They tagged me back in 2005 and I am responding now!

The following was never published I wrote it back in 2005. I thought I will finish it, but I never did. I think it needs to see the light.

I always tried not to reveal a lot about myself on this blog. But I think this is no longer important. [Mohammed Sameer|http://foolab.org/node/695] tagged me, I have no choice but to get it all out in the open.

!!10 years ago:
14 years old, 3rd year preparatory...

I didn't make it to class A, which was an attempt of putting all the nerds in one classroom. So I guess you can say that I was a nerd, who was not really good at being one. Wasn't good at playing football, but I did enjoy being a lousy goalkeeper and enjoyed basketball. I knew at that time that I am no fan of watching football. Didn't find a sport that was for me, I only enjoyed jogging. But there is no skill there.

It was also the year bullying stopped, and the year that all the boys, including me, decided that they must start looking for girlfriends.

Hated my Arabic teacher, Mr. Awadi. I still insist that he was a big asshole. Took my first private lesson, in Arabic. I remember the private tutor was quite weird and strange. Later on I knew that he was a Wahabi.

It was also the year I promised myself that I must start praying, since I thought it was the deadline for the excuse that I was so young. Well, I had several excuses and promises to make up after that deadline. Then the guilt and the self-reprisal died year after year. Later on my beliefs and values were set. I realized that morals don't need to be preprogrammed from the outside.

I remember that I took a prize in a lame science club in school. I was a nerd! I also spent lots of hours between the pages of the world book encyclopedia of science. I wasn't popular at school and I didn't have lots of self confidence back then. Except between a small group of friends.

Summer was spent in between Alexandria and Fayed. Cousins visit from Qatar, loads of fun. I used to get back to school after summer break with a tan that gave me a different racial identification.

!!5 years ago:
Medical school. 2nd year.

Acne eased off a year earlier. And this meant I can build a connection with the other sex again.

Learned how my parents brain work. Knew how to avoid conflicts with them. But this also meant that lots of truths had to be distorted, cut and edited. No lies, just the right parts of any story was told.

I was surrounded by jerks at the university who had nothing of value to discuss. Also Ain Shams University students live in the other side of town which didn't encourage any of the new friendships to prosper.

After the first year shock and disbelief that I did not ace the tests in first year. I got an overall very good. Despite my enormous efforts. I felt that I would be wasting lots of energy without getting of the grades I want and that medical school is so damn hard for me to excel at. But this was not a conscious decision. It was more of a psychological disorder, as a result I spent more time procrastinating than any one else in history.

In retrospect, I think I considered psychiatry as an option for life afterwards. But I remember reading online lots of anti-psychiatry discussions and websites. Which really scared me from it.

I met a few like minded friends, which was great and joined an informal student activity inside the university called IRIS (Imhotep Research and Informatics Society). We organized several events in campus. I remember of the two most important events being a course the started the whole ROC (research orientation course) thing. It wasn't as properly organized, but it definitely was the beginning. We also organized an open session between the vice dean and the students about the quality of medical education. Mofeed Fawzy was invited to run it. The debate was so hot and open. Student voiced their opinion without any censorship and it was probably the last such event to be held in our faculty. It was however a form of suicide, all our activities in campus were frozen afterwards.

I also met Dr. Ahmed Mohi, I helped him in automating some student related tasks and teaching two post-gradute doctors in the pharmacology department, using an old computer and MS Excel. A computer virus erased all the work, but meeting Dr. Ahmed and working with him was in itself a life changing experience for me.

I discovered Linux, 5 years ago. But I had to switch back to windows as I didn't have enough resources nor Internet bandwidth to keep up with it.

In that summer. I had a terrible shock. I got the news that I failed in biochemistry. This was the worst feeling I had at that time since I was born. I remember my chest being so tight. I was almost suffocating from depression and despair. But it was a nice slap on my face, as in second year I procrastinated a lot. I made lots of activities that I totally overlooked studying. So in that summer, instead of feeling bad I managed to read Tony Buzan's book and I studied biochemistry like never before. I created lots of mind-maps and mental images. Studying it again wasn't as boring as I would have thought.

!!1 year ago:

First and second days in 2004 I was freezing my ass off in Prague, after a month long exchange trip to Poland, that was a hallmark in my life and needs several blog posts of its own. Went back to Cairo to start the sixth year, few weeks and the [ROC first phase started|http://mostafa.foolab.org/roc/]. Went to Luxor and Aswan. Went to Sudan. The devcabalists became my best friends. Helped organize the [Installfest|http://festival.linux-egypt.org] and lots of [EGLUG activities|http://eglug.org]. Leaded a group of youngsters in youth exchange in Austria. Stopped all my Euromed youth work that I tried for a year and a half. Got my scrubs on and attended some surgeries. Lots of studying.

Last year was full of events and activities. I will try to backlog some stuff. Will start with my trip to [Sudan|http://moftasa.net/sudan_2004].

!!Tomorrow:

I don't know.

!5 snacks I enjoy:
* Cold pizza
* Mom's brownies & cinnamon rolls
* Godiva and cote'dor chocolate

!5 bands/artists/songs/music I love:
I am very bad at memorizing lyrics though.

  • U2
  • The Beatles
  • Chariots of Fire - Vangelis
  • Hungarian dances no.12 - Brahms
  • Fairuz

!5 things I'd do with $100,000,000:
* Follow all Michael Palin's adventures around the world.
* Buy a sail yacht and sail around the world.
* Build a series of clinics that work in an alternative way, giving services for free in addition to paid services, focus on the development of its community and does lots of research work.
* Bungee jump from a hot air balloon
*

!5 locations I'd like to run away to:
*
*

!5 bad habits I have:
* Procrastination
* I interrupt conversations
*

!5 things I like doing:
* Windsurfig
* Jogging (although I do it very infrequently)
* Reading
* Web-browsing, blogs, etc..
*

!5 thing I will never wear:
*
* Peircings (esp. the prince albert)
*
*
*

!TV shows I like:
* TV is dead

!5 movies I like:
* Motorcycle diaries
* 2001: Space Odyssey
*
*
*

!5 people I'd like to meet:
* Ola Solkowoska
* Michael Palin (I would like to travel with him)
* Dougalas Adams (too bad he is dead)
*

!5 biggest joys at the moment:
* Windsurfing
* The /dev/cabal
*

!5 favorite toys:
* Littmann stethoscope
* Averatec 12" Laptop
*