Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012: It's on!

Dear Friends, far and near;

This is going to be long and very mushy -very unlike me, but please bear with me (It's 3 am here so keep that in mind). Before giving you my blessings for the new year, I would like to share some thoughts of things I've learnt and the year gone by:

* Have a silly, 7ashkal favourite song to help raise your spirits (mine is this)
* Laugh whenever you get the chance to
* Learn to laugh at yourself
* Fall in love as often as you can. A person, a place, a thing, an animal, a thought, a prayer, whatever. Just learn to love and appreciate what is in front of you
* If you don't like something, change it. If your life isn't what you pictured it to be, change it.
* Talk about your feelings with someone, cheaper than seeing a shrink, better than popping antidepressants and being numb
* Be selfish and selfless, each in the right time and place
* Have at least one person that you can share your deepest, darkest and craziest thoughts with... it will keep you sane. (Tried and tested)
* Be kind, even if you feel like slapping/punching/seriously injuring the person in front of you
* Step outside your comfort zone; that is where the adventure that is life begins
* Try to keep the past in the past... there is no point in dwelling over what has been already said and done, Shoulda's, coulda's and woulda's are roads you do not want to go down, EVER.
* Don't let your mind over analyse. Learn to make it shut up and be quiet
* Be your best cheerleader instead of your worst critic
* Discover something new about yourself each day
* Read to enrich your soul and feed your imagination
* Sing out loud, even if you can't carry a tune and your voice is so bad it would shatter glass
* Stand up for what you believe in
* Share your knowledge, time, and material possessions
* Dance, especially to your own tune
* Be spiritual, not religious. Seek out the truth of all things and find a higher power to believe in
* Allow your imagination and your thoughts to wander, you will be surprised at where they take you
* Ask questions
* Learn to smile while your world crashes around you
* Enjoy the silence, and be comfortable with it
* Embrace chaos
* Learn to shoot a gun properly- very liberating and awesome when you manage a bullseye!
* Enjoy when you can, endure when you must
* Make friends with your inner demons
* Hold on to your memories- good or bad- for they are your greatest treasures

2011 had some very interesting twists and turns, and I personally learnt a lot. We should all attempt to learn from the heartaches, heartbreaks, headaches, boo-boos and meltdowns in order to grow as beings and flourish into what we can be. I truly believe 2011 was my year, it may have started out great and progressively got worse toward the end, but it was a great year overall.

I would not change the major events that took place in 2011. I started my masters (positive), semi-temporarily moved out (positive), got sucked into major family issues (negative), moved onto blaming America for everything (positive twist on things), and have finally embraced the fact that I am responsible for my own sanity and well being. There were more negatives than positives, but I shall not dwell on them, I choose to walk away from them. I am grateful for a lot too. I am grateful for my sister, even if I do not say it often enough. She is my rock. I am grateful for my friends, they know how insane I can be, and yet they still decide to remain in my life. Most of all, I am grateful to myself, as conceited and self involved as that sounds. I got myself this far, and I know I can get even further if I put my mind to it.

Peeps, may 2012 be a wonderful year that is filled with joy and much happiness, coupled with wealth and health. I love you all so much, I miss you all more than I will ever confess and I am very lucky to have met/known each and every one of you. I somehow managed to surround myself with purely awesome people that light up my world and make every day a little more bearable to go through.

Always remember: be as big as the sky, calm as the sea, tall as a mountain and solid as the Earth.

Happy New Year!

Love, hugs, and many, many, maaaaaaaaaaaany kisses,

Monday, December 26, 2011

I wrote this for you

Click here for blog

"And in you and in all of us, there is nothing more than the capacity to be a force for, or a force against. And to wonder, how many people wake up each morning and can't decide if they want to save the world, or destroy it."

From here

Friday, December 23, 2011

For my batta 2

When my little niece was first born, she was a teeny tiny little thing. She was the tiniest and first baby that I ever held. My sister had to have a C-section, and so I went over to help her out in any way I can. I am telling you all this because you need to understand that although she was teeny tiny, she had MASSIVE lungs. She would cry and snort and cry some more. The only remedy?

This song:

and, this song:

I wonder if she they would still work in calming her down... probably not. She has moved onto Barney and the crew since then.

On hugs and the internet

From here

Thursday, December 22, 2011

On nothing...

I found this on a blog, fell in love with it, and had to share:

January has issues with her mother, February is always talking about things he wants to do while March does them, April eats sweets and May pays for them, June is the oldest but not the wisest and July always has an opinion on everything. August never stops trying do the right thing, even if he doesn't always know what that is. September once saw something so sad, she never stopped crying. October holds the lift for anyone, vice-presidents and street-sweepers alike (for his memory, not for theirs) and November makes fun of him for this. December is tired but always hopeful. He has never once stopped believing.
Monday's obviously a bastard, quite literally as dad can't remember what or who he was doing. Tuesday's temperamental but ok as long as you stay on her good side. Wednesday doesn't say much and Thursday sometimes hums just to break the silence. They're in love. Friday's always wasted and she and Saturday hold each other tightly until their delirium fades.
But Sunday, Sunday knows she's the end. But she closes her eyes, and she pretends with all the strength in her tiny heart that really, she's the dawn.

From here.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

On feeling special

I was skyping with Clau yesterday, asking her for any advice on writing a thesis when she offered to send me the one she wrote to use as a reference point. I welcomed the gesture as truth be told, I have never seen a thesis before.

Anyway, fast forward to just 15 minutes ago, true to her word, Clau sent me her thesis. I started to glance at it when I found her acknowledgement. I started to read it and, you know what? I am SO quoting it!!!!!!

"Berry (of course she used my real name), my friend who may be far away but has never been far from my heart who has always pushed and encouraged me to finish this research." 
 Is that not the sweetest thing ever? I was so caught off guard that I sat there and wept like a blubbering idiot for a few minutes.

Clau, I Heart you!!!!

Oh, and thanks, I feel SO special. You made my day.  =D

Monday, December 12, 2011

On the Palestinian struggle

Palestinians really are resilient people. They were forced out of their homes, had their lands stolen, had to watch others take over their beloved olive trees and tear them to the ground. Those of the diaspora go through their entire lives feeling displaced, like aliens living in far off foreign lands. Those that are in the Occupied Territories fight for their right to exist on a daily, no, an hourly basis.

No, the old did not all die, and the young will never forget, Golda Mier. If you expect Palestinians to "forget" your horrendous and despicable crimes against them and against humanity, then maybe it is high time you forget the holocaust. How does that sound? Delete it from history, turn it into a taboo subject and let us see what becomes of you then. It just baffles me how Israel managed to skew history, how it managed to change so much of it. How did you get away with all of that? How did the Global community allow it? I'll tell you how, they did not want you in their country, so they made you somebody else's problem.

If one would only read history books, from different sources and authors, they would realize that during the holocaust gypsies, handicapped, short, dark-skinned and even Arab people were tortured and killed. Yes, Arabs have had a taste of the holocaust as well. They then welcomed you to their land, shared their bread and salt with you and overnight, Israel was created and nothing was the same ever again.

Earlier this week, Newt Gingrich publicly and without an ounce of decency, claimed that Palestinians were "an invented" people. He claimed that Palestinians are nothing but an extension of the Ottoman Empire. I say? Bull Shit. If that is the case, then we are all "invented" people. Does he actually think that America was there since the beginning of time? What about England? Israel? Lebanon? Saudi Arabia? All countries are relatively new. A Country does not define a nation, a nation is what defines a country. It is the shared set of beliefs, traditions, cultures, psyche, history, language and so much more that make up a nation, which in turn becomes a Country. Palestinians do have their own language and their own culture, Mr. Landau, no matter how much you wish otherwise. They forget that the word Palestine comes from the word Filistines, which is the name of the people that lived there for centuries upon centuries. They forget that Palestinians have a distinct dialect, have a unified culture and heritage. They forget such important details oh so easily.

You ask why Palestinians hate the Israelis so much, you call them terrorists and anti-semetics. However, who is the anti-semite here? Palestinians do not fight Judaism, no matter how hard the media tries to push for that. They fight the occupation. they fight for their right to live in the same country where their ancestors lived. They fight for the right to return. They fight for freedom. They fight for humanity. They. Fight. For. Humanity. Israel kills both Muslims and Christians daily. The USA has waged a war against terror which, at it heart, fights Islam. Who is anti-semetic now?

Yesterday, a 28 year old Palestinian male was murdered in Palestine by Israelis. Why? Good question. he was using a teeny, tiny slingshot.  A slingshot that would not even leave a mark on a tank. A slingshot that will not save him in the face of a gun. A slingshot is what got him murdered. Please do not talk about terrorism, about human rights, about peace until you revise your ways. Israel has so much to answer for, and the USA has to answer to even more as it is its biggest and greatest supporter. Human rights... puh-leeeeeez. These two countries can not even define the words right. Terrorism? These countries keep terrorising others time and again, without any justification or truth. Remember the Qana massacre of Lebanon in 1996 where Israel massacred a whole village filled with women, children and old people... not to mention UN employees. Did they have to answer to that? No. Were they held responsible? No. What about the Jenin massacre of 2002? Israel is still denying that, despite the many  evidence against it. The USA invaded Iraq even though it never found those weapons of mass destruction. So many American lives have been lost in this so-called "war against terror" and for what? Lies and more lies? At least Palestinians do not go invading other people's countries. At least they do not go in there waving a big ass gun and pointing it at your little kids, all the while screaming at them to give them a certain name. They do not rape your women, they do not kill your unborn children. They fight the occupation, not the civilian people. They fight to live, you fight to kill Israel. That is the difference.

Palestinians will fight for their right. One day, the world will wake up and support them. Palestinians have the greatest weapons at their disposal: the truth, and hope of a better future. No one can take that away from them, not even ignorant asses that are dressed up in suits playing politics.

Please check the links for a clearer idea of what I am talking about.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011


"All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others"
- George Orwell, Animal Farm

On friends

My friend Yoyo is in town for a conference and I went out for lunch with her a few days ago. At lunch, I told her about my newest shocking personal experience in the dating field. Her answer? Blame America, it is the root of all evil. If they hadn't invaded his country, he wouldn't have come here, he wouldn't have met you and you wouldn't have gone through it. Priceless, pure wisdom. Even my lack of a love life can be blamed on America, isn't that a nice thought?

Yesterday was probably one of the best nights out that I've had in a long while. I went out to dinner with Yoyo and Nan, my oldest friends, where they surprised me with a birthday cake- one month after my bday- because one was away, and I was sick and didn't get to enjoy it. How sweet is that?

After, I went over to Nan's place and we just chilled, drank wine, and talked till the morning. I love having these two around, everything just somehow seems simpler, effortless, easy and clear. From Dr. Hell's classes to America intervening in my life, everything somehow made sense this morning. Oh, and no, being hungover is not the reason for that because almost 19 hours later, they still make sense.

On creativity

Wow, this videoclip for Adele's Chasing Pavements is truly amazing. The amount of skill and patience that it too is incredible. The dancers truly are inspiring with their pavement dance.

Awesome, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

So proud

My friend was an extra in a movie this summer, and the movie trailer just came out. He is in the trailer!!! I'm SO proud, and I promised to share with the whole world. So, world, are you ready?

Ever wondered whether or not a donkey and a jackass were the same?
Here is your answer:

"Pertaining to animals, the answer is yes.
A donkey, an ass, and a burro, are all the same name for the same beast. Jackass, is merely the name for a male ass, while jennett, not jillass, is the name for a female ass.
The Ancient Egyptians domesticated the sturdy ass over 5,000 years ago, for use as transportation, and to transport their belongings and commodities. This form of cheap labor, of which there are many kinds, spread throughout the world, and uses of the ass expanded to include the skin off of the ass, the meat off of it's bones, and the actual export of the ass as a commodity.
The Somali wild ass, hailing from Somalia and elsewhere in Africa, is a prime example of the versatility of the ass, as these shy animals, living together in groups of 5-20, adapt well to the desert climate, and can exist on a diet of dry grass and shrubs. The over-depletion of the versatile Somali wild ass, however, explains its rarity today. Asian wild asses, for example, the Syrian wild ass, suffered a similar fate, and can no longer be found in Syria, and in other parts of the Middle East. Man has hunted the Nubian wild ass, a northeastern African type, once living from the Nile to the Red Sea, almost to the point of extinction. Certain groups are attempting to protect the few remaining asses from being hunted and killed.
The modern ass, a descendent of the Nubian wild ass, meets the same transportation needs in Mexico, and in Central America, as it did in Ancient Egypt."
Mmm, I think the person who wrote this was overjoyed at the potential of using "ass" in an article.
Just sayin...

From here

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

On Concordia

I haven't had time to miss Montreal recently, but during the examination period, I REALLY missed it. I miss the old office I used to stay at 24/7 that no longer exists. I miss Montreal freezing winter. I miss Montreal streets. I miss the Montreal hustle and bustle. Mostly, I miss being easily able to find a place to study, and a place to just relax, and I miss those places being not more than a 10 minute walk away.

Here, university life, SUCKS.

So, in an attempt to transport myself to Montreal in 30 seconds, I popped in my Discordia DVD. I know this sounds stupid, but every time I recognized someone in that movie I just had a huge grin on my face.

Ahhh, Concordia. university life only belongs to you. You make it interesting and exciting.

I miss you. I miss Montreal more though ;)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Rewind: Alternate Future

I was going through some old posts when I saw this one talking about the alternate future I could have had. Funny thing is, my current program is an MSc. Int'l business.

See? If it is meant to be, someday and somehow, it will be.

Please explain

Why do most guys think it is appropriate to adjust their "junk" in public? Seriously, it is plain wrong. When you are walking/standing/anything in public, you are in PUBLIC! People can see what you are doing, and trust me, most people really don't want to see your hand reach down there to adjust your b-, errrr, junk.

This is becoming a recurring problem at the university where I study, and no, it isn't sexual harassment if most of them do it, unconsciously. It is just disturbing.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Blog Design

So, which is better? This new yet dark take on this blog, or the old pinky/girly one???

Saturday, December 3, 2011

On UAE turning 40

I am not one to go insane on National day here, but I have to admit that the joy and happiness everyone radiates is contagious. You simply can not feel miserable, you can not feel sad, and you certainly can not ignore it; people are happy and it makes you happy.

The celebrations and the parades were insane this year, it is almost midnight and it is still SO noisy out there. People are singing and dancing in the streets, they are honking their car horns, spraying each other with crazy spray and everyone is enjoying it. They even turned their flashy and expensive cars into moving portraits reflecting the country and its leaders.

What I find to be amazing is how many people from all nationalities join in these celebrations. It is the one day where everyone is friends with everyone, where all the social barriers are broken, where everyone joins each other in celebrations. Amazing and awesome. Too bad people do not feel as "brotherly" the rest of the year... but that is a blog for a different day.

I share with you some pictures of this weekend:

bird's eye view

even joined in with a doodle

I LOVED this car. So creative. The guy was also super happy that I was taking pictures, he actually thanked ME!

This is him insisting that he wants to be in the picture

This is Sheikh Zayed, may he rest in peace, Founder of the Emirates and the First ruler of it and Abu Dhabi.

singing and dancing in the street 

I love how the flag is focused in this pic, while everything else is blurred. No photoshop, just pure talent