Look up…

Life can get really hectic sometimes. We get caught up in its current and we can’t even find the time to lift our heads and enjoy the night sky. We are asphyxiated on the idea that we must make the most of our time. Every second of our life is spent planning our next move. We’re trapped and we don’t even know it. For some reason, I keep thinking of Narcissus, the man who never grew tired of watching his own reflection. Narcissism…That’s our trap, isn’t it?

I know we don’t spend our days, in front of a mirror, admiring our own beauty. But, we’re trapped within our own existence. We create this tiny little world around us. That’s one of the most pretentious things we tend to do as humans. We think the world  is tailored to suit us. It’s a sad claim really, because in our efforts to make this world “fit”, we started ignoring the bigger picture. We are weak and vulnerable creatures, tiny little things, but the universe we live in is HUGE.

We’re vulnerable. And humans hate that feeling. That’s why anyone gifted by the heavens tries to prove his superiority on his fellow men. We intrinsically strive for power and control. We’re so obsessed with such ideas that we created a society based on hierarchy. We can’t handle the fact that another man is better than us. It makes us feel small in comparison.

So, if we can’t swallow our pride when it comes to other humans, what will we do about this huge universe we’re wandering in? It’s a very basic strategy, we ignore it. We pretend that the sky is some wallpaper wrapped around the earth and that there’s nothing behind it. When in fact, our whole planet is just a tiny little speck of dust. In every which way you choose, you’ll find that the universe goes on and on for millions of kilometers. The twinkling stars, you see every night, are massive suns in the middle of other planetary systems.

Where do we fit in all of this? Well, we don’t have that much of a physical significance. But, at least for now, we’re the only conscious species in existence and we have this whole universe to rule. If we wanted to, each of us could have his own Galaxy. So, tell me why would we trap ourselves in such a vain existence? So, every once in a while, lift your head up, stand in awe in front of the immensity of this universe and remember that you’re Tiny.

Thoughts on : The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay

I have to give credit where credit is due. I really think the last book is a masterpiece, especially the ending. Suzanne Collins did an amazing job keeping the end realistic and not falling under the pressure of the public. These sorts of books tend to have a fairy tale ending, that pleases everyone but doesn’t even come close to what happens in real life.

This book teaches us about the effects of war. War is always destructive. Once the shots are fired, no one is out of harm’s way. For every drop of blood, all of humanity will have to pay the price.

Most young-adult books tend to have this sick notion of heroes. After they won the war, they just go back to their lives as if nothing has happened. You can’t just kill someone and then forget about it. You can’t watch hundreds of people die a horrible death, and then somehow you manage to close your eyes and sleep at night. No one comes out of a war in one piece.

You will be broken, probably for the rest of your life. And, things will never be the same. It doesn’t matter whose life you’re taking, unless you’re one of those brain-washed, blood-thirsty animals that fight in the middle-east, you will have nightmares that will wake you up in the middle of the night, sweating and screaming as if you’re hanging on for dear life. You’ll never be able to focus, because those flashbacks will haunt you day and night, triggered by the slightest thing.

“There are still moments when he clutches the back of a chair and hangs on until the flashbacks are over. I wake screaming from nightmares of mutts and lost children.”

I really think it’s sick to teach children, that taking someone’s life is OK if you’re fighting for the right cause. This notion is reinforced by every american war movie I’ve ever seen. It’s revolting and frankly quite scary. Have you thought about the effects of such indoctrination on kids? You’re basically creating an army of future adults that don’t value human life. Does this ring any bells? You’re creating ISIS.

I am not saying that a war is not justified. In many cases, it is. You would never hear me discourage people from fighting against evil, terror and dictatorship. I’m just saying, you shouldn’t be happy about it. No matter who it is, this person you’re about to kill, he still remains a human being, and you’re still ending someone’s life. You know how much power that gives you: deciding someone’s fate? That should be the choice of God, not a mere human.

Fighting for a great cause is noble and the right thing to do. But, you should mourn every soul, every child that was orphaned. Taking someone’s life should be the last resort. The least amount of people killed, the better. Don’t just throw a bomb from your plane and hope it fell on the right people. Don’t get involved in a war, if you don’t know for sure that violence won’t make things worse. I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.

And, once the war is over, pray each night that you won’t have to go through it again.

“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”

“But one day I’ll have to explain about my nightmares. Why they came. Why they won’t ever
really go away. I’ll tell them how I survive it. I’ll tell them that on bad mornings, it feels impossible to take pleasure in anything because I’m afraid it could be taken away. That’s when Imake a list in my head of every act of goodness I’ve seen someone do.”

 

!!! MUST READ: The Golden Trap of Chess Master Vladimir Putin ~ [must read] ~ [Eng-Rus-Ita]

2012: What's the 'real' truth?

Posted by SyrianFreePress
27ThursdayNov 2014
Thanks to A. 

An article definitely to be spread and read, especially by those who have not well understood the political economic and military strategy of Putin and today’s Russia. (SFP)

putin-chess-vs-eu-usa-529x336

“The Golden Trap of Chess Master Vladimir Putin”

By Dmitry Kalinichenko for Investcafe.ru

Accusations of the West towards Putin traditionally are based on the fact that he worked in the KGB. And therefore he is a cruel and immoral person. Putin is blamed for everything. But nobody ever accused Putin of lack of intelligence.

Any accusations against this man only emphasize his ability for quick analytical thinking and making clear and balanced political and economic decisions.

Often Western media compares this ability with the ability of a grandmaster, conducting a public chess simul. Recent developments in US economy and the West in general allow us to conclude that in this part of the assessment of Putin’s personality…

View original post 2,825 more words

To our countries – Or the tragic fate of the Middle East

One can only stand so much… The wall of lies that we have built around ourselves will collapse. No brute force will bring it down… The tears of a widow, the final breaths of an agonizing child, the screams of a man that has lost all but himself, the trickling blood of a youth that have seen too much… will tear our fortified castles apart.

But how many lives have to be lost before humanity finally sees the truth? How many innocent children have to die before our joyful little bubble bursts? How many dreams have to be crushed? How many homes have to be lost? How many countries have to be destroyed? How many horrifying pictures of amputated, crushed, decapitated children do we have to see?

I am sorry if this causes you any discomfort to hear. But, try to imagine living in these circumstances every day! Imagine waking up one day to see that your father was dragged to a prison he’ll never get out off. Imagine that while you’ve gone to fetch some water, a rocket destroys your home and takes the life of your whole family. Imagine for one second that you’ve lost the right to have an opinion, that if you disagree with some lunatic you’ll lose your life. Imagine that someone idiot breaks inside your house, threatens you with a gun and sells your little girls at the slave market. Imagine that your wife was taken against her will and raped by some savages.

This isn’t the plot of some new block-buster Hollywood movie. It’s the real daily struggle of real men, women and children that found themselves stuck in a war they never wanted, as their country stands helpless, while the super powers play with its fate. I admire these victims, for after witnessing all of these catastrophes, hope still finds a way into their hearts.

Elderly women, in Kobane, Syria, are fighting alongside men and they won’t go down without a fight. Same in Iraq, the youth abandoned their dreams and joined their army without fear. In dear Palestine as well, their home-made rockets stood strong in front of the enormous arsenal of the assailant.

You know why they are fighting for their rights? Because we won’t. Because, we won’t speak up and defend them. Because we prefer to sit comfortably in front of our computers and TVs and ignore their screams. We are selfish and hypocritical. We don’t want to trouble our consciousness with these wars, so we lie to ourselves and say they deserve it. We pretend to support human rights everywhere, so why did we exclude the middle east?

Some day, we’ll see the error of our ways. And, we’ll be sorry. I just hope that there will be someone to forgive us, and that we won’t be talking to tombs.

The two women from the video are Faia and Rihan Younan. They are Syrians living in Sweden. And they have made such a beautiful and truthful video about the state of Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. Here’s the translation of the song:

“Sha’am, (another name for Damascus), the utterance of that word reverberates in my heart… similar to the movement of my eye lashes which resembles that  of the branches of a cedar tree… Sha’am, what is glory, but thee, for yours hasn’t seen its dawn yet…”

Baghdad, the land of poets and beautiful imagery.. You are the “gold” of all ages and its most fragrant one… the land of “One thousand and one nights”, may the moonlight wash thy face..

For Beirut, a peaceful salute from the bottom of my heart, for Beirut… and kisses to your sea and houses… and to your rocks that resemble the face of an old fisherman

For Kuds (the Arabic name for Jerusalem), the city of prayers I pray.  Our eyes travel to you daily… and wander in your holy allies, embracing your old churches and wiping the sorrow off your mosques”

Badr and Esther – Part Three

“… we have began our descent to Frankfurt International Airport, where the temperature is 20°C. We will be in the gate in about twenty minutes. We’d like the flight attendants to prepare the cabin for arrival. Thank you for flying with us today…” Despite his efforts, the pilot failed to hide his thick German accent. His rough voice, coming out of the inter-com, woke Esther up from her light sleep.

The flight was exciting, at first. It was her first time on an airplane. But, after 4 continuous hours, Esther was bored of the same continuous blue sky. The captain had lit the seat-belt sign. And, as if it was their cue, the flight attendants began circling around making sure everyone complied. Esther quickly fastened her seat-belt. The faint metallic click didn’t comfort her fear of crashing down.

The plane was starting to lose its altitude. Now, the view from Esther’s window seat was breathtaking. Green fields were everywhere. The cities, mere grey patches from above, looked like beauty spots on the charming face of nature. She was glad she chose to study in Germany. Her creative mind naturally conceived memories that have yet to happen…

She could already smell the fresh grass, while a gentle breeze embraced her face. Her hands were already caressing the dark soil. Her bicycle would lay on the ground. And she would rest against an old tree, bathing in its shadow with a book on her lap… Esther was on the edge of her seat, eagerly waiting to get off the plane and explore the country she had been dreaming about for a year.

The pilot was now circling over the airport, waiting for clearance to land. After 10 minutes, he finally received the permission from the control tower. As the big Boeing 777 began loosing altitude, Esther clutched her seat, closed her eyes and prayed silently…

***************************************

As he stood next to the luggage carousel, Badr looked around observing the strangers’ faces. It was one of his favorite “hobbies” from when was in Cairo. He would go to the bus stop and pretend to wait for a bus he’ll never ride. Instead, he’d sit for hours and subtly watch, trying to read body language and decipher the reasons behind every shaky hand, watery eye, fast pace…

Observing is a great way to understand a culture. Simply sit silently and watch the busy bee hive that is a city. It takes a lot of patience and skill, since every detail matters and every minor movement has repercussions on a higher scale. But, when you do master this beautiful form of consciousness, you’ll get a glimpse of the truth.

Badr knew that Men will utter the most horrible of lies in order to hide the truth. So he decided to stop asking questions and watch as their tormented subconscious strips them bare of every incoherent fable. Only then will you start seeing patterns. The great high-ways that everyone followed except each had his own lane and traveled at his own pace. Many tried to make their own roads, but the rocky ways were tiresome for most.

So far, he had found that the great Egyptians followed two paths. There were those who would greet you as they walk past you even if you have never met. They are the same people that will pray for you, your parents and your future children when you lend them a hand, or give you the greatest up-lifting, motivational speech when they see you water a plant or pick up street garbage. They were mostly elderly or people whose poverty deprived them from any contact with the complexity of our modern lives. So, they clung tight to the values they inherited from their ancestors. They led a simplistic life, kept their doors open for they trusted everyone, invited every stranger to lunch or to a delicious cup of tea. And as long as you respect them, you will be treated as a son, a brother and a friend. They are the ones who’d wake up at sunrise every day to pray in the street mosque and sleep just after the night prayer. They would break their fast together, in Ramadan, and share whatever they could afford with their poor wages ,with those who were even less fortunate. They were all just one big family.

On the other lane, however, one might find the exact opposite: those who covet money above everything. They have ruptured every bond with their past, forgot every tradition and adopted “modernity” as a way of life. They live in fancy west-like neighborhoods where everyone is a stranger and drive luxury cars that would occasionally hit a homeless child and gets away with it without a prosecution. They look down on the poor, take advantage of them and steal their money. They pretend to be pious but their actions tell a different story. Guilt has yet to find a way to penetrate their hearts. Sadly, the corrupt state protects them. That’s why many started to indulge in these unhealthy habits. They become haunted by the desire to earn more and more. It would pain them to give a spare Dirham to an old famished beggar, even though their great fortune won’t suffer. Greed traps them eventually and makes them unable to enjoy life, for their minds are always calculating their losses.

Then, there were those who are trapped in the middle, mostly young men and women like himself. They are torn between these two different worlds, not knowing if they should follow the strict traditions of the past or break free from every moral restraint. Poverty was a big problem in Egypt. And the new generation was eager to get rid of it, that’s why the “modern” life style seems so appealing. It’s the fast guaranteed way to money. Still, making that choice wasn’t easy thanks to their up-bringing. It was really hard to sever the ties and erase every lesson their parents have taught them. In fact, Badr was sure that most preferred the “old” way that left them unsatisfied. After a couple of years, few remained in the middle. Life forced them to make a choice. And to Badr, many seemed to be making the wrong one.

Badr finally spotted his bags. He clutched them as they slid beside him and headed towards the exit. A young brunette was pushing her luggage close to him. He let her go first through the exit. She smiled at him and thanked him. Badr followed her and found his host family waiting for him. As he shook hands with the people he’d be spending a year with, he noticed that the young brunette was doing the same. Was she an exchange student as well? The young brunette was in fact Esther.

Source: Stadt Frankfurt am Main, Photo: H.D.Fehrenz

Nominated for the LIEBSTER award!

Yes, I felt the need to capitalize LIEBSTER. After all, it’s not every day that you get nominated to a Liebster Award. AH Liebster, what a beautiful word! First of all, I’d like to apologize to Shruti for keeping you waiting. Sorry! I think we have some sort of war going on between us. Don’t worry it’s nothing serious. It’s only a nomination war! I hit her with her a Lovely Blog  Award and she retaliated with the mighty Liebster Award. It’s a fiery war! Nah, I’m kidding with the war thing. We’ve got enough wars going on in this word, we don’t need another. Shruti is a great blogging friend and a talented writer. I bet she’s not a bad dentist either. My healing wisdom tooth is a proof of it. Go visit her blog.

Now, if you survived my humor without permanent psychological damage, I will present the rules:

 

The Official Rules of the Liebster Award:

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
  3. Answer 11 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
  4. Provide 11 random facts about yourself.
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 1000 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  6. Create a new list of questions for the blogger to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.

And now, I present to you my odd answers:

1 .  Which era would you like to be born in and why ?

Well, the future is unknown and the past is gone. (corniest quote ever but still true). I am stuck with the present era then. I admit it’s not the greatest era of all time, but it’s all we have. So leave the past behind and let the future unfold itself. Right now, let’s deal with our problems. And trust me, we have them in all flavors, so pick one.

2 . Jungle safari or snorkeling ?

Fill the safari with water and do Jungle Safari Snorkeling.

3 . One movie you never get tired of watching and why ?

500 days of summer. One of the all time greatest romance movies. It’s so unique and funny.

4 .  What is it that attracts others to you ?

My very bitter sarcasm. Oh wait, that’s what drives them away. 😛

5 . If you were to choose a fictional character to marry , he/she would be ?

Tough question since I’m no longer attracted to fictional characters! All I’m saying is, it used to be Hermione Granger.

6 . If Einstein made a surprise stop over at your place , you would ……… ?

Get some tea, fill him up on the current events  and have a discussion about religion, philosophy and science.

7 . Your definition of happiness would be …. ?

To live at peace with everything and everyone.

8 . If you are a skin changer or have the ability to transform into any living being what would you be ?

Thank you but I am very happy with my humble looks.

9 . Sweet or savory ?

Savory.

10 . One quality you wish you had ?

Humility: to be free from pride and arrogance.

11 . You were to wake up either in a deserted island home to cannibals and wild beasts or in a haunted mansion no one would dare to venture , where would it be and with whom ? ( you cannot go back to sleep 😀 )

I would prefer the haunted mansion since I do not believe in ghosts. And I’ll take a dog with me, in case there are ghosts. (According to the movies, dogs sense them and bark: my cue to get the hell out of there).

11 facts about me:

1- This is the first time I’ve used the Bold feature in a post.

2- That might be a lie.

3- I don’t want to bore you guys with real facts.

4- I stole this excuse from Shruti.

5- These facts suck.

6- I wrote the nominees just under this section.

7- I wrote my questions just under the nominees.

8- I am skipping to 11.

11- I am a very odd person.

Here are my nominees:

1-  Shruti

2- Takeshi

3- Lola June @ Opposite the Border

4- aakifahm

5- mykulmitch

6- blueemuse

7-  maria9saif

8- Hope Nwosu

9-  juicyjooj

10- thenadlog

My questions: 

1- When did your passion for writing ignite?

2- Do you find yourself at ease when you’re surrounded by people or when you’re alone?

3- Name a book/quote/movie that inspired you to live this way.

4- Were the people that changed your life enemies or friends?

5- What are the things you value in this world?

6- Tea or Coffee?

7- Did you follow your parent’s footsteps or did you create your own way?

8- What’s the most valuable lesson life has taught you?

9- Optimistic or pessimistic about the way our world is heading?

10- One quality you wish you had.

11- Dou you believe we can reach perfection?

Thought for Food

I rarely have lunch outside. When I say rarely, I mean I can spend years without stepping inside a restaurant. And, so after 2 years of eating at home, you’d expect me to jump joyfully when I was invited. But, no I was practically dragged to go.

I don’t really enjoy eating outside. Thanks to the internet, I have nightmares about the germs in public places. Even though, this was a fancy restaurant, it was also busy. The workers are mere humans, they will make mistakes. That’s why I was reluctant to use the cutlery and the cups. I didn’t even touch the door handle. There was no way I was going to touch it after 100000 greasy dirty hands used it. I sort of jumped inside when the guy in front of me opened it.

The food is a big issue as well. For the past year or so, I’ve been considering vegan-ism. I have come across many documentaries exposing the horrifying treatment of animals. And, honestly, despite all my efforts, it made feel bad about my eating habits. I struggled to admit that vegans are right because I falsely assumed it contradicted my faith. There was another issue as well: there are no vegan products around here. So, for now, I am still eating meat and dairy. However, I always make sure the animals were treated as humanely as possible. In a restaurant, however, the humane way costs a lot of money. I just hope that the owner wasn’t too greedy and that the food won’t make me sick.

Another thing I hate about restaurants is that the food is either too much or not enough. In my case, it was the first. Seriously, the salad alone would’ve been enough. Since I didn’t know the salad was designed to fill a horse, I naturally ordered a main dish. Instantly, an internal conflict arose: Either, I leave the food to be thrown in the garbage or I force it down my throat. I opted for the latter. To remind you, I hate this food since it’s cruelty-full. But, I ate it. 😦

There is one good thing about restaurants. I met the french actress Julie Delpy and the american pop-star Taylor Swift. It was amazing. They sat with me and we had fun. They were super nice. Julie re-enacted some scenes from her movies. You see, I have a habit of meeting celebrities, so I brought a guitar just in case. So, Taylor played us some songs. Nah, I’m just kidding. But, the two women at the next table really looked like them.

Thought for Food Logo.jpg

                                                                     Source: The Colbert Report

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