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 :)