Spring renewal

Thank you to everyone who responded to the previous two posts.   Alhamdulillah (praise be to God) there are now many donations coming in, in fact it looks like enough money for more than just the three families I mentioned.  It’s wonderful to feel like there is a community out there caring for those who have nothing here.  I am very excited that certain key elements are manifesting for the long-term vision as well.  It’s all wonderful and even a little scary to think about.

Spring is here and I had the chance to go on a three day retreat in the countryside, all alone.  Those of you with young children know how precious this is.  I marveled at my own ability to do nothing but watch the clouds, mountains, stars, sunlight and full moon for hours.

At the same time, I can’t believe how much I got done, creatively speaking.  By 7:30 in the morning I would find that I had already accomplished all the “me things” that I would hope to do in a normal day: reading from that most beautiful of books, the Quran; practicing that most noble of arts, Arabic calligraphy; writing much; reading my favorite author (Barbara Kingsolver) and Steven Covey’s book The 8th Habit.

I feel I have lived a lifetime, or at least a good season’s worth in these three days.  By the end of my retreat though, the wind started to howl and shake all the doors and windows, and I felt the same way inside from missing my family.

Atlas mountains Ourika Morocco blog

olive oil, bread and moroccan tea

khatt ar ruqaa

march blossoms

cactus in morocco

sunlight on cobweb eucalyptus leaves

khatt naskh


14 thoughts on “Spring renewal

  1. Elisa says:

    Masha’Allah, this is wonderful! I am so happy donations are coming in 🙂 May Allah protect all those that have been a part of this journey. Ameen.
    Also, I love the pictures! Your calligraphy is outstanding!!! I’m taking Arabic 1 and have started to learn to write some basic words and phrases. It’s really a lot of fun 🙂

  2. Imane says:

    Salams Nora,

    I’m glad you had fun. I really love your photography, very artistic tbarkAllah.
    My love to all 🙂

  3. I’m tearing up seeing these images. So happy you’ve gotten some time to yourself – you’re right it’s so important when you have little ones.

  4. Dear Nora,
    Such a great way to recharge your batteries for family life!
    Your calligraphy is so beautiful.
    I think I can guess where you went for your retreat. So very beautiful!
    I found the Islamic design worksheets I got from the Metropolitan Museum.
    Please ask your mother to email me her exact mailing address!
    love to all.

  5. crustabakes says:

    i am guessing u are totally enjoying your “alone” time. and those are some very beautiful pictures u got!

  6. Catherine says:

    Lovely photos, Nora. Can you say a little more about the calligraphy – what is the purpose of it, is it a traditional part of Islamic meditation/study? A bit like the medieval monks creating their beautiful bibles…

  7. hi Nora,
    Nice to visit your blog again :o)
    I love your caligraphy, it’s very beautiful.
    We will be visiting Marrakech and will give you a ring whilst we are there! Can’t wait for a relaxing holiday.


  8. Helle Duus Alex says:

    I recently stumbled over you on the internet, in my search for like-minded women of this world.

    I founded an organization named SistaEnable (Sustainable :)) and I hope you will join me on Facebook and spread the word.

    I have come up with a hand sign of W to peacefully signal the world that

    World Wide
    Women Want

    It was used on bridges across the world on March 8th 2011.

    Please have a look here:


    WOMEN are HALF of democracy!
    We can all help each other to a better world ❤

    Best regards,

    Helle Duus Alex

    (feel free to befriend me on FB too)

  9. Justyna says:

    I would like to know where those pictures were taken. They stir something inside me. And for this I thank you.
    BTW. Few days ago I made a cheesecake from your receipe for the b-day of my friend, thanks for posting it, otherwise I wouldn’t know how to get the ingredients I usually use for
    it here, in Marrakech

    • Dear Justyna,
      Those pictures were taken from the house of a dear family friend, somewhere in the Ourika valley. It’s one of the most special places on earth to me, I can totally see why it stirs something in you. Glad you enjoyed the cheesecake also…my sister saw my recipe and says she’s now moved on to using a lot more Perly and a lot less Kiri, it’s apparently lighter that way. Hard to go wrong with cheesecake. Thank you for reading.

  10. l1na86 says:

    Hi! I wonder when those photos of the mountains were taken, some time in March? We’re thinking of booking a trip to Morocco 2-16 March, but we’re thinking it might be too early, that it won’t be nice and green and too much snow in the mountains. But if it would be like in your photos it would be perfect 🙂

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