20 February 2016

Where I've been..

The past four months have been real hard. And I dreamt of the day I sit in my own house, take photos of my regular morning, tell you all about my journey since I abandoned this blog. But now that I have settled in things are slightly different than I imagined. Let me explain to you the lack of photos in this post, and the lack of quality in that one photo.

When I first fell in love with photography I directly decided to buy my own DSLR.
It took me three years of collecting cash, I was too young to work back then but I saved money from Eids and money from after graduation and so on. Where young people get their money from basically.
The exact day I reached my cash goal I ordered a camera. And it was basically one of the happiest days of my life when it arrived.
That camera became my best friend. If it could speak it would tell you all about me; it would have been the 'thing' that knows me best.
One day I broke the lens of that camera, and I had to exchange for a new one as the warranty subjected me to. I was so heartbroken, a brand new camera was surprisingly to most people not what I wanted. I remember crying so damn much when I put it back in the box and gave it to my uncle to exchange it for me. And if I had to do it again today I'd be just as heart broken, nothing has changed, that -somewhat silly to some people, part of me hasn't died yet.
A few days later the same exact model of my camera arrived in a brand new, never opened, box. It wasn't the same to me but this was my new best friend.
Not to catch you by surprise but I did love that camera. It also became my everything and it meant to me just as much as the old one did. This new camera saw more of my life, a better part of my life. It celebrated way too many happy memories with me. And dear God, it was not just a camera. People who treat things as things would never understand.

All fairytales aside. I have lost this friend. To some level it felt like I've lost everything.
I was riding on a train from Munich to Berlin on newyear's eve. And, me the trusting naïve person, put my camera bag with the lens and everything inside wrapped around my carryon's handle and I left it on the luggage rack. In Germany I have done this many times, leave my bags at the door, so easy to grab and go, but it never happened. The train I was on costed the minimum of 60 Euros per ride. I never imagined that a person who had this much cash to spend would be a thief. But apparently the world is uglier than I hoped for it to be. When we went down my camera bag and carryon were gone.

The next 30 seconds were so slow. The realisation of life with no camera hit me like a high tide and dragged me under water until I hit the bottom of the ocean and I couldn't breath. I gasped for air and I said to my friend that's it, it's gone.

All my German friends and family told me not to hope for anything. And I didn't. I knew it was the end. I filed a police report and did everything I could but I haven't and probably will not hear from them ever.

And now I open my blog and I think, is this the end of it? What is my blog without pictures?

See the past four months of my life have been so tough. But this was the toughest thing I've ever faced. It got me down so much. It kills my insides every single day. With every sunshine through the window, with every beautiful palace I enter, with every beautiful snowflake landing on my wrist, with every smile on a friend's face, with every frame I wish I could capture. It kills me so many times in a single day. And it never gets easy. But I remind myself that everything happens for a reason, and God has wished for this for a grander purpose that I am too small to understand.

I opened my blog today to write this post wanting to quit blogging. And the page of the stats was the first thing I saw. I'm going to be honest I was so shocked. People from all around the world still visit this blog. Even though I haven't posted anything in months. I still have views every single day since I left. And I just can't abandon ship. Even if there is only one person who still cares about my rambling I will not leave. I will figure this out.

Until then..

P.s: I can put a few hundreds and buy myself a new dslr. But if you know me you'd know how attached I get to things. And the camera I buy is a camera that is going to stay with me until one of us dies, or in another ugly case it gets stolen. So I want to invest in a really good camera, I want to take my time and gather a few thousands and get something that I dream of. I have been forced to change, so I will use this opportunity because it wouldn't have happen any other way. 

04 November 2015


It bugs me, looking at all those people and not knowing the story of any of them.

As I and my cousin were in Prague a nice old American woman puzzled by the way we looked asked where we were from. I paused.
Question like than you answer in a yoctosecond;
What's you name? Leen
How old are you? 21
What's your religion? Muslim
Where do you come from? Pause.
I looked over at my cousin as she answered: Jordan.
It's not new to me pausing after such a question, it has always happened, where I'm from has always been an answer that takes more than one word. But this incident is stuck in my head because the answer that was on the tip of my tongue was Germany.
We had came all the way from Germany, I have been living in Germany for a while, I have a life here.. so much that my inner mind thinks it's home.

I have got to know Wiesbaden really deeply. I embraced it like a friend that needs to open up and I listened to all of its stories. It showed me everything and told me about everything, except for the people. Wiesbaden never told me the story of this relatively old lady in red hiking clothes who comes to Starbucks every single day sits for two hours and plays farmville on her iPad with enjoyment, or this young lady with the beautiful smile who works at this small cafe she spreads good vibes around like she was born to do it, or this young boy who walks around the streets everyday pushing an old lady enough to be his grandma on a wheelchair and buys her a treat from a different place everyday, or that old asian man going around town in rollerblades making the streets his stage and performing to all the people, or this lady with white hair and a hatchback who walks around the train station everyday for hours without getting on any train, or that man who sits in the tunnel of the train station everyday and plays his accordion creating the warmest welcome to everyone who enters the city.. Those people and more have become part of my life, part of my daily routine, I know what they look like but not where they come from. And I wish I knew.
There is nothing worse than having to leave a friend you got really close to, and Wiesbaden was like a friend to me, it was more than just a city.

I write this now with so much gratitude that I had the chance in this life to live in this city and get to know it as much as I did. Full of gratitude for the eternal friends it gave me, for all the beautiful memories.

I will miss its sky, I will miss its sun. I'll miss the streets and knowing exactly how long it takes the traffic light to open. I'll miss my dear friend and her laughing at my fond love of ice cream. I'll miss the Starbucks and the Dominos where I spent most of my time. I will miss the benches where I sat in the middle of the night hunting for internet. I'll miss the parks. I'll miss the shop owners. I'll miss needing something and knowing exactly where to get it from. I'll even miss Vodafone's showroom on of the most hellish places for me. And most of all I will miss my home. The first place to ever be mine. I have loved that house more than I have ever loved a bunch of walls and a roof. I'll miss watching the stupid german shows on the small tv screen, I'll miss having to turn off all the electricity devices so I could turn on the oven without the electricity cutting off, I'll miss the long days and nights spent on the glass of the window watching people coming in and out of the supermarket, I'll miss unlocking 100 doors to get to my apartment, I'll miss the weird smell that my house had, I'll miss my plant and talking to it about my day, I'll miss my neighbours, the noisy one who woke me up every single day to the annoying sound of the drill and the lovely one who set me to sleep every night to the beautiful sound of the piano. I'll miss all of it, and I love all of it. Every sky high and every rock bottom, it was all beautiful.

No matter how much times passes, in Wiesbaden I'll always find a home.

"You never really leave a place you love, part of it you take with you, leaving part of yourself behind"

Until next time..

14 October 2015


If this is earth what is heaven like?
The only thing that went through my head as I walked the beautiful land of Füssen.

I read this today and I just had to share it here and I found it really relevant so I'll just paste it here for you:
In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other:
“Do you believe in life after delivery?” The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”
“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”
The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”
The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”
The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”
The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”
“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”
The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”
The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.”
Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”
To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.”

It blew me away and wondered how it never occurred to me before. it is such a beautiful example.
Heaven to us is like life to babies in the womb. How huge and beautiful and limitless it is is not something we can ever imagine. But may we all get there, Amen. 

Back to Füssen, I have never seen something so beautiful, and being there in autumn just made it so much better! The views were incredible, the lakes were too blue and everything was too green, the air was clean and the people were nice, it was all perfect. Honestly I can easily say I had a heavenly vacation. 
If you are ever in Germany please take the time to visit Füssen, you will not regret it! Visit the castles and the lakes, it will be an unforgettable couple of days. I promise.
I am definitely going back, three days were not enough time to enjoy all of it. 
I've seen beautiful photos of it in winter and the weather in summer would be perfect, and I bet spring would be amazing! To visit Füssen in all four semesters is officially a goal of mine. So until we meet next time, Füssen.

And until next time readers..

29 September 2015


I am a person who highly believes in coexisting. 

Upon our departure I saw a woman in the metro station holding up a flag that showed a red cross over the illustration of a mosque. And it's not of a big deal really, but it did hurt me a little. 

I walked out of the metro station not able to smile at strangers in the street like I usually do, something inside me felt wrong, I was genuinely angry. You might say she is free to express her thoughts, but no. I am free to practice my religion wherever I want to, without people like her protesting against me.
I really hate what this world made of our religion, I hate the idea the people have of it in their minds. And me being a Hijabi student in a non-muslim country feel responsible for giving a better picture, the true picture. People like her will always exist, no one can end the hate the world carries, it has been inherited by blood since the beginning of time, as this planet has not ever seen a year of peace since man stepped foot on it. That is something they teach us in school and raise us to believe, that there is always an enemy, there is always someone you should hate. But it doesn't have to be that way.

During our visit to Prague we have been to many churches and chapels, we also visited the Jewish synagogue. To me they are all houses of God, no matter what the religion practiced in them is, they are all holy places. 
I find houses of God beautifully built. My german photography doctor told me last semester, I don't like how those places are, so huge, so expensive, they tend to make one feel small and invincible. But that is what the human is, I told him, small and invincible. People need to visit places like this to remind themselves that they are not the centre of the universe. That no matter how much we fight over religion in the end, one way or another, we all obey the same God.

Between all the long turbo escalators, all the red and green roofs, all the badly shaped roads, and all the tourists, between the streets full of the smell of yummy Trdelnìk, the weirdly shaped map, the beautiful architecture, I fell in love with this city. I probably say this about every city I visit, but Prague was so beautiful. Its food was good, its people were nice, its scenery was captivating, it had a lot to give and we went with a lot to explore. Thanks to my cousin who planned the whole trip and organised a plan everyday I can easily say we've seen as much as a person could see in four days and more. We went everywhere and saw everything, we used up our days from the first minute until the last.

I remember when her and I were young, and we spoke of travelling together like it was a far away dream, and there we were, finally together in one of the most beautiful cities and boy did we make it worth while. Our young selves would be looking down at us and smiling, they would be damn proud.

And with that I leave you, because this will get longer if I keep going.
Until next time.. 

24 September 2015

Happy Eid?

This post is expected to be a happy one. But you don’t always get what you want.
I wanted to write about Eid, and how happy of a holiday it is. But a painful incident that occurred made me lose my joyful vibe and I’m not able to write something beautiful. So I apologize in advance.
We all die eventually, that is a given. Life is too short, that is also a given. But sudden death leaves a sorrow in all of our hearts, whether you knew the person or not.
Yesterday was a beautiful tragedy; a whole pure family taken on the same day, but one of the holiest days of the year. The story hurts my heart everytime I think about it, but then again, they are all together in heaven. Where they are happy till eternity inshAllah. Besides God is a better place for them than this forsaken planet for sure. They haven’t for a second left my mind or prayers.

I am blessed with being a Muslim. But I most feel it in times like this. I feel believing there is a God who is merciful and great, believing there is a heaven and an afterlife is the only thing that can make someone endure the death of loved ones. The thought of seeing them again, the thought of that life is not all there is and that it’s not the end for those who have passed away but just the beginning is such a relieving concept.
I wonder how many wake up calls we need to realize that. We feel bad a few days after such story; we begin to think and try to be better but then go back to our old habits. We are barely doing our part to our God, and for that I hope he forgives us.
Today, right now, however, is not a bad time to start something good. Take this chance to add one single good thing to your life, If you don’t pray; start. If you pray irregularly, focus more. If you’re mad at someone, forgive. If you’re lying to someone, confess. If you have a bit extra money, give. If you're going through hardship, be patient. If you're happy, be thankful. Life is too short for bad deeds. And it’s sad that it takes a funeral to remind us that we’re alive.
I’m sure many people rolled their eyes and sighed as they read this, I’m sure many people closed it before they finished reading. But I have a blog to spill my mind, not only to please the readers, and honestly today that’s all I’m thinking about; being better. And only my love for everyone is making me write this blog post. Cause I hate the thought of anyone suffering in real life, let alone in hell. If you want to take my advice I’m happy for you, if you don’t you’re free to do so.
But keep the family in your prayers, may God bless their beautiful souls and rest them in peace.

on a better note,
until next time..

P.s: My cousin and I visited a beautiful graveyard a few days back and I took a few photos and found this time suitable. I realize that this is not how Muslims are buried and all that, but that’s anyhow not the point.