Differently or with difference?

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I consider myself a feminist – of sorts. See, I think that women shoot themselves in the foot sometimes in the name of being feminists, and end up giving up on some feminine perks in the name of equality.

Anyway, despite being a feminist- of -sorts,
And advocating for the right to drive in Saudi and all that..
I have to say, it’s not a hardship to be treated like a lady from time to time.

To have the driver not only drop you off right at the door of the store you want, but then to say: ” Madame, wait in the car while I check if the store is open”
Ok… thanks

Or to watch the store clerk and the driver discuss who gets to carry your heavy bags to the car( baby supplies not designer shoes I promise).

Or to have someone become a little flustered, and change their manner when they realize there is a lady in the room.

Again, I know not everyone is as fortunate as I am, and there is a lot to be done for women all over the world. I am a fierce advocate of women’s rights ( just you wait and see what I plan to do here once I get settled 💪🏻)

I’m just saying, for the sake of my wellbeing..
In the present, in the meantime, while things slowly and gently change with our soft powers of influence, with respect for our history and tradition and the pace of change..

I can either rant about not driving
or enjoy the perks of having a driver

If a man offers to carry my suitcase, I can get all offended and assume it’s a slight to my strength,
Or realize his gesture for what it is was meant: an act of respect and reverence for my femininity.

Basically,

I can be angry that women are treated “differently”
but I choose instead, to focus on how they are treated with “difference”.

Image retrieved from:
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Houses and Homes

4 days to go..

I have intense mixed feelings about moving back to Saudi Arabia (as you have all gathered, I’m sure). I will miss the familiar life I’ve built in Montreal, and my friends, and the leaves of the Fall, and my walks by the canal; my absolute favorite place here, graffiti and all.

At the same time, I miss my country, my family, my language. I miss the feeling of unquestionably belonging to the patch of earth beneath my feet, and to the people long buried beneath that patch of earth. I feel an almost urgent need to reconnect with the land and my identity. to lie down in the dust and rub my tired cheeks on the scorching desert sand.

An immigrant once told me, the moment you cross the ocean, you are always on the wrong side..I feel that way sometimes. Whenever I am in one place I long for the idealized other.

Although this tends to pull my heart strings in separate directions, I’d never have it any other way. I’m so lucky to love and be loved by so many people in many places, and to know that although I don’t own a house anywhere, There are many homes in both countries that would open for me, if ever I knocked on your door ( right? 😅)

Montreaaaaal! I found a part of myself by your canal. I built a part of myself in your mosques, and I’m leaving a part of myself in your river. I love you. I love your people. You have been so good to me, and I will do everything I can to come back 🙂

Angry

Note: To understand this one, you need to remember I wear the veil, and I live in North America. Not the best combination these days, but there you have it.

I was in such a good mood on my late afternoon walk earlier today-initially anyway. The boys were off to play soccer with their father, and Mimi’s bedtime was in less than an hour! Which meant I would have the house to myself for an hour before my boys stampede through the door at around 8 p.m.

I was planning to enjoy this hour reading or just relaxing at home. Instead I am writing this because I am incensed.

I like to walk along the Canal in Griffintown. There are two paths. There is the rough grainy slightly pebbled path for pedestrians and joggers. And there is the “bike” path, which I loosely interpret to welcome everyone on wheels.

As I was walking along, pushing Mimi in her three-wheeled stroller on the “bike” path, enjoying the breeze and visualizing my next big dream, a man biking with a group passed me from behind and huffed:

“This is the bike path” as he whizzed passed me.

“I have three wheels and you have two!”

I yelled after him at the top of my lungs.

People turned to see what I was yelling about. I didn’t care.

And that was it. I was and still am, disproportionately angry.
I spent the rest of my walk aggressively eyeing everyone who came across my path. Challenging them silently.

Do you have something to say? Do you have a problem with me? Huh? Huh?

My anger only increased as I saw a man on an electrical wheelchair, and recalled all the people I’ve seen on skateboards and rollerblades, not to mention very slow toddlers on tricicles and skooters. Of course they all had the right to be on this path. Was anyone yelling at them?

But nothing made me more angry than seeing an attractive woman jogging on the bike path (on her feet, no wheels, just to be clear). Was anyone yelling at her? Nooo. She’s the kind of woman one might ask to move slightly to the left, not to get her out of the way, but to bring her more towards the center of one’s vision, to better appreciate her figure and the way her blonde ponytail swished from side to side.

I tried to understand why I was yelled at
Either:
a. Because I look like an ignorant timid immigrant who does not know her rights
b. Because I’m a woman not dressed attractively enough for some people’s taste (really, studies show that both men and women treat better looking women ..well, better)
c. Because I’m a mother, who is crowding the posh single crowd’s idea of a Sunday afternoon. In which case, I wish upon them all triplets as an introduction to parenthood, then I’d like to see them try pushing their strollers on a pebbled path.
d. The man is simply an idiot who thinks his biking outfit makes him cool

Regardless of the reason/s, I sent a prayer after him that I hope hit the ceiling of the sky and came back down to ram his snobbish nose to the pavement. And if he did fall, then I hope he also had enough insight to know that that fall was the end of my punchline.

I know I’m overreacting. And I know why.
I have been sensitized and I am already bristling and inflamed. Because these are just some of the things I have stored in my memory from my walks in Griffintown and by the canal:

1. I stepped aside at the edge of a little bridge that was common to pedestrians and bikers one afternoon, smiling and gesturing to the biker to pass. He gave me the finger.
2. I was walking on the sidewalk, again pushing the stroller, when from all the way across the street another biker yelled in French: Terroriste! Les Musulmans sont terrorists! Terroriste! ( I don’t care about my French spelling mistakes and grammar)
3. A homeless man, watched me approach from a distance, again pushing the stroller. And he waited until I was close, and without breaking eye contact, he poured his only beer slowly onto the ground in my narrow path, leering at me.

Really? I’m worth your last beer? Really?

When we take these incidents all together, (and I am just getting started with my examples here ) Am I overreacting?

Should I just get used to this then? Tell me!!!

Drifting

boat

 

I am a small boat

half-ready to set sail

Heavy

because I travel

so light

I’m tethered still to the shore

by many strings attached

not allowed to go

just yet

I wish I could

set sail today

Just go

instead of this aimless drifting

To and fro

To and fro

To and fro

I’d rather seek out

that beautiful

terrifying

endless horizon

and vast open sea of unknown

I’d rather face that

than face..

The faces

on the shore

Waving

Waiting

Waiting for that final goodbye

Moving


I peel it off the walls

ever so gently

the scotch-taped 

colorful

artwork of their childhood
But no matter how careful I am

a layer peels off

a layer of paint

of pain
Sometimes the glue (or our attachment)

is so strong

that we can’t say goodbye

without snatching a piece of home with us

or leaving a peace of us behind
Just to say:

We were here

Sentimental 

The things one finds in the top dusty shelves of closets. The most forgotten unforgettable things💔
I’m such

A sentimental thing

A girl who 

Cannot help but bring

Across the world

A little toy

Meant for a little 

Girl or boy

A puppet

That her father bought 

Now tangled up 

And full of knots

See, every single 

Business trip

He’d sneak into her room

And slip

A gift

From Hamley’s🤠

At her feet

And tuck her in 

her Carebear sheets🌈

That’s how this puppet

Came to be

A symbol 

Of his love for me

And now I pack

Her tangled limbs

To go back home
:

:

But not to him

 

 

Free


Unlike

The precious objects

You collect
Those you display

Out there

For all to see
Unlike the other ones

The ones you hide

The ones you guard

With jealousy
I’m not your object

I belong to me

To “keep” me

Is to Leave me free
For the surest way

To lose me

Is to To try
Just try

To lock me up

And hide the key
You see?

Fearless

Irvin Yalom is an existential psychotherapist. He teaches that the amount of one’s death anxiety correlates with the amount of unlived life.
Can you live with integrity? in a way, that is aligned with your deepest beliefs and values? 
Can you always make sure that the most important thing is in fact “the most important thing”?
Can you keep your eyes on the prize?
If you can, then you have a chance that when death comes, you might be able to say: Huh. So, this is the it. So be it. There’s not much I’d change about how I lived my life anyway, and not much I’d change about the rest of my days either.
And that, my friends, would be an amazing way to go.

Type A vs B

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I’ve always been an A

Though I love the letter B

Fewer edges, softer curves

And closer to the C 🏖

 
Sure, As are full of drive

Aggression to succeed

But Bs are so relaxed

At their not-so-break-neck speed

 
As climb up and up and up

To reach the lonely top. ⛰

Where Bs will smell the roses 🌹

Laze around, just breathe and stop

 
It’s true that in the end

As make a lot of money 💰

But Bs build hives and lives

Bs make our homes 🏡 and honey  🍯

Not an “other”

A mosque up in flames in Texas where my sister is, another in Quebec City where 6 people were shot last night. I don’t see this as an anti-muslim thing only. It’s worse. It’s much bigger. It’s affecting all of humanity. I’m reposting this because it’s the same old story..with no new words.

So Many Hats (or Veils)

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You would never have shot me

Or beaten me to the ground

If you knew me

If you knew me,

You’d never have been angry or afraid

If you knew me

You’d have loved me

You’d have shed more tears for me

than this blood on your hands

I think you know it

Yet can’t bare to know it

So you avoid my gaze

As the life leaves me body

You may look at me

But you don’t seeme

If you saw me,

You’d have seen yourself

Not another

Not an “other”

In February 2015, 3 Muslim students were shot in the head in their apartments. Days ago, a 24-year-old Saudi student was beaten to death by a stranger- who used his fists as bludgeons- outside a pizza shop.

I just don’t know what to say, except: Don’t shoot! It’s me! It’s you..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3893942/University-Wisconsin-student-24-Saudi-Arabia-beaten-death-outside-pizza-shop-6ft-white-man-violent-hate-crime.html
Bludgeon

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