Archive for March, 2017

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Posted: March 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

I hate how everyone is becoming more and more open about their racism and prejudice by the day. I hate that people are constantly being reminded of why they’ll always be treated differently (or more like, constantly having it thrown at their faces, every single day), because of things they were simply born to be – things they never even had a say in. I hate that every person alive right now feels the need to defend themselves in front of others for a thing or two about themselves, that they are still being unjustifiably judged for. I hate that a lot of people out there are still trying to keep parts of their identities hidden, because they happen to hear hurtful comments about who they are from people who absentmindedly joke around about things they have no freaking idea what they even mean. And I hate that people are actually starting to feel more alienated in their own countries than other places in the world.

I hate having to live in this world. I really, really do. I hate that there is nothing I can do about any of it but to silently write and weep. But above all, I really, truly, hate how I cannot hate all this without having someone trying to stuff my face with the bright side of it or the wisdom of it all. There’s none of that. There’s just stupid human beings ruining this planet, because everyone wants to have kids but no one knows what it REALLY means to bring one up.

بجد بقينا عايشين في عالم مش متربي.

January 30, 2017

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The End!

Posted: March 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

And today (or this entire week actually), I’ve been asked so many “How do you feel about graduating?” questions and I could not for the life of me give even one concrete answer for that. Not because I don’t know how I feel, but because there’s so much happening inside that cannot possibly be put out there in one simple sentence. Because, well, I feel old, having witnessed so many people leaving this campus and hardly ever having it cross my mind that I’d be in their shoes one day. I feel mature, very mature, remembering the things that kept me up at night during freshman year and realizing I’m no longer allowing any of that to bother me now – partially because I faint out the minute I reach bed after all that happens to me during the day 😅, and partially because I’ve indeed outgrown so many things, so many people, and so many feelings that I no longer allow to mess with my brain. I feel different, because every person I got to know (especially this semester) has touched me in some way and left something inside that will forever be embedded in there. I feel funny, realizing that all what my younger versions thought about “graduates” are basically nowhere near true, for I totally still feel like a child inside – a really childish child, and I can’t make it go away. I feel proud, because of all the ways I’ve seen myself deliberately walking out of my comfort zone and amazing myself at all what I turn out to be. I feel a little unsafe, leaving the walls of this building, where I literally have memories buried in its each and every corner; good and bad ones, ones I’ll continue to cherish anyway. I feel like I want to crawl into a corner and cry, because I have absolutely no idea what to expect from the real world, and so far, the few glimpses I’ve taken seem to be pretty scary. I feel excited though, because I still do understand that each phase has its ups and its downs, and a part of me truly cannot wait to watch that upcoming one unfold, with all that it should be bringing along.

I feel too much, but most importantly, I feel too good about knowing that all this will probably never come to an end. I have been waiting to put a final conclusion to this semester on my very last day, only to realize today that there’s no such thing as a “conclusion”; only things continuing to beautifully and very accurately fall into place. I have thankfully seen it happening all through this semester, and I am certain it will forever continue to. For four and a half years ago, it would have never crossed my mind that this is who I’d turn out to be today.

December 21, 2016

My Alone Time

Posted: March 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

“How do you manage to keep the balance between all those things at the same time?” is a question I have constantly been asked this semester, from very different people. I thought I didn’t have an answer to that, until I realized that it all basically lies in the fact that I have finally managed to “take my alone time seriously.” It’s true I was able to manage my time well during previous semesters, but I would still often feel drained. What’s different is, this semester I have realized that myself needs to be cared for, without her having to ask for it — before she actually feels like she’ll start needing it.

So I’ve luckily been spending so much of my free time sitting right in front of this scene, only staring at the quiet sky, while I knew I had so much work to be done but still chose to relax whenever I got the chance to anyway. I’ve been consistently distancing myself from my phone every chance I got, knowing I would get blamed for not picking up calls or answering texts, but still allowed myself that pleasure anyway. I’ve been deliberately choosing to spend quite car rides with myself, allowing my thoughts to freely move around. I’ve been putting aside some of my sleep just to spend a few hours reading or writing at the end of some really busy days. I’ve been distancing myself from anyone who would, in anyway, mess with my inner peace, and I’ve been allowing myself more chances to breath in the solitude.

It all eventually helped everything else beautifully fall in place. I was constantly full of energy that I wasn’t always completely sure where it came from, and I was able to wisely use this energy doing all what I had to do. It’s true this was the busiest semester of my life, but it has surprisingly been the calmest too.

December 8, 2016

“البنات”

Posted: March 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

من كام اسبوع، حد لاحظ إني دايما بامشي بشنطة ظهر وساعتها اتسألت “طب إنتِ ليه مابتشليش شنطة كده زي البنات؟” وبعدها بشوية حد شاف الموبايل بتاعي ولاحظ إنه من غير غطاء واستغرب واتقال لي “أصل البنات دايما لازم بيكونوا حاطين حاجات كده…” وبعدها كنت قاعدة على جنب في خطوبة وتاني اتسألت “إنتِ ليه مابترقُصيش زي البنات؟”

والحقيقة الموضوع استوقفني لما اتكرر كذا مرة ومن ناس مختلفة، وحسيت إني مش قادرة أفهم همَ مين بقى البنات دول؟ إحنا ليه بنحب نحط تعريفات لكل حاجة في حياتنا؟ العالم ده فيه حوالي 3,418,059,380 أنثى، هل طبيعي إن يكون متوقع منهم يكونوا كلهم شبه بعض؟ وهمَ مين دول اللي بيحددوا لنا التعريفات اللي البنات محتاجين يتفقوا معاها دي؟ ها؟ مين؟

أنا مش متضايقة إني “مش زي البنات”، لأني فعلًا مش باقتنع بحاجات كتير قوي من اللي “البنات” مفروض يكونوا بيعملوها. أنا بس متضايقة إني عايشة في مجتمع شايف إنها حاجة غريبة إن البني أدم يختار يكون مختلف. الإختلاف مش وحش يا جماعة. الإختلاف ده مهم. ومش طبيعي إن الواحد يعيش حياته كلها وهو مُطالب إنه يبرر موقفه لكل اللي حواليه. بطلوا تبقوا شبه بعض لو انتم مش مقتنعين بكده. ولو كل الحاجات دي بتحبوا تعملوها فعلًا، اعملوها، بس اوعوا اوعوا اوعوا أبدًا تحسسوا حد إنه “غريب” لما تلاحظوا إنه مش بيعملها زيكم. عشان خاطري. هو أكيد واخد باله من غير ما حد يسأله.

October 14, 2016

Anxiety in the Classroom

Posted: March 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

Every time you think you’re completely over the unexplainable anxiety that accompanies speaking up in class, you realize one doesn’t simply “get over” something like that. It’s no longer because you’re worried you’d say something stupid, or because your heart still beats fast every time people turn around to stare, but because the actual process of deciding to do it is one of the most troubling experiences, for how huge its every little detail suddenly feels.

Because, for some reason, when you have something to say, it never really comes out as smoothly as everyone seems to do it. You try to raise your hand, but everyone’s randomly shouting out answers that you’re not really sure if your hand is even visible anymore. You try to raise your hand, but your professor’s completely invested in what they’re explaining, that you do not want to interrupt, but you’re still worried they’d move on to another topic before realizing you had something to share. You try to raise your hand, but your professor’s still talking and you’re worried you might be irritating them with such a gesture that might indirectly be sending them a message to stop talking, when in fact you really want them to know you’re going to wait for them until they’re done – but your hand alone can hardly explain all that. You try to raise your hand, then quickly put it down when you realize your professor’s noticed you, but then they forget to get back to you and you spend the rest of class time wondering if you should have reminded them again. You wait for a pause, you wait because you want to raise your hand, but no pauses happen to make their way in-between the words. The professor moves on, students move on; everyone moves on. But you. You’re still obsessing over that one detail you really thought you should have let out, but never got the chance to.

You eventually decide to stop raising your hand. You decide to randomly shout out answers too whenever everyone starts doing it. You come to talk, but a colleague happens to speak at the exact same moment and your professor also happens to be looking their way. You know that everyone sitting around you has already heard what you said, but your professor hasn’t, so you decide to repeat the answer again, when someone else randomly does the same. You realize you’ve repeated yourself twice yet received zero attention. Do you speak again and have your colleagues hear you uncomfortably saying the exact same thing for the third time? Or do you give up and get back to obsessing over yet another lost chance?

Imagine all that, and probably even more, happening in the span of just a few seconds. It does feel weird realizing anyone’s giving that much attention to similar details, but it’s actually even weirder how most teachers have no idea what might possibly be going on in the minds of their very own students. It’s weird how they make students’ lives hard by wanting everyone to participate every second of class, yet they don’t always notice the existence of people who willingly want to. It’s weird that after four years at this place, I can still count the number of professors I’ve encountered that have made me feel comfortable about speaking in their classes, on the fingers of one single hand.

It’s not just weird, it’s sad. It’s sad that very few teachers actually understand the importance of what they do.

September 21, 2016

The (in)visible pain

Posted: March 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

I’ve always loved words, always cared about words, always thought that words are all what really matters. Words can kill, everyone would say. I’d actually often lose sleep over words I’ve said; ones that I can literally spend forever wishing I could take back. And others that I can only wish I could get another tiny chance to let out after mistakenly having kept them inside. Yet recently, I’ve realized there’s something way stronger, way more powerful, can bring along way more pain, and that is: looks.

Words can be misinterpreted, but you can always, somehow, say more of them to make up for that. But looks, looks are often followed by silence. What happens in those few seconds of silence can forever get stuck in your head, and you might never know how to explain any of it again.

There’s the look of a person silently judging you, so oblivious of the fact that it already shows all over their face. The look on a person’s face after having been exposed to an extremely dark side of yours that you’ve never let anyone in on before, as they try not to say something they know they’d regret, but their looks still expose it all. The look on their face when they think you’re not looking their way – as their mind silently speaks so loud about you, and the sudden change in their features when you unexpectedly turn back to them and catch their judgmental stare. It hurts. It all happens in a split of a second, and it hurts. There’s no room for explanations. You just continue to remember it forever, and they might never even know that their looks had betrayed them this way.

Then there’s the look that’s shared between two very stubborn faces after the very long arguments they’ve had. They might both be coldly staring at one another, but they’ll still somehow hear the sound of their hearts as they shatter inside, and they’d both refuse to let it show. Their eyes are locked, but they’re both waiting for the other’s eyes to soften up a little, so they could lovingly look back at them again. It hurts to see all this coldness in the eyes of someone you (used to) love, and it hurts to know they’re looking back at a similar reflection, because looks can hurt this bad and none of you would dare talk about the immense pain that something so simple has caused.

There’s the look of a person who pretends they hadn’t just caught a glimpse of that someone they’d been trying to avoid. There’s the look of a person who’ve just said goodbye to someone they know they’re never seeing again. There’s the look of a person who has just been rejected by the love of their life, and the look of that other person who has just rejected someone they had never wished to hurt. There’s the look of a person who had been wanting to pour their heart out to someone, but had watched that someone’s uninterested face from the very first minute, preferred to swallow their words, and stayed silent instead. There’s the look of a person who did pour their heart out to someone then spent the rest of the day with the edge of their fingers unconsciously holding their lips together after realizing they had let too much of themselves out and wished they could take any of it back. There’s the (sad) look on a very-happy face, wishing that that special someone could have only been there to celebrate together their happy news.

Then there’s the look of a person staring right back at a laptop screen, hating the fact that they still couldn’t put all the hurt they’ve experienced/witnessed from all the different looks they’ve ever seen, in what they had once thought was the most powerful thing on Earth; words.

Looks are so underestimated. Watch people. Really watch people. Watch their faces, and talk back to them with your own. You never know what looks can do. You really never know.

September 16, 2016