Secular Values in Islam – Muslimish Conference


Thought of the Day

“I ran into friends” is an acceptable excuse for being late to work in Iceland.

It is also the happiest country in the world!

Memoir Part 5: The Bus to Fujairah 1983

The bus picks me and my brother Mohammed, who we nicknamed Hamoudi, (as it is commonly done to the name Mohammed in the Arabic world, the most popular name in the world),  every day in the morning.  As our apartment is on the beach, we wait under its breeze and the mountain view on the other side.  I remember the serenity of those mornings when whoever left of the fishermen that are still tidying their boats after the dawn’s auction at the fishermen’s market, are making the settle sounds in the distance along the seagulls.

As I reflect back on my memories of the school bus, I wish that our seating was not assigned.  We had a bus supervisor, an old Egyptian woman, with a tight scarf and thick glasses, that was mean and ultra-serious.  We took the bus about 3 years and didn’t have a chance to make new friends due to the assigned seating, and no talking policy.  We talked anyways, but in a low voice, otherwise, we would risk our ears being pulled, the favorite torture method of that teacher. We took that 30 minutes road from Khorfakkan to Fujairah so many times, that we memorized everything.  The number of signs on our way, the number of villages we passed through, their names, and how many cars we can spot in them, the Bedouin tents at the bottom of the mountains, always with luxury cars parked next to them.  We got to a point where we would pick a color, and count everything that we passed through that had that color.  We would get ecstatic if we were allowed to change our seats and sit next to someone else, especially my friends Islam and Firas.


Islam is an Egyptian boy from Alexandria, with a super kind father and mother from Egypt.  We met in grade 2 but became friends after a fight on the bus that broke out between me and him.  Boys tend to become friends after they fight.  It is kind of a settlement of the alpha dominance within a group.  Once it gets violent and they realize they are equal, they become friends. I scratched his face by accident with a silver bracelet I was wearing while swinging at him.  Remember, we were 7 years old.  It showed on his face during all the years I have known him, and he used to call it the deposit of friendship.  I and Islam became lifelong friends.  You will hear his name often from here out.

I also met Firas in 2nd grade.  He is a tall, big built, Syrian boy, father from Homos and mother from Halab (Aleppo).  We also became friends after a fight.  Both Islam and Firas lived in Khorfakkan, so we took the bus together every morning and afternoon.  Here is how I fought with Firas and got to become friends. After the first trip, I wanted to secure a better seat on the way back, so I ran to the bus after school and reserved a seat next to the window all the way on the back.  It happened to be Firas’s morning seat.  I left my bag on it to reserve it and stepped out.  He walked in, removed my bag, and sat on it.  I walked in and told him to move his a#$.  He wouldn’t.  The conversation got heated, and with a large audience, I found myself swinging at Firas.  After few minutes of fighting to no avail, the supervisor came, so we had to break it off.  Firas continued to sit on that golden seat.  The bus moved.  Everyone is quiet.  In few minutes, Firas taps me on my shoulder and offers me the seat.  He has one of the kindest hearts. We became lifelong friends. He lives now in Mississauga, and we do visit occasionally.

I, Firas, and Islam became friends. We lived the next few years in Khorfakan finding adventures together and discovering the corners of this beautiful village. The most common area and perhaps the only area to go out to was the corniche (the corniche is a French name given to a street that faces the beach or a boardwalk at the beach).  Along the beautiful cost of the Gulf of Oman,  the corniche had restaurants lined up along it, and open areas for children to play.


There were no playgrounds and the open area we’re not done yet it seeming that it was supposed to be completed with planted grass and palm trees but that never happened during our time there. Since Friday is the only day off in UAE (being an Islamic country), people go out on Thursday nights. I and my friends would go out to the corniche on Thursday nights walking and figuring out what we’re gonna do that night. We went with the flow; if there were guys playing soccer we played soccer. We were spontaneous. There were absolutely no activities for children in Khorfakan nor is any playground or sports program to accommodate them. We would meet at the mosque and then we would leave to play with our bicycles or with a soccer ball or find out what to do between the houses.

The Emirates school I went to in the city of Fujairah was an Islamic Elementary little private school. It was a new school and it’s focused on a strong curriculum including Islamic studies and 40 and language was recently established so when I went into it in great too I was basically The highest class in the school we grew up here after year being the oldest children in the school so much responsibility was put on us as a role model’s and as the students who would implement any programs or activities the school came up with.

When the school was first designed and they designed a little prayer area next to every class from the prayer area has a green rug and it was very well lit with large mosaic windows that let the sun in with the spectrum of color that added to the spirituality of such a place. As the school expanded, they converted these prayer areas into other classrooms, and we would pray in another area in the school.

The Emirates School was modern compared to the building of that time.  It had a great auditorium, library, a large area in the middle where students would assemble every morning in the Taboor, which literally meant a line of people.  Every class would line up from shortest to tallest with their first-hour teacher in front of them, and the school would start with a recitation of Quran, the national anthem, wise word of the day, perhaps a hadeeth (oral tradition of prophet Mohamed), and a word by the Principal.

Most of the teachers were religious, well-educated, middle-class Egyptian women.  The expression used in Egypt to describe an older sister is “Abla”.  We called the teachers Abla’s.  The term is Turkish meaning an older sister.  As the Ottoman Empire ruled the Islamic WOrld, Turkish words are common in the Arabic slang.

The school took pride in its Islamic teachings.  Our religion class at the elementary level was taught by an Islamic Sheik (scholar) who came to teach us from the Mosque.  Sometimes, the bus would take us to the Mosque to learn Qu


ran there.  The Sheik was also from Egypt.  I feel now that they were all sympathizer if not members of the Muslim Brotherhood, but that is not something strange given that the Muslim Brotherhood was basically the default organization of any Islamic activism in the Islamic world then.  Actually all the Islamic movements afterward, Sunni and Shia, have stemmed, by a way or another, from the Muslim Brotherhood.

Protected: W Planner October Report

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Protected: 2017 Goals Recap

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Research and Resolutions

1. Recent studies have linked more frequent Facebook use to poor physical and mental health, plus diminished life satisfaction. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.a decrease checking Facebook and Instagram from 1 time a day to 1 time a week 

2. Research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people who spent money on saving time, reported greater life satisfaction. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.b dedicate a budget for secondary  Services

3. Research found that People who felt the wisest range of positive emotions had the lowest levels of inflammatory markers in their blood. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.c verbalize the positive feelings of emotion and express them, and take note on what causes them to increase it. 

4. Research shows that forgiving yourself and others can protect against stress and the toll it takes on mental health. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.d forgive and let go of all grudges 

5. Research shows that over planning and under planning trips may

Resolution 2017.10.1.e take smaller random trips and vacations locally 

6. Research shows any kind of green space can make you happier. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.f  insist on visiting and holding meetings or gatherings in green spaces 

7. Research shows that supportive friendships was found to be a better predictor of well-being than having strong family connections. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.g increase friends 

8. Research shows that giving makes you happier than taking. That Random acts of kindness can bring a person happiness. 

Resolution 2017.10.1.h do a random act of kindness every day 


All of Silicon Valley is based on character defects that are rewarded uniquely in this system. 

Po Bronson

AlTafseer: A Poem by Wissam Charafeddine

Recitation of a poem in Arabic at the Dearborn Open Mic.

Dearborn Blog

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Triannual Goal Report

It has been 4 months using the W Planner, and it is a good time for an overall reflection and analysis of managing myself for 2017.

Since February 1, 2017, when I started the W Planner electronically, I have had 1764 tasks.  I accomplished 1051 tasks, that is 60% of all the tasks assigned.

Some of the accomplishments of this year so far outside of full time work:


  • Successful and comfortable Diet plan losing about 15 pounds and feeling healthier.
  • Finished a course in Coursera in Music Theory
  • Studied one full piece of piano, and half of another.
  • Established the Advisory Board in one of the Non-profit organizations and recruited a number of volunteers for it.  Also started two regular recurring meetups for it.
  • Established Meetups in about 40 cities for another Non-profit organization and membership skyrocketed.
  •  Started Facebook Live Series and recorded the first two episodes live.
  • Launching WDD with a full time Chief Designer.
  • Successful Family Vacation in Florida
  • Establishment of a Arches business group
  • Established new relationships through attending a leadership meeting for a specific Michigan coalition.
  • Found a co-organizer for Muslimish-Detroit
  • Secured the ANEX of the Arab American History Museum for the Arabic Poetry Meetup.
  • Completed 7 days consecutively of meditation.
  • Established Dearborn Blog and Detroit Blog.
  • Met with the renowned traveler and hiker Assam Saidi
  • Established Charaf Group LLC
  • Established Caulousheh
  • Launched Yousician training for Reem and Bob
  • Agreement on the structure of
  • Learned the 12 bar blues on the key of A on guitar
  • Finished reading and studying Deep Work by Cal Newport
  • Created Muslimish Conference promo video and 2017 conference site
  • Established Dearborn Arabic Poetry Open Mic (DAPOM)
  • Leased the HOUSE to be HQ for all companies
  • Managed to reach a success rate of 72% at one time which was the record high so far
  • Prepared for a lecture to be given in several conferences
  • Visited and Discovered London and reconnected with Walid Marmar
  • Gained Arab American News as a client for WDD
  • Established relationship with Sheik Ahmad Alkatib and Walid to establish IRSHAD office in London.
  • Trained Walid to represent WDD in England
  • Launched Arabic Poetry Night first meeting
  • Increased quality time with family
  • Won DENMARK in PS4 FIFA 2016 World Class level
  • Started Atkins initiation diet successfully
  • 14% fluent in French through Duolingo
  • Contracted advanced developers for advanced projects in WDD
  • Discovered a website that will allow us to create courses online
  • Took a Marketing Course successfully
  • Hanan Yahya joins powers with me to work on WDD, W Institute, and W Network.
  • Two certificates in learning guitar
  • Created the first video for W network and decided on direction of electronic marketing for it
  • Launched London Trip Travel Memoir and blogged half of it so far.
  • Launched my personal memoir and blogged up to 1984.
  • Initiated the IRSHAD Conference Planning Committee



2017.3.3.a: Wake up at 6AM. Meditate to 6:15. Deep Work 6:15 to 8am.
2017.3.3.b: In order for me to read and sleep, I have to be in bed by 10:30, otherwise a nap of 1 hour is needed in the afternoon.
2017.3.3.c: Check mail only once a week and scan only once a month
2017.2.24.a: Facebook is deleted as a phone application
2017.2.24.b: Ceaze sharing of movie going on last Tuesdays of the month and enjoy going alone
2017.2.23: Stop giving appointments to individuals who always perceive you as late
2017.3.7.a: Change resolution 2017.2.24.a from deleting Facebook App to delete or hide Facebook App (to accommodate work tasks when needed)
2017.3.8.a: Prohibit phone from bedroom after 10PM and move the charging station for it outside of the bedroom.
2017.3.12.a: Use Pomodoro technique for daily tasks. Each pomodoro section counts for two days on the planner.
2017.3.13.a: Use daily timed blocks technique on the W planner sheet or on a separate sheet or notebook.
2017.3.17.a: Implement Resolution #2017.3.3.a [wake up at 6. Meditate to 6:15. Deep Work 6:15 to 8am. ] gradually by decreasing 15 minutes weekly of wake up time  starting at 7:45AM
2017.3.20.a: Add Arabesque Cafe to Arches Time.
2017.3.20.b: Move Autoboard to LEKA/Geobuzz Time and Dedicate its time to cleaning and personal errands.
2017.3.28.a: Consider Arabic Poetry Open Mic part a Dearborn blog project.
2017.4.9.a: Incorporating Leisure and Social Time into calendar as one new category under Business.
2017.4.9.b: Make Europe trip every Spring a habit for Spring Break.
2017.4.17.a: Read two Get Abstracts a week and one book a month instead of one book every two weeks.
2017.4.17.b: Combine Charaf Group with Arches and Arabesque Cafe
4.17.17.c: Dedicate time for Leisure on daily basis.
2017.4.24.a: Organize goals as to measure closeness to achieving the annual goal
2017.4.29.a: Cook or try one new meal a week
2017.4.30.a: Cease sharing pictures with friends via text.

2017.4.30.c: Change resolution 2017.3.3.c from “Check Mail  once a week and scan  once a month” to “Check Mail and scan only once a week” since I have made scanning easier with Cloud Scan


Weight planned 201
Weight Actual 203.5
Diet 77.78%
Menu 81.35%
Exercise 82.14%
Meditation 54.37%
Sleep 8 hours/day 48.59%
Online Courses 81.75%
Piano 59.13%
Guitar 55.16%
Publishing/ Writing 90.48%
French 89.29%
Reading 65.08%
W Network 24.21%
WDD 70.24%
Arches/W Institute/ Charaf 56.35%
Personal Errands 50.00%
Front End Dev. 40.08%
Dearborn Blog 14.29%
Leisure 57.14%
Family 64.68%
Friends 88.89%
game 100.00%
Non-profit 100.00%



Failures and Challenges

I am not afraid of the word failure, so I like to use it in a failing forward kind of way.

Below 70% that needs a new plan:

  1. Family Time:
  2. Dearborn Blog:
  3. Front End Dev.:
  4. W Institute
  5. Charaf Group
  6. Arches Group
  7. W Network:
  8. Reading:
  9. Guitar:
  10. Piano:
  11. Sleep
  12. Meditation

Below 88% that needed improvement:

  1. WDD
  2. Online Courses
  3. Exercise
  4. Menu

In My Presence Poem by Wissam Charafeddine

Dearborn Blog continues to promote poetry and creative writing through its Dearborn Open Mic.

Dearborn Blog

Dearborn Poetry Open Mic

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