I knew I embraced the hijab early last year because I remember my first ‘holiday in hijab’ – Abu Dhabi, March 2013. But, I wasn’t sure exactly when I began to wear the hijab. So imagine my pleasant surprise when I got an email reminder yesterday telling me that today was to be the anniversary of performing Umrah and deciding – this is it – I want to wear a hijab. My past self must have sensed this was a momentous decision and worth recording for the benefit of her future self. I’m glad she did this for me. Continue reading “A Year In Hijab”
Soon after settling into an expat existence in Riyadh, I began to make a number of new friends. One of them, Fia, was giving some survival advice to a new mutual friend who had not long ago arrived in the Kingdom.
“Put your protective bubble on before you leave the house,” she said to Becky. I nodded in agreement. Continue reading “Beware of the Bubble Breachers”
It’s easy to get caught up in petty politics between colleagues, friends, family members or a random group of people. It’s easy to stay quiet in an effort to sit on a diplomatic fence, watching the most outspoken battle it out on the ground below. And it’s even easier to nod in agreement with one side or both only to then air your true feelings and views in private – behind backs.But how many times have you then gone home and lost appetite or sleep because your views didn’t get any airtime? How many times have you kicked yourself for not standing up for what you believe to be right? Usually your instincts and troubled mind are good indicators as to which fights you perhaps should have participated in.
Getting off the fence and standing up to loud mouthed people (in some cases, bullies) requires energy and guts. And it can be more anxiety provoking than being a silent bystander. But once it’s over, a great feeling of pride and a boost in confidence follows. A simple “No. I don’t agree with you.” can be momentous and a valuable building block of your future stronger self.
Pick and choose your battles – but battle you must – especially when your morals, values or beliefs are threatened.
© Rabia Bashir 2013
The euphoria you experience by attaining something quickly and easily lasts a mere moment compared to something attained through hardship and determined perseverance.
So stop focusing on small hills to climb when your ambition is that mountain beyond the hills. For all the time and effort you spent on the easier shorter tasks, you could have been standing at the highest summit at this very moment.
Train your mind to stop procrastinating and start climbing that mountain today.
© Rabia Bashir 2013
Background: I love to cook and have started a small catering business here in Riyadh. During the month of May 2013 I took over the restaurant in the compound I live in – to offer Curry Nights once a week. This is what I wrote (and later told my Dad over Skype) after I hobbled home and fell onto my bed:
I stood in my dad’s shoes for a mere 9 hours today…something he’s been doing for longer than I’ve been alive. My throbbing feet force my mind back to my childhood when he would finish a stint at the restaurant in the early hours then get up to take us shopping for Eid clothes. I always wanted matching jewellery with my outfit and back in those days, Asian fashion shops were scarce. So my dad took us out for hours – hunting for new clothes (and my matching accessories). As I would insist on finding the right shade of bangles, I don’t remember him ever complaining – not about him being tired and not about him spending his hard earned money. His feet must have throbbed from the night before, or at least felt heavy with the anticipation of doing it all over again after our shopping trip.
It’s amazing how parents have the capacity to put their needs and wants aside to make their children happy. I’m truly blessed to have such parents.
I recently began practicing hijab (wearing a headscarf, dressing and behaving more modestly).
Women wear the hijab for many different reasons: to show devotion to Allah (swt – the exhalted), to be identifiable as a Muslim, to make a fashion statement, to hide their hair/skin problem, to keep others happy, to show obedience to their husband/parents/government, to fit in with their friends/family/culture/community, or to …… (the list can go on). Continue reading “It’s My Hijab – It’s My Choice”