of Hajj, beginning on the date of her actual birthday in 2005, and the only gift greater than this - that Aishah can imagine - would be the chance to hold the grandchildren that she has never held in her arms.

And to feel her own arms once again around the daughter she gave birth to...32-years ago (her second daughter has not spoken to her post-Islam and refuses to see her; yet another burden on Aishah's heart - which she cannot manage from 6,000 miles away...).
Aishah's greatest fear is not seeing her family again before Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala returns her to Him...and that's because Aishah's eldest daughter once said to her that she felt like Islam hijacked her mother. Aishah's second greatest fear is that this will be the thing that hardens her daughter's heart toward Islam...
Aishah is the only Muslim in her family; and other family members have disowned her over the years - a phenomenon that happens often among reverts, and is sadly so common in American culture - so the nucleus of her family consists of her own offspring, grandchildren and 75-year old mother (all other elder family members have passed on).

It is a great big world filled with endless difficulties; this is not a struggle on the level of a catastrophe, but why should it have to be a catastrophe to have merit? Isn't not seeing a single one of your family members in eight years catastrophic enough for any human being? 

Islam teaches Muslims not to be estranged from family; all she is asking is for help in ensuring that she is reunited with hers.
And Ibn Umar (ra) used to say, “In the evening do not expect [to live until] the morning, and in the morning do not expect [to live until] the evening. Take [advantage of] your health before times of sickness, and [take advantage of] your life before your death.” [Bukhari]
If you cannot contribute, don't step away from reading this thinking bad thoughts. Instead, offer dua; it is the minimum one can do. And maybe share the link in your social circles, insha'Allah.

Hugs for Aishah's Grandchildren

Jazakallahu khairan for your time and attention.

Wa'Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu.

Video Story of Aishah's Journey to Islam from Tunisia (2012)
(English Language)

Mini-Documentary (in Arabic Voice-over)
Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA)
Also featuring MWA member, Rania Marwan of Cairo, Egypt.

August 14, 2015

Hugs for Aishah's Grandchildren - An Online Fundraising Campaign

Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim
 (بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم)

Donate: https://secure.giveforward.com/donate/291294
Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu.

The photo accompanying this campaign is of Aishah Schwartz with her first grandchild when he was 3-years old; he will be 12 in November; it is only one of a handful of photos she has with him.

It has been eight years since that photo was taken, subhan'Allah, and Aishah now has five grandchildren; the eldest being the only one she has ever had the opportunity to hold in her arms.

For the past eight years Aishah has lived in Egypt.

People the world over are suffering and oppressed, so this – hands down – is not an emergency cause; rather, it is merely a plea for support.

Aishah just wants to go home (learn more here). But travel is about more than just an airline ticket. There are obvious additional expenses that most could imagine incurring on a trip to visit family you haven't seen in eight years, right?

The economy has been hard on so many, and yes, even for Aishah's small family; in fact, she is generally the one helping others...

...now she is in in as much need of seeing her family; as they are in need of seeing her.

There is always "bokra" (tomorrow) in Egypt, but in Islam, we know that no one is promised tomorrow; rather, each day we are awakened only by the Grace and Mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.

Muslims are also taught things such as, what Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala wills He makes, and that nothing happens without the permission of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala.

In Egypt there is also a saying, "Trust in Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala, but tie your camel."

Eight years later, crowdfunding has transformed the lives and causes of hundreds of thousands to the tune of billions of dollars – a tiny fraction of which would go a long way in helping Aishah tie her camel – thereafter, awaiting Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala to facilitate the journey through your generous contributions.

So! Here is the platform, can Aishah count on your support?

Jazakallahu khairan!

Wa'Salaam Alaikum.

Questions? You may find the answers here.
“The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said...He/she who helps to remove the hardship of another, will have his difficulties removed by Allah in this world and in the Hereafter...' [Muslim]
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ABOUT AISHAH SCHWARTZ
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Aishah Schwartz, an American Muslim revert to Islam since April 2002, is founder and director of the 2006 established Washington, D.C.-based Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), whose aim is to counter misconceptions regarding the Islamic faith and members of the Muslim community. She also spent nearly 20-years as a career litigation legal secretary.

Ms. Schwartz is also a published non-fiction writer, poet, and copy editor. Her work has been published at OnIslam.net, The American Muslim, Naseeb Vibes, Arab News, SISTERS magazine, Anissa Magazine (South Africa), Our Rising Star magazine, and in the Mindworks Publishing poetry anthology, The Muslimah Speaks: Her Voice, Her Spirit, among others.

As a woman traveling solo across the Middle East, Ms. Schwartz's role as a civil and human rights activist has focused on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza.


She also reported on the Middle East revolutions as a freelance photo journalist for Demotix from January 2011. Her 54 story albums have been viewed 158,335 times to date.

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ON THE WEB
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Facebook: http://facebook.com/aishahschwartz.activist
Facebook: http://facebook.com/aishah.schwartz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AishahSchwartz
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/aishahschwartz
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Aishah41902
Personal Blog: http://aishahsjourney.blogspot.com
MWA Blog: http://mwa-online.blogspot.com
MWA on Facebook: http://facebook.com/MuslimahWritersAlliance
MWA's NON-Islamophobic Muslim News (NIMNEWS): http://facebook.com/NIMNEWS
MWA PR: http://pressroom.prlog.org/mwa
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HONORS
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2015 - Top Muslim Women Twitterati (Apr 2015) | Aishah Schwartz/Storyteller
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/hindtrospectives/2015/04/top-muslim-women-twitterati
2014 - Photography published in Rouge Magazine - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
http://aishahsjourney.blogspot.com/2015/01/aishah-schwartz-in-rouge-magazine.html
2014 - Recognized as a "Mighty Muslimah"
http://aishahsjourney.blogspot.com/2014/11/muslimah-writers-alliance-director.html
2013 - "Well-known Muslim Women in Hijab" 
http://aishahsjourney.blogspot.com/2015/01/aishah-schwartz-well-known-muslim-women.html
2013 - Le-Ta'arafou Magazine Feature (Arabic)
عَائِشَة شوارتز-رئيسة تَحالُف الكَاتِبَات المُسْلِمَات: الصُورَة السَّلْبِيَّة للإسْلَام مَسْؤولِيَّة المُسْلِمِين 
http://aishahsjourney.blogspot.com/2013/06/aishah-schwartz.html
2013 - Photography published in BauNetz Magazine 
http://aishahsjourney.blogspot.com/2013/08/aishah-schwartz-egypt-revolution.html
2012 - Guest Speaker for the Native European Muslim Assembly (NEMA) where she conveyed the story her journey to Islam. 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB1GNhDWgPY
2012 - Interviewer for Part III of the Bridges Foundation documentary project, The Fog is Lifting, "Islam in Women"; premiered in February 2015.
https://www.pinterest.com/aishahschwartz/islam-in-women 
2012 – Voice of America Interview: MWA Ramadan Quit Smoking Campaign
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKQrcT1CjqA
2011 - Speaker Bridges Foundation documentary film titled "Jihad On Terrorism"
http://tinyurl.com/jihad-on-terrorism
2010 - Featured in Al-Jazeera Documentary in support of Muslimah Writers Alliance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HLyJZGzNVqY
2009 - Blog: "Sister Aishah's Islamic Journey" recognized by The Daily Reviewer as among top 100 Muslim blogs
http://tinyurl.com/top-100-muslim-blogs
2008 - Recognized in Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, "Perpetual Minors"
http://tinyurl.com/perpetual-minors
2007 - Included in Donna Gherke-White's "Face Behind the Veil"
http://tinyurl.com/face-behind-the-veil
2006 - Al-Ahram Weekly: "Aishah Schwartz, founder-director of the Muslimah Writers Alliance in Washington, set up the Grand Mosque Equal Access for Women Project that circulated a petition protesting the restrictions [on women]. It was the most striking example to date of concerted Islamic feminist global protest and one that authorities could not ignore."
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2006/816/cu2.htm
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AISHAH'S ARTICLES AT ONISLAM.NET
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Masjid Adventures in Hurghada, Egypt (26 July 14)
http://www.onislam.net/english/culture-and-entertainment/iblog/475537-masjid-adventures-in-hurghada-egypt.html
Aishah Schwartz: My First Ramadan (21 July 14)
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/first-steps/fasting/475231-aishah-schwartz-my-first-ramadan-.html
Happy Videos: More Than One Message? (12 May 2014)
http://www.onislam.net/english/family/your-society/472395-happy-videos-more-than-one-message.html
Even a Smile is Charity: A Life Example (16 Jan. 14)
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/personal-stories/in-their-own-words/468129-even-a-smile-is-charity-a-life-example.html
Polygyny: Utah, Legitimacy & Change (Part 2) (03 Jan. 14)
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/islam-day-to-day/family/467585-polygyny-utah-legitimacy-a-change-.html
Polygyny: What Was I Thinking? (Part 1) (30 Dec. 13)
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/islam-day-to-day/family/467513-polygyny-what-was-i-thinking-part1.html
Polygyny: Is It Fair? (Introduction) (08 Dec. 13)
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/islam-day-to-day/family/466713-polygyny-is-it-fair.html
Who Needs Christmas? A Revert Muslimah Reflects (18 Dec. 13)
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/personal-stories/in-their-own-words/467097-who-needs-christmas.html
Should Manners End With Marriage? or How Not to Marry a Foreigner (10 Dec. 13)
http://www.onislam.net/english/family/husbands-and-wives/466835-should-manners-end-with-marriage.html
Modesty, Swimming and the Burkini (11 Nov. 13)
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/islam-and-the-world/465849-modesty-swimming-and-the-burkini.html
You're Back From Hajj, Now What? (Part 2) (22 Oct. 13)
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/first-steps/pilgrimage/465016-youre-back-from-hajj-now-what-part-2-.html
You're Back From Hajj, Now What? (Part 1) (20 Oct. 13)
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/worship/pilgrimage/465008-youre-back-from-hajj-now-what-part-1.html
Madinah, Revered City of Blessings (13 Oct. 13)
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/personal-stories/in-their-own-words/464929-madinah-revered-city-of-blessings.html
Pondering the Best Deeds of Dhul-Hijjah (12 Oct. 13)
http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/understanding-islam/worship/pilgrimage/464892-pondering-the-best-deeds-of-dhul-hijjah.html

January 18, 2015

Happy Birthday Habibty (Aishah Schwartz)

Happy Birthday Aishah! Love, Janette

January 15, 2015

Aishah Schwartz in Rouge Magazine - Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


MWA Director Aishah Schwartz Activist-Writer discovered an end of 2014 surprise publication in Rouge Magazine, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Subhan'Allah, it was published on her deceased father's birthday, 22 December 2014. The photo was taken in Tahrir Square (Cairo, Egypt), while attending the 100th International Women's Day celebration, March 8, 2011. STORY LINK:http://www.rougemagz.com/2014/12/22/بعد-ثورتين-قامتا-على-أكتافهن-المصريات/

PHOTO LINK:


August 06, 2014

Immigrant Rights Leader Speaks Against Violence in Gaza

Washington, DC (2 AUG 2014) - Khalilah Sabra, executive director of the MAS Immigrant Justice and Legal Clinic, addresses demonstrators and media at the National March on Washington, commenting on the massacre on Gaza, and how she sees it conflicting with American values.