Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Do you ever wonder, how something you said, or enquired about which to you seemed so simple and so straightforward could be misinterpreted so differently? And when it happens more then once with the same person, what on earth does it mean?! Why are you so misunderstood, and not even in a mild sort of way in which you can think to yourself,

“I see how it could have been interpreted that way”

But in such a way that you just sit there when the email arrives thinking, what on EARTH is going on here?! And then restrain yourself from storming into their room and asking them how the HELL they arrived at that conclusion!?!

On the plus side at least am learning to master my emotions, and emailing back a rational, controlled and BLOODY professional response, or so I hope … Arrrgghh

Monday, May 29, 2006

One down ? to go

On a chilly, mancunian day another one of my usrah sisters had her aqad (contract) at didsbury mosque.

It was lovely mashAllah, I have another one to go to this Saturday then another one around Christmas if not before. Oh and we have another usrah baby on the way! Alhamdulilah.

Definitely an exciting time in NM’s life.

Change is VERY good alhamdulilah! (Broad smile)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Part time/ full time

I have a dilemma, whether to do my Med Part time or full time?

Part time, would mean that I would have an income, be able to complete the project am working on now and still be able to have a life, viva la gallivanting.

Full time would mean, I would be broke again, probably like never before, it would be 12 months continuously, I would have to get a weekend job, have no life, plus i would leave my project uncomplete...but it would mean that I would have completed my Med by 2007 and then I would be able to start a career instead of flouncing around not knowing what i want?

What to do? the easier option is obviously part time but is it the right choice, will i just be dragging out this gap year?!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Personal statement

I am sat here having a late lunch and trying to write my personal statement for my masters, I think everyone is starting to despair of me ever settling on a course, on a career on a life goal… at this point I would like to point out that I have just turned 22 for goodness sake and just because my mother was responsible and worldly enough to be raising 2 children by this age does not mean that I should have my whole life ( what there is left of if ) pegged out!!

Phew, end of rant! I am actually more annoyed at myself for not knowing what I want and for not being able to write this ***** personal statement, I write so much nonsense the rest of the time (yes the psycho babble ladies) but when it comes to babbling on about why I want to do an MA in special and inclusive education I just can’t get passed the fact that my little sister has learning difficulties ( along with attitude difficulties)

That’s it am in listing Bangles and Hayak, the only other person who I know can make nonsense sound substantial is Stuffed Olive but you can’t ask your boss to help you with these things can you?

I am in dire need of some Happy Food right now a.k.a Chocolate

Help people!!!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Freedom for Palestine

Unless you watch Al-Jazeerah you will probably have missed the coverage of the freedom for palestine demonstration which culminated at Trafalgar square this Saturday, The atmosphere was fantastic and it’s great to hear speakers who have not sold their humanity for power and prestige.

The highlight other then finally seeing Tahnia!! Was when the speakers announced the presence of “Jews against Zionism” who and wait for this.... who because it was the Sabbath and they couldn’t use transport had walked for 5HOURS to get to Trafalgar square and faced a similarly lengthy walk back! WOW

Also If you text “PAL” to 84858 and you will donate £3 to interpal which will be used to feed a Palestine family for a week! Text away

On a lighter note.......I unfortunately had to use the toilet on the coach ( not pleasant), Mona Lisa and White African where sat behind me and when I came out White African ran after and pulled on my skirt?!!! I turned around to find Mona Lisa sat, clutching her middle and laughing insanely while White African stood behind me laughing just an insanely, when I could finally get her to speak it turns out that i walked out of the toilet with my skirt tugged in my fitted trekking jeans (Opps)

No one notice because of White African’s speedy Gonzales reflexes. A heart felt thanks Sis that would have been terribly embarrassing on a mixed coach!!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hayak Teaching

Hayak has got a job. Yay for me it starts in September so viva la gallivanting. Hayak may allah bless her has taken a job she is over qualified for which pays 50% less then what she is used to as a 3 time graduate and why I hear you asking!!

Well she is a lady on a mission, She has take the teaching job so that she can give something to the community for a year, She is going to take over the humanities department in an up and coming Muslim school, wipe them into shape and inshallah provide a positive role model for the youth!!

Hayak all I can say is May Allah purify your intention and build for you a lofty dwelling place in Jannatul Firdausa for your sacrifice.

Alderley Edge

This Friday’s expedition was to the Alderley Edge in Cheshire, this week Hayak and I were joined by Sarah and MD. We brought tickets from Piccadilly train station and because it wasn’t displaying the next train time we went to ask, the guy at the help desk informed us that the line was closed till November!!!

After Md’s face fell he carried on to tell us that there was a train to Stockport and then a connecting bus to alderley edge!! So we jumped on the train to Stockport, nearly missing the stop because I was charging my phone. When Hayak realises she is not dressed for the occasion as she had a job interview and the heels just wouldn’t do up a cliff.

We went into the centre and brought some shoes, food and Md’s and Sarah brought out a charity shop, something about THE denim skirt, we effectively missed the first bus but just made it on the second one…phew!!

We sit and I dug out some doughnuts from my bag when MD looking panic stricken turns to us and says she really wants to go swimming and if she comes to the edge she will miss it… We tried to encourage her to stay but she swiftly decided to get off and made her way back to Manchester.....bizzare behaviour

So we lost one person to unforeseen circumstance but we the 3 remaining pioneers continued onwards and finally made it to Alderley edge, stopped of at a nice charity shop and starting chatting with the elderly lady behind the counter. Since when did charity shop bags cost £150? Its safe to say none of us could afford to buy anything so we left after the chat and directions.

We walked leisurely for about 20 minutes on the route the gentle looking lady had chosen for us only for Hayak to start questioning why the route wasn’t becoming steeper the further we went; we saw a lone man and he re-directed us

The 20min walk took us 3 about 45minutes but the views and the peace and contentment while we sat on the edge was amazing. Shortly after Hayak preyed on the edge it started raining and we sat on the cliff edge and made Du’a it was beautiful!! Definitely the highlight of the trip oh and we got lost on the way down… we had our own Blair witch project moment when we where lost in the woods and we couldn’t find the path down while the rain poured Subhanallah

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Hijab a protection

Wednesday I had a meeting with some people from connexions for the project I am co-ordinating at work, essentially the meeting went well and it was a good experience for the young ladies. But the highlight for me other then falling out of the bus, instead of stepping off it (I didn’t hurt myself, alhamdulilah it just looked ridiculous) was

When we started talking about youth and crime, so am sat there scribbling away and creating mind maps because they are all talking so fast when one of the service providers starting commenting on young male gang members and their effect on young women and how one of the forms of proving their masculinity other then violence is how many girls they can get…blah ..blah..

When he mentions witnessing the case of young hijabi’s in the vicinity of rouge looking gang members (usually at the reception or youth club) and not one of them bothers them and how this is the case again and again

There we go out of the mouth of a non-muslim male confirming what Allah has taught us.

"O prophet, tell your wives, your daughters, and the wives of the believers that they shall LENGTHEN their garments. Thus, they will be recognized and avoid being insulted. God is Forgiver, Most Merciful." 33:59

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Gallivanting with Hayak

My fellow psycho friend (as fondly shortened by our non psychologist friends) is between jobs at the moment, she is moving from being a university researcher to being a teacher inshallah which luckily for me means she is as free as a bird till September inshallah! Yay!!!

This time has given us some real bonding time Alhamdulilah and last night was a fine example after our Tuesday circle when MD was trying (bless her) to convince us to go swimming when the following conversation took place

MD: Come on you two, why don’t you want to come swimming
NM and Hayak: NO
MD: you can just paddle
NM and Hayak: I almost drowning as a child
MD: both of you!
NM turns to Hayak: really? When
Hayak: at school, I had to be rescued
NM: Oh my god me too

At this point we both started squealing, clapping and shared our little near death experience. Which turns out to be exactly the same; we came to the conclusion that it was undiagnosed trauma that led us to study psychology and is now leading us to both wanting to in one shape or form work in the education system.

So now Hayak and I can go gallivanting around the northwest, there are so many gems that we poor city folk have just not explored. A perfect example is a little town called Hebdon Bridge which Hayak and I went to last Friday. Visally stunning place and the resident are all hippies so we fit in just fine. Trusting folk too, when Hayak brought her incense she was short of 4 and the lady in the shop told her to pick up 4 on her way out. Hayak did and went back to the lady to show her she had 10. The lady laughed and waved her hand at us saying “go on I trust you” with a broad smile. Not something that you are likely to experience here in Manchester.

This Friday is Lym ( I hear its swingers I came about this information…..through someone I work with….i hope they don’t come out during the day and if by swinging you understand it to be something you find in a playground! Well don’t ask too many questions believe me….

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

working 9 to 5

I have been wondering how people work full time for 5 days and still manage to have a life, I only work 3days and yet I have to make appointments to see people. Mon, Tues and Wed are spent firmly at work and by the time I get home at 6.30 I just want to unwind and watch something passively or read, spend time chating with my sisters and little brother ( although I think we have officially hit the teenage phase as he only talks in grunts now ).

Thursday is the beginning of my weekend and I spend the day lazing about and being with my mum and dad. Friday is jummah then I usually go out with those who have made it to jummah, Saturday, I catch up with my nieces and the rest of my friends, Sunday is full with Arabic and usrah then the working week starts again!!

Where does all the time go?! And worse if am such a scatterbrain now how will I cope with working Monday to Friday…..

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Car 4da crew fund

I Want you all to join me in coercing Evertheidealist to get her car fixed, or we should start a “ car 4 da crew” fund or something, I swear Evertheidealist may Allah reward her for the abundant lifts and car journey that she gave me and the rest of you! I didn’t realise how much I took you for granted and my only show of appreciation was a “Jazakallah Khayr as I existed the car, more often then not banging your car door shut or the beautiful way everyone came to accept that if I was going to be in the car the passenger seat was reserved for me ( how we arrived at this I can’t remember but It was BEAUTIFUL)

I have had so many weird and precarious taxi journeys ever since Evertheidealist’s blessed car failed (on one occasion with me MD and Evertheidealist, at 12am under a bridge, obviously our respective parents never found out!)

The strangest taxi ride was a couple of night ago when I was returning from a day out with the girls, we stood at Piccadilly bus station and as usual my bus was running every half hour while the 86 runs every other 5 minutes or so (am bitter I know UGH). So instead of leaving me by my lonesome we decided Evertheidealist would give me a lift back if I caught the bus with everyone using her mum’s car. When we got there her mum wasn’t there and the only option was to take a taxi.

It turned out that neither of us had any cash so at about 10pm we had to walk down to the cash machine and then Evertheidealist flat, MD and JUG were already there. We got there, called a taxi and it came within 5 minutes or so and it looked like I would get home in about 15 minutes and the day would come to a happy conclusion.

I got in to the taxi with a rather non- too friendly looking man who was sporting an over grown goatee. The taxi looked like my stereotypical image of a bachelor’s pad, all black leather and full of gadgets.

I thought I should make conversation and asked what the name of the song he had playing was, he asked if I wanted to listen to it “real loud” I wanted to say no but thought it was best to keep the overgrown man sweet so I said “okay then”.

The car came to life; lights of different colours were switched on, a disco ball descended from the roof of the car! The song was playing so loud my seat was vibrating and I was just sat there speechless, Walahi it was like being in a 70’s disco but in a taxi!! He was driving and bopping his head from side to side and his driving I must admit was a course for concern ( worst then lady wildcats which says a LOT!!!!!) while his taste in music assaulted my poor ears and the thudding of his speakers made my pulse race!! Has any body else been in this taxi I really want it verified it was sooo sureal and so cool. It was definately the most interesting taxi journey i have ever taken.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The sneakiness of change

You don’t realise how quickly things around you change till an undeniable fact materialise. Suhanallah it is only been a year since I was trekking up and down oxford road going from one lecture to another with a massive rucksack and a carefree smile. I am unsure whether things changed as rapidly as they have been changing this year but while I was at university not a lot seemed to change or when it did it was slow paced enough for you to take stock and accept what ever the occurring change was.

Since I graduated (all of about 11 months ago) the pace of change has been at a phenomenal speed. Every time I turn something new and unexpected is taking place and it is not just those around me either I am changing too.

What has sparked this off? Well one of my university friends in the past 14 months or so, got married, and 3 days ago gave birth ( mashallah) to the most adorable baby boy, while my other university friend is coming to the end of her masters ( may Allah make it easy for her). Another of my friends has moved away to London (and may I add broke the never moving from Manchester rule) and change goes on and on.

The most awakening of all being that my baby sisters is going to move out to go to Liverpool or Birmingham University this September. My eldest niece is turning 13 and is almost as lanky as I am. The only things that seem to have remained unchanged are my parents, my rocks may Allah keep them with us.

I have been dwelling on the course and pace of change for a while now. When ever I think I have come to terms with something new or have learnt to accept it whether I view it as being good or not something else happens that takes my breath away.

The strangest thing here being that I feel the world is moving and changing around me and change is happening to me without I being directly involved. My sense of control, of governance has been tilled.

Talking about change and hopefully growing I have learned that I like feeling in control when, this is jolted I resist, but I have come to the realisation that we don’t really control anything, we can do our best but at the end of the day we should just let it be. Also I have realised just how fickle I am, I am not certain of what I want and when ever I think I have made my mind up something will happen or come along that will make me re-evaluate this. Thank God for the istikharah! I have an inherent sense to experience new things, meet new people, see new place and so on which is what my gap year (courtesy of work) has allowed me to do.

Something that has struck me as sad is that as you get older your dreams become more “realistic” limited I think is the word and I don’t think we should ever allow that to happen, so here is to learning to accept change however it may sneak up on you and maintaining our inner PETER PAN!!

Now that my official GAP year is coming to an end what do I want to do?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I was speaking to a friend from high school last night and we were reminiscing about all the things we got up to while at school, it was hilarious recalling some of the things we did!

She asked me what the most embarrassing thing that happened to me was. It was difficult to answer I have a never ending list of incidents that I just seem to find myself in the middle off.

But one stands out clearly

When I was 16 I went to the Emirates with my sister and her children, it was a lovely trip mashallah except for Dubai ( so artificial) anyway, my sisters best friend while at university was a distant cousin from Abu Dhabi and she sent her brother to pick us up.

My mother was going through a bit of a phase were she wanted me to dress “like a young women” at the same time I was going through a bit of a skater look, baggy trousers, trainers etc am sure you can imagine.

So that day for some peace I wear a long skirt to the airport. Big mistake, I couldn’t walk with it on and kept hoisting it up so I wouldn’t trip, which I did anyway twice once going through the metal detector and once while boarding, I didn’t hurt myself alhamdulilah but my eldest niece was mortified and I remember clearly her asking me

“Auntie why can’t you walk properly” The last thing you need to hear from an 8 year old , but anyway the series of embarrassments don’t end there.

When Rahma’s brother arrived my sister started seating her children ( talk about neglect) I was left to fend for myself, okay I know it only involved seating myself but no one told me they drove on the wrong side!!!

The 4x4 had a high step so I tried to preserve some modesty with the ridiculously long tent of a skirt I was wearing. While clutching my skirt with one hand I opened the door with the other and hoisted myself up. I knew something was wrong when the seat felt like a leg! So I looked up and my nose pressed against the brother’s cheek! I was mortified, i was sat on a guy i had just met!

I jumped off the seat and walked around and sat on the passengers SEAT. Then I had to endure an hour plus journey in which only God know what the brother was thinking.

I had to explain to Rahma what happened and begged her to explain that I wasn’t some weirdo with loose morals, but just misfortunate