Raising A Multicultural Family

Jul 07, 2021

Let’s find out the team's thoughts on this!


The Language Of Love

It was a few years ago that I came across the concept of 5 love languages. What followed was my understanding of how it shall unfold in real time for me:

  1. Words of affirmation: My husband and children will tell me how much they love and  appreciate me regularly.
  2. Physical touch: I should be showered with hugs and kisses by all of them like an essential item every few hours.
  3. Receiving gifts: A nice chocolate or a surprise cash flow... every week wouldn't hurt me at all 🙂.
  4. Quality time: Yes! This one of course, they all leave me to sleep for hours and do not ask about my whereabouts, especially when using the restroom.
  5. Acts of service: The laundry, dishes and cooking will be a shared chore, without regulating turns or demanding or begging. An automatic loved task. Because we all want to take care of the house! (Imagine that!)

But you see, I misunderstood the idea and got excited too quickly. It’s “love language” which means I have to learn theirs in order for them to reciprocate mine. Can you imagine communicating with someone who does not understand your language. Quite frustrating, right?

So here I am, after many years of learning the language… they all are quite unique and with age and time everyone tends to add variety to their language.

At the moment, their love language falls in the following order:

  1. Acts of service.
  2. Gifts and quality time are a tie.
  3. Words of affirmation and physical touch.

Now, if you ask for my husband’s, it wouldn't come as a surprise to any of the couples out there:

  1. Acts of service.
    (Everything falls under it!)

“And yes please cancel out buying gifts for me,” he stressed. “It is a disservice spending money on me. I am fine with not seeing an additional bill on the card. That’s my true gift.

I am a simple man, Iram, just do everything under the acts of service and we are good.”

AlhamdulilAllah for such a simple request. I am pleased to say I took  that out of his love language and added it twice to mine.

I buy one gift from him to me, and one he buys for me 🙂. It’s a win-win!

Don’t you think?

Urdu Adventures

She Said She's Not Brown!

It was a beautiful morning, my daughter was busy colouring and I noticed she was colouring the sky blue. I sat down next to her and asked her why her sky was blue (she never coloured the sky blue and I loved this about her, I always told her to fill the page with the colours she wants). She took a deep breath and said that in school when the teacher saw her colour the sky pink and yellow, she questioned her, saying “Is this the correct choice of colour?” My heart sank. I told her to colour it in with whatever colour she wanted to!

Then she said something else that really shocked me. In her quiet voice, she mumbled, “Mummy, I don’t want to colour myself brown”. I did not know how to respond. She mentioned what a little girl in school had said about different skin tones. Sara went on to say, "Mummy, I am brown, blue (nerves on the face) and peach". My racing heart began to calm down and a small smile nearly escaped.

Jokes aside, I want my girls to grow up to be independent and really own their identity - their whole identity - not bits of it. This will only happen if they respect other cultures and their own, without compromising their Deen. I am so happy to be surrounded by so many people from different cultures, my children are very fortunate to have people in their lives from so many cultures. Allah truly has blessed them with "Aunties" and "Uncles" from so many cultures and religions.

The girls cannot wait to go back to their normal routine of visiting their adopted Grandma Syliva and Grandad Duck down the road. People truly are connected by love! When Sara had a school project and I could not go to collect feathers and twigs, as she told me so late in the day, she mentioned it to Grandad Duck (that's how he got his name). He went to get the feathers at 6am the next morning and gave them to Sara, just before school.


When You Join Our Tribe, You Are Part Of A Global Village

Living as an expat in Dubai has been an eye-opening experience. We have travelled a lot (obviously) and experienced so many other cultures just by living here. Being part of a huge multicultural community has opened our eyes to a world without racism, without fear and with an appreciation of all people. Every time we meet someone from another country, there’s always a conversation about how they call something a different name or they do something differently.

Dubai is literally a Global Village and we have people from every corner of the world, we’ve met and become permanent friends with people from so many different places that I couldn’t begin to mention them all. My kids have grown up here and they’ve been exposed to so many cultures that we don’t really know where our culture begins and someone else’s starts. The expats out here say MashaAllah and In sha Allah just like we do and the locals enjoy a hearty portion of Fish and Chips as much as any of us would. We’ve embraced the Arab culture and the local delicacies. I know that our children have loved learning about them all and will have some amazing memories and stories to tell when we get home.

This isn't London Bridge in London - it's London Bridge in Dubai, where we have our own version of a Global Village! ⬇️

MyMoon Online

Islam Unites the Cultures

When I came to Islam, I used to be very angry with those parents of my friends who said things like “You are only going to marry someone from our village…”. I did not understand why they said things like this if (in theory) Islam would unite all the couples under one big Islamic mindset.

Life proved me wrong and right. Being raised as a woman who never learned to cook or clean, my mommy had always told me “If you work hard enough you can be successful and you won’t have to clean.”

When I married a man from North Africa, worlds clashed together. He expected me not only to work and study, but also to manage the household and raise perfect children in the way he thought they should be raised. These and many more problems sadly culminated in a divorce. I promised myself: this time I would marry a revert - or at least someone raised in Europe.

Again Allah proved me wrong: again, he gave a husband from North Africa. But this time, someone who had memorised and lived the Quran - the word of Allah - since he was a child. Someone who had already collected 40 years of life experience. The same situation looked completely different now. He understands my imperfections and helps if he sees that I cannot do everything at the same time. Like the Prophet (SWS) helped his wife in the house, he does not feel ashamed about helping out, ma sha Allah. He was raised in the same culture as my former husband. But - ma sha Allah - he bases his decisions on religion, not on his culture.

Islam can unite the cultures, if we just fight our nafs and really act upon it.

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