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Showing posts from September, 2012

The Analects of Confucius

If I hear the Way of truth in the morning, I am content even to die in that evening.

When we see men of worth, we should think of equaling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves.

The cautious seldom err.

The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.

The virtuous man is driven by responsibility, the non-virtuous man is driven by profit.

Wisdom of Confucius

Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.

Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. Then no friends would not be like yourself (all friends would be as loyal as yourself). If you make a mistake, do not be afraid to correct it.

When the Superior Man eats he does not try to stuff himself; at rest he does not seek perfect comfort; he is diligent in his work and careful in speech. He avails himself to people of the Tao and thereby corrects himself. This is the kind of person of whom you can say, "he loves learning."

At fifteen my heart was set on learning; at thirty I stood firm; at forty I had no more doubts; at fifty I knew the mandate of heaven; at sixty my ear was obedient; at seventy I could follow my heart's desire without transgressing the norm.

Listen widely to remove your doubts and be careful when speaking about the rest and your mistakes will be few. See much and get rid of what is dangerous and be careful…

Religion of Love: Unity

On what basis does one decide if a person is a believer or a non-believer? Why do you call someone a non-believer? What if they worship the same divine power you do but in there own different way? How does this make them a non-believer? That their practices are different from yours? What about the values? What if they have the same values but practice differently? Why would you call them non-believers? Why do we always look for differences and not commonalities? Why don't we look for the bigger meaning of religion? Why do we seek divisions rather than Unity?

You have Muslim Sunnis and Muslim Shiites fighting all the time and some extremists even go to an extent of calling the other an infidel. It happened to me just because I am against hate speech against Shiites. Same goes for the Christian Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant. So it has become even a fight of creeds not just religions. Even worse, there are fights between Sunnis who follow different doctrines, same w…

Wisdom of Seneca, 2

A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer

A good mind possesses a kingdom

A happy life is one which is in accordance with its own nature

A kingdom founded on injustice never lasts

A man who has taken your time recognizes no debt; yet it is the one he can never repay

Wisdom of Confucius

They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.

I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there.

Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.

Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.


The superior man cannot be known in little matters, but he may be entrusted with great concerns. The small man may not be entrusted with great concerns, but he may be known in little matters.

Religion of Love: Hatred of the Other

In the previous post I've spoken about hatred of a religion that most of us know nothing about, you might think this as hatred and enmity towards the unknown and not just any other religion, so here's another story:

When I was in high school, a new guy joined us in the spring semester. Just a few days after he came, the news that he is an Egyptian Jew started circulating everywhere, and his last name being a very Jewish name made every single student know about it. The boy came from one of the very very few Jewish families who decided not to migrate either to the so called Israel, or anywhere after 1948. For this they should be respected, but no, this did not happen. As soon as his fellow 15-year-old Egyptians knew that he was a Jew a huge shot of hatred was aimed at him. The boy was hit and insulted every single day in every class he entered and during every break. This has happened without him mentioning his views of Israel even once. He was discriminated again…

Religion of Love: The Ancient Egyptian Religion

When I was looking up the origin of دين I found a Google question with the answer about the Hieroglyphic origin (see previous post). The rest of the answers were nothing but insults to the person who explained the Hieroglyphic meaning.People accused him of being too ignorant to even know the true origin, of spreading hatred, of being a lair, of not knowing anything about religion, almost of being an atheist and all that because he linked the Arabic word that means religion to a word of people who were polytheists (or so they think). They fought him with their words for an Arabic word that even carried zero religious meaning as if they were trying to save the pure word from the dirtiness of Ancient Egyptians. These people were unfortunately all Egyptians, and they probably use words from the language of our ancestors every single day, but since the world means religion, the hatred has to come out.

Most of us carry a great deal of enmity and hatred to each other and most of…

Religion of Love: The True Meaning

At a time when religion is the greatest of all weapons, the main source of discrimination, the strongest type of brainwashing, the biggest excuse to oppress, at times like these one should go back to the origins. To try to understand the meaning of religion so you can fight its misuse. I'm not writing this post about Egypt, although it is inspired from what we have been witnessing from the Islamits for more than a year and a half of using what they call religion to manipulate people's minds. But the fact is that this has always happened through history and is still happening today all over the world. Does Burma ring any bells? Nigeria? Afghanistan? The idea that all Muslims are terrorists maybe? Israel? India/Pakistan? Burning American Embassies, killing the ambassador? The examples are endless.

Going back to the basics could start by finding the origin of the word "religion" which has originated from re ligra, to re link or to re bind. To rebind with t…

You've Got Mail

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms."

"I hear nothing. Not even a sound on the streets of New York, just the beating of my own heart. I have mail. From you."

"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void."

"The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non…

Memories Don't Die

It was one silly novel that I read by Meg Cabot, I don't even remember it's name, it was years ago. I remembered it today, she said something with that meaning: "the only place that is always free of spirits is cemeteries, because spirits who still can't cross to heaven were killed and are waiting for their vengeance in the place where they killed."

Today was the first time for me to walk in Mohamed Mahmoud street after President Morsy won the elections. It felt heartbreaking at first; this place where so many have died, the place where I feel the presence of their spirits, today they felt disappointed. This was the street museum that tells the story of a revolution that has seen so much. Both its drawing and its memories tell the story of the 18 days, of the street committee that used to search me with a smile. Of the Utopia that was there for 18 days, just 18 days. Of families who lost a member for our sake being hit and shot at. Of eyes of freedom being shot.…

A Trip to Heaven

The belly dancer does her daily dance and I know I'm up next. She moves to the right and to the left, her body is so elastic as if she doesn't have bones, isn't this what they always say? For me she doesn't look boneless, she looks in control knowing exactly how much she needs to move her hip, knowing the perfect timing for her arms to be surrounding her hips and when to surround her head. She knows when her shoulders and chest should move and when to keep them static. She knows when to show a leg and when to lean down. She knows when to move in her dance and when to dance in her place. Her face changes from a smile to a frown to a laugh to a sad face. It's like it's in sync with the moves of her body. I look at her face and I wonder, does she ever feel the way I feel, or used to feel when she dances? Or is it just her job, just a job, and she does it professionally? Is it my dance or the meaning behind it that makes me feel this way? I already know the answer…

Religion of Soul

Come my friend, I'll tell about my religion, I'll teach you about love. With me you'll discover a new world, you'll feel new feelings, you'll understand how it feels to fly. I'll take closer to divinity, I'll make you practice eternal love.

I'll take you to a place where laws are affections, where you take action not because of a reward or a punishment, but because you're grateful for what you've been given and you want to give back.

It's not hard to get there, all you need to do is make your duty out of love, all you need to know is that there is a God up there who truly loves you. That There's a God who has loved you before you were born and so has brought you to this world. A God who will love you after you die, and when the judgement day comes, he'll judge you with love and so will be merciful to you. 

Love Him back, make His values yours, make His rules yours, make His love yours. Speak to Him of it, thank Him for teaching you all …

Minus 1400

We go back in time more than 1400 years in a place not far from here. People who live there speak the same language we speak today, but that's about all we have in common. What were women back then but a sex toy? A disgrace.

The sex toy would be ready to be played with once she gets her first period, let that be when she's 9 or when she's 12. No wait, how did I say that she was only a sex toy?

When the toy is unlucky enough to find someone to play with her, she has to also turn into his servant; his maid, his cook, his foot masseuse maybe. Then what would sex bring but children if everything goes fine? And suddenly the 10 year old or 13 year old sex toy turns into a mother.

At 10 or maybe 13 the child is to be raped, no don't tell me sex would be enjoyable for a 10 year old who has yet to discover her own body, oh wait, they never discovered their own bodies. I'll rephrase, don't tell me that sex would be enjoyable for a 10 year old whose body hasn't even m…

Music of Life

Piano: Love

Violin: Heaven

Flute: Peace

Guitar: Friendship

Xylophone: Childhood

Organ: Church weddings

Harp: Connection to Ancient Egyptian ancestors

عود: The beauty of sophistication
دف: Sufi love
قانون: Good traditions
طبلة: Belly-dancers
Drums: Fun

Wisdom of Socrates

Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.

Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others.

Envy is the ulcer of the soul.

Get not your friends by bare compliments, but by giving them sensible tokens of your love.

If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.

Grow Back Down!

Why do people stop laughing when they grow up, Laughing until it hurts? Why do they stop dancing like crazy? Having slumber parties? Having pillow fights? Screaming for no reason? Throwing water at each other? Building sand castles on beaches? Watching cartoons? Jumping on beds? Drawing funny things? Singing so loud in the middle of the street? Wearing flowery clothes? Running, not for exercising? Eating sweets? Making bubbles with bubble gum? Forgetting the disappointment in less than a minute and having fun? Playing Music? Taking slides and swings? Eating lollipops? Loving balloons? Loving unconditionally? Having no enemies? Being pure? Living in peace? Making fun activities? Putting flowers in a girl's hair? Blowing bubbles in the shower? If this is what growing up is to you, then please, for your own good, grow back down.

أمثال مصرية، 2

قالوا للحرامي احلف قال جالك الفرج
طمعنجي بنى له بيت، فلسنجي سكن له فيه
إختار الجار قبل الدار
الكدب ملوش رجلين

أمثال مصرية

مين فات قديمه تاه
القفة أم ودنين يشلوها اتنين
المسامح كريم
إن كبر ابنك خاويه
إدي العيش لخبازه

Put a Smile on Someone's Face

Do you want to feel happy? Easy, make someone happy. Give a flower to a girl, she doesn't have to be your lover, just any friend or family. Give a chocolate to a child, even if you don't know them. Give a depressed person a hug, it will bring them peace. Tell a guy how good he is, speak of the goodness in him. Buy a gift to someone, and wrap it, it doesn't have to be big, just the effort would make a difference. Buy them a card, or make them a card, write something personalized in it. Making someone happy is not expensive at all, but it's priceless. Try every now and then to tell people of their importance in your life, to show gratitude. They'll probably reply with just a smile, but it's a timeless smile that will make you the happiest soul.

What Would our Ancestors Do?

Our ancestors, the Ancient Egyptians, had a Pharaoh who was a tyrant, during his rule people were hungry and sick, they didn't do the work they fit for and were very unhappy (unlike how it was with other Pharaohs of his time). When his rule had finally ended, they've decided to give him the worst punishment there is. From that day on, Egyptians decided never to mention the name of the man again, they eliminated him from history, they made him lose his importance for decades or even centuries and it would have stayed this way if history wasn't changed tens of times for the worst of reasons. I will follow my ancestors' rules and won't mention the name of the Pharaoh...

I'm bringing this up because someone here in Egypt decided to raise the issue of a hatred movie that was produced on YouTube by Egyptian migrants a few months ago. The movie and its link were spread very much over the web among the people whom the hatred was directed at, why now? For reasons that a…

Inspire the World

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Have you watched the Paralymics Closing Ceremony last night? If you haven't then I advise you to do (video below), this post is about why I want you to watch it...

When a baby is born with a physical disability the family can either breakdown or accept, but then some families don't accept, they challenge. Some people are born with physical disabilities and we, "the healthy" see them as weak, as people we should feel sorry for. The truth is that they and their families are not, they're much stronger than us, than anyone else. They were created with a missing bone or muscle or whatever, and our Creator is just, and so they we're given something extra, they were given the determination that we all lack half of. Yes they have physical disabilities, but they have extraordinary abilities. We might have better bodies but we use them much less, we're never determined enough to defy the impossible, they are. They might be physically disabled, but for some of us it…

Revolutionary Quotes, 2

"Those who are inclined to compromise can never make a revolution."

"Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God."

"The welfare of the people is the supreme law."

"He who strikes terror into others is himself in continual fear."

"The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion."



Revolutionary Quotes

"To dare: that is the whole secret of revolutions.""We built your fort. We will not have it used against us." "The sin of silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.""Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.""Those who suppress freedom always do so in the name of law and order.""A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.""An oppressed people are authorized whenever they can to rise and break their fetters.""Wherever a man comes, there comes revolution. The old is for slaves.""Revolutions never go backwards.""Revolutions are not made with rosewater."

Wisdom of Aristotle

All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsion, habit, reason, passion, and desire.

All virtue is summed up in dealing justly.

Dignity consists not in possessing honors, but in the consciousness that we deserve them.

Happiness depends upon ourselves.

Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.

Wisdom of Cicero

O, the times, O, the customs!

To be ignorant of the past is to be forever a child.

We are not born for ourselves alone

In anger nothing right nor judicious can be done. 

A friend is, as it were, a second self.

The American Elections: Campaign Spending

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The U.S. government allows the funding of campaigns from taxpayers' money if they meet some requirements like being the candidate being popular/wanted enough. And if they abide by some rules, The most important of which is that the candidate's campaign spending must be limited to an amount that the government sets, in this case the government audits all the money spent in the campaign and receives receipts for everything spent to make sure the amount wasn't exceeded. Also the candidate cannot spend more than $50,000 from her/his own bank account and can accept donations from non-members of the party in very few cases.

If the candidate chooses not to use the federal funding, they're free to spend any amount of money they choose according to the donations they receive from supporters and their party. But since the funding they receive from the federal government ($84 million) is big, it's not easy for many candidates to raise this amount of money and so most of them …

All the Simple Blessings

There many simple blessings that many of us share but never even think about, they're always taken for granted and thought of as things that have always been there and always will be. On my birthday, and only on my birthday (unfortunately) I remember these.

Being aliveBeing healthy enough to talk, walk and smileBeing able to sense, to see, smell, taste, hear and touch Having a roof over your headHaving food in your fridgeHaving loved ones, either family or friends or bothHaving a mind that is ready to thinkHaving a heart that is ready to loveBeing able to go to sleep without feeling worried about someone killing you, or soldiers bombing your homeBeing able to forget the bad memories and to remember the good onesBeing able to change

Birthday Princess

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It's my birthday and I have so much on my mind, I'm unable to think of something to write. All I know is that I'm happy, and I feel excited about my birthday. I don't want to sleep, just like a I felt when I was kid. Back then I had to count hundreds of sheep before I fell asleep and always woke up at 7 in the morning, because that's the time when I was born. I still feel the same today although I've grown and my birthday's significance has decreased, but it's still a celebration of memories and a day of feeling grateful because of all the simple blessings in life, like being alive.

Today I'll share with you a happy old song about someone who was also unable to fall asleep =)

I Could've Danced All Night -Julie Andrews, from My Fair Lady

Lyrics:


Eliza Bed! Bed! I couldn't go to bed!
My head's too light to try to set it down! Sleep! Sleep!
I couldn't sleep tonight.
Not for all the jewels in the crown!
I could have danced all night!

Proverbs, 2

Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours. -Swedish proverb


Write the bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble -Arabic proverb


Do not judge by appearances; a rich heart may be under a poor coat. -Scottish proverb


A stumble may prevent a fall. -English proverb


To talk goodness is not good... only to do it is. -Chinese proverb

Proverbs

He that plants trees loves others besides himself. -English proverb

He who is not impatient is not in love. -Italian proverb

A man in love mistakes a pimple for a dimple. -Japanese proverb

It's astonishing how important a man becomes when he dies. -Yiddish proverb

What is past and cannot be prevented should not be grieved for. -American Indian proverb

We've Only Seen Tyranny

Every Egyptian who is alive today has lived only through tyranny and saw nothing else. The eldest of us have lived through the time of King Farouk and the British occupation. They have lived hating their ruler and their occupiers. Then when the Nasser's coup happened and turned into a revolution the whole country celebrated the fall of a tyrant and the beginning of a new era. They celebrated the start of an era of democracy, freedom, social justice and independence and when they ended up with only independence and some social justice they were happy and loved Nasser so much. They made songs, people had his picture hung in their homes, they cried their hearts out when he wanted to step down and they simply made a tyrant out of him.

They loved him so much although he brought less than half of their dream, of a new era, true because they have only seen worse and never better, and so they have learned to accept the least rather than the best. But even for those, now things have chang…