Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It's Over People....the Fat Lady Has Sung. About Freakin' Time

CURRENT BALANCE IS APPROXIMATELY $4410.00 THANK YOU EVERYONE!!! PLEASE KEEP THE DONATIONS COMING....PLEASE!!! Sept 1, 2009 9:50 am Bahrain time $4500 is the goal and Sept 20 is the target

Last night had to be right up there with moments in my life worth remembering again and again. With 4 little words from someone I love very life finally found a achievable goal...a view on the horizon worth aiming for.

We are going home! at last...all of us. 23.5 years after stepping hesitant feet on wild and unfamiliar tarmac in which my journey has been long...painful...and mostly very lonely...with some moments that made it all worth while thrown amid all the chaos just to give me hope that it would get better....I'm finally able to say the words with complete confidence and joy...we are going home!!!...potentially that is. Listen up.

Last night after discussing with my son (for those of you not up to speed, and you know who you are, my middle son has had great reservations about going to America and some personal issues to deal with and I couldn't leave him behind) and reminding him about all the issues we have been facing here...all the problems, set backs, fights, drama...not to mention unpaid bills due to my inability to find a job (the list of cons is long my friends) and how going to America would allow 5 of us to work...not just me (age limit here and driving limit higher) and educational opportunities are greater and I can receive help from the govt meanwhile I cant even get a foot in the door over here anywhere....and numerous other pros for going we can ALL BE TOGETHER AGAIN reuniting with my older daughter and youngest son who are there all ready....(and of whom I miss sooooo freakin much).....he looked at me...took a deep (DEEP) breath and said 4 little words that will change our lives...

"Ok...lets do it."

My heart has not hit a normal beat since that moment.

Now, getting everyone in agreement at last to returning to the states was the HARDEST goal I had to achieve (for those who are sitting there thinking....why didnt she just throw him on a plane whether he wanted to go or not?...issues remember...not to be discussed here and now)...but now that I have that in hand...I have one more obstacle to I need 4 tickets friends and strangers alike. I have no

Now here's the thing...being as its Ramadan airlines have drastically reduced their prices for the month. If you purchase tickets before Ramadan is over... rather than pay the Bd1200 or more advertised just a few weeks prices are around Bd400 give or take. I can actually get 2 tickets for the price of one...or 2.5 to be precise. That is ...if I had the money.

I know some of you are sitting there thinking this is MY problem and not yours...and your right...completely my problem...but I'm desperate. I have 5 children to support. No job for over 8 months. 2 are in the states and 3 here with me. We haven't been all together since last summer. I cant seem to get my feet under me here in Bahrain no matter where I turn or who I ask for help. Promises are made but forgotten. I am continuously disappointed by people who pretend to care...then forget us once we are out of sight. For me I don't mind...I'm use to people being what they are...but I have my kids to worry about. I cant feed them without borrowing money from someone to buy food...or going begging at the local charity for a coupon and dealing with drama from those bearded narrow minded woman haters who hesitate to help me simply because I took of my enforced hijab after 20 of marriage to one of their bearded narrow minded brothers who not only made our lives hell every day and every moment...but left my children with a lasting legacy of pain and shame after subjecting them to sexual abuse.

We have suffered friends...and are still suffering...from what that man did to this family...then walked away. He isn't paying child support (or sometimes does but not the court ordered amount) and enforcing it is almost useless here. Courts here hardly show sympathy at all for the many many women that suffer from their men acting less then morally upright...whether they call themselves Muslim and a Muslim country or not. I have found no sympathy with the courts.

My family has helped us as much as they can...but with this amount of money they have told me bluntly that they cant manage it at this time...and this time is when the opportunity is best...reduced prices for Ramadan. It wont come again until next Ramadan and I don't want to wait another year to go home....not if I can get all my kids there and in one place again at last...RIGHT NOW...THIS MONTH.

Not to mention that school has started so time is important for that as well. Suddenly everything is important and my mind is crowded with ALL the things I have to do just to make this happen...but I cant start on any of those things unless and until I know I will have the tickets before the month is over (Ramadan month).

I'm not too proud to beg people...for my children I will beg on my get them all together again under one roof...back in America at last I will beg until my knees bleed. Its that important to me...since we separated (with the best of intentions) we have suffered not only what this culture and country throw at us...what life in general has thrown at us....what the economy has thrown at us....but we have suffered most of all from being cut in half. We only have each other...and its soooo much harder to bear the bad times when familiar arms are not there to hug you...familiar voices are not there to console you....when familiar sounds of laughter are not there to lighten your least for a moment. We NEED to be together again friends...we are no good apart with what we are going through...have been going sons need their daughters need their brothers...they only have each other in the life...all their Bahrain family has virtually abandoned them (only my best friend has made them feel loved, accepted and wanted...she has done her best to be their aunt without the benefit of shared blood...thank you know they love you like family)...we have NO wasta here and without wasta there are very few opportunities to get ahead...and more importantly...I'm so tired of struggling like this. So very tired.

I miss my kids. I miss my family. I miss my country. I miss my home. I want to come home friends...I want to bring my kids home. To do that I desperately need your help. I installed a donate Pay Pal button on my blog. I ask I BEG you to consider how a donation from you could possibly help a single mom get her 5 children back home to the states and back together again (happy ever after optional but doable)...if you are Muslims I ask you to consider your obligatory zakah for Ramadan could be full filled by helping a Muslim family reunite and get started fresh under one roof. Whatever excuse or reason you give yourself I accept...whatever amount you donate no matter what it is...I accept. I even accept your "good lucks but I cant help right now" comments on my blog. I completely is hard for everyone. I just ask that you spread the word and reach out to as many people as you can who might be interested in helping us...every little bit counts friends...every little bit counts.

I don't know what flowery words to use right now that will appeal more to you folks...I had it all written in my head...a masterpiece of emotion and stellar use of vocabulary etc to make sure you understood exactly how I feel and I desperately want this to I NEED this to happen to retain my ability to breath in and out without each breath a sharp pain of self doubt and longing for my kids that are far away....and feelings of uselessness in taking care of the ones that are here because I cant find a job or get help etc. I want to go home people...I want to finally feel sure that I can stay there this time because ALL the kids are coming with me and not feel torn in half because 2 were left behind last time (which caused me to return to Bahrain in the first place). I cant let this opportunity to pass...and so I beg.

Please please please...that's all I can ask. Please donate whatever amount you can be comfortable with and help this mother reunite her kids and get back home. I ask that you tell as many people as possible..possibly even link to this post in hopes of reaching more. Every little bit helps.

Average cost of tickets is Bd400 x 4 = Bd1600 which is approximately $4500.

That is my goal...and I hope...yours some small way.

Thank you and may God bless you.

P.S. a short summary of this 23.5 years just to give you some ideas of what we have been through.

1986-met and married an Arab man while a very green 17 year old

1987-came to his country of Bahrain in the middle east

1987-2007 suffered years of abuse and basically held hostage due to divorce laws and custody rights being very one sided in this country

2007-discovered husband had been sexually abusing our daughters for years...threw him out...obtained divorce with threat of prison etc (however this country is VERY lenient with sexual predators so I knew that was just bluffing)

Since 2007 we have been struggling here without proper work...without money...without help for the most part (a few exceptions here and there of course)...I was able to send two kids home to my family last summer in hopes that we could follow soon...but that dream was never realized....and so here we are.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ramadan Intrigues

To all friends and family.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Somethings Just Cant be 2

Continuing on from my previous post...many years have passed since I experienced that emotional gut wrenching funeral of the "sleeping man" I did not know but that does not mean I don't think about it often...way too often in my opinion. *sigh* The whole thing is more like a dream now...but its never far from my thoughts.

As for my second story...I was 6 months pregnant with my 3rd child and we lived out in Hamad Town. The first few years we lived there it was fairly isolating and lonely simply because a lot of the houses were not lived in yet...and not having a phone or car didn't help much either. My neighbors at the time were a Syrian family in which there were two wives and numerous children. I would visit them from time to time as a neighborly type thing...when someone was sick or during Eid etc...but I didn't really understand their Arabic and so visiting was a stilted and confusing affair best left for now and thens. My oldest daughter would quite often accompany me (she was 4, or 6 or get the picture) and would do her best to translate. Something she has been doing for me her whole life when and if needed. Thanks daughter *smiles*.

The older, or first wife, had around 6 or 7 kids...I was never completely sure as they never seemed to be all in the same place at the same time. In the years I lived there she seemed to have a new baby every 2 years or so...and even after I left she had more as I seen the new additions years later when I happen to pass by. If I had to guess I would say she had around 15 kids all together...but that's only a guess...could have been more. (another post for another day would be how her posse of kids made my life a nightmare with their constant coming and going in MY house, taking my food, my kids toys, my sanity...and leaving destruction in their wake...lordy the memories)

The younger, second wife, was fairly new and only had one little boy at the time that we moved in....but within a year or so she had a little girl. This little girl was not destined to spend much time on earth...but I feel like her death was something that could have been avoided...she was sacrificed on the altar of ignorance and I cry still when I remember what happened to her.

Picture a house overrun with children. Everything from screaming toddlers to teens and everything in between. Every morning the front door would open and our neighborhood was besieged by this gang of tiny thugs...causing mayhem and destruction where ever they went. The youngest could be seen in the middle of the street..playing with broken toys...peeing or on occasion pooping...and always always seconds away from being just a memory in their mothers heart due to the number of cars that routinely dodged them as they came around the corner (this house was right on a scary curve in the road)....I'm constantly amazed that none of those kids ever died being hit by a car (that I know of)...I'm not saying there were never hits...they were...thankfully most people had slowed down enough to make the corner that those hits were not enough to do serious damage. It never taught the kids or the moms a lesson though about road safety *sigh*. ...anyhow...

The complete disregard for their children's safety was a burning point with me. I did not want to have to witness a serious injury or, God forbid, a death merely because those two mothers would prefer all the kids be outside out of the way while they did whatever they did. I don't want to minimize the blame to the father...but the guy was hardly ever around. In all the years I lived there I only seen him a handful of times. I always wondered if he had yet another family somewhere else with more kids and more ignored wives for the most part. Who knows? On several occasions my own husband would go over and talk with him about keeping his kids safe etc (ironic I know...asshole) and the guy would just throw up his hands in apparent defeat and say.."what can I do...the mothers don't want them in the house cause they make a mess".

Well here's a thought...don't have a tribe of kids if you cant handle them and if you believe treating them like animals to be let out every morning and brought back in every night for feeding is how to raise kids...then I declare you an unfit parent and shouldn't be allowed to have any....15 (?) kids later its a bit too late...but I only hope luck is on your side as to their safety...

it wasn't...

Anyhow, one morning life was going along humdrum as usual. I was cleaning my house and listening to my own kids playing in the next room when suddenly my husband burst into the kitchen to shout that their was trouble at the Syrian house and maybe I could go over and check it out...see if I could do anything. He had been outside fixing on a van when the first wife came to him and asked him to take a look at seconds wife's little girl. Something was wrong with her. He didn't feel comfortable going into their house without the husband around so told me to go see what was up.

Trying to guess what might be the problem was no good as many times in the past bandages, bandaids, panadol, iodine, gauze etc were all borrowed for the latest injury sustained. I was thinking maybe one of the other kids fell on her or dropped something on her and cut her...she was only 7 months old at the time and her siblings were very rough and themselves and to others.

I plodded over, not in too much of a hurry since I was heavily pregnant, but as I drew nearer I could hear all Hell breaking loose. Screaming and crying and the sound of things crashing about. My heart nearly leapt out of my chest to hear such a just seemed odd and out of place on that quiet morning. I mean their house was generally noisy anyhow...had to be with that many kids...but this was something else all together. It was absolute pandemonium!....I decided I needed to hurry.

I walked into the front door to find chaos in full force. Kids were running everywhere....mostly naked even though it was winter time...the first wife was shouting, at nobody in particular it seemed, and adding to the confusion and noise. As I mentioned I didn't understand their Arabic too well so really didn't know what she was going on about. I looked around for the second wife hoping to spot her baby and see if I could get a look at her. I found her over by the back door...holding her little girl...the baby was naked as well and the mom was crying and rocking back and forth but nobody was paying much attention to her. I hurried over and tried to look at the baby but she held her protectively and wouldn't let me see much. I decided it was no time to be nice about it and reached over and tore her hands away and grabbed the little girl for a closer look.

I'm no doctor...not even close...but with my first look I felt that little baby was already dead at that point. She had no apparent injuries that I could see on her naked body...but her eyes appeared to be fixed and dilated...her skin wasn't soft and pliable like a baby's should be....and her little mouth was slightly open....and she was cold.

I assumed she was dead already....but I didn't KNOW that for I laid her down so that I could start CPR on her. I had taken classes years before...I tried furiously to remember the differences when giving CPR to babies...the two finger approach...the lighter puffs so the lungs are not mind was racing meanwhile chaos still reigned supreme around me. I tried my best to shut all that out so I could focus on this little I could help this baby that had no one to help her.

At some point my husband stuck his head in...saw the emergency and ran back to the van to throw it back together again so he could take them to the hosp. None of us had a phone back then...and their were no neighbors with a car either and the hosp was about 20 min away.

So there I was...this little "sleeping" angel on the floor in front of me...pandemonium all around screaming mom and one sobbing mom...and all I wanted to do was get some breath into this little girl and give her a chance once she got to the hosp. I administered CPR for an untold amount of time...I have no idea how long it was as time meant nothing. It must have been awhile...enough to frustrate her mother that nothing was happening as she reached over and grabbed her child at some point and began putting clothes on her. I tried grabbing her back but the mother was focused now. My limited ability to get converse with her meant I couldnt explain what I was trying to do...and that it might take more effort to have affect. I was compeltely frustrated and felt utterly useless.

Put clothes on her girl and everything would be all right....seemed to be what the look on the mother's face was telling me. I tried taking her baby again but she glared at me and pushed me away...and I nearly fell backwards with my heavy belly wanting to tip me over. I looked down at her baby and felt so dreadfully sad for her and for a moment could only imagine what this mother was going through. I placed a hand on my own belly and said a silent prayer...both for this agonized mother and for myself and this unborn child.

I figured there would be no more chances to help her...and I felt the baby was long gone I walked outside and just tried to calm my heart and breathe.

My husband came rushing over and into the house. A few moments later the two wives came out with the baby and got into the van and left with him. I felt like crying when I realized they had left the remaining children alone in order to take a dead child to the hospital...a child that was maybe dead due to some neglect they made her suffer. At this point all the children ran screaming out into the streets again...seemingly uncaring that one of their tribe was no more. I realize the younger ones wouldn't likely understand...but the older ones had no excuse to be so cold about it all. They were old enough to understand what death was all about...yet here they were....roughhousing and running about like everything was normal and ordinary. I wanted to scream at them...but I didn't...what purpose would it have served?

I walked back to my house and sat down on my front door step and just tried to think of nothing at all. My heart was heavy and my mind tried showing me again and again that little angels face...a face that would never smile again with a baby's cute smile...or eyes that would never twinkle again with baby like curiosity. I kept the tears at bay for at least an hour...until my husband came home and told me she was dead...and had been so for awhile. Apparently she had some slight heart problem and the doctors had told the second wife to make sure she was kept warm and to keep an eye on her breathing etc. Apparently the mom decided to give her baby a cold the winter time no less. If that wasn't bad enough...she had left her NAKED for a period of time while she attended to something else.

That little girl didn't stand a chance against such ignorance and neglect.

I cried my heart out for that little girl then. I just sat there and cried until my eyes burned and my chest felt ready to explode. It seemed like such a WASTE of a precious little life. There was that family popping out kids like they were intent on populating the planet all by themselves...and had NO clue about how to care for children. I was sooooo damn upset that God could see fit to give UNFIT parents a child in the first place...not even one child...15(?) dams kids at that!!!

My husband got fed up and told me I was going to cause my own unborn child harm if I didn't quit crying and get a hold of myself...I didn't believe him...but I calmed down...tears don't fix anything...and they certainly don't turn back the hands of time. That baby was gone. The end.

Two thoughts remain with me about that experience. The second wife had another baby within a year...a little girl. She named that little girl the same as her first little girl. I found that rather upsetting and hard to swallow myself....but it wasn't up to me. That tribe of kids continued to grow and to run wild in the streets...there were many more accidents and near deaths in the years we lived next to them...they apparently didn't learn a thing. Poor kids.

Second thought...something that has plagued me with guilt all these years. My mind tells me that that little girl was dead already by the time I got to her and started CPR. The doctors also say she had been dead awhile...but I don't know how long they mean when they say "awhile" sometimes when I think about it...I think about how it was soooo damn noisy...and how I was trying to breath life into this little child that deserved it more than anyone else in that room at that moment...and I remember how I tried to listen to her I tried to drown out the sound of all that chaos and focus on a heartbeat...a breath sound...ANYTHING that would tell me she was responding....I tired so hard but then her mother grabbed her...and I could try no more. And I try NOT to think about how maybe...just maybe...there had been a faint heartbeat...a slight breath sound...a glimmer of a chance that would have turned into a full blown flame if I had tried harder...or if I had spent more time on her rather than her mother grabbing her away and snuffing out any chance there might have been.

I think about that....and I'm sad....but I'm angry as well. 23 years later and I see mothers here all the time very blase' about the safety of their children. Yes they love them. Yes they care for them...but do they think about their safety even for a moment? Small children alone in the streets tell me they don't. Very obese little children tell me they don't. Unseatbelted children tell me they don't. Children left alone at ages when NO mother should even consider leaving their child unattended tells me they don't. . Young children swimming alone...playing outside alone....waiting for the school bus early in the morning....alone. *sigh*

One more thing....the number of people in this country that DO NOT know how to administer basic CPR is my own personal experience very few people even consider it something they need to bother about. Most people have no clue even what it means. Ive witnessed several instances and heard of which CPR could have saved a life...but nobody around even knew enough about it to consider it an option as a life saving technique. My own oldest daughter stood by (she was around 12) while her best friends grandmother died in front of a house FULL of people...and not ONE of them knew CPR to try and save her life until the ambulance could arrive (an ambulance that took forever to get there btw...another reason to learn CPR).

People are drowning at the beaches and swimming pools every year here in Bahrain...because people go into the water NOT knowing how to swim...and NOT bothering to have someone that can swim watch over them....and NOT having someone around that knows how to administer CPR if an emergency should require it. A little girl died from drowning in a family pool last year while all her family stood around and cried and beat their chests and wailed for God to save her...

depend on God...but tie up your the hadith goes. *sigh*

Learn CPR if you haven't all could save a life.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Some Things Just Cant be 1

*I wont put any pics with this post cause seriously...I don't know what sort of pics to put....endure!!!

I realize with 24 hour news service that we are likely to see a dead body or two (or three or four) displayed for our voyeuristic pleasure...if that's the sort of pleasure you're into. Open any newspaper and what ever war is currently going on in the world will have casualties...and casualty pics always sell newspapers.

Bombs go off and torn bodies are scattered like so much confetti across the roads and throughout market places from one side of the globe to the other. The walking wounded holding their bleeding heads or torn appendages with dazed looks shattering their faces...we can turn the channels but there is always another inhumane vision awaiting us. It seems you cant escape mans inhumanity to man even if its your most ardent wish. Death follows more ways then one.

Now, viewing death from the relative safety of our living rooms might give us a moments hesitation in the routine of our day...might make us pause and give thoughts of sympathy or outrage to whatever or whomever it was that caused the latest carnage...but for the most part...that moment is fleeting and we sigh and turn the channel...and get on with the process of living. Death is for the dead after all.

Now and then though we cant merely turn the channel because death decides to visit us....rudely intrudes into our safety bubble and makes its very real presence known...possibly a family member passes...a car crashes in front of us and its occupants are thrown into the road...a pedestrian is run over and laid out on the side of the road as we pass...flashing lights and rubber necking passer byes all that signal that life has passed. For many of insistent need to crane our necks to get a fleeting look at a lifeless body is hard to explain...possibly we are secretly happy that WE are not the ones laid out for all and sundry to view with carnivorous delight...that we can drive on home to our dinners and families and forget the whole idea of death...for the moment. No need to go looking for death when we are fully aware, but try to ignore the fact, that death is constantly on the lookout for us.

I personally have had only two experiences with seeing a "real live" dead person (no pun intended). Both left me devastated and reeling....crying and emotionally torn apart...exhausted afterwards with the constant barrage of images that wouldn't leave the up heaved surface of my mind. The ironic thing about these bodies is that they didn't actually look much as asleep. One was an older man that had passed away after a heart attack...the other was a baby. Listen up...

When I was 14 years old my mothers best friend's father passed away from a heart I mentioned. I had never met this man before...knew nothing about him...but apparently my mother felt I should accompany her to his funeral. An open casket funeral. I was petrified. I had visions of horribly mangled bodies and blood everywhere....horror movie stuff for sure. I begged her not to make me go but she insisted that everyone should attend at least ONE funeral in their lives...make you appreciate living more....or so was her excuse. I wasn't buying it...I was a teenager remember...I was going to live forever. Death would NOT dare come intrude upon my life (unless it was me shooting my father...but that's a different story). Of course I went...who can say no to their mothers?

We arrive at the funeral and everyone is sitting already while the Priest? Father? I'm not sure first funeral and all...was giving the eulogy (possibly). I might add that this family's native tongue was Spanish...and thus...not only was I out of my comfort zone physically....I had no idea what anyone was saying for the most part. Added to my emotionally confused state I might add.

Thanks Mom.

After the eulogy everyone stood in a line moving towards the front of the church. I was not quite aware at that point what we were all shuffling our feet towards...remember...I had never been to a funeral...I figured we were lining up to meet the family...give our condolences and move on.

We were actually...sort of.

As we neared the front of the line I heard a deep moaning sound that made the blood in my body absolutely a wounded animal keening from some dark place in the woods. The moan grew in intensity until it was more of a wail...and I was absolutely sure at that moment that I definitely DID NOT want to confront whatever was making that heart rending sound. My mother would not allow me to go sit in the car and wait for her...I still remember that Mom.

I finally reach the front of the line and I'm faced with two things. An open coffin with a dead man who could be sleeping lying in it....and a large Mexican woman wailing and beating her chest...and holding out her arms to me in anticipation for the hug of condolence I'm meant to give her. WTF!!!

She had copious tears flooding her face making rivers of misery that dripped from her chin like a tiny rainstorm. She wailed in Spanish of which I understood not a single word...but could understand the meaning of none the less...she had lost her mate...her love....her partner....she was alone now...and none of us want to be alone in the life.

Despite not knowing this woman...despite not understanding a single word she said...despite never having anyone I personally know die in my lifetime...despite not knowing the man who lay there "sleeping"...and despite wishing I was anywhere but there....I ran into her needful open arms and cried right along with her. While enveloped in her bear of a hug, pouring out words of condolence of which I cant remember a single word of...she continued to wail and I felt as I were coming apart. Touched by her abject misery that seeped into my skin and invaded my heart...until all hopes of ever experiencing happiness again in my life was like a lost dream of impossibility.

The whole experience lasted only moments until she opened her arms allowing me to move away so she could embrace the next in mother. Shaken I moved forward and came face to face with the coffin...with a man that lay sleeping yet would never ever wake up. There was no broken bones...nothing to indicate that life was violently snuffed from this body and not taken softly and with little fanfare. He died in his sleep....not even his wife, who slept beside him, knew of his death until she tried to wake him in the morning. It seemed so unfair that this man could lie there looking for all the world as if he would open his eyes at any moment, sit up in this coffin with a confused look in his eye...and ask those gathered for whom or what were they gathered...for he had been merely taking a nap and all was well.

Life taken so easily and quietly absolutely horrified me. Ive never been able to fall into sleep with quite the same blase' attitude since that funeral. Always wondering if I myself might "wake up" to find myself in a coffin someday...having been taken by death...stealthily sneaking in upon me while I slept....perhaps dreaming of tomorrows hopes and dreams. It was soooo freakin UNFAIR...I was completely overcome by anger at that point and seethed...holding back my thoughts until my mother was finished and we left the church.

While still crossing the street to her car I finally unlocked my tongue and shouted at her without remorse...."I hope you die long after me mom cause I will NEVER go to your funeral. I will NEVER go to ANOTHER FREAKIN FUNERAL AS LONG AS I LIVE....!!!!!"

She remained quiet until we got in the car and had sat there for a few moments. My chest was heaving as I fought to control my tears of fear and trepidation...I realized that I was fearful of the day I would have to face my mothers body lying in a view her with no expectations of eyes opening and that smile of hers I loved so well. That twinkling look that always shined from her coffee brown eyes. Knowing the life my father forced us into....the constant barrage of physical abuse we endured...I had a deep fear that she would never end up lying in a coffin looking for all the world as if she were asleep. He wouldn't allow such a peaceful sort of death to claim her...of that I was sure. If there was ever a body to bury in the first place that is as I secretly believed I would come home from school some day only to be told my mother had decided she didn't want to be our mother anymore and so had "abandoned" us...never to be seen again.

I lived with that fear of my mother "leaving us" under mysterious circumstances everyday of my childhood. Attending that funeral made it all so much more real for me of the possibility that I would and could lose my mother...while she "slept" beside my father. I was devastated and hated her a little bit for forcing me to go and experience that devastating and horrible fact.

She looked at me and told me that I already knew life wasn't pleasant but because we had faith we could feel joy for that man who had passed....because he had left behind all earthly sorrows and was with our Father in Heaven now. That was the the only thing we should focus on ...that he had moved on from this life onto the next...and I should be happy for him. As if.

It took me quite along time to get over that a matter of fact the image of him lying there has never left me....the image of his wife wailing and opening her arms to me has never left....white hot anger I felt at my mother has dimmed but has never truly left me. I might understand her motives at this advanced age...but still cant forgive her taking me unprepared and completely against my will. I can't imagine ever doing the same to my own children...but then this culture viewing the body at a funeral is not really an option. Anyways...

*to be continued

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Give Me A Family ...Please?

When you live in the Muslim/Arab world you have to get use to ONE fact straight away...even if your NOT Muslim OR Arab...unmarried sex is not ok.

Hold on, let me put that another way...getting caught having unmarried sex is not ok.

Wait...wait...let me try one more time. Getting caught having unmarried sex is NOT ok if you are female...especially if the consequences turn out that you get pregnant. God forbid a female gets pregnant over here without the sanctity of a marriage contract to make her baby all hilal and legal. All though I havent personally checked...I heard that, according to the law in Bahrain, it is in fact against the law to BE pregnant and not be married.

Sooooo...lets think about this for a minute. Men are given a certain amount of "permission" to have sex (since they are not held accountable then that is granting them permission in my books)...but when it comes to suffering the consequences of sex...women are the ONLY ones that ARE held accountable....and boy do they (we) suffer.

Lately, this past 2 years or so, there seems to be more abandoned baby news reports in the paper. I cant remember hearing about babies being abandoned in Bahrain when I first came here...but then again news reporting was a whole different ballgame back then. NOTHING bad ever happened. Lived in a right utopia we did. Miss those days....*sigh*.

Anyhow, the latest was this little baby boy in that news report. Officials havent determined his nationality yet...but havent hesitated (in follow up news reports) to shove all the blame onto the mother that abandoned this baby. As well as some comments by readers and by a leading figure here in Bahrain that supposedly helps women overcome difficulties. She was advised to open a shelter or place for unwed pregnant women to come to for help....and she flatly refused...declared that opening a shelter basically condoned unmarried sex and we as Muslims were not in the business of condoning unmarried sex...not to mention SHAME on those women who got involved in such things. Rather than try and have sympathy for these women...who might have been raped by a family member or stranger...or the cases of housemaids their owners...ahem!...I mean employers. Not every pregnant woman on this planet got that way simply because she couldnt keep her legs closed.

She did not mention men in her article...did not mention educating Muslim men about having premarital sex...unprotected sex...or about STANDING by the woman they slept with when it turns out their night of passion (or moment of passion) resulted in life. Nope...all on the female. Females should guard their vaginas against the marauding hordes of penises that assault them from every direction and save themselves for just the ONE penis that is allowed entry...despite the fact that that ONE penis just might have entered numerous unguarded vaginas prior to hers...anyways...all on her.

I might also add that if a Bahraini girl finds herself pregnant (God help her) then not ONLY will she have to deal with her family (one can only hope she hasnt got "honor killing" believers in her family) she also has to GIVE UP her matter how she feels about it. There are NO unwed Bahraini mothers of newborn babies out there...just not a done or accepted thing. Her baby will be forcibly taken and placed in an orphanage whether she wanted it or not. Society will NOT allow her to keep that bastard baby and raise it like its NORMAL or something...nope...into the orphanage you go. You could have had at least ONE parent raise you that loved you and wanted you....but noooooo...society says bastards belong in orphanages...and then punish the mother for bringing one into the world...ALL BY HERSELF no doubt...cause we know the guy, the father....will NEVER be held accountable. On the off chance he makes the gallant choice to marry can bet he will remind her all their married life how EASY she was prior to happens...Ive seen and heard it...*sigh*.

Now,I digressed from the point I was making...the reason for this post... it turns out there have been quite a few expats here in Bahrain that came forward wanting to adopt this baby boy. They are willing to open their hearts and their homes to him...not knowing a thing about him....but thats the joy that babies bring into your love them...even when they are not yours. Spend a little time with a baby and you know what I mean. Not everyone wants to take a baby home that was abandoned, thats for sure, but some why not let them?

Turns out the Bahrain govt is REFUSING to allow an expat to adopt this baby boy....doesnt allow expats to adopt ANY babies here in the Kingdom....and why is that? Shouldnt we be happy to see a abandoned baby at that...go to a loving home where it will have parents and possibly siblings and a life of love and companionship? Shouldnt we be happy to know this baby wont grow up in an orphanage alone and forgotten...nobody to call Mom or Dad...nobody to call their own? Shouldnt we want a baby to be loved by something more than the nurses that will change it and feed it and the orphanage workers that will make sure it has what is required for growth etc...but do nothing to make him feel loved?

Its not explicitly stated as such but of course the reason babies are not allowed to be adopted by expats is simply because the Muslim govt of Bahrain fears that baby might NOT be raised Muslim! Oh horrors!!! Better a baby is raised by employees in an orphanage then loving parents who might be, argh Christians...or even worse....ATHEISTS!!! *sigh*

As Muslims dont we believe that God leads people to many converts are out there in the Islamic world today...whose parents WERE NOT Muslims...whose parents might very well have been completely against the idea of Islam and their child converting to Muslim...but that child still did...why? because its all in Gods hands...not ours.

For the govt of Bahrain to abandon this baby once again and force it to lead an unloved life in an orphanage simply to ensure it grows up Muslim is such a barbaric act against this baby....and not very Muslim like behavior at all.

It means they do not trust the Will of that if God has determined this baby should be Muslim...then it will be so...despite in which household it grows up in. Whose to say just because it grows up in a Muslim orphanage that it will turn out to be Muslim..if I grew up in such a situation and came to learn that people wanted to adopt me as a baby...wanted to love me and call me their child...but the govt of my country refused me a family...abandoned me to a life of loneliness and pain....and told me it was because MY (their) religion told them to do so...wouldnt I be somewhat antagonized by that fact...wouldnt I be somewhat rebellious towards that religion that required I grow up alone and without parents simply because Muslims themselves DO NOT adopt babies...because thats against Islam too...ironic isnt it?

The govt wont allow expats to adopt this little baby for fears it wont grow up Muslim....but Muslims wont adopt it because Muslims arent allowed to according to hadith etc...Muslims will view this innocent little baby as a bastard all his life....and will call him a bastard in general conversation as if its a title he acquired through a course of study at university...oh this is Bader...he works at Bapco...hes a bastard....believe me...Ive heard similar.

So a potential family would raise this baby to be a son...much loved and cared him their family name and all that that name entitles him too. Bahraini Muslims will call him bastard and refuse to allow their daughters to marry him because he has no standing, no family lineage....but thats better for him then being raised something other than Muslim?

Now I realize that we should never encourage wanton sex, sex just for the sake of sex and all that...but we have to be grownups about this and understand that sometimes sex happens. With or without the consent of the female happens...and once sex happens there are numerous consequences that can of them being a pregnancy. Babies do not ask to be not come into this world worrying about if their parents (and yes there are always 2 parents despite what many Muslims prefer to believe) were legally married and if their conception was wanted and anticipated...but here they are none the less and we should welcome them with open arms once they are here. A baby is NOT to be blamed for its existence and punished by calling it bastard and throwing it into an orphanage and enforced to lead a lonely life simply because that would be easier for US.

I dont get it...and apparently the Muslims Im surrounded by dont either...for the most part...again...*sigh*.

Shame on us...and may God forgive us our barbarity.

*I dont wish to make any assumptions as to why a woman would abandon her baby as Ive never been in that position to even consider it...but knowing this culture and what can happen to her...I can at least say I understand why she would be moved to make such a drastic choice. It cant be easy for her (ok for some women it might be easy...who knows) any rate it was NOT the focus of my post.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Some Stickers Just Say It All!!

I was stuck in traffic yesterday and found myself behind this car for quite some time. As we didnt actually move AT ALL for maybe 15 min I didnt take much notice of the driver himself/herself...until we did actually start to move...then I was like...IS there a driver in that car?!!

I mean seriously...can you SEE anyone sitting there?

I told my friend to check it out and she was craning her neck trying to get a look see but we were hard pressed to see any movement or indication that someone was driving that car.

Did they get fed up in traffic and just abandon it? I know thats something Ive felt like doing more than once.

Now the truly funny thing about this whole matter was the sticker on the back window. I think you can just see it on it for a closer view. I felt it caught the whole experience down to a tee.

Unfortunately I was unable to take a pic of the driver...and yes there was one...a very old very tiny man who was literally stretched out...or rather order to see out the window while he was driving. Apparently while we werent moving he just relaxed and sat back...and disappeared from view. There was also a young child in the passenger seat belts...sigh.

Now I will never tell someone they are not fit to drive etc...obviously the traffic department figured he was good to go (assuming his license hadnt expired) but I figure if your having such a hard time seeing out the front window, a very necessary requirement far as Im concerned...especially if I happen to be anywhere near you...then the very least you could do is put a pillow or something under your bum and lift you up to a proper height so you can see unencumbered...yes?

Just one more reason driving in Bahrain should come with hazard pay and plenty of pain killers.