Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bonding with a Machine

was at a friend’s party and this girl who was there spoke to me and we soon found out we lived near each other. That’s when she offered me a lift home in her car. Of course I jumped at the chance since public transport after 9PM was a little iffy.

As we got in the car my new friend pulled out her GPS ‘Navigator’ and turned it on, touching the screen to input my address. I sat back and relaxed; I had had a long day.

The navigator guided us through the lanes on to the highway where we sped off. That’s when I started to admire the little gadget that was placed on her windshield via a mount. Firstly, the voice was very calm and soothing, contrary to my navigator’s bossy and impatient voice.

Instead, this male voice kept reminding my new friend of the fact that she was over the speed limit, but in such a polite tone. The graphics were quite cool too, but I commented on the voice, because when you travel long hours in your car alone, you need a friendly companion, even if that is your navigator. You really don’t need a navigator that’s going to get on your nerves and test your patience.

“Really, your navigator’s voice is so much better than mine”, I complimented. She laughed, thanking me. I continued to marvel at the difference between her ‘John’ and my ‘Jane’.

Every fifteen minutes or so, I would find myself repeating a similar statement about John’s voice. “I think I have to buy this navigator” I told her, asking what brand it was. It was a Mio. Never heard of it, but would I just buy it for the dude’s mannerisms and calm way of leading you to your destination as opposed to my cranky Jane navigator?

“I’m definitely going to buy this Mio, the navigator’s voice is just so soothing and polite” I told her, wondering if they made TomTom’s sound so pleasing to the ear. It really was time to ditch cranky old Jane and replace her with a modern, funky new kid on the block. Only there are so many to choose from…which one….I thought.

She laughed. “It’s so funny,” she began to explain her giggling fit. “You seem to have really bonded with my machine”.

Well, perhaps I had. It really couldn’t be helped

Thursday, February 11, 2010

To Love

It was a beautiful summer’s day when I first saw him. The sky was clear blue; something I knew wouldn’t last since I was living in a country notorious for its schizophrenic weather. I remember sitting in the garden with a book. A cool breeze rustled the pages between my hands every now and then. And as I turned the page to continue the imaginary narrative that had all my attention, he entered my life. At first I saw him from my peripheral view until he stood in front of me, with a smile playing on his lips and a gleam in his dark green eyes. He was big, dark and handsome. With one look I fell in love.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Punishment? Cut it Off!

Watching an Egyptian TV show on recent news in Cairo and the surrounding cities, I was mortified when I heard that a young boy was gang raped by his school mates.

To be honest, over ten years ago I had never heard of a man being raped. I had thought women were the only victims of such a brutal act. But over ten years ago my world view changed when I watched a male character on a popular TV show go through it all.

More than ten years have passed and I am still utterly shocked and disgusted to hear that this has taken place in a country with so-called ‘Muslims’, with the perpetrators so young they are not given a sentence but walk away free- and who knows, they might just commit the atrocious act again.

What are the people in charge thinking? If I were in charge of crime and punishment, I’d make sure that convicted rapists have their privates cut off.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Would You Like a Virgin With That?

Maryam met Adnan, a religious young man. Through her parents he proposed, but as they got to know each other he revealed a secret to her that would give her a reason to reject his marriage proposal. In the days of his ignorance, he committed illegal sexual relations with a few girls. He was not a virgin.

When she told her mother and aunties they were not shocked. Men are expected to have more experience in that department, they told Maryam. How ironic, Maryam told me. If it was the other way round, the girl would be punished and shunned. But it is socially accepted for a man to be a non-virgin.

What happened to religion? We are all equal in front of Allah, so what is haram for women is also haram for men, like zina. How can we shrug casually when we hear of a man who is not a virgin, thinking it is normal for men? Besides these questions, Maryam is now confused. She would like to marry a man who is a virgin. But she also knows that this man has repented and is now a religious man.

To marry a virgin or to marry a non-virgin, that is the question for you to answer.