Flare Up

Today’s mood: Contemplative.

One of my favorite memories of growing up – I was a bit of a rebellious as a teen and my Pakistani parents felt the only way to straighten me up was to send me back to Pakistan to finish up high school. I was so upset – protested as much as I could without success, and my friends and I cried our goodbyes promising to keep in touch regularly.

I fell in love with Pakistan immediately. I felt right at home with all of the people welcoming the “American” with so much warmth and hospitality. I was free to be myself and didn’t have to defend my beliefs or explain my traditions like I did at my old school, and my own American-ness was never judged or questioned by anyone there.

I am always grateful for that trip for showing me another side of my own heritage that I could never have imagined existed. I was changed forever by the music, art, and poetry I witnessed – especially when I visited Bhit Shah, the shrine of Sufi Saint Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.

I had worried it would be boring because, you know, it was a Muslim country and all, and I had this perception of what that was, but I think I had more fun partying there than I ever did at home. So, it was a sad moment when the decision was made to bring me home after only a few months. Pakistani standards of education were much higher – a 10th grade student is required to have completed both Physics and Chemistry, and my parents were not going to put me back in 8th grade again, so it was back to California I went.

This is what Islam is to me, what i actually witnessed in real-life, and not something I just read somewhere on the internet. So when I am saddened by the things going on in the world, and the hate and the lies that are being spread about Muslims by people who don’t care to understand them, I remember these memories and feel a bit hopeful.

An excerpt from “Peace”

The Echo and the call are the same,

if you sound’s secret knew -They both were one, but two

became only when ‘hearing’ came

– Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai

Flare_Pants_Striped_Top Loft_HM_Zadig_Tory_Burch Striped_Top_Flare_Trouser Zadig_Voltaire_Denim_Jacket

FlaresJacket: Zadig & VoltaireSimilar Style | Top: H&M – Similar Style| Pants: Loft  | Shoes: Isabel Marant – Similar Style | Bag: Tory Burch | Sunnies: Ray-Ban | Necklace: Gift from Morocco (Thanks to my sis Rania!)

 

Follow Me! @zahra_sandberg

Instagram

Shootin’ the breeze 💨🌴
☀️🍔 ☀️🍔
First time back to my hometown to see my parents since Thanksgiving 2019. The kids have been so excited to see their Nanababa and Nano! The last video is what I was really missing tho…
My new favorite place in the house is definitely the sitting room off my bedroom. (See the before in my Reels) I worked with @thehavenly to turn this into my dream space. Now what used to be a pass through, is where I love to sit down after a shower and put on lotion or comb my hair, or even just curl up and read a book or listen to a guided meditation. Just a cozy and pretty space that feels intentional 💕 #havenlyambassador #interiordesign
I glow ‘cause I know what my worth is…who can name that song?? (every mom probably knows)
Thanks for all the love on my last post ❤️ I’m nursing a vulnerability hangover because I am actually a pretty private person (believe it or not) but every time I do get in my feelings and share it I end up connecting with so many of you and that makes it worth it. I know I am inspiring women to be unapologetic and to live their truth by doing so myself. That’s not a flex, enough of you dm me on the daily for me to say it with confidence. So with that- Lets go 2022! Hope this year keeps you feeling rested, hydrated, and living your best life! Also sorry and yes I’m definitely bothered by that rug flipped over in the back
Life is weird. For 2022 I’m thinking about how much I’ve personally grown. From this 21 year old girl getting married to someone I barely knew way too fast (my first marriage- also divorced within a year). That experience made me learn so much about standing up for what I wanted. Then for many years I thought I knew who I was, and soon I realized that wasn’t it either. I evolved. I struggled with my faith, particularly in 2020 when I felt attacked for my non mainstream views about Islam - interfaith marriage, LGBTQ, etc. Because of that, I lost a lot of supporters and tbh- sadly lost some friends. But I also figured out, with the sage advice from papa Shah, that there are as many opinions in the world as there are people - so me trying to change peoples opinions was pretty futile. Rather than bearing hostility to those who don’t think like me, I realized I should have empathy, and give people room to grow and learn. So I can say with sincerity that I’m finally good - with life and God and everything - and I’m proud of baby girl in this pic ❤️ Cheers to more growth and happiness next year!
You’re the best, I don’t care what everyone else says ❤️
🎄