Thursday, January 27, 2005
People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.
If you are successful you will win some false friends and true enemies; Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; It was never between you and them anyway.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
At last! A template I can live it's not the most exciting news, I know, but I figured out how to make all these changes to an existing template on my own, and I finally have a blog that simple but creative. :) A more inspiring (or at least less boring) post will come soon...really...I promise!
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
I finally figured out this template thing for the blog so was able to put up something a little different than the basic ones they give you...I always have to do things just a little different...(goes back to that whole change thing I'm always dealing with lol) :D
Fear factor: 44 percent of Americans queried in Cornell national poll favor curtailing some liberties for Muslim Americans

I didn't know quite how to feel about this article. It was certainly a mix of emotions - fear, disgust, anger and bewliderment would likely sum it up. I don't know whether to blame America, or Americans, or whether to blame anyone. It'd be too easy to turn the heat twoards the media or on "Dubya" and his gang of bandits. I mean sure, theyre definitely a part of the problem by spreading biased stories that cause more hatred towards Muslims and Islam. But I also blame me. I blame myself for not being more proactive and helping to spread a more positive outlook on Islam. Had I written to newspapers or called into radio shows dicussing related topics, maybe I'd have reached more people. I could write a book. Why not? I've got the time and patience and aptitude. I think a lot of people do. But what exactly stops us. It's great when we get those sparks of ideas in our head from time to time, or at least I do. Walking through Zellers just last week I thought about a conversation I had with my manager about Islam and how he had read in Irshad Manji's book that in Islam we aren't allowed to question things. I explained to him that this was not true and he was very interested and understanding. But as I weaved through aisles in the store, I realized, if there was one person like that, there's sure to be many.

The morning after the 9/11 attacks I called into a local radio show, which nornally was a Top 40's station gearing towards teens and wannabe teens, that was talking about the tradegy and taking callers a majority of whom were talking about where they were when they heard the news and how awful it was that it happened. Since the day before I heard continuously about who was the likely culprit and who was to blame. People kept referring to guilty as "they" and "them". "Why would they do such a thing", "How do we avoid them". I was getting ready for school that morning while listening when it hit me, what if I was considered one of "them"? Me and millions of other Muslims all over the world who had nothing to do with the attacks and were against such violence would undoubtedly become targets. Then one of those sparks hit me. I should call and say something - anything, help make it better. I grabbed the phone and called in. The phone was answered almost immediately and someone on the other end took my name and asked me what it was I wanted to say. Voice quivering I explained to him that I was a Muslim who wanted to explain to people that Muslims were against these attacks and wanted only for people not to blame anyone for what had happened. I was put on hold and some minutes later put on the air. Now, many of you might think that's no big deal, but I was nervous! My voice was shaking and I had no coherent sentence made up in my mind. The hosts were generous though and asked me questions and I repeated what I had told the guy who answered the phone. They readily agreed with me and once I hung up, I turned up the radio again and heard them urging people to be understanding and to indeed not place unnecessary blame. That was one of my few moments of glory. Not because I was on the radio, I'm sure many of us have called in to request songs or win some prize. I was hopeful that just maybe what I said meant something to someone listening. Someone who may have gone to work and looked suspiciously at the lady in the cubicle across from her with the last name "Mohammed", but now thought twice and decided not to.

It's those sparks we've got to grab. Those tiny little impulses swimming around in our head that sound worthy enough to be given a second thought. Now mind you, I did called a talk radio show that same evening (hoping to be more eloquent this time) and did get on air again, only to be shot down by the host of the show and hung up on as I was speaking (to this day I will not listen to CFRB 1010). My point is that we need to get out there and do something profound however miniscule the scale is. If Carpe Diem (Seize the Day) is too much, try Carpe Occasio (Seize the Opportunity) [yes I looked up the word...the nerd I am].

Although I've gone off on a different tangent from what the article talks about, restricting civil liberties for Muslim Americans also raises questions of rights, democracy and equailty. Though I don't believe that any such actions will be (publicly) implemented, it's still disturbing to know that such a large number of the respondents in the poll agreed with these drastic measures. I remember post-911 hearing about vandalized mosques and attacks on women and men who either were distinctly Muslim, or resembling so. My own cousin was threatened and her friend had her head scarf pulled off by a woman who began slapping her while screaming vulgarities. I'm fairly confident in my belief that Canadians would not openly resort to such hatred or acts (though I have heard rumors about such attacks...) the US isn't so far away from us. We can take advantage of this as well by seizing moments to better not only ourselves but to increase tolerance and acceptance in totality.
Monday, January 17, 2005
I didn't think 10 days would go by this fast but it did! And despite a couple drop outs, I think the project is going well - just 4 more days to go!

I just realized today, that up until now, I've changed schools a total of 9 times. NINE! Though that number includes moves from jr. high to high school etc, we've moved so much that the sight of boxes and moving vans give us chills down our backs. And funny thing is that I've literally been moving since the day I was born. My then young and naive parents failed realize that when a doctor gives a due date for a baby, it's in everyones best interest not to set an important event on that specific day. Important events such as...well oh say, moving!? They had set one of many moving dates on my due date failing to realize that it would it would be chaotic. And it was from what I hear. In total I think we've moved about 11 times. I guess many people find it interesting, especially that I've lived in places outside of Canada, but being the shy person I am in new situations, it didn't make for fun or interesting times.

Although at the same time, I don't think I'd be the same person had it not been for all the experiences that came with all the moving. I'm definitely more open-minded as a result, and have probably gained more insight into the world than someone my age who's lived here their whole life especially having gone to an international school in Malaysia and meeting people from all over the world.

Overall I don't really like change of any sorts, though people are always telling me that change is good. But what theyre really saying is that something that you didnt want to happen has happened, so deal with it. And as much as that is true and as much change as I've had to endure, I still prefer the stability and dependibility factor over the confusion and uneasiness. But oddly enough I get restless without some sort of spontaneity occuring now and then...I guess that goes for everyone, but maybe I've just gotten used to things becoming different every little while (confused yet? No? Then someone please explain it to me, because I sure am!). I guess all those people mean that change is good because it brings about new opportunities and challeneges and allows you to learn something new about yourself...maybe theyre right, but in the meantime, it still sucks.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

(click on image)
this may come in handy for some who often need a more clear explanation (especially the ADHD prone know who you are)
Friday, January 14, 2005

In the year 2005 I resolve to:
Stop making silly resolutions.

Get your resolution here.

now that's not so hard to follow =)
A recent new article I found...not like it's a surprise and the damage is done, so this is pretty useless now...
World - Canadian Press
U.S. ends search for Iraqi WMDs: finds no weapons, no capability of making them
Wed Jan 12, 2:57 PM ET
WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (
news - web sites) has quietly concluded without any evidence of the banned weapons that President George W. Bush (news - web sites) cited as justification for going to war, the White House said Wednesday.

Democrats said Bush owes the country an explanation of why he was so wrong.
The Iraq Survey Group, made up of some 1,200 military and intelligence specialists and support staff, spent nearly two years searching military installations, factories and laboratories whose equipment and products might be converted quickly to making weapons.
Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, said there no longer is an active search for weapons and the administration does not hold out hopes that any weapons will be found. "There may be a couple, a few people, that are focused on that" but that it has largely concluded, he said.
"If they have any reports of (weapons of mass destruction) obviously they'll continue to follow up on those reports," McClellan said. "A lot of their mission is focused elsewhere now."
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said Bush should explain what happened.
"Now that the search is finished, President Bush (
news - web sites) needs to explain to the American people why he was so wrong, for so long, about the reasons for war."
"After a war that has consumed nearly two years and millions of dollars, and a war that has cost thousands of lives, no weapons of mass destruction have been found, nor has any evidence been uncovered that such weapons were moved to another country," Pelosi said in a written statement. "Not only was there not an imminent threat to the United States, the threat described in such alarmist tones by President Bush and the most senior members of his administration did not exist at all."
Chief U.S. weapons hunter Charles Duelfer is to deliver his final report on the search next month. "It's not going to fundamentally alter the findings of his earlier report," McClellan said, referring to preliminary findings from last September. Duelfer reported then that Saddam Hussein (
news - web sites) not only had no weapons of mass destruction and had not made any since 1991, but that he had no capability of making any either. Bush unapologetically defended his decision to invade Iraq.
"Nothing's changed in terms of his views when it comes to Iraq, what he has previously stated and what you have previously heard," McClellan said. "The president knows that by advancing freedom in a dangerous region we are making the world a safer place."
Bush has appointed a panel to investigate why the intelligence about Iraq's weapons was wrong.
McClellan said the Iraq experience would not make Bush hesitant to raise alarms when he deems it necessary.
"But we're also going to continue taking steps to make sure that that intelligence is the best possible," he said. "Our friends and allies had the same intelligence that we had when it came to Saddam Hussein," McClellan said. "And now we need to continue to move forward to find out what went wrong and to correct those flaws."

Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Yesterday evening as part of my weekly Tuesday routine, I went down to York U to pick up my brother after his class. He usually gets off at 10 and I got there pretty early so I went to a Tim Horton's in one of the buildings to wait for him. I was working on a law app, when a coversation between two girls sitting across from me caught my attention, mainly because she started speaking in Urdu so as to make her conversation more private and discreet (but seeing as how it was York, I dont see how it made much of a difference :p).

One of the girls was droning on about how her parents don't let her do this and that, and how so much is expected of her from so many different people (preachin' to the choir...). She then said something really interesting: "it's so hard to please people, I think that if you can make people happy, you're the most successful person"

Say what..?!

Pleasing people is the easy part: you just do what they want you to do! Bingo, presto, voila, TA-DA - done, you've made that person momentarily happy. It's like being a "yes-man" for some big shot who's every wish is your command. That wouldnt neccessarily make you a success! Though technically I shouldnt have been listening to someone else's conversation in the first place, it just struck me how prosaic her statement was. You're successful if you please other people? Since when and how (and why) is that true? I don't mean "pleasing someone" in the way that you would make someone happy by doing something nice or thoughtful for them, but in the sense that you are following orders or desires set out by another.

If anything, you're most successful if you are able to make yourself happy. Every day we go to work and do a series of reports, sales, and service to make our bosses happy. At home we aim to make our parents happy by doing our chores and following their advice (the latter of which i don't have much to complain about =)). But how often is it that we do something to make ourselves truly happy? In my case it's not often at all. I think that if we are triumphant in pleasing not only those who are close to us, but in that also are able to be true to ourselves and make ourselves happy, it's then that we've truly succeeded.

(p.s. Sorry to Aisha (?) and friend from the Tim Horton's in the TEL Building at York who's conversation I was listening bad)
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
To be quite honest, the first few days weren't difficult, I just had to break the habit of signing in a soon as I turned the computer on. So far my actvities havent been anything extraordianry, but I've been able to avoid the temptation better than I thought. Now while the idea of blocking everyone and signing had crossed my mind, what's the point when you can't chat with anyone? I've taken the MSN off of my desktop so that the icon isn't always there waiting to be clicked on. And though there are moments where I want to log in, "just to see who's online", I'm content in knowing that "the regulars" are all on, and that I can't be weak and give in (unlike a certain someone else who gave in after just 3 days :P)

In the meantime I'm trying to keep myself busy with the big question that's bugging everyone: Why in the world did Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston really break up!?! I mean come on, they were so perfect for each other.... Hollywood, go figure.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
It's Day 3 of the Temptation: Instant Messaging Project and so far so good! Until now I've kept myself moderately busy enough to not even have time to sign in, which may just be the strategy for the following two weeks! Friday was Day 1 and I was at work the whole day then went out with the crew in the evening. I missed the skating because I got off work late, but since I don't know how to skate I didn't mind so much. We went out to dinner then coffee/dessert and had fun just talking and hanging out (thanks to Shaz for planning the event =)).

Most of Saturday was spent at work until about 4, then I went out for some shopping after. In the evening I stayed home but watched Back to the Future back to back to back (i.e. parts 1, 2 and 3). I've seen the first part of that movie dozens of times, but it was the first time I got to see the second and third part and they were really good! Good ol' Michael J. Fox, poor guy's been dealing with Parkinson's Disease for awhile now, and though he looked pretty good the last time I saw him on TV (when Conan O'Brien came to TO), you can see how the disease has started to take its toll on him.

Sunday I woke up laaaate and went out with mom again, she dragged me and my sis around for Eid shopping while we whined and gave her trouble :p. But later in the day as I started to get a little bored, the temptation to go on MSN started creeping up. You know...just wanted to see who was online lol. But I distracted myself with some final law application stuff (and now I'm taking a break to write this...) so I think I've been successful in warding off the MSN plague. Though that's all great, I just think...I've got 11 more days of this!
Thursday, January 06, 2005
Recently someone suggested the idea of not logging on to MSN for two weeks. Some of you may have just stopped dead in your tracks right then at the very thought of the idea. "TWO WHOLE WEEKS!?!" Yes. Two whole weeks. Now at first I didn't really know why I'd do it, but the idea makes lots of sense. These days we're so engrossed in our messaging services, be it MSN, Yahoo, AIM or ICQ, that we've lost track of a things. One of them is time for sure...I mean have you ever really stopped to think about how much time you spend on MSN conversations (aka convos ;p) in a day?

Sure it's great for all us procrastinators and for those of us who can't seem to keep in touch with all those people who live too far to call often. But I think a lot of us have gone in to a state of excess where whether you're at the computer the entire time or not, you're logged on! And yes I've done it too time to time, but I stopped awhile ago realizing how addicted I had become to MSN. There's so many other things I could be doing, and as it was mentioned that though these other activities could also be a waste of time, isn't it worth it to see if you can indeed do without MSN?

I thought the idea made a lot of sense and it's a good way to see how addicted you are! My favorite prof in university said that we've all become so addicted to technology that we create a need and purpose for it, where none really exists. Think about many times have you thought to go online to see if a certain person was there just so you could ask them something, that really didnt need to be asked, or could have waited until the next day when you'll see them. At that point when you log on, a few other windows pop up and next thing you know you're spending a couple hours chatting away.

A friend of mine really impresses me with her ideals. She doesnt have a cell phone, doesnt have messenger of any type, she rarely watches TV and basically does the opposite of the norm that you expect of most people. Instead she reads, and does all sorts of other activities that keep her just as occupied as me. In the end when I compare our lives, hers seems so much more rich and full.

I challenege you guys to take on what me and some others have, by not going on any type of messenger for two weeks...hell try one week if you think two is too much. Let me know how it goes!
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
Though I didn't doubt that the tsunami earthquakes would cause chaos around the world, I never expected to be a first hand witness to the effects. I thought I had done my part by donating to the Red Cross and praying for the victims, but it still doesnt feel like enough. I sit back in my comfortable home and watch new channel after news channel with back to back reports about the damage and mayhem happening on the other side of the world and all I am able to do is shake my head in sadness.

A couple came into the bank today and wanted to open an account. From their name it was obvious they were from Sri Lanka, but I didn't know whether to mention something about the tsunami or not. Granted it's not normal bank conversation, but I've never really gone by that norm anyways, so I was thinking of how to bring it about. I asked them where they were from (just to make sure I wasn't totally off) and before I could pursue the husband said he was indeed from Sri Lanka and mentioned the tsunami and if I had heard of it. I said yes of course I had, and I asked if they had any family back home and how they were doing. The husband started telling me that his family was ok, because they were away from the areas that were effected, but it was still really upsetting. At that point his wife started to tear up and look down and away from me. I had no idea what to do or say. Her husband started talk to her and trying to calm her down. Weird thing was that I almost started crying. The couple got up and said they'd be back in a few minutes. When they came back they told me about how his wife's family lost 5 relatives and she was lucky because she had just come to Canada on Dec. 20th - a week before the tsunami.

Eventually I did open the account for them, but it still made me wonder what I could do to help? The biggest thing would be able to go down to the areas myself, but without question I know that wouldnt be a choice. I was hoping someone knew about a local organization where people could volunteer and maybe help collect aid, like money, clothing, food, medicine etc. If anyone does, please do let me know! It made me so incredibly sad when I heard their story, not just for the obvious reason that it's a terrible tragedy, but also because it just became so much more of a stark reality. Hearing it on the news and seeing the pictures is heartbreaking on its own, but have to see someone who was affected by it, though not directly, it just made the situation so surreal.


On a somewhat less frustrating note...I'm immersed in law applications!!! At one point I just gave up and turned away, assuming it would be done on it's own. But eventually I got lured back in and am trying to finish ASAP! It's all the info collecting and running after people writing reference letters, emailing individual schools and on and on.

I know I want to do law....otherwise I wouldnt be spending all this time, energy and money, but I have second thoughts now and then. I really don't know what else I'd be doing in life if not law...I never bothered to come up with a back up plan because I hoped never to need it. But I look at so many people these days who are not even close to the profession they started out in. My dad by profession is a pharmacist. But then he owned a computer business, moved to Malaysia and back, became a banquet hall owner/operator, and now is a mortgage broker. My mom did her Master's degree in genetics and somehow became an esthetician after working for BMO when she came here. And countless other examples...and funny thing is when I hear of strangers who have changed their careers, most of them are lawyers!

It makes me wonder if I'm taking the right steps, but then I also think that if and when I get into law school, it'll give me a lot of experience and ability to do things I've always wanted to. Such as fight civil law cases including spousal and child absue, health issues and discrimination cases. Though the parents want me to do real estate law (I can feel myself getting bored and falling asleep by the mention of it!!) I really want to do something that makes a difference...though everyone says that so the whole notion has become common place, but still....