If I Were a Man

I can’t remember the details, but it must have been a hectic day. I sat on the couch as I came home from work, kicked back and stared blankly thinking of all the work I need to get done at home. And, for a moment there, I felt like I was a man pulling doubles to make ends meet for his family. Thankfully, I’m not. Yet, that made me ask myself the question “What if?”

Now, I’ve never wished to be a man, and it gets on my last nerve when I hear a girl wishing she was a man because you are what you are and wishing to be something or someone else is a sign of weakness. Yet, it’s interesting to think of what could have been, you know. Obviously I can’t know for sure how things would be if I were a man, but I can at least imagine it and come out with a hypothesis.

So, for starters, if I were a man I think I’d probably be emotionally crippled. I mean, I already have a hard time expressing my feelings as a girl, add some testosterone and a drizzle of macho pride to that and you have a concrete wall. Yet, I think I’d be a family guy with no commitment issues, but I’d have a big problem handling rejection,  and it wouldn’t matter how many chances I blew because after all my pride is what matters the most, or so I’d think. Of course my sister would probably be nagging me to get married and trying to hook me up with one of her friends, since that seems to be a hobby of hers, and I might in the end enlist her help at a certain age because you know what they say about men and how they can’t live without a woman.

If I were a man, I’d probably be a workaholic, burying myself in work to avoid social duties. I’d also be into sci-fi and mystery movies.  I wouldn’t be one of those guys who drool over cheap singers, but I’d appreciate beauty for sure. I’d probably have some very good female friends, and some male friends who are the complete opposite of me. I would have a couple of crushes and would have my heart broken a few times with unrequited love.

I’d generally be a calm person, trying to do the right thing when faced with a crisis, to be strong and not to panic, because after all I’m a man and I should live up to that title. I’d be in constant competition with others especially in the work place. I’d feel responsible for everything that is anything, especially when it comes to my family.

I’d have a good relationship with my brothers, probably not as good as my relationship with them as a sister, for some reason, but I’d have a totally different life style, and for some reason I feel that I’d be my mother’s favorite son, but of course she wouldn’t say that.

Well, as I said this is all hypothetical. Who knows? Maybe if I were a man I would be a complete loser. In any case all I can say is: Thank God I’m a girl.

 

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Social Media Conversations

Him: I’m home… and I’m so exhausted I can’t even think straight

Her: Well, that’s strange. It seemed you didn’t have much work to do at the office today

Him: What do you know? I had a very busy day

Her: well, yeah, busy chatting with MY friends on Facebook !

Him: Wh… what friends! What are you talking about?

Her: Oh you know what I’m talking about! I mean, look, if you want to comment on my friend’s picture it’s okay, I’m fine with that, but would you at least use the “Like” button responsibly? I mean, PLEASE who likes a picture of a 35 year-old woman hugging a teddy bear?

Him: What can I do? She likes every single post on my wall and comments on every photo… I had to like something and honestly liking any other photo on her profile would make me look like a pervert

Her: What are you talking about?

Him: Oh, crap

Her: Oh I get it! That loser has me on limited profile. That’s it! I’m removing her and you are too

Him: But… what if she asked why? I mean, I don’t care but she’s your friend

Her: Who cares?  And for the record, she is not my friend, I just met her at a birthday party for like 5 minutes and the next thing I know she adds my husband as friend and he’s flirting with her while I’m standing there like an idiot!

Him: It was just one comment

Her: Really? When was the last time you wrote me a comment? Even on my birthday you didn’t even send me a gift! It cost 1 dollar you cheapskate!

Him: Well that’s because I threw you a surprise party and bought you a real actual tangible very expensive gift

Her: Don’t change the subject! You don’t even like my status messages anymore

Him: Maybe that’s because 99% of them are whining and complaining

Her: And can’t you at least try to comfort me or show some public support? You used to do that back when we were engaged! You used to like all my photos and poke me all the time. You don’t poke me anymore! Each time I see a poke I get excited and then it’s some pervert who’s trying to hook up. And it hurts, it hurts so bad! The other day at work my boss caught me crying in front of the computer and I had to tell him I remembered my dead mother. Can I tell him I’m crying because my husband is too busy digging through my friends’ profiles to even poke me? Of course not!

Him [head hanging down, voice cracking]: I’m sorry

Her: What happened to us?

[A moment of silence]

Him: So… what do we do now?  You think we should consider counseling?

Her: Or we can  take a picture together and post it as profile picture. And you can’t change it until I tell you. Some PDA wouldn’t hurt either, just make sure it’s visible to all our friends and networks…

The Man Who Killed the Cricket – 3

He ran out to the garage as if he was being chased by a herd of hungry wild dogs. He hopped into his car, only to find the steering wheel on the other side. He was too perplexed already to give it a thought so he let it slip. He started the engine, and it revved with a roar of a hundred lions.

After driving for half an hour, he realized that he had no destination and that he was roaming the streets aimlessly. Everything was on the wrong side, he felt like his world had been sucked into by one big mirror, and he warmed up to the idea.

There were no people on the streets, and it hit him as odd. He was starting to grow weary, for he’s always had that crazy idea that one day he would wake up to find out that humanity migrated to another planet and left him behind, and now the idea seemed more plausible than ever.

Just before he was getting ready to break into a fit of screaming, a woman showed up on the sidewalk. She looked like a woman who’s been around for a long time, and had paid a heavy toll. He pulled over and scrambled out of the car. He thought if he asked her she might be able to help him make sense of his surroundings. He ran up to her but before her could open his mouth to say a word he looked into her eyes and saw something he has never seen before, or even imagined he’d ever see…

To be continued…

Win-Win?

It couldn’t get any simpler than this: do something good, win something good, too.

I have told you about the Charter for Compassion in a previous post. Now CFC is launching a contest: Post an act of kindness that you did to someone or someone did to you, and win. But of course you won’t be winning a car or a blender, the prizes are a bit less traditional. At the end of the Holy month of Ramadan 5 winners will get a prize each. The first: a one year scholarship to an outstanding student in need in the winner’s name. The second prize will be a one year health insurance for a family in need also in the winner’s name. The third is full payment of heating bill for a family in need during the coming winter. The forth prize will be 3 different skilled labor courses for people in need. The fifth and final one is entertainment and interactive nights for the elderly throughout a full year. All prizes will be given to individuals or families in the winners names’.

The acts could range from the everyday small acts such as helping your neighbor with grocery bags to something as big as volunteering with a group of people to renovate an orphanage.

Some might argue that talking about kind acts like that may fall under the category of bragging and boasting, but it’s anything but that. This competition is about promoting a culture of compassion and tolerance among people, something we need now more than ever.

Give it a try, visit the competition’s page on facebook

إعلام الإخص

وفي ليلة صيفية، قرر سلمان تفقد القنوات العربية، فكما سمع من الأصحاب، كان فيها من العجب العجاب، إذ أن من سمات لسان الضاد، براعة في وصف الأضداد، وكي لا يقال افترى، قرر ألا يصدق إلا لما يرى…0

ولما فتح التلفاز، رأى فتاة تلعب الجمباز، فبات يفكر كالمحتاس، ويضرب الأخماس بالأسداس، إذ أنه وفقاً لمعلوماته البسيطة، وبعد الرجوع إلى الخريطة، هذه قناة تابعة لبلد شقيق، يحكمه رجل يقال له الرفيق، ولما ثار الشعب على الرفيق الجائر، نزلت به المجازر، لكن بدل الشجب والاستنكار، لم يرَ إلا شريط أخبار، يحكي عن مصرع قطة في البنجاب، وآخر اكتشاف عن السنجاب، ونصائح لترشيد الإنجاب، ونفي لأي احتجاج أو سباب، وخبر بالخط العريض يقول “الشعب ملتف حول الرفيق، وعلى قدر المحبة يكون العتاب”0

شعر سلمان بغضب مجحف، فأخذ يبحث عن إعلام منصف، يضع الأمور في نصابها، ويخاف يوم تلقى كل نفس حسابها، إذا ما علا الصياح والعويل، وأنكر الخليل الخليل…0

لكن مما جعله يحتار، قصة شاب اسمه مختار، كان أحد الثوار، ووصفه المذيع بالمغوار، ثم تغنى ببطولته، واثنى على رجولته، وقال بصوت يعتصره الألم، الله أكبر على من ظلم، ووصف ما تعرض له الشاب من تنكيل، وختموا البث بالترحم على القتيل، وعلى قناة أخرى قالوا إنه عميل

أحس سلمان بدموعه تنهال، وترحم على الشيوخ والأطفال، وراح يدور في خاطره سؤال: إن كان هذا الإعلام الصادق، فكيف يكون الأعور الدجال؟

The Man Who Killed the Cricket – 2

His eyelids were tightly glued together, or that’ show he felt trying to open them. After a little struggle, his eyes opened to a haze, and he was staring at the ceiling in his room again, only it was daytime, and the sun rays were out to get him, viciously harassing his face.

What happened in the tool shed? How did he get here? He didn’t give it much thought and demised it all as a bad dream. But, that cricket, that insolent cricket… that wasn’t a dream, he was certain. And at the that memory, he jerked up from bed like a man hit with a 1500 volt electric shock. He reached to the closet, but instead his hand bumped into the mirror. He was sure the closet was there on the right wall. He looked around to see it there, on the left wall. He shook his head, wiped his hand downward over his face and told himself he was disoriented.

He grunted under his breath as he left the room, or was about to, just before he hit the wall where he remembered the door was. He fell back on the ground, his eyes roamed the place, everything was on the wrong side, and the whole room looked like an inverted photo of his room as he knew it.

He dwelt on it for a minute, then fished the car keys out of his pocket and head out.

To be continued…

Single Not-Very-White Female

If you’re a single woman over the age of 25 in the Middle East, more specifically in Jordan, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about here; for there’s a bunch of common things that bring us all together, among of them the following:

1- There’s always people wondering, or sometimes questioning, either with pity or curiously: Why aren’t you married until now? Like you’re missing an arm or a leg. And then there are two teams: Team “you’re not getting any younger” and Team “You’re still young”. Although you’re not even showing the slightest sign of being worried about the issue.

2- There’s always someone, mostly a female relative or friend, in most cases it’s either the mother or a sister who’s trying to convince you of potential suitors. “This one is a doctor… that one studied in Harvard… this one is so cool, he plays the guitar”

3-  If you’re an independent working lady, sometimes people might forget or choose to ignore the fact that you’re a female.

4-  At some point of your life, you might get THE phone call, if you haven’t already gotten it, and that is: a pregnant friend of yours telling you that if she died while giving birth then she wants you to marry her husband. Well, sure, because the reason I’m not married is waiting for you to die so I can resume your life, since apparently I don’t have one.

5-  You  start getting weird vibes from your mother when you mention that you’re going to attend a friend’s wedding, and soon enough you start worrying how to avoid telling her about those weddings.

6-  When you’re on a diet or something, people could think that you’re going to get engaged soon.

7-  When you speak about a male colleague or friend, some people’s eyes glitter as though they think there’s something going on, and the best part is when you mention “his wife” or something about him being from a different faith. Bummer.

8-  You might be expected by some people to attend certain weddings or similar events just to prove that you’re not being jealous. That if you could care less of course.

Shu Kaman?

Charter for Compassion

It probably has happened to all of us: that random act of kindness by someone, better yet, by someone who’s a total stranger. We might have done it to others numerous times, consciously or unconsciously, be it with a smile, a kind word, a considerate act or any other thing that showed another person, even if you don’t know their names, that you see the humanity in them, void of any differences, and you showed them the humanity in you through that simple act of compassion.

And what better topic to start Ramadan with than this, compassion. And what better time to talk about compassion than Ramadan,especially with people blaming their bad moods and temper tantrums on fasting and on Ramadan while it’s in deed the time to be solemn and a chance to exercise your compassion wit the world.

In this spirit, Charter for Compassion was launched: a document that transcends religious, ideological, and national difference. Supported by leading thinkers from many traditions, the Charter calls on us all to activate the Golden Rule around the world.

You can read and affirm it HERE. It’s also been translated to Arabic as the initiative is being launched in Jordan. You can also check out the website, the Facebook page, the twitter account. You can all play a role in this, will tell you more about it soon in sha’a Allah so stay tuned!

You can also watch this introductory video filmed by Deema Amr