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By Alveena Salim 

I live above a beach. A typical day for me consists of taking my babies for a walk along the canal. I walk past the perfectly manicured gardens behind my apartment and usually stop by the playground downstairs. Sometimes I forgo my walk to take my toddler swimming in one of the many heated pools downstairs. 

A typical weekend for our family consists of breakfast by the beach front. A typical week for me is filled with coffee mornings in my friends villas or afternoon teas in fancy hotels. 

The intention behind this post is not to create your typical Facebook/Instagram ‘look how perfect my life is’ response. Far from it. 

I’ve been living in the sunshine for over 5 years now and to me, this place has lost its sparkle. 

This place is spiritually empty. It’s dead. 

Everything here – the tall shiny buildings, high teas in the clouds, fancy malls where you can go skiing or buy the latest designer handbag, buffet breakfast spreads etc all serve one purpose. 


This may be from our religious duties or from our obligations/responsibilities ‘back home’. 

Most people here have the same story, ie they came here with a two year plan and five to ten years down the line, they’re still here. And during their time here, they may have relapsed in their religious duties or in their responsibilities to those who were left behind. 

This place has its perks, however I would give anything for an afternoon with my mum drinking tea in rainy London, than an afternoon laying on the beach in the month of November. This is because, recently  I’ve found that living here has meant that we lose more than what we gain. 

I’ve lost myself in the sparkle. I miss me. 

I make dua that if living here is detrimental to my deen, Dunya and akhira, then please relocate me ‘back home’ or somewhere that is better for me. 

Home is where I can find You.