1. In early June I had the opportunity to do a phone interview with Kareem Salama for a freelance piece I was writing (I’ve pitched it to a publication since then so keep me in your duas) and he told me about some of the songs on his second album, This Life of Mine. You can hear 2 of them, This Life of Mine and Generous Peace, on his website www.kareemsalama.com. From what I’ve heard – both from Kareem and from the songs – I’m getting a feeling this new album is going to go far, insha’Allah (God willing).

You can also read a great review of it at Hahmed’s blog. (I can’t wait to get the album even if it’s just to read the lyrics.)

kareem_cover.jpg I’m certain that many Canadians haven’t heard Kareem Salama’s music yet. It seems when I or friends mention him in terms of new “Muslim” music, we draw blanks (so we usually do a LOT of advertising – my sister even played it at a community picnic and then had an extremely lengthy discussion/debate with a brother who was saying that it was NOT Muslim music. I wish I had been there – I would have loved to hear what the definition of “Muslim” music was.) Just yesterday, a non-Muslim friend heard his first CD, Generous Peace, while in my car and though I’ve known her for almost ten years, suddenly revealed that she had always looooved country music and this was up there. I promised her a CD or 2 from the ISNA convention just for revealing such a secret.

2. There’s a whole bunch of cute 7 year olds wondering what life is going to be like (after two weeks) for the next ten months. I’ve met most of my incoming class and I’m truly excited – most of them already have well-developed personalities. A big part of a teacher’s job is planning but my detailed plans always fly out the window when I tap into what my latest class is absorbed by. So, while I, like all students and teachers out there, cringe at all the Back to School hoopla, the cringe turns into a smile when I think of the kids.

3. A good friend of mine is leaving Canada with her husband and young daughter for a university teaching opportunity abroad (young, adventurous and smart!) Today we had a get together to say good-bye to her. I’ve known her since I was 6 and though she’s only slightly older than me, I’ve always looked up to her as an older sister – and I don’t think I’m the only one. She’s thoroughly kind, always ready to help anyone and everyone, cheerful, so political aware (she’s going to be teaching international relations) and an independent spirit. I’m going to miss you and I’ll never forget the time you came to visit me in my colorful home in Ottawa, heart-broken and the time I came to visit you at that colorful Chinese restaurant, heart-broken. And the summers we spent riding our bikes all over High Park. And…