Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Danish Follow Through

Seems that i missed out on the action a couple of weeks back. A hijabi Danish woman of Palestinian origin has become the presenter of a Danish show. The woman, Asmaa Abdol-Hamid, spoke to IslamOnline about her experience.

Ha, the "evil" Danish people allowed a hijabi on their TV sets! Interesting way to follow up the Muhammad Cartoon Controversy. And for those of you who may stress on the fact that Islam "is not recognized by the [Danish] state unlike Christianity and Judaism", no, i'm not saying they're saints. But this shows the political controversy and the wide range of social attitudes that Western countries tend to deal with.

So you go, Asmaa! We're rooting for you all the way.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Cameras vs. Guns: War Today

I saw this picture at the Palestinian section of AUS's Global Day last weekend. It left me breathless. I couldn't resist the impulse to whip out my camera and snap a photo.

How many of us can challenge Death like that for the sake of showing people the Truth? Would i be able to do that? Would you?

Endless thanks and prayers for those who can, and are.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


Wearing a scarf is one of the biggest choices a Muslim girl can make. For some, the choice to do so or not is expected, for others, the choice is extremely difficult. But regardless of the difficulty of the situation, the resulting choice marks a girl in nearly all aspects of her life.

Personally, i wear the scarf (called hijab in Arabic). Thankfully, i was never pressured by my family to wear one or not. It was my own choice. And like many other hijabis (the Anglicized name for girls who wear hijab), i've had moments when i loved it and moments when i wanted to do nothing short of rip it off of my head. So why haven't these girls and i, especially those of us who weren't pressured into it, gone ahead and done so? In short, the answer is this: Because we believe in hijab and what it stands for.

Hijab is the Muslim woman's show of modesty. There are many different ways of wearing it and different beliefs as to how much skin a woman should cover, but the general idea is the same. Covering up your hair and your body in public. I don't wanna get too into specifics here, so for details, click here.

"But oh my god, don't you get hot in that?"

The number of times a hijabi gets that question is uncountable. The physical aspect of wearing the hijab isn't too hard. It's more the social aspect that can get...uncomfortable, so to speak. And the thing is, it's not the hijab's fault, it's the people's! There's a general trend in Arab society that separates the hijabis from other, non-hijabi girls. I call it 'Hijabism'.

Hijabis are usually thought to be less outgoing, less creative, less modern; and more passive, more submissive, more traditional. And this is Arab society, not 'the West'. Hijabis are underrepresented in all forms of Arab media, from movies to TV to radio. The ratio of hijabis in the media to the number of hijabis in the Arab world is very small.

The other day, my friend made a remark that really summed up what i'm trying to say. "The 'popular' girls here ignore hijabis like the plague." And what's funny is that back in 'the West', it's not like that. Who you hang out with isn't dictated by whether or not there's an extra piece of cloth on your head.

Lemme give you a little scenario i took part in to give you a better understanding of what i'm saying:

At AUS's Global Day, there was a Syrian traditional dance going on, called a 'dabkeh'. I jumped in, grabbing the hand of a poufy-haired, makeup-y girl. Now, i don't have anything against girls with that description - when they're nice. But this one totally tried to ignore me. She was barely holding my hand, practically ruining the dabkeh, and then halfway through, she ran to the other side of the dabkeh where some other poufy-haired, makeup-y girls were.

Now, why exactly did she do this? Because i wasn't as poufy-haired and makeup-y as she was. I promise you, if i'd been wearing a miniskirt and full on makeup and had my hair done, she would've stayed next to me. But no, being a hijabi is just not cool enough. Actually, being anything short of a sex toy is not cool enough.

Now that that's said, i have to turn around and say that the situation isn't always like that. Most non-hijabi girls are as sweet as can be; one of my closest friends isn't hijabi. But we've gotta recognize this issue, this 'hijabism' in Arab society. If we want to be recognized in the West, then we've gotta be recognized in our own countries first.

Friday, April 07, 2006

It's Going Around

I've been sick. I caught some virus that my brother had for a while. But alhamdulillah (praise be to God), i'm better now. But speaking of viruses...

"Chain blogs" (is that even what they're called?) are spreading faster than any illess i've seen at work. And i've caught the bug! (Courtesy of Mathew.)

So, here goes nothing:

Four jobs that I’ve had:
- Student
- Journalist
- Poet
- Class President (...does that count?)Four movies that I could watch over and over:-
- The Last Samurai
- Crash
- Lord of the Rings (okay, i'd have to have at least a month's break between each veiwing.. that trilogy is LONG!!)
- Syriana

Four places I’ve lived in:-
- Jeddah, KSA
- Chicago
- Los Angeles
- Sharjah, UAE

Four TV shows that I like:-
- Prisonbreak
- Alias
- Layali Alsal7iyeh (Syrian show set in the early 1900s)
- Naruto
- Honey and Clover (Yes, i added an extra one.. i couldn't not put it on!)

Four places where I’ve vacationed:-
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Jeddah and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Sedona, Arizona (The Grand Canyon!)

Four of my favorite dishes:-
- The Blondie @ Applebees
- Tuna Melt
- Ships & Pasta (this little contraption has neither ships nor pasta, it's a Circassian dish. "ships" is the name of this porridge-like stuff, and the "pasta" is sticky, rice stuff.)
- Halava (another Circassian dish. basically it's triangular shaped pastries stuffed with potatoes or cheese.)

Four sites that I visit daily:-
- Yahoo! Mail
- Saudi Jeans
- iToot
- Mugglenet

Four Books that I’ve read lately:-
- "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry
- "A Fortune-Teller Told Me" by Tiziano Terzani
- "French Women Don't Get Fat" by Mireille Guiliano
- "The Ode Less Travelled" by Stephen Fry

Four Bloggers that I’m going to tag with this:
- Farrukh
- A&M
(don't know four, heehee)

Alrighty then. That's all for now. I have to catch up on the two math lessons i missed this week. Wish me luck.