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#1 of 227 Old 12-30-2009, 02:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone?

I know starting an annual thread was mentioned a year ago as our post count crept higher, but it never did get made and, well, now the count is that much higher still.

Is anyone reading / has anyone read anything interesting?
Classes?
Travels?
Plans for the new year?
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#2 of 227 Old 12-30-2009, 10:25 AM
 
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Oh yeah... a new thread.

Sadly, right now, I have very little plans for the coming year. Still trying to get over the after-effects of H1N1 (ended up with upper respiratory infection)... so hopefully, once this is all gone, I'll feel more like planning.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#3 of 227 Old 12-30-2009, 10:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope you're feeling back to 100% soon.

My husband and I have been making plans to finally go back to Egypt for a few weeks in maybe February, early March at the latest (after my half planning and then never following through several times now ). It should be ... interesting.

A couple of days ago we were talking about what to wear on the flight, and it just seemed so bizarre to be having that conversation so far in advance. The gist was discussing what to wear that would cause us the least increased risk of TSA hassles, especially in light of recent events, but it just ... I don't know. On the one hand it was really depressing to be sitting around planning ahead to make sure to wear sky blue instead of black for pragmatic rather than vanity reasons, but on the other hand if my biggest problem is feeling the need to wear blue then I really do have it quite good, kwim?

Like there's a legitimate complaint in there somewhere, but I feel guilty getting on a soapbox about it when it's so microscopic a complaint compared to what so many other people deal with in this life.
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#4 of 227 Old 12-30-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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At least you're going at a great time weather-wise.

I always think about that before I fly... but then I go expecting extra screening for at least somebody in our party. It actually doesn't phase me anymore... but I think I'd feel a lot better if I thought it was really making us any safer. Like, do they really think that the terrorists are going to strap the bomb to the chic with the hijab on? Or are they going to try and blend it a bit more? KWIM? It's not like the 9/11 folks wore thobes/galabayas and kufis or whatever the male headscarves are called.

My biggest fear these days when I got to Egypt is that Mubarak will finally kick the bucket, and all heck will break lose. If that happens, I'm getting out as fast as possible until things calm down.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#5 of 227 Old 12-31-2009, 01:06 AM
 
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listening hungrily to the khutbahs of Khalid Latif of the Islamic Center at NYU. thanks for the suggestion, liquesce

about to place my order for Al Ghazali's Inner Dimensions of Islamic Worship.

recovering from holidays with my family (culturally catholic, tho not very religious). other times i enjoyed the family traditions (cookies! lights!) and tried to ignore religious matters. this time....well, it was bittersweet. very hard. rather than just saying "no wine, thanks," inside i was sad to be the only one not choosing wine. usually i can say, live and let live....but i really wanted religious companions. wanted to say bismillah aloud rather than silently.

i look forward to sharing the year ahead with you all here!

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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#6 of 227 Old 12-31-2009, 01:26 AM
 
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Peace to you, my sisters!

I have not been around so much, and I think that is what I hope to focus on in the coming year. I want to learn to build my day around my prayers, instead of squeezing my prayers into my day. It is a natural and logical rhythm to embrace, and I am ashamed at how poorly I manage it. It's right there, waiting for me to get it.

kanga, the holidays have always been hard for me. I think everyone IRL would agree that this year, I did incredibly well. I was very, very clear with the reason I visited my parents. "This is not my celebration. It is yours, and I love you. You do the same for my holidays." How that lightened my burden. I hope you find companionship in faith.

We're also looking at a possible family trip to Morocco in summer. I have to say that recent news has me feeling icky about travel, but fear is no way to live. Dh travels for work, so there is little sense in letting those fears catch hold. Anyway, we're still examining family finances to decide whether we can all make the trip...and I have to find someone to handle the farm in my absence. So we'll see.

Those are the big plans. I'm going to try not to work too much off-farm this year, so we can have a healthier family life. These are my great goals.

Anyway, I hope to keep in touch.
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#7 of 227 Old 12-31-2009, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My biggest fear these days when I got to Egypt is that Mubarak will finally kick the bucket, and all heck will break lose. If that happens, I'm getting out as fast as possible until things calm down.
Heh, yeah ... that is definitely not a time I'd feel quite so wonderfully safe there either. Politically there's such a strong sense of resignation among Egyptians, and yet that seething undercurrent ... I know the despots-in-charge have been working hard at grooming the population for a seamless succession, but I wouldn't be any more stunned if their efforts failed spectacularly than I would if they succeeded.

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listening hungrily to the khutbahs of Khalid Latif of the Islamic Center at NYU. thanks for the suggestion, liquesce!
I like him too. He keeps a blog that is often pretty thoughtful as well. I love that he's so young and already really so accomplished in the community. (ETA: One of the other occasional khateebs at NYU, Haroon Moghul, blogs at Avari ... as a blogger he's more into current events than strictly religious topics, but he can be insightful.)

Good luck on working out the matter of holidays ... I think we all have our own balances to strike with that, and it can take time to figure out what's bending principles too far and what's just enjoying things important to family and the surrounding community with a clear conscience.
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#8 of 227 Old 01-04-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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listening to a seeker's guidance podcast, and the call to (paraphrasing here) not just be people who profess la ilaha illallah, but who live it--i had tears in my eyes.

there is so much wonderful online material you ladies have helped me find. now, i am thinking about my lunch breaks at work. i would love to have a book to turn to for a few minutes of inspiration. anyone know of books in English, on the lines of "daily meditations with so-and-so", that have perhaps a Qur'an passage or hadith with reflection questions?

i hope everyone's new year is off to a good start. i am realizing that i am too much an "all or nothing" person. in trying to plunge in and meet all 5 prayers, i often missed most of them. then in dec i said, no matter what i'll do Isha prayer, and that was more manageable. so, i'm trying to build my commitment, to be steady, adding dhuhur and isha when at home. (when substitute teaching....well, i don't know how to do that except add on to maghrib.)

steadfastness. that's what i'm aiming for now.

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#9 of 227 Old 01-05-2010, 03:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I realize it's going to make you look like this guy, kanga:



... but, that's actually a kind of book for which I don't have eight hundred recommendations.

And, don't sweat the prayers thing, really. I don't mean it's no big deal, but at the same time ... I kind of do, you know? No matter how much beautiful unity there is in the Muslim community, it's also a full billion people each just doing their own thing and utterly imperfectly trying to get something right. The one who goes through the motions the best isn't necessarily the most right; the one who is most sincerely trying for right is. And sincerely trying sometimes means knowing the difference between where you are and where you want to be.

(End soapbox philosophy moment.)
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#10 of 227 Old 01-05-2010, 11:47 AM
 
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I realize it's going to make you look like this guy, kanga:



... but, that's actually a kind of book for which I don't have eight hundred recommendations.

admittedly, i'm more likely to read Al-Muhaddithat : The Women Scholars in Islam, or something like this. bubt then i would not want to go back to work!

and thank you for the feedback about prayers. it's very encouraging, and i appreciate the support.

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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#11 of 227 Old 01-06-2010, 01:03 AM
 
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My biggest fear these days when I got to Egypt is that Mubarak will finally kick the bucket, and all heck will break lose. If that happens, I'm getting out as fast as possible until things calm down.
Heh heh heh. Can totally relate to that. I was in Morocco when the (former) king *ahem* kicked the bucket. Scared me half to death. Thank God nothing came of it, but it was a tense couple of days until we left!

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I want to learn to build my day around my prayers, instead of squeezing my prayers into my day. It is a natural and logical rhythm to embrace, and I am ashamed at how poorly I manage it. It's right there, waiting for me to get it.

We're also looking at a possible family trip to Morocco in summer. I have to say that recent news has me feeling icky about travel, but fear is no way to live.
YES YES to the prayer issue! I am in a similar place in my life.

We are going to Morocco in March, inshallah. I've mixed feelings about travelling. Gotta do it to see the fam, but to be honest, after this trip it may be awhile before I venture out to the airports again. I'm just not as able to put up with the hassles any more, especially with little ones in tow. Not so much out of fear, but more out of not having the patience for it anymore.

Wife, Mom, Health Services Researcher
Uno ('03) Dos ('08) and Tres (Aug '10)
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#12 of 227 Old 01-06-2010, 12:00 PM
 
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UmmIlyas, where's your fam there? Ours is in the Eastern High Atlas, outside Midelt. It takes us a full day of travel after landing in Casa. How long are you planning to stay? Dh always wants to plan an uber-long trip, but by day 7 we're all sick and ready to come home. I think we're going to compromise and shoot for 2 weeks. If I can find someone to handle the farm while we're gone. Otherwise, I may stay here (and the thought of sending my two kids without me makes me die a little). We'll see what works out.

I am doing better with my day-to-day schedule. My struggle is to let go of outside pressures. I don't need to make time to hang out with anyone who calls just because it's winter and they're bored. I mean, I sympathize, but they want to drink tea, not come down to the barn and shovel manure with me, so...yeah. I'm trying to be more internally focused--keeping a positive attitude, modeling kindness and happiness in our own home, serving my livestock with a smile, and doing all the small acts of worship that, as a whole, make the day so much more worthwhile.

I'm also doing an accountability thing with a sister friend. Prayers, diet, exercise and self-care routines. It's so much better. I was in a real funk.
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#13 of 227 Old 01-12-2010, 09:42 PM
 
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Asalaamu Alaikum sisters so it's been awhile since i've posted, on the whole forum but I'm pretty much back.

I have a question for you Mummies today, For the Aqiqah we are Insh'Allah going to be having it at our Masjid, But My question is about the food, did you all cater? because I can't see myself cooking for the numbers that will probably show up between Magrib and Isha or whichever time we have it, that just seems to be the most popular time, anyways, some of my friends had this yemeni place do it, which was yum, and I asked my husband and he said he didn't know I think In morocco the mother's and other women would just do it, the cooking but I am only going to Insh'Allah have my MIL here to help , so let me know ladies what did you all do????????

Oh, ps we are due March 25 with our first and We are still debating names,

I like Yahya
and DH want's Abdullah or Abdurahman, which I would be perfectly behind except that there are literally 3 abdurahmans in 3 years in the masjid and a few abdullahs,
So I suggested Yahya Abdullah what do you think????????? He says I can choose whichever, but I'm worried he will change his mind and we will get into a disagreement after he's already born. But like I said ladies give me your Opinions.

Khadijah
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#14 of 227 Old 01-13-2010, 12:09 PM
 
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Assalamu Alaikum Khadijah:

For the three aqiqahs we've had, the masjid has had somebody that they recommended for catering. So, we just used them. We got a say in the menu, which was nice. DH is Egyptian...so for two of the aqiqahs, we had Lamb Fattah, green beans in tomato sauce, salad..and baklava for the adults... with an option of mac-n-cheese and bbq'd chicken drumsticks for the kids..... and for the other one it was similar, lamb and rice, veggies, salad, etc. I can't remember if we brought in the drinks or if the guy did the catering did, but there was water, milk, and soda (diet and regular)... and then tea and coffee to go with the baklava. It seemed to work well. This was pretty much the standard catering thing where we were.

When we lived in Brooklyn, there was this incredible Yemeni restaurant. Oh man, I can still taste the bread!

At the masjid we live near now, it seems people either do the catering thing... or a bunch of families get together and everybody provides a dish as sort of a potluck type thing. Honestly, I like both.

I think it would be too difficult for you to be cooking everything after you've just had a baby. Maybe... make a special dessert or something if you feel you really want to... but my guess is that would be too much to take on with a newborn.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#15 of 227 Old 01-13-2010, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it would be too difficult for you to be cooking everything after you've just had a baby. Maybe... make a special dessert or something if you feel you really want to... but my guess is that would be too much to take on with a newborn.


Men always say "the women just do it" for everything, don't they? But if your friends are catering, well, that's how the women where you are just do it. I'm going to guess that back in Morocco the women do just do it, but what that means is a bunch of family and neighborhood women do it, not that a new mother is left alone with little help and a lot of expectation put upon her. Aqiqa isn't meant to be a burden, you know?

P.S. - Yahya Abdullah is a beautiful name.
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#16 of 227 Old 01-15-2010, 05:01 PM
 
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just finished reading a novel set in Cairo, and since a few of you have traveled to Egypt, thought I would mention it. if you've read it, i'd be interested to know which parts ring true/false for you.

The View from Garden City by Carolyn Baugh
from Indiebound: “Through the eyes of an American student living in Cairo, we meet a group of Egyptian women, women who endure, struggle alone and in family groups, and tell their amazing personal stories with grace and grim-good humor. Baugh injects ample descriptions of the city and of local customs, but her great strength is in unfolding the stories of these women as they open their lives and their hearts to the novel's American narrator."

the author is an american doctoral student of arabic literature who met her spouse in cairo. it seems clear the book grew right out of her time abroad. even though some of the details of the women's lives are very very hard, Baugh puts them in a complex context. doesn't sensationalize, if that makes sense. each chapter focuses on one of 6 women, but the stories are smoothly linked together.

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#17 of 227 Old 01-18-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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on the previous thread, someone--liquesce perhaps?--posted about the souq, and online shop that sells halal snacks (starburst! woohoo!), hijab pins, and other things. i thought i would repost, because i ordered recently and was pleased with the prompt service.

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#18 of 227 Old 01-19-2010, 01:14 PM
 
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Nooooo! I had no idea Starburst had gelatin in it. I never thought to even look. Luckily, not one of my favorites, but now I'll have to be on the look-out for the kids.

Thanks for the info on The Souq. They have some really pretty hijabs...and all of the gummy snacks are very very tempting!!

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#19 of 227 Old 01-19-2010, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's beef gelatin in Starburst, if that makes any difference to anyone. Not even kosher, let alone halal, but I know a lot of people have a much stronger aversion to pork products specifically than improperly slaughtered beef products.

The Souq is run by a really good woman ... anything is possible of course, but I would be really surprised to hear of anyone having a bad experience dealing with her.
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#20 of 227 Old 01-19-2010, 02:10 PM
 
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It's beef gelatin in Starburst, if that makes any difference to anyone.
Makes a difference to me!!! Thanks

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#21 of 227 Old 01-20-2010, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As-salamu 'alaikom~

Has anyone read any particularly good, non-sectarian, detailed books dealing with a historical account of the early caliphate? I'm thinking in particular of the first four caliphs, the Umayyads, maybe the Abbasids, and possibly getting into the early development of the Shia sect?

Ok, it occurs to me that may not all come in one book. But whatever you've got ... the only thing coming to mind for me is Marshall Hodgeson, but I only ever read the later volumes of his works, and TBH I find him more than a little dry to begin with.
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#22 of 227 Old 01-20-2010, 09:13 PM
 
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As salaamu alaykum,

I'd recommend "The Succession To Muhammad" by Wilferd Madelung.

For understanding early Shi'a history, I'd highly recommend "The Origins and Early Development of Shi'a Islam" by SHM Jafri. It's one of the best out there and is cited by folk ranging from Khaled Abou El Fadl to ...well, I can't think of anyone else right now, but I'm sure I've seen it cited by scholars on the opposite ideological end of Abou El Fadl. :0)
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#23 of 227 Old 01-20-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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Salam ladies, I just moved here to nc from pa. Anyone in the triangle area?
I am an american convert. but havent been doing so well lately. Its hard for me to relate to the sisters. I am an artist and crunchy deadhead. I gave up alot to become a muslim and now I feel I have no connection to anyone.
well thats my story. peace

http://susanchegari.vibrantscents.com/

 

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#24 of 227 Old 01-20-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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I hear you, Susan. Over the past couple of years I became close friends with one sister with a similar background, and she has been such a light in my life. PM me, let's talk.
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#25 of 227 Old 01-21-2010, 02:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As salaamu alaykum,

I'd recommend "The Succession To Muhammad" by Wilferd Madelung.

For understanding early Shi'a history, I'd highly recommend "The Origins and Early Development of Shi'a Islam" by SHM Jafri. It's one of the best out there and is cited by folk ranging from Khaled Abou El Fadl to ...well, I can't think of anyone else right now, but I'm sure I've seen it cited by scholars on the opposite ideological end of Abou El Fadl. :0)
Thank you! Both look like really excellent suggestions.

I'm going through a bit of a religious "thing" these days that would be difficult to explain well, but in practice what it means is I would like more perspective on the early developmental period of Islam without it being so much the "victor's history" that I have had through primarily pious Sunni sources. If that makes any sense. Judging by the reviews those sound potentially really solid on that front.
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#26 of 227 Old 01-21-2010, 05:56 PM
 
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I thought this was very interesting.

"A poll about Americans' views on Islam concludes that the strongest predictor of prejudice against Muslims is whether a person holds similar feelings about Jews. ..."

Read the rest here
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#27 of 227 Old 01-21-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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Yes, I saw that. It was very frustrating to me that people admit that they don't know anything about Islam, but still hate Muslims. Of course, I see this every day... but still, it bugs me.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#28 of 227 Old 01-21-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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As Salamua Alaikum, everyone!!

I'm new here, just signed up yesterday...

My name is Denise, living in the USA, American/ African American in Mini Soh Tah/ Minnesota. I've been Muslim for over 20 some odd yrs. I'm still a baby in this religion. I am a new mom, well my son is 2 yrs old.

I just wanted to give a shout out, as we say... I hope some of us can become friends... I have non....

Hugs and peace,
sis Denise
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#29 of 227 Old 01-23-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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wa alaykum as salaam Denise,

Welcome to the forums. If you don't mind me asking, what makes you still consider yourself a "baby in this religion" after 20 years?
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#30 of 227 Old 01-23-2010, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Salam ladies, I just moved here to nc from pa. Anyone in the triangle area?
I am an american convert. but havent been doing so well lately. Its hard for me to relate to the sisters. I am an artist and crunchy deadhead. I gave up alot to become a muslim and now I feel I have no connection to anyone.
well thats my story. peace

Wa salam~ What kind of artist, if I may ask?
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