Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Home Again

photo taken by my dear friend, Sara, from Ramblings of a Restless Mind


Yesterday (night) I stood in a window on the twenty-seventh floor of a building in Zamalek. I stood there and I could see the city lights, I could see the Nile wearing the city lights with such pride. As if it was trying to tell the few people who ever get to look at it with appreciation; " I can't believe it either, look how much this place has gone through, and yet we both survived."

Yet we both survived. We always survive, that is what is so special about Cairo. Cairo has survived layers of history, and with each layer, naturally, her skin became thicker and thicker...and she became temperamental.

My love for this city goes beyond reason. I love its traffic, it's noise, it's smog...I love the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, I love the Nile, the old buildings and the ugly new ones.
I love the duality of it all; how huge capitalistic buildings hide the informal settlements behind them, how walls hide the most interesting stories behind them. I love that even though it's a huge city, and even if you live in a huge apartment building, you will still find someone there for you when you are in need.

It's a city where you are never alone. It was only yesterday that I realised that my love for this city goes beyond its beauty - which is not apparent if you don't look for it. You need to look for it, you need to look around you with curious eyes...My love for this city goes beyond it, and I only realised it when I said "because Cairo is home."

Cairo is home. 

I found home! It has been there all along, and I was just too timid and stubborn to admit it.                                             

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Guest Posting!


GUEST POST ALERT!

The wonderful, wonderful Taylor of Anticipation asked me to guest post for her blog. I cannot begin to explain how happy and honored that made me feel. Taylor is a lovely person!
Spending almost in a week in Alexandria inspired me to write this.
Thank you so much Taylor!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lately: The CC

So a group of talented Egyptians started a tumblr that is quite similar to and of course inspired by Thought Catalog. I am part of this group (even though I am not sure if I would go as far as calling myself talented, and I am sure I am not fishing for compliments!) and I would really appreciate it if you check it and let me know what you think!


And that, in addition to work, work and more work, is what I have been up to lately. Oh and this: 
I really like this photo of me for some reason

Thursday, November 1, 2012

NaBloPoMo: My Favourite Quote


NaBloPoMo November 2012
 
I am taking part in NaBloPoMo! I figured this would be a great way for me to update the blog more regularly!

Liz was the one to introduce me to Beat Generation, needless to say, I instantly fell in love!
My favourite quote is one by Jack Kerouac, I am sure a lot people LOVE this quote. I can relate to it in so many ways;

 But then they danced down the street like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because 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!"   
via here

The only people for me are the mad ones, really. My friends are quite the weird ones, to be honest. I would love for everyone to share their favourite quote with me! Please do!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Showing off: Egypt


I once wrote a post that was basically showing off Cairo. Beautiful, beautiful Cairo. Today, years and one revolution later, I would like to show more pictures of the city, but not only that - but pictures I took around Egypt. I have been visiting a few Delta governorates quite often lately, and some of them have absolutely breath-taking views!

Alexandria, Egypt

The Nile, Sharqiyah
Apart from the views, the Delta governorates have entire villages that work in the same economic activity pretty much; one village makes carpets, the other makes crates from palm leaf midribs, and so on.

Carpet making, Fowwa, Sharqiyah
And someone was getting married when I was visiting Menoufiya yesterday. I love how different weddings look in the countryside.

As much as I complain about my job, I love it, deep down. I am learning a lot! It's just that I miss my friends. And I miss this little man; if you have been reading my blog for a while, and if you still are, then you'll notice how much my little brother has grown, and it's a bit weird, but it doesn't make me love him any less!


PS the pictures here are no longer working, I think I might have accidentally deleted the album, a lot of photos are actually broken on my blog and I have no idea how to fix it. Speaking of Bikya, here's a photo of their beautiful wall(paper) (Maadi branch)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Friday Blanks on a Saturday

I had a very depressing post that I didn't want to put on here. So here are some blanks (from Lauren)




1.  My favorite flower is    Plumeria/Frangipanis, we call them "Indian Jasmines" in Egypt  .

2.  You should never talk about  Egypt negatively, if you are a foreigner who lives here..I know there is a lot to complain about, but please look at the positive things that are common in the country I call home, and pretty much absent from a lot of other "developed" countries (I know, I am just sick of it)  .

3.  My favorite discovery as of late is   this really cheap (and really good) salad from a local restaurant in Zamalek  .

4. This fall you will probably find me wearing     my hair with lots of split-ends, gray-blue kohl and colourful shoes (as usual) .

5. I wish I were  traveling.

6. My favorite TV show currently is   New Girl, of course  .


7.  This weekend I want to  make the weekend not end, somehow  .

Friday, August 24, 2012

Birthday Musings: Part II: On Existing in Parentheses

My previous post had the title "Birthday Musings: Part I" and this means I need to write, at least, a part II. So here I am, trying to find something to write. You see, I am not the person who schedules posts, this is not a chore for me, this is not my job. I write a blog for the sake of writing a blog...I also write a blog because I have met so many great people through blogging.

It has changed me somehow, and it was part of my "growing up" process.


I don't mean to sound like a hippie when I say that I don't like the term "growing up." To me, ultimately, a person should grow in all possible directions, and "growing up" implies restricting the growth process upwards. Yes, "up" does imply an elevation, but that in itself limits you to the notion that you are only better if you are higher up - which I refuse to believe is always the case.

Wanting to grow in all the different direction has, however, acted as a distraction - it has distracted me from growing up altogether, I am afraid. (I do have a fear of growing up) I tend to forget that there is a huge difference between growing up and growing old. There is nothing wrong with both, mind you; you can grow old while preserving the lightness of being young.

That, in itself, is a huge misconception, I have come to realise. Being young can, in so many ways, be burdensome - I have for the most part felt burdened by the need to stay young. The fear has weighed me down and it has stopped me from realising so many things that I have grown to associate with being a "grown up"

I have, as a result, developed the tendency to exist in parentheses.

I am about to turn a certain age, yet, in parentheses, I maintain the attention span of a five year old, I think of so many things and say them, write them, think them in parentheses; the result? I rarely ever do anything about them. I believe it is because I associated being young with being a dreamer and not a doer. People who do things are grown-ups, that's why it is always "when I grow up, I'll do this and that"

But I am a grown up!

The point is: my obsession with growing up has stopped me from doing so many things, it has acted as an obstacle rather than a drive for me to do things. My parallel existence (in parentheses) did not really nurture my actual existence. Being a dreamer - a daydreamer is one thing, and actually realising those dreams is not another thing - they go together.

(I will continue to use parentheses, and articulate thoughts within them. I just realised that what lies within them still exists, it is still there, it's still being thought, and said, and written. And, that shouldn't stop them from being done.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Rolling Stone Middle East: Street to Stage

I have such talented friends, it's beautiful!

I mentioned here that my sister's best friend was on the Egyptian synchronised swimming team, the same team that is the 7th best synchronised swimming team in the world (because they beat Australia) I consider her family, and this means that we have an Olympic athlete in the family!

I have also mentioned Adam's music here before. And now I have a teeny favour to ask you:

I know this is not proper photo crediting but: here

Here's a post I borrowed from his Facebook page:

"Here's an update worth reading! I've been selected as one of Rolling Stone Middle East's 15 finalists in their "Street to Stage" competition. If I get through to the next couple of rounds, I get to play in Hard Rock Cafe Dubai. All I need from you guys is some voting and sharing. 

http://rollingstoneme.com/sts/index.php/rs_profiles/adam-awad/

Simply make an account (it takes about a minute) and click vote. Try to remember your username and password, if I get through to the next round you can vote for me again ;)"

Now all I need you to do is:
  1. Click on the link  here
  2. Create and account
  3. Vote!
Let me know when you've voted, it would make a really nice birthday gift!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Birthday Musings: Part I

here - such a beautiful photo

I've been having very/somehow insightful conversations with people lately, and that has helped me see things more clearly. It has also helped me see how I have changed over the past year, maybe.
Over the past few years, I have become more of a cynic; one of the traits I fear the most. It's one of the main reasons why I don't want to grow up; because grown-ups are cynical, they don't dream, they don't believe in love and they don't smile often enough.

I want to always be remembered as the girl who smiles (a lot) [even though, at times, I am remembered for my very loud laugh when I can no longer control it]

I still do believe in love, but mushiness makes me cringe. I still dream, but the first thing I do when I think of ways I can pursue a dream is think of the obstacles. I am working on that. I promise.

(Speaking of dreams, I finally traveled to London.)

I do a lot of thinking, but I only do it in retrospect - you see, my mind is not the best of minds, my mind is- in fact- a rather dark place, and I don't really like it. It thinks of negative things first. Where my gut feeling comes from, however, is a beautiful place, a place where eyes glitter and faces light up - or where tears originate. My gut feeling is what I base most my decisions on, my life, in turn, is based on a little voice inside my head that tells me when things feel right; I'd rather call it instinct and not impulse. (it is largely impulsive, I must admit) It might make me seem reckless and immature at times, it might leave me with unhealthy levels of guilt and burden and heavy-hearted-ness at others...but mostly, it has helped me come to terms with who I am.
(I am a bit immature for my age.)

I am, most of the time, at peace with myself. I admit that I have been mean to people, unfair to others, I have been a bad girlfriend, a bad friend, a bad daughter and a bad sister. I do make sure that apologise for it though, if not face to face, I do it here.

I think hugs can make everything better, but I don't take that for granted. I also know that there are a few people (not so few) whose hugs can make me feel better, and I am sure those people know it. I make it known for them - at least I try. And these people have all changed my life in one way or another. They have have uninhibited parts of me that I didn't even know exist, that I never realised I had kept dormant...they have, in other words, freed me.

These are my musings as of late, my birthday musings, if I may say. Two days after my birthday, it's Sara's birthday make sure you check her pre-birthday posts that include this one here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Flow

Again,

I write a post, and half way through, I feel like I don't want to post it.


I have great news though: My sister's best friend is now in London, part of the Egyptian delegation to the Olympics. She's on the synchronised swimming team, I cannot begin to explain how proud I am of her. It has been her dream for so long, and she has gone through a lot to make it come true. 

Now all that she needs to do is bring a medal back with her.

I miss my best friend (who is in New York)

I am still suffering a serious case of wanderlust. 

I think I am beginning to write again, I love it. I haven't read what I have written so far, mind you, but I'd missed the feeling of having words come out, of having them flow...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

25 Before 25


I've been trying to compile lists and goals, I've been trying to think of things I want to do before I turn (the much dreaded) twenty-five.

But then I thought; why? Why am I trying to stress myself out over something I am already freaking out about? Why am I freaking out about a number that I am turning. An age-tag. Just a tag, and a tag should never define you. It should never tell you how to live your life and what to do with it.

Society has created those boundaries and limits for us to not think beyond, it had defined for us ways and routes that we need to take, and I am not going to be confined to that. I am not going to think that I am now at an age were you should be doing this and this and that. Because I am not.

There is no such thing as should. Also, there is definitely no such thing as "should have."

And this is all easier said, and thought than done. I am the perfect example, I am proof.

But I have decided one thing that I should do before I turn 25. I have decided to relax, to sit back and let things happen to me. Uncertainty is not such a bad thing after all. It's okay.

I am not going to prepare a list of things, my goal is actually to not prepare anything, I am going to not just want, I am going to do.

I've developed a habit of thinking about things, thinking and hoping and wishing for them to happen, so much that I have forgotten to do things that would make things happen.

I was all about thoughts and no action.

If there is one rule that I want to live by this year, it would be: Do more, think less.

PS I turn 25 in around 6 weeks.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

On Traveling

I think I have around ten drafts on here, all very incomplete thoughts. But oh well. Maybe I should aim for shorter posts and that would make it easier to write. I miss writing. I also miss reading. But I can't buy more books, I am trying to save some money, by some I mean a lot of money.

I need to travel. And I need to do it now. Well, not literally, but sooner rather than later. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and I have this growing fear of not being able to do it if I keep putting it off.

I shall travel while I am still young, I don't know how I reached that conclusion, but I know I did.



Doesn't this song make you want to pack your bags and get on the first flight out of here (regardless of where here is)

It makes me want to leave everything behind, especially on a bad day at work, and just find a new life in a new place where no one knows me, where I can just be myself with no boundaries. or restrictions. (You should also listen to Adam's other two songs and check his facebook page.)

I love how this post has turned into a post to promote a friend's music. So I am, of course, biased. But let me tell you that I have liked Adam's songs before I became friends with him, he was just someone I get to see around and I happened to really like his music.

Anyway, here's a list of places I really want to go to:

1. Paris, so I could go to Shakespeare and co.
2. Morocco, so I can go to a place where we both speak Arabic and I wouldn't get a single word they say.
3. London. I don't think anyone really needs a reason to want to go to London, really. I also really want to go to Bristol. And Bath.
4. New York for new year's, because I want to be in Times Square for the countdown.
6. Prague, so I can read Kafka and Kundera there.
7. Bruge, because it's so cute!
8. Tashkent, Uzbekistan (because of Shokoofeh's posts)
9. Iran (because of Shokoofeh mainly!)
10.  M├ílaga, PLEASE!
11. Any country where I can see the Northern Lights.
12. Sudan
13. South Africa
14. Turkey

The list goes on, really.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

When words fail me

I can't find words. I don't know what happened. I want to travel though. I think I need it


Monday, June 25, 2012

Ramblings of a restless mind: I am that which I hate

Ramblings of a restless mind: I am that which I hate: When the same issues arise - whether with a large time gap between them or not - one begins to wonder if we, ourselves, help them be what ...

I love this. I should be back sometime. There are a lot of things that I need to figure out. Sara made so much sense, I had to share this.

Monday, May 21, 2012

400

I reached 400 followers!

This is so beautiful!

I, however, have been feeling uninspired lately. Here's something that's helped, and could help you, too.
Make sure you check the link, it's a beautiful flickr set.

Monday, May 7, 2012

What my Twenties Have Taught Me (So Far)

As seen on: Fairytales are True

I am turning twenty-five in a few months (in August) and I can't believe it to be honest. But here's a list of things I have learnt so far!

  • Yes, we are still so young. People who choose to get married and have children now do so because they want to, not because they have to. And I respect their choice.

  • You don't have to dye your hair in order to hide grey hair, you can get highlights/low lights; grey hair would blend in (not so) perfectly. It keeps my hair relatively healthier compared to when I dye it.

  • That I can work and do my masters and graduate with high honors (granted, my job at the time wasn't so demanding) but I did it nonetheless, and I am proud of myself.

  • Little brothers and sisters grow up so fast. Make time for them, because they do grow quickly, without you noticing. (I started doing so recently as I started noticing my almost 11 year old brother is as tall as I am, I also found out his shoes now fit me.)

  • Whether or not they express it, your parents are proud of you. The arguments happen only because they miss their little baby. (You will always be their little baby) I live with my parents, and they sometimes find it hard to accept that I now have a life of my own. My dad even got offended once when I said I buy everything for myself (and don't really need any money from him)

  • Only go to weddings you don't want to miss. Not every wedding you are invited to would matter. There will come a time when everyone you know is getting married (now) - ONLY attend the weddings of those you truly care about. Because, I don't want to buy new dresses and I also don't want to feel burdened during someone's wedding when this is their big day, you know? I don't want to be the source of negative energy.

  • Jump on the bed. Just like you used to 20 years ago. It always makes me feel so fresh and carefree.

  • Listen to your grandmother's story(s), the million times she tells it (them). I do it with a smile on my face. (as I text the boyfriend to complain when I get bored)

  • Good friends last. I still talk to friends I made in middle school, and maybe two out of the ones I made during my undergraduate years. I made GREAT friends at my old job, and those are people I truly care for and miss so much. Then there are the friends you just find. These should last you a long while.

  • Avoiding the mall altogether is the best way to save money. I now only go shopping when I need something. Window shopping never works for me, I always end up buying things that I don't necessarily need.

  • If you are going to pay money for a service, it has to be good. Don't accept something that is sub-par when you are paying for it. Accepting something that is not up to par is a waste of money you will miss by the end of the month.

  • It is perfectly normal, and advisable even, to totally freak out when you realise you have been in your comfort zone for too long. Step outside your comfort zone, it's the only way for people to grow. When I realised I stopped learning at my old job, it started to get me depressed, I would leave the office everyday feeling down, after the revolution, it was impossible for someone to find a job, I started applying to different jobs, and resigned before I was sure I was going to find one. It was a risk that I took, and I am so thankful I did.

  • Always have a pen and paper with you. Nothing beats pen and paper.

  • Women really do mature before men, or at least more quickly. I don't know why or how, I don't know if this is sexist of me to say. But, it is mostly true. And I am beginning to notice it more and more now. A twenty-four year old woman is mostly more mature than a twenty-four year old man.

  • The older I am, the younger everyone else looks. (they are a bit annoying, too) I hope to God I wasn't half as annoying as I find 16-18 year olds today.

  • Hanging out with a young crowd every now and then is great! Not the annoying ones. The talented ones who inspire you, who make you have faith in "that generation" (I just made myself sound SO old) but you know what I mean, right? I am thankful to have found that group of people who give me hope and faith in humanity, who just remind me that age is just a number, essentially.
  • Sometimes, it is better to think before you speak, spontaneity isn't always a good thing. ESPECIALLY during an argument, when I am PMSing and when I am really, really angry. My dad (only recently) taught me that the more you care about someone, the more you need to think about what you are about to say. (I don't necessarily agree, but I shall try)

  • It is time for you to give up on a relationship - or give up in general -  when you find yourself asking "why am I doing this to myself?"

  • Never, EVER, tell anyone you hate them. Hate is a big, bad, hurtful word. It's a consuming feeling - never hate anyone. You can dislike people, just don't hate them. When my sister and I were little kids, we argued and each ended up telling the other that she hates her, my mum put us in her car and drove halfway to my paternal grandmother's house (an hour away) saying "I will not accept or submit to having children who use the word "hate"..." I think that was around 18-20 years ago, and I still remember it very clearly. We ended up aplogizing and my mum took us home, my sister and I are closer than we realise now (I have two sisters and a brother, this story is about my sister who is 18 months younger than I am) I cheated a bit, this one here is something I learnt before twenty, but have come to appreciate even more in my twenties.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Making Memories out of Pain

The past will always be with you, no matter how hard you try to let it go, it shall forever remain with you. Yet, one is free to choose - to decide - how they want that companion, the past, to be like.

Your past can be your memories..
(sweet nostalgia)

Your past can be your pain..
(a heavy heart)

I am not trying to tell you what to do, I am only trying to tell you what I have done. Maybe I was right, but maybe I wasn't. (which is usually the case)

Life has been good to me, but I only think so because I want to. A lot of people might have hated their lives by now had they been in my shoes, but life threw my way one learning experience after the other, and I accepted the challenge to learn.

And so it was.

Taken by me. Instragram username: Kikiesque

I have ruined so many good things in my life, but that has only taught me that you don't realize how good/bad something/someone is/was for you unless you spend some time with your own self.

I learnt that change is never a bad thing, that being in your comfort zone for too long is never good for you. I have learnt that being selfish at times doesn't have to always be perceived negatively.

I hurt a person, a lot, repeatedly, in so many different ways, I also did some not-so-responsible things.
I did some things that only felt good at the time, knowing that, most likely, no good will come out of them. But these things made me happy. They made me smile, and yes, I did go through a bit of trouble afterwards, but I would never regret doing any of these things.

I now remember every single memory with a smile. (and a bit of thought)

This, this right here, is the difference between memories you have made peace with, and residual pain; pain left over from a past you still haven't made peace with..

I regard those memories as unfinished stories that would have taken me on a totally different path in life, and I wonder about the person I would have been and where that person would be. That does not mean I am not happy where I am now, today...here, because I am! But it helps strengthen the realization, it makes it more concrete, when I think of the alternatives and realize I wouldn't prefer any; I like it where I am.

I hope everyone could reach that. I hope you are where you want to be, because you are definitely where you are meant to be.
(I hope everyone is in a constant state of learning, and I hope that everyone steps away from their comfort zone every once in a while. It's good for you.)

One day, I will write those unfinished stories, and one day, I shall finish them on paper not knowing how far from reality my musings are. No one will ever know, and that's the beauty of it all.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Birthday Wishes

I just wanted to wish a very special person a happy birthday.


Happy Birthday, Taylor!


Taylor, thank you for being ever so inspiring. Thank you for being such a colorful person. Have a great, great birthday!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April Wedding #1

One of the closest people to me got married on Sunday. I cannot begin to describe how it feels. It is one thing to attend a friend's wedding, it is another thing to attend a cousin's wedding...but it is entirely and totally different to attend a (very) dear person/cousin's wedding.


Her dress was beautiful! (I helped her get dressed)

I mean, I hadn't even realized it. This is someone I share so many memories with. And her wedding was another big, shiny memory that I have managed to add to a long list of fun-filled memories.

(Well, apart from the fact that I felt all grown up, and that I was too busy helping her out that I forgot to wear mascara, and the possibility of a scar that I have on my right foot for having had my leg stuck on a step)

I wrote all that which I have written between parentheses with a smile on my face.


PS. I, like most other android users, now have instagram! My username is kikiesque, let's be friends?
PPS I have three more weddings to attend this month, hence, the title.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Who are You?

I don't think I recognize the person I have become. I don't know who I am anymore.
I have been sick in bed for the past 4 days. Ever since I came back from Tunisia (yes, I was in Tunisia for 6 days, I will post about that later - the country is BEAUTIFUL)

Those who have known me for over 10 years (that's only one person really, the one person I am still close with) know that I shouldn't spend too much time alone. When I spend time alone, this gives me a chance to think and when I think, the outcome is never, ever good. It's usually twisted, and more often than not, far, far, far from reality.

Outcome: Huge argument with the boyfriend.

Anyway. Back to me. I honestly don't know this person sitting here typing this post. Because the person I knew to be me used to read a lot, used to write a lot...she used to cook. And she used to work out.

And all these things are things I no longer do. I no longer have it in me to do them, or maybe, I just no longer have the time to do them. I thought that as soon as I finish my master's degree, I'll have time to do whatever it is I wanted to do, but now that I work with the Germans, I barely have time to do anything. I am not complaining really, it's a very fulfilling job, but...you know?

Meet my little friend here, she's been keeping me company:


Made from organic Egyptian cotton, (the fabric is dyed with natural dye!)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Stranger

Dear Stranger,

I hope you have a great day today. I thought I would wish you that since you have made my day this morning. You were helping the person sitting next to you park and were looking my way in order to ask people to wait while he parks.

I smiled, and you paused for a second or two, then you smiled back.

And that, simply, made my day. It really did.

So, thank you, I really needed that.

May your smile always make someone's day brighter.

Love,
Sara

Monday, March 12, 2012

Healthcare in Egypt

I just wanted to share this with the world. I want to share with to let everybody know that I have no reason whatsoever to have felt left out, to have felt sidelined...

I have no reason to have felt unimportant. I have no reason to have felt any of those negative feelings; loneliness, neglect, among many many others. Because this is his job. This is his career. This is what he is passionate about.

And I would never EVER let anyone stand in the way between me and my calling (I haven't even found my calling) and I believe he has found his. And I shouldn't let my PMS give me an excuse for nagging and crying and arguing for more time to be spent with me.

Being a resident doctor's girlfriend/fiancee is not easy. But it's much easier than being a resident, that I am sure of.

I forgot to share what this whole rant is about: This post right here.

He is doing his residency at a public hospital, the biggest one in Egypt. And free healthcare is both a blessing and a curse. But let's not talk about this now.

I am blessed. That's all.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Red and Orange

And yet, when you get here, you are not given instructions. No one tells you that heart A is meant to slot into heart B. There are no diagrams about how you are meant to live each day or directions on how to assemble some semblance of happiness. You are not even told what colours to paint your feelings or, given a purpose and a reason for your life.
You have to make all of it up. You have to make all of it, yourself. - I Wrote This For You
It must be scary being born, it must be traumatizing, even. Maybe this is where some (most) people get their fear of change, maybe that is how it all began. And some people spend their whole lives doing the same things, at the same place, going to the same places with the same people. Until they lose the ability to move, and until, one after the other, those same people die.


Why is it that people shy away from color?
Why is it that some people would opt for stripes instead of swirls and paisley and flowers..and multi-colored polka-dots?

Life is not about planning but rather those fortunate unplanned for events that take you by surprise. That's what life is about, it is in these moments that you forget about what is to happen next, and where you need to be and what you need to do, in these moments, you are at your happiest.

Life is not about a person you have dreamed to life, but rather that person you coincidentally saw in that light, a person you accidentally clicked with and you spend the rest of your time together figuring one another out. Or at least that's how it works for me.

Life is about not choosing your words, and saying whatever it is that is on your mind, expressing how you feel even if it would hurt (you or the other person) because why hold back? We were never meant to hold back anyway. And we were never meant to look at patterns of the same thing, our windows are not supposed to look the same.. (I don't know why I wrote that)

There's no wrong way to do things, because there really isn't a right way for you to measure other ways against. There is what feels right, however.

You felt right.
(and so did wearing socks with thick red and orange stripes and black loafers this morning before leaving the house)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sad Post

I can't do this anymore;
this is too much pressure.
Too many things that are undefined, and I hate this.

I really do...

And no one is helping and I don't really know what it is that I need help with, and in turn, I can't really ask for help.

This is ridiculous. And I cannot vent. No one will understand, and that I know.
And it just feels like two years ago all over again..as much as I hate to admit it.

Then you say the wrong things at the wrong times and all I could think is "who are you?"

Yes. Who are you and what are you doing here? I am not used to this, and this is not what I asked for, this is not who you are.
Or maybe it is, but I never really saw it?

Oh.


Suddenly I don't see you anymore, nor do I see myself.
I  don't see you anymore
I can't breathe.



I can't breathe properly.


I am not depressed. I just can't breathe properly. I really can't. My heart has grown heavy and my lungs dense. The air seems more polluted than ever, enough so that my eyes are seeing clouds.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Saturday the 18th

Saturday the 18th of February, 2012 was a very important day in my life. It was my graduate commencement!

There is one moment that I would very much like to share with you. Or maybe more, I guess

Moment number 1: (before the commencement) Seeing my mother and sister and brother coming and how my brother looked at me, like he doesn't know me. Like he's seeing another me (in a good way)

Moment number 2: (before the commencement) My father came outside to where we were waiting and the photographer took a picture of us, my dad kissing me on the cheek, and the photographer said, think of me when you show this picture at your wedding.

Moment number 3: After we marched to the hall, I looked behind me, and there they were, almost an entire row filled with people I love so much, people I know love me back. Genuinely. And I felt so blessed! SO BLESSED! It makes me cry a little. (also in a good way) There they were, my mother, my father, my two sisters, my brother, my fiance, my cousin, and my best (BEST) friend.

Pictures?



Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Cousin Got Married!

I don't mean to stay away from the blog for that long, ever.

I wrote a couple of unpublished posts because there were just me complaining about things. And I don't like to spread my negative energy, really.

On Friday, my cousin got married. And he made such a handsome groom! His bride was so beautiful. It was a small intimate wedding with around 150 people attending, and to me, it felt like it was Amr's birthday and not wedding. It was so surreal!

I love my cousins!

And I love the feeling of entering a place where my entire family is and hug two round tables full (and almost a third one) full of people. It's beautiful to have a big family, it really is a blessing.


Obviously, I wasn't trying to be artistic at all, I just wanted to capture that moment, with my cousin's big smile, and my father dancing with his bride. I am so happy for him!!

Here's what I looked like, perfect posture, I know, also, caution: Wet floor. You have to admit my boyfriend is also an artist.


I was so tired!

So very tired, it was such an exhausting day, please give me that?


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Patience and Passion

I have been talking to a lot of people of what I have come to realise over the past year or so.

I have been making lists of big bad things that have happened to me over the past ten years, and how these things have helped me grow into the person I am to day.

I am thankful, so very thankful!


I had this argument with my father earlier this month and he asked me to make a list of five things that I had wanted him to do for me as I grew up, and I couldn't really think of anything...I mean, I remember incidents when I thought I could never forgive my father for having done that. The most memorable example being when he wouldn't send me out of the country so I could study genetics for my bachelors degree.

Today, these things don't seem to matter much to me. And that is a lesson I have learnt solely from my argument with my father. Things might seem huge at one point in time, but later on, maybe a year or two from then..they won't matter at all.

Don't make a big deal out of life not going your way. Some things are meant to happen for you, and if they are, they will happen sooner or later. I am not saying that you shouldn't work for what you want, you just need to be patient. Only that.

You need to be passionate and patient.

And the light within you will grow brighter and brighter, and you will shine. You will shine and lead the way for yourself. You will lead the way for others.

My best friend writes puzzles.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I Wrote This For You: The Book [Part 4: Rain]

Reading Rain has been quite the experience.

It has stirred up feelings of reassurance; reassurance that no matter what people might think - people I no longer speak to for any reason - no matter how they try to label me, or affect my energy, I am who I think I am, I am who I make of myself. I have no regrets.


I am here, and I will be for as long as I can. And, I will make this world a better place.

You know why? Because I was given my hope and faith back to me as I was reading "The Angel of Almost" or maybe it made me realize that one day I am going to run out of tomorrows, so I may as well just start today.

Because I have a lot to give, and that really is what being gifted is. Because I hate "almost"s and I will not give up, I will keep trying harder and harder, and when I feel like crying, I know that the weeping willow is crying my tears for me, and when it is no longer considered a distraction, I will allow myself to cry.

"if there is one thing I hate, it's having to acknowledge that my feelings are my own, no one else's. And, my responsibility."

And I will touch you over and over. Even if you don't understand what it is I am doing. I like the feeling of your skin, it reminds me that I am human, and that I am alive. It reminds me that you are real. And that this is actually happening, that yes, it is you, and that I have found you. It reminds me that I am thankful.

So the next time you ask me "what are you doing?" when I touch your forehead, or cheek, or hair, or palm, I will finally have an answer!

"This is how I love. This is how I love. This is how I love."

Rain is about beauty, the beauty we forget a lot (And not sometimes). Rain is about the world, because the world is beautiful. It is quite simple. Really.

"Because only a hard heart shatters.
Only a hard heart breaks."

May you find the softness in your heart, I hope you smile more and love more. I hope you give more. And you shall never be heart broken. May you always remember that it takes one bad ending for a beautiful beginning to be written.


May we always remember that we need no permission to do something, let alone something great. May we all remember that it is only natural for us to care.

"Perhaps that somewhere is here.
Perhaps that someone, is you."

Yes the time is now. Don't write it down. Just say it/start it/do it.

I wish I had known all this every time I argued with my parents as a teenager, or the one time my younger sister (my only sister at the time) told me she hated me, I wish I knew she didn't mean it as a child. I wish I knew at the time my grandfather pushed me away when I was trying to hug him that one last time, that he didn't do it out of anger or hate, he was only breathing his last breaths. I wish I knew so many things as I cried. 

What I know is, though, that it is all going to be okay. Because I have grown, and I have grown to know. And I forgive everyone, and I forgive myself. 

"Everyone and everything lives on inside you." It has almost been ten years since I lost someone very dear to me to a heart attack, and I watched it happen and I knew it was happening. A fourteen year old me, however, thought that the world was ending, that life will not go on from there. But I have him with me everywhere I go. He lives on. Inside me.

"That the sun will rise each day and it's up to you each day is you match it."

I'll be the sun. And you be the rain (because rain is beautiful)
We can always switch places, since there are days when I won't feel up to it. And you will be the sun.

Rain made me cry.
I promise that I will feel everything I could. I promise.

(Only if you promise to read the book)
You can also read: Sun, Moon and Stars.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I Wrote This For You: The Book [Part 3: Stars]

At first glance, we might all seem crazy.
Or maybe we are. We do things for reasons that make sense to us, reasons that might not necessarily make sense to anyone else.

At first glance, we might all seem like we lead a simple life.
But what might seem simple to you might be killing someone else.

When we look up at the sky, we see stars everywhere.
I spot a shooting star and I giggle. You see one that is shining brighter than the others. We see one bigger star and wonder what its name is.

What we don't see is where these stars are today. We see stars for what they were, hundreds..or thousands...or millions of years ago.

Stars burn. But we cannot see that.

"...You could never tell the difference between the mood you were in, and me."


This is what we all should see, this is the only thing we need to remember. I shouldn't make you miserable just because I feel comfortable around you.

Stars are pretty, they guide us, and they always have...but they are, at the end, one of the many tricks of the universe.

Stars are the break up you will always remember. Regardless of whether it was you that hurt, or if it was you that was hurt. What matters, really, is that you have learnt.

"There's no revenge here. Love doesn't hate back."


If only I could get everyone to understand this, and read this. If only I could buy the book for everyone I have ever hurt, and for everyone that has ever hurt me. Maybe it will all be okay, maybe they'll realize it. And then the world would be a better place.


"...I was here, I felt, I lived and I loved as much as I could, while I could. And that the person that I loved, was you."


That is the same nagging feeling I get everyday when I am just about to sleep. My need to live on long after I am gone. Long after I have stopped seeing people, when I graduate, when I change jobs....I have the nagging need, tugging at my insides, to be remembered.

Stars is heartbreaking. It left me speechless. (And it made me cry)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Wrote This For You: The Book [Part 2: Moon]

Before I start writing this, I need to make it clear that this is more of how I feel and what I experience while reading the book. And I am reading it as slowly as I possibly can, because I don't want to finish it. This is what goes on in my mind as I read, and not your typical review. 

I am biased to this part of the book so far, because it starts with one of the best things I have ever read; my favorite IWFY post: The Children of Time.

I was born in August, and I always want to do the right thing, like my birth-month, I don't know what the right thing to do is. I lie about things. And I never want to apologize. I always lie to my boyfriend and I tell him that I don't want to see him on a specific day, but that is always a lie. Because I would always rather see him than not. I would always want to spend time with him, as much as I would appreciate spending time with myself or with other people.

"There are a million important things to do. But none as important as lying here next to you."

And Moon made it feel like it's okay. Like I am not the only one who does that, and that is the thing that matters the most: You are not alone. You are not the only one.

Moon is about the little things, and trust me, it's the little things that matter, it is the little things that make life worthwhile. And the little things happen all the time, every day, but most people just fail to notice them. Most people forget to remember that if they do notice the little things, they would be a lot happier.

Moon is about happiness.

"..No roller skating, kissing, smoking, fingers through hair, 3 am phone calls, stained letters, littering, unfeeling feelings, a smell left on a pillow, doors slammed, lyrics whispered, or loitering, Thank you."

I dare you to not relate to that. Moon is about the fear of falling in love, the fear that is at its peak right before you fall in love and then you succumb and you give in so willingly and you try to love the person to happiness, or more happiness and it's hard. Because you want that, and only that, and the fear is still there, the fear of losing what has always scared you.


This is how love doesn't make sense.

"A mess without you
Something beautiful with you."


"...till you cannot distinguish between being and being together"


And that is the scariest thought that anyone could think of. But it is so beautiful. Moon is beautiful. And so is love.

The moon is closer to earth than the sun, and this is why it has a stronger pull on its seas, but the sun, the sun gives us warmth, and gives the moon its light. Yet it's the moon that we could relate more to. It can never burn us.

Love hurts, over and over again because it is forgetful of who it has hurt before and we never learn. But every time your feelings become harder and harder to access. But on a night when the moon is full, you will give in and kiss that person that chose to be there. The person that chose to listen to you and support you when you never really ask for it. And it will be beautiful.

Whether it remains beautiful or not, however, is a matter of choice. A matter of accepting the fact that people change, and their place in your being is either reshaped or erased. Forever.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I Wrote This For You: The Book [Part 1: Sun]

You have no idea how much I have been waiting for this; a piece of the blog to hold in my hands.

The blog has been speaking to me for as long as I can remember, everything that he writes just touches me in a way, I don't think anyone could ever not relate to the words, so abstract that they make all the sense in the world.

I think I have started beginning my sentences with "and" even more often after started reading "I Wrote This For You."

Yesterday, I started reading and by the time I reached the end of the dedication list, I felt the tears in my eyes, I felt like I matter, I felt like it was my best friend writing. Or my mother, or someone that came to visit Cairo for the few days and it was like knowing them forever (I have someone in mind)

It felt like the world wouldn't be the same without me. Because, I know that I am one of those people; those who "paint the world each day with the colours of their feelings."

I am also one of those who hope. So this book was written for me.

And it was written for you. It was even written for Aristotle and Rosa Parks. And those of us with day jobs that don't feel as great - or special - and forget to notice the magic that is everywhere they look. This book is a perfect reminder that magic is always around, it is in your every breath.


Let me not forget to mention that it is not only the words that speak, the photos do too. Those photos were taken with me in mind. The pop of colour, the land far, far away, waiting for me to find out about. The sense of curiosity that is the sole drive behind travel, and love, and friendship...

"..these things can exist and you're not quite sure how they existed without you knowing about them before."

It is not always about love, or maybe it is, or maybe it never was, but I would like to think it is. Everyone needs to hope more, to believe more, to love more and to give more chances (this is how you are given more chances) and that is what the book is about.

It is the perfect wake up call. The perfect new year's gift. The perfect Valentine's day gift as well. (most definitely the best birthday gift)

All I have to say is, simply, this book is beautiful. And if like me, you believe that this year is yours, then this is the best way to start your year.

Coming up: Part 2: Moon

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012

I guess my plan to do one post for each month of 2011 did not follow through. But I have a few things to say about the year 2011, the year of awakening.

For it was, indeed, an awakening year. One where my country along with Tunisia and Libya have managed to topple their presidents. One during which Syria and Yemen struggled and are still struggling.

It was the year I got engaged to someone I very randomly met at a tweet up that I went to only because I knew a few people personally. And he was there and he seemed interesting only because he was honest and wasn't saying things only to impress (or so I would like to think) A person who stayed after I told him I loved him less than a week into the relationship and who got me posters of the Beatles and a jade necklace from NYC before were even together for a month. He makes me laugh and smile and he makes me happy.

2011 was also the year my baby brother turned 10 and as much as I hate to admit it, it is probably time for me to stop treating him like a baby. But he is my baby! (see?)

It was such an intense year that I mostly fail to pinpoint specific incidents and their timing, everything seems to have blended together into a blur of incidents and tear gas and smiles.

It was the year I experienced military curfew for the first time in my life, it was perfectly normal to see tanks roam the streets. But enough about that.

My best friend and her now ex boyfriend broke up and I was so worried about her but I knew she was in good hands. And now she's back. I had missed her.


We all travelled to Sharm el Sheikh for new year's and it was then that I realised that I will only get to look back on 2011 and be able to reflect maybe six months from now, but not today. It was a fun night that was eventually filled with drama and then love came next. Somehow people had argued, and somehow maybe an hour later everyone was dancing and hugging each other and smiling and there weren't even any drugs involved.

Then a friend's cousin passed away in a car accident and I am trying so hard to convince myself that it can only get better. And I know it will. I don't really have any resolutions but I have news.

Today is my first day at a new job. I am now a junior technical officer on a program for the economic integration of women in Egypt and another three countries.

And well, I graduated! I have finally graduated. Even if it's not case officially, I now have an MA in Economics in International Development. (my GPA is even not that bad!)

2012 is my year.
Now repeat after me: 2012 is my year!

Happy new year, everyone!