I would like to start by thanking all my loyal readers and those who supported me since I started this blog. It has been more than three years; and so much has happened, so much has changed ever since my first post. I started this blog because a friend of mine has encouraged me to. She believed that I have a unique voice that should be heard. I am very grateful that I have listened to her and embarked on the bloggers’ journey. The day I decided to write my first post was probably one of the most boring days of my life. I was at work with nothing to do but to drink tea and try to engage in utterly boring conversations with some people that I didn’t really like. With time, this blog became my escape; not only from work, but also from society. I poured my anger, desperation and deep emotions in this blog. I wanted to shout out my opinion and let others know of what a young Qatari girl wonder about. It was fun, thrilling and enlightening. There has been ups and downs since I started this blog, I won’t deny that I was hurt from some haters, especially those who know my real identity and preferred to keep theirs hidden. But this was also part of the learning process.
I am writing this to tell you that I decided to stop blogging on MIMIZWORDS. simply because I don’t see myself as MIMI anymore. I have moved on in life and so have my interests. My passion for writing did not change, if anything it is growing every day and so I will continue writing. I might start another kind of blog, or not. But for now, this is goodbye. I might write one last post for old times sake.
I wish you all the best, and I would like to thank you for supporting me.
MIMI will always be there.
I believe that every human being is creative because it is simply the natural order of life. Progress is the inevitable result of creativity. Believing in oneself is the first step towards unleashing the natural flow of creativity, and so I call creative people ‘believers’.
‘Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness’ Shakti Gawain
Facing our doubts and believing in our abilities is already a hard thing to accomplish. But once we have reached self-acceptance we seek the acceptance of others in order to have a sense of safety and belonging. We think that without the appreciation of others the circle of creativity cannot be complete. Therefore, we should take a second and think of those around us and how they affect our lives.
Our lives is full of sabotagers, or as I would like to call them creativity blockers. They create a toxic environment for creative ideas to grow. They strive on sabotaging other’s accomplishments in any way possible. Those who may capsize your creativity do so because their own creativity is blocked. They are stuck and cannot move forward and try to glue others around them in the same spot. Look out for those who are always late and do not care about your time; those who only remember you when they are in trouble; those who are always pessimistic and drain your energy; those who do not appreciate you and try to put you down; those who find your own progress disturbing. Creativity blockers manipulate new believers by making them feel guilty about leaving them behind or doubting their ability to succeed.
A different kind of creativity blockers are Crazy Makers. Julia Cameron describes them in her book ‘The Artist’s Way’ as charismatic, charming and powerfully persuasive and can create storm centers and take over your whole life. They like drama; require constant attention; spend your time and money and are expert blamers. It might be someone in your life or it might be you!
I have personally encountered many kinds of creativity blockers and crazy makers. Some have consumed my time and energy for silly problems when they didn’t even intend to help themselves. Some have doubted my ability to reach certain goals. Some have even questioned the purpose of my goals. Some have attacked me for expressing my ideas and some were suspicious of my desire to progress. It has been hard to keep moving forward and I am sure there are more obstacles in the way. The more we progress the more crazy people will come across our path. But failure to ask questions and express ideas is failure to exist and we should never give up.
Block those creativity blockers out of your life for good. Do not let their fears and self-doubt get into you. Never doubt yourself no matter how hard the criticism might be, follow your passion and soon others will follow.
القافلة تسير والكلاب تنبح
وما أكثر الكلاب التي تنبح في زماننا هذا
When it was announced that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup many countries, such as the United Kingdom thought that it was an outrageous decision. Being a young and small developing country, many British have questioned Qatar’s ability to host such massive event under extreme hot weather and its ability to facilitate transportation for thousands of people. I understand where they are coming from, but it is too soon to judge. We still have 12 years to catch up with great powers such as UK.
What I don’t understand is that after the long rich history of United Kingdom and their great civilization and the modernity and innovative technology they have, they still can’t function under some snow! It is not like it’s snowing for the first time, it has been snowing here for thousands of years so shouldn’t you be used to it by now? Are you freaking kidding me London! It is few centimetres and you close your airports for days causing severe delays and inconvenience for thousands of people! Heathrow is the busiest airport in the world you think you want to be prepared for some snow. If I was British I would ask where all the tax money goes? Russia can function better under meters of snow not few CENTIMETERS! Don’t question our ability to host an event in hot weather if you still can’t fly a plane under some snow.
ذهبت شراء لحم حلال من محل عربي قريب من المنزل. بالطبع، إن لم يكن البائع عربي الجنسية سيكون مسلم. طلبت منه كيلو لحم. سألني بالانجليزية “هل تريدين الشحم؟” أجبت كلا. ثم نظر إلي و ضحك، وهز رأسة يميناً و يساراً و قال “توقعت أن هذه ستكون إجابتك. أنتي لا تعرفين أن هذا الشحم هو ألذ شيء في هذه القطعة” لم أجب عليه و اكتفيت بالابتسام. ثم سألني “هل تريدين أن أقطع اللحم كذلك؟” أجبت نعم من فضلك. ثم نظر إلي نظرة سخرية و أومأ بيدة و قال بالانجليزية “بنات هذة الايام لا يعرفون و لا يستطيعون عمل شيء، رحم الله نساء زمان”. قلت له “هل انت عربي؟” قال نعم. قلت “الرجل العربي هو فقط الذي ينظر للمرأة في حدود قدرتها على تقطيع اللحم. بدل أن أقضي وقت تعليمي في المطبخ قضيته في الجامعة لكي انتج جيل متعلم بحق”. لم يرد على كلامي. قطع اللحم بهدوء ثم انصرف.
قمت بعد ذلك بطبخ عدة أطباق لحفلة اليوم. دجاج بالكريمة، كفتة باللبن، وكبسة و خنفروش (طبقي المفضل). سنوات الغربة علمتني الطبخ بسرعة و سهولة و اكتشفت انه عمل ممتع جداً خاصة إذا كان هناك من يشاركني الطعام. فكرت ببائع اللحم و قلت لنفسي، قد لا أعرف كيف أقطع اللحم و لكنني أعرف كيف أطهو الطعام جيداً. كانت الحفلة أكثر من رائعة و استمتعنا جميعاً بحق.
في اليوم التالي أخبرت أحد معارفي- كان رجلاً من جنسية عربية – عن حفلة الأمس. أخبرته أن والدتي اندهشت من قدرتي على الطبخ و التنظيف و خدمة الضيوف بسرعة و انسيابية. سألني “ليش انتي ما تطبخي في بلادك؟” قلت لا. ثم سأل “شو شو شو ؟ يعني من بيطبخ لك؟” قلت ” الطباخ” انقلب وجهه فجأة و عليه علامات الإشمئزاز و التقرف. ثم سأل “و مين هاي الطباخ” قلت له “الطباخ اللي يطبخ الأكل!” ثم سأل و علامات الإشمئزاز لا تزال واضحة على وجهه “أيوا مين هيدا الطباخ من وين يعني؟” قلت “الفلبين”. ثم سأل “و مين بينضف” قلت ” الخدامة بتنضف و السواق بيسوق.. شو في شي؟” فاجأني بكلامة التالي “أنا بعرف ان انتو الخليجيين هيك حياتكو، خدم و فشخرة لكن ما توقعت انك انتي هيك كمان. أحنا عندنا النسوان هني ياليي بيطبخو و ينضفوا و يعملو كل شي”. ضحكت و قلت “يعني باب الحارة صحيح؟ النسوان يخدمون الرجال الأبضاي”. قال “ايه هيك الحكي، المرة لازم عليها تطبخ و تنضف”. ثم تذكرت إحدى حلقات عمر خالد قال فيها أن أعمال المنزل هو فضل من المرأة و ليس واجب عليها. و تذكرت في درس ديني عن واجبات و حقوق الزوجة أن الزوج يجب أن يدفع لزوجته ثمن إرضاعها أطفاله.
و قلت له، لكنك تعرف أن في الإسلام الطبخ و التنظيف ليس واجب من واجبات المرأة. حتى عندما تقوم برضاعة الطفل فيجب على الزوج ان يدفع لها مقابل هذا العمل. غلى كالبركان وكأنني انتهكت حقاً من حقوقة و قال “انتي ما تحكي عن الاسلام انتي شو عرفك أصلاً؟” قلت له أن هذا ليس رأيي الشخصي و إنما هذا كلام سمعته من مصادر موثوقة. ثم قال ” لأ هيدي حكي الشيعة عندكم في الخليج هيدا كلام مو صحيح. أنا بقرى القرأن و بعرف، المره لازم تطبخ وتنضف لجوزا”. سألته إذا كان قد درس تفسير القرأن، و بالطبع كانت إجابتة بالنفي. ولكن قال أن لديه عقل و يستطيع أن يفسر الكلام و يفهمة و لا يحتاج لشخص أن يفسر له القران. قلت له أن في هذا الزمن الرجل و المرأة يعملان معاً ليسدا تكاليف الحياة، فليس من العدل أن تضظر المرأة للعمل خارج البيت و داخله. يجب أن يكون هناك تفاهم و تقسيم للواجبات. لو كانت المرأة لا تعمل لربما كان واجبأ عليها الاهتمام بالطبخ و التنظيف. ثار ثوره و لم يعجبة كلامي. قلت له، لا توجد مرأة لا تحب أن تطبخ لعائلتها و تهتم بزوجها. واجباً كان أو لا، هذا الإهتمام هو من طبيعة المرأة و حبها لعائلتها. ثم سألني “يعني هلا جوزك ما يقدر يوفر كل شي؟” قلت له أن الحياة هذه الأيام صعبة و يجب أن نعمل سويا لتوفير منزل و سيارة و مستقبل واعد للأطفال. قال أنه سيصدقني فقط لأنه لم يزر الخليج من قبل بالرغم أن كلامي عكس ما يراه و يسمعة عن الخليجيين في لندن..
عندما تركتة قال “هلا أنا راجع البيت و الأكل جاهز شفتي شلون هيك الحكي” ضحكت وقلت له “عليك بالعافية”. المضحك في الأمر أن التي كانت قد جهزت له الطعام هي صديقتة الروسية التي يتشارك معها في غرفة النوم! – لا تعليق على قدراته في تفسير القران بشكل صحيح – أو قدراتي.
ناقشت إحدى صديقاتي هذا الموضوع مع أحد المسلمين الغرب فقال “المشكلة في الدول العربية هي أن العرب يترجمون القران بما يناسب عاداتهم و ليس بما هو حق لذلك لا نرى هذه التفرقة بين الرجل و المراة بين المسلمين الغرب”
هل هذا صحيح؟ أنا اسألك أيها الرجل الشرقي الذي أعشقه، هل فعلاً انك لا ترضى بدور غير أدوار البطولة؟
“10. If she works outside the house, it is praiseworthy for the husband to hire house help to relieve her from too heavy a burden. The wife’s duties do not require her to feed her child, nor even to nurse it, nor to clean nor cook. It is the husband’s duty to provide a nursemaid, food for older children, and servants to clean and cook. However, if the wife does those things out of mercy and love, it is a gift to the husband on her part.”
“Helping one’s wife with the housework:
Many men think that housework is beneath them, and some of them think that it will undermine their status and position if they help their wives with this work. The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.), however, used to sew his own clothes, mend his own shoes and do whatever other workmen do in their homes. (Reported by Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad, 6/121; Sahih al-Jami, 4927).
This was said by his wife Aishah (RA), when she was asked about what the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) used to do in his house; her response described what she herself had seen. According to another report, she said:
“He was like any other human being: he would clean his clothes, milk his ewe and serve himself.” (Reported by Imam Ahmad in al-Musnad, 6/256; al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 671)
She (RA) was also asked about what the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) used to do in his house, and she said, “He used to serve his family, then when the time for prayer came, he would go out to pray.” (Reported by al-Bukhari, al-Fath, 2/162).
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By Tuga Alaskary
As I stepped out of the rickshaw I was greeted by girls pouring out into the courtyard; “hello sister” “welcome sister” “sister look…” I knelt down low enough for one of the young girls to gently place a bindi on my forehead. The girls I was surrounded by were very young, some as young as 5, I thought to myself that they must be the daughters of the women housed in this shelter. I was very wrong. These were the victims of human trafficking that had been rescued. I had arrived at Odanadi, a rescue centre for women that had been trafficked for sexual exploitation located in the Southern Indian city of Mysore, I was shocked to find that far from being women, these were young girls their ages ranging from 5-23.
Odanadi is an inspiring project that rescues, rehabilitates and reintegrates girls and boys who have been trafficked all across India. With the police turning a blind eye to the well-connected gangs, some of the rescue operations are carried out by the founders of this organisation and it comes with great risk. Over the short period of time that I spent at Odanadi, I learnt of the horrifying ordeals that the girls had lived through. Three of the girls I met, Saanvi, Radha and Parvani were rescued together. Their parents were conned into believing that they were being taken to the city for respectable work that would pay well. Desperately poor and hoping for a better future, they let their girls go. Once taken away from their families, the three girls were kept in an underground cellar for several years and sexually abused over and over. Odanadi learnt of these girls’ whereabouts and carried out a rescue operation. At the time of my visit, the girls were still recovering from their ordeal. Saanvi, aged 17, had the frame of a child and often cried; she explained to me that although Odanadi had managed to locate her family, her parents had refused to take her back in as they feared she would bring dishonour to the family. Odanadi was now her permanent home. Radha was HIV positive and hadn’t said a single articulate word since she arrived, she let out strange babbling sounds. Parvani was coping the worst of the three, she hadn’t uttered a word since her rescue, one day she emerged from the bathroom having shaved all her hair off and she spent her days curled up in a corner, keeping away from the rest and looking spaced out. All three girls were receiving medical treatment and counselling provided by in-house professionals employed by Odanadi.
It wasn’t all doom and gloom though, there were happy endings too. One girl who had spent most of her life at Odanadi told me that she was finishing school that year and had been accepted into a prestigious university in Germany to study Business. Another of the older girls, who had taken part in a cross-country cycle with other volunteers to raise awareness about human-trafficking, had met a young man, a co-volunteer in the cycle, they had fallen in love and Odanadi, stepping in as her family, were making arrangements for her wedding.
Wherever possible Odanadi strives to reconnect the girls with their families, but in many cases the families refuse to take the girls back, fearing for their family honour. Odanadi provides these vulnerable girls with the safety and love they need to cope with and get past the trauma. Even though there are over 80 girls living in the home, it hasn’t lost its warm family feel.
On November 18th 2010, British-born Bally Sappal will be participating in the groundbreaking 10-day long India UK Friendship Walk, to raise awareness about human trafficking on behalf of Odanadi UK. She will be walking 22km per day alongside the event organizer Jill Beckingham and British Indian entrepreneur Seema Sharma, who featured in Channel 4’s popular Secret Slumdog Millionaire series.
She hopes to raise much-needed funds for Odanadi, aiming to raise at least £2k for Odanadi’s two rehabilitation centres in Mysore, home to around 85 young survivors of human trafficking. Many of them have been rescued from the hands of pimps, brothel madams, criminal sex trafficking networks, situations of slavery, destitution and abuse. Support this great initiative by making a donation http://www.charitygiving.co.uk/odanadi-bally_sappal.
You can also check the Odanadi website: http://odanadisevatrust.org/
or their UK website: http://www.odanadi-uk.org/
*I have changed the names of the girls in the stories I have shared.
غريبٌ في بلادي
أرى أناس لا يفهمون كلامي
ملابسهم لا تخفي عيوبهم
و نظراتهم تلاحقني كالطاعونِ
و يرُدُّون علي بالافرنجية
و يضحك من حولي ويقول: غير متعلمة
ولكن .. ألستُ في بلاد عربية؟
كيف؟ و أبٌ لا يملك لعائلتة مكيف في هذا الحر القاتل
بينما أطفال مايكل
مستمتعسن مجاناً بين الأكاديمية .. و الدرجة الأولى .. وأساباير
أهلي انفسهم ليسوا هم
القيل و القال أهم من الحلال الحرام
انت قطري و انا قطرية
ولكنك هولي و انا قبيلية
و انت أسود و أنتي شيعية
يصرخون الدين .. الدين .. الإسلام
أين العدل؟ أين الحق؟ أين الإكرام؟
العبائة فوق الرأس
واللسان أحد من الفأس
و اللحية إلى السرة
و العين على فتاة تلعب بالكُرة
إلى من الجأ؟
إلى الغريب الذي يراني متخلفة
أم إلى الناس التي تراني متمردة
The Brookings Doha Center is pleased to announce the launch of its 2010 essay contest.
Established in 2007, the Brookings Doha Center is a project of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and an integral part of the Brookings Institution’s Foreign Policy program. The Center undertakes independent, policy-oriented research on the socioeconomic and geopolitical issues facing Muslim-majority states and communities, including relations with the United States. The Center’s research and programming agenda includes convening public policy discussions with political, business, and thought leaders from both Muslim-majority states and the United States; producing original policy-oriented research; hosting visiting fellows; and engaging the media to share Brookings analysis with the public.
The Brookings Doha Center essay contest seeks to engage young Arabs between the ages of 21 and 30 and aims to identify the talents and contributions of a new generation. By providing a channel for young people to offer creative and constructive solutions to key issues facing the region, the Brookings Doha Center seeks to generate new and innovative ideas on the regional level.
The first place winner will receive $2000, the runner up $1000, and honorable mention(s) $500. A panel of leading scholars and experts from the Brookings Institution may select one or more winning essays to be published by the Brookings Doha Center, as well as being featured on the Center’s web site. The selected winner(s) may be hosted at an event at the Brookings Doha Center to present their ideas to the media, academic, diplomatic and policy communities. Entries must be submitted by December 1, 2010.
“What do you consider the most important political, economic, or social change that would create a better life for your country’s citizens? Please suggest policy recommendations that your government can take to help bring this change about.”
RULES AND GUIDELINES
Submitted essays must be between 2500 and 3000 words in English (excluding footnotes). Entries must be original, unpublished work. Submissions should be sent in Word format with footnotes, if appropriate. Within the document, state your full legal name, nationality, place of residence, telephone number, e-mail address, date of birth and institutional affiliation if applicable. Entries that do not follow these guidelines are subject to disqualification.
Please send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. The file name should be labeled as follows: [Last name. First name. BDC Essay Contest].
The competition is open to citizens of the 22 member of the League of Arab States between the ages of 20 and 30 residing in an Arab country (born between December 1, 1980 and December 1, 1990). Applicants must have received their undergraduate degrees at the time of application.
SELECTION OF WINNER(S)
Entries will be evaluated by a select panel of fellows and scholars at the Brookings Institution. Essays will be judged for clarity, style, content and originality of argument. Decisions of the panel are final.
Fore more information: http://www.brookings.edu/doha.aspx
Born and raised in Qatar, Hanadi Hassan, is 23 years-old. Currently she is working as an administrative assistant for a petrochemical plant. She is also a freelance makeup artist who has worked on many shoots, including a major event with an event management company.
Hanadi is an upcoming standup comedian who has participated in local talent shows (Doha Tweetups), and joined one stand-up competition (Karak Talk) and was one of the winners. The cpmedians who inspire her the most are Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy’s Raw and Delirious stand up performances, and comedy shows like Seinfeld and Will & Grace.
Her favorite quote is:
“What did the 5 fingers say to the face?” Slap! – Dave Chappelle
1- I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that you were an hour away and I couldn’t see you because of that stupid exam I had to take. I was shopping in Tescos when my sister told me that you have left us. But how did this happen? I just spoke to Auntie and she said you were all right. You left in few moments. I wanted to come and see your face one last time. But you took the first plane back home.
2- Sometimes I think that dates look like cockroaches. Very tasty ones!
3- I made my little sister eat chalk when she was 3 years old. I really wanted to know how it tastes like but did not have the guts to try it. As she was crunching it I felt jealous that it was in her mouth and not mine. She said ‘It’s crunchy’.
4- I can’t help but think that marriage is somehow a public humiliation. Everyone knows that you are going to ‘have some action’ that night. And everyone assumes that it’s the night where you ‘finally open your window of love’. I bet all the guests would think of this at least once. How do you face his or her family the following morning without any feeling of embarrassment? So if marriage is public humiliation then having children is the ultimate humiliation because then people know for sure that you ‘did it’. LOL
5- How come all the lesbian Qataris get married before the straight ones. And they actually have babies and are still lesbians and everyone knows and its ok!
6- Every time I watch Khalejee series I can’t stop laughing. The actors keep walking in circles with their backs to each other just to face the camera. Who talks like this in real life? And who wakes up with full makeup and accessories on?
7- Why do women have period pain? Sex pain? Pregnancy pain? Birth pain? Nursing pain? Even when you breasts grow it hurts! Men have pleasure growing up; pleasure in sex; the baby comes after a pleasure; the just watch as the baby grows up. And after all this pain we don’t have the same rights and authority that men have in a real world.
8- I noticed that every time I say ‘I could never do such a thing’. I end up doing it years later. Do we secretly envy those who live their lives to the fullest? When I see someone doing something that I secretly want to do but can’t for whatever reason, this is what I say ‘I can’t believe she did that; I could never do such a thing’.
9- If things were different, you and I would have been together right now. If only we lived in a different world were names didn’t matter. They are committing a sin against us and if we were to err it would be them to blame.
10- What a strange feeling to have accomplished a dream. Still it doesn’t feel as great as I thought. I honestly think that it was exaggerated and not worth the trouble at all. But what else would I have done.
11- I don’t know what happened but I think we are growing apart. Maybe it is because we have gone on different paths and want different things in life. I love you dearly but keeping you in my life like before puts me down. You bring so much negativity and I can see you do not like my words or my actions. I tried to help you so many times but the more I try the more you resent me. So my dear I cannot continue this relationship before you start helping yourself.
12- It is very scary to live a dream.
13- Slice of Rye bread + Turkey breast + peanut butter = Delicious!
Shall we continue our random thoughts?