So, I’ve been dreaming of writing in beautiful Arabic calligraphy.  I’ve had this dream for quite some time, I even have two beautiful big encyclopedia’s of Arabic “Line’s” bought for me as a gift by a wonderful friend. Yet I want to take this to the next step and actually learn from someone… and so I am asking for your help.

Please let me know if you know of a good Calligraphy teacher to study with for a month or two, preferably in Cairo or Damascus.



So throughout my life as a child and as an adult I have been asked the question in numerous forms and shapes and ways: Who is your role model? This question has always made me anxious, always. Why? I never had an answer and yet people expect you to say something, or actually name someone. And if you don’t have someone to idolize it must be a parent, since we rever them in our culture and they are somewhat sacred!

But you know what, my mother is not my role model.  I do acknowledge and appreciate that she did many great things and sacrificed a lot for us, but I disagree with a lot of things she did namely how we were raised in to be sexists and conformists. My father, well I was 12 when we lost my father so I don’t really know how he could be a role model in his absence. So there go the parents as people to emulate.

As for leaders in our times, well I hardly wanted to be a pop star, actor, sports star or any of those things. And looking around me I liked a few people who were “authority” figures but, seriously, I didn’t want to be a teacher, a professor or a manager. Even TV and movies did not present any role models that I thought OK this is who I want to be like. All the characters presented on TV we perpetuating the ideals of a “moral, conformist, sexist and patriarchal” society that didn’t resemble my life or what I wanted to grow up into (remember we only had 2 channels and  limited choice in what we saw). So I grew up without a figure to look up to or aspire to be like.

I started to read biographies, looking at the lives of people’s who were dead or outside the realm of my daily realities. I tried to look at the role models of others and learn about them. There I found things I liked and things I didn’t like. I tried to understand the cult of Che for example , when I was done I knew he was someone I respect, but  who’s approach I strongly disagree with. I’ve read the biography of many others too: Mandela, Rasputin, Queen Noor, Orwell, Mohammed…etc. And though it was interesting to learn about their lives, they were theirs to live.

So 33 years later and still no role model, where does that leave me? I’ll tell you. It left me with a lot of people to appreciate for the things they bring into the world. Things I admire and love and these are the things I want in my life. Things like passion, belief, joy, life, values, character, strength, love, serenity, intellect. I don’t want to be like any of them, but I want a life full of those things and so from different people I have learned different things; without having one role model or many. I don’t want to live their lives, I want to live mine.


Life teaches us a lot of lessons from the day we open our eyes and scream out our first cry till the day we die. Being open to life’s lessons and learning is a quality I like to think I possess. Reflecting back over my life in the past 30 years I think I have learned a few things and here are some of them:

1-      Life is tough, but the human spirit is tougher.

2-      There is always a silver lining; you just have to look very hard.

3-      Finding out who you are is a continuous journey into oneself, and it is the hardest journey one can take.

4-       Being directionless is a direction that lets you go places you would have otherwise ignored.

5-      Love does exist, and it hits you when you least expect it (thanks cupid!).

6-      Being true to yourself and who you are makes you sleep a lot better at night then awaking up to living a life that isn’t yours.

7-      The world is a beautiful place waiting to be explored.

8-      You can make a difference one person and one step at a time.

9-      I am not a superhero and its OK J

10-   We are all weird and I love it.


I wonder what you have learned in your life journey? I would love to talk to you about it and share your ideas and thoughts on life, learning and living.