Sunday, November 8, 2009

An Unclear Path

So I've previously posted rather vague career related posts. The first was regarding a possible experience abroad with a private equity firm, which i was unsettled on for moral reasons, and the second was saying how it never happened. Although i wonder how clear the posts were in hindsight? As I alluded to in the updated post, i did get a graduate job in something completely unrelated.

So firstly I need to thank Allah(swt) for giving me a job. Especially in these tough times. It would be to easy to not be thankful for his Mercy and blessings.

I must say for a graduate job I'm very lucky, have had a variety of tasks to do, some responsibility, and now my first trip abroad. I'm being worked hard, which doesn't bother me too much (all though i don't think i could keep it up for too long). But it's the thought that i could spend my life working hard and not being able to show any real achievement at the end of that which scares me. Money comes and goes, so to measure success of a career by that is a false economy. I would like to think that I would measure success my knowing i have made a difference, to someone, in some shape or form. Idealistic maybe? who knows?

I've always feared getting sucked into the corporate vacuum. I've stayed away from finance which i was morally uneasy about. My aim to myself has been to enter the corporate world to get the right training, develop myself professionally, before trying to apply it in another field. Be it via an NGO or a socially responsible business. But 4 months in, I'm less clear then ever about how i can or should achieve my eventual aim. This is one of the many reason's I'm confused.

As i said at the start, i am thankful for having a good job, and compared to many and been blessed with many things. I think i need to appreciate that more, but i do not want to forget my end goal either. Hopefully with time the path will become clearer.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

A flleting encounter with Marrakesh

Inspired by the travel post's of 'liya and geekisiddiqui i decided to finally get round to doing a travelling post. 'liya's recent post was on Marrakesh, i thought i would share a few of my photo's and experiences from my trip there.

I was out in Marrakesh at the start of the year for a few short days. But it was lots and lots of fun, despite all the 'fun' we had with Ryanair (will gloss over that!). Marrakesh is a cool city to be in, albeit overly touristy. Despite this it was lots and lots of fun. Being the student I was at the time, I stayed with my friend at a hostel. Despite being a hostel it was pretty swanky, with a beautiful chill out area in the reception area (much bigger then the pic above shows), and cool rooftop terrace.

Which by night looked pretty sweet, and you could even see the minaret from Masjidul Khoutobia (ok not in this pic).
I went and prayed in Masjid Khoutobia, and when i went to take wudu, there was this little old man who would give you hot water for a few dirham's in a little pot (hey i'm easily impressed).

The mosque was pretty cool, although you could see the effect of time was not on it's side, the carpets looked a bit worn close up. It was surprisingly empty inside the mosque (at zuhr time), while the other newer mosques, near the souks and such were much more packed during prayer times.

(KKK style moroccan hoody thing (i went for a red one)

The souks were kinda cool, bargaining with the stall holders was interesting to say the least, you could bargain them down to half the price they started at and still get ripped off. But then the bargaining can be fun (or annoying), depends on the type of person you are. I think if you take it in a light hearted manner, and are prepared to walk away it can be fun. I attempted to chuck in the odd arabic word ,not sure if it worked. My favourite was chucking in 'Ya Allah', if i thought the price was still too high, or Ya Akhi (My brother). But my arabic skills were exhausted pretty quickly, after how are you, i'm fine, i'm from England, and how much is this.

The souks were a crazy place, which i think the photo with the bike captures quite well. It was quite amusing how they would always say, ' come i can give you a good price', with various reasons, the most amusing being 'a good allied price', as there were brits and americans in our group. So some how, one of the dudes we met at the hostel, who had been in Marakesh for a while and became our impromtu tour guide, pretended to be a stall holder, pointing stick and all and offered us 'a good allied price', we were all in hysterics, and can't believe we didn't get chased away by the stall holder.

more random pics from around the souks

For me one of the coolest things about morocco was the food!!! We got shown this cool local place (by the same dude that pretended to be a stallholder), to have rabbit tagine, definately not filled with tourists

It was amazing how soft the meat was, so tender and juicy!!! Ok now it's making me hungry.

The main square in the old city(djemma el fnaa), really came alive at night, full of foodsellers. We ate out there a couple of times, on the recommendation of our impromtu tour guide.

I found it highly musing how the food sellers attempted to get peoples attention. They figured me and my friend was British and then started quoting shops (Marks & Spencers, Asda, Tesco), their taglines (“That’s Asda price”). And most amusing of all random lines from British comedies – “i’m the only gay in the village” (little britain), and ‘Am I bovvered?’ and ‘Does my face look bovvered?’ – including actions, from the catherine tate show. (Of course there was the usual are you Indian first).

Marrakesh is a cool city, and i'm glad i've done it, even though it was a fleeting visit. I think my next trip to morocco would be to some of the other cities and hopefully the atlas mountains.

These pics above show what a surreal view of them we had, palm trees and snow capped mountains. When i was in Granada it was another surreal moment with the snowcapped Sierra Nevada mountains behind the Al Hambra. My trip to Granada is a whole post in itself, which I hopefully will get round to writing sometime soon.

Monday, May 4, 2009


The Water stairway, Al-Hambra, Granada

A truly tranquil place, walking down the stairs in the shade of the trees, with the sound of water flowing down the handrails. Very surreal, but cool. Guess it would be rather romantic, if not for the number of tourists :)

Would definitely recommend visiting the Al Hambra. I def want to go back again!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Office

A random little musing, nothing profound at all.

The new (ish) MS office is cool, great little inbuilt referencing manager and cool little feature like making table of contents automatically from Heading styles.

End of geekyness... and back to work :(

Monday, March 23, 2009


Still not really got hold of this bloggingness. What I mean by that is letting myself write uninhibited about the issues on my mind. Probably a trust issue me thinks. That even in an anonymous situation I'm fearful of letting people knowing what I'm really thinking. Which is odd, but probably sums me up fairly well. As much as I love to talk, and yes I can natter with people for hours and hours on end (my mum says I'm worse then a girl on the phone), I haven't ever let anyone get really really close, aka your typical best friend. Maybe that comes from a fear of becoming a bit too vulnerable to letting one person know everything about you. I know I have got a lot better over the last few years, but still know that I haven't let any one person know every side of me.

So till that day, some of my thoughts will continue to swirl around my head shared only with myself and occasionally my journal (only started that a few months back)

Hopefully that will change and I will make more leaps of trust. Only the future holds the answer to that one.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Updated update on compromise

UPDATED: Take 2 at writing this update post, with a bit more detail lol.

So the the earlier post on compromise was about my future and jobs. At that stage I possibly had the option of doing a job which I though would have allowed me to develop professionally, gain a good set of transferable skills and have an amazing experience for a year to work in a developing country helping businesses, so lots of first hand experience to aid me in my long run goal of working in development.

However the company and the particular job would be involved with interest bearing loans directly, something which i was uncomfortable about, hence was trying to figure out weather in this instance the long term end (skills acquisition and experience to work in development) outweighed the moral costs. It was never about the money, since I would have only been paid living costs, but it was about the experience for me.

I like to think fate has worked its way, so while that opportunity has gone, I do have a job for once I graduate, and still might go out there for the summer. But if I do it will be in a role I am much more comfortable about, kinda social audit function. So InshAllah thinks will continue to work out, and my original aims of an end can be fulfilled.

So hopefully this updated version makes a lot more sense then my rather more cryptic first attempt.


Saturday, February 28, 2009

The crazy world of getting married, muslim style

So having re-read my post,i realised for the first time i have given a bit more of the thoughts in my head, being slightly less guarded then my normal self, and also that the post is rather long, so enjoy.

This is a post with more questions then answers.
I'm just adding my own little musings and not adding anything new to the the this well discussed topic. The crazy world of getting married, Muslim (Asian??) style.

Not that I have started looking yet, but just thinking about it is confusing, but the future has a habit of being a confusing thing to look into. How do you know when to start looking? When is it too soon,and when is it too late?
I think I will start with my hopeful view of what marriage will be, that I will find someone that I click with, someone that I enjoy spending time with and someone that I can discover the rest of my life with. I feel marriage should never be thought of as a burden, but should instead add another layer to my life, allowing me to develop and express myself in different way, and hopefully the same goes for my future wife.

Being at uni really doesn't help matters, seeing lots of couples, and what that extra element adds to people's life (not referring to the physical sides of relationships). Mix that with the standard muslim expectation of can't get married till able to financially support yourself e.t.c and really does make you wonder. If i wasn't a muslim i'm pretty sure i would have done the whole dating thing by now. But that desire to be with someone,is very natural, part of being human and something I feel already, it makes me wonder how people can wait until they are in their 30's before getting married. Seems like you are putting yourself through unnecessary hurt/tests by waiting that long. But i guess that contrasts against finding the right person to spend the rest of your life with. I guess people can argue about careers, and doing stuff first, but I just think with the right person it can be done as a couple (is that me still being idealistic)

So now to give the thought process some structure

1) When do you start looking
2) How do you look
3) How do you know the person is right?

When do you start looking?

Few factors spring to mind with marriage, and looking for marriage.
  • Are you in a place in life where you feel that you are mature enough to be getting married (me mature lol, although just thinking of my few blog posts, they have all so far been rather serious). I think that's a hard thing to call, as most of the time it's about rising to the situation, and only then can you truly display the qualities needed. But i guess it comes down to being open minded and not thinking marriage will be a walk in the park, thinking that marriage will just be the honeymoonesque fun times. I guess its being able to compromise (key word with marriage i guess) and working with someone. But that's all words, and i think its how you react instinctively to the trials of marriage which will define weather you are mature enough i guess.
  • Are you financially stable enough to support someone else (obviously a guy thing), comes down to what you define as suffcient to support someone else. Personally i would go for being able to rent somewhere to live alone, and beyond that i don't think livng costs are that great. Instead the big barrier is the cost of the wedding itself (which will prob address in another post). I personally feel this can be a sumbling block to people getting married, especially the cost of weddings, meaning guys don't start looking till they feel finacially secure, often in late 20's. Hopefully that won't be me.
  • Parents
    - for guys, do they think you are ready / other side of the spectrum thing you should get a move on and get married before you are grey and old.

    - for girls much more it seems just get married sooner rather then later (before they gather dust on the shelves (disclaimer not my actual opinion)
Personally i'm actually in favour of younger marriages (24-26 for guys, and early 20's for girls), providing both parties are mature enough, and of course the right match for each other. I prob think 25-26 is realistic for moi, but I guess only Allah really knows.

My views on how to find someone and if the person is right in the next post or 2 (thought the post is getting a bit long, and will be interesting to see what other's think).


P.S The date on the post is when I started writing this lol, so taken me a week to actually finish it, I need to be more focused damn it.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Do the ends justify the means? For once i'm not talking about terrorism (or torture). We do it everyday, we make compromises, sometimes with people, and sometimes with situations. Some we do after much thought, others subconsciously with seemingly no thought given to it. But I do wander at what point do we cross that imaginary threshold that we vowed never to cross, how close to the edge before it becomes inevitable?

If the world was only purely black and white, every decision would be simple. But instead we live in a world which encompasses many shades. I guess this is part of me trying to figure out can you ever justify doing something you disagree with for the right reasons. At what stage does the benefits outweigh departing from your moral compass?

I think it just goes back to everything is destined, and we must have faith in Allah (swt)!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A return from the abyss

So if there is anyone out there reading my blog, I'm back. Let's hope a tad more consistent then before :)

No real excuses for not blogging, just couldn't think of a clear topic to blog about, nor got the confidence to blog about anything too personal, so instead i just lurked in the background reading other peoples blogs.

I will eventually come back to my intention to blog about Islamic Microfinance, but want to do a bit more research on it first. So don't think will be blogging on it too soon. Not quite sure what my next post will be on, but Inshallah it will be soon.