Tag Archives: family

Picture of the Day

For iftar last night, my brother made his famous Thai curry dish, followed by his delicious banana pudding! Layers and layers of goodness in a cup…

So much for losing weight this Ramadan season ๐Ÿคฃ

Forty Days

One of my favorite pictures of Mama with my aunties and grandparents a few years ago. Today marks 40 days since my grandmother’s passing. This is how I’ll always remember her, smiling.

May she rest in God’s eternal peace and light… ameen.

Quote of the Day

Today’s the first Friday without Seto (my grandma) and this quote reminded me of how she ended her sentences with a kind word or a prayer. That’s what I’ll carry with me.

Always speak a good word, those can last longer than a lifetime.

Happy Friday, peeps.

Happy Holidays!

Our family has an ongoing tradition: we decorate the house and find any excuse to exchange gifts. This year was no different. My five year old nephew Salem anxiously awaited to rip to shreds the gift wrappings and freaked out in excitement over every single toy and book he received. I mean, just geek out at the sight of one of his favorite Avengers.

And being the birthday month for both my stepdad and I, we get extra lucky when it comes to presents. This year being my second holiday and birthday home, I totally lucked out by getting a few things off my wish list and a few gag gifts like my fresh set of Golden Girls shot glasses to add to my collection (thanks Mama!). Yep, love the girls and have seen every episode at least 10 times!

However, we all agreed that my sister Heba won with the gift giving this winter season. She made both my mom and brother cry with her freaking awesome sentimental gifts. For the record, I never win in this family but I’ll keep trying. hehehe

On Christmas Day, most of us have the weekend or at least the day off. So, as per tradition, our extended family gets together over delicious seafood thanks to my hostess with the mostess cousin, spoil the kids rotten and laugh to tears, literally.

This year, I learned that as an older auntie, I have to get my nephew a car when he turns 18. Thanks for setting that in motion to the universe my dearest cousins! hehehe

Our Muslim (and interfaith) family may not religiously celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah but what our family does celebrate year round is life, love and togetherness. So if we get a day off or a long weekend, we’ll be together. It’s as simple as that!

To all my wonderful peeps reading, may you and yours have a joyous and blessed holiday season! Here’s to the same in 2019, God Willing.

A Letter To My Nephew on His Birthday

My Dearest Salem,

I remember coming home from Qatar to see you for the first time, holding you at the airport and having you giggle rather than cry. I just can’t even explain all the emotions that rushed through me at that moment.

I praise God every day for bringing the joy that is you into my life. As I watch you grow into the smartest, funniest and cutest human, I’m in awe. I can’t believe you are already turning five years old. Where has the time gone?

On your birthday today, I want you to know a few things…

  • You are loved beyond words.
  • Your smile is contagious, keep smiling.
  • I’m extremely proud of your awesomeness.
  • You are amazing, never doubt yourself.
  • You will achieve greatness, just put your mind to it.
  • There are no stupid questions, so ask away.
  • Kindness and respect are universalย currencies to be splurged.
  • You can be anything you want to be when you grow up.
  • Just don’t grow up too fast, enjoy being a kid.

Happiest of birthdays to my cartoon watching buddy, my funny tickles, my little blonde monster, my beautiful nephew.

I will always love you this much times infinity!

Love, Auntie Hala
xoxoxo

Foodie Farewell – a Snapchat Story

Flashback to two weeks ago when Kamal and myself (aka foodie royalty) got a magnificent send off! Can’t thank the team at Nisantasi Baskose and my foodie friends enough for this lovely, unforgettable afternoon.

Happy Eating peeps!

She’s Fine Now

ุงู„ู‘ูŽุฐููŠู†ูŽ ุฅูุฐูŽุง ุฃูŽุตูŽุงุจูŽุชู’ู‡ูู… ู…ู‘ูุตููŠุจูŽุฉูŒ ู‚ูŽุงู„ููˆุงู’ ุฅูู†ู‘ูŽุง ู„ูู„ู‘ู‡ู ูˆูŽุฅูู†ู‘ูŽู€ุง ุฅูู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ู ุฑูŽุงุฌูุนูˆู†ูŽ -ุงู„ู‚ุฑุงู† ุงู„ูƒุฑูŠู… 2:156

Who, when calamity befalls them, say, “Verily, to God we belong and, to Him we shall return.” -The Holy Quran 2:156

Last week, on the evening of July 27th, my eldest paternal aunt, Sayeda Abdoun, passed away peacefully in Egypt.

My father, who is there, tells me that her burial and funeral went as she had wished. He said everything came together smoothly, almost as if she had described what would happen when she passes.

Of course, he is devastated.

She was a second mother to him. It was her home where he got any of his studying done throughout high school and college before heading out to America. It was her home where my parents were wed. And it was her home where my dad preferred to stay during his visits after retirement.

I was blessed to have met the aunt I resemble the most back in 2011. We spent so many days and nights just talking about anything and everything like two girlfriends. Despite our age, generational and lifestyle differences, “Ametuh” as I’d call her, almost always understood me.

One afternoon, we were talking about shopping and she shared how as a young girl, all she wanted was to go to school wearing new shoes and carrying the prettiest bag. She was married young to a man she would love for decades after his death. So much so, she couldn’t even part with his clothing.

“I miss him”, she’d tell me. “He did everything for me, especially when I was sick after the failed pregnancies and difficult births.”

She was very much a homebody as she got older. Yet one night, out of the blue, she asked to join me on a short walk to see my eldest uncle. During our walk, she’d tell me about the roads and people that came upon our paths. After an eventful evening, we got home and I asked her if she was OK after such walks. And she said with a smile, “I’m fine.”

Ametuh’s life was not easy and her life’s story inspired me to pursue greater things than the “norms of society”. She fell for the norms, she didn’t go to school wearing new shoes and carrying the prettiest bag.

She lived through her two children after her husband’s passing, becoming a grandmother of eight and a great grandmother of nine. She wanted nothing but the best for her family. When all was good with them at home, she’d quietly go to her room and fall asleep. Should i go in to check on her, “I’m fine” was her answer.

As much as I’m heartbroken and saddened by Ametuh’s sudden passing, I know she is resting in quiet peace. I know she’s fine now.

Please keep Ametuh in your thoughts and prayers. May she rest in God’s eternal peace and light… Ameen.