Have you found your soul mate?

Have you found your soul mate? Women, listen, until you find your perfect match your heart will never be satisfied. Is that person your husband, the one you are dating or the one you are hoping will someday love you back? Most, if not all of us, have hoped for that "perfect mate,” someone who would meet our high standard of expectations. I am sorry to tell you that no woman I have ever met over the past two and half decades, women from many different backgrounds, cultures, nationalities, age groups, skin color, and belief systems, have truly found their knight in shining armor. The fantasy that one who will come or is coming to take his bride away on his white horse and then and only then they will both live happily ever after is simply not true. Perhaps you felt that the joy in finding your perfect match was real and you believed that you were living your ideal life, but that feeling did not last. The dream vanished because of some challenges you faced in your life. This is not a new phenomenon. It was written for us from the beginning. In Genesis 3:16, God told Eve “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." This verse had troubled me for a long time. It seemed like God was saying to Eve that she had been misled by the devil, who convinced her that it is alright [...]

By |2024-01-31T03:43:18-05:00يناير 10th, 2022|Devotionals, English|التعليقات على Have you found your soul mate? مغلقة

Please give me a child

Please give me a child The passage in John 4:7-42 tells the story of the Samaritan woman who went to draw water from Jacob's well at midday as part of her normal daily routine but instead met the Messiah as he was resting by the well. Her life was completely changed by their encounter although her story of transformation required two major components: Jesus' power and love for her and her willingness to examine her life and long held beliefs. Reading carefully, we can see how she progressed in the way she viewed herself. She initially expressed surprise that Jesus, as a Jew, should speak to her, a Samaritan woman. Her statement was driven by the cultural and religious differences both the Jews and the Samaritans had at that time toward each other. By saying that she was a Samaritan and a woman, she confused her identity with her destiny. Her real identity was as a woman created in God’s image made to glorify his name through her God given gifts and talents. While she sees being a Samaritan woman as a reason to prevent having a meaningful interaction between her and Jesus, he does not see it that way. These same reasons she presented to Jesus are the very reasons that qualified her to be the perfect messenger for what was going to take place, not only in her personal life but also for her entire city. Jesus engaged her with great respect for [...]

By |2024-01-31T03:43:26-05:00مارس 25th, 2020|Devotionals, English|التعليقات على Please give me a child مغلقة

An incredible woman with an incredible faith (Luke 8:43-49)

An incredible woman with an incredible faith Luke 8:43-49 This woman did have incredible faith, however, she only meant to take the healing she desperately needed and then to leave quietly. After being healed, she intended to go on quietly living her life. Jesus, on the other hand, wanted something else; He wanted to speak directly to her. Yes, he joyfully meets our needs, but he is much more interested in developing a relationship with us than merely addressing our physical needs. Many reasons prevented this woman from announcing her faith in Jesus publicly. She was a woman living in a patriarchal society, and not just a woman but also a bleeding woman. For twelve years, she had been seeking a cure for her condition and no one was able to heal her. She knew that Jesus had the power to heal her and everything depended upon an opportunity to receive that healing touch from him. When she saw Jesus, she decided to touch the edge of his robe from behind him. Perhaps she didn't feel able to make eye contact with Jesus. Remember, she was living in a culture, which stigmatized anyone afflicted with this disease. After touching the hem of his garment her strong faith in Jesus granted her what she had longed for many years, “the healing of her body”. Jesus wanted more for her than the healing of her sickness. He wanted to restore her identity and the way she [...]

By |2024-01-31T03:43:34-05:00مارس 3rd, 2020|Devotionals, English|التعليقات على An incredible woman with an incredible faith (Luke 8:43-49) مغلقة

My cousin, Salam

My Cousin My cousin, Salam, was born in 1994, the third son in my uncle’s family. The family's oldest son was born in 1989, and his name is Samer. The second son was born in 1991 and his name is Maher. In keeping with custom, my uncle was supposed to name his third son a name which complements the names of his other sons, Samer and Maher. For no particular reason, my uncle named his third boy Salam, which means peace in the Arabic language. I don’t know why my uncle decided to name his child that instead of following the custom; perhaps he was hoping to have peace in the family, but their life and Salam’s did not follow that path. My uncle’s life took a drastic turn when he was 18; with the beginning of the war with Iran in 1980. He served in the army for most of his adult life. The 1980s were very hard on all Iraqi people; many families lost their sons during that time. Sadness and fear were unavoidably prominent on people's faces and in their conversations. Women were especially affected by this great sadness. For this reason they mainly wore black colors, representing the grief that they felt. I remember, as an eight-year-old girl, seeing the pictures of martyrs hung upon walls in the homes of our friends and relatives. Some families had lost a son in that war, others lost two sons, and some had lost [...]

By |2024-01-31T03:44:58-05:00يونيو 14th, 2018|English, Short Story|التعليقات على My cousin, Salam مغلقة

Our Twentieth Anniversary

We are celebrating our twentieth anniversary and reflecting on how good God has been to us through all these years. Our journey has not been the easiest, however it has been and still is more vibrant and adventure-filled than what we could imagine or even plan. Together we experienced what it means to be truly committed to each other. Our marriage is far from perfect, but we both believe that we would not be what God wanted us to be without each other’s love and encouragement. Together we learned to practice grace toward one another when we faced judgment from the outside. We learned how to see the God-given potential in each other and not to be discouraged by life’s barriers. We have learned to be a shoulder to lean on and cry when we encounter devastating situations. We stand by each other's side and believe we have the ability to accomplish our objectives even while facing life's discouragement. Together we traveled the globe, lived in many countries, and have been exposed to people from a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds that enriched our way of thinking. Some of them have changed our perspective on what we used to consider normal or the expected thing to do. Through the last twenty years of our marriage, we have moved to so many houses to the point that we stopped counting them. For example, in one year we counted how many times we changed the place [...]

By |2024-01-31T03:45:08-05:00أكتوبر 30th, 2017|Articles, English|التعليقات على Our Twentieth Anniversary مغلقة

Greetings from the land of Pharaohs

I left Cincinnati with all types of mixed emotions. My heart was very heavy after having lived there for eight years. This was the longest time that George and I had lived in one particular city since we got married. When we first arrived in 2009, we came on a student visa knowing that would only allow us to stay there temporarily. That was not a big deal for us because we lived previously as missionaries in five different countries with the mentality that our stay in each country would be relatively short, to the point that I felt that I was destined to live this way throughout my life, even though that was not my desire. In Cincinnati, God blessed us beyond what we could ask or even imagine. He opened many doors for us and enriched our lives in all respects. He gave us favor in people’s eyes, with those who have become lifelong friends, mentors, supporters and even people who treated us like their own children whom we literally call mom and dad. In Cincinnati our dreams were not just fulfilled, but also gave birth to new dreams. We first came with specific hopes and desires. However, God called us to be more courageous to ask, seek and knock in order to receive and enjoy His promises, because His promises are real for those who believe in Him. He opened our eyes and hearts to understand His grace. Through grace, we learned [...]

By |2024-01-31T03:45:52-05:00يونيو 12th, 2017|English, Short Story|التعليقات على Greetings from the land of Pharaohs مغلقة

Five Daughters & No Son – Part II

The political situation in northern Iraq was not stable. Tension between the Iraqi government and the Kurds was increasing. Kurds wanted their own independence apart from Iraq. They showed this by being rebellious against the government, which only created a chaotic environment and made it hard for my family to have an appropriate and safe life. Even though my dad was earning a good living, still he couldn’t risk the unpredictability of the political situation any more. He needed to think big. Nothing seemed bigger than moving to Baghdad, the capital, where he could give his family a better life. Bagdad in the late seventies was flourishing in every aspect. There were a lot of opportunities to work in better schools and that is what happened for my father later on. With every baby girl came additional burdens. The burdens were a combination of different feelings of fear, anxiety, shame and loneliness. My parents are the most kind and loving people you can ever imagine. That is not just how all of my siblings and myself view them, but also everyone who has met them and knows them personally, including their sons and daughter in law. The culture, however, and the environment they grew up in was very harsh. Culture and traditional expectations have been rooted deeply for hundreds of years and it is so hard to change or even modify them. Honoring and keeping the cultural traditions that we inherited without questioning could easily [...]

By |2024-01-31T03:46:02-05:00يناير 25th, 2017|English, Short Story|التعليقات على Five Daughters & No Son – Part II مغلقة

Five Daughters & No Son – Part I

Arab families are generally patriarchal so having five daughters in a row was a continuing pressure on my parents for many years. With every pregnancy, my mother would pray and even fast to become pregnant with a boy. She actually had her first baby boy after having two girls, and my mother felt great relief. She could relax now and be confident again of her ability to give birth to a boy. She could plan a party and almost everybody in the village would be invited. Well, in reality, whoever heard about the great news of Kamoura’s could join the party and celebrate without waiting for the invitation. Unfortunately, the joy my parents experienced did not last for long. In the early seventies, Iraq had very limited resources to cure and fight disease, so my little brother died when he was a few months old and my parent’s dream of having a son died with him. My mother was in deep sorrow. The entire village came to pay their respects to my parents. Believe me, as harsh as this sounds, if one of my sisters had passed away, not many would feel obligated to come and be with my parents to comfort them. Why? Because most simply felt and also said, “It is okay. Don’t be sad. You have other girls," as if mothers could determine or regulate their emotions based on the gender of their child. After my brother died, it was my turn [...]

By |2024-01-31T03:46:10-05:00يناير 8th, 2017|English, Short Story|التعليقات على Five Daughters & No Son – Part I مغلقة