The systems failed us!

Although i never considered myself a revolutionist nor activist per se, I think that i was deeply affected by the revolution or the uprising of 2011, or whatever we can call it now.

Back in the time, I never felt belonging to any activist, civilian nor political groups, so I was somehow participating adhocly neither in an organized nor even a planned way. I simply participated following my inner voice, marching and chanting alone, or with my sister and close friends, haphazardly.

I witnessed all the events as silent participant and sometimes as an observer. I witnessed the crash of the system on the 28th of Jan, the vacuum of power, the resistance, the counter-revolution, the referendum election, the first real election, the daily clashes with an old rotten system, the Muslim Brotherhood rising in the power, then crashing, and the return of the most mediocre, violent and corrupted military rule ever over the country. Continue reading

The different Narrative of the Self [2]

On the wild beach of Abou Galoum, staring at the sea and the mountain shadows of the other shore of Saudi Arabia, only one month after I took off the veil that I wear for thirteen years. I sit alone and lonely reading.

There, I came across this quote from the book of Jiddu Krishnamurti, Freedom from the Known “[…] We are always comparing what we are with what we should be. The should be is a projection of what we think we ought to be, Contradiction exists when there is comparison not only with something or someone, but with what you were yesterday, and hence there is a conflict about what has been and what is. There is what is only when there is no comparison at all, and you live with what is, is to be peaceful.”

At that moment, these words illuminated something deep in me, almost liberated me, not only from the external world judgment, that I subconsciously feared or challenged, but also and mostly from my own perspective of myself. Continue reading

Breathe In, Breathe Out, Breathe In And Breathe Oouutt..

I don’t remember when I had my first session of yoga, most probably from five years ago, but what I can remember is the awkwardness and the self-consciousness feelings that I had every time I moved my body. Every time I went to exercise or attended any kind of a session to exercise in order to lose weight, I had this overwhelming experience.

I have been always intimidated by my weight. It is the result of a long history of being bullied by the elders and the strangers. Throughout the years of my younger age and till the current moment, I lived many embarrassing moments and shame. For long time I avoided anything that can reflect the image of my body. Later on I started as an action of self-acceptance, to walk naked and to stare at myself in the mirrors of my room. Continue reading

The Anarchist Believer and / or/ the Illusion of the “State”

This blog post below is neither based on literature nor any socio-political theories that I have read, it is the pure invention and the result of the sane/insane reflection that my poor limited mind has been developing lately. This blog is not neither a call for actions nor reactions, nor an attempt to offer alternatives. For some, these thoughts might have no clear linkage nor even a logic behind. It is ok; I don’t ask anyone to support me or to agree. This blog is simply a ventilation of an alienated free woman.

When and how it started

I am not a politics-driven person, I never understood it nor even tried to before, and I can say frankly that I am completely ignorant and illiterate when it comes to politics. However, lately it occurred to me that we as “humans” live in a big illusion called the “state” and its systems. I started to believe so once I was back from the Netherlands or even while I was living there for one year to get my Masters degree in Arts Management. Coming from the “country-of-no-system”, the chaotic Egypt, I faced daily the rigorous crushing Dutch system of functioning and living. Everything (banks’ systems, public transportation, and public life) were too organized, predicted, dictated and lived by the rules. I cannot deny that living in a system can be relieving from the daily struggle of surviving in Egypt. But with a little distance and reflection, you can easily realize that these social/public/political systems eliminate any “outsider”, “stranger” and any “non-follower” of the system. I lived there the glorious and dominating system of one of the most powerful “democratic” state of the “woohoo” very first class country of the world! Continue reading

The different narratives of the self – OR – the selves

It was back to the summer of 2009, that I recognized this reality about myself!

Back to this time I was in this famous crossroads dilemma of switching careers. By then, I gave up journalism (or to be honest the attempts to become one, once I realized that I hate this profession and I would rather develop my travel writing) and tried to gain experience in the field of Art management.

By then also I had just quit my temporary job at Al Mawred Al Thaqafy, and I couldn’t yet take the decision of going back to Alexandria or staying in Cairo and try to find another job in this challenging very underpaid field. Jobless, penniless, I got this unexpected chance to travel to the United States to attend an institute of art journalism in Washington DC. I used to apply here and there to any chance in writing or art management. This opportunity was completely and positively out of my expectation. Continue reading

A story to share…

This was one strange story.

I was laying down on the grace in the park, after at least four hours of  wandering  London’ streets, when I saw a guy in his forties approaching me. With very sad eyes and hesitant voice he asked me if I was a Muslim. Well, usually I hate these situations when I am spotted and asked about being a Muslim, especially with all the stereotypes and labels that people have in their minds regarding a Muslim woman.In addition, in fact, while travelling I like and enjoy being anonymous because I like to feel liberated from any social pressure.

Anyway, with a hasty voice I said yes and I was already getting up to leave. He apologized to bother me and asked me if a Muslim woman has to marry a Muslim? is it possible to consider a christian guy?!. this question was an additional reason to hurry up to leave the place. While picking up my stuff trying to ignore him, he asked me to advise him, he loves this Muslim woman, a doctor and he feels so miserable! he doesn’t know how to approach her, she seems very serious and she would never accept him. She is very proud and comes from a religious family, he explained. His eyes were already wet with tears, and I was so touched by his suffering.

I came back and told him “just talk to her, approach her directly, don’t spend your life wondering. You never know, may be she doesn’t care if you are Muslim or not ! what you will lose? at least you will know for sure how she feels about you and you cut the anxiety and suffering short! ”

Does it make me an alien to confess, that i don’t believe in love? I don’t believe in this commercialized, mass produced love that we long read in books and watched in movies? I simply don’t believe in it!. what a myth! what a big lie we lived seeking heart shapes, roses, white bubbles and balloons. In this park,  I saw this poor stranger’ face and crying eyes. and I almost felt believing that LOVE really exists! but as we all know it is suffering, irrational and damn cruel!

El Camino, what was it all about?!

So I am back, the world is still the same and I am still the same! Well expecting that everything will change in 10 days is not logical! But who said that I am a logical woman!

I expected that the road will make me feel better, see clearer and may be bring some new in my life! These were my main objectives to hike El Camino de Santiago de Comostella.

Afraid to do it alone, as I am an oriental girl after all, who has a constant embedded fear that she will get very hurt if she travels alone! Well nothing ever  happened to me till now! But yet I carry this burden wherever I go. So I invited all those I know who  might be interested in hiking and travelling in general. Big mistake I would say! Not because I didn’t enjoy my co-travelers company, at all! But because the presence of the others were distracting somehow!

I was supposed to hike five to six days  in a raw, I ended up just doing four, accommodating with my company rhythm and desires. Well this is what it implies when you travel with others, you compromise! This was not a big tragedy but it revealed me some truth about myself. I am a stubborn woman who like to put pressure on herself and compromising wasn’t in my plans this time, which left me a bit unsatisfied and frustrated that I had to follow the others, even though that was for my own benefit.  I almost hurt badly my right knee during the first day, walking 28km crossing the Pyrenees up to 1440 km of altitude. If it was up to me, this injury would not stop me, but thank God I had the others to stop me from hurting it more! ٍ So we took it easy next day and even rested in Pamplona the third day of the hike.

One of these days, while sleeping at the Church of Cisor Minor, where we spent the night on mattresses as there were no beds available to sleep, I laid down exhausted with almost a broken knee, stroke, I was, by the cruel and fascinating truth about the road.

On my stomach with an aching knee, I wondered why ever I wanted to do this walk: To prove the world how special and different I am? To forget about  a guy or to  impress another one? To discover myself or to challenge it? To find God and peace or just lose my soul to my demons?

On the free lands of hope and deception, my mind always swung between a mix of thoughts. During the long hours walking in the sun, my mind was only repeating lies; imagine stories and conversations fed by a wounded ego from the past or an illusive fear from the future. I was never in the NOW! I was not living the current moment. And my heart was constantly overwhelmed by pain and deception.

I was searching for peace, did I find it?  I don’t know! I am not sure, may be …

There were these moments, these rare moments where I was taken by surprise by a breath taking nature scenery. Stroke and almost smashed by the beauty and the serenity of God’ creation! And in these moments I just forgot everything, my fears, my dreams, my deceptions and I was totally taken by nature. Someone on the road told me: “don’t forget these tears in your eyes, these are the crystals of your soul!” Well a wounded soul then! i simply wonder when it will totally heal?

However, these moments were that flashy and ephemeral that I can’t remember them anymore. Anyway, why I would ask them constancy in a world in constant change?

I am not sure anymore about my real motive for taking the road! But what I know for sure that the one should watch out the road, it makes you meet face to face with the only thing that you spend your life to flee, it makes you meet YOURSELF!  Which is good by the way. Knowing the oneself would be the first step for awareness! and Awareness to change! But can the one handle the truth and the change! I believe not! No wonder why many people simply live in denial!