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.

December 28, 2008

Aishah on FaceBook Steroids *lol*

Okay - tried Yahoo 360, got started on MySpace to keep up with my daughters *lol*, graduated to Blogger (it's been a positive experience), work in WordPress as part of my job (no thx on a personal level), but recently I fell into FaceBook...and it's been a roller coaster ride from there! Wow! How cool is FaceBook? I'm rockin' it for sure! *lol* And for those concerned about the situation in Gaza, I'm doin' my homework on that front as well. See you there, insha'Allah!

December 26, 2008

Muslim Voice in Washington

TO LISTEN TO THE DECEMBER 21, 2008 PROGRAM FEATURED AT ISLAMONLINE COPY AND PASTE THE TEXT BELOW rtsp://stream.islamonline.net/strm/d/English/news/2008-12/25/sound/01.rm
THE SOUND FILE USES REAL PLAYER FOR PLAYBACK: Get it here! http://www.download.com/RealPlayer/3000-2646_4-10073040.html
By Mukhtar A. Khan, IOL Correspondent
"This is a step forward in advancing independent Muslim media," Bray told IOL. WASHINGTON (IOL) Dec. 25, 2008 — Recognizing the importance of the media, American Muslim community leaders have launched a live radio talk show from Washington to give an accurate image of their community. "We are the only Muslim voice on a popular radio – New World Radio WUST 1120 AM – from the nation's capital," Crescent Report host Mahdi Bray told IslamOnline.net. The 30-minute radio show titled, "The Crescent Report", Bray's brainchild, targets the over 1.5 million listeners in the greater Washington area. Starting on Sundays from 11.30 am until 12.00 noon, The Crescent Report aims to give an accurate image of the Muslim faith to the American listening audience. "The mission for broadcasting this show is to give an authentic voice to the Muslim community in the United States and present the true image of Islam before the wider world," stated Bray, who also serves as executive director of MAS Freedom, the civic and human rights advocacy entity of the Muslim American Society. The radio show, returning from a brief hiatus after its original 2004 launch, returned to the airwaves Sunday, December 21, 2008 with special guest Keith Ellison, America's first Muslim Congressman, who spoke about prospects and challenges facing American Muslims, now estimated at nearly seven million. "Audience participation was exhilarating," Bray added. Bray said the show will focus on current events but also invites the listening audience to talk about issues such as current affairs, politics, Islam, cultural events, civic and religious rights and responsibilities, Islamic economics, and even fashion. Guests will not be restricted to those residing in America, "They can be from anywhere," noted Bray. Bray added, "This is a step forward in advancing independent Muslim media, and we hope to expand the program from thirty minutes to a full hour in the months ahead." Much Needed Co-host Ibrahim Abdil-Mu’id Ramey, MAS Freedom’s Civil and Human Rights Director, said the radio show is an effective tool to reach out to the diverse Muslim and non-Muslim community in Washington D.C. "It is both our social and religious responsibility to let people know of the great treasure of Islamic religion." Jameel Hussain, a 34-year-old cab driver, says he is proud of listening to a Muslim-hosted show in the heart of America. "So far, we have been only hearing on mainstream media that Muslims are terrorists. But this will certainly change the image of Muslims as a civilized nation and Islam as a religion of peace," he told IOL. Since the 9/11 attacks, American Muslims have become sensitized to an erosion of their civil rights, with a prevailing belief that the U.S. government was targeting their faith. Rabbi Eric Yoffie, president of the largest Jewish movement in the United States has accused mainstream media and politicians of demonizing Islam and portraying Muslims as "satanic figures". "The Crescent Report is a landmark step in the right direction," Hakeem Khan, a 45-year-old shopkeeper, told IOL. He hopes the duration of the show extended to one hour. "Without a vibrant and independent media outlet, Muslims will continue to struggle for a reasonable and just place in American society." MAS Freedom VIP

August 11, 2008

Millions of Muslims Tune-in for Subversive Soap 'Noor' - WHY?!?

It is from the sofa in my living room that I have, three or four times now, found "Noor" (a 'soap' based on an affluent Muslim family in Turkey) next in line on satellite channel MBC4, after half-watching some other program – which is how it happens that I have developed a few thoughts on what has been described as an 'obsession' to millions of viewers - particularly, apparently, in Saudi Arabia. Anyhow, after reading a recent Washington Post article on the subject of Noor, I decided to give voice to those sentiments. Of course, as some of you may also know, I do not, for the most part, understand Arabic, but a person doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to understand what is in front of their eyes… Excerpts from Washington Post article with my comments: COMMENT 1: Subject title - our obsession with Noor is reported on in Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/02/AR2008080201547_2.html The only part of this program that I can understand might be worthy of 'obsession'/emulation is the fact that it has initiated discussion of the contrasts found in the intimate relationships between the husband and wife lead characters (it's the only relationship in the series that sets out the concept of compassion) and, apparently, what other viewers find lacking in their own relationships. How sad, however, that we are not more enamored or inspired by the countless examples of the compassion found in Prophet Mohamed Salla Allahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam. COMMENT 2: Article Title - A Subversive Soap Roils Saudi Arabia Subversive was an excellent choice of words. COMMENT 3: The show has become the subject of angry Friday sermons in this strict Islamic kingdom, and the country's chief cleric recently issued a fatwa calling it "decadent" and sinful to watch. Decadent and sinful – quite frankly, I do not believe their sentiments are unjustified. Is this program indicative of 'progress'? I do not think so – from where I sit, it is nothing less short of a step backward. COMMENT 4: "Noor" has had such a deep influence because, unlike American or Mexican soap operas broadcast here, it is about a Muslim family living in a Muslim country. EXACTLY why I feel the way I do in comments 2 and 3 – Muslim family living in a Muslim country – seriously? I would never have guessed… I have not seen anything in the story that even remotely indicates that the characters are "Muslim". I have not seen one incident where the story line included a single family member excusing themselves for prayer; the men leaving the home to go to the mosque; I have not seen even one female character dressed, whether it was for leisure, work, business, or at home, dressed in either jelbab, hijab, or abaya. On the contrary, the cast wardrobe consists entirely of street clothes that you would find people wearing in any other country not proclaiming itself to be "Islamic" or "Muslim". Personally, I am saddened that this program has become an 'obsession'. Is this what we want to present/support as demonstrative of life in the Muslim world? Life according to the true teachings of Islam? Or are we just supposed to swallow it hook, line and sinker as Muslim Reality TV? Astifurallah Al-Azeem. Sure, we are all human, and it is not to say that we don't have similar thoughts, feelings, and experiences with life choices – but why not produce a program with similarly charismatic characters, demonstrating how to make better choices? Wouldn't it be something if THAT became an obsession! Note: In one of the more recent episodes, the soulfully blue-eyed lead male character (Turk), is shown sporting a rather large tattoo on his upper right arm – that's 'Islamic' – imitating the custom of another society vs. showing reverence for religious/Islamic teachings. Seriously? Astifurgallah Al-Azeem. Ah, and then there was this week's stunning moment: a female lead character awakening from her abortion while her husband, who was at home babysitting and playing with the couple's daughter, runs across the "conveniently left in a place where your husband – who you want to hide something from – will find it" (duh) positive pregnancy test result, and is suddenly thrilled to learn he will have a second child – but will ultimately be devastated to learn his joy was 'premature'. So much for that marriage… COMMENT 5: The show is also dubbed in an Arabic dialect, not classical Arabic, which makes it easier to understand and feels more intimate to viewers. So glad the article's writer mentioned the dubbing. I have never in all my life seen a program where every single character's lines were dubbed. Seriously, it is painfully ridiculous to watch. COMMENT 6: According to several local newspapers, Saudi men have divorced their wives after finding photos of Muhannad on their cellphones or because they found their wives too taken with the Turk with the soulful eyes. Now THAT'S ISLAMIC…N-O-T! As to Turk's 'soulful eyes' – geez – they're blue – so what! And while we're, again, on the subject of Turk, a few days ago the program offered a scene during which we observe Turk dressing to out. The amount of time given to this scene, and the unabashed love the character displays for himself as he looks repeatedly in the mirror, was nauseating (not unlike the Saudi men with their headgear - as I often observed - while 'checking' it's arrangement on their heads through a reflection in a mosque window). Anyhow, all I could think was, "Dude, GET OVER YOURSELF!!!" COMMENT 7: But clerics say the national obsession is unhealthy and detrimental to Saudi society's traditional culture. Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper quoted a prominent cleric, Abdul Mohsen al-Obeikan, as saying the show erodes Muslim values and asking satellite channels not to air it. Quite honestly, I am wildly curious as to why the cleric(s) are even having to ASK why this program is allowed to air on satellite channels in Saudi Arabia – if there was truly an uproar about the program the government could/would block it in a nano-second. COMMENT 8: "When young people, who have all become fascinated with this show, watch Muslims like themselves engaging in premarital relations and having children out of wedlock, that is more dangerous than if they see Westerners doing those same things…" Which begs the question – why does Saudi Arabia – in complaining of the influence of the 'west' invite the 'west' into the homes of its citizens via satellite in the first place? Again, the government has the power to block these images/programs – and yet they don't – so what is the complaint, REALLY???? And why does the 'west' have to bear the brunt of the blame for choices made within the confines of the Kingdom in the first place? The west is the west, as is the east the east – if western influences are not welcome do not allow or invite them in – if it is felt necessary to restrict the Kingdom's people to that degree. If not – then do not complain of the guest you have invited after the welcome mat has been laid out for him. COMMENT 9: The show's finale, after 140 episodes, will be broadcast at the end of August, right before the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Al-hamdulillah for that.

August 05, 2008

ICE 90-Day Sweep Nets Cardiac Patient Ziyad Busaileh, 60

Palestinian Immigrant Transferred to Alabama's Infamous Etowah County Detention Center By Aishah Schwartz Could a completed Immigration Form G-28 have spared Busaileh the added disadvantage of enduring a transfer to a facility 600 miles from his family and physician? WASHINGTON, D.C. (MASNET) August 4, 2008 – In the course it's investigation into the July 22, 2008, arrest of Raleigh, NC resident Ziyad Busaileh, a 60-year-old Palestinian immigrant and cardiac patient, MAS Freedom (MASF) learned that between July 14 and August 3 eleven states have reported immigrant detainments in the latest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 'sweep'. Reports indicate ICE's '90-Day Sweep' began July 1, 2008. (more here)

May 22, 2008

Thank-You...Your Prayers Mean So Much!

UPDATE (9/2/09): Kylie is doing well and thriving with her cancer ordeal behind her; sadly, scammers took advantage of her case recently back in her hometown of Florence, South Carolina.
Bismillah Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu, Insha'Allah this message finds you in the best of health and imaan. Amin. I want to say a big thank you (and Jazakallahu khayran) to everyone who wrote (and didn't write) to share their duas with me on behalf of my granddaughter, Kylie. Updated information as to her condition/cancer treatment can be read here. Ma'Salaama, `Aishah ----------------- Dear Aishah Sorry to hear the unfortunate news about your precious little granddaughter. May Allah be with you all during this difficulty. Our sincere prayers to Allah to bestow his benevolence for her to have a speedy full recovery and for you to have the resilience, patience and courage to endure the pain with her. Thuraya al Arrayed 1.---------------------- Dear Aishah, I'm so sorry. I've heard about your 10-month-old granddaughter's illness. It must be really on you and her mother. My heart is with you dear. I hope she gets better. Love, Wajeha 2.---------------------- enshhaa allaha she will be good and has good future saber 3.---------------------- A S A Sis Aishah, Our heart goes out to your granddaughter, We all pray Allah give her Shifa. Ameen Br Mohammed 4.---------------------- Dear Aishah, Our prayers are with you and your family. May Allah grant her health and full recovery Inshallah and give you and the parents patience and strength. Maha 5.---------------------- You have kids???? I never knew that you are a mother. May Allah heal your grandchild and restore her health. Cancer really sucks. Best wishes, Intisar 6.---------------------- Salaam, Aisha, I pray for Allah's (SWT) will to be done and whatever it is he gives all you strength to accept and get through it and to make you stronger in your faith in him. Inshaallah, time will fly and you will be planning her wedding before you know it...:) Remember all things are from Allah (SWT). Please, know you are in my prayers. Salaam, Khadejah 7.---------------------- Assalam Alaykum, I pray that Allah will give you patience through this difficult time. I know how difficult this is because I helped take care of a small boy when he was diagnosed with this and now he is all grown up, he is 11 years old now, alhamdulillah. He was diagnosed when he was about 10 months old. May Allah give you strength. You are in my prayers and my duas. Your sister, Safaa 8.---------------------- Asalamu Alaikum Aishah; May Allah make this difficult and trying time easy for you, your daughter, son in law and granddaughter. You are in my prayers and duas. Please keep us posted on Kylie's progress. Wa salam, Joanna - Um Suhayb 9.---------------------- Bismillah My dua's and heart is with you! May Allah make this easy on Kylie and the family with a quick easy healing process that is successful! May Allah give patience and understanding and strong faith during this hard time, and lots of strength to endure. My heart goes out to you! May Allah be merciful and work swiftly to heal this small baby girl! Insha'Allah May your hearts and minds be filled with patience and peace despite the hardships and trial ahead. Thinking of you! Salaam Mary Farrag 10.---------------------- Assalamu Alaykum Sis, I just felt that I needed to tell U that I have sent out du'a requests to many of my sisters & here are a few responses. I also included little Kylie's pic if U don't mind & sorry if I did wrong by doing this. She is just so beautiful that I needed to share her beauty with some of my dear sisters. 11.---------------------- asalaamu alaikum sister I'm sooooooo sorry to hear this, and yes of course I will make dua for little Kylie, her parents, and all of you inshaAllah. Take care sis. Salaam Sis Su'ad 12.---------------------- wa alaikum assalam Masha'allah, she is a BEAUTIFUL little girl. May Allah (swt) bless her and heal her and give comfort to her and the family. Amin Love, Sarah 13.---------------------- Dear Aisha, Hasbuna Allah wa Ne'm Al Wakeel. My heart and soul reaches out to you in this testing time. May Allah speed her recovery and ease her pain and bestow his Shifa and Rahma on your sweet angel.My prayers are with you and her dear parents. Fatin Bundagji 14.---------------------- May Allah (swt) accept your dua for her. Ameen Tanveer A. Mirza 15.---------------------- Wa-alaykumusalaam.w.w. Dearest Sis, May Allah SWT grant her complete shifa and very speedy recovery. Ameen. Truly this is very, very shocking news! Me and my family are all praying for her...Fiamaanillahx Saarah Dana 16.---------------------- Assalam Alykom Sr Aishah, Jazakom Allah Khyran for honoring us to share this concern with you, May Allah bless her and her family. Br. Fadi 17.---------------------- I too, as Br Fadi said, ask Allah to get her well soon, Amen. And we make Duaa as our beloved prophet had taught us, “Oh Allah, cure her and get the illness away and heal, there is no true healing but yours, and cure her so she doesn’t get it back again” Amen Please keep us updated JAK Ahmed Elkhaldy 18.---------------------- Salaam alaikum, Sis: Of course we will make du'a for Kylie and your family! May Allah give you all patience, mercy and Blessings. Miriam 19.---------------------- Wa Alaykum Salam Wa Rahmatuallahi Wa Barakatuh My dear sister. I have also asked many of my close personal friends & sisters in Islam to please keep Kylie in all of our du'a. I was advised from one of the sisters that Kylie be treated at a hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. She just had her mom treated for retina cancer there. She said she will get me the details soon & I can pass them along to ya. I do pray that you also stay so strong during this difficult test from Allah SWT. I wish I could hug ya sis. If U need anything that I could help U with plz just let me know. Remember that I have the vonage box & if U want to call your family as often as U like, it is available. U will just have to call me first as I still don't have the ability to call Alexandria. Mary Farrag 20.---------------------- Salaam, Sister Aishah, Inshallah, I will make dua for her in sajjud. May Allah give you all peace at this time and takeaway her illness. Regards, Amer Ahmad 21.---------------------- Subhanallah, my duas for this young sweetie. Insha Allah, she will recover fully. Hope all is well with you elsewise, Pamela Taylor 22.---------------------- MAY Allah cure her and grant her the good health and protect her from any harm, Ameen Fady Qaddoura 23.---------------------- ASA, May Allah(swt) cure her illness and give a better health and help her to grow up in the Deen of Islam,ameen. Ahmed Lamptey 24.---------------------- Sister Aishah, Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rehmatullah Wa Barakatahu, It's sad to hear that. But Allah SWT created this world for test and we are all going through it one way or the other. Allah SWT says in the Quran that only patient people will get their reward with no limits. May Allah SWT have Mercy on little Kylie, give her strength to go through this, deposit for her a big reward in Aakhira for going through this and give her quick recovery. May Allah SWT give enormous patience to her loved ones. Atif Sajid 25.---------------------- Wa Alaykum Salaam Dear Aaishah May Allah grant Kylie shifaa and complete 'aafiyah. Allah does not place upon anyone a burden they cannot bear, Subhan Allah, this just shows how strong Kylie is, mash Allah. May she taste success in everything , in this life and the next. My prayers are with you all. Take care wasalaam 26.---------------------- Salamwalaikum Aishah, Kylie is in my duas and may Allah give you strength and comfort during this difficult time. My mother succumbed to cancer 2 months ago and I feel your pain. Inshallah Kylie will get well soon and be back with her smile. Your brother in Islam Reza Rahman 27.---------------------- Wa'Salam 'Alaikum It must be very hard for your family. Please keep Patience in this difficult time. May Allah accept our dua and give her quick recovery. Ameen. She is must be very precious to your family and now to us too. We will make our sincere dua. I have seen many times that Allah have granted us more blessing than we asked for. May Rahamnur Rahim grant her good health and make her one of the righteous Muslim. Sincerely, Mohibullah Ullah 28.---------------------- Salaam Alaikum Aishah, My prayers are with you and your family and sweet little Kylie! Masha Allah she is beautiful. Children are so strong even thought they are so small. God willing she will be fine. Be positive, strong and accepting. Remember Allah is merciful and...it is His will. Love and Salaam, Susan - Om Adam 29.---------------------- May ALLAH bless her and her family and cure her with his Mercifullness Power, ameen. As-alu ALLAH Alatheem, Rabul Arshil Atheem an Yash-fiha). As-alu ALLAH Alatheem, Rabul Arshil Atheem an Yash-fiha). As-alu ALLAH Alatheem, Rabul Arshil Atheem an Yash-fiha). As-alu ALLAH Alatheem, Rabul Arshil Atheem an Yash-fiha). As-alu ALLAH Alatheem, Rabul Arshil Atheem an Yash-fiha). As-alu ALLAH Alatheem, Rabul Arshil Atheem an Yash-fiha). As-alu ALLAH Alatheem, Rabul Arshil Atheem an Yash-fiha). Ameen. I ask GOD the Great, the lord of the Great Throne to cure her. (7 times as per the Hadeeth) Muhammad R. Elhabashy 30.---------------------- as salamaamou alikum Sorry about yr Grand baby May Allah help her and make you and yr family Strong to deal with the Cancer. Allahu allim Aisha Issa 31.----------------------- fajr is coming in momentarily. i will remember her in my prayers, iA. salaams. Indiigo mingus-klyne 32.----------------------- Dear Aishah Schwartz AAWRWB I learned about your granddaughter, who is sick. May Allah SWT Bless her with immediate cure and full recovery and grant her Shifa-ekulli and complete health and strenghth. Insha Allah I will keep praying for her health and speedy recovery. May Allah SWT bless you and all members of your family His Fadl, Rahmah and Patience. Maassalam. M. Hussain Imam 33.----------------------- Assalamo Alaikum, Very sad to hear that, my sister also going through this process, may Allah give complete and speedy recovery to your Daughter and my sister. Waslam Naseer Tahir 34.----------------------- Praying for her. Amatullah Abdullah 35.----------------------- Dear Aishah, May Allah be with you and her. It is so so sad, children with cancer seems an ultimate pain from the child and parents. Hope she'll be able to survive it well inshaAllah. How old is she? My heart goes to you. Hatoon Ajwad AL FASSI (Ph.D) 36.----------------------- Sister Aishah Schwartz May Allah recover your granddaughter from her illness and she grows healthy and hearty as if no illness ever touched her. May Allah respond her to her treatment and her cancer go away like it had never been. (Amen) Brotherly Jonaid 37.----------------------- May Allah give her shifa very soon and also make all the process easy for her Ameen. Wajhi Khawajhi 38.----------------------- Assalam-u-lakim, May Allah cure her and make it easy on her and the family-Ameen. My father was just diagnosed with Luekemia so I know it’s a tough time but inshallah with Allah's grace He will listen to our prayers. Wasalam Farah Chohan 39.----------------------- Salamo alaikom Aishah, I was so hurt to hear about your granddaughter, my sincere dua will be to her and my daughter as well, I feel your daughter's feelings as a mother, as my daughter was born with a spinal cord befida and may require an operation and she is just 4 months old.... May Allah swt cure all of the little children , Ameen. Lobna Elhaw 40.----------------------- Salam Aisha, It is heart aching to know about this. Allah SWT id very Kind & Merciful He will give her Shifa. We are praying. Surat Al Fatiha is also known as Surat Al Shifa. May Allah grant His Shifa & heal her for good. Best Regards Sabeeha Kazmi 41.----------------------- May Allah (SWT) remove the sickness from her and make her better soon, Ameen. Amell 42.----------------------- Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu, May Allah give baby Kylie and your entire family strength to endure this adversity and heal her quickly. Yasmeen 43.----------------------- Dear Sis, Assalamu alaikom...may ALLAH swt make it easy for all of you in these times. I will make dua for your granddaughter for her fast recovery inshaALLAH. Just be strong sis... Aisha A. 44.----------------------- Dear Sister Aishah, I am making so much dua for your precious granddaughter. May Allah remove her illness, preserve her sight and health. Ameen. I really do not know what else I can say to you my dear sister except that you should tell your daughter and her partner that their sweet baby is in our prayers. Love and hugs- Your sister- Hodan 45.----------------------- Assalamu Alaikim Sister Aishah, May Allah SWT take care of little Kylie and give her strength through this difficult time in her precious life. My thoughts and du'a are with you and your family. Emily Khan 46.----------------------- Assallamu alikum dear sister...as I am writing, my tears couldn't stop flowing for the thought of your sweet grandchild who has to go so much pain...rest assured that Allah SWT will take good care of her and I will definitely make du'a for her and your family always! Take good care sis! Elle 47.----------------------- Asalaam Aleykum sister Aishah I will keep your grand daughter in my duas sister, may Allah make it easy for her and her family . Karam 48.----------------------- Salaams dear Sr Aishah, May Allah make it easy for her and for all of you (ameen) and may all harm flee from her by the Mercy of Allah (ameen thum'ameen). you have all my prayers. With love, wassalaam, asifa.sheikh 49.----------------------- My heart goes out to you and your family, sister. I certainly will keep her in my prayers with duas and best wishes, Isahah 50.----------------------- Salam Sister, My heart goes out to you, InsyaAllah I will doa for the little girl. sister aminah 51.----------------------- Our prayers from here are certainly with you.... Mike 52.----------------------- Dear Sister in Islam Assalaamu 'Alaikum I have been deeply saddened to hear about your little grand-daughter's illness. May Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, have special Mercy on her and grant her speedy and complete recovery. May He (S) give Sabr' and fortitude to you and other members of the family to be steadfast in your Imaan during these trying hours. AAMEEN. We'll pray for her in Masaajid, insha'Allah. Wassalaam Your brother in Islam Khurshid Khan ICNA 53.----------------------- May Allah give your granddaughter a healthy speedy recovery, and give you and your family patience and reward. Isam Estwani 54.----------------------- November 15, 2007 2:32 AM May Allah swt give patience to both parents and mercy to your granddaughter..that she will recover soon. Norma 55.----------------------- November 19, 2007 12:43 AM Dear Aishah, I went through chemo-therapy myself for lung cancer and have been in full remission for 23 months now. I am so sorry to hear about your grandchild, and I know that she will be miserable during the process. However, miracles are being performed every day. This is the reason I started An Army of Bloggers, to fight this dreaded disease with everything I've got. I will keep your granddaughter in my prayers as she certainly is a very cute little one. GM Roper 56.-----------------------

Leading Saudi Woman Blogger Alhodaif Passes Away at 25

Ebtihal Mubarak, Arab News JEDDAH (Arab News) May 19, 2008 — For 25 days supporters and friends of Saudi blogger Hadeel Alhodaif have waited anxiously, hoping that she would emerge from the coma she fell into unexpectedly. But on Friday these hopes died as the 25-year-old writer and social critic — known for fearlessly using her real name in her criticisms — passed away. Alhodaif, who maintained "Heaven's Steps" (http://hdeel.ws/blog), often challenged other Saudi women to join her in stepping out of the shadows of anonymity and devote their writing to issues of social importance. "I wish that Saudi women bloggers would step forward in their writing instead of simply writing their personal diaries," she told Arab News in an interview last year. She said that blogging offered a unique opportunity in Saudi Arabia to create a "new free media" to face off against the entrenched establishment newspapers and television channels and give the public what they really wanted to know. In some cases she would appear in these media outlets, such as AlJazeera and Saudi Channel One. Alhodaif was invited last year to Oman's Sultan Qaboos University to discuss the role that Saudi blogs play in promoting the freedom of expression. Later that year she gave a lecture at the women's section of the Riyadh Literary Club calling on women to start their own blogs to help influence public policy and opinion. "I would like to educate Saudi women about the importance of blogging as an efficient medium that can greatly influence public opinion," she said during her presentation. When blogger Fouad Al-Farhan was detained late last year for openly defending a group of conservative academics that had been arrested for meeting and discussing the need for political reform, Alhodaif was the only Saudi woman who came out publicly calling for Al-Farhan's immediate release. She started a "Free Fouad" website and created a forum on the social networking site Facebook to keep interested people up to date on the case. "She was truly courageous speaking to the BBC Arabic eloquently and bravely about Al-Farhan's detention when most Saudi bloggers wanted only to be quoted anonymously," said a fellow blogger, who preferred to be quoted anonymously. Al-Farhan was released last month after four months of detention without charges. Alhodaif published a collection of short stories titled "Their Shadows Don't Follow Them." Last year her play "Who Fears The Doors" was performed at the men's section of King Saud University. In her blog Alhodaif mocked the fact that even as the playwright she was not allowed to attend the performance of her own work due to the university's strict policy on the mingling of the sexes. "I guess I have to beg the male audience to inform me how my play was produced," she wrote in Arabic. "I hope that a day comes when I can attend a cultural function where the presence of women does not cause anyone an allergic reaction!" Alhodaif's Facebook profile shows a young woman who was interested in reading, writing and good food. Saudis from all ages and backgrounds — liberals and conservatives alike, those who knew her closely or from a distance, and even those who did not know her at all before — are mourning the bright skinny girl with high dreams and hopes of a better future for all Saudis. RELATED: Saudi Activist Blogger Freed After 4 Months in Jail Without Charge ---------------------- Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. (See: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.) If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Muslim Women Make Their Voices Heard

Assalamu Alaikum,

Check out the link at the end of this article…when you go to the page, you have to scroll down, it’s not layed out right, but that said, the music is something…wow…I couldn’t stop listening…some may have to get past being ‘offended’ by a few choice words in the first clip…but do it…it’s worth it.

Ma’Salaama,
`Aishah

Muslim Women Make Their Voices Heard

LONDON (AsianNews) May 21, 2008 – Female Muslim rappers, singers and poets from the UK, Europe and US have united to bring together a mixtape of unreleased songs.

Sisterhood includes material which deal with a range of issues ranging from the war in Iraq to racism, love, romance, living in a post 9/11 world, to women's rights issues, faith and personal experiences of being young socially conscious Muslim women in the West.

"This is just the first small step towards encouraging these artists and others like them out there to pursue their dreams and hopes," said Deeyah, the founder of the Sisterhood project who selected this first volume of songs from scores submitted to her.

She said: "This is a way to let them know they are not alone in their struggles and hardship to get their music and message out there.

"Although some of the ladies on the project are at the very beginning of their musical journey and just starting to explore and discover their creative and artistic expression I hope that with this project they will find inspiration and encouragement from each other to further develop and hone their craft."

She added: "Hopefully we can help create a platform to have their voices and opinions heard as both artists and Muslim women living in Western societies.

"Female Muslim artists face a tough time. There's very little support for them, many of them have been actively discouraged-- even by their own communities-- from expressing their thoughts and dreams through music. But they are not alone as this first collection proves...they have something to say and they deserve to be heard."

Sisterhood is streamed online on the world wide web from May 2008. For a listen visit http://www.myspace.com/deeyahpresents

More here: http://deeyahpresents.webs.com

-----------------------
Fair Use Notice
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. (See:
http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.) If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

May 20, 2008

Please Donate Today - Kylie's Life Depends On It...

UPDATE (9/2/09): Kylie is doing well and thriving with her cancer ordeal behind her; sadly,scammers took advantage of her case recently back in her hometown of Florence, South Carolina.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatuallahi wa Barakatuhu, My dear brothers and sisters, friends and associates, Please allow me, first of all, to thank those of you who previously wrote a few months back when I first requested duas on behalf of my grand-daughter, Kylie. Today I am writing to update you and to plea for your help on her behalf. By way of re-introduction, let me share with you that Kylie Marie Porchea, who is such a courageous, very special little girl, was diagnosed at the tender age of just 10-months, with a rare form of cancer known as Retinoblastoma. Since her diagnosis, Kylie has endured 6-months of intensive chemotherapy treatment, in addition to receiving cryogenic laser surgery treatments at MUSC in Charleston, South Carolina. (Learn more about types of treatments here.) Sadly, despite the efforts of Kylie's doctors, the cancer has persisted, and she has subsequently been referred to a specialist facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she was subjected to additional cryotherapy treatment. Kylie will return for follow-up treatment in June. The majority of Kylie's medical expenses have been covered through various channels, however, thousand's of dollars in unpaid fees remain outstanding, and additional expenses will continue to acrue in the months ahead. Your generous contribution toward helping to save the life of this precious little girl is critical. Please donate today via PAYPAL by visiting www.paypal.com – click on 'donate money' and enter the email address: kylieseyes@gmail.com – and follow the prompts after that require additional information. IMPORTANT NOTE: You DO NOT have to set up a PAYPAL account to donate – you can donate with any major credit card or debit card bearing the MasterCard or Visa logo. Please donate today…Kylie thanks you. Jazakallahu Khayran. Ma’Salaama, `Aishah Schwartz http://aishahsjourney.blogspot.com http://www.sisteraishah.com http://www.muslimahwritersalliance.com
Please pass this information along, insha'Allah.
"Retinoblastoma (reh-tin-oh-blast-oma) is a childhood cancer arising from immature retinal cells in one or both eyes and can strike from the time a child is in the womb up to 5 years of age. This cancer is curable if caught early enough. However, 87% of the children stricken with this disease worldwide die, mostly in developing countries. In developed countries, 97% of those who do live have moderate to severe visual impairment. Retinoblastoma is a relatively uncommon tumor of childhood that accounts for about 3% of the cancers in children under the age of 15. The tumors originate in the retina, the light sensitive layer of the eye, which enables the eye to see. When the tumors are present in one eye, it is referred to as unilateral retinoblastoma, and when it occurs in both eyes it is referred to as bilateral retinoblastoma. 60% of the cases involve only one eye (unilateral); the rest affect both eyes (bilateral). 90% of retinoblastoma patients have no family history of the disease and only 10% of newly diagnosed patients have other family members with retinoblastoma." http://www.retinoblastoma.net/

On the Subject of FGM

UPDATE: A few days back I picked up an English version of an Egypt newspaper when I ventured out early one morning for breakfast. I was surprised and pleased to find an article (albeit short) indicating that a new law is in the works to implement support for the ban on female circumcision that would imprison those convicted of performing the procedure for 3 months, in addition to making them pay a 5,000 Egyptian Pound fine - and trust me, while an Egytpian Pound might not convert to much in other currencies, to the average Egyptian it is an enormous amount of money. One step at a time...one step at a time... Assalamu Alaikum. Insha'Allah this message finds you in the best of health and imaan. Ameen. I've noticed a lot of information circulating recently about Female Genital Mutilation, much of it being rather outdated, so I thought I would share with you a site that keeps the information up-to-date for those following the progress of the campaign(s) against this barbaric practice. It is important in our discussions to circulate the most viable and up-to-date material as the subject is evolving constantly, and we should not undermine the progress being made by rehashing headlines that have already been dealt with; we should, instead, focus our energies on the current efforts being promoted across the globe, insha'Allah, and join in support of those efforts. If you are interested in making a difference on a personal level, please take note of the FGM Network's Volunteer Link: http://www.fgmnetwork.org/volunteers/index.html. Forwarding an email is easy...but joining the effort to promote real change with our time, energy and resources by volunteering is a step towards making a real difference...one person at a time. Ma'Salaama, ~Aishah --------------------------- UPDATE: FEATURE-Egypt death sparks debate on female circumcision 19 Aug 2007 23:04:31 GMT Source: Reuters By Cynthia Johnston MAGHAGHA, Egypt, Aug 20 (Reuters) - It was a routine procedure undertaken by thousands of Egyptian girls every year, but something went wrong and Budour Ahmed Shaker died while having her genitals cut in a rite known locally as "purification". The death of the 11-year-old schoolgirl at a private clinic in the Egyptian village Mughagha in June prompted the government to outlaw the custom of female genital mutilation, which is so widespread in Egypt that 95 percent of the country's women are estimated to have undergone the procedure. (more here...) Visit the FGM Network here: http://www.fgmnetwork.org/index.php Recent Headlines: http://www.fgmnetwork.org/news.php Islamic countries call for end to female genital mutilation, child marriage BIRMINGHAM, UK - Outcry over violated girls BENIN: Edo Police arrest three over female circumcision KENYA: Teachers who take time off to get 'cut' KENYA: UN Honours Kenyan Woman for Fight Against 'Cut', Early Marriages SENEGAL: Tostan tackles traditions MALI: In Mali Women Debate Circumcision Uganda told to ban harmful traditions

April 28, 2008

SPREAD THE WORD! FREE FOUAD!!

UPDATE: April 23, 2008 - Fouad is free and back home in Jeddah after 137 days in custody. (more here) Bismillah Assalamu Alaikum! I'm writing today to ask you to SPREAD THE WORD! FREE FOUAD!! You can help free Saudi blogger Fouad Ahmad al-Farhan, who has been detained by Saudi authorities since December 10, 2008, by displaying this Quote Randomizer Badge on your blog! The quotes are translated from his blog post "Why Do We Blog?" The badge will allow the script to display random Fouad's quotes on your blog. CLICK ON THE BADGE BELOW (right) TO GET THE CODE! Aishah's Journey Blog is wearing the Badge! Please redistribute this communication widely, insha'Allah! Jazakallahu khayran for your support! Ma'Salaama, `Aishah Schwartz Director, Muslimah Writers Alliance Member, Committee to Protect Journalists LEARN MORE HERE! How Free is the Blog-o-Sphere? Family Member Given Access to Detained Blogger U.S. Concerned for Saudi Blogger Dissident Saudi Blogger Arrested Committee to Protect Journalists Fax or mail a copy of the letter (below) (or write your own letter) in support of the Committe to Protect Journalists' petition TODAY! January 2, 2008 Via Facsimile: (202) 944-3113 His Royal Highness King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud c/o His Excellency Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia 601 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20037 Re: Fouad Ahmed al-Farhan Your Royal Highness: The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to protest the continued detention of Fouad Ahmed al-Farhan, a leading Saudi blogger who has been held without charge since early December 2007. We believe al-Farhan is being held for comments published on his Web site, Alfarhan.org. On December 10, Saudi security agents detained al-Farhan at the Jeddah office of the IT company he owns. Security agents later visited his home and confiscated his laptop. This week, nearly a month after al-Farhan’s detention, Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry at last acknowledged that he has been detained, but would not give the reason for his incarceration. Ministry spokesman Gen. Mansour al-Turki was quoted by several newspapers as saying that al-Farhan was being questioned "about violating non-security regulations" but would not elaborate. Calls from CPJ to the Saudi Embassy in Washington were not returned. In an e-mail sent to friends prior to his arrest, al-Farhan explained that he had received a phone call from the Saudi Interior Ministry instructing him to prepare himself "to be picked up in the coming two weeks" for questioning by a high-ranking official. He also stated in the e-mail that he believed he was being summoned "because I wrote about the political prisoners here in Saudi Arabia and they think I’m running an online campaign promoting their issue." In one of his last posts before his detention, al-Farhan sharply criticized 10 influential Saudi business, religious, and media figures. Your Royal Highness, we find it deplorable that Saudi authorities would continue to hold our colleague in near secrecy after nearly a month. Arbitrarily detaining a writer and holding him for weeks without saying why violates the most basic norms for free expression and serves as a chilling reminder to those seeking to express their opinions. It also runs counter to official Saudi statements in support of reform and a more open press. During meetings with CPJ representatives in Riyadh in 2006, Saudi officials affirmed the country’s commitment to gradual reforms and praised the recent loosening of restrictions on the local press. We urge you to use all your influence to ensure that our colleague Fouad al-Farhan is released at once. Thank you for your attention to this important matter and we look forward to your reply. Sincerely yours, Joel Simon Executive Director CC: His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud, Crown Prince and Minister of Defense His Royal Highness Prince Nayef Bin Abdelaziz Al-Saud, Minister of Interior The Honorable Ford M. Fraker, U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Louise Arbour, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights American Society of Newspaper Editors Amnesty International Article 19 (United Kingdom) Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Freedom Forum Freedom House Human Rights Watch Index on Censorship International Center for Journalists International Federation of Journalists International PEN International Press Institute The Newspaper Guild The North American Broadcasters Association Overseas Press Club Reporters Sans Frontières The Society of Professional Journalists World Association of Newspapers World Press Freedom Committee

February 09, 2008

America's Muslim Population is Gaining a Hispanic Accent

Featuring MWA Member Khadijah Rivera of Tampa, Florida

In addition to being a member of Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), Khadijah Rivera is also President of Piedad, a women's group at the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay Area Mosque that represents a growing group in the American Islamic Community: Hispanic Muslims. In a Tampa Times, February 9, 2008 article, Khadijah told reporter Sherri Day, "Islam is not a religion of Arabs," said Rivera, who happens to be Puerto Rican. "It may have started as a religion of the Arabs. But we're just regular people, and we're not all Arab." (story here)

Photo (Tampa Times): Khadijah Rivera talks with Silvia Nagi, right, at the Eid Al-Adha carnival in Tampa on Dec. 19. The Latin Muslims meet at least monthly.

February 05, 2008

Strip Searched in Saudi Arabia!!


My stomache is still churning...wallahi...I could just vomit...strip searched...imagine how mortified this poor woman was!!! la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah - No questions asked, no investigation, instantaneous physical and emotional violation - wallahi I fear for these people on the Day of Judgment.

KSA: Coffee With Colleague Lands Woman in Trouble
While waiting for an electrical issue to be resolved in the office where Yara and her business colleague had travelled for a business meeting, they passed by a coffee shop in the lobby of the office building. While sitting in the 'family' section of the coffee shop, Yara and her business associate were approached by members of the Saudi Commission for the 'Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice'. The two were swiftly detained. Yara spent several hours in the women's section of Riyadh's Malaz Prison, was strip-searched, ordered to sign a confession that she had been in a state of seclusion with an 'unrelated man' (business colleague), and prevented from contacting her husband for hours. There is no word as to the status of her detained business associate. (more)

January 27, 2008

The Grass Still Isn't Any Greener...

Bismillah Below is a blog post I found over at Suhaib Webb's blog...and my response... Ma'Salaama, `Aishah Social Worker Seeks Muslim Family To Adopt Child January 26th, 2008 Hi. I’m a social worker and counselor working with a young Somalian woman who wants to find a Muslim family to adopt her coming child. She is telling me that she doesn’t want a Somalian family or African-American family (for very complicated reasons) and is hopeful to find a Muslim family of another background. I’m interested in networking for ALL Muslim adoptive couples regardless of cultural/racial background to present to her- any ideas? I’m having a very difficult time finding any families, so any suggestions are welcome… Heather Van Brunt, M.Ed., LSW Pregnancy Counselor Children’s Home Society and Family Services 2230 Como Avenue St. Paul, MN 55108 651-255-2410 mailto:hvanbrunt@chsfs.%20org Assalamu Alaikum,

How tragic to read that you are finding difficulty in garnering volunteers to step-up-to-the-plate to ensure that this child is raised in a Muslim home. I weep sometimes for the state of the Muslim ummah...a classic example came just last night. I was walking home from the market just after dark and I paused to speak to a shop owner near my apartment building (in Egypt). It happened that I knew someone who owed a small debt to the shop owner, and I wanted to take care of it; ironically, as I paused-for-the-cause, three women, all clothed in abayas and hijabs, were also passing by just a little further up the street, when suddenly everyone heard screaming! One of the women had just been robbed of her pocketbook! The screaming woman ran into a nearby apartment building (I would assume she lived there), one stood in the street in shock, and the third one ran after the thief! Subhan'Allah. But the most shocking thing of all was this: There I stood, one man beside me; four men behind me; and at least a dozen men who had poured out of shops in the vicinity, and not a single one moved to follow behind the WOMAN in order to catch the thief. Every one of them just stood there gawking, talking among themselves and smoking cigarettes.

La hawla wa la quwwata illa billah.

I get fussed at for being a shut-in of sorts...but wallahi...it is merely self-defense...my eyes hurt me every time I do venture out... Ma'Salaama,

`Aishah Schwartz

January 13, 2008

The Closing Comments of This Article Speak Volumes...

Was This An Honor Killing?  
Dallas Morning News Sunday, January 13, 2008  

The closing comments of this article speak volumes...

It would be preposterous to believe that all, or even most, Muslim men are wife-beating brutes. But it also would be irresponsible to ignore the cultural and religious teachings that create an environment in which females who don't behave as males command deserve to suffer. And it would be immoral not to confront them.

The Said girls had a funeral at the Dallas Central Mosque. One imam talked about the primary importance of the family in Islam and of the responsibility parents have to keep their families strong. These are arguments used to justify honor killing. But if a word against honor killing – or violence against women – was spoken in English at that service, no one heard it.  

RELATED
AMERICA'S MOST WANTED: Yaser Abdel Said, Irving, TX (Murder; 2 Counts) Slain Yaser Said Sisters Mourned at Burial Services Islam and Honor Killings  

One of the gravest charges levied against Islam, in terms of its alleged antipathy towards women, is the claim that it encourages a phenomenon known as 'honor killings'…

January 12, 2008

PERSPECTIVE: Mothers and Fathers Who Murder...It Isn't Just a 'Muslim Thing'

In light of recent 'honor killing' headlines, i.e., Aqsa Parvez of Canada, and the Said sisters, Amina and Sarah of Texas, and the negative impact these tragic stories inevitably has on the Muslim community at-large, I just thought it was equally important to point out that headlines such as these know no boundaries. It isn't just a 'Muslim thing'. RELATED National Declaration by Religious and Spiritual Leaders to Address Violence Against Women Mothers and Fathers Who Murder Recent String of Family Killings Points to Commonalities in Homicidal Parents WASHINGTON (ABCNews) Jan. 10, 2008 - In separate and horrific incidents, a mother and father in different parts of the United States were accused this week of killing their children in two apparent group murders that shocked their respective communities. The killings appear to be the most recent in a disturbing series of family-related murders, sometimes murder-suicides, which criminologists and forensic psychiatrists call familicides. A woman found in her Washington, D.C., home with the decomposing bodies of four girls was charged Thursday with four counts of first-degree murder. Banita Jacks, 33, who is thought to be the mother of the four youths, who ranged in age from 5 to 17, faces up to life in prison if convicted. Jacks told police the children were "possessed by demons" and had died in their sleep, court documents say, according to the Associated Press. In the small town of Bayou La Batre, Ala., a father was charged with four counts of capital murder Wednesday for allegedly throwing his four kids, all age 3 and under, off a bridge. Rescue workers said the children could not have survived and they're attempting to find the bodies. Police say Lam Luong, 37, confessed to the crime, though his attorney said that Luong denied killing them and he was coerced by police into making a false confession The attorney, Joe Kulakowski, told ABC News that he believed the children were not, in fact, thrown off the bridge and were still alive. Last year, ABC News spoke with several medical and forensic experts about familicides. They said then that men and women are often motivated to kill their children for different reasons. Unlike men, who often are driven to familicide by feelings that they have failed to adequately provide for their kids, women often kill their children out of a delusional sense of altruism. Authorities in Washington said they were operating on the assumption that Jacks was the mother of the four girls whose bodies were found in her house, though they did not have conclusive proof. Marie Pierre-Louis, the medical examiner, said the bodies were probably in Jacks' house more than 15 days, "based on the insects that were found there." The cause of death was unclear, though Pierre-Louis said at a news conference today that it appeared that the eldest girl may have been stabbed and that the others may have been asphyxiated. Jacks faces four murder charges and up to life in prison if convicted. She was ordered held without bond on Thursday. "I don't think anyone in the city can remember a case involving this many young people who have died in such a tragic way," Mayor Adrian Fenty said. In the Alabama case, police think Luong threw the children, who ranged in age 4 months to 3, from the bridge after an argument with his wife, The Associated Press reported. Luong had a crack cocaine possession charge pending in Georgia, and his wife's brother-in-law described Luong as a drug addict, according to the AP. Some men and women who kill their children, forensic psychologists and criminologists told ABC News, tend to be severely depressed or psychotic and do not simply "snap" but usually have long histories of mental illness. In June, wrestler Chris Benoit made headlines when he killed his wife, his 7-year-old son and himself in the family's Fayetteville, Ga., home. Benoit's wife, Nancy, 43, and son, Daniel, were each found in different rooms and were believed to have been killed days before the wrestler took his own life. Less than a week before the Benoit killings, New Jersey engineer Thomas Reilly and California businessman Kevin Morrissey each decided to kill their children and then themselves. Reilly, 46, drowned his two young daughters, ages 5 and 6, in the bathtub of their Montclair, N.J., home before hanging himself from the attic rafters. Morrissey, 51, shot his wife and two daughters in a parked car at a popular park near Berkeley, Calif., before turning his .357 handgun on himself. Police investigating the deaths of Morrissey and his family said they found a note in which he said he was distressed over the family's financial situation. Morissey ran a skin-care clinic with his wife, Mamiko Kawai, 40. The couple's two daughters were Nikki Morrissey, 8, and Kim Morrissey, 6. Phillip Resnick, a psychiatry professor at Case Western Reserve University, said Morrissey may have been "severely depressed and believed his family was similarly miserable. He was ending the entire family's pain." "Money is often an issue. The man sees himself as a breadwinner and may feel like he has to take the whole family out with him," Resnick said. Local, state and federal agencies do not specifically track familicides, and discrepancies in the way the crimes are classified make getting an accurate count difficult. ----------------------- Fair Use Notice This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. (See: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.) If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

January 11, 2008

Cat Tales Part II

Sakinah was initially fiercely angry with me the first two days after Jessica's arrival, oh my! Al-hamdulillah, by the end of the third day, was warming up to momma again, and by the fourth day back in my lap purring. *smile* Momma happy. *lol*

Around the third day, after being chastised numerous times for biting Jessica a little too aggressively, Sakinah decided it was okay to play nice. Al-hamdulillah. Today they have been playing like best friends - what a relief!

Another observation. The first two days I had to feed Sakinah and Jessica from separate bowls. On the first day Sakinah even tried to run Jessica off from her own bowl, but I was sitting nearby on the floor monitoring all eating activity, so Sakinah learned she wasn't going to get away with any nasty business. Then, subhan'Allah…last night I could not believe my eyes! I prepared a fresh dish of IAMS dry kitten food with a little bit of tuna fish mixed in. When I had the tuna blended in nicely, I decided to spread the mixture out onto a plate; hoping maybe Sakinah would let Jessica share. Subhan'Allah, subhan'Allah, tuna fish smell and all, Sakinah sat down on the floor to the right of where I was sitting, and let Jessica eat first!!! Wallahi!!! Talk about being a proud momma!

The other day I bought a cute, padded traveling case for my pair of sweeties. Jessica already knew what that was all about, but to Sakinah it was like a foreign object to be eyed with the utmost suspicion, for sure! To help alleviate Sakinah's discomfort, I left the travel case out on the floor with the front door open - to be freely investigated at whim. In the first two days Jessica used the back end of travel case to hide from Sakinah - *lol* - which worked, because Sakinah wouldn't dare to enter! Ha! But, subhan'Allah (again!), this morning, Sakinah is dashing in and out of the case playing hide-and-seek with Jessica!

Commercial Break: Jessica learned today not to put her little nose into anything that smells like coffee…Ouch! Hot! *lol*

She is also learning the house rules; a sharply spoken "La!" unequivocally means "No!", and any of the numerous cords dangling in the vicinity of mommy's desk are off limits for nibbling. *smile* Wallahi! This morning my astonished eyes actually witnessed Sakinah making Jessica get away from the cords! Wallahi! After the first time, it happened a second time, and all I could do was sit here thinking, "Subhan'Allah..." (It's just been a Subhan'Allah kind of morning, sa?)

However, despite the fact that Jessica is learning not to nibble on electrical cords, she still enjoys nibbling on my fingers. *smile*

I initially set out a secondary kitty toilet box considering that it might take Jessica a little while to learn the lay of the new land, so-to-speak, and I am happy to report that it seems she is taking the lead from Sakinah in using the main box, Al-hamdulillah. Why Al-hamdulillah? Because I've accidentally hit the back-up box with the toe my foot twice, sending loose litter scattering all over the floor. Grrrr! Double that 'grrrr' when you add the pain factor... I will happily retire said box.

Jessica got a bath last night. She squirmed uncomfortably for a minute, before deciding to relax her upper body in my left hand as the warm water flowed down over her back, along with the shampoo. Apparently she decided the warm water felt pretty good. *smile* I wrapped her up in a towel for a little bit, gently rubbing out the excess moisture from her furry little body, before letting her finish the grooming job herself. I purposely did this around bedtime because I felt sure she wouldn't mind snuggling up next to me for extra warmth, and before long all three of us were fast asleep.

Sakinah has worn Jessica out this afternoon racing up and down the hallway, so she is now curled up on a chair in the sitting room. Another observation; Sakinah has never fancied any of the furniture in that room, but I find Jessica perched in the middle of a chair cushion often.

The Jummah shout-fest between the mosques has commenced and Sakinah is protesting by meowing and bouncing off the furniture here in my office. Can't say as I blame her…I want to turn the sound off, too! Astifurgallah Al-Azeem. And Al-hamdulillah that I am not a man, as Muslim men are required to attend Jummah services, whereas for women it is optional. Having to sit toe-to-toe on the floor in a crowded mosque subjecting myself to the abusive noise coming from the lecturer is not my idea of a pleasant way to spend Jummah.

Sakinah says it's a good time for a nap. I agree.

January 08, 2008

Aishah's Baby Brag Book

Assalamu Alaikum! Broke down after 5-years and got a new kitten. Named it on the 2nd day (Sakinah)...4 weeks later...I discovered it was a boy - not a girl! *lol* But he/she learned his/her name the first day...thought of changing it...but he/she's stuck with it...and a complex to boot, I'm sure! *lol* She is abyssian by heritage (it's an Egyptian thing going back 4,000 years!). In some photos you can see the distinguishing black circle (like a frame) around the outer part of the green in her eyes. It was funny, the other day I was outside at the Yacht club over here on the Mediterranean Sea with some friends having lunch, and there were a few stray cats roaming around looking for handouts. Two of them were beside me at one point, and I paid closer attention to their eyes...looking for the black circle around the green color (they both had green eyes) - but neither cat had it like Sakinah. She/he *lol* is really a handful, I'll tell ya. The characteristics and personality traits described for the aby cat are all there, but with Sakinah two are different. It says that abys aren't usually talkers or lap cats...but Sakinah talks up a storm, purrs like crazy, and can't stay out of my darn lap! Sometimes in the morning I wake up and she is sitting on my chest, curled up, looking dead into my eyes as if to say, "It's about darn time! I'm ready to play!" Favorite past-time: gnawing on my right forearm as if it were corn-on-the-cob; got the perpetual healing scratches and bite marks to prove it. Geez...what we will do/tolerate for the love of a critter... But I have to admit...even though I was totally unsure the first two or three days...(boy, I was nervous)...I mean...I wasn't sure I was ready...when Benji died I was crushed...and it can still make me cry if I think about it...so I didn't know if I wanted to let myself go there again with a new cat...but I guess that's all history now! Anyhow, it's been nice to have this little one running around here - and let me tell ya, wherever I am, there she gotta be! But she has learned not to move too quickly; it's funny! She used to jump every time I moved, but now she's got it figured out that 9 times out of 10, if she chills out and waits a few minutes, I come right back to where I left her - and even though she doesn't move, when I reappear, her head is upright and looking expectantly for my arrival - and she sleeps on the rug near the apartment door waiting for me to return to say welcome home. We play hide-and-seek, too. Most of the time I get her...lol...but the other day she surprised the daylights out of me and GOT ME! I stood in the hallway laughing my tail off; it was too funny. She is always doing her little Halloween cat dance up to me when she wants to play. She'll bounce from the floor to the chair next to my desk. Pause on the arm of the chair with her hair-raising pose, and then pounce up onto the corner of my desk to the right of my laptop and, ears flat against her head freeze-frame - staring me down. I just look at her and say, "Who do you think you're talking to?" *lol* and she'll fly off the corner of the desk and race out of the room, down the hallway - for a minute. *lol* Then she's back again; tempting me to chase after her. And I actually do sometimes. Don't want any hidden cameras catching that action! *lol* OMG... I was told by her namesake that the name Sakinah means peace and tranquility...but I wondered why my Egyptian friends' eyes would pop when I shared the name with them...turns out that in Egypt there is a famous mass-murderer who's name was SAKINAH! Well...my intentions were good!!!

FYI...about a month into this relationship...*lol*...I discovered that Sakinah is a BOY! And that's the end of THIS cat tale! *lol* Ma'Salaama! `Aishah