There really aren’t that many advantages to being unemployed/feeling redundant generally! But one that is definitely prominent is having a unique opportunity to take time out, meet friends as much as hibernate, to pray, read, reflect and attempt to rediscover a new, rejuvenated self, incorporating the best of the old and the originality of the new, through reading, developing, evolving and learning!
Even before I gave up work, I loved my blogs! But having this time means I’ve been able to devote more time to keeping up with them, enjoying regular ones and discovering new ones!
And so, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few of my favourites: who knows, you might find a few to add to your own google reader!
One of the first blogs I started following was that of ‘lucky Fatima. An American born and bread, Fatima is a Muslim revert, married to an Indian Muslim and with 2 little daughters. She straddles the US, Dubai, India and Pakistan with ease, humour and sheer skill, and through her love of all things Asian, she gives a unique slant on the country and culture based on her own diverse heritage, not regularly updated sadly, but a must-read! Luckyfatima.wordpress.com
On a similar note, Fatima’s blog lead me to ‘the Gori wife life! Quite apart from the fact that this is a total genius name for a blog, the gori wife follows a similar genre to Lucky Fatima, but as a slightly newer entrant, her humour, bewilderment and aw make you smile, sympathise and in many cases, reflect over your own cultural idiosyncrasies! Thegoriwifelife.blogspot.com
Slice of lemon as an award winning blog that just gets better every day! Created with love and devotion, Sabrina’s blog is quirky, personal, reflective, funny and a different yet welcome voice from the Muslim blogging world, that is generally more dull than different! If only we had a few more like Sabrina out there! sliceoflemon.com
Livin in Layla land!
Stacey AKA Fahaeema is an American version of me in so many ways! An American Christian (well, I think re: the Christian part), Stacey tackles religion, culture and sectarianism head on! But with love, interest and incredible insight! Her 2-year-old daughter Layla offers a playful backdrop for a blog that educates, while the text is punctuated by colourful poetry and love for Somalia: the culture Stacey has adopted and blended so seamlessly in to! This blog gives a beautiful insight in to a new culture, and a peak in to the life of an inspiring motivational activist sister! Livininlaylaland.blogspot.com
Qunfuz is a blog that I came across fairly recently! Though I had discovered the author a long time back: Robin Yassin Kassab is the son of a former work colleague and who never fails to educate and impress me! His writings, (both factual and fiction), are the kind that often make you squirm: you have to think to read them, and be prepared to dig deep in order to find your own answers! His blog is stimulating and intellectual, but what sold me on it was that it remains practical, without being too academic to be any earthly use. (note to Scottish Readers: Robin will be appearing at the Salaam Scotland book fair this Saturday along with some other Islamic writing stars: so be there if you can!), www.qunfuz.com
Inside the revolutionary mind.
Adonis Vlahos is a half Greek, Half Turkish revert to Islam currently living in New zealand, who not only desires to change the world, but (in my humble opinion), has the mind, soul and genetic make-up to make it happen for himself! A natural born activist and leader, his interests span Liberalism, Islam, youth and young people and criminal justice. His blog remains sparse on updates, but entries when added combined love, Shia Islam and personal reflections which only build on one’s admiration of this young future mover and shaker
I first came across SR Masooma when she joined the Revert Muslim Association as a teacher, moderator and great friend! Though I stumbled in to her blog months later when looking for some muherram material. Her blog is very close to my heart, not just because she is a close friend, but because she is one of a very small minority of shia bloggers out there (we need more people!! Are you listening?), her blog is a testament to the depth of her faith and how she lives it in such a powerful realist manner as the only Muslim in her area, and in a family of non-Muslims. The blog tackles maths (SR Masooma is a math teacher after all!), science, fiction, creative writing, poetry and in-depth Islamic thought, reflection and meditation!
Stop! … look at it from this perspective!
Munawar Bijani is a US based disabled shia Muslim, and a politician/activist at heart! His youth, insight and innovation make his blog stand out from the crowd by a long shot! Munawar’s blog is primarily a contemporary commentary on current political, social and religious complexities facing our world, major issues tackled with ease, knowledge and a slant that is calculated, thought provoking and a very interesting read!
Finally (and in my view, I’ve saved one of the very best to last!).
The World through the eyes of a blind Traveller.
I’ve written about Zuhair Mahd in so many blogs, texts and subtexts over here that I barely remember them all! Regardless of the fact that we were once very close, Zuhair’s blog entries remain a place of learning and refuge for me when the pace and burden of life become way too much! His life is the stuff of fiction (too amazing, unique and courageous for reality), his reflections will blow your mind, his film choices will educate you and his personal accounts, poetry and short stories will bring you to tears! By far my favourite section of this blog are zuhair’s travel accounts! As a visually impaired person, he tells travel tales never before narrated and an untold story of disabled people needing to cut it in this field of writing and not yet gaining the recognition they rightly deserve!
Due to ill health, this blog too hasn’t been maintained of late, but if you are new to it, there is plenty in the archives to keep you busy and addicted for months to come! Zuhairmahd.blogspot.com
Enjoy! Oh, and if you have any favourites of your own, why not send me the links, or else add them here for the world to see in the comments section!