Saturday, December 1, 2012

Not old, just older

We live, we learn. I seem to discover something new every year that just wasn’t there the year before. At 24, I thought my life would end at 25 and wanted to be able to do everything, sort of like a new year’s resolution. At 25, I was sure I was going to grow old and do nothing with my life. At 26, today marking the first day of it, I shall bestow upon thou my wisdom (just kidding, I’ll just say some stuff that will negate my convictions for the past 2 years.)
In the past year, my achievements amounted to a big fat ZERO! Work wise, I only got more lost, not even slightly sure if what I’m doing is what I want to do. I sort of got over the first accident only to crash my new car and get into a new one with more problems and more casualties. As for the family side, it’s not exactly showing its pretty side, mostly because I’m not performing up to par with them, and they have to suffer through all my problems right along with me. So I spent most of the year, up until very very recently, thinking that this is how my life will be like; I’m already stuck at a job I don’t like, I have huge money management issues, I’m usually getting into trouble not getting out of it, and my new attempts to try and see a bit of the world resulted in a total disaster (plan A was to go to Italy failed when I started legal issues, and then plan B of going to see my friend in the UK left me in disaster while finally, plan C which was due to be early January to go visit my family in the US ended with a personal financial crisis, not to mention when I almost tried to go on a hike in Sinai, it broke out into what seems like street wars, rendering it unsafe in the eyes of my family and so many other people). So here I was, stuck, stuck, stuck, and stuck! And I don’t think it was going to be for just the blessed year of 2012.
My expectation was that I would probably be living that same exact life with the same exact parameters for the next 5 to 10 years. Career advancements would have to be through management; a track I do not fancy. The dream of getting out from under the umbrella of cultural and family restrictions would only be achieved if I got married, a prospect I don’t fancy either, and that is based on what my married friends think of marriage by the way. Not to mention, I will probably get into more trouble; some people are just like that, you know! So now that I have just turned 26, I should probably just roll over and die, right? Wrong! It turns out that maybe life has some chances after all.
I don’t know when exactly I got this realization, but I was going about the whole age vs. achievement thing all wrong. It’s true, I was and still am trying to break the routine of life, but that is the thing, there is no breaking it. My life has not ended at 25 and will not end at 26, it won’t even end at 36 either. There is no such thing as getting old for something, except maybe bearing children but I still got plenty of time for that I guess. I don’t have to rush through my life, I just have to live it enjoyably. I will probably change my career at some point in the future, and I would preferable to change it in the near future, but I still haven’t explored my career enough yet. I do believe there are chances out there, and no, I’m not too old to go back to coding or to learn a couple of new tools. I won’t be too old to learn new tools 3 years from now either. I will not be too old to be a junior at some other track at 30. I will not be too old to learn to bake or ride a bike. I will not be old to travel and see the world. I will not be too old to publish a book or open up my own bookstore some day. I will not be too old to break the routine because the routine is there for as long as I want it to be there.
The world does not end today ladies and gentlemen, it is still way too early to tell. I’ll do what I need to do when I’m ready to do it. Most importantly, today I let go of so many balls and chains from the past. Today, I will make up new dreams and live the first day of the rest of my life trying to make them come true, only I don’t have a deadline to keep, I’ll take my time and live, not race.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012


It's just a scar. We all get scars. It used to hurt a lot at first, when the wound was still fresh. You take care of it as well as you can, and you bear up with the pain and the infections. Sometimes the painkillers work, sometimes they don't. Little by little, the pain turns into a throb, and then it's almost not there. Sure, sometimes you bump it into the occasional desk or chair and the pain comes rushing back; fresh, potent. You grind your teeth and stifle a little scream, or you just let it out, grateful for the relief if no one is around. Sometimes the memories of how the scar came to be there in the first place take over your mind, always an uninvited guest. Maybe you'll relive the moment or you'll brood on the what-ifs for the rest of the day. Maybe you will sit down and cry, all the energy sucked out of you by some invisible force. Or maybe you'll let it go. By time, you won't let that uninvited guest in, or he will just stop calling. At the end of the day, it's still just a scar. It might fade away into nothing, or it might be with you till you die. One day, when you're old and wrinkled, someone might ask you how you came about that ugly - or not so ugly - scar, and at that moment you will probably remember, but let's hope you don't.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

8 portraits of Longing

“I miss you,” I said.
“I miss me too, Don,” he answered.
I knew what he meant, all too well. I wasn’t sure which of us was lost, him or me. Or was it the rest of the world? You live, you work you die. You meet people that suck all your dreams out of you, or you make up your own dreams that the universe seems so adamant on making impossible. He was right there, and I missed him because he wasn’t there at all, and neither was I.
He’s been dead for 15 years now. I miss him every single day, God rest his soul. Sometimes, I imagine he’s right there, and I would talk to him, tell him everything, and he’d listen quietly and patiently. I’d always know the answer just talking to him, or his ghost – that’s what I like to call him when he’s a figment of my imagination. Most of all, I just miss his hug. Having spent my entire childhood hugging him or making sure I stayed close enough to hug him, the fact that one night, out of the blue, he was gone never really sunk in. Sometimes, I’d be glad he wasn’t there because then he’d be disappointed, and I wouldn’t want him to be disappointed in me. But it didn’t really matter, he is always there, and a figment of my imagination he will always be.
It isn’t easy to be just the two of us. It was actually quite sad sometimes. It’s true that he visits all the time, calls all the time, and remains as annoying as ever, but he just isn’t there which makes it all wrong. But then, I know he’s happier, which makes it all right. I’m not selfish, at least I hope I’m not, but I hate how sometimes some things remain unspoken. I could not ask for more, but I just miss him.
I don’t miss him, not one second, not the bad, not even the good. In fact, the thought of him makes me gag and want to throw up. I am still angry, I’m so so angry, and I don’t ever want to let go of that anger, that rage. I’m even angry at myself, and I don’t want to let that go either. I don’t miss him, not in the least. I just miss finishing work and instantly knowing who to call to tell about my day.
Calling him isn’t it, not even the call itself.
I just miss knowing.
“I really miss you, come on, come back :( ”
He picked the worst possible time to do his PhD abroad, the absolute worst possible time, when the whole world seemed to be saying goodbye to me, nicely and not so nicely. It’s been two years already, well, almost two years, and he hasn’t come back, not even for a brief holiday. I can’t really blame him, he’s got commitments, but I miss him. On my down days, I’d miss how he’d wake me up at 8 am to go for 4 hour long walks. I miss how he showed me my favorite place in Cairo, or how we’d spend the whole day together just talking and talking and talking. I miss how he’d corner me into making a decision, he still does that on skype, but it just isn’t the same. But he’s coming back for a vacation finally! It will be a month that I plan not waste. But then he’ll travel again…
And I’ll miss him again.
It’s my favorite city in the whole wide world, always has been, and probably always will be. There is something about walking along that particular beach, looking at that particular part of the sea, getting lost, walking in the rain, sitting at that café, just being there that mends the heart. Everything fades away there, even the people. I think I might have been an Alexandrian in another life. How else could a place I see a few days a year mean that much to me, give me so much peace? I miss Alexandria. I will forever miss Alexandria… It’s where my heart belongs.
We sat around laughing at each other, making jokes, telling funny stories. It’s been so long, too long, since she smiled so much. Doesn’t she just have the most radiant smile in the world? It’s a smile you look at and you know that once upon a time this woman was in love, was alive, and was happy, but she’s not anymore. I hardly have any memories of us playing together when I was a child. The playing was my dad’s area of expertise; she had to be the bad guy. But when she smiles and when we laugh, I remember bits and pieces, not so many, nothing major, but I remember the amount of love that just flowed from her, and I remember her back when she was happy. I’d always feel a touch of sadness whenever I make her smile, because I know it wouldn’t last, and I know how much I’m going to miss the smiling version of her.
Up until lately, I’ve had an easy life, and considering all the help and support I get from friends and family, I can fairly say that I still have an easy life, thank God for that. But there were times when life was easier, clearer, when it made more sense and I had some idea of where I was going. I usually got there too, but it was never what I had expected when I did. The grass is never greener on the other side. That’s the thing; life changes, circumstances change, God knows how much I’ve changed. Do I miss it; the life I had once upon a time? Not really. Do I miss who I used to be, at a time when I didn’t even know how innocent I was? Sometimes. I just don’t miss who I was. I don’t want to lose what I’ve learned so far. Sometimes, I imagine if I were still the same person I was back then, but I’d always end up feeling incomplete. There are things I could have now that would only fit her, the ‘me’ from the past, and even though they would be nice to have now, I don’t really want them. I am who I am, and aren’t we the sum of our experiences? I’ll claim that I have been through a lot for a girl my age, and there are things I would take back, and there are other things I wish never have happened, but then I’d lose so much of me in the process, and I don’t want that. Dear 20 year old me, I miss you sometimes, but I’m glad you’re gone.
Image by Bishoy Beshara

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

15 Portraits of Despair–Number 14

This is an excerpt from “the sandman, endless nights” by neil gaiman

“She had waited until her husband and children were far away, and had driven into the snowy woods, and ended it. Just let it all go.

She had wanted the pain to stop. The heart-hurt. She slept her way into death, only waking when the Highway Patrol found her body.

She was cold, rigid, frozen, when they found her.

Someone like that, said the patrolwoman. You’d think she’d have everything to live for.

She tried to speak, to tell them that that was what made the pain unbearable but, like someone caught in a bad dream, she could not make herself heard. She screamed, and no sound came out. She watched as they took her body away.

She sat by the side of the road, in the snow, all bodiless and afraid, waiting for the happiness to start.”

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pygmalion’s Statue

He chiseled at me, piece by piece. Every day, he would come into my room, his workshop, and he would give me all his time, every single moment of it. I got his complete and utter attention. The day he made my eyes was the happiest day of my life. I could finally see him, my creator, my raison d’être, and he was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. He treated me delicately, brushing away any dust, paying attention to every detail, making me as perfect as could be. He chiseled at my hair, carved my body, my dress, my hands, every single digit of my fingers. I could see it in his eyes, his love, his devotion, all those hours he spent with me and only me. He loved me, more than anything in the world he loved me. He loved me ever since I was an idea in his head, an idea of unmatched beauty.

His caretaker came into my room every night when he was out relaxing at the pub. I wore him out, you see. She would clean the room, even dust me off sometimes. He never paid much attention to her, who would? She was a mess of a person. I wonder if all the living women looked like that; hairs tied in a bun and clothed in rags all the time, smelling of soap and garlic. If they were, it would explain why he would love me and only me. She would drop off his food in the middle of the day and he wouldn’t even turn to her, barely murmuring a thank you. Sometimes, she would bring him flowers with his food, a Jasmine or a Lily, He must love those. Before he made my eyes, another woman used to come in. she smelled of jasmine and lilies, the smell of the oils he used on me sometimes. He used to care for her, but I guess she had been no match for me after all. I was everything in his life, and she faded away.

One day, the caretaker woman came in to give him his food, and she called at him in a most irritating manner that he screamed at her, “Can’t you see I’m busy?”

“That would mean I have to see you, and hear something other than your screams,” She replied.

Then she added, most insolently, that he was crazy to abandon the living for a statue. I could feel his anger, his hurt. He got rough with me that day, almost broke off a fold of my dress, but he finally gained control of his temper. That day, he kissed my hand before he went out, and from that day on, I kept wishing that he would do it again. I didn’t understand why he did not just let her go, that insolent girl.

That night, she came in to clean my room just as she always did. She was crying. He must have reprimanded her. Good! When she was done cleaning, she stood in front of me and stared at me. Such a pale creature, I never got to see her so closely before. She had such sadness in her eyes, it couldn’t have been just the reprimand, was my love violent? Did he hit her? No, it wasn’t that. The way she looked at me… she loved him! She was heartbroken, and she was jealous. Then her face changed and she picked up the chisel without taking her eyes off me. She screamed and screamed; angry, hurt, broken, and now she was going to break me. She was going to kill me, and he would die of grief. I could not not look at her, I could not not see the expression on her face, nor the look in her eyes. I wished I would see him one last time, but he was gone. The chisel flew at my hand, the one he kissed. The first thing she would destroy was the thing I cherished most. But the chisel never hit me!

A shattering sound came from behind me. She must have broken a window. She moved out of my sight, probably to clean it up. He mustn’t know of her attempt to destroy me, he would never forgive her. But she came back. She was holding what remained of a large mirror; a hundred pieces held together only by an ugly wooden frame. She put it right in front of me on the other side of the room. “Now he will see you shattered, just as he now sees me. He will see the cracks and creases. He will look at your perfection, then he will turn and see you as you should be, after time is done with you, broken!” and she left.

I had to stare at myself all night. I was turned into a monstrosity in that mirror, jagged pieces and rough edges. Even though I was still intact, it hurt to see myself like this, reduced to fragments. Was that really what I would become one day? No, he wouldn’t let me. But what if he dies? I mustn’t think about that. I stared at the reflections of my face. I really was quite beautiful, but then I never worked and I never cried. That caretaker would have looked a lot like me had she not been so careless with herself. If that swelling in her eyes went down, they would be a lot like mine. I don’t understand why she let herself become like that. What could possibly be so important as to let her forget to look beautiful? He would remove that mirror in the morning, and he would probably fire her, too.

What happened in the morning was not what I had expected. When Pygmalion came in and saw the mirror, it was as if he was struck by lightning. I wanted to scream at him that I was safe, that it was just a silly broken mirror. If only he would turn to me and see me intact, that would have made it all better. Instead, he sat down and cried, staring at the mirror, as if all that was left of me was that ugly reflection.

“Why did you leave me?” he sobbed.

“I didn’t, I am right here, just turn around”

“I swore I would always love you, and I never stopped. I was doing all this for you, slaving away at her, for you”

“What are you talking about? I love you, too. Who are you talking about?”

“She was my gift to you. The gift I swore I would give you. I promised you immortality, and you left me”

“I don’t understand, I am right here, my love”

“On our wedding night I promised I would love you forever, and that the whole world would wonder at your beauty. I promised that even though I would make a statue of you, it would still fade next to your glow”


“How could you say I didn’t love you anymore? Who was I doing all this for!” he screamed.


He sobbed all day and all night. The woman didn’t get him his food, nor did she call him. She didn’t come in to clean my room, I mean his workshop. The next morning he was asleep on the floor, crying in his sleep. Days and nights went by as I stood there gathering dust. He never touched me again, not with his hands, not with his lips, and not even with his chisel. He just cried in front of the broken mirror. It was never me he loved, it was always her. If he loved her so then why did he treat her so badly? Why did he show me all the love he should have shown her? Why did he kiss my idle hand while he could have kissed her hands that served him so well? I was nothing but an image of his love. I was just a statue. When my heart broke, it made a loud cracking sound that he never heard. It was broken so deep inside me that he never knew it was ever broken. Would he have cared if he knew? Probably not.

Ending 2

He never noticed when she slipped into the room. He didn’t move when she sat beside him, but he cried harder. The breeze that blew through the door had the scent of jasmine and lily spread across the room. He must have smelled it, that was why he cried harder. She took his hand in both of hers and kissed it, just as he had once kissed my hand.

“It was always just you,” he said quietly.

“I know,” she said, and ran her hand through his hair.

“Why did you leave me?”

“Because I love you”

“I was doing this all for you,” he looked at her in a way that made me realize that he never really loved me.

“I just wanted you back,” she smiled at him, and at that moment, I knew that I do fade next to her glow.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Faces & Sounds

I see you

I do

I see this face and I see that

I hear these words

I hear what’s in your heart

It is very loud

Did you know?

Each echo shrieks on its own

“trust me,” you say

“I love you,” you say

“we’re friends,” you say

“I am fake,” you also say but only I can hear

How do you live with a shattered soul?

How do you see, I wonder?

Does every face has its own set of eyes?

Do you have one set green and one set blue?

Do you know what you say deep down in what remains of your soul?

Pity, to be so old and so naïve, so evil and not even knowing

Do you recognize your own lies?

What rings true in that black heart of yours?

I hear you

I say all the right words and laugh at all the right parts

But I don’t lie

You are no friend

The world has enough poison for me

I have one face

One voice

One set of eyes

I know who I am

Your turn!


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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Drops of Sunlight

She opens her eyes. She must have been crying in her sleep; her eyelids are heavy and swollen. She doesn’t move off the bed, staying there perfectly still, looking at her night table with all the unread books, her desk with the stacks of papers, and the floor, which should be flooded by sunlight from her bedroom window, but is covered with shadows instead. Tiny drops of sunlight fall on the broken down wooden floor, escaping the intricate pattern of her curtain, but even those aren’t as bright as the sun outside. Drops of faded light are all they are.

She doesn’t want to go back to sleep. She doesn’t even want to close her eyes, but she isn’t getting up. Life has become such a chore, so similar to the broken down wooden floor, ruined from all her restless dragging of furniture around her room; her desperate attempts to make a change, an effort not even worthy of being a statement of anything. In a few minutes, she will start her day among the shadows, pretending that they don’t annoy her, pretending she is fine; a word she has grown to hate over time. She will say hello to people and smile, she will make jokes, she will eat when she’s hungry and drink when she’s thirsty, and indeed, she will be fine on every possible front. Between the smiles and the jokes and the food, and all the endless chores that add up to life, she will hope she runs into a drop of sunlight, not as bright as the sun outside, but brighter than the shadows, and she will hope it will last for more than just a passing moment. Maybe the drop of sunlight will be warm enough to melt some of the icy sorrow she keeps buried deep inside her heart, or bright enough to scare away her worries, her guilt, her disappointments, even if it only lasts long enough to give her a moment’s peace. Maybe she should even venture to hope that she would run into more than one drop of sunlight on this day.

She gets up, sitting at the edge of the bed, still staring at the drops of sunlight. She has nothing to look forward to, but there will always be a maybe. That will have to do for now.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Patience Is The Key To Relief

She walked into this small gallery in Zamalek, the gallery that her best friend took her to one day, the gallery that was full of all those authentically Egyptian knickknacks. It was a beautiful day on the winter before he went away for his PhD two years ago. They had walked all over Zamalek, had lunch in a small restaurant, all Zamalek restaurants are small which only adds to how adorable and cozy they really are, and they had talked about everything as they usually did. But that was two years ago. The second time she went into that gallery, it was last year, and it was to get a birthday present for her other best friend; a crazy man with a beard and a ponytail that never ceases to shock her on every occasion whether with how crazy he is, how utterly different from her he is, or simply, how he could be one of the sweetest most reliable people she has ever met. She owed him something special, and she knew just what to get.

As soon as she got in the door, she went for the small cardboard box on the floor near the cashier desk and knelt in front of it. She went through the black and white photographs, one by one, filtering the nicest ones out. She must have spent quite some time there, sifting through the photos of Egypt once upon a time when it was beautiful. It was a time she had only seen in old movies. Anyone know the scientific progress on time travel? They were photos of streets, shops, squares, the Nile, buildings that are still there in down town Cairo, and there were photos of people, Egyptians, smiling, poor, beautiful, and so so good. They don’t make them like that anymore.

She carefully selected five of the photos and gave them to the salesman while she looked around the shop. It had oriental style accessories, portraits of old Egyptian movie stars that will always be drop dead gorgeous, mugs, candles, bags and stuff made of cloth that could only be seen in Egypt, used to decorate walls and streets at times of festivities, and street signs! Big street signs, small street signs, refrigerator magnet street signs, some with names of prominent places like Tahrir Square, and others with Egyptian idioms, all gorgeous. One caught her eye, it said “Patience is the key to relief” in intricate Arabic calligraphy, and the English translation beneath it in a smaller font; the Egyptian version of “Patience is a virtue” which everyone knows oh so well. Wasn’t that what she needed? Some patience? Some virtue? Maybe she would indeed reach that state of relief, she just needed a reminder. And it was decided that on that day last year, she would buy 5 photos of 20th century Egypt and refrigerator magnet that looked like a street sign. She went home.

She definitely was not going to put it on the fridge; it was green and the sign was blue, she had SOME taste in colors, even though it fails her sometimes. No, she put it on her whiteboard in her room, the one on the wall behind the door, the one she gets to look at only when the door is closed. At first, there was no place for it, with all the blog article ideas in blue, to do list items in black, goals in red, struck out sentences here, doodles there, and dreams of learning how to ride a bike and learn the cello, not to mention all the things she was going to study, and all the story ideas, and whatever else that pops into her head. She eventually found a place for it, under the dreams written sideways and between the daily to do list and work goals, it was a tiny space but it will do. It will remind her to be patient, to do it one step at a time.

She sits now, one year later, with her desk chair propped in front of the whiteboard, door closed, and stares at her whiteboard. She has erased the dreams, put them somewhere on her ipad. She has erased the work to do list, it had no place on her personal whiteboard, work is to be done at work, but as she stares at the picture she took of the refrigerator magnet she loves so much, the one with the dreams and the to do lists, she sees the shadow of the list of articles and stories that have been there last year, and are still there now, never stuck out, never erased, and will probably never be written now that she doesn’t remember what they were supposed to be about. But she won’t strike them off, and she won’t erase them, she won’t even put them on her ipad, not unless they are done, maybe a year later, maybe two years later, and who knows, maybe right now. She has been patient for a year, she loses her patience sometimes, and she snaps out at other times, it was a tough year, tougher than anything she’s ever been through, but then again she says that every year. She hasn’t found relief yet but who knows, maybe if she stays patient, she will find relief, one way or another.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

I Am Angry

I am angry.

I’m angry at the traffic every single day. I try to put off my fits of road rage till as far ahead in the road as possible but I usually only last 10 minutes, not even out of Maadi. There is always the driver in between two lanes, or the one trying to overtake you, not to mention the slow slow slow movers who let every other car in the traffic jam take your place while you stay still for 15 minutes longer just because s/he’s the car ahead of you. There will always be the one coming from the far left to the far right that swears at you because you have to be the stupid one not to predict is glorious arrival, and it is indeed glorious with all the honks. And we mustn’t forget the ones that seem to flow into you from the side; they probably want to know how elastic your car can be against the large truck on your other side. I won’t even mention the pedestrians or the microbuses.

I’m angry at the country. Of course I’m angry at the country. I’m angry at how some people think that it’s ok to put people in jail because they may “seem” dangerous. I’m angry at people who hate the revolution because they’re too blind to see beyond it into the depth of the shit this country has sunk into. I’m angry at the revolution and everyone who took part in it because they let it die, and they let others die, and they gave up. I’m angry at every war, every famine, every sickness, every accident. I’m angry at every child sleeping on the streets because I can’t help him, and every old man begging in the street. I’m angry at every woman whose husband beats up. I’m angry at every man who condescends on other people.

I’m angry at how work is not satisfying me. I’m angry at how people think they’re doing the right thing while they’re messing everything up. I’m angry at people who don’t listen. I’m angry at people who make useless excuses. I’m angry at people who go out of their way to hurt other people. I’m angry at people who don’t apologize. I’m angry at people who are looking for ways to make you take the blame for World War II.

I’m angry at my family for being too scared and not giving me enough space. I’m angry at them for being too supportive sometimes when I feel like I don’t deserve their support. I’m angry at my friends for caring too much and I’m angry at them sometimes for caring too little.

I am especially angry at nosy people; the ones that come over to my desk and go through my stuff idly or ask me about how much I paid for my car, not to mention, where I’m going and where I’m coming from. I’m angry at the people that corner me with personal questions that I end up having no other way of answering except with the whole truth and nothing but the truth, despite me being an elaborate liar.

I’m angry at all those passing thoughts of the things my ex did to me. I’m even angrier at myself for letting him do them. I’m angry at being so naïve or trusting. I’m even angry at being mean to him sometimes, even if he deserved it.

I’m angry at everything I want and can’t have, about everything I wish I could do but doesn’t seem likely. I’m angry at every frustration, every disappointment. I’m angry at every dream I let go. I’m angry at everyone who told me to let go of my dreams. I’m angry at every story I haven’t written and every book I haven’t read.

I’m angry at being so stuck in this life that seems to have been set for me and fenced with electrocuted barbed wire. I’m angry at all the rules, and the comments, and society, and people. I’m angry at everyone who conforms to life as it is. I’m angry at the stale stagnant state we’re living in; the lack of change, and all the resistance to it. I’m angry at all the misconceptions, and all the falsehood. I’m angry at the lies that we make up and seem to believe.

Apparently, I’m angry at me for being born.

I’m angry all the time. It’s exhausting and scary sometimes and I think it’s affecting my health negatively; blood pressure and heart rate and stuff like that, so I should stop being angry, I just don’t know how. To me, being angry is being human. As a good friend always says, “it’s a savage world out there.” He couldn’t possibly be more right, he just missed how, since I’m always angry, I must be a savage too. Aren’t all savages angry?

P.S. I’m angry at how this post sounded better in my head.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Things I Hate About Me

Before anything, this is not meant to drive sympathy or support or any of that, this is a personal observation of my own character. I don’t want any comments saying “Oh No, don’t say that about yourself” or “you don’t do xyz” simply because I live with myself more than anyone has lived with me, it’s a matter of self reflection.

If you don’t want to read this then don’t, if you don’t like it, it doesn’t matter. I say this with all the love and respect, but the purpose of this post is just to come to a certain truth with myself about myself, to be able to either fix the things I hate, live with them, or even learn to like them someday. I am not depressed or sad or anything, I’m just doing a long overdue spring cleaning of myself.

Without further ado, I hate:

  1. Lying
  2. Being moody
  3. Making my mom angry
  4. Getting angry in general
  5. Losing tolerance
  6. Trusting the wrong people
  7. NOT trust the right people
  8. Not being there for some people when they need me, sometimes because I don’t stand seeing them in pain, and sometimes because I am just not well enough to carry my friends’ and family’s burdens. In either case, I still hate it
  9. Falling for the wrong guy... over, and over, and over again…
  10. Quitting
  11. Being so unconfident sometimes
  12. Being blunt with words and hurting people; my words get 3D as one of my friends says
  13. Not always standing up for myself when it’s due
  14. Dodging blame
  15. Saying the stupidest things sometimes (not just being blunt, I mean really stupid things)
  16. Being such a coward
  17. Being arrogant
  18. Being materialistic
  19. Being selfish
  20. Being judgmental
  21. Not listening to my heart
  22. Not apologizing sometimes
  23. Not reading the signs
  24. When I get childish
  25. When I try to act all mature and end up feeling really sucky on the inside
  26. Pretending that I’m fine when I’m not
  27. Not being able to make a decision in all the important stuff
  28. Procrastinating
  29. Not doing what I dream about doing
  30. Letting other people put me down
  31. Not listening to my heart

All in all, this took me around 15 minutes to write, Q.E.D. as we used to say in math. Smile

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Of Lady Moon and Master Sea

OF Lady Moon and Master Sea


Lady Moon came closer to earth tonight. She was flirting with Master Sea. And even though she hid part of her face with the veil of night, she still gave him a shadow of a smile, as she listened to his reverent wooing in the crashing of the waves. She stayed close all night, wondering if her love was worth the destruction of the world, wondering if she was ever to unite with her lover, and wondering how far he would reach for her if she showed him her face and came close enough for him to touch it..


The Lady Moon walked along the sands of the sea shore, not daring have the waves touch her feet. Her white frock flew in the breeze, the night in her hair twinkled with stars that faded in the bright silvery glow of her smile and her grey eyes. She walked with grace only fit for the Lady of the Moon that makes the lonely and dark nights of Master Sea more bearable for all the lost sailors. Tonight, she meets the Master of her heart on the realm of earth, where neither of them belong, not even to each other.


Master Sea stood there with the deafening and continuous drumroll of the waves marking the approach of Lady Moon, giving away the sound of his heartbeats. His skin caught her glow as she curtseyed before him, as if she glowed only for him, and didn't she, tonight? The mighty waves broke at the shore, bowing at the feet of Lady Moon, coming so close but not touching her, for those are the rules of this realm.
"I hope the spray does not bother you, my Lady," he said.
"Nothing of you can ever bother me, Master," she answered.
The dying droplets of Master Sea's essence carried by the lord of wind, who knew of their plight, were the only feel they had of each other. He was the master of the sea, he had the power to drown this realm, kill every creature that lived on earth as he had done once before at the order of the Creator. It is he who shapes this earth and yet, he is powerless to touch his love, and he would destroy the whole realm if only she would let him.
"I am grateful to see you my love. This realm is kind to us to let us meet on its land. We honor its charity," said the Lady in reply to his roaring waves. Master Sea kneeled at her feet, picking the moonstones that were her tears; her gift to him, given at the happiest moment, and in the utmost despair. The stones glowed in his hands then disappeared, for he has placed them in the depth of his soul, to shine her love in the deepest parts of the oceans, where her glow loses reach and the monsters dwell.


They spent the night on the beach, enjoying the closeness, the proximity that they seldom have. But nights must always end, Lady Moon was still glowing when dawn came, but then the sun was running towards them and her glow faded. She became pale as the horizon turned pink, then red, then orange. Master Sea watched her in despair, fading in front of his eyes. She comforted him with the smile of the weary when they run out of words. The sea roared and roared, the waves as high as towers; for the Master was angry, but then they calmed and his anger was only sadness. He had promised her that this night, when they met and talked and laughed, would be a night of peace, that it would always be a night with a clear smiling moon and a calm endless sea. It was a night that inspired poetry in the hearts of men and love in the hearts of women. Now that the sun was up and Master Sea stood alone on the beach with the waveless sea whispering their story, he frowned because for the following nights, he shall see his love only looking away from him when she is at her throne up in the sky, and she will veil her face in the night until one day she will not show it at all. On that painful day, he will tolerate the darkness of his own soul for on the next she will look upon him again, slowly removing her veil, and she will smile at him. One day, he will meet her again, on a night much like the one that just passed, and maybe on that night, someone would tell the story of the love Master Sea has for Lady Moon.


The End!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Super Special Birthday Tribute–Marwa Moharram

My first ever interaction with Marwa was when I heard her giving English lessons to the rest of her team; word of the day. I thought it was strange and sort of fake; normal people didn’t do that! Marwa isn’t a normal person of course which is why she became on the top of my “absolutely adore” list. I don’t really remember how we got to know each other, I think Ragia was the one who introduced us. So there she was, the tall skinny girl with the long braid and great smile, finally my friend.

First of all, I’m writing this on the occasion of Marwa’s birthday, Happy Birthdaaaaaaay! I just need to note that Marwa may have added a year to her age but she is the youngest person I know; if anyone refuses to grow up successfully while not being an idiot, it’s her. She has the spirit of an eight year old, starting from how everything in life is awe inspiring, how laughing is the cure for everything, and how so adorably cute she gets, to how easily it is to get her to not be mad at you anymore – of course her getting mad also happens in a very eight-year-old way.

Second of all, I should have written this the moment her evil husband decided to ship her off the UK with him (sorry but he really is evil for taking my best friend away!), for some reason I didn’t. I discovered a more amazing Marwa after she went away; a friend who manages to still care for everyone thousands of miles away. I don’t know how she does it, but she is definitely “awesome,” she has proved over and over and over again that if I ever need a friend, she’s it! she has had a series of unfortunate events that started ever since she went to live in Reading, and haven’t ended yet apparently; the girl is very accident prone! But as horrible as that all is, she still managed to laugh, smile, joke, be nice, sweet, and friendly, with everyone, and I mean EVERYONE!

Third of all, I just want to admit that no matter what I say, it will never be enough to describe the amazing girl that she really is, partly because there are sides to her I am sure I haven’t seen yet, and more importantly, because words fail to describe people like her.

Marwa and me, the sweetest person ever.. and Walaa in the background :D

Here are a couple of things that everyone needs to know about Marwa. She’s bright, cheerful, optimistic, happy even in her darkest moments, she has a spirit of a bumblebee, and her heart is probably as big as a whale’s! she is one of the most intelligent people I know, dedicated, loving, passionate, compassionate, and simply adorable. She lets go of the bad stuff even though she’s seen tons of them, she has a knack for making people happy, which she is quite talented at, and is great with kids. She has excellent taste in everything in the world, from music to clothes to friends (which explains me of course). She is a coffee addict, she is THE expert on relationship advice, and she can kick life in the tushy whenever she feels like it. she has no slang Arabic repository that makes me look like I’ve been living in the streets all my life, not that I mind in the least; calls for a few laughs which she takes heartily and we spend hours laughing at each other. And, she goes through the highest number of mishaps that I have ever seen a single person going through, literally!

On my birthday, she went out of her way, a lot, to make me a birthday that wasn’t a bad memory, and it was and always will be my best birthday ever, and I will always remember her and say a little prayer for her every time I see something relating to friends, how I met your mother, or the muppet show. I am lucky to have met her and unlucky that she had to go to the ends of the earth (just UK but I have to mind the dramatic effect) in less than a year. Oh well, she’s bound to come back ;)


Our favorite song :)

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Kill The Child

Kill the child
Kill the child
The child has hope
Kill the child

The eyes did open
No more fear
But only to see a million eyes shut
The door did open
To invite in the world
But only the nothing let itself in
Kill the child
Kill the child
The child lost fear
Kill the child
Poor girl
Poor world
To see the curse
And curse the eyes
Blame the child
Kill the child
Burn the child
But don't open your eyes
Double lock those doors
Stop the nothing without
And make due with the nothing within
But don't forget
To kill the child

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Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Theory of Family

I don’t think I even need to theorize family like I did with friends and work. We all got them, we all know them, we all love them, and we all hate them. Talk about complications! Oh well, here goes:
  • They are just there, always have been, always will be. Even when we think we’d do good to cut them all off, it always turns out to be a bad idea.
  • In the worst moments ever, I am a gazillion percent sure my brother will be there for me.
  • My mom is the most difficult person to ever deal with, ever, EVER! But I love her to death and so as we say in Egypt “like honey for my heart” (على قلبي زي العسل)
  • There will always be those people who will blame you for not calling them, and they will always shut up when you tell them that they don’t call either!
  • The easiest way to neutralize weird family members is to call them up and say hello every once in a while.
  • Aside from immediate family, there will always be the cool aunt and the quirky uncle who you just love to death.
  • Yes, family is full of assholes, so is the rest of the world, so don’t worry, no family is devoid of such creatures.
  • Thank God we only have to deal with some family members on special occasions, a person simply cannot take all that much family throughout the whole entire year!
  • Yes, yes, yes, it is the most difficult thing in the world to call up a family member or hang out with family, but it really doesn’t go on forever.
  • Some cousins are really cool, THANK GOD!
  • Aunts and uncles tell the best stories about the good old times, and when your mom used to wear miniskirts *wink wink*
  • Lifetime guarantee that at least someone will be there when no one else is.
  • Since today is the first day of feast, they’re good for some money (sometimes)
  • Family members are the most judgmental people on earth, sometimes for your own good but most times because they just think they have the right to judge. In both cases, it gives you some immunity from the rest of the world on that front.
  • Family members almost always stick their noses where they don’t belong, and sometimes they need to blow their noses first before sticking them there. The bright side is, you can always tell them to “booger off” and still be on talking terms *another wink wink*
  • No matter how bad things get, remember that the uncle is your father’s brother; your father wouldn’t like you to treat his brother badly, neither would you like anyone to treat your brother badly.
  • Grandparents are the most fun people to annoy EVER!
  • Blood really is thicker than water, it’s simply fluid mechanics!
  • Remember that there is mercy in staying in touch with family, so keep the merciful connection open.

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Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Tribute to My Best Friends (5)

Noha Omar

She is always Noha Omar, never just Noha, never Nou, never N, but always Noha Omar, however sometimes when she’s driving, she becomes Noha ya Omar; Egyptians will relate.

She is this very quiet person I saw at my latest job, the first thing I noticed about her is that she wears sweatshirts, something not a lot of girls do, and I thought she must be interesting because I always used to wear sweatshirts until very recently. She was friends with everyone and everyone loved her. I think she loves everyone too, however silently as she is. As soon we got finally introduced which I don’t remember how or when, we clicked. Its very rare that you meet a person who genuinely cares about people without making a scene out of it. she holds her feelings to herself most of the time though, and she is one tough nut to crack in that specific area. But it is always obvious when she is OK and when she isn’t, which makes it all the worse if she happens to be down and you just can’t get through to help her, or at least be a girl and listen if you – I –can’t help.

Noha is a lovely person with this amazingly toothy smile that lights up everything in the world. when she gets hyper she acts like a little kid, very silly and amazingly adorable. For some reason she tries to cut her laughs in the middle, I don’t understand why, and she never used to know how to hug! I mean I’ve met people who have cold hugs, or unresponsive hugs, but they are still huggable. Noha, however, wasn’t! she now hugs very well, thanks to me of course since I taught her, and she has one of the warmest sweetest hugs ever. She knows how to see the good and only the good in people, so does Nihal Elgendy, her friend and mine, and it amazes me very much, not to mention annoys me because sometimes the bad in people far outweighs the good in them and yet they still see them as good!

320821_10150781760295112_2581097_nShe always brings me snickers and I always eat her food, she’s generous and she doesn’t mind to the extent that I stopped asking for permission, rude I know, but what are friends for if not feeding their needy selfish friends, a.k.a me, and even when I bring her mars and flutes (since I’ve learned that she’s probably the only girl I know who DOES NOT like snickers), she ends up getting me more snickers. I blame her for getting fat by the way. I am also highly inclined to take her shopping for headscarves one day because all the ones she has –wears –are white and I’m pretty sure she’d look amazing in other colors as well.

One day, she told me that my friends are very friendly, as two of my friends whom she doesn’t know sent her friend requests on Facebook. They usually don’t do that, but I guess they finally did. Both of them said it’s because her posts are really good and they are just dying to like them and can’t. she really does have amazing posts; they’re all filled with strong genuine emotion that is always good and positive, even when she is sad. She is one of those people who never learn that people can be bad and it always hurts her when they are. I don’t think it’s a good thing, but it’s definitely fitting her amazingly innocent profile.

She’s fun to hangout with, and it’s enough to just have her around to feel good, or at least okay; not bad anymore. She’s one of those people I thank God for having in my life, and even if she weren’t in my life, I’d thank God that she simply exists in the world.

As for me, I appreciate her and love her for understanding that I can’t be a good friend sometimes, and I lose touch with the world at other times. She is patient with me and I love her for it, as for everything else that is Noha Omar. I’m pretty sure that if she ever lets me know who actually annoys her, I’d go hit them for her because I know she won’t hit them herself, maybe scream at them (although I still doubt it), but she’ll never hit them. How someone could be such a pacifist is beyond me! But then again, we learn from people like her that forgiveness works best, even if it hurts her sometimes.

So, Noha Omar, my dear dear dear friend, I wish you wellness, I wish you happiness, and I wish you peace of mind, because you deserve all the best that the world has to offer.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Theory Of Work

Being the annoyingly analytical person that I am, and the wiser-than-thou philosopher I don’t really intend to be but end up acting as anyhow, I make up theories, and sometimes they make sense, but they’re just babbles. Once upon a time I wrote down The theory of friends, and those of my friends who read it seemed to like it. So here I am philosophyzing again and being miss smarty-pants , this time about work. I’ve been in the software services business, more specifically in the software testing business, for nearly 4 years now. No, they are not the best 4 years of my life, but they have their happy moments, and I think to this everyone will relate. Without further ado, my theory of work is this:

  • Love your work, love your work, love your work!
  • If it doesn’t have a meaning, then it’s not worth doing.
  • Sometimes we work to pay the bills, but we cannot be living to pay the bills.
  • If you can’t wake up in the morning to go to work, quit!
  • If you look at your watch every 5 minutes to count your hours so you could leave, every single day, then quit!
  • If work stress affects your life, health, or well being in anyway, screw it!
  • We spend at least half of our waking days at work, imagine going half a day without smiling or laughing; smile a lot and laugh a lot (quietly)
  • You spend half of your waking life with the same people, so they are family* mathematically speaking. Be good to them and hopefully they will be good to you.
  • If all the people you work with are assholes, quit!
  • If you have assholes at work, well I’m sure you have assholes in the family too, just deal with them as much as you can.
  • Always watch your back, better safe than sorry.
  • Karma’s a bitch, don’t hurt anyone on purpose but don’t necessarily trust everyone.
  • Work is where you get appreciated for doing things, especially when the things you do deserve appreciation, if you’re not, ask for appreciation, if that fails too, quit.
  • Work on a job that touches people’s lives.
  • Take pride in your work, which directly entails not letting anyone steal your work, not letting anyone put you down, and most importantly, not letting anyone tell you that your work sucks. Always be the best at what you do.
  • Do it right and remember that God is watching.
  • Fight for what you believe in, yes this applies to work too.
  • Keep your boss happy, and the spirits around high. But don’t be a hypocritical kiss-ass.
  • Accept change or soon you will be obsolete. Make the change, and you will own the place.
  • Work is part of our evolution, once we stop learning, then we are the ox tied to the waterwheel.
  • We are human, not cogs or numbers.
  • Take a vacation when you need it, it’s there for a reason
  • Finally, as important and urgent as work is, there’s so much more to life other than it. don’t miss out!

Dear God, bless my work and my co-workers, current ones and past ones too.

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When The World Recovers

Once upon a time there was a great war; so great that almost the whole world took part in it one way or the other. The war was started by a mad man who wanted to shape the world to his whims, and his people followed him for he told them that he would bring them power and prosperity, and they called him Führer; leader, guide. He won battle after battle, conquering and murdering. He brought countries to their knees, other countries that had already conquered the world one way or another. He destroyed London and occupied Paris. He hated the jews, why exactly? No one really knows. But he hated the jews, and he used his power to round them up and kill them, as many as he could find. He gassed them, burned them, shot them, worked them to death. The jews of Europe suffered during his reign. And as the jews suffered, so did the rest of Europe; people dying in the United kingdom during the Blitz, people dying in the battle of France, hundreds of thousands killed, wounded, imprisoned, or lost.

In that same war, Japan, a great empire, merged its war with China into the same war, conquering parts of china, entering the Chinese capital, Nanking, and massacring its people; up to 250,000 people killed. They wanted to control Eastern Asia, and they wanted the United States and the United Kingdom to lose their grips and influence on the east. They bombed Pearl Harbor, causing the deaths and injuries of American troops stationed there, going officially into war with the United States. The Great War went on for years and years, but in the end, Germany was defeated by the cold and the soviets and the allied forces. Japan surrendered after the Americans dropped 2 atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; killing hundreds of thousands of civilians from the explosion, debris, and radiation sickness.Post War Germany

When Germany fell, it had a lost economy, and the men were dead; lost to the war and the cold. It was a country at its weakest, divided, its people expulsed, its factories dismantled, and all its science, technology, and patents, harvested by the US and the UK. Never the less, they took a stand against the dismantling of their industry, they were able to lift some of the limitations by joining powerful European communities. Once they were allowed some ways and money to rebuild their economy, they were able to get back on their feet with food production and strong industries, growing year after year to be the great country it is now, reuniting its two halves, and regaining their pride.

Atomic BombJapan, the broken country, was occupied after its surrender by the allied forces for 6 years, demilitarized and de-industrialized. Japan was left a weak country with limited resources. The political and economic powers of Japan united; bringing help from other countries, using the cold war to their advantage, and were able to create the post war economic miracle that they are. Now, they are country so advanced in science and education, with one of the strongest economies and the 6th largest military budget in the world.

As for the Jews, they went off to create a country of their own. They have earned it after all the suffering they’ve been through, haven’t they? But they’re country already had people living there, a small matter of killing them to make room for the new Israeli citizens. What are a few massacres of innocent people to take their land; Deir Yassin in 1948, a small village, 110 dead, Al-Dawayima massacre in 1948, another peaceful village, 100 to 200 killed, the conquest of Lydda and Ramle, another 200 killed, all in the same year of 1948. Another 10 here and 15 there, unarmed villagers, so many children, all for the sake of the Jewish state, what’s a small number next to the numbers killed in holocaust or the war? Women and children are collateral damage. All because they suffered so much, and the suffering begot hate, and the hate begot killings and murders. The killings never stopped, and still go on till now. At least 6500 Palestinians were killed in the last 10 years, 1500 of which are children, murdered in hospitals, in schools, in their own homes. The Palestinian refugees were 711 thousand people in the years of 1946 to 1948, their descendants now are an estimated 5 million people, driven from their homes by fear and war and not able to return anymore. Hail Hitler, Hail Israel.

The Jews have lost so much during the world war, but the worst of it all was how they lost their humanity and respect for life. Maybe the Germans and the Japanese understood the meaning of loss when they lost the war, maybe they had a new perspective, maybe they would have been just as bad or even worse had they won the war. But the thing is, when the war was over they cared about restoring their humanity and their dignity. They refused to live as leaches or consumers, or put more simply, they refused to be weak! They were able to rebuild themselves, they recovered. The Israelis became scarred; bitter and angry, murderous in their quest to have a home of their own, and not caring about who they step over to reach their goal or how many died in their hateful quest.

Deir Yassin Massacre

So here we are, Egyptians after long years of suffering under military disctatorships, one after the other. Each faction of Egyptians so wronged in their own way; the poor, the salafis, the Christians, the Bedouins, the Nubians, the workers, the farmers, the fishermen, the liberals, the Nasserites. Each faction wants to help rebuild Egypt and undo the wrong that was inflicted upon them. So here we are, Egyptians; creators and survivors of the revolution that marveled the world. We are the Egyptians that took down the dictators, we are the spirits of all those who died throughout our bloody history; against the Mamluks, against the French and the British, against corruption and hunger. We are the fighters of dignity and of humanity. We are and always have been one people no matter how many sects or factions we have. And here we are, Egyptians, fighting each other and wronging each other; surviving one long cruel dictatorship and an impossibly long era of injustice for hundreds of years, only to wreak the same injustice on each other. We were united Egyptians wronged and dominated for 18 days until we thought we killed the monster that is corruption, only to remember our differences, to fight among ourselves, and because each faction was wronged in its own way, each faction believes in its right to recover, and its right to rebuild Egypt, but they all forget that they were not the only ones treated unjustly, and they forgot that even though they had so many rights lost to them, others have rights too. Now in rebuilding Egypt, instead of thinking Germany or Japan, we are thinking Israel; how to eliminate everything else so that we rule, so that we get our way. So here we are, Egyptians, losing our humanity.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Think Happy Thoughts :)

Coherent thought.. The blessing of the human race. We are the superior beings on this planet, or so we believe, and we are because of precisely that; we think, we believe. We start off with a few ideas, then we question creation and our existence. Some believe they are made to be mathematicians, some tinkerers, some poets, and some politicians, all thinkers, to each their own weird little minds.
The mind is truly an amazing piece of work, it creates it's very own chain reaction, all it needs is a spark, the light bulb above the head of every cartoon inventor, the muse behind every musician and poet, and maybe just an inspired curse word that just triggers all the right emotions. And the mind, hungry little thing, greedy little thing, starts to follow that chain, whose end we never see coming, just following the chain. We tug harder with every achievement, every thought, every little piece of work we do in that direction, and a bigger idea comes up. The sky is the limit brothers, do I hear hallelujah!!
*SLAP* reality check! This works just as well as my latest story is coming along, which means it’s not working, maybe for some, the very few, but not everyone. I'm not a downer, honest I'm not! Well maybe just a little, but here's the deal, I'm not THE downer, I'm just pointing out some facts.
The fact is the mind is indeed a greedy little thing, never ceases to amaze me, but what it really feeds on is the negativity. There was this photo that tons of my friends shared on Facebook a while back. It said: "I think too much and then put myself in a bad mood!" and I related tremendously, so did everyone else apparently. Our greedy little minds feed on those thoughts, like the trail of crumbs, it keeps eating and eating until by the time it get to the witch's house, it's too fat with despair, and the witch – depression, emotional breakdowns, mental breakdowns, schizophrenia, take your pick – is waiting right there for the greedy little mind, fat and exhausted with all the downers to have a decent thought that even resembles a burnt out candle. No light bulbs and definitely no muses anymore, muses are attracted to those who woo them with beautiful ideas, they are NOT shrinks!
Have I got you all down yet? D you feel hopeless and desperate and that there is no light at the end of the tunnel? Did I at least get you to stop eating the crumbs and sit down in the dark creepy woods crying your heart out? If I did I am truly sorry, and if I didn't, good for you, keep the faith because yes indeed the solution is easier than you think and you may have already guessed it. Wait for it, think happy thoughts!
Simple? It really couldn't get any simpler! How hard could thinking happy thoughts be?? It's exactly like eating whole wheat and diet food and cutting off chocolate for the rest of your life, and don't forget to exercise! Except it really is way easier than dieting! Happy thought: remember that baby you saw in a stroller the other day staring at you in awe and you just couldn't help but make silly faces at it? Remember that joke you heard a few days ago that was just so amazingly stupid that you laughed your heart out even though it wasn't that funny to begin with? Think of driving home on a Thursday afternoon and the moment you park your car at your house, you're just so incredibly relieved you are not going to work tomorrow and whatever you left behind is behind you. See that old photo with your siblings that seems like a gazillion years ago when the world wasn't heavy on our shoulders. Fresh cupcakes, Swiss chocolate, Mom cooking your favorite meal, you doing something impressive at work and someone looks at you like "I can't believe you thought that out".. The last exam you aced, your pregnant friend with this cute swollen belly and you actually know there is a little human being growing in there, and that look of pride on her face.. A day of good weather in this God forsaken country! Your best friend, your weird cousin, your favorite book, your old toys, not to mention the toy stores, now that is an especially favorite happy thought.. Your favorite place by the sea.. The rain.. A good piece of music.. A hilarious joke that made everyone laugh.. Your quirky friend throwing you a surprise birthday.. Your new Walkman (new then).. Your new iPad.. My new book.. Are they rolling in yet?
Not yet? You're a tough nut to crack! Ice cream!! Shopping.. Girl talk.. Karaoke.. Sleep over.. Pool fight.. A total stranger smiling at you (no nasty thoughts, just good people).. The friend who is there when you need them even when you don't say.. The friend who kicks your ass because you are not there for them.. Intelligent conversation.. Old people (they can be pretty funny).. Long walk.. Good coffee.. Coffee and cigarettes if you smoke.. Molokheya.. Comics.. Revolution.. Long hot bath.. Good news.. The words I love you.. Weddings.. Teddy bears.. More books... Meeting a celebrity.. A distant acquaintance asking about you.. When you tripped over your shoe laces.. The boy who caught the ball before it hit you dead in the face.. Losing weight.. Gaining weight.. Getting puffed up (just for boys).. Greeting cards.. Flowers.. People think you're smart.. Ramadan.. Europe.. Sokhna trip... Etc.
Funny we never let ourselves follow that trail or pull on that chain of happy thoughts. Shit happens, lots of it, and it always gets worse, and it just always always happens! Any good mom would tell you that shit washes away though, doesn't mean we should kill the baby! So keep the baby, wash away the shit, and remember that you're perfect, God makes no mistakes, in the words of the great and eminent Bon Jovi. Enjoy the song :)

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Life is too short..

Life is too short to read bad books.

Life is too short to reminisce on old mistakes and regret the past.

Life is too short to act so old when one's so young.

Life is too short to miss the chance to do something new.

Life is too short to not do something you really want because of something that might happen.

Life is too short to spend worrying on work, money, and failed relationships. Que sera sera!

Life is too short to be angry or sad; these moods take away years of your life.

Life is too short to not spend time with the people you love.

Life is too short to sleep till noon.

Life is too short to waste on crying rather than laughing.

Life is too short to not take risks.

Life is too short to worry about what other people may think.

Life is too short to be so serious.

Life is too short to sleep too long, but it's also too short to be sleep deprived and tired.

Life is too short to over analyze everything (note to self).

Life is too short to put your responsibilities towards other people before your responsibilities to yourself.

Life is too short to be a parent when you get older.

Life is too short to be a parent when you're too young.

Life is too short to listen to bad music.

Life is too short to waste so much time sugar coating your opinions.

Life is too short to attend to family commitments more than you attend to commitments that really matter.

Life is too short to see the whole world so better see as much of it as you can.

Life is too short to give third chances, long enough to give second chances though.

Life is too short to not be yourself!

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Pencil Affair

I’m finally holding it in my hand. Its weight is comforting, the way its slender shape rests between my fingers is like that missing part of my hand is finally back and I am whole again. It’s cold at first, but slowly gets warmer. I tick it and look in awe at that tiny millimeter of carbon that comes out of it. I hold it to the paper and move my hand, moving it along with me. I’m in heaven!
It’s been two days since I lost my old pencil, an old rotring that belonged to my brother and moved on to me afterwards. The pencil is almost fifteen years old and I lost it! It brought back such bad memories; losing my first rotring pencil back in fourth grade. Pencils coming and pencils going, yet I’ve always been loyal to rotring; my comfort pencil. Then some idiot in Germany (or maybe China) decided to make it thicker and turned the slender end of it into this short fat stub! IDIOT! At that point, I gave up on rotring and pencils. It was a moment of innocence lost, like when we know that dolls don’t really understand us and puppets aren’t really alive.. Rotring wasn't a comfort pencil anymore.
I spent years living on the memories of my old pencils, their tips turned rusty from too much use but it’s only given them this “better with age” feel, like white hair on a handsome man. Then one day, I don’t know where or when, I still don’t understand it, I found myself with my staedtler pencil! It was a little heavier than the rotring, but in a mature, Giorgio Armani sort of way. Thin slender tip and a groove at the end align the ticker perfectly with the rest of the pencil. It was a match made in heaven, me and my pencil. I loved the way it made my hand flow when I write; it made me want to write in better handwriting just because I was holding it. I was in love with that pencil, and then, I lost it.

It was a difficult time for me, to lose my pencil with all the things that were going on in my life. I needed it, how could I possibly live without it?!! I was sad, and I could only go back to the shadow of a rotring I once owned to keep me company. Thank God pencils aren’t liquor or else I would have been an alcoholic moving to cheap wine after 13 year old scotch (I watch a lot of movies). The rotring was good company, but something was missing. It was missing for so long until I couldn’t even tell it was gone anymore.
One hot weird day, I went to work and couldn’t find my pencil, the rotring. Even the rotring was lost, the only thing that kept me company. I had meetings and analysis and I needed a pencil and couldn’t find any. I spent two days writing in pen. I felt disgusted! Messy and blue, non erasable, squeaky on the paper, blotches here and there, and the words I was writing weren’t making sense anymore. The sun wasn’t shining, the wind wasn’t blowing, music wasn’t playing, my pencil wasn’t there, for God’s sake! They were two of the hardest days of my life.
You may wonder why I didn’t buy a staedtler earlier. I’ve tried, so so hard. I searched far and wide and all I could find were either bad imitations or new ugly looking rotring pencils. Stationeries were dark and lonely when they didn’t have a pencil for me. I had almost given up. But as I was driving today, my car took me to that old stationery where we used to buy school supplies. It was where I got my first rotring, 6.5 LE at the time. My dad bought it for me and I still remember the day. I went inside and asked the shop keeper “do you have a staedtler pencil?” I didn’t expect a pleasing answer. He looked at me with sorry eyes and answered “only 0.5 mm.” Be still my beating heart! He showed it to me, they had only five and I picked the dark blue with my eyes closed, bought it in 2 minutes, and here I am, reunited with my staedtler pencil. I couldn’t wait to get home and write again, to hold it again. As soon as I got in the house I told my mother, “I got a new pencil” and her answer was, “why didn’t you take one of your father’s pencils, they’re in his closet!” Curiosity got the best of me, I searched for all my father’s pencils and couldn’t find any of the day to day use ones, only ones in expensive sets that I don’t dare use. I opened the closet, unzipped the bag, got the pencils out and looked at them. Four Cross pencils, silver and gold plated, hidden away in this closet for 15 years, and I had to go two days without pencil!
Tongue tied and dazzled, I had only one thought: Why didn’t God make men more like pencils so I could marry a Cross instead of fall in love with a Staedtler!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Lost and Not Found

Sometimes the most painful experiences are the ones that give us the strongest lessons, the lessons that last for the rest of our lives, the lessons that haunt us in those moments we let our guards down and let the memories creep through. But the pain and the haunting, they're part of the learning process, part of the inscription made on the tender tissue of our brains, meant to be there so that we don't forget, even when we think we did.

It seems that my most recurring lesson, the one I never seem to learn right apparently, is loss. I wonder if it's the strongest lesson in humanity, the one with so many teachers, the ones that people learn each in their own way. We start off by losing our favorite toys, our favorite coloring books, our favorite crayons. They sound silly but didn't they mean the world then? We start with the little things then we move on to bigger more important matter; to lose friends and familiarity when one switches schools, to lose grades in an exam that for some reason seems like the only purpose in life for an eight year old, to lose parents or grandparents or favorite uncles or aunts. As we grow older we start losing innocence, some even lose faith. I know for sure I lost my bravery and curiosity somewhere in the past few years. Finally, it is not unheard of that some people lose all pleasure in life till they get to the point where they lose hope and let go of it all. Those lose themselves, and I don't know if they ever find it again.

I've lost a lot of things and a lot of people. Some people I lose to death; people that matter more than anything. One of them was and always has been a complete stranger. Some were people that were always there and always taken for granted, but you never know how much they mean until they're not there anymore. One man in particular was the loss of my life so to speak; the loss that made anyone else seem less important. His loss was my ultimate lesson even though I've learned so much from so many other losses. In a strange way that makes no sense except to me, I'm grateful for losing him at that particular time. God rest the souls of all of our loved ones.

I've lost a lot of people because they were figments of my imagination, Which is probably the lesson I never seem to be able to learn; stop filling in the blanks in people with what you (I) think should be there. I've lost others when they're masks got old and became a little less opaque, a little less craftily painted on their faces. I've lost people to stupidity; mine and theirs. And some people lost me, too. When it comes to losing people, I believe we lose little bits and pieces of ourselves that we make especially for them, and because of that we will forever be the incomplete puzzle, the ever growing puzzle, with some pieces left to the imagination and new pieces being made all the time. The trick is not to lose too many pieces or else no one will ever be able to make out the puzzle.

I have this very dark room in my mind. Its walls are round so I never know where I am when I'm in it, and the things in it are always changing places. Funny even though it's so very dark I'm always blindfolded too, as if the dark isn't bad enough. Most of the things I lose in that room are memories, but sometimes I find one or two that fell off the shelf. One of the memories I found recently was of the smell of tobacco on a hand, but it had to be good tobacco. I spent a few hours trying to place it, but it came back to me in the end; it was how my father's hand used to smell like when he came back from work at the end of the day. Actually it was how his hand smelled like all the time! Last time I smelled his hand was almost 15 years ago and I figured it out, imagine that! I've also found my old T ruler in that room, and remembered how much I loved drawing even though I convinced myself at some point in the last eight years that I didn't like it all that much. I found my old bed and the balcony. I found Mohamed Fawzy hiding somewhere and that was one I didn't every member losing. Some of those little things are tricky, they hide long enough for you to lose them without even knowing that you did. It's a messy room with lots of booby-traps and bad memories that I tried to lose on purpose, but the things I find in there are like treasures, and they're definitely priceless.

There are very important things to be lost because they have to be found again, and when they are, their value increases so much. Finding them turns into a quest. Losing faith, finding faith, the quest for truth, the quest for knowledge, and how that quest counts! Other things are meant to be lost forever and I still don't know if losing them is a good thing or a bad thing. That was the time I lost my innocence because I knew the world was full of bad people, I just didn't know that I knew any. I envy those people that still have their innocence sometimes, but I'm also scared for them because I don't want them to get hurt. That's a lesson they’re going to have to learn on their own though, and only God can help them through it.

As for my courage, she's a slippery old girl that never wants to stand still long enough for me to grab hold of her. She served her purpose when I was a child, but she never was very fearless and neither was I. I try to hold on to her enough to do something stupid like publish this piece of... Writing, and then beat myself up about it when she runs away again. And hope, well, she comes and goes, sometimes it's a good thing when I lose her because without hope there is no disappointment, but without hope there is no happiness either, so I still haven't made up my mind about her. She springs eternal, for now.

The perfect ending would be "Of all the things I lost, I miss my mind the most"

But I don't miss it really. Count your losses people, you never know what good comes out of them.

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