My lovely visitors :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

busy, lazy, crazy, dazy, all rolled into one!

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

  Hello to all of the blogger world  :)   How are all of you?  I hope that everything is going well with y'all inshallah  :)

  I know I have been MIA for a loooong time now and I have quite a bit of comments that I need to approve (some from months ago--I am sorry!)..I will get them all approved once I read them over inshallah and also when I have a chance to reply to them... I don't want to just approve it all and forget about them.

  Life takes a lot of turns sometimes and at first I started getting lazy about blogging and then I got pretty burned out over a bad situation (nothing that happened to me though) and then got busy with family, traveling, etc...  that kept me away from the blog world.

   Inshallah I will be back to blogging in a bit of time  :)


Friday, May 14, 2010

Pig Bristled toothbrush???

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

   wow it seems like a loooooooong time since I last blogged!  wierd how a week and a half of absence can seem so long after blogging pretty regularly!  I am back inshallah  :)

  I went to Arabian Center with my husband's niece today and was browsing around in a store named Daiso.  This is a store that I love going to and its a chain store from Japan that sells a bunch of things.  In Japan the stores are cheaper than they are over here in UAE... but I think that goes for a lot of different stores/brands over here.  

Anyhow, while looking at the toothbrushes I saw one thing that really concerned me (I can read Japanese--not fluently but enough) --the concerning part has a red square around it:

I was thinking to myself... "That word means pig hair!"  and it says its a new hybrid toothbrush with a mix of nylon bristles and pig hair bristles!!

Then I was thinking maybe I'm confusing the Kanji characters of "pig" with "cow" and turned it over to see if there was anything written in English, and it sure was there!!

I let the woman at the check-out know and she said she would tell the manager but she didn't sound concerned at all so I showed and explained it to the manager myself.  He said he would get them taken down right away and I reminded him to contact all the other Daiso branches in UAE and he said he would. 

The biggest problem is my husband's niece and I couldn't find any other of those toothbrushes so if that wasn't the only one originally in stock at that store, then people have already bought them and are using them!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

sorry I have been MIA for a while...

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

  I'm sorry I haven't make any new posts this week... just getting over a bad cold I caught while in KSA the week before...

  Inshallah I will feel up to posting and visiting others' blogs real soon!  

Twizzle  :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

In the Peace of Madinah

As-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

  I just returned back from the most amazing trip of my life Mashallah Alhamdulillah. We visited Madinah and then went for Umrah in Makkah. I will start with Madinah inshallah.

There is so much to tell but I will do my best to keep it short.

After arriving to our hotel, we whipped to our rooms in time to freshen up and make wudu for Magreb prayer. Then we headed down to pray in Masjid Al-Nabawi (Mosque of the Prophet) 

We stayed in Dar Al-Taqwa, which is right at the entrance to the masjid grounds, closest to the main women's entrance (near the men's entrance as well)

It was crowded and since my SIL and I had to take our MIL in a wheelchair, we ended up praying in the outdoor grounds, on the tiled floor. As prayer started I started feeling emotional and started tearing up. Then we went into sujood and the prayer rug was slipping and I had to use all my strength to keep the prayer rug from slipping away so I lost the emotions I was feeling LOL

All in all Madinah is peaceful and relaxing to be in Mashallah :)

One thing that would maybe surprise some is that I decided to not wear niqab over there – I started wearing niqab when I moved to UAE because of all of the staring I got. While in Madinah and Makkah, some men would stare but all in all the men behaved pretty well MashaAllah :)

The whole masjid, inside and out is beautiful Mashallah! I didn't know about this till I got there, but there is a place in the masjid named “Rawdah” which is from Prophet Muhammad's (salallahu aleyhi wa salaam) tomb to his pulpit and while the rugs in the masjid are red, the Rawdah area has green rugs--and it is a part of Jannah.

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: That which exists between my house and my pulpit is a garden from the gardens of Paradise, and my pulpit is upon my cistern.
Sahih Muslim, Book #7, Hadith #3206

To visit this place, there are certain specified times of the day that is for women only. The family thought it was only once a day (at least it was when they went before) but now it is open several times a day for women (though it could be because it was busy), Alhamdulillah. My SIL went first on her own and came back talking about how aggressive the Arab women are. She was pushed and shoved and while trying to pray she was elbowed by a woman and was in tears from the pain!

I am going to make my story short because it will get too long to tell everything—but I went on my own the next morning when I coulnd't get a hold of my MIL and SIL at the time we said we would go. They were separating the women in groups of Pakistanis, Arabs, and Indonesians and I got sent to the Arab group since I “spoke Arabic” which was only me telling the sister working there “ana Amreekiya” (I'm American) LOL

It was just crazy how aggressive and impatient some of the Arab sisters were being.They were complaining about the Indonesian group being ahead of us and when they saw a couple Arab sisters slip into the Indonesian group, they tried to force their way past the sisters working hard to keep the groups separated. But they were held back.

Then as we moved forward all these Arab sisters around me started crying and making dua'a and saying things like “Ya Rabb” I still didn't know where I was so I didn't get emotional, plus I was concentrating on not getting pushed to the ground by all of the pushing and shoving going on around me--then one sister started hitting my back and told me to move forward –like she couldn't see I had no room to move!!-- so I got mad and turned to hear and said, “Sabri enti! Fee hareem jidam-nee! Sabri!” (patience! There are women in front of me! Patience!) 

Then as we were let in, the crown just starting fighting to get a prayer spot and I heard my SIL calling for me—she and my MIL had come shortly after me, but since my MIL was in a wheelchair, they came through a separate place and got through quicker than I did. She told me to pray quickly where she was—it was the area reserved for those in wheelchairs.

Then my SIL pointed where the tombs of Prophet Muhammad (salallahu aleyhi wa salaam), Abu Bakr(radiallahu anhu) and Umar (radiallahu anhu), were, and I quickly said “salaam aleikum” in my heart toward the tombs.

But all in all, as the whole thing happened so quickly, I didn't feel like I got to take it all in. So the next morning I went again but as they were calling out the different groups I told them “Indonesia” and they let me go with the Indonesian group LOL

One sister working there in the Rawdah area stopped me and asked:
“enti Indonesia?” (Indonesian?)
I said “La, Amreekiya” (no, American)
She said “La, Indonesia”
I replied “La Amreekiya”
and again she said, “Indonesia”

so then I explained that I am American but my mother is Japanese and another sister working who was listening came up and said “Enti abooch Amreeki?” (your father is American?) and I said “yes”

then guess what the next question was?? guess!!!!

she asked “enti Muslim?” (are you Muslim?)

I was shocked she would ask that standing where I was but I just told her “Yes” and she said “MashaAllah :)

So this time I took my time and took it all in, prayed, made dua'a and got emotional and tearing up. But one sister working there saw me and I was embarrassed (I don't like to cry in front of people LOL) I got up and went to another area of the masjid outside Rawdah and prayed and made dua'a. Then I sat and read Qur'an and just looked around to see all the beauty inside the masjid MashaAllah :)

 On a last note, I need to find out who the Imam was while we were there because I just absolutely LOVED his recitation of Qur'an MashaAllah.  A new favorite of mine  :)

here are some photos—inshallah you enjoy them :)

Here is the view from my SIL, BIL, and MIL's suite--all the windows of the hotels around have this fince thingy on the windows (I suppose so people don't try to reach out of their windows to take photos) so I couldn't get the best shots...
 In the last few images you can see part of the green dome which is where the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (salallahu aleyhi wa salaam) is.

This photo above is one of the men's entrances

 Here is a photo of Rawdah (this is not my photo--it is a photo from Wikipedia, used under this Creative Commons License)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cheap Labor and Attitudes-Redux

as-salaam aleikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

 I previously wrote a post: Cheap Labor and Attitudes and I really wasn't seeing the big picture.  Most of us Westerners are actually no less guilty.  I was thinking I should delete the post altogether but I think I will leave it as a lot of people feel the same way I did and reading both posts may help them also see the bigger picture.

 I am from the US as y'all know...and there is a minimum wage, labor laws, unions, etc... all there to protect employees.  So basically, the US protects the citizens and legal residents with these laws.  And with a minimum wage in place, we cannot imagine someone having to have to work for SO little pay like the domestic laborers (maids, drivers, cooks etc...) and unskilled laborers (office boys, construction workers etc...) in UAE.

 But guess what?  Most of us Westerners SUPPORT the kinds of salaries, working conditions and living conditions that we think is horrible and that we think UAE is so guilty of. 

How you say?

Do you buy products that say "made in China", "made in the Philippines", "made in Mexico"  etc.. ?

Then you just might be supporting this very thing.

Do you buy counterfeit designer goods? This industry thrives on slave labor, child labor, extremely low salaries, and horrible working conditions. On top of all that, this industry supports criminals. 

Do you research each and every company to make sure they are not under investigation for unfair labor wages/conditions?  And even if you are assured their salaries are "fair", does what is a "fair" wage in these countries equal to, or equal more than the salaries of the domestic and unskilled laborers in UAE?  For some, it might be, but for many others, its still an even lower salary.

So you see, just because unfair wages, working conditions etc.. are regulated in the US, we are not less guilty if we purchase our goods from people and companies who practice the very thing we think is unfair. 

For instance, a shoe company that gives what is a "fair" wage in a poor Asian country, $3 a day (which is why people come to UAE because they can get a higher salary than that, even if it is sooooo little to us), to employees to produce their shoes that cost well over $100 in the US.   If the shoe company was in the US, people would throw a fit if they found out the company was paying only $3 a day to the employees.  Yet its ok so long as it happens outside of the US?   And in other countries a "fair"salary is much less than that!

That being said, it doesn't mean I suddenly think what happens in UAE is all ok. Just that I do know I felt it, and others feel it too--like we are all more "civilized" than Emaratis on this issue.  We do the same thing, just pretend to be innocent about it because it doesn't happen in our countries legally.

And also, the laborers are first exploited in their very own countries before setting foot in UAE.  It is a bigger problem than just getting UAE to change their attitudes about this issue.  If their salaries were increased in UAE, the "fees" they have to pay in their own countries just to get a job in UAE would go even higher, thus continuing the cycle of exploitation.