Monday, October 17, 2016

If you're a believer

If you are a believer.. Praying is for you. Being kind is for God. 

If you call yourself a believer.. then you should know acceptance before you know the 99 names of Allah by heart. 

Praying five times a day and fasting two times a week is for you. Treating others as your equals in humanity is for God. 

If you say you are a believer and you think you have a free pass into heaven.. I want to tell you.. some non-believers are more deserving of heaven than you. 
We were raised into a mental structure of defensive and unforgiving thought process. There is no space for a human being to diversify and express their individuality. 

Religion is fixed.
Tradition is fixed.
Roles are fixed. 

And we raise our eyebrows in disbelief when someone bends the rules; just a tiny bit to the left or right. We get angry and condemn with all we’ve got. 
We judge. 
But we are not God. 
If you are a believer you would know this basic and simple rule. 
We are only human..
All we can do in this maze of a world is to try and feel our way through the darkness of our biases and primitive knowledge of our existence and life around us.. 
If we choose to learn about the universe and ourselves, it will be self-evident to see and treat others as we truly should. 
Truth unfolds when you are in the right state of mind to receive it. 

Turn your eyes inwards and stop focusing on what is wrong with others. 

And don’t forget to love. 

Love has so many forms.. 

Love changes everything and everyone. 

Hanan Ishaq

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Gifts of war

I haven’t been this content in more than a decade. 
Although Yemen is still unstable, and we don’t know what will happen to us. 
I am content.
In a year, war has taught us what we would have learned in a lifetime. 
is that lesson. 
Wisdom comes with appreciation and thankfulness. 
Modern world has created impatient, unhappy, stressed out individuals, and I was the best example of all three. Perpetually self-scrutinizing and searching for what I was not equipped to find.. not because what we hope for does not exist.. but because what we hope for does not exist for people like us. How can we be happy if we are not prepared for happiness. Physically, mentally and emotionally. 

We may seem like the most unfortunate and miserable country in the world looking from the outside in, and in many ways we are.  But there is a gift that comes with such hardship and misery.. 
Each Yemeni individual will be able to identify at least one gift they received from our heart- breaking situation. 
Mine is making amends with myself. 
I haven’t been content for longer than I can remember. 

Make the time you have count; even the little things that only you can notice matter. Don’t let your unlimited resources go to waste. 

Start today, 

Love yourself enough to allow it to live. take it a notch down, take a deeper breath. 
Stop blaming yourself for not achieving enough. Achievement is not a one way road.. 
Living is connecting with your primal self that has been shut down.. 
Being spiritual, 
being open to new and challenging ideas
being kind and accepting of others
we are too frigid and judgmental for this all so adapting world..      

I say that to myself everyday. 

Be thankful. 

Be a better you. 

Everyday is an opportunity, if I fail today I am blessed with the chance to try again tomorrow. 

Monday, October 19, 2015


He plays an instrument..
He feeds his father after he had had a stroke and can no longer move or feed himself..
She smiles to strangers everyday..

She always make sure she leaves a tip for the coffee lady every morning even though she wishes she can do more..

He is humbled by the faith of others even if he does not have the same..and the beliefs which they hold sacred are as fascinating as the diversity this world holds..

He loves his mother so much that he can never insult or belittle a woman..

She cannot look at the sky without her heart swelling up with love for the mystery and majesty of the divine..

He took care of his wife for 40 years despite her chronic depression..and his eyes flood with love at the sight of her wrinkled and tired face..

She refused to leave her husband even though he couldn’t give her children out of pure love..knowing in her heart he wouldn’t do the same for her.

She divorced her unfaithful husband and the father of her kids despite the discrimination and challenges of being a single mother in a conservative merciless society.. and made it on her own

He let his father slap him after he was big enough to defend himself.. He didn’t want to break his jaw..



Not perfect in any way.. but they

Cannot kill
Cannot destroy..
Cannot claim to be better then everyone else..
Cannot stab in the back,
or take what does not belong to them
They are humble and hope to become better people

they realize their flaws

they realize this world won’t last forever..

Sometimes one thing you choose to continue to do right throughout your life could help you rest in peace when you are gone.

For me, this is faith.

This is religion.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Humanity and war (Yemen)

The human experience
equals the simple acts of kindness and coexistence..
This is what its all about.. the rest is mere detail..
All the complex web that has been brought about around religions and what they mean to people is where we took a wrong turn.
Learning how to love and accept ourselves as well as others..  
the collective wisdom of what past nations have taught us. 
The wisdom we acquire through our own personal growth.. 

This is what separates human beings from the the rest of the animal kingdom.. 

this is what -as a child- thought I would become part of when I grew up and was finally allowed into the mesmerizing world or adults..

But we have taken so many wrong turns along the course of time. 

Injustice has stained us..

Pure evil has surfaced..

the intentional and merciless destruction of homes.. 
blood everywhere.. 
children!! killed?

this loss of life.. 

All I wished for during heavy airstrikes as I tried to protect my baby boy with nothing but my arms around him was to escape that madness.. to be in a distant land; to breath without feeling of a deep stab in my heart.. 
to run away. 
Days were so endlessly long.. I was physically and emotionally drained.
Hollow and grieved.. 

I wanted to be safe..

The horrifying voices..
Oh the voices..! 
missiles flying above my house and exploding nearby.. the fear of losing my son, my family or my friends.. fear of losing my life.. or part of my body. Anticipating a blow out in my room..
the whole building shaking and swaying like a ship on water..
the pressure of the explosions making the windows and doors slam open and shut. 
sleepless nights.. weak body.. 
broken windows.. broken souls..
who deserves such suffering? 

This is just the tip of the iceberg of how Yemen suffers. This is just a little glimpse of our reality after Saudi-led war on my land. 

Life is unbearable, but Yemenis continue to to be as resilient and courageous as ever. They continue to try and make their homes or whats left of them a place to call home.. 

I ran away indeed..

I am away now.. and I am filled with a guilty solitude.
A heavy sense of peace weighs on my chest and I still couldn’t breath sometimes.. 

A soft breeze drifts on my face while I write down void words about a world I hardly understand to articulate. 
My arms heavy and numb as I try to clear out my thoughts and verbalize many, many pushing questions. 
I have so many questions. 

I don’t understand why the world is filled with such injustice. I am lost in this blizzard of war and hatred and immeasurable cruelty. 
I am lost. 
WE are all lost.. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

War has other plans

Sitting on a comfortable couch in a distant continent..
This wasn't planned.
Me, being here.
War wasn't a part of the plans
The fear; the blood
The skies that once offered nothing but beauty and gushing rain now loomed with destruction.
Running away from my home, lost jobs, and our indefinite future.

The first night of war was just like any other night,
on the next morning I would wake up early, pack my son's and husband's breakfast then head to work. But war had other plans.


War sirens which lasted a minute or so..

The deafening sound of my heart beating, and my mind frozen with fear..

Our lives distorted beyond repair.

People shift into and out of this lobby..
How many of these have fled home to be safe?
Do they know that simple facilities such as electricity and food are a predicament where I come from..?
Do they know that countless children; entire families are buried under the rubble of their own homes?
That many of those who survived death have lost everything?

As the world's path towards the future goes uninterrupted, Yemen is being destroyed..


flooded with suffering and blood..

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Quotes 2012- 2015

Remind me who I am..
When my mind shuts down
When I'm under the rubble
Of the past
Find me
Where I've never been found

A fuzz of the senses,
the terrible mix of the past and the present..
The ache that will never leave..
The drive for a life you could never have..
Morals that - Ina world so horrible- cost less than the watch on your wrist..
Cross roads; both broken
Cross personalities, being afraid to be you..
Disruption ..
not an error, but a hard truth

~ hanan


Gather the million little crumbles of me so I can open my eyes this morning..
Put me back together;
Convince me to be capable of life..
The battles inside are the greatest of all..
They are endless
They will not subside..


There is an ironic sadness that comes along with the beauty of the warm light of sunsets. The final moments before the sun completely disappears, the most beautiful ones.
Some days at this time, when I happen to be watching. I cannot help but feel a sense of loss. Like saying goodbye to someone knowing that you will never see them again.


Compose your song
The secret tone
The one you hid when you were young
The words
The rhymes
The lonely thoughts
Just passing along
Set them free
Know without doubt
You are true
You are strong

Chase that fire
Inside your heart
One day it will lead you
To where you belong

~ Hanan


Freedom.. Is not caring if people accept you or not. Freedom.. is that you accept yourself.


The most well-formed conviction you'll ever have is the one you didn't rush into while palpitating..
the one that took time, enough information, and most importantly a mind that has accepted to process without prejudice.
If man can rationalize through his primal human self.. Only then will he be able to truly be just.


Stop.. !
Today, tomorrow.. In five years, if you may.
After you do...
You do..
Life will begin ..


Is the lightness of the heart
The little smiles
Rushing through your bloodstream;
When your free

Breathing in
A thousand speckles of light
Then slowly
Breathing them out

They will follow your footsteps;
To all your secret thoughts

Is weightless
It is a lighter shade of blue..

It is knowing
At the end of the day
that's it's ok
It be you..

Grey clouds suspended
On a dusty pink sky..

On the canvas of divine perfection;
Art was born
As outlines comply ..

Shadows, shades
Breathtaking highlights

Flawless unison

Words so beautiful;
They unfold with a melody
If you listen close..

Upon a foreign reality..
To someone out there,
It is home..

A tornado
Of rainbow dust
Destroys all your black and white ..

But later,
You'll smile
To the sight of broken frames.
To unfamiliar colors;
Invading your timid spaces..

Silence is a language;
Only your heart can understand..
Trust your instinct..
Take a leap; a chance
A road unplanned

Stop for a moment;
To rewind-
Start over

Tomorrow's a new start

Today a closure..

Life was designed with hardship and pain.. If it were a house, you would find struggle in the foundation; tears painting the walls; and confusion in the yellow lights above. But in a room right upstairs, if you care to open the door, you will find a little gift to get you through the day or give you a reason to smile.
Love... is that gift..

You are who you are because of throes who share your life.. The little stops, pauses and turns you make; the words, acts and feelings that fuse into a canvas called life..
It's not all you..
Some colors are borrowed..


All we need from the seemingly endless transition they call "life" is for someone to look into our eyes; into our very essence, and understand.
 To be understood , is to be loved ..


Stay ..
When the winds start to roar..
When the world seems to have changed into a foreign reality..
A game of words and lives..
Continues to play..

When I can no longer understand myself.. Or this world
As I feel the urge to run away
Give me roots,
Give me reason
To sit down with you
And stay ..


Burn me down into ash...

Let the wind blow me into the vast skies..

Scattered; weightless.. countless

Let my essence be free..
Let the clouds embrace me .. take me on their journey; then shed me in their pouring rain- like tears
on a city I've never seen, far away from here..

Let the music of my heart play as I descend

Let them know...

I was here


There is a silence that is born within the chaos; like the eye of the hurricane ..
That powerful calm of indifference when everything is in commotion..
It's beautiful..
It's scary..


The clock ticks as the seconds pay their dues; o n e by o n e. Like soldiers marching in perfect rhythm. One, two, three...
Life comes down to this..


Smile.. Deliberately.. Fake it if you have to..
Keep smiling until your little red blood cells are smiling as well :)

Inspiration rushes into my mind like soldiers on time of duty. They line up with authority and conviction…then stand still- as if they are waiting for a sign- for a moment. It seems that they just broke out off a hidden corner in my brain for a reason unknown to me...

I give them the sign…

They attack.


Give your mind the permission to indulge in this pause; this chaotic silence that will lead you to experience an astonishing clarity… believe that you are strong enough to look into the eyes of the confusing mess long enough to figure out the it’s beautiful cryptogram…
~Hanan Ishaq


Wednesday, April 8, 2015


I'm very discouraged! There is a lot of prejudice, negative intentions, and hatred around me it is stifling!

People claim to know the truth and tell the truth. However, the 'truth' or the manipulation of the truth depends on an array of internal variables which unconsciously lead us towards beliefs of certain borders. Although truth in its primal existence cannot be manipulated, our rationalization of that truth can make it appear nothing like its original form. And SO, instead of bias insistence that you're 'right' and others and wrong, you should know that our knowledge is not encompassing enough to formulate absolute truth! Stop the arrogance! Stop the self-righteousness. We are all humans and we are all of one suffering land of one name; Yemen. It needs us to unite now.. To hurt together and revolt as one.