The Writers' Lounge
By Dr. Sawsan A. Al Madhi As the age-old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. It really is, but how many of us follow this saying? Most people visit a doctor when they feel sick, but the right thing to do is proactively see a doctor periodically, before...
By Abeer Farooqi You turned 24 yesterday. You sat at a table with friends, giggling, giddy with the realisation that it’s your day (even though happy birthday concerts broke out at least four times while you’re in the restaurant), full of sparks, full of ideas –...
Sweating. Sitting in the exam hall, on a vandalized piece of wood with the words ‘Metallic For Lyf’ etched most prominently into it. I was one amongst hundreds of other umeedwar, or ‘hopefuls’, as my father had articulately called the colorful crowd of drowsy teenagers this morning.We were on our third paper, Urdu, which followed right after ninety minutes of Mathematics and English each. It was a series of admission tests; my parents were moving back to Pakistan and I needed a school to attend for the three last years until graduation.I already knew I’d aced my mathematics exam. It was so easy; a baby version of me could have done it.
I was six months pregnant when I launched my private equity fundraising startup. My husband; a Canadian-trained neurosurgeon with a doctorate in stem cell regenerative medicine from the Nobel Medical Institute in Stockholm, Sweden; was having immigration issues with Homeland Security. We had lived in Sweden for the bulk of our married life and the rest in Toronto, where he was completing his neurosurgery residency, and we basically filled up our passports with just about every warm country we meandered to during eight Arctic winters.
“Oh yes I have children. But that daughter? Her eyes… If she points those eyes at me.. asks for something? I cannot do anything else but say only yes to her – I’d give her anything. Really anything! That little girl, breaks my heart.”Out of 10 men I ask, 8 to 9 will have a very similar answer. The new generation of progressive men having daughters are melting by the word “daughter”. They are ready to gift her the world, but do not underestimate any of them – men do overprotect their daughters from literally every creature in the universe too. Hearing her name, a cry, or that sweet voice of hers calling for ‘daaaaddy’ will make the entire universe stand still for him.
Nestled at the base of the rugged Hajar mountains, the small coastal fishing town of Dibba Al Hisn, seems an unlikely place to begin the story of a sold-out, limited edition luxury handbag collection. Yet, it’s here that a group of female artisans – all mothers and grandmothers – endeavoured to work with designers from British luxury retailer Asprey to handcraft traditional textile braiding to adorn some of the company’s most sought-after, and expensive, handbags.
I wasn’t an eager graduate. I wasn’t dying to get into the real world. I was much less optimistic about the transition than I am today. So, I wrote this note a couple of weeks before graduating about how I wanted the world to be. And if anyone else is pessimistic, then know you aren’t alone. But also that, as I’ve gone on, I’ve discovered you can find a way to shine through the obstacles. I’ve seen that many of my fears are not substantiated by what I witnessed or experienced. I saw talent being celebrated in interviews, including my own. I’m still waiting for my big break– and all the little breaks before that– but I’m waiting happily.
Geeks have always lived on the fringes. In schools, they were not part of the popular groups, in fact, they were shunned and laughed at. It didn’t help that they were socially awkward. And sadly, this extended to their adult lives. However, thanks to a handful of geeks who gave us computers and social media, geekdom has finally been accepted, and in some places, celebrated.
As a child I was a geek. And as an adult geek, I still watch too many science fiction and fantasy shows. One show which I was never very fond of, but have watched the occasional reruns is Star Trek.