To my mama who gave me my independence since I was 9 years old to decide the terms of my life and be a free bird in this world. Without these travels (inner and outer), all of this would not be. Because of you, I have been able to live so consciously and responsibly.
To my Masi’s in Singapore, I just love you all so much. Family is everything for me. Thank you for being there for my mama when I could not.
To the Sabri women, I can give my darkest days to you and you will still love me for it. If I can recall my favourite life moments, its just sitting around the breakfast table talking and laughing for hours. Simple moments are the most beautiful. I inherited a family that I feel has always been mine.
To Anna who has been this year’s wonderful gift. I will never forget Real hot chocolates and musings. We have created so much together in our work – finding fun in reading court Judgments and strategizing gender justice in context. I hope from this passion, we will come to see where these paths will later take us. More so, you have been like another half of me – and it feels so comforting to know you are a walk away and that you’ll always be there. When the Spring comes, the gardens will be filled with endless talking!
To Helena – you don’t know how much you shaped my thinking, cause a self-reflection that has enabled me to see beyond my paradigm. Through our conversations, I became a better person, lawyer and activist.
To Sara, Deya, Manisha and Nishma thank you for staying close despite your busy schedules. You are each a solid pillar to our efforts. You are the Volunteer-spirit. But more so, you are also a part of my life I will always have a space for. It is my dream that one day I can spend a whole weekend with each of you, from Nepal down to Culcutta and east-wards to Palestine. Nishma, I’ll transit in London on my way.
To Kirthi and Shahla thank you for in a short time integrating so well into our work. I do wish that you will carve your own space in our work that is yours. I think you both have exceptional futures ahead which I hope will inter-twine with mine and ours.
To Hangama and Zarqa Jan thank you for giving me a chance to work so closely with you. You made year 2012 for me. 2012 was a year to learn from your work and extraordinary resilience. Under your guidance, you have given me so much flexibility to be creative, to try new things and to share these experiences with Femin Ijtihad. I will never forget the friendships at WCLRF. You gave me a chance and this experience I will never forget. I am always here for this!
To Nadia and Sush – My biggest excitement for this year is re-uniting with the two of you in Ireland. It is such a wonder, coming together again in a completely different phase of each of our lives. I have been sad because living away, the time difference, and knowing that life has changed is difficult to accept. But it does make meeting each other much more exciting. Nadia, needless to say you just have always been. Sush, thank you for spending those 4 nights with me in London – it really was picking up right where we left off in 2009. What I learned from those nights was how much life was a flow of events, one colliding into the next. With you I could trace back each event which could not happen without the one that preceded…and it took me all the way back to the roadside fortune teller outside Shiva’s Temple. Somehow you came at a defining moment. You were sitting with me at the cross-roads. In 5 years, we may discover how London/Ireland was another cross-road..na?
To my women’s rights class and Professors of Human Rights and Islamic Law and Women’s Human Rights —
I never learned so much, wanted to absorb so much, and give so much. I am channeling this from my classes into our activism. Grateful to SOAS for being an academy of such excellence.
To my other friends,
Thank you for your presence (presents) and enrichment in my life. For each laughter and each tear shared. For the worries that left on a wing of a bird called Friendship. For ideas and musings. For dancing and being free. For late nights in the library. For travelling words and overwhelming poetry. For giving me little bits of what life has to offer.
You are not a woman. But you are pretty damn amazing for a man!!!!