Archive for the ‘ Yet to Belong.. ’ Category

Milestone: Moving to blog.nouralali.com

If anyone told me that by 2012, not only would I use my real name in online interactions but write in a blog with my real identity, I would have laughed.

Moving blogs isn’t much of a big deal to everyone, but I tend to use my drama queen points whenever I could.

So anyway, I will be writing in a new blog. I have new interests and subdomains aren’t enough for me anymore.

I even filled out the about me section. Be sure to check it out and subscribe there!

Last post at thearabzy.wordpress.com. It’s been good 🙂

Thread of thought: What is pain?

Listen to: Eyes closed by Ludovico Einaudi

April 18th, 2012.

What is pain?

Pain is when there is no one to hold your head up as you hurl the contents of your stomach for the fifth time in an hour. When you become the prisoner of your body, intoxicated by thoughts of humanly freedom, yet bound to your bed, unable to move at will.

What is pain?

Pain is you. Pain is your body’s warmth going cold on mine. It is when you and I could be all we ever dreamed to be; instead, we built a wall of fear and past failures between us, high enough to reap through our hearts. Pain is your scent scattered across a city gone colorless after your departure. It is your eyes captured in pictures of us when we were happy. I could never see it as clearly as I do now. You are pain.

What is pain?

When you look at yourself in the mirror and see a reflection of a complete stranger staring back at you. When you feel like you are a stranger within your own body. Like your spirit is colonizing your body instead of peacefully filling it. When you feel hallow and empty, trying to fill a void that does not exist.

What is pain?

Pain is when you know what you are capable of, but never reach your full potential. Pain is when you see all that you can ever be, but always one step behind. It is when you look at your work, whether it’s a design, a poem, or a photograph and feel like it is missing that one special touch. And you endlessly search, edit, and repeatedly try to make it complete. Pain is the pursuit of perfection. Pain is your buried talent that everyone praises and believes in but you.

What is pain?

Pain is when I reach to my phone every night, dialling your number. Pain is when I am constantly reminded by you and how I failed you. Pain is when I seek love but never fully feel it. Pain is the inability to love again, to trust again, to be again. Pain is when I smile knowing that happiness will never be mine. Pain is when I am yet to forget your number. Pain is when I lose myself just to live, and what is a life without a soul?

What is pain?

Pain is unacquainted love.

What is pain?

When you take a risk for once and spend the rest of your life regretting it, wondering if it was worth it at all.

This is an experimental post. I will be updating this every now and then. This is me trying to discover what pain is, in my own terms.

SOPA: How to go dark with a .wordpress domain.

How about a little song while reading this? Listen to this.

Disclaimer: I am not a programmer or a CSS expert.

Now, I’m not a techie per se, but I am quite savvy and do keep up with news every now and then. But as an internet user, I find this really important. So let’s educate ourselves a little.

What is SOPA?

The US House of Representatives in congress introduced Stop Online Piracy Act Oct 26, 2011 that would allow U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to seek legal action against any pirated material online. In short, we’d be seeing a lot of those pages:

Source: thisisnthappiness.com/

What’s the big deal about it?

If passed, websites like Google, Wikipedia, and social networks Facebook and Twitter would have to go through every link posted in their sites. In case of any pirated material located through them, they would be held responsible. Individuals would face charges up to 5 years in prison. Ridiculous.

Why should it matter?

I’d rarely quote a republican but here’s what Paul Ryan had to say about it, he’s also very cute:

The internet is one of the most magnificent expressions of freedom and free enterprise in history. It should stay that way. While H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act, attempts to address a legitimate problem, I believe it creates the precedent and possibility for undue regulation, censorship and legal abuse. I do not support H.R. 3261 in its current form and will oppose the legislation should it come before the full House. (source)

So anyway, for a more informative and less boring approach, here’s an infograph on SOPA:

Source: marketingtechblog.com

Now, on to my actual purpose of posting this:

A lot of websites, in fact, plenty of websites are going dark in protest of SOPA Jan 18 (which is tomorrow). Being a .wordpress.com blog, one can only go so far in the CSS field. It’s very limited and wordpress.org plugins do not work here. Ergo, the only way I found to go dark is through widgets. I found two. Needless to say I did not write those widgets or claim any sort of ownership of them. Codes are suggested by James Huff.

1) Badge:

It’s cute, and you should have it. It would look something like the one I have on the top right.

Here’s the code:

<a target=’_blank’ class=’stop-sopa-ribbon’ href=’http://americancensorship.org/’><img src='[URL]’ alt=’Stop SOPA’ style=’position:fixed;top:0;right:0;z-index:100000;cursor:pointer;’ /></a>

To install it: Appearance » Widgets » Text » copy the code and save.

In order to get the badge URL, download this onto your Media section from “add new” and place the link there: https://thearabzy.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/stop-sopa-ribbon.png

2) Going dark:

The only flattering way I found that is not as bad as others is:

The process is pretty much the same as the one mentioned above. You can play with it and change the ugly font the way you please. I do have to warn you, it does not fully give the dark effect but it’s worth making a statement for.

<div align=”center” style=”position:fixed;width:100%;height:100%;top:0;right:0;background-color:#000;text-align:center;font-size:800%;font-weight:bold;padding-top:300px;”><a style=”color:#fff;” href=”http://americancensorship.org/” target=”_blank”>Stop SOPA</a></div>

Also, do not forget to change the background to black from Appearance » Background.

The web is free. It should remain that way. Go dark for a day or forever live in the dark ages of a censored internet.

La fin.

365: Arabzy blogs for a year.

Here’s to another year of blogging. I’ve had other blogs. My first blog is dated back to March of 2009. However, I used to change blogs/online identities more than a snake sheds its skin.

Milestones: 

1) I am no longer an anonymous Arab. Apparently, I’m not just a username.

2) I write around a thousand words a day. Something I never thought I’d be persistent at. I have my university and work life to blame. (no complains, happy as a muffin)

Setbacks:

1) My blogging has deteriorated and my attention span is as long as 14o characters (blame them tweets, yo.)

2) I started this blog to write about Arabs: Our problems, cultures, and politics. Little did I know of what the future held. I never wrote about a single alphabet.

3) I abhor Arab politics.

Resolutions:

1) Become a better me.

2) Write with soul.

3) Be happy.

Here’s a little comic from my favorite internet gif, pusheen:

 

For a more insightful post on resolutions and new years, why not visit an old post?
I leave you with a quote, and yes, I’ve become as corny as those who share quotes:
I loved words. I love to sing them and speak them and even now, I must admit, I have fallen into the joy of writing them.— Anne Rice

For the love of Linguistics: I am my words.

I could never update about me sections in any blog of mine. I was always baffled with answering that one persisting question of who am I. Ironically, I am not even sure if who works here, rather, what am I. Alright, though, let me try and define myself – not speak about my words or how they define me, but me. Me is such a beautiful word, isn’t it?

How about I make this simple, shall we? Instead of flowing in my thoughts as I always do – I will divide everything into either black or white; love or hate, but hate is such a strong word – so is love. They are both equally strong, perhaps too strong, or better yet, they are so strong that they have lost their meaning and collided enough to explode into a state of obsoleteness, like two atoms in the vast abyss.

I will try to be as vague and childish in my choice of language; I rarely get the chance to be a child in my words. I no longer allow myself to commit syntax errors in language, or maybe I enjoy my pursuit of perfection far too much to let a brick along the way trip me into a vortex of morphological, phonetic, semantic, or grammatical errors.

There I go talking about words again. Did I ever mention how much I love short paragraphs? No? Well, I do, very much so. I also enjoy short sentences. But I have this new love for semicolons; I love using them. A semicolon is the child of the never meeting comma and dot. In fact, commas and dots are the best couples I know of. Both are located in the same position, but you see, each of them knows when to leave and when to stay. If they meet – my lord, if they ever meet: sheer ugliness. The splendor of the chase, that hard to get act: the kind of relation a dot and a comma share together.

Ever sat down and thought about commas and dots? Perhaps not, but I do. I think of beautiful letters, pretty words, perfect spaces, complete sentences, flawless punctuation, and short cute paragraphs. I sometimes grab a book and not read, but stare at those alluring written words; how they beautifully intertwine till they form novels, books, etc, etc.

I can go on forever talking about words, just not me. Let’s not talk about me. Let’s talk about words, for they cure a heaving child within me and sing me lullabies to sleep.

I am nothing without my words. I am everything with my words, and that’s enough. So maybe I fail at describing myself in what I love and hate. Maybe I could only talk about words, but that’s probably because words are this invisible spine that lifts my head up even when I’m in the lowest of lows. I can live without people, but I cannot be without words.

The cries of the voiceless: Abused children.

Listen to: Peshrev Hidjaz Homayoun – Anouar Brahem.

This post is for the unheard, abused Middle Eastern children who barely make it to human rights statistics as digits and numbers for the world to be appalled by, because really, none of it really matters to their closed-minded fathers. Those statistics won’t change or matter to a father who beats his first grade daughter because she was sick and could not score a full grade on her spelling test until her nose bleeds. It might matter to those who have hearts, who raise their children with love, not fear and dominance. It makes perfect sense that those abusive fathers would support tyrants and dictators killing their people, because they too practice their given right to hit, batter, and harm their children to stop them from harming themselves and living a normal life.

It is quite common that those children grow up to fear love, to rather stay alone on a Saturday night, because growing up they got used to hateful words, beatings with belts, slaps, and sometimes even suffocation by their own father’s demons. And they start to wonder every single day: what is wrong with me, if my own father hates me that much; how could others ever love me. Those hateful, labeling words linger in their minds so much so that they become their bedtime stories, and morning hymns; waking them up to yet another forsaken day of self-doubt and suicidal thoughts.

It might not always be as bad as that. Those abused children might grow up trying to fill the void and cover the wounds inflected by their beloved father in excelling at every single damn thing they could. They try to become so perfect, so clean, so nice to everyone, because they have witnessed and felt so much hate in their lives that they wrap it within themselves and live with the denial that their mind tends to exaggerate those beatings. They are the best campaigns and lovers because they cannot stand arguing, not for a second. But they wander with their thoughts far too much for anyone to notice. They conceal themselves behind bricks of walls and shelter themselves from any dominating male figure.

Some break free early on and live with gratitude for as long as they live, because those abusive fathers change when they are afar. Those fathers become more loving, less physical, more caring, less controlling because their abused children are out of sight.

Those fathers might have been abused as children themselves, and perhaps that is what most of submissive children grow up to be. But those fathers, as good-hearted as they may seem to others are devils and tyrants in their own homes. There can be excuse to the kind of torture they submit their children to every time they please. They cannot bear to see their own children flourish on their own, without any of their useless help. That way, they cannot brag about it, or credit this success to themselves. So they take away that little piece of heaven their children accomplished after so long for their own selfish intentions. Their children can be happy, as long as this state of happiness is due to them, and only them. They are kind in a way, inflecting both joy and pain to their children.

Those children never grow complete. As much as they try or hope to be, they cannot, because they grew without love, without a father figure to look up to, without a home to run to; rather, they grew in a home they wished they would run away from everyday. In fact, sometimes they tried running away, but the destination was always unknown, and they could never confide in anyone because they feared that hand; that scream, that slap, that father.

As they grow, their imaginary friends soon start to fade, and as they feel more alone than ever, they find themselves building a new world where the only population is them. No one to hit them, no one to dictate their dreams, no one to take away their joy, just them alone, whether in a paper, in a drawing, or whichever way their heart pleases, they runaway, only not on the outside, but within.
Soon, this utopia of theirs will be filled with images of their minds they cannot forget, the first time they had a blue eye, the first time they had a twisted arm, how that twisted arm progressed to a broken one, the time a glass cup broke on their heads, and so on.. Till one day they can take this no more, and start self destruction, because really, if their own father never loved them, they should not matter.
God forbid if they ever open their mouths and defend themselves, if they ever try to push his hands away as he beats them, they have sinned. Because he is always right, no matter how wrong he is, and they are always wrong, no matter how right they really are.

And the mother of all people aches the most, for the child that grew in her womb for nine months is dying in front of her everyday and she can nothing but push him away and then tell him how right he was when he did what he because he knows best for his kids, and no, he is not wrong, and yes, he had all the right to hit his kids. They deserved it. They deserve to be hated for as long as they can remember. They deserve to be mistreated and abused because they refused to do something for once. They deserve it because they were born into an unloving, dictator’s arms.

The society we live in is corrupted beyond repair. Education is worthless if we are not taught to defend those in need. Education is worthless if we hear a child being hit by his father and do nothing but raise the volume of our stereo. The next time you look the other way when you see a child getting beaten by his parents, I want you to congratulate you because you too are guilty; perhaps even more than those parents, because you let them think it is perfectly okay to beat a child into obedience and get away with it. And even though it was not your hand that left that bruise on their arms, your silence played a big part in those helpless children’s misery.

Dear God: I turn to you.

Listen to Untitled – Lost words.

Dear God,

I’m down on my knees, with my head touching the cold floor, and my tears flooding down my cheeks. Oh God, What should I do now? Where do I go from this? Is there an end to this ominous road, or is the end of all roads?

I turn to you before others, I turn to you with others, I turn to you after others, I turn to you all times. I pray like no other. I do. I believe like no other. I question. I get no reply, maybe I do, but God, I am too blind to see it. I am too deaf to hear it. I am too cold to feel it. I am too numb to sense it. What do I do now? Where do I go from this?

I question life, not you. I question pain, not you. I question lies, not you. I question people, not you. I question myself, not you. I question forgiveness, not you. I question hope, not you. I question sanity, not you. I question friendship, not you. I question love, not you. I question happiness, not you. I question death, not you. I question death, not you. I question death, not you. I question all, never you.

My soul is dirty, naked, and stripped away from all its deeds. I am chained to sins and demons. I plead for mercy and guidance. I fear of trust and hope. I repeal away from lies and misjudgment. I run towards you in times of happiness. I run towards you in times of joy. I run towards you in times of acceptance. I run towards you in times of need. I run towards you in times of despair. I run, run, and run. I have been running all my life. My destinations have always been away and to. What do I do now? Where do I go from this?

This – this unbearable feeling of… I cannot find the rights to describe the internal cluster I am now in. There is no word, feeling, or emotion that can describe it. I feel helpless. I feel lost. I feel lost from being lost. I feel hopeless from hopelessness. I feel cold from coldness. I feel tired from tiredness. I feel confused from confusion. I feel exhausted from exhaustion. What do I do now? Where do I go from this?

I never understood three things:

1-      Why we are brought into life with tears and expected to smile all the way through.

2-      Why life is so simple, but hard, harsh, and cruel.

3-      Why death is so short, so sudden, and so stunning, yet long lasting.

I need you now more than ever. I need your grace in my life. I need your swift command to take me away from this. I need you to lift me up. i do not need bags, cloth, money, cars, villas, friends, or anything. I need you. I just need you to guide me through this life, or take it all away.

Where do I give up? Where do I raise my white flag of withdrawal? Give me a sign, show me a way. Give me a reason, let me know. Let me know. Make me understand. Help me understand. Help me understand. Help me understand. Make me understand. Show me how to understand. Allow me to understand. Oh god, please just let me understand. I need to understand.

What is the use of living when I am dead inside? What is the use of pretending when I am numb at heart? What is the use in sight when I blind in mind?

I turn to you before all.

I turn to you with all others.

I turn to you after all have failed.

I turn to you before

I turn to you now

I turn to you forever

I turn to you…