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Category Archives: Sabbatical

The Munafiq

Remember, one of my main goals was to advance and deepen my own understanding of Islam. Someone recently asked me if I had ever questioned the choice of Islam, since…

The Fortune Teller

We drank coffee by the sea at Hammamet today, where she read my cup after I had let it rest to draw itself forward, into tomorrow. I’ll share her prescience…

The Coincidences

We spent the day in the Old City of Tunis, also known as médina. Crowded, and beautiful it was; the colours dance off every surface and I was overwhelmed by…

The Dreaming

I dreamt that a clear drinking glass was in front of me, empty. I poured into it hot water, and it cracked, though nothing was spilled. In Islamic dream interpretation,…

The Gift

Do you know what it is with which you have been gifted? And do you wish it had been other than this? We spent the better part of our evening down the…

The Witchy Senses

I’ve mentioned before what some of my girlfriends have referred to as my ‘witchy senses’. Always, it is specific to men. Always, it shows itself as absolutely, beyond a shadow…

The Peaceful Heart

We found an as-of-yet unopened art gallery, and the gentlemen were kind enough to let us poke around inside and enjoy the art work. I am absolutely in love with…

The Tumor

It was a lounging day, and quite a welcome one at that. Except for one minor tooth incident. When I arrived home last night, I felt something slightly off on…

The Sidi

All over Tunis, there are areas and monuments beginning with ‘Sidi’. Today I learned that each one of these men and women are mukarameen. They were former residents of the area,…

The Unmatched Hospitality

She comes from Nabeul, an approximate hour away from Tunis proper. It’s a small town, with an old traditional souq, rarely visited by tourists (much to our loss). Haifa is…

The Khadra

Tunis is known as El Khadra (The Green), because of its lushness. Forget about what you know as ‘North Africa’ and look at this beauty. Driving through the city today,…

The North African Connection

We sat with coffees in hand and ten years of catch-ups to start unraveling. I am surrounded by more extraordinary women, and our mouths are whirling dervishes between French, Arabic,…

The Cozy

It hailed in Paris today, so we decided to neither get out of our cozies, nor leave the apartment. Instead, it was a day filled with hearty conversation, home-cooked ‘ruffage’,…

The Hopeful Pivot

I had my coffee in bed this morning, while creepily watching the woman in the photo. She spent over 30 minutes tending to her small window-garden (the equivalent of two…

The Carousel Loner

I was the only one on the carousel again today. This time at Hôtel de Ville. Do French people not like merry-go-rounds? Why are these rides always stationary? I realised…

The Museum

It’s my favourite one, Musée d’Orsay. Unpopular opinion in this city, but I will always prefer it here to any other. My entire day was spent enjoying its beauty before…

The Mount Of Martyrs

My first stop, en route to Montmartre was Le Menhir. The woman in the below photo is Eva, the proprietor. Eva and I discussed politics. All in French. I may…

The Dreamer

Someone asked me today how I knew I was good. I had to think about it for a moment, because healing is more emotional than it is cognitive. I explained…

The Photographer

At lunch, I was sat next to a photographer who showed me where to look on my phone; he recommended this as the best angle. He took this pic and…

The City Of Love (?)

The elevator in the apartment is meant for three. I am a small person, as is Jennifer. Facing one another in the elevator, we can barely breathe. I would take…

The Rainy Saturday

We spent five hours wandering the insanely frigid and wet streets of this beautiful city. I wore a beret, because that’s what one does here (with naturally curly hair that…

The French

I forgot how handsome the men are in Paris. And how well put together they all are. How am I so dumb? Not to mention how helpful they are when…

The Sisterhood

My last day in the UAE, this evening, and shortly I head to the airport. Reemo, Omar, and me became proper little roommates these last two weeks, and I’m sad…

The Salt-Water Skin

Our skin has memory. When I dip into salt-water, it is a homecoming. Sun-kissed, I spent the evening with Nizar. We started off at Shades, at Address Hotel in Marina,…

The Mu’min

He sits quietly outside of his laundromat, alone, wearing a jalabyah and a traditional taqiyah (a short, rounded cap). Daily, as I walk past him, this lovely, elderly Sudanese man…

The Collapsing Of Time

Later in high school and in early Uni, I would pop into her apartment daily on my way home. We’d eat tuna on toast, drink coffee, and talk talk talk…

The Hysterical Laughter

On the first night here, we drove past these little kiosks along the water. Each one is an individual space, surrounded by white lights. They have never been, so tonight,…

The Guardian

His momma cooked me one of the best Palestinian meals I have had since my own momma cooked for me in late November, right before the sabbatical began – ma2looba…

The Open Doors

My heart is so full, it might explode. First, I spent the entire day with my beloved uncle and his family. I have not seen them in years, and only…

The Secrets We Kept

Interesting, isn’t it? We call someone shooting crack a ‘junkie’, while we offer the gentler ‘active addict’ to someone snorting cocaine (secretly, they think; not so secretly, in reality) from…

The Beauty Standard

A few hours of walking a day ain’t never a shabby way to play. We spent a couple of these hours at The Global Village where Omar ate his way…

The Playgrounds

I am happy. At both my present, and at the circumstance which led me here; which means that I am moving further and further away from where the rock landed…

The Quiet Day

There are many extravagant masjids across the UAE. This one, however, is the one which makes me most at peace, the one closest to representing Islam as I understand it….

The History Lesson

He turns 92 in March, inshAllah. His intention is to keep working until he is 100, so that he enter the Guinness World Book of Records. Nizar and me spent…

The Secret Courtyard Laugh

Unplanned, and with the best falafel sandwiches I have had since Gaza, Reemo and Omar took me out to the Arabian Gulf. This ridiculously simple afternoon, I wouldn’t trade for…

The Dubai Emirate

We had just finished Friday prayers when I stood to pray asr. Reem was sitting next to me, so did not notice when a random stranger woman came up to…

The Password

“Mother.” “Nice.” We played a word association game called Password, and this was the littlest 6 years old’s answer. As lovely as this unfiltered sunset, it was. Today, I am…

The First Day In The UAE

They received the news just recently, that he has been approved for PR status in Canada. (💃💃!!) Domino to that shortly, they plan on leaving the UAE. Domino to that…

The Heart-Reflection On 2018

They flew in yesterday, so I didn’t anticipate I would have a chance to see them before I head out tomorrow. When I received a message from Y asking if…

The Greeks

Superpowers told me to go to The Greek Club, “a Downtown institution and a popular hangout with liberal Egyptians, artists and foreign residents.” (Lonely Planet) At first, I thought that…