Happy Reading: Hello February! 

  
So what have you been reading lately? I have a huge list of books that I read over the past couple of months, and enjoyed enormously! I have had a little extra time and I was eager to devour all the books I had on my kindle and the ones I bought from Amazon. The first month I focused on some classics, such as: Ana Karenina, Jane Eyre and Great Expectations. The first time I read these beauties was when I was in high school, and of course they all were in French (my favourite language THEN). So it was just amazing to reread them all in English! Then I moved to the other books I had chosen for the following month. They were all a pleasure to read, very inspiring and informative. So here I will share them with you, and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did! 

1- Wildflower by Drew Barrymore: I usually don’t read books written by movie stars, simply because there is nothing that interests me in their business. However, when in one of the podcasts I listened to, Drew talked about it and about how and why she wrote it, I changed my mind and the next day I was savouring every page of it! The book is full of funny, insightful and profound stories! Things that shocked me, and others that inspired me. This 40 years old woman faced so many challenges since her very young age, yet she stayed strong and turned out to be an amazing successful woman! 

2- A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen: This book was listed as one of the best books of 2015. I really dislike listening to people complaining all day long, however I must admit that myself I do have my fair share of daily complaining, and I always try to do it less and less each day, so this triggered me to get the book and start reading it straight away. We might not be aware of just how much we complain about anything and everything every single day, but once you read this book, you automatically become aware of every complaint that comes out of your mouth! The whole idea is to go for 21 days straight, with no complaining, no criticising, and no gossip! By controlling our words, and avoiding the above mentioned sins, we improve the quality of our lives! It can be extremely difficult to achieve this goal, but if the author and his people succeeded, then so can we. 

3- Sister Mother Husband Dog by Delia Ephron : This book is simple and serious, funny and bittersweet! It is a great memoir full of well-written stories about one woman’s everyday, ordinary stuff that became truly amazing in the telling! 

4- How Reading Changed My Life by Anna  Quindlen: A short and easy read about reading and writing, two things that I adore! I love Anna’s simple yet very rich style and this book was absolutely wonderful! 

5- Empress Dowager CIXI by Jung Chang: I love the Chinese culture, and traditions. I also love their history and their rich past! So from time to time I grab a book about China! This one was a great pick not only because it talks about China, but also because it is the story of a very inspiring woman! A wise and very smart lady, who left her imprint in history! 

6- Meditation By Marcus Aurelius: This was the highlight of the month! A fantastic book by a great man! Written years and years ago, and still is one of the best books ever! 

Ouiam

When I Dare To Say….

  

So yesterday was Valentines day, and along came a hideous wave of videos, messages, pictures, and comments on the social media in the arab world. It all came as a great warning to all the “brothers and sisters” to not celebrate, to not give your loved ones flowers and tell them that you love them because ,god forbid, what a great sin this will be. To not take your wife (or girlfriend or sister or mother or anyone from the opposite sex for that matter) out for dinner, because then you will lose all your privileges as a good Muslim! Ooh and even wishing a “Happy Valentine’s day” to anyone you know is a an immoral act against divine laws! I would have to pause right here and take three deep breaths before I say what I have to say! And just a friendly warning, some people might not like it or even agree with it, but that’s absolutely fine! 

The people who advocate for the “No Valentine’s day” policy, are the same ones who also think it is not allowed to celebrate new year’s eve, birthdays, christmas..etc. I must say that I don’t know where do they stand from mother’s and father’s day though! I will have to check that out! (LoL) But yeah mainly we are not supposed to celebrate ANYTHING! Stay in your house and tune into Aljazeera, or BBC and watch people dying everyday and everywhere! Do you capture how miserable, sad, depressing and very upsetting life will be if we do what we are told to do by these sinister people?  

If we are not supposed to celebrate any of these joyful events, what can we celebrate then? How do we enjoy the special days in our life? How do we get to build memories? How do we make ourselves HAPPY! For God’s sake who cares what people meant with this holiday, 14 thousand years ago? I don’t give a sh€$t! When my beloved husband gifts me with absolutely gorgeous flowers, takes me out on a date, and just makes that specific day a very special one, that warms my heart and makes it burst from pure joy, how is that ever gonna be a sin? If it is on the 14th of February or the 58th of June (if there was such date) who cares?! The prophet PBUH clearly said: “رفقا بالقوارير” that would be in english: “Be gentle with the ladies”, the absolute definition of the Valentine’s day! He is telling you to take your wife out on a date, give her flowers and make her heart happy! Be it the 14th, the 15th, or any other freaking day! So why the big fuss?! 

Honestly I don’t care what their argument is; I believe we are all adults, all in control of our lives. We all know what is right and what’s wrong. When we sin we pay for our sins, and when we do good deeds we get the credit, we do, not anyone else!!!  Yes sure we need guidance and we ask for it. However the guidance is for the complicated matters, the ones that keep us on from sleeping at night, the ones that make our hearts and brains in great conflict, not whether we should celebrate the valentine’s day or not! 

I dream of a world of unlimited simplicity. Where people mind their own business and learn how to be kind to one another! Where they will celebrate each and every day, thankful for yet another day in this weirdly delicious life!

 May this dream of mine, come true …one day…! 

Happy Valentine’s day!! 

Ouiam

We Are Women Honey…!

  
“We are women honey..! ”

I heard this phrase the other day, and it couldn’t have been said in a better time; I had just come from meeting an old friend who was telling me about her struggles in life, and how she managed to flip the coin, and get her weaknesses to be her strengths. I then started to think of all the amazing women in my life, whether they were family, friends, or just acquaintances. They were each very unique in their own world! Each have been through a surreal amount of hardships, yet each one had found the strength in her to get up, get going, and move on! And sometimes to even do the whole thing again! 

We are often taken for granted, we are often treated unfairly, we are often heartbroken, but mostly we are often rising above it all! We are daughters who care for their mothers and fathers, we are sisters who help the rest of the siblings in their homework, we are the friends we run to after the first drama we encounter in life, we are the wives who become mothers, and give their whole lives to their families! We love like no other creature in the universe! We love beyond measures, beyond rules and control. We are the first to rise in the morning, and always the last to put their heads on a pillow. We never stop being the daughter, the sister, the friend, even when life strikes us with a whole new world of responsibilities! We wear so many hats, and we feel it is our duty to always excel! 

My grandmother raised three little girls by herself, after she got divorced, in a time when this wasn’t only unacceptable in their society but also almost impossible! Yet she did it! She raised them to be wonderful, charming, well educated, caring, and inspiring women. One of them happens to be my mother! Who herself did have her own share of misery, yet gave life a slap in the face and proved that a woman is no less than a man in anyway! Her sisters did the same too! They all were strong and stubborn, they managed to build themselves and become who they are today! I come from a long line of women warriors, when crisis strike, we put on our big girl pants and deal with it! And that’s how it has always been! 

Should I even talk about giving birth? One of the hardest things anybody can ever do. I almost lost my life giving birth to my son, and I know so many women who were as lucky as I was and got back to their homes and their families, but I also know many who unfortunately weren’t as lucky! No man can ever go through this experience! Yet I don’t think we get enough credit for doing so. Giving birth has always been explained to me as the most natural and common experience in life, yet after I went through this amazing, extraordinary miracle, I realised that there is nothing normal nor common about it. Each woman goes through it differently, yet we all are strong enough to bare it, and to even do it again! God made us this strong because only he knew that being a woman requires a whole lot of strength and power to go through life the way we do!

We are half of the population, but we also make the other half! We give life, we nurture and love, we care and foster! And only we-women- can do so much! 

Today is no woman’s day, and no one day will ever be enough to recognise and appreciate every amazing woman in this life, but I chose to thank all the woman today in this post, and actually it should be a daily reminder, that we are god’s miracle, we are everything and we do everything and we should always appreciate ourselves and every other woman on earth. We should support and lift each other every day, because we are so worth it! We deserve to be loved and cherished! 

I am so thankful for all the women in my life. All of them are so amazingly strong and beautiful in their own ways! They inspire me every single day and I will forever cherish them. 

Ouiam