WED 28/12/22: Punch ‘im! Punch his *beard* off. And: The Observer Effect.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

The Arabic that most of my blog posts begin with: we call this the Basmala. AKA: the Tasmiyyah. It means: In the Name of God, the Most Merciful, the Most Kind.

Part of what I want for my life, from here onwards, In Shaa Allah (God-Willing,) is: to stay up after Fajr. Especially in Winter: when outside is just so cold, and when warmth, actual warmth, beckons…

Discipline is very meaningful. Really quite good for you. Today, I did: wake up before Fajr. Carry out my (gentle and step-by-step) morning routine.

I thought that this week: I would document my day-to-day. Like how vloggers on YouTube do.


The Observer Effect.

Otherwise known as the Hawthorne Effect. This is a phenomenon whereby things, or people, change how they behave, in light of being seen, observed, by others.

I completely understand the human need to share: to be seen by, and affirmed by, smiled at by, others. I sincerely think this is one of the reasons as to why YouTubers… YouTube. You know: those relaxing, structured ‘study-with-mes’ and all? Just as they are beneficial and soothing for the observers:

They must, it seems, be quite beneficial for the producers. You know how… you’ll alter things at least a little, when guests come around? ‘Fix’ your appearance, quickly tidy some things…

The mess on the table is alright for you to deal with: it’s calm, it’s casj.

But, when you’re about to have guests:

Clean up!

Essentially: having the best company. Friends, family…

Is so, so good for us. We naturally want to feel affirmed, and to make good impressions. So do try, as much as we can, to surround ourselves with good company. With people who love God, and whom God also Loves. They’re truly worth ‘impressing’!


So, yes: with a few assignments due, and other things to do, for me…

I thought I’d do this whole documentation thing. Vlogging, but make it: blogging.

Y’all are the observers.

We’re not made to be, nor do things, ‘alone’. The human being is a sharing one!

Thursday 27th December 2022.

Currently, I’m 22. Yesterday, my dad turned 46.

I get inspired through Pinterest quite a lot, I’d say.

A piece of advice I’d heard from a YouTuber recently is: speak about, write about, your ‘dream life’ as though it’s already happened, already happening.

I also, as per some advice she’d given:

Made my own ‘The Life I would Like’ board on Pinterest. It’s realistic stuff, truth be told. It’s the kind of life I want.

Every single day counts: we don’t just ‘wake up’ one day, having ‘arrived’ at our ‘Futures™’. It’s errdayyy.

This is a sample of what this Pinterest board of mine comprises:

More than manifesting *rose emoji, sparkle emojis*. It’s about making Duʿa for it, friends.

*I love gentleness. It’s such a thing of beauty, it is. Gentleness, cleanness, and health. All good for the soul.*

I went through a particularly rough time in my life. Maybe even for a while. And when God makes the flowers grow in your life again:

It’s amazing. You never thought you’d ever be here. AlHamduliLlah. I hope that there’s even more that my Lord has in store, for this (first, not Forever,) life of mine.

First personal accomplishment from having started this vlogblog series:

I filled out a form I’ve been meaning to fill out. It’s necessary for me to get paid from CCM (Cambridge Central Masjid, where I’m an evening teacher).

Thank you Observer Effect. You help wid overcoming procrastination sometimes, you do.

My signature: is basically my name, followed by a star. The star is also meant to be an ‘A’, for my surname. I got the idea from… a Disney movie. Dylan Schoenfield, in the movie ‘Geek Charming’…

She signs her name with ‘Dylan’, followed by a heart. So that’s what I did. Sadia heart. And then: Sadia star.

We also: went out to eat yesterday. At Roosters Piri Piri, in Mile End.

Have you seen this video:

This boy is sooo cute and funny. Maa Shaa Allah.

How to find this video on YouTube:

And here it is:

This is a good philosophy for life. Thank you, Jackson.

Look at your problems, and do an

Upper cut to ’em.

In other news:

My beloved friend and housemate, Sasha, got a blender recently. Blend-inspiration from Pinterest:

And some more:


Wednesday 28th December 2022.

Day 10 of my being 22 years of age in this here ugly Dunya.

My aunt (dad’s cousin) spoke into a fan. We went to the British Museum together, not too long ago. And she thought that my talking into fans (obviously, when there’s not people around. I, too, have operant capacities for shame…) was embarrassing.

But ya know what? First they criticise, then they copy.

I love Farzana: she’s so cool, Maa Shaa Allah.

She: is in Bangladesh in the moment. And: is very caring and wise. And: has a cat friend called Minnie. And: is currently a PhD student, Maa Shaa Allah.

This is from el morning prayer this morning:

Praying by a fan heater holds memreez for me: my mum would often do the same. And this prayer mat: it was mine some twelve years ago, and is still here, still in good condition.

Read some Qur’an. Then:

With breakfast, (which was… cake. Not gonna lie. Milk cake that my dad gave to me yesterday,) I finished watching Farha. The reality of the establishment of the nation of ‘Israel’ is harrowing to think about. And it’s definitely something I would like to learn more about.


I loved this.

And then I went to Waitrose. Got some bread and butter for my mum. And: some chocolate, cashew nuts, and blueberries. And a lemon. For me. And I’d been careful to not put my items on anything gross/questionable in the bagging area.

A single lemon from Waitrose is currently 30p. Maybe in the future, it’ll be £3.00 or something, and we’ll look back on these here ‘Good Old Days’.

Or, maybe lemons go extinct in the future.

Or maybe they decrease in price, to like, 3p each. Who knows, but God?

In London: my home is in an area called Wapping. Which is famous, in part, for being where the whole News of the World scandal took place. The whole phone-hacking thing, if you remember.

Incidentally: I also went to school with the son of the (former. Until 2020,) editor of the Sunday Times, for two years. He was my competition in English [healthy, good-natured competition is good: helps us grow, I think]. His name’s Gabriel, and he said I write like an Economist journalist. Which is an insult to me, really: what with their evident right-wing ‘Liberal’ agenda. And he also wondered, once, what my rationale behind italicising words so much is.

Why, it’s for emphasis, of course.

Here’s a hireable electric bike I saw, on my (rainy) little walk. Part of my new morning routine involves doing some, at least some, exercise in the morning. This can include a small walk.

Offers 10 minutes of free bike-riding without an unlocking fee, daily. And is also ‘truly green’, according to a quick Google (nay: Ecosia. Big up Ecosia: we care about this beautiful planet of ours!) search.

And now here’s some validation I received from Sasha, on my recent blog article:

I love having Sasha in my life. And living with her, and seeing her often. What a blessing from Allah she is.

Cats are to Sasha as football is to my brother, Saif.

I wonder what my ‘thing’ is, in that sense. Fllllllowers. May-haps. Probably. No?

Today, I also:

  • Wrote an email for my mum, to Wren Kitchens. About our kitchen.

  • Got kindly kicked out of the dining room. Since my little brother’s Qur’an teacher arrived. Now I’m in the kitchen. Filled my hot water bottle with… hot water. This hot water bottle is covered in a soft jumper, let’s call it. Purchased from the big Tesco in Cambridge

  • I also: procrastinated a bit on Pinterest. But what’s life without a bit of good ‘procrastination’.

And I’m thinking about how. It’s important for me to not look ‘back’. Sometimes things come and they go. I sillily looked back for a while, and girl did that get me into a bad situation.

Trust that your Lord Knows; better, for you, is coming. It’ll take you by surprise, just as many of life’s joys and beauties do!

This morning, at Waitrose, I overheard a lady (I think they both work there,) ask another lady how her Christmas was.

I cannot relate, babes [that’s just a general babes. Not: patronisingly, at the nice ladies.]

However: Eid is not too long away. I accept my gifts in money, nice clothes, and good books that I likely may enjoy looking at, but then end up not actually fully reading. I look forward to getting married, In Shaa Allah. I want to read books next to my spouse, and for him to read me bedtime stories. Manifest [make Duʿa for] it, baby gurl.


Sometimes ‘procrastination’ just means that your brain needs to decompress.

My brother randomly walked into the kitchen and said “shut up” to me today, when I was humming. I often hum: sometimes (accidentally,) even when I’m outside, walking.

And also, later, Saif hit me with a rugby (American football) cushion.

Schnacks:

The above a-bit-oddly-shaped jug/bottle thing. Originally had a lychee juice drink in it. And, one day, when some friends of mine had been around at my house: we (young, early twenties) could not open it.

It was my nan (elderly, stroke patient,) who’d managed to open it. With a knife, I think. Tough lady, Maa Shaa Allah.

When life gives you lemons:

Be a bit bougie, innit. Put it in a jug; make lemon water! It’s good for your skin and immune/digestive system apparently.


Ah, I also wanted to incorporate some, at least some, Arabic practice into my daily (morning) routines.

The time is currently 12:30, but, yes, the day does feel longer, since I’d woken up earlier.

AlHamduliLlah. [This means: Praise/Thanks is for God.]

*My brother just asked me if I want to play a board game with him. My nan gave him a new one today. I said later.

أنا أحب أخي

لدينا القليل من الخلافات والحجج ولكن هذا عادي

“I love my brother

We have a few disagreements and arguments but that’s normal.”

Normal = عادي

ʿAadee.

*I want to feel like I’m progressing in Arabic. Needa… feel more immersed in the beauty of the language, methinks.

One reason as to why Arabic is so important to me is: it is the language of my religion. A uniquely sacred language.

Moreover: as far as we know, on my mum’s side, at least… We are ancestrally from Yemen. This is significant to me because I only really saw the beauty in how God has fashioned me… When I started to consider Yemeni standards of beauty! [Sometimes ‘Bengali beauty standards’ = fair, white. And that’s it, really. And I ain’t it.]

I wonder which of my ancestors I might really look like. Maybe she loved words, and flowers, as much as I do. But perhaps she spoke Arabic primarily, and not English.

And maybe she was kinda small, and not tall.

Thank you, great-great-great somewhere-down-the-line grandma, for existing. Your skin tone must’ve looked good with olive green, because I think mine does too. I wonder if you had… curly hair. And a sweet tooth. Etc.


Not normal, in Arabic, is:

عجيب

ʿAjeeb.

Or, also, I think: ghayri ʿaadee. Abnormal.

عجيب has two simultaneous meanings:

Weird’, and ‘Wonderful’.

At the same time!


Not quite ‘fitting in’.

Maybe these here thoughts are mere remnants of ‘teenage angst’. But:

I’ve felt like I really haven’t ‘fit in’ in certain places, before. Even though, paradoxically, at the very same time: I have.

It’s like a half-and-half. -ish. Sometimes, and sometimes.

Sometimes: like you’re almost definitely a part of things. People know you, recognise you. But it’s like, sometimes, they’re seeing a construct, a mask, of ‘you’.

And then you feel ‘separate’, and ‘not quite’. Not really a part of things.

Today I received an ‘alumni newsletter’ from a former school of mine. And it’s strange just how far away I feel from things pertaining to it.

But my own personal experience within the school has been significant. For me: meeting my best friend. My conversations with the school counsellor. Being friends with my friend Joanna, for example.

Spending time in the washrooms with my friend Ayaan, and looking over at office buildings and thinking about how much we don’t want to work there.

Oh, and:

Being told I wasn’t allowed to join the school’s version of the school council because the headteacher felt I would ‘disagree‘ with him ‘too much’.

So much for ‘democracy’. But, hey: that’s ‘Liberalism’ for thee. [It’s all about the ‘people’, until they hold opinions that those in power deem to be ‘wrong’.]

*I think things like this can lead you to question: is it something uniquely wrong with me? Am I too bitter, and disagreeable?

Nah, I think the school’s ethos, its values, were fundamentally all about dat ‘Liberal’ life. It’s good I don’t fit into it so well [I don’t want to], and it makes cents. [Misspelling intended, @grammar police.]

*Now, after lunch, ’tis time for a nap.

Chicken from Roosters Piri Piri (yesterday).

Veggies from when my dad got them from Sainsbury’s.

Potato waffles and hash brown: from my mum.

A good lunch, AlHamduliLlah!

*If you feel ‘different’ in a place. ‘Alienated’, even, and so on.

It means: you bring something!

@me in Great Britain, the place of my birth and residence.

[Imagine someone in the distance making that ‘joke’ again about the horse being raised in the barn or something like that. And then you point out the facts of their Roman (Italian) and Viking heritage and so on, as well as the fact that India was made a part of Britain, under its empire etc etc. London, for example: a post-imperial centre through the ages.

Oh wait, you need to justify your being and ‘belonging’ just as much/as little as they do. They’re talking about something about horses and stables and barns. You’re thinking about having some real good lasagne tonight, you know how it be.]


So maybe it’s true that that nap overran.

Maybe: that’s really not such a bad thing.

Delayed gratification: I’ve decided that I won’t be finishing this entire chocolate bar today. I could, but I… won’t. [Wow! You are welcome, my dear pancreas babes.]

I am really grateful to have Sasha in my life. My sister. God Planned this all perfectly.

You know: I could have had any other housemate. Someone mean, someone cold and distant, and not a lover of crafts and colour and mean humour…

Yet Allah put Sasha right in my life, and in my house. And in my blog comments.

[Have you ever had a dream that came true? These are good visions from Allah.

I had a dream about the Cambridge house before moving in there! It is, in more ways than one, a prayer come true. AlHamduliLlah.]


This is how many tabs I’ve got open at the moment:

From 17:00 to 18:30: tutoring my two English students. Yasin and Shaiful. The play ‘An Inspector Calls’.

Looking at characters and themes: how to approach questions relating to either one. Currently on a 5-minute break.

We’re gonna put one foot //

In front of the other.

Get tripped up, and step on ‘another.”

That’s from some TV series I used to watch. ‘Life with Boys‘: a Canadian sitcom. I actually loved it.

“Don’t need to fight it, no need to deny:

That it’s a crazy life, a random life,

A wonderful life.”


Home.

What makes you feel… at home?

What do you love, actually?

*Homework: write a list. Of about 10 things. Here’s mine:

  1. Chicken. Cooked right.
  2. Chocolate.
  3. Humour. The right kind.
  4. My brother, my little cousins.
  5. Kids, awwww.
  6. The colour mustard yellow.
  7. Warmth. Cosy vibes.
  8. The sunshine.
  9. Cleanness.
  10. Travels/adventures.

Here’s my brother doing Sharpie art, on wooden things:

A sign for his room. With his name, and his cat’s name. Saif and Safi.

Today, I also:

Made a list of things I do not want, in this life.


It is 2 AM, the next day, at the Ahmed residence.

Earlier: my brother hit me, so I kicked him. He made fun, again, of how I kick.

I threatened him with the following spoon:

He said:

At least choose one that doesn’t have curry on it.

This boy.

We all: went out to eat again. My uncle (aunt’s husband) recently got a new job, AlHamduliLlah. He’s a mechanical engineer, Maa Shaa Allah. We went out to eat at a Turkish restaurant in a part of London called Haringey.

I: couldn’t really be bothered for this outing. But: a great thing about being a hijābi is that you can just put an ʿAbayah over anything, and voila. You’re ready to go. So that’s what I did, with my pyjama trousers underneath. But nobody knew.

After a, let’s say, half-an-hour drive:

I thought we were in Tooting. Lots of Turkish shops. But, nay:

We were in North London, a part of this beautiful city that I’m not that used to. But, how does one know, quite quickly, that it is North London?

Look around you. Lots of people wearing The North Face jackets, duh.

Yeah, I had a vegetarian meal. A falafel and hummus wrap, with chips and ayran (a salty yoghurt drink).

Turkish tea:

Remember that:

After food:

We went back to my cousins’ house. It was about 10PM. Late. The others wanted to play some game: I think it’s sort of like Mafia.

But I wanted to sleep. I LOVE sleep: it’s no doubt a hobby of mine. And I love being antisocial sometimes; Wednesday Addams is an inspiration. So I asked my cousin.

Maryam loves plants, it seems, these days. One time, we were in Poundland together, on our way either to or back from a park. And I bought some fertiliser bottles for my plants. Maryam called me a “psychopath“. But, see: first they criticise. Then they become, it seems: devoted plant mothers themselves.

[Uh-oh… Who’s watering my plant son Max back in Cambridge…?]

How life can look when it’s almost 2AM and you’re accidentally feeling irritable, and family members are calling you to go home:

A recitation of the Qur’an that is especially relaxing, and which Maryam had introduced me to:

The End.

“Exhibit a beautiful patience.”

Indeed, your Lord has got beautiful things planned for you. Trust Him.

  • Adios! Until tomorrow, In Shaa Allah…

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