She stared at the rocks assembled beneath her soles, with her hands tucked in snugly inside her sweater; once in a while she kicked them away absent-mindedly. The cold breeze slapping against the petite figure of hers didn’t bother her, as she too was carried away with her yet again battle-of-consciences.

She did not sign up for this.

From being a wallflower that she was once, to the present her; no, she did not sign up for this.

But it didn’t mean that she regretted it.

Not the least.

She guessed life is really a work of art; people just evolved from one to another, from worst to better, from bad to good, from stingy to generous; even the total opposite could happen too.

Just like the white canvas that was splashed with different shades of colors, life is really a work of art.

She started with zero, really. She remembered how disastrous it was when she was assigned to work with the seniors from Mansoura, to held a program. She had not have the experience of being in a team, organizing events or programs, she did not know to whom should she turn to, in short, her book of surviving ‘that’ world was practically, blank.

So she figured, the book will not be handed or spoon-fed to her easily, really.

It’s her responsibility to write that book.

So that’s what she did; she started writing.



The beauty of being a wallflower, is that she was naïve and her ‘point-of-views-on-other-people’ was still virgin and yet to be tarnished.

Possibly when she was being that, the amount of interactions that she have had with others had come to negligible. Hence, she was not aware of the differences that each and everyone around her had carried that have defined them so when she was finally opening up and getting familiar to the idea of dealing and mingling with people, she was quite surprised. Surprised to see how vivaciously into life some people could be, surprised to see how firm and disciplined some people could turn up to be, surprised to see how kind and soft-hearted they were, surprised to see how certain people just have their certain different ways to think out of the box and think ahead; surprised to see how pessimistic certain people were, really, she was overwhelmed and blown away by the great variations that exist.

She was very overwhelmed alright, and had quite a time learning to adapt to them.

But she also learnt that she very much needed them throughout her stay in Egypt.

Very, very much.

That definitely took up a lot of pages inside her now half-written book.


There was this one phase where MARA used to be her very frequent place to stop at and went to.

And as she was approaching her final year in Egypt, she couldn’t help but to feel this sense of  “come on, MARA, again?” coming in but then she knew that MARA had served her very well.

Very well.

She closed her eyes and let herself to be drowning in the mode of reminiscence. History started there, her ‘babies’ started there, interventions, meetings, started there as well.

Yes, MARA helped her in writing more in her book.

They were just finishing their discussion, when Laila suddenly asked, “Atirah, how can you manage everything?”

Silence filled the air for a while before she responded.

“Because I have you guys.”

She opened her eyes and the view of the vast ocean filled with the beautiful different shades of blue greeted her. Serenity came upon her and calmed her down from getting too worked up over the fact that she’s leaving this place soon.

Leaving ‘that’ world soon.

From being a wallflower that couldn’t care less, to the present her who have had the chance to experience the things she have experienced for the last 3 years, she was still very overwhelmed.

Even in 10 to 20 years to come, if she were to look back at this time, she will still be very overwhelmed, but she hoped that it had helped in shaping her to become someone of definitions, someone of values, someone that she herself could appreciate.

She hoped that meeting ‘that’ world, would help her to have the slightest self-esteem.

She hoped that meeting ‘that’ world, would help her to accept herself.

She hoped that meeting ‘that’ world, would help her to love herself.

And she knew so well that though her stay in Egypt has ended, the book is still yet to be finished.




Dentistry Graduate

Perubatan Cawangan Iskandariah





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