October 17, 2010

Her Check list,, and my Check list



Last night I watched the movie titled ‘Beauty & the Briefcase’, which my brother has recently seen and recommended to me. I think he knew in advance that the movie would click with me, and he was right! I strongly related to it.

The film stars Hilary Duff as a fashion journalist who works undercover to write an article on dating businessmen, or more to the point on falling in love in the workplace. She had this check list which contained the 10 qualities she was looking for in the man of her dreams, whom she thought only existed in the world of business; with endless men wearing suits!

The bottom line is, Hilary; ‘Lane’ in the movie, finally came to the conclusion that it was not possible to find everything she was looking for in one man, and that sometimes one could end up falling in love with the one guy who is far from being ‘qualified’ for your so called check list. And that what happened to her, for she realized that all the time she was in love with her boss, who had zero of her check list qualities.

When the movie ended, I found myself traveling down the same path she took, and asking myself whether my fantasies about Mr. Right have inadvertently turned him into a ghost of a man, a ghost I have familiarized myself with and learned to accept in my life; if only by sheer fantasy.  I cannot say that I have a check list for my dream man like Lane, or that I don’t! What I know is that it is only normal to want to find certain things in the man of my dreams, but what matters to me the most is the ‘click’ thing that has been killing me since I cannot remember when!

Well, I felt happy for Lane; for her discovery and self revelation, and at the same time I felt a little sorry for my hazy emotional state of mind. I feel as though I am turning into another ‘Lane’; believing that decent men don’t exist anymore, and that the time of fairytales is really gone, which actually leaves me dreaming and fantasizing more and more, and thinking to myself “How does a real click happen to people?” And “When and how mine will happen?”.

But really, how does one end up believing, or not believing, in such somehow ‘Realistic”  fairytales??

September 09, 2010

It is here

happy_eid


It is here, once again
Eid is back..
Eid is back when Ramadhan seems to have only began yesterday!

I am still in Ramadhan’s mood people;P

I miss it already and I feel as though I am bidding farewell to a dear friend!

It is amazing though eh?
The way time passes ever so quickly; drawing us closer to all the moments that we thought were distant moments that won’t come as quickly!

Yet, this is how time works and we can never stop it!
So, Eid Mubarak my friends and I wish you all a great time celebrating with your families and beloved ones.

August 10, 2010

Welcome Ramadan


The Holy Month of Ramadan is tomorrow Insha’Allah!
I am totally excited… And Happy… And so at peace with myself and the whole world!

I am in love with this Holy Month, and I wait for it ever so patiently every year!

I hate to speak about how I always feel when the end of it draws close! So I am not talking about that today!

I just want to wish you all a Happy and a blissful Ramadan...
Hope you fill it with good deeds and fruitful Godly acts!

SO

Ramadan Kareem my dears…
May Allah bless us all with his mercy…
And bless the souls of all our departed beloveds, whom I wish were here with us to share our joy today!

They will always be in our hearts…
And we will never forget them…

You are in our prayers…
Every moment…

August 01, 2010

Whatever has become of us??

 


Last Friday, I was lying on my bed late at night, with my younger brother lying next to me. We both had our Blackberries glued to our hands; each  searching for ways to be entertained and drive boredom away; either by reading and re-reading the endless broadcasts sent to us throughout the day, or playing games, or surfing the internet aimlessly! At that very moment, I was not that much interested in my BB, and neither was my brother. I could feel that we both were lost for words, or more to the point lost in our own ways! Normally, we would never run out of topics to talk about, or encounter moments of awkwardness as to what to say, because we have always been so close to each other that I have constantly felt as though we could read each other’s minds ever so easily, and delve into a world of mysteries only we could unravel.

I have this special bond with all of my three brothers, whom I have learned to be so close to, and have succeeded in establishing quite an easy and carefree and solid relationship with. I miss them when they are not there, and I love hanging out with them and having them support and protect me at all times. They are  the light that guides me through the darkness and the safety harbor that can keep me afloat, and out of harms way! It is how I see them, and I know they would go to all lengths to see me happy , and smiling! 

That Friday night, I knew something was not right; I could see it in my brother’s haunted looks and that aimlessness emanating from him! I felt it inside of me too, and I did not need to confront my own demons to know that both of us were miserable in our own terms; trying to understand why and how we have become to be this much in need for some extraordinary event to make a true change in our lives and put that genuine and heartfelt smile back on our faces! When I turned to look at him, I saw my question reflected in his eyes, yet I could not find the answer I was desperately seeking. I inwardly wanted to deny the fact that I was fragile and breakable more than ever, but I could not; knowing it would have been a lie I would soon admit to myself. At that moment, I felt inconsolable and confused; wanting to know how and why I have lost that old zeal for life, surrendering to some strange and smothering gloominess that has cast a dark shadow on me and my little beloved family. Sometimes it is that hard to speak out your fears and anxieties, especially to your beloved ones; dreading the hurt you could inflect upon them at seeing and feeling you hurt!

There is this inexplicable air of uncertainty and apprehensiveness and melancholy that has suddenly taken hold of us and imprisoned us in a grip of iron, which seems almost unbreakable at times! When I sometimes look at the faces of my older and younger brothers, I feel that painful tug at my heart; knowing that each one of them is struggling to make their realities a reflection of their dreams! When I look at us now, I can see how far away we are from where we used to stand yesterday; once upon a time, when even the laughter had a different ring to it!

We used to build sand castles and feel so triumphant merely at being able to protect it from a persistently and incessant wave, whose only wish was to destroy our so called indestructible little castles! But where are we from all that optimism now? Why cannot we pursue ‘the dream’ with a little more stamina and stubbornness? Why do we stumble and fall way more than we did when we were little children?   

Whatever has become of me?
Whatever has become of them??

Whatever has become of us???

July 23, 2010

Hawaiian Birthday

Last night I was invited to my cousin’s birthday, whose theme she chose to be Hawaiian! We had to dress in Hawaiian costumes or anything resembling the theme itself, for which reason I wore a colorful gown with quite a nice and unfamiliar style overall. I left my hair falling on my shoulders in a natural and at the same time beautifully chaotic way. It looked as natural and carefree as I wanted it to be! I also wore matching make-up, which I did myself; I love to do my own make up.  Anyways, what really matters here is the decoration for the party! It was amazing and way beyond I expected! I mean, I knew in advance that my artist cousin will definitely make it look as close as possible to a true Hawaiian atmosphere and environment, but never had I expected her to pull it off like she did. For the record, she is studying interior design and is considered to be a true artist by almost everybody; amongst whom are her teachers. She took part in a number of fashion shows, at which she excelled and has proven to be a person with a true talent.

So, here we go…

IMG00140-20100722-1947

   

She had this drawing placed at the top of the stairs, where we stopped before entering the big sitting room at which the party took place. She drew it herself, and I found it amazing! I truly loved it and I spent long moments admiring it! Great work sweet Fatooma.

Then….. We had to take our pick from the finishing Hawaiian accessories for our colorful outfits! She made them herself, again.

IMG00147-20100722-1950


You cannot see the necklace I chose because I was wearing it while taking the photo! When we were done sorting our looks and putting the final touches on our dazzling dresses,,

We did this… Below!! 

IMG00143-20100722-1947 IMG00139-20100722-1947



She arranged these beach-like luxuries for her guests! The girls took plenty of photos on that rug, under the shade of that colorful umbrella. I think they did feel as though they were on the beach in Hawaii:P

After having all sorts of fun pretending to savor the Hawaiian paradise….

 
IMG00144-20100722-1948 IMG00145-20100722-1948


 We had the beverages corner all to ourselves! As you can see, she decorated it in a Hawaiian way, and filled it with the kind of snacks we needed! Fruits… oh,, and Juice of course!

IMG00148-20100722-2011

  

I drank plenty of that fruit juice! Was so refreshing!

IMG00149-20100722-2012

That was also yummy.. Ahem!!  

At last, came the yummy food! Oh my, the dishes were mouth watering indeed! All prepared by my beloved aunt! Hugs!!

IMG00146-20100722-1948
IMG00154-20100722-2221 IMG00153-20100722-2221
IMG00158-20100722-2222
IMG00156-20100722-2221 IMG00155-20100722-2221
IMG00157-20100722-2222

There was Spinach & Chicken B├ęchamel macaroni, noodles, chicken and cheese sandwiches, garlic bread, mashed potatoes with chicken, cream and cheese, stuffed grape leaves, Kushari (Egyptian dish), thyme bread, pastries and other dishes! We had our taste buds treated and pampered to the fullest!!

Last but not least, the cake!!

IMG00162-20100722-2309


The cake was unbelievable!! I won’t say a lot, because you have the picture to make you drool!!

IMG00142-20100722-1947

I truly commend my cousin for the amazing and crazy and enjoyable party she threw! I had the time of my life, along with everybody else! We sang and laughed like crazy, and danced to the beats of Shakira’s Waka Waka song! I had to be taught the moves though! Crazy I know!!

Wow…
That was one hell of a wonderful and memorable birthday part, which I will always recall with a smile of enjoyment on my lips!

Thank you Fatooma!!

You are wonderful and you deserve all the best…
You will be Bahrain’s number one artist and interior designer god’s will!

Hugs..

I love you so much:))

July 21, 2010

For the memories


A few days ago, one of my colleagues showed me her graduation album, which she had especially designed and made for her and her family on the special and memorable occasion of her graduation from the Masters Program. The album was extraordinary and dazzling in every way. I enjoyed flipping through it and laughing at the specific meaning of each photo, as narrated by the girl. While she was telling us her story, the story of the time she had; making the whole event memorable and worthy enough of every single tear and laughter alike, I could not help but think that it is always us who truly create memories and make something big or small out of them! Her graduation could have passed as any ordinary event, if she had planned for things to go that way, but in reality she had not; she chose to make it the best moment of her life, a moment to always be remembered with joy and pride!

Her feeling was there in her smile, and the smiles of her family members and her friends. By the looks of it, I knew instantly that she had the time of her life that very day. I did not wait for her to verify my presumption; I knew it before I heard it from her. When I retired to my office later on, I found myself philosophizing about the true origin of our memories, and the way we choose to capture and solidify the meaning and significance of each one of our endless memories; and keep them there in a safe place in our minds and hearts, where we can always go back to them and sometimes do a lot of reminiscence. It is amazing indeed, how a single photo can trigger a lot of feelings and thoughts in the blink of an eye. Sometimes, one could do as little as look at a photo to be swamped by feelings of nostalgia and a strong craving that almost nothing can force to fade away!

It is utterly mesmerizing how our lives are made of a series of memories, which gather and pile up to create a lifetime of joy, happiness, hurt, anger, serenity, comfort, peace, hope, despair, pessimism, frustration, love, passion and so many other sentiments that I just cannot list here.

That day, that girl managed to make me think a lot and reminisce more than I thought I could do in one day! I found my mind going back to dwell on forgotten things, incidents and feelings I thought I had left behind; along with the memory they resembled! I did not know that my mind was capable of doing all that reminiscence, which eventually caused my heart to swell with feelings I could not describe or analyze at the time.

I wonder, though, whether we make our memories…
Or whether they make us who we are now.. today.. this moment!

July 18, 2010

You can't steal my soul


When we hurt, we tend to think that nobody, but us, is suffering excruciating pain. Our minds go totally blank, at which point we adopt a new bizarre belief; that the world should stop for our grief! I know it sounds laughable enough, and in reality it is, but we truly tend to think like that at moments of overwhelming sorrow, where logic just ceases to exist!

When we are gripped by an intense emotional pain or shock or great disappointment, we become an easy target for despair and lack of faith. We do not think; or rather stop thinking at a certain point in time. When such thing happens, voluntary blindness lead the way, and all sense of wisdom flies out the window, leaving us empty handed, devoid of all hope and resolve and strength of will.

Sometime and somewhere in the past, I used to think like that. When I was exposed to pain, on an emotional and spiritual level, I would feel as though the whole world came to a standstill at that particular moment. I would lose the ability to live normally and just opt for lack of action. Any attempt at dismissing and overlooking whatever or whoever it was that hurt me would always prove futile. It was always easier to let my grief wash over me and swallow whatever determination I had left. As convinced as I was of my unacceptable and pathetic attitude, I was fragile enough to surrender to it wholeheartedly; not minding its abhorrent grip on me. I cannot quite put my finger on it, but I guess it is normal and expected that some of us would feel and behave that way! The mind is not always as resolute and stubborn and capable as we wish for it to be; it has its moments of weakness and lack of will.

Reflecting on the past now, I look at all my previous mishaps with a smile of recognition and a look of wisdom; this arises from my faith that every tear I shed back then was not wasted, for I was solely tested by God, and strengthened with every fall along the way. I know that I did not have this perspective and sense of wisdom at the time, but I am glad now that I have managed to learn that every fall that does not kill you, certainly makes you stronger. I know that I am now much stronger than before.

Maybe I did not know that years back, when it was easier to break my heart and my spirit, but time has changed me tremendously. Well, they say that no matter how bad your heart is broken, the world does not stop for your grief. I know that now, and I believe in it. I cannot say that the journey of learning was an easy one, not at all; it was full of moments of sheer despair and skepticism in almost everything and everybody.

When you are back-stabbed, you are bound to fall into this trap, where you stop trusting and believing in others, but what is worse is for you to stop believing in yourself! That can scare the life out of you, believe me. Yet, there are always good people, who storm into your life like a gentle breeze and make you whole again. When they do that, you are completely saved and blessed. Such people, who I like to refer to as angels, are always willing to extend a helping hand and show you the way out of your dark hole. They make you smile frequently, if not constantly. They fill you with the kind of love that never fades away; it is always there, making you a better person and making your life complete in almost every sense.

A wise person once told me that human beings are always bound to spread anarchy amongst themselves one way or another, and that no matter how pleasantly and peacefully life seems to go for you, there is always the possibility that hurt will come your way, and that someone will inflict pain on you and make you realize that life is not a fairy tale. Maybe I did not want to believe that when I heard it the first time, but I did at the end; I believed it and saw the sense in it. And because I did that, I have learned that some people are simply not worth the fuss, nor do they deserve a moment of regret or heartbreak. We are always and forever better off without those who do not deserve us and do not see our true worthiness.

You might wonder why I am telling you all this, well, I am saying it because I know that there are many people out there who have felt what I felt in the past, or others probably going through the same as I am speaking! I am telling you this because we always learn from each other’s mistakes, and this is undoubtedly the best way to learn and avoid what could be avoided.

Always remember that some people can hurt you, they can make you cry, they can even break you to an extent, but no matter how deep your wounds are; never let those people believe that they can steal your soul, for it is the only thing that will always belong to you.

To be able to stand tall amongst a crowd and scream ‘You cannot steal my soul’ is certainly a victory whose value is always and forever priceless, immeasurable and definitely mind-blowing. It makes you triumphant in every way.

May 23, 2010

The city that doesn’t sleep

Cairo20at20night[1]

I know it has been a while since I have provided you with a new post to read, and I sure do know that May has not been an active month for me when it comes to writing on my blog. Anyways, what matters right now is the reason I have not written anything the past week! Guess what, I was outside the country, and guess where I was? I was in Egypt! Yes yes, I finally visited ‘Om El Donia’ as they call it; Mother of Life, that is how almost everybody refers to it. 

Before setting foot there, I have always thought of Egypt as the country I can strongly relate to, but only through the Egyptian movies that I just love to watch and never tire of watching. I have to say that being there, in the heart of Egypt; specifically in Cairo, has opened my eyes to the true beauty of this wonderfully rich and alive country. I was taken aback by the power and magic floating in its very air. I felt emotionally attached to something I could not put my finger on; I just let myself be! Something magical was there in the streets, in the air, in the buildings, and even in the smiles and looks of the people roaming the streets; whether aimlessly or purposefully. The least thing I could say to describe my state of mind and heart at the time is to simply say that I was utterly mesmerized.

I never dreamed that I would have this strong a reaction towards Egypt in specific. To be honest, I have always been told that the first thing to strike you about Cairo is the noise and horrible traffic and human congestion and crowdedness! Well, I did notice that and saw the poor state of so many buildings and houses and streets, and I also saw what extreme poverty has done to so many people there, but that did nothing to discourage me or take away my enjoyment and the strong attraction I felt for that amazing city! I looked at everything around me in awe and wonder.

I have to tell you that despite the fact that I am quite a traveler who has been to so many wonderful countries before and fell madly in love with them, Egypt has proved to be quite something else; something different and unique in its own sense. It is true that I only stayed there for five days, but that was enough to make me know for sure that I would definitely go back there, only I would stay much longer. Now that I am home, it feels strange and I have this strong and overwhelming sense of nostalgia. I just have not had enough of all the magic I found there; in the Nile, Hay El Hussein, Khan al Khalil and many other wonderful places. 

We stayed at the Ramses Hilton, and my room was on the 22nd floor. Believe me, the view was simply breathtaking! I found myself able to stand there for as long as I could, just staring out the window at the vast and grandeur city stretching endlessly in front of me; granting my eyes a sight not to ever be forgotten.

DSC01734 
This, above, is a picture I took from my room. Even now as I look at it again, I can feel myself standing there once again; taking in the scene that I know by heart now that I have been there.  

Now I know that the places I have been to during my 5 day stay there is nothing compared to the many places I have heard about and wanted so much to see, but I still enjoyed my trip and has so much fun! I went to the Pyramids, and I have to say that being there and seeing everything I have only known through books and documentary films has made Egypt look the more majestic to me. When I stood there staring at the Sphinx, transfixed, I realized that Egypt’s historical heritage is way greater than any other treasure. Apart from my unforgettable trip to the Pyramids, I went to Hay El Hussein and Khan Al Khalil, where I roamed its ancient alleys and had memorable moments that I still remember with a smile of true pleasure.

DSC00668

                         That is me with my parents (Right to left: Me, dad and mum)

One of the things I won’t forget is going on board of the Scarabee Nile Dinner Cruiser, where they had a belly dancing show and another interesting show which I don’t really know what they call. I had the time of my life there because I had the chance of sitting on the roof of the cruiser and watching the Nile giving life to everything around it, including us people. The weather was amazing and the breeze so cold that I had the feeling it was the beginning of winter! I did not want that trip to ever end, and I wished I could stare at the Nile and hear its soft roar forever!

Amongst the other things I did, I ate at the fish market, had ‘Kushari’ at Abu Tareq, drank mango juice at the famous place ‘Farghali’ and of course tried the pigeons at that place called ‘Farahat’, which is by the way the most famous place for serving pigeons, and oh my they were more delicious than Any food I have ever eaten!  

As simple as strolling along the Nile may sound, it is the one thing that will always remain engraved in my memory; reminding me of how happy I was to simply take that walk and see the glow on the faces of the people taking in the scene of the Nile and enjoying the feeling of being part of it and its magic. I can still hear the songs they played there in my head, and remember how I felt just being in the taxi and looking at all the things we passed by, no matter how ordinary they seemed to some people.

Now that I am back here, I have this strangest feeling that a huge  part of me stayed there, alongside the  Nile; enjoying a life that is so much different from my life here. Even the Egyptian songs sound different to my ears here; they sound as though they belong to a different life and a different place.

Should you think that it is magic that Egypt possesses, you are absolutely right in your thinking, for it is pure magic that you will find there, in the streets and alleys and certainly in the ringing of the laughs you will hear everywhere you go.

I cannot say what it is exactly that has drawn me this much to this country, but what I know for sure is the fact  that I will go back there and enjoy it all once again. All I can tell you now is that Egypt has a life of its own, a life that will take you under its spell and bind you to it so strong that you will never know how to break free from its hold on your mind and heart and soul. 

The Nile is still calling out to me; that I know, and I know that I will answer its call sooner than I think. It is amazing how, in the blink of an eye, I have become one with a country buzzing with life every second of the day, and how I do not seem to be able to close my eyes without seeing the glow of a city that does not sleep!

Cairo; it is certainly the city that does not fall asleep, and the place that will always give you something to think about and hold on to.    

get-10-2008-rp0khohh

Here is a collection of photos I took in my trip, enjoy!

May 09, 2010

How am I supposed to live without you?

9 May 2010

Dear NO Face,

The wisest way to start this letter would be to admit that it has been a decade since I have written anything to you. It feels all new to me, for  I know that writing these somewhat absurd letters to you is an essential part of my life, without which I always feel as though something huge was missing.

Well, this long abstain from writing is something I cannot fully explain or find excuses for; to myself so to speak. What I know is that I have been trying not to do this; not to write anything, not to give you life, not to make you real when you are not. It frustrates me sometimes to think of you as a vivid someone, a ‘face’ I can easily relate to and paint in my everyday dreams without finding any difficulty in belonging to; emotionally and mentally and spiritually. At times, it makes me feel stupid and on the brink of insanity, but the only thing that keeps me clinging to you is my knowledge that what I am doing is brilliant one way or another. Giving you life provides me with a rare kind of emotional peace that life has deprived me of. You know that when such a thing happens, some of us opt for the fantasy, don’t you? I know I have, and you are my fantasy.

Sometimes, I do fight the urge to write to you, and I succeed in keeping you in the shade for a while, but I always end up missing you, and thinking of all the things I could and would tell you. People-oh- I mean things like you usually prove to be better listeners than some real people. You have the heart I crave for in reality; the heart of a true angel. I miss that, and I miss you, but above all I miss the part where you become a reality, and a face I could see and recognize and recall every time I close my eyes. I cannot say I do not do that now, but the only difference is that I do not see you, I cannot fully see you.

For all the past weeks, I have been waiting for the inspiration I needed to write this letter, and feel this connection with you again. I was lost for that inspiration, and it did not come to me even though I did feel it deep in my heart. I knew that this moment would eventually arrive, and that I would-once again- sit here and type these words for you, and feel the peace of heart you give me whenever I miss you and need you like I do now. 

You  want to know in what form the inspiration came? It was there in Michael Bolton’s song ‘How am I supposed to live without you’. When I heard it by coincidence today, I instantly thought of you and found myself wanting so bad to write this letter; if only to tell you that I have indeed missed you, and that I cannot do without you. When I sat and typed these words, I realized that I do not need a song to inspire me, because it is you who do that. You inspire me to hope, and dream of the real version of you, and when that happens; when I do that, I know that I can always welcome tomorrow with open arms and pray for better and brighter days to come, days that hold the promise of you, and your face; the face I do not really know by sight, but know very well by heart.

Don’t you agree with me that this is a blessing? That having this much intense feeling for something I believe in is a victory you and I should acknowledge? I know I do, and I know that I will always ask myself this same question: How am I supposed to live without you?

Until I unravel your mystery, my No Face, and get to finally thank God for the gift of you in my life, I shall always wonder, and ask you questions, and enjoy this rapport I share with you; a rapport that holds hope and love within, and fills my life with just as much love in return.

Until then, sweet No Face, I want you to know that I love you dearly, and miss you like I always do.

Love…

Dreamer

April 28, 2010

Simply extraordinary

 

I wanted to write this yesterday, and because I did not have the time to, I decided I would do it today. Well, I might have wanted to write this since the moment I met this ‘Extraordinary’ lady, to whom this post is solely dedicated. I think she would know this is about her, and for her, but just in case; Hadeel this is for you! 

Hadeel, what can I tell you about her? Whatever I would say would sound so small and insignificant in comparison to her greatness and the aura of uniqueness she seems to possess. The simplest thing I could think of when she comes to my mind is a fresh flower bouquet, or a spacious garden full of blooming and fragrant flowers, just like the picture above. I searched for something that would resemble her, and when I finally came across this picture here, I immediately felt as though I could see her face in it; with its freshness and simple beauty, for that is what you first notice about her; her unsophisticated simplicity, spontaneity, grace and beauty.

Life is said to be something similar to Pandora’s box; it is always full of surprises, and there will always be something you did not see coming, hidden in every corner, waiting to surprise you whether pleasantly or unpleasantly. My pleasant and blissful surprise was Hadeel, whom I knew by sheer coincidence; the same coincidence that brought me to where I am at this very moment; writing this post about an amazing person, a person I see as a friend and a sister I dearly love. Luckily enough, Hadeel is now here in Bahrain, where I can constantly enjoy her company and bask in the bliss of having her at my side; sharing extraordinary moments; as extraordinary and spectacular as her.

When Hadeel first came to our house, it was like a refreshing spring breeze had found its way to the house and its inhabitants. Every single member of my family fell in love with her smile and her charismatic self immediately; they could not resist her aura, or her laughter and that elegance emanating from every word she uttered, Masha’Allah; please say Masha’Allah with me (LOL). I am not exaggerating here, everything I say about her is the truth and nothing but the truth; she is an extraordinary lady, a lady born to mesmerize everyone who knows her, and imprison them in her world of beauty and charm.

Everyday in her company feels like a new world of wonders. I have learned so many things that only a while back seemed like theories and sayings I would only hear and look over or forget. With you, Hadeel, I have learned to see life from an angle I have never before considered. Now it seems as though I am witnessing the rainbow for the first time, and learning to enjoy anything that comes my way without questioning whether or not any good would come out of it.

It is your capacity for loving life that has cast a new light on my life and me as a person. It is your wisdom that makes me see things simply for what they really are; without looking for ways to complicate them or ruin the beauty that lies in them, no matter how small or insufficient that beauty is.

Hadeel..

You talk wonderfully.
You add life and beauty and gorgeousness to everything around you.
You know how to make me have fun; real fun.
You have a loving heart and a pure soul that make people love you without thinking, cause they simply let down their guard and go with their feelings.  
You know how to make change happen.
You are the daughter any parents would want, and the kind of wife that I am sure makes your husband a lucky man, and drives him to thank God everyday for the gift of (You) in his life.
You are an extraordinary sibling to every single member of your family, and definitely an extraordinary friend to your friends, including me.

Hadeel..

I love you for who you are, and everything you are, and everything you make me feel with your precious existence in my life and your amazing sisterhood and friendship.   

Because you are an extraordinary being, I am writing this. 
Because you mean a lot to me, I am writing this.
Because I cherish our friendship and do not ever want to lose it, I am feeling all this.

And because you deserve all the love one could feel and give, this post is certainly about you, and for you, my extraordinary friend.        

April 25, 2010

Missing You


This is especially dedicated to my beloved father, whom I miss terribly! He is currently in Geneva on a business trip, and though it has only been like three days since he left, I feel as though it has been forever since I last saw his dear face.

I know that, by now, I should have gotten used to him being away more frequently because of his job, but every time he is away, it feels anew to me, and the emptiness his absence leaves inside of me is something I can never get used to. Being an only daughter amongst three boys, I know I am kinda spoiled, and I know that my father treats me more like a princess, but that is not the reason I love him this much, and miss him this much, and need him this much!

Well, I know that we are all supposed to love our fathers and look up to them and cherish their existence in our lives and thank God every day for the blessing of having them at our side, and I love my father for all that, but I also consider him special in his own way, and unique in ways I simply can never perceive as 'Ordinary'. You know, the one thing I wish for so bad is finding a man as special, extraordinary, amazing, loving and wonderful as my father.

Now that he is away, I miss his daily morning call, which has come to be an essential part of my day to day life. Every morning, he calls me when I am on my way to work, and this call truly makes my day, every single time, for I arrive at work more refreshed and a much happier person. And when I am facing a hardship, I just cannot think of anyone capable of lifting the burden off my shoulder but my father, whom I simply cannot see myself without.

I miss his smile,
his embrace,
his voice,
his wisdom,
his loving touch, and everything else I could think of and relate to him, and only him.

My father is my strength, he is my smile, and the centre of my universe. If there is one thing that could totally and completely blow my whole world and bring my downfall, it is thinking of me and my life without him!

Dear dad, I miss you so very much and this is to let you know that there is nothing I want more than to see your beloved face very soon!

May Allah grant you health and happiness and a long life, full of love and peace and content. You are the greatest father and the best gift a daughter could ever ask for.

April 17, 2010

Yesterday


I know I have been lazy lately, and that I haven’t been posting much! It is inexcusable I know, but it has been a strange week, or rather a strange time for me altogether. I have not been reading much, or writing, or doing anything at all, and the whole thing seems as if I am standing at a certain spot staring in awe at my other active self; not knowing if I could go over there and be all ‘that’ once again. Strange eh?

When I woke up today, I got out of bed slowly and drew the curtain; letting the sun pour into my room and wash over me; bringing me into full consciousness and seeping into my brain to refresh all the dead cells and put me back on active mood again! I walked to my bathroom like a robot, washed my face, brushed my teeth, changed my clothes and switched on my PC; I do that all the time by the way, switching on my PC that is!

While waiting for it to get started, I looked out my window; at the neighborhood I have known since I was 9 years old, the neighborhood I grew up in and had all sorts of fun in. It was different when we first moved here 20 years ago; back then our house was the very first in the vicinity, but later more people started to build their houses and move in here. I looked at the street across from our house; the street that had witnesses my falls when I was trying to learn how to ride the bicycle. When I finally did learn how to do that, I spent most of my time roaming the neighborhood with my elder and younger brothers. Those times will always be unforgettable to me and to them. The three of us were full of life and adventurous to an extent that nothing could stop us from having fun; really having fun. We did all sorts of crazy things; I could go on and on about that you know;P

Now that I stood there taking in a view I am more than familiar with, I felt like an alien to all that surrounds me. I felt strange and a stranger as well. The neighborhood looked dreary to my eyes, devoid of life and devoid of all the fun I knew back then. I spent more than 10 minutes just looking outside my window, thinking about all that has happened from that moment; 20 years ago, until this very moment. I realized that so many things have changed, altering everything during its course of transformation into something I no longer recognize. In the blink of an eye, it dawned on me that life around me has changed, and not me as a person, and that all the while I was trying strenuously to come to terms with this change in people, in life, in habits, in beliefs, and almost in every other area. I was feeling a stranger to my own self because I could not accept that life is nothing like it used to be.

The streets, the neighborhood, the houses, and everything else I saw at my moment of reverie might have been be the same from the outside, but they have somehow lost their glow of life! They looked dead to my eyes because they have lost their interest in life along the way; they no longer fill me with that unique sense of joy, all they do now is fill me with nostalgia!

It felt scary to stand there looking at the things that were supposed to make me feel ‘Home sweet Home’, and not know anything about them other than the fact that they felt new to me! I closed my eyes wanting so bad to shake that feeling off  and regain my peace of mind and heart, but the feeling would not go; it kept coming back to me every time I stared out the window and watched the wind play with the trees in our garden. There used to be that huge and ancient hibiscus tree just outside my window; it used to make me smile and feel like a little girl every time I looked at it, it is not here anymore, it died like so many other things, and when I look for it all I see is this vast emptiness, nothingness.

My late grandmother used to have lunch with us every Friday, and after lunch we would always have tea in the living room, where she would sit peacefully and look out the large window overlooking our garden. She looked so happy and content those distant days; as though she wanted nothing more than be there with us and enjoy the feeling of being happy. She died 4 years ago.

When I looked outside my window today, I remembered her, I remembered her peaceful smile. Something about the weather and the sun and the houses and my room made me remember her. I miss her, and I always feel like she never did leave us! She is my link to happier days and happier moments. 

Today, I just feel like getting back my beautiful Yesterday!!  

April 12, 2010

'THE' Birthday Girl


Happy Birthday
to Me..
Happy Birthday to Me..
Happy Birthday.. Happy Birthday
Happy Birthday to Me!!

Yeah yeah it is my birthday today!
I cannot believe it, can you??
I have turned (....)
Sorry cannot tell..!
LOL
I will leave it to you guys to guess
Ahem ahem; the mystery lady I know;P

Well, I have mixed feelings, which I cannot quite analyze or even understand!
I am happy and excited and thrilled about the celebration that is yet to come, but I am also kind of pensive about the whole thing!
It really does feel a bit strange to go through your birthday minute by minute; thinking about what it means to you and what you want to do and what you dream of getting; by that I certainly do not mean gifts!

For me, this day is more of an intense emotional experience; filling me with expectations for tomorrow and the days to follow. I see myself days and months from today, standing at a crossroads, thinking of me.. What I want, and who I seek to become and where I want to go from there.

Last year, on this same day, I made a wish, or two, or maybe three, or four!!
Am I losing count here?
I cannot say that they have come true, but at the same time I know there is a reason why some of them haven't! Only Allah knows why, but in my heart I  believe in the 'Why' even without knowing it or seeing it.

I am happy and blessed to have people who love me and remember me and go to all lengths just to make my day special and unforgettable!
I had pleasant surprises and tearful moments that tugged at my heart and made me see how much they all love me and care about me!

I thank them; every single one of them.
I want them to know that I love them so much and that my life is beautiful because they exist in it!

Today, I also thank Allah for my life..
For my health..
For my parents and brothers..
For my friends and sisters..
For having a life that is a blessing..
For everything I have and do not have..
For who I am..
For all I am..

And one more thing,,
I had a terrible day at work today, and I felt like crying and struggled to stop myself from ruining it all!
But then,, I remembered that it is my birthday, isn’t it??
So I decided that nothing is worth spoiling my moment!!
NOTHING!!

Today I get to be the Birthday Girl..
So,,
Happy Birthday to me..


April 09, 2010

Mr. Right

How do we know that ‘someone’ is Mr. Right? How do we recognize the ‘click’ that is supposed to occur when the one of us comes across this Mr. Right?

I always ask myself such questions because I find it extremely puzzling; a mystery which I still haven’t managed to unravel completely. I know it is all about destiny and how each one of us is meant to be with someone who has been destined for us all along. I believe in this and I have no doubt about it whatsoever, but I need to understand it and recognize the symptoms, as I fancy calling it, that indicate that this 'anyone’ is the so-called Mr. Right! I need to know it in my heart and feel it totally, so I won’t have any doubts or uncertainties about the whole issue. Not knowing is frustrating!

My married friends always tell me that I should and would feel it if any of my suitors happened to be the one. In a number of cases, I did know that ‘Him’ and ‘Him’ and ‘Him’ were certainly not meant to be the one! I knew it instantly and my normal reaction was wanting to flee the place as soon as I could and never look back! I always found reasons and faults to say no! And I never regretted it in any of those times, with none of those suitors. I could not see myself stuck for eternity with any of them, and I know now that I was absolutely right about my intuition, for if I was meant to be the one for one of them, I would have ended up saying yes a long time ago!

Still, I always ask myself the same question, over and over again, how is it possibly plausible that I’d know someone is not Mr. Right, but I would always be doubtful whether someone is Mr. Right? How is this ever understandable or acceptable? How do I make myself grasp the logic or non-logic in it? Can somebody please tell me?!

Some say it is all about the heart; claiming it’d always tell you if the ‘One’ was in close proximity! But what if your heart never does know?! What if it just cannot know that and does not have that radar by which it would recognize the symptoms and signs and indications? What if you were always driven by sense and sensibility? What if your way of looking at it is simply by pinpointing the positives and negatives you see in the guy and weighing them against each other to know whether it is a ‘YES’ or a ‘NO’?? Is that even credible or guaranteed to work all the time?

     

Okay, so I am sweet, romantic, emotional, dreamy, and full of hopes and expectations about my Mr. Right, but where do I go from here if my heart still refuses to give me the sign I am looking for to know and to believe in my story of ‘Happily ever After’?! Is there some kind of fault in it or what! I mean, for those of you who know, really what is it all about? A flutter of the heart or a mental click in the head?

And,,

If, despite all the uncertainty, a day would come when someone-anyone- comes along, and you think nothing has happened and no ‘click’ has occurred, but something God knows what stops you from saying NO every time you attempt to do so, does it mean anything at all?  

I am asking, so clearly I am the one who does not know!!

April 05, 2010

Daddy Long Legs


Daddy Long Legs, or 'Sa7ib el thil el 6aweel', how many of you still remember this amazing series with a wide smile on their face? I still do! And every time it comes to my mind, I get this fantastic feeling that spontaneously puts a big big smile on my lips. I was a huge fan of 'Daddy Long Legs' and I swear I would still watch it like I never did; if only they would show it again.

I cannot remember how old I was when I watched it the first time; probably at the primary school, but I can tell you my cousins, my brothers and I were all crazy about it. I remember how all of us would gather in the sitting room in my aunt's house, with that long and narrow corridor where they put the TV, and just have our eyes glued to the screen like we have never seen anything of the likes before. We would sit close to each other; well the place was so small, and the room would always look crammed with the whole bunch of us there, not wanting to move an inch or take so much as a breath. Oh my God, how I would do anything to have that only memory come back to me.

You know what the funny thing was? My aunt; at seeing us so taken with the story, would always comment that the whole show was not meant for kids, and that the storyline itself was not at all suitable for our age! Of course our normal reaction was to look the comment over and continue being mesmerized and spellbound by Daddy Long Legs!

Though this is now nothing but a beautiful memory of my amazing childhood days, I still feel as though it is not totally gone. It is locked somewhere inside my mind and heart; providing me with a unique sense of belonging and making me complete in a strange way! It is a symbol of pure innocence and peace to me; it reminds me of the anxiety-free times! Back then, we cared about nothing but having fun and watching TV all day and playing and having a blast simply by enjoying ourselves to the utmost.

I can tell you that we were completely taken with 'Daddy Long Legs'! Of course the love story in the show was all new to us; made us girls beam stupidly all the while! We were all tears when the final episode arrived! I was like: Oh My God they got married and will live happily ever after!

How beautiful those days and those memories were! I find myself remembering them constantly. Maybe I will get my wish, though, and one smart channel would miraculously broadcast this series again!

Another wish on my never ending list of wishes!

Here is a reminder of Daddy Long Logs; scenes from the show, with a beautiful song in the background that says it all.

Enjoy!

March 31, 2010

You are mine

 


While writing this, I am listening to a song named “6ameny”; meaning assure me of your well being, or tell me you are alright, by the famous Kuwaiti singer Abdulla Al Ruwaished. It is a very beautiful romantic song, which also has its share of melancholy and a touch of nostalgia.

Well, for me the song is a link to a memory that goes back to around 4 or 5 years. At the time, I coincidentally came across a novel whose writer used to publish chapters from on a regular basis, in a Saudi Forum. The author is a Saudi doctor by the name of Mona Al Marshood. The novel itself is called ‘Anta Li”, this is translated as ‘You are mine’. For anyone who feels interested in reading it, I won’t reveal any details about it so as not to spoil the thrill of reading it without knowing anything about it.

I cannot say what really drew me to it back then, but I seriously became so hooked to it to the extent that I spent continuous hours just reading chapters and chapters without so much as a break! I was literally glued to the screen and caught in a spill that did not free me until I was done with reading all the chapters she published online. However, after reaching chapter 43, she made an announcement that she would stop publishing online until she gets the whole thing printed on paper, due to the unpleasant fact that her story was stolen and published in different forums with other names! So to preserve her rights, she wanted to have it printed so the truth would remain that she was the real author. You can imagine how upset we got! Her readers were like thousands from all over the world and no one had the patience to wait. Our wait dragged for months, and the months became a year or two! At a certain point, I stopped waiting and decided to give up on the whole thing.

As the time went by, I heard that the whole thing was finally published! People had to register in order to get a copy of the book from Saudi Arabia, particularly at the official signing of the book. I could not get my copy because I was late and they ran out of copies. I asked one of my Saudi friends to go the bookshop that sold the book and get me one, but they had none! I was desperate, and got really upset knowing I would not be able to finish reading the thing! However, some of those who did get the book scanned the remaining chapters and put them online for the rest of us to read! So, I did finally finish it:) I loved it, really loved it.

Anyways, back to the song I am listening to at the moment, when I first started reading the story, I had this same song playing, and I don’t know why, but it was just the perfect song at the time to make me get into the story deep; real deep. I put it on the repeat mode, and I did not even get sick of listening to it over and over again. Of course I cried like a baby throughout the read, and the song contributed to that.

Now, I cannot listen to it without remembering those days, and the story, and all the details, and the feelings it evoked in me back then. I can literally close my eyes and relive it all, moment by moment. It is amazing how we can always link a particular song or melody to a particular incident. We can always go back in time merely by listening to it again.

This memory, and this song, always makes me smile, despite the sense of sadness it beholds. I am the kind of person who has a connection with certain kinds of songs, each of which means something different to me. The biggest sentimental, I know! LOL.

For those of you interested in listening to it or watching the clip, here it is! Enjoy:)

March 28, 2010

To be OR not to be!

I have just finished watching the amazing and inspiring movie “Julie & Julia”, which  I have been meaning to watch since forever, but every time I decided to do so, something got in the way, or some laziness on my part; for the sake of honesty. When I did finish it, less than a half hour ago, I had tears in my eyes, and my heart was thumping so hard I thought I was on the verge of having a heart attack or something. Strange enough, eh?

Well here is the truth about why it has made me feel this way. Throughout the movie, I felt like a message was being delivered to me, like someone was telling me to see what I have to see, and understand what I should understand and believe in. I could see myself in Julie herself, I felt as though the story reflected me, and this one dream that has been chasing me; or me chasing it, almost all my life.

Before watching the movie, my eldest brother; done watching it, told me that I had to see it as soon as possible. I remember what he said to me back then, he said:

‘Julie & Julia is made for you! If you do not watch it at the earliest, then you are the stupidest person ever!’.

At the time, I was puzzled as to why he was that much enthusiastic about it. I asked him why he thought  I should see it, and he replied that it was just the thing to get me going and make me realize that I was meant to be another Julie! Now I know why he had that conviction and vision.

Let me tell you this, every minute throughout the movie, I saw myself in Julie’s shoes. I imagined it was my blog being popular and widely read and loved. In my head, I saw the moment where I would finally get my moment; “The Moment'” I have been seeing and living over and over again in my mind and heart. I saw myself being discovered, and acknowledged and appraised. I swear I am not being vain or ostentatious here; gloating about being masterly in writing. I am merely acknowledging something I know I have. Isn’t it always good to recognize what you believe you possess; what you see as a talent and a skill in yourself? Isn’t this the first right step towards real success?

 

You remember the days when we were still kids; fond of talking and babbling and giving life to life itself simply by having all sorts of dreams, thought to be silly at times? I remember how I kept telling my parents that I would grow up to be a writer! As funny as it seems now, I still go back to the things I wrote back then. My dad keeps a file for each one of us; my brothers and myself, where he kept all the documents and papers concerning us; certificates, cards, scribbles and all. You might laugh at this, but my file has the biggest share of scribbles! There are songs, letters to my parents, short stories and similar writings. When I had a disagreement with either mom or dad, I always ended up writing a letter of apology or one of anger; always checking how much they would endure my tantrums! Okay so I was spoiled; being an only daughter;D

My father once told me that I would indeed grow up to be a writer. That belief somehow grew bigger and has become the only thing I could think of making a reality one day. Believe me, back at school, I would enjoy nothing as much as I enjoyed writing. Even my teachers teased me about my unwillingness and reluctance to let go of the pen whenever I was given the chance to express myself, to speak my mind about any subject or issue. I was good at it, and I would always get an excellent mark that reflected my passion for writing.

So, time went by ever so quickly, and I ended up studying English Literature with a minor in translation at the University. I chose it because I loved it. It has given me all the guidance I needed to become more skilled in what I love; writing. It has intensified and solidified my faith in myself as a good writer, a person who is capable enough of using words to deliver a message, to communicate with people effectively and make a difference in their lives, no matter how insignificant that effect might be. However, the more I write, the more I realize that this is not enough, it is not where I want to stop, but only the beginning of a journey I am willing to take.

“Julie & Julia” was not the trigger to this desire, it was merely a reminder that I should work harder to pursue my dream; the dream of becoming a true writer! To put it right, it was all the inspiration I needed to keep myself going, to finish something I have started but lost the courage and determination to finish, somewhere along the way.

Sometimes, I cannot help but wonder about me, about this dream I have, about the future I so much want for myself, and the life I wish to lead. There is always this moment when I would ask myself this:

How readable do others think my writings are?
To which extent can I keep people hooked to my words?
Do they see me as a gifted writer?
Do they look forward to reading more of what I have to say?
Are they enthusiastic enough about me, and what I write?? 

The questions would of course go on and on, until I give up thinking, or give in to my fear of pursuing the dream. Sometimes I stumble and fall, and other times I just find myself gathering all the courage in the world and plan for the days to come; the brighter days, the days  that would pave the way for a brilliant future, one of glory and achievement.

As I stand at this crossroads today; asking myself the famous question; Hamlet’s question: To be or not to Be, I find my heart and my mind screaming at me To Be! I think we are all meant to be certain things in life, and to become the people we choose to become, it is just that our choices are what make all the difference, and distinguish one person from another.

For me, I don’t have the slightest shred of doubt as to what I want to become in life. It is just that sometimes I am blinded by this inexplicable and unbearable fear of taking one additional step forward. Sometimes I am once again that little girl with the pony tail; always fearful of falling and never having the strength to stand up again!

To be or NOT to be; that is always the question!

March 26, 2010

Henna Nostalgia

The other day I went to a friend’s Henna party. The overall atmosphere was great and I had so much fun being there and watching the girls enjoy their time dancing and signing and having pleasant and unforgettable moments in the company of the people they love and care about.

The theme of the night was ‘Indian’, so the bride and her sisters and also the kids wore Indian costumes, and so did I. For those of you who know the Arab Henna Party traditions, you would know that there is usually this  ‘Sufra’ thing, where there would be various kinds of decorations and beautifully designed pots and glassware, and of course giveaways. This is originally an Iranian tradition, but now it has become widely practiced amongst so many people, who consider it an important part of the wedding festivities. 

‘Sufra’ could be done in different ways, and now that it has become this popular, you would find endless creative ways to do it. The more I see of it, the more convinced I am of the fact that it is nothing like it used to be anymore. Nowadays it tends to be inventive and also innovative. People are coming with all sorts of ideas to make their ‘Sufras’ look more dazzling and appealing to the eyes!

Here are examples of different Sufras:

Of course these are only samples I have found on the internet, but I have seen much more beautiful Sufras that took my breath away! Anyhow, back to the Henna party I went to, the giveaways they had were colored coffee cups covered with small pieces of glittering chiffon cloth. Inside those cups, there was Henna, sprinkled with red and green glitters; just like the bride’s dress. They gave me six cups, and because I knew I would not use them all, I had to empty some of the Henna inside so it would not dry up and go to waste. So I went to my bathroom and put those cups under the tap, for the henna to be washed away. While I was doing that, I could smell the fragrant smell of the henna. It was so strong that I just could not do anything but stand there sniffing it with a wide smile on my face; indulging in its magical and unique aroma. I am a henna person by the way, I just go weak in the knees at the sight of henna and I would be so proud and jubilant every time I had my hands painted with henna.

 
The one thing you probably do not know about what henna does to me is that it fills me with a strange and overwhelming feeling of nostalgia. I did experience it while I was washing those cups of the henna. It always reminds me of something ancient and pure and worthy. It makes me think of happiness in the true sense of the word. When I smell henna, I see myself going back in time, when my cousins and I would have our hands painted with henna for Eids and weddings. That was always the first thing we thought of, amongst our other endless preparations for Eids and wedding parties alike.

Henna makes me nostalgic for days that would never come back, for a childhood I will always remember with pride and fondness.

Henna is a symbol for the past, and a future I cannot fully see. It is a token of love and remembrance, and a ticket to a rare kind of joy and happiness. It is the identity that has preserved its value over so many generations which I cannot even keep track of.

It is love.. It is joy.. It is the smile of a happy and a proud bride. It is learning how to belong to something that spiritually means a lot to you.

Henna…
It is my secret nostalgia!

March 23, 2010

Love You,, Love Life

 

Today, I woke up feeling extra fresh, and extra happy! I know that we are supposed to frequently-if not always-have that touch of hope and willingness to love life just the way it is, because it feels right to be hopeful and optimistic, but we are humans after all, and it is perfectly normal to usually not be over the moon! We all have our ups and downs, for this reason, I stopped asking myself why I am not feeling good about myself and about everything at certain times! Anyways, back to the point, I woke up all happy and smiling today; don’t ask me why though;P 

It just happened! No reason at all. So, I made myself a steaming cup of coffee, and boy it felt unusually good. Well, I guess it had something to do with my buoyant self!

So, all through the day, I kept smiling almost to everybody at work, and felt extremely exuberant that I just could not let myself get frustrated over anything or let any silly incident ruin my contagiously pleasant mood. I almost felt like telling everybody that they should wipe the frown off their faces and put on a smile, no matter how small a smile it is! I know that one little smile could make all the difference in someone’s life. For all you know, it could light up the world for someone who has been waiting-forever- just to see that smile brighten your face, and brighten his/her day just as much.


We usually spend our days sulking over trivial things, and waste our time dwelling on the past; forgetting that the future is ahead of us, waiting for us to open our eyes wide enough to see it, and stretch our arms to embrace a promise only tomorrow could hold for us. I know that I sometimes forget to enjoy life as much as I should, but along the way I have learned that every moment we waste is gone forever, unless we learn to seize it  before it flees, before it is too late even for regret! Even getting crazy at times and doing the unusual things; things we have never thought we could do, has its own beauty and makes you feel unusually ecstatic!  

Believe me, love is the most powerful of all sentiments! It has the power to change you, change the people around you and change the whole world even! Love is magical in its effect and outcome, so it is worthless to waste our time hating and resenting this or that, him and her!
Love is extraordinarily healing, believe me. It is a blessing and a gift from God. So, just love your life, love people, but most importantly love who you are, because loving yourself is definitely the first step towards loving others and learning to love and live life to the fullest. 

I love you all…