Go – Stay – Go!

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Hold! Behold. Beauty is unspoken of,

Un-seen, seen with eyes of – darkness,

Of Light?

Break, those – Why?

Come.

They whisper,

Come.

It’s cold.

I can feel it with my hands.

It is cold.

I shiver, multiple times – more;

It is cold.

The world surrounds us

Suffocates us

Breaks us –

Hold. Behold! Beauty is;

Light comes in shapes of purple –

And blue?

Cold.

Go,

i whisper.

Go.

It’s cold.

You make me cold.

Beautiful not I in your eyes, eyes of darkness

See naught light.

Go.

It’s cold.

You make it cold. `

Stay – is what i am trying to say.

Go.

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As One

 

Those tears as they glitter in the dark

When everything is black and pure is gone

Those coughs every couple of breaths

Because the heart breaks

Once, twice…

There is a melody in the back of my head

Something that does not make sense:

A memory holding on

A memory fading away.

As you get all of it

And you release half of it

It sicks in your bones

It sticks too deep inside

A sad goodbye

A never ending farewell

There still might be a chance

For roads to cross again.

We take on different paths

Hoping life would treat us best

But we know deep down

How it would have been

If we held on a bit longer

To what we could have seen

As a whole,

Not two,

As one.

Why I wish to be a Niqabi

With devoted looks come the need for greater inner devotion

As a child who was born and raised in a family that fully believes in Allah and His commandments, I grew up to be internally healthy and sound. As we grow older, things in life happen that bring us closer to Allah. For those unfortunate, those things drift them away from Him. My father’s martyrdom when I was 1.5 years old made me realize at a young age that there exists a God and that He is One. I remember how I always counted on Him and turned to Him, considering the fact that I was fatherless and brotherless.

The best parts about who I am were because of my mother, who spared no efforts to raising me and my sisters the best way possible. I am the youngest of my two sisters. When they wore hijab for the first time, they were around 13 or 14, I was back then 8 or 9. I remember how jealous I felt to see them wearing their hijab to school while I would go without one. I remember thinking how awesome they looked in those white scarfs. My mother, alhamduliah – God bless her, allowed me to wear one to school too. Our neighbors told her that I was too young, but she insisted that she would not stop me from doing it since that was a good, virtuous seed to plant in a child.

According to my mom, I used to wear the white scarf to school and go home with it off and entirely blackish. Apparently, I used to play around more than I should that it would get really dirty. “You used to feel hot and take it off and go home without it, but wear it the next day. You were very young. I did not want to say no to you. I wanted you to find your way on your own. I wanted you to love it on your own and embrace it entirely when your right time comes”. I remember, partially, about those days. When I was in the seventh grade, I wore it and that time was forever – until this day, at least and in shaa Allah until I die.

Taking your identity and who you are a step forward is never easy. Sometimes we need to fall few times until we are entirely able to make it to the other side. I have been considering wearing a niqab for around 3-4 years (I know, that long?) The thing about niqab that is different from hijab is that with hijab I had my chance as a child, not obliged yet to wear one, to try it on and off multiple times. To create a bond with it. To love it and to be its friend. To hold on to it so tight. Now, however, once I wear the niqab, there is no going back. My relationship with niqab has to be established before actual bonding with it. 3 to 4 years of thinking are not long when you are making such a huge step in your life. With devoted looks come the need for greater inner devotion. 

Why the niqab?

I don’t feel that my hijab is enough any more. I feel like there is so much inside me I want to upgrade; and for that to happen, I need to upgrade my outside as well. While so many misled people think hijabs and niqabs constrain us from who we are, the truth is that they actually help us explore ourselves within this black universe that surrounds us every time we get out of the door. Hijabs and niqabs do not limit us; they open doors for us – wide open. I want to be better and I know, from the very bottom of my heart, that making such step forward will push me to knowing more about myself and Allah.

I look around and see how many niqabis there are out there and feel so jealous. I wish I could be one of them. I want to be one of them. I do not know about their souls; however, for a person to make such decision and go for it. For someone to get up, buy a niqab, and do it, it must have taken them so much thinking and deeper believing. I have recently followed a page on facebook that is called “Wear it and don’t be afraid”; I have been following their posts and I have felt that they are messages for me.

Why am I not a niqabi yet?

I already love it so much. I really do. I believe it is the right next step for me. However, I need to make sure that I am ready. The niqab is ready for me. I am just still few seconds on the floor. All I need is some little time so I can get up. Jump. And reach that level of bonding. Plus, as some believe that the niqab is a bonus and that it is not an obligation, it is going to be hard to convince the inner circle that surrounds me on a daily basis that the niqab is the right choice and the best choice for me.

I hope that my family supports me as they did when I first chose to wear the hijab. I hope they agree to let me explore this new world the way I want. I hope I am allowed to do what my heart has been clinging on to for so long. If there are some girls who make niqab sound like a bad thing, I would like to be the girl who wears niqab the way it should be worn. 

I hope I become a niqabi, a true niqabi – one day in shaa Allah. Amen.

Of Love and People

Our love is ever green,
Is ever serene
Like a morning cup of coffee,
And a late cup of tea;
Like a row of stars
Aligning like a bunch of scars
Fading as morning appears.

Our love is ever beautiful
Like a lake is never mournful:
There’s always somebody
Calling her, “Pretty.”

Our love is the shades
When hot sands
Burn our feet
And we can’t handle the heat.

Our love is the first day after flu
And our last day at school;
Our love is like the first tune
Played by a mute.

Our love is ever green,
Is ever growing:
Like the tree we planted;
Is ever existing:
Like the breaths we’ve taken:
They’re everywhere.

Our love is a representation
Of a young child’s imagination
Of Beauty and friendship,
Of liberty and kinship.

Our love is ever green
Because love is a sentiment
In everyone’s genes.

Our love is ever existing
Because you and I are everyone
And because everyone is we.

Each on His Own

Those sad eyes

And rosy cheeks;

The red nose

And racing beats.

The cold hands

And chilly shake;

The distance

And the mistakes we make.

I feel the world wrapping me inside

Trapping my emotions like a jungle ride.

I hear your voice

And hum along;

I don’t know the words

But I feel like I belong.

Let me get closer,

So I could hear you better

And tell that it is going to rain

That the sun won’t shine again

I am not going to lie to your face

It will never be the same.

So let it all wash away

Let the tide erase the pain

For all I could hear from this day on

Is a beat of what was once before.

Take a deep breath and release it all:

Today we start each one on his own.

The Future Already Here #2 Phoenix

Teasing Ahmed Al Shurafa, CEO of Phoenix, his friends keep changing the pronunciation of the word ‘Phoenix’ making it an O, as in phone, instead of an E. This might sound like a trivial thing to people in general; however, to Ahmed, Phoenix is more than just a name for his company. It is part of his dream, who he is, and everything he has dreamed of.

“The legend of Phoenix has always inspired me. Have you ever seen a Phoenix rising from the ash of its predecessor? Not in real life of course” he chuckled, paused then said, It’s beautiful – breathtaking. It’s like sitting by the window during autumn watching nature around you dying, and waking up two seasons later finding everything around you has bloomed,” he said as his eyes twinkled.

Phoenix is a company that is interested in making Virtual Reality applications. The most recent of which is the making of Al Aqsa Mosque. For Palestinians living in the besieged Gaza Strip, this sacred place is not an area easily visited. Palestinians are not allowed to go pray there until they are really old – old enough to die at any second. “I have always wanted to go there. To Jerusalem. To pray in the Aqsa mosque. As children, we heard stories about that holy place from where the prophet Mohammed Peace Be Upon Him ascended. We heard stories about how since its occupation many young men and women fought for its protection. We heard stories about the Dome of the Rock. About the details of the walls,” Ahmed said explaining why he chose to create Al Aqsa Mosque in 3D.

“Such stories remain part of our memories wherever we go and no matter how old we become. I have seen pictures of that place, I have spoken to people from there – and it always made me want to go there even more. If I cannot be there physically, I’ll make the place come for me instead. I started working on a 3D version of the Mosque; I had to talk to so many people who went there and I had to watch so many videos about the place so that it would be as real as possible,” words rushed out of Ahmed’s mouth as he passionately displayed his application.

Ahmed knew how difficult such work is, but he was driven by his emotions and determination. His absolute trust in the love he has for the Mosque. A creative, intelligent, young man saw the doors around him locked, so he created his own world inside. “Al Aqsa Mosque is just the beginning. I believe that this technology can help save the educational system! Why tell students about the Second World War when we can make them an application that could take them there! Why bore the students with abstract thoughts about geography when we can let them explore the world on their own! Ever wondered how your heart looks like when you meet someone you love? Ever wondered how babies grow inside their mothers’ wombs? All of this can be achieved through Virtual Reality applications. Go wherever you want. Whenever you want. You don’t even need a seat belt,” he added.

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Ahmed’s tone was filled with love and life. He spoke about the obstacles that hindered his work, and how with the support of his family and the ones he loves he was able to overcome everything. “There is only one thing I wish I could do: add the scent of an early Fajr (morning prayer) while wandering around the Mosque from my house. That would make it perfect,” Ahmed gently smiled, “I only hope that one day I will be a true Phoenix,he continued.

What Ahmed does not know is that he has already rose from the ash of generations past and this time he is going last, for he has proven himself worthy of being remembered as the person who made the dream of a million people, i.e. visiting Al Aqsa Mosque, come true.

What once seemed impossible, Ahmed the Phoenix, has made real – in 3D. 

https://www.facebook.com/Ahmed.A.Alshurafa