April 5, 2015

Sahlab is NOT Israeli

After attempts to label Falafel, Hummus, Baba Ghanouj and many other Arab dishes as Israeli, Israelis are now trying to represent Sahlab (also called Salep in Turkey, and Saloop in England) as an Israeli alternative to hot chocolate!!

This provocative claim has been circulating for a while on many websites and social media portals,  a lot of Israelis are trying to take credit for creating this delicious warm beverage, denying that it’s originally Arab. On the other hand, other Israelis are trying to be a bit manipulative, saying that Sahlab might be Arab, but there is a “variation”of it, aka “Sachlav”, that is created and served only in Israel.
Now the funny part is, that this variation of the Arab drink is not a variation at all, it’s exactly  the same ingredients, made the exact same way, served exactly as the Arab drink is served, making it an imitation, not a variation, and coming up with a Hebrew name so it sounds more Israeli doesn’t make it Israeli… and definitely not Jewish.

Which brings me to a very important point here: “Jewish Food”. Judaism is a religion, which, as a Muslim, I believe in, and respect, it’s not a nationality; you can be any nationality and still be Jewish. Arab Jews lived in the Middle East and North Africa for decades, in peace and harmony, and of course they cooked the food of the country and region they lived in. Whether couscous, falafel, hummus, baba ghanouj, or whatever, it was the food of that culture, cooked by Jews, Muslims and Christians of that culture, long before the state of Israel was even created.
And just like an Italian Jew serving Lasagna (or their “own version” of it) in Israel can’t claim Lasagna is Jewish nor Israeli, an Arab Jew can certainly not call Sahlab, Falafel, Hummus or Couscous or whatever food/beverage they cook or serve in Israel Jewish nor Israeli… it’s as simple as that.

Bottom line is: “Sachlav” is a desperate attempt at stealing away what’s Arab, and only Arab, it’s not Israeli, and it certainly is not Israeli & Arab as some are trying to promote, it’s just ARAB, live with it… and go create your own original beverage, be creative for a change!

We’re used to Israelis trying to steal our cultural heritage and yummy cuisine, but for international websites and news websites to publish articles advertising these lies without proper research!!!! well, it’s unprofessional, irresponsible and unfair. Shame on you!
Here’s a beautifully written piece commenting on this Sahlab vs. Sachlav controversy.

All this talking about Sahlab made me crave a cup of it, if you do too, here’s how to make it:

March 15, 2015

“عجايزنا” و”عجايزهم”

Filed under: Arab Societies,Women — Eman @ 9:19 pm

في عالمنا العربي تنتقد المرأة التي دخلت مرحلة الشيخوخة إذا فكرت بتصفيف شعرها، أو الاشتراك في ناد للرياضة ، أو  تعلم مهارة جديدة او حتى ممارسة هواية خاصة… فهذا عيب وذاك حرام وهذا غير لائق؛ هي الآن هدفها في الحياة مجالسة الأحفاد، تنظيف المنزل وملء البطون… وانتظار عزرائيل.
ناهيك عن وابل الأمثال المهينة والمحبطةالتي تنهال على مسامعها لتذكيرها ب”وضعها ” وبتخلف من حولها : ”بعد ما شاب ودوه الكتاب”، “بعد الكبرة جبة حمرة” ، ” رجلك والقبر” وغيرها.
انا مع المحافظة على العادات والتقاليد ولكن علينا ان نعترف بأن مجتمعنا يزيدها كثيرا ويستكثر على المرأة أن تكون ما تشاء أن تكون، حتى ضمن أطر مقبولة أخلاقياً ومنطقياً، قامعا روحها وعقلها، ونحن وبلا فخر، نعزز هذا الفكر المتسلط دافنين نصف مجتمعنا في بئر من المحرمات. بينما وفي ذات الوقت، يدعم الغرب سيداته، حتى وهن على مشارف الموت، لأنه على يقين، بأن دعم سيدة ولو على تصرف قد لا ترجى أي فائدة منه غير التسلية قد يشعل شمعة الأمل لدى الكثيرات ويبعث روح المغامرة داخل كل أنثى لتتحدى المستحيل والمعقول، ومن هنا، تتحدى نفسها وتبدع في كل المجالات، ومن هنا تخلق الأجيال القوية الطامحة، ومن هنا تولد المجتمعات المتميزة التي لاتقهر.
ويكفي أن يكون إسمك “إليزابيث” بدلاً من “منيرة” لتتحولي من مجرد مشاهدة لهذا الفيديو إلى بطلته.

March 1, 2015

Why I’m Against Ontario’s Updated Sex-Ed Curriculum

Yes, I am…

I know many people are just like me, and that many more are not, well, every person is entitled to their own opinion, I completely understand that, but seems like thousands of people don’t, and they want you to either convince yourself they’re right and give in to their own opinions, OR you give in even if you still disagree.

While I have no problem with many sections of the updated curriculum, I do strongly oppose teaching my children at school certain sexual topics like homosexuality, as well as oral, anal and intimate details of sexual intercourse.
Yes, I do, and it’s not because I think their curiosity doesn’t start at younger ages, or because I want to keep them in a bubble thinking they wont learn about that one way or the other, but because I want to be the one to discuss these things with them in the way I believe is best for them, and in a way that fits their mentality and age-group, and is within our family’s social and religious values given that we live in an extremely diverse society where everyone has their own opinions when it comes to sex-ed; What’s wrong with that?

1. Objectivity
A lot of people tried to convince me that the updated curriculum is not that big a deal, asking me to look at it “objectively”, so I read it again and again, I tried to be as objective as possible, but no, you can’t look at it objectively, simply because sex is personal, it is a very sensitive and intimate issue, and it should not, in my opinion, be discussed by individuals who will be trained to teach thousands of children -belonging to different religious and cultural backgrounds- in a unified way, giving them all the same message and with little or no respect to what they might be taught at home by their parents.

(more…)

January 12, 2015

Gazans Got Talent

The other day I watched an episode of the latest season of “Arabs Got Talent”, and besides the fact that I feel so proud watching the many unique talents of the Arab world, this episode touched me the most because of two participants, both from Gaza, Palestine; both had little or no training at all, both had  no professional supervision nor support, and both were simple yet unique, demonstrating ambition, will power, optimism and passion, which is surprising, coming from a place like Gaza, which has become a synonym for destruction, poverty, misery, suffering and misfortune.

Overwhelmed with pride and lots and lots of heartache, I represent to you, Al-Takht Al-Sharqi, this extremely talented band… watching till the very end, you will be able to witness one of the band members, the Qanun instrument player, who I believe is the youngest, wiping off his river of tears without him losing control of the instrument or making even one tiny mistake. This scene, scarred my heart for life, as it made me picture the agony he and many like him went through, and are still going through in Gaza.

And Mohammad Al-Shaikh, this extremely flexible young fellow, who’s been training  for only a year -on his own- without any professional help, with his smile, and charismatic presence… a beautiful young talent aiming at the stars.

And those are just the ones who made it to a TV show, I’m pretty sure there are many other talents waiting to be discovered.

Bravo Gazans, you teach the world the true meaning of persistence and determination… you are an example of unparalleled optimism… just like a rose blooming in a dead desert.

 

November 13, 2014

On Honest Compliments & Precious Moments

Filed under: Just Personal — Eman @ 11:10 pm

Today was one of those days… lots of things to do, so little time to do them, back pain, appointments pushed at last minute to be on the exact time of other appointments, lots of waiting, back pain, lots of driving, grocery shopping, back pain, delay in school bus schedule, back pain, lots of phone calls (which I’m not a fan of) and more and more back pain. Needless to say the sudden drop in temperatures didn’t help my back pain at all, but since I like winter, it was like a breath of fresh air that helped sooth me in a way, and to refresh my exhausted spirit.

And what I love about days like this is that, in the middle of all this chaos, God keeps sending people your way, good people, just to help you: lift a bag for you, open the door for you, smile at you, offer simple help that goes a long way, something you very much need on such crazy days.

But there is nothing that fixes my spirits and makes my day more than a genuine compliment coming from a pure and sincere heart, and no I don’t mean a compliment on my looks or my hair or my clothes or my place or things like that, I mean complimenting my efforts and appreciating my hard work. My son usually takes care of that part :) but today my son’s friend joined him. A very picky eater, from a culture so different from ours, with tons of allergies I never even heard of, dropped by unexpectedly for a visit, I prepared a quick and simple lunch for them, and heard him tell my son: “Is your mom a chef or something?”… Adam came to the kitchen and told me that his friend finished his plate in 2 minutes, and he never usually does that. Then they both actually left their video games and came to the kitchen, thanking me repeatedly, sat at the table around me while I was cleaning up the place, and had a small chat with me, and then the boy came to me and shined the biggest smile at me.
Now the great part about this is that I didn’t make something special, it was quite simple, but I made it with love, despite my crazy day, my pain and my exhaustion, I enjoyed making them lunch, I decorated their plates, and  I just wanted them to enjoy eating it as much as I enjoyed making it. And I believe that the positive energy was felt and was contagious, and came back to me in the form of a compliment and a big fat smile from a boy who spends most of his days at after-school programs or with nannies, and making him feel the warmth of home and a loving atmosphere made my day as much as it made his.

It’s these simple moments, when you feel how you’ve touched someone’s heart, and when you feel they’ve touched yours, it’s these moments that count, that make a difference, and remind you that, no matter how off track your day was, there are many simple acts of love that will not go unnoticed and that will put  your day back on track, making up for all the chaos (and back pain) you’ve experienced.

November 7, 2014

Israel Still Detaining CHILDREN… SOMEONE STOP THEM!

Filed under: Charity & Human Aid,Palestine — Eman @ 4:56 pm

All Israeli war crimes aside, I can’t believe the world is turning a blind eye to the detention of children by the “democratic” state of Israel.

This has to stop, this is insane, inhumane, intolerable, monstrous, unjustifiable and someone has to do something about it.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

If politicians don’t f**king care, I’m sure fathers and mothers and caring people still have conscious, hearts and BRAINS! what threat could a child possible pose? Someone speak up and save those innocent children.

 

Israel detains a 6-year-old Palestinian.

Israel detains a 7-year-old Palestinian .

Israel detains a 5-year-old Palestinian.

October 21, 2014

Help Warm Up Winter for Gazans

Filed under: Charity & Human Aid,Palestine — Eman @ 1:30 pm

As if death, destruction and psychological trauma weren’t enough to scar them for life, Gazans have to deal with hunger and face long harsh winters all alone.

Now that winter is already here, I really ask everyone, no matter where you’re living, no matter what your ethnicity or religion, to please remember those in need, especially those who are under siege and cannot get the help they need. Make this brutal season a warm one, make it a season to give.

Make winter for Gaza children a bit warmer!

Please DONATE! all they ask is $1. Yes, one single dollar can feed a child or keep him warm during winter. So next time you go out shopping for the latest fashion trends that will cost you at least $50, remember that all what a Gaza child needs is a $1 piece of garment that will keep him warm. 

September 17, 2014

المرأة وسباق الأرقام والتواريخ

Filed under: Arab Societies,Posts in Arabic,Women — Eman @ 10:04 am

             لفت انتباهي إعلان لشركة دوف جاءت فيه معلومة تقول: واحدة من أصل كل 10 نساء تفخر بالإفصاح عن عمرها الحقيقي، ويهدف الإعلان إلى تحميس النساء وتشجيعهن على الاحتفال بكل الأعماربدلا من الشعور بالحرج.

ففكّرت بالموضوع، لماذا تحاول المرأة دوما إخفاء عمرها؟ وتغضب عندما يسألها أحد عن سنها؟ والجواب طبعا معروف وبديهي: لأنها لا تريد الاعتراف بتقدّمها بالسن… ولكن لماذا يا ترى؟ الجواب أيضا بديهي، لأنها تربت على الخوف من الكبر، ولأن مجتمعها ربط أهميتها وكيانها ووجودها كله بالأرقام،  وحدّد “تاريخ صلاحية” لكل مرحلة من مراحل كينونتها،  فبدلا من أن يدفعها المجتمع للإنجاز، صار يخيفها من كل دقيقة تمر، من كل يوم يمضي، من كل شهر يدخل، ومن كل سنة تنتهي قبل أن تنفذ ما هو مُتوقّع منها. فلكل وقت رقم، ولكل رقم كنية، ولكل كنية أهمية في تحديد ما إذا كانت هذه الفتاة تستحق الحياة أم لا، ما إذا كانت أهلا للإعجاب أم لا… والأسوأ ما إذا كانت تستحق أن تسمّى أنثى أم لا.

ففي الصغر، البنت أميرة، صديقة أمها، دلّوعة والدها والعائلة بأكملها، ويل لمن يحزنها، وويلات لمن يمد يده عليها، هي تطلب فتُلَبّى، تأمر فتُطاع؛ بعدها تصبح صبية ، شابة فتية، ومن هنا تبدأ التسميات والتعريفات ومن هنا يبدأ سباق الأرقام والتواريخ، فالسنتيمترات تحدد أنّ هذه طويلة وهذه قصيرة، والكيلوغرامات تجزم ما إذا كانت هذه رشيقة أوبدينة، وتكبر أكثر فأكثر، وتزداد الأرقام تحكمّا في روحها ووجودها وتوجهاتها وكل حياتها، ولا تعرف مخرجا من السباق على متن “القطار”، القطار الذي طالما سمعت عنه، والذي هو هاجس من حولها.

فهي تعرف كل محطاته، والمحظوظة تكون قد تلقت دروسا كافية للّحاق ب”القطار” في وقته. فكل بنت تعرف أنها لو لم تلقى شريك حياتها في فترة معينة، فإن القطار سيفوتها، كما تعلم كل فتاة أنها لو التقته وارتبطت به ولم تتزوجه خلال مدة معينة، فإن القطار سيفوتها، وإن تزوجته ولم تنجب منه سريعا، فسيفوتها القطار أيضا، وإن أنجبت بنتا لا ولدا، فعليها أن تحاول وتحاول في أسرع وقت أن تنجب الذكر، كي لا يفوتها القطار… إن تطلقت فهي على وشك تفويت القطار، إن تطلقت ومعها أولاد، فقد فاتها القطار، إن ترملت فهي مشكلة، إن ترملت مع أطفال فهي مصيبة لأن القطار حتما فاتها… إن  لوحظت شيبات شعرها فهي كارثة، فقد فاتتها كل القطارات، إن تجعدت بشرتها فهي مأساة تذكّر من يراها بأنها “خلص، راحت عليها”. فللوظيفة مدة صلاحية، وللزواج مدة صلاحية، وللإنجاب مدة صلاحية، وللجمال مدةصلاحية، ويل لمن تحاول أن تفكر حتى في تحقيق شئ انتهت صلاحيته، وعار على من تفصح عن هذه الأرقام التي تكشف صلاحيتها، ولكن مسموح لكل من التزمت بتاريخ الصلاحية أن تفتخر ب”إنجازاتها”، ب”شطارتها”، متناسية أن كل شئ في الدنيا نصيب، وكل شئ في الدنيا رزق مقسوم. وأن أي نجاح على أي صعيد هو من ناحية مجهود شخصي ومن ناحية أخرى رزق أو حظ، وأن محيطك يلعب دور كبير في تحديد هويتك شئت أم أبيت، لذلك أرجو كل المجنمعات الذكورية (وليست هي العربية فقط) بأن يعدلوا تجاه نصف مجتمعهم، بأن يشجعوها على الاستمرار والإنجاز والنجاح بعيدا عن أية أرقام، أو تواريخ، أو أعداد. دعوا المرأة تنطلق وتعكس جمالها الداخلي على مجتمعاتنا، سواء كانت طفلة أو شابة أو عجوز،  إن كانت عزباء أو متزوجة أو مطلقة أو أرملة ، سواء كانت  أم أو جدة، فالأنثى هي الأنثى، مهما اختلفت التسميات ومهما كان الرقم.،

August 2, 2014

Children of Gaza Desperate for Protection

Filed under: Media, International,Palestine — Tags: , — Eman @ 1:11 pm

Very touching…

Because there’s no one to protect them, Gaza children are trying to come up with ways to protect themselves. They made their own “journalist/ media vests” in hope of escaping the inhumane attack of Israel, they don’t know, Israel crossed that line long time ago.
A Swiss Journalist, gave this child his helmet as a gift to complete the costume that Israel will still ignore…

Screw every single being that is justifying this terror and allowing these innocent children to be massacred. 

ظن هذا الطفل الغزّي ، بعد ملاحظته لملابس رجال الإعلام
…أنه إن لفّ نفسه بكيس بلاستيك أسود سيحمي جسمه من الإصابة بشظايا القصف الصهيوني
فما كان من صحفي سويسري إلا أن أهداه خوذته  لتكتمل الحماية
..
أطفال غزة ..لكم الله فقط
‎يحدث في غزة

‎يحدث في غزة .. ظن هذا الطفل الغزّي ، بعد ملاحظته لملابس رجال الإعلام ، أنه إن لفّ نفسه بكيس بلاستيك أسود سيحمي جسمه من الإصابة بشظايا القصف الصهيوني ...  فما كان من صحفي سويسري إلا أن أهداه خوذته ..لتكتمل الحماية !!! .. أطفال غزة ..لكم الله فقط‎

‎Jeff Kulen-Smith@__  tears one just wants to reach into the screen and extract them away from this barbaric slaughter. One feels hate and rage يحدث في غزة .. ظن هذا الطفل الغزّي ، بعد ملاحظته لملابس رجال الإعلام ، أنه إن لفّ نفسه بكيس بلاستيك أسود سيحمي جسمه من الإصابة بشظايا القصف الصهيوني ...  فما كان من صحفي سويسري إلا أن أهداه خوذته ..لتكتمل الحماية !!! .. أطفال غزة ..لكم الله فقط‎

 



July 25, 2014

There Once Was A Land Called Palestine… and then came the Zionists

Filed under: Palestine — Tags: , , , — Eman @ 7:36 pm

Tomorrow, July 26th, 2014 marks the International Day of Al-Quds, a day supporting Palestine and its people, and opposing the Israeli occupation and apartheid.

On this occasion, I would love to dedicate these videos to every single moron claiming Palestinians are an invented people, to every ignorant who believes that Palestine was a land without people, to every idiot calling Palestinians terrorists or criminals, and to every single person who supports the blood-thirsty criminal state of Israel.

This is Palestine pre-1948, before Israel was invented, before Zionism slaughtered one of the holiest, most beautiful lands on the face of this Earth.

A country of history, passion, ambition,tradition, agriculture, trade, sports, arts, education, creativity, and most importantly co-existence. People of all religions lived happily in peace… before Zionism, before occupation.


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