Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Ramadan Joke from Hayfa

Thank you, Hayfa!

Michael and Mohammed

Two guys lost in the Sahara desert, one is David and the other is Michael.. They were dying of hunger and thirst when they suddenly came upon an oasis, with what looked like an emirates with a mosque in the middle..

David said to Michael: “look, let’s pretend we’re Muslim, otherwise we’ll not get any food or drink. I’m going to call myself “Mohammed”. Michael refused to change his name, he said: “My name is Michael,and I won’t pretend to be other than but what I am…Michael”..

The Imam of the mosque received both well and asked about their names, David said: “my name is Mohammed” Michael said: “my name is Michael” The Imam turned to the helpers of the mosque and said:

“Please bring some food and water for Michael only”

Then he turned to the other and said: “Marhaba Mohammed, Ramadan Kareem”…!!

August 13, 2011 Posted by | Humor, Joke, Ramadan | 6 Comments

Arabian Gulf Legacy

In today’s Lectionary, Psalm 107, there is the following verse:

41 but he raises up the needy out of distress,
and makes their families like flocks.

My heart goes back to Qatar, and I think of “my” family there, a family who adopted me, slowly but surely. The woman, who taught me Arabic, has twelve children. “Twelve children!” I used to think, was about ten too many, but I learned so much from this woman, and from her family. Every day she and her husband would sit together. They discussed each child. No child in that family was lost or overlooked; they cared for each and every one. I, too, know each child. I was particularly close to the oldest girls, but there was one young son who hit me on my bottom during my very first visit, hard, as I was bending over to put on my shoes. While everyone else looked on in horror, he just grinned up at me, and I couldn’t help but laugh. I pray for each and every one in this family, and they pray for me. Relationships don’t get much more intimate than that, I think, that we pray for one another, and we have some idea what to pray for.

And while they are not wealthy, they have enough, and they are a happy family. When one has a need, the others sacrifice, and I never hear a grumble of a complaint. Each has an assurance that when their turn comes – as it comes to all of us – their family will be there to assist them.

We said goodbye to our Saudi friends this week, on their way back to the desert kingdom to finish Ramadan and celebrate Eid with their family. They have been such a blessing in our lives here, and we wish them well. They left a lot of last minute things for me, a coffee and tea set with coffee cups, trays for serving drinks, spices, bags – the detritus of a life of moving, there are always things which still have use but for which you have no room in your packing crate. I am starting a lending closet with them; as other families arrive, I will offer them up to new arrivals who need the same pieces for their daily life and entertaining. The spices I will share with one of my co-mother-in-laws who makes a chicken biryani they call Chicken Perlow. It is moister than biryani, but has much the same flavor. Oh yummm.

As our Saudi friends depart, we have new friends arriving and we will have them for dinner tomorrow night. We have met them, one is Algerian, the other is Omani; as the Ramadan fast ended, the Algerian was trying to eat a piece of bruschetta with a knife and form. “You are so French!” I laughed, and told him we eat this with our fingers, which greatly relieved him, as he was standing, and to try to cut a piece of French break with a fork while standing is close to impossible. Both are a lot of fun, and while we will miss our departing Saudi friends, we are looking forward to these new friends.

One thing that pleases me greatly. I asked my Saudi friend how she was received when she went out, as she is fully covered, abaya and scarf and niqab (face covering). She said she had been warned before leaving Saudi Arabia that people would be unkind to her, but never once did she run into this, that people were always kind, “in the hospital, in the Wal-Mart, in the shopping, everywhere.” It just made me so proud to be living in Pensacola.

August 13, 2011 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Cross Cultural, Eid, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Friends & Friendship, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Pensacola, Qatar, Ramadan, Relationships, Saudi Arabia, Social Issues | 2 Comments