Below is a status I posted on my facebook for my dearest husband, on our 12th year marriage anniversary (25/10/12)…
People who know me well, know that I’m normally a private person, who tries to keep work and personal life separate, (as much as I could working in the community). Close friends would often tell me off for not, introducing Nafeez properly, or taking him with me to “high-level” networking type events. Often I was told, “I didn’t know you were married to Nafeez Ahmed!” In fact an MYH Trustee, whom I worked with for nearly four years, remarked in June “It was only recently I found out, (as a result of everything that happened at MYH), that you are married to the British Muslim who had a spat with Christopher Hitchens!”, “well yes”, I replied “our politics and professional work are so different ”. My Nafeez is a neo-Marxist academic (I think) and I’m well let’s just say more pragmatic than a radical.
But today is our 12th year anniversary of marriage and I’m breaking a long habit to come out of my protective bubble and wish Nafeez a happy 12th year anniversary in a very public way. Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed jaan, I cannot believe it is 12 years since we embarked on this journey together. There has been tears, sadness, crises but all of these have just made the laughter, wonderment, joy, amazement and happiness all that much sweeter and precious.
For me, for many reasons this anniversary is a special one, despite everything that has happened this year in such a public way. For what is not in the public domain is that my personal email and records were savagely intruded upon by a group of individuals over indulging in voyeurism to know the medical records of my immediate family, to know the finances of the family business, and to know, and this has been the thing that I have found hardest to grapple with over the last few months, intimate and personal details of our relationship that no other is privy to. And for this my darling Nafeez I am sorry. I am sorry that because of who I am, where I worked, the values I held close to my heart and the dream I believed in, that we were violated in this way, but most importantly I couldn’t be that garment for you the Qur’an refers to. The irony hasn’t escaped me that over the last few months, whilst I haven’t been able to protect your confidentiality, I have and still am protecting the confidentiality of this group of individuals.
So my darling hubby Happy Anniversary. Here’s to, a lifetime together in this world and an eternity together in the next!
I’m always struck by how much meaning we attach to conversations we have with those around us. I’ve done it myself, a loved one had said something completely innocuous, however I have taken it as a criticism or viewed it in a negative way, which then led to a confrontation or passive negativity. Often we are not cognizant of the fact that we are attaching our own views to what people are saying, effectively filtering what we hear and how we hear it.
‘Non-violent Communication’ by Marshall Rosenberg provides useful tools to unravel the way we hear, what it is that people are telling us and in fact disentangle that, from what it is they actually need. Thus, you are able to truly hear what is being said.
Communication is critical, to every aspect of our lives, so it’s critical that we can, not only communicate effectively but in a way that is non-violent and compassionate.
I have learnt a lot since joining MYH, however communicating in a way that is compassionate, and listening without judgement, are two essential life skills that I have had the opportunity to hone and continuously strive to embody. I am sure these will stay with me for the rest of my life and enable me to meaningfully connect with others.
This is my first blog post! To say hello and let you know that I have decided from time to time to comment on what’s going in the world, share some of the super work I’m doing and generally ramble.
Don’t expect frequent and consistent blog posts yet, it’s going to take me sometime to get into the swing of blogging. Hopefully though, when I do blog you will find some nuggets of insight.
Compassion, kindness and respect are my buzz words, so they will feature a lot along side issues such as social justice, structural inequalities, social exclusion and generally making the world a better place.
Tata for now,