Doubt and Life

The French philosopher, Voltaire, has once said that “Doubt is not a pleasant condition but certainty is an absurd one.” And I have never been so doubtful and confused of who I am as now. Life is somehow like a cycle. We move from one doubt to another, from one confusion, to less or maybe more confusion. There is no clear final destination that I know of. Everyone creates or presumes the ending of his story. Some may get the good ending; other may start again from where they end and I happen to be in the middle of between.

Sometimes, I envy kids for the way they look at things. They live the moments as they are, and when they go to bed at night, they have this incredible feeling of excitement for tomorrow. We begin to lose this excitement as we grow. Some people get consumed by work and routine, other by family and friends. The fact is I get consumed alittle by both.

I am so blessed with my family. We are so connected, and so close to the extent that you can’t imagine. I get a minimum of two calls each day from one of my family asking me how I am and update me with all the family news! In cases when I have good news or bad news, my cell phone wouldn’t stop ringing!

This is beautiful some of the time but not all the time! Sometimes I feel the need to keep myself in distance from my family. I care about my privacy and having my own space therefore I started to draw a line that I feel my family shouldn’t cross.

Work is good so far. I joined the professional development program in Saudi Franci Bank after 8 months of intense tests and several interviews. I am happy with the work environment although, I have the anxiety of thinking and planning for my career path. Now, I realize that I need to be more relax and less stressfull about the future. I believe in the law of nature which is to do your best and let the universe do its part!

There is really nothing in this life that worth  stressing out if we all at the end, will be left alone in blank area called a cemetery. Some of us acknowledges this fact in the mid of their life, other acknowledge it one day before the end of their life. What is the point of being the richest man in the cemetery? My friend asked me after the death of Prince Sultan. Now, I paraphrase his question; what is the point of the stressing out  if we are all going to die? Life moves on, and time is counting down! Those who want to enjoy will enjoy, and those who want to complain and get depressed will die with their depression. I try most of the time to enjoy the beauty of nature, the smile of the strangers and the incredible taste of coniencidences in my life and I hope you do.

I doubt myself therefore I know and learn more, therefore I am happy.

P.S I miss you all so much

* All the pictures are taken by me using my Iphone and Instagram applicaion 

Another Victim of Sexual Harassment

The following post is from masstz_blog. She works as a lab specialist in one of the hospitals in Saudi Arabia. The post was written in Arabic and I translated it to English so I can share it with my readers here. The translation isn’t literal so I asked for her permission first in order to translate the general idea of her post. She kindly accepted.

“It was shocking and painful to know that yesterday one of my friends was harassed by one of her coworkers. The harassment was shocking and painful to an extent that I can’t even describe. It was honestly painful for me to hear every detail of the story. It first started with silence then with fear and shock.

It hurt me that she didn’t speak out and talk about it to anyone. She fears that talking about it would make it worse and that people would gossip about it and that would hurt her more. She fears that people would have no mercy upon her story and would blame her first for the incident.

As for people, they always have different reactions and point of views in regard such an incident. There will be those who would start blaming a woman’s decency while others would blame the mixing of genders in the workplace. In both situations, the women will be blamed for what happened to her without hearing every detail of her story. It is sad to realize that there are still sick people with stupid mentalities regardless of the educational advancement and the modern life that we have.

Her story, in every aspect of it, is painful and heartbreaking. I cried with her when she started crying. I felt her fears deeply that nobody can imagine. I personally lost my trust in people around me and for a moment, I became scared of everyone.

I wish I had another heart, one for all of that and for all other things. A heart that can carry all the pain and another one just for living

  • My Comment:

It is indeed a sad story and to really understand what the woman has gone through, you need to imagine yourself in her situation. What if someone harassed you in your workplace and you can’t talk about it or even if you talk about it, you will have all this fear of being blamed and misunderstood?

Sexual harassment happens in Saudi Arabia just like it happens in The US, so I would not go to blame wholly one specific country or society. In fact, I realized that blaming that and this won’t help solve the problem. I mean, I can write 10 posts about the things I hate about the Saudi society and yet nothing will change. So, in this post, I want to present an analysis and solutions and yes, I am going to write it about it in Arabic so my message reaches as many Saudi as it possibly can.

There are many questions that we need to answer in order to offer a solution for the problem. First, what led that man to harass the woman? Is it because of his sex drive and lust or because of something else? Secondly, why would the society blame the woman first? Does segregation help prevent the problem as many religious people claim? These questions along with many others that I want to address here in my blog. Please share your thoughts, questions and answers!

Thanks to Asmaa for correcting my grammatical mistakes 🙂

Your self is talking, Are you listening?

I am writing now because writing allows me to express myself to myself. It makes me feel my existence in a world that steals your identity in one way or another. I feel peace and loved when I write something to myself. Isn’t that odd! I mean myself and I are assumed to be one thing, and yet I needed to communicate with myself more often! How could it possibly for writing to have such a power of carrying and transforming my feeling from and to myself. well,I don’t know! but I do know that I need to keep writing in order to survive and to be who I am.

I try to spend more time with myself. To be honest, I like to be alone most of my time, I like to be away from people’s interference. The process of explaining one’s self to others is just painful and wasting of the time. Loneliness give so much value to a person’s life more than his social life. People have no idea how much loneliness can transform their lives. I am not talking here about loneliness that is mixed with depression and self-defestating. Nop, I am talking about how your self represent a unique, very special and remarkable power that can give you everything you need.  Loneliness, if understood right, should give you your happiness, your life’s adventure and above all your self. So write something to yourself, invite yourself for a coffee or buy a gift to your self. Express yourself as simple as possible.

Every week, I invite myself for a coffee and when I go for a walking alone, I try to dress up as If I am going for an interview or wedding. Last year, I bought a gift to myself simply because I did a good job in my classes. In fact, I am working in finding more creative ways to build more connections and bridges with myself.

so what about you? how do you communicate with yourself! Do you write to yourself often? Do you find it difficult to understand yourself? What is your view on loneliness? and does it make any difference in your life?

Do Saudi Men Understand Saudi Women?

Studying in US has given me a great opportunity to observe and understand  people from different backgrounds, cultures and religions but most importantly it has enabled me to observe and study people from my own country. I was curious to explore the level of understanding between Saudi men and Saudi women here in the open and free society where both men and women have the freedom to interact with each other without restriction or fear. What I found out from my experience is funny, interesting and sometimes sad. I will answer series of questions from my own experience in working and studying with both Saudi men and women.

First Question: Do Saudi men understand Saudi women?

Saudi men in back home didn’t put any effort to fulfill the gap of understanding between them and women because first and for most they don’t see any needs for that since they have the (social) power in their side and second because of the separation issue. Now here in US, I have encountered some Saudi who felt the need for fulfilling that gap of understanding to correct many of their assumptions. So, they go and interact with saudi girls like brothers and sister and best friends. They work together for Saudi event, they interact openly and they exchange stories and experiences.

I have also encountered Saudi guys who couldn’t accept the idea that Saudi women would have equal power to them. I remember one time I was talking with a Saudi girl in the university campus and once I finished my conversation with her, a saudi young guy came to me and told me that he wants to marry that girl ,although that he has never met her before. Surly, in that guy’s mentality, woman would never say no and even if she said no, she is for sure the loser! Now, how can I deal with this mentality? I didn’t say anything to him and went to my class

Another saudi young guy I have met has another interesting and funny story. He told me that he thinks that one Saudi girl has fallen in love with him and when I asked him how, he told me with full confidence : ” She smiled at me last week”??

I have met  three Saudi girls who complained about other Saudi guys and their mentality. “Whenever I walk around campus, I see Saudi guys gazing at me” She told me. Another girl told me that she is  felt tired of receiving continues love E-mail from another Saudi guy. There are plenty of stories of this kind and it made me despair sometimes but once I encounter a saudi decent guy who would improve the whole image, I renewed my hope again!

I have spent a lot of my time trying to understand the cause of such behavior from guys but I failed to get to any conclusion. For example, I thought that might be due to separation between male and female but then I realized that even students from UAE and Kuwait  at our university have exactly the same problem. I think I would need to study in depth the psychological and social factors that led to this problem.

Up Next,

Do Saudi women understand themselves? Did they succeed in representing new image of strong and smart women to the public and Saudi?

The Beauty of Pain

Pain, as so many of us call it, is in fact a source of power, a source of transformation and moving from one thing to another. It is the gate for our happiness. I don’t understand why people freak out whenever they have any feeling of sadness or frustration.

Be sad, get frustrated, cry as much as you can, and count every tear on your eyes

because these are, for sure the ones  that would change the direction of your journey.

School – The place of Horrification

I have never felt happy about going to elementary school when I was a kid. Everything was just chaos there. We had students 5 years older than me in the classrooms and whenever they make troubles, everyone in class pay the price and get punished. It was impossible to pass a week without being beaten up by them or by any of our teachers. Wallah I have never forgot the face of my Arabic teacher when he screamed at my face like  crazy because I forgot my homework. I remember his steps as he came closer to me, held my hands and started beating me using his bamboo*  I cried and begged him for a mercy and forgiveness at that time but he didn’t even look at my eyes.  Anyway, I still hear stories similar to my story even in the present time.

Children are exposed to sex harassment in school from their teacher and other students of a higher grade. I remember when I was a kid, one of my classmate was receiving love letters from religion teacher! It was obvious to know what the teacher was going after. The teacher touched the student one time inappropriatly. My classmate told his parents and they came to school and asked to ban the teacher from teaching. The teacher end up teaching another classroom without facing any charges. We hear so many disturbing stories about children being beaten up or sexually harassed by their teacher or other students in school but we never take action because we always like to wait until we see the problem fall on our own children. Until that happen to any of our children, we shouldn’t be worried, should we?

Chaotic School:

My experience in elementary and intermediate school wasn’t pleasant at all. I struggled a lot in understanding kids at my age. Teachers weren’t encouraging the open discussion and critical thinking.  The environment was really chaotic, student screams and make noises during the lunch break or in any absent of the teachers. Noise was my biggest weakness. I would rather be killed and tortured thousands time than living in noisy and chaotic place.

Notes:

* Bamboo was  commonly used by teacher to beat  and hit students’ hands when forgot the homework

– Since schools are segregated I have no information about sex harassment in Girl school. I am trying to find some women who can talk about their experience when they were in the elementary or intermediate school.

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention

The most reasonable solution for any problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Many parents wait until something bad happen for their children in order to wake up and take action. I think that explain part of human nature. We don’t realize how dangerous the fire is until we get our hands burned. In this post, I will talk about very basic and important advises on how to protect you child from being sexually abused:
  • Teach your child  the Private Parts of his/her body:

BodySafety

Children from the beginning should learn about the private parts of their body and that nobody (including their relatives) should touch these private parts inappropriately. The picture above illustrates the private parts of the both boy and girl by comparing them to the bathing suites. You can teach your child that what your bath suites cover of your body is called the private part and nobody should touch it.

  • Keep an aye on your child:

Always pay attention to your child behavior. It is the only thing that the child can’t hide. For example, the fear of sleeping alone, crying with no reason or refusing to go to school. They are all sign of something wrong going on.

  • Never Trust anybody blindly:

A study in US has shown that 85 to 95% of sexual abused cases is known to and trusted by the victim. As I said, your child can be abused by anyone of your relatives, or by anyone of his teacher. So, you should be always cautious.

  • Talk, Talk, Talk

Many of our problems comes from not having a strong communication channel between the child and his parents. Always try to establish a communication channel with your child from the very beginning. Talk to your child as an adult, tell him your personal stories and listen to him carefully.

  • Visit your child’s school weekly

You should know the name of every teacher that teaches your child and the names of the friends he/she talked with in the classroom. School has never become a safe place for children ( I will talk why on my next post)