February 26, 2008

Knitting anyone?

I finally got my hands on a pair of knitting needles and just re-learned (I sorta learned when I was like 12) how to knit from this site the other day.. It's fun but I'm still pretty bad at it. Any knitters reading? How do I avoid making it too tight, sometimes it's hard to put the needle because the stitch or whatever it's called is too tight. Check out my mistake riddled practice thing...


I hope I can get good enough to actually make something, but it'll be for next winter, I'm sure!

February 25, 2008

A Note to Egyptian Men...


While I'm aware my readership doesn't consist of many male readers, but I just wanted to put this out there.

Stop it. Just stop it. Hacking a loogie while walking down the street is absolutely disgusting! I don't want to hear it, I don't want to see it, nor does anyone else! It's very unbecoming and reeks of bad manners! I see this every single day and sometimes its just in the few minutes of waiting for the kids' bus so you can imagine how rampant it is. It makes me cringe and I have to look away quick to avoid the sight of it hitting the street. Blech! What a retched, horrid, repulsive habit! Hey, and while you're at it stop "adjusting" yourself. Don't worry, it's all still there, besides, you are in public, we can all see you. Quit it!

EDIT: Just a disclaimer, not all Egyptian men do this, for example my lovely husband can refrain. It is the majority though, I believe. It's interesting what is considered rude somewhere would just be 3ady, normal elsewhere. It's still gross!

February 23, 2008

Tag...


Maryam tagged me. Assignment: Write 6 things everyone should do before they turn 18. Oh that seems so long ago...

Da Rules: List 6 actions or achievements you think every person should accomplish before turning 18.There are no conditions on what can be included on the list.At the end of your post, choose 6 people to get tagged and list their names.People who are tagged write their own blog entry with their 6 suggestions.Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged.

1)Know your deen and embrace it. I don't mean you have to know all there is to know and be a scholar, but know why you're a Muslim, (or insert your religion here) and "Cause my parents are" isn't the right answer.

2)Volunteer, aside from having a paying job, do something to help others. Organize a food drive, help clean up your community, help out at a nursing home. It builds character, teaches you social responsibility and it humbles you.

3)Learn to cook a few meals. I'm not just talking about girls here. You should know how to make yourself and others dinner if needed, plus it's fun!

4)Love your self. Learn to love the person you are, your inner and external qualities and all the little idiosyncrasies that make you, you.

5)Enjoy not being an adult yet, in other words be a kid, you're still allowed.

6)Make Healthy eating and exercise a habit now, you will thank yourself later! On the other hand your metabolism is awesome right now, so take advantage of that too.

I tag: UmmLayla, Alienbea, Ummhana, LittleMissMuslimah, and Molly!

February 21, 2008

Dove Love?



By now you may have seen the viral Dove ads entitled Evolution and Onslaught. When I watched these short films/ads I felt "Wow, Dove is a socially responsible company and is really trying to reverse damage done by the media and the beauty industry".

The first ad shows how a beautiful model's image is made up, lighted, Photo Shopped , basically distorted to an unnatural degree, proving that there's no sense in wishing you looked like her...She doesn't even look like "her". Women and girls are fighting, dying, for a standard that is not even real. It makes me wonder how the models feel. They are told they are the most beautiful women in the world, but even that isn't good enough.

Now, the second ad shows a beautiful, innocent, young girl, then we are bombarded by all of these these fast images of hyper sexualized objectified women,and advertisements making empty promises and women undergoing drastic surgical measures to be what society tells us is beautiful. It's as if it's from a young girl's point of view. We have been desensitized to it all when many girls today look up to Bratz dolls and Britney spears.

It is everywhere and completely overwhelming for girls subjected to what others think they are supposed to look like. It effects boys and men as well. They end up having a twisted idea of what beauty is or what a normal woman looks like! Our perception is consistently warped when it comes to what is attractive anymore.

On the other hand, I'm not entirely sure the dove campaign for real beauty is totally sincere. I don't mean to be a cynic, but let me be the devils advocate here for a minute. Before we line their already well-lined pockets, let's think about it.

The ads, technically for Dove Self-Esteem Workshops, carry a good message, but are they good intentioned? Are we to believe they care about our self esteem? Our psychological well-being? Or is it just an effective marketing ploy taking advantage of women's insecurities?

I'm not saying there's a corporate bigwig somewhere laughing maniacally in his/her turned around cushy chair, but Dove is a cooperation, and cooperations are after profit. Now there's nothing inherently wrong with selling or using beauty products, but there's a bit of hypocrisy here. The ad says "Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does" Dove is a part of the beauty industry.

Dove's parent company, Unilever also owns Fair and Lovely and Axe products. The ads for F&L and Axe absolutely contradict what Dove's campaign is trying to do. One tells darker skinned women in Africa, the Middle East and Asia that only white skin is beautiful. Axe commercials are entirely misogynistic, using scantily clad disproportionate women to play on boy's insecurities, making them think that using their product will make them attractive and, well, get them some.

I'm not saying not to purchase Dove products, heck I have some Dove shampoo, but I think it behooves us to analyze why we buy or buy into things.

In the end it falls upon us parents to teach our children what is right and wrong. To counteract the unhealthy stigmas that are placed into our children's subconsciouses. I'd like to think that as Muslims or as people living in a so called Islamic country, we don't have to worry about these types of issues, but it's just not true. I have 3 young girls, Alhamdullilah and already, 2 of them (ages 6 & 8) are particular about their hair and clothes most of the time. It wasn't always this way. The world is changing. I'm sure I didn't give a thought to my perma-ponytail or look twice at a lipgloss until at least 11 years of age. We all want better for our children and it gets increasingly more difficult when the world is getting worse.

February 16, 2008

Middle East Meets West

I don't know, lately I have found myself feeling more and more distanced from the women here. We can get along and spend time together, most of the time but it's the differences that stand out to me.

I don't want to generalize, I can only speak from my own experience. Even after knowing and befriending several Egyptian women for at least a couple of years, I don't feel like I can call any one of them my "best friend". For the most part, I don't feel like I can be myself in Arabic. I speak Egyptian fairly well, but I can't truly express myself the way I can in English. My sarcastic humor is lost in translation. Somehow or another I come off as an air head... a simpleton amongst them. Is it wrong if I ask when I don't know what a word means? I'm made to feel naive or child like when I do.

I feel a disconnect between these women and myself and I have been trying to figure out why. They gossip. A lot. Whenever I am with one or two ladies, they are more likely than not, talking about some one else. What this one said about that one, what the other one's husband did. When I don't join in, I'm the party pooper on their scandle mongering. They divulge intimate details about their marriages expecting me to reciprocate. They don't take their hijab seriously. I mean, they'll answer the door for the bawab without it and take pictures of each other dancing at parties. Then think I'm a freak when I run for cover.

I find myself frustrated with "cultural" differences. Idiotic superstitions and never ending judgements based on skin color. When one woman saw a photo of an inter-racial couple, she was just horrified and seriously thought that this African American guy was some kind of cannibal. No joke. Comment's are casually made about which of our children is the most beautiful, unabashedly in their presence. I'm left flabbergasted at the notion. I have a hard time chalking these things up to culture. They're just fundamentally wrong to me.

People always ask if I like Egypt or America better. *Always*. Of course, they want to hear that I like it here better. They actually expect it. I'm honest with them and say that of course there are good and bad things about any country, but it's only natural to feel American when it is where I was born and lived 25 out of my 31 years. Not to mention the US has many pluses, just by virtue of the fact that it's what I know.

Don't get me wrong. I am proud of the Egyptian part of me and love many things about this country and it's people. I just wanted to express the contrast in thinking.

February 13, 2008

Represent



Safiyah the other day when Egypt won...All the other pics I took were too shakey.

I heart Hello Kitty

I'm a grown woman and I love anything and everything Hello Kitty. That *cute* little white cat always puts a smile on my face. You can get HK everything. Not that I google it a lot or anything, but I happen to covet quite a bit of HK paraphernalia. There's a whole lot more to HK than stationary and toys. There are HK toasters and waffle makers, egg and rice molds, HK fridges, cd players, computers and cars. You name it there's a HK version somewhere. You could go too far like this guy's wife. I'm sure I could get pretty obsessed if I had the means. Me, I have a small collection of stationary things from when I lived in the states. The flickr photo page has notes.

This is the tin I covered in Hello Kitty stickers that I put this stuff in.

She's on my fridge too!

February 10, 2008

YEAH! MASR!



The mood last night in Egypt was one of pure joy! Egypt just won the Africa Cup of Nations,(6th time!) and man, everyone is elated. The streets are crazy. We went out for a ride down the main road and it was madness. Good madness, but more than your everyday regular Egyptian madness. I'm talking people dancing on top of buses, in trunks and hanging out of windows, people igniting cans of bugspray and a great deal of honking. There was red, white and black everywhere you looked. I'm not a big soccer person, but it was truely wonderful to see so much pride in Egypt.

February 4, 2008

Hey...

Sorry I haven't posted. There's been some problems with internet in Egypt and we had impossibly slow service for a while. All is good now InshaAllah. I saw the new LOST which is thrilling. Anyone else a fan? I could go on and on about all the wonder that is LOST, but I wont. For now.

Blog search terms lately:

-A couple of my brother's name, hmm could be student's checking him out.
-Tons of variations on "How to make Origami Lucky Stars" from May of '05
-Also someone desperately wants to make an origami tiger.
-A few of my blogname, that's comforting, Someone wanted to find me.
-Damanhour Good Morning America" interesting...Damanhour is the city my inlaws live which we frequenlty visit. Wonder if the town was named on the morning show?
-"Custom Blog Designs" from the contest I posted about. Didn't win hence the same template that I'm growning tired of. A change is a-coming.
-"Egypt Ramen" Obviously someone was here and had a serious craving for noodles and had to find out if they were available here. I hope I helped!