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.