Monday, August 08, 2011

break fast: egyptian delicacies

how amazing, i'm blogging a new entry, again!

we had our iftar last friday at our classmate's house. it was the first time they had foreigners in their house so they were so happy, especially Norhaan.

Norhaan felt sad that we couldn't join our batchmates for iftar jamaie because we'll be either on the aeroplane or we'll be in Malaysia at that time, so she discussed it with her mother and the family decided to invite us to come to their house for a simple iftar.

and simple iftar is not that simple at all! we had tonnes of food! and Norhaan told me that her mother wanted to cook more egyptian delicacies so that we could taste everything but then Norhaan stopped her by saying the Malaysians are small, they can't consume alot.

true, indeed.

Norhaan's house is so beautiful and her family is so friendly. it's sad how we couldn't really make a conversation with her parents due to our lack of arabic skills. but they were so happy that Norhaan's mama cooked us 2 plates of food each and let me tell you what she served:
1. 5 pieces of mahsyi : fried rice stuffed into vegetables eg: cabbages, cucumber. (my fav)
2. 2 cuts of bashamel: it's just like macaroni and cheese
3. 4 pieces kofta: minced meat, rolled like a sausage, roasted.
4. 1/4 of roasted chicken.
5. 7 pieces of dates and kismis inside a glass of water. (DELICIOUS!)

mahsyi and bashamel

kofta and firakh

all of these for each of us. it's a pity when i couldn't finish them all because i have a small stomach but i tried my best to finish them all until i was so bloated i couldn't move.

after maghrib prayer, we had some desserts. the desserts time is my favourite as Norhaan's mother served all of my favourite egyptian desserts! but again, i couldn't finish them up because i was too full.

desserts: balah syams and hunaifah

the dining etiquettes here is that you have to finish up what served for you and if you didn't finish them up, you are considered to be rude to the host and he/she will not be happy but sorry Norhaan and family! we wished we could have larger stomach to eat every delicious meal in front of us, seriously!

thanks for the hospitality Norhaan and family! you've made us love Egypt more! :)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Monday, August 01, 2011

Ramadan 2011

“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint.” (2:183)
Alhamdulillah, Ramadan has come to visit us again, this year. All thanks to Him who has prolonged our lives till this day to fast and greet the holy month.

as you know, i celebrate this holy month in the land of Egypt. eventhough it's only for 10 days (because i will be coming home this 10th august), i still consider it as a new experience because i have never celebrate the 1st day of Ramadan away from home since second year. This year, we have summer training, hence the reason why we're not with our family (yet!)

Ramadan in Egypt is differ than in Malaysia. The holy month is more welcome here than back home. They will wake you up for sahur either by gendang or by sounds or by azan, They will call for break fast 5 minutes earlier than maghrib, the people are much more friendlier, and you can see them with tiny Al-Quran and they'll recite them whenever they're free, be it while waiting for the bus, while waiting for the class to start etc, and the taxis are often fill with Al-Quran recitation. They'll lit the fanus (an Egyptian tanglung) in welcoming the holy month. if you see fanus is everywhere, it means it's ramadan! or that Ramadan is near.

Taraweeh here, we have so many choices on which Masjid to go to as in every street there will be at least 1 Masjid. Mostly they'll do an 8 rakaat prayer, and right after that, the whole town will become quite.And shops will only be opened after Taraweeh. cool huh?

i went to an event yesterday and a ustaz was giving a talk about ramadan, he said that for islamic studies students, they were given holidays from the 15th of Syaaban till 15th of Syawal only for ibadah, and for the students to go to the villages and teach the villagers regarding Islam mainly.

i was so excited that i bought loads of Ramadan groceries in intention of preparing for Ramadan that i forgot that Ramadan is not about food, it's about the month of patience, the month of repentance, the month of jihad, the month where you seek for Allah and He will multiply the reward for every good deeds that you've done in this holy month. for me, i call this month as a self reflecting month as it is the month where i recall back the whole year, what i have done, what i have wasted, and try my best to change and being istiqamah about it.

in every Ramadan, i will set some targets that and try to achieve them. this Ramadan's target? you will not know. but one thing for sure is that i want to be able to celebrate the next ramadan, insyaAllah.

Do not waste your ramadan by fasting blindly, who knows if this ramadan will be your last? Treat this Ramadan as it's your last so you will not waste it and regret about it later, insyaAllah.

Ramadan Kareem, everyone! may you'll be blessed this Ramadan and the upcoming year.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Fasting is a shield -- one who fasts does not use obscenities or act in an ignorant manner. If someone argues with you or insults you, say: 'I am fasting, I am fasting'." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1795)]