Thursday, April 17, 2008

Living on in Our Hearts and Prayers...

One year ago today, a young man was the last one to leave his house. He had said his good byes to his parents, siblings and cousin as they headed out before him. Little did they know that it was their last time to see each other.
One year ago today, Bilal headed out to university to take a final exam. He hadn't been to university most of the semester because of the threats, but today he was called in for an exam.
One year ago today, Bilal was chased down in front of university by armed, masked men in cars.
One year ago today, Bilal dropped his school notebook as he ran away from his kidnappers.
One year ago today, Bilal made three desperate calls for help from his cell phone, while running away from these men in black.
One year ago today, Bilal's 10 year old brother answered the phone to a panting Bilal screaming, 'They got me, they kidnapped me... Let me go.... Let me goooo....'.
One year ago today, the university population stood and watched a young man kidnapped and taken to an almost certain death...
One year ago today, I heard the news of Bilal's kidnapping in my husband's silent voice...

May you rest in mercy and peace ya Bilal, and may your mother's, father's, sisters' and brothers' hearts start to find some healing...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Visitor, Outlandish, and Other Things...

The girls and I are enjoying a few days with my hubby on a much needed vacation for him.
And here's a quick post of ten things about myself for my blogger friend, Karin, who tagged me a while back. :) (as personal as i can get on this page).

  1. I'm a youth worker in my part of the world. Have been since I was a teenager, and missed it sorely in Baghdad. Thankfully I'm back at it.
  2. I majored in Biology at university, graduated with honors. :) Never was sure exactly what I wanted to do, until today. :)
  3. I'm very close to my siblings and my husband's siblings. I have two brothers and four sisters, and I'm the second child/first daughter.
  4. I've lived in Texas, Chicago and Northern Virginia/DC metropolitan area, my home for the last 19/20 years (since I was an 8 year old). I love Va! And as a true northern Virginian, I have to point out that that there's Virginia, and then there's northern Virginia. Very different.
  5. I did an intensive study abroad in Egypt for one year (before Baghdad), where we studied Arabic sciences and Islamic sciences with teachers one on one. It was a treasure of a time. I loved my parents' homeland, its' constantly busy streets, its' kind-hearted people, its' fun, its... but discovered I still missed home (US).
  6. I voted for Bush in 2000 and lived to regret it time and again.
  7. I believe that their is a purpose to our existence, and it is our responsibility to look inside and find our inner soul and connect with our Creator.
  8. My father is living with cancer. He was diagnosed a year and a half ago with non-Hodgkins' lymphoma which has spread to his bone marrow, and is thus lymphatic leukemia. It's non-aggressive, so he's not receiving any treatments (just routinely following up with his doctor). Please keep him in your prayers. He's a great man who *usually* listens to the voice of reason when we talk to him. :) I love him for that amongst everything else. He's hoping to make Hajj for the first time this next year, so make dua'a for him!
  9. I had a hard time living in Baghdad, every day there was my struggle in life. But I feel like my life was super enriched by that experience, and I would have loved it more had I known there was an end in sight. :) Until today, there is no end in sight to my hubby's being there, so I may be going back some day.
  10. And finally, I have a major plug for an event that will interest ANYONE and EVERYONE out there. :) The music group Outlandish is touring the US this summer, and MAS Youth is holding a talent competition, Voices for Change. The winner of that competition (spoken word, poetry, song, etc), will open for Outlandish on their tour. This Voices for Change tour is a unique talent show seeking to bring positive, healthy change to the entertainment industry of today. JOIN the talent search NOW! OR BUY YOUR TICKETS FOR A CONCERT NEAR YOU (Chicago, Dallas, LA, NY, Tampa, Detroit).