What’s in a name?


“What’s in a name?”, said Shakespeare. Now he probably didn’t have the word tawasol in mind when he came up with that phrase. But as usual, we shall jump onto Shakespeare’s bandwagon for our own purposes.

Tawasol roughly means “to connect” in Arabic. This trait has epitomized human relationships since the beginning of mankind, when Allah created Eve to be Adam’s companion.

Tawasol requires a couple of things. The first is companions, for we cannot connect with inanimate objects, nor engage in two way communication with them. The second thing we need is a communication medium, of which we’ve chosen here the electronic one.

We humans are social creatures, we strive, and survive, in groups. We like it when we’re listened to, which says something about the need to be better listeners. Most of the time, we listen for the purpose of replying, letting our prejudices and assumptions creep in…

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On #My365DaysOfGiving

As it originally appeared on my other blog on Medium.

The Backstory

I would’ve really liked to claim that this has been a meticulous scheme on my part, carefully planned and plotted during the closing months of 2013, nonetheless this challenge which I’ve embarked upon, was inspired by something I did on the very first day of 2014. On 01/01/2014, I was in the laboratory ward of a Jeddah hospital, donating blood, because a friend had asked for help. So instead of starting the year on the right foot, I started it with my left arm!

I’m sitting there thinking, “I need to do more of this”. But like the hundreds of thoughts that permeate our consciousness every day, the idea, like the whale which comes up to the surface to breathe, sank back into the abyss of my subconscious.

Later on that evening, I was flicking through my social media channels and reading friends’ posts about how much they loved/hated the preceding year, what they were thankful for, and what they were looking forward to. Now all is well to be thankful for what you have received, but what if we are thankful for what we have given. Now indulge me a bit while I explain the latter part. Each and every one of us has the capacity to give, and it is in this simple notion that we must be thankful, that we have been granted the ability to give, from our money, our time, our ideas, our love, our any and everything.

When you are within that mindset, you can never be without it. Things start coming to you out of nowhere, and you are high (more on that later) on doing those innocuous things. Seemingly insignificant details become full blown stories, and your day, once gray and dull, is infused with magic.

Some might view this initiative as a form of self-aggrandizement, while some might prefer that people not flaunt their good deeds. However this line of thought would miss the whole point. We humans are a forgetful bunch, and sometimes we need a small reminder, that what we might perceive in our minds as routine acts, actually deliver a huge impact on the receiver, which entices us to do more of it. Consider the simple act of smiling in the face of someone, and how it induces, most of the time, a reciprocal action from the person we smiled at. Go ahead and try it, the results are phenomenal! Some of you might know the story of the second Muslim khalifa, Omar ibn Khattab, and how he used to go around at night (on top of his duties as the leader of the Muslims) of putting food outside the doors of those less fortunate. During his lifetime, nobody knew the identity of this person, and it was only after he was assassinated and the food stopped appearing that they realized it was him.

I mentioned the high I get, some people associate doing good with disregarding one’s self. But what is the point of giving others if you are not giving yourself? Nourishing your body and soul, and doing things that make you happy. Now one might argue that there are many things other than giving that’ll make a person feel happy, I’d like to challenge that by asking this: has doing good for others ever made someone feel bad?

Describing the initiative

In case you were too busy to read the above, and you’re only curious about the initiative itself, reading this will suffice. For those who’ve read this far, thank you!

I will post a photo everyday on my social media channels: Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, using the hashtag #My365DaysOfGiving describing the previous day’s act. For example, on January 2 I’ll post what I did on January 1, and so on.

The photo will relate to the day’s action, sometimes depicting the action itself (if permitted by the receiving party), sometimes in relation to it, and at others an abstract representation; together with a description, sometimes lengthy, sometimes a one-liner, but always, I hope, informative.

Some of the daily actions will be spontaneous, some will be pre-planned, and some will follow the global event on that particular day (Earth Hour being an example).

The actions will vary in magnitude, outreach, and complexity, they’ll alternate between being monetary and non-monetary, charitable and sustainable. Sometimes there will be recurring actions but I will try to limit those. Some of the actions will maybe take days, or even months, to complete, so I will only post the kick-off of that action on the day it happens.

Posting the act on one day does not mean I will stop doing it the next, on the contrary, the more things I discover and participate in along the way will only increase my appetite (hopefully!) to do more.

So I’ve read your post and feel (kinda) inspired, how can I participate?

Simple, for starters, kick off your own 365, 30 or even 7 day challenge, and share it within your circles, both public and/or private. If that proves too much of a challenge (yes you might detect the slightest twinge of playful sarcasm between the lines), by simply sharing this blogpost, you might be the reason in inspiring someone to take action, and you will share, however indirectly, in the goodwill arising from that deed.

Thank you

I’d like to thank you for reading, and hopefully sharing, this post. My goal is to inspire myself and everyone who’ll be getting this message. My goal is to make 2014 (and beyond) the year you and I incorporate this into our daily routine, embarking on a journey of purpose, and living instead of merely existing. Last but not least, thank you for giving this post a part of your time today, while I hope that I’ve given you something to ponder. Let’s give, while our time on Earth still permits.

I leave you with part of a verse from the holy Quran’s Surat Al-Mai’dah, which a friend sent me back in December 2013, I hope we all put it to good use in this year and beyond:

“…If Allah willed, He would have made you one nation, but that (He) may test you in what He has given you; so strive as in a race in good deeds. The return of you (all) is to Allah; then He will inform you about that in which you used to differ.” (Quran: 5: 48)

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كائنات بشرية ٣٫٠

يهبط كائن فضائي في عربستان وإذ به يشهد هذا الموقف، كائن من البشر يشكو لدفتره الإلكتروني:

أكتب هذه الكلمات وقد ضاق صدري من جيرانٍ [ت]ن[ا]سو الوصية، وغضو البصر عن ما لا يعقل غض البصر عنه.

 قد يكون موضوع إيقافك سيارتك في موقف يخص جارك سخيفاً للبعض، ولكنه بالنسبة لي تعدٍ وقلة إحترام. أضعف الإيمان يا أخي الكريم أن تترك رقم هاتفك كي اتصل بك فور عودتي بعد يوم طويل في العمل كي تزيح سيارتك وأركن سيارتي في موفقها. لكن للاسف لا أحد يفعل ذلك هذه الايام. وكنت قد كتبت عن التعامل والإنسانية في وقت سابق لكن هذا ليس موضوعنا اليوم.

 والتوصيات بالإحسان للغير، كانو من المسلمين أو غيرهم، تملأ قرآننا الكريم وكتب الحديث الشريف، نسرد هنا بعضها:

  قال الله تعالى: وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئاً وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْيَتَامَى وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ [النساء: 36].

وفي الصحيحين أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: من كان يؤمن بالله واليوم الآخر فليكرم جاره.

وفي مسند الإمام أحمد مرفوعا: ما زال جبريل يوصيني بالجار حتى ظننت أنه سيورثه.

وتكثر وتطول الأدلة والبراهين على ذلك، وإن اردنا أن نستنبط هذه المعاني من القران الكريم والأحاديث لملأنا مجلدات!

 الشاهد أنه بعد أن ركنت سيارتي بعيداً لأنني لم أسطتع أن أجد صاحب السياره التي احتلت موقفي، جلست أتصفح تويتر ووقعت عيني على تغريدة من الأخ العزيز ريان كركدن  فيها رابط فيديو. فلم ألبث أن مر جزأٌ من دقيقة حتى إهتز فؤادي وماج نظري ولم استطيع إلا أن أتساءل: ماذا حل بنا؟ تراجع يليه تراجع، فقدنا الإنسانية وطغت “اللهم نفسي” على تفكيرنا. بينما سبقتنا البلاد الاخرى بسنوات ضوئية، بل أنهم ارتقوا إلى درجة جديدة من الإنسانية، لا يعقل أن نجمع معهم في نفس التصنيف، فهم كائنات بشرية ٣.٠، ونحن لا زلنا في إصدار بيتا!

شاهد اللقطات في الأسفل وإستخرج منها روح المحبة والأخوة والتعاضد. يا ترى متى نرتقي ونشعر بالأخر مثل هؤلاء؟

  هذه هو الفيديو الذي أخبرتكم عنه

وهذا آخر شاهدته منذ زمن طويل، استحضره الان لنرى أن هذه ليست بحالات فردية، بل الجميع قادر على هكذا احسان

 يتفكر الكائن الفضائي بما شهده للتو، ويشد رحاله إلى بلاد الـ  ٣.٠ ليتعلم المزيد عنهم، فأولئك الذين عرج عليهم لم يحن وقتهم بعد

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وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ


كنا نتحدث أنا واصدقائي عن ليلة القدر، ولاحظت قلة معلوماتي عن هذه الليلة العظيمة، والتالي ناتج ما تيسر لنا من بحث. بالطبع هنالك المزيد، ولو لا ضيق الوقت لسردنا أكثر.

 “الأئمة كانوا لما تدخل العشرة الأواخر يعتزلوا العلم و يتفرغوا للعبادة.”

أول ما نزل القرآن = ليلة القدر أي نزل الله القرآن الكريم جملة واحده (أي كاملاً) من اللوح المحفوظ الى السماء الدنيا في ليلة القدر

( إنا أنزلناه في ليلة مباركة ) سورة الدخان: آية 3

(إِنَّا أَنْزَلْناهُ فِى لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ * وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ

من عبد الله في عشر اواخر من رمضان وتقبل الله عبادته كانه عبد الله ١٠٠٠ شهر أي ما يوازي ٨٣.٣ سنة

متوسط عمر الانسان من ٦٠-٨٠ سنة

* لَيْلَة الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْر * تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيَها بِإِذْنِ رَبّـِهم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْر * سَلاَمٌ هِيَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ )

ليلة القدر:

– عدد الملائكة التي تنزل ليلة القدر بعدد حصى الارض

– الليلة الوحيدة الذي ينزل فيها سيدنا جبريل عليه السلام من بعد رحيل الرسول عليه أفضل الصلاة والسلام

– الشمس ليس لها شعاع (تكون بارده)

– القمر يكون مضيئاً

– يَكتب الله فيها الآجال والأرزاق

– الملائكة تُؤمن على الدعاء وتُصلي و تسلم على القائمين لهذه الليلة

– من قام ليلة القدر غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه

– ليلة القدر ليلة العتق من النيران

الغافل والمشاحن يُحرم أجرها

إحياء الليلة بالقيام – التراويح و التهجد (قيام الليل)

 نية الاعتكاف في المسجد او البيت

الدعاء بكثرة وإلحاح ويقين ( اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو فأعفُ عنا)

قراءة القرآن و تدبره – استشعار عظمة القرآن ( رب افتح على قلبي بفهم آياتك)

أعمال الخير مثل الصداقات و صلة الرحم و تفريج الكرب و إطعام مساكين و ادخال سرور على قلوب المسلمين

رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: ((لأن أمشي في حاجة أخي حتى أثبتها أحب إلى من أن أعتكف في المسجد شهراً))


هم القبول والإخلاص

استعانة بالله على قيام ليلة القدر والفوز بها (لا حول ولا قوة الا بالله)

اذكار الصباح والمساء

كثرة أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم


– الإزالة

– الله سبحانه وتعالى يمحي الذنوب ثم يرضى على العبد ثم يعطيه الأجر من بعد الرضى

– يعطي العبد من الخيرات والكرامات التي لم يطلبها اصلا





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لنا الدنيا، ولك الآخرة يا شامَ

إمتزج الرمل بدماء الشهداء فبات طوباً أحمر، يعمرون به قصورهم في الجنة. دخل رمضان ففطروا على صوت مدفعٍ من نوع فتاك. سامحينا يا شام فإننا لم نقدم لك إلا هذه الكلمات، ودعاءً في السر والجهر.

هذه المنحوتة الشعرية من كتابة ليلى العامرية ، تخطيط وشغل يد المتألقة نجلاء البسام ، تحرير المقصر دوماً محمد صبح . أخيراً وليس آخراً، شكراً رشا قزاز لجعل هذا ممكناً .

صَرَخَ الطِّفْلُ الخَائِفُ يَبْكِيْ، يَسْتَرْجِعُ قِصَصَ التَّارِيْخ

يَسْتَنْجِدُ بِالمَوْتَى لَكِنْ، فَتَحُوْ رَأْسَهُ كَالبِطِّيْخْ

ثَارَ الطِّفْلُ الآخَرُ يَصْرُخُ، يَبْحَثُ عَنْ ظِلِّ مُجَاهِدْ،

إِنْ لَمْ تَنْفَعْنِيْ “مُعْتَصِمَاهُ”، أَتُرَى يَنْفَعُنِيْ خَالِد؟

أَمَّا الثَّالِثُ يَبْكِيْ طَرَبًا: “أُقْتُلْنِيْ يَا عَبْدَ اللَّاتْ،

أُقْتُلْنِي إِنِّي مُشْتَاقٌ لِشَذَى رَيْحَانِ الجَنَّاتْ

وفتاةٌ تشهد شبيحاً، يذبح ابناء الثوار

‏يقتل أقران طفولتها كي يرضي المجرم بشار

هذا الصيف طويلٌ جدًّا، تحيا فيه الشام برعب

يمشي فيه القاتل مرحًا، يتسلى بنحور الشعب

ثَمِلاً بدمٍ عتَّقهُ من عدة مدنٍ و أماكن

يترنّحُ و رؤوس العالَمِ لا ترغبُ تحريك الساكن

فتموتُ الأمُّ و طفلتها، و شيوخُ راحت عزَّتُها

قتلوا جرمًا و بلا ذنب.

أَتُرَاكِ تَفِيْقِيْ يَا أُمَّة؟

أَتَزُوْلُ الشِّدَةُ وَ الغُمَّة؟

أَيَمُوتُ الطَّاغِيَةُ أَخِيْرًا بِسَوَاعِدِ حُرٍّ ذِي هِمَّة

أَرْغَبُ أَنْ أَصْرُخَ وَ أُوَبِّخَ:

كَيْفَ رَضِيْتَ أَيَا إِنْسَانْ،

ان يقتل انسان اخر يتمرد ضد الطغيان

أَنْ تُعْدَمُ رُوْحٌ سُورِيَّة تَطْلُبُ إِطْلَاقَ سَرَاحِ لِسَانْ

لَنْ نَخْذِلَكُمْ، لَنْ نَخْذِلَكُمْ، سَنُقَاتِلُ لَنْ نَتْرُكَكُمْ

وَ تَنَالُونَ شَهَادَةَ رُوْحٍ وَ نَنَالُ الشَّرَفَ بِكُم

فَانْتَفِضُوْا غَضَبًا وَ أَطِيْحُوا بِالحَاكِمِ بِاسْمِ الشيطان

الحُرِّيَّةُ الحُرِّيَّة،

خُطَّتْ بِحُرُوفٍ عَرَبِيَّة

قِيْدَتْ بِقُلُوبٍ ثَوْرِيَّة

تَسْعَى لِتُحَرِّرَ سُوْرِيَّة
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Story-telling tips from a Pixar pro

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And then there was Uncle Drew

A pure state of awesomeness:

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How do you move a 6,200 tonne building 60 meters to the west?

Feast your eyes on this incredible feat.

Why did they do this? Well, the reason makes me want to cry:

“When its recent owner ABB announced plans to tear it down, the public handed in a petition to save it, emphasising its cultural importance for the region. Together with the new owner Swiss Prime Site and the Swiss Federal Railways, ABB came up with the alternative plan to have the entire building moved in one piece.”

Gotta love the Swiss.

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Staples Center, the chameleon

As a sports fanatic, this time-lapse video is probably one of the most incredible things I’ve seen in a while. For those of us not really in to sports, you will enjoy observing the versatility of human inventions, his attention to detail, perfection, and quite honestly, his genius.

This is what happened over the period May 17th – May 20th, 2012, whereby the Staples Center hosted 6 playoff games in 4 days for the city’s 3 teams: Los Angeles Lakers (NBA – basketball), Los Angeles Clippers (NBA – basketball), and Los Angeles Kings (NFL – hockey). The Kings have succeeded in reaching the finals, and will square off against New Jersey Devils for the Stanley Cup (which kicks off on May 30th); sadly, with the Lakers and Clippers having lost their respective playoff series, we’re deprived of seeing more of this spectacular feat:

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Guest Post: A “Piece” of My Mind

To those who appreciate knowledge, and to those who cherish the gift of knowing, the following is for you:

If I’m a teacher, an instructor, my role is to teach; my duty is to guide you; my aim is to convey to you with what once and still does intrigue me.

As I guide many today, I am frightened at what wrong I may have passed along, at how certain ideas or theories of mine have might’ve affected others in a negative way.

And I try to recall all those who have been my ‘guides’ in life. Though I know they might have done the same with me, I still stand up and salute them and pay my respects. They taught me about life, for I am who I am because of the rights and wrongs I have learnt. I am who I am because of their beliefs both conventional and unorthodox. I see the world today with a hint of the same shade that they saw theirs; an amalgam of beliefs that they strived to instill in me.

And as I reflect upon my previous guides, I am brought back to the present and am aware that I have become a guide today. How will I affect those I lead into the world of knowledge? Will I enlighten some to perfection? Will I encourage others to carry out what I have humbly served? Will I help a few to reach beyond where I stand?

You are my student today, but tomorrow you will be my partner and my companion in delivering your newfound knowledge about the truth and hopefully, what you are bound to unearth of more hidden truths.

You might become a teacher to other generations, maybe a role model to my own children, possibly a guide to the youngsters of my nation, or hopefully a representative of who we are.

If my mind has ever belittled yours, or perhaps demoralized it to an extent as to not continue on its mission, trust me, then mine has failed.

My mind is what I give to you as a guide to complete your journey in life. It becomes our whole world what we can do with our minds.

My mind is here not to show off or to make you feel inadequate. My mind is here to give you a glimpse of the wonders of what the magical journey of knowledge can take you on. My mind is here to let you take a piece of it.

Don’t let the phrases of

“I’m not good enough!”

“I’m not smart enough!”

“What difference can I make?!”


“Who am I?”

dampen your spirits. Ignore them and focus on your mission. Remember within you resides that power: the power of your mind! You are the gatekeeper of your mind, and you have the ability to control the flow of incoming and outgoing traffic.

We are one; both you and I, I’m just a bit older. So don’t pull yourself down because then, I will not gain; you will be pulling us both to the ground.

My gain was what knowledge I’ve gathered into creating my mind, but that’s not all. My gain now is the piece of me I leave you with. Shape it as you wish; a lot of what you make up of your own thoughts with a little bit of mine.

That is your role, your mission; and your duty towards yourself. You use that mind wisely, for your power is up there in your head. It continues on its quest even when we’ve parted, when our minds have departed on to their own separate ways, to what may intrigue us, to what lights us up, to what may add strength to our faith.

I’ll persist on my path and teach myself and those who come for more; that’s what I pledge to do. But as for you, oh yes you, you’ll take a piece of me, I hope, and fuse it with a lot of you, and make the best of a mind that is so pure and true.

Note from the writer of this post:

I have a rule and that is never to call myself a professional writer. Writing is a profession I leave to those who know how to do it best and to those who have time to dedicate every bit of themselves to it.

However, sometimes when luck crosses my way and I am inspired, I ‘jot’ down bits here and there, and the outcome is, hopefully, not too shabby!

My friend WordzWizard was kind enough to offer to post my piece on his blog, for which I am truly grateful.

I would also like to thank my friend Maha Wazzan, a hidden talent, whose above hadn drawn portrait did a great job conveying the spirit of this post.

I choose not to sign my name. I go by the phrase simply a whisper . . . I whisper what I believe might be a truth for bettering the human race. That is solely the aim of my voice.

simply a whisper . . .

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