Monday, May 4, 2009

Obama's Muslim Advisor


By Muhammed Qasim, IOL Correspondent

WASHINGTON - Dalia Mogahed, a hijab-clad American Muslim, has made history being the first Muslim woman appointed to a position in President Barack Obama's administration.

She sets on a newly-formed interfaith advisory board the administration hopes will improve relations with Muslims in the US and across the globe.

The Egyptian-born American heads the Gallup American Center for Muslim Studies, a research center that produces studies on Muslim public opinion worldwide.

(Read the interview by clicking here : IOL Mogahed Interview

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A caring note from a friend

So a friend of mine sent me this note when I was feeling a little down about my new found career..

From Yamama Raza:
Its funny how our societies are always so demanding; right now, as I am trying to make a career, carve my way into a male dominated field, the criticism i get from some people (though the more desi traditional mindset) is that I have disregard for family values, don't care enough about tradition, i wouldnt make a good wife/mother coz I'm too career focussed etc. etc. Seems like women can never get anything right!

Don't let anyone take the joys of motherhood away from you, or make you feel you're missing out on life; when I talk about my future, I always say that when I have kids, Insha Allah, nothing will matter more; no career, no education, because being the mother is where I'm absolutely irreplaceable; there's always other people to sit at a desk and do a job, but another mom who can give what a mother has to give? no way!

My sister's one of those do it all moms, but even though she's a doctor and does 'important work of saving lives' as we tend to see it, she says that its just her job, her real joy, and her meaning in life is her daughter, and she's always wishing how she could spend just a little more time with her but can't coz she's still in the whole training should feel blessed that you can watch her grow, and see all the little things she does-- babies are so fascinating!

I guess I just wanted to say that there's atleast one (currently non-domestic, career-oriented) woman out there, your age, who thinks you deserve more credit and recognition, and thinks its admirable that you are so dedicated to your child. Insha Allah Emaan will grow up to be an intelligent and sensitive child like her mother, and that will be a reflection of all your hard work, and im sure it will make you happier than any paycheck ever can. And there are, i assure you, many more women like me who do look at mothers and wives who do their job well with respect and even admiration. I mean, look at me, I'll have a master's degree soon, but I have NO idea what to do when a baby cries, in fact im not even confident enough to hold a very small one properly coz i'm afraid I'll do it wrong. You take care of something so delicate, you manage such a great responsibility and do it well, and well, you are appreciated- Paradise is under the mother's feet, not the high heels clicking down the office corridor!

You know from what I see with my peers and even myself, deep inside, alot of career-track women are also insecure, also feel insignificant, also feel like their lives have no meaning and are constantly searching. Maybe it is that insecurity that makes us want to look for better, and to push ourselves to grow. I hope you don't let anyone pull you down and make you doubt yourself.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

So I was watching the "Future" episode of the BBC Planet Earth series (absolutely brilliant series by the way) and the experts were discussing how to convince the world of the necessity of conserving and protecting wildlife. It is obviously incredibly challenging to do this because as the world population increases humans are delving further into lands that have never been occupied by man before. Therefore disturbing the wildlife there and the natural events of things. One expert was saying that the problem is with overpopulation and that governments should educate people on family planning, have contraceptives easily available, educate more women and increase jobs for women. Another expert argued this position and said that overpopulation is not necessarily the problem, it's the way we spend our money. I totally agree. I mean it was calculated that if everyone on teh planet lived like Americans we would need 3 planets! That's just ridiculous. We have been brainwashed into thinking that if we wear the same outfit every week someone might think we're poor. Or if we don't have the latest gadget then we're going to be ostracized by our peers. Gosh we're such vulnerable creatures. Another expert said really a good quality of life is to be able to drink clean water, eat decent meals, breathe clean air, and have a safe place to live. It's so true!!! Just look at this whole Christmas gift buying craze. If you go to a shopping mall now..people look MISERABLE. They're spending a fortune on things they'll have to replace next year. The thing is though all of these things that we are desperate to buy are made by destructing the lives of endangered animals. For example hunting for the skin of Amour Leapords of Russia has decreased their population to a total of 40 in the wild! The U.S. might be drilling for oil in Colorado in an area that is protected for its wildlife.. but hey..need the money to make up for this war right?

I was just thinking..we really need to be more aware of our environment and of our world. We are not the only inhabitants of this planet.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Muslim woman arrested for refusing to remove hijab

Ok this is just stupid. Alhamdullilah the sister stuck to her beliefs.

Click here to watch video: Muslim arrested over scarf 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

4 month old mom...still hormonal?

Emaan is four months now and I must say that life as a mom these past few months has been nothing less than interesting. Yes I am constantly on call, and even though my husband is very understanding and is always willing to help out, I just can’t take it when he does things differently with Emaan. I mean, the tiniest squeal and I’m there advising him. I know it’s weird because sometimes I really want someone else to watch her for a while, but at the same time I feel guilty and feel that there is no one more capable than me to take care of her. Yes, it’s not uncommon for a mother to feel that way. However, I must admit that for my sanity I must distance my self from Emaan once in a while. In fact it is more important for her than it is for me. For example, today I was having some sort of a break down. I was upset because I didn’t have a career like my friends from high school do, and when I spoke to my husband about it he responded in a way that just broke me apart. I think he said something along the lines of, “Why are you worried about something like that?” I don’t know what I wanted to hear and I was just so frustrated. Nonetheless, even though I would never in my life take it out on my daughter, I think she sensed that I was upset and that made her very fussy. At one point I had to go to the bathroom and I left her in her play gym and she cried and cried and cried till she was completely red, which she almost NEVER does. Emaan’s a very calm and patient baby so when I heard her cry like that I thought something was seriously wrong. It wasn’t. I just wasn’t handling her right even though I was still playing with her and stuff. Her aunty came over and started playing with the same toys as I do and Emaan’s face just lit up. It hurt.

You know being a mother brings about so many different emotions. It’s such a new world. I’ve always been a deep thinker, but I have never thought about myself and about my future as deeply and intensely as I have after having Emaan. I became very upset today about being a mom and thought very low of myself. I mean most of my peers are ‘professionals.’ They all have jobs, and are climbing high in their respective fields. Me on the other hand, I’m a stay-at-home mom who makes double layered chocolate cakes, and spends her afternoon organizing the spare bedroom. I know it’s a societal thing. I know that I am very easily influenced by other people and by the norm. I just need to figure out a way to be strong enough to feel good about where I am today. I mean, I have to say that when Emaan smiles at me, and babbles when I sing to her, and when I see her dozing as I nurse her..there is no happier feeling. You know it is a lot work being a mother and a wife, but it’s so rewarding. It’s just that.. it bothers me that it isn’t recognized. It bothers me so much that a woman who becomes a doctor is so much more important to society than a woman who chooses to stay at home and establish the most fundamental infrastructure in society, her family. It bothers me so much that women who are trying to plow through professions that have been long held by men down play the role that has been so crucial in our societies. I mean, I’m not saying that it isn’t important for women to fan out and include themselves in different areas, but at the same time they really shouldn’t mock those women who choose to remain the rock that holds their family together as backward women.

I hate feeling this way and I hate trying to explain my choices in life and I hate trying to defend myself. I hate being told that my life is easy and I hate it when the women around me make fun and say “I don’t stay at home all day like some people…I have to work.” Am I useless because I don’t earn money? I get so engrossed in their comments and take it so personally sometimes that I really do beat myself up about not earning money. Then I become extremely depressed because I am physically unable to leave Emaan and work. I just can’t leave her. So basically I sit in my own thoughts and let them rot in my brain until I give up and unwillingly drag myself to reality and realize that this is how it is. Ofcourse then it gets worse when the joy in my life gives my daily reward to someone else like Emaan did today with her aunty. I know I know..I’m being ridiculous. I’m a mom and I’m a wife. I stay at home and I cook and clean. Love it or hate it..that’s how it is. But for goodness sake please don’t ridicule me for my reality. Please…allow me to wrap my head around my life and let me enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pros and Cons of Immunization


Vaccines found to contain mercury; are vaccines safe?
Discusses the dangers of mercury in vaccines which are linked to several diseases including autism.

The great thimerosal cover-up: Mercury, vaccines, autism and your child's health

Discusses the preserving agent used in vaccines, thimerosal.


Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccines: a review of efficacy data
Conclusions. Particularly where vaccine coverage is high, it is now likely that Hib disease can be eliminated using Hib conjugate vaccines in infancy."

Immunization and Vaccines

My thoughts:

Current thoughts on the risks and benefits of immunisation.

"Despite a continuous search for safer and more immunogenic vaccines, adverse reactions still occur. Adverse reactions to vaccines are generally mild; severe events resulting in death or permanent damage are rare. In every instance, the benefits of preventing the disease far outweigh the risks of vaccination. In the early days of vaccine development, a number of accidents were associated with faulty production. Most recent problems encountered with the use of vaccines are due to programmatic errors. Because of the large number of doses administered it is probable that there will be some temporal and merely coincidental association between adverse events and vaccine administration. Immunisation has a direct protective effect for the individual and an indirect effect on herd immunity for the community. The major goal of postmarketing surveillance is the early detection of and appropriate response to adverse events in order to curtail a negative impact on immunisation programmes. Risk-benefit analyses for immunisation are faced with a number of potential difficulties; definition of the risks and benefits themselves, individual versus community risks and benefits, and the continuously evolving nature of risks with changes in disease epidemiology. Based on risk-benefit studies, for an individual just as for the community, it may not always be of interest to use the vaccine with the lowest complication rate. Good immunisation programmes should help to decrease the risk of adverse effects."

Duclos P, Bentsi-Enchill A.

Childhood Immunisation Division, Health and Welfare Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.