The pursuit of empathy…

I’m lovin’ this!!

The nagging urge of swirling thoughts in one’s minds.. thoughts that demand to be blogged.

How I missed this! Since I started this new blog and stopped writing on “Salma Asks“, I recall chasing this feeling for the past two years… the feeling of having to stop everything to JUST WRITE WHAT’S GOING ON.

I realize that I have complained about this in  “Outrageous”, “Bla bla.”, “Happy Ending“, “I’m Good”, “29 April“, “18 مايو – شئ سخيف“, “#Truce”, “On hope“… basically, I have been complaining about it in most of my public and private blog posts.

Continue reading “The pursuit of empathy…”

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Some gratefulness needed…

Just a couple of hours ago I wrote this status on my facebook:

So it’s not some news that we live in a chauvinistic patriarchal piece of shit society that celebrates/encourages elitism, sexism & racism everyday. It’s not news that I will be judged even for this status though it’s true.

I was just subjected to sexual harassment though I’ve been doing my best and spending a lot of my money on private transports to avoid it. I don’t want to complain or whine much. I know that there are much stronger women than me who go through much bigger fights in their lives to survive. I’m only angry… because I believe in myself and in my strength. I’m raised to get my own shit done and not to depend on anybody, and the fact that I’m perceived weak and an easy target only because I’m a woman keeps frustrating me.

Despite this negativity surrounding us everywhere, I’ll try to write a blog post and count the things I’m blessed to have.. may be this would help turn down the level of anger I’m at currently.

So here we go.. I’ll try to list 10 things I’m grateful for.

  • I am grateful for the ability to seek advice when needed, and to try trusting my heart always.
  • I am grateful for finding many paths to seek knowledge and know more about myself and the huge world we live in.
  • I am grateful for trying to see beauty in every small thing in life… a good song on my long commute on the Ring Road can make me see the ugly buildings less ugly, and the green land greener..
  • I am grateful for the life-lessons I’m being constantly given. I’m grateful for standing up after falling every time.
  • I’m grateful for my mum’s existence. We might be different in every aspect, but I can’t live without her unlimited love.
  • I am grateful for having the ability to fight for hope, for love and for the lost dreams.
  • I’m grateful for being healthy, for being able to survive the current cruel economic situation.
  • I’m grateful for these people in my life, who help fix me when I get broken.
  • I’m grateful for music; for always a good song can help one pass any tough day or celebrate any good one.
  • I’m grateful for my stubbornness… to help me be the leader of my own destiny.

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وجع دماغ يومي

بابتسم من كتر حبي للعالم
بابتسم من كتر خوف وعيت عليه
في محاولة مستميتة للرجوع للكتابة (بالعربي بالذات) بما انها كانت من أكثر الطرق المفضّلة لي ف التعبير عن النفس، قررت أرجع أكتب بشكل اسبوعي كنوع من التأمل الذاتي الارتجالي لحد ما ادخل على ربع قرن+١ في هذا العالم كمان شهر.
 الحياه بقت محاولة يومية في النجاه من اتخاذ قرارات مصيرية والاستمتاع بالانفاس اللي بتخرج ومبترجعش.
٢٠١٧ كانت السنة اللي بارجع فيها لروحي.. السنة اللي باسمح لكل الوجع انه يخرج عشان ارجع اتنفّس تاني
وكان لازم عشان دة يحصل اني اسمح تاني لنفسي اكون
empathetic
 مع العالم واسمح لكل اوجاع العالم انها تتسرسب جوايا واحسّ بيها
من غير ما احس بالخزي من حساسيتي المفرطة اللي طول عمري بحارب معاها
ساعات كتير بالوم نفسي اني وعيت على قبح الدنيا من بدري… كان نفسي اعيش حياه ابسط تقتصر على وجع الحياه اليومية الفردية فقط. يمكن ف يوم هاقدّر الهبة دي اكتر، لكن لما يسألوني ازاي كنتي بتبصّي لهبة ال
empathy
في سن ال ٢٥؟
هقولهم كنت بابصلها انها لعنة ومستعدة اتخلّص منها في معظم الاوقات.
احنا حالياً بنحارب اكتر من حربنا وقت الثورة مع الفساد والبطش والظلم… احنا كل يوم بنحارب اننا نفضل نحب الحياه واحنا بنشوف حلمنا اللي كان طاير واتضرب بالنار ف الهوا.. وبقاله سنين بيقع بالتصوير البطئ.
كل يوم فيه حرب شخصية جداً وانسانية جداً عشان تفكّر نفسك ان الحياه لسه فيها أمل وحب وأحلام
مش سهل ترجع تحلم وتأمل تاني بعد ما اكبر ايمان وحلم ليك وقع
ومش بسيطة كل المحاولات ان يفضل عندك انسانية ومساحة حرية وسط كل هذا القدر من النفاق والسطحية والسماجة

و لسه الحب نبراسي و ف راسي لكنه خجول
و بسمه صغيره تحاول تفك الاسر

لسه عندي أمل ان الحب يكون الأمل في النجاه… عندي أمل تجاوز كل الكسوف من ايماني ببعض كليشيهات الرومانسية والثقة
المفرطة والساذجة في الناس
علفكرة، لسه باتعاطف مع ابطال السوبر هيروز في x-men و hunger games و The Dark Knight trilogy
وببقى فاهمة ليه بيحاولوا يتجنبوا الوجع بشتّى الطرق قبل ما يقرروا ياخدوا الخطوة
في يوم من الايام كنت مؤمنة ان كل واحد فينا سوبر هيرو، ويقدر يحقق اي حاجة
بس هما كسبوا لما اتزرع ف نفسي الخوف، وقررت ان مفيش حاجة تستاهل اقايض روحي بيها

Continue reading “وجع دماغ يومي”

What’s Going On? – May 2017 Playlist

Have you ever been in this phase?

When you feel there is a constant soundtrack in the background of your everyday life. And you’re constantly thinking what song/track would fit the background of this very moment.

Well, I have been feeling that for this past year, and it’s AWESOME! Life is a lot of fun with constant music amplifying our senses and igniting our empathy.

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Here are few of the songs that are constantly stuck in my mind. They represent my 25th year on this earth, the year of existentialism and a constant “What’s going on?” astonishment.

1- 4 Non Blondes – What’s Up (1992)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NXnxTNIWkc

 

An extra: The cover song from Sense8, an epic show I’m obsessed about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiqmrpiC1zQ

What's_Up
2- Alanis Morissette – Ironic (1995)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jne9t8sHpUc
3- Tania Saleh – Lazim لازم
https://soundcloud.com/taniasaleh/lezim-got-to
4- Florence & The Machine – Dog Days Are Over (2010)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWOyfLBYtuU

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5- Lemonada – Abali عبالي
https://soundcloud.com/jailan-lshafie/lemonada-abali
6- Aida El Ayoubi – Warda fi Geneina وردة في جنينة
https://soundcloud.com/heba3osman/warda
7- Billy Joel – She’s Always A Woman (1977)
https://youtu.be/kI3MwwWYC3Q…
8- Amy Winehouse – Love Is A Losing Game
https://youtu.be/nMO5Ko_77Hk…
9- Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This (2014)
https://youtu.be/PaKr9gWqwl4…

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10- Massar Igbari – Kanet Hatefre2 كانت هتفرق – (2015)
https://youtu.be/gQgNSePcr1Q…
11- Twenty One Pilots – Not Today (2015)
https://www.youtube.com/watch…
12- Sia – Alive (2015)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2NgsJrrAyM
13- The Fray – You Found Me
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFg_8u87zT0
14- Sia – Bird Set Free (2015)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrT_0J6m6y8

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15- Imagine Dragons – Believer (2016)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wtfhZwyrcc

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16- The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN1WwnEDWAM
17- AVICII – Feeling Good (2015)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S565hk5T7SA
18- Birdtalker – Heavy (2016)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdrSSRYgfVk
19- Young the Giant – Cough Syrup (2011)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAsTlnjvetI
20- Emma Stone – Audition/The Fools Who Dream (La La Land) (2016)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrgXegJiTq4

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إنني أريد أن آخذ حقي من الحياة عنوة. أريد أن أعطي بسخاء، أريد أن يفيض الحب من قالب فينبع ويثمر.”

ثمة آفاق كثيرة لابد أن تزار، ثمة ثمار يجب أن تقطف، كتب كثيرة تقرأ، وصفحات بيضاء في سجل العمر، سأكتب فيها جملاً واضحة بخط جرئ.”

My word is free #11Feb

I can do this.

I have been trying to write this blogpost for a while now. But there is an inner conflict going here between me and myself.

My present-self keeps doubting her words and her thoughts. She doesn’t want to share them because she thinks that it doesn’t matter anymore… or that her words might get her in trouble. My present-self has been avoiding trouble for around three years now in hopes of living a normal-like life. But my revolutionary-younger-self is trying to push me up. She’s telling me that my thoughts are still worth of being documented and shared like in the old times. And that one day my future-self might need to read them when in doubt or when she needs to remember who she is.

Anyways, I don’t want to confuse you anymore. My younger-self obviously won that argument. Here I am trying to put out there what I am currently thinking. It’s not going to be as elequoent as I’d like to believe some of previous writings were… but it doesn’t matter at this point. I just want to succeed in finishing that blog post.

Today marks a somewhat holy memory to many of us out there. The day when we thought we win. Six years ago, I thought this was the happiest day of my life.. or of our collective lives as Egyptians. We had just got back home from the square, and in less than an hour he stepped down. We screamed and yelled in euphoria. We went down to the streets, and celebrated. We chanted “People and the army are one hand.”

I woke up the next morning, and I went straight to the square. Without planning ahead I went to help in cleaning the effect of 18 days of protesting and the sit-ins. We cleaned like the square was our home or even more. I even picked up the cigarette stubs! A friend took a picture of me there looking exhausted yet happy and proud. I thought this was the beginning of our time to be in charge of our destiny. Six years later, I realize that I couldn’t be more wrong… or could I?

11 February 2011
Taken by Salma H. 11.02.2011

Honestly, I thought this day would still be painful to me just like I know it is for many of us. But the truth is, I am blessed with a weird selective memory that keeps forgetting A LOT of things without me having any choice in it. And I do believe it is for the best. After all, truth be told, these past six years have been transformational in a lot of ways some of which were not very pleasant. They had excruciating pain. So, the ability not to remember a lot of what happened and what I witnessed may be is a big factor in why I am still alive and breathing, and how I managed to survive till now. You think I’m being a drama queen? You have every right, but those who lived and shared these memories with me probably know I’m not.

May be the time has come to finally admit it: I do not regret taking part of this “revolution/movement/uprising/riots/anarchy”, but I am fully aware now that I might have revolted for the wrong reasons. At one point I used to think that the head of the regime was the sole devil and the reason for all the people’s misery. My mind kept switching between other vile politicians to blame. But in the end, they were not. The people keeps choosing to let this happen. And when I protested out there risking my life several times, my main trigger is that I wanted fair and justice to the people and myself. May be I shouldn’t have gone all that for the people. At least this is what I’m thinking of now. I’m not sure if it’s a phase, or I’m still channeling anger over people letting others die and ignoring it. Nevertheless, I think I would/should have done it for myself.

My only consolation, is that the rebellion lives within me. Hadn’t I gone through this incredible life-changing experience quite early in my life, I wouldn’t have gone closer to knowing who I truly am, and what my core values are. I wouldn’t have known that there is so much potential in me than I realize. And so like I once told a friendly British guy, I shifted my focus to my small daily personal revolution. I fight trying to protect my own identity, and keeps reminding myself that no one can suck the joy I find in little things out of my heart.

A couple of days ago I went to the book fair to attend Ahmed Khair’s signing session for his book “Min Al Shibak“. I didn’t know what the story is going to be about, and had I known, I honestly doubt that I would have read it. They were short stories that details real testimonies from the “deportation truck”. The irony here was I bought around 11 other novels from the book fair that falls under the same genre “comedy/hilarious/light” books. Yes, I have been avoiding all things that would trigger my empathy. I selfishly made a choice to keep on with my life and forget those who lost theirs. And with reading few pages, I felt instantly that these testimonies are real. Are we the only ones who are going to read these stories, get affected by them knowing that there is so little we can do? May be for those behind bars, that’s so much hope and more.

A lot of the time I ask myself whether any of my actions in the past were a reason for how someone lost his life or was put away in prison. The thought even frightens me. The guilt is there, deep inside my mind, and I doubt I’ll ever get rid of it… how come you got away alive while others didn’t.

I don’t know how to end this blog post, except by saying, that no matter what happens next, we still have our memories. My head will still remain high, for I never wanted any harm for anybody. I demanded justice and fairness for the people. I still have hope it will come true, and I might live to witness that day. My dreams still live. I hope to have a conversation with my revolutionary-younger-self one day and tell her, that I hadn’t given up on us.