I would like to pass on this message I received from a friend in hopes that you may also be able to help in this effort to do something for the people of Pakistan. If you are in Saudi, please read on. I pray that you will be able to help in this urgent relief effort by a wonderful lady here in Riyadh.
For the past several days, we have all been watching the shocking consequences of the recent floods in Pakistan that have impacted the lives of over 14 million people. Entire villages have been wiped out as a result of which two million people are now homeless, 1.7m acres of crops destroyed and livestock drowned. The United Nations estimates that up to 3.5 million children are at high risk from deadly water-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery because they have no access to clean drinking water.
This disaster is much larger than the Asian Tsunami, the 2005 Earthquake and the Haiti quake combined. Every province in Pakistan has been affected in what is only the beginning of a long term emergency situation. There are 6 million Pakistani children alone in need of urgent help.
Whose suffering will you help stop today?
We request you to help whole-heartedly in any way that you can in order to make a difference in the lives of those affected by the flood and to help them cope with this overwhelming situation.
We are currently accepting donations in the form of food, shelter, clothing and medical relief supplies. A complete list of items needed for the relief effort is attached for your review.
I am collaborating with the Riyadh Chapter of the Pakistani Doctors Group for this Donation Drive. The Military section of the Embassy of Pakistan in Riyadh as well as the Pakistan International Airlines endorses this effort and will be providing logistical assistance in transporting and distributing these donations. You can drop your donations at the Nursery Section of the Pakistan Embassy School (In Nassiriyah) or call me for further options and other details at 0562490486.
Please donate today. Help us save some lives this Ramadan.
(Please ensure that the expiry dates on the medicines you donate are at least 1 year away from present date)
3. Shelter-related items
• Tents and Tarpaulins
• Shalwar Kameez for adults and older children
• Shoes for adults
• Any/all other clothes and shoes for children
• Bed sheets
(Please make sure that whatever you donate is practical in addition to being new and undamaged/un-stained. Keep in mind that the relief effort targets those in rural areas and that winter is approaching soon. )
I am a Muslim through and through. I love my religion. It is the religion of peace. It brought humanity out of the dark ages well before anyone knew what freedom was. Women were given rights they could only dream of pre-Islam. Women owned their own businesses; and get this, kept their own money! They were given the right to inherit money from their deceased guardians- un-thought of pre-Islam. They were no longer objectified as per the jahaliya times with women as mere property to men. Islam forbade the act of burying your female babies. Islam banned the consumption of alcohol, which I believe should be a world wide spread ban. Alcohol kills! You don't think so? I have seen it kill!
I must get off now, but I just wanted to say those few words... I love my religion... I love Islam... Allahu Akbar.. And may you all have a blessed Ramadhan which keeps you away from all Evil, and brings you closer to your creator.
OK, now my question here is.. what would be seen as a cyber crime by the Haia, if it is anything like how rules and regulations are made up on the spot in the streets.. will this inevitably be a way to control things that they should not be controlling online? Will the cyber policing just stick to 'porn' or will more areas such as the blogosphere be policed now?
Let me make it clear, in Saudi society as it is, I believe there is a need for the Haia, but not the way they take their job now. There should be a very strict regulation as to what they should be doing, and should not be allowed to make up their own rules as the day goes, and depending on their mood swings. I also believe they need to take a sensitivity training course, or a course to teach them to properly interact with people. To talk to people in a dignified manner, and to treat them like humans.
Haia set to put up unit for cyber crimes
By ARAB NEWS
Published: Aug 14, 2010 00:31 Updated: Aug 14, 2010 00:31
RIYADH: The General Presidency of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice is currently trying to set up a unit for cyber crimes at its headquarters.
The unit will track down any attempt to blackmail women on the Internet, a source from the Haia said on Thursday.
As a temporary arrangement the presidency has set up a committee to investigate cyber crimes at one of its offices in Riyadh. With the collaboration of some other departments, the committee has closed down many sites.
Even after that the committee has monitored some groups running sites that supply porn. Those who ran such sites have been arrested and punished for violating cyber regulations.
Ok, I know I have already spoken about it in my earlier post, but I just read an article on Arab news that truly got to me. In a nutshell one of the girls has stated that she loves Ramadan because of the many Soaps on TV; and she further went on to say she will probably be watching about 100 shows this month. What are things coming to? I agree with the elderly folks in this article, Ramadhan is truly losing its meaning in the present day. The full article is bellow.
On another note, last night I went to the mall after Tarawee7 prayers were done. You should have a slight background that my children are usually in bed by 8:30-9pm at the latest. But last night we left the house at 10:15pm, went to the mall to pick up my a dara3a (thowb) I made for my daughter (I will add a picture later), and went to get measured for some house dresses I wanted to have done. WE took my daughter to the play area, and left the mall at 12:15am! YES past midnight. My kids were cranky and tired, as they are usually deep asleep by that time. My son was doing his sleepy son the entire time. And as we were leaving there were people with families just coming to the mall do do some shopping. I felt guilty, and next time shall send my husband out alone to get things done.. or leave him with the kids.
Anyway, I am in the kitchen cooking now, so I better stop typing and go back to my fooood :)
Elderly Saudis reminisce about fasting traditions of the past
By RIMA AL-MUKHTAR
Published: Aug 12, 2010 23:52 Updated: Aug 12, 2010 23:52
JEDDAH: In the run-up to Ramadan, local TV channels had launched aggressive campaigns advertising new soaps and programs that will specially be aired during the holy month.
As a result, many Saudis and expatriates have been planning their busy daily Ramadan schedules around these soaps and dramas.
“I love the holy month of Ramadan. What I love the most is the huge selection of television shows and series that are on offer during Ramadan ... Since I’m on vacation this Ramadan, it will be easier for me to watch more shows and keep up with them all,” said university student Amnah Al-Sayyed.
“Most people think it’s wrong to spend Ramadan watching television instead of reading the Qur’an, engaging in worship and attending mosques, but I can do both,” said Al-Sayyed.
Lamya Marzook said Ramadan this year is going to be special because television channels will be broadcasting excellent quality programs of a wide-ranging variety.
“I’m only saying this judging from the adverts I’m seeing right now and I can’t wait to see these programs. The series I usually see are Syrian, Egyptian, Kuwaiti and Saudi but there are more this year … they include soaps and series that have action, historical and comedy themes. I’m planning to watch almost 100 shows this month,” she said.
Ramadan is also a particular time for family get-togethers with many older citizens getting nostalgic, reminiscing about the Ramadan of old. “Ramadan used to be a month in which people would try their best to get close to Allah. It used to be month in which families would get together, share their iftar meals and catch up on what others are doing,” said Ahmed Hashim, 72.
“I don’t even see my grandchildren nowadays; most of them are busy shopping or following soaps. They don’t even bother coming to my house in this holy month.”
In fact, Ramadan of yesteryears used to be a time when people would sit in mosques praying, but it is now a time when people shop and watch television.
“Fifty years ago, my family and I used to go to Makkah to spend the entire Ramadan there. It was a perfect opportunity to gain closeness to Allah and strive hard to pray and worship,” said Fatimah Shaker, 82.
“It’s different nowadays; I feel tempted to watch television and follow certain television programs. I’ve managed to keep up with an old tradition in which I invite my entire family over for iftar, but I can’t feel the Ramadan spirit as I used to feel it when I was younger.”
Ok, perhaps its not a hallmark holiday, but its coming pretty darn close. On the eve of the first day of Ramadan, I recieved a msg letting me know that;
"During the Holy Season of Ramadan, Blossom Mother and Child, opens 1-4pm, 8:30-2:30 am. Welcome to enjoy up to 70% off our summer collection."
So I have been kindly informed that the shops will remain open until 2:30AM- Yes you read that right 2:30am. I must admit that I won't complain, but will also add that there is a fat chance I will be in any mall that late or early in the morning. The TV commercials for Ramadan been in full swing, where they show us how Vimto, Pepsi, Rabee3 juice, etc are must have Staples of the holy month. If you go to the grocery store you see families with carts (yes cartS) full of food, cases of Vimto, Tons of Flour, Quaker, Jareesh, Harees, and all the goodies needed to be consumed from Maghreb to Fajr. The funny thing is, I have noticed that most people eat MORE during this month then usual, and thats kind of the opposite of the meaning of Ramadan.
The Ramadan TV series have gotten to an ultimate high, there are about 150 Arabic Ramadhan series showing; from Egyptian, to Syrian, Kuwaiti, to Saudi and all of those other countries I didn't mention. The at times annoying yet oh So funny Tash ma Tash is back on. Many of the tv series are running at the same time Tarawee7 prayers are taking place, so yet again, a new tradition that is taking away from what Ramadan truly is supposed to be. I would like to admit that I am one of those sorry folks that does indulge in about 2 series during teh Ramadan month.
Anyway, all in all, I feel that Ramadan has lost whats its supposed to be about, but I do hope that people attempt to keep it simple, and try to return to the true meaning of the month. Eat in moderation, pray and remember to worship Allah, and I will add to shop in moderation, as it truly is ridiculous to buy a brand new wardrobe for the occassion...
Good Night to all, and I pray that you are all doing well in this holy month ... <3
The best werg 3neb I have ever tasted was made by an American married to a Saudi, so after we connected on facebook years later, it was a recipe I NEEDED to have... I got, and I finally made it 2 days ago... here is the recipe <3
Grape Leaves (1 Jar)
1 jar of grape leaves (I prefer Orlando), drained, washed, and small stem removed
Oil1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 handful of parsley, chopped
2 maggi cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 cups of Egyptian rice, washed
1 tea cup lemon juice
1 tea cup olive oil
1 medium potato, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, sliced
1 tea cup lemon juice
1 tea cup olive oil
Method: Cook the onion until soft. Add the tomato and cook until soft. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook over low heat until the liquid has been absorbed.
Line the bottom of the cooking pot with the potato, tomato and onion slices (you can use only one of the items (potato, tomato or onions) or two or three as you like to protect the grape leaves from sticking and giving the grape leaves better flavor).
Roll the grape leaves and place snuggly next to each other in layers in the pot.
After you have finished rolling, sprinkle some salt, pour the 1 teacup of lemon juice and 1 tea cup of olive oil on top and place a heavy oven-proof dish on top to hold it down. Pour water on this just to cover the plate.
I cooked them in a pressure cooker for 12 minutes and then let them stand inside without opening the pot for 1/2 an hour. If you cook them in a regular pot, you need to bring the water to a boil and then simmer on low for about an hour and leave them in the pot for another hour after the stove has been shut off.
Firstly I would like to wish everyone a Blessed Ramadan, I pray that all your good deeds are counted as we refrain from the bad. May Allah bless you and your family with the best of health and iman during this wonderful month <3
When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you... She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.
Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce... I raised the topic calmly.
She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?
I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chop sticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Dew. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!
With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company...
She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.
The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Dew.
When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.
In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce.
She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.
This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.
She requested that everyday for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door every morning. I thought she was going crazy... Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.
I told Dew about my wife's divorce conditions... She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully...
My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mummy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.
On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time... I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.
On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.
On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Dew about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.
She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, "all my dresses have grown bigger…” I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.
Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.
Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mum out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.
But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.
I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind.... I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I do not want the divorce anymore.
She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other any more. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death does apart.
Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.
At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The sales girl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.
That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I ran up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead....... I cried and cried uncontrollably and carried her for the last time from the room to the hall with tears streaming down my face and gazing at my only son, his tears rolling from his eyes, they made me cry even more. I had lost my love, my wife and a loving and caring mother and nothing I could do now to put the clock backward... I had all the time now to look at her motionless body in detail but I knew it was going to be only for a short while until she made her last journey to the Lord..... I held my son and wept again and again thinking of all the things I did not do for her when she was still alive....... & placed gently the flowers in her hands with my tears trickling on them....... she was gone forever, all my tears would not bring her back .
The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!
If you don't share this, nothing will happen to you. If you do, you might just save a marriage.
To those who are married… Not married... and soon to be married
THE TIME IS ALWAYS RIGHT TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT
Moral of the story is to value all the things we possess, once they are gone we have nothing but regrets!
Don't you think the weekend would be better if we had it on Friday and Saturday, instead of the Thursday Friday combo one we have now? There are many plus points to having the former as our official weekend.
We can visit the whole Market issue, as it is important. The fact that we are the only market open on Saturday where the rest of the Gulf have their weekends on Friday/Saturday is beyond me. We are losing an entire day of Thursday in the market, whilst the rest of the GCC are working to make their money matter :) we are at home sleeping!
Another reason is that people would really love Friday much more if the weekend was Friday/Saturday. How many people dread Friday? Friday nights? Friday is our holy day, and for people to hate it because it signifies the end of their weekend should be changed. Lets have Friday as the much loved FIRST day of the weekend, and Saturday to be the dreaded day :)
Anyway, that was my two cents.. and good night to all :)
I find that Saudi youth are sometimes put somewhere between a rock and a hard place. They are expected to follow certain rules that they do not even understand. They are inundated by rules, laws and regulations that truly take away from being young. I have always found that the kids here are either the most immature or the most mature people i have ever met. As someone who has grown up in countries with much more freedom then Saudi Arabia, I must say that I truly am saddened by the lack of places youth here have to actually go to.
Yesterday I went to Kingdom Mall for some retail therapy. My husband dropped me off at the basement parking entrance. When I went in, I saw these 3 boys desperately trying to enter the mall by attempting to persuade the security guard that they had female family inside waiting for them. When one of the boys saw me and my kids at the elevator he came up to me and said ' I am with you right? Can you please let me enter with you'. I was kind of at a loss for words, I was having a struggle within me, a part of me felt sorry for these boys and wanted to let them in with me, another part of me knew that they would probably enter and harass the girls inside (sadly.. when they don't know better.. that's all they think of). I politely declined, but still felt bad. I must admit that I have on many occasions done this for some poor guys, but at this time I really wasn't comfortable with it. Anyway, one of the head security guys comes to me, and asks me if I knew that boy. I told him that I didn't. He then starts cursing the boys, saying that they were disrespectful, and how dare they talk to a respectable women with her kids. He then grabbed his walky talky and started shouting some numbers into it. All the time, I was trying to tell the guy that these boys were young, and as I have brothers of my own, I had no issue with them, and rather felt sorry that they have no place to. I was ignored, and I believe he was trying to get the Hai'a in, but the boys were smart and left as fast as their feet could take them to their cars.
Now my issue here is that boys here really have nothing to do. They can't go to a mall and shop without being given the 3rd degree. Many parks are deemed family only, as are many of the theme parks scattered throughout the country. There are obviously no movie theatres for anyone to enjoy. So what do they do? they flood the streets and drive around all day. They have made their pass times driving around in the most dangerous of manners. The moment they actually come into contact with a person of the opposite sex, they really don't know how to handle themselves. They learn from their peers the art of being truly annoying, and have a complete lack of respect for women. The funny thing is, I don't blame these boys, I blame the society that hasn't taught them better. One may argue that these things should be taught at home, but lets face it here, no matter what you teach your child, they will always most probably act a different way when away from you. SO if our society taught them how to properly act around other people, rather then just telling them that everything is wrong, the society would have been better off.
I know this is kind of not where my blog post was supposed to head, but I can't help it. I have been hearing about many Saudi Atheists as of late. And I just wanted to say that once again I blame the society that has not taught them better. From the day we are born we are taught what to do, what to think, and who we should be, no questions really asked. We are told to blindly follow the culture (not religion), and many have come to think of them as the same. In Saudi culture has become religion, and many cultural actions have demoralised individual Saudi's and has forced them to completely give up on faith (May Allah guide them). Wouldn't it have been better if we were taught the difference of what is Culture and what is religion? Many of the posts I have read from Atheists go along these lines; some girls have argues that Islam (actually its Saudi culture) does not give women rights, they believe that as women we are deemed no body and for that reason have chosen to give up on Islam all together. I truly believe that if these people were REALLY taught Islam, and saw Islamic actions being practised they would have known better; but alas even our religious police- whom are supposed to be the pillars of what is Islam in society have adapted to culture more then religion.
Anyway, that has been on my mind for a couple of days and I thought i would just go through it here.
It's about time this has been made clear, after many nonsense fatwas [think breasfeeding your driver] that have been coming out; it is truly welcome news that there will be some sort of regulation on what is accepted as a 'real' fatwa. Let's hope that people actually follow this and won't continue to issue fatwas left right and center because they think they can.
By MOHD HUMAIDAN
Published: Aug 2, 2010 23:44 Updated: Aug 2, 2010 23:44
JEDDAH: Islamic scholars intending to publish religious edicts (fatwas) on contemporary issues have been told to contact experts at the Ministry of Islamic Affairs or Dar Al-Ifta (the Saudi fatwa authority) before approaching the media.
Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh, who gave the instruction, pointed out that many of fatwas issued by individuals recently lack balance. "They should not publish fatwas except after consulting with other experts," he told the scholars.
The minister also advised members of the public to receive religious edicts from authentic sources, which is the Presidency for Scholastic Research and Religious Edicts (Dar Al-Ifta) headed by Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh.
He said he had noticed that some scholars were issuing fatwas on silly issues. "This will give a bad impression about the Kingdom being an Islamic state. We have so many other important issues to deal with. We have to confront terrorism and the move to link Islam and its Prophet (peace be upon him) with terrorism," he said.
Asked about a recent fatwa that permits music, the minister said: "It's a personal matter and it will be better for a person to take the other opinion."
Al-Asheikh underscored Saudi Arabia's success in combating terrorism and its efforts to change the mindset of militants through counseling. Foreign leaders and officials have appreciated these efforts.
Asked about regulating the collection of donations during Ramadan, Al-Asheikh said: "We have given instructions to all mosques not to receive donations in cash." The ministry has urged authorities of mosques that are built not facing the Qibla to make required changes as quickly as possible.
The Tweets have been circulating all yesterday, my facebook has been inundated by Blackberry talk. Whats the deal? Well, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, have once again decided to block key blackberry services. I am really not too concerned as my Blackberry/Iphone resulted in the Iphone winning :)
Many people are angered by the decision while others are welcoming it for several reasons. As one of my facebook friends have so candidly stated; " I'm sorry guys, and don't get angry, but I'm so sick and tired of the Blackberry! You can't see a person walking around without one and his/her eyes glued to it 24/7! What a waste of time! " .
I have personally been in with a Doctor who was BBming while I was in there with them, and have sat with many people that have had their hands and eyes GLUED to their BBM. I will admit, I Oh so desperately wanted to join the Blackberry craze, but at the time didn't find a phone that was visually appealing, I mean come on, the Iphone does look Oh So SHexyyy :)
What do you think about this decision? Do you thinks its an infringement of privacy? Are these governments trying to desperately keep tabs on everything we do? Are there other reasons for this decision? Could it be due to safety? A means to easy 'Dating', and cyber mingling of the sexes?To curb terrorism in the region? Could it be an Apple conspiracy to have more Iphone 4s sold in the region (j/k) or as someone tweeted last night, is this going to be the road to start the iChat instead of the BBM? :)
Here is one of the many articles world wide that have jumped on this News worthy decision...
UAE And Saudi Arabia To Block BlackBerry Services
02 August, 2010, by ITProPortal Staff
BlackBerry users have been barred from accessing a number of services in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, The Telegraph has reported.
The ban, commencing 11 October, will prevent users from e-mail, internet browsing and instant messaging services on the smartphone, manufactured by Research In Motion (RIM), citing national security concerns.
The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of the UAE has stated: "Today's decision is based on the fact that, in their current form, certain BlackBerry services allow users to act without any legal accountability, causing judicial, social and national security concerns for the UAE."
Activists across the region have blamed regulating authorities of forcing censorship on using phones, following the censoring of a number of websites.