October 9, 2009

Liiiiiiive from Ajman! (Or...sorry it's been so long!!)

*Photo: I took this a few days ago. Is a really beautiful masha'allah! I wish blogger would allow me to post more photos EASILY. I have soo many to choose from!*

A'salaamu alaikum and hello!!!!! Sorry it's been such a long time. Aami and I arrive in Ajman, UAE on Monday September 28. Since then we have been acclimating ourselves to a new country and a new family. Masha'Allah everything has been going GREAT!!!

I could not ASK for a better husband. Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah! He is sweet, kind, supportive and understanding. Say masha'allah tabarakallah please. :-)

I have so many experiences to blog about but soo little time! My observations about life in UAE, I have already 200 photos and I started a new job. Really a total life change except I am of course still a Muslimah, a mommy, a wife, a sister... all that stuff. :-) But the details.. all different now.

Our flight was interesting, to say the least! I had written an email about it and I might amend it to post on here. It was funny and a bit stressful but sooo worth it in the end masha'allah.

My job... that is worth a post or two on its own! I am a KG teacher here in UAE at a British curriculum school. I won't of course post particulars about my students by name and I won't post photos but I will tell about my experiences working in the Gulf for others who might want to follow.

One big change has been mine and Aami's eating habits. My husband is a verrry healthy eater and of course it is rubbing off on us! Alhamdulillah. We eat whole foods, fruits, veggies and some meat of course. Aami and I have had a cheeseburger from Hardees and a chicken sandwich at a local mall but otherwise are eating "clean and green". ;-) I think that phrase can apply to sooo many things!!!

Anyway here is a sample of what we eat:

1. Hummus. Fresh, cooked at home. Abdu made the chickpeas and instructed me on the rest. Grind your chickpeas with a little water and salt and garlic. About 5 cloves, peeled. This is your base. Lasts for a week in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, jazz it up! Add spices (red pepper and cumin are favorites) some chopped tomatoes and cucumbers and then finish it off with a good drizzle of olive oil. YUM.

2. Fool madammas. This is fava beans (fool) cooked and mashed (madammas). So simple and yummy plus is healthy! We used canned beans btw. Take a tomato or two, chop it finely. Add some chopped garlic, onion, and cumin, red pepper, and fragrant spice mix (cinnamon, cardamom are in it) and fry lightly over low heat for a few minutes, stirring often. Soften the tomatoes this way. Then mix in the beans, heat thoroughly. Remove from stove, mash with fork. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with thin pita bread. Once again, YUM. Aami loves this, sans the pepper.

3. Fresh fruits. Self explanatory. :-)

4. I made veggies tuna salad today. Chopped cucumbers, grated carrots, and finely diced onion mixed with tuna and a judicious amount of mayonnaise. I put Aami's into soft white bread bun and put Abdu's into whole wheat pita. It was really good!

5. Tea. Yes this is a food group/meal. :-) Tea with milk and sugar, yum. Add a plate of biscuits (lightly sweetened crackers) and you are good to go!

6. Packed lunches. Sometimes leftovers (like chicken and rice) but just for Aami. Here lunch is a LIGHT affair. I usually take some bread (not sliced white) and spread a bit of peanut butter on it. Did the same with a a fruit and nut pancake I made too. Of course yoghurt is always a winner! The other teachers at the school exemplify Arabic hospitality so each day I get little bits and bites of their food. Yum. I will reciprocate insha'allah soon!

OK so this is just an idea. Light, healthy, big on fruits, veggies, and salad. Light on the meat and of course Aami has milk. Those who know me know I am WEIRD about drinking any milk other than what I am used to so... I haven't ventured into "shelf stable" milk territory yet. :-)

Oh I drove. I was nervous. I did a good job (masha'Allah). It wasn't trafficky. lol Anyway I need to start driving myself to school but I don't like round abouts!!! I also don't like feeling incompetent. Sigh... insha'Allah I'll master it soon. Make du'a for me. Really please.

OK I have sooo much more I want to say but it's almost 3 am. I am not longer jet lagged but I woke up and thought... hmm good time. Aami doesn't like sharing my time alhamdulillah so is easier for me when she is asleep. :-)

I will start to write regularly because I really want a log of all my experiences; I don't want to forget them! So insha'Allah you should all see a huge spike in my writing now. Pleae make du'a for my family and I that Allah blesses us and makes things easy for us, amin!!!!

Ma salaam,

Umm Aaminah

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