Now that it’s Monday after Thanksgiving break, I’m continuing to appreciate how wonderful and relaxing the break was. A very much needed break indeed. Despite the fact that it started out rough, with my computer crashing and losing half of what I had written for a paper that was due by Midnight on Wednesday, I ended up staying up to rewrite it until 3AM. It was not pleasant, but, with a few tears, a TV show and a major support from my friend, I pulled it together and the paper was written.

Having never been to a parade before, going to the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, was definitely a strong motive to wake up bright and early to hop on a train. The parade was definitely worth it all. We humans often take things we have for granted. Here at Bryn Mawr, are so fortunate to be living close to a such a great city. Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in the US, the history this city holds is very rich, it is worth exploring and learning. The Thanksgiving Day parade here in Philly is the oldest in the country, a fact that is overshadowed by the glorifying New York’s Macy’s parade.

Last Spring, I was lucky enough to have my host family from Kansas (you’ll hear more about them in posts to come) come visit and we spent the break in Philadelphia, learning a lot about its importance historically and enjoying its beautiful cites. One of my favorite stories of Philly is about the beautiful building of City Hall which has the statue of its founder, William Penn.

City Hall
And so the story goes : William Penn statue used to be the highest point of the city, as if he was watching over his city. After building the One Liberty Place which was the first building higher than City Hall, Philadelphia’s major league sports teams started losing their games, and stories say that a curse of Billy Penn -that’s how Philadelphians called the statue- was started. To break the cures, in 2007 another statue of William Penn was built atop the highest building of Philly currently the Comcast Center, and the sports regained their wins since.

That story never gets old in my opinion, and whenever I go to the city with someone, I always tell them the story. The building is rather breathtaking, if you haven’t yet checked it out, it is worth the trip.

The parade was fun, glorious and full of happy families, kids, friends and pets. The sun was high and the cool breeze brought on funny hats on top of many heads, adding to the beauty of the day. A day filled with happiness, fullness of food, gratitude, great friendships and thankfulness was well deserved and will always be remembered and cherished.

Turkey hats!

Turkey hats all the way from NH. To complete the holiday spirit!

Until we meet again,

~Muna 🙂

Beautiful surprises.

It is crazy how busy people can be, and how we pass so many people everyday, without the thought of what the person is going through, what is on their minds, what have they done and what gift they’re bringing to life. People watching is one of the things I like to do-in a non creepily way, I promise- to just sit in a coffee shop and watch the many people that walk in, friends going for a break from school, a mother bringing her daughter and her friends for something sweet to drink, a couple enjoying an afternoon with one another, a tutoring session going on or a date; two people just meeting to get to know one another, with the hope of finding “something” special, something that shines. It is fascinating to me how much we get involved into our own lives, we forget to take a second to make a change, to look around, to get to know someone new, to help someone or learn something from a stranger.

My friends always make fun of how I often start up a conversation with the cashier at a store, a kid in a play ground or another passenger that sits next to me on a bus, train or a plane. To me, that’s something I absolutely love, I see it as a new adventure, a story I bring to the “party”. It’s such a refreshing thing to do, a true feeling of joy is brought to me when I meet someone new. And today was one of those happy days. I was going to Swarthmore to do my research for a paper that should’ve been started two weeks ago, but let’s not go there. On my way there, I was tired, just had lunch and decided that since we are so spoiled with this great technology we have, I could watch my show on my iPad (another luxury, I am thankful for) while on the van. Of course I was praying that my motion sickness doesn’t get the best of me, but who do I kid, it happened. The sickening feeling of drowsiness followed by shortened breath and then it happened -leaving that part out for your sake- it wasn’t fun. Moving on (this is when my friends usually pretend to fall asleep, because my stories are always “so long”) I get to the library, start my daunting research of counting graduates of the college – something to mention at another post, maybe- for three hours. Blurred vision from the intense focusing alarms me to the time that I need to go catch my van…which I for some reason think I missed, although I was 10 minutes early, but my worried thoughts took over…

As I was walking around, another girl approached me saying, oh you’re waiting for the van to bryn mawr? and I nod, and start the conversation. A totally new person, I have never met, she sounded french, but mildly so. I didn’t bother to ask, thinking it will probably come up, and we just kept talking about our majors, and classes, the kind of talk you would have with another fellow student, it turned out she goes to Haverford, and I was right, she is French. Both were tired, our accents were at their extremes, and our brains often went blank on english words, to go back to French then the nodding, it is quite funny now that I look back at it. Our conversations kept on going, enjoyable, from classes, to the Tri-co, to traveling the world, to food, to the inevitable culture of BMC and HC, our conversation was so enjoyable. Then we decided to go to dinner, I asked if she cared to join me and our feet lead us to the joy of Erdman (usually HC people prefer Haffner, but she welcomed the new place), we ran into mutual friends that were all surprised as how we knew each other to then be totally taken aback by the fact that we literally just met.

I chose to talk about this because it really left me whole-heartedly happy. It made my day to have made a new friend, met someone knew who I learned much from, and kept company for a little while. Promising to stay in touch, we parted ways at the blue bus stop, and that was the way the evening ended.

So, don’t understimate the beauty of us, of people. We are all meant to meet and share this beautiful life, to give and take, to learn and grow. So, my word for today, is, go out there and make a new friend, everyday. You never know what will come out of it. Always something good.

Until we meet again,


Thoughts on Sandy…

I am unsure how to start this post. Mixed feelings have taken over during the past couple of days, starting with denial, mixed with a want to ignore the news, but a need to keep a responsible mind to stay on the safe track, go on with my daily activities, yet take caution as the weather continued to get worse. People were going to stores, buying nonperishable food, batteries, water, and what they can lay their hands on. Aisles of stores getting emptied, and the atmosphere of crazies is exponentially increasing. It felt as if I was in a new world, or…a rather normal one, as I remembered the unfortunate days of curfews at home, when the news announces an israeli invasion to take place the next day; streets filled with cars, people freaking out, schools canceled… a scenario I am familiar with, but then again, this was nature, another unexpected opponent we’re dealing with, it’s something relatively new to me, growing up in a Mediterranean calm and nice weather…I managed to stay calm and do as common sense said.

Senior row trees fighting Sandy to stay tall.

It felt as if the weather was so mad, so angry, the wind picking up making noises I couldn’t ignore completely despite the sound of music playing. Passing time inside, trying to do work and fighting the sleepiness and the urge to nap, to then give up three times, and wake up to look outside, gloomy as ever, trees moving sideways so violently I kept praying in my head to keep those pretty senior row trees standing up tall, the view I have been waking up to for two years now.


Packing food for the storm. (Luciana Fortes '13 on the right)

Going to the dining hall, people were packing food, getting ready, because everything will be closed in the next few hours until the storm passes, everyone will be inside, awaiting for it to happen, the infamous “landfall” of Sandy was the absolute hot topic on everyone’s mind. I started to get overwhelmed, and confused, what is going to happen? In absolute denial and refusing to pack any food, until forced by my friend.. I guess I just didn’t know what to expect, but I went with the flow, packed food-a lot of food- made fun of the situation with laughs with friends…that’s how we get by through life anyway, isn’t it? Or is that just me?

Time went by, sleeping, reading, talking, trying to do homework all while trying to be “present” on the hall, since I am a Hall Adviser, not to mention the feeling of responsibility of my residence. Then the moment happened, and of course it was night, and already dark out. The darkness took over, people descended out to the halls and the “party” began. Although it was no party for me, the overwhelming feeling of the many people out there took over me. I couldn’t help but feel worried for so many people, the homeless, the poor, the people in NY, NJ, on the waters, praying that Sandy will be kind to them. Texts from parents expressing their worried feelings and sending prayers and positive vibes towards us were rather comforting. Yet, the overwhelming feeling, the endless thoughts of those out there were so loud in the silent darkness. Although a couple of fires started near campus, everything was going okay, I was sure that Public Safety are doing their absolute best to keep us safe..Overwhelming feelings were also mixed with how lucky and fortunate are we to be at such a great place, where community really is at its best.


Tree that took down our power. (Photo credit: Lee McClenon '14)

One of the popular trees on campus, taken down by Sandy. Next to Pembroke East (Photo Credit: Lee McClenon '14)

Words are failing me to express my gratitude, my thankfulness and my greatfulness for such a wonderful community we live in. Waking up on Tuesday to see a text informing us that Erdman will be open to serve brunch AND dinner, being open for 7 hours continuosly to provide the students with food! What an unexpected, wonderful surprise…Then, walking to Erdman, watching the sad nature outside, to then walk into the dinning hall and

Students lined up for lunch

see almost all of students there, the huge line for food, the loud talks and the relief, worries yet somewhat hope were in the air. Realizing that without the efforts of so many people who put themselves out there, left their homes, perhaps slept on campus, students who came in despite the cold weather, to work and help provide such a great service, without them, we wouldn’t have been able to eat, to get up on our feet and start our day with hope. I was in awe and still am for the beauty that is the bryn mawr community, that is the honor code, the beauty of human beings. Eating with gratitude, to go back to the dorm to find housekeeping going through the dorms, checking on needs students might have, left me with another speechless face, unable to express the warmth that was surrounding us all.

Super generator for Erdman to feed us all. (Photo credit: Lee McClenon '14)

It is in these moment when one must realize that the small things that make us upset, the small things that show us the “cup half empty” are the moments to be over looked, to see that life is so much more than a lost bag, or a bad grade on an exam, or a comment someone said that upset us, or having a bad day. Life is more precious than dwelling on what lets us down, and life can be so harsh, yet if we try to look at the “bright side” we can see that there are bigger things in life, that life is unpredicted, and we need to be prepared, to be there for one another, and keep up the good faith.

Thank you to Public Safety, Facilities, Dining Services and Houskeeping, thank you for being there for us, for keeping us safe, warm and fed as much as you could. We could never thank you enough for all you do for us, every single day. And, don’t forget those who are still suffering from Sandy, keep them in your thoughts and prayers, every little thought counts.

Until we meet again, Peace!

I Want to be Rich

I want to be rich. That’s what I decided that I want to do. I want to be rich so I can help those out there in the world, help those unable to speak,  speak up and be heard, be listened to, and be seen. I want to help empower, help reach out, help educate, I want to be there for support. I want to show those who think they’re better than someone else because of their gender, age, sexuality, religion, color, ethinicty, nationality and appearance, that they are not. To help everyone see the world differently, I want to be able to wake up someday and know that there is no one out there crying of pain, of loss, of fear, of greif, because someone else made them feel less.

Strong feelings engulfed me as I watched the documentary of Half the Sky, feelings of anger, sadness, greif, shock, and helplessness. These feelings were boiling, making me want to act, want to make a difference, want to change this world, want to talk to everyone about how unjust this world can be. I have seen injustice, and I have lived it – for reasons that I will leave for later conversations- but I know how it feels to be mistreated because of who you are, what you look like, what you believe in or where you come from, and it is a feeling I wish no one has to feel. Watching someone easily take away your humanity from you, in front of your eyes and you’re left to nothing but maybe screams, fighting back but alas with no results, no one there to help you or hear you out.

I want to wake up everday to teach the world to become one, to be able to thrive as citizens of our one home, Earth. I wish that no one has to go through the awfulness of fear of dying when they don’t do what they’re forced to. The beauty of the women in the documentary were only a few of many out there in so many places in the world who’s voices aren’t heard, their screams are silent, their cries seem soundless. It is ugly, it is painful and it is awful how unjust and unfair this world is… yet the fact that there are people willing to help, willing to give and reach out is what makes this world beautiful.

I believe in the beauty of this world, and I believe in the value of education and the power of hope, love, faith and will. I dream of a better world and a more beautiful place, and I will do my absolute best everyday to be the change I want to see in the world, to speak up, to extend a hand of help, so that one day this world will be free of injustice, and so should you, and you and you, because together we can make a difference, because women are half of the sky, and the other half is men, together we make the world one, we make up the beauty of the sky, of this one wold, not more not less.

Just keep swimming…

It is funny how life is. It is all about give and take. You get one thing and lose another, it is a circle, a beautiful meaningful circle, or so I like to believe. Today was a gloomey, rainy, humid, yucky day. I had a rough start of the day which got better with Erdman’s parfait’s special bar for lunch.


Delicious parfait: Vanilla yogurt, granola, mangoes, pineapples, peaches, berries of all types, with coconut and chocolate chips.


Then the exhaustion of not getting enough sleep took over, that sensation where you really want to focus and get some work done, but you are incapable, with the foggy cloud in your head, mirroring the weather outside, so I gave up and took a short nap. Although I am not a big fan of naps, yet they are needed sometimes, and today’s was indeed needed.

The circle of life keeps going on and I head to my lab meeting, burdened with the amount of work I know I need to get done, to recieve an email saying an application I worked on so hard, and have wanted to get so much was unfortunately declined and so now I have to let go of that dream and opportunity, for now. Then I decide to get up and ignore it, keep walking to the meeting, to then get started for real on the research which I am now totally looking forward to, -see it’s all about one door closes so another ten open- It’s hard to believe in those “philosophical optimistic sayings” when things are rough, and it was hard to hold on to them today, but I managed and it was rewarding.  Then I had a nice dinner with a friend which helped lift me up and laughters about silly things like always, cheered me on. Then, oh then, I walk out, put my hoodie on, it was foggy and gloomy, but I lifted my head up to find such a pleasent surprise, fog and colorful trees, couldn’t help but smile and realize that things will be fine, and life will go on.

So, when you have a bad day, things don’t go the way you wanted them to, just remember that it’s just the circle of life, and everything happens for a reason, and like Dora would tell you : just keep swimming.

Hakuna Matata-ing

One of the things that I try to do is try everything new- check things of off life’s long list of things wonderful to try out. Yesterday I crossed off on of those I went and had my absolute first dance class- and it was HipHop, ooh yeaah. It was such an amazing, tiring, uncomfortable at some moments, yet wonderful and freeing at others experience. Although I absolutely LOVE dancing, and I always go all out when it comes to dance, I never claimed that I “knew” how to dance, yet I believed that everyone “could” dance if they wanted to. Dance to me is like setting yourself free, having no fear, no insecurities, no worries -yes, Hakuna Matata– which is in Swahili 😉 – no doubts, and having every joy in the world. Dance is such a wonderful gift sent to us, one that is easily taken for granted. So, appreciate dance, embrace it, support a dancer you know and don’t forget to keep on dancing for joy, happiness and for the world!


Karaok(mawr) is on my mind

Karaoke night is TONIGHT! and I cannot contain my excitement. I am a music lover, I love to dance to all sorts of music and I love to listen to music, and aside from listening to music I also like to sing along…if you happen to hear me you will know the danger of this fact, as I have everything far way from singing abilities, but alas I have no shame, not at all. So, tonight at the HA Karaoke night, I am going to sing along to all these songs and will have the time of my life watching other people do it too. As a Hall Adviser, aside from the fun stuff we do everyweek in area group, we have HA fun nights and tonight is the first one this semester. All the awesome HAs along with the amazingly wonderful Res LIfe people will be there and we will all sing and  have a great time. (I will take pictures and mayybeeee a video and will share with you guys) I just am very excited and I wanted to share that with y’all!

Senior year has been rather exciting, great, fun and busy, yes very very busy, more than I imagined it would be. I have been following my goal of living it up so far. I am a morning person and I have been waking up on Wednesdays at 7am to go to the oh so amazing cycling class with Courtney! She’s a Bryn Mawr grad, Green Lantern(! yay sister class) and she is beyond wonderful. One of the things I look forward to after I go out of this great bryn mawr bubble is to run into fellew mawrters. It has happened to me a couple of times before where I was once taking a bolt bus from Boston to NYC and I met a Bryn Mawr alumna, and oh how you immidiately can just “click” and bond over this beautiful place that is Bryn Mawr. It is something I know will happen and especially with the great social media we have now, networking and meeting people is ever so easy, and rewarding too.

And, to add to the cheesiness of me here’s a practice karaoke song for you- I believe I can fly and the Karaoke version



Enjoy flying,


Blurred but exciting.

I decided to highlight how content I have been despite the unbelievable amount of work I have to do..yes already, with the second week of classes. The first few weeks of school are always hectic, busy, stressful to some, and deniable to others, but to me, they have been rather exciting, with a few downs of course. I am a big believer of the saying “without the bad days, you can’t appreciate the great ones”. Although I have been having long days, early starts and late ends, I have been very blessed to coninuously see the bright side of things. I am very fortunate to be going to such a great, very supportive school. The people around make a great difference, and I always keep in mind to keep a smile on my face, to keep my spirit high and to be open to change. I am realizing that I am starting to mumble so here’s the gist of what I am talking about;

Beautiful weather, wonderful people, supportive professors, a lot of work, precious traditions and lovely community.

I went to the CDO (Career Development Office) today, and although I didn’t meet with the person I always meet with-when I was told, I wasn’t too happy about it- I absolutely loved how the meeting went! She was able to help me with my questions about grad schools, work experience, and applications. She had an image of how my future might look like, and it was exactly how I am dreaming of. The simple thing of having someone understand you and what you dream to do in less than an hour was such an amazing feeling! My future to me is blurred, has some obstacles, yet its blurred situation isn’t scary or concerning, but rather exciting! This made me reinforce my belieg in things working out in their own magical way.

With this positive thought, I will leave you, although I have so much more to share, but that will have to be done this weekend.

Until then, peace! and happy Fall Frolic!

Here’s to a new beginning!

Tomorrow is the first day of classes. Anxious, excited, worried, overwhelemed with all these feelings, here I am sitting and writinng about it, because I learned that writing about it makes it all better; it helps me put it in a visual form infront of me, making it all doable, making everything alright.

So many things have happened in this crazy week I have been here. My first steps to campus were engulfed with the feeling of “ah, just another day here, as if I have never left”. A feeling rather comforting yet triggering of the realization that this is the last time I can feel as if I have never left before. Familiar faces were always a comfort, a warmth surrounding the atmosphere arround us.

As the training of the DLT “Dorm Leadership Team” alongside with the more intensive training of HA “Hall Advisors” took place, there wasn’t anytime I was able to fully sit down and just think. To realize that the summer days are over, that school is here and not just any year, my Senior Year, and then the feelings roller coaster starts…

One of my absolute favorite things about Bryn Mawr is the community here, and the people you meet. Being a Junior last year, it was hard at time when you missed so many people who were JYA, but more importantly when one of these people is your absolute best friend, and the person you have spent most of your time at Bryn Mawr with, since day one. This brings me to the absolute best feeling I had so far; Reuniting with these loved ones. Luci is someone you’ll hear a lot about in this blog, you’ll just have to wait to read about the awesome times and adventures we have together.

On a closing note, today was the Senior class assembly and realizing how fortunate we are to be at such a wonderful place is overwhelming. Meeting with a few of the representatives of the huge support network we have here was invaluable, and the one hour the class spent together in the beautiful auditorium brought a great feeling of togetherness, of completeness of this beautiful Red Class, 2013. Here is to the best year we will have!