Jun 23, 2012

A mothers respect?


A man came to the Prophet and said, ‘O Messenger of God! Who among the people is the most worthy of my good companionship? The Prophet said: Your mother. The man said, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man further asked, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your mother. The man asked again, ‘Then who?' The Prophet said: Then your father. (Bukhari, Muslim). 

Source: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-B3ErB7mcGwo/TmpAsLUdShI/AAAAAAAACZQ/cwQ5yqpmCpc/s1600/mom.jpeg
This is a well known Hadeeth in Islam. And goes to show how Islam teaches us a mothers worth. The mother. The mother. The mother. And then the father. That is overwhelmingly powerful in my eyes. My question is, why is it that Saudi society does not hold mothers in such high esteem. Yes, I will agree from the get go, that it is not the case in every household. But I find that many sons, do not respect their mother on the same level they respect their own father. The mother that carried them into term. The mother that was there for them for every scratch, and every sad and happy moment. Yet once that boy becomes of age, he is suddenly more powerful then his own mother. He is in charge of what she does. He has the power to control where she goes, and what she does. If the father has passed on. This mother must request permission to travel from the very son she gave birth to.  I have found that sadly in this country, many boys (I shall not call them men) feel they have power over their mother. I can not count how many times a mother has had to beg her son to take her somewhere, and seeing that at that age a boy eyes are only filled with friends, he puts her on the back burner. That very mother that would end her life for her child, is not worthy of her sons respect. Why? because this society has taught him that. No matter how many hadeeths show the power of the mother, the society has stripped it all away. You will notice when a father comes into a room here, the children will stand up and kiss their father on the head, yet the mother will come in and nothing is done for her. This came to me today, and I hope that I can teach my sons better. I pray that my sons will respect me for what I am, not what this society teaches them. I hope that perhaps I will not be stuck begging my sons to drive me around, as hopefully the practice of gender selected driving will be over.

May 20, 2012

Fight like a GIRL: Saudi WOMEN took on Mount Everest!

A few years ago my family received bad news, my Saudi maternal Grandmother was found to have stage 3 breast cancer. It had spread in her left breast and her lymph nodes. Il7amdlilah it was caught in time. My grandmother had a mastectomy of her left breast. She went through Chemotherapy, Radiation, lost her hair.. had her ups and downs... but she SURVIVED under the grace of Allah.  She is now Cancer Free, and is doing great il7amdlilah.At this very moment my very own mother is having a mammogram done to test herself... I pray the results will be negative enshallah <3



YES THEY CAN!


Alya Al-Sa'ad
Hatun Madani
Mona Shahab
Noura Bouzo
Lina Al Maeena
Samaher Mously
Asma Al-Ghalib
Mashael AlHegelan
Hasna’a Mokhtar
Raha Moharrak 
HRH Princess Reema Bint Bandar Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud  
      

On the Eve of May 6/7th these 11 Exceptional, and amazing SAUDI WOMEN began their life changing journey. Their journey would take 2 weeks, and they have climbed to the top of Mount Everest for Breast Cancer Awareness. These 11 women went against all odds, and showed the world that being a Saudi and a women does not mean you can not achieve great things. You ladies were heard loud and clear.. My thanks to you all for the wonderful achievement you made for this beautiful country we all call home <3

The Facebook Page for these amazing ladies is A Woman's Journey - Destination Mount Everest

Zahra Breast Cancer Association


You can show them your support on that page.. once again.. BRAVO ya benat! We are all so very proud of your amazing achievement.. and YES WE CAN!!!!




All the pictures are from the Facebook Page linked above!


Mar 29, 2012

Complete and Utter Randomness




Life is quite complicated
I hate to see people hurt
I love rain
I kind of miss being unknown
Growing up the majority of my friends have always been male
I have trust issues
I have serious trust issues
Even if I say I don't care.. deep down I really do
I like seeing people happy
I am wondering why my son has not woken up for his feed yet... hmm.. I should probably not over thing it.
I hate being blamed for something I did not do
I hate people thinking wrongly of me, and being unable to defend myself
I hate having nothing good to watch
I miss my friends... my best friends
I miss being able to talk to them without feeling judged
I miss Kuwait
I miss Toronto
I miss So-Cal
I miss AD
I need a good cup of coffee
I miss Tim Hortons
I want to go watch a movie, with a huge bucket of popcorn
I want to laugh so hard I nearly pee
I want to cry till I have no tears left
I want to walk down the street and just give a stranger a big smile without them thinking I want to be followed
I miss my mom... I truly do
Lately I have been feeling like I am drowning
I have to clean, but don't feel like doing a thing
I hate my phone... Wish I could just get rid of it and be unreachable
I hate feeling like I need to chose
I wish I could eat whatever the hell I wanted and not worry about gaining yet another butt!
I wish I could live by the beach
I wish I completed more from my bucket list
I want to travel
I need to travel
I miss my grandmother
I hate it when people swear 24/7
I need to appreciate the good I have in my life
I want to buy new books even though I already have dozens of boxes of books i Have yet to read
I refuse to get rid of any of my books even though I have no where to put them
I wish I had space for my own private library

I love Amazon
I love my kids
I love my family


Good night.



Mar 18, 2012

Safety First: Safety Caps for Medication

the one in the middle is the Panadol one... safety cap= CHECK :D

I have always wondered why medicines here did not have a safety cap. It just does not make sense. Why would a medicine meant for kids not have it? For the love of God, Vitamins back home have it. Thank God, I never had a problem with it, as I always keep it high and away from the kids, UNTIL a few weeks ago, when all 3 of my kids were sick I was giving them their medication.  I left it on the counter (cover closed) while I took my youngest to his crib. When I came back I found my older son, sitting on the kitchen counter, drinking the medicine! Thank God I caught him before he had too much, but it scared me, if I did not come down at that time, he could have easily chugged down the entire bottle :( Scary! And my anger about the lack of safety lids came back to me in full force (Yes... I was also pissed off at myself). Why would you not have a safety cover on ALL medication? How hard can it be to follow some sort of common sense?

I calmed down since then, and I was happy to notice that there is the Panadol Baby and infant  that actually had a safety cap! Thank you!!! Fevadol, Tempra ... YOU NEED TO GET ON BOARD WITH CHILD SAFETY!!! I will make it a point from now on to only buy medication with a safety lid (when possible)... I suggest you all do the same <3




ll
Mar 12, 2012

I am luckier then I thought...

I have been doing a great job complaining about how things are her for me in Riyadh. But something dawned upon me.. I am LUCKIER then many of the other Saudi wives. They leave their entire families behind. Life here alone with their new family (husband and his family). If they want anyone from their family to visit, they must obtain visit visa's for them. Life for me may be hard, but it is harder for those ladies who came here with absolutely no one in their family or their lives to see here. I am lucky, I have my mothers entire family here. I have cousins who will pop in on me when they travel here from the Eastern Province.  If I need my mom, she can come and stay with me without limitations... she does not have to worry about a visit visa expiring, and can remain by my side for as long as I want. So though this post is a very short one... it is a reminder to myself that I should thank God everyday. I may not have people here in Riyadh with me, The familiar faces I grew up with may not be here, but I do have more access to my family members then most of the wives of Saudi's here.

Done.. now I need to go back and continue cleaning.. :)


Ciao


..
Mar 9, 2012

Reminder to the Future wives..

"I miss my 23 year old self. When I still felt the world was mine to conquer.. when I still believed I could make a change. When I still had this thirst for perfection. I still don't know what changed me. Was it my years of mental suppression here? Or was it me just growing up and finding reality?"

That was my Facebook status today. I have been thinking a lot of what I wanted to accomplish when I was younger. I had so many goals. I was very out spoken. Knew what was going on around the world... was part of debates.. discussions.. and yes even protests (I studied Political Science and Sociology @ Uni)... I was at the forefront of many causes, and was very vocal about what I believed in. When I came here, things changed. I was taken out of my element, and taken to a society where things were not as open. People generally did not discuss their OWN views on politics. Those who do discuss politics, usually do in the privacy of own home. So as the years went on, I grew more detached from my ideas, I am still very passionate about what I believe in, but I am no longer the leader I wanted to become. Sometimes I look at the younger generation through eyes of hope, hoping that society allows them to be themselves, instead of conforming to what society thinks they should.   I will admit that I was never a feminist, as I felt many of the issues went above and beyond what I thought was important. But here in Saudi, things changed.. my rosy coloured glasses were taken off, and reality hit me- things were different now. When I was sitting with other females, the discussions went from shopping excursions in different countries, to the latest must have hand bag, the latest music video(Yes you will even find older ladies passionately talking about such trivial matters), or the latest vacation they went to and the things they bought while there. I constantly found myself leaning towards and listening in on the 'Mens' discussions, and found myself joining them and completely leaving the prior group.

Anyway.. at the end of the day... if I can give one piece of advise to any of the wives that will be coming here to Saudi. Be yourself, do not lose your identity. Please keep your brain working, do not allow society to drain you. Life here is great, but you can always enhance the experience here by NOT losing yourself. Whatever your passion is, do not eave it behind in your home country. Things are drastically different now, but remembering to bring your WHOLE self on that plane here, will allow you to life your life to the fullest. And remember, if you converted/reverted to Islam, it does not mean you need to change who you are... it simply means trying to become a better version of who you already are. Do NOT lose yourself!

PS- Don't get me wrong, I love traveling and I love fashion... just need some intellectual conversations at times :)

Picture taken from a plane window a few years ago




..
Mar 8, 2012

10 things that make me Happy...

Leyla over at Blueabaya.blogspot.com has passed the baton over to me. The idea is to write about 10 things that make happy. I think it's a great idea, especially when one has lots of negative issues drowning them. So here it goes, here are 10 things that make me happy.

PS... adding pictures proved a little hard right now... so will just keep the 3 I added... and leave it at that :)



1) My Kids. No matter what mood I am in, they always make me feel warm inside. A feeling of joy (I will admit that joy can turn into anger at times... but this is a Happy post.. lol). I find myself sitting and watching my kids play with each other, and I love it. Sometimes I have to pinch myself, how in the world did I get lucky enough to have such wonderful and each with their own distinct personalities. I love them. I also love playing with them, and letting them lead me.. truly keeps me smiling. 







2) A Good gathering with good friends. These kind of things keep me happy for quite some time.

3) When my husband does something unexpectedly. We don't have as much time as we used to together, so the times we sit, chat, and laugh like old pals is something that makes me happy.



4) A good vacation out of the country is always game to make me happy. Where I can let loose, and be my old self for a bit.

5)Having breakfast outside. It is an amazing start to the day, and the sun keeps me energetic and happy the rest of the day.

6) Watering my garden. I know its a weird one, But the 30 minutes I take to water my garden keeps my spirits up.

7) Talking to my mom. Anytime I am down, just hearing my mothers voice gets me in higher spirits. I wish I had my family here with me, but for now, a phone call or a Skype chat keeps me extremely happy.

8) A good shopping spree. Yes this may sound like the typical materialistic thing to say. But it honestly keeps me elated. I love it. Finding those things that make me feel happy are important. And when I find the perfect outfit for my kids, I get a major high.

9) Working out. I notice that when I do workout, I am generally a happier person. The more active I am, the more fun I am to be around.

10) Getting an unexpected call from my old friends or family. Having a good laugh, and just revisiting the good old day.


Now I think I am supposed to tag 5 people, but I honestly don't know who to pass this on to. So whomever passes by and reads this, YOU are the winner :) You are the chosen one :) Now go on... let us know the 10 things that make you HAPPY.

PS: Noor.. I think I am finally gonna start the Tuesday 10 :)


ll
Mar 7, 2012

KSA- The Nation of Mirages....



When many people think of Saudi Arabia, what comes to mind is the lack of certain rights. Amongst the most vocal ones heard in most probably every country int he world is that in 2012, a person is not allowed to drive while woman. What does that mean? Simple, if you were born of the Female Sex, you will not be allowed to be behind the wheel. This i must admit has become one of the hardest things for me to accept and get used to while living here in Riyadh. Its been 8 years, and I still can't totally grasp the idea that simply because one was born as a female, she is NOT allowed to be behind the wheel. One may ask how can that happen? How in the world can a country in this day and age practice such blatant discrimination. When someone has that answer, please feel free to drop me a note. But I will warn you the following will not work on me...

  • I will not accept any religious arguments, as this has NOTHING to do with religion, 
  • I will not accept woman being incapable of being behind the wheel.
  • I will not accept the argument that some women who support the ban state that they feel more comfortable having a driver or a family member that chauffeurs her around, you can have that choice, let me make my own decision, and my own grown u choice to be behind the wheel or in the back seat. 
  • I also refuse to accept that statement that I as a women worry about such a trivial matter when there are wars going on in the world, my answer to that, give me your car keys, let me control your life, and we'll discuss trivial matters at that point in time.
  • Oh, and the oh so famous, the streets are not safe enough for woman. Well I have the answer for that one, let us replace all the men who can't drive with capable female drivers!
  • Oh, and I will ignore any arguments that a women is unpatriotic because she is not bowing down and accepting these rules. There is a difference between wanting a positive change for your country and being unpatriotic.


Yes, I am annoyed. And you want to know why? I will say it a million times over and over again, till this non law is officially swiped off the face of this earth. I want to control my life, I don't need to have a man from God knows where who has NEVER controlled a car hold the life of my children and I in their hands. I as a women, first drove a car at 15, and believe I have more rights to be behind the wheel then HALF the Men on the streets of this country. Not to mention the 12 year old boys who become chauffeurs for their mothers, simply because their adult mother is not 'Adult' enough to be trusted behind the wheel. It sickens me that I am 33 year old woman may be arrested for driving on any one of our busy Riyadh streets, when a 12 year old who obviously does not have a license would be completely ignored. I will admit I have had my bouts of rebellion, where I have taken my husbands car (without his knowledge) and simply driven around the block... such a small act felt a bit liberating!

As some of you may have heard, Saudi Arabia has now supposedly taken back their promise to allow female Olympians. Not sure why it is happening now? Was it a political stunt allowing them in the first place, for fear of being banned from the games completely? I don't get it. Funny thing is I don't even blame the government of Saudi Arabia for half these lame rules, I blame some of the misogynistic IDIOTS they rule! Some man who fears that he will become less of a man if he allows the females of the country to be treated like adults.

Yes, I know this is not a new post topic of mine, but I am growing more and more annoyed by this. I am getting more and more annoyed by how slow things are changing. Yes, the voting issue is a great one. But will I e a 60 year old before I am allowed to be behind the wheel of a car in this country? Will my daughter not be ale to become the best that she can be, because this country does a great job at holding females back?  Have they not seen how many Saudi women have left the country all together and have moved to neighboring Gulf states for the mere fact that they can actually live a normal life anywhere but the home they love? I know I have grown to love this country, and want to make it my final home, but things need to change. Serious REAL changes, not cosmetic ones, or ones that closely resemble a mirage...

Olympic outrage at Saudi ban on women athletes


Mar 6, 2012

My Month (OK 3 weeks so far) on Diet Watchers

For the last 3 weeks I have been eating food from a box. Whats that box you ask? It was from Diet watchers.

I found myself in a rut, and wanted to get out of it before it was too late, and I became one of those overweight mama's that have settled for the body she had. I wanted to become one of those moms people look at, and state' I can not believe you had 3 kids' :D. I knew I had not reached the point of no return yet, so I did a bit of research on the different programs 3 companies here in Riyadh have to offer. I chose Diet Watchers, as the replies to my twitter question "which diet company is the best? Diet Center, Diet World, or Diet Watchers' came back with positive reviews on this one.

I have tried some meals from Diet center and I will honestly say that I found the food rather bland. So after the Diet Center experience I didn't know what to expect. I will say from Day 1 that I was pleasantly surprised with the pretty decent, and often EXTREMELY delicious foods the box had to offer. I would like to add though that the Lunch Choices were by far the best. The Snacl was also nice. The breakfast and Lunch could have done with a little more choices.

In a matter of 10 days I was down about 3kg. I understand it was probably mainly water weight from my numerous washroom runs, that had me remembering my pregnancy days, but a 3kg weight loss on any scale had me veryy happy.

Here are a few of the dishes I had while on my diet plan. I have one week left, and will do my final weigh in at that point. I am seriously considering taking a one week break, and then resuming my diet watchers. We shall see. Here is a few of the meals I got while on my plan. Enjoy :)

PS- I was posting my daily meals on my facebook, and from the comments, people have been drooling over most of the dishes I had.





This is the box :)

Inside of the box...

































Parenting Workshop in Riyadh

Source: http://cornerstonecommunitychurch.giving.officelive.com/images/parenting%20graphic.gif



Hey there,

I think many people can agree that many of us Parents can find ourselves in a rut often. Not knowing what to do, often resorting to trial and error with parenting techniques. I do it all the time, and think it can be the best way to parent, but there are those times where you do not want to go through trial and error on several issues. I for one wish I took Marriage and Parenting courses, respectively before I was married, and before I had kids. I remember how many times I would just sit there and cry in my first year as a mom. And that was to a baby! Imagine the things parents go through as the kids get older. I often look back at all the things my very own mother had to go through parenting me and my siblings. We were a total of 5, and for most of our years, she was a single parent, doing it all on her own. Anyway, to get to the point, my daughter came home from school with a paper, when I read it, I smiled, and said FINALLY! In big bold letters as if it was written in GOLD on top of this wonderful piece of paper, was written Parenting Workshop, something both my husband and I have said we need. So yes, it will be held here in Riyadh, at Faisaliyah compound, and the details are bellow...

The program will be run by  M.Ed. Hend El Tanamly. SHe holds a Masters in Education in Family Education from the University of Minnesota, USA, and has been taught by some of the worlds most renowned experts in parenting and family education. She holds regular talks at the British International School Riyadh and gives occasional seminars at the American International School Riyadh.

The program will be held at Faisaliyah Compound, off Khalid Bin Walid St Near the Damam Highway.

The Topics are

Raising your Unique Child 1 On Wednesday March 14th, 2012 from 8-10pm
Raising your Unique Child 2 on Wednesday March 28th, 2012 from 8-10pm
Building Relationships that Matter on Wednesday April 25th, 2012 from 8-10pm
Behavior Management on Wednesday May 9th, 2012 from 8-10pm
Media and Our Kids on Wednesday May 23rd, 2012 from 8-10pm

A single workshop costs 100 SAR for a single person or 150 for a couple
If you register for the entire worshop, you pay
400 SAR per erson, or 600 SAR per couple.

You can get further information and contact Hend Tanamly on either her email- hend.tanamly@hotmail.com or the Facebook page Can Parenting be Fun? (M.Ed. Hend El Tanamly)

NOTE: I get absolutely nothing from this, and only posted it here for any parents in Riyadh that might be interested.


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