What Happens in Marrakech…

So I’ve finally been to Marrakech, one city I’ve always wanted to visit, a very lively city with so many contradictions, a bit chaotic but it seems to be working out for them just fine. A unique city in its own way, and I thoroughly enjoyed being in a totally different Arab culture than my own, actually I suspect that is one reason I felt I was way out of my comfort zone, for I’ve never missed home like I did this time, in addition to the fact that I was very conscious of the physical distance and how much time and jet-lag it could take to get there. Actually the trip from Jordan to Morocco was something, especially the connection flight from Rome to Casablanca, here’s the picture: imagine a plane full of Arabs and Israeli Jews, I mean, if you were allowed to carry a knife on board you could’ve cut the tension with it. Boy do we Semites make each other uncomfortable! Well, at least nobody tried to kick me out of my seat and settle on it. And the cherry on the top of it all: An Italian crew. I mean, have you ever seen a plane that starts landing with people standing and moving around? Have I gotten into a public transportation bus to Napoli by mistake?

So, the reason I was in Marrakech was to participate in the women bloggers network meeting. I’ve participated in 3 previous meetings with this network and each time I come out from it having made new friends, met inspiring beautiful people and learned a whole lot. This time was no exception as I’ve had the chance to meet amazing women, some of whom I’ve met before and was delighted to catch up with again and others who I was meeting for the first time, and no matter how much you might disagree with them on certain subjects you cannot but admire and respect their courage and dedication, whether they were developing and running their own projects, fighting for women’s rights and freedom of expression, building their careers, etc. The most beautiful thing is that you get to connect with people on a human level, regardless of everything else, which puts to rest the myth that any woman hates every other woman unless it’s Oprah. The fact is, I was inspired and encouraged to start working on something I have never ever considered doing, but being among such a diverse and amazing group of people can give you a huge push and make you explore new possibilities. So it turns out that what happens in Merrakech actually goes way beyond Marrakech…

Back to Marrakech, as I said it’s a beautiful city, I recommend that you add it to your bucket list, and if you’re from the Estern part of the Arab world you might want to take it easy on the Moroccan food, trust me, it might be nice to have it every once in a while and it’s absolutely delicious but to live on it for more than 3 days in a row would probably make you don’t want to have it again for the rest of your life, our stomachs are not conditioned not to have rice on regular basis or to sprinkle sugar on our lunch, but of course if you’re in Marrakech you have to try all that because it’s all part of experiencing the city and the culture, so suck it up and deal with the upset stomach.

A Beautiful city and an interesting culture mean lots of pictures too, enjoy

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Money Talks?

The other morning Ghazal, my 5 year-old niece had some sort of a costume day at school so she  donned her princess dress, complete with the wreath and everything, and apparently there was some sort of activity they have to pay for as it always is with her school, which is a good school but a very materialistic one as they already pay an arm and a leg for the tuition fees and then they keep paying throughout the year for the activities held by the school. Anyway, her mom gave her 6 JDs that she was supposed to give to the teacher, but I’m guessing there was some sort of misunderstanding because what happened is that Ghazal gave 5 JDs to the teacher, as for the remainging 1 JD she decided for some reason to do this:

2013-04-18 14.12.45

Now, I’m not sure what happened, but I have a couple of theories. The first is that Ghazal had to give only 5 JDs to the teacher, and when she found that she still had 1 JD she perhaps thought “Why, I don’t need that,  I’ll just go ahead and tear it to shreds”. Of course I immediately tried to defend her so that she wouldn’t be punished, I said that she’s just a kid and she doesn’t know the value of money. But then I thought: Maybe what she did indicates that she actually does know the real value of money. I mean, what if, instead of tearing the 1 JD bill apart she gave it so one of her friends? I mean, it was useless to her, and money is good when  you have a use for it, while if you don’t then it’s better to give it to someone who needs it. Maybe she got the basics right, she just needs to know how to go about it. You know, I once thought that a good idea to teach a kid the value of helping others is for example when you get some change after dong some shopping with  your kid and if that change consists of shiny coints or if you have brand new bills fresh out of the bank you can tell your kid that since this money look so fresh and shiny you should go donate it to the needy, just some thought I had, ut apparently that doesn’t make a difference for Ghazal because the one JD bill she tore apart was quite a nice piece of paper.

It’s fascinating though, when you think of it. I mean, money is after all just paper, printed under strict laws and conditions and in limited amounts apparently but still, paper. And yet wars are waged over it, family ties are severed, people are killed, etc. It has to be the most symoblic thing on earth if you know what I mean, all that value in a colorful piece of paper. Like when you buy a car, a Mercedes Benz or something, after all you’re getting this awesomely designed genius invention for a heap of… paper.

Anyway, my other theory for why Ghazal tore that bill apart is that she hears voices in her head, you know, mysterious impulses to do crazy stuff for no good reason, like I used to have when I was around her age: like neice like aunt.

إيمتى رح نبطل متخلفين؟

الموضوع مش فيل قاعد بزاوية الغرفة وعاملين حالنا مش شايفينه، أظن صار من الواضح خلال السنوات الأخيرة إنه احنا بشكل عام، ورغم وجود نسبة من المتنورين، أمة متخلفة.00

السؤال: متى رح نبطل متخلفين؟

الجواب:0

لما يكون ولاءنا مبني على مصلحة البلد اللي عايشين فيها والناس اللي عايشين معهم، مش على أساس المنطقة اللي جد جدنا انولد فيها

لما نصير نحكم على الناس من خلال تعاملنا معهم مش على أساس وين جد جده انولد (كمان) أو الديانة المكتوبة على هويته

لما تروح على دائرة حكومية بدون ما “تسأل عن فلان الفلاني” عشان يزبطك

لما الواحد يبعت ابنه عالجامعة بدون ما يعطيه تعليمات بالابتعاد عن المشاكل والطوش لأنه ما في طوش أصلاً في “منارات العلم” وبدون ما يحذره من المشاركة في أي احتجاج أو مظاهرة حتى لو ضد إسرائيل أو الشيطان نفسه عشان ما “تصير عليه نقطة سودا”0

لما الواحد يتخرج من الجامعة وهو حاسس حاله إنسان جديد غير اللي كان قبل 4 سنين ومعلوماته زادت بنسبة 100% في مجاله

لما الواحد يصير يفرح بالمولود البنت زي ما بيفرح بالولد

لما نبطل نخلف ونزت الاولاد يتربوا بالشوارع أو مع الشغالات

لما نبطل نتعامل مع اولادنا كإنهم ممتلكات شخصية

لما نبطل نقول “الزواج زي البطيخة” الزواج إشي والبطيخ إشي مختلف تماماً

لما نبطل نعمل النصيب شماعة نعلق عليها عواقب قراراتنا السيئة. النصيب على عيني وراسي، بس ربنا أعطانا عقل عشان نقدر نختار نصيبنا

لما نبطل نحكم عالإنسان من نوع موبايله أو سيارته أو إذا كانت أواعيه ماركات أو لأ

لما يبطل الموضوع الأساسي اللي بنتسلى فيه بقعداتنا هو شللان عرض الناس، (العقول العظيمة تناقش الأفكار، العقول المتوسطة تناقش الأحداث، العقول البسيطة تناقش الناس)

لما البنت تقدر تقدم على وظيفة بدون ما تخاف تنرفض عشانها محجبة

لما تصير البنت تمشي في الشارع بدون ما تسمع تعليقات سخيفة، ولما يبطلوا المتحرشين يفكروا التحرش حق طبيعي، ولما يصير المجتمع بحاسب الرجال على غض البصر زي ما بحاسب المرأة على طريقة لبسها

لما سواقين السيارات في الشوارع يبطلوا يفكروا إنه بطلعلهم يعملوا اللي بدهم إياه ولو كان في تعدي على أولويات غيرهم

لما يصير الواحد يصف سيارته زي البشر، مش ياخد محل سيارتين عشان هو حر

لما نبطل نستخدم كلمة “منغولي” وخاصة لما نستخدمها كمسبة

لما نبطل نحكي عن كل شغالة “سيريلانكية” ونبطل نعتبر الشغالة عبدة اشتريناها بفلوسنا

لما نفرق بين “العيب” و”الحرام”

من باب التفاؤل ممكن نقول إنه إن شاء الله إذا بنشتغل على الجيل الجديد مزبوط ممكن خلال 40 50 60 سنة بس يموت الجيل الموجود حالياً… ممكن، بركي، احتمال نبطل متخلفين