That pretty much describes my present state – I am recovering from Ramadan. It was a rather delightful morning – could sleep in, no jumping out of bed to swallow breakfast before sunrise. Slept in, then made a delicious breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs with lox and onions and hash browns. Ground beans and drank good coffee laced with milk (milk somehow forbidden on Ramadan). Drank V-8 juice. So as all can see, very healthy! It was enjoyed on my patio, spoke to neighbors and people passing by about my new found freedom. But not much strength yet, not much energy, found myself back in bed. Listening to Apple Music, an album called Classical Concentration, most melodious and calming. So things are right with the world at the moment.
AAA arrived yesterday, we laughed together and she provided Instagram help. I am weeding out those whom I follow. With some I am sick of their incessant, inane posts – it is time consuming to scroll through all of the garbage and inanities. Fazza, aka the Crown Prince of Dubai absolutely floods both the Story section and regular feeds. I one wrote.
Me: I would like to see less of you, not more of you.
He: (sent a Like)
Now that is most unusual
Then someone with his picture calling himself prin_c9323 is coming onto me. Liking tens of my posts and then ‘speaking’ to me professing his adoration and inviting me to email him directly. It is supposed to be a new account. I keep insulting him and telling him where to go but recently became more humane.
Me: Your words are meaningless to me. I am so sorry. Please send them to someone who cares.
He does say he is sheikh Hamdan the Crown Prince of Dubai. Says he prefers to be called Fazza, it means courageous and that he is 38. But I know for a fact that the real guy is 39 and do also know that Fazza means “one who cares.” Told him so, perhaps he can at least get somethings right to convince some other poor victim. I once tricked some guy who said he was the Crown Prince of Dubai in a telephone conversation – asked him where he had lived.
He: I have always lived in Dubai
Me: You are a fake. I met the real thing in a hotel in London and know exactly where he lived during his life.
The jerk admitted his false identity and that ended that. When one always tells the truth it is always possible to catch liars. There are so many in this cruel world – even people you once thought were your friends, or in a recent situation, a professional known for about thirty years. He said a conversation took place that did not. I had a witness and she bore me out. No idea what is going on with him but do not particularly care.
Ramadan did leave me with time on Instagram as the enforced inactivity and lack of concentration made Instagram a handy way of being in the world. But it is tiresome. The other people that are becoming formerly followed are people, known but never respond or post or do anything. AAA was most helpful but have recently evolved a new way of Unfollowing. And I discovered, on my own, that it is possible to Hide Ads. But I do make good use of Instagram. I met Scott while living in Vancouver, he want on to travel and travel and travel but we kept in touch through Instagram. He is now home in the UK and posted a Story today from Somerset which is where computer guru Chris lives. It can be a small world.
AAA removed all of the stickers from my globe, this week she and I are going to put new stickers on the globe reflecting my most recent country-wide statistics. It promises great fun and does not require much effort on my part.
My guiding light as I emerge from Ramadan is a woman, Nahirah, featured in the book Muslims of the World. She is from Orange, New Jersey, her profile begins: “Muslim. Woman Black. I am a ‘triple threat.” The identity groups I belong to have greatly influenced the experiences I have had in my life. They’ve altered how others perceive me and how they treat me as well as how I perceive myself and others like me. It has been a struggle, a constant push and pull between myself and different members of society.”
I am not black, so do not identify with that aspect of her struggle, which must make it triply hard. “ Before accepting myself for everything I am (and everything I am not) I tried to assimilate within other groups. I desperately tried to fit into spaces that were not built for me. I tried to be more “Arab” hoping the Muslim community would accept me. I tried being “more ladylike”, speaking more quietly, only saying positive things and being more docile in order to be accepted by men. I tried to be “less black” ignoring the implicit forms of racism in public settings and hoping that I would not be labelled an ‘angry black woman’. I tried quitting my Islam by never speaking about it unless asked wearing a fashionable hijab and hoping I would not be labelled a terrorist. I tried my hardest to be the opposite of of everything I was. I tried to silence my true essence so that I would be loved, desired and accepted. But when I began to apologize for who I was I felt ashamed. I clearly remember the pain, the same and the tears even though they dried years ago. I remember, the stress, the pressure, the anxiety and I still have the scars. Even though I am happy to say that I have become unapologetic absit being a black Muslim woman. I’ll never forget how hard the journey was for me…..No matter how much I tried to change, my true self showed through even brighter than before. To any beauties
Struggling to find the calm in the storm. You are Black, you are a Muslim, you are a woman and If you see another day , find the blessing in all you are because none of that is going to change. Hold no shame in your titles. Be unapologetic! Be bold! Be amazing! Be black! Be loud! Be a woman! Thank Allah, again, again, again and again!”
It does seem magic to have found Nadarih’s story as emerge from Ramadan feeling most Muslim. But I am not a typical Muslim woman,, nor shall I ever be. I am Bold! I am Loud! I am a woman. Do do thank Allah again, again, again and again. I laughingly say:
Me: I am a Muslim. Now I don’t exactly look like I am and it is a very recent conversion but I am. I follow the necessary rules mandated by the Qur’an. I dress modestly as required by the Qur’an. If I travel to a Middle East country I shall wear my hijab but will continue to wear my Western clothes in my every day life. I shall not worry about whether or not people accept or respect me. One can only respect others, if you respect yourself. One can only accept others if you accept yourself The non accepting, non respecting folks do not have the qualifications to be either.
Writing this portion on this the second day post Ramadan do not have my strength back, still feel weak. But I am definitely enjoying my leisurely breakfasts. This morning pancakes with Canadian maple syrup. Yummy!
Ramadan fasting for thirty days was SO hard, In my life I have done difficult things, persevered and got through the days, nights and situations. It was only afterwards, when coming out the other side, did I realize how difficult it had been. The struggle that took all of my energy and then some. But gained self respect and self esteem for enduring the struggle and emerging victorious.
Photographs of globe both pre and post sticker removal.