Ready? Get Set… Grow!

What is success without failure? And what is a beautiful life without its ugly things like sadness, broken hearts, and obstacles. All we have to do is, not go through life, but grow through it! So let us do it with a smile on our face, because in the end, everything will be just fine.

Life is a race
On a path we don’t trace
When we’re born
We don’t choose we embrace.

We learn how to walk
How to eat, how to talk
How to write our names
With white chalk.

 There’s always a fear
And there’s a first tear
But also this laugh
That some love to hear.

And as we grow old
Life is as told
“A place for the challengers
To test out the bold”!

 So here we are failing
We’re not even walking
We’re tripping we’re falling
To get right back up!

But we will go on
Because we are strong,
And if we are slow,
Well, there’s nothing wrong.

A Picture, Worth a Thousand Worlds!

Seven years have passed, yet war hasn’t stopped knocking on Syria’s door. Houses went down turning the country into a land of ghost towns. Children were orphaned, and parents were left mourning the death of their beloved ones.

The devastation that Syria has endured since 2011 was not enough to trigger the humanity of those who could help, until a painful image of the unseen truth mediated on the Internet for the whole world to see. It was none other than the picture of Aylan KURDI, a three-year-old asylum-seeking refugee, washed up on the shore by the waves of a mad ocean… motionless, dead!

It was only then that European countries opened their doors to the significantly increasing influx of refugees coming in from Syria and hoping to find peace on another land. And even though the rise of The Arab Spring resulted in the revolutionary changes of the regime in countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, it has, however, turned the lives of Syrians into a living hell, with nothing but the image of a seeked freedom at an unknown horizon, dangerously deflatable rubber dinghies, and death.

In other words their arrival to some of Europe’s countries was not a joyful event to eyes that saw refugees as a threat, bombers, terrorists, and job opportunity thieves. And as a result to this irrational vision, countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland built a wall, similar to the one Trump wanted to rise between America and Mexico, a virtual wall of greed, racism, discrimination, and inhumanity. It was as if Europeans looked at Syrians through a lens of so-called fear, whereas Syrians, humiliated and deprived of their pride and dignity, could not even dare to look at Europeans, fearing bullying, harmful looks, and bullets that were not made of metal or steel but of words; heartless, cold, and lethal words.

Had it been the other way around, what would’ve happened? Can the world not forget that Lebanon, a country that had endured a violent and notoriously bloody war against Syria, was one of the first to take them in, set camps for them, and lend them the helping hand? How can selfishness replace humanity? How can humans replace their humanity with inhumanity?

It’s sad that nowadays, the world only revolves around social media, and the humanity of so many is triggered by a simple picture such as the screen turned on by a button. What makes this even worse is that populations are trying hard to save their own lands by letting go of their humanity and declaring themselves “People of That Nation” instead of “Children of This World”.

Born Under Different Stars

We are all born under different roofs, from different parents, and in different times, and each one of us has a different diamond shining within; therefore, we are different.

What seems easy to some, may be difficult to others , and obstacles can be seen as opportunities in someone else’s eyes, thus, it is certain that we will not reach the finish line similarly. He might fly his way there, she might get there with golden medals, you might get there after everyone has already finished, and I might get there, all bruised and fed up. But one thing is certain: we will reach the finish line. How we get there however only depends on whether we choose to accept defeat or rise above all pain and fight our way to the top.

Being admitted to one of the most important universities in Lebanon, The Saint Joseph University, on September 2014, was a joyful event for both my family and I, although AUB was my main goal, but I gratefully took what was given to me. I expected to easily succeed, not knowing I had such strong and ferocious competitors. Once it hit me that there are smarter people, I lost all self-confidence and sunk in that stupid phase of depression that drowned me deeper. I did not know what it was I should do to get back up, but the more they rose, the more it was difficult for me to move forward. I was, at that time, evaluating them and not myself.

Failure stroke, and by the end of my fourth year, I was holding more than 6 courses, or were they holding me back? I had failed 9 courses out of 12. I was not disappointed though, because I knew what the issue was, I knew whose fault it was… Mine! I was responsible for my failure, because I was trying to be a bird in the water, or a fish in a tree. I tried running as fast as my colleagues did, I tried to be as good as they are, and only when I failed to succeed, did I realize that I was trying so hard to run someone else’s race. Only when I realized that, did I choose to walk my own footsteps, and only when I walked my own footsteps, did I learn to embrace myself and accept my pace.

Long story short, if you are, as Einstein once said, judged as a fish by the ability to climb a tree, you will live your whole life believing you are stupid. So never doubt your capacities and do not compare yourself to others because if they can fly and you can’t yet, you might hurt your fragile wings, trying too hard. Don’t be the fish in a tree I was. Embrace your pace, love your brains, adore your talent no matter how small or simple it may be. Time will be your best friend and patience your mentor. And you! You will become your own idol, as unique as your own star… because we are all but born under different stars.