My Road Back To Happiness, Key Two!

The Maze, Find Your Way To Happiness!

This post, obviously, isn’t that sort of posts that develop and progress quickly! Man it’s taking me time to figure out what makes me happy!

But yes! I have found “Key Two” to happiness!

Happiness Key Two: Friends & Social Life!

Ok, some of you don’t agree with me on this one, which I totally understand, people are different, some of us are social and some of us aren’t! Cool by me!

But knowing myself, yes I can survive alone and feel cool about it, but usually I feel better when I’m socially social.

I used to be way more social than now, probably when I was younger I had more patience for certain things, and later things changed for me and I gotta be the picky person when it comes to socializing. I don’t need to be social with people I don’t feel good around, and I don’t need fake social circles, if that’s the case, I prefer to be alone in most cases.

2015 thank you for the many wake up calls, this year gifted me some new friends, with whom I feel good, natural, positive and often thoughtful. Fun is always part of it, but I’m glad to finally find people with whom I can be creative, on an intellectual level. I like those people who challenge my own thoughts. I’m done with Bla Blas and empty conversations!

Socializing is not always what it looks like, at the gym I’m always surrounded by people, but that doesn’t mean I know all of them and they all know me. And socializing may take some wrong turns, that’s when they are faked, forced, or/and hold a lot of unnecessary expectations. It’s really not hard to know if you get along with certain people or not, there is either some sort of chemistry and harmony or not, there isn’t really something in between, like I enjoy my time with you but you bother me. It’s either positive or negative. Remember, you do not have to be around any person who makes you feel anything negative or uncomfortable, even if they are nice to you! lol I really mean it, if that’s the way you feel, then trust me something is wrong no matter how you try to make it look like.

Some may have certain barriers when it comes to making new friendships, thinking “Ah! It’s already too late to make new friends, and come to trust them.”, For me personally as a social entity by nature, I want you all to know that yes you can always make new friends, no one and nothing is going to stop you, except for yourselves. You can always get up and go grab yourself some new friends! But yes I know taking the first step to initiate any sort of relation isn’t the easiest part, but hey! some people are really interesting, why let them go by without trying to figure them out closely?! Some of these “interesting people” may mistakenly give us some sort of attitude or vibe that pushes us away or make us feel unwelcome, but feeling that way may not be right, sometimes they feel the same about us, and that’s why they may not want to make the first step.

Go back to your old friends, those you gained in school and uni/college days, those are actually the ones you know for real.

P.S

I’m not discussing love relations here, this time I’m talking pure/awesome friendships.

Healthy, balanced and mature friendships are a crucial and a very important key to happiness for me, I just have to do it wisely to stay happy and positive!

Katia

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A Book Review: The Other Thing “Who Killed Layla Al Hayek”, Ghassan Kanafani

To Mera, 

The girl who suddenly fill in love with Ghassan Kanafani, and has always been in love with Palestine.

About The Author:

Ghassan Kanafani born in Akka, Palestine, April 9, 1936. Assassinated by a car bomb in Beirut, Lebanon,  by the Mossad, July 8, 1972. Ghassan was a writer and an active leading member of The Popular Front Of The Liberation Of Palestine. So besides being a writer he was a politician.

kanafani 5

The Book:

The Other Thing “Who Killed Layla Al Hayek”, is a novel that was published the first time in the weekly magazine”Al Hawadeth” in Beirut, in a format of nine episodes, starting in June 1966. Ghassan Kanafani never publish it separately, maybe as assumed, dude to political reasons; The 1967 War.

The Review:

Many critiques saw the book as a negative thing in Kanafani’s works, relating that to the difference in theme and style of his writing, since usually he referred all his books and fictional books to the political situation in his motherland, Palestine.

After reading the book, which is of a fiction/Detective genre, full of suspense and analyzing of the circumstances that made the main character “Saleh” the murderer of “Layla Al Hayek”, I still didn’t see why was it considered different. The whole story, if quickly read without any further analyzing, or without being given a further thought, looks like many other fictional books, I agree. But looking deeply into the story and the idea behind it, Ghassan Knafani shouldn’t had been criticized.

If we re-read the book once more, and viewed “Layla Al Hayek” as “Palestine”, everything will change in our eyes. Ghassan Kanafani is a symbolic writer, and a good writer/Author, he wouldn’t, as many good authors, teach us how to read him, he simply wrote and we simply read and still reading. “Layla” if taken as “Palestine”, would make complete since, the case of all Arabs and Palestinians, murdering their own land by “Accident” or “Ignorance” or “Personal Interests”, pointing fingers on the most logical “Person” or “Party”, who is “Saleh” in the story, and the “Arabs” in real, being in the right place and time under the perfect circumstances.

“Saleh’s” silence in the story, is one thing that doesn’t really make sense to the reader; why would anyone not defend themselves in court, in front of a death sentence? To me at least, Ghassan did want us to see how “Saleh”, as “Arabs”, knew there was nothing much he could do to change his destiny, as everything around him was totally against him, and much stronger than him. Which can also be related to what “Arabs” had to go through back then, although at that time, they did try to change things, either with their resistance, silence, their blood being shed, sacrifices or else how.

But there is also the mutual feeling “Saleh” and “Arabs” have/had, which is hope. “Saleh” had hopes for something magical, some miracle maybe, to happen to get him out of the curse he was under, to be taken to another world, where he isn’t standing in a court accused for a murder of a woman he barely knew, but desired to feed his ego as a man, he wished for his past peaceful life back, but he didn’t fight for it, he was sentenced to death and all he did was writing a letter to his wife, which can be the new life and the next generations of the Palestinians and all the Arabs, asking her to believe that he didn’t kill “Layla”, and that he loved her, his wife, genuinely.

There is one more mutual feeling between “Saleh” and “Arabs” in the story, which is “Shame”; shame of allowing something stupid like that to happen, by not assuming he was walking towards a trap set by life and circumstance. He didn’t defend himself, because he was ashamed to admit out loud that he was having an affair with a married woman, who’s his wife’s friend. He was ashamed of being seen as a filthy lawyer, and an unfaithful man to his own family, he was also afraid to ruin the reputation of “Layla” too, and that’s what “Palestinians” did later on when they flee and immigrated and left their lands behind them, they felt ashamed not knowing how to justify their act and behavior.

In the story “Saleh” admits in his letter that he, at some point, wished “Layla” dead, because this is the only way he could keep her love in his heart, without problems, besides the love he had to his wife. And this is also what happened to “Palestinians”, who lost their lands; they deep inside them will always love what they were forced to lose.

He at the end shared his will with his wife, to use the letter for future reference for herself and others around her to start a new life, to turn a new page and keep going, not to give herself a chance to look back, reminding her that time is a healer. He even shared his fears with her, he hoped with terror that he can keep his silence in front of the hanging rope and face death quietly, and this is every “Palestinian’s”, inside “Palestine”, attitude, the full surrender to death for the sake of the sacrifice.

This whole thing might show something here, maybe the disappointment Ghassan Kanafani might have had felt back then at some point while writing his episodes for the magazine, the tiny bit of political surrender he might have had had in his heart at a certain stage of his life, of the sadness towards his love to his country.

Ghassan didn’t point out his attachment to the land directly in this book, nor showed it to us in fictional understood rhythms,and that to me , certainly, makes it a very successful piece of art. Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe the critiques were right, thinking Ghassan did write something different that had nothing to do with the case of Palestinians, all Arabs and Muslims. But literature is an art, and you go figure 🙂

Katia

Body Under Maintenance, Week Twelve, Assessment!

At the beginning of week twelve I have decided to go for for assessment, measurements and weighing, and I knew, without having to do that, that I would be frustrated regarding my body fat percentage and weight, since I have been eating too much, way more than I should have, and especially at night.

I know this song is not elegant, but I like to work out while hearing it! Enjoy!

What does my assessment say?

Body Composition:

  • Weight: 53.3 kg
  • Muscle Mass: 22.1 kg
  • Body Fat Mass: 21.9 kg
  • TBW “Total Body Water”: 29.7 kg
  • FFM “FAT FREE MASS”: 40.4 kg

Obesity Diagnosis:

  • BMI “Body Mass Index”: 21.9
  • PBF “Percent Body Fat”: 24.1
  • WHR “Waist-Hip Ratio”: 0.86
  • BMR “Basal Metabolic Rate”: 1243

My Training, Week Twelve

DAY ONE “BACK”

  • Lat Pull Down
  • T-Bar Row
  • Cable Cross Fly ‘Kinesis Machine”
  • Dead Row “Bar”
  • Lay Pull Over “Dumbbells”
  • Dead Lifts “Bar”

DAY TWO “SHOULDERS & BICEPS”

Shoulders:

  • Shoulder Press “Hammer Machine”
  • Rare Deltoid “Cable”
  • Two Arms Fly “Dumbbells”
  • One Arm T Bar Shoulder Press
  • Up Right Row “Cable”

Biceps:

  • Biceps Curl “Cable”
  • Incline Bicep Curl “Dumbbells”
  • Larry Scott D “Dumbbells”

DAY THREE “CHEST & TRICEPS”

Chest:

  • Incline Bench Press
  • Hammer Chest Press
  • Bench Press “Hydraulic Bar”
  • Chest Cable Cross
  • Decline Bench Press

Triceps:

  • Push Down “Cable”
  • One Arm Reverse Triceps “Cable”
  • One Arm Laying Over Head Extension

RESULTS:

  • My assessment says I should gain zero kg muscle mass, but I should lose 0.8 kg of Fat
  • Regular Protein Intake “Still On Going”

I would love to hear from you if you have any suggestion or recommendations on my assessment!

Who I am & why I’m Here!

Me & Horse

I’m Katia Abu Toboul, a freelance group exercise instructor, a previous pianist and a hiker, a Couchsurfer, a piano teacher, a daughter, a sister, a friend and an aunt already!

I speak Arabic, English, Russian and some German. I’m half Palestinian, from my father’s side, and half Russian from my mother’s. I reside in Amman, Jordan, Middle East. And so far my country is in peace.

I have started blogging during October 2013, because I like writing and reading, and I hope one day to publish novels on Amazon and maybe one day have my works published in hard copies.

I write about different topics on my blog. My main focus is fitness in general, since it’s my daily life. I enjoy writing reviews and criticism over fitness programs and experiences, also over supplements and diets. You can find my daily workouts published as well under “Body Under Maintenance”. I started this subject nearly a month ago, and the reason behind it, is not to show off, as many people think, but rather to experiment a whole new life at the gym, to reach my appearance and strength goals, plus inspiring people to go on and do their workouts. I’m looking forwards to see more and more people working out, whether they do it indoors, like we do in my country, or outdoors like it’s possible in other countries.

I get to experience lots of good and bad things, in fitness we are exposed to good changes, like shape and tone and feel stronger, and to negative ones, like injuries, regardless of the size of injuries. And I think sharing all that with people around the globe will help people focus on keeping themselves safe and cool.

I’m a Les Mills internationally certified instructor, and I hope to excel in my career. There are so many things we can do as Les Mills instructors, like being National Master Trainers, Assessors, and more. At the moment I’m working on my strength, fitness level and athletic appearance.

I thought for a while I’m not very good at fantasy and so I decided to write a whole series of fantasy which I called “The Kingdom Of All Kingdoms”, that you can find under Sarcastic Fantasy, which goes on in a realistic ironic manner. In general I’m a sarcastic person, and although many people hate this about me I couldn’t change myself, I’m an ironic blunt critic, but year after year, as I’m getting maturer, I hope, I’m turning softer and gentler.

2014 was all in all bad for me, I still didn’t decide if I want to share why it was bad on my blog, maybe one day I can, and that led me to write “The Kingdom Of All Kingdoms”, reflecting my negativity and my views of how unfair the world is in a fictional way. Bad incidents and experiences with life and people inspire me to write and continue my episodes in there. I have already published 16 different episodes.

I like to travel a lot, and I try to travel every time I could. My job is exhausting and for that I often seek quiet relaxing places for vacations. I enjoy spending time taking pictures during vacations, and a few years ago I bought a “Sony a230”, which I was happy with for a while but not anymore. Anyway, traveling is a blessing, for those who can afford it. I have been to different countries in Europe, Arab World and once to Africa. And I’m looking forwards to explore more of this planet we live on. Sharing pictures on vacations is such a beautiful thing! I hope for people to pay more attention on taking real good pictures and sharing them, for others to see what they can’t see in real with their own eyes! You never know what you could waken in a person or how you can inspire them to change their lives. You can see some pictures in my gallery.

I have published some poems and prose, although I’m not a big fan of poems, how contradictory I know.

I hope I can reach a point of continuous focus and literary maturity to write proper reviews about fiction books, as I enjoy reading them so much.

I love pets and animals, I so wish to have a German Shepherd and a real Arabian horse. For now I can only afford to have cats and their kittens 🙂

I believe life is not easy, it’s not equally fair, some of us are luckier than others, and some are happier than others. I wasn’t all that sensitive towards other people, but last year changed me a lot, and revived some sympathy and empathy that was probably dead in me. I know it seems to all of us that we are all selfish and cold, but I do believe that we can change that impression and fear that we all have towards one another. People need to get rid of their egos, and look equally to other people. I would like to believe that the human race can be more decent, peaceful, and more human. I so want to see change in people’s treatment towards each other, in the streets, in offices and shopping malls. If you can be nice to people around you, even to strangers, you may spread some good impact, so why don’t we all try to drop the rage and to stop reflecting our stress on each other. There is so much violence in the world, we don’t need to add more. I’m not perfect, but I try to help the elders, to make random kids smile, to make teens my friends and listen to their problems and guide them into their lives, as often as I get the chance. Because as much as I teach people something, I learn from them.

That’s all about me and my blog for now, I hope to read more of yours soon!