share some thoughts

Sunday, July 31, 2005

House Wife Mentality

Do house wives have a different mentality than working women?

With some exceptions, I think they actually are different. my job is somewhat in between (I have a light schedule, because I teach at the university, basically 4 days a week usually and the days almost never go past five. and in the summer not past 2 or 3 pm). So I see the changes with the different seasons. in the summer I find my moods and habits more domestic (want to make something yummy, wanna just sit ant talk on the phone and watch TV, want to change or tidy up stuff) and when there is work, I have other things on my mind, and I think the balance is good. But most jobs are unfortunately all or none rule. You either work 8-10 hours a day for 5 days a week, or you stay home 24/7.

What are the differences in the mental process?

Working women are usually more practical, less tolerant, more independent, slightly more efficient in time management, more socially and politically aware, and their whole mood is somehow different than a house wife.

A house wife would be more patient, resilient usually, a bit laid back, more dependent, and things tend to take more time. Also I think working women are more apt to cut corners here and there, if it works it goes attitude. House wives can afford being perfectionists and thinking into things more.

I can't really put my finger on it, but there is somehow a difference.
and there is a difference between house wives who have worked before and are at home now to take care of their kids, they sometimes have a working women mind (like my friend D) and ones who never considered working except if they had to.

Can’t be unfair, I know this stereotyping is a bit too generalized and I know it is not to be meant for all. I have seen men that would not consider marrying a house wife, while others would not consider marrying a working woman. Not for financial reasons, but for the differences that I am talking about.

the extreme of both cases is not desirable, staying at home with no interest in the outer world except cooking and the prices of the latest fashions, or where can I get fresh tomatoes; or working all the time, and not knowing what the hell is going on at home. Your kids do need their TLC. And it is such a noble and important job taking care of your children.

I know I might be a bit biased being a working woman, but a friend of mine who used to work and doesn’t now because of her little kids once told me : “I feel like my brain is rusting away”. Don’t want that to happen. Problem is, it sneaks up on you, and you would not even know it.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Social Segreggation

I was reading a while ago the novel "3omaret Ya3kobian" Yakobian's Building. In it, the author describes tennants of this famous building that exists in down town Cairo. He tried to give us a small display of all different types of people in the society, the rich, the poor, the ladies' man, the politician, the merchant.. etc. I did not like the fact that almost all of these portraits are not really the normal, or at least accepted, the average Joes were not here at all. I guess he thought they would not make interesting stories, but this one guy Taha, the only one who seemed like a hard working ethical religous character in the story, he turned him into a terrorist at the end! Didn't like the implication, but that is not what grabs me here.

the story talked about how he is so proud, and maintains his dignity, even though he is the son of the doorman. In its own, the doorman job is honorable and there is nothing shameful about it, but the society unfortunately imposes a social segreggation, as if making them into different people. this is not Islamic in any sort.

The guy Taha talks about how when he went to college for the first time, was in awe of all the different people, and how poeple were almost immediately divided into different groups according to social or financial standards. A metaphor he used that i liked: Like oil and water so clearly separate, so did the different social standards. they do not intermingle at all.

When i read this, i remembered my days in college, and yes this so did happen. But i don't recall consciously deciding not to mingle with this or that, it just happened natuarally somehow, did not think of it as segreggation, but now that i am working, it is much less pronounced, people mature a bit i guess, and realize we are all the same more or less, I can mingle with anyone as long as they are decent and polite.

But i had never looked at it from the point of view of the others, the ones of a less prestigous standard may i call it? It was described that Taha was terrified of talking to anyone lest they would ask him what his father does, and he has to lie, or appear inadequate. Insecurity led him to stay away from the social life. then he found solace in this guy whose socks he noticed had patches and holes. He thought this guy is even poorer than me, and that is why he was able to be a friend with him. I felt bad, I sincerely hope this is not the true case, that no one fears talking to others because they feel being of a lower financial standard or social is something to be ashamed of. I would understand that they would feel more comfortable because they would have more in common, they have the same ideas, would like to do the same things for fun for example, but not for shame as portrayed in this novel.

And yet, I know it can be true, the society is a harsh and cruel critic and judge. And is so unfair sometimes. And it is so unfair, no one is better than anyone else, except through their deeds and heart. What anyone is given in life is just his luck, doesn't mean he diserves it. Wish people would take the time to talk to others, even the ones that they know are "not their type", just to remove this segreggation thing. And it would create love and harmony through society.

Big Boys Don't Cry

Crying, everyone does it. What does it mean?

Just a secretion of our lachrymal glands?
How come it is such a relief to cry? Whenever emotions soar high, whether sad or happy or just touched, it is like a pressure valve that opens to let out the excess emotions that would probably just cause you to burst other wise? Like the slow cooker that lets off the steam (extra emotions here) when the pressure inside is too much.

Sometimes it is so relieving to cry. A good cry... I call it. Especially when it is not something sad, just stress or frustrations. If I get it out in tears I kind of feel much better.

Actually I feel like that right now. I feel a bit tired and need to unburden. Not upset about anything, just a bit over whelmed. But I think the level is not that high yet.

They say one of the signs of a merciful person is that his tears are near. A hard hearted person would not cry easily. I know men don't really like to cry. Especially in public. Having emotions is normal. I personally would prefer guys let off the steam in silent tears rather than in a temper. I say this and yet I would feel awkward to see a grown man cry so easily. Not because it is wrong, but because I feel he would feel uncomfortable, or because they would not want to feel that they can be emotionally overwhelmed.

It is true that when a man cries in the presence of a woman, he feels like he is totally exposed and vulnerable. this had happened before with me, seeing a man cry in front of me when I know he has been struggling to keep it in. when I tried to comfort him (I didn't feel judgmental, just wanted to comfort him) he was very surprised. He said that no one had ever done that with him before.

I couldn't believe it. How come? He told me that once, he had a girl friend that he loved and had dumped him. When he cried, she said that if she had any doubts before, now she is sure, how could she be with someone so weak!!!

Crying is normal. For everyone. It is relieving. Ok, our pressure valves are set to different levels, but that doesn’t make anyone weak, just emotional.

Girls are so lucky in this aspect; they cry on each other's shoulders all the time, and the more the tears, the more the support.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Everyone hears what you say.
Friends listen to what you say.
Best friends listen to what you don't say.

A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart
and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


Sincerity is something of the heart. Only you and your heart would know. And sometimes, you wouldn't even know yourself.

this is especially important doing different deeds in relation to religion and God. Sincerity is of utmost importance. Our deeds should be purely aimed at the pleasing of God. When we pray, give charity, or do anything that God would want of us, if we do it for God, we can expect to be rewarded by Him. And very generously too. But if we are not sincere? If we do it for our own vanity, ego, people's perception of us etc. If it is not done for God, why would we be expecting to be rewarded?

doing a good deed for someone else's approval, or to be praised by people is very common. It is called riya2. Sorry that I don't know the English word for it. If anybody knows please tell me. It just erases our good deeds. As if they are not there. As if by an eraser, because they are not sincere. God demands our sincerity in our hearts. Even now, while I am writing this, I am afraid of riya2. It creeps up on you. It is said to be as subtle and unseen as a black ant on a rock in the black night. When you do something nice, and then people say you are so great, then you become so happy with yourself. Would it invite insincerity later? Doing things for people's praise?

I was once watching Amr Khaled on a show with Mahmoud Moussa, and he was talking about being so afraid. That he tells everyone to pray for him to be sincere in his deeds. He was so uncomfortable when M. moussa kept calling him a star.

the Prophet PBUH has taught us some words to battle this, and to keep us humble and sincere. I think staying humble is a key issue to stay sincere. Ego and vanity lead to arrogance and ultimately to a worse fate.

every day in the morning and evening:

"Allahumma inny a3oozo bik an oshreka bik ma a3lam wa astaghferak mimma la a3lam "
basically means "God I seek refuge from making someone your partner (in my aim of deed) that I know of, and I ask your forgiveness for what I do not know.

and when someone praises you alot you say:

Allahumma ij3alny a7san mimma yazonnoon, we eghferly ma la ya3lamoon, we la to2akhhezny bi ma yakoloon.

meaning basically "God make me better than they think, and forgive me for what they do not know, and don't hold me accountable of what they say.

this keeps you humble and knowing your place. When someone tells me some nice praise, I some times like it, I won't lie, but I sometimes feel uncomfortable, knowing myself more than them. And knowing that I might not be so good. I am not required nor should I bad mouth myself by talking ill of my deeds. On the contrary, I should not expose myself when God has graciously shielded me. But I should remember them myself.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

separation anxiety

Separation anxiety often refers to a psychological condition usually affecting young children. It is characterized by severe anxiety and disturbance at the prospect of separation from someone who cares and loves them, and whom they depend on greatly. This figure is usually the mother, more often than the father. It usually is manifested in the first days of school or day care. Kids usually cry and scream and throw on a tantrum. They are afraid that they would not be ok I guess without their mothers.

This still exists in us as adults as well. It is after all a human emotion that does not just expire. The child inside us does indeed exist, pardon the cliché, and he/she is apparent when you have your favorite ice cream, or when you blush when embarrassed, or when you are playing a game. The child is very subdued though. To different degrees in different people. The most pretentious have it really suppressed, while the easy going down to earth are the most to let it free.

Anyway, the child inside us is a whole other story. Maybe later. The separation anxiety in us, when do we feel it? When we depart from anything/one that has been around us for a long time. I personally get very emotionally attached to people and even things the longer they are around. I still have some of my school stuff till now, and I am currently doing my PhD!! But it is better. Much better. We don’t really cry or throw tantrums anymore do we?

It is most apparent when you are in love or have been in a long term relationship. Some women stay in terrible marriages, because they can’t bear the separation. They don’t know what will tomorrow be like. The familiar is good. We have an Egyptian saying “elly ne3rafo a7san men elly mane3rafoosh” means what we know is better than what we don’t.

I was in a position once where I was in a bad situation and I wasn’t able to get out of it, for the fear of this anxiety. But I was forced out of it actually. And now I thank God I was, I didn’t have the courage to do it myself. And guess what, I realized that life goes on. We don’t need and shouldn’t depend on someone or something else to make us ok. Someone I really loved once told me “separation is the constant of life. Everything in life, either one day you will leave it, or it will leave you. Death sees to that” and she was so right of course. (another example of what she said, she died recently. And so we are separated. And I miss her terribly, and love her, but have to find my strength elsewhere).

So, now I realize that I have to find my solace in my own self and heart, and with my relationship with God. God will never leave. Wherever we go, we can count on Him to be there. And listen.

And we do need people in our lives of course, but our life can’t depend on a one certain person. Only on God. And having faith in that, God will never let you be alone. My best best friend left for Canada a few months ago. And I got a bit worried about that. But I thought, God is here, he will compensate me. And He did. 2 of my best friends now had been estranged from me for years and they both just called out of the blue at about the time she left. And they have been close and supportive. Dalulla if you are reading this, you are one of them.

So, I guess no more separation anxiety I hope. I know life goes on, and if you need someone’s care and support, you know God will never leave you.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


A friend of mine talked me into this blogging business. At first, I thought it is a great way to "share some thoughts". In general, when something is bothering me, I usually right it down. It is easier to see, analyze and put my thoughts together. I have tons and tons of stuff that I had written. It was not the "I went shopping today" type of journal, rather the "why did this happen? Or why am I upset at this?" type.

The writing really helped me a lot. Especially when there are so many questions about a certain topic. I realized that when I sort them out on paper, they cease to come up again. And if they do, I don't spend hours getting to the logic that answers my questions (I had already done it before), and so I just read it. And things get calm.

thought this would be the same with blogging. I was mistaken. I have found it is quite difficult for me to write down my inner most feelings and ideas on the world wide web. Especially if they are related to me personally rather than general observations. I can give general questions about something relevant to me, but not my deepest most perplexing questions. My journal is still needed with the good old paper and pen. When something is really weighing on me,I usually turn to God for guidance and relief. He is always there to listen. He understands what is inside me more than myself. He is the Merciful. And He is the only one to really help. And yes He has,so many times. Funny, I wasn't intending when I started writing this post to make it about God, but I guess, ultimately, everything is. Even when I am upset or confused about something, I ask God to help me feel better about something, or show me the right way when I am confused.

but hey, I found blogging to have a very different but also very rewarding purpose. I can share with people, period. Doesn't have to be my own trouble or worries or even normal stuff. I have an outlet for that el hamdo li Allah. But u can share other things. And nothing makes me happier than maybe reaching someone else. That is probably why I sometimes enjoy writing in other blogs more than mine.

p.s. also, I kind of had this dream when I was younger to be a writer, so it does give me a chance at that. I don't know if I suck or not. But I like doing it.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Innocent love

today I visited my best friend's kids. she has been in canada for a few months now and i pass by her kids at her mom's from time to time. i was quite regular at first then i kind of laid back. of course she keeps telling me to go see them. that they ask about me and would love to see me. her little girls are 2 and 4 yrs old .

well today i finally went over to see them after work. didn't know that i had missed them so much till i saw them. i used to go to my friend's place like 3 times a week, and i was like an aunt or mother figure to them. when i knocked the door and i heard them running to the door to open for me i felt bad for staying away so long. as soon as they opened the door they just kept on hugging me and talking and talking about me and their mother. i guess i was a strong reminder of their mother's presence. and seeing their smiles and laughs and hapiness at seeing me were very refreshing. they just jumped on my lap and followed me everywhere i went and were very excited. my nephews are like that but i thought it was because i am their aunt and i kind of spoil them rotten. they probably miss their mom, and their grandmother is a bit too old to play with them much. my maternal instincts really shot to the sky today, even though they are never really that sumberged. i think being a mother is the most natural thing in the world. it can be in its own very fulfilling.

what is more wonderful than a child's love? it is so pure and innocent and sincere. it has no hidden motives or pretences in it. if a child loves you, you can know that you truly are loved. and of course if they hate you, they don't hide it. and when you love a child, you don't want anything out of it either except make them happy. a mother's love is one of the most selfless types of love there is. thank God for it.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The children

Why the children? The children in iraq who were killed, why?
It makes me so angry. And very very sad. What have these children ever done to you or anyone? What have they done period?

How can someone harm a child, a child who does nothing, knows nothing and is innocent and vulnerable! How could these people live with themselves, I don’t know. All bloodshed is a very big thing, but children is by far the worst. My heart is hurting for these kids, and their families. And for humanity in general. What is this world coming to?

I sometimes see children playing and feel for them. They have no idea what kind of world they are living in and I am wary of the day they find out. And moreover, the world now is turmoil, on the brink of something, I have this feeling of foreboding. What will the world be like when these children grow up? Is it gonna be much worse? I hope not, i am trying to stay optimistic, but it is getting harder. I am not a mother, but yet I worry about my unborn children. I ask God to protect and watch over them. I don’t want these children to grow up and suffer what we have done. Reap the fruits of today. What will they think of us? Will they hate us for making this world what it is today?

Was the world always like this? Was there always so much evil and ugliness in the world?

Evil is ancient I know. And so is murder. Starting with Kane and Abel. But I think the ratio of good to evil is really changing. Murder has become so common and normal, but is is not a normal thing! It is a grave grave crime. Human life is precious and valuable, and not to be shed in vain. I really support capital punishment. What you do, shall be done to you…. I think that is the only thing that can sometimes stop someone from killing. (if their conscience and empathy are totally dead).

Please God save us

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Forgive and Forget

i always hear the phrase forgive and forget. forgiving is good, sometimes more for the forgiver than the forgiven. and that is why a lot of people try to do it. also we want God to forgive us, so we should forgive if we can.

but the forget part, not that easy.

i can usually forgive things, even big ones, but of course, I am human, somethings i can not. but the problem is I don't forget. I mean with big things of course.

especially if it is someone close, I forgive sometimes because I feel the relationship is more precious than to jeopardize over every little thing. even the big ones,I usually cherish my relationships more than anything and could go through heck of a lot before I give up on someone. But it is like it is on a stand-by button. asleep. not forgotten. Even though I can deal with them normally after forgiving them, and feel even normal towards them, it is not forgotten.

I know that because when something else comes up, another mistake, I remember the old ones that I have already forgiven. it is as if they accumulate all of a sudden. and then I realize I hadn't actually forgiven them from my heart, I just let it pass and ignored it so that life can go on (el markem temshy as they say)

so I see, to forgive someone, you have to feel that this person actually is sorry. find excuses for it. and find closure for every situation before you move on.

I don't know if this means I have a hard heart. I hope not. I don't like holding grudges. but if someone hurts me and does nothing to amend, or is not sorry lets say, it is difficult to actually throw these things away. and usually the second time around has a much more severe reaction. like allergies, you know, you are sensitized the first time with no great damage, but the second time : anaphylactic shock.

next time someone I care for bothers me, I will try to resolve it first before jumping to forgive so readily. maybe they will think again before they do it again. if I forgive, it has to be the forgive and forget type. no use in just putting up on the shelf.

sorry for tha nakad. not feeling my best today

Monday, July 04, 2005

ignorance is a bliss?

do we really want to know everything? knowledge is power? are there things that are better left alone or unknown?

i don't know.

there is a situation where an ex-friend whom i thought the world of, was suddenly very exposed to me as a manipulative person who was abusive and inconsiderate of me. i might not have known this except for a friend who told me a lot of things that i did not know.

ofcourse that hurt. and made me angry. sometimes i think, i wish i didn't know so as not to feel this way. and other times when i feel i would rather know the truth. if this person is not really honest and good to me i guess then my good feelings or view of this person are a waste.

so i am in a dillemma. i feel if i wouldn't have known, i wouldn't be so angry and hurt, but i would be a fool cherishing someone who doesn't diserve it.
if i do know, which is the current fact, i would be hurt and angry but at least see things for what they are.

well i take solace in the fact that the truth came out at a time and from a person who are very unlikely. so i feel this is from God. showing me. i had known this person for 10 years, and never had i seen this abusive part clearly, although looking back, i should have seen it for myself. but somethings you only see when someone points out to you. it was as if there was a curtain in front of my eyes/brain. i call it satr (shielding) from God. God always protects the secrecy of a wrong doer in the beginning, maybe he would repent, and if someone is exposed, it usually means they have done it repeatedly before. at a certain time things just came out. they must have come out for a good reason.

i know in the long run, i will feel good that i found out,when i stop being angry and hurt. i had no hand or desire to see things this way, it was just laid out infront of me by coincidence!! so i feel God's will in it and Allaho A3lam of course. whatever is from God has to be good. al hamdo li Allah for everything.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

old friends

I just came back from an evening out with my sister, an old friend and her 4 year old. We originally were going to “walk” a few kilos. We were wearing our sweat suits and sneakers and everything. We really intended to walk but this is scenario clakette millionth time. We ended up eating at la poire and chatting till 11 pm!!

It was fun, because we kept remembering things we used to do back when we were younger, age 15-17 mostly. We were laughing and telling stories and my sister was laughing and amazed. Her generation is different I think. They didn’t have as much fun as we did. My friend has been around since, 1990 in our GCE year. A long time. Ma shaa Allah.

I noticed when we were talking today that we really had a lot of fun and great times in our teen years. We were really care free and just a bit , I don’t know what to call it, meharteleen maybe. We had nothing serious on our mind except going to the club on Thursday and who are we gonna see there etc etc. this I think only people of my exact age would understand. The ones a bit younger (like my sister) were different and so were the bit older (like my brother). Both generations seemed more serious somehow.

It made us comfortable that we had all the wildness out of our system and had some fun years, and now it feels normal to want to calm down and pursue the more important things in life.

But the main thing I did notice is that these friends that I made years and years ago are my main friends now. I kind of never made such serious friendships again. I wonder why. All of my close friends I have known for 10-15 years. Most of them the 15 year thing. In those years. I am not saying that I have no new friends (and by new I mean 3-4 years) but in comparison I feel like they are just acquaintances even though I love them a lot and would be there for support anytime. If you ask me who my close friends are, the old ones would ALL have to come first before any of the new ones.

It is just different when you have known someone for such a long time, it is more I think that they know you inside out, know how you were so know where you come from now. My new friends just see how I am now, they only know part of me.

I don’t know, is it more difficult to open up emotionally to new friends as you grow older? Or is it that we are emotionally fulfilled in that area, “fully booked”?

Whatever it is, old friends are great. The older the better.