Friday, December 15, 2006

two days! only two days!

considering the fact that we have been planning for hajj since june, it seems surreal that we leave in only two days.

we are packed, it's all planned, and now we just need to leave. this week has gone by freakishly slowly. sigh.

two days before we leave, and then two days from the time we leave until the time we get there- 48 hours in transit, taking the most insane route ever. the reason for this route is another story and won't be discussed here.

no point to this post, other than to say that i doubt i will blog again until after we return. hopefully with a lot of journalling to transcribe onto this blog.

stay tuned. see you all after january 11th.

happy holidays, happy new year! i will DMY you all. remember me on arafa no din and on eid!


Monday, December 11, 2006


taher and i were at masjid on saturday night, and an unbelievable number of people came up to each of us and did a vida salaam. times like that, i feel awe at our community; these aunties and uncles have known me since i was born, and in these times of khushi, i feel like everyone's daughter. it's good to be "from" somewhere.

it was an amazing feeling, how happy everyone was for me. they were either telling me about their hajj experiences, or asking me to do dua that they too would go for hajj soon. but the way they all spoke about hajj reminded me that i am about to embark on quite a journey.

it's not just another trip. i am going to go farther than i have ever gone before, and even when i return, i will not be back where i started.


six days left

we leave for hajj in only six days. this is an incredible fact; i remember when hajj was still 7 months away, and very much abstract. a week from today, i will find myself across the world and i have no idea how it'll feel.

i have travelled across the world before, and always felt confidence. even when my destination was a country i hadn't previously visited. i knew i would get there, see things, explore, take it all in. and that is what i will do this time as well, but for some reason it is still a huge blinking question mark in my mind.


what will this be like?

my comfort is that i am going with taher. whatever unknowns hajj has in store for us, at least i'll be with my home-base. and in addition to taher we are going with people we like and trust.

just a few days ago, i was driving along, singing along with a CD (tracey, of course), and i suddenly thought how very thoroughly i would soon be lifted out of regular, daily life. i think once i am performing hajj, the thought of driving along I-90 and listening to music, watching snow blow across the highway in front of me will seem completely alien. hard to imagine that which i take for granted seeming utterly out of place.

i guess that happened to some degree when i lived in egypt; i would imagine returning to chicago and it would seem so distant and so different than what i was living at the time, that i couldn't quite believe that chicago was actually my permanent reality.

i can only wait and see. i find myself more nervous, but also more excited, as sunday the 17th draws near.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006


in the past two weeks, as hajj approaches, some of our family and closer friends have been stopping by or having us over, to give us hajj salaams. taher and i are new to this tradition; apparently it's an old one, and our parents knew about it, but we were surprised when people starting doing it for us.

it's a pretty incredible tradition. when we were in san francisco, tubby bhai and maleka did it for us and we thought it was amazingly thoughtful. and then we came to chicago and some good friends did it. and my brother and some of my family. and others have said they want to make a point of doing it before we leave.

basically, the point of all this is that i feel very supported by the people who have made the effort to do this. it is not at all about the salaam itself, as we keep telling people when we try to refuse the cover and just accept the wishes. people are making individual efforts to wish us well, and they should know they will be remembered in our dua when we finally begin our hajj.


Friday, December 01, 2006

that doesn't look like 9 inches


the forecase said we'd have 6 to 9 inches on the ground by this morning, but it looks more like 2 or 3. no biggie, but it definitely broadcasts the fact that winter is here.

it's beginning to look a lot like christmas. lights and trees and sales galore!

looking out the window and seeing Grant Park covered in snow makes me feel cozy and happy. and renews my intention of staying indoors as much as possible!