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The Mouse Trap

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

“What food might this contain?”  The mouse wondered.

He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard,
the mouse proclaimed this warning :
“There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse,
I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”

The mouse turned to the pig and told him,
“There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The pig sympathized, but said,
“I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray.. Be assured you are in my prayers.”

The mouse turned to the cow and said,
“There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap…

. . . Alone.. .. .

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house
— the sound Of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught.In the darkness, she did not see it.

It was a venomous snake
whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital.

When she returned home she still had a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever
with fresh chicken soup.

So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient: Chicken!
But his wife’s sickness continued. Friends and neighbors came to sit with her
around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

But, alas, the farmer’s wife did not get well… She died.
So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them
for the funeral luncheon.

And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall
with great sadness.

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So, the next time you hear
someone is facing a problem
and you think it doesn’t concern you, remember —

When one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life.

We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.

This is a story I recieved not so long ago that I liked to share with you, my silent readers, to spread a message about the kind of solidarity I feel we strongly lack these days..

Thank you for passing by, and if you like it enough, share the word..

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My Issues: Socializing

I do not hate people. I am not anti-social. I just have a personal problem with being part of any socializing process. You can classify me as a loner.

I feel at a loss when people start lying to each other so easily. Well maybe it’s not lying it’s “polishing facts” and ” soothing the edge of opinions” but I hate it. I do not say I don’t do it  because I find myself needing to do it all the time. I say I hate doing it, I hate people for making me do it, and I hate myself when I do it.

Well, maybe I do hate people. Not all of them, not specifically, not with a vengeance. I just do not feel at ease when people are around. This feeling may increase or decrease depending on how well I know the people around me: I feel less comfortable around strangers and more so around family and friends. I just prefer being alone.

To be honest, I know deep down that people are meant to be with other people, and I do feel the urge to do that sometimes. But not in a very healthy pattern. I feel that it costs me more than I am prepared to offer.

This leads me to another sub-issue: I feel more at ease talking to a stranger online than a real person. You see, my real opinion is more easily expressed if I did not care what the others think of me expressing them! I can be more like me, and less what people want me to be.

Won’t you feel lonely? Anyone would ask.. I would answer that sometimes, the more you are surrounded by people, the lonelier you feel. It is not about the number of people who surrounds you, but truly about who you choose to be with. I do have a few people whose company is a blessing.

Am I lonely? Well, maybe. But then again, who isn’t?

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The tip of the Iceberg

This is what all people tend to see. No one makes that extra effort anymore, no one cares actually, to know what’s beneath the surface.

I was thinking today that when we were young, we used to “know” people who are smiling are happy. Now, I’m almost certain people smile to keep from crying!

It’s not a big deal to be unhappy- usually we have to be that to become really happy. What’s truly a problem for me is choosing the correct way to speak and the right thing to do in front of people because I can’t guess if the face they’re wearing is their own or a mask they built especially for the occasion- I only know what mine hides.

There’s a few people left who, as Meg Ryan puts it in the movie “French Kiss”, put the corresponding face to the corresponding feeling. I discovered I’m losing that luxury as well! The last thing you need when you’re overwhelmed with emotions, of sadness, depression or hot raging anger, is someone patronizing or pitying you. The thing is you’ll find people eager to “listen” to your “sad” story not to comfort you, but to feel better about their own! It’s as if your own misery can add to their happiness! Yes, people are cruel this way.

As time passes, we turn into actors mimicking a life we want people to think we actually have! We laugh when our hearts are weeping, fain Content when disappointment is taking over our souls. We do it because we’d rather have an imaginary happy life instead of a miserable real one. All we want others to see is that tip of the iceberg, lovely and seemingly peaceful when in reality what we hide is far greater than what we show. We hide them since they are not so perfect, they harm the “image” we have drawn ourselves in the minds of people.

As true as all of that can be, just like anything in life there are exceptions. Some people are not fooled by the lovely tip of the iceberg. They dig in deeper and we let them in because they actually cared enough to make the effort. The rules change at that moment and we become free to be ourselves and even though it happens only for a few moments every once in a while, it’s a relief. I’m grateful to have such moments and I know I’m lucky. I wish it can be the same for all of you readers.

This is my message, a humble but honest prayer that everyone on this planet gets to share the rest of their “iceberg” with someone worthy of that challenge.

 

 

My Irreplaceables

” No one is irreplaceable” so they say.. well “they” are wrong!

We all have our irreplaceables, just close your eyes for a moment, try to picture your life without a certain person..If  it’s impossible, you found your irreplaceable.

I cannot imagine my life without them, my irreplaceables, and I am sure it wouldn’t be much of a life in their absence. They include my parents, my sisters, my brother, some more dear family, lovely neighbors and only a couple of friends. They are my joy, my strength, my world. Every moment with them is a treasure I keep engraved in my memory: every smile, every tear, every quarrel, every accident, every tragedy, every look, every lesson… You’d be surprised of how much you can remember and how long small things stay with you, things you considered silly, a T-shirt you liked or a food you hated.It’s ok because the way I see it, memories are the fuel that keeps us going, they are the food of the soul. A single memory has the ability to empower you (or destroy for that matter)  forever! This is why Josephine, before leaving Napoleon, emptied her perfume bottle all over his room: she’d be long gone but she made sure her memory haunted him.

I try not to think of the future because I know it means some loss, not necessarily as tragic as death but still a loss in some way: someone leaving because of a job or a husband or whatever… no one can fill their spot, no one can replace them: every loss will leave a hole in my heart. without them I’m only a zombie with a leaking heart!

To all my irreplaceables,  a phrase I always repeat (I’m sure you know) and will never stop using: I love you.

Shoot as you walk events..my side of the story

It’s been a while now since I attended my first “shoot as you walk” event with “We Love Tripoli” people. To tell you the truth, I was not quite certain I would ever repeat it.. let me first explain that ever since we were kids, old Tripoli with all its charm and souks and corners was familiar to us: mom used to take us with her whenever she went. Then when we became older, the school’s history teacher- Ahmad Barakeh- so passionate about history, organized several field trips and introduced many of the ancient relics of the city.
So, I wasn’t expecting to learn anything new or to find an attraction I did not have for the beautiful old city. but I attended anyway, out of curiosity and out of respect for the enthusiasm the guys showed. Mainly, I attended because my sister Ymn wanted to and I would accompany her anywhere, no questions asked. The trips became revolved around me waiting for her to take shots or finish talking to someone or pack something… It became for me an event of “follow Ymn as she shoots”.

Soon, however, the trips began to interest me: I discovered new/old corners that I never noticed before, it became easy to put a name tag for streets and places previously unknown to me.. I rarely took photographs, and when I did I found it silly since at least  10 other people took variants of the same shot.. I soon lost interest in “shooting” and took interest in the walk itself. The companionship I found there was amazing: how people, complete strangers, can find common grounds then build a friendship amazed me. I think this is where these trips succeeded the most: introducing perfect strangers to each other with only one passion in common: Tripoli.

I consider myself lucky now when I think about the new friendships I made. Taha Naji, Hassan Osmani, Ghaida Bakri, Nour Kabbara, Omar Mourad, Omar Bakkour, Taha Baba, Ahmad Derbass, Mahmoud Layla…People I like, people that are funny, interesting and each with a personality so different but still able to bond and become friends. I couldn’t imagine any other way these people could have met or formed such a successful group without the ” Tripoli bonds” that united them.
there may be other  names I forgot to mention, faces I saw, people I met..but the point is this: No matter how many times I went on these trips and observed the same scenery, each trip I had new people to meet, new experiences to live , new anecdotes to tell..And this is why I still attend these events.