November 26, 2012 § 3 Comments
A listener of NPR’s The Takeaway posted a comment questioning the relevance of my being a stolen & sold baby to my “story” and if I wished to keep that part of my history private. The comment was respectful and eloquent, herself an adoptive parent.
Here is my answer — yes. And no.
All right, that’s it. Have a great day everyone. (I always wanted to say that!) The answer isn’t that easy, though, is it? « Read the rest of this entry »
May 9, 2012 § 7 Comments
I want to go!
I want to go with a film crew and capture its beauty and craziness and see where my brothers lived.
My husband, he simply raises one eyebrow. Oh how I wish I could do that!
But that would be cool, right? Here’s my dream:
Criss cross this great country (America) talking to people about their fears and questions about Pakistan and Islam. The hard politically incorrect questions. You know, like why on Allah’s green earth would an American Muslim do a general media press conference in his pajamas? Oh I know you know what I’m talking about – it may be traditional attire but a pair of slacks and a button down wouldn’t kill ya.
Those kind of questions! Oh yes! Let’s ask the un-PC questions and get answers! And then, let’s film it! Let’s get these conversations on film and start making the culture, not necessarily the religion, a bit more mainstream.
It can be done!
Come on, who’s with me?! I’m game, just let me know when you want start planning…
April 20, 2012 § 5 Comments
Playground conversation can by surprising when you live in one of the most diverse zip codes in the country.
There I was, freezing my arse off (70 degrees my foot!) listening to a friend who just came back from India; he is Indian. The woman chatting with us, Iranian. Me, I’m a hot mess. So what did we chat about?
April 11, 2012 § 4 Comments
“I can’t drink coffee.”
Whaaatttttt?!?!? There may not be more frightful words in the english language, especially after a sleepless night.
There she stood, my amazing sister-in-law. I looked more closely – she looked normal. Sane. Yet she just uttered the frightful phrase above.
« Read the rest of this entry »
March 24, 2012 § 10 Comments
It was early afternoon and without thinking I start dialing.
“Hello?” a small boy’s voice cuts clearly through the line.
“Hello, may I please speak with CQ?” I reply.
“Hold on.” the boy leaves the phone in a sea of silence.
Suddenly, a raspy voices whispers through the phone, “hello?”
This voice is way too old to be the woman who birthed me when she was 19 years old.
“I’m terribly sorry, I must have the wrong number.” What’s with the super calm voice coming out of my mouth? Who am I?
“No” she says, “are you looking for CQ?”
February 4, 2012 § 4 Comments
December 12, 2011 § 3 Comments
It’s a free country. Dissenting views and the ability to share them are one of the freedoms that make American special.
It’s also a capitalistic society. That means that businesses are afforded tremendous freedoms to make money.
Now, if American companies want to hurt their business, then that’s okay too.
That Lowe’s pulled their ad dollars from the new TLC show, All American Muslim, is their right. But I am offended. Not as a one who has Muslim family. Not as an American, not even as woman who is generally against needless discrimination. I am offended as a marketer. That’s just bad business. Unless….
They pulled their ad dollars because they are disappointed in the show. I finally got around to seeing it but have only seen episode 2. It is a fine show but really, pretty bland. Family Guy is WAY more offensive (and more funny and entertaining but that’s just me).
What’s really upsetting is the comments. Know thy enemy I suppose but one thing I didn’t know before checking out Lowe’s Facebook page….
Ignorance is highly correlated to poor spelling. So sad. So. Very. Sad.
November 22, 2011 § 2 Comments
First, I need to admit we were obnoxious. Obnoxious as in cringe-worthy obnoxious.
My husband and I grabbed a cab in downtown Manhattan to go to Lincoln Center. We were super late and foolishly thought a taxi would be quicker than the subway. Fools. It was rush hour in the winter so picture crowded streets with self-obsessed New Yorkers spilling into intersections, ignoring traffic because well, they were more important. Great night to be a taxi driver.
Now if you aren’t familiar with Manhattan’s layout, it is one big grid. The majority of the streets run either east-west or north-south. Pretty straight forward. Unless you are a know-it-all couple on this particular Friday night.
“Um, sir, we need to be going north.” I suggest across the bullet-proof divider.
“Ma’am, we need to go around first.” The driver politely responds.
Did I let it go? Have you met me? Back seat driving is a HUGE area of opportunity for me; just ask my husband. So there we were, not-so-quietly mumbling in the back seat about the street choices the poor driver was taking.
Finally, he stopped at an intersection and turned around. “You know, people always think we don’t know where we are going? It’s not like we do this everyday for 20 hours a day. If you don’t like how I’m driving then you can get out!”
Okay. That was not the reaction we expecting and frankly, we needed him far more than he needed us. We also realized that perhaps we were being just a smidge obnoxious. Only later did we admit we were being incredibly obnoxious.
I needed to make nice fast. So what did I do? Small talk baby!
“I am so sorry. Of course you are the expert, we are just a little anxious because we are late.” I humbly offer.
His response… “harrumph”
I try again, “so sir, where are you from?”
Me: “my father is from Pakistan.”
Him: “really? What part? Is he here? How long has your family been here?” and on and on.
With the one connection, the air cleared up and the driver’s tone became friendly and chatty. Turns out finding out you have Pakistani blood has its benefits.
Which, as lovely as that may be, we did not deserve being spared his wrath. As I said in the beginning, we were really, really obnoxious.
November 16, 2011 § 2 Comments
Not only is there a hotline for the American Muslim ( or anyone else who cares to call) but they have some solid CRM (Customer relationship management)!
Approximately one week after the original call, the same family member received a complete packet containing what seems to be a complete “Getting Started” kit…
:: travel prayer mat with the image of Mecca on it;
:: a Quran;
:: Turning to Islam DVD;
:: The prophets appointed by Allah book;
:: The path to prayer book;
:: Muhammad the messenger of Allah book;
:: Clear your doubts about Islam: 50 answers to common questions book;
:: A guide for the new Muslim book; and
Oh my word! Who is paying for all of these things???
:: A book titled Women in Islam.
Let’s see, a total of six books, one DVD, one Quran, a prayer mat, AND a personalized letter, the pièce de résistance, headlined — “Gaining peace through Islam.”
Wow. Gotta say, the “Jewish hotline” search results from Google seem even worse right about now.
As one in the marketing industry I’m pretty darned impressed. I’m calling and will, of course, report back.
October 31, 2011 § 1 Comment
There is an Islamic hotline.
I kid you not. It’s 1.877.ISLAM09. Call it…. I’ll wait.
See. I told you so.
Here’s how I found out. A family member is considering converting to Islam and we were chatting. The family member is telling me about the five pillars and what conversion entails and then suddenly drops “the guy on the hotline said…”
Errrrr, stop — guy on the hotline?????
No matter how the conversation attempted to progress, I could not get past the idea of a hotline for a religion.
When you type in “Jewish Hotline” into Google, here’s what comes up:
— Red Hot Jewish Sex Line
— Jewish Help Hotline Jewish Frum Staff
Feeling proud of my tribe right about now.
Back to the Islam hotline. I wonder who answers? An Imam? A regular Muslim individual? Are there women who answer or only men? The person from this particular call was male.
What about my end of the line? What would I ask?
What would you ask?