My time in Lockdown


It was been more than two weeks of a total lockdown here in Dubai in additional to the other three weeks before when I have started working from home. More than a month since gyms closed down, cinemas, malls, restaurants and beaches. This is not news, as the whole world is taking the same measurement in some form or another. Social distancing to flatten the curve and contain the coronavirus fast spread. Unprecedented in my life time or parents time, something new that no one of us has faced before. Yet, we are here, dealing with it, each on his own way.

For me, I am staying home alone in my apartment in Dubai. So much time on my hand, something that I am happy to have. Although I miss all of the closed activities and miss my friends and family, I have try to fill my time with some different activities that I enjoy. Here is a list of what I do, outside my home working hours:

1. Writing

I finally managed to find time to write this blog, and happy that I am doing it. I haven’t blogged for sometime now as I was focusing on writing my next book. The good news is that during this lockdown I managed to finish writing it! Hurray, it is exciting as it sounds. Took me more than two years and was a tough challenge. A really tough one, imagining a different world where gender is divided based on height rather than sex. Lots of imagination, and most of my worry has been in developing the storyline and trying to keep it as exciting as possible. I am still not sure how the readers will perceive it, but hopefully will do once it sees the light and gets published – probably by end of this year.

2. Yoga

I miss going to the gym the most, and it felt bad when the decision came out to close gyms. To be honest, it was the rational thing to do, and thank God they did, cause otherwise I would have kept on going to the gym and probably caught the virus. I was also sad to know that the crossfit box (Goldbox) I have been going to in the past two years closed permanently. The news came after the announcement of closing gyms for two weeks, but now it is lost for good. It was such a nice gym with a very nice community and amazing trainers. Loved going there, despite my struggle with crossfit as sport and my mixed feelings about it.

Nevertheless, trying to stay fit without a gym is not easy. I ordered some weights online but they are yet to arrive. At the moment I discovered Travis Eliot on youtube, and I am in love with his Yoga classes. I have been doing a daily yoga class for the past 5 days and I am enjoying it a lot. I wanted to challenge myself for a 30 days daily yoga, but today felt a bit tired after 5 days and decided to skip the day. And here I am, blogging instead!

Travis Eliot

3. Nintendo Switch

I am loving my nintendo switch and has been lucky with my choice of games recently. The most beautiful and entertaining one that I finished yesterday is “Ori and The Blind Forest”. If you are a gamer, then it is a must play. Go and get it. I really loved it. Before Ori I finished “Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze” and enjoyed it as well. And I just downloaded “Hollow Knights” yesterday hoping it will be as good as Ori, but till now I didn’t feel it.

Ori and the blind forest

4. Netflix/Suits

I finally reached season8 of Suits. Amazing show and I enjoyed each and every episode. I only started watching it recently from first episode and got hooked. I love all the characters, especially Donna and Harvey. Would they ever be together? If you haven’t watched it, then you should. And yes it is okay to commit for all the 8 seasons. I don’t know why, but I like shows that never ends.

Donna and Harvey – Suits

5. Doodling

From time to time, I pick up my ipad and just doodle. Recently I feel stuck with these colored owls that feels like a good fit to angry birds. It relaxed me and I enjoy it!

My angry owls – doodle by fido

6. Tik Tock videos

I’d like to believe that this is a phase and will fade out, but this new trending app is so much fun. It is amazing the amount of creativity it allows. Whenever you open the app you’d feel the urge to just jump in and do your own silly video. I had created my own fair share of that but now on a break. Till when, I have no idea!

7. Reading

The Book of Collateral Damage

I am currently reading two very nice books. The first one is “The Book of Collateral Damage” by Sinan Antoon. It is the first time that I read for Sinan and I am impressed by his creativity. He is different than other Arab novelists. His book is deep, creative out of the box and entertaining all at the same time. It is an archive to everything that is lost in Iraq due to the war. Very sad and strong statement. Highly recommended.

Second book I am reading and finding it very engaging is “The Body: A guide for occupants” by Bill Bryson. It is very entertaining and informative at the same time. If you want to learn more about your body, then you have to get this book. They should make it a mandatory read for schools. After reading “Sapiens“, “Homo Deus” for Yuval Noah Harrari and “Why We Age And Why We Don’t Have To” for David Sinclair, I realised that I enjoy reading informative scientific books and decided to order “The Body”. It didn’t disappoint me at all.

The Body: A guide for occupants

What about you? How have you been managing during the lockdown?

Haya: On Netflix’s Bonding and Laila and the Lamb


Hello people!
Have you missed me? I am sure you did.
And I am talking to those who were following this blog years back
Like in 2007! (omg feels like ages ago)
Those who know that The Observer is not the only author here
And that I am the infamous “Haya” have actually contributed more engaging and exciting content to this blog.
So Observer but this is true
Whether you agree with it or not!
Yes more “exciting”!
If you don’t believe me, go back and “Google me”
Wait, don’t go and google me as you won’t find anything about me
but search this blog for my older posts.
I promise, you will enjoy reading them.

Anyway, since The Observer started blogging again two weeks ago and I have been itching
I want to blog too!
For new readers, please let me introduce myself
I am The Observer’s female alter ego
The first female voice he used in this writings
Long before those 4 “wanna be” brides in his first book
and long before that boring Janna in his second
who keeps whining and whining about how unhappy she is at a time where she is back to her youth and have all what she wishes for at her fingertips!
What the hell?! Seriously Janna? Just wake up.
If you want Kamil, just go after him and be happy! (rolling my eyes)
And yes, long before his latest dominatrix protagonist – Laila
What the fuck?! How did you get there Observer?

Don’t get me wrong guys, I am all for women empowerment
And yes, there are aspects of Laila’s character that I admire
And I did enjoy reading the book
But that intro page! OMG!
What were you thinking??!
A Jordanian woman wearing a jockstrap and fucking her boyfriend!
SERIOUSLY?
Like SERIOUSLY?
Are you NUTS? Observer?
And then you go all the way and get surprised because the book got banned in Jordan!
Duh!
Did you really expect it to pass censorship? Like really?
It is a book habibi! A printed one! Not your blog!
And you needed to get a reality check!
But hey, I admire your courage
You actually went that far into writing it!
And getting it published!
And talking (shamelessly) about it!
Bravo!
I say bravo although it is not something I would have ever agreed to
If you have consulted me
But anyway, the book is out
And it is banned in Jordan
And people are finding a hard time to find it
Happy?
Enough with berating you
As I actually understand what you were trying to do with that book
I disagree with the means but under where you are coming from
And you people, stop categorizing the book as “pornographic”
Because IT IS NOT!
Yes it has a shocking opening
And few sexual scenes
But IT IS NOT PORN
It is not more of a porn than this new mini series on Netflix called Bonding
If you read Laila and enjoyed it, then you must watch it
It builds on a similar concept
(No Observer, Hollywood is NOT stealing your ideas)
Bonding is a more of comedy series of a dominatrix sex worker with a gay assistant
Intriguing, no?
Original? Despite Observer’s opinion, I’d say yes!
Entertaining? Definitely!
And I have to admit, it feels like it originated from the same line of thinking The Observer had
As in challenging mainstream stereotypes of women’s role in bed
And that’s good – a noble cause I’d say
And while the show taps onto some “disgusting practices”
It does it in a light fun way
Far from the serious tone of Laila
And there is NO SCENE that shows Mistress May (the protagonist of the show) fucking any of her men with a dildo!
(maybe in the second season?) – I bet!
But anyway, there are two things that I want to highlight here
FIRST: I understand that The Observer introduced that scene to provide a critical read for the entire act. He does it clearly towards the end of the story. And to be honest, it is a needed thought provoking read.
SECOND: (*spoiler alter*) Bonding ends with a crime, one that Mistress May commits, and articulates that she can’t report to the police because no one would believe her. That sounds exactly like Tarek’s dilemma in Laila’s story. The same concept of how someone would react when he is doing something wrong in the eyes of the society and ends up in much worse situation. Come clean or run away?

What would you do?
Have your read Laila and the Lamb or watched Bonding?
If not, then you should.
And when you do. Come back here and let me know what you think!

Sincerely yours,
Haya