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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Eclipse & Earthquake on the Same Day

It is past midnight. I am home alone. My husband is out and my son is sleeping in his bed like a little angle. I am surfing my favorite blogs, checking my mail, googling, in other words, killing time.

Suddenly, I felt the sofa is swinging, the doors are slamming, the whole building is dancing. Oh my God, it is an earthquake. I throw the laptop off my hands and ran to my son's room recalling all the safety regulations concerning earthquakes. I ran to snatch my son off his bed and hold him underneath a door frame (7al2 el bab). It was a couple of seconds or maybe less, but for me it seemed eternity.

It was the eclipse this morning and now the earthquake, ya rab ostor.

I have experienced many earthquakes before since the one of Cairo, October 1992. However, I never felt so terrified. The mother in side me panicked, my son … my son…
My husband is not here, I am all alone, what if the building collapse, how will I carry my son… what shall I do?

Sub7an allah, our reactions varies according to our status, I remember I was laughing while everybody else was screaming during October 92 earthquake. Call me crazy, but I was excited to experience something new like earthquakes. I am not psycho or anything, maybe God gave him a kind of tranquility to save me the horror of the moment. However, it is different this time, I wasn't worried about myself, I was worried about my son. It crossed my mind for a friction of a second "will I be able to save him if the building collapsed (la qadar Allah)".

I wonder, how my reaction changed 180 degree just because I became a mother.

Posted by Wonderer :: 1:49 AM :: 8 comments

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Politics & Religion for the 1st Time

For the first time in my blogging-life I feel like talking about politics & religion. However, I want to talk about them from the humane side.

A couple of days ago, I heard someone talking about Caliph Omar Ibn Al Khattab, al farouq. He was saying that one day Omar Ibn Al Khattab (ra3) was going for a night stroll to check upon the people in the country. While he was walking he passed by a house of a milk-woman. He heard the woman asking her daughter to cheat the customers by adding water to the milk, but, the girl refused doing that. When the woman told her daughter that nobody can see them and that she has to do what she was told, the daughter replied that "God can see us".

Omar heard the girl's reply and was impressed by her honesty. The next day he talked to some men about the incident and nominated her as a good wife for anybody who wants to get married. At this point, Omar's son asked to marry the girl and Omar was so happy with the choice and the marriage ceremony took place right after that.

Try to compare this story to what is going on these days. Name only ONE president/king who is willing to let his son marry a daughter of a milk-woman.
NO FURTHER COMMENT …


Yesterday, I was sitting with some people who were talking about politics, to be specific, they were talking about President Nasser & President Sadat (former presidents of Egypt). They were almost fighting, some were Nasserians and anti-Sadat and the others were just the opposite.
The first group was saying the Nasser was a fair ruler who wanted to have a classless society and distributed the lands on the farmers equally …bla bla bla. However Sadat was a traitor hiding in a movie theatre when the revolution was talking place out there.

The second group said that, President Sadat was a great man who went to Israel putting his life at the stake to reach "Camp David Settlement" with the Israelis in order to get back our land, Sinai. It was in his era that Egypt knew the real meaning of PEACE. On the other hand, Nasser was a tyrant & a dictator; during his reign the prisons were full of innocent people who dare say their opinions… bla bla bla.

I was silent during the conversation, and some people noticed that. When I was asked my opinion I said that both presidents allah yer7amhom (may their souls RIP) had their achievements & their flaws. Now they are both died, your debate is useless and a real waste of time. Why don't you rather speak about the contemporary politics instead of wasting your breath in a worthless conversation? As if we have no problems these days to discuss.
NO FURTHER COMMENT…

Posted by Wonderer :: 8:53 PM :: 6 comments

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Good Old Days

This post is inspired by Nesrina. She talked in her last post about how she used to spend Fridays in the garden of her grandma's villa together with Nerro and the family kids.

Her post took me back in time when I used to spend my days in my grandpa villa with my 3 cousins that were almost my age. Our parents used to go to work and drop us on their way at our grandpa's. We used to spend our days playing in the garden, trying to shake the Mango tree in a competition to see who will succeed in getting a Mango fruit. We used to chase butterflies, play hide & seek, run bare footed on the grass, smell the flowers, feel the grass, sense the cold summer breeze on our faces.

On the Ad7a Feast, my grandpa used to get the butcher and let him slaughter the od7ia (sheep/cow) in the garage of his villa. All the family members used to gather in his place to celebrate the feast. Children in their new clothes from tip to toe, feeling proud of their new outfits, waiting for their 3edia (money) given by the elders and teasing each other with the amount of money they collected.

I can't forget the huge tree at the entrance of the garden that goes up almost as tall as the building. It was a cozmorou tree, or so they called it. It was a kind of an exotic fruit that I never saw except in my grandpa's garden. There were also Guavas, Mandarins, Green Apples, and Grapes in addition to different kinds of flowers.

In the year 1886 my grandpa passed away. Although, I was only a small kid when he died, I still remember him and miss him so much. I spent the most beautiful days of my life with him. Allah yer7amou…
After his death my uncle lived in the villa for a while and then he had to sell it as it was a family inheritance.

One day, six years ago, it was June 2000; I was feeling so sick for those old days. I had a wave of emotions to my grandpa and the days where everything was peachy just like his garden.
I decided to go and have a quick look on the villa, just a quick glimpse to remind me of the "good old days". However, I am still regretting it till now, ya retny ma ro7t.

A company bought the place and took it as their premises. I asked the gate-man to allow me in the garden for only 2 minutes telling him that I used to live in this place long time ago.
I took my steps in the garden noticing the dirty ground and the negligence shading the place. The building that used to be covered with green climbing plants is now a yellow lonely building. The cozmorou tree was still there, but beside it was a shabby place which is supposed to be the room inhabited by the gate-man. The lovely garden gate wasn't there anymore; the garden was nothing but a deserted place with no trace of the flowers and the lovely fruity trees. Instead of the grapes pergola with the ancient pharaoh picture engraved on the wall they built a place for the gate-man to wash, sleep and bread his chickens!!! The garden was nothing but a filthy dirty place. The Mango tree was nothing but a sick, old, fruitless tree. Hanging lines with clothes on, chicken running loose, dirt everywhere … I felt I was in a nightmare, as if someone stole my memories all of the sudden.

I left quickly the place, thanking the guard for allowing me in and ever since that day I never tried to pass by the so-called villa again.

Posted by Wonderer :: 10:04 PM :: 10 comments

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Translated Literature

I used to be against reading translated literature, as I preferred reading a book in the writer's own words. That is why I used to read either Arabic or English books. These days I tried to give translated books a try.


I decided to start with Paulo Coelho. A Brazilian writer who became one of the most widely read authors in the world today. His novel, The Alchemist, was translated into 59 languages and more than 56 million books were sold worldwide. Coelho has won many international awards, amongst them the Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum and France's Legion d'Honneur.

I started reading The Alchemist, as it is considered to be Coelho's masterpiece, then moved to Veronica Decides to Die, then The Zahir, and finally The Fifth Mountain.
In fact, I read the above mentioned novels not because I loved the author but because I wanted to know what is it so special about him.

In my opinion, I find Coelho a good writer. I liked in his novels the suspense element he adapts to keep the person reading till the end. I exclude The Zahir as I found it just a diary of a man deceived by his wife. However, I couldn't find that special thing that made him a worldwide read author!


Unconscientiously, I found myself comparing him to the Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz. He was born in Cairo in 1911, began writing when he was seventeen. His first novel was published in 1939. The appearance of the Cairo Trilogy, Bayn al Qasrayn, Qasr al Shawq, Sukkariya (Place Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street) in 1957 made him famous throughout the Arab world as a depicter of traditional urban life. With The Children of Gebelawi (1959), he began writing again, in a new vein that frequently concealed political judgments under allegory and symbolism. In 1988 He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Not to mention of course many prestigious awards as the State Recognition Award in Literature in 1968, the Decoration of Republic of the 1st Order in 1972 and the Collar of the Nile which is the highest order in Egypt in 1988.

He is now the author of almost thirty-two novels, thirteen collections of short stories, and more than two hundred articles. Half of his novels were adapted for the cinema, theater and television which have circulated throughout the Arabic-speaking world. He describes in his novels the life in the old Egyptian alleys accurately. You feel that the characters in the book are alive and showing every tiny detail. His work deeply steeped in local reality.
Since the appearance of his first translated novel Midag Alley-(Zakakel)in 1966, his novels have been translated into many foreign languages including both the English and the French languages.


Midag Alley (also spelt Midaq Alley) was adapted for the Mexican Cinema 1995 staring Ernesto Gomez Cruz, Maria Rojo and the Hollywood actress Salma Hayek who is Mexican born yet came from an Arabic origin.

Posted by Wonderer :: 10:54 AM :: 28 comments

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Squeak, Squeak...

Someone once told me:
“The squeaky wheel gets the grease” and it really worked.
That made me wondered do I really have to squeak to get my rights!!

Posted by Wonderer :: 2:26 PM :: 9 comments

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

The 7th year's Itch

Yesterday, was my 7th anniversary. I am gonna buy an anti-histamine just in case it starts itching:)
Rabina Yostor:)

Posted by Wonderer :: 1:25 AM :: 9 comments

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Strange

I have noticed something that grabbed my attention for the past couple of days. I have this link in my sidebar that shows me the visitors online and there countries.

Most of the time, I have the same list. Sometimes, I can even guess who the person online is. So, when I find "1 visitor from USA", I guess that might be, Jane, if I have one visitor from Romania so it is Alina, a visitor from Switzerland might be Noblese, Lebanon might be Ahmed, khookh or eve, visitors from UAE might be loulou or ATC [I am not including chari as she has left the blogosphere:(] … and so on. Of course I didn't include Egypt as I know many Egyptian bloggers and guessing will be impossible.

Anyway, these days I have noticed that something strange is going on. My sidebar link is always showing a huge number of visitors and from new countries that never came to my blog before. What is weirder, that they NEVER leave a comment, as if they are just surfing the blogosphere to look for a specific piece of information and they vanish again.

I will give you an example of what I saw today & yesterday:

Yesterday:
You have 21 visitors from 10 different countries!!!!
Australia: 1
Canada: 1
Denmark: 4
Egypt: 1
France: 1
Germany: 1
Italy: 6
Norway: 1
Singapore: 1
USA: 4

Today:
You have 12 visitors from 8 different countries!!!
USA:3
Belguim:1
Canada: 1
Chili: 1
Italy: 3
Spain:1
Netherlands:1
Taiwan:1

I won't be surprised if I find tomorrow 7 visitors from Mars and 12 from Jupiter!!

Posted by Wonderer :: 5:38 PM :: 17 comments

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