March 2010 Panorama

  • “You know, I have this awful paranoid thought that feminism was mostly invented by men so that they could like, fool around a little more. You know, women, free your minds, free your bodies, sleep with me. We’re all happy and free as long as I can fuck as much as I want”. Said Celine to Jesse in the movie Before Sunrise (1995)
  • “Fanaticism is the source of impurity in this world and that I feel that I need to wash my hands whenever I shake hand with a fanatic person!” That is what I said in my Arabic blog, in explaining how much I hate fanaticism of all kinds.
  • “Life is not a solid reality, it is a state of mind, however simple you want your life to be…it will!” Said Mohammed Al Saif in commenting at my Facebook status: what if life turn out to be way simpler than we thought it is?
  • “Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.”- reading 1984 novel by George Orwell, Chapter 6.
  • “One of my decisions that made me psychologically and spiritually happy is that I no longer gossip” Said Nawal Saad in her blog’s post Day 36
  • “If many people think that the “Abaya” hinders Muslim women’s development and dreams, they should have a broader vision and a closer look at Muslim women in general, and at Saudi women in specific. Safeya Binzagr, a Saudi female artist, is a live proof of the fallacy of such a belief.” Said Maha Noor Elahi in her blog’s post A Saudi Woman; A Saudi Pioneer
  • “I realize in my life, the importance of telling people how much they shape my way of thinking, it isn’t that because they care, it is more because I care, I mean I feel I appreciate myself more that way” That is what I said to one of my friend in a conversation in Skype.
  • “I think people can live without religion  but not without sex” Said one of my friend in a discussion about the influence of religion, and sex on human behavior.
  • “I learned that it is totally stupid to spend 25 seconds on thinking about what other people would think of us.” I said that day 74 of 365 days journey
  • “Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.” One part that really got my attention when I was reading George Orwell’s novel, 1984, Chapter 7.
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19 thoughts on “March 2010 Panorama

  1. Interesting list as usual.

    I am at the moment preferring this one:
    “Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.”- reading 1984 novel by George Orwell, Chapter 6.

  2. Hala

    Loved your journals’ idea [365], keep living and observing, life might turn out as interesting as you consider it to be after all…

  3. مها نور إلهي

    I love the idea of the Panorama!
    thank you so much for posting my article.

    ““You know, I have this awful paranoid thought that feminism was mostly invented by men so that they could like, fool around a little more. You know, women, free your minds, free your bodies, sleep with me. We’re all happy and free as long as I can fuck as much as I want”. Said Celine to Jesse in the movie Before Sunrise (1995) ”

    That’s exactly what I beleive in!

    Thank you once again, Murtada.

  4. Jerry M

    “If many people think that the “Abaya” hinders Muslim women’s development and dreams”

    I certainly agree that the abaya by itself doesn’t impede women’s development, but looking at Saudi Arabia, the abaya is only part of a system of regulation that includes almost complete segregation between adult males and females and a very rigid code of appearance.

    Intelligent and creative women can and will rise above the restrictions. I will note that in Safeya Binzagr’s painting the women aren’t wearing black, but in the photos all the women are. Do you really think that all young women would chose to wear black all the time in a hot climate?

  5. مها نور إلهي

    Jerry
    We don’t wear black all the time…there are many women who wear colorful hijab here in Jeddah…we wear the abaya when we are in public places …at work, at home, or at gatherings, Saudi women are the most elegant and have a very fine taste…by the way…even in segregated parties i love to wear black..it’s the color of elegance and beauty…the women in Safiya’s portrys represent what the women actually wore in the early fifties and sixties…like anything..fashion changes…I wouldn’t dress up like those women now no matter what..
    And as you said, nothing can stop a woman from doing something if she has her goals set. However, there are many things (the abaya not included) that hinder women’s emancipation..our men are NOT free themselves…they are slaves to people in authority…they are slaves to earning a living in such a mad and materialistic world…When I look at any problem in Saudi Arabia or any other country, I don’t look at the women or men only; i look at both..i look at the society as a whole…our men aren’t living a perfect life and aren’t getting their basic rights…probably only their rights as studs 🙂 and I am saying (probably)!
    thanks

  6. @Chiara & Hala & Jerry M
    Thank you for reading it. Please share your thoughts about some of them if you have time. I would love to see your point of view about some of the observation!

    @ susanne430,
    Which one led to from “good one” to “huh?!” to “hmmmm.” ? I would like to open a discussion about each observation in the panorama. 🙂

    @مها نور إلهي
    even the students aren’t getting their full right yet 🙂 maybe the student who are studying abroad are getting more right than the student studying inside the kingdom 🙂
    btw, I really like your post about the name identity. Thank you for speaking up about that important issue

  7. Jerry M

    @murtadha

    I am a great fan of Orwell and his writing. I just went back and re-read the passages you quoted. When I first read 1984, I never would have realized that my own country would spend the next 40 years getting involved in senseless wars for internal political reasons (reasons unrelated to real self-defense). I assumed that part of 1984 was the most fictional. So, Orwell got the atmosphere wrong but did get some of it right.

  8. Murtadha–thanks for the opportunity to elaborate. At the time I left the comment, my nervous system was betraying me too greatly to say anything more about Orwell’s:

    Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.

    It seemed extremely appropriate to my then state, and in fact to what I do for a living which is help people whose nervous system has become their worst enemy and has caused symptoms visible to themselves, and usually to others, especially those who know them well, that give them grief, and require relief.

    My own state was directly related to grieving my father’s death on February 19. I have gone through various stages of course, and used various supports for this, and overall I am handling things well enough that I don’t have to worry about referring myself to a shrink (LOL 🙂 ).

    However, on Wed March 24, almost a month to the day from the funeral on Tues February 23, I accompanied my mother to the gravesite, at her request, as she wanted to see the grave before finalizing the engraving on the footstone, which had been requested by the cemetary. I was happy to fulfil the supportive daughter role, and not unhappy to visit the grave, especially since it was a particularly splendid spring day, and offered a chance for reflection.

    On the way there my mother shared her grief, and I offered support more than sharing mine, which was understandably less intense than hers. We set about finding the gravesite, and after some searching, starting from her parents’ one which is much easier to find and not far away, we finally gave up and decided to head to the car to drive to the office and have them give us the exact location and a map. As we walked back through the rows of head stones, there was a square cut into the grass, about 18″ by 18″ (45cm by 45cm), and about 9″ or 23cm deep. My mother told me to watch out, not to step in it, etc, and I said as kindly as I could, yes I had seen it and no, I wouldn’t step in it. We paused to consider what it was for, and I came up with the brilliant deduction that the cemetary staff must be burying “something”. It looked about the right size for a box of cremated remains, but too shallow (hopefully!). So I said “I wonder whose plot area this is” and looked up to see the prominent headstone with my family’s last name on it!

    Fortunately we chose to find this hilarious, particularly me, as it brought back memories of Hamlet’s graveyard scene (including the comic relief of the grave diggers) and a friend’s story about when he was a pall bearer and fell into the grave after slipping on the wet footstone. Also, we were of course relieved to find my father’s resting place, view the footstone, finalize what we thought should be engraved, discuss family already buried there, remember the funeral, and my dad, etc.

    Off we went to the cemetary offices. The “counsellor” took us back to the grave which I now found easily, as the tree which had obscured it before has now become a welcome signpost. Bck to the office, all the while giving my somewhat “distracted” mother the support she needed, then chatting away with the “counsellor” and former seminarian about Vatican II changes, the Tridentine Mass, the absense of priests to perform Latin Masses, all the while not letting on that I had attended the only one in the region, held at the church where my father was an alterboy from ages 6-16, and which had given me much comfort about 2 weeks previously (didn’t want to have that discussion with mom LOL 🙂 ).

    Everything settled, we headed home and more supportive daughter talk, chatting, making jokes. I thought it had been a very good day all in all.

    …cont’d…

  9. …cont’d…

    Ah, but later that evening, working on the computer alone, I started to have a sinking feeling, a hollowed out, inner emptiness, that my brain was trying to control, but very ineffectually. I knew it was probably related to the day’s reminder of my loss, but there were other factors too. For one, I was supposed to head back the next day to my real world after 3 months with family–a Christmas visit that stretched due to my father’s illness and then death. Moving back was a welcome event, but a transition none the less.

    I realized in the course of normal writing, emails, and chats that my humour radar was off, and my irritability quotient escalating, but more than that the downward spiral was continuing. So I thought that the best solution was much needed sleep.

    It was not to be…I had the same pattern I did when my father first died, waking up and listening to see if he needed me or was calling from the next room, remembering it was ok he was in hospital, and then remembering no, actually it wasn’t ok. All that night at 15min intervals it seemed, then the next night, and by the 3rd not quite so frequent.

    Meanwhile my nephew would’t let me go on Thursday as planned because he wanted me to stay for his final hockey game of the season (subtext –no grampa and he needs all the family support he can get). I stayed happily for him, though somewhat disappointed not to be moving as planned. I say happily, but unfortunately despite my best efforts my nervous system seemed to be my worst enemy–serotonin levels seemed to be dropping precipitously with accompanying sadness and irritation.

    By Friday as I worked in the local uni med library I was at a very low ebb. Low enough to leave early (unheard of! LOL 🙂 ). It wasn’t until later Saturday (after the game–nephew got a shutout in goal, 3-0, yay!) that I realized consciously how profoundly I had been affected by the visit to the cemetary which was overriding all other stressors, but making them confounds and harder to handle. I began a slow climb back up to normal, though still susceptible to downturns and needing more company than usual.

    I moved back to my own world on Monday which was good but jarring too. That is when I left the first comment I did above (time zones! 🙂 ) just before I left my regular uni library early (REALLY unheard of! LOL 🙂 ).

    So that is my rather long (sorry) elaboration on my own experience of nervous system betrayal, the one that made me gravitate to Orwell’s quote, at that particular time. As I wrote above, this is what I do for a living in helping other people, so the quote has longer term appeal, even though my own nervous system is behaving much better! 🙂 .

  10. Chiara, I’m glad you shared that. Just today I was wondering how your nephew was doing. I’m glad to read an update on you and a bit of the family. Hugs! I know this is such a hard time for you all.

  11. Susanne–thank you, for your kind words and hugs! My nephew is, according to his mom, more back to normal (his nervous system is not his enemy) in the last week. I am now at my family’s again for Easter at his specific request, and he is away at a sleep over…ie we are back to normal. On Easter morning I will watch him find the Easter gifts, eggs, and chocolates, jelly beans etc. Before that, if I am lucky, I will get to watch him colour Easter eggs and ooh and aahh at his artistry.
    In deference to Murtadha, I am not making any remarks about how Y and X chromosome this all is! LOL 🙂 😛

    Coralbead–I am sorry for your loss of your grandmother. Your beautiful writing reminded me of 2 literary pieces: Margaret Lawrence’s novel The Stone Angel and a short story called “Abuela” (I think) about the death of a grandmother and her spirit leaving her body, in the Hispano-american tradition.

    I wrote 2 posts about my father’s death. If there are any helpful ideas about grieving in either of them I hope they give you comfort, or even a sense of not being alone in your loss:

    Walking with God and the Saints

    Time To Say Goodbye

  12. @ Chiara, I made corrections. My grandma died last year. I wasn’t able to see that in my post I didn’t write that fact. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  13. Jerry M

    “You know, I have this awful paranoid thought that feminism was mostly invented by men so that they could like, fool around a little more”

    I don’t know if feminism was invented by a bunch of horny men who wanted more sex, but I do think that feminism suceeded not because of rhetoric but because a growing economy needed more labor. In the US there was also a desire (by businesses) to lower labor costs. At one time women in general made a lot less than men, that is becoming less true today and onders if outsourcing came about when US businesses realized that you couldn’t squeeze the local workers any further.

  14. Jerry M

    correction:
    one wonders if outsourcing came about when US businesses realized that you couldn’t squeeze the local workers any further.

  15. @Abdullah
    Glad that you like it. and welcome to my blog. I am enjoying the diversity element in your blog too now. 🙂

    @Jerry M
    Orwell is really incredible in the way he writes. I just get to read his book three month ago, so I am kina new to his world. But I will spend more time reading his books. Thank you for sharing your reflection.

    @Chiara
    What a great reflection:) It really broaden my view about the quote (nervous system) It is very interesting to relate that to some event in our life. Thank you for sharing it.

    @coralbead
    I am just reading your post now.
    as for panorama, I have been busy lately so I wasn’t able to keep truck of the views and observations

  16. Jerry M

    Orwell was a fantastic writer. He wrote clear, easy to read English. Like a number of his contemporaries he avoided the excesses of Victorian writing (if you don’t know what I mean just look up Bulwer-Lytton). I don’t know someone who isn’t a native speaker will recognize how good he was.

    His skill didn’t come easily. Here is a link to an essay of his on politics and English. http://www.resort.com/~prime8/Orwell/patee.html

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