Dubai Expo 2020 Writing Competition

Fatma Bujsaim (@FatmaBujsaim)

Senior Editor. Ex- Column: Just Another Undergrad

After graduating with a Bachelor degree in International Studies and a minor in converged media, Fatma still finds herself hungry for knowledge, which led to her enrolling in a postgraduate program. Her passion for both reading and writing has made her extend her stay in Sail eMagazine so that she can learn & develop her skills. When not buried in her books and novels, Fatma is found on tennis courts or in a classroom learning a new language.
She wrote her previous column: “Just another undergrad” hoping she can give what she didn’t have when she was a freshman: comfort and guidance, and also bring back memories to all those graduates out there. She wonders if things are going to be the same after graduation.

Latest posts by Fatma Bujsaim (@FatmaBujsaim) (see all)

Dubai expo Writing competitionPut on your writing cap, bring out the creative self in you and join us in supporting Dubai in its Expo 2020 bid by participating in this competition!

Here We Start – Issue #44

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

Iman Ben Chaibah, founder of Sail Publishing, a digital publishing house for online magazines and ebooks, and editor in chief of the Emirati Sail Magazine, an online magazine about community and culture written in English by Emirati columnists. Iman is a multi award winner in digital publishing, entrepreneurship, and literature. Iman has also completed the Leadership Strategies in Magazine Media Course in Yale University. Besides her work in publishing, she also lectures in Canadian University in Dubai.
Iman Ben Chaibah (@ImanBenChaibah)

November is a very exciting month for us bookworms and reading fanatics here in the UAE. It’s the month of the Annual Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF). Needless to say, this event was started by the godfather of literature and culture in the UAE, His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah. The SIBF was started on year 1982, which makes this year the 32nd year of having this greatness under the slogan “For The Love Of The Written Word”.

logo-SBF

Personally, to a large extent, this book fair has cultivated my love for books and reading through out my childhood. At a time where bookshops and their offerings in the country were scarce to an extent, SIBF came every year with a promise of a whole new world of books, novels, encyclopedias, comics, and all kind of reading material we could ever wish for! It gave me something to look forward to every year, and it made me appreciate books even much more with having to wait for it in this special way.

I must admit, for the past decade or so, with the rise of bookshops and the digital content, I have stopped going to the SIBF, but for some reason I went last year and was reminded with every reason why I loved going to it as a kid and I realized I still love it and still can find books that I wouldn’t find elsewhere. So whether you’re a frequent Kinokuniya goer, or an avid Kindle reader, do make the time to go to Sharjah International Book Fair, it is an experience not to be missed at all, it will be from the 6th till the 16th of November this year. Please note that I didn’t condition going to it it with a love of reading, cause I truly believe everyone could love reading, they just need to find the right books for them to read.

Moreover on the SIBF topic, one of our young columnists, Alia AlHazami, will be there publishing her debut novel “Alatash” on the 7th of November and she will be available for book signing as well. We’re very proud of our Alia and looking forward to read her book.

On a separate note, as we all know, the long awaited for decision on what city will host Expo 2020 will be announced on 27th of this month. The final shortlisted countries are: Brazil, Russia, Turkey, and the UAE. We are all hopeful that the UAE’s bid will win and we’re fully supporting it. The assigned committee will announce the decision just 5 days before our 42nd National Day. Should we be granted the expo, this would be the beginning of mind-blowing stuff to come. But as some has been saying, Dubai will make the expo not the other way around, as Dubai always redefines new high standards for everything we embark on, and we raise the benchmark way up high.

expo_be_part_of_it__

In light of this, we are hosting a writing contest about this topic. We will be posting the criteria of the competition by the 2nd of November, and the deadline of submission will be on the 12th of November. The winner will have their piece published on our December issue, and may get some other prizes. Click here to know the competition’s criteria and how you can join us in it.

And now, Issue #44 – November 2013 in brief:

  • Beyond Inspiration – When Feelings Speak: AlAnoud AlMadhi sheds light on the importance of expressing feelings and how that could outburst an amazing talent you never knew you had.
  • Hidden Promises – My Darling: Alia AlHazami reflects on pain. It comes in all sorts of forms and the worst thing of it all is learning how to live with them.
  • Lost In Reverie – What Doesn’t Kill You: Alwid Lootah expresses how we are all stronger than we think and that the battles we encounter in life only made us the strong people we are today.
  • Mental Pondering – Human Punching Bag: Budoor AlYousuf researches into the theories that say humans need to vent and express their emotions, does science back those theories? If it does, what is the correct way of expressing emotions and who is the right person?
  • Of Ships and Kings – Ohana: Joined by geography, yet separated by ideologies. Omar AlOwais explores how differences in mentalities cause rifts.
  • Out of Copyright – The Butterfly Effect: Muna AlMulla shares a concept of the butterfly effect which has been around for years, however, some individuals may not be aware on how small, seemingly insignificant decisions can affect their lives.

Enjoy our reads, and don’t forget to check out our illustrations by our creative team: Anood AlMulla, Dana AlAttar, Fatma AlHashemi, and Maha Bin Fares.

To keep up with our monthly-published issues and to know about any of our coming events, make sure you register with us by clicking here.

Warm regards,
Iman Ben Chaibah
Editor in Chief

When Feelings Speak

AlAnoud AlMadhi (@aam_alanoud )

Column: Beyond Inspiration
Founder of @BetweenTheSips -a social media initiative that moderates social conversations. Alanoud’s passion is public speaking and designing infographics, reading and researching.
Through “Beyond Inspiration”, Alanoud aims to share personal experiences, struggles, and aha moments that can spark a flame within the reader to reach their full potential.

Latest posts by AlAnoud AlMadhi (@aam_alanoud ) (see all)

Article in brief: The author sheds light on the importance of expressing feelings and how that could outburst an amazing talent you never knew you had.

Artwork by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

Artwork by Fatma AlHashemi (@F_Fotography)

I read a quote once that said “When I write, I make discoveries about my feelings.”

Many of us assume that whatever we write is a reflection of what we felt or experienced. But as we go through the journey on paper, our feelings speak words we never thought of or believed were even there. And as a result, we learn more about who we are.

Expressing a feeling is important not only because it’s a burden to hold them back, but also because not letting them out could make us miss the opportunity of learning more about ourselves, and discovering our talents; most of which emerge as a result of expressing profound feelings.

Moreover, the expression of feelings could enormously improve the quality of one’s life. That is, as our feelings translate through talents, we then become fulfilled and experience a self-satisfaction that can almost never be obtained otherwise. Even in relationships, communicating a feeling whether verbally, or indirectly, through a talent can have a positive effect because as I once read; “communication is at the heart of relationships, and feelings are at the heart of effective communication.”

Your deep feelings are the window to the best of your talents; you can express your feelings in different ways that make you feel fulfilled, satisfied, and in clarity of who you are as an individual.

Imagine yourself in that moment of extreme joy or even in that utmost feeling of grief, and take a minute not to try and understand what you’re feeling, but simply letting it out, whether through singing, drawing, writing poetry, or anything else that gives you relief in a way that no other activity can.

Personally, I chose poetry to be my outlet. And in a moment of grave pain, I found myself writing words that, although I thought would be filled with sadness and dismay, were –to my surprise- filled with strength and challenge. As a result, I learned more about who I truly am, I was fulfilled, satisfied, and relieved that those feelings came out.

So, don’t be hesitant; instead, be brave enough to let your feelings speak. You won’t only be able to make discoveries of your own feelings, but discoveries of your own self, your potentials, and the unlimited power of your talents.

I share my words with you below:
I wander.
My eyes shut.
breathe.
Then I wonder if you would ever learn to believe.. that I’m different
I sought death and you smiled.
I rose and you cried.
Why so bitter?
I see your eyes craving my grief..
With a quiver
Resembling a leaf..
Oh dearest of all, why.. must I say it?.. why the dark soul?
I seek the light while you chain me.
My legs tethered, my arms ever frozen.
I seek warmth in the frosts of your breath.. erupting against my determination.. blowing into a slim hollowness in my core.
I wade across the greasy mud you spawn..
Rise upon the bricks you shove..
“Enough!” I shout in mute
I scream in silence across the roar of your fear.. the fear you mask with your weapon of a fanned authority
Look at me..
No, don’t glare at me, I said see me!
I am human.. A pure fire of ambition.. no flames, no burns
Oh now..
No sweat.. mere tears.. sliding down my body.. the malady slithering up to my chest -it throbs!-, my neck, my crest!
Take me.. shake me..
Here’s my heart, now break me..
But no shout of “release me” will I utter.. no wait.. Make me suffer.
Hither and yon detain me..
Feed me with your torture..
Grow me bigger..
Tall I stand..
I shall never surrender..

My Darling, You’ve Been Missed

Alia Al Hazami (@AliaAlHazami)

Alia Al Hazami (@AliaAlHazami)

Column: Hidden Promises
Alia is an AUS student double majoring in International Studies and English literature. She is also the author of Alatash fictional novel. Her main goal is to make a change and empower the youth. Her column is meant to help the younger generations deal with tough situations. It was given that title as hidden promises is what us teenagers often believe; false promises.
Alia Al Hazami (@AliaAlHazami)

Article in brief: Pain comes in all sorts of forms and the worst thing of it all is learning how to live with them.

Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@AnoodAlMulla_)

Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@AnoodAlMulla_)

“Darling you’ve been missed.”  is a phrase that automatically appears in my head when I hear my grandfather’s name or see his picture…

I lost my grandfather recently, and what a traumatic experience that was. Though it still hurts, I remind myself that he’s in a better place right now and that my tears would never bring him back or help him in his grave.

My grandfather meant a great deal to me; in my eyes he was truly a perfect man. He was a well educated human being who was known for his wisdom. He treated everyone equally and was simply caring. He was genuinely nice and he didn’t care about your race, roots, or where you came from. As long as you were respectful of everyone, he’d respect you in return.

I related to him a lot and that made me fall in love with him even more. We both had this special love for the written word and we both are writers. His poetry is the epitome of beauty, and the way he handled his art was exquisite. Sure, we handled different languages, but I never felt like he undermined my interests.

Losing someone you love doesn’t get easier even when days go by; if anything, it only gets worse. The pain increases as another day goes by of you not seeing them and that leads you to missing them even more. From my experience, I learned that you don’t stop missing them or wanting them to come back, you just learn to cope with it.

The main thing that helps you get by is remembering all the good memories that person’s existence held and also praying for them and for your heart to heal because you’ll only feel good when your spirit is at rest.

Also, spending time with family members who know exactly how much pain you’re going through helps immensely. There’s no greater love than a support system’s love, especially when that support system is your own flesh and blood.

I try to keep myself busy to forget that he’s no longer there but at the end of the day, I get a sense of frustration and emotional sorrow because I do realize that things will never be the same without him, I’m anything but delusional.

I went through a downward spiral and what got me through this other than family’s and friend’s love, is reminding myself that ‘This too shall pass’ and that my heart will learn to live with it as soon as I make him proud of me.

My current aim is to work ever harder to prove that I am not all talk. My last words to him were a promise of dedicating my book to him. I really wanted him to be around to be proud of me but sadly, it was his time to return to Allah. As far as I’m concerned, I’m determined on living up to that promise because it’s the only thing I have left of him.

Note: The author is publishing her debut novel “Alatash” on 7th of November, 2013 in Sharjah International Book Fair, and she will be there for book signing.

We Are All Stronger Than We Think

Alwid Lootah (@AlwidLootah)

Column: Lost in Reverie
Alwid is a young lady who aims to become the change she wants to see in this world by spreading positivity and leading youth towards the road of unlimited possibilities. She recently founded her own website hearmyeche.com through which she aims to become the voice of youth and share unrecognized talents. Her column “Lost in reverie” is a place where she allows her thoughts and emotions to flow and a place where she can hopefully create a change.

Latest posts by Alwid Lootah (@AlwidLootah) (see all)

Article in brief: The writer expresses how we are all stronger than we think and that the battles we encounter in life only made us the strong people we are today. 

what doesnt kill you

One day I looked back and thought “wow! I have been through a lot”, and I bet if you looked back, reader, you’d say the same thing. As life passes us by, day by day, we fail to remember how much we’ve fought to get to this point in our lives, we fail to remember how stronger we have become.

Remember the time you said “I can’t take this anymore”, the time you almost gave up on yourself? Well, look at you now; you’re a fighter at heart. You continued to fight for what you believe in and never gave up. That’s the thing about us, as much as we want to give up, a voice inside of us tells us to fight a little more and the faith in our hearts screams: “Give it one more shot”.

At some point in my life I thought I couldn’t continue fighting for what my heart desires, I thought that the only thing left to do is to give up and let go. I felt that everything going on is too hard for me to handle, and that I wasn’t old enough to make the right decisions. Now I know that Allah never gives you more than you can handle, and what you thought of as hard was actually the reason you have became stronger.

A year ago, you would’ve never been able make it through the things you’re going through now, a year ago you weren’t as strong and built up as you are today. What we thought would kill us, made us so much stronger, it made us believe in the impossible so we took a leap of faith.

A leap of faith to what we thought of as impossible, a jump to a place we never thought we’d reach. Now we know there is nothing we can’t do, no fight we cannot triumph.  If you believe that, you’ll realize how very strong you are.

This is not the last of your fights, in fact this is nothing but the beginning, so if you thought you can’t overcome all the difficulties you’re facing, remember all the encounters you’ve overcame. After all the heart is just a muscle that needs to be trained to be stronger, and by time you’ll realize how amazingly strong you have become.

You can only fight your own battles and can only be your own hero. Yes, the people around us give us strength at times, but strength comes from within, thus you are the reason you’re getting stronger with every heartbeat.

I know that at times things get out of hand, and giving up is your only thought. Instead, start fresh, organize the thoughts in your head and never carry more than you can hold. Always believe that you are capable because you are only as strong as set yourself to be and keep in mind that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Human Punching Bag

Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf)

Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf)

Budoor takes a unique look at the world around her. She applies a sense of the mystical to everyday happenstance and turns it on its head. The result is her column: “Mental Pondering”.
With a background in communications, her passion for writing is driven by the need to voice her thoughts. Budoor also hold an eMBA in innovation and Entrepreneurship, other than writing, her interests include reading and traveling.
Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf)

Latest posts by Budoor Al Yousuf (@BAlYousuf) (see all)

Article in brief: Theories say humans need to vent and express their emotions, however does science back those theories? If it does, what is the correct way of expressing emotions and who is the right person?

Mental Pondering_Nov2013

Ancient wisdom says that if a person talks about their emotions they will feel better. Through out history, we have seen this theory develop to what people nowadays call Psychiatry or Therapy. Another route taken more regularly is confining in a friend or finding a “Human Punching Bag”.

The “Human Punching Bag” theory doesn’t include punching a human being, but rather finding a person to express and label one’s emotions to. As a study has discovered, wording emotions or labeling them helps in decreasing the effect of that emotion.

Scientifically, when experiencing a negative emotion a part in the brain called the Amygdala brightens up, when that experience is labeled or put into words there is less of a reaction in the Amygdala region and more in the thinking in words about emotional experiences region, the right Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex.

Although expressing emotions is clearly more useful than not, it is not always easy to find someone to talk to or someone who would listen. The bigger risk in talking to someone who is not bound by law to not discuss your secrets is even greater.

When choosing a “Human Punching Bag” it is necessary to think about how open the receiver will be to listen, accept and not judge. It is also important not to force an unwilling person to listen. The “Human Punching Bag” should be a trustworthy person, but shouldn’t be expected to share the same emotion.

Also, the “Human Punching Bag” isn’t forced to listen to complaints all the time and isn’t there for dumping emotions on, he/she is someone who will be available and will listen when possible. The “Human Punching Bag” should never be attacked and should always be treated as a neutral party.

Expressing emotions isn’t easy, but being specific when talking about emotions helps, for example, instead of saying “I don’t feel ok” say “I feel upset about …” or “I am frustrated because…”. The more precise the emotion label is, the better the experience will be.

It is important to understand that expressing emotions whether to a “Human Punching Bag” or otherwise is not about dwelling on the negative experiences but about ‘letting it out’ in a positive way to the right audience at the right time.

————-

Dictionary:

  • Human: any individual of the genus Homo
  • Punching bag: a person on whom another person vents their anger

References:

  • Lieberman, Matthew. “What Happens When We Put Feelings into Words?.” What Happens When We Put Feelings into Words?. UCLA, 21 July 2007. Web. 13 Oct. 2013. <lifesciences.ucla.edu/docs/lieberman.pdf>.
  • Stewart, Laurie. Achieve Solutions, 20 May 2013. Web. 12 Oct. 2013. <https://www.achievesolutions.net/achievesolutions/en/Content.do?contentId=10388>.

Ohana Means Family, Joined by Geography Separated by Ideologies

Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais)

Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais)

Omar is an International Relations Student at the American University of Sharjah, with a passion towards politics and a devotion towards the rhythmic arts of poetry and prose.
https://omaralowais.wordpress.com
Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais)

Latest posts by Omar Al Owais (@OMSAlowais) (see all)

Article in brief: Joined by geography, yet separated by ideologies. This article explores how differences in mentalities cause rifts.

Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@AnoodAlMulla_)

Artwork by Anood AlMulla (@AnoodAlMulla_)

I was recently on a flight from Dubai to Delhi, and much to my delight, I was seated near to the window. As I was indulging in my bird’s eye view of the world, I realized that the borders that we see in our geography books are non-existent anymore. When you see things from afar, you view them as a single body, with no major difference whatsoever. Peaceful. Tranquil. Calm. Mountains, seas and rivers are there, but they are not obstacles. They are tools.

Fast forward to my Indian endeavors. After having several conversations with the people I’ve met, I have come to know of its deep-rooted disputes with Pakistan, which have consequently led to “Indo-Pakistani Wars”, such as the wars of 1947, 1965, 1971, and most recently, the Kargil War of 1999 over Kashmir. Pre 1948, they were one country; a single body; one person. Now, they are two separate countries, in addition to Bangladesh, as per the Partition of India and Pakistan on 1947. Geographically joined, ideologically separated.

Similarly, let’s use a more relatable scenario. Your neighbor, who you have known all your life, recently planted palm trees across the wall separating your houses. The palm trees block the sunlight from your house. Instead of having a logical and rational conversation with him explaining your situation, you throw a tantrum. The palm trees remain where they are, and you no longer speak to each other.

Another example is high school clique divisions. The “bachak” hate the nerds, the nerds hate the football fans, and the football fans hate the bookworms. They all attend the same school and are members of the same community, yet they are more apart than they are together. They are an image of strangers, forced to live in the same house.

This scenario is prevalent in environments in which people of different ethnic backgrounds or ideologies are expected to peacefully coexist and contribute to their community, be it in bilateral relations, workplaces, or school. All the means of unity are in place, however, ideologies prevail.

What causes certain social groups to wish to behave in this way? Is it the desire to prove oneself, the love of competitiveness, or just utter resentment towards anything “different”?

To me, I’m somewhat uncertain, as I believe that a combination of those factors cause people to behave in such a way. It begins with the lack of confidence to experiment what is new, thus the inherent desire to prove oneself, which gradually develops into competitiveness between the opposing parties. The key to avoid such conflicts is to be thoughtful and avoid close-mindedness. To accept the new, while sticking to the old, and to rule out the possibility of major disagreements over slight differences in the wiring of our brains.

Extremism in any ideology or belief is a dangerous attitude. Shall you believe that you are better than your counterparts, they will similarly carry the same attitude and consequently, many, many conflicts will arise. However, if you lead a tolerant attitude and accept other ideologies AND give knowledge as much as you take, then geography will prevail. It will not be an obstacle to cross cultural understanding, but rather a tool. There will be no conflicts, no disputes, and no wars. We are all children of this big family. And as my favorite television series as a kindergartener catchphrase says; “Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind.” Lilo and Stitch.