Sunday, May 23, 2010

Just A Mom?

I recieved this in a email and I think it states PERFECTLY exactly what being a mother is ! Enjoy !


A woman, renewing her driver's license at the  County   Clerk  's office, was asked by the woman recorder to state her occupation.

She hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

"What I mean is," explained the recorder, "Do you have a job or are you just a ....?" 

"Of course I have a job," snapped the woman.

"I'm a Mom."

"We don't list 'Mom' as an occupation, 'Housewife' covers it, said the recorder emphatically.

I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Town Hall.  The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high sounding title like, "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

"What is your occupation?" she probed.

What made me say it? I do not know the words simply popped out.  "I'm aResearch Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair and looked up as though she had not heard right.

I repeated the title slowly emphasizing the most significant words.  Then I stared with wonder as my pronouncement was written, in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

"Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"

Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research, (what mother doesn't) In the laboratory and in the field, (normally I would have said indoors and out).  I'm working for my Masters, (first the Lord and then the whole family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities, (any mother care to disagree?) and I often work 14 hours a day, (24 is more like it).  But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are more of a satisfaction rather than just money."

There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

As I drove into our driveway, buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3.  Upstairs I could hear our new experimental model, (a 6 month old baby) in the child development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.  I felt I had scored a beat on bureaucracy!  And I had gone on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another Mom."

What a glorious career!  Especially when there's a title on the door

Does this make 
grandmothers "Senior Research associates in the field of Child Development and Human Relations"
great grandmothers "Executive Senior Research Associates?"  I think so!!!
I also think it makes 
Aunts "Associate Research Assistants."

Pray-In's Against Segregation Of The Sexes

The below is a reprint from the Washington Post Newspaper article on "Mosque Pray In's" , by writers 
William Wan and Michael Laris . The subject is about American Muslim women protesting being segregated in moques for prayers . It presents a interesting veiw that I hear many times here in Libya by women that would either love to go pray in the mosque and are prevented by coustom , or find there isn't room set aside for them to use as prayer rooms , or would just rather praye with the main congregations , at the back of the room behind the men . What do you think about this ?

Mosque pray-ins against segregation of sexes are springing up
By William Wan and Michael Laris
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, May 22, 2010; B01

Last Saturday, five women took off their shoes and walked across the padded carpet at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque, one of the Washington region's largest Islamic centers.
For weeks, they had planned for this moment, to stand behind the men in the main prayer hall of the Falls Church mosque as an act of protest. Usually, women at the mosque pray in segregated spaces away from the men, but these women, who came from outside the Dar al-Hijrah community, wanted to make a point.
It was the third time this year that the women had staged a protest at a Washington area mosque, and, as before, the conflict began almost immediately. By the end, angry words would be exchanged, the police called.
Such "pray-in" protests have sprung up in Muslim communities across the country in the past decade as women's rights advocates and feminist Muslims have agitated for more shared spaces in mosques. One of the women at the Dar Al-Hijrah event, author Asra Nomani, was even featured in a 2009 film documenting her protest at a mosque in Morgantown, W.Va.
The activists have compared their efforts to the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, but those who oppose them say the issue is not that simple. At mosques where such protests have taken place, for example, the longtime female attendees often are happy with the arrangement because praying in a segregated space allows them privacy and modesty. It is only protesters barging in from outside their communities who clamor for change, they say. The goal of protesters has also changed from city to city, with some trying to pray behind the men in the prayer hall, others wanting to pray side-by-side.
Such nuances were lost at Dar al-Hijrah as the clash between the protesters and the mosque's leaders eventually devolved into a heated argument.
When the women entered for the 5:10 p.m. prayer, scores of men were already lined up in long rows beneath a domed skylight facing Imam Shaker Elsayed, the leader of the Fairfax County mosque. The mosque's regular attendees told the women that they belonged upstairs on the balcony, behind a glass barrier, where women usually pray.
But Elsayed, recognizing the women from a community debate weeks earlier, instructed the men to stand down. "We have a group of sisters who want to make a point," he said. Elsayed welcomed the women to remain but asked them to stand at the very back of the room. He believes it is immodest for women to prostrate themselves before Allah in full view of men standing or walking behind them.
But protester Fatima Thompson challenged Elsayed. "Your interpretation of that Sunnah is incorrect," she called out, referring to a guide to Islamic practice. The two continued sparring over sacred texts until Elsayed pulled back. "This is no time for argumentation. Let us go for the prayer," he told the room, but added this declaration: "This is your last visit to this place, Fatima. This is your last visit to this place." He later worked with police on paperwork to ban their return.

Protests in D.C., too
Thompson, of Owings Mills, said the idea for the protests came after she was directed behind a tall barrier this year at the Islamic Center of Washington and felt cut off from the life of the congregation. In February and March, the group staged protests at the District mosque and was told the protests were not welcome.
"I don't understand why they cannot just talk," said Fatima Goodwin, an administrator at the Islamic Center of Washington. "They don't even pray here regularly, and they come in here to tell us what to do. Anybody is welcome to pray with us, but they have to respect our rules and tradition."
"The sisters are not helping us," said a regular female attendee at Dar al-Hijrah who declined to give her name because she did not want to be publicly involved in the debate. "It's better we have our own room upstairs, our own freedom, you know what I mean?"
The protesters normally worship at other local mosques -- the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, Dar us-Salaam in College Park and Dar al-Taqwa in Ellicott City -- which also segregate women from men for prayer.
Thompson said she went on a mission in February to "probe" Dar al-Hijrah as a protest target. She had a hidden digital recorder and asked women there about their views on being segregated to a balcony. She said she did not tell them that she was recording their comments.
"They pretty much were like: 'This is the way it is. We'll keep going with it,' " Thompson said. She talked to about a dozen women. Some were "actively" pro-segregation, Thompson said. "None of them said it should change," she said. But the group thinks such women have been brainwashed to some degree to accept a subservient or inferior position.
These conflicting views, Muslim leaders say, result from the interplay between Muslim tradition and American values.
"As the Muslim community in America has developed over the years, it's organized itself on the democratic basis of this country," said Sayyid Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America.
Mosques now pick a governing board through elections, he said, and mosque leadership increasingly includes women from the community. The president of ISNA is a woman, Syeed said. "The democratization of our community is one of our biggest achievements in America, but because of that, you now see communities heading in different directions with different trends."
And there are conflicting values and allegiances even among the protest organizers. Many belong to a larger group called Muslims for Progressive Values but recently decided to keep the women in the mosque movement separate from the progressive Muslim group, which includes gay Muslims, lest they alienate people who may not support one cause or the other.
Questionable results
At the protest last Saturday, there was a tense scuffle when three men approached a protester videotaping the scene. After the prayers, a member of the mosque called Fairfax police, who asked the women to leave.
How much such protests accomplish is hard to measure. Female activists in other cities say it has led to more women-friendly mosques. In some cities like-minded women and Muslims have established services of their own in which they can worship however they want. Critics, however, say that the Muslim community has been moving to address such issues and that the women are picking fights for theater and are more interested in conflict than dialogue.
"People keep saying, why can't you do it in a civil way?" Thompson said. "But as long as they're comfortable, they're not going to do anything. Because of what we're doing, you can be sure it's being discussed in the community. We want them to wonder if we'll go to their mosque next, if what they're doing is right or wrong. I already have a mosque in mind for our next pray-in. We're not going to stop."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's Here !

It's here ! It's here ! It's here !!!! My package from my sister in the US finally arrived in Tagura . Well , not the actual package but a card from the central main post office in downtown Tripoli .They notified my local post office , where we have a post office box  here in Tagura , that my package was ready for me to come and  pick it up from the central post office where they handle all international mail .

The box arrived in Tripoli on April the 27th , exactly as the US postal service said it would , but it took an addition length of time for it to clear customs and immigration , I suppose, once it arrived in Tripoli .

Once again , since this is our 2nd package from the US , we were treated with respect , everyone was quite helpful toward Moe and I. I think it took us all of 15 minutes to get the package , have the inspector open the box in front of us , for the very 1st time I might add ,and clear the package for us to pay the import tax or what ever it is called , and leave the post office .They even carried it out to the car for us , since Moe and I each use canes to walk with .So impressive . 

I asked about my mailing a package to the US and was told I could  mail a package up to the weight of 20 kilos ,not bad . As to the price of such a package , we didn't get into , but the man gave us his number for future help .I am writing all these details just in case some one out there is interested ,lol .

It was like having Christmas and Ramadan all rolled into one at once ! My sister and her family sent me all kinds of goodies that can't be found here yet , such as certain spices I like , instant sauces, and special mixes for special dishes that we haven't had in year.I have half of Ramadan's dinner menu planned now , lol ! 

She also sent me copies from the Houston newspaper of the supermarkets food sales from the week she mailed the box . I go on line once in a while to check these things out so I can stay abreast of prices . That way when my daughters talk of food prices , I understand better what they are talking about .It was so cool to hold an actual newspaper in my hands !

She sent along the activities section as well , you know the part that tells of current events in the community like fairs or festivals . By the time I finished reading that aloud to Moe , we were both exhausted from all that fun we had going to all the festivals , fairs, and party's !!We were reminded of all the little cities and towns in and around the Houston area .So much free fun , or almost free fun happening all over the place !One fair even had belly dancers and free camel rides . Now ,how can you turn that down ? I mean , really, a camel ride ? How many of you have ever been on a camel? 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I Closed My Eyes

Today on the way to the doctors office we stopped beside a small park that was being watered .The  water sprinklers were making that sh-sh-sh-sh-sh sound as they rotated lazily back and forth spraying liquid diamonds into the air before they landed upon the sparkling emerald grass . The breeze filtered through the watery mist cooling us , smelling like fresh cut water melons . I closed my eyes and dreamed of  a green garden filled with flowers. The scents of the flowers wafting around my head as I listened to a water fountain laughing in the distance.

Painting by : L.C.Neil, " ZIN"

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Random Thoughts For The Day

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It is strawberry season here in  Libya . I have bought tons of them .They are so good ! Deep red , sweet and juicy , tasty all alone . Some times I mix them in with our breakfast yogurt . Sometimes on top of cake with a hugh dollop of whipped cream crowning the treat .They are so high in vitamin C . One of the highest counts of vitamin C in a natural food , other than hot green peppers some one once told me .

When I was preganat with my oldest daughter I was forced to eat them for their vitamin C content.My youngest daughter , when very little, wouldn't eat anything unless we told her it was a strawberry . As a young child,I would spend my summers visiting a aunt who's husband would plant an entire acre of land  consisting only of strawberry's . I would go sit in the middle of the field and eat them to my hearts content . When called to come in to wash up , she would find my hands and face , along with my clothes, stained bright red .Now that was heaven!

 Painting by Jacqueline Gnott : Strawberry


Monday, May 10, 2010

History In A Quilt

The above are some of the very fine examples of hand made quilts that were displayed or entered in contest for the Best Quilt at the Houston Rodeo and Livestock Show back in Febuary of this year . In some families , a hand made quilt will be passed down through several generations . They are made with love and great care . Some are so intricate , that they may take years to plan , plot the patterns, and the sew .

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day Wishes

Here is a wish for all mothers of the world:

May all your days be filled with laughter by those you love.

May your children learn to recognize the sacrifices you made for them and appreciate you more .

May they come to respect your wisdom by listening to your advise from time to time .

May they share your company with a glade heart .

May they communicate with you openly with out embarrassment .

May they come to accept you did the best you knew how while raising them.

May they love you  forever .

Painting by :K. Madison More , entitled " Mom and Me and Klimt ".

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Epitome Of Male Arrogance

I received this letter from my freind Om Taziri , on her travels from Libya to the U.S.A. Her observations from her plane window . Thought you might like it too .

The plane started down the runway and I was thinking, "Wow! I'm really going!" The plane flew over the Tarhouna Platou and that was thrilling of course. Then we flew over Sicily and had a birds eye view of the mountains, villages, and the cliffs of the coast. Then we flew over the Alps and through a break in the clouds I could see their snow covered peaks. Amazing sights all. However, the thing that really rocked my boat was this---my plane having landed in Frankfort, was taxiing to the terminal and as we made a right turn I saw an animal nonchalantly crossing the runway. From a distance it looked to be the size of a cat, but I knew that distance and my perspective from a height must be deceptive. Which indeed it was. The animal which had caught my attention was none other than a fox who with all the arrogance of a MALE, trotted across the path of an oncoming giant bird and into the grassy verge of the runway where he stopped to spray his male essence!!!! I couldn't help laughing out loud at the sight and how it made me think that this was the epitome of Male Arrogance in a nutshell.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Why remember May 4, 1970?

 May 4 , 1970 ................................... May 4, 2010.......................

 What has changed ? Not much . We are fighting in countries that never sent their army's to fight in our countries. We have sent our armed forces,who are comprised of our children and grandchildren , to fight in their countries . Just as in Veit Nam 40 years ago, we are  fighting a war. This time on two fronts , Afghanistan and Iraq. Our kids , their kids, our lives , their lives, irrevocable changed forever by war.Too many lives lost ....forever. How is this possible ? Will it take another Kent State to stop the insanity ?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Don't Laugh At Me

Ok, promise you won't laugh at me ? It is 5 a.m. and I just heard a very strange clapping noise coming from behind my closet , maybe . We have the type of closets that are free standing and not built in, here in Libya .Behind mine runs the air conditioner cables from the outside unit to the inside unit that hangs on the wall in the hall.

Now you have the picture , here is what scared me .The clapping , it just isn't normal to hear clapping at 5 a.m. in the morning when everyone else is asleep and the neighborhood all quite .I recently had a conversation with my sometimes sane friend about the possession of people by Jinns and demons and it has freaked me out.So , when I heard that noise , I natural thought of that conversation , as one does .

Logic told me to go look behind the closet to see if there was anything going on back there.I psyched myself out to go look . All was good . Yeah ! Then it dawned on me it might be the outside unit that is making the noise . That meant I had to go look outside ... into the dark night .... where "things" live , scary monsters things.There could possibly be a vampire or two hanging out on the balcony  and if I go poking my head out there looking around in the dark .... well , I don't have to tell you all the gory details that went flying through my mind , do I ? The clapping still continues even as I write this. I stay seated in my chair , refusing to investagate  and become a victim to the "things " !

Tough Talk About Immigration

Ellen Keim is chief writer and editor at She writes on many different subjects and I find I agree with most of them .She recently wrote on the immigration situation in the States , prompted by the new immigration law passed by the Arizona state .What she says here in her post may not strike a harmonious cord with you, but it dose speak volumes . 

Imagine you come from an area in Mexico where hundreds of women have been murdered over the last couple of decades. Or that you live in a neighborhood where you have to worry about gunfire as you take your children to school. You want a better life for yourself and your children. You decide to emigrate to the U.S. But doing it legally could, and often does, take years. Your children are young now.
Personally, I think immigration policy in this country is, and always has been, too restrictive. We are a huge country, with plenty of room and resources to support many more people than now live here. We just don’t want to share. We don’t want to have to make accommodations. And we most certainly don’t want to take on the problems of other countries.
Well, guess what, folks? We’re going to be affected by world-wide events whether we like it or not. Take Arizona for instance. From what I’ve read, Arizona has good reason to fear the violence coming over its borders from the south. But is the answer to stop any suspicious person on the street, demand identification and possibly arrest them? All we can do is deport them. What does that solve?
We need to work harder to forge alliances with the countries we interact with so that we can aid them in their efforts to better their situations. Instead, we stick our noses in their business, stir things up and then refuse their people access to our country when they find life untenable in their own.
Take Iraq for instance. I’m against the war, and always have been. But even if I were behind it, I would still feel that we need to help those whose lives we’ve disrupted. Instead, we make it next to impossible for an Iraqi to emigrate to the U.S. Even those who have served as translators for the U.S., and are at risk from reprisals,  find it difficult to find refuge in America.
There are several issues related to immigration that we need to come to terms with:

  • Racial profiling, both here in the States and overseas. Our immigration policies favor certain ethnicities and nationalities. If we don’t like them, we don’t let them in. And once they’re here, we make them feel unwelcome.
  • Self-interest. We ask not what we can do for others, but what they can do for us. That’s the bottom line. And we consider ourselves a Christian nation.
  • Favoring the most fortunate. Instead of offering refuge to those who are most vulnerable, we leave women and children, for example,  in the lurch. Too bad for them.
  • Being influenced by fear-mongers. Those who whip up anti-immigrant sentiments usually do so with fear tactics. We never stop to ask ourselves if their tirades have any basis in fact.
  • Thinking that there is only one kind of acceptable ‘American.’ We all have this ideal in our minds of what makes a true American and if a prospective immigrant doesn’t fit the profile, we don’t want him or her.
  • Being selfish. We just don’t want to share even though we have more to offer than almost any other country in the world. Part of the problem is that we use more resources per capita than any other country in the world. We don’t know how to, or don’t want to, divvy up our resources.
  • Arrogance. We assume that everyone in the world would storm our borders if we had a more open immigration policy. Well, guess what? Not everyone wants to live in in the U.S., often for very good reasons. Contrary to popular belief, there are other quality places to live in the world.
I don’t propose to be an expert about immigration, and I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who would like to set me straight. I’m also sure that I would be labeled a “bleeding-heart liberal.” If that means that I think our country should put its resources where its values are, then I’m guilty as charged.

The News In English

Strange weather going on tonight here in Tagura . It was hot all day , then around sunset it turned coolish . After sunset the wind began to blow from the south and we were in the middle of a killer dust storm ! The wind would shift again to the north and we would have humid foggy smog with dust particles floating around in the air . Wait 5 minutes and it would be a raging dust storm again . Windows rattled and things were going bang in the night  outside . The Condo is full of bugs that have been blown in through the cracks in the doors and windows . Ugh !! Patches La Chat hide under the bed .It still can't make up it's mind what it wants to do .

Am waiting on a package from my sister in the States . They tracked it and it says the package arrived here in Tripoli on the 29th of April . I wonder how long it will take the Tripoli main post office to notify the Tagura post office it is here ? I can't wait to see what she sent to me . It will be like Christmas !!!I love surprises like this .

Friday our son and his family came over to spend the day with us . The boys have grown so much since the last time we saw them . We had so much fun with them all . My son went up in a helicopter for a ride sometime last week and told us all about the experience . I was giving him a hard time about it , because I have always wanted to go up in a helicopter or a hot air balloon for a ride , all my adult;t life , and he knows this . I told him he should have taken me with him. I never say stuff  like to him normally , but it just came flying out of my mouth this time , lol .

My daughter in law was teasing me about how it would be impossible for me to go up for a ride in a helicopter since I am so big ... her words not mine , lol , and that if I DID get to go in one , it would fall to the ground because of me being in it!Then ,to add insult to injury , she starts to laugh hysterically just thinking about me crashing !I told her I would take her picture and post it on my blog for all the world to see how much she loves me . For some reason , that made her laugh harder ! What to do with this girl , eh ????

I am determined to get my blog reading caught up, hopefully tonight . I said hopefully . It is after 2 a.m. , so am not too sure just how realistic that is , but I will try . I have missed reading about all of you and things that have happened to you in your daily lives . Like a piece of your family not talking to you . It is all my fault entirely .

Well , actually it is all MOE'S FAULT ! I am putting the blame all on him since he has started to demand more and more of my time recently .It is .... " Are you getting on the computer.... AGAIN???" I haven't been on in a week or so . Or a " can you take me here ?" Maybe a ," let's go for a ride !" Always something . I wish he would find a new group of friends to keep him busy now and then . I would love to have my time back again to myself ! I see lots of men hanging out on the street corners all over the place . I have even offered to drop him off to met them . He didn't think that was funny, at all . His brother called tonight and took him out for a while . That was so nice .Don't get me wrong .. I LOVE the man BUT ... we spend way too much time together ! I never thought I would say that !!!!

There has been a funeral in our condo units . A woman died last week end of a heart attack . She didn't complain until it was too late to help her . She died just as her husband drove up to the heart hospital here in Tagura .The week before that , a older woman dies in her sleep . She lived down the street from us. A stroke they said .Hum , do you see a pattern forming  here ? I think we need to move ! The sooner the better .LOL !

  The picture above is of the main mosque in downtown Tagura about 90 years ago .Fogot the name of it .It was built by the Turks when they were here in Libya .

Well , I guess that is all my news in English for now ... take care !

Granny's Boys

Haroun 3 years old .

Yousef 7 months old .

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