Family – my pleasure

I’m trapped,

in marriage and in motherhood.

No way to escape,

lest I’ll be chastised and misunderstood.

 

Don’t they know,

the job is never-ending.

Day by day,

the errands seem to be mounting.

 

24 hours daily,

the routine is all the same.

Work and work,

But I never made it to the hall of fame.

 

Every single day,

No time to relax or go for vacation.

All they want to see,

are hot meals and lots of adulation

 

Oh! Goodness me,

I’m physically and psychologically fatigue.

So much so that

I’m ready to pack up and leave the league.

 

But wait!

Something is always stopping me.

Oh my!

It’s the love I have for my family.

 

Pleasure

O Tourists! O Tourists!

O Tourists!  O Tourists!  They are everywhere.

Without them, income will be bare.

From every corner of the world they prepare to travel.

To every nook of the world they are willing to unravel.

 

O Tourists!  O Tourists!  They are always welcomed.

As profits increased and businesses blossomed.

From hotels to museums, beaches and bazaar.

To ancient monuments, pyramids and hussar.

 

O Tourists!  O Tourists!  The revenue yielders

To cab drivers, bellboys and animal breeders.

Keep coming here and boost our economy.

And redistribute wealth, peace and harmony.

 

O Tourists!  O Tourists!

 
Tourist

Fence – and its lexicon

Fence is a unique word.  It can be a noun or a transitive verb.  Many people know its two meanings but very few know there is a third meaning.

THE NOUN

‘A fence’ is a structure like a wall that separates two areas.

‘A fence’ can also mean an immaterial barrier or boundary as in the phrase ‘on the other side of the fence – in the argument’.

But did you know that ‘a fence’ can also mean a person who buys stolen property from thieves and sells it or a receiver of stolen goods or a place where stolen goods are bought.  I didn’t.

THE VERB

‘To fence’ means to put up a barrier around a place or area or to keep something or someone in or out with a fence.

‘To fence’ also means to fight with swords or to provide defense.

But did you know that ‘to fence’ also means to sell stolen property to a fence?  I didn’t.

You can use the word fence in offence, defence, fencing and fencer and you can add suffixes to it to get fenceless, fencelessness and fencerow.

But did you know that fencerow is not a row of fence but is actually the land occupied by a fence?  I didn’t.

THE IDIOM

Sitting on the fence or fence-sitting doesn’t mean literally sitting on the fence.  It is an idiom which means a state of indecision or neutrality with respect to conflicting positions.

But did you know that fence-mending has nothing to do with repairing your broken fence but it actually means the rehabilitating of a deteriorated political relationship?  I didn’t.

Enough said.  Now I know the lexicon of fence.

A joke:

John:  Where’s Bill?

Stan:  Attending to his fence.

John:  Oh!  He’s building a fence around his house?

Stan:  No! No!  He just got some loot from some robbers.

 

All meanings are from Merriam Webster Dictionary.

 
Fence

Deprive

We migrated to Egypt in mid November 2011.  It was almost the end of the Egyptian revolution.  The situation was stable but security was still questionable. Some of my friends and relatives called it bad timing.  They asked why we would we want to migrate to a politically unstable country. It was only for one reason.  My husband was so homesick, he just had to return, after living away from Egypt for more than 15 years.  Me – how do I feel?  Frankly speaking, I don’t feel anything. I was neutral. One part of me empathized with my husband while another part was kind of excited to move to another country.  I guess I’m the adventurous type.  I’ve always wanted to leave my home country and live in another country.  Just to experience life in a different place, different climate and culture. And finally opportunity knocked on my door and I just said yes.

The first few months were kind of difficult for all of us, particularly me and my two teenaged children.  First, there was the language barrier. Although we know Arabic, we were not that fluent, hence, our social life was kind of affected.  People here don’t really speak English.  There was Arabic everywhere – street names, building names, shops, schools, TV shows – there was hardly any English at all (we didn’t have satellite TV then).

But the main issue was security.  Having born and lived in very peaceful, safe and modern country, my teenaged children and I found life in Egypt totally suffocating. Why?  We were deprived of so many things.  We were DEPRIVED of freedom – we couldn’t go out without being escorted by my husband, not even to the grocery store.  Why? Because there were still sporadic violence, attacks and riots in certain places and at random times. My husband didn’t want to take any chances.  It’s either go out with him or stay at home.

We were DEPRIVED of sports.  My children are sports enthusiasts.  They played sports every single day in my home country – tennis, basketball, soccer, running, cycling, squash, badmintion – you name it.  We practically did no sports at all due to security reasons.  Not only that, sports facilities are very scanty in this town.  There is hardly any green fields due to the dry and hot climate.  Playing soccer in desert sand is not that appetizing.  There is hardly any basketball, badminton or squash courts. There are swimming pools but it was winter when we came so forget about swimming in pools or at the sea.  Playing sports was no longer in our daily or weekly agenda when we moved to Egypt.

We were DEPRIVED of social life.  No entertainment, very infrequent visits to relatives, no shopping, no going to the movies, no going to the beaches or museums or entertainment centers etc etc etc.  Life was mainly going to school and coming back home.  Not only because of security reasons, but it was also because this town lacks all of these basic amenities.  Beaches are not clean and too far away. Cinemas only show Arab movies and anyway there were scary stories of assault and kidnapping in cinemas.  So, again, we didn’t take any chances. Shopping is also a nightmare.  Prices skyrocketed after the revolution.  There was hardly any big shopping malls, just many small shops around with gawking sales staff impatient for you to buy something.

Then came June 2012 when President Morsi was elected.  We were hoping that at least security and stability can be restored.  But things got worse in June 2013 when President Morsi was ousted from power by a military coup.  The country was thrown into turmoil one more time – riots, attacks, assaults, bomb explosions, gunfire – there was chaos after chaos, attacks after attacks.  We were living in fear.  Fear for our safety.  Fear for my husband’s safety who was always outside, working and doing errands.

It was then that I realized something. Having experienced the unstable political situation first hand, it suddenly dawned on me that all my life, we had been DEPRIVED of this aspect of life.  We had been DEPRIVED of feelings of fear, anguish, anxiety, frustration and remorse – those feelings that people in Palestine, Bosnia, Syria, Myanmar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Ireland, and many other parts of the world had faced or are still facing – due to the effects of war.

And it made me think that the DEPRIVATION of all these feelings has made me and my family take things for granted. We took our freedom for granted.  We took our wealth, health, peace, happiness, safety, education, and family for granted.  We didn’t realize that other people in other parts of the world have to fight for their lives.  They have to fight for food, for homes, for land, for family, for their honor, respect, beliefs, health, safety, education and basically their rights for a good life.  We had taken all these things for granted because we were protected from all the negativities of life.  In my safe country, we don’t see war, we don’t see suffering or poverty, diseases, violence or corruption.  We basically have been DEPRIVED of the knowledge about the afflictions and sufferings of people from other countries.

So I started to think that moving to Egypt is not a bad timing at all. It was a blessing in disguise.  Back in my hometown, we had been living in a cocoon, protected from all dangers and violence.  But now, having been exposed to all these violence and sufferings, my children and I really understood the meaning of fear, suffering, pain and desperation.  It has made us become more aware about life, how fragile it is and how volatile it is.  It makes us appreciate the good things that we had before.  It made us sympathize and empathize with people in war-torn countries and disease-stricken areas.

My children learnt a very big lesson during the last couple of years, mainly from 2011 till 2014. They learnt that war is no longer a distant subject.  It’s not just something in the textbook about people long ago.  It was here. In front of their eyes.  There is no better teacher than real-life experiences.

I hope that my children will grow up to be better persons.  I hope they will become more appreciative and grateful and not take things for granted anymore.  Because they are no longer DEPRIVED of the true meaning of war and suffering.

Deprive

Crochet

One of my favorite hobbies is crochet.  I’m just a beginner but I love making simple things.  I’m not too keen on difficult stuffs though.  It’s kind of therapeutic, just sitting down and crochet, or doing it while watching television or movie on my laptop.  I’ve made simple stuffs like caps and baby vests, coasters or small table tops, something like that.  I’ve tried doing adult vests or cardigans but gave up due to the complex nature of doing the shoulder or sleeves.  However, I’m in the process of doing a vest right now and I hope I am persistent enough to carry on and continue till it’s fully done.

Vest - back

This is the partially completed vest – the back.

And here are my other products.  Not first class, but I think it’s passable for a beginner.  There are more but I do not know where the pictures are.  I’ll look for them.

crochet 2012

Life is Never Empty

Life is never empty.  It’s always full of things.  Just like a glass which looks empty, but actually is full of air and microscopic things.

Money will not fill up your life fully.  Nor will wealth and fame.  In fact they are specious folly.  That trick and disillusion you in a game of maim.

You may not have family.  But you will always have friends.  You may not have friends, but you will always have neighbors.  Even if you claim you don’t have neighbors, there will always be somebody who needs your help. An orphan, a victim, a patient, the sick, the old, the underprivileged, the homeless, the handicapped, or the loner, just like you.

 

So, go out and find them and they will soon be your neighbors, where you will visit them often.  Or your friends whom you will talk to and maybe they will become your family, to share your happiness and problems.

Then only will you find your life fulfilled – no longer empty. Because now, it will be filled with kindness, generosity, sympathy, empathy, sharing, caring and love.

Life is never empty.

Empty

AIMLESS – Or is it?

Life is never aimless.

In fact it is the direct opposite.

No step is ever useless.

Intention is a pre-requisite.

 

Nobody walks around aimlessly.

There is always a reason.

Unless you are sick psychologically.

You will not tread the path of treason.

 

Your aimlessness is just an excuse.

To cover up your lack of confidence.

Some people think it’s just your ruse.

To prevent them from knowing  your real ambition.

 

The real truth is that you always have an objective.

For every single thing that you do.

The only difference is whether it’s positive or negative.

And the reward or retribution will definitely come to you.

 

Aimless

Keep it open

Don’t restrict your life to dreams, wishes and aspirations.  Life is bigger than that. Anything can happen and will happen, with the will of God.

If your dreams don’t come true, don’t be sad.  Create other dreams.  Create new dreams. Expand your mind and widen your vision.  A dream is just a visionary creation of your imagination. So don’t distress yourself if it doesn’t materialize.  Maybe it needs to be corrected or improved or modified.  So go on, envision and conjure up new ones.

If your wishes are not fulfilled, don’t be angry.  Leave them aside.  Work on other wishes.  I’m sure you have tons of them.  Revel on the ones that have been fulfilled and be appreciative. If all your wishes are fulfilled, then you will not want to wish anymore and your life will stop. And you will rot.  So, go on, wish some more.

If you don’t achieve your aspirations, don’t fret.  There are an abundance of opportunities out there waiting to be grabbed.  The world is laden with them. Go out and seek.  Don’t stay indoors and mope all day. Your aspirations can come in many ways and from any directions.  Don’t stick to one opportunity. If one doesn’t work, try another.  Soon, and sooner, you will find the best opportunity that will make you achieve your aspirations.

Dream first, then make it into a wish. Work your wish and turn it into an aspiration.  If it doesn’t work, it’s okay.  Disentangle yourself.  It’s an open world.  You won’t enjoy it unless you open yourself up. Don’t restrict yourself.

BE FREE!  BE OPEN!

 

 

Open

EMPATHY

Some people have sympathy but no empathy. Some people have both sympathy and empathy. And, there are others who have both sympathy and empathy and then go all the way out to assist others in whatever way they can. Most of us have a few of such friends.

On the contrary, there are also people who have neither sympathy nor empathy. But the worst kind of people are those who have neither sympathy nor empathy and then go all the way out to hurl criticisms or making premature judgements at other people without knowing the real reasons. It’s really depressing especially when these privileged people degrade underprivileged people for wanting to better their lives. Such people are pathetic because they have high IQ but very low EQ – and the few things they brought back home after years of education are a couple of vulgarities and a load of arrogance. Period.”

This post was in response to an attack by a so-called PhD holder for a request that a friend (also a PhD holder) made on my behalf on Facebook. It was uncalled for. I was really pissed off, hurt and disappointed by his comments and the use of vulgarities. My friend advised me to ignore his comments saying that that is his personality and he has been like that since their school days.

I refrained myself for sometime but I know I cannot leave it like that. I have to get back at this guy not out of revenge but to remind him about humility and to stop him from hurting others.

But to ‘honor’ my friend’s advice, I didn’t reply to his post directly but rather posted the above note on my own wall and tag my friend.

I just hope he understood my post and stop his arrogant behavior.  Holding a PhD doesn’t give him the right to criticize other people.  He is nothing but a mere human being.

 “And do not walk upon the earth exultantly. Indeed, you will never tear the earth [apart], and you will never reach the mountains in height.” (Holy Quran: 17:37)

 

 

Rebuild -Embrace your new life

Rebuild,

even if your life was smashed to smithereens.

Because you are still alive.

God wants you to live still.

What has broken is just your outer clothes,

that God has taken off from you.

As it has already served its purpose.

He’s preparing another set for you.

A much better one.

A more beautiful one.

Because He has elevated you to a higher position,

that warrants a new set of clothes.

So be happy.

Go with the flow.

Don’t worry too much of the future.

Live one day at a time.

You may not see God’s purpose yet.

But you will soon know.

You will soon see your new set of clothes.

All beautiful and shiny.

And that’s when you will see God’s wisdom.

Rebuild and embrace your new life.

 

 

Rebuild