Sunday, January 30, 2011

Struck with Awe!

A Source of Pride:

Proposing Project 100 with Panda Express Manager
Whittier Elementary's 4th grade, Ahmed's class, is supporting the James Cancer Hospital for their community project. They have been collecting money to purchase links that cost a quarter each. They hook the links together and run them around the classroom and school as they grow. All proceeds go to the James. In the Fall, the kids and Nicole had a garage sale that we promised them whatever they make would be split three ways among them. Ahmed declared that he want to donate his to the James by buying more links at the school. And he did, bought about 80 links.

Another related project they have to work on is called Project 100, where each student picks a business and makes an agreement with them do donate a quarter of a specific thing they sell to the school's James fund.  Ahmed picked Panda Express and their famous Orange Chicken dish. After meeting the manager yesterday, she recommended the idea of holding a Whittier Day at Panda Express where 20% of the day's sales will go to Whittier to support the James project 100.

Food for thought:

Recently, I recognized that friends want to help, but they don't know how. So, I came out of my cocoon and gathered those friends around me and opened my doors wide. All the ones I reached out for responded and showered me with their care and support, except for one dear friend that caused me some disappointment since I thought she would be the first.

One of the difficulties I shared with friends is having food for the family when I don't have the energy to cook. Cooking on Sundays has worked, but then it leaves me tired and drained for a couple of days, and I start the week on the wrong foot. In response, my friend Kathy rallied seven ladies, from her church community, who are willing to provide us food 7 days a week. I know some of those women, but others I don't know at all. Talk about caring for the members of the community and showing support and all. And some tell you that the American society lacks such values. In comparison to the Libyans I know locally, none has offered to help but for one close friend. So tell me, what makes a society civilized?

Kathy, also, has been driving me around, going with me to chemo sessions, taking me to places I needed to go, having lunch together, mall visit, and bringing us delicious food. What a blessing to have such a caring friend!


My hair is falling in locks and it was driving me crazy. I decided to go and shave it off rather than deal with the emotions associated with seeing it fall that much. I was supposed to shave it on Friday, but then I did not receive my chemo on Thursday as was planned, for the second time in a row, because my blood count of white cells and platelets was very low. So I decided to shave my head on Thursday and I'm glad I did. I felt so good and relieved after shaving. I had so much anxiety and fear from being bald that was gone immediately after I shaved. I was worried about shocking people around me including the kids and coworkers. I was worried about putting people in awkward position when they see me shaved or with a wig. But the shave was not bad; actually I realized that it didn't change a thing in me, I am still the person I was before the shave and maybe a little stronger!

Ahmed, Sol, and some of my friends vowed to shave their heads in solidarity with me. And the shaving started. It touched my heart and soul in a way nothing ever did! I love them for that and feel very lucky to have them and their support. I can lean on them for sure and learn from them!

As a gesture, to include my kids in Lebanon more in my life, I sent a message to Anoos and told him about the Solidarity Cuts project and that he may join if he'd like to show his support. He replied saying that he's growing his hair and don't want to lose it. That's the difference between children who grow up in the uncivilized world and those who grow up in the civilized world. I love all of my kids whether they choose to participate or not. Each has a special place and something that makes them special. For example, Anas is my first baby; he's the first to make me a Mama.

There's so much to talk about, but I'd rather spend the time doing other things for now. Last thing worth mentioning is I got me 2 wigs to wear, in addition to my shaved look, and mess around with people's heads since both are very different. Have a look:


  1. Anas is older, he must be a teenager now that must be why he is not turned on by the idea, you know how they love their long hair in Lebabnon :o)

    Good on Ahmed and his school, here my kids usually take part in school activities supporting the McMillan cancer trust and others.

    you all look great, Allah with you.

  2. Hannu, as I sit here reading words from your heart, I am crying happy tears for the joy of friends and family you have in your life. You have touched my life with your heart, love, whit, sharing your family....You my dear one, are a JOY to know. I love you from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the sky! Thank you for you. pss. Glad you got both new doo's. You look fabulous! You ARE fabulous!

  3. Sorry Hannu, I forgot to comment on our next President Ahmed! Look at him in his suit and shaved head! I am very proud of him as well.

  4. Oh wow! You got them both.. You've got lots of new looks now. You look fantastic!.

  5. Hannu I always enjoy reading your stories they are heart-warming. And they really say so much for themselves that usually there is no need for making comments. But something you said made me stop and ponder into it. What makes a society civilized? Rather than go into the usual detail about civilization and its long process, I would like to talk about the opposite of being civilized. Which is being ignorant. The word ignorance according to the Oxford dictionary means, lacking knowledge or training to a particular subject or fact, also it means unlearned. So to be uncivilized means not to know. But history tells us that man evolved from the cave age to current without help form anyone! Man helped himself to learn and to progress. A few things though were needed for him to continue to improve and to move from complete ignorance to being fully civilized. 1)To be fully responsible for his fate in order to lead his way. 2) Freedom of need. 3) Having rights to do things that the individual has set as his values. All these lead man to try and improve his preforming through developing skills, inventing, learning from past experience, thus gaining knowledge which empowers man to move further and to realize his position and his dreams. Then come laws and rules to govern all this and put it into contest so that no one will steal anothers' hard work or possessions.(The history of law says it was created to protect possessions of people from being taken or taxed by governors.) Now where do we stand in all this? We don't stand a chance! Therefore don't be harsh in judging the uncivilized, it is not their fault if no one gave them the opportunity to learn, or even to know there exist an opposite to ignorance! How can they know! Laila