Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I don't understand why alcohol is available in Oman at all, really, I don't.
Please, old aquaintances, forgive me for the bad influence I might have been in the past, thinking myself the perfect party girl.
But M to me says "I don't see why you have a problem with eating fish sticks battered in beer... You used to be quite the lush."
OPNO (that's me): "doesn't that say something about even a little bit of alcohol?"
M: "That Muslim man thinks it's okay to eat here."
In full dishdasha I might add. At least he isn't a hypocrite about his actions, trying to pretend to be a tourist.
OPNO: "Um, he's drinking a flagon of beer. I don't think he's the example to go by."
M: "You've become an extremeist."
You’re hand was wrapped
around the bottle
You’re arm wrapped around her waist
You were running that full throttle
Big smile upon your face
You were the life of the party
But it was only in your mind
I hate to be the one to tell you
You didn’t have a good time
Well I bet you don’t remember
Knelling in that bathroom stall
Praying for salvation
And cursing alcohol
And you went right back to drinking
Like everything was fine
But let’s be honest with each other
You didn’t have a good time
So take a good hard look in the mirror
And drink that image down
I’m truth that you can’t run from
I’m the conscience you can’t drown
And the happiness you want so bad
You ain’t gonna find
Until you start believing
You didn’t have a good time
When you woke up this morning
I guess you just assumed
That you got something out of
The empty bottles in this room
There ain’t an angel that can save you
When you’re listening to the wine
And the demons want to tell you
You didn’t have a good time
Somebody had to tell you
You didn’t have a good time
Sometimes in this Dunya (world) we are given what we do not want or ask for, and sometimes that which we wish for is just not attainable. Allah `azza wa jall keeps some things away from us, things which our hearts may ardently request, and yet He at times places the world at our feet. He chooses, He commands and He runs our affairs out of wisdom which belongs only to Him. We thus remain suspended between being given of our wishes and being given other than that. The smart one therefore realizes that he or she remains suspended between patience and gratitude…
Were He to let the Dunya loose on us and give us of our every want, will and desire, then indeed we would have forgotten Him and we would have become arrogant in the land without right. So He, Subhanahu wa Ta’ala, withholds some things and gives us others in order to keep us as believers, humble ones, constantly in a state of iftiqar (dire need) to His Majesty.
وَلَوْ بَسَطَ اللَّهُ الرِّزْقَ لِعِبَادِهِ لَبَغَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَٰكِن يُنَزِّلُ بِقَدَرٍ مَّا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ بِعِبَادِهِ خَبِيرٌ بَصِيرٌ
“And if Allah were to expand the provision for His slaves, they would have surely rebelled on the earth, but He sends down what He wills by a due measure. Verily! He is in respect of His slaves, the Well-Aware, the All-Seer.” [al-Shura: 27]
Rasulullah (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) taught us to say after each prayer the following supplication, and he himself was foremost in saying it:
اللهم لا مَانِعَ لِما أعْطَيتَ ولا مُعْطِي لِما مَنَعْتَ
‘O Allah, nothing can withhold what You have given and no-one can give what You have withheld.’
It is a true beauty, which reminds every believer and renews his/her strength, belief and reliance. It’s a powerful wall for us to lean on whenever difficulties arise and it is an ascending set of stairs for us to use when we need to walk out of each and every calamity.
Sufyan ath Thawri rahimahullah said: "Verily, when Allah withholds, He actually gives, because He did not withhold on account of miserliness or stinginess, but rather He looked at the benefit of the servant.
So the fact that He withheld is actually His choice for the servant and His excellent decision.”(Madarij as-Salikeen 2/215)
on the way to guidance.
Monday, December 28, 2009
The Musyr (which I am a bigger fan of than the kuma) if often a bright printed piece of fabric but the boys from my old hood wore keffiyahs ("you know for Palestine?").
Can't complete your outfit without a khanjar strapped to your waist. I was gifted one in Nizwa. The shopkeeper found me off, that I took a dagger over a necklace...
Also, sometimes a (I forget the name but WILL fill it in) is worn on top of the dishdasha.
I had to laugh though, when someone asked an anonymous male aquaintance what mode of transportation he used "back in his exotic home country" LOL. "Mule, or camel?"
"Well," he said, "I drive a Mercedes."
Sunday, December 27, 2009
In general, the majority of Omani women my age wear Western brand clothes with a black abaya over top in and about Muscat. But at home (or for special occasions) some might where the traditional dress (I have three for weddings). The robe (thawb or dishdasha) is made from cotton printed with various geometric or flower patterns or from plain cloth. Around the neckline and cuffs the thawb is decorated with gold and silver bands and tilli (a kind of locally made braid). To the lower hem of the thawb is attached a piece of cloth of differing colour called the sinjaaf. With the thawb are worn narrow pantaloons (sirwaal or tiidi) decorated with broad patterns extending downwards from below the knee. Over the head is worn the waqaya, a kind of shawl consisting of a 3 meter long piece of light cotton cloth with tassels of coloured wool along the shorter ends. These tassels may also be woven from coloured silk or gold and silver thread according to the taste of the wearer.
http://sleeplessinsalalah.blogspot.com/2009/12/one-wife-two-wife.html# comments and as a Muslim, I have to say that I am GOOD with polygamy. WHAT YOU CRAZY GIT OF A WESTERN WOMAN? WHY?! Why, cuz I've seen it done right a few times. But mainly, men do it wrong, in a cultural, rather than Islamic way. For prestige and sex. Not as sadaqah (charity).
Westerners (and even alot of Muslims) misunderstand the concept of multiple marriage in Islam. I found this article explains it very well http://ilovehishmatheblog.blogspot.com/2009/08/when-would-i-consider-this-second-wife.html :
I am the first wife, so first off, I should begin with when I would accept a second wife (and a third:p). Or maybe I should begin with, I am the only wife, and my husband isn't looking. First off, my mother would kill him if he took a second wife (she is a non-muslim) and my mother-in-law (she is a Saudi Muslimah) would kill him. And being that it is against the law in my country it would make our lives difficult in general. And since it isn't a practice in my husband's family it would have to come out of some out-of-the-ordinary circumstances for us, since my husband is adamant that polygamy is a sunnah of exception, not a sunnah that is mustahaab. He says he would only consider it if half the male population were physically wiped out, and even then he still thinks that he would be too selfish to treat a gaggle of females fairly. It is alot of work, he says, upkeeping one wife, should she desire not to work one day, and to support all your possible children Islamically, helping them with the expenses of education and marriage and getting their first home.
BTW all, this post came out of some thinking after reading Aalia's post [here: http://chasing-jannah.blogspot.com/2009/08/ask-co-wife-interview.html ].
Still, I know women (even seeing my husband happily married to me!) eye my husband up as possible marriage material. One waitress at my favourite restaurant [not a Muslimah alhamdulilah---- I mean in this situation I would have been saddened by a Muslimah behaving this way--- not that I don't hope she comes to Islam:p] approached my husband with her phone number after I went to the restroom. The owner of the premise happened to be within earshot. "No thank-you Ma'aam, I am married," my husband informed her. "It doesn't matter," waitress said. "No thank-you," my husband said. After she went away the owner came up to my husband and apologised. (Yeah, it doesn't hurt that the owner is one of my favourite clients from my old job unbeknownst to my husband and she is the sweetest and most fiesty and independent lady EVER lol). She (the owner) informed my husband the matter would be taken care of, and she fired said waitress after service. My husband relates the experience to me, afraid it will make me feel insecure. He doesn't need to worry. I trust him already. Some Emirati chick already tried to pull the same thing. My husband generally doesn't look a woman in the eyes and always remains a respectful distance. The fact is, studies have proven, that women are more attracted to married (or engaged in a relationship) men than unmarried ones. It is wired into our brains:p Not that that is ANY excuse for behaviour without hayaa (modesty) and taqwa (fear of Allah).
Despite what alot of misinformed people think, polygamy is not encouraged in Islam. In Judaism and Christianity polygamy existed (with NOOOOOOooooooooo cap on how many wives you could have) up until the Jewish priesthood and the Christian church (not the teachings of either faith) put a kibosh on that. Islam actuallywas the first to make a move to do anything about multiple wives. Islam said you could ONLY EVER have four wives at the same time. It further specified that a man could only marry more than one woman if he could physically and mentally and spiritually treat all the women he aimed to marry fairly and equally. Which is where my husband whines, but I don't want to... Personally, I think he is CAPABLE, but I do not think he is WILLING to work that hard lol.
There is also another thing about that ayah in the Qu'ran permitting polygamy (allowing of course the four cap and the fairness part) that many forget, but let me quote it in whole first before explaining in depth:
And if you have reason to fear that you might not act equitably towards orphans, then marry from among [the] women such as are lawful to you - [even] two, or three, or four: but if you have reason to fear that you might not be able to treat them with equal fairness, then [only] one ...
THIS ayah SAYS THAT if you cannot be fair towards the orphans (which unmarried reverts, divorced women without families, and orphan children all are) [fair, means limit yourself to halal conduct and give sadaqah] IF YOU CANNOT DO JUST THIS, then, you should marry, to stop yourself from taking advantage of them or doing things improper. This is part of it (who you can marry when marrying more than one), coming before the cap, and coming before the "treat them fairly" bit. So if a man is marrying more than one wife, it should be a woman who is alone in the world, with little or no support. THEN, on top of that, if adds, of these women in your care, if you would marry one, do not marry another if you cannot treat her fair. It does not say you should marry three, or four, lol, if you can take care of the women without improriety within the shariah. But it says, to prevent impropriety you should marry them. Which doesn't make marriage to more than one a recommendation of the religion. The recommendation is that marriage itself stops impropriety, and the best kind of women to marry if one must marry, are those women who have no one to care for them, and really, the ayah states, that the only reason to marry more than one is to care for orphans (whether they be children who need a mother who is financially and emotionally capable to raise them, a divorced woman, a widowed woman, or a woman without family). It is quite literal, and is obvious in the Arabic AND translated text. I will say of course there are many men that abuse the meaning of the text, and thus so-called Islamic polygamy gets a bad rap, but that is not how it is. How it truly is, is very unselfish on the man's part, and an act of charity (not lust and self-satisfaction).
So having studied the sunnah of multiple marriages, I can conclude, I would accept if my husband married a second wife (even if our families both disowned us for this or my country prosecuted us for this) if she was:
a. a divorced woman who could find no other good Muslim man to marry her and she was lonely and having difficulty supporting herself and maybe even her kids (I'd be willing to work to help support her too even though Islamically my husband couldn't marry another if he alone couldn't come up with the income),
b. a revert sister without a Muslim family who couldn't find a husband but was lonely,
c. a widowed woman in the same condition as woman a..,
d. If I could not have children and my husband wanted some (then obviously he could marry from a, b, and c)
e. If I had some horrible illness that made me a vegatble, or like, paralyzed, or fatigued to the point of vegetation lol (here, and only here, he could marry any woman that he wants).
In all cases but e. I would have some further criteria... I'd have to get along with the other woman, so I'd have to approve of her too, on top of my husband approving of her. Personally, myself, I'd want us all to live in the same house (but a big house, with each wife having her own floor). I wouldn't want side by side bedrooms, ya know? Ick. But I wouldn't want my husband sleeping under another roof. I would feel vulnerable then. But I guess I would be able to live with it if wife two or three or four from categories a. and c. already owned their own properties and didn't want to sell them or move their kids. But that would be hard for me. I perfer the monster house with our own sections idea.
One of the happiest marriages I have ever seen was like this (there were three wives and two were close in age [the second and the third (the third was a divorcee with an abusive family)] and the second wife was a widow from her first marriage and was thirty years older than their husband and she was like the Mommy one the other two went to for advice. There were all extroidanarily close, and obviously, the husband sought out women that needed help and that would get along, and thus, lol, the marriage was actually harder on him (since he had to work to support all three) than it was one them. Plus, lol, since they were all so close, if he ever truly messed up, usually all three would be mad to him together lol.
So I have seen it work. So I know I could do it, if it was done right. I am totally not into the guy needing another woman (who isn't in need) when nothing is wrong with his first wife (so what, she gained some baby weight, what have you done lately?hmmm?!). I would do it if divorced or widowed if the wife or wives sat at the same table as the husband and no one was just picking me as the baby-making machine or the sex toy ya know? If that were the case I'd wind up divorced pretty fast because becuase I require intellectual depth from a spouse and require to be required for the same.
I`d also want the big house compared to seperate houses because of my own preferences. And I would never, never agree to marry a man if I knew he was already married and his wife wasn`t involved in the process. That`s about it.
I know I don`t have to worry about it in the slightest, but I thought I`d get all my thoughts and reasonings out, lol, to understand my entire stance on the issue.
LOL, I think Pixie knows the same Muscati family as me. In Qu'rum?
SO I am GOOD with multiple marriage with all the conditions in the article, except me, I'd rather have my own home, not a shared house. BTW, all married fellas that know my IRL identity, LOL, I am NOT interested in being your second wife even if I am okay with it. This little orphan doesn't need that kind of sadaqah, though jazzakallah kheiran in advance!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
But I always hated on these spoiled Omani girls, who one of my friends would fall in love with, and die just to hold her sacred hand, and buy her coffee and sweets and purses and diamonds and perfume, who she would in turn climb walls and risk her reputation to drive around with, but she wouldn't fight her family, and then she'd forget about him the minute someone her family approved of knocked on the door. What a b**** I always thought, these young men heartbroken never thinking such a thing of their "angel" who was wearing a wedding dress for someone else, and now they'd hold off another four years marrying just to get over her. I wanted to jam the gold from her maher down these girls' throats. But I never met them while the two were falling in love. Spoiled and cruel. Deserves a cruel husband whose only love is to buy her things, I thought then. Because she's hardening a good, decent, loving young man, to think of a woman in a distant way, a way that we women are NOT naturally.
And then I read Reality's opinion why girls go for arranged marriages (ie family approval) anyway:
Now, I understand that LOVE is the major reason why many Westerners marry. We do not view our men as our “significant others” and we do not view ourselves as “one“. Those terms do not exist in our society. The way we grew up is that a man comes second, and the family comes first. We do not fight to marry someone simply because we “love” them and the idea of it is immature and childish.
Oh yes, I had forgotten. The family. I am almost an orphan, I have always been "one" unless I am thinking in an idealist soicietal kinda-of-Islamic sense, so it is no wonder, all the men I have known in Oman, young and old, feel there is something lacking in their lives or their marriages. They do not have the right to be individual in any free sense. Women do, but if they do, they are gambling with their body, their security, their reputation, and futures. My situation leads me to lack proper understanding. Maybe orphaned Omani girls feel the same as I do, lacking male Muslim relatives of any kind?
In this society, a woman’s backbone is not her husband, it’s her male relatives. We grew up to believe that if we are harmed in any way shape or form by our husbands, then the police are not the ones to deal with it, it’s our male relatives. They will fight for us, and they will kick the guy’s ass if he touches us.
The previous is very true. Covered head to toe in bruises and someone with broken bones from a domestic disturbance, and the police told me, they like to solve things within the family. If they weren't dealing with a unique personage like myself, nothing would have been done. There'd have been a father to do it, an uncle, a male cousin...
I know many girls that do not marry the ones they love because they fear. Yes, it’s FEAR. Fear from divorce, fear from getting hurt, and fear from finding out that your loved one married another woman. It’s fear that keeps us from seeking love and we accept an arranged marriage because if any of the above happens, then we have our families to fall on to. If we went against their wishes, then we have to take responsibility for the consequences alone.
Where is your courage girls? Maybe, if your families are worth it, I could understand... I guess you fear the man will grow to doubt the way you met, and be sucspcious of you, and it could end in jealousy, with, you did it with me, are there those after, were there those before... Maybe you suspect him of doing the same thing, a second wife down the road... Patience, long suffering, and sweetness, would cure this, if you could wait it out, but I understand you wondering, is it worth it?
Also, the stigma that attaches itself to the word “divorced” makes us fear and question our own feelings. “Do we really love this person? Or are we just blinded by love?” we ask ourselves. “What if this love ends?” and that is when we start to freak out. So we chose not to follow love. Some of my friends were in some relationships, and once a new guy knocks on the door (arranged marriage way), the girl ignores her lover and marries the new guy.
Personally, (and I’m the “westernized Omani” in the family) I will not marry a guy because I love him. That, to me, is secondary. Compatibility comes first, and if I ever find myself in a situation where I would fight to marry a guy, then I will not do it only because I love him. Of course love needs to be there for me to spend my energy on fighting, but I will only do it if I BELIEVE that the person is absolutely compatible with me.
So yes DA, love cannot be arranged. Yet, in this culture, love comes second. Respect and honor are valued more. You might not be able to comprehend it, but that is because you do not belong to this culture. You are an observer and you are judging through what you find or do not find acceptable. And I am not talking about the bad kind of arranged marriages where a woman is forced to marry someone she does not know. I am talking about the more practiced kind of arranged marriage: where the woman has the choice to say “yes” or “no”.
I do not feel I fail to understand it because it is not my culture, but because I have no family, and I see many only half-sustained upon this ideal that nourishes a few but while in bloom, beautiful success stories.
-All the cars are white (or black)
-SUVS like to "bully" other cars
-People don't mind blocking people in when they park and they park ANYWHERE!!!! (Once, at Muscat days, we were trapped all day.)
-Men look at you funny if you drive a truck.
-Everyone always has new cars...they buy and trade in and buy...weird!
-The street signs are often on the wrong side to see them in time for your turn-off
-People are always one to three hours late for everything.
-Men tend to annoy you but if you walk a dog they don't: D
-People jump into the bushes if you walk by them with a dog.
-People in shops tend to give me things (don't know why but they do) I never buy anything touristy (it is always given to me).
-The furniture tends to be very gaudy (tassels, B? but she likes tassels)
-The maids even iron your underwear
-not alot of Omanis do physical labour and they find it hilarious when I do
- Maids and workers are not treated very well and that makes me MADDDDDDDD! They work way too hard for the pay they get[k, that's not so funny] and people think it is okay to make racist impressions of Indians
-Not very many women wear niqab in Muscat (more wear the birqa)
-When "Muslim" men go to ex-pat places to drink they tend to sneak in hoodies and jeans to "look" American" foolin' no one
-The mall bathrooms are cleaned like every time someone uses it...niceeee (don't try the one's at the hospitol though LOL)
-REALLY if you like to use Toilet paper...LOOK before ya sit cause some people don't use it!
-The law is not really enforced when it comes to seatbelts, speed limits...and baby car eats...also kids drive in the front seat...people hold babies in the front seat!
-Yeah, the perfume. I could smell it a mile down the beach on a woman. Amouge. He he he
Monday, December 14, 2009
This one is well choreographed.
Okay, one of the BEST film sword dances, LOL, Jade from El Clon.
Not just to echoe you-tubers comments, but good control.
I would love to do this to scare/seduce my future husband LOL.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
3 tablespoons ghee
2 medium onions or 250 g, sliced
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
2 cups water or 500 ml
1 cup yoghurt or 250 ml
3 tablespoons omani mixed spices
1 dried lime, cut into halves
1 kg lamb, pieces with bones
2 cubes Mutton Bouillon
3 medium tomatoes or 450 g, peeled and diced
3 cups basmati rice or 600 g, washed and drained
5 whole cardamom pods
5 whole cloves
5 whole black peppers
5 cinnamon sticks
Pinch salt, to taste
9 cups boiling water or 2¼ Liters, extra quantity to boil the rice
½ teaspoon saffron filaments, soaked in ¼ cup or 60ml rose water
Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a large pot (reserve 1 tablespoon), add onions and cook until they become golden brown in color. Add garlic and ginger, stir then add water, yoghurt, Omani mix spices, dried lime, lamb pieces, Mutton Stock cubes and diced tomato. Stir to boil. Cover and simmer on low heat with occasional stirring for 1½ hour or until lamb is cooked. Set aside.
Meanwhile place rice, whole spices and salt in the extra boiling water, cook for 8-10 minutes or until rice is ¾ cooked, remove and drain.
Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of ghee in a large pot, Put half the quantity of cooked rice in the pot, add the lamb mixture over the rice and top with the remaining rice.
Sprinkle saffron and rosewater mixture on top of rice.
Cover the pot; cook on low heat for 25 minutes or until the rice is cooked.
1 pound of basmati rice
3 pound Chicken, skinned and jointed
1 large Onion, thinly sliced
oil, for frying
9 ounces of plain, unsweetened yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste
large pinch of saffron, dissolved in 1 cup of warm milk
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup of fresh chopped coriander leaves or parsley
2 teaspoons garam masala powder (mixed spices) or curry powder
2 pieces of cinnamon stick, 6 cloves, 6 cardamoms
1.Wash and drain the Chicken. In a bowl, mix together Chicken, yogurt, salt, turmeric, cumin powder, garlic, and ginger paste and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
2.Soak rice in cold water for 30 minutes. Deep fry Onion until lightly browned and crisp. Remove onions from oil and drain on kitchen paper.
3.Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and add 3-4 teaspoons of salt to make the water very salty. Add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, and drained rice. Allow to simmer 3-4 minutes or until the rice is about half cooked. The rice will increase in size, but will still be hard in the center. Remove from heat and drain the rice thoroughly.
4.Put the Chicken into a large saucepan with the marinade. Sprinkle on half of the fried onions and half of the chopped coriander. Then add the rice and sprinkle on the remaining fried onions, the remaining chopped coriander, the chilies, lemon juice, garam masala, and saffron milk. Sprinkle on 3 tablespoons of oil.
5.Make 5-6 holes in the mixture with a wooden spoon handle. Cover with a lid and place on medium heat until steam rises from the holes. Then, reduce temperature and cook on low heat for 45-50 minutes. Move saucepan in a clockwise direction a few times to ensure even cooking.
6.To serve, fluff the rice a little with a fork, remove the saucepan lid, turn large plate up-side down and cover saucepan with it. Hold the pot and plate tightly together, turn both upside-down. rice should come out on the plate, with the Chicken on the top.