Wednesday, October 28, 2009


This is my new cat.

Actually, he's my neighbor's cat. But, I made the mistake of feeding him a few times. So now he's as good as my cat :)

His name is Buddy.

Every time I step outside of my door, Buddy comes rushing over to my porch.

Buddy was living with my neighbor's daughter. When she returned home to live with my neighbor, Buddy came with her. But since he is destructive in the house, he now lives outside.

Awww ... how could you throw a cute guy like this outside?

I usually give Buddy a handful of dry cat food.

Yesterday, I gave Buddy a can of wet food.

In the way of cat gratitude, this is what Buddy left on my door step this morning. (I spared you all a close-up!)

I guess he loves me :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

H1N1 Vaccine Jihad and Some Thoughts on Personal Emergency Preparedness

Somes I watch CNN too much. This outlet is one of my sources for what's going on in the world. I really like it because no one can beat them when it comes to breaking news.

But the recent Balloon Boy madness (no, I'm not linking to it) almost did me in, chasing me to my old standbys: History Channel, National Geographic, SciFi, etc.

You all know that the media sometimes has a tendency to overblow things with their parade of talking heads, one-sided perspective, etc. However, in the case of the H1N1 or "Swine Flu," I thank Allah (swt) for CNN's coverage. It's about the only place one can get some real comprehensive coverage.

Why do I worry about H1N1?

Well, I am in one of the high risk categories: Adults Under 65 with Certain Underlying Medical Conditions (People with conditions including asthma, diabetes, suppressed immune systems, heart disease, kidney disease, and neurocognitive and neuromuscular disorders should receive the H1N1 vaccination to prevent further complications.)

I have asthma (in addition to a host of other opportunities to expiate sin, Alhamdulillah). And every year, I get pnemonia. So my jihad to find an H1N1 shot has begun. But I haven't had much luck. It's been downright frustrating. I have had to do a lot of leg work and personal research.

1. I started with my doctor's office:

a. no, we don't have the shots/spray yet
b. no, we don't know when we'll be getting it
c. you're not in a high risk group (WTF?!)
d. no, we're not keeping a waiting list
e. no, we don't have a strategic plan for who will be getting them when/if the supply arrives
f. no, we don't have the ability to identify our patients who are in the high risk group (despite the fact that my provider uses automated medical records - my doctor comes into my room with a laptop each time she seems me - shouldn't they be able to press a key and come up with the info? They know how to call me when it's time for an annual gynecological exam! Even my vetinarian sends me yearly check up postcards for my cats!)
g. no, we have no plan - we have thousands of patients - how can you expect us to do this - keep calling back - first-come, first-serve basis when/if the supply arrives

2. Next step is that I vent to my Muslim sister about the situation. Well, she took her son to the local medical center clinic for some other problem, and he was offered the vaccine while they were there. But she (who is an educated university professor) didn't let them give it to him due to conspiracy theories about the vaccine. "I don't know enough about it, if it's safe, what's in it, I'd like to know more." Okay sis. You have this right.

(Sister, if you're reading this, you know I love you. But do you REALLY KNOW what EXACTLY is in that seasonal flu shot you got? No. You relied on what information is out there.)

An Aside/Rant - SabiWabi has covered this issue over at her place. Jazaka Allahu Khayr, Sabi. Conspiracy theories can kill Muslims. Yes, I know there is unsavory history in the past (Tuskeegee experiments, etc.). But, if you watched the 60 Minutes coverage a few weeks ago of children in intensive care with Swine Flu, or watched the crying grieving parents who regretted the decision to not vaccinate their kids who died from Swine Flu, you'd probably be standing outside of your doctor's office with a flaming torch. You, as an informed Muslim parent, must study the available facts/research and make a decision for your children. Don't drink the Kool-Aid in Muslim cyber-space.

3. I call my doc back over the weekend and leave a message on their machine. I'm coming next week, Insha Allah, for blood work, I tell them. I explain that I was told that the local medical center has the vaccine in. I'll take the vaccine while I'm there for blood work. They call me back - no can do. We don't have it. (Why not? Did your practice register with the government for a supply?)

4. I call the medical center next. They tell me that they do not have a supply of vaccine. I confront them. I tell them that my friend's son was offered a vaccine there. And while she was there, she claims that she was offered one. The phone operator acts confused. I remain silent on the other end and wait. She then admits to me that they had it in their Pediatric Clinic - but only for their clinic patients. They only ordered enough for them, no extra for availability to the non-clinic public should the request be made.

Ah ha - there are secret guarded supplies (ya conspiracy theories!). Couldn't she have told the truth in the first place instead of saying that they didn't have it. Translation: "We don't have it for you or your family!"

But she does give me feedback. She suggests that I call the number on the back of my insurance card. She claims that the insurance companies HAVE TO keep a list of providers.

5. I call my insurance company. No, it is not true; we have no such list. How can we know which health care providers have registered to receive a supply for their practices?

6. I check the PA Department of Health website. No luck. But, they suggest to keep checking back. When they know something, they will post it, they claim.

So, this is where it is at to date for me.

But I wonder. If a person like me - who is resourceful, pissed off and motivated when on a mission, computer literate, insurance covered, etc. - is frustrated, imagine how everyone else is coping?

What about those people and parents who are not as blessed as I am?

What about the uninsured? Those not affiliated with a doctor or clinic? Those who have to use emergency rooms as their primary health care provider?

Who protects the general public at large? Is the H1N1 situation a healthcare Katrina in the making?

Maybe the people in the Survivalist movement are on to something. Is it any wonder that there are people in America stocking up on guns, ammo, food, water, medicine, generators, batteries, etc. What will you do when you can't use your laptop, iPhone, or Blackberry, loool?

President Obama has declared a national emergency for the H1N1 flu crisis. It is supposed to help cut the red tape. Oh yea, right.

Concerning the conspiracy theories about the vaccine, I know of one way President Obama can help.

Remember when he and his wife went to Kenya before he was running for president? Remember how he and his wife got tested for HIV, right in front of the people, and with media cameras covering the event?

Why doesn't he have his little girls get the vaccine and cover it the same way? I think it would help the American people and those everywhere else feel better about getting their kids vaccinated.

One thing I'm doing while I'm waiting for my vaccine? I'm changing doctors!

Go Yankees!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Second Islamic Writers Alliance (IWA) Anthology Now Available for Sale!

Muslim Writers Publishing (MWP) and the Islamic Writers Alliance are proud to announce the release for sale of our second anthology, Many Voices, One Faith II - Islamic Fiction Stories.

Yours truly has two short stories published in this anthology, Alhamdulillah!

Book Description:
Today's world is indeed a global village. The wonders of technology in communication and travel have cut through the distant miles which used to separate us from one another. Many Voices, One Faith II - Islamic Fiction Stories is a literary example of the small world we are all a part of, showcasing the talents of the Islamic Writers Alliance membership which reach around the globe in their respective residences and origins. From the cover design of one of the beautiful names of Allah, beautiful and original interior illustrations, and the unique story-telling talent of the authors, their original stories combine the diversity and flavor of their backgrounds. You will find almost every region of the world exemplified in these wonderful Islamic fiction stories which skillfully and creatively present the importance of Islam in our daily lives. Many Voices, One Faith II - Islamic Fiction Stories is an enjoyable, entertaining, and enlightening read for non-Muslims as well as Muslims. Many Voices, One Faith II - Islamic Fiction Stories is the ultimate in the variety of selections written by some of the best Islamic Fiction authors in today's fiction book markets. Read. Enjoy. Benefit.

Pages: 236
Format: 6 x 9 paperback
ISBN: 978-0-9819770-1-0
Reading Levels: Teen and Adult
List Price: $12.95

The anthology will be listed at popular online retail stores in about a week. If you want to order now please do so by sending the following information to this email address: Be sure you include the following mailing information: Your mailing name, mailing address (street/city/state/zip code) and phone # and number of copies you would like to order. You will be notified by email of the total cost including shipping fee. You can then advise if you will pay using USD check or payment through PayPal by sending payment to

You can also order from me in about a week, Insha Allah!

I'm so psyched!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Abu Sinan and His Family Need Help!

This is a photo of Sinan. He is the son of our fellow blogger and Muslim brother, Abu Sinan.

Little Sinan lives with Autism and the family needs help to provide therapy for him.

Please go here to read about Sinan and help if you can.

May Allah (swt) reward you if you can help. No amount is too small.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fighting Poverty with Shirk?

I received the following press release from ISNA today. Sounds like a nice thing ... until you read the "interfaith prayer" closely. See for yourself and read my feedback at the end:


National Faith Leaders Offer Interfaith Prayer in Effort to Create Good Jobs, Green Jobs for Nation’s Poor

Source: ISNA (Washington, DC – October 13, 2009) Four national faith leaders representing Jews, Christians and Muslims have united to offer a new interfaith prayer calling for the creation of new, sustainable and green job opportunities for the poor.

Written by Rabbi Steve Gutow, president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA); Rev. Larry Snyder, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA); Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches in Christ in the USA; and Dr. Sayyid Syeed, national director for the Islamic Society of North America’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances, the new prayer will be offered at public events across the country during the Fighting Poverty with Faith: Good Jobs, Green Jobs mobilization effort, including a special reading by the prayer’s authors at the Fighting Poverty with Faith’s concluding event in Washington on October 21.

Held this year between October 14 and 21, the Fighting Poverty with Faith mobilization will organize members from 34 national faith organizations at public events across the country to encourage government officials to fight poverty by ensuring equal opportunities for training and employment for the nation’s most vulnerable while working to usher in a new green economy.

The religious leaders’ prayer reads:

Merciful and compassionate God, Divine Architect, Your people and your planet call to you, for both are suffering.
So many of your children cry out for shelter, food, and meaningful work. Make us partners, we pray, in your work of caring for all in need.
So much of your Creation groans from the effects of our pollution. Make us partners, we pray, in your work of healing the earth. Help us to create jobs that both honor the needs of your planet as well as those holy souls who have no work.
Please give to those who lead a vision of the day when every person, created in your sacred image, has employment with a living wage. Give to us gathered here the courage to speak for those without voice, the strength to act on our convictions, the discernment to see the world as you want it to be, and the wisdom to respond together as persons of different faiths. In these moments with one another, may we feel your presence and together praise your holy name.

Okay readers ...

Will Dr. Sayyid Syeed from ISNA and other Muslims "leaders" be reading this "prayer," asking Allah (swt) to make His "children" partners with Him?!

I am shocked beyond words at ISNA. I'm sure I will have more to say later :)

The biggest problem here, other than the obvious shirk, is that ISNA seeks to represent all Muslims in North America. They are already trying to push their astrological dates on us for Ramadan and Eid.

I think it is dangerous that they will soon be the organization in America speaking for all Muslims. Then we will all have to abide by their view of Islam.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tara ...

Your face and your smile haunts me
I am so sorry
Please forgive me
I didn't know that you
Were in so much pain

May your Shahadah
Speak for you on
The Last Day

Thursday, October 01, 2009

CNN Hero of the Year

I voted for Brad Blauser.

Brad Blauser is providing hope and mobility to disabled children and their families in Iraq. Since 2005, his Wheelchairs for Iraqi Kids program has distributed nearly 650 free pediatric wheelchairs to children in need. Full story

You can vote for him or some other deserving person. Trust me; it is really difficult to choose!

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