40 Reasons You Should Hire Me

Hello, I’m Heba. I have sent you this link because I REALLY want to work at your organization because I think your company is pretty awesome– I wouldn’t have sent this link to you otherwise. Below, you will find a list of the reasons I would make a great employee and creative partner. I hope by the end of this post you will learn more about me and give me a chance.

Here it goes:

1. I have a BA in Journalism from Penn State, an MA from Dartmouth College in Liberal Studies and an MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter.

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2. I’m a fast learner.

635920369314243634-1808424565_harvard elleI’m very much a hands on learner and I hit the ground running. As well as learning quickly, I’m always looking and finding ways to make work tasks more time efficient.

3. I’m dedicated and focused.

1n6sc.gifOnce I set my mind on a goal, I put my all into achieving it. In 2006, after a mere month of fundraising, I was able to raise almost $1 million in medical supplies for war torn regions. How many other people can say that?

4. I have strong writing and editing skills.

Cp8gJw8I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. In addition to my BA in Journalism, in which I had a 3.67 GPA in my major, I had a focus in Creative Writing during my first MA at Dartmouth College.

5. I’m willing to move.

giphy (2)I have lived in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Switzerland, the U.K., Jordan, Palestine and Israel. I’m a professional at packing and moving. I’m more than willing to move for the right opportunity.

6. I can roll with the punches.

post-23206-be-water-my-friend-bruce-lee-g-nhkfI consider myself a perfectionist, but I understand that things can’t be perfect all the time. Sometimes, you have to do the best you can with what you have. I can handle all sorts of circumstances that come my way. Kind of like when I can’t find Collection or Gabrini eyeliner anywhere and I have to make due with Almay.

7. I’m organized.

Label Makers Can Definitely Help You Get Your Documents OrganizedReally, I am. I even won an MVP award from my time working at the GAP because I was the most organized employee.

8. I can stay calm in a crisis.

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Accidents happen and sometimes they’re unavoidable. Someone misses a deadline, a package wasn’t delivered on time, products break, people get hurt– Life happens. Working with kids between the ages of 5-17 has taught me to stay calm in all sorts of crazy scenarios. And if you’ve ever worked with kids, you know how crazy things can get.

9. I love to laugh.

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Laughing and making others laugh is a great talent of mine. I’m not signing up for any open mic nights or doing any stand-up comedy acts, but I can find the funny in the ordinary.

10. I like to read.

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In elementary school, I set the record for the most books read during National Reading Month. You can always find me with a book in hand or an article on screen.

11. I live online and stay on top of all the new trends.

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Most of my day is spent online digging through the mountains of information, videos, photos and such. I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing and am always the first one of my friends to identify viral material and trends.

12. The world inspires me.

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Everywhere I look, everyone I see, inspires me in some sort of way. Everyone I meet and encounter leaves a mark on me and inspires me to make the world a better place.

13. I’m well-versed in social media.

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Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, Pinterest– I love it all.

14. I’m a realistic optimist.

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I try to see the best in everyone and in every situation, but my expectations are always realistic. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

15. I can work with a team, as well as on my own.

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Being a journalist, I’ve learned to work as part of a team. Especially when working as an editor, much of the position is dependent on working with others. Working in groups is great because everyone brings a different perspective to the project at hand. But, I have also been a teacher and have had to take responsibility for creating curriculums all on my own. Working on my own is also great because I get to see how far I can push myself.

16. I have experience managing volunteers.

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Remember that huge fundraiser I talked about earlier? Well, I had recruited and managed the efforts of more than 50 volunteers in under a week’s time. I was responsible for training the volunteers, managing their schedules, communicating their needs and supervising their delegated responsibilities.

17. I’m an email wizard.

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Any of my former students can tell you that I respond to emails as soon as I possibly can, sometimes within minutes.

18. I’m creative.

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I dabble in the arts and always have new and innovative ideas running through my head.

19. I have lots of interests.

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I like fashion, desserts, poems, coffee, bright colors, food, photography, art, literature, movies, music, naps, decorating, calligraphy, libraries and spending time with my friends.

20. I’m great at conflict resolution.

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I’m an American-Palestinian-Arab-Muslim-woman with Israeli citizenship. If that doesn’t make me an expert problem solver, I don’t know what does.

21. I’m good at stuff.

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I’m a good listener and a good friend. Some other things I’m good at include, but are not limited to: eyeliner application, fashion styling, tea brewing and reality check administrating. I’m also a pretty great actress in life more so than in art.

22. I have experience writing blogs, fiction, nonfiction, research papers, listicles, essays, executive reports, newsletters and more.

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I can do it all because I have done it all. Writing, of all sorts, is what I do and it is what makes me happy.

23. I’m confident in my abilities to speak and relate to different types of communicators.

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Not everyone communicates in the same way. I have learned to adjust my tone, vocabulary and methods to fit the person I am speaking to.

24. I’m proficient in Word and other software.

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Word, Adobe, ProTools, PCs, Macs, FinalCut and so much more.

25. I’m pretty good at evaluating situations.

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I’ve always been good at reading a situation. I’m pretty observant and I can usually tell when someone is sad, happy, irritated, excited or any other range of emotion.

26. My creative writing pieces have been published in several magazines.

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You can check out my published writing by clicking on the Portfolio link at the top of the page.

27. I’m always looking to improve.

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Whether it’s getting a new haircut or trying to learn a new language, I’m always trying to improve myself, both inside and out.

28. I can dish it and I can take it… In a respectful manner, of course. Tumblr_lp0rbgfnEg1qfal67o1_r1_250.gif

As a writer, criticism can be tough. I put my heart and soul into my work and I know how disheartening harsh criticism can be. I’ve grown a thick skin over the years and can take criticism pretty well. I believe that criticism should always be constructive and when I give constructive criticism to an employee, I am always respectful and appreciative for their hard work. Constructive criticism should always help the other person improve their work and boost their self-confidence.

29. I take pride in my work.

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But just the right amount of pride. I’m not cocky, I promise.

30. I want to plant some roots.

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I’ve moved around a lot and I’ve had a lot of different type of jobs. Now, I’m ready to settle down and really grow within a company.

31. I’m a coordination queen.

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That goes for both my outfits and my workload. I’m all about the time management skills.

32. I’m passionate about human rights, education, social justice, prison reform, women’s health, politics and life.

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33. I’m always prepared.

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I watch a lot of scary movies. As a result, I’m now prepared for any and all scenarios, at all times. If the zombie apocalypse ever happens, come with me because I have a plan.

34. I like to bake.

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I love baking and all things sweet. I also believe that sharing is caring, so, if you hire me you will be sure to have a taste of the sweet life.

35. I smell nice.

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I wear perfume even when I don’t leave the house, because I deserve to smell nice. I’m also super hygienic and carry around hand-sanitizer that doubles as lotion. It’s kind of my thing.

36. I love animals.

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Well, most animals. I have a fear of geese and swans, but other than that, I love animals. One of my dreams is to open up an animal sanctuary so I can love and hang out with my animal friends all day.

37. I’m a feminist.

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I believe everyone should be a feminist and we should all be working towards equality and justice for women.

38. I make 11:11 wishes for good measure.

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It can’t hurt, right? I’ll make a wish for you too.

39. My life is a meme.

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Anyone who knows me, knows that if there is a one in a million chance of something strange happening to someone, it’s going to be me.  And most days people get a kick out of it. Me included.

40. I want to work and have fun doing it.

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I want my work to be meaningful and I want to enjoy doing it. I’m not looking to clock in and clock out. I want to make a difference and improve people’s lives. I may not be able to change the world, but I certainly can change a tiny corner of it– even if it is one person.

It’s like they [Confucius] say: Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.

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If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?

If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do?

I would make my home bigger, brighter and in the middle of nowhere. I’d turn it into a farm/sanctuary with lots and lots of animals and I’d have a massive garden.

Lots of white furniture and bright colors. Go for a minimalist and chic decor. Everything would be organized and I’d have lots of cool kitchen appliances. Oh and a massive fish tank. And a playroom for my animals.

Ooooooh and maybe get a sauna, jacuzzi and indoor pool. Ugh, an indoor, heated pool would be a dream.

What I Learned From Criminal Minds #bingewatching #criminalminds

So I recently finished up my binge watching of Criminal Minds. Yup, that’s right. I have watched every single episode to date of 11 seasons. And here is what I learned from it all:

  1. Don’t be mean to people because they could be a serial killer.
  2. Don’t think in the box. Always think outside the box
  3. Don’t get into a box willingly
  4. Don’t google anything you don’t want Penelope Garcia to see.
  5. There is no such thing as secrecy.
  6. Don’t go anywhere near a gun shop
  7. Don’t go on vacation alone
  8. Don’t go on vacation with your family
  9. Don’t get involved with the mob, mafia or any other organized crime
  10. Don’t join a cult
  11. Don’t go skydiving
  12. Don’t hide from CCTV
  13. Don’t take LSD
  14. Don’t leave your drinks unattended
  15. Don’t take a taxi
  16. Don’t breathe in toxic or poisoned air
  17. Don’t join a killing pack
  18. Don’t get in strange cars
  19. Don’t trust anyone
  20. Don’t get married
  21. Don’t read fairy tales to your kids
  22. Don’t hire a hitman
  23. Don’t use public transportation
  24. Don’t reject anyone
  25. Don’t be a street artist
  26. Don’t join an experimental community
  27. Don’t use a ride-share service
  28. Don’t get kidnapped
  29. Don’t end a relationship
  30. Don’t leave your children unattended
  31. Don’t go to war
  32. Don’t get PTSD
  33. Don’t make personal connections
  34. Don’t get shot
  35. Don’t seek revenge
  36. Don’t auction children off
  37. Don’t avoid dealing with personal issues
  38. Don’t make decisions that will mess up your career
  39. Don’t answer your cell phone
  40. Don’t avoid answering your cell phone
  41. Don’t go to pep rallies
  42. Don’t make abrupt departures
  43. Don’t read science fiction
  44. Don’t be a prostitute
  45. Don’t get involved in politics
  46. Don’t piss off your supervisor
  47. Don’t question things
  48. Don’t discount multiple personality disorders
  49. Don’t prank Morgan or Reid
  50. Don’t question Reid’s knowledge
  51. Don’t torture people
  52. Don’t drug people
  53. Don’t kill people
  54. Don’t have a troubled childhood
  55. Don’t struggle
  56. Don’t become addicted to drugs
  57. Don’t become an alcoholic
  58. Don’t become homeless
  59. Don’t rape people
  60. Don’t be a radical environmentalist
  61. Don’t go hunting
  62. Don’t go to parties
  63. Don’t go camping
  64. Don’t go into the mountains
  65. Don’t go into the woods
  66. Don’t use religion as an excuse
  67. Don’t go to a small college
  68. Don’t go to a big college
  69. Don’t walk alone at night
  70. Don’t walk alone in the day
  71. Don’t go to public places
  72. Don’t be a vigilante
  73. Don’t dream
  74. Don’t join a gang
  75. Don’t commit crimes
  76. Don’t witness a crime
  77. Don’t impede a federal investigation
  78. Don’t boost your public image
  79. Don’t post everything on social media
  80. Don’t be vain
  81. Don’t empathise with suspects
  82. Don’t travel as a couple
  83. Don’t stay in a cabin
  84. Don’t live in the middle of nowhere
  85. Don’t own guns
  86. Don’t antagonize others
  87. Don’t be a police officer
  88. Don’t be an FBI Agent
  89. Don’t be blonde
  90. Don’t get into car accidents
  91. Don’t get in the way of road rage
  92. Don’t belittle others
  93. Don’t kidnap people
  94. Don’t hire a psychic
  95. Don’t be an over enthusiastic criminology student
  96. Don’t investigate crimes on your own
  97. Don’t talk to high class call-girls
  98. Don’t set fire to others
  99. Don’t go on spring break
  100. Don’t confront others
  101. Don’t be a woman
  102. Don’t come in contact with anthrax
  103. Don’t feed people to pigs
  104. Don’t perform medical experiments
  105. Don’t have a breakdown
  106. Don’t go to a pharmacy
  107. Don’t go to a bank
  108. Don’t trust a judge
  109. Don’t impregnate women unwillingly
  110. Don’t sell babies
  111. Don’t have an alter ego
  112. Don’t be a psycho
  113. Don’t be a soul sucking journalist
  114. Don’t have your home invaded
  115. Don’t escape custody
  116. Don’t go on a killing spree
  117. Don’t yell at others
  118. Don’t play an online choking game
  119. Don’t be a trigger
  120. Don’t spiral out of control
  121. Don’t be a con artist
  122. Don’t sell drugs
  123. Don’t be part of a pyramid scheme
  124. Don’t be a pillar in the community
  125. Don’t be a trucker
  126. Don’t have daddy issues
  127. Don’t have mommy issues
  128. Don’t illegally cross the border
  129. Don’t legally cross the border
  130. Don’t post videos online
  131. Don’t talk to anyone online
  132. Don’t meet people online
  133. Don’t stick around during a heatwave
  134. Don’t be taken hostage
  135. Don’t be racist
  136. Don’t be sexist
  137. Don’t be an accomplice
  138. Don’t mysteriously vanish
  139. Don’t make deals with others
  140. Don’t go out on Halloween
  141. Don’t tell anyone anything about you or your life
  142. Don’t order takeout delivery from the same restaurant repeatedly
  143. Don’t let anyone into your house
  144. Don’t have headaches
  145. Don’t ignore doctor’s orders
  146. Don’t be unusual
  147. Don’t hire a self-motivational coach
  148. Don’t act suspicious
  149. Don’t target victims
  150. Don’t fake your own death
  151. Don’t die
  152. Don’t have a secret life
  153. Don’t become injured
  154. Don’t trust anyone, ever
  155. Don’t let human traffickers know you are a cop
  156. Don’t trust human traffickers
  157. Don’t bully others
  158. Don’t take credit for someone else’s work
  159. Don’t get a brain injury
  160. Don’t go to a lake
  161. Don’t send your kids to a military academy
  162. Don’t join the boxing scene
  163. Don’t join an underground fighting ring
  164. Don’t imitate the Zodiac killer
  165. Don’t romanticize killers
  166. Don’t snub old friends
  167. Don’t play the piano
  168. Don’t gamble
  169. Don’t be superstitious
  170. Don’t be too friendly
  171. Don’t fail
  172. Don’t wander the desert
  173. Don’t sleep
  174. Don’t stop at rest stops
  175. Don’t worship the devil
  176. Don’t purchase real estate
  177. Don’t be a real estate agent
  178. Don’t lie
  179. Don’t test others
  180. Don’t have a phone
  181. Don’t kill animals
  182. Don’t be a student
  183. Don’t meet face-to-face
  184. Don’t replicate crimes
  185. Don’t have an identity crisis
  186. Don’t fall in love
  187. Don’t be a pedophile
  188. Don’t be a nanny
  189. Don’t overdose on E
  190. Don’t go for a run
  191. Don’t do step aerobics in your house
  192. Don’t take away your kid’s dolls
  193. Don’t be an awful parent
  194. Don’t emulate movies
  195. Don’t become estranged from others
  196. Don’t get too close to others
  197. Don’t be violent
  198. Don’t believe in segregation
  199. Don’t be a bigot
  200. Don’t be a homophobe
  201. Don’t retire
  202. Don’t work
  203. Don’t become unemployed
  204. Don’t go on secret missions
  205. Don’t go to therapy
  206. Don’t avoid going to therapy
  207. Don’t hire a babysitter
  208. Don’t be a babysitter
  209. Don’t engage in family feuds
  210. Don’t obsess over Greek mythology
  211. Don’t get shot
  212. Don’t engage in crossfire
  213. Don’t steal
  214. Don’t suffer a family tragedy
  215. Don’t be delusional
  216. Don’t suffer from an obsessive skin disorder
  217. Don’t suppress feelings
  218. Don’t be a highly-regarded attorney
  219. Don’t have uncontrollable urges
  220. Don’t be a loner
  221. Don’t be anti-social
  222. Don’t be charismatic
  223. Don’t be confident
  224. Don’t be insecure
  225. Don’t commemorate anniversaries
  226. Don’t ignore anniversaries
  227. Don’t build a bomb
  228. Don’t abuse others
  229. Don’t talk to inmates
  230. Don’t ignore inmates
  231. Don’t make political enemies
  232. Don’t respond to others
  233. Don’t avoid responding to others
  234. Don’t uncover secrets
  235. Don’t control people’s minds
  236. Don’t believe in monsters
  237. Don’t be a teenager
  238. Don’t be a kid
  239. Don’t be an adult
  240. Don’t be in the wrong place at the right time
  241. Don’t leave the house
  242. Don’t stay at home
  243. Don’t think about anything
  244. Don’t even think about thinking about anything
  245. Just don’t

Really… Don’t! Everyone, everywhere is a serial killer, mass murderer, rapist or pedophile.

That’s what I learned.

 

The Ultimate Wishlist

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There are so many things I want in life, but here is the ultimate list:

  1. $150,000 to pay off my student loans
  2. $2 million to buy a home with a farm
  3. Animals… lots and lots of animals in an animal sanctuary
  4. A private jet
  5. A beautiful capsule wardrobe
  6. An indoor, heated pool
  7. A personal trainer
  8. A cure to all my aches and pains
  9. An end to world hunger
  10. PhD funding
  11. A personal hair and makeup artist
  12. A cure for cancer and other life threatening diseases
  13. An end to all wars
  14. A fulfilling career and life
  15. Justice for all

Where would you want to retire to?

Where would you want to retire to?

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Two words: New Zealand

I’m going to get myself a tiny farm with a cute cottage. Get myself a bunch of sheep, donkeys and other friendly animals.

I’m going to learn some Maori and make nice, retired friends and live a carefree retired, Kiwi life.

I’m going to watch Kiwi soaps, go swimming in pretty lakes and leave the world behind.

 

If you could have any job, what would you want to do/be?

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If I could be or do anything- the shallow part of me wants to be paid for doing nothing. Like reality TV-esque.  But I don’t think the intellectual part of my brain would ever forgive myself.

I love writing: fiction, nonfiction and academic. I’d love to be able to make a living off of writing. I also love fashion and could see myself being happy styling pretty outfits. I’m passionate about human rights and humanitarian issues, so working in nonprofit would be amazing as well. I’ve given great thought to working or opening up a orphanage. I’ve also thought a great deal about opening up my own school. I’d love to be a full-time researcher. Or maybe a TV comedy writer! I’m constantly thinking of ways to merge together my interests. That’d be the dream.

Off topic slightly, I wonder if I could become a professional TV or movie extra. That could be fun. You know what else would be fun, working with animals. I love animals. Had I been good at math and science, I could see myself as a marine biologist or veterinarian.

Truth is, I want to do it all. I’m inspired by the world around me and want to experience it all.

Buzz to the Qamar #pets

What was the name of your first pet?

When I was a kid my parents had fish, but apparently I overfed them and killed them. I want to say it was something I did out of ignorant kindness, but I also have a distinct memory of catching all the fish and putting them in a pot on the stove. I don’t remember them floating, so I’m assuming this was prior to making the tank into a fishy graveyard. It’s just one of those flash moments in my memory that I can’t explain.

When my brother was younger he really wanted a pet. He wanted a cat, but my mother and I were very allergic to cats at the time. We even went to a shelter to see if maybe we could make it happen. My brother was maybe 7 at the time. He fell for a kitty that had one bad eye and all these health problems and my mom knew she would be stuck dealing with the tough stuff like kitty meds and claw clipping. There was a big cryfest where we all felt horrible but ultimately let it go.

To appease my brother’s nurturing side, my mother got my brother a gerbil, which my brother named Buzz. I wasn’t really into it so much. It was very much my brother’s thing. I think he named it Buzz after The Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear. I was more of a  Mr. Potatohead fan. We even had this little plastic ball that we would put Buzz in and he would explore the house. I don’t know what the lifetime of a gerbil is, but he didn’t live that long. It was so  long ago but my concept of time may be a bit off. We maybe have a picture or two of him somewhere in our photo albums (This was the good old day when you had to develop photos in order to see them). I remember Buzz breaking his leg somehow and ultimately dying in the end. I don’t know if there was anything we could have done for it. I was pretty young, Buzz wasn’t my responsibility. I know my mother took the brunt of the responsibility in dealing with Buzz and his tank cleaning.

After that, My brother decided he wanted a rabbit. This rabbit was mostly white from what I recall, we used to let her hop around the house from time to time. We kept her in my brother’s room and oh man is keeping a rabbit smelly. I don’t know if it was the pee or the poop or that type of wood shaving type stuff. I’m not sure if they came up with better products in recent years to trap that smell, but it was rough. Lots and lots of cleaning was needed to keep that cage clean, much of the responsibility my mother took upon herself again. I don’t know how my brother slept in such a smelly room. I guess people do lots of crazy things for love. My brother, bless him, loves his animals. Anyways, like I said, we used to let this bunny jump around the house. One day, she died with very little notice. She was fine. The assumption we made was that she must have eaten something she shouldn’t have when we weren’t looking. As many of you know, bunnies can’t throw up. So if they eat something bad for them, they’re unfortunately done for. We remember her having a funny red mark around her mouth when she died. So maybe that’s what it was?

After that , my brother was upset, so we go him another rabbit. This rabbit was black and white. Like the other rabbit, I don’t remember what my brother named her or him. At the time, I wasn’t much of a pet person so I never took that much interest. I don’t even remember if it was a boy or girl bunny. This bunny, we were more careful to not leave something she could eat and then kill herself with. But we did let her play around in our backyard during the warmer seasons. She did nibble quite a bit on our radio sound system wires, which my father wasn’t fond of. But it was easily fixable and she seemed to enjoy bouncing about in the grass. She would always come back to her cage when she was done. We had some wild bunnies in the yard, in the beginning we think she met them and they scared her or maybe something else scared her because she would run back to her cage for dear life. But I think her and the wild bunnies made nice, because SHE RAN AWAY WITH THEM one day. Yeah at first we thought she was lost. We looked for her. We kept her cage outside. She never came back so we thought maybe she was eaten by another animal until we saw her one day frollicing about with the other wild bunnies. I never realized that domestic bunnies could become wild bunnies. I didn’t think she had the skills for it. But what do I know? Hopefully she lived a  happy life with the other rabbits.

During that time, my brother was away staying at my grandmother’s for the summer. And my brother’s obsession for cats returned. Mainly because my grandmother’s area has a lot of stray cats. My grandmother’s domestic helper (because my grandmother is disabled) brought a stray kitten for my brother. She was adorable. A grey and white long hair, but again she was very much my brother’s, I still would become super congested around her. I didn’t really get my brother’s love for animals at the time. Not that I hated animals, but I didn’t necessarily have that nurturing quality at the time. Long story short, the kitten ran away. It was really sad, my brother was sad and that made me sad.

When the summer was over, my dad decided to get my brother some fish, to hopefully fill that void. But whoever sold my dad the fish should have told him that one of the fish needed to be kept in a separate tank because it will eat all the other fish and rip them to shreds. I’m led to believe, with my little knowledge of fish now, is that it was a Betta fish. Mystery solved I guess. The remaining warrior fish lasted for a while. I guess the normal year or so. Who knows how long it lived in the store before we bought it.

Then one day, while my mom was driving home from work, she found a turtle in the middle of the road. My mother is afraid to touch animals, so she used sticks she found on the street and a box in her trunk to try and bring it home. Man was that a surprise. We didn’t really have the things needed for a turtle, so we kept it outside in this squared off part of a yard. We left food and water  for it. The season must have been spring or summer, because it was nice out. We wouldn’t have left the turtle out in bad weather and we checked on her or him throughout the night. We woke up the next day and the area looked broken into. So either a vicious animal ripped into the area or this turtle unleashed its mutant ninja skills and escaped.

Fast forward 6+ years and my brother is driving down the road– he sees a sign for kitten adoptions and he spontaneously drops in and gets a kitty. She was adorable, the sweetest. I wish we had taken a picture of her. She was a ginger tabby, which someone told me is rare to have a female ginger kitty. But the timing was really bad. Pets are a commitment. She wasn’t litter trained and I think she was ripped away from her mama a bit too soon. She definitely still needed mama’s milk. All three of us in the house were working and I was working three jobs at the time. My brother was working long hours and my mom was really allergic to her, so she wasn’t getting the proper attention. I tried to play with her and keep her company when I had the time, but she was always so scared and hiding. She wasn’t litter trained yet, so she was peeing everywhere. And I’m still allergic to cats, so I felt like a physical miserable mess. It was a bit too much for us at the time, but our hearts were in the right place. We had to do the responsible thing.  My brother, heartbroken, had to return her to the woman he got the kitten from. Such a sad sad day. But hopefully, she was able to find a forever home that was better equipped to deal with such a precious furbaby.

Anyways, a few years later, my brother convinced my mother to get a cat and that this time things would be different. We’d get a healthy adult cat that’s already litter trained and we had more time for her. My mama did some research, and by some, I mean a lot of research. She decided we needed to have a female cat because she read that they were less aggressive than male cats. I don’t know how true that was, but my mama is an important part of our decision making process so we. of course, complied.  My brother wanted a long hair cat or a chubby cat, but my mom got the final call and she decided a short haired cat would be best for her allergies (she was right.) Our cat has never bothered or gotten to my allergies at all. They went to a cat colony in the area they were living in at the time. A cat colony differs from a typical animal shelter because the cats aren’t in cages and they’re free to roam, unless they’re sick, just got fixed, are preggers or are new mommies. Then they get put in separate room to be taken care of appropriately. So my mom and brother go in and apparently it smells bad. That many cats, it has to be a bit overwhelming. My mother was afraid of cats, even though she thinks they’re cute some of them were very aggressive. My brother had a list of cats he’d seen on their site, but all the cats he liked were either sick or taken already.

But then our luck changes. Out pops a little 9lb Russian Blue adult cat about 2 years old at the time. She came sneakily skulking out of the closet, which was a surprise to everyone working there, because apparently, the entire time she has been there Helen (that’s our kitty’s legal first name) has hid in the closet. My family automatically fell in love with her. She’s gorgeous, sweet, silly, playful, quiet, loving– everything you could ever ask for in a kittycat. We took her home and poor Helen, who we renamed Qamar (which means ‘moon’ in Arabic),  was scared silly. The story that the Cat Colony assumes happened was that she was a house cat that was allowed to go outside. But one day, around age 1, she came back pregnant and like many young mamas to be, her family wanted nothing to do with it. So they kicked her out. The colony found her on the streets with her babies in the cold winter. They took her in. Let her have time with her babies until they were ready to be on their own. Her babies got adopted quickly because they were just as gorgeous as she is. But there were many much more dominant cats and larger cats at the colony that bullied our little Qamar and that is why she stayed in the closet all day, everyday.

It’s fate. We wanted a sweet kitty and a sweet kitty came out to find us. Bless her a million times over. She’s the best. When my brother had his surgery, she sat next to him all night. When my mama is upset, she paces with her back and forth until she calms down. And me, she lets me cuddle her and love her. She’s addicted to turkey, like she’ll fight you for some turkey. She loves gravy and goes wild over catnip. You can often find her running out of the house to explore her outside surroundings, only to come back immediately when she realizes she doesn’t like it– I think she finds it overwhelming. She loves to play catch and tears apart any dangling strings she can find. She loves playing with flowers and cheap toys. She doesn’t go anywhere near expensive toys, she’s all about the Dollar Tree. She loves her kitty treats, but hates it when we tell her to get off the table. She didn’t start speaking to us until a year ago, and when we first got her she would have horrible nightmares. She has stolen all of my hair ties and I can’t be mad at her for it. She has a bit of a hard time connecting the dots– she still can’t figure out how food goes from a plate in my hand to the floor.  She used to love sleeping on her cat bed, but now she enjoys sleeping on the couch or on a blanky in the closet. She also loves sitting on a sunny windowsill. She sometimes falls off the couch which sends me into a panic, but she shakes it off. She has the sweetest, softest purr, but the moment she sees a dog she growls and sounds like a mini-lawn mower. If she hears a dog bark, she will hide. There’s clearly some bad blood there.  She’s the love of my life and my soul mate. 😛

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

xoxo

A Home Fit For A Queen

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

 

I’m not sure where I want to live exactly. I know that in an ideal world in the most idealist of situations, I would be able to afford a nice sized, self-sustainable, secluded farm that is far enough from society to make me feel like I’m in my world, but close enough to society so that I can still have quick internet and trips to bakeries or ice cream shops. I want to live in a place that has a temperate climate. Not too hot, not too cold and a nice enjoyment of all four seasons. Plus I want animals. Lots and lots of animals. Dogs, cats, sheep, cows, chickens, donkeys, horses and whatever else I can. Also, I want a tiered garden with almond, fig, grapefruit, pomegranate and banana trees. And lots of flowers.

 

What do you know?

List 10 weird facts about yourself and ask your readers to do the same thing.

  1. I like really bad movies. I like to watch super cliche movies- I think they are hilarious.
  2. I’ve had more jobs that I can count. I’m just looking for my place in this world.
  3. I would rather be an animal than a human. Like a cat, an elephant, dolphin, ape, camel, donkey.
  4. I watch more TV and movies than anyone ever should.
  5. I’m a writer, but I fear rejection so much that I’m often afraid to put what I have in my head on paper.
  6. I’m pretty observant. I notice things that I’m told most don’t notice.
  7. I like to wear dresses because I have a hard time finding jeans, pants/trousers that fit my hips, butt and thighs perfectly.
  8. I can never decide whether I want my hair long or short, straight or curly.
  9. I despise injustice, lies,  ignorance, bigots, racists, propaganda and people who believe ignorant and bigoted media.
  10. I have a fear of geese and swans. Ducks- I’m usually okay with, but they make me uneasy.

Sign: These chimps don’t deserve to die

 

Tell Citibank to save 66 chimps from starvation

 

[if mso]> <v:rect xmlns:v=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml” xmlns:w=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word” href=”http://www.care2.com/go/z/e/AT4he/zrji/CIPEy&#8221; style=”height:57px;v-text-anchor:middle;width:285px;” stroke=”f” fill=”t”> <v:fill type=”tile” color=”#e64706″ /> <w:anchorlock/> <center style=”color:#ffffff;font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:17px;font-weight:normal;”>Sign Donny’s Petition</center> </v:rect> <![endif] Sign Donny’s Petition

 

meet the petition author

Donny Moss

New York, New York

 

For 30 years, the New York Blood Center (NYBC) conducted invasive experiments on almost 500 chimpanzees. For 10 years, the NYBC did the right thing and provided care for the chimps after the experiments were over. And then it stopped.

NYBC announced in March that it would no longer provide the 66 remaining laboratory chimps with the care they need to survive. Donny Moss and fellow animal rights activists have tried for months to convince NYBC to reinstate the funding. The organization hasn’t budged an inch.

Perhaps the NYBC will pay more attention to one of its major donors. Please sign Donny’s petition asking Citigroup to make its donations to NYBC contingent on the organization reinstating funding for the 66 chimps it has abandoned.

After NYBC finished experimenting on the chimps, it sent them to live on six islands in Liberia where there is no natural food or water. They are still there today, and depend on people to bring them the necessary nourishment for their survival.

Since NYBC stopped providing for the chimps, their care has been funded by the U.S. Humane Society and by donations from people like you. But this can’t go on forever.

NYBC currently has $450 million in assets and has reportedly earned about $500 million off of the research conducted on these chimps. It may not be contractually obligated to care for them, but as Jane Goodall put it in an open letter to the organization, it has a “moral obligation” to pay for their wellbeing.

NYBC may not take the calls of animal welfare groups and activists, but it would be difficult to dodge one of the companies that has given the organization over $1 million in donations. So please sign this petition urging Citigroup to stop its donations to NYBC until the organization does the right thing once again, and takes care of these chimps.