Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I can do bloody well without you

And this is my apology to all those whom I offended with my previous post :)

Eliza (singing):
What a fool I was, what dominated fool,
to think that you were the earth and the sky,
What a fool I was, What an elevated fool,
What a mutton-headed dote was I!
No, my reverberated friend,
you are not the beginning and the end.

Professor Higgins (speaking):
You impetant hussy there's not an idea in your head or a word in your mouth that I haven't put there.

Eliza (singing):
There'll be spring every year without you. England still will be here without you.
There'll be fruit on the tree.
And a shore by the sea.
There'll be crumpets and tea without you.

Art and music will thrive without you. Somehow Keats will survive without you.
And there still will be rain on that plain down in Spain,
even that will remain without you.
I can do without you.

You, dear friend, who taught so well,
You can go to Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire.

They can still rule with land without you.
Windsor Castle will stand without you.
And without much ado we can all muddle through without you.

Professor Higgins:
You brazen hussy,

Eliza (singing):
Wihtout pulling it the tide comes in,
without your twirling it the Earth can spin,
Without your pulling it, the tide comes in
Without your twirling it, the earth can spin
Without your pushing them, the clouds roll by,
If they can do without you, ducky, so can I
I shall not feel alone without you
I can stand on my own without you
So go back in your shell
I can do bloody well

Professor Higging (singing) interupts:
By George, I really did it,
I did it, I did it,
I said I'd make a woman and indeed I did,
I knew that I could do it,
I knew it, I knew it,
I said I'd make a woman and succeed I did!

Eliza you are wonderful

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Why can't a woman be more like a man?

To all men who had to live a drama they never understood and will never get to understand.

What in all of heaven could've promted her to go,
After such a triumph as the ball?
What could've depressed her;
What could've possessed her?
I cannot understand the wretch at all.

Women are irrational, that's all there is to that!
There heads are full of cotton, hay, and rags!
They're nothing but exasperating, irritating,
vacillating, calculating, agitating,
Maddening and infuriating hags!
[To Pickering]
Pickering, why can't a woman be more like a man?

“Why Can’t a Woman Be More Like a Man?”
music by Frederick Loewe; lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Why can’t a woman be more like a man?
Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;
Eternally noble, historically fair.
Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat.
Why can’t a woman be like that?

Why does every one do what the others do?
Can’t a woman learn to use her head?
Why do they do everything their mothers do?
Why don’t they grow up, well, like their father instead?

Why can’t a woman take after a man?
Men are so pleasant, so easy to please.
Whenever you’re with them, you’re always at ease.

Would you be slighted if I didn’t speak for hours?

Of course not.

Would you be livid if I had a drink or two?


Would you be wounded if I never sent you flowers?


Well, why can’t a woman be like you?

One man in a million may shout a bit.
Now and then, there’s one with slight defects.
One perhaps whose truthfulness you doubt a bit,
But by and large we are a marvelous sex!

Why can’t a woman take after a man?
‘Cause men are so friendly, good-natured and kind.
A better companion you never will find.

If I were hours late for dinner would you bellow?

Of course not.

If I forgot your silly birthday, would you fuss?


Would you complain if I took out another fellow?


Why can’t a woman be like us?


Why can’t a woman be more like a man?
Men are so decent, such regular chaps;
Ready to help you through any mishaps;
Ready to buck you up whenever you’re glum.
Why can’t a woman be a chum?

Why is thinking something women never do?
And why is logic never even tried?
Straightening up their hair is all they ever do.
Why don’t they straighten up the mess that’s inside?

Why can’t a woman behave like a man?
If I was a woman who’d been to a ball,
Been hailed as a princess by one and by all;
Would I start weeping like a bathtub overflowing,
Or carry on as if my home were in a tree?
Would I run off and never tell me where I’m going?
Why can’t a woman be like me?

Monday, July 09, 2007

A driving fantasy

This Saturday MAS Youth assigned me to check the different hotels around Metro Detroit airport for the suitability for a meeting. It was so hard to find the last one so I had to stop at another hotel and ask for directions. This hotel was five stars and coincidently they had a wedding party with everyone dressed in nice suits and dresses. I wondered if MAS youth would ever hold its meetings in such a fancy facility and as I realized that this will never happen because as we grow in resources we will grow in number and we will never afford such luxury, I can't deny that I felt a little disappointed.
I carried my disappointment to the other low end hotel and then I started heading back home. It is about 25 minutes drive and I was going to spend them wallowing in my disappointment when it occurred to me that I was so wrong. We are doing all that work aiming at the eternal life in paradise. That's when I started to fantasize about our meetings in paradise.
I imagined all the MAS Youth workers, and all MAS members and activists for that matter, gathering around a beautiful lake and surrounded by rivers of water, milk, honey and wine. I imagined having the prophets and companions over (no need to have reminders :)) and we telling them all about our work and showing off about it (then we can show off, right?). I imagined we would have live presentations to see the fruit of our work years and decades after we were long gone. I imagined replaying all our good memories together and having the best entertainment events ever. We will have the best suits and dresses and we won't have to worry about baby sitting :). I understand that the thought of having to spend time with me in paradise is not that appealing for many readers but I am definitely sure that I will not be annoying at all and I will be nicer than the nicest person you have ever met so don't worry about that inshallah :). I enjoyed my drive back home.
I ask Allah to guide us and reunite all of us in Paradise with the prophets and companions, our families, neighbors and all the righteous people in Paradise.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My beloved SAPers are on track

Please go check the MAS Youth Study Abroad Program Blog. This is a wonderful program that MAS Youth organized. It is very fun to tune in and learn about their experience.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

So confused :(

I am confused, very much so actually. No confusion can ever match this one except the confusion of 1990 when Saddam invaded Kuwait. There is a huge difference between Saddam and Hamas. However, I can't see where this is heading and how could this lead to any good. I am more confused than that summer of 1990. Back then I was sure that Saddam was wrong and I was sure that inviting the US to free Kuwait was wrong too and I felt helpless because I didn't have an alternative. This time, I don't even know what is wrong and what is right, who is wrong and who is right. I am confused, perplexed, disappointed, frustrated, sad and depressed all at the same time. I have declined to comment on this particular issue for a long time because I felt that no matter how much I knew about it, I was probably ignorant. Today, I feel I am more ignorant than ever before. All I can do is just pray for justice and peace. Because for all I know, it is injustice in its ugliest forms for the Palestinians and that this land deserves peace.

Monday, May 14, 2007

My niece is feeling much better

I was overwhelmed over the past few weeks with emails and messages asking about my niece. Thanks so much for your prayers and support. She is psychologically much better and physically doing perfect. The scars on her face will take very long time to heal and she will probably need a plastic surgery in few months to avoid having permanent scars. Thanks again for you support and prayers :) Please keep praying for her.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Put on your seat belt for God's sake

My sister had a little plan for a nice relaxing weekend. Her husband had just finished his PhD exams and they planned to spend a couple of nights in Port Said in a condo on the beach. They left yesterday in their little Hyndai; Ammar, 6 months, in his car seat, Sumaya, 4 years, right next to him with her seat belt on but she doesn't have a car seat. Forget about safety studies; we are Egyptians and we know what we are doing. If we think that 4 years is old enough not to have a car seat then we are right. Don't talk to me about statistics, it irritates us. We have a saying: don't count lest you lose the baraka (God's blessing). It is a saying that has no foundation or roots in Islam but for some reason, it is kind of a conviction. Anyway, half way through, Eman, my sister, decides to switch seats with Sumaya to feed Ammar. Eman forgets to ask Sumaya to put on the seat belt. Yes what you pictured is right; the four years old girl is in the front passenger's seat without a car seat or a seat belt. Her dad would not remember either because he was busy keeping himself awake but to no avail. In Egypt people don't usually drink and drive but they are fine with driving while sleepy. However, it is worthy noting that my brother in law has a chronic sleep-driving problem. He can't prevent himself from falling asleep on the wheels no matter how much sleep he gets before driving.

I don't need to tell you what happened next. It was just a matter of time before he hit a truck. The baby was safe, thank God. The driver's seat belt saved him and the mother was not hurt because the front seat protected her. But poor little Sumaya had a head trauma and broken glass pieces all over her face. She had a CAT scan which was fine and a 3 hours long plastic surgery for her face. We will only know how bad the scars will be after they take out the stitches.

Pray for little Sumaya and remember to put your seat belts on. Look at her pretty face and ask Allah to give her a speedy and complete recovery.

It is our prophet's (peace be upon him) teachings to take necessary precautions as part of trust in Allah.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

A tribute to my teachers behind bars

Dr. Mahmoud, I know you may not read this but I felt that the least I could do is to write those lines. Dr. Mahmoud Abozeid, a professor of surgery in Cairo University medical school. I learnt a lot from him just by example. For me he was an example of dedication, sacrifice and most importantly decency. When I think of the word decent, he is the first I think of. He was a mentor of the student movement when I was a student at Cairo University. I used to bother him with my visits to his office late by night after he is done with his patients (doctors' private practice opens in the evenings in Egypt). He was so welcoming all the time and would stay for hours even if that meant missing his kids' bedtime. In my last year of school when the emphasis was on Surgery, I had to miss many days at school because of the political turmoil at the time and the conflict the government had with the student movement. He offered to help me with school. I used to visit him in his office around 10:30 PM at "my" convenience to discuss a chapter or more with him. His knowledge in Surgery was vast and his character just stood out. One time I asked him to give a talk and he said that he was busy all Fridays and every three months when the month has a fifth Friday, he has a meeting scheduled. With such a busy schedule he was still willing to give a talk during weekdays in the time slot between his morning work and his private practice in the evening. For an organized person like him and with such a busy schedule, tutoring me must have been way high on his priority list to squeeze it in like that. What was he thinking? I don't know. All I know is that I am so grateful and I am so full of guilt. I am grateful for him and for the movement that allowed me to know such a person. I feel guilty because what he gave me was a trust to carry over. I may not know why he gave me this kind of attention and time but I am sure he was thinking he was investing for the future. I am not sure I gave as much as I took, let alone give more. May Allah forgive us all. During my last visit to Egypt I couldn't find time to visit him and surely, I regret this so much. I pray that his time behind bars won't last for long and that in my next visit to Egypt, inshallah, I will be able to visit him in his office. Let me hope that by then, I would be able to make him feel that his investment was worth it.

Dr. Abdelrahman Saudi is another person behind bars who influenced me so much. Although I haven't had a deep direct relationship with him, I was deeply influenced by his character. He was an icon of generosity. He used to be very rich before the government froze all his assets. His house was hugely humongous and we used to hold meetings there all the time whether he was at home or not. Countless brothers and sisters had keys to his house and at one point they were welcome anytime of the day. He had more than a dozen cars but one day he asked for a ride because all his cars were in use for movement related errands. That was not an exception, that was his daily routine; giving and giving more.
One day I visited him at work and my sister came along. She had never met him before. As we left the office, I noticed tears in her eyes and an extremely delighted look on her face. I was surprised and when I inquired, she said: I have goose bumps, this is the "Ikhwan" I read about not "you". I asked her what did you notice that made you extremely taken by his character. She said: "I don't know, but he is just so kindhearted and extremely decent"

If people like this lose their freedom and their money, what kind of message is the government sending to the youth: "Good is bad and bad is good"
I ask Allah to free all of them, to give them patience and to return their money to them and multiply it for them. I ask Allah to give their families patience and to shower them with peace and tranquility.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Not thoughts they are heresies!! Not immigrant but alien

Yup, I am not an immigrant. According to the homeland security we are called Aliens so let me keep it that way for now. I think that my musings qualify more for heresies than thoughts. When I listened to Freeman Dyson's winter 2005 commencement speech at the University of Michigan, I could relate to him calling his thoughts heresies. Today, I think I will use that for my blog title :) I don't agree with his heresies; they are heresies after all but I like the idea. Once I call my thoughts heresies, I am free to scribble whatever I want :) Read my heresies but be careful, you may become a heretic yourself :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Drum roll.........

Haris Tarin joined the blog world :) Round of applause please :) Haris is a dear friend, an active MAS Youth worker and works for MPAC. His only problem is that he is from California, no wonder it took him so long to create a blog :) Check it out, you will like it.

Friday, March 02, 2007

My Dad, I and a "cheesy" night

My dad is a gadget freak; really he is which makes me wonder if it is genetic. He had asked me to buy a video projector for him to take back to Egypt with him for the North Coast condos where he serves on the board of directors. They had this idea of playing children's movies every night during the summer time. They will buy pirated movies and charge a fee to raise money for the association. I am not sanctioning this but welcome to the world of no copyrights. He wanted a projector with high lumen to display a nice picture in an open place. Last night dad wanted to see a demo. Which movie do I play for a demo? Hmm…

Well, a few days ago, I was at blockbuster returning V for Vendetta that I had for more than ten days and I could hardly make the time to watch. It was the first day of spring break and everyone and their mama was in blockbuster. I had to stand in a very long line to pay my late fee which is now knows as "restocking fee", whatever. I used the time to browse the classics on-sale when my eyes fell on "Sound of Music". "long time fella". I haven't watched this movie for ages but I thought "that's a must buy". Well, don't get too excited, I didn't watch it that night or the night after. The DVD just found a new shelf to be placed on. You can't just spend a night alone watching such a movie. Last night though, it was picked for the demo. My dad was excited. We made sure we hook up the best set of speakers I had.

We only watched 20 minutes, but that was a blast from the past. I think I enjoyed it much more than any other time before. Every thing was perfect; the music, the dialogue, the humor, the acting, the picture, etc... Let me say everything was just glamorous. It felt like I was watching it for the first time.

Now that I think about it; who watches the "Sound of Music" with his dad? That's soooooo cheesy dude!! Anyway, we are heading to Chicago tonight and he is flying to Egypt on Monday so I guess we won't finish the movie nor will I watch it alone. The DVD is going back on the shelf until, I don't know, further notice I guess.

In the works........

I know I have not been blogging for a while which is actually bothering me. I have few posts in the works all saved as draft. Every now and then I go and edit or add a line or two. Inshallah, very soon I will bombard you with quite a few :). Until then please don't give up on me :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Don't you ever "brother" me

Yes, seriously. What's up with this brother/sister thing that gets added to your name. Who invented it?!! When did brother become a title?! It is a beautiful word, but when did it become a title?! Sometime during the last century someone introduced this "innovation" to the English language. This is one of my pet peeves. Why is David Dave but Mohamed is Br. Mohamed? Why is Elizabeth Liz but Mariam is Sr. Mariam? Why do I respect everyone without adding to their names any titles but I have to add a title to my Muslim "brother" or "sister" to show respect. I have been struggling with this issue for a while and I discussed it with several people and here are the answers I got:

1- Respect: It is a cherished value in Islam and we need to respect each other and older people in particular.
Rebuttal: Are we respecting David and Elizabeth less when we do not add the br./sr. title to their names? Don't we respect our teachers and professors?! Don't we respect our seniors at work and don't we respect our neighbours?! Did the Prophet (SAW) show respect to people using elements alien to their culture? Didn't he use the very titles that they used to use to show respect to them like the Kunya (which means calling a person father of "his son's name" or something beloved to him)
2- Professionalism: In Islamic work we need to be professional especially across genders, thus the need to use titles.
Rebuttal: Why do we need to be professional in a different way from the rest of the society? People are very professional at work, yet they don't use titles most of the time. They only use titles sometimes in some settings with doctors, professors, judges, attorneys and some elected officials. However, most of the time in professional settings they don't use titles and they are very good at being professional.
3- Brotherhood/sisterhood: When we add the title we enforce the concept that we are brothers and sisters which is the bond that ties all of us as Muslims.
Rebuttal: Keep it real dude. As soon as I add the title I don't feel that bond anymore. You want me to feel the bond call me with my name or say my dear brother. You can put the word brother in sentence, it is such a beautiful word but please don't make a title out of it. When someone sends an email and signs, your brother it touches my heart. When some tells me "ya akhi" which is the Arabic for "my brother", I feel the warmth of brotherhood. One time a dear sister emailed me and signed "ukhtak....." (your sister), I was so happy and replied back thanking her. My brothers and sisters in Islamic work are as dear to me as my family and I don't add titles to my cousins names. If you are from a background that mandates giving elders titles and you feel uncomfortable not doing that with me (if I am older than you), then use the same title you would use for your older brother in your culture. In that sense if you are Egyptian and you feel that you can't call me by my first name, then call me "Abaih Ayman". As funny as that sounds, I won't mind it. If you are younger than that, I won't mind being called "3ammo Ayman" :).

Let me share this story about Umar, may Allah be pleased with him. He was off to a 3umra and the prophet (SAW) told him mention us in your prayers "ya akhi" (my brother) and Umar (RAA) said that he wouldn't have loved anything better than this "ya akhi". When the prophet (SAW) wanted to be very brotherly he didn't give him a title. Ever since I read this story, I can only relate to the word put in a sentence but never as a title, ever.

In our Masjids and communities we don't want to create an alien culture. We need to create an all inclusive culture of genuine respect and sincere brotherhood and sisterhood. What message are we sending to people of other faith when we call each other br./sr.? Are we telling them that they are not our brothers and sisters? Let's love each other but let's also make room for our fellow neighbours to come join us in our activities. Let's not create a culture that will stand out like a sore thumb but rather a culture where everyone likes to belong to.

So my dearly beloved sisters and my dearly beloved brothers, don't "brother" me anymore pleaaaaaaaaaaase.

Too busy to post ....yet here are some great posts :)

Just came back from San Jose......Is this heaven on earth or what!! It was the MAS Youth exec meeting and we didn't have time to tour the city, however the view of the mountains on the way from the hotel to the meeting place was such a breather for me. If you ever go down there you have to eat at this Afghan restaurant, there food is great. You may also want to stop at my sister's place, Kariman, to eat some lasagna....Canadians have something to contribute (this was an inside joke..sorry :)

I don't have much time to post anything but I think you should read this great post on Yaser's blog. You shouldn't also miss this pearl by Ahmed Deif.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Life is too short: Are we really aware of that?

I just came back from an absentee funeral prayer for Muhannad Jondy. Muhannad was one of the first people I met when I came to the US. I can't claim that I was close to him but I can say that I always had so much respect for him. People say that I am a good judge of character and I believe that Muhannad was a decent young man. May Allah shower him with His mercy and grant him paradise.
No matter how many times we come across a reminder like this that our life is too short and that death can come when you least expect it, I don't really feel that I internalized that meaning. I believe it, I accept it conceptually but I haven't internalized. That is very scary. We will never be ready to face Allah and be held accountable for our deeds but we have to reach a state of perpetual readiness for the hereafter. I am not there and that is worrisome. May Allah perfect our endings.
This is the second time in my life to pay condolences to a father for the loss of his son. If I can hardly express how tough this was for me, I am not sure you can imagine how hard it is for the parents themselves. The real consolation here is that the prophet (peace be upon him) said: إنما يبتلى المرء على قدر دينه which means that you get tested in life as much faith you have in your heart. I believe that this is a great family. The Jondies are a family of giving. I can't even list their contributions to everyone they knew. May Allah give them patience.
I had mentioned that I was expecting a month of emotional roller coaster but never in my mind did I think it was going to start that way. Please pray for the Jondies.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Busy and exciting

So inshallah, it is going to be three weeks of excitment. This weekend I am getting a bliss of warmth in San Jose, CA both physically and spiritually as I am attending the MAS Youth national exec meeting. On Valentine's day my dad will be arriving from Egypt...and yes it is just a coincidence in case you were wondering :). The weekend after that we have the MAS Youth Detroit retreat. I may be able to attend its second half. The weekend after that my dad will be away for business and I may go skiing with some of my Ann Arbor-Egyptian friends. Then, off to chicago to give my dad an ultimate winter experience. I will, inshallah drop him off at the airport on March 5 and like everytime I drop a family member at the airport, Iwill come back home empty hearted :(.

When I visited Egypt in November, I didn't get to spend time with my dad. Both of us are looking forward to this weekend to have some father-son time. I am sure he has tons of stories and I always have something to say :).

Now I am busy packing for the CA trip and getting my apartment ready for my dad :) then off to a month of excitment and emotional roller coaster.

Those are some more entries that I may bother you with.

Need some help!!

I have a couple of questions:
How do I add links on the side? and how do I link to other blogs?

p.s. I figured a way to do it thru editing the html of the template. Is there any simpler way that I am not aware of?

What does Ramadan mean to me?

(A post from last Ramadan)

Back in the day, I used to look forward to Ramadan and on the day of moon sighting, I used to wait in the masjid or in my room and make duaa.

I used to make sure I had special arrangements for Maghrib prayer before the moon sighting, just in case it turned out to be Ramadan, then this maghrib prayer would have been the first prayer in Ramadan. Similarly, I would spend the last few hours of Ramadan alone and make duaa. During those moments I really felt the true meaning of the Prophet's (SAW) saying: "Should my people learn what Ramadan truely is, they would wish that the whole year is Ramadan."

I missed this feeling for few years but this year I can't wait for Ramadan.......Allahom Balleghna Ramadan "O Allah, help us make it to Ramadan"

And I am back in the game :)

It has been a while since I last blogged. I almost abounded my blogspot. I have a friend who wanted to blog and asked me for ideas. I gave him an idea of a theme for his blog. He liked it and got the ball rolling. His blog got a lot of traffic and he got all excited about it and pushed me to re-blog. I have to admit that reading his blog, I got all excited about blogging again. I hope it will be more fun this time around, inshallah :). So I am back in the game my friends. I will start off with a couple of entries I posted few months ago on facebook. I will inshallah follow that these entries (not necessarily this order):
1- Little mosque on the prairie
2- Music in Islam
3- Gender interactions between the east and west
4- My trip to Egypt (may be several entries)
I am all open for suggestions as well :)