Archive for September, 2006

Outsourcing Ramadan

Thursday, September 28th, 2006

Everytime that you read the newspaper their are 2 things that stick out. The stories of outsourcing, and those about how Muslims need to reform themselves.

Outsourcing is rampant in industry. Manufacturing is outsourced to China, or Mexico. All the call centers in the world are outsourced to India. The banking industry is based out of Hong Kong. Techinal programmers are outsourced to India.
In the news you hear how everyone is talking about how Muslims need to modernize. Only through modernization can we grow as a faith, and live along with everyone else.

So what if we take the modern idea of outsourcing, and apply it to Islam, in this the holy month of Ramadan.

What if we outsourced Ramadan? If you break your fast, the penalty is to feed 60 people. So what if we feed 60 people in China, or Mexico..everyday for 30 days? If you take the population of 1 billion for China, and divide by 60, that is 16.7 million. So 16.7 million people in the US/Canada could do this. This is 2x the Muslim population of the US.

So yes…we can modernize the Muslim world by outsourcing Ramadan.

Engaged to be baat paki hogay

Monday, September 25th, 2006
Originally written on Thursday Sept. 14 on facebook:
Aight everyone wants to know…so here’s the hap’s.  I’m engaged to be enganged to be engaged. Baat paki hogay is the step before engaged, and officially that’s happening on Sunday.  Soooooo….I’m engaged to be baat paki hogay. For those of you who don’t know Hindi/Urdu, baat paki hogay means, “The talks are done”.Her names Sheema, and she’s from the Chicago suburbs.

We got ISNA’d. Yes, yes…the ISNA lobby worked. We’ve all heard the jokes, and the stories about how everyone goes to ISNA to get married, and find their spouse.  I’m the living example of this working.  Most of the people who go to ISNA go with good intentions and use halaal methods of finding someone (Matrimonial room, using family/friends to introduce them, etc.).  The friends introduction is usually done in the evening in the Lobby.  Some of the events in the lobby arn’t always the most halaal, but generally most of them are.  Everyone just assumes the worse (remember the 70 excuses) about most of what goes on.  As such…the ISNA lobby becomes one of the running jokes of the conference.
We were setup by her Mamu (mothers brother), who’s known me for years. We didn’t know what was happening, we were totally ambushed in the lobby of ISNA, and taken by surprise. Her parents just told her that they were going to ISNA. I was told that we were just meeting some friends.

We talk…and things clicked…and on Monday we go to her house and meet…and things work out…and we do a lot of istikara and things work out…and we do a lot of emails and talk to each other and things work out…so now we’re engaged to be baat paki hogay on Sunday, so hopefully things work out.
I love how our desi culture makes this entire process much more complex then it needs to be. So I’m engaged to be engaged to be engaged.

i^2 = Shahid

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

Everyone growing up has an imaginary friend. They are your best friend, your companion, your compatriot in crime, your confidant. They are what you wish your friends would be. But what if your imaginary friend, had an imaginary friend? What would happen then?

For a long period of time now, AKDS has been your imaginary friend. He’s been someone with whom you could vicariously live your life through, and get a different perspective.

Shahid happens to be his imaginary friend. I’m the one who AKDS shares his concerns, his comments, is his confidant, and is his compatriot. I’m also the one who he lives part of his life through, to get the perspective of someone who took a different path on the road of life.
Yes, I am your imagination^2.

During the next several weeks, I’ll be taking over for AKDS. During this time period, you’ll be joining me for an interesting side journey, where you can walk in my world for a little bit. I recently happend to meet someone, and will be posting about how that works out, Inshallah. The first several posts have already occured, but will be posted for postierity, and for the sake of continuity.


Friday, September 22nd, 2006

In the uniquely prescient words of Bilbo Baggins:
“I need a holiday. A very long holiday. …”

I’m looking forward to this. Ramadan is starting! This is a good a time as any to take a break from blogging for a while; to take a holiday.

But don’t worry, I’ve convinced a friend to take my place. So inshallah in a few days or so he’ll start blogging in this column instead of me. Exciting.

I was hoping to quit with the last post (nyc vs chicago) but then a random chicagoan left an oddly personal comment. Anyway, as Yasmine would say, Vat is this drama…

Meet Evo Morales’ Sweater

Saturday, September 9th, 2006

Remember when you were growing up and your parents made you wear that weird horizontal striped sweater? No? Fine.. then maybe it was just me. =(

There has been a lot of talk about Evo and his sweater. I say “has” because the topic might be a bit dated now; I actually wrote this post a (long) while back ..

So briefly, Evo is the new president of Bolivia. He’s communist. And he really likes the sweater he’s seen wearing above. I mean really. In fact, he likes it so much that during his world tour, he even wore it to formal occasions, such as meeting the King of Spain.

This naturally puzzled people, why is this dude wearing the same sweater everywhere… Everyone wanted to find an explanation for the sweater.

Commentators made bold statements about how it was the new revolutionary uniform for the Bolivian working class, akin to the uniform of les sans culottes (knowing this french phrase is usless as well) in the French Revolution. Or that the sweater was “metaphorically knit of [Bolivia’s] basic unsatisfied needs.”

Naturally, these lofty accolades were not unanimously observed. Evo, unfortunately, was also subject to newspaper editoral ridicule (that even doormen have better dress protocol).

And then there were those who tried to take the centrist approach:

Both criticism and praise of Evo Morales’s wardrobe is smoke and mirrors. It’s likely he isn’t trying to insult kings and presidents, nor is he sending messages about poverty and revolution. Morales isn’t President Bush or President Zapatero; when he puts on [his sweater] it isn’t a PR move meant to reveal disregard or resolve … He’s [simply] wearing his clothes. – Annie Murphy

My take? I think people are missing the point here … This dude _single handedly_ brought horizontal striped sweaters back in.

Viva La Revolución.

Hemingway vs Faulkner

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

In a cage match, basically it comes down to this: Hemingway saw WWI action whereas Faulkner didn’t; major points for Ernest. Hemingway shot himself, whereas Faulkner drank himself to oblivion; both lose that round. However, I think Faulkner has the edge with being a perennial drunk; it would numb the pain and make him unpredictable.

Regardless, Hemingway wins in my book. Minimalism always wins over verbosity.