Monday, 15 March 2010

Dispatches - Children of Gaza

Catch it on 4OD if you missed it. Innocent souls whose eyes speak throught the lens of the camera, volumes more than we could ever articulate. I feel like there’s no point writing a narrative or review of the programme, I don’t feel I could ever justify it. The relentless cycle of violence, and what these children have seen and suffered. Fathers shot at the their doorstep, a nine year old boy bombed in his own home, a girl living iwht pieces of shrapnel in her brain…children living and leanring about life and the world in what could be the hrashest, cruellest way. What could hurt more, what could be worse. The anguish and fear we could only imagine, what our tv screens decide to tell us.

Beauty and survival. Pain and torture. Hope and fear. Makes me feel small and insignificant, my problems aren’t problems. And I can change the channel and watch Glee or Friends and forget, but that is their reality. That revenge they want to take, that eace they want to make, its justified and its real and its true.

And us? We are still sleeping and Gaza still burns.

On no soul doth Allah Place a burden greater than it can bear – [Quran 2:286]

Part 7

I just spoke for the longest time today. Apart from when I was teaching, and I had to force myself and put on a bit of an act. although it was nice to tell someone about yesterday, and they had genuine concern and hoped it went well. I feel quite glad and I’m happy I spoke to her, a nice friend, and now I feel like I can write this.

Got back late last night and felt…overwhelmed and numb. If that’s possible. The conversations, deep and meaningful and analytical, the questions and the answers in the car of course added to this, but they needed to be had, and I’m really glad for it. When we got home, I felt so tired, and emotionally drained. Every bit of me ached, and I couldn’t wait to sleep. Sleeping was good.

Ok so now my line manager came in to my room and asked how it all went. Weird. Apparently everyone’s been asking how I am, if I’m ok. That’s really sweet. Again, had to force myself to speak to tell her about yesterday, but again its making me write so that’s a good thing. I feel quite humbled. Feeling a bit strange and overwhelmed…I do have some breathing space now though which is good. And shell shocked. She nailed it.

People have been asking me how it went, and honestly, I don’t know. As in, we went, it was nice, everyone chatted and got on, and chilled and ate and had dessert and tea and made jokes, but I don’t know how I actually feel about it. Which is quite worrying. I should be relieved, or happy or something. Maybe it was the dreams I had last night.

And now I’m really regretting not going to the airport to drop my parents off.

Foreboding, apprehension, unease, anxiety, discomfort…I can’t think of the right word to describe the feeling lodged in my gut, right by my diaphragm, and deep in my chest too.

So we got there, me cradling the orchids like a baby, and went in, said our salaams, and sat down. Felt so strange being there, a few awkward silences, and then people coming in and being introduced. The kids came in, or were sent in, one by one, and did their rounds of shaking hands and saying salaam, which is always a cute ice breaker. I was feeling so hot with my coat and big woolly scarf on so took them off awkwardly and tried to fold them in a ladylike way across my lap. He kept looking at me, and I tried to ignore him, averting my gaze. Stop looking at me! Could feel his eyes on me. Why is he wearing that shirt? You should dressjust a little bit more like your brother, haha.

Mum and I went into the next room as we needed to pray. As we finished, his little sister, the youngest and favourite, came in, so we said salaam and introduced ourselves. And sat and chatted for a while. Very nice and friendly. Actually, really nice, warm and welcoming. Couldn’t fault a thing. Or ask for more. So why do I feel like this. Have things concluded one way subconsciously in my own mind?

So anyway, chit chat, chit, chat, and it was food time. I thought we would all eat together, but it was meant to be us, and some of them. When I said, lets eat together, it was misunderstood as lets us girls eat together. That’s not what I meant. I meant everyone. So it ended up the men eating first and then the women. Which is annoying but anyways.

His brother was cool, making jokes and taking the mick. Made things more relaxed and chilled and I prefer it that way then all quiet and formal.

This is still so strange. And I missed asr today, not good :-(  Writing this in bits, it feels like last night’s dreams are haunting me, and determining my percpetions and judgements and emotions. The one where I was with a friend of a cousin or something. And the one where we were both in the same place, at the same time, but not together. And there is an empty set next to me, only I have to text him to tell him this. And then it ended. I don’t know.

Eating together, dessert together, the men went off somewhere for a walk, so we had tea and chilled, watched the kids. Then the boys came back, and we sat together and chatted. It was nice. But it was the first full meeting so of course everyone was on their best behaviour. Including myself. And he would talk to me, and I would side step, and again, avert. You look yummy when noone is looking, and me trying to ignore and send evils at the same time. A short question, don’t talk to me. A poke when nobody was looking.

Uuurrrgghhhh why am I feeling these reservations? Is it because I know that I wont fit in? That I won’t blend and bend to be what may be expected of me? That I cant do it? That if I change myself, for that purpose, then I won’t be me anymore. Then you may as well order something and have it sent over on PIA, or go and pick it up yourself. Why me? What is it about me that you want, or like, or more importantly, expect? And what if I cant fulfill those expectations? What if you cant fulfill mine? And then what? Emotional attachment and physical attraction and all the swooning? Where do we put that and what do we do with it. I want to be with you becuase i want to be with you. Not becuause I dont want to be alone.

I need to sleep on this. I need to pray some more. Life was easier when it was all about the swooning.

“… Only in the remembrance of Allah can the heart find peace.” (Qur’an, 13:28)
I feel really, really weird. I’m not sure how to explain it. Kind of like a bad mood, but more out of sorts. Nothing is satisfying me and I have a lot of questions in my mind, all unanswered. I don’t know if I’m angry, or upset, or annoyed. Perhaps subdued, pensive. One person said to me I seem very reflective. I think perhaps today should be spent with me. I’ve already inflicted this upon the kids today, negatively, and it wasn’t even their fault. As a consequence, my lessons didn’t go as well as they could have. My year 11s took the mick, miss you’re on form today, but that’s ok I don’t mind that. We have that sort of relationship where we can make fun of each other.

Another thing, my prayer mat has gone missing from my room when I was off sick – what is that all about?! It was in a cupboard as well.

Anyway, I think I may be overwhelmed. Or a bit numb from yesterday. And then with the parental unit leaving today and leaving me and my brother to it for two weeks; it does give a lot of supposed time to think and question and look for answers and the sort, but I know it’ll fly by and culminate in me being none the wiser. I also have to take care of everything, as well as stress at work, which is a bit daunting. Domestic goddess I am not.

Daunting. That’s how I’m finding this all. The conversations that are to be had and the questions to be asked and answered and considered, and the views and opinions and feeling and anxieties and doubts to be aired and vocalised. Honesty and tact. Much required, also time. And the future and the decisions, and all that depends on it and vice versa.

Am I the right person?
Are you?
Does it make sense?

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

I Love My Mum

Being ill is weird. I’m the sort of person who needs loads of sympathy and TLC; anything less gets me annoyed and angry. However, when others are ill, and yes depending on who they are, I try to keep away from them and ask them not to breathe on me. Yes, mean I know.
I’m currently undergoing a serious case of flu and in need of cheering up. My mum just did an amazing job. Two days off work and I don’t know if I’ll be able to go in tomorrow. I want to, even though it’s a really busy five period day. I’ve even missed Wednesday night, and I love, live for, Wednesday nights. Was just feeling too weak. Am surprised I can sit and write this, have been feeling so out of it, so physically weak.

But being ill has its advantages; you have an excuse for everything, you are meant to sleep loads and loads, and you generally take a break from busy day to day life. But this type of taking a break doesn’t mean you can go out and catch up with friends and sort things out, it’s more of a hibernate from the world break. Which is sometimes required. And when you do go back to work, you realise that the world carried on without you, and you really shouldn’t have worried so much. Your students asked where you were, you missed a couple of meetings and are a few lessons behind (you also missed some deadlines – oops) but that’s pretty much it.

And being this ill doesn’t happen often, twice a year for me; near the beginning and near the end, discounting the awful hayfever in between. And it does make you appreciate things, like work, and friends, and day to day life, and being up and about and stuff. Your health.

Ok, so I guess that’s why I’m writing this. If I can go into work tomorrow, I will. And I’ll pick up from where I left off, and catch up, and try to find all the stuff that’s been nicked from my desk. And If I can go into work tomorrow, I won’t. I’ll rest, and I’ll read if I can, and watch TV/films if I can, and try and get better.

I need to go and wash my hair, but don’t even feel like I have the energy for that right now. Sympathy..?

Monday, 8 March 2010

Part 6

Don’t ever stop these things you do, don’t ever become boring. Don’t stop being you. Like these bright pink nails and stuff. The crazy things you do. Don’t think you have to leave parts of yourself to be the perfect daughter-in-law. Do these nutty things you do from time to time, and they’ll get used to it. It’ll be like, ahh she’s a bit mental, but its ok, and that’s it.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

I'm Too Young, Part 5.

How do you tell a guy you don’t want to live with his parents? That yes, you can’t wait to live with him, marry him, be more than his girlfriend, but that the thought of living with his parents makes you want to book the first seat out of Heathrow and fly as far away as your plastic allows you. How do you tell him, that it’s not just his parents you don’t want to live with, but anyone’s parents. That as much as you love and care for them, you’re even looking forward to not living with your own parents any more.

What is it with this Asian culture. It’s not a Muslim thing, it’s an Asian sub continent thing. And for some reason, it seems to have seeped into our generation. Well, the male members of it anyway. Yes, there are financial constraints, and yes, there are concerns about looking after elderly parents. But till they need us to look after them, surely they value their no-need-of dependence-yet state of life.

I’m sure that, back in the sub continent, or east Africa, or where ever this derived form and is practiced, it worked, because that was society and that was the context and it was done for a reason. But you can’t apply every tradition to every context; it just won’t work like that. Times are different, people are different, society is different, even hopes and dreams and aspirations are different. Children are raised differently and even the roles of men and women have altered and changed somewhat. Many friends have entered into this living with the in laws thing, not one has had no problems, not one is 100% happy.

And yes, no marriage or relationship is going to be perfect, it’s all going to be hard and a test and involve sacrifice, why make it even harder, why put extra stress and strain on everything?

Take an adult, a grown up in their own right with their own career, and ask them to live under the roof of another family, follow their rules, regulations and practices, sacrifice parts of who they are, and do the best they can. Who would willingly do this? Then throw in the person they’ve fallen for in to the mix, and the conundrum arises. Still, do you go for it? Knowing that you would have to quell and sacrifice parts of who you are, your being and your nature, to please the people you live with. Even though those parts of your being and nature were the very things that made said person fall for you. Then what happens to your relationship, your marriage?

Culture is a beautiful thing; it informs us of our identity, gives us tradition and belonging, fills life with colour and music and clothes and food, zest and family and spice and love. But it’s not all lovely and perfect, it has constraints and conditions too. Will it cage in my free spirit, my tendency to fly and sporadic bouts if impulsive spontaneity. My independence – what attracted you to me. Or do we consolidate what we know, mix it up with the best bits of cultures we are from and have grown into, amalgamate the best of both worlds the best we can, and create a better future, a better culture for our children, whilst maintaining our spirit, our identity and our roots. Finding the balance and getting it right somehow.

Free spirit culture cage.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

The Project Manager (Architect)

Me and dad measured my nose. its 40mm from bridge to tip, 30mm from upper lip to tip, 30mm from side (nostril) to tip and 25mm from nostril to nostril.

We're weird like that.

(Dad had his measuring tape out for some sort of work he was doing. When I came downstairs, and he had it in his hands finishing off what he was doing.)

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Liza Garza, Warsan Shire, Talented Women, Word.

This woman is amazing, so talented and beautiful, I love her. I’ve pasted some of her stuff below without changing anything at all. She’s articulated some of my thoughts and feelings for me.
Her blog can be found at

Posted in 1 on February 27, 2010 by lizagarza

im tryin to get
to know me in front of you
please close your eyes tight

Posted in 1 on February 27, 2010 by lizagarza
i give thanks for my parents. who have stood by my side when i made standing near me impossible…they have shown me love in ways i seek to return and to pass on to my children…

i give thanks for the lil things that bring me so much joy it makes my belly hurt… literally…watchin my daughter learn where he nose is…hearin my sons make new music…or even from a distance seein them confide in eachother…learning how to perfect their lives…and there selves…

i give thanks for my companions…who are truthful and sincere…and beautiful reflections of light…

i give thanks for the remembrance of GOD…for the ease that this brings me and the desire to remember…

ask yourself what is your purpose…what is your mission and are you fulfilling it…are you staying true to your path and surrounded by those who will call you to it…

i once heard a quote that i wish i would remember more ”doubt your doubts believe you beliefs”…hold to this with me…

and begin new….in loving and taking every moment and giving it its right…

live now.

love now…

day2. (5daycommitment)
Posted in 1 on February 21, 2010 by lizagarza
secrets held so solemn even we forget there meaning
lest we forget our lives

lest we forget our soul

lest we forget our passsions

lest we forget our treasures…hidden in heaven…where dust can not reside…where our fears could never hide…and our lusts become lost never to be found again…i swear ive seen my soul ascend. pastures of pleasure…

if i could only remember while i am forgetting the sins that were inscribed upon me…the burden removed from me…i would be a better woman…i could be a better servant but how soon i sully myself…choosing scabs and scars…blood and bruises….as my beauty marks…ive lost the part of me…that keeps me balanced…i hold me silent when i should be screaming…i hold me hostile when i should be loving…i hold me softly when i should be fighting…as if this were my last breath…as if this was my last test…my first truth…seems like it is now a distant friend…who seldom thinks of me…never dreams of me…and has lost any sweet desire to hold my presence…hold me present…in thought…or…person…

im passing…barely…and proving…less worthy…less holy…less wholesome…like the stories that fall from my mothers lips…how her beauty makes them so lovely…

so sacred…so solemn we hold our secret…even we forget their meaning…

day1. (5daycommitment)
Posted in 1 on February 20, 2010 by lizagarza

certain days i tend to agree with all that is good and pure and rich and worthy

and i welcome light as it were a lil child or a royal king a crown to place upon my forehead lightly touched with riches unmeasurable unleashed and unexpected undenied and awaitin glory and grace. i have found my self in my self in His self so precious and precise practicing patience holding to my virtue trustin in my honor and yet i am still and sinner my soul singin of songs too ugly to be unvieled for by the grace of my lord i am still loved and worthy to be hidden from the frowns of my enemies and of my loved ones…i have loved one man more then my mind can contain…more then i knew… i could not claim none of myself from that day forward….from that day backward i wonder where she went…and who she took with her…if i could time travel and tune in to visit a woman i know i must have loved…but too soon forgotten…too soon…it rottens like fruit in a dark damp place…lost life in a dark damp place…where the dry seeds also sprout…where we lose all doubt because we are left with no other option…. irresistible certainty…circling like spirit anointed doves…divine and designed for you to relax and reflect on love…in love…in awe…in God…

I also love Warsan Shire. It’s scary how talented someone so young can be. But I guess we are blessed in different ways. Is it bad to be jealous of someone’s talent?! Hehe. I think it is. Beautiful. This girl has a way with words like no one I’ve seen before.

Her blog can be found at

I love writing and wish I could do it more often. I don’t know if I’ve got a talent (I got out of practice after primary school – says a lot for our wonderful educational system doesn’t it – haha)I’d like a creative project or something, something with a bit of direction to which I can channel my words. Although I also love the freedom of just being able to write and type my words and sentences and thoughts and feelings. I’m going to think of some things. I’ve got some really creative and talented friends, I’m going to ask them about project ideas.

was just thinking about you, saw a beautiful pic of a hijabi on Sartorialist and it made me want to take pictures of you. Your smile is more beautiful than hers

scroll down a bit.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

I am Able, Gifted and Talented

I feel rather empowered. Confident and sure of myself, my capabilities, my potential. I am proud of myself. I feel like I am a professional in my own right. This feeling is fleeting, and too few and far in between life as we know it, so I am going to bask, and glow, and make the most of it. Life will be back to same old same old by tomorrow, but till then, I’m enjoying this. And I am going to be grateful for it.
There was a position going for the post of AGT coordinator. That basically means sorting out the provision for students who are exceptionally talented in any area of school, any subject. The role itself involves a lot; it’s a whole school responsibility. I could go on about the role but I’m just going to paste the job description here:

• Audit current levels of provision for G&T within the school and develop strategies for improvement;
• Maintain a register of able, gifted and talented pupils within the school and update biannually;
• Identify and disseminate good practice in developing the abilities of able, gifted and talented pupils;
• Keep abreast of new resources and initiative developments for G&T students and disseminate this information to Heads of Faculty/Heads of Department;
• Act at the “champion” of able, gifted and talented pupils within the school by creating and sustaining positive attitudes towards them and ensuring that provision for able, gifted and talented pupils is kept at the heart of the school’s agenda for developing learning and teaching;
• Work alongside the SLT line manager for G&T to ensure appropriate Borough and DCSF documentation is produced on time

As you can see, dear anonymous cyber reader if you are indeed there, it’s rather quite extensive. Almost like a head of faculty role I’ve been told. And this is the second version – nobody applied for the first as it was too much work. I even told a member of SLT that I thought so, and it was then that they reduced it. Nay, not reduced, more of a condensation, or summarization if you like. English is my subject and I’m a smarty-pants, so I know these things. Ha.

So I went for it, and the interview was ok…some of my answers got a hmm and some got a big grin. When I asked them my questions, turned out hardly any timetable allocation was being made, no training, no negotiating on the (pitiful, sorry lowest) TLR and a start on Monday. Monday! The interview was on Thursday! They asked me if I were offered the role would I accept, and I replied saying I needed some time to consider it. I was then told then I had to decide there and then, as the decision was to be made that evening. I then graciously and politely as I could said that I think it’s an amazing role and opportunity, but without the adequate time table allocation I wouldn't be able to perform the job to the best of my ability, and feeling about it as I do (I do genuinely think it’s a really important and much required role) I thank you for your time but am withdrawing my application. There was some silence and then conversation started up again, and I was told I’d still get feedback on my interview performance, which will probably happen next week.

Basically, it’s a massive role. Anyone who works in a school, or education, will know this. They are not valuing it, or the person doing it, as they should. It’s the same TLR I am on now, but it’s a whole school responsibility. My responsibility is only faculty based at the moment. It’s not just about the money though. How cans someone do such a huge role with no training whatsoever, and start in two days?! And time allocation – it wouldn’t have been instead of what I do now, it’s would have been on top of everything. So I withdrew and it felt great! If you can’t recognize my worth, or those of the students, then I will, they at least deserve better than that. And this is in no way a downer on the person who got the job – all the best to you, and I mean that sincerely.

During the interview I was asked about my ideas for raising the profile of AGT students, and as I reeled them off, you could see one of the interviewer’s eyebrows rising higher and higher, and smile getting wider and wider. Now I know I won’t be getting any credit for these ideas, but that’s ok. I do feel sorry for the poor sod who will actually have to realize them; great as they were, they were also a lot of hard work!

I have been thinking about my career recently – where I want it to go, how long for, if I should move schools, if I should change altogether, if I should pack up and travel around the world…inshallah. Starting back at the bottom of another career wouldn’t be that bad cos I’m still young, but it’s the decision making and stability and the rest of it. Here’s a little quote from a speech in the film Coach Carter, cheesy but you gotta love it. Must always be positive.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I'd also quite like someone to revamp this blog for me and make it look cool and pretty and orange-tree reflective...any takers?!

The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried

“Yearning for Allah and His meeting is like the gentle breeze blowing upon the heart, extinguishing the blaze of the Dunya. Whosoever caused his heart to settle with his Lord shall be in a state, calm and tranquility, and whosoever sent it amongst the people shall be disturbed and excessively perturbed.” - Ibn al Qayyim al Jawziyyah

On the authority of Abdullah bin Abbas, who said: One day I was behind the prophet and he said to me: “Young man, I shall teach you some words [of advice]: Be mindful of Allah, and Allah will protect you. Be mindful of Allah, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of Allah; if you seek help, seek help of Allah. Know that if the Nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that Allah had already prescribed for you, and that if they gather together to harm you with anything, they would harm you only with something Allah had already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried.”

Narrated by Tirmithi,

In a version other than that of Tirmithi it reads:

“..Be mindful of Allah, you will find Him before you. Get to know Allah in prosperity and He will know you in adversity. Know that what has passed you by was not going to befall you; and that what has befallen you was not going to pass you by. And know that victory comes with patience, relief with affliction, and ease with hardship.”


This is from an email sent to me about a talk on geometry. I wasn’t able to attend :( but I have been fortunate enough to see the amazing artform in themost majestic of places. It can take you to another level.

Geometric patterning can be seen within the artistic traditions of many cultures throughout history though it is the Islamic artisans who have been particularly prolific in this area of creativity. The fountains of Fez, the Jali panels of South Asia and mosques the world over all sing in one harmonious voice of praise unto the Creator whose own creativity surrounds us to the north, south, east and west as well as above us and below.

Geometry speaks to us at a deeper level which is most consciously experienced as a sense of awe from beholding the transcendent beauty of sacred art but mystics from many different religious traditions have also used geometry as a symbolic language to express profound spiritual meaning. The centre of a circle is a 'hidden' point which is reflected outwardly by the 'revealed' visible circumference that circumscribes it. In this way we are reminded of the 'hidden' Creator and the 'revealed' creation along with the Hadith Qudsi "I was a hidden treasure and I loved to be known, so I created the universe".

Calligraphy and art, pens and paper.

Ink and knowledge, brushes and colour.

Create of what your Lord has bestowed, realize in awe, the beauty within.

Be not scared of light. Be not afraid of your own potential.

(I wanted to add some pics but its not letting me :( not that technologically talented)

Friday, 19 February 2010

Photos and Cupcakes

Your hand, as it searches for mine,
Its gentle roughness, holding me tight.
The warmth of your breath, skimming my skin,
Your eyes, on me, on mine, all night.
Time freezes,
But the beat drops, and we sway,
Uncontrollable, holding it down.
Holding myself, your arms around me.
Dreams, sighs, glances, brush past me and through me,
And your hand is there, searching for mine.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010



Breathe. Breathe. Sleep without sleeping. Be calm. Do your best and the rest is out of your hands. Breathe.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Part 4.

I'm too young to get married.
The snow came down again, hard and fast. Thick and cold. Harsh. I made myself walk face up, looking at the world. Let the snow settle on my face, let the cold sting my skin. Cold as sharp as ice. Sometimes I forgot and looked down, but I made myself look up as I walked. My woolly scarf protected what it could. Eyelashes glitter with snow flakes, my black coat turned white.

I made it to my car.

By the time I was home, the snow had stopped.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Can You Meet Me Halfway (I'm Too Young to Get Married Part 3)

So what’s the deal with relationships? Family, or friendships, or colleagues or neighbors or acquaintances or friends of friends and their halves and etc etc. and then that one big relationship. This two way thing. This thing where it’s not just about you anymore. There’s someone else there; there with their own mood, their own temperament, their own thoughts and feelings and ways and means. What happened to me, myself and I? Where your whims and desires were catered for? Where your mood dictated the day, and vice versa. Now there are two. And whenever there is more than one, there will be politics. Catering to that, and remembering that, and thinking not just of yourself. Responsibilities are now more concentrated, more intent, simply because there is someone else to think about, and it’s not just about you anymore. Sometimes, this is why we are single for so long. Cos it can just get well long. Especially when your heart is in it too. Everything else is easy.

And the mood thing, when you have to tailor your mood to the other mood. You can’t be quiet, just. You can’t be moody, just. Your moods can directly or indirectly affect the other mood. And it can be positive or it can be negative. And one can bounce off the other, and rebound, and hit back again. Sometimes you can’t even be tired. It’s not a Hollywood romcom or a bollywood love story, its real life.

I’m not talkative. Or chatty. Or full of conversation and things to say. I’m just not. I’m not empty either, it’s all inside. Introverted and internalized. Its jut the way I am, the way I have had to be. And now to de-programme myself, to take a 180 degree turn, is not easy; to be open and readable and vocal and it may not happen. And then what? Will you get tired? Will you turn away?

And when we get closer, both emotionally and physically and mentally, where are you? Are you still in your space, or are you in mine? Or have we crossed the line that defined space and time? That line, metaphorical as it may be, changes in shape, in size, its hues and nuances of strength and forbearance. Where am I now? Pulling me closer and pushing me away. Pulling you closer and pushing you away. The walls and the borders are crumbling slowly, bit by bit. But that push strengthens them, build them up again. Perhaps they may be easier to break down again, as it’s just been done, or perhaps it’ll be even harder, as they have just been reinforced.

Meet me halfway, right at the borderline

That's where I’m gonna wait, for you
I'll be lookin out, night n'day

Took my heart to the limit, and this is where I’ll stay
I can't go any further then this
I want you so bad it's my only wish

Friday, 5 February 2010

Good Lovin'

"When the energy is right the universe conspires in your favour."

And it’s all about the Galaxy Cookie Crumble. Oh yes. I’m not one for advertising, but... Ooooh yes. You need this in your life. Have it with chai latte (Nero) after Nando’s, which you also need in your life. Thank God :-)

Rock All Day
It makes me feel good.

When the beat drops, and your bones feel the vibe, shaking like the walls are closing in. alone in your room, or down in the middle of a heaving dance floor. Centre stage or underground basement, it makes me feel good.

I wish there was the perfect school/college. It would be so damn cool. Firstly it’d start quite late, like around 10. How sweet. And then finish at around 3 or 4. But of course, there are gaps in between and the timetable is more like a university one than a school one. So classes would consist of dance – hip-hop/street/belly/Latin/bollywood/etc. and you can choose whichever type you want. You could even choose all of them. Then there would be the other type of creative ones – art, design, graphics, etc. within which you u specialize, so I might take courses for Islamic calligraphy, geometry, ceramics, textiles, theatre, photography, etc, etc. and then there are history, language and literature classes, and you can study any area of them that you want, like I might choose Islamic history, Persian, African, and Indian history, Arabic, French, Mandarin, etc etc. And then you could even choose to teach some classes/courses (think I might go for the academic ones, cos I know I can do it!)

And the building would just be amazing, nice and airy and light and comfortable. And there’s a nap room. And a really good canteen which isn’t expensive. And the best library/IT facilities. And a really nice gym too.

The students and staff would be from all over the world, but have an understanding of the greatness of London. And holidays would be long enough to travel for lengthy amounts of time without paying premium peak rate prices. Obviously.

There’d be recreational programmes where you can do crazy ass things like sky diving and also stuff where you choose an area of society to volunteer for / do some community or charity work. And there’d be a media suite, with a radio station and other such hotness. Like Outlandish. <3

That’d be too cool (for school).

Attacks on British Muslims are being brushed under the carpet | Left Foot Forward

Attacks on British Muslims are being brushed under the carpet Left Foot Forward

Some interesting points and quotes in this article.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

A Fall from Grace

Well not grace so much, more of a fall from 5 foot five height of my getting-more-generous frame above pavement level. Let’s make it 5 foot 6 with shoes. Icy and cold, sunny but crisp, thinking of the day ahead on a Monday morning walking into work, avoiding the ice, when woosh…one swift motion and one fell swoop, a sudden movement and…ok that’s weird. How come the ground is now rushing towards my face so quickly? And why is everything all lopsided? And what…oh right, I’ve slipped and am falling and its going quickly and don’t quite know how to stop this and. Pain. As my hands hit the concrete and take the full force of my body weight. As do my knees. And the shame of falling over in the street. And you get up, wincing, and try to pull yourself together, and check you’re ok. Hands, no cuts. Left leg, ok. Right leg, ok but no wait, a massive rip in my trousers, a huge gash in my skin and immense pain. I couldn’t care less about my knees but ripped trousers. On a school day, on a Monday morning. And my new favourite trousers. And boots scuffed. And I had plans that night. And I had hairy legs. The tears nearly came but I fought them back.

Thank God none of the kids saw.

So off I go, to the medical room, and get my knee seen to. And then off I go to the textiles room, and get my trousers seen to. Thank god for that. And then I get myself chocolate.

And now it’s all bloody and painful and gross, and really quite deep. And I can’t put any weight on it so I have to pray sitting on a chair which makes me feel like a little old lady. Moan, whinge and groan.

I seem to fall over and hurt myself more now then I did when I was a kid.

I Am Yusuf and This Is My Brother

Amazing and beautiful. A stunning play with a poetic script. I strongly recommend this to you. You will fall in love, and you will understand. Somewhat.

Symbolic of so much with so little.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Common - the 6th sense

Was listening to it recently and the below lyrics reminded me of you

I just want to innovate and stimulate minds
Travel the world and penetrate the times

Escape through rhythms in search of peace and wisdom

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

I'm Too Young To Get Married 2

I can't believe it all happened, and quite smoothly. The food was gorgeous (of course it was) and even dessert was a hit. The channa went so wrong, but nobody knows its my fault so that’s ok. There was talking, conversation, and amiable laughing, and survival. Before I was freaking out. Like, freakkkkkkkkkkkiiinnngggggggg ouuttttttttttttttttttttt. Mini palpitations et al. so nervous. But there was reciprocation and good news reports and feedback. Alhamdulillah.

So I thought its time to rest, to chill and be peaceful for a while. But no, they want to drive drive drive forward. Ask ask ask when I’m so tired after a long day, all I want to do is nothing. Literally, nothing. I couldn’t be more grateful, yet I don’t have the patience to explain properly, nor make them understand. Its no mahusive big deal, well kinda...ok its not disproportionally unfair by any means...but sigh nonetheless. Even writing this = physically painful.
I just want time, to breathe, to see, to pray, to think, to know. And then to feel.

Is that selfish?

I can see their reasons though.

So much has happened in the past few weeks / days, and I just want to slow down, just for a bit. But I don’t know if the guardians will get that. I don’t think they will. They said we are a nice family, and that they liked me. And other nice stuff too. They were nice as well. Very sweet. Yes there are reservations, but they are reserved for another post.

Wow, kinda can’t believe it all. Alhamdulillah. And dinner yesterday was so nice. Aww.

In other news, was pre approved again (twice) and was actually even pre approved by the bank for a platinum credit card. Haha. If only the rest of life was so easy!

Wings were made for flying right?

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Muslim Driving School

WTF?! Like seriously? Are you actually serious? On prime time BBC2 on a Tuesday evening? A TV programme about Muslims learning and teaching to drive. Bloody hell.

Are we that marginalized that a special series has to be made about us in cars? Cos we aren’t normal are we. I mean, pirates on ships and terrorists on planes, but now we are learning to drive? What is going on?

Imagine if there was a programme called Jewish driving school, or black driving school. Wouldn’t that make for interesting news press and various court cases. But that’s ok you see, cos us Muslims, we’re not normal people or anything, we don’t contribute to society or talk to people or live and work and go to school with others. So we have a special programme made all about us learning to drive. Fricking heck.

Shylock comes to mind:

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses,
affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same
weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same
means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as
a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us
do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you
wrong us shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest,
we will resemble you in that.

But anyways, reservations, and initial disgust aside, curiosity enticed me to watch. I’d missed the first one and missed it from iplayer as well, so this was the second. And to be honest, it wasn’t all that bad. But I still feel my opening rant is totally justified. It showed Muslims learning to drive, and Muslims teaching others (Muslims) to drive (cos we can’t learn or teach from others now can we) in up north cities of Bradford and Burnley. So the context is different to what us southerners know and rightfully snobbily love here in London.

The programme focused on the stereotypes – oh joy. Recent immigrants who had settled here, young girls and forced marriage and looking for freedom, and the grandmother who has been here since she was 13 but still can’t speak English as one would expect. Or maybe it was that terrible northern accent. Haha. Yes I am in full snob mode and my mood dissuades me from being even one bit apologetic.

But it wasn’t all that bad. It was actually quite funny in places. It’s true that a lot of Muslim women prefer to learn from another female. That’s fine. But all the stories about arranged and forced marriages came out and led a lot of the narrative. Which yes is interesting. Cos that what we do – get married. And have babies. And then they get married. And have babies. And then we take over the world. Ha.

Ok, so we have the story of a husband and wife team who had set up a successful driving school, a divorced 18 year old finding her feet and looking for independence, the grandmother who runs the house and is now taking over her husband’s role as well. As the stereotypes became individual, it became more personal, and the stories became individuals. Funny, interesting, heartwarming, yes. But there’s something still unnerving about the whole concept. The other; the alien, the foreign…oooh lets see what they manage to do next.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

This was written a while ago.

You’ve made me fall for you. Or maybe you haven’t done it on purpose, but I have. This wasn’t meant to happen. I find myself on somewhat familiar looking but completely new ground. You have made me trust you; more than I ever thought I would again. I’m not quite sure what all this means, but I these words don’t turn into actions, if these promises aren’t fulfilled, I’m not quite sure how my body will take it, or how my temperament will react. Or if it will all just go numb, and on complete and utter lockdown. I’ve tried to hold up, I’ve tried to resist, but I’m too much of an open book at times, too see through. This wasn’t meant to happen. Not for a while yet. Don’t make me promises that you don’t know you can definitely keep. Don’t make me, or make yourself, believe in things that may not be 100% real. Yes, things are going to be hard and trying and testing, but let them be. Till words turn into actions, real actions, I don’t want to think about that stuff. All the stuff you say, all the things you promise, make them real for me, make them true and everlasting. Or don’t say it will happen, say you will do your best and try.


Earthquake and death and destruction and devastation. When things like this happen, I normally pay attention to the news, to the net, to general relief work and what’s happening. But this time, I don’t know, I seem to have shied away from it. The blood, the carnage and the pain. Is it too much or do I just not know how to react anymore. The feeling of helplessness and not being able to make a difference. I will donate, but is that all I can do? Is that all we can do? Charities and relief workers are on the ground, yet a headline I caught announced that Haiti is still in desperate need of international help. So what else. Will the people like you and me be left to their own resources, or complete lack thereof, to rebuild their lives and put together some semblance of reality or conventional normality? All with dealing with the grief of losing loved ones.

Having pizza with a best friend yesterday, BBC News was playing on the flat screen. Like the tsunami, earth quakes of Pakistan and Gujarat, hurricane Katrina…all worse than a film. Ashamedly, I was glad that my back was to the screen. I looked at the plate in front of me, the scenes of people and normality around me and outside the window, and muttered Alhamdulillah under my breath, feeling it in my heart. God tests those whom he loves, and does not burden a soul with more than it can bear. And that why I’m the princess I am. Quite sad isn’t it. Quite a blessing.

When my best friend said to me yesterday, this is sad, but people die every day, in wars, in conflicts, thought hunger and famine, and nobody gives a damn. My response was that this was a natural disaster, a case of the earth and its inhabitants, and nobody has any control over this. It’s also indiscriminate; if you are in the wrong place, or country or city, at the wrong time, it really doesn’t matter how rich you are, or how much education you have, or status, or fame, or power. And consider the sheer scale of the effect, hundreds and thousands in an instant. Yes of course humans can cause the same level of destruction, and often have, but not often in one fell sweep. And in a human conflict, there will be two sides of the story (apart from maybe Palestine and some others!) and truth itself gets lost. And its continuous, what humans do, the pain and suffering they cause to other humans and the environment around them.

How can news teams reach an area but aid cant? And the same goes for human conflicts. Reports on Haiti are playing on the news right now. It can be so hard to understand.

I’m not one of those who believes that God did this because he was angry with the inhabitants of an area. It doesn’t quite convince me. Maybe it’s a reminder. Maybe it’s a test. Not just for those directly affected, but for the rest of the world. Maybe it’s something for us to question and ponder, but maybe never truly understand. We can’t even comprehend the sheer scale of it all.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

I <3 Extreme Weather = 2.5 Days off Work :)

It is not the whiteness of the snow, freshly settled,
Blanketing earth
Hiding blemishes; a new concealer,
From which we allocate and infer its purity
The lack of shade, of nuance,
Of footprints on the crunchy powder, cooling the most layered of toes,
Indenting their way and leaving their mark
To be swept away by flakes from the heavens;
Colder, cleaner, but as usinique as they are.
The cleanliness, the coldness, of soft filigree ice, fresh and new
Sullied, stained, ruined by feet,of those who tread without care, with abandon, in the pursuit of happiness.
Ice causing danger, obstacles, dilemmas,
Till the fall continues and a fresh blanket is spread, out of the wash or brand new, fluffy and clean.
Or melts away, like it was never even

Now its all about 2010 (belated x7)

A new year and a new term has started. Dont really know what to say or how I should be feeling. I normally hate new years, but seeing the fireworks was nice. I love fireworks, I think they are amazing. Although the journey home was long and fighting the experience! I also love extreme weather. This seond bout of snow has been, literally and in every sense, a god send. School closed for the rest of the week is too good. Too good! Hmm I do hope I use it wisely instead of just chilling. Yeah right. And I left all my work, guess where, at work. Oh well. I think it was on purpose/subconscious. Some things may never change.

So new year and all that. Reading a lot of people’s blogs, they were all about resolutions, new starts, the assessments of the year just ended. I decided I woudn’t write something like that, not for any reason but that I didn’t want to. But speaking to someone, although it has been a really hard year, its also been amazing one, and I have so much to be grateful for. Alhamdulillah. So here are a few of those things, in no particular order:

  • · Going back to Spain and Rosales
  • · Being proposed to by the gorgeous Morroccan Spanish Imam (no I didn’t accept, but still very noteworthy)
  • · A best friend’s wedding (although it was traumatic for me in some ways, was very happy for her)
  • · Another best friend’s wedding (such fun, and I was asked to read out a poem which I had written myself)
  • · Going to India
  • · Being set up and getting quite a few offers
  • · Getting promoted at work
  • · Going to Poland (an arduous journey but it taught me a lot)
  • · Going to Bosnia
  • · Going to Ghana
  • · Getting closure
  • · Enjoying and appreciating being single
  • · Realising and learning a lot about myself and life and people and relationships
  • · Meeting someone amazing
  • · Starting this blog
For 2010...I want to see some action. I want to be part of it and act myself. Thats pretty much it. I dont make new years resolutions or anythign like that, but someone asked my what mine was. My instant reply was to dance more, and I’m going to stick to that one.

When Allah’s grace

And mercy

Falls from above, from no where you can see.

Perches on your eye lash, sits upon your eyebrow

Brushes against your cheek and lands on your lip, cold but soft, like a kiss.

Close your eyes opening them wide,

Take in the wonder, that will melt away in moments.

Be not to harsh, nor hasty, in blinking brushing licking away a momentous blessing.

So magnanimous, it has melted away before you realise it.

Lest you not forget, nor deny the favours bestowed upon you;

The magnitude of the Magnificent

His glory evident in His beauty.