Thursday, July 20, 2017

Still Layla

If only one thing I learned. Is that life goes on literally. It does not stop for you and for anyone. You learn to grieve while still going on and about with your life.

I had moments where my work piled up for both my flower shop and hair salon. I would try to start the conversation with: sorry but mom died in May. Thinking that will buy me some time, but no, business is business. And that needs a metal heart who cannot relay on emotional dilemmas. After the "oh my condolences" the conversation will continue about work.

It blessed me honestly to be immersed in the things I love for that it took my mind away from my deep longing to mama's thoughts.

However, as life became good to me, I wish I could tell mama how everything is going. I keep dreaming of her lucid dreams that makes me think she knows what I'm doing. And I can think is that she is closer to me when she is an angel rather than when she was a human being.

19th July 2017 

Friday, June 30, 2017

50 days later

June 24th 2017

The day it fully hit me, she is gone for good. I fought all the triggers, all the remarks & thoughts that she is not here anymore.

I made it for 50 days  after her death not crying, whispering in everyone's ears that what happened was for her own best. I forgot to whisper that I lost a listening ear, a non- judgmental soul who laughed, joked and talked with me for 30 years.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Celebrating a shadow

Happy birthday mama. Today you would've been 57 years old. I miss takeing care of you. I miss driving you to chemo on Wednesday. To removing your chemo pump on Friday, to taking you breakfast on Sunday, to walking in Central Park, to feeding ducks with Mohamed, to grocery shopping in Fairway. To sharing tuna melt in Columbus circle & chamomile tea in Alice's tea cup.

On the 7th day of your departure, I found myself ready to open the tv, I put on Friends, ordered pizza, I thought Ok let's be normal again, As I sat down I felt the emptiness of your presence. I no longer can remind you to take your pills, to check your blood sugar or ask you if you have pain every 5 minutes. I was suddenly all free & I did not like it. My tears ran down my face warm and heavy. You are free too. You are pain free.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Translating Written Fate

When I first found out mama has cancer, I thought yep that's my curse, god taking away my most favorite thing in the world, I must have been such a bad person. I started looking for the things I did wrong for me to deserve this. 

As I walked down the journey with her in every second, I saw doors opening, souls connecting, gratefulness was at its best. I wondered where is my curse? This actually feels good. Its making me love more, forgive more, worry less. This brought the best of me. As the ladies at the funeral house put on the protective plastic apron and gloves & asked me to start washing her. I knew at that moment why mama always wanted to look strong infront of us؛ her children. I never want my kids to see me like that. Its just so heart breaking and makes you dead to your core. I hear of people screaming and crying for her loss and all I think; but they haven't seen her last days. The most horrible days of our life. 

Things became clearer everyday. I loved her chemo infusions in New York,  while we waited every other Wednesday for her blood test to come out we would sneak to Pret-a-manager next door for quick breakfast, then we are back for chemo. Chemo was a good thing, it gave her a chance to live longer. It angers me the stereo type of government conspiracies about chemo, those who say it most probably never had a cancer patient in the family so they don't know how it works. I always wished in my heart that I can shush anyone telling me chemo was a lie. 

I loved the long drives between Abu Dhabi & Alain 
Believe the doctors, believe the science. God made us in this earth to educate ourselves. He has put this knowledge in doctors for us to reason things. And balance between faith and science. 

Mama always made a joke about anything she saw. I get that from her. I like to imitate and make voices, that funny spark to any conversation. We were very easy going with the people around us. 

My mom is a precious memory, I will protect it deep inside my heart where I control what I see and I feel. This is my mom, my thoughts and my memories. 

To me you are a song I don't know how to sing 
A poem I don't know how to read. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

That Girl with a Broken Arm

The idea is sinking in, and it freaks me out. 

How can I live after you!? Who will I tell my daily stories, who will listen to my vents? 

Who shall I say their jokes after them? 

You're leaving me with memories. And I need more. I need more of you. Of your support and love and most of all acceptance. 

I'm very selfish right now. Can you blame me mama? 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Salam, my name is Layla. Shalom, my name is Lilly

We met in between the corridors of New York Presbatryan hospital in cold February 2017. Both of us emerging into our 30's taking care of our mama's who both battle cancer. And to add to the coincidence the same type.

I saw a mirror image of myself standing in front of me. At the same time we were so different, language, identity & faith. Yet, I felt so connected to her.

How could the universe be so powerful, so gentle.

I felt it was telling me: hey you are not alone here! A girl like you is doing the same thing.

.A little thought I wrote as a a tribute to Lilly's mom who passed away on 28.02.2017 

Monday, August 1, 2016

a Year in a flash


Hubby poured me Green tea, my ideas started coming to me as I watched the steam coming off the mug and relaxed in front of my screen.

I can hear him watching House of Cards season 4 in the background. When Francis Underwood utters his senctences: the worst thing about common sense is that its common.

I am two week away from packing my suite cases and flying to my home, a place that is far from home, but holds the person who will always hold me to the ground, mom.

She is still in NYC a city I have always loved and admired, and secretly wished I could live in my teen years. A year ago, we packed both of us and flew to a 2 bedroom apartment in Upper West Side. Nothing was ever planned. God planned everything to us literally. We quickly blended in that neighborhood as if we lived their our whole life.

We familiarized ourselves with the surrounding, a doorman, a Starbucks right around the corner, A UPS Store for my quick runs to print things for my floweshop, and a line up of grocery stores with all sort of Kales I could remember names for.

When I left, I did not want to say goodbye to anyway. I just left, sent a msg while I was about to buckle my plane seat belt and switched off my phone. I stayed away for good. I still do not know what happened to me.

But I needed solitude. I needed to swallow what came my way rushing me to start living again.

I stop typing for a second, take a sip of that tea. return it back and type this.

Fast forwarding my life to today. I love what I have gained from this experience. And I am very grateful that I went through it early in my life. For it showed me the true colors of what is worth your time.

After being a crying baby for years and years, I find myself thinking three times before drifting a tear. they are waste of my energy and my thoughts.

To be continued..... 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

سهيل الليل

If a year ago, someone told me, you will have what I have right now. I would have cracked a broken laugh and told them you are really dreaming. As I would imagine myself drowned in sorrow all that time.

On May 29th, 2016 at 5:35 pm, we were blessed with another son I called سهيل. A name I chosen that reminds of all those good songs that had his name. 

An angel baby indeed, he made my mama get better, he made me get better. 

I never thought I would pass through birth without mom and hubby beside me. However, god sent  my best friends, those who never at one second made me feel any less lonely. I have a family. A bigger family than I could imagine. 

I learned that you can easily be whatever you tell your mind to be. I lived most years of my life reciting that am a very sensitive, dependant person. Going through my last expereince proved the compelete opposite. I chose to have a quite birth, with nobody but my doc. God made me trust her. 

It was the first time that I draw a memory where I had full control of how I want it to be. That alone is the biggest miracle.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Natural feelings

Everything new is scary.

When I changed jobs I was scared

When I had my son Mohamed I was scared

When I opened Amaryllis I was scared

Fear was a natural feeling that accompanied me throughout most of my milestone changes.

We shouldn't look at fear as an obstacle but rather a push to us to be extra prepared.

Happy 2016. A year of changes ❤️

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Living a Yesterday

Knowing that yesterday was more than 10 or 15 years ago. 

Me and my 4 siblings sitting on the floor watching Mbc movies, while mama was doing her magic in the kitchen. 

By magic I really mean, eggs and tomatos, chicken nuggets, homemade bread, or just some fresh cream, jam for dipping. 

How can such a simple sitting be the foundation of all our memories, our contentment. For us to base our happiness on that single memory that I often felt was so soul-filling. 

Fate brought us all together once again now in Manhattan. We re lived that same memory without us knowing until the mid of our meal, when we all looked up at the same time and thought wow doesn't it feel like when we were young? 

Deep down We have not changed a bit, the exterior changed, which at the end it does not really matter. 

Sometimes it makes me think, was it nesscary for mom to be sick for us to live our life once again. And do the things we forgot how happy it made us. 
Or is it god's way to say goodbye mama! 

Sunday, December 13, 2015

What the wind brought

One of my friends asked me today: 

How does it feel during this period of time? 

The first image that came to my mind is, me riding a boat in the middle of the ocean, sometimes it's bad news that feels like that boat is crashing into the high waves, and some other days, we are sailing softly. 

For yet we find the survival rope. We sail till the wind brings us home. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

You are my Favorite.

The golden age has approached us, the age of continuos discoveries, new words, new places, and the whole personality standing mightly on the table.

Mohamed is no longer my baby. He is a tiny human-being that makes my heart aches when he speaks that cute new yorker accent.

I never knew I would be this cheesy and talk about motherhood love, but seriously it is like no other love. I just feels different. Only those who were blessed with this gift will know what am talking about.

For now, I deeply wish for my loved ones to be as blessed as I am. 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Newborn Soul

From the outside, I look the same.

Deep down, I changed.

Oh I changed so much.

For the better I live. That's the aim. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I See Dead People Living

Every wednesday. 8:00 AM, coffee's smoke is filling the room, fingers clicking on the keyboard. Pencils jotting down notes, memories, and lots more.

That room I saw every Wednesday for the past 6 months, is nothing but a hospital waiting room. Every single person sitting, is batteling a cancer of his own.


They are more lively, more focused. Than any other healthy person I've seen.

Sickness is sometimes a good wake up call. To remind me what really matters in your life is you and yourself and your own. Later, comes everything else.

It's the time you should be selfish to do the things for yourself that you may have not done because of other engagements.

What's more beautiful is to actually live this way, rather than waiting for that wake up call. When sometimes it's too late.

Enjoy living. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

When Joody Speaks

I listen.

& I listen carefuly.

That friend I met through a friend of a friend of a friend, shared more happy crazy moments than any other, would turn out to be the a person I run the same emotional marathon with.

As I move with my days, I have two choices, either I dwell, I cry, I swear off that fate that brought us this situation, or put on a happy mask over my face and live normally as if am like everybody else.

Because truthfuly, I came to realize cancer is not a one day or few days thing, it could be as the doc puts it "Indefenite". Who knows! Really! Who knows!

So I chose.

I chose the Happy Mask. I started noticing aspects of my life, that were causing me more stress and harm than any good, they were people, places, that no longer make any sense for me to continue having in my life.

Cleaning up my chest is the way forward. For me to start accepting my reality. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

6 months earlier

"I Wish I could disappear"

I uttered these words continuously, I usually don't remember things I say in any given day. But that sentence was so powerful, I feel skies and angels heard me. For now, I did disappear.

I put an end to all my life back home, and started a completely new chapter in another place. The idea gives me chills sometimes. Is law of attraction that strong and sensitive?

Thursday, July 16, 2015


I took a sip of my coffee, it's been sitting there for half an hour. So cold!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

النسيان نعمة

I still live the shock, mom still has cancer.  But god miracles happens to us as we live everyday, as we raise our hands and shed a tear for things to get better. Cuz things do get better in a way, I cannot explain. You just wake up, and see your loved one, the way you always saw them; Strong & Happy. Maybe that's not the reality, maybe they are still sick and in pain, but angles patted my shoulder and assured me everything will be Ok. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Life as we speak.

spring of 2015, 2 weeks my celebrating my 28th birthday, mom was diagnosed with Cancer already at late stages. And for those who know my mother, she is not just a mother, she is a true best friend, and I don't mean it in a cheesy way, no she is really my best friend. A person I will have to call every single day just to chat and laugh.

I myself was a younger version of her soul. So me finding out this information literally recked my world, it split my head, I felt my heart was displaced. That was how much the shock moved my core.

For god's miracles, all of this was showing as a strong well Infront of her innocence toward this stupid sickness. I was with her though it all. To the smallest bits. I was able to move mountains for her. And could I have ever done it without my circle of sunshine, friends that ironically been through cancer with loved ones before. They lift me up, they stood by mentally, emotionally and physically. True oh so true, misery loves company. It even left me thinking how god has a reason in all your life encounters!

I talk now, because am aware of now, am better now. I recovered yesterday, but am clueless about tomorrow. If it was worse, guess what? Am ready. I had learned a lot from the past two months than I have ever learned in my whole life time.

Live with no expectations.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

رسالة إلى جدتي

We were wearing our Eid clothes. I was little, did not know what it meant. When I grew up, I realized your departure was eternal. There will be no days where you stay awake all night waiting for us to reach home, or have those very traditional breakfasts, you were lovingly forcing us to drink saffron milk, it tasted good when I think about it now.

Let me tell you how life changed: am a married lady now! Yes that's right! And even better, I have a son, his name is Mohamad, a complete ball of joy. Am sure you would loved him if you saw his big black eyes and button nose.

I drive every day to work, hoping its the last day I deal with a superior. Being the spirited person that I am I find it a struggle to cope of someone giving me orders. Do you think this day will come? I hope so.

On higher note, am also managing a little dream of a business, oh no stop your joyful tears granny. Bet you saw it coming.

I won't bore you with more details, because we are still living Hamdillah, but you are not here. The whole picture misses you so much.  That's why, I long for old days, for the simple life, I wish I have what I have now but back then if that makes sense. Guess nothing is perfect.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

You are somone's Sunshine

We ride the Ferris wheel every single day.  It starts in the morning, after that hearty breakfast and the goodbye kiss.

A full day at the office, back home, lunch, dinner, Tv, bed.

Everything is in fast motion, but you are back to where you started.

In most cases, your day resembles all the other days you rode that wheel. Nothing much.

But, sometimes, an idea flashes at the back of your head, asking you to make something different. To make that wheel stop for a moment.

These are the good deeds we sometimes neglect to do. Don't let your life slip without helping others. Those who are less in need.

I'm happy to know that your good well.

They say by the time you realize what is life. Half of your life has already gone.

At the age of 25, I realized what life is all about. I wanted to enjoy it more, I longed for my grandparents to be back to life, to really sit with them and just chat.

Except, you have what you have right now.

I draw my memories from those daily incidents that draws me back to old days, gives me a sweet glimpse of what was it like when I had a bigger family and a smaller soul.

No can understand my addiction to Jasmine tea, but those who knew my granny. That big Jasmine tree hanging outside her door. Every afternoon she turned those pearly white buds into beautiful necklaces and headbands. Telling us the same old story over and over again: "بياحوه" and the girl who literally pooped gold.

If only that wheel stops.

Stop right there, at that moment, let me hug my granny one more time, and let my life be fast forwarded again.

Let's make the most of what is left.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Time of Birth

"11:05"  screamed one of the nurses with joy

It was the morning of June 30th 2012. The day we became a family of three.

The diapers, the bottles, the big steriliser machine, the pacifiers, the list goes on.

Baby Mohamed came with a full package of new vocabulary. A lot of things I never thought about.

Let's just day my daily life involves finishing that plate of mashed carrots in front of him, just to lure him to take one bite, and fighting to get that sleeping schedule right every single day. A perfectionist ? I think so.

My bedtime reads switched from Elle magazine to "On becoming a baby whisperer" by Tracy Hogg.

My tears are only shed over the changing table whenever he utters the word "tata". Whatever that means, I like hearing his voice.

Hello Motherhood.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Did I Make the Most of Loving You?"

It's been 9 months since it all started.

The journey of creation.

Unlike what I we see in the movies, I did not see that actual rounded bump until 2 months ago.

The bump came carrying a string of fortunate events in our life.

I found myself being more in touch with my friends & family. One to be the most grateful about is my bestie Joody coming back from her 2 months stay in Texas. Weddings, birthday celebrations, the most exquisite baby shower hosted by bestie Salama, And finally the beautiful trip to Paris, drinking all the decaf coffee accompanied by a freshly baked Pain aux raisins

That's when I realized "He" already filled our life with happiness before his arrival "Mashallah"

I loved how I had the time to workout all these Pilates moves, and then those days when I had the pleasure to sleep on the couch all afternoons drinking Jasmine green tea.

Here's to welcoming new things in our life, with an open heart and wiiiide arms.

P.s Can't wait to see you.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Once Upon a Stubborn Family

By the time you build your own family. You look back and remember how your own family raised you.

You start counting the good manners they taught you, the not so good ones too.

How your parents were understanding and how they were ruling your life according to ancient rules.

Making you believe I'm lucky to be part of something that no longer exists but only in our heads.

It frustrates me a lot. When you know your future is established long before you are born, just because you are from such a certain family. Marrying the family member who coincidentally you were born 2 days apart from, they make you believe it's a match made in heaven, a romantic story from birth!

or you are forced to study a major in university because they think it will make them look good to say: my son is a doctor, a pilot, or an engineer. We all know by know, doctors are the least paid in the industry compared to the cool business majored.

If you want to be a doctor, be a doctor, for you. Not for anyone else.

If you want to be married to that person. Be married for your own happiness, not anyone else. You will live that life not them.

I'm not asking for a rebel. I'm asking for understanding the older generation's differences and the clash it happens when their children grow up in different times.

My dear mommy always repeats:

عن علي بن أبي طالب :(( لاتقسروا اولادكم على ادابكم فانهم مخلقون لزمان غير زمانكم ))

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"It's the Oldest you are & the Youngest you'll ever be"

It's that year of 1999.  The cultural foundation was the "It" place for school trips.  Those spacious hallways, we used to slide our school shoes on that soft and colorful granite grounds, fountains splashing on the right and lots of libraries' with its glass doors peaking at us on the left.

Everything always felt giant to me back then, maybe because I was a tiny little kid.

I remember at one of our school trips, we were waiting for our bus, when a fancy Mercedes pulled over in front of us. Two girls appeared out of the car, I saw them being very tall, wearing black abayas and high heels; things that I've yet to be able to wear.

I remember saying to myself: that's how I'm going to look when I'm 25 years old.  Knowing that, 25 seemed like a very long time to come.

Today. I'm 25 years old, that age I was eager to live came as easily as all the years before it. I still look the same.

It was all in our imagination to feel like grownups, truth it, we change slightly.

Except, this year will always be very special. It's the year I felt those kicks, As I type this post, I trace the movements with my eyes and wonder, is it true I will experience a kind of love, only a Mother can feel?

Our little peanut will soon smother our life with Jam and Cream.

And that when I felt, I get to live my childhood all over again. And grow old gracefully too.

Monday, December 26, 2011

I'm Seeing My Reflection

This year is nearing an end.

By now, we certainly know,  our life passes through phases of complete Happiness and Cluelessness too. 

But if  I had been able to go back in time. I wished I:

Drew more sun & stars in my friends' sky. Those who passed through a gloomy year.

Wrote "I Love You", in all the Sandy beaches I burried my feet into.

Squeezed more Lemonade in that summertime & threw couple of chilled strawberries in.

Tossed my Blackberry in the hotel room & enjoyed the marvellous countries I visited

Hugged my Baba so often.

Never held back my tears while watching "The Help"

For always having faith in the years to come

Comfort Food. Love. Endorphines

I crawled in our lush sofa, dipping my spoon in the hearty veggies & chicken soup my mom taught me to make.

I had finally listened to her and decided to learn some of her cooking recipes.

I filled up the soup bowls which ironically has the tagline "No Soup For You" from the famous Seinfeld episode.

I covered my cold feet with a blanket and felt the relief.

Knowing that I just had an intense 30 minutes workout in the gym and 30 minutes in the kitchen, chopping and chopping all these veggies for the soup.

It's time to relax and have some peace of mind.

I had to call my mom to tell her how the soup turned out. Her instant answer was:"Ajal a3lmch el machboos??"

She always makes me laugh.

I felt the endorphines hormone kicking in. The happiness created a halo around me, and I just saw life in pink.

I've always felt like the little we make in our day, the more happy we are. It's not what we do, it's choosing the right moment and company to share it with.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Weekender Thoughts

I opened my eyes, feeling the unbelievable craving for a bowl full of cherries & sour sour sour cranberries.

The supermarkets have been stocking these amazing Christmas-y treats, and it always took me back to October.

The cold mornings in Chicago, where that Jet lag made us awake at 3 in the morning. There was nothing to do at that time, but wear our heavy coats and wonder in the streets.

Cranberry trees were heavy and full to the extent of few of them dropping on the ground and getting smashed under the walkers' shoes.

Chicago was really red.

We would conclude our walk with the a freshly baked sesame bagel & cream cheese.  At times, we would indulge in their famous spinach & mushroom omelette.

I remember how I thought every African American lady was Oprah. I remember how I loved their cute accent and the kindness in their hearts.

I opened my eyes again. I'm back here, and I couldn't be happier.

To always buying memories. 

Happy Weekend everyone. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

One Fine Day

This morning, I plugged in my ipod and drove to my job. One hand on the steering wheel, the other holding a toasted cheese sandwich and kid's size banana milk on my lap.

"We Are The World" started playing.
Do you rememeber how famous was this song?
When it came out billions years ago I did not know what the words meant.
So Today for the very first time, I listened carefully.

Oh my god!

Did they know back then, we would need to hear these encouraging words this year? or has it been all these years that the world never stopped dealing with wars, hunger & sadness.

I've always felt that we can do so much better with our lives and our future. I'm a lady who tomorrow I will have children of my own. I need to teach them all the things I hated in our society, the differences, the lables, the discrimination.

There are so many things we can sheild the newer generation from learning, and it starts from us. From the new fathers and mothers this year.

I want to teach them to be forgiving, respectful of every single person in front of them regardless of anything.

I remember one evening, my hubby and I were talking to this gentlman behind the conceirge desk in our NYC hotel. We were wondering how come they celebrate Columbus Day in two different days.  He started explaining that the Italians and the Spanish people think that Columbus is from their roots.
He took a moment of silence and said: when we grew up, we never cared who is who. In school, I'm Mark, you are Steve. And that was it. Friends for ever.

I reflected that incident at my little sister in her primary school, she comes home every single day telling my mom: This girl asks me what is my family name and what does my father do? and where am I from exactly?

Yes, they are in Primary School. How did we reach this level?

How can I allow myself to raise judgmental kids?

I don't blame the kids. I blame their mothers. Those who thought, having kids is as simple as shopping for a shoe (well that's not easy too). How can a mother teach her kids to care about things that doesn't make the person, nor his abilities and intellegence. These are things, we are born with!! we cannot change.

Mothers, is that something you want to harvest in your children minds? The mentality of "I'm better than you"

Think again.

On the higher note. Read the song's lyrics. It will make you feel better.

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And its time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can't go on pretending day by day
That someone, somehow will soon make a change
We are all a part of Gods great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need

We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
There's a choice we're making
We're saving our own lives
Its true we'll make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart so they'll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

When you're down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there's no way we can fall
Let us realize that a change can only come
When we stand together as one

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Celebrating Our Blessings

I loved this December. I think I will always rememebr December 2011.

Have you all witnessed the tremendous feeling of joy and happiness 40 days prior to 2nd of December.


I really can't remember the last time, the people of the UAE were that happy since Baba Zayed passed away "Allah yer7amah eb ra7mtah"

It's been what? how many years of grief.

We needed that celebration, and everyone meant it.

Everytime I drive my car around Abu Dhabi, I would hang my head on the window, attempting to count how many flags I see on these beautiful houses. Ah hundreds and thousands of houses were dressed in Red, White, Black and Green.

Sheikh Mohamed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, said in his speech days before the celebration, that most of UAE's generation are people around 25 years old. So, most of us, did not witness the real formation of Etihad. And it struck me how far we came today.

In just 40 years, we grew so big, our country's name is parallel to great developments, cherished culture and much more.

It is now our duty as the younger generation of Etihad, to continue the legacy Baba Zayed left for us. To continue educating ourselves, respecting others, raising our future children to be Emaraty by hearts.

Something else has struck me too, is that we know what the word "wa6an" means. We feel the belongings to a place.

How many people around the world, due to wars, and sad incidents never knew what that word meant or felt.

We should be really thankful for this blessing.  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Time for Change

When you reach the point of suffocating in your own breath. You should know, this is ain't your place nor your space.

When every morning you snooze your alarm for 10 times before you drag yourself out of bed, you should know, you won't enjoy that morning ride.

When you keep looking at your watch every second and realize, the 5 minutes between 7:55 and 8:00 felt like 5 hours. You should know, you are wasting these precious seconds of your living

I want to encourage everyone to listen to themselves. To really pay attention to their feelings.

Stop saying things will be better, later I will feel OK. You won't!!

If you are not happy with your current situation, you should do something about it. Whether its work, life, health.

You should take the lead and be the change.

We are living in the time, where we shouldn't expect things to get better on their own. We need to make that better life ourselves.

If you are not happy with work. Update your resume, find another place, and leave.

If you are not happy with your life. Take a vacation, explore a new place, smell different aroma.

Let 2012 be the year of change. The year to find your improved self.  A happier version of your soul.

And trust me, you won't regret it. I didn't :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cup of Tea

Enjoyed around the world.  Different aroma, sitting, lighting, outfit, side sandwiches or nothing. The moments after the first sip will always be priceless. 

Happiness lies in the smallest Gestures

What a beautiful ending to the first weekend after Ramadan. Just a spoonful of raspberry sorbet.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

So Long

It is one of the things we as Emaratys are very fortunate about, is we are settled in our own homes and cities. Seldom did I encounter someone who moved or commuted somewhere else.

To my own sadness, if all the people we know. Joody our best friend is moving to a bigger house far far away from us. "by far far away, I mean 20 mintues away :P" but still, it counts for something.

We will sure miss the days when Joody’s house was our “second home” after Marina Mall. It was the pit stop before we go on with our daily errands and shopping sprees.

We will miss your aroma around us baby girl. And Abu Dhabi is not the same without the noises you used to make in the neighbourhood with you Altima, FJ and now the Mercedes. God we came along way didn’t we?

I still remember the very first day I met Joody at Zayed University. It was our first semester; new faces, new friends, totally new environment.

I went to the café to order my favourite cold drink Kiwi & Strawberry Snapple. There was a very shy girl standing next to me. I asked the sales lady to get me the Snapple, as soon as she turned her back, the girl next to me, jumped over the counter and started playing with the cash machine. She clicked on all the buttons until the cash compartment went open. The sales lady turned her back at the sound of the “kachaaange” and was so furious with me. “Who DID thisss???” she screamed.

I stood so freaking shocked and scared. And the girl coldley said pointing her fingers at me: “ SHE DID IT”.

I was sinking!!! Omg she got to be kidding me, How dare !!!

Later on the day, I sat with my group of friends whom I remember vividly, Mzmz said” Layla, meet our friend from School,,,,,,,, Joody”

I looked at her and murmured to myself “It’s fun being friends with a trouble maker :D”

7 years later and we all became trouble makers by heart. We just hide behind our black garments and shy faces.

Everytime I will pass by next to your old neighborhood this song will let my memories drift away....

واني مارق مريت .. جنب ابواب البيت

بيت اللي كانو سكانوا ..

عابوابه دقيت .. ما في حد لقيت

ردو عليا حيطانوا ..

قالو لي ما نسيت .. قلتلهم حنيت

قلتلهم حنيت يا ويلي .. للضحكات اللي كانو

يا بيتهم مين قال قادر انساهم ..

شو عنت ع البال فرحة ما القاهم ..

من بعد الفرقا .. ما لقيت الملقا

وقلبي من الحرقه يا ويلي .. يبكي ع ماضي زمانه

Monday, July 18, 2011

Unforgettable Day

“Whale Watching Cruises”

My eyes caught this huge banner on one of the boats standing mightily at Circular Quay Wharf in Sydney. I thought to myself “Wow my star sign is Piceses” it’s meant for me to see a whale for the first time.

In the evening, I checked their ambitions pictures in the website and decided: tomorrow’s morning, am going to have a hearty breakfast of Labneh and Tomato Pistolet and enjoy 3 hours in the ocean to see the beautiful whales.
There was no space for thinking twice here.
In less than half an hour through the cruise. We were in the open water. That is when the reality of the sea hit me, I can’t begin to describe my shock at the huge waves that were moving us up and down. It was behind my imagination. Only a scene of Pirates of Caribbean could resemble the sky high waves.

At the beginning, we were feeling alone in the boat. The tourists were of all around the world, Asians, American, Australians, Europeans. We didn’t feel the need to be friendly with anyone.
As these three hours were moving slower than a snail. People started getting motion sickness.
It was a horrible scene, looking at everyone holding paper bags and feeling extremely nauseas.
I needed some fresh air; I couldn’t bear the sick faces. I managed to walk outside although the boat was moving so fast. As I was standing outside, I realized how people started being friendly with each other, few smiles here and there, some were commenting on my colorful headscarf, and some were asking me where did I come from. It surprised me how the 15 hours flight from Abu Dhabi to Sydney did not change the fact that almost everyone I met there had a relative or friend working at my country.

As I took a cold sigh into my heart, a lady offered her hand to guide me back to my seat. Fearing I might lose my balance. I looked at her and smiled.
That’s when I knew and when everyone knew. Under fear, we all go back to our human nature, to the way Allah created us; nothing differentiates us from the others. We become friends and we become One.

Once our feet touched the ground, the motion sickeness was gone. Hubby and I ran to our favorite burger place Grill'd and laughed off this Unforgettable day.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Children in Us

Have you ever thought why Children are happier than us? are more innocent and carefree than us?

Look closely, it is because they have the children mindset, the non-judgmental mind that doesn’t think of the differences between the child and his friend in the school bus, the friend who sits right next to him in the class, or the boy chasing him on the playground.
The more we grow up, the more we complicate our life but putting labels on everything. We start noticing the different races, religions, lifestyle of others. And we are always thinking that we are blessed with the best qualities among others.

Who decided that? Who said certain skin tone is better than the other ?  And who said this is better than that? No one!!

We made up judgments and started to live according to them.Or else, no one in the world decided that. Unless someone thinks animals and plants are talking creatures, well that’s another story.

I just realized how people are so filthily drowned into their own labels. Dashing over others and stepping on their humanbeing.

Why can’t we have the children’s mindset? The mind that processes one fact:

"I like this person". Period.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Three Mornings After...

I took steady steps towed my company. It’s been a while since I wore High Heels, I didn’t stumble as I always do.

These mandatory walks I take every day could be the most times I feel my mind wonders on everything. In that particular morning I thought of her.

I’ve been grateful so much for the people I’m surrounded with, and there were always my friends whom are considered my older sisters, since I wasn’t blessed with one.

But today, of all the past 23 years, I’m grateful for having my mom.

Day after day, I realize that nothing ever had a strong influence over me as much as it was from my mother. And I feel lucky feeling the resemblance is not with our pointy noses and long hair, but rather with our very strong personalities and patience that we were blessed with.

I was guarded with her soul wherever I went. She was always there.
As years went by, I feel a big bang over my head, that all this time,  my life been shaped the way my mom wanted it to be for me, her secret night prayers and casual hugs were all meant one thing. For me to have the best and live the best life.

I do feel contraversional and open minded more than her, thanks to our lifestyle, education and socializing with everyone. But deep down, I’m still a traditional as it gets. I disagree on taking off the limits between people, I disagree on leaving our morals just to please others.

In more than one occasion,  it was proved to me that showing a strong attachment to your own root, belief, and culture will make a person gain more respect than those trying to imitate whatever lifestyle they see on others.
And that’s what I’m most thankful for my mom.

What about you,  what are you thankful for ?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

At the office, the morning of February 6 2011

A faint sound I hear next door, another team is signing the birthday song followed by a massive clap. I guess he or she cut the cake now and made a wish.

I took two pills of advil, a shot of ibuprofen is so needed right now. And I think to myself:

Landing a perfect life comes with so much work and devotion. This very classic moves and lifestyle comes with so much determination to make every moment work so perfectly.

You can either give up from the very first move, or try to think logically of how to walk past it.
Life in all its responsibilities, should it be work, family, marriage and business will always have an obstacle and a ship that goes against our wind. In simpler words, a matter than comes against our wish.

Let’s all consider life a stepping stone. A stone we all jump over to get to where we want to be.

To making a wish for the best future, and the best genuine smile I witness on your faces.

Learning to Talk.

The reason why I had less words to say in my blog; is because I’ve been talking way more than usual in my daily life.
I consumed all my thoughts, dreams and ideas. Hopefully bringing them into reality.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Like Father Like Daughter

I held my dad from his shoulders as we were walking through the dead hospital corridor.

I looked at him and said: waal baba remember when I broke my elbow! Remember the morning I came to visit you when you had your backache? Or the time I had my first migraine and you brought my Saudi cousin who kept reading Girls of Riyadh to me while I was being injected with Voltarine?

How come we only realize how much our parents love us in these moments.

I always heard the phrase that every girl looks up to her dad as her role model. I came to believe in certain times of my life that it was the case for me too.

Living in an imperfect world that it, sometimes parents fail, they make mistakes, and they will somehow ruin their image. Mostly because they will try to make selfish decisions that involves them only and neglect that fact that when you have a family, any tiny thing to attempt will affect your whole household.

Always think twice of the pros and cons of every decision that coms into your life. Our relationships are very linked together that we need to consider everyone before making any new steps.

We all try to give happiness and hope to those around us as much as we can. Be that in always showing your availability to their needs of comfort, to engaging them in your happy days and letting them know constantly how lucky you are to have them in your life.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fighting Negativity: The Black Beans Effect

I never thought that one of the best advices I found was in an abandoned book somewhere in my mom’s books collection.

It was one those unbelievably boring days at home; I stretch myself on the floral sofa and I completely want to kill someone. That book was on top of the coffee table looking at me. A perfect square book that says “100 advices to live a happy life”. After running out of all the TV channels I decided to listen to my inner voice and pick up that book. I started flipping through the pages; nothing was that special, until I reached that particular page.

The Black Beans page.

According to an old Chinese story, put two glass cups somewhere obvious to you. Fill one of the glasses with raw black beans and the other leave it empty.

The idea is for every time, a negative thought comes across your mind, take one bean and put it in the empty glass.

By the end of the day, you should count the beans and realize how much negative thinking you attempted.

Miraculously, once you address your negativity, you will instantly turn these thoughts into happy ones. You will think less of anything that bothers you. The more you will be able to enjoy the happy moments and you won’t drag your mind to imagine bad things.

I tried this trick when I most needed it and I proudly say that I was able to fight my own thinking and force myself to be happy.

p.s missed this place so much. Hope my dearest readers are doing well.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

He asked.... she said I Do

He blew the bath foam with his mouth, it felt like little snow balls flying all over me. I lost myself looking at everything just to take a mental note in my head.  Of this place, those people, their food and the warm hand guiding me through this place.

I'm taking huge faith on this. Knowing that "this" means Marriage :)

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I walked down the carpet laid aisle with my aunt "K", I would say she is my favorite, but when you have 9 of them. You fail to choose one over the other.

I hold my red indian inspired dress with bahraini twist close to me. I unusually feel shy today!
I look down at my neck and I see huge gold necklaces passed on to me from my granny.  I feel so special knowing that no one but Baba Ali made those necklaces.  Yes, my grandpa was "9aye'3" i.e worked in the gold industry.  I remind myself to smile and continue walking down the aisle. Everything feels special to me this evening.

Ah wait today is a new day! I want to re live yesterday all over again.  Please let me.

When am asked about my perfect party set up, an outdoor lush green area would instantly pop into my mind.  A string of yellow light bulbs hung on the trees and a breeze of cold wind playing with our hair.  Not to mention a group of my beloved guests with great food and music.  Easy to make? Of course. This is what I got exactly.

I'll always remember yesterday,  an evening when 2:00 am in the morning totally felt like "Taw el nas". 

I sat among my family celebrating them into my life.  El7amdellah.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Reflection of Reality

I slept for what seemed like a year.

I had a dream. A movie like dream.  It was about a group of friends, somewhere spending their time in a ski resort. I felt chilled in the dream-slash-movie.  I can't remember the details except for the sad ending.  One of the friends fell off a cliff and died.

Everything in the dream ran in slow motion, I lived every moment of it. I didn't feel related to the series of accidents. Just one of those random dreams you have because you dragged yourself in your sleep. That's what I thought at the beginning. 

When my eye lids started twitching me to wake up, I saw a beautiful scene.  The remaining group of friends sat in the round table, with candles all over them, laughing and eating dinner in the dim lights.  That was the last thing I remember.  Something like those Japanese drama movies. 

Later on the day, I heard the death news of an 18 years old extended family member.  He was on his way coming from Omrah. *Allah yer7amah* 

The day passed so slowly, I dressed up and headed to my uncle's house where they were reading versus of Quran followed by dinner for the family. 

To my surprise, the table had candles all over, it took me back to that dream.  My day resembled that dream to a very freaky way.  

It reminded me that no matter how shocking the news are, with the love and support of family, a smile can be drown over your face even if you literally feel your heart darkening out of sadness. 

I feel the numbness all over me. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Silver Lining

يوماً ما سـ أكون كما أحلم أن أكون ..
يوماً ما ستلاحقني أمنياتي تتشاجر مع بعضها أيها ستتحقق أمامي قبل الأخرى !
يوماً ما ستكون برفقتي جميع الأشياء الجميلة التي أحبها تُطربني بـ أهازيج الفرح وتتراقص حولي !

هو يوماً ما ..
سيأتي قريباً أم بعيداً ، طويلاً أم قصيراً ، لا أعلم !

لكنه سـيأتي بإذن لله !

For those who are with me in my daily life, they would instantly remember a line I always say when there is a wish for something to happen: 3and Allah mb b3eed. To me, it's a very powerful statement, it sums up whatever thoughts I have in my mind. If it's written in your life journal that you will have this or that, it will happen. Now, tomorrow or years from now. And in contrary, if its not ever meant to happen, then it won't happen. Shed few tears, dwell over it, but hey it sure happened for a reason that you might not realize straight away, but days and months and years will show that you were lucky for not getting it. Few years back, me and my best friend had the same wish. We always said, if it happens; we will be complete. It never happened. I sat across her in the coffee shop days ago. We looked at each other, so here we are! did we lose anything for not getting what we wished for? No! Actually we are happier than we had ever been.

It amazed me how years passed and how our life took its rule over us. What was hidden for us, worth the wait, and will be worth everything Insha'Allah.

Everything happens for the "best" reasons.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Back To Life

I never thought I'd be able to check one of the places which shaped my skills, interests, friendships for so long. Thankfully, Flickr is no longer banned in the UAE.
Mabrook photography fans. Here's to a time spent looking at the beautiful, colorful and happy side of life.

Your Life Values

What are yours?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Love You All

Enjoying hearty breakfasts, jogging on the treadmill next to you, telling you at your worst that you are the most beautiful person they have seen.
Not to mention, spending 2 hours on the phone putting back senses into your mind when you almost want to give up. Not realizing you had already slept off in the mid of the call; that is what I call the definition of true friends.
Friends are those who put your happiness before theirs, and who consider your success a reason of pride and joy for them.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Perfection is a Myth

A missing tile here, a broken bulb over there, and a wrecked heart sitting in an abandoned armchair, counting the moments they wished they could go back in time and change whatever happened.
I think the word “Perfect” was invented to make us feel bad. Nothing really resembles the word perfect. Isn’t it a fact?
On the meantime, we try to live with the mere perfections we were blessed with. The good health, the greatest company and the hearts of those who love us and care about us genuinely are what should keep us going.
We all have flaws. You & me, we do things and give ourselves the excuse to do so, shouldn’t we allow others to make mistakes and allow our heart and mind to forgive and forget?
Shouldn’t we be clearer that we are just like everyone else, not perfect, just Human.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Positivity Counts

For something apparently.

I’ve been riding this boat since 14th of March, 23 years ago.

When I was a kid, I never paid attention to where that boat was heading. Mom & dad took care of that. They shielded me from everything! The only thing I used to see is the sun rays and the beautiful big fishes in the sea. My brothers and I used to play all the time. The top of our worries was why we have to sleep so early and leave that fun behind. When the sun was eaten by the sea, Mama tucked us in bed while telling us the story of the sheep whom their mama asked them never to open the door for strangers. We closed our eyes drowning in the ocean of our dreams. Only the smell of mama’s peanut butter sandwiches woke us up, or as she used to call them “Banat Beter”

As we grew up, our personalities and leadership started forming up, we no longer wanted our parents to take us everywhere, at times; we actually wished to sail the opposite way. We accused our parents that they don’t understand us. We always wanted “our” way. Until the day came where we took the wheel and decided to sail our own boat.

What a big mistake.

Little did we know, the sea has waves, sharks, and it becomes dark and scary at night. Where was I all that years! How come I didn’t see all this.

I hit rock bottom and I pick myself up. I hold on to my life with my brothers, and my friends.

Throughout the years, the boat became too heavy with the stuff we stored and the guests that came to sail with us.

It was so easy for us to just throw everything in the sea, and forget about. If we disliked anything, we thought it will be forgotten forever.

Again, little did we know, in a very cold night where the winds are way stronger than our little boat tolerance point, us and the boat are pulled down to the bottom of the sea. The place where once we threw everything forgotten. No wonder in hard times, the only thing we remember is our past.

As the journey continued going forward, we learned that for every wave, there is another one to pull you back. For every ugly shell, there is a beautiful pearl hidden inside. And for that weary soul, there is little voice inside of you that tells you, I’m here taking this journey with you.

Dedicated to my parents and those who made me who I am today.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Last Supper

It's a wonderful feeling when you do things as if it will be the last time. You put so much thoughts and passions into it, that anything so simple becomes a big deal for you.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ramadan Rituals

I love how unconventional is our ramadan sefra.

My usual duty during the holy month is making salad and lots of salad every day.

This year I shifted my focus in learning the deal of baking lol. I always considered my self a failed dessert maker, that is because I don't have a sweet tooth.

However, I made a huge success in making sticky date cake twice and a coffee/toffee cake. I'm so proud of the outcome. A slice of my cakes are now a hit especially when we gather around the TV, sipping green tea with fresh mint leaves.

Today, I'm spending literally "30" hours with my granny in KSA before I come back home. Words can't describe the amount of love and happiness I feel right now "al 7amdella" seeing my family, my love, all in good health.

Yesterday my aunt whom I consider my life mentor offered to take me for a lecture where phrases from Quran were translated. Luckily, moses story was the focus of the lecture. I was choking in my own tears the whole time. Especially the part in soorat Taha where Allah was asking Mosa to "Listen". The lecturer was talking about how the art of listening really is.

The moral behind the story is that we always keep our mind processing when we are in the middle of a conversation! We tend to bring all our life concerns, fears, future imaginations into our mind at that particular moment. That blocks our ability to listen to something of a real value.

In order to live a meaningful life, we need to learn how to concentrate, how to think before we speak.

Thank you auntie Amal for the wake up call *hugs* it came in the perfect timing.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Time Traveler

Sunday August 3rd:

I woke up feeling extremely different. It felt like I was back in time when I used to be a student. Or the time right after graduation, or the time me and those involved in my daily life were in good terms.

I didn’t know how I could describe the feeling but I surely loved it. I went back to loving photography and reading blogs, to calling my friends and remembering old incidents that back then were hilariously funny. To feeling lucky having you in my life. The list go on and on but I felt reconnected to my core self.

Yesterday, after we all finished fu6oor (Happy Ramadan everyone!), I sat across the table from my mother, I asked her: Mama ma t7seen we’re back like old days?

Her face gradually formed a smile that secretly said: How did you know! Then she murmured to herself: el7amdellah.

I really don’t know what that was! But I felt my soul had abandoned me for while, leaving me dealing with my own life struggling between so many things.

I’m so happy now.

Today’s morning, out of the blue my colleague told me: Layla, yesterday the whole world was looking for you. Glad you are back.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Ya M6awel el '3aibat?

Where have my days taken me?

Juggling between our families, friends, work and everything in that little circle called “Life”

Things taken for granted can really stay granted when we put so much faith into it. I truly believe in fate, but one of my friends taught me to think positively that Allah will always bring good things into our life, because we look at our life that way.

I spent a weekend with two of my favorite cousins away from home. I can still feel my stomach muscles from all the laughter. All and all, it will be a memory that is hard to be forgotten. Note to myself, need to detoxify my body after all the junk we have eaten. Think, Red Velvets for breakfast! Worth it.

Rewinding furthermore, the big breakfast at Mzmz House was a delightful memory. God it seems like it’s been forever, knowing how much things happened in between.

And above all that, bonding even stronger with my loved ones is something I’m starting to cherish every single day. And that’s where my heart is right now.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I <3 You Life

Jasmine infused tea, Bob Marley singing "Could You Be Loved", fresh toasted mozzarella paninis and browsing through inspirational pictures after a long day at work. Ah couldn't ask for better atmosphere. Mmm no re thinking about it, a window overlooking the beach wouldn't have done any harm lol.

Friday, May 14, 2010


I threw those Reeses mini peanut butter cups into my mouth without thinking.

I lost counting, all I know the family pack is half empty now.

Two weeks had passed since my brother's lovely wedding, and my little family is growing with dear additions. The week after, I was among those rewarded for their contributions to my University when we were students.  It was so beautiful to see the girls, all grown up and independent career wise and family wise.

I knew 2010 where the year of changes.  Little did I know, those changes will be that big.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What a Wonderfull World

It was almost 9:00 PM.

I started the engine, wore my glasses (yes I haven't noticed how much my eye sight have decreased lately). The ride back from my uncle's house was smooth.  "Enshodat Al Ma6ar" playing in the background.

As soon as Abdu enchated "ba3ad '3adden ta3ood, la boda an ta3ood"
I signled to my lil sis at the back to keep it shshsh. I wanted to enjoy every second of it. I only wished I stole that mug of tea infused with Iranian saffron from my uncle's. It wouldn've been the perfect companion with this mood.

I whispered: "Baba esma3 sho egool abdu, sho tefham mn el words?"

He studied the words for a bit, then said: "He's comparing his saddness, to a baby who lost his mom, and people are lieing to him saying she will come back!"

I admired his quick answer so much that it hurt me how little time we get to spend everyday. Being that everyone is busy with his own life. 

However, these few mintues spent with him, will always be so dear to me.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Genuine Thank You

Moments passed after I posted the previous title.

 My phone started ringing.

I was at my desk, still working.

An angel called me. My tears chocked me, I couldn't be the bubbly me as usual.  I needed her right now.

"I need to see you Mzmz"

I shut down my laptop, turned off my desk lamp, folded my presentation papers into my bag and left.

As much as we need our friends in these weird times.  It feels so much better when they remind you no matter how much they could listen and take things in.  Allah is whom I should turn to, to soothe my soul.

Thank you for the advice and for the cutest Omrah gift.  The timing couldn't be better.

Thanks to you all. Love you 


He looked at me. A smirk over his face. He's following me everywhere I go.

"What do you want?"

I scream in my heart, I let out a sigh.  I need to get out of this dream.

Who are you anyway? I can't figure out the features, it's just that he creeps me out.

They say, dreams could somehow be a reflection of our sub-conscious.  

What are you trying to tell me?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

What's bigger than Huge? "THIS"

Our life is very short, and very simple.

It was a long stressful day at the office.  As we were about to leave, she asked her office mate and dear friend to soothe out the knots of the tired muscles in her neck. I remember her weary eyes and her voice that made me sense a huge lump in her heart.  While her friend was gently massaging her neck,  she asked her: "do you ever wish you could die now?"

I noticed how her friend slowed her touches and took a deep sigh.  "We live in a bubble" 

We got used to having all the necessities of life in a way that it never occurred to us, people actually die in their hope to find these things.  Things like: food, shelter, feel of security and warmth.

If "we" the people who have everything, choose to give up on life for the smallest problem we have.  How many times do those lacking life necessities think of death?

Sunday, April 4, 2010