Leftovers From Prior Blog; The Anti Hijab Forces; The Importance of Feeling Protected; The Blessed State of Eudaimonia; Flourish and Glib Defined: A Most Surprising Telephone Call; Proposed Name Change; Things You Cannot Do Even If Vaccinated; Two ‘Stolen’ Cartoons

Well, to bring everyone up to date, none of the ex boyfriends have responded to my email with the subject line of Me as a Muslim with me in my Muslim garb. Perhaps, realizing its implications, (namely my unavailability) they did commit suicide. I am joking, of course, there was a reason they became me ex boyfriends and it is their non-responsive traits that are coming to the fore again.

In true Wikipedia fashion there was a discussion of the anti hijab faction: “There are some Muslim women that believe that the hijab indeed hinders their personal freedom as a woman. A Muslim woman by the name of Rasmieyh Abdelnabi explains that she decided to stop wearing the hijab because she felt that it was putting too much pressure on her to “represent an entire community”. She further explains that she feels that hijab is not representative of Islam but more so of the Arab culture. Another belief of some women that wear the hijab is that it could potentially “strip them of their individuality” and turn them into a figurehead for their religion. Some women do not want to have to deal with this on a daily basis, and it is another reason that some Muslim women have decided to un-veil themselves. In an article written in September 2013, Nesrine Malik explains her discontent with being forced to wear the niqab, a kind of dress that only exposes the eyes, saying, “I would rather no one wore a niqab. I would rather that no woman had effectively to disappear, from a young age, because that is the norm in her family. […] I would rather that Islam be purged of the niqab and all its permutations.” Malik is among the Muslim women who feel as though the act of veiling hides women; she would like to ban the niqab from Islam.”

I do actually agree with the anti hijab faction as well. It is true that the hijab is not representative of of Islam but much more so of the Arab culture. Also agree with Malik that the niqab should be banned from Islam, it does make a woman disappear altogether.

Personally I felt utterly protected and safe in my Muslim attire. That is a blessed feeling for a woman who was abused. I do recall the words of a psychologist who brilliantly said, when learning of the abuse I suffered.
She: It is no wonder that you became a lawyer!
Me: I had never thought about that before, but you are so right. It was to defend myself from harm, on an unconscious level.
She: Yes, you could finally relax, be less wary and guarded because you had the ability to defend yourself.
Me: So true. Not only armed but heavily armed with the atomic bomb almost. I was a most aggressive lawyer.

Of course I am now retired, but still have the skills. Cross me and you discover that. But it is preferable to feel safe and protected by Allah. This morning read an article from the New Yorker which I am not recommending. It was too wordy, and the woman who wrote it did not really grasp the concepts she was discussing. It was called the Rise of Therapy-Speak. But the last paragraph was rather profound: “Therapy seems to have absorbed not just our language but our idea of the good life; its framework of fulfillment and reciprocity, compassion and care, increasingly drives our vision for society. Writing this piece, I thought especially of the Greek concept of eudaimonia, or human flourishing. Some might call it blessedness. In any case, it seems worth talking about.” At this point, in time, I feel blessed and several of the faith have expressed the belief that I have been blessed by Allah. So I am flourishing. Flourish such a good word with some fine synonyms: thrive, prosper, bloom, be in good shape, be in good health, be well, be strong, be vigorous, be in its heyday; make progress, advance, make headway, develop, improve, become better, mature; evolve, make strides, move forward (in leaps and bounds), move ahead, get ahead, expand; informal be in the pink, go places, go great guns, get somewhere. ANTONYMS decline. So I am in the pink and going great guns at this moment in time. I have made strides and moved forward (in leaps and bounds).

The day before yesterday received a rather unsettling telephone call. It was a good call, not a bad one. Its origin was Qatar and there were many on the speaker phone. They were gently teasing me – telling me that I must use my Muslim name of Ayla. They love and gave the name and feel that I do not use it as much as I should. I was so startled that I did not think of a good response. This is what I should have said:
Me: Well I could officially change my name through the courts. But McBride does not ‘go with’ Ayla. I would have to change my last name as well. Perhaps I could be Alya Al-Thani?

There would be much laughter, actually there was much laughter even without this glib remark on my part. Glib has wonderful synonyms: pat, neat, plausible, silky, smooth-talking, fast-talking; urbane, smooth-tongued, silver-tongued, smooth-spoken; voluble, loquacious, having kissed the Blarney Stone; disingenuous, facile, superficial, simplistic, oversimplified, easy, ready, flippant; informal flip, sweet-talking, with the gift of the gab. My unspoken remark was loquacious, one in which I did kiss the Barney Stone.

It has occurred to me as I write that this blog has become too serious of late and many, I do know, read the blog to laugh. So with the help of The New Yorker I will deliver some humor. I did receive the magazine the other day. An article by Eli Grober discussed the things vaccinated people still should not do. “However, there are a number of things that vaccinated people are still not allowed to do. Please familiarize yourself with this list.” The list contains ten items. Here are two or three. “Play Devil’s Advocate. You may be protected against COVID-19, but you are not protected against looking like a jerk. Just admit that you like being disagreeable, and then keep the rest to yourself.” Here is another one. “Suggest That You and Your Friends Split the Bill, Even Though You Ordered a Steak and Everyone Else Just Got Drinks. Inoculation does not stop this from being wrong. In fact, doing this might give you COVID. The data is not in yet.” Here is the last one. “Not Order Fries and Then Eat Your Friends’ Fries Off Their Plates. No kind of vaccine will ever make it O.K. to do this. Even if you are vaccinated and eating outdoors, masked and distanced, just order your own damn fries.” There are seven more items but these three were my favorites. It ends: “This list will be updated regularly based on community-spread levels of SARS CoV-2 and also on community-spread levels of doing really annoying things.”

The photographs are funny cartoons stolen from The New Yorker. For some strange reason found these two particularly funny. It has been said that Alexis McBride (aka Ayla) has a bizarre sense of humor. I guess this proves it.

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