School’s out for Christmas

Dreaded time again where so many of us parents think aaargh “what shall we do”. Frantically thinking of how to pack their days with things to do. So when the term starts they have a list to reel off  …i did this and this ….

Yet when I asked my ten year old what do you want to do? “Nothing” was his reply. He didn’t even look up to answer me. Consumed by his lego building an “Empire Prison Cell block” Whilst he sings along varoius theme tunes from Star wars.

Somehow he likes the idea of his mummy occupying his bunk bed hanging out in his space. I’ve now been appraised on the different types of troopers he’s also re introduced me to Simon & Garfunkels 1964 “sound of silence”.

We talk. That’s what we do. We talk about everything that we usually wouldn’t during term time occupied by school time and flexi  start times at work.

Where usually we are rushing go go go …suddenly everthing stopped. We dont know what day it is date nor time.

We talk about his concern when mummy says I hate work I want to quit… “well mum I get concerned it will affect me as you have one of the best paying jobs in England for common people. I mean we aren’t rich but we not exactly poor”.

Our discussion moves on to the prison he is building … i like padme son don’t be mean to her in the prison will she be tortured what about her human rights.

“Human rights do we have them in England I mean are they different in other countries. Mum have you read Pride and Prejudice…”

So my son is dictating our Christmas vacation … no he doesn’t want to go anywhere no holiday, he wants to stay home with his mum kidnapped being subjected to “its all about lego”

So I guess the problem is with me an inner voice that keeps rising to say “get up what we doing” only to be told no close tye door get back and can you put ths storm troopers arm in please”

Happy holidays.1419254341263-315321080

Syria: No Change

It’s been just over a year since we had arrived at the border town of Killis – Turkey.

Some people thought we were crazy some thought it was forbidden, here was a group of females travelling together out to work with Syrian Refugees.

For the best part of 2013 we had seen images flash on our screens of women and children ravaged by war. Status after status on social media was exactly the same. That overwhelming feeling of wanting to do something to help was constantly blocked by convoys for men only or where is your mehram brick wall.

Nor could I afford the £3,000 that was required to partake in a convoy let alone congure up a made up mehram.

I never got over that part, anyway it was okay for me to go out work solo as a muslim woman, go shopping, go out to eat, live a fully engaging life. Yet when it came to travel to help my fellow muslims I needed a male guardian. And why men travelling alone were not averse to the same risks as me i still don’t understand to this day.

I was aware of an amazing woman on social media who I’d messaged should she know of any women’s groups travelling keep me posted.

So here we were down the line all huddled up in one room strangers. Sleeping bags wooly hats coats the lot. Fighting the cold with hot honey drinks to survive.

It’s surprising when in times of extreme conditions we either become family or enemies. We had become one family.

The tears, laughter and pain each one of us will carry in our hearts forever. How we survived was our unity as a group of sisters and compassion for humanity.

The most sincerest of hearts and kindest souls. And so a year has passed and I sit back reflecting. Wondering what happened to the children with no shoes burning up with fever. What happened to the children who had only the clothes on their backs and a broken toy in their hands. The expressionless mother sat in the car park waiting for the doctor to see her poorly child.

The mothers and the children who would come like a ocean wave to collect the food from the soup kitchens bucket in hand. The child sleeping in a makeshift cardboard box,  the toddlers picking bread up off the floor.

Nothing happened Syria is still suffering today. But what happened to each one of us was life changing.

This wasn’t about scoring brownie points or proving a point it was about standing in those soup kitchens holding that woman’s hand looking at her to say “I know and I will tell them all when I get back I promise you”.

It was about changing my pereception of humanity and solidarity with suffering.

Syria changed our humanity
Syria changed our humanity

PREVENT Reality: Police Chief Warns of “Police State”

Nothing is irreversible. The seed of policing our thoughts has already been sown. It is now up to these key players to re address this police state created to further political agendas. Better late than never.


Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

It seems the problems with regards to the definition of “extremism”, and its abuse by neocons is finally starting to be discussed, although it may be too late given that the new counter terror bill has already been through its second reading in Parliament. Given the toxic implications of the Bill which I have briefly discussed here and here, one wonders why there is no outrage against what is an assault against the “democratic values” often propagated through military means around the world.

Peter Fahy in a frank and welcome warning highlighted that the battle against “extremism” could lead to a “drift towards a police state” in which officers are turned into “thought police”. Below are some of the excerpts which deserve being reproduced in full from the Guardian:

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