Change Is In The Air (History Is Being Made)

The 26th of September, 2017 is a monumental day in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is monumental because it is the day where it was announced that, for the first time following the ban on women driving, women would be issued driver’s licenses in around 9 months. Meaning that, this time next year, I could be driving a car in my own country. By myself. Which is something that I’m finding difficult to process. Not because of its impossibility. I mean, I’ve driven a car before in one of my summers abroad, and I’ve seen countless of women driving cars before, too. (I’ll never forget the first time I saw my mother drive. It was 10 years ago. I was 13 at the time. We were in Oregon, driving from city to city. Mama and her friends were taking turns driving during a road trip up the mountains. And I was scared, because I’d never experienced my mother’s driving before and was terrified it would be bad and that she’d drive us off the edge of a cliff, but then it was exciting because my mother was driving, and it was good, and safe, and normal.)  But… still, there are no words to convey to you the significance of this day (for those of you who do not understand). And the feelings, and thoughts I’m experiencing right now seem to be tangled up together like a bundle of hair, making it hard to make sense of any of it to even myself, let alone somebody else. But I’m going to attempt making sense of them–I’m going to attempt untangling that hair, so to speak–because it matters to me, and I’d like to look back at this one day and see what it is I currently have to say on the matter. Document my feelings, and thoughts towards this change.

So, let me begin by saying that as normal as it (women driving) seems, I’m actually surprised by how it isn’t? At least, to some extent. Like, when my mom, younger sister, and I (dad fell asleep before the news was announced) were talking (more like gushing) about the news, my sister (semi) jokingly said, “OMG, I want a car!” And that was such a foreign concept to me, not because women don’t own cars here, but because, soon, not only could I drive it, but I could also own it?????????? You have family’s here getting cars for their sons, and now…. it’s like, you can get some for your daughters too?????????? That is a very odd thought to me, because whenever I pictured- actually, no, I never even pictured owning a car. I mean, it was definitely something that was in my mind, because I pictured myself driving at some point in my future life (whether it was here, or abroad), but, now that it’s happening, it’s like, I can actually have a car of my own one day, and that day could be a lot more sooner than I thought it would be.

???????

And, also, the fact that it’s happening now, and not “one day”, just… I can’t seem to fully wrap my head around it. That it’s happening has sunk in, but it’s like I’ve gotten so used to thinking about it in the context of “one day” , my brain’s like “Wow, one day is now. It’s actually happening now. Finally.” It’s amazing, but also ordinary because, I mean, it’s just women driving. And I’m not saying that to belittle this step. (Besides, the size of a step never takes away from it’s significance, I believe. Every step towards a better future is relevant, and significant because it counts in making that future possible.) I’m saying that it’s bewildering to me how, despite the fact that I know that this was something that was a long time coming, I am stunned that it’s happening. And I’m not stunned because this news came out of nowhere (some people, I am told, were expecting to hear it), and neither because it is uncharacteristic of my country to do something like this (this country has been in the midst of change for some time now, so this was expected. Maybe not this soon, but it was something that was bound to happen.) I am stunned because… history is being made right now, and I can feel it. I knew that the moment I heard the news from my younger sister, everything I did after would be something I would be telling my kids about one day (should I ever have any, inshaAllah). And I could picture them being weirded out by the idea that women never drove at all at one point in this country, and how it would all be an unfamiliar concept to them, like how women not receiving a formal education is an unfamiliar concept to me. It’s stunning to feel history being made.

And, seeing people in my country, especially women, react and respond to this news just made this day even more special. It’s very heartwarming to see a lot of us united about this positive change. Men congratulating women, and women congratulating each other on this significant change happening in women’s rights in Saudi Arabia. All of us lightheartedly joking about this change’s outcomes. Girls asking each other what songs they’re first going to play in their cars once they start driving. Girls supporting each other. My sister and I weren’t really talking to each other before this news was announced (we had an argument a couple days ago), but she suddenly barged into my room with a smile and all, bearing this very good news, and the argument has taken a very far back seat (for now), because this news is far more significant than any argument we’d have.

This news makes me very happy, and it makes me more hopeful of the change headed our way. I always knew it was coming, and seeing it happen is incredible, and fulfilling. We have a lot more to work on as a country, of course–there’s always more room for progress–but I am happy with this step we’ve taken today.

Congratulations to all women in Saudi, this is just the beginning of what’s to come, inshaAllah. And may we face whatever lies ahead with conviction, and passion, and may we help forge the path for those after us by making a positive change.

 

 

 

 

 

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This song breaks my heart in the best way, and it starts with those opening notes.
This album is their best one yet.

Lyrics:

Ground control
What do the books say about this one?
Now I think we’ve lost it all
There’s nothing to explain the distances anymore

All systems are critical
Can’t find my way back to you
Feels like there’s nowhere to go
I’m just out here waiting for you to say
Don’t be afraid, no
If you start floating away

Hey, I promise, you will be fine
Got the universe on your side
When you’re out in space
Don’t you be afraid, no
If you start floating away

Hey, I promise, you will be fine
Got the universe on your side
When you’re out in space
Don’t you be afraid, no
If you start floating away

Checking in
300 days with no reply now
I think I’ve lost my mind
There’s nothing keeping me from going outside anymore

My systems are critical
Gotta find my way back to you
Feels like I’m drifting alone
I’m just out here wishing that you would say
Don’t be afraid, no
If you start floating away

Hey, I promise, you will be fine
Got the universe on your side
When you’re out in space
Don’t you be afraid, no
If you start floating away

Hey, I promise, you will be fine
Got the universe on your side
When you’re out in space
Don’t you be afraid, no
If you start floating away

We gotta make contact to make it out
We gotta make contact to make it
We gotta make contact to make it out
If you start floating away

Hey, I promise, you will be fine
Got the universe on your side
When you’re out in space
Don’t you be afraid, no
If you start floating away

Hey, I promise, you will be fine
Got the universe on your side
When you’re out in space
Don’t you be afraid, no
If you start floating away

Don’t you be afraid, no
If you start floating away

My Favorite Quotes/Conversations from “What We Do In The Shadows”

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  When watching a comedy for the first time, I usually prefer to do so in a group rather than by myself. This is because some comedies tend to be more funny when there’s somebody else to laugh with. Like the jokes can only be funny when you’re surrounded by a specific atmosphere. A “we’re here to have fun and laugh” kinda atmosphere. And I don’t mind that. There’s been plenty of comedies that I’ve first watched by myself, and found boring, and then I’d watch them with my family, or some friends and I’d find them hilarious. It happens. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does come off as if it’s lacking something. Something important, even. Because, had it not been for the comedic atmosphere provided by the group of people surrounding you, this movie would be a bit boring, and definitely not as funny.

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  This is not the case with ‘What We Do in the Shadows’. (Which, btw, is a mocumentary about 3 vampires “living in a flatting situation” in New Zealand, and the domestic problems they have to deal with throughout.) It is one of the most bizarre movies I have ever seen, and somehow that makes it truly, and beautifully, a work of art. A masterpiece. Because never have I enjoyed watching a comedy alone as much as I have with this one. I’ve watched this movie plenty of times by myself, and it only gets funnier and funnier every time I see it.  It’s so ridiculous that it works. The script, the execution, the general vibe of the movie, is, quite honestly, outstanding. Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement (the writers and directors of the film) have produced a true gem. So without further ado, here’s a list of my favorite quotes/conversations from “What We Do In The Shadows”:

“Every few years a secret society in New Zealand gathers for a special event: The Unholy Masquerade. In the months leading up to the ball, a documentary crew was granted full access to a small group of this society. Each crew member wore a crucifix and was granted protection by the subjects of the film.”

*********

(Vladislav, Viago, and Deacon are sitting in the kitchen having a “flat meeting”)

Vladislav: Is Petyr coming? Should we wait?

Viago: Petyr is 8000 years old. We’re not going to have Petyr at the meeting. Okay, so… I wanted to have a quick chat about flat responsibilities because… uh… guys, I think we’re not all pulling our weight here. We’re not just pointing the finger at you, Deacon. You’re a cool guy but you’re not pulling your weight in the flat.

Deacon: [whilst knitting] Well, I’m glad to hear that I’m cool.

Vladislav: No, that’s not the point though-

Deacon: Yeah, no, I know.

Viago: It’s not a flat meeting about how cool you are.

Deacon: I do my flat chores.

Vladislav: No, you don’t!

Deacon: Yes, I do.

Viago: No, that’s why we’re having the flat meeting.

Vladislav: [angry] the point is, Deacon, that you have not done the dishes for 5 years.

Viago: Vladislav is right. It’s unacceptable to have so many bloody dishes all over the bench like that…

Vladislav: [even angrier] I’m so embarrassed when people come over.

Deacon: [Incredulous] Why does it matter?! You bring them over to kill them!

Vladislav: [convinced] … yeah.

Deacon: Vampires don’t do dishes.

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*********

“One day I was selling my wears, and I walked passed this old creepy castle. And I look at it and think, ‘very old and creepy’. And then this creature… flies at me! It dragged me back to this dark dungeon. And bit into my neck. And just at the point of death; this creature forced me to suck its foul blood. And then it opened it’s wings, like this. And hovered above me. Screeching. ‘Ahhh-haha! Now you are vampire.’ And it was Petyr. And we’re still friends today.” – Deacon

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*********

Viago: [voiceover] Vladislav is like this older vampire who grew up in the medieval times. And you know, to be living this long, and to have seen the things that he’s seen, and still, like, kind of have it together… I mean, hats off to him. He’s a really great guy. A bit of a pervert. He has some pretty old ideas about things.

Vladislav: [present time] We should get some slaves!

Deacon: Yes!

*********

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*********

Viago: I went into the lounge the other day and there was blood all over my nice antique couch.

Vladislav: Which one, the red one?

Viago: Well, it’s red now, yeah. If you’re going to eat a victim on my nice clean couch put down some newspapers on the floor! And some towels. It’s not hard to do.

Vladislav: We’re vampires! We don’t put down towels.

Viago: Some vampires do.

Vladislav: Well, not serious ones.

********

Deacon: [as he does the dishes] This is bullshit.

*********

“Vampires have had a pretty bad rep. We’re not these mopey old creatures who live in castles. And while some… most of us are- a lot are… but… there are also those of us who like to flat together in really small countries like New Zealand.” – Viago

********

“We are trying to attract victims to us. I go for a look which I call ‘Dead but Delicious’. We are the bait, but we’re also the trap.” – Vladislav

**********

Viago: Vladislav used to be extremely powerful. He could hypnotize crowds of people.

Deacon: Great orgies. Twenty- thirty women!

Viago: He could turn into all sorts of animals. But now he never gets the faces right.

Deacon: He would kill anybody. Men, women. Children. Burning… everything. It was totally great.

Viago: But, he suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of his arch nemesis… The Beast. And, he’s never been the same.

********

“I think we drink virgin blood because… It sounds cool.” – Deacon

********

“Hi, my name is Nick. I’ve been a vampire for two months. Probably I reckon the best thing about being a vampire is flying. Like i’ve always wanted to- I think everyone’s always wanted to fly. And now I can do it.” -Nick

********

Deacon: The neighbors can see you flying around the house. You want to draw attention to the house, hmm?

Nick: You’ve got a whole documentary crew following you around.

Deacon: I’m doing an erotic dance for my friends. And you ruined it. I was in the zone. My friends were loving it.

Nick: I love it. I saw the end of it. It looked great.

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********

Deacon: [sniffing the air] I can smell werewolves.

Vladislav:  Okay, we’re just about to walk past some werewolves so some shit might go down.

Deacon: [as they pass the werewolves] Look out guys, don’t catch fleas.

Werewolf: What’s that mate?

Viago: Deacon.

Werewolf: Sorry, what?

Vladislav: [pulling Deacon] Keep going. Keep walking. Keep walking.

Werewolf: We heard that, mate. We’ve got sensitive hearing.

Vladislav: [turns to the werewolves] We don’t want any trouble.

Deacon: I do! Have I got your heckles up? Huh? Why don’t you go smell your own crotches?

Werewolf: What are you talking about? We don’t smell our own crotches, we smell each others crotches, and it’s a form of… greeting.

Werewolf (2): It’s ok, cause I know this guy. [pointing towards Viago] He’s count Fagula.

[werewolves laugh]

Pack leader: Hey, hey, hey! Don’t swear. We’re werewolves. What are we?

Pack: [unanimously] We’re werewolves, not swearwolves.

Vladislav: That’s a very offensive word to call people.

********

“I’m the main guy from ‘Twilight’. You know the main guy? Twilight? That’s me.” – Nick

********

Nick: Twilight!

Deacon: Shut up, Nick! You’re not Twilight.

Nick: What your problem?

Deacon: You’re my problem. Telling the world that we are vampires.

Nick: [Looking at the camera] And I’ll tell the whole world that you’re an asshole now.

Deacon: [As he pushes Nick] Shut up!

Nick: [As he pushes Deacon back] No, you shut up!

Deacon: No, you shut up!

Nick: I’m Dracula, man.

Deacon: You’re not Dracula. You don’t even know who Dracula is! You idiot!

[Nick turns into a bat]

[Deacon turns into a bat]

[They fight]

Vladislav: Oh, bat fight!

 

********

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********

Deacon: I call into session, this trial of Nick of Wellington.

Vladislav: Read the charges.

Viago: [from notebook] Problems we have with Nick. Number 1: You brought a human into our house. Which is a big no-no in the vampire world.

Vladislav: [Interrupting Viago] Stu’s- Stu’s ok though.

Viago: Yeah, Stu’s fine. So I guess we’ll just cross that one out. Uh… [Looks for a pen]

[Stu helpfully passes one to him]

Viago & Vladislav: Thank you, Stu.

Viago: So, the new number 1: Nick’s been telling people he’s a vampire. That in turn resulted in an unwanted visit from a vampire hunter. Crime number 2: This is quite a biggy, Nick. The vampire hunter who killed Petyr. That’s… I actually should’ve… that should’ve been crime number one but we wanted to build up to that. Number 3: Deacon doesn’t like that you wear the same jacket as him. And he would like you to find your own original style.

Vladislav: For these crimes of which we the vampire council find you guilty you shall be banished from our flat. Indefinitely.

Deacon: Indefinitely!

Nick: So I can come back?

Deacon: No, no, ‘indefinitely’ means that there is no end.

Viago: No, ‘indefinite’ means that it’s not a definite thing.

Deacon: Yeah, but it’s long.

Nick: It could be tomorrow, it could be six months.

Vladislav: No, it is not going to be tomorrow.

Deacon: You get at least six months.

Vladislav: You are banished. But, Stu, you can visit if you like.

Stu: Thank you.

********

“I hope you never see The Beast. The Beast.” – Vladislav

********

“‘The Beast’ is, uh,  the name I gave to my ex-girlfriend Pauline. She prefers ‘Pauline.'” -Vladislav

********

“Some people freak out a bit about the the age difference. Uh, they think, ‘What’s this 96 year old lady doing with a guy four times her age?’ And, you know, I don’t care, they could call me cradle snatcher. Who cares?” – Viago

 

Letters to August | 8

Dear August,

It’s been a chill summer. I think I watched at least 100 movies so far, which I’m quite proud of.
Dad took some time off of work. It’s been nice having all four of us home for most of the day, especially in summer. No one has to study, or work on assignments, or go to work, or stress about anything work-related. We’re just… around each other. Being. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there’s been some tension- we’re not immune to that. I think it’s sorta inevitable when you’re around family. But nonetheless, it’s been good, August. I’m making memories. And I’m enjoying myself whilst I’m at it, too. As much as I can manage.
There’s much more I want to say, August, but I’m not sure I know how to say it. In any case, I’m far too tired to find out. I’ll write soon, inshaAllah.

Love always,

Farah

Square One Is Never As Far Back As You May Think It Is (Alternatively… 17 Again)

I wish I knew how to ask for reassurance.
I wish my problem was definite.
I wish I knew why I feel the way that I do.
I wish I knew where these feelings first came from.
I wish I didn’t need your reassurance.
I wish you’d know to reassure me without me having to ask.
I wish reassurance was a thing that was given constantly.
I wish confidence didn’t fluctuate.
I wish you would care enough to push.
I wish to feel you care enough.
I wish to know.
I want somebody to have my back. Why do I feel
out of touch?
Why do I feel isolated? Why do I feel
left out?
I’m not ok. I’ve felt queasy for a while.
Nervous. Except not.
The same pain, & discomfort of nerves. But…
different.

I don’t feel you caring.

When will 17 pass?