Author Archives: Marahm

About Marahm

At first glance, I may appear to be a middle-aged American woman with kids, grandkids, retired from a job in a hospital, gratefully relieved from the responsibilities that come with all of that. Behind the image, which is true enough, I am fairly unhinged from much of American mainstream living, having spent twelve years in Saudi Arabia, years that sprung me from societal and familial impositions, and narrow bands of truth. I have learned to embrace my identity as a seeker, an artist, and a writer. I study Arabic and Italian language, because I love them, and I love their people. I still dream of spending more time in the Middle East and Italy, though the dreaming now seems more real than the possibilities. I am a photographer. I write, and sometimes publish, flash memoir, and now a blog or two.

The Convert Trap

Evidently, American converts face difficulty integrating into an accepting Islamic community.  It’s bad enough that Islamic practice often conflicts with the American cultural milieu. Community provides the cushion and the impetus for all successful adjustments, yet instead of finding open … Continue reading

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My Conversion Story

I’ve been asked to write my story. Immediately, I thought about the day I said shahada in Anis’s apartment. Then I thought about the day I said it in front of a Saudi sheikh,  making it publicly official. Both accounts … Continue reading

Posted in Islam | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Riyadh Still in my Heart

Nineteen years after my repatriation, I am finally able to return to Riyadh. I’ve got someone who is able to secure my visa, I’ve got a place to stay, I’ve got the time and the money, and even my health … Continue reading

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I Quit

Last week, I quit the Tajweed class I had joined. I attended half a dozen classes and learned– or, shall I say, re-learned– basic principles of Tajweed. The teacher is an Egyptian woman who knows her stuff and knows how … Continue reading

Posted in Arabic Language, Depth Psychology, Family, psychology, Religion | Tagged | 4 Comments

A Singular Theory

Many people who are firmly committed to their religion are also firmly committed to the idea that those who belong to other faiths will be sent to Hell after they die. The concept of Hell exists as an absolute reality, … Continue reading

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Life Cycles of Blogs

My favorite free theme, Fruit Shake, is no longer supported by WordPress. I would never have changed it, except that my list of followed blogs and Arabic language resources  had become out-of-date. Most of the links no longer worked, and … Continue reading

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Synchronicity

Have I written about Synchronicity here before? No matter. It is a phenomenon that occurs multiple times, if one is attuned to its features, and I’ve just enjoyed another episode. Synchronicity is a concept introduced by Carl Jung, the pioneer … Continue reading

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A Figure-Eight of Sorts

From time to time, I get spam post notifications for this blog. If I hadn’t gotten those notifications, I would have forgotten this blog altogether.  I have now apologized to myself for observing yet again another one of my life’s … Continue reading

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Another Ramadan

Ramadan begins today, another Ramadan. I’ve been a Muslim for maybe twenty Ramadans, but none of them have enriched me like those first ones in Riyadh. In fact, I actually dislike Ramadan in the United States, astaghfiruallah (may Allah forgive … Continue reading

Posted in Islam, Ramadan | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Learning Tajweed– Again

The Internet is awash in web sites for learning tajweed. I am amazed and impressed, but not tempted to use them. I first learned tajweed the old-fashioned way, by sitting at the foot of a master. Now, I have returned … Continue reading

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