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Friday, November 30, 2007

SOS – The Relationships Guru needs Help!

On this page, now and today, I shamelessly take off my seven hats of experience and step out of my grand cloak of wisdom. I stand naked and shivering before you – my readers – seeking advice. This time my prince-charming is wearing a white coat and driving a Mercedes. He has a ten year old ring on his left hand ring finger, three angels of his creation, and he wants to take care of me for better or for worse. He wants to go back in time and marry the girl who loved him blindly and unconditionally 20 years ago – yes 20! Not a typo! Were you in my 33 year old independent shoes what would you do? Is this the last rescue boat in the storm or is that a test of the strength of my beliefs? Is he a true knight in shining armor or a dream’s butcher in disguise?

For starters, he was shocked when he met me; instead of the OTV star he was expecting, he saw the modest middle class working girl that I am. I was comfortably wearing my face with no makeup, no fancy jewelry, jeans, a wide sweater, and black sneakers. He told me that I needed a makeover and that he was the right man to see me through it. His prescription started with antioxidants, some growth drink/shake, a full medical checkup, a visit to the skin doctor, and at a later stage a boob job to give me the ultimate Haifaa Wahby look. I kid you not – I sat there with a smile on my face listening to him tell me how skinny, pale, tired, underfed, and neglected I looked.

Then with lots of love and tenderness he told me how much he adored me and that he would adore me even more were I to relinquish my silly independence dogmas and like a good girl, move back home with my mother who needed me the most. In the mean while, I could work more seriously on my relationship with God and walk in the path of light instead of the utter darkness that I have embraced over the past years. He assured me that I needed a heavy blow from fate to sober me up from my delusions and maybe then I would go back to God’s way. Concluding his manifesto of love, he reminded me that he was a man but he was still willing to forgive my past and would honor me with the golden opportunity to redeem myself and to be the decent wife and the loving mother that he was certain I could become.

As he was trying to save me from the brothel of a life that I am leading, he continuously assured me that he loved me and wanted to make me happy; that he pitied me yet fully sympathized with me; that all the men in my life despised me but he still respected me; that I belonged to him and that he sincerely cared for me; that I deserved to finally be with him after all the love and persistence that I showed in the past; that he loved me for who I was and that I was physically unattractive to him in all ways or forms; that had he seen me in the street he would have never noticed me and that I was too much of a tomboy to appeal to a real man like himself. Before we concluded the date, out of generosity and benevolence, he told me that I was not exceptionally successful, that I have wasted my life on absolutely nothing, and that he had no ulterior motives – he was not even physically attracted to me!

So ladies and gentlemen – as you could tell – I am completely lost and totally confused. I have a very generous marriage proposal from a man who came back to his senses, after 20 years, to show me how much he loved me and how much he cared for me. I am seriously depending on you to tell me what to do, or how to respond to prince-charming. I will hold you accountable if I took the wrong decision and I would be highly disappointed if you did not take the time and effort and respond to my SOS shouts. I have always been there for you and now I want to see if you would return the favor. I promise to share your replies and advice with him – uncensored!

Love always


Be warned!! This is a very disgusting and sickening post ... if you are not feeling so well, do not read!!!

I pulled the cover over my head yesterday as I tried to hush the voices in my head. I closed my eyes hoping that I would soon drift into peaceful sleep. I began counting the sheep but instead of the white furry creatures I used to see in the green fields, I saw cars. I saw lead vehicles of all shapes and colors crowded on a bridge and I could not count ... they were so many ... they were so random ... they were so ugly ... their poisonous fumes crept under my cover and their honking attacked my peace of mind ... I felt my stomach turning ... I saw his face (coming in another post) and I remembered how he sat there so self conceited ... I remembered his bitten untrimmed yellow nails, the grayish wax in his ears, and the scent of his sweat filling the air as he told me that I lacked femininity.

In a split second I was out of the bed, running to the bathroom, with my hand on my mouth trying to stop the flow of what I tried so hard to push down. I have never vomited that much ... I never knew that vomiting could hurt that bad ... It was allover the place .... It was coming from every hole in my face ... I could not breathe ... I felt the motion of the car .... I vomited more ... I heard his hiss of a voice ... I vomited more ... I remembered some work emails ... I vomited more ... I remembered my mom and her anger ... I vomited more ... I remembered my dad and my anger at him ... I vomited more .... I was about to faint.

Then it stopped ...

I thought of my new home .. I tried to smile ... the vomiting started again ... I thought of the painter, the carpenter, the plumber, and the mess they left behind ... I looked at the mess I created ... I vomited more .... My cats were at the door looking at what they have never seen me do before ... I tried to cry ... the vomiting started again ... I could no longer stand ... I could no longer sit .... I threw myself in the tub ... let the water flow ... remembered the cockroach (previous post) and finally smiled.

Why am I not Interested?!!

Why am I not interested in politics? Why do I not care for politicians? Why do I not care for Iraq, Palestine, Iran, or even Egypt? Why am I so apathetic when it is so much against my nature?

Those questions have been ailing me for the past few years - since I began writing basically - but they are haunting me now all the time. In my attempt to track my apathy I have reached down the abyss of my psyche and touched base with my father's preaching and teaching.

First of all, I cannot recall one time when politics was discussed in our house - we have been through the assassination of sadat, Mubarak's regime, Regan, Bush Senior, Clinton, Bush Junior, Iraq-Iran war, Palestinian cause, Iraq-Kuwait invasion, terrorism, Luxor masaccare, all sorts of bombs, US-Iraq attacks, and many more local and international incidents but I cannot think of one comment or one discussion involving politics.

"3eyal seya3" - vagabonds - was the description the fitted all incidents.

Demonstrations were categorized as a waste of time and effort and demonstrators were a bunch of "3eyal seya3". Unions were to be boycotted alltogether be it school unions, university unions, or any other union that is voicing any opinion.

The basic rule was: why bother when the fire is not in your house? Walk by the wall and you shall never get hurt and will never get in trouble.

Making a living, schooling, eating, and mating were the main drives for waking up in the morning. "yewla3o enshalla tet7ere2" as long as the fire is not at our doorstep.

Who is president? Who are members of the parliament? Who sets the rules? Who breaks the law? Who robs us of our bread and butter? Who the hell cares ... they are all the same!!

A few days ago a friend wanted to put an anti MB banner on his blog and another friend decided to help him with the design .... apathy froze my blood in my veins and I turned a cold shoulder to both of them ... I could not care less ... from the ivory tower where I stood, I said "wana mali" - it is just none of my business. It is not my battle and I do not want to be a part of it. What have I to do with the MB or with any other political or non political party?

Then I realized that I was standing on the margin not on an ivory tower .... I realized that my only cause and my raison d'etre - women and their empowerment - is only there because I got burnt ... otherwise I am sure I would have been as apathetic about women as I am apathetic about politics.

On the phone, my anti MB friend told me:

"They came for the Communists, and I didn't object - For I wasn't a Communist;
They came for the Socialists, and I didn't object - For I wasn't a Socialist;
They came for the labor leaders, and I didn't object - For I wasn't a labor leader;
They came for the Jews, and I didn't object - For I wasn't a Jew;
Then they came for me - And there was no one left to object."

- Martin Niemoller, German Protestant Pastor, 1892-1984

In another version, the quote appears in the Congressional Record 14 October 1968, page 31636:

"When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned.
And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned.
And when Hitler attacked the unions and industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned.
Then, Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church -- and there was nobody left to be concerned. "

To be continued ..... this is just an awakening

The Egyptian ISBN Story

Those of you who know me, are aware that I am about to publish my first book - which is basically a collection of everything I ever wrote threaded together like beads of different colors and shapes.

Those of you who really know me, are aware that I hate rules and that I do not like to be under anyone's control. This is why I opted for self publishing instead of having to deal with anyone I know - or do not know.

A friend - the famous KN:) - directed me towards lulu.com and another friend - the great Karim Terouz - designed the covers and I was all set to publish. I was only missing the ISBN number because I wanted to promote the book to international retailers.

Piece of cake ... I conducted an donline search for ISBN and I was directed to their site in the US. There was an option if you are a publisher and another if you are a self publisher. I chose self publishing, sent them an email, and the morning after I received the forms. I filled them in, emailed them back, and waited for my number.

I received an apology email that my address and credit card were international; hence, I needed to contact the international agency and they gave me the email.

Ok .. a few more days waiting .... who cares!! I emailed them and forwarded them the forms that I had filled earlier. They replied the next evening that I was Egyptian and that I have to contact the Egyptian ISBN agency. Here is exactly what they said and please note the last warning line:

Dear Marwa

The International ISBN Agency does not itself assign ISBN numbers as this is done only through national ISBN agencies. The latest contact details we have for the Egyptian ISBN Agency are:

Egyptian ISBN Agency
National Library and ArchivesCorniche El Nil-BoulacCairo
Tel. (+20 2) 575 28 83, 575 10 78, 575 08 86Fax: (+20 2) 776 65 34E-mail:

I should warn you, however, that I have had problems reaching this email address recently so suggest that you use mail, phone or fax.

After a zillion calls I discovered the following:

1) The website does not exist
2) The email does not work
3) The first phone number rings only
4) The other two numbers are infinitely busy
5) I am a "green" person so I do not use faxes

Eventually .... after many redial attemps one of the busy numbers rang. A machine asked me to enter the extension number or wait for the operator to help me. I waited .... and waited ... there was no operator. Another machine told me that there is no one here to help me so I needed to leave a voice message ... Not my favorite but I had no other option. I was directed to the mailbox and I was greeted by another machine that told me that the box was full, that there was no room for my message, that I had to call later, and hung up.

What the hell was that?!!!!!!!!!!!!

On a different note, I am meeting Mohamed El Sharkawy - Malamih Publishing House - and we will see how it goes.

Try not to cry

My friend Tonya keeps sending me such lovely stories ....

Will post again soon

She jumped up as soon as she saw the surgeon come out of the operating room. She said: "is my little boy ? Is he going to be all right ? When can I see him ?"
The surgeon said, "I'm sorry. We did all we could, but your boy didn't make it."

Sally said, "Why do little children get cancer ? Doesn't God care any more ? Where were you, God, when my son needed you ?"

The surgeon asked, "Would you like some time alone with your son ? One of the nurses will be out in a few minutes, before he's transported to the university."

Sally asked the nurse to stay with her while she said good bye to son. She ran her fingers lovingly through his thick red curly hair. "Would you like a lock of his hair ?" the nurse asked.

Sally nodded yes. The nurse cut a lock of the boy's hair, put it in a plastic bag and handed it to Sally.

The mother said, "It was Jimmy's idea to donate his body to the University for Study. He said it might help somebody else. "I said no at first, but Jimmy said, 'Mom, I won't be using it after I die. Maybe it will help some other little boy spend one more day with his Mom." She went on, "My Jimmy had a heart of gold. Always thinking of someone else. Always wanting to help others if he could."

Sally walked out of Children's Mercy Hospital for the last time, after spending most of the last six months there. She put the bag with Jimmy's belongings on the seat beside her in the car.

The drive home was difficult. It was even harder to enter the empty house. She carried Jimmy's belongings, and the plastic bag with the lock of his hair to her son's room.

She started placing the model cars and other personal things back in his room exactly where he had always kept them. She laid down across his bed and, hugging his pillow, cried herself to sleep.

It was around midnight when Sally awoke. Laying beside her on the bed was a folded letter. The letter said:

"Dear Mom, I know you're going to miss me; but don't think that I will ever forget you, or stop loving you, just 'cause I'm not around to say "I Love You". I will always love you, Mom, even more with each day. Someday we will see each other again. Until then, if you want to adopt a little boy so you won't be so lonely, that's okay with me. He can have my room and old stuff to play with. But, if you decide to get a girl instead, she probably wouldn't like the same things us boys do. You'll have to buy her dolls and stuff girls like, you know.

Don't be sad thinking about me. This really is a neat place. Grandma and Grandpa met me as soon as I got here and showed me around some, but it will take a long time to see everything. The angels are so cool. I love to watch them fly. A

nd, you know what? Jesus doesn't look like any of his p ictures. Yet, when I saw Him, I knew it was Him. Jesus himself took me to see GOD ! And guess what, Mom ? I got to sit on God's knee and talk to Him, like I was somebody important. That's when I told Him that I wanted to write you a letter, to tell you good bye and everything. But I already knew that wasn't allowed. Well, you know what Mom ? God handed me some paper and His own personal pen to write you this letter.

I think Gabriel is the name of the angel who is going to drop this letter off to you. God said for me to give you the answer to one of the questions you asked Him 'Where was He when I needed him ?' "God said He was in the same place with me, as when His son Jesus was on the cross. He was right there, as He always is with all His children.

Oh, by the way, Mom, no one else can see what I've written except you. To everyone else this is just a blank piece of paper. Isn't that cool ? I have to give God His pen back now. He needs it to write some more names in the Book of Life. Tonight I get to sit at the table with Jesus for supper. I'm sure the food will be great.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you. I don't hurt anymore. The cancer is all gone. I'm glad because I couldn't stand that pain anymore and God couldn't stand to see me hurt so much, either. That's when He sent The Angel of Mercy to come get me. The Angel said I was a Special Delivery ! How about that ?

Signed with Love from God, Jesus & Me.

"When you're down to nothing, God is up to something."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A ride with the angel of death!

Once upon a night - a late night - a taxi was roaming the streets of Agouza when an old bearded man in a white galabeya stopped him and politely asked for a ride to Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque becuase he could not walk any further. The taxi driver eyed the tired worn out old man carefully and asked him to get in the vehicle.

A few meters later, a young man stopped the taxi and told the driver that he wanted to go to Game3at el Dowal street. The taxi driver told him that he had to drop the old man first at the mosque. The young man looked at the driver with huge perplexed eyes and told him that there was no one in the car.

The driver insisted that there was an old man in the seat next to him and the young man who refused to get in the car insisted that the driver was stoned. Freaked out of his wits, the taxi driver asked the old passenger about what was going on. The old man calmly replied that he was the angel of death and that he came for him, but he was willing to wait until he prayed "Al Fagr" in the mosque then take his soul.

The taxi driver drove to the mosque in tears, got out of the car, and went to pray. He finished, came back, and discovered that the taxi was gone!!
A true story that a friend told me yesterday!!