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Al hum du allah: Praise be to Allah. This phrase is said in thanks to God.

I could be biased. I’ve been married to a Lebanese man for over twenty years. I love the Middle Eastern Culture.

Not to take anything away from my Hasidic friends. To me, an urban black hippie chick, you all appear as cousins. Many similarities acknowledged on both sides.

The most important thing is, and has always been, the beauty of the culture. A walk into a room will be met by everyone rising to greet you personally. Someone will warmly take your hand and kiss you, not once, not twice, but three times on either side of your face.

At the age of nineteen, I was too uneducated by my American upbringing. On one occasion, I grew tired of the sitting and standing parade that was happening as Mike, my husband and his huge extended family kept spilling into the room. One-after-the-other-get-up-sit-down-routine.

I complained to my husband. I told him, “I was not going to stand up again if one more person entered the room.” He gave me a look of contempt mixed with mischief. “You sure?.” He said. “Yeah!” I said rolling my eye’s, puffing on my cigarette, pulling my micro-mini down while fluffing out my super big hair.

INSERT GEORGE MICHEAL “FAITH “ FLASHBACK HERE

Sure enough, another relative walked into the room. This time I sat. I received so many looks I quickly turned to my husband and asked, “ Why?“

“You just greatly insulted my family and my relative that walked into the room. “ He was eyeballing me now. “They think you have no class.“

I quickly learned my lesson in a way that only my husband could teach me. (My family calls him “Mike The Knife” for a reason)

In American culture depending on the greeting we are all over the spectrum, it could be a simple wave across the room or A kiss on the lips, depending on how were feeling. The one thing remains the same is it’s about how comfortable WE are in greeting who WE want.

Personally, I like the rule. Whether I love them or dislike them or don’t even know them, I better get up off my ass, demonstrate that I have respect for the simple fact that THEY are entering the room.

This is such a beautiful thing to me. EVERYONE should be honored.

The focus is always on the same things:
Good food.
Good manners.
Good intentions.

The richness of the deeds. The poetry of the Quran brings forth every action in the Middle Eastern Tradition. It’s incredible, even when talking you will hear the same key phrases in Arabic language:  “ Al hum du allah In shallah”  at the beginning or ending of a sentence. It means: In Gods Will.

That makes me cry tears of appreciation. Metaphorically, We ALL need to stand up for EVERYONE. What if we all raised our consciousness? And put God (He/She/Higher Power) at the beginning and ending of everything we do?