Saturday, July 29, 2006

Akeeka Photos

Finally photos are ready!!!!
MashaAllah, she looks exactly like a little angel

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Mom's Milk

I woke up feeling strange and sad.
I didn't feed you this night - you had formula instead. I couldn't feed you, darling, not because I don't want to, but because I'm having antibiotics, which would be harmful if passed on to you.

Formula feeding has affected you. You have constipation now; nappy changes have become less frequent, you need feeding less often as formula is heavier than breast milk.

Formula feeding has affected me, too. I have to cope with engorgement; I have to express milk and throw it away to keep from getting a worse infection myself; but worst of all..I have to cope with a broken heart because I miss those peaceful hours we would cuddle up together quietly.

The World Health Organistion recommends breastfeeding for two years.
The first year of breast milk provides health insurance for baby - it reduces the chances of developing gastro-intestinal problems, and respiratory tract infections. Colic and constipation are also diminished.
The second year of breast feeding is meant as a health aid for the mother - protecting against breast cancer and cervical cancer.

The Glorious Quran revealed this fact 1400 years ago. When science was not developed, these facts were revealed to a lone unsophisticated uneducated merchant in the deserts of the Middle East.

I can't wait till I can feed you again, my darling, inshaAllah.
It doesn't matter the pain I feel, or the discomforts I endure, like people sniggering. or the long hours on the bed; your health is the most important aspect. Your health, and my broken heart, that I can't give you the best sustenance.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

To hijjab or not to Hijjab, that is the question!

So now I have a daughter.

I wish to be a better Muslim, set more of a good example.

Next Thursday I'll be able to dedicate myself better to the required 5 daily prayers.
I'm fairly dedicated to keeping away from what is considered haraam and pride myself on following the Sunna as often as possible.

But there's the issue of the dress code. I've never dressed sexily. Long skirts and shirts are my usual 'uniform' or else long shirts with wide trousets.
But I like wearing sleeves up to my elbows in this heat.
And the headscarf doesn't appeal much to me.

But I have a daughter now.
I want to set a good example.
It would make my husband very happy.

It would make my family very angry and sad. They still equate the hijjab to the oppression of women in Islam, even though they've seen that I'm not living the life of the oppressed.
It would also be very expensive - I'd have to re-haul all my summer clothes - and buy the scarves too!! Right now finances are tight - so that money is better spent on things for Amnah instead of on clothes.

Then there's my job. I'm re-training as a teacher. Malta is by constitution a catholic country, although freedom of worship is guaranteed. But they will not let me practice teaching in a government school wearing hijjab. And of course, catholic schools are not an option for me.

what's this mum to decide?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Tribute to Baba Salem

Salaam Aleykum ya Baba.

I was scared to meet you first time I cam to Libya. your daughter had run off with a Maltese man, you were very angry, so I thought you just hate all the Maltese.

We arrived by car. There was no way you could know that this car, driving up your street, was coming to your door, bringing your favourite son and his bride to you. We didn't tell you, it was a surprise.
But you knew!! Always a wise old man, with a sense of intuition, as I would find out later.
You came to greet the car in your traditional jallabiyya, and hugged Ali to your chest. you were so happy to see your son, your newly married son.

I kissed your hand and touched it to my forehead, as Ali had taught me how. It seemed to embarass you "Shukran, shukran, shukran. Marhaba ya binti" And you presented me with a beautiful bracelet as a wedding gift, which you went to the Souk in the Medinah, and selected yourself!
How could I not love you?
Ali and I had faced a lot of racism already, in our month of marriage, your warm welcome and acceptance brought tears of happiness to my face.

Without ever telling you anything about what problems we were facing in our marriage, you always helped us through. Oh your sense of intuition!!!! You would always pass a badly-needed comment - the most important being "Don't care what people say, just take care of each other, you two" It helped us see what is important when we were on the edge of divorcing after Salma stepped in between us.

Our relationship with you was a long and loving one, I cannot tell all the anecdotes and all the memories I have of you.

Then you fell ill. Oh! What a long an painful illness! your body was eaten away, little by little; little by little. "Ya Kareem, " I prayed each night "How could you let this happen to the gentlest man in the world?"
In the end you passed away, holding a photo pf my daughter in your hands.

Poor Aminah never had the pleasure of meeting you; never had the pleasure of being held in your arms.

But when I see her smiling to herself, I know there's a special malayka that has come to play with her.

And I know that special angel is her beloved Jiddu Salem.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Sweet Child of Mine

Born on 16-6-2006 at 4 in the morning.

All night in labour, I was so tired, but immediately I heard your cry, and the midwife handed you into my arms, all the tiredness flew away, all the pain disappeared and a new heart was born in my chest which I gave all to you.

I love you my daughter, for you are beautiful, mashaAllah.
I love you my daughter, for you are such a good little baby.
I love you my daughter, for you are sooooo special.

I love you my daughter, cause you brought a new happiness into our life.

I love you my daughter, for you gave ma a chance to assist God in performing a miracle. The miracle of life. The miracle that is you!