Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hey Muslim-friend-o-mine... I've got an idea for you! Good food in the fasting months...

As salaamu aleikum wrwb,

    Insha'Allah, tonight the crescent mood indicating the month of Shabban will appear in the sky. Shabban can be thought of as the watering of the garden of Ramadan. Muslims use this month to begin preparing mind, body, and spirit for the holy month of Ramadan where we are directed that all believers who are able to must fast during this month. The fast is from dawn to sunset and Muslims must abstain from the intake of food and drink, and also no participating in sexual relations. Fasting has so many benefits, I am sure if you are curious, you will Google it, called sawm in Arabic, to learn when, why, and how Muslims fast, insha'Allah.

    I am very excited about Ramadan this year. While I have been fasting for a number of years, wal hamdulillah, this is my first Ramadan since I quit smoking, so I imagine that I will be even more rewarding when I don't have to spend that last half our of the fast jonesing for a smoke. Whew!  

I have been working out to get rid of some frustration with my life, liberty (which ain't all it's cracked up to be) and pursuit of happiness (I am pretty happy, but some changes in my status (not my FB  status!) would probably do us all good. I realize that when my health is better, this will improve my mood and I may be less likely to bite you, and you, and you, too.( But you over there, healthy or not, I got teeth!)


   Anyway, I was thinking about the benefits of unprocessed foods and how it decreases the risks of cancers and other illnesses. I am not strictly talking about raw foods, but rather, foods that haven't been run through a factory or changed from a natural state. So, your halaal beef steak is unprocessed. But don't eat it with pasta, because that is.     I looked ups some websites about unprocessed foods. Here's some good ones:    (I've been doing her 4 minute work outs as a warm up to the crazy stuff I've been working on.)     If you find more good sites, let me know.  

So, what about a dare! For Shabban, who wants to join me in an unprocessed food diet to help detox and get to the best body we can to process our food that we will eat in Ramadan, insha'Allah. Come on! You know that Rasul'Allah (saw) never ate anything out of a can or a box. What better example to follow than his, insha'Allah.  We can do this! :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Other Spaces

For each way we divide ourselves, our humanity, into segments, in terms of race, gender, ethnicity, language, region, etc., we can use these divisions for strength, and indeed, we really should, no, must do that, so that when we are enfolded back into our general ‘humanness’, we can bring something of that strength to contribute to the whole.
We have spaces that we fit into. That we need to go to to find out how fit into humanity.
I know, as an African American, there are so many things that Blackness means and can be reaffirmed when I am in the company of people who are dark like me, who share the history of being black, African American, of African decent, (these are NOT all the same, by the way), and the many other ways that brown/black/dark skin has defined us. Along with the negative history of slavery and colonization, there is also the shared acknowledgment of beauty in us– in our skin, our hair, our clothing, our music, our bodies, our dance, our being.
I am sure that other ethnic groups share this, and I will admit to being a cultural voyeur. I have snuck among the peoples of South Asian communities, worn fine saris, danced bangla, been decorated with mendhi and have even learned to speak Tamil to enjoy these cultural phenomena.
Just as guiltily, my sister teases me that I converted to Islam for the fabric. I like to dress up in pretty attire from various nations. Of course, al hamdulillah, it was my imaan, my sincere belief in One God and the line of prophet, from Adam to Abraham to Jesus, to Muhammed and all between (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them), but the fabric of Muslim society stretches across so many cultures that as a Muslim, and particularly a convert, I can enjoy the foods, dress, languages and other contributions easily, while keeping my identity/identities– with all the complicated stories and histories therein. All this to say, I have (or had before the great flood) clothing from India, Pakistan, West Africa, North Africa, and other places.

IzZy blah blah blahLast night I went to a book discussion about Muslim American women. I suggest that anyone who hasn’t read it take some time to do so:
It was amazingly refreshing to sit with women, Muslim women, and talk about being Muslim and being women and being American, and all the ways that those fit together. I was such a pleasure. I walked in knowing three of the women there, and I left friends with all, al hamdulillah. Just like when we get together with our individual ethnic groups, there’s something that strengthens us when we women come together and find out what we have in common and what we would like to understand about our differences. Sharing, exchanging, is so valuable.
A long time ago, when I was going through a sad divorce from by best friend, I threw myself into belly dancing career. I had some friends who stepped away from me during that part of my life, accusing me of becoming more obsessed with dancing than with trying to save my marriage. What I now know that I was doing was connecting with the woman me. I was studying dance with women– who understood breakups and wouldn’t judge me. I was enjoying having a woman’s body, since the fact that my body was not allowed to bear children in that relationship, so just being acknowledged as a woman, fecund, fertile, beautiful, was important for my ego then. In classes with women, stretching, moving together, was fun and wonderful and relaxing during that time of stress. And as far as my pre-Islamic belly dance career, yes, having money thrown on me on the nights that I used my body as an instrument of dance, when the break up of my marriage signaled the end of my “woman-body” in the marital bed, was ego-boosting. But more than that, it was the classes and the gal-pal tag-alongs to Middle Eastern night clubs, the women dancer-friends I made, each of us waiting our turn on stage or just there as moral support. I found the women’s support greater than any therapy that I had been through.
I have a wonderful network of women friends now. Friends from high school, and especially college and graduate school. I have made more great friends through my past jobs, and educational experiences, through travel and especially through coming to Islam. And last night, I added to that list, wal hamdulillah.
Oh, and did I mention that I have four sisters and a mom. And a daughter!!! That’s a lot of women.
Al hamduilillah, al Rahmaan al Raheem.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Can someone explain why this is in a fourth grade textbook?

Argh, I am beginning to hate school. Public school, private school, it's all the same.

This was in Yasmeen's homework:

The principal keeps a dish of mints on her desk. She offered a piece to
Sebastian when he turned in $3 he found on the playground. Half of
the mints in the bowl had red wrappers. Without looking he grabbed
a piece with a yellow wrapper. His chances of doing that again were 3
out of 23.
Use the information above to write a reasonable description of the
principal’s bowl of mints.

First of all, Sebastian should have given the principal a piece of his mind. With three dollars, he could have bought a whole bag of candy!
Second, this is probability and statistics. When you are 9 years old, you want more than one mint, not to figure out how you got the candy that probably has a yucky flavor anyway. (Banana mint? Bleh!) Probability and statics was a college class for me. I didn't like it then. I still don't.
Finally, why does a 4th grader need to know how to do this?
I wanna beat somebody up.
Who are we competing against? Standardized testing nightmares, designed to put the US students ahead of whom? The Chinese?
I have a number of Asian friends. Still I don't want my kid to be competing against this sort of societal norm, where academics is ranked above family time and being a kid. Humanity and fun is important to me, for me, and especially for Yasmeen.

And if you agree this problem is BS, well, she has about 10 other pages left to do of other homework. And we started at 2:00 this afternoon.

I hate it. I am thinking of homeschooling for our sanity! No child left behind is really NO CHILDHOOD!!!

Yasmeen is not a can of generic peas!!! Click here to see what I mean.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Let's take a peek at the Fox News Tweaks

Peace and greetings to everyone!

Well, yes I had a moment of something sorta like ego, because I was interviewed at the rally. But I woke up at 4:00 am with something on my mind about it.

FOX, you weren't very fair!!!!

First of all, the rally at the King Center was an INTERFAITH RALLY. It opened with an Islamic prayer, followed by a Christian prayer, then a Jewish prayer, and representative of the city spoke in prayer and then another reading which included a beautiful poem and prayer. The people chosen to speak were there not because they were Muslims or even because the all had family ties to Egypt, but because they care about what is happening there and around the world. We came there to pray for peace. PEACE.

But in the interview, only the Muslims who were willing to go on camera were represented. Not fair, FOX. It was interfaith. The tiny shot where I looked a little teary was because the Jewish woman, Audrey Galex, told the story of how when she was in college, she went to Egypt to study for a year to "learn about her enemy, and that with in hours, even, she had found not an enemy but friends". FRIENDS. So, she had come to pray for peace and understanding between all faiths, and for the Egyptian people who are fighting for democracy.

Al hamdulillah, I was so proud of Sister Soumaya, who has been my friend, adviser, and yes, who is an Egyptian American with a beautiful family here in the Atlanta area. But as the director of the ISB, and who is as much into interfaith networking as I would like to be, I am sure that in the two times she was interviewed and in all the recordings of the service, there was more than just her Egyptian connection that she spoke about.

I know that the first thing I said, when asked why I was there was what I have been saying for weeks now, since Tunisia's uprising. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." (Dr. MLK, Jr.) I spoke about my Atlanta roots, my strong India connection, my work in Morocco. It was only when asked if I had any particular ties to Egypt that I mentioned the former spousal unit. (To be honest, I don't hate him. I just don't like him very much! Hard to like someone whom you haven't seen in almost 8 years, right? Especially when you share the parentage of a nine year old, and she has no clue of anything about him, including what financial and parental support from him would even look like. But I digress....)

I am glad that the piece got a bit of coverage, in front of the King Center, beside the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. But I am disappointed that they didn't focus on the interfaith aspect. Rather, it seemed like, "Well, we care because we have family there". When I was in 4th grade, I built a pyramid. I shared my King Tut book with the class. I have cared about Egypt since before I became Muslim and before I had any sort of relational ties.

I am a child of folks who grew up through Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement. I care now because we have to care about what happens on the planet. It's not about being American, Indian, Moroccan, Chinese, Israeli, Brazilian, etc. It's not about being Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, etc. It's about caring because when one group fights for basic human rights, we must support them and hope for a positive trickle-down effect.

It's about the dreams: from before "I Have a Dream" and past "Dreams of My Father."

It's about the dreams for our children that wherever they are, they will have a voice, freedom, democracy, education, employment, honor, love, peace.

I went to an interfaith gathering. Don't let the news report make it appear that the Muslims were the only ones to speak.

OH. And back to the ego for a second.

I made it very clear that my name is Carmen Pai Daschke. That last name is TWO words. TWO. No hyphen. Goobers.

I am sticking to FOX only to watch HOUSE from now on. Wait, watch that online. Never mind.... >:|

(in case you have NO IDEA what I am going on and on about, watch here:

Just because it's not my flag doesn't mean I don't want to see it wave as a symbol of freedom and justice....

Friday, November 9, 2007

GMAT class in Morocco...

Peace and greetings to you all.... whoever you are.
I say that because this is my first blog here, although I can be found on Yahoo 360 and more recently on Multiply, with blogs under the same name...

However, this is my first Blogger Blog and I though I have a lot of thoughts and would like to learn the ins and outs of this site, it is Saturday morning in Morocco-- about 7:40 am and I have to teach a 3.5 hour GMAT class at 9. I feel inspired to write, but I am forced to shower, dress and prepare myself, along with the joy of hailing a red taxi.

I hope to have more to post soon, insha'Allah.

For now, just a not so simple, American Muslimah and mommy (and yeah, a bit more) with a lot of thoughts and gratitude for the chance to actually share them, or it least lay them down somewhere.

Peace to you all!!!