Monthly Archives: August 2010

I apologize by Oscar Brown Jr.

This poem gets me every time I read it… Enjoy

I apologize for being black
All I am plus all I lack
Please sir, please m’am
Give me some slack
‘Cause I apologize

I apologize for being poor
For being sick and tired and sore
Since I ain’t slick
Don’t know the score
I do apologize

I apologize because I bear
Resemblance most black people share
Thick lips, flat nose, and nappy hair
Yes I apologize

I apologize for how I look
For all of the lows and blows I took
On those Lord knows I’d close the book
As I apologize

I apologize for all I gave
For letting you make me yo’ slave
And going to my early grave
Yes I apologize

I apologize for being caught
For being sold, for being bought
For being told I count for naught
Yeah I apologize

I apologize for all I’ve done
For all my toil out in the sun
Don’t want to spoil your righteous fun
So I apologize

I apologize and curse my kind
For being fooled, for being blind
For being ruled, and in your bind
Yes I apologize

I apologize and curse my feet
For being slow, for being late
Because I know it’s me you hate
Why not apologize

I apologize and tip my hat
‘Cause you so rich and free and fat
Son of a bitch, that’s where it’s at
And I apologize

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I never…

I never meant to hurt you

I never meant to make you sad

But each time I reached out,

My hand just fell shy


I never meant to shame you

I never meant to make you cry

But each time I tried to speak

I choked back with pride


I never meant to break you

I never meant to push you away

But each time I tried to follow

My feet were paralyzed with fear

The Proposal: Part 2

Hey guys,

I am so sorry for the delay in posting the second part. I promise to be less erratic in future.

In case you just started, The Proposal is a short story about a young  woman of about 21 yrs who’s about to have her life changed. Part One is here. Enjoy! 🙂

Salma and her friend, Nasra had known each other since they were toddlers. Their fathers grew up together back in Mombasa and both moved to Nairobi when they got married. Unlike Salma, Nasra was an only child.  They grew up in each other’s houses and were inseparable, more like sisters than friends. After completing their high school education, Nasra’s parents decided that she should go to University at the school that her father went to in England.

The girls had spent months planning the farewell party. For the past few weeks, they had been a flurry of phone calls and text messages discussing decorations, caterers, music selections and most important whom to invite. Normally, Salma’s parents put a short leash on her social activities. Her parents were Muslims first and there were boundaries she wouldn’t dare cross. But of course they made an exception for Nasra’s party.

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Salma couldn’t believe she had forgotten which day it was. A few months ago, her mum’s childhood friend had called informing them they were in the country, staying in Mombasa and would like to come for a visit.  She was coming with her son who was a few years older than Salma. Salma remembered him from their previous visit but they hadn’t been in the country for about 10 years. Although it hadn’t been spoken, Salma knew what the purpose of the visit was. Her cousin had received the same kind of visit and they were now in the process of planning a wedding for her.  She hadn’t given it much thought because it had seem so far away and she had adopted her usual attitude of dealing with things as they come. and the excitement for the party had pushed it to the back of her mind.

Salma was unusually quiet and subdued that day. Her mother asked her if she was feeling unwell because she was used to her incessant chatter. “I just have a mild headache, Mama,” she replied. “You know I slept pretty late last night” “Ok, get yourself some painkillers. We want you at your best today.” She could see that her mum was very excited. But the last thing that Salma wanted today was to be her best. Her mind was filled with images of a boy with a twinkle in his eyes.

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The day of the party, Salma woke earlier than was her norm and went to her friend’s house. They spent the day putting finishing touches and getting ready. By 7pm the party was in full swing. Most of their high school friends and a few they had met in the Language college had come.  However, Salma was distracted. She was trying to enjoy the party but she could not stop thinking that her friend was leaving in a few days. She would be lonely without her friend. She couldn’t remember a time when she didn’t have her by her side sharing her life and secrets with. Also, now that her friend was leaving she wondered about her own future. She still wasn’t sure what she wanted to do.

So it was in this state of mind that Salma suddenly found that she was staring with unseeing eyes at someone. And by the amused look on his face, it seemed she had been staring for a long time. Salma quickly looked away. Despite having 4 brothers, Salma was quite shy around boys. Her experience was limited to group outings and a few stolen kisses behind the school cafeterias. Going out for dates was also one of the few things her parents didn’t allow. Besides, most boys her age were too scared of her brothers to make any move. She looked up again and found the guy was still looking at her. “”Who was he?” she wondered. He wasn’t one of their friends so he must have come with someone. She saw that the boy was approaching and quickly looked for something to keep her busy.

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By the time the guests arrived, Salma was in no mood to meet new people.  As much as Salma knew that her parents would never force her to get married, she could see that they hoped that she would accept this proposal. Her mother was old school and her biggest concern for her daughter was to find a nice man to settle with. She was constantly worried about her precious daughter being corrupted by what she called “the devil’s trap.” So she knew her mother would be disappointed if she rejected the proposal. She figured her best bet was to make sure the guy did not like her. So with the help of Nasra whom she had been chatting with the whole day came up with a plan.

What does Salma have in mind, who was the guy in the party? Find out next Wednesday for the conclusion of the Proposal.

What-not Wednesday

Good morning.

I know I was supposed to post the continuation for the Proposal story today, but I’m sorry I am unable to do so. I haven’t managed to write in the last few days. My sincere apologies. I will definitely have the story next Wednesday or sooner if possible.Thanks in advance for your patience

My mind is a bit scattered today so please excuse and allow me to ramble a bit…

My grandma whom I mentioned in  this post passed away on Sunday. The last 3 days have been emotional for my family and we are grateful for all those who have shown us support through their kind words, presence and in any other way. She was the oldest member in our family and her death marks the end of her generation. She leaves a huge gap but as someone said, death is a robe that all of us will one day wear. What is left is for us to map our lives exemplifying  the values she instilled and personified everyday.

Indeed we come from God and Indeed to him we shall return. May Allah forgive her and grant her Paradise. Ameen.

My Grandma- taken last year during Eid. May she R.I.P Ameen

Secondly, I’d like to say something about Ramadhan.

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious). (Qur’an 2:183)

The month of fasting is here with us again. Some people have started fasting today while others will start tomorrow.

Ibn Umar related that the Prophet said: Do not start fasting unless you see the new moon, and do not end fasting until you see it. If the weather is cloudy then calculate when it should appear (Bukhari, Muslim).

Ramadhan is the 9th lunar month of the Islamic Calendar. It starts with the sighting of the new moon and ends with the sighting of the next new moon. In case of failure to see the moon, we are then advised to complete 30 days.  I k now there are different reasons as to why there’s always an issue in regards to the starting and ending of this month(especially in East Africa) but that’s not what I want to talk about.

Last week, Kenyans voted overwhelmingly to support a new constitution. One of the contentious issue was the Kadhi Courts. The head of the Kadhi Courts is the Chief Kadhi and Muslims all over Kenya look to him as an authority as far as matters of religion administration are concerned. I feel that it defeats the whole purpose of fighting for this if we are not united in following the Chief Kadhi. What’s the point of having him there if we won’t respect his authority?

Ibn Umar reported Prophet Muhammed (SAW) as saying, ‘Hearing and obeying are the duty of a Muslim, both regarding what he likes and what he dislikes.’

God knows best.

Wishing you all a Ramadhan Kareem and Saum Maqbul. May we use this month to reflect and improve  ourselves. Ameen

Ramadhan Kareem

Signed

Aisha

Thankful Thursday

The problem with always looking at the big picture is more often than not we forget that we used small brush strokes to create it. I have a huge problem with that. I’m so busy sweating the big successes that I let small victories pass by.  So in line with being more grateful for the blessings bestowed upon me, I’ll be doing a Thankful Thursday. I’ll try to focus on one good thing each week that I would have otherwise ignored and turn it into huge success. Hopefully with time I will learn that being alive in  itself is a huge victory.

Today I’m thankful for my family.

Family is such constant part of our lives that as much as we know they’re there we rarely acknowledge their presence unless something goes wrong. Sort of like our heartbeats, such a comfort when everything is ok, but the moment  you hear an irregular beat, panic sets in.

I come from a huge family.

My grandmother and her siblings raised their kids like they were all biological siblings growing up in each others houses. This created a close-knit unit and the culture has trickled down. There’s really no cousin or distant cousin in our family. As long as there’s a drop of the same blood flowing  in our veins then we’re all ndugu.

Imagine that the “grandparents” were 7, and they each had at least 6 kids,  and in turn the kids had an average of 3 kids each (that’s us). That’s a HUGE family. There’s a joke in the family that when we have events like weddings, we don’t really need to invite any outsiders, our family is enough to make it quite a celebration. As with all families, and especially our family, which is  such a diverse group, we are not a perfect family. But we all have a strong and amazing bond.

The person who inspired this post is the oldest member of our family; my grandmother. While not technically my biological grandma, she is my grandma. She’s the last surviving of our grandparents and she’s very sick. A prayer to God to give her comfort and give  strength to our family during this time.

Make sure you all be thankful for your families today. Make them the big picture.

Signed

Aisha

The Proposal: Part 1

(Please check out the Short Stories tab for further details. Thanks)

She woke up with a smile on her face. A slow, lazy one spreading across her face transforming a pretty face into  a beautiful one. Before her body was fully aware that she was awake, her subconscious was reminding her that she had slept a happy girl. She turned lazily, while details of her smile started to filter into her mind. The smile grew wider.

“Salma!!” Her name on her mother’s tongue reverberated throughout the house. With a groan, she opened one eye. She had hoped she would be allowed a few moments to at least indulge in her memories. She heard her mother’s irritated voice getting closer and quickly jumped out of her bed. She doesn’t know what she’s done this time but she knows her mum well enough to know she should get out of bed before she gets to her room.

“I can’t believe this child. Subhanallah! She was brought into this world to test me! Dear Lord, what did I ever do to deserve this? Was I not a good daughter to my parents? Didn’t I follow the teachings of the Qur’an and pray my five salats? Have I not for 35 years been a good and dutiful wife to my husband? Why then was I given such a trial girl as my daughter?? God why?

Salma listened to the familiar tirade. She knows this speech. It always ended with her father being blamed for how she is because he spoils her. For as long as she could remember she was the bane of her mother’s existence. Salma was what you can call a retirement baby.  Her parents had raised 3 sons between the ages of 11 and 7 before she was born. They had given up on having a daughter so she was a pleasant surprise. Her father and brothers dotted on her and her mother was always complaining. But despite her constant complaining her mother loved her deeply. Salma has pretty much managed to always get her way.

Salma rushed into the bathroom before her mother got to her room. Singing happily she got about her morning rituals. She vaguely wondered what had set off her mother this morning. But at the top of her mind was the activities of the previous evening. Her best friend was leaving the country and so there had been a farewell party for her. The loud knock interrupted her thoughts. ” Salma, how could you sleep this late when you know what day it is? We still have so much to do in preparation for the guests. The biriani is already marinating but you haven’t done the dough for the tandoori and the chicken needs to be prepared….!”

Her mother’s voice faded into the background as Salma stood frozen her toothbrush held mid-air. She finally remembered what had her mother in a frenzy this morning. The good feeling she had the whole morning suddenly disappeared and was replaced by a cold sinking feeling at the pit of her stomach. Today was THE day!

 

Part 2