Tag Archives: East/West

The Marriage Trap – episode one

This is based on a true story.  I truly hope that many women will open their eyes after reading this article to whoever is out there pouring his manly heart out to them. Sincerity is not something transparent, although sometimes we think it is. You will never know you have swallowed poison until it is officially flowing in your very veins!

I sincerely hope that after reading this article, many women take serious action in protecting themselves and those who they love and care, and also informing and alerting other women to be more aware of what is truly out there…


Men may say that marriage is a trap. But sometimes it is the woman who is trapped. NOOR AZURA AHMAD (writer for Her World) uncovers the emotional angst of a repressed wife.

heart in chains

Elisa*, 37, snuggles contentedly against Giovanni*, her husband of two months, and declares, “I SO love this man… NOW I understand what love is all about.” Looking up coyly at her husband, she admits to  spritzing on perfume and dolling herself up just before he arrives home. “I’m smitten.” She manages to look sheepish while grinning from ear to ear. Giovanni laughs heartily, evidently pleased with her confession. Squeezing Elisa gently, Giovanni, or Khalid* as he is also known, gives her an affectionate peck before leaving us to this interview. Knowing that we would be delving into a painful period in her life, Elisa braces herself for the inevitable.

“It all began when I was studying in the UK. I met Pieter* through a pen pal programme organised by a student’s association. He was studying in the Netherlands, working on his doctorate. We actually wrote to each other the old fashioned way – using pen, paper and stamps.” Elisa always thought of him as a friend, but Pieter’s writing became increasingly personal. Friends pointed out that Pieter was definitely interested but Elisa played it cool.

Coming from a troubled family, Elisa did not witness much affection between her own parents. After they divorced, Elisa stayed with her mother but she understood her father better. Her mother opposed her relationship with Pieter but Elisa didn’t care. She had no interest in the rich boys her mother kept throwing her way.

Elisa and Pieter finally met in person when a friend dragged her along on a trip to Amsterdam. Pieter put them up in his apartment and accompanied them sightseeing. The very next day, he took Elisa to meet his parents. After that, they visited each other occasionally and kept in touch via telephone. Soon, both of them graduated and started working. Two years later, he asked her to marry him and she accepted.

“The truth is, I never really loved him. But he was there and it was the logical next step, so I said yes. Three days before the wedding, I left town. Somewhere deep inside, I didn’t want to marry him. But when I came back, he begged, and I relented. I think my father saw Pieter’s true nature. After the wedding, he specifically asked Pieter to take care of me.” His promise was just words, however.

Uniqueness of Service

Each Individual is Unique

Stichting Lingua Franca Foundation realise the importance of  each client’s individuality and uniqueness. We acknowledge the existence of the client’s own specific needs and demands. We also acknowledge that each client needs to take total control on the development of his/her need(s) through out the entire course and everybody has his/her own pace to tackle the need(s) according to the level of understanding and acceptance.

Walking through the sand

We want the client to know that we actually understand their needs and the manner of wanting their needs to be fulfilled. Face-to-face interaction is one of the basic methods we use to penetrate the client’s true wish. Some people are afraid of spilling out what is truly in their hearts; thinking that others might make a mockery out of them. Some even think their needs and demands are too impossible to achieve. We are here to break that barrier of endless fear. We are here to assure them dreams can be realities if you work hard to achieve it. Dreams are not impossible. It is solely up to YOU to make the impossible possible.

Tailored Made Programme

The services offered by the Stichting Lingua Franca Foundation are specifically designed around YOUR NEEDS. Yes, YOUR NEEDS. We will propose to you a programme/service/workshop/course specially for YOU. A tailored made programme to solely suit YOUR EXACT NEEDS.  Considering all factors and wishes from YOU the client, the Foundation will evaluate seriously all levels of the individual’s potential and achievement. From there, we will create a course that you are comfortable with to enable you to  finally achieve your goals.

Personal Development and Performance

Fruitful future

There is a new project buzzing around the local neighbourhood. I heard this through a contact of mine. We accidentally bumped into each other 2 days ago at one of the Youth & Family Development centres. The last time we spoke, I told her about my idea to propose a project in exposing children to multiple languages at very tender age.

Apparently that somehow caused some sort a chain reaction since, mysteriously out of the blue, she suddenly told me that she (and other colleagues) are in the process of trying to propose some sort of programme to develop children’s mind from birth till they are 4 years old.

Unfortunately we had to cut our conversation short due to appointments we both had to attend (but at different location with different people), but now it gives me a very strong impression that people do think the idea of teaching children and exposing them to new methods of learning, or a new language, etc. is extremely important in order to maximise the potential of the child’s mind and to gear it up to its fullest capacity. I have to say; I got excited! And I fully support this notion.

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Shereen El Feki : creating a gathering place for Arabic people and the rest of the World

Samuel Huntington’s Clash of Civilizations showed the war between civilization as unavoidable, something engraved in the core of geopolitics since the beginning of times…  A lucid examination of history shows something rather different : cultures and civilizations always exchange, giving to and borrowing from each other, excluding some elements and integrating some others according to the proper dynamics of their own evolutions.  The Arabic and Muslim world is no exception to this rule and is re-interpreting elements from modernity according to local needs and conditions, “to produce novelties which are neither conventionally Western nor traditionally Arab“.

Shereen El Feki, half Egyptian, half Welsh, is observing these side effects of globalization. “Her passion lies in the many projects in which she is involved which aim to better understand, and surmount, the social challenges facing Arabs, particularly young people”.

In this video, published by Ted India, she is showing some examples of these borrowings.

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A brief tragic encounter

A dying rose

I was in the city centre when I first met Mea Pia. She was actually a friend of a friend’s. By the look in her eyes, I could see that she was suffering intensely. I predicted it had everything to do with relationship but the subject was never brought up. My friend briefly introduced her to me, but most of my conversation were mostly engaged with my friend instead, until at one point she felt like talking.

“I found out you went through a painful divorce,” she said to me, trying to stir a conversation. All I did were raised my eyebrow and smirked. I didn’t feel like elaborating that topic so I kept silent. I guess because of my ‘cold shoulder’ she decided not to continue the conversation.

Suddenly, until, we met again in the city centre.

“Hi, remember me? Mea Pia…” she touched my shoulder and I quickly turned around. “Ahh.. yes! I remember you. How are you?”

“Not so good,” she sincerely told me. “I’m sorry but I need to talk to you about something. Do you think we could talk privately?”

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The Safety Net Project chronicles

Many people are wondering about the progress of the Safety Net Project. Is it fully running? What are the steps the Foundation has taken to achieve its goals? Did we get any response at all? If so, how far?

As the Secretary of the Foundation, a huge part of my duty is networking. Yes, people! Networking. I have to say, these are one of the busiest times in my life – having to juggle my time and fulfill all my responsibilities, inside and outside the scope of Lingua Franca Foundation.

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Ban on minarets construction in Switzerland : the extreme right used “irrational fear” to reach its goals

minaret

minaret

The entire world was  abashed when the results of a poll against the construction of new minarets in Switzerland have been published.

The extreme right party – Swiss People’s Party (SVP) – launched such a gross campaign against the minarets, using posters showing a woman with a burqa facing a Swiss flag covered with missile-shaped minarets, that everybody expected a defeat of the populist party.

But inf fact a majority of 57.7 % voted for the ban of minarets construction in Switzerland.

The Swiss People Party clearly exploited the irrational fear of “extensive islamisation” of the country and wanted to stop the Muslim tsunami…

But what tsunami ?  There are 400.000 Muslims in Switzerland, out of a total population of 7.739.000 inhabitants. Most of them work and are perfectly integrated in Swiss social life.  There are about 400 mosques in Switzerland and… 4 minarets!

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