Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bismillah ... to the Road of Recovery

Looks like my girl Yin-Yang is recovering from the suitor-gone-wrong situation. It's incredible how vulnerable a woman can get when she ... well, falls in love for marriage, and marriage doesn't happen. I don't know about you guys, but I find that looking at this makes me more guarded -- I keep my heart really protected and I don't open up easy anymore. Ah well. SubhanAllah: may Allah(swt) ease the difficult ...

So, she wrote a poem too:

I never saw a moon so bright, reflecting my heart on the listless waters,
Rustling leaves echo my stirring heart, whispering winds brush my lonely soul.

I vie in this world, yet long for eternity.
I smile to them, yet cry to myself.

Will the lifeless gates unlock once again?
To a garden grown so wild,
To a dweller with open arms.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Life is Beautiful.

Alhamdullilah for having sight to see this,

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I’ve been occupied. In different ways. But no matter where the whirlwind takes me, at the end of the day I’m back in the classroom with the kids. And even this is different. Almost each time.

The other day we discussed an article about Arab pop music. The title of the article is: “Degenerate Pop: Threat to the Arab Music Renaissance or Mere Sign of the Times?”

With a title like that even my mind goes “whaa??” So I asked them what on earth is the title saying?

“ miss it says like that arab music is getting worst”.

“no but that’s because of western music because arab music wants to copy the west and so it got worst”.

Okay. What does the word degenerate mean?

… Silence …

Well it probably says something’s getting worst in quality when it degenerates … what about the ‘mere signs of the times’ part … and that question mark?

… Silence …

Giggles and chuckles…. “we don’t know miss”

We then read a line that says: “In the Arab world, there are two names for this type of music: the first, shababi, means ‘youthful’, an appropriate name as it is the youth that make this genre of music so popular; and the second, habita, is a derogatory name used by its critics implying ‘low brow’”.

So why is Arab pop music seen this way?

“ well miss cuz like young people today want to see sexy women and nice looking cars and copy the west and they think that’s good music”.

“miss like some people they can’t listen to a song if it doesn’t have a video clip”.

“ like amr diab or like Haifa wehbe cuz she’s hot. But her music says nothing”.

What about Britney Spears?

“she sings like a goat”.

“her music means nothing. She says nothing”.

Then why does she have such a big following? Could it be that people connect with the identity that she represents?

Look at it this way: she has a domestic side – kids, motherhood, a guy who just won’t be a good man to her, problems with family, etc. Hey how many of us don’t know people like that or who struggle with similar things? … and she’s also portrayed as a rebel: a bad girl who doesn’t care to be “good”. Ladies, what’s going on you think?

“but miss like she can’t sing”.

What is music, in this case? An identity, human one, or merely voice and talent?

“ miss I really used to hate Britney Spears but now I like her because I feel for her”.

“ but miss this has nothing to do with our topic”.

(I laugh). Fadi that came so confidently you should make all your comments like that. Why do you say this?

“because either a song is good or bad. Has nothing to do with all these things”.

Absolutely. Good point. Hey sometimes it’s just music.

So okay, what am I talking about then? I’ll get back to the point to make Fadi happy. The point is … Arab pop music. Arab pop music is.

Hey, wait a minute. Why are we talking about Arab pop versus “West” pop music? And what on earth is pop music from the “West”? And what is Arab pop music? Since when did pop music have a national citizenship?

And kids, since when was the world divided in “West” and “Arab”?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Yin Yang's contact and Tariq Ramadan

Assalamu alaikum:

Anyone want more of Tariq Ramadan translations? Feel free to contact Yin-Yang at


Let us know if you'd like all the translations posted on Quest. In the end, it's for your benefit inshAllah.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Reading Lebanese News

Assalamu Alaikum:

I thought I'd read the news in Lebanon with you through this Youtube video. Election season out here, but there's other things going on too.

The Youtube video is here