From My Heart to Yours!

 

I met you almost 8 years ago, in an airport, where we both took the same flight, to the same destination, where you were going to meet my family. You had a big smile on your face, one that only you have: big, bright, and beautiful. You greeted me with a firm, yet very gentle handshake. We started talking about random things: the flight we were about to take, the weather, the airport…etc. As we boarded the flight, our conversation got deeper and deeper. We talked about religion, childhood memories, life, work, and tons of other things, and that’s when I knew that I have made the best decision ever. The whole 12 hours journey we took together passed in the blink of an eye. I felt comfortable and at ease with you. I wanted to tell you all the stories I had and you listened with interest, you asked questions, you wanted to know more, you always do, because you are a true gentleman .

 

The look in your eyes was so soft, loving and just one that makes everyone around you feel happy and special. This look is always there, even now, almost 8 years later. Every time I see you, you still greet me with this exceptionally wonderful look, you also hug me, kiss me on the cheeks, and on the forehead, every single time. This is how we do it: A hug, a kiss on each cheek , one on the forehead, and I just love it so much.

 

Since day one, I felt like I could always rely on you, I felt you were a friend, a father, and great big brother.  I felt that you were my home away from home, and that your heart was one of gold. I knew how lucky I was to be in your life.

 

I was blessed with your presence in the last 8 years, and you have offered me all the love, guidance, and support I needed and wanted. You were there in every up and down I have faced, you offered advice and you loved me no matter what.

 

I always look forward to our late night chitchat sessions, with coffee, nuts, and tons of funny stories from you. You take story telling to a whole new level and boy do we all love you for that!

 

My child sees you as his hero, and it melts my heart every time. He always keeps the best hugs and kisses for you, and only you. He will run to you for a “bear hug” –as you guys call it- every single time he sees you, even if it was the 50th time that day. I am not only blessed because you are in my life, for me and with me in every step of the way, but also because you are there for the person I love more than anything in this world: my son.

 

No I am not talking about my husband, I am talking about his Dad, my father-in-law, and my son’s grandfather. The light of Al-Amri family, the one we always pray God to keep bright and shining forever.

 

This is for you to tell you that the value you add to our lives is unmeasurable, and that the love we have for you is unconditional, sweet and incomparable. May you always stay blessed, healthy and happy.

 

From your daughter in law, with so much love.

 

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Ouiam

 

Lost In Germany….

Last May, I did something quite crazy, something not everyone will be able to do, especially with a toddler onboard. I planned a trip, following Google’s advice and my instinct. I looked up “Small villages in Germany” and randomly chose one, then I booked the first house that popped up in my feed, and booked my tickets. Just me and my 3 years old. My desire to immerse myself in nature was growing day by day, and I was daydreaming about a trip where all we can do is contemplate the breathtakingly gorgeous sceneries. It wasn’t really hard to choose a country with the above descriptions; Germany is one of my very favorite countries, The Country of Poets and Thinkers, as it was being called once.
 

While there,  it really seemed like I have left the planet earth and showed up somewhere where social epidemics haven’t yet found place. Somewhere in the state of Bavaria in Germany, a tiny little town, about a handful of houses and a park (of course, parks in this part of the world are more important than anything else!), I am not even sure if I should call where I was, a “little town”, the closest supermarket, shops, or any sign of civilization was 15 km away (which is also a little town called “Schöllkrippen”). Mostly old couples live there, surrounded by all kind of greens, nature and friendly neighbors- sheep, goats, dogs and cats- Few young people too. Since we landed in this forgotten peace of heaven, Adam and I have been experiencing all kinds of human interactions that were not possible elsewhere. When we first arrived we were greeted at every corner, we were offered rides and food, we were treated like part of the family from people whom we have never seen before, from people we don’t even share the same language with! People have showered us with kindness and compassion since the day we stepped foot in there, and I simply wonder how come this only exists there? This has made me think of all the times reckless drivers shouted and raised hands that I could see from my mirror while driving, or those times when neighbors passed by and omitted to say hello, or the times family and friends have failed to show the human side in them, and I ask myself how come? Why we lost that human side in us that made us joyful, peaceful and simple! It also made me think of that specific time in an airport where I was helping a random guy get his luggage from one of those famous airport luggage belts (you know what I mean, those ones where if you don’t get your bag from the first round you start experiencing a mini heart attack, and are bound to wait in queues for hours!!!), and he came shouting, and waving his big bulky hand:” THIS IS MY BAG!”!!!!!!  Of course it is yours, idiot, I am just helping you! It made me think of countless encounters I had before of human beings being so far away from humanity, times where kindness has become a distant memory only few of us can remember. The people in this tiny town obviously opted for another philosophy in life, one that was too rare to even be named or studied. One that was the epitome of kindness, compassion and love.

 

 

What is it that has spoiled and ruined the human race this much, and left it pretty much inhuman? What is it that makes people kill innocent people, judge them, feel superior to them or even be insensitive to their existence?

 

If you say technology, it is wrong! Because each one of the people in this little tiny town, has their smart phones, laptops and TVs lined up in front of them (or in their living rooms), so it must be something else.

 

Whatever their secrete is, it is working! People in that little town are not disconnected from their surroundings even with the existence of phones and TVs. People there crave the social interaction as we- in my part of the world- crave the social media. These people are open and tolerant, they are present and mindful. I find it hard to believe that with the lifestyle we live we are able to find the essence of humanity anywhere. Husbands and wives busy with their phones, kids busy with their electronics and neighbors busy ignoring their neighbors. Somewhere along the journey we have all lost our purity and innocence, even with the best intentions, we are transformed with others’ rudeness and disconnection from whoever we want to be to whatever we are now.

 

Where I was, no one sits alone in a café, random people show up and ask if they can sit with you! So you don’t have to sit all alone! You will never be or feel alone even though the population of this tinniest city is one tenth of any normal sized city, while in big cities like where I live, you will be sitting in a table with 10 other people you know very well, and you will be hiding behind a screen, you might even not notice if someone leaves or comes! And this is my friends, one of the biggest losses the humanity has ever suffered from!

 

I am so very thankful and blessed that the universe has sent me to this unbelievably rich little town, to relearn what is the purpose of being human and how to be human in an era of disconnection and impurity.


PS: Those gorgeous pictures were taken by the very talented Jessica Elm in Germany.

Instagram: @jessicaelmphotography

Ouiam

From Morocco To Oman With Love!



My niece arrived few days ago from Morocco, she is visiting us for few weeks. This is her first trip abroad, and to see the excitement on her face each and every time she sees or experiences something new amazes me. This actually reminds me of the first time I traveled from Morocco to Dubai to visit my sister, 16 years ago, and how similar I was then to my niece now, and how I have changed in so many ways and “Demoroccanised” (if that’s even a word) from when I was 14 till now!

 

You see, 7 years ago I married an Omani, and because I fell in love not only with him, but with his beautiful family too, I have embraced their culture, lifestyle, and all the tiny little details that make a person Omani! So now with this fresh dose of Moroccan breeze and goodness, from my niece, it’s simply hilarious (to me) to see that even though both countries are Arab, the differences are HUGE! So I have decided to write a post and include all the funny little things that my old self (aka Moroccan) and my new self (aka the wife of an Omani) do differently, just because my husband and his family are  Omanis.

 

1-      In Morocco Pjs are considered decent and official clothes, you can run to the grocery store, while wearing your Pajamas. I’ve done it many many times, yet now whenever I go back home and see people wandering around in the streets in their Pjs, I still chuckle and find it very funny! Pjs are also the official wear when at home, you would expect everyone to be wearing their pjs in their houses, so if you’re visiting someone, it’s just super normal to be received in Pjs! Now try to picture that happening here (or in Oman lol)

2-       In Morocco, if you travel to visit a family member and you are planning to stay in their home, you still need to take with you your towels, your shampoo, your shower gel, and every single thing you need. It’s just NORMAL. However, Since I got married, I learnt that wherever you go in Oman, friends and family think that it is their responsibility to stock up on these things for you, so no need to take any of that! Now whenever I go to visit, I barely even take any clothes with me lol

3-      FOOD: In Morocco we have 3 official meals, yet it seems like all we do during the day is eat! There is Breakfast, Tea and sweets at around 10am, Lunch, Tea and sweets at 2pm, Coffee at 5pm and Dinner at 9pm, and of course tons of snacking in between lol

4-       We have a place called “Hamam” (Bathroom in English, or as everyone might know it: Moroccan bath!!! It’s like a huge Sauna room, where you are supposed to take a shower and get scrubbed by a “Kiyasa”- A lady who will lay you down on a table, and scrub the hell out of you lol- So no matter how many showers you take a day, you still need to go there once every week to scrub all the dead skin and become “clean” again lol. I guess before I head to Morocco this year for a vacation, a trip to the Hamam is a must lol

5-       Contrarily to what every person in the Gulf region thinks, In Morocco Couscous is NOT similar to rice, we don’t eat couscous everyday! Couscous is just one of the many many dishes we have in the Moroccan cuisine. It is usually prepared every Friday in almost every Moroccan household though.

6-      If you are Moroccan and planning to visit Oman soon, please be aware of the language traps! Even though both are supposedly derived from the classical Arabic, you might want to think again before you say publically the following words: “barefoot” or “spoiled” in the Moroccan dialect, because they mean completely different things, and you don’t even wanna know lol, also when someone in Oman tells you: “Allah Ye3tik Al Afia” ” الله يعطيك العافية”، they are not really asking God to burn you in hell hahahahaha they are just asking Him to bless you with good health 😉 

7-      I don’t know about NOW, but growing up ice cream was ONLY available in summer time, there was no way you’ll see it when it’s cold and snowy outside. while here Adam and I (and pretty much anyone living in this area) can indulge in this luxury any and everyday! In the Gulf, ice cream is treated just like any other life necessity, you’ll always find it in supermarkets all year long .

 

I had a serious fit of laughter while writing this post, I hope it makes you giggle a bit too 😉

 

From a Moroccan married to an Omani, with LOVE!

 

Ouiam

The Wisdom Of White Papers

Do you remember when you were little? Do you remember how much you knew, how much you trusted, how much you loved, how much you laughed and how much you cried? Of course you do!  Because those were the days you were still close to the doors of knowing… The doors of miracles and mystery.

Everyone says children are born like white papers, and it is our duty as parents to fill those papers with whatever they need to grow up. We teach them to talk, read, write, and to become successful in life; But did anyone try to learn things from those little minds instead of teaching them?

As a kid I believed in clouds and rainbows, I believed I was brave enough to conquer the world, to fly and to be free.  I also seriously believed that I had a hidden talent in understanding animal’s language.. Yes I did. I stayed hours with cats having conversations about life and death. I believed there was always a secrete door, I just needed to look for it harder, I believed I was strong enough to face the world. Suddenly all this believing stopped .. and I grew up! I learned to be afraid of tomorrow, and to never trust strangers, to doubt my own capabilities and skills and to stop asking questions. Yet they say growing up is the best part of life! We grow up and forget the best things we ever knew. We grow up to become boring and scared. We lose our simple selves and become a complicated work in progress. And even though we all secretly know this and long for the days we ran barefoot and laughed at silly jokes, we never  really admit it. We even help our kids grow up and we take them far, far away from that door of knowing and of miracles!

 

Why can’t we let our kids guide us, and show us the way again? Why can’t we learn from them to love and believe in each other again? Why don’t we let them teach us to laugh when we feel like it and to cry when we are sad? Why don’t we stop and look at the stars when they do? Why don’t we look at simple things and be amazed by them again?

 

I think we will learn greatly if we did!

 

Ouiam

 

Live Quietly Or Be A Thunderstorm

If you want to live your life quietly and privately then that’s great and noble, but I would like to live mine with my shadow in front of me. I want to rebel and push boundaries. I want to rise and fall and be able to appreciate both, the rise and the fall. I want to shout and make my voice heard. I want to fly and reinvent myself each and every day. I want to make my own choices and be responsible for the consequences. I want to be fearless yet allow fear to be my best friend. How about you? Do you want to lead a noble life or do you belong to the world of thunderstorms too?

 

Who defines whether you are successful or not? If your answer is anything but: “myself”, then you might want to take a step back and rethink your answer. If the answer is so or so, then you are making a choice to fall, because no one can know you better than you do! Thousands and thousands of people would gladly scrutinize and criticize every single step you take and mark it as a failure, or as a “not good enough”, but does it matter? If you know that even when you fail you are adding value to your life, you are enriching it and making it worth living, then you are a winner no matter what!

 

When you look down at yourself or your skills, you are then giving a free pass to everyone on this planet to do the same exact thing. When you think that you aren’t good enough, pretty enough, strong enough, smart enough…etc., you are welcoming disappointments and heartaches, with open arms. You are making a pact with the devil to take away the joy and sparks from your life. What you will be overlooking is the fact that you never promised anyone that you’ll be perfect. You never told the universe that you’ll be a great mother, wife, sister, daughter, employee, …etc. We put so much pressure on ourselves that we get lost in the middle of the game, we become our worst enemies. We forget that the most important virtue of all is self-forgiveness. Instead of constantly reminding ourselves of how we suck, maybe we can spread positive vibes coming from a place of kind, encouraging and motherly love. Every time we open our mouths to say something negative, maybe we can say a prayer of love instead.

 

I heard somewhere someone saying: “Take 10 seconds a day to think of someone you know, or even someone you don’t know -it could be anyone, the cashier at the supermarket, the old woman crossing the road next to you, the young man sitting next to you at the café…etc. Think of them and wish them happiness, truly and genuinely wish them to be happy” Try it … Now! Close your eyes, think of someone, ANYONE, and wish them all the happiness in the world…. Yes, that’s what I am talking about… You are smiling already! Can you do it twice, three, four times a day? I tried it and it transformed my days!  How about if you wish YOURSELF happiness? Do it few times a day and see the outcome, you might be surprised.

 

The world is a scary place, and it might seem almost impossible to uncover the strange jewels that are hidden within each one of us, yet it is our duty to do so!  Whether we want to live quietly and privately or we want to take the biggest bite we could of this delicious life, loudly and cheerfully, we still need to be our own BBFs, we need to learn how to love ourselves no matter how bad we think we are.  Hard to transfer this from a blog post to reality, yes I know, but every day is a chance to work on it, to try, to do the best we can, and that’s all that matters.

 

Ouiam

Sharing Souls.

I am a firm believer that the people we meet in our life are destined to cross our path, each with a mission. Some missions are simple and entertaining and some others can be daunting and excruciating. Some might add value to our lives and some might change us forever and some others might cause us great pain and suffering in order to learn a life lesson.

Sometime we meet people for the first time, yet we feel that we have known them for a very long time, and here I wonder, did we really know them before? In a different life? A different era? And they show up again in this life as a manifestation of love? To finish a story?! We meet someone, and we immediately like them, we want to befriend them, we want to get to know them and explore their souls. We don’t know why but we’re hunted by the idea of having them in our life –again- Mostly the feeling is reciprocated which can only strengthen the theory.

Those souls we meet and are attracted to, those souls who can make ours so warm and happy, those soulmates, and I don’t only mean “soulmate” as in a love relationship, I also mean friends who complete us, who make us a better version of ourselves, who finish our sentences, who can detect the faintest note of sadness in our voice when we’re sad and beaten. How many can one have? I think I am one of the lucky ones to have witnessed many manifestations of love throughout my life. Many souls who have mastered the art of blending in with mine and have created beautiful work of art. Yet our souls and bodies are always a work in progress, as we keep on evolving and changing, our needs, ideas, and feelings keep on changing too, and our souls need more space to grow and more mates to thrive. Sometimes we are so blessed and lucky to grow and evolve hand in hand with our many soulmates, we go through life holding hands and smiling like little kids, and sometimes their time in our life ends and we all move to the next chapter, because their mission has been completed!

This reminds me a little bit of marriage, and when old couples who have celebrated many decades of matrimony, are asked “How did you manage to love and live with the same person for this long?”. This question doesn’t make any sense to me, because that husband and that wife are not the same people from all these decades ago! Everyday we wake up a little different than the previous one. Each day we learn new things about ourselves that we didn’t know before, and so does our partner. Within 5 or 6 years we are completely different than the two people who met long time ago and fell in love! Yet, as we learn new things about ourselves and our partners, our relationship grows and evolves with us, to fit our current needs, hopes and fears. And only those who open their hearts and souls and embrace each other every single day, with all the baggage they come with and the baggage waiting for them in the future, can make it and can live together happily for years and years!

Acceptance is the key! Knowing and admitting that our thoughts, opinions and feelings are never stable, and so are the ones of the people around us. No one knows what will tomorrow bring, yet we know what we are now –in the moment- The only thing we own and control is now. Being aware and in tune with our souls and bodies is a blessing and a great testimony of love. Admitting that every person in our life can add a little something to the work in progress we are, knowing that our experiences and our stories might be the life-saving anchor to many people around us without us even noticing. Listening (really listening) to people when they talk, listening with our souls and hearts and not only ears. Listening and letting our soul drown in the greatness of other people’s souls, only then we will accept and love unconditionally.

Ouiam

Matters OF The Heart

 

One of the hardest things in life is to be faced with a situation where you have to make a choice that every ounce of your brain is absolutely sure it is the right thing to do, yet you just can’t bring yourself to do it!

 

In situations like these, we tend to seek refuge in the arms of friends and loved ones, hoping they will help us take the RIGHT decision. Hoping they will just spit it out, and tell us exactly what to do. Because we just want to sit and watch instead of being the main player. Because we are out of breath and need a break from the agony of the situation, of the unknown and the uncertainty!  But mainly because we want someone else to blame if the whole thing crumbled to the ground. Yet they never do, those friends and loved ones, because again nobody likes to take decisions; instead they work like analyzing machines and lay the pros and cons on the table for you,  as if you didn’t do that about a million times already, letting you drown in the pool of your thoughts, fears, and hopes!

 

 

We usually relate the logical stuff to the brain and the emotional things to the heart, and while I have no idea what does science says about that, it does seem that these two are never on the same page, it seems that they are always in a constant conflict. In the perfect world, I would love to live with a heart only, yet I can only imagine the results… that poor heart would be broken as many times as it can take.

 

It saddens me that I can’t follow my heart most of the time, it breaks my heart that sometimes I have to favor my brain over my heart. Even though at the end  of the day, I am very grateful to have a brain of course, and in so many situations I was ecstatic that I gave my brain a chance to shine over my heart, because it probably has saved me from lots of pain and suffering. Yet that pain and suffering are the crucial tools into growing up, growing wise and enlightened. But what happens when both are right? When your brain and heart both make sense just not in the same direction? What to choose and who to favor? What to do when the pros and cons are equally set? What happens when you are stuck between the darkness of the night and the darkness of your own soul? What to do? I am afraid I don’t have answers! Sometimes I choose to take a nap instead, and let time do exactly what it does best- it flies, and tomorrow comes sooner than you think. But I wouldn’t recommend this method because it is reckless, even to me, and I can tell you, it doesn’t always bring the best of outcomes!

 

 

When you think that you have reached the deepest and darkest circles of hell, and you wait patiently to see who is going to win this battle: your heart or your brain. Even though you know deep in your heart and mind, that the brain should win, so you can stand on your feet again and rebuild what have been broken; you still wait patiently for your heart to make a move and miraculously save you and take you up to heaven. You know that your heart will only bring troubles your way yet you follow it no matter what. Why is that?!

 

I am afraid today I have no answers! Today I am hoping to hear your answers!

 

Ouiam