Category Archives: blogging

Cleaning

I’m taking a break from cleaning the bedroom; the one room off limits for the maid because of all of the pocketable things. While I clean I usually put on the Melody Hits channel, its like MTV for Arab music but back when MTV still played music, not reality shows. I heard a strange song and went into the livingroom to check it out and found the oddest looking female singer I’ve yet to see. At first I thought she was Moroccan from the clothes she was wearing, I think the video was supposed to be in Morocco, but she had so much plastic surgery there was no way she was anything but Lebanese.

I did a quick search and sure enough, Lebanese. The female singers all look the same, like varied versions of Nancy Ajram. This woman, Nourhanne, looked like the love child that would result if Cher’s face and Marilyn Manson mated.

Believe it or not she probably paid a lot to look that ugly. She looked worse in the video. Also earlier on today another female singer, possibly also Lebanese, looked so much like a transvestite that I’m still not fully convinced that she is not. However I did not catch her name because I didn’t stick around to watch the video.

Anyone who watched Arabic music videos knows what I’m talking about. You can always tell the Lebanese singers by their copious amounts of plastic surgery. Not that singers from other countries don’t get it done as well, of course they do, but there is something special about the amount of it that Lebanese singers get.

No matter how much surgery Egyptian singers like Ruby or Sherien get they don’t like anything like each other.

Ruby (the Vice-Ho of Arab music)

Shereen

But Lebanese singers:

Nancy Ajram

Whor Haifa

Elissa

Anyways. Moral of the story: just say no to plastic surgery.

Time and Getting Older

Time

I just don’t know where my time is going and its not like I’m mindlessly watching TV either, in fact I haven’t really watched anything more solid than an hour here or there. I admit that my time was, and still occasionally is, sucked into the fourth Twilight book (the only one in my possession/on my desktop) but that can’t account for all my time. It slips through my fingers like sand.

A huge problem is my bedtime and wake-up. No matter how much I really, really want to go to bed early and wake up early I find myself awake at 3am and sleeping until noon. Half my day is wasted. Its awful. I actually want to wake up in the morning. I rocked the night-owl thing when I was a teen and when I was in college but I’m turning little old lady-ish now.

Birthday Girl

I was talking with my mom on the phone yesterday and we came upon the subject of birthdays as hers had just passed and mine is coming. Oy vey is mine coming. For some reason I am extremely apprehensive about becoming 26 and when she brought it up I kind of freaked a little. For a second I decided to start lying about my age. I’ll be 25 for another four years and when I turn thirty I’ll pull a leap year. Holy crap I turn 30 in four years.

*wheeze*

Thats insane. I honestly feel barely old enough to drive and vote in elections. My body keeps getting older but I’m stuck at the inner-voice age of 16. Does this happen to other people? Like I feel as if I’m not mentally old enough to be the age I really am. I don’t feel 26.

And yeah yeah, 26 isn’t old. I get that. But the thing is that I’m in the latter half of my twenties. gasp And its not like I’m Benjamin Button-ing here. That damn number just keeps getting bigger. I’m terrified that I’m going to be 80 and still feel like I’m mentally a 16 year old. But hell, at least by the time I’m 80 I can get away with it. The years just keep ticking by.

And speaking of years….

The Khaleegi’s Are Coming!

Can you people believe that I’ve almost been here a whole year?

ONE YEAR!

On my ride home from teaching this evening (yes I get door to door service thankyouverymuch) I realized that we are now officially into May and I arrived last year June.

!!!!

I keep thinking of June as this far away land somewhere beyond the month after next. But no… its May. Time is slipping by. Also you can tell that by the wave of the dreaded Arabs that have been drifting into Cairo. Summer has hit the Arabian Peninsula and with temps hovering around 42 c (something like 115 F) the khaleegis (people from the peninsula) have descended upon Egypt. We are their summer playground. Not that I blame them, I think Egypt is just more fun. They certainly can get drunker more easily here.

But.. moving on.

Sweet Springtime

Spring in Egypt kind of rocks. The weather has been fabulous so far and now I’ve been enjoying it. Another consumer of my time has been my delightful friendship with the bookcrack dealer extraordinaire who I have re-christened (figuratively) the Englyptian, on account of her being half-English half Egyptian, because such overt drug references do not fit her sweet demeanor. She’s hella cool and lives really close to me so we’ve been having a grand ole time. Thanks to her I have read the Twilight series (ok so I both thank and shake my fist at her for that,) seen the Twilight movie (I sucked it up and watched it because she had it downloaded,) and seen Slumdog Millionaire (which I’ve wanted to see for longer than I can remember.)

And I’ve thankfully given her something to do with her time as well. Mostly she had been moping around her grandma’s house and Road Nine for most of her stay here as she gets along with Egyptian girls about as well as I do (not well at all) and because she didn’t know anyone. We’re very similar so its a great relationship all around.

But even though I consider her someone I’ve spent a good bit of my time with, I still don’t have as much time to spend with her as I would like. So I still need to figure out where my time is going.

ugh

First things first: must get sleep schedule back on track.

And here I am at 2:45 am typing a blog. Wunderbun.

G’night my loverlies, but before I sleep I’d like to apologize to everyone I haven’t commented recently because while I am not writing blogs I am also not reading any either. Blame the internot as well. Yes, yes, overused excuse.

So, mea culpa.

I hope you’ll forgive me.

Sweet Night/ Tizba’l khair

Someday

Our internot will be internet. Someday.

I think Mr. MM was on the phone last night with his brother talking about getting a new router, and before anyone starts to praise my mad Arabic skillz I’d just like to mention that between Arabic words he kept saying things like “router” and wireless router.”

I’d like to think that I would have understood anyways.

I’m procrastinating going to the grocery store and the souq because I’m lazy and oddly dizzy today. The only problem is that the longer I procrastinate the hotter it gets outside. Now is when I wish we had a baweb (see glossary for definition) so I could give him money and send him to get the stuff I need.

*sigh*

Well… off I go.

If the internet is still working later I will try to blog about whats new because there is a lot and yet its all the same.

Oh, and I can’t entirely blame our internot for my lack of blogging. My delightful new friend has gleefully handed me the book-crack that is the Twilight series. I henceforth consider her my ‘supplier.’ Those of you who have read the books know what I mean.

And no, I haven’t watched the movie and I’m actually still debating about whether I ever will. Maybe when New Moon comes out I’ll watch Twilight first and then go to New Moon.

Choices choices.

So sorrrrrry

Sorry I haven’t been updating. This morning I woke up from a dream where I was screaming the definition of the word ‘inchoate’ at a faceless examiner (at least I knew the definition). Thats when you know its bad. The highlight of my day today will be buying a dictionary. Thats when you know its bad. I have an irrational fear that I will not be able to find a dictionary. Thats when you really know its bad.

Anyways, being surrounded by words and word vomit means that sitting down and dribbling out some more words is low on my list of priorities. Its somewhere below curling up into the fetal position and slobbering.

Things I will blog about (probably later today unless I die of heat stroke walking to the bookstore, grocery store, and souq- its getting hot here again):

-Zuzu and how fabulous she is now (alhumdulillah) and what it took to get her there- the untold story. Yes… there was more than what I already bored you to death told you about.

-Some of the absolutely horrendous words they make you learn for the verbal section on the GRE. Oh wait.. maybe I should blog on Veridical Paradox about that one. Will leave link.

-My last day at work (yes I am now officially funemployed- as my friend Forsooth likes to call it… or at least did until she went broke.)

-How I help DU’s youngest daughter with her English because the ease of it helps soothe the wounds left by the GRE’s vocab list.

-Uhm… well anything else random that pops into my mind while I am word vomiting writing said future post.

Now.. I’m off to walk all over christendom (oh wait, that word actually doesn’t apply here) to find a dictionary (suck it merriam-webster.com,) Doha Jasmine rice (its the ish,) and fresh produce.

On Writing and Definition

The fact that I want to (already am?) to be a writer is quite obvious to those who read my blog.

But why do I want to be a writer? Of course it is well-known that art is a calling and not necessarily a choice; writing has always been my way of coping with life and struggles and it just about burst out of me at thirteen much without any thought on my part. At the moment of writing my first poem it was quite literally write or explode and when I had finished I was astonished that I could actually write something that resembled a work of art. Emo and angst-ridden it was, I admit, but even reading what I had written years later I was still struck by the raw brutality of it.

I can’t explain how crucial it was for me to let the words out. Often times I would wake up at 3am and write the brief snippets of the words or poetry that were plaguing my dreams, they were like angry bees that gave me no rest until I had freed them from their cages. Later I heard other writers refer to writing in the same way, but until that time I thought it was only me who was beset by the need to write at odd hours. For years I kept a pen and pad at the head of my bed and many a poem or idea for a story were written while I was still asleep.

But thats not why I want to become a writer. Or, to be more honest, why I want to become a well-known writer. There are so many issues that I represent and so many misunderstandings that I want to right and that is why I want to be a writer.

How many female Muslim writers are there in the world? How many of us hear their voices? How many Muslim-American women writers are there? How many are well-known?

There is a large audience out there waiting for the other side of the story. An audience that has read countless books about opressed Arabian princesses and Taleban beheadings or women beaten by their husbands who are justified by their brutal religion.

All of us say “NO!” but who hears us?

Thats why I want to write.

And yet I don’t want to be confined by my defintion. Categorized in my own writing as this or that, a femi-nazi or a sheherezad, a Muslim who would be lambasted by the community for writing something “wrong” or disagreeing with the “uncles.”

I don’t want to be constrained for what I represent. Its a fine line.

I was looking at the website for the Arab Media & Society this afternoon and despite their valiant attempts to be pan-Arab and Middle-Eastern they still fall into the trap of thereby being “Muslim;” although they pander to no religious or political authority.

The key to writing for Arab Media & Society is the ability to help readers better understand media’s role in shaping Arab societies and the broader Muslim World.

It just reiterates the wrong assumption that Arab=Muslim and Middle Eastern=Muslim. Definitions and categories are so easy to fall into and so hard to break out of.

My blog is called Multicultural Muslimah because I am. I am a white (ahem Caucasian-American,) Spanish-speaking, Egypt-living, interracially-married, still at least half Latina (figuratively,) Muslim American.

Half the time I can’t even figure myself out, so how can anyone else?

So I will write and each story speaks about a side of me. Thats why I want to be a writer.

*deep breath*

So… yea. In other writing news I will be closing mostly all future posts on Cairo Calling except to those who have the password and I’m going to be EXTREMELY picky about those who I give the password to. I’m sorry, I hate to shut people out but because I will probably, at some point, publish things I write on there I have to be careful about people being able to steal my work. Ya’ll know it has happened before.

I will post some things that are open to everyone and when I do I will make a link on here. I will be emailing the password to those I want to have it so please do no email me asking for it. (Man I feel like an ass, I’m sorry.)

I also do periodically post on The Veridical Paradox so please keep checking. I promise it will get more interesting as I will be unemployed in a week and will be able to focus on my ten-step program.


My Neurosis For Your Enjoyment

Because I could literally fill this blog with my see-sawing obsession with the MFA program, and to fulfill my goal of having 5 million blogs, I have devoted a separate blog to my quest to become a writer.

The Veridical Paradox

Read at your own risk.

Also my being Muslim will be a casual coincidence to my writing, its not going to be a religious blog.

Not that this one is or anything. Who am I kidding?

Random Thoughts and Jean Paul Sartre

I love to write.

I wouldn’t have a blog if I didn’t love to write, and if I didn’t think my inane thoughts might possibly be interesting to other people. But I love to write. Love. Love. Love.

Mr. MM has always been a vocal activist for my pursuing a Masters degree in something, anything. I think he has a fetish for graduate degrees ;). I had pshawed it originally because I couldn’t think of anything I really WANTED to get a graduate degree in. I love communications but the only thing I could do with a graduate degree in that is teach. Not a bad proposition since it is a dream of mine to become a university professor (hang out at the university for the rest of my life and immerse myself in intellectual discussions on a daily basis?! COUNT ME IN!) but not an idea that grabbed me.

But when I was sick and an invalid I had a lot of time to muse, in between periods of drugged out sleep, and one of the things I mused on was writing and how I want to, intend to, would love to, write novels and screenplays but how pathetically untrained and unfocused I am in my writing. Ya’ll know it, I ramble. Half of whats in my head is not cohesive- even to me.

So, why don’t I study writing?? What a novel idea!!! (pun-intended because I’m geeky like that.)

And I found that the U of Minnesota, the uni that has my heart (even if I did cheat on it with ASU,) has a graduate program in CREATIVE WRITING. Be still my beating brain-mass!

The class list makes me drool and I even gave myself stomach cramps yesterday looking at a map of the U of M campus (where I worked for two years and studied for one.) There’s something about any University campus that just smacks of intellectual culture and literary adventures but the U of M, for me, is like the heart and soul of the concepts. Minneapolis is actually a haven for such higher learning and the U of M is it’s crown jewel for all that Minnesota has the reputation as being nothing but hunt/fish/farm/sleep.

Oh, steamy cups of over-priced coffee creations on a bitterly-cold winter morning with a 10-page paper due in the afternoon? I must be masochistic but God I miss that.

Check out of the Creative Writing MFA Program at the University of Minnesota. At some point in the future I will, inshAllah, be joining it.

What else was I going to write about? I don’t know, I’m distracted now with daydreams of deadlines, text books, and exhaustive research projects.

Oh yes, Zuzu. She’s getting spayed inshAllah. I’m sad because I wanted to let her have one litter before I stole her opportunity to be a mother but its just not going to work. Its unfair to let her go into heat again, and I don’t want to get her knocked up with the hopes of getting the visa and moving back to the states ASAP hanging over our heads. Its just not a plausible idea and would possibly be outright irresponsible. My poor baby. She’s just going nuts, its been like 4 days or more now? I don’t know. But she always comes to me and begs to be petted, and then when I scratch her haunches or the base of her tail she goes nuts and follows me around the house for hours pointing her behind at me and squatting. Its frankly pornographic.

Secondly I was not terribly enthusiastic about getting her spayed HERE. I have not been impressed by the cleanliness and equipment of the vets here. Hell I haven’t been impressed by the cleanliness or equipment of the PEOPLE hospitals here. So I’m going to be all that more worried about her because of that. But its preferable to her suffering every few weeks by going into heat.

BTW for anyone who is wondering or right now penning their furious comment to me about how its “haraam” to do that:

http://qa.sunnipath.com/issue_view.asp?HD=1&ID=15228&CATE=239

http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/20053/cats

http://www.islamqa.com/en/ref/10502/cats

Oh and Jean Paul Sartre? I just really like his play No Exit and I saw it somewhere online. Also everyone should read the book Zorro by Isabel Allende because it flipping ROCKS, and you should see the movie Into The Wild because it also rocks and touches your heart.

That is all.

I Should Post About Religion More Often

And yes I’m going to start capitalizing my titles from now on, it makes them look official even if I’m sayin something stoopid. I like that.

As I was saying: I should post more about religion cuz I get comments then. I like comments. Comments are nice.

But, alas, this post won’t be about religion. It will be (sort of) about politics, which I believe could be labeled religion for some people so I guess its all the same.

Anyways, I stumbled/was divinely guided to a hilarious blog. I’ll be honest, I just can’t imagine two 82 year old women blogging. Its possible, but knowing the 82 year olds I know (my great-grandmother is 85) I just can’t imagine her even knowing how to log into her e-mail (actually I can’t imagine her having email.)

So, I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t necessarily think that this blog is written by two 82 year old women, but its still a novel concept and an absolutely side-splittingly funny blog on politics.

If thou beist not democratic, it will roast thy goose. But hey, if you’re republican I think you should still read it anyways.

Margaret and Helen

On the oxymoronic concept of “pre-emptive war”

Calling Sarah Palin a b*tch

Calling Elizabeth from The View a moron that ones for you gramma (even if you didn’t like the blog very much)

Separating Church and State (at least during Christmas)

Even if it is not actually an 82 year old woman blogging this, the author is brilliant because it is flawlessly written ala old broad style.

Plus it kind of reminds me of my late grandmother.

Check it out, I doubt it would hurt you.

I mean that. Really.

Let it snow!

So wordpress made this really cool option over the holiday season: my blog is snowing!

Its hard to see since my background is white but if you watch my banner you can see it sliding past the camels. I thought about changing up my background until it stops snowing in january but I’m worried about losing my custom banner which took me forever to create and fit into the header. Oh, well.

Also if you stop the page over the blog around the world banner you can see that the snow “accumulates” on the bottom of the screen. It almost feels like home.

Its snowing in Egypt!!!

Its snowing in Egypt!!!

Another reason peeps should switch over to wordpress. We can make it snow!!!