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

 

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

A Breeze, A Storm, And A Little Piece Of Heaven!

 

 

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So… it has been a little too quiet in here right? That’s because we were on a very long vacation. It was a huge adjustment to let go of the little machines (aka smartphones), that would soon turn me into one, but I did it. I managed to stay offline most of the time. No Facebook, no Instagram and no blogging of course! I survived and guess what? I really enjoyed living the moment instead of capturing it, (just for that little while, but I am glad to get my machines back lol!), I still took a whole lot of pictures… click … click …click, but those are going to be saved for the rainy days…!

Our trip was about 6 weeks long, therefore I thought I should write few posts to cover the whole trip. We did Germany, Morocco, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Germany again, before coming back to our lovely sandy island- Bahrain. With a toddler who was beyond excited to get on an airplane, travel to new destinations, and visit his family!

That’s not it….! To end this long vacation, I decided to go on a trip to Oman with my girlfriends…! Yes, a girls’ trip! Do you realise how wild and crazy that is…well at least to me! I never left Adam more than few hours with his dad, and going on a three days’ trip meant that he will stay all those long, tiring, busy 72 hours with his second favourite person in the whole world: his dad (let’s hope hubby doesn’t read this or else I will be in trouble!”.

 

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This year was all about getting out of my comfort zone, trying new, exciting and different things, pushing my own boundaries, and exploring my abilities. so the next logical step was to take this trip with my 66 years old Taichi Master (It will be much easier if we just call her “S” for now), and two of my friends “R” and “W”. We planned this trip to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the studio where we train. This year also marked my 10th year living in Bahrain. So it was a wonderful thing to do to cherish all the years we spent in this beautiful part of the word, a place we all call home now.

 

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Writing about this trip (and the rest of our vacation) feels like a must. Something that I need to share with so many parents who think that life with kids means suffocating the person we were before the kids arrived and becoming a new person that we don’t even relate to most of the time. I feel I have to write about this trip because it revealed the real person I am and gave me an opportunity to be authentic and true to myself. It also gave me courage to get back to my hectic life and dive into that crazy world of mine, with a grin. The adrenalin rush was something I craved and with the thrill and kicks of this trip, my prayers were answered. It liberated me and grounded me at the same time. I feel I have to write about every aspect of the trip, the beauty of Oman that I am sure I will never do it justice, the courage it took 4 ladies to travel on their own, rent a car, use a GPS for the first time, go to the mountains and explore the enchanting nature of Oman. to write about the bonds that flourished with this trip, the trust, the friendship. About how challenging our hikes were, yet we went through each challenge determined to succeed. We discovered the power of the mind and how your words have a great impact on your performance, and that just when you think you can’t take one more step forward, your legs will already be one step ahead of you! I have to write about the feeling of being a kid again, running, jumping, free, fresh, and at peace with your inner-self, laughing like a kid, breathing like a kid, joking and being silly like you have never done before! I have to write about the inspiration these 3 ladies have given me! A 66 years old, unstoppable, brave, yet kind and harbors the softest of hearts. A young lady who dedicated her life to work with children, and another young lady, so motivated that it seems she never lost the child within her! So you see why I will need more than one blog post? Where shall I even start?

 

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Up until the last minute I wasn’t sure I could get myself to leave home, knowing that I will not see my little nugget for 3 whole days! I should spare you guys those details about the tears, the ruined mascara, the uncontrollably fast heart beats, and the agony that possessed my soul! Yes, this is how bad things were that morning at 7am, when that cab pulled over next to my door step, and I really needed it to get in, if I wanted to reach the airport on time to make it to that flight!

I felt I was the big girl in this trip, even though I am pretty sure I was the youngest. Maybe because once you are a mother, you are always a mother! And you always feel responsible for everyone else around you, no matter how old/young they are. So obviously, I was the one in charge of the documents, the bookings, … you know… the big stuff! Somehow I also felt in charge of the ladies, there was always this feeling that I had to look after them and make sure each one was safe and happy.

 

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So there I was with a rented car in front of me, a GPS in my hand and three cheerful ladies next to me! Whoever knows me well, knows that the GPS and I are not the bestest of friends! I never used one and never understood that virtual world of “recalculating, on route and turn left then keep right!!!!!!”, yet, and just like a big kid, I installed that damn thing (Hell yeah I am a mother ….Nothing is gonna scare me!),I typed the address and we all cheered and welcomed Bruno (the voice of our GPS). S was our driver, and she wasn’t thrilled about using a GPS, she had a map that she bought from the shop at the airport, and decided she would follow it instead of freezing her brain and listening to a voice who clearly can’t give clear instructions!! (talk about inspiration and about that “turn right, keep left!” thing lol!!!). After several minutes of trying to convince S that Bruno is our good friend for now, and that may be listening to what he is saying wasn’t such a bad idea after all, finally she agreed, not convinced but I guess she was just too tired to argue with two restless young ladies full of energy, and not ready to be defeated!

We were heading to the Shangri La, an exquisite hotel in Muscat, that I have visited before with my husband. The road was nothing like what I have imagined. It was so easy and refreshingly simple. I must confess though, the whole journey from the airport to the hotel, all I could think of, was my little Adam and how terribly I missed him already!

The next day, we were ready for our hike. Up by 6am, full of energy and ready to challenge our bodies and souls! The drive was about two hours from the hotel. We got in the car with our bags, sunscreen, water, and our dreamy little minds. I had butterflies in my stomach, you see S appointed me as her Co-pilot, and I was nervous! Me and Bruno just started to get along and I wasn’t really sure we could make it all the way to “Wadi Shab”….. Wanna know if we made it there? Oh well stay tuned and wait for my next blog post!

 

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Ouiam