Wow! I've been so busy!
In addition to my usual tendency to over-schedule myself, lol, I just returned from another trip to Turkey. The first two times I went, our itinerary was limited to Istanbul. This time, we visited five cities altogether!
From Istanbul, we took a plane to Sanliurfa, also known as the City of Ur, City of the Prophets, birthplace of the Prophet Ibriheem (as), place of trial and healing of Ayyub (as), etc., birthplace of Ibn Tamiyyah (ra) ... The city of Harran, mere miles from the northern border of Syria, was my favorite place in Sanliurfa.
From Sanliurfa, we journeyed to Ankara, then on to Konya, then on to Izmir, and then returned to Istanbul.
All of this in 10 days!!! Got great photographs. Visit me at my Flickr site (link on the sidebar here) and click on "Sanliurfa" and "Harran" folders. Eventually, I will add Konya and Izmir folders, Insha Allaah.
I returned home to the wonderful news that "Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women" will be released for publication in February of 2012.
And I can finally announce to you all that Yours Truly has contributed her story to this anthology!
Below is a description of the book from Amazon (where the book is available for pre-order):
"In this groundbreaking collection, American Muslim women writers sweep aside stereotypes to share their real-life tales of flirting, dating, longing, and sex. Their stories show just how varied the search for love can be -- from singles' events and college flirtations to arranged marriages, all with a uniquely Muslim twist.
These heartfelt tales are filled with passion and hope, loss and longing. One follows the quintessential single woman in the big city as she takes a chance on a Muslim speed-dating event. Another tells of a shy student from a liberal college town who falls in love online and must reveal her secret to her conseervative family. A third recounts a Southern girl who surprises herself by agressing to an arranged marriage, unexpectedly finding the love of her life.
These compelling stories of love and romance create an irresistible balance of heart-warming and tantalizing, always revealing and deeply relatable."
Writing the story of my search for love and happiness within the context of Islaamic marriage was difficult and challenging for me. At first, I wrote it in a very general way, without much detail. Since I was using my real name for the story, I was shy to release intimate information about my family and husbands (yes, more than one: buy the book and read the details!). But the editors, Nura Maznavi and Ayesha Mattu, did an expert job of helping me to flesh out the details while still maintaining integrity and sensitivity.
I say it was challenging to write this story because the process forced me to take a good look at myself: at my personal strengths and weaknesses, my choices, and mostly importantly, my relationship with Allaah t'ala.
Writing my story catapulted me, again, into the past, dared me to re-live the pain and learn from it, but most of all, affirmed that Allaah t'ala is sufficient for me, and trust in Him always pays off!
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