Wednesday, April 26, 2006

No More Waiting... for a while!

Early morning around 7:10, Attawie is in bed, recovering from a fever lasted for two nights in a row.
Mom enters the room to check on Attawie before she leaves to work.

Mom: how are you today?
Atta: I'm better. I want to bake a cake.
Mom: We got everything needed. Do you need anything else?
Atta: Yes, I wanted to tell you I want to go to the Heritage festival tonight, if it's still there.
Mom: ok, check if they are still there and we'll go. Bye.
Atta: bye

10:00 AM, same morning. Attawie is still in bed.
Dad enters the room with a white envelop.

Dad: Attawie, the mail is here. This is a letter to you from the university.
Atta: (still can't open her eyes, not surprised)
Dad: (opening the curtains) do you want me to get you your glasses?
Atta: (reaches her hand to the glasses next to her bed) No, thanks, I got them. (Starts to read silently)
Dad: (still standing there waiting for the answer. He mumbles) In sha' Allah accepted.
Atta: I have not been accepted.
(She continues to read silently). Only seven were accepted. (She finishes reading and hands dad the letter)
Dad: (as he takes the letter and reads) never mind. You deserve the best. You will find another way to study.

Few minutes later Attawie picks up the phone and dials.

Atta: hello mom.
Mom: hello, how are you now?
Atta: fine. (Trying to fine the best way to deliver the news) mom, I have not been accepted.
Mom: how did you know? I just checked your university account.
Atta: mom, I received a letter by mail, now.
Mom: when it was sent?
Atta: 28 March.
Mom: never mind, we'll find you another way to get your MA.

11:00 same morning. Attawie is writing this post. Thinking of how she grabbed the apple juice instead of milk to heat in the microwave. Her mind is busy planning how to run the whole run again; certificates, recommendation letters, applications forms.

She knew it, the moment her dad handed her the letter, she was not accepted. Last time she received such important letter, it was enclosed in a larger envelop and much more heavier too. It was exactly two years ago when she was accepted in San Antonio Community Collage, Texas. They sent her the notifying letter with many magazines, which turn out to be programs, subjects, the classes, maps, and all about dormitory.

She was dipping Digestive biscuits in hot milk, thinking. Do I want to be milk or biscuits? The milk is so delicate. The biscuits are hard. Yet, mixing them gives fragile, weak material that used to be biscuits. Nevertheless, the milk would still be milk, though may get darker. I would definitely want to be Milk. When the environment is changed, I will not let it changes me completely into another person and lose my personality-like biscuits, which melt in milk.

Now, Attawie will have to get ready for the GRE exam and the TOFEL. It was a crazy month when she studied for the ESL, but whom am I kidding? Studying is the best thing Attawie does or know.

The Moral Lesson, if there was any!

Life is not easy. You won't get whatever you want unless you try and try many times. Sometimes you'll have to change things about you to fit the new environment, but don't lose your personality like biscuits. Adapt new methods and be armed for the future. Someday you will get what you want.

Dear friends,
No more waiting for now, a new plan is on the way. There would also be a "waiting" part but later. At least I will have the chance to be there in my sister's wedding next summer.
As for you, readers, you'll have the chance to read my unpublished poems and short stories.

"I'm still on the first step of the road. I guess there's much for me to learn".


Friday, April 21, 2006

The Wake up Call

"When A Stranger Calls", a new thrill movie I like to see, though, during an interview with the director he said we won't be able to hire a babysitter for five years or so and that he is sorry for that. I want to see the movie because I like horror movies and such stuff but the babysitting issue is not that easy to mock. I used to baby-sit two of my cousins back in Jordan and it was great.

The Babysitting:

I used to baby-sit them when their parents are out for dinner or even during big nights like New Year's Eve. The kids and I would play games or watch some movies they rent especially for my being there with them. Other times we would play FIFA on their play station. They even would sing and act for me pretending they were in a Star Makers program. The TV would be most of the times on Network Cartoons. The youngest one would always like to watch Scooby Doo and just like usual he would ask me to sit and watch with him because he loves to see the cartoon but he is a bit scared.

Cartoons never scared me. However, it was scary when I look at the huge empty unfurnished guestroom. The kids had made it their own play-yard. At times, we used to set a table with a net in the middle and play Ping-Pong. Or we would place two laundry baskets on a couple of boxes and play basketball. Other times, we would put chairs to mark two sides of a goal to play football. It was fun except when I look out at the dark empty backyards from the window.

The phone was never a problem, both kids love it when the phone rings and they answer. It's something universal.

Strange Phone Calls:

I hate strangers' calls. People you don't know and they call for trying to get a favor from one of your parents and they try to be nice with. "Who is this beautiful girl? how old are you? What school do u go to?" Can't they call and say it straightly that they one Mr. or Mrs. …

I remember when I was about 10 and the phone rang around 5 am. Everybody was asleep and I heard the phone. I pick up the handle and the voice was horrible. It was whispering in a freaky way and saying, "I'm your future husband; I want to talk to you…" I put the handle down as fast as I could and ran to my bed. I was scared and when I told my family, my sisters started to laugh at me.

We have many funny people in the family would call and say, "I'm Grendizer, can I talk to your father" (which was mostly the father of the two kids above). Or even if it was my aunt's husband who calls when she is with us and say is "Auatif", or mabe "Nadia" or any other name comes to his mind asking about my aunt. He did it even when my aunt was visiting from the States and he was calling from China. I just said no and hanged the phone.

When I was a teenager, I had admirers who used to call begging for one conversation and I would just hang the phone on their faces. Once a guy called and said "Hi, I’m he. Who are you" I had nothing to say but "I'm she. Don't call again".

In Jordan, I received many weird phone calls. An admirer used to call from Saudi Arabia, he would call and call and even send SMSs and picture messages. Another caller was from Lebanon but this one gave up after three days. Sometimes I let guys in my group to answer the phone so the caller would stop.

Two days ago, I was playing violin and couldn't hear my mobile ringing. My dad called me and said it's your mobile. I checked the phone and it was miscall from "MY NUMBER UAE". The first thing to do was to check the dialed numbers to make sure if it was dialed by mistake. But it wasn't that.

Hours later, my father was making fun of it and told my mother that I had a miscall from myself.

Wake Up Call

I've been finding difficulties to sleep at night. It would take me hours and hours just to fall asleep. Whether I went to bed at 10 or 2 am I would sleep at 3 am. As a result, I would wake up late, at 11:30 mostly, after the beautiful morning hours had passed already. I asked my parents to wake me up early many times and they tried their best but it just didn't work.

On Wednesday, at 7:48 and at 7:48 AM, I received two miscalls from "my number UAE" which is really my number. This frightened me. I called my mom and told her to check what it was all about.

I felt it's a bliss, I got to wake up early which means I'll sleep early and… bingo… I broke the circle.

I had my breakfast, heard Fayrooz's beautiful songs and the phone rang again. It was my mother telling me the morning caller was a HACKER. Hackers want to hack my phone number. So now, there are mobile hackers and I who thought it was a "wake up call" that saved me from everlasting misarranging time.

Did I mention I have a really nice phone number??? Like AB AC ABC

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Back to the Past

Attawie rode the magic bus to the world of fascination, back to the primitive history of human being to unfold the history of human being and the secrets of the story of man and his adaptation to environment: how he lived, what he ate, what he made and how he innovated places for dwelling and living in.

Attawie, and the accompanied group, saw all these and more in the halls of the Sharjah Archaeological Museum. It was a trip arranged by the Art school. They were only ten people: one teacher, seven students (five females, two male) and two kids came with one of the guys.

The first Archaeological hall covers the first known period of history, "Stone Age (5000-3000 BC). In this hall, we saw numerous pieces of rock stone in addition to old sea-shells. Can you imagine that man ate the flabby animals found inside since then?

Displays included ornamental items, necklaces as well as pottery of the slavery period. These monuments were found in Sharjah, a fact confirming the flourishing trade with Mesopotamia.

The second stage is which covers the period (3000-1300 BC) known as the Bronze Age. At this stage, men of the area knew settlement, industry and the use of bronze.

The third stage, know as the Iron Age (1300-300 BC) is the Oasis stage.

The fourth stage, covering the period (300 BC-611 AC) represents a tangible civilization flourishing in Sharjah and the region. This period marks the emergence of writing in the region, represented in the Southern Musnad calligraphy and some Aramaic writings.

I am glad I took this trip for I used to undervalue this place comparing it to the historical importance of Mesopotamia, the land of my ancestries.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Neither a Fall nor Liberty Day

I was about to publish a cheerful poem when I noticed it's April 9th already. I felt ashamed of that day and I just couldn't publish the poem. It would be a waste of time to post romantic words when the world was rocked on this date. It was "Baghdad fall" as they call it, or "Baghdad liberation's day" if you may. But I don't know what to call it. For me it's definitely none of them both.

April 9th 2003, early morning. It was mourning rather than a morning. I remember that day minute by minute. The shock was obvious on all faces you know. The voices were choked. Eyes were sleepy. No brain could bare the news.

I was sleeping at our relative's, as we used to spend wartime at their home better than our home, which was near what they call now the green zone. How ironic, green zone were the lives are harvested now. I was sleeping on the ground just like most Iraqis during wartime, I heard the family talking about it, but somehow couldn't believe it. I tried to burry my head between my pillow and quilt trying to smother their voices talking about uncanny news. I closed my eyes trying to persuade myself to go back to sleep to end this nightmare. Nevertheless, unfortunately I wasn't asleep. I wasn't dreaming. I didn't want to think about it not loving what we had but frightened by what will happen.

Whatever you call this date I still insist is not. Baghdad is still standing and still struggling to gain liberty. Baghdad is still resisting just like it will always be.

Therefore, it is neither a fall nor a liberty.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Rescued by M&M's… or Love

I was taking a bath yesterday when I was thinking of my friends in Baghdad, one lost a father, and the other lost a mother, another one lost a brother-in-low. Now Morbid Smile loses her grandfather. None of those I mentioned above is the same people I knew years ago. How ironic, it was few minutes before I felt dizzy and roped myself with a towel, the conditioner was still on my hair, shower jell on my body and I cried "mom!"

I couldn't see anything but white lights. I could hear my mother calling for my dad. I could tell they were frightened. My mother walked me to my bed. I felt the ground was moving under my feet. I was walking in a zigzag manner.

I've been there before. That what they call fainting out.

I know I need sugar. I wanted to utter a word but I couldn't. Then it came out "the M&M's… next… the phone". By that time, my dad was next to us with a glass of apple juice. My mom lifts me up to make me drink and I did drink. Then the M&M's were in my mouth. I could feel how I panicked my parents. I had to say something to let them know I'm fine. Nothing came out of my mouth. I still can't see nor hear well; with more M&Ms I could manage to say "I did that just for the M&M's" trying to put a smile on my face. My mom smiled and repeated it to dad who couldn't understand me.

Few minutes later I was washing my hair and removing the remains of the shower jell. I thought I should be lying not in the tub again.

At a moment before the M&Ms came, I didn't want to wake. It felt like being thrown endlessly from a high building. Somehow, I felt secure that I wanted to not to fight back and stay unconscious. It was only a minute, when time stopped and place did not matter. It was my mother's voice and my dad's presence that made me open my mouth to take the M&M's. My mom kept saying, "Chew" and so I did.

When I went back under the water I felt guilty being selfish not wanting to wake up. I have the most caring mother and father the sweetest sisters (one of them will graduate and have her wedding soon, the other is the funniest girl you'll meet), and the best fiends, though they are many countries away from me…I feel guilty to deprive them from having me.

What would they feel if I didn't come back? What would they do if I didn't wake? They don't need more pain, or the absence of a dear one. Nor I wanted them to be one of the families I listed in the first couple of lines above.

I realize I am not good in telling family and friends how much I love them and care for them, nor good in hugging them. I might be the worst person on earth to express my feelings.

It's great to be alive and safe for another day.
Take care all and may God bless you.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Waiting for the Fatal Answer

Evaporated rivers of hope
Waterfalls of despair

Smothered screams
Struggling in my throat

Shivering feverish body
Beneath, snatched heartbeats

With my eyes opened wide
Behind streams of tears

A void back in my head
Side by side with pain

My suffocated words
Couldn't make the effort
To explain the feelings
I undergo
I suffer
In this moment that last forever
Waiting for the Fatal Answer

April 2, 2006 12:45 am