Sweetness, Sisterhood, and Savouries: Introducing… The ح Family.

.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Photo Creds: Miss Shahanaz.

The (real-life) story of a family who live in Greater London. Souther than South London. Two sisters, their mum, and their dad.

Their mum: makes the most delicious food, Allah hummabārik. Chicken Biryani with little inventive twists, like broken up kofte pieces throughout it. The colours, the salads. She (ء) works, on weekdays, at a school designed for children with special needs. It isn’t necessarily an ‘easy’ job: sometimes the children under her care hit. Spit, and punch.

ء is currently nine months pregnant. Due to drop (not a mixtape, but a child) any day now. And, yet: just yesterday, she had been driving. Her husband in one car, and she, following behind, in another. She’d gone for ice-cream: something she had been craving.

And her cousin, ف, had gone around to theirs to stay for a few days. So that the kids have an adult around, in case the drop happens. ف wondered if she should go and take the kids out for ice-cream, and leave ء to rest in the comfort of her home.

“No! The ice-cream’s for me!” ء had clarified.

And at the dessert shop, ء’s plate had come first.

The waiter kept slamming things down onto the table.

And ء had ordered an extra dessert for herself: eating for two and all. But she hadn’t managed to finish it: it had gone home with her.

ء’s husband works as a security guard. He makes (loving) fun of his wife’s driving. She struggles with parallel parking: there are evidential patches on her car that she has attempted to fix with… brown tape.

“See that green thing there?”

A (damaged) mini green dividing pole, in the car park area of their place.

I did that.”

ء’s little daughters: one is simultaneously… so cute, and so tough. Got mixed up with the words, ‘fiancé’, and… Beyoncé. Designed a cake in her diary yesterday. Makes her mum laugh a lot.

The other: gentle, and sweet, and helpful, and she likes sports and writing. Likes to cook, just like her mum. And: quite admirably, Maa Shaa Allah : she already prays five times daily, at this age. Because children, and perhaps all of us, naturally absorb whatever we find ourselves immersed in.

In the near vicinity of the ح family home: the girls’ Islamic school. The girls’ primary school. ء’s workplace school. The grocery shop, the dentist’s, a Lidl. And just a short drive to the rest of the things.

The ح family, then, Maa Shaa Allah , Allah hummabārik:

Headed by a loving, friendly, and strong-minded man and woman. Who poke fun at one another from time to time, and since they are husband and wife who are friends. Really good biryani, and desserts from time to time.

There’s (pink-and-purple) room for religion, certainly, and for the value of sisterhood. Sometimes, the girls’ dad takes them out, for some added quality time: coming up is… a choice, for the younger daughter, between bowling, or the funfair. She chose: her own third made-up option. That is: to go and eat out with her dad.

Room, also, for academics, for creativity, and the nurtured niceness of… girlhood.

They already have a name in mind for incoming Sister #3, In Shaa Allah . And just who might this little baby turn out to be?

[Perhaps: a girl (or boy) with a sweet tooth and with athletic inclinations. Because: her (or maybe even his) mother loves bubble tea, and ice-cream. And has also been climbing up and down three flights of stairs, and while heavily pregnant, on a daily basis at her place of work].

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