Om Kalthoum, Jasmine and Coffee

My friend explained to me today an idea he came across about cultural intelligence. In simple words, he said that humans have two levels of attributes; core and flex attributes. the core ones are the ones we believe that if we give up, we are no longer who we are, whereas the flex are the ones we are willing to negotiate or compromise.

My friend’s idea left me with some thoughts about what my core is. I left a big part of me in every house I lived in, but I was also lucky to be able carry parts of my houses everywhere I went. As an architect, think a lot of the three-dimensional space, I always check places around me and analyse how designers think when they build things. I evaluate and compose a silent opinion about everything. It is annoying sometimes, but it also makes me feel special in a way. However, I believe that the emotional and the sensual dimensions are more significant to the space. I am starting to recognise this in London, especially in evenings like this when I open my window and a breeze brings the smell of the rain into my brain, “oh God! This smells like our village” I think. then I realised that places also can travel 🙂 .. In moments like these, I play Om kalthoum and I can grow roots wherever I am.

Well, there might be three dimensions for a house and five dimensions for a home… I started to recognise the sensual dimension of our home from the moment I started to be aware of who I am. I remember that our house in Damascus smelled like a specific soap. that smell was home, until spring came, then the Jasmine blossomed, and our windows would always be wide open and our house smelled like jasmine all the time. Evenings and mornings smelled like a mixture of Jasmine, coffee, and lemon blossom.

Om kalthoum’s music takes me back to the time when I was six years old playing in the yard while my parents listened to her songs and had coffee near the Jasmine tree. Familiar music notes pile up, they hold each other to build walls and ceilings, they build a home, a womb where I hibernate. I remember that I used to dislike the music my parents listened to; Their taste made me think of them as old backward couple.  Tonight, I couldn’t spend an hour at a club with my friends. I told them I have to work tomorrow then returned home to play my parents’ “backward” music and grow my roots again. After seeking change for a long time, we then seek familiarity.

looking back now, back to my friend’s idea about cultural intelligence, I think my core is not made of big ideologies or beliefs, instead it is filled with om kalthoum (in relation to my family), jasmine, lemon blossom and coffee …

my favorite tailor


It always impresses me how Picasso’s “La guernica” portraits me, and almost all of my close friends who have been through the same path more or less, except we look normal from the outside, the mess is only from the inside. I recognise how fragile my balance is when I can not engage in a conversation about how difficult it is to have your mother visit you over Easter while you have too much to study… my mom can’t visit me, that nice old lady will not see the beautiful red London buses or the stunning architecture. So yeah, I have more time to study; I will not have to be her tour guide in London, I will not take her to the Thames or London Eye. She will not see my room or the garden where I read my books.

My colleague was complaining how she doesn’t have time for her mom’s visit, while all I said was “Yeah, I know it must be difficult”, I showed a fake smile of sympathy and thought to myself, is it my fault that I don’t sympathise or that I get angry at this type of problems? I know that everyone is fighting their own battle, but why should my battle be this difficult? Why can’t I worry about my food not being organic enough or not having my vacation in the best island in Greece or even spending my birthday alone! These are the kind of problems my colleagues complain about on a daily basis, while I stay silent fearing if I talk about what worries me, I will hurt their feelings or ruin their evening. It worries me not to have a place to go to after I finish my masters because my country is not accommodating and is not a “pleasant” place to live in. It worries me not to ever see my mom again. It worries me that I don’t have a place to call home, the uncertainty, the loneliness, the exile of everything and everyone I love, death worries me… life too does… I wish I can just worry about global warming, then I would go every day to protest in front of Westminster with those nice people, but I am too broken to worry about the Earth. I wish I am that sane and sweet, but I am neither. If I am given the choice, I would probably choose to complain about the amount of field work I have to do, that I have to travel 70% of my time despite being paid three times more like that guy I met today, but I know I would be grateful to get a job unlike these people who would seize every opportunity to complain. I am not like them, I am broken. I would like to believe that I am unique because I left my pieces behind and tried to stitch myself nicely. I stitch myself on my own, I am not a good tailor, but I do my best. I do my best to be nice, to sympathise, to understand, and appreciate. I am not always a good tailor, but I am my favourite tailor.

I am sure that to other people in my country, I am like my colleagues who complain about spending their birthday alone. I live in London and I share nice photos on Instagram, oh God! We are all broken, but do I want to be fixed?

No, I don’t…

Never say never

I’m calling this post “never say never” because someday I started writing and thought no one will ever read, and I was indescribably excited about my first 5 views. 

How amazing that feeling was when I received 3 nominations from three amazing persons for a blogging award at the same time, although It’s been only a month and a half since I wrote my first thought .. I’m relatively new here , new to writing, new to sharing my thoughts and feelings with others.. and now I think it’s a great experience feeling we are really connected in a magical way. People who are sometimes half a world away still can see inside more than people who look at you eye to eye every day .. so I must say I’m getting to know more about me and about the world through this small “window” .

The nomination was actually for two awards (the versatile award) and (the very inspiring blogger award)  but I’m going to link them in the same post since they have the same rules.

So here are the rules:

  1. Thank and link back to the blogger who nominated you
  2. Post the award logo to your blog
  3. Tell seven things about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 other very inspiring bloggers and notify them









I wantto thank the sweet Shon and Jenia for nominating me to the (very inspiring blogger) award. I knew them first when I read in their blog Vantage Points a post about Syria. Shon And Jenia; you are really amazing and able to spread happiness around, Thank you.

And regarding Versatile award..

I want to thank Tono Sanchez Almustarib The person who’s able to create a long timeline in his brain joining past and present to give a better understanding to anything , spiritually and politically , Tono; Music makes sense 

And also the Nice Sreejit Poole of Mind or matter, the guy from India, that inspiring spiritual country I always wanted to visit.. and of course a country can’t be inspiring unless there are people like Sreejit there.  

Tell seven things about myself:

  1.   I’m Syrian and I live in Syria, which is the same place you always hear about in news.
  2. I’m a 25 years Girl, 25 which must be my Golden time but unfortunately not in my situation.
  3. I graduated from architecture school during this conflict. well I like it very much but I think it was a wrong time and place to study it, maybe in a different life would be better 😛
  4. I love art, I paint , I can cry staring at a painting
  5. I’m a music addict, and I sing (not perfectly) but well I love to
  6.  I don’t have any dreams right now…. Yes I DON’T .. that may be crazy but .. who’s not in a way or another.
  7. I’ve received some bad news and I’m feeling down, that’s why I won’t continue writing this post, but I will publish it the way it is.