(Tuesday 16th August – Monday 22nd August)


This week I’m starting a mini-series challenge within the Miniature Writing Challenge. The 3Cs stand for: Culture, Country and City. For the first challenge, use any Culture in the world as a source of inspiration for your creative piece. Please include the name of your chosen culture and a picture.

Challenge Rules 

Painted Visage


Countless faces filling the streets

Blurry visages that never speak

But one stands out from the  wall

And he admires her colours with every stroll

A mystery girl adorning the city

Neglected in plain sight, yet always pretty

She was made for him, he always thought

Marvellous, majestic and can never be bought

She soothes the ails of lonely sufferers

And quenches the thirst of art-lovers

Desperate wanderers in a world that crushes

Can sometimes find hope in paint and brushes

The Daily Post’s prompt “Stroll”

Intro to Poetry – Day 2 (Face)



Keeping up with the Jones’

In response to The Daily Post’s prompt “Keeping up with the Jones'”

Tell us about the one luxury item you wish you could afford, in as much detail as you can. Paint a picture for us.


I would like to buy my own apartment in the city of my choosing anywhere in the world. I don’t care for a townhouse or a penthouse or anything so luxurious, but I would like a place that is mine. It would have a modern design, artwork on the walls, and I would live there by my own rules. Otherwise I don’t really care about luxury items, but I would like enough money to travel as often as I’d like.





Guest Post by: Jo Oram

Jo Oram

Jo Oram

Jenna climbed the stairs, flight after flight leading her into the sky. The sun was setting over the city. Below, a million busy people were swarming through the streets, going home from school or work, meeting their friends and collecting their kids.
Pausing for breath, Jenna leaned over the railing, watching. She wondered how many of them would notice if she were to drop dead on that rooftop. She wondered how long it would take for someone to find her, if anyone would even miss her.
They would notice her if she dropped out of the sky though. Not the quiet, plain girl in the corner any more. Just a mess on the pavement. She would make an impact then. Jenna closed her eyes and gripped the rail, lifting her leg to climb onto the edge.
Jenna jumped, hearing a voice behind her. Her foot slipped, losing purchase on the edge, keeping her on the rooftop. Her heart pounded as she turned around.
“Are you okay?” A woman stood near the door.
Jenna scowled at her. “You a cop? Trying to stop me?”
The woman shook her head. “I’m not a cop.”
Jenna turned away. “Then leave me alone.”
“Watch then. Whatever. I don’t care.”
The woman moved closer. “It doesn’t hurt forever.”
“Like you’d know.” Jenna snorted.
“Try me.” The woman stood beside her, looking over the edge. “I know more than you think.”
Jenna shook her head. “I’ll just come back tomorrow. Or wait for you to go home. You can’t stay out here forever.”
“You’re wrong. About everything. You’ve got so much ahead of you. And you can be anything you want to be – a vet, a model, an artist.”
“You don’t know anything about me.”
“I know more than you think, Jenna.”
Jenna looked up. “Have we met?”
“Maybe a long time ago in a future that won’t happen if you jump.”
“Who are you?” Jenna stepped away from the edge, staring at the woman. She looked ordinary, more like a younger version of her own mother than a dangerous stalker.
“Someone who needs you to live. Whatever they say, Jenna, you don’t have to believe them. And you might not see it, but you’re beautiful. You’re clever. And you’re talented. You just need a little more time.” The woman smiled. “If you jump, you’ll miss it all. Your story will be short and sad. No first kiss. No career. You’ll never meet the father of your children and your children will never be born.”
“So they’ll never grow up to change the world. And neither will you. You’re special, Jenna. And there is only one way to prove that.”
Jenna took another step towards the door, both women reaching for it at the same time.

The woman smiled as she descended the stairs remembering the night twenty years earlier, when a woman she had never met decided to save her life.

Through the Window

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Through the Window.”

Go to the nearest window. Look out for a full minute. Write about what you saw.

City Through the Window

Not the view from my window – Google

I looked through the largest window in my house, overlooking the narrow street where my building is located. I live in an apartment building in the middle of a crowded Cairo neighborhood, where there is almost no view. The building is surrounded by more building from every direction. Anyway from that particular window, I could see a thin line of trees in the middle of the street. I could also see the doormen from neighboring buildings, the frustrated residents in search of parking and the carefree youths swarming into the surrounding cafes. The view from my window is always noisy, active and ever-changing while never-changing.

Darkness Lay Ahead


She ran through the forest, alone, with nothing but a backpack. The backpack contained her life: the past, the present, the future all squeezed into that small bag. The path grew narrower as the trees grew thicker. But she continued to run faster and faster until her legs could barely support her any longer. Why was she running? She didn’t know. There was no one chasing her, no one threatening her yet she felt the need to escape. Her heart beat quickly; she breathed unevenly. She put her family and her friends behind her to embark on an insane, unpredictable journey to the unknown.

As the darkness began to scare her, she decided to rest and start again when the sun was up. She chose a tree to lie underneath and used her bag as a pillow. Curling her body into the fetal position, she tried to sleep. Ominous noises echoing across the forest made her task nearly impossible. Every time she tried to relax and allow herself to sleep, the distant sound of a hooting owl or the howl of a wolf would startle her. The grass below her was soft and comforting, the soft winds were cooling, but the fear overcame her senses. She couldn’t rest so long as it was inside of her. It was fear that forced her to run. She didn’t know which was more frightful, though, the forest, her former life or her indefinite future?

All she knew was this: she would be dead if she hadn’t left. Not dead in the literal sense, but figuratively speaking that was the path she was walking towards. As dangerous as her choice was it was exciting and essential. She couldn’t bear her life any longer; the monotony along with the extreme waves of change. One day she decided it was enough. The forest signified the end of the city. It separated the enclosed man-made structure from the wilderness; at least this was how she perceived it. She was born and raised in that city and not once had she ever been to the forest. But the day she decided to leave was when she learned she was destined to cross the woods and see for herself what was really on the other side.

The night crawled with unfriendly creatures; killer beasts and venomous beings. Where they hid or if they even existed where she slept? She had no idea. She prayed for the night to end quickly and safely. The sound of her heart in her ear felt like a ticking clock, every beat bringing her closer to sunrise. To say she slept that night would have been a lie. But at dawn she was wide awake, anxious and enthusiastic about the start of a new day. She walked slowly, trying desperately to let go of her fear. The terror residing in the night before was forgotten when the tender morning sun rays hit her face. Hours passed until she finally caught a glimpse of what lie on the other side of the once mysterious forest.

Glipho Photo Challenge #2

Full story available on Smashwords.

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

 I have been a city-girl my whole life. Born, raised and lived my entire life in the city; in the same city. I was raised surrounded by high buildings, noise and pollution. I can never imagine living the country-side or in a small town or village or even in the suburbs. I am a city-girl. That being said, I no longer want to live in this particular city or any city that resembles it; not for long periods of time at least. I can’t live in capitals with intolerable traffic, all forms of pollution and hostile environments. I realize that there are world capitals that don’t fit this profile, and are actually characterized as the most beautiful cities in the world.  While that is true and while there are some cities from both categories, if we for the time being assume there just are two, that happen to be the most popular cities in the world.

Cairo fits the profile I have described above, perfectly; that is in addition to it being one of the most populous cities in the world.  Therefore I have been raised in a polluted, over-crowded, noisy, at times even over-whelming city. I have known no other home, but as of recently it doesn’t feel like home. I have become a stranger in my own city, a guest of sort. I and everyone I know live in a world outside of this country, but still within the parameters of the city. I am constantly in contact with the residents of this city, but until I return to the bubble I was brought up in, and in which my friends, family and closest acquaintances live, I feel that I don’t belong.

As I have already mentioned I was raised in a large metropolitan city and I can only live in a place that provides very much the same facilities, but doesn’t resemble this city. I realize I’m being a little cryptic, I’ll elaborate. I am rarely ever in contact with nature, excluding air obviously. This city, and many that are quite like it, is dead. I never lived near a sea, a mountain, forest or a river (that isn’t surrounded by buildings and is so polluted that it looks more like sewage).

This all brings me to the title of this entry. All what I have said explains how the environment I live in has led to my elevated stress level, but it doesn’t why it’s not easy to change this environment. Growing up I was under the impression that I would always live here, under rigid social rules and familial expectations (all of you in my situation can easily relate), and I had accepted that fact for so long. However a couple of years ago, I found this to be a choice which is suicidal more than an actual fact. Recently I realized that living in Egypt is impossible and that it needs to be temporary. This all explains the reasons why I would be damned if I don’t leave, in addition to the current political, economic and social status of the country.

Saying that I want to leave is very easy, implementing it though is excruciating. The political situation in the country, which makes leaving a necessity, impedes the process of leaving, as well as complicates life for those who would like to leave as much as those who don’t. A place where a person is born should not outline his/her entire life. Life should be based on the choices one makes; it shouldn’t be based on the choices one can’t make, or damned by other people’s choices or their perceptions.