Thursday, April 30, 2009

I Dreamed a Dream [A week's compilation]

  • This is unbelievably cute 
  • And I just had to post this  
  • Coup de foudre: noun • /ku.də.ˈfu.drə/ • 1) a thunderbolt. 2) a sudden overwhelming feeling of love for somebody; love at first sight.  here
  •  Picture
  • Susan Boyle! This morning I found a link of her video on you tube (which my boyfriend had sent to me) and oh, the goosebumps.
What I find ironic or rather iconic(!) is the song she chose to perform and the fact that in the act of singing it she is actually pursuing her dream. At 47. A living proof that it is never too late.

Thursday April 31st:

I love the "through her eyes" series 

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

News and a Tag

Alissa from Grace's Birdcage Wedding has tagged me, I love making lists!
8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:
1. My dad coming (from Jeddah) on the 7th
2. Getting tomorrow 1/2 day off so I can finally work on my graft it forwards.
3. Weekend Sushi
4. Mine and Mohammed's second anniversary in August
5. Paying my gym subscription on Friday!
6. Learning how to take pretty pictures
7. Getting Engaged.
8. Taking my brother and my cousin's son out tomorrow :)
8 Things I did yesterday
1. Went to a goodbye gathering (a college friend)
2. went to work
3. Did some catching up with my bestfriend
4. Bought new earrings and two new chunky necklaces (precious stones)
5. called up boyfriend to ask him "Would you grow old with me?"
6. braided my hair
7. changed bags
8. Listened to some very good Arabic music (Mohammed Mounir and Fayrouz)
8 Things I Wish I could do
1. Sing
2. Be a role model
3. eat healthiest
4. Ride a bicycle instead of drive a car
5. control my temper
6. get my masters degree NOW
7. Never grow UP
8. Make the world a better place
8 Shows I Watch
1.Greys Anatomy
2. American Idol (if my sister is watching)
3. An Egyptian talk show called "El beit Beitak"
4. MBC 4 is showing Dawson's Creek!!
5. AND Gilmore Girls on Dubai One!
6. ....
7. ....
8. I don't really watch TV..
and now tag 8 people...
1. Maria-Thérèse; Afiori
2.Alice; Alice's Diary
3.Sara; Ramblings of a Restless Mind
4.Georgia; Jorjah-B
5.Indea Tea; Darjeeling Dreams
6. Cait; In Company With Sparkles
7.Chloe; HeartShapedMorning
8.Agnes; Dream and Fantasy

On to the (bad) news..
On the 27th, there has ben a terrible, horrific accident (links to pictures of ruined cars)on the Cairo ring road, it was ugly. A huge truck (with faulty breaks) crashed into cars, taxi cabs, mini bus(es), a bus (or more) and another truck. At least 40 people were injured, and (at least) 8 people died. I am, again, not trying to promote the wrong image of my home country...This is an ode to everyone who had died, those injured and a "what were you thinking?" to those at fault. May your souls rest in peace. May we all find peace. And security. And harmony.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Marriage in Egypt (Part 2)

Rings (aka Shabka)!
After I finish writing this I will comment on my favorite posts from today :) Apart from the "Marriage in Egypt" thing, I am going to post a compilation of favorites; weekly on Thursdays! This Thursday's will include this week and last week.
I love you feedback! I am glad you like the idea :) and I shall not yet reveal the little secret (it's not that juicy but I am happy with that)

So, anyway, on to the rings!
Egyptians, like all other couples around the world get their wedding band, their engagement ring and their wedding ring. The only difference is that we get them all at the same time( we call it the shabka)! Since there is no decent, romantic propsal, you get your wedding band first; to show that your engaged. "Shabka" literally means what attaches you to the other person "attacher" but is percieved as your grooms gift to you, and maybe what shows the rest of the people that you are committed to someone.

Let me clarify this:
  1. The Wedding Band: During the engagement period, you wear your wedding band on your right hand ring finger. Some grooms, give their brides the wedding band in the 'fat-ha" visit. Some don't. When you get married, the wedding band moves to your left hand ring finger. Girls can choose to wear golden ones, (Muslim) men are confined to white gold, platinum or know anything that is...white.
  • The Engagement Ring: What might stereotypically be called an wedding ring in the west, is our engagement ring. Your get that as your engagement present from your groom. And, of course there are a ton of zaghareet as he puts the ring on your finger.
    • The Wedding Ring: Ah! The big stone! Be it a 3-stone or one-stone ring, it's what shines most on your finger, and what your mom's friends check out first thing. Like I mentioned, you mostly get all three rings at the same time.
    The band is what you wear everyday, naturally, and the other two rings on special occasions.

    The price ranges, but the average for someone belonging to my class is about 50,000 LE (I think?) which is about 8,865.80 USD, 6,698.30 EUR, 12,257.51 AUD, 89,132,747.60 IRR, 71,734.35 SEK (te-he). People with a different culture than mine prefer a gold "shabka" which basically consists of a nechlace, a bracelet, a ring and a pair of earings. But that's not what we do.
    Picking your shabka is a very important event; you, your parents (or just your mom, maybe your sister(s)), the groom's parents (or just his mom, maybe his sister(s)) and anyone else you want to be there (since this is an important thing to you) go to the jeweller's and look at each and every set they have, or at least that is what I imagine I will do since I am very picky and very hesitant!

    Pictures are from google ( I know I should've posted prettier ones)
    More reads: here and here.
    Coming Up: Mahr( "bride price" and it's replacement) This will probably be a short post!

    Wednesday, April 22, 2009

    Marriage in Egypt (Part 1)

    I am in love with listography, I made a primary list of the steps of getting married in Egypt as an introduction to my post.

    I want to point out that this is not about the problems faced by Egyptians when it comes to getting married, this is rather about the process itself. This is also from an upper-middle class point of view, it is totally different for those richer and those poorer than I am.

    Before you proceed please note:
    1. Arranged marriages still exist here in Egypt, yet they are mostly confined to the relatively narrow minded families.
    2. I am Muslim, so this is how it goes for me, it's the same for people of other religions, excluding the actual recital of Fat-ha.
    3. This is under the assumption that it is not an arranged marriage. (Will make a post about this)
    4. Egyptians (the majority) don't usually engage in premarital sex. And they don't live together before getting married. Each lives with his/her parents (Yes, we don't usually move out either)
    5. Physical contact in a relationship (boyfriend/girlfriend) is optional and limited to any base prior the fourth. It varies from one couple to the other. But it does exist.( Behind the parents' backs)
    6. PDA is not very socially accepted here in Egypt.
    7. Our first job is usually after we graduate university.
    Lets call our girl x and our guy y( note the gene relevance, haha). X and Y met a couple of years ago and her mother knows about it but not necessarily her father (this would get him angry and disappointed, to think that his daughter at least holds hands with a "boy"). Naturally, Y would be at least a year older than X and either works or would graduate soon, after he does, the pressure starts building up. It's Xs mother. She wants the engagement, or at least the Fat-ha.Sometimes x is the one who pressures y, mainly because everyone around her is getting engaged, or she wants an assuring sign that this is not just another passing relationship, and that y is serious about her.

    Step 1: The Fat-ha
    The Fat-ha is basically, Y's family going over to X's in order for the two families to get to know eachother, and of course, if x's daddy has no idea they ahve been seeing eachother for the past, let's say, two years, x has to act all uneasy. So they get to know eachother, and y's dad would say "Shall we recite the Fat-ha?" normally x's dad would submit to that and everyone starts reciting, in a whisper. The Fatiha is actually the first chapter of the Quran, it literally means "the opening" [translations] They have their tea and chit-chat, and then a zaghrouta*(plural zaghareet) from the mothers; x and y are all smiles. They're happy, they're blushing; this is their first step on the road of being a bride and groom!

    all dressed up at her place

    What is the significance of such a visit? Some people actually get their engagement rings on such a visit, and since Egyptians don't really "propose" in the Western way, this is considered your proposal!If you don't get your engagement ring then, you get it on your engagement day/party. After such a visit your status changes to "ma'reya fat-hetek" or "Have had your fat-ha read" I know it sounds funny. But you're somewhere in between being engaged and committed. Also, during that visit, the parents talk about issues like whether Y has his own apartment (usually a must) and the wedding/engagement date, also they discuss his salary and what both parents are willing to do to help the couple start their lives off. It varies really, but that's basically it. Family is a very important pillar of life here, and you just have to engage them in everything and they have to bless whatever it is you are doing (more or less).

    * "Zaghareet are done by women as a celebratory exclamation. Weddings, graduations, births, good shoe sales, are all good reasons to let loose a zaghroota. In Egypt, we do them almost like a tongue vibration. Other Arabic countries do them differently. In Morocco, for instance, there is no tongue and the sound is almost a high pitched aye aye sound. My Sudanese friend they pucker the lips and place their forefinger and thumb in front of their mouth and do it."

    PS This post was getting increasingly long, so I decided I would turn this into a series! Next post: Rings!
    I am looking forward for your input and please stay tuned!
    PPS Pictures are courtesy of Passant Rabie, and are of YET ANOTHER AIESEC COUPLE!(boyfriend and I met through AIESEC as well) Hossam and Heba whose Fat-ha was held last week.
    PPPS at the end of this series, I have an announcement to make :)

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Veranda is a beautiful word

    I have been a bad blogger but it was a long weekend and I had spent in in Alexandria with relatives and Mohammed.

    We barbecued in the veranda overlooking the Mediterranean sea, I made my burgers(everyone's favorite!) and yesterday, we had fish...I had so much fun over the weekend. During weekends away, I make a point of not taking my laptop with me, so I would have as much fun as I can. And invest all my time away from the computer, so, forgive me.

    here is a video of Mohammed singing :)

    I have 30 followers! Oh what an amazing blogger surprise! And as mentioned by Sara here, we are cooking up a little something! it's a secret !

    I am preparing a post about getting married in Egypt, more like how it is for young people; the pressures, the expectations and so on..I would like some input on what you guys would want to know about such a topic...and if that topic is even of interest to you (I somehow think it is since it's very different here than the Western Hemisphere)

    I have at least 4 engagement parties coming up and I need to buy a dress or two, probably one... I like one at Mango, it's a peachy salmon color, very 80s inspired with a black ribbon at the waist. Sorry the picture is far from clear..

    Wednesday, April 15, 2009

    Speaking of Figures

    I know why I am not losing any weight [remember pre-weight-loss Nicole Richie?]:
    1. I am too broke to pay the gym subscription fees, so, I am not working out.
    2. I sit at a desk from 9-5
    3. My eating patterns have been far from healthy lately.
    i.e. I am not making any effort!! And since today is the 15th (has the significance of being halfway through the month) I am going to make a resolution of eating healthy. I have a huge err..bottom (not me)and I am very aware of that, but it's no harm looking like that, is it? I appreciate my curves, so no Nicole Richie for me, plus I am also heavy in that..upper department.

    I have a 50-something year old co-worker, this morning, she was telling me about how her mother and her friends would go to the beach(during the summer) in their puffy skirts and dresses and stockings. And how they used to measure their waists and the one with the tiniest would be boastful. Waists and not thighs! I would have been hot by their standards back then; smallish waist, huge thighs and breasts. Also, no one was ever overweight. The streets were safe to walk and everyone almost walked everywhere. I refuse to go by today's beauty standards, I would rather embrace my curves a la Betty Grable and Marilyn Monroe (this links to an amazing article)

    Speaking of women, I was watching Oprah the other day and it was the YFZ Ranch episode..I love their hair(does that make me weird?) and the girls were so innocent it made me feel like a witch.. sort of. I loved Olive.

    Any thoughts?

    Tuesday, April 14, 2009


    This is about what has been happening in Egypt this week (Politically speaking)
    The Jerusalem Post
    From an Israeli point of view

    And for those of you who speak Arabic: Al masry Al youm.
    In case you don't want to click those links...members of HezbAllah were arrested in Egypt accused of affiliation with a foriegn party and being involved in terroristic practices.

    • Hassan Nasrallah is the leader of Shiite HezbAllah  which is "God's Political Party" in English. Now, allow me to point out that all Arab Shiites are biased (naturally) to the Shiite Iran and that 99% of Egypt's Muslims are Sunni (90% of the Egyptian population are Muslim; if my calculations are right then Egypt has, roughly, 71,280,000 Sunni Muslims)
      Conclusion: Hassan Nasrallah, politically speaking, is not a friend of Egypt, but rather of Iran.
      • This is a map of the Lebanese political parties, Hezballah and the "Future Movement" are politically "not friends"..what does that mean? The Future Movement will now be an Egyptian friend, and guess what? They're Sunni.
      Conclusion: What Nasrallah has done/has been trying to do will cause both religious AND civil tension not only in Lebanon, but in the region! Why won't they just be peaceful...
      Conclusion: Giving rise to tension in Egypt!

      Ok, sorry if that was boring, it is bothering me...and let's not forget that blogs, are afterall, meant for documenting!

      I am in a pretty skirt a cure to corporate boredom. I am reading Life is Elsewhere by Milan Kundera and I can't put it down. I love him, he's amazing!

      "and he told her that she had suddenly appeared to him out of a fog of fire and blood like the shy white body of love"
      Yes, I have no idea what I am doing...the forks were a coincidence!

      Yesterday we went to a new restaurant, my sister, my cousin and I...and it was so pretty! We were the epitome of Far East meets Middle East, ha ha Stuffed vine leaves and sushi!
      My sister eating stuffed vine/grape leaves (aka Ma7shi!) with chopsticks!

        I will ask for help sometime soon, but until then I think I'll have to force my pictures on here..sorry!

        Monday, April 13, 2009


        I have come to the amazing discovery that is The Naked Redhead! And this is one great post! And from I wrote this for you "You are the only map I know." And today's
        How about cake pops for Easter? Or a picnic...or an Easter picnic! And why don't you, really...why not!
        Before it's time for you to wish someone had told you..The five rules for life.
        I would rather walk alone.
        Oh and postsecret!
        Yes, it was. [This weeks postsecret]

        I miss you, blog. I got me a new camera, not the one I had originally wanted, but it was a good deal. I got the Canon Powershot SX110 IS and so far;

        I know this last one needed flash...but I like how the lamp behind him is glowing, and I like how it's almost black and white! The flash version:
        What do you think? Do you think I have potential? Or should I just stick to and work on my words?
        I have been getting very bad migraines last week, and it seems that I'll have them as companions this week as well. I don't know what to do, no medication seems to work. I am flattered by the comments on my last post! Also, I have been told that I have "Talent" and this to me, means the world.
        PS I am sorry I am behind on sending my craft it forward gifts...due to health problems :(

        I hope you've all enjoyed your Easter!

        Wednesday, April 8, 2009

        Update on the Pay It Forward Initiative

        I have only received one mailing address which I am entirely happy with!
        But if anyone is willing to participate in the project/initiative, please comment with your email so I can communicate with you.
        Also, I was thinking on twisting the rules a little and just pay it forward to my community and blog about it in attempts to inspire whoever reads this to pay it forward. What do you think?

         HA HA HA HA HA here
        I am trying to inject the inspiration into my thoughts. And I thought I should write.Recently I have been thinking a series of "where" questions...
        1. Where does the time go after it sneaks right by you, unnoticed, turning the day into night, and the winter into spring...and the gloss in your hair to gray?
        2. Where does the sun go, after its afternoon dip in the sea?
        3. Where does innocence go, after everyday incidents rape it away?
        4. Where does the twinkle in a child's eyes go after they turn 11?
        5. Where does a shooting star go, after it falls, fooled by the Earth's artificial "Bright lights" *sings the matchbox 20 song*, ignorant of the fact that a human has made a wish upon seeing it shoot?

        Oh and where do the butterflies within you, the ones you used to get on the swing, where do they go after you've stopped...because you're a grown person now. Are they the same ones you get when that someone is around? I don't think so, the swing ones were playful...

        Tuesday, April 7, 2009

        My Virgo-ness has won this time..

        Sorry about the insanely grumpy post yesterday; it had to be deleted :)
        I think I am getting hooked on twitter (who isn't?) and working out. Yesterday I went to the gym, in attempts to cure my pms blues and guess what? it worked! Not only did I end up with a ton more energy, it also felt so good. And it was great to see my trainer! (I had missed her, honestly)

        I found this today

        I have my boyfriend's white shirt on today and it is so light, like it isn't even there (I was washing it for him and decided I'd wear it) Speaking of Mohammed;

        One thing he's taught me: How to park my car.(all sorts of parking)


        I hate it when I notice all the pretty short haired girls when growing out my hair, and noticing all the feminine long-haired ones when getting bored of a haircut/crop. Humidity tends to turn my hair into a pyramid when it is chin it's either a pixie (a la Karla) or keep growing.

        Pay it Forward: (Found via Afiori)

        Here’s how it works
        The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a handmade gift from me.
        Please make sure I have a way of contacting you so I can get your mailing address.

        The only requirement is that you must participate as well: right after you leave a comment here, do a “Pay it forward” post on your blog to keep the “Giving” going -meaning you will {Craft it Forward} too.

        Remember, it’s the spirit and the thought that counts and when you receive your gift please blog about it!

        The only problem is, I cannot promise you AMAZING things, my creativity is nothing compared to Maria-Thérèse's but then I'll try my best! And it will also my first time to send something, ever, to anyone!

        Sunday, April 5, 2009


        Aw, that is seriously making me happy :)

        I am currently in the moodswing phase due to the hormonal imbalances forced on me by the time of, I need things that make me happy! The weekend has been pretty busy( and intense!);
        Friday went to the picnic-y thing I had mentioned,

        then Saturday, Mohammed and I went there which is very very close to where I work.

        It doesn't really show in the picture but they have a very pretty garden, we sat there and had our coffee, then headed to a part of Cairo/Giza I have never been to; Imbaba to visit this street restaurant( which we ended up not eating at...eventhough I was looking forward to doing so)
        After that we proceeded to Zamalek, to make what would be my first ever visit to the Cairo Tower!
         the view, googled

        Both pictures are from different sides, the tower is located on an island! Anyway, then we headed to Maadi, and made our first visit (Again) to a place called Mermaid, and they make delicious pizzas!
        Maadi is a very calm and peaceful neighbourhoud (where I was born and where my dad has been born and riased) [ you can also found Imbaba on wikipedia, imbaba is, on the contrary, a poor suburb..more of a slum actually..this might be interesting]

        So yeah, I had a great weekend and now I am going to list the ways!
        1. I bought two new books! Happy Birthday Kundera! In celebration of his birthday (on the 1st) I got Laughable Loves.
        2. The bookstore owner said I was a "great writer" ; she doesn't even know me (I know the librarian/cashier; from the boyfriend's band) and we haven't even properly met before...I am only, merely a member of the bookstore's group on facebook..It made me feel good, even if she didn't mean it.
        3. The amazing boyfriend!! No matter how many times I mention the fact that he is endlessly nice to me, or how gorgeous he is(and makes me feel), it wouldn't ever be enough..I am sincerely thankful he exists. [He took me to the tower, drove all around Cairo just because I couldn't decide where I wanted to go...and he just simply bares with me(yes, I am a pain most of the time)
        4. Discovering the ICCD (Salalem are performing there on Saturday!)
        5. The followers :)..Thank you!
        Since its Easter time!
        And this weeks postsecret is so pretty!

        Thursday, April 2, 2009

        First April Post

        Have you ever wondered what a trillion dollars look like? Now you know!
        And then there’s the photographic dictionary; don’t you find this very amusing?
        It is the weekend! My twitter says “Singing the weekend song, mind if you sing along?” I love how the “I wrote this for you” has absolutely beautiful and inspiring posts, however clingy they may sound-and desperate at times...or maybe it’s just me. This reminds me, I am a clingy person!
        Tomorrow is orphan’s day, I am going to this event held in a picnic-y place where they basically invite orphanages to bring the kids to play and they fund raise for them, it is usually fun and bright and sunny. It is usually also a giggle-filled day. I had wanted to go on a picnic on Saturday, the only ugly thing is that Mohammed hates the sun, sad isn’t it? I don’t know if we will though, I know it would be fun...I just don’t have a menu in mind or anything of that sort!
        Which reminds me, am I the only one who refuses to walk barefoot on grass? And sand?
        And somewhere, in the spaces and voids of time, March has turned to April. I wonder where the time goes after it flies by…
        Would this work as an opening line for a book?
        I am considering getting a hair cut...something along the lines of:
          What do you think?