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So today I went to the American Museum of Natural History for the hundredth time (not literally but you know what I mean). I took my 14 month old son who especially loved the mammal section. This blog post isn’t about how much fun I had or how much I learned however, rather its a bit of a complaint regarding the Islamic sections depiction of “Women in Islam”.

natural history Islam women

I was underwhelmed and frustrated to find about 3-4 garments (one being a Burqa like what the Taliban forced women to wear in Afghanistan) on display. That’s about it, that’s what people see under “Women in Islam” in this exhibit. Lets be honest, if we put a Poodle skirt, Bell bottom pants, and a shoulder-pad happy blouse up in an exhibit and title it “Women of America” would that really be informative or insightful to our struggle and progress in this country? Of course not.

In that same way I did not find the Museums exhibit to be fair in its representation of Women in Islam, there’s so much more to Muslim Women, so much rich history to be shared, so many historical Women who have incredible stories….basically the exhibit is lacking and personally I find it a little insulting so I felt compelled to write about it.

If you wish to learn a little about the first Woman of Islam (Khadijah) then check out the link below 🙂

http://southernmuslimah.wordpress.com/2007/08/17/great-women-in-islamic-history-khadijah-bint-khuwaylid/

Quran

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NY, divided

here is a link to the post I read just a few minutes ago that inspired this very blog post….

http://narrator.nywriterscoalition.org/2012/08/brooklyn-divided/

“Brooklyn ‘has more writers per square inch than almost anywhere else in the country,’ Borough President Marty Markowitz likes to say; 30% of the borough’s third- graders cannot read at grade level.”

Wow, at the above quote….wow.

I am born and raised in New York City. Specifically, I was born in Queens, raised in the South Bronx, worked in Manhattan (for years), and went to college in Brooklyn, but I’ve only visited Staten Island a few times.

Its hard to really describe how it feels to take a train ride to swanky parts of the city, work, and then head back to the slums at the end of the day.

Its also hard to explain why my schools were basically 98-99% Black and Hispanic and how white kids would usually get bullied for being the odd ones out. Its even harder to describe how white people in general were either pure saints or extreme sinners in the eyes of ghetto children because they were in our neighborhood either as teachers, social, workers, cops, or they were buying drugs, soliciting prostitutes or something else horrible.

I know its a harsh reality, hey I lived it, but I just want to say that Im glad that post was written about Brooklyn because its something thats all too familiar to New York in general and everyone needs to wake up. Its disturbing to have one neighborhood going through an endless epidemic of killings and violence and then to have another neighborhood close in proximity to be generally safe, no violent occurrences having happened in years upon years.

Who is to blame? Everyone has to take responsibility, people in the ghetto need a positive revolution, and so much more. Im definitely going to reflect more on this but I just wanted to speak about my own experience and share the post with you all.

Wonder if any fellow New Yorkers feel the same….

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Otherness

Salutations!

I have not been writing as much as Id like to lately because its been a busy couple of weeks. I wanted to share a wonderful TED talks video with you though. I simply found it to be utterly thought provoking. I will not discuss it yet but hope to in the near future…its topic is VERY important to the very understanding we have of ourselves and those around us.

Please do watch with an open mind and some time to spare.

Enjoy

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Emotionally Logical

“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but creatures of emotion.”  -Dale Carnegie

The above quote holds some truth, but I believe that we are also logical creatures of course. However, emotion usually comes first, logic later.

The key is to be, what I call, emotionally logical. Every situation is as unique as the person experiencing it. So how can I be emotionally logical you ask. Well, you can’t stop yourself from feeling something (e.g if I kick you in the shin you’re not going to be happy about it), this natural response is what I call the “emotional reflex”. Now before acting out on that first emotion simply think before you act. Being silent and walking away is also a reaction and many times its the best answer to a complicated situation.

As creatures of emotion, we become consumed by our feelings. We forget to channel them in a positive way. Take time to think before you act or speak, it makes all the difference.

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Mirages of Reality

When we subscribe to social labels we limit ourselves. Our vision gets obstructed by these man-made-mirages of reality and we restrict our view/s as a result.

So many of us had situations in high school, for example, where our reputation became tainted. Perhaps you lost a fight or someone spread a false rumor about you. I’m sure you felt as though the world had ended and you did not want to return to school. But we all had to go back, and we eventually moved on to live another day! The perception people had of you may or may not have changed but life went on, you survived!

Things like culture and tradition have their benefits, but I feel like they also delude people. We become afraid to step outside of the box, we create standards and try to force/convince everyone else into following them. So many movies in India focus on love vs. arranged marriages, and so many real life stories have fallen victim to such. We only complicate life when we try to control natural processes.

Ultimately what I am trying to say is, don’t get so wrapped up in these man-made-mirages of reality. Don’t obsess over the image you portray and forget to work on the art of living.

Its not fair to hold yourself or anyone else up to impossible standards!

Have a positive outlook on life and as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet “To thine own self be true”.

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Tired

I am thoroughly tired of trying to seek friendship from an individual who considers me a “pest”

I ask for a fraction of your time only to end up disappointed because even this small of a request seems too much to ask of you.

Your message has been relayed.

I learned my lesson.

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I have decided to take these next 5 days to contemplate personal improvements I would like to incorporate into my daily life. My classes are done for now so I might as well balance out the book smarts with some spiritual/emotional knowledge.

I have been feeling really unsatisfied with myself. I’ve been eating chocolate and junk in big amounts. I can blame my family for buying the junk (I wont eat it unless its available in the house), but really I cant stop them from buying stuff, I need to stop myself from extreme behavior and giving in.

The first thing I’d like to work on is delaying gratification. I think that especially now more than ever, society is riddled with the emotional need for instant gratification. We want to see or learn something *poof* its one click away, we want to eat a snack *poof* pop it in the microwave and you’ve got it in seconds. The convenience of having just about everything one desires at hand can be disadvantageous.

With children we make sure to instill the virtue of patience. We teach kids to eat their meal first before having dessert, we teach them to not snack on certain foods because it will spoil their appetite. We need to implement this kind of “high delayer” type behavior into our own lives.

I don’t want to spoil my appetite for life. I want to appreciate that which I’ve been given, and that which I have earned. I’d like more will power, self-control, self-discipline, etc. so that I do not become a slave to my impulses (that battle can be lifelong).

Quality 1/5: Delayed Gratification. This mission is now in effect!

I definitely encourage you to do something similar that suits your life!

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