جليسي

الناس نيام وأنا أهيم بين السطور والكلمات…

الناس نيام وأنا أمسك بقلمي وأمرر شريط الحبر بين الصفحات…

بالرغم من الليل وظلمته فإنني أرى النجوم كالمشكاة التي تنير طريق الكلمات…

سواد الليل يذكرني بالحبر المنسكب على الورق والمتبقي في يدي وبين أناملي…

ليذكرني بجليسي الذي ينطق بلساني ما يخالج جنبات قلبي…

لوهلة وقفت لأتساءل… لماذا يبقى الكتاب في الأذهان… ويغيب دور القلم…

هل يا ترى كحال الغيم والمطر…

 

The Day The World Celebrates

raya4new

Hey Dunia,

It is funny how when you fear and dread something so much that the anticipation and wait are actually worse than the experience, so when New Year’s Eve finally arrived it was in fact just a normal and ordinary day. I am not sure if mum just hid her emotions or as the old cliché goes ‘time is a great healer’. Don’t misunderstand me Dunia, a mother will never ever get over losing her son but God has bestowed on mum incredible amount of patience and tremendous strength that enabled her to carry on, and I think she has come to the realisation that the pain will be there regardless of the actual day.

It was just mum and I; my siblings did not come home for the holiday and our live-in help took a break too and travelled to Europe, there was nothing significant about the day just watching people celebrate on TV, which I don’t quite understand. I mean it is just a day that marks the end of one year and the beginning of another, but the world does not change, it will be the same as it was if not worse, so why get excited? Or better put, should we not feel that excited at the end of each day, week or even month for a ‘new start’. In my opinion, it does not require a change of year or date but a change within your own self. We should be in control of our own destiny and not wait for a ‘date’ to kick-start that change, positive development will not fall from the sky onto your lap; we must dream, aspire to achieve that dream and work hard at it withstanding all the obstacles and difficult times that will no doubt obstruct our path.

These were my thoughts as I was staring at my laptop screen, reading about the extravagant celebrations some countries have planned, while simultaneously, reading about the disastrous conflict that other countries are experiencing. Reminding me how during my family’s darkest hour the world was celebrating and dancing, such contradiction makes you realise this world is strange and not worth getting obsessed with all its features. That was my conclusion just before my carer phoned me at 9pm to say whether she can come early tonight as it is New Year’s eve. Realistically did I have much choice in the matter? I mean, I could not have said no I want to stay up tonight, because I don’t have another person to help me at night, so I said sure come at anytime, I wasn’t planning anything exciting anyhow, and to be honest I wanted this day to end before memories of 20 years ago start to fill my head.

Sleep is such a blessing to people who are deprived of it, I know you won’t understand me fully Dunia, even I would not have understood that sentence years ago, I used to hate sleep and regarded it as a waste of valuable time but now physical pain does not let me have a full night sleep. I wake up 4 to 6 times needing to turn over to the other side, or change position, or adjust my ventilator, etc. Sleep is truly a luxury I never realised the value of. I longed to sleep before my brain began recalling and analysing things, I did not want to be awake when the clocks rang at midnight I needed to escape and did not want to be part of this current world. I had made the decision to create my own world a while back when I ‘found’ you Dunia and I must carry on my mission. I will sleep now I bet you are wondering how I can still type in bed well I am using my phone then I will transfer it to my laptop tomorrow. Good night Dunia and 2014.

Six Senses Spa at the Ritz Carlton Sharq Village

Picture taken by Zehra Fattah (@zahragarden)

Picture taken by Zehra Fattah (@zahragarden)

For all of you that are seeking a rejuvenation getaway, the highly exclusive Six Senses Spa is the perfect fit. Not only suitable for a spa visit during a business trip, it is also perfect and highly recommended for an extended weekend in connection with a stay at the Ritz Carlton Sharq Villages magnificent premises.

70.000 sq. ft. of pure bliss located in the heart of the beautiful property decorated Ottoman style, the amenities of this Spa are one of a kind, giving an opportunity to completely disconnect from the outer world.

The high sealing throughout the Spa, soft lights and relaxing background music makes you forget time and space, therefore make sure to arrive at least 2 hours early in order to take full advantage of the relaxation and sauna rooms, as well as the indoor pools and the entire facility that can be used when attending a treatment.

Since the Spa therapies include an extensive variety of Holistic to Eastern Asian and Swedish massages to sports treatments, as well as health, wellness and detox therapies I would strongly recommend a stay of at least 2 nights in order to maximize your time and to take advantage of the spa menu.

Rooms where couples can get treatments at the same time gives the opportunity to enjoy this wonderful experience with your loved one in the respective couple treatment rooms. Alternatively if you are looking to enjoy this experience individually, the spa offers strictly separate facilities.

Being a frequent traveller I usually don’t act against my rule of visiting a property twice, but in this instance I could not help myself and till today this wonderful place remains very special and dear to me.

Every time I visit the Ritz Carlton Sharq Village in Qatar my expectations of the service offerings are not only met but also exceeded in all areas. My all-time favourite on this journey was without any doubt the Six Senses Spa, as having arrived tired and stressed, it left me with a feeling of total rejuvenation in just two days.

A quick and easy 45 plane ride and a 10 minutes’ drive with the hotels designated driver and voila you reach a beautiful property which is certainly a must- visit for anyone in this region.

 

For bookings

Sharq Village & Spa

http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/Properties/SharqVillage/Default.htm

Phone:+974 4425 6666

اللقاء

اللقاء كلمة قد تكون عادية للبعض…وقد تعني الكثير للبعض…وقد تعكس مرآة الماضي والذكريات للبعض…

اللقاء يشعر البعض بالفرح… والبعض بالحزن… والبعض ببوتقة من الأحاسيس المتفاوتة…

اللقاء قد يعقبه الفراق… ولكن كم هو جميل أن يترك المرء ذكرى ترسم البسمة على شفاه البشر بمجرد تذكره…

ليتساءل البعض… لم الابتسامة… فنجيب ليست لصاحب الوسامة… بل لصاحب الابتسامة…

تبسم يا أخي… لتترك أثرا في قلوب الآخرين… وتعيد الأمل بأن الشمس ستعود لتشرق من جديد…

 

Picture taken by Ghada AlShaibah

Picture taken by Ghada AlShaibah

The ‘Double’ Dilemma

raya4new

Hey Dunia,

If you thought that segregation occurred if you are only disabled Dunia, then you are very much mistaken. As the month of December highlights another issue, being an Arab and Muslim puts you in a strange position as you are stuck between two ways of thinking; there is a group of Muslims who believe Christmas and the New Year should not be celebrated in any form and there is another group who buy Christmas trees, cook turkeys on the actual day and even tell their children Santa Clause will be coming on Christmas morning. In my opinion, both of those Muslims categories are wrong, I always believe that the best methods and solutions in life are the balanced ones; the middle ground.

How can you live in a country and isolate yourself from the wider community? Why stay amongst people you don’t approve of or relate to? I love London. It’s my city. It’s where I grew up, where I was taught and developed as a person. It is home. Despite the fact that I was not born here it is where I was given chances that accommodated my physical disability and where I was relatively accepted for who I am. Obviously I will never forget my roots or culture, but I will not segregate myself from the community I am living in. On the other hand, I will not adopt ideas or habits that are alien to my faith or culture. How can I, a disabled female, seek acceptance and inclusion and then isolate myself on the ground this is not part of my beliefs?

That was exactly what I told my friend who criticised me for buying Christmas presents, claiming it is ‘not even our festival’! She was not convinced by my argument but I did not mind, if it suits her to think that way, fine, but I made it clear not to judge or question my action as I am fully aware and happy with what I am doing.

You see Dunia, I told you, I will no longer stay quiet and let people criticise or judge me, I’ve had enough and that’s not a bad thing. The more you allow people to cross certain boundaries the less likely they are to respect your feelings.

I guess I took my frustration and anger on my friend, which I realise is wrong, but I could not help it, I am usually a very tolerant and patient person, it is just like I told you before Christmas and New Year’s eve are a difficult period for me plus the sudden disappearance of a person that I once thought was different to everyone else. A special kind of friend, and possibly more, one who knew what his presence meant to me yet had no qualms about vanishing suddenly without a reason or an explanation, and ignored any attempts I made to contact him.

Don’t worry about me Dunia, I often try to see the good and positive out of everything that I have ever endured, maybe not instantly but certainly when enough time has passed, except in this case I can see the positive already. It’s funny, I always used to mock girls who lose their identity because of a guy and I became like them, I allowed someone to dictate my mood, emotion and state of mind, I became weak and would feel like a fake person when they admired my so called strength! I wanted to shout and say you don’t know me, but I realised that no it is me who has lost sight of whom I really I am, therefore, I will not let anyone break, control or affect me, I must reclaim my real identity and rediscover the lost strength.

It’s not going to be easy I know, especially as I am ill with the flu and bladder infection – I often get it as I can only go to the toilet when my carers come. So if they are late or I am out and get stuck in traffic then the bladder gets affected. Plus, our live-in help has gone away for two weeks to celebrate Christmas so it is just mum and I at home, therefore, during this period mum will have to wake up at night to turn me and give me water which makes me feel guilty. Few days to new year’s eve, I hope to God that my strength will return in full force.

Remake of Life

A gust of wind whisks and twirls the leaves, then gently, lays them down for the final bow. I applaud the dancers beyond the gates of my gridded view inside the hotel. The show I had just witnessed was executed in such movie-like precision. I pause, taken aback by how I could possibly render an act of nature as something as unnatural as an orchestrated scene from a movie. Am I living in a remake of life, my own life?

My life no longer connects with nature but finds inspiration through recreations of nature. My imagination is limited to my Apple TV rentals and instagram hashtags, reducing my experience to second hand color frames in digital 1/0s.

This catastrophic realization came to me like the tripping over a rug. It felt like I was awakening from a bad dream, but not sure which is the dream and which is life. Along the way, I somehow lost myself amidst this digital euphoria, and abandoned the simplicity of living life through life.