The Ugly Duckling Says it’s Final Goodbye :'(

September 25, 2009 at 7:04 am (ABA's Photo Stream, photography)

The Ugly Duckling Says it’s Final Goodbye 😥, originally uploaded by aBa™ , Planing.

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Torture days are over

September 16, 2009 at 9:08 pm (Diary, Human Rights, Just a thought ..., Qatari culture, Society, women, work)

Today is my last day at work. I would like to say that it feels like I just started yesterday and that time has passed really quickly, but that’s not the case. Yes, time passed by, but very painfully and unbelievably slow and boring! I had so much enthusiasm and energy when I started, but it was all crushed by the “great” mentalities of the  “Big Bosses” and the very “effective and efficient” bureaucratic  system. There is no place for creativity, no place for development! How many young talents that started their lives after graduation with high hopes to give back to this country but were eventually crushed! Crushed so bad and so hard! Crushed everyday! Every second of the day!

I spent two years of my life in this job! Two years wasted! Two years that I wont get back. I tried to make the most of this experience, but there is really no chance to get anywhere in this place. The first year I worked here, was by far the worst in my life. I got seriously depressed, I lost my appetite, I lost 8 KG in less than two months! I looked like a ghost. I was shocked at first by how unequal women are treated. We have a different entrance, a different elevator and are shoved into one floor. All the guys who graduated with us got promoted in less than a year. And we, the girls, finished two years and might need to finish ten more to get one promotion! I went down to see the manager and requested work, requested to attend meetings, requested to be working with my male colleagues to learn, to just do something for God’s sake!  Month passed by and I wasn’t given any work. I speak with the manager every two days requesting work. He wants me to be with them at the department, he wants me to attend meetings, he wants to give me as much work as possible. But because women are not allowed to attend meetings or work with men he can’t help it. And even if I was given work, it takes forever to go from the men’s floor to the female’s floor. And many times it gets lost! Very disorganized! Very retarded! After months of nagging, I was able to prove myself, that I was capable of doing some real work! So I was given few things to do! I got so excited. Then I realized that I am too quick. Whatever takes two days, takes two hours with me. They didn’t know what to give me anymore. I also realized that the kind of work I was given doest require a degree! It only requires simple basic reading and writing abilities. It got dull, nothing is challenging nothing is new. And on top of that. Women are not allowed to have training courses abroad! Even some of the training courses in Doha are strictly for men! Is this Qatar! I cant believe it. I feel suffocated. Two years wasted. I don’t even have work experience because there was simply no work. The only thing I have learnt is how to deal with frustration and get over myself and stop feeling sorry for myself for being in such disappointing place. !

I feel like a layer of mud has covered my brain. I panicked! I seriously stopped thinking! Holly S***. This place has the ability to turn you into a vegetable! I started bringing books, loads of books. They started to pile on my desk and in my room. Too many books I have read because I don’t have anything to do. I started skipping work or leaving early. I didn’t respect it anymore. I didn’t even care about the image of my desk. Pens and papers are scattered around, showing no personality or reflection of who sets behind it. Even the chair I am siting on has someone else’s name and i don’t care. The second year got better. Or I got used to the situation. The amount of work I do does not exceed two hours a week. I am really not exaggerating. I am supposed to be a researcher, and in those two years, I have only done two researches. And guess what! It was my idea! I started to stop hoping that work will get better or that I will have equal opportunities as my male colleagues. I shifted my focus on myself and my life outside working hours. I focused on improving the languages I speak and my writing skills. I  started going to events and meeting new people. I started doing different projects and occupying myself with books and gym. I started growing out of my shell and became a happier more positive person. I didn’t care about work anymore. I decided that I will leave. But I will fight one more time, I will give this place a chance one more time. And if I was not allowed to be given an opportunity. I will leave. And no one can blame me then! I don’t understand why young talented people are not being used to their full potential here. Even if we wanted to improve things and be creative, the bureaucratic system stops us. We keep fighting and fighting, but at the end we are humans. We give up, we resent this place, we hate it. We try to prove ourselves, show that we are capable professionals, but while we suffer from the system, foreigners are being brought to work as “professionals” “! and we leave!

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Be Different

September 14, 2009 at 1:58 pm (ABA's Photo Stream, Clouds, photography)

Be Different, originally uploaded by aBa™ BRB Busy !!.

This photo was taken in Swansea in Wales July 2009 by my little brother ABA

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The Invisible Army

September 10, 2009 at 11:02 am (cheap labour, Ethics, Human Rights, poetryreading, Prose Poems, Qatari culture, Society, work)

 

The Invisible Army

They wrap their dry faces with dirty cloth

And if they are lucky, a plastic helmet

 

The sun is squashing them, like we squash a moth

And we leave them lying dead, burning, till we collect them at sunset.

 

They are canned in the bus

Then canned in their rooms

 

They have no expressions

They were wiped out

By the sun, by the dust, by the law, and by us

 

They try to run away from the burning sun

They try to remove the never ending dust

But there is nowhere to run, from the dust nor the sun

 

All you can see behind that never ending yellow dust

Is their broken souls, through their eyes, looking at the shiny cars

 

 They are not as human as we are

For they are nothing but workers

We don’t want them in our shopping malls

For they are polluters

 

We choose not to see them

We choose to forget about them

 

This invisible army that builds our country

Remains invisible behind the never ending yellow dust and bright burning sun

construction-worker-dubai 

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لو كنت رجلاً … If I were a man

September 10, 2009 at 10:50 am (gender discrimination, poetryreading, Prose Poems, Society, women)

لو كنت رجلاً

 

لو كنت رجلاً, لسمح لي المجتمع أن أقع في الحب لأن ذلك في نظر المجتمع سيكون رائعاً

لو كنت رجلا, لسمح لي المجتمع أن أتزوج أي فتاه, من أي عرق و أي ديانة

لو كنت رجلاَ, لسمح لي المجتمع أن أتحكم بزوجتي, بلبسها, بخروجها, حتى بأحلامها و أفكارها   

لو كنت رجلاً و طلقت زوجتي, لأشفق علي المجتمع و ذهب يركض يبحث لي عن زوجة أخرى لأن سعادتي مهمة

لو كنت رجلاً, لسمح لي المجتمع أن ارتدي ما أريد, وقتما أريد

لو كنت رجلاً,لما احتجت لإذن لأخرج و أسافر و أدرس و أعمل و أتنفس  

لو كنت رجلاً, لسمح لي المجتمع بالاستمتاع بقدر ما أشاء من النساء, قبل الزواج و بعده

لو كنت رجلاً يفعل الفحشاء, لبحث مجتمعي لي عن أعذار لارتكب مزيداً منها

لو كنت رجلاً سيء السمعة, لقال مجتمعي, شاب طائش, يتزوج غداً و يهتدي

لو كنت رجلاً, لكان راتبي أكثر فقط لأنني رجل

لو كنت رجلاً, و أكملت دراستي في الخارج, ففي عين مجتمعي أنا عبقري

لو كنت رجلاً, و أخطأت في العمل, لألقى مجتمعي الخطأ على الظروف

لو كنت رجلاً, لكنت مثالياً في عين مجتمعي

و لا يعيبني, سوى حجم محفظتي

 

و لكنني امرأة

 

ولكنني امرأة  يجب أن اختفي و راء الأغطية و إلا كنت بائعة هوى

و لكنني امرأة يعتقد مجتمعي أنني مخلوق بلا قلب فممنوع عليه الحب

و لكنني امرأة مرتبط شرفي لا بأخلاقي, و لكن بغشائي

و لكنني امرأة, شيء من ممتلكات أبي, ثم أخي ثم زوجي

و لكنني امرأة, و يجب أن أضحي بتاريخي, بأحلامي لأنها ليست من حقي, بل من حق من يمتلك جسدي

و لكنني امرأة و إذا تم اغتصابي أو اغتصاب حقي, فإنه بسبب فتنتي و غبائي

و لكنني امرأة و يجب أن اعمل ضعف الرجل, كي أكون كفأ

و لكنني امرأه و لو أخطأت في العمل, فذلك لأنني بكل بساطة امرأة  

ولكنني امرأة و لو درست بالخارج لاتهمت بكوني متفتحة و غير صالحة للزواج

و لكنني امرأة و على مجتمعي فإني عبئ

و لكنني امرأة و على مجتمعي فإني خطأ يجب أن يصحح

و لكنني امرأة و يجب أن تراقب أفعالي, في حين أرتكب فضيحة أكبر من فضيحة وجودي

 

If I were a man

 

If I were a man, I can fall in love and society would think its adorable

If I were a man, I can marry any girl from any race or religion

If I were a man, society wont question me if I controlled my wife’s life, thoughts and dreams

If I were a man and divorced my wife, society would pity me and rush to find me a new one to make me happy.

If I were a man, I can wear whatever I want whenever I want

If I were a man, I don’t need to have a permission to travel, to go out, to study to work or to breath

If I were a man, I can go out with as many women as I want, before and after marriage

If I were a man and I sinned, society would find excuses for my sins, and so I can sin even more

If I were a man with bad reputation, my society would say “young and foolish, he will grow up and get married tomorrow, let him have fun”

If I were a man, I will have a bigger salary, just for being a man

If I were a man who studied abroad, in my society I will be a genius

If I were a man and made a mistake at work, society will blame it on the circumstances

If I were a man, I am perfect in the eye of my society

Nothing would be wrong with me

Except the size of my wallet

 

But I am a woman

I am a woman and I must hide behind covers or I will be …

I am a woman, and my society believes I am a heartless creature that is forbidden to love

I am a woman and my honor is not related to my morals but to my membrane 

I am a woman, and I am an object of property, to my father, to my brother then to my husband

I am a woman and I must sacrifice my history, my dreams, because they are not my rights, but they are the rights of who ever owns my body

I am a woman, and if I or my rights are raped, it is because of my seductive beauty and stupidity

I am a woman and I must work twice as hard to prove myself

I am a woman and if I erred at work it is because I am simply a woman

I am a woman and if I studied abroad I will be too exposed and not suitable for marriage

I am a woman and on my society I am a burden

I am a woman and for my society I am a mistake that should be corrected

I am a woman and I should be watched in case I commit a bigger scandal, a bigger mistake than my own existence.

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قصائد الحب Love Poems

September 10, 2009 at 2:49 am (poetryreading, Prose Poems, writing)

قصائد الحب

يسمعني قصائده في الحب .. يقول لي كم يحب و كم يعشق

يخبرني عن الم شوقة و فراقة..

كيف يحب .. كيف يعتصر اضلعي في حضنه

عن قصه غرامه و اماله

كيف يذوب في انفاسي .. و يمسح دمعتي

كيف يصحى و ينام على همسي

 

تلك القصائد التي خرقت قلبي

تمنيتها عني

تمنيت لو تعرف عن ما بداخلي

عن ما افعله كل يوم في خفاء بعيدا عن الاعيني

ارش عطرك على منديلي .. اخبئه في حقيبتي

اخرجه كل دقيقتيني .. اشمه كالمدمني

اغمض عيني .. اتخيلك بجانبي .. تلعب بشعري .. و تقبل شفتي

تنظر الى عيني .. و تقترب مني .. احس بانفاسك على وجهي

 

قصائدك اعيشها كل يوم وحدي

فانت دائما بين اضلعي .. و انا لا انام و لا اصحى إلا على همسك

اضع المنديل بجانبي ليكون عطرك

 اخر شيء في بالي و اول شيء في يومي

و اذا استيقظت و كان المنديل ضائعا بين الشراشفي .. تصيبني حالة جنون و انا ابحث عنه

لكي يكون عطرك اول ما استنشقه ..و اتخيلك بجانبي

 

امسك بهاتفي انتظر مكالمه منك في الصباح الباكري

ابقى في غرفتي

كي لا اسمع صوت شخص قبلك حتى ولو كانت امي

و في الليل افتح مذكرتي .. لازيد سطور شعوري

شعوري الذي سيبقى في السطور

سطوري عن احلامي معك .. عنك و عن حبي

الذي سيبقى سجين مذكرتي

 

انا بدون حب لست لوحدي .. و لكنني بدون حبك يتيمه.. كالطفل المعذبي ..

 

Love poems

 

He recites his poems of love and lust

He tell me how much he suffers from the longing and the depart

He tells me how he loves, how he squeeze me into his ribs near his heart

He tells me about his love stories, about his dreams

How he melts in my breaths

How he wipes my tears

How he wakes up and sleeps on my whispers

 

Those poems that have ripped my heart

I wished they were about me

I wished that you knew of the pain inside me

Of what I do in secret away from everyone’s judgment  

I spray your perfume on my handkerchief and hide it near my heart

I take it out every two minutes and smell it like an addict

I close my eyes; imagine you next to me, playing with my hair and kissing my lips

You look into my eyes and come closer till you are breathing me

 

Your poems, I live them every day alone in secret

For you are always in between my ribs near my heart

And I only sleep and wakeup on your whispers

I put the handkerchief next to my head so that your sweet fragrance is the last and first thing in my day  

And if I ever wakeup

And find the handkerchief lost between my wild bed sheets

Madness gets hold of me, till I find it

 

I hold my phone and wait for your phone call early in the morning

I stay in my room so that I don’t hear anyone’s voice but you

Even if it was my mother’s

And at night

 I open my diary

To add more lines about my feelings

My feelings that are imprisoned between the lines

The lines about my dreams with you about my love

My love that will be the prisoner of my diary

 

Without love, I am not alone, but without your love I am an orphan.

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What happened at the BQFP poetryreading Iftar

September 10, 2009 at 2:37 am (bloomsbury, doha events, poetryreading, Prose Poems)

GetAttachment.aspx (1)An unforgettable date of an unforgettable evening. 9/9/2009. This date will only happen again after a millenium. And luckly it was a great day for many people. The Iftar was a great success. It was also a celebration of the new office for Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publication. The 40 people who attended the event varried between students, teachers, writers, publishers and educators. Three local poets read their poetry in bothe arabic and english.

Abdulla Alsalem,

A poet, a short story writer and a journalist. He publishes his writing in newspapers like al Rayya, Al sharq, Al Watan and others.  He has participated in poetry festivals in Qatar and abroad. He writes different styles of poetry from classical, modern as well as the traditional Qatari poem. He has a novel underway.  Abdullah’s website www.wosom.net

Rana Tounsi

A poet that has published 5 collections of poetry: That House From which the Music Comes (Cairo, 1999), A Rose for The Last Days (Merit, Cairo 2003),  A Country Called Desire (Merit, Cairo 2005) . A Short History (Dar Il Nahda, Lebanon 2007) and Kisses (Dar Il Nahda, Lebanon 2009)  The following poems are from the collection (Short History) published from Dar Il Nahda Lebanon

and myself

A published essayist in the Qatar Narratives series, a regular contributor to Woman Today magazine and an active blogger. She has Bachelors in political science from the UK, a researcher, and working on her first novel.

P.S: I will post the three poems I read on different post.

 

GetAttachment.aspx

 

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BQFP Poet Iftar

September 7, 2009 at 9:53 am (bloomsbury, doha events, poetryreading)


bloomsburyqatar

 

Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing cordially invites you to share Iftar featuring poetryreading  on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at 6:00 p.m.

The iftar will be held at the BQFP villa, number 3 on the Qatar
Foundation premises (behind the RAND and FITCH offices, across from the LAS building).

Please RSVP by September 7, 2009 via email to bqfp.events@qf.org.qa.

 

There are going to be few local poets reading their poems in English and Arabic, If you are a poet, or know one and would like to participate, please contact:

bqfpublishing@gmail.com

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Garanga’oh

September 5, 2009 at 11:53 pm (Diary, Just a thought ..., Qatari culture, Society, traditional celebration)

 

On the eve of the fifteenth day in Ramadan, we all would go have Fotoor in my grandmother’s house. As soon as we are done, my mom would change our cloths and dress us in old traditional clothes, either Buknag or Thobnashil then accessories us in small gold earings and necklace. The most important object to wear is the bag that hangs from our neck. The bigger the bag is the more candy we would collect. All the kids memorised the special Garanga’oh song and sang it while they are wandering around the neighbourhood collecting candy.  I remember my grandmother had a big plastic bucket that was filled with Garanga’oh candy.  There was always a small plastic bowl in the middle that was used as a scoop to fill the kids bags; each had a scoop.  We used to go to every house in the neighbourhood and didn’t stop till the bag got too heavy for our necks to carry.   All the kids from the neighbourhood used to walk in groups and sing the song together. We used to compete by collecting as much candy as possible.  It was such a joy to walk with random kids and sing so loud. The louder we sang the more candy we got.  You could hear kids chanting in every house; it was such a joyful time.

After we finish going around the neighbourhood, my sisters and I go back to my grandmother’s house and put all the Garanga’oh on the floor and start picking the pieces we like. Sometimes I would exchange my caramel chewing gum with strawberry lollipop. And sometimes my sister would give me her white sugar candy to get my blue ones. The nuts and candy would last for weeks till we finish it all. No wonder we used to have so much tooth decay!

I am no longer a five year old and cannot go “trick or treat”. Yesterday I was at my grandfather house.  I was looking at the kids, and their mothers. The Garnga’oh I know is long gone! I felt like it was a big show.  Most of the clothes were ready made and had a special theme; an Indian dress, a sailor’s uniform … etc. The Garanga’oh in the plastic bucket is gone. The simple carrier bags that used to dangle from kids necks are gone. The songs are gone. The kids that used to go out in groups are gone. Now, we have “tawzee3”. Each mother would prepare a ready made garanga’oh in special glass or basket warped with different kinds of paper and ribbons. What used to cost 30 QR now cost hundreds of ryals. People would buy “Special” Garanga’oh from Albateel and Foushon and Opera. And on the top of the “Special Garanga’oh” item is her children’s picture and their name!  Instead of sending the children to collect candy from neighbours, they would send these special made items to their neighbours! And if the kids will go around, they will go with the maid and the driver!  

I was looking around yesterday, nothing of what I know of Garanga’oh still exists. Even children’s joy is different. I wonder if this is adult’s fault?

 

seef_nasfa11

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I give up

September 2, 2009 at 12:50 pm (Diary, Everyday life situations, Opinion, Society)

(Just to warn the reader, i complain a lot in this post)

Sometimes people would ask for your help about something they assume you know. Or they see something in you, or something you do and would like to be the same or do the same. You go out of your way to help them. You get excited. You start pulling your strings and running here and there. You give them so much of your time. All you think about is how to make this perfect for them, how you can make them do better and how you can achieve it in no time.

And sometimes you expect people to be as considerate as you were in some situations. You expect them to respect their word and do what they have promised you. You expect them to finish what they have started. You expect them to be sensitive about your feelings. You expect all of that because you assume people are like you. But no

At the end, after all this tremendous effort and time. They throw what you have given them away. They forget that they were the ones who asked for your help and pretend that you are being such a burden on them making them do things they don’t want to do. At the end you are the “mad” person, the “psycho”, the “7annan” ….etc.

I had had enough of those people!

Here are some of what happened, only this month. Multiply this by my whole life, and you will understand why I am so freggin mad:

Situation one:

–  A girl, who we will call “Layla” just for the sake of the story,  recently graduated from France. She was very depressed for coming back. She felt sad for not being able to use the language so much here. After few months, she discovered that I speak fluent French. In one day she became my best friend. She would come to my desk at work every day and chat in French for an hour. I would give her the time even though I hate, absolutely hate chatting for more than 5 minutes at work! I thought she is depressed and that I should be there for her. Then she started inviting me out for coffee, taking me abaya shopping, and she also introduced me to all her four sisters. I told her that I have plenty of French friends if she wants to practice the language. She was thrilled. So I asked her if she wants to go to a Beethoven concert to meet all my French friends over there and she couldn’t be happier. She brought her other sister who speaks French and they both made friends with my French friends. Then my French  friends started inviting them for any event that would come up. One time, a young French lady invited us for dinner. Layla declined the invitation. The day after she asked me at work:

How was the dinner party?

good, too bad you didn’t come

To be honest with you I didn’t want to

Why?

I don’t like French teenagers, they disgust me.

Teenagers? The lady is 23 years old. I thought you miss France and loved the French culture. Weren’t you dying to get to know those people, how come now you don’t like them and call them teenagers.

Yes but I know French youth, I lived there for six years. They scare me. They are so irresponsible and crazy. I don’t feel comfortable being around them. They behave like teenagers, that’s why I call them teenagers.

Layla, this lady is my friend

Yes I know, I just didn’t feel comfortable going. Did something happen yesterday?

Something like what?

You know how they get drunk and go crazy and do sexual things!

Do you think that if they have one drink they will have an orgy on the table or something? Are you crazy? Did you forget that I was there yesterday!

No but you didn’t see what they used to do in France. That’s why I prefer to sit with older ladies, someone in their forties. They are calm and more mature. Remember when one of the older ladies invited us to her house. I told her I wont come if there were any young ladies. She immediately told me that she wont invite them, see she understand what I am talking about.

I said nothing more. I was confused. Few weeks later I asked her if she wanted to be interviewed for a magazine that I work for. I know that she has no problem for her photo to be published because she told me that she was considering a job as an anchor on TV in French. The girl was over the top when I told her about the interview. She even wanted me to interview her sister. She gave me a photo and told me all about herself  to write it down. I wrote the feature in English and had to translate it to her in Arabic because she doesn’t speak it. She told me that it was perfect and I can publish it. Two days before publication she called me and said that her dad was mad at her because of the interview and she wants to cancel her feature. I told her it wasn’t possible because it is already printed. When the magazine was out I showed it to few girls at work. One of them, lets call her Lamya, said “Mimi, how dare you write such thing about Layla“. I said “what are you talking about?” she said “Read, here. You wrote that she said that our organization is male dominated and work is not challenging? Did she say that?”. I said “yes, what is the big deal“. The girl seemed to be so scared, she lowered her voice and gave me the impression that she was talking about a conspiracy! “You could get in trouble, You could get her fired“. I ignored her. Silly Lamya went and told Layla what she thought. And ungrateful Layla was so scared, she thought she was going to be put in jail, she told the grils “no I didn’t say that. She wrote it herself. She knows I don’t speak English and she didn’t explain that to me. She tricked me its her fault”. Since that day, Layla treated me like her enemy. Even when I say salam, she looks like someone is strangling her throat and forcing her to reply to my salam. The girl stopped pretending to be my best friend. She didn’t come over like she did every day, she stopped nagging about going out, she stopped sending me forwards. At the end, everyone thought I was the mean girl, taking advantage of the poor girl who doesn’t speak English and introducing her to perverted crazy people!

Situation two:

– A girl, who we will call, Lamees, keeps asking me “How come you never drink fizzy drinks? How come you never eat junk food? Wow you look in great shape? Which gym you go to? What is your program?”. And I tell her everything I do, everything I know with complete honesty. I explain to her the many books I have read about the issue. Every time she asks me for advice I give it to her. One day she decided to do my diet and exercise program. So I spent a whole day with her. I woke up very early on a weekend. Went to her house, showed her how to do the exercise, made her a program. Then we went to the supermarket and bought all the things we needed for the diet. I was explaining why she needed this and that. Trying to educate her about health. Then we went home and I cooked her a meal. Showed her how to cook a healthy delicious meal. And gave her different recipes. At the end of that exhausting day. She didn’t eat the meal I prepared. When I asked her if she like it she said “oh no I didn’t eat it, I went out and forgot about it, I threw it away at night!”.  A week later I asked her how was the program going. She said that she didn’t use any of the food we bought. Most of the stuff was expired and she told the maid to throw it away. And she didn’t even start going to the gym! I felt very disappointed. I gave her so much time that I wouldn’t usually give to anyone, my throat was dried from talking so much and explaining everything. And at the end she forget about it! So simply! She didn’t even consider my feelings when she said that she threw the meal away!

Situation Three:

After spending a fantastic week at the English workshop with Bloomsbury. I told one of my friends who we will call, Lama, who  reads a lot in Arabic about it. She said, “why not make something in Arabic“. I told her, “yes we thought of that, we are looking for people who are willing to do it. Are you interested?”. She said “this sounds great, yes I am very interested. I feel strongly for our language and I really think this workshop should happen“. We had several meetings with people in Bloomsbury. We told them how we wanted to do an Arabic workshop and that we will look for professional people. We called a lady who has masters in critique. For some reason she said “I am not qualified and you need a professor to do that“. I thought, how come an educated lady like her doesn’t have something to offer for an hour! What is this masters for then? Anyways. We decided to do the workshop after we come back from summer vacation. When I told Lama that the workshop is going to happen next week and we should prepare she was shocked.

We are not prepared, we didn’t get any training.

I am trained and I will train you. Its very easy don’t worry

– How many people will come

Around 20

She opened her eyes wide in surprise and shouted, TWENTY !

She went back to her desk, and came again and asked “Shouldn’t we look for someone professional” . “They all declined our request what can we do now? Its not that hard I promise“. She locked her eyebrows and looked down. “But I didn’t prepare“. I said “You have a week start preparing. Its only for two hours”. She breathed loudly and said “Ok“. She looked like she had the weight of the world on her chest! Wasn’t she excited about it? A day later, the girl still seemed sad and worried. She then asked me the ultimate question “Are there going to be Qatari guys?“. I thought, damn, so is this what’s all about! Qatari guys! I told her “yes“. She looked down and said “ya5ty asti7y .. I feel shy“.  I told her “Lama, get over yourself! You are 25 years old. You have a BA in politics from the UK. You are an independent woman who works! And you are asking if there will be some guys! So what! Are they going to eat you! You think the quality of people who will attend is the same as those who go to hajj around Landmark! Its nice to be shy but don’t let this control your life. You are the only one between us who didn’t improve her work because you are too shy to talk to the manager. Get hold of yourself girl!” She looked down and said “OK“. But I saw that she was looking worse. So at the end I told her ” you know you are not forced to do this, if you don’t want to its ok“. Her face brightened, the weight is lifted, she said “no its just that I thought we will be trained by a professional, I don’t know how to do this. You know but I don’t”. I told her” I told you I will train you. Believe me I wont let you present anything unless I was sure that you were 100% ready”. She said “ok I will prepare my part and give it to you to present. I will do the Article section ok. I will attend the workshop and maybe bring my sister”. Few days later she gave me a piece of paper with six lines written in it. She asked if this was ok and if I need anything else. I thought, ok for what? It’s a two hours lecture and you have written six lines! That’s all the research you have done. I told her to pull out two different articles for two different authors since she knows Arabic authors and reads articles more than I do. She said ok and didn’t do anything. I see her everyday chatting and drinking tea. I knew she wasn’t going to do anything. So I did the whole thing myself. On the day of the workshop she didn’t show up. She didn’t even send a text to apologize! I completely pretended that nothing happened and didn’t open the subject with her. Few days later she asked me about the workshop and told me she didn’t come because she was not in the mood and tired and decided to stay home. It took me a minute to remember. I old her that it was great. But then I decided to tell her what’s on my mind, I said, in a funny was, as if I was joking “now I know that I cannot depend on you and cannot take your words seriously… 6ila3ty e5ri6y”.  She gave me her word. Made me believe that she really wanted to do  this. Came with me to all the meetings. And at the end she withdraws without informing me or even apologizing.

Situation Four:

My little sister asked me to throw a dinner party before she leaves for her studies. I decided to do a Ramadan Dinner; we had to wear Jallabia, eat traditional food, have some garan ga’oh and play games. I got some candles and “fawanees” to give an old Arabian effect to the place. I invited around 20 people. Most of them confirmed. I went out of my way to get the best food. I made a research of the best ladies who do Qatari food and sent the driver to their houses to get it. Each plate from a different house just to ensure the good quality. I ordered special garan ga’oh wrap in small baskets to give away at the end. I prepared some games. Everything was made for the 20 people who confirmed. When the evening started I received few texts from people saying they wont be able to make it. Some didn’t even bother to inform me that they are not coming. I had to call them and they said “oh, we forgot to tell you that we wont come“. Ten people didn’t show. Who will eat all that food then? Couldn’t they tell me a day before so that I wont order so much food?

The theme was Ramadan, so I told everyone to wear Jallabia. Some people had it and didn’t bother wear it, some people didn’t want to wear it, some people were forced to wear, some people complained about wearing it.  But the nice thing is that one of my foreigner friends went and bought one especially for the occasion.

I tried to forget about it, I still have some guests and I shouldn’t be in a bad mood. Later I explained to people how to play the game; you should have seen their faces. It was like I told them lets go weight lifting! What a burden to play a game. Some people were complaining before we even started. They had to write different words on 20 small pieces of paper. “What! All of this, we have to finish all these papers? Baaaaal“. It was like I gave them a homework to do. I said “cant you stop complaining“. Then they looked at each other and said “oh watch out, Mimi is mad“. !! at the end they realized that the game was fantastic and they enjoyed it.

At night I was exhausted. I kept remembering similar situation that happened before. Its always my blame at the end. I have this urge to help people, to want them to shine and show their best. I want them to achieve and know the great feeling of success. But they suck my energy and go.

I will stop pushing people to do their best, to do things better or to find a better way. I wont tell a fat person how to loose weight

I wont tell a lazy student how to study

I wont tell a depressed person how to be positive

I will stop giving advice

I will stop showing people the world from my eyes

I will stop expecting others to be polite, considerate or punctual.

I think being selfish is good sometimes. If I was selfish, non of that would have happened. But I cant help but be myself.

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