February 28, 2008

My Dear Uncle O…

Every time I think of Uncle O, I feel like writing about him. Only I promised myself I would only write about him when I am in a good mood, because this man’s best quality was putting smiles on people’s faces, and this is how I like to remember him, with a smile.

Uncle O used to work with my dad as his deputy in the last company my dad worked before he started his own business. I didn’t know him back then; I barely went to my dad’s office, which is ironic since I moved in the same street in zamalek a couple of years ago!

Anyways, a couple of years after my dad started his business, he asked Uncle O to join, and he did. I remember very clearly the first time I met him; my mom, my sisters, and I were stopping by my dad’s office to go have dinner together and he was just leaving, and he stopped and greeted us, and told my baby sister he loved looking at her because she looked exactly like his daughter. He said it so casually and like he had known us for ages.

We got to know him on a family level; his wife made friends with my mom, his oldest son was my sister’s age, his daughter was my baby sister’s age, and his youngest boy was the cutest thing ever. Funny thing, his daughter and my sister did look a lot like each other!! I think it was mostly the hair.

I used to stop by my dad’s office every day on my way back from school, and then college, just to say hi and to have my daily dose of delightful Uncle O. back then, my relationship with my dad was borderline hatred since it was the crazy teenage years and well, mom used him as a scary figure; so Uncle O was the one who would tell me how to approach my dad without pushing the wrong buttons and he would always assure me that my dad had nothing against me, as a matter of fact, he was proud of me, only wouldn’t show it because he wouldn’t want to spoil me.

Uncle O was the best! He’s been there through our terrible car accident; he was the first one to arrive at the scene, and seeing him, I knew we would be ok! He was there to drive me to my physics class when no one was available, and we would talk about almost everything during the car ride! He was there when my dad fought with me over the phone for joining Faculty of Arts instead of Business, and talked me into not making the fight bigger when it didn’t even matter to me which line of studies to choose. He was there to teach me how to park my car, and he was there the day I went to take the driving test since my dad had a strict no-wasta-for-driving-license policy.

He was there almost all the times I needed someone to give me good advice. And he had the quality of making people listen. And it wasn’t just me! It was everyone in the company; it was also my sisters, and even mama. She would call him up and ask him to talk some sense into me when I am acting all “crazy”! Everyone just listened to him; he could motivate people with the most encouraging smile ever; people at work would jump through hoops to not disappoint him. Truth be told, he was a better manager than my dad, and that is why my dad trusted him the most. When my dad wrote a will, he made him in charge of the business, and before that, he was one of two who had a power of attorney covering everything to my father’s name.

He left the company when he was offered a better opportunity with a multinational in a different field. He said he hated to leave, but promised he’d always be there. And he kept that promise, and he remained a family friend ever since.

I wanted him to be one of the witnesses when I got married, only my dad said it had to me a blood relative from my side (my father’s brother) and another from the X’s side (his uncle). If it were up to me to insist, it would have definitely been Uncle O from my side; he has always been more of an uncle to me than my real uncle.

Five years ago, Uncle O had a terrible car accident on his way back from El Ein El sokhna. All I really know about the accident was that his head was badly injured and that he was in a comma in the hospital. I went to the hospital the same night with my mom and my x. Of course I couldn’t see him, I sat there in the visitors area trying to remain calm; I don’t do hysteric crying in public anyways, but I broke down and cried the moment I got into my car.

When he woke up, he couldn’t remember a lot of things and some of his motor functions were affected due to the head trauma. He knew his name, he recognized his family and friends; he just didn’t remember details of events, which was ok really, but not to him I guess!

He never really recovered. I don’t know the medical description of his case; all I know is that he was never the same; although he regained most of his motor functions, he had some serious depression caused by the injury, some brain chemicals were disturbed in the process. I wish I knew more, or not.

I visited him a few months after I gave birth to my first baby. I wanted him to see my son, and I wanted to see him because I missed him so very much. He got out, said hi, didn’t even sit down; just held my son so tight and kissed him on the forehead, and gave him back to me wishing the two of us the best, and then just excused himself back to his room.

I barely held the tears as his wife told me he doesn’t even get out of his room to meet his own brothers, and that he only did it because I am so dear to him. I left not wanting to see him again because it broke my heart to see him that way. I am very bad at handling those situations, terrible actually. I am having tears in my eyes as I am remembering that day; I miss him and I wish I could just go and have one of our long hours of talking about almost everything.

Uncle O’s accident shook me pretty hard. I could never grasp that something like that would happen to a great person like him. I know el mo2men mossab, but it has always been beyond me to be ok with bad things happening to good people, to people I love in particular.

Uncle O, I miss you so much, but I always remember you with a smile and wish you the best. I am sorry I no longer visit; it’s just wrong to visit and cry the way I know I would.

February 26, 2008

Does he not get enough!

I answered because I was worried where he’d be, and I needed to hear the background noise just to make sure I won’t get any nasty surprises on my way to the work event I have been planning all month!

Him: Aiwaa ezzayek?
Me: (did I hear cheerfulness?!! Ostor ya rab) is there anything you want?
Him: I was in maadi earlier today
Me: (please God tell me he left, he said earlier, I am safe!) so!!
Him: I had a job interview, and after I finished I passed by a lot of places where we used to hang out and have fun
Me: you’re calling me to tell me that?!!! (wheeew, now I can breathe)
Him: yes
Me: ok, let me tell you this: next time you feel nostalgic, don’t come and walk the streets of maadi
Him: ommal??
Me: you can try walking the streets of mohandeseen around your old work, or you know, the streets of haram… (this is where he used to hang out with her)
Him: ya sheikha da rabena beysame7…
Me: rabena kebeer, and btw I think w’Allaho a3lam, rabena beysame7 elly ebeyndam we ye7awel yessala7 ghalato… so clear your act if it’s forgiveness you want, but don’ give me the whole second chances crap
Him: is that all you have to say to me?
Me: yeah, well, whatever I say really, you only hear what you wanna hear… like for example, I like answering you because I get to tell you all the shit I have in mind and I can hang up and continue being the pleasant person you no longer get to see, this is my fun… I don’t know why you call though!!
Him: because I am your husband, don’t you think you have any moral obligation towards me?
Me: no! not really! Should I??? for all I care you’re someone I would rather have nothing to do with, and it’s only a matter of time… ana ha2fel ba2a 3ashan mesh fadyalak… ya rab tekoon akhadt gor3et el ghatata beta3tak for the day *hung up*

My event was a blast; it went smooth and thank God he did not pull any stunts.

February 24, 2008

Today he turns 59…

Him: *calling me on my mobile as I am driving home*
Me: *with utter excitement* Babayaaaaaaa, ezzayak
Him: ezzayek, feen bommmba
Me: he’s with Maat, she’s picking him up today, cause…
Him: *hangs up on me, and calls Maat to speak to bommbaa*

This has to happen at least once a week!! He hangs up on me every single time :)

In my last blog I wrote this long letter to my dad saying how much I love him; I won’t do it again; words are just never enough.

My dad is the one who passed to me my temper and my stubbornness (him and my late nana), my sense of humor, my love for driving long distances, my great sense of direction, and the stamina to be responsible even when I just would rather not.

Growing up around him I learned how one can have morals and ethics and actually live by them. As judgmental as my dad can be, he tried to teach me tolerance! He would always stop me when I start ranting and tell me "wouldn’t you be doing the exact same thing?", and as I start rationalizing, he’d smile and say: "well expect the other person to have the same reasons"!! Of course that never really happened when he’s the one with the fuming temper :)

The one thing people would never think my dad has, and it took me forever to actually learn, is patience. Yeah, despite his well known temper, he’s a very patient person. I mean to actually be patient and have that much faith that those who have done you wrong will eventually pay… WOW… it was always beyond me to understand, even now, I just look at him when he’s silently thinking and can't help but think to myself “I am so glad he is still in good health relatively, anyone in his shoes would have been suffering from some serious heart condition, not just the age related diabetes and blood pressure

When I was neck high in my own shit, and my belief system was all shaken up, all it took me was to observe how he would pray as regularly as ever, he would set his alarm to el-fagr and get dressed to pray in the mosque. The more shit life gave him (and I already know of too much shit), the more patiently he waited and tried to not let it change who he is. So if he snaps at mama or at the rest of us from time to time, well, who can blame him? :)

I love my dad, I love the times he makes fun of things quietly and I love it when he criticizes me and my sisters, and I love it when I see his heart just melting as he plays with beam and the way mocha looks up to him with that much love. I wish him a hundred more years to live… well, a healthy hundred more years to live.

February 20, 2008

Go to hell you spineless scumbag

Me: do the right thing, do the honorable thing, do what men do if you still remember how to act like a man; let me go and stop trying to humiliate me, because you know what, sooner or later I will be free, and you will never be able to humiliate me, not in this life time, not in another
Him: ok, then sign this last document and I will let you go
Me: *starting to yell* I am not signing a document waiving my custody rights in case I remarry
Him: then you plan to remarry
Me: no, it’s as simple as that, I will not waive any of my rights; you can’t make me, not anymore
Him: and I won’t let you remarry and have my kids raised by someone else
Me: which kids are we talking about? The ones you haven’t laid eyes on for the past 5 months??? Enta mesada2 nafsak, you wouldn’t even know how to take care of them
Him: they will not be raised by anyone else
Me: that does not give you the right to make me sign such a document, no law or religion says I should, I won’t sign it
Him: then I won’t divorce you
Me: then I will make you
Him: I will be leaving the country, ha3eesh 7ayaty and you will never get a hold of me, eb2y wareeny ba2a hate3rafy tetala2y ezzay, and..
Me: *DEEP BREATH* ok, when you figure out a better way to talk, don’t call me, write down what you are willing to do and give it to your lawyer to discuss it with mine, I am done talking with you… salam, on a second thought, you don’t deserve peace *HUNG UP*

February 19, 2008


This was taken from two long phone calls that took place yesterday. I have no idea why the calls dragged, but it could be attributed to my bad bad flu and my lack of concentration.

Him: enty beted3y 3alaya??
Me: no!
Him: you must, my life sucks these days; everything and everyone is turning against me
Me: well, I once said “rabena yegazeeh 3ala ad 3amalo we neyetto”, so I am guessing 3amalak eswed!
Him: *bitter laugh* I guess so
Me: So what do u want? What are you calling me for? You know I am the last person who would feel for you
Him: I thought I could always find a friend in you; after all, you have always been my best friend
Me: I am not your friend, at least not anymore… and for what it’s worth, you’ve never been my friend, if you think you were, then let me tell you, you sucked at it! So now that we’ve established I am not your friend, 3ayez eh?
Him: 3ayez 2a2olek en 7ayaty bayza, yemken da yeraya7ek… rabena ba3atlek nas keteer takhodlek 7a2ek even more than you could have ever done it yourself
Me: *sarcastic laugh* there might be a time I would have been happy to hear that, but I realized that if it makes me happy, then I won’t be much different from you, and I would like to think I am…
Him: then why do I hear anger in your voice?
Me: this is not anger, don’t you remember what anger was like?
Him: so is it hate?
Me: I promised I wouldn’t hate you, you don’t deserve hate
Him: what is it?
Me: dismay I guess… you see, you’re not the person I would like to talk to, especially when I am down with cold and need every moment of rest.
Him: can I ask you something?
Me: whatever…
Him: do you not love me anymore?
Me: *laughing* (the question sounded funny really)… no, I am not
Him: ok, apparently you have moved on
Me: yeah, anything else??
Him: *sobbing voice!!* no, bye and good luck
Me: *hanging up*

I had this conversation in my head so many times, I didn’t actually believe it was happening!! Strange though how it didn’t feel as glorious as I once thought it would; wasn’t bad at all either :)

And oh oh oh, more good news, I’m gonna be an auntie (YEEEEEYYY)… my friend H is pregnant… I am so excited; this time, it’s not me who will give birth, hehe!

February 14, 2008


I am responsible for organizing an event where the company I work for hosts a big meeting inviting other companies within the same field. So as I prepared the invitations and had them sent out last week, I left my name as the contact person for any updates regarding the attendees and the reports I am supposed to receive in advance to be available in that meeting.


I mean I just wrote my first name and my last name! I did not write my dad’s name because I know people in the field would recognize it. I thought I was relatively safe from being recognized as his daughter (which is not embarrassing at all except for the part where people call and start saying weeeeiiird things)

So here is goes…

Mr. X: Hey inso (yes, he nicknamed me), ezzayek ya habibty 3amla eh
Me: yes, ezzay 7adretak (thinking it was a friend of baba’s whom baba passed my work no. to for whatever reason)
Mr. X: we ezzay ‘ABOOKY’, eh 7ekayto el ragel da, regleeh akhadet 3ala Alexandria keda leh?
Me: 3ady ba2a, merato el tanya kanet 3ayana showaya (mesh 2aly abooky, he must know the joke about baba having a second wife in Alex)
Mr. X: hahahaha dana kalemto yoom el khamees (the day I sent the invitations) 2a2olo en benty fel maadi, but he told me he was in Alex (ok, so baba is sheikh 7aret el maadi now!!)
Me: kont tekalemny, ana assed makano… ana 3arfa el soot bs ma3lesh mesh merakezza, meen ma3aya (la 3arfa el soot wala beta3, bas ba3mel manazer)
Mr. X: ana lessa ba3etlek email
Me: (refreshing my mailbox and reading his name in a stupid loud voice) Mr. XYZ (the name did not sound familiar!!)
Mr. X.: aiwa, ana ebn el kalb da, hahahaha
Me: *mumbling* (ha2olo eh ya3ne, ah masalan?)
Mr. X: hab3atlek ba2a el hard copies later, forsa sa3eeda ya insomniac eny kallemtek, salemeely 3ala baba

Needless to say, my faith in baba’s acquaintances has shaken!!! DRAMATICALLY

But then there was that other guy calling to tell me that they did not receive an invitation, so I asked him about his company name and confirmed that an invitation has supposedly been sent, and with my most polite tone I told him “ana hab3atha le 7adretak 7alan via fax, we in sha2 Allah tesharafna yoom el meeting”, he thanked me and referred to me as Miss insomniac… ok, I won’t interrupt him to tell him “madam men fadlak”… lol

He called me yesterday asking if I received the soft copy of the report, I confirmed and asked if his company was to send the hard copy, he said he’d send it today and said he’s looking forward to seeing me again referring to me with Miss! Today, shortly after I received the report he called asking if I received the hard copy, I confirmed, so he went on and on about how it’s a pleasure talking to me referring to me as Miss again!!! Then he paused and asked me:

Him: your family name sounds familiar, do u have relatives in maadi??
Me: I’m sorry can I get your name again? (well, if he knows baba I might as well write his name down and tell baba he said hi, mana fadya)
Him: folan el folany
Me: ahlan be 7adretak, sorry I am not good with names (in fact I am)
Him: so u have relatives in maadi?
Me: yes, who do u know? (I like a3mel 3abeeta)
Him: Mr. ABC (baba) he was the chairman of the NGO for blah blah blah
Me: yes, he’s my dad
Him: really, then Mr. DBC is your uncle??
Me: yes, in fact he’s my dad’s second cousin (ok, this can go forever, since my dad had another second cousin who used to work in the same field, only he died, Allah yer7amo)
Him: you know I live in maadi too, and I used to come to your dad’s office around 10 years ago
Me: Really. (that was the most uniterested ‘really’ ever said)
Him: yeah, I think you were a little girl back then, akeed keberty we ba2eety 3arooosa
Me: (LOL) merci
Him: khalas salemeely 3ala baba and I will see you on the day of the event ya MISS insomniac

El ragel gayebly 3arees shaklo… eh el araf da!!!! Maat, I know how it felt with the last guy who proposed through your boss (did I just say too much?)

I think I am about to change my name. any suggestions people??

P.S. my real name is not insomniac, and all the aliaces are not the people’s real names either. OK!

February 10, 2008


On Roller Coasters…

Why do people get on them?? I mean, I for one have acrophobia, and my heart and chest simply hurt when the ride starts, right before the action begins!! I am not the type that throws up easily, but it happens from time to time that I just do after roller coaster rides!!

I am not the only one who’s like that! How come roller coasters are that popular?!!!

And why do I know I would get on the next ride?!! However, only outside Egypt because I do not trust the Egyptian standards of safety whatsoever.

P.S. Maat, I do reget not getting on that balloon, not because you said it was awesome, but because I know I would have loved it! Damn you Egypt for screwing my fun with your lack of safety.

February 8, 2008

A brief walk down memory lane

My college… where I first felt independent, where somehow I realized on my own that people’s opinions didn’t matter, where I made strong friendships with H and K, where I liked spending time with my colleagues but didn’t make friends with most of them!

Where all the people I kept at a distance used to call me “tenka” and “aleeta”, while those I let in knew better! But both agreed that I was the toughest in my group and that I took shit from no one; friends or foes.

Where I fought with H (over the silliest thing ever) and let stupid N and malicious N get in the way. Where I totally ignored her as stupid N took her side and malicious N took mine.

N and her Libra influence on me!! Very few people influence me that way, and I am not so proud I was influenced by her, but I learned a lot; I learned that when you keep crossing that thin line between your morals and ethics and the things you simply rationalize, you no longer see the line.

I am glad H and I talked again, and I am very grateful our friendship became stronger and I am very ashamed she forgave me for having a ‘gazma adeema’ of a brain. Thanks H, you’re the best college gave me really!

My college memories were never something I would hide from! Except because of him! Thanks to him, I’ve been avoiding passing there because it is also where he had his MBA classes and first started dating behind my back. Since I found out, I couldn’t help but tear up every time I pass there, so I simply avoided the whole place and went around it every time there was an errand to run.

Yesterday I passed there… I had to park my car exactly where I used to back in college days! I had to get out and walk in the same streets I once walked as a young girl who thought the world was hers. I didn’t feel like the world wasn’t mine anymore, but for some reason I kept looking down and checking where my feet were!

I had a meeting in the same place I had my katb ketab party! I walked into the same ballroom to see the settings. I didn’t know what my face conveyed really; I simply can’t remember if I smiled or just looked blankly! But as I walked back to my car and passed by where I once picked him up the day I told him the sex of my first baby, I pulled the breaks and allowed that thought to surface: when he had tears in his eyes and kissed my hand, was it because he was happy, or was it because he felt guilty about two timing me?

Then I drove my way shaking off the thought… it doesn’t matter now, does it? It shouldn’t matter; it wouldn’t change a thing really. And so, I played Souad Massi’s Khsara 3aleik and let the streets leading to home soothe me.

I think I just got my college memories back and I can visit them any time I like now without his memory blocking my thinking.

February 7, 2008


I discovered Marcel Khalife last year (thanks to Maat). I have to say, I am taken by him; his music, his voice, and oh my God the lyrics; courtesy of Mahmoud Darwish of course.

I would like to share this song “Oummi” with lyrics right below… I did not post the video from utube because when I first listened to the song I heard it while driving, so I advise to listen to the song while minimized and feel free to read the lyrics for easy reference.

أمي ...

أحنُّ إلى خبز أُمي
وقهوة أمي
ولمسة أُمي ..
وتكبُر في الطفولةُ
يوماً على صدر يومِ
وأعشَقُ عمرِي لأني
إذا مُتُّ,
أخجل من دمع أُمي !
خذينيِ إذا عدتُ يوماً
وشاحاً لهُدْبِكْ
وغطّي عظامي بعشب
تعمّد من طهر كعبك
وشُدي وثاقي ..
بخصلة شَعر..
بخيطٍ يلوِّح في ذيل ثوبك ..
عساني أصير ُإلهاً
إلهاً أصير..
إذا ما لمستُ قرارة قلبك !
ضعيني , إذا ما رجعتُ
وقوداً بتنور ناركْ ..
وحبل غسيل على سطح دارك
لأني فقدتُ الوقوفَ
بدون صلاة نهارك
هَرِمْتُ فردّي نجوم الطفولة
حتى أُشارك صغار العصافير
درب الرجوع .. لعُش انتظارِك!!

(من ديوان "عاشق من فلسطين" 1966)
Now isn’t this beautiful!!! I made my favorite part in bold and bigger font!

* This is to you Nana, I miss you… may you rest in peace.

February 6, 2008


**me screaming**

Ok… breathe in… and breathe out… not that much better

I really don’t wanna whine anymore, I don’t!! I don’t like it when I whine!

So he called me the day I arrived at Luxor. I answered only to honor my word when I said I would answer the phone to discuss when he can meet his sons. I had totally forgotten that it was just one day before the court hearing and he was probably sucking up for some reason!

So this is what the conversation revolved around minus all the how are you’s and how are the kid’s… he wanted to know if my kids could visit his grandma because she’s too sick to come visit them at my parents’, my reply was “alf salama 3aleeha, but my kids will not go to a place of which I was practically thrown out, remember how you filed a police report saying i hit her and you claimed that was what she said!”. He said it was all made up by him like I guessed before and kept asking me to have mercy, I told him it had nothing to do with mercy or payback like he kept suggesting; it had more to do with principal and had to do with him and his family never anticipating a day like that would come when they would need me to bend the rules but I simply wouldn’t be able to because I no longer trusted them.

Instead of arguing in a civil manner, he accused me of being subjective and said “leh ya insomniac sootek beye2leb ma3aya keda, leeh ba7es en beyerkabek meet 3afreet lama betetkalemy ma3aya”… it pissed the crap out of me and ruined the whole day for me because it was true. I still flinch when I say or hear his name, I still hurt when I hear his voice or talk to him. I hate that! I hate how he gets on my nerves, how no matter how much I smile and joke about it and actually feel no pain, somehow I still hurt when I have to deal with him. Damn you X.

The second thing was to ask me if I really want a divorce (I wanna scream again!) or it’s just me teaching him a lesson, or am I playing legal game!!! What the hell!! Legal games!!!!! I filed a divorce case, how is that a legal game?? However, my better instincts registered that he wants me to say I want out for alimony purposes (now who’s playing games you &^%&*%^*^), so to piss him off, I told him I was clear on my requests, he asked me to repeat them nonetheless, I told him I had nothing to say, and when he started to push the wrong buttons again, I hung up and I made up my mind not to answer him for a longer while now.

Today, his aunt called while I am in the midst of writing a boring report and having my dad on the other line making plans for the weekend! He told me to hang up and call him back after answering her. I did not want to answer her because she’s the one I lived with, she’s the one who called him when I last went to pick my stuff and asked his cousins to not let me. But well, sometimes I am forced to a3mel be asly.

She kept talking as if I still lived there!! how could she do that?? How can they all keep doing that?!!! You can’t humiliate someone and talk as if nothing happened to avoid an apology! You can’t just expect me to be that mature about being insulted by him!! Damn it.

She went on and on about how I was, how the kids were, and if beem talks more, and of course she asked about their health and all because of the season. Then she asked if they could visit or at least meet outside (how typical). I told her she’s most welcomed to visit them (although I am sure I didn’t sound that welcoming). She kept telling a story about how she can’t drive at night, I told her we can meet at my parents’ on Friday or Saturday, and so we hung up after we agreed that I will call her back to tell her if this Friday is ok.

My back is killing me… it’s the kind of pain I feel when I am upset. I HATE them… well I don’t like the word 'hate'; it’s too intense and they don’t deserve intense… people who stab you in the back and hurt you beyond measure then smile at your face and expect you to do them favors are just scum that normally I shouldn’t pay any attention to… but they are my kids’ family… Damn, I will pay for falling for the wrong man for the rest of my life just because I had the cutest two kids with him.

February 3, 2008

Second/Multi Marriages in the Egyptian Society*

*(OMG, that sounds very much like one of my old Sociology projects)

I went on a six-day trip to come back and find that very controversial topic about second marriages vs. cheating discussed by fadfadation. Reading the post, I had too many thoughts that just wouldn’t fit into the comment space, so here it goes…

All through my life, I’ve heard my dad’s jokes with friends about the whole having-a-second-wife thing!! He’d always say how it is 7alal and that men are entitled to do it and no woman should “te7arram” what was deemed 7alal! Nonetheless, when the females in the discussion (either friends or friends’ wives) start attacking his thinking, he’d say with his well known sarcastic tone “howa elly yetgawez marra ye3melha tany… Bas bardo da 7aga rabena 7alelha le sabab we 7alelha be shoroot” (he’s basically mocking marriage and saying that he who marries once should be wise enough to never do it again! Yet, if religion allowed second marriages, it must be for a reason; moreover, it’s governed by certain rules)

I remember a childhood friend of my age, who got engaged around the same time I did insisted on debating with my dad saying “… but what about love”… my dad being the biggest cynic I know (who somehow still believes in morals in away) told her something like “fe thawabet, al 7alalo bayen wal 7aramo bayen.. manlakhbatsh nafsena be mostala7at nesbeya zay el 7obb” (rules are rules, religion is crystal clear about right and wrong… there is no need to confuse ourselves with relative terms such as love). It did not convince my friend, she argued about the certain rules and what they should be. She was not able to imagine what could possibly be a good reason for a man to remarry and put the first wife whom he loves/loved through such misery. At that point, I told her “if he no longer loved her, then she should not be with him, and if he did, yet he still wanted to be with another one, it’s either she accepts it for it’s better than adultery, or she can walk away with her pride well preserved”… the look on my friend’s face was indescribable!! It was like I betrayed women every where by believing that love fades!! She did not believe that I could speak that way despite being in love and planning to marry that man I loved.

I think it goes without saying that the whole second marriage never shocked me really!! I have to admit though, I always found it hard to believe that men are indeed capable of loving two wives, but like everything I find hard to believe, I did not spend much time dwelling on it. After all, I had the “perfect guy” who was going to love me forever and ever. **insert a cynical looking smiley right here to judge me**

Now, six years later, I try my best to think of second marriages that actually worked without having any negative impact about those involved… I can’t seem to find any! You see, in every case, the man would say he had “reasons”, but who defines reasons? Him? Either of the wives? Society? Religion? I am not that strong religion wise as my readings are pretty limited, so I am sorry if I don’t know what good religious reasons are! Here are a few cases from real life, of which I would like to get opinions from you…

Case No. 1:

T… T is a friend of my dad… a supposedly extra religious figure (whom I think gives religion a bad name sadly) who had been imprisoned for a failed attempt to murder late President Sadat. He married his wife while he was in prison (as in katab ketabo) and I have to say that I never understood why on earth she married someone who was sentenced that long, let alone someone who believed that murder was a good idea!!

Of course by the time he came out, she was too old to give birth (late 30s or 40s, I am that bad guessing people’s age!!). However, they visited a number of doctors until they were convinced that she cannot bear children. Of course, since adoption and surrogate parents are not an option in Islam, his remarrying was the only left option.

That man went bride shopping, looking for divorcettes/widows who already had kids to ensure he’d have kids of his own, given that he had done the necessary lab work for himself and proved fertile. He forgot that the first wife spent a good number of years waiting for him (I don’t understand why, I just never will!!) He did not stop to consider her feelings knowing she can never have kids of her own, and only worried about having his own kids; I am sorry, I think that was cruel of him… If he was to get married, he should have done it more decently; talked to her, gave her some time to feel supported and appreciated before tossing her aside the way he did.

She did not ask for a divorce because she had no one else to support her, you see, she paid for the apartment where they lived, but it’s in his name (I am seriously doubting her IQ level as I am writing this), and she had nowhere else to live except with her brother; therefore, she accepted being the first wife/nanny for his kids while he married that other woman and provided her with another apartment (also in his name, which means he could afford buying another apartment!!).

Again, I try not judge, but this man hurt his first wife and abused the right God gave him. I don’t think women should stay in a marriage because they have no other option, neither should men for that matter. People stay in a marriage because they want to, or at least they should only stay because of that. He should have done the honorable thing and changed the ownership of the apartment in her name, and then gave her the option. I would have respected him if he had done it that way, but I think he’s too much of a greedy pig who wants to have it all: the wives, the kids, the apartments!

Case No. 2:

Uncle MA… now that one married his beautiful cousin and I am saying beautiful not just because she really is, but because this is how he always bragged about her looks!! MA comes from a religious background; however, his parents have been separated long time ago, splitting him and his siblings in the middle for no apparent reason! He left to Kuwait long ago with his wife; he has three daughters within the same age categories of my sisters and I. During gulf war, they moved back to Cairo and he spent months unemployed while she worked and provided for the entire family! I am not saying she did it all by herself, but the whole concept of her sticking by him should have meant something when he decided to marry the ‘beautiful’ flight attendant he used to see regularly on his flights from and to Kuwait.

Of course the wife got offended big time, she insisted on a divorce, and since she had 3 daughters, she was entitled to their Cairo apartment, not that she needed it! However, he did not divorce her!! His argument was, my parents are separated and it’s working and she wouldn’t remarry anyway!! He married the flight attendant and gave birth to a boy (did I mention he said he wanted a son!!)

Now he lives with his second wife and son in a huge apartment (three apartments combined) in the name of two his daughters plus his son. And has the other apartment where his first wife and the girls live in the name of the middle daughter and he thinks he did them well!

Now, the girls, the older two have serious eating problems in addition to a somehow anti-social behavior. Those two girls are the same girls who used to tell me I should let my hair loose the first day I ever say them, did not even start a conversation last time I saw them!!! Their mom, developed cancer and got a divorce shortly after, since the second wife demanded that.

I don’t know how MA sleeps at night. I mean yes, he did not commit adultery… but does wanting a son serves as a justifiable reason, and if it is, shouldn’t he have taken better care of the daughters he already had?? And shouldn’t he have granted his first wife the divorce she asked for when she did, instead of divorcing her after she got sick upon the second wife’s request??? To him, he thinks he was being fair by dividing apartments on his kids… but I wish to tell him that when he dies, the apartment, the big one, will only go to the son and the second wife the way things work in Egypt.

Case No. 3:
Mr. AA, the husband’s previous employer. He is a multi millionaire, from a well known family who believes he is religious enough because he happens to pray and refrains from drinking! It’s strange he gives minimum wages to hard working people and still believes that way, but who am I to judge!

He married his secretary and had two sons and two daughters. 22 years later, he married his 25 year old secretary at the age of 50. What was the reason? I think refraining from adultery, although it wasn’t announced. So his new wife got a wedding gift of 400000.00 EGP worth, in addition to a latest Lincoln Grand Marquise model which she had specially ordered. I don’t care how judgmental I would sound when I say she married him for the money.

The day his family found out, the wife collapsed and I think she hit hysteric paralysis, yet she never asked for a divorce, probably for financial and social reasons! His daughter almost had a car accident as she got into her car right after he told her himself he was marrying someone a couple of years older than her! his mother and brothers refused to attend the wedding (yes, it was a big white wedding!!), and the new wife’s sister got promoted in the company and of course the new wife herself was not stupid enough to quit work and leave room for another Twinkie (I am sorry, I just couldn’t help it)!!

Almost 2 years later, he lost a good franchise to his competitor (yestahel) and his company has been liquidized and divided between him and his siblings since I don’t think they could trust him with their money anymore. I don’t know anything about his family or his business since I don’t know anything about the husband to begin with, but I can’t help but wish he gets a taste of his own medicine when the new wife decides she’s still young enough to find someone her own age.

I remember how much I despised that man when it all happened. He did not stop to consider the impact his second marriage had on his wife, that I can barely understand… but what about the negative impact it had on his kids??? His daughter could go marry someone his age just to spite him, and he wouldn’t even argue, but I’d like to see him try!!!

Talking to my father (who kept laughing cynically as I was telling him the whole story with passion enough to start media war on that man), he was like “he thinks he did nothing wrong, he still provides for both of the wives, and supports his kids financially”… I insisted “but what about destroying his kids emotionally, I mean don’t fathers have obligations towards their kids”… he continued “he thinks he did the best he could, his calculations are merely financial, and he thinks it’s more than enough… not just him, a lot of people think that way… and it could be right to an extent you just never know… you see, justice cannot be applied as far as emotions are concerned”… I know what my dad meant, it just wouldn’t register in my head!! I know and I understand why one cannot be fair when it comes to their emotions and I understand that fairness can only be applied with tangibles, but those men I mentioned caused tangible emotional damage to people whom they should care more for.

I am not saying it’s religion’s fault, I am only saying that the way people apply religion SUCKS, and it does our religion great injustice.

I don’t know how to say that the “right” way, but I think second or multiple marriages are only ok if no one gets harmed; at least not the children!! If women in our society are forced to stay in dead-end marriages just for the sake of the kids, then perhaps men should reconsider second marriages for the same reason.

However, if the choice ever comes between second marriage and adultery, I would vote for second marriage because no person in the right mind should choose what’s wrong over what’s right, and like fadfadation said, marriage protects the rights of all parties involved, not just money wise, but also social acceptance wise, which is very important, especially in or society.

I know it’s hard to believe, but I will say it nonetheless: if he had come to me saying “insomniac, I think I am in love with her and I will marry her, it’s your choice to stay or walk out on this marriage, but I am doing what I have to do!” I would have left. I know I would have cried rivers, but my tears would not have the same bitter aftertaste of the humiliation of being cheated upon, of being compared to a person I have no respect for, of being lied to and hurt just to cover up for several moments of weakness… after all, I would like to think I deserved better treatment, and I would have liked to think that I was worth more than an affair, that I was worth something legitimate.

But hey, that’s just me!!