Sunday, March 23, 2008

Noor takes Istanbul!

We've just returned from back to back transatlantic trips so taking me some time to update the blog (I'm in the process of a major overhaul-perhaps even moving to a website.

Istanbul was fascinating, especially to see how its changed over the past ten years (last time I was there was '96). Namely, just how insanely-disproportionately almost-expensive its gotten. I'm still not sure how to figure it- but Turkish apricots are actually cheaper in the US than they are in Turkey.

We got a glimpse of a pro-Kurd demonstration in front of our hotel (protesters were subsequently tear-gassed).

The exhibit was also a success and garnered much attention from the local media. Some pictures on the curator's flickr account here.

But without doubt, the highlight of the trip was Noor! I always knew the Turkish people were warm and affectionate, but I no idea just HOW MUCH they loved children!! There wasn't a passerby, receptionist, waitress, coffee drinker, or couple who didn't stop to coo at her. Before we knew it, she was being whisked out of our hands by total strangers- and I can't even tell you how many cell phones' her picture is on now! Incidentally, the shot of the women with headscarves was taken about two weeks after the headscarf ban reversal in Turkish universities. Theirs was one of hte only ones to implement the reversal-most are challenging the decisions in courts.

I also had the chance to meet up with some readers from my blog (Aicha Qandisha and Zeynap Alp) who treated me like a long-lost sister!

Here are some highlights:


Blogger AnneMoss said...

No wonder they were all over her - she's so cute!

Glad I came across your blog, I'll be visiting again.

7:23 AM  
Blogger Laila said...

Thank you!!

4:48 PM  
Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Oh I am so glad I found your blog.
The truth flares brightly from these pages.
Thank you and Noor is beautiful.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

salam ,
from few time i discover your blog and i i do it on my homepage , so now when my daughter see the pics of Noor she say : oh the bb :) she like see the pics :)) , you choose a beautiful name it s the name to i would give to my other child if i ll have a girl insh allah. i write you from france. take care .

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pictures of Noor are so nice.

But the last one (the cups) has somethig "artsie". I really like it

1:07 PM  
Blogger Francis Doornaert said...

Dear Laila

This is somehow off topic, but i have an important question for you.

Could i have your permission to translate your writings, from now on, in Dutch on a blog called (which literally means

I'm a regular reader of your blog and struck by the sheer horror of the Israel/Palestine conflict.

These days, most people watching the news seem to experience the gaza hell as a slightly irritating TV commercial and "nothing much we can do about it". The politicians, likewise, seem to act and think in a similar way.

I do think that the diary of a "real-life" person can drastically change ones perspective on the conflict and i hope it will help make your readers conscious of the genocide that is really going on NOW. Let's not wait until the history books do so.

I wish you and your beloved son and daughter the very best in the many years to come.

From Belgium, with love


PS Lovely pics! Your daughter has beautiful eyes.

1:12 PM  
Blogger John Mullis said...

Babies are wonderful socialisers. I am always amaized how many people pop their heads into my granddaughters pram and start 'gooing'. Mind you, Noor is extraordinarily cute!!

11:22 PM  
Blogger Laila said...

Dear Francis, yes absolutely, go ahead! Thank you!

Anon: I love the teacups one myself, they kid of spoke to me :)

I have some other pics on my flickr account.

2:38 AM  
Blogger betul said...

I'm looking enviously at your photos in ─░stanbul since I missed the chance to meet with you and Noor. And yesss we love children very much:) take care, Allah'a emanet, you and your family.

2:56 PM  
Blogger betul said...

I'm looking enviously at your photos in ─░stanbul since I missed the chance to meet with you and Noor. And yesss we love children very much:) take care, Allah'a emanet, you and your family.

2:57 PM  
Blogger nuh ibn zbigniew gondek said...

As salaam alaikum.

Beautiful baby, welcome back.

I have been away myself for some time. I have to dig through your posts and get caught up.

Ma'as salaama,
nuh ibn

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother says it is not apricot season yet, that is why they r so expensive. :-)


--Mehmet Serkan

6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like you had an amazing trip :)

3:10 AM  
Blogger Dino$ said...

Laila! nice to see u again and hear your news! I am so happy to see ur cute kids and your mom too! pls salmi 3alieha kteer and tell her my mom says hi.. lamees is my moms name :)

if u dont remember me i am dina the girl u met in dubai a long long time back

hope all is well :)

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

:) It is not just the Turq's that would coo over Noor, Everyibe would

Bring her to Australia! Masha Allah she is beautiful

12:04 PM  
Blogger ARKASSIM (ARK) said...


I am a Malaysian and we have been watching and reading thru western media the offensive attacks by the Zionis Israel over Gaza Strip.

Your plight over CNN today is felt by us and we extend our Doa to ALLAH swt that your family together with all families in Palestine are under HIS protection always.



Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

4:13 PM  

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