Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm back!

Hey guys!
Wow! It's been such a long time I can barely believe it!
So as some of you have figured out by now I'm in the gorgeous state of Maryland/DC doing everything I can to help President Barack Obama.

In a freakish state of events I somehow ended up rooming with a twitter celebrity (unplanned of course!). If possible she's crazier than me, and hilarious to follow (so please do that!)
In an attempt to have me turn to the dark side, she's had me get back on twitter, so now you can hear my rants all day long! Please follow me @LylasLife I would love it!

I'll definitely try to upload a couple of videos over the next few days to let you all know how I'm doing!

Oh and I just realized that one of my video's was set to private (no wonder no one was watching it!), so here it is! Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tahrir and a Free Egypt

Walking into Tahrir square I could not help but feel tense. So much had taken place since I had last strolled down those very streets to class. A revolution had happened. Not just one that had removed its dictator, but one that had changed the entire face of the Egyptian population.

Walking through the square I could not help but be surprised by the sights I saw.

  1.  People (predominantly educated youth) had all bought brooms and were cleaning up the streets as the city moved by. It’s not seen as a chore, rather an honor to contribute part of themselves to the country. What was most astounding, what took me completely by surprise is that it has somehow become a social gathering; for people to meet up in their neighborhoods- talk about the latest political gossip and sweep.  
  2. Companies were capitalizing on this wave on national pride.  I saw jotun (the paint company) supplying paint to volunteers and staff to rebeautify Cairo.  Most strikingly, was the newly painted triumphant gold representing victory that now covered the old grime covered green of the past regime.
  3. The Egypt was now the latest free country. And there’s nothing that everyone was most proud of…. They did it peacefully.  They regained their dignity without violence. And even when things were at their worst (when Mubarak didn’t step down during his speech) the demonstrators were able to keep control, and show why masr um al donya. I’m proud to be Egyptian. I’m proud of my countrymen. We are now an example for the rest of the world to follow.

We’re back.


I’m sitting here, and the weirdest song comes over the speakers…. New York, New York
Nothing can be as powerful as fate.
The circumstances under which I found myself going to Maryland and the time frame (only a few hours to pack!) would be unbelievable had I not been there and experienced it firsthand.
It’s true that nothing is as powerful as fate.
If you’re meant to be somewhere, one way or another you’re going to end up there. With my health issues, financial concerns, and over-protective parents, I could have never imagined working out in this way, and being pushed into the direction I’m now in. I would have NEVER imagined this could happen this way, let alone in under 2 days.
I have yet to find out about my environment, my work, or my (hopefully!) future friends, but something tells me that it’ll work out.
It’s already been decided.
I just want you all to know how much I miss you, and how grateful l am to have you in my life.
See you on the other side!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

UPDATE: Egyptian Protests- Sunday

I woke up this morning to the most astounding news.
Friends and family in Cairo have told me that the looting that has been taking place have not been prisoners, but by the police.

The police seemed to have disappeared from the streets yesterday, with the protestors worrying what they were up to next. No one could have imagined the new low that the regime would take by encouraging the police to loot homes across the country.

There have been many cases of neighborhood watches that have caught police redhanded stealing from homes.

I guess if they can't rule people with terror, they've decided to take everyone down with them.

Not only have the police been attacking people in they're homes, they've taken it upon themselves to release thousands of prisoners from prisons near Cairo.

I worry that since many people are afraid of their houses being looted they won't show up today for protests. I hope that's not the case.
We'll see what happens.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Update: Egyptian Protests

The situation seems to begetting worse and worse...
So far curfew has been imposed, and the military has been taking control.
The protestors however have not left, and seem to be getting more violent.  The ruling party's (NDP) headquarters downtown has been set on fire. 

President Hosni Mubarak is scheduled to speak soon.
Will let you know how it goes. 

Wish them luck,

News on Egypt

It's been difficult for those on the outside to get much information in the West.
So far the best places have been Al Jazeera, BBC Arabic, AL Arabiyah, and France 24.
Some links just to fill you in..

An article on the lack of media:

Historic Protests in Egypt

If someone had told me 2 weeks ago that something like this was going to happen I would have never believed it.

I've been watching the Arabic news all day, and some of the images coming out of Cairo have been shocking.

The commentary has varied... some skeptical of true change believing that the regime is too strong to fall, while others seeing the strength of the protesters believe that true change can happen.

From all reports it seems that over 10 thousand protesters throughout Egypt have taken to the streets, with those in Alexandria and Suez being the most successful.
According to one of the commentators on Al Jazeera, "The barrier of fear is definitively broken."
Earlier to day I would have disagreed with this comment, but after watching the people take to the street in this manner, and how bravely they're standing up to the riot police and secret forces, no phrase uttered thus far has been so powerful.
Watching the news last night, I didn't think much would come of today.  No popular uprising could take place without all segments of society... women children, the middle class etc.  And watching all the news coverage today I was surprised by the number of women, children and people from all walks of life.
Truly amazing.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sri Lanka

Hi guys!

Since my last post I've gone on a little adventure!
Being expats abroad, every vacation I can remember has been used up going to Cairo. While my friends have travelled all over the place (since Bahrain really is in the center of everything), I was stuck by what I thought was an ordinary beach.

So, I've been hearing about this place for years, and I finally persuaded my parents to go, try something new, and expand our horizons. So off to Sri Lanka we went!
Though the weather was uncharacteristically cold, we had an amazing time, and definitely saw things we'd never seen before!

I don't want to bore you with all the details of my little adventure, but in the next few posts just some observations on Sri Lanka and how different it is from my life in Bahrain.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Shopping & Death in 2011

Hi Guys!

I can't believe it's been so long!
I promise I'll try harder to blog, but somehow everything in the news these days is so trivial!

The past few months for me have been pretty rough. Health issues have in some way left me apathetic, and sort of dissociative from my life.
But hopefully with the new year it's all about to change!

I'm still surprised by the amount of people that somehow come across this blog. It's crazy, that someone out there is still listening to my crazy rants half way across the world.

So here we go...

As you all probably know by now there's very little to do in the Gulf besides eat, shop and go to the movies.
I was having this conversation with a friend of mine when I realized that's mostly what society (almost everywhere) has been reduced to these days.
Buying stuff.
After a year of non-conventional work, and seeing the other side of things, I've become very tired of buying things (anything really...). It's become quite exhausting.
So with that in mind, I cringed this morning after reading the following headline in Bahrain's own Gulf Daily News;
Dubia Festival on Way

What festival you may ask?
Something cultural?
Some fun and games for the little ones?
A state of the art technological exhibition?
Something useful?

No, no, no, and you'd be dreaming.
Instead it's the one and only Dubai Shopping Festival!!!
Now before everyone gets on my case I have to admit that many many years ago (really... many) when I was a young girl I went to that same festival when it first started.

All I can say about  it is that many a dubai rant has originated with that experience.

The fact that shopping has somehow become an event that people flock to from all over the region is ridiculous.
It would be different if it was something unique and authentic.  Instead it's come down to the Marks & Spencer, Claire's and H&M's of the worlds slashing prices to attract tourists.
That's it.
That's what the world has come to.

But what's even more shocking is that this sort of news is somehow more important than let's say the murder of Punjabi governor over his anti-blasphemy law stance.
Having a difference of opinion, and using death and fear to get your way has somehow become acceptable these days.
I remember when these tactics were mostly used in places without a firm governing structure, but now it seems like it's the norm everywhere.
Let's kill anyone who doesn't agree with us!!
How has it become so normal that we've stopped noticing?
How is it that we've just switched off our mind and blanked out to the reality of the world around us?

I have to admit that I'm there.
But hopefully with the new year things will change.

And there we go, a positive note for 2011!