On Death

Endless as the ocean

And wide as the sea,

I am filled with emotion

Thinking that can’t be…

Loved people come our way,

Then suddenly they pave a new road far away,

As they depart with no warning –

Leaving so early on a silent morning!

We tend to believe that we rule

As we decide, plan, organize, and aim

Oh how ironic, and how fool!

As in a second, there is nothing left to claim!

Death is a path – we all have to take,

It is so real, so daunting, and not fake!

It is the one that takes as far

Leaving it’s door wide ajar!

It strikes at once,

Warning you with every pounce!

It shows pride in its power,

Stressing it every minute of the hour.

It brings heavy silence with it

Pain, anger, agony of no limit!

It does not differ among the human race

Black, white, poor, or rich – as it knows no face!

But once we are back on trek

We humans tend to forget,

We fail to appreciate life at its full

Taking it for granted – all in a handful!

But then death falls on us with a thud

Wrapping its weight in a flood.

To remind us that it will always come our way

With no invitation, or a warning, or even a say!

And when they are gone

Only memories help us to move along,

Leaving us with shattered thoughts

But with a faith ever so strong!

It is life with all its irony,

Its beauty, its harshness

Its bitterness its sweetness –

Beating in our hearts tirelessly!

Acceptance is the key

Acknowledgment makes us knee

To what matters the most –

The Truth, and to that I toast!

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The Desert

Today’s post is not like any other post, and soon you will know why. I was looking forward to describing my feelings towards an experience which would take me back to the early years of my childhood, back in Arabia where I was born. Back to the desert which carries a unique daunting beauty in my heart. While some might see it as an empty boiling oven which could swipe someones’s existence in a few seconds, I personally, find its golden colors – especially at dusk – create a fantastical piece of art deciphering a land which is flat and barren with brownish orange sand merging into the purple navy blue skies!

In the Hussant family, our children are referred to as “les enfants du desert” by their cousins who live in France. Knowing this, a child of the desert cannot but admire its charm and oneness.

Moreover, I know that one day they will look back at those memories with nostalgia and sentimentally remember all the joy they have attained when we once lived in beautiful Abu Dhabi.

Last weekend, we planned on having a BBQ with our friends somewhere in the desert. However, with little Miss D’s sickness, I had to stay with her while the boys went with their dad and enjoyed their time on the warm soft dunes.

Since I usually discuss the topics which I write with my children, one of them got excited and suggested that he records down his experience about this trip. He wanted to describe his feelings and to highlight the importance as to why children should explore nature. What an amazing learning opportunity he has provided me with! I could not but proudly concede to his request! And this is what he wrote;

“The desert is known for being amongst the special places on Planet Earth which has its own mysterious secrets. Last Friday, my brothers, my dad, and I went to the desert with a few friends to spend the afternoon and have a BBQ. My sister D was sick, so mum had to stay with her! Anyway, it took us around an hour and twenty minutes before finally arriving to this beautiful place which was located in the middle of nowhere.

The reasons why I love going to places like that are the following:

  • In the desert, you feel free, and completely detached from the big stressful city that I get tired of after a certain moment. Moreover, such trips are exceptional as they allow me to explore the sensations of nature away from the brick houses, glass towers, cars, and pollution.
  • As an adventurous child, it makes me feel as if I am on a quest to find treasures. Actually, we dug a hole and found some crystals! Later when it started to get dark, we built our own fire and roasted some tasty marshmallows!
  • Out there, you can do whatever you want. We played football, Frisbee, and badminton. We even flew kites! I liked the feeling of having the wind blow on my face. Finally, sliding down and climbing up the dunes was awesome.
  • At the end of the day, I wished I could stay there for the rest of the weekend. I had sand in my hair and in my pants. I was very dirty but felt very happy as well.

I recommend such outings to everyone, even those who think that desert outings are tiring.”

Ramy Hussant

If you liked this post, please share it on your social media page and thank you all for your continuous support!

A special thank you goes to the dear friends who have taken those lovely pictures.

My Thankful List

With Thanksgiving coming just around the corner and the deep meanings it carries along, I decided to tell you more about my way of being thankful.

I can fill pages about the things I am blessed with as a mom living in the 21st century. Women of this era are bestowed with great opportunities which we could make good use of. Not only that, we really do exhibit a beautiful kind of freedom which makes us enjoy and appreciate life. We have reached a point where we have the right to vote, work, and participate in any domain we might be interested in.

Finally, we are all blessed with endless resources like nature, the sea, the moon, the stars, art, music, and modern cures. However, I will be stating only six of my boundless thankful list.

1. Faith:

I am thankful for the faith and trust I have in God. I know that whatever I plan for and whatever I aim at will be guided through His support. Faith gives me a sanctuary to accept challenges and over come them. Faith helps me accept peacefully what fate has designed for me. I do pray that I will always hold onto it as I progress in life, and be able to transfer this belief to my children.

2. Good health:

I am thankful I have all my five vital senses vivid and functional. Being able to read, write, enjoy food, and feel the beauty of life is a bliss by itself. It is true that we take these things for granted. Hence, exerting them without acknowledging this fact, and to only remember them when we lose them or when we are in pain, is shameful. However, that same pain that we sometimes experience, is also a blessing as it reminds us to appreciate the perfection of the human body.

3. My family:

I am thankful for the amazing gift of having my loving family which God bestowed me with. I am so lucky to have them in my life. In addition to having a warm house where we feel safe and sheltered, our home is loving and supportive. We are free to share our pains and fears, happiness and joy, sadness and disappointments – all the while knowing that we are there for each other. I would not have explored love or known the ecstasy of affection without each and every member of my family.

It is true that, like everybody else, we have our ups and downs, but it is through that kind of discomfort, we learn to stick together and solve our problems the best way we can.

4. Education:

I am thankful to have had the chance of earning a good education which has helped in quenching my endless thirst to knowledge. Moreover, through the right direction and guidance I have received, I was able to choose a profession that I truly enjoy.

Doing something that you rejoice in makes a person appreciate her work more. Hence, she becomes more productive.

5. Vacations and holidays:

I am thankful for the ability that we can travel, explore, and learn through our trips and journeys. Those moments are precious as we are able to enjoy our moments together, our children, our laughter – our bond!

Those ‘breaks’ help us get out of our speedy routine, and make us realize the importance of appreciating the given moment.

6. Technology:

I am thankful for the great inventions that were achieved across the years, with the most recent being the smart phones. Despite their negative aspects, my phone is the means through which I get in touch with my dear ones, and connect with people who can support me in my journey.

The relief I experience when I know that I can reach whomever I want by pressing a simple button, is gratitude by itself.

After all, whatever feelings I have can be easily shared with a close person, making the burden and discomfort evaporate.

By being grateful, people attract more positive vibes into their world. They create a cheerful and satisfied heart. They form a live soul filled with energy and ardor. Finally and most importantly, they reflect that exuberance towards others.

And you dear reader, what are you grateful for?

Fun Facts About Us

After the twins were born and we settled into our new routine as a family of seven members, we experienced some amusing changes in our daily lives. I have included a few of them below.

1. Nail cutting:

It is funny that it didn’t take us much to realize that we had to cut and file 100 nails every few days. It happens that most of our children’s nails grow fast and tending to all of them takes time. Trust me, it is not something I enjoy doing, let alone the other many hygienic issues we need to consider and take care of!!

2. Car Driving:

We have bought a Honda Oddessy to fit us all in comfortably and easily. To be honest, I love this spacious mini-van of mine as it is practical with sliding doors on the sides and not too high for me to climb and fasten the little ones in their car seats. Still, we need around ten to fifteen minutes to have all five buckled up and seated properly before hitting the road. I still don’t understand what takes them that long to sit and fasten their seatbelts.

And once that is done, you would dream to have a calm ride around. They are either all talking at the same time, or fighting over which song they want to hear. Even the twins now make it a point in choosing their favorite hits! Enjoy the ride!

3. Shopping:

I rely a lot now on jotting down what new items each child needs. I have the tendecy to organize their closets once per month which helps me in classifying all the items needed. And with all this organization, I sometimes get confused and buy things I do not really need. The good thing is that if one of them can’t use it, there is always someone else who does. Having different sizes at home has its advantages! 😉

4. Extra Consumption:

As soon as the twins started eating solid food and I had to prepare their meals from scratch, the amount of vegetables and fruits increased drastically. In fact, we buy huge quantities which get comsumed by the end of the week. I know that with time and as the boys turn into young men, food consumption would increase even more. However, I would not mind preparing healthy choices for them no matter how tiring it will be.

On another note, the boys have been showering on their own for some time now, but they consume water and soap in huge quantities. We are still working on explaining how important it is to use them moderately. However, I think it might take more time for them to really grasp the concept.

5. Laundry:

Loads of laundry stack up every day making our washing machine twist and turn at least twice a day. We owe this luxury to William Blackstone who had invented the first washing machine that was designed for convenient use in the home. Otherwise, our lives would have been awefully drastic.

What are some of your funny realistic facts that you have experienced as a mom?

My Fourth Son…

It is indeed incredibly amazing how each and every child has a special place in a mom’s heart. When I had my first boy, I thought I could never love any other being as much as I loved him. 

I was wrong!

Soon enough, came our second one, and that love increased doubling with more joy and pride. I could feel my heart swelling up with attachment and affection towards both of them. I was delighted to have given my first boy a lifetime buddy to hang out with, play with, fight with, and do whatever boys do together. Then sooner than expecting, the third one proudly arrived bringing much charm with his captivating smile and easy going character to our family. He quickly formed a special bond with his brothers, and soon they constituted a clan.

What a bless, I would tell myself!
AND I thought it ended there; a satisfied mom of three adorable boys.

Again I was wrong!

As our fourth boy and little girl were born, I was deeply concerned about him being ignored by everyone. After all everybody was waiting for the girl – even us as parents!

I was afraid of failing between them, focusing more on her needs, and losing it with all of the responsibilities I suddenly had. It is true that we have always wished for a girl, but I did not want him to be treated any differently than his brothers or her for the matter.

To ease my worries, I read books and articles related to twins, sibling rivalry, and whatever came across my way. I also had a full supportive team at home where we discussed our worries and concerns. 

However, what really helped me the most was my fourth boy himself.  I will never forget his looks at the age of 32 weeks, only a few days after they were born. Just by looking at him peeking at me through the incubator, I could easily tell that he has come with a unique character, just like the others, and was more than ready to prove himself. It kind of soothed me seeing his determination at a very young stage in his extremely early life.

An independent little fellow who insists on doing things on his own is the main characteristic of our little Mr. R. As I observe him at play, I enjoy his jubilant attitude and carefree spirit. He not only enjoys kisses and cuddles, but asks for them as well whenever he feels like it. I also love his thirst to knowledge and learning where he asks me to work together on different age related activities. I adore his attachment towards his sister and brothers, and his comic side when he enjoys a joke with them. 

It does not really matter if you have an only child or five of them. It does not matter if they are all girls or all boys. It does not matter the order they come in. What matters is the love, the innocence, the purity, and transparency they bring. Our way of reacting to these needs and our approval form the basics of a child’s character in the future. This reminds me of what my dearest grandmother used to tell us, ‘Raise your children with love and affection.’

So how much can a mom’s heart equally love? Well I would say definitely infinite!

Back In Time!

Twelve years ago, exactly around this time of the year, my hubby and I landed in Abu Dhabi International Airport.  We have left France for a one year contract, and we were so excited about the journey ahead of us. With my fully grown belly I was totally aware that I would not be able to travel or make any major moves as I graciously moved into my third trimester of my first pregnancy. I was young, energetic, and full of delight to start a new page in the new short chapters of my life as a married woman. 
After living for two years in France, I was homesick and I knew that Abu Dhabi will compensate for all the loneliness, solitude, and inner struggles I passed through the day I left my family, relatives, and hometown to start a new stage with the man of my life!
To add on top of that I was eagerly anticipating the moment I would meet my little baby boy. 
Funnily enough I was really anxious about the delivery and the medical services provided, especially because we did not have a lot of options at that time. Still I couldn’t but surrender to what fate has designed for us and had to go with the flow.
Every single year since then, we would think that we would soon return. Looking back on those years I am gratefully aware of how much Abu Dhabi has given us; and to that I am thankful.

It is obvious that there is definitely no ‘perfect’ place as the word implies.  We all get tired of our exasperating routine, our never ending responsibilities, and our poisoning uncertainties.  However, we can always find a  way out that directs us to meet other goals and build up on previous experiences.
During those years, I have experienced being both a stay at home mom and a working mom. With both roles, Abu Dhabi has and still provides me with all the basic needs, luxurious facilities, and abundant time to live and enjoy my family.
Abu Dhabi endorsed me with a cocoon, a home, and a sanctuary that engulfs us with tranquility and peace of mind. With its cosmopolitan regime, it offered me unique opportunities in meeting supportive friends, amazing colleagues, and great people who taught me a lot. It even increased our circle with close and far relatives from different parts of the world.
Moreover, it continues to give our children educational and recreational opportunities that hopefully will open new horizons later in their future.
The beauty of its desert and the blue azure that proudly engulfs it, make our children appreciate nature with all its perfection and flawlessness.
Last but not least, our presence here was the main reason behind having our beloved five whom we might not have even considered if we were still living in France.

I am certain that each family and every person who had lived and still lives here has a great owe to everything they have achieved. Those who came fifty years ago and those who have been here for a few years, leave with a special imprint in their hearts deciphering the unique beauty of the Arabian life. We find ourselves enjoying our life, our difficulties, and our bewilderment all at the same time. This is how we rejoice in loving this ‘home’ and we are bound to it for all eternity.

I felt the urge and need to express my appreciation and thank our lucky stars for having us live in the splendid UAE. Without it we wouldn’t have been bestowed with all those blessings.
Would like to hear from your experiences as moms living in Abu Dhabi and how fruitfully living here has been on you and your families. 

April 27, 2005

That’s To You, My Child!

My dear child that’s to you, so you know what life might do!
You might meet those who nag
And others that might carry your bag…
Some are cross and make you dare
Others would simply show that they care.
A group might lie
And could even leave you to die,
While honest ones will still appear
To help make the pain disappear…
Yet true friends are hard to find
So choose well and don’t be blind…
Be aware of pits and walls
Make sure you avoid the falls.
But don’t forget that mistakes are good
If they are well taken and understood.
After all life is a game
As you grow, it won’t be the same…
Play it well, do your part
But reserve your golden heart!
Everyday there is something new
A lesson, a truth, a reality to view
I promise to help you with all my might,
But it is God who will open your inner sight.
Laugh, create, imagine and dream
Play, dance, run and scream
Be polite, help those in need
Seek the truth, learn and read!
I love you, you are my child
And I’ll always be your guide
To help you when in need or in pain
To happily share your triumphs and gain….
I can write a million word
To assure you’ll successfully face that extraordinary world…
Before one day you depart and leave to explore,
Taking my aching heart with you out of the door!
But that is life,
With its beauty and its hardship which cuts like a knife…
These are my words before we part,
But for now I’ll enjoy you with all my heart….
So that’s to her to him and to you
That’s to all the five of you!

Rania HUSSANT