Woke up in a very strange mood feeling rather disorientated and wondering what in the world I was doing with my life. It was bound to happen I suppose – this questioning. My faith has protected me but nothing that surrounds me is familiar. But on the other hand it is familiar. I am now in Yas Mall at a Starbucks waiting for an Apple class to begin. A mall is a mall is a mall, they are the same the world over. Many of the stores are familiar. At first I was amazed at the scores of Muslim families that are here but then realized that family shopping is malls is also a USA phenomena – I just never went to malls in the USA.
The Apple store is familiar of course – but not in that there are so many helpful staff members Not the routinized bored, not quite over the pandemic shut down. Here is is open and friendly. One cannot entree the mall without proof of vaccination and a current PCR test so there is a feeling of safety. One is also safe knowing that all the people working in the stores are routinely and regularly tested. This is absolutely the best place on the planet earth to be at this particular moment. The other day MADD inquired:
He: How many hours does it take to get to California on the plane.
He: Oh my goodness. It is only four hours to my home.
His home, where his wife and two daughters live is Bangladesh. I have never been there, nor to India, nor to Pakistan, nor to the Philippines but am surrounded by people from those countries, working here leaving their families behind, supporting them with their UAE earnings.
So that is one reason that I have become everyone’s mother (or grandmother). But I am out of touch with some of my children at the moment as I am staying at a different hotel and their hectic working hours leave them with no days off to visit with their grandmother/mother. In three days I shall return to the St. Regis. So I shall see two of them again.
Two days ago I got the greatest compliment that anyone anywhere and any time could ever get. Well I got it times two. A young man working at the Apple Store said that I inspired him.
He: I was born a Muslim and try to practice my faith. You inspire me – you changed your entire life because of the faith. I pray for you.
Me: Thank you. I shall pray for you from now on as well.
He: I pray that you and I will be in Jannah together.
So I texted Grandson, that is how we communicate these days as he lives and works in Dubai – an hour and a half away.
Me: Is Jannah heaven?
He: Yes It is heaven, it is Paradise.
Me: I thought so. Thanks . WOW. A young man who works at the Apple Store met me a couple of times and read my blog. He ssaid that he would pray for me and pray that would be in Jannah together. .
He: Wow! Maha Allah Great Insha Allah
Me: Honest and Wow
He: Me also will meet you in Jannah
Me: Really! I would love to meet you there.
He: In Sha Allah
Me: I love the people in the Apple Store and they love me. They have been helping me with everything. Going there tomorrow
He: The Yas Mall Apple Store?
Me: Yes.It’s going to get crowded up there in Paradise. But we all will be happy, happy, happy
He: In Sha Allah
Me: And it is forever. – I might get tiring. Hahaha
He: yes (Laughing emoji.
Me: You were supposed to say never would you be tiring Grandmother Okay?
He: Yes right okay
Me: Good Grandson
He: Thanks Grandmother
It is impossible to describe what this means to me. I am in awe, in wonder. I totally believe the sincerity and honesty of both of these young men and I pray that I will be Paradise with them What a gift, what an incredible gift to be so loved! Beats anything I have ever known, that is for sure. This obviously would never have happened in the USA.
It is now the next day, New Year’s Eve morning. The Apple Store class on making videos was so helpful, I was so enthusiastic.
Me: If I get anymore enthusiastic I shall be dancing on the table!
They: Go right ahead!
Well I showed some restraint and did not dance on the Apple table. I have an appointment to meet with a member of their Business Team and get some help in expanding this blog and promoting my book on the Tate. Again, this would never happen in the USA I walked out of the store, meeting MADD who had been praying at noon, My prayer schedule is a bit erratic but as I am a woman it is OK with Allah (I hope and pray). Then went to the restaurant anext to the Apple Store and took a. Photo of one of the Mucha paintings that line the walls. Perhaps it is not Alphonse Mucha himself but definitely his style. I recognize these from my Czech days (as I call them). I visited Prague with Husband #3 and went to the Mucha Museum while there. Paul and I travelled well together – I planned the itinerary so I was in charge – he slept until noon so I had my mornings free, then he would drink himself into oblivion and I had my evenings free as well. I met all sorts of people on my own., made friends, visited art galleries and museums. It worked. But then travelled to Japan on my own and discovered the utter freedom of being alone. Then I divorced him. But I never would have gone to Prague, if not for him and then never would have recognized Mucha in an Abu Dhabi in the final days of 2021. I guess I should blog about what 2021 meant to me but perhaps not. Wise Man says:
He: Do not look back!
Me: You are so right. Well at least not look back in anger. That is also what Allah says. In fact early relationships are obviated and upon conversion start anew.
Look Back in Anger is a play by John Osborne. Look Back in Anger chronicles the story of an angry young man who wants his wife and the world to feel the same hurt he has felt. He wants to punish those who have had the fortune of not having experienced the pain he has had in life. Throughout the play, we see a theme of misogyny, hatred towards women
Wise Man and the Islamic faith never contradicted one another – it was fantastic. What a great man Wise Man is – do miss him but he supported my relocation recognizing there was nothing in Marin for me any longer. Well, except him. That is being a good parent – the ability to let go.
I came back to the Inn, went to the non operating jacuzzi on the roof. A vast Pakistani family arrived – two fun loving children aged 6 and 3, their parents, grandmother and several aunts. They were all delighting in each other’s company and so happy for me – that I had become a Muslim. The mother on Instagram, we are following one another.
Then went back to my room, ate strawberries and croissants so kindly provided by MADD and went to sleep. I slept for 14 hours. I feel blessed to have the ability to sleep so soundly, so perfectly. I thank Allah for sleep, it is a gift.
Woke up, said my morning prayers on my prayer rug, Got on Instagram trading New Year’s greetings with SO many people – met at various stages of my life. We stay in touch bu Instagram. It works now, it did not in the past but does now.
A word came to me – it was assimilation. It is the the absorption and integration of people, ideas, or culture into a wider society or culture. Used in a sentence: Alexis is assimilating into the Muslim society she has found in Abu Dhabi, Wikipedia also speaks of cultural assimilation:Cultural assimilation, the process whereby a minority group gradually adapts to the customs and attitudes of the prevailing culture and customs
Language shift, also known as language assimilation, the progressive process whereby a speech community of a language shifts to speaking another language
Cultural assimilation of Native Americans in the United States
Jewish assimilation refers to the gradual cultural assimilation and social integration of Jews in their surrounding culture
Assimilation effect, a frequently observed bias in social cognition
Assimilation (French colonial), an ideological basis of French colonial policy in the 19th and 20th centuries
It is a gift to feel at home here – there are moments of course where I do not. The beginning of the blog attests to that. When in the Mucha Restaurant as I call it, I met a famous woman. We laughed at each other and our fame. She is on Tik Tok – I am not I do not think. One cannot be everywhere at once, goodness knows.
Photograph is of the Mucha art, it was posted on Instagram where I am Alexis McTwit.