Just another interesting life …

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30 Days Till 30 … Day 29: Farewell My Twenties…

Alas, the moment is near. In a little over 24 hours my twenties will be over, forever! It’s an event I face with mixed emotions. I am overly excited and overwhelmed at the same time. Excited to start a new, more mature and, potentially, more exhilarating phase of my life. Overwhelmed with the feeling that I am turning the page on my twenties, which have been much more eventful than I had ever imagined them to be. It feels like leaving behind a very close friend or companion, knowing for a fact that you will never, ever see them again! I am not sad, heartbroken or depressed like I’ve heard occurs with many at this point. If anything, I am humbled, thankful and grateful … on many levels.

My twenties were rough and tough but were also gentle and kind. They were eventful yet quiet. They were heartbreaking yet heartwarming. They were full of tears and smiles. They included the lowest points of my life so far and the greatest. During my twenties I lost some of the people closest to my heart to illness, death and life yet I also met some of the people who will forever remain in my heart no matter what. I have lost some people who I thought were friends yet I made the best real, lifelong friends. The tides of my twenties were high and rough when they came down crashing upon me, yet when they settled, the waters were calm and glistened beautifully in the sunlight!

I come out of this decade stronger, disciplined, well-taught, independent, confident, intellectual, knowledgeable, firm, responsible, mature, willing, optimistic, with a clearer vision of who I am and what I want and, most importantly to me, with my feet planted firm on the ground and my head held up high! During numerous points I thought my twenties were going to break me. I even had points where I had not even the slightest hope of seeing my thirties! However, God chose to keep and protect me. He chose to give me a second, third and fourth chance at life. Time and time again He would come to my aid, lift me up and give me a reason to start over.

The most beautiful outcome of this decade is my beautiful children, without the slightest doubt. I love them more than anything in this world and would do anything to see them happy and well. I intend to spend the rest of my life living up to their expectations of me, being there for them, supporting them and being the stepping stone they need towards leading their own lives. I intend to do everything I can to give them everything my parents gave me and much more. I intend to do my best to see them better than I ever even aspired to be! My children are my life from day one and nothing on this Earth can change that.

I am thankful for every illness I had, every mishap that occurred, every bad relationship I had, every friend that betrayed me, every person that stood in my way, every obstacle I faced and every person who tried to bring me down, for all those circumstances made me stronger and taught me lessons I could have never learned otherwise in life. I am thankful for every healthy day, every right decision I made, every successful relationship I had, every friend that stood by my side, every person who helped me advance in life one way or another, every obstacle I overcame and every person who has ever encouraged me, for all those circumstances made me realize how blessed and loved I truly am.

To every person who has had a major impact on my life, thank you for being part of it. To all my school colleagues, friends and teachers. To all my university colleagues, friends and professors. To all my professional colleagues, friends and managers. To all my entrepreneurial clients, collaborators and supporters. To all the doctors and nurses who have helped me in the past and continue to do so today. To all my friends, family and neighbors. And of course, to all my blog followers who return day after day to encourage me. I love you all and thank you for being such wonderful individuals. I am humbled by the experience of meeting you and learning so much from each and every one of you.

I do not want to start naming names because the list will soon grow so huge and I am bound to forget mentioning someone and that’s the last thing I want to do. But to all my sisters out there, the women who support me every day and show me their love every way they can. To the women who have always held me up high and never once lost faith in me. To the women who love me from the bottom of their hearts just as much I love them. To the women who sacrifice every single day for the sake of their families and loved ones. You, ladies, are my rock! Without you, I would not be the woman I am today. No one has had as great an impact on my personal growth as you wonderful women. I am sure you know who you are and I pray to God, every single day, that He protects and keeps you and your families and loved ones. I pray that God grants you all your wishes and deepest desires, that He helps you out of your calamities and that He rewards you greatly for instilling happiness in my heart as well as those of others I am sure. You are all fabulous and I know that you will all receive your hearts’ desire, whether in this life or the next, because you deserve it.

I am grateful that coincidence has led my parents here on birthday and they will be celebrating this important milestone with me. I could not have asked for better parents. They have always been there for us, supported us and held our hands until my brother and I crossed to safety. My dad is the hardest working man I know and may possibly ever know! He has done everything he can to give us the life he never had. My mother has the tenderest heart and has always been my best friend and adviser and I hers. She sacrificed so much, much more than I could ever iterate, for our happiness as a family. She is truly a remarkable woman and my only regret is that I am thousands of miles away from her and cannot give back a tiny portion of what she has given us all her life. I wish my brother were here. I wish my deceased loved ones were here. I wish my lovely friends were here. But all those people are in my heart and I know that they will make my day special no matter where they are. I love them all with all my heart and I wish the living happiness, peace of mind, lots of love, success and everything else their hearts desire. I wish the dead peace, forgiveness and that their graves are pieces of heaven that they are enjoying right now.

Like I said, I wish if some people who are no longer present in my life were here to wish me happiness on the days to come. But it is God’s wisdom that he has either taken them out of my life or out of life as we know it altogether. To my maternal grandparents, I love you and I miss you every day. My children will grow to know how much you meant to me, to us all. I hope you are resting in peace. To my paternal grandparents, I miss you although I have never met grandpa and hope that you are resting in peace. To uncle Hamdy and my dear cousin Karim, your deaths cut me deep and I miss your humor, kindness and sweetness. My children would have loved to meet you. I hope you are resting in peace. To oncle Mohamed, I only saw you a few times but you mean so much to my husband and thus to me, you are missed. To each and every person who has ever meant something to me one day, I wish you all the happiness and success in this world and the next.

Finally, I’d like to thank my husband for stealing me away for the better half of my twenties. Our family is a beautiful one, one that is unique and cannot be replaced nor replicated. Thank you for working so hard to provide for us. Thank you for being someone our children can look up to. And thank you for always trying your best.

My dear twenties, you have been such a loyal companion and we have been through so much together … I shall never forget you! I now leave you behind but the memories we have, the lessons learned, the experiences we had shall live on forever. With time, I promise to hold on to your highlights and let go of anything else. I could not have asked for a better companion the past decade and can only wish that my thirties will learn something from you. You will be missed but remembered fondly. I pass you on to someone else, knowing in my heart and mind that you will help them the way you did me. Thank you for taking me in years ago as a fragile, shy little girl and now letting me out a much, much better version of myself … a strong, confident woman. I love you and always will, my loyalest of friends 🙂

Bring it on thirties … I am armed and ready 😀

Courtesy: Google Images!

Courtesy: Google Images!


Experiencing the Egyptian Revolution From Afar

Yesterday as I was browsing Facebook I noticed an announcement on the group “AUCians for Egypt” (which I strongly encourage all AUCians to join) stating that anyone who has “written anything related to the 25th of Jan revolution and would like to get it published in auc times’ special issue” to please send in their contributions. This announcement reminded me of a piece that I meant to write for maybe 6 months now and gave me the push to get it done. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a strong passion for reading and writing. It all stemmed from my amazing teachers back when I was younger, especially when I was in Hungary. And this amazing habit continued with me as I grew older.

So, I sat down and made sure to write my piece before the deadline and I finally got it done. I hope you all like it, it’s not that long really since I had to stick to the word count limit that was set but please do send me your comments:

”  Since 25th January 2011, most those I know speak about what they experience on the streets of Egypt day in and day out. From the lack of police and security presence, to the different tactics that bullies (baltageya) use to rob people of their cars and belongings, to how the uprising showed people’s true colors to who’s electing who for parliament and/or the presidency. Rarely has anyone asked me how I see the Revolution from where I am, on the other side of the world.

When the revolution began, I was living in the Kingdom of Bahrain. My second born was only 3 months old. I would put him to sleep and then stay up voluntarily till 3 a.m. to watch the news. My husband would be at work smsing me the latest news he’d heard, he knew I’d be busy with the kids and my business to be able to follow the news closely. But I definitely was following the news; I followed it 21 hours a day. I wept and found myself emotionally praying on 2nd February when I saw those traitors on horseback and camels attacking the protesters. I felt my blood pressure spike when waited to hear Mubarak say that he’s leaving, one week before he actually did, only to hear him come out and boldly say that he’s supporting the revolution and condemns the brutal actions taken against the protesters. And I don’t think I was ever as happy as when I heard that he’s leaving, we immediately sprung up and headed towards the embassy to celebrate with our counterparts. Although there was no one there to greet us, we all made ourselves welcome and rejoiced together, young and old, Egyptians and non-Egyptians, Muslims and Christians! You could see happiness and hope in every single person’s eyes, a sight I have never seen in my 28 years on this Earth! Not to mention how the locals reacted to our uprising; whenever we were stopped at one of the checkpoints posted by the Island Shield Forces and they’d see on our ID that we’re Egyptian, they’d tell us how great Egypt is and how they respect us for our courage to revolt against our oppression.

Then things started to feel like a roller-coaster ride; one good day followed by a bad one, a day bringing news of hope followed by a day full of sorrows. I eventually started to feel overwhelmed especially after hearing nothing but bad news from my Egyptian friends in Bahrain and those back home. We consciously made a decision that, for the first time since we got married, I’ll leave my husband behind and go check things out for myself. When I went back home I saw a different Egypt. I saw the Egyptian flag displayed proudly everywhere. I saw encouraging phrases spray painted on the walls and pavements all over the country. I saw young men and women taking their brooms to the streets and collecting the garbage voluntarily. I saw statues and portraits of Mubarak with his face spray painted in black or chipped off. But the most significant change I saw was how everyone seemed happier, more hopeful and generally optimistic. I was even more proud to be an Egyptian.

In July 2011, we decided to go visit the USA and then eventually decided to move there. The situation was, and still remains, completely different here. There is nothing about Egypt on the news, only when there’s something about the NGOs setup there does it get mentioned. The newspapers are a bit more reliable, they mention the Egyptian people’s struggles with the current system from time to time. But the most reliable mediums for us are Facebook and Twitter, there we can find all the news we need to know.

So, witnessing the Egyptian Revolution from afar is not as easy as it sounds. We are connected, we are concerned, we feel the same pain our counterparts back home feel and we participate in rallies and chant Egypt’s name all around the globe. We are Egypt’s ambassadors abroad; we did not betray the country by not being there physically because we are there in every other way possible.”

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