Marwa Rakha: Simply Shocking
Marwa Abdel Aziz
I am a 34 year old middle class Egyptian girl who has managed, over the past fifteen years, to make three career shifts. In 1996 I graduated from the faculty of Alsun – Ain Shams University – majoring in English literature. My first job was a receptionist at an oil company but shortly after I embarked on my career in marketing and public relations in the hospitality industry. My last position was director of marketing communications for a hotel chain known for turning moments into memories
The first major move in my life was in March 2002 when I moved out but 2005 has been the turning point in my career path; my first published article came out in March 2005, the first class that I taught at AUC was in May 2005, the first training course that I conducted was in December 2005. For three years I juggled several careers from hotels, teaching, training, writing, and TV.
2008 is another landmark; I moved into my own home in January, my first book came out in the beginning of February, I quit hotels in the end of the same month, I launched my Arabic radio show in May, I quit OTV in the same month, I launched my English radio show in June, and I quit training in December to become a full time media figure.
Now in addition to teaching marketing at AUC, I am preparing my own TV show, have two radio shows, and write for three monthly English language magazines, one monthly Arabic language magazine, one weekly Arabic newspaper, one hair care website, and two online publications.
I cherish all my careers and all the experience and exposure that made me who I am now but writing is very dear to me; writing liberated me and helped me reconcile my past and my present. Jennifer Anderson was my alias for two years and she has given me the strength that I needed to become comfortable in my own skin.
There was a point in my life when I wanted people to see the good kind girl in me today I no longer care what they see in me as long as they believe that I am genuine and sincere. I love it when they trust me and come to me with their problems. I love it when they share things knowing that I would never judge them. I get lots of "love you hug you" emails and I also get "die bitch" emails … I am still coping. I have been a loner most of my life and I really do not know who to handle being a public figure. There are times when I am graceful and elegant – queen Rania in mind and there are times when I am clumsy and silly – think of Ugly Betty on the catwalk
I hate it when people judge me though. Most of the time, they do not know me in person, they take my words out of context, then they blame me for their understanding of what they never bothered to read in depth. I get angry and I do not hide it. I lashed out at a few people on several occasions and I do not regret it. This last Monday for example, Erin Fleming and I were talking about cancer on After Dark and I said that a lot of people say heroic stuff like they would never leave someone they loved if they found out that he or she has cancer when those very same people have rejected someone because they were too dark or too fair or too fat or too skinny or too poor or too anything that did not fit the profile. I got a message on the SMS board from a female listener who literally said: "what's wrong with being dark? You are so bitchy Marwa!" – this is just an example of the stupid stuff I get exposed to.
I am now a fulltime freelancer I consider myself lucky for doing the things that I enjoy the most. I am glad I have time for myself and my family. I used to make much more money when I used to work in hotels and training but I have discovered the beauty of the simple life. I have everything I need just in its perfect proportions. On the downside, there is a lot of turbulence and instability. One major drawback in my career is mood, temperament, and disposition – in plain English I am not allowed to feel sad, down, or depressed … I cannot afford a messy relationship. I make a living out of being happy … I know it sounds weird but think of it: who would want to watch, listen to, or read for someone who is reeking of negative energy?
Happiness is directly related to being content and in peace with your inner self. A person is happy when they balance their needs, when they give just as much as they take, when they feel that their existence matters, when they know that someone out there truly loves them … happiness has nothing to do with how many people surround you, how much money you earn, or how much power you have.
I am in love with Egypt – and this is not a cliche – Egypt is home. I am not the most seasoned traveler but I do not even have a craving to explore other places. Cairo is every artist's inspiration with its diversity, underworlds, multi-layers, and sub cultures; it would take several lifetimes to get to the tip of that iceberg. Soma Bay is God's healing gift to us; that place has positive energy and warmth that I have experienced firsthand. Sheikh Zayed, where I live now, is very peaceful and beautiful. Where else could you find a combination of cities like Sharm El Sheikh, Marsa Alam, Luxor, Aswan, and Alexandria?
I know that the Egyptian government is not doing a good job keeping Egyptians happy and satisfied but what are the people doing for their country? If the people do not have manners; the country is rude. If the people spit in the street; the country is disgusting. If the people do not shower; the country stinks. If the people touch their privates in the street; the country is perverted. If the people throw garbage in the street; the country is dirty. If the people do not brush their teeth; the country is full of yellow/brown smiles. If the people do not keep their hands to themselves; the country is reputed for harassment. If the people do not fix their cars; the country is hazed out with pollution. If the people do not know how to drive; the country has the worst roads. If the people abhor rules; the country is in chaos.
If the people do not respect schooling; the country is illiterate. If the people do not like to read; the country is ignorant. If the people insist on talking bad English; the country stutters. If the people do not keep their promise; the country is never taken seriously. If the people lie; the country is known for liars. If the people cheat; the country is known for fraud. If the people are dishonest; the country has no answers. If the people are not tolerant; the country is intolerable. If the people do not practice what they preach; the country is double-faced. If the people envy one another; the country is sick with jaundice. If the people are stoned; the country is numb. If the people are confused; the country loses direction. If the people do not know the truth; the country is misled. If the people are poor; the country is naked.
If the people are lazy; the country is stagnant. If the people have no dreams; the country is dead. If the people do not have a present; the country will not have a future. If the people do not think of the future; the country will live in the past. If the people do not change themselves; the country will not change them. If I could get rid of such people; I might save the country. I just hate the people; but I am in love with the country.
I am a Libra
I like my inner strength and my luck – yes I am a very lucky person … I cannot complain.
I do not like my impatience, aggression, and stubbornness.
I do not have a role model writer; I have several writers whom I respect deeply even if I disagree with their thoughts.
My Motto: Never judge a man or a woman unless you have walked a mile in his or her shoes.
My ultimate goal in life: I want to be the wife of a man who shares my vision and brings out the best in me. With that man, I want to be the mother of kids who would make the world a better place – don't laugh it is not an easy task to accomplish