New year, nothing new

So the new year started yesterday. And so well it started: by a terrorist attack in Istanbul.

Isn’t it great? the way the new year starts?

We’re all hungover the next day, unable to do anything, but cope with the disastrous news of the expansion of terrorism through out Europe and the Middle East.

And yet, we keep on writing our very-much hopeful resolutions. Which none is resolved by the next year. Simply because we have too much going on and we have no say in anything.

So this hopeful new year has already started with terrorism, attacks, and there’s still war in the Middle East. Same old, as always.

Some people asked me “are you ready for the new year?” I so innocently responded with “It’s going to happen, whether I’m ready or not.” 2017 is just a number. Time is just a number anyway.

We can write resolution in May and still call them new year’s resolutions.

I decided to be vegetarian in September 2014, and I still am. That was the biggest resolution I kept. I didn’t have to wait for 2015 to start this lifestyle.

We can constantly make new resolutions that will make us better people, and we can only keep them if we truly believe in them and  want them as part of our lives. There’s one thing I learned from the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, which I read ten years ago: if I want something so badly, it will happen. Simply because I’ll find a way to make it happen, and somehow, nothing in the world can stop me.  And the same goes to my resolution, as long as they’re real to me, and I want them to be part of my life, I will find a way to make them happen. Now I’m working on becoming vegan. I can’t be part of the whole the animal product processing industries. I know I can do better than this.

I also decided to be healthy. I realized that good health is one of the main factors of well being, and living a fulfilled life. I want that. I want to be and remain healthy. Simply because I love myself and I want to take a good care of myself.

I also decided to be productive and focus on simply aims. For instance, I want to be a writer, therefore I’m looking for methods, whether by keep writing or taking lessons, to improve my writing skills. I need to be determined on this goal. Otherwise, time, which is someone made of combination of numbers, will just take its course on me and make me anxious.

I will also try to go to the gym more often.

عابدي اللحمة (The worshipers of meat)

English follows:

قال بقرفو من الصراصير وبموتو برب القريدس .
زي كيف بالهند بعبدو البقرة، احنا منحب الكلاب. وبالصين بوكلو الكلاب.قبل متحكمو، حاسبو حالكو قبل. شعب موجهن.

واللي برجع بقول عن حالو نباتي وبوكل سمك بدي اصفقو كف.

 

They’re disgusted by cockroaches, but adore shrimps.

Like in India they worships cows, we love dogs. But in China they do eat dogs. Don’t judge others based on their traditions. That’s hypocritical.

And, if I hear someone say they’re vegetarian and still eat fish, I’m going to smack them in the face.

 

Thank you 🙂

Their Independence is our Nakba

Nakba = Catastrophe in Arabic (or as I refer to it: the Palestinian Holocaust).

I don’t know how anyone would think it’s fair that we, the Palestinians living in Israel, have to acknowledge the Israeli day of Independence.

What should I feel when I see the Israeli flags hanging in every corner?

Why can’t we remember and mourn the Nakbah Day while we have to stand in the minute of silence for the Holocaust victims and their soldiers?

Why do I have to hide my distress with the state at work?

Why do I have to hide my true identity when I walk down the street?

And then I have to commemorate and mourn in silence on the Nakbah day or the Land Day.

How can all that be fair?

nakba_day_by_graphic_resistance-d3ga83r

 

A struggling editor looking for writers

I’ve been in contact with  Mahmoud Mansi for few years now.  Mr. Mansi is a writer, a poet, an artist, a founder, and a very handsome Egyptian man. He’s the kind of man that would take chances on things that don’t even make sense, yet they make a change and a difference in society. For so many reasons, Mansi and  I have never met, but we keep in contact online, and it’s okay.

He first contacted me while reading my old blog (the one that doesn’t exist anymore) and asked me to participate in a writing competition he was holding, and I agreed, even though I wasn’t sure I’m eligible for writing well, and thought I’d never have a chance. I wrote a story I’m not myself proud of, but it was among the winning stories and that was a good start for me to earn Mansi’s trust as a contributor to any project he starts.

logoforwfOne of his last projects was to create an official website for his foundation The Forgotten Writers. This foundation was founded to support art and history, starting in Egypt after the revolution, to everywhere around the world. I was proud to be part of it, and honored to take the position as an editor-in-chief of one of the sections in the online magazine.

Yes, it’s something to laugh at: me? a chief editor? I have a degree in English literature, and yet I still feel the struggle in writing one flawless sentence. Well, what can you do, one has to practice. And maybe this position is a challenge that will change my life and perspective.

267430_10150237345907982_153090_nI’m thankful to get some help with this position. I’m glad to have this responsibility, though I’m not adequately working on obtaining it. And that’s why I’m asking for help. I’m asking for both: writers to write for the section, and editors who will help me with editing, proofreading and assessment.

The section “Ink your Pen” is all about writing. It invites writers and readers to contribute in their writing about writing. Yes, the concept is way too general, yet one can take a single approach and write about it.

Click here for the website/magazine

And here for the “Ink your Pen” section

If you’re a writer, or want to write, please send write an article about one aspect of writing, and send it to me. You can take a look at the article that are published so far to get an idea about the type of articles and writing we’re looking for.

If you’d like to help me with editing, you can also write to me and tell me all about it. If you also have any question or suggestion, please let me know.

Send me an e-mail to this address inkyourpenATgmailDOTcom (write @ instead of AT and . instead of DOT)

By the way, it’s non profit project, which means no one is getting paid, including me. So don’t expect any money.

 

 

I Am Not a Stereotype

Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit

I am not a Stereotype

Stereotypes Hurt.  No More Labels!!

Women of all colors, races, religions ethnic groups and nationalities face double jeopardy.

I will not be defined by the narrow conventions of your mangled mind.

Me and Patti LaBelle got a new attitude.

http://youtu.be/7jHToFiZuSU

I will not be typecast by the slant of my eyes, the color of my skin or country of origin.

I am a Woman of faith of dignity who demands and commands respect.

I refuse to suffer indignities of your racist sexist perversions.

I follow the laws of God as dictated by my belief system whatever it may be.

I am not an exotic playtoy or life size Barbie doll existing only to gratify, satisfy or fulfill your twisted sadistic carnal predilections.

I am not the one and today is not your day.

I will not be afraid and will not back down.

I am…

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Liebster Award

wpid-picsart_1423338064518

I was nominated to this Liebster award by the awesome blogger of PEACELOVEANUNITY.

Now I have to answer 11 questions, nominate 11 blogs/bloggers and make 11 questions for the nominees. It sounds like fun.

To answer PEACELOVEANUNITY questions:

1. What is one weird thing you believed in as a child?

– That dead people are watching us (not over us) from the sky/heaven.

2. A superpower you wished you had?

– To read minds.

3. What is the most unusual thing you have eaten?

– Tofu – And I’m vegetarian, so I should get used to it.

4. Favourite holiday?

– Christmas. Of course.

5. What is your least favourite word?

– Michlala – College in Hebrew. Bichlal – at all in Hebrew.

6. Do you love grapes?

– Of course.

7. What is the last thing you won?

– A short story award.

8. What is your favourite book? (If you don’t like reading, I am very sad for you)

– Pride and Prejudice, and many more.

9. If you could say anything you want to the leaders of the world, what would it be?

– Go fuck yourselves, literally.

10. One place you’d love to travel to that you’ve not been to yet?

– Tokyo.

11. What frustrates you the most?

– Studying for exams.

 

Blogs I’m going to nominate:

1. Pregnant Immigrant

2. John Coyote

3. Where Words Daily Come Alive

3.  LScott Poetry

4. Libertas

5. Daliya Falasteen

6. Mihran Kalaydjian

7. Price is Truth

8. Love to Read, Love to Write

9. Kanzen Sakura

10. A Faded Romantic’s Notebook

11. Writing is a Struggle Against Silence

 

My questions to the nominees are:

1. Name one funny thing you remember doing as a child.

2. what was the last book you read? is it any good?

3. Mac or PC?

4. iPhone or Android?

5. e-book reader(Kindle, Kobo…) or iPad or real books?

6. What do you think of my writing? be honest.

7. What’s your favorite curse?

8. An achievement you’re proud of.

9. What’s your 3 favorite books?

10. Who’s your 3 favorite singers/bands?

11. If you were to write a book, what genre would it be?

 

 

 

 

Help Build Khashabi Ensemble Theatre

I’m going to dedicate this post to support local artists I know.

I studied theatre with them and they deserve all kind recognition and support, after their hard work. They are young, ambitious, innovative, creative, talented and confident.

And, they need your help.

Help build Khashabi Ensemble Theatre

This is what they have to say: Read and help!

A new space for Palestinian theatre and arts in Haifa. Let’s make it happen!

CREATING SPACE – OUR SPACE TO CREATE

As Palestinians living in Israel, we face systematic and institutionalised discrimination on a daily basis. Our freedom of expression is denied. Racist incitement and hate crime is on the rise. Our identity, history and culture are being erased.

We at Khashabi Ensemble Theatre want to challenge this status quo. We are a group of young Palestinian theatre professionals and artists who are committed to building up an independent theatre and artistic space in the city of Haifa. A place where our thriving community of Palestinian artists can be free to create, experiment and perform.

This new theatre and arts space will be located in the Wadi Salib area of downtown Haifa, a neighborhood where the majority of Palestinian residents were forcibly expelled in 1948 and which until today is the target of ongoing Judaisation.

HERE’S THE DEAL

The first stage of this project consists of renovating and preparing the space. It has not been functional for the past 10 years and therefore needs a serious overhaul. We need to raise a total of 50,000 USD to complete this work…

Once the renovation work is completed, the next stage of our project will consist of equipping the building, turning it into a functioning artistic space. The Khashabi Ensemble Theatre will include a small theatre hall, seating an audience of 80 people, as well as spaces for workshops, exhibitions and other arts.

A NEW ARTISTIC MOVEMENT

After the expulsion of the Palestinian inhabitants from Wadi Salib in 1948, the Palestinian character of the neighbourhood has gradually been eradicated by Israeli authorities. Overtaken by governmental and office buildings, today little more than a memory remains of its history.

Establishing a Palestinian arts space in this neighbourhood therefore forms a vital part of our aim to revive and recreate Palestinian identity. We will work closely with our community to develop unique artistic projects, empower young Palestinians through artistic workshops, and develop unique methods to engage new audiences to enjoy and be inspired by the arts.

Our theatre aims to develop a novel artistic ideology in the Palestinian community, based on the ideals of cooperation, experimentation and mutual support. But this growing artistic community that we are part of is desperately in need of a space.

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We are calling on all friends of free creation and Palestinian culture to make a donation – large or small – in order to help us build up our space. We also need your support in spreading the campaign to a wide audience, by sharing it on social media (using the share buttons above), and by telling your friends and family about it.

We thank you all for supporting us on our journey!

Let’s make it happen!

Here’s a link

Watch some of their videotaped plays

This is why I’m not going to wish you a Happy New Year

A beautiful piece written by my dear friend Sawsan.

Sawsan's Blog

Happiness is not real, you are never happy, you can be comfortable though. Happiness is an illusion, it lasts for a moment and you can barely grab it, happiness is not real, but that doesn’t mean we can’t feel it.

So let me wish you something real. I wish you’ll always be safe, surrounded by your loved ones, family and friends, and that you will never taste the bitterness of loss.
I wish you’ll always love and be loved, care and be cared for, and never feel alone.
I wish you’ll always smile and be smiled at, I wish you’ll be the reason for someone smiling, creating another tiny wrinkle around their mouth, which the cause of it will not be old age, but merry times.

I wish you’ll never see your family hiding in one of the corners of your house, not knowing if they’re going to die the…

View original post 316 more words

You need to be smart for a smartphone

Smartphones have taken over our lives. And sometimes I wish we never had them.  They made our lives easier, but difficult to handle at the same time. And sometimes we think, yes we’re better off without them.

Do you remember in the science fiction movies some decades ago, when they had this little device that could “unscrew” everything? Well, here we had it, it’s the smartphone we all carry nowadays. But do you remember decades ago, when we used to speak on regular phones? And meet without texting one another of “what time are you going?”, “when will you get there?”, “I’m waiting for you by the fountain.” “Open the door man!” “Send me a dirty picture!” “Goodnight sweetie.” etc.

It was fun in the old days, we ring the bill. We make plans on a certain time and we wait, patiently. We have quality time with friends without being interrupted by their phones ringing or having to text certain people, or… without them starting to take selfies to post on Facebook or Instagram.

There was time when we used to read real books and magazines, and now we only read the Facebook News Feed on our smartphones to avoid conversations with people.

 

Anyway. Forget everything I just said. I’m a technology freak. If I could afford it I would buy every new piece of technology. Really. I like buttons, and if I see any button I must press it. It’s a disease. But now I’m convinced that smartphones with touch screens are easier to use, so I’m sticking to them instead. But since I don’t have a lot of money I have to be specific with consuming and purchasing any available device in the market.

Current devices I have and currently use that I don’t truly need are: OnePlus One, Kindle Paperwhite and Asus Vivo Book.

Well, I do need my Asus Vivo Book, mainly because I have to browse the internet, write, work on papers and assignments, read articles, etc. I’ve had it for a year and I’m still satisfied with it. And it wasn’t that expensive (very cheap compared to any Apple device).

My Kindle has been a life savior mainly because I like to read a lot and books are damn expensive in the country I live in. And I hate showing people what I’m currently reading. And I literally can’t live without my Kindle, because I carry so many books in one small light device and I saved a lot of money. (I will dedicate a post in the future for the Kindle)

As for my new smartphone: the OnePlus One. You really have no idea. First of all, I truly believe that when it comes to a smartphone or any other device, you need to think about the reason you need it. If you already have a good smartphone, you shouldn’t buy a new one because there are new phones in the market. The market is updated every month. Even though I’m a huge fan of technology, I still really believe that when it comes to new electronic devices, buy a new device because you need it. So I bought the OnePlus One because I need it as my previous smartphone wasn’t working – not just being slow, but I couldn’t call people, and I tried to fix it several times, no use.

Why didn’t I buy the new iPhone? Here is why:p8sa11h

I hope this picture explains everything.

The iPhone is more than half the price, and I don’t even like it that much. Everything I need and want can be found on the OnePlus One that I believe is a kick-ass phone that costs a lot less than all other “trendy” phones.

I’ve had my OnePlus One for a week now and I like it. It’s cute, sexy and works perfectly well. Why would I need to pay extra hundred dollars/euros to get another phone that will probably be the same?

So many people dislike the fact that I dislike the iPhone or Apple. I don’t . I wish I could afford it, but I can’t and I believe in quality, not in labels/brands.

And these two photos that I found illustrate my point.
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082fe02661c4b092d20b3a6a990677dc

 

And here I should stop, because anything I might say next about Apple consumers will be just rude. After all, I once had an iPod, but that was just for music (and it was old).

 

My October

It happens early

or just earlier than  expected.

The first drops of rain

I learned to hate through the years.

But this is the time

my own month

to feel cheer.

 

It will take up another year

to bring back the heat

I had during summer time.

I wrote songs

of love and freedom

while looking at and feeling

that stormy warm sea.

 

The fall and its beginnings

brand new beginnings

of fear

anxiety

and excitement.

And that dreadful

wet

drops of rain…

symbolizing hope.

What hope?

the hope of return?

the hope of freedom?

They are  nothing but gentle,

frail and ill.

 

This is my month though

it will forever bring surprises.

Some of them joyous

others are dire.

 

October 4th, 2014

beautiful-backgrounds-of-nature

 

 

 

Ten Things You Need to Know About Arabs

I found this on the Civil Arab and couldn’t help but share it here:

Whoever coined the term “Ignorance is bliss” is an absolute idiot. Ignorance is not bliss. In fact, ignorance leads to misunderstanding. Misunderstanding leads to fear. Fear leads to bias and hate. So I am here to present to the American public the top 10 things that Arabs want non-Arabs to know about them. If you remember these, then Arabs will not look at you as a “Dumb American.”

1. Not all of us are Muslim

As an Arab Christian myself, I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard, “When did you convert?” I would be a very rich man. About 10% of the Arab population is Christian. Yes, we are a minority, but we are still there and have been Christians for 2,000 years. I’m not sure how good the average American is at geography, but Jesus is from the Middle East!

2. Falafel, Hummus, and Shawarma are Arabic foods, NOT Israeli foods.

A couple of months ago, I was talking with an American girl about Middle Eastern food. She told me that she loves falafel and she used to eat it a lot because she has Israeli friends. Please, do not ever say that to an Arab. Israel was created in 1948, and I can say with complete certainty that we have been eating hummus for much longer than that.

3. Arabs and Jews HAVE NOT been fighting for thousands of years

Arabs and Jews have been fighting since only 1948, when Israel was created. In fact, Jews left Europe to the Middle East because Arabs historically treated Jews better than Europeans did. Jews are Semitic people, and so are Arabs. We are actually closer to each other than Europeans.

4. ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and other Islamic militant groups DO NOT reflect the views of all Muslims

Yes, you see these guys on the news all the time. But they are huge minorities and not popular at all. The Middle East is much more secular than you would think. In an American equivalent, it would be like the Westboro Baptist Church serving as a reflection on all Christians.

5. Smoking hookah is nothing new

Hookah is the new thing. Hookah bars are everywhere near college campuses, and its popularity among our youth grows by the day. But from our perspective, you’re a little late to the party. I don’t remember the last time I went to a family function and there was no hookah lit up and ready to go. If you are fortunate enough to smoke hookah with an Arab, be prepared for the licorice-tasting goodness that is Double Apple flavor.

6. When I say that I am from Palestine, that doesn’t mean Pakistan, and it DEFINITELY doesn’t mean Israel

If you really want to make a Palestinian mad, just ask if he is from Israel. Your result will not end happily, I can assure you that. And it is Palestine. Not Pakistan. Please know that we aren’t the same thing.

7. There’s a right way to say “Iraq”

We aren’t asking for you to use the hard beginning and ending that the word “Iraq” has in it. Just remember, it is “E-rock” rather than “I-rack.”

8. Persians aren’t Arabs

Persians hate this too. We are completely different people. We come from completely different backgrounds. Yes, we have the same skin tone and are ridiculously hairy, but we are not the same. We speak Arabic, and Persians speak Farsi. They might sound the same, but they aren’t even close. And, to be honest, Persians have the better kabob (sorry Arabs).

9. “Lebanese food” is Arabic food

If you have a Lebanese friend, you know exactly what I’m talking about. “Traditional Lebanese food” includes hummus, tabbouleh, and kibbeh nayyeh (yeah, it’s raw meat). But this food isn’t specifically Lebanese. We all eat that food. Don’t let them fool you when they say “Lebanese food,” because that is just a cover for Arabic food.

10. We love to party

Forget Vegas. If you want to go party, go to Dubai, Beirut, Sharm el Sheikh, or Amman. I promise that you will have the time of your life. Don’t believe me? If you have an Arab friend, just wait until they get married. Arab weddings might be the best parties that you will ever go to. If you don’t have an Arab friend, just crash an Arab wedding. There will be so many people there that they probably won’t notice you.

My comments:

1. Arabs can be Muslims, Christians, Druze, Atheists, irreligious and even Jews (but after 1948 Israel decided to tell Jews that they’re better than Arabs and therefore gave them the Jewish nationality). And now Israel would like to give the Christians Arab (Palestinian citizens of Israel) a new nationality – Aramaic. Why? It’s another level of apartheid: they want to turn the Christian Arabs against the Muslim Arabs. That’s all.

2. I think Shawarma is originally Turkish, though it was and it is extremely popular among Arabic countries. Turkish coffee is the same as Arabic coffee, but people only refer to it as Turkish, even though it’s both.

Adding some more of my own:
We don’t all wear the Hijab. We don’t all believe in God. We’re not all so conservative. Some of us drink, smoke and even eat pork. Some of us have bright skin, hair and eyes.

Promoting Cosmetics

carol's channelI don’t usually talk about cosmetics. And those who know me know how little I know of cosmetics, make up, fashion, labels and even beauty. When it comes to shopping you can usually find me in a bookstore. I hope that can change though, I truly admire beauty and fashion. Make up is after all painting on face instead of canvas. Cosmetics and fashion are both art. You’re just too shallow to admit so.

I would like to take this opportunity to promote my friend’s Youtube channel, in which she posts make up tutorials every now and then. She’s beautiful, talented and sweet. She posts tutorials for every day kind of make up. Clear, straight to the point, useful and beautiful.

Click here to check her Youtube Channel

Here for her twitter account

And here for her blog and Instagram