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Showing posts from June, 2012

What Would People Say?

Tradition says one shall never sit cross-legged in front of an elder person. Tradition says you must go to this wedding because if you don't they'll get mad at you, because you have to, because you don't have another option, because you're family, because your mothers are friends, you just have to. Tradition says that love shall come after marriage, not before. Tradition says that you have to have a wedding. Tradition says that you have to get married!
What exactly is tradition? Just some rules that have grown to be the opinions of the majority with time, and if you don't follow them you're just a bad person. If we're lucky, then our traditions would have meaning and be of any good. If we're less lucky, then they might be meaningless, yet useless and harmless. If we're so unlucky then they might be awful ideas. The point is that it's a flip of a coin and things become tradition either because they're good or because nobody cared enough to s…

Court Poets

Go back in time, not so far from today. Have you ever heard of court poets? It has always been there all over the world, but the most popular were that of the Abbasid period. Go back in time and read El Motanaby's praise poetry written for Saif El Dawla El Hamadany, and not only him but many others too. Also not only El Motanaby, there has always been an endless number of court poets throughout history. Their mere job was to write praise poetry, or hypocrisy. Why? For the rulers' enjoyment.
Why am I bringing this up now? Because court poets still exist, and in fact their number has dramatically increased and they have spread so much. Have you seen the number of fantasy stories that have spread over the social media about president-elect Mohammed Morsy? Have you seen the newspapers' pages filled with hypocrisy to congratulate him? Have you seen the hypocrisy messages sent to Al Jazeera Masr? Have you seen the number of hypocrisy songs that have been made for him? Have you …

Emotional Egypt, Part Two

And since I talked about emotions and politics yesterday, I'll have to say this too. Yes the president-elect's every action and every word has to be watched and analyzed very closely. Those of you who are very angry about this and want the rest to give him a chance, remember when we were saying the same thing about the SCAF? Remember when we closed our eyes to their intended mistakes and it only resulted in more intended mistakes? You do realize that we reached a point of a soft coup because we trusted them too much, don't you? We got emotional and shared the photo of the soldier holding the baby on the tank and most of us (and happily not me), took photos with their tanks. We chanted happily the army and people are one hand, we forgave them so many times, and it only lead to this catastrophe.

So set your emotions aside this time, and remember that giving someone a chance has nothing to do with watching his every move. Yes, there is his 100-day promises that w…

Emotional Egypt

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So yesterday the president-elect Mohamed Morsy met with the first group of families of the revolution's martyrs and injured. And of course, as a normal human being who could have never dreamed of being president except after those people have given up their lives, sight, or parts, he was very sweet and respectable to them. Now his picture with them is all over the place and people are feeling so happy about it and talking about how great of a president he is to meet those people in the presidential palace.


I would like to remind you of some things that have happened during the past year and half year. Remember when MP Akram El Shaa'er stood in the parliament and talked about the martyrs and injured saying that they don't want money, but they want every person responsible for their loss to be punished? Remember when he cried and had most of the members, and Katatny, cried with him? Remember when he had us all crying with him? Well, do you remember what this parliament has d…

Honor

I am reading a book by Amin Maalouf called Samarkand, it's storyline happens during the end of Abbasid period and the rise of the Ottoman one. There are a few words I read about honor and thought they reflect so much about how some of us think of honor today, here they are:
"What a strange clan those Abbasids are! Their ancestors conquered the best half of the world, they built the most flourishing cities and just look at them today! I take their empire and they put up with that, I take their capital and they are happy, they shower me with presents and the Prince of Believers says to me, 'I give you all the lands which God has given to me and I place in your hands all the believers whose fate He has entrusted to me.'  He begs me to put his palace, his person and his harem under my protection. However, if I ask for his daughter he rises up and wishes to defend his honor. Is the only territory for which the sultan is ready to fight the thighs of a virgin?"
Then the…

A President Who is not Mubarak

Who would have thought this day would come that soon just two years ago? We were called the generation of Mubarak all our lives because we were born and have lived under his rule and only his. We were thought of as the useless, hopeless generation that cares about nothing but migrating. We proved those words wrong, and we revolted, we fought for justice, for freedom, for a humane life, for dignity, we fought for what is righteous. But still some insisted on calling us Tahrir kids, the stupid kids who don't understand what they're doing and keep messing everything up. Some insisted on being slaves of comfort, of security, of their benefit rather than their conscious. We were left alone with everyone fighting with each other and with us. Our "leaders" chose their interest over the welfare and the future of a whole country, but we didn't. We had no weapons, we were not political experts, we only had our voices and with this we had a lot of power. We shouted and we d…

The Light of Salah Jahin, 3

بحر الحياه مليان بغرقي الحياه صرخت خش الموج في حلقي ملاه قارب نجاه .. صرخت قالوا مفيش غير بس هو الحب قارب نجاه عجبي !!!
بره القزاز كان غيم و أمطار و بــــــــرق ما يهمنيش – أنا قلت – و لا عندي فرق غيرت رأيي بعد ساعة زمـــــــــــــــــان و كنت في الشارع .. و في الجزمة خرق عجبي !!!
بلياتشو قال إيه بس فايدة فنونــــي ؟ و تلات وقق مساحيق بيلونونـــــــي و الطبل و المزامير و كتر الجعـــــــير إذا كان جنون زبوني زاد عن جنوني عجبي !!!
حدوتة عن جعران وعن خنفسة اتقابلوا حبوا بعض ساعة مسا ولا قال لهم حد اختشوا عيب حرام ولا حد قال دي علاقة متدنسة !!عجبي
خوض معركتها زي جدك ما خــــاض صالب و قالب شفتك بامتـــــــــــعاض هي كده...ما تنولش منها الأمـــــــل غير بعض صد ورد ووجاع مخاض عجبي !!!!
دخل الشتا وقفل البيبان ع البـــيوت وجعل شعاع الشمس خيط عنكبوت وحاجات كتير بتموت في ليل الشــتا لكن حاجات أكتر بترفض تمــــــوت عجبي !!
الدنيا أودة كبيرة للإنتظار
فيها إبن آدم زيه زي الحمار
الهم واحد...و الملل مشترك
و مفيش حمار بيحاول الإنتحار
عجبي!!
الدنيا صندوق دنيا .. دور بعــــد دور الدكة هي .. و هي كل الديكـــــــــور يمشي اللي شاف ويسيب لغير…

The Light of Salah Jahin, 2

إنشد يا قلبي غنوتك للجمــــــــــــــــــال و ارقص في صدري من اليمين للشمال ما هوش بعيد تفضل لبكره سعيــــــــــد ده كل يوم فيه الف الف احتمـــــــــــــال عجبي !!
أه لو أنا و محبوبي جزنا الفضي
في سفينة و حدينا... و اشيا رضا
ساعة صفا تعجبنا نرجع لها
و الهم قبل ما ييجي... يبقى مضى
عجبي!!
أهوى الهوى و همس الهوى في العيون وبسمة المغرم ودمعه الحنـــــــــــــــون و زلزلات الحب نهد الصبـــــــــــــــــــــا أكون انا المحبوب أو لا أكــــــــــــــــون عجبي !!! أوصـيك يا إبنـى بالقمــر والزهـور
أوصـيلك بـليل القاهـرة المســحور
وإن جـيت فى بالك .. إشـترى عقـد فل
لأى سـمرا … وقبـرى إوعـك تـزور
عـجبى !!اوقات أفوق و يحل عني غبــــــــــايا واشعر كأني فهمت كل الخبايـــــــــــا و افتح شفايفي علشــــــان اقول الدرر ما أقولش غير حبة غزل في الصبايــــا عجبي !!!
إيديا في جيوبي وقلبي طــــــــرب سارح في غربة بس مش مغترب و حدي لكين ونسان و ماشي كده وبابتعد ما اعرف .. أو باقـــــترب عجبي !!
إيش تطلبي يا نفس فوق كل ده حظك بيضحك و انتي متنكده ردت قالت لي النفس : قول للبشر ما يبصوليش بعيون حزينة كده عجبي !…

A Gift from a Star

A moonless sky full of stars, an empty street, not a breath. The sound of waves coming my way. A see of darkness bringing me peace. A lonely soul looking for love, sees a light coming from afar. It disappears and I look ahead, to a light  of a city that never goes to bed. It's so far from here, not a soul is heard. White, yellow, green, red. Lights all sending messages from the far away land. They run in the sea like on an exiled land. A sea so loud with murmuring sounds of secretes carried from another ground. The sound of splashing, near midnight, a jumping fish? A lost life? A romantic fling, looking for a private swim? A child screams with hurt or fun. The sound of footsteps on a lost turn. A highway by the horizon, to heaven or to hell? Stars that look at a lone soul, show some mercy bring me hope. They smile at me, and one winks my way. It whispers to me, make a wish and I shall obey. I look to it in the eye, take a breath filled with ocean's air. I spread my hands so wi…

Old is Gold

As children, we grow up so eager about the future, feeling exited about the time we live in and loving everything about it. Then at some point we lose all the excitement and feel like we were born too late. That the past was much better than the present, our childhood's future. We feel that the golden age was ages away. That today's world is such an awful place, that it was much much better years before we were born. But what if I tell you that people who lived through the times you think are better had also hated their present and wanted to live in older days? What would that mean to you?
First let's make one thing clear, was there really a Golden Age? Had been there a time when everyone was happy, doing what they do best, having an equal right to stand out, being able to live a humane life, even if they had the smallest of jobs? Since I have only lived in this world, I don't have an answer that I'm sure of. It's been said that the Old Ancient Egyptian Dynast…

The Light of Salah Jahin

احسن ما فيها العشق و المعشقــــــة و شويتين الضحك والتريقـــــــــــــة شفت الحياة . لفيت . لقيت الألــــــــذ تغييرها . و ده يعني التعب و الشقا عجبي !!!
إقلع غماك يا تور وارفض تلف إكسر تروس الساقية و اشتم وتف قال : بس خطوة كمان .. وخطوة كمان يا اوصل نهاية السكة يا البير تجف عجبي !!!
أنا شاب لكن عمري ألف عام وحيد لكن بين ضلوعي زحام خايف و لكن خوفي مني أنا أخرس و لكن قلبي مليان كلام عجبي !!!!
انا كل يوم أسمع ........ فلان عذبوه أسرح في بغداد و الجزاير واتوه ما أعجبش م اللي يطيق بجسمه العذاب و اعجب من اللي يطيق يعذب أخوه عجبي !!!
أنا قلبي كان شخشيخة أصبح جَرس جلجلت به صحيوا الخدم والحرس أنا المهرج .. قمتو ليه خفتو ليه لا فْ إيدي سيف ولا تحت منى فرس عجبي !! أنا اللي بالأمر المحال اغتــــــــــــوي شفت القمر نطيت لفوق في الهـــــوا طلته ما طلتوش إيه انا يهمنـــــــــي و ليه .. ما دام بالنشوة قلبي ارتوي عجبي !!
أنا قلبي كوكب و انطلق في المدار حواليكي يا محبوبتي يا نور ونـــار يلف مهمــــا يلف ما بيكتفــــــفيش وتمللي نصه ليل و نصه نهــــــــار عجبي !!

Why Worry?

I have spent the past 18 months shaking and breaking with every time we lose a battle. I had eventually accepted the fact that most of those who have power are our enemies. Yet I had still kept my hopes high, because this is what I wished for, for everything to be good. I have hoped for corrupt people to stop being corrupt, for murderers to stop murdering, for liars to stop lying, for the unjust to become just. And of course this has never happened, I kept expecting and hoping for the best from the worst and the result was always the same, disappointment. The deepest disappointment was after the results of the first round of the elections. I was broken into so many pieces, my disappointment turned into some kind of mental and physical illness, I saw nothing from tomorrow, I wanted to give up, I felt like a a failure, a great failure. 
I've spent the next few days trying to recover, and then I felt stupid. I felt stupid for letting myself go through all this pain for no reason. Ye…

Ideas don't die

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The poem I'm sharing with you today is about an idea that had fought death for more than 60 years. An idea that had been fought to kill by the strongest and worst of enemies, yet it's still alive inside of millions of us. People die and it stays strong. People die and the idea grows. This is just to remind you of people next door who have been fighting a fight a lot worse than ours, whose leaders are doing nothing but fighting each other for power. For more than 60 years they have never, for a second, decided to give up, because ideas are bullet-proof. I'm reminding you of this because many of you have become depressed and even gave up. It's OK if you want to do so, but just remember, that no matter how long this is going to take we're going to win in the end. So it's up to you if you want to live a more comfortable life, or be a part of the fight. Read and enjoy, and I've also added the song =).

عن إنسان  محمود درويش
وضعوا على فمه السلاسل ربطوا يديه بصخرة ا…

Wisdom of Epictetus

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will.Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid. First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.Don't just say you have read books. Show that through them you have learned to think better, to be a more discriminating and reflective person. Books are the training weights of the mind. They are very helpful, but it would be a bad mistake to suppose that one has made progress simply by having internalized their contents.Other people's views and troubles can be contagious. Don't sabotage yourself by unwittingly adopting negative, unproductive attitudes through your associations with others.He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to …

Peace

When you hear a piece of news and you feel like something inside of you has broken, know that you have fake attachments, that you're having fake hope. True hope is hope that only depends on you, on your actions. Hoping that someone else will do something is fake hope which will easily shake you and even break you. It gives you wrong expectations that will probably result in your disappointment later. Strength and honor are what keep you happy, doing what you have to do is what makes you happy. What others do or not do must not affect you, expecting everyone to be the same, to do whatever is righteous is not only wrong and will disappoint you, but also unfair for those people. People are not the same, some can't do the right thing, others won't do it. Let your happiness only depend on you doing the right action. Let others do what they will do and let go. Let them be who they want to be, and remember it's none of your business. You can try to help others be better, but…

Wisdom of Marcus Aurelius

If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment. It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one. When you arise in the morning think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love ... Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength. The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts. Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.Be content to seem what you really are.Anything in any way beautiful derives its beauty from itself and asks nothing beyond itself. Praise is no part of it, for nothing is made worse or better by praise.And thou wilt give thysel…

Wisdom of Plato

A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers.A hero is born among a hundred, a wise man is found among a thousand, but an accomplished one might not be found even among a hundred thousand men.All the gold which is under or upon the earth is not enough to give in exchange for virtue.
Better a little which is well done, than a great deal imperfectly.Death is not the worst that can happen to men.Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments.Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.Justice in the life and conduct of the State is possible only as first it resides in the hearts and souls of the citizens.Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.For good nurture and education implant good constitutions.

A Lost Self, Part Five

She remembers...
After thinking for so many days, she knew that she was only desperate, that she lost her self esteem with every loss of what she thought was true love in her adolescence. She grew up feeling that there was no hope and so acted according to that feeling and looked only for fake love. She hated waiting and her hate and long waits made her give up on true love. She now understood that with her loss of true love she lost herself. She wore a mask, a fake mask and never took it off and she felt fake. Her dreams of true love were the only real thing in her life, but even those faded when she ignored them and followed the easy way. She understood that she had lowered her ceiling of expectations so much that she couldn't even see anything above it.
Good things come to those who wait. No, good things come to those who do what's righteous, to those who do good, she thought. She got up and decided that it's time to make things right. She went through what she's d…

A Lost Self, Part Four

She remembers.... He used her, and abused her. Whenever she tried to resist it, he only needed to tell her that he is leaving, and she'd forget all about resistance. He hypnotized her and she did all he wanted, he took her money and her life. Soon enough she discovered that he is an alcohol addict, unemployed and broke. She thought many times of leaving him, but by that time she knew she will never find anyone else. Time passed and she now had to go out with her worn out pajamas that had become the most uncomfortable. She didn't know what to do, she had a great fear of being alone, but her life was sucked out of her, she was left with not enough money to buy food every month, she lost all friends whom he treated so badly, she lost herself, even in her dreams. She was alone, so alone, even with him she was alone.
Then the day came when didn't have enough money for him, he came back drunk and hit her. She remembered how she thought those things only happened in movies or bo…

Why do you Speak?

Do you count your words? Are they of any importance to you? Do they count? To you or to others? Are they worth your time? Do they make a difference? Just think, do you speak to seek the truth, or to force your opinions? I've grown only knowing of discussions and never heard of something called dialogues. I knew that people should not fight in discussions, but I understood that the only aim of having a conversation is to try to make your...opponent... agree to your words.
The truth is that this is not how all conversations should be, the truth is that something other than discussions does exist. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone in order to find a truth rather than to force your opinion? This is called a dialogue. In a dialogue you don't play games, you don't force anything, you don't talk of unchangeable opinions. You speak with a clear mind in order to refine your views. You think of nothing but what it truthful, not what's best for you, not…

A Missed Chance

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40 years ago, on a date that is now the most important in our lives, the students decided that it's time to speak up. The students of that time had an uprising after waiting and waiting and living in a time of no war and no peace, they have decided that they can't wait any longer. Unlike our time, at their time all students knew their destiny, to the army. Years passed since 1967 and everyone got into the army and never got out. Politics was a great mess, a dictatorship, life was very hard to live. Nothing was going right, just like now, no freedom, no food, no justice. On January 25, 1972 a sit-in in Tahrir Square was started, but a few days later, a chance for a revolution was missed. Amal Donqol wrote this wonderful poem about the best days in the lives of the students of that time. He wrote about a missed chance. Again, his words are timeless and they speak so well about our Tahrir. 40 years ago, it was a missed chance, may we never miss the chance again. You can find the …

A Voice from the Past Talking About the Present

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Today I'm not going to write anything, because I'll be sharing with you a poem that was written a long time ago in a very different situation, but it truly speaks about today. Amal Donql wrote these words in 1977 before the peace treaty with Israel. His poem was to say why he was against peace with people who killed his brothers. And although this was war with the enemy, and today we're living a war between brothers, not "cousins", it speaks very well about us and Shafiq. I have seen nothing that speaks of the current situation better than these timeless words, nothing that we can learn from more than these words. So if you're an Arabic speaker, I'm sure you'd feel lucky because you can read/listen to this poem. Enjoy and reflect =).
لا تصالح
(1 ) لا تصالحْ! ..ولو منحوك الذهب أترى حين أفقأ عينيك ثم أثبت جوهرتين مكانهما.. هل ترى..؟ هي أشياء لا تشترى..: ذكريات الطفولة بين أخيك وبينك، حسُّكما - فجأةً - بالرجولةِ، هذا الحياء الذي يكبت الشوق.. حين تعانقُهُ…