Still No Emirates I.D. But Tremendous News; A New and Revised Islamic Identity; Bestow Defined; The Zayed Center for Islamic Culture is Paradise on Earth: My New Name is Fatimah; NEFF and Husband Return to the USA; Texts Showing Total Agreement About Life in Abu Dhabi

It is a rather long story (which soon shall be told) now I have a new Islamic Identity. My Islamic name is Fatimah. Did have some sketchy details about Fatimah when the name was bestowed upon me but, as is my want, went to Google and learned more. It is an exquisite honour. What an honour that is:”Fatimah was regarded by Muhammad as the outstanding woman of all time and the dearest person to him. Fatimah is often viewed as an ultimate archetype for Muslim women and an example of compassion, generosity, and enduring suffering. … Fatimah and her husband, Ali, had refused to acknowledge the authority of Abu Bak.”

More information about the name was achieved. “Fatima is a traditional feminine Muslim name with Arabic roots. Meaning “captivating.” Fatima appears in the Koran as the daughter of Muhammed, the prophet. She’s supposedly one of the Koran’s four “perfect” woman (the others are named Mary, Khadijah and Aisha).”

Wikipedia has a lengthly discourse, which is quoted in part. “Fatimah has several titles and kuniyas that often signify her moral character, mostly collected by Shia sources. Her most common title is al-Zahra, meaning “the one that shines” in reference to how she shined for the dwellers of the skies as she prayed. Al-Ṣiddiqah is another title, which can be translated as “the one who never lies.”The title al-Ṭahirah refers to the divine purification of Muhammad’s household, according to Muslims’ holy book, the Quran.[ Another title is al-Muḥaddithah, in view of the Shia reports that angels spoke to Fatimah on multiple occasions, similar to Mary, mother of Jesus.The name Fatimah might signify that she will save in hereafter those who follow her example in life.”

As I said, the name was bestowed upon me. The meaning of bestow is “to confer or present (an honor, right, or gift). Its synonyms are: confer on, present to, award to, give, grant, vouchsafe, accord to, afford to; vest in, invest in; bequeath to, donate to; allot to, assign to, consign to, apportion to, distribute to, impart to, entrust to, commit to; lavish on, heap on.
How was the name Fatimash heaped on me, lavished upon me, conferred upon me?

It all began with the trauma of attempting to get an Emirates ID. It was necessary that I transport myself to Immigration in order to merge my three separate entries into the UAE into one. The trauma of even getting into the building has been previously explained. When there, I was there for a lifetime it seemed. But in my usual fashion I spoke to people, meeting a fascinating young woman, living in Abu Dhabi, previously from Palestine. We exchanged our Instagram selves and began texting one another. She has been a Muslim from birth, she learns of my newly formed faith and says:
She: I think there is a center here that helps new Muslims. Trying to look for it.
Me: Really tell me about it, I would be so happy!
She: Here it is Zayed Centre for Islamic Culture. They teach you the basics and help you.
Me: I will go there. I love you for telling me about it.
She: Tell me about your experience. A friend went there and loved it.

MADD arrived the next day for our daily excursion but the stupid agency’s system still not operative and Apple’s Business program had not called so we had nowhere to go.
Me: Let’s go to this Zayed Centre, I went on line but could not really understand what was going on. Going somewhere in person always works better for me. .
He: Yes, it is because everyone seems to love you.
Me: It is because they do not know me very well. Hahahaha

Soon we found ourselves there as he knows where everything is. I walked in the door, and it is as if I died and went to Paradise. Everyone so welcoming, so courteous, so caring, so helpful. They offer on line courses – one on Islamic culture, which is EXACTLY what I want and need. I am sort of signed up for it but first need an Emeritus ID (would not you know?) I have all the information on my phone and as soon as I get the ID I can begin. But blessedly an Emirati young man appeared, ushered me into a conference room, spoke to me at length, asking me questions about my entry into the faith, fed me tea and the most wonderful bread I have ever eaten.
He: What is your Muslim name.
Me: It is Ayla. Given to me by a Princess of the Royal Family of Qatar.
He: That is not a Muslim name. Your name shall be Fatimah.
Me: That is wonderful. I know of her.

Then later texted my referral source.
Me: I went to the Islamic Center today. It was amazing. They are fabulous, their on line program on the Islamic culture is perfect for me. Thanks a million for telling me.
She: That’s great. I am so happy you liked it.
Me: I loved it.
She: Even better!
Me: Indeed.

I always need to get in the last word. It is because of being a lawyer.

But back to another aspect of my life. I met NEFF and her husband entirely by accident at the St. Regis – unbelievably they are Muslim and from Marin. Did not know her there but now I do. She and her husband returned to their USA home singing praises of life in Abu Dhabi. We spoke of my meeting a young Muslim man from Canada here at the Premier Inn, We were going to be getting together later.
She: It is so easy to meet good quality people here, unlike the USA,
Me: I totally agree with you. The opposite is true there.
She: What seems to be the case across the board is that young men actually take the time to follow through and communicate from all walks of life. Whether it’s hotel staff or some driver or retail worker or ambitious traveller. There is a healthy normalization to engage and follow through. This is important for a healthy state of mind.
Me: Again, I totally agree with you.
She: Not excited to go back home because of the vibe with the people but want to get back to my art production.
Me: It is true. The vibe here is different.
She: This place is a magnet for high quality mingling. You don’t need medication because the people won’t dare to mess with your mind.
Me: Yes people here are very respectful.
She: I am sure that the neural networks in our brain are working better here then back home because the communication is constantly at a high level of respect.
Me: I could not agree more and it is so uplifting, so affirming that you see this culture and society the same way as I do.

She had also texted that Abu Dhabi is the safest place to be “with the omicron virus as the standards are very high.” This is good news, read an alarming article providing the statistics on the death rate of vaccinated seventy-five year old women. It was frightening. But I am not worried. I am here and tested every minute of the day it seems.

The photograph is one taken at the Zayed Islamic Center and, with any luck at all, the video NEFF sent of the Christmas celebrations at an Abu Dhabi mall.

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