Post processed shot taken last year when Suhayb was tiny. Using Coffeeshop Vintage Action.
December 5, 2009
I tend not to write great big long thoughtprovoking articles, but come across lots of interesting topics which I feel would be worth linking here. So I will try and do a regular feature of things that have been catching my attention over the past week:
- Thanks to Real Simple for making me aware of the dangers of BPA and how to look out for it (either a PP or 7 at the bottom of plastic cartons). I will definitely stop freezing Suhayb’s baby food in takeaway containers now!
- Would love to have been at the Climate March today (was on nights, so couldn’t plan to be there), despite the climate science scandal
- I’m reading the amazing and inspirational story Three Cups of Tea about Greg Mortenson and the pledge he made to set up schools in North Pakistan
- Happy that Suhayb has learned to say ‘Mashallah’..bless!
- Delighted for my good friend (formerly blogging as Pink) who has just had her Nikah and is quite extravagantly loved up at the moment
September 26, 2009
Having worked in Psychiatry for about six weeks or so, I have come across a problem which makes me quite glad that I haven’t made this a permanent career choice. I’m sure it’s something that established clinicians will have come to terms with in their own way – but how do you deal with patients who have done terrible things in their personal lives?
Of course the answer is professionally and in a non-judgemental manner. Yet even though I know this, and stick to it in my interaction with patients, sometimes you can’t help but feel complete revulsion, a surprisingly visceral reaction. I have come across patients that commit domestic abuse on elderly parents, attempted murder, sexual abuse. Sometimes it can truly be said that they are victims of their own life circumstances, or that they are so mentally ill (or were at the time) that they have no understanding of what they have done. In those situations, it could be said that there has been a failure of the system, to help those people and their victims. I suppose being non-judgemental is not about trying to decide which patients are worthy of sympathy or understanding, after all, the convicted murderer on death row is as entitled to medical care as the innocent old lady you see in the GP surgery.
September 23, 2009
Edit: It should actually be ‘Thought for the Day’ as Mr C correctly pointed out
I was dismayed to learn of the clearing of dwellings in the ‘no man’s land’ of Calais – it’s a complex and difficult problem, not one that I necessarily know all the politics of, but I can’t help but feel for those stuck in that kind of bleak limbo. I think Abdul Hakim Murad put it perfectly in Thought for the Day this morning:
Muslims are just celebrating the festival that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. It’s a time of collective prayer, gifts for children, and family reunions. As the fast is now behind us, it’s a time for gratitude, and hopefulness for the year ahead. This year’s festival has coincided with a less happy spectacle, only a few miles from our shores. Yesterday, French police moved into a makeshift camp near Calais, which for several months has been home to hundreds of asylum seekers and migrants, hoping to make a new life in the UK. The sights were predictably depressing, as the crude tents were bulldozed. Even the makeshift mosque where the festival prayers were held is apparently no more.
The French state is understandably impatient with the situation in Calais. rather than claim asylum in the first European Union country they reach, many migrants head for Britain. To some, this suggests that work opportunities, rather than a refuge for persecution, is what they’re looking for. No one seems to have a neat answer to the problem. The young men and boys, many of them from Iraq and Afghanistan, are fleeing recent conflict in their countries. Many have paid thousands to unscrupulous people traffickers for the chance to enter the UK. Although often regarded with suspicion in Europe, they’re overwhelmingly innocent people, escaping persecution or war, or seeking an honest living.
It’s easy to forget, if one holds a UK passport, and is used to straightforward international travel, how difficult and different the world looks to those fleeing conflict zones and lack the right papers. Innocent people feel like fugitives, facing endless barriers to their movement. And even when they reach our shores, the system is becoming tighter all the time, with significant penalties for those who employ them. Even our Attorney General, ironically, was caught out, having inadvertently employed one. Yesterday, she was ordered to pay a fine of five thousand pounds.
Our country is getting richer. Many poor countries, particularly those suffering from war, are getting poorer. And the question is of course, what obligations do we, as the wealthy and priveleged, have towards to these uninvited visitors. Religion, all religion, praises hospitality. Islam, with its roots in ancient desert traditions of hospitality to strangers, is not an exception. The first muslims, exiled from Makkah by persecution, found refuge in the neighbouring city of Madina. Its people welcomed them into their homes. That simple act of trust and warmth is surely still an ideal to be cherished.
Although in our unequal and often mistrustful world, our borders cannot be open to all, we must insist that our leaders, when seeking a balance, do not allow Britain to present to the world a face of hardheartedness and exclusion.
September 21, 2009
Yesterday I heard yet another story of a marriage that couldn’t take place due to the inanity of the groom to be. Even if successful in their careers, well-educated, and/or living independently, some men just seem to revert back to the village mentality when it comes to finding a wife. In this case, the couple ‘clicked’, both on the same wavelength in terms of education, family background etc etc, the superficial considerations of height, weight,skin colour, nose size were fulfilled, but for some reason the man insisted that his wife should live with his family some 400 miles away from where he worked, and he would come along every 2 weeks or so, to see how she was and fulfil his marital duties. She would be moving 200 miles from her family and friends for this.
Some might disagree, but a marriage is a partnership between two people, and the families are an important, but secondary relationship arising from that partnership. Personally, I believe that unless there is someone in the extended family that needs the full time support and care (e.g. elderly, ill or maybe if completely alone), newlyweds should have their own space to adjust to each other and to strike out their own path in life. In the case above, the wife is left without the support of the new husband, without the opportunity to form a proper bond with him, with her in-laws. If problems arise, naturally the husband will take the part of his family first,a s he will know and trust them better. I say he is spineless, as this lifestyle choice he is making is for the convenience of his parents, as they will get a sweet, respectful daughter-in-law who will be at their beck and call 24-7. So many times I hear of men taking the ‘easier option’ of doing what their parents want, whether it is marrying a cousin from abroad, living with huge extended families or even just giving up a good match Islamically for superficial reasons – they do a huge disservice to themselves, as well as to the girls they end up marrying.
This girl chose not to put herself through this potentially stressful and damaging experience, but of course he will get married at some point, and probably on these terms. Women end up feeling (or being made to feel) that they are the ones that are ‘picky’ when they have to make the difficult choice of turning down an otherwise eligible match, yet some sacrifices are just not worth making.
September 19, 2009
I am moving craft/food related content to another blog, so that I can write about more serious ‘issues’ in this blog as well as the usual work/life goings-on.
Eid Mubarak everyone!