Glimmering Tears

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The magic was lost

Tears glimmered in her sad eyes

How did this happen?

 

The fire consumed all

Destroying her home and life

Oh! To turn back time

 

Once a joyous home

Turned to ashes and rubble

Her beloved gone

 

 

Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Challenge

The Foreign Island

In response to The Daily Post’s prompt “Mad Libs”

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Out of place in a home that is my own

Out of touch in a world where I should belong

Out of breath from running after a mirage

Out in a little island, foreign to all but me

Minuscule yet has an abundance of joy

Petite yet visible in an ocean of sorrow

Tiny yet full of will and courage

Small yet dripping with unharnessed potential

 Its little heart beats loudly

Its blood runs deep

It aches from constant cruelty

 But its soul it is destined to keep

A foreign island all alone

A little island standing tall

An unnoticeable island  to those who can’t know

A peaceful island with dangerous waters below

Miniature Writing Challenge #31

Playing By My Own Rules

I’ve been living in this city since the day I was born. I know the culture and I have a feel of it; it’s a crucial part of my life. But for the past four or five years I’ve been determined on leaving. I felt that my time here was limited that I was meant to live somewhere else, not sure where, but somewhere more accepting. You see I have many problems with living here, some more complex than others. My number one issue, though, has to be the people.

I’m aware of how general a term that is and how much it may not make sense, but I’ll explain. The population of greater Cairo is approximately 20 million people, give or take. It’s one of the densest urban areas in the world and one of the most polluted. That leads to an unfixable traffic catastrophe and more garbage than the city can hold. Leaving the house every day is a tedious task for everyone, regardless of which form of transportation they choose to take. All that is in addition to extreme inflation, which devaluates the money, adding more of a burden to people who’ve had it up to their eyeballs in problems.

However, this brief background doesn’t explain what I mean by having an issue with the people. I’m used to the crowded streets and have grown accustomed to the traffic, still hate it though. But what I can’t tolerate is the constant judgment and brazen interference in other people’s lives.  People’s lives are like a circus act, trying to balance between obligations and expectations. Society expects people to stand on a wire and effortlessly balance these two things with perfection, which is impossible! It’s outrageous to even conceive that such a life is possible. As you walk down the street, there always watchful eyes looking out to see if you step out of line. This creates an atmosphere of extreme frustration and oppression that no one can endure. One may pretend, put on a mask and spend their lives hiding, but it will certainly not be truthful. I’m not saying that this is the case for everyone, but it is the case for a great majority of the citizens of this city.

Back to the topic at hand, it hit my today that the only way I can be content with living here is if I do so by my own rules. I don’t think it will be entirely possible, but hypothetically it would be a step forward. If I could have my own place, take charge and responsibility for my own life. Be a mature responsible adult before being in a committed life-long relationship. Why is that I have to wait for a husband until I can be independent? It’s such an archaic social structure. Why can’t young unmarried men and women live on their own, outside their parents’ house? Why does there have to be a negative stigma behind that, especially for women?

I detest this culture of dependence and I hate that I’m sucked into it. I would like to not have to move away to have a life that I can call my own. I would appreciate it if people would mind their own business and accept the differences of others. I would like to see this culture as non-patriarchal, non-misogynistic, less destructive, more accepting, more proactive, more productive and more respectful.

Do I dare to dream such a dream?

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.

Where is Home?

It was cold when I woke up this morning on the street

With bitter cold wind freezing my face, my hands and my feet

‘You’re finally awake, good morning!’ she said

Greeting me as if I had just gotten out of bed

‘We have new toys today.’

She ironically continued calling out for me to play

We play with bullets and we play with bombs

While other kids play with real toys in their homes

We have no homes, no schools, just streets that are painted red

A sentence that she often said

And hearing it I would always dread

However it was true, because after all both our parents were dead

But through it all, we laughed and we played

Until it came that dreaded time of day

When we all had to run away

They hid behind their fortresses and guns

And killed everyone, old and young

Until there were none

We watched in silence and in fear

Waiting for them to disappear

The man in the helmet turned and vacantly stared

At me, as if I was no more than air

He then turned and vanished as if he was never there

As quickly as it had started it finally stopped

And with the sound of the last gunshot my heart dropped

I walked down the street trying to ignore the bodies and the blood

Looking for her, looking ahead

All the time hoping I wouldn’t see the body I prayed I would never have to see

The one I then saw lying right in front of me

She’d disappeared for a moment when I turned my head

And now she is dead

I cried as I roamed the streets all alone

Where, oh God, where is home?

She was my best friend, my family and my all

She made me feel safe in a time of war

In a country that was no longer mine, I stood on my own

Wondering where is my home?