Hearing someone calling your name when no one is in the house is a normal thing in our home. There are no ghosts or lost souls, but there is Kaka! KaKa is our female African grey parrot, which has been in my dad’s farm for more than 16 years. The poor thing got depressed because she wasn’t seeing a lot of people, so my dad brought her to our family house. From that moment, she became the smallest family member. Continue reading “Kaka Knows My Name – By Shatha Akeel”→
Everyone started clapping and crying in relief as the pilot landed the plane safely to the ground. No one had expected this emergency landing, not the pilot, and not the air traffic control tower either.
Everyone was relieved, people around me were hugging and crying from the joy that their lives weren’t taken away from them. I was relieved too, no doubt about that. I hadn’t been planning to die this early in my life anyways! Not at the time when my daughter was going to join college real soon, or when my son is going through puberty and needs someone to be there for support.
But I was more confused than relieved. This old fellow beside me hadn’t taken the smile off his face since the plane started drifting towards death. Even then, I didn’t see the relief on his face like all the other passengers and cabin crew. He was just sitting there happily, being there, and smiling as he saw the people around him.
Does he have a mental problem? I haven’t heard of a dysfunction that makes you smile in disasters. I had to know the secret of this man. I got angry when I can’t find the TV remote control for God’s sake!
“Excuse me, sir?”
He looked at me and nodded, “Yes?”
“I have to ask you, sir, how did you do it?”
A grandpa’s grin spread on his face, “Do what, son?”
“You were smiling!” I said, “People were screaming and crying and you were..”
He was laughing now.
I couldn’t help but smile, “I really wanna know,” I said.
He stood up, and I instantly stood up with him, knowing that I was sitting in his only way out. He walked to the aisle and reached out for his bag in the overhead bin. Then he slowly and confidently took out a folded piece of paper and handed it to me with a smile before he walked away without uttering another word.
I was even more confused now. I looked closely at the piece of paper, sat down, opened it and started reading. It was a poem, handwritten, with no name on it.
Have you ever asked yourself what you’re doing with this life?
Is the purpose to ace exams, have a good job and a wife?
Or is it much more than that? Let me tell you, from my point of view,
Something I learned the hard way, and I’ll easily pass it to you,
No one knows when he’ll end, no one will know, no one ever knew,
So you’ll have to pretend it’s in two days, tomorrow, or in the next hour,
You have to have confidence, and never stop your life or cut off your power,
Don’t grieve on what’s in the past, don’t cry on what you think is sour,
Your life is in your hands, you can either go forward or back,
The choice is completely yours, you don’t need a life hack,
There will come a time when your life will seem very black,
Like you’re trapped in a dark room, so you have to search for that crack,
That will bring you in light, you’ll always find one,
No matter what happens, after the dark dawn comes the sun,
Face the challenges that come in your way, don’t run,
Your time is limited, so if you live it the right way,
You will know why I smiled, you’ll understand what I say.
“Sir. Sir!” Said the old overweight woman as she shook my shoulder, “I need to use the toilet, could you please..?”
I stared at her, not knowing what just happened. And then I saw it, just behind her shoulders, outside the cabin window, the beautiful scenery that I got on this plane to reach. We were flying just above our destination, “My family!” I thought, “I’m going to see them after all!”
That was when I realized, there was no old man, there was no sandstorm, there was only a valuable lesson that I learned from my dream, from myself.
Sitting there in my seat, waiting for take off just like any other flight. I hear the baby that cries at every flight, watch two men ahead fighting for a seat while I could hear a lady behind me asking another man politely if they could switch seats so that she could sit beside her man. I looked at the empty seat next to me, praying that I’m not the lucky person of the day to be seated next to a morbidly obese woman with heart failure, who would repetitively make me stand on the aisle as I wait for her to take her walk to the mini-toilet as a result of her medications. Continue reading “Flight 668 (Part 1/2) – By Dr. Abdullah Bahi”→
Lately, I’ve been doing absolutely everything to postpone the remote possibility of womanning up and doing whatever needs to be done to finish the God-forsaken to-do list of mine. So after hours of careful reflection of exactly how dirty my window pane really is, I moved on to some serious existential stuff to avoid thinking about my dissertation (or any other important task on my agenda). I recalled my childhood dreams (and yes, they did involve having French fries for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I also wanted to be a vet (a dream magically disappears whenever I see a massive spider…) and started wondering if I’ve become a person my childhood me would be happy with. Continue reading “My Childhood: Me, the Vet, and the Spider – By Natalia Oparka”→