Age is not a number

They say: “Age is not a number;

Or an indicator of experience or qualification;

There’s no expiration date for youth or beauty;

And no fertility bracket defines a woman’s ability to procreate hope;

A woman gives birth to love every single day;

A woman does not lose her attractiveness or brightness when she turns a certain age; 

A woman’s age is not a secret she should be ashamed of; 

She should not be terrorized by wrinkles or grey hairs;

She should embrace ageing as a sign of maturity and wisdom!”

But, then, why are plastic surgeons the most highly paid professionals on the planet, may I ask?!

Well….
Happy birthday to me! 🎉

Another year to be keep rockin’ it! 

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Resignation (English-Arabic Poem)

My desperation is provoking me 

To give up writing

relinquish my throne

And return to the people

To quit complaining to papers

And set them on a fire 

Lit by my anger

A fire that would warm up the poor

And underprivileged in nights of cold 

Those who have been deprived

Of their country’s love

It provokes me to lend a hand

To worn out strangers

And be kind to the wretched 

In this city that’s still standing

On the edge of destruction 

While every vital sign indicates

That the situation is only going under

—————-

My pen refuses to descend from our ivory tower

To mingle with the people 

And merely listen to their worries

It objects to giving up our virtual world

Where we’ve completely run out of innovation

And implores our muse 

to fill up our senses to the brim

My pen insists that my decision to resign

Is not my own, that there’s a third party

Tampering with art

I tried to tell my pen that 

I’m independent and that no one has

A say in any of my decisions

But it still justified its conviction

With conspiracy theories

I tried to tell my pen that the only force 

Conspiring against us is Time

And that my resignation

Was triggered by a tragedy 

We so call a “homeland”

I’m tired of this melancholy 

And the mystery filling the air

Like clouds sweeping the sky

Hovering over our homes

In the middle of the night

——————-

I’m tired of writing

While censors stalk our pens

Relentlessly

I’m tired of this huge prison

We falsely call a “homeland”

It’s a prison, a prisoner, 

And a prison warden, all at the same time

I’m tired of those people on both camps: 

The resistance, the traitors

The freedom fighters, the freedom haters

I’m tired of running away

As war is about to break

So please spare me the blame

My pen, it’s useless now

Allow me to return to the people

I am one of them, don’t you see?

No matter the distance between us

No matter whose camp we fight for

We’re only helping the enemy

I am one of the people, 

whatever hurts them hurts me

In a so-called “homeland”


Translated from my Arabic poem below


إستقالة

يراودني يأسي أن أعتزل الكتابة

أن أتنحى عن عرشي وأعود إلى الشعب

أن أمتنع عن بثّ شكواي للورق

وأشعل فيه ناراً من جذوة الغضب

يلتمس دفأها الفقراء والمحرومون

من حبّ الوطن في الليالي الباردة

أن أمدّ يدي للغرباء المتعبين

وأترفّق بمساكين المدينة الصامدة

الآيلة للسقوط من فرط القنوط 

وكل مؤشرٍ للعيش فيها يدل 

على أن الوضع آخذٌ في الهبوط

————

يرفض قلمي النزول من برجنا العاجي

أن يخالط القوم ويكتفي بالإستماع

ويعارض التخلي عن عالمنا الإفتراضي

الذي استنفدنا فيه رصيد الإبداع

وبتنا نستجدي فيه عطف الإلهام 

كي يفيض علينا من بركة الإحساس

يصرّ قلمي أن قرار الإستسلام

ليس نابعاً عن قناعةٍ ذاتية 

وأن هناك جهة تعبث بمصير الفنّان

حاولت أن أبررّ رغبتي فقلت أنا حرّة 

مستقلّة ليس لأحدٍ عليّ سلطان

ولكن قلمي تحجج بنظريات المؤامرة

قلت أنّ المتآمر الوحيد علينا هو الزمن

وأن فكرة الخروج عن العزلة 

وليدة مأساة تسمى ظلماً “وطن”

فقد تعبت من الكآبة

وسئمت الجوّ الملبّد بالغموض 

والخوف الزاحف كالغمام

الذي يتمدد بين البيوت في الظلام 

————

تعبت من الكتابة

وعيون الرقابة تتتبّع الأقلام 

تعبت من هذا السجن الكبير

الذي يسمّى كذباً “وطن” 

وهو السجن والسجين والسجان

تعبت من قومٍ تشغلهم الألقاب  

ذاك فريقٌ مقاومٌ وذاك عميلٌ

وذاك مناضلٌ وذاك خوّان

تعبت من الهروب 

وطبول الحروب تُقرع

فلا تلمني يا قلمي على قراري

ما عاد العتاب ينفع

واسمح لي أن أعود إلى الناس

فأنا منهم مهما باعدت بيننا الحروف

وفرّقنا الولاء لمن يهدّمون الأوطان

أنا منهم، أنا إحدى ضحايا الظروف 

التي تسمى “وطن” زوراً وبهتان





Forget-me-nots 

 I was lying in a field of forget-me-nots

Glistening with dew

The clouds slowly passing by 

Puffed up with a greyish hue

Holding back an imminent shower

Reminded me of the pain I saw in you

I turned to flowers surrounding me

Their delicacy so mesmerising

Their innocence never stolen 

And I thought of myself –

Now utterly heartbroken –

Wasn’t I once this innocent and open

Before it rained so heavily?

But flowers would never thrive in sunshine

Would they grow without the sky’s grace?

And would I be nearly as happy

As the day I brought a smile to your face?

My forget-me-nots, so enchantingly blue 

Would never look as beautiful 

Had it not been for you

Still believe

I still believe in beauty despite all the ugliness surrounding me;

I still believe in peace despite the widespread of aggression;

I still believe in innocence though the world is drowning in profanity;

I still believe in love despite the prevalence of hate;

I still believe in humanity despite the immorality of the human race;

I still look at the half-filled cup and feel blessed that I can find hope despite the dominance of defeat. 

The Story

I’m not the story-teller

I am the story

Perhaps I’m not a best-seller

But I’m woven with glory

I’m not the woman on the cover

I’m the name written in small font,

I’m the voice of every character

I’m the muse whose soul was spared

Whose heart spilled over

On every page with utmost care

I’m the story someone read

Then left on a shelf where cobwebs grow

Forever collecting dust

I’m the happy ending 

Found in fairytales centuries ago

The kind we all wish for but never trust

Lock and key

Just like a lock and key, we only fit in with a few people. Our locks won’t click open when we sit or start conversations with everyone we meet. This doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with us – or them, perhaps. It might only mean that they don’t have the right tools (interests, likemindedness, goals, personality traits) to unlock us.Thinking we’re flawed because we can’t get along with everyone is merely denying our individuality; the fact that we were not made like everyone, or for everyone. There’s a key out there for each one of us. Always remember that God won’t entrust it to those who are not worthy of protecting and honoring you. You’re way too valuable not to be handled with care. 

Alienation

I’m a stranger in this life, I’m not ashamed to admit my alienation;
There’s no escape from all these feelings inside;

And no denial would put off the raging volcanoes within;

I have learned to live with depression, monotony, solitude, and boredom;

I was once full of passion, but my life was hijacked,

I was left out in the open;

My dream was miscarried at its embryonic stage;

I’m still pretending to be strong and collected; 

Still hide the tears flowing in an endless stream,

I envy those who stand up against ignorance and absurdity

I was one of them once before my heart went astray;

Time has betrayed me and I never thought I’d slip,

And fall off the cliff of independent thinking

Then bump into this unbearable destiny;

But no, my dignity will forever say no to shame

To falling victim to vagary and dejection;

Rise, O restless soul, dust off your weakness,

Face injustice and say: “I’m stronger than this!”

Translated from the Arabic poem below

غريبةٌ أنا

غريبةٌ أنا عن هذه الحياة فلأعترف دون خجل

فلا هروب سينسيني ما في صدري اعتمل

ولا إنكار يجدي في اخماد بركاني المشتعل

رضيت أياماً بالكآبة والرتابة والوحدة والملل

قد كان فيّ شغفٌ، نعم؛ إنما بعثرني ورحل

وبداخلي جنينُ حلمٍ أُجهض قبل أن يكتمل

وما زلت أصطنع الصمود والصلابة؛ أجل

وأخفي الدمع ونبع أحزاني ما ضحل 

أغبط الصامدين في وجه السخف والجهل

وقد كنت منهم، ويح قلبي قد أصابه ضلل

غدرني الزمان وما ظننت قدمي قد تزّل

لمّا دفعني عن هاوية التفكير المستقّل

سقطت وإذا بي أرتطم بقدرٍ لا يحتمل

لكن لا وألف لا… يأبى كبريائي أن يُذّل

وأن يخضع لحُكم الهوى ولصوص الأمل

انهضي أيتها الروح واخلعي عنك ثوب الكلل

وجابهي الظلم واهتفي:”أنا أقوى من كل ما حصل!”

Ashes

With too many emotions on paper 

How can a girl not be set to flames?

She slowly treads with eyes wide open

Into the fire, and let it consume her

She dusts off the ashes, 

And all the words unspoken

Under her pillow at night

She never asks, “why did I burn;

Will  I ever heal?”

That was a part of the deal

That to walk through the fire

 She must become too numb to feel

And to become one with the fire

She must learn to conceal 

The sparks in her eyes

And she must become another shadow

Another ashen statue of a soul

That was once alive and real

First, it’s going to hurt: my thoughts on going back to fitness mode

I know most people work out to get lean and look sexy and attractive, to have perfectly toned abs or massive biceps. Many people work out just to restore their sense of control and create a balanced lifestyle. Everyone has their own reasons for hitting the gym or engaging in sports activities. But it’s a shame when fitness takes a backseat in our lives, and that’s the worst thing we could do to our bodies. 

We spend decades of our lives in total idleness and wonder where all chronic pains and illnesses come from. We don’t exercise because “it hurts” “it’s boring” “it’s a commitment” or “it’s useless if we don’t go on a diet and won’t give up junk” but these are just excuses, pure and simple. When you give up on your body, it gives up on you on the long run. Feed it fats, and watch those fat cells colonize your abdomen, thighs and bottom. Stuff your face with cupcakes, poptarts, and soda and get hooked on mood swings, melt downs, and constantly having to apologize for snapping out at a partner or workmate. 

I know, change is not easy. And starting out only to quit a few months later isn’t going to cut it. You have to set goals. Why would you want to get fit? To fit into a dress? To fit into a crowd of gymaholic friends? Or to fit the last piece of your total life transformation puzzle? It’s your choice. 

First, it’s going to hurt. Every muscle is going to quiver and scream as it’s stretched out to its limit. You’re going to wonder what the hell just cracked, is that a bone?! You’re going to be so sore it’ll burn every time you move or sit. But it’s going to be worth it. Just imagine the wide smile on your face everytime you finish a training session knowing your muscle is getting stronger and more resilient. The surge of endorphins will make you feel invincible. When that adrenaline kicks in, every negative thought will be kicked out. 

First, it’s going to hurt. The commitment, the time, the plans, they’ll have to change. But what’s more important than taking care of this vessel we’ve been endowed with to weather every storm? How can it sail safely through raging seas if you’ve neglected it so long it’s festering with rust? So, my reasons to want to get fit again, after three years of “letting myself go” would be wanting to get stronger. A sound mind in a sound body, as they say. I’m not going out of this life with frailness, neither mentally nor physically.

Starting over hasn’t been easy, I wince under pain, lose my breath and occasionally need hot compresses and anti-inflammatory creams to relieve the muscle aches but it’s going to be worth it, I’m sure. My body will thank me one day, for not giving up, for trying harder even when it hurts. Soon enough, I will indeed “finish strong”. 

I’d like to hear your thoughts: are you too  on a fitness journey? What have been your challenges and how do you keep yourself motivated? Please share in the comments.