Vows to myself

January 1st: a peaceful Sunday evening at my family home, the one I and my four favourite people in the world have been sharing since we were born and/or since the inception of our family over twenty-six years ago. Mum and dad are at the seaside enjoying some quiet time and the sound of the waves outside their windows, but it’s just as if they were here – we three children are not hosting crazy parties like they do in the movies. On the contrary, my sister brought life to the fireplace; my brother is making vegetable soup for dinner; and I set the table, put on Chopin’s Nocturnes (some of my very favourite classical music) and am going to do the dishes after we eat.

The silly rebel in me was thinking about not writing a new year’s resolutions post. Truth is though, it doesn’t feel right for me to do everyday things on New Year’s Day, so after watching a funny action movie with your siblings and before seeing a friend what else do you want to do if not take some firm decisions for the 365 days ahead? (2017 is not a leap year, I’ve just checked)

I know my first resolution, it’s personal and about relationshipsbe more cautious, I could summarize it this way. My last relationship was wonderful, the previous two not so much and I just got a random super friendly reminder of that today, so… yeah. Let’s keep on track and be a realist in this field: while I don’t particularly regret the time I spent with those two guys and I actually learnt a lot from them and with them, now I also know I can do better. Having fun with relational idiots is, yeah, fun – but not as good as having fun with other people I have maybe taken more time to get to know, can trust more and appreciate for deeper reasons.

Oh wait, I thought this blog was about Arabic, the Middle East, and all things related. Yes. Here are my actual learning goals for the year, and they are vows to myself more than resolutions:

I will do my best to utter and/or write at least one sentence in Arabic every day
I will take some time to specifically read MENA news at least once a week
I will actively look for jobs and/or volunteer work that require me to practice my Arabic and/or to be in contact with people from Arabic-speaking countries
I will keep writing here i.e. push myself to find something mildly interesting to post every day on the topics I have set myself to focus on
I will study the Qur’an, page after page, at least twice a month and reach out to Muslim friends and other (trusted) sources to try and clarify whatever I may be puzzled about
I will learn more about refugee health, especially mental health
I will try and cook some Middle-Eastern dishes and discover where in the city of Torino I can find the best falafels, shawarma etc!!

Dinner-time now… this will have to be it for now!

& a presto. Marhaba 2017 😉

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