"To the extent that the word ‘desegregation’ remains in our vocabulary, it describes an antique principle, not a current priority. Today, we are more likely to talk of diversity—but diversification and desegregation are not the same undertaking. To speak of diversity, in light of this country’s history of racial recidivism, is to focus on bringing ethnic variety to largely white institutions, rather than dismantling the structures that made them so white to begin with."
This is a short talk given by my dear friend Hena Cebeci’s younger brother Ghalib Cebeci at Princeton University, about charity, service, and love. My favorite point was around minute 5, when he talks of the Prophet’s love for Khadijah, and how that love was a gift from Allah (SWT), and that the gifts Allah bestows are meant to be shared. So when we are given love, we share it. With the person we love, and through kindness with others. Also the concept that Islam is not something we hide away, that we practice in private, something we wear. No, it’s the way we live our lives, so we have a responsibility to not only care for social issues and injustices, but to do our part, whatever that is, to create change. To act. That Islam infuses us inside out.
Also, I’d always thought of Hena’s voice like flower petals and honey, very soft and sweet and musical and her brother’s voice is the same way, and its very beautiful and I really really love soft, kind voices. It’s funny because I was told once by an architecture professor that, while he enjoyed listening to my voice, that it was pleasant and sweet and made him happy, it wasn’t a good voice for presenting, for working and gaining respect in front of architects, for being taken seriously. That I needed to develop a different way of speaking. And there was something about that that deeply deeply unsettled me. Because I understand where he was coming from - he was looking out for me. Because in this hemisphere and this culture, respect comes from being assertive, aggressive, solidly confident. Gentleness, humility, modesty, kindness are simply not valued or seen as significant for success. But those are attributes that I really adore in people, and have learned from my own elders and people that I respect. And I think success is far more valuable in the quality of your relationships with those around you than the respect you garner in the workforce.
Today I had the opportunity to ask Sheikh Osama Eisa anything in the world, literally whatever I wanted, he was right in front of me… and I asked him career advice.
The state of my mind, good lord.
My grandmother raised my mother to be a general
My mother trained me to be a soldier in Allah’s army
I am the proof of her victory
I am the evidence of all the battles she’s won
You are witnessing a walking declaration of her glory
Surely I will fall but my mother taught me the reality of what it means to rise
ahlaaaaaaaaaaam i love you so much, you warrior queen
Chillin’ on a green roof, blown about by the wind. I love my school. (at College of Liberal Arts Building (CLA))
London Underground in the 1970s/80s, Jumping for joy as the train comes in
one of the kids i supervise at work let me know today that he thinks brown girls are fine as hell but the thing is hes scared your dads will stab or shoot him and he said yall are fake and would use him for a bit and then marry one of your own
anyways i heard no lies today
I remember Ayesha reading this at Zaytuna, and darling Ahlaam crying because yay love and all of us sitting and getting lost in our thoughts because hey, this is lovely, and now I’m overwhelmed by my Berkeley nostalgia because I’ve been remembering y’all a lot recently, and our stories and our adventures and the beautiful souls I can’t ever forget. I want to give each of you a polar bear hug, even mah boyz, because I love all of y’all so so much. Always in my dua’as, always in my heart. Can I just embrace the world? Yes yes I shall. Illicit dance parties, pre-fajr hikes, communal iftars, the adventures of Maha/Tariq/Khalid, getting lost in San Fran, roping the brothas into walking us home from the masjid, climbing lemon trees (I really miss climbing that wonderful tree), swimming through fog, farmer’s markets, secondhand bookstores, Peet’s Coffee, praying in my favorite room on Earth - the Zaytuna Library, starlit balcony journaling/study parties, henna parties, heart to hearts, global potlucks from each of our motherlands, and a helluva lot of ice-cream… gotta believe it’ll happen again. Mizzyou, my sweet sweet friends.