“I ran into friends” is an acceptable excuse for being late to work in Iceland.
It is also the happiest country in the world!
“I ran into friends” is an acceptable excuse for being late to work in Iceland.
It is also the happiest country in the world!
The bus picks me and my brother Mohammed, who we nicknamed Hamoudi, (as it is commonly done to the name Mohammed in the Arabic world, the most popular name in the world), every day in the morning. As our apartment is on the beach, we wait under its breeze and the mountain view on the other side. I remember the serenity of those mornings when whoever left of the fishermen that are still tidying their boats after the dawn’s auction at the fishermen’s market, are making the settle sounds in the distance along the seagulls.
As I reflect back on my memories of the school bus, I wish that our seating was not assigned. We had a bus supervisor, an old Egyptian woman, with a tight scarf and thick glasses, that was mean and ultra-serious. We took the bus about 3 years and didn’t have a chance to make new friends due to the assigned seating, and no talking policy. We talked anyways, but in a low voice, otherwise, we would risk our ears being pulled, the favorite torture method of that teacher. We took that 30 minutes road from Khorfakkan to Fujairah so many times, that we memorized everything. The number of signs on our way, the number of villages we passed through, their names, and how many cars we can spot in them, the Bedouin tents at the bottom of the mountains, always with luxury cars parked next to them. We got to a point where we would pick a color, and count everything that we passed through that had that color. We would get ecstatic if we were allowed to change our seats and sit next to someone else, especially my friends Islam and Firas.
Islam is an Egyptian boy from Alexandria, with a super kind father and mother from Egypt. We met in grade 2 but became friends after a fight on the bus that broke out between me and him. Boys tend to become friends after they fight. It is kind of a settlement of the alpha dominance within a group. Once it gets violent and they realize they are equal, they become friends. I scratched his face by accident with a silver bracelet I was wearing while swinging at him. Remember, we were 7 years old. It showed on his face during all the years I have known him, and he used to call it the deposit of friendship. I and Islam became lifelong friends. You will hear his name often from here out.
I also met Firas in 2nd grade. He is a tall, big built, Syrian boy, father from Homos and mother from Halab (Aleppo). We also became friends after a fight. Both Islam and Firas lived in Khorfakkan, so we took the bus together every morning and afternoon. Here is how I fought with Firas and got to become friends. After the first trip, I wanted to secure a better seat on the way back, so I ran to the bus after school and reserved a seat next to the window all the way on the back. It happened to be Firas’s morning seat. I left my bag on it to reserve it and stepped out. He walked in, removed my bag, and sat on it. I walked in and told him to move his a#$. He wouldn’t. The conversation got heated, and with a large audience, I found myself swinging at Firas. After few minutes of fighting to no avail, the supervisor came, so we had to break it off. Firas continued to sit on that golden seat. The bus moved. Everyone is quiet. In few minutes, Firas taps me on my shoulder and offers me the seat. He has one of the kindest hearts. We became lifelong friends. He lives now in Mississauga, and we do visit occasionally.
I, Firas, and Islam became friends. We lived the next few years in Khorfakan finding adventures together and discovering the corners of this beautiful village. The most common area and perhaps the only area to go out to was the corniche (the corniche is a French name given to a street that faces the beach or a boardwalk at the beach). Along the beautiful cost of the Gulf of Oman, the corniche had restaurants lined up along it, and open areas for children to play.
There were no playgrounds and the open area we’re not done yet it seeming that it was supposed to be completed with planted grass and palm trees but that never happened during our time there. Since Friday is the only day off in UAE (being an Islamic country), people go out on Thursday nights. I and my friends would go out to the corniche on Thursday nights walking and figuring out what we’re gonna do that night. We went with the flow; if there were guys playing soccer we played soccer. We were spontaneous. There were absolutely no activities for children in Khorfakan nor is any playground or sports program to accommodate them. We would meet at the mosque and then we would leave to play with our bicycles or with a soccer ball or find out what to do between the houses.
The Emirates school I went to in the city of Fujairah was an Islamic Elementary little private school. It was a new school and it’s focused on a strong curriculum including Islamic studies and 40 and language was recently established so when I went into it in great too I was basically The highest class in the school we grew up here after year being the oldest children in the school so much responsibility was put on us as a role model’s and as the students who would implement any programs or activities the school came up with.
When the school was first designed and they designed a little prayer area next to every class from the prayer area has a green rug and it was very well lit with large mosaic windows that let the sun in with the spectrum of color that added to the spirituality of such a place. As the school expanded, they converted these prayer areas into other classrooms, and we would pray in another area in the school.
The Emirates School was modern compared to the building of that time. It had a great auditorium, library, a large area in the middle where students would assemble every morning in the Taboor, which literally meant a line of people. Every class would line up from shortest to tallest with their first-hour teacher in front of them, and the school would start with a recitation of Quran, the national anthem, wise word of the day, perhaps a hadeeth (oral tradition of prophet Mohamed), and a word by the Principal.
Most of the teachers were religious, well-educated, middle-class Egyptian women. The expression used in Egypt to describe an older sister is “Abla”. We called the teachers Abla’s. The term is Turkish meaning an older sister. As the Ottoman Empire ruled the Islamic WOrld, Turkish words are common in the Arabic slang.
The school took pride in its Islamic teachings. Our religion class at the elementary level was taught by an Islamic Sheik (scholar) who came to teach us from the Mosque. Sometimes, the bus would take us to the Mosque to learn Qu
ran there. The Sheik was also from Egypt. I feel now that they were all sympathizer if not members of the Muslim Brotherhood, but that is not something strange given that the Muslim Brotherhood was basically the default organization of any Islamic activism in the Islamic world then. Actually all the Islamic movements afterward, Sunni and Shia, have stemmed, by a way or another, from the Muslim Brotherhood.
1. Recent studies have linked more frequent Facebook use to poor physical and mental health, plus diminished life satisfaction.
Resolution 2017.10.1.a decrease checking Facebook and Instagram from 1 time a day to 1 time a week
2. Research published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that people who spent money on saving time, reported greater life satisfaction.
Resolution 2017.10.1.b dedicate a budget for secondary Services
3. Research found that People who felt the wisest range of positive emotions had the lowest levels of inflammatory markers in their blood.
Resolution 2017.10.1.c verbalize the positive feelings of emotion and express them, and take note on what causes them to increase it.
4. Research shows that forgiving yourself and others can protect against stress and the toll it takes on mental health.
Resolution 2017.10.1.d forgive and let go of all grudges
5. Research shows that over planning and under planning trips may
Resolution 2017.10.1.e take smaller random trips and vacations locally
6. Research shows any kind of green space can make you happier.
Resolution 2017.10.1.f insist on visiting and holding meetings or gatherings in green spaces
7. Research shows that supportive friendships was found to be a better predictor of well-being than having strong family connections.
Resolution 2017.10.1.g increase friends
8. Research shows that giving makes you happier than taking. That Random acts of kindness can bring a person happiness.
Resolution 2017.10.1.h do a random act of kindness every day
All of Silicon Valley is based on character defects that are rewarded uniquely in this system.
It has been 4 months using the W Planner, and it is a good time for an overall reflection and analysis of managing myself for 2017.
Since February 1, 2017, when I started the W Planner electronically, I have had 1764 tasks. I accomplished 1051 tasks, that is 60% of all the tasks assigned.
Some of the accomplishments of this year so far outside of full time work:
|2017.3.3.a: Wake up at 6AM. Meditate to 6:15. Deep Work 6:15 to 8am.|
|2017.3.3.b: In order for me to read and sleep, I have to be in bed by 10:30, otherwise a nap of 1 hour is needed in the afternoon.|
|2017.3.3.c: Check mail only once a week and scan only once a month|
|2017.2.24.a: Facebook is deleted as a phone application|
|2017.2.24.b: Ceaze sharing of movie going on last Tuesdays of the month and enjoy going alone|
|2017.2.23: Stop giving appointments to individuals who always perceive you as late|
|2017.3.7.a: Change resolution 2017.2.24.a from deleting Facebook App to delete or hide Facebook App (to accommodate work tasks when needed)|
|2017.3.8.a: Prohibit phone from bedroom after 10PM and move the charging station for it outside of the bedroom.|
|2017.3.12.a: Use Pomodoro technique for daily tasks. Each pomodoro section counts for two days on the planner.|
|2017.3.13.a: Use daily timed blocks technique on the W planner sheet or on a separate sheet or notebook.|
|2017.3.17.a: Implement Resolution #2017.3.3.a [wake up at 6. Meditate to 6:15. Deep Work 6:15 to 8am. ] gradually by decreasing 15 minutes weekly of wake up time starting at 7:45AM|
|2017.3.20.a: Add Arabesque Cafe to Arches Time.|
|2017.3.20.b: Move Autoboard to LEKA/Geobuzz Time and Dedicate its time to cleaning and personal errands.|
|2017.3.28.a: Consider Arabic Poetry Open Mic part a Dearborn blog project.|
|2017.4.9.a: Incorporating Leisure and Social Time into calendar as one new category under Business.|
|2017.4.9.b: Make Europe trip every Spring a habit for Spring Break.|
|2017.4.17.a: Read two Get Abstracts a week and one book a month instead of one book every two weeks.|
|2017.4.17.b: Combine Charaf Group with Arches and Arabesque Cafe|
|4.17.17.c: Dedicate time for Leisure on daily basis.|
|2017.4.24.a: Organize goals as to measure closeness to achieving the annual goal|
|2017.4.29.a: Cook or try one new meal a week|
|2017.4.30.a: Cease sharing pictures with friends via text.
2017.4.30.c: Change resolution 2017.3.3.c from “Check Mail once a week and scan once a month” to “Check Mail and scan only once a week” since I have made scanning easier with Cloud Scan
|Sleep 8 hours/day||48.59%|
|Arches/W Institute/ Charaf||56.35%|
|Front End Dev.||40.08%|
FAMILY, FRIENDS, PLAY, and COMMUNITY
I am not afraid of the word failure, so I like to use it in a failing forward kind of way.
Below 70% that needs a new plan:
Below 88% that needed improvement:
Sleeping on the upper bed, I woke up Thursday morning while Walid is playing the creepy man prank on me, staring at me real closely. I missed his creepy man jokes. He used to stand behind the door of my office when we worked in 2004 in a cellphone shop, and watch me in a creepy way, and pretend that he is hiding when I see him. Sometimes it made me wonder if a psychological issue was really being manifested. Thankfully, it was just a prank all along.
Walid is 10 years older than me, but he has the wisdom of a 100 years old philosopher. He grew up in Beirut Golden time, in an ocean of intellectual waves, when Beirut was the Paris of the East. Then the intellectual waves became intellectual wars, and they in turn converted to real wars, and he lived the civil war in lebanon that started in 1975 day by day, the Israeli occupation that swept up to Beirut in 1982, till he left in the 90’s, and the civil war outlasted him till the year 1989, when it kind of ended with the Taif Accord, while the war with Israel continued till today. He studied music in California, and a bunch of other things. He is a professional guitarist, a well learned pianist, a great composer, and an accomplished poet in Arabic. He is a reference and an expert in the Arabic Language with all its branches, Arabic Music, Arabic poetry, and fluent in English and French. He also speaks Spanish, and some Russian and German. He is also an Islamic scholar, and few of his friends declared him as Mujtahid. Although it might have been a joke at certain times, but it really reflected his intellectual capability to infer the jurisprudence he needed for his daily life.
Walid is also a radio producer, video producer, a TV host, a columnist, a chinese cuisine chef, a donut baker, an educator, and school administrator. Continue reading “London Trip: Day 5: Trafalgar Square – National Gallery – Big Ben”