Odd Birthday

In summer I got a message from one of my Swedish friends who moved to America a long time ago. He wrote to me´: “Do you want to have coffee at Nytorget?”. I simply answered “yes, tomorrow at 10”, and just like that we met again as if he lives in Stockholm.

Last month I got an unexpected message from another friend who lives in Italy. She wrote to me: “I’m coming to celebrate your birthday in Stockholm”. We haven’t talked in four years, it was vague, I thought she was joking and I gave her my birthday date to make sure that she comes on the right day.A few days before my birthday, my boyfriend asked me: “why do you want to celebrate your birthday that late?” I got confused and asked him “what are you talking about?”. He said: “you want to celebrate with your friend”, and then I realized that I gave Nidaa the wrong day. It might be understandable to forget it, but not when you live in Sweden and your birthday is a part of your Swedish personal number.

However, I went to the central station to pick Nidaa. I bought a tulip bouquet and waited her for an hour, because she got lost at the airport and she couldn’t find the railway.We ran to each other laughing a lot, and since then we never stopped talking and laughing as if we knew each other ages ago.

First time we met was fifteen years ago, and since then we met only twice! Then we started talking only when I moved to Sweden and she moved to Italy. It was very strange to meet her again, this time we spent a week together at my home in Stockholm. We cooked together and did things like two perfectly normal girls, not like an artist and a writer. I took her to my favorite streets, cafés and restaurants. We were like two characters from a novel, she taught me some Italian swear words and suggested that we should meet next time in Lappland. We also listened to Italian and Swedish music while eating dates! 

Our language was mixed with Arabic, English, Swedish and Italian. We laughed ironically at it and switched towards the old Palestinian accents from back in Gaza.On last day, I took her to my old neighborhood and showed her my old home, I told her “I feel that I was born here in a previous life”. She said “I believe in the previous life”. 

At the metro station, we walked down the stairs while the musician was playing sad music, or it sounded sad because Nidaa was leaving back to Italy. As I said, everything was like from a novel. I hugged her quickly before the metro gates closed, she was crying a lot.

Later she sent me a message telling me that it was the best week she had since she left Gaza. It made me tear up and I felt wonderful.

Visit Nidaa here: https://www.nidaabadwan.art

Gaza syndrome

Gaza is a city box of 365 km²  with a population of almost two millions.  Yesterday the Israeli attacks extended its bloody power and started bombing the civilian neighbourhoods, actually in Gaza everywhere is a civilian place.

I don’t know how many one was killed or injured, I even don’t want to know. It’s scary to read the news or to open my Facebook account and find my friends in Gaza updating their statuses with horrible photos they took from their windows. They have been writing the news until now about what’s happening there, while I’m sitting at my computer in the very peaceful Stockholm, following the updates all the time. I get relieved whenever I see a friend posted something, then I know he or she is still fine.

I thought that leaving Gaza will erase the war memories day by day, but it seems impossible. The ties between me and that city are getting closer. Frankly, I don’t like Gaza at all, and I never thought about going back to it or visiting it. The only thing which ties me with it is my family, otherwise there’s nothing worth to be back to it.

I had great memories in that city box, when I was child, I always spent most of my summer holiday days at the sea with my family. I had also wonderful friends, we went together to the same school and played a lot with the smooth sand in the backyard of our house. Every very early morning of Friday, I went with my dad to the souq (open air food shopping), he liked to buy the fresh local vegetables and fruits. I had many good memories, but mostly bad and horror ones.

I asked my friends who left Gaza if they have the same feelings about loving and hating Gaza, and they said ‘Yes, the same we have’. It’s what I called ‘Gaza Syndrome’, when a person gets out of a war, hating that bloody place and then loving it. Why? Because the person became a victim of the flash back of the peaceful city before of the war and conflicts.

Today, early morning I got a photo from my brother, it was a metallic piece of a shell that flied onto the house roof, obviously the bombing was just around my family house. It was the worst thing could happen: to wake up in a peaceful place and to receive a scary photo from your brother who could not sleep during the night; because of the loud sound of the shells and military planes. Later my sister texted me that my pregnant cousin was killed today by an Israeli shell destroyed her house, her little daughter lost her leg and the other daughter got deep injures in her head.

It is the first of Ramadan, I’m supposed to phone my family and wish them a ‘blessed Ramadan’. But until now I couldn’t do that, because I will just collapse crying.
After all that, how would I wish a blessed Ramadan to my beloved family who’s suffering of being under the fire?. I asked my sister to send me messages to assure me that my family is OK. Until I grab my strength and talk to them.

Two diverse backgrounds of the world

After a stressful day at work, I went to the supermarket for shopping yoghurt and many other boring stuffs. I got even more stressed, because I detest shopping food. I prefer to go to clothes stores! I had that grumpy face until I came back to home and was very hungry. Made hamburger and added to it some fresh plum tomatoes.

I couldn’t avoid reading or following the news about Palestine, I tried to not get disturb by the bloody news. But it’s impossible. Even writing about it now, makes me confused, sad, angry and scared. Yes, I’m very scared to read any of my family’s names in the list of ‘killed by Israel at the Gaza borders with Israel’. More than 58 were killed so far. Palestinians in Gaza went for protesting against the Israeli occupation, they wanted to break down the borders, they also raged at moving US embassy to Jerusalem.

I shutdown my computer, I’m a helpless person. What can I do? Maybe writing a little about the Palestinian issue would help to raise the awareness. It’s petty that Gaza is like the ‘background’ of the world, it’s a forgotten tiny city, suddenly appears on TV and frontpages of newspapers, when there’s a war or blood-bath (as the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet described the situation in Gaza today).

I took Bullen, my Norwegian cat, went down to the building garden. Bullen is still not used to go outdoors. He got suspicious whenever he heard any sound coming from people behind the windows. He smelled everything around and he hide when a neighbour came with flowers. She wanted to plant some yellow flowers, but she didn’t find an empty place for them. That neighbour and her husband like taking care of the building a lot, I was relieved that she didn’t see Bullen when he was eating the grass and playing with the flowers. He was shy, so he didn’t show up for her.

After a while, more neighbours came to the garden. They were three women, it seemed they planned for having wine there. The weather was warm enough to stay outside at 21:00. I sipped a little wine to try the taste, it was rosy. The women looked elegant and happy. Another neighbour joined us, but from his balcony, he was planting herbs and talking to us. I still feel lucky living in such a building where people are very social and friendly which isn’t that common in Stockholm.

There are two diverse backgrounds of the world, bloody one in Gaza/Palestine. The other one is blooming at my building in the peaceful Stockholm/Sweden!

Bullen, my cat.

Madam green and the love path

If the day starts with a good morning, then the rest of the day will really last on a positive vibe. I started my day by making American pancakes. It was my first time ever making pancakes and the result was tasty. I even made a different thing, I added cocoa to the last portion of the batter and that chocolate pancake became special and unexpectedly delicious! I actually wanted to make them for two years, when I visited a friend at her summerhouse in Stockholm and her husband made us American pancakes as unforgettable breakfast.

American pancakes

The kitchen got messy just after preparing the pancakes, I washed the dishes and left the cutleries to clean them later. I hate cleaning small things! They take longer time than washing pans! Trivial kitchen matters.

I had to rush up to go to meet a friend, the weather was around 24 °. I was very happy reading two and four, twenty-four! So definitely I wore summer clothes, first I wore a floral dress I bought from Mango, I felt relieved wearing light clothes without needing layers or jackets. But I decided to change the dress, because I felt like I was wearing a bed sheet or a curtain. It was too much colourful.

The place we went to was Djurgårdsbrunn, one of my favourites in Stockholm. There are many places I’m fascinated by and I love walking around them, Reimersholme and Långholmen are the most common places for me to walk.


We walked over the small bridge and there we could watch the magic of madam green. Everything wore the green colour after the long dark Swedish winter. We walked through a lovely path called ‘Kärleksstigen’, which means the love path. And on the left side of the love path we could see lazy cows eating grass, their huge amount of pats reminded me of my father’s cows. Once he bought two cows and since they made lots of pats, my father started selling the cow’s pats to the neighbours for their plants. And whenever a fight happened between us, the children of the neighbourhood, I was so proud to tell them ‘your dad bough a shit from us’. It was mean, but funny.

The love path

We stopped for a fika in the middle of nowhere, the toilet door didn’t open, it needed a coin. My friend and I had only cards. It was ridiculous to not be able to pee because of a coin! Anyway, it was fixed.

The day ended by Thai food and computer games! Good end, isn’t it?

More photos of the day:



A beaver on a sunny day

I’m not a morning person at all, so today I woke up around 9:00 and that’s quite early, especially on Saturday! But I couldn’t resist the shiny sun beams when they were falling over me through the window. I made a sandwich and sat in the kitchen for a while making up plans for the day, then started cleaning the flat very quickly. It was annoying that Bullen’s (my cat) fur was everywhere, so it took time to brush it (easier than using the vacuum cleaner).

After having my favourite lunch which’s chicken thigh with roasted vegetables, I went to meet a friend. We brought some crisps, drinks and sandwiches… and headed toward Rålambshovsparken. The park was invaded by people who were thrilled by the sun…

After a few hours and while leaving the park, we passed by a beaver biting the woods that were hanging over the lake, in the beginning when I saw a woman taking photos of the beaver, I though she was crazy that she was taking photos of a stone, but it was a beaver! I’ve never seen it before! Was wonderful.

A beaver in Rålambshovsparken

We dropped the stuff at my friend’s flat and went for a walk until Vasaparken, there we stopped for a fika (the Swedish break, coffee). I was overwhelmed with happiness of summer vibes, sitting at that café opposite to a cherry tree, watching the sunset and thinking about nothing but only the beauty of life.

Fika at Vasaparken