Makkah

I’ve just come from there. From Makkah. Every Muslim’s dream.  If there is only one thing exclusively special about our religion. It’s definitly Makkah.

I always tell myself that if anybody wants to witness Islam and Muslims at their most spirtual state, they should go to Makkah. There you will meet Muslims from all parts of the world. Some of them spent all their life saving for this journey. They would come from places as far as China. Some of these places I’m sure you haven’t heard of. When they reach finally their destination, many of them stay for many months during which some of them never leave the Holy Mosque at all. 

Although I’ve been to Makkah so many times, this journey is one of the best. This is due to one important reason. It was unplanned for. Or, to be more accurate, it was a wish unpredictably fulfilled.

Just let me take you to the details. It was on that day when our TV set was displayng  lecture by Sheikh Mohammad Hassan in our living room. I sat there reading a book, or I migt have been browsing through a newspaper, oblivious to the lecture when something struck my ears. It was one of the strangest stories I’ve ever heard. It was a story of a paralysed Egyptian man who, seeking cure for his paralysis, had flown to places as highly medically advanced as New york, London and Paris. But, to no avail. In his despair he sat by himself flipping through the channels when he saw The Ka’aba and the throng of people circling it. Only then it dawned on him that he would find his cure there. He called upon his sons telling them that he wants to visit the king at his home. Astonished, his sons wondered what was the matter with heir father and who was this king he wanted to visit. It was God. The king of all the kings. He wanted to visit Makkah. After some persuading they agreed to take him there. 

Upon reaching Makkah, he asked them to leave them by himself in front of the Kaábah. For two hours he kept praying for God devotedly. He said ” Oh God, I won’t leave this place unless I walk. Otherwise, I’ll stay here until I die.” For two hours he kept repeating hs prayer until he fell asleep when he heard a voice saying to get up and walk. As in a dream the man started walking when he realised that he was ACTUALLY walking. 

Oh, my. God has answered his prayer. Subhan Allah. 

Isn’t it a wonderful story?

I Guess so.

Anyway, it was after I heard this wonderful story that I felt a strong wish to visit Makkah and to pray for God there. Allah is Kareem. He granted me my wish and after almost three weeks I was there in Makkah performing my umrah.             

Graphology-What All That Fuss About?

“I discovered a liar in here.”

“Who is she?”

“One of our colleagues.”

“How could you tell that she is a liar?”

“I’ve seen it in her handwriting. I’ve been studying her signature for many days and every time I come up with the same result.”

This is exactly the conversation that took place some time ago between me and a co-worker and it shows accurately what these new pseudosciences are getting us into. This conversation kept rolling in my head for many days compelling me in the end to indulge into a search mode until I’ve come up with some interesting facts. But let me first take you step by step into my discovery journey.     

 It all began one day when Nadia appeared to be contempalting a sign written by one of our colleagues. A few minutes later she asked that colleague, “Mona. Are you having any respiratory problems?” Mona looked up astonishingly from her laptop before she denied it. I wasn’t less astonished but I assumed that she might have sensed that something was wrong from the way Mona breathed. Still, a question jumped to my tongue and I asked her how she could tell. 

“I saw it in her handwritng.” She was saying confidently.

I didn’t take it seriously and let the matter drop at this. A few days later I was at the teacher’s lounge when one of the teachers passed us some paper and asked us to write down what she would dictate us. She collected what we wrote then she called Nadia to analyse our handwriting and disclose to us our personalities. With an air of authority, Nada came. She sat at one of the desks, examined our handwriting and wrote down her judgment in the sort of some good and bad traits. Teachers sat quietly waiting patiently for the judgment to be passed. At the end, each one of us got back her paper, but this time with her personality analysis jotted down at the back of the paper.
 

 


When I received mine, I saw nothing but some common qualities that we all have at least at some point in our life. On my paper she wrote, for example, that I live in the past. Well. Who doesn’t live to some degree in the past anyway?!! I really can’t remember what else she wrote but I remember very well that what she wrote to me could apply to anyone at some points in their life. And while the rest of the teachers were huddling around her admiringly nodding their heads astonishingly at her amazing abilities at disclosing to them their personalities, I viewed my paper suspicously and refrained from joining the ensuing conversation.

 However, I couldn’t help remembering myself some years ago playing a similar role at our school Open Day. On that day I was supposed to join some teachers at the food stall where I had to fry chicken and fries. And as I am a total failure at such things ( I have nothing to hide. I am even admitting here that I’m a terrible cook 🙂 ) I tried to join some other corner. One of my friends came to my help when she handed me a game she downloaded from the net. On a piece of paper there were some pictures. The person would choose the picture that appealed to him. The chosen picture would determine what kind of person he is. So the only thing I had to do is to have people choose the picture and then I would read the qualities that go with that picture . Somehow I liked that game and I turned out to be a good actress as I started adding some qualities and my corner turned out to be that day a great sucess.Mothers kept coming to me with their eyes’ pupils dancing with the rythm of my narration, dilating when speaking in a low voice and shrinking when I raised my tone.The funny thing is that next day some teachers came to me asking me to analyse their personalities but, they affirmed, I should say in a low voice so that nobody could hear. So what began as only a joke turned out to be something serious.I can’t stop wondering about how people could be easily deceived just by those fraud personality readers. You only have to put on some air of seriousness and success will be at your side. 
 

 

I think I should have invested on that success. Who knows? I might have become one of those renowned gurus and I would have by now my own science which I’d call Emanology, just to immortalize my own name. ha ha ha.              

 Anyway, I’ve found here that really beautiful video about graphology. Watch it and judge for yourself.


 
 

 


 

Do not Go Gentle into That Good Night

Although I’m not into English poetry in general, there are some poems I can never get over. One of them

is Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night. This poem in particular has never ceased

to fascinate me. Maybe because the poet wrote it for his father who was dying then. Or it might be 

 because it conveys an immortal message of never giving up and going on fighting even if the end is just

 a few steps away. Whatever is the reason, Dylan Thomas is definitly at his best in this poem.  

Anyway, this very poem is the first thing that came up into my mind while reading some distinguished

blogs there in the net. These blogs are written by some courageous Palestinian women who opted

to take part in the fight for their country’s freedom by setting up their own blogs where they register

their daily thoughts and keep us abreast with what happens there in Palestine.

I have a palestinian friend. We’ve been friends for a long time. As long as I could remember, she’s been

obssesed with her country. She keeps talking about her country day and night sighing in between 

“oh my beloved country”. Strangely enough, she has been to Palestine only a few times, not more than

five times. Yet, I’ve never felt for the Palestinian people until I read those brave women’s blogs.

And although the media bombard us everyday with endless accounts of what happens over there in

 palestine and in spite of the fact that we are flooded day and night by countless stories of the desperate

plight of the Palestinain people it always seemed to me unreal. Only when I came across these blogs

that I experienced my “aha!” moment. 

There Palestinian people suddenly felt real to me (Don’t misunderstand me! They’ve been always real).

Their problems suddenly materialized to me. Now I can touch their problems, I can trace the wound in

that pretty kid’s face, I can smell the cooking oil that operate their cars now . And more than

any thing, I could see for myself how couragous and obstinate they are.  

I admire those women in particuar who still have the spirit to write in spite of the dire conditions they live

in.

One of these blogs is From Gaza with love authored by Dr.Mona El-Farra who is a physician and

an activist.

 

The other one is Contemplating from Gaza which is written by a twenty-something palestinian woman

whose name is Heba.

In her blog Heba wrote once about their weekend in palestine where they suffer from occasional

power cut and unavailability of gas.

In spite of the dire conditions they live in, these women managed to convey a message to the world.

A message of defiance and resistence . People everywhere are responding to their blogs. People

 from all over the world, including the United States, Israel’long life alley. They encourage them 

and tell them to keep on writing and resisting.

After reading these blogs I believe more of the ability of the blogs to send strong messages and to

bring about changes in evey aspect of life.

For these palestinian women I have nothing to say but DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT!  

 

 

   

 

What a great lesson she taught me!

She caught my attention from the very beginning.

The way she prayed left me mesmerized.

While we would finish our prayers hurridly as if we had something so urgent to do, she would take her

 time praying dedicatedly.  

And while we killed the time chatting away aimlessly, she would take out her Quraán and start reading

oblivious to the noises surrounding her.

She had negative opinions regading men, as most of us, but her views were to the extreme sometimes.

She would tell us not to listen to love songs as they promote unrealistic love among the young.

“Don’t you ever believe this crap. This love doesn’t exist.”

“Romance has disappearead from my life,” she would add sometimes laughingly, especially when she

heard us talking about marriage.    

As days went by, her story began to unravel.

I discovered that she’s divorced with no children.

She won her divorce after a long battle and after she had suffered severely from an ungrateful husband.

That was a tough time for her especially that it coincided with her mom’s death.

She lost a lot during that battle.

But something remaind exceptionally strong in her.

It was her spirit.

She went on her life with her head up.

“I deserve something better,” she would say to herself.

She made use of the free time she had at hand then and started studying diligintly to get her PhD, which

she earned two years after her divorce.

But more important was her relationship with God which underwent a great transformation.

And instead of complaining nonstop to people like many other women, she would confide

her sorrows and disappointments to God.

She started praying devotedly to him, reading Quraán and saying supplications. 

 After a while, I noticed some change in her.

She seemed to me happier than usual.

That was when I knew that she was getting married again.

But this time to a man much better than her ex-husband.

Just like her, he was divorced and a PhD holder.

Moreover, he holds a prestigious position there in the West.

When I asked her about the news, she confirmed them with a big smile.

She added beamingly:”They deceived me into marrying again.”

During the months that followed she was extremely happy packing up her belongings to join up her 

husband.    

 On her last day in our college we threw a big party for her. She was so happy that day as if she had

buried behind her all that was painful in her life and was taking her first step into a totally new

world. And for a moment, I felt that she was non-human with wings flying far away into her own

  worlds. 

It’s true that She left Saudi Arabia for ever but she left behind a great lesson. A lesson of patience,

resorting to God and making the best of what we have.

I really wish her the best in her new life.   

Diagnosis Confirmed

Yesterday I woke up late, though I am an early riser by nature.  

I was feeling depressed from the night before and I didn’t feel like getting up early.

 So I slept on until late into the morning.

Well, “late” according to my standards of course 🙂 .

I had that feeling that life is empty and there is nothing enjoyable out there so why bothering and

getting up early.  

This all took its toll on my temperament as I was irritated and very nervous.

These symptoms are not new.

In fact,  I’ve been keeping track of them for a while.

To be more honest, I’ve been having some doubts about me developing that sort of addiction.

( Don’t go so far!)

What happened yesterday confirmed my worst fears and now I have to put a name to my case.

Well, I hope you would understand.

Actually, you might find it a silly one.

But, I swear, it’s not, for many of us at least. 

 Well,

My DSL connection was suddenly lost with no obvious reasons  Kicking Dirt .

The only reason I can come up with is somebody abhoring me horribly who knows that this is the

best way to get me pissed off. 

If this is the real reason, I congratualte her as she really knew how to get me.

And as I spend online so many hours and I do a lot of stuff through this magical

 medium ( don’t worry, they are all useful. Well, most of them) I felt so depressed and angry.

And because denial is of no use, I have to come clean and admit that 

I’ve discovered ( is DISCOVER the right word? ) that I am a computer addict. 

I don’t know if there are rehab centers for my case?

But if there aren’t any, they should establish one soon.

Otherwise, I might deteriorate into some one like this

         or this one

 

or even worse like this one

Cartoon(3-3)

 

Hi

Do you see the cartoon above?

This is almost what my so OPEN-MINDED teacher asked me to do.

As I was trying to persuade her that it was ME, yes me, who wrote that so beautiful ( so conifident of my self 🙂 ) essay, she was eying me suspicously while repeating over and over again that I should prove to her that it was me and only me who wrote it.

“Prove to me”.

“How?”

“Next time you are gonna write an essay as good as this one in the class in front of me.”

“But writing needs a peace of mind.”

“This is the only way I can believe you.”

 No  

As despair was getting the best of me, I heard a very dear voice.

“Believe her. She is a good writer.”

It was my Pakistani teacher, may God bless her, defending me staunchingly.

At this, the other teacher had nothing to say and dismissed me coldly.

A few days later, the teacher sent me my essay.

It looked just like this

Full of red lines and circles.

Just a few days ago she had been accusing me of stealing my essay from a newspaper, how come she found

all these mistakes.

I’m just wondering LOUDLY!

 

Cartoon (2-3)

 

Hi

starting from where I left off yesterday.

I remember particulary one teacher, a BhD holder, who taught me in my third year in college.

She was a fresh comer to our college back then.

On her first day in our class she made a point of declaring to everyone that she had just come from the

 States;i.e, USA.

After each two sentences she would remind us again of this fact, in case we had forgot.

She would say:”The other day when I was in the States I went to so and so.” or “In the states I read a book.”

Maybe she would say:”In the States I would sleep or eat or ………..” 

Oh, come on. Stop it.

Any way, after giving her introduction and declaring the great fact that she had come from the States.

She asked us to write some essays to get an idea about our level and how good we were at writing.

Needless to say that I was very excited.

It was my opportunity to shine.

I wrote a very beautiful essay and gave it in very proudly waiting eagerly for the praises she would shower

 me with.

A week later, she gave us back our essays.

As she was passing them, I could hear my heart throbbing loudly.

I guess my body system was getting ready to some praises from X-large size.

The list of names almost finished and I didn’t hear my name.

She must be saving me to the last for the big praise.

At last, she called out my name.

My heart almost skipped a beat and a big smile must have found its way to my face.

“Who is Eman?”

Ït’s me”

“I need you in my office.”

“O.K.”

Surely I would go. Who could miss all that attention?

I must’ve impressed her so much she wanted to share some private talk with me.

How lucky am I?  

So there I went.

Along with me were my hopes and best expectations.

She was sharing her office with other teachers.

What a great opportunity to brag about my talents in front of everyone 🙂 .

Now the other teachers will see for themseves how a talented student I am.

I entered her office flashing on of my biggest smiles.  

But oh

She didn’t smile back.

Instead, she handed me my essay.

Well she might be that type of people who prefer to write their impressions.

I mean she might be a shy person.  

However

There on the far left top she had written………..

What do you think?

Fantastic?

Nope.

Brilliant?

Nope.

You are going to a have a great future as a writer?

Nope again.

These longed-for comments were only written in my imagination.

My supposed to be open-mindeded teacher had written on top of my essay

Depend on yourself!

Oh no no!

Is this the long awaited response?

Where are the praises I had been waiting for?

 

 For more than five minutes I was convincing her that it was me who had written that article and that I hadn’t copied it as she was insiting from a newspaper.

 

 

Cartoon(1-3)

 

 

 

Hi everyone

Have you read this cartoon?

Does it ring a bell?

personally it rings for me too many bells.

It must have reminded you of writing teachers.

Well. Not all of them.

But surely many of them.

Let’s share our stories together.