Category Archives: My Life

Living like a turtle

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When you feel you are not moving

then you live like a turtle

. . .

When you feel everyone around you passes you very fast

then you live like a turtle

. . .

When you feel the finish line is impossible to reach

then you live like a turtle

. . .

When you feel there is a heavy weight on your shoulder

then you live like a turtle

. . .

When you feel sad all the time

then you live like a turtle

. . .

When you feel lonely

then you live like a turtle

. . .

When you feel the only way to defend yourself is to hide

then you live like a turtle

. . .

When you feel you can’t get rid of the weight on your shoulder

then you live like a turtle

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What’s in a name?

The comparison between books and people is the same as the difference between physically being in a place (whatever city or place you can imagine) and seeing it on TV only. Yes, books give you knowledge but they don’t provide you with experience. I like reading a lot but my best learning moments are always when I mingle and chat with people. Here are two of my recent conversations with THE PEOPLE.

Following is a conversation I had with a new international Muslim student who was registered in an English course at one of those English Language Centers in the U.S. to prepare for the TOEFL. He was complaining to me about his English teacher:

He: She hates Muslims.

I: How did you know that?

He: You can tell from the way she treats Muslim students.

I: Give me an example.

He: One time when we were waiting in the bus preparing for departure to our destination, she said “Where is Muhammad? He always make us wait for him. Muhammad is naughty!”

I: mm…..

He: Yes, she said “Muhammad is naughty” and she meant something.

I: [speechless because my mind was so busy trying to push away what “something” means.]

 

Another conversation took place during one of our Muslim Students Organization (MSO) board meetings. Every year the MSO invites a speaker to talk about Islam for the general audience on our campus:

Female 1: Yes, last year the event was very successful, the auditorium was full. The speaker was very good; he knows a lot about Islamic science history.

Male student: What is his name?

Female student: George [something].  [I and the male student never heard of this person before]

Male student: Is he a Muslim?

I [very confident of my answer]: No. He has a Christian name.

Male student: Not necessarily. My name is Phillip and I am a Muslim!

I: [Speechless out of embarrassment. Also while being speechless, I reminded myself for the millionth time to think before I talk and to assume NOTHING.]

A farewell to a memory

She recently informed me that she is moving out and leaving me for good. She started packing already, taking with her every, physical, moment we shared; good and bad, fun and sad, and leaving me with memories only. Not once she stopped to hear me begging her to stay. Not once she looked back. So cold and cruel she was, as if we never knew each other, as if she was just passing by. She was leaving for good, yet she didn’t have mercy on me. The shock kept me out of words not knowing what to say. Yet, I wanted to cry out loud and tell her “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”* But, I doubt I will ever revenge. I doubt she even cares. Revenge is not what I want; I just want her to stay a little bit longer. I need to prove to her that I can do what I promised her to do. She judged me so impatiently and she is leaving so soon.

“I don’t have time to explain. I have to leave soon. One day you will understand” I imagined her telling me. Will I? Will I understand, one day, why she left me? May be I will. But now, all what I want is for her to stay. We had good times and bad times, together. But the truth is I am not sure whether I should be sad or happy for her leaving me. Our relationship was so short and did not start well anyway. Still, I don’t want her to leave me. I know I can prove to her that I can be a better person. I know I can succeed. I asked her to give me some more time but she refused. Why the cruelty? I did not understand.

Her departure is all set. On December thirty first, two thousand and nine, ironically that is also her name, at eleven fifty nine pm she will leave me for good. She will leave me wondering when it all started and how it ended. Her presence will only be remembered. No longer will she make me happy, no longer will she make me sad because for sure she will cease to exist. Nevertheless, a new sun will rise announcing the beginning of a new life; a life that I am so excited to meet, a life that I want to live at its fullest. A life that I for sure know it will once be a memory.

*The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

There is crush and there is admiration

I had few crushes before. So, I know how one feels when he has a crush. But recently there is this girl that I am not sure if it is a crush situation or just an admiration. What is the difference between having a crush on someone and admiring someone?

p.s. For some technical difficulties in life, love is not considered in this post because the author, foolishly, believes that love could be suppressed when it leads to a complex relationship.

Goodbye summer, winter you are not welcome!

I am a big fan of the sun. Summer is my best time of the year and winter is the worst. The cloudy dark sky makes me depressed. Winter is for romantic, hot chocolate lovers, home staying, blanket huggers and fireplace stalkers type of people. I am totally the opposite. I love sipping coffee outdoor enjoying moderate heat of the sun. Here is my tribute to summer:

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Pictures taken during the summer of 2009.

Friday in Jordan vs. USA: Chronological Comparison Study

This is a one day chronological comparison study of some Muslims1 in Jordan vs. USA.

USA

AM: Wake up

AM: Go to school

PM (noon): Eat light lunch (most probably a turkey sandwich)

PM (around 1pm): Got to the only Mosque in town. (Bigger cities have about 5 or 6 mosques. But they are far from each other so you choose to go the nearest one)

PM: Listen to a boring English Khutba about the basics in Islam. Don’t expect to learn anything new.

PM: Fifteen minutes mingling with the guys.

PM: Go back to school.

Jordan

AM: Sleep

AM: Don’t wake up. You still have couple of hours, why the rush.

PM (noon): Wake up

PM: Go to your favorite Mosque

PM: Determine during the Khutba that you will not come to this Mosque again and decide to go to a different one next time. (We will skip the 101 reasons you think of during the khutba)

PM: Go back home as fast as you can

PM: You appreciate the smell of the Mansaf (the traditional Jordanian food)

PM: Your Mom tells you that the family has to wait Dad.

PM: While you wonder if you can wait any longer and what took your father all that time (the uncountable seconds in the 10-20 minutes) your father is home.

PM: Dig in through the Mansaf like it is your last meal

PM: Sleep

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1 Expatriate students in the USA.

Boredom, Happiness and Bill Murray

If you suffer from [chronic] boredom then the best way to put you out of this mode is, actually, to watch a movie about bored people trying to survive their boring daily life. It may not sound logic but it works for me. Watching Bill Murray whining about his boring life is always a treat. I am not proud to say this but I can, truly, relate to some of his movies. Maybe the feeling that I am not the only person bored on this earth makes me happy.

Here are three different stories that share one common attribute hate; hate of work, place, routine, or even time. I watched many movies about bored people’s life but I think these are my favorite;
1. Office Space (1999).
2. Ground Hog Day, Bill Murray (1993).
3. Lost in Translation, Bill Murray  (2003). Also, a good excuse to watch Scarlett Johansson.

I define heaven on earth to be any place that I am not in at the moment of my speech. For me there is always a nicer place that I need to go see. I lived in four different countries one of them is a year-round tourist attraction green island, yet I hated it. Right now I live in USA which is looked at as the dream destination of millions of people but you have no idea how much I feel I need to be somewhere else. I found that being in the most beautiful place without the people we love brings no joy to us. Finding happiness doing anything without sharing this thrilling exciting moment with someone we love is like a mirage that will disappear as soon as this moment ends. There is nothing compared to sharing a happy moment with someone we love.