31 Day Challenge October

Day 11: In need of ‘rehab’

synonym: comeback, recovery, therapy. I know I'm a day behind but it doesn't bother me. Honestly speaking, despite the set back I feel great about my blog. I have, so far, been able to write regularly on a daily basis, even if the post goes up the next day. I've been productive, and working miles… Continue reading Day 11: In need of ‘rehab’

31 Day Challenge October

Day 10: Amidst smoke and ‘Fire’

For countless hours I rage My embers of venom ignite terror in the hearts of men Stand and marvel at the sight I am, the destruction I cause. Feel my fiery passion on the surface of your skin, like the suffocation of the grave embrace me My brilliance astounds you. I know no hesitation nor… Continue reading Day 10: Amidst smoke and ‘Fire’

31 Day Challenge October

Day 9: Teachers and ‘Phones’

In the UK, phones are definitely up there amongst a teacher's worst nightmares. Not only do teachers have to make sure students aren't using them in class, our pastoral duties require us to deal with an array of issues arising from social media platforms. Some lessons just feel like a vortex: you can see all… Continue reading Day 9: Teachers and ‘Phones’

31 Day Challenge October

Day 4: ‘Candy Wrapper’, kind of.

Forget multi-tasking, I can't even do two things at once these days. I tried putting my seat belt on and instead, swallowed the chewing gum I'd only just popped into my mouth. So much for trying to avoid car sickness. For the rest of the journey, I could feel the ball of gum lodged in… Continue reading Day 4: ‘Candy Wrapper’, kind of.

31 Day Challenge October

Day 3: ‘Horses’, ghodiya da shonk

The evening sun settling into my hair; brown eyes glittering reflections of Kashmiri mountains against the horizon. Nestled amid valleys of white gold, our small yet cosy home My own little vegetable patch Your vehicles of choice lined up outside Our children's giggles skipping across and under and over, the kittens, chicks, billy goats scampering… Continue reading Day 3: ‘Horses’, ghodiya da shonk

31 Day Challenge October

Day 2: ‘Hunger’ a cautionary tale

Before anyone could follow, she hurried over to a particularly crowded corner of her bedroom. It wasn't that she felt worried about what she was hiding, more that she didn’t want her secret hiding places discovered by others. Anyone could walk in and catch her; she had to move swiftly. Had she known the aroma… Continue reading Day 2: ‘Hunger’ a cautionary tale

Being Mrs. Kubra

Back to work

It's been exactly 12 days since we returned to Qatar and things are going great, ma sha' Allah, ma sha' Allah! I've been back at work this week and you'd best believe I'm currently like the minion on the left with my perfectly coordinated outfits, hair done, and matching snazzy earrings. Even though I know… Continue reading Back to work

Diasporic Identity, Original Writing

I See Kashmir Burning (Poem)

What price for those verdant valleys which my mothers traversed for fire logs What price for those babbling brooks that watered cattle and crops for centuries What price for the ever-fertile soil, the one they say delivers gold What price for the land my grandfathers walked away from with moist eyes, tight lips, even harder… Continue reading I See Kashmir Burning (Poem)

Academia

On Writing: Finding the will to carry on

When school ended two weeks ago and I found myself with ample time to write, I envisioned myself as this super productive being who would tick everything off her To Do list while simultaneously updating her blog every third day. Instead, I found that actually, all this free time was counterproductive. Apparently, I write best… Continue reading On Writing: Finding the will to carry on

Being Mrs. Kubra

Ma’a Salama (Goodbye)

​As teachers all around the world will know, sometimes it feels like the world might very well end but the academic year won't. The days drag on, piles of paperwork continue appearing out of thin air and the only thing propelling you onward is 'The Last Day'. We spend so much of our careers wishing… Continue reading Ma’a Salama (Goodbye)

The Expat Experience

I got nothing, or, Ramadan Kareeeeem

Okay...mmmhh, this is awkward. I had three blog posts drafted, waiting to be polished and then BAM! I got nothing. I can't post any of them anymore. Because of the current political climate, they're suddenly outdated and potentially risky to share. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing controversial in there. They're the same old info/advice/reflections… Continue reading I got nothing, or, Ramadan Kareeeeem

Diasporic Identity

I’m an oppressed Muslim woman?

Earlier this week it was International Women's Day and like all other days - Mother's day, Father's day, Independence day - it was difficult to acknowledge the day let alone engage in any discussions. You see, my problem isn't with the day nor with those who celebrate it, my problem is with the fight. Commemorative… Continue reading I’m an oppressed Muslim woman?

Diasporic Identity

Homeless daughters of a hybrid diaspora

The cursor blinks expectantly. You wonder, shall I begin with I ‘returned’ home or I’ve been 'away’ from home? At the airport, we try muting our pain through feeble consolations. You will be back next summer, it’s just a year. No. I have holidays in January.   That's good… I'll be back before you know… Continue reading Homeless daughters of a hybrid diaspora

The Expat Experience

Memories of an Empire: Museum of Islamic Art

From a young age, I was always fascinated with history and I especially loved hearing stories about perished nations. That strange blend of awe and terror never leaves you; in fact, I think I will carry it to the grave. Those people leading lives not too different from ours, people who formed some of the greatest civilisations… Continue reading Memories of an Empire: Museum of Islamic Art

Diasporic Identity

Finding resonance in Iqbal’s poetry

It's 2009. I am Kashmiri but I've never heard of Dr Allama Iqbal. I've been taught daughters are lesser than sons, that choice in marriage is rebellion, and honour upheld solely through submission. But things that would've built my character, intellect or faith were not deemed important...so, I've never heard of Iqbal. Being the product… Continue reading Finding resonance in Iqbal’s poetry

Being Mrs. Kubra

I removed my hijab…

I said I wouldn't do it. I said it made me feel uneasy, naked. But... Two weeks ago, I began suffering from a searing headache exasperated further by working long hours at computer screens and fewer hours of sleep each night (must be delayed jet-lag?). It lasted a week. Combing, washing, drying, and fixing up… Continue reading I removed my hijab…

Being Mrs. Kubra

My first ‘first’ week at school

I'm gearing up for the first week of school except I've already had my first week at school. Confusing? Yep, I know. The school holidays work differently here because term times revolve around Islamic festivals - alhamdullilah! All staff resumed work with a staggered start: first the senior leadership team, then new starters, and finally… Continue reading My first ‘first’ week at school

The Expat Experience

Jummah at Education City Mosque

One of the best things about living in a Muslim country is having Fridays off, and last Friday we went to pray jummah at the gorgeous Education City mosque. Education City is home to campuses of six American universities, one British university, the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Science, and various educational institutes accommodating students from preschool… Continue reading Jummah at Education City Mosque

Diasporic Identity

The Oldham Riots: 15 years on

Let me just get this out there: it's a really bad idea to complete a dissertation about your hometown whilst preparing to leave. It's even worse if you already harbour a love/hate relationship with the place! I spent the summer reading about the 2001 Oldham riots which, until now, were fuzzy recollections of newspaper stills… Continue reading The Oldham Riots: 15 years on