Thursday, November 26, 2009
On Friday it's Eid, and the international day of solidarity with the Palestinian people, of course a day after Thanksgiving which was on Thursday. And it's my nine-month anniversary of being in Lebanon.
So, Happyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy everything everyone!!!! :-)
Monday, November 23, 2009
It is here! Like a colored petal floating in the wind over a dry hungry desert, my awaited break-of-silence from my routine work-filled day has come. I have now heard that the number is increasing to a dire level that requires much of our attention.
Yemen, a country bordering Saudi-Arabia, is now witnessing civil strife between a local armed group and the government, both fighting it out, which means local Yemenese civilians have had to flee their homes to seek refuge. They now live in refugee camps in the North named Al- Mazrak which borders Saudi Arabia.
The condition has it that the camp can only sustain around three thousand: it now holds ten thousand, not including some twenty thousand more living around the camp.
In a few days it will be Eid Al Adha -- a time of giving and care. There is no better time than now to think of our fellow brothers and sisters in the world who are dying of malnutrition, meaning lack of food which we have an abundance of especially when making that meat-sacrifice for Eid.
I don't know of all the ways to donate or help, but one of them could be unicef or unhcr -- both of which are international aid companies for refugees (unicef is more global).
Thank you for thinking of this with me. Jazakum Allah khayr.
Best warm wishes,
Sunday, November 22, 2009
There are days when I miss blogging so much that I respect my need for silence, so I can come back because I truly and really want to. The blogosphere has its allure and there is no denying this. Here I am, again, afterall, with smiles again and again to my wonderful readers :-)
This Lebanon has an equal amount of allure in it, something like a mist of flower petals blowing over a dry and ordinary desert. In the stroll of routine work-filled days, something colorful occurs.
I’ll post it up when it happens.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
In the same person is the he and the she. The one and its opposite. The mars and the venus. The question and the answer.
So, Erich Fromm, a few pages down from the quote I posted earlier, writes...
"Love is not a sentiment which can be easily indulged in by anyone... man tries most actively to develop his total personality, so as to achieve a productive orientation; that satisfaction in individual love cannot be attained without the capacity to love one's neighbour, without true humility, courage, faith and discipline. In a culture in which these qualities are rare, the attainment of the capacity to love must remain a rare achievement".
How Islamic, I notice. I recall that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has taught us to open up our channels of love to extend outside the sexual or the romantic, to things like a neighbor, a parent, a cat, a tree, an idea, a friend, a companion, a value, a faith, a song, a poem, a moment of happiness. And the list continues in order for us to develop our total personality. To achieve an all-encompassing orientation or vision about the sentiment of love and marriage.
Funny. Some responses I get tend to be so dry, like: "God is most important in marriage not the wife", or " God is first not him or her".
Why this is dry? Because some people's vision is simply disconnected. They can't see that to love God in a true sense is to go through the channels He has opened up for us here on earth -- the neighbor, the parent, the cat, the tree, the friend, the companion and so on.
Can't push this point enough. Because some people. Are. Just. Dis. connected.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I've missed you. What a distance this has been. Sorry about that :)
What do you think of this passage? Bring your critical tools and go at it! Remember that the Art of Love is a question not foreign to Islamic thought, too.
"One of the errors leading to the assumption that there is nothing to be learned about love lies in the confusion between the initial experience of 'falling' in love, and the permanent state of 'being' in love, or as we might better say, of 'standing' in love.
If two people who have been strangers, as all of us are, suddenly let the wall between them break down, and feel close, feel one, this moment of oneness in marriage is one of the most exhilirating, most exciting experiences in life. It is all the more wonderful and miraculous for persons who have been shut off, isolated, without love.
However, this type of love is by its very nature not lasting. The two persons become well acquainted in marriage, their intimacy loses more and more its miraculous character, until their antagonism, their disappointments, their mutual boredom kill whatever is left of the initial excitement.
Yet, in the beginning, they do not know all this: in fact, they take the intensity of the infatuation, this being 'crazy' about each other for proof of the intensity of their love, while it may only prove the degree of their preceeding loneliness".
Erich Fromm: The Art of Loving
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
This is the first time I look at how we pray from the eyes of a poem. Here's "My Sister's Prayer".
She has never heard a woman call her
To prayer still she answers
Bears witness five times a day
She faces East
And washes her body covers her human form
In preparation to meet the Most High
She raises her hands
Aware of all who have come before her
Folds hands on her breast
Right on top of left
Between Arabic words heart beat breath
She raises her hands
In hope of all that will follow
Humble and knowing she needs no defense
Before no man
Behind the men
Knowing angels will raise her back up
Head to the ground
Even the floor she walks upon becomes sacred
She prays in prescribed form but knows
There is no language
the Universe does not accept
There is no posture void of God
She is Sarah's daughter
She is Hagar's daughter
And like her father Abraham her tent is open
In the four directions
For each wind will carry her prayers
From each direction will come her blessings
From the trees and the rocks
From the seas and the hills
All the while calling on Compassion and Mercy
Her hands are open
Her father taught her to read the words
Her mothers teach her to live them
Her brothers told her to live by the law
Her sisters tell her the only law. Is Love.
She invokes peace over her right shoulder
Then her left
She sits alone and patiently waits