When Stone Speaks…

How can a piece of stone say so much? It’s just a random faceless rock. Add human imagination and creativity: it cries, laughs, inspires, scares and amuses. With their magic minds and hands, sculpters make the stones speak. The process is not very glamorous; it’s hard, dirty, dangerous and takes a long time. But the … More When Stone Speaks…

Mount Sinai

We started climbing at 1 am. I was wearing 2 layers of socks and closed shoes, yet my feet were cold. I labored with every step but the thought of stopping was scary because of the cold. No moon night. The sky was shimmering with stars but I had to look at the ground to … More Mount Sinai

Cat Wisdom

We took a taxi, boat, another taxi to get there. It took us 2 hours (5 hours if you walk). There were a few Bedouin camps, some kite surfers and the beautiful light blue, clear water of the Blue Lagoon (North Eastern Red Sea). As soon as we sat down on the carpets by the … More Cat Wisdom

Time Capsules

Time is funny! Life; experiences, journeys, places, people and things get filtered into sensations, snippets, fragments, memory capsules frozen in time. The capsules have keys. Once unlocked, they transport us back to that time. Details and contours are blurred, but the sensations, the cellular memory, the non-conscious entity are very present. The keys are typically … More Time Capsules

Touching My Roots

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

Who’s Crackling?

Walking along the sea shore under the moon light, silence is only broken by strange crackling sounds. A sound like I’d never heard before. The closest I could liken it to is a flamenco dancer playing her castanets quietly. There were no people, cars, radios or electricity. Everytime I stop, the sounds stop. I know … More Who’s Crackling?

Pussy Letter

Dear Hyoomn,You’ve been mostly kind to us. Caring, feeding, spoiling… Thank you! But I’m not your toy, not your child and not an ornament (even though you’ve bred some of us to be just that). I don’t need your protection or control. I’m a resilient, powerful being just like you. I love to play, bask … More Pussy Letter

Sausage anyone?

One of the things I like about living in the developing world is the connection to the origin of things. In the USA, like other “developed” countries, many things are masked, hidden and disguised with a user friendly facade. However, in many old cultures, people are in touch with where their food comes from without … More Sausage anyone?

Renewal

“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

Stars never die

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