“Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.”
 ― George Orwell, 1984

People who are still growing into themselves may prefer to be loved rather than understood. They don’t yet fully understand themselves and seek acceptance in it’s purest form, perceived as love. To love them is to leap and have faith in what you cannot see.

Rare is it to find someone that can see who you will be rather than who you are.

It is a privilege bestowed on a few, because really the only way to be truly loved is to be truly understood.


“I like to see people reunited, I like to see people run to each other, I like the kissing and the crying, I like the impatience, the stories that the mouth can’t tell fast enough, the ears that aren’t big enough, the eyes that can’t take in all of the change, I like the hugging, the bringing together, the end of missing someone.”

— Jonathan Safran Foer from “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”

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“Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

An you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”

by Haruki Murakami from “Kafka on the Shore”


“Is it possible, in the final analysis, for one human being to achieve perfect understanding of another?
We can invest enormous time and energy in serious efforts to know another person, but in the end, how close can we come to that person’s essence? We convince ourselves that we know the other person well, but do we really know anything important about anyone?”

by Haruki Murakami from “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle”


Photograph by RIVER LILY

There is nothing more intimate than touch; the sense that connects us not only to each other but to ourselves – it reaffirms our existence and grounds us. We touch to say hello, show affection, express anger, and say good-bye. When we make a connection to another person, their skin becomes a tangent; the path by which we intersect. In our interactions our hands do the all the talking; touch is a language in and of itself.

It’s scientifically proven that our olfactory senses are those most tethered to our memories; with this the smell of one’s skin becomes even more significant than a name.


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“Change” is a short film that tackles stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV in the MENA region.

As an initiative of MENARosa (a group of women living with and affected by HIV in the Middle East and North Africa) and Regional/Arab Nework Against AIDS (RANAA), with the generous support of Ford Foundation ICW and UNAIDS.

Written and directed by Elie Ballan
Release date is Dec. 1, 2013 World AIDS Day.
Please visit and like the page and share your thoughts

We should never forget that even though we live separate lives, we are all share in the togetherness of our world. My cousin Nabil is the lead actor in this short film, and I couldn’t be prouder! :)


Someone once said that indiscriminate niceness is overrated. That in itself is true, because being nice isn’t necessarily kind; a simple word with a lot of meaning. There is a subtle difference between the two, and it lies in small variances in behaviour.

“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about…” Being kind isn’t merely in giving advice or trying to fix the problem. Sometimes what people need is just to be heard; to be found.

Every now and again we forget to be kind to people even the people closest to us. Maybe it’s just me, but I still notice all the small gestures and little things that shed light on how a person not just feels about you but thinks about you. It is normal to take people you love for granted a little, especially after long periods. Small kindnesses are a way to see how much time and space you occupy in a person’s thoughts; rather than their hearts.

When you love someone they will always be in your heart, but to love someone they also need to be in your thoughts…