Book Review Time : The Beauty of your face by Sahar Mustafah

I finished the book last week, its really hard to put this book down once you start reading it, it  is totally engrossing and capturing your attention. It had made me cry , sad, few times angry too and smile .

Plot :
Afaf is American woman born to  Palestinian parents , she is a principal of Nurideen Girls High School in Tempest Illinois. There is an attack in school by an alt right extremist and story moves in flashbacks between this scene and her past.
Afaf’s parents had to emigrate from Palestine  to US during an ongoing war situation in the country only to find a life of struggle in US.
The family could never come out of the trauma  when their eldest teenager daughter runs away from home, life was never the same again  for Afaf and  her brother as kids and her parents as a family together .
Despite of all the hardships, struggles and a disturbed childhood Afaf found her Peace in Islam,  friendships and belongingness  in the local mosque and it’s community.

My opinion about the book:

The good part of the book is it doesn’t load all the information related to Islam or muslims in one fold, it opens up slowly and slowly revealing what each phrase or act means to Muslim or in Islam. The segregation between culture and Islam was done beautifully.

I loved how the  struggles  of muslims in different layers is highlighted.
For example : What it means
if you are Muslim in America.
If you are a Muslim and Arab ,
If you are Muslim , Arab,  Palestinian.
If you are Muslim, Arab, Palestinian and a  woman .
If you are Muslim, Arab, Palestinian,  a  woman and a Hijabi .
Each word adds a layer of  complexity of struggle and micro and macro aggressions faced  in everyday life by these people.

I totally recommend .

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#saharmustafah#thebeautyofyourface#englishbooks #diversebooks #diverseauthorsbookreview

Condemnation of Bombay High Court Judgement for child abuse case

Source : Hindustan Times

The two screenshots will give you the context of my post.

It is related to recent judgement passed by Bombay High court for a child abuse case.

The problem here is not the that the guilty went away with a minimum sentence and without sexual assault charges. The problem is the mindset, trivializing an abuse or assault that too on a minor. A skin to skin contact is required to term the abuse as sexual assault , you can go away with gropings , touchings and harassment without listing it as sexual abuse.

Can you imagine the trauma kids have to live with when they face any such kind of abuse , how do you explain a 8 or 10 year old or even lesser what is being groped or pinched, at a time when their bodies are still tiny or changing and they are still playing with toys, when parents are still thinking how to explain them sexuality or good and bad touch and here you are telling them it wasn’t a sexual assault ! In brackets ( Not that a big deal , atleast you weren’t raped , be thankful to your abuser, the bigger sentences are for the rapists only ) .

We are a country where every day we have cases of a girl child either aborted in womb ( her only crime is being a girl) or killed as infant , molested or raped . Marking 24 January as girls child day which just went , it is such an outrageous judgement.
Time to rethink the laws and perhaps some amendments ?

#fromadaydreamersdiary #womansupportingwomen
#womenwhoread #womenwhothink #womenwhowrite #indianwriters#indianbloggers

National Girls Child Day India

Seeing all Girls Child Day posts today brings back a lot of memories from childhood . We are a big family where there are more girls in family than boys from all sides ( aunts and uncles) . My grandparents had 7 children out of which 4 are daughters and 3 sons , who further made them fortunate grand parents of 19 grandchildren out of only 4 are boys and 13 are girls.
Growing up we had so much privilege, pampering and favor being girls that we forget the boys should also be equally treated 😅🙈.
My grandparents doted on girls , boys were always trouble makers , mischief makers and were mostly on reprimands from elderly.
The boys of the house still complain of injustice done to them as boy-child .
My grandmother never went to school, her only school was my educated open minded grandfather .
We were fortunate to never face any discriminatory act as daughters or girls at home and I am forever grateful to them , my parents , uncles , aunts for creating such a safe haven for all us girls.
The life outside home has taught us the bitter reality that what we had at home wasn’t the Norm and a majority of girls face inequalities, discrimination, exploitation in society. As a woman now I do feel that a lot has to be done to provide those safe havens for the girl child in our country.

Lets raise awareness .

PS : my grandfather holding on my cousin Zoya who was the cutest child of the family,
Second pic is my niece Ameera : a curious, carefree, rebellious, defiant , fearless girl. Basically Everything I wasn’t and wanted to be as a child.

#nationalgirlchilddayindia #24january

My niece,
Pictures are subject to copyright ©️
My grandfather with my cousin!

Pictures are subject to copyright ©️

Soul’s Joy

Soul’s Joy

Look at the
soul’s joy.
The water,
When she sees.
Desiring to coalesce
And flowing  faraway .
From the altitudes
of mountains
And the depths
of seas,
Determined to
soar she is.
Prior to, As if
aware she is,
Of  these
Her happiness ,
Similar to
the  person
hopelessly lost
and wandering .
On  finding himself
back in his alley.

Tried my hands in Hindi/Urdu with transliteration:

khushi dekhiye Rooh ki
paani ko dekhkar
ghul jana chahti hai
Beh jana chahti hai
Kahi door chale
jana chahti hai .
Pahado ki unchaiyyon se
Samundron ki gehraiyon se
Parwaaz karna chahti hai.
Pehchaanti ho jaise
In raasto ko Pehle se.
Khushi ka alam aisa
Jaise  na ummeed koi
guma hua  insaan
Bhatakte huye
apne hi gali
mei aa gya ho .

Picture and text is mine,
Subject to copyright ©️

#fromadaydreamersdiary #poets#poetsofinstagram
#hindipoetry #urdupoetry #englishpoems #hinditransliterated  #contemporaryenglishpoem
#spiritualreflections #soulful

BOOK REVIEW: Its not about the Burqa edited by Mariam Khan.

It’s a non fiction , list of 17 essays on varied topics of what it is like being a muslim woman in UK but each worth reading.

When the voices are about Muslim Women, their choice of clothes are discussed on National TV without a proper representation , the book came as a response to take a stand and speak up about themselves rather than being spoken of or about and yes their issue is definitely not the burqa.

I took my time to read the book and have enjoyed reading it few essays per day .There wasnt a dull moment in the whole book.

Some of the essays I really loved were on topic of depression in muslims , divorced muslim women , issues arising due to unregistered muslim marriages and being a feminist muslim wearing a Hijab.

The book clearly speaks of othering, racism, marginalization, misrepresentation, falsifications , public harassments , fabrication of lies by media to get TRPs and feeding the news hungry vultures.

I was shocked to see the extent of hate mails, comments , trolling, condemnation received by muslim women authors, writers, journalists and leaders when they write or speak up for themselves and the effect of all that on those individuals. The hate mails and death threats were from both muslim extremists and white supremacists.

Anything non white , non conformist in speech, or even in dress up is unacceptable in general public. The white savior syndrome and its harmful effects on all Intersectional women all the while dealing with patriarchal mindsets within their own communities itself .
So much to know and learn from this book .
I highly recommend .

Cherry Blossom

I have a cherry blossom at home and these Mourning doves are regular visitors during the sunsets. Sometimes there is one singing his sad song , sometimes there are a group resting but yesterday it was a pair and Beautifully captured in my camera.

It was amazing how my mind signals me one dove for lonely , two as in couple and group as merry.
Perhaps one was just a happy single and singing his freedom .
However the ones which captured my attention most was this pair finding comfort in their company.
How good it is to be home with in the warmth of your loved ones and under the security blanket of their love .
This covid has made some people feel real loneliness and others find solitude .
What about the ones who lost their partner or family member due to covid ? and got further alienated by lockdown rules where nobody could come to share your grief or you cant travel to them or anywhere just for the sense of wandering .
I cannot imagine what it is to be like in that situation.
I can only pray for them and express gratitude for everything I have.

A short poem I wrote recently.

Empty branches
missing leaves
and the birds.
The lonely nest
ownerless , rests
On a cherry
blossom tree .

Nothing but
a black cat
roams around
Once on a
Wintry dark

#poets #englishpoems
#womenwhothink #womenwhowrite #womenwhoread

Doves on a cherry blossom tree.