Monday, December 31, 2007


My new year's resolution is to finally fulfill a new year's resolution and that's why I decided not to have one.


College 10 years back

There they were, a new class studying architecture in college, they were very shiny young people who were full of energy and life. I envied them a bit but I liked them a lot, I got to be friends with many of them later on. There were 2 girls however that always hung out together who were just wonderful to observe. Both had very curly hair, one was blond and the other had dark hair. The one with the dark hair was named Ruba. I've always liked to see them walking around smiling most of the time. I took a class with her brother Ahmad, somewhat the class comedian, always joking around and always up to mischief.

There was something bright about their whole group and whenever I would hear a friend of mine talking about these girls it would put a smile on my face.

A few days back

I called Alaa Al Aswany for an interview I had to do with him. I tried calling him all day but he didn't pick up. At 12 midnight he calls me back. I ask him if he's willing to do the interview and he says he will, but he has something else on his mind. He asked me if I knew about the building in Alexandria that fell down. I did know. Well, he said:

I'm a little preoccupied, I wasn't able to answer earlier because a friend of mine had his whole family in that building, and the building collapsed over them. The city didn't bring in the dogs that can find people till 8 hours after the building collapsed.

Isn't life a bitch we both complained. Since when was anyone treated here in a half decent human manner. Why do they allow people to build things this way, can't they put a little more effort in anything they do.

We rescheduled.


I get a call, it's Alaa Al Aswany, I answer, it's not him on the phone. The man on the other end tells me that he has to reschedule because of the situation in Alexandria, Dr. Alaa's friend lost all his family. My condolences.

Today Afternoon

I'm in a meeting, I get back to my desk to find a message from Nader on MSN. He's left a message saying "Do you know Ahmad .. from college?"

Today Evening

I get a phone call from Nader, again he asks, "Do you know Ahmad from college?"

I say yes.

"Did you hear about the building that fell in Loran, Alexandria?"

I say yes.

"Well Ahmad lost his mother, his father, his grandfather and his sister, they were all in the building when it collapsed."

Stunned, I asked "Ahmad's sister Ruba?"

"Yes," he said, "Ruba's dead."

There was something shocking about this. I've known this very sweet girl from afar and I really had some warm feelings towards her. I felt so much liveliness in her. I didn't know her personally, but I always felt she was kind. I didn't really believe it when I heard it. Not that people don't die, but it was just surreal. I knew him and to imagine this happening to someone is hard enough, but to someone you know is really difficult specially that the person they lost is also someone you know. It's just very sad.

I'm filled with sad sedation, and I don't have the energy to be angry at someone who has cost so many people their lives. Someone who has cost a beautiful girl like Ruba her life. I went through the papers and what I read about finding her made me sick. She was 24.

Does it matter at all how many people die? We're killing us. Everyone trying to live irrespective of other is killing our brothers and our sisters and his brothers and his sisters. We're killing each other, and burying each other alive.

Ruba was a wonderful girl. I wish I'd known her more… but I don't know if I really wish for that. A lovely girl died at 24, someone I used to smile when I saw, someone who doesn't even know who I am. Now she just doesn't exist in this world anymore. Her brother, someone I know well, don't think he'll be the same again, don't know what he's going through and can't even pretend that I can guess.

Wish I had something more to say, but all I feel is a certain kind of loss. Sorrow runs through my body sedating it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

After Eight

Things I wrote at a night out in After Eight, needless to say a few drinks into the night.

"Of all the things I fear, I fear my failure to act my role the most. I have no given role at disposition and therefore I look for one that's not my own."

About a picture on the wall full of stella bottles: "18 bottles of beer on the wall, how many others have counted that?"

"My heart goes out to those lost in the tyranny of their thought, it's the worst kind."

"All of this makes no sense to the dancing folk, they're too busy getting lost."

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Outsider

Yet again I am reminded of how much I don't belong and even more when amidst a crowd. I recognize that it's not the drinking or the loud music that gives me that same feeling of alienation every time I'm somewhere loud with dancing and drinking; it's seeing others having fun. I'm so aware of myself looking upon the scene as if I wasn't there and it's right that I should, I don't belong there.

My alienation most of my life has caused me to put up defensive measures, I knew I could not belong very early on in life and I shielded my desire to belong with a façade. I built a shield perhaps about how I feel in general and it seems that I've perfected my defenses that people cannot see a thing past them.

I've been told recently that I was someone who was not moved by others and that I didn't care much for others. While I actually do care very little for strangers or people who are insignificant in my life, this doesn't extend to those close to me for whom I break all the rules. It seems that the deception has been complete that no one believes anymore that I can be moved. I've also been told that I'm a dispassionate person, I'm an outsider like the protagonist of the story by Camus. I can feel the estrangement from the world but I can't feel the same hopelessness and inertness.

In any case it seems that the person I am is unknown to most people other than me, and there's something good and bad about this. The truth is that the person inside is someone who doesn't belong and if that was all that people saw, they wouldn't look twice. It's not worth noticing that person inside with all the darkness and unexplained sadness although I'm sure that many others can relate to him. The person on the outside is immune to all this and gives off different vibes, he's the one that people can deal with.

My posts don't say very much about me, not when I read them, and yet people can guess all sorts of things about me when they read them and I'm not entirely sure if they're right, because with all that I hold back it seems that so much is missing. Maybe my reality is what people truly see and which I will discover within me later, maybe what I write says more about me than I think. I really don't know and even the person I've become is alien to people, they can't relate to me because they feel I can't feel. The truth is that I have to put a lid on all that I feel; all these feelings and thoughts, I have to keep them under control because expressing everything has hurt me a lot in the past.

I'm not sure whether everyone feels this way too or not, but I know that I haven't helped this feeling by taking my own route with most things. It's not that no one else agrees with me but my own path is motivated by me. I'm not trying to be different, but I just like to know where I am and how I got there. I'm too liberal for conservatives and I'm too conservative for liberals. I'm always out of place because I don't subscribe entirely to one thing. I do things but never feel that I'm part of the club.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Entangled Ropes

When you're in a relationship with someone they become a part of you. Your parts and theirs are entangled together like two ropes knotted randomly over and over. When you break up you get detached from that person and when they leave they take away that part of you. There's no way to disentangle your bits from theirs and so what happens is the equivalence of passing scissors through both strings to let them loose. That's why the person breaking up gets away intact, he's managed to get all his rope and bits and pieces of the other's, it really depends on who cuts where. Sometimes you want no bits or strings of that person at all and even though you're breaking up with them you sacrifice yours. At first you miss that person. The end of the relationship means that you will not have that person in your life anymore. It feels bitter but after a while you can let go and you can accept that this person is not in your life anymore, and there's a void you feel; this void can easily be filled by other things.

But there's a different kind of void that is much harder to fill, it's that part of you they took with them that you can't find. What you were missing all along is yourself and you didn't even realize. That's why not just the relationship falls apart, but other aspects of your life too, because the part that's missing, that has been taken away from you is part of how you dealt with the rest of the world and not just this person. That's why the blow makes your whole world collapse. I think that you'd need to regenerate that part of you that you lost before you can become normal again, but it is not necessarily a bad thing because that new part of you has the chance to grow into a much better part than that which existed before.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Forbidden Fruit

A believer is always the better choice. Aside from the many positive benefits it has when things get rough there's one greatly overlooked benefit. The sin is always so much sweeter when it's a sin. People who don't believe in anything can't see many pleasures as wrong and can never taste the sweetness of the forbidden fruit.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


I've been told lately by two people that I'm delusional, but in my defence I think that they're both very delusional. It makes sense that we view each other this way since our notion of the world doesn't match. The fact of the matter is that we can both be right about each other, but it's also a fact that we can't both be wrong about each other.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I Found My Strenght Later In Life

I found my strength later in life. As a child I was always respectful to authority and did things as a child should do. I didn’t say 'no' much and I learnt my lessons well. They were the lessons that all children were taught, to be respectful to authority and pass the tests they gave you with good grades. That’s not to say that even as a young child I didn’t show signs of what I am now, on my first day of school I kicked the teacher and only became friends with her when she gave me a chocolate and treated me nicely. Later on I defied my teachers outside the classroom where I thought they had no power over me. But when requested to do things in the classroom I never questioned them and I was innocent and perhaps even naïve not to even think about what was within their boundaries to ask me; like certain donations or certain fees, it was just so much pressure not to be like everyone else. There was no real thinking and just instincts and lessons learnt.

But that’s how children should be; obedient and smart and able to take in all that they’re being taught. The real trouble is that sometimes this is all that people learn, and there are many more schools other than ones with teachers and classrooms, but no one pays much attention. Real life has a school of its own that you graduate to after having learnt those lessons in elementary school. Real life teaches you to find your strength and it tells you something that seems contradictory to what you’re taught before, it tells you that you have the right to say no and to choose when to listen to what you’re being told. I was a good student of both schools and that’s why, after having learnt all the rules, I learnt when I could break them.

It’s not that I’ve changed, I’ve just developed. College was marked with defiance and voicing out my cases. I wasn’t doing it to get attention or to prove that I could say no, but the lessons I got from real life were equally balanced by those I got from school. I found my strength when I combined both of these lessons and decided to apply them.

Sometimes the problem is that people stop learning. School spoon feeds you so much and when you pause to be spoon fed again, you pause indefinitely. There’s more to life than school. As a child I didn’t possess much thought or doubt about anything, I wasn’t defiant to most things that came across my way. I did not possess strength. Strength came much later in life, when I paused and realized that what I learnt was not enough, what I learnt was not adequate and what I learnt would not get me through. I was sick of being timid and without character, and I was tired of not finding any love or respect. I didn’t blame people though, I blamed myself because I didn’t deserve their love and respect. I looked inside me for those and only found my strength when I found them.