The Approach

June 29th, 2013 | kenleilenae

A unique mixture of musty marble and salty air permeate the senses before rounding the corner to the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. The building is not quite in sight yet, but the elongated shadow of the structure reaches for you to announce the approach of midday prayers. And finally, you see it.

Towering 689 feet into the heavens, the mosque’s minaret acts as a beacon for the Moroccan coast. This is a place of community, worship and serenity. Each tile, each piece of layered stone holds a memory and a prayer of the Moroccan people. Despite the youthful age of the mosque, your fingers feel history as you run them along the mosaics. The grit of the mortar between each beautifully crafted tile mirrors the ancient stories of Casablanca.

Cool blue-green glazes and sandy stone accent the Atlantic backdrop of Hassan II. The nautical pallet and blazing sun paint a forgotten scene of North Africa. For a moment, you forget that you are in the 21st century. Then another shadow approaches.

Hundreds of Muslim women swathed in black hijab congregate on the western end of the mosque’s plaza. Their low voices hum with excitement as a film director shouts in Arabic about forming a group shot for his project. The scene seems odd in the context of the noble structure. However, the women and the cameras strengthen the scene reminding us of the endurance of the Muslim people–keeping true to the traditions while finding wasy to become modern and cosmopolitan citizens of the world.  

Should I Be Appreciating the Scenery?

December 23rd, 2010 | kenleilenae

So here I sit…in a over heated car on my iPhone doing anything but paying attention to what is going on outside the car (don’t worry I’m not driving). I must admit that I am slightly disgusted with myself for not being able to appreciate the storybook winterscene for more than a few moments. It seems that my generation is so wrapped up in our BlackBerries and iPads and MP3 players that we have lost our attention spans and our ability to just intake the beauty of our surroundings.
Yes I know it may sound a bit hypocritical for me to comment on this observation while practicing what I preach…however, this is a realization for me. Now I am going to put down my electronics and just watch as the snow flies past my window as I listen to Christmas music.
Want to bet how long it’ll last?? No? Well I will tell you how this venture will end. I will get so motion sick because I am not used to just watching the moving scene that I will take some Dramammine and pass out for the next few hours.
Is that sad or what?

Nooks are Possibly a Godsend

October 17th, 2010 | kenleilenae

For the past few weeks  I have been contemplating whether or not I should go out and buy a nook…yeah I have the money to get  (saved from half a year of working at the local Chinese restaurant) but did I really want to spend $200 on something when I have to pay for college in less than a year? The answer? Yes!

My mother and my AP Lit teacher were at Barnes & Nobel looking at the nooks to see if they were worth buying for the high school library. My mother called me up with a bounce in her voice asking if I wanted her to buy me one. Mrs. Parker was also in the background talking about how amazing the nook was. Maybe it was my previous debates on whether or not to get one, or just the pure joy in my mother and her best friends voice when they talked about them, either way I decieded to have my mom pick one up for me that night.

Almost immeadiately after hanging up the phone  I felt a tinge of regret to saying yes. It just wouldn’t be the same. I wouldn’t have a cover to hold onto. I wouldn’t have the pages to smell. I wouldn’t have the money to actually purchase books for myself. Luckily I had my mother thinking about all of these things. She and Mrs. Parker picked out a cover to put over my nook (matching to Mrs. Parker’s of course). The smell of the pages…well now that I think of it who really smells the pages of a book? And as for the money issue, my oldest sister has a nook and said I could share an account with her. There are also a ton of free books, as well as the “Lend” feture which means I can borrow books from friends for up to 14 days. What else would I need in an electronic book?

Oh that is right an awesome touch screen!

I am all about the aesthetics and the navigation via touch screen is definitely an eye pleaser. “It’s just a gimic,” said one of my friends who sports a Kindle (which I have also enjoyed reading on prior to my Nook purchase). I just said to him, “You haven’t even used it…plus it was cheaper than your Kindle and has the ‘Lend’ feature.” Not to dis the Kindle because I do rather enjoy that device as well, but the nook is just more…Kenleiish.

My only complaints are that I will be less inclined to buy printed books now and might never accomplish the floor to ceeling books shelves I always wanted. And the little ’N’ for nook reminds me of my kindergarten teacher who told me that my ‘U’s’ were upside down.

Ah well. I can’t wait to go curl up with Dorkus (that would be my nook’s name) and explore a far away land in the not so distant future of an Ereader

Yay to Nooks