I got a text message from work today, and it made me realize that I haven't had any 'contact' with the outside world in over two weeks. As a journalist, I read the newspapers every day, or at least skim the headlines and read any major stories. But I haven't done that in quite some time and I realize that I don't really care. Truly, here we are cut off from the 'outside world,'—no phone calls, no internet, and no newspapers. But I don't feel at all deprived, the world will still be the world when I get back home, and the news will still be the same. Paradoxically, things remain the same though the world itself may change drastically. On the other hand, I feel like the sun could rise and set for 100 years and yet still things will still be the same here in Tarim.
On a completely different note, we got two small mirrors in the house today. It's strange, but I don't use them at all. In the first couple of days when I got to Yemen, I thought I would go crazy without a mirror, asking to borrow one from anyone who had even a small compact one. So it's strange how quickly you get used to not checking yourself out in the mirror, and stranger still how quickly you get used to not worrying at all about what you're going to wear or what you look like.
My Qur'an teacher saw me today and told me that Habib Umar said that I should not memorize surat al-kahf, and instead memorize surat yaseen. So I'm guessing that's what I'm going to be doing now. But insh'Allah I'll get the reward of surat al-kahf, since that was my original intention.
Speaking of Habib Umar, we get so many dates from him in our morning class that each one of us can follow the sunna and take seven, and still have enough left over. Again, the hospitality of the people here is overwhelming.