This definitely was a tough weekend for us. It was a normal Sunday until about 1pm that afternoon. Hubby was watching his Sunday football and the girls and I were in my bedroom. When Alia decided it would be fun to roll on my bed….and like she usually does ignored my constant scolding of “Stop it you’re gonna get hurt!” Of coure nothing usually happens well at least nothing dramatic, that is until today. (more…)

We may associate slavery as an action that only ocurred in the past of this world. The phenomen has only increased and is rapidly growing. Modern day slavery has become an industry of huge profit for the black market. Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industy that we commonly associate only with third world countries. The reality is that it’s occuring in our backyards; on American soil. The United States has become a high importer of sex slaves.

“America’s largest anti-slavery organization, Free the Slaves estimates that at least 10,000 people a year are smuggled or duped into this country by sex traffickers” (

 This is an issue that I have been following for about two years. One of the reasons that it has caught my attention is because  I’m a woman, and a mother. This is happening not only in my country but the world including Latin America where many of these transactions are held. The women and children who are stolen from their families, kidnapped, beaten, raped, drugged, moved around like cargo and shipped as merchandise, auctioned and sold for the purpose of sexual exploitation. When I learned about human trafficking it was an instinctive reaction to take some sort of action to help in stopping it. So when I heard about a petition two years ago I took part in signing it.

The  petition encouraged our government to pass a law prosecuting Americans for sexually soliciting minors overseas. I was one of the thousands who signed it and last year Congress passed the law, and it has been put into practice ever since. So with this introduction, I have tried to find ways to get the word out  on human trafficking and finding more information on it; however, we still have a long road ahead of us in ending sex slavery. It is estimated that 80% of humans trafficked are female and 50% are minors. The State Department has estimated that about 800,000 people are trafficked over international borders yearly, largely for sexual exploitation. It has unfortunately become a pandemic and more awareness and laws need to be made in protecting human rights. I came across a film that was released this passed weekend reflecting on the human trafficking issue.

Actor Kevin Cline, has made a movie titled “Trade”. This film focuses on the human trafficking industry and has captured the attention of many U.N. officials. Although the film isn’t a multi-million dollar film it captures the brutesque reality of sex slavery and the lives it has destroyed in the process. This is a film that shouldn’t go ignored. It’s a movie that affects us on a global scale and shows us the trade of human trafficking. The State Department has estimated that about 800,000 people are trafficked over international borders yearly, largely for sexual exploitation. Please learn more about human trafficking and what you can do to fight this human rights violation.

Human Rights Organizations Involved with Sex Trade:

Watch Full Screen Trailer of “Trade”

My beloved children both my son and daughter returned back to New York yesterday. This has been a bittersweet summer to say the least. I learned many things about motherhood, patience, and tolerance. It’s definitely not easy being a mother of 4 on a fulltime basis. I have no idea how moms do it everyday, every second of their lives juggling responsibilities as a mother and wife. (more…)

The mysterious knight that stole your heart has left you with only his tracks of dust which dissipate quickly once you lose sight of him. It has taken quite sometime to heal from those inner wounds. Your dark and handsome knight discarded you because you suddenly weren’t good enough for him. (more…)

As a reminder for all of us, both parents, soon-to-be parents, and the ummah. 😉

Seven million people in the United States call themselves vegetarians—those who don’t eat meat, fowl, or fish (but often include dairy products and eggs). But while vegetarians claim their diets are healthier, many carnivores and omnivores extol the virtues of eating high on the hog: Consuming meat, after all, is simply following nature’s dictate, for hungry humans have been devouring everything they could lay their hands on through at least the past 100,000 years of evolutionary history, and probably much longer.

So who’s got legitimate bragging rights?

Evidence has been building for two decades that people who eat a mostly vegetarian diet have the upper hand. But even scientific studies may not be enough to convince meat eaters to give up their lust for flesh in exchange for a longer, more disease-free life. 

What we eat, of course, isn’t the only determinant of health. For instance, even with the best diet in the world people who aren’t active will fall prey to diseases of sloth. Sedentary Death Syndrome is estimated to cause 300,000 premature deaths a year in the U.S., mostly due to cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

The types of food consumed within a specific diet also will have an effect on health.

“It is important to point out that both [omnivorous and vegetarian] diets can be disastrous or healthy,” says Ryan Andrews, a dietician and exercise physiologist with the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. “Jujubes and beers constitute a vegan [plant-only] diet. Cheese and sausage constitute an omnivorous diet.  Obviously we know these aren’t the best food choices for optimal health.”  

A well-designed vegetarian diet, as opposed to a junk food vegetarian diet, would be low in fat and high in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds, says Susan Bowerman, Assistant Director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.

“These foods are all cholesterol-free, low in total fat and saturated fat, rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals which offer numerous health benefits,” Bowerman says. “The diet would also naturally be high in fiber, which is also of benefit.”

And what are these benefits? Numerous studies from around the world have shown that plant-based diets not only extend life spans but also protect people from a number of diseases that plague heavy meat-eaters. The longest-lived peoples in the world all consume a mostly vegetarian diet, with a small percentage of protein derived from meat.

Take Okinawans elders, for example. They live longer than any other people on the planet, with an average life expectancy of 81.2 years (the U.S. average is 76.8). Inhabitants of this Japanese island have 80 percent less heart disease and cancer of the breast and prostate than Americans, and half the rate of dementia and cancer of the ovaries and colon. Although genetics contributes to their longevity and superior health, the major player is lifestyle, scientists have found. Besides high levels of physical activity and low body fat levels, Okinawan elders  eat a lot of soy, vegetables, and fish, plus a moderate amount of alcohol. Compared to Americans, they  consume twice as many vegetables and three times more fruit, but 10 times less meat, poultry and eggs. (But paradise is being lost. Younger generations of Okinawans have switched to a more modern diet and lifestyle. Consequently, they have twice the rate of obesity as other Japanese, and more risk factors for heart disease. Dying at a younger age than their elders, younger Okinawans may eventually lower the average lifespan of the island.)

“Okinawan elders eat an average of seven servings of vegetables and fruit a day [the National Cancer Institute recommends five], two servings of flavonoid-rich soy products per day; omega-3 rich fish several times a week; and minimal dairy products and meat,” report the authors of The Okinawa Program.

What Research Has Shown

Research has shown that vegetarians are healthier than those who consume a lot of animal protein. “Vegetarians are at lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and dying of ischemic heart disease,” says Sarah Trist, a clinical dietitian at Children’s Hospital in Seattle. “They have lower blood pressure, and lower cholesterol levels of LDL or “bad cholesterol.” They are less likely to be overweight or obese and have lower rates of type-2 diabetes, diverticular disease, gallstones, as well as some cancers including prostate and colorectal cancer. It may also be beneficial in the early stages of renal disease, protect against dementia, and slow the rate of bone loss women experience after menopause.”

And we’re not talking a few percentage point differences, but 25 percent to 35 percent less risk.

A meat eater might ask, “But aren’t humans designed to be omnivorous? Why would eating meat make us sick?” While it’s certainly true that our bodies are capable of digesting both animals and plants, our ancestors probably relied more on the latter than the former. Meat was a luxury, rarely eaten because it was hard to come by. Plants grew abundantly and didn’t run away. So the difference is in the amount of animal protein we eat today. Our bodies evolved to eat a little, but we now consume much more.

But what about protein and vital nutrients that animals provide, like iron, vitamin B-12 and calcium? Aren’t vegetarians pale, gaunt and weak?

Vegetarians can be deficient in these and other vital substances found mainly in meat—but not if they choose foods wisely. The reason many vegetarian diets rely on soy is that it’s the only plant that contains complete protein (all the essential amino acids). Beans, peas, and lentils are other good sources of protein. “Iron is more difficult to obtain,” says Bowerman, “because animal sources generally contain more iron per serving and is more readily available to the body. Iron can be found in iron-fortified cereals, as well as beans, nuts, and seeds.”

Fortified cereals and milk are also good vegetarian sources of another vital nutrient, vitamin B-12, which plants don’t offer. And while the dairy industry would have you believe that milk is the best source of calcium, research suggests otherwise. “When we think calcium, we tend to think dairy,” Andrews says. “But when you take a step back, the main source for all minerals-including calcium—is soil from the ground.” So plants such as bok choy, broccoli, collards, and kale are a good source of calcium. In fact, calcium from these plants is absorbed by the body twice as readily as calcium from cow’s milk.

One of the most convincing arguments for the health benefits of a vegetarian diet comes from China. In an exhaustive, large-scale study of Chinese eating habits and disease, spearheaded by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a Cornell University nutritional biochemist, scientists found that those who ate the most protein—mostly from animals—had the highest rates of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The wealthier a person was, the more likely he was to eat animal protein. “Usually, the first thing a country does in the course of economic development is to introduce a lot of livestock,” Campbell told Jane Brody of The New York Times. “Our data are showing that this is not a very smart move.”

But it appears that little can be done to stop this trend. As Dr. Junshi Chen, the primary Chinese scientist involved in the Cornell study, told The Washington Post: “The natural tendency when you have more money in your hand is to buy more meat. For some reason, people just don’t want to buy vegetables, except when they have the knowledge and understanding. And even then …”

 Source: Health & Fitness at MSN

 I would have to say that I’ve been a very busy spider throughout this summer. I was surfing the internet and came across this childhood book on (trying to find potty training materials). The book  I came across is an oldtime classic “The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle. The first thing that passed my mind was “I’m definitely a busy spider”. 


Patience is a virtue that is expressed at the time of hardship. Patience is defined in the dictionary as bearing pains or trials calmly and without complaint and manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain. Ok so I think I was at wits end with all the afternoon thunderstorms we’ve had this week. The lack of outdoor fun has had the girls very rambunctious and at each others throats which has left me exhausted sore, and crying for help. (more…)

During these past 3 days now, I’ve been anxious, stressed, exhausted, but happy at the same time (will explain this shortly 😉 ). On Monday of this week I went to pick up my seven year old daughter from the airport who will be spending the summer with us. My son also seven was supposed to arrive with her, but  had to attend summer school and will come at the end of the month. I have a total of four beautiful children from ages two through seven years of age (A little something you may not have known).   (more…)

Reflection from Umm Yusuf’s post:

While catching up in my comments  this morning I read Umm Yusuf’s comment on You Know You’re a Hijabi/Niqabi if….people try to deny you the basic rights that every one is supposed to enjoy!

This was so relevant to what my post was going to reflect today and definitely not a coincidence. Yesterday my husband and I were discussing on summer events that would be great to attend in our city as a family. Well living in this city for over a year now they have a festival every summer where they have arts and crafts, kid face paintings, and great summer food. It’s a must-go event in the town. Well planning my intinerary for the kids, I was so excited that finally I was going to attend this main attraction. I told my husband what the plan was and it went a little something like this:

Me: “I have found a great thing to do this summer”.

Husband: “What’s that”?

Me: Remember when we drove around town last year, and we saw flocks of people going to the park?

Husband: Yes…

Me: My friend and I decided that would be a lot of fun for the kids. Do you think it’s walking distance?

Husband: Oh, no you’re not going to that!

Me: Why not, its a great outing for families?

Husband: Well, because I know how those people are and they will make things hard for you, with their snares, and stares and maybe even remarks.

Me: You know I can fend for myself, and I don’t care if they will stare and treat me badly, they have to realize that we’re part of the community and they have to treat us fairly and welcome us.

Husband: Yes, but you’re not going to have fun, and it will be stressful, and I don’t want something to happen to all of you because of these ignorant town folks.

Me: Ok, well I guess you do know them better since you deal with them on a daily basis at work, and you don’t what us to be in any terrible predicament because they are ignorant and may hurt us physically; however, I don’t see the reason why I have to limit the places I go because of peoples’ ignorance. I should be able to go and enjoy my time at events like these, and my presence will show them that I don’t care about their ignorance and they just have to live with the fact that I’m here among them and a member of this community if they don’t like it tough, they have to know we exist among them and come to terms we’re here to stay. 

Husband: I Know, but these are the times we’re living in….

Ok, after this little scenario I had no plan of making it a post, but checking the recent comments on Umm Yusuf’s blog her comment is evidently true in our western society. Why do I have to be concerned about how others will be affected by my presence? Is it fair that I’m treated differently because I am a hijabi? It’s things like this that frustrate me and I feel need immediate attention. I’m a person who does everything possible to change things when there’s an injustice. I can’t sit back and just let things continue to stay this way. I have always spoken my mind and made remarks if I’m confronted by these foolish people, being born and raised in New York City I have always been a pro-active person, and don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of what I want to pursue, in one of the melting pots of the world I never had to really deal with things like this as a whole. In city events there are people of all backgrounds, religions, and ages. We attended the events peacefully and you didn’t have to worry about people’s comments or harming you.

Now, I’m faced with taking my husband’s words into consideration. I’m not single, and having a family he wants to protect us. I see his point of view, but this is something hard for me, because this hasn’t been the first time I’ve been faced with limitations all because of ignorant individuals. I’m tired of just letting it go and trying to find other attractions that will be SO-CALLED more diverse. But why? This is a free country. I should be free and able to go anywhere I like, as a Muslim we find ourselves at times reflecting on things to do collectively where we will enjoy our time and not worry about discrimination, or violent outbursts from others, i’m fed up trying to cater my fun away from these close minded people.

I would love to go this summer fair. I see it as an opportunity of dawah and showing them that we are ordinary people just like them who have strong morals, and live normally. We aren’t this secret society that doesn’t smile, say hi, and don’t know how to coexist with people different as us. I’m not saying condoning their actions and beliefs that go against our Islamic principles, nevertheless, there is a medium of coexistance with non-Muslims as found in the hadith when Umar ibn Khattab was stabbed.

Narrated ‘Amr bin Maimun: umar (after he was stabbed), instructed (his would-be-successor) saying, “I urge him (i.e. the new Caliph) to take care of those non-Muslims who are under the protection of Allah and His Apostle in that he should observe the convention agreed upon with them, and fight on their behalf (to secure their safety) and he should not over-tax them beyond their capability.” (Bukhari Book #52, Hadith #287)

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Whoever does wrong to a mu’aahad (a dis-believer who has a peace treaty with the Muslims), or tries to put him down, or burdens him with more than he can bear, or takes something from him without his consent, I will be his opponent on the Day of Resurrection.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 3052; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.

There are many instances where the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions show us how to live side by side one another and still have a peaceful coexistence. It’s not like I was going to take them as my friends. I just thought it was a nice thing to do for the children where they could run around, finger paint, maybe watch basket-making, eat picnic food, and my highlight, the face paintings. It’s an event for children and family. Don’t get mewrong, I do comphrehend my husband’s concerns and his reasons for opposing, I just think that I should be able to attend certain functions because it would be a fun way to keep the kids entertained.  

It saddens me to know that as Muslims we would prefer to isolate ourselves from the rest of the community because of others reaction towards us. In my opinion, I think thats a cop out, and furthermore saying to them that they have won in running us away.We have to stand firm, voice our opinions and show senseless people that we exist among them, as Muslims we’re proud of our beliefs just as they are proud of theirs, and we should show them that we can live harmoniously with respect and dignity. 

This would have been a good opportunity as a Muslim to demonstrate it. When I’m confronted with circumstances like these like attending an amusement park, zoo, mall, sporting event, town fair etc. I am aware that all eyes will be on me the Muslimah in hijab. So instead of being worried and fearful, you know you’re in the spotlight so why not take this great opportunity and exemplify our Islamic manners, and show them that we are real people who laugh, smile, joke, and live ordinary lives as they do as long as it’s within the boundaries of our belief system.

If we took the time to open the door completely instead of peaking in and shutting it we might be able to help widen their minds and perceptions of us. Their ignorance is in part due to their clouded mentality of what they think Islam means. This is owed to so-called Muslims who have trangressed the limits by hurting innocent people through their oppression and tyranny, and the mainstream media doesn’t help and portrays us only as terrorists in movies, and these jihadist warriors among other things. Did you ever here the phrase it only takes one person to make a difference?

We should reflect on it. We have a responsibility as Muslims to show people the true Islam, acting as shadows within the community will have no benefit to us or them. The best nation of people are Muslims. We should show that we have certainty of faith and strength to tackle whatever comes our way. Why let them run us out by their treatment and denying the basic rights that everyone is supposed to enjoy.