Friday, December 26, 2008

Kids are great, but...

My elder sisters were visiting because of Eid Al Adha. One of them has a 2 years old boy and the other has a 3 years old twin boys. I like kids a lot and especially kids at that age. I think of my kids-to-be a lot, though I’m not married yet. I think of how I’ll raise them, which schools to admit them in, what to tell them in certain situations etc. I even buy them books from now. I used to criticize my sisters when they shout at their kids for trivial reasons or deal with them in a nervous way, just because they are not in a good mood. I support the idea of being firm with children while raising them, even at young ages, so that they grow up to be good persons. Of course I don't mean torturing your kids or hurting them in any way. Just, you know, not letting them do wrong and bad behaviors only because they are young and may not understand, because believe me they’re always much more clever than you think they are. I know that it may be hard to watch your kids crying when punished at such young age but I believe that being firm when a situation calls for it is better than having spoiled or ill behaved kids. Anyway, this vacation I excused my sisters for losing their temper over trivial reasons. It’s really hard being attached to your child 24/7, not being able to spend any time by yourself; reading a book, watching a movie etc. I found that even while they’re busy playing or watching cartoons, they need at least your partial attention and so you only have half of your attention to do whatever you like. Things get better as the children grow up. But imagine that if you had to quit your job and almost all your activities till the age of 4 or 5, when your kids go to school, it will be hard to get back on track. I don’t agree that mums work while their kids aren’t at school yet. I believe that they’ll need all her time, attention, and care. At the same time, if you had kids while being at the start of your professional career or even before you start it (some of my friends had their kids right after finishing college and so didn’t get to have a first job) it won’t be easy to find a job afterwards or at least you’ll have to prepare yourself through an intermediate stage of study or some sort of training. Quite a dilemma, isn’t it? Things can be more complicated for people who don’t believe in birth control because then they’d have to get married at a certain stage in their careers from which they can resume without difficulties! Of course things are much easier for women who don’t work or don’t want to, as they won’t have to do all the above planning. The real problem is when you have to choose between your work and your kids. It’s always a tough choice to make. As for me, I think that I'll choose my kids. I believe that having successful and well-behaved children is the best achievement I can ever make. Despite this belief, and I’m feeling guilty while saying it now, but I don’t like to have kids anytime soon.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Take care of the difference..Don't be deceived

المسجد الأقصى و مسجد قبة الصخرة

مسجد قبة الصخرة

المسجد الأقصى

Friday, November 28, 2008


The interesting thing I was planning to do was to rent a bicycle and go around Nordhorn on it. I did rent one but just for a couple of hours and rode it with the only colleague who is the same age as me. I’ve not ridden a bicycle for more than 4 years, so at first I almost fell off once or twice then I took control over it. The great thing is that there are special lanes for bicycles (even on high roads) as well as special traffic lights. As for the traffic lights I noticed that pedestrians and bicycles drivers are treated the same way. Anyway, all this means that you can always drive safely especially if you aren’t an expert just like me. But still I avoided crowded areas because I didn’t want to hit someone or make a traffic violation for my first time in Germany! I’m not talking with much enthusiasm as I expected myself to be because the ride wasn’t up to my expectations; mainly because of the company! I felt that I was fulfilling some sort of duty instead of having fun. Next time (as if there would be a next time :)), I’ll make sure to have a more amusing company.

The back bassinet is for little babies :)


Saturday, November 22, 2008

This Palestinian Life

Last Wednesday I went to see a documentary at Al Kotob Khan (a bookshop in Maadi). I knew about the bookshop a while ago and wanted to go and check it out but didn’t have time. Then I knew about the movie night and found it a good chance to go and explore the place. After being lost for quite some time, I reached the place. I was lucky enough to get there just before the movie start. The movie is a short documentary named “This Palestinian Life” written and directed by Philip Rizk and its duration is only 28 min. As the film was introduced “It is about village stories of Sumoud “صمود’ and Nonviolent Resistance”. The movie was really good. I’ve seen quite a lot of documentaries about Palestine; mainly on Nile News. Most of them were great but I can’t compare them with Philip’s film as they’re professionals while this is Philip’s first movie. However, the distinguished thing about this documentary is that it talked about Palestinian villages in ‘Al Dafa’ almost never mentioned in the news and other documentaries. I was affected by the movie very much. I even had tears in my eyes more than once. It has been a while since I last saw something about Palestine or heard its news in details. Actually I was feeling really guilty because of that and still am. After the movie we began a discussion about Philip, the movie, Palestine etc. then we found ourselves talking about Egypt and its role; especially concerning Rafah access point. The lady who was managing the discussion said that we can do nothing more and that isn’t it enough that they broke into our lands and threatened our national security! I was shocked by her words and so I immediately replied “how do you know for sure that they broke into the borders, this is what the media conveyed”. She replied that a friend of hers is a reporter and was there and told her what happened. I didn’t reply back because I didn’t want to tell her may be your friend is a liar or just didn’t interpret what happened right. Later I thought of many other things to convince her that she is getting the picture wrong. For example, they may have broken into our borders but this was because of their despair. We didn’t open the borders from ourselves and left them trapped to die. And really I don’t see how they represented a threat to our national security! I remember that at that time some voices began to say that they were planning to invade our lands and that there is a plan from Israel to let them populate Sinai! I regard all this as nonsense because if they were planning to leave and populate another place they’d have done so a long time ago and Israel would have been more than willing to help. And what force does to the Palestinians have to invade us? Their stones! And why don’t we feel threatened by the Israelis who every once in a while shoot one of our poor soldiers or Sinai citizens “accidentally”. The last time as I remember, they even shot a little girl, and our government stood still. Till now I get very angry whenever I remember all the things I should have said and didn’t. Anyhow, I’m now relieved that I said them in a way. One of the interesting things a girl of the group said was that we’re indeed responsible for Palestine because when it was first lost in 1948 it was under our protection and 1976 when it was lost again it was under Jordan’s protection (I shall check if this piece of info is correct or not). She also said that Sinai was returning to us anyway and the fact that we took it back completely through negotiations was a game played by the Israelis, to keep us way from the Palestinian cause in return, and that we played their game...An interesting point of view indeed and actually whether this point of view is valid or not, they’ve indeed succeeded in keeping us away from the cause. One of things said by the lady managing the discussion and also made me nervous again was that Palestinians are now trying to negotiate while they refused it when they had a chance when Al Sadat offered that in Camp David. Fortunately a young man replied with enthusiasm that this was better for their dignity because Palestine is theirs and no one negotiates to get his own right and that it is better for them to die everyday than to trade their land with anything (the lady didn’t reply back). In my way home, I was thinking of how ignorant I became of the Palestinian cause and how I need to read more about the history; especially Camp David because almost all I know about it is “heard” information which is usually not as reliable as “read” information. Do you know a good point to start?


Saturday, November 15, 2008

I’ve always wanted to do more with my life. I feel that moments are too precious to waste doing nothing or sitting in front of the TV moving through channels or watching silly things; not because I’ve nothing to do but because I don’t have enough will or energy to carry out what I should do. In a way to cease every moment, lately I bought a MP4 on which I recorded some BBC programs to enhance my English language as well as some other useful programs to listen to while walking to work everyday, while trapped in transports etc. but this isn’t the issue now. The issue is volunteer work. I’ve always wanted to get involved in such work. I find it really satisfying and rewarding; mentally, spiritually, and in all aspects. Though I believe in all of this I’ve never really took the step towards doing it. I may have registered in some committees, went to share in a group event once or twice but didn’t actually belong to some entity. Last week there was the monthly meeting of ElSawy Culture Wheel volunteers. The announcement just said “Do you have an idea, time, effort or experience?” I felt that this call was for me and decided to go and see. Now, I’m really glad that I did. I found people of different ages; starting form school children to retired adults. Many of them were just coming for the first time and others were part of the team. People began talking suggesting a lot of really good ideas for activities to be started at the culture wheel; ideas to enhance the wheel and at the same time to enhance the whole community through the wheel. I was really glad to be gathered with people of such awareness, positivism, and belief in change. Though I’m used to give presentations as a part of my study and work and my friends always say that I’m good at it, in such gatherings I usually don’t speak. A question may be asked that I know its answer, I may have a pressing question that really occupies my mind the whole time and still I don’t say a word. This time I wanted to ask about an activity they said they were going to make a while ago; a science club where interested people can meet to discuss different science-related topic. I wanted to know if they’ve already started such thing and if not to help in starting it. See, really very trivial. I hesitated till the very last minutes then I just thought that if I didn’t stand up and speak I’d really feel bad about myself and should gave up the whole idea of changing the things I don’t like about myself. And so I stood up and spoke (I even spoke in the microphone and didn’t find my voice strange or notice the wrong way in which I pronounce the ‘r’ letter). When I returned home, I marked my calendar with all the events I’d like to attend; seminars, art galleries, movies etc. I feel that I’d have a busy month. If I did discipline and attend all the events marked, it would be of huge benefit to me… I’m sure.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm feeling blue & I don't know what to do. A very sad feeling took control over me since yesterday and I really don't know its reason. Small annoying things might have happened but not to drive me to this stage of depression. I don't feel like doing anything. I just sit in front of TV or read over the Internet while listening to all the sad songs of mounir. I tried my usual anti-depressing techniques; mainly eating chocolate but it didn't work out. I'm feeling lonely and at the same time don't like to have people around. I'm thinking of spending the day tomorrow my favourite way; involving taking an early walk downtown, read a book in some cafe, and then go to work and listen to fairouz while having my coffee mix. But even this plan I'm not excited to carry out. I'm hoping that this gloomy feeling go away and at the same time I want to figure out the reason to work it out. I'm feeling blue and I don't know what to do...


Friday, November 07, 2008

I'm bored!

I used to stay silent in social events and when gathered with strangers and people I meet for the first time. Then I read a book entitled “How to have a beautiful mind” as well as many other articles about how to conduct an interesting conversation or even an ordinary conversation with people you meet for the first time, have nothing in common etc. Since then I’ve been practicing my recently-learnt skills whenever I’ve a chance; sometimes they work out and other times they just don’t. Unfortunately, so far this is a trip in which they don’t work out. We’re somehow an un harmonized group of people who happen to work together. We’re of different ages, backgrounds, cultures, and even languages. Though, I believe that such diversity can make things better and really enriches conversations. I tried to start talks more than once; asking open questions, talking about the weather etc. but then I gave up. The thing is that, in any restaurant where we go to have lunch or dinner, they don’t serve food immediately and serve it on intervals. I think that this is done on purpose so that people can have time to chat and catch each others news. There is only one social person who eats with us occasionally. He’s Syrian (this is an obvious reason to like him whether he talks or not:)) and speaks German, so he’s somehow the connecting ring when Germans are with us. Things are really better when he’s around. I believe that you’re now as bored as I’m; sorry if I conveyed the negative feeling :( I’m planning to do an extraordinary thing soon that should blow all the boredom away. Wait for the surprise :)


Friday, October 31, 2008

The Germans

This trip to Germany has changed my opinion about Germans totally. I used to think of them as cold, strict, and very serious people but I found that they’re really very nice and friendly. The owner of the hotel at which we were staying once gave us a ride to a nearby store to get something (of course this wasn’t a part of her daily tasks, she just volunteered). She was really nice and talked with us about her husband and kids. It was really a warm chat. You know we’re used to say “السلام عليكم” whenever we enter a place or pass by a group of people even if we don’t know them. I’ve always found this as a sign of warm feelings and tight bounds among us, Egyptians & Arabs in general. Here they just do the same but of course in German. Actually I found this a little bit strange because you know the idea about foreigners is that they don’t care about each other and each one is just concerned with himself/ herself only. Anyway, I think that this idea applies more to USA citizens than European ones (I shall make sure of this when I visit USAJ). Some of the few German words I managed to catch, only because I hear them more than once everyday, are: "Guten Morgen-Good Morning” and “tschuss-Goodbye”. You might not find the Germans friendly to you as they’re among themselves but I believe that this is only because of the language barrier. A very few people can speak English; mainly those who need it in their daily activities like the hotel owners and the managers at the factory we were visiting. The funny thing is that, whenever you ask someone if he/she can speak English, the usual answer is “a little bit”, the expression actually gives you the feeling that the speaker’s English must be really good then you find yourself communicating with signs!. I’ve been running into Germans a lot lately (of course I mean here in Egypt not in Germany) and I like them more and more. I hope that before my next trip to Germany (I’m talking as if I’ve a diplomatic passport and am going to travel around the world; at least I hope so but I don’t care that much about the diplomatic passport my ordinary one would be just fineJ) I would have learnt a good deal of the German language so that I can communicate better and get to know these nice people better.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Green Germany

We are used to say “Green Tunisia”. I’ve been to Tunisia twice; indeed it’s green because they plant olive trees along the sides of the roads and in their lands but not everywhere so that we can call it “Green Tunisia” (with my apology to all Tunisian guys). Anyway to be fair, I’ve been there only in summer and they depend in agriculture on the rain. However, if it is up to me, I’d call Germany “Green Germany”. Here trees and plants are really everywhere; along the roads & highways, in the streets, in the balconies, around the houses & buildings; really everywhere (again!). The huge green spaces are very apparent from the plane. But as we’re in autumn, you can also see yellow and red spots beside the green ones. I hope that we can one day call Egypt “Green Egypt”, especially because we have the Nile river; the longest river in the world. But who listens!

I hope to live in such house (Nordhorn)

or such building (Nordhorn)

There's even grass on the railway (Düsseldorf)


Friday, October 24, 2008

The Rain

It rained today. I think that it's the first time it rains this season. It was very strange because it was raining while the sun was shining. It was a good thing that it rained actually because the weather was rather windy and dusty. I enjoyed having the soft drops of water falling on my head as well as the smell of the rain mixed with dust afterwards. The sky was really great especially near the sunset time. The resolution of the weather, as one of my friends says, was really high; As if the rain has washed everything. Welcome autumn [with no black cloud this time :)].

Monday, October 20, 2008



What is the first thing that cross your mind when I say autumn? In Egypt, of course it is the black cloud! Really every year I know that Autumn is here when I smell the smoke late in the night or early in the morning when I open the window searching for the morning breeze and get shocked with the fog & smoke. On the contrary- here in Nordhorn, Germany- autumn is just like what is written in books and shown in movies; with all the trees turning yellow and their leaves filling the ground. Today after breakfast, I went for a morning walk in the village to enjoy the autumn. The streets were very quiet though people were rushing to their work and schools; mainly riding bicycles. Yes, here they move around on bicycles. You find people of all ages doing so, even the elders who are in their 70s & 80s. I once saw a nun riding a bicycle. Some bicycles have back seats for parents to put their children and almost all bicycles have a side suitcase to place your belongings. It's really a great habit. At such early hour, only bakeries & coffee shops were open. The smell of the fresh bakeries can drag you to the inside of the shop. I enjoyed walking in the empty streets without having people bothering me or just watching me, like here in Egypt, as each one is just minding his/ her own business. I know that this could be a bad thing, for example in cases of emergency, but to be honest lately in Egypt people just bother you in ordinary times and leave you when in trouble.


Friday, October 17, 2008

A distinguished smell of coffee

I’ve been in a short business trip to Germany last week. While I was there I wrote some things that I’d like to share with you. So every now and then I’ll post something. It was my first trip to a European country, I’m very excited

A distinguished smell of coffee

As soon as I got on board of the Lufthansa plane @ 4 am on my way to Frankfurt, I was attracted by the smell of the coffee. I thought that I might be imagining as I was very sleepy and in a bad need for a cup of coffee. But when the breakfast was served latter (which by the way was hot, sweet French toast with cinnamon and cocked apple...hhmm) and I tasted my coffee, I knew that I wasn’t imagining. The great, alerting smell accompanied me in Frankfurt airport as well as in Düsseldorf. When I finally entered my room in the “In-Side Hotel” at Nordhorn, which by the way has a large balcony with a really nice view, I found a kettle, 2 rather large mugs, & more than one sort of coffee!! If things were back to me, I’d call Germany the “Land of distinguished coffee” and the “Green Land”, but this is another topic.

P.S. I forgot to tell you that they serve coffee and tee for free to passengers at the gate just before the plane in Frankfurt airport…No comment!


Monday, October 06, 2008

A quarter century old

P.S. I wrote this on my last birthday and have just thought to share it with you

A quarter century old

Today is my 25th birthday. I prefer to say that I’m quarter a century old; it makes me feel the wisdom of my age :). My friends believe that 25 years are too much; especially because I’m not married or engaged or currently involved in a relationship. Lately marriage and relationships in general has been the dominant topic for our discussions during brakes at work. During such discussions you can hear the most weird opinions and situations. Most of my friends can’t wait to get married or at least get engaged. They believe that we’re approaching a critical age and have limited time to get married and be able to have enough kids! Though this isn’t true at all, at least from the medical perspective as women can have a very healthy pregnancy till the age of 35 or so. Though they may be right, if we adopted the society point of view. As from this point of view we are indeed too old! I can’t say that I’m not looking forward to being involved in a relationship. Many times I feel that I need someone to share my life with. Someone to share my thoughts, activities and dreams. Some one to discuss with the latest book I’ve read while having 2 cups of coffee in the morning. Someone like that angham talks about in her lovely song “Elalak 7ad”. Sometimes I just miss having someone to complete my sentences :). The good thing is that I don’t let these feelings be the centre of my life. I believe that everyone should have a life of his/her own first and should be able to enjoy such life in order to be able to share it with another one and have a healthy relationship. The presence of good and near friends can really decrease the times when I feel lonely. As the one with whom I’d like to share my life should be my friend before being anyone else. I believe that as the one gets older he/she can have a healthier and more successful relationship. I recall that in high school I used to tell my friends that I want to get married when I’m 30 years old or so such that by then I’d have experienced life perfectly well and would be able to build a successful relationship. I’m taking back these words now; I’ve all the experience required :). It really doesn’t matter how many years have passed; what really matters is what you’ve done in these years. I believe that I’ve done quite a good deal of achievements. But as my ambitions are usually very high, I’m not always satisfied. This is a bad thing actually. I’ve just read an article saying that every achievement no matter how small should be celebrated and that people shouldn’t set too high standards for themselves such that whatever they do they aren’t satisfied and say that they could have done better. Anyhow, I’ve really enjoyed my birthday this year. I think that I’m on the right track and should just keep the good work. You too do your best to get yourselves on the right track :).

Moey 29/5/2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I’ve been facing a lot of its actions lately. In the past I used to get mad when things go wrong or at least not as planned to. Then I began to accept things in a very calm way. I no longer cry or loose my mind when I break my favorite mug, burn my T-shirt while ironing, go in a trip that turns out to be a disaster etc. I know that these are little things that shouldn’t be a worry in the first place but it started with the little things. Remember the business trip I was supposed to have a long time ago? After the issue of the visa, it was cancelled just 2 days in advance! My colleagues were very upset and stayed depressed for days, while it really didn’t make a difference with me. Of course I was annoyed because I had to unpack and rearrange my stuff but I just said to myself “قدر الله وما شاء فعل”. Then it was my turn to travel again and after going through most of the procedures, the embassy refused to take our passports because we missed the arranged appointment. It was ironic but again I said “قدر الله وما شاء فعل” and thought that there must not be good for me in this trip. Sometimes we try too hard to get something or to achieve something and don’t see all the signs that God sends us to quit, until we bring troubles to ourselves. This isn’t an invitation to surrender or become lazy; it’s just an advice to accept the facts of life and not to stand in the face of fate.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I finished the "Open Door"

Much like the movie but still I enjoyed it much

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Favourite Passion

I’ve been reading a lot lately. Actually I’ve more that one book opened. “Cairo in 1000 years” by Jamal Elgitani, “The 23rd of July revolution” by Farouk Gweda, “Emma” by Jane Austen, “Aorz belabn lsha7’sen” by Rehab Bassam and finally “The Open Door” by Latifa ElZayat. Quite a lot, right? I sometimes get annoyed of such unfinished books but other times I feel that this is just normal because you know I can have more than one mood during week and even through day so I sometimes feel like reading a novel to fall asleep, other times I’m ready for a serious book etc. I like reading a lot and I’ve always wanted to join a book club. Do you know what that mean? Well, it’s an activity where a group of people meet regularly to discuss one book they’ve all agreed to read. Unfortunately such clubs are not common in Egypt, as far as I know. I thought of initiating one myself but none of my friends like reading that much. I once read an article in the New York Times about the importance of change and creation of new habits. It reminded of another article for Yousouf Idrees called in English “The other thing” in which he talked about how changing the road by which he returned home from work gave him a push of energy and enthusiasm and made him look at life from a new perspective. Of course changing the road won’t have this effect for anyone but considering that he is a novelist it makes sense. At the end of the article he wondered what would happen to his life if he took a new road everyday, read a new book, tried a new recipe etc. Anyway as we were all bored at work during that period and were feeling that we aren’t doing anything new or worth it, I said to myself let’s share the idea of the two articles with my colleagues. It was my first time and probably the last time to do this. Most of them dealt with the idea of discussing an article as a joke and began asking when I shall give them my lecture. Though I didn’t give up and held the discussion. Some kept laughing as I talked, others showed interest but at the end it wasn’t what I imagined. It didn’t allow me to express my thoughts, hear new opinions, and develop my mental abilities! The first thing I usually think about if I’m going on a trip is what books I shall take. Books always represent a good companion for me especially on the long train trips to Luxor to visit my sister who lives there. The last book I finished and liked much was “As for this, it is my dance” by Ghada M. Mahmoud. It’s a collection of the best of her blog published by El Shorouk Bookshop in a new series for the distinguished blogs. It’s a really good and light book. You should read it.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Busy, busy, busy

Have you ever been very busy that you’re doing nothing? You must be thinking that there’s something wrong with the question; but there isn’t. The thing is that I’ve too many things to do that I can’t concentrate on one thing and get it done. I’ve to go in a business trip outside Egypt and I knew the date of my departure only a week in advance! So now I’ve to study about what I’m supposed to do as it is a job that involves big responsibility and it’s my first time on such mission. The good thing is that 3 of my colleagues are travelling with me as well as our unit manager (though his presence may be irritating, it’s at least assuring). Also I should get my stuff packed. This has never been a problem to be as I’m used to travelling but not to Europe! I’m not even sure to take winter or summer costumes. The other thing that is keeping me confused is that I’m somehow in the middle of a treatment program from an abdominal pain I’ve been suffering from lately and I don’t want any surprises during the trip. Anyway I went to my doctor and asked for some strong pain-killers; just in case :). The 3rd and probably that last thing is that I’m giving a seminar at the end of July and I’m not done with the preparations yet. Got the picture?
I’ve made list of things to take, things to buy, things to do etc. so that I don’t miss a thing but still I can’t get one thing done. I think that I should just try to relax and visualize myself wandering in Europe (according to what I understood from my manger we’ll have time to go sightseeing only in the airport and the factory!). Any other suggestions to get things done?


Cairo (who knows may be the next time I write from abroad)


Saturday, June 07, 2008

May be it's time for change!

Today I've to move from my office at work to another office due to some managerial decisions. Though I accepted this decision with my own will (actually my direct supervisor asked for it as a favor and I couldn't let her down), I'm feeling so bad. I've been in the same place for about a year and a half. On my favorite desk, beside my favorite window and with my favorite colleagues. It's not a matter of being with my friends because we don't hang out at work but it's a matter of being with people of similar character, mode etc. In the new office, I'd have to deal with one of the most difficult characters that I’ve always failed to cope with "The loud character". I can't concentrate in the presence of such characters. I don't like to be interrupted every minute. I don't like to hear comments on everything I do or others do. I don't like to laugh and have fun all the time. I can't live and work in such environment! May be I'm just being too emotional but the surrounding environment really affects my work efficiency. I sometimes woke up depressed and feeling gloomy but then I set at my desk drinking my coffee while listening to fairouz and enjoying the morning breeze coming from the window, and gradually I'm in a total different mode. Anyway, may be it's time for change. And after all I should try to deal and interact effectively with all kinds of characters in order to be successful in my life and work (I'm trying to be more wise now :) ).

My ex-office