Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Going for the Gold

I knew the Olympics were going on during Ramadan, and I had thought a little bit about how hard that must make the competitions for the Muslim athletes who will be fasting for around 18 hours a day. But not until this morning did I consider how much personal sacrifice is made in an effort to win worldly rewards like gold medals, and promotions at work, and tacky little statues of bowling men, even. People train for most of their lives to be Olympic athletes. High-powered executives lose countless hours of sleep while burning the midnight oil at the office, ordering in Chinese food and taking off their ties at some point (oh, is that just in the movies?). Even league bowlers spend a lot of time and money to get the accolades of their buddies and the jealousy of their beer-bellied rivals.

Walter is not even messing around here. Smokey was over the line.

Non-Lebowski fans, just forget about that picture. You don't really need to know.

Anyone recently reading my blog knows that I haven't been exercising lately. But I'd like to take this opportunity to argue that fasting Ramadan is a bit like exercising. Just sitting here typing this burns calories, and I work full-time. Not eating any calories all day must mean that I am working off some weight right now as we speak. Plus, aside from a few buffet lapses a year, I don't go all crazy at iftar time and eat like it's my last meal. Ironically, I used to do this when I had first been married to a Muslim but I had not yet reverted. We went out to break fast with a bunch of people and they would eat a normal amount because their stomachs had shrunk so much but I would go crazy, taking down lots of falafel, kufta, samosas, and all kinds of crazy foods. Now I know how they felt, with eyes all huge before the meal, thinking you can eat the world deep-fried on a stick and covered in cheese sauce—only to find that a little soup and a modest plate of food tops you right off. You never even get to the desserts.

So there you go. I'm calling this exercise and no, I don't want to hear about all of those people who fast AND do exercise every day, including the Minnesota Vikings' player Husain Abdallah, who fasts during training camp. That's just sick. And I mean sick as in awesome. I'm not old!! Or is that an old term? I know awesome is. I am old.

Actually, let's highlight one of these people just for fun (and because this diptych of photos is awesome):

Egyptian fencer and silver medalist Alaaeldin Abouelkassem praying in uniform at the London Olympics. 

To all those looking for my future husband, this guy was born in 1990 so, no. 


There's a lot I could say here, it being Ramadan and all. But I'm not feeling it. I've been fasting, and praying, and even doing a little Quran reading along with practicing the new surahs I learned, but something's a little off. It always is in the middle of the month, I don't know why. I hope to get the Ramadan spirit back soon. 

On another note, someone in my family said something pretty awful about Muslims recently and that's been on my mind. I've been struggling to understand what could make someone feel such powerful hate for Muslims when one of their own family members has been one for nearly 7 years. It's also disappointing to realize that someone you always admired for their intelligence and wisdom has fallen for such baseless lies and propaganda with regard to the 1.5+ billion Muslims around the world who aren't extremists.

I have decided that it must mean I haven't been as good an ambassador of the religion as I could be. I've tried to just be a good person and show my family that if becoming Muslim has changed me at all, it's for the better. And that I'm not represented by the few lunatics out there who kill innocent people in the name of Islam or whatever else they do. Maybe I have been hiding my faith and beliefs so I will blend in better and not rock the boat. This apparently isn't working.

Any advice?

1 comment:

  1. It's not you. We can't change the way someone else thinks. Keep being you, you're the only one who can. xoxo