Chapter 61

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Salaam everyone! Just to clear it up because I don’t think I mentioned it before, and some of you were asking, Hana and Hisham are Syrian :) (And of course Yusra and Houssam are Algerian, and Amir is Egyptian!) Also, only like five chapters left. Ahhhhhh! Can’t believe it’s already over! Seems like I just started! Thank you to all my amazing readers! Stay awesome <3

Hana walked around the crowded room, snapping multiple pictures of all of the happy people that were there to celebrate the new baby Malik. It wasn’t hard to tell how loved Yusra and Amir were, for there had to be well over a hundred people in attendance, and there wasn’t a person there who wasn’t smiling.

Even the children were running around playing and shrieking with laughter, and Hana couldn’t snap shots fast enough. She was glad that she had brought a few extra memory cards because she had already gone through her first one, and they hadn’t even eaten yet!

As she approached the table where the presents were sitting, she crouched low to get a few shots, pulling a few curious little hands, mainly that of Mohammad and Kareem, away before zooming onto some of the cuter wrapped packages. Once she had gotten back up, a hush fell over the room as Sheikh Saad stood.

“AsalamuAlaikum waRahmatullahi waBarakatuhu! Ahlan Wasahlan everyone, and Barak Allahu Feekum for coming today! Alhamdulillah we are here for a very glorious occasion, to celebrate the addition to a family that is very special to me. I have witnessed Amir and Yusra go through so much and as many of us in this room can attest to it, their love has only become stronger through it all.”

“No kidding!” Houssam yelled, and a chuckle travelled around the room.

“Thank you Houssam! It wouldn’t be an event without you chiming in! When are you going back to New York again?” the Sheikh joked, and as the room exploded into laughter, Hana silently raised her camera to capture the cheerful grin on Houssam’s face.

“It seems like just yesterday I was going to the hospital to declare them officially engaged. Then I had the honor of marrying them in this very room, and celebrating the birth of their first baby, Kareem.”

At his name, Kareem looked up from where he was sitting on his father’s lap and coloring in his coloring book.

“Baba! Amu said my name!” he shrieked, and as Amir tried to hush him, everyone laughed again.

“So today, Alhamdulillah we are celebrating the second of many more children to come InshaAllah! Ayyoub!” he paused to take the baby from Abu Houssam, before holding him in the crook of his elbow, and facing him towards the crowd. “May Allah swt bless the new member of our community, and make him a servant that he is pleased with. May he be the coolness of his parents eyes, and bring unimaginable joy to his parents, his grandparents, and his new big brother. Now I won’t go on too long because the smell of lamb is making me hungry, and if Hana takes one more picture of me I am going to get self-conscious,” Hana flushed as everyone chuckled and turned to look at her, “but let us all thank Yusra and Amir for hosting this wonderful and blessed gathering for us, and say Mabrook for their new baby!”

“Mabrook!” the room cried in unison, and Hana snapped one more picture of the Sheikh handing the baby back to his grandfather, before she hurried over to the kitchen to help serve the food. She was kept busy as there were a lot of people, so when Houssam came by, she was able to keep her blushing level to a minimum. Alhamdulillah there were too many people for them to have been obliged to talk, so other than a hurried ‘salaam’, they said nothing.

“Finally you’re sitting down! I’ve been watching you run around all day and it was making me exhausted!” Ilham exclaimed a half hour later as Hana sat down with her plate.

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