Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Zombies

I don't know, I am just doing a random rant right now. Sometimes, being a Muslim in this war on terror I feel like a Zombie. This is especially after seeing the film Zero Dark Thirty. That film validated everything that happened in Abu Ghraib which mind you, was done not to get information, but for the enjoyment and pleasure of the soldiers. Don't get it twisted and think otherwise.

Maybe you think that I am just one of those whiny Muslims complaining about, just-a-movie. However, when it means that someone else will see this and not think twice about torturing or killing someone, well, then, it's means something more. Here is the video perhaps it will help you understand.

Slavoj Zizek on Zero Dark Thirty

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Closing of Newark's Public Schools: One Program to Empty Out a City

Well so much for the love of Cory Booker. He was the famous mayor of Newark, who has now tripped the light fantastic and moved on to the Senate,now that the glow of his aura is gone. Hence people can see what is really happening in Newark. Murder and Mayhem.

Education is the first thing that is going.

The new One Newark Program which is now being sprung on Newark Residents, begins:

"Out of the 100 schools in Newark only 20 are good."

The curious part of all of this is that it would make one think that the state of New Jersey is taking over the schools from the city of Newark.

The other excuse is that the school is old. They have a video with Keith Barton talking about the "portfolio of Newark Public Schools'. The next screen has the school janitor, talking about the water infiltration of the school, however, this school is slated to be kept open. So don't fall for the smoke and mirrors. Cami talks about under investments in buildings, so who was responsible for this? The state. And then again since we are talking about money and investments, what happened the 100 Million dollars that Mark Zuckerberg gave to Cory Booker for Newark Public Schools in 2010?

What really happened to the money, no one know. One report says that about $4.3 million went to Cory Booker and Chris Cerf's pockets via organizations that they ran and the consultants that they provided. Another says that it went to pay for teacher's contracts, but if the schools were falling down, why not fix them? There is another report that says the money went a charter school called the Bard, but it is not on the current Newark charter school list.

Only the WashingtonPost has a story that criticizes the motives behind the Facebook donation, which was to help Zuckerberg and Booker look good. Other than that, it seemed to serve no purpose.
I remember when they had their meetings. The suited up preppy white guys with their flip boards. One attendee told me that in essence the only results fights about charters versus public schools.

So, what happened? Will we ever know?

Now that there is a Take Over, more questions remain.

The new system is that instead of simply join to the school nearest you and registering, you will now have to fill a form. This form will also include your name being placed in a lottery for all of the Newark charter schools. Aha! Here is how it works:

Applications will be given out January 6, 2014 and are due February 14, 2014.

Those in Pre-K and 8th grade must use the application

Anyone wanting to change a school must fill one out also. 

Those who don't want a change don't need to do. 

The 'system will match you to a school'

April 1, 2014 you will find out which school you will go to for 2014-2015 school year. 

In the mean time the school will be changed in such a way that you will not recognize them anymore anyway.

The state of New Jersey took over Newark Public School 21 years ago and it is the state that has been running 80 out of 20 schools from the beginning.

Ok, they have a new superintendent and a new person running the Newark Public schools both of whom have questionable interests in Newark's schools and their students.

Yet, it seems to me, that if they do not fix what is happening on the streets outside of the schools, then what is going on inside, them won't matter much.

On Facebook yesterday there was a picture of a family shot down on the street, just laying on the grown. Last week there was protest against the proposed convert of 20 plus Newark public schools including three of it's high schools into charter schools. The city only has four open to the general public but does have on Catholic, on Benedictine, and three magnate schools. All of whom either requires hight grade averages, money or both.

So much for equal opportunity and bridging the class divide. It seems to me like a straggly to move long time residents out of Newark and turn it into so fancy FortGreen- East West Village type of gentrified luxury spot for New Yorkers looking for cheap and easy access to their jobs over the river.

I am just shaking my head at the whole thing.

One of the excuses is that Newark's population is dwindling. However, with all other bragging from Cory and his supporters, one would think that people were running to Newark. So, what is the truth?
If the people are leaving Newark and Newark's public schools then why?

There are a lot of whys that need to be asked. Such as why are schools being "Resit" which means that all of the staff is being let go and they will have to reapply to work in their old jobs. It sounds fishy to me.
But what is even more fishy is the fact in districts such as North Newark's schools such as First Avenue and Abington, as well as about four other school no change will occur. Why?

Will all of the millions that have been spent over the last two decades and the money that has been used in the Zuckerberg millions, how can I be convinced that it will really be different?


Did You Miss Me?

Hi Guys,

I am back. I have been off doing stuff like reading wacky books such as Sammy's Hill by Kirstin Gore about a senator staffer who has a wacky sense of the world. She confides in telemarketers, celebrates weird days such as the invention of bubble gum, and sleeps with guys at the drop of a hat. Other then the last part, I thought the book was ok, but yuck. Did I also mention that she was a hypochondriac, well I guess she's the type that doesn't consider sharing body fluids something risky.

The other thing that I've been doing is listening to Too Much Youtube. My head is spinning. From Slavoj Zizek to Kimonica's weightless channel. Talking about hearing voices. I think that I am going to stop and go out and meet real humans in the flesh. You know share some coffee and a sandwich or something. Perhaps I'll go to the park and bird watch.

Anyway,

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ramadan Random Rant




GRRRRRRRRRR


It’s Ramadan and normally, I only write when necessary, because I feel that this year and this month, I am in an emergency state. I need much dua, supplication, and good deeds. Mostly for myself and my family but also for the ummah as a whole, because as you can see it is one hot mess right now.
Now, the in my humble opinion, the source of this crisis is really, that people just don’t understand stuff. This is not me being arrogant, but from what I understand from talking to people, they actually belived that with just one election, that they were going to get Democracy-American-Style.

Ok, this is a minor fault. The greater fault is that this month’s current crisis. In the month of Ramadan, people numbers are dwindling from the masjids here in Sharjah. Last year, you couldn’t get in the door, nor the year before that, but this year, their is enough space to ride a bike in the little one that I go to.
Then there is the crisis in behavior, where kids are not being taught to respect the masjid. Teenagers come with their mobiles and talk  and laught during Taraweeh, or not so little kids such as twelve year olds and under run, place and break the rows. My daught told me yesterday during salah one girl poured water on the head of another. Then a few days before that, in that same masjid, someone had given what seemed to be a six year old and a four year old, some bombas, little bits of explosives wrapped in paper to throw in front of the masjid door.


I need to pray, but I am also about to lose my patience along with my mind. 

Then there are those who are just adamant about letting their children get away with stuff. ‘They are small’ the say. But I have been seeing this one girl in the masjid since she was four years old and now she is fourteen, with little improvement. She was sitting on the floor chatting with a friend and the face that her mother gave her, if it was me, I would have pulled her up by her ears. Not only did she get up, she told her mother to wait.

Yes, I am ranting, but allow me this. There is a book that I read where it says that if you do not train your children, it is as if you let scropions run within the society. This is so true.  Part of the crisis within the Arab world is poor home training. The other is ignorance, especially in this age of ingnorance where people rely on TV, internet and Facebook and Twitter.

Getting your facts in a bunch of titters and tatters here and there and in the end thining that you know it all is not the answer. Then many people fail to ask questions or dig deeper-it seems to take just too much effort.

The first thing to do is to train people in the proper tarabiya, Islamic manners in how to treat each other, be polite and know their place. This should be done starting with the mothers and then the children. This manners should be taught, according to the Quran and the Sunnah. It may seem outdated, but really not much other works. Besides, when it comes to Muslims, it’s something that they can relate to and it will in many cases kick in some long lost memory. Only if people understand that there is a way to do things and ways that are wrong, that this crisis of bad characters will end.

InshaAllah  


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Why Turkey Matters

If you are are wondering what's the big deal with Turkey and its tree huggers, you will find it here





Sunday, May 26, 2013

UAE: PERCEPTIONS AND THOUGHTS


Sometimes just because of looks, people get you all wrong. Today, as I walked on the narrow sidewalk on my part of Jamal Abdul Nasser an Indian woman and her two children were coming towards my way. I guess rules of etiquette would mean that someone gives way, I thought that since there were three of them standing side by side, the mother would tell the two children to get in front of her or behind her and for a single file line so that we could all share the walkway without endangering ourselves walking in the street and oncoming traffic. This was not the case however, she decided that it was better to push against and nearly smashing me into her son.

I’ve faced this sort of petty violence against myself as many people assume so many things about me. In the particular case the women was Indian and was determined not to be bullied by an Arab, which she perceived me to be. I’ve seen this sort of behavior time and time again. One time a doctor assumed that I was Emirati and had pushed my way into her office without an appointment, but I had been sent there from emergency. She didn’t care, she began shouting at me and refused to see me and sent me to the other doctor, who nevertheless was kind and thorough in doing his duty. So much for doctors helping people.

 Now those are my perceptions, however it could be another element to it- the Muslim non-Muslim factor. This usually occurs within the Indian context where some non-Indians just refuse to talk to you regardless of who you are or what you do. This was the case of the friend of a friend who used to talk to me everyday about her friend would give me cold looks each time I tried to smile at her. Both were Indians and both were non-Muslims. Our non-smiler did come around after two years of my nodding her way. I guess perseverance is the key.

All American Muslims must be spies. This is one theme that comes up over and over. I’ve heard popular imam Suhaib Webb, say this as he told about his life while studying in Egypt at Al Azhar, when he was accused of being a spy. I remember that once a very sincere and good friend of mine has went to a masjid to learn how to read Quran and after the telling her Muslim sisters that she was an American, they called her the enemy. I too, was recently informed by a neighbor that she thought that I was a spy.

Of course looking to others to give you your rights in this world should be and Allah is the only one who can give you your rights. This is the social politics of UAE, many people run on assumptions.
I remember the woman who teaches my daughters Quran at the masjid, forbade them coming too early asking them, “Aren’t you afraid that the Indian men will get you?” Meanwhile she never got the hint that my husband is Indian and my daughters are too.
 
And yet another perception, that Indians are dangerous. While we were in the store the sales lady told my daughter, “You have to be careful about touching everything, there are many Indians around and they are very dirty.” I hear it all of the time. However, whenever I got to Majaz Park, It’s not the Indians who are eating a million sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds and throwing their shells on the ground. Nor is it the Indians who bring cups, chairs, food and plates and tissues and not even bother to dispose of them properly.

Then I hear many Arabs say, “Oh, those Indian children are so polite and respectful.” It is true. Then again, fear makes you polite doesn’t it?

And while I am not sure of the specific details, what I do know is that regardless of who thinks what there are millions of South Asians, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis who are here and who are Muslims and are not being given their minimum rights as Muslims. I think that the perception is that all of them are not Muslim so anything goes or that their country is poor so again anything goes.

But this will not work for long. I remember reading Fredrick Douglass’ autobiography where he described his master beating him when he was a slave. Then I remember being shocked that even though 130 years had passed since the end of slavery, Black people beat their children using the same language. Then when you think of the unbridled cruelty of the Israeli government towards Palestinians, it is also, in some way the same cruelty if not worst than that they suffered from while living in Nazi Germany.

Islam came to end cruelty, to stop violence. However, it can only do so if one uses it and the model provided to us from our beloved Prophet Muhammad Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him. Imagine the ajer multiplied by millions with justice and safety, that comes when people treat each other well, think the best of each person they meet, and do their best to help each other. This is not some fairy tale, it’s the promise of Islam and a command from Allah.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosion-

A few hours ago, there were two explosions at the Boston Marathon. From the look of the video, it was pretty bad. Some reports are that the were a hundred injured by broken glass, three dead, and about 23 seriously injured.

For happy go lucky Americans this is pretty horrific. However, compared to this http://last-of-iraqis.blogspot.ae/, it was pretty minor. Never the less, I am sorry for those who were hurt and killed. I have a friend who is from there and I will be calling her later.

The think that was making me antsy has been the reportage, where although they have not directly mentions 911, they have the words of terrorism on their lips. So much so, that they tried to link an electrical fire at the John F. Kennedy library to the explosions.

I have no clue who or why this happened. And yet, reporter on NBC news suggesting that this is similar to something like those "Targeting those in uniform," is overtly suggestive. What is the point?

Three hours after the event, it went from a possible gas explosion to a bomb in a garbage can, to a "Great American Tragedy."
My first thought of the initial video was how lucky those who are in this awful circumstance are. The showed about 6 or more EMT trucks and fire trucks, along with gangs of emergency response workers,

They had all of the help the needed to get them the care or to the hospital as quickly as possible.

But thinking about Iraq and the bombings such as the one shown above, where just the ability to run and run fast is what made the difference between life and death.

So, now as I write this, and listen to the news live stream, of course they found and former veteran of Afghanistan who was running in the Boston Marathon, who said that the bombing was like and "IED"

Of course this jazzes it up a little, but it in no way compares to the drone droppings that killed the group of children last week or the several explosions that have happened these past few days in Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

I would never want to experience anything close to a bombing, but I don't think linking it to the past wars or terrorist acts is responsible journalism.

We'll see how it further develops.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I tried to Vote for my candidate in this year's election but because of Sandy my vote was thrown out. Finally, something might get done about it. 

On Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 there will be a march on Washington to the Supreme Court to represent on the proposal by President Obama during his State of The Nation Speech about people not being able to vote due to long lines, but not mentioning that many votes were lost in the wind like mine which was supposed to be counted later in November once everything was back to normal. What a lie. 

They are doing the same thing with Education especially in cities like Newark, Chicago, and others. It's 1969-70 all over again. 

This little post I got from my Facebook Friend P. Bradford. 


Black History Month lesson: Folks are getting on the 

buses headin' to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, 

February 27, 2013. Their agenda is voter supression. 

Honestly - we are going to fight against oppression, but 

not do anything about our right that was taken to vote on 

our children's education in urban cities across this 

nation. Oh, my bad - it's not the same; it's called 

takeover huh?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Prayers for Our Leaders

  
UAE National Day celebrations 2011(video)
©Khadijah Nur bint Ismail

“When it comes to following our leaders, know that they have a wider vision then those who follow them. We don’t know how much work they put into making the best decisions for their people.” I wish I’d said it but these are the words of Muhammad Alshareef, founder of Al Maghrib Institute, during his Power of Unity lecture last week.

In these days of Mr. and Mrs. Know-it-all, criticizing leaders is a global pastime. However, has anyone ever considered how difficult it is to fill those shoes? It’s pretty dang hard. While watching my favorite historical soap, Hareem Sultan, to keep up with the political parts, I’ve been reading up on the Sultan Suleyman’s rule. It seemed like an impossible task not only to run Istanbul, but to have gathered the forces, brain power, and the will to manage an empire that spanned three continents all of which he began to do at the age of twenty five?  I dare you to find a young man of that strength these days.

Although he started a little later in life, it’s hard to find a leader who had a better and broader vision than the founder of the UAE, Shaikh Zayed.  He understood that creating a good character was more difficult than building a city. Which why he did all he could for the citizens of UAE to develop their talents. And now we can see the result of his vision, which has been built upon by his sons the leaders of the other emirates. Taking this land from desert to a dynamo was unimaginable to most, but they did it. InshaAllah, it will only get better. ‘Allah protect the Emirates’ is the prayer on the lips of everyone who’s shared in the niamah of this nation.

Emirati artist, Abdul Qader Al Rais, gave a tour and talk of his collected works at the Sharjah Art Museum in October. He has long been one of my favorite Emirati artists. I admire his agile use of water colors celebrating Emirati traditional architecture, use of calligraphy, and the calming effect of his harmony of pastel and muted hues. However, I learned that he has other styles and themes as well. Using his most powerful tool, in his painting of the placid rocks like those found in Hatta, he wrote, ‘Allah, protect my country.’ I asked Al Rais, about his rock painting. He said that it was a response to the Arab Spring, which he remarked, “Has turned into a disaster.” He went on to say, “There is a hadith that says, the best of leaders are those who pray for his people and his people pray for him.” Al continued, Shaikh Zayed, was a leader who prayed for his people and his people prayed for him.” So true. I remember the day Allah took him back. The nation was devastated; not just Emiratis, expats as well.

Shaikh Zayed al Nayhan was UAE a very prayer worthy leader. SubhanAllah.  I am a witness of the beauty and barakat of his time. When he was ill, we were sad. When he was well, people celebrated in the street. The radios were full of praise and best wished for his health and longevity. Even now, eight years after his death, people still read poems about him and sing nasheeds honoring him, and wish that he was here. These past few days, I’ve been missing him and praying for Allah’s mercy on him.

 It was his faith, Islam, helped be so successful in building the firm foundation of this nation that protects it until today. In the green of the date palm, we see the barakat in this land. The miracle of the metro, the serene splendor of Saadiyat Island, and the waves of the Arabian Gulf All of which makes many of us expats, shudder at the thought of leaving. For some this is the little corner of the Arabia means money, bling, and posh spots, but for many others this is the land of hudur, tranquility, friendship and brotherhood.

The random kindness of strangers, the care that we offer to each other, the worry we have for the poor, the sick, the haggared traveler, this is what protects this land and keeps it safe. The taqwa of the people who lead and live here, like that of Shaikh Zayed is what makes the Emirates so blessed and special. As it says in the UAE national anthem, “Islam is our way of life, Quran is our guide. InshaAllah, Al Rais’ pray will be answered, as long as we keep our faith, do good deeds and pray for our beloved leaders of UAE.


©Maryam Ismail
2012
 



Friday, October 19, 2012

50 Cent Role Model for UAE?

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/us-rapper-50-cent-wows-dubai-students

50 Cent arrived in Dubai for GITEX to promote his new brand of headphones and his enery Street King, which he tried to tell his fans and the American School of Dubai about his venture, but they wouldn't listen. Instead, they just wanted to hear him rap.

Ok, let's just say that 50 Cent means well. But I can't believe that any Muslim parent in his right mind would want his son or his daughter being part of this scene? UAE has so many other local role models, do we need a 50 Cent when we have dirham billionaires?

The Street King official TV Commerical

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

African American Teachers Survey

This is a new survey to measure how African Americans view themselves as teachers in UAE it's short and only 3-5 minutes. I don't know how many African Americans in UAE look at this blog, but I'd thought I would put it here anyway.

Survey

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

YouTube: Please Respect Muslims

I don't know how that YouTube widget got on my page, but if any of you all know how to get it off please let me know.  I've always had this sneaky feeling that maybe YT did really didn't like aus. But now that even after the White House asked them and Google to remove that film, that I won't mention, it doesn't really care about Muslims or Arabs.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Ramadan Kareem

Just a short note to wish everyone a blessed and wonderful Ramadan.

I was actually thinking that it would be really hard, but it's ok after all.

:)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Well, finally the Muslim Brotherhood has their spot in the sun and I hope that inshaAllah they will do their best to bring Egypt to a new safe and secure life that will bring hope to all who live there.

I have to say Alf Mabrook to all of my friends who voted, even though some of them didn't want him, well, that's how this thing works. Look at the US.

And for those in the US who are wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth like the monsters in Where the Wild Things Are, believe me, it is all for naught. Egypt's democracy is not YOUR democracy. Let them do it their way and be happy with it.

Like Erdogan said two years ago, at the Davos meeting that made him the love of the Arab world, "We have to accept whoever wins, even if we don't like them." So there.

Accept and Believe, this is how it is.

I know it's hard. Looking on the Democracynow.org website, I found an eerie silence on the decision that Mursi won the election. And now I am curious how they will handle it on the MHP-Melissa Harris Perry show. However, my curiousity will not have me wasting my time watching her show which she calls Nerdland, but she means Agendaland. Really, I wonder, whose agenda is she pushing, her own, or the US's?

Anyway, win the tie between Mursi and Shafiq happened she along with Francis Fukayama, almost had a fit. What? The lamented, a Islamist and an old regimer? No Way!

Some had the same reaction with GW Bush won (the first and second time).

As for that crazy Insider program on Mursi and his presidency, it should have been called Outsider, especially from the wacky point of views coming from Darwish, the london reported. He was bring back stuff from the 1950's.

And to think that most of those people are dead and have died in the hands of the socialist, secular goverment with led to the rise of Mubarak.

Go figure. Anway, I am glad for my brothers and sisters. Al Hamduillah, Allah Ma'aki
AAAAALLLLLFFFF Mabroooook Ya Ikhwan and Saidy Mursi

Well, finally the Muslim Brotherhood has their spot in the sun and I hope that inshaAllah they will do their best to bring Egypt to a new safe and secure life that will bring hope to all who live there.

I have to say Alf Mabrook to all of my friends who voted, even though some of them didn't want him, well, that's how this thing works. Look at the US.

And for those in the US who are wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth like the monsters in Where the Wild Things Are, believe me, it is all for naught. Egypt's democracy is not YOUR democracy. Let them do it their way and be happy with it.

Like Erdogan said two years ago, at the Davos meeting that made him the love of the Arab world, "We have to accept whoever wins, even if we don't like them." So there.

Accept and Believe, this is how it is.

I know it's hard. Looking on the Democracynow.org website, I found an eerie silence on the decision that Mursi won the election. And now I am curious how they will handle it on the MHP-Melissa Harris Perry show. However, my curiosity will not have me wasting my time watching her show which she calls Nerdland, but she means Agendaland. Really, I wonder, whose agenda is she pushing, her own, or the US's?

Anyway, win the tie between Mursi and Shafiq happened she along with Francis Fukayama, almost had a fit. What? The lamented, a Islamist and an old regimer? No Way!

Some had the same reaction with GW Bush won (the first and second time).

As for that crazy Insider program on Mursi and his presidency, it should have been called Outsider, especially from the wacky point of views coming from Darwish, the London reported. He was bring back stuff from the 1950's.

And to think that most of those people are dead and have died in the hands of the socialist, secular government with led to the rise of Mubarak.

Go figure. Anway, I am glad for my brothers and sisters. Al Hamduillah, Allah Ma'aki

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Nothing is on the Down Low: Lowkey Raps

I guess for those who read my blog, it must be confussing. Sometimes, I'm like REAL Muslim and then, I have this GHETTO tangents. Next add to it some funky languages like Turkish, Boriqua, and Arabic. However, this is just the time I live in I guess. I like weird things. Not on purpose, it's just how I am. If there is a theme in any of this, I guess its JUSTICE. I really care about this. Despite the searing unjustices that is swirling around us.



And here is one of my new favories of the moment, LOWKEY, a Real Artist Extraordinare. I don't even know how I foudn him. It was a speech that he made about the injustices of the wars in Iraq, Gaza, and Afghanistan, that attracted me to him.

Next, I found out he was a rapper, and to me that signals protest, the original purpose of hip hop, see my friend's book, Somebody Scream

hightlights this. Anyway, I hope you like it as much as me and I hope it inspires in the best of ways.

Salaam

Friday, May 25, 2012

Ya Misr, Ya Misr

I am so filled with butterflies as I wait for the latest results of the Egyptian elections. I really don't care who wins, but he better do a good job and return her back to her well deserved title, al Qahirah and Umma Dunya.