I suggest that you read these old post to know more about me.

Whatever I have written that is true is from Allah alone while anything that is false is from myself and shaytan. Subhanaka Allahumah wa bihamdika, ash hadu an la illaha illa anta, astaghfiruka wa atuboo ilayk. 1


How I Embraced Islam

My Hijrah Story

Why I Have No Plans To Return To The States


49 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. curlykidz
    Apr 22, 2007 @ 06:17:36

    You definitely have an interesting blend in your family as well! Thanks for visiting my page 🙂

  2. Iman
    Jun 19, 2007 @ 00:32:04

    as salaamu `alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh

    Dear Intisar,

    I am pretty sure that you don’t remember me but we were on the same mailing list a while ago. I used to really enjoy your posts and was silently cheering you on (well, making du`aa for you LOL) during your hijrah days. I am so happy to hear that you are doing well – may Allah continue to shower you with blessings ameen. I am doing OK… still struggling 🙂 Please make du`aa for me.

  3. Bint Will
    Jul 31, 2007 @ 17:25:39

    As salaamu alaikum wa ramatu Allah,

    Your name is so familiar. Anyway, do you know a sister by the name of Umm Tasneem? She used to live in NOVA and moved to Saudi several years ago. I met her on the salafisisters e-group, she gave me my shahada. If you know this sister, please give her my e-mail.


  4. cairowash
    Aug 01, 2007 @ 12:58:41

    Wa alaykum as salaam wa rahmatullaah wa barakaatuh

    I know you weren’t addressing me, but I know Umm T as well! We all lived in NOVA at the same time, spent that same memorable Ramadan of ’98 together mashaa Allaah. I really miss her, and your reminding me of her put a smile on my face! Thank you!

  5. Bint Will
    Aug 01, 2007 @ 20:41:02

    My pleasure… I have never forgotten that sister, though we spent little time together. She truly touched my heart.

    Guess Umm Adam is good for something lol ((((HUGS))))

  6. Umm Atiyya
    Aug 03, 2007 @ 23:18:13

    As Salaamu Alaikum Umm Adam;
    I usually don’t read peoples’ blogs because either folks are
    a) ranting
    b) ignorant
    c) desperate attention-seekers, or most often,
    d) all of the above.
    But I stumbled across yours and when the title “Ghetto Fabulous Walima” caught my eye, I said, “Oh snap, this must be a sistuh from ’round the way!”

    Well, an hour and 5 posts later, I was laughing, enthralled, speechless, and nodding my head in empathy, all at the same time. I’ve known a few sisters from the DC area who have made hijrah with their spouses, but was never close enough to them to get their addresses to find out how life is there. So your blogs on hijrah, the dentist, cost-of-living, etc., were what I was hoping to find out. We do tend to have this unrealistic view of living happily-ever-after in “Salafiy-Land”, hoping to regain that vibe we had back in the 90’s when folks were caravaning back and forth up and down the East Coast like it was the new Silk Road, Mid-Atlantic style.

    In thinking about spouses, your blog on interracial marriage got me really thinking about my own long-held notions, and the proverbial color of grass across the fence. Life is rarely what we think it will be, but then that’s the beauty and fairness of Allah’s tests; we don’t get to cram or have a cheat-sheet so’s we can get that diploma to jannah easily; it’s one slowly-learned lesson after another. Pay attention and sit up straight.

  7. Aboo Uthmaan
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 16:23:33

    As-salaamu ‘alaikum

    Is it possible to ask your husband to contact me? I have a few questions pertaining to Saudi I would like to discuss with him.

    Jazak’Allaahu khair!

    Was-salaamu ‘alaikum

    Aboo Uthmaan

  8. MuniQaba
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 20:36:35

    As salamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu ummadam,

    mashaAllah, I really like your blog. I found you after reading a comment that you left on ummurahmah’s blog and I have been reading your blog, in spurts, for the past two days. I can’t wait until I get a chance to read more of your older posts, as they seem so interesting; a very good read mashaAllah. I want to leave some comments on some of what I have read already but it will take too long and I have finals like right around the corner. n-e way, i’m looking forward to getting to know you ukhti baarik Allahu feeki, ameen.

  9. Annie
    Dec 13, 2007 @ 16:24:15

    I would love to experience life as a Muslim woman, just for a little while to see what I think about it, how I feel about it, how life generally is living the life of a Muslim woman in Saudi Arabia. There are a number of (I believe) misunderstandings between Westerners and Muslims – and one fo the big ones that we keep hearing about is about women’s roles. I would like to dismantle (for myself) any stereotypes and discover for myself. So, if I went to Saudi Arabia for short while, would you be my ‘mentor’, showing me the ropes etc. Let me be clear here though in that I am not looking to convert or anything like that. I am simply looking to UNDERSTAND, and as I said, to realign some of the beliefs…to experience WHAT IS (for myself).

    Let me know if you think this would be possible.

    Thanks! Annie

  10. ummadam
    Dec 14, 2007 @ 00:30:22

    Annie, I’m not sure how possible this is. I’m not really into aiding ‘undercover’ research, but I invite you to accept Islam for your salvation. The best way to understand Islam is reading about it from authentic sources and learning from Muslims who practice it in accordance to Islams most authentic sources, namely the Quran and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad as understppd and implimented by his companions and the righteous ones who came after them.

    I pray that you are guided to the stright path.

  11. Aliyah
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 01:51:11

    Assalaamu alaykum Umm Adam,

    Do you mind that I added you to my blogroll on my (new) blog? Just let me know if you don’t want to.

    Take care!

  12. Aliyah
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 01:58:16

    PS I was just trying to de-spam something from you and it’s lost (I must have done something wrong).. I think you sent something anyway…can you resend/post if you did; if you didn’t then disregard my blathering

  13. Aliyah
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 02:10:46

    PPS Don’t mind me, it’s there now – it was showing up as spam (wth?) but I musta done the right thing. Excuse my blatherings

  14. ummadam
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 19:26:57

    Aliyah, I’m not sure what the problem is, but all of my comments on other wordpress blogs are going to SPAM.

    Wierd that I get asked permission to be asked to blogrolls, I thought it was a given. Go right ahead – I don’t think my theme has a blog roll, but you are on my blogsurfer.

  15. Jaye
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 21:00:11

    Salam umm adam,

    I couldnt really find an appropriate post to ask you this question, so i guess il stick it on this one.

    I wanted to know how much freedom of movement you have as a woman in Saudi, say for example you run out of milk and you want to go to a local store (within walking distance, say 10 – 15 minutes away) to get it, would it be ok for you to go alone? Or would the locals not accept this?

    I know islamically its fine, but i was wondering how it actually translates in Saudi.

    Be good to know,


  16. ummadam
    Jan 08, 2008 @ 15:43:10

    Jaye, I sorta answered this here, https://ummadam.wordpress.com/2007/05/30/cost-of-living-in-saudi/

    The only restrictions are that women can’t get up and drive. I live in a highly conservative area and most of the women here enjoy freedom of movement. We have a corniche that the women walk on for exercise, andmost neighborhoods are equipped with baqalahs (corner stores) and it is not unusial to see the women out and about running errands. It’s perfectly acceptable by the locals, however each family may have ther own restrictions. For instance, my family was on the corniche not to long ago. It was a very breezy day but you would still find the women walking briskly for exercise. My children were playing in the playground and there was a circular walking path around the playground, so I told my dh to go for a romantic (haha) walk with me while the kids were busy. He did not hestitate to tell me “sit down…you are not going anywhere with all that wind blowing your abaya open”. So even though the local womn were doing it, my Irish American ex Catholic husband, had issues with me doing it. So it’s really up to you and your family.

  17. Jaye
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 22:02:03

    Thanks for that, one more question ( sorry if im bugging u lol), what about the niqab. Is it compulsory to wear it in the KSA (for Muslims of course)?

    What would happen if someone wore hijab i.e full saudi abaya but didnt wear a niqab with it and went outside their home?

  18. ummadam
    Jan 10, 2008 @ 15:56:40

    Jaye, nothing would happen. If you are not Saudi, nobody will even raise an eyebrow. Depending on where you live, many Saudis don’t even wear niqab (Jeddah, Khobar). Non Muslim women (and some Muslim women)don’t even cover their hair outside of the house.

  19. Bint Nuh
    Jan 29, 2008 @ 04:12:09

    Assalamualaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu,
    I just have 2 tiny question about teaching jobs in the kingdom n islamic centers.I currently live in kuwait planning to take a 2 n a 1/2 year course in nursing but They do not allow for expats to have part time nursing jobs I find that to be an obstacle so am now intrested in teaching what do I require to study to land me a teaching job there
    Here in kuwait we have an english speaking active islamic center.It’s sorta the focal point for the expat muslims I was wondering does ksa provide such services as well. I have a few other questions but they r somewhat personal is there any other way I can reach u?

  20. Aisha
    Jun 23, 2008 @ 23:28:05

    Alhumdulilah sister,
    I am so happy to see you sharing your experience.
    I am an African American convert of 6 years.

    I would like to move to a Muslim, Arabic speaking country to raise my children, ( ages 13, 7, and 8) I home school, but the environment here is so contradictive to Islam.

    I also want to keep in touch with you, and suggest this link http://www.travelpod.com/cgi-bin/browse_continent.cgi?tweb_mID=AFRICA

    Its a social network for travelers.
    You can share pictures and more.

    I thought you may like it.
    Aisha Abdul Rahman
    Sacramento, CA

  21. Aisha
    Jun 23, 2008 @ 23:56:54

    As a homeschooling mom, what are the chances of working from home in Saudi. Is it the same as in the US. Rare online opportunities etc.

  22. ummadam
    Jun 24, 2008 @ 02:11:30

    As Salaamu Alaykum Aisha…I don’t know of any work at home opportunities other than teaching English.

  23. Aisha
    Jun 24, 2008 @ 04:14:39

    wa alaikam salaam,
    Teaching Enlgish, sounds a little boring.
    How is your Arabic? Do you feel you are forced to learn Arabic learning there?

    I have studied Arabic for a while, but without having to amerce myself in it, my vocabulary is very low. I dont learn through just memory, but by doing.

  24. Sharif Faizullah
    Aug 01, 2008 @ 08:31:21

    assalaamu ‘alaykum ummadam,

    I just stumbled upon your blog. Maa shaa Allaah! Some awesome posting! Thrilled to see someone blogging about some very interesting topics that are really needed.

    Would you be able to blog about The Marriage Revolution http://www.iWannaGetMarried.com ? That would be really truly absolutely fantastic!

    There’s a video also: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH-mt476Y9Q

    Give your rich mixture of cultures, if you could also share your thought on our blog, we’d really appreciate it.

    jazaakillaahu alf khayr,

    wassalaamu ‘alaykum,


    P.S. You obviously have to DELETE THIS COMMENT as I didn’t find any other way of contacting 🙂

  25. Dana Sayer
    Oct 25, 2008 @ 01:34:07

    As salaamu alaiki sis.
    It’s so nice to meet a fellow ‘stranger’. Though I’m from the semi-hood. Subhan-Allah what a journey huh?! I’ve been married 14 years and it is indeed a test a wonder and a humbling experience.

    I saw that pic of the DH and the baby on the floor, now you know that baby wasn’t thinking of going to bed on time that night. Looks just like my house on a Sat.! LOL! and I’m in Brooklyn.

    Anyway, hit me up. I’d love to talk.

    Dana (Amina)

  26. ummadam
    Oct 25, 2008 @ 09:33:35

    as salaamu alaykum dana
    welcome to my blog. i’m loving your comments. please continue to stop by!

  27. D. Sayer
    Oct 27, 2008 @ 01:28:07


    As salaamu alaiki.

    You know I came across this. I think I’m going to check their product out!

    And since I’m the only girl in my house, I’m passing the info on.


  28. sunspots1
    Nov 08, 2008 @ 19:44:16

    Sistergirl may Allah bless you and increase you and your family with His mercy and guidance. May He bless you with a softened heart and kind words and good health Ameen. Thank you so very much for the info you gave. I came up with a full pkg and submitted it to DH and he’s all for it. And things are just falling right together. Now I’m not superstitious, so when things seem to be easy I ask Allah for ease and keep it moving.

    So kudos to you my dear.
    I just wanted to let you know.

  29. BCIS
    Nov 14, 2008 @ 20:30:23


    I’ve tried to find the posts you referred to me: “Ghetto Walima” and “Ugly Black Women”. I couldnt’ find them…And, I just have to read the “Ugly Black Women”. I hope I’m not about to get pissed off after reading this…


  30. Nathanael
    Dec 28, 2008 @ 19:35:29

  31. kirkmuirhillrev
    Dec 28, 2008 @ 20:08:35

    You left a comment about a sermon I posted today. This is the only way I can think of to contact you. I think I would prefer to change the word “sophisticated” to “discerning” in that what I mean is that those I preach to know what I’m getting at. I would be surprised if anyone them thought I had unique insight into how Joseph was really feeling.

    I have had a look at your blog – it’s very interesting. I am curious to know how you came across mine and why you even took the trouble to make a comment. What did yo think of the rest of the sermon?

  32. ummadam
    Dec 28, 2008 @ 20:24:44

    Kirk, tag surfers or related blogs 🙂
    I left the question because I had never read anyone write what Josephs perceptions were or what was going on in his head. If there is no source for this, then it is made up and different pople can just say whay they want…like the bible.

    If you leave a comment on your blog that I posted on then I would have seen it in my admn section for my comments.

  33. safurat
    Jan 02, 2009 @ 17:25:51

    Assalamu alaykum,

    My husband is a trained english teacher (CELTA) looking to get a job in saudi as soon as poosible. We are in a similar situation to you, i.e making hijrah. Would it be possible to email you or PM you for advice on this, if so how? i’m new to the site.

    Jazak’Allah Khairan

  34. Halimah Bashir
    Apr 01, 2009 @ 05:08:46

    Asalam alaykum,
    Its me again, im soo confused and im not familar with how to blog, and howto contact you. I too have a similar story to yours, and im very interested in speaking with you inshallah. please let me know if theres a way that we can some how communicate.
    Jazakallah khairan,Halimah

  35. umkhalid
    Apr 03, 2009 @ 02:13:48

    I really like your posts,Masha’ALLAH. I sthere are place to suscribe to your blog? To get updated posts?
    wa salam,umkhalid

  36. ruhsa
    Apr 26, 2009 @ 21:08:13

    Assalamu alaykum,

    Saw ur money making blogs were featured on Arab News- congrats, masha’Allah 🙂

  37. Sayfullah Jawara Walker
    Jun 16, 2009 @ 10:34:56

    As salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah….MASHALLAH!!!! This has now become my favorite blog. WHY? Because…I’m an African American Muslim, from the hood, in an inter-racial marriage on my way to Egypt inshallah…lol. It’s becoming not so strange!

  38. Maxine
    Jul 29, 2009 @ 14:05:52

    Dear Ummadam and / or anyone who would wish to respond to my question. I am a Black British woman, married to a white man we are in our 40’s and no children still at home. We may be relocating to Jeddah for work reasons. My questions are around the multi-racial issue:
    1. Would it be an issue for us or for me in Jeddah or other parts of the country?
    2. How would I be received in social and business circles or am I to assume that woman are not included in business circles?
    3. Are there many Afro-American, Afro-British, Afro-Caribbean or Black African women in Jeddah?
    4. What work opportunities exist in general for women, once in Country?
    5. If you have no children with you, how does one pass the time of day?
    Sorry for the list, am curious at this stage – nothing is in the bag, just doing prep.
    Looking forward to responses, with thanks.

  39. Jaye
    Oct 11, 2009 @ 16:19:29

    assalamu alaikum,

    It would be interesting to know what Saudi women wear at home, i dont mean the western stuff we are used to, but rather what is the traditional saudi dress for women at home? Does it vary from region to region and do you have any pictures you can upload of traditional garments. would be nice to see what they are called and what they look like in terms of designs etc. thanks xx

  40. Isabelle
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 15:44:37

    Assalamu alaykum

    Could you please contact me via email – I was wondering if you would like to get involved in a project I started up.


  41. ummadam
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 16:32:04

    wa alaykum salaam, Isabelle.

    My email is hijrah4us@gmail.com

  42. Kenyarabia
    Jun 07, 2010 @ 08:33:27


    Your blog is very interesting.

    I am most likely moving with my husband to Saudi Arabia by the beginning of August of this year, as he has gotten a job over there. I’m also an African American woman and married interracially, but my spouse and I do not practice Islam or any other religion. I’m curious about a few things, and would love it if you could give me a brief response. I know you’re a busy lady, so whenever you get the chance is fine.

    First of all, I worry about the heat–how bad is it? And also, how cool does it get? I purchased an abaya, although I will be living on a compound and won’t have to wear it there. I don’t forsee myself leaving the compound frequently, but what do women generally wear under the abaya?

    I also worry about not having freedom of movement as a woman; how easy is it for a Western American woman to travel in and out of Saudi? Is my husband (also an American) going to have to be there to “allow” me to leave and return? Or can I just up and leave the country when I want? I forsee wanting to go back home at times when he may be unable or unwilling to return. Not being able to return whenever I want to will be an absolute deal-breaker as far as me going over there. We will both be issued diplomatic passports in addition to our standard ones, so does that make any difference?

    Thanks in advance for answering my questions.

  43. ummadam
    Jun 07, 2010 @ 12:12:20

    Hi Kenyarabia

    It get very hot here,but each regions heat is different.My family lived in the Eastern Province for 7 years.It’s hot but its humid because of the Persian Gulf.I guess the same could be said for Jeddah because it’s on the Red Sea. We are now in Riyadh and the heat is very dry. Whewreever you go in the summer you will average 110F. Most people go out in the morning or evening as many businesses are closed between 12pm-4pm.

    Women wear under their abaya’s whatever it is they wear.Just think of the abaya as an overcoat or light weight trench coat. You toss in on when going out and take it off once you are back home or in at atmosphere where it is appropraite to remove it.

    As far as leaving the country whenever you want, you do not need your husband to go with you but you may need for him to apply for your exit Visa and accomany you to the airport to ensure that you are able to get out.Since you have diplomatic standing things may be different.

    Please do not stay cooped upon your compound. Try to get out and do somethings. Compound life has a culture of there own and the ones that do not get off of the compounds are usually the ones that have the worse impression of Saudi Arabia even though they haven’t experienced it.Once you get here and network you’ll be able to find your niche.

    What city are you going to? Do you have children?

  44. Kenyarabia
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 01:30:25

    Thanks so much for writing me back!

    DH’s job is in Riyahd. So we will get to experience that “dry heat” that you’re talking about. We’re in the stage now of applying for our passports and visas, so it will probably be a good while before we get our official orders to go over there.

    He and I have no children together, but he has a child (my stepchild) that is almost adult, so he and I will be moving to KSA alone; no children. We have two pets, a dachshund and miniature dachshund, and we’re looking at heavy paperwork just to be able to bring them with us!

    I’m trying to not be biased, as I’ve heard a lot of scary and bad things about Saudi Arabia, and I’m trying to see this as an “adventure” and something that will be the experience of a lifetime.

    Take care, and I’ll probably be contacting or commenting again, as I do have a few other questions and curiosities.

  45. ummadam
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 07:10:43


    You will likely live in the Diplomatic Quarters or some plush compounds. Loneliness untilyou can find your own thing/people will be your biggest hurdle depending on your personality.I have my kids to keep me busy and don’t have much me time or adult only time – so I can’t help you with places to go that aren’t family related but there are some really cool blogs out here where the people get around.

    Don’t let the no driving thing bother you, even many of the men prefer to use a driver.Traffic is bad in Riyadh and you could get stuck in traffic. I know men that use drivers so that their time is more productive in the car than cussing out maniac drivers.My husband wants a driver but he can’t find anyone willing to drive his hoopty! Our kids driver has his own car. When we lived in the Eastern Province were lived on a University campus and I could drive,so we had/still have 2 cars. I HATED IT!!!! My dh sent me to run all the errands, because everything we needed was on campus.It was aweful loading 4 kids in the car to just go get a loaf of bread. Now of course if I didn’t have children I would probably be leading the protest to drive.

    Keep in touch. We’ll do lunch,insha’Allah (get use to hearing that – it means God Willing,often misused as a polite way to say ‘whatever’)

  46. jamalssadaqafund
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 16:56:14

    As Salaamu Alaikum sister,

    I dont see an option to email you privately on your blog. Is there any way i can reach you via email regarding an urgent matter I would like your help with?

    Jazakallahu Khair

  47. ummadam
    Jun 08, 2010 @ 23:12:31

    wa alaykum salaam


  48. amyd
    Apr 26, 2012 @ 06:39:44


    My name is Amy, I am from the United Sates. I love your blog, I stumbled upon it while making a presentation for “what other cultures find attractive and beautiful.”
    I do not practice islam, but have been very curious about it. I love learning about different religions, I think everyone should understand a little bit about each one. Reading some of your blogs has given me some insight into the life of a saudi arabian women. I learned a few of things that I have been wondering about on your blog 🙂 I just wanted to let you know that! I have always wanted to visit Saudi Arabia, it looks so beautiful in photos, however I know someone who is from Saudi Arabia and said that I would not be welcome there..perhaps one day though.

    I will definitely be back to check out your blog!

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