Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Workshop on How to Teach Qur’an to the Blind & Visually Impaired

// September 21st, 2009 // 2 Comments » // Blog

The following was forwarded to me by e-mail. Please pass it on! Also, please contact the organization directly for more information, or if you wish to mirror their work in your own locality, inshā’Allāh.

Baseera Institute will be launching on 16-20th Oct, 2009, inshā’Allāh. It is a charity dedicated to teaching the quraan to the blind and visually impaired, and is set on a similar model to Madressa Noor in South Africa.

Inshā’Allāh we will be holding braille workshops for people who wish to teach quraan to the blind and visually impaired from 16-20th Oct, 9am-5pm.

If you know anyone who is blind or visually impaired who wishes to study the quraan then bring them along, or if you are generally interested in our charity project come down.

I have attached the poster with all the details to this email [see below]. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.

We also have a group on facebook ”Baseera Institute”. If you have not already done so please join and I will send you regular updates.

Click poster to enlarge.

British Government’s Meddling with Islam & the Muslim Community

// August 5th, 2009 // No Comments » // Blog

Not the most catchy of titles, I admit, but it'll do.

It's for my article that was published today, over at MuslimMatters:

As I've mentioned on more than one occasion, I am subscribed to alerts from They Work For You – a free site that allows the public to keep track of parliamentary proceedings. Even so, I will continue to remind you all of this fact, because I think everyone should make use of this amazing service. I am hardly politically astute, but I still choose to keep an ear open for when the British government decides to talk about me (or rather, things dear to me), i.e., Islam and the Muslim community.

Recently, there was a sudden rise in the number of alerts I received, containing my keyword of choice, “Islam”, all because one particular British MP, Ben Wallace (Conservative MP for Lancaster & Wyre, Former Conservative MSP for North East Scotland), has been asking a lot of questions on the subject lately – six questions in just two days. After reading through them, I become somewhat alarmed, as they described a number of initiatives that have the potential to directly affect how Islam is understood and practised in the UK. This includes scholarly efforts to 'contextualise' Islam in Britain, and the teaching of Islamic Studies in universities. To add some further context, several of these questions were posed in relation to “Paragraph 9.21 of the UK Strategy for Countering International Terrorism“.

The six questions and answers are presented below.

Continue reading…

I was quite worried about how this article would be received – mainly because politics is not my forte. However, I don't consider this article to be 'political', rather, the intention was simply to be informative. These are matters that concern me – and the rest of the British Muslim community – and I felt it my duty to spread the news.

I am also concerned about sounding like 'just another paranoid Muslim, thinking the government is out to get us'. But the thing is, though my own opinion can be utterly ignored, the facts cannot. And that is what I have aimed to do: present a set of facts – without editing, and providing original sources – then analyse those facts, and present my own theory. The theory could be way off, but the facts remain as facts. Facts, facts, facts… FACTS. [I thought I'd throw that word in a few more times for added emphasis.]

I asked a friend of mine to read over the article while it was still in draft form, and she wasn't aware of any of the initiatives described therein. I'd call her an 'average' Muslim – in that she is conscientious, but not politically active, as such. She, too, was alarmed at the information. So, I am hoping that I am not way off base with my assessment.

Thanks to Indigo Jo for giving the article a once over too, and confirming a mistake that I had made. Though he never told me whether he agreed with my paranoid instincts or not – I'm sure he'll share his opinions soon enough, inshā’Allāh.

My Big Day Out

// July 27th, 2009 // 7 Comments » // Blog

As I mentioned in my last status update, Thursday 23rd July ended up being quite a productive day for me, māshā’Allāh. For a start, I was actually active between the normal working hours of 9.30am and 4.30pm. Amazing! I didn't even manage that during my PhD.

The day involved two major meetings, each relating to the two main projects that currently dominate my unemployed life: Deaf Muslim initiatives (e.g., SignLabs), and blogging. As the content of both meetings was pretty much confidential, I'll skip the details, and just describe the basic aims.

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Confession Time

// July 9th, 2009 // 13 Comments » // Blog

Yesterday, I was informed that I had received the funding I'd need to accept the position that I mentioned in my last post. But, I am still a little scared to tell you what that position is exactly.

Ack… Okay.

I am going back to uni.

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Why I Could Teach, But Most Likely Never Will

// June 10th, 2009 // 8 Comments » // Blog

This post on homeschooling reminded me of a recent realization about my own aversion towards taking the PGCE route that so many PhD graduates seem to pursue, having realized that they can no longer tolerate the research environment.

It's not that I don't enjoy teaching – even teaching kids, and young people. I just can't deal with the discipline issues; or should I say, lack of discipline issues. I can already predict that having to deal on a daily basis with rowdy adolescents that are intent on pushing every button and testing every boundary, will eventually reduce me to one of those babbling, stuttering, post-nervous breakdown teachers that we've all been taught by at one point in our lives (for me, it was my year 9 History teacher. There were rumours that his odd behaviour was a result of him being locked in a cupboard by his students for several hours. And this at a private school).

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Wanted: A Little Slack

// March 3rd, 2009 // 9 Comments » // Blog

This rantish piece was originally intended as an email response. I then realized that I was 'blogging' at the recipient. Blog rants belong on blog posts. Hence my decision to paste it below for public viewing:

Well, if I was happy to stay in research, I wouldn't have a problem finding a job either, Allahu 'alam.

It's because I cannot tolerate that claustrophobic, isolating environment any longer, that I decided to look elsewhere for employment.

Unfortunately, I am quite clueless as to what I should concentrate on in the long term. I have to factor in the remote possibility of future wifely and motherly duties, which realistically, precludes the pursuit of any career that demands a great deal of my time and energy. This is not helped by the dearth of part-time jobs in my sector (the ones I find are either managerial roles for which I am underqualified, or technician jobs for which I am overqualified).

Add to that the fact that this is the first time I am job seeking as an “obvious” Muslimah (i.e., avec hijab), which does actually put some employers off.

Then there is the debate about whether Muslim women should be in the Western workplace at all. Yes, I do think about such things, and definitely don't miss the regular angst of 'handshaking' incidents, and having to constantly reign in my blabber-mouth personality in front of the opposite gender, all of whom so far have been non-Muslim, and thus don't usually understand the internal conflict that their “friendly” behaviour (and even antagonistic behaviour, at times) can pose for me.

I know I'm not the only one going through this. But my point is that I'd like people to cut me some slack.

Alhamdulillah, I am not in debt. I live at home with parents who can afford to house me. Indeed, if it wasn't for the pressure that they're placing on me, I wouldn't even bother looking for a conventional job. I am happy to tell friends and strangers that I am officially unemployed, but spend my time on other important pursuits – leaving the exact details vague, so as not to show off.

In fact, the only two things that I miss from my eleven years of working are:

  • A regular, stable source of income. I am useless at budgeting. Therefore, when I try to save money, it usually ends up that I don't spend any money, whatsoever. Miserliness sucks, and so I do need something coming in to avoid that extreme. Plus, I hate scrounging off my dad.
  • A regular, stable source of human company. My personal tradition has been to make friends through school, university, or work, usually because that is where I have spent most of my life. Recent exceptions have been some sisters that I met through local classes, such as self-defense and Islamic studies. But they work/study full-time, which means Mon-Friday, I am friendless, bar the odd evening meet-up.

Yes, it's a little embarrassing that a woman with three degrees, and the title “Dr” before her name should be unemployed, and more than that, is now facing a problem that most people sorted out in their late-teens/early 20s: the question of “What should I do with my life?”.

However, the embarrassment factor is relative. People make me feel ashamed, by inferring that I have something to be ashamed off.

Did I purposely pick the wrong career path, so I'd end up in this position? Err, no…

Could I have thought about it more before deciding to pursue a PhD? Err, maybe? Allāh knows best. Hindsight is 20/20, after all.

I am not looking for anyone's sympathy. More like: I want to be left alone. Unless you have a real job to offer me; then hey, I am all ears! Other than that, general concern is welcome, but making me feel small, and a bit useless, is not. Maybe I am being overly sensitive, but there you go.

Oxford Students Join In Gaza Solidarity Protests

// January 22nd, 2009 // No Comments » // Blog

Students at Oxford University, one of the highest ranking, and most prestigious educational establishments in the world, have begun a sit-in protest, to highlight the brutality of the occupation of Palestine, as exemplified by the recent, ferocious attack on Gaza.

Continue Reading…

Islamic Signs Video

// January 1st, 2009 // No Comments » // Blog

The final video in the present series…

YouTube Preview Image

Science & Islam on BBC4

// December 31st, 2008 // 10 Comments » // Blog

blue_circle_blueprintThe first episode of a new three-part documentary on Science and Islam comes out next Monday, 5th January 2009, on BBC4, at 9pm (if you miss it, catch it on BBC iPlayer):

Physicist Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria, Iran, Tunisia and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries.

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Introductory & Question Signs

// December 26th, 2008 // 2 Comments » // Blog

Two more new signing videos are now LIVE:

Introductory signs:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=A3pkfu6DMic&fmt=22

Question words:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=2_OnZhNaJtM&fmt=22

Something to keep you busy during the holiday season.

The final video on Islamic Signs will be released next week, God willing.

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