Sunday, May 27, 2012

Foster Care: Revealing Statistics

 Foster Care has the highest level of activity in The United States of America. It means the fact of putting a child in the care of another family when the former has been adandoned or at times abused by his biological parents. Usually it is temporary till the child gets adopted or at least one of his birth parents reclaims him/ her. Most of them get emotionally and psychologically damaged which makes it even harder for them to accept the fact of moving in with their unbiological parents. The abandoned children are predominantly males. They are mostly Whites with a percentage of 41 in 2005. The rest of them are mainly Black (32%) and Hispanic (18%).
What do statistics and researches declare about Foster Care in the USA?

Foster care is like a bus station in which children wait for the right family to pick them up and treat them as if they were their biological parents. On one hand, not all children exit the system because they got adopted. In 2007, around 8.7% of them left because they reached the age of eighteen. Unless they find a decent job and a place to live in, they will face homelessness, poverty, hunger, bad health, etc... On the other hand, researches brought out into open that the numbers of adoptions have increased from 28.000 in 1996 to 50.000 in 2000. This fact gives hope for many of the abandoned children who were left behind with no care once in for all.

Foster care is the system which takes care of the parentless children till they get chosen by a worthy family. Therefore, more and more adoptive homes are needed in order to save those 8.7% we have already talked about from homelessness. In 1999, around 40.000 of the Foster Care children were successfully adopted, while 100.000 of them were still waiting. Almost 65% of the former were adopted by their "Foster Parents". The rest were adopted by relatives (16%) and non- relatives (20%).

The percentages provided by many researches about Foster Care make us ask a question: What are the reasons behind the fact of those children leaving the system without being adopted? First, it is revealed that in 1998 and 1999 most of the waiting children are Black and Hispanic with a percentage of 67%. And the white waiting children were only 32%. Second, it is plainly declared that Foster Care children are most likely of being adobted when they are between one and five years old with a percentage of 45%. Once they reach ten, their chances start to briskly decrease to 15% and then 2% as they get older.

Beyond Doubt, Foster Care is every parentless child hope to get a caring and loving family after being deprived from his/ her divine right of being raised by his/ her own biological parents. It is true that through the recent years the percentage of adoption and adopting houses are increasing. However, there are still children who need an appropriate home to live in, a healthy meal to eat and a school to attend. Hopefully, there will be a year when The United States of America will reach a point where all Foster Care children find a welcoming family to live with.

Written by: Nada Mrabet

Perfect Birthday Parties for Little Girls

A birthday is considered to be the best opportunity for a girl to feel like a real princess. Therefore, mums try really hard to fulfill the best birthday party their girls would ever have. They start thinking about the budget, the little princess's dress, the invitations, the cake, the decoration, etc... Hence, here is a list of things that mums can do in order to satisfy their little girls' needs and accomplish their imaginations.

Birthday Theme:
According to my own experiences which I had with my two lovely little girls, the best theme a mum may choose for her girl's birthday is: "Royal Birthday Party".
At that age, little girls always dream of wearing a magical dress and a beautiful tiara, having a "Tea Party "with their little female friends, playing games for fun, eating their most favorite food, etc... More importantly, most of them favor the color of "pink". So let us make the party "royal", "magical", "fun" and "PINK"!

Birthday invitations:
Birthday invitations are both "easy" and "fun" to make. To make it even more special to do, mums may ask the help of their daughters instead of doing it on their own. They may ask about their favorite colors (pink, red, green, purple...) , shapes (ballons, hearts, flowers, stars, little trees...) , cartoons (a princess, a fairy, a ballerina...) etc...
Additionally, they can use their own printer at home (if they have one) for less expenses.

Birthday Dress:
For girls, the birthday dress and the tiara represent the most important part. Girls get to be the princesses of their own parties. Mums do not have to worry if they would not find their girls' perfect dress in the market or the mall. They can sew the dresses in their own way and choose their preffered colors (usually pink, white and purple) and motifs (butterfly, flower, Hello Kitty, Lotus, hearts...).

Birthday cake:
Here, mums can be very creative if they go to the right baker. There are so many adorable cake shapes such as: chocolate cake, pink princess cake, cute lady bug cake, Hello Kitty cake, etc...
Otherwise, they can simply make some homemade cakes: many little cupcakes or just one huge cupcake, a simple two- tiered cake decorated with pink buttercream and a tiara on the top, etc...

More Birthday ideas:
* If your girls do not have a Phobia from clowns, then get them one. It is the best way to assure that all the kids will have a great time as the clown will do some magical and funny tricks, and sing children songs. He will keep them busy having fun.
* Buy some princess party supplies or Hello kitty supplies, or Minie Mouse supplies.. It depends on your girls' choices. The motifs on the supplies will emphasise the theme of the party.
* You can pick a game that would be fun for all to play. My favorite is "Truth or Dare". It suits all ages and parents can participate as well.
* Beside the cake you can add: pancakes, doughnuts, lollipops, Gummi bears, etc..

Hopefully these tricks will help you make fairy tales come true for your little princesses. Do not forget to buy or rent a camera in order to record all the lovely moments of the birthday party.

Written by: Nada Mrabet

Your guide to finding a career after college

For some post-college career seekers, it is hard to find a suitable and comfortable job. As they have no previous experiences, they need a guide to follow in order to get off on the right foot. That is why there are some questions that need to be answered as a starting step: How to find a career after college? What is meant by finding a career that suits you? How to find your career interest? What should your career goals be?

How to find a career after college?
First, you have to look for the types of available jobs on the internet as well as the newspapers to see what attracts your attention the most. Then you have to write a well-written resume. At this point, you should seek the advice from those who have previous experiences like a friend of yours, your parents or your professors. Otherwise you may get in touch with a certified career counsellor to help you through the whole process. Once you find suitable jobs and prepare a good resume, start sending dozens and dozens of resumes to various employers. In this case, trying to find a job is just like playing the lottery. You have to be patient and hopeful till you will finally win and find a career after college.

What is meant by finding a career that suits you?
Having a career is not just about getting a pay-check at the end of the month. Your skills as well as your personality and aspirations should match the needs of the job. Therefore, before applying to any job you should make a list of your skills, a list of things you love doing and can do, and a list of things you can do but do not love doing. All of things techniques will starts giving you hints and ideas about finding a career that suits you best.

How to find your career interest?
To answer this question, you have to take professional tests to find out what are you really into, and what are you capable of. These types of tests can mostly be found on the internet especially on well-know web sites. Alternatively, you should ask yourself questions like: What do you do in your spare time? What did you want to be when you were a child? What hours are you prepared to work? What do you want to use in your job(writing, speech, analysing, leading, negotiating, teaching, cooperating, computing, languages, investigating...)? Then you will know what are your career interests.

What should your career goals be?
This is considered to be a very typical question asked by all employers. Therefore, you should clarify all of your career goals to yourself so you will be prepared during potential interviews. The first thing you should know is that normally there should be two types of career goals: short-term career goals and long-term career goals. They also depend on how many years of experience do you have? Here are some examples:
  • Short-term career goals: get a challenging and innovative job, learn more and grow professionally, build a stronger resume, etc...
  • Long-term career goals: achieve the highest position in the company, improve one's knowledge and gain more experience, develop oneself in leadership areas, etc...

By following these steps and tips about finding a career after college, all post-college career seekers will build for themselves the right and most suitable career path. And by time and experience they will improve their professional lives in terms of skills, competence, finance, experience, etc...

Written by: Nada Mrabet

A minority of Arab girls in search of crumbs of freedom

        Arab women, in the past few centuries, were enslaved by men. Men who were born during that Era thought that because Eve was created from "the crooked rib" of Adam, her duty in life was to serve her man without blinking an eye. A woman had to obey her parents blindly: do whatever they ask her to do and marry whoever man they choose; as, for them, she is only a soulless body, an object, a treat for man to ease and enjoy his life. A woman used to only serve her husband; cook his food, wash his clothes, take care of their children, smile at him even when she's upset, remain silence even when he swears at her and cry calmly every time he beats her.. Till today and in some areas in the Arabic world, women are still handled in the same way, especially those who never went to school, or got used on being treated like that by their families, or live in a suppressing society. It is true that women who are still living in such hellish prison are merely a minority. Nevertheless, a true human being must believe that a minority must not be overlooked. So, did the status of women in the Arab society really change over the centuries? The answer is yes! But how?

        After years of struggle, women have finally been given the right to go to school, have a job, vote and express their minds freely. Technically, it is true; however, practically, it is not- at least not for all women. Governments all over the Arab world gave women these rights. But what about their parents? Do all parents believe that their daughters may practise them? A girl at my age can vote; but, is she allowed to attend political reunions? She can think the way she wants to think; still, can she put those thoughts into practice? These girls must be so confused asking lots of questions like: Why don't my parents let me talk? Why don't they let me go out, experience the world and be a social butterfly? Ironically, girls who have been given the liberty to do whatever they want by their parents, use it to do absurd and sometimes blasphemous things like going out with boys and party all night, smoke, drink and get high. It never occurred to them that they happen to have such a bless that many other girls wish to have. Nevertheless, the good thing is that great female freedom fighters were born from the most restraining families, societies and countries; pioneers like Zaynab Fawaz, May Ziada and Houda Chaâraoui.
 Now let us seek the reasons behind parents withholding their daughters. Although these reasons are unclear, the questions are many. Are parents afraid of the danger that their daughters may be exposed to in the real world? Do they think that their number one priority is to make their girls stay still till they get married? Is it because they don't know what their little girls are capable of? Or is it because they just don't respect their decisions and desires? What a puzzle! Let me take my situation as an example. I have a brother. On one hand, my parents always encourage him to go out, meet descent people, socialize, practise a hobby, have a summer job. They let him bring his friends over to hung out or study. He enjoys a big amount of freedom and he is misusing it anyway. On the other hand, they don't even let me go to my girlfriend's house which is next door! They don't let me go to a certain party's reunion, even though I am going to vote. And my mother's idea about voting was: "You don't have to vote. Your vote won't matter." But I am going to vote no matter what. I'm not going to give up a right that other women died to fulfill. what would that make me? Moreover, I'm not allowed to do anything at all without their permission, and they will refuse my demand anyway. Likewise, every time I ask to practise a certain hobby, they turn me down telling me to go read a magazine or watch TV or something. Why? It is simply because I was born a girl and he was born a man. "It's a man's world" indeed. Now, what's wrong with this picture? Or more likely what's wrong with my parents? What's wrong with all parents thinking and acting this way. I know that I am not the only one facing problems in proving my existence. I happen to have some girlfriends who suffer from the way of their parents' thinking. Some of them get beated every time they exercise a right or think out of the box. Some of them hear harsh and heart breaking comments for writing an innocent love poem at the back of their copy-books. The situation in the Arab world, and in Tunisia to be precise, is so ironic and sickly absurd. Half of the Arab girls have surpassed the red lines of freedom, and the other half know nothing about it. It is rare to find something in between; something fair and just. And when I say rare I mean parents who happen to be very well educated mentally and morally. I know that it is hard to find such balance; however, it is not impossible. I wish that all parents around the Arabic world would keep their minds open. Letting their girls practise a hobby, visit their girlfriend next door, or attend a political party's reunion does not mean they will become immoral. If they are, they will exercise their immorality no matter how many doors you will lock them up.

          It is up to women to fight for what they believe in and want to achieve. However, it is so hard for some women to get rid of the way of life as well as the way of thinking that their parents have implanted in their minds over the years. They get used to them to the point that they don't want freedom anymore even if it becomes easy to get. Per contra, for those who still want it, I would like to tell them that if women before were able to stand up against the harsh criticism and judging eyes of both society and government, then I think girls like you and I can surely stand up against the negative repressing power of our parents. Let us be wise, out-step the generation gap and make our parents hand us the torch of freedom. Do it now or else you will lose it forever; first because of your parents, and then because of your husbands. If you want it, then you have to earn it. If you deserve it, then you'll finally have it. %

                                                                                                                                                  Written by: Nada Mrabet

The Tunisian Culture

      A culture is “the system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviours, and artifacts that the members of society use to cope with their world and with one another, and that are transmitted from generation to generation through learning”. This is the definition of culture taken from this site:
Now, what do we know about the Tunisian culture? I mean the real Tunisian culture; the one practised before the Era of Bourguiba.
      Allow me to answer this question. We do not know anything about it. Why? It is because it is under reconstruction. It is under mutation. Our culture has been affected by a strange virus ever since the Era of Bourguiba. We know nothing about our original culture. Yet, there are other people interested in it and studying it. These people may even be some secret agents sent from other countries longing for Tunisia, to study our culture. This mission would be easily done especially when the target country is a third world country; so ignorant of many issues, so narrow minded, so behind. I am sorry. But it is. Wearing fashioned clothes, speaking foreign languages instead of our native tongue, knowing every single detail about Hollywoodian stars, going to the beaches and swimming almost naked, and having parties with alcoholic drinks; all of these things do not make us neither hip, nor developed. It only makes us hypnotized by a forceful power. I am not going to call these people the “Free Masons” or “Mossad”, but I am going to call them the “Anonymous”.
Some would say: “Tunisia is a small country, with almost no rich natural resources. Why would this “Anonymous” want to intellectually invade Tunisia by vanishing its original culture and transplant whatever culture they want for us? “. Tunisia may be a small country, but it is great with its people. And let me inform you my friends that there are some recent researches saying that in “Bou Hajla” (Kairouan) there is some fine amount of Petrol. Here is a link proving this information:
The cultural invasion I was talking about earlier is hidden under the name of Secularity. Secularity, as mentioned in Wikipedia, “is the state of being separate from religion “. It is based on the belief of liberating women, bringing to an end the practising of religion, the loyalty of the secular country to godless countries, the spread of betrayal in marriages, the increase of the numbers of children of adultery, the promotion of homosexuality, the neglecting of the Arabic language and the Islamic education, the limitation of the concept of culture in music, singing, and immoral films… So, in order to prevent such path and peter it out, we have to show the naked truth of the secular thoughts, show how serious and dangerous Secularity is, and most importantly to respond to it.
The “Anonymous” and those who are influenced by them try to uproot that culture that holds within it fake freedoms. As you know, this transplantation did not just happen after the “Revolution of the 14th of January”. It started to appear ever since the Era of Bourguiba; “The Supreme Free mason of Tunisia”. In fact, the “Anonymous” is well known for its appearance after every historical change such as: independences, revolutions, rise- ups… They take advantage of every opportunity they get to spread their poison. Let’s take “Cactus” as an example. “Cactus” is the company that used to sponsor the TV shows of TV7 like “Sofiane Show” and the series of “Maktoob”. These two shows have been refused and criticized by most of the Tunisian people saying that they do not depict the Tunisian Culture and that it gives a wrong and scandalous picture about Tunisia and Tunisians. As if “Cactus” is trying to transplant a way of thinking, that is not originally ours, through Media. And now, it has its own TV “Altounisia” taken care of by its well known agent “Sami Fehri”. What kind of idiots they think we are? All of this means that our brains, our religion, our culture, and even the quality time one spends with his family are being manipulated, ruined, disillusioned, and taken away from us. We are being brain washed. They make us believe that freedom is: to wear indecent and almost naked clothes, not to pray, not to fast, to eat and drink during the holly month of Ramadan in public, for a Muslim woman to wear a short dress and put tons of make- up in the presence of an Elder (Sheikh), to disrespect the old and badly influence the young, and to disregard one’s teacher claiming that it is freedom of speech. If this is freedom, then I surely do not want it, because this is not about how to be free, this is about how to be disrespectful. “Secularity” is what we should be fighting now. It is like a lethal venom that takes down every single principle our ancestors lived on and believed in. we have to protect the Tunisian Culture, not only for the sake of our ancestors, but also for the sake of our children. When I mention the phrase “Tunisian Culture” I don’t mean “Makroodh”, “traditional carpets”, “Traditional clothing”… I actually mean our roots, our ways of thinking, and our ways of living. I also mean the spirit of Tunisia itself that helps us survive as Tunisians, not as a fragile “Made in China” imitation of the foreign cultures. We surely do not know exactly who this “Anonymous” is. Nevertheless, we absolutely can fight it, refuse it, and be aware of it.
      Conclusively, we have to stick to our morality, values, traditions, and religion. We have to learn more about our Tunisian culture. And if one do not like this latter, then one should leave Tunisia. Our culture, is it that weak? Is it that not important? No! It is not! Our culture is who we are. Our culture is our identity. We lose it, we lose ourselves, we lose Tunisia.

                                                                                                           Written by Nada Mrabet

Uoy evol I

White roses, Pink trees,
Green coffee, Blue cheese.
You rock my world,
You blow my mind.

Birds barking, Cats flying,
Snow shining, Sun raining.
You rock my world,
You blow my mind.

Wake up at night, Sleep at daylight,
Realise darkness, dream and fight.
You rock my world,
You blow my mind.

Drink bread, Eat water,
Summer is cold, Winter is hotter.
You rock my world,
You blow my mind.

Written by: Nada Mrabet


RaZZmataZZ is an Experimental Instrumental Music Band composed of five gifted musicians. Despite of the fact that they are young, their star of creativity, fame and success has already started to rise and shine. The most exiting thing of all is that they all are original of Kairouan. One day after the other, I am discovering more and more talents in my precious home land. Who knew that such a quiet city would have a gifted Band named RaZZmataZZ? Some of you have not heard about this Band yet. That’s why, through this article I am going to discover with you how these members navigate this adventure we call “RaZZmataZZ”. 

Their beginning: 

The fairy tail of RaZZmataZZ started to become a reality in 2006. It began with three friends passionate about music: Ahmed Hamza, Yesser Mestiri, and Mohamed Gahtar. Later, two additional members were recruited: Mohamed Beji, and Youssef Najjar. And lately, they have recruited Mohamed Gathoum. Their first album is Safra. 

Fan’s views: 

These young men, apt to satisfy their audience from all walks of life. And they have done that already, because their music pleases all tastes, and is easy to hear and understand, which makes it world wide music. It is a mixture between the previous and modernity. That’s what makes it special. Moreover, RaZZmataZZ is a well organized Band. Its members always cleverly pick the right title for their music. As a matter of fact, every title they have made describes exactly every musical piece they have created. And despite of their taste differences, they seem to work magic. Till now, their first album had faced a fine success, and the number of their fans is growing higher. 

Personal view: 

The moment I started to listen to RaZZmataZZ’s music, I swam in different adventurous seas of dreams. The best thing about such music is that it lets us see and feel things in our own way. It does not control us or our thoughts like nowadays music. That’s what makes me call it music of freedom. It is also a harmony that comes from the heart and the soul of young creative and ambitious artists. 
If there are some spots to reveal, it will be the short time that every tune takes. Such nice songs should last longer than just 3 and 4 minutes. 


This is an Interview I’ve done with one of the talented members: Ahmed Hamza (playing Violin and drums). He responded for my request instantly and humbly. 

1) What's the secret of the band's name?
RaZZmataZZ is an English word that has several meanings, we opted for two:
Voice of the people (Used mostly as a metaphor) and a Strong Sound coming from afar, so we just combined both meanings for RaZZmataZZ.
We just can't imagine ourselves playing our music under a silly name or a meaningless one, we believe that we can pass through messages of peace and respect through the melodies we play and we always want to honour ourselves, our families and our beloved Kairouan and why not one day represent Tunisia in International events, so having a serious meaningful name is very important for us.

2) Whose idea was it?
Forming the band wasn't anybody's idea, it was spontaneous.
However we all proposed names for the band and then Yasser Mestiri and Mohamed gahtar voted for my choice "RaZZmataZZ".
(The band was originally formed as a trio: 
*Ahmed Hamza playing the violin and the Drums.
*Yasser Mestiri playing the guitar.
*Mohamed gahtar playing the Bass.
It is after two years of hard work that we started having gigs and we recruited Mohamed Beji on the Violin, Youssef Najjar on the Keayboard and lately Mohamed Gathoum on the Percussions.)

3) Have you faced any problems or disagreements while creating your music?
Well, inside the band we may struggle sometimes to compose something that we all like, because we come from different Musical backgrounds, for instance Yasser (the guitarist of the band) is a Heavy Metal fan, unlike Youssef who is more for oriental sentimental tunes, same thing goes for me and the rest of the band. We just learned with time that our Musical differences should not be considered as weakness however a strength to the Band's sound that will be inhabited by several Musical backgrounds which form the Original Unique sound of RaZZmataZZ.

4) What are your future plans for the band?
Well, we are very organised in our way of looking at RaZZmataZZ's future.
When we started we had plans to impose ourselves in Kairouan, then in Tunisia as a whole, so we're still working in this step for the moment. We think we're doing fair but we need to work harder in order to get noticed and why not find a Label/Recording Studio that will believe in our talent and help us produce our special Music and tour around the country and all around the globe.
We have huge dreams, we know we can achieve them, but we also know that we have a lot of work to do!

5) If one day you got the chance to go solo or even join another more well- known band, would you split up with RaZZmataZZ?
No, I don't think I can do that; I may have a solo project in the future however this doesn't mean that RaZZmataZZ will be split up!
Never, we’re more than a band we're family :)
We may all have projects and stuff and maybe work on other bands but RaZZmataZZ is a dream that we are all working very hard to accomplish!
I believe RaZZmataZZ's flame should never die !

6) For those who do not know RaZZmataZZ, are there any web sites or forums you would like to recommend?
Of course there are several places where you can discover RaZZmataZZ.
We always try to everywhere as much as we can on the net.
However, these are the most updated most popular places where you can follow RaZZmataZZ's news, listen to our Music, watch our video clips and most of all Support us!
It is because without the people's support we will never achieve our noble goals.
I hope I was direct to the point, Thank you again Nada for your interest for the Band.

The answers of Ahmed H. are more than satisfying. I have nothing else to add because he had said it all. I have never met any of the rest of the band members, but the good thing about Ahmed is that he’s not only a creative artist, he’s also a successful student of Raggeda who had passed his final exams and got the “Maitrise Diploma in English language”. For that we congratulate him. I wish I had the opportunity to also interview the rest of the band members. However, I think that they would all say the same answers, because as Ahmed H. said, they are more than just band members, they are family. 
The members of RaZZmataZZ are talented indeed. The only thing they need is our encouragement and support, and the right people to sponsor them. 

Written by: Nada Mrabet.

Lost in my feelings

Furious wild lions
Thirsty red roses.
Sun barely shines
Hands can’t reach any ropes.

Homeless dogs
Birds can’t fly.
Hungry frogs
Cloudy sky.

Confusing dreams
Disappeared daylight.
Large mountain of fears
Reaching the sky at night.

That’s how missing you feels like..

Written by: Nada Mrabet

Forever Soul mates

Moni: Hello my source of Luana*
What took you so long?
I’ve been looking for you
I looked for you in the Makina*
I looked for you in every Polala*
And under the wings of every Palila*. 

Bobi: Hello my Kala*
I’ve been watching you
And waiting for this moment to come
Waiting to become Akela*
Waiting to touch you my Nanala*
Waiting to give up my Huko* for you my Ioana*.

Moni & Bobi: At last we’ve met
Forever together,
Forever in love,
Forever soul mates,
We shall stay. 

Moni: I’ll be your life’s Luka*.

Bobi: I’ll be your guarding Lavi*.

Moni & Bobi: And forever we’ll be each other’s Nalani*. 

Luana: enjoyment- Makina: moon- Polala: flower- Palila: bird- Kala: princess- Akela: blessed- Nanala: sun flower- Huko: heart, mind, spirit- Ioana: God’s gracious gift- Lavi: lion- Nalani: heavens.

Written by: Nada Mrabet

-- Addiction --

Addiction is what I call it
It runs in the veins of my heart.
Sweet suffer is how I feel it
It is the source of all arts.
Eternal and pure love is what fits, 
In the puzzle of our hearts.

Sadness became my friend
Ever since I’ve known you.
It started when I reached your hand
And increased when I fell in love with you.
Every time I try to make an end
I end up more addicted to you.

Stress became my mate
Every time I miss you.
Even if I knew my fate
I’d still fall in love with you.
You unlocked my heart’s gate
And I’m grateful to you. 

Happiness is what you gave me
It’s something I never knew.
You loved me, you appreciated me
You gave me something great and new.
The more we let our love be
The more it grew.

Luck is on my side
When I have you.
You’ve been the source of light
Thanking Allah is what I should do.
For our love I’ll sacrifice 
And I’ll never give up on you.

Written by: Nada Mrabet

Freshmen in Raggeda: Religion

In this article I am going to talk about our religion. As it is defined in Wikipedia, with some little modifications, Religion is “the belief in and worship of one God, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. “. The question now is whether this theoretical concept is practical or not.

A person, whose biological parents are Muslims, is not necessarily a real Muslim. First, he has to completely believe in Allah, and Allah only. Then, he has to try as much as he can to rightly practise the doctrines and rituals of his religion. 
Our religion, Islam, is the religion of Allah. It is a religion of peace. And in order to be a real Muslim, we have to be devoted to Allah and totally obey him. We have to believe in the after life more than we believe in this life. We have to believe in the fact that life is just a passage where we get tested so our destiny will be defined in the after life. We have to believe that no person can ever love us and care about us as much as Allah and his prophet Mohamed. I am sure that all Muslims know these facts. But, do they believe in them? I am saying so because there is a big difference between knowing something, and believing in something. So in order to do so, we have to clear up our mind, stop thinking about life as a purpose, and try to please Allah and obey him as much as we can. 
I am used on hearing Muslims cursing Allah and calling him name. What is it wrong with you people? Why are you doing so? What benefit will you gain? Once, one of my friends cursed Allah in front of us, saying that Allah does not love him, and that Allah is destroying him. He said that he did not get lucky in anything when he used to pray, so what’s the point of obeying him? When he started to talk like that, I left the group so they won’t see me crying. I was crying because Allah gave as so many things and so many blesses, and that’s how we are repaying him. We are blessed for breathing, for living in peace, for having parents to raise us, for having schools where we can learn, for having food to eat, for having water to drink. We are even more blessed to be born as Muslims. That way, we have a bigger chance to better know Islam, to reach Allah and go to heaven. Now tell me, isn’t that enough? I don’t know if people who do not believe in Allah and curse him all the time know how bad what they are doing is. But let me tell you, it is really terrible and awful.
I also know another group of friends who used to swear and curse whenever they get the chance. But now, they do not do that anymore. They pray, they read Qur’an as much as they can, and they exchange informations about Islam. People like them make me feel hopeful.
If there is something I have learnt this year, it will be the fact that Islam is not all about wearing the veil or having a beard. I mean there are lots of girls who are wearing the veil but do not believe in it and are wearing it as a fashion. There are some of them who do not even pray or fast. However, there are other girls who are not wearing the veil, but believe in Allah and love him, know the real meaning of this precious veil, and really want to wear it someday. 

Even I, the person who wrote this article, still need good guidance and good people around me to improve my doctrines and the way I practise my religion. So, if you had the chance to open your eyes and see life as it really is, do not forget to help those around you who did not have the same chance you had. Life is really short, and we do not know when we will die. Thus, try to make the last thing you do good and pure, so you won’t regret anything you have done. Finally, May Allah guide us all to his path of goodness and heaven. 

Written by: Nada Mrabet

Freshmen in Raggeda-- The corrupted Raggeda

In this article, I am going to apply the theoretical concept of a faculty on our practical faculty. The definition of a faculty taken from “Wikipedia” is: “A faculty is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects.” So, from such definition we will all assume that this faculty is founded in an appropriate place to receive such high education. However, this is not the case in our faculty: F.L.S.H.K. Why saying so? I will tell you why. 
Our faculty is surrounded by forests everywhere. As most of the superstitions say, forests are the symbol of sin and transgression. It is the safest place where sinners can practise their corrupted behaviour. I know that all of this is based on superstitions, but I believe in them because most of them make sense to me. 
Anyway, what make me believe that our faculty is corrupted are things I and everybody see, and news I hear from trustworthy people. I always see bottles of cheap wine thrown in the way to the Fast Food area, under some trees near the faculty, and next to libraries. Once, some friends of mine told me about a bunch of people smuggling stuff, God only knows what. I know some gay girls who live in the campus of Raggeda. I have heard some rumours about some gay boys either. Almost everyday I see guys driving high class cars stop almost in front of the main door of our faculty, raise the volume of the music trying to get the attention of the girls who study in there. Some of them are naïve girls who want to have rich boyfriends. Others are whores who are ready to sell themselves for a better life and more money. Not only that, I have heard about a girl who got raped in a place near this faculty. I am sure that really few of you have heard of her, because no one knew about that incident till she herself talked about it to some friends. I have also heard about a girl who had a sexual affair with a man whom she actually loved and trusted, and he got her pregnant. Ultimately, she got an abortion. There is another case about a girl named Dhekra. I think everybody heard about her, that’s why I mentioned her name. She had fallen in sin with a man she loved, and ended up running away with him from her family and from the future husband she was supposed to get married to in few months. 
I have heard once about another incident that happened before I came to study in this faculty which happened right inside of one of the classrooms. The dean had walked in on two students having a sexual affair. For God’s sake, what is it wrong with this faculty? Thank God that the dean had putted cameras almost everywhere, or else, more incidents like this would happen. I will tell you why I do not like it there. It is because every where I go I see all kinds of sins and sinners. And now I know why parents always worry about us. It is because they have already seen such things. They are always afraid that we will either get infected with such corruption, or be victims of it. 
You would be lying if you would say that you do not see or know at least half what I saw and heard about. You would be lying if you would say that you totally feel secured in such sinful place. I have an awful curiosity to know if such things happen in other faculties or not. I wish I would know. Now one last thing, tell me; you’d you like your little sisters and brothers, your children and grand- children to study in such faculty? Would you let them? I know I would not.

Written by: Nada Mrabet

Freshmen in Raggeda: Relationships

A friend is “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard and who gives assistance and support.” This is the theoretical definition of “a friend”, however, practically; friendship has lost its real concept. 

When I first came to F.L.S.H.K., students seemed to be so joyful and nice: hugs, kisses, jocks, and laughter. Then I thought: ok, faculty is not that bad, I can go through it, and I can fit in. However, after eight months, I came to a point where I realized that what I thought is not true. I thought that all people are good and friendly. In fact, most of them are hypocrites. They laugh in your face, they kiss you, and they ask you how you are doing. And when they get the right opportunity, they stab you right in your back. 
Of course, there are many types of hypocrites. There are those who become friends with you so they will benefit from your money, personal course, the answers of the exam, or even clothes to borrow. There are also those who become friends with you so they will be friends with your friends and take advantage of your popularity. And we should not forget those who become friends with you for sexual profit, about which I am going to talk in one of my next articles.
You might say: what a silly article! What is she talking about? Why is she doing so?
Well, I have the right answer for you. I am talking about these issues because these are the ones left with no notice or discussion. These are the types of things which we see but we never comment on them and think about them. I got sick of reading articles talking about the obvious and leaving the little hidden details which effect people’s life largely. I’m talking about relationships because they are the base of our social life. After all, as Aristotle said: “Man is a social animal.” 
Do you know what our problem is? We all see the same problems from the same angles, but we never talk about them in public or admit they do exist. We want to be as modern and open minded as Europeans- not in every thing of course- and at the same time we are getting even more narrow- minded. We have to think. We have to react. When I asked people why Raggeda is hated, they said we just hate it for no reason. But I think that the most evident reason is the unhealthy relationships that students have. These types of relationships can really do us harm. Unhealthy relationships always lead to verbal or even to physical violence. So, why be bad? Why be dishonest? 

Now, after knowing these facts, I have to watch my back and make less close friends which is something I do not like to do. It’s true that I like everybody, even those who treated me badly or secretly did not accept me. But I have to do so. I have to live in big fear of those who might harm me. It might be true that there still good and honest friends in this world, but they are really few. So, be careful. Do not harm anyone. And only trust the trustworthy. Even if you got stabbed in the back, just get up fast, forget about it, and move on with your life. And as my favourite quote says: “Love all, trust few, do wrong to none.”

Written by: Nada Mrabet