Posts filed under ‘Traveling’

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 😉

Amr

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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!

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August 5, 2007 at 6:08 am 3 comments

Adilah’s first post

okay soo this is my first post, SALAM to you all!! i finally figured out how to sign on to this thing….

being here in egypt is soo exciting for me! i love it! even though i get honked at all the time, always feel lk my toes are going 2 get run over, getting ripped off sometimes with shopping, smelling lk smoke and cigs from the coffee shop, and get made fun of bc of my arabic…. ITS ALL GOOD!!!!!!! i love the fact that im back 2 hanging my clothes out to dry, and that im in a apt with 6 great gals who make me laugh no matter what! and that i can find mango juice ANYWHERE!!

i have many sad, and happy, and GM (girls things 😉 ) moments on this trip and i will never forget the memmories!

MAS deff picked a great group of people for this trip, bc it nv could have been better!

-adilah, aka anfy, aka add, aka nicole… lol

July 29, 2007 at 6:22 am 2 comments

prayer

Lately we’ve been bonding… the girls in our apartment. Well I can tell you that we seem to be learning a lot about each other, I can only speak for myself when I say that I’ve learning about myself too by sharing. The other day when we were at Masjid Bilal (the Masjid like less than a block away)… a lady gave the other girls who had come to pray I’sha and myself some gifts… subhana’Allah, she told us is was from the women of the Masjid. I felt like they truly liked us. On Monday, the same lady was at the‘other sisters’ apartment for iftar. Well, when I got there I couldn’t understand practically anything she was saying. I remember trying to make out her body/sign language (which I seem to be doing a lot of here in Misr). Also, someone mentioned that she was feeling bad because of the language barrier. So, they asked us to try and speak in Arabic for her sake. We all just kind of paused what we were doing and someone broke the silence with a statement that: if we are only going to speak in Arabic, everyone will just stay relatively quiet…implying just exactly how limited our Arabic is! Sad, but that is our reality. When we all gathered to pray maghrib, the same lady lead the prayer. And all I gotta say is Subhana’Allah! Right when I heard al-fatiha, this realization came over me that the one thing that we DO understand each other through is prayer. Seems like such an obvious analogy that probably has been pointed out an immense number of times…. But to me, an UNDERSTANDING along with its impact hit me then. I felt closer to her. Subhana’Allah. Because when I think about it more, prayer is the dearest act of worship for us as Muslims. We are standing in front of our Lord in the most respectful way we know. Plus, recalling divine words, seeking refuge, and just worshipping altogether. And Alhamdulillah! If we can’t understand our brothers and sisters around the world because of some cultural and situational differences… we can understand them in prayer. (which is our deepest, dearest act of worship) Yes… Allah (An-Noor) has indeed blessed the Ummah.  May all the Muslims on this trip and around the world striving to learn Arabic for the sake of Allah (swt) receive great reward, patience, strength, and knowledge…aameen -lisa                           

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July 18, 2007 at 6:54 am 2 comments

^&*#*$%*^ BATHEEKH!!!

As I walked to class this morning there was a fruit seller… more specifically, a watermelon seller… Everyday, since I have made my walk to the learning center routine at 9:30 am or so, I have seen this guy and his donkey walking down the road as he screams something that I cant make out no matter hard I try…  Frustrated by my inability to understand him, I mad sure that today I was going to figure out this mystery so I got really close… It sounded like ‘yajafajabutneeeya!’  With his voice hoarse and his thawb soaked in ‘egypt sweat’ (i will write about this idea another day),  he repeated his one line lyric in a voice that simon cowell would be proud of… I inched ever nearer… BUT the closer I got the more I realized that he really said nothing… Just a sound that ended in a syllable that rhymed with batheekh… I tried to think if i could learn something meaningful about life from this experience and then realized something about communication… You really don’t have to say anything to be understood… every man, woman and child knew exactly what this man was selling when he shouted his inarticulate melody and as long as it was different from the teenshowki kid, the bbq corn man, the ‘used stuff’ people, the drycleaners and the gas guy and the vegetable seller: yafajafbutnee! would do just fine… At the end of the day, this watermelon man found his place in the world… He knew exactly what he had to do, how to do it and even how to be unique in doing so… He found his niche in this dunya… And because of that reason, I know he is far wiser than I…

On another note, the ‘bikya bikya bikya’ boys are really getting on my nerves… They dont even seem to be trying anymore… Their voices are barely heard through the cement walls that our apartments are made of… These premadonnas have a lot that they have to learn..

Egypt is taking its toll on me though…  I gave up on looking like an egyptiian because every taxi driver tries to charge me 30 bucks for a 3 dollar ride no matter how tight my jeans are n no matter how much chest hair i grow (just a joke :o) )… I started wearing basketball shorts and Hani thinks it might be a good idea if I drape myself in an American flag…  We started saying pop culture references in Arabic…(i.e. we translated the whole Captain Planet song’ … I am ‘Maya’ (i.e. water) and Amr is Cabtan Dunya….) I cant tell if my skin color is darker because of the sun or dirt and pollution…and my teeth are a strange yellow/orange color and I think I am going to write a letter to Crest to develop a toothpaste that fights plaque and dust… The Manga juice that I keep drinking (cant help it… too delicious) is not very good for an American digestive system and I have learned that a cup of water and ice is definitely the most amazing combination on earth…  On a good note, I cannot bite my nails anymore because of the thick layer of… well i dont even know what it is… stuck underneath them… Shibshib is officially the only footwear I wear…

An interesting observation: Egyptian men walk with more of a feminine touch and the woman walk more masculine (this is of course by the American perspective) but I found it interesting nonetheless… maybe its because the sisters here dont have the same mindset about flaunting themselves (alhamdulillah) and the guys are less worried about trying to look like they are ripped/buff all the time… 

I apologize for the extremely random thoughts but that what was on my mind… I have a couple of more insightful thoughts to come inshAllah,,, but at this time I have neither the patience nor the ability to stay awake to put them down here…

Missing home a little alhamdulillah…

Salams

yousaf 

July 11, 2007 at 9:23 am Leave a comment

My moments of Awe

Well I’ve been here so far for a few days. I think it’s the 29th of June today (this is posted way after it was written). I got about three hours of sleep and I feel like I finally slept! Subhanallah! It’s so peaceful on our spacious balcony. The air is fresh and cool with a nice warmth to it right after sunrise. The shops are still closed. The people are not out and the streets are still empty (but, not in a lonely way). More like if the streets are awaiting the chaos of the day. Allah (swt) is watching and preparing us for what lies ahead. What will the day be filled with? Allahu Alim. But to add some more excitement, today is jumu’ah! So today will be my first Salat-ul-jumu’ah (insha’Allah) in a Muslim country! Yikes! And to think that I though it gets busy back in California at MCA! I’m excited to witness this massive act of worship in the midst of the most believers my eyes have ever beheld… Wow!

On another note, it’s funny to me how yesterday we went to a military museum and all I could take pictures of were the Arabic/English signs. I love the words as an artful expression. Even though, the signs were mostly simple ones like “Bazaar”. I still loved seeing how things translate. Also, how things looking totally different like Arabic ‘squiggly’s’ as opposed to English letters. And they sound so similar when read. Subhanallah!

My moments of Awe:

I saw my first big mosques. The first one we saw confused me, being an outdoor mosque amidst an old military site. I don’t think I really knew where we were going. I had just jumped in the bus knowing they were taking us somewhere. I think I realized after my initial visit to the mosque that we were not ‘outside’ of the mosque. Instead we were actually inside. Haha.

The other two mosques were right next to each other literally. They were separated by a single walkway. Though, they were both amazing. One had beautiful skylights letting the noor cut solidly through the shade. And that was just the pathway upon entering. Very appropriate in my opinion to attempting to reflect on the understanding of the beauty of Allah (An-Noor). Ya Allah!

Not realizing the order of our visits to the mosques, I want to mention what I can only think of as the “Malcolm X” mosque. A mosque filled with suspended serene globes of light. All strategically placed in a way that comforts the eye with the simple yet powerful act of beholding its’ surface beauty. Ya Allah! And then just to see ‘la ilaha ilallah’ artistically encompassed in a circle on the ceiling… only Allah (SWT) knows the happiness I felt. My reaction: 1) stare! 2) take out the camera 3) zoom-in 4) snap that lovely picture of ‘la ilaha ilallah’.

As we were leaving, someone mentioned the famous picture of Malcolm X making du’a in a beautiful Masjid with suspended globes of light…in Egypt! Subhanallah! All I could think of is that, “This must be the same Masjid!” I have to say something rhetoric but whatever here it goes, “It’s a small world!

I wanted to stay longer and try to replicate the picture but we had to leave. And so, I left the Mosque unwillingly. Overall, I wanted to retain the feeling of satisfaction and happiness in my heart. Alhamdulillah! Now that feeling has settled in. And settled just enough so when I think now about the whole experience, it drifts by and I get a taste of it. And that can only be brought by Allah (swt). Ya Allah!

July 3, 2007 at 12:46 pm 4 comments

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…

Brothers

Shay

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.

Cairo

More Cairo

June 28, 2007 at 9:55 am 7 comments


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