Thursday, February 26, 2015

Its 3alya2eyat 3.0

Yes, I am back. 
I remember when this blog just started as a teenager outlet of a 16 year old, this was in 2006. 
I remember when it started thriving during my existentialist problems of sophomore year, it was the year of 2009.
I remember when I upgraded it -probably through my way of writing- and called it 2.0, just after 6 months of my graduation, December, 2012.
This is 3 years after my graduation. It is 2015, almost 2 years since I first met my husband, almost 8 months after I got married and became an expat of UAE. 
Therefore, this is the most recent version of this blog, the 3.0 generation. I am a wife, a partner, a teacher, still a daughter and a sister, but my interests are the same and not the same. Now, you might see a post about cooking or driving, which you would have never seen before. You might witness a story about an occupational hazard, such as grading or running records, which, also, you would have never read it on this blog before. I grew up people and I thank Allah for the person I have become. 
And I would like to thank my husband for continuously pushing me to write again. 

Below, you will find two posts that I wrote when I initially decided to write again. 
Enjoy reading, my lovely readers. 
P.S: It's good to be back :)


4/12/2014
Hosni Mobarak is innocent.
I guess that is quite a good reason to go back to writing. 
I know I have been away, nearly 2 years now without a single blog post. So much changed has in my life, al HamdlAllah. I am married. I live in Dubai and I have a family of my own.  However, very little has changed in my country.  It is the same injustice, same corruption and the very same ignorance. 
Hosni Mobrak is innocent. 
It is like 2011 never happened. It seems that the ‘elected’ president sees the 90 million Egyptians in shades of dumb and dumber. On the one hand he claims to be pro the ‘two’ revolutions –please notice quotation marks and add to it an exclamation mark- and on the other hand, justice must take its course and the poor ousted president Mobarak can’t be judged since -ya haram- he is too old.
Hosni Mobarak is not even innocent, he was never on trial.
However, Egyptians are still on trial on the crimes of over-silence, complete naivety and absolute ignorance. There is a rage inside of me that wants to manifest into one of those womanly strong slap on the face, you know the ones that has a bang to it and leaves a hand mark on the face of the abused, just like in mexiacan soapopera. A slap on the faces of the following: on the judge who judged –not judged- Mobarak, on the face of Mobarak, his sons, Habib Al Adly and all the other accomplice, who made this news make the news and pass by so duly unnoticed and even glorified as a victory. 
Umm el ghabaa!

3/12/ 2014
Since I am an emarati citizen now, and taking into consideration the great motto of ‘when in Rome,’ I jumped on a plane with my husband on the first long vacation to Beirut, Lebanon. Home away from home. 
I am back in Beirut, writing this blog post across the famous Raouche rock. And like always Beirut becomes my mirror on through which I realize how much I have changed. Holding hands with my husband I walked him through El Hamra street, Bliss, AUB, showed him my favorite places, my favorite small shops to eat, drink and have deep conversations about dreams lost and dreams to be made. 
Like always, when in Beirut I bought a book by a Lebanese author. Rewa  Zeinati’s book of essays “Nietzche’s Camel Must die.” I told Mohammed that one day I want my blog to be published in this way, a series of notes. He laughed and told me “What blog habibti, you have not written anything in almost 2 years!” His words were an ice-bucket that just poured over me, it was the ugly truth. 
Why did I stop writing?
I guess life just monopolizes you in this mean. 
However, like always –and in the aid of my supportive husband- I will not let this happen any longer. I will find a time to write again, to go back to my passion of writing it out loud.

I have officially missed aliaaz.  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Of the USSR, Jeans and teaching

If you have read my latest posts you would know that I am a teacher in an American School in UAE.
 This story is based in a school context.

In the morning, while sipping on my milk-less, sugar-less coffee [sad face with tears emoji], I was discussing teaching methods with two of the greatest teachers in our school. One of them was once a grade-12 teacher in Bulgaria during the Soviet Union!
"During that time, we all wore the same shoes, the same shirt, the same dress. There was no time for play, we were communists, all equal, we all work, all the time. Now, teachers wear jeans and have nail polish on, now they call it a democracy." she said that with a smirk.  "I was a tough teacher back then, I am no longer tough, no reason to be tough anymore."

I just sat there and listened to her tell of the glories of the days of communism.

I could not imagine what it would have been like to lived through those times. Although Egypt is a "democracy" and we get to wear jeans and all the like, but, we all must wear the outfit of submission to injustice and inequality. 

Different titles to the same book.

Dictatorship.

 

Monday, July 22, 2013

31 Essential Quotes For Singles BY The Thought Catalog

I read this and loved it, thought I should share it with you :)
My favorite is this one by Anais Nin "How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself."
 
 
  • "My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude." Warsan Shire
  • "Too many women throw themselves into romance because they’re afraid of being single, then start making compromises and losing their identity. I won’t do that." Julie Delpy
  • "Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with." Sex and the City
  • "Being single is getting over the illusion that there is somebody out there to complete you and taking charge of your own life." Omkar Phatakc
  • "If you have to ask someone to change, to tell you they love you, to bring wine to dinner, to call you when they land, you can’t afford to be with them." Sloane Crosley
  • "When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person’s body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings." Elizabeth Gilbert
  • "Personally, I, Mindy Kaling want to spend like 80 percent of my life hanging out with women." Mindy Kaling
  • "How wrong it is for a woman to expect the man to build the world she wants, rather than to create it herself." Anais Nin
  • "It seemed to me that the desire to get married – which, I regret to say, I believe is basic and primal in women – is followed almost immediately by an equally basic and primal urge – which is to be single again." Nora Ephron
  • "It is good to be lonely, for being alone is not easy. The fact that something is difficult must be one more reason to do it." Rilke
  • "I celebrate myself, and sing myself." Walt Whitman
  • "Working long hours being single helps because your time is yours. Once you have a family your time isn’t all yours anymore. Most of the Mac team, we were in our mid-20′s, most of us were single, and we were able to essentially devote our lives to it." Andy Hertzfeld
  • "I love being single. I can come and go as I please and stay out as late as I want to." Eric Dickerson
  • "You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose." Jo Courdert
  • "If we seek paradise outside ourselves, we cannot have paradise in our hearts." Thomas Merton
  • "Now I’m feeling how I should. Never knew single could feel this good." Jason Derulo
  • "I really enjoy being single again. I spent a lot of time in a relationship and the nearer we came to the end, the more difficult it got. You don’t see things clearly as long as you’re still involved." Dido Armstrong
  • "You are terrifying, and strange, and beautiful. Something not everyone knows how to love." Warsan Shire
  • "I think, therefore I’m single." Liz Winston
  • "Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly." Voltaire
  • "We did not come to remain whole. We came to lose our leaves like the trees, Trees that start again." Robert Bly
  • "No human being can really understand another, and no one can arrange another’s happiness." Graham Greene
  • "To love blindly is to love selfishly, because the goal of such love is not the real advantage of the beloved but only the exercise of love in our own souls." Thomas Merton
  • "I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude." Henry David Thoreau
  • "I regard romantic comedies as a subgenre of sci-fi, in which the world operates according to different rules than my regular human world." Mindy Kaling
  • "Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go. Hermann Hesse
  • I like being single, I’m always there when I need me." Art Leo
  • "Discover why you’re important, then refuse to settle for anyone who doesn’t completely agree." Fisher Amelie
  • "I don’t like to be labeled as lonely just because I am alone." Delta Burke
  • "This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something." Elizabeth Gilbert
  • I am a lover without a lover. I am lovely and lonely and I belong deeply to myself." Warsan Shire

And I wonder...


Should we seek love? I do not think that none of us have never pondered on this question.We once -at least once- sat by yourselves and thought “Where is it? Who is he/she? Am I ever going to have this madly, deeply, forever love?”

I am at a point in my life where I am full of gratitude towards how my life is going. With all the peaks and troughs, I can admit that this is a good life, I learn from the low points and rejoice at the high ones, HamdlAllah. I disregard the bad thoughts, the stupid moments or the meaningless discussions and embrace optimism, good energy and meaningful moments. However, something is missing. I have to admit it.

Do we ever grow of our seek of the fairy-tale and prince charming? I am not the girl that needs saving from a high-tower or dark magic, but I am a young woman who wants to live happily ever after, who doesn’t?  I read once an article where the author compared Fairy-tales and romantic comedies to Sci-Fi movies. Both –according to the author- were impossible and far-fetched. However, like I have mentioned earlier, I am not seeking to be saved, nor am I seeking perfection with a man that looks like Ken and is taught table-manners.  I long for the partnership, this soul-mate that can give you this certain feeling that no one other can fulfill. Is that Sci-Fi?  I believe it is all naseeb, destiny and it happens to you when you least expect it. Things like this, should not be sought. But, you can’t but wonder, no?

Friday, June 21, 2013

A YEAR!


And what I am about to say is the absolute truth.
This past year has been a year that I can admit was hell of a ride. I graduated with a BA in Political science, two months later I got a job and I got officially engaged, four month later I hated my job and I was no longer engaged and six month later I am sitting writing this post.

20 job applications, one failed relationship, pressuring expectations from family and friends,  mood swings, family issues and I can say that it ALL led me to this moment of absolute clarity, I am finally at peace.

I do not know if this is just going to be momentarily peace till I freak out about something else, but it is the calmest I have been in a year.

This year taught me the following:

  1. Only fools rush in, wither it is a relationship, an application or a simple project, think about it, take it slow.
  2. People will disappoint you, its okay, forgive and forget and move on.
  3. Don’t let anything bother you. If it annoys you, try to solve it and if is not going to get solved, throw it behind you, bury it in a box and forget it! A moment lost in sadness or worry is a moment of happiness that you wont get back.
  4. Help others, but do not expect anything in return, expectations only lead to disappointment, and if they do something nice in return, be surprised, it is always better to be surprised than disappointed.
  5. Listening is an awesome gift from ALLAH, listen to people, you do not necessarily have to pitch in the conversation with anything, just enjoy listening to others.
  6. Talk till you get a headache, to those who are worth it.
  7. Forget about what people expect of you or expect who you should be, be who you want to be and do what makes you happy.
  8. Do not compare yourselves to others!
  9. Do not let anyone be your source of happiness, be your happiness and share your happiness with others, but never let anyone control how you feel.
  10. Money is a mean not a target. Never aspire to be rich, aspire to always enjoy the little things.
  11. BE a better Muslim. Islam is a way of life, so live it.
  12. Family is a treasure, cherish it.'
  13. Listen to good music, read good books, do insanity workout, eat healthy, do yoga and take a walk, enjoy your own company.
  14. Always believe that ALLAH is there, 2:186 "AND IF My servants ask thee about Me - behold, I am near; I respond to the call of him who calls, whenever he calls unto Me: let them, then, , respond unto Me, and believe in Me, so that they might follow the right way."
Bass keda :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Beirut

Thursday, the 23rd of May, 2013:
As I went out to the waiting area, I saw my favourite girls in the world, Alia and Marah standing looking at the arriving travelers. I jumped and squeeked in excitment and so did they. They looked older, one year older if that can be noticeable, but I saw it.
We hugged and strated to walk towards Alia's car.
As I went outside of the airport, I smelled it, the smell of Beirut! I stood there, looked around, I was back to the city that owned my heart.
Alia looked at me and asked, "It feels like home, right?"
I answered "It feels like I never left, it feels like..."
Marah answered "It feels like freedom, independence, it feels like that! "
This is the city that holds you in, lures you into loving it to the maximum and makes you discover that you need not to act, you need not to be anything but yourself.

Sunday, the 26th of May, 2013:
I am in Beirut, it is midnight, and I am listening to jazz music! Life can't be simpler and can not be better hamdlALLAH.
But as I listen to this track, some thoughts are popping into my head that makes me go through my endless stream of restless thoughts.
When do we grow out of something that was always dear to our hearts?
I fell in love with Beirut, exactly 4 years ago, it was sophomore year, it was the hardest year in my life, it was the best year in my life. That year, I learned to take initiative, to quit when I feel the fight is not worth it, to speak up when needed and most importantly to be me.
I did mistakes, I learned from them,  I became spontaneous and I took action. During that time of my life, I thought I can make life happen! I did not hold back, I was in love with Beirut, and still is in love with Beirut.
Beirut is strong, it is charming, it is exactly what I need!
This city is straight-forward, you can not help but be YOU in Beirut, because it would totally get it when you are faking it.

Beirut is music, it is Fairouz, it is Courniche, sidewalks, Tabboulah, Bliss street and lahm b-3ajeen.
Beirut is great coffee, bookstores, walking around for hours without a destination, it is old buildings and flowers in Balconies.
Beirut is perfect under the rain, if you are not in love during winter in Beirut, you can fall in love -like I did- with Beirut, with your headphones in your ears, perfect music and an umbrella -that would most probably fail you- and you would walk, in the rain and have an affair with the city. You can speak your mind, tell Beirut about your fears, about your dreams and your weakest points, Beirut would understand, perfectly.
Maybe, maybe one would think that a person could not say so much of a city. However, this is the city where I grew up a little, matured a little, made the best friends in the world, laughed my heart out, got hurt, pulled myself together, lost my way and found my way. This is the city where I got broke and penniless and when I danced in the street with a Western Union transfer from my parents. Beirut is the city where I thought I was the shit and then later learned that life is hard. This is the city where I identified the outline of who I am and now 5 years later in this relationship, I can say, that this is the city where I will always learn a little bit more.
Today I learned that, the only permanent is change, that even if I know who I am that does not mean I am anywhere near to figuring life out, but its okay. Beirut is the city that stood strong through many battles and hopefully like Beirut, I would stay strong and embrace life with all the highs and lows.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

It goes on!

Fall
Get up
clean yourself
walk tall
fall
look around
someone saw
someone heard
get up
wash it off
take a breath
leap forward
falling
falling
shocked, so what!
Wake up, get up
Wipe your tears
Close your eyes
Take a breath, take it in harder, keep it there
Run into the unknown,
A slap on the face, don't turn your cheek
Slap back, punch, fight
Exhausted
Sit down,
Stand up
Fall
Get up
Clean yourself and walk tall.
Life goes on!

Monday, April 22, 2013

"And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."

When I saw this movie "الباب المفتوح" and reread the letter that was sent by the male lead role to the female lead role, I thought to myself "If only a woman can be loved this way!" To be loved without being lost, to be lost in love but with yourself and your essence profoundly strong, to love to the maximum and to compromise without being taken for granted.
This thought takes me to Gibran's Prophet, when he says on marriage:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.


Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.


Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

If only we can love and marry this way!
Read the letter, breath Gibran and know deep in your heart that to love is to grow, to marry is to bond and not to hold back or lose yourself.


 
عزيزتى ليلى

لم أكن أريد أن أستعمل كلمة ” عزيزتى ” بل أردت أن أستعمل كلمة أخرى، كلمة أقرب الى الحقيقة والى شعورى نحوك ولكنى خفت أن أخيفك وأنا أعرف أن من السهل اخافتك. من السهل بشكل مؤلم، مؤلم لى على الأقل.

وهذا أيضا هو سبب ترددى فى الكتابة... اليك ولكن حنينى الجارف الى الوطن لم يترك لى الاختيار فقد أصبحت أنت رمزا لكل ما أحبه فى وطنى وعندما أفكر فى مصر أفكر فيك وعندما أحن الى مصر أحن اليك وبصراحة أنا لا أنقطع عن الحنين الى مصر.

أكاد أراك تبتسمين، فأنت لاتصدقينى. أليس كذلك ؟.. أنت لا تثقين بى. أنت تقيمين بينى وبينك الحواجز، أنت لا تريدين أن تنطلقى وأن تتركى نفسك على سجيتها، لأنك تخشين أن تتعلقى بى، أن تفنى كيانك فى كيانى، أن تستمدى ثقتك فى نفسك وفى الحياة منى، ثم تكتشفى كيانك مدلوقا-كالقهوة- فى غرفتى.

وأنا أحبك وأريد منك أن تحبينى، ولكنى لا أريد منك أن تفنى كيانك فى كيانى ولا فى كيان أى أنسان. ولا أريد لك أن تستمدى ثقتك فى نفسك وفى الحياة منى أو من أى أنسان. أريد لك كيانك الخاص المستقل، والثقة التى تنبعث من النفس لا من الاخرين.
واذ ذاك – عندما يتحقق لك هذا- لن يستطيع أحد أن يحطمك لا أنا ولا أى مخلوق. اذ ذاك فقط، تستطيعين أن تلطمى من يلطمك وتستأنفى المسير. واذ ذاك فقط تستطيعين أن تربطى كيانك بكيان الآخرين، فيزدهر كيانك وينمو ويتجدد، واذ ذاك فقط تحققين السعادة فأنت تعيسة يا حبيبتى، وقد حاولت، ولم تستطيعى، أن تخفى عنى تعاستك…

لقد أنحبست فى الدائرة التى ينحبس فيها أغلب أفراد طبقتنا، دائرة الأنا، دائرة التوجس والركود، دائرة الأصول، نفس الأصول التى جعلت عصام يخونك، وجعلت محمود يشعر بالعزلة فى معركة القناة. وجعلت طبقتنا، كطبقة، تقف طويلا موقف المتفرج من الحركة الوطنية، نفس الأصول التى تكرهينها وأكرها، ويكرها كل من يتطلع الى مستقبل أفضل لشعبنا ووطننا.

وفى دائرة الأنا، عشت تعيسة، لانك فى أعماقك تؤمنين بالتحرر، بالانطلاق، بالفناء فى المجموع، بالحب، بالحياة الخصبة المتجددة.

عشت تعيسة لأن تيار الحياة فيك لم يمت بل بقى حيا يصارع من أجل الانطلاق.
فلا تنحبسى فى الدائرة الضيقة، انها ستضيق عليك حتى تخنقك أو تحولك الى مخلوقة بليدة معدومة الحس والتفكير…
انطلقى يا حبيبتى، صلى كيانك بالآخرين، بالملايين من الآخرين، بالارض الطيبة أرضنا، بالشعب الطيب شعبنا.

وستجدين حبا، أكبر منى ومنك، حبا كبيرا، حبا جميلا… حبا لايستطيع أحد أن يسلبك اياه، حبا تجدين دائما صداه يتردد فى الاذن، وينعكس فى القلب، ويكبر به الانسان ويشتد: حب الوطن وحب الشعب…

فانطلقى يا حبيبتى، افتحى الباب عريضا على مصراعيه، واتركيه مفتوحا..,
وفى الطريق المفتوح ستجديننى يا حبيبتى، أنتظرك، لأنى أثق بك، وأثق فى قدرتك على الأنطلاق، ولأنى لا أملك سوى الانتظار… انتظارك
____________________

فيلم الباب المفتوح

Rumi

I am smiling at myself today
There's no wish left in this heart
Or perhaps there is no heart left
Free from all desire
I sit quietly like Earth
My silent cry echoes like thunder
Throughout the universe
I am not worried about it
I know it will be heard by no one
Except me.

Rumi

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What am I doing with my life?

It dawns on me every single day now, I am an adult. I am a 23 year old woman who is earning a living, has working hours and pays her own phone bill. I am a grown up, I guess!
As I wrote to a previous life coach in my scholarship, "It feels like life is happening and its not as easy as I thought it would be! However, am figuring it out and I try my best
Any advice on being an adult would be highly appreciated!"

Life used to go on uptill graduation. We used to finish one year leaping into the next and then we got our Bachelor degrees and stood there, certificate in hand, asking now what?
Its frustrating, and for some of us who have it figured out, I am happy for you. Yet, are we supposed to have it all figured out by now?

I know what I want the next step to be and I know that there is a destination that these steps are taking me to, but, is this it? The most serious question here is, What am I doing with my life? Do not mistake this for pessimism, not at all. I am just thinking outloud and trying to make sense of it all.
In a song by a french Singer Zaz "Je Veux" she said: Je Veux d'l'amour, d'la joie, de la bonne humeur- I want the love, the joy and the good humor. I will end this at this note.

Monday, April 15, 2013

2 cents


I have done mistakes, I have embarrassed myself so many times, sometimes I remember things I did and go like "WTF ALIAA!"
Sometimes I used to talk without thinking; sometimes I even did not speak up when I should have and other times I reacted in the most awful of ways. Man, the stupid things we do and say!!!
I am not perfect, I never claimed to be and I never wish to be.
We are the sum of our parts, our experiences, our best and worst moments and our lessons learned.
I am never afraid to ask for help, for someone's opinion, I ask the people I trust, the people I love and the people that are honest.
For all the times I screwed up, for all the times I excelled, I am grateful, hamdlALLAH.
We are not created to be right, or to be wrong, but do go through it all to reach somewhere, anywhere as long as we are learning.
Be vulnerable and be strong, be afraid, for fear is good, it means you still care!
Think hard, ask big questions; why am I here? What am I doing? Where am I going? What do I think of myself? If you do not know the answer now, figure it out and do not answer for answer's sake. However, answer the questions to be comfortable with your journey into -the not very, hopefully- unknown.
Make plans, plan A and B and C and D, have them in hierarchy, do your best, even if you do not feel like giving into it 100% but at least one day if all fails, when you are sitting with yourself you would know that you did your best!

There you go, my 2 cents for the day...

 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

This life...

I am writting this not knowing what to write, what to say or what to reveal. Have you ever felt like you are caught in the middle of something so confusing that you just felt like escaping. I do not wish to confront this right now!

I am confused!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

خمسٌ تنقص الأنوثة!!!


When you read this "خمسٌ تنقص الأنوثة: العناد ، رفعُ الصوت ، مخالطة الأجانب ، كثرة الخروج من المنزل ، القيام بدور الرجل …" what do you think? I think misogyny and sexism!
 
I do not think that a woman who is loud or outgoing or a woman with a successful career -even more successful than her male colleagues- is less of a woman, rather a woman at FULL CAPACITY! What if a woman is stubborn, stubborn to be the best at what she does, determined and oriented, why would that make her less of a woman or less “feminine”?
 
What if she is a single working mom? Taking on the role of the bread winner, supporting her family, why would she be less of a woman or less “feminine”?
 
This society is not going to go anywhere if %50+ of its population is marginalized and underestimated! This quote from where ever it is; is simply absurd!
 
It shocks me that some people would quote it on their status as some kind of epiphany! I am irritated...

 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013


I have a song that is not quite my type; however one day in 2010, on a bus going from Pennsylvania to Virginia, I fell in love with this song. It was 11 p.m; I had been on the bus for 3 hours trying to meet my best-friends in Virginia to spend Thanksgiving together. Three Arab girls taking on the world. The Greyhound bus was on the high-way, it was dark outside, very dark! But from the bus lights I was able to see the long trees on both sides of the road. The song was called "Her name is Alice!" and at that second, I felt like Alice in Wonderland. I was in a world that was completely different from mine. And that song made perfect sense. "You see there's no real ending...It's only the beginning."
I am listening to this song, again, while writing this. I am on my office in Bibliotheca Alexandrina, home, so far away from that day when the song made perfect sense. I still feel the same. But it is not the road that makes me feel like I am Alice in wonderland, but life. I have grown curious about life and living it, there are no endings, always new beginnings. Now, standing on the edge of a year that will soon pass, waiting for a new year to unfold, what will be my goals that can satisfy my curiosity in this wonderland?
InshaaAllah...

1.      I will join a political party. I will have to do some research to see which one, but I think in this Egyptian scene and the current political status; one must pick a side.
2.      I will exercise daily. I'm already registered in a Fitness center. I will make it obligatory, just like going to work, even if I do not feel like going, I will go!
3.      I will say YES to new things. I have to discover more...
4.      I will say YES to new people. The more people I meet, the more I learn and can influence.
5.      Screw it... I will always be myself!
6.      I will make amends... I won't be afraid to say I am sorry, to those who deserve!
7.      I won't give up on people.
8.      I won't give in to hardship.
9.      I will never underestimate anyone, first of all, myself.
10. This year I will put my foot on the rest of my plan to be Aliaa El-Zeiny, the woman I always wanted to be.

I know I am posting this on 1/1/2013. I tried to work on one of my resolutions, yesterday. It failed drastically. It is making me feel weird, but not giving in is also one of my resolutions. We will see inshaaAllah...

Sunday, December 30, 2012

HE is the man of the house


Yesterday my mom told me I had to help the newly introduced to our household helping lady. After coming home from my yoga class, it was my turn to be in charge and help her help us cleaning our house. After we broke the ice and started chatting, she started telling me about her kids.
She was complaining on how her daughter always wants to boss the young boy, "She wants to act like his mom, to tell him what to do and what not to do. And habibi, he does not want to obey He says he is the man of the house, thus his orders should be the regulations of the whole family."
She kept telling me about incidents when her habibi -her son- wanted to go play in the street and the daughter told him he can't and then he hit her!!!! I have to mention that she told me that the boy is younger than the girl, but she did not mention their age. However, I assumed that the bossy sister is only one year older than the boy, and as an older sister myself, I understood her tendencies as a young girl to boss her baby brother around.
As she was finalizing the story raht 2aletli "Roht 2oltelha, tesm3y kalamouh b2a 3alashan howa ragel el beit -so I told her she has to listen to him because he is the man of the house." Out-raged by how her daughter might have felt, putting myself in the daughter's shoes, I would have felt offended. Out of concern, I told her "But if they are of a close age group, balash, do not make him her boss, it would not be good for her to feel oppressed!" Surprised she replied me, "La2, NO they are not close in age at all!" Ummmm! So I asked her, how old are they? She answered, "The girl is 19 and the boy is 8!" Shocked, irritated and disappointed, I nodded and remained silent! A 19 year old graduate of high school, is being bossed by an 8 year old K.G 2 student...Sexism at its best...

Any recommendations on what advice I can give to this self-hating woman?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

3alya2eyat 2.0


Writing this post while listening to Ibrahim Maalouf's Album Hashish -one of my favorite albums during my stay in Beirut- made me realize this: I have victimized myself. I did what I used to preach against. I lost myself for the sake of normality, custom and tradition.
I have accepted things I would not have normally accepted, I willingly underestimated everything I did, I was constantly nostalgic to a life far gone and patiently waiting for a life that might never come true. I lost track of myself and what I once said, "The problem of the Egyptian woman, is the Egyptian man!" Although, no generalizations intended, some Egyptian women and men are outstanding, the rule can be easily applied. However, let me add this, "The problem of the Egyptian woman is the other Egyptian woman and sometimes herself."
This blog in the upcoming days will hold so many stories about being home, like once upon a time when it used to hold so many stories about being far away from home. I apologize for this long sentence. I do not like to break down a sentence especially when it is one idea. I am back and in an updated version. Just like my new phone.
This is Aliaa El Zeiny 2.0. A bigger screen while maintaining a slim body to fit just right, accompanied by a sleek pen, simply amazing expression tools and power performance at its best. To new beginnings, with a new hair-cut, new wardrobe, new shoes and best of all, a new perspective on life and how to live it. "she is free to do what she wants, and free not to do it!"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

متفطريهوش!

I am a very agitated Egyptian woman at this second. Why? You might ask! Well, let me quote a famous song when I answer, "La gente esta muy loca!" Who are the Loca(s) and what did they do? Let me tell you... They are a group of students from the Faculty of Pharmacy in Alexandria University, Egypt. This group of educated students started a campaign " متفطريهوش" which translates to "Do not let him break his fast!"
Their campaign is represented in posters they held in their hands, infront of Bibliotheca Alexandrina to spread their message to the wide group of Alexandrian youth that visit the Bibalex. Who are they targeting? Who are they appealing to? or rather ordering? They are targeting the Egyptian woman that walks the streets of Alexandria, or any Egyptian woman that surfs the Internet.
The question is; why would an ordinary woman that walks the street; aid a man or rather take responsibility of a man breaking his fast? It is because of her provocative means, wither through clothing, walking, looking, she is a luring seductive creature after all. (I am being Ironic) Why is this so wrong on so many levels?
First of all, let us assume their theory is true. A woman is walking down the street, very provocative. She has shorts on, a tank-top, heels, tons of make-up, very revealing outfit and she looks passers-by in the eye. Then comes the brother, he is walking down the street, helpless, fasting and he lays his eyes upon this seductive creature! What happens next? He stares, probably he throws a couple of comments, in his head she is begging for it and worse he is blaming her for his looks, his thoughts, his words and the breaking of his fast. In this scenario, the woman is provocative, but she not responsible for the man's indecent behavior. Although, I do believe women should dress modestly, however, I disrespect anyone who blames a woman for the abuse or harassment she faces. This is a patriarchal sexist rhetoric, that criminalize the woman and stresses her inferiority. A woman in this rhetoric, is an inferior that needs to be tamed. She is tamed through a man's words or actions, he needs to teach her a lesson while enjoying her discomfort. The man in this case is legitimized to say or do what he wants because he was provoked by this inferior creature.
Second scenario, an Egyptian woman -their target group- is walking down the street. That woman, the one who grew up in this culture and the woman who is aware it is Ramadan would dress in a certain way. Let us assume the most provocative profile of this ordinary Egyptian woman, she is wearing jeans, a t-shirt (both might be tight), she is veiled or unveiled, and her street manner is cautious, because she is very aware that any man can say or do anything he wants. Now a young man is walking down the street, he sees this ordinary Egyptian girl/ woman and then he is provoked! He breaks his fast? Why do we blame her? Why is the woman always responsible? Where is the man's responsibility not to stare? If he is so easily provoked, and he is really afraid he might break his fast; then why does not he shy away from what might provoke him?
It is a man's responsibility to respect his fast and to keep it not a woman's responsibility AT ALL! In the Qur'an, Allah orders us -both sexes- to be shy in our looks and not to ogle. {قُل لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَغُضُّوا مِنْ أَبْصَارِهِمْ} [(30) سورة النــور] Surat Nour: 30. "Tell the believing men to lower their gaze and guard their modesty. That is purer for them, verily Allah is All-Aware of what they do." Therefore, I call for a campaign that tells the man "Take Care of your fast." rather than telling a woman to be responsible through "Do not break his fast."

Monday, May 21, 2012

AUB Class of 2012


The clock is ticking and I am almost there. In 33 days I will be done with my undergraduate education, I will be moving back to Alexandria, Egypt and start a new chapter of my life. Someone talked to me of levels, that we leave a level entering a new one.
I internalized this, metaphorically into one of the video-games, when we used to finish up a level with a certain score, moving into the next level; but the next level is always harder and so the level gets harder until you either finish the game -through winning, or it is game over for you dude.
This got me thinking about the score I have scored in Beirut, through my education at the American University, being the international scholarship MEPI student, going to Dickinson College in the USA and every year that passed. It has been four years!
Four whole years that I have learnt more about myself than about political science :)
I remember freshman year when I was trying too hard to look strong, to act as if nothing can affect me that I am up to the independence I have been characterized with.
I remember sophomore year when I realized I am not that strong hulk woman I acted to be!
I remember Junior year when I was in the USA and I acquired my strength through being away from the comfort zone I have built for myself in Beirut and I am in my senior year; that year when I knew that being strong does not mean to exclude yourself from your surroundings, that you are your strongest when you can actually immerse yourself in life, to be honest to yourself before anyone else, to understand that there are the ups and the downs, that it is not a weakness to let go, the real strength lies within you when you understand yourself.
I am moving back to my room in Alexandria, Egypt, that room that is within a household full of a support group, of a comfort zone, the new interesting level will be for me to understand how to be independent when I can easily be dependent!

This Section is being written on the 1st of January, 2013:
You know of all this I have learnt and cherish; that I would not have made it through this experience with such a success if it were not for certain people. In my head -other than my mom, dad and brother- I can name five people that were a support to me when all went wrong. One name stands out of all, Marah Aqeel. She is the sister, the best friend, the mind reader and soul mate. She is the conscious honest mirror of you when you bullshit yourself. She is the one that knew me more than anyone else. Understood me by just looking at me and if you have a friend like her, believe me you are blessed.

Being away from Beirut has proven itself harder than being in Beirut. Maintaining the lifestyle I used to have, is very hard! To be able to juggle work, leisure and sports has been a great challenge. I am trying my best to be that person who was able to exercise, have fun and finish my work load.

I admit it, I miss Beirut, everyday! I miss my life in Beirut, everyday and above all I miss my family in Beirut, everyday…

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

been away

Hello everyone :) I know i have been away, I have not been writing! Sorry but I am about to graduate -inshaaAllah - and it is taking every-second of my time! I will see you in june :) Missing you all...