Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stuck in Both Worlds



I miss my pen! .. I miss the old-feel of it ..When everything felt so genuine and so pure .. When I didn't care much about someone/something .. When all I had, was some boy-troubles and a mis-understanding with a friend .. When slam books/scrap books existed to open your heart to the world and teach you that your friends aren't all cute as they seem to be .. When all you dreamt of, is to grab the attention of your crush, hoping he/she would just notice you and maybe smiles at you for a bit .. When songs were really good .. When every feeling was intense and out of this world ..

I feel like I'm trapped in 2 worlds; the teenagers' phase & the adults' phase .. Never lived this, nor that .. I have this constant one-on-one conversation with myself of, "Why I can't live my life like any normal creature" .. In other words, "Why haven't I, still?" ..

Every once in a while, I wake up to find myself completely the same .. I haven't changed much I suppose .. I dress the same, I talk the same, I (maybe) think the same .. I even write the same!! .. I live in a constant looping phase that marks the exact timing of events .. I even freak out the same! .. I tend to have those couple of days each month or so, that sustains me in a hibernating mode for a week or so .. I can't talk, I can't sleep, I can't think, I can't eat..... I just live in a total "BLAH" phase .. Everything feels so numb .. The world may crash and burn outside, but you're still thinking of one thing; "I'm a Loser!" ..

I know I complain a lot and I know, obviously, no one loves to hear my complaints .. But, I just don't care .. I really do not .. It's what made me write in the first place, "My Complaints" .. It's the reason why I started a blog .. I just wanted to be heard .. I just wanted to state that life isn't that bubbly .. Life is a mess, at least mine is .. I have a messy mind and that's simple how it is .. I live in a disarray kind of mood 75 % of the time, and it's okay ..

For those who think I'm objecting by my complaints, I'd like to clear out one thing: "I do not complain for the sake of complaining.. I'm trying to beat the little voices in my head by talking about it" .. And, since human beings failed in the process of "listening," I decided to write it down for ME, not for YOU!

I'm sure you all wonder why am I so defensive, then .. Again, I'M NOT! .. I'm just clearing out this matter; call it "elaborating," or whatever .. Just try to accept me for who I am; I'm not an angel myself, you know .. It's my right too .. It's my right to scream and curse, and have nervous breakdowns .. It's my right to have doubts and get a grip on myself again .. It's my right to filter the decisions I've made in my life and has turned me into a useless piece of meat ..

Whether you like this post or not, I wish you the gift of acceptance, the bliss of kindness, and the blossom of broadness .. You may not handle me as a human, you may not agree with me most of the time, you may find it irritating that I shut myself up every now and then, you may not admire what I do with my life .. But, out of respect, please let me live .. If you feel like presenting a statement to me about my condition (and maybe advice me for the greater good), try to be honest about it .. It's really tiring to find that amount of indrect people, living around you ... Don't mock me, don't underestimate me, don't act like you know me, and most of all don't ever thing that you know better.. cuz you simply don't :)

And, one more thing.... Life is already complicated, don't throw your shit at others' faces and expect them to take it forever! .. Believe it or not, they'll come alive one day, then you'll taste some of it ..

Good day :)

.. N.O.H.A ..

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Project Yourself: Mariam Quessny

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=174003274887

Project Yourself
The story of Cairo’s Open Mic Nights with Mariam Quessny

It takes a lot to revive a soul, especially when all it blazes is negative energy and frustration. That’s why we’re honored to have a concierge, like “Project Yourself” in our country because it helps us make use of our signs of disapproval, changing them to live in a better life. It’s not only a cultural place that people love to showcase their talents in, but mainly it’s about having a voice, having a chance to influence others, and really enjoying your time in the process. Mariam Quessny has initiated the wave of Open Mics, in an attempt to be a part of every performers/artists’ lives. And even if you’re not an artist, you’re most welcome to share what you have to say, interact with new people, and attend a night to remember. We’re presenting to you a very intellectual interview with an artist, who truly believes in Underground and how it can genuinely affect Egyptians.


MM: First, we’d like to ask you, do we really have an Underground movement in Egypt?

Mariam: I think we have vibrations; it’s not really a movement because people are not connected. For now, everyone is vibrating on their own. If they’re really connected, they would light up, like stars or move, like sea waves.


MM: Do you think artists need a motive or a goal to reach?

Mariam: I think some people have passion since ever; not caring to be well-known. That’s what amazing about the Underground; you do it ‘cause you love it, not because you have to. You need to do it; you need to express yourself. Don’t know about the goal, but I think they need to know they’re not alone; there are people who are like them and need to share. By sharing, you exchange and you add to yourself and others, then you grow, which is great. That’s why, they really need is to be heard more. They need to release some of their talents. I think it would be selfish of them to keep it for themselves, when other people are influenced directly and indirectly by them.


MM: So, tell us more about yourself.

Mariam: I’m Mariam Quessny, I’m 23 years old. First, I studied 2 years in the AUC, studying Fine Arts, then transferred to PRATT Institute in New York, attended 3 years of Interior Design. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot; it’s very systematic, in an artistic point of view. I took what I learned from there and came to Egypt, looking at things in a different way. I know I’m Egyptian, but I don’t see the negative things other people see. If there’s a trash, for example, I’d instantly fall in love. You can’t imagine how people in New York would die for something random like this. It will become an art project for them; they would start drawing Graffiti about it or analyze it to death! They’d be like, “Wow, we have to carry it to the next Museum!” That’s why, I love Egypt; it’s so rich and organic. I think the difference between New York and Egypt is that Egyptian people rarely have hope, although they can be better in so many ways. While, New Yorkers are constantly competitive, although the city isn’t as rich as ours. If we bring like 10 New Yorkers to Egypt, it will certainly explode! Art, definitely, moves people.


MM: Then, what is Art from your own point of view?

Mariam: Something that questions, struggles, and designs souls. Like, I’ve been in this mood of writing because I’ve been between both worlds, where I don’t know which one I like; what to do and what I wanna be. Although, I just graduated and already working as a designer, still I don’t know what to choose. I guess we all go through this.


MM: Would you tell us your motive behind starting the Open Mic nights?

Mariam: I’ve been to something similar in Brooklyn and I was very moved by it; I was completely urged to know how people are struggling and thinking in a certain way, how their emotions work. It was really, really fascinating to me because you always think that everyone’s like you or different than you, but you never get to see how. So, I got excited about the idea, started a group on facebook and invited some friends, at a place in Maadi, with one condition that they should perform. And, it was awesome; around 40 people came. It had the best vibes ever; everyone kept asking for another one before they even leave. Then, we decided to rent “Makan” in West El Balad territory after a lot of search; it was the perfect place for us. It’s just one room, supporting cultural events.


MM: What’s your plans for “Project Yourself” in the future?

Mariam: We’d love to have our own space with better parking area, hosting shows 24/7. It’s all about connecting people and sharing, so a lot of vibes is gonna happen. It’s gonna bring all those juicy people of Cairo together, and maybe, then, it would become a movement.


MM: What difference have you noticed between performers in New York and Cairo?

Mariam: Not much. Maybe, New Yorkers are less-inhibited, less-shy; they usually pour their hearts out, and some people in Cairo do the same. Actually, I think performers are on the same level of openness and expression. It’s all about being passionate; that has no geographical, cultural, or racial condition.


MM: What about the level of talent?

Mariam: An Open Mic is not supposed to be about talent, it’s a chance to have a voice. Of course, we still need talented people to raise the bar, we need competition, but we need variations.


MM: What if the Underground is our real world?

Mariam: I love the idea of being on the Underground, my studio is Underground; I believe in living Underground. We would take less space on earth living underground, maybe we can have some reflective mirrors to bring down the sunlight. And then, the land would become so empty, so we’ll have fun living above ground and underground.


MM: How would people know they’re on the right track, being close to their real selves?

Mariam: I think you shouldn’t do it for anyone but yourself. At least, in the beginning; you’d play the guitar because you want to get better for yourself, you paint because you love to paint for yourself, not because you wanna be the next famous artist or anything.


MM: How come you never perform?

Mariam: I performed the first time; I read a short story that I wrote. Although I think it would be selfish of me to take 10 mins. for myself.


MM: So, other than painting and writing, what are your interests?

Mariam: I like reading, but I’m not into novels ‘cause I usually predict the ending. I’m more into philosophy and poetry.


MM: We know you encourage learning all the time, Don’t you think artists really need that? Will it make them lose their instincts?

Mariam: It’s all about how you learn. If someone is shoving information that I don’t want, then I won’t accept it for sure. Techniques and structures are important to feel certain things, for example. So, indeed, it is beneficial. I don’t think they would lose their instincts. It’s all about what you retain in your brain; if you really want it, you’ll keep it. You are influenced by the things you learn, but it’s your own fishing pool, even if it’s involuntary.


MM: What kind of projects you want to work on?

Mariam: I just wanna be true to my hands, I just wanna work with my hands a lot. I feel like giving them a chance to visualize what they have to say.


Major Magazine
September/October 2010


.. N.O.H.A ..

Shady Ahmed


A lot of you must know Shady Ahmed as an artist, that’s for sure. But, have you had a chance to really get to know him as a person? We guess not. Having a chit-chat with Shady was an absolute pleasure. It’s, indeed, very hard to find an artist as decent as he is. He’s not only passionate about his music, but also he manages to surprise you every time he performs. What’s really special about him is that he believes in what he does; he’s been everywhere in this country, experiencing all sorts of life-changing occurrences. That’s why, he simply sings from his heart. He has his own way of expressing feelings, growing up with a definite dream of being an international artist. We hope you enjoy this gracious interview, as much as we did. To check out his tracks, go to myspace.com/ShadyAhmed.


MM: When did you realize you have a talent?

Shady: I was always into music; I found it very interesting. Back at school, those were my times of discovery; I used to listen to all types of music. But, I knew I had it when I participated in a poetry competition, although I still wasn’t composing any music at the time. Afterwards, everything came at its time.


MM: So, did you know you’re gonna be a singer from the beginning?

Shady: I knew I had to do something with arts; if I weren’t singing, then I would’ve been directing. I used to draw as well. I bought my first guitar when I was 14, I had just gone back from Dubai, to focus more on music. I was just ready to go, I started writing songs; I wrote about five songs before I knew it’s even tuned.


MM: What have you been studying?

Shady: Marketing & Advertising in MIU, because I knew I wanted to get involved in the field. It helps me a lot with my music as well.


MM: Do you remember the first song you wrote?

Shady: Yeah, it’s called, “Tell Me What I Wanna Hear.” Actually, till now, it’s the song I get asked about so much. I recorded it 3 years after it was written.


MM: Which do you prefer, being a Solo artist or a member of Kravin?

Shady: I enjoy working with a group more than being on my own. I knew I would write songs, but I’ve always wanted to do so with a band. It was just easy to write songs with Kravin; I never struggled with putting words and melodies to something ‘cause I come from a very improvisational background. I used to memorize a lot of music, so I had like the song-writing dictionary in my head; what words can go together and so on.


MM: Don’t you think that corrupts your instinct a little bit?

Shady: No, you learn to trust your instinct about the subject of the song, and then the words take place. I follow my instinct 90% of the time and the song I’d rather write. Of course, the melody demands certain chords.


MM: So, what do you start with, first, to actually write a song?

Shady: I don’t have a process for it. Sometimes, I’d be talking to someone and I just pick up a certain idea, thinking there’s a song in there. Other times, I’d be driving and I get a melody out of nowhere. You have to depend on your memory most of the time.


MM: How long did it take you to transform and be more structured?

Shady: It took about a couple of years because I kinda put playing my guitar on hold for a long time, as I sang for Kravin.


MM: Why the name, Kravin?

Shady: It came from a bunch of places. I read it in an old book about Greek methodology, there was a character called, Kravin. And then, I heard it again from the movies, “Scream” and “Underworld.” I just loved how it sounded right.


MM: What kind of music you wanted to play?

Shady: I didn’t wanna play covers, I wanted to put a band together to play originals. And then, I met the guys, Mohamed Hany, Fady Hany, Nadim Nasr, and Tarek Reda to form the band and we all contributed to make it happen. We played Pop/Rock, but then Mohamed Hany introduced us to Rock n’ Roll, which we spent long sessions to practice. Finally, we agreed on doing 5 covers and 15 originals, but ended doing 16 covers and 4 originals; that was the first concert we played in Sakia (El Sawy Culturalwheel). After spending couple of years with Kravin, I joined the 19th band. I guess I had my share of experiences, almost, my entire life.


MM: What do you think of the Underground movement in Egypt? What’s Underground for you?

Shady: I’ll tell you what I think it should be because it’s a very vague definition, here in this country. At a point in time about 4 years ago, I would say there’s an Underground movement of bands who were really trying hard to play live and present all sorts of arts. And then, it kinda became a commercial concept in a way, if that makes sense. It became cool to be an Underground musician, and so a lot of people started doing it, which made it commercialized. And now, I watch a lot of shows of people who are truly talented and truly deserve, not just a record deal, but a career in music. They stay unsigned, though.


MM: How far are you now from where you wanna be in the future?

Shady: It’s still very far. I don’t consider anything that I’ve done a significant achievement at all.


MM: What is it that you wanna do?

Shady: I wanna make records, I wanna make world tours with bands, I wanna do a lot of live shows in ridiculous places, I play my music for as many people as I can, and so on.


MM: One song that you want to be known with.

Shady: I don’t really know which song will grab people’s attention more, but I’m gonna choose, “A Girl Not Listening.”


MM: When you play your music, what do you usually keep in mind?

Shady: That, people are gonna hear it. I keep thinking of the songs I wanna play live, and sometimes I feel some songs are not for everybody’s ears. Intimate shows, like the ones in bookstores, help me with that, I receive some feedback before going on stage.


MM: What’s with the comedy? Tell us more about it.

Shady: I never actually performed anything, it was a part of a writing exercise I was doing, plus I’ve been influenced by Stand-Up comedy, along with music and movies. So, it’s just something I enjoy doing.

Major Magazine
September/October 2010

.. N.O.H.A ..

RaShRadio


Rashad, who’s known as Rash Radio, is one of those guys you wish you can always stumble upon. He’s funny, he’s talented, he’s well-educated… he’s simply all what you fancy in a real artist. His music is genuinely coming from the heart, so as his performance. Winning the Nokia Music Festival Pop Solo award in 2008, has shown the world what he’s really made of. You’re definitely missing out a lot if you haven’t heard him sing before. Embrace yourselves with an ‘Irish Coffee’ and tune in to one of the finest artists Egypt has ever known. To check out his tracks, go to myspace.com/RaShRadio.


MM: Who is Rash Radio… in & out?

Rashad: I can only speak to what I do. As to "whom" that is something that every single person is trying to figure out. Whether through a method of self-expression or by simply asking questions; it's an ever changing, never ending journey.


MM: When did you realize that you’ve got it?

Rashad: I don't think I really felt like "I Got It" until I took a trip to New York to try and pass my demo around. Then, got a call back from a record label telling me, they loved my stuff. The same label produce records for artists, like Radiohead, John Butler, Lisa Hannigan, David Gray, and many others. So, even though it didn't get as far as getting a contract, the recognition was more than enough for me at that point.


MM: What is your music generally about?

Rashad: There's no generalization to what I write about, really. Some days, it's about life in general, other days it's about super heroes, video games, and pandas making love!


MM: Which genre do you prefer and why?

Rashad: Jam Band. Mostly ‘cause it combines all the genres; from Acoustic, Blues, Rock, Funk, Bluegrass, Jazz Fusion, to World Music. So, no matter what mood you're in, you'll find a song that goes with it.


MM: What inspires you to come up with your music?

Rashad: Anything and everything. It's kind of like how your brain processes dreams. It’s a mash up of stuff you see, feel, or experience. It's never expected, can't be planed, and rarely makes sense.


MM: Do you consider yourself as an Underground artist?

Rashad: Generally, Yes. In Egypt, No. I think for someone to be considered an Underground artist, there has to be someone else in the same genre, and the same country who's commercially signed, and actively touring. Unfortunately, we don't have that.


MM: What do you wish to accomplish career-wise?

Rashad: I don't know about career-wise accomplishments, but the dream is to get my music heard around the world.


MM: Who is your favorite artist?

Rashad: The Dave Matthews Band.


MM: Tell us about your participation in the Nokia Music Festival & TEDxNile.

Rashad: Winning the Nokia Music Festival came as a real surprise, actually. I almost didn't audition, since I didn't think that that's the kind of thing they were looking for. Goes to show, you can never tell where a real opportunity might present itself. Moreover, TEDxNile was a great experience. Being able to perform at the Opera House, and be part of an amazing international event like TED, was a great honor.


MM: How do people usually respond to your stuff? What’s the best comment you’ve received?

Rashad: People are often surprised, which is quite refreshing. It's always great to exceed expectations I guess. I think the best comment I've had was from someone who told me that listening to my song, ‘Irish Coffee,’ makes their day better no matter what they're going through.


MM: What’s your dream show?

Rashad: My dream show would be opening for The Dave Matthews Band in Central Park, then jamming with them in a tune or two.


MM: What do you feel like telling to wanna-be artists?

Rashad: Follow your dreams. Even Ke$ha & Paris Hilton have fans!


MM: When do you feel appreciated?

Rashad: Whenever I get any feedback, especially from other musicians, or get my songs played on the radio.


MM: Finally, tell us what you’ve always wanted to say, yet never had the chance.

Rashad: Don’t have much to say really, but allow me to share a quote from a Roman philosopher called, Seneca, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

Major Magazine
September/October 2010

.. N.O.H.A ..

Street Art… Or Is It?


Street Art… Or Is It?

According to Wikipedia.com, Graffiti “is any type of public markings that may appear in the forms of simple written words to elaborate wall paintings.” Meanwhile, for some Egyptians, it’s nothing but some useless scraps that are found under bridges or forgotten alleys. But for Graffiti artists, it’s a non-existing art that they struggle day-by-day to showcase. It’s their own way of expressing what they have to say to the world. We’ve interviewed one of those artists in an attempt to understand, whether street art really exists in Egypt or not.

MM: Tell us about yourself.

Mahmoud: I’m Mahmoud Aly, known as ‘Mahmoud Graffiti’ among my friends. I’m 17 years old, living in Alexandria. I have a habit of doing some Graffiti work in several places, like night clubs, billiard or play station centers… etc. Also, I do some drawings for Egyptian rappers.

MM: What does your work symbolize?

Mahmoud: My work usually represents our freedom of speech, as well as my point of view in many cases, like Khaled Sa’eed's murder. Graffiti art is originally born due to the sufferings of African American people, which I find it very much similar to what we’re facing nowadays. So, you can say, it’s my way of presenting how I see the world.

MM: What message do you want to present to the Egyptian society?

Mahmoud: My message is that there are better ways of expressing ourselves and our statements; one of those by using Graffiti. We can greatly benefit from it, presenting our opinions about many problems and national causes, because it surely attracts everyone's eyes.

MM: What kind of problems do you face when you attempt to draw?

Mahmoud: My biggest problem is the lack of any Graffiti tools in Egypt, so I have to use normal painting sprays, which are really bad. And, my other problem is that there isn't any help or support from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. They still can’t seem to recognize street art artists.

MM: Would you please mention one of those situations?

Mahmoud: It’s very hard for me when I attended few free painting competitions as my work got refused many times. People usually don't know anything about Graffiti, considering it as "weird, ugly paintings."

MM: We know it's hard to be publicly recognized, but how hard is it?

Mahmoud: It's really, really hard because most of my work is done overnight. Also, you have to be quick as not to be caught by the police. My paintings ultimately end up being removed or unfinished. Accordingly, no one knows about me. But, I’m planning on participating in international contests later on. I hope, one day, I’ll be able to represent Egypt.

MM: Do you need to hide your real identity?

Mahmoud: Actually, right now, I don't have problems showing my real identity because I manage to work on a professional basis. Earlier, I had to, of course.

MM: How long have you been practicing Graffiti?

Mahmoud: For, almost, two years now.

MM: Does it require any courses? Is it something to be taught?

Mahmoud: Of course, you’ve got to have talent. However, if you’re serious about it, there are couple of courses available abroad. Unfortunately, there aren’t any in Egypt.

MM: Whom are your influences?

Mahmoud: I got influenced by famous Graffiti artists, like Seen and Cope2, and also by hearing Rap music.

MM: What's your life philosophy?

Mahmoud: I believe that everyone has to work as hard as he can to achieve his ultimate dream. Personally, I make sure I do by best in everything.

MM: Some people consider Graffiti as an illegal act, what do you have to say to them?

Mahmoud: I tell them, try to see what’s behind the picture. Graffiti isn't a crime, it’s a really cool art. Governments should stop banning it because it’s an artistic way of expressing one’s vision. They should find a way and give artists a chance to perform it legally, that would definitely help us grow even more.


Major Magazine
September/October2010

.. N.O.H.A ..

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bla .. Bla .. Bla

I'm trying to figure out what to say at the moment. My mind is still blank, but I'm fighting the urge of staying silent. I woke up too early today in an attempt of fixing my biological hour. It seems I'm starting to feel old; my body seems to function more at mornings nowadays. I've been a nighter my entire life, but I can't seem to continue the ritual for long. So, what should I write about today? Hmm, how about nothing at all? I don't have to make sense the entire time, you know. Sometimes, I feel like letting go... just spilling out whatever nonsense that occurs to my mind. I need to, that's for sure, to be able to write again. I need the flow back.


Anyways, I keep asking myself everyday... What's next? Did I achieve it all? and What's "It" that needs to be accomplished in the first place? It's true, then. Your needs/goals keep changing from time to time, and that's incredibly weird. I guess I have to constantly beat this inner battle that I have, every single day.


.. N.O.H.A ..

It’s Ramadan time, it’s Change time


It’s Ramadan time, it’s Change time

It’s in times like these, your heart yearns for what’s real, what’s profound. It’s when you feel you’re born again; you’re given a chance to live a life of harmony, a life of peace and tranquility. Yet, along the past years, we started to have mixed feelings. The holy month of Ramadan started losing its true essence. Some people think its spirituality is not here anymore. However, others maintain to preserve their annual rituals by focusing on what is beneficial.

Ramadan isn’t a festival of TV shows and Entertaining Tents, it’s about purifying your soul and seeking a better life. As the Almighty ALLAH says, "Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. Allah wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify Allah for guiding you, and to express your appreciation." [Surat Al-Baqarah 2:185] We’re ordered to fast for a purpose, a goal; not only because we’re supposed to restrain food (which generally doesn’t happen nowadays). Ramadan helps us acquire patience, forgiveness, discipline… etc. Whoever maintains its rituals in a righteous manner, will definitely gain eternal, everlasting treasures that will facilitate him/her with authentic revenues.

According to Dictionary.com, the original definition of ‘Fasting’ is to ‘firmly hold back your selfish desires’ or to feel the sense of divine evolution through ‘a firm control of oneself.’ It’s the only month of the year that you have to give more than you take. It’s when you’re obliged to sit and eat with your family on one table once again. It’s when you realize how much you miss your relatives, how your time is very much consumed by materialistic pleasures and life’s responsibilities. Ramadan is your time to think, to meditate, to freshen up, and to regain the religious essence you seem to forget through out the whole year. It’s your guide to a healthier, happier life; that’s what it is!

Now, let’s review what we truly miss about Ramadan and what really makes it so special to all of us. Also, I’ll be stating the things we hate; not for the sake of demeaning anyone, but as a humble attempt to help you change. And if you’re not causing them, then you ought to spread the awareness for a greater benefit. These are just my own thoughts, whether you agree or disagree, it’s not the case. What’s real is that they exist and they ought to be shared for the benefit. Ramadan Mubarak!

WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT RAMADAN

•    Mosque Prayers: The true essence of the entire month. We choose to gather for prayers at mosques for a much greater benefit and more heavenly aims.

•    Reading Qura’an: Nothing is better that getting in touch those indescribable words of the All Mighty, ALLAH (swt).

•    Fawanees: My eternal pleasure and the first present I seek, however how old I’m becoming!

•    Discipline: Love it when people start taking things more seriously than they usually do. They put their hearts in everything they do, whether prayers, work, trading… etc.

•    Closer to God: What else can make you feel better about yourself than feeling the presence of God by your side, wherever, whenever?! It’s the ultimate feeling of happiness and self-worth.

•    Unity/Harmony: This is hardly found in any other month of the year. It's simply indescribable!

•    Kounafa: OMG, how I simply love it! Specially, when they cook it with whipped cream.. yummy!

•    El Mesahharaty: Our friendly neighbor next door… how can anyone forget him? Remember, when we used to call out our names for him to sing along? Those were the days my friends!

•    El Yameesh/Bala7 bel Laban/Atayef: Those deserts don’t declare their presence except for this month! I don’t know why, but no one seems to get enough of them. Let’s rejoice everyone!

•    El Madfa3: We all know how important it is, although we rarely listen to it anymore. Despite the clocks and TVs, we still can’t seem to know it’s Ramadan, unless we hear it on the radio every single day!

•    Charitable deeds: I have no comment on this matter, expect that I wish the whole year turns into Ramadan for it to stay.

•    Street Decorations: It’s everywhere and I LOVE IT! Love the colors, love the simplicity, and most of all love the paper cuts version more!

•    Time Management: Don’t you love how everything becomes punctual and alluring? There is time for everything; time for prayers, time for work, time for family gatherings, even time for sleep!

WHAT WE HATE ABOUT RAMADAN

•    Begging: Enough is enough people! We’ve said it hundreds of times, please do not support those beggars. They only keep coming because you give them what they do not deserve to earn. Please help to spread the awareness, there are those who are in desperate need for your support. Please use it wisely!

•    Night Tents: I really can’t figure out this factor. What’s really the deal behind it? I know some friends may wanna hang out a bit and have a good time, but why do some people have to make it very disrespectful… I really can’t seem to know the reason behind this.

•    Traffic Jams: If there’s a will, there’s a way! Luckily, this year, I believe it was one of the most successful experiences in a very long time. You actually get to reach home in time for Iftar! I can’t seem to know what’s different this year, but what’s important is that, this problem is 50% solved!

•    Lack of Determination: People seem to lose their energies; they seem to lose their drive and their sense of will. Some individuals choose to neglect Taraweeh Prayers for example, although they have time, forgetting the fact that Ramadan is all about giving, not vice versa.

•    Non-working Environment: At some workplaces, like governmental organizations for example, people tend to be lazy and more careless about appointments. Due to this matter, of course no one seems to get their jobs done!

•    TV Shows: Please give us a break, people! Remember, we still have the rest of the year to broadcast. For God’s sake, give people a chance to achieve their real goals from this holy month. After all, it a month for purification; not for entertainment adaptation.

•    Food Consumerism: We eat 24/7, we cook 24/7, and we think of what we’ll eat 24/7. This sense of false hunger, that we all have, has conquered us a year after a year, after a year… suffocating us till death do us part. I have nothing more to say than, WE HAVE GOT TO END IT! The aim is to control, not to give in to such illusion of starvation! Try to give away the rest of your food, you never know who’s in desperate need.

•    Being Nervous: If you choose to drive when Ramadan comes, then you have got to prepare yourself for an early Iftar! “EVERYONE is nervous,” or so they call themselves.

•    How women react at mosques: For the love of god women, behave yourselves and learn some true manners before you decide to go pray at a mosque. Do not raise your voices, do not act like you’re the greatest living creature on earth, try to wash up, and please, I beg you, dress what’s fit to this holy place. Do some homework before you go and try to actually listen to the Imam’s speech every once in a while.

Cairo Elite magazine
September 2010

.. N.O.H.A ..

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Is it really a Hoax?


Yesterday, I was watching some TV and I came across a weather forecast. It's pretty important nowadays to check it due to the constant changeable temperature that we're all facing, especially here in Egypt.

Anyways, I noticed something very strange; some may call it a glimpse of a conspiracy theory and some will assure it's totally normal. Now, everywhere in the world, there are floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, explosive volcanoes... etc. Mostly, people living in Europe, Asia, and Africa are the ones whose suffering really bad. While the only continent that's totally fine is the US.

Russia's forests are burning for the love of God! How can this be? Pakistan is really really drowning and no one is making any songs or raising any money like the Haiti disaster. But, how the hell the US is the same?

I guess I'll start considering the thought that Global Warming proclamations could be a HOAX! I don't know about you guys, I feel something weird is going on!!!!!

.. N.O.H.A ..

Saturday, September 4, 2010

S.O.S


I'm trapped inside my mind .. I keep thinking random thoughts all the time, yet I can't seem to come up with a specific idea to write about .. Most probably, no writer would admit this .. But, believe it or not, it does happen .. Yes, our minds become so blank that we start feeling helpless and restless ..

I have a dilemma .. I don't know whether I should start reading to get it back or just leave it till it comes back on it's own .. It's just that I really can't .. Will you believe me if I told you how much it suffocates me? Maybe, I need to change places, go somewhere, do something .. but, the fact is... I did all that .. Laziness has really grown into my senses .. I convinced myself that I'm just stressed and that it will pass ... I really thought it would eventually come on its own ..

I know I shouldn't freak out and I know I should try harder .. But, I also know that I'll freakin' lose my mind if I didn't come up with an idea soon .. In fact, I may have lost it already .. Don't mind my nonsense, just bear with me people .. I need to suck the words out of my brain and I don't know how ..

Maybe, it's just because I hardly find something exciting anymore? I don't know .. All I know is that I badly want it back ..

Would anyone help me with that? How can I actually breakdown the walls that prison my mind? How can I write again without feeling intimidated?

Please help me bring myself back again ...

.. N.O.H.A ..