“Zahvalnost” (Gratitude) by Hor Kewser, with translation

I received a message from someone looking for an English translation of Zahvalnost by Hor Kewser. It had been awhile since I’d translated anything, and it was nice to get back into it!

See the video here and here.


Svako jutro kad se budim
Hvalu Tebi srcem nudim
I kad sunce za brijeg zađe
U tišini hvalu šapćem

Kad sam gladna ili sita
Vesela i naprasita
Usamljena, poražena
S Tobom uvijek divno mi je

I kad spavam, kada snijem
I kad plačem, kad se smijem
Ne gasi se žeđ za Tobom
Osjećam Te bićem cijelim 


Every day when I wake up
I offer to You my heart in thanks
And when the sun sets behind the hill
In the silence I whisper Your praises.

Whether I’m hungry or full
Happy, cross
Lonely, defeated
With You it’s always wonderful for me

And when I sleep, when I dream
And when I cry, when I laugh
My thirst for You is never sated
I feel You with my entire being

Have you registered with Seekers Guidance yet?

The newest term of Seekers Guidance is underway. Registration is still open, but probably not for long, so register now! Remember that you (courses are open to anyone, not only Muslims) can take up to three courses for free and you can ask the teacher as many questions as you want! I am taking this course; it is really good so far:

The Bible Through a Muslim Lens

Instructor(s): Ustadh Ali Ataie 
Course Format: 12 downloadable sessions, 3 live sessions 
Starts On: January 6th, 2014 
Length: 1 term(s) – 12 weeks 
Course ID: GEN165 
Department: Guidance


This course will introduce students to the four gospels found in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and provide them with new insights and a more nuanced understanding of who Jesus (peace be upon him) was for the objective of calling others to the truth of Islam.

This course is offered in HD video format, taught by Ustadh Ali Ataie.

Read more and register here

Frequently-asked Questions Answered by TJ Winter

There’s lots of stuff I need to do to the blog. I also want to add more links but am having trouble with the widgets and all. As for us, we are fine here. Mini-Chef is 13 months now, and I’ve recently finished a couple articles. 

Have you seen this website? http://cambridgekhutbasetc.blogspot.cz/

It’s a collection of talks by Cambridge professor Tim Winter, a.k.a. Shaykh Abdul-Hakim Murad. There are A LOT of nice talks on there, but for now I’ll just link two that answer a few frequently-asked questions about the similarities and differences between Christianity and Islam.



The talks are free to download.

Ashak – Leek-Filled Dumplings with Meat Sauce

Sorry for the long hiatus; I’ve been planning to post for awhile now, but haven’t gotten around to it. Anyways, here’s a nice Tajik recipe, because that’s all I have time to post for now. Keep in mind I don’t measure anything, so any measurements are approximate. You could probably also make this vegetarian with crumbled tofu or extra split peas.


Ashak – Leek-Filled Dumplings with Meat Sauce

60-70 round or square dumpling wrappers (I used dim sum wrappers) – you can make your own if you REALLY want to.

1 large leek
1 tsp salt
¼ – ½ tsp red pepper
1 tsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 – 2 medium onions, finely chopped
300 gram minced beef or lamb

½ cup yellow split peas, washed and soaked for a bit
½ – 1 cup tomato sauce
salt and black pepper

16 oz plain yogurt (room temperature)
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tsp salt

dried mint, to serve

Chop the leek, and wash and drain in a colander, pressing out as much water as possible. Place the leeks in a mixing bowl, and add salt and red pepper, mixing well. Mix in the 1 tsp oil. Heat 3 tbsp vegetable oil in a pan and fry the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown. Add the meat and fry until browned. Drain the split peas and add them too, along with the tomato sauce and some hot water, just enough to cover the meat and beans. Bring to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste (don’t add too much salt as the sauce will thin out later and be more concentrated), lower the heat, cover, and simmer about half an hour, or until the peas are cooked. Remove the cover and allow to simmer until the sauce boils down to desired thickness, and adjust the seasonings. While the meat sauce is cooking, stuff the dumplings: lay out a few wrappers and place 1-1½ tsp of the leek mixture in the centers of each. With your finger, run some water along the edges of each wrapper and seal with a second wrapper, pressing edges together firmly. Set the dumplings aside as you finish them (try to work quickly so they don’t dry out). Bring a big pot of water to boil, add 1 tsp salt and a bit of vinegar, and boil the dumplings for 7-10 minutes. You may have to boil them in two batches. Gently push them back under the water with a spoon when they come up. Mix the yogurt, garlic, and salt. Swirl a bit of the yogurt mixture over the serving plate, or on individual plates. When the dumplings are done, remove them gently with a slotted spoon and try to let as much water run off as you can. Place on the serving plate, over the yogurt. Top with the meat sauce and more yogurt, and sprinkle liberally with the dried mint. Noosh-e jan!

New Song by Ansambl Dah Ljubavi – Zauvijek

This is the brand new video by the always-wonderful Ansambl Dah Ljubavi!  The text and translation are below the video.  They are one of the best young performing groups in Bosnia, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do in upcoming years!


Dođi mi nisam ti daleko
Dođi mi samo pređi preko ponosa
Tako blizu sam ti ja

Vrati me ti u svoje snove
Vrati se sve je ovdje tvoje
Da li čuješ glas što ti srce doziva

Spasi me ti od ove moje tuge
I od ovog gorkog plamena
Spasi me da osjetim ljubav vječnu
Da zauvijek rob sam tebi ja

Dođi mi nađi me u sebi
Ljubav je skrivena u tebi
U njoj je sjaj što duši daje mir


Come to me, I am not far from you
Come to me, overcome your pride
I am so close to you

Come back to my dreams
Come back, all that is here is yours
Do you hear the voice from my heart that calls you?

Save me from my sadness
And from this bitter flame
Save me that I may feel your love eternally
That I may be evermore your slave

Come to me, find me within yourself
Love is hidden within you
In that is the radiance that gives your soul peace

Songs for Srebrenica

Today is the 16th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre.  Here you can see a march to commemorate the victims and their families.  There are many things on my mind about the beautiful country and people who remain, and have flourished and blossomed even after these relatively recent tragedies, but I don’t know how to express them.

Here are the Bosnian and English versions of Burhan Šaban’s new song for Srebrenica; as always, it’s much better in the original language!

Today is Muslim World Music Day!

Muslim World Music Day is an online effort to identify and catalog all the recordings of Muslim music in the world. It will be a step towards making this culturally significant body of work readily available to people around the globe for study and enjoyment.”   Read More

I wanted to do more for this.  Things have been busy here, but really I have no excuse.    Anyways, try to participate in some way, at least by checking out their site linked above.  Here are some great videos to get you started!

Debu – Sarayda (Palace Troubadour)
Debu is a group of mostly Americans living in Indonesia (more about them a couple posts down).  In this video, they are singing in Turkish.  For some of the lyrics and translation, open this video in youtube and see the comments section.
Abida Parveen – Jab se tu ne mujhe diwana
Abida Parveen lives in Pakistan, and is a legendary singer of Kafi and ghazal.
Kareem Salama – Makes Me Crazy
The latest video from American Muslim country singer Kareem Salama
Shaykh Hassan Dyck and Muhabbat Caravan
Sorry it’s not too clear; they will be in Prague again next month.
Hor Rejjan – Ya Resulallah
Rejjan is a young choir from Sarajevo.

I’m still here!

I know I haven’t been posting in awhile, but I think I’ll try to come back.  If I want to be a good writer, I guess I should at least practice here!  I talk to a lot of fellow bloggers on Facebook (which is mostly why I haven’t been blogging – that and good old-fashioned laziness!), so that’s good for keeping in touch with friends, but not so great for when you have something to say that requires more space.  I see all these other people here on the blogs with lots of things to say (I’m too late for the Convert Truths blog carnival, but I’ve enjoyed reading the posts), and I think maybe I should start speaking (and writing!) again too.

So what is happening in my life?  I have been living in Prague, Czech Republic since July 2009, with Mr. Musicalchef (since November 2009), whom I met when I was living in Bosnia.  I’ll probably write more later about life in Prague, but you can visit my page on resources for Muslims in Prague if you’re curious about the community here.  I have been teaching English, which I enjoy, but don’t want to do all my life.  But it’s a good job and I’m glad to have it.

I’m still doing research when I have time, although it’s from the armchair (computer chair?) right now, until I get a chance to visit Bosnia again or go back to the US.  I did have the opportunity of participating in a conference here a month ago and giving a presentation on modern Muslim music in Indonesia.  And I’m reading a lot.  Since I spend so much time on the bus, metro, and tram going between classes, the public library is a real friend!

As for cooking, I haven’t been experimenting as much as I used to.  I don’t want to accumulate a bunch of spices and cooking tools when I don’t really know how long I will be here in Prague.  So the “chef” is on hold for now.  We have no oven, so desserts come from Marks & Spencer (thank God for that store!).

I’m toying with the idea of making the blog more “professional,” but if I do that I’ll probably have to lose the name “musicalchef” and stop posting lolcats.  I plan to keep expanding the existing music pages (basically databases) and adding more.  Anyways, I’ll try to update more often!

Brand new video from Debu – “Malam Ini”

Check out the new video from Debu!  This is “Malam Ini” (this night).

You can buy their songs here.  (type “Debu” into the search engine)

Conference in Prague next week (Friday March 11)

Islam, Society and Politics in Southeast Asia

Here is the program