Sunday, December 25, 2011


It is such a weird day so far. I woke up to news that a beautiful person I went to school with passed away. And now news of Alaa's release. (wiki)

I'll make this short since I don't really know how I feel.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Look!

I don't know how I feel about my new layout. But, I think it was time for a new one. So there!
I think I miss the green though.
I don't know how I feel about the blue. What do you guys think?

I am getting rid of my blackberry soon, it was fun while it lasted, but I think I have had it with dealing with not so good hardware. So I am going for the Samsung Galaxy Note.

Anyway, Rhianne has a beautiful freebie for all of us. And I think everyone should have the beautiful calendar.

Speaking of freebies, I have been downloading tons of freebies from Pugly Pixel and Mellowmint lately and I have no idea what I am going to do with them. But since I am currently unemployed, I will definitely find something to do with them, yeah? Suggestions?

I hope everyone is having a great break. And those who are not on break are having a great weekend. I have been obsessing about my grades, and I keep checking every ten minutes. And no grades are out yet, and it's all so unfair.

I leave you with this:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gratitude 2011: January 2011

I missed the 400th post celebration. And this here, is my 403rd post.


Anyway, I have been meaning to start on my lists of gratitude (since I have nothing better to do, really) And because I think I need the positivity in my life, it's been a tough year, and things don't seem to get any better...

(I obviously like this picture of myself :D I made this just in case any of you guys wanted to do lists!)

January 2011
(this is also when I start regretting not writing in my journal as often as I should)
  • The euphoric feeling of being one with the crowd of thousands of people chanting together on the 25th of January
  • Spending the night at my boyfriend's because of curfew.
  • Safety
  • My car, and chai lattes.
  • My family, for being interesting enough and fun enough for us to endure a 3pm curfew
  • the vigilante who kept us safe.
  • Meeting my boyfriend's grandparents.
  • Rain
  • Can you tell I don't remember anything that's happened before the 25th of January? Stupid me.
And with that, I have realized my number one resolution: Write in my Moleskine more often. (Everyday) 
Also, here's a link to graffiti spotted around Cairo. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Waste of Space

You know when you read something and it makes you realise, in retrospect, how things you have done that didn't make sense might make sense after all?

Am I making sense?

I read this, and well, I know Mercury was in retrograde, and it was a journey, sort of, but it's okay. I am happy I am starting the new year with a clear canvas, and I am free to color it whichever way I want to.

I also love Thought Catalog for so many things, among which is this article here! I don't know if you know, but I was the one who said it first, I tried to find my way around it, and I tried to find an alternative, for maybe 10 minutes and I just couldn't make myself not say it, it was such a strong feeling, so I said it; I told him I loved him maybe less than a week into the relationship. And I AM SO LUCKY HE'S STILL HERE.

(and then came this article)

It's the weekend and I am sitting at home with my ten year old brother, and 15 year old sister, and my grandmother and my mum's aunt. Fun times, I tell you.

I am so bored I could die.

I have been playing entanglement for the past hour maybe. And I am reading "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater"

And to end the most useless post, I leave you with this:

Monday, December 12, 2011


I quit my job. After a tormenting year and ten months, I quit my job! I finally quit my job.
And now, I am unemployed.
I am not really happy about it, the lack of income is freaking me out to be honest. And there's not much to do other than study since it's end of semester and I am to graduate this semester.

In February, I shall have it on my wall, MA in Economics in International Development.

I have no idea what is next, but I am glad that this year is ending so many things with it. It has been a tough year, so stressful! So very stressful and there is no room for switching off really, or breaking away, because it's not just the news, it's around me, it is everywhere.

What do you think I should ask for for graduation? I am thinking a Galaxy Note I didn't really get anything for my birthday back in August.

I think I should catch up on reading, I have nine new books, other than those left unread on the bookshelf.

Anyway, I am planning to compile a list of gratitude for this year, anyone want to do this with me? I am planning to going about it by listing at least three things I was grateful for each month.

Then come the resolutions, I want to do that in a non-cliched way though and I don't know if that is even possible.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The History Books Forgot About Us...NOT!

I sit in bed and I am so tired...all I could think of is the future of my country. We are living through times that will be recorded in history books, I belong to a generation that made history. I made history.

62% voter turn out is something that has never happened before...I am not really happy with results so far, but elections are elections, and if this is the fruit of fair elections then...then I will campaign more and more for the liberal left. And hope for the best.

I was talking to the boyfriend/fiance the other day, and asked him if we are going to be all bored and depressed when this is over..I, for one, will sure be depressed and I will call it the post revolution depression. Just like MUN's post conference depression syndrome.

I was looking through pictures I have on the computer and thought maybe I should share some of the phone pictures I have of the protests and stuff

Qasr el Nil Bridge on out way to Tahrir Square on January 25th, 2011, CSF let us pass through.
Part of the crowd on January 25th
Bad picture but this is from January 29th, 8am, going back home after not being able to go back due to curfew, army tanks were everywhere
January 29th, NDP headquarters burning
February 11th, people on the street after Mubarak stepped down, this is when people still liked the army
same day.
The next day, people went to clean Tahrir up, NDP HQ in the background

That's pretty much it, I know they're nothing artistic, they're just phone pictures. I have some from the elections but they're mostly of violations. 

I hope everyone has a great, great weekend!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

This One is for You

There will come a time when most songs will bring you to tears, and there will be times when you find yourself crying whenever you are alone (it is also the time when you try to keep yourself busy, so you wouldn't have to be alone)

In running away from yourself, you are at your loneliest.

There will come a time when you open your journal and pick up your pen, but there will be no words to write. And times when you pick up your phone to call your best friend but there just aren't any words to say.

All you need is a hug, but life is in your way.

When that time is now, please know that I am here. And that I am willing to hug you, that I would hug you. That I really want to talk to you but I just don't know what to say.

I miss the time when you called me in the middle of the night, crying, because this is when I felt closest to you. And now all I feel is a distance.

I try to be understanding, but I don't really get it, you see? 

Yeah, I think that's all I have to say today. It will be okay, that I know.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Bit of Everything

The hardest period in life is one’s 20s. It’s a shame because you’re your most gorgeous and you’re physically in peak condition. But it’s actually when you’re most insecure and full of self-doubt. When you don’t know what’s going to happen, it’s frightening.-Helen Mirren via Little Reminders of Love

It is frightening, so very frightening, especially at 24, especially when I am almost done with my degree and I don't know what is going to happen next. I am the kind of person who has to have something to do, always.

But when I am done, I will have time to send all the letters I have written and had not the time to send, I will pay more attention to this space here.. I will have time to do so many things! I hope. So that is something to look forward to.

I will read again and hopefully write again and my life will be a lot better.

Taylor posted this and I couldn't wait to try it. And here are the results:

Pray for Egypt. Elections are eight days away and protesters are still being shot at and hurt. And I don't really know what to do about it. As much as I want to be protesting right now, there is also a lot of campaigning that should be done. And awareness about the elections and who to vote for (not namely, just you know, the qualities of a person who deserves your vote)

The upcoming elections are the first "true" elections in the lifetimes of many. And my friend, Mahmoud Salem is running!!

On a totally different note, I am going to try to give my blog a makeover. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011


What did everyone do for 11.11.11?

I did nothing, at 11 pm I read about the numerology of 11.11.11 and it said something about the conscious being connected to the subconscious.

I wished for forever at 11:11 on 11.11.11. I know it might sound pathetic for some, or hopeless even, but, I just did.

Oh I love you. Every single one out there. I do.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Birthdays and Graduations

My boyfriend/fiancé/ boyancé (teehee) turned 25 on Friday, and I haven't figured out what to get him for his birthday yet.

It's the hardest thing I ever had to decide, even harder than deciding what to eat (Something I am completely incapable of doing, read this if you have the same problem) I think that's what you get when you start dating someone less than a week after you first meet them, and that's what you get for being with someone you barely have anything in common with.

He is into everything geeky and I am....a nerd - more or less. I don't like video games and I don't read comics, I don't watch movies all that much nor do I watch TV shows. And this list right there pretty much sums up my boyancé's life.

I came across this on Pinterest, and well, I think dealing with the fact that no one is perfect would make life easier for everyone. I mean, we all need the reminder every now and then, thinking that people should exactly know what you want, how you feel and what you need is just totally and completely wrong - I need the reminder (constantly) myself. I need to remind myself not to expect, especially from those I love so much.

(I also sometimes need to remind myself that my life shouldn't revolve around anyone but shhh)

There was more to this post, but I kind of forgot what I was about to write, and if I save it as a draft I will never get to post I might as well.

PS I am graduating this semester, but guess who beat me to it? Farah! And I am so very, very happy for her!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

An Introduction to SaraLand

There is something wrong with me, definitely. I don't really know what is. But I check my reader and I read the posts and I mark them unread so I comment over the weekend, and come the weekend, I am bombarded with studying I have procrastinated about all week.

And, that, ladies (and gentlemen) sums up my life at the moment.

In other news:

  • My eyesight is getting worse, I am now -1 and -0.75 (yes, that's getting worse) and I need to wear my glasses all the time now. I am taking the chance to buy new glasses. I want them framed, and possibly tortoise and wayfarer/squared/rectangular. Suggestions?
  • My car has been giving me a hard time; a flat tire on the highway and stuff, but it's all good.
  • The best friend wrote this beautiful post, which made me sad in a way, and thankful in another way...but mostly sad. 
I need my life back. I need to see my friends, I need to write again, I need to read again. But then again, I am scared at the thought that I might have free time. Free time kills me, I get bored really easily and usually end up depressed.

I guess, then I will have more time to blog, and maybe my blog would be what it used to be. But things change, and not always to the better. But that's failure, right?

The other day, boyfriend and I were talking and I was explaining to him how things are different in my world; SaraLand. In SaraLand, I said, we express love and affection through pinching and biting - randomly (and not in a sexual way, it's totally casual) and we usually freak out when things are going fine. We tend to cocoon when life becomes too much to take.

We always, always procrastinate. And so on. Our national emblem is a proud white unicorn, its horn sparkling and colorful, and it stands with pride at the center of our flag - behind it is a lightening bolt. Because things aren't always bright and cheery in SaraLand.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Little Economic Rant

I may come from a country where little sons and daughters of doormen learn to walk in front of their buildings half naked. And I also come from a country where you see the same thing at public hospitals, you see patients sitting on the (filthy) corridor floors, or even on the streets. I have seen a woman in labour wait for her turn outside the hospital.
Yes, this is the country I call home.
The country where not everyone is educated, where people live in informal settlements and are fine with it.

But isn't that how it is everywhere? Even in "developed" countries, there are the poor, the sick and the ignorant, there are also the illiterate. And people still refer to them as the more developed country because of a larger per capita income.

But whatever happened to equity? Equity and accessibility...
Whatever happened to equitable distribution of income? Why do people forget that the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer EVERYWHERE?

Don't blame developing countries for post-colonialism, because that is just unfair. It was unfair then and it is unfair today to have "other" decide for "developing" countries what they need to do to be developed, because laundry lists will not work. They never did.

You could even see it with globalisation, which has worked best for everyone, I agree, but people from developing countries don't benefit from the great mobility that others from 1st world countries do, and as countries, they are faced by 1st world non-tariff barriers to trade. How fair is that?

How fair are restrictions on technology transfer...

I am having a hard time being a student of economics in international development in a class full of MBA's depressing. It is depressing that everything is about more sales and shareholder's profit..there are people involved; human beings - not just cheap labour, you see.

Because at the end of the day, I see the poor and I see the insanely rich here, too. Duality is everywhere, people just choose to point the duality of developing countries.

God bless the middle class.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Those Yellow Roman Candles

One of my favorite quotes of all time is one by Jack Kerouac (who I'd totally marry if he were still alive)
I mean, look at him!!

It's from "On the Road" (which I need to read again), the fiancé bought the original scroll version, and that, I want to read as well.

"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!""
It is late summer and I want to make this month memorable. I want something to associate with the September of 2011. It's our first anniversary this month (the mister and I)
But that's not just it. I want September to be the blue centerlight of this year. I want to make it personal.

I want to daydream again, I want to be by the sea and close my eyes and listen to the waves talk to me. I want to fly, like a kite; free.

I want to fly and have people look at me and go "Awww!" a spider across the stars...spreading, everywhere, like fairy-dust

which to some might only seem like a cloud of talcum powder

But all it takes is a little imagination for the extraordinary to fairy-dust.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

No Title

There is a post in my drafts that I am too lazy to complete and edit.
So I am writing a new one.

Here's to new beginnings. Since I am now twenty-four (as of the 26th of August)
Here's to old, old friends, since I am talking to my old school friends more often.
Here's to people who will always be there for you.
Here's to the one who got away, and the one that never was.
Here's to the one that is.

Here's to you, country.

I need hugs and inspiration and love sent my way.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Somehow, This Happened.

I am a commitment phobe.
I really am, countless times I have yearned and yearned for a stable relationship, for love that is everlasting and all those fairytale notions.. and whenever I think "okay, this is it!" the guy I am with finds an excuse to break up with me, or I drive him to break up with me.

(I rarely ever broke up with anyone in fear of the chance of them being the one..)

Why have I driven them to break up with me, you ask? Because I think of all the possibilities and options and alternative lives I could be living when I am stuck with this one person for what might seem to be forever. (but grown up Sara knows there is no such a thing as forever, there is only for as long as I can, and for as long as I am willing to and other grey statements that provide no guarantees)

I lost my dreaminess some point along the way.

I have a fear of marriage, it took me a good while to realize that. As much as I want to get married, it scares the living hell out of me. It turns me into this little girl sitting in her bed, to scared to move because it's dark, and because mummy said there was a big bear living behind the AC vents and that the big bear is watching me, waiting for me to fall asleep. (My mother used to actually say that)

11 months ago, last September, I met this guy.

I met this guy and we went on an extremely random date maybe four days to a week after we first met. it was so random and carefree and just....perfect. It lasted for 14 hours.

A fourteen hour first date.

And after our second date, we were officially a couple.

I am not going to say he cured my fear of marriage, I am not going to say that I am no longer scared of commitment, I do..I do and I have learnt to admit that it is normal, it is something everyone goes through, but they're just too scared to admit it. (right?)

I am going to say, however, that I almost have nothing to worry about when I am with him. He has a beautiful, beautiful soul; his issues, and his obsessions and everything about him have all worked so well into shaping this beautifully imperfect human being.

A beautifully imperfect human being that has proposed to me, on one knee, without even saying the rather scary M-word.

Letter to the Best Friend

I stopped the 26 days of extraordinary. I have a really good excuse for my doing that - I promise.

But first things first:

I have been really busy lately, with things to do, tuition fees to pay, staying up late and going to the gym and going out with cousins I haven't been hanging out with in a really long time (granted you called my cousin a slut when you don't even know her, I will forgive you.)

I will also forgive you for never doing the effort to see me, ever. Or never giving me "best friend" time. Because, yes, it has been bothering me.


I owe you an apology, and here is you public apology for my not showing up yesterday, Menna. I hope that makes it up for you.

Because, you see, I want to keep you there forever and things, and I won't lose you over some silly thing I did (I haven't lost you over much more serious things so I am not willing to do this now, you see?)

When other (or rather all other) people seem more important than I am, I try to make myself remember that this is not the case, or could be but they are more fun, or that they're just "there" when I am not. (but I really am, or so I would like to believe)

This is a whiny post, or rather an open letter because I needed to vent and stuff.

More cheerful posts to come. I am having the time of my life.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Day Two

Well, I am back to tagging my posts :)

I feel like it's time for me to do that again. Tomorrow is a rather important day for Egypt, it's Mubarak's trail. I am not getting any hopes up. I am not looking forward to it. I am almost certain he is not going to show up.

That's all I have to say about that.

Today I didn't do anything extraordinary per se but I pampered myself a bit and I went to the hairdresser's (which I don't do that often) and I got my hair trimmed. I am thinking of maybe getting some highlights?

What do you think?

Excuse my looking tired, let me explain;

During ramadan, I sleep at maybe 3:30 am, I wake up at 7:30 am (or at least try to) since I have to be at work at 8:30, the ramadan work day ends at 1:30, and I - while fasting - go to the gym. Two hours later I am finally home and I sleep for the remaining 1-2 hours and wake up when it's time to break the fast. And that photo was taken at 12 am today (it's now 2 am)

Here's what it looked like before (only because I love this photo!)

So yeah, that was my not so extraordinary thing for today. I have a dentist appointment tomorrow (wish me luck?)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Let the Extraordinary Begin

The first of August is when my 26 days of extraordinary begins!

"Twenty Six Days of Extraordinary" is my attempt at making the countdown to my birthday special and memorable. I love doing it, and I would love to read back on it one day.

I would love it if you guys contribute, share ideas, or do whatever it is with me.

Day one: I wrote a letter to Taylor. (which I still haven't sent yet! Tomorrow, I shall)

Today I also went out with my boyfriend and his family and I had so much fun! I love his family, they're great people. (His sister and mother are so beautiful!)

It's going to be hard making tomorrow extraordinary since le boyfriend is leaving to NY tomorrow - for a week though, so it's going to be okay right? Yeah, I know it will be.

It was the first day of Ramadan today as well, fasting means I don't get to have my morning coffee which means that I spend my morning pretty much zombified. Not good! But hey! we get a much shorter working day!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I finally finished writing my "Determinants of Female Employment in the Government Sector in Egypt" paper, or whatever the title was. I don't care, and I am assuming no one else does.

Today we are exactly one month away from my 24th birthday, and I don't really know how I feel about that. Every single birthday I had ever since I turned twenty makes me feel like I am going through a quarter-life crisis. Don't ask, I really don't know why..

I guess it is because this is when I evaluate things, and see where I am at in my life and such. And it just highlights my tendency to forget that each one of us lives their lives at their own pace. Life in no race, if someone gets to where they are before you do, it is never a big deal. Because:
  1. You don't necessarily want to be where they are.
  2. You are not anyone else.
I have been thinking about what I want for my birthday and I realized I have had this obsession with vintage things for the longest time, and I have never really gotten anything vintage. I mean, I have worn my grandmother's clothes, but that's pretty much it.

I am in love with this dress! It's the perfect shade of blue. here
 I am in love. Here

That's all I have so far!

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I am having a very bad day. Or maybe I am not, I just took a nap and woke up in a really bad mood. I had spend the day in a workshop about some youth survey and its dataset and STATA. Yes, not a good day.

And then, I got an email which made my day basically. From my partner in the Happy Mail Project THANK YOU, Astrid.

Then, I started talking to my boyfriend about how I have made so many friends through this tiny space here. I have cried to some, I like to think I have helped some. I have some on BBM (more? email me, and we exchange pins!) I have received gifts from some. Like the great art Maria-Thérèse makes! The photos and WARMTH Shokoofeh's posts spread.

The doodles Missy used to post, and Micaela  and just..omg a lot of you girls!
And Hermia, and how great it was working on Diamond in the Rough

Randi and how Elle came into the world and the wedding, and Micaela's wedding, all of our breakups and new jobs and travels and friends. It is all so beautiful. And Farah! Oh how I am happy for Farah, congratulations, love! And how I felt bad when April did when her summer plans didn't work out.

And this lovely lady right here :)
And Anna! Who doesn't love Anna?

Also, Taylor, because I feel like I have known Taylor forever.

And Liz! I have missed Liz, and when she came to visit and how fun it was.
You are part of why I am happy and I just want you to know that. Always, and I'm not just saying that. I really do mean it.

I hope you are all having a great day :)

PS If you are not mentioned here doesn't mean you are not special, you know? This would include you lovely ladies: you, you, you, you and you!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm Alive!

Oh hello, new blogger!!

This is so weird! Has it been that long since I last posted?...yeah. I guess.

But since I am procrastinating and should be writing about the Egyptian labor market, and female participation in the labor force, particularly; why females are over-represented in the government and education sectors....I am going to write a blog post instead!

I found this on Missy's blog (Aren't you glad she's back? I AM!)

1. Mood: Bored, oh so bored, but happy - something happened today (I'll tell you all about that later, when I am ready to)

2. Wearing flip-flops to work: yea or nay?
3. Last outdoor concert you went to? A concert at the Azhar Park where the Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila was performing. I had a GREAT time.

4. I’m secretly terrified of…needles 
5. One day, I’d really like to have nothing to worry about.
6. I’d like to sing a duet with Regina Spektor.
7. Have you ever tried to hide a tattoo with makeup? No tattoos...
8. Things you say/sing to your pet all the time: And no pets..
9. Do like the taste of raw cookie batter? YES YES, OH YES!
10. Weekly goals: Finish my literature review and actually start writing my paper.

I think it's pretty neat, the new editor that we have here. 
I know this is pretty random but bear with me okay? You know the "Hey it's ok" section in Glamour? That's my favorite. And I wanted to do something similar on here, since my life is almost falling apart here.

So here it goes:

Hey, it's OK!

  1. To not shower after the gym (till the next day) because you just have no time
  2. To have eyebrows that look more like a mustache, because, again, you have not time.
  3. To not remember when the last time you weren't tired was.
  4. To have a cupcake for dinner.
  5. To lose count of the cups of coffee you have in a day.

Monday, July 4, 2011

On Being My Own Hero

I have depended on quite a few people in my life. And I have lost them all but a few.
I have lost people to death, to disappointment and, if I may say.

And this is when I taught myself how to be selfish.

My life and plans had always depended on a person or more, but they always revolved around someone that is not me. And then I finally realized that I should be the center of my life, and everything orbits around me. Because this is my life, and I have to make something out of it.

I have had a full time job for 17 months now, and I have slowly gained financial independence (that's not counting my grad school tuition fees that my parents pay..I know) And after a (not so) few heartbreaks, I learnt not to plan ahead, just to have a general, flexible outline, somehow.

So, inspired by mother*, who studied political science and literature and has worked as an English teacher for as long as I can remember (I like to think it was because I was born when she was a graduating senior), in my head, I decided the following:

  • If I am ever to get married, I want it to be by the time I am 26 (I, sometimes, believe I will die alone, a lot.)
  • I need to finish my PhD before I am 30.
  • I never want to live away from my family.
  • I want to make a change, and do something for my country.
I don't know when and why - let alone how - that list happened, given that the numbers are somehow random. There's a but. There's always a but! I hate buts..

But...things change. And it just makes me lose faith in planning altogether, because I don't believe in near-future-planning, this list is my idea of planning. And even that doesn't seem to work out.

So when I decide that my world revolves around me, and that I am my own hero, something(one) happens and changes everything. I don't know how I feel about that.

Will my life ever be truly mine?

In one month and 22 days, I turn 24 and it is scaring the life out of me. Twenty-four, TWO years away from target age I and SIX years away from target age II. Will I make it? Am I going to?

July is always a scary, scary month.

*My mother got married when she was 20, I was born when she was 22 and she graduated a semester late because

Monday, June 20, 2011

End Sexual Harassment (for a better Egypt)

I was walking down a Cairo street, like I usually do, trying to reach my destination.
I try to control my anger, I try to hold back the tears.
Like I usually do.

I try to block the words they say and the looks they give...the sounds they make..
Like they usually do.

"I want to have my penis inside you"
"Look at that ass"
"You have such luscious boobs/lips"

And the dirty, dirty looks on their dirty, dirty looking faces and they make me want to slap them. But I keep the rage within me.
Like I usually do.

I want to complain, I want to explain to people how demeaning and degrading that feels, how it generates so much negative energy within me. Such disdain.

It makes me forget all the good things I know about myself, that I am a smart young woman, that I am a respectable and respected young woman. That I am a lot better than those sleazy men. And if anything, yes, I should look down on them rather than be objectified by them.

I was driving back home, with my cousin, again, like I usually do. It's one of the narrower streets, barely two lanes wide.

Him and his friend decide it would be fun if they drive next to us in their big SUV and swerve their car closer to ours on the small street. I try not to panic, and not to look to my right. I turn the music up so I don't hear what they're saying; infuriating. They've been following us for a while, and I sense it's becoming more dangerous.

I change routes and they're still following us.
I enter my grandmother's building's garage. Stay in there for a while, as I cautiously make my way out, they were gone.

I am lucky. To have never been touched by such sordid beings, to have never had an encounter per se and for that I am thankful. But this doesn't mean it has never happened, because it has. It has happened and it has happened a lot. All forms of sexual harassment, even veiled girls get harassed. (so it's never about what you were wearing) and it happens all day (it's not about you staying out late)

I don't know why it happens, but I know that it should end.
I should be able to walk down the street knowing that I am worth much, much more than to be objectified, and than to be forced to bear with it because if I take it to the police station, I will get harassed, again, by the police officer.   

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Guardian Angels

I believe in guardian angels. Or maybe just guardian beings.

Or in simpler terms, I believe that some people are sent your way to protect you, or are there at this specific moment in time to save you. When I first met my boyfriend, my car had broke down as I was just about to enter a parking lot, and it turns out his driver was around. And no, that's not what I mean by people being there to save you.

Yesterday, I was driving back from Sokhna with both my sisters and my cousin with me in the car, we had convinced my father to let us spend the night as he went home with my brother and my (other) cousin's son.
We had just left the gas station without checking the tires and it wasn't long before I lost control of the car and  it just kept swerving on the highway (my sister thought I was playing) thank god I didn't break which I heard makes it worse.

The boyfriend was there. He had gone to Sokhna with his friends and we had planned to go back to Cairo, have lunch and then he goes home to study. But with a flat tire, four girls and no spare tire (in sight) he was our only hope.

A few phone calls later, he managed to fix the spare tire in place, we drove back to the gas station, they supposedly fixed my main tire, installed it and we were on our way again.

A bit less than fifteen minutes later, the same thing happened again, this time boyfriend installed the spare tire and we had to drive all the way back at a speed of 80 km/h and it took so long. Sokhna is an hour away, it took us 5 hours to get to Cairo yesterday.

I believe he was there to help us. And save us from all the harassment that could have happened yesterday. (four girls asking for help on a highway is not the best of ideas) He was there for a reason yesterday, and I don't know what could have happened had he not been there. I really don't, and I don't want to begin to imagine.

We could have gotten into a serious accident, all of us. We're safe and that is all that matters, right? 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Update (Finally)

I'd be lying if I said I have a lot of things to do and that I have been too busy to blog. Because, the truth is, I am just waiting for my grades to come out. I have been trying to catch up with things that classes have kept me from doing. And today, my grades are out and I did okay (I did well, I guess, I just never like to admit it)

Things like...seeing my best friend. Going to the writing workshop I am part of, or just spending time with my brother. And remember how I used to complain about not having any work to do? Yeah, I don't even get the chance to leave my desk anymore. It feels so good! It feels so good leaving work and people telling me you look tired, and me replying "uh, it's work" instead of "you look depressed" and I used to say "I hate my job"

I don't know if I am happy about that.

I am finding it really hard to believe that it is June already when January feels like yesterday- it really does. I remember January very clearly, even more so the echoing of hundreds or thousands of voices as the square shook with anger. It was like yesterday.

I remember getting an iPod for Valentine's day (because how can I forget that?) and it was our first Valentine's! Then the months all blend together, I don't really remember what happened in March, or April, or May. I mean, nothing that makes the months stand out.
I feel like I am forgetting things that are important (ones that have happened in March, or April, or May) and that I am making a big mistake saying they were not so important months. But hey, it's okay!

I guess.

I had a brilliant, brilliant weekend and for that I am thankful. It really was a beautiful weekend filled with smiles and good food (the best things in life, more or less.)
I love the summer, it's just a very festive season with everyone getting married and engaged and myself having to dress up; something I don't get to do as often as I would like, but I actually get to go to the hair dresser's to do my hair and maybe even dye my hair (tons of grey) I get to wear makeup (and not just kohl) and buy dresses (also one of the best things in life)

This weekend I have an engagement outing and a Katb ketab (pre-wedding contract signing...or something along the lines of) to attend, and next Thursday, a wedding! I am so excited!

Friday, May 20, 2011


1.   People always tell me I look like       my brother, who is but a 10 year old boy version of me.. my boyfriend's sister thinks I look like Alyssa Milano  .

2.  Friends don't let friends    down  .

3.  A sunny day is perfect for     going for a coffee outdoors and taking walks and enjoying the sun   .

4.  My favorite accessory is   jade necklace boyfriend got me 10 days into our relationship and my silver rings  .

5.  If I could afford it I would     buy an iPad and travel to Amsterdam, Beirut and Paris this summer  .

6.  The cure for boredom is       Tumblr and Pinterest   .

7.  I am currently "in like" with      the gym, good music and finally(!!!!) work  . 

I have at least missed reading the questions and Lauren's answers last week! So I had to do the Friday fill-ins this week! I hope everyone has a great weekend, the weather is perfect here in Cairo. So I am sending you some of that if you are less fortunate weather-wise.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Two posts!!
(Yeah, I can't believe it either)
(can you tell that I am really, really bored?)

But hey, I think everyone should be a part of these:

April's Pampered Swap Deadline to sign up: June 1st, 2011

Gracie's Happy Mail project, which is a snail mail group, and I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but I love snail mail.

Random much?

I want to travel the world and take pictures in tiny bookstores. Tiny bookstores that have all the books you could ever dream of having- vintage copies with notes written in them.

I want to take pictures of bookstore fronts. With my bicycle parked outside, because I live in a city where it is impossible for a girl to ride a bicycle on the street (you'd get sleazy men verbally harassing you)

I tried writing 2 posts over the past (almost) two weeks, but it felt like I was forcing myself to and I hate doing that. Remember how I was complaining about work and finding no work to do whatsoever? Well, we have a new senior boss and I got to work my (not so little) butt off.

I went back to working out as well, I try to work out 5 days a week, I intend on going back to 7 days a week when the semester ends since my workout has been "upgraded" and it feels so good.

The past four short paragraphs all started with an I, does this imply that I am self-centered? Tell you the truth, I kind of am. As much as I would like to think that I am a selfless person, this is not always the case, I have learnt that some matters you need to be selfish about; for your own good.

And that was a very random post brought to you by a very bored government employee trying to waste the last 30 minutes of the work week.

Also, don't forget to smile, it's what keeps you young at heart.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Music and Haikus

I don't remember when it was that I first tried writing haikus. But I remember that it was during one of the summers I had spent in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. But, I know that I want to start writing hiakus again, and I want to be good at it.
I wrote this today, and I don't know if it counts as a haiku:

Light breeze in my hair,
You smile, as lightly I twirl.
You become the sun.

Does it? Well, it was inspired by a tweet I had written the other day that said "twirl me and I shall forever make you my sun"
Yes, twirl me and I shall forever make you my sun. And that tweet was inspired by something that happened earlier this week, or the week before;
Boyfriend and I were walking and there was this beautiful breeze and he twirled me. I smiled, I smiled as I realized how much I love him. 
I know this sounds cheesy, know? And by forever making him my sun, I don't mean that my world shall revolve around him, I mean that he's an integral part of my universe, a place where we both belong as we both exist as two separate entities- not losing the sense of who we are. And now that I thought about it, a star and a planet, because that's what we are; very different. 
It's been a great weekend. Yesterday, the lovely Hany Mustafa performed and oh does he have a heavenly voice! This song I can listen to over, and over again:

Here's a song from last night. And tonight, I am going to see Mashrou' Leila.
I haven't done that in a while and I am glad that I get to enjoy great music even though it's a very, very busy weekend.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I have had it with clouds and to-do lists. I have had it with the negativity that surrounds me, of being left behind. Of feeling like I have to go the extra mile, or make the call first, or drive to wherever everyone is, why is it that I have to call and not be the one who gets called? Why is it that I have to be the one to go to places?

I am not being snobbish or anything, I just want to stay still.

I want to stay here. To sit still and not move and have everything around me move; and I watch. I observe. And see all the details, the look that lasted one second too long. The touch that lingers for that extra split second. The moment your coffee goes cold, the fraction of a centimeter my brother grows everyday. The one extra grey hair I get, or my sister, or my mother, or my father.

I want to watch it all happen, and take note of it all, and write it all down.

12:01 pm: I make coffee.
(I leave it on the table for too long while I do things that might or might not matter)
12:15:39 pm: my coffee is on the cold side of warm.
(There's a breeze, a beautiful breeze that is on the chilly side of warm, the sun is a bit muted outside. And the highway to the beach is crowded; long weekend)

I want to live and experience the exact moment when the sea starts crawling backwards, and the moment it decides to come closer. I want to know what my skin thinks when it first touches the Red Sea after a long winter. It was a long winter. One during which I have yearned for the sea so many times, but never went. I finally went to say hi, even though it wasn't warm enough, I went in. Oh how I'd missed it.

I would do anything if only I knew I mattered. But do I?
Maybe not.
Maybe I only matter to myself.
And maybe that's all that matters, all that will ever matter.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yes, the royal wedding.

I am probably the only one I personally know that is excited about the royal wedding. But, I have to be honest; I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THE ROYAL WEDDING.

I am obsessing. I really am.
I want to know who designed the dress, and how the dress would look like, I want to know what shoes she'll wear and how her hair is going to be done. And so on.

I have been reading all about royal wedding etiquette and have been looking at tiaras and family trees.. Did you know that Kate Middleton is the first royal bride in over 350 years to not belong to a royal/aristocratic family?

I feel bad for her though, she has to measure up to Lady Diana's sense of fashion when- from what I have seen- she's not one to take risks or make fashion statements. Everything about her is....simple.

Do you think Prince William would want to be Duke? Will Miss Kate be Duchess or Princess Kate?

Is anyone planning anything special for the wedding? Fascinators? tea? pretty dresses?

Monday, April 18, 2011

(Let me tell you about my)* boyfriend

I think the first thing I remember my now boyfriend say - or talk about, was a story of Kasr El-Ainy hospital where he is an intern.
(First thing I remember telling him was ask how old he was, or what his surname was.) Yes, I do ask pretty awkward questions that might initially seem out of context, but my brain works in different way and there us always a reason behind why I asked what his surname was when he was saying how he was going to New York the following month for comicon.

(I did just write comicon)

He went, and we were boyfriend-girlfriend by the time he went.

So anyway, my boyfriend now blogs about the stories! One night he called, and told me about this girl and how she was following him and the first thing I asked was "Can everyone else see her?" I honestly thought she was a ghost

I just thought I would share.
Well, you know...because I love him and stuff. Even though he plays games and watches shows and reads "graphic novels", I love him for giving up some of his geek-time (or a lot, rather) and spending it with me instead.

On a non-boyfriend note, I am sick and it's really hot outside, the weather sucks, I kind of hate Egyptian Springs. Or maybe just Cairene springs. On a non-boyfriend note as well, I am almost done with yet another semester. (and I hurt my knee)
And now I am off to check my reader (finally) and nurture my Pinterest obsession..

*I miss Hermia!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I have no idea what to write but I feel the need to update my blog, so expect the most random of all things to read!

I realized, lately, that spontaneity is not always a good thing, because at one point in time, I felt lost. I am the kind of person who never has a plan, only broad lines I operate within, themes, maybe but never a specific, detailed plan, because things never go as planned.
But then something happened, and I was asked what my plan was, and I didn't know, and it was such a weird experience, to not know where you want to be or what you want to do.

I mean, I know I want to do my PhD after I am done with my master's, but that is only one dimension of my life. I don't know where I want to work, or what I want to be doing, after I leave here that is, which is going to be the first thing I do after I am done with my master's.

I want to write research papers but I don't know what I want to research.
I want to write a book. I want to cook again.

And by a camera and teach myself how to take pictures.

I want to spend time with Menna.
I want to travel and laugh and discover music. I want to spend all the time I can with my boyfriend.

And my family, who definitely don't come last on my list but, sometimes, it seems like they do. But that's not true.

So many things and I obviously don't have the time do everything I want, let alone the resources - the most important of which is the plan. I need to start planning, I need to go back to writing lists. But then, they would be lists of general themes, and I would only be very specific about certain things.

Because I need to feel human at the end of the day, and not mechanically shift from one goal to the other, or from one failed plan to another in hopes it would work out.

That wasn't so random, was it?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Debate about Egypt being an Islamic State

Today at work, a colleague asked if I wanted Egypt to be a secular state, I initially said yes, for the sake of shocking her...for she is a very sheltered, strict Muslim - which I have nothing against.

What I want is a civil state in Egypt, one where your religion is not stated on your national ID, since it's of no use, we need blood types and not religions in case of emergencies.

She said she was too scared Egypt would turn into another Sudan.
I argued that what happened in Sudan, the civil war and the division of Sudan into two states was solely due to Omar El-Bashir, now president of Northern Sudan insisting on Sudan being an Islamic state while in fact there is a huge portion of the population belonging to other religions and cultures, he forced the people to use the Arabic language and he mainly acted like it was an Arab colony on African land.
What happened in Sudan happened because of Sharia law being enforced on people. Limiting their freedom of choice and expression, which in turn lead to exclusion of people who were still essentially Sudanese.

She said Hijab (the veil) should be enforced by law.
I said do you mean that - me being a Muslim- my not being veiled I am less of a Muslim than you are? She said I asked what her point was. She said that Egypt's Muslim conquest, lead by Amr ibn el Ass, transformed Egypt, automatically, into an Islamic state and it remained an Islamic state and that's how things should be. Because if "they" live in my country, they should follow my rules. I simply said, this is not your country, this is the Egyptians' country. We are a multi-cultural country and you should not enforce your culture on other people.
When Amr Ibn el Ass came to Egypt he never forced women to do anything, he never enforced his own culture on the Egyptians who were free to practice their religion and just live their lives normally. They were, however, taxed and now we are all taxed so that is not a point to be made. I told her that had the Islamic conquest happened today, no one would ever dare force me to cover my hair.

She said that "Cabarets" - by which she probably meant night clubs in general and alcohol should be prohibited.
I said then how are you supposed to control consumption and serving of alcohol? Such permits are merely means of regulation, and it is your choice to not go to "such places", however, some people choose to and they have every right to have the choice. And her argument was that my religion doesn't allow it, I told her some people aren't religious and some people's religions and cultures allow for it. I gave the example of the Netherlands and them allowing the consumption of hash and weed to control consumption, and how they are illegally dealt with and smuggled here in Egypt and if you do the same with alcohol you will have an even bigger problem.

She said that Egypt should be an Islamic state.
I said how do you trust someone else to decide for you means of practicing your religion and your just basic habitual things. How do you trust someone to represent such a personal thing as religion and rule you and your country accordingly. I said that under the Ottoman empire which was more or less and Islamic empire, prostitution was licenced and accordingly allowed. (correct me if I am wrong) and that as a Kingdom - starting 1922 - prostitution was still allowed and that was a means of regulation, merely. I asked her to explain how that fits within an Islamic context, and how that just highlights, even more, the need for separation of the state and religion. Mixing them would only mean limiting liberties and freedoms as well as tainting religion.
I said that enforcing a certain ideology would only lead to corruption, frustration and just plain chaos. She decided to use Saudi Arabia as an example and this is when I almost exploded saying that in KSA the veil is part of their culture and they don't do it for religious purposed, and that the whole underground culture can prove that, I said that the mixing of the state and religion has only lead to the jading of Islam to many Saudi Arabians.

And that was basically it. My point is that even for the people who believe that religion should be incorporated withing the state, this has never happened in Islam, and when it did, things went bad (Ask someone who was raised in Saudi and knows more about later caliphs)

A civil state is how things should be, it is how all rights are preserved and all freedoms are practiced. Or so I think.