It's too early, and too cold..
Layla turns off the alarm clock and angrily kicks the broken heater..
Hurriedly she performs the fastest ablution possible under the freezing water, trying not to forget any steps.
Praying fajr in Syria in the middle of January was torture..
oops I forgot to wash my elbows.. damn it.
On her way to the sink she remembers that the mysterious Saudi guest her parents had been talking about for over a week is coming today.
"I wonder what they're up to?" she thinks drenching her elbows vigorously.
A few kilometers away in Tabouk..
Coming home from college, sitting to a plate of traditional jareesh, Asma amuses at the gossip her aunt melodramatically discusses with her friend on the phone..
"He got married!"
She stiffles a giggle, not wanting to believe that "mediocre minds talk about events" while "shallow minds talk about people"
Her mind was only perplexed by her ophthalmology exam next Wednesday,
"I better download the e-book from that Indian forum"
Waking up from her afternoon nap, Fatma headed to the living room to watch news with her father, being an Iraqi and watching news was as depressing as it gets.. how about we listen to Fayrooz ya baba?
They both gaze at the screen with glassy eyes..
"Ya 6air.. ya 6iyr 3ala a6raf aldenya.."
Why didn't she leave to the states with her cousin when she had the chance!
In Idaho..sitting in the bus on the way to her second job at a local deli, Mariam puts the bookmark in her book "The Collected Poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar " and glances back at the lady in front of her..
Yes I am wearing a scarf.
Yes I am a Muslim woman from an Arab country.
But I am not a terrorist.
I did not kill your husband in Iraq.
After what she hoped was a semi-comprehendible eye-communication, she goes back to the poem;
"I know what the caged bird feels, alas!"
Studying for her ophthalmology final exam in the sweltering heat of Mumbai, India..
Why do the neighbors' kids have to be this loud and obnoxious, why?
And seriously, could the internet be any slower?
Laila promised that she'd upload the e-book in the forum by tonight..
"I'm going to disconnect the WiFi modem and bring it to my room, ok?" she yells
"NO" says her 15 year old sister, "I'm downloading Aishwarya Rai's new movie"
"WHAT?! NO WONDER THE INTERNET HAS BEEN THIS SLOW, I SWEAR IF YOU DON'T TURN IT OFF THIS SECOND..."
Only her brother -Rasheed- would empathize with her in these situations, but he left to be a driver in Mecca, his college degree gone to waste.
A few blocks from the holy mosque in Mecca, Reem hears maghrib prayer ring in the air..
Opening the window she wheels her grandfather's chair near it so they can both drink in the atmosphere..
"Do you want a piece of labanya ya jaddo? Rasheed bought them from "Soog Al-Hijaz"
A black and white pigeon eyes them from a rooftop hungrily.
Walking through the markets in Casablanca, Morocco on a busy afternoon.
Where French and Arabic languages mingle divinely..
"Ya 3ammo.. give me a kilo of squash, ooh and a few of those eggplants too!"
Couscous for dinner tonight!
While her vegetables are being weighed, Noor hears the news on the radio.
People dying all over the world.
From Japan to Sudan.
Muslims all over the world suffering.
From Iraq to Yemen.
Lifting her head up to the sky she sends a silent prayer:
"Ya Allah only you can fix all broken. Only you can right all wrong. Ya Allah grant health to every sick man, grant patience to every widowed woman and grant forgiveness for every soul lost"
Monday, 21 March 2011
It's too early, and too cold..