Wednesday, May 8, 2013

This Ramadan and Eid upcomming

I always feel a little left out on Eids because my Arabic is so bad. I celebrate a traditional-Omani style Eid. That means going to the village, wearing new dresses and abayas, going visiting, eating traditional foods like shuwa and mishakeek, and maybe seeing the traditional dances with swords and drums and stuff. Other OPNO girls head out to Sharqiyah and Al Batinah where their Omani inlaws are from so us English-but-Omani girls can't stick together. But this year will be different. This year will be the best OPNO girl Eid.... and Ramadan... ever. God willing, of course.
I am so excited I already basically got my Eid clothes, and my daughter's together. I just need to buy one more dress, and hem a hem, and khalas, no rush at the tailor. Why will this Eid be different?  Well because one of the former OPNO girls is moving back to Oman. So we can get into more and more crazy adventures together using her as our excuse. Because life really calmed down after she left, and not that any of us want the BAD-crazy of early OPNO days to return. [ie, being stranded for weeks in remote villages because the roads washed out, camping during huricanes, getting molested by a freak ROP officer who tried to kidnap us after I nearly got stabbed by one of my relatives, being homeless until the kind people of Mutrah took us in, meeting an Omani-girl prostitute in Wadi Kabir, being scammed by a scam-artist Indian girl, and being taken under the wing of the Shatti girls and groomed to marry the Uncle none of them wanted to marry]. Ahhh, how life has changed. But we do want to go back to our dancing in the majlis days, drinking too much qahwa, of laughing anything off, and being open to the chance of making a new life.
That is how this blog began. In Oman I decided to stay because of the kindness of one random Omani who was as a stranger to me, despite years of knowing them. That stranger offered me a chance. A chance to come with a suitcase in hand and start over. Through them the OPNO girls came to know one another through a white Madinat Qaboos villa we all shared once upon a time, far lost in the chaos of those early days here. Now I hope that I can open the doors to my yellow villa and do the same. I am beyond excited for this Ramadan and Eid because us girls always wanted to make our own culture. The Prophet Mohammed, peace and blessing be upon him, told Muslims to take the good of a culture, and leave the bad. For us, before Islam, Christmas was our favourite holiday (okay, and dressing up and free candy for Halloween). The bad parts of those holidays, is the stuff associated with the worhsip of idols, such as bringing greenery and trees inside and puting lights on them. The good things associated with those holidays is giving out treats, sharing food, making the home beautiful, having time and activities for children, giving people we love gifts, giving charity to strangers, ect... And we wanted to introduce some of those traditions to our families.
In my husband's village things are done the way they have always been done. You don't do new stuff, you hear? That's just how it is.
So I have always had to wait until after 3 days in the village to do my own thing, and it always felt a little stupid because I was always the only one into it. Also, when it comes to Eid style, our Eid clothes are nothing special compared to other regions of Oman. They are new (maybe more sparkly) normal village clothes. Which, since I don't live in the village, are a waste for me to buy. I prefer Kuwait, and Saudi styles, or traditional Omani-Sharqiyah dress. But if my friend is coming with me to the village we can wear what we want because I have to make her feel comfortable right;)? So she is super excited about experiencing a traditional village/familial Eid, getting henna done, eating Eid food and giving kids Eidiyia, all that.
Ramadan will be more exciting because us OPNO girls actually plan to get out act together and share our iftars. So that we will have Zanzibari, Omani, and Baluchi +Western foods at different occasions and an excuse to go to the Mosque together or go out and give charity together (which makes it all the more fun). One of the OPNO girls always does a food drive [really a meat drive] through-out the year to buy meat for families who can't afford from their salaries as well as money to pay to fix their cars or buy baby clothes and diapers ect... We'd love to do a fundraiser to help her out. Also, we'd like to invite some of the non-Muslims we know, so they could get into Eid and Ramadan and truly experience Oman.
I am so excited, and even though Ramadan and Eid are so far away, I am already thinking of these days. I miss the sisterhood (which is easier in one's own language) of walking to the Mosque together, everyone discussing hadith and Quran together over food, doing fun crafts with the kids.. anyways, here's to her safe arrival, ameen.


Boxie said...

Inshallah :)

MrsღA. said...

InshaaAllah!! I wish I could come to Oman that time but I already have plans <3

Crazy in Kuwait said...

Wow that sounds like such a cool group of chicks! Here in Kuwait it is all about how to outdo the other and I really don't click with the Kuwaiti chicks and a lot of the American women who I volunteer with are Christians married to Kuwaiti men and go to bible study etc. so I don't gather with them. I will def have to come to Oman Inshallah, I want some abayas!

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Mrs. A: Next eid after baby you r so invited;).

Boxie: INshaAllah.

Crazy in Kuwait: They are alhamdulilah. Omani girls are pretty awesome too---I have more Omani friends than expats in general. Very laidback and not about showing off in general (though those type exist not in our village too much). But I miss Westerners for how they veiw Islam---as a guide for life and not a system of irrevocable all-powerful fatwas. I miss being an individual and that not making me a show-off;). If you come let me know I would love to show you around. I think you'd click over here.

I have to get out to Kuwait to explore sometime. I have a friend married over there. Maybe you live in the same area and could meet up? She's super cool. Though I never get out there to visit her.... what a bad friend am I.