Alexandria, Egypt, 1970s: we grew up in the same neighborhood within walking distance from each other. Went to the same schools, sat in the same classes from kindergarten to high school, had the same friends. Went through childhood, puberty, early adulthood and first love stories together. We carpooled to school, ate, played and slept in … More Touching My Roots
“Renewal” typically has positive connotations: new beginnings, hope…etc, things that inspire optimism. Except in Egypt. “He/she got a renewal” means that their indefinite, illegal prison sentence has been extended 45 days. Then what? Another 45 days that typically add up to years. Tens of thousands of Egyptian families, mine included, live with loved ones behind … More Renewal
Bigtalk! I hate smalltalk! I’d rather be silent than waste energy on smalltalk. Since I don’t follow the news, don’t watch sports, could care less about the lives of celebrities and don’t have the stomach for politics, I am not interested or able to participate in most party conversations. I also hate the “4 men … More Bigtalk!
The Ides of March came to find me in my, then, favorite s€x positive eco community where we were going to manifest our collective dream of living in harmony with nature and each other. 20 of us practicing free love, self responsibility, transparency, trust and taking care of the land and each other. You may … More Beware the Ides of March!
A celebrity, an icon, bigger than life. I grew up watching him on TV. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would meet him in person, let alone have him as my mentor, inspiration and friend. The day he told me “براڤو عليكى يا هاله!” (Well done, Hala) after seeing my performances, … More Stars never die
“What’s the biggest difference between here and Egypt?”, a friend asked me when I moved to the USA, (North Carolina) a long time ago. She expected some sob story about the plight of women, who need to be rescued from male oppressors by enlightened western minds. I could see the disbelief and disappointment on her … More Believing the News
“We’ll talk when I see her next time”, I thought to myself. My cousin wrote me a letter raising some questions about my beliefs. I knew it was going to be a long, difficult conversation and I decided to have it face to face. She was a young mother with 2 healthy boys, a beautiful … More Love Death! Part 2
“I want to die”, she kept saying, “Enough of this”. As a doctor, she knew there was no way out of her ailment alive. Shortly after my Mom turned 80, her mind and body started a fast spiral down. Dementia was turning the lights off in one part of her body after another, like a … More No Words Needed
When I decided to go to California, I felt resistance and resentment. I was planning to meet my beloved, Russ, in Paris, celebrate his birthday on a Mediterranean island, enjoy the last bit of European summer before migrating south. Instead, his birthday started in a dusty, messy house, with junk all around us, I had … More Plans Derailed
My mother was shocked when I told her. Shocked is a gross understatement. You’re shocked when you park your car in one spot and find it in another, but what’s the word for when your world turns upside down? When you see the sun rising in the west? That’s how disturbed my mom felt and … More Dance Miracles!
Life is all fun and games until you accidentally fall and fracture a toe or two. Luckily it happened while I’m home in California among family and friends. I’m flying high in a Contact Improv dance engagement. One slip. I’m on the floor with intense pain in my foot. I guess the universe is telling … More Grounded!
When you see me dance, you’re not seeing me… dance, you’re witnessing my naked soul soar. I’m not the “me” that you and I know. When I dance, my soul breaks free from my body, from restrictions, from thoughts and it flies. There are no boundaries when I dance, no limits, no ego, no time … More Life on dance!
Egypt was bitter sweet, very bitter and very sweet. Celebrating Eid with my brother’s family: very sweet! My brother couldn’t join us: very bitter. Playing with my adorable grandniece and grandnephews: super sweet. My brother cannot see them: painfully bitter. Snorkeling daily in the Red Sea: heavenly! My brother sees the sun only 1 hour … More Behind the Sun
I’ve had the habit ever since I remember. Sometimes I surrender to it and sometimes I resist. I can stop whenever I want, I believe, but what’s the point? When I think “I should stop”, that only lasts until I see the next opportunity then I’m on it again. The sweet sensations of freedom, excitement … More My Addiction is…
We had skeletons in our closets, literally. Sometimes, they were on the dining room table (not for eating :-). I grew up in a medical household where human bones were for studying. The only non-doctors in the house were the cats and me. Talking about body parts, illnesses and bodily fluids were normal dinner conversations. … More Any non-doctors in the house?
It’s against my religion to voluntarily travel to cold weather. I don’t carry winter clothes (except for 1 emergency jacket), to keep my luggage light. Yet here I am, in northern California in December wearing 4 layers of clothes, socks and shoes with my hands cold all the time… and loving it! Catching up with … More Merry Cosmos and Happy No Fear
I don’t like to lie. It complicates life and kills something beautiful inside me; the comfort and relaxation of just being me. However, there is one super delicious lie that set me and my dad free. It still makes me proud when I think about it. You see, my dad was very religious. He believed … More Eat, Play, Love
Samantha Elizabeth hosts “Your Ecstatic Sacred Soul” show. She interviewed Hala on July 26, 2018. You may watch the interview here: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2035510249816152&id=1816834025017110
Our last remaining cat, Zuzu was diagnosed with chronic renal disease, his kidneys are failing. He’s only 9 years old. After losing Baby Semsem and Queen Keesha earlier this year, I feel like the Old Lady in “A Fish Called Wanda” except that it’s not funny anymore. It’s actually very sad and painful. 😦 Oct … More The last straws
Keesha’s dead. My beloved companion of 11 years passed away today. The Queen is gone. She was the softest cat ever, had the sweetest personality and the cutest meow. I love her beyond reason and worship her kind, sweet soul. She had been losing weight for the past 2 months or so. Last Wed, the … More The day love died
Whoever controls women’s bodies, owns the future. Wouldn’t you rather be that person? It’s YOUR body after all. Nature is your best guide; if your body craves it, then it’s good. Whether it’s food, sex, movement, love, sunshine, touch, water, music, rest, exercise,…etc. Listen to your body and cherish it, it’s your ONLY faithful companion … More The future is female!
Tonight, as we were leaving the house, Shawn noticed something in the road and said in horror “I think I saw Semsem”. So we drove around and came back to find our baby cat Semsem flattened on the street. Looked like a vehicle drove over her and flattened her like a pancake. RIP Semsem. She … More 2016
I was in the park the other day watching wild ducks and geese and enjoying the natural beauty when I saw a young boy, about 7 years old, chase a duck. He pounced on it, picked it up and walked away holding it under his arm. I walked up to him and asked him to … More Seeds of violence
Frankincense tree. شجر اللبان. They make cuts in the main trunk. Collect the oozing sap (frankincense). Cut again in the exact same place, collect again. The third time gives the best quality product. There are 4 types of frankincense. It’s used for medicinal as well as ornamental purposes. The tree has to be at least … More Oman Frankincense trees