Archive | March 2014

Jolly Rogers

Jolly Rogers

Well I’m a One Piece fan, and being inspired by the Jolly Rogers in the anime itself, I made a few for a few friends, and one for myself.

The idea in One Piece is that the flag bears your conviction, it represents what drives you. So I thought I would make my own to be represented by a guitar and T-square; art and architecture; freedom and planning; expression and responsibility.

The other ones were kinda what I would imagine them as, with what they’re into (hobbies or whatever). The one on the top left is not complete yet, the friend is really into chocolate but I don’t know how to add it there as something umm… characterized.

Well I kinda imagine that if they were an anime character they would be pretty related to the Jolly Rogers over here so… how am I going to throw a chocolate in there and make it feel characterized…?

Anyway. They were fun to do.

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Googly Brains

Well it’s obvious isn’t it? We all use Google for everything. Even me. Can you blame our “generation” for Google-ing almost everything we get curious about? I doubt it, nothing is born out of nothing. Hell, even this piece is inspired by an article that someone shared on the internet.

So anyway, in this article this lady was telling people to explore their lives, and how millennials (that’s what they call people of “Generation Y” apparently) need to keep their phone off the table when they’re with their friends and stop over-sharing everything. Actually she made a few points that I agree with, I mean seriously, if you’re having so much fun with your “bestie”, why are you posting it and sharing it rather than enjoying it?

It’s none of my business, and none of anyone else’s to judge either, so I’m just going to continue on to the point of the post. She mentioned an interesting idea in the article. The fact that we all Google everything that we’re curious about. Which is true, but then she recommended that it’s better to read a book about it, and do some “whole-hearted” (I’m paraphrasing here by the way) research.

Now here is where she lost my complete attention. I mean here we are, a completely detached generation, with a whole buck-load of globalization and media injected into us, by previous “better” generations. We are only adapting to what is around us. There you are, parading on your soapbox (like every other self-righteous “writer” out there [myself included when I state my opinion, really]) like it were a king’s mobile throne, as if you know all; as if you know what’s wrong with our generation, and why we are so lazy or “bad” or whatever.

Google is a fountain of knowledge, I do not see what the problem with Google-ing is at all. People would then have had problems when books came out and said “man it’s better to learn by trial and error, these books are way too easy, you don’t appreciate the work when you only read about it”. And it’s probably true, but is it the generation’s fault? No. Did all the parents try preventing people from using books and reading? Absolutely not, you would be dubbed ignorant. Now let’s see our generation. Do you let your kids play with tablets and phones? Do you make them play with books? Toys? Well whatever you make them deal with is exactly what they’ll adapt to [my logic thinks so at least]. We grew up playing on computers, and we can plug the monitors, “mice”, and keyboards into the back of a PC case with ease. We were put near these objects that we are know familiar and used to, you think it’s wrong? Then you should have kept us away from it. But the truth is, we “have to be familiar” with them, because they are what is coming up on a daily basis in our lives, and we don’t want to be considered ignorant.

The thing is, it may be right, and I’m pretty sure that in one of my “articles”, I was against the sultrifying of knowledge in such that it has actually lost its weight for many people since it’s so easily attainable (thus possibly lowering efficiency and confidence in what a person knows). But it’s a matter of agreeing and disagreeing until studies prove it. Is it ruining our memory? Probably, yes.

Feel free to go look for a study on Google about it, because I won’t research it, I’ll go buy a book about the effects of technology on people and spirit in the work place and not publish this until I finish it. Yeah… Would you really do that instead of Google-ing it? None of my business, but I sure won’t [and I won’t Google it either, heh…].

Even if the generation is “Google-brained”, it’s a part of the adaptation to the world around us. With companies and employers wanting more people like that, you can’t blame the generation for wanting that kind of person, because that means that (to an extent), these people are more up-to-date with all the new trends and happenings. Do you think an architecture office would want someone who does not know how to draft on architectural software? Of course not! They want people who get work done as fast and as efficiently as possible. Sure they give you nods of respect in juries for using your hands rather than a PC; but would they hire someone who didn’t know how to PC-draft? It’s probably far-fetched.

So before you start telling people not to do things, make the world not ask them to. Oh wait you can’t (not easily actually). Then try to at least take the reality of the current “life” into consideration. Because you can blame our older generation for putting us in the situation and you can blame us for not caring enough since it’s much easier to just Google stuff. But this is where our world is going, and that’s the way it is.

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Soon enough, there will be a post-cyber or a post-Google movement calling for new moderated use of technology or a better educational system that would force people to use their brain more intensely to force it to grow. There are already architectural movements being optimistic about technology and trying to mix it harmonically with the buildings, so that it wouldn’t be seen as a completely negative thing.

And you know what that is? That’s the creation of pulse. It’s life being created. You can be with or against the use of technology, even be against using your phone, throw it away, express your mind however you want, live in an Amish community, burn your house and go live in a tent (since using houses built for you, deny you from the ability to build your own house right?), you can eat micro-chips and install googly eyes instead of your real ones. In the end you just go with the flow by doing what you believe, even if you’re doubtful of where the future will take you, and both people with or against the situation create the magnetic field to propel us forward as humanity.

Okay I’m done.

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I guess,

Saed

This way to death by alcohol…REALLY???

Most touching yet intellectual post I’ve read in a while. Well-worth a read!

Culture Monk

this way death by alcohol

by Kenneth Justice

~ Yesterday at coffee a woman nearby me spilled sugar on the table which suddenly prompted the stranger sitting beside me to say, “Every time I see white powder on a table I can’t help but think of cocaine

Excuse me?” I said

The older man continued, “Oh sorry, that probably didn’t sound right. I’m a retired judge and I worked in drug court for the last thirty years of my career“.

Since I spent last year working at a drug rehabilitation clinic we cross-referenced a few names and it turns out we had some mutual acquaintances.

You’d think a drug court judge would be really tough on criminals wouldn’t you? But I’ll tell you something, when I was in my forties my younger sister got hooked on heroin and it changed my entire perspective on life. I knew…

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Working Class Hippie

This one has been lying around in the drafts for a while now, I hope you enjoy it!

I thought an actual working class hippie character would be pretty interesting (other than a contradicting cynical title), so I thought I would write down how I imagined this character would be. Yeah it’s born out of just a contradiction but I thought it could be pretty interesting to explore how such contradictions could exist.

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I stick it to the man by having a dream
I stick it to the man by being spontaneous
I stick it to the man by having a hobby to keep me from exploding at my boss at work
I stick it to the man by forcing my body to grow stronger than to be extended by medical engineering and further weakening my independence
I stick it to the man by having an actually good relationship that isn’t oppressed or forced
I stick it to the man by going to work and working passionately and being honest
I stick it to the man by being honest and not trying hard to be politically correct
I stick it to the man by not capitalizing the I at the beginning of israel
I stick it to the man by not being logical
I stick it to the man by being spiritual rather than religious
I stick it to the man by maintaining respect to my fellow human beings and supporting people who need it
I stick it to the man by talking to people
I stick it to the man by using a moral compass rather than a book of ethics
I stick it to the man by respecting boarders and freedom
I stick it to the man by not being greedy for money
I stick it to the man by creating my own clothes
I stick it to the man by growing my hair
I stick it to the man by controlling emotions and bending people to succumb to a culture that I believe is true
I stick it to the man by throwing ideas into peoples’ heads
I stick it to the man by creating a public space
I stick it to the man by being a product of our society and a living proof of its mistakes
I stick it to the man by being a hypocrite and yelling out “you did this” whenever I get judged for it

…..

Cheers!

Saed

International day of Happiness!

Yeah, so that exists (You’re welcome)!

If that in itself did not make your day a little bit better, then well… I can’t help (unless you really admire my writing and I just helped). Anyway, apparently you’re supposed to dedicate this day to try and make yourself happier! If you’re unhappy with your life, then this day is supposed to remind you of what happiness is for you; so you should go and make a goal for next year, preferably something that (you think) will make you happy.

So go on now, have a nice little existential crisis and think about your life and what makes it worth living for yourself. Weather it’s just the existence of a purpose, helping others, teaching, being with someone, being someone, being in a place, or whatever. Yeah just like a “happiness resolution” or whatever; you know?

Sure you can call it a gimmick or a potty or whatever, but truth is, these days are just there as a reminder for people who end up ignoring their “blessings”. So go on now, remember what happiness is and cry yourself to sleep, or smile for realizing how many things in your life actually make you happy. Well it’s pretty neat when you think about it really.

Me? I’ll just keep my goals to myself, and share my thoughts instead.

Have a happy life!

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Cheers!

Saed

Media Responsibility

I used to be pretty sure it was “truth and knowledge for all!”, but isn’t it anything but that right now? It’s really just a tool overall, and it just depends on who’s “using it”. Its glory of reporting wars and what happened is actually in question now, too. Since the idea of manipulating people via the media was there since World War I (probably even way before that).

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I mean it pretty much is “truth”, and then they just add brackets to everything they say and hide it. I imagine it as something like:
“Well but indeed! For freedom of speech, we report everything we find out (as long as it is interesting for people and thus ratings)!”
“Of course, we tell you nothing but the truth (as long as our [old man] doesn’t wanna hide it)!”
“Yeah this is how everything is going out there, it’s unbelievable (well literally… you can’t believe it, you can’t be dumb enough to do so, oh wait…)!”

Then again it’s a coin toss (in my opinion) about if they’re right or not, because even an honest news source could be fooled by false sources, and could even be mistaken for a dishonest one.

Now maybe it’s like this in certain areas, but the idea is the same. Nevertheless, when it happens, is it good that all this is being hidden? Do people really want to know what is going on? Do people really want to feel bad about themselves? Do we enjoy being reminded that people are still dying in the Palestine-Israel conflict?

So is it the media’s responsibility to show people what they wanna see, or rather what the government wants them to see? Should they give them what makes them feel good, or rather what is truly happening and hope for the people to make a change? Or is it just better to hand their minds to a third party who will speak for them and do what they think is right?
Is it the media’s responsibility to give them something more easy to deal with as the bad news, rather than the bad news of something incurable, or agencies keeping information away from them, or agencies spying on them?

I don’t know if you can say that there is in fact a “responsibility” that they respect anymore, since the media is just a tool now, it’s not as honorable as a (for example) a blog with principles, and well if a media outlet reports the entire truth they will be hated by one side for being biased for the other side. They don’t really have a reason to “think of the children!” if they are reporting nothing but the juicy truth, which is probably how they ended up being a tool in the first place; to be used by people with principles.

For example, celebrity scandals that concern a young teen idol doing drugs. The parents get all riled up and angry about how this “role model” is ruining the children. But isn’t it technically the media that showed that image? I mean they could have kept that celebrity’s image untainted, and let the kids like and copy them to “their” heart’s content. But they went and released a video of them doing something horrible, ruining that idol for more than just a while. Maybe it’s intended to help people “grow” out of their childhood and innocence, maybe it’s just to distract? Or maybe it’s the only thing they’re able to “freely” talk about without anyone telling them “oh umm… no you can’t say that, it exposes our bum”. Nope, it exposes other people’s dirty laundry, so it doesn’t threaten the stability of the system by say – oh I don’t know – introducing ideas that aren’t already prepared against (hooray freedom!).

But should the parents be angry at the “idol” for doing drugs? Or should they be angry at the media for covering the story like it actually mattered what this celebrity is doing? Maybe they should not be angry at all, and should just talk to their kids and raise them; I mean raise them instead of the kids having to look up to other people rather than spending time with their parents. and being unaware of how it is to be involved in something rather than watching it.

Hey, I’m probably just generalizing and running my mouth about nothing; but parents are better off raising their kids rather than their television doing it. At least it would create more refined personalities rather than typical ones.

“Shut up you damn hippie!” 

Well after all that I can imagine the media being portrayed as little tiny lemmings and a king lemming that’s 10 times their size collectively, sitting on his throne, too fat to check his own backside so he threatens the little ones to do it.

…..

I guess,

Saed

Doggy Paddle

This was actually improvised, hope you enjoy it and feel its rhythm to an extent. Sure it has a meaning, but it’s meant to be subjective.

 

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People speak of self control,
People speak of worthless “hoes”;

Rum, cattle, anecdotes;
Ships, battles, “yohoho”s.

…..

People speak of burning cattle
People speak of worthless thoughts;

All those heads you couldn’t rattle,
All those minds that fought.

…..

People speak of running out,
People talk of dying dreams;

All the minds, too stubborn they were,
All those who do speak.

…..

People speak of nothing matters
People speak of drought;

All those days “given away”,
Were fortunately days of thought.

…..

People speak of other matters,
People stink of death;

All my mind was pitter patter,
Of living dreams in a mess.

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People row with broken paddles,
People swim in vain;

Yet my mind in broken chatter,
Screams of hope in pain.

…..

All the people pitter patter,
All the people sway;

All I do is doggy paddle,
And keep the sharks at bay.

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I guess,

Saed

Centralizing Culture

It’s endearing to the extent of having a nice chuckle over the internet with a random friendly stranger during a friendly game of League. But use it as a part of a day-to-day conversation, overuse it, or make it like a personal thing, and I will “jokingly” throw things at you while pretending to be very entertainedby what you said.

What I am talking about is memes being spread around and used like a plague on social networks (and, for some humor-forsaken reason, reality). Don’t misjudge me yet, hear me out!

Disclaimer: I won’t throw anything at you, but I will be annoyed.

Oh and before you raise your pitchforks and start calling me a hipster or a witch or whatever:
Yes, I know not everything mainstream is bad, but that does not remove the fact that we do like to feel special to an extent. Yes, it may be due to the “Disney/Hollywood Hero” image that we all grew up seeing, but this isn’t a communism (mainstream) vs democracy (individuality) post; I’m not discussing politics.

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To start off, I admittedly (hypocritically maybe? Not exactly) do rarely go on 9gag every now and then just looking for a “laugh” (more like a fast exhale) when I absolutely don’t have anything to do for 10 minutes before I go sleep or something; Yes, I do use social media to connect with people (and toss the blog around every now and then), and yes I do share the occasional funny picture. But I do not like the direction these things combined are pulling us in.

It’s just the idea that this media globalization is tending to remove a lot of personal touches out of humor (among many other things). After the early 9gag hype died down, I realized that me and my friend used to have those little “personal jokes” referencing things in movies and games that we enjoyed together when we were in the 5th grade. And it was nice when it happened, we sort of ended up having our own language, and we would giggle along in class with nobody getting why we did. Technically we had our own little 9gag site between the two of us.

I do understand it being a lot more global than just our “own thing”, though. Sometimes when you watch something with another person (the comedy show “Friends” is a prime example of this) and then you both get the references to the funny moments in the show, I guess it happens naturally that people repeat what they find to be good. Then you laugh about it and use it in certain situations and it fits.

We used it in our own context, just like how some creative people “research” and find new ideas they could “use” by changing minor details and using them in their own way. That’s inspiration isn’t it? Hell, that’s creativity isn’t it? Just using the many different things you have seen in your field to create a new thing that speaks of your personality in a way or another.

However, a huge piece of the original intent/concept could get deeply lost in such adaptations and usage of different “things” and “ideas”. And that is where the huge, mass-product scale of things gets extremely annoying. Like pop music, like the common shirt that everyone wears, our humor is just another commodity, rather than a personal bond. Basically, it was fine and personal when we were doing it when we were kids, maybe now I realize it because it reminds me of simpler times (typical, eh?), but one thing is for sure, I can relate to and converse with a small group comfortably because it was not in the large scale of a global community (9gag); i.e I think it’s just a matter of proportion; the sense of “too much” and “too little”, even in social interactions.

Now that I think about it some more, I bet a huge amount of our globalizing generation had the same kind of experience while growing up (personal jokes and whatnot). Maybe that’s why there are so many people who connected with the idea of websites such as 9gag. We are making our own culture, just like the one we got used to while growing up. And there you have all the people commenting and trying to involve themselves more in this community, and it feels great to belong in a group and have yourself be accepted rather than rejected.

But I digress… I think that’s why some people are reacting to this phenomenon of centralizing culture by being rebellious, not against politics and decision-makers, like in the 70’s and 80’s, but rather against this loss of personality and true personalized local experience.

That’s why so many companies are riding the bandwagon of “personalization” and “customization”.
That’s why there are so many “hipsters”.

Maybe we are starting to seem more and more like sheep to ourselves lately due to the awareness of how alike we all are; due to the globalizing cultures. This probably happened before, and is just a pattern with different names for the groups mentioned.

Individuality vs Mainstream
Democracy vs Communism
Hand-made vs Mass-production
The Hippie vs The Working class

Anyway…

It’s pretty much like a processing machine of memes, and thus, culture. The ideas go in, the vote page decides what remains in our culture and what leaves, be it designs, stories, history, lovable figures, one-line wonders, etc. That’s pretty much the internet, too; the more people see something on the internet and like it and share it, the more acceptable it becomes in the global culture (the internet). So it’s all just a globalization thing, pretty much. It kind of gives me the feeling like even culture, jokes, ideas, idols are just tossed around like mass-produced, easy-to-come-by commodities.

Why interact with your friends and stress yourself out trying to gain social skills when you can have it all online!

…..

The point I’m trying to make is, that since our social circles are technically limitless, we do not feel as special anymore, and it’s like all the culture is slowly moving to being mass-produced.

Maybe this post is weeping in the memory of when it was just good friends who got the way you talk, understood your face’s silence, and just good friends who laughed at you making a joke about something you shared together; in contrast to everyone knowing exactly where your joke came from and what you are thinking, and them thinking they could join in. I mean sure it’s fun and games, but the moment it’s overdone, it’s taking over your own personal touch on things and your relationship with others; it isn’t local. It’s just not healthy if you ask me, everything has to be adapted and molded to fit into millions of micro-scale localisations and then fit into a bigger scale, and slowly grow out of that micro-managed environment to become a harmonic whole.

This is probably what would happen after things slow down, and not so many new ideas are suddenly being injected into societies. And then these ideas would disperse and balance around in the society, until every single member of society has come to terms with it. Kind of like evolution, being a set of trials and errors and survival of what works, the same would happen to us, as if we were the little tiny cells that create the huge living creature.

I do understand where it’s all coming from and I’m not bashing anyone for commenting “friendzoned LOL” on every single picture of a guy and a girl they see (but come on, at least be creative, people). But I like things nice, cozy, and thoughtful, rather than blown out of proportion and sickeningly overused via copying and blind imitation. Oh, and if you think it’s better the way things are going, to a centralized culture deprived of local/personal adaptation and character, where all humor is passed around like paperwork in an office, then since we’re all already on the way, I disrespectfully agree.

Truth is, it just won’t ever get that far.

…..

I guess,

Saed

Media and Politics

Typical essay material right there, am I right? Let’s get to it.

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Just a while ago (back when the Syria thing was the talk), was having a conversation with a friend about some politics; you know, the usual catching up on your politics through people you know are intelligent enough to think for themselves rather than gobbling up whatever the media tells them. And of course, as I do most of the time lately, the ending remark I have after hearing whatever news there are (even if I read them somewhere online) is: “Well, I guess we’ll never find out.”

But nope, everyone knows already! Out come a bunch of people who have no idea what to think, but each side tends to choose whatever works best for it (I don’t support any ideas):

“Pathetic right? Obviously Bashar has been a target of the US because his country was economically and independently stable!”

“Ohhh right… Bashar is clearly power-drunk and just wants to protect his current position! Oh humanity is disgusting!”

“Wait, I mean, oh of course the rebels are just deployed there by the Muslim Brotherhood who are trying to take over our world!”

“No… that’s not right… the “Zionists”(the people’s favorite and most successful villains) are conspiring to take down the Arab countries in order to take over the world!”

“Look at this poo-brain, dude everyone knows there’s nothing going on there at all!”

Seriously… If anyone watches the news, it’s only a matter of brainwash tactics and good coverage (aka. marketing) to make someone believe them. That’s if these people watch more than one channel for their daily does of news. Many just choose their channels based on chit-chat and word of mouth; relatives, friends, or co-workers. And there you go, a huge group of people with no idea about who to believe or who’s right and who’s wrong.

Then BAM there’s a huge amount of people, with the same amount of brains and the same culture, who only disagree about their ideal solution to the many problems in the world; because nobody knows exactly what the truth is so that they could even try and convince people. How could they, really? There can be no concrete proof in our time; no concrete story; no real coverage of what’s going on. Hell, even if it IS a real/honest coverage, nobody would know if it is. Almost everything can be faked, and the only way is to try and analyze what exactly people (or a specific person) would do in such a situation. A rock-paper-scissors game between peoples’ minds trying to know what the other is thinking in reaction to their thinking’s thinking.

Yyyyyyyeahhh…

I would love to be an idiot who goes out to protest without knowing if it’s for a valid reason. There’s so many people who protest, it’s not effective anymore. It’s like going to the gym when you’re pissed; you let it out and feel better about yourself afterwards. A protest would never be effective unless it’s well-organized and people know exactly what it’s all for. Oh and if you knew everyone there by name.

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I for one don’t take sides, but truth is, even if I had an opinion, I would not even state it, it’s a waste of time and energy to argue with someone when both of you have no idea what is truly going on.

“Oh but why? The truth must come out!”

Because, my brain-dwelling friend, even if you do have sources or whatever, even they can’t be trusted, because everything can be faked. With brilliant detail. Again, if they were right, nobody would just have a sudden realization and leave everything he/she was fighting for. Not to mention that governments know how people think and (based on something I read on the internet, go figure) could get people to disperse ideas on the internet and help make them more dominant. Even if they don’t, the fact that this idea is out there, could give people the ability to prove or disprove everything you read. Obviously you can believe or not believe it. I am completely indifferent, and that is after a long long time of tugging and pulling on ideas hoping to get logical reactions, but there is absolutely no true logic in a world of media and politics.

And then after indifference, I just ended up thinking that we should just breed empathy rather than politics and a set-track of thoughts and dramatic beauty to keep a thinker’s mind occupied. I think-… No, I believe people believe what they want to believe; sometimes you could even smack someone in the face with the truth (whatever the dickens that is) and they would tell you to stop insulting their intelligence. And in a world where ideas are passed around as carelessly as high fives, I don’t blame them; it could really ease your mind to ignore everything.

And there you have it, people arguing over dumb little things, instead of learning about different angles and tolerating. Although the future is bright, me-thinks. I believe it all just mixes up to make a balance, no? Does it matter? Well that’s a whole other piece of writing.

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Side-note: People overusing perfectly imperfect is annoying.

*mutters* Stupid media spreading things without their personal value but rather shoving it into a million of values… Oh hey there’s another idea for a post!

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Cheers,

Saed

Oh, yes, I studied architecture… Really…! Totes…!

EDIT: Dear reader, this one post is pretty much just a rant, an immature, one sided rant. Maybe I’ll add a post discussing both the pros and cons of early marriage and choosing opportunities, but this post started as a rant, and that’s what it is.
So I just added this disclaimer to this poorly thought-out piece.

 

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Seriously, am I the only one who sees someone married at 23 and thinks “oh wow, how can you get married if you don’t even know yourself?”

You can argue as much as you can, but I don’t think that anybody can say that people getting married at such an early age won’t regret anything. Seriously, you just graduated architecture, and last time I saw you (a few months ago), you were just discussing an idea a first-year student would consider basic knowledge as if it were a logic-breaking fact. It’s sad that you didn’t leave that spot of yours in university for someone else who was willing to build her/his future on by her/himself for her/himself, rather than for her/his parents.

Seriously, you just studied for 5 years just to make yourself more appealing for your dimwit of a “husband”. Oh and, by the way, people who actually wanted to be architects though I doubt it are actually studying something else because their parents and our “educational system” think they’re not fit to be architects.

You are pathetic, selfish, and weak (for not daring to speak your mind, just as your parents didn’t dare to say that they want you to be an architect for other people rather than yourself).

You give our dreaming and hard-working women a horrible name.

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I guess,

Saed