Aug 18, 2013


By Alawiya Abdalla

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I am Sitting here and waiting for my wife and daughter to come back from work, and the wait is killing me. I feel like a prisoner to this wheelchair since the accident, the accident that almost took my life.

I thank Allah everyday that he saved my life. But my mind races back to 2 years ago, when I was working as a taxi driver, and bringing home enough money to feed my kids, Shaimaa and Amr.

It used to be enough for us, we do not own the most expensive house in a posh area. Infact we live in an area called Bolaq El Dakroor in Cairo, because that is what we can afford but we were happy, Alhamdulilah.

Allah has blessed me with the best wife in the whole wide world, and he also blessed me with very good mannered kids and that was enough for me.

I still remember the day I met my wife Sara till this day. I remember my brother Khalifa standing outside our school gate, which was adjacent to their school. I saw him looking at this girl Noha who was standing next to Sara our new neighbour, so I knew immediately that my brother was planning to make a move and talk to her.

Now I am not one to gossip or anything, but I heard that she has a bad reputation. I know I should check before I accuse any girl of such things, but I was only a teenager. So I just decided that I was gonna distract him whenever he tries to talk to her, I know what you are thinking but I honestly thought it was a great idea!! As I suspected, when I approached him with the offer of a free popcorn he started to become agitated at my presence.

That was when I noticed Sara, our neighbour. I have never looked at her up close before, but Mashallah she was beautiful. From then on I made my feelings towards her clear, and because that was the same time I started to know my religion properly I told her that I wanna marry her. I asked her if she could wait for me two years until I finish my secondary years, I told her that I am going to find a job as soon as I finish instead of going to university because I had to help my brother as he wanted to do English business studies and we do not have enough money to send us both.

She agreed to wait for me. So the two years passed, and I got a very high percentage to send me to a faculty of medicine if I wanted to. But I could not because I promised my mum that I would rather my younger brother do his degree than me.

Me and my brother were not close, as much as I tried to understand where his unfriendliness towards me came from. I really tried everything, but he would always be so rude towards me. He would always make his feelings towards me clear, which was nothing but dislike. Even on the day of my Nikah to Sara, he refused to come. I thought that all the tension that was there between us will melt away, I thought that a blessed day like a wedding would solve an issue that I had been simmering for years but I was wrong.

I mean I was extremely happy that Sara’s parents, who are both Egyptians agreed to marry their daughter to a Somali. When my dad died, Khalifa had finished his studies and decided to take our mum to live in London with the rest of our families. Of course I could not leave my wife in Egypt to go with them to England as he casually suggested!! So I bid them a farewell till we meet again.

I counted down the days till I see either of them again, but I only saw my mother who visited us a couple of times. I never saw or heard from my brother again. Even when I sent him pictures of my two kids, I got no reply from him. The last time my mother visited, she reassured me that my brother was rich now and that was why he has no time to reply to anyone but he was really happy for me apparently.

Of course she was just trying to put my heart at ease, but I knew it was over between us. It was time to put an end to all my efforts to make peace with my brother for whatever it is I did to him. However, I will never forget what my mum said to me that day -
“Don’t worry my precious son, I will make sure your rights are preserved Inshallah. I will make sure that everyone gets what they are owed”
Those were her last mysterious words before she left to go back to England. Shortly after she passed away, and she took the last remaining member of my family who cared about me with her.

As I finish recalling my life before the accident, my mind goes back to the accident itself. It was a typical normal day, I was about to go home when I saw a car heading towards me when it was supposed to be on the other side of the lane. The head lights was so blinding, that I lost control of the brake. Instead of pressing on the brake, I pressed on the gas and it just flew into the other car.

I do not remember anything after that, except waking up in the hospital and not being able to feel my legs. The first thing I thought about was how are we going to pay for the hospital fees!! Then my sweet daughter Shaimaa suggested that we take her university funds that I have been saving up.

I looked at her with tears in my eyes, because I could not believe how history is repeating itself right in front of me. Here is my daughter giving up university to look after me, just as I did with my brother.

My daughter not only had to give up her place in university, but she had to go and earn money to look after us as my wife could not do cleaning as a full time job. I get so worried everyday waiting for them to come back home. Life in Egypt is not easy if you are a girl, and walking at night and taking buses is a hassle not to mention the danger that accompanies that!

But I pray everyday that Allah brings them safe to me. This was just one of the many nights that I was waiting for my wife and daughter to come home, only it finished in a really surprising way.

“Salamu Alykum, Baba” Shaimaa greets me and kissed my head as she enters.
“Wa alykum salam, sweety” I reply to her greeting.
“Salamu Alykum, Mohamed. How are you today?” asks my wife as she enters after her.
“Wa Alykum Salam habibti. I'm ok as long as you two are ok”, I reply to my wife.
“Ok before we eat or talk about our day or anything. I have an announcement to make” , says Shaimaa.
“Khair inshallah” I wonder.

“I have decided that from now on I am going toooo ……………………………………………………….. wear this”
She shows a niqab.

We were speechless not from the horror of it, but from the amazing feeling and pride we have for our daughter right at this minute. For in Egypt wearing a niqab is very much an honour for a girl, of course it will make her job harder if the owner of the shop that she works in does not approve. But the society will respect her and honour her, so after staying quiet for a minute to absorb this I tell her

“Mashallah my sweet daughter I'm so proud of you” I tell her while hugging her.

Alhamdulilah Ya Rab for everything.

Meanwhile back in England a girl wearing a Niqab walks with her two friends in Northwest London. As she walks by, a couple of elderly people leave a shop as the girl passes them by. They look at her in horror and yell
The girl looks at them and tries to reply to them, when her two friends pull her and tell her to ignore it. 

Subhanallah what a difference!!!!!!

*This chapter is dedicated to Sheyma my niqabi friend and all the niqabi girls who have to endure that kind of attitude towards them…….I think you are so brave, Mashallah :D*
I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)


Alhamdulillah. I'm so glad you are back to posting your stories Alawiya Abdallah. May Allah bless you with the best of both worlds.

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