September 30, 2008

Happy Eid

Happy Eid everyone. I believe most of the Muslim ummah is celebrating today. Eid here is tomorrow, wednesday. I think only Egypt, Syria and Tunis are celebrating tomorrow. May Allah accept our efforts in Ramadand inshaAllah. Hope your Eid is full of joy.

September 25, 2008


I made some cookies for Eid...well it's early still but my friend wanted to borrow my cookie gun shooter thingy this weekend. It's not very clear in the photo but First I dipped them in honey and then I used crushed nuts, colored sugar and coconut to decorate them. It was good to get it done quickly this morning while the kids were in school but we'll have to make another batch together, inshaAllah, they love that type of thing.

Images Of Ramadan Around The World has an amazing photo article of 35 photos depicting Muslims observing Ramadan all over the world. Different cultures, different traditions, all beautiful. I was brought to tears viewing them. Here are my favorite images.
Workers dry vermicelli, a specialty eaten during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, India on September 5, 2008.
An Egyptian family looks to buy a "Fanus Ramadan", a traditional lantern popular during Ramadan, at a shop in el-Sayeda Zaynab district of downtown Cairo, late August 28, 2008
A Palestinian Muslim girl prays in the men's mosque before the evening prayer called "tarawih", during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008.
Muslim women attend prayers on the eve of the first day of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan at a mosque in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia on August 31, 2008
Visually impaired Palestinian students read verses of the Koran, Islam's holiest book, written in Braille, during the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Al-Qabas Islamic school in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008.
A Muslim woman reads a copy of the Koran at the Istiqlal mosque during the second day of ramadan in Jakarta, Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, on September 2, 2008
The Al-Zaim family of Duxbury, Massachusetts sits, gathered together for their dinner after 7pm on September 14th, 2008, to break their Ramadan Fast.
A child prepares food for Iftar (evening meal) before the breaking of fast on the first day of Ramadan at Memon Mosque in Karachi, Pakistan on September 2, 2008.
Palestinian women lead young girls through the Kalandia checkpoint, on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah, to cross to Jerusalem to attend Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosques compound on September 19, 2008. Thousands of Muslim faithful have been crossing every week from the West bank to attend Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa, Islam's third holiest shrine, since the start of the holy month of Ramadan three weeks ago.

Kudos to The Boston Globe for showing the beauty in Islam and these cultures, which is rarely seen. See the rest of the photos here.

September 20, 2008


Today the other 3 had their first day of school. The girls were more exited than Dawood. He has a few good friends that he sticks to. Zayneb's very social and couldn't wait to see her posse and Salwa missed her teacher. I told her she'd have a new teacher this year but she made a card for her KG teacher to give to her today.

E and I took this opportunity, our first day with all of them at school, to go get my beta2a (national ID). The process itself surprisingly, didn't take too long. I supposed that it's a Ramadan morning a lot of people are sleeping here, so it wasn't too crowded. We filled out the forms and when I was asked to write my name I wrote my first and last name in Arabic, in my best Arabic handwriting. Later the woman called me to put a few thumbprints on the paper work. I thought to myself, hmm...that's odd. Whatever.

So after a few different windows and signatures and stamps the last guy that gives us the paper that we need says I don't even have to take a new picture. As I was leaving he says as if speaking to a child, a child who's hard of hearing..."Madame Mona!..Inty Itwalaty fe Amreeka??" ( You were born in America??) I nodded yes and then he asked THE question. "Anhe ahsan, Amreeka walla Masr?" (Which is better..America or Egypt?) I just said "El etnen" (Both). When we got out E explained to me that I was supposed to write my full name with my father's grandfather's names and that's why I had to give my thumb print. They considered me illiterate! Everyone in that place was witness to the Lady from Amreeka that can't even write her own name! We laughed so hard when I put it together.

In Ant news, I haven't seen any since that last time I sprayed. Maybe they did decide to move. I wont declare victory yet, but we'll see.

September 19, 2008

The ants go marching one by one...

I went to bed at 9 tonight and woke up all frantic that we'd missed suhoor, so I looked at my phone and it was still 12, alhamdullilah. I couldn't get back to sleep after and there's still some time before I have to get the kids up for suhoor so I figured I'd post. Today we were invited for iftar at a friends house so it was great to not even step into the kitchen today. We're having them over on Sunday so the meal planning wheels are turning in my head as we speak.

The ants have been a little more at bay with regular spraying and I put vinegar in various spots in the kitchen. Yesterday I sprayed a bit of Raid in the crack between the window and the wall where they were going and coming from. I swear they are so smart. One came walking along the path between the tiles and got a whiff of that Raid and did a 360. Each ant he met along the way, he'd stop for a second as if to say "Turn back, it's a trap!" and the other ants would follow back with him. So I followed their path to the door frame and sprayed there. Then they went back again and had a little meeting about what to do next I suppose. I left after that and they were gone later so I assumed they found a new route and I'll be seeing them again soon. As much as I hate these pests, I have a bit more respect for them after that. After all there's a surah about ants (Surah 27 (Al Naml)).

September 16, 2008

First Day of School

For Safyiah!

She wanted to show off her backpack.

Ch Ch Changes....

So I decided to change the template design tonight. Although It took a long time to set up the old template, I like a change once in a while. I like the new Following feature. I found this design HERE, there are so many to choose from, but this cheery look and color combo caught my eye immediately. Please take the poll on the sidebar and let me know what you thin? If you read my blog regularly, please click "Follow this blog" on the sidebar.

September 15, 2008


Update, kids are back, Safiyah is going to babyclass (preschool) tomorrow! As in the day after today! They said she's too young for KG1 (she'll be 4 next month)The preschool/KGer's started today but she'll go tomorrow. They said she'll get her books after eid. None of my other kids went to preschool so I don't know exactly what all they do, I assumed mostly play but there are books. I bet it's just preparatory stuff, inshaAllah. I'm glad she's going to preschool instead of KG 1, I don't think she's ready for it yet and I'd rather her get a chance to get acquaint with the idea of school and the structure, inshaAllah. AH! My little baby's going to school!

See what I do when I get some time to myself?

The kids went with E to pick up the school uniforms and books, and I couldn't fall back asleep, so blog I shall. The kids get sooo many books which I have the great pleasure of covering. It's not fun, seriously it's a 3-4 hour job man!

Like my new notebook? I bought a plain pink notebook and put the Hello Kitty stickers on to make it more visually pleasing. It just makes me smile! The stickers are so thin it looks like they're printed on the notebook. I' m using it for a household organization book. I have a section for To Do and one for recipes and menu ideas, another section for cleaning schedules.

I love me some sweet tea, I have been making it nightly as of late. It's my favorite drink, sometimes I add mint. I like it sweet and strong, I just put the sugar in the teapot and add 5 teabags, fill it with water and let it boil. Then I cool it outside the fridge for a while then refridgerate. I always pour a cup to put in the freezer to chill faster.

I gotta go do the dishes, get them out of the way. It makes cooking iftar way easier when the sink is cleared. Today it's roasted chicken and potatoes, peas, rice, salad and cream of mushroom soup. I don't know if I'll make any dessert today they're still amar el deen (apricot pudding) from last night.

September 14, 2008

What is up....

Salam loyal readers. I am back. A week without the internet was all I could take but haven't had the chance to properly read all the blogs on my blog roll or post till now. We actually got back a couple of days ago, but Its just been hectic with unpacking and Ramadan in general it just seems like there aren't as many hours in the day. I must be doing something wrong. I always sleep after fajr and wake up in time for a few hours in the kitchen preparing iftar and dessert.

We made our regular trip to Carrefour while in Alex. We bought all the school necessities and everyone's pleased with their new backpacks and black shoes. It was really crowded in the school supply section, as if these were the last pens and pencils on the face of the earth. I had the 4 kids with me so it wasn't easy and I hate crowds with that many kids in tow. Thankfully Safiyah stayed in the shopping cart for the duration of our excursion and only asked to be taken out at the check out. By the time we were done it was 2 am (yes, the mall's still open!) and we had suhoor at the food court. Quite odd to eat pizza and ice cream for suhoor, but it was ok.

School starts in less than a week. I'm trying to get the kids back to sleeping normal hours. The whole time we were at my in laws they stayed up til fajr and slept till the afternoon. When do kids start to appreciate sleep? They'd never sleep if it were up to them.

We have a problem with ants in the apartment. I sprayed Raid before we went away but yesterday there were more. Lots more. Marching across the entire living room floor was a long line of those little black menaces. I had to empty a can of spray on them then clean the floor, it wasn't pretty. Sometimes I'll be in the kitchen washing dishes and I'll feel a pinch on the back of my neck and, there I find one of those little buggers! I put all the Ramadan-y stuff like nuts and dried fruit in a cooler to keep them away from it. I need a natural remedy, I HATE the smell of the spray and really don't want to have to call a professional.

September 3, 2008

Off I go

Ramadan is going well, alhamdullilah, kinda tiring, but that's cause I'm usually lazy in the cooking department, so this is like the Cooking Olympics. Plus it's hot and the kitchen's hot and I'm sweating enough to make the food too salty.

We're going to visit my inlaws for several days so, I'll be back in a week. I'm glad for the break and it will be good to get a change of scenery. See you peeps.