Wednesday, November 29, 2006

hajj. two and a half weeks. and counting.

on december 17th, taher and i leave for hajj. december 17th is coming up quickly and i have a mix of emotions about this journey we are about to experience. our hajj sabaq has not yet commenced and as a result, i feel wholly uninformed. of course, several people who have experienced hajj have told me what to expect, but i suspect there is no real preparation for a journey this immense.

i feel lucky to be going for hajj, inshallah, at such a young age. i feel frightened that i will be swallowed up by the sea of millions and suddenly find myself lost. i feel excited that i will see the Kaba in a matter of weeks, the axis upon which all my namaz is balanced a concrete place that i can see and touch. i feel anxious that i will not remember all that i need to remember, will not pray the correct things at the correct times, will not be a perfect haji. i feel overwhelmed by the thought of having my ehram spoiled by impatience or frustration or even less-than-100%-cotton. but above all i feel that a catharsis is going to take place. that i am going to feel more spiritual than even on ashara. that i will emerge freshened and renewed and... better.

while i've been saying all along that i can't wait for hajj, suddenly it seems i don't have to wait anymore. we will be leaving in 16 days. a mere 16 days.


thanksgiving weekend

taher and i spent thanksgiving with my entire dad's side of the family. it was FUN. i see some of my aunts and uncles and cousins often, and others not so often. yet whenever i see my family members, it's a good time. i can stop at my dad's brother's house to pick something up and end up staying for an hour; it's a chat fest. and i always leave smiling.

anyway. aziz and sakina came to visit on thursday and they didn't leave until yesterday. six days! it was wonderful. i was 13 when aziz started college, and since then i have seen him infrequently and never been able to take seeing him for granted. as of next year, he will move closer to chicago and insh i will see him on a more monthly basis. nice to see your sibling often, even if he is a gruff old guy who only gives hugs when coerced into them :)

and spending six days with sakina was lovely. i knew she was a genius, but this weekend she dazzled us all. we were all constantly playing with her and watching her antics; she was the little star the entire weekend.

i read a lot of blogs this morning - post-thanksgiving posts and reasons to be thankful. i know i am not the first person to say this, but in the end it really comes down to the people in my life. family and friends. loved ones. thanks to those who participated in my weekend and made it such a blast.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

oh yeah, THAT's what life is about

taher and i were watching CSPAN the other night (for the record, this was the first time we snuggled on the couch to CSPAN, so hold your comments!) and muhammed yunus, recent nobel peace prize winner, was talking about microcredit and his vision of social responsibility.

check out this link to see what microcredit is. it's worth your time:

after watching the speech, and talking about it with taher and then my parents, i started to think about the kind of mindset that goes into creating such a simple- yet elegant- idea.

i feel that sometimes i am more caught up in the inanities of daily drama than i am in genuine introspection and the creation of ideas. i know what is most important in life, but i distract myself from that, rather than indulging in it. why is this?

some of my closest friends keep telling me to take what is important and keep it close, and let the rest- all of it- just go.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


happy birthday, mom! :)

thank you for everything, past present and future. you are a source of inspiration, guidance and companionship and i love you more than i can describe.

have a gorgeous birthday.

Monday, November 20, 2006

me and mine

i love

genuine friendships (and the people who make them possible)
my family, of course
bubble gum ice cream (but i'll settle for most flavors)
top model and gilmore girls (they're not highbrow but who really cares?)
poetry, especially victorian
giggling fits
imagining i'm in a movie and the music in my ipod is actually the soundtrack
being driven around
realizing that change is easy
being appreciated
my daily routine and its inherent flexibility
dressing comfortably
beating a deadline
lots of other things. and lots of things that aren't things at all.

leave a message

we returned from san francisco late saturday night, and by sunday the entire trip seemed like a far-off, lovely memory. as is usually the case.

we had a wonderful time- spent some days in the burbs with taher's brother and his brother's wife and kids, and spent some time in the city of SF. all of it was great. we got a lot of bonding time with the kids (two girls, 4 and 2 years old) and they made the trip so much more memorable.

however, while we were in SF i didn't really explore the city much, as i had intented to. i did see a lot of the city, but i was with company and i enjoyed that more than the city itself.

one nice thing (among many) about the trip was that we rarely found ourselves checking email or answering our cell phones. it was nice to be so unattached; that never happens in chicago. my phone was in my suitcase most of the trip, and i would answer the occasional text but not much more than that.

except a couple of very important phone conversations that i had with two of my favorite people :)

anyway, rambling aside, it was a great trip. more soon.

Friday, November 10, 2006

be sure.. to wear flowers in your hair

i love that song. and like it says, we are going to san francisco! today. i'm excited- stay tuned, i know i'll be posting. there is something about a trip that makes me more introspective. or at least more vocal about it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

without borders

today my mom leaves for yemen; a bohra medical clinic is being established there, and doctors from america are flying over to volunteer their time and efforts as the clinic becomes fully functioning.

loaded down with medical books that she will donate to the clinic, my mom leaves tonight. i am very excited for her, and know the experience will be an amazing one. however since she doesn't journal or show any interest in taking a camera, my interviewing skills will be put to the test when she comes home. i want to know as many details as she will be able to remember.

i'm proud of her initiative in going off to yemen to offer her services. it reminds me that it has been years since i have been involved in community service (with the exception of jamaat khidmat), and renews my resolve to get re-involved.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

(not much) deeper than that

"Now the years are rollin’ by me,
They are rockin’ evenly .
I am older than I once was, younger than I’ll be,
That’s not unusual.
It isn’t strange
After changes upon changes,
we are more or less the same.
After changes, we are more or less the same."

those of you who know me know that i love lyrics; i hear a new song and i immediately listen to the words and if they speak to me, if they are my kind of poetry, then i love the song.

certain songs move me so much that when i hear them, i feel intensely the inspiration in life.

these lyrics in particular- i feel as though the longer we live, the more we become ourselves. stripped of the edifice that we spend so much time putting into place.

i saw a play with my "little sister" the other night, and afterward we had a conversation about this very idea. "after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same." indeed.