Sunday, March 17th, 2002 3:40 p.m.[editor's note: all spelling and grammar appear as written in the letter except the [Baji] part where he used my real name and that freaked me out and annoyed me b/c I HATE it when people over use your name, especially your real name . . .]
Asalaamu Alaykum, Ms. [Baji],
Proceeding from the verses of Allah's Book . . . (Al-Quran), I am writing you and sending you this letter card as a cheerful piece to keep you smiling and beautiful. I liked the picture that I saw of you and your cute little sister so much, I decided to make this card. Smile! I hope that it found you at peace [edited from "piece"] with yourself, healthy and strong, focus and feeling charming and very special, [Baji].
My name is Mustafa Umar [etc.] and I am Muslim, who have been truely interested in corresponding and communicating with you every since I saw your pretty name and face in the (Wash. Post) Apartment section of the news paper . . . But it took me to develope the courage to write to you, [Baji], and to ask your permission to write to you and establish a friendly dialogue with you. And with the hope that you and I can be very good friends. On a peaceful, moral and spiritual level. You look so intelligent and strong minded in your photograph hugging your sister, that your smile made me feel good. I've been lonely all of my life in America and one day, Insha'Allah, I will change that. But I would like for you to know that I would love to meet you some day and I pray that you'll give me an honest chance to get to know you as much as I would like for you to get to know me and for all that this is worth, I pray that you won't have any negative hangups about being friendly toward me.
Sister [Baji] -- I don't know if you are a Muslim or not . . . there are so many people born in med-eastern and arab countries who have arabic names . . . but are christians and Jews . . . who hate Muslims and every since 9-11-01 Muslim started really hating each other. Inspite of the New World Order. Most people put all the Muslims in a poor catagory . . . even the people who have arabic names like your are unjustly discriminated against for your name sake. Which is so insane and childish. But if you have experience any ill favor or disrespect for being who you are which no-one can change. Learn to treat it as a compliment . . . Because, regardless, of what the the people in this world put you through . . . you are as beautiful as your name and thoughts and can't no-one take that away from you. So hold on Allah is Akbar and He is leading on and the victory is Allah.
[Baji] . . . when I look at your photo . . . I see a woman that I would love to talk to and I pray that you are as friendly as you look. But more than anything, as beautiful in heart as you are in form.
So Stay. Beautiful.
P.S. I would love to hear from you I'll sned you a photo. Please write me back.
Thank you [Baji]. Salam!!
[editor's note: a follow up letter from my buddy Omar appearing a month later included questions regarding my ability to cook as well as homework in reading some articles he included]