Blogs

Raisi Is Dead / A Crash Landing 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Raisi Is Dead / A Crash Landing

Raisi Is Dead Mullah Mchungu looks at me listlessly, his dentures, with telltale signs of decay, grin at me idiotically. I am never sure if the grin is genuine or if the dentures are masking a more sinister mood in him. From the blank look on his face, I can tell he does not recognize…

A Malabari Heartburn And A Monkey Problem 150 150 Comfort Aid International

A Malabari Heartburn And A Monkey Problem

I find myself in India once more, right amid a general election. This does not affect me so much, except the immigration officer in Mumbai wants me digitally fingerprinted; this has not happened before. It’s not a big deal, and I am out and speeding towards Mumbai, where Sarfaraz, the driver for Najafi House, promises…

Pooja Has A Beef With Azaan 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Pooja Has A Beef With Azaan

Pooja Has A Beef With Azaan I meet Pooja on my way to Dubai from Dar es Salaam; she occupies the seat beside mine. It is the 28th day of Ramadhan and I look forward to spending a few days of Eid with my two ailing sisters Nazma and Sabira in Dubai. Hopefully, the Mullas and…

Allah Has Abandoned Us 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Allah Has Abandoned Us

Allah Has Abandoned Us I return to Dar es Salaam from a trip to Pakistan and the Philippines dog-tired and weary, vowing not to sit on an aircraft or a car until I am in heaven and can travel to a desired place at the bat of my eyelids. Both Sohail and I had to…

Land Of Lychees / Nasty Najaf 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Land Of Lychees / Nasty Najaf

Land Of Lychees / Nasty Najaf Land Of Lychees A break of a few days after my trip to Tanga and I find myself on my way to Madagascar. For a change, Kenya Airways is on time from both Dar es Salaam and the short layover in Nairobi, even amid the rainy season in East…

Nasal Hair And Ghantias Made Of Steel 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Nasal Hair And Ghantias Made Of Steel

Nasal Hair And Ghantias Made Of Steel It rained heavily here in Dar es Salaam last night, not a good sign for heading to the airport in the morning since the already terrible roads will now be full of mucky water masking horrid potholes that’ll snare traffic even more. Sure enough, the going is a…

I wish I Was Born A Zionist 150 150 Comfort Aid International

I wish I Was Born A Zionist

I wish I Was Born A Zionist The persistent ringing of my cell phone five minutes into my deprived sleep after fajr prayers startles me awake; I frantically try to regain consciousness and peer at the caller’s ID. Is this another SOS? Afghanistan? India? Syria? Yemen? Another disaster? Earthquake? A sectarian attack in Pakistan? Is…

Beggar Unease, Unholy Smoking, Holy Air-conditioning 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Beggar Unease, Unholy Smoking, Holy Air-conditioning

The weather in Dar es Salaam is heating up as ‘summer’ takes a firm grip. We’ll soon have the best mangoes, pineapples, and the finest cashews outside heaven to enjoy. In my past Blogs, I’ve alluded to the filthy beggar who sits, but most times lies prone on the concrete floor opposite the building I…

Times When I Scratch My Scalp And Go Hmmm 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Times When I Scratch My Scalp And Go Hmmm

I hear someone call out my name from the crowds behind me on the streets of Dar es Salaam, near DT Roundabout, so I stop to see who it is. A heavyset Bohri man with his trademark cap and an unkempt flowing beard hurries to me, breathing with difficulty, and offers a handshake. Hands and…

A Dinner Of Tripes In Dongri / Change In The Offing 150 150 Comfort Aid International

A Dinner Of Tripes In Dongri / Change In The Offing

A Dinner Of Tripes In Dongri Dongri lies to the south of Mumbai, India. It is probably one of the most densely populated places on our earth. Its residents are mainly Muslim, with a sprinkling of Hindu communities. These occupants are made of many Muslim denominations, all with their cultural identities. And quirks. But the…

Three Days Of 126°F/52°C 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Three Days Of 126°F/52°C

The Emirates flight from Dubai to Baghdad lands forty minutes earlier than the scheduled time so Abdulkareem, my larger-than-life host in Iraq is still on the way driving from Najaf. The wait for my visa on arrival to be processed takes almost an hour. Sitting in a crowded hall that is cooled by an antiquated…

Qabiltu / Muharram Squandered – Again! 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Qabiltu / Muharram Squandered – Again!

Qabiltu! A strange event occurs during Friday’s Jooma prayers at the Dar es Salaam Khoja mosque. It is a national holiday, Saba-Saba, plus Eid day of Ghadeer, and people are happy. Between Jooma salaat and Asr, the respected and highly esteemed resident aalim, Adil Raza, gets up, asks the congregation to hold his neighbor’s hand,…

Me-n-rai / Bo-e / Verrry, Verrry Bad 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Me-n-rai / Bo-e / Verrry, Verrry Bad

Me-n-rai / Bo-e / Verrry, Verrry Bad Liberia is where fellow CAI Trustee Sohail Abdullah, TRS CEO Shaida Hussein Bhayani, and I are headed next in our quest to bring quality education to impoverished communities – worldwide. I would categorize Haiti and Liberia as the toughest countries I have visited in my lifetime. They are…

Zimbabwe And Rahma’s Story 150 150 Comfort Aid International

Zimbabwe And Rahma’s Story

Zimbabwe And Rahma’s Story Zimbabwe Air Tanzania is very good at reminding me of their flight delays, so good, they send me several emails stating the same thing. Their flight TC2122 to Harare, Zimbabwe, scheduled to depart at 11:00, will now take off at 16:00. Bummer. Then, their system gets confused and sends another email…

The Evil Within US 150 150 Comfort Aid International

The Evil Within US

The Evil Within US I have finally submitted the manuscript of my latest novel – Two Blue Gold And Diamond Earrings – to my publishers in India, so I have some time on my hands. I head towards Mullah Mchungu’s apartment. He has been sending me urgent messages through his caretaker Hameesi, requesting me to…

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