And the Debate about Burkini Ban continues #burkiniban

I am waking up everyday to see my newsfeed full of articles and news about the French Burkini Ban. No wonder any news get amplified ample times by our Social Media before it reaching us as a breaking news. The ban was initially in Nice and now it has spread to  15 french cities .France is a big country and for now it is only 15 cities who banned it but this ban is expected to follow in further cities too and which is alarming.

Is Burkini really that important to be banned? At the end it is just a costume that some women chose to wear while they go swimming.Neither the number of those women is high nor is their anything  in that attire that a part of population should feel threatened from it.Burkini looks similar to a wetsuit that a surfer wears but a wetsuit is not problem but Burkini is. May be because it is majorly worn by Muslim women who thinks covering up is part of their religious obligation which could be an issue for the French Government to digest on scales of their version of secularity .

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The above picture is depiction of recent stripping of Burkini Clad woman on a Nice beach versus the police in a Gulf country asking a woman to cover up. Aren’t they both the same in a way that you force a woman to cover or uncover ? Stripping a woman on a beach because her full covering is not acceptable to the people around , is ridiculous and shameful. You could just ask her to leave instead of asking her to take off  her clothes ?  Does it anyway sound like freedom or advocacy of women’s rights ? Is a woman not free to choose her clothes?  Should the government  tell their women what to wear?

The Burkini Ban is nothing but a policy to further divide people on basis of their choice  to wear clothes , another try to make a us vs them social divide. In a time where terrorism has struck high and governments of all countries should work to combat  terrorism  and Islamophobia , you are adding fuel to the fire with this Burkini Ban, you are justifying a part of population obsessed with Islamophobia that yes, you are right ! You need to be scared of women wearing a Burkini on a beach or swimming pool. In the name of secularism ,it is just oppression and curbing of basic human rights. I am sure there must be women out there who are not muslim and they do not like to show their skin too, covering up  is not only just muslim thing or cultural thing it is about individual rights and choices, how is anyone to decide if his/her choice is better than mine or vice versa.To each one his life, his choices. Let others live how they want to , not how you want them to,  based on your idea of living life .

Why it is alright to accept some old age clothing in name of fashion for example those gladiator shoes but if you see a woman wearing an abaya or head scarf, she looks to you from caves ? Because this is what Media has always portrayed , A woman letting go of her scarf as a sign of freedom ? I personally feel wearing a scarf was a sign of freedom for me, I chose to free myself from others  idea of how should I look, from those pressure of looking beautiful and acceptance in society and that competition of looking most beautiful in a party , I have broken free  from all such pressures and anxieties. Isn’t that freedom ? Yes , it is for me and it might not be for you, so please  everyone whenever the judgemental thoughts come to your mind , stop it right there and then , don’t let them play in your mind and disturb your inner peace.

Wish you all much Peace !

 

 

Travel Diaries #Algiers

Recently I have been to this beautiful City of Algiers (Algeria), so a travel blog about the city is a sure thing .You will see more of such travel posts  from my summer break so wait for them . Algeria is a Nordic African Country  ,infact the biggest country in African Continent  by area. Algiers is its capital  city.Being on coastline (west of Bay of Mediterranean Sea )   it has typical mediterranean climate.The city can be said to be built upon rocks as it is on altitude 400 ms above sea level.

The first place I have been to was this Jardin d’essai (gardens of tests ) ,it has beautiful green trees aged more than 100 years .The place has park, zoo,  some ponds, and aninstitute for ecological studies.

The other place I visited was old town or downtown as it downhill alongside the coast. It has old french style architecture.The downtown is busy area with  old white buildings , cafeterias, and shops.

The next thing exciting was the port and beautiful view of city during the day and night.

Algeria has a  rich history starting from Ottoman Empire to French rule and its struggle of Independence from French which ended on July 5 1962, so you can say it is still a new Republic .Below is picture of Maqaam -E -Shaheed which is a  museum of History of Algerian Independence  and an iconic symbol of tribute to its martyrs .

and last and the most important, it has nice clean beaches with fewer people and some good halal food and lot of green mint tea and you can swim there with your burkinis or bikinis ( though not likely to find many ) as you like.

and yes since I was home with my in laws , I ate local home cooked meals that you don’t find in restaurants  for example below is called Shakshoukha. It is steamed fine pasta poured over with red sauce cooked in chicken topped with chickpeas,veggies and eggs in short yummy😀

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Some Algerian cakes that you have with your tea or  coffee.They were close to some Indian baked biscuits called Naan Khatai ( if any of you know ) .

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So that was from my pictures, Hope you liked the city tour with me🙂 More pictures of more places on my next visit .

What if this existence is not real?

Often a thought

passes my mind

What if this existence

is not real?

This body, this breath

and touch  is nothing

but what I see in a dream.

And I will wake up

Somewhere as oblivious

as I am now of

where  I am sleeping.

A rich man waking up poor

And the poor will be rich.

Some will thank for

The dream is over

While others will cry

for their dream is wasted

in chasing a mirage.

Inspired by Rumi’s Masnawi , was reading his famous quote  while this poem happened in my mind .

This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.

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Welcome to the Age of Digital Anxieties

Recently read one of the article  from  Brain Pickings  called  We’re Breaking Up by Rebecca Solnit about Modern Non Communication and how it is changing our lives . My mind instantly found words to conform the behaviors  experienced everyday which I was communicating  through words like addictions , dependencies on internet and phone.Undoubtedly internet has changed our lives forever and there is no life imaginable without internet,without our Dear Phones held in our hands constantly .

Being a digital migrant and some of you might  be digital natives as well  there is constant surge of anxieties within us all the time, for example right now I have switched the tabs on my Chrome Window once  every 5 minute to check what’s happening elsewhere. I am always switching between my work laptop and phone. There is a constant anxiety to check Facebook or Whatsapp even if there is nothing really exciting happening .There is always this  feeling of  restlessness  to keep switching from what I am doing currently.  Is it  lack of focus and self control or boredom ?  Or is it FOMO , the fear of missing out on information ? My rate of getting  bored of whatever I am doing  is just ticking high with years passing by, I  always feel an urge to keep switching my focus , my concentration to something else of what I am doing in that moment.This need of doing many things at one time , this lack of interest in one thing as soon as you start it,  this lack of focus and attention of what a particular task deserves , it all annoys me in fact it bothers me. I want to be perfectly engrossed to what I am doing at that moment, that is how I was  but not any more .

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So far , I have been consciously minding myself and learning to discard these impulses, constantly reminding myself of how should I behave but the reality is  the anxiety of Digital Age  do exist and the struggle is also real , it is just that nobody is talking about it much until it will be an epidemic.The fact that you cannot be really alone even when you want to is disturbing ,to shut down your brain of everything else except where you want to focus is getting difficult everyday. To introspect, to muse requires lot of self motivation and practice than ever.

I am trying to regulate the behavior by switching off my data for few hours on work , going for a walk without phone, doing something for an hour without technology like reading a book , cooking , they are helping me so far. Do let me know how you deal with this untalked anxiety of our Digital Era would be great to know.

For You

When I first met you I wasn’t looking for anyone but a friend. We bonded instantly over the numerous similarities we share with each other. Sometimes my thoughts resonate in your mind and your feelings in my heart. You knew me so well in so less time we have known each other that the barrier of language doesn’t exist and I kept wondering how two people who do not know each other’s language could possible understand better than ones who speak your own language.

I was a strong woman looking for a strong man to share my life with, but over the time period I had given up, I was happy with the way my life was moving , I have accepted to be alone , to  manage my life  and everyday hurdles and then one day you just appeared  proving me all wrong. Allah has His ways of working secretly in people’s hearts; He loves to prove people wrong  about their sureties! When you are so sure about yourself and what you want, He is then there to prove you all wrong! Because there are layers of truths lying beneath your heart which one can never discover and reach until He the Almighty removes those covers of ego, greed and our self-love. You came as a mirror of my own self, sometimes showing me my better side and sometimes ugly side too. Probably I was too tired walking alone and you came as big tree where I can rest. One cannot be strong all the time and by struggling with life every day you keep on losing your energies and strength; you need stronger people in your life that can love you, support you, advise you and nurture you with their kind words and gestures and you just came in the right moment when Allah has planned it for us.

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The idea of getting dependent on someone used to scares me. What if that person leaves me and go? Where would I stand then? Will I be able to piece myself up together and walk again? My mind was so not ready to live with anyone, to be prone and expose my inner self and weaknesses. The decision to get married was difficult for my mind and its fears while the heart was at rest saying I knew you before we met on this earth and it trusted you instantly.

While all the time you kept asking me what I liked in you and why I agreed to marry you and I have always answered I do not know🙂 which has always annoyed you and I love  to see your reactions. Well the answer is probably everything  , it is hard to decide what I don’t like about you. Our relationship is more implicit one where we hardly express and say many things, but for today since it is your birthday I decided to write and I am hoping you might read it too as you always read my blog😉

Thank you Allah for bringing you in my life and I pray to Allah that He fulfil all your dreams and gladden your heart as you do to the ones around you.

RIP Dear Humanity#QandeelBaloch

To be honest I  have never known Qandeel Baloch until recently I read news and articles on internet about her cold blooded murder by her own brother in name of  honour killing . I am not here to justify or glorify her actions but I am certainly here to condemn her killing in name of family honour.

Her death has indeed left me gaped and wondering in which society we are all living where a woman is not safe with in her own home and family. There is no price of a woman’s life , it comes so cheap and easy.What kind of patriarchy is it which justifies the killing of human being just because she is woman ! Why not kill your sons who bring bad name to the family ,why only daughters ? Who is it that makes a woman whore ?? It is man and later on they go on to character assassinate her. Instead why not go and kill those terrorists who are bringing bad name to Muslims ? What kind of norms of society are these which sets limit only for a woman and not man!

The deep rooted patriarchal mindset , misogyny , male dominance ,ignorance ,  false pride are all responsible for such mindless honour killing.What kind of honour is this which comes at price of your loved one’s’ life  ? The collective spirit of our society which sets limit only for female behavior has to change ! A woman is nothing but a mirror of men around her , You need to think twice before raising a finger over a woman, Have you as a man done enough to ensure her freedom and security ? Have you given her due rights ? Have you raised her with love and education that she deserves ? Is it only a woman’s fault to blame her for everything wrong ?

What could be worse than a human being  not fearing his Creator for his unjust acts and  wrongdoings  but is more fearful of  the society and its people of what they will think and say about them. Leave each one to his own Karma , let him live his life ! Why be so judgemental and prosecutorial.Everyone learn their own lessons on this life’s journey, let them fall, let them rise, help them to stand up again but what we are doing right now is pushing them further down by dividing , by distancing and judging people.

My request to all my readers let us try to be human first  before being a man or woman.

( Qandeel Baloch was a Pakistani Model and social Media Celebrity . You can read more about it at Human Lens of Saadia Haq , fellow blogger and human rights activist from Pakistan. You can ask her to add your name to petition signed for Qandeel )

 

Eid Mubarak#EidMubarak

I wish you all Eid Mubarak ! Some of you might be celebrating today while others are waiting for tomorrow ! Well the celebration continues for 3 days so we can still coincide into each other’s Eid Timezone.

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Having food at lunch time  after a month almost and that too like ogres, I am feeling so sleepy ! and while I am writing this , my Mr Husband is already taking a nap😀

Eid brings back all the childhood memories of visiting  grandparents , meeting cousins, getting Eidi money and counting it at day end.Adulthood do come at the price of that lovely oblivious childhood. I try to compensate a bit by cooking the same traditional food that we always eat at my grandmother’s place on Eid .

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With  all such sad news  last week of people dying from terrorist attacks in so many countries  I feel so empty inside this Eid , and I feel  everyone else is feeling the same too. May Allah give sabr to hearts of people who lost their loved ones and make peace in all lands.

My post is just to lighten you up on Eid with all these memes. Hope you enjoyed it .

Take Care , Don’t over eat much ( little bit is okay😉 )  and yes don’t forget to hug people !

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and the last one before I leave !  I am sure it will remind you of someone😀 ( for those who dont know Hindi/Urdu , Kanjoos means stingy and Eidi is money that you get from elders on Eid )

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101 Simple Things that makes you happy Challenge

Recently I have been nominated by Stephanie  from ScaleSimple, for this challenge. I loved her list of 101 simple things that make you happy. While I started to write my list, I felt a bit childish ( after a long time :D)  and it seemed some overhead of work but once you are done , you will be surprised by the amount of things you should be grateful for in life than you actually are . It took me few days to complete this list  but I did it finally.

Happiness 101 Simple Things Challenge rules…

  • Write 101 Simple things that make you happy

  • Tag 5 bloggers who you would like to invite to take part in this challenge

  • Mention my blog in your post!

    so here is my list !

  1. Happiness is completing  your first fast in Ramadan.
  2. Happiness is breaking fast with loved ones.
  3. Happiness is cooking with  husband.
  4. Happiness is shopping with friends.
  5. Happiness is meeting an old pal.
  6. Happiness is travelling to a new place.
  7. Happiness is striking off the name of a Destination covered from your travel list.
  8. Happiness is sharing my food.
  9. Happiness is going home on Eid.
  10. Happiness is seeing kids of family.
  11. Happiness is buying a new book.
  12. Happiness  is eating my favorite dish cooked by  mother.
  13. Happiness is going back to places and eating at my favorite restaurants
  14. Happiness is getting things right in first attempt.
  15. Happiness is going to all girls meet out.
  16. Happiness is getting  a surprise birthday gift from  a friend living faraway.
  17. Happiness is  when  mother in law says she is missing me.
  18. Happiness is cooking for friends.
  19. Happiness is surprising  hubby with his favorite dish.
  20. Happiness is in smelling aroma of Biryani.
  21. Happiness is finding my favorite color in flowers while walking .
  22. Happiness is when someone smiles at me .
  23. Happiness is talking all night with  cousins.
  24. Happiness is making hot chocolate on cold winter night .
  25. Happiness is booking my next trip.
  26. Happiness is finding  way  back when I am lost in my explorations.
  27.  Happiness is being on sea side.
  28. Happiness is  changing interiors of  home.
  29. Happiness is buying a new teapot.
  30. Happiness is matching my kitchen accessories.
  31. Happiness is collecting different types of teas.
  32. Happiness is publishing a new post on my blog.
  33. Happiness is finding new friends on wordpress.
  34. Happiness is watching Tom and Jerry.
  35. Happiness is reading Charles Dickens.
  36. Happiness is being at Granier and 365 (Spanish Cafe chain)
  37. Happiness is eating Dosa  in Belgium ( South Indian Food)
  38. Happiness is buying  a new scarf for my Hijab Collection.
  39. Happiness is wearing a gharara ( Traditional Dress)
  40. Happiness is buying yet another nude shade of lipstick .
  41. Happiness  is leaving from work early on fridays🙂 .
  42. Happiness is workout at gym.
  43. Happiness  is going for long walk .
  44. Happiness is greenery around.
  45. Happiness is waking up late on weekends.
  46. Happiness is being pampered when you are sick .
  47. Happiness is  remembering my brother’s childhood adventures.
  48. Happiness is visiting my grandparents.
  49. Happiness is eating my homemade jam.
  50. Happiness is going for a  picnic.
  51. Happiness is watching a football match together with husband.
  52. Happiness is watching old movies.
  53. Happiness is looking at childhood pictures.
  54. Happiness is  watching  goal scored  from your favorite football team.
  55. Happiness is skyping with your best friend.
  56. Happiness is discovering a shortcut to home .
  57. Happiness is call from father.
  58. Happiness is doing crazy things with my brother (example discussing the growth of his newly born fish.)
  59. Happiness is baking a cake !
  60. Happiness is reading Rumi’s Mathnavi.
  61. Happiness is seeing your family after long time.
  62. Happiness is your cousin’s wedding.
  63. Happiness is solving a puzzle.
  64. Happiness is seeing your wedding ring everyday and remembering the day.
  65. Happiness is learning to sew .
  66. Happiness is scribbling into my diary.
  67. Happiness is painting.
  68. Happiness is taking pictures.
  69. Happiness is a cup of coffee.
  70. Happiness is growing  your plants.
  71. Happiness is daydreaming.
  72. Happiness is spring.
  73. Happiness is watching your favorite comedy show.
  74. Happiness is sharing a joke on whatsapp.
  75. Happiness is cooking for iftar(traditional cooking for ramadan).
  76. Happiness is cheesecake.
  77. Happiness is looking at your organised cupboard! (though it remains only for a day :D)
  78. Happiness is another pair of footwear.
  79. Happiness is smell of your favorite perfume.
  80. Happiness is a bug fixed ( when I code😀 )
  81. Happiness is a long chat with a  friend living far away.
  82. Happiness is news of newborn of your friends.
  83. Happiness is checking  pictures of your cousin’s wedding when you can’t go and rest all are sending pictures and doing live commentary.
  84. Happiness is when your cousins tells you they are missing you at a get together event.
  85. Happiness is catching your husband doing something silly.
  86. Happiness is when you realize you have finally got rid of an old bad habit.
  87. Happiness is when you have lose some weight accidently.
  88. Happiness is getting a book as gift.
  89. Happiness is Sales Shopping.
  90. Happiness is complaining to your husband that you have nothing to wear !😉
  91. Happiness is donuts.
  92. Happiness is  learning something new.
  93. Happiness is visiting your motherland.
  94. Happiness is being in your home town.
  95. Happiness  is going to your parent’s home.
  96. Happiness is being in your old room at your parent’s home.
  97. Happiness is seeing your old toys.
  98. Happiness is sleeping with mommy.
  99. Happiness is buying a new pen ( if you love to write before typing took over)
  100. Happiness is feeling of being loved .
  101. Happiness is a thank you note !

Feel free to participate in this challenge , I am keeping my nominations open to all who would like to do this !🙂