Things I Need to Get Out of my System

I hate to make things all about myself. Which is why I haven’t been writing as much as I should in this blog. I mean, the blogs out there about great Japanese toilets, cute Japanese girls, drunk Japanese salarymen and corrupt Japanese politicians are more than I can count in Japanese, just waiting for a Google search.

So yes, I created a blog about my year in Japan, but ended up writing everything in my personal journal instead (which you might have access to if I die from Fukushima radiations).

This semester has been, simply, a little bit too much for me to handle. It started off with a Revolution. Did you get that? A REVOLUTION. From January 25th onwards, I lost something along the way. I definitely lost the peace of mind. I lost the thrill of being away from home. I instantly stopped feeling proud my myself being here. It was all replaced with terrible mixture of guilt, uselessness and shame. It still hurts. Every single day. Every single second.

Just as things got “better”, the Great East Japan earthquake hit us all, and again, I was taken over by this feeling of helplessness and uselessness – as I watch on NHK stories of mothers feeding their children snow because nothing else is available, stories of orphaned children whose parents were washed away by the Tsunami, stories of the elderly roaming around the wrecks of what used to be their lives.

It is so hard to enjoy anything anymore. Nothing makes sense any longer. I’m just tired and worn out. The last time I had a good nights sleep was so long ago I cannot even remember. I don’t know what time zone I should follow; Egypt or Japan. I stay up all night pondering the meanings of things, and if things actually had any meaning.

I feel pretentious all the time, trying to keep up with people and engage in conversations about things I don’t care less about, keep a neutral face as if everything is normal, while I’m torn on the inside.

They ask me to write articles about the quake and send them home. So I do. I write from the desk in my heated dorm room about the lives destroyed by the Quake and the dreams submerged by the Tsunami. I do that the same way I watched, from my padded chair, images of Egyptians, just like myself, revolting for their (and my) rights with live ammunition against them.

Then I think if I matter at all.

This feeling of guilt has become simply unbearable.

I really need to get my shit together… But I just can’t control my shit.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alvaro
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 16:51:08

    Dina, I can relate to what you are going through, I had something like that last semester. Ecuador went under a terrible police revolt, which did not let me sleep for a whole night. Then my grandfather, of my dad’s side, died, he was my grandad, but I was more worried about my family, especially my mother because I was not able to be next to her side to help her.

    In the end Dina, as hard as it sounds you can do lot, but because of the distance, you can never do as much as you will like, that am sure is making feel frustrated. But remember that is not your fault, You are doing the best you can!

    try to enjoy the time you have left in Japan, you will miss it deeply when you leave


  2. Azza
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 17:04:46

    Honey, it always feels the same when it’s like you’re just being left out on all current events. but don’t worry about the past, this is your time in japan and it won’t happen again. remember that, this is japan for you now, through these eyes that process everything you write about it. and if it helps to not write, then stop writing. isn’t this what this new experience abroad is for, to change you? maybe you need a break. or maybe you need to cut yourself a break. you haven’t been witness to the revolution but you’ve been witness to something so much more horrible- and that, that is not necessarily a bad thing. Do what you really care about dear; the more years you own up to, the more you realize that time is malleable and that there is so much you can do with it, so much you HAVE to do with it. So do it! Anything you like, you’re in Japan, what’s there not to do?
    I send you hugs from abroad. The mail service is awesome here as well 😉 xoxo ❤


  3. Nicki
    Apr 04, 2011 @ 17:07:28

    I just want to send you a HUG. Let me know if there is anything I can do x


  4. Kristina H.
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 07:36:55


    I can only imagine what you must be facing through your daily life by facing these two events. However, do not let your spirits ruin your time in Japan. You have such a beautiful heart and mind. There is no absolute control over the situations happening around the world. We all watch the television and read the media headlines in despair each and everyday. How much can we really do to make a difference? We can only do so much as human being.

    Your living apart of history. I hope that as time continues onward that there will be a bright future ahead.I am sending my love from the other side of the world. I hope that you will be able to enjoy the rest of the semester at ease and cherish the rest of your time abroad.


  5. Ahmed Shaheen
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 18:05:13

    Dina habebty I cannot say I understand the hardship that you’re through, but I can tell you one thing for sure that you will miss Japan with all your senses when you leave. You’ll miss the food, the scent, the places, the people and also the mere thought of being in Japan. Enjoy your time whie you’re at it. As for Egypt, you didn’t miss a revolution; you witnessed one with a different prespective and took part with a different type of activism. And as you can see, the revolutiuon isn’t over yet, there’s plenty to do on the social and political level to see the reform the revolutuon aspires! When you’re back insha’allah, there’ll still be more named Friday protests and what not and you’ll find various things to do to help out the country…so no worries 🙂


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April 2011
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