life, Writing

Do you argue?

 

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An old man was asked; how you enjoyed such good health at your old age.

He said; I’ve never argued, and I leave when people start arguing.

Peace. That’s the word to describe that old man’s life.

Argument is not just to defend your point of view, or to prove what is right; I’ve read it’s also a threat response; maybe our pride, our reputation, our family, our future, our position,  and many other things that we ague to protect or conceal or even to gain others’ respect.

As a mother, I learned from my children that nothing would change when we kept arguing. The more we argue, the less we would reach compromises, but the less we argue, the more we agree to compromise.

My recent argument was on the way home with my daughter; she wants to buy a hairspray to colour her hair like her friends for the charity in need fundraising activity at school. In the beginning, I refused and insisted; and she cried and insisted. I explained that it might be harmful and she explained that it’s suitable for children. I told her there are other ways to have crazy hair and she explained that without colours it would be the dullest idea ever. I remembered the old man and said no more, and in the morning, she suggested to colour her plait and not all of her hair as a compromise.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

Drama, Writing

Mother

 

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Last week  Anne a Turkish series, just popped on as a suggestion on Youtube. Anne in Turkish means mother. I really like how it is pronounced. I watched its trailer but as there were no Arabic or English subtitles, I couldn’t understand anything. I didn’t give up. I googled to find out more about the original story; there might be a book, a novel that I can get and read. Soon, I found out that it was an adaptation of a Japanese series Mother and that’s it. Today, I’ve just finished all the eleven episodes.

It’s a heartbreaking story; something that really can touch your heart, something very noble in its significance and dramatisation. It’s about a young girl, about seven years old, whose suffering turns a desperate teacher into a real mother. Her innocence reunites an old mother with her abandoned daughter. Her small heart inspires a young mother to appreciate her baby’s life. Her simple words torture the abusive selfish mother. Her story teaches Love; the unconditional, the intuitive.

If you want to find more, it’s available on Youtube; it’s really worth watching.

Here is the trailer;

 

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

memories, Writing

Was it yesterday?

 

 

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Today is the first day for my oldest son to join the academic studies; today is the first day of his studies for a BA degree at university. I am excited, happy, and even nervous. In fact, I think I am more happy and excited than him. This new generation is weird!

And I’m grateful, really grateful, deep in my heart,  for all those blessings, I have had in my life.

An hour ago, or maybe less, I told my son about my first day at university. I pictured it as it was yesterday. That day I was happy, excited and very nervous. I preferred to take the underground train because it was fast and less crowded. I had to walk quite a distance before and after getting the Tube. But that long way gave me more time to enjoy and relax and it was also a good opportunity to meet others going to university although they were joining different departments and schools.

That day, I didn’t understand anything. I was one of the quietest, more precisely; I was the quietest girl in my group. But I was lucky because most of those quiet girls were also getting the Tube so I had a company on my way back. It was a hot day. The café was all full and busy, the benches out were the same. I remembered how I hated my new shoes, its heels and my painful blisters. I got back with a list of books to purchase, read and prepare for the following week. I passed by my high school; it was so close to my house and saw the girls in white shirts and navy skirts. I missed those days, I thought when my neighbour stopped me to ask about my first day at university; good I said and smiled but I wish I wouldn’t have gone in those high heels.

Was it yesterday? Oh my God, how those years have passed like a glimpse.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

Summer

I love holidays

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This summer holiday, my children wanted to visit the pyramids and go to any nice beach in Egypt. The beach was a good idea but visiting the pyramids in August means we would melt.  Anyway, both plans didn’t work which was great because the weather was too hot to go out during the day.

As usual, we spent the holiday visiting the family which was good for my children to practise their Arabic.  Sometimes, we went shopping at night; big shopping malls have been one of the modern characteristics of Cairo. My children liked to go to some of them but this holiday they were shocked at the prices; when I asked them to calculate the difference between the Egyptian and English pound, they realised that it’s the same.

One of the main things I always mention in my posts is that I really love being on holiday with my children. Together; we laugh, we play, we talk, we eat, we try new things, we go shopping, we see old photos, remember old days,  listen to old tales, we sleep by sunrise, we get up at noon, and we really have fun even though we couldn’t have any of our plans done.

Let me know how was your holiday?

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

Sport, Writing

Football

 

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Do you like football? Which team do you support this world cup?

I am not a big a fan of football as a game or any special teams. In fact, I don’t understand that much about the game rules and strategies; I just know the basics or it can be less though my boys are good players and love the game. This world cup, I found it so funny to watch the game with the boys and teasing them by asking questions; I just want to understand what is going on. They like it when I watch but they found my questions a bit annoying, ‘mama, look at the screen,’ they would complain. Of course, I did but I just want more details; why the goal was cancelled if the ball lodged like a bullet in the middle of goal net, something like that.

I watched the game between Egypt and Russia but I couldn’t stand it. Yes, that’s true. I support my country but I found it so boring. I looked at my son, he was on his phone. He was bored too. This means I was right. There was no intense in the game, the players were not playing, they were scattered everywhere. And the star Mohammad Salah looked so poorly and couldn’t do his best without being supported.  I gave up and left.

Yesterday, it was Iran and Spain. My question was which team is best-known? ‘Really, mama. Is this a question?’ My son exclaimed and laughed as if it was a jock. ‘Spain, mama. Spain is one of the top teams.’ I really don’t know but when I watched the game, I realised this fact. They really played so well but the Iranian played well too, most of the time they were defending but they did what they were planning to, I think.

This is part of my humble experience about football this world cup. Let’s see how far it will go!

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

Family, Writing

My son is 18

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How did hours, days and years go that fast?

It was like yesterday when I held him in my arms, close to my chest and cried.

My baby with his little eyes, his little nose and his little mouth had arrived safely.

His hands were so tiny in my hands. He cried. He yawned. He had a good night’s sleep.

Today, he is 18 and I am so proud of my young man, the eldest.

Now he is taller than me, stronger than me, and smarter than me.

Now he is more like a brother, a caring brother.

But in my heart, he will always be my baby.

May the future of our sons and daughters be bright, purposeful and prosperous.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

Writing

Can we try?

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Inviting others for Iftar (breakfast); friends, relatives, or some acquaintances is a popular tradition in the month of Ramadan. Muslims believe that if one shares or offers a meal with/to others, he/she will be heavenly rewarded.  When I started writing this post, I mainly thought of the manners that both visitors and hosts are supposed to have in order to enjoy their time together. I did not think of those sophisticated rules of etiquettes; what to take as a gift, how to sit, how to eat, what to say and so on. These are great rules but I thought of something very general, sometimes that can be very hard to apply. Can we try not to poke our noses into others’ affairs?

One day, a friend visited me after I gave birth to my daughter. It was her first time to visit me and apparently she liked both the place and the house. After giving her warm congratulations; she started a series of investigations all about how many? how much? how far? All those ”hows” made her 30 minutes visit pass like 5 hours. I pretended that I didn’t know most of the answers and changed the subject to her little son. That was why she left early; ‘ You look tired,’ she said and left.

There was a story in Arabic; I have read recently. It teaches one of the visiting manners. The story was about a Muslim scholar whose best student used regularly to invite him at his house. One day, the scholar’s cousin offered to give him a ride to his student’s. Once they had arrived, the host invited that cousin to join them. They talked and ate and then it was time to leave.

On their way back, the cousin poured all his thoughts;

‘ Your student is a real gentleman; kind and generous. His house is so big, clean and tidy. His attire looks expensive and neat. And the food, it was the best I have ever tasted. His people have high skills of cooking. I’m sure he is very wealthy.’

The scholar did not comment. He was riding his cousin’s donkey and listening while watching the sun setting.

‘But they have bad manners; they let women serve food and drinks. Have you seen that woman who was holding the water jug for us to clean our hands after dinner? I don’t like that,’ his cousin added

The scholar looked at his cousin and said; ‘ I have been regularly visiting that student for ten years. I ate their food, I drank their juice and I washed my hands in their house countless times, and yet I don’t know if I was served by men or women.’

His cousin said no more.

The lesson is; they were invited to have a meal, not to interfere in other’s life.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

Ramadan, Writing

No Experiments

 

 

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It is nice to try new food and it is even nicer to cook it. Simple recipes are available everywhere, especially on social media. Food has become easy to cook, yummy to eat, and fast to deliver. But on the first day of fasting, it is not a good idea to make any experiments. Not only because there will not be enough time or energy to cook another meal, but it will be very disappointing. Imagine the boys and their father look at the colourful dish, smell its spices, wondering what it can be, then fill the spoon, and taste it. ‘Yuk! it’s the first day, mama’

No, I’m not going to try any new recipes; not today. Traditional food is the best for the first day, something we all like to eat. When my son came back from school, he liked the smell of the food but he asked; ‘ can we have some chips? Extra side, mama’. ‘Of course, not. I won’t add anything,’ I told him. But that’s it, I thought. If I plan to make any new dish, I will make sure I add large chips, just in case.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

Writing

Are you ready?

 

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Tomorrow will be the first day of  Ramadan. My sons kept reminding me; mama please don’t forget this and that when making this week shopping. They want the fridge and the kitchen cupboard to be full of snacks and desserts so after Iftar (breakfast), they will transfer those sweet and salty packets to their rooms when they usually disappear; ‘ we’re going to relax for a bit before night prayer. This relaxation means snacks + mobile.  That’s not all, the first thing they asked me: ‘ What are you going to cook on the first day?’

Don’t think that they love food that much. This is their way of celebration which they practised since they had started fasting.  When they were young, we used to encourage them to fast in this way, by getting lots of snacks to be shared by all of us after having our iftar. Now they are teenagers, taller than me,  but still, like to keep this habit.

By the way, the month of Ramadan is not about food. I like to follow you-tubers or others on social media sharing their recipes for the holy month, just for fun.

Fasting is an obedience; one of the main pillars of Islam. In this month, Muslims are supposed to do their best to obey The Lord, to show how far we can get close, and how far we can be better. It’s a reminder to care more for the soul than for the body.

 

This month, I will try to write a post every day. I will write about our experience of fasting this year. It might be so brief, but at least, I will try.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla

 

 

 

Writing

My daughter’s guest

On Friday, at school home time, my daughter ran to me with a big smile. We had a guest. This guest was her class teddy. At the end of every week, her teacher picked randomly a name which is supposed to be the luckiest to have teddy over the weekend. It’s a wonderful idea because it encourages children to write about and express their feelings as well as sharing the fun with their friends. Every week they cannot wait to know whose turn it will be. They cannot wait to have this special teddy in their house, to take photos, to write about their adventures and finally to stick and arrange everything in the teddy’s schoolbook.

So on Friday, it was my daughter’s turn. Her adventure started as soon as we left the school. She talked with her teddy about our daily walking journey to and back from school. She believed teddy was so excited because last time when we had him, we took the bus, so this time was different. As soon as we arrived, she took her guest on a tour around the new house, especially her room and introduced him to the new toys he hadn’t seen last time.

On Saturday, it was raining when we went shopping and my daughter said teddy would be very bored; he doesn’t like shopping. ‘He will this time,’ I told her, ‘because I will buy him a special chocolate.’ Teddy wasn’t bored anymore. He flew in the air; my daughter jumped to catch him and hugged him. ‘There’s a surprise for you,’ she whispered to her guest who all of a sudden changed his mind and decided that it would be fun to go shopping.

Sunday was the best; sunny and warm and we went to the seafront. There, Teddy had an ice cream. There, he collected stones. There he waved to the big ferry. What else, there he giggled when one of the little boys ran to the water to wash his chocolate ice cream cone. He gasped when his tiny feet touched the chilly salty water. But finally, he was tired and fell asleep. But on the way home, he got up and begged his friend to take him to the park. He wanted to go on the swing. And so we went there. My daughter set him next to her on the swing and took up to the sky. She looked after him so well and he didn’t fall.

It was really fun to have teddy. I think it’s a brilliant idea that can create a wonderful story out of a simple toy.

Wishing you all the best,

Nahla