28 Aug 2016

I have a past.

‘I have a past’, I said.

It sounded strange, I felt awkward as soon as I uttered it, as if I was a fugitive or someone with a juvenile offence record.

I met with a group of single parents I found on Google meetups. The group is all about single parents with young children meeting up at fun places in Dubai to keep the little ones entertained and to provide support for one another, conscious of the fact that a lot of single parent families are immigrants and in most cases without friends and family in the city.

I was talking to one of the single mothers and she asked me where I was from, I explained that I was originally from Kuwait, but that I just moved here from the UK ‘I didn’t want to go back to Kuwait, I sort of.. I sort of have a past there, a past I don’t want to return to’. She nodded empathically and I felt something in me break.

I looked at all those single mothers; young, beautiful, highly intelligent, all leading successful careers and all fed up! Fed up with the stupidity of men, the abuse in all its forms physical, mental and emotional. Fed up with men’s laziness, their lack of appreciation, the lies, the dishonesty, the cruelty, the endless lame excuses. Fed up after years of being taken for granted, after years of juggling the responsibilities, the house, the children, the jobs, the finances. Fed up with cultural expectations and social conditioning, fed up with taboos and shame and stigmas.

We all had to die a thousand times in order to learn how to live, I thought, as I watched those young mothers take their children’s hands and play, carefree and happy. We all had to say yes, be buried under a million wrong yeses before we finally learned how to say no. But once we’ve tasted the power, the sweet power of saying no, there was no turning back. Men suddenly became small, irrelevant, a boring after thought not
worth the mental energy, a sad little play thing no longer of any interest.

23 Aug 2016

لا تضيع في الماضي

ضِعْ في ثرثرة الغُرباء في مقهى مكتظ، في رنين الملاعق المصطدمة بالفناجين والأكواب، في ضجيج طفل يبكي قاصداً شدِّ انتباه أمهِ

ضِعْ في الزحام، في هذه الشوارع التي لا تسكن ولا تهدأ، في هذه الطرقات التي تمتد ولا تنتهي، خُذْ طريقاً خاطئاً، اتبع شارعاً لن يقودك إلى البيت، تُهْ تماماً، كُنْ مركبة في سربٍ من المركبات

ضِعْ في وجوه السائحين المبهورة، في عيونهم المُحدِقة في البروج والمباني، إعجابهم بالتصاميم، بالمعمار والأضواء. قد رأيتها كُلُها من قبل، أُنظُر إليها مجدداً، بعيون جديدة، كفيلم لكاميرا عتيقة، عرِّضْ عينيك العارفتين للضوء إمحِ كلُ الصور القديمة وانظر لكل شيء من جديد

 ضِعْ في أغنية، في ضحكة رضيع، في عينان ساحرتان تمضيان مسرعتان باتجاهك، لكن لا تضيع في الماضي، لا تتوه في الماضي ثانيةً، الماضي، بأفواههِ الغاضبة الحاقدة، الماضي بكلماته التي تقتل كطلقات مسدس، الماضي ببكائه ونواحهِ المضني، لا تسقط في قبضته، لا تكن فريسة بين أظافره، لا تقبل نداءه، لا تدعه ينهيك مرةً أخرى،

Lose yourself

Lose yourself in this; the loud chatter of strangers dining in this extravagant restaurant, the heavy cutlery clinking to china plates, the distressed child crying for his mother’s attention.

Lose yourself in the constant busyness of these clogged roads, wide and as far as your eyes can see. Take wrong turns, stop at unfamiliar lights, take routes that don’t lead to home, get lost, be another vehicle in this incessant swarm of vehicles.

Lose yourself in the awe struck faces of tourists, eyes gaping at the magnificent towers, the architecture, the lights, you’ve seen them before, see them anew, like an old camera roll film, expose your eyes to the sunlight light, erase old images and be in wonderment once more.

Lose yourself, in a song, in a baby’s laughter, in a pair of beautiful passing eyes, but not in the past, don’t lose yourself in the past again, with its angry hateful mouths, with its bullet like words, its dreadful clutching sobs, don’t fall in its claws, don’t answer its calls, don’t let it bury you, please.

20 Aug 2016

A Minister of Happiness!

Something I found very interesting when I came to the UAE is that this country has a Minister of Happiness! Yes! You read correctly, A Minister of Happiness!

I was very intrigued when I found the lady Minister on Twitter being retweeted by many locals I have started following since I’ve arrived here. The idea was so new to me, I’ve never heard of a Minister of Happiness, and for the position to be occupied by a lady, a young lady, doubled my curiosity! So I decided to follow Minister ‘Ohood Al Roumi’ on twitter, in hope of being inspired and having some positive energy rub off on me. After a week of reading Al Roumi’s tweets it became apparent to me  that happiness likes to repeat itself! She tweeted day after day: ‘happy people move forward, happy people achieve’ and ‘it’s important to maintain happiness and positive energy in our youth and our nation because only happy positive people can create, develop and achieve’ and ‘Happy people never look back, they don’t let the past undermine their efforts to move forward, be happy and achieve’.

I don’t know whether Minister Al Roumi has any actual administrative executive duties but as someone who is appointed by the ruler of this country to maintain high spirits and positive vibes.. well, she doesn’t seem to have much to say. Meanwhile, the people I follow on social media who are not ashamed of their sadness, their depression and their constant struggle with their troubled past, are much more creative in the way they express themselves, they always have something new to say and their expression is deep, profound and meaningful. Sadness is creative, sadness is inspiring, sadness has a beautiful mouth and a very poignant voice. Sad people produce the most fascinating art; whether in literature, music or the visual arts. Sad people are high achievers because we are always searching for self-worth in our achievements. We are constantly working on new laborious projects because we need a reason to wake up in the morning. Sad people might emotionally be stuck in the past, we may allow our past to continue to abuse and hurt us, but we are the stronger ones, it takes courage and strength to continue moving forward with metal shackles on your feet and a boulder on your shoulders.

16 Aug 2016

How my mind talks to me:

There are worse things you stupid bitch!

There are worse things than the image of the only man you loved fucking your friend and sucking her tits.

There are worse things than crying yourself to sleep every night, and wishing, hoping praying for something to happen; some message, some letter, some random act of kindness to prove to you that you are in fact worthy, that your sad pathetic life and your pathetic dreams are not meaningless, that despite the abusive men, the disconnected family, the indifferent friends, there is still a reason to wake up every morning.

There are worse things you shallow, self-centred loser; there are children dying, there are wars, there are terminally ill people in dirty cold wards.

You hold on to old rusty keys that fit nowhere, you knock on doors that won’t open. Inside you there’s a cave, within another cave, within a well, within an endless black hole, a darkness fathomless and infinite.

You died a million times, it’s hard to look in the mirror, it’s hard to remember! “If only I was someone else, somewhere else” you’ve been murmuring for the past 25 years.

12 Aug 2016

A perfect soul without a hole in it

I envy my ten year old her freedom, being unaware of the scrutiny of the male’s gaze, untethered by his expectation. Still able to be inside her body and enjoy it for what it is; a remarkable instrument, not the weight of it, the height of it, or the size of its limbs. Free from her body's measurements, her eyes not yet trained to criticise and fault it, not yet made aware of how to compare herself to pictures in magazines, to peers, or to a past self. I envy her the lightness of her existence, not yet pressed by ideals of beauty, not yet pulled down by the heavy anchor of self-worth. A full, complete soul without a hole in it. A perfect being, not seeking validation or approval, not yet riddled or trampled by cultural foolishness, social norms or opinions.
I was once like that, I can’t remember what it felt like, but I know I was once just as tremendous.


10 Aug 2016

Tired feet

I decided I needed a little self-pampering, it’s been so long since I had some “me time”. It felt wonderful sitting in that comfortable recliner having my toes manicured and my feet massaged, I was asked if I was comfortable, I was asked if I would like a coffee. Just as my eyes were adjusting to all the luxury, the glossy furnishing, the tranquil fake waterfalls, the floating lilies, the sound of calm music, my sight falls on the muted plasma screen at the far end of the spa, the red news ribbon and black text hurried in the bottom of the screen, people dying because of hate, people dying because of racism, people dying in mindless, meaningless wars, violence and terrorism. So many bombs, so much suffering, loss and homelessness. I felt small, ashamed, disconnected, shallow, irrelevant, naïve. I turned my eyes down to my tired feet, felt the beating of my tired heart.

7 Aug 2016

The God I Love

The god I love

designs immaculate seashells

paints butterfly wings

The god I love

pours her soul in ocean vessels

breathes into clouds

The god I love

sways tree branches

opens flowers

The god I love

made his majestic body

his perfect face

his beautiful eyes

his hands

his good kind hands

the hands that know when and how

his knowing hands.

6 Aug 2016

Watching the sunrise by the seashore

I’m not sure what I felt;

watching the sunrise today

the giant ball of flames that

never seems to cease or tire

always the same, showing up with

fiery passion, punctual without delay.

The lulling sound of gentle waves,

the melancholy sighs of water.

The carpet of colourful crushed seashells

a million years of past fragile crawling life.

A curious pulsing jellyfish, a misshaped rag in the water.

The shy one clawed crab quickly camouflaged .

The flat starfish mirroring her astronomical sisters.

A universe, an entire life, where words are redundant,

speech is superfluous ,

language unnecessary.