Thursday, December 24, 2020

I can see clearly now the year is gone - by mahani zubedy

I can see clearly now the year is gone

Two months into COVID the retina in my left eye detached. I was jumping from one project to another asking myself what was important. What did I care about? Life was perilous. Bone-chilling scary. Who knows how many times I might have picked up the virus at HEB? Stuck it up my nose, breathed it, ate it even. I imagined I had trouble breathing and died, or worse, got very sick for months.
I called for zoom meetups on how to thrive in the new normal. Made notes on how to flourish. Maybe my eyes were tired. I shut the computer and rested for a day. The next morning everything was blurry. I felt like someone sucker punched the side of my head. I covered one eye, looked right, looked left, looked down, looked up. Then the other eye, when, Whoa! I saw a black curtain. I called my optometrist who sent me to an ophthalmologist, who referred me to a retina doctor, who zapped my eye.
The next three days I sat with my neck out looking down at my toes. I slept hunched over four pillows. Instead of the motion and commotion of before, me “getting stuff done,” I sat still and did one thing – helped my retina stick back to my eyeball.
My vision was at stake. I was grateful it was 2020, not 1620; I would have gone blind in one eye then. And it was the good eye. I willed my retina to stick and dreamed of gooey things; frog eggs, earthworms, snails, slugs.
My sanity was at stake. In the middle of the night, every muscle in my neck and shoulders screamed. I wished to rest my head on a pillow and lie down. Instead, I sat and breathed into forming knots and exhaled.
Four days later my retina healed eighty percent. Time for more laser. Dr. Mason said no injection. No numbing the eye, because, well, he would be able to see better. Incandescent spider webs flashed dzzz red, dzzz green, dzzz gold as the laser seared my retina. Like when Mathew McConaughey went to Saturn in Interstellar. It smelt like smoke and scorched hair. It felt like a burning stick on an open wound.
I gave birth to three children with no meds. In 2001 I had back surgery. The next day I walked a mile with no pain killers. I know how to breathe and send oxygen to muscles in my body. I had no clue how to send them to thin jelly in my eyeball. Stop I said, and Dr. Mason stopped. Then, dzzz, Interstellar. Interstellar. Interstellar.
My eye will heal. I am grateful for the gift of sight and thankful for the days when I was quiet. COVID revealed that thriving is important to me. To be, and to feel alive. The knowledge in itself wasn’t enough to get out of old patterns, long-established memory paths on autopilot that mistook busy work for work. Not enough to change, to carve new paths, create new connections in my head, and new muscle memory in my body. The new overlays I formed were mere tracings against well-trodden ruts. I need to rewire my brain and muscle retention. Slowly, so it sticks. I need to stay still. Be here.
But how does sitting quiet feel? What is unbusy in the body? Here’s a smote in the eye to help. (Thank you)
Will this new-found awareness last? There’s a Malaysian saying; hot, hot, chicken shit. Chicken shit gets cold fast compared to bear shit say, which is substantial and keeps its warmth all winter, like the inside of an igloo. You discover drawing with charcoal. You buy reams of rice paper, all the coal in New Castle in every shape and size. You jump from one drawing to another for two weeks. Six months later you really need to cart them all to the Salvation Army. Hot, hot, chicken shit.
I started StorySistas five years ago, a community of women who connect through stories. Sharing stories connect humans to our inner selves and each other. The connection makes us resilient. Makes us grow. In the first years, I told a story at every gathering. It was how I made sense of my past. How I reached out and warmed up to me. It is not about the story; it is the journey to you for the story. Orpheus descending to Hades for Euridice except you are both Orpheus and Euridice. You go back and bring yourself out. Look forward.
By the third year, I stopped. And … nothing. When you are 64, years can go by like that, with no stories. You try to remember, pull at threads but they are dry and they crumble, fall apart, and you end with nothing. Years of it.
Seeing a black curtain instead of the living room turned my feet cold, my heart hurtling. Did I have a mini-stroke? It was the first thing the ophthalmologist asked. Was “did you have a mini-stroke” a standard question? Was he joking? Did he chuckle? I had been wondering how and why “this” happened. Did he read my mind?
2020 has been a nightmare — I would love a clean slate for 2021. But it’s not going to happen. Not till spring when most of us have been offered the vaccine. I will be first in line. I can see clearly now the year is gone. Almost. I need another surgery, gunk (the doctor’s word) has built up from the last two procedures and needs to be scraped off my retina. I see through a speck of dirt.
No matter. COVID and my eye helped me focus (so help me God). I have twenty to thirty more years, or maybe I have ten or two – I want to live, tell my story. To anchor the present and reimagine the future — stories do that for me. What about you?

Wednesday, December 23, 2020



Most Muslims & Christians do not know that Prophet Muhammad and his companions were rooting for Christian Rome against the Persians because they see Islam and Christianity as one of the same team – Team Monotheism.

The enemies of Islam, the Quraysh was on the side of the Persians. You can read this in the Quran chapter 30, The Romans Verses 1 to 10. *

When it seems that the destruction of Christian Rome was imminent, The Quran promised otherwise, that the Christians will be victorious within a few years, and it is a day that the Muslims too, will celebrate. The Quraysh laughed at the Prophet. But God never fails to fulfill His promises. Within 10 years, Christian Rome totally routed the Persians.

We Christians & Muslims must reflect on this shared history.

As a Christmas gift, please download for free my book, “Can we use Allah in the Bible”. Click here

Have a meaningful Christmas from all of us at zubedy.

Peace, anas

* Quran - The Romans 1-10

Alif Lam Mim

The Roman Empire has been defeated

In a land close by; but they (even) after (this) defeat of theirs will soon be victorious

Within a few years. With Allah is the Decision in the Past and in the Future: on that Day shall the Believers rejoice

With the help of Allah. He helps whom He will and He is Exalted in Might Most Merciful

(It is) the promise of Allah. Never does Allah depart from His promise: but most men understand not

They know but the outer (things) in the life of this world: but of the End of things they are heedless.

Do they not reflect in their own minds? Not but for just ends and for a term appointed did Allah create the heavens and the earth and all between them: yet are there truly many among men who deny the meeting with their Lord (at the Resurrection)! 

Do they not travel through the earth and see what was the End of those before them? They were superior to them in strength: they tilled the soil and populated it in greater numbers than these have done: there came to them their apostles with Clear (Signs) (which they rejected to their own destruction): it was not Allah Who wronged them but they wronged their own souls.

In the long run evil in the extreme will be the End of those who do evil; for that they rejected the Signs of Allah and held them up to ridicule. 

Monday, December 14, 2020


By anas zubedy: Friday 18/12/2020 530 – 730 PM M’sian time.

Are you planning to jump into a business or already started one?

In this webinar, I will share MY experience and ideas on starting, building and maintaining a socially responsible business. I will take you through what is considered the real purpose of business and how a business contributes to society.

I will also share my idea on the 4 crucial business functions an organization must do right before it can achieve success. 

The role of profit in business will be deliberated and how to acceptably map profit to social entrepreneurship.

The talk will provide conceptual frameworks and needs that covers Innovation, Marketing, Duplication and Management as well as what type of skills and talents are needed to achieve them. 

You will find that the ideas presented are universal and are applicable to Large, Medium-sized and Small businesses too.

This is part of Taylor’s University & University of Dhaka’s UNDERSTANDING ASIAN TRANSFORMATIONS: YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS series of webinars.

Peace, anas

Description: BPO CGS is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 818 2606 5571

Passcode: 901796

Saturday, December 12, 2020


It is very hard to teach integrity. It is either they have it or they dont.

Some try hard to change, but their inner devil whispers in their ears cheering them to do otherwise. The pain eats them, but they simply cant shake it out. They create reasons to justify their behavior rather than to correct their soul.
But recently, I have a pleasant surprise. A person who screwed up and cost me an extra 16K 11 years ago, simply wants to come clean. Even when I told him that I have moved on, he insisted on paying back. Perhaps because he was about to lose a leg, it made him to rethink and reflect. But I do not really know.
I told him to just give it away to charity, but he insisted to pay me direct. So, i have decided to give most away to those near me who is in need and perhaps practice a little self love and buy me a little present.
There is hope.

But, integrity is key. Do not do business or form a union, business or otherwise with anyone that is lacking in it.

Coz, until they lose a leg, they will take your arm.