I begin in the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most kind.
There would be no Miral, without Allah. I thank Allah for giving me life and nourishing me from the veils of the womb to every single breath I take. I thank him for putting this idea of Kheloney, for servicing my community through the blessings and gifts he has showered on me.
I thank Allah for putting in my heart a love of books, although I did not always thank him for this as I saw reading as an escape from reality rather than a privilege. I thank Allah for putting in my father’s heart the desire to never say no to buying a book and encouraging me to read. I thank Allah for my father’s generous heart.
I thank Allah to put my husband in my life who has unwaveringly supported my project, funded my dreams and roots for my success.
I thank Allah for my children, who I am privileged and blessed to home-school and who see strength in me when I fail to see strength in myself.
I thank Allah for the experiences that I thought made me useless and for keeping me underground for more than a decade. Those years of staying at home with my children, sleepless nights of nursing and difficult pregnancies, losing my parents and my best friend to the clutches of death, felt like the end of everything. But Allah chose that I shall persevere and come out on the other side, a thankful servant.
I am thankful to Allah for the pandemic which forced my children to stay at home and me discovering home-schooling. I thank Allah for all the small businesses that I found through the home-schooling community; that enriched me in ways I cannot fully express. I thank Allah for all the amazing friends I have connected virtually with, who have made me a better human being.
I thank my many teachers who have mentored me over the years and have never given up on me. I thank Allah for these mentors who finally inspired me to be courageous and open the doors of Kheloney to my community.
I thank Allah for placing the team of Culpepper & Co in my life to spearhead this mammoth project, especially Natasha, who held my hand like a baby throughout the process of building my brand and my website. She saw the potential of many Kheloney play spaces in the United States, when I could not even fathom opening the first one.
Last but not the least, I thank Allah for my mother, who never saw me “doing anything extraordinary” but nonetheless saw greatness in me.
I dedicate this space to my mother’s unwavering support and I hope to inspire that kind of love and healing for all children.
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