3 Hours Prior To My Flight...

I'll be flying off to Thailand in a couple of hours from now. Packing wise, it's all set. For the first time in my life, I've done that part already two days back. What an accomplishment, I know. Other than that, I could practically jump off my seat because of the excitement. Even though I'll be staying there for a few days but as as long as I get to get on a plane for some shopping spree, I'm happy. Midterm breaks started yesterday so you could see that I wasted no time here in Oman. The weather, I've heard, isn't all that but the thought of travelling alone does the whole job for me.

My flight book this time would be The Girls which I've started last night although I'm tagging Picture Perfect by Jodi Picoult with me..just in case I changed my mind.

And stay tuned for my next update; will blog all about the trip when I come back inshAllah. As for now, take care!

Du3a by Maher AlMuaikli

This du3a have been on-repeat ever since I listened to it by my favourite Quran reciter; Maher AlMu3ai8li. So you can only imagine what if felt like when I heard him live in Masjid Alharam 3 weeks ago.. mashallah is all I can say. His voice is so serene that you can't help but listen. Judge by yourself;

Here's the download link.

World's Largest Floating Book Fair In Muscat

His Highness Sayyid Faisal bin Turki al Said opened yesterday Logos Hope Book Fair, the world’s largest floating book fair, which lasts for five days at the Sultan Qaboos Port. HH Sayyid Faisal said that the book fair tries to disseminate the culture of reading in the countries which the vessel visits. It also seeks to enhance the interactions among people as there are volunteers from scores of nationalities.
I feel proud knowing something this big is taking place here in Muscat. And I'm so excited to pay the place a visit on Wednesday inshallah.

Venue: Sultan Qaboos Port
Date: 15th to 19th of Jan.
Entrance fee: 300 Bz.
Contact Logoshope.Muscat@gbaships.org or call 9616 9274 for more information.

AlHaram AlMakki Shots

After Fajir prayers

Around the afternoon

At night

Safa & Marwa

From the inside

One of the exterior gates

And the bonus shot..

...The little dudes we met on the way to Mecca from AlMadinah

Always Be There

Thought to share my current favourite nasheed by Maher Zain.


Never Understood Why...

Things like sky-diving, bunjee jumping, cliff diving and the list just goes on and on of extreme sports...I've never understood why would people do it? Why would someone risk his life for the thrill of the moment? For the adrenaline rush? These mere reasons do not satisfy my senses, I need something more reasonable than poor excitement to put your life at stake.

For one, I'm afraid of trying new things; games for example. Roller-coasters scares the hell out of me so why would I even think of going in for the ride? Unlike others, I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a wimp, a huge one at that, but just recently and in China to be exact, I tried on a scary-looking game. I seriously do not know why I did but I wanted to get out my 'comfort' zone and wanted to experience what fear is like so I decided to tag along with my little brother. The long queue was draining the last bits of courage I got and I've even thought of going back. Before I knew it, I had to hand in the tickets and take a seat at the round circle.

The moment I seated myself in, I secured myself with the upper belt and there's was this Chinese guy next to me who said 'hello' in his Chinese-accent and normally I'd respond back but right then, I said 'leave me alone' in Arabic because for the life of me, I was tensed. The game started, we'd take off in the air, to the left and then the right..and that damn upper belt used to raise whenever we were soaring above. I hold it tight as if I were crying for dear life. It jumped up and we were high above and I felt like my heart was lifting everytime the cycle continued. I was crying. I didn't care but I was repeating 'bismellah' out loud. It felt like the right thing to do.

When we hit the ground for the last time, my head was spinning. And my face had the weirdest stripes of wet tears which my sister later pointed out with a laughing and accusing finger. I recounted my hysterical moments of holding the upper belt tight and was told there was another belt that should have been wrapped around the waist. How stupid of me to think they'd let us fall right from the sky!

[Wii] Burn The Rope

Recently, I was obsessed about finishing Cut The Rope, an app in which all you have to do is 'cut the rope' obviously to drop down the candy to the little green monster at the bottom. But when I downloaded Burn The Rope, I knew I had to finish playing all the levels.

And so it happened that I finished all the 80 levels of the 5 deck of cards in two days. With a score of 6000+ Not much but I did enjoy wasting many hours on the small screen.

All you have to do here is 'burn the rope' by the blazing fire; make sure to always let the fire's top forward so it wouldn't turn off. Then keep on moving your device till it burns the whole length of the rope, which is in different forms in every level.

What are your favourite games? Share it with me. Who knows, I might just download it tonight and get it over with. Oh and enjoy the weekends!

Going Green

No, not recycling, although I wish I could throw the piles of papers in a recycling bin in Oman for a change.

But, I've started a 'fruit and veggies' diet only a couple of days ago and it's going pretty fine, thank God. Reason is, rice have never appealed to me, the only reason why I had it for lunch is thanks to our Arabian culture to have it daily. And I was just searching online to spice up my meals, or in other words, getting creative in what I eat now and I found the most delicious-looking recipes. Simple ones, to be exact. You could check them out here.

Think you'd like this one too? I know I have.

White Beans and Cherry Tomato Salad Recipe

1 15-ounce cans of white beans, such as Great Northern or canelli beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley
Dressing ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 3-inch sprig of fresh rosemary
3 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped (omit for vegetarian option)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup of lemon juice


1 Start by making the dressing. Put the garlic and rosemary in olive oil in a small saucepan. Heat on medium until the rosemary begins to sizzle. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 20 minutes, allowing the rosemary and garlic to infuse in the oil.

2 Remove rosemary sprig from the oil, discard. Remove the garlic from the oil, reserving the oil. Add the garlic, anchovies (omit for vegetarian option), Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until smoth.
3 In a medium bowl, gently fold the garlic mixture in with the beans until they are well coated. Let sit for a few minutes for the beans to absorb. Gently mix in the reserved olive oil, tomatoes, and parsley.


Hiatus Lane [5]

A recap of the previous chapter;
The moment she held the phone tight next to her left ear and spoke to him, her mind had wandered a million miles. When Nouf asked if she could go, she’d agreed. Even though I was dieing on the inside to head to the zoo, Fares was, in fact, the last person I wanted to be escorted with.

Hiatus Lane: Chapter Five (Part one)
~ By: Kitten

- ‘Nouf, are you done?’
- ‘Wait! I just need some more minutes’
- ‘Ali?’
- ‘I’ve been ready for hours, can you please tie her shoes so we can move on with our lives already?’
‘Don’t give me that tone’
- ‘I said please’

Nouf finally came out and Deema was checking if she'd turned all the lights down when the bell rang. Ali lazily opened it and they all went out that night at exactly 7, just like Fares promised.

It was all I could do to not stare at Deema and start to joke around with Ali and Nouf. She’s been excited ever since she heard the word zoo earlier and I can’t blame her. I’ve read many great expectations about the place and I wasn’t going to go alone as usual.

We ended up enjoying playing around with the monkeys most of the time but I wish we’d heard the sleepy lion roar. It would have been awesome though nevertheless, Nouf liked to stare at the giraffes. Something about their long necks appealed to her. Or maybe they reminded her of ballerinas’ supposedly long and thin legs?

As much as I enjoyed the kids’ company, I wish I had a little more time to chat with Deema. She seemed distant…not at all the same when I first met her. Was I too pushy? If so, why didn’t she say exactly that to me? During these rare occasions where Ali would run to show how he's not afraid to get close from the lion’s cage, I fiddled my way around to Deema and asked if she was having a good time. She merely nodded and never spoke to me again. I wondered if it was my talkative nature, or if she’s not in the mood, or… I don’t know.

On the way back to our hotel, Deema received a call. By the looks of it, the person on the other end of the line did all the taking when all she said was a couple of yes, no’s and okay.


House Rules: A Glitch?

Since I'm working on a book-review kind of presentation, I chose to write about my latest read, House Rules by Jodi Picoult. The main plot is that the lead character Jacob sufferes from Asperger's syndrome; a high functioning form of autism that enables him to understand social clues and make an eye-contact.

He's also obsessed about solving crime scenes and when his tutor is found dead, he's the one to blame. Long story short, his brother, who's perfectly fine and who had a habit of breaking into different houses, have entered Jacob's tutor house. She was surprised when she saw him and slipped, hitting her head badly. When Jacob came for his lesson, he saw her lying in her own pool of blood, cleaned the mess and properly dressed her and wrapped Jess in a quilt. All the while knowing that his brother was the one who killed her.

Now, my question is; Asperger's patients are supposed to lack the ability to show the empathy, and not totally emotionless, or am I mistaken? Jacob's act of carrying a dead body wasn't in the least bit sensitive, given the fact that he had a crush on his tutor, Jess.

Is it a glitch in the story? If not, are we left with the conclusion that people with Asperger's are a danger to community and hence should be locked away?

Vintage Snapshots

I was rampaging through my old files and found these shots. I used the Sepia settings on my camera so as to give it a vintage vibe.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Spark Of Inspiration

Imagine what you are writing about, see it and live it. Do not think it up laboriously, as if you were working out a mental arithmetic. Just look at it, touch it, smell it, listen to it, turn yourself into it. When you do this, the words look after themselves , like magic. If you do this, you do not have to bother about commas or fullstops or that sort of thing. You do not look at the words either. You keep your eyes, your ears, your nose, your taste, your touch, your whole being on the things you are turning into words. The minute you flinch, and take your mind off this thing, you begin to look at the words and worry about them..then your worry goes into them and they set about killing each other. So you keep going as long as you can, then look back and see what you have written.
The above was a quote by the great poet Ted Hughes which I found in a book whose name I can't seem to remember that revolved around improving your poetry skills. Funny how a single paragraph can excite that living creature inside you who have been waiting for the exact moment to get inspired back and help you get on with what you enjoy doing the most; writing.

I believe my writer's-block have stayed for so long and I know I must do something about it. I'm glad to say that I haven't got out of the zone totally as I still write my article every week but story-wise, I've missed the thrill and excitement I get over scribbling down the next scenes and scenarios through my characters words. Good news is, a couple of days...Thursday, tops, I'd post a new chapter of Hiatus Lane, inshAllah.

Recommended Blog: Epicure-licious

I don't normally advertise for blogs unless I mean the dedication, so once again, here's an interesting blog for all of you cooking-lovers out there:

A blog just recently started by my good friend and classmate who enjoys trying out new recipes and shall share them on her newly-started blog. Don't hesitate to e-mail her or leave a comment about your 'kitchen adventures'.

Bon appetit.

The Perfect Way To End The Year

After 7 years of wanting to perform Umra I finally had the chance to on Monday. We took off from Oman on Friday night after lots of drama from my part as mom didn't agree about me hitting the road with my uncle and aunt without my parents. Her only reason was that she'd worried sick about me. I tried to talk her into it but she'd refuse to answer my requests so I got frustrated and left her room, my heart shattering into pieces: After all the planning and when everything was all set for us to leave that night she says no. My older sister then asked me to pray 9alat elisti5ara and ask Allah if it was good for me, then he'd let me go and vice versa. I prayed and when mom woke up that afternoon she told me to start packing. I was overwhelmed and started doing what she asked. She then went shopping for me and resumed the packing dilemma while I went out to say good-bye to my close family and relatives.

We took off that night at 10 PM with tears welling in my eyes to be parting from my parents but knowing that I'd finally be able to do what I've always wanted to experience, I let the drama pass. We stopped occasinally to use the restrooms and for prayers. At 2 AM, we stopped at a mosque in AD so that my uncle (the one who drives) could rest for a while. And boy! It was freezing cold. I slept for a mere of 30-45 minutes due to my non-stop shivering.

Then time flew by really fast and we reached AlMadinah at 10 or 11 PM on Saturday. My aunt pointed out AlMasjid AlNabawi to me and I was speechless. The dazzling lights that englightened the mosque's minrates didn't leave words for me to utter. We then took out our bags and chose a hotel to settle in for the next two day. Early the next morning we visited the mosque and it was HUGE, mashallah. My aunt and I headed to the women's praying section and visisted the place near the Prophet's grave which is call the raw'9a. We prayed and made du3a and left the mosque. On our way back to the hotel, a little farther than the mosque entrance was a souq called Aswa8 AlHaram and I did a lot of shopping for my cousins that day and the next.

After 2 chilly (yes, I had to wear my sweater at all times) days, we packed and got ready to leave AlMadina and head to Makka to perform Umra. A 10 minutes distance then we reached the Mi8at and did abultion with the intention of being on our i7ram for 3umra. And on the way we met a group of monkeys (who didn't say to bits of cakes)

At 8 or 9 PM we reached Makka and I was even more astonished by the sight of the HUGE alharam almakki. We then checked in at a hotel, left our baggage there and walked to Alharam to perform Umra. The moment my eyes set upon the Ka3ba I silently made du3a for myself, my family and the rest of Muslims worldwide. The ka3ba is literally larger than the size we're used to see on TV obviously and then we did the 6awaf which was easy given the quite reasonable amount of people. Afterwards, we did the sa3i 7 times which was harder than the latter due to the distance but I kept praying and thanking Allah for this valuable opportunity.

On Thursday, I came back home to be welcomed by my whole family for it being my second time. They kept calling me half 7agiya and I took the gathering as a chance to distribute the gifts I've brought along for every single person.

What a great way to end the year! InshAllah tkoon 3umra ma8boola.