Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Testimony To Poetic Truth

In Lieu of Happiness

How does it feel to be on the other side of the field?
The battles within ridiculing the shield

The rules I stuck to with such arrogance
I broke them myself in such innocence

Egotistical I were, but it won’t be the same
Mocked love, in oblivion of cupid’s vindictive aim
Innovative I were, but I cannot dodge this pain
Miserable I became, when the victim reigned

“One cannot appraise a person so high
How can a life be over with an instant bye?”
Pragmatic taunts, but it was a lie
Cultivating conflict inside, as i die

I didn’t know what I had until it wasn’t mine
Excruciating void and no ownership of time

The pain I hide, my pretentiousness!
Smiles i pursued, in lieu of happiness



Monday, November 24, 2008

Clearing Confusion

Dear Diary,

I have been a little distant from you for the past week. I was gathering my thoughts and trying to prioritize. I have been clearing my mind, my confusions in the meanwhile and staying away from communicating to anyone (except God), therefore even you. I have achieved the clarity to this confusing dilemma of balancing life in a way where I can live peacefully within my world as a wife, a daughter, sister and daughter-in-law versus my independent persona. The constant expectations of keeping up an image was becoming some sort of a drag. I was exhausted beyond my own realization and once I started becoming a bit secluded, without the act of pleasing everyone, I felt calm and more in control of myself and my life. I wouldn't call it selfishness, because that is the last thing I'll ever be. My intentions are still clear, but reality is that I am not able to fulfill every single expectation or every task that is thrown upon me. Yes, I am eager on completing it, but at times when my condition does not allow it, there is nothing I can do then to just give in. The selfless "me" was taking a toll on health, love and happiness.

I was not happy. Even though the outside world was perceiving my happiness and measuring it up by materialistic gain, my inner self was not happy with the constant depreciation I was facing. Luckily, my marital bond is strong enough to overcome these hurdles in life...but the bitterness, exhaustion and disappointment was seen in both our eyes and we felt so alone. Together, but alone. The loneliness I was experiencing was a loneliness of various layers of depth; a meaning so deep that I could only sense and experience. Everyone else, was accepting my "responsible" role whereas I as a woman, was slowly drowning into the state of depression followed by the uncertain responses of my better half, not knowing what to do or how to console me. I would only answer in tears.

The beautiful four walls of our new home was sensing a bitter-sweet moment, where we felt happy and blessed, but couldn't gather the prying eyes of those that perhaps weren't showing their happiness or understanding our achievement. It saddened us, although our sense of humor was alive and we were there for each other, there were times when we felt alone, carrying all the responsibility with all the extra added responsibility that was snatching our moment of glory away.

In those days, I was closest to God. I felt a desire to connect with Him and pour out all my feelings. This was right around the time our annual competition at the Mosque was taking place. I was in desperate need to gain back my confidence and get out of the depressing dark hole in which I'd cry my eyes out at night, so I contacted our president and requested to at least get a recital. I was given the opportunity to perform the recital of the Holy Quran in the opening session. I was thrilled and felt great in reciting the Holy word of God, not for the sake of showing off, but to connect with my spiritual self and most importantly, for God.

My confidence rose as I was looking at all the contestants participating. I hadn't had the chance to participate in the first round of competitions, the local ones, so I was not chosen to participate in the annual contest. It felt weird to me, since I participate every year, even when I was a newly wed last year...unaware of the people around me, I HAD to participate. Call it a childhood tradition or something that has become a part of my life now -- a passion I carry for these activities. Luckily, I was able to participate as they were looking for a third contestant pertaining their chapter. I stood up, made the impromptu speech on the topic of 'increasing attendance in our meetings' and walked off the stage feeling confident and happy. The joy I felt, when delivering this passionate speech, was indescribable, especially at a time when I desperately was yearning for it, in the house of God.

I also participated in the recitation of the Holy Quran in which I won the 2nd prize. For the impromptu speech, I won 1st prize. The workshops were a lot of fun in which I fully participated and made sure to voice out my opinion. I could sense the agreement in people's eyes when looking at me. I was not trying to be controversial, but just honest and genuine and it must have struck a cord with the audience when they listened to me silently and intently.

Public speaking used to be a pain for me and now I've noticed how much I am able to thrive on it. The issues that are real to me and I am trying to convey to the younger and older generation, is not something I necessarily 'thrive' on, but knowing that I can speak for others in a sensible manner, makes me want to change a mind or two. With God's help and guidance I was able to clear my confusion and believe it or not, I have laid out a plan for the future, a plan that may take a couple of years in becoming tangible, but the hard work is necessary to make this happen. Focus, hard work and a vision that I have to hold onto; a woman is stronger than she thinks she is, even though a man is always known and acknowledged for his accomplishments, we slowly fade away in the background. We, as caretakers.
In a world where a woman is constantly proving herself of being a man and a woman at the same time. A proof of intelligence & independence is parallel to the proof of domesticity and femininity. Multi-tasking our way into such dimensions with no help, but ourselves, one is bound to dwindle.
I will achieve of what is expected from myself, from my talents, my intelligence, my creativity...it will certainly NOT go to waste.

My plan? To conquer and release.
Naila's release.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A New Perspective

My last post was written this morning when I felt down about myself as all the tiredness finally bursted out into frustration that has been building up or maybe everything was just blown into proportion due to my crazy hormones. Nevertheless, I finally realized that I am doing this to myself. No one other than myself can make me feel this way, unless I am in control of my own happiness and self-confidence.

It's true that as woman I need the reassurance, the 'pat in the back' so now and then, but more than that...I know that my strength and the very positive outlook in life (that I carry everyday, I may not have shown it to you dear diary, ha ha!) is important to take me very far. To a destination I will be happy with. More so, my pain was derived from the love I have for my household and I know that my home is my destination, but lately the emotions have gotten a hold of me. The insecurities of who I am, the confusion that lies in my identity, my persona, was playing games with my mind. I am the queen of my home; my haven and my Paradise.

I am the most important ingredient to this recipe of 'Domestic Bliss' and the chef, the creator behind this incredible meal is God Himself. I have given Him my attention, I have poured out my feelings to Him and he has been so Gracious.
I look around from where I am sitting and see all the blessings. I see the blessings in the form of my loving husband, I see the blessings in the form of my beautiful house and I surely see blessings in the journey of life that I'll have to embrace WITH the ups and downs. I can not let myself become the 'doormat' by self-depreciating my intelligence and what I am capable of.

I am an artist. I play the colors out in my mind and bring them onto the canvas.

I am an actor. I take my role seriously and transfer into characters, that are, mind you, award winning! :)

I am a writer. My pen (keyboard) writes my feelings, my inner expressions. The words feed me, like prayer does and I feel relieved.

I am a lover. People, such as close family and friends who see the best in me, even when I don't, give me motivation and show their love as a reflection of mine.

I am a giver. I love to share and give. At times, I may not be rewarded for it, but I have realized the gift of 'giving', is the gift of silence and humility. Patience is truly a virtue.

I am a performer. Presenting my talents in front of the world and sharing new innovative ideas, open up exciting worlds for me. Luckily, I have people around me who understand my visions and have faith in it.

And most importantly...

I am a wife. Who loves marriage, the safety of the strong arms of a man and his practical/planned approach towards life. Knowing that we are for each other, making new memories, entering new phases and growing as a couple.
Which reminds me, speaking of growing, we should take it easy when it comes to growing in size. ;)

Awww, hubby dear just walked in with a box of chocolates for me.
Forget what I wrote.
It's all good.


I have a job interview today. I am a master at them. I make the necessary eye contact, I say the right stuff , I dress well and walk out knowing that the employer is impressed with my mannerism and professionalism.

Today however, I am not in the mood. I am contemplating work. I am contemplating society and its harsh approach to women who are homemakers. What's wrong with that I ask? Do I need to produce kids in order to be worthy of being a housewife?
I think the main thing that is bugging me is not work itself. I have worked all my life, but the fact that I haven't been able to fully enjoy my new home with all the added pressure & inconsiderations that have been put on us lately. I feel as if someone has sucked my excitement away. As new homeowners, there is pressure to save as much we can and sacrifice a little, and I understand. Of course I do. I am not one of those who are unaware of the finances, heck I did do the loan myself. But whom to tell but myself. It's all done now. I will applaud for myself and stand strong as I know the every detail in the contract, the strenuous research, the negotiations and the stress along with that. "Here's a pat on your shoulder Naila -- BRAVO! "

I thought that at least now I could sit back, decorate and feel deserving of my home. I am saddened at the prospect of having a job, only because "some" think I am available and therefore seem to take advantage. Believe me, I love to work and earn money. I freakin' financed my own wedding, seriously...I worked dog hours as a loan consultant to have a small, but beautiful wedding. But again, whom to tell but myself. I was independent and still am. In fact, my responsibilities have trippled with the same added pressure of having a job. What has changed?

There is no such thing as care for a woman, but there is always care for a man. I am cynical, I am pissed and feel tired. I have been applying like crazy, sending in my resume day and night, just so I can get away from the accusing eyes, the jealous minds.
Getting a job is a piece of cake. My experience is written in stone. I only want...

I want my feminity back.
I want to be home.

Whom to tell? Just myself.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Monthly Midol

When I am most irritable, tired, bloated and moody is when it's highly time to take Midol. My savior in cramps and crankiness. Tylenol does not live up to Midol as I search through my medicine cabinet and sock drawer, frantically looking for at least one tablet, like an unsettled drug addict to lessen my pain. I usually can't think clear when it hits, so I wait it out either by laying on the sofa, reading a book or keeping myself busy with something else. The last thing on my mind is to pretty up and go outside.

I become unsocial, not unfriendly.
Just unsocial.
I'd rather curl up in my blanket and shy away from society.
I wonder how child birth will be?
Excruciating pain, but oh so beautiful in feeling the joy of tiny fingers and toes.
As for now, I am letting my eggs flush through my body until its time to nestle them, nurture them in fertilization.

Eggland's Best commercial comes on.
How ironic.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I was pondering how our deeds affect us as a person in whole. Deeds are derived from our intentions and so, our intentions are created from the heart which signals the mind. Now, deeds are the actions we perform; they aren't the mere words playing in our minds or resting on our tongue. They are the actual performances.

The heavily emphasis on deeds is preached in every religion. The wrong you do, the less fortunate you are. The better you do, the most fortunate & harmonious your life will be. It plays like a law of attraction towards what you want and is in perfect parallel from your actions and your thoughts. If I were to make a diagram on here, it would have a straight line indicating the thoughts vs the deeds in alliance of each other, that is if you are clear of your thoughts.
In a perfect world, it would be a straight line, but the truth to the matter is that thoughts aren't always supporting one's actions or vice versa. Since deeds (actions) speak louder than words, we are always judged on what we do or have done, instead of what is in our hearts.

The woman for instance, always struggles with her thought process, trying to either mend it or compromise it into the more 'acceptable thought' of her man, where her thoughts can easily become reality. Even without a man in our lives, aren't we always compromising our thoughts when reality surfaces behind us? How many times have we desired to have something or fulfill our dreams, when suddenly reality would wake us up? I am sure everyone has.
The deeds that follow our thoughts become important to how we form our lives. I have seen the patience, the endurance in myself...when I am wanting to have something, but I hold onto my thought and convert it into good intentions, knowing that one day if I hold on to the nature of the thought, it will become reality.

The very same happened when purchasing our home. I had a beautiful house in mind, where I could see my children grow up in, where I could see myself cooking in a beautiful kitchen with spacious counters and a backyard that I could call my second home, in where I could sit back, relax and sip a cup of tea. Those thoughts, those dreams I had. Not just dreams of *POOF*, and gone is my dream, but dreams of tangible living, of knowing that some day I'll be there, living the life I am dreaming.

With God's grace, my intentions, my thoughts combined with the hard work, paid off. Now, I cook in the kitchen I had imagined, I sit back in the backyard I so often dreamt of, and I see my husband walking towards the front door when coming home from a long day of work, knowing that he is a proud man walking humbly and carefully in the journey of life. Visions that are engraved in our minds and we are determined to accomplish with the blessings of God.

The idea of deeds vs thoughts, takes me to a not-so-pleasant experience I had with someone who isn't yet so close to me, but belongs to the family. A "someone" whose entry hasn't officially been made yet, but who has had in a few encounters, made me feel very unworthy with the lack of respect this particular person has shown. Now, my thoughts are registering the deeds that person is treating me with, but my intentions are staying clear from making any hasty judgments. Why? Because I know that my thoughts can be derived from unclear emotions, such as the lack of respect I am feeling, but I am smart enough to realize how sensitive "family" is, therefore my intentions towards this person are clear and will always be.
It is very hard to stay that way; to not fall into the hole of judgments, negative remarks and "bitchiness". Even though, the unfairness exists, my deeds are accountable for what I do and have a heavy affect on my household. I know my intention is what is reflected upon me and God knows...God knows.

Do you think in today's Day and Age one really stands still to think of their actions as deeds? Or just goes by living his/her life as it is, without the concept that someone might get hurt by the actions you put out there? The lack of consideration is so obvious, but when the convenience arises, they become the sweetest, the most welcoming.
I find that very sad. In our language its called "challaaki" ( being sly). To be clever for only oneself at the time of presentation for the sake of getting 'worldly' credit, is to me total selfishness. There were times when people said to me how simple /naive I was and that it was time for me to grow up and be clever.

Many times I've heard such a thing, where I am too naive to understand the "wrong" people have intended towards me, but do you really think that my naivety is foolish? Do you really think that I am not aware of their wrongdoings or intentions? I am, but I choose to think the best, I choose to do the best. It is very easy to become a bitch, but it is really hard to maintain your sanity, believe in goodness and live your life as peacefully you can, filtering out the bad and silencing it with your heart. I know that my life is not dependent on the person's actions. Yes, I do what I think is right; I fulfill my duties and take care of my responsibilities as a wife, daughter in law and sister. Beyond that, I have no control over what happens or the injustice that is done.

So why beat oneself over deeds committed by others, whom have no remorse or don't even think twice when acting sly and degrading you? They may be clever not to show, but I am smart not to over think. Life is too short and time is of the essence for me to embrace great people and make new & fun challenges.

Our deeds, one by one, step by step are truly a reflection of what we have built...
...Our very homes. :)

*This blog post is in dedication to my cousin Amina who lives in California. She taught me a lot about patience and endurance within marriage. Even though she is far away, I know that her wisdom is greater than she acknowledges. Love you!

Friday, November 7, 2008


I am currently reading this incredible book by Mirza Tahir Ahmed;
Islam's Response To Contemporary Issues.
The book has entangled me into the depth of life's meaning and purpose. My understanding, morals and values is all what this book represents and I would recommend it to anyone; Muslim or non-Muslim. I will soon write all the highlights of the book on one page, perhaps a paragraph summed up in my own words, once I finish this amazing piece of work. A thesis of a brilliant mind who was able to detect issues beyond their existence and analyze them in a manner which is logical and rational, concerning today's problematic society.

In every religion and culture, purposefully living life is preached and taught in various forms through worship, practice of good karma and just sheer common sense of righteousness towards humanity.
Let me grab the book and share with you a couple of fragments I am so fascinated with:

"It is very difficult to conceive that members of a godless society will be truly convinced of the wrong they commit when they break a law. After all, what is the law? Is it the word of a despot or an absolute ruler, the decision of totalitarian regimes, or the dictate of a democratic majority?
To a common man, which of the above should appear to be a just legislation based on sound moral philosophy? What moral philosophy indeed?

If he does not owe his existence to any Being, or if he has no fear of being questioned regarding his conduct during his earthly life in the life to come, since, according to him, there is no life Hereafter, then the answers to the questions raised above, from his vantage point, could be very different from the requirements of a responsible society. He has only this short life to live. He needs society only for his own benefit.he submits to the superior authority of the society only out of necessity. If he can run away with some self-appropriated benefit and snatch a few moments of pleasure here and there while remaining clever enough to escape detection, why not? What so-called 'moral' inhibition could stop his hand? This psychological attitude towards crime begins to develop and become stronger with the passage of time in godless and materialistic societies. " (page 64)

The above passage brings a light to the deeds one performs without the conscious awareness of consequences that can severely damage the soul. A society where unlimited pleasure and 'having fun' is paid at a very high price, resulting into confused youngsters and immoral minds.
Here's what I find very interesting:

"When societies begin to degenerate or become top-heavy and lopsided with over-sophistication, they begin to topple down and return to the same crude animal answer to their urges.This may not be visible in every social and cultural activity, but it is almost always pronounced in human relations and style in the pursuit of pleasure. A brief study of man in his responses to sex will demonstrate the case in point."( page 69)

I believe that the above stated paragraph is a harsh reality of what we are seeing today. Teenagers are shamefully forming their identities by victoriously losing virginity, uncontrollably giving in to pleasure and excitement to explore "their bodies" with the encouragement of fashionable magazines and explicit TV series. Why would a young mind be deteriorated by such selfish pursuit and deprive oneself of purity, rather than focus on more meaningful goals to increase intellect and intelligence? Isn't there a time for everything? Am I wrong, or has innocence only a place in fairy tales now?

"Where are those taboos in society-the codes of civil behavior, the concept of decency, etc which keep interfering with the free expression of natural urges? Why must sex be the only motive force which should be given a free license to express itself without regard to tradition, norms, decency, appropriateness, and the question of belonging or otherwise?" (page 71)

What really baffles me is today's news making.
Recently on the news, a research was shown that teenagers are influenced by explicit tv series such as 'Friends' and 'Sex and the City' (hmm, I wonder why!). What surprises me is that a research by professionals was needed to come to such an obvious conclusion! Promiscuous activities are shown as entertaining to an age group that heavily relies on worshipping unrealistic role models, making their every step look glamourous on screen, even if they'd taken the wrong path.

The concept of saving yourself for marriage may seem very old-fashioned or backwards nowadays, when there are so many resources available to entertain oneself and perceive it as "normal" as society has easily accepted to be free and wild -- My pondering question however, where is the self-respect??? The dignity of women and their daughters is lost in "lipstick jungle" and "gossip girl"...
The days of a man being a gentleman and a woman being coy and pious is sadly diminishing, unless we save the last bit of morality that is left in our childish persona.

Innocently speaking of course! :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Change, finally!

I have been speechless yesterday, unable to write my emotions on here or even verbalize how I was feeling. It still felt surreal.
As I woke up early in the morning yesterday, I was hooked on the news, watching Barack Obama's acceptance speech over and over again. I needed reassurance, a double check to see whether he was truly our next President.
I must tell you, dear diary, the joy I felt when he was nonchalantly announced President by Charles Gibson during the counting of the polls, was beyond any other victorious feeling I have ever felt in my life. Politics are very tricky in that matter; they absorb you with their facts and happenings, but when it actually takes place in reality, the mind needs a minute to register of what is really happening and oh yes, it did!

These elections have not only be very entertaining, but they have unified our country in the most miraculous ways. Our youth has stepped up and people from all backgrounds and colors have seen a purpose to get up and vote, a direction that has finally come to us in the form of Barack Obama, who was eager to follow his will power and restore our vision for the country. The 'superpower' in us had died a long time ago and he came to revive us from the dark days, reaching out to young and old, to the wealthy and the poor. Connecting with us in a humane manner; a manner and approach we weren't familiar with and soon began to believe that Politics was such a tough and corrupt game that couldn't possibly be in our control. How wrong we were! The determination of one person lead to hopes and dreams of one entire nation and now the whole world is celebrating with us!

What really fascinates me about Barack Obama is not only his background, but his tenure and depth of intelligence. This incredible man has followed the right path, by accomplishing the best he could and as a man of color he never looked back or doubted his capabilities, instead he moved forwards with his strong work of ethics and ideology for our nation. A man like him who has proven himself of our freedom rights and free speech, our right to work hard and dream big and our right to rise above ourselves even when the tide of waves is against us. Oh what a victory!!!

This almost seems like a dream or a script out of a movie. When a party wins an election, it is known that defeat or victory will take place, but a 'win' of such a caliber, where not only a colorful nation supports and prays for a potential President, but also sees something special stir up within everyone; a sense of unity, a desire for change and a passion for real issues that are affecting us. Elections aren't about the politicians themselves, they are about us, the regular people who live life at work, in front of the tv, in the kitchen cooking dinner, at schools dropping our children -- we are the people.

You must have noticed the right wing Republican conservatives at McCain's concession speech. They were upper class white people dressed in formal suits and dresses alongside their perfectly groomed kids, almost 'gossip girl like society', who have probably never entered a public school or seen a normal kid dealing with financial struggles trying to support his single mom while taking responsibility as the only man in the house. These kids however, seemed well off and engaged in their 'handed down self created wealthy worlds', where basic necessities are luxuries for the ordinary man.

The crowd at Grant Park was the total opposite; they were people whom we deal with in real life, people of all colors, wearing just regular clothes, waiting with anticipation to welcome their new President. They were excited, over joyed and much more affected by the economy as the working class has immensely struggled and still is, for almost a decade. President-Elect Obama's speech was moving and must have touched everyone's heart. His seriousness showed in the words of his speech and his love for his wife and daughters was humbly mentioned in the speech and then beautifully shown on stage, without any hesitations and fakenes to it, was in itself a beautiful summary of his life, of how he is and what he stands for. Not only do we find a good President in him, but also a great dad and husband.

His powerful voice makes you aware that there is a leading male voice in the room. A voice that formulates sentences not only for their saying, but also for their purpose.
His schedule of yesterday consisted of waking up at 6 AM, having breakfast with his ladies and dropping of his daughters to school. Soon after that, he was scheduled to hit the gym and then take care of all business. He is on the job and I am happy that he is showing dedication from the very first day. (ha ha I almost sound like a mother!)

Let's pray for prosperity, actual change and good foreign relations. May the mess of the past 8 years be thoroughly cleaned and may all the nasty stains go away. It is time for a fresh new laundry!!! With a touch of lavender and lemon zest, washing away all the bad particles.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008


As everyone knows, today is a historical day for us to witness! I have been waiting for this day to come as everyone else who consider themselves political enthusiasts and even regular people who are enticed by the new move of politics as we are seeing history being made! I have been disconnected in the past when it came to politics, mainly because of the Bush administration and its poor managing in resolving foreign conflicts and the consequences of spending billions of dollars on a useless war at the expense of innocent people and our economy.

I have voted for the very first time as this year I pledged my oath in becoming a United States Citizen. I felt joy and pride overwhelming me while it was still bittersweet for me to give up on my Dutch passport I so dearly have hold onto since birth.

I would've been sad if this year I wasn't able to vote to be a part of this enormous event, which will be engraved in everyone's memories and forever stated in history books. The experience itself is far beyond any words. A black man becoming the president of the United States, a man so sincere who had no political connections but strong will and determination. I admire this man.
It feels almost unreal and unbelievable. The land of opportunities has shown an extraordinary turn of fate that is controlled by the people we live with. Barack is able to reach us from within our heart and souls as well as outside the emotional aspects. Not only is he sensible and a fresh breathe of air, he has strong ideals and will fight with sincerity knowing that the common man has a lot to struggle in order to accomplish something so extraordinary.

I have full faith in today's elections. More so, I know that he will be a great President. I would switch the channels or tune into a different radio station, every time Bush would say something or appear on TV; I could not bring myself to accept him as a respectable president, but now...finally times have changed! And 'change' will occur for the better...

It's certainly a joyous occassion!!! OBAMA '08 !!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Invisible Lines

Yesterday I was talking to an elderly lady in the mosque during our meeting. She is one of our African American sisters who sits quietly in the front row and pays attention to what is said and announced during the meeting. I have noticed how much of a joy it is to me to sit next to our non-Pakistani sisters whom have something else to bring to the table. This sister in particular was an elderly and when getting acquainted with her, I noticed the softness in her eyes and the many years she has lived being a strong, resilient woman.

Her husband passed away when she was at the age of 43. How young she was to lose a husband in the prime time of her life! I was listening intently to what she was saying and at the same time explaining of what was going on in the meeting. I felt valuable just sitting next to her. There is a certain wisdom and a vast depth of knowledge in elderly people and it always fascinates me when listening to their stories or the reminiscence of their precious memories. It is quite unique for me to have a conversation with someone who is out of my "league" or age group, but is there really a league in life? Can't we all just rotate age groups so now and then and learn from each other? I think the one thing, among others of course, I really value and am thankful for is the fact that my parents taught us Urdu. We were raised in a Pakistani household where 'Urdu' was the common language to speak. Not only have we mastered different languages, but the knowledge and experience of speaking these languages; whether Urdu, English, Punjabi or Dutch, makes us relate to people who are much elderly and find their native language the best and only way of communication.

Now of course, different factors such as personality traits, social skills and sincere interest are keys to open doors to people whom you may not find interesting at first. The humility, the keen eye for life and its experiences, is something you will find with elderly. They have a lot to contribute, we may underestimate them...but it is the 'gold' in them that can really value the worth of life.

I decided to sit next to her, as I am most of the time socializing with my Pakistani friends at the mosque. I always make it a point to get to know everyone, even the non-Pakistani sisters, but yesterday I felt at total ease talking to the sister about faith, the strength in women and our never ending journey. We are always present to take care of things and people and therefore our placement on earth is undeniably and extremely important. It can never be underestimated, no matter how old we get. Your wisdom is often measured by the lines on your forehead, but the lines that are engraved in the heart and the soul, the very invisible lines, aren't there to be seen...

but to endure.