Sunday, April 30, 2006

More on my trip to Dahab

Well. It all started in a great way, we hit the road on Friday morning on our way to neweiba3, five and half hours and a peaceful drive later we were there, inhaling the beautiful scenery like we never did, I went with 2 of my school buddies thought this way I’d be able to truly relax and take my mind off “the asshole” and all the shit that’s been happening recently (nothing like a guys trip with school friends to take your mind off the recent negativity)

I won’t bore you with the details of the four days as I was forced to during the subsequent 48 hours that followed the explosions.

We were having a late lunch on Monday the 24th of April after a long day of snorkeling in a place called the blue hole ( a beautiful place to snorkel and dive might I add), that late lunch was in the same place of the 1st explosion, we ate and smoked shisha and were commenting on how this trip was more than relaxing and how we couldn’t believe that we had to go home the next day (Tuesday) little did we know what fate had in store for us.

A little bit after 7pm and with the sun going down we thought we’d better head back to neweiba3 (where we were staying) and maybe see (M)’s friends who were at a camp nearby.

On our way to the car and after a 2 minute walk we heard a big BANG, first thought that came to our minds was that this was a big firecracker and we were quite annoyed, then as we looked back to the source of the bang we heard a BIGGER BANG (probably cuz it was much closer to us) then we heard the screams and started running (the reason we ran cuz the explosions were like a sequence or something and they were heading our way, plus at the time you don’t think straight, had we been doing so we would have headed straight for the sea) so as we ran towards the street the third explosion was right in front of us.

I was about 5 steps or so (running steps) behind my two friends, being overweight finally came to my rescue, that plus a pack a day keeps the bombs away ( thank you for smoking/ nobody likes a quitter) as well, when the third explosion happened, I thought I saw (M) fall on the ground from the explosion (both he and (MO) were at the border of the smoke that resulted from the explosion.

I ran towards the sea at that point, looking around and struggling to find both of my friends, they weren’t anywhere in sight, and I thought (oh my God they killed them both, the fuckers killed them both) while another part of me was refusing to believe so and still hoping they were okay.

For those who are not familiar with Dahab, the sea is about 3 meters below the pavement, a slope of gravel towards the sea, I went up a little bit towards the pavement expecting to see the worst, (M) and (MO) lying dead on the ground or torn into pieces.

As I went up a little bit I became more visible and while shouting both their names and still not believing that this is happening again for a third time in Sinai (MO) saw me and called for me, I went back towards the small strip of beach to find (M)’s shirt filled with blood and washing his face in the sea and (MO) standing next to him holding him steady, I asked him if he was okay and he told me he was bleeding from his face (at first I thought his nose was bleeding from the smoke but then I saw the cut on his nose and cheek)

The beach was filled with foreigners hugging each other and their little kids crying their eyes out and terrified of what’s happening, scarred for life from what happened for sure.

(M) laid on the beach and rested his head on the gravel, I stayed with him while (MO) went to find a clinic or hospital or doctor to see what we can do with (M)’s facial injury all three of us fearing (M) maybe scarred for life. He returned 10 minutes or so later telling us to follow him, we crept alongside the beach (the safest place at the moment) and took a shortcut through one of the numerous camps scattered alongside the beach to find ourselves at the main street and away from all the carnage.

I took my car and passed by both guys and we even took a guy and a girl with us who were going to the hospital, as soon as we arrived at the Dahab hospital we were greeted with hoards of people again crying their hearts out and the hospital entrance was scattered with dead bodies and half humans and people with missing limbs and then you realize how lucky you were that only one of you was cut in his face and the other two escaped unscathed.

Realizing that nobody in the tiny Dahab hospital was going to have time for someone with a potential scar on his face with the dead bodies and the hundreds injured we decided we should seek treatment elsewhere, Sharm’s hospital was receiving injuries as well so we ruled it out and we decided to go back to neweiba3 to get first aid until we get back to Cairo as soon as possible in order to have a professional (preferably a plastic surgeon) take a look at it

It took us about 2 hours to get out of Dahab’s check point as they were only passing dead people and big injuries on their way to sharm, we parked and walked about 1 km (barefoot, both me and (MO) lost our slippers when we first started running only (M) had his on, says more about quiksilver flipflops than it does about Gap flip flops and nike slippers), anyway we walked about 1 KM towards the check point and explained to the officer ( a young officer but highly efficient one) that our friend needed stitches and he let us pass after taking all our details and my car’s details.


We were the probably the first or among the first cars to get out of Dahab on their way to Neweiba3 (most of the other cars went to Sharm, the ones with the serious injuries) that shouldn’t have been a problem on it’s own but the fact that we had an injured person in the car and the fact that both the Taba and the Sharm bombings had an injured party this resulted in an automatic red flag for the government, it’s now a standard procedure to report any injured person in a bombing in Egypt, (you’d think that if I am the one detonating the bomb I’d have the presence of mind to get away from the bomb)

So we passed one checkpoint (the saint katerine one) and we went to the newiba3 hospital for some first aid for (M) then passed another checkpoint (the newiba3 checkpoint) we stayed for about 20 minutes at that checkpoint where they took our id’s and did some background checks on us then we went to our camp, packed our stuff from the hut, and went to the main hut/reception to hand in our keys and checkout.

Then we hit the road…

We started the road at about 12:30 am Tuesday, and passed the Taba checkpoint with no problems, then about 50 km later at the Nakb checkpoint all hell broke loose.

We were stopped at the nakb check point and they searched my car thoroughly and took the injured (M) upstairs to meet a high ranking officer to talk about the incident since we were the first witnesses to make it through this checkpoint (or so they said)

We were asked about half a dozen times about the incident, and what we saw to which we replied and clearly mentioned that (M) needed surgery for his face so as not to scar, they kept us there and treated us very well for about 1-2 hours then when we wondered what was the delay for they told us that there was a police warrant for (M) regarding the incident that needed to be cleared up we didn’t believe it first until they showed us the actual report/warrant and even though the report was in his name it did state a different car than mine so we were sure that it was a small mix up or similar names that would take another hour max, but when that hour did pass and nothing new happened I phoned my father and told him I will be late and explained the mix up, then at about 6am another officer came in and took our mobile phones and we were isolated from the real world. (we started to panic about then)

When my dad phoned me and found no reply he was worried sick and decided to travel to Sinai (about 600km drive) he left cairo about 11 pm (both (M)’s and (MO)’s parents didn’t know we were in Dahab because my friends didn’t want to worry them

Then we were left at the small room in that checkpoint for about 5 ½ hours until about 11:30 am Tuesday morning, where another officer came in and told us we were going back to neweiba3.

And we stayed in newiba3 untill about 2pm till the orders came to take us back to dahab for further questioning, which lasted about from 4pm till 1:30am the next day (Wednesday morning)

Overall the entire experience lasted 48 hours with a 22-23 hour interrogation in the middle (But truth be told we were never abused physically by the police during any minute in the 23 hours even though at some point in the interrogation we were suspects) seems like not all the horror stories we hear about the police are true, sometimes they can be humane.

It’s the mental abuse that gets to you (not knowing what you’re in for, lack of sleep, lack of food, and the anxiety and worry about your injured friend) we were cracked a long time before the interrogations were through.

I am simplifying the story, skipping a lot of details for reasons of anonymity and because I don’t know how much I am authorized to say about what happened

I still don’t believe that we became prime suspects in the bombings because of what happened, (I guess that makes me “THE kareemfromegypt” ) because we cared about our friend’s face and didn’t want him to be scarred for life, talk about bad luck. At the same time I believe the police were doing what they had to do, however late they were in doing it, I still can’t blame them for most of what they have done. I have a lot of views about what happened but at this time I choose to keep them to myself. Maybe I’ll talk about them later, maybe I can tell them face-to-face to some of you, I’ll definitely tell Cup Of Malice about it later when he comes on vacation or when I travel to Dubai whichever comes first.

In the end I’d like to add that maybe I haven’t given this post it’s due but the main reason is not laziness as much as it is FEAR, yes after what happened I am afraid to talk about it, I am became a coward and I have good reasons, just can’t talk about them in a blog.

Take care…

Friday, April 28, 2006

I was in Dahab

I’m okay now, but it took me and my friends 48 hours to get home after the explosion due to some misunderstandings, more on that to come later. I just don’t feel like writing now.

One of my friends has a scar on his nose and cheek from the third explosion and I have a very small scar on my right arm, the third is okay. We’re okay now but he needed plastic surgery.

None of us died el hamdolellah or even worse lost a limb or an eye, I just didn’t have time to check this blog or reply to any of your comments. I will later, but yesterday (Thursday) we were mainly concerned with our friend who needed the operation, and now I thought I’d let everybody (mainly Yasjess and raghood) that I’m back and okay.

I have an interesting story of what happened there, I was between the second and the third explosion, but that’s a later post, plus I promise to reply to everybody who commented on the last post of having kids, thanks everybody and take care.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Trip and having kids

I am traveling for the next 5 days or so Egyptian Easter plus the liberation of Sinai gave us a long weekend and a much needed break.

I leave you with this thought to ponder.

What would you do if you discovered after 2-3 maybe even 5 years of being happily married to your soul mate that you couldn’t have kids?

I had this conversation with a couple of my friends a while back

And then we proposed the other option (what would one do if the soul mate was the one who can’t have kids?)

Tough call…

(M) said that he would remarry if she couldn’t have kids, cuz he wants kids and that having kids is what drives you forward after sex and glory fizzle out. (I’m not sure if he was the one to initiate the conversation or if I started the debate, but he was outspoken about it and quite honest). He also said that if it was him who couldn’t have any kids that he would divorce said soul mate to avoid putting her in a situation where she had to chose ( to save her the embarrassment of having to ask for divorce, to make the ball in her court, so if she was to shy or afraid to hurt his feelings by asking for divorce she wouldn’t have to) I found that both opinions were not a bad idea though debatable
p.s his girlfriend was not present at the time (although I doubt it would have made a difference)

“the asshole” agreed that if it was him he would save her from being the bad person by divorcing her ( not offering cuz she would just say no out of emotions, but by actually divorcing her and seeing how things work out after six months or so) upon asking him if he would divorce her if it was her who couldn’t have kids he said no that he viewed marriage as a death do us part more or less and one should take his soul mate as a package. He was single at the time but had feelings for the first girl/colleague and had just broken up with (N)/ his current fiancĂ©e ( my guess that the whole soul mate/ package thing was a result of his hopeless romantic phase) ie: I don’t think this would be his normal reaction I just think that this was how he felt at the time

As for (H) who was engaged and still remains engaged to (MO), she said that she wouldn’t divorce her husband or ask for divorce in the Egyptian sense ya3ni citing the same whole package thing and also stated that it’s hard t predict the reaction of oneself in such situations, when asked what she would do if it was her who couldn’t have kids she said that it wasn’t her decision but that she wouldn’t accept being “a dorra” as in him remarrying and keeping her as a first wife and that she would ask for divorce if he wanted to remarry. ( her fiance was not present too)

More or less the remainder of the girls approved the not accepting to be a first wife and having him remarry, which I agree with at the moment

As for me, who was highly single at the time by choice and still remains single now (for lack of choices) I had the following to say

Having kids is basically one of the fewest driving forces in life that are not associated with a selfish reward, I mean one wants to be proud of his kids but more than that he wants them to be happy, after your sex drive slows down and after the gleam or glow of having a strong career where you fulfill yourself in fades out, what most of our parents have is doing the best for us.
I’d like to experience that kind of unconditional love towards my kids, that kind of love that’s almost impossible to happen with a partner.

Having said that, I’d much rather be happy with my partner than be miserable with another partner and just staying together for the kids’ sake. So divorcing her or remarrying just because she can’t have kids is out of the question.

however if that fact affects us as it most probably will, and she starts getting insecure about that fact and start smothering me and accuse me of wanting to remarry and starts getting self conscious around other women and their kids then the relationship is doomed. ( so it’s not the fact itself but the consequences that will cause the break up)

on the other hand if I was the one who can’t have kids, then the situation differs, I think I would do the same thing (M) proposed which is divorce her, knowing me I think I would be insecure about such a fact, and that I can’t give her the one thing that most women want more than anything in life. Of course I’m talking about a hypothetical partner (I still don’t know what the actual situation will be) maybe she won’t be that big on kids :)

I’m not a jealous guy, I’m the opposite of that usually in a relationship, in a healthy relationship that is, when the partner considers your feelings. Childish attempts to make me jealous in the past haven’t worked either as I usually saw through them, the only time I get jealous is when I feel belittled by my partner in something she says, and in that case I will have something to be insecure about and i probably will be too alert and too sensitive

In the end I guess what I’m saying is it’s difficult to predict your outcome as it differs from one case to the other

One of my dad’s best friends and his wife don’t have any kids, and it’s a special case as well ( the doctors told them that due to both of them having low fertility, it’s not possible for them to have kids together, that means that if either of them had been with another partner he could have kids, it was a simultaneous decision from both of them to stay together, they tried artificial insemination a couple of times and when that didn’t work they just gave up, just wasn’t meant to be. (That was in the late 80’s so medical discoveries were not as advanced as they are today) probably if they had tried with what we have now it could have worked but they’re both over 50 now.

I always admired their decision, made me feel that there was still some romance in this world, and the fact that it was both of them made it even more romantic, there weren’t as many problems as there would be if it was only one of them who had the problem but still they faced some hardships because of their decision, the fact that none of them would be kid less if they had divorced and remarried and the fact that they chose to take the hard path together made me respect what they had.

In the end I would like whoever wants to comment on that topic to share his views, what would you do if it was you and what would you do if it was your partner/soul mate

P.S It’s a long post but I thought I must write something before I travel for the next 5 days, I’m not your regular 5 posts a day blogger but I try whenever the chance arises

Friday, April 07, 2006

More about me

here are some stuff about me!!!

i agree with the wierd, personality, and both kissing ones although the whole expert kisser makes me sound like a don juan (guess i'm a very fast learner)

shame on you blogthings!!! i never thought i was more female than male ( is that a bad thing?) although they did say "underrated blogger"... i like that

You Are 68% Open Minded
You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.

How Open Minded Are You?

You Are 50% Weird
Normal enough to know that you're weird...But too damn weird to do anything about it!

How Weird Are You?

Your Personality Profile
You are sexy, powerful, and bold.You're full of passion and energy...Sometimes this passion has a dark side.
You feel most alive when you're seducing someone.You never fail to get someone's attention.Quick minded, you're also quick to lose your temper!

The World's Shortest Personality Test

Your Kissing Purity Score: 46% Pure
You're not one to kiss and tell...
But word is, you kiss pretty well.

Kissing Purity Test

You're an Expert Kisser
You're a kissing pro, but it's all about quality and not quantityYou've perfected your kissing technique and can knock anyone's socks offAnd you're adaptable, giving each partner what they craveWhen it comes down to it, your kisses are truly unforgettable

What Kind of Kisser Are You?

Your Ideal Relationship is Casual Dating
Maybe you're looking for love...But mostly you're looking for fun.You could get serious with the right person.For now, though, you're enjoying playing the field.

You Should Learn Portuguese
Muito legal! For you, learning a language is all about the lifestyle that comes with it.And Brazilian beaches, hotties, parties, and soccer matches are just your style.

What Language Should You Learn?

Your Brain's Pattern
Your mind is a creative hotbed of artistic talent.You're always making pictures in your mind, especially when you're bored.You are easily inspired to think colorful, interesting thoughts.And although it may be hard to express these thoughts, it won't always be.

What Pattern Is Your Brain?

Your Brain is 60.00% Female, 40.00% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

What Gender Is Your Brain?

Your Hidden Talent
You have the power to persuade and influence others.You're the type of person who can turn a whole room around.The potential for great leadership is there, as long as you don't abuse it.Always remember, you have a lot more power over people than you might think!

Your Blogging Type Is Thoughtful and Considerate
You're a well liked, though underrated, blogger.You have a heart of gold, and are likely to blog for a cause.You're a peaceful blogger - no drama for you!A good listener and friend, you tend to leave thoughtful comments for others.

You Are The Opposite of Machiavellian
You don't have a cynical, power hungry bone in your body.Honest and kind, you believe being a good person is the most important thing.While your upstanding morals should be admired, be careful!You're at risk for being manipulated and toyed with.

How Machiavellian Are You?

Your Seduction Style: The Charmer
You're a master at intimate conversation and verbal enticement.
You seduce with words, by getting people to open up to you.
By establishing this deep connection quickly, people feel under your power.
And then you've got them exactly where you want them!

What Is Your Seduction Style?

hey, i'm a charmer!!! anyone feels like grabbing two cups of coffee tonight? i do like coffee very much and long talks ( i guess the talking part comes from me being 60% FEMALE!!!!)

update/p.s i appologize for the fact that most of the links don't work, something went wrong during the posting and i don't have the slightest clue how this stuff works :s

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Another one bites the dust…

Are you ready, are you ready for this? Are you hangin’ on the edge of your seat?

(I wish I was making this up)
Here goes, another friend of mine (S) is getting married, Other than “my best friend the asshole”. He’s both my and the asshole’s best friend. What the hell can I say? Is it a virus? Some sort of epidemic? The Egyptian version of “march madness” ?

I guess the wedding crashers’ philosophy applied to him which is just plain wrong, the whole idea of getting vulnerable at weddings or engagements is supposed to happen to girls and girls only ( sorry ladies but it happens )

However I never heard of a guy pushing forward his proposal date by 3 entire months just because he attended his best friend’s engagement a week before. (Stupid people)

Anyway, I just thought I’d say SOMETHING about it, dunno what else to say

Saturday, April 01, 2006

The lack of passion that R L told me about...

I was chatting with a friend from Spain, and while discussing and analyzing stuff she accidentally told me the reason behind my writer’s block

People who don't know me well and even some of my friends might wonder what block?

you see I have been in the process of writing a novel, it's my first time to attempt to write seriously and first time for me to write something longer than two pages and to commit to it for a period of more than two days (I bore easily) it was all good and I had a couple of chapters in the bag and things were going as I wanted them to, I really felt I had something good going on. (I still feel so)

Then I just dried up.

For no apparent reason I just couldn't think of anything new to write, not for lack of things to write about, I had many ideas, just couldn't get them down in writing for some reason and that reason was lost to me.

in the beginning I thought maybe I have to much to worry about at the moment as in not enough free time to get creative, and part of that is true I have very little spare time on my hands, then thought if you want to commit to this you have to schedule it, you know incorporate it in your timetable, make time for it

Well… that didn't work too, I scheduled three nights a week, just for that purpose and still I ended up during those three times a week doing nothing but commenting on blogs, I even started this blog to take my mind off the frustrations about the story.

In order to further understand the problem you must know that my story is about relationships, guys and girls in general having trouble finding what they want, and in some cases not knowing what they want. (I find the topic very interesting and at the same time I don't feel that there has been something similar to the way I address it) It has little hints of the movie closer, in the sense that it has a big emphasis on dialogue, I found that movie to be very well written, I enjoyed the dialogue very much, it's one of my all time favorites.

Now I read somewhere a well known writer say (probably Steven king in danse macabre but I can't bother to check it out) that the majority of first novels are to a very big extent autobiographical, this is what I strived not to happen in my case. I don't want to write about my personal experiences, not to publish it anyway, plus the fact remains that my experiences do not cover the entire range of things that happen in a relationship and I wanted the novel to have a little bit of the truth to “anybody” who read them ( tough challenge I know but I like it)

so moving on to the problem I was having with being blocked, and realizing that even though lack of time was a contributing factor it wasn't the main reason behind itso I thought maybe if I ignore it long enough it will go away, maybe if I just let it go the urge to write will seize me again as it did before

And as I was doing exactly so and chatting with a friend from Spain, she accidentally diagnosed my problem (she has a medical degree in some psycho-related field) and although she was commenting on Kareem in general I found that what she says is exactly the problem with my writer’s block.

She described me as a very passionate person, someone who’s passionate about everything from food passing by love and music and back to food again.

And it hit me… that I haven’t been passionate about anything for the past couple of months (how could I be???). Apparently while all the problems -specifically the ones with my friends- fueled me in the beginning to write more and in a better way they took out a lot of energy from me, and to that I don’t know what to say!!! (Although a few four lettered words come to my mind)

I need to find new people, interesting ones, to help with the feeling of betrayal that I have towards my friends, I have a whole lot of negative energy towards them due to a multitude of reasons. I need to get back in touch with my school and college friends from the past.

In the end this post doesn’t mean that I am back to writing my novel, not yet, however it does mean that hopefully I am on the way (right track) to solving it.

List of thing's to do: learn Spanish so I can get to know her better (her English is very poor)