29 September 2015

Prague

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.

Prague..
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 Trdeln├Čk, 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.






03 September 2015

Berlin, almost

I never wanted to visit Berlin.
I don’t know how or why but I’ve always felt like it’s not going to be the place for me.
When asked about my dream destinations I could list 500 before getting to Berlin.
But boy was I wrong.

I’m not going to say the most beautiful cause I’ve seen so many beautiful cities, but definitely the most interesting. It is a city of art, a city of diversity, a city of mystery. Nothing in that city is just there, everything is carefully placed. Yet nothing in that city is ordinary, even the most ordinary things. I’ve seen trash compartments in Berlin more interesting than buildings and paintings elsewhere.
Commercial break: I am not able to spell Berlin properly as I type; I keep typing Berling cause it ends with an IN so you know, my fingers directly go to a G every. Single. Time.
Anyhow, the thing that blew my mind the most is that the city wasn’t what it is only 25 years ago. It was divided in half and yet today it blends in such serenity. I really don’t understand how a city could become what Berlin is today in such a short period of time.
The feeling of crossing the mark of the Berlin wall is really weird, it gives a mixture of hope and sorrow, you are crossing a line of black stones on the ground, but this marks what once was a wall dividing families from each other, marks a wall who many were killed or imprisoned trying to cross. But you can today cross it as if it’s part of the gravel, I bet many don’t even notice it’s there.
In Berlin you find everything you could ever look for, if you want tall buildings, lights, modernity you find it. If you want greenery, quietness, small houses with big gardens you find it. If you want normal small buildings with small parks and homey cafes you find it. If you want old people with small groceries and abandoned kids play grounds you find it. If you want posh, beautiful architecture, ancient buildings you find it. If you want ghetto with graffiti on everything but the sky and ten drug dealers in one street you find it. And they’re all within 10 minutes train rides. And maybe every city has that, but in that city it is so intense that it’s instantly noticeable.

I’m trying but I really can’t describe Berlin, Berlin is bigger than me, bigger than my words, bigger than my thoughts. Some things I’ve seen there I’m still not able to process.
Berlin wasn’t a vacation it was an experience, surely one of the best. And being there with the right people surely had a big part. Hanging out with a best friend I haven’t seen in ages had a big part. And the city itself is of course..

I’m finishing this piece of writing really disappointed, cause not what I wrote nor what I photographed captures the city as I saw it. But this was the best I could do.
Until next time.