Back From the S.A.R

An even stranger trip home then usual. I always have a head swimmy feeling as I leave due to mutual sobbing with Umm Mr Outlines. I do not like goodbyes.

This is made worse on the way to the airport with the big, blue sign above the motorway which reads ‘GOOD BYE’, in big capitals. At this point I’m ready to shout out, “Let me stay! My Mum can post out Prawn Cocktails crisps and I’ll be fine!” On to the plane and Oreo is immaculately behaved for 95% of the journey and deeply unhappy for the final ten percent. More grim emotions at the baggage carousel where we experience the creeping dread realisation that while we might have arrived, our baggage hasn’t. Luckily we were reunited later that evening.


Oreo is struggling to cope with Life After Syria, as life in Syria consisted of a large cast of people on hand to pamper her every whim. Plus Syrian food, which she developed rather a fondness for. While back in the U.K, Oreo would choke dramatically in the presence of solid food, in Syria, she happily sat on Auntie’s lap eating whatever was offered. No, she does not sit happily on my lap for feeding either. I have to strap her into her high chair and even then she formulates escape plans.


As for Damascus itself, not much has changed since last year. The credit crunch so obvious in Britain, is not as visible there. Probably because they aren’t as fond of credit as we are.

The latest big Turkish drama is Wadil Zi’ab, which is about a vaguely righteous man defeating gangsters. Rather oddly, while you virtually never see anyone kiss on Arab tv, you can see the aforementioned gangsters breaking each other’s fingers at four in the afternoon.

I was very disappointed to  find the abaya police on the doors of two mosques I visited. Dudes, you need to mind your own business. Especially the chap who took a good look at my chest  before deciding I needed more coverage. Yes, only my hands and face were showing and no, nothing was skin-tight, but because I wasn’t wearing a manto (full length coat v popular in Syria) or abaya, I’m not sufficiently covered to enter the House of Allah. Very sad, especially the Umayyd which CHARGES MONEY for the abayas.


While in Syria, I closely followed the Off-food diet. This is why you eat anything you are offered. Arab hospitality + British plate clearing = Need to start exercising regularly again.

I also discovered Gonfe, which is a waffle filled with chocolate sauce and is delicious. I ate one with my youngest sister in law and we sat in a park with Oreo and meshed our broken English and Arabic into a conversation. As an example of just how broken my Arabic is, “Huwa la khayr. Huwa waled wasikh bi nisa’at” is me talking about Cristiano Ronaldo, who is currently flogging shampoo everywhere.


After a trip to Syria, Mr Outline and I discuss the possibility of living there. As always, my feelings are hugely mixed. People talk about standards of living and that if you’re rich (which we aren’t) you can have a far higher standard of living then in the U.K. I’d still rather clean my own toilet and get to vote though then the other way around.

In the very tedious process of Being Officially Married and Having an Official Child In Syria, I officially Became Muslim. This involved a visit to a catastrophically dirty building, where the lights were low and the queues were long. Then,  repeating an extended Shahdah in front of a very grumpy Sharia Judge with incongruous wall hangings. He did not seem very happy about there being another Muslim in the world, but then he didn’t very happy generally. We’re still not Officially Married in Syria yet. More paperwork still to do.

Eid Mubarak everyone, may Allah shower you all with blessings.


No, I didn't take this

I didn’t take this


Calling Moon and Moon

Is anyone still there?


Anyway, after an unintended break , I shall be taking another one.Alhamdulilah for planes, as insha Allah, I’ll be in Syria later today.

So no internetry until I get back. *shakes*.

A summary of things I could have written about before, but didn’t:


Nick Griffin on Question Time: Tosser. And No Platform for Fascists.

People voting for the BNP despite not being racist. If you vote for a party that believes that one race, namely the white race is superior and seeks to discriminate on those ground, then you are racist and Jerry Dammers would be crossing you out of his phone book.


I’m sure there are other things I wanted to write about, but the fact that a bunch of semi-literate racist thugs are gaining political ground in the UK is weighing heavily on my mind.


But… I believe people are better than that. I do. Despite daily, technicolour evidence to the contrary, I believe we are better than that.


As for Syria, I’m very much looking forward to the first Oreo-Tete-Jiddoe summit, Insha Allah. I’m also looking forward to no more of this, as my in-laws have moved. Myself and my post-pregnancy body are very grateful.

As for Oreo, she is now crawling, masha Allah. Aaah she’s great. Although whether I’ll be thinking that when she realises her nice quiet nap time has been replaced by sitting in a big, bright tube…?

On to Syria’s most famous Syrian. All I can say is: 106!!! Bashar you were robbed! Everyone knows that your pulchritude is the reason for your countenance being on view all over Syria. Still, I am pleased about Yulia being number one, proves I was right about her all those years ago

I have to go and sort out my hand luggage.


Until then here’s some soothing stuff for old and young* alike:



We were all children once.



*This programme is like crack for babies. Awesome for snuggling up on the sofa together and watching before bathtime.