My 168 Hour Famine for Syria

Hey Everyone!

Ive started my own campaign to raise money for two Syrian charities (One based in Jordan and one in New Zealand). 

I will be giving up food, furniture, etc for specific hours during that week (First week of July) 

This is the link here:

https://www.igiveonline.com/campaigns/shaymaas-168-hour-famine-for-syria/

Please give it a quick read or just watch the video and help support it. Even if you could just donate a dollar, it counts.

 

Thank you guys so much for reading through and help me raise my goal of 1500 dollars for Syrians!

#UnitedforSyria

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Unleash your Kindness, not bitterness

Short post, that I initially posted on my facebook account and thought i’d share here too.
Here it goes:

 

Not trying to be cliche or cheesy or anything but something i have been noticing often these days is how people have to make themselves feel better by indirectly or even sometimes directly insulting others. Yes, yes, its all fun and games and jokes when you mention a comment here and there but sometimes there is a fine line.
This post isnt about me or about anyone is specific, its just something i have been noticing and it is really getting on my nerves.
Calling yourself prettier, fitter, etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc than the person you are talking to could be really hurtful.
Yes of course there are people who are confident about themselves and will shrug if off, but have you ever thought that, i dont know maybe, just maybe, some people actually suffer from low self esteem and are already struggling with social anxiety because of how they feel about themselves and how negatively they think that people think of them, too?
If you are confident then props to you, really, thats awesome! But heres the difference between someones genuineness and someone just being a dick:
“Eating healthy isnt so tough, i can give you some easy recipes to try if you want.” awesome
” You need the exercise.” “I have never seen you at a time where you weren’t eating.” “At least i dont have to gym as much as you do.” what the actual hell…i know, i’ve heard it, it happens.
Why is it so difficult to be encouraging to someone about something they are struggling with rather than hurting them?
We honestly live in a society where pointing out each others flaws has become a social norm, a way of communication, a bond that brings some people together and it is incredibly sad.

Also another thing, we have a saying in Arabic (i know my Arab friends reading this will think i am such a fob, but i know you guys get what im getting at) which translates to: “If you knock on the door, then expect an answer.”
Meaning, dont you go around pointing the flaws of others and being mean and rude and selfish and then get so upset and hurt when someone does it back to you.
If you call someone ugly, then you have absolutely no right to get all pissed off and offended when someone says something negative about you.
Not sorry for this long az post (that i know most wont even read) because all i am trying to say is, when you think you are better than someone else, bite your tongue and think of something great about them.
When you think someone has something that you dont like, then bite your tongue a hundred times again and think of ten things that are lovely about them.

Rant, over.

Jeff Halper Talk at Waikato Uni

at Waikato Uni on 4th of September, come along!

wsjme

Jeff Halper who is co-founder and director of the Israeli Committee against house demolitions in Palestine, will be speaking at lecture theater AG.30 at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, NZ on the 4th of September (Wednesday) from 12-2 pm.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Palestinian/Israel issue.

If you have further inquiries, contact us on sjme.waikato@gmail.comImage

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Ramadan Mubarak

islamispeace

(This is an article i wrote to educate people about Ramadan and have submitted it to my University magazine, inshallah they agree to publish it. So i thought i’d also post it here 🙂 )

Al Salamu Alayakum (Which means Peace be upon everyone),

On Thursday 11th July Muslims in New Zealand began celebrating the Holy month of Ramadan. Now for those of you who know what Ramadan is, good on you!
For those of you who don’t, no worries! I thought I’d write this article to let people know and understand the beauty of Ramadan.

Ramadan takes place on the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar (Yes, there is an Islamic Calendar called the ‘Hijri Calendar’ 😀 ).

In this blessed month we must refrain ourselves from many things such as eating, drinking, smoking, and having sexual intercourse with partners (should be easy for the forever aloners) during daylight hours. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, where they can break their fast, usually by eating a date according to Sunnah (that’s right, guys, that’s the only kind of date we get every year!) This teaches Muslims about patience, spiritually, humility and Submissiveness to God.

By fasting, or not eating, it allows us to experience and feel what the poor are feeling but Ramadan is about much more than that, too! In Ramadan you must stop yourself from performing any evil action and in that way your whole body observes the fast.

Here’s how:

Eyes: Should refrain yourself from looking at unlawful things and objects.

Ears: Must refrain from listening to idle talk or obscene words (like songs that promote bad language and bad actions).

Lips:  Must refrain yourself from gossiping, backbiting, swearing, spreading lies, you must use your words for the better good.

Hand: Must not touch or take anything that does not belong to it and must not inflict injury upon others.

Feet: Must not go to forbidden places (Bars, etc.)

Ramadan helps clear the persons mind and focus on the important things in life rather than on worldly and materialistic things/objects. Muslims always use this Holy month to donate as much money as they can to the less fortunate, as well as provide food to others during iftar time( Iftar: when you break your fast). Muslims try our best to read the Holy Quran fully during this month as it is an extremely uplifting experience (Advice to the Muslims out there: Five pages after every prayer will allow you finish the Holy Quran within a month). Reading the Quran, whether it may be the 1st time, 2nd time, hundredth time, always teaches us new things and reminds us of several essential lessons as it has so much meaning and depth in it.

The cool thing about Ramadan is it could really better anyone, Muslim or non Muslim, so if this sounds nteresting to you, you should try it out!

Also, Hamilton Masjid (Mosque) in Rototuna (240 Thomas Road) will be holding iftar there on weekends for whoever wants to go along and have some delicious –probably Middle Eastern- food for iftar!
We don’t really have anyone running our Waikato Muslim Club here on campus so if anyone is interested in finding out more about Islam contact this email (email removed for privacy) or you can always shout “AL SALAMU ALAYKUM, BROTHER (or SISTER)!” to any Middle Eastern looking individual on campus and ask them 🙂

So to All the Muslims out there, RAMADAN MUBARAK AND HAPPY FASTING 😀 May this Ramadan bring peace, justice and respect in all corners of the world, inshallah Ameen!

Salam,
S.M.A.

 

Ramadan-Mubarak

My Identity

I will NOT allow anyone to tell me where i am from.

I will choose where i belong. I am sick of being asked where i am from and when i answer:

“I’m a New-Zealander.” They say, “Yeah but where are you ORIGINALLY from?”

When i say “I am Iraqi” they say, “But you’re not really fully from there.”

When i say, “I am Syrian.” they say, “No thats where your mum is from.”

And when i say, “I am Egyptian.” they say, “Quarter of your blood is not your blood at all.”

And when i finally give up and say, “I am a citizen of this world.” they say, “Man she thinks she is superior, she is way up herself.”

Enough.

I will not allow a single human being decide what i call home and what i identify myself as.

If i say Jannah/Heaven is my home, then so be it, because you are nothing in my life to judge me.

I am filisteen, masr, sooriya, jordon, 3ira8, tunisia, algeria, libya, afghanistan, pakistan, tajikstan, i am the rohingya, i am me.

I am a Muslim, i am an Arab and i am proud and if you want to know where i belong then i belong to wherever it is you belong, because darling if we really look at ourselves then we dont belong to one specific label, unless it is  the label of humanity and I, sir, am a human!

Short post, but nothing more to say, heres to all the half cast internationals out there, i feel you.
May Allah bless you all ,

A fed up teenager

I know…

My friend,

I know…i know you are trying hard wake up in the morning and everything is fine, and you strive and try hard towards doing good….and being a better person.

I know its hard when you bite your tongue a thousand times to not fight aggression with aggression and violence with violence….you stay steady and though a word or two might slip out you try to remain calm and at ease and give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

I know its hard to wake up one morning and have everything turn from good to bad.

I know its hard to find that bad turn to worse.

I know its hard to have the people who are meant to protect you and keep you safe from sadness and misery turn against you.

I know its hard to know that people have been talking badly about you or making rumors and false statements about you.

I know its even harder when those people are the people closest to you.

I know its hard to have that one day where you want to feel special and have the excuse to feel happy and loved backfire at you. For the people most important to you to forget it is your birthday or simply ignore you. 

I know its hard because it hurts thinking that these very same people are not happy that this was the day you were bought into life.

I know its hard when you hold back your tears, swallow your sadness which then turns into illness. 

I know.

But do you know what i also know?
I know you are strong. 
I’ve personally accepted the fact that i am a good person…and people will wrong me. And they will give me painful headaches. And they will crush my heart. And they will make my blood boil.
But i know better than to fight violence with violence. I know that a smile is my best defense. 

I have accepted that i have one true friend, God. And He knows what is best for me. 
I know that the people of Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Africa have it worse than i do, so i should be thankful for the good and the bad.

Recently i came upon this quote:

“I asked God for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong, I asked God for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve, I asked God for courage and God gave me obstacles to overcome, I asked God for love and God gave me troubled people to help, I asked God for favours and God gave me opportunities. Maybe I received nothing I wanted, but i received everything I needed”. – Unknown

And it made so much sense. I started praying a few weeks ago for Allah to give me strength and subhanallah, i was bombarded with some wrong turns and bad events, but also subhanallah, my heart was stronger, and instead of feeling rage, i would smile and laugh and feel no pain. 

Maybe once i shed a few tears, but not because of what has happened to me, but because i feel so sorry for those who are doing evil to me, and i sincerely hope Allah blesses them with a change of heart. 
It hurts, i know, and things will never ever be a 100%.
You could be a saint and beautiful wonderful being, but there will be at least one person in this world who will hate you until your dying day.
What i am saying is dont let that less than 0.5% get you down, because in the big picture, they are nothing but a speck of dust.

I believe you are strong, and confident and wonderful. 
So forgive but dont forget.
Love but dont trust too quickly.
Be curious but do not judge. 
And remember, always be thankful to Allah, through the good and the bad, because whatever He throws at you it is because He knows you have the strength to beat it.

Peace and Blessing upon you all 🙂

 

Oh and p.s: I’m finally legal today 😉 Im officially 18 ! Yahooo

Always unexpected

You know, us humans are really weird.
I’m not sure if we were always like this, but right now it’s all I’m seeing.
Weird in the sense that why are we so afraid to show what we really mean or say? Or embarrassed even?

This is my personal thoughts, so you may oppose and your opinions may differ and if you do have a different opinion then good! Because it means you’re not getting hurt by people who do this to me constantly.

Since i was i dont know how old, these humans i’ve met in my mind have confirmed to me that i shouldnt trust anyone, but i don’t know why i always feel the need to give it one more shot.
Well I’m not fricking bulletproof, those things you do do effect me, the bullet does hit me and i do get hurt.

What I’m talking about is when you befriend someone and you become close to them and sooner or later (and for me its usually sooner) they just leave. 
And you still give, and give and give and give and they just, they just don’t care to put it simply. And because once upon a time that person was actually an important role in your life, you still try and try and try and nothing happens in return.
I’m giving you my all, and even now when I’m halfway across the world, i have your best interest at heart, i still worry about you and nothing. 

Its just really tiring sitting at the end of the table and watching people get up and leave with no warning, no excuse and never come back.
Even the people who didn’t make it easy for me, people who gave me a hard time,when they finally speak to me and act nice, i actually put in an effort into making it work but then again they’re the same.

I’m sick of feeling this way. I have feelings too. And just like you want to be treated fairly with love and compassion and respect, i want that, too.

But I’ve come to the conclusion i won’t find that with anyone here on earth. 
I constantly support and do what i can and they dont do the simplest things, just acknowledge my existence. 
You on your own, sitting in your room by yourself suddenly think of me, and casually out of nowhere ask how i’m doing, that would mean a lot. 
But I’m done expecting, because humans are so….

I just hope no one ever has to feel alone and always on guard and paranoid. 
Spread those smiles around and learn to love and be selfless….

Its tiring to feel this way all the time.

Updates

Hello everyone,

i know some are probably like, “oh this girl still uses wordpress?” I do! 😀

I’ve just been really busy moving cities and starting Uni and juggling five papers per semester and Law school isnt exactly a walk on the beach. Its more like a rollercoaster that has a lot of bumps and emotions. When i say emotions i mean when you sit their going over the same line and thinking, “Why am i so stupid? I cant understand any of this!” Anyhoo, its only been barely over a month so inshallah khair 😀 Hoping for the best, eh.

I’ll write my next post now and upload it as soon as i finis 

Blog to you soon

Hungry For Justice

Today, i fasted for a length of 24 hours in Solidarity with Samer Issawi and all other Palestinian Prisoners held under administrative detention in Israel.
The Campaign is worldwide and started 8pm local time and ends 8pm the next day.
No Food. Only Water.

Samer Issawi was arrested again on July 2012, has been held with no trial  and has been on hunger strike for over 200 days.
He says, “Freedom or martyrdom.” And this strong phrase says it all.
For a man to have the strength and faith to do this is beyond my imagination.

In Islam, every year in Ramadan we fast. So i’ve dealt with fasting before. BUT, it is from sunrise to sunset- no food, no water. But in the end of the day you’re getting your daily dose of vitamins, proteins, and basically just everything you’re craving.

And when i was 12, i also did a 24 hour famine for Africa and we collected donations.

Only difference now is, Im 17 years old and my body has grown and so the whole experience of eating nothing for 24 hours is a surprise to me.
You begin to feel dizzy, and tend to forget some things and feel confused. And thats only for 24 hours.
I began to get migraines today morning but i refused to take medicine because i knew this is what the prisoners go through everyday.
And i started to think, that I’ve only been doing this from yesterday.
How on earth must Samer and the others feel? Everyday?

Heroes. That is the one word to describe them. Heroes.
May Allah bless them and give us their strength and faith.

When this whole campaign rose and i decided to join it, some people asked me, “well, why are you doing it?” “Whats the point?” “Who will it benefit?”

All i can say is….one action can change everything.
I dont care if the world doesnt know specifically, “Shaymaa fasted for 24 hours, etc etc etc.” I really dont. All i care about is that news of what we are doing ends up reaching Samer and the detainees. That they know we are supporting and encouraging them no matter what!

Because when you hurt a brother of mine, you are hurting me! And i will stand by Samer and the Palestinians until my dying day!

If you want to know how standing in solidarity with them helps, read this article:
http://www.docjazz.com/index.php/articles/43-analysis/242-hungry-for-justice-palestinian-hunger-strikers

I mean think about it, how come we mention Samer Issawi’s name but not the others?
Thats right, because he decided to go on hunger strike and thats what caught our attention.
So by the world standing with him and doing the same, we are putting pressure on the Israeli government to release him and all prisoners held without charges!
Over 1000 people from over 45 countries are Standing with you, Samer!

You are a hero. A Champion. A Legend. May Allah bless you!

Only 35 minutes until our hunger strike ends. I am Hungry….but we are always hungry for Justice.

If you want to check out the campaign on facebook, click here:
Hungry For Justice

And if you’re a twitter user and want to show your support, hashtag #HungryForJustice, #FreeSamer and follow @samerissawi1

Last thing i want to mention is a huge thanks to everyone participating from all over the world! I am so proud of everyone of you even if all of you are strangers to me!

Together we will all make a change.

We should strive for justice and freedom Always,

Bless you all,

A hungry citizen

HS

 Oh And thats me with a sign saying  ‘I stand in solidarity with Samer Issawi & All Palestinian Prisoners  held under administrative detention in Israeli Prisons. #Hungry For Justice. “Your silence is killing them! Get hungry & save a live!” ‘ I did not write that quote, i got it from this guy

Im sorry the picture is really unprofessional. But i had barely any equipment to do this, i barely found a piece of A4 paper and no one to take a photo of me so i had to take a meh one lol And if you’re wondering why i am smiling when its such a serious issue and im fasting and should be ‘tiered’ its because 24 hours is nothing compared to 200 days and so i do with a huge smile because i have no right to complain and feel sorry for myself 😀 (Y)

Dear Friend

(First and foremost this post isn’t about one person specifically, its very general.)

They ask me why I wanted so badly to leave. Why I wanted to go back home and find my identity. Why I couldn’t stand being there a second longer. Why I couldn’t take being with them for further than that.

Because when we cry at night, we cry for very different reasons.
You’re crying about a lovers quarrel and puppy love or how your favorite fictional character from a t.v. show has just died.
I shed tears for all the cruel bloodshed that’s happening in many places around the world.
I cry because I am scared…I am terrified that I will never be good enough. That I will never be strong enough to make any sort of change or impact in this merciless world.

While you strut around taking photographs of a coffee at Starbuks, or a happy meal at McDonalds, my mind is too busy racing trying to plan a demonstration against these places and thinking of ways to convince people to stop spending even a penny towards weapons used against unarmed and innocent civilians in Palestine.

And though you have an Arabic background, you so proudly claim, “America is my home!” How? How can you admit to that when they are the reason that your ancestors have been robbed off of their true home?
And although I have never been to any one of the countries I am originally from, I will still proudly claim any day where I am from!

We speak so much about doing things and speaking out. And yet…when we are put in the situation and that position you left me and walked away choosing silence over virtue and basic morals.

Yes… I am sensitive and shed tears quite a lot but I will always have a sort of fierceness and pride that fuels my strength to continue doing whatever it is I can do.
But in my heart I have a sadness, that kind when you feel like something is squeezing your heart and you can’t seem to get rid of it. Because I know in the heart of my heart, that you could be wonderful and have a massive effect if you finally let yourself speak.

For too long….for too long I have been saying and using the excuse…. ‘But I’m only 15.’ ‘But I’m only 16’ ‘But I’m only 17.’ That’s not what the typical 11 year old of Syria nowadays and Gaza said when his parents were murdered and has to take upon raising his sibling alone.
When we were 12 we were too busy running around and having fun, creating good memories with our families completely oblivious to the fact that there is someone our age trying to run a family.

The thing is, I love you my friend, I really do. But I’m struggling to keep up on who is dating who and boybands and materialistic things. I’m struggling with finding more reasons to try and respect you when you won’t even spare a minute to look up a video on what is happening to your people rather than the latest mainstream song.

My friend, I am not trying to scold you, I am just trying to finally let yourself open your eyes.
That we’re as young right now in this moment as we will ever be. And our actions right now are what’s important. You underestimate how much effect you can cause if you take the initiative and first step towards helping those who need us.

It won’t always be easy. At even younger than I am now, I have been looked down upon from my own friends whenever I spoke of what is happening around the world and how we need to step up and raise our voices. I have been ridiculed and scoffed at when I spoke of revolutions.
I have made my opinions heard on any online site I could because it was the closest thing to taking action I could do from where I lived. And I have been humiliated publicly. I have been called the worst of names. But do you think that has stopped me?
Do you think that made me disappear and resort into becoming a ‘typical and ordinary teenager’?
I’m still here. I’m still writing. And I will continue on speaking my mind out and writing.

I have as far as I can remember loved speaking and saying the truth but I by no means am saying that I was always this way in specific. Growing up, I’ve had my share of rebel youth stages. It’s understandable.
And some might argue that even now, I have a sense of immaturity in me. But so what?
You can still hold on to both sides of your world.
You will still make jokes, and listen to music and watch the latest episode, but at least now you are also making a change.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sa) said:

“He who removes from a believer one of his difficulties of this world, Allah will remove one of his troubles on the Day of Resurrection; and he who finds relief for a hard-pressed person, Allah will make things easy for him on the Day of Resurrection; he who covers up (the faults and sins) of a Muslim, Allah will cover up (his faults and sins) in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah supports His slave as long as the slave is supportive of his brother…” [Muslim]

Change. Speak up. Do something….I dare you.