My views, observations, questions about everything in this world ....and that country they call Egypt.

27 August 2006

Two Stories With The Word Hug

Here are two very fresh/recent little anecdotes:

This guy at work comes to ask me to do something for him. I've seen him before but I never got to know him. He's fairly new and seems like a super nice guy. Anyways, so he comes and talks to me about something, showing me a piece of paper. Then all of a sudden, he starts stuttering. Stuttering is really an understatement. He just kept repeating same 2 words... for a looong time. I thought it was a glitch in the Matrix at first cause his stutter wavelength, if you will, was identical each time. I couldn't take my eyes off the paper cause I did not want to embaress him.

So he's still stuck on those 2 words, and I feel like if I interupt his stutter pattern in any way, he might go back to normal. So I say a few meaningless words just to knock this stutter out of balance. It works, and after maybe 30 seconds of saying the same 2 words he goes back to normal. I look up at his face and I can tell he is trying hard to act normal and pretend like nothing has happened. His eyes were a little teary and he couldn't look me straight in the eye. He looked so vulnerable I just want to hug him, pat on his back, and tell him
"it's ok, don't be ashamed, man... I would never judge you or laugh at you... we all have our imperfections" Of course I couldn't do any of that so I just played along like nothing happened at all.

I was invited to a little birthday party at a restaurant, for this girl I knew. It was ok, I got to talk to people that I haven't talked to in a loooong time. The birthday girl was a sweet & cute girl that I never got to know very well. I had a few pointless, Egyptian style, discussions with some of the invitees, and realized how much we all have changed yet how unbridgable the gap between us still is. So me and my friend decided to call it a night and go home. So we get up and start the goodbye rituals. I look at the birthday girl, she looks at me, and we approach for the farewell.

Now I was going for double-cheek Egyptian kiss but apparently, she was going for the one-armed hug. So we come closer, she reaches out with her left arm for the hug, at the same time I grab her right hand for the hand shake and lean forward for the first cheek kiss. She puts her arm on my back but she realizes that I am going for the double-cheek . And I realize that she's going for the one-armed. So we each change our strategies! I lean back thinking that what we just did counts as the one-armed hug, even though we shook hands and I already simulated the kiss sound. However, she was now going for the double-cheek thinking that this is what I wanted. So as I go back to the straight position, she leans in, pulling me with her left hand, trying for the second cheek kiss. But since I stood my ground, and since I'm a bit taller than her, she ends up basically just hugging my right arm and ramming her face in my shoulder! Everytime I think about it I keep laughing at how pathetic I can be...

23 August 2006

A Secret Code Carved

I wake up beside this big gray rock. I feel fresh. I feel adventurous. I feel like today is a new day. I am not hungry, but I am not full either. I get up and look around. There is something familiar about this place, but I tell myself that today is a new day. I have no idea where I am, but somehow that does not trouble me. It looks like a forest, and there is an obvious trail ahead of me... a path on the ground. Was it made by man or just common usage? I can't quite tell if it's day or night; I can neither see the Sun or the Moon.

I start walking down the path and it feels great. I look at the fruitless trees and just feel happy. The trees look so green and beautiful. I keep walking and hope to myself that this feeling continues. Almost abruptly, I see the road split ahead. There is another trail branching off to the right. I stop at the center of the Y. I look down the new road. There is something about it that just looks so eerily familiar. Oh, the trees have apples! I look at the ripe apples, at their perfect balance of red and yellow and my mouth waters. Oh, they look so good. I was not hungry before, but those apples are sure making my stomach growl. I turn my head and look down the original path and am reminded of how green and happy it is. Where do I go? Should I keep going on the same trail or take this new, yet familiar trail? I hesitate for a split second.

So I take the new road and the first thing I do is reach out for an apple. I bite it. Oh, it's so juicy and sweet. I walk down the new path, with my mouth stuffed and my hands loaded with as many apples as they could carry. The trees are not as pretty but the apples sure are sweet. There is nothing that could possibly be better than this. I want to eat apples forever. Yet, some part of me deep inside misses the original road with the happy green trees. I don't think about it for long though. I feel a little tired from eating and collecting, but I almost feel hungry for more.

As I walk on, I see another trail branching off. I stop at the center of the Y. I look down the new road. Again, this new path just seems so familiar. I look closer and I see the trees teeming with the delicious fruit. Apples of all colours, even coming off the same tree! Red, yellow, green apples just so big and ripe waiting for me to eat them. With no hesitation this time, I go down the new trail. I jump around reaching for the apples. I take a bite off one and throw it away craving for the next. The juices flow down my chin as I chew with my mouth open. I walk and walk, eat and eat. I feel lost and tired, hungry with a full stomach.

I look at how big and sweet these apples have gotten, and I realize that I have lost track of how many side trails I've taken. I know that I will have to sleep very soon. My body is weary and I haven't gotten anywhere. I walk some more, carrying the apples, looking for a good place to rest. I see this little gray thing far away. For maybe the millionth time, a deja-vu strikes me.

I walk closer to the gray object while my brain tries to solve this puzzle, and while my body complains about its immediate need for rest. I see it now, so close and so clear. It's the big gray rock. I have been too stupid and too distracted to realize that this path is not man-made. Well, it is man-made if by 'man' you mean Me. My legs weaken, so I let go of the apples and drop to my knees leaning on the big gray rock. I look at it and smile, realizing that I have done this maybe thousands of times before. I lie on my back, as my brain and body shut down and go to sleep...

I wake up beside this big gray rock.......

21 August 2006

Where You Are, That's Where I Wanna Be

You can stop 4:00min into the Video. Note Santana is playing on a Gibson Les Paul!

16 August 2006

Reach Out And Touch Me Please

I had a nice trip. It was short but worth it for sure. Actually, I was sort of a guest to one of my From Your Lips All The Heavens Pour Out friends. I do not know her that well but she was super nice. I just can't believe how good she was to me considering we are not that close. Actually, she was too good to me even if we were best friends. She introduced me to her friends, showed me around, and even let me stay at her place for a night. Believe it or not, she didn't do this because she likes me, she did this because this is just how she is!! She would have done the same with anyone. She always reminds me of everything good in this world.

Anyways, that is not what I wanted to talk about. I got the chance to meet a lot of new people and probably made a couple of new friends. All the Hello and Goodbye hugs got me thinking though. In my daily life, I don't touch anyone! I don't touch people at work (although my boss tried to hug me today!), and I don't touch any of my friends, best or not. And No, shake hands do not count. I email, I blog, I chat, I talk on the phone... but none of that is touching. In fact, it is the exact opposite. We are so distant from one another.

So all the hugging reminded me of how much I miss the touch of another human being. There is something about the hug that is just so beautiful and pure. You're close to other person. You lean on them and they lean on you. Your heart is next to theirs. Your head is next to theirs. Your arms wrap around them, and theirs around you. Your bodies touch. You feel this warmth, of their body and emotion. You smell their scent. It's just something that cannot be put into words, but if I had to, I would say it's a brief moment of unconditional 'I Love You'.

Why aren't we touching one another? Have we built up so many barriers & shields around ourselves that we don't let anyone in, even for a hug? Why are we so afraid to show affection?

Maybe it's just me. Maybe you're touchy with your friends. Maybe I'm just suffering from the 'single-male' syndrome!

Tagged To A Book Meme

I was so called 'tagged' twice recently, once by Reham, and once by Shlemazl. I cannot fulfill Reham's tag as it gives away more information than I'd like. I'm gonna try Shlemazl's but I don't like rules so I'm not gonna stick to them if I don't feel like it!
1. One book that changed your life?

Vicotr Hugo - Les Misérables
This book is just so human. It shows beauty in ugliness, right in wrong, and wrong in right. It shows compassion and sin, forgiveness and justice, it's an emotional epic journey for sure.

Naguib Mahfouz - The Mirage
A very psychological novel that delves into the deepest of the human thoughts. It made me better understand the imperfection inherent to humanity.

2. One book you have read more than once?

Naguib Mahfouz - Akhenaten: Dweller in Truth

3. One book you would want on a deserted island?

AutoCad for Dummies... just kidding. Some holy book maybe!?

4. One book that made you laugh?

Nick Hornby - Long Way Down
Four people meet at a roof top just before they commit suicide.

5. One book that made you cry?

Andre Dubus III - House Of Sand And Fog
Books don't make me cry... but this one got me pretty choked.

6. One book you wish had been written?

The Truth for Dummies

7. One book you wish had never been written.

Sun Tzu - The Art Of War

8. One book you're currently reading.

Classic American Short Stories
This is a neat book with one page in French and the opposite page in the English translation. I'm trying to improve my French.

9. One book you have been meaning to read.

John Crowley - Engine Summer
I've had this book since I was 14, and I swear I must have tried to read it 4 or 5 times. I can't even begin to describe how weird this book is. I could just never finish it. From what I gather it is considered a cult classic by some.

Naguib Mahfouz - Children Of The Alley
This book is banned all over the Arab world, except for Lebanon! I can get the English translation but I want to read the Arabic original first, which is very hard to find. I knew a guy who had it but he would just not lend it to me!

10. Now tag five people.
Let's see... hmm...
Pinky & Brain

11 August 2006

Lost In The Crowds

After I showed you How To Be Inconsiderate and read your comments, I felt worse than before writing it. I guess I shouldn't be complaining about my feelings when my victim has possibly suffered irreversible damage. There is not much I can do but to vow not behave like that again. I promise you I will never do anything like that again.

I just realized that there is so much that I haven't told you about. I haven't told you about how my parents were trying to hook me up with girls at this wedding I went to last week. I haven't told you about the history of Count Dracula & Romania as told by this Romanian guy I met through work. I haven't posted any of the music that I made. I haven't told you about all the nice and intelligent Iranian people I've met.

This is not a proper post, I just wanted to tell you that I will be away for a few days again. I have to go to the airport 3 hours before the flight now because of all this terror crap. Anyway, I'll leave you with this Egyptian Rock/Metal video that I uploaded especially for you.

07 August 2006

From Your Lips All The Heavens Pour Out

Ever met a person that you instantly fell in love with, opposite-sex or not? I am not talking about looks or anything sexual. I am talking about the way they speak and act. The way they are always SINCERE. They way they talk from their hearts with no facades. No hidden intentions. They don't say/act it if they don't mean it.

They are usually quite talkative, opening themselves up to everybody with a smile on their face. Easy-going and pleasant to be with. Like a cool fresh breeze when the air around you is hot & polluted. I just like to watch them and listen. I like to watch every expression on their face and listen to every word they say. I look at them, and marvel at how they manage to remain true to themselves in a world like this. They are like angels among us. Do you know what I'm talking about? Maybe you are of that type yourself (especially if your name starts with an L).

The other thing is when you meet them, they always seem to care about you. But what makes it a lot more flattering is knowing they are not pretending like everybody else. My reaction to that is usually "You must be an angel to care about a piece of **** like me."

I tried to count how many of them I came across in my life. I have met about 6 so far. 4 girls, 2 guys. One was a close friend and passed away. Two I still talk to every now and then.

Recently, I met 2 people which might be the same but I haven't gotten to know them yet. What are your stats? Know any?

02 August 2006

How To Be Inconsiderate

I know there is a war going on, but I have a confession to make. I screwed up someone else's life. I did it to someone I don't know, and I did it for no reason at all. So random...

This is about 2 years go. I go into a net cafe in Cairo. It's a small and cheap place. I go on this computer and check my email and surf the net for a bit. I open up MSN looking for friendly chat. But someone has left their username and password in there!!!! It's not signed in but their account and password are there, I can simply sign in with their account... I had a moment of hesitation... ok a split second...

My mind was something like this:
"ok just go in see who this guy is and then get out."
"it's not yours so just leave it alone."
"just a quick peak, maybe there is something interesting"
"control yourself... you make me sick"

So I log in with his account (the username was a guy's name)... He's got some friends online, nothing special... So I go about doing my other stuff. Then this conversation window opens up... The display picture has a half-naked guy showing his abs... "hmm... intresting" I think to myself. Then 3 or 4 windows start popping up. The thing is they weren't just people. They were all guys. Guys with half-naked pics in their MSN display. And the messages I was getting were a little weird... "hey hottie", "missed you"...etc... I realized that the guy I'm logging in as is gay. I have nothing against gays, but naturally I was a little repulsed.

I should have done the right thing and logged off. But my mind was going into different directions. I am not gonna self-analyze my thoughts at the time, there is no excuse for what I did really. I'm just gonna tell you. I opened up his email and looked at the distrubtion lists. His lists were something like this:

"Guys from US"
"Guys from Egypt"
"Guys from Sweden"
etc... he had guys from many countries

So I created a new email to his "family" and "friends" distribution lists. In the message, I said something like this:

"I wanted to tell you all this for a long time. I am actually gay."

You know being openly gay in Egypt is probably not an easy thing. Do you think I ruined his life? Do you think it was fate? Was there a purpose to what I did?

Of course I have no excuse... it was an nothing but an evil act from my side and I don't know how long it will keep haunting me for. I'm sorry dude.