Friday, July 29, 2011


The dreams you have at night. Some go to sleep so they could dream of a better tomorrow, or a loved one. Dreams can be a solace from a harsh reality. People seek them. Some look for the meaning behind them because they feel their dreams are trying to tell them something. Something important. I am next to clueless when it comes to interperting dreams. I usually don't look for their meaning, I just appreciate having them, the good ones that is. I don't dream often. Some would say, that I dream but I don't remember the dreams I have. Either way, I don't mind dreamless sleep. Most of my dreams are disturbing. I remember them with vividness.  They stay with me for sometime., slowly fading away. Sometimes it's hard to tell whether something actually happened or I dreamed it. Specially when you've just woken up. Reality and dreams are mixed up and you can't tell the difference.

Bad dreams about people you know can be very unsettling. Most people would refuse to tell them because they believe it's bad luck that could even lead for this particular thing to happen. I agree with keeping such dreams to yourself, but it's a bit absurd thinking that just by telling them something might happen. We don't have that kind of power over things.
Are our dreams, our conscious trying to tell us something? It could be very much the case. Should we listen to them closely or discard them and heed them no attention? I honestly have no idea.

I daydream a lot though. Mostly about insignificant things. Books. Holidays. Food. The future. We all do I suppose. In a way it helps us get by, doesn't it? Having something that helps you detach yourself from reality. Even for a little bit. Something to fantasize about, taking you to another place. We definitely could use the break at some moments of life.

What about dreams you aspire to achieve? I'm a dreamer. Yet, my dreams are sort of vague. I hate to admit this, but I'm always a tad jealous of those who know exactly what they want from life and have clear goals. It's not like I don't have dreams, I do. We all want something from life. Even if it's something life-changing and big, or small and seemingly insignificant. Perhaps, it's my unwillingness to share them with the world lest they sound ridiculous, to me at least. I'm not too interested in what the world thinks about them. Let's leave it at that though.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


They're supposed to have a language. Do they, though? Your eyes are a gate to your soul, they'll convey your innermost feelings without your permission and so they'll give you away. You'd read sometimes in a book how somebody's eyes sparkled with joy, danced even.

I'm not experienced enough with the language of eyes to offer my opinion freely on the matter. Yet, I wish I was introduced to their magic. I need to be more of a sentimentalist to do that and understand what a person's eyes are screaming to the ignorant world.

How can eyes be happy or sad? I've tried gazing into people's eyes, I have. All I got was a mock at my ignorance. They're beautiful though, aren't they? I know for a fact that they hold secrets, which is perhaps why I feel jealous of anyone speaking of eyes and of how they understand their hidden secrets.
Who knows I might discover the wonders of eyes or I might always be in the dark. It's a bit daunting that your soul can be seen through so easily. Therefore,

Dear eyes,
Whatever it is that you are trying to convey to the world, please don't give me away so easily.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami

My Rate: 3/5

Kafka on the Shore deals with a lot of issues, and the one issue that really struck a cord with me is emptiness. How your soul can be empty, why and how far will you go to fill that emptiness. One character said he had only half of a shadow. Being empty inside. How many of us felt this way at one time or another? Some of us have lived for a long time now feeling empty inside. What is it that makes us feel whole? Is it what we go through in life, if it is then it's no fault of yours that you feel empty. Life and time are the only things that control this feeling. You do what you can, but at the end you're not the one who decides what things you go through and feel.

Murakami's love of music can be felt throughout this novel, I'm clueless when it comes to classical music but I enjoyed reading about it. I also love that he mentions books and reading a lot. His style of writing makes you keep you reading. He has a very unique way of describing things. Take the following couple of quotes as an example:

"Her smile steps offstage for a moment, then does an encore, and all the while I'm dealing with my blushing face."

"Her tone of voice is rough and unyielding, like a loaf of bread someone forgot on the back of a shelf."

Those take you off your guard, and you start wondering how does he come up with such phrases? That's one of the reasons I enjoyed reading Kafka. There was a lot that the book was trying to say. Sometimes it got too much, Murakami is impatient sometimes to get his point across and you're trying to catch up with him. The story itself feels like a full circle somehow. Every single thing leads to another, until you understand the whole picture. I took a break from Kafka, because it became too intense for me. How much could I accept and how much should I reject? That was something that I thought a lot about. The book needs a lot of imagination, and I have that. It's just that he goes far and beyond anything else, and that is a bit unnerving. You can relate to some of the characters, while what some go through is just something weird and new. That's exciting though sometimes. I think that's why I rated it 3/5. On the whole, I enjoyed it a lot but The Wind-up Bird Chronicle is better for me.

Some beautiful quotes:
I'm the lonely voyager standing on the deck, and she's the sea. The sky is a blanket of grey, merging with the grey sea on the horizon. It's hard to tell the difference between sea and sky. Between voyager and sea. Between reality and the workings of the heart.

I go back to the reading room, where I sink down in the sofa and into the world of The Arabian Nights. Slowly, like a film fade-out, the real world evaporates. I'm alone, inside the world of the story. My favourite feeling in the world.


A dense artistic imperfection stimulates your consciousness, keeps you alert. If I listen to some utterly perfect performance of an utterly perfect piece while I'm driving, I might want to close my eyes and die right then and there. But listening to the D major, I can feel the limits of what humans are capable of - that certain type of perfection can only be realised through a limitless accumulation of the imperfect. And personally, I find that encouraging.


After cooking and eating a simple meal I go out on the porch and gaze up at stars. Even in a planetarium you wouldn't find this many. Some of them look really big and distinct, almost as if you could reach out and touch them. The whole thing is breathtaking.

Not just beautiful, though - the stars are like the trees in the forest, alive and breathing. And they're watching me. What I've done up till now, what I'm going to do - they know it all. Nothing gets past their watchful eyes. As I sit there under the shining night sky, again a violent fear takes hold of me. My heart's pounding a mile a minute, and I can barely breathe. All these millions of stars looking down on me, and I've never given them more than a passing thought before. Not only the stars - how many other things haven't I noticed in the world, things I know nothing about? I suddenly feel helpless, completely powerless, and I know I'll never outrun that awful feeling.


Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.

Things change everyday, Mr. Nakata. With each new dawn it's not the same world as the day before. And you're not the same person you were, either.


Time expands, then contracts, all in tune with the stirrings of the heart.


Love can rebuild the world, they say, so everything's possible when it comes to love.


"We're all dreaming, aren't we?" She says. All of us are dreaming.


You know you should say something, but don't have any idea what. Words have all died in the hollow of time, piling soundlessly at the dark bottom of a volcanic lake.


Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.


Monday, July 25, 2011

The Muse: A Mosaic Love Story

 ها نحن نلتقي مرة أخرى في مدينة غريبة. مدينة تحضن بومة و عاشق حرية. مدينة تنام بعين واحدة , و تحرس بالاخرى
مدينة جديدة , ترحب بزوار جدد كل دقيقة مع قدوم طائر جوي يحط بسلام على مدرج مطارها الصحراوي

طيور جوية من كل بقع العالم , اجناس و الوان تزدحم في صالة واحدة … في صف واحد طويل, يقفون بين الصمت و الخوف
ينتظرون  ضابط الهجرة بختم الجواز , هذه الاوراق التي تثبت انتمائنا لمفهوم او جنس او عرق او دين معين

ها انا حازم الناطور … امسك بيد سالي الخوري و نهرب إلى عالم جديد

لــ عمار
Intrigued? Read the rest here and you won't be disappointed: الملهمة 1

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On Borders

Yesterday, at the mall, my heart was broken. I expected the situation, tried to brace myself for it but when I finally saw it, I was sad beyond measure. How could they? Have they no thought for me? I remembered all the time I spent there and grieved at how I'll never have it back.

Let me start from the beginning.

I often complain about having no place to get books from here. We have 2 Borders branches. One is quite big, our biggest bookshop and another small one. The big one is where we mostly get our books from. We spend quite sometime there when we're at the mall, even if we know we won't get anything we'll just go browse books, see what new books they have and stare at books. I was often let down by them, I can't even remember how many times I'd ask about a book and they'd say they didn't have it. I was quite exasperated, always expecting a 'Sorry, it's not available.'

Sometimes, we'd get so many at once, others we'd go back and forth over a book we know we'll eventually get. Is it the right time for it? That is till one of us decides a solid decision. A definite yes, it's due time. A no, it can wait. We'd hold the Borders bag proudly, one of my parents would ask 'You got books?' and with a grin we reply 'Yes!' They never commented on how much books we get, it was always us who kept a check on our purchasing sprees. We managed quite well. I'm proud of the books I have. I remember just once, before we started 12th grade, we asked mom money for a book. She said no, we wouldn't have time to read it. I remember how upset we were, it was the first and last time she said no. Of course, sometime later she was like 'fine, you know better you can go buy it.' We refused, we were quite upset she refused in the first place. I can remember that incident with a smile now. We eventually got the book a few months later. (The book was Eclipse, so mom was definitely right about refusing!)

I even gained a friend at Borders. One of the sales assistants, he'd always welcome us, comment on how many books we've got, tell us we haven't been there for a while, and even wave hello when we would sometimes just pass Borders by. I always wanted to start a conversation with a person there, tell them the book they're checking is worth reading, or ask them about reading but I never did. I don't know why. It could be my shyness, and fear of intrusion. Yet, it could be that I never really saw the passion of reading in someone there. I'm sure it was there, I know I'm not the only one here with that passion but they never showed it I guess, or I missed it. I would have wanted to see someone lingering, staring at books, admiring them.

So, the Borders is in on the 1st floor. You can see it from the ground floor, the glass and door that is. I knew it closed, and I was bracing myself for it. I told Huda, I want to go see it. I forgot you can see it from down below, so I looked at its way and saw what they did. You know how you expect it but you're still surprised by how you feel about it? Big posters of Toys R Us covered all the glass. I understand they're having financial problems, but why our biggest branch? Why? Why? Why? And to think that there's a possibility that the other branch closes if they don't meet their sales expectations in 3 months.

There was no warning too. A unusually long discount was there, their very first. We were suspicious but didn't think they were closing. I can't even fathom the mall now, what am I going to do with the urges to go spend time with books? The place wasn't all that big, but big enough to feel yourself lost in a world of books.

Will they open another bookshop? I hope they do, and I really hope they don't close the last branch standing. I know not many people buy books here, most days Borders is deserted but there are people there usually. A few, but enough to make them rethink their decision to close it.

How sad. Sad. Sad. Sad.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Color Purple - Alice Walker

"You got to fight. You got to fight."
But I don't know how to fight. All I know how to do is stay alive.
Page 17

Will I ever be able to tell you all?
I dare not ask, I know. But leave it all to God.
Page 121

It's hot, here, Celie, she write. Hotter than July. Hotter than August and July. Hot like cooking dinner on a big stove in a little kitchen in August and July. Hot.
Page 126

Photo courtesy

The Prophet - Khalil Gibran

The Prophet, speaks of life. It's not actually what you think it is. It's not full of philosophical ideas you won't grasp. Quite the contrary; it offers insights into daily matters. When you read Gibran speaking of love, prayer and giving you think what kind of life did he lead that made him capable of such wisdom? What did he go through? How on earth can he use such beautiful language to make you feel at peace with the world?
My first chapter was children. It was brilliant and I was shocked at how eloquent it was, and how it expressed such profound ideas. I was captivated. Reading further into it, my conviction of its brilliance only deepened. I don't want to go on and on about it, I think if you would read the quotes I chose, you'll get a feel of what I'm talking about:

And ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.
On love

And stand together, yet not too near together.

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
On marriage

You give but little when give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

On giving

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

On joy and sorrow

Oftentimes have I heard you speak of one who commits a wrong as though he were not one of you, but a stranger unto you and an intruder upon your world.

On crime and punishment

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

On pain

The soul walks not upon a line, neighter does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.

On self-knowledge

And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart.

On friendship

And there are those who talk, and without knowledge or forethought reveal a truth which they themselves do not understand.

On talking

In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness; and that longing is in all of you.

On good and evil

 Heaps and heaps of gratitude are due to Ammar, who is a giver by nature. I wouldn't have appreciated the Prophet the same had I read it on my own.

Friday, July 8, 2011

On Giving - The Prophet

Then said a rich man, "Speak to us of Giving."

And he answered:
You give but little when you give of your possessions.
It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?
And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?
And what is fear of need but need itself?
Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, thirst that is unquenchable?
There are those who give little of the much which they have - and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.
And there are those who have little and give it all.
These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.
There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.
And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.
And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue;
They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.
Though the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.
It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;
And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving
And is there aught you would withhold?
All you have shall some day be given;
Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'.
You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving."
The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.
They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.
Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights is worthy of all else from you.
And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.
And what desert greater shall there be than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving?
And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?
See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.
For in truth it is life that gives unto life - while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.
And you receivers - and you are all receivers - assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives.
Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings;
For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father.