Can someone please explain …

what exactly have they started renting?

*the sign reads, we have started renting*

This is a public service announcement

Ramadan Kareem.

You don’t need me to tell you that you should be good boys and girls, be spiritual, pray more and devote more of your time to doing good stuff.

Instead I will point you to these two articles:  {Hydrating foods} and {Putting a warm lemon in my water can do what}

Unless you are in the southern hemisphere (if you are, then lucky you) then you know it is going to be a challenge fasting in this heat.  So eat smart, drink lots of water, munch on raw fruits and vegetables and have a happy spiritually fulfilling month isa.

A rooster taking a walk in a Salmiya neighborhood

This was taken this morning in Salmiya not in some rural area.

I kid you not!  I have nothing against urban chicken farming, but this is surreal.  Thankfully the rooster or chickens did not cross the road or I would have had to ask them why.

I am afraid of chickens.

Email Conversations

My sister and I had this email exchange yesterday

Reema: Away keda ya wadee3

Jessyz: hehehehehehh begad daye3een molody dool

R: Safala wen7edar bsara7a our country is going down the toilet

J: Mesh ba7es keda ba7es en u have two extremes emerging.  Both extremes are louder than the huge quiet majority.

R: Yeah some ppl r giving in and some r trying to save themselves ur either in or out.  Sa7 ana ba7es kaman no body is living quietly anymore.  Everyone is trying to make everything into a statement and they r screaming it at the top of their lungs

J: I am stealing this conversation for my blog

And there was another one earlier that day:

J: Every time [much younger relatives name] posts something I realize how we thought the world revolved around only us and our interests when we were younger

R: Haahah yeah that’s so true ana ba7es keda bardo and how cool we thought we were.  Then I realized something no matter how famous and important you are you are still to some people completely insignificant and no matter how insignificant and unknown you are you are still the world to some people.  😉 When u believe that u relax because everything doesn’t matter but still everything matters fahma??

*Disclaimer: this is the exact conversation raw and edited only for spelling mistakes*

To Each Her Own {A special book review}

A while back Juka sent me a copy of her book To Each Her Own, which is now published and on the shelves of bookstores in Egypt and will soon be available from Amazon too.
All this goes back to November 2008, or at least for me it does when she posted her bucket list of things she would like to do and one of them was publishing a book.

The story or should I say the story line because it is not like a conventional story with a beginning and an end but more like looking into the lives of a group of  young Egyptian women on a timeline in their lives. It leaves you with the feeling that the girls are now your friends and that you will pick up the phone and check on them.

A book by a young woman for young women, well men can read it, but I think it touches women more. Six young women who are ambitious and live purposeful lives are always a great example for other women. The characters are so real and that is not a surprise since they are based on real people.

A lovely read, yet it might leave you inspired to find yourself, embrace it and move full speed ahead in your own life of purpose.  It should also make you reach for the phone and call your friends because the feeling of friendship and camaraderie in the book is quite high and heart warming.

Juka, I wish you all the best and hope that this debut book is just the beginning of a long list of bestsellers and I want a signed copy of this one too.

If you  are interested there’s also a book launch and signing event at the Sherouk Bookstore tonight at 7 pm.

Once upon a time…

… there was a baby elephant and to stop it from running away its owner tied its leg with a rope to a tree.
Since the elephant was a baby he tried to pull free but couldn’t because the rope was too strong.
The elephant got older and bigger and the rope got thinner and more frayed. Yet, the elephant never ran away.
The elephant could have easily broken free with a tug but he never tried because he believed he was still a baby and couldn’t break free.

We toota toota ferghet el 7adoota.

{My sister told me this story yesterday}

“Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway” a review and why everyone should read this book

“Five Truths
Fear Truth
1. The fear
will never
go away as
long as I continue
to grow. Truth 2. The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and do it. Truth 3. The only way to feel better about myself is to go out… and do it. Truth 4. Not only am I going to experience fear whenever I’m on unfamiliar territory, but so is everyone else. Truth 5. Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.”
~ Susan Jeffers quotes from Feel The Fear… And Do
it Anyway

You would think that a book titled “Feel the Fear and do it anyway” would only be about dealing with your fears, but it is not.  It is about opening yourself. living a fuller more fulfilling life and finding happiness, peace and balance.   Many of these self help style books are not cross culture friendly, meaning that they might not apply to you if you don’t live in the USA or Europe but not this book, it is written for a very wide audience.  You can read this book and benefit from it no matter how old you are or what your gender is.

We all have our fears and things that hold us back.  This book is not about fixing these fears or trying to find out why we have them, it is about overcoming them, accepting that we will always be afraid of things and how to use that fear as a stepping stone to get to where we want to go.

Some of my favorite concepts from the book:
Taking responsibility of our lives without blaming anyone else or beating ourselves up. I used to go back and forth to these two extremes and always felt stressed and unhappy. Now I can easily tell myself that other people’s happiness is not my responsibility without feeling guilty. My happiness is my responsibility and no one else’s. It is not fair or healthy to blame other people for what goes on in our lives if we have decided to give up control of our lives.

Saying “Yes” to the universe. Accept what the universe has given you and say yes to it and everything will change. This concept is very different that normal positive thinking. It stops at acceptance and then the rest is where you have to work for change. Just thinking positively does not change your situation, it is only the very first but very important step.

“Act as if you were important” There was one really interesting story about a woman who hated her job and thought it was only temporary until she found something better and was instructed by the author to act as if she were really important and mattered at her job even if she felt otherwise. A week later she returned and told the author how things had changed dramatically at her job. She took a plant and pictures to make her cubicle better, she went to work earlier and had more energy, even her co workers noticed the change and commented on it. She was told that whatever she was on, to keep taking it. Sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking that we don’t matter, that our contribution is too small or irrelevant but that is so untrue. If you start to believe that your contribution is very important you will act accordingly.

The best thing about this book is that it is not preachy and is full of tools that can help you on your journey and little stories about people who either felt the fear and did it or those who buckled under the strain of their fear. It is like a friend talking you out of a mess, slowly but surely.

It also couldn’t have come at a better timing for me.  I got over my own fears and started my crochet business and failed at selling finished items, which turned out to be a huge blessing.  I realized I was more talented at creating and selling designs instead.  At first I was afraid no one would be interested or buy anything, but I felt the fear and did it anyway and found out that I had been wrong.  I felt that there were these amazing designers out there who much be so much more talented than I am so why would anyone buy from me, until I cam across something Doris Chan had written who is a prolific designer with hundreds of very successful designs and how she became a designer totally by chance, an opportunity presented itself and she took it.  I had to ask myself why was I afraid of taking the opportunity  that is sitting right in front of me.   I am still anxious whenever I publish a new pattern but it is not the crippling kind of anxiousness, it is a liberating kind.  The ability to step out of my comfort zone is amazing.

I was planning to give the book away to someone else to read but I have decided against it, I definitely want to keep this book and read it again later.

Food Inc. : Not for the squeamish

I watched the documentary Food Inc and was this close to turning into a vegetarian.   I am not a “meat” person, I am not in love with burgers although I will get a burger craving every once in a while but this documentary made me decide never to eat a fast food burger or any kind of meat of unknown origin again.

I never really thought about where the meat came from, because ground beef comes from cows right.  In my imagination it came from one happy cow that munched on green grass somewhere with blue skies and maybe a fresh water stream in the background.

Wrong!  It come from cows in these extremely highly packed feeding areas and one burger can come from literally thousands of cows.  There was a part about a mom turned food activist because her 5 year old son ate a burger and contracted E.Coli then passed away 12 days later.  That wasn’t what scared me the most.  It was the bit where she described how his kidneys had failed and he would beg for water.  I am not a particularly healthy eater  ( I’d be very happy to live on pizza, brownies and diet pepsi if I could get away with it)  but this isn’t about healthy eating or not.  This is about the fact that even the food that you might assume to be healthy or hygenic could be the exact opposite.

How about fruits and vegetables.  Do you have any idea what has been done to them to make them season less?  No wonder everything tastes like cucumbers and cucumbers taste like cardboard.  A couple of weeks ago my husband bought some kiwis.  I love kiwis,  but they tasted like pipes.  They were so metallic in their taste that we forced ourselves to eat them.

Any way, this started the search for the best homemade burger recipe.  We made burgers twice (from beef, ground before my eyes from a trusted butcher), they were good but not perfect yet.  It took us over six months (26 thursdays) to get our pizza the way we wanted,  so we are not in a hurry.

I just realized that it takes the same amount of time to make burgers that it takes to order them, although if you order them you get to sit on your butt for 30 minutes and don’t have to wash any dishes.

Or the chicken, eeeewwwwwww.  I am not eating chicken unless it is free range.  Gross how they have re engineered chicken.

One of the other interesting facts was how the food industry has always fought labeling.

This is a movie that you really should see.  Just make sure you are not eating dinner (or have plans to).

A fork in the road

There comes a time in life when you don’t know if you should take a left or take a right.

I have decided to take both roads :-)

Which is why I am moving my crafty interests to the new blog The C Side

I hope you come over and join me there too.

And this blog is now my personal space for everything non crafty :-)