28 Apr 2005

UNDER THE SKIN

Interesting past two days. Lots of changes, or at least potential ones.

Ok, now I am depressed. I was going to see friends and then decided to just drive around in Ma'adi next to my old school and go home. Horrible school. Wonderful school. Very liberal. Very european with an egyptian spin enough to ruin the european taste. But I liked this severe contradiction and confusion you face at a real young age. We were never protected by rules or behaved under any umberalla of thoughts or custom. A liberating feeling pushing you to pick and choose your own convictions.

Ok, now I am depressed. Again? Yes. Not depressed in the sense of sitting in bed, but this feel of a deep need to stay alone. A depression that pushes me to act, think and do something. I act my best when I am down. Strange. Not really. I just realize that when feeling down, I am more confident in myself. Feel like I am totally me. Gathering all my scattered energies and ideas. Talk slower. Say what I mean, and not minding being a little mean when saying it. Don't compromise myself for the sake of any person. En bref, respect who I am and how I feel. More egocenter I guess.

So! Changing jobs. Oh yeah. Got this interview with this company out of nowhere. According to the interviewer, my name was propagated couple of times and then recommended. So, a friend of a friend asked for my resume. I sent it. Had an informal interview Wednesday. Sounds interesting actually especially that both Z. and myself are moving towards almost the same field. In fact, his new job is a more specific, personalized version of mine. Well, not sure how long will Z. stay in this new job. He didn't start it yet and I alread see him meeting with entrepreneurs for couple of ideas that they wanted him to lead. I wonder at times, what's up with this restless mind and soul of his, and of mine at times too. We hardly stick in the same field, place or even country. Mohamed's last post reminded me of our dilemma to some extent. I don't mind the ongoing switch, but I need some stability some time. At least, a motionless second. I am not a constant hyper active person, but Z. is. Was very obvious yesterday. He couldn't stay still and enjoy the cup of coffee we were having. I keep telling him to relax. I could tell, his brain was rotating at full speed. Wanting to catch what? I don't know. Typical Leo I suppose! Will be interesting to see how he relaxed on the boat. He claims so, but I know he doesn't. Cute!

However, what is bothering me? 1. I am now forgeting all together about pursuing the PhD I had been wanting to do forever. I wonder now if I really want to do it, or if I am good with that academic life. 2. The field of my PhD will forever be a nagging dream in my head because this is what I love the most, and enjoy reading about. Everyone is telling me that I can still read and do my own research as an amateur level. But I can't do that. I always like to be professional in all whatever I do, even hobbies. Strange. I feel that forever I will chase this same old dream that I keep postponing. 3. Egypt? Will it really be my home, or will I forever continue to feel like a visitor, a stranger. I wonder from where does this feeling stem from. Maybe it is not about the country as much as about the self. I am puzzled by me.

I don't know.

This long weekend is so silly. Z.'s is again going to his fishing, diving trip with our friends. I again couldn't go. I would love to stay in the boat for couple of days totally relaxing but I just think a boat with couples is just too private for me. I will agian elope tomorrow to my Alex. and stay this time with Z.'s mother.

Tonight is too relaxing actually. The weather is very crisp. Cool. Streets are empty. Less noise. Feel like just reading or sitting in the balcony unconsciously waiting for a call to tell me that they all arrived safely to Hurgada.

27 Apr 2005

FROM ROSSETTI

A dear friend. Very dear actually. If I believe in 'best friend' concept, then he is indeed one. Had our best and worst time together when I was living in the USA. We would fight and debate like hell, and then burst into laughter. We even didn't talk for months, but then we met and hiked together in AZ. Wonderful friendship that managed to survive all this tough, rough ups and downs; my agressive, egocentric character, and his witty, competitive nature. Now the long distance, and the changing that each of us is encountering are all taking a toll on our friendship. But indeed he is a real friend. Very real. Friends at heart.

Anyways, Christian sent me a nice email about Jesus. He knew I like 'the symbol'. 'My' Christian is Catholic, Irish mother (very sweet, classy mother) and sarcastic father. Very shrewd to say the least. Not sure if 'my' Christian is a strict Cathloic. I can't really figure that out, why would I! I pretended to be a believing muslim, and in reaction he pretended to be a strict believer in Jesus. But, which 'islam' and which 'jesus' that we believed in? ehm, which pictures did we choose to believe? Hopefully not the dead ones.

''But that Jesus is nowhere to be found on our televisions or in our newsweeklies. Ironically, mass-market Christians rarely cite or emphasize the living Jesus, the Jesus who speaks. They like their Christ dead. Or nearly dead, as in Mel Gibson's movie. In that film, the entire Sermon on the Mount - the most important words Jesus spoke - is relegated to a few seconds of flashback.''

Interesting. We have our own version of jesus in islam, al-Hussien. He is portrayed as a martyr who sacrificed himself to save the 'muslims'; gave his life away as a wakeup call to redirect muslims from going astray. I am not really sure, why do we like to have our heros dead? What is the pleasure in thatl? To feel more and more guilty. To know that we are useless piece of junk who would never learn or appreciate the sacrifice and the messages. What is the purpose really? I actually hate that indirect message embedded in religion.

'My' Chris, Thank you!

Source: By Jack Hitt The Los Angeles Times Tuesday 26 April 2005

25 Apr 2005

NO TRESPASS

'Indeed some people are really shallow'. 'Feeding and squandering on trifling talks'. This has always been my impression of those people I see sitting on this baladi ahwa, not far away from where I live. I usually bump into Z. , foreign collegues, friends I haven't met in ages sitting there smoking shisha and drinking tea., Day or night, I expect to see someone I know. Now this ahwa has become a significant landmark in my routes whenever I walk to run some errands. I have to pass by, poke inside if I didn't see anyone lining up on the street seats.

Despite my familiarity by now with the ahwa, I never thought of spending some time there. All my visits are en passant. Quick stops. Quick sips of Z.'s cinamon & ginger drink. Quick greetings before I go on. I guess I enjoy the guest feel. Just standing there, listening to a couple of jokes, hearing some political gossips and just leave. Smoke away all what I have heard as soon as I leave.

I am very much sealed in my t.v. image of an ahwa : a place to just masticate on time. I would wardoff my friend's attempt to convince me that the best talks happen on the ahwa with a couple stones of me'asel. Could very well be.

But I know there is something inside me that rejects sitting there, yet seeks any opportunity to be there. To have, again and again, an en passant connexions. I know this place growing up. Up and down I would pass it. Take a silent glimpse of it when walking alone or with my dad. Dared not to gawk inside because it is impolite to stare at people in their private cosmos.

Private cosmos! Pa, what are you talking about?!

24 Apr 2005

BODY LISTENS

I didn't feel like talking to anyone since last night. I wanted to just curl inside myself and be left alone for as long as it will take me. I turned off my cell phone and refused to recieve any calls.

Waking up this morning, I found my voice totally gone. Can't say a word. As if I had been screaming all night. I thought this was really cool. I need no medicine. Nothing. I just wanted to have my voice gone for couple of days until I feel ok again. A crystal clear wordless excuse.

How cool this body can really be. Thanks!

SAFARI

Today I didn't feel comfortable with myself. I am also sick and my voice is almost gone. I had to do extra effort to catch with Z.'s conversation. Felt like running after a speeding car. I wonder why we just didn't remain silent. Actually, I was the one who initiated conversations, although I wasn't interested in talking in a general sense, and thus reached for my old habbit of just spacing out. My statments didn't make sense, and I would just go off topic and back to the topic again. I kept doing that until sweetly Z. hinted, 'What are we talking about here?'. EH! I don't know. I think I was answering a nagging question that kept playing inside: 'It is not what's next', but 'what's now. What's with this moment.'

So, the odds chose to meet inside me today: discomfort with myself, vague look to the future, boredom, confusion, and an urgent need to break away from a pattern that I could recognize it coming. And it scares me, especially that this state I reached was reflected profoundly on how I interacted with Z. I was more of a follower than night, yet not at peace with being so. I was forced to be in this state, because I was having a struggle inside. I was insecure.

Anyways, after watching this fake silly movie-- no coincidents I guess--we went to have a drink on a boat overlooking the nile. The weather was awesome. Nice air, a bit windy. Out of nowhere I saw an old friend of mine who was a team member in my graduation project. He was having supper with his wife, whom he finally married after 4 years of struggling to get a divorce from N. T. is such a light, funny, decent, classy character. Althoug we couldn't relate to one another in how we see life, yet, we had awesome time together as a group. In fact, our graduation group (it was 5 guys, and myself), was the best team I had ever worked with. Now the group disintegrated and we are hardly connect, with the exception of myself and M., mybest friend for more than 10 years now. M surprisingly joined me at every stage in my life as if our destiny was connected. Our journey and moves have been always in sync. and carried us to the same places. Cairo, France, Montreal, NY. Anyways, I was delighted to see T. happy and functioning again. I think that seeing him doubled my doze of the spacing out, reviving some old memories. A subtle forceful invitation to stop, think and evaluate. Not my favourite invitation though at that particular time.

Anyways, Z. and I myself took his car and went to Khan al-Khalili. He was looking to buying some bedouin carpets for his new apartment. Cute this enthusiasim that he reflects with every new step he takes. I love that. He bought a nice bedouin carpet. I actually liked his taste with the colours he chose. A melange of orange, red, black and white. I then took him to this bedouin antique shop that I used to like, but he didn't like. 'I am not impressed.' He said. Well, 'toz feek.' I mumbled to myself.

We ended our walk in the Khan with eating at the famous Egyptian Pancakes shop. This was when I started to relax a bit. Partially, because I sat on one of the outside tables alone in the nice air watching the street, the mosques from apart and the naiive, kind people while Z. was talking to a friend he had met. When we finished eating, we went for a slow, light walk in the khan and then headed to the car. On the way, Z. picked up a book about prophetic medicine, that talked about healing with camel's urine and milk. A thing he considered totally ridiculous, while I still wonder about.

We took the book, sat on the car's trunk in the parking lot for like 30 minutes and started browsing through it. We were actually very close to each other at that time. I was finally relaxed with the cool air, empty streets and casual attitude. The prophetic medicine topic navigated us through various religious, life topics that we usually enjoy talking about. I found myself declaring my deep confusion between my head and my heart. The reality of what stays beyond what we think we see. I have my own reasons, truth about it and direct experiences that hold me hostage between 2 worlds. The best reply was, 'if you felt it then it must be true to you. As for me, I don't know. There is a long path for me still.'

A full day. Multiple phases. Different connections on different levels and at different places. The best connection was when Z. called me while I was driving home. He asked me to listen to this song playing on the radio FM. Bummer. My brother's car radio doesn't work. Z. just put his cell phone close to the radio for me to listen. It was a beautiful song.

Unexpected gesture. Yet very touching.

23 Apr 2005

IN TOO DEEP

Can't describe it. Yet can still feel it. All words are not enough to translate it. So I will leave it where it is.

Now I know why jesus was only one word.

I just noticed that I talk about jesus a lot. I am not christian and I am not going to say that Islam demands us to praise jesus. This is shallow. We dont respect or connect with someone or something because we are 'asked to' do so yet because we feel guided to doing so. Feel the longing of doing so.

I am not even going to go into the divinity of jesus, being the father or the son or god. I simply don't care about this theology. He is what he is/was/will be. Fiha ma fiha. With all my respect and disrespect to all religions. But sure jesus will always remain a mystery as long as Love is not yet deciphered.

I think I need to trace how jesus is described in the Coran. I tried doing this once, but I was lost.

22 Apr 2005

HAAL

I am sick, have this subtle cold. Sleepy. Have been slacking around all day, throwing myself between coach and bed. Now I am petulant in the sense that I don't want to talk to anyone, or hear any noise. Want to be left alone. However, in less than an hour I have to head to a friend's house for some sort of a party. I agreed to go in one of these moments when I was feeling social. Actually the next moment after I commited, I started to search for other plans to break this one. Silly. Well, I hate parties, although the couple who invited me are adorable. But..... well.

So, what should I wear. The weather is confusing. I will go in jeans, what else can I wear. But have to decide on the chemise and if I should take a jacket....some girlie stuff. Plus if it is hot, I don't want to be sweating, and if it is humid I dont want to feel soaked. I hate this strange weather. Plus my hair is too straight for my taste. Looks like I am wearing one of Samir Ghanem wigs. Lots of complications. Plus the drive. Shoud I get them something. I don't even know. I didn't want to call lest they ask me to get something and then this will be an extra errand for me.

OUF. Really.

Ended up wearing black shirt, and took a black light jacket with me. Black x Black. I already dont feel comfortable with that colour.

'AMR KHALED

Interesting figure that stimulated the public for sometime both when he was in Egypt and later when he left to UK, and/or Lebanon.

My first introduction to him was not through going to his lectures in the 6th of October. However, I initially came to know him when one day I was entering my building and found excerpts from Coranic verses, lines from Hadith, supplications on the main door to be read before we step out to the world or when entering on our household, then posters announcing the upcoming program of 'Amr Khaled for nahdat al-umma. I was triggered.

I hate this kind of stuff, especially that these papers will be an open invitation for people to write on some comments, or salutations, and then by time will fall off; turning the building to look like a governmental building, papers and trash. Moreover, my neighbour, didn't take our permission to do that in the first place, and this for me was invading my private space. I don't mind him being religious, but I hate this bubbly enthusiasm.

My mother was cool about it. She didn't see a reason for me getting annoyed by my neighbour's action. Her only response was 'Isn't this better than going astray, drinking and smoking.' Huh. Silly answer. What does this have to do with stamping posters in the building? What is the connexion. None. Anyways, the whole story ended up by me just simply removing these posters and announcements, and giving it to the doorman to burn them. My mom was furious. But I didn't care.

Anyways, last night I saw 'Amr Khaled in the interview. I actually am not going to say my opinion in what he is doing. He is obviously a very positive guy, with a constructive vision to the future, trying to do something useful. Great, I guess. However, I just didn't like his way of replying to the interviewer. Whatever he was asked, he would use coran and ahadith to assert his point and what he was doing, and in fending off any attack on him. I am shallow I know to only criticize him for that, but he just did it in a triggering way, trying to out smart us. Whatever!

21 Apr 2005

LAZY DAY

I didn't do anything today. I didn't even leave my room. The only activity I did was watering the flowers. I am staying in my room, listening to music and browsing through couple of books. I didn't even open the window, so the room is dark except of a small side lamp that I use for reading.

I invited my mom to eating Chineese food, from Peking. We initially planned to walk to the restaurant, very close to where I live. But she then decided not to. So we ordered delivery. It was still nice. Both of us relaxed. Eating. Drinking soda, and sharing the Chicken Cashew and Chicken Mushroom. I like that sharing part, and the quiet evening with both of us just alone. Actually we were listening to Farid al-Atrach playing 'ud. She didn't seem to enjoy it as much as i did, but she just shared silently. I kept pointing her attention to the nice tones especially that he was playing my favourite song, which I don't really know it's name. (Tan tan tan taaaaaa....) something like that. A little sad. Well, I have this habbit, like people to do things with passion even listening to sad stuff.

Now, I am listening to some good music. Matt Monroe, Edith Pillaf, Jacque Brel and Farid al-Atrach, since channel 1 reminded me of him. They all share one thing: good music with this subtle sadness in their voice and tones. Brel is their extreme. He was always depressed, sad, lonely, nervous, rebellious, and very senstive. Not sure about the Monroe or Pillaf. Farid, I like him especially his movies with Isma'il Yasin. They were nice couple with the great Samia Gamal, who was actually my uncle's neighbour. Small world!

I am not sure what to do now. I feel like sleeping. I haven't been sleeping well recently. Usually stay up really late, and waking up early too. Will see what will come up. A very quiet day, or maybe weekend. Everyone has travelled. Good. I need this solitude.

LOVE WORD IN CORAN

Miss Egypt was given a hard question to answer during the competition. 'If you have 3 boxes, one contains Love, the second money, the third luck, which one will you choose?' Miriam chose Love as it doesnt go away while the rest can come and go (eih el halaw dee). This answer, according to al-ahram, impressed the panel and was the core reason for choosing her as Miss Zeft. How shallow... the question, the answer and even al-ahram comment. To that extent we are so trivial, and again, give value to flat toned answers.

To start off, there is actually something called money, that yes comes and goes, but so is love, it comes and goes too. I am not sure where is the difference? In fact, I will choose luck--because I have the money, so being lucky is a gurantee I will not lose it. Love, I am not sure if we can choose it or if it can be chosen. I think it doesnt exist. At least not that love we know of.

There are lots of words to describe Love. Initially was, I love you the dominant statment. The lover would say it to his beloved after which everything becomes silent. The statment that within it everything is encompassed and contained. Later, this very same statment became a commercial one. Lost its meanings and thus needed some elaboration, 'I love you and need you like the flowers need the sun, like the birds love freedom, like... like....' This is nonsense. Noise. More distortion in an attempt to translate a high pitch tone with a number of lower flat keys. It would never give the same impression or communicate the same beat. Well, it is our mistrust in our silence that pushes us to talk more. More nonsense. If we just be in 'silence', and be present with our feeling at that moment, all the words will be said. All the feelings will be conveyed. As they say, al-sakina is the Haal, silence is the ma3refa, the Knowing.

In Coran, when describing the mature relation between man and woman, it didnt use the word love. Instead, words like mawada and rahma were used instead. Only 'Love' is mentioned in relation to loving Allah and his prophet. Thus, love is only an exclusive to God as He is the only one worth the Love. The word Love also came once to in Surat Yusuf, in refrence to the women talking about Zulaykha's love to Joseph that makes her dissolve. Even this love was denied by Joseph, over which he chose to spend years in prison.

The love story of Zulaykha and Joseph is something that I keep wondering about, sometimes. What is its symbol, meaning, and message? What does the Coran try to tell us, warn us, guide us through by narrating this story? My friends would immediately point to women seductivness power, especially that in this sura, the verse, 'inna kaydahuna 'azeem..' is mentioned. A phrase that is cited more often to describe how women are capable of seducing, being promiscuous with all its culture implications!

The happiest couples are those whose silence is full of words.

Cant help but think of Jesus. The word of God. Only one word?! The symbol of Love. Yet, he left leaving no words in papers but One word in the Hearts.

WHAT'S NEXT

The question of the day. Of today especifically. It happens on different level, and with two different situations. Completely different? Well, apparently yes, but in essence I would dare No. Similar. All revolve around an everlasting issue with ourselves.

The first issue, a blog related issue, that accompanied me through my 45 minutes drive to the Italian Club. Until I met Z. and the group. I might talk about it someother time. Dont feel it is time yet. At least today. Enough to say, it got me thinking here.

The second issue was Z.'s friends whom I met tonight. Very nice group, yet very different. Famous, high class, active people of the Egyptian society. Age varies. There was A. and his wife I., E. and his daughter D., Prof. E. and his wife M., H., S., Z. and myself. Large group. Ages varies from 50 to 17. Z., S. and myself are the youngest people, but age is not at all an issue with our group. We share the same spirit, passion to explore. Explore with a big E. A readiness to go into any topics preferrably (religion, politics, community)--to which I always think religion is the core issue, the rest are just pictures.

E. is an existenalist. A. is an atheist. Prof. E and M. are agnostics. Z. and S. are just exploring. Not quite one or the other. I just sometimes get worried about Z. for mingling too much with E. E. can be very influencial and intimidating, but to me he doesnt make sense. He just uses his body language, charismatic character, excellent communicating skills to influence how other see things. Very dangerous. Z. at this initial stage of 'fun' and 'excitement' of messing up with issues that for so long remained major taboos to him, and to 90% of muslims. (I will speak about all that someother time).

However, my point of writing this post tonight is one nagging question: What's next. After listening to almost 3 hours of them talking about how God doesnt exist, of negation of the Coran, the continous attack on prophets, I said to myself, what's next. I mean, if all what we have been raised to believe in are all false, then what? What can we do now. How can we proceed from there after this discovery? What are we after anyways? What are we searching for, chasing what?

P.S. I am realizing that I am not comfortable seeing Z. drinks! For some reason it annoys me. I see it as very superficial if he thinkst that drinking, eating ham, casually kissing and touching our female firends are a pre-requisite of the 'searching' stage. I might be open, but I dont have this in my 'openess' list. I wonder what is there?

20 Apr 2005

SEXUALITY & BODY

Everytime I watch J.Lo musical clips, my eyes are so fixed on this woman unbeatable body. Ehm, I am straight and all, but I have to praise the good stuff. Right?

What amazes me about J., sure not her looks or music, but her extreme comfort with her sexuality. Something I dont have to some level. For instance, I have a problem wearing sandals, or slippers because I have an issue showing my toes. What is it, I dont know? Whenver I decide to sleep over at a friend or a relative, I have to make sure I bring a sox. I can sleep wearing anything, even in jeans, but without Sox is impossible. Actually, when I sleep over I get all kind of fixations. I have to wake up earlier than everybody. Get dressed and be ready before all of them. I just am not at all comfortable wearing my PJ's infront of anybody, not even infront of my family. I have to change into something before leaving my room and I command the rest of the house to do the same.

I have always thought about this attitude of mine. My sick uncomfort with my body and with others too. People always look very surprised with my attitude. 'You! Shy.' Believe it or not, yes. I think this 'issue', not wanting to call it problem, has many folds. One is sure the family influence. I never saw my parents in sleeping gowns except rarely. My father was also strict in ordering us to wear robe's (boys or girls) whenever we leave our rooms. Also, he hated us wearing slippers that are open from the front, and always bought us 'pantoufle' (sp?), which I always loved. So we grew up not seeing eachothers toes, not ours actually. To be more frank, I dislike my father's toes. They look really ugly. They are not pretty looking, so I would pretend they are not there whenever I occaisonally 'meet' them. Therefore, I grew up 'avoiding' toes, in particular, and other parts in general.

The second reason, which is the real personal one is my personality. I am sure open person on the outside, but extremely private on the inside. I like to talk about anything as long as you or I am not discussing me. I have copyrights towards discussing me, except with selective few. Actually 2 persons in particular, the rest I regard as 'not up to standards to discuss H.' Seriously. I regard the rest of the population as self-centered (who isnot), not deep enough, superficial,.... plus I hate to explain to people how I feel. If you didnt understand me, if I didnt intrigue you, if I didnt interest you to know who I am really inside, then I am not going to explain it. So, it is easy 1)I have no expectation of you, 2) I dont want you to do anything for me, 3)it will make our relation go longer, although not deeper but easy and smooth. If you decide to explore, then be ready for the shit to come up, and my 'fixations', that could also be fun. So this said, I feel that my body is mine, the only thing I possess, really do. The more I aint comfortable to the public world, revealing something that I fake, the more I close my body and hide it and hide in it. The more I am myself with the public, the more I am at ease with my body, and dont really mind.

The last fold is the society. Growing up, already had some conscious with body from home, I walk in the street and hear indecent remarks about my body, people starring, ..and the like. I grew more conscious. I developed this 'shame' from this body that is disgracing me and attracting people to look, comment and try to touch. Horrible. I couldnt talk to anyone but myself, so I developed this defensive mechanism, 'Hide this shit.' With hiding the 'shit', you tend to hide your feminine identity too. The whole package brings disgrace, shame and scandal.

Thank God, I didnt remain in this denial for long. I had a total shift when I went to a boarding school, 7th, 8th grade and was in the midst of naked girls. Talking openly about stuff which I neglected. I would laugh, laugh in disbelief of what they were discussing. By time, I was ok with the talks, in fact, I liked that talks but always had to pretend I didnt because of my culture 'pictures' of sexuality, body and private space when it only came to 'body.' Now, I am moderate in what I wear. Toes problem pops up here and there, depends on the person infront of me. The more conservative they are, the more at ease I am, the more revealing, I will be ony watching. I still have to take a glimpse at their toes though. What you wear, how, colours, body language....resides in my memory and does tell me who you are in some sense.

SILLY GOOSE

Just came back from watching this lovely play at AUC. Tomorrow is the last day. If you have a chance, you must see it. It starts at 8pm. Very dynamic, funny, cute, interesting play. Very well done.

For guys, the actresses are gorgeously beautiful. It is all about guys cheating on their wives and wives cheating on their husbands. Hilarious.

19 Apr 2005

WHEN TO

Knowing when to stop is important to learn. In everything. Loving someone, chasing a dream, fighting, traveling, resting, eating, talking, having sex, believing, doubting... Everything. Really important. Excess in anything is dangerous. Turn the experience to a burden. Takes the joy and the pleasure out of it. Makes it more mundane, fixed. Turns it to a fight a competition. A will to prove or disprove something. What for.

I actually have been thinking about this girl I met last week at the Italian club. She is a new friend of Z. whom he had known through another friend. Some sort of a circle connection. She appeared to be a nice girl. Not sure how old was she. Either too young or too old. I couldnt really tell. Feature and body wise, I would say late 20's, but attitude wise maybe early 20's or younger. In the matter of fact, I am stealing Z.'s statement. This is what he thinks of her age.

I personally dont think of people in age context. For me age is not really The indication of anything. It does sure play a role but after a certain age, age becomes insignificant. Moreso, I think in Egypt we do mature before time, but then suddenly de-mature after a certain age. The end result, we dont live our childhood, nor our adulthood, and sure not our old ages. As most things in our life, we just float in between stages while not really enjoying any stage or state.

Back to M. She appeared like a nice person when she joined us last week. She was talkative, which I initally thought was cute, as it took away the pressure of me taking the burden of trying to be eloquent and open conversations to break the ice. Something I hate to do, and ain't good at either. I d'rather fight or have a little clash on the first meeting, actually this makes me more relaxed in my future meetings, if any. I just dislike this polite tutty fruity initial talks. Very fake. But I have to always tame myself a little for Z.'s sake, he is too diplomatic and knows what to say when. Total opposite of me. I tend to have headaches, lose concentration, get bored, and just would say anything to get done with the conversation and leave.

Back to M. again! Well, I have to admit that after a short while I was hoping she would immediately leave. She triggered me. 'Why God. what did I do wrong to have me surrounded with people who just love talking about themselves. Why most of my friends are like that. Is this a sign.' Well, maybe, but I am thankful I have lovely wonderful friends, and Z. too is awesome in debates and free thinking.

No exaggeration here, but she M. had this ability to turn any topic we talk about to talking about herself and what she had done or not done. Hmm... Why am I not like this, I wonder? She does also something I hate, emotion manipulation. She, in between her talks, mentioned some personal suffering: the loss of both her father and mother to which I was consciously sucked into. In my mind and heart, I was pretending to appear nice and didnt want to give her 'The face'. Well, I couldnt do that for long though. But I kept wondering, if she was intentionally manipulating us to listen to her. Didnt she feel that she was the only one talking. Didnt she notice that she only talked about herself. Not adding to the conversation. Boring me to death. What was the purpose of the conversation to her?

So, after many attempts to leave, she finally left us alone. Z. and myself just looked to eachother and couldnt stop laughing. M. was going to accompany Z. and some other friends in their fishing trip for 4 long long days. Alone in the sea. He begged me to come. No way, are you kidding me. I was going to kill myself with the butter knife after 40 minutes of talking, not sure what will I do for 4 days. Sea, boat, Sharks are very tempting...I dont trust myself!

I am not really 'intimidating, a bit harsh, or heartless' person, but I just get bored. As simple as that. I waste many years torturing myself, but hate to be tortured by someone for 1 nanosecond. I adore conversations, talks and chit-chats. That is why I feel so upset when some people ruin my fun time. I might be boring too, agressive, dictator, one track minded, stubborn, intemidating, oppressing, destructive,...you name it, but I try to be aware of other people reactions. Sometimes, of course, I get carried away but at least I am aware of that.

14 Apr 2005

GUYS TALK

A typical guys conversations. No matter what the initial topic was it drifted to Sex, and afyoun.

But their initial intentions were good though.

Now I doubt this intention. Time for the lion to leave it's den.

13 Apr 2005

FAITH QUESTION

This whole idea of 'Faith'. Losing it, mending it, pumping it. What is it? What/who/where is this 'Faith' that people talk about. Feel guilty when losing it, happy when reclaiming it. Faith in what? What is it aslan.

Moreover, if we assume we know what Faith thing is, the next question will be: how would we know we have faith. I mean, is there some kind of indicator that flags when faith arrives in the system, or when being in the state of having faith?!

I personally dont know if I have faith or not. Didnt really think about that before except for quick nanoseconds. The fact is, the same question will come back: have faith in what? In God I suppose?! Well, how would I have faith in Something that I dont really know. Hmm...

Longman defines the word faith as 'strong belief... not based on reason or proof', all related to the religious system and in connection to God. All religions are based on faith. Even opposing religions are based on faith. If faith can lead to false beliefs, what value can there be in faith? I don't know. But sure has a value. Still what is it though?!

Faith for me is a state that goes beyond yes and no. Beyond the do and don't do. In a mu space, where all definitions collapsed, where there is neither Yes nor No, either Yes and No. Yes and No confirms or denies a hypothesis. MU says the answer is beyond the hypothesis.

*Will elaborate later, maybe

11 Apr 2005

EARPLUGS dedicated to my next door blogger

Yep. I bought a pair of them. I now wear them all the time. Everywhere. Yesterday, I walked to Beano's (worst coffee ever), and I wore them. It was fun. I could hear nothing but my breathing. It sounds really nasty. All the outside world seemed to me like watching a movie on mute. For some reason, I saw everything in slow motion. It was good.

I never thought I would buy ear-plugs. But here I am. Buying and wearing them in public. I wear them at work too. It filters all the unneeded sounds and voices you dont want to hear. It makes you focus on yourself. Make you KNOW that you are alive. Breathing. Breathing for yourself not for others. The best part is when you burb, talk to yourself, swallow your saliva, your stomach roars, all these sounds get amplified, and they are entertaining. Breathing sound is really important. Indication to the state. Try it.

My point is, 'Welcome to my world.' There are lots going on inside and we do need to listen. This body is screaming for attention, so please give it its pleasure, attention and love it.

(Ah, if you have 'vibration' in your cell. Do that. The best option that goes with the earplugs.)

10 Apr 2005

TIPPING POINT

To what extent should someone care about his/her partner's past experiences?! Not sure if this is a type of question where the answers should be the same for all people, regardless of their culture and mentality?

For me, maybe I am narrow-minded, old style, but my answer will be Yes, past experiences are important. Girls and guys past experiences. No difference.

This question was brought up during breakfast on friday with A and H. H. was claiming that the history of his future wife is not by any means important. Whatever she did is totally hers. What's important to him is her behaviour after they commit to one another.

I was curious to know to what extend was he willing to ignore past experiences? 'Absolute extend. No limits.' I have to make sure I got the right answer, 'No limits, no limits?' I sounded a little stupid, 'Yes. NO LIMITS. Everything. But of course if her actions were done out of love and not just sleeping around with everyone'. ehm.

In his opinion, honesty and openess come first and are the basis for any successful relationship. The actions done in the past are not important, what is important is that she doesnt hide anything or he discover anything by chance. This is what he refused. Furthermore, it was our duty as 'intellectuals' to change this patriarchal society which slaughter women for the same actions men do. Why punish the women and not men as well. Push women to commit another crimes (refering to getting an abortion and an operation), thus participating in creating a dual society, based on cheating and lying.

My opinion: I think this dual society and ghesh wee tadless slogan big talks are all BS to my ears. If a girl did something the society doesnt approve, 1) she knows what she is doing, 2) she knows the consequences, 3) still chooses to go for it. Fine. Go do whatever, but be ready to face this society you dared to break its rules. And most important dont pretend you didnt know it is a patriarchal society, with man made rules, women took all the blame. You know that already. Face the blame you expected. And dont ever tell me, 'why shouldnt guys get the same blame?' Well, practically they should. But until we change our society's upbringing; some parents pride in his son's adventures.....we have to be practical, examin our own culture behaviours heritage, own ideas about who we are and what we really need, fill our selves with real confidence and real achievements not just fake ones to hide our spirit and soul impotency.

I am totally offtopic, I guess!!

maybe will elaborate later

8 Apr 2005

BREATHE

It is back. Holding my breath did not help. The coughing is killing me. I can hear it coming. And I do feel scared. At times. At others, I wish it will attack and finish. And finish me with it. can someone so full of energy and passion for life wish to stop? I do not know. But I do feel so. there is this powerful part of me who just wishes to end all this sufffering. Not from the pain, I can hardly allow it. But the feel of separation from what I know exists. As if it is chasing me and I am tracing him. But I have no clue who he is. But even with that hope, I feel that when I find him, it wont be easy. what else was easy in my life? Thank god. But again, this struggle between death and life leaves me helpless.


Is it safer to not meet him lest I will suffer the separation?

I do not know.

God..... would you please make the path easy?

If this is a symbol, then I get the message. :)

7 Apr 2005

MARS & VENUS

I would love if one of the many eloquent egyptian male bloggers write his simple thoughts and observations on Man-Woman dynamics, as an attempt towards understanding this relationship. Give it a real thought the way you guys discuss politics, and the rest of the issues you blog.

Well, folks,this is what you really need to analyze. At the end of the day, she is who you are/will be stuck with not Hosni or Jimmy or even muntaser el-zayat, for at least 30 more years. At the very least, attempt to lessen your misery. Maybe if you understand your partner, suddenly the question of who will be your next president won't really matter that much. You would by then have elected the real president, and the most important one.

DESPITE

...an active, full week I still feel depressed. Everything I attended seemed sad and portrayed a down spirit.

I went to Nasir Shama with Z. and some of his friends. They were super funny and easy going. The concert was great too. Very sad though. Even Nasir Shama played 'Moon Departure', a piece he composed during the peak of his life crisis. He said that this was the first time he felt like playing it in a public concert. He felt the audiance were ready for it. Well, he was right. The sad feelings sweep and take over the fake happiness people place on their faces. Moon departure was sad, so was the rest of his music. I needed that fondl-ing.

Before going to the concert, Z. and I walked to Safar Khan to see Stevenson's exhibition. The paintings' theme was 'the circus'. Interesting, I thought, but again a little sad. Most of the paintings were dark blue. Not sure why didn't she use light colours. The cairo effect. We also went to DAAR and saw 'Qahirun'. How a german and an egyptian viewed cairo. We both liked the egyptian pictures more. Egyptians rock!! Oh, yea yea yea!

Last night, I went with Z. to the 'diplomatic club' downtown. We were invited to dinner followed by a lecture given by a famous diplomatic figure. It was again around politics, elections, ...etc. I was not interested. Only one of the 'intellectual' attendants grabbed my attention. A serious, sarcastic young man, working through his PhD and a son of a famous egyptian politicians. He was the only one who dared to disagree with this guest speaker. Funny how everyone seems to be interested in politics and what's going on in the world, except me. I wonder why. I frankly think that politics is not the core of any of our problems. It is us, our socio-culture structure, the way we think, react, and deal with eachother that puts us in this glum situation. Oh well!

S. and A. are upset with me. I haven't seen them since we were in Alex. H. had a knee operation and I didn't even call to check. Well, it is an obligation and I am not in the mood to do so.

Plans for tonight. Z. suppose to pass by and go watch 'meet the fuckers', eh. Well, I meet real fuckers everyday, how insaine to actually pay money to meet virtual ones. We might end up not going actually. He didn't call until now, either because we had a mini clash this afternoon, or because we have to get ready for the fishing trip tomorrow. In all cases, they are logical reasons.

1 Apr 2005

WHAT MEN WANT?

1. Very good looking
2. Long straight hair
3. Slim and tall


*BBC program