25/01/11 // Meriem Ahmed.

Minds –
Paint pictures of white clouds against bright blue skies.
Leather belts and cracked plastic pipes cut a deep red.
Blood spilling freely from flesh.

These four damp walls, know no social class.
They are only aware of screams, and which ones are louder than others.

Alarms to dim mornings, disguised in the loud crack of a bone.
Breaking into two, under the foot of a head to toe uniform.
Bedroom window views of insects, licking honey off bare skin.
Tied to trees like animals, under burning sun rays.

A single, torn, mattress bed.
A single room.
A dozen limp, scarred bodies.

The discomfort of a single cell, alone to lonely, haunting thoughts.
The most demonising night behind these greasy steel bars.
The “masculinity” of grown men, ripped one by one.
Each, pushed up against a wall, completely bare.
Shadowed by another, also completely bare.

Except for the white square cap on his head,
decorated with a shiny gold eagle.

A gold eagle,
that many of those very men,
got put there, trying to set it’s wing’s free.

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A Trip Abroad: Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Earlier this month, I travelled to the city of Edinburgh for a three day get away with Ruth. Ruth had gifted me my ticket for this trip for Christmas, and we had been counting the days for our first trip away together since. Typical to our luck, Ruth had fallen ill a few days previous, and I was fighting off a horrendous flu for the past two weeks. Never the less, we managed to bring our health back around by the day of our departure. I called Ruth a few days prior and filled her in on what I feel has been one of my best Muth ideas to date. We would co-ordinate our travel outfits, and wear the same hippie pants, just in two different colours. Funky, I know, right?

So we set out that morning, and Ruth’s dad, John, generously drove us to the airport. Half way there, I realised I had forgotten my antibiotics, which I was still supposed to be taking for another 4 days ahead. I was more concerned about my mom biting my head off for forgetting the one thing she kept reminding me every 2 minutes not to, than I was not completing the assigned course. I mean, sure, I had been going from one cold to another for 2 and a half weeks straight… but another dose of a cold seemed more appealing to me than a no less than 30 minute lecture over the phone from Samia. I got Mihar to handle the case, and she stashed away the antibiotics into my drawer.

Ruth and I were being accommodated at a hostel called Budget Backpackers – one which I would strongly recommend for anyone travelling to Edinburgh in the near future. We shared a really comfortable, well heated and facilitated twin room for only £16 a night. The staff were really inviting and friendly. It was located just up the road from Grass Market, which is a street that is home to Toro Loco – a burrito haven. Although, I didn’t try their burritos myself, I can swear by their Nutella cake, which is galore. The entire staff are also so lovely.

We spent our first day in very chill mode. We lounged in a pub down Grass Market called Black Bull, where we were accompanied by Aoife, Ruth’s cousin, and all her friends. Aside from the fact that I had the best pub food ever there, which is definitely saying something seeing as Ireland is home to pubs – I genuinely had an insanely good time. It was by far my most enjoyable night. Not only was everyone so incredibly nice, but they were such intellectuals – people you could genuinely carry on in conversation with for hours on end, and still never run out of various topics to discuss. By the end of the night, I felt like I had already grasped a real vibe of each of the people I spent time with. Well, except for Callum, who bless, because of his Paisley accent, had to deal with me staring at him with boggled eyes and an open mouth. I genuinely couldn’t understand a single word coming out of his mouth. Thankfully, he didn’t take it to heart, and we’d just both laugh hysterically, every time he caught me gaping up at him.

On our second day, we explored the city properly, and visited various tourist attractions, like St. Giles’ Cathedral. Although we didn’t get around to visiting all of the places on our list, we did get to go on The Potter Trail. If you know me well, at all, you know that Harry Potter is such a big part of my life. It was basically my entire childhood. In fact, I claimed my signature specs look due to my eyesight rapidly deteriating from reading the books without taking a single break until all 500+ pages had come to an end. The tour guide was so enthusiastic, and even wore a cloak. We were each given a wand, its colour based on the house we were sorted into. Surprise, surprise, I was Gryffindor, and Ruth was Slytherin. We got to visit the cafes in which JK Rowling wrote many of the books, and the grave of a Thomas Riddell, and his son, Thomas Riddell of which the character – you guessed it, Tom Riddle was named after. The tour was entirely free, with an option to leave a tip at the end of the tour based on what you think it deserved. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and it was one of the trip’s biggest highlights for me. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to any HP fanatic.

On our last night, we had to hit up Edinburgh’s nightlife; Muth style. We finally got to hit up El Barrio – a Latino club, where Ruth and I could unleash our inner Shakira to all our favourite Latino music. This obsession with all things Español stems from Ruth’s insane love for Enrique’s Bailando, which escalated to about a hundred other songs by various different Latino artists. That and the fact that I’ve been studying Spanish for the past 7 years and am still crazy in love with the language and culture. If I had to give you one piece of advice when deciding to spend your night in this funky and totally epic club, is have one of your girls handy to use as an excuse of being together to avoid all the creepy men on the dance floor. It’s the only downside to El Barrio.

Most of all, it was the people I got to meet, particularly Aoife, Allana, Naomi and Rachael, who really gave me so much to take from this trip. I gained enormous insight into life in general. Hearing all their different stories about how they came to live in Edinburgh, or what they aspired to go on to do with their lives, all their plans for different bold journeys that they are yet to begin was really inspiring. It pushed me to think about my own life, my own aspirations and hopes for my future and my journey within life. We’re all pretty close in age, so it was so incredible to see how much you can do for yourself simply by taking a leap outside of your comfort zone and trying something new. I learned how important it is to be self reliant and independent, in order to start an honest journey of finding yourself and finding out who you really are within your world. Ruth, Aoife, Allana, Noami, Racheal and I spent our last night huddled over pizza and an indie playlist, delving from one DMC to another, talking about all these different aspects of our lives. That night has been stuck on my mind since I got back. I gained an outlook on life that day that I will never forget.

Edinburgh is such a beautiful and welcoming city, its landscapes and architecture are mesmerising beyond what a photo can ever capture, and the people are so warm and kind. I was so glad I got to visit, and got to get away to a place so wonderful.

 

 

 

The End Before The Beginning // Meriem Ahmed.

Beautifully unfinished –
the sentences that tangle around my tongue.

An attempt to stop my heart from speaking
as a response to hearing your voice.

We found strength in eachother’s words
when our arms were too far outstretched
to hold one another.

My heart finds an unusual comfort
in the many ways you’ve learned to hurt me –
so that I may learn how to appreciate
your smallest, compassionate gesture.

I still believe that it will one day
turn sweet again,
like it was in the beginning.

And my love for you –
oh still, beautifully unfinished…

30 Life Lessons I Learned In 2016.

In no particular order, here are the lessons I learned in 2016:

1. Finding  yourself is the longest and hardest process you will ever have to endure, but it is sure as hell worth it.

2. First love will destroy you… no matter how beautiful it was while it lasted.

3. Your mother will always love and care for you, no matter what insane way she decides to portray it.

4. Time is no way to measure friendship.

5. Studying what you love is one of life’s greatest joys.

6. Being your own backbone is essential.

7. Making your own money from a part time job is only worth it if you spoil yourself every now and then.

8. The right guy, not the first guy.

9. Family is decided by love, not by blood.

10. If you break down every now and then, don’t be so hard on yourself – you’ve been strong too many other nights.

11. Death has no age.

12. You can be almost anything you want… if you choose to believe it.

13. If you give something up for God, trust He’ll give you better.

14. Confidence is trusting God created you beautifully and your mother raised you right, and therefore just simply being yourself.

15. If you forget your 5 prayers a day, you’ll soon forget God.

16. Mistakes are the things you will regret yesterday and the lessons you learn today.

17. If you have a talent, any talent, embrace it and flaunt it.

18. Don’t ever forget where you come from.

19. If your mom keeps finding out everything you try keeping from her, just know that your dad is doing some pretty good co-parenting from up in the heavens.

20. If you live far away from loved ones, don’t try to force life to shorten the distance. Just make sure you come back when you can and make the most of your time together.

21. No matter how cruel life gets, don’t ever learn how to play the game. If you do, then you’ve already lost, because you lose the one thing people try so hard to find – undeniable kind heart and soul.

22. There will always be one person who will be your world. The day they pass, your soul will die with them, you will simply be a shell of a woman. Let that person know who they are before it is too late.

23. Always be there for your friends – no matter what.

24. Take as many photos and videos as you can, no matter how “basic” you will look at the time. You will live off those memories for life.

25. You will lose people. You will realise that you don’t mean the same to select people as they do to you. When this happens, please realise that the number of people you lose compare nothing to the amount of people you’ve been blessed with.

26. A stranger can quickly become an irreplaceable safe place in your life – if they have the right potential.

27. Some things are a type of a “once in a lifetime” special that they will always be worth all the hardship, time and effort – no matter how complicated things get.

28. Stick with your heart – it may not lead with logic, but it knows what will bring you happiness, and life is too short, to be anything but happy.

29. Supporting and building up others is a form of supporting and building up yourself.

30. Always stay true to yourself and learn to love yourself, the way you do others.

MY 2017 NY RESOLUTION:
The only limit I will accept, is the limit of my potential. I will not allow any other factor to limit me from achieving my dreams and aspirations.