Ice breaking with cousins!

You might’ve noticed that I avoid treating this blog as a diary of my daily encounters, but last night was an exception. A memoir I’d like to include. Something I’d like to go back to and enjoy re-living the memory.

Wednesday early morning, I fought the H1N1 controversies currently surrounding the world and got the H1N1 JAB, not because I’m freakin out and plan to avoid it like the plague, but because it is compulsory for those who go to Hajj, and my urge to perform Hajj (specifically this year) is stronger than my urge to avoid the vaccine! YES.. I have decided to perform HAJJ this year Inshallah (Coming soon -> Hajj-dedicated post)!

The afternoon was uneventful, just runnin’ around to prepare for THE evening ahead.

The evening was a gathering of cousins in my house. Sounds normal, casual and sorta what’s the big deal, right? Wait..wait.. let me explain. We are a huge family (Mashalla), not only that but intertwined to a great degree. My father-side cousin is married to my mom’s aunt who also happens to be the sister of my grand-mother, oh so so complicated you don’t even want to go there. The point is, it’s difficult to mingle with everyone in a family gathering (we have loads of them gatherings by the way!). What happens in all gatherings across the years is that cousins of similar ages hang out together and I’m talking about hundreds here, and we slowly miss out on the other ones, the younger specifically. We do ask about studies/work and the formal stuff every now and again, but we do not talk much about the juicy stuff if you like!

They were always there, always around us but not until one of those younger cousins got engaged, did we stop to realise that time took us by surprise! Now they’re grown-ups, they are ladies and are  getting married one by one. We’ve missed so much of their childhood, we do not want to miss out on their young adult phase. We urgently needed to break the ice, I repeat: urgently! 

Last night, we (myself and my sisters) invited 13 of those cousins. The once young and annoying (Sorry! if you’re reading this, that was when you were way younger, runnin’ around, screaming, crying and laughing out loud!), now mature ladies, aged 13 to 25, of elegance and rigid viewpoints!

In fact, they themselves had a not-so-cool image of us, they were flabbergasted when they first entered the house, seeing us fully groomed in young trendy fashion and ready to rock n roll, oh not that rock n roll, but ready to kick some fun! Lady Buth (one of the cousins) said she expected a formal dinner, everyone with their abayas on, on a dining table with plate mats and home-made dinner, obviously that was not the case!  We kicked off the gathering with some sight-seeing around my house, then random chit chats dipping nachos in rich cheese dips, jalapeno and the must-have salsa dip, gulping down popcorn in bulks and munching away chocolate bars! Then came the PIZZA! 3 large pizzas served with cheese sticks dipped in a sauce of choice (tomato or garlic – see, healthy ingredients!). Had the pizzas with chilled fizzy drinks to fizz us out even more!

Then, then, then… the serious bit starts, the GAMES! Hide and seek? No. Find the hidden object? Nope. Hang the donkey tail with your eyes shut. Nah! The games were confessional games to further break the ice and add some vibe to the gathering. The first game involved each one of us writing a personal question down, putting all questions in a bowl, each picks up a question and is forced to truthfully answer it. The game went super super good. For the second game, we had our names written on a piece of paper, folded and placed in one bowl and the same names again in another bowl. Two names are picked up at a time, those names exchange comments or things they “like” about the other. That was an eye-opener, we never knew what they thought of us, they never knew what we thought of them, so again this game went beautifully perfecto!

Junk without the sweets? A sin. We had rich red velvet chocolate cake served with frigid vanilla ice-cream, also, marshmallow chocolate (again!) cake done and brought by the cousins, the cake was as sweet as they are! The 3 course meal all in all could not get any better, or actually could not get any junk-ier, but let’s be logical here, one time won’t hurt, right? It’s not my fault if they don’t make up for it now, I suggest go for green salads, vegetables and fruits for a week to wash away the junk. E7m, I myself had more of the nachos during lunch today. So…Do as I say, not as I do!

My guests left the house at 11.30 pm, all dazzled with the amount of ice-breaking we did, very unexpected, very casual, very random. In 3 hours we managed to reveal the most discreet of life matters to each other. We managed in those hours to strengthen our bonds, to crash down the formal boundaries, to dissolve false perceptions, to achieve a level of equality and mostly to dig into each others’ lives like friends of the same age.

Whatever the ingredients of this night, it was sure a night to remember.

Family by chance, friends by choice!



  1. Standy said,

    November 5, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    this is super nice 😀

    inshallah doom together..
    i am glad you had fun 🙂

  2. November 6, 2009 at 12:19 am

    First of all, it’s so amazing that you plan to do Hajj! Masha’Allah! And insha’Allah it will happen :))

    I loooved this post! It was so interesting to read about your evening with the girls 😀 And the food…wow!

  3. 'liya said,

    November 6, 2009 at 5:16 am

    I’m looking forward to your Hajj dedicated post 🙂

  4. BM said,

    November 6, 2009 at 2:07 pm


    Something I’ve been thinking about with cousins as well !! Really, so interesting and I command you for the move.. well done!

  5. Nadia said,

    November 7, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Oh wow I LOVED THIS POST!!!! I did that with my cousins yesterday, but not as many as yours! Just six! I taught them how to make rich chocolate cake. A couple of hours in the kitchen together did a lot of good.

  6. November 7, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    woweee… now i miss having my cousins around 😦
    we arent even close no more!

  7. Alma said,

    November 9, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Girl you rock! It’s incredible how you took the initiative of bringing all those cousins together and getting them to know you and each other in such a brilliant, fun and exciting manner! I’m sure it’s indeed, a night to remember for you all. Building up new relationships and maintaining the existing ones is quiet thrilling, self-satisfying and brings in so much happiness. This is a great accomplishment I must say, and I’m positive you will continue doing this more often 😉

    You made me salivate and drool over the way you described the food fiesta!! Junkies are the best!

    Glad to know you’re up for Hajj this year, will be waiting for your post on it =)

  8. Shahrazad said,

    November 11, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    I’m very sorry for my late reply, mind me, I’m preparing for the journey of a lifetime, for Hajj 😀

    Thank you everyone, we did have a fabulous “productive” time!

    Alma, tell me about it. I still have some of the junkies left, I grab a chocolate bar every time I pass by the fridge, not good. I should be on fresh fruits and veg to prepare my body for Hajj, but hey sugar isn’t bad right? Gets you on the run for the preparations :p

  9. November 17, 2009 at 11:10 am

    pray for us 🙂 desperately need prayers!

  10. November 17, 2009 at 11:10 am

    and have a safe and wholesome journey!

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