Reflections on Orlando

Hey Everyone,

I hope you’re all doing well!

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I want to start this post off by saying that my heart truly goes out to all the victims and  families of the senseless and completely inhumane act of terror that occurred in Orlando, Florida. From the bottom of my heart I hope that those that have passed away rest in peace and I wish a speedy recovery for those that have been injured.

Yesterday, once again, my heart broke when I woke up and read the news of yet another tragic mass shooting right here in the United States.

I was later further shocked to learn that the suspect was an American with Afghan parents. As some of you may know I am also an American whose parents were born in Afghanistan. So this definitely hit me hard to know that someone from my own cultural group would do something so disgusting and inhumane.

The wide majority of Afghan immigrants came to this beautiful country to flee the violence of their own war torn nation so I would have never imagined that anyone within this community would ever even think of inflicting such pain and suffering on others. I guess like they say there are black sheep within each community.

It brings me great sadness to know that because of the actions of this one inhumane individual there are others who will put the blame on Muslims and the religion of Islam. As a Muslim I know for a fact that these are not the teachings of Islam.

The Islam that I know and love has taught me that taking one life is the same as killing all of humanity and saving one life is as if you have saved all of humanity. Here is the exact verse from the Holy Quran:

“…if any one killed a person, it would be as if he killed the whole of mankind; and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole of mankind…” – The Holy Quran (Chapter Five, Verse 32).

Just last week the United States and the entire world was celebrating the life of “The Greatest of All Time” Muhammad Ali who was a proud American Muslim and now some of those people are blaming Muslims and Islam for this recent heinous act.

As The Champ himself eloquently stated: “The word ‘Islam’ means ‘peace.’ The word ‘Muslim’ means ‘one who surrenders to God.’ But the press makes us seem like haters. ”

I sincerely hope that throughout these difficult and trying times we all stay united in our fight against extremism and that we always remember that the actions of one person or a few people are not representative of an entire religious community.

With Love,

Yasmin

 

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Grandma’s Birthday Party!!!

Hey Everyone!!!

Hope you’re doing well! Although I won’t normally post too much about my personal life (just because there’s usually nothing too interesting going on 🙂 ) I do want to share something pretty exciting that occurred this past weekend.

As you can tell by the title my family and I arranged a surprise birthday party for my (maternal) grandma! My lovely grandma turned 80 this year. My parents came up with the idea of throwing a surprise birthday party for her like  two months ago and my cousins and I planned it out. One particular cousin went out of her way to make it extra special and she definitely deserves the most credit!

When the day finally arrived my my mom was busy cooking up a feast in our kitchen. Meanwhile  my cousin went to my grandma’s house and took her shopping so that my other cousins could set up the decorations in her apartment.

After we arrived at my grandma’s house we texted my cousin to bring grandma back and as she opened the door we all started singing happy birthday!  My grandma was literally in awe of everything and she was excited beyond words!

She later described her excitement by mentioning that she has never been so happy in her life and that no one has ever surprised her in such an amazing way before!!! Of course, this was music to our ears because it means that the hard work paid off 🙂

Planning this whole party took a lot of time, effort and cooperation but it was definitely worth all the joy and happiness that it brought to my lovely grandma!!!

Here are some pictures:

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Traditional yummy Afghan cuisine!
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The delicious and beautiful cake that my mom ordered from a local Japanese Bakery.
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The Birthday Queen herself! Trust me she usually always has a smile on her face but she was caught off guard in this one and of course, she was too busy cutting the cake 🙂

Hope you all enjoyed this!

 

With Love,

Yasmin