I retired the term “best friend” many years ago. It seemed like after a certain age, the people I gave the title to couldn’t handle it with care. My elementary school best friend was great; but thereafter, the best friends I chose didn’t treat me so well. And the fact that my expectations were so high, my disappointment when they hurt me was that much greater. So, I abandoned the idea and finally found a best friend again in my husband. I am more than content with my dear friends and sister friends; but two years ago, I reinstated the use of “best friend” and I’ll tell you why.
In my third year of college, a significant shift took place and I really needed someone who could not just understand me, but ‘overstand’ me. I was a new Muslim, adjusting to a new lifestyle, a new wardrobe, and a new way of seeing the world. I met many kind and loving people of different ages and cultures, but I needed more than a sister–I needed a sistah sister. One day at a Friday prayer service, I met her. She’s from Brooklyn, I’m from Queens. We both have Caribbean heritage and had accepted Islam at around the same time. We went for lunch together one day after Friday prayers and soon became fused. We shared our stories, our challenges, and our dreams over curried chickpeas, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, and glasses of soy milk. We rode through many storms and celebrated many joys and when I realized how intensely we prayed for each other and wanted good for each other, I knew that the title best friend fit her more than well.
Last month, my best friend made her maiden voyage to the land I love and have the privilege of living in. We had the good company of both her and her husband for about two weeks and we did as much as we could while letting them rest and relax as well.
Figuring out what to see and where to go was a challenge because we were spoiled for choices yet pressed on time, so I’ll highlight the favorites.
Fort near Al Riyam Park
One thing my best friend mentioned was how comfortable she felt here in Oman. I was able to point out where I first lived in Nizwa, the hospital where I gave birth, and share the sights and sounds that have been my home for more than six years. Needless to say, we had an amazing time. What I really loved about my best friend’s visit was seeing how much my children love her as their aunt, how fond our husbands are of each other, and how much our friendship has nourished both our faith and sisterhood over the last 15 years. We are still so full from their visit and pray that her and her family are forever blessed in this life and the next! Ameen!