Sunday, July 11, 2021

 As Salaamu Alaikum and Greetings of Peace!

     Well, it's been a long time! And in this day and age of social media, Facebook, Twitter, etc., few folks are blogging anymore. But ... here I still am. What have I been doing all this time since I haven't been able to "get into" my site?!

     Four years ago, I retired from my full-time position as Muslim Chaplain with the PA Department of Corrections (DOC). It was time. My health, my nerves, and my age hinted to me that it was time to move on. I still, however, have contact with incarcerated women and girls.

     I have correspondence privileges with a handful of ladies that I was close with when I worked at my institution. To this day, we write back and worth practically daily. Since I left, the ladies now have email, and they have tablets! Wow! The price of sending an email is cheaper than a postage stamp.

     I'm also a volunteer Muslim Chaplain at a residential facility for juvenile girls. When they have Muslim girls, I go there once a week, for an hour, and it's not a hardship on my health like working at the DOC was. I often get as few as one young Muslimah, and as many as 3-4. Most of the focus is working on teaching the girls how to make salah, and how to pray the al-Fatihah properly. It's very rewarding. 

     Since I left "paying" work, I also started "Project Hurriyyah," (Project Freedom) which helps Muslim woman and girls who are incarcerated/on parole/probation. We publish a monthly newsletter which we distribute to a few facilities, and it's put together by a fabulous sister from Canada who would rather remain anonymous, but Alhamdulillah, this newsletter would not be possible without her. You can go to our Facebook page, same name, "Project Hurriyyah," and there's an archive of our newsletters there. Check them out!

     Other than that, I'm still involved with our masjid Sunday school, however, I'm no longer the principal, am now "just" an Arabic teacher. Loving it! Less stress. Last year, for the first time since starting our school in 2004, we were not open due to Covid, but we are now getting ready to re-open for September. Ironic, but while trying to access the school's website, I actually came across this here blog! Now: if only I could get into the old school website to delete it! I had to re-create a whole new school website. Eh, all in all, I'm satisfied: I now can get into my own blog here, and the school has a new site on Wordpress. I HATE Google: they eat up everything.

     Other than that, I am taking it easy, enjoying the life of a retired person, still gardening, making jewelry, making photographs, and basically doing what I want, when I want. Little pressure. 

     OH! The most important thing! I have been attending Bucknell University since retirement as an audit student. How can I forget that! Since I already have a college degree, don't intend to work anymore, I don't care about the credentials, credits, etc., so I'm auditing. It's very inexpensive, and no pressure. I've taken enough credits at this point to be a college sophomore ha ha. This semester, Fall, I'm taking two courses, one in Chinese Women's Literature, and the other The Russian short story. Am so excited. 

     Okay, enough for now. Tell me what you've been up to. I "think" I'm ready to complete my post, "Am I Still Jewish" for those of you who remember.

MaSalaame and Peace