Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sing with Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is a renown World Music group from South Africa. They won the 2009 Grammy Award for World Music. They did numbers with Paul Simon, Sting, on Sesame Street's Sing (my fav), the Lion King's The Lion Sleeps Tonight, and many others. On their new release, Ilembe: Honoring Shaka Zulu, they pay tribute to Shaka Zulu.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


It was during the last week of August I found out that I might be traveling to Bristol, UK in business. I immediately thought of Ayman and his family--I can't go that far and not meet them! After some consultation, I decided to swing by Germany and spend the weekend with them, which I did. I finished business on Thursday and flew to Dusseldorf; arrived at 9:30 pm.

It was the first time I meet Amal and the kids. Although Amal's family are long time friends of mine, but she is too young for me to remember! Actually, she is distantly related to us. Her maternal grandfather, Hussein bin-Amer, is my Mom's cousin (his Mom is bin-Saud). Amal's maternal grandmother is the pioneer abla Hamida bin-Amer, and her Mom is abla Amina bin-Amer.

We didn't tell anyone that I'd be going to Dusseldorf. My family and Amal's were happily surprised to see me on Skype video with them. I knew Mama and Baba would be happy as they would take it as a sign of good health for me.

Safoo was so sweet, she took to me at once with very little shyness. She loves painting and she does a good job at that. Doody is another story. He would stare at me and then burst out crying! He would follow me with his eyes and then cry again. Hours later, he started smiling to me--Yay! I couldn't help but cry and cry when I hugged Amal and Ayman. It's been 10 years since I've seen my baby brother ~sniff sniff~

My stay in Dusseldorf was very short, but very refreshing. There was no pressure of any sort; I was there just to enjoy the company--their wonderful company. We stayed up till almost 4 am every night, we'd get up around 11, chat, play with Safoo and Doody, went out for seafood (had yummy mussels), walked around city center, took some naps... Amal is such a sweetie, very low-keyed, calm, polite, and caring. She and Ayman make an awesome couple!

Moody and Tala relate to them differently now. They realize they are real flesh and blood not just voices over the phone and images over the webcam. I can't wait till we all get together.

It was such a wonderful feeling to be with a sibling again. Ayman and I went down memory lane, laughed and rejoiced at things long gone and forgotten. Being with them four filled me with calm, happiness, and peace that is still with me. It feels like a broken link in my life was reconnected.

I love you, guys! Keep counting... lol