A Merry Christmas from Abi

abi train_001b


No posts from me, Abi, tomorrow (Christmas Eve) as I’ll be travelling to my parents’ house by train, starting around dawn!  We shall see how good an idea it is to go by train some time tomorrow. Last year I travelled by car and the roads were horrendous, hence this year’s trip home (my home town, anyway) by Iron Horse.

My parents will pick me up from the station and we’ll make our way back to the home I grew up in, before we resume a familiar, comfy routine I recall from my teenage years. My father playing carols on his CD player, Mum bubbling up some mulled wine and warm mince pies, my sister and family arriving (by car…haha!) and then a bit of ‘me’ time in the bath.

abi bath_001b


It’s a shower I have in my own house, and I do miss a good, long bath time. Growing up, it was a ritual, stuck in there with a big mug of tea, a book, and nimble toes to turn on the warm water tap and top up the bath that it became an hour (or longer) long thing.

I know many of you will be travelling tomorrow, so travel safely.

The laptop is with me, so I might get to post (if I feel so inclined after an hour long soak). If I don’t, have a great Christmas and I’ll be back, almost certainly, on Saturday 26th.


Eid Milad ul-Nabi

I received this from an American Muslim reader of SL Naturist who wished to remain anonymous.

I reprint it without change (other than the fact that I’ve added some links and a couple of photos)


Milad ul-Nabi, or al-Mawlid an-Nabawi is a day when we Muslims celebrate the Prophet’s Birth and this year (it is a moveable feast in the Muslim calendar) it falls on December 24th, just 24 hours before the feast to celebrate another great prophet, Jesus Christ, celebrated by Christians around the globe.

Full disclosure here. I’m female, American, (Shia) Muslim, and a Second Lifer. I’m also an avid reader of SL Naturist, amongst other SL blogs. No, I’m not a nudist. That’s not why I visit this blog. My interest here, as it is with some other blogs, is in exploring how others live their second lives and also because this blog is a rarity, a Second Life lifestyle blog. That its writers also blog on feminist matters, which sometimes also touch on the rights of women in (some) Muslim countries also interests me.

I read Ella’s article earlier this week about Happy Christmas Donald Trump and was genuinely moved by a sense of humanity in the piece. It’s not unique. Many writers express support for the plight of refugees fleeing Daesh and react as human beings. But all the same it was heartwarming to read that there was a compassion about it. I also read subsequent comments about how Muslims are the enemy and the enemy within.

Let me lay out some further disclosure here. In 1977 my father began studying in America. He was one of an estimated 35,000 Iranian students in the US at the time. He would have been openly critical of  Ayatollah Khomeini who returned in 1979 to lead the Iranian Revolution so sought asylum in America. He also had his sweetheart back in Tehran and in time she would get out to join him, marry and in time start a family that included me. Yes, I was born and grew up in Tehrangeles!

When the more moderate President Rouhani was elected, he made it easier for the Iranian diaspora to return, and last year I visited the country of my parents’ birth (along with them) to meet family I’d only ever heard spoken of -my aunts and uncles, cousins- and visit locations they knew as teenagers. It was an emotional return for them, an emotional first time in a country that, but for a political event, I might have been born and grown up in.

Even in America, my parents maintained their Shia Muslim religion. We attended a mosque (just off Slauson Avenue, for anyone who knows LA). I was taught to be a Muslim. I remain a Muslim.

When I visited Tehran I had to wear the women’s ‘uniform’ of a coat called a manteau that covers the neck and arms, as well as the hijab, not something I wear in America. I’m still an all-American jeans & T-shirt gal, while being Muslim. That’s not for reasons of feeling ‘marked’ by wearing a hijab -you see all sorts in LA anyway- I just don’t like hats. But it wasn’t so alien that I felt I was wearing something weird.


Women in Tehran in 2012, wearing a ‘manteau’ and headgear. It’s not so alien from many western cities.


Tehran, 1970.

My cousins displayed a remarkable knowledge for US R&B and rap as well as a style called koche bazari. What you think about those darned Muslims isn’t always as you imagine. Koche Bazari’s American equivalent, songs of heartache, is country and western, you ignorant rednecks!

Yet I remain a proud Shia Muslim. I am a proud American. I am grateful that my parents were welcomed into my country as little more than teenagers to make a better life for themselves. If I think about it, the chances are that my parents have contributed more in taxes to this great country than many of the idiots whoopin’ and hollerin’ for Donald Trump have done. The chances are that I and my parents have stood for  ‘Hail to the Chief‘ more times than some ignorant teenage asshole from Texas has ever done.

‘Oh yeah’ says the redneck. ‘America gave you your values’.

‘Oh, no’, I say, ‘America gave my parents a chance and they repaid it. My parents gave me my values which include a Muslim religion and the knowledge that America is the greatest country on earth’


After a hard year, topped and tailed by the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the events of November 13th, French magazine L’OBS rounds out 2015 with a powerful image of French ‘liberte’ reminiscent of art that culturally defines the French Revolution.

And this, supporters of ISIS/Da’esh, is why we -democrats, free people- get to win, every time. Because we’re democrats, free and not a bunch of sad assholes still thinking we live in medieval times. Now, in 2015, go away as a beaten, dejected, defeated bunch of idiots.


La "une" de l'Obs

French singer Camelia Jordana (of Algerian descent) poses as ‘Marianne’, a symbol of French freedom