New Blog Look For FHWS 2009

I have FINALLY figured out how to put a photo on the blog and then edit the photo to fit the width of the header alhamdulillah. I even made the font bigger for those visually challenged readers of mine. Let me know if you have any better suggestions for the new look. Thanks,

taraummomarsignature5

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Tara Umm Omar

American married to a Saudi.

27 thoughts on “New Blog Look For FHWS 2009”

  1. >Aussiegirl & Susie,Thanks so much for the nice compliments.Susie,No problem! I have it figured out for Blogger but not for WordPress lol. I will play around with it until I get the hang of it insha'Allah.

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  2. >I really enjoy your blog and like the layout. I would make one suggestion though. At least from my computer there is alot of jumping around, and scrolling back, which is distracting. I would like to suggest that you put the Daily Quran Reminder and the Hadith of the day as a stable fixture just below your header, or on the side bar right after the Islamic Calender. Then people would be immediately shown it each time they check the blog, without bouncing down to the bottom of the page and scrolling back up. It would be more encouraging to someone to read them both, at least for me.Once again, I really admire your blog, but this layout change would both make it easier to read posts and comment, and to learn more of the Quran and Hadith.All the best!Chiara

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  3. >Chiara- It never occurred to me that it was a problem! I changed it as you suggested and you were so right on. Thanks a million for caring enough to help make this blog more appealing 🙂

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  4. >One more thing, I would like to have a tag cloud such as the one Word Press offers. As you may have noticed, I have a lonnnng list of tags that makes the page longer. Do you know if the tag cloud if available on Blogger?

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  5. >Tara Umm OmarThank you so much for the rapid change. A great choice to put the two where you did. It makes a world of difference–and for the first time I read both the Daily Quran Reminder, and the Hadith of the Day.I love Yusuf Ali's translation and 73:20 should be quoted more often! Bukhari is certainly a strong reference among the hadiths!I don't know about cloud tags or Blogger, but you might consider collapsing the diverse tags into broader categories that would reduce the number on the roll (and increase the relevent posts per tag) eg. Abandonment, Abuse, Adoption, American, Bi-cultural, Blogging, Children, Foreign, Interviews, Legalities, Ministries, Mixed Marriages, Other Countries, Saudi Arabia, etc.Then tag posts more broadly.I just tried accessing your blog in another window, and it seems to go directly to the level of the Daily Quran Reminder, skipping the header, and calendar, and the beginning of the post unless one scrolls (a shorter distance) up.You have such a beautiful header, is it possible to have it come up each time, either by disabling that feature on the Daily Quran Reminder that makes the blog jump there first, or else embed it in the header at the side. (It also bounces back there every time you open or leave the comment section)In any case, this is a big improvement and makes it so much more fun to check in here. Thanks again.PS Feedjit live feed–does it help you? I always think these take up space needlessly (at least for the commentators). I would suggest putting your "tag roll" above it, as that is the most useful for commentators. Thanks again for being open and responsive to suggestions, these are made with the best of intentions! 🙂

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  6. >Chiara- You're welcome. I can't move the Darily Qur'anic Reminder below my banner. I tried to put it at the very top before even the Islamic Calender but that wouldn't work either. I finally had to delete both the Qur'an and Hadith reminders because they seem to be interfering with the way the page rests after uploading. That saddens me but its for the best insha'Allah. Followers and Blog Traffic were legated to the bottom of the page to make the Categories more visible after the Poll. Now to work on collapsing the gigantic list of tags! Thanks again

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  7. >Fabulous changes! Thank you so much. No bouncing, no scrolling. It is sad to lose the Daily Quran Reminder and the Hadith of the Day, but as I said, at least for me all the bouncing and scrolling stopped me from reading them anyway.I know collapsing and retagging can be a long chore, but I think it will be worth it.By the way, I refound this site by looking at the tag Tara Umm Omar (12) whereas maybe it should be under the broader category of blogging.I was SO HAPPY to arrive here this AM directly to the lovely header, and stay there long enough to read.Your twinkly "Tara" is very eye catching, and it seems to me the most important information (the Islamic date) and about me is immediately visible.Your left side bar looks great to me now. Once the tag roll is shorter the items now at the bottom of the page will be more accessible.Thanks again!

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  8. >Chiara- You're too sweet! I really appreciate your enthusiastic feedback. Its contagious and motivates me to improve this blog's appearance even more. The tags definitely will require some intensive work but I'm sure it will be worth it in the end.

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  9. >Oops, I was afraid that was Moroccan. It is one of the words learned quickly, especially if their are children around. Transliterated the French way:Zyd, Zyd, syr, syr, yellah, fissa, fissa!!!!![go, go, follow on, follow on, let's go, hurry]Moroccans like to say things twice for emphasis–or at least mine do! LOL

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  10. >Lol wow that sounds like a different dialect than the one I picked up from my ex-husband and his family (they were Arabs (suraname Dahane) from Sidi Kacem). They used to say: Yallah nemshee, serbee, serbee! (let's go, hurry up!)

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  11. >LOL–a friend is a PhD in linguistics who has published on Moroccan dialects, including a dictionary to help them understand each other!Sidi Kacem to Saudi Arabia–you only marry men with oil wells? Sorry, couldn't resist!So close to Volubilis–forced an excursion there, still working on Meknes, and Moulay Idriss!Your own son must be a handsome mix, btw!

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  12. >SubhanAllah! Someone once told me that Moroccan Arabic is the worse in the Arab world. Once there was a documentary about Moroccan youth on MBC and they used subtitles in Fus-ha so they could be understood!LOL hahahaha very funny. My ex-husband and husband are as different as night and day alhamdulillah.You haven't been to Walili?! You have GOT to go sooner than later. There isn't much left but the Roman mosaics, hamams and oil press are interesting. Moulay Idris was something else…you could see it from Walili. When we got there and disembarked from the car, we were always walking up a hill. Actually it IS built on a hill! Be careful of the masjid…it has a tomb inside and people actually pray in there yuck. Meknes is my all-time favourite. Fez is next then Rabat and Casablanca. I'd love to see Tangier, Marrakesh, Ouazazarte, Al-Jedidah, Celuta, Agadir, Chefchaouen, and Sale because I never got the chance.Morocco is calling my soul to come visit and you're making it worse :-)Masha'Allah Omar always get compliments.

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  13. >I did visit Walili, it is wonderful, and an excellent view of Moulay Idriss up on the hill. My FIL wanted to press on to family in Fes so he made up a story that I wasn't allowed in Moulay Idriss as a non-Muslim–only half true (non-Muslims are not allowed to stay overnight),and rather unlike him, but…well you know Arab Baba's, or any man behind a wheel! LOLMeknes is the only imperial city I'm missing visiting.Essaouira is great too (up the coast from Agadir)and they sell beautiful marquetry of argan wood. Of the ones you listed I haven't been to Ouarzazate, or the true south; and would like to visit the north: Tetouan, Ceuta, Melilla.Chefchauoen–pottery, shokran!!Safi is another great pottery place (also Sale and Marrakesh).Okay officially home sick now, off to eat a couscous salad!

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  14. >So untrue! Back in 1995 when I first went to Morocco, I was a non-Muslim and sat inside Moulay Idris. However my ex-husband told me not to utter a single word so nobody would suspect I was a non-Muslim from my English lol. We did the same thing at a masjid in Fez al-Bali suq.Love, love Moroccan interior decoration and furniture, etc. If I had the resources, I wouldn't bother with Saudi or any other furniture in KSA and would have Moroccan furniture shipped here.I heard Ceuta and Melilla are totally different worlds because of being Spanish enclaves?I don't know why but I assumed you were living in Morocco :-/

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  15. >Actually right now I wish I were living in Morocco. Friends are in the "artist quarter" in Marrakesh where they are raising their adorable children (Moroccan baba, American mamma) and running a business together.I haven't visited Ceuta and Melilla yet but yes, it seems they are very Spanish, but with a heavy population of long settled Moroccans, and a huge problem with illegal immigrants from subSaharan Africa hoping to get to Europe.I agree that Moroccan interior furnishings and "artisanat" are wonderful, but then some Saudi ones seem great too (just about anything Middle Eastern, or Andalusian suits me fine).I once visited a cemetary with a jellaba on, and hood pulled up to hide my face, also warned to say nothing and look at no one LOL!Yes, the little white Moulay Idriss lie was annoying as it would have rounded out the tourist portion of the drive to Fes and we could have arrived there for dinner (aka 8 pm LOL). The BIL who is my nemesis once put an end to a planned Meknes trip, and I love Fes so I have some seriously travelling to do there. I've thought of writing travel articles from there, have to plan it a little more though.Did you live in Morocco or just visit? I think it would be quite different to try to build a life there as opposed to even lengthy visits, although I know "Westerners" doing so successfully.One of my favourite "hiding in plain sight: type adventure involves being placed somewhere safe but out of sight, while a purchase or negociation takes place, as I am "walking inflation" LOL 🙂

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  16. >I wanted to live in Morocco but my ex-husband shunned the idea because of the unstable economy. He wanted to save up money by working in the US and then establish a business in Morocco. We also wanted to just work in the US, save up money and retire there.Yeah there is some nice Saudi furnishing (yawn).Too bad you couldn't just drive yourself!In 1995, I lived there for 3 months and in 1999 I just went for a 2 week visit. Back in 2005, I heard life has become more expensive in Morocco!Lol. I used to go into the shops with my ex-husband to look around. Then when I saw something I liked, we would walk out and down the street out of sight. I would tell my ex-husband what I wanted and he would go back to bargain for it hehehe. Its sad really.Keep me in mind when you start your Moroccan travelogue and I'll be there insha'Allah. I know you can do it, your writing skills are excellent and I love your humor masha'Allah.

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  17. >Thank you for the kind words. For the best bargaining I just send my mother- or sister-in-law out the door with a description. If I go with them or am seen before they start to bargain they are working with a handicap! LOL :)Apparently there is a economic risk index on which Morocco always scores quite high, so Moroccans often send they earnings and investments outside of the country. Sad really. Even offering special bank accounts for "travailleurs immigres" doesn't seem to help.The Moroccan friend currently married to an American and living with their 2 children in Marrakesh, was previously married to an American and living in the US. The marriage ended for a number of reasons, but primarily because he wasn't ready then to have children, and wouldn't want to raise them in the US. She had quite a difficult time with his family's visits, especially MIL and SIL, I think in part because she was a very lovely, very American woman in her 20's with no travel or cross-cultural experience. We lost her friendship in their divorce LOL, so I don't know what she has done since, though I wish her the best.If you had your choice of what city or region to live in in Saudi where would it be? If I remember correctly you are in Riyadh, and it is one of the more restrictive places by reputation. Answer here, and then maybe that would be a good topic for a post–where if you had the choice should you and your Saudi spouse live in Saudi. LOL

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  18. >You're welcome. ROFL @ the handicap comment. I used to communicate with my in-laws in French, Arabic, English and sign language! How do you communicate with yours?So now Morocco isn't a good retirement place unless you happen to be super rich or have gigantic savings.Sounds like my ex-husband…he wasn't "ready" to have children until after we bought a house hmph.Oh my you are full of ideas for posts masha'Allah lol. IF I had a CHOICE of where to live in KSA and I absolutely had NO other choice but to continue to live here…I would choose Al-Khobar. However my husband has decided on going back to his hometown of Jubail and as IF I had a choice, I'm most likely to follow him whenever that happens. Still Al-Khobar wouldn't be too far away and an excuse to drive an hour to another city when I need retail therapy lol. Because Jubail unfortunately is bereft in malls…there is like a main one on the corniche called Fanateer Mall. My husband was incredulous and his eyes bugged out in his head when he asked me to repeat what I said…"you want MALLS?" Lol he is allergic to them. Its not so much as the shopping, its that there are amusement parks inside air-conditioned buildings so Omar can also have his alternative fun too.

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  19. >Oh, another mall hater! Your husband has redeemed himself from his cat to camel preference. LOL :)I do understand the need for mall play areas with AC. Actually some malls are so huge and well designed that they feel quite nice when not crowded. Al-Khobar on a Western style compound I presume?Now that I have spent 10 minutes becoming an expert, both places have the advantage of being on the coast, and the drive (if coastal enough) could be very beautiful.I speak to my inlaws in French mostly, some Moroccan, and as little English as possible (my French is fluent so no need, and I have no desire to be an English teacher on vacation time). Sign language–hmmm–yes alot of that, although I always accompany it with words. No Marcelle Marceau here! LOL :)What languages does or will Omar speak? Lots of good international schools (or at least more than 1) in Jubail (told you I'm an expert LOL 😀 )

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  20. >Lol. And the best times to go here when its not crowded are during the mornings and early afternoons.Nope, we don't do compounds aka luxury prisons…in my opinion at least.Masha'Allah good job. The road we take from Jubail to the Khobar/Dammam area doesn't have a coastline. The one from Khobar/Dammam to Bahrain, especially along the King Fahd Causeway, does.Who is Marcelle Marceau? Sounds familiar but I can't put my finger on it….could be French or French Canadian? LolHe speaks English with a little Arabic here and there which he won't use except for Bismillah, Alhamdulillah or Masha'Allah because its mandatory in our house. We don't prefer international schools because they can be irreligious and mix the sexes. And absolutely NO Saudi public schooling so help us Allah. Saudi private school would be much better insha'Allah.

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  21. >LOL–You are an expert too!I've heard that Saudi public schools, like others have very different standards, depending on the school. Better start a riyal piggybank for the private schools, then! LOLThere were no "compounds" in Hong Kong, but an American complex (condos, apts, supermarket, hair salon, spa, gym, pool) that I avoided except for hair cuts and grocery shopping. I just seemed too isolated culturally.A friend's sister travels throughout the world with her oil engineer husband, and refuses to stay on a compound–but then she's from a small town in Northern Ontario, and probably not used to "civilization" LOL 😀

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  22. >You know what else bothers me about compounds? The hassle of entering and exiting. I don't like anyone in my business like that (knowing my schedule, etc) and I'd like to be able to come and go as I please. I don't blame your friend's sister. The whole walled-in thing makes me feel claustrophobic. But it makes some people feel more safe (shrugging).

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  23. >What little I've seen in photos of compounds makes them seem like small town America–rich small town America. Nothing wrong with that, and I know some Saudis prefer them, but it seems to miss the point of being in another country. Also, the checking in and out can feel like a military housing barracks I'm sure.So you haven't died from lack of driving? LOL 😛

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