Thursday, February 26, 2009
One Cairo night my friend Michelle and I decided to take a wall in Cairo. We walked to Qasr al-Aini bridge, and as we were walking along the nile, we spotted a parked car with blasting music. It was a wedding celebration, and the bride, groom, family and friends all got out of their cars to take pictures and dance on the Nile. It was a wonderful scene. As we passed by, something or someone literarllly dragged us to join the party and dance with the mother and the bride!
** A good friend of mine, Shaker Lashuel, who is a mentor to so many, a teacher, and a great writer, sent this to me when I was going through a confusing time. It really helped me then, and continues to help me. I re-read it recently because I needed to, and so decided to post it here, hoping it may help others as well **
There are junctures in our lives when we stand stationary and helpless. Hesitant, reluctant, and unable to move. We calculate and plan for the best possible direction of movement. We add, subtract, multiply, and divide in order to find the shortcut to the dreamy state of existence we seek.
Sadly in our eagerness to reach that destination, we sometimes forget to enjoy the journey as we become obsessed with the final destination. We stand there helpless, drenched by the what ifs and engulfed by uncertainty and fear.
The blessing of having many choices becomes a curse, and we turn the gift of freedom of choice into dilemmas and conundrums that chip away from our happiness and steal the moments of joy we were meant to have.
In Yemen we say, those who don't close their eyes don't learn how to swim. Maybe we need to close our eyes and take the bold moves we are afraid to take. At the end, the destination we reach becomes irrelevant if we learn to enjoy the ride and internalize the lessons we learn. All of our choices will have consequences and ultimately we're judged not only by the choices we make but by how we deal with the consequences.
I am utterly DISGUSTED by the response of the Egyptian government to the tragedy in Gaza. I can’t believe that we are only 7 hours away from the Rafah border but that humanitarian aid can’t be delivered!
I understand people’s frustrations at the US foreign policy, I am one of those that is constantly disappointed by that, however, I am more outraged at the Arab government, that speak of “Arab unity and nationalism” but when they are asked to prove it, nothing happens. They let their “brothers and sisters” on the other side die, and sit there to watch. Where is the unity they speak of?
If people focused their energy on asking why their OWN governments aren’t doing anything, maybe something would happen. Yes the US is to blame for a lot, but the US isn’t your country, look internally first, change within, and then look abroad. The closet neighbors are the Arabs, and they are blocking the aid and allowing people to die.