Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sad Post

Last week, we lost my great aunt. She was the sweetest wittiest funniest woman in our Family. I have often hoped I would be more like her as I get older. I still hope I do.
She never forgot my birthday, even though I didn't always remember hers. She always asked about me, even though I only selfishly got a lot closer to her after my grandma passed away so she can fill that void. She was wonderful.
It's been a sad week.
This is what one of the many people who loved her wrote about her. Very poignant.

مساء أمس علمت برحيلها ..كيف لي أن أتطرق اليوم الى أخبار المستنقع ونجومه ؟ ...اليوم حزن ولا يليق سوى أن أتذكر وأذكر نفسى بأصالة مصر متمثلة فيها .. أما المستنقع فعودة اليه لاحقا ...
ذهبت ظهر اليوم وأفراد الأسرة والأصدقاء نودع قامة كبرى .. كانت صاحبة قلب أكبر من الدنيا ...إبتسامة هى البهجة الصادقة والحب الدافىء .. شابة الفكر والعقل دوما ... لا تنسى أبدا ذكرى عيد ميلاد لى إلا وحدثتنى ليصبح بدعائها عاما أستقبله متفائلا بعطف كلماتها ودعائها لي .. هى البشاشة والبشر .. التفاؤل هى ..الإيمان أن غدا أفضل حديثها ... يا لها من سيدة وزوجة وأم وجدة ... أطلق الكثيرون إسمها على بناتهم ومنهم شقيقتى ... هى الراحلة العظيمة إسمت عفيفى زوجة عمى المرحوم الدكتور عبد السلام الحمامصى . كانت نوارة الأسرة وحبيبة الكل .. رحلت عن دنيانا مساء أمس ..روح الأصالة باقية بذكرى السمو والرقى التى نذكرها عنها ولا ننساها ..
عودة غدا الى حديث الهمة .. أستأنف رصد المستنقع لعلنا ، وأبنائنا ، وجيل ينتمى إليه أحفاد الراحلة الدكتور عبدالله الكاتب وشقيقاته ،ونعمل جميعا إقتداءا بنزاهة وسمو أخلاق الراحلة وجيلها ، لإعادة البهاء والرونق لأمنا الكبرى مصر ..
أدعو الله عز وجل أن يتغمد فقيدتنا بواسع رحمته ويدخلها فسيح جناته .. نستأنف غدا لقائنا بإذن الله ... بالهمة !...

I'd like to think she's up there pulling my ever so serious grandma's leg and laughing with her. They were so cute together :)

Till we meet again

Monday, August 19, 2013

On Feminism

I am fascinated by Marissa Mayer. She's young (well young-ish), good looking, a recent mother and a CEO. Everything I aspire to be by the age of 38. I recently read this article about Marissa Mayer's fashion sense and how it makes other people - especially women - view her.

It got me thinking about feminism and how when I was younger I always thought feminism meant resembling a man. For a while I renounced the color pink and insisted I liked blue. I thought that dulling yourself up meant you would be taken seriously. The more you resemble your male peers and pretend that your life is just like theirs then you're equal. Somewhere between that 16 year old wanna-be feminist I was and the 30 year old somewhat female supremacist I have become, things changed.
Personally, I feel very confident in my Pink desktop and very pink Microsoft Outlook. I feel no shame in wearing colorful blazers, holding feminine purses and red wallets. I witnessed at work that being a working mother does not make you less productive or less valuable to a company. If you're good, you're good.
My mother's generation had a very different attire at work, they wore boring professional suits while out of work they wore pretty dresses. Now when I look at the female leaders around me in the office, and global leaders such as Marissa Mayer, I see women who dare to wear what they want. Fashionistas that see no need for frumpy boring clothes or manly mannerisms. The stereotype has been broken. I find that women are now more proud in their femininity and uniqueness and understand that they bring something just as valuable to the table.
Now when I look to my generation and those who are younger, the ones next in line to be the leaders I find that things have been pushed even more. It is now essential that you look the part. The bar is raised even higher. Not only do you need to be smart, ambitious and hard working, you need to look well groomed and fashionable while doing it.

It's interesting how looking stylish at work used to be considered as vain and shallow and is slowly transforming into an essential way a woman presents herself.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

On Hormones

It sucks to be a girl sometimes. I suppose I should say woman now, given that I am now without a doubt old enough to be called that. But whatevs.
I believe women are definitely the more superior of genders. I am not just a feminist, I am a female supremacist. Just hear Malala Yousufzadi speak, now find me a 16 year old boy who can speak like that. Case.In.Point.
But the challenge with being a woman is hormones! Your moods, confidence and happiness is tied directly with your hormones. My friend owns a book that describes how every day of your cycle determines how you feel, whether it's confidence, shyness, vulnerability or hunger. When I saw the cover, my instant reaction was like - BS! But it's freaky when you look into it on each specific day and find how it rings true.
Now in general I believe you can change that, and usually I can. If my day isn't going as I want it to go, I pause, take some time, draw out how I want the rest of my day to go and make it happen, regardless of what mother nature has in store.
But the hardest days are those of self doubt. When you just feel like you're constantly making an ass of yourself, that you're not being good enough, intelligent enough, hard working enough, or funny and charming enough and you just feel like an idiot all the time.
It may not necessarily be the hormones but it's how I feel today.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

On Carina Tops

A colleague at work the other day described our culture as a 'Carina Culture'. That expression keeps ringing in my ear.
Carina is a company here that makes synthetic and cotton tops that you wear underneath your clothes. They hold all your wobbly bits in place, and keeps your look Egypt appropriate.
Say you buy a nice top from Mango or H&M. The moment you drop your purse and bend to get it someone will see a little bit more than the acceptable level of decoltage (put 2-3 fingers starting at ur collar bone, there's the acceptable level). Or you lift your arm up in class, your top will rise up showing your back. This is not Egypt appropriate! So we wear Carina tops underneath, however hot it is, to 'protect' ourselves. And god forbid the carina top rolls up, someone will surely pull it down for you on your behalf. Us women have to 'protect'  one another.
Say you're also running to catch a bus or making a quick beeline to the nearest bathroom - us women have small bladders - you wouldn't want to shake what mother earth gave you.  That is not -  say it with me this time - Egypt appropriate. Your trusted carina top will hold you tight.
Now that's not to say that carina tops stop you from getting harrassed in the streets. Those type of pigs won't stop at anything.
It's mainly targeting to 'protect' you from the men you work with or study with. They are not the harrass you in the streets type low lives, they are the judge you based on what you wear type of not quite as low lives.

The Carina culture is that of suppression and shame. Supress your femininity, and accomodate to those of lesser self respect and intellect. And of course be ashamed of your god given assets.

Now that i am in a size that western culture deem normal, my latest travels were quite an experience! (Egyptian culture still deems that size as barely tolerable)
It took me a few days to get rid of the carinas but once i did, i felt confident and liberated. I had nothing to be ashamed of. My body, my size, my femininity were all ok.
Now i am not one to advocate that female empowerment comes from a woman's wardrobe, far from that. But that feeling of shame and needing to be discreet and blend in the background without attracting attention wouldn't that eventually affect how you behave? Doesn't it affect how we behave?

Friday, May 24, 2013

On turning 30

So much has happened since the last time i posted.
I'd like to say the most significant would be the revolution or me buying a house. And well both are quite significant.
But the biggest thing was that I turned 30.
Turning 30 has brought about a new perspective on life, one that includes acceptance. It's stange how calmly i have started embracing my imperfections. I find myself thinking It's ok that i am not a size 10. It's ok that I am too scared to be a vocal political activist. It's ok that I have a stable secure job that is nothing like i ever thought or imagined i would be. It's ok that I am too focused on my own comfort to take a risk.
I keep saying it's for now. In 5 years i will have paid off my house and will have enough of a security net to get out there and paint the world in pink. But am i just digging myself further into a hole of routine and comfort? Am I destined to have been the one with 'so much potential' but that never really did that much with it except work a 9-5?

And then i wonder what's so wrong with a 9-5? I enjoy it, i do fun things from 5 onwards. What's so bad about being comfortable?

I guess 30ies aren't all about acceptance afterall.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

one more time!

In the hopes of reviving my blogging life, I've separated my Blog from my facebook notes. This way I can write more freely.

Let's see if this makes me blog more....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Found it!!

It = a solution that would stop the western world from perceiving Muslims as a bunch of barbaric lunatics who go crazy once someone depicts the Prophet....

A day should be picked where every single magazine, newspaper and cartoon in the world draws a cartoon of the Prophet Mohamed.
The next day, all those extremist Muslims will be going crazy, not knowing who to threaten or who to kill - there will be soooo many to choose from.
Alas, they will decide it's too time consuming to threaten and/or kill all those people and they'll retreat to their mosques and start thinking about other things - like how bad it is to hold your fork with your left hand or something that pivotal.

Everyone gets to draw the cartoon they like, no one dies in the process, problem solved :)

Now i'm going to go watch me some southpark ....