Friday, 29 May 2009


A poem I used to love back in school.

by Rudyard Kipling

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

Monday, 25 May 2009

How typical of Saudi officials

So now Saudi has come up with a rule requiring Expatriates to register their fingerprints. Not that theres anything wrong with this law but what happens when these expatriates are not properly informed? chaos ensues!

Heres' what the Arab News had to say:

Fingerprinting confusion confounds expats

Arab News - 25 May, 2009

Saudi Arabia is undergoing an identity crisis; not its own but that of millions of expatriate workers in the Kingdom.

Saudi law now requires that all expatriate iqama holders and their dependents register their fingerprints with the government. The crisis stems from a deadline — May 25 — that has been set for registration.

That much is clear. However what happens if expatriates fail to register? It is an area of such Byzantine confusion that at 7:15 a.m. a kilometer-long queue of expatriate workers had gathered outside the registration office located behind a tiny iron door in the wall of the Saudi Oger compound in north Jeddah yesterday.

“I got the story that while I had to register, there was no need for my wife to register as she is on my iqama,” said American Gene Fulton, a naval engineer. “The official then told me that my wife could register at the airport, which rather contradicted his own information.”

The information given to other expatriates varied considerably. It included: Wives had to register separately; they had to register in the same place; they had no need to register at all; children as young as nine had to register; children under 14 were excluded; failure to register would result in the nonrenewal of iqama, or the refusal by the Passport Department to issue exit/re-entry visas; registration could be done at the airport on re-entry; registration could not be done on re-entry.

“I spent a total of nine hours on three visits and still am not registered,” said Mike B.

His attempt was at the offices located near Dallah Tower on Jeddah’s Palestine Street. He eventually succeeded when a government relations specialist bullied his way to the head of the queue and used some “wasta” (influence) on the officials. That solution seemed relatively common. Several respondents said that they asked favors from people they knew in order to speed up the process.

Confusion is compounded by a lack of communication on the authorities’ part and the failure of many companies to pass on the information — albeit confused — to their work force.

A British project manager, John T., said that he had found out by accident during a coffee break. “I registered with my wife as a result six months ago, but as yet we have not been told officially by the firm,” he said. At that time, the registration offices were empty and officials were prepared but visitors were few.

According to at least one large school’s experience in Jeddah, it is possible to make a booking for a group visit and registration of expatriate staff in one visit. It seems, however, that few organizations have availed themselves of the opportunity.

Thus the confusion continues, the queues stifling in the humid summer heat grow agitated and millions of man-hours will be lost in unproductive waiting for registration or refusal or conflicting information, turning what should be a perfectly routine piece of bureaucracy into a nightmare and possibly a crisis as well

Why they cannot learn to be more organized , I do not understand.I wonder what would happen to those of us that aren't in the kingdom. Iqama won't be renewed?

Sunday, 24 May 2009

A must-read if you've lived in KSA

This is from the facebook group: ' You know You've Lived in Saudi Arabia When..'

Anyone who has lived in Saudi would be able to relate to all of these im sure :)

Soo true!

You think SR500 is a good price
You enjoy channel 2
Your idea of housework is leaving a list for the housekeeper
You think black is appropriate daytime wear
You wear a jacket inside and take it off when you go out
You know which end of a swarma to unwrap
You think that the further you inch into an intersection the faster the light will turn green
You give directions by landmarks
You have more carpets than floor space
You expect gold for every birthday
You send your friends a map instead of your address
You begin admiring other women's "Designer" abayas
You expect to pay more for water than for petrol
You've heard of or tried "hubbly bubbly."
You get confused because US money isn't color-coded.
You remember not eating in public in the daytime during the holy month of Ramadan.
You know someone is referring to Pepsi when they say "BEBSI".
You have ever had to wait for prayer call to be over to finish shopping.
You have friends from 50 different countries.
Rain is still one of the most wonderful sounds in the world.
You have sat in a "men's" or "women's" section in an airport, hospital, or restaurant.
You think anyone with a cane is out to get you.
You think a desert storm is a war.
You think a red light means "step on it."
You don't think it is ostentatious to own more than one Rolex.
Your school closes early because of sandstorms
You are not surprised to see an 8 year old driving the car next to you
You can't buy anything without asking for a discount
You think cars only come in white

Thursday, 21 May 2009

On convincing myself to wear the abaya..

Over the years I have been asked by quite a few people, why i dont wear the abaya, and my response has always been that I would Inshallah wear it 'some day'. Many of these people have made numerous attempts to try and convince me to wear it, but I have had a very hard time trying to make up my mind. I believe that the decision should come from within you and you should not just do it because someone tells u to do it.

Yes I am aware that the way I dress , although seen to be modest by many , ( long-sleeved, knee-length tops and loose trousers, and the hijab) is not exactly how islam requires a woman to dress, as the Quran clearly states that an 'outer garment' must be worn :

" O Prophet! Tell thy wives & daughters & the believeing women that they should cast their outer garment over their persons ( when abroad) that is most convenient that they should be known ( as such) and not molested & God is Oft-Forgiving , Most Merciful " (33:59)

" And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husband's fathers, their sons, their husbands' sons, their brothers or their brothers' sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the slaves whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex; and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O ye Believers! turn ye all together towards Allah, that ye may attain Bliss" (24:31)

There are times when i get this overwhelming urge to just go out there n do it, but i also do know that once you decide, there is no going back.One of my primary fears is that I would regret my decision once I start wearing it. I have seen plenty of women stop wearing it after marriage or just stop for some reason or another. It is not fair to judge these women, because we all go through phases where our iman tends to decrease , but I think it's just wrong to regret, even for a moment, that you could show off what you are wearing under the abaya.

I guess its much easier a decision to make if you live in a Muslim country or it quite a few people in your circle also wear it. Having lived in Saudi Arabia for more than half my life, wearing an abaya felt so normal, but that was probably because everyone wore it. In a country where only a handful wear the abaya, and 'female only' gatherings are VERY rare, the thought of never being able to 'dress up' can keep getting in the way of your decision.

Trivial matters I'm sure these are, that can easily be overcome with the help of prayers and strong iman.

I was listening to a lecture by a South African sheikh, Sulaiman Mulla, a weeks back . He was talking about the modesty of Fatima (RA), the youngest daughter of the Prophet (SAW), and an incident he related had quite an impact on me .When Fatima (RA)knew that death was approaching, she went to Asma bint Umais and expressed her concerns that at certain funerals of women, the body was not concealed adequately and that she did not want this to be the case with her body (i.e she wanted her body to be concealed totally) Subhanallah! She was so worried and particular about her modesty even at death, when no man would see her after she was buried!

Regarding the niqab however, I do know that there are differing views about this issue and am among those who think its not wajib to fear the face veil (as of now at least) .

Kudos to all the sisters out there who wear the abaya, and to the ones who wear the niqab , I have no words!!

May Allah guide us all and increase our iman

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Great lecture

A very good lecture by brother Kamal el Mekki about the muslim womans role in strengthening the ummah.

Books worth reading !

Here are a few books that I have read and I think every muslim sister out there should read . It's important that we gain a firm understanding of what Islam expects of us firstly as a woman and then as a daughter, wife and mother, and how to set a good example to our non-muslim counterparts.

I would strongly suggest these two books.

'I appeal to your sense of shame...why not respond?' by Nawaal bint Abdullah , and

'The Ideal Muslimah' by Dr Al-Hashimi

Im sure the other books are really good as well but I haven't had the time to read them yet!

Hope they will be of use!! :)