December 19, 2007

Happy EID


Hey, a quick salam and Eid Mubarak to you all before Eid prayer. There is a masjid across the street from me and the street is lined with prayer rugs. They've just began to Kabar. We're going out with some friends today inshaAllah and the Party is tomorrow. I just have to bake cookies and clean the apt. I hope you have a great eid and may Allah accept our good deeds inshaAllah!

December 12, 2007

Not Fair, Nor Lovely



There is an ad currently running for Fair & Lovely that infuriates me to no end. For those of you in the west, you may have never heard of this face cream manufactured by Unilever, targeted towards Middle Eastern and South East Asian women. It is touted as a fairness cream and their newest slogan is "Say yes to Life!" As in, "If you have brown skin, you have no life".

I wonder what a young girl with what is a normal skin tone for this region, brown skin, feels when these ads belittle anyone with a less than fair complexion. Other adverts depict young women interviewing for various jobs, being turned down for their dark skin tone. Then when they re-apply for the same position after using Fair & Lovely, they are praised and hired on the spot. Are you seething yet? They prey on the insecurities of young girls and women by blatantly mocking the model, who by the way is made tan with make-up and then is magically white and all is right with the world.



I know that the idea of fairness being lovely comes from the way that people of affluence were indoors, not working in the sun. Also part of it comes from the obsession people have with foreigners here. If someone has some Turkish blood, that makes them more European, therefore more white. I know some men specify they want a fair bride so they can breed fair children. It's revolting. On the other side of the spectrum, the west, America in particular, is obsessed with tanning and worship the sun, or tanning bed, or tanning spray.

What do you think about these creams? Ever tried them? Why do you think they sell so well here? Opinions, people, I want 'em.



(Note about the image above, It's obviously a book cover and models, Kiara Kabakuri and Amber Valetta are in a dual composite image which represents the disintegration of racial lines. I love Aucoin's books and thought this photo was appropriate here.)

December 11, 2007

EID's coming



It's on Wednesday the 19th, InshaAllah. I want to make it special for the kids InshaAllah. Hopefully we will go get new pj's and Eid clothes on Sunday, a tradition loved by all. I plan to go out one day while they're at school to get them each gift to surprise them with. Here's hoping Safiyah doesn't rat me out! My friends and I are planning a party too. I'm going to attempt making a paper mache pinata out of a balloon, wish me luck! Putting together party bags as well inshaAllah, those are always a hit.

This year, Salwa especially has been facinated by Christmas and Santa Clause and I want her to know Eid is our holiday and it's fun, InshaAllah.

December 9, 2007

Slogan me!

I got this from Alienbea!

Mamamona, Take Me Away.

Enter a word for your own slogan:

Generated by the Advertising Slogan Generator, for all your slogan needs. Get more mamamona slogans.



I love this one.

8 out of 10 Owners who Expressed a Preference said Their Cats Preferred Mamamona.

Enter a word for your own slogan:

Generated by the Advertising Slogan Generator, for all your slogan needs. Get more mamamona slogans.



This is a good one for the blog.

I Want My Mamamona.

Enter a word for your own slogan:

Generated by the Advertising Slogan Generator, for all your slogan needs. Get more mamamona slogans.



I can't stop clicking sloganize!

December 3, 2007

Everybody Loves Ramen


I mean who doesn't? It's delicous, easy, fast, and cheap! I've eaten a lot of ramen noodles in my life and I never get sick of it. The brand found here in the mid-east is indo mie.



I never eat it with the broth, I always strain it and add the flavoring directly on to the noodles . I love the fried noodle flavor, it comes with seasoned oil, soy sauce, bumbo flavor and chilli powder but I put just a pinch of that cause I can't take spicy.


There's even Hello Kitty Ramen. Those of you who know me, know I love Hello Kitty anything.
Even though I don't do the cup-o-noodles cause then you're stuck with soup, I'd still buy this just for the "Free Sticker Inside!"




I eat my ramen straight, but if you like to mess with perfection and add stuff there's a hundred and one ways to eat it.
How do you eat your ramen?

November 28, 2007

This Case is Rediculous

British teacher held in Sudan for calling teddy bear 'Mohammed' could be jailed for sedition

I am sorry, It has no basis. She had no ill intent. If she had any problems with Islam, or Sudan or anything why would she be living there, teaching their children? A student even said he suggested the name. It's a common name, she didn't name the teddy bear Prophet!

All this does is makes Muslims look more and more extreme.

November 27, 2007

ONLY in Egypt

untitled

What is this? The leaning tower of Giza?

8

Stuffed, packed and piled up to the maximum.

7

Defying all the laws of physics.

3

In Cairo, they'll squeeze in a building wherever they can! Look at it,it's like one looong room!

6

Fill him up!

4

Spare tire security system.

5

This guy is holding on for dear life and keeping the crates in place all at once.

November 22, 2007

Perspective: The Invisible Woman

I love this. I had to share it... more below.

By Nicole Johnson

It started to happen gradually. One day I was walking my son Jake to school. I was holding his hand and we were about to cross the street when the crossing guard said to him, 'Who is that with you, young fella?''Nobody,' he shrugged. Nobody? The crossing guard and I laughed. My son is only 5, but as we crossed the street I thought, 'Oh my goodness,nobody?'I would walk into a room and no one would notice. I would say something to my family - like 'Turn the TV down, please' - and nothing would happen.Nobody would get up, or even make a move for the remote. I would stand there for a minute, and then I would say again, a little louder, 'Would someone turn the TV down?' Nothing.

Just the other night my husband and I were out at a party. We'd been there for about three hours and I was ready to leave. I noticed he was talking to a friend from work. So I walked over, and when there was a break in the conversation, I whispered, 'I'm ready to go when you are.'He just kept right on talking.

That's when I started to put all the pieces together.

I don't think he can see me. I don't think anyone can see me. I'm invisible.It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not.

No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all.I'm invisible.

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more: Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this? Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being. I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?' I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?' I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude -but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again.She's going she's going she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress, it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a banana clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription: 'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.' In the days ahead I would read - no, devour - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
* No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.
* These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.
* They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.
* The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a work man carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.' And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centered-ness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.I keep the right perspective when I see my self as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree. When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.
------------------------------------------------------

I received this in an email on a day I really needed it. I was at the end of my rope and my patience was wearing low. I was at the point where I had to lock myself in my room to keep from yelling and handing out punishments right and left. I couldn't call for Calgon to take me away.

After the kids' bedtime I checked my email and was brought to tears by this touching story. I went to bed early and the next day, I woke up a half hour early to give my self some time to shower, get dressed and I even put on a bit of make up and fix my coffee or tea. I needed that extra half hour to tend to me so I could tend to everyone else. It's surprising how much that half hour could do. I was more ready for my day this way, more patient and in a good mood. When I would wake up with just enough time to sleepily get the kids ready and push them out the door to school, I was crabby and short with everyone. The kids would wake up cranky and whiny. I really believe that saying that goes "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy". I saw that my mood reflected on my kids. If I wake them up with the "Good Morning, Good Moooorning it's such a beautiful morning!" song from "Singin' in the Rain". They wake up smiling and give me a hug.

Of course there are lots of days where I need the half hour of sleep more, but I find I like getting ready in the morning. It gives me a sense of purpose and this email forward reminded me how important that purpose is.

Remember it when you are cleaning marker off the walls, sharpening 10 colored pencils, cleaning up after potty training accidents, helping on school projects, tying and retying shoes, wiping buggers and butts, combing tangly hair, giving "gross" medicine, bathing squirmy or screaming kids, scrubbing everything, arguing about wardrobe choices, clipping little toenails, and all the other little (and big) things we do.

November 14, 2007

Tag, Your it!



I have been tagged by UmLayla/The Egyptians Wife for a nablopomo meme. No, it's not laziness on my part. When your tagged, your tagged!

Here's what you gotta do:
1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

My seven things:

1. I can't eat mango, guava, or cantaloupe. People CONSTANTLY tell me to just try it!
2. I crack my knuckles, all three, wrists, ankles, knees elbows, back in 2 places, neck....
3. My phone ring tone goes between either Hotel California, by the Eagles or Take on me by A-ha
4. A few jobs I had as a teenager were working in the lingerie dept. of Sears, refill person at a buffet restaurant, secretary at an Acura dealership and sales at Rag Shop(craft store)
5. I'm kind of a grammar/spelling Nazi.
6. I'm more than a little bit obsessed with the TV show LOST. See just typing LOST makes me happy. LOST!
7. Coloring and vacuuming is therapeutic to me.

I tag:
AlienBea
Safa
Cairo Gal
Unique Muslimah
Safiya
Daisy/Saudi Stepford Wife
Sobia

November 9, 2007

Interview Meme

1. What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now? Fa berry something or other body wash.

2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? No, watermelon isn't in season. I have a watermelon jolly rancher in my purse though.

3. What would you change about your living room? It needs a plant and I want to think of a way to cover/hide unsightly wires.

4. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty?Dishwasher? HA!

5. What is in your fridge? Lots of stuff. Milk, Pepsi, various sandwich making stuff. eggs, jelly,OJ (not Simpson)

6. White or wheat bread? White.

7. What is on top of your refrigerator? A wicker basket for kids art stuff, Monopoly Jr.(thanks O) A caddy with drawers for medicine.

8. What color or design is on your shower curtain? It's beige with a green design.

9. How many plants are in your home? Zero, but I want one or two. What's low maintenance? 10. Is your bed made right now? MADE!

11. Comet or Soft Scrub? Comet, not that they have it here, but the same thing. Soft Scrub's for fancy people.

12. Is your closet organized? I don't currently have one. but clothes are folded..for the moment. (Bea, feeling you on the partial lack of furnishings) There isn't closets in the wall here.

13. Can you describe your flashlight? We should have one, but don't.

14. Do you drink out of glass or plastic most of the time at home? Plastic.

15. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? No. ..And I resent the implication that for some reason, I need to. I have nothing against Iced tea, it's my favorite beverage, but I don't have to have it ready in a pitcher at any given time, all right?! ;)

16. If you have a garage, is it cluttered?No Garage, but if I did, I'm sure it would be cluttered. This interview is judgemental. Who wrote it? Martha Stewart?

17. Curtains or blinds? Curtains.

18. How many pillows do you sleep with? 2, one under and one to hug.

19. Do you sleep with any lights on at night? Just the bathroom, but I shut my bedroom door at night now cause Mishmish thinks its fun to play with my hair or feet while I sleep.

20. How often do you vacuum? Everyday lately, I find it's easier to run the vacuum daily than to let the dust, sand, crumbs sit a day or two.

21. Standard toothbrush or electric? Standard, but I've always been enamored by electric toothbrushes. I never tried one, but I bet they give you that "just from the dentist feeling".

22. What color is your toothbrush? Light blue

23. Do you have a welcome mat on your front porch? I used to, but it's gone. I think someone thought it meant: You are "WELCOME" to this little rug. I don't have a porch either.

24. What is in your oven right now? A frying pan with oil in it that has no place right now.

25. Is there anything under your bed? Yea, tons. It's the kind you use for storage.

26. Chore you hate doing the most? The dishes, See #4.

27. What retro items are in your home? Retro? This computer's on the brink of being retro.

28. Do you have a separate room that you use as an office? Negative.

29. How many mirrors are in your home? One, in the bathroom. We have a big hand mirror we keep in the living room, that's it.

30. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home? No.

31. What color are your walls? Living room is a yellowy beige with some dark green. One of the kid's rooms is 4 colors (red, yellow, purple, and blue) The rest are white.

32. Do you keep any kind of protection weapons in your home? No, man.

33. What does your home smell like right now? Downy. I just read that you can make wannabe Febreeze by putting some Downy with water in a spray bottle. I've gone nuts with it.

34. Favorite candle scent? Vanilla, or Apple.

35. What kind of pickles (if any) are in your refrigerator right now? We have pickled vegetables, like "mekhalil" but no pickles as in pickled cucumbers.

36. What color is your favorite Qur'an? It's blue, "The Noble Reading" Transliteration and Commentary by T.B. Irving.

37. Ever been on your roof? Nope.

38. Do you own a stereo? Yea, it just sits there.

39. How many TVs do you have? One.

40. How many house phones? Two.

41. Do you have a housekeeper? Yea, Tony Danza's cleaning the bathroom right now. (I'm rolling my eyes so hard, I'm gonna have to make an appt. with an optometrist.)

42. What style do you decorate in? I don't know, whatever I like, it's casual.

43. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints? Solids.

44. Is there a smoke detector in your home? Nu-uh.

45. In case of fire, what are the items in your house which you'd grab if you only could make one quick trip? Probably, this big accordion file that has important papers in it & some old photo albums.

November 6, 2007

Poor kitty



I cannot get Safiyah to leave Mishmish the heck alone. Am I to just let her terrorize him all day? Sometimes, he loves it, don't get me wrong. Plays with her forever, but sometimes he has enough and wants to take a nap. She will pull him out of under stuff! I've tried telling her that "kitty needs a nap now sweetie" but to no avail. I'm just worried she'll hurt him, accidently. Advice?

a steaming hot cup of bloggy goodness

My favorite mug.

I love that it's getting cooler, so I can stand to drink tea and coffee in the mornings. In the summer, it was out of the question, unless the AC was blasting enough to make me chilli. I either have 2 lipton teabags with 3 spoons of sugar and milk in this big honkin mug, or one lipton and one earl grey, or coffee. No matter what it is, Safiyah always wants the last sip left in the cup. I let her, no biggie. A lot of Egyptian people give their kids tea on a regular basis, which I don't find neccessary. Milk or hot chocolate will do. As if they need the caffine. I'd like something that will calm them down. Make them chamomille, or some sleepy time, man.

October 29, 2007

Sibling Rivalry




What do you do about quibbling quarreling competing kids? They fight over certain couch cushions. They fight over the window seats in the car. Every thing is a competition. Who gets the special spoon at dinner. Who doesn't get the plate with a crack in it. This morning there was a nana-nana foo foo over who had more bubbles in their MILK! I know they're all vying for attention and each want to feel special, but when they start shoving each other, I have to step in. Sending each to different rooms/areas only postpones their bickering. Soon they're back to "She started it!" and "POWERPUFF GIRLS!" "NO YUGI OH!"

There are those precious times that they play nice, share and are "best friends" and I praise them for that.

I know my brother, sister and I fought. A lot. Over stupid things. But we get along great now, and that gives me hope that they won't be killing each other to answer the door when they're 30.

October 28, 2007

Back in the saddle again....

Image(165)

I've never ridden on a sadle but I missed blogging and now that the kids are back in school and ramadan is through, I have some free time to myself to post again. I revamped the template, what do you think? I love this floral design, thanks to Sharnee at Free Blogger Designs for the template. Today I'm 31 years old,(I have to change my about me!) I've stopped freaking out about getting older since 29. I mean, what's the alternative? Death. That's what. Today was great, E surprised me with the flowers and we went to Bulls for dinner, my favorite restaurant. All in all a great day!

How cute is this guy?

Image(162)


26102007178

We took in a stray kitten, he's great! I wanted to name him tiger, but the kids and E all call him "mishmish" which is apricot in arabic. It suits him though.

March 23, 2007

THE LIST

Here it is, The Big List of Pro's and Cons about Egypt. Thanks to my sister, Eman and to Cairogal (Blue) for sending me their lists. Mine are in Green, stuff 2 or more agreed on are in Black.

If anyone who has visited or lived in Egypt has anything to add, please email me at Mom2dawood at yahoo dot com and I'll add it to the list. I'll start with the cons as not to leave a bad taste in your mouth!

CONS


Pollution, people do not value their country's cleanliness. They just throw trash, wrappers, bottles in the street as they go along as if it's one big trash can. Or toilet at that. This is my #1 peeve about Egypt!

Pedicure/manicure not necessarily the most hygienic conditions.

Hair coloring, straightening, etc. done w/ ancient and archaic tools, unless you pay more money at the really nice salons.

Produce 'can' make you very ill if you don't wash carefully, A lot of it is covered in mud.

If you area creature of comfort, or love your processed foods, getting Mac and Cheese becomes a treat, and Oreos are a delicacy. Yep, and your beauty products from home are $$ here, if available at all.

The air quality...burning rubbish, the black raindrops that fall in the winter, the horrible haze that clouds the pyramids (you know it's a good day when you see them clearly).

People sometimes take Islam for granted, being raised and living surrounded by it.

The tourists, and the tourist-based economy that forces the local population into a perpetual state of piss-taking and exploitation of any/all tourists, whether they come from the Gulf of Mexico or the Arabian Gulf. They will pester tourist to buy papyrus/braclet/postcards, whatever.

Cairo is noisy and dirty, and it truly never sleeps (except just at sundown during Ramadan).


Sometimes even the western stuff available here isn't really the same. (m&m's, pampers).

There are better 'international' restaurants opening up so the quality isn't always great, but it's not uncommon to pick up the mummy tummy at even a nice restaurant (chicken that was just a bit too old, improperly washed foods, etc.)

People are really hung up on titles, and it's reflected in the workplace of this highly class-ist society.

It's a constant battle of the "haves" and "have nots" in Egypt...no respect for the property of another as a result.

No policy is written in stone, so if you want something done, you normally have to pay up the baksheesh or rashwa (bribe) to make it all good.

The society is in great need of a social revolution. They often shift the blame from what's really wrong w/ Egypt, to Israel People love to blame the US and Israel for everything (and I'm not saying they're undeserving in some/many cases) but people rarely want to turn the eye inward, and examine their culture, the impact of cultural norms on the religion, the consumerist society ills, etc. If I could count the number of times Egyptians have openly criticized the US policy, but when the compliment is returned on Egypt, it's a bitter pill for them to swallow.

Taxis-they're dirty, they're often driven by dishonest men, they're dangerous, they almost run a family down, and then blame the family for almost being killed.

Sometimes Egyptian sense of humor not so fun if you're on the receiving end! ;)

Many Cairenes are hardened to the struggles of those on the street around them, human and animal.

There are lots of stray dogs and cats and there's usually some kid behind it harassing the poor thing.

People are always involved, in a negative way. Interfering in your friend's/sister's/brother's affairs is normal, and expected. the number of times I heard pure gossip repeated (supposedly w/ good intentions) in a highly intrusive manner the average yank is unaccustomed to...


Shopkeepers will always try to rip you off if they think they can.

Lying seems to be the national pastime, be it for avoiding conflict, not hurting someone's feelings, or just trying to snake out of something. My friend Vici used to say, "Many English-speaking cultures value honesty and truth, and use it often. The Egyptians value truth, so they use it sparingly."

Family is so important that parents often confuse their hopes w/ the hopes of their children. Sometimes children grow up deceiving their parents, so as to meet the high expectations.

Emotional manipulation-from family, in particular.

Traffic, traffic, traffic, Crazy drivers that don't know how to pick a lane or use a turn signal. People lay on their horns All. The. Time.

No one uses the sidewalk.

Flies, mosquitoes, and insects in general get on my last nerve.

While education is very important, it can be too intense. Kids have a lot of homework and many have tutors after school too.

Unreliable transportation timings if you don't have a car.

Work ethic sucks...It's hard to find workers who take pride in their craft.

Nobody wants to help you in the store and they tell you not to touch so your like ok, bye!- Eman, for me it’s the opposite. Sales people just hover over you in the stores making you uncomfortable. Same in restaurants, they just stand behind you and watch you eat sometimes.


Young guy's favorite pastime is cat calling. (flirting, whistling, making comments to girls on the street, mall, anywhere)


In some areas, it smells like an open sewer. The sewer system here in totally inadequate. It is intended to serve less than a million, and serves a population ten times that.

Dust!, It's everywhere.

Yea, sometimes it's too hot.

Most people only think inside the box.

Every time you go out you MUST wash your clothes b/c it gets so dirty, and shoes wear out fast.



PROS

Relaxed style of living (if you like relaxed, "il donya hat teer? Mentality)

Family is valued and employers recognize this

Adhan (call to prayer) 5X a day.

Cheap pedicure/manicure/hair straightening/sugaring and threading.

Fresh produce at a small cost.

Egyptians are friendly, and it's easy to make friends. They are truly hospitable. Egyptians are naturally passionate people who will almost always try to help you get where you're going even if they don't know Egyptians will do anything for friends and family.

The weather is sunny 99.9% of the time!

You can bargain at most places! It's fun!

Location, location, location...what more could you ask for than being center of the world...few hours and you are in Europe, Asia, or visiting the beauty of south Africa.
The Red Sea is beautiful, as is Upper Egypt.


Egypt has very little crime.


Amazing ancient architecture.

So much culture and history. This place is filled with it.

Cairo is NEVER dull. You can do a lot on very little money in this city. Many attractions and family type outings to be had; Museum, Zoo, Pyramids to name just a few.

Eating out can be cheap, and there's a wide selection of food types...fabulous Egyptian and Lebanese-style restaurants.

You can get a tasty meal for your buck in most areas...kooshary, mumbar, kabab...etc.

Ramadan! The festivities, decorations, celebrations, street fights just before sundown. (must have missd those CG!)

A little bit of Arabic and a lot of English goes quite far, and Egyptians are very accommodating in these matters.

Vegetable souks are fun (?, no they're not, Eman!)

Not everything is written is stone, so society is flexible.

Egyptians love to talk politics w/ foreigners...they usually distinguish between the American govt. and the American people (usually), unlike most Americans, who assume that the action of one government or one religious group speaks for any entire region, which is very much NOT monolithic.

Life is absolutely never dull...look around and you see a family of 5 on a motorbike, goats and donkeys co-mingling w/ pickup trucks and Fiats.

People have a sense of humor. You can always here a joke from a cabbie or anyone at that.

The pace of life...maybe the guys comes to fix your plumbing today, and maybe not. This cuts two ways. "Insha'allah I'll pay you for your services tomorrow."

Residents and Egyptians pay a fraction of the costs to stay in hotels, fly, etc.

Laundry dries in no time.

Fabulous seafood in Port Said and Alexandria.

Everything is fixable. Shoe or bag ripped? Trashing it out is unheard of. They don't have that "throw away" mentality that the US does. Nothing is wasted.

IF you are ever in trouble, there are always people around to help, Egyptians love getting involved to 'break things up'.

Women are respected, expecially mothers. It's usually safe for a woman to walk alone anywhere in Egypt late at night.


Kid's learn Arabic effortlessly.


No guessing if some food item is Halal.

GREAT diving in the Red Sea,if your into that. Beautiful sea life, corals and reefs.

Egyptians are generally quite knowledgeable about the rest of the world.

Academics are extremely important.

Family is everything!

March 19, 2007

Diaper free is the way to be!

I am SO happy! This is really huge! Safiyah is TOILET TRAINED!! WHOOOHOOO! Moms, you understand right? Alhamdulillah, it is so great!! No more changing diapers! No more buying diapers! No more carrying them around, I can now go out, sans bag if I want to! Safiyah is awesome. She picked it up in a day and now even does #2's in the toilet! (no little plastic potty to wash) We are so proud of her and she's so proud of herself. Even when we were out today at Cinnabon she asked to go even though I put a "just in case" diaper on her. Alhamdullilah! It's such a relief. I was so dreading this and had been putting it off till it got warmer and thankfully she got it quick! We rewarded her with praise and a peice of candy at first, now just the praise since we're out of candy. It worked. Yay!

March 8, 2007

Thanks, I love it when you point out my faults, really!


What do you do about people who have diarrhea of the mouth?

Stuff just spills out of their mouths without pause. I have a friend who is what you would call a straight shooter. She is direct, candid and genuine. She will always give her honest opinion. While this is a good trait...most of the time, brutal honesty can be hurtful.

For example, You don't need to point out that horizontal stripes aren't for me. Furthermore, I don't need your harsh words when I try a different hairdo. You know what? It's impolite to point out that I'm not looking my best at any given time.

There is like no filter between brain and mouth. At first, I'd fight tears, smile and change the subject. Now I just think it's best to fight fire with fire. To be just as blunt and point out that it's none of her business or that she's just being plain rude.

She really is a good friend, aside from the abrupt remarks. Know anyone like this?

March 4, 2007

Thanks

I want to say thanks to CairoGal for sending me her Egypt pros and cons list! Come on Egypt people, email me your best and worst things about Egypt. Safa, I'm looking in your direction. Tater, what was your experience? mom2dawood at yahoo dot com Fanx!

March 2, 2007

Tag

1- Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as your dinner guest? As your close friend? As your lover? Dinner Guest...Oprah, Close friend....Julia Roberts...Lover? 3yb el Kalam da!

2- Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by five years to become extremely attractive? I guess that depends on how long I have to live, but assuming the average life expectancy, sure.

3- Would you rather spend a month on vacation with your parents or put in overtime at your current job for four weeks without extra compensation? I don't have a job, per say, I stay at home, but I would miss my husband and kids too much. Could they come?

4- When did you last cry by yourself? In front of another person? Alone... about "Through the Years" by Kenny Rogers. (cheesy I know) In front of another person...In front of Dawood when explaining this.
5- If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you'd find leading a more satisfying life than yours? I'd say maybe 20 tops.

6- If you had the choice of one intimate soul mate and no other close friends, or of no such soul mate and many friends and acquaintances, which would you choose?I don't know that soul mates exist, but I'd chose many friends.

7- Do you think your friends would agree with one another about the kind of person you are? Yea, I'm an open book.


8- Would you prefer to be blind or deaf? I suppose I have to choose one. Deaf.

9-Which of your current friends do you feel will still be important to you ten years from now? Beata, Gillian.


10- If you could mould to your liking your memories of any past experience, would you do so? No.

12- If you were happily married, and then met someone you felt was certain to always bring you deeply passionate, intoxicating love, would you leave your spouse? Not a chance.

13- Relative of the population at large, How do you rate your physical attractiveness? Your intelligence? Your personality? Average on all three.

14- If you could script the basic plot for the dream you will have tonight, what would the story be? A whole fun filled day spent with all my family and friends.

15- While out one day, you are surprised to see your father holding hands with someone who is clearly his lover, he begs you not to say anything to your mother. How would you respond? What if your mother later told you that she was going crazy thinking that your father was having an affair yet knew it was just her imagination? Of course I would, but they've divorced anyway.

16- If you had to spend the next 2 years inside a small but fully provisioned Antarctic shelter with one other person, whom would you like to have with you? My husband.

17- You become involved romantically but after 6 months realize you need to end the relationship. If you were certain the person would commit suicide if you were to leave and were also certain you could not be happy with the person, what would you do? I'm pretty sure no one would kill themselves over me but I'd try to find them a suitable match.

18- What was your most enjoyable dream? It involved a rainbow sky, and a roller coaster. Your worst nightmare? A weird short bald man who appeared before me everywhere I went.

20- Would you like your spouse to be both smarter and more attractive than you are? Sure, why not?

21- You discover that your wonderful one-year-old child is, because of a mix-up at the hospital, not yours. Would you want to exchange the child to try and correct the mistake? Yes, but would like updates and pictures of the other child.

22- When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else? All the time... Never

23- Which sex do you think has it easier in our culture? Have you ever wished you were of the opposite sex? Men have it easier. Nope!

24- What are your most compulsive habits? Do you regularly struggle to break these habits? Lip biting. No

25- Would you enjoy spending a month of solitude in a beautiful natural setting? Food and shelter would be provided but you would not see another person. I'd like to but worried I would get scared all alone. So I guess no.

26- If you knew you would die of an incurable disease within 3 months, would you allow yourself to be frozen within the week if you knew it would give you a modest chance of being revived in 1,000 years and living a greatly extended life? No Way!

27- You are invited to a party that will be attended by many fascinating people you have never met. Would you want to go if you had to go by yourself? Sure.

28- If you were at a friend's house for thanksgiving dinner and you found a dead cockroach in your salad, what would you do? Show it to whoever came with me so we could laugh/talk about it later, then refrain from eating.

29- If someone you love deeply is brutally murdered and you know the identity of the murderer, who unfortunately is acquitted of the crime. Would you seek revenge? As in killing them myself? No.

February 24, 2007

Spring Cleaning...


I have GOT to get started. Spring has started here, and I feel the need to clean, InshaAllah. Getting started is the hardest part. After that, seems there's no stopping me, but actually getting started is the key.

Motivation is very important. One good way is to invite someone over. I'm good under pressure. Problem is, guests don't go into my bedroom so that always ends up as the catch-all for everything that I want to keep away from little hands. Another good motivator is looking at Real Simple magazine. Nothing makes you feel more organizationally inferior like the clean lines in there.

I have every intention of getting this place sparkling, really I do. I do! It's just kinda daunting, you know? There's so much to do. The kitchen walls need a good scrubbing. I have to move the washer and clean whatever lurks under there. I've mentioned my room. Even the balcony needs to be washed. Apparently some birds think it's their own personal loo. I think it's impossible to do it all in one day. That means getting motivated to clean on more than one occasion.

Don't get me wrong. We are not slobs and things get cleaned up here on a daily basis, but the big jobs are a bit more arduous.

February 10, 2007

!@#$%* bus driver!!

Ouff! First day back to school today and the bus driver successfully put me in a grumpy mood. Dawood and Zayneb go downstairs to wait for the bus at 6:05, (yikes, I know.) Usually the bus comes within 5 minutes. I wait and watch from the balcony. 6:20...nothing. I call the bus driver's mobile, it's off. 6:35, the bus drives by in the other direction, I figure he'll turn around an come back cause there's a a division in the middle. Nope. Meanwhile, I keep trying his mobile. No luck. I call the school...they dismiss my concern and tell me he's on his way. 6:45 NO BUS! I told the kids to come upstairs. Finally he answers his phone...He said he came by twice, honked and they weren't there. Bull! I was standing there watching him drive by! I said, well, when are you coming? He said at Salwa's pick up time, 7:30. But D& Z can't ride with the KG bus, it's not allowed. What?! YOU are the one who did not pick up my kids, idiot! The reason we pay for the bus is that my husband works late and can't wake up early everyday to drive them to school. In the end E took the three of them to school but on their way to the car, the bus driver was waiting and honking away.

I am so sick of this bus crap. He doesn't have a set time that he comes at everyday, if he comes early he'll honk then leave without giving enough time for the kid to get downstairs. I hope next year we can work some kind of carpool or I get an Egyptian driver's license or something because this is unnerving. The bus is 1000LE per kid for this?

February 9, 2007

Trip canceled & CLEAN YOUR ROOM!

So, the trip is canceled, and that's just fine.

I spent most of today trying to...lets say "encourage" the kids to clean up their room. This is an everyday thing, pretty much. They clean it up, a few hours later it looks like a tropical storm hit.
The only one who really values keeping her things neat is Zayneb but the others ruin it for her and she gets sucked in to the laziness sometimes.

To be fair, the little one, Safiyah does spill the box of blocks and walks away, and always sneaks and pulls things down from the others' shelf/headboard. If you catch her in the act she quickly throws whatever she has in her hands behind the shelf/headboard. We have to pull the bed away from the wall a few times a week to get stuff. There are at least 4 lip balms and caps collecting dust behind my bed. It's too heavy for me to move.

Anyway, how do I get them to keep their rooms neat? I already took out most of the toys they don't use into the balcony. They're all dust covered and sun-bleached now. There always seems to be bits of paper everywhere for Dawood has discovered the fine art of paper snowflakes. Not to mention the stuffed animal parade all over the floor. The lack of fitted sheets here makes bed making pretty tough, so I can't expect them to have that stay put all the time. I'm thinking of sewing elastic on the sheets myself. Did I just say that?

What do I do? They always seem proud and happy when it's all picked up, but it never lasts long. Advice?

February 6, 2007

International visits, search refrences

Today's a pretty good day so far. I actually got up earlier than I have been lately. 9 am. School starts up again Saturday so it'll be back to the 5:30 am alarm again, oh joy! Dawood's having a friend over today so I'll probably make fried chicken and fries later.

Been getting a wide variety of visitors, country-wise. Let's see...
US, Egypt, UAE, Saudi, UK, Netherlands, Poland, Australia, Canada, Kuwait, Italy, Switzerland Korea, Jordan, and Norway. I love it!

Some recent searches that led people here...

"Sawaris"
"laryngitis whisper"
"mombar big"
"blog + Living in Hurghada"
"oh yea"
"Lucy's Love shack"
"Little Mosque"
"Mona+Eid"
"Origami Stars"
"Clinton obama"
"mamamona at yahoo.com"
"lucky star"
"sometimes sobia"
"how to make lucky stars"
"link:http://www.islamicclothing.org/"

My fave is "oh yea". OH YEA!

February 5, 2007

The single most dumbfounding retail experience in my life

Yesterday I did some shopping for the kids. First store was ok, kinda crowded and I was shoved twice by a couple of rude ladies, but there were a few good bargains. Got some sweats sets and undies for the kids.

Second store was an experience. I didn't know stores like this still existed. It's a kinda department store, called "Shirkat al bee3 wal masnoo3at" ( Company for sale and products?) Kinda like Omar Effendi for those who know it.

Anyway, I went upstairs to the clothes section and looked at some kids' clothes and pj's, underware and such.
Everything is behind a counter.
You have to wait for the lady to get you what you want.
I waited my turn.
I ask for girls pj's for a 7 yr old.
She brings out a pair with pants too long for me.
She said I could roll them up.

Ok, next I found an outfit for Safiyah, held on to that and got PJs for me, kids undershirts, and a couple other things.

For each department the lady has to write out a receipt.
Kids, underthings, Pjs, each their own little paper written out on a little pad with carbon paper. I said "A3mel behom eh dol?" (what do I do with these?)
She said. "Awel mara tege hina?" (first time here?) with an about to crack up look on her face.
I said yea, and she told me I had to take them down stairs to pay and pick up.
The saleslady then complained of a headache.
I was getting there too.
When I was finally done upstairs I have to take the little papers down to where you pay and pick up your stuff.
I saw a cute little rug for the girls' room so I picked that up too.
Got a little paper for that one too.
So I go to the little desk for paying.
I wait for her to acknowledge me.
I place my stack of papers on her desk to get her attention.
Nothing.
She was looking at her big book of graph paper.
I said "Law Samaht" (excuse me) into the little hole in the glass.
She finally notices me and took my papers.
She added them up, not once , not twice but FIVE times on the calculator.
She copies it all down in her big book.
She makes some scribble on the back of each paper with her pen.
She complained of a headache too.
She then stamped each one with a big stamp on the back.
She added them up a couple more times and gave me my total, and my stack of papers.
I paid her and smiled that I was almost done!
Then, I go to the pick up place where some poor bloke had to keep bringing stuff from upstairs down there.
The guy there inspects my little papers.
My stuff was the only stuff on the shelf, he looked at each paper and gave them to me, department by department and put each paper in its own little box.
Finally I was done!

After all that, I didn't even get a "receipt". Good GOD, what a hassle. No wonder everyone has a headache! Cash registers would be a great investment here folks.

February 1, 2007

Pretend I wrote a title for this post.

Hey people. What's up? I'm ok. I got bored today so I re-arranged the furniture in a sorta awkward way, but hey, It's a change.

Dawood draws me these great pictures all the time, at least one a day. They all have "I love you Mom" somewhere on them. He's great that way! Today I got a great picture of a rainbow over the ocean with a blue sky and a dolphin and clownfish jumping underneath it! It said "I love you Mom" in the clouds. Plus he made a fringe border with his scissors. Alhamdullilah!

There's a new Egyptian channel on the dish. Otv just started yesterday and I like it already. There are Egyptian talk shows, & cooking, American shows & movies and they even have the news in "3amy", Egyptian, not Fus-7ha Arabic. There site is still under construction, but I found this sort of critical article about it.

The thing that caught my attention was, at the press conference the owner Naguib Sawiris, talked about Egypt's faults, right off the bat, and said that the media influences changes in society and he mentioned the crazy traffic and trash in the street etc. I was like TAKBIR!!!

January 25, 2007

A-whoohoo!

I'm kinda hyper today. Drank 3 bowl-like mugs full of coffee. Alhamdullilah, one of the great things about Egypt, you can fix just about anything. The coffee machine we got from the US that had a blown fuse...Fixed! We also get torn backpacks sewn like new for like a pound. Shoe strap ripped? No problem! You can even have an electrician change an appliance to the correct voltage. It really is great. People don't have that "throw away" mentality that is prevalent in the US.

I might be the last person to know about this site but it's so cool! On Peekvid you can watch TV shows and movies without searching through Youtube for the available episodes/movies. I watched the 2 episodes of "Little Mosque on the Prarie", a new Canadian comedy show about a community of Muslims living in a small Canadian town. It's a little funny. Anyway, I love Peekvid 'cause now I can watch Ugly Betty!

January 22, 2007

Alhamdulillah

Thankfully the virus seems to have been eliminated!
Took forever but the computer seems to be working fine now.

Hmm, what's new... We are on mid year break now till Feb 10, its going by too fast. Hope we get to go to Damanhour& Alex before school starts up again. My mom is here visiting, it's nice having her company.

Random Thoughts ahead:

Anyone know what makes your watch face get foggy? I don't wear it washing dishes or in the shower, just when I'm out so I don't get it.

My mom brought the kids some candy canes. (Gotta love clearanced holiday candy!) They brought back memories of me and my brother seeing who could get theirs' pointiest and stirring them in tea. Now my kid's are doing the pointy candy cane contest!

What do you all think of Hillary in 08? Obama? I like Obama cause he's young, fresh and honest, but I would love to see a woman president in office. Then again the US needs to get off the Bush/Clinton thing.

Who else thinks Martha Stewart, while very talented at what she does has bad people skills? It drives me mad! She always gets mad if the guest makes a small mess and asks inappropriate questions about money. Right??