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Movement isn’t simply our birthright, It’s our universal essence

I sit in silence in this yellow walled room, Even in stillness there is movement; Outside my window, white clouds move, Foam the shape of gazelles decorate the sky; Down below, two children jump, They move faster than the clouds;  I smell their joy, I smile from my liver, And I suddenly remember, Our solar… Continue reading Movement isn’t simply our birthright, It’s our universal essence

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On the power of the period

My first postnatal menstrual cycle came with dread, not surprising given that for most of my life, I thought of my period as a nuisance and an impediment to productivity.  I also rarely talked about it in the open, only with female friends. My old self would be mortified that I'm posting this here. But… Continue reading On the power of the period

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Be grateful that you can read, it’s a really big deal

Three generations of Yemeni women nestled between books that my late grandma, Mama Sayida, had wished she could read. Her photo reminds me to be thankful for the magic-like ability to read. Every time I flip a page I feel her presence. Every time I turn a new page I am grateful. Sometimes I imagine… Continue reading Be grateful that you can read, it’s a really big deal

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“Still life has some possibility left”

There is so much ugliness in this world. People are murdered, suffocated to death because of the color of their skin. Bombs are falling on the most impoverished as the few rich and powerful make more money. Children are starved to death as their parents helplessly watch them turn into bones. In this kind of… Continue reading “Still life has some possibility left”

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How to Prepare for a TEDx Talk

First published as a guest blog in writer Susan Shiney's website. Everyone has their own way of writing and preparing for a talk. The following was how I prepared for a Tedx Berkeley talk in February. I hope you take what you like and adjust it to your needs and habits. Overcome Self-Doubt On the morning of… Continue reading How to Prepare for a TEDx Talk

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Human connection isn’t overrated

Every night at 8 p.m. we join our neighbors in Brussels and clap from our windows/ balconies to give thanks to everyone working to keep essential services running in Belgium, including health care & supermarket workers, trash collectors and firefighters. This has become a tradition. My daughter's nightly "bravos" out the window gives us a sense… Continue reading Human connection isn’t overrated

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A Summary of the Past Decade’s Emotional Rollercoaster

Here's an attempt to summarise the past decade's emotional rollercoaster. In 2009, I was living in the city that never sleeps. Moving to Cairo was the best decision of my life, despite the fact that everyone told me I was crazy to quit a great job in DC and move without one.  But something told… Continue reading A Summary of the Past Decade’s Emotional Rollercoaster