Runaway Dreams. 

I read this today, 10/2/2017, at an open mic event. I was sick and it sucked. I’m pretty sure no one even paid attention, but I’ll post it here anyway. I wrote it genuinely, cause I’ve always felt like runnung away. Maybe no one feels that way but me. 

“It’s almost midnight, it’s almost time.I’ve packed my bag for the hundredth time.

I snuck the key from their bedroom stand,

And I stole another glance at my silent soldier.

He’s fast asleep, head’s light with dreamy flights.

I wish I could take him with me, keep him safe from constant cries.

I go back to my room, heart heavy with farewell and lost goodbyes.

“I can’t stay like every time. I swear it’s the last time”

I check the clock again, It’s 5 past 12.

I guess it’s time for me to go.

I close my lights, my door and my heart.

I’m on the way to somewhere, somewhere I’d never see them again.

I should be happy saying this but as head for the station, all I feel is heavy.

When I finally get there,

I walk around till I find the right platform, platform number 4.

I sit on the bench, tired and alone.

I look around but there’s only me and that weary old man,

who’s found a home in this sunken land.

I think he’s staring at me, and for a moment, I catch his eye.

Almost like mine, it’s filled with seemingly endless pain.

It’s getting close to 1 am, closer to boarding the train.

I smile at the man, who smiles back with his crooked, yellowing teeth.

I look away.

I hold my backpack closely, make sure everything’s still there.

The train’s here, I slide in as the doors open and sit in one of those empty chairs.

There’s only me, a mother and her child.

The girl’s huddled to her mama’s side, she’s whimpering slightly, whispering something unknown to myself.

After a while, the mother looks up.

She nods her head as she notices her new companion.

I guess, maybe like me, the mama’s searching for herself.

I should get some rest, there’s a long day ahead.

By the time I wake up, it’ll be a new dawn.

By the time I wake up, maybe, they’ll notice I’m gone.”

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Marvel Emotions.

What really bugs me about Superhero movies is that whatever you see can never be 100% real.  Like never. (unless someone invents a superhero serum or gets exposed to huge amounts of gamma rays and actually survived, or you’re black widow)

I mean, I’m practically the world’s biggest Marvel fan, but I’m not in it for the action or the weird scientific stuff, not even the whole “there’s like 157272 different realms out there”.

I’ve realised I’m only in it for the humanity these “superheroes” radiate. I’m not really interested in how Captain America beats off the bad guy or how Ironman used some sort of metal to practically stay alive.

I’m interested in how Steve Rogers can’t wrap his head around how 60 years have passed and everyone he ever cared for is either dead or dying. I’m interested in how Tony Stark faced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suffered anxiety attacks (like normal beings can) after almost dying to protect his world.

 

I don’t really care about the dynamics of killing off aliens or fighting off mischievous gods.

I do care about the betrayl Loki felt when he discovered his orgins, I care about how he always felt like the lesser one compared to his brother Thor.

I care about the feelings those characters go through. I care about their emotions and how they deal with situations concerning their loved ones, ‘cause for me, that’s making them real and that’s what cinema’s all about.

 It’s not just some CGI and special effects, it’s about making you feel the way the characters do. It’s about somehow merging with them.

That’s why no matter the film, there’s always gunna be some tie between you and the characters.

A prime example of this is marvel’s very own Logan movie, the final movie for the character who started the superhero craze.

You see Logan (aka Wolverine) as a tired and battered washed up hero, taking care of his mentor, who’s practically lost his ability to control his powers.

We get to see the human part of Logan, the dynamics of his feelings as he discovers that, yes, he has a daughter! We experienced his fear and his sadness over her and I understood that. 

I truly love the new direction marvel’s taking, it’s got more drama, more comedy and somehow more realisim.

Personally, I’d take drama and real life emotions over bright lights and fast skills any day.

James Anthony Paul.

The intruding sun rays seemed to blind her sight. As her eye lids awakened and her eyelashes fluttered, She realised it was most probably past noon and she murmured something incomprehensible. Remembering what day it was, the girl wasted no time in getting up and heading to the bathroom, where she remained for about 20 minutes under the shower head. Although she had kept the date on every calendar she owns -Yes, including her “Period” calendar-, it didn’t quite matter; for she had the date carved in her mind, heart and soul. 
She took her time while getting dressed though; she carefully picked out a rather elegant black knee-length dress, very suitable for such occasions. 

She didn’t care much about whatever most women made a scene about, including makeup. Although she loved to try it on from time to time when her friends urged her to, she never had the heart to actually learn some skills. She did, however, know how to grab the eye with just a tint of red lipstick. It was, after all, the most powerful weapon of seduction. 

Her naturally straight hair was already hanging down beautifully behind her back, a simple brush and she was all set. She grabbed her square-shaped purse, which was settled near the nude heels she had picket out of her closet, with one hand and she grabbed the simple bouquet filled with white roses and wormwoods in the other.

The first couple of cabs refused to take her where she needed to go. One suggested she should take the bus to the nearest stop to the place, she took his advice. After he dropped her off, she waited a couple of minutes till the bus arrived and she hopped in. Since her destination was on the outskirts of town, she remained seated all the way through the line. The driver offered her a comforting smile, but all she could sense was his sympathetic eyes following her as the doors closed and the engines flared to life again. 

As soon as she stood in front of the gates, she whispered a couple of words to the wind: “God, I don’t think I can do this again.”. 

She pushed the rusty metal gates open, the sign bearing the name “Wallflower Cemetery”, which was barely readable even from up close, rattled in a cry for help as if it dreamt to escape. 

Step by step, she entered the graveyard where all her loved ones were buried, including him. She slowly approached his gravestone and she kneeled whilst placing the small bouquet. White roses and wormwoods, yes. A weird combination indeed, but one that meant so much to her. 

She kept wondering how come the contrast between the bright flowers and the grey stone was that much beautiful.  

She sat there on her knees, staring at the words written:

” James Anthony Paul

  Born November 2nd 1952

  Died July 26th 2015

“Heaven knows we sure had some fun, boy!””

She laughed, only her mother would put George Michael lyrics on a grave! James did love George Michael though, so she didn’t make a fuss when she first saw it. She actually thought it was kinda sweet of her Mum to actually remember that song, let alone that lyric.

She smiled as she got up, her Mum and Dad were really cheesy and not the bad cliché kind, but the heartwarming one. 

She smiled again. 

“See ya later, Dad!” 

After all, she had a party to attend. 

  

Letter to the boring guy I used to love. 

I saw you today.
I don’t think you saw me, but if you did, thanks for not saying hi.
I thought of walking the other way and circling school instead of risking a small encounter. I shrugged it off since I was already late to my 9 am class.

Oh how I hate that class. I mean, not only do I have to wake up early and sit through Mr Adam’s lame ass teaching, but I also risk passing by you every Monday.

It’s kinda ironic how I tell my friend not to feel that way about her own mess of a love, when I feel that way about you.

You and him should totally get together, you have more in common than you’ll ever know.

I never told anyone about you, not even that friend. It’s for the best; less talking about my feelings type-of-conversation.
Anyways, I’ve been meaning to tell you how much I loved that Facebook post of yours. I heard writers are only good if they’re good liars. I guess I should’ve known you’d be great, especially since all you ever did was lie to me.

I realize that maybe you’ll read this, and I’m pretty sure you’ll know it’s you. So, make sure to hit that like button and to never, and I mean ever, think of saying hi next Monday or any other Monday.
Yours sincerely,
the girl you screwed over.

Glass of Wine.

I was your perfect thing

Never even had a fling

16 with never-ending dreams

I’d never even smoked a cigarette then, 

But here I am wasting away, a pack of cigarettes a day.

You offered me some wine, 

I guess so we could pass the time. 

I’d never been drunk before

And It wasn’t cause of the wine.

I was the perfect thing, perfect daughter, perfect grades and perfect everything.

I took the glass, what could a harmless glass do to me? 

I drank, a little tipsy, you told me: “See, that wasn’t so bad, Brie!”

A couple of glasses, I was seeing you everywhere round the room. I got dizzy, the glass broke. 

Guess it’s not so harmless anymore.

Tom Petty, the heartbreaker. 

“Now I’m free, free fallin’.”

The first time I ever heard a Tom Petty song, it wasn’t even sung by Tom Petty! I was 12-13 ish, hunched over my laptop and pop culture obsessed, trying to see videos of Katy Perry’s new boyfriend: John Mayer. As soon as I found his YouTube channel, I started browsing and listening to all his famous hits. I was watching the ‘Slow dancing in a buring room’ video and a live version of Free Fallin’ was played short after.

At first, I didn’t pay much attention to the lyrics. I was busy watching Mayer singing and strumming his guitar with so much passion ; he looked and sounded as though the song meant the world to him and I was intrigued.

 I searched up the lyrics but once I did, I discovered that John was covering the famous Tom Petty song. I spent that entire night watching his videos and a whole lot of his concerts online, I was so hooked by the simple but soul touching lyrics. 


Free fallin’ was that song I listened to when things got heavy and I needed reassurance. When my dad passed away, I started thinking of myself as that “good girl” who’s crazy about Elvis, and I thought of my Dad as the “bad boy” who’s got my heart broken. 

It’s actually quite amusing since apparently you wrote the song to make Jeff Lyne laugh, yet all it does is make me fuzzy inside. I’ve had it on replay since I read the news, I cried by the 56th time or so. It’s quite hard to laugh today. 

Now almost 4 years after I came across that cover, you’ve gone and broken my heart too, Tom. 

I can’t say I’ve been your biggest or greatest fan, ’cause I wasn’t. However, I can say that I’ll always be grateful that you wrote Free Fallin’ and I’m forever glad I got to hear you and witness your wonderful, brilliant talent. 

Love you forever.

“and the good girls are home with broken hearts..”


Here’s the link to the John Mayer cover:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=20Ov0cDPZy8

And here’s the original Tom Petty Video:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1lWJXDG2i0A

Mission un-accomplished. 

About 100 years ago, the women of Egypt were denied one of the most basic civil rights. Yes, they were deprived of voting in political elections.
Around 61 years ago, the female population was finally given the opportunity to officially vote as well as participate in elections. A mere year later, Rawaya Attya became the very first female Arab delegate to enter a parliament in 1957. 
Today, Egyptian women represent a 14.9% of the 2015 Egyptian Parliament. Even though it might seem as an insignificant percentage, it is the highest one in the entirety of the Egyptian parliaments. 
Despite our slowly growing progress in politics, girls and young women in Upper Egypt are still in grave danger. Women have won several battles in the past century, yet still Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is practiced.
Decades have passed and traditions have changed, and yet the only common feature between today and the early 1900s is FGM. 
If you are still unfamiliar with the term FGM, it is, by definition, all the procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons (WHO). It is also sometimes referred to as female genital cutting or female circumcision. Such hideous act is usually preformed between the infant’s first few days of life and their puberty. Nevertheless, it is widely spread in Egypt with a shocking 87% (according to UNICEF) between the ages of 15-49. 
You may be asking why would anyone want to do such horrendous act to anyone, whether a toddler, a young girl or a woman. The unreasonable reasons you would be presented with most probably contain the word “honour” and how the society would perceive her if she did not undergo such surgery. What is infuriating as well, is that the second most common excuse they come up with is usually “We’re following the footsteps of our parents and grandparents.”
If you are wondering whether maybe, just maybe, this monstrous operation might have a bright side, it does not. Until this day, there is not a single identified positive outcome from this gruesome act. 
Strangely enough, I have come to realize that even though FGM is quite the danger to women, most youngsters aged 12-20 have no idea what it is or what danger it imposes on Women. 

The question typically asked at this point is “How do we put an end to this?”
The normal answer here would be; find the reasons why and then fight them. If ignorance and illiteracy are the prominent factors, alas, they should be the first to be eliminated. Proper and informative educational programs should be available everywhere and to everyone, regardless of gender, from Upper to Lower Egypt. Not only would women and young girls be taught their rights, male Egyptian youth would grow up rejecting the idea of such nonsense and fully aware of the consequences FGM bare on females subjected to it.
I daresay, I hope by the time I have children that FGM would have become a topic that is easily discussed and is viewed as a threat of the past.
Written by,

Salma Hamed 

Resources:

1- https://www.google.com.eg/amp/s/www.sasapost.com/arab-women-and-elections/amp/

2- http://m.youm7.com/story/2016/1/3/اللواء-رفعت-قمصان-لـ-النواب-نسبة-الشباب-والمرأة-داخل-البرلمان/2521496

3- https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_genital_mutilation#UNICEF2016

4- http://forwarduk.org.uk/key-issues/fgm/

5- http://www.endfgm.eu/female-genital-mutilation/what-is-fgm/