wetheangels

Dedicated to looking on the bright side and seeing the best in people

Is marriage supposed to last a lifetime?

Marriage Day

Marriage Day (Photo credit: Fikra)

I know what the Catholic and Orthodox churches would say. I also know many Catholic and Orthodox people whose marriages didn’t last.

Religion aside, are we supposed to stay married to the same person for the rest of our lives?

I’ve always been a big supporter of divorce. I believe that sometimes you just need to walk away and a legal final way of separation is needed. As a child of divorce myself, I have seen what it can do to a woman. I have seen the pros and cons; except where I come from, my mother never had a chance to remarry.

I’m asking all these questions now because I am thinking about my own marriage. I have been for a very long time. I suppose I have been doubting this marriage before I got married, before I got engaged, even before I ever laid eyes on my now husband. I’ve always wanted the “together ever-after”, but for some reason I always knew I’ll never get it.

Let me put it this way: My marriage is on the rocks. It has been for a long time. I have thought about leaving. I even had a full plan once, but it never happened. You want to know why? Because I love him. Even when I am ready to kill him, I love him. Even when I was planning to leave him, I knew I will always love him. What makes it harder is that he loves me. I know for a fact that he loves me more than anyone ever did and I highly doubt any man will ever love me as much. But, wait a second! Does it make it harder or does it make it easier? I wish I knew!

I am willing to fight for us one more time. I know we are two different people and that we’ll never have a storybook marriage, but something tells me he’s the one. Something tells me it’s worth it. To be with someone who loves you this much and to love him as much in return is rare. I will hold on to it for as long as I can…

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Feminist or not feminist: that is the question

 

هدي شعراوى

Huda Shaarawi,

I’ve always been a rebel: independent, outspoken and non-conforming. I’ve always believed in equality between men and women, in women’s right to do or be anything that a man can. I’ve always refused for anyone to boss me around just because he has a penis and I don’t. BUT, I NEVER thought of myself as a feminist. Never until a friend told me last year: “Oh, you are such a feminist!  I like that!” My quick response was: “No, I’m not a feminist.” He said: “How come? Think about it.” And I did think about. Damn, I think I AM a feminist.

Previously, the word feminist triggered thoughts of hard women who hate men, have too much body hair, rough voices and muscles where muscles shouldn’t be. I know it’s ignorant and naive. The truth is I never really gave much thought about feminism. I have always admired feminists, except I never called them feminists. For me, they were women rights activists. Now, I realise it’s the same thing.

I come from a country where feminism has a bad name, and although I am, by no means, your average Egyptian, I suppose that just affected me. It’s weird. In Egypt, we have strong women. Usually in the countryside, it’s the woman who runs the house. These women know how to get things done. They stand up for their children like no father can. They manage the house and even the land when money is short. Then again, they come second to men, ALWAYS. Men in the countryside of Egypt cannot survive without women, yet women are inferior. It’s ridiculous.

Even in cities, women are taught to be strong. In poorer areas, they work inside and outside the home. They survive everyday in a man’s world. They put up with harassment, unfairness and life’s tough conditions. In middle class areas, a woman needs to learn to be thick-skinned. She needs to know when to let harassment go, and when to stand up and defend herself.

Egyptian women suffer much more than Egyptian men in all situations. They are generally more capable and tougher. Yet, when you want to praise a woman for her strong personality and her ability, you call her a “man”. Really? You should compliment men by saying they are “women”. But, no, that’s a big insult!

I guess I am a feminist. I am proud to be a woman. Yes, there are times when I was a teenager that I wished I was a boy, to be able to do things that I wasn’t allowed to do as a teenage girl in Egypt. But, that was only for moments. I am proud to be a woman; to have the strength, the wit and the passion of the Egyptian woman. I am proud of these women, who are abused, harassed and discriminated against everyday, yet they keep going.

This is a shout out for women everywhere: Shine on, sisters!

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It’s Arabic, people!!

English: "Arabic Language" in the Ar...

English: “Arabic Language” in the Arabic Al-Bayan Script (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

For the one millionth time, there is no such language. Lebanese is a dialect. Arabic is the language!

Many people ask for a Lebanese interpreter. Well, as far as I know, this is considered discrimination in Australia if you ask for someone with a certain nationality. No, no, no, we mean an interpreter that speaks Lebanese. Ah, you mean an Arabic interpreter. No, not Arabic; Lebanese. Arabic is the language and Lebanese is only a dialect. Ah, ok, are you Lebanese? It’s none of your damn business!!!!

I cannot entirely blame the professionals. Lebanese people started this. They think they are so special! Today I saw something that made my head spin. This woman said in English: My mother only speaks Lebanese. Then, she turned around and told her mother in Arabic: I told them that you only speak Arabic. Bloody hell!!!!! Make up your mind, will you?

As a matter of fact, speaking in Arabic, nobody dares say they speak Lebanese, Egyptian, Tunisian, etc. In Arabic, everybody speaks Arabic. In English, however, Lebanese people think they speak Lebanese. They are the only people I know that do that. I never met any Egyptian, Iraqi or Syrian that said they speak anything other than Arabic.

This is the problem with the Lebanese. They think they are too good. They think they are better than everyone else. Although they speak Arabic, they don’t like to view themselves as Arabs. (May be this is why they don’t admit that they speak Arabic.) Although, they are geographically in the heart of the Middle East, they don’t relate to it.

A green flag with a white inscription above a ...

A green flag with a white inscription above a crescent moon with horns upwards, all within a circle of chain and all around a white wreath with a ribbon at the base. Proportion 2:3 reported in Pavillons nationaux et marques distinctives. FOTW in the center an Arabic script for “League of Arab States” (Arabic: جامعة الدول العربية) Proportion 2:3 as reported. Green similar to 60 Years anniversary flag shown on the official site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Lebanese have been a migrating people since the beginning of time. Back during the time of the Phoenicians, they had probably the world largest’s trade ship flees. They traveled the world to do business. Many of them would stay behind in one country or another and start a business and a life there. They are among the best businesspeople in the world.

I cannot think of a place on this Earth where there is no Lebanese. They are all over Latin America, North America, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand. They own and run businesses in Africa and Eastern Europe. They are “invading” Asia, and have always had a huge influence in the Middle East and North Africa.

There is no denying that, generally speaking, they are intelligent, hardworking and successful. But, down here in Australia, it’s a totally different story. Lebanese people have a bad reputation. Period.

When you say Lebanese in Australia, people think organised crime, drugs, illegal arms, prostitution, loud fights, etc. Without going into detail as how this reputation came to exist, I just want to ask one question:

Why on God’s Earth do you still proudly introduce yourself as Lebanese and say that you speak Lebanese when Lebanese is not that much appreciated at the moment??? Why can’t you speak Arabic and come from the Middle East?

I will never understand!

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My priorities and yours

Dream girl
What are your values? What are your priorities? What are your dreams?

A while ago, my husband and I had this conversation. I was talking about how I want to be a mother soon, and if we can financially afford it, I would like to only work part-time after, so that I can have more time being a mother. He was surprised that I would willingly put my career on hold. After all, I am doing what I’ve always wanted to do. I love my work. I am living my dream (more or less). He said that if he loved his job and saw that his career was actually going somewhere, he will do all he can to further it and that it will be his number one priority.

This got me thinking. What is success? How do we measure our success? What is happiness? Is it a goal that we try to reach and once we reach it, we move towards another one? Is it a state? Is it a moment?

I know what I want. I’ve always known what I wanted; not that it hasn’t changed many times. I want to have a child, take some time off work to care for them. I want to become an accredited translator and start my own translating business, so eventually I can work on my own terms. I want to do a Master’s degree in translation. I want to teach interpreting and translation in university. My dream career would be to teach in university part-time and translate at home. I still dream of seeing my name on an important book translated by me. Family wise, I want to take a child into my care, do the best job possible as a mother. May be when  the time is right, add another child. I want to travel the world. I want to inspire my children and help them achieve their potential.

See? I told you I know what I want! I can even tell you more details if you want. I also know how to get to what I want. I know that usually your path doesn’t go as planned and that things are hardly as easy as they seem, but I know what to do.

Why am I not on my way there? Well, I am; technically! I am a married woman. Don’t take me wrong; I LOVE my husband, but being married means that it doesn’t all depend  on me. Where I am in life and what I can do and when depends on him as well. Anything that has to do with children should be a mutual decision. Financial issues are different too, specially that I am the sole income earner at the moment. So, I have to put my study dreams on the back burner for now. I have to wait for the children. My husband just started a university degree that might take up to 6 years. I don’t think I can wait that long for kids. I am aching to become a Mom. I will try to see how long it will take me to finally do it.

So, is it all his fault? No way! I am to blame, too. I am being lazy. I am stuck in a less than perfect job. I love my field, but I am not a big fan of my current  job and my workplace is a total mess. Yet, the money is alright. We definitely need it. The job is quite stable and I am doing fine at it. This whole situation is discouraging me to do more with my life. For one thing, I can study to sit my translation accreditation exam. At the same time, since I know we need steady income from my part until my husband graduates, I have been finding myself trying to get myself to think this is normal. Yes, I am in a dead-end job, but since I need to be here for a few more years I might as well think of it as my life.

I know my priorities and in  my heart they are in the right order. I know that my career may be suffering, but I am doing it for my family and my man. I feel my life is balanced. It will all come in good time. I believe it.

What about you? What dreams did you have to put on hold?

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Half the solution

I am obese. There! I said it!

It is something that I have been struggling with all my life. I remember very well all the abuse I used to suffer at school, all the emotional trouble and all the tears.

Last week we went out with my cousin. She has a very “cheeky” son. He’s eight. Lately, he started developing a little “belly”. So, my husband was teasing him saying: “If you have a belly now, what are you going to be like when you grow up?” The boy just pointed at me. He pointed at ME. I am the model of fat for him apparently. Why are kids so cruel?

A few days ago I saw the promo for the new season of Biggest Loser. This season they are doing father and son teams and mother and daughter teams. A father was speaking about his overweight son and all the abuse he suffers at school. He was saying how he has been over the years trying to make him feel better about himself and not pay attention to the hate. Now, they are on the show to change the situation: If the boy loses the weight, he won’t be teased again.

This is half the solution! Don’t get me wrong. I am not against weight loss. By all means, it’s the best thing you can do if you are obese or overweight. I am currently trying to do it myself. But, if you are going to do it, do it for the right reasons. Do it for better health and better energy. Do it to feel better about yourself or to fit into that dress you always wanted to wear.

Why are our children this cruel? Why don’t we raise them to be accepting of each other, to embrace differences and to see the things that really matter?

Helping these kids lose the weight and feel better about themselves is only half the solution. We need to teach our children to be sensitive. We need to teach them that noone is perfect and noone deserves abuse. People will claim it is the media, social pressure, peer pressure, etc. No, it’s us. When your children see you judge appearances and people all the time, they will do it, too.

If you think that helping these kids lose the weight is the whole solution, what are you going to do about those with disabilities or physical features that cannot be easily altered by diet and exercise?

Let’s start looking at the other half of the solution.

Do you have any thoughts on this?

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Hugh Jackman Talks about Infertility

Today I read this article on www.everydayfamily.com :

 

http://www.everydayfamily.com/blog/hugh-jackman-talks-about-infertility/

Basically, Hugh Jackman talks about how he and his wife suffered through her miscarriage and how they failed to produce a biological child after. See, until today I had no idea that his two children were adopted.

This got me thinking. Why do people mostly think about adoption when they cannot have their own biological children? Don’t those children deserve a good home regardless?

I can relate to this. I have been married three and a half years now. We don’t have any children. I never got pregnant; we never even tried.

Hugh Jackman at the X-Men Origins: Wolverine p...

Hugh Jackman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is hard for a lot of people to accept. We don’t have any fertility problems that we know of. At first, we thought that we were not ready for children yet (my husband still believes that), but after, when we started thinking about children, we decided that we would rather foster.

We still don’t have any children. We attended training for permanent care ( long-term foster care). We almost applied, but realised the time was not right, so we put it on hold.

I am not sure why people would accept it if we cannot conceive, and why they are shocked if we can. Why do you have to try and try to produce a biological child? Why do you have to spend ridiculous amounts of money, go through a horrible emotional ride and subject your body to different kinds of experiments?

Only recently I was discussing with my husband if I should start promoting that we are infertile in order to get the acceptance and support we need for fostering a child. But, then we came to the conclusion that that won’t be the end of it. We will be offered all kinds of advice to fall pregnant, including superstitions and even witchcraft-like non-sense! We will be pushed to visit more and more doctors and to try more and more drugs or procedures.

You can never win!

This is only one hurdle in my way to become a mother. I will leave the rest for another day! 

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Hello world!

I believe that we are all angels, may be not all the time, but we certainly have the potential.

This random act of kindness that you do to a stranger is rarely “random”. I believe that most times prayers are answered through sending human “angels” to do things that they themselves don’t know we prayed for.

I would like to dedicate this blog to seeing the best in people, to everyday “angels”. In today’s world, it’s hard to stay positive.

If my blog helps only one person see the good in people and the bright side to life, my mission is accomplished.

Love,

Your Fellow Angel 🙂

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