Their struggle is not in vein 


In the memory of those who proudly sacrificed their lives for our beloved country. 

Link to the original article. 
His mother remembers him as the handsome man he always appeared to be to her: tall and strong, with a shaved head and always with a hint of bukhoor. The bukhoor that she made for years and sold for a few dirhams in order to secure a decent life for her children. The scent is stuck to her fingers as she moulds the ingredients into round black pieces and preserves them in a glass jar, hoping that his memory will be locked in there, too, but with every whiff, her eyes well up. Each morning his wife applies the bukhoor to his children’s clothes before they leave the house, as though reminding them that they come from the bloodline of the brave. A deafening silence fills the house as the smoke rises and his memory swirls. He was a man of honour, one who was familiar with the horrors of war. Upon his departure he kissed their heads and promised he’d be back; instead they got his uniform and medals draped in a flag. 

This week we remember those who have fallen while protecting the glory of the flag and the safety of this country. 

Forty-four years ago, on November 30, 1971, a young policeman called Salem Suhail Al Khamis fell defending the Greater Tunb island when the Iranian armed forces made their first military assault. There were only six members at the police station that night; the calm island never required more forces. As the enemy forces marched on, the soldiers used the station as a fort and started attacking. The battle went on for hours, and when they couldn’t defend the fort any longer and as one of the men tried to bring the flag down, 20-year-old Al Khamis stepped out and refused to give up. They opened fire and he fell at the foot of the flagpole. The fort was compromised. 

The UAE’s brave soldiers have fought in conflicts to make sure that the hands of the enemy don’t touch the serenity of this country’s unity. They have helped citizens in ­neighbouring and far off countries. 

Each one of us carries the burden of their duty. Their sacrifices shouldn’t be forgotten; their glory should seep through us and ignite a fire that can’t be withheld. In their memory, we should work together to make the UAE proud of its children, and be heroes in our chosen fields. 

Our soldiers who fell in Yemen were helping a sister country survive and revive. They kept their oath, one that they repeated proudly every time they sang our national anthem, the last line of which says: “We sacrifice our lives for you, oh my homeland.” 

These heroes are not dead, they are immortal, and their glory will be studied and repeated. May peace and our prayers always be with them.

Searching for my voice


Hello World, how have you been.

Sorry i have been MIA on my blog for sometime but i wanted to share an article i wrote for the Women’s Majlis section in The National newspaper.

The article was published on Friday the 2nd of October and i have uploaded a scanned copy of it for you to read here. You can also read it on their website through this link http://m.thenational.ae/arts-lifestyle/the-womens-majlis-lets-look-at-rights-for-single-women .

This article was inspired by the current hype the UAE is going through with regards to the Federal National Council elections. When researching the candidates i found everything but what i was searching for, my quest to find a voice that represent me as a single woman on the council remained unaccomplished.

However perhaps my main inspiration was the fact that people are ready to SKIN women from humanity and treat her like an object that requires “fixing” of some sort.

I hope you enjoy it 🙂

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Happy Reading.

Day 99: Banafsaj 100 days of writing


What is this urge I have to sleep next to my notebook and pen. To always have them at the reach of my fingertips. To stay up after all lights are out, as my eye lids grow heavier than ever, but I insist to write, write something, write anything, I need the fume of paper more than I need air ,,, do you feel the same ?

Day 56: Banafsaj 100 days of writing


Be brave when facing the day
You are a blazing orange fire, the sun can’t hurt you
You are the calm blue ocean,nothing can drown you
Be as light as the wind. As strong as a young tree. Be rooted in your believes, let them be your guid. 
Be brave. To be who you ought to be. Be brave in trusting the divine. Be brave. 

3 Sins


A whistling breeze carved its way through the little cracks in the shabby window making my spine twist and shiver under my skin, I didn’t move.

I lay down there in utter silence like a corpse long forgotten, like a ghost just unseen, like nothing but yet another dead sheep in the barnyard.

I lay there in my old purple dress that was torn from the side and allowed cold to devour me under it cruel mercy. My hair and arms were flung about the floor as my right arm grew numb under the pressure of my body as I refused to shift from the position I lay in for so long. The whistling breeze soon became a howling wind that shook and played with this old cabin in the woods. There was no light any more so I guess it’s evening again.

I’ve been here for a few days now I don’t remember how many but I remember why I came and I remember who I am and I remember my sorrow and pain that followed me.

I moved my eye from the window to the fireplace and a long deserted chimney that forgot the definition of warmth. A small sigh slipped my lips as I muttered the only words in what seemed like a lifetime of wait for death “so this is my grave”.

Flashbacks played in my mind as I kept remembering bits and pieces of my life. I recall people saying that this was normal for a dying person. Clips from my life played like an old film reel before my eyes, I remember these memories that were just meaningless events.

“NO” I muttered to myself.

I spent my life sheltered within the pages of my religion; I was always a believer that everything happens for a reason, a good reason. Only god can see the full picture and we are mere mortals, we can only believe, and believe I did.

But I can’t seem to let go as I stress on the fact that there are memories that changed my very nature, turning points if we may say, that altered my reality completely.

It has been 10 years since I was bullied for the last time in school, I as bullied for 11 years before that. I even remember my first bully who was a chubby bronze skin boy on my school bus. Rashid was his name I guess, I still remember those psychological scars that ashamed me as a child.

It has been 15 years since I met my oldest friends, she wasn’t the first but she was the one that lasted the longest. She thought me the most and disciplined me the most.

It has been 3 years since I graduated from university with my bachelor’s degree, though it seems like a lifetime for me.

It has been 2 years and 6 months since my grandmother passed away taking with her the blessing that she once had upon us.

It has been 3 years 3months and 4 weeks since I fell in love last time. It’s the longest and the shortest one-sided affair that still twitches my heart. Every time our eyes met it was like the cold of winter night and heat of the summer day, we existed in one reality but were never destined to unit, just ignite in our flames of pain.

It has been forever since I lost faith in so many people around me, why; I can’t count the reasons why, for they are endless.

I have no regrets in life because I believe that everything happens for a good reason, yes I was hurt, and yes it wasn’t easy and it wasn’t the worst of the plagues that descended upon me. It was not nearly as big as the crime I ran away only to die this painful death, alone in the darkness, petrified in the cold. After all I deserve this. I killed my own husband.

All I could hear while hiding in the darkness is sound of my breath, as the wind decided to be merciful on my departing soul. My breath kept getting heavier as the world kept spinning around me. I was fighting now for each single breath in this pitch-black darkness. I tried to move my feet that kept touching a cold object near me; it was a shiny CD slipping from my purse that I brought with me. They were Mansoor’s CD’s that he asked me to carry. I could almost hear the music of Fairooz as those memories flushed upon me, Mansoor loved listening to Fairooz, he played her songs in every road trip we took together, I hated it.

We were on a road trip again that day traveling on sheikh Zayed road from Dubai to Abu Dhabi to meet Mansoor’s family for the weekend. He was a good husband but he was not the love of my life. That was the first of my sins.

“Did you carry Fairooz’s CDs?” he asked me as we were storming out of the house, late as usual.

“Yes” I answered.

We took the same rout, as always, listening to the same music, his phone would ring from time to time and he would spend the trip discussing future investments with his cousins and friends. I would spend the drive texting my friends on my phone and checking my Instagram, stalking people has never been easier. We were together but apart nonetheless. He was the moon when I desired the sun, I was his sea but he was afraid to dive in, we were 2 strangers brought together by the body of the car only.

I wished for this to end, this forced reality of endless complements, responsibilities, expectations, pride and formalities. I closed my eyes as the voice of Fairooz’s music and Mansoor’s laughs were suffocating my very existence. A dim voice in the horizon of a nearby mosque reciting Athan forced that prayer again from my lips, I wished I would get rid of this life, this was my second sin.

Not a moment passed next as I saw us drift from the road into the fences of Ghantoot forest. Mansoor lost control over the car and tried to gain it back with no luck. Endless lines of trees passed by quickly before we hit a trunk of an old tree really hard. Mansoor saw us approaching the tree and couldn’t stop the car so he shifts his right hand from the steering wheel to me to hold me still as his other hand swung the steering wheel to the right to make sure that the tree hit Mansoor only. It all happened in a flash of a second, so fast as though it was a dream I ought to wake up from soon. But the reality was malicious as always. This was not a dream at all.

I woke up moments later to the warmth of Mansoor’s wet hands; he was covered in blood and dirt. He couldn’t speak he just gestured by his one good arm and kept pushing me out of the car. I was petrified with shaky hands I opened the door and carried my purse while abandoning my husband.

I looked at him from the shattered windshield as seams of hot tears burned my bloody cheeks. I watched him dripping blood until his white kandoora wasn’t white anymore. I watched as my husband took his last breath of life and I didn’t even help him nor comfort him. I watched as the car engine burst into flames burning everything I loathed in that car. My prayers were answered. This was my ultimate sin.

I ran into the woods until everything looked the same and there was no path to follow. I didn’t expect the forest to get cold, the reality remains that I haven’t been in a forest before, and we were enjoying the January winter of the UAE at that time, nevertheless the cold was unexpected.

I don’t recall much of what happened next all I know is that I found this old wooden cabin and took shelter in it. Little did I know this was going to be my grave. I haven’t seen or heard any human pass this devilish place when I was there.

It was another cold night in a long winter that refused to end like an uninvited guest determined to stay. It’s a dark shadow; they call them clouds, its grey grim grip tightens on our hearts. It’s ironic that I desire Mansoor’s hands around me now to keep me warm, but I lay here unheard, unseen, I can feel my senses numbing as life slip through my fingers.

Its Karma , its my time to go now.” With those last words I departed from this world. My breath vanished, my gaze darkened, and my heart embarked upon an agony, that’s the story of the last turning point that stole the music out of my heart beat and my symphony was forever lost.