About

Debbie Qalballah

Who are you?
My name is Debbie, {Qalballah}; creator, designer, maker, writer, print-maker, artist, blogger, mama, daughter, sister, wife, educator, cook, cleaner, buttwiper, dogsbody, pazi of Biblical proportions for all family dysfunction and writer of this blog.

Educated to post-graduate level I have attended the University of Leeds, thereafter the University of Cambridge, and hold a degree in Philosophy and Sociology with a minor in Theology. I am a fully qualified secondary school teacher, children’s book author, as well as holding qualifications in counselling.

Currently I am serving time as a full-time homeschooling Mama to two forces of nature known as boys (aged 12 and 8 1/2  in this year 2014, who are refered to as ‘Eldest’ and ‘Midget’) and most days are spent juggling the various brain-draining, soul-destroying, unthanked, unseen, monotonous, boring tasks ensuring other people remain alive and uninfected. I hail from the Lake District, but have since escaped to live a life of relative normality elsewhere in the UK.

Can I email you?
Sure. I can be contacted at qalballah AT gmail DOT com

What Camera do you use?
I currently use a Nikon D5100 although in the past I have used Nikon D3000 digital SLR with various lenses. Often I use the 18-55mm VR lens which came with the body and in low light I tend to stick with Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f1.8G. Any cropping or editing the images is done with the editing suite on Flickr.

I love your photos – but tell me honestly, are they staged?
No! What you see is what you get, I promise you! Unless I am photographing products for sale all the pictures here are absolutely un-staged. I do, however, selectively frame my pictures – I will not purposely take photographs of my laundry pile, for instance, or the dirty dishes or the crunchy nature of my carpet. Sometimes I will crop a picture to bring the composition together (but honestly, I’m so lazy I hardly ever do this), and very rarely I add an effect, such as Vignette, 1960s, cross process or black and white. But pinky promise nothing is staged!

Why do you homeschool?
It is a deeply personal decision about how we feel about schooling in general, the schools around us in particular and the fact we believe family is where children should be nurtured in their formative years. This may change in the future, but for now, living and learning as a family suits our needs and temperaments.

Do you own a  TV?
No.

Are you a Muslim?
Yes.

Why did you convert to Islam?
This document gives some idea Why I Converted to Islam.

I’m sorry, I don’t know much about your religion. Could you tell me a little about it? Thanks.
Lots of good books have been written about Islam.
Unveiling Islam is an excellent book, and written by a non-Muslim for objectivity.
Islam and the Destiny of Man is also a good book.

Basically we believe in One God who is the God of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (peace be upon them). ‘Allah’ means ‘The Deity’ in Arabic and even Arab Christians will call God Allah. We believe that Jesus was the son of Mary but that he is a prophet and not god or son of god. We do not accept that the crucifixion took place as we do not believe God would dishonour His messenger in such a manner. The religion taught by all prophets was ‘submission to God’s will’ which in arabic is the word ‘islam’ – submission. ‘Islam’ also means ‘peace’ because when you have surrendered yourself to God you find peace. In this way all the prophets were ‘Muslim’ as they obeyed God and continued the same message of monotheism.

Muslims do not drink alcohol, do not take intoxicants. We are forbidden to eat or even touch pork. We pray five times a day, we fast during the month of Ramadan, a portion of our disposable income goes towards the poor and we make pilgrimage to Makkah during the Hajj season if we are able. These are known as the pillars of religion.

Why Do You Blog?
I’ve written a post here to explain partly why I blog. Basically I use this space as a meditation, a little place to escape and to see the beauty of our days. It is not a complete picture of my life – it is not a journal or a documentary. I prefer visual means of expressing myself and this blog is intentionally image intensive. This blog is also a meditation and what you see here is the polished, dressed up version of how I’d like my life to be. I suppose this blog is where I go to preserve my sanity, my sense of perspective and to aim higher, for beauty and for beautiful living. Take it with a pinch of salt, and remember behind every photo is a pile of laundry.

Can I link to you?
Of course! Thank you!

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