Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Girl with the Loud Laugh -Part II

This post is part two of the following short story: http://lamaobeid.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-girl-with-loud-laugh-part-i.html


Image result for couple at coffee shopAs they walked into a coffee shop he began having second thoughts: "What am I doing? I should go back to the library and study. I don't even know who this girl is. How..." but his thoughts were soon interrupted, "Hello?! Do you even live in this world?" She looked at him and was amused by how taken aback she was and she began laughing again and people at the coffee shop glanced their way. "Can you stop laughing so loudly?" he said and sat down not wanting to get any more unwanted attention from the crowd. "Why he is cute and serious." she said and as he blushed she could not help but to laugh out loud again. "I need to go," he said gathering his belongings "I would rather continue studying to achieve my lifelong goals than to waste time with a silly girl like you." "You are not going anywhere before I get your number." She replied. He was so struck by her boldness that he just stared at her.

"Who are you and what do you want from me?" he asked. "I like you and I have been observing you on campus for a while. After, I made sure you were single and the only action you are getting in your bedroom are the chemical reactions in those books, I decided it was finally time for us to meet." He observed her more closely, she was pretty and had nice eyes. He could not help but noticing that her skin tone was too dark for his liking, but did not give it too much thought at the time.

That day they left the coffee shop each of them with a new contact registered on their phone. They smiled and parted ways before going back on campus.

Image result for college campus friends
His friends noticed him walking in and they went up to him: "Where has lover boy been?" they taunted. "I was studying at the coffee shop." he lied hoping they would buy into it. "All alone?" they asked, but before he could open his mouth to reply, someone else did: "He was with me." He turned around to see the girl with a loud laugh who was there laughing at his friends astonished faces. "Who are you?" one of his friends asked. "I am his girlfriend. We are together. I have to get to class, but I will happy to meet you all later." she said as she walked away. "Wow, I cannot believe she chose a nerd." one of his friends retorted. " I bet she is using you to get to me." another one of his friends chimed in. "You guys can have her. I cannot even stand her laugh." he said as he stomped away angry that she had embarrassed him in front of his friends this way.

Image result for texting in bedThat night as he lay in his bed, he grabbed his phone and texted her angrily: "Stay out of my life." his phone buzzed a while later and the message on her screen read: " I am your life, without me you are nothing." "No, with you, I am nothing." he replied then turned off the lights to go to sleep. An hour later he was awakened with a buzz, he fidgeted until he found his phone and read the message: "Your friend was cute, send me his number?" this girl is crazy he thought to himself. "Goodnight!" he texted back. "But you're cuter :)" she replied. "I have an exam, we will continue this aimless conversation tomorrow." he replied. "A date?" she replied. "Whatever" he said and turned off his phone.

"Why is she so interested in me?" he thought to himself "no girl on campus was ever interested in me, after all, I'm just a nerd. She probably wants my help in an assignment. but she isn't in any of my classes. Who is she?" he thought before he finally drifted off to sleep.

What will happen next? Stayed tuned for Part III 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Filistia: Introducing Holy Land Products in a New Light




            Products from the Holy Land are especially appealing to followers of monotheistic religions, activists supporting the Palestinian cause, and those who are looking for high quality olive oil, olive oil products, and other products that the Holy Land is known for.







Filistia is a start-up company that aims to be environmentally friendly while taking their products global. The company founders Anan Abu Rmeileh and Mohammed Moraqtan met at university in 2006 and with their public relations and marketing backgrounds agreed that there is a big potential in the Palestinian market that needs to be tapped into. Following their interest, they decided to open an organic cosmetics line that would sell high-quality products both in the international and local markets. The Greek name ‘Filistia’ means the area from Gaza to Jaffa signifies both the location of the company and that the products and ingredients all come from the land.  

Filistia was established in 2015 starting with cosmetic organic soaps after years of training, planning, designing, and getting the product combinations just right. The founders believe that chemicals have affected people’s bodies and skin negatively recently and as the co-founder Anan told us: “The earth has many good things to offer.” On their website, they also highlight this through this message through the following quote: “Have you wondered why your grandma has better skin than yours? Natural products might have some benefits to tell!” Therefore, their soap is produced at a family-based workshop with no chemical additives.

            The founders of Filistia believe that in order for Palestinian products to be competitive in the market they need to be packaged and displayed in a way to attract customers and the product itself must be of high quality which is the basis they worked on when developing their products.  “There are Palestinian products that are fit to represent Palestine.” The co-founder Mohammed explained.  They have also met standards of a lot of international markets by being animal cruelty free, using recyclable packaging, re-using all their production waste and not using controversial products such as palm oil.


Filistia aims to be a leading Palestinian company renowned both in the local and international markets for its high-quality natural products which they will be adding to in order to form a whole line of natural products crafted in the Holy Land.



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

SouqBiladi.com : Palestinian Products Go Global


As we spend more and more of our time interacting with glowing screens in the virtual world, businesses have been changing their marketing and retail strategies to become a part of our new virtual lives. As we scroll down our newsfeeds come across interesting advertisements that have been directed towards us based on the cookies that our browsers have collected and our location settings that we share on social media or through GPS.

Souqbiladi.com is one of the businesses that chose its marketing and retail strategies to fit in with our technology centered lives. Souqbiladi.com is an online market specializing in natural Palestinian products made by Palestinian women, farmers, and artisans either producing individually or through cooperatives or companies. Customers can buy the products online only through the website or the mobile phone applications available for Android and iOS. 

The founder of Souqbiladi.com, Nael Obeid explains why the products are only available online: “The individuals and cooperatives whose products we are marketing and selling already market and sell their products at local retail outlets, farmer markets, bazaars and events, so we are aiming to expand their market to a new clientele that purchase their needs online. We are also making their products available for worldwide order and delivery that will introduce them to the international market where we aim to build a clientele of Arab expatriates in addition to others who seek renowned Palestinian products such as olive oil, olive oil soap, and embroidery.”

Souqbiladi.com sells products that meet one or more of the following criteria; organic, subject to free trade, produced by women, farmers or artisans, not tested on animals. Souq Biladi will be present at Birzeit Heritage Week in Palestine from July 13th-17th to network with individuals and cooperatives who are interested in entering the online market. Souq Biladi will be launching on July 14th, 2016. 





Friday, May 20, 2016

Googling Arabs: Common Stereotypes

As Arabs we tend to stereotype each other and we have created a hierarchy of power and respect depending on which Arab country you come from, so here are the results of Google-ing each Arab nationality and a commentary to go with each. The commentary comes after each picture just to help you match them up.

         


  No, just Zidane, the rest are slow






    Obviously they are either bored out of their minds on their small island or are running away from the alcoholics that conquer their island at weekends.

 
 
    Isn't it enough that they speak French? Why do you expect them to speak Spanish as well? And yes, they do eat pork, but only with their hands.


   Yes, Iraqis have guns, support isis and hate America, so stop messing with them.

 
   Yes, of course Jordanians like their king which is why they are desperate to go anywhere even Vietnam.


  Yes, they work at Fox News, but for all other jobs they import cheap labor. Alcohol? They don't actually drink it, but they just buy it to support Bahrain's poor economy.


 No, why would Kuwaitis work when they get paid by the government. They just go on cheap vacations to Asia using that money.


 No, they don't speak Arabic, they are originally French, but have been conquered by Arabs until the France freed them and taught them their mother tongue which they are still have not perfected because they are too busy celebrating holidays and partying all year round.


 Only Libyans that speak Italian like America. And they don't have to pay for electricity thus they always have money for booze.


 Google does not even recognize Mauritanians and keeps referring to the Island people instead. Oh well, most of us don't even know it's an Arab country anyways.


 Yes, Egyptian gods exist and they are the ones eating all the pork.




 Obviously, they can afford nicer vacations than their Kuwaiti counterparts and spend the excess money on booze.


 This is seriously the only option that came up. Well, it depends where they are living because apparently none of them are enjoying Lebanon.


Yes, they get free money and they used it to buy London, so they practically own it all, and your conspiracy theories did not go in vain for these are the people who voted for Sadiq Khan.


No, why in the world would they speak Arabic? And why does it bother you if they get sunburnt or not, are they asking you for sunscreen?


Yes, they want to come to Canada to eat pork and celebrate Easter, so let them in. They don't speak Arabic or any other language, so you can teach them your language and it will be their mother tongue.


 Tunisians do everything, you don't need to resort to Google.


     They marry foreigners because they are almost extinct and there aren't enough of them. And stop looking for them in Dubai, they are already extinct there.


 People kept asking what Yemenis chew until it became banned; curiosity kills. Obviously, they need to carry daggers to protect themselves from creepily curious people like yourself.
 

The Girl with a Loud Laugh- Part I

It was a stressful time for  university students that year as finals were coming up and the exam schedule was very tight. He finished his classes that day and as he walked out with his friends, they suggested that they go to a coffee shop to smoke hookah and play cards for a couple of hours. He politely declined their invitation and told them that he had to go home as his family were renovating the kitchen and needed his help. He walked out with his friends to the university gate, and waved them away as they stuffed themselves in a cab and were soon out of sight. He then hurried back into campus and headed straight to the library. He needed to pass his exams and he was not about to waste his time smoking hookah and playing cards while he stressed about passing all his classes, but he did not want to be called a nerd and be teased by his friends, so he did not dare tell them that he had planned to spend his time studying at the library after classes for the next two weeks.



As he walked into the library, the librarian greeted him as she knew him by name. He was the last student to leave the library every day during exam weeks. She was proud of him as his name was one of those printed on the door of the library as one of the top students at the university. He reminded her of her own son who always came to the library and studied until he graduated at the top of his class and was offered a scholarship to further his studies in Germany which he happily took. She was sure this young man would also receive a scholarship abroad and do great things in life.




He walked to the end of the library to his favourite table which was never occupied, sat down and spread out his his textbooks and began studying vigorously. After a couple of hours of having his neck bent over his books, he took a break to stretch his neck and arms, and as he looked up, he noticed a female student sitting alone on the table in front of him and staring straight at him. He blushed instantly and looked back down at his books. "Who is she?" he thought to himself, "And why is staring at me like that?" He was not used to so much female attention as he spent most of his time with his male friends in places void of females such as traditional coffee shops which were culturally taboo for women to go to. He looked up again to check if she had stopped staring at him, but he blushed again as he realized her eyes were fixed on him. "Why doesn't she just look at her books" he thought to himself. He looked at his watched and was relieved that the library would be closing in five minutes. He quickly out his books into his bag and hurried out the library with his eyes glued to the floor until he reached the university gate, hopped into a taxi and hurried back home.

That night, he tried to make out who that girl was, for he had never seen her in his classes or around campus before. "What was she doing in the library?" he thought "She obviously had not looked at her books at all. Does she just come to the library to stare at people who study? Maybe she is looking for a student to tutor her." He then fell asleep and set his alarm to 6:00 AM , so that he could have enough time to review for his exam before his 9:00 AM exam.

The next day he walked out of the examination room feeling confident that he had done very well, while his friends began complaining how difficult the test was and hoped they would at least obtain a pass. They then headed towards the cafeteria to get lunch before their next class started. He excused himself and said that he had to go and do something. His friends were at an age where they always joked about girls and so they teased him about having a girl that he was hiding from them. He blushed and quickly walked away from them as their laughs rang in his ears. He headed towards the library this time hoping that the girl who stared at him the previous day was there, and he wanted to know who she was and what she wanted from him.

He took his place at his table and began studying as he did the day before. He heard footsteps, but did not look up to check if it was the same girl from yesterday. He kept his eyes glued to his book as he heard the footsteps grow closer. He then fidgeted as he realized that the chair right in front of his was being pulled out. He quickly looked up and saw it was the same girl who was now grinning at him. He blushed and looked back into his books. After a few minutes, he mustered up the courage to look back up again, and there she was still staring at him! He looked back at her and asked: " Do I remind you of someone you know?" She laughed loudly, and everyone in the library looked towards them annoyed by the disruptance. She turned around, put her hand on her mouth and waved looked at them apologetically, then turned back to him and apologized. "No, you do not remind me of someone you know." she said grinning. "Then why do you keep looking at me?" he asked, and she again burst into laughter. The librarian rang her "silent bell" which she used when the library was getting too noisy. "Let's go talk somewhere else he said." as he put away his books, and got up. She had not taken any books out of her bag, so she grabbed her bag and walked out with him grinning the whole way.

He was afraid that his friends would see him walking with her and taunt him endlessly and he had two more hours until his next class, so he suggested that they go to a coffee shop nearby and she happily agreed.... TO BE CONTINUED IN PART II



Thursday, May 12, 2016

New Blog! Chronicles.of.a.Maturing.Arab.Woman

I was considering making a new blog to signify a different stage of my life where I am no longer a young woman trying to cope with her early twenties. I decided to start a new blog where I will be blogging now and trying to improve my writing style, train of thoughts, and quality of thoughts where I can use everything I learned from working on Hopes.of.a.Young.Arab woman for approximately four and a half years.

I feel that I am at a stage of my life where I need to move on and that being attached to ideas and thoughts on my old blog is holding me back in a metaphorical way.

I still have plenty of drafts that I have prepared on this blog, so I still will be posting here while posting on my new blog until I finish those drafts. There are about 98 in total, so that may take some time.

I invite you all to follow my new blog: lamaobeidchronicles.blogspot.com

And thank you for all the support and feedback you've given me on this blog! 

A Visit to the Pharmacy

After his relationship of four years had ended in utter failure, his mother was proactively searching for a bride to suit her son. And as in any Arab household when a mother starts to look for a bride for her son, she asks him about his preferences for certain characteristics in his partner, or the son bluntly tells his mother that he will not agree to marry any girl who does not meet his preferences.

The girl whom he loved did not meet one of his main preferences, but he had let that go as there were feelings between them that mattered more than physical characteristics, but if he was to get married a traditional marriage, he would not compromise any of his personal preferences which in this case was a fair skinned woman. 

His mother told her friends what her son was looking for and they did their research on all the single young women they knew and got back to her with several pictures and specifications of young women. She sorted through the pictures while listening to what each girl had studied and was working until an extraordinary white complexion had caught her eye and she caught off her friend who was talking about another girl and said: "Tell me about her." "Oh, Nadine," her friend replied "She is a pharmacy graduate and works a pharmacy in The Gardens. She is really shy and sweet." "Perfect," his mom said "give me her work address and contact information." 

She did not have lunch with the rest of the family that day, and began preparing the table for two a little before her son came back from work. As he walked through the door, she could sense the sadness in his movements and thought to herself: "He has not been himself ever since that awful girl dumped him. I found him a better girl and he will be happy again."

As he sat down for his late lunch, his mom quickly went up to her room to grab the photo of Nadine to present to her son. After, they both finished, his mom slid the picture to his side of the table. He picked it up and asked: "What's this? Who's this?" "Nadine, his mother replied. She is a pharmacist in the Gardens and she is fair skinned as you asked for." "Thanks mom, but I do not really want to go through the formalities of going to see her, and I cannot judge her from the picture; it might be photoshoped for all I know. And if I do not like her, I will be embarrassed and so will she." he replied dryly holding his plate and getting ready to leave the table. "Wait!" his mother said desperately trying to get her son to entertain the idea "I have her work address, why don't you go there and meet her without telling her that you are there to evaluate her." "Okay, as long as she doesn't know." he said. His mom pointed to the fridge where the address was scribbled on a piece of paper and held on by a magnet. He got up, placed his dishes in the sink grabbed the paper and was heading up to his room when his mom stood in between him and the doorway and pointed to the door: " Yallah, go now you are not getting any younger." He groaned and left the house with the address stuffed into his pocket.

As he got into the taxi, he was daydreaming of how Nadine would look like in real life. "Would she be as pretty as she was in the picture? Would he like her? What other physical assets did she have other than fair..." "Where are you going, boy?" the taxi driver interrupted his chain of thoughts. "Oh! Sorry!" he said and quickly pulled out the address from his pocket and read it to the taxi driver. "It seems like your in love." the taxi driver said. "No! What makes you say that." he answered. "You brain doesn't seem to have accompanied you today." answered the driver. "I am going to see a girl." he answered halfheartedly. "Aha, see I knew it, I have a sixth sense you know." said the driver. "You were wrong, I am not in love yet." he said. "Then why are you out of it today?" challenged the driver. "I am going to meet a girl, but she does not know me and is not expecting me, and I don't want her to know who I am or why I have come to see her, so I am trying to think of a plan." he replied. "I thought you told me to take you to a pharmacy." the driver said, puzzled. "Yes, that's where she works." the young man replied. "Well, then it's easy pretend your a customer and ask her for medicine." the driver said smiling. "But, I am not carrying enough money to buy medicine. I am meeting with my friends after that and I need money for coffee and snacks for the football match today." he replied. "Then ask her for a medicine that she doesn't have! Yesterday, I went to get a medicine for my wife and the pharmacist said that it is not in the market anymore." the driver replied amused with his own idea. "Perfect!" the young man replied as he paid the fare and hopped out the car as they had reached the pharmacy.

Image result for funny laughing animals
He went in and waited as other customers were being served and he observed how she was dealing with them and quickly rated her smile as a 7/10. When all the customers finally left, he approached the counter and asked for a medicine that was not longer manufactured. "That medicine is no longer manufactured, but I will check the system to see if we have any left." she said. "Yeah, I know," he thought to himself "I'm just here to check you out." He then started up a conversation all the time Two trying to make her laugh because he was very particular about the way he wanted his future wife to laugh especially after his experience with his ex and her extremely loud laugh that would cause him embarrassment whenever they went out. After all his failed attempts of getting her to laugh, he decided to crack a chemistry joke:" Two chemists go into a restaurant. The first one says I think I'll have H2O. The second one says I think I'll have H2O too... and he died." "HAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAA!!!" she couldn't stop laughing, and he was not amused at all with her laugh. He thanked her for trying to find the medicine and left the pharmacy and never went back.

As he came through the door, his mom quickly rushed to him and asked: "So what happened?" "Next time ask your friends how each girl laughs" he replied and went up to his room.