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leaving the land of Musa (AS)

asalamu alaikum wa rahmatu Allah wa barakatu

It is our final day here in Egypt. As I type our apartment is being cleaned inside – out to be handed over to the owner.

I apologize to the readers for a lack of recent posts. The past week was filled with exams, adventures, emotions, tasks, and reflections. I have seen tears, smiles, frowns, moans, sighs, disagreements, hugs, kisses, and farewells. After we took our final exams we took a trip to Mount Sinai (Jabal Al-toor / Jabal Musa). This trip deserves a blog post by itself, I hope other sapers will share there experience on this trip even after returning home. We climbed up-hill 7 kilometers followed by about 3000 stairs to reach the top of the Mountain were Musa 3alahi Alsalam spoke to Allah on a few occasions. You can just imagine the struggle, trial and eventually triumph involved in the physical climbing of the mountain. I just hope I was sincere in climbing the mountain, otherwise that was a lot of wasted energy! May Allah send peace and blessings on Musa (AS) for his patience and sacrifice. He must have loved and cared for bani Israel ALOT especially because of how frustratingly they responded to him. Maybe bani Israel didn’t appreciate Musa (AS) but I do, May Allah join us with him in Jannah.

We had a graduation ceremony and got certificates with official masri stamps and signatures. May Allah help us benefit ourselves and others from what we learned.

There is so much more to share from experiences and reflections.

Here are some pictures, but they will only transfer so much from the experience. You really had to be there. Don’t worry…its ok….just sign up for next years MY SAP 😉



Reflecting on Jabal Altur

We raised the mountain above them like an umbrella, and they thought it was going to fall on them

Final gathering

globalization… starbucks on jabal Musa!



August 5, 2007 at 6:08 am 3 comments

unlocking the secret behind the egyptian accent

Life is full of hard to answer questions like why did the dajaj cross the tareeq?

A few days ago i learned part of the answer to why Egyptians (and arabs in general) have an accent when they speak in English.

If you ask the closest Egyptian 3amu or 3amty near you to say “street” in English they will likely pronounce it like “estreet” (putting a hamza before the “s”).

The reason behind this is that in Arabic, the first letter always has a tashkeel (fat7a, kasra, or damma), so Arabs have a very hard time pronouncing an English word with two consonants in the beginning of the word. So they need to give the “s” in “street” an extra sound to pronounce it, hence they will say “estudy” , “estop” , “cerazy” or “berotherhood”.

Im sure that are linguistic explanations for other parts of the accent. If you know, blease share 🙂

July 26, 2007 at 12:38 am 4 comments



MAS Youth Study Abroad Program expenses …………………………… $2,500 

Shopping at Khan El-Khalili for two hours……………………………………150 L. E.

Lunch for 6 at a restaurant in front of Masjid Al-Hussein………………380 L.E.

Taxi fare for 6 Americans failing miserably at being Masri………………30 L.E.

Brotherhood packed in an Egyptian taxi………………………….Priceless




 ps. Hani drove!!!


July 12, 2007 at 1:36 am 4 comments

Adapting and Growing

We have been in Egypt for 17 days. I have gone through phases of travel: excitement, settling, homesickness, and adapting. Al7amdulilah.



Today Radwan and I start a new level at al-diwan. We had a written and oral test yesterday which we both passed. Guess what….We are not learning Fus7a!!!! Actually we are just learning lugha Faseeha. There are five levels of language. Three levels of 3amiyah (common language) and then there is Fus7a and Fasee7a. Fus7a is really hard to understand. Like no one can speak it. The Quran is in between Fus7a and Fasee7a. Even the sa7abah would ask the rasul saws about the meaning of words even though their Arabic was excellent.


Today is Thursday, our fasting day. Last night we began to implement a lights out rule at midnight. Moosa, May Allah Reward Him, woke us all up for suhoor at 3:30 am. We all ate cereal. Fajr at the local Masjid is the best breakfast. After Fajr, the six of us brothers read athkaar as-saba7 in our apartment. Each day we learn about the significance of one of the athkaar. Today we covered sayid Al-istighfaar. Its amazing how nicely it is worded. It helps us acknowledge Allah’s blessing and how dependant we are on Him for sustenance, protection, guidance and forgiveness. Al7amdulilah.


Jamal gave us a short talk about the biography of Abdullah ibn umm Maktoom, the blind sahabi mentioned in the beginning of surat 3abasa. Among the lessons from the story is the role of the caller to Islam is not guide but to convey the message, the authenticity of the prophethood of Muhammad pbuh because a mistake of the rasul is mentioned in what Muhammad pbuh brought. The story also warns against neglecting the sincere people in dawah to focus on rich, respected but stubborn people. Al7amdulilah.


Then we spent a few hours just chatting about different topics. We recited every story about we knew about Abu Bakr RA and Omar ibn Alkhatab RA on the authority of sheikh Anwar Alawlaki. Al7amdulilah.


The feeling of brotherhood is growing. We are a little family and I love each of the brothers. We help each other in our studies and in our deen. We divide responsibilities around the house between us. Hani is doing an excellent job shopping for us. Moosa is on top of our budget and finances. Yusuf and Ali cook it up for us. So far they made yummy French toast and macaroni. Al7amdulilah.


I7miding Allah,


ps. here are some pictures


holding hands in front of masjid alhussein RA



masjid alazhar … we heard the khutbah there



khan alkhalili food … fatta, kawari3, kofta wi fayrooz. we ran out of pepto bismo 🙂



Hani hooking it up, gibna we bayd fe 3aysh feeno






July 12, 2007 at 1:15 am 3 comments

Arabic class

Arabic class is cool, the teacher makes it fun. It can get tiring after the fourth hour but Al7amdulilah we take one half hour break not including salat Al-Asr. So far the past four classes we have been concentring on conversing in classical Arabic. It is becoming natural to us. Everyone has a unique challange. Some struggle with writing, some with reading, some with speaking. For me, I have a hard time filtering my Egyptian Arabic vocabulary to speak classical Arabic but Im getting the hang of it, min Fadl Illah.  Next week we move into the next level which is has more grammar rules. Every night there is atleast 1-3 hours of homework.

 The brotherhood is really great. The six of us are clicking well and the brothers are so cooperative, considerate and supportive of each other Al7amdulilah. We really do hold hands together in the street 🙂

 My break is almost over, gotta go back to class. Im in a net cafe down the street from Al-Diwan. Peace




July 4, 2007 at 8:24 am Leave a comment

Update from Ummu Duniya

asalamu alaikum wa rahmatu Allah wa barakatu,

Alhamdulilah, All praise is due to Allah who made our travel and setup for the MY SAP easy. The brothers and sisters are settled in the apartments. The first few days were a little hectic setting up things. Yesterday we took our placement tests for our Arabic classes. Our sleeping schedule is almost fixed… i think…



We are all really excited. Alhamdulilah Al-Diwan center is very professional and the staff and teachers are very nice and hospitable. They are offering free classes on Saturday morning for tajweed and calligraphy for any one interested marking their ten year anniversary. Many have the intention to attend those classes. It is clear that the studying will be intense. Arabic class is 5 hours every day from Sunday to Thursday of class plus studying. As our dear brother Jamal reminded us in a khatirah a few nights ago… we will only get out of this trip what we put into it from effort.

Masjid Group Picture

Today we took a trip the Citadel of Salah Al-Din and Masjid Mohamed Ali Basha and Masjid Soltan Hassan. Simply magnificent! The richness of our Islamic history is something to be proud of and an encouragement for the future. One masjid has a hall where the king would hear complaints from the people. Another section of the masjid served as a hospital which includes a reception area, a quarantine, and six floors of rooms for patience. This is was all established 700 years ago. I felt I was walking in what was once such an advanced civilization.

Masjid Mohamed Ali

Masjid Soltan Hassan

We are planning more trips inshallah. We are working on our self-development plans and programs as well. One thing the brothers are doing is training to be content. Egypt has alot of little things that we are not used to as Americans. Heat with no AC sometimes, weird bathrooms, and a some other things. So every time we complain we have to do 15 push ups. By the end we will all be very patient and content, or just strong, or both 🙂

Please keep us in your dua that we benefit from this trip and that the SAP continues to give American Muslim Youth the chance to learn Arabic in this rich and fun experience.


More Cairo

June 28, 2007 at 9:55 am 7 comments

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