Archive for November, 2008

Brass Crescent: Best Group Blogs

// November 30th, 2008 // 16 Comments » // Blog

I am so happy to see that both MuslimMatters.org and Ijtema.net have been nominated under the category: Best Group Blog, of this year's Brass Crescent Awards. Alhamdulillah!

I can't take any of the credit of course. Other than being group efforts, I have not devoted enough time towards either of these sites for the past few months, because of newer projects that I have undertaken. They are like the middle children who have been neglected after the new baby enters the household!

But these nominations are proof that they are still growing well, under the care of other devoted family members, māshā’Allāh.

I am now in a sticky situation: which 'child' to vote for? Sophie's Choice, much?! Help!

I’m a Mechanic?!

// November 22nd, 2008 // 19 Comments » // Blog

Whilst a budding Biology undergraduate, I wasted many an afternoon in the computer room, filling out pointless online personality tests, such as: “Which Icecream Flavour Are You?”. I think I was Raspberry Ripple – whatever that means. Or is that my favourite flavour? I forget.

Thus I was quite keen to visit a site I just discovered via Marahm's blog, called Typelyzer, which – simply put – is a personality quiz that requires you to answer just one question:

What's your blog address?

Obviously, it's a service that is only open to the blogging 'elite' (all several million of us).

This is what it had to say about moi:

(more…)

Media Guy Revealed

// November 20th, 2008 // 3 Comments » // Photos

This evening, I attended a poetry reading organized by Soul City Arts. I dragged Media Guy along to help me film the event, in addition to an interview I conducted with the main performing artist, Amir Sulaiman. We were joined by my good friend, erm… I have yet to think of a blog handle for her!

Anyway… after carrying a bunch of heavy duty equipment across East London, debating American racial politics, and eating a good dinner, poor Media Guy collapsed into an ocean of velvet, and felt absolutely no shame in snoozing in full view of the surrounding public!

Black, hooded thobe >> Grim Reaper catching some Zees.

I guess young media guys can get away with these things… {smiles}

Lloyds TSB Threaten to Close Charity Account

// November 15th, 2008 // No Comments » // Blog

The banking group, Lloyds TSB are forcing the Islamic Bank of Britain to close Interpal's account – a UK-based charity dedicated to helping poor Palestinians (which these days, constitutes most of the population of Palestine, thanks to Israel preventing fuel and food aid from entering Gaza).

The timing could not be worse: the notice comes into effect on December 8th 2008, i.e., around ‘Īd al-Aḍḥa; a time when Muslims are encouraged to give in charity, so that the less fortunate can also partake in the festival of ‘Īd. How will Interpal process Qurbani donations, if their bank account is closed? Was the date deliberately timed to be as heartless as possible, or is it just plain coincidence?

Continue reading my post at MuslimMatters.org…

A Leech is Born

// November 14th, 2008 // 8 Comments » // Blog

I assigned myself the somewhat derogatory title of “The Leech” during my PhD years, when I noticed a potentially annoying personal behaviour.

When faced with a problem, I used one of two 'extreme' paths in my search for a solution.

Where I suspected that I knew enough to fix the problem myself, I was very secretive, independent, and head strong. Even if someone offered me advice (though it would not have been requested), I'd politely listen to them, but in my head I was thinking:

“Yeah, yeah, I already knew that.

“No, that won't work.

“Please, just let me get on with it!”.

I think it had something to do with trying to 'prove' myself; either to my supervisors, or just as an ego rush. This behaviour lead to me wasting six months on an experiment, that never yielded any results. I kept repeating and repeating the assay, and I would report my work regularly, but I never actually thought to sit down and talk to someone about why I was failing so consistently; I was that determined to solve the problem myself.

One supervisor openly chastised me for this, and I think the embarrassment from that experience, combined with the frustration of having clearly wasted so much time, caused me to swing the other way completely. Thus, 'the Leech' was born.

Now, every time I had a problem, even a tiny one, I would seek human intervention. It didn't matter whether there were manuals written on the subject, or in-depth how-tos posted online; I still needed reassurance from someone more experienced in that field, to make sure that I didn't mess up to that extent again. I am surprised no-one ran away from me in the hall ways, screaming:

“Noooo… I have given all I have to give! You have sucked my brain dryyyy!”.

(more…)

DR Congo… Rwanda Rerun

// November 13th, 2008 // 3 Comments » // Blog

I've been reading about the Rwandan Genocide for the past hour… I can't describe how I feel right now. My guts… feel liquid.

To think that anyone in power could sit back and allow anything close to that to happen again… words fail me.

Maybe this time, it's not about ethnic genocide.
Maybe it's just about diamonds and coal.

But right now, dark-skinned women are having to make a choice:
Stay in squalid camps and let their babies starve.
Or return to rebel-controlled lands and face gang rape.
Some have already faced both.

Subhanallah… how?

How do they sleep?
How do they sip their morning coffee?
Kiss their wives on the cheek, and pat their children goodbye.
Sit in leather-clad offices.
And do absolutely nothing to stop this madness.

I… just don't know what to say.

Sign the Avaaz Petition: STAND WITH THE PEOPLE OF CONGO

Make dua. Now. Please.

Rocks

// November 8th, 2008 // 12 Comments » // Blog

Sometimes, it feels like there sits a rock where your heart should be…

But God says:

Even after that, your hearts became as hard as rocks, or even harder;

For there are rocks from which streams spring out,

And some from which water comes when they split open,

And others which fall down in awe of God:

He is not unaware of what you do.

Holy Qur'an 2:74

Perhaps emotional anguish creates the cracks within a stony heart,

from which purifying rivers burst forth?

Perhaps it is the only way for rocks,

caged within steel ribs,

to be humbled;

that they may fall down,

prostrate,

in awe of their Lord.

If so…

Allahu akbar for a broken heart.

Stop Hajj Agent Profiteering

// November 7th, 2008 // 3 Comments » // Blog

Copy and pasted from Londonistan Islamic Events and Notices, Week Beginning Friday 7th November 2008

CAMPAIGN TO STOP HAJJ AGENTS RIPPING US OFF

For years many of the 'agents' who take us for Hajj and Umrah have been taking advantage of our uncertainty and apprehension. But now it's time to stop them from profiteering from us. Many people have to save for years if not a lifetime to go on this once in a lifetime journey, and yet the agents just seem to want to squeeze us for more and more.

This year in particular, even though the dates for Hajj fall outside the peak Christmas travel period, most operators are charging over £800 per flight. Yes, that's over £800 of our hard earned money for flights which they have most certainly blocked off months in advance when the prices were quoted at £450 or similar for the same airline earlier in the summer. The Hajj operators know how many people they will be taking, they know when they will be taking them, and it just seems very strange that they all quote the same fares.

We are not against people making a profit but what we do stand against is profiteering at the expense of poor Muslims who are in a vulnerable position. We are looking for people to support our campaign by providing details of the extortionate airfares they have been quoted together with dates of travel and airline. The information will be collated and examined and then referred for investigation by the appropriate authorities. If you are a member of your own e-group feel free to pass this information amongst your friends. If we do not take a stand now the prices will keep going up higher and higher until many are unable to make the Hajj.

For further information please e-mail: hajjripoff[at]hotmail.co.uk

Welcome President Elect Barack Hussain Obama

// November 5th, 2008 // 7 Comments » // Blog

Okay, I'll admit… I am happy that Obama won. McCain's concession speech was dignified. Muslim “democracies” could learn a lesson from that aspect of the campaign.

Now, can I go to bed please?

A Quick Poll

// November 4th, 2008 // 16 Comments » // Blog

No, nothing to do with the elections! Hehe

A quick question for my readers…

What's the Arabic/Urdu/Hindi word for “shop”, and how would you spell it using the English alphabet?

I do know the answer (hint: it begins with the letter 'd'), but I want to have an idea of the most commonly used transliteration.

I know at least one person who is gonna go by the book on this; you don't have to comment. {grins}

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