For the past month my husband has been in Palestine and Jordan. His mother was ill and received a diagnosis that required major surgery. When my husband arrived in Palestine, he took her to a couple of doctors, then ultimately went to Jordan to see a specialist. Thank God, it turned out to be much less serious than originally diagnosed. Once they realized that she was in good health, they decided to go for Umrah, or the minor pilgrimage to Mecca. Unfortunately, my mother-in-law went back and forth in her decision and in the end, they were unable to secure her a ticket to go. Next time!
I went to Hajj in 2004. It is a huge deal. It’s one of the most memorable experiences a Muslim can go through. Though Umrah is significantly different from Hajj, it is still an incredible event to take part of. There are no words to describe the feelings that come over a person when they see the Kaa’ba for the first time. I was absolutely thrilled for my husband to be able to go. I knew I wanted to celebrate this achievement when he came home.
I kept the party laid back and relaxing for all. I went with a simple menu that I was able to completely prepare in advance. I knew my husband was sick of Arabic food since he had been eating it for a month straight during his stay overseas. I decided on Mexican food and homemade desserts. I created some simple decorations that went a long way; An abstract Kaa’ba using square paper plates and tissue paper bunting. Throw in some fresh flowers and we had ourselves a party.
My favorite part, dessert! I made chocolate sheet cake and added my now famous sprinkle method, Nescafe cake, bakalawa cheesecake, magic layer bars, and my BFF brought a Palestinian dessert called hareesa, and another friend brought flan! Yum, yum!
I was so happy that my house (and backyard, kitchen, garage, front yard) was filled to the brim with family. Nearly 60 people! It was great having everyone there to celebrate this special moment with us. I hope one day I can throw him a party when he completes his Hajj!