In this time and age, how do we single arab women in our thirties feel? How do we think those around us feel? What experiences do we go through, and how do these experiences affect our singlehood? Inspired from personal experience and of those of all the beautifully fabulous Arab Single Ladies out there, I hope this blog reminds us all just how amazing it is to be single! Or is it....?

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I just got back from the gym, where I had spent an hour playing squash.. Still sweating, I felt I needed to write this, while my adrenaline is still pumping, and my spirits are soaring high.

In this Italian adventure that I am living these days, and in every other previous relationship, I have mostly doubted the intentions of the guys I dated. If someone sends me flowers, surprises me with an unexpected gift, or even is sweet to me, my suspicions arise. Why would they be particularly nice to me? Could it be too good to be true?

I have had several thoughts of 'how can this Italian hunk be into me, when he is in Rome & Milan, surrounded by Italian gorgeous women all day', and 'Why would a fairy tale like the train story happen to me, specifically?'

And today, sweating, and with every single muscle in my body aching, I found out the answer..

When I go to the gym, try to quit smoking, eat healthy, learn a new language, leave my bed and my house and comfort zone and go out and meet people and do things for me, when I do all these things, I am LOVING me. And if I love me, if I really believe that me deserves love, and deserves a quality life-style, and deserves taking care of, then it is easier to accept that someone else would love me. It is easier to actually accept that unless someone loves me, as in falls head over heels, tries to pursue me in every possible way and prove to me that they are worth my 'quality' time, then I don't want them for me. That if that person hurts me in any way, then I will stand up for myself, and will realize that it is not my loss. I love me. I take care of me. 'Me' is worth loving, and worth taking care of.

I have given this speech, one way or another, to so many girlfriends before, and I meant it. Yet, it isn't as easy to give it to myself sometimes. Because I know the faults of this 'me', I see the shortcomings, and the imperfections. But I am telling you ladies, this 'me', and the 'me' inside each and every one of you, is so damn worth loving, and taking care of.

There are days that I just numb myself through by watching 'Grey's Anatomy' back to back, until I can't think straight and fall asleep. There are weekends that I spend entirely in bed, all day long. And I hate these days, I hate the time that is wasted from my life, that is not being spent doing happy things for myself, loving myself, pursuing myself.

So, I wanted to write this down, and capture these moments (these are my diaries after all), and remind myself of how great it makes me feel that I do things for myself, and that I do indeed deserve all the good things that happen in my life. That I am a woman, well worth loving.

And I do hope that one day, another woman would read these words, and realize that the first step to accepting love from someone else, is sweating like crazy :)

Now, I leave you all to go shower before I stink, and dry my hair (even though the thought of stretching my sore hands over my hand sounds like torture right now!) and go out of my house and meet friends, and have a good time, and enjoy life.

After all, my Italian chef said it best: La vita e bellisima!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Where there is a 'cute guy', there is a way!

So, I just got back from a wonderful 2 week vacation that I spent back home. I mainly spent my time with my best friend, but I also got to see my grandmother, some relatives and a lot of friends..

And of course, my Italian met me there, and we had the most amazing 3 days together. There was a lot of talking and getting to know one another, besides the flirting, the delicious food, and the gazing into each other's eyes.. Ah, life is good these days! We also had 'the' talk, and, embrace yourselves, are an exclusive couple now.

I haven't been a part of a couple in a long, long time!

I still am not in love, but who can argue how beautiful it is to wake up in the morning to a sweet good morning message, and the I'm-just-calling-to-check-on-you wonderful calls? Life suddenly becomes a much warmer place, and all the little tiny annoying details of every day magically disappear into thin air..

And so, in the joyful spirit of the moment, I have made a visit to the nutritionist yesterday, and resumed my diet starting today. I have also renewed my gym membership today, and I have decided to quit smoking.

Ok, if you are not a smoker, then you won't understand just how drastic this decision is, for me. I am, unfortunately, a very heavy smoker. I have tried all the arguments in the world, starting from concerns for my health, and ending with just how disgusting my fingers smell, in hopes to convince myself to stop this filthy habit. Yet, I have so far failed at this battle, and have got to a point where I don't want to think about it anymore.

My Italian smokes, but not more than a couple of cigarettes a day. And I found myself embarrassed at the number of cigarettes I smoked while he was around. I am thinking if being motivated by a cute guy and the will to smell nice around him is an objective reason to quit. In other words, would I be doing this, quitting, for me, or for him? And if it isn't an objective reason, and if he ends up being a disappointment as a lot before him were, would it be a loss to have quit smoking for the wrong reaosn then, or would the reason not matter anymore once I am nicotine-free?

God, women are complicated!

Of course, I am aware that my will power isn't strong enough for me to blow out the cigarette I am smoking right now, but, I am starting a quit-smoking medication tomorrow, and man or no man, I should be smoke free in the next 12 weeks.

If I am grumpy, or if you find this blog suddenly bombarded by depressing, grumpy posts, do support me in this upcoming battle and remind me of the beautiful scents of shampooed hair and washed bedsheets!

So, thr journey starts tomorrow, wish me luck!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Back from vacation!

I was on a long vacation back home, (and yes, my Italian hunk met me there!) and just got back.. Boy, do I have stories to tell! In the next few days, and after I catch up on my sleep after the last few very long nights, I will be back here to tell more..

Meanwhile, I have created a facebook page for this blog

And a Twitter name @ArabWomanDiary

Talk to all of you gorgeous ladies soon!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Good Story- Part II

I have been staring at the screen for 10 minutes, trying to think of a way to start this post. The only word I can think of is 'speechless'..So I am just going to dive into the middle of it, and hope that one way or the other, the words will all fall into the right place..
The Italian came to see me..

In anticipation of his arrival, I had gone absolutely crazy. Was this a mistake? What am I getting myself into? What if I don't like him, and I am stuck with him for 3 days? What if I like him too much then he goes away? What if he doesn't like me? What if we don't understand each other? A million 'what-if's ran through my head and I felt panic slowly creeping into my very core.

But, I was a big girl, and I was ready to face it, no matter how it turned out to be. So on the day of his arrival, I kept myself as busy as I possibly can, until the time came for me to pick him up from the airport..

It was very crowded and I had to wait for an hour, which, in heels, didn't help my panic attacks. Finally, and after what seemed like forever, my chef stepped out.

The minute he saw me, I saw a big smile on his face, as he ran (literally ran!) to me, and hugged me! In that specific moment, I realized all my panics were ridiculous, and that I was really looking forward to the time we were to spend together..

All I can say was the time we had was perfect..

I know nothing is perfect. Of all people, I have been through so much, and heard so much, that I know that things aren't usually pink and fluffy, especially when two people barely know one another. But, my chef left me no choice.. It was indeed perfect..

I was amazed at how comfortable the conversations were, like old friends meeting, despite the language barriers which actually gave us a lot of good laughs.. I had been taking Italian lessons for over a month now, and even though I mastered days of the week and numbers, I, not surprisingly, still can't understand everything he says. I practiced 'non capisco' a lot though, and it came in quiet handy.

For 3 days, I lived a fairy tale in every sense of the word.

But, I am a woman, and we are complicated creatures, and so there is a backstage to this story..
Since he left a few days back, I have managed to torture myself with thoughts of my previous relationships, and how they ended. In the most important relationship that I have had so far, I was rejected painfully, and paid a very high price for being so oblivious to it at the time.

Since then, my biggest fear is to face something similar. I have decided that nothing is worth the pain that came after that relationship. That price was too high, and I wish and pray heartily that I never have to pay it again. The sound of reason (and of my friend) tells me that this is not my previous relationship. My chef is not my ex.. And so, I try to balance my thoughts, by hoping for a different outcome this time.

My chef is very romantic, and very thoughtful. Yet, I have this feeling that I am not the heroine of this story myself, but rather, that I am watching from the outside, waiting for the finale. In certain moments, it is a grand finale of birds and bells and songs and rainbows. But in other moments, it is a sad girl shocked and left out, alone. This thought scares me, freezes me, and makes me want to stop here.. Right now.. Before I get there.

It is a lot easier to be single. It is easier to blame the universe for not giving me love in my life. It is much easier to have control on everything in my life, then decide to let down my guards and go with a flow that I don't know the ending of.

But do I want the easy route? Do I really and truly believe that this is a risk that isn't worth taking? Well, the chef is not making it an easy decision. I am flying back home in a 11 days, and he is once again taking a plane, crossing the seas and the mountains, to see me.

Why do we women question our self worth? I am great at giving pep talks to my girlfriends, and I genuinely believe they are worth fighting for, and worth tremendous amounts of love in their life. Why is it difficult sometimes to believe the same for myself?

Now that I have taken the time to dwell in self-pity and misery, I am giving myself a good shake, and writing down what I vow to think, act and live for now..

I am going to enjoy the beautiful story that I have, and the journey that is slowly and perfectly unfolding under my very eyes. I am going to try hard to push the negative thoughts away and attract positive ones into this and into my life. I am focusing on the journey, not the destination. I am enjoying this, with every sense of the word, and nothing will spoil it for me. Especially not someone who had already caused enough damage.

As my chef said in his last message before his plane took off: If this is right, it will be.. This is the start of the beautiful story..

It may not be perfect English, but to me, it makes perfect sense..

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In my wait for that 'wake-up' call..

I have had so many dates in the past couple of years, that can only be described as disasters..

When I share these stories with my girlfriends, they always crack laughing.. I hope that some of these stories would make you laugh too, and I am sure that many of you will connect to them as well!

A couple of years ago, and as I vented to a male friend of mine about the agonies of being single, he suggested joining a match-making website. He had recently moved from the US, and specifically mentioned a website that he believed was very popular and that gave results, most of the times.

I don't usually check these websites. I guess I felt too bored with my single life, and also a bit inspired by a friend of mine who got married to a wonderful guy that she met on a similar website, that I decided to join that website.

So I set up my profile, and took my time doing so. I meant serious business, so I wanted to make sure I listed all that I am, and all that I wanted. I also had to pay money (foolish, I know) which I did.

Every other day, the website would email me a list of the 'candidates' they chose for me. Most matches were in Europe or the US, but I decided I would worry about that when I got to it. Some were Arabs, most were not. I also decided to cross that bridge when I reach it..

So, once a candidate was proposed, I would go through their profile, then there's a list of 'Must Haves' and 'Deal Breakers' that we both exchange, before having access to email each other on the website. It felt like the old days when the internet was very new and chat rooms were the big hit of that decade.. I felt silly, but.. Have I mentioned I felt lonely?

Most of the candidates were horrible.. Some had no shame posting what they were looking for was a physical relationship.. A couple asked where I resided and would I help with a visa? Some barely spoke English (or Arabic, for that matter) and some delightful ones filled their profile with dots.. I guess they wanted the anticipation to build up so much..

The bottom line was I had paid $200 for a year of crap emails.

Towards the end of the year, a profile that almost looked normal showed up. It was of a guy who lived in the states, but was an Arab. He mentioned his friends had set up the profile for him to push him to start dating, and that he was serious in his search.

After the initial exchange of basic information, we started emailing each other. He was 32, has been living in the US for 10 years, and worked in a family-owned restaurant chain. He seemed to have good sense, and a light sense of humor. He was the only 'normal' person that I have come across on that website.

So, the emails started, and we clearly defined what we want from the 'potential' relationship. He mentioned that in due course, he would arrange for a trip for us to meet. I even told my mom about him.. I wasn't emotionally attached to him at all, but I thought, well.. People meet in so many different ways after all..

A couple of weeks after we started talking, we moved to exchanging phone numbers. He called me a couple of times, and we texted a lot. So far, so good.

By the end of the 2nd week of us realizing we exist on this planet, this guy told me he loves me.

I don't panic when someone tells me they love me. But when someone who has known me as words on a screen in a virtual world tells me they love me after 2 weeks, I simply don't believe it. Well, he said that he knows that it is too soon and unrealistic, but this is it, he feels it, he knows it.

Then, the suffocation began.

I would receive up to 30 texts a day, and most of them were the 'what are you doing' or 'I miss you' messages.. Some were also the forward messages that I personally hate, those with butterflies and moon and stars and lots of stuff that even as a teenager made me laugh..

Anyway, I (and my lovely best friend) tried to reason that he was trying to do the best that he could considering we live so far away from one another.. I waited, even when I didn't like how things were, until we meet. I didn't want to be judgmental.

My reasoning, if you are wondering, was that impressions are difficult to form over a phone call or an email. Maybe this guy was not as expressive as I was.. Maybe he'll turn out to be ok, there was no harm in waiting it out.. I also made it very clear, politely, that us meeting does not commit either one of us yet. I just wanted to meet, to see if we would have a good feel about each other. He agreed heartily, and said that of course, it was illogical to think otherwise.

A couple of months later, after a lot of emails, skype calls and texts, the guy told me he was planning to come see me. While we were discussing it, trying to arrange for the best time for him to come over, he mentioned he was placing his car on sale.

So I asked him, casually, if something was wrong with the car, or was he planning to replace it with another one.. And he said: No, I can only afford the ticket to come see you, if I sell the car.


Pressure, or no pressure, and since we seemed to be 2 mature people who are thinking of a future together, and since there were no feelings involved, at least from my side, I had the right to know certain things.. So I asked him, politely again, and choosing my words cautiously, how much does he make and if he has any savings..

This is uncomfortable to talk about with anyone, let alone someone you have never met. But this guy said he was serious so many times before. He had even a time frame.. Like saying: if all goes well, I would come in July, again in January, and then we can get engaged in summer. If all goes well, we would get married next year summer time.

So he seemed to be a guy with a plan, right? He was 32, so he should know what he is talking about.

He said he makes $1,000 a month. He doesn't have savings but he plans to start saving soon. He doesn't have a university degree but is planning to get one soon.

Ok, this was way too awkward for me..

I asked him to hold on buying the ticket, and let us discuss it later.

I was shocked, I truly was. I don't know if I was too naive, but to me, it just didn't make sense. I emailed him next day, and I really really made sure I was very polite and that I wouldn't say anything that would hurt his feelings, but that I can't commit and get married and move all the way to the US, under those circumstances. I made sure that I mentioned that I understand that every one has their own story, I just don't feel that I can be a part of his, even though I respect it.

The lashing that I got was unbelievable.

This guy didn't respond for a couple of days, and then finally came his email. (I am so tempted to sharing the whole email here, but I won't, I don't want to be sued one day)

He started his email telling me that I have got to wake up, it is 2011. He says that I should consider myself lucky because someone loves me, and that I should basically bow and express my relief that someone has finally agreed to look at me (ok, these are my words..)

Then, and listen close to this please, he said that he needed to make it clear that, although he had said: I love you (and we had discussed it the time), he wants me to understand that that doesn't mean he is in love with me. He said if I don't understand the difference between the two terms, then it is not his problem. He also clarified that when he said 'I love you' he didn't actually mean it, but he wanted me to feel better about him, and put me at ease.

He said my 'insecurities' are ruining things between us, and that I have to get rid of past hurts (which we have not discussed, by the way) and that when I wake up from my dreams, I would know where to find him.

Do I really need to comment?

Actually, I want to, because I never replied back to him and told him what I really thought, because the moment I got his email, I realized it was no longer about him. But those words have been stuck in my throat since then.

I am a 30 year old woman, who has worked on myself, since my adulthood started. I worked hard to get a respectable university degree, I took job after job after job, to get to where I am. I live alone, and miss my family, because I am building a career and a future. I have savings, which means that I control my spending and that I plan my next steps. I do not come from a rich family, nor was I raised with a spoon of gold. I took responsibility of my life whenever I had to, and even when it was not fun at all.

And here comes a man, who not only underestimates all that, as if it was nothing, but who also wants me to quit all I have so far done, and follow him, thanking my lucky stars because he loves me (regardless of what that means because I still don't see the difference between that and in love with me!) and to pretend that nothing else in the world matters, aside from having a 'man' in my life.

He actually expected me to respond and apologize when I get my wake up call, he felt self righteous about it. It is honestly mind boggling to me.

Let's reverse the situation here..

Let's say a man and a woman meet 'virtually' and then the man finds out something about the woman that he doesn't approve, something that would affect their planned future together.. Would she say: Thank God you found someone to love you? You are old and no one wants to be with you?

Does the society allow her to say so? Why then does it allow men? Why is this guy's story not the first or the last that I have come across?

I do not believe that men and women are equal. I believe each was made uniquely and with specifications that the other can't have. I believe that neither is better than the other. I don't believe being of either gender means, by default, that one is superior to the other, or that their actions won't matter any more.

This story makes me laugh, at someone who tries to steal away my feelings of achievement, and my pride in what I have earned. It also makes me smile at the fact that some men's egos are too big for it to fit, along with common sense. It is one or the other, with some men.

As Oprah once said, all men are not dogs.

Some just bear too much of a resemblance though..

One Fine Woman..

I am dieting.

I hate dieting, and I not good at sticking to diet. I cheat whenever I get a chance, then I regret it miserably for the rest of the day. The next morning, I wake up, all charged again, and with the will to diet for ever if I need to. I go to the office, and someone makes a remark about the weight I have lost, which makes me smile ear to ear, and fills me with pride as if it is the biggest achievement of my life.

Then I go home, survive a good day. Maybe two.. Then cheat, then regret.. Rinse and repeat..

And the other day I was thinking about it, and about how miserable those extra 10 kilos have made my life for the past decade. I have lost them and gained them so many times, but more importantly, I have thought about them so much, that even when I lost them, I spoiled my happiness by worrying about gaining them again. I have had the 'your weight does not define you' argument in my head so many times, that I am sick of it now. I have cried in front of the mirror a couple of times, vowed not to go to a wedding or another because nothing looked good on me, and snapped at my mom a million times if she made a subtle comment about my weight.

I am not a fat person, though. I am not thin, but I am also not fat, and a lot of my girlfriends tell me that my thoughts are silly. But, every woman who has lost a kilo and heard the compliments she got craves losing more, and hearing more compliments..

As I thought about all these thoughts, one thought led to another, and I thought about my friend, Rana.

Rana is not a close friend of mine. We went to school together as kids, and over the years, we stayed lightly in touch. We would arrange to meet with the girls every once in a while, and with Facebook, you really can't lose track of anyone anymore even if you wanted to. So I heard her news, and stayed in touch whenever I could.

Rana has always been fat. There is no mean way or nice way of saying this, she is fat. She is a very beautiful (and a happily married woman), with big eyes, a gorgeous smile, lovely hair.. But when a lot of people see her, the first thing they see is fat.

But that is not what I see. I have felt jealous of her so many times, and found her inspiring in a lot of ways.

A couple of years ago, my best friend and I met Rana at a coffee shop after work. She came along, looking as gorgeous and pretty as she always did, wearing white trousers. I have never ever dared to wear white trousers my entire life.

The waiter soon came to get our orders, and while I and my friend ordered coffee, Rana ordered Lasagna.

I know this may sound silly, remembering those details after so long. But I remember, because I was so jealous. I never order food, except salads, when I am eating out, and especially when around people I don't know too well. (If I am on a date, I may starve to death but not order any food!). The reason I don't is because I feel too self conscious about my extra kilos. I panic, and I start thinking: They will think I am such a pig for eating so much! They will think: Can't she see she already is fat?!

So I don't eat in public. I go home, then I eat.

And there was Rana, eating, like a normal person, chatting happily, genuinely, spontaneously, in her white trousers.

To top things, she was telling us about the day she got married, and how her husband tried to carry her that day. She laughed so hard as she told us: I told him no way! You'd break your back, darling!

I would KILL for that self confidence. Rana's was not an ignorant's way. She was not oblivious to the fact that she is over weight, but she has literally been a success in not allowing that define her.. Not the way you try to convince yourself, repeating that so many times as your daily mantra, but by actually being so comfortable to go on with your life like the normal person you are.

Rana has not stopped herself from trying any hair color, any new trend or style, behind the excuse of her weight. I have seen her wearing every color that exists, every dress that I have longed to wear but didn't dare to because it doesn't flatter this, that or the other part of my body..

And the more I thought about Rana, and how inspiring her character's strength is to me, the more I realized this was a woman who chose to live happily. And because of that choice, happiness came naturally to her.. She was not faking it..

She shared with me stories of her family. Hers, like most of our generation's family stories, is not a bed of roses. In fact, she has suffered more than most of us did in ways that may even seem absurd. But the beautiful thing about Rana was that that didn't define her either.

When she shared these stories, she didn't do so craving attention, or seeking sympathy. She told her stories merely as stories. I could have been the one sharing the stories! She was very composed as she told us, even making a joke or too. The perfect word I think of was acceptance. This was a remarkable woman who practiced acceptance and picked her battles, every day of her life.

Having said that, I know Rana diets every once in a while, I know she gets affected by her family problems. She deals with the every day details and problems that we deal with, but she does it with a smile on her face. She has encouraged me so many times, has been happy for me even when it didn't affect her in any possible way, and has also offered help at some other times. She is a compassionate woman, who does what she has to do. Only with an admirable air of acceptance, that pushes her and everyone who deals with her forward..

I salute you Rana.. You are truly very special!

Monday, November 14, 2011


This week is being way too slow.. In my wait for the Italian, time freezes, and I find myself rushing back from the office, to start the process of 'waiting' for time to pass. Which I know is the opposite of what I should be doing: Keeping myself busy to help time fly.. Ah well, I have learnt to accept my weird habits by now.

So, to help pass time, I watch continuous episodes of any interesting series that I find on the internet. But after a while, even that gets boring. A couple of days ago, I remembered I used to like watching Dr. Phil's show, so I decided to watch a couple of episodes on line.

Going through the episodes titles to choose those that interest me, I came across 2 episodes called: Inside the mind of a mistress.

I don't know what all of you think of the idea of a 'mistress', but let me tell you what came to my mind when I thought of one, until early last year.

A mistress is a disgusting horrible creature, that imposes its vicious self over a happy family. A person with no morals, no values or standards, a despicable creature that exists for the purpose of ruining other people's lives. A person with no self respect, and the lowest of the low in a society, ANY society.

I say that this is what I used to believe, oh so strongly, until early last year. The reason my beliefs slightly shifted then, is the story I am just about to tell you.

A close friend of mine, another single gorgeous woman out there, became one.

I had known that woman, and her family, almost her entire life. Now, she is beautiful, successful, independent, highly educated and smart. She is caring, by nature, and did a lot of charity work. She has a very warm character, and is fun to be around. She has good knowledge and genuine interest in the happenings of the world. She is not at all the type of woman you think of when you think 'mistress', not in the way she dresses or the way she carries herself around.

At first, she didn't tell me. As a matter of fact and for obvious reasons, she told no one. My friend, and let's call her Reema for now, was always an optimistic and an energetic person. She has an outgoing character and you would love spending time around her- I did.

Reema grew up dreaming about fairy tales, and her knight in shining armor. She was not too delusional about it, but she did often picture her wedding, and kids and a bright future with a loving husband. Growing up, she didn't have many relationships, and she shied away from the stories most giggling girls shared.

As she stepped into her mid twenties, Reema fell in love. She literally fell head over heels, and it was a great transformation in her life and character. I had never seen her as happy or excited about life as she was in that phase. Everything was happier, and brighter and flowers were blooming all over her life.

Reema had her heart crushed in a very cruel way shortly after, and although I see what a great woman she is today, she believes certain parts of her never healed from the agony of that love, and its impact on her life. She went into depression, and during that time, she believed her life ended.

Yet, Reema, being the strong woman that she is, fought against it with all her might, and a couple of years later gave love another try. She dove in once again, with the innocence of a young little girl, daring again to dream and plan and contemplate a future with love in it again.

Sadly, she was rejected shortly after again. I have often read about the patterns we choose for our relationships, and I suspect that Reema was going through that pattern. This second time was harder for her, because of the added miseries of thinking; how could this possibly happen to me again.

Since that day, Reema decided to close the door to love, for once and for all, and to focus all her energy on building the dreams that she can control and work at. She progressed in her career, had a good circle of friends around her, and focused on her relationship with her family. She was a joy to everyone who knew her, except herself. She knew she was missing out on certain feelings that she yearned for, but she was too scared and too in pain to allow it ever again.

A couple of years later, Reema was approached for a great job opportunity, in another country. After careful planning and much thought, she decided to go for it.

So she bid us all farewell, packed and moved on to follow her dreams of a great career. I stayed in touch closely with her, and I could tell from her emails and phone calls, she was very lonely. She was finding the adjustment to be very difficult, and was spending most of her days at home, watching TV or reading. As this was against her very social nature, she found it very uncomfortable and tiring.

It was at that stage that a colleague of hers, a married one, started pursuing her. Later, when she told me, she said she was completely oblivious to it at first, and didn't even notice it. The man had set his mind on her though, and was very persistent. He showered her with praising words, he expressed his infatuation in every way that tingles a woman's heart.

Knowing Reema, I know she is a woman of standards and values. She is not a dumb woman who would fall for any douche bag that pursued her. But she was in such a vulnerable state at that point in her life, that she fell in. She started seeing him, and although, and using her own words, they had nothing in common and felt nothing towards him at all, she found herself addicted to the feeling of being wanted, and to the unrecognized world of being pursued this man was offering her.

At that point in time, she shared her story with me. I was very surprised, but since I try to be the least judgmental that I can in general, I listened. I listened to her worries and her blaming herself and despising herself. My constant argument with her was that if it is making her happy, and since SHE is my friend, then just enjoy it until she decides to move on.

The reason I said that was that I had known her for so long, and I had known what she had gone through and what she was going through still. I would not even suggest that what she was doing was right, but if she was doing it anyway, and cursing herself enough for it, what would have been the point of blaming her even more?

The weird part was that she was not enjoying it. Every time she saw him she would despise him and herself even more. Every moment she spent with him made her even more miserable. In a way, Reema was torturing herself in this relationship, reinforcing her beliefs in the evil of men, and punishing herself for making the wrong decisions in her previous relationships.

She had wept for endless hours to me about the shame she felt about being involved with a married man, and had vowed to herself a million times to kick him out her life. I listened, and I knew that that moment will indeed come. She just had to wait for it, I knew her enough to know that it would happen.

Not too long after, that moment did come. And I breathed with relief when she told me, because for the first time in so long, I heard her say the right things. I heard her say that she had had enough of being sadistic to herself, and that she respects herself more than to allow herself to sink so low ever again. I listened, again, as she described that feeling disgusted with herself was not going to take the pain of her past away, and that she is only adding more pain for her future being in that relationship.

She strongly stepped out of that relationship, and decided that it is better to seek her comfort elsewhere. She moved back home, surrounded herself again with the people she loved and whom she confidently believed loved her, and I see her today the strong smiling ambitious woman I always knew her to be.

Going back to Dr. Phil's show, I watched as another 4 mistresses talked about their own relationships with married men. Some had remorse and were ashamed and trapped in their shame, some had stepped out of the relationships and moved on, and some were making all the excuses in the world to themselves that it is ok and that it is not their fault, but the man's. But what these women all had in common was that they were in pain.

Because no one does not know what is wrong and what is right. Every one does. But how would you know what you are capable of doing or what you are not, if you are not in that situation yourself? And is there a scale of pain after which anything could be tolerable, or does numbness turn people to not care about ugliness anymore? I do not ask these questions judgmentally or sarcastically, but rather, I ask them curiously. I am a woman, who has experienced pain herself. I know what emotional pain does to a woman, and I know how endless it can seem to be at times. I do not want to be a mistress, but I know Reema, and I love her and I respect her, and I can't judge her just because her experience (and I won't even use the word mistake here) was of such a sensitive nature.

I hope that one day we would live in a loving society, that would render love and support to all. A society that would dare to think of causes instead of merely judging results. A society where love heals, the way it is supposed to. I can't stress enough that I am not in any way whatsoever saying that it is ok to be a mistress, or that I sympathize with them regardless of what the situation is. But I had been with Reema throughout this story for a reason. She has gone through it for a reason. It is a reminder of several things: We ALL can fall. We need love in our life, and not necessarily a fairy tale's, but a friend's, a parent's, a child's. We need to and nourish by helping one another during terrible times of self doubt.

If we did one day get to this unrealistic dream of a society, I believe we would be in a much better place. I so heartily wish that we can get to the roots of our problems instead of shaking our heads at the results. I wish we can acknowledge great women for what they really are, instead of focusing on what they are not. I wish we can imagine ALL kinds of successes and futures instead of assuming there is a 'one-size-fits-all' kind of happiness. If women deeply believed that, if they reminded themselves of the greatness that God has given them by being women, we wouldn't have mistresses to deal with at all. I'll bet my money on that!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Good Story!

Ok, so here's the story of the hour.. The story that is taking a lot of my (and my best friend's) thoughts and reflections these days. I was not sure I want to write about it just yet, but then I decided it may be better to do so now, to capture those feelings & thoughts I have right now, before they are altered by reality later.

First, I want to say that this story will not sound believable. I mean, if one of my friends was sharing it, I would probably think they made it up, or that they are changing some details to make it sound better. I do vow though, that I am giving you the story, just the way it is. You may not believe it, but it is just the way it is.

A couple of months back I took a trip to Europe, and I had scheduled 2 days of that trip to spend in Northern Italy, specifically in Milan & Venice. I was to go alone to Italy, and because of the short time there, I had a busy schedule.

Milan was beautiful, despite what everyone kept telling me, that it is an industrial city and there isn't much to see. Milan has a spirit. And I just love cities that have spirits of their own.

On my second day in Milan, I woke up to a rainy city. I insisted I would go on with my plans to Venice, though, and walked to the train station and bought my ticket. The trip would last for 2.15 hours, and the train was busy. I have always heard people complain about how loud us Arabs are, but whoever said that obviously never shared a train car with 8 old Italian ladies. They were chattering non stop and were so loud, that I, despite my vacation relaxed mood, got slightly irritated.

Anyway, I got to Venice, and my breath was completely taken away by the beauty & unique nature of this city. It was something unreal, unlike anything that I had ever seen before. I took a water taxi, went into the designer shops, walked in the narrow alleys, and had a delicious pasta carbonara & a tiramisu in a cosy little restaurant with red checked table cloths. It was a perfect day.

I bought some souvenirs, and headed back to the train station to start my trip back to Milan, where my hotel was. And because of the noisy trip that I had earlier that day, I decided to book a first class ticket.

Now, anyone who has visited Arab countries would know we don't have a railway system, and are not very familiar with trains. And because on that same trip I had missed a train between Switzerland & Italy, I was very self conscious about getting on the RIGHT train, and sitting on my assigned seat, and making sure I was heading to where I am supposed to be heading. So on every train that I took, there was a low voice that said: Don't get on the wrong train, don't end up in the middle of no where.

Which was exactly what I was thinking when I got to the first class car of my train.

The car was entirely empty, except for one gentle man who was sitting on one chair, chatting away on his cell phone in Italian. Ironically, and for reasons that I may never know, the gentle man was sitting on my seat.

So here I am, completely focused on my ticket, looking at seat numbers, unaware of anything else around me in the world in that specific moment, when I realised that he is sitting on my seat. So stupidly, I stand over his head, as he talks on the phone. Not surprisingly, he looks up at me, questioning my stare.

So I say: ' Excuse me. I think you are in my seat'

Please remember the entire car was empty. There were at least another 25 free seats. But I wasn't thinking about that! I had to sit on my assigned seat, and make sure I don't miss my train, and end up in the middle of no where (which by the way in 2011, and with cell phones & black berry, will almost never happen!)

And so the gentle man, who barely speaks any English, says: I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I move! In the split second that followed, while he was hurriedly trying to gather his stuff to move his seat, I realized how stupid I was being, mumbled an apology, and asked him to stay put. I, on the other hand, was not done being stupid for the day, so I sat right across him. And so now, we were officially sharing seats, like old friends travelling together. An empty train car, and 2 strangers sharing seats.

Of course, by the time I realized my again not-too-smart move, it was too late for me to move again. So I pretended not to have noticed that I just imposed on this man, and started playing with my phone, keeping my self busy.

A few moments later, my friend called me and we chatted for a couple of minutes. After I hung up, the man sitting across me asked me, in very broken English, where I was from.

So I told him, and he was very excited that I am an Arab. He asked me if I like Italy so far, and we exchanged a couple of pleasantries. He also gave me his business card which revealed he was a chef, and I gave him mine.

With his broken English and my next to zero Italian language skills, we managed a short pleasant conversation. Towards the end of the trip, and while I was thinking about the best way to spend my last evening in Milan, I decided to ask him for a restaurant recommendation to go for dinner that night. He was super excited, told me about a restaurant that was supposed to be the best in Italy, googled the number on his iPad, called them and made me reservations for that night, and even wrote me a note for what's best to order.

Soon enough, it was my stop, so I wished him good bye, thanked him for his help, and stepped down from the train. I never thought I would see him or hear back from him again.

I did go for dinner, and the food was indeed excellent. The waiters and the chef were also very friendly and I had a lovely evening..

The next morning, as I checked my phone, I noticed the chef had sent me a friend request on Facebook. I was surprised and thought it was rather funny, seeing we didn't speak a common language fluently. Yet, I accepted his request thinking I would send him a message thanking him for the restaurant recommendation later.

A week later, I was back home. I have an Italian friend here, and I asked him to translate a message for me, which I had written to the chef thanking him for his kindness on the train.

The next day, I had received a reply, which I translated using Google Translate. We started messaging each other, almost every day. He sends me links to his cooking show, which I enjoy watching even when I don't understand a word of what is being said. I talked to him about my life, work and family.. A friendship was being born.

This coming part makes me smile, as I think of a way to write it..

The more we emailed each other, the more I realized that we have a lot in common, at least in our way of thinking and approaching life. It is an intriguing idea, a stranger I spent 2 hours with on a train half way across the world, who gets me! How ironic is that!

Soon enough, the messages got more frequent, and the tone a lot sweeter. And a month later, my Italian friend sent me a message saying:

'It is time to act, I come to see you.'

I had not spoken to anyone, except my best friend, about this story. The reason being, well, who would believe it?! Who would believe that a girl meets a guy on a train in Venice and that they email one another and discover they have something in common, even when they don't speak the same language? I am not a fan of romantic movies, and I am a firm believer in the saying: When things seem to be good to be true, then they probably aren't.

Then this guy comes and says: It is time to act!

Question: to all of you gorgeous single Arab women.. How many guys have stepped up and said these words? How many of our not-as-gorgeous Arab men have made you hint and hint and HINT for months, about something or the other, pretending he doesn't understand?

I got excited, then panicked, then happy, then a knot in my stomach, then excited all over again..

The chef is coming to see me. Actually, the chef is due to arrive in a few days. Flying half way across the world, to spend 2 days here, to see me.

I am aware that nothing can ever be as perfect as the fairy tale in my head right now is. I am also aware that I may be dissapointed, and that this may end up being nothing after all. But I am also aware that this is a beautiful and an uncommon story, that I would live to tell, regardless of what the ending would look like, for many many years to come. I choose to be happy about this story, for now, even if it ends up being a major disappointment, or not as important or as life changing as the songs in my head tell me it may be.

And this is why I chose to write about it now. Because I don't care about the ending, and realistically, I can't know how it will end. But this is a good story.. It is a beautiful one, and it is happening to me, and I am celebrating it. It gives me hope, regardless of the outcome. Because if I can meet someone interesting in a train in Italy, when I am in jeans, a plain white T-shirt, a pony tail and chipped nails, then I, and all other great women out there, can meet interesting men anywhere and everywhere else.

So.. Stay tuned, as I am, for the great finale of this fairy tale, and remember (and do remind me please!) that it is not the ending that matters. It is the course of these beautiful unexpected stories that happen each and every day of our lives..

Saturday, November 12, 2011

To settle or not to settle, That is the Question...

I have two gorgeous cousins (Hala & Sara) . Both of them are
extremely beautiful women, successful leaders in their careers, and with
well-knowledge about the happenings of the world. They both had multiple
relationships during their lives, that didn’t end very well. They both
approached their mid-thirties without a potential husband, and let’s face it,
that isn’t east when you live in this part of the world, and have 14 uncles and
aunts that want ‘to set their minds to peace’ by seeing you married. Not necessarily
happily married, but married still.
We were at a wedding of another cousin of ours, when we girls formed a gossip
corner to loosen up from the weddings stress: You’re in your high heels because
they make you look taller, thus thinner, your hair is tied up with a million
hair pins that stick in the most uncomfortable ways in your scalp, you have on
a corset underneath your tight dress to make your belly disappear for a few
hours, and a ton of make up on, because that’s how you’re supposed to appear at
weddings, and you have to have a continuous smile that aches your cheeks but
losing it would make it look like you are envious of the happy bride and you
would NEVER want that to be so obvious. So you smile. And you smile again. And
then you seek your girl friends and take a corner to gossip and relax for a few
moments and allow yourself to be human for a few minutes before you dive into
that wrestling ring aka dance floor again. And one of the girls made a comment
that was something like this:
‘I hope it isn’t too late for us.. I want a wedding and a white gown and a
dance floor and to worry and fret for months about flowers, music, a buffet and
a honey moon. I hope it’s not too late for that.’
And another cousin said: ‘I think it’s already too late for us, I think we’re
too old already.’
Now, my previously mentioned 2 cousins were there, and the older one of
them(Hala) looked at her and with a sly smile said ‘Speak for yourself dear.. I
personally am like wine.. I get better with age’. And she then gracefully &
bravely stepped into the dance floor again.
At the time, Hala had no relationship. Actually, she was 36, and had had a
previous engagement a year before, that ended in what can only be described as
a painful way. She’s a single woman, approaching her 40s, but she still
believed she had all the time in the world to chose and be picky and get what
she had always wanted.
My other mentioned cousin (Sara) was 32. She was equally beautiful, and our
family’s social star. She was friends with everyone. She was always smiling,
always in a good mood, and not in a naïve way. Whenever I felt down or
depressed, I talked to her, and she never failed to help me see the full half
of the cup, and feel better.
Sara had a suitor who had stalked her for a couple of years, and whom she had
ignored continuously due to his ‘sticky’ character. She was also dating someone
at the time, and she thought it was going to end up happily ever after, which
sadly enough, it didn’t. After her break up, her suitor stalked her even
further, and in an attempt to scare him off, she told him she was done dating,
and that at the time, she only wants to get married. Unfortunately, instead of
scaring him off, he proposed.
Now, all this is normal so far. What wasn’t normal though and what shocked us
all, was that Sara said yes. Her now fiancé was a vulgar man, with little
manners if any. He wasn’t well educated, nor was he socially bearable to be
around. He had no respect for anyone around him, and was too proud. But he was
our cousin’s fiancé, and eventually her husband, so we had to make nice to him.
Eventually, and because of the endless embarrassing situations that her fiancé
placed her in, Sara began disappearing. She did not show up at family
gatherings, did not have that smile on her face, and was no longer the Sara we
knew and loved.
During that time, Hala had met someone, and soon enough, we were introduced to
her fiancé: a spectacular young man who not only had a respectful career and a
great family, but he also came with a joyful character. He is that person who
would pull you to the dance floor in a wedding, make jokes when seemingly
inappropriate, and is friends with our baby second cousins, and my elderly
grandmother. He is charming, fun to be around, and most importantly, he loved
our Hala endlessly, and made her very happy in the most obvious ways. Hala
ended up getting married after Sara did, but she won the final prize.
This story has always made me think that I should never settle for only what I
can barely get. It made me realize how dangerous our desperation can get to be
sometimes, that it may have a huge influence on the rest of our lives. It made
me believe to my deepest cores of how important it is to have self confidence
and an out-of-this-world extreme optimism towards the future- even when there
are no indications whatsoever to that future.
People often settle to what they can get, thinking that it’s the best they
would be offered. Why would anyone want to escape an ‘opportunity’ that is
readily available, and lean towards a future one that they may, and may not,
eventually get?
Well, if you are the kind of person who had no previous assumptions to how you
would like your future to be, then so be it. Settle, and just take whatever
life throws at you, because you won’t be losing anything anyway. You won’t be
losing a dream that you have built day by day since you were a child, nor would
you be risking losing an excellent future, because you have never imagined one.
But if you had thought about what you wanted, if you had built an image of your
perfect life, if you had put up with the struggles and the waiting and the
painful comments and the envy of your friends and their successes, wouldn’t you
want to make all that worth the wait? Wouldn’t you want to believe that it was
all for the sake of something big, something that will add value to your life
in ways that you could have never imagined yourself?
Another factor that I think of often, is that this wait becomes harder by time.
When we are young and have all the time in the world, it is easier to wait for
the perfect job, for that first million, for that special someone that would
take our breaths away.. The older we get, the more tendency for panic we get.
We start thinking that we should compromise this or that, in order to be able
to make it just in the nick of time. We shift our perspectives and dreams, we
delete some them completely, and we start settling.
I don’t want to settle. Not against my wishes or dreams. Not against everything
that I wanted so badly when I was younger and when life seemed to be easier. I
don’t want to settle, until I get what I had always wanted, and if I don’t get
what I always wanted, then I will settle, but only for something that is as
equally rewarding, and equally satisfying. I will make other dreams that I can
get. I will work on the things I can work on, and pray for others that I can’t.
But I will not settle, and so shouldn’t all the gorgeous single Arab women out

Thursday, November 10, 2011

To judge a book by it's cover..

11 years ago, I was a college student who didn’t know how to have crazy fun. I did have fun, reading, and browsing the internet. I wore thick glasses, and a continuous pony tail. I was that student who always sat in the front row and got straight As. I loved discussing politics and spiritual beliefs, and spent most of my days reading & studying. Ok, I just wasn’t a ‘cool’ student.

On my second year, and through some mutual friends, I met a guy named Rami. From the moment I set my eyes on him, I didn’t like him. He was shining! He wore designer clothes, he was also cleanly shaved and perfumed, he was that guy who can’t wait for a new trend to begin to be the first to try it. And he wasn’t self-conscious about it, Noooooo, not Rami! He was very comfortable with who he was, in the most annoying way.

To top all of that, the first time I met him, and during one of the first sentences we ever exchanged, he made a remark about my eye brows, and how they would look better if I did so-and-so with them to hide that childhood scar. That was it, for me. Was this guy serious?! In my head, you could almost hear the ticks running like crazy, before settling into the label I had chosen for him: Obnoxious empty-headed rich little kid. I hastily wrapped up that conversation, and left, thinking to myself: I never want to know that guy! Eeew!

On the 3rd day of that horrible meeting, I ran into Rami again. We stopped briefly exchanging a cold hello, and when I attempted to take a look at my watch to make an excuse of having to run somewhere, I noticed my watch wasn’t working. Before I could stop myself, I blurted that something must be wrong with my watch, as it’s not working. Rami then said that he knows a place where he can fix it, and offered to take my watch, have it fixed, and back to me. Actually, he insisted in such a nice way, that I had nothing else to do but hand him my watch. As we exchanged our phone numbers, I still hoped that by the time I would get my watch back, it would be the last I hear from him.

But what happened was actually slightly different. Rami gave me back the watch, and we had a cup of coffee together. Then college broke on leave, and we both left the country for some time, but we called one another. 10 years later, Rami is still my best friend of all times.

I have had so many memories with Rami over the past years, that I can dedicate an entire book just for that. But I will only say that we shared endless laughs, wicked moments, cried together, and we have been through a lot. There were several times when our friendship was put to severe tests, but we passed these tests each and every time.

Rami does like fashion, he loves dancing, and he would go nuts if he had to lose his social life for a few days. But he is also compassionate, and he will be there when you are in trouble and need help. He will tell you what you don’t need to hear when you have to hear it. He will never lie to you and he will always always be there when you need him to be.

And if I had followed my feeling at the time, the last time I would have seen Rami was when he handed me back that watch. I judged him, at the moment I set my eyes on him. He was a spoilt rich kid, he is superficial, and I would never find anything to talk to him about. If I had followed that judgment, if I had quit, then that’s ALL I would have had.

Sometimes, our judgments get the best out of us. They stop us from getting what we want; because we think we know it all. We judge people so easily, we set labels for them, and forget that there is a lot more than meets the eye sometimes. As I grew up, there were many actions through which I judged those who did them as naïve, stupid, immoral, or superficial, and later found myself doing the exact same things. Most of the times, we don’t see the full picture, we don’t know what lies behind, and we judge by the little we see.

Let's not judge, and accept other for who they are, and trust that they mostly come in mixed layers of good and bad, and that we can always take your pick of it.

The secret about The Secret

When I first came across The Law of Attraction, I was enchanted by the idea, and I would readily explain it with all the enthusiasm in the world to anyone who would listen. I also started applying it in the little ‘easy’ ways. One million dollar cheques in my purse, done. Sleep on the side of the bed, not the middle, done. Buy a pair of jeans that are 2 sizes smaller, done.

Then I decided to put the law of attraction into practice onto a bigger test. It was November, and I decided that I will buy a Valentine’s gift, wrap it, and place it under my bed until next February. This was an ok idea, except for the fact that I was single, with no potential prospects of a Valentine’s Day date. Yet, I was a strong believer in the law of attraction now, and that’s what we believers do.

So I bought a nice gift, wrapped it in the cutest gift wrap ever, and placed it under my bed. And that’s all the thought that I gave to it.

Considering that Valentine’s day is not taken seriously in this part of the world, aside from the prices of red roses that soar, and the teddy bears that school girls carry on that day, it was difficult for me to imagine someone would actually notice it was Valentine’s Day, let alone ask me out on a date. But I didn’t allow that thought to shake my beliefs. I was going to be asked out on a date, and that was that.

But, what I hadn’t thought of at the time was who was going to ask me out. I didn’t give any thoughts to who I wanted to be out on a date with, not even the characteristics of the person who I would like to go out on a date with.

Come Valentine’s Day, I was in the office, when I got a phone call from security informing me that there was a delivery for me at the reception, and that I should go down and sign for it. So I stepped down, and as I approached the security desk, I noticed there was a huge bouquet of flowers on the desk. They were simply beautiful! Red roses, white roses, and a lot of green stems in between, with the loveliest chiffon wrapping and a great arrangement basket! I was shocked to know that that was my delivery, and proudly picked it up. I looked for a card on the flowers, but only found a small card that read: Happy Valentine’s Day. There was no name on the card, and considering that I know I have no love life whatsoever at the moment, I had no clue who would’ve sent it. But I didn’t question it. One should NEVER question a bouquet of flowers!

As I set the bouquet on my desk and enjoyed the envious looks from the girls around me and the teasing questions of my friends, my phone rang. It was one of my office colleagues, and I picked up the phone thinking he may have a work-related question for me. It turned out that he was calling me to ask me if I like the flowers, and to ask me out on a date.

See? The law of attraction DOES work!!

But there was a catch (of course there was, otherwise this would have been an extremely predictable & boring story!) The guy who called me, the guy who sent me the flowers, the guy who the Universe has sent to me to confirm my faith in the Law of Attraction, was the most despicable guy I had ever met. He was too soft to start with, and had a very annoying air around him. If you make the fault of having a conversation with him, you would be stuck for hours in the most boring conversations ever, and would end up hating yourself for having been stupid enough to talk to him in the first place. He was a well known liar in our office, and was a pain to everyone who ever dealt with him.

Needless to say, I was extremely disappointed and I gently told him off (May be not very gently). And when I went home that night, my gift was still there under my bed. But this story helped me believe in the law of attraction even more than I did before.

I wanted to be asked out on a date, and I was. But I had not asked the universe what date I wanted. Did I want a fun date? Did I want it with a handsome man, who had the most charming personality, and the loveliest smile? Did I want it with an honest man, who would make me laugh?

I hadn’t told the universe anything about my desired wish. I just simply placed an order, without giving any thoughts to the specifications. And the universe gave me just what I wanted, and not a tiny bit more.

Often, we think we know what we want, and we just complain about how we are not getting it. But the reality is, sometimes we are too vague in what we wish for, and we do not invest any time or effort in trying to find out the details of our desires. We expect the universe to understand what we want, even though we haven’t got a clue ourselves.

When you ask, ask for the most of what you want. Be specific, draw the most amazing picture you want, and provide the smallest details. Instead of investing your time in complaining about what you don’t want, wouldn’t you want to invest your time in something that’s more fun? And what is more fun than imagining everything you have ever wished for, in detail? What do you want, how do you want it to be, how would it make you feel, how would you look like when you get it, how will it affect your life? Invest your time, in these thoughts, and the law of attraction will work. It ALWAYS will, giving us exactly what we ask for, and ONLY that. So be greedy and go ask for more

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Who I am, what am I trying to say..

My best friend called me the other day and told me I have to start my own blog.

She said she believes I am a talented writer, and since I haven't had even starting working on that 'first' book I have been talking about for the past few years, I should at least start blogging.. She said she has a folder for my emails, because she enjoys reading them so much..
Aren't girlfriends the greatest!

So here I am, starting this blog!

I decided to keep an anonymous identity because I plan to spill it ALL out. I want to talk about how it feels to be an Arab thirty year old single woman. For some reason, whenever the words 'Arab' and 'Woman' are linked together, the first image that forms in one's head is of a supressed being that merely exist to selflessly serve others, suflfering tremendously for her basic rights, and probably ending up beheaded somewhere because of a silly love story that mostly doesn't even make sense.

No. I am not in that category. So move on, if that is what you are looking for.

But if you plan to stay around, realising there is no need for that tissue box after all, I will tell you about how it is being a thirty year old FABULOUS Arab woman :) I am an Arab, I am single. I live on my own, I work and earn excellent money, I travel all over the world, I watch Grey's Anatomy and cry over the details, I read vigorously, I go out on dates, I follow the news, I have amazing friends, and a great family that supports me. I am normal, only not too normal.

For a while now I have been thinking that I want to share the experiences I and my girlfriends go through as Arab women. The only reason I use the word 'Arab' though, is to identify the society that we live in. It may not reflect our beliefs entirely, but it is the place in which we exist, and with which we interact day in and day out. It is to also identify certain parts of our character that are affected by being raised in this society. Because when you are in your thirties, you realise at some point that there are certaint things in your character that you have developed from the environment around you, and that even though they irritate you sometimes, you decide to change your intial twenties plan of fighting it, and shifting gear to acceptance.

I will try to share as much as I can. I have a blessed and rich life, and too many good stories.. I have dull days in which I curl in bed and nap all day too.. So here is my attempt to share it with you unknown people out there.. A cry of celebrating life shared with the virtual world..