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Manal Adel

- On 19 Days of Creative Writing -
Thoughts on the 19th Day of Creative Writing

The 19 days that passed were the most beautiful days of my life. The thought that these days will end soon makes me feel something strange. It is neither sadness nor fear of doing nothing afterwards as I do have a daytime job. I just feel that I will lose something beautiful in my life that I have not had enough of, yet. And I still want more.

Five months ago. I participated in a training course where the trainer asked us if we found what we wanted in life. For example, have the majors we picked in college helped us reach our goals and ambitions? Have I reached what I wanted to reach? I said no at the time. I studied various disciplines and worked in many fields, but I never felt true joy. These 19 days gave me what I have always wanted. I am here, writing, reading and drawing. I am not doing economics or graphics design. I do not own a trading company, but I am here where I feel genuine joy. Despite my long work hours that do not always allow me to write all what I have in my mind, I am trying here. With the company of all of you, I do my best everyday.

I decided to dedicate time to writing, reading and drawing. I used to draw as a child and I was quite talented. I do not know how I ended up burring this gift. I buried myself in things that I see, now, that I need to get out of towards this world of mine that I love.

This is my world. This is where I will depart to what I want. Here, I found beautiful friends and I found Sarah.

- Omaira-
A Short Story from An Interview

Young and beautiful with innocent dreams just like her innocent face.

When she grows older, Omaira wants to become a businesswoman. She is working hard at school so that she gets closer to her dream. Although she is very sociable, she began to minimize putting other people first after many people around hurt her.

Omaira loves her mother a lot and she sees light in her. She does not want to hear any bad news about her. She brings light into the darkness.

Corresponding Thoughts to the Story Collection Titled “Blouza: The Blouse” by Reem Mohajed

This is war. It destroyed all that is beautiful. Yes, even dignity is destroyed. When a person who used to not wear a dress if it had a stain goes to buy secondhand clothes….

In one of the stories, I felt the guy’s pain when he was cleaning the restaurant. It was not the nature of a very honorable job. It was his sense of limited or non-existent life options. War forced us to live in poverty and pain. It forced us to leave our homes.

My house was beautiful. Others may see it humble, but I find it the most beautiful. It does not matter whether furniture is luxurious or not. It remains my home, the home of my memories and small things. When I was reading about the family that had to leave their house in the other story, I felt a knife stabbing my chest. We all left our things, the things that we used to precisely refuse throwing away regardless of how insignificant they were.

The humiliation people practice against each other is painful, let alone the fear one feels at the sight of an oppressor taking her home away. It is humiliation mixed with overwhelming pain. The most brutal pain of all is when your own house is looted. If you are ever lucky enough to go back one day, you cannot even recognize your house anymore. For those of us who cannot go back anytime soon, we keep hearing news about how our own houses have become ruins and how the war has turned roads and buildings into absolute destruction.

All of this can be rebuilt. We might be able to rebuild roads again. But what rebuilds friendship, brotherhood and sisterhood?

- Six Images from Memory -
Thoughts that Followed a Walk in the Neighborhood

The weather was quite nice when I went for a walk. The street was so quiet that it felt as if it almost had no residents at all. A fancy car interrupted my thoughts with the insane speed. I kept walking and when I found children playing football, I found relief from the quietness that was starting to irritate me. It is a residential area, however, it has a creepy silence despite all the fancy villas. This is considered an upper middle-class neighborhood. Across from one of the breathtaking houses hiding behind high fences, I saw a small house that speaks volumes of poverty. The family inside cannot even afford water. My heart ached as I looked at them bringing water from a container down the street.

The same fancy fast car came again to interrupt my thoughts.

I saw another gorgeous villa. It had a terrifying beauty with its broken windows covered in aluminum paper. I was terrified by the scene, perhaps because of what war has done to the windows. I chased my thoughts away and looked at the neighborhood’s park. I wish someone would take more care of the swings.