Wednesday, March 29, 2006


My student friend is experiencing the stress of the looming exam and essay deadlines on top of financial difficulties… scrap that, the phrase just doesn’t do justice to her current situation… BROKE, is the word am looking for. Which unfortunetly is an all too pervasive situation for the majority of student, unless you live at home!

I sent her this text to make her feel better

“Everything we think we own, have or have earned is in fact a loan form the creator right so essentially we are all in debt.”

Although at the time I didn’t think too much upon what I was texting her, Ever since I have been up this morning I have been thinking about it, what does it actually means and if everything we have is a loan we have to account for it right!

We all know this, but how often do we think about how we spend our blessing, be it in the form of money, time, strength, intellect etc etc.. Can we account for what we did with them, how we used them, who benefited from them!

I for one most certainly can't!! And on the other hand why do we find it so difficult to ask for help from one another, shouldn’t it be a given?! Why is it that we would rather struggle alone then just say?

“Listen I am having difficulties with this are you able to help me”

But then again should we have to ask? If we claim to know someone well and we claim to love them should we not know about their situation without being told, in fact should we not offer without being asked. And why is it then when we offer help to one another we are reluctant to accept?!


I am reminded of my key ring, I see it everyday, I use it at least a couple of times a day and yet the message on it

" The messenger (SAW) of Allah; "None of you (truly) believe until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself"

Seems to have slipped from my mind, Lets getting wishing

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It's been too long

Egypt! The love of my life
I found the coolest, most amazing, most perfect way of going back to egypt! Its more then just a holiday and my parents will be so pleased if i go and study arabic rather then if i just go on "holiday" again (Calculating? well a little maybe)

Since joining the world of work, 3 months summer holidays are out and the best i could hope for is 3 week

So the search for the perfect "time out" a.ka the arabic course started. MD's contacts pointed me towards several course but i enquired about one in particular because the accommodation is a room by the sea side ( at this point i would like to stress that i really do want to learn arabic :)

I emailed the info desk and this was the email reply

"Walikum assalam
You and your friends are welcome any time
We don't mind designing a special seasonal course for you if you are 4 students in 10July to 29 with the price of US$ 470 includes EVERYTHING (classes –accommodation –trip in Cairo and Alexandria- materials –picking up from Airport- tajweed and Hifz)
The registration fees is US$30
If you interested please confirm
Qortoba Institute for Arabic Studies"

Next step was to swindle a 3 week holiday from work? i say swindle but really i was going to be a lot of begging i mean egypt, pride, egypt, pride .. EGYPT.

But i didn't need to, my boss ( who is a v cool dude) was fine with the 3 weeks because july is a quiet time. OHHHH HAPPPYYYYY DAYYYYYYssss !!


14 weeks to go!!

Saturday, March 25, 2006


My friend from university called me to say that she was expecting. Normally when I hear someone is pregnant, they are usually people who are older then me, or they are a friend of a friend or a distant relative in some far off land. Other then my sister who has given me four adorable nieces, when ever I hear someone is pregnant I go through the motions of calling them and saying congratulations but it doesn’t really touch me or move me anymore then that. It’s what other people do, its expected almost.

So when one of my closest friends who is only a year my senior calls me to tell me that she is pregnant and the baby is due in the summer! I uncharacteristically felt like crying! I was sooooo touched, my little Aysha (or sultan murad as I nicked named her) was having a baby of her own. I little life. i babbled “oh my god” “repeatedly for most of the conversation until Aysha felt the need to steer the conversation on to other safer topics, things that wouldn’t make me want to cry

I am going to see her this Friday after jummah inshallah, to have a look at the ultrasound pictures and feel her belly. Its going to be emotional am going to pack my packet of issues. This will be the first time aysha has seen me cry since the 3 years we have known each other!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


The middle of my week started with me receiving a text from one of my oldest friends telling me that her youngest brother had passed away. I was at this point walking towards my house and I stood at the gate just staring at it. You see I have not yet been touched by the death of someone close to me, not family and not friend’s alhmdulilah and this was going to be my first.

Not only was I going to be sad on behalf of shuks but I was sad on behalf of her family and more so I knew her little brother (Rahmatullah). I met him when I went to Somalia
(My first time back in 12 or so years). I spent the whole year trying to talk shuks into going the same summer, because lets face it my grasp of the Somali language was shockingly poor, my knowledge of the country was pathetic so I needed a somali friend who would hold my hand and that is just the way it turned out.

We arranged to meet up when we got their and within a week of arriving shuks being the resourceful girl that she is called my uncles house ( where we Herbi and I were staying) and we made arrangements to meet in the local souq. Only to discover after our little shopping expiation that we needed to take the same bus back. It turned out that shuks only lived a 2 minute walk away from my uncle’s house and yet we had managed to miss each other for a whole week.

Belatedly Herbi and I went to meet Shuks family and they all looked like her, Absolute stunners the whole family. Her little brother who was 8 or so at the time, was an absolute joy to know, he teased about my Somali and asked we all sorts of inquisitive and funny questioned. I loved him from the first day and when I got the text all I could picture his little smiling face so clearly (Rahmatullah)

When I called shuks she told me how about 10pm during the night she received a call to say that he had been taken to the hospital and about 8am in the morning another call to say that he had passed away and then another call after dhur to say that they had had the Jinaza prayer and had buried him. All this under 24hours, Subhanallah, this stayed with me for the rest of the week, its almost incomprehensible how in under a 24 hour period we can exist, have a presence, effects others lifes and then next we are forever gone, we cease to exist, we are just no longer a part of this world. Subhanallah

Heels why oh why??

Yesterday I did something very very very silly, I made a bet. Not for monitory or materialistic gain but just so that I could prove a point and say a big fat “I told you so to my friend”. The bet, well it was to wear girly clothes (not my words). So I came to work today dressed in what I can only describe as stereotypical girlies clothes. I even match colour wise!

But the ultimate achievement for this dare was to wear heels (I might be cheating but I dug out my only pair of heels which aren’t really heels because they are kitten heals, but they are pointy. It’s so so unnatural to force your feet into something like that.

Although am not actually wearing them. I am sat here with my socks, the kitten heels firmly under my desk, is that cheating? I am going to argue no because technically I did wear them to work am just not wearing them while at work!

Lesson learnt! Trainer, flat shoes, converse, bumps. Heels a definite no no and what is it with the matching thing? Its no time consuming I already have a lateness problem!! It looks like wearing skirts are still my biggest achievement and will hold the title for a long time to come.

I am putting the heels back on now because my argument isn’t convincing even me L

Your jotting but who is reading?!

As I sat on the bus on my way to my friend’s house I thought to myself, The Bosnia trip is rapidly approaching and I haven’t done anything to prepare for it! I dug out my writing pad and made a note on it to do some research on Bosnia.

Doing the research on Bosnia: very good idea
Noting it down on a moving, old, rickety bus : very bad idea

At this point it might be appropriate to point out that I was sat next to a man who was reading a comic (the characters I wasn’t familiar with). As I sat there scribbling notes on my pad, which was precariously balanced on my wrist as I had, two bags with me. I noticed the man who seamed engrossed in his comic moment earlier, looking at my pad and then looking away.

I smiled to myself; the man was behaving as if I was writing something worthwhile rather then just jotting down key words to do with Bosnia. Perhaps I should point out that what these words were, well here is the list

Dutch UN troops
Causes of the war
Country facts

I supposed if you see some of these words alone then your imagination has some topical words to work with. The man kept this looking, looking away behaviour up for a while till I stopped scribbling and put my pad away. After that he would look my way less frequently but still abnormally often and enough for me to contemplate turning around and asking him what was on his mind. Instead I went into my bag and text AD to let her know I was on the bus and hungry ( I wouldnt ask for anything elaborate, just her usual pasta and domino sauce, with a Somali twist, and lots of cheese mmmmmmmm!)

As I was putting my phone back in my bag, I witnessed the look, look away behaviour. Finally enough was enough so I turned to the man and asked him..wait for it

“Excuse me, I was just wondering what your comic was about, I can’t help but notice it from the corner of my eye?”

The man looked at me, puzzled I think is the best way to describe the expression on his face and then said

“Sorry I can’t really talk, am getting off at the next bus stop?”

He grabbed this belongings, stood and walked towards the driver and got off, now I might just be having a cynical moment but am convinced that it was not his intended bus stop. So what was it that offended or freaked him out so that he felt he had to almost jump off the bus! Was it my jottings, was it because I spoke to him, was it because of what I was wearing (several colours) WHAT!!

And why is it that I can’t have that effect on people at will. What if I could learn to utilise that and whenever someone really annoyed ME I could unleash whatever it was that induced that reaction and make them flea. HA HA

I think all this talk of power has gone to my head!But seriously though I would love to meet that man again and ask him what it was that made him run so ?!

Why do we do it?

10 most stupid questions people usually ask in obvious situations and some equally stupid answers,

1. At the movies: When you meet acquaintances/friends
Stupid Question:- Hey, what are you doing here?

Answer:- Well,it's so hot, there were no cool cabs so I thought i'd watch some advertisements in the cool comfort of the theatre.

2. In the bus: A fat girl wearing pointed high-heeled shoes steps on your feet
Stupid Question:- Sorry, did that hurt?

Answer:- No, not at all, I'm on local anesthesia..... why don't you try again or should i try this time.

3. At a funeral: One of the teary-eyed people ask
Stupid Question:- Why, why him, of all people.

Answer:- Why?Would it rather have been you?

4. At a restaurant: When you ask the waiter
Stupid Question:- Is the "blah blah blah" dish good.

Answer:- No, its teribble and made of adulterated cement.We occasionaly also spit in it.

5. At a family get-together.When some distant aunt meets you after years
Stupid Question:- Munna,Chickoo, you've become so big.

Answer:- Well you haven't particularly shrunk yourself.

6. When a friend announces her wedding, and you ask
Stupid Question:- Is the guy you're marrying good?

Answer:- No,he's a miserable wife-beating, insensitive's just the money.

7. When you get woken up at midnight by a phone call
Stupid Question:- Sorry. were you sleeping.

Answer:- No. I was playing cricket for India at Sharjah and just when you called Salim Malik was betting with me that Pakistan would win. What do you think?

8. When you see a friend/colleague with evidently shorter hair
Stupid Question:- Hey have you had a haircut?

Answer:- No, its autumn and I'm shedding......

9. At the dentist when he's sticking pointed objects in your mouth
Stupid Question:- Tell me if it hurts?

Answer:- And while I'm telling you , you tell me if I bite.

10. You are smoking a cigarette and a person asks
Stupid Question:- Oh, so you smoke

Answer:- No, it's a miracle... it was a chalk and now it's in flames!!!

Once again!! all credit for these funnies goes to Curly Sue

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Help from above

Sometimes events take place in which you can feel yourself being led. The presence of the almighty is so acute and so discernible that you find yourself carrying out a set of actions while being wholly aware that they are not purely yours, that there is a guiding hand steering you to a particular direction.

Lately I have had a since of being led, it started with sitting in front of my work computer one lunch time thinking to myself that I need a clear career path. I opened the postgraduate homepage of Manchester University and Flicked through the available course from A-Z. One course leapt out of the page and caught my attention.

The interesting thing about this course is that it’s not something that I would ever have envisaged doing. In fact had I only looked through the Postgraduate Psychology course available as I had intended I would never have known about it. Why did I spend my most valued lunch hour in front of my desk and computer looking through the whole of the Postgraduate prospectus, I HAVE NO IDEA?

Secondly, why did I, a couple of weeks later ask all of my contacts in the local collages to find out if there where any volunteer post available. When although the course captured by attention it seemed rather unimpressive and I had reservation about whether the course would keep me interested and motivated for the next 2 years. Why did I take steps to find work experience although I had grave reservations, I HAVE NO IDEA?

Thirdly my sister who was very supportive when I was entertaining the idea of becoming a psychology teacher one day out of the blue announced that she didn’t think teaching the same subject for any length of time would satisfy my flick and somewhat free spirited natured. Why she said this unannounced, I HAVE NO IDEA?

Fourthly I got a call out of the blue ironically as I walked into the postgraduate office of Manchester Met University as I had a meeting there anyway. As soon as I asked for the postgraduate prospectus my phone rang, I answered and it was my friend from Arabic calling to let me know that there was a dyslexia and learning difficulties training session 4days away. The lady co-ordinating it said I could go although it was supposed to be for mentors from the inclusive and special education unit. Why I was invited, I HAVE NO IDEA?

Fifthly I sat in this training session with a broad smile, feeling very much at home and finally it struck home, all the signs that although I had read I didn’t see the importance or the significance of these individual signs so when I finally acknowledged the combined sign/events I had an AHHH moment!!!

Isn’t it a wonder how despite our inattentiveness God keeps sending us signs till our vision clears and we see clearly.

"The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried."
( An-Nawawi's 4o Hadith, End of hadith no.19)


Monday, March 13, 2006

So you’re running late?

Since I seem to live in a permanent state of running late, here is my helpful guide to getting there respectfully late rather then just plain late ( respectfully late ranges from 1-10mins)

1) You wear glasses instead of contact lens ( too fiddly when your in a rush)

2) If you’re a girl and muslim or even non-muslim through on a jilbab over your pyjamas ( only in dire situations though, you end up being in a sleepy mindset all day)

3) Wear shoes without laces (boots are best especially if your wearing you pyjamas trust me on this one, it can be rather embarrassing when a well intentioned person at university or work asks about your pink, striped pyjama bottoms.

4) If you wear hijab and have sisters, the bane of your life becomes scarf pins!! There is always a dire shortage and you can be sure that on the day you’re running late everyone would have left already and one of your loving siblings would have taken your last 2pins. (Remedy, always have two stashed away in a place where only you know)

5) Socks, the same scenario as the hijab pins (stash, stash, stash or ask your mother, God preserve them, is there anything they don’t know?! Hmm)

6) Your bus pass ( the last thing you need to be worrying about at this point is the correct fare, buy as bus pass its cheaper in most cases anyway, and keep it in your inner-coat pocket, women rarely use their ICP)

7) When you arrive respectfully late, smile sweetly and apologise.

8) If you’re just plain late and the poor unfortunate person you have kept waiting is either a family member or a friend, this is a good time to remind them that you LOVE THEM!

I dedicate this to all those who I have ever kept waiting! Which is just about everyone especially friends and family? I am sorry but remember I LOVE YOU

Monday, March 06, 2006

What if the Titanic sank today?

A friend (who shall only thus be referred to as curly Sue) with a very warped since of humour sent this to me, in fact I have a folder on my MSN titled funny emails and as a testament to this friend about 60 % of the emails which pass my stringent humour test (namely does it make me laugh) are from Curly Sue. Keep up the good word Curly Sue!

Reaction from different Muslims:

HT: "The ship sank because it used kufr navigation systems. Once the Caliphate is re-established, we'll build Islamic ships with Islamic navigation systems."

Barelwis: "Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani caused the ship to sink because the captain was a Protestant - you know: Christian Vahhabi."

Sufis: "What literalist nonsense! It's all an allegory. The ship represents intellect and reason. The water, tumultuos and consuming, is love. The victims are the neophytes and weak disciples, unable to bear the pangs of love, and so annihalated by the Beloved, and the survivors are the Sufis, the arrived gnostics, who have abandoned intellect for love, and swim in the oceans of restless passion. We are still trying to figure out what Kate Winslet represents."

Tableeghis: "Yeh Nuh alaihi-as-salaam ki kashti hai (TRANSLATION: this is Noah's ship - you see how we are accommodating for you gora converts as well, huh?). Whoever is on board is saved. Oh no wait a minute - we're 5000 years behind the times."

Salafis: "Where's the daleel that the ship sank akhee? Show me your evidences from Qur'aan and Sunnah."

Hope no one was offended ( If offended please foreward all complaints to Curly Sue, address will be give on request.)

A Sri Lankan in our Midst

Today we had a staff meeting as we do around 10.30am every Monday morning in which we brief each other on what we will be working on the week ahead!

The meeting is pretty standard, except when certain senior members of staff go off on a tangent (which is probably the most interesting part of the meeting)

So today in the middle of the who is doing what briefing a certain member of staff decided to share an.. erm.. interesting and newly formed …ahmm.. proverb.

The newly formed proverb that I am sure will prove to rival all that came before it is

“ If you get a Monkey to try to do a Donkey’s job what do you expect to happen “?

After the raucous laughter another member of staff looked puzzled, turned to NH and said

“Oh is that a Sri Lakan saying?”

But for the protection of the whole Sri Lanken race against such slanderous rumours am going to attribute it firmly to the one who in a moment of lax sanity decided to share this newly formed proverb with all of the staff present.

This proverb shall forever be attributed to NH of the inga wanga clan of the highland of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan’s I send my sincerest apologies.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A turning point?

There are moments in our day-to-day lives that make us stop and think? And there are moments in our life which confirm and re-affirm all that we may say to one another but are at times scared or challenged to act upon due to the barriers that we our selves create.

What am I trying to say?

That we should never be scared to do that which we know is right and that which we would advice others to do simply because we fear not the outcomes necessarily but the actual act of divulging information which we consider to be sensitive or personal and should not really be accessible to the other?

Again what am I trying to say?

In the words of Louisa May Alcott (the author of Little Women)

“I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship.”

It is only by setting foot on a boat and taking control of the tiller that one will learn to sense how one's boat will respond to the waves, whatever the weather may bring.

And is only after this that we can judge not only were to direct our tiller to but more courageously when to let go!