Friday, December 30, 2005

The Re-birth – Part IV

"و أذن في الناس بالحج يأتوك رجالا..."

I have never in my life felt as safe as I did as when I was at 3arafa. There are no words that I can put together that would truly be reflective of my feelings then. 3arafa, the day you feel all your sins are washed off; you are reborn.

You literally feel the presence of Angels around you. No one will be able to truly appreciate what I mean other than those who have actually been there. Had I not already put on the 7ejab prior to leaving home, there was no way I was going to walk out of 3arafa not met7ajba.

"God is so merciful that He is willing to forgive me for ALL my sins, and I can’t put a piece of cloth on my head? I can’t cover my hair? 3aib 3lay ibsara7a."

There will never be another wagfa ib 3arafa again where I will not recall all the feelings of that day and lower my head thanking Allah for His Greatness.

"اللهم اعوذ بك من الفقر و من شتات الامر و من شر ما يحدث بالليل و النهار أمسي ظلمي مستجيرا بعفوك و أمسي خوفي مستجيرا بأمانك .."

This is where a huge dose of reality was handed to me. Looking around, you see many different people from all parts of the world and all parts of life. You see poverty in its rawest form, yet poverty moved by faith! Simply unreal.

This is where I felt how weak I was as a mortal. This is where it became clear that at the end, it doesn’t matter what educational degree I hold, what job title I carry, how much money I make.. it doesn’t matter what country I was born in and if I can speak languages or not. What matters is how my actions will have earned me a place in Heaven or not. Looking around, I realize those who have lived much more humble lives were on the same level as me standing there, possibly even higher when it came to what really matters!

Road to Mina:
Heading to Mina, anything that can go wrong went wrong. Our bus got lost in the midst of the human oceans of people walking around. It was barely moving as a result and what should’ve taken us 1 hour, at most, took us 9 hours! During that ride some people started to whine and complain that we were late, that we were on the bus too long, etc.

Somehow, I felt completely calm and serene. My mother looked at me and asked if I was ok. I replied, “Never been better. We’re going to narjim el shay6an. He’s trying to mess things up for us. La etkhaloneh yaghlebkom. Don’t sit here and whine. Read Quran, read du3a2, do anything constructive. Complaining will just give el shay6an what he wants.”

So we, as a group, started reading Du3a2 and the more we read, the faster the bus was able to move. The minute we all said out loud “Allahuma Salleee wa Sallim 3ala Mohammed, wa 2al Mohammed”, the bus moved and kept on moving. Sub7anak ya Rab!

Ramee El-Jamarat:
So many people gathered around, throwing pebbles (rajm el shay6an.) We decided to split up. Three of my aunts and I decided to battle this together. We held on to each other like a train. I lead the pack and walked into the crowd. Again, sub7an Allah, somehow the path opens up and we find ourselves against the railing, right in front of the wall. I grabbed my seven pebbles. As I looked up and aimed to throw, I saw many other pebbles flying in the same direction.

Somehow, as the pebble leaves your hand, your eyes follow it and you know EXACTLY which one your’s is and you see where it hits. You know right there and then whether you’ve hit it right or not. As each pebble leaves your hand you get more and more upset with el shay6an and you throw the next one even harder. You realize all those times el shay6an managed to convince you to sleep a little longer till salat el fajr passed you. You remember all those times el shay6an waswas lek and you realize how silly it was to not see it and stop el shay6an from having an effect on you!

Final 6awaf:
Right before we began our final 6awaf, it started to drizzle lightly. Smiling, we all looked up to the sky. El mo6ar khair, abwab el sama maftoo7ah! Then, it poured down!! Rain completely washed us. But that didn’t bother us, on the contrary, we were smiling like we’d never smiled before! Does this mean that Allah teqabal minna and is washing our sins?

Although we were worn out by all the events over the past few days, the harder it rained the more energy we had. We finished el 6awaf with greater ease than our first 6awaf when we arrived. Then, it happened. During our 7th and final sho6 around el Ka3ba, the rain stopped. I looked up and there it was. The most beautiful, huge, colorful rainbow right above el Ka3ba and the sky was orange.

Aneh 7ajjiya. How great it feels to actually BE one. It’s not just a word people use anymore. It’s a title I have earned proudly.

"لا اله الا أنت سبحانك اني كنت من الظالمين"

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Gather Ye Rosebuds...

she's gone. he wished that he could take it back. he wasn't sure why, but sometimes words came out of his mouth which sounded perfect at the time, but later on he realized that they were poisonous darts flying out, not words.

he cared for her deeply. he knew she was a good person. he knew that she wasn't like other girls. with her, there was no drama. she respected him as an individual, accepted their differences, and didn't seem to make the demands most girls these days make.

he tried to keep himself busy to stop his thoughts, but it didn't work. there she was again. when he's awake, he sees her in front of him, remembers her voice, her smile. when he tries to escape and sleep, she's there in is dreams. this is getting annoying. he's not the romantic type, he doesn't believe in any of this.

she was always there. whenever he wanted to share parts of his day, his frustrations, his dreams, his thoughts; she was always there to listen and try to comfort him. looking back now, he realized that there were many times when she'd come to him for solace and all he did was add to her pain. why? what made him do that? was he subconsciously trying to push her away? has he gotten so used to being alone that her taking over a part of his life was a threat he wasn't willing to succumb to? or was he so afraid of loss that he refused to commit?

doesn't matter now. she's gone. it's over. he had his chance. he blew it. "khalha etwalee, wana shako? alf bent bil 3alam."

his mind drifted again.. "bs mako methelha."

he picks up the phone. stares at it. it's too late. she's gone. he puts the phone back down and walks away.

not knowing what she meant to him, she died last week.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Mother Courage, a few weeks ago, wrote about Compromise, which is something I’ve been meaning to write about for a long time, but never got around to it. While each person will naturally relate this to whatever experiences they’ve gone through or are currently experiencing, please note that I’m talking about relationships in general and not just the ‘male/female’ relationship.

Once people surpass the ‘getting to know you' stage, they move on to categorizing. You have those who fall under ‘family’, ‘close friends – almost family’, ‘semi-friends’, ‘acquaintances’, ‘never want to see/talk to them’, etc. With some people, it’s easy to fit them into the appropriate slot. Others, though, it seems very difficult; they teeter-totter on the borderline and you never know when to make a final decision or where to place them.

There are people who enter our lives, people whose thought process we find admirable, whom we feel that we connect with, whose company we enjoy. Yet, as we get to know them better, as the novelty starts to subside, and we see more and more of the ‘full picture’ of that person’s personality, we find ourselves struggling. “Does this person add value to my life, or suck the energy out?”

It’s not easy to find people you connect or relate to. So, once you do, you hesitate to walk away. Human nature reminds us of the good times and we somehow sweep the bad under the rug and convince ourselves that there’s more ‘good’ than ‘bad’. Yet at the same time, with age and experience, tolerance levels get reduced greatly and priorities start shifting.

When do you stop compromising? When do you decide that enough is enough? There is no perfect person, so when do you decide whether their imperfection is something you can tolerate or not? Life has no guarantees. Life has no black or white answers. Life is too short to be wasted on the wrong people.

The dictionary says that compromise is: “a settlement of differences in which each side makes concessions.” The operative word here is ‘EACH’. I don’t think making the decision is the difficult part. If we dig deep down inside, we know whether the person in front of us is someone who is a good addition to our life or not. However, for some reason, once we make what we think is a ‘solid’ connection, it’s tough to break it off. We keep making up excuses and giving second, third, and twenty seventh chances; never quite realizing that if it was truly solid, no chances would be needed (at least not that many)!

When someone comes to us for advice, it’s so easy for us to give it; just like it’ll be easy for any of you to write a comment about this. But when it comes to your own life and the friends who cross your path, is it easy for you? Is it easy to draw the line and walk away once someone crosses it? Knowing the withdrawal symptoms you will face, how do you surpass that and move on? Just how much of yourself do you give up when you compromise?

Friday, December 23, 2005

Where there's a will, there's a way..

So I've finally been tagged.. and of all things to be tagged on, my ROOM!!!!! :| Well Doc, I'm not one to back down now.. you said room, you showed us one side of your room, now I get to pick my side to show:

I have officially fulfilled the tag! :D

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Pilgrimage - Part III

We started our 6awaf around el Ka3ba and it was not an easy task. Thousands of people all in one small location, all trying to perform the same duties. Somehow, sub7an Allah, we managed to find a slot and squeezed into the 6awaf ring. Once we reached the line where the 7ajjar aswad begins, we started our seven ashwa6:

« اللهم امانتي اديتها ، وميثاقي تعاهدته ، لتشهد لي بالموافاة ، اللهم تصديقا بكتابك ، وعلى سنة نبيك ،صلواتك عليه و اله اشهد ان لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له ، وان محمدا عبده ورسوله.. »

At first, it was tough to see where the black line by el7ajar elaswad starts. If you look down, you risk tripping, falling down and getting trampled on. Then we discovered that there’s a green light on top. If you just keep your eye on it, then you know where to begin each sho6.

We struggled to maintain our formation; people pushing from each direction. It was a raging sea of people. It wasn’t easy to keep your feet grounded as you felt a tide come in and lift you literally off your feet; you felt yourself somehow being pulled away from your group. The harder the forces against you, the harder you concentrated on keeping pace and keeping your ground. At first, I lost sight of what I was doing; I was too busy trying to not fall down. Fear took over for a few minutes, but then I remembered what I was there for. I’m in bait Allah; He’s protecting me and watching over me. What more could I ask for? What is there to fear? Nothing!

I lifted my head up high, held on strong, and raised my left arm forward to protect the women in our group from getting pulled away:

الشوط الأول: "اللهم اني اسألك باسمك الذي يمشي به على ظلل الماء كما يمشي به على جدد الأرض..."

الشوط الثاني: “اللهم اني اليك فقير و اني خائف مستجير.."

الشوط الثالث: "اللهم ادخلني الجنة و اجرني من النار برحمتك.."

الشوط الرابع: "يا الله يا ولي العافية و خالق العافية..."

الشوط الخامس: "الحمدلله الذي شرفك و عظمك.."

الشوط السادس: "اللهم البيت بيتك و العبد عبدك و هذا مقام العائذ بك من النار..."

الشوط السابع: "اللهم إن عندي أفواجا من ذنوب..."

I have no idea how, but the seven ashwa6 were done before we knew it. I have no idea how we managed to stay solid in our 6awaf and finish so quickly. We walked sideways and got out and dropped to pray rak3atay el 6awaf:

"اصلي ركعتي الطواف لعمرة التمتع لحج التمتع حج الإسلام لوجوبه قربة إلى الله تعالى"

The minute my forehead touched the cold ground, I didn’t want to raise my head. I was too ashamed, too embarrassed, too weak. Here I have over the past x number of years of my life taken so many things for granted, and now here I drop my head to Rab el 3almeen asking him to forgive everything. How can I dare lift my head? How can I dare even beg for forgiveness when I don’t even feel that I’m worthy of it? I felt all the burdens of my sins weigh heavily on my shoulders, forcing my head to remain down, while my tears dropped in repentance.

After I got done with the prayer, I went and drank from Zamzam water. As silly as this may sound, you feel the cold water going through your body as if it too wants to help in your cleansing.


The Sa3ee between Al-Safa wil Marwa was another task within itself. Don’t look around you, focus straight ahead, read the ad3eya, and walk the seven ashwa6. When you get to the area between the two green lights and men start to jog, at first this catches your attention and you wonder what it going on. Then you remember that this is where Hajjar ran when she was looking for water for her son.

Then it all hits you. Mentally, you remove the nice building structure, you remove the fans and the lighting, you remove every man made form of convenience and you try to think back of how 7ajj/6awaf was back then. Your mind takes you back to Hajjar and her struggle when her infant son was screaming for water. When, helpless, she ran between the Safa and Marwa looking for any sign of water, any sign of help. That is, until God's mercy let the waters of Zamzam flow from right beneath her son Ismael's feet.

Remembering her, her braveness and faith, and how she told her husband, Sayedna Ebrahim as he walked away from her and their son:

“آلله أمرك بهذا؟ قال: نعم. قالت: إذا لا يضيعنا”

Who am I compared to her? No one. What have I done compared to her? Nothing. What is my faith measured against her? Non-existent!! Everything about this place screams of God’s greatness and the miracles he has bestowed upon us; it screams of the greatness of the Prophets and el-mo2mneen; it’s a reminder for all of us that we are mere molecules of dust when our faith is measured against their’s.

That is the real lesson. Who cares about all the other things we complain about during our daily life? Who cares that my dad yelled at me, that my sister annoyed me, or that my friend didn’t return my call? Who cares that my boss doesn’t give me full credit, that my coworker doesn’t carry his/her weight? When it all comes down to it, none of that matters. We’re living a daily test from God. Are we prepared to see the results?

to be continued...

Monday, December 19, 2005

Chargers steal Streak!

All good things, eventually must come to an end. The Indianapolis Colts suffered their first defeat today, taking away hopes of a historic perfect season. My only solace is that their loss was handed to them by none other than, Drew Brees - how ironic! The Chargers dominated the game early. Though the Colts scored 17 straight points in the 3rd quarter (within 6 minutes!) and took over the lead, they couldn't hold on to it. It was Michael Turner who sealed the Colts' fate deep in the 4th quarter rushing for an 83 yard touchdown, giving the boys from San Diego a 26-17 win.

Stats: Brees completed 22 out of 33 passes for a total of 255 yards, while Manning completed 26 out of 45, for a total of 336. Rushing yards, however, were a different story. The Chargers rushed 206 yards versus the Colts' 24!!! The Colts lost 1 fumble and threw 2 interceptions, and lost 67 yards to 8 penalties. The Chargers, on the other hand, lost 2 fumbles, threw 2 interceptions, and lost 75 yards to 11 penalties.
    My message to the Colts: It ain't over till it's over. Rest up boys, and concentrate on the Super Bowl. You've done a great job so far! (chineh ga3deen yesem3ooni o waiting on me to tell them this!!)

    Saturday, December 17, 2005

    لبيك اللهم لبيك - Part II

    The Bahrain-Saudi Causeway: We left Bahrain around 12:30 pm on Monday January 17th, 2005. The whole drive across the causeway, I was lost in a different world. “What is it going to be like? I’ve gone to 3omra before, how difficult could this be? Will I know what to do? What if I forget something? What if I do something wrong? What if God does not accept my 7ajj?!!? What will happen when I return? How will it be coming back and facing the same life, from a different perspective? Will I change?”

    So many questions, but the overall emotion was that of fear and excitement.

    Dammam Airport: When we arrived, it suddenly all became too real. At first, it seemed like we were going on a trip and so many other people were there with their families doing the same. I looked at people’s faces. There were those who seemed like they had no idea what they were doing there, others happy beyond belief, some nervous, and others who just seemed to want to help in any way possible.

    Those in charge of the 7emla were great. They were organized, they had people all over the place, they took care of us and made us feel welcome and taken care of!

    Taif Airport: Once we got off the plane, I suddenly wasn’t sure where I ended up. It felt like a bus station! So many people everywhere, no organization, bags all over the place, children running around, complete chaos! Somehow though, we all got funneled into our appropriate busses and we made the trek to go and “na7rem”…

    E7ram: What an amazing feeling… to sit there and cleanse yourself physically, mentally, emotionally. To know that the minute you’re done with e7ram, you suddenly are a person who has to give up so many things: no getting upset or mad, no getting frustrated, no killing of any insects, no pulling any hairs out, no looking in the mirror, no to a lot of things, and yes to a lot more. Yes to purifying your soul. Yes to praying and remembering the teachings of Islam. Yes to being good to your fellow humans and helping out.

    It’s funny how this is how we SHOULD be every day of our lives, but for some reason, it’s so much easier when you’re in Hajj/close to Bait Allah. Now that we have cleansed ourselves, it was time to head to Mecca and start 7ajj.. this is it!! We’re going to Bait Allah.. I’m finally starting the 7ajj journey and there’s no turning back now. Suddenly, all fear was gone. I could barely contain my excitement. I couldn’t wait to see El Ka3ba!! I was dressed in all white, and that’s how I felt from the inside as well.

    El Ka3ba: We finally arrived at Bait Allah around 2 a.m. and organized in small groups. It was time to prepare to go in and perform the 3omra tasks first. We lined up and el murshid explained to us what we were going to do: “When we go in, we’ll line up. I will read the neya and you have to repeat it after me. We then will walk towards the Ka3ba in the same formation. Stick close to each other. Women, lock your arms together and don’t let go. Men, surround the women and try to protect them so others don’t bump into them. Let’s go.”

    As we started to walk in, my heart was beating so loud, I could barely hear anything. “I’m ready for this,” I thought, “nothing to fear or worry about.” Then, a flood of tears gushed down my cheeks. I was suddenly standing in front of el Ka3ba and I couldn’t contain myself. I felt 3athamat El Khaleq around me. I felt this great rahba that I can’t even begin to explain to you! As I said the neya I suddenly forgot about the whole world. Nothing existed in my mind except what I saw in front of me and the reason I was there. No work, no worldly troubles, nothing. All of that was a distant memory which didn’t seem to matter anymore. Why did I get so annoyed with my boss all those times? Why was I upset with my friend? Why did this and that get me frustrated? Those all suddenly seemed like stupid things which, in the bigger picture/in the big scheme of things, were SOOO irrelevant that I suddenly felt stupid for even getting bothered by any of it.

    We started walking towards the Ka3ba to begin el 6awaf…

    to be continued...

    Tuesday, December 13, 2005

    13 - 0


    The Indianapolis Colts had a busy week! They just won their 13th straight game this season, got their third straight AFC South title, and clinched the AFC's top playoff seed.

    With 3 more games left in the season, the Colts will host the San Diego Chargers (8-5) on December 18th. Good luck boys!

    Saturday, December 10, 2005

    Hajj - Part I

    As Hajj season gets closer, I feel a myriad of emotions upon me that I just can’t seem to explain. So instead, I’ll take you back with me on a journey that I embarked upon a year ago:

    February 2004: As people left for Hajj in 2004, every time I said bye to someone who was going, I felt this constant ache which kept getting worse with each goodbye. I was envious. I wanted to go! And as cheesy as it may sound, I felt a ‘calling’. For years of my life I always thought that I would eventually want to go when the time was right. Suddenly, it felt right! It was time.

    March 2004: Talked to my sister and told her that I really wanted to go. Upon further discussions, she was convinced and she decided it was time for her too. Next thing you know, a total of 6 family members made the decision to go to Hajj 2005.

    May 2004: The decision was made. Am I really going to do this? It’s not a small thing. With Hajj come a lot more responsibilities. This is a turning point in my life. To me, this isn’t something that I’ll do now and then come back from it the same person who left. Was I really ready for this shift? I thought I was.. but that’s not good enough! I had to be sure!

    June 2004: Yes, of course I’m ready.. actually I’m ecstatic and excited. I can’t wait to go to Bait Allah & join the millions of others to fulfill one of our religious duties towards Allah. Listen up everyone, I’m going to Hajj! I’m going to be Hajjiyah!!!!!

    September 2004: I’ve always said I would at7ajab before going to Hajj; that this is how I wanted to face Rabbee when I went to Him asking Him to forgive all my sins. This means I only have a little more than 3 months before I have to put on the 7ejab. To me, this is no joke. Once the 7ejab is on, it’s on for good! Am I worthy of wearing it? I don’t want to wear it as a symbol. I don’t want to wear it the way I see many women do, casually! I want to wear it as a sign of conviction, of belief, of succumbing to a greater cause.

    October 2004: That’s it, it’s almost final. We’ve paid the deposit to the 7emla we’re going with. This is happening! It’s real! I’m FREAKED OUT now. I’m not ready. I’m not ready for this. I want to be, but this is such a huge responsibility. What if I’m not up to it? What if I fail? I can’t fail!! Failure is not an option! I’m scared out of my mind!

    December 2004: It’s happening soon. I can barely breathe! I can’t think of anything other than this. I’m going to face Allah and live up to all of the mistakes of my past. I am going to face my Maker and ask him to not only forgive me for those mistakes, but to believe that I am a better person now; that I will not continue down the wrong path!

    January 17, 2005: I put on my 7ejab for the first time and declare to my mother that I am now officially met7ajba! We get our things ready and head out. We’re on our way to Mecca… on our way to the journey of peace!

    Stay tuned for part II: The Pilgrimage!

    No Time

    I find it very amusing how we never seem to have time for anything, yet we complain that we’re bored!

    First week back after vacation rushed by and it was a ‘busy’ week. First of all, I tried to catch up at the office with all the work that’s piled up awaiting my return. Second, I had a graduation to prepare for (WOHOOOOOOO! IT’S OVER!!!! That chapter is CLOSED!). Third, my sister’s engagement is upon us and those preparations never seem to end. Fourth, of course, is trying to catch up with family and friends (whom I vowed a few posts ago to keep in touch with more than before! Why do I make such public promises?? I never learn!)

    Yet, as busy as this week has been, I still felt bored; I still sent the occasional sms or email declaring ‘MALAL!’ So what does it take? Why does it seem that I’m not fulfilled?

    I’m on a hunt now to find something to keep me occupied where I don’t feel malal. I will try to see if it’s just the Gemini in me that’s constantly bored, or if I just haven’t managed to fill my time with the ‘right things’. I have a few ideas of what I want to do, but I’ll let you in on them when the time is right.

    Sunday, December 04, 2005


    HELP!! I don't want to go tomorrow!!!!! :( Don't make me go!!!!! :'(

    (Once I've gotten over the shock, we can resume our regularly scheduled blogging!)

    Friday, December 02, 2005

    I'm Baaaaaaaaack!

    I'm finally home.. and it feels good to be surrounded by all the familiar things again (with the exception of having to see my work place on the way home from the airport! yekh!). I soooo don't want to go back to work this coming week! :/

    (But, can I tell you a little secret? As glad as I am to be back at home base, something seems to be missing! :| )

    Tuesday, November 29, 2005

    Colts Baby!!!!!!

    11 and OOOOOO!!!

    I know this is completely off topic for this blog, but I had to put a special tribute to the Indianapolis Colts!! Congratulations on a great season so far.. tonight, they moved up to 11-0; undefeated! As for the '72 Dolphins... not yet!!! Hopefully, not at all!! ;)

    Sunday, November 27, 2005

    No Regrets!

    Though I have no idea what I want to write about, I just felt like writing. So, if you're reading this, good luck in taking this ride with me.

    I'm currently on vacation, away from home, work, family, friends. While it's been nice and relaxing, a part of me misses it all. Ok, not the work part! But the family and friends, the trying to spread my time between them, work and other obligations. Having friends getting upset at me cuz they haven't seen me in so long.. the weekly family meetings.. all of it (ok, not people getting upset at me!)

    I guess sometimes we don't realize just how good we have it, until we step away. Even though I get frustrated at times with certain family members or friends, I miss them! I miss our fights and annoyances. I miss getting that sms from them, phone call or email yelling at me asking where on Earth I've been hiding.

    When I was home, they tagged me as "me5tafya" cuz I was always too busy. Now that I'm far away, I regret not putting in the effort. I regret wasting time on stupid things, work included, as opposed to spending time with those who love me.

    We only get one chance at life. Every minute we waste, we'll never get back. So, if you're a family member or a friend and reading this, I miss you! And I'm sorry that I've been so bad at keeping in touch. Hopefully, when I get back at the end of the week, I'll put in more effort.. so back off and stop complaining ;)

    To the rest of the readers out there, stop wasting time with those who don't matter so much. Remember the people out there who love you and would do anything for you; remember those who, when the chips are down, will be the first by your side. Give them your time, before it's too late. Prioritize. No regrets!

    Sunday, November 13, 2005

    Light's Out

    This blog will be on vacation for the next 3 weeks.. Till then, enjoy! :)

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Life's Lessons

    (consolidation time.. moving some old posts from my other blogs onto this one)


    Why do humans interact? Why do we communicate? What purpose are we trying to serve? Do we even really need to?

    Different people have different needs. Some communicate in order to connect and build relationships. Others communicate due to an inner need to just talk, to just speak, to just say what's on their mind.. as if keeping that information in will cause it to fester and rot.

    Knowing WHY we reach out to others is vital. The reason behind someone connecting to you can help you better understand their motives and expectations. Every action warrants a reaction, sometimes equal, sometimes more extreme, other times, completely misled!!

    Some people will put up with everything, others will put up with nothing, and some very few unique individuals will actually measure everything, and base their decision on your total net value, as opposed to an isolated incident.

    My advice, get rid of expectations. It makes life a lot easier. You can't control how someone acts, but you can control how you react. If your expectations are non-existant, then you can reduce the possibility of being affected when caught in the human guillotine.. when someone decides to turn you into a disposable human!

    Timing is everything in life.. when the tide comes in, and if it's not worth sticking it out, turn around and walk out the door.. and never look back!

    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    Trust Me!

    Ok it’s time for me to be a girl (i.e. mushy!!) So if you’re allergic to kids, stop reading now!! :)

    Typical to family gatherings, especially during Eid, the kids come over and they’re all excited about their new clothes and the money they’ve collected. They go around running all over the place with an unlimited amount of energy until… one of them bangs his head on a table!!!!

    Suddenly, everything changes - screams, crying, tears, the whole 9 yards - but in the midst of all of that, something amazing happens. When you go up to that crying kid and he looks at you with trusting eyes, pouting lips, and arms stretched out for u to pick him up.. when you grab him and he wraps his arms around u, sighs, and rests his head on ur shoulders.

    They trust u. They know that ur supposed to protect them from harm. It’s that unconditional innocent expectation of protection that gives us no choice but to comply and do all we can to keep them safe.

    It’s sad how as we grow up, we go from that complete trust stage to getting so used to disappointment, that we stop expecting ‘good’ from people, and always wait for “that other shoe to fall”. With each betrayal we encounter in life, that look of trust changes to a look of suspicion! Gone are the days where you leave your door unlocked without thinking twice.. gone are the days where you leave the car running with the key in the ignition!

    At least we'll always have the kids, that innocent look, and that priceless trusting hug that makes everything else fade away!

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    Insomniac :|

    Yes, world.. I'm an insomniac, by choice (I guess!).

    Not sure what it is, but for some reason, when night falls, I find it very difficult to sleep. Not that I don't want to, not that I'm not tired, but somehow I always manage to find something else to keep me busy - no matter how insignificant that something is. The bigger problem is that I don't even fully realize just how insignificant what I'm doing is till the next morning when I'm fighting with my snooze for those extra 9 mins of sleep!! I literally lay there with 1/4th of an eye open thinking "if I sleep for another 3 mins, can I still make it on time?" (yes, those 3 mins are VALUABLE!!!)

    Do you wake up in the morning thinking 'why did I do that to myself?' Do you yawn throughout the day & feel like a creature of the night? Do you wonder what possesses people to wake up before noon on their day off (why, oh why, would anyone do that)?!

    If your answer is "yes", then welcome to my world.. and welcome to our club! We are those who refuse to spend 1/3rd of our life sleeping! Think about it, by the time you turn 30 (ummm, in 25 years for me!!) you'll have spent approximately 10 of those years sleeping!!! :O

    I'm sure I can find something better to do with those 10 years!

    (please note: sleep IS my friend, during daylight! sleeping 500 hours during the day is fine, it's just not ok to sleep that much at night!! )

    Wednesday, October 19, 2005

    Questions Answered

    I love how the comments/responses to my questions (from the previous post) contain questions within them!! :)

    I agree that the longer we hold on to the past, the more difficult it is for us to move forward. Yet, for our past to have held greater value, we need to at least have learned the lessons it taught us.

    There are no guarantees out there. We learn best from our mistakes (hopefully!) So I guess MY answer to my own questions is: put yourself out there but keep your expectations in check. The possibility of disappointment is always there. However, that only affects us in as much as we allow it to.

    You can’t control the world or what people do, you can only control the way you respond and react to what happens around you. And make mistakes.. so what?! It's not the end of the world. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on! (so cliché!!)

    Sunday, October 16, 2005

    What If...?

    Do you ever wonder what you’re doing with your life? Do you ever wonder if what you think you want isn’t really what you need? What happens when you get what you’re working so hard for, only to find out that it’s not what you thought it would be? What if it was never worth the effort to begin with?

    Then again, what if you think 'forget it' and your life is fine the way it is..? So you let it go and move on, only to wake up one morning and realize what a big mistake that was! But, by then, it's too late!

    Unfortunately, while life is so quick in presenting us with questions, it’s not very eager to provide us with the answers that go along with them. It’s all about risks; the risk of going after it versus the risk of just letting it slip away.

    We all know in order to gain something, we need to take a risk. In business, and in life, the biggest risks come with the biggest rewards. Yet, they also come with the biggest losses.

    So what do you do? How do you know when to move forward, and when to just sit back and watch?

    This time, I have no answers for you. Just questions!

    Tuesday, October 11, 2005

    Epiphany !!

    Ramadan; my favorite time of year! One of the only times that I can truly reflect on my life, what direction it's heading in, and where I'd like for it to go. A time for cleansing, breaking free and fresh starts.

    This last week has been hectic, on all fronts. Yet, it's done nothing but increase my faith, al7amdl'Allah. It's amazing how little worldly things affect you when your spiritual bond is strong.

    It's also been a very strange, yet productive, week.. so many 'coincidences'!!! Let the resurrection begin! :)

    To my dear friend who's getting ready to pack it all up and go on a journey half-way across the world, best of luck!! Don't forget, many - not one!! ;)

    Monday, October 10, 2005

    Tabula Rasa

    With time, you begin to realize that life is just way too short to waste on the wrong things and the wrong people. I guess at some point my tolerance level has gone way down. Why should I waste time on people who don't truly value me or appreciate what I have to offer?

    Well, dear friends, it's time for a fresh new start. We all need to get it through our heads that we can't change people unless they want to be changed. So, when the signs are as clear as day, listen to what they're telling you. Stop being stubborn cuz no one is gonna end up paying the price other than you.

    So save your pennies, turn over a new leaf, and keep in mind that starting a new page is sometimes a lot easier than erasing and rewriting on the same one over and over again!

    Sunday, October 02, 2005

    Friday, September 30, 2005

    1.. 2... TWO!!!!

    Yes, that's right.. I'm still around and surviving!!! 2 days left, T W O ! ! This last class isn't as bad as I thought it would be. It's a Capstone Simulation (Capsim). Luckily, I'm in a good group and we're doing ok (so far!!). Unfortunately, our professor leaves a lot to be desired! He talks too much and adds zero value. Don't get me wrong. He DOES give us info that we need for the simulation... when it's TOO LATE!!!

    I don't care though. You know why? That's right, in 2 days, inshAllah, MBA will officially be added to my resume!!!!! YEEEEEHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

    Tuesday, September 27, 2005

    The Final Countdown..

    The end begins tomorrow.. we start our final MBA course. It promises to be a handful and it'll keep me extremely busy for the next 5 days.. but, who cares? At the end of those five days is FREEDOM!!

    Wednesday, September 21, 2005

    Outstanding ! ! !

    It's over... O-V-E-R!! We finished our presentation tonight. Personally, I don't think my group & I did as well as we normally do.. but in comparison, we did fine.. We managed to answer most questions asked to us by other students.. but when the prof started asking questions, we all stood REALLY still hoping that he'd forget we were standing in front of the class!! Maybe he won't see us!!?

    Not only did we have no clue what he was talking about, but we were afraid to say anything. Why? Cuz he's got this amazing way of dragging you where you don't want to end up. So to say anything, you need to make sure 100% that you are prepared for where you'll end up (I definitely don't recommend you go on this ride unless you can afford the consequences.)

    Luckily, at the end, he said that we did an outstanding job.. you heard me right, OUTSTANDING!!! WOHOOOOOOOO, we aced the class.. and now, only one more subject left (5 class sessions)!

    In the mean time, I'm planning on enjoying my week off.. I hereby declare my brain switched off for the next week!!!

    Monday, September 19, 2005

    Tick.... Tock....

    Tomorrow’s my last day in the current class I’m taking. Though that’s good news, it also means that it’s my team’s turn to give our presentation, worth 25% of our grade. Oh, but that’s not the worst part. What’s worse is that the prof at the end of the presentation tries to find the most impossible questions and puts you on the spot to see how you manage to defend your case. (Did I mention that he gave my team the hardest case? Sure, let’s make it more fun, why don’t we??! Weeeeeeee!!)

    HA! Bring it… I can BS with the best of them!! (only problem is that he sees BS a mile away!! I hate smart profs!!) :/

    Oh well, by tomorrow night another class will be behind me, leaving only, say it with me now: “ONE MORE CLASS TO GO!!!”

    Sunday, September 18, 2005

    ‘Sometimes’ may cost us too much!

    One of the best things in the world is when you find some one, or some people, who understand you so well that they can predict your actions, know what you’re going to say before you say it, and adjust their own behavior accordingly to avoid conflict. It makes it so easy for us to talk to them and share things with them because we know that no matter what, they’ll understand what we really mean – even if we end up not really saying it. Sometimes they get to know us so well that we, unfortunately, end up taking them for granted; we don’t put in the effort to try to understand/ accommodate them, as much as they do with us.

    One of the worst things we can do is take someone we care about for granted. It’s so easy to just assume that they’ll always be there, because they always are.. to assume that they’ll understand our mood swings or negligence, because they always do… but unfortunately, we sometimes forget that they’re human too.. and as much as they love us, sometimes they get to a point where enough is enough.. where they feel underappreciated & devalued. So, even if they end up not walking away and giving up on us, it still doesn’t change the fact that we are hurting one/some of the few people who really knows us and appreciate us. Is it really worth it??

    Why am I writing this? Simple; it’s happened to me and I’m sure I’ve done it to others. There’s nothing worse than realizing what you should have done when it’s too late. So I guess I’m just putting the message out there for you to take or leave, as you wish. Just remember, some people are worth the effort it takes us to change a few minor things within us to accommodate having them in our life.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2005

    ..... ?! ?!?! .....

    I'm in a fierce battle with my MBA.. right now, it's kicking the crap out of me.. but I refuse to let it win!! 17 more days.. I can make it!!!

    Friday, September 09, 2005


    What really gets to me is how some people have no appreciation for family. It's one thing if the family is abusive or has abandoned you. However, apart from that, I see no reason why people don't put family before anything and everything else. At the end of the day, they're connected to us by blood, by history, by years and years of good & bad memories!

    I walked away from a decent life and a great career in an attempt to get closer to my family again. I realized that life is short and I wanted to spend more time with them. Granted, there are moments of pure frustration where you wonder why on Earth you made that decision. However, all in all, that was the best decision I've ever made in my life. I have yet to regret a decision I've made by putting my family prior to other matters/people!

    I will never understand someone who puts their own selfish needs/wants before their family, who wants to satisfy others at the expense of family! Nor do I really care to understand!

    Thursday, September 08, 2005

    I See The Light!!

    So there IS hope after all.. somehow, a few intelligent brain cells found their way into my head today. I was actually able to answer several questions in class RIGHT when the others weren't able to. HAAA! ME?! The newbie?! Told you I rock.. you just didn't believe me! ;)

    Feels good to end the day that way when it started off really bad.. was falling asleep in class and could barely keep my eyes open after 2 straight hours of Corporate Finance starting at 9 AM! (Considering I only had 4 hours of sleep the night before!)

    It felt so good, I rewarded myself and went to see a movie :) "The Perfect Man." Don't they know? There's no such thing!! Perfect Man = oxymoron..

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    I think I can.... I THINK I can....

    So today was the first day of class after a 6 week summer break. The good news is that we convinced the prof to select our own groups instead of him assigning us into one! One catastrophe in the making avoided...! Bad news, you ask? I didn't understand anything the prof said the whole class period, all 3.5 hours of it! He may as well have been speaking Latin. Only difference, I might've actually understood a few words of Latin! Oh, you want to know if there's worse news? Class participation, EFFECTIVE class participation is worth 50% of the grade in this class.

    EEEEEEEhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!!! 23 more days to go.. Forget the I THINK I can train.. I HOPE I can! :/

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    Is It Weekend Yet???!

    The best thing about today is that it's one day closer to the weekend!

    MBA classes start tomorrow. Not looking forward to it. However, looking at the bright side, less than a month left to finish up the program. (Can you believe that I'm insane enough to have THOUGHT of Phd as well?!)

    "Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Oct 1st? How to get to Oct 1st??" (to be sang to the tune of Sesame Street!!)

    Today was a tough day at work, but it's over now. Hooray, going home to relax!!

    Sunday, September 04, 2005


    Another boring day. Are you sure I have to be at work today? :/
    We're throwing a dinner for a friend who's leaving town tonight. She's going to be away for the next 3 years pursuing a higher degree. Unfortunately, she'll be leaving behind both her husband and 1 year old son. I doubt I'd be able to do that. I fully encourage any person pursuing a higher education. However, there are other more suitable alternatives which could meet your career demands as well as your family obligations.
    I guess each person is entitled to their opinion. Personally, leaving a kid at such a young age is not something I'd support. I also feel that this time away will create a huge gap between her and her husband. I hope I'm wrong!
    The choices we make today pave our future path. Unfortunately, we never know whether we've taken the right path or not until it's too late!

    Saturday, September 03, 2005

    Welcome to My Life

    Not sure why I decided to start this blog. Perhaps sooner or later I'll figure it out. We'll see.

    I'm at a point where I need a vacation. Starting to get really tired of everything. I'm tired of work (why is it that we need money again?!) and need to go somewhere and just tune out; I need to free myself from all thoughts, all worries, all worldy concerns and just live each day as it comes.

    Sometimes we hate what we have and wish for something else. Unfortunately sometimes when we get to that something else, we realize that the grass is always greener on the other side. Life's full of risks. How do we know when one is worth taking? There are moments where we feel that the returns far outweigh anything else; other times, we wonder what on Earth we were thinking to begin with.

    See, told you I need to go somewhere and tune out!!! :P