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A Realm of Narcissism

No that’s not the title of my new metal album, but rather an observation. An observation of this new, confusing world I have been blessed to be a part of.

The internet. What a bittersweet realm. A place that has consumed so many unproductive hours of my life (I’m looking at you, Buzzfeed.). It’s heaven for those seeking limitless amounts of knowledge, but it should come with a warning for some. Those some being people who let their emotions control them. People like me, who look online for human interaction, when God only knows that this is the absolute wrong place to look for it.

Perhaps I didn’t get the memo or I took the name too literally, but I thought social media to me was a place to socialize. You know, a place to check up on friends and meet new ones. Oh God, how 2007 of me right?

But as the years progress, our desires for a true human connection regress. I mean, are we really keeping in contact through these platforms or are we just acting in a never-ending movie of our lives and forcing everyone to watch? When we post a picture, a post, a whatever…we care more about how many comments we get rather than who comments. We want to be noticed. We determine our self-worth by the likes we get to impress our facebook friends, be it a cousin or someone you met at a conference once. We want to make sure everyone knows what we’re doing 24 hours of the day. We want to be famous. We want attention, not communication. And so we build this super extensive profile that doesn’t reflect our real lives at all and everyone lets you know about how WONDERFUL you are and how much they miss you. But when it comes to face to face interaction, how many of these people actually make an effort to see you or say these things into your eyes?

And so we’re slipping into this digital realm, sliding into a dark hole of narcissism. Me me me. Let me show you what I did. Let me show you where I traveled. Let me show you how great I look today. Occasionally, I’ll acknowledge your existence by liking your selfie, and you’ll settle for it. I mean that qualifies as “keeping in contact”, right? Some of us go so far and determining how cool we are by allowing strangers into our personal lives and liking our personal contact. We feel oh so flattered by having a billion followers on Twitter, but we don’t know who they even are.

I’m not acting like I’m innocent and have never indulged in such behavior. I enjoy sharing my life with people, just as much as you probably do. But is it enough for me to consider it as human contact? No. It’s just me giving into human nature of talking about myself.

If anything, I’m lonelier. Because people won’t make an effort to talk to me if I’m already talking about myself constantly. Why would they want to call you and hang out if they already know what’s up? We are getting all this attention, yet we still feel so alone because it’s not real. It’s not personal. I mean, why would people put any more effort than a click of a mouse when we act satisfied by it? Maybe I put too much thought into it, but I don’t send a message for the hell of it. I do it to genuinely see what’s up. I do it with hopes that you won’t forget about me in the barrages of messages you get about people promoting themselves to feed that narcissistic monster in their bellies.

I apologize deeply for my cynicism, and perhaps I take myself too seriously. Maybe even, I’m being insatiable…but if we are getting all this attention, why is it that we still feel so empty?

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Once someone crosses the line, it’s time to cross them out!

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So here they are. My permanent boundaries. Ive finally decided that the only way to have healthy friendships is if I make permanent walls for myself. No, not ones to hide behind of….ones that if absolutely anyone crosses, even Brandon Flowers, then it is time to get rid of them. Being nice is only an obligation. Having to satisfy everyone? A sure recipe for disaster. I encourage all the people of Earth to do the same. Put yourself first…its liberating. These are my personal boundaries, why not make a list of yours? Pin them up on your walls, tattoo them on your back…just make sure you stick to them. Because you deserve to get what you deserve!!!

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How not to be “the douchebag”

This is a followup of my previous blog “Not all men are douchebags. But let’s be real, most of them are.”

First of all, I want to thank all the ladies who emailed me such positive feedback. Sometimes you need to hear it from the outside to finally stand your ground. And that’s totally fine. You never get anything right the first time….like a pancake or heart surgery. But by the time you open up your second cadaver, you know exactly NOT TO CUT THAT VEIN!!!

Anyway…

On the other hand, it seems like my blog offended people. Well of course it offended people. If you are going to assume that I am a lesbian that doesn’t shave (actually received a comment like that) generalizing all men and insinuating that every.single.one of them is a douchebag….well its gonna offend you. And that just ain’t my problem. The blog clearly singles out the douchebag and unless you are a douchebag, then there is no reason to get angry. Women can be douchebags, too. But my blog is about my observation as a woman. I dont get guys telling me their stories. If you have a story, confide in me and I’ll blog about it too!  I’ll take responsibility for my crude humor, but that’s just it. Im not trying to go to war with anyone and it was not a personal attack. Its was just my observation of stories I heard from my girlfriends. If you are a guy and afraid that you are a douchebag, dont panic.

Its not the end of the world. If you think you have douchebag traits, you can still change and its not that hard. I mean, dont get confused with having insecurities because everyone does and it is the most normal thing on earth. However, its how you portray your insecurities on others. So here, this blog is for the guys…

*Be fulfilled: there is nothing more attractive to a woman when he is fulfilled. He has his own life, his own ambitions, his own confidence…she is just one of his priorities not his only one. This will of course only work with a woman who is equally as fulfilled. When you two are both busy, you miss each other and the passion doesnt lose its spark. You’ll have something to talk about at the end of the day and nothing gets boring.

*Respect her boundaries: yes, this is the part where I bring up patriarchy. Now, dont assume that every woman who has boundaries is a braless feminist who wants ro castrate all men. But patriarchy exists and women react to it by trying not to get stomped by it. Dont expect her to give you her all because you are willing to. Listen to her, try to abolish her fears of it by not being a douchebag. Tread lightly and she will open up to you. 
*Good things come to those who wait: be patient. Simply put. Not only is she special, but so are you. Dont make any superficial decisions. Get to know each other. Both of you deserve that.

*Love is not a power struggle: no one should be in control of the love. If you go in intending to be in charge, you wont have any healthy relationships. Dont try and one-up each other. A sane woman wants a man to do his part so she can do hers. That’s it.

*If you’re trying to catch your crush’s attention, don’t do it by trying to make her jealous: really, how old are we? A mature woman will run away quicker than you can even find a new chick to mess with her head. She’s not stupid, she knows what you’re doing…it will only turn her off. And for the love of Earth, dont do it with one of her friends…its pathetic and she will pity you. This has happened to me and I almost cried, not because I was hurt, but because I felt so bad for the guy.

*Let your guard down: its okay to look weak sometimes. Women love a man in tune with his emotions because then they feel like they too can open up. Im not telling you to cry your eyes out every night, but if something is bugging you she will love that you trusted her. And if she is emotionally healthy, she will do the same.

*Finally, if you can’t be yourself 100 percent of the time…you need some more soul-searching: this is self-explanatory. Love yourself! Down with the status quo! You should never hide your character out of shame or embarrassment or whatever. Soon you will get tired of living a lie. If your chick is understanding, she won’t care about your weird habits of eating paper or if you pee sitting down (she would prefer that actually). She will just fall in love with you. Be yourself.

Anyway, this is what I would like from a guy. Im sure different women have different ideas…but most of the ones Ive talked to feel the same way that I do. Women, take note as well…these things can help you too. Now let us all hope and pray that this is my last relationship blog.

Happy loving!

Leila Saleh

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Not all men are douchebags. (But let’s be real, most of them are)

Too many times a girlfriend of mine has come to me wanting a shoulder to cry on. I’ve decided to finally blog about it once and for all so I can share what I think.

So, what’s wrong exactly? Well for three years she was being chased. No not by the police for her overdue library book (I completely forgot I had it, I swear), but by a dude. A good-looking and what appears to be a well off man seeking her courtship. But wait, why’s she crying?! She should feel flattered by the attention! Because girls like attention, right? It’s all we crave! Well, I’ll tell you why she’s crying: male privilege. That’s why.

See, guys really do love a tough chick. A bonafide badass who can keep her own. She’s confident, sexy and can fix her own damn car. We can all agree that this is the ideal type for all men. Where the problem lies is how they choose to treat her. A mentally stable guy would put a ring on it before Beyonce can woah-oh-oh. A shy guy is intimidated and humbled, which is pretty cute. But a douchebag…a douchebag will attempt to destroy her. Why? Because he most likely envies her self-love.

Let us look at the qualities of a douchebag, shall we?

*A closeted misogynist: I mean he agrees with women’s rights and all and he’s good to his mama but he’s got more testosterone than you and its not HIS fault you weren’t as blessed.

*Emotionally unavailable: he couldn’t express his feelings even if someone wrote it down for him. He’ll probably pretend he couldn’t read just to get out of it.

*Ego bigger than the state of Texas: he’s always right. He doesnt say it because he’s “modest”, but he knows he’s the best looking guy on earth. Now don’t get confused, he doesn’t think you’re wrong but you’re ignorant so he can’t waste his precious time with someone who isn’t as intellectual as him.

*Charming: the life of the party. He’s got his hat strategically dipped below one eye and an apricot scarf. You know the rest.

*Sometimes emotional: only when it’s to talk about how one ex-girlfriend in highschool tore his wittle heart in half. That’s probably because she knew her self-worth and dumped his sorry ass. And you sit there and listen to his sob story, wanting to mend him. You’re gonna fix him!!!! You’re gonna show him real love.

These are just the basics. The most important one is that he is manipulative. That’s why you never even noticed these traits. Because he is a great actor. What is his choice of attack for putting on a great show? Playing hot and cold.

See let me put it this way. Everyone likes taking long, warm showers right? Its so relaxing and makes you forget your troubles. The steam, the bubbles, the smells…ahhh, how wonderful. But then someone flushes the toilet and the shock of the icy cold water hits your body ruining everything. Frantically you twist knobs to make things warm again, to take you to that place of comfort. Then it goes back to warm and you’re in that zone again. Then FLUSH! Panic. Warmth. Cold. And so on and so forth.

Oh why does this keep happening?

Because your pipes suck. And he is control of the toilet.Yup. I just compared a guy to a toilet. But that’s what they are…because they’re so full of shit. You can’t expect nice long showers if you don’t have adequate pipes. He’s going to keep doing that until you decide to repair your pipes. Its gonna cost a lot of money and discomfort. You might have to start taking showers somewhere else. But its the only way you’ll ever take a nice shower again.

Then when you do decide to do that, you’ll beat yourself up. How were you so stupid to live like that for so long? That’s where I come in.

I’m here to tell you: don’t be that girl that blames herself. Don’t hate yourself for being emotionally stable. He’s going to try and make it seem like you’re insane. You were the clingy one. You decided to stay. He was just riding along, innocently…he was following your lead. You were just having fun! He never expressed love for you so why are you getting upset?

But: you did nothing wrong by being naive. What do I mean by that? When was being naive a better option? Well in this case, it is. It means that you are a NICE person. You know now that you’re absolutely normal. Because you are a decent human being, you listen to cries for help and you genuinely want to help. Especially when you think a person loves you.

You are not a toilet. Unlike a douchebag, you know you can’t be strong all the time. And that’s okay.

What you do need to realize is this: not everyone wants to be helped. This is where you need to draw the line. None of that Tammy Wynette Stand-By-Your-Man bullshit. No, he’s not “only a man & doesnt know better” (male privilege)…he is a dipshit. You may think you already invested so much time and maybe one day he will understand. But he won’t. His ego stems from his insecurity and his ego must be fed to survive. Dont be his bait.

Go out. Get fit. Have fun. Do whatever makes you feel good. But don’t ever blame yourself for a douchebag. Just pray, like the good person that you are, that he doesn’t die alone because of his selfish actions. And move on. There’s no use in being hurt.

Leila Saleh

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Open Letter: Crushed by Cory Monteith

‘’I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat. And then on some dark cold night, I will steal away into your house and punch you in the face.’’

Sue Sylvester has never spoken truer words that express how I feel right now, Finn. You have been my favorite Glee cast member despite your incapability of holding a suave move like Mike or a high note like Kurt. Like hair gel to Blaine, Finn is to Leila. You are inFINNitely the only reason why I watch Glee.

However, while innocently strolling (stalking) your Twitter today, I noticed that it said I wasn’t following you. I thought, “how could this be? I’ve been following this Canadian hottie for nearly a year! Maybe I accidentally unfollowed”…but as I slid my finger to the follow button, I got this instead:

My heart

And wham! It was then…I was punched in the face. I stopped believin’ and stopped holding on to that feeeeeelin’. I felt the icy cold one would probably experience while living in Canada…or having a slushie thrown in your face.

I don’t understand. Was it something I said? Were my failed attempt at Lea Michele-esque bangs offensive to you? Why did this happen? What is life? Does this mean we can never have a mash-up of our own?

I feel as though I didn’t get a second callback for my Fanny Brice audition (I have the wrong nose…and I can’t sing). Or as though I lost sectionals (…because I can’t sing). My gleeful heart turned into stone. I am hurt, Cory Monteith. Really hurt.

So here is my open letter to you, you hunk of Canadian bacon, to forgive me for whatever I have done and unblock me.

Forever yours,

Leila

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Kim Kardashian to name her kid Gertrud?? WTF

Great, now I have your attention.

You wouldn’t have clicked this link if I had written “Samer ilIssawi is dying of hunger”, would you?

I am not judging you. I am asking you to not be in denial. You are more attracted to Hollywood, but that’s just the way we were raised. And it’s okay, sometimes I catch myself watching mindless E! reality shows as well…but we should not let that overshadow humanity. 

 

So now that I have your attention: Samer ilIssawi is dying.

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I applaud those who have continued to read. It means you care. It means your mind is not filled with complete nonsense about celebrities that only care from your existence because they make money from you.

Who is Samer ilIssawi? Well, he certainly isn’t Kim Kardashian. But he is someone who’s got injustice’s cruel hands clamped to his neck, killing him slowly and painfully. You see, Samer is an innocent man like you and I except at the same time, he isn’t. He hasn’t eaten for 200 days. Why not? Because he is fighting. He’s fighting for his freedom and the freedom of all those unjustly detained by Israel without trial or charge. So basically, he is sitting in jail without anyone having proof that he committed a crime. Isn’t that a little more astonishing than the name Gertrud? I think it is. 

And now, I bet you’re wondering, “Okay great…now I know who he is but what can I do about it?”. Well, I’m here to tell you that Samer, and countless of other prisoners, is in this position because we don’t know his story. Because the media and humanity in general don’t know what is going on. So now you know what is going on. Spread the word. He is the voice of Palestine and we need to be his microphone.

Join us every day on Twitter and make some noise. Watch the Khader Adnan Twitter that tweets daily hashtags we can use to contact media, or anyone, to talk about his and the Palestinian hunger strikers’ stories. Its the least we can do. And one thing will lead to another, eventually.

The Red Cross has stated that Samer ilIssawi’s heart could stop at any moment. The time to act is now

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Why Hezbollah can’t fire a rocket into Israel

With the attacks on Gaza escalating, everyone feels incredibly helpless. No one knows how long it will last or how many more people will be killed by the monstrous Israeli regime. Palestinian resistances are confined by the inhumane seven year siege of Gaza and  are unable to receive decent weaponry to fight this “war”. While they have been successful in many operations, such as sending rockets to Tel Aviv for the first time in 21 years and downing drones, resistance in Gaza is still being pummeled by the technologically advanced Israeli army. What could they possibly do with Egypt restraining movement through Rafah disallowing people to even take refuge from the ongoing bombardment?

One would think it would be a fabulous idea to assume Hezbollah should get involved. Well, it’s not.

Actually, it’s a really illogical idea or claim to make. Now, there are some making this “point” with the motive of trying to discredit Hezbollah’s support for the Palestinian cause. “Oh, does Hezbollah really care about Palestine? THEN WHY AREN’T THEY FIRING ROCKETS INTO ISRAEL, HUH?”. I’m not trying to sound like a mouthpiece, but everyone thinks I am anyway so I may as well just go with it- supporting a cause is different than fighting for a cause. While there have been reports that Hezbollah fighters had attempted to enter Gaza in 2008-09, no one can actually say that they haven’t indirectly aided the resistance. I can only really say this based on assumptions, but I feel like it’s a legitimate thought: the rockets that hit Tel Aviv were Fajr 5 rockets from Iran. One of Hezbollah’s biggest allies is Iran. After the Tel Aviv rocket fire, Sayyed Nasrallah held a speech congratulating the resistance further elaborating what a Fajr 5 rocket is and its velocity and importance. I just thought it was ironic and perhaps people would like to chew on that for a bit. However, these are simply my feelings and theory.

But then, there are those, who just lack common sense. These are the same kind of people who use the excuse that the Syrian regime is not pro-Palestinian ( not that I am claiming it to be, but the following statement is ridiculous) because they’ve never fired a bullet into Golan Heights (which they have, this past week.)

Guys. Please hear me out.

If a couple of rockets from Gaza results in week long violence and nearly 70 people murdered…what do you think Israel will do to Lebanon? Just allow a barrage of rocket fire to hit Israel and not retaliate? And we have seen Israeli retaliation. They have absolutely no remorse for civilians and will purposely target as many as they can. If we want the killing to stop in Gaza, how is it logical to bring south Lebanon into it as well?

Another point is, that if Israel gets into it with Hezbollah, it will be the ugliest war this region has ever seen. Since the 2006 war was seen as a defeat by even Israel themselves, do you think they’re going to just leave Lebanon alone and not come back with the vilest form of revenge? They are waiting at the edge of their seats for Hezbollah attack in attempt to blame them, as they did in 2006.  The cause of Palestine is divided in Lebanon. Not all Lebanese, even supporters of Hezbollah, support bringing down Lebanon because of Palestine, to put it bluntly. It’s not right since we are all technically the same land, but that’s a whole other blog. If in 2006, Hezbollah’s supporters were attacking them, calling them disproportional for plunging Lebanon into a war by kidnapping the two Israeli soldiers for the SAKE of LEBANON their own COUNTRY, just imagine if they did for Palestine. It was only after the war that people acknowledged that the kidnappings were successful in the prisoner swap.

Why did I feel the need to blog about this? Well because first of all- I have been asked so many times why Hezbollah hasn’t interfered as if I can give a confirmed answer (I don’t think it’s necessary to say that everything I’ve written is my 2 cents) and secondly, I just feel like some people are looking at this situation too black and white. South Lebanon is a ticking time bomb. It’s calm now, but it will explode one day. The liberation is temporary as long as Israel exists. Hezbollah still has a war they are fighting here in Lebanon. They must be strategic in their aid for Palestine and not recklessly start shooting rockets from Lebanese land….or else Israel will just use that excuse to occupy South Lebanon again for 22 years.

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Accept the truth before it destroys us.

Recently, a controversy has erupted in the activism world regarding the Palestinian cause and the fight against Zionism. Electronic Intifada covered a story claiming a member of the Free Gaza movement left an offensive, anti-Semitic tweet. It resulted in criticism of Electronic Intifada’s professionalism as well as accusations of them spying. Since then, the story has indeed developed and has left us into what is now a huge mess of questioning journalistic and activism credibility . Many see it was defamation and slandering, others see it as someone’s incapability as an activist to claim responsibility and admit they did something they shouldn’t have done. It has caused an even larger disunion in an already shaky atmosphere where many have fallen victim to being discredited based on their beliefs or political views.

However, I believe that the  people who are viewing this as a mindless dig really need to see it for what it is.  It’s not exposing for the worse, it’s for the sake and benefit of a truthful cause. Instead of dragging on the situation and lying about what happened, you can use one of these two choices: say you’re sorry for being offensive or say “well this is my view, suck it up”. If they choose the latter, the controversy will then surround the individual and not intefer with our cause. End of story.

An apology and explanation was issued after the tweet, the apology was deemed suspicious, more evidence was given to prove that  there was more than one tweet and that it was an actual group inciting Antisemitism.

And now people are furious.

The question on my mind is: WHY? Because we admitted that we, as mere mortals, are capable of making a mistake and our cause may have some slight corruption? As souls who are so defiant on letting the truth tell our story and battling lies, why are we sweeping facts under the rug and calling this a “conspiracy” and collaborating with the enemy just because they are having a field day that a mistake was found in our incredibly broad cause? When Israelis lie to whitewash their belief, we condemn them. When we are put in an awkward situation, we do the SAME thing they do and that’s try to whitewash with excuses. Well no, I will not have this. Lying on the premise that we can’t afford to lose anymore credibility to the cause is still lying. We’re trying to break down the apartheid wall with truth, not sweep mistakes under it that further strengthen it.

We must not be like Israelis and not admit to our faults. We mustn’t resort to personal attacks like offensively using the term Ayatollah in the way that Greta Berlin did. Which BY THE WAY, didn’t make me respect her anymore as I am a Shia Muslim and that term is used in our beliefs for respectable figures and she used it to mock someone.

We, as people, who yearn for those to hear the truth must first be able to HANDLE the truth despite who is laughing at us. What are we afraid of? There is corruption in our cause, humanity is not spared of corruption . Let’s destroy it while it’s still small instead of allowing it to grow into something we can no longer defeat.

I will not lie for the sake of anything, even a cause I wholeheartedly believe in. We are human beings, we make mistakes. This is not just a Palestinian cause. As a Lebanese who’s country is often torn apart into shreds by Zionism, I value those who fight against Israel but not at the expense of causing injustice to others. Antisemitism, just as Islamophobia, is never okay and we need to remove this mindset before accusations (with proof) of Antisemitism is used against us. That makes me more fearful than accepting the truth.

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