Friday, November 22, 2013

my Street

there's a Street
in my country
it has a name
and a face
it has a smell and a melody


those who are quite enough
slow enough
can hear the whisper of my Street
it tells stories of love
of friendship
of motherhood
of journeys
of dreams
of families
of life
of me


those who look close enough
can see finger prints
filling the air
with colors
of those who know my Street so well
it's part of their identity
my Street defines who we are
my Street keeps secrets
my Street can see
and feel
and read


my Street is waiting
for somebody to come back
and live there
for something to visit again
and dwell there


my Street is patient
my Street is kind
my Street is aching
in need for joy
for love
for music
for rain
and for peace


this poem is inspired by a VIDEO that made me cry...

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

عقد قران

"بيشرفني يا عمي أطلب إيد بنتك..." أكمل العجوز كلامه بكل ثقة متجاوزاً نظرات الحاضرين لهذه الجلسة الغريبة. كيف للعريس العجوز أن يخاطب والد عروسته الاصغر منه سناً قائلاً "يا عمي" ألم يكن من المنطقي أن يقول "يا ابني"؟!

يا له من عجوز غريب فقد دب الشيب في شعر رأسه وحفرت خبرة السنين نقوشها على تجاعيد وجهه لكنه يقف وقفة شاب في الثلاثين من العمر. صوته يرن في أرجاء الغرفة تتناقله قطع أثاث المنزل كما لو أنها جبال شامخات تتخاطب بلغة الصدى لكن يداه فتيتان لم تنهكهما ورشة أو مصنع ولم تخشوشنا من تقلبات طقس أو مغامرات سفر.

كانت هي شاردة الذهن تسبح في بحر أحلامها: "سأتغير حتماً، سأصبح شخصاً أفضل بعد الزواج فقد وجدته أخيراً، ذلك الفارس الذي سيحملني إلى عوالم لم أرها وسأعيش معه أيامي بلا سأم ولا ملل فسترتدي الدنيا حللا جديدة كل صباح من صباحات زواجنا السعيد وسأسعى لأن..."، "بحبك يا حليمة" فاجأتها كلماته موقظة إياها كالمنبه الذي يرن دائماً قبل موعده لكنها طربت لنغمة تلك الكلمات الثلاث وكادت أن تفتح باب مخيلتها من جديد لولا صفارة الإنذار التي أطلقتها والدتها: "لولولو لييييييييييي" وتعالت هتافات الحضور: "مبروك... الف مبروك... بالرفاه والبنين... الله يسعدكم..."

وخلال أسابيع قليلة تم حفل الزفاف الذي باركته كل البلاد العربية من المحيط إلى الخليج دون علم منها بأن زواج التاريخ بحليمة لن يعني أن أيا منهما سيتغير، وفعلا هذا ما حدث فور انتهاء شهر العسل: بقي التاريخ يعيد نفسه ورجعت حليمة لعادتها القديمة...

جميع الحقوق محفوظة لمدونة رهاميات

(ونقرأ في عناوين الصحف الصادرة هذا الصباح: قتلى وجرحى في اطلاق قذائف على دمشق وحلب. استشهاد 10 جنود بسيارة ملغومة في سيناء. 23 قتيلا في هجومين ببيروت. ارتفاع حصيلة ضحايا طرابلس إلى 50 قتيلا ومئات الجرحى. قتلى وجرحى عراقييون بينهم جنود وضابط كبير.)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

غنوة ثكلى

"غنوة ثكلى"

سلوى يا سلوى
ليش عم تبكي
بدي رفيقتي
اللي ركبت الباص
بس اليوم
ما جابها


سلوى يا سلوى
ليش عم تبكي
بدي رفيقي
اللي معي بالصف
راح رحلة
بلا طاقية وطابة
أخد شنتايتو
وجناحات ملاك
وقذيفة هاون


سلوى يا سلوى
حاجة بقى تبكي
بدي طمّن ميمتي
قديش في سيارات ولعب هون
منغني طول اليوم يوم
مبسوط يا ماما؟
وينك يا تقبرني؟


سلوى يا سلوى
أنا عم أبكي


سلوى يا سلوى
قومي نقي يللي بدك اياه
ما رح عيّط عليكي
اشتري يللي بدك اياه
كلي يللي بدك اياه
البسي يللي بدك اياه


سلوى يا سلوى
ما بقى رح تبكي
نقيتي يللي بدك اياه؟
اسأليلي العمو الكبير فوق
اللي حاضنك هلأ
عن ابني
طب ليش عطيتني اياه؟


سلوى يا سلوى
من وين رح تجي السلوى؟


سلوى يا سلوى
ببوس رجليكي تقومي


12 تشرين الثاني/ نوفمبر 2013
حداداً على طلاب مدرَستَي "الرسالة" و "يوحنا الدمشقي" الذين حملوا حقائبهم المدرسية وطاروا مع الملائكة ووصلوا إلى بيتهم في السماء بسلام يوم 11 تشرين الثاني 2013

 جميع الحقوق محفوظة لمدونة رهاميات

Saturday, November 9, 2013

happy "odd" day to me 9/11/13

it's not uncommon for me since the dawn of this era of technology and social media to receive an overwhelming number of wishes and greetings on my birthday, it's become something i expect every year on 9/11 (switch it if you're from a country which doesn't date: day, month, year!)

but the most unique birthday greeting was from my sister-in-law who sent me this interesting article about my birthday this year being a very special day that we can expect to see again in 92 years, "expecting" surely does't mean we will actually live to see it, but i'm saying what conclusion i made after reading the math.

this got me thinking about how "odd" my day has been (spending the last hour of my birthday blogging). having an "odd" day has become a "ritual" ever since i had children, most mothers can relate and they will sure understand if i told them that my birthday celebration plan this year was supposed to be spending the night outside the city all by myself! if your'e surprised, that's OK, my husband was. but unfortunately the two places i've selected (which are safe, affordable, and within a reasonable driving distance) one was fully booked and the other was completely empty!

it was frustrating that on my "odd" day i won't receive the gift i wanted: time alone, all by myself, away from any white noise or pollution or people. i needed to hear the voice of my thoughts, because the really good ones tend to whisper and we rarely catch that, but my thoughts have to YELL so i can hear them, any voice lower than that will go unnoticed. my plan didn't mean running AWAY from somebody or something, but running TOWARDS somebody and something... this somebody is me, whatever is left of the old me and definitely the new me too... in order to do that i had to escape, be alone and away from people including the 3 persons most dear to me, my husband and kids. i did want to celebrate with them, but i can no longer recognize myself recently, so i wondered who they will celebrate with, the actual person who's birthday is today... i wanted time for myself so that i can BE   ME   WITH   THEM, instead of this exhausted, frowning, nervous, monster of a mother/wife they have dragging herself around the house, driving them and herself crazy, going through the motions of endless responsibilities day after the other... let alone sleepless nights... i keep saying that in 5 years i haven't had a full night sleep... FIVE years during which the maximum consecutive hours of night sleep allowed for me is 4 or 5 hours max, on good days, but regular days mean an interruption every hour or two!

so the article gives examples of other odd days that passed recently like: 3/5/7 and 5/7/9 and 7/9/11 it's funny that i've never liked odd numbers when i was little, i liked even numbers and my favorite was 22 (number 2 twice) and last month was special for me because my son was 4 years and 4 months old and my daughter was 2 years and 2 months old... this is "odd" too but in an even way and will never ever come again, not even in 92 years. language might be a main reason for me to think of these numbers differently, the word "odd" in Arabic is "fardi" which comes from the rout "fard" meaning single or individual, and the word "even" is "zawji" from the rout "zawj" meaning a couple or two. so it might be a mathematical reason or a linguistic one, but we do have good feelings about certain things and bad feelings about other things.

maybe my birthday/odday this year is trying to teach me something, to like what i disliked before, to try new things outside my comfort zone (try odd number instead of even ones), i don't know, but it might carry a certain message for me embedded in between its numbers and the sequence of 9/11/13. i still need to figure this out, but till then i'll be replying to people who greeted me, fighting my bad cold, planning on buying a fancy cake (ice-cream cake to be specific) when my sense of taste is restored, and celebrating my new project i launched on facebook called "Rihamiat" to sell hand-made things starting with a collection of Christmas crafts i called "Christmasiat", here's the logo and motto i came up with

and tomorrow i can start looking back at today, 9/11/13 and say: "it was a good ODD day"...

Thursday, November 7, 2013


last May when my husband was still in the US, i went to the wedding of two dear friends. there i met a directer of a show that i like, it's called "Needle and Thread". it was the second time i meet Maggie and we had a quick chat before the wedding started. actually our chat was a bit longer than that since the bride was late for almost 2 hours! anyway, Maggie told me that she's thinking of talking about Syria during one of the talk show's episodes and i got really excited about the idea until she told me that she wants ME to be the guest on the show with two of the 3 presenters. i dismissed the idea and took it more like a joke than a real plan or a serious proposal.

then came the famous summer of 2013 in Egypt, which was anything BUT a real summer, in the "traditional" sense of the word. so much has changed including myself throughout different crises and encounters with people on several occasions add to it the facebook interaction which was a daily intake of a bittersweet medication essential for my survival. i had added a couple more items to my mental and emotional "first aid kit" that summer and each proved its strength and showed its lack of effectiveness according to how events developed and unfolded from June till September.

at the beginning of September Maggie called me and we talked over the phone about the episode she had in mind and she told me that the show will be back on air weekly in October for its second season. i have to say that Maggie is one of these smart and creative people you enjoy talking to, and i feel some kind of chemistry between us as if we've known each other forever. the call went smoothly until i realized that she was serious, she wanted me on the show for 30 minutes live on one of the most watched Christian Arabic satellite channels in the MENA region. it was a NO NO for me so i tried to think of other Syrian guests who can appear on the show but Maggie was clear that: "It's either you or the episode will get cancelled" meaning that the topic will be replaced. my first fear was an uncontrollable surprising reaction i might have on air. we're talking about Syria, my beloved country which is now being devastated and torn by war, so the wound is still bleeding and i might burst into tears on T.V, as simple as that. my second fear was receiving phone calls as the two presenters talk with the guest, viewers can call the show and have an input (regardless whether what they say is relevant to the episode's topic or the whole talk show or not). Maggie suggested we stop receiving phone calls during the guest's part (as an exception and upon my request) and she asked me to sleep on the idea and answer her in a week or two.

one thing was sure that i did NOT want this episode to be cancelled, i do want this show, and every single show on the planet to talk about Syria, not about politics, but to shed some light about the humanitarian conditions of Syrians both inside and outside the country, both who left before and after the crisis started back in 2011, both who are directly or indirectly affected by the conflict in Syria. so i started to ask myself What Would Esther Do?, the story of Esther in the Bible has always been my favorite one (Joseph's comes next on the list), but wait a minute maybe i should ask myself WDED? = What DID Esther Do?, because she already did what she did, i don't need to ask her or imagine, her choice was clear and her decision was risky but right. there isn't that great of a resemblance between Esther and myself because my life might not be on the line like hers if i step up and speak my mind in order to save my people, or in an attempt to save a few, maybe not save them from death but save them from the coming cold of this winter, save them from other people's ignorance about their situation, save them from poverty and hunger, save them from neglect and being looked down to.... just like Esther decided to walk into that royal hall, i can decide to walk into the SAT7 studio...

as i struggled with many thoughts and fears waiting to reach a decision i'm comfortable with, and working towards making up my mind with a clear yes or now answer, i continued reading Rene's book "Daring Greatly"... most probably anyone can now guess what the answer was... i decided to say YES, a scared and hesitant but a daring greatly YES... once i finalized my decision and informed Maggie of the yes and the date i started to panic even more... what will i say? would it make any difference? this is an insignificant show in the first place, well why am i so scared then? it's a major show and many will be watching it live then they'll watch the two reruns and the youtube video...what should i wear? what if the day arrives with one of these horrific news arriving from Syria about a chemical attack or a massive massacre and i didn't feel like getting out of bed on October 31st let alone travel to another city and appear LIVE on a talk show on TV to talk about the very same subject that nailed me to bed and depression that morning?!!!!

shaking off these what if's wasn't easy, but it was necessary, not only for Syrians who might, just might be understood more or helped more, but it was necessary for me too. i didn't know why at the moment, i just knew that i both HAD to do this and NEEDED to do this...

so October 31st, which was last Thursday, finally arrived and i'll talk more about the interview later. i'm also currently working on adding English subtitles to the 38-minute-video you can watch here, in Arabic so far.

but for now, what i'd like to say about this experience, is that first i DO NOT regret having done it, and i'm glad i did it at a time when i still had a glimpse of hope, this hope is fading away, who knows, maybe a month from now i'll decide to reach a stage of total desperation that anyone anywhere will move to the rescue of a beautiful country called Syria and a beautiful people called Syrians... i have no guarantees, as i've already said on the show: "war changes us, war has changed me" so maybe war keeps changing us and will continue to change me! so i do have hope that my voice, one of many Syrian voices, upon finding a new platform might reach a wider area of the world, but even if it doesn't reach the ends of the earth and no one's life changes after this episode i still have hope that my voice will reach the small circle of people around me so they would know me a bit more (actually a lot more), no matter what the reasons are for me to prohibit myself from speaking so honestly often, this half an hour on air allowed me to open up a bit more and dare a bit greater than i usually do (or allowed to do).

Rene, you're right, fear is written all over this action of daring greatly, before, during, and after... i was scared and i still am, but i'm proud that i did this, and i'm also proud about the way i did it too... thumbs up from Esther too if she's looking down at me from heaven saying: "who knows? maybe you were made queen (married an Egyptian...asked on this show) for just such a time as this." (Esther 4 : 14 The Message)

photo cutline:  these are the four pictures i got from recording the interview during the second re-run.