Monday, November 27, 2006


Doing a favor for a site that I found to be full of information. Ladies and Gents check out they have a free ebook full of great recipes that use products from food storage. They also carry a full line of food storage products. I would love to see if we could get shipments! When I get back to Libya next summer I will see. They may be a good alternative to the "gift box from home". Plus all their products are made for long term storage. I am checking into canning recipes as well. A followup letter from the company wonders what products we would most be interested in? They ship USPS. Feel free to message me and I can ask for you about certain products. Be prepared ladies....

A Womans Right

OK, another day of rants....Why is it that an American woman does not get the same rights her Arab sister counterparts do? How many sisters do I know that did not even get a decent wedding or a reasonable dowry when they married.
There was a trend for many years here in the USA for Muslim men to marry women from the USA. Most sadly end in divorce yet some remain. What are the differences that separate us for our sisters in other countries.
Family- many of us have bad relationships or none or lose family when we convert or marry our husbands.
Culture- either we have none or we give it up for a "Islamic" upbringing for our children.
Religion-most convert to Islam but not all and if so we know that our children shall be raised Muslim so our faith is put on the back burner.
Traditions-much like our faith is brushed aside as being a "kuffur" belief so we leave our traditions behind.
Lastly the idea of many men married us because we could be "bought" cheaply? Most of us have no idea of dowry and later we feel somehow cheated out of something that was our right.
In America we work along side of our husbands most of our marriage, raise our children and take care of our homes, while our counterparts sit at home and the men provide. Our earnings are put into that joint account and used to pay the increasing debts we make as our families grow. Yet somehow I wonder what happened to "a woman's money is her own" ideal that Islam teaches. OK so now I am ranting...How many of you ladies feel the same at one point or another? You work and raise the kids and clean the home all by ourselves and give the paycheck over to the "family" yet at the end of the day you have nothing for yourself.
I've worked since I was 17, and never had the luxury of spending the money solely on myself. It always had to pay the bills. Now I look back and yes I can see sometimes when I squandered money (Theresa will remind me) but in general all my spending went to my children or my home. Very little went to enjoying the money I earned such as a lunch out or movie with a friend.
I tell you this as until earlier this year I pretty much wore the pants in the family and the bank account and credit cards were under my control. I paid all the bills and managed the house and the food and clothing needs for my children so when something was "wrong" I was the one who got blamed. I have worked a fair share in the 20 yrs I have been married but looking back I wonder what went wrong. After many years of it being my fault that we could not go overseas I turned all the money and the bills and the needs over to my husband. We made plans to go visit his family and he told me the only way he saw that we could go was if he was in control of our finances. So against my better judgement I let him. I was to go over first with the kids and he would join us as soon as possible he needed to set up a few things first. He is paid by sales so we needed a buffer for while we were away. As you all know, he never came over. Well, I am back now and before we left I turned all the accounts to him. Now I have no funds unless he gives it to me. Now I have to account for why I want something, why the kids need something and yet when a bill comes that he doesn't understand, who has to call and solve the problem?
I know of no Arab sister who has to do this. Most of the ladies I know were given lavish weddings, honeymoons and a trip to the USA to boot and lavish homes to come to. They spend their days at home, or out with friends. Visiting or shopping...What is this shopping! How, they don't work so where do they get money from? Oh, from their husbands! Wow they get money to spend how they wish each month. This does not include the fact that hubby buys all the groceries and provides for the kids so her money is her own to spend, filling her closet with so many clothes that even a walk-in isn't enough. So you see where I feel we lost out. I never had a wedding party, I was married in work clothes. A store bought cake by a witness was our wedding meal and then home to my apartment. I never had a honeymoon and until this year never went any place. As for dowry, I was told I could ask for anything but hey he was living in the mosque so what could he give me? So I asked for a ring. I was bought for $750. Over the years going to a friends house has become non existent and we rarely socialize. He works and I spend my days with the kids. My family left me many years before, dysfunctional was not what I wanted my children to learn. As for traditions, what I had were Christian so they were out the door, I was converted but had no idea how to celebrate a "Muslim" holiday. So we never learned....when we finally needed to get a house instead of an apartment I was told I needed to work if I wanted a house. Would a Arab sister take this? NO. The house would have been built before their marriage or she would be living in a home with extended family. Yet, I agreed. Here in the USA we all must work for what we feel we "need". So here I am after 20 yrs of sharing my income to pay bills asking for money. Why? What happened to our rights? A woman has a right to be kept in a manner of which she was accustomed. A right to a dowry and a right to a home and to be provided for by her husband. But we American women are bought cheaply. We have miserly husbands, we shop with little funds, we live in places we long outgrew and in clothes that are barely substantial. We who must convince our husband why we need something, yet we stay on. Why to benefit our children? I was told by my husband that my dowry was with his parents and that when we went to Libya I would have it. Yet when I was there I was given nothing from his parents. A sister gave me a small ring and his brother gave me a ring for my birthday just before I left. Yet my sister-in-laws had many bracelets and even my mother in law sported a few on the one wedding she went to. So where was my dowry? Even the "home" that his father had built for his beloved son was empty. I had a bed set that was my in laws and a few cushions for the floors. No dishware, no linens, no applainces or bedding. Would an Arab woman have accepted this? I doubt it. So why do we? For the future promises? How many years have I been told we would move to a larger home, now that all our debts are paid off where is the money he earns. He goes to the store and buys things that had I bought I would have been scolded for buying. I must ask for everything from him. I have suggested getting gift cards for me so I have money just a set amount. Yet none are forthcoming.....Yesterday an old friend called me asking if her daughter could stay with us for a night while she went skiing. Sure I would love to take her. I had watched this girl since she was a 3 yr old. While we chatted she mentioned a lady that she worked with was needing a sitter for two small kids. She knows that I hadn't done daycare since her daughter turned 6 but she asked if I would be interested. I'm home all day now, as with the split schedules the kids have the youngest are home too often and not old enough to be alone, so working outside the home is out. My house is not quite what it use to be but the idea was interesting. She was offering 800 a month. I spoke to my husband about it, his answer was if you want to do it and the money could buy your tickets for next year! Sure pay my own way to visit his family again and start the plans for our new home. Some days I wonder if I will live alone in Libya. The kids have mixed feelings about going there to live and he shows little interest in going some days. Those plans I have drawn for a six bedroom home may not be needed. I tell the kids Libya is growing and with the changes it will get better all the time. I read an article on how Qaddafi is trying to find out how all those government officials are having so much money yet the facilities they are in charge of are suffering. He has given them two months to account for their funds. I'm sure a few heads will roll. (I hope not literally). I would steer him towards the zoo for one.. When I finally got a chance to take the kids there I was saddened by the conditions there. Mostly empty cages and the animals that were there were pretty sad looking especially the baboons...So if he would like tourism he needs to focus on these areas also the issue with trash dumping as Khadijah mentioned. So do I feel better yet? NO this is one of my oldest rants. I thought when I finally got to go overseas I would have my promised dowry, yet I came home empty handed. I have a house and a car (of which my son drives now to school) so I should be thankful. Am I? Yes and no, I am thankful that I do have a home as many here have less. And no, in that I was cheated out of a right that all my sisters are entitled too. I can only make sure that my daughters do not get less than what they should. I am not greedy, but that ring would not cover even one months needs if something were to happen to my husband. So I am prepared..not with money but the ability that I can work to take care of myself if I need. Something that my fellow arab sisters do not have...Your comments are welcome..I know this has been a moody week for me...I know I'm not the only one who feels this way so brothers if you are reading this heads up. Look back onto your life with your converted wife and ask yourself did she get what she would have had she been Arab....then go buy her some flowers and give her a kiss and tell her got off cheaply.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Holiday Blues

Ever feel like your life is nothing that you wanted it to be? Some days I spend remembering my childhood. Not that it was perfect, by many peoples standards it was pretty lousy. I try to not dwell on those days but the memories of the good ones. Birthdays, Christmas mornings, Halloween trick-or-treats, Thanksgiving Day dinners and Easter. How many of us have a fond memory that we retain of those days?
When I became Muslim I was barely 22 yrs old. I was recently divorced and my two daughters were living with their dad (that's another book in itself). I lost most of my family when I converted and kept some contact with aunts or uncles mostly on my fathers side. My fondest memories are of small things. Finding that one last Easter Egg down Grandmothers blouse, blowing out candles on my 16Th birthday cake, a pregnant hobo for Halloween costume and the pajamas we all got on Christmas Eve to dress in so we would look nice the next morning when mom was taking our photos. Those are the days I choose to remember.
So, lately I have been quite depressed. I returned back to the USA about two months ago now and most of my day is spent thinking of how soon I can go back. I married when I was Muslim about four years, and my husband had lived in the USA about 6 years by then. He had given up on celebrating Holidays as except for Ramadan meals with local brothers their were no families to spend the days with. By the time I came along he was starting to build a nice "rut" to live in. My daughters did not live with me so I never had holidays or birthdays to share. We were married Oct 3, and our first holiday together with my family was Thanksgiving. My family invited us to share the day with them. As usual mom and I prepared the meal for the day and the men sat in the living room watching a football preview. Things went pretty well until the meal prayer. Now you need to know that my family was in no way religious but two times a year Dad would say a prayer. One at Thanksgiving and one at Christmas dinner. Everything went smooth until Dad blessed the meal in the name of Jesus (pbuh). My husband mumbled something under his breath and hardly ate a bite of the meal. I apologised and later asked him why he had not eaten. He was angry that Dad had referred to Jesus (pbuh) when blessing the meal. OK, so next time I will ask Dad to just say "thank God". Next holiday was Christmas. This is also the day that the US Government says my husband has a birthday. He does not agree but who are we to argue? Anyway, the meal went smoothly as I reminded Dad to please just thank "God". But as the day wore on family came in and out and the fun of spending the day with relatives began to eat at hubby. He was brooding in the kitchen. My aunt asked me what was wrong. I told her well he may be missing his family and it was also his birthday. My aunt decided to solve his problem. She walked into the kitchen and asked him to stand up. She sat down and grabbed him quickly and pulled him over her lap and began to spank him (birthday spanks), boy did his face go red. He was later telling me that no one had ever touched him but me and his mom and he was embarrassed. Later he got use to my unusual aunt!
Finally, a few months later we moved to Colorado. Here there are no families. In the beginning we never celebrated the Ramadan or Eids as he said they were for kids. I went to the mosque and served dinners during Ramadan until my first son was born. Then it became "they are too young", quickly followed by "they don't want to go tramping in mud to kill a lamb", and now we are at "if mom does something we celebrate it" stage. I tried to make the holidays something. One year going for traditional ideas and the next using ideas from my pasts. None really stuck. Not if Dad is never home. And the ideas the community come up with are geared more towards the younger set.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving, a day by which I have always tried to keep. Not for anything more than it is the one day when I can fix a "comfort" dish. Leave home and you will know what I mean by a "comfort dish". I started the day trying to find out when or if we would go shopping for computers on Friday. You know how we have those GIANT sales the day after. We had promised the kids a few computers and there was a sale that was good on them. But he was moody so I saved most of the discussion for later in the day. The night before I had injected the turkey with some butter and a mix of seasonings and placed it in the fridge. So by 11 am I pulled it out and started the cooking. Hubby made his famous mashed potatoes and I got out dishes for olives, salad and gravy's. A small dish of stuffing and we were set. I had recently got rid of two dining chairs and pushed the table down to a table for four, so we put a table cloth on the living room floor and placed the food on the table. We all sat together on the floor except Suhayb, who wanted to be close to the food. I wonder why? Well except for one we were all eating at the same time in the same place. A rare occurrence anymore. It was nice. No one was joining us this year. I had asked a friend who was recently divorced but she had plans so it was just us. We all sat and ate our meals in relative quiet. Nothing like the dinners of my youth. We finished and I gathered up the dishes and put what I could in the dishwasher. The rest sat on the table til early evening. By then all the turkey was gone but a few small strips of dark meat. I put away the leftover gravy, potatoes and olives and cleaned up the kitchen. Thanksgiving was over. Now you all know that just as soon as you put it all away someone comes in hungry. So, Aieysha made a second round for the leftovers.
About ten pm, I asked my hubby again what time did he want to go shopping. The stores open at 5 am and if you are not there by 4 am, you can pretty much forget getting something high on the list of wanted items. He said set the clock as I wanted and wake him in the morning. 3:30 am, and the house is quiet. I got up and dressed and went into the living room to wake my hubby. He was on the couch. He grumbled, no one had let him sleep all night and they had been up and down the stairs all night. OK, so sleep a bit more. At 4am, I walked into the living room again and sat down on the couch. After what seemed like an eternity he got up and dressed. We got into the car and headed for Best Buy. Laptops for 279.00$ a deal. We got close and I knew in my heart I needed to forget it. Thousands of cars were parked in the lot and the lines of people stretched til the main road. They even had cars parking in the Home Depot lot across the street. Hubby has a bad back so standing even 10 minutes would have made him a bear. So I turned around and headed home. Went inside and took off my clothes and crawled back into my still warm bed. At 9 am I woke again and after the kids woke up I decided to take a drive to the new shopping mall. Best Buy was out sorry. I headed to Ulta cosmetics and looked to see if they had my favorite perfume in a gift set. Sorry and the cheapest bottle was 26$. I looked at a beautiful makeup set and thought of my nieces in Libya how they may love a set like this one. It was 21$, and I could get a set of Hurricane lanterns as a free gift. Oooohhh tempting. But this was the only money I have had all week so I was not to spend it foolishly. I remembered seeing a World Import Market down the block and walked down the block with all but Suhayb in tow. He didn't want to go, he wanted to go home (sound familiar). The kids had stopped into the Pet store next door and had to show me all the birds. Yep their lovely but we have 5 so no thanks. It was a bit windy so we hurried down to the Market. Once inside I wandered around the store, browsing at this and that along the isle. OOhhh look at the Indian style jewelry! Look at the musical instruments from all over. Lets try the xylophone! Cool but the big one is 300$. Next time. Back to bedding, oh how I would love a room that looked like that! Beautiful bedding all nicely done. Yeah with five kids sure, on to the dishes. None that caught my eye. The herd was getting restless, Fatimah needed the bathroom no sooner than we walked in and the others were getting bored too. Why can a mother never have a few minutes to herself and her daydreams. Aieysha found a few stuffed animals that are magnetized and she wanted to buy a few. She had her money so ok. Fatimah was getting noisy so I told Suhayl to take her to the car. And Khadijah and I waited for Aieysha to finish her purchases.
Suhayb pulled up the car and we were ready to go. Fatimah had saved up 40$ and wanted a game so we had looked in one store and 30$ was high and we knew we could find a used one. So I dropped everyone off at the house, and Fatimah, Kahdijah and I headed to the game store near by. Yes, they had a used copy at 26$. So now she is excited and wants to leave. But wait mom wants to look at the movies. Hey a copy of "One flew over the cuckoos nest". A classic on my movie list for only 9.95$. I could also get Patriot and Titanic on DVD for 20$ for the three. Hum, in Libya I would have paid 5$ maybe, so no not today.
At home I had downloaded a program where you can see what a room looks like with different paint on the walls. The kitchen always looked good in grey but cover up my stencils? Nope not yet. The outside is what needs it the most. I had Suhayb go outside and take another picture of the house and bring it in and load it while I was gone. Now to play with the program. We tried on many colors until we came up with Storm cloud Grey for the doors, Camouflage green for the base and white for trim it looks nice, but we will wait for daddy to decide. So I saved the photos for later. I guess my day is more Grey than Blue.....I miss holidays with family...Next year maybe...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hijab or Niqba?

With recent news from European countries trying to ban the use of the Niqba in public places such as banks, I wonder what those of you out there think? I spend some time in the religion forum of Myspace and this topic makes it rounds quite often. One young woman insisted that we were oppressed sex slaves of men and that is why we cover. Sadly she felt it was better to bare all in society than to cover it up. Some ladies that are considered Regs (regulars) on the forum are of Catholic belief and one time I reminded them that the bible did in fact tell women to cover. If they believed in their holy books so completely then why do they not follow the tenents of their faith? Now we have a group of women who have picked up the cover at least in prayer. They have gone through the gamut of discussions with people in their communitites to support their right to cover. I support them. Yet somehow I feel that they will never understand a Muslim woman's need to cover.
When I first converted in the early 1980's I was working in the local university and we had 750 students from Saudi Arabia there on a group study program. Most were good young men, but a few fell to the ways of the American lifestyle and sadly they became far from being a good Muslim. I was interested in Islam. I also had some students from Iran. So I learned about both sides of the Muslim coin. One of my questions was why do women in your faith cover? Most could not give me a reason beyond it was something that the holy book said to do and that women had done it for centuries. So I resorted to reading every book I could lay my hands on. During the break between quarters I began to cover. My first cover was given to me by a Saudi man, just like my Quran which I still have and use. Also he gave me a set of slow recitation tapes so I could learn the Quran in Arabic as well as in English. I remember the uproar from my students that were Iranian. How could I do such a thing? Then they went on to tell me horror stories of life under the Khomeini regime. Did that deter me? No. Life in the USA was not the same and I was doing what Allah had commanded. I remember just after beginning to cover many of the young men went back and brought back wives. They asked me to teach their wives English as they did not feel comfortable bringing their wives to the school.
My first glimpse of these women was a mixed bag. I attended a few dinners at their homes. Men separated from women and me not speaking Arabic I was usually off in a corner playing with a baby or toddler and at worst reading a "Sadayati" magazine. That's where I learned the Arabic alphabet and the numbers. Word search puzzles in the back. But my most interesting days were ones when the ladies pulled out the wedding books and showed me the photos. Wow! How lovely they were these ladies. There wedding photos were the envy of many an American woman. But what really drew my attention was the ones the ladies showed me of their honeymoons. Here in the states the women were covered head to toe, all with the niqba and gloves and stocking to boot yet in the photos they were not. They had bikinis on. Laying in the sun of a Hawaiian beach in barely any clothes. How was this? Was God not in Hawaii? Here no one saw a inch of their skin yet there away from eyes they bare it all. Why I wondered. Now my question, the Quran says for a woman to cover her beauty, it never specified how this was to be done, but we have guidance from the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and his wives (pbut). He said that at puberty a woman must cover everything but this- hands, face and feet. So why do women use a niqba? I have argued this point many a year since I became Muslim. I can see if you have makeup on an going to a party why it would be good to cover your face, but why else. So in forum I see people saying that these women could be hiding their identity. Maybe they are not who they say they are. They are at risk for security because if they do something bad you did not see their face to say it was that woman....And many other lame excuses. Why target these women. I never really agreed with the niqba myself and I remember when my best buddy Janel wore it. It was hard to eat out in public and reading a pricetag in public was always a chore. Keeping an eye out for the little ones was difficult too as you got limited vision under there. Also in the USA people are very face oriented. Just like a handshake you need to see a persons face. If you are going to be in the public eye a veil is a hamper. But I respect the women who do want to wear them. Lately I have equated not seeing a face as equal to a blind persons view on the world. They cannot "see" ever persons face yet they must trust whom they meet. How often have you seen a blind person ask you permission to "feel your face" the only way they can "see" you I ask people.
Do people have the right morally to tell women who veil to remove it? I talked to a few banks in our area and all said that a fingerprint will work if the woman chooses not to use a photo id. Can this solve a problem. What about women who have traveled who veil? I remember one lady who had a photo passport but she would only show it to a female rep and lift her veil in private. What about drivers license? I know many women who veil that drive. Some with the full face on. Don't you think that limits your field of vision? One lady I know lifted her veil and used sunglasses. How funny that looks to outsiders. I guess my point is who's right is it to tell us how to practice our faith? Here I get so much of "well if you don't like the rules go home" well dammit I am home.... but for all the freedom we have as Americans I would gladly give it up some days. While in Libya I was never abused by the public opinion for being an American and not speaking Arabic. So why must I endure such nonsense in my own lands? As this issue of veiling becomes more predominant I wonder how the Muslim world will react to it. The veil is an extention of the command to cover, will it be a issue of the fundamentalist or the extremist? And finally why is this directed solely at Muslim women. One question I have asked in forum many a day is what crime has a veiled woman ever committed? None have surfaced yet! But with the rise in political issues will it merely be a matter of time before one lady does. Would like your comments on how you feel about this issue. And although I may not sound like it I do support the woman who veils its just not for me.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Three Amigos

Today I thought I would share a bit of my life with everyone. I was married in 1986 to a man who at the time I felt was the hottest thing I had seen in a long time. He was the imam at my local mosque and was held in high regards by the community. Just after we married we decided to move to Georgia and live by a uncle of mine as work was scarce in Utah. So we packed up what we had into my old chevy truck and put what else we could not carry into storage and began our trip.
The next day we arrived in Colorado and we spent a few weeks visiting with friends of my husband. We finally landed in Denver and after a few days the local men had begged my husband to stay. Not having much money and no job a good friend of his allowed us to stay with his family. Abdulsalam and Theresa had married about two years before and they had a small son. They had a two bedroom apartment and we were given the master bedroom. After a short stay with them we moved in with Yousef and Janel another couple we had met. Yousef and Janel were expecting their first child due just about any day and my husband was nervous as to when we would need to move on. He had started working and was expecting his first paycheck any day. Finally the big day arrived and their new daughter Sakina joined the world. So we looked real quick for an apartment of our own. Thankfully we found one and we finally settled in to our own place. Over the years we had became good friends. Now if you are married to a Libyan you know that can be difficult. Three women from different backgrounds who's only common denominator is a Libyan husband. The men would say one thing and the women would say something totally different and things were always getting mixed up. About two years later we had finally made it to the world of parenthood and were expecting our first child together. Funny it seemed like every time one got pregnant one of the others would get pregnant also. Janel had added twins to her home and Theresa had finally had a girl and was expecting again and due any time. Our families were growing in leaps and bounds.
My husbands family so much wanted us to come to Libya so they had sent tickets for us to travel but since I had a history of problems I told them to wait till after the baby was born..
On October 17, 1989 our son Suhayb was born. Janel was in attendance and we both gave a hoot of joy when the doctor announced I had a son. The day I brought him home began years of waiting.....He had a seizure the first night home and we rushed him to the hospital. For three weeks I tried to convince doctors that he was having seizures when he slept. Not till one day at his first physical did they get a glimpse of what I meant. He had just fallen asleep and began to seize just as the doctor came in the room. See I was not a neurotic mom my son was having seizures. For the next three weeks we waded through hell. Maybe he had this or that? Hell they didn't know and they poked and prodded his little body trying to figure out what was wrong. After he was 18 months they finally went away. By then another child was on the way and I was having problems with high blood pressure and blackouts. So we waited. After Suhayl was born I got a whole three months and the doctor said guess what! You have got to be kidding! Nope another was on the way and the doctor suggested we wait again. We had quite a list of complications during that pregnancy. At four months my amnio came back as possible downs syndrome. And a few months later my father was diagnosed with Alzheimers and Parkinsons and in the same week a car accident nearly took my husbands life.
So we waited....Aieysha came out fine but she does have some learning disabilities. Dad died much sooner than expected he lasted just one short year and he died at 59, months away from retiring. Taher spent four years recouping from his accident and me with three small kids to deal with.
For many years we waited two more daughters were born and by then we never imagined we would make it back home. Yousif and Janel had traveled just after Suhayb got out of the hospital and Abdulsalam and Theresa followed shortly after. The Three Amigos had been broken up. Back then there was barely phones and mail was a joke so we lost touch with Janel, Theresa came back after a few months as one of the kids had developed seizures and she wanted to be in the states. Finally, after 17 years I had heard enough of it was my fault we never went home. And I set out to make it happen. As you know I spent months gathering information and trying to learn all I could about Libya. I contacted Janel now that internet was available and she introduced me to other ladies. Each month I pushed my husband to get things done. We were not getting any older and now with five kids the cost of tickets were quite more than we imagined. Not to mention passports and visas and all the things we needed like baggage and clothes and so many other things.
Everyone knows how my trip went and now that I am back I spend many days talking with Theresa. They hope to go this next year too. Many of the families here have begun going back and forth with the kids. But the bigger families it is much harder as the cost is multiplied. So now we are planning month by month. Buy a ticket, get a passport, buy a gift or stuff to take. Each month is spent figuring out how to make it work. I cannot wait till next year. The Three Amigos will be together again...We each have 7 kids now....We are older and wiser. The kids are growing and life is suddenly shorter. Twenty-one years ago three women embarked on a friendship that has lasted. Even distance has changed us very little. I remember seeing Janel after 16 years and yet is was as though we had seen each other yesterday....We had (at least I had) gotten older and grayer and starting to add a few wrinkles. We remarked how our babies had grown and we teased the older ones on how we had once changed their diapers, (moms love to do that) and how they were still our babies.
I cannot wait till next year when the Three Amigos are together again. Libya beware!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

When Barbie becomes Fulla

No, I'm not talking about the dolls but our own daughters. When they are little we dress them up and put them in pretty dresses. Fix their hair and put on makeup and then take them out for the world to adore. So what happens when they reach puberty? Its a hard question, one that many a mom has stressed over. Do I tell my daughter to hijab or wait and let her do it on her own. What if she reaches puberty early? My girls hit it around 10 and although I let them cover since infancy, it is never been mandantory. Well today my 10 year old Khadijah joined the ranks of women. She is my barbie. I tried for many years to keep her modestly dressed and was set back a bit when we were in Libya and the family felt I was being hard by having the girls cover. "Oh she's too young"! No she is not I would say but they got their way. So was I being too orthodox or them too loose? What about those girls who are a bit more on the looker side? Do you suggest a veil for them?
We have about 10 girls in our school of 800 students that are muslim so she has others who are like her. She will not be alone and she has worn it before so kids know why she wears it. So what have you other ladies done? Do you keep with faith that says puberty or let time take the lead. How do you talk to kids about sex in Islam? My boys and I are pretty open but their father has never said anything to them. Do you consider them adults? What suggestions do you give other women who are contemplating this problem.
I have my girls cover plain and simple. Right or wrong they can be married and do as they wish then till then I hope they see my example and feel good about what Allah has commanded.