Monday, January 31, 2011

Hopeful for the Egyptian People

I almost feel like I'm Egyptian right now. I'm so proud of what they are doing there! I just feel so hopeful for their future, even if I know it will be hard to get Mubarak out, and hard get everything back to relative stability once things start to calm down. But still, I feel hopeful now that tomorrow's million-man march will send the clear signal it is intended to send, and hopeful long-term that things will be better for all Egyptians.

I love all my Egyptian brothers and sisters!!!! You are all in my prayers!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My 6 year plan

I talked about wanting to have a second child and wanting to go learn Arabic in Egypt during maternity leave and ever since before Nora was born I planned on continuing my studies. I was nothing concrete but I was thinking of either studying to become a teacher or a social worker. Since yesterday, something clicked and made me realize that it has to be teaching.

So basically, I plan on getting pregnant, working where I'm at until maternity leave, applying for university, going to Egypt for a couple months during maternity leave and coming back in time for the semester to study 4 years to become an elementary teacher and do courses in Arabic language and culture while I'm there. I don't think there are enough credits for me to be able to do a minor, but I would pick these courses which would better help me if ever we decided to live in Egypt for some time.

I know my husband also has his own plans to study and it kind of has to be one at a time. He is supposed to take on the role of main provider and he's 4 years older than me anyway so logically, he would go first... But then again, with loans and bursaries pretty well set-up here, we might very well be able to both study full-time. A 6-year plan that includes two degrees! I need to look into that and find out if we'd be able to live on that type of salary... We know how to make one income work since that's what we lived on before he got his job. We would just need to make it work in Montreal (where rent is much more expensive..) and would need to move and find a babysitter for the babes... A new life: scarey!

Anyway, it just hit me recently that there's a way to make my plans work so I'm pretty excited.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Egypt in need of prayers more than ever

Prayers for the brave Egyptian population protesting against the corrupt government. Safety and success to them!! Protests all over the country are planned for Friday after Jumah and the government has just blocked the internet from Egypt to keep the devastating brutality that will happen away from media. Pray for Egypt please, they will need it.

Please check out We Are All Khaled Said website or Facebook page. Read about his story and what they are fighting for.

Monday, January 24, 2011


We played poker on Saturday. Well, I didn't play because I simply can't *do* games that require acting (/deception/lying) so I just sat there beside my friend and looked at her hand while she played and didn't do anything else. My husband loves to play cards and he had two of his friends over to play. We had a good time, but obviously the gambling aspect is a big no-no in Islam.

Luckily they didn't mind playing without money so it was just a game of chance for fun. We have no problem at all about that since the risk involved is imaginary... making it not be gambling as far as I'm concerned. BUT originally the plan was to each put in 5-10$ and for the winner to take the pot, which is gambling. To sidestep this, my husband said he'd give everyone their money back if he was the one who won, and he'd consider his 5-10$ a fee for playing if he lost. Personally, that makes a lot of sense since he'd have no way of winning. Meaning no risk involved making it not gambling either.

What do you think? Any Muslims here also like to play card games or gambling-style games? Do you also sidestep the gambling issue in a way like this?

Any non-Muslims also not fans of gambling? Do you avoid it fully or just "play responsibly" as they call it?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I hope everyone is doing well!

I certainly am! I feel very comfortable in my life these days - just satisfied. I guess that's why I haven't been finding anything to post about.

One thing I keep thinking about lately is going to Egypt. It's not in the immediate plans but I really want Nora to learn Arabic and it's not easy from here. When she's old enough I plan on sending her to Saturday school so she can hang out with other Muslim children and learn Arabic with them but before then, I can't really imagine Arabic influence coming from anywhere else than her Egyptian family. Maybe it will happen one day.

Any of you living in Egypt - how hard is it really for a person to find a job that can allow to live well in Egypt? Like a good apartment/condo, good daycare or private school for Nora (that is, if both are working; if only my husband, I'd stay home), regular outings to not go nuts.

Monday, January 3, 2011

My Names Poll Results

For Boys:

Adam with 41% with a good show for Ilyas (31%)

For Girls:

Sumaya with 39% with a good show for Lana (30%)

I got similar results from non-Muslims actually and Adam and Sumaya are my top choices too!

I have others I want to think about though that I haven't polled anywhere. Iman or alternative spelling Emanne. And Sofia (which could be Safeya to Arabs but I would keep the Sofia spellings). And Leena/Lina/Lena...

What do you guys think?

Fertility Awareness Method of birth control

FAM is used either to try to conceive (TTC) or as birth control. It involves charting temperatures and checking cervical mucus to figure out the day of ovulation to increase chances in conceiving or avoid conceiving (by avoiding sex during some time before and after or else using a barrier method during this time). Cervical position is another factor that can be used in addition to these other two to be even more precise in pinpointing ovulation.

I know the general view from Muslims is that birth control is allowed to help space out pregnancies a bit or wait until ready but not to avoid poverty. And that permanent methods are not allowed. I'm not sure what the view is on different methods of birth control like ones that prevent ovulation vs those which could allow for ovulation and conception but prevents implanting... Either way, I think it's quite reasonable.

Still, I find myself disliking hormonal birth control. And me and my husband's TTC experience (which is close to nothing so far, but I like to be prepared) has made me learn A LOT about a woman's cycle and using this information to prevent birth (not only to conceive).

I think it would worry me to use this method because of the higher chance of getting pregnant, but at the same time, if it happens, it is meant to happen. I guess I will see when the time comes because at the moment we want another and once that happens, it will be 9 months of pregnancy followed by a certain amount of time without "doing the deed"! lol. Lots of time to see if it might be a way for us.

Who here uses FAM as birth control or has used it to TTC? What's your take on it personally and Islamicly?

If you haven't used it, what do you think of the idea? How well do you know your body and your cycle?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Dance instead of walking

I really wish I didn't care at all what people thought but it's just not the reality. I'm not the most conscientious but at the same time, I definitely let others affect what I do and how I do it. Why else don't I wear hijab in my city? Why else do I not say things I want to say sometimes? Why else do I follow the norm and walk instead of dance toward my destinations?

I would love to just be eccentric but the attention would make me uncomfortable. So I keep it to a bear minimum with my mismatched socks and Santa earmuffs. Enough that I feel content, but not free as I wish I could be. I guess this is a middle ground, and in a way exactly what we are supposed to do. But... ah, the possibilities if I could allow myself to just BE without a thought in the world. And... oh, the horror of what some people could do if they didn't give a thought. It's better this way, I guess.

But I still think most people need to take a small step away from "what people will think".

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