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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

As I turn 25 today: 25 things I am grateful for

As I turn 25 today: 25 things I am grateful for

Gaza, February 28, I would start with expressing how much I like my birthday's date but I would sound self centered. And I am not here to sound self-centered; I am here to announce my decision to bathe in gratitude this year on my birthday. I reached 25 today and although I have MUCH MORE than 25 things to be grateful for, I will choose my best 25.

My close friends have seen how tangible my transformation has been, but for those who don’t know me: I have changed allot along the past few months. 2011, was a year that I will never forgot. It was revolutionary in every sense that this meaning can hold, leaders were toppled, people demanded their freedom, horrendous bloodsheds and it was a clear sign that the world is changing. 

Apparently, I was following that trend “Un-intentionally”. I ended up changing too. Sometimes, I don’t even recognize my past self. Don’t get me wrong, the real Omar is still there and the old Omar is still camping on me but the new Omar is a spontaneous operation that started happening and still is.

I like 25 –Not because the numbers are nice or it’s the half of 50 and all this crap-, I like 25 because I can honestly say that now: I know myself a little better, I know the world a little better, I know god a little better, I know what I want a little better and I know you a little better. I appreciate things more, I enjoy things more, I no longer tolerate drama or people’s crap and I no longer seek validation from people who just wanna use me. I am becoming who I am, I am meant to be and I want to be. For me, this is big.

I was frightened to death from this transformation because as Maya Angelou once said: “If you know better, you would\should\could do better”, she is right. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to do better if I knew better but GLADLY I was wrong. I try and will try to do better now that I know better, and I will always seek more knowledge to know better so I can do better even if that scares the crap out of me. I was also afraid because my change will upset many close people to my heart –and it did- and I might lose them but it will be their choice –and it is- not mine. He\she who doesn’t accept me for who I am, doesn’t deserve me –This is my new mantra-.

Ok time to shut up now and state the 25 things I thank god for –No matter how much I thank god it will never be enough for he has given me endless blessings, gifts and things to be grateful for-, here we go:

1-      My faith and how it gets 10 times stronger after a little weakness.

2-      My Vulnerability that keeps me grounded, human, humble and grateful.

3-      My family because you might lose anything but you will never lose your family.

4-      My mom who passed away when I was 9 but lived in my heart since then, she planted in me seeds that will always grow, which means she will always be with me J love you mom.

5-      Nano and his upcoming brother\sister (Adnan Abdullah a.k.a. Nano who is my nephew and the best gift that god and dareen –my sister- gave me).

6-      Ziad, My best friend. Because no matter what happens, we will always watch each other’s backs and be there for each other.

7-      All my friends (class mates, social media friends, university friends, ALL MY FRIENDS EVERYWHERE because every1 of them made a difference in my life).

8-      My Grandma who raised me like a son and a grandchild and was always there for me. <3

9-      My life in Cyprus Island that might not be long but left positive precipitations that will stay forever with me and made a huge impact on my personality.

10-   Being Palestinian because I would wanna be Palestinian if I wasn’t. I would be a different person if I wasn’t Palestinian. It made me who I am now.

11-   Palestine because this entity and existence taught me love, existence, UNARMED resistance and LIFE.

12-   Writing because the gift of writing gave me the ability to slowly discover myself and my voice and more importantly have my voice heard and express myself freely. And poetry, because it helped give my imaginations so many other and renewable dimensions.

13-   Latin Patriarchate School and Holly family school because the 1st gave me the best years of my childhood life with the best friends, teachers and school ever. And the 2nd meant the transformation from childhood to adolescence and a whole new phase with the same awesome friends and teachers.

14-   Social media for helping us reach out to people, participate in global revolutions and spread the truth about Palestine and Gaza.

15-   Gaza. Imagine you were walking in a gallery and a breathtaking portrait caught your eye and you couldn’t stop looking at it. Infact, you kept coming everyday to just look at it. Well, I live in this portrait J

16-   My love for pets and animals in General because it made me more humane, hating animals can turn a person into a cruel monster. I said “CAN”, please don’t hold that against me.

17-   A little more knowledge everyday, because knowledge is power.

18-   My English language because it made my life 100 times easier than other people here in Gaza.

19-   My family’s financial status that enabled me to study at good schools, universities and be able to do some of the things that I like even though we aren’t rich. My financial status, I am not rich yet I am independent and I get to live how I want to live and do most of the things I like.

20-   My integrity that helped me make numerous friends for life without needing anything from them. Thank you god, Thank you god and Thank you god.

21-   My love for art, culture and music that introduced color to my life, without these things my life would be black and white à BORING “in my personal opinion about my life, you might be living a black and white life and enjoying it” J

22-   My laptop. My first big purchase and my best investment because it was the gate for priceless things and moments. It means allot to me.

23-   My humanity that enables my heart ache whenever I see a child crying, an elder suffering, an animal hurting, injustice ruling, oppression camping and Palestine bleeding.

24-   Change. The change that happened to me, to the world and my ability to spot positive change; seek positive change, work for a better change and thrive for a better change.

25-   Kareem. For being in my life as a second dad, friend, mentor, a person who is brutally honest with me, knows me very well, always there for me no matter what, incorporates me in his family, sets me straight, listens to me and offers me unconditional fatherly love.

Ok that’s all folks. Feel free to tell me what you are grateful for, why did you wake up smiling today? What do you wanna thank god for? …etc.

I wanna also thank you all for being a part of my birthday.

With love, gratitude, respect and hugs,

Omar from Gaza

Gratitude is not only the greatest of all virtues, but the parent of all others - Cicero


  1. Happy 25th Birthday from Dominican Republic, I can say through twitter u have made me be a lot more interested in everything that happens in Gaza and Palestine in general, and thanks to you i now know a lot more about the people there than a did b4. U totally changed my approach on palestinians. I hope some day your country will be free! Have many more Bdays!

  2. i guess its an arab saying: "you may live 100 years more" insallahh ;)

    with love from istanbul.

  3. WOW Omar your 25 things are outstanding. For me I thanks God for my family, that Thanks God is Palestinian and thru that introduced me to the networking life, specially facebook that even thought people keep bashing and hating, I thanks for facebook for having meet so many family around the world, without facebook I would not meet you, or you not meet me. I thanks God for Facebook..and all my new family.
    I thanks also God for our humanity and compassion to make us feel closer to each other and be able to feel the pain of others, that is priceless.
    I more than anything thanks God for his ultimate creation 'Mother Earth', that I fight and try to protect with nails and teeth..I love everything that live and can die, including animals and trees, specially because they can not defend themselves. I think I m a soldier for peace, Non Violent as much as possible, I also have to thanks God for this sentiment of fearless passion to fight without arms, but with my humanity as armor and my love as a weapon.

  4. Andy :) U just made my day by ur comment and I will share it on facebook and twitter because this is what I aim for and I am glad the message reached you and you are more interested in Palestine now and you changed your approach regarding Palestine. Thank you from all my heart :) Sending you hugs from Gaza to the Dominican republic.

    Thank you Minnosh :) Inshallah! All my love from Gaza to Istanbul.

    Marvel - Akashma news: Thank you for sharing your own personal gratitude :) I loved what U wrote :) Plz keep ur good work up despite people's hatred! People do that to you because you are successful :) God Bless.

  5. happy birthday and all my support to Gaza from Germany. may Allah bless you.