Tuesday, January 31, 2012

On The Wall

For him , I was just a guy that he barely knows . But for me , he was the hero of a great love story that I will always remember ……
It all started when I went to my friend's office one day , she has always been known for her obsession with every single detail . I was surprised to see that her clean office has a signature on its wall. I asked her about the reason of that signature and why she hasn't asked anyone to clean the wall , she smiled and told me that this is his signature, the guy that she is in love with . At that moment , I only knew little about him , but through her eyes  I saw a new person , a wonderful one that changed her life and made it better , he gave her a reason to move on and fight to reach her goals.  Every time I used to go to her office and my eyes would see his signature , me and her would exchange a look and smile , because that signature meant for all the people around her a stain on the wall , but for her and me , it was a sign of love.
Days passed by and that look of love turned into a look of sadness. Things were not going on very well between them . He wanted to go and propose to her , but both their families were against their love. No one agreed , no one even supported them . She was destroyed and so was he, but they were both determined to win the challenge of their life and be together. And whenever I saw his signature , we both would exchange a look , a look that says that she will fight till the last moment. His signature was a sign ….. a sign of hope.
Two years have passed , and the happy story did not have a happy ending . They couldn't stand in the face of the enormous obstacles they were facing. They surrendered , and after a while she got married to the son of her father's friend . She quit her job and traveled with her new husband. And since then , I knew nothing about him . And whenever I passed by her office ,I looked at his signature. It was a sign …. a sign of the end of their love story.
It all came back to me when I saw him at a public place , we exchanged smiles . I couldn't stop myself from going to him and talking to him . He told me that he got engaged , the problem is that when he said it , I did not see the spark in his eyes , I did not see the happiness I used to see in the past.
Even though I had no reason to go to her office , I did my best to come up with a reason to go there. And when I got into the office , I went immediately to her old  office and looked at the wall. Surprisingly , it was still there ….. the signature was there….  Till this moment , I still remember his signature , his signature that is a sign ….. a sign of a great love story between two wonderful people , a sign of happy moment s and memories ,  and above all of that …. a sign of the happy ending that they would have had….
Ziad Bakri
January 21st,2012
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Skirt , Jeans , Scarf or a Veil : Oppression , lack of morals or Prejudice?

"A girl without religion , morals and ethics " , that is what  a lot of the people in  Gaza's streets will describe the girl who is not wearing a scarf on her head. On the other hand , the fact that a girl is wearing a scarf is a sign that she is an angel with no flaws , of course I am still talking about the same people , the people that I will call 'Judges' in this article.
Looks matter , it is no new thing , but it  seems that for a lot of people it is ALL what matters to build a judgment . The more you cover is the purer you are. I wonder, have these people waited for a second to talk or  interact with them before DECIDEING what group does these girls belong to ? Yes, DECIDING , because for the 'Judges' , it is their main responsibility to determine if you are a good or bad person.
A friend of mine (who does not wear a scarf) was in her office working , at that time she was still a new employee , she closed the door of her office and prayed , everyone in her office was shocked , " Do you pray?" one of her colleagues asked while all of them were gathering around her as if she was an alien.
Wearing a head scarf is a part of Islam , it has many reasons and values , but it is NOT the only thing that determines whether a girl is good or not. Simply , Islam is treatment. A lot of girls who wear the scarf are representing Islam greatly  by behaving in the correct way , while others represent Islam by no way.
If 'Not wearing a scarf' is treated unfairly , then 'Wearing a scarf' is too , and not by people who are not a part of the society and  want to show that women are oppressed , but by the Arab women who  claim that wearing a scarf is an obstacle in their way just to get the attention of the foreign media
Girls with a scarf work , study , go out , meet their friends and follow their dreams . So, how are they oppressed exactly ? . What these girls should know is that not wearing a scarf does not  mean that they are modern or open minded , because these things are related to the way they think rather than the way they look.
Bottom line , the girl can wear what she wants in Gaza  , but it is being between the devil and the deep sea , she has to deal with one of two stereotypes: The bad one who does not wear a scarf or the oppressed one  who wears it.
So, whether you are wearing a skirt , jeans  or abaya with or without a scarf , you are my mother, sister , colleague , friend , future wife and daughter and I RESPECT you until you prove me wrong !!!!
Ziad Bakri
November 19th,2011
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A letter to FOOD : Friend , Enemy or Frenemy

Dear Food ,
WE NEED TO TALK !! I know , this is where relationships end . Don't worry , I just want to tell you what is going on in my mind and what I feel .
Reality check : I have a lot of other friends, friends who are willing to listen , share and give advice . But out of all these friends, you are the only one who is there in the strangest times and situations , in the middle of night when I have a huge problem that is preventing me from sleeping , in the awkward moments where suddenly I feel that my self esteem had hit rock bottom.
I am not saying that my friendship with you is a source of disappointment ,  I am simply disappointed with the fact that I am not dealing with it in the right way. I am using you in way that  is causing my more harms than good  .
Yes, I know , you make me feel better ; but for how long ? Two or three minutes ? And then what ? Nothing but feeling worse and ashamed. Yes , I don't feel so proud of myself when I eat you in the wrong time.
Do I love you ? Yes . But that doesn't mean that I want to be defined by you ,  I don't want people to look at me and say ' This is the person who loves food ' . I don't want you to have your effect on me and my body ; don't get me wrong , I don't care about what people think of me , but at the same time eating you a lot is an obstacle between me and the way I want to look like , between me and the image I want to have.
'We eat to live , we don't live to eat' , I SOMEHOW believe in this , I have to admit that I was raised in a society where food has always been a part of every occasion , birthdays ,weddings , graduation , funerals and I can go on and on with the list. And I am not willing to change this , I just want our relationship to be a healthier one , a relationship that will not make me hate you deep  inside.
I am not breaking up with you , I just want to tell you that starting from this moment , we  will have shorter meeting s  , no meetings after 7:00 pm because that is the time where you are most harmful to me . When I see you , I don’t want you to be wearing your 'SWEETS' suit or your 'JUNK' costume because they are not my style anymore.
Believe it or not it is going to be harder for me than you ; Actually , I am thinking of paying you a visit right now but I won't do it , because I need to do this for myself , to be a healthy , self confident and a better  person .
With Love ,
Your Friend ,
Ziad Bakri
November 12th, 2011 
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His Death Sentence

He was sure that signing that paper is signing his own death sentence. But for some reason he did not care , he went on with it without even thinking of the consequences.
The paper he signed was his marriage certificate to the girl he has always been in love with , the girl whom he dreamed to grow old with , have children and spent the rest of their lives together. The only problem was that she was not in love with him , she was in love with another man who left her ,  dumped her and broke her heart.
There are a lot of things that girls don't know , but there is no way for a girl to miss a guy who is interested in her,  she might act as if she doesn’t know , but she will probably be aware with  every single detail of what  is going around her .
In the past , she decided not to pay attention to his crush on her , he was her friend and she valued their friendship more than anything , but after the guy she was in love with left her she found herself alone, devastated and desperate for someone to fill that emptiness in her heart.
She proposed to him , she bent on her knees and asked him to marry her , both of them were sure of their feelings, he is madly in love with her and she wanted a rebound . He felt sad , humiliated and worth nothing , but he agreed. He agreed !!!
He knew that she will never be in love with him , and even though she was his friend , she was selfish . She only thought of herself and totally ignored him .The friendship that she valued at one time meant nothing compared to her humiliated ego .
 He was sure that she might and she will end the marriage at any moment t, whenever she feels that she has to move on with her life and start a new chapter . He knew that what he was doing was a huge  mistake but that did not prevent him from proceeding with the marriage .
What happens to us ? why do we do wrong things despite being sure that they are completely wrong and they will end up breaking our hearts ? Why do we allow ourselves to open a gate that is full of suffering.
He picked up the pen and signed !!!!
Ziad Bakri
November 8th, 2011
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Ten Seconds....

Ten seconds …….. One word …….One action………One look .
Ten seconds is what it takes to realize truths that have been hiding for years , to make the toughest decisions in your life , to destroy some great relations or to built great ones.
Ten seconds…….One word …………One action………..One look.
He picked the red shirt …..
She stood in the shop shocked , not knowing what to do or how to react . She was with her husband shopping , and when she found a shirt that she liked  , her husband asked her what color she wants .
“I will take the one in my favorite color” she answered.
He picked the red one !! After  ten years of marriage  he picked the red one !!! After ten years of marriage he still doesn’t know what is her favorite color .
She realized that over the decade that she has spent with him , he has never paid attention to she likes or what she wants , it has only been about him , what he needs and what he wants.
Right in the middle of the shop she told him : “I want a divorce !!”

“I love you “
He said nothing . He just waited for her to jump and tell him that she was joking . But she remained silent  , waiting for him to answer or to respond .
She is his best friend , they shared secrets , good moments , tears and they have always been there for each other.
He was sure , as she did , that there friendship is over , but will it be a start of a new relationship , or will it be the start of the end of a wonderful five year friendship.
He looked at her , held her hand and told her : “I love you too, but as my sister , I love you too ! “
“Don’t worry , everything is going to be fine “
That is what her son told her when she heard the bad news about her business. She couldn’t  believe what she heard or the way her son put his arms around her shoulder.  She realized at that moment  that her little boy has become a man , someone she can rely on .
But where was she while he was growing up , while  he was getting away from being an innocent kid playing with his toys and knowing nothing about life ? She was at work  , building her career , empowering her business and investing for the future.
Was it worth it ? Was it worth it ?
“I am sure it will be ok sweetie, let’s forget about it now . What do you think about going on a trip together  or doing any activity . I really want to spend time with you , I really miss you !!!”
He looked at her ……
It was a family gathering , all of them were there . They turned on the tv to watch their favorite show , it was a poetry competition. All of them were huge fans of poetry.
She was standing at the kitchen’s door , looking at them while they were watching . The poet was reciting a love poem , a poem were he discusses his love and passion towards the girl he loves .
With the sweet words coming from the poets mouth , she looked at her husband , she saw in his eyes a look full of love, a look that she has never seen before, but his look wasn’t directed at her , it was directed at their cousin , the one he was in love with in the past but couldn’t marry .
She was hurt , she was sad , she was angry .
She cut the electricity off !!!
One look ………. One Action………… One Word……….Ten Seconds !
Ziad Bakri
November 6th, 2011
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The Other One .... The Other Her

All the women at the funeral became silent when they saw her entering the house. The only heard sound was the one of her heels while walking .  He , was a 42 year old man who died because of a car accident , he was married and had two children . She , was the other woman , some refer to her as the middle age crisis , others call her the 'other woman'  but most people chose not to talk about her at all.
While walking through the room , she could feel their looks , every look was an accusation , a guilt and a knife , a knife that was directly pointed at her heart , but she did not care , she continued walking.
She reached his wife and stood in front of her . Even though his wife has never met her before , she needed no words , no time and no introduction  to know her , the woman who was the reason of the destruction of her life , the source of her shame because of ruining her marriage  and the big insult for her as a woman who were not able to keep her husband's love.
The women were looking at them , not knowing what to do or say . They expected them to fight , scream or even argue , but there expectations were completely wrong .
His wife reached her………
She reached her and hugged her ………
She reached her , hugged her and cried ……..
Everyone was in shock , how could she do this ? how could she hug the women whose husband was in love with ? The thing that they did not know was that at that moment , his wife did not see the other women who stole her husband from her , but she saw the only person who can understand her feelings , the only person who loved her husband truly , the only person  who occupied a big part of her husband's heart .
She hugged her because she was the only person who feels exactly the loss of that man , a woman who had real moments of happiness with him , the only women whose heart is broken for his loss.
She hugged her because at the moment she figured out that the other woman was actually …….. the other her!
Ziad Bakri  
July 22nd, 2011
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How Old Are You ?

Being there made me feel like an alien . I know them , like them , but there were a lot of different things . It was my friend's engagement party , it took me ten minutes to figure out the reality , I don't belong there.!

I used to spend most of my time with these guys , we used to go out , play and discuss our daily lives . But for some reason , and even though we are almost the same age, I felt really older , as if I was sitting with babies, not with guys who were almost my same age.

It took me one hour to reach the party and fifteen minutes to leave it . On my way home I started thinking : Is it my fault or theirs ? How come we became different ?

What a person passes through makes him who he is ; your experiences, challenges and the surroundings. For me, all of these things have pushed me to the edge of being mature or at least behaving like one .

All people think that being mature is not wrong , and I totally agree , it is something I should be proud of , but having it as a full time thing is wrong . It is very nice to laugh at silly jokes from time to time , to do something nice for yourself without thinking of when , how and how much or to learn something as a hobby not because it will help you have a better career  but just because you like it .

It is nice to be mature, but it is great to know how to be mature and live your life at the same time .

My actual age is twenty three , but my real age is thirty !!!

 So, how old are you ?

Ziad Bakri
July 20th, 2011

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The Love Investment

I was very surprised when I received an sms message from my friend telling me that she decided to get back to her husband . Anyone who knows what problems they had will definitely think that there is no way for them to complete their lives together.

I couldn't stop myself from calling her and asking about the reason , her answer was very strange " I decided to go back to him because I have invested a lot in this marriage . "

More confused than surprised I asked : " Invested ? Are we still discussing the same topic or have you developed a new passion of  stocks ?!!!"

She laughed and said :" I have been married for four years which is not a short period , and believe me I have put a lot of efforts in this marriage that it seems ridiculous to give up on it no matter what . Yes , I have invested my time , efforts and life and I am not willing to let it all go away . "

I hang up with her asking myself one question : " Since when has love become an investment ? " , " Since when has it become about the 'Quantity' not the 'Quality' ?

I remember one day a student in my class asked us to describe love in one word . Everyone started speaking about feelings and emotions except for one young man , he said that for him , love is respect . I was very happy to hear these words coming out from him and now I am happier that he thinks this way at a time where love has became related to the number of years two people have been together.

Another thing came up to my mind , how many relations have continued because a lot have been INVESTED in them ? How many friendships , marriages and work relations?

The next day I sent my friend an sms message telling her " Hey , I wish you the best of luck in your investment , and I hope that the price of your stocks will go up !!!"

Ziad Bakri
July 19th , 2011
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By The Sea

Right there she stood , in front of the mighty sea. She was happy , excited and afraid at the same time . She wasn't sure what she was doing there , she did not even know how she agreed to see him . It just felt the right thing to be done .

She tried to think about what will happen next , she asked the sea , maybe it will give her a clue or even an advice  , but the sea was clever enough not to tell her anything . She kept waiting while her hair was flying with the gentle breeze.

Moments felt like ages , she did not hear or see him , she just felt him coming. His steps on the sand were slow but steady . Along with every step closer to her , her heart was beating faster .  He stood by her side , few inches away . He wanted to look at her but couldn't , he believed that she was very valuable and vulnerable  that if he looks at her she will be hurt . He kept looking at the sea , smiling.

Both of them were smiling , admiring the sea , dying to look at each others , killed by the desire to confess their feelings to each others , to themselves !! They felt that the big sea in front of them was not enough for their feelings.   

Minutes have passed , she decided to leave . At that moment , he pulled every piece of courage he has got and looked at her  , and while she was turning around ……… their eyes met ………….time has stopped , even the waves of the sea became silent , and where did that music come from ? They were flying , flying , flying !!!

She turned around and left , doing her best to get away but not to run . At that moment , a lot of things were uncertain , but there was one thing for sure …….. A young man and a young lady were in love .

Ziad Bakri.
May 11th, 2011
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The Watermelon

"Am I being punished for my success ?" That is the question that Salma asked herself after the guy she was in love with for two years told her that he cannot marry her because she earns more money , has a higher position and belongs to a better family.

She thought he was lying to cover another reason , but after giving it a lot of thoughts and hundreds of conversations , she had to face the reality . It is true !

Success is a bitter sweet fruit , you achieve a lot of goals , shine in your field and feel excellent about yourself . But on the other hand , it affects your relations with family , friends and lovers.

Salma sat with herself and started thinking , should she feel sorry for being a successful women , or should she forget about this guy and go find someone who can really support her and appreciate what she is doing.

But is there a guy like this ? is there a friend like this ? is there a family like this ? A person who is willing to support you one hundred percent knowing that this support will lead to increase the gap between you two .

There is a quote that says " No one can hold more than one watermelon in a hand" . I don't believe in this because a lot of people have friends , families and good jobs. But is the watermelon of success that BIG that in order to hold it you have to let go of all the others ?!!!

Ziad Bakri
April 20th , 2011

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About Me

Palestinian/ Freelance writer, translator and Trainer./ I believe that writing is therapy and that is why I write./ 26 years old.
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