Bigger Than Just "Us"

I was in such a depressing mood last night that I downloaded Tumblr and started re-blogging inspirational pictures and quotes. I called my page "What inspires me" but that's not what this post is all about.

I was frustrated from many things and I started to waste my time by looking at these photos and sayings. When I typed in "Palestine" in the browse section, my eyes fell upon a most horrific sight. I immediately hit the 'Home' button but a single second was all it took for me to break down in tears. The picture was like nothing I've seen before, it stuck into my head from that one glimpse and I could describe its every detail : a dead little girl was wrapped in a Palestinian flag, her eyes wide open and she was laying in an opened coffin. Little girls, no older than 8 years old, were around her too and one of those in the front was crying, one looked liked she was screaming for help, desperate. Another had a surprised and scared impression on her face. I did not cry because it was hard for me to see all of these emotions packed in one shot, no, my reason was far more important than this. It was because these young innocent girls were subjected to such sights. I might have experienced just a second or two of the pain of staring at a dead body but these girls were and still are subjected to many for every single day of their lives.

Our worries are so much smaller in comparison to theirs. Our troubles do not stand a chance near what they have to go through for basic human rights; like sleeping in peace without army planes hovering over their roofs and the examples are countless. Life have taught them so much that they treasure the few minutes of quietness they get to sense.

We breathe the air of freedom everyday yet we don't realise how precious it is. There are problems in this world that are bigger than just "us". We should be thankful and start caring about them too.

Determination? Check!

Exams are starting on Saturday. I'm stressed out yet I am trying my best not to. Not because I am not supposed to.. it's just that I know very well when I'm stressed, I freak out. This can be noticed by me trying to distract myself with something else. I could be eating, gossiping or even writing, like now. I get so scared of the thought of having exams that I'm afraid to start studying in the real sense of the word.

How do I get over it? Well by trying to remind myself that I know what I am doing, that I can fool whoever but I can't fool "me". I can lie and then realize that I'd start believing the lie myself then it'll be one huge lie that I'd fall for.

Funny thing is, I know myself more than anyone does and I'm the only one who could either destroy or win over myself.

I need to work and focus with everything that I can to ace these things people like to call "finals" just so they could scare the hell out of us. As if the realisation that what we'll go through is not enough for us to understand that it's what determines our grades. As if being called ol' plain "exams" wouldn't make us grasp the stress period we'll get in so they just named it "Finals"

Alright! Bring it on! I have my pens and brain ready.

Originality, Does It Exist?

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs — things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery — celebrate it if you feel like it”: Jim Jarmusch

Stumbling upon this quote added up to my special collection of inspirational sayings. It got me thinking: how can one be original? Does the word original exist?What with all the distractions and other materials that we are showered with everywhere we turn our heads to. And I remember when I asked about what it was that inspires you and someone answered: "Everything, anyone". That is so true because usually you don't choose what inspires you. You just know and only realise it when it actually does.

Sources of inspirations, like most things, differ from one person to another. What might speak loud to you wouldn't necessarily be as clear to others and vice versa. “It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to’’ that matters. I believe that holds up and there is so much truth in it.

At the end of the day, the significance of turning up with something big has a lot to do with how you transform it into, not to forget to give credit to all that inspired you in the same process. Because these small things that stir up something in you would definitely fill that void which have been empty for sometime. It is only these certain motivations that kick it up a notch, producing what is now considered as your own personal work.

Coming up to our first point; in the midst of it all, how can one be original? Does it even exist?

One can argue that it doesn’t, considering all the ready-made materials and imaginative worlds already created and crafted in front of our eyes that can be easily summoned within a click of the mouse.

However, you could be the only one that came up with an idea and actually applied it. Originality is related to application. If you want to be original, go out there and show what you got. Be creative, think outside the box and start working on your idea.

What's your take on originality? Do you think it even exists? And what inspires you? How do you usually act on it?

Article published today, 25th of May, on Oman Observer.

Official Launch of Omani Book Mania

It's finally up and running!

Waiting for your feedback.

Happy May 16th

It amazes me how I've made it all the way to where I am now throughout the years: All the hardships, sorrow, depression, happiness and success brought me to this point in life. Definitely, I grew up by the second, more in the mentality sense.

I've understood how to look at things from different perspectives, how it's alright to have first impressions on things while knowing they're not entirely true, how to overlook others' mistakes for I have my own to deal with, how to deal with my sudden outbursts by taking timeouts instead of taking it all out on my closest people. I've learned to get on with the fact that many would not like my honesty and that it's okay not to speak my mind if I wasn't asked to. I've concluded a lot of observations that may or may not be exactly accurate but I've realised that as long as I'm not going with the flow, I am alright. I also grasped the meaning of 'standing out of the crowd', it's not by what you plan to do but by what you've accomplished so far.

I've been lucky and fortunate enough to have great chances and to have my own column and to this day, I think it's all fantasy.. For it's hardly unbelievable that I get to write for a wider range of people. Not only that but I've been receiving some interesting e-mails from my readers (You know who you are) and since I'll be starting the Omani Book Mania soon, I'm exceptionally overwhelmed by the amazing support I got from my online friends (Again, you know who you are)

Last but not the least, I honestly believe that each person leaves a mark on your life, no matter how small it is but it's only the more visible one that stays with you in the long run.

Happy May 16th, and happy birthday to me.

Favourite Blogs

Following the trend that English Girl in Oman started about sharing our favourite blogs, here's my favourite blogs (& bloggers) that I can't skip a single post of theirs.

1) Dear Me by Faith. Her blog deals with her personal observations about certain topics where she shares videos, lyrics and poems based on her good choice. A good friend whom I had the chance to meet only once but still, I can never get bored of our late night chats.

2) خطوة A Step
by Faith, Spot, Phat'hi, G-chan and Sting. Enriching background information about Palestine. Follow them to get updates on all things Palestinian.

3) Kuwaitiful
by Kuwaitiful himself. Here you'd find unique findings from the net be it videos, news, or pictures.

by 3 expats living in Oman. Through this blog, I knew a lot of things about my country that I did not before. It's a #1 guide for exapts looking for directions or cool places to visit in town or other wilayats.

by Sarz, a blog all about Islam and special translations of online lectures.

(6) Fancy That... Fancy This

by Ameena; a hilarious mother who writes about her life with her husband and little girl Maya.

(7) Rebellious Arab Girl

by Mona, an Arab/Palestinan girl living in Canada who shares her ''rebellious'' thoughts in many aspects of her life.

(8) Muscat Mutterings
Follow Sythe to get updates of events currently happening in Muscat.

What about you? What are your favourite blogs?

New Project: Omani Book Mania

So, last Tuesday I created a blog called 'Omani Book Mania', specially dedicated to books and literature. And since Blogger had to fix its bugs yesterday, the blog got deleted. I’m only upset because I’ve spent more than 3 hours working on importing my book reviews from here to that blog and even though I have all the posts here, I edited and added so many details in them on there. Apparently, Blogger says that it restored ALL the data from Wednesday when mine was created one day before that. I don’t know if they’ll restore it but I’m still waiting till Monday before creating another all over again.

Anyways, here’s a quotation from the new blog that I had saved up:

Why 'Omani Book Mania'?

I've searched around for an Omani-based blog about books, English ones to be exact and I couldn't find any. We can say it's one-of-a-kind in town.

(2) Sometimes, I get messages from different people to recommend books quickly when they're in a bookstore and I always reply late so before heading out, check this place for reviews and choose on your own.

(3) This is a special area for us readers to rave and rant about our latest reads, favourite authors and characters. Where you'll actually might find someone sharing same ideas as yours.

(4) I'll publish guest reviews as well. Remember: this is NOT a personal blog, but it's more of a readers' cafe to express their thoughts and share their reviews. You can e-mail them to me on:

The main purpose of this blog is to make it easier for all of you out there to get your hands on the right books. Here we will review and your only task is to choose what appeals to your taste and start reading.

I hope that that explains my reasons for those who hate numerous blogs but the new one is totally different. I’m having high expectations for Omani Book Mania and since it’s something I’m really passionate about, I’d put my heart and soul into it in order for it to work out into something big. Oman seriously needs book clubs. We’d start out slowly...untill we gain many followers and then we could start discussing.

In the mean time, I’d really appreciate it if you send your suggestions or queires about what I’m going to do for Omani Book Mania. Any ideas are more than welcome. If you’re interested in sharing your book reviews or being part of the team e-mail them here: omanibookmania[at]gmail[dot]com

Waiting to hear your thoughts!

P.S When and if Blogger restored my blog back, I'd share the link here. Stay tuned!

Guilt & Failures

Feeling guilty is one of the most important factors in reaching higher. It is actually what sets you apart from those who realise their mistakes yet turn a blind eye on the problem. Guilt often results into taking serious actions in order to change oneself in a certain situation at a given time.

I’m a procrastinator by nature but the guilt that showers over me later is the reason why I’ve changed my behaviours and altered my ways. It used to frustrate me so much that I did not work hard at changing my routine and I was remorseful yet I didn’t take the necessarily steps into fixing my wrongdoings. I first thought it had to do with getting used to the change but then realised that time will certainly take full care of that. Only later did I realise how huge the guilt I had inside me that urged me to do something so that I’d be guilt-free once again.

On the other hand, failures and disappointments play a role in making up right decisions in the future. It is because what you’ve done in the past that you want to do right this time round. It teaches you self-monitoring and discipline.

Making never-ending promises and then not sticking to them does not work. On the contrary, it just makes you sick of hearing your own lies in the process. Words and actions are directly proportional to each other, neglect one and you lose the whole equation.

However, this can vary only if you remember what you’ve done in the past or are doing in the present. Learn from them, think twice and take great lengths and pains to change this time, not by mere spoken or written words but by real, solid actions, as you surely do care a great deal of not committing the same mistakes in the future. YOUR future.

Article published today, May 11th on Oman Observer.

Goodbyes & New Beginnings

Today was the last day of school for grade 12. Our class was next to theirs and we are the only two classes that spent most of the breaks or free times together. We treated them as friends, we invited them to our parties and just yesterday we threw a surprise party for them, bringing cakes, drinks and deserts. We had to ask their homeroom teacher to call them in and the moment they entered, we all screamed 'Surprise' and that's when everyone broke into tears, crying and hugging each other. We then celebrated and had the time of our lives during the next four lessons.

Today, however, they invited us for Pizza in their class and soon the bell rang announcing the end of the day. They all started crying, more than yesterday and the atmosphere was so overwhelming that I couldn't help but think of how is it going to be when it is my turn to say goodbye. Would I cry? Would it be hard to part with my 9-years-long friends? I know it will but looking on the brighter side, it would mean getting what I have always wanted and that is to finish with school once and for all.

Tomorrow, and for the rest of the remaining days of this year, 12th graders won't be there. We'd miss chatting with them, laughing around and most importantly, their presence. But it gives me great joy knowing that they're going to a whole new world, the real world of adults and the responsibility that comes with it. And I honestly and wholeheartedly cannot wait for my turn.

"I Want To Explore On My Own''

I usually talk when I'm fully aware of the topic discussed yet I find that I'm always voicing out an opinion one way or the other. I don't know if others find this irritating though I honestly think it's better than having no say in things at all. What's worse than being quiet is talking complete and utter nonsense. Why word out others' thoughts claiming to be your own? I might quote and refer to some public figures if I happened to have read about any.

That leads me to my next point which is reading about various things. What brought this up is a certain saying that mentions something along the lines that "I'd rather not read to explore on my own" and that sort of stopped me in my tracks for a while: reading gets you in the mind of other people; They write out an organized document of their opinions and by reading that, are you allowed to ponder more? Or do you just agree with all that's there thanks to the convincing evidence laid out in front of you?

Same thing with fictional writings and this deal with your imaginative side. Does reading about new worlds stop your creativity at some point? Does it leave a room for you to imagine when new cool universes are already created and crafted beautifully for you?

Coming from an avid reader, I'm expected to mention the numerous benefits of reading yet I can't help but fall trap in the other contradicting side as well. Reading does harm you only if you’re totally dependent on getting to know other’s views without having any of your own. The trick is to read, analyze, weigh your opinions, try to contradict and support your reasons with logical thinking. If a text could get you to think, then it already did its purpose and it’s left for you to muse over the thought, consider it more thoroughly to come up with your own opinion, leaving aside the author’s.

So are you the type that prefers to keep quiet and listen without having a say in certain conversations? Or are you the one who reads, depending on others’ thoughts or rather choosing to think things through in order to have a clearer view on your point?

Published today, 4th of May on Oman Observer

180 Degrees

As you've already noticed, my latest post wasn't one of the typical posts I'm used to publish here and that's partly because I wasn't sure of MY own take on things. I didnt dare or have the guts to write down what I'm going through, afraid of admitting it more to myself than to anyone else. Clearly, I bursted my own bubble when I wrote the previous post and had the courage to write many others which will be published in the upcoming days. 

That's when the 'personal' factor set in. I thought of changing my blog's settings to "private" then decided against it. I don't want to select a few of you to read MY crazy mind thus I give YOU that option of whether you'd want to read more into my personal thoughts and issues. Maybe you could help me. Maybe you'd find that we share the same kind of perspectives or even misconception of things. 

I wouldn't consider it as disclosing my personal problems to the public because I know we all have ones so why would anyone care about reading mine? On the contrary, it'd be more of a journey through life's tough challenges which I'll speak about freely, adding personal experiences and opinionated takes on certain aspects.

Reason why I'm doing this is because I'm straight out honest in my conversations with others in real life, I'm not afraid to tell you what I really think of you in front your face and I ought to do the same here. I hated the fact that I kept speaking in most of my posts in a general, formal manner. I have my column for that. But this, I decided, is my space. I can rant and rave all I want without feeling the slightest bit of guilt for boring my readers because you know, you can click the "x" button whenever you want. 

Also, I'll work on changing the blog's theme, description and most importantly, the title. I don't hallucinate, I speak of real and logical topics. 

So fasten your seat-belts, or rather let go of them if you don't feel comfortable enough to go on about reading my blog and let the journey begin.. 

Unusual Confession

Disclaimer: This is not your every-day post to read written by the girl-next-door, Kitten. Be prepared.

What's worse than knowing you're guilty is when you are not doing anything about it. I want to change myself but I'm not working hard at it. Why? I simply don't know and it frustrates me so much. I want to be different. I want to alter my behaviors. I want to fix my routine. Yet, after admitting all that, I am not changing anything. I know I should but I think I'm afraid to start.

Maybe because I'm not used to it but time will take care of that. Maybe I need to be guilty enough to feel the great mess I'm putting myself into although I've experienced it many times before so why haven't I learned anything? Again, saying this means I have understood yet why am I not willing to change my ways now it self, before it's too late? What am I waiting for? More failures to come my way than they already are? If that's what it takes then I've been there many times before yet ( and I'd overuse this word if I had to) yet... I am still standing here, doing nothing.

Should I feel ashamed? I am. Guilty? I am. Penitent? I am. What else does it take to move me? To open up my eyes to what I have done or have been doing till now? What does it take to realise what my wrongdoings have resulted to? I said I'd change. I said I'd not go through the same path as before but that is where I keep going everytime I promise myself not to. I'm sick of my never-ending promises. I'm sick of my guilt. I'm sick of not trying hard enough. Heck, I'm even sick of myself.

I'd take great lengths and pains to do this. I WILL change this time, not by mere spoken or written words but by real, solid ACTIONs. Take notes, world, I don't give a damn if I mistook in the past or the present. But I sure do care a great deal of not committing the same mistakes in the future. MY future.