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I am not really sure when Introvertism became trendy or anything fancy but all I know, for me, it has never been easy. It’s never been easy for anyone. It’s not comfortable, it’s weird and awkward and clumsy and precipitation and anxiety, sometimes creepy. Yet, it’s also solace and small circles and deep talk and books and coffee and cats (not for everyone but we do have our good moments πŸ˜‰ )

But oh well, we are the millennials. We have previously tried to make something out of absolutely nothing and we have succeeded. We are so desperate to be SOMETHING and then BOOM! came the word ‘Introvert’; such a sassy word mahn nay? and so we made it be something most of the time is not. Feels so classy even saying it. “Hey hi, I’m Lubnah and I’m an introvert”
Then everyone replies, “Hi Lubnah, welcome” like the way they say in these Hollywood movies during self-help group sessions.

Well for people like me, the Introverts who are Millennials I mean, we are lucky to be born in the 21st Century because we can get away with some things and claim it on ‘I’m an introvert’ or at least we can say, “some few people understand and accept us for what we are”. This is where I blush stupidly πŸ˜€ I mean, aren’t we lucky? We could even start our own society soon πŸ˜€

You know sometimes though, you meet people or you are going through someone’s bio and they’ve written ‘Introvert’ on their bio and you know them too well to be even CLOSE to being an introvert and you go like, “Ati Whoott?!” πŸ˜€

I mean do people even have an idea what it’s really like to be an introvert? The struggle? The trying-so-hard to be fit in somewhere? Especially when you want to be at the corner yet everything is round. Or do people just assume it’s something fabulous and sophisticated to say and mention in our biographies?… But well, I do get that same above reaction several times. People read my blog and hear me rant about very ‘serious’ and bold issues and they haven’t even met me in real life so they entirely dismiss the idea that i’m an introvert. Well, that’s until they meet me. And they go, “You are the writer?…I expected…” I want to say, “You expected someone as huge as my words, probably slaying in some long heels and so much sass or perhaps elegance and then you meet this timid girl looking like a hungry squirrel, you almost confused me to be a school girl” But then I just politely laugh it off with, “I know I know I hear that a lot.” I thought this was the generation who knew better that what we see in the internet rarely and barely describes our true lives. We are quite different people behind those screens. Well, at least most of us.

I know my journey as an introvert is different from others but I also know it’s still very similar. And what I mean for this is, if we are going to make ‘introvert’ seem so cute and fancy then we should also accept the weird, absurd side of it too right? So here we go, i’ll take you through some of my thoughts of being ‘weird’:

Invitation to an event
(Just outside the event venue)
“Hey excuse me? Umm, is the room full already? Like how many people? Umm, is there a back door? urgh, no back door? Could you please my friend her name is so and so, please tell her to pick me up? I can’t reach her via phone. It’s off. No no I’ll just wait for her then we can walk in together. What?! You can’t find her? Can you escort me please?? Oh thank you so much! I already feel like everyone is watching me. *Gasps* Never mind. Thank you for escorting me!”

Going into the elevator
(Rushes in to a corner)
Okay okay we are enough people already, why are people still over loading this small tiny thing? Uff! I can’t even breath. What if someone hears me breathing loudly or everyone? Oh my God that’s terrifying. I can hold my breath for a moment or do it as slowly and silently as they do it in yoga. This thing still makes me feel dizzy ;/ …Wow! This lady has so much courage! She is talking on the phone while all these people are at a pin-drop silence! How do you do that ma’am? Just hearing your voice in an over crowded tiny space? (I almost wanna ask.) Bravo bravo!!

Eating in public
Okay slooowly let’s take a bite. It shouldn’t disrupt anyone’s peace or even worse, draw attention. Eat like you chewing stolen food. No one should feel you are even there. Make sure your mouth and teeth behaves. No embarrassments please? Good. Like that. No fuss. No one is noticing. Good. Slow but sure. No hurry ma’am. (You can imagine the struggle when trying to eat something like crisps or an apple)

Dialing a call
Please don’t pick up
Please don’t pick up
Please don’t pick up
1 2 3…3 seconds are gone, she hasn’t picked up. not my fault!
(Shouts across the room excitedly) “She hasn’t picked up. I will just send her a text message or a mail πŸ™‚ ” SATISFACTION.
Then someone decides to ruin your moment.
“Try dialing again”

On a call
“Hey hallo”
“Why is your voice like that? Are you whispering?”
“I’m with people”
“So?”
“So I can’t talk loudly. Let me go outside… Okay, tell me now…”
“Is there a secret?”
“No why?”
“Why can’t you talk in front of other people?”
“It’s just uncomfortable listening to my voice echoing to my ears. Do you get it? No you can’t get it. Never mind.”

Texting a friend
“Oh my God I have good news for you!!”
“Aha bismillah what’s up?”
“Let me call you…or wait, video call is better. I want to see your reaction”
Me:

In a public transport vehicle
Okay, I have to rush to my seat. The last seat at the very last corner so that I can look out the whole way and don’t have to have people pushing and rubbing my knees to pass back and forth. That seat is solace. You can read a book or send a text message without wondering whether the two people sandwiching you are peeping at your screen or book.

Going out
Wow it’s a beautiful day to talk a walk. I could do good with some sunshine.
Someone: Hey, do you want to accompany to the mall?
Me:

When your friend doesn’t show up at the event and doesn’t pick your calls

When talking with a friend at a public place

That’s too loud iiy! Lower the volume please!

Going to the market for shopping
Me: Yey!! Finally going to get what I wanted.
Also me, five minutes after entering the market:
Where are all these humans coming from?!!

When strangers or people you barely know ask for a meet up

When people ask for justification for your very awkward, weird socialΒ tendencies (especially since you’re a journalist)

Β Bruh!! Not again please!!

Well, we have a reaction for everything so this would probably not end today lol. All in all, I think people should just accept us for who we are. I mean, like for me, I do talk in front of crowds of people, my job sometimes requires me too and I do and sometimes I shake like an old generator running out of fuel and sometimes I perform so well. Sometimes I do bold things like start up a conversation with a stranger or eat in public but the end of the day, i’m going back right to my cocoon where it feels home and safe. Don’t judge, don’t criticize, don’t manipulate.

Social interactions especially when it goes beyond our scope, suck up our energy and I mean that literally. We become drained and exhausted. Sometimes we want to make friends sometimes we don’t. We talk a lot on the internet more than we do in our real lives. Sometimes we want to meet up with friends sometimes we just want to lay on bed in our pajamas, whole day long and watch or read something nice. When we say we need the space, we really need it. We’re complicated humans. We’re trying our best to act normal and bond and maybe you don’t get it how we are what we are, but we appreciate ourselves and it is OKAY if you don’t get it. Just respect our boundaries and accept us for who we are. Halla introverts! πŸ˜€

No hard feelings people. This was meant for fun and to learn πŸ™‚

All these awesome gifs from:Β https://giphy.com/

Photo Courtesy: http://1.bp.blogspot.com

It’s true that in this life you can never do everything alone, even the heroes and achievers we watch and see, at some point they need someone else to assist them in some way. The question though is, how much help can you ask for before it becomes unacceptable? How much asking is too much?

My brother and his friend have this sort of mantra which goes like, ‘You can’t ask prezzo for a sleepover.’ I mean, however close you are to the president, it just wouldn’t be right whenever you are in town you call him for a place to sleep right? What then happens when you desperately need him to sponsor your new project or maybe need his support when you vie for some political seat after you’ve used all your infinite chances asking for petty things? So whenever they are stranded and are thinking of ways out, they’d remind themselves that they should only ask for help from someone when it is ABSOLUTELY necessary. Wise move should I say?

This got me thinking; this is something most of us do without actually thinking. You know like you could be having this friend who is always willing to help you with anything. So you just over-do it with the say, ‘we are friends right? They signed up for this.’ So you go all the way from sending them to buy you that dress you saw at the mall to requesting for airtime to asking for loans to requesting for endless favours. But what happens when you suddenly lose your money and have no fare to get you home? Or when you are terribly sick with no enough money for medication? By this time, your dear loyal friend is exhausted by your endless requests. Who then do you turn to? Let’s face it; there is only so much one can handle. They will tolerate you for as long as they can but some day they’ll just say it out loud, ‘I quit!’ And trust me, friends like these, you lose them and that’s it. No one likes being used let alone being OVER-USED.

It’s the same thing when you decide to ask for an advance at work but the advance is for you to buy some latest smartphone. Or when you use up all your off days for petty stuff like attending a birthday party. What then happens when you need a day to go for a mega interview?

Maybe we should really look at every chance we get to be golden. As golden as the three wishes of Aladdin. Maybe every time we want to ask for something from someone we should ask ourselves, ‘If I just had three chances to make a wish to this same person, would this still be important or necessary?’ If you check, the wise people, whenever someone tells them, ‘I owe you one’ they never quickly jump in to say, ‘Buy me pizza then’ or ‘Buy me this attire’ or ‘Take me to this place’. They say, ‘I’ll save that chance for a better day.’ Because yes, some chances and opportunities don’t come back twice.

By the way, i’m sure you’ve heard or even done this yourself. There may be a time where someone asked you for help and you quickly rush to assist them because, ‘He has never asked for a favour before. This seems to be something very important to him.’ Unlike someone who keeps running to you for everything, you wouldn’t take them THAT seriously would you?

So yes, don’t always let your friend be the one to pay for your dinner. Sometimes be the one to pay for theirs. Don’t always be quick to ask for favours at the slightest problem you face. Don’t take people for granted by how much help they offer you. Don’t use people however much they love you. Friendship, family or any other kind of bond, it has to be two-way. So help so that you can be helped too. But it should be within limits because yes, too much of anything is unhealthy and sometimes, annoying! Of course i’m not saying you shouldn’t ask for small favours, we all do that from time to time. The point is; just don’t make it a habit, extreme and overboard! Time for me and you to change…

Because yes! Every chance is golden!

Husna Lali:

“There are two kinds of people in the world of fashion; those who dress to impress and those who dress up less. Then there is the third kind; the ones who dress to express. They regard fashion as art and their style is nothing compared to what you’d see around. They have an aura of confidence that radiates around them at a 360 degrees circumference. They give firm, hearty handshakes that gives the exact long-lasting first impression they want you to have of them. It’s not narcissism it’s vanity and that’s how self-esteem comes about.
As Marc Jacobs said, β€˜clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.’ You could have the most ravishing wardrobe yet how you take yourself makes all the difference.

That said, let us have a peep at how a Moi University student, Abdulrahim Mwalim, recently nominated in the Male Fashion Icon category at the Ultimate Varsity awards, dresses up to express.”


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Abdulrahim Mwalim:

You know fashion…fashion is what you buy; what you decide to invest your money on but style is what you do with it. Now each one of us is unique in our own way; we have different backgrounds, different characters and different preferences too. And style is one of the ways to speak out what words can’t say at the first instance. When you meet someone for the first time and you are shaggily dressed, they form their impression on you right from across the street even before they take a seat next to you. So it does matter how you dress up, only, you should do it for the right reasons and ways.

Here are some things to consider when dressing up:

1. The Occasion: What you’ll wear to an evening event is definitely not what you’ll wear going to the beach. Every place has it’s own specific atmosphere and your clothing should blend with that. Check the weather, check the location, check the theme of the event, the invitees…If it is jogging, get into your running short kit and hit the road. In my opinion, casual yet classy outfits are best for events. I have always preferred simple but significant.

2. Quality over quantity: Several people believe having 10 normal shirts is better than having 3 expensive yet durable ones. The trick here is to choose quality over quantity. And by the way, there is quality in Kongowea and many other second hand stalls, plus they are pocket friendly. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something bought in a mall or boutique for it do the magic. Most of the Kenyan population is earning moderately, i’d advise them to go to the second hand markets…dressing good is not for the rich only. And once in a while, when you can afford it, you may treat yourself to something from the mall.

3. Colours: Now colours are quite sensitive. You need to know what colours suit your complexion. For example, if you have a dark complexion, you’d look good in bright clothings and if you have a light one, dark outfits can suit you well. The colours are many, learn to play around them.

4. Personality: As mentioned earlier, each one of us is different and we have our unique personalities that make us who we are. What you wear or how you dress up, inevitably tells something about you. Your choice of clothing, your shoes, your way of wearing it…all do matter when expressing via style. Low profile people would mostly go for casual clothing, less complicated and less colourful yet bold individuals prefer bold colours with accessories to cream it up.

5. Accessories: Accessories are supplementary yet necessary sometimes. A simple leather watch can go with any outfit, you need to keep time anyway. An official suit or classy casual outfit can go with a classy watch too for example rolex. Other accessories that can compliment your attire is socks, shades, shawls among many other.

To end this, I’d say; Style up, because your personality isn’t the first thing people see.”

To assist Abdulrahim to win in the MALE FASHION ICON CATEGORY in Ultimate Varsity Awards, vote for him in the link here: https://www.uva.co.ke. (kindly DON’T use opera mini for voting) Voting ends on the 21st of this month. Your vote counts!! Thanks in advance.

”I don’t do fashion. I am fashion.” β€” Coco Chanel

β€œFashion says β€˜me too’ style says β€˜only me’” β€” Anonymous

β€œPeople will stare. Make it worth their while.” β€” Harry Winston

β€œStyle is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” β€” Rachel Zoe

β€œIn order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.” β€” Coco Chanel

β€œMake it simple, but significant.” β€” Don Draper

β€œAlways dress like you are going to see your worst enemy.” β€” Kimora Lee Simmons

β€œYou can have anything you want if you dress for it.” β€” Edith Head

β€œIf loving fashion is a crime, we plead guilty.” β€” Unknown

β€œFashion is about something that comes from within you” –Ralph Lauren

Please don’t forget to vote!! Abdulrahim at Male Fashion Icon: Β https://www.uva.co.ke!! You can also buy tickets for the event via the same link. The awards ceremony will be at the Moi University main campus on 25th of May from 7 p.m.

Read part 1 at: http://lubnah.me.ke/my-other-half/

Photo Courtesy: Salem_Beliegraphy

It’s been exactly…wait, lemme count…from February 10th, 2015 to date; 11th of May 2017, how many days are those? 1,2,3…Ah too bad I am terrible with math. Anyway, it’s been all those many days since I first wrote to you. Ages right? I knowww! I almost forgot you ‘somehow exist’. Lol, i’m kidding. *silly grin* I’ve mostly been pursuing my dreams; both the daydreams and the literal ones πŸ˜€ But I’ve been planning to get back to you..and *drums rolling* here I am!

There’s just been something in my mind lately and I thought of talking it to you. By the way, talking to you almost seems like monologue or like me talking to the wall or some ghost in the room because your existence at the moment is delusional but we can always talk about that when you become a reality right? in shaa Allah πŸ˜‰

So back to our topic, oh wait, speech alert: This is going to be a long monologue :p

A friend of mine posted this a few days ago:
{“The thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way to go is up.” I’m having a slight problem with this statement. Okay yeah sure maybe, but what if rock bottom is as wide as the Sahara and before you go up you’re gonna spend a heck of a long time moving sideways? Some people hit rock bottom, and stay rock bottom, and move sideways for the rest of their lives. How miserable.} Those are the ramblings of an insomniac and well what do you expect from an insomniac than a critical out-of-the-world thinking?! But then ever since I came across this, I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

For a matter of fact, I do know several people who hit rock bottom, stayed there for as long as the memory lane can go down and died just right there; at the bottom. Now for a perfectionist and an empath with anxiety, hitting the rock bottom is beyond normal. It is a norm. And as much as it scares me that I might stay down there forever, it scares me more that I might never live up to the expectations of coming right back up.

You know, there are just some days you can’t really be the hero or someone anymore and you just need to survive. And survival is what all of us are working for. But also, survival has always been for the fittest, and sometimes, being in the least bit fit let alone being the fittest is totally out of the dictionary. There are days you wake up you can barely breathe, your heart is heavy, all aspects of failure are rubbing on your face but mostly, its like sand paper being scrubbed on your fragile beaten-up heart. They say the scrub only makes you shine brighter but in the meanwhile, it hurts, and it will hurt a lot more.

What I got to learn is that you can never really be prepared enough to face anything or armed enough for a war. They’ll always be a lesson to be learnt in between the cracks of your heart. You can protect yourself all you can but the day you let down your guard for one single second is the day world war 3 happens; when all hell breaks loose and when you have to fight for your own survival. This kind of reminds me the story of Nabii Musa and Firaun. See how God downplays the best twists?! Firaun demands all male children to be killed after being foretold that a boy will be born and takeover his kingdom. But when his wife Asiya (R.A.A) picks Nabii Musa (A.S) from the river, she is able to convince Firaun that the boy could be beneficial and a son to them. Yet he turns out to be the one to takeover the kingdom. He protected himself from every boy he considered a threat, yet he welcomed the threat with his own two hands. Yes…fate. You can do all you want in this world; you can build walls around yourself, you can be vigilant and firm, you can be superman for all you wish, yet if you are meant to hit the rock bottom, you’ll just go right down there; for as many times as it’s written for you. But the thing is, everyone hits rock bottom, and the real test is how everyone finds their own way to get back up or stay below forever. People will put the blame on you for taking up the wrong choices, for making mistakes, for not working hard enough…yet they forget, it only happens for a reason.


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I’m still finding my way up and i’ll tell you this, it’s tough and really rough. Plus being a millennial only makes it harder. Sometimes I feel I was born in the wrong Century for not relating to my peers. They say i’m an old soul. And when you are an introvert you just have no option but to turn to books and tv, to get out of your world. Some friends the other day were joking that people like us, ‘the outcasts’ should start a group and call it ‘chama cha wanyonge’ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Idiots! or I know someone else who would call it ‘chama cha washokaji’ Not wachokaji, WASHOKAJI. Hilarious how the world views us; the introverts, the artists, the weird, the empaths…right? But maybe i’ll one day really start the group, but of course with a fancy name dah! Or maybe it could be a movement, and we could help people move from rock bottom πŸ˜€ Or maybe that’s where i’ll meet you who knows πŸ˜›

I’m not sure if you really do exist or maybe you don’t. They say soulmates don’t always occur in this life, maybe in the next…but if you don’t, I have a plan B of going to live up the cave. I would say I will be with my 60 cats like its always the assumption with people but pets scare me (The introverts will disown me for this). So maybe I will be with my scarier dolls like Chucky from Child’s play or Annabelle from The Conjuring filling up the entire house. Plus I got this brilliant idea from a meme of writing it on the wall outside: COME SEE MY DOLLS..and that’s how the horror movie begins *silly grin*

Well, I said what I needed to say. Thank you for being a wonderful listener. Plus please do remember to pray for me; to rise like the phoenix from the ashes. Ameen? I really don’t want to stay rock bottom, who wants anyway?!

P.S. You are the hope i’m waiting for πŸ™‚

Until God decides our fate, take care.


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Photo Courtesy: Unknown

The only thing I constantly dream and anticipate of my future, is to be a mother. Not just any kind of a mother; a very dedicated one. I live for that. And I hope that God makes it come true. Ameen. I don’t know what it feels like to lose a child or to be in marriage and await for children, but I can only imagine and pray that God doesn’t test me with that and to grant those who are still having faith and praying for a miracle, a good offspring.

This is a rather special post for me because here, I narrate two different stories of two different individuals who lost their children. This gave me a heart ache but I do realize the need for people to hear other people’s stories; to appreciate their own journeys and to be patient in whatever they are going through. It is not going to be an easy read. Take heart and know that if you are/were in this same journey, you are never alone.

***A PREVIOUS NARRATION BY A DAD WHO LOST HIS FOUR UNBORN BABIES***

“Not many have the courage to speak about their disappointments in life, it hurts to lose people you love but it hurts more to lose people you expect and they don’t materialize. As we celebrate my 29th birthday, so do we celebrate the lose of our four unborn kids that never even had a chance to have a breadth of life through miscarriages. It’s the most devastating and disappointing event that has ever met our lives, and the worst of it all, the doctors can’t explain the cause of the miscarriages even after spending chunks of bills for tests and medication.

Recently, Mark Zuckerberg posted his experience with miscarriages and now expecting a baby girl, this is reassuring that there’s calm after storm. The comments and replies the post received were amazing, I came to learn that as I find it difficult having lost four babies, many other families have lost more than ten before they finally got a baby or more thereafter. And the least pleasing fact is that a huge number of couples have not even had the experience of the miscarriage itself let alone having a baby and passes on after successful birth.

Allah SW provides to His subjects what they need and not what they want, for what they want may not be beneficial to them or rather harmful in their lives and religion. For as much as we don’t know is in store for us by destiny, we shouldn’t stop trying and exploring available halaal ways of finding solutions to this problem. Allah has given mankind brains and resources to find solutions for such medical conditions, and the best of the mankind are those that are patient and those who depend on Allah for their lives and their hereafter.

The miscarriages issue has come with it many disappointing and devastating events. Young couples divorcing, wrangles in families and lack of happiness in homes. Yet the problem may be a medical condition that is treatable or may be chromosomal that is not, but in the long run, couples must remember it’s Allah SW who decides who gets what and when and in what form, so it’s not upon you to question the deity. The best of your response should be to thank and remember Allah SW during all moments. Allah tests His subjects both in hardship and pleasure, so the have are no better than the have not. Children come with responsibilities, so for the one who have, it’s also a great challenge for them too since the responsibility comes even harder for who they become is a reflection of what their parents are!. Lastly, as I pay tributes to the gone babies of ours, we missed you though we never had the chance to hold you in our arms, perhaps the right time hasn’t come. Or may be, better babies are yet to come. We shall always remember you and cherish the feeling of your few weeks with us. You gave us a lot of hope and joy but Allah Has the better plans for them and the many that have gone before and after you.”

***A NARRATION BY A MOTHER WHO LOST HER SON***

“Two months into my marriage, I was already pregnant. There was excitement in the house. It’s every woman’s dream; any couple’s dream and mine was finally going to come true. I was happy and counting down of the nine months began. Then one day we went out with my husband to a hotel at Diani and I hit myself at the abdomen with the swimming pool slide. The complications started right after that. My abdomen started aching and all the hospitals I went to, I was told nothing is wrong, the baby was fine but I should have bed rest. My scans were clear too.

By then I had already resigned from my workplace so as to take care of my health. Nonetheless, I got better and I applied for another job of which I was accepted. On the same day that I reported to work, I started feeling unwell and had to ask for permission to go see the doctor. By the time I got to the ferry, all I was seeing was black. I went and held a pole nearby to support myself as I tried to regain my strength. Two ladies came to me and asked if everything was okay. When they noticed I was pregnant and helpless, each of them held one arm and helped me board the ferry. I was still feeling nauseated and I started throwing up. The two ladies noticed I was vomiting red they thought it was blood although it was because I was from eating watermelons. That worried them and a nurse came to their rescue. I couldn’t clarify it wasn’t blood because I could barely open my mouth. So the lady nurse came to us and decided to carry me. Since they considered it an emergency case, the ferry immediately left to take me to the other side where my husband was waiting for me.

After the three ladies got me to my husband, I went for check-up, the doctor insisted that this time round I should have a bed rest for one whole month. As such, my husband had to go to my new workplace and inform them that I can’t make it.

My grandma decided to take me with her, to ease it for my husband since he has to go to work. But then one day, the pain revisited my body, this time more painful than ever. Nearby, there was a mid-wife so we went to her and she gave me a massage. I was told that the baby was leaning on my abdomen and thus the pain. But the massage was like adding charcoal to the fire. I had to be rushed to the nearest hospital which was Coast General and was told that my baby’s path was already open. I was about to give birth. At six months.

The nurses injected me and prepared me for birth. It was going to be a pre-mature birth and chances of survival was 50-50. But we were hopeful and I had faith. All my relatives were told to wait outside the ward. I still had some time before I could give birth, so the nurse left me alone. But then the bone-breaking pain came and I was confused. It was my first time, with absolutely no idea how things work. I just pulled off my hijab, kept it under my thighs and started pushing and pushing…extreme pain, sweat…then black…

“Ah! She has given birth already!” I could hear the nurses calling out from afar. “Ma’am, ma’am…do you know that you have already given birth?’

I didn’t know,but I just nodded. I checked the time, it was almost 1 hour 45 minutes later since I started giving birth and lost my consciousness. There was frantic movement for some time. Then cleaning me up, then cutting of the umbilical cord. One nurse then came to me, ‘Ma’am, you gave birth to a baby boy…but i’m sorry, he passed…Do you want to see him?”

I said no. I requested for my family instead. My aunt who raised me came in with my mother in law. They found me crying. I could now feel the emptiness in me; in my heart, in my stomach.

“Have you seen your son?” My aunt asked as she went on consoling me. When I said no, she insisted I should, “This is your son and you are never going to see him again. So take heart and hold him and kiss him. Be strong.”

And I bid farewell to my son; my only child, my only flesh. For a long time, I was never going to forget that moment.

Almost two weeks after giving birth, the abdomen pain struck again. It was too painful. I went to see my gynecologist and after yet another scan, they noticed a leakage, though they couldn’t tell where it was from until I was operated on. The assumption was that it was bacterial infection from the post-birth. So the next morning, first thing I was taken for the surgery. After being cut, is when my gyno, another general doctor and a nurse realized that my appendix had ruptured. There was a lot of pus inside and the baby had been drinking that. But my situation freaked them out. They had never handled such a case so they called another fellow doctor who directed them what to do. When they were done, four hours later, they called in for another nurse to take me to my room and they disappeared through the back door.

My family followed me to the room with worry, but the doctors were nowhere to be seen. One hour later is when my gyno appeared. Upon being asked where he was he said, “In my entire 20 years in this career, i’ve never seen such a thing and i’ve never had such a surgery.” They had removed 3 liters of pus from the leakage and some pus was still left. While I was about to leave the hospital, my nurse asked to have a private word with me and said, “My dear, if you ever feel the need to cry, then cry. No one should tell you you have to be strong. Let it out. Scream, shout, do whatever will make you feel better but don’t let it eat you up inside.” And that was it. Weeks after that I was still going to the hospital to have some more pus removed. You can’t imagine the pain. Both the physical and mostly the emotional torment.

Months later, I went for my final check-up and I met my gyno and he said, “Has anyone ever told you that God is great? That was a very risky operation, I have never been that scared in my life. I never even imagined you’d get up and be well again…Your baby saved you. He was drinking the pus which was poisonous all along. Hadn’t you given birth to him, we wouldn’t have known of the leakage…” He then quickly summoned for the other doctor who had operated on me to come into the office.

“You remember this lady?” My gyno asked his fellow doctor.
“How can I forget this girl…” Looking at me, “When we did your operation, I asked doctor here, can I just cry for this girl? I went home that evening and told my children, ‘before you sleep, there is a special patient at my hospital, we have to pray for her condition. You are a very strong lady!”I just nodded with a smile.

It was such a rough time. For months after that, I cried. I had a difficult time whenever i’d see relatives and friends with their children. My husband and I had to move to a different house to avoid the questions and the despair. For years after that we were still praying and hoping for another baby…but nothing happened. It got to a point I told my husband he can marry another woman if he willed. I was broken. But he was supportive and still is. I remember when I told him about marrying another woman he said, “Say audhubillah. Go take ablution and pray two rakaats to your Lord…” It’s been five years since we got married. We still don’t have a child. It may be a hard test but as my husband always reminds me, “God doesn’t give you except what you can handle…and maybe, He is preventing some harm into our lives by all this.” When you ask my husband about our gone son he would say, “I did not only have a son, but an angel who saved the life of my wife and gave up his own. He was our hero!”

I have faith in God and I still pray for what is best for us. Yet I have this beautiful memory of my son for I gave birth to him, I felt him and I experienced labour pain.”

****

All I know about this life is that it wasn’t meant to be heaven. You will be tested; in one way or another. He will give you wealth but test you with lack of health. He will give you children but test you with a difficult spouse. He will give you health but with lack of children. He will give you wealth but you will be tested with early death of parents. Everyone, and I mean, EVERYONE, is fighting some kind of battle. Even those happy people you see spending money and acting all classy like they got it all…they also have something missing in their lives. It’s pretty much difficult for everyone in this life, but we need to pass these tests. We need to believe that God knows what is best for us, He knows the answers to your questions, He knows why He gave you this instead of that…We need to be patient and strong. We need to have faith that God only gives us what we can absolutely conquer. So whatever you are going through right now, soldier on.

I pray that Allah grants children to all those who’ve been waiting; a good, pious, healthy offspring that will be close to Allah. May Allah grant you higher reward for your patience and grant you strength in all stages of life. Ameen!

Photo Courtesy:Β http://www.npr.org

Dear Reader,

Did you know that effective communication is very effective?

Did you know that it does not make you any less of the man/woman you are?

That speaking out doesn’t make your pizza any less tastier?

That opening up does not make you lose any body-part?

That talking honestly does not reduce the balance you have in your bank account?

Yet importantly, did you know, that most problems are caused by lack of communication?

That a lot of problems could be avoided if we actually, literally, realistically, honestly and frankly TALKED?

So my mother has always been preaching about communication, “C.O.M.M.U.N.I.C.A.T.E! What do you lose when you do?” She’d say. I can almost hear her voice echoing the words πŸ˜€ But then isn’t this something that we should actually think about more deeply?

How many ugly scenarios can we avoid if we actually talk, open up, communicate? Most of the divorces, friendship break-ups, job loss, strained family relationships are because of miscommunication, or the entire lack of it, or the failure to understand what is being communicated.

So here are several scenarios:

I have some urgent work that should be submitted by this afternoon. Β I am not getting any close to finishing it by that time. It is IMPOSSIBLE to have it in time even if I had these supernatural powers of superman. But there is a client waiting for it. They will probably get mad for your lateness. They will probably blow your phone with insults. It doesn’t make it much better informing them that there will be a delay. But there will be one difference; you prepared them in advance. You will have given them room to find another solution or alternative ways to deal with the situation. They might even be understanding enough to grant you some more hours to finish up what is required of you.

Your friend has messed up. It could be a small one or a big one doesn’t matter. So you decide it is best to just shut them out of your life. No explanation. No goodbyes. Not even a ‘You betrayed me’ note lol. For real though, how do you expect someone to know how badly they’ve wronged you if you don’t tell them so? Well, some things may be obvious. It could be an open mistake but then once you speak it out to them, you give them room to justify themselves. Okay maybe sometimes it is not worth it, but sometimes it is. Perhaps listening to them will give you a fresh new point of view that you never thought about. Perhaps, it was just a humanly slip. Perhaps they deserve another chance from you. Perhaps you may even decide to forgive them…how will you know if you have let your ego possess you and right now no one is more right than you?

So we are working on something, it’s team work. Obviously at some point you and I will have different opinions or thoughts. You tell me your thoughts and I realize they are different from my own thoughts. Instead of discussing it through like adults, I decide to frown silently and just go mute. Hallo?? This is called TEAM work for a reason. Each individual is supposed to bring something on the table. Misunderstandings, differences are most probably going to happen. It’s almost an obvious thing. But do you discuss it out maturely or does each individual grump silently and let the work get messed up??

You heard something about me, or something I said about you. You heard ‘rumours’, you heard ‘grapevine’ as we call it but you never bother confirm the information with me. You never inquire if it is true, if it is accurate, if there is probably a sensible justification behind it.

These scenarios are too many, they could fill up my entire website. Main point is, always try to talk it out; in fact, it should be without any persuasion. You had a bad day and it ruined your mood? Tell your husband so. Don’t let him keep guessing what he did in the past twenty four hours that could have ruined your moods. You don’t like what I am saying? Tell me so, in a kind way. Tell me your thoughts. We don’t always have to have the ‘right answer’ or the ‘winner’. We can still be friends with different opinions. Can’t make it to the event or you just don’t want to attend? Stop beating about the bush and be honest. You don’t like someone’s behaviour? Advise them, in a good way. You can’t pay up the debt in time? Excuse yourself before your time is due instead of switching off your phone and ignoring someone’s texts.Will be absent at work? Call at work early enough and avoid any inconveniences.

I mean, don’t people understand the value of words. How when used kindly and appropriately, we could be a better world right now? Imagine if we opted for peace reconciliations rather than war? If we opted for what-went-wrong discussions rather than divorce? If we decided to be honest about what we feel about someone or their actions or their words? Just think about it. What if you decided to go sit with your mother, whom you are always in a fight with, and directly ask her what doesn’t she like in you or what could possibly be so wrong in your behaviour? Or what if you approached your cousin and cleared the air from the grudge you two have been holding for years on?? What if you were honest that you are still in bed rather than lie to someone who’s been waiting for you for two hours already? Don’t you think telling them in advance would save them some heat and maybe they’d find a place to use their time more effectively while waiting for you? (Hallo there late-comers πŸ˜€ )

It’s true that sometimes talking it out may not bring out any results but maybe it is worth the try?? Don’t allow your ego to stop you from reaching out to other people and straightening things with them. Just give it a try…after that, whatever happens, will not be upon you anymore for you’d have played your part.

Speaking out doesn’t necessarily mean blurting your thoughts out like diarrhea or being rude and arrogant. It just means you need to be straight forward; about your thoughts, feelings, opinions…you never have to make anyone keep guessing because they already know, if so and so had a problem with me, they’d have approached me about it. It keeps you on the clear. It keeps you away from avoidable misunderstandings and grudges. It makes you honest. It grants you a peace of mind. Sooo…talk it out maybe??

Photo Courtesy:Β https://c1.staticflickr.com

Tell me your dreams,
Tell me what makes you tick.
Tell me what makes you stay awake late at night,
Tell me what takes you to cloud nine and what makes the stars shine a bit brighter.
Tell me your dreams…I will show you people who’ve mastered the art of dreaming

Perhaps the best thing about my career is meeting new people. But then this is quite ironic for an introvert because meeting people is such a struggle for me. I have to contemplate the whole thing a million times before I finally make up my mind to meet the person i’m to meet. Yet when I think of it, coming out of my shell and my comfort zone has rarely ever made me regret. All I ever had to do was filter their objectives, my objectives, their agenda, my agenda and for those I did eventually meet, I learnt a lot. My perspective has really changed a great deal from listening to people, to their stories, to their dreams…oh, their dreams, you see the spark in their eyes as they tell you their goals and it is just amazing. I met such a lady yesterday and not even my words, can explain the enthusiasm in her voice as she narrates her dreams.

Amina Yusuf is the typical Nairobi Muslim lady; learned, focused, super-ambitious, determined and brave. While she was leading a comfortable life in Nairobi with her three children and husband, in her own home, with a good career, she decided to leave it all to come to Mombasa. The main aim of the migration was to get her children into tahfidhul qur’an and give her children an ideal childhood in Islamic neighbourhood. Upon arriving here, she joined madrasa for one year and up’d her education. It was while she was in madrasa that she noticed how the girl child in the neighbourhood were being left behind; uneducated, child labour, poverty issues, family issues, neglected orphans…and she decided she must make a move.

Without over-thinking, she decided to start an education centre by the name Al Reyhan girls education centre with the little amount she had. She went for shopping and started buying the basic necessities she would need for herself and the girls. She had a special target on which girls she needed to join her centre so she would personally move from one house to another, interacting with family members, befriending them without anyone knowing her intention. It was only after weighing each family’s situation is when she’d recruit the girls; orphaned girls, neglected girls, girls from very needy families who can’t afford to take their children to school, girls who live with their old grandparents with no one to take care of their education needs…until the number of girls got to 97, 52 of which are boarders.

The school system is such that, the entire morning the girls are taught tahfidh and basic Islamic knowledge then in the afternoon, they have the secular subjects. Amina wasn’t going to let her girls feel any less than fellow girls in academies. She would fish for money in her own ways and buy them books, stationary, colours, pads for the older girls, she’d cover the books herself, ensure they eat good food with a fruit at least each day and meat once a week. She’d take them to outings occasionally, give them pep talks, go play with them at the beach early mornings, interact with them and at these times, she says, is when you get to know of the deepest secrets of the children.

 

“I want to mould and shape these girls into ambitious educated women. I want it that some day, the girls at my centre can have quality education such that there is no difference between them and the students at Light Academy. I even told my thirteen year old daughter about my dream and my goal; that if I die like right now, I want her to continue with my legacy because this is the legacy I want to leave behind,” Amina says.

“It’s been tough for us here. I run this place entirely by myself and by God’s grace. Sometimes I push family and friends to chip in but otherwise we have no other way of income. I have rented these two buildings; each having three rooms. I stay in one of the rooms with my three children too. We currently just have three beds, the rest we just lay mattresses in this one room and the girls sleep here. It gets too hot and stuffy sometimes, but what can we do…we need to survive here until we get a bigger place.”

One room being her own and for her three children, the other two being classrooms in one house. The other house which also has three rooms; one belongs to the caretaker and teachers who help around, the other room contains the three beds while the last room is the classroom during morning hours and the place to sleep in the night. I can’t even come to think of how these 52 girls fit into the two tiny rooms.

“We’ve had pretty bad days too. We once had a tv, we had to sell it at some point. There was a time we were all locked inside the house because we had really delayed with rent. The agents wouldn’t let us out. I had to frantically start calling friends and family for help, but alhamdulilah some good group of friends managed to raise the amount in good time and saved us. And sometimes, we have good Samaritans coming by to greet us or bring us some things; sometimes it is university student groups, sometimes just individuals or charity groups. We really appreciate it but then sometimes we have nowhere to store the things. Like someone may bring two cartons of milk and we have no freezer to store. Sometimes I go to neighbours and leave a few in different homes but then it gets to a point I feel burdened to ask that from them anymore. I can’t keep doing that forever. Sometimes people don’t say they are fed up but you can feel it yourself that you can’t ask for favours everyday. So I end up sharing it to the day scholars too so that the milk doesn’t spoil. Or sometimes someone brings a goat, we slaughter and have a feast for lunch and dinner, but since I fear that what remains may get bad, I choose the most needy of families and give them it.”

With all this, Amina still strives to make her centre better and greater.
“As much as I use 8-4-4 system to teach the girls, I decided to give them extra life skills that would help them when they grow up. We have cooking classes at least once a month, tailoring classes, sometimes we make juice, sometimes I come with my small laptop and show them how to use. We have very limited resources but with such a fast developing world, I wouldn’t want them to remain unaware of what is happening around them. I teach them how to be as ladies; the etiquette and manners. I discourage them from going outside past maghrib times (sunset) and sometimes parents come to complain why i’m making the girls be disobedient by refusing to go outside past sunset but I tell them about matters of time and how we need to protect them. I also teach them about women in Islam; the history and of modern world (like Yasmin Mogahed) because if European girls are empowered why not do that for ourselves too? So I give them history lessons of how Muslim women impacted the society. We even have our library we call it ‘maktabatul Aisha’ (Aisha’s library) since she is one of the most educated women in history. We call our sports section ‘Nusaiba’ since she was a brave warrior during the prophet’s time. We call our accounts section ‘khazinatu Khadija’ for she was a successful business woman. And the point of all this is for them to realize the power and importance of a woman in the society. They too can become these women.”

In both two buildings, only three rooms are used for studies. One is the class for toddlers and KG 1. The other room is for KG 2, 3 and class 1. The third room has class 2 to class 6. Every teacher hurdled in a corner with her numbered girls. It is hectic no doubt. Imagine having three teachers teaching different classes, all in the same room. And here, it is like ‘whatever will be will be’. They teach regardless of the limited space to comfortably talk to the girls or for them to bend down to take some notes.

“It’s been 9 months now and I thank God that we have survived until now. Sometimes I sit with these girls and just talk to them. I ask them what they want to become when they grow up and you’d hear one say, ‘I want to get married’. When you ask her ‘why so?’ She says, ‘My family already planned for me to get married to my cousin.’ And this is just a thirteen year old girl. She has no focus, no goals whatsoever because she, the girl child, wasn’t given the knowledge to understand what she is capable of. We have very young children nowadays, as young as 3 who will tell you that they want to be a doctor or a pilot or a teacher. Why then would some girls have such goals in life at such tender ages while other lack any goal at all?”

As we move around and Amina shows me the students of each class, I notice a big girl at KG 3. Immediately Amina says this is class one, I see her quickly sink down and bow her head not to be seen. She is ashamed, I notice.
“What’s her story?”
“Long story. She lives with her step-mum who’s been mistreating her. Sometimes she comes here and slaps her for maybe some minor she hasn’t done or something like that. She’s been neglected, with no education…and she’s been working as a house girl. I didn’t even know that that was her step-mum until lately. Currently, i’m trying to transfer her into our boarding here, so she can study well with a peace of mind. She is just 13 but talk to her and she sounds like 35. She speaks like an adult…”
“That’s what tough life does to you…”
“And there are more of these girls. They need help. They need somewhere safe to go to. There is this young girl here, she’s just four years old but she’s seen a lot. Her mother is a divorcee and a drug addict, she uses bogizi. The young girl has both asthma and sinus. She keeps getting the attacks regularly but the mother is never around or very high…so she stays here with me at boarding. All I want is for her and others like her to have a good life…But I can’t take any more here. I don’t have space for more. We need a bigger place and reach out to more girls.”

Most of the girls come from families with very huge baggage. 60% of the girls are orphans, 30% are needy, 10% are abled. The 10% are the only ones who pay fees which is 1700/= per month. But it is more than worth it because Amina feeds them and provide stationary for them too. We even have break time tea twice a week and porridge three times. Because the aim here isn’t business, it’s to give the students a chance like other children have. So from what the abled students pay is what helps in paying teachers and catering for other needs. By ‘abled’ we don’t mean ABLED. We just mean students who are a bit better than the rest.

I look at Amina and say to myself, ‘This human being right her; she is making a difference.’ I look at her eyes sparkle as she talks of how much she wants to do for the girls, of the sighs between her sentences like she is desperate to reach her goal, of the endless ‘Thank God’…I look at her and marvel. We have made idols and role models from people on social media who do nothing other than make noise, have aimless posts, put up many photos of themselves then call them ‘influential people’. But how did they really influence us? In what did they influence us? Was it ever something meaningful? I doubt. Then there are people like Amina, who’ve sacrificed their good peaceful lives where they could live happily without a worry just to make a difference and bring change in other people’s lives. These are the unsung heroes. The very few who do something great not so as to look great but to create some other great thing. And here now I call for your help to help Amina achieve her dream…

On the 2nd of April, Amina is organizing for a fundraiser food bazaar. She is calling for people to assist her in any way possible. You may donate some food that will be sold, or you may sell your own food on that day then share the profit, or you may just volunteer to help around making the event successful or even come sell any of your other businesses and agree on how to share the profit. The aim of the fundraising is to get money to buy a freezer which is quite necessary for them right now. But there are so many other needs for them.
The girls at boarding sometimes are to go home and they refuse with the say, “Ustadha, at home I can’t have pads. I will just be told to use a piece of clothe.”
So yes, these girls come from very desperate situations you don’t want to imagine. They also need a bigger space/home of their own to move to because that is what will ease a huge burden of rent and congestion. Donate with whatever you can. Volunteer. Or even share this post as widely as possible. Let us make her dream come true. Let us make a difference in these children’s’ lives. The event is also going to a fun day at the same time i.e. a food bazaar plus fun day for children. Entrance is free. Kindly avail yourselves and make this work in shaa Allah.

If you want to assist in any way and would like to talk to Amina, here’s her contact:0797641346/0733341574. God bless you!!

Special thanks to my best friend, Husna, for supporting me in all my projects. God bless your soul always πŸ™‚

Tell me your dreams, I will show you people who have mastered the art of dreaming

So it’s my third day in this particular government public office. I’ve been here the past two days, I wasn’t able to get served fully which brought me back the third day. Nothing astonishing right? On this day, I decided I will be an early bird at the office. By 8:30 I was there and sat comfortably next to four other young people. It kinda elevated my morale knowing that i’d soon be done with the whole frustrating process.

So, a man was being served when the printer suddenly jammed. The lady official graciously stood up from her seat to the printer and started clicking the buttons randomly.
“Eish na hii imejam,” she says as she continues to play around with the printer buttons. Unsuccessfully, she goes back to her seat and fidgets with her computer now. She calls one of her colleagues who takes over the dissecting of the printer like an experimental guinea pig. He pulls out the lower tray of the printer, peeps inside then returns it. The old lady (probably in her 50’s) goes back to her sit, relaxes back comfortably as she swings her chair and starts swiping her phone upwards with a smile plastered on her lips.

It gets to one hour past. The man is still ‘trying to do something’ and the queue is now queuing. Everyone is becoming rather restless now.

“Kwani hamuna spare tire nyi watu?” (Don’t you have a spare ‘tire’you people)

The lady is still swinging comfortably on her chair. The man says something, she wakes up and they start discussing on what they should do.

“Tuende?” (Should we go?) Another young man shouts from behind.
No response.
“Tuendee?”
No response.
“TUENDEEEE?!!! Sisi bana hatuwezi poteza mda wote hapa.” (We can’t waste all our time here)

We all start laughing at his tone.

“We can’t do anything,” she says in a vague way. We couldn’t even get it whether she was talking to us or to herself. All in all, she had said what she needed to. They have given up.

The ‘tuende’ guy loses his cool and walks away.

Like we don’t even exist, the lady graciously walks to her desk, takes a beautiful green scarf and puts it on her shoulder, picks a paper bag, goes to another drawer and removes a small jar. She is going for breakfast.
“Hallo?! what kind of public office is this? How can you just leave?” A young man behind me starts getting worked up. The lady ignores and disappears into the staircase.

“Government offices have always had the worst service eveer,” An elderly lady says.
“These people are not serious. Some of us have been here since 7 then you expect us to leave now then come back again?! Hiyo fare iko wapi?! (Where is the fare for that?)

He walks aggressively to the man.

The man is still ttttrrryiiinggg…

“Some of us have to travel. We have to finish this NOW,” he continues complaining. But the poor man is still tryiiiiiinggg πŸ˜€
Angrily, the young man storms out, “I can’t do this anymore!”

I smile to myself, sit back comfortably, specs pushed forward. Oh well, isn’t this the best place to just scrutinize human behaviour under pressure?! Should have brought my notebook with me πŸ˜€

After the young man stormed out, several others followed behind. With empty seats now ahead of me, I turn to the lady beside me, “Move forward to the next seat, lest someone else takes our numbers in the queue.”
“What for?” Her back slumped even way lower than mine, “Nothing is happening here.”
I laugh. And the young man on my left side chuckles.
“I’m just being optimistic. Subira huvuta heri (Patience pays)” I laugh at how ridiculous that sounds at this moment. It’s already past two hours and no one has been served. The young man on my left backs me up, “Yes, let’s just wait a little more.”

Our lady grace, queen of the office arrives from her breakfast. She takes her time. No hurry in Africa my friend. Slowly she gets to her desk and asks the poor man who is still TRYING, “Not yet?”
“Nop.”
She stands next to him for a moment, they discuss once again, before she takes a seat again; picks her phone and starts smiling.
“We unacheka tu hapo sisi roho zinatuuma,” (Another young man behind me whispers) We all start laughing.
The other young man next to him joins in, only he was ready with grenade-like insults for the lady. He insulted her, her mother, back to her and I almost thought he would insult her entire ancestry in a moment. Then he just decided to zip it up with, “dem ni dem tu” (A woman is just a woman) and in my mind i’m thinking, “Really now?! How does being an insensitive worker have anything to do with being a woman?” πŸ˜€ I would have told him that but oh well, I really didn’t want my children to be insulted before they are even born, so I’d just swallow it up.

The poor man still TRYING, decides to call another colleague in the office and request for his printer. So he left and in a few minutes, he was back, climbing down the stairs steadily with the printer over-weighing him.

The two young men and lady in front of me are all staring at the man carrying the printer. One looks back at me and we start laughing. We are thinking of the same thing πŸ˜€ Like finally! but then what if it doesn’t work? πŸ˜€
But then the man, as if reading our minds, says, “If this doesn’t work, you guys are jinxed.”

Laughter again. But then we are all getting too anxious. Three hours, no one has been served.

The other printer is set and the our lady grace queen of the office tries to print one of the forms. It agrees. Everyone is hurrah! Finally! But the fellow colleague interrupts, “The form hasn’t printed out the words properly. Try again”
Wait. What?!

Another form is printed. It is not okaaayyy!! Something is wrong again!

The cursing starts again. A few more clicks of the tongue here and there.

The poor man, who deserves the award of the month for his patience, decides to seek help from someone else. Soon enough, two older men with that official look came. They start looking into the printer. Removes some wires here and there. Puts some more forms in the tray then tries printing again.

“These small sized forms, it is always better when they are in large quantities,” one of them says. The printer works. Finally! We should be having that confetti moment right now. But wait. Seems like the office is full of surprises, we may just as well cross our fingers until served.

“But this is so wrong,” the other old official man cuts in. “You should have informed me about this way earlier.”
“You know, we thought it won’t take this long,” Lady grace the queen says so humbly now.
“Even so…this is wrong. You have kept the customers for too long and it is not good,” he then turns to us, “Really sorry about this. Really sorry.”
Oh. Finally someone apologizes.

“Thank you,” I nod excessively. I mean, don’t people understand the great effect of apologizing?!

The man turns back to her again, “Next time, anything like this happens you should refer them to Huduma centre.”

She nods pitifully, “By the way, those who are in a hurry can go to Huduma now.”

HAHAHA. Are you kidding me? Have you seen that endless wavy line that is at Huduma since 7 a.m. in the morning? The queues actually look like the ants are taking a trip to somewhere so cool like the moon or like children going for a field trip and they have to make those chain lines to ensure no one gets lost πŸ˜€ Only that public offices is nothing cool like the moon or even the field. No ma’am. I’ll wait.

The two older men leave and we finally start getting served. Oh but guess what? The lady grace (Grace is not her name by the way πŸ˜€ I mean grace by her poise πŸ˜€ ) insists to ruin my day despite my anger management goals of 2017.
“Let all those who’ve got receipts come first.”

WHAT!!

Quickly, another long line was formed by those having receipts while we; the early birds, the starving-from-hunger-due-to-lack-of-breakfast, the I-was-here-when-it-all-started, we were just left there to rot on our seats *sob sob* And then people wonder how psychos because pyschos; of course it is like this. With all that hunger and fatigue, we could all start a strike right there and then πŸ˜€ So all we do now is complain, “This is not fair”, “Most of them have just arrived now”, “How can you do this woman”

Then comes in this tall, pretty pretty young lady, looking so fresh and neat. She takes a separate seat aside. Another worker from the office comes to her and does the whole process for her. In about 20 minutes she is done and there she is, elegantly walking out. And you can’t even get angry anymore so you just say, “Okay. The rest of us who are thugly (thin and ugly :D) can just wait and rot right here. I’ll just wait” :/

I anxiously now start swinging my left leg restlessly. The line of the receipt guys is not ending and at this moment even doing the ‘Ommm!’ to calm the nerves won’t work.

To make matters worse, the lady grace is working single-handedly and taking her sweet time at it. Whispers of complaints still going on around me. Well, you want to learn how to manage your anger? Come to such offices my friend. You will have a good battle with your demons while at it.

Another worker comes in and takes a seat on the next desk beside the lady and he starts serving us; the abandoned children of Jerusalem πŸ˜€ Hurrah! I am third in line. At this point, I don’t even want to wink. Ready and steady. No distractions. No one should dare take my place. When my turn comes, I quickly take a seat. Let’s just end this please. The worker starts typing my details quick. At least he is faster than lady Grace, I say to myself. Then I notice two dead houseflies on the desk with a little distance between them. Who knows what is the sad story of these poor tiny houseflies? Maybe they’ve been waiting for this man to come with some food and pour some drops on the desk so they can have some meal? Poor them. Must have waited as long as I did. Rest in peace dear housy and housy 2. Or should we call the other Housier, considering that maybe it was a she? RIP Housy and Housier. The world is surely going to miss you two.

Then my mourning session is suddenly interrupted.

“Ai, kwani imeanza kuleta shida tena?” Lady grace says.

WHAAAATTTT NOWWWWW?!!!

She goes to the printer and peeps.

God…why am I so jinxed? I am the reason all this havoc happened? Oh God…but whyyy?!! Oh God please I repent right now. *crying emoji*

“Okay okay…it is working.”

Whoof woman! Kwani were you sent to do all you can to test my anxiety hormones today?! Jeez!!

My card is printed! After four hours! Alhamdulilah! Don’t ask me how fast I was already leaving that office when I heard lady grace call out, “Hey young lady! Come back. That is not your card” πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Okay relax. That last bit was just from my imagination. Thank God it didn’t happen? Coz I think i’d have ended up beating up lady grace’s face beyond recognition. I mean, all that karate kid watching can do some good nah? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

Photo Courtesy: http://assets.lbc.co.uk/

You just GOTTA watch this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxhGjDyBT30 to the very end! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Kindly excuse the foul language used though πŸ˜› (Couldn’t post it here due to copyright issues)

Well, we all know what is happening right now around the world and how Trump is trying to act like a mini-god. It was expected, but still, never to this extent.

Nonetheless, like Hassan said up there in the video, I don’t really know if I hate Trump. I mean, look at all these protests, all these people standing up for Muslims, all the leaders, influential people and the minorities standing together for people they once very much hated. It used to be Islamophobia. Muslims living in such a strained manner (as we say it here, wanapimiwa pumzi lol). Ladies being insulted for their hijab. Men having a difficult time to even perform salah. They couldn’t even comfortably say ‘Allahu akbar (which by the way just means God is great) or ‘Ya Shabaab’ (young men) in public without being arrested or insulted or looked at in a bizarre manner. They couldn’t board the planes, trains and buses like other citizens because the beard and the hijab always appear on the spotlight. They couldn’t give their opinions because ‘hey, you look like Al-qaeda’.

And here we are now. ISLOVERIA IT IS. (Should I call it the extreme Love for Islam and Muslims? I just made it up πŸ˜€


Photo Courtesy: http://i2.cdn.cnn.com/

Non Muslim ladies wearing hijab to show solidarity with the refugees. Here we are, people asking more about Islam like never before, just because ‘If the hateful Trump goes to these far extents to bring down Muslims, then there must be something powerful about them’. Here we are, all kind of people from all walks of life coming together to stand against the ban. People losing their jobs for standing against the ban. Here we are, powerful people speaking for the minority groups. Here we are, Muslims praying openly at the airport! Did you hear that?!! OPENLY. Yes, saying Allahu akbar at every rakaa of the prayer while many non Muslims stand behind them. God! Isn’t that what we’ve wanted in like forever? The co-existence, the love, the harmony, the solidarity!

Trump may be bringing a lot of chaos, nonetheless, he is doing the world more good than he even comprehends. This reminds me of the aya in the holy qur’an:Β β€œAnd it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (AI-Baqarah, 2:216).

Let’s hope that we (the citizens of the world) can keep coming together for the sake of peace and humanity. Let’s hope that we are never shaken by Trump’s storms and instead, make the best out of it all. Let’s hope that we can keep restoring each other’s faith in humanity. God! I just love this! <3

I still remember when I was a kid, when Palestine was really on fire. But well, when was it ever not on fire? It was during those times that the news were just about Palestine; sickening images and depressing videos. There was a world outcry. The Arab artists from different countries came together and made a video clip for them. It was around the same time when the 12 year old Muhammad Al Durrah and his dad were shot dead as shown in a very depressing video clip. It was 2000 and I was just six years old. There was the world, standing up for humanity like we should while I stood and watched. I was too young to comprehend what was happening but I just didn’t like what I saw. It broke my heart…and it made me cry a lot.

My mum once came and found me hiding at the window, behind the curtains crying. Oh I had cried a lot. I had cried like I was right there at the middle of it. I had cried like the cry baby I am…To cheer me up, my mother asked my cousin to take me for a walk. She took me to the bridge side to watch the ocean and bought me some crisps on the way. At that time, it was easy enough to forget what I had just seen and live up the sea moment. I was going to do something about it, that was my plan. I was going to grow up and make a difference. I was somehow going to make all the noise stop and bring the world to silence. I was hoping i’d be the female version of superman. But then I grew up, and reality hit me hard. There was almost nothing I was ever going to do. Not to the war torn countries, not to the fighting friends not even to my own helplessness. Back and again, i’d lock myself in the washroom and cry because two people were fighting, because someone became angry, because someone didn’t eat and my mother would be there again and again with the same words, ‘This is life…These things happen.’ So I started writing and for as long as I remember, I wrote like a possessed woman. I never had short paragraphs or small words to say. It was always going to be long and very long endless paragraphs of pain and sorrow; too much pain too much sorrow. By the time I got to high school, I knew. I knew I wasn’t going to change. I knew I couldn’t stop to feel.

I hated myself for feeling way too much because it made me seem like damaged goods, a worn out material, a shattered mirror. Simply because there is no in between for me and for us. There is nothing like moderation. It was always going to be extreme love or extreme hate. Extreme kindness or extreme evil. But it also made me appreciate a lot of things beyond. It became my super power, just like writing did. I tried to fit in only to realize it was never going to happen. It was never going to be easy for people to understand. They see you laughing like a maniac for one moment and you’d be crying like a widow the next. How you’d laugh so hard at the most stupid of things and cry so much for something so petty. No, they would never get you. And so it would always end up with, ‘she is so moody’. I curled up back into my cocoon because that is the only place you wouldn’t be misunderstood or misinterpreted. That is the only way to survive.

When war broke in Yemen and my sisters were trapped inside, I slid away. I slid away from them and from everyone. My mother would lecture me for not keeping in touch, for not being there for my sisters when they needed me. But then how do you respond when someone talks of the bombs they are hearing right as you speak? What do you tell them when you get 3 a.m. texts of them asking for prayers? I ran. I always ran away from the reality because helplessness is way too much to handle. I ran away every time I came face to face with my emotions. I ran because facing my fears would mean dealing with my inability to do absolutely ANYTHING. I ran when people attacked me, when I was being stepped on, I changed routes to not meet the beggars, I shut away when people fought. I withdrew, stayed back, retrieved myself from my soul, escaped…and thus, I became an escapist. For the longest time I asked God, ‘why was I born? What am I doing on this earth?’ Simply because being lost and helpless is just too much.

But then I found out that being overly-sensitive would make sense sometimes. When you meet people like yourself and there comes that sigh of relief, ‘I am not the only one.’ You meet understanding people who won’t call you moody because they just know how extremely you feel. You meet people who will empower you to turn that sensitivity into something enormous and courageous and brave. Yes…you meet the right people.

Every time I meet fellow cry-babies who are screaming inside because ‘no one understands me’, I remember that I am blessed with the ability to write. That it doesn’t really matter how weak people perceive you, or how they judge what you write, or how they think of you. What only matters is that you are doing what you have to, to survive.

So here I am. Feelings for sale. Anyone? Feelings, anyone??