“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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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…


So avoid using the word ‘very’ because it’s lazy. A man is not very tired, he is exhausted. Don’t use very sad, use morose. Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do. It also won’t do in your essays.

by N.H. Kleinbaum from “Dead Poets Society”

Words are sacred… Every choice is significant and when it feels difficult and immense to imagine anyone in the world could possibly understand what you’re feeling, just remember; you probably haven’t found the right words to express it.

I love language…

“The heaviest of burdens crushes us, we sink beneath it, it pins us to the ground. But in love poetry of every age, the woman longs to be weighed down by the man’s body. The heaviest of burdens is therefore simultaneously an image of life’s most intense fulfillment. The heavier the burden, the closer our lives come to the earth, the more real and truthful they become. Conversely, the absolute absence of burden causes man to be lighter than air, to soar into heights, take leave of the earth and his earthly being, and become only half real, his movements as free as they are insignificant. What then shall we choose? Weight or lightness?”

by Milan Kundera, from “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”

Sometimes the things that we struggle with the most, the thoughts that weigh the most heavily on our shoulders, are in themselves our objects of greatest virtue.

No matter how tremendous they become, you have to ask yourself, what would you be left with without them? Is substance a burden? Life without any conflict or tribulations is easy. Yet the emptiness left behind becomes in itself a burden.

So the question becomes a matter of choice between the weight of substance, duty, and love, versus the sometimes overwhelming weight of nothing; of insignificance…