Hidden Gem in Al Maadi, Cairo

If you are an expat family living in the old area of Maadi, one of the things that you might notice right away, is the difficulties of finding any public playgrounds for kids to play.  One of the hardest transitions for me, has been the lack of public green spaces for kids to burn off their energy.  Everything here seems to be privatized, where you need to pay an expensive membership in order to belong to any sporting clubs. There are a couple of public places where you have to pay a small fee but it might not be in the best of conditions and/or safe for kids to play in. Egypt does not have many public green spaces but in old Maadi you can find areas with gorgeous villas surrounded by exotic and local plants, trees and a couple of facilities that offer play areas for kids.

I found this literally hidden gem (since there are no signs at the door) online while searching for kid’s friendly coffee places. I came across Osana Family Welness or what I like to call “the pink door” or “the place” and fell absolutely in love with the place.

SONY DSC

The Osana Family center is a facility that focuses on holistic approaches to health, mainly through many types of yoga, massages, acupuncture, facial and they even take care of your psychological health with couple therapy and many more. On their website, under their vision statement Osana said;

Osana aims to take holistic living to new horizons within the local community. By facilitating wellness in all its forms, we promote a lifestyle that exists beyond its walls and hope to assist those pursuing a wholesome life in achieving it.

This place also has great, fresh, organic, healthy food all made from a chef in house but most importantly they sell one of the best coffees in the area.

SONY DSC

My favorite part about Osana is the openness, it is surrounded by greenery and various spaces to sit and chill with a playground and a sand pit where kids can play away. To top it off, you don’t have to pay any entrance fee which is so rare around this area and the security guy at the gate is the most genuine and helpful person I’ve met at a working place thus far. Osana has a great working culture where all employees are qualified and trained to deal with customers with respect and in a polite way.

This is a truly special place and  no wonder why it is gaining it’s popularity and success through word of mouth. I can go on and on, talking wonders about this place that you would think I am getting payed for. The truth is, I have all the respect for a business that carters towards the overall well being of its community.

If you are in the area than come by and see all the hype for yourself. Make sure you check out their website Osana Welness Center. If you think they don’t offer what you want, at bare minimal, it is a place where you are literally chill, read a book and enjoy nature in this chaotic, brick jungle.

Advertisements

Ramadan 2017-Day 8

I was not planning on posting anything today but since insomnia is beating my behind I decided “why not” make my lack of sleep useful.

I want to write a post about the difference between Ramadan in the States and in Egypt but to be honest I feel quite lazy to do so. Instead, I am just going to pour my feelings out and I will be very raw about it.

Today was no doubt the hardest fast ever. Fasting is a wonderful experience both physical and spiritual but it doesn’t make it less hard. In fact, I love fasting and everything that comes with it so much that I decided to give it a go even being 7 months pregnant.

Ramadan is not just about fasting, it’s also about detoxifying yourself from all the bad from this world. It is about building a true connection with your Creator by establishing sincere acts of worship and always calling your Creator in your prayers. It is a clean slack, where if you are completely true to your intentions and actions during this month than hopefully God will forgive all of our sins. It is the time to prioritize what is the most important thing in our lives and try to fix and eliminate our bad habits. During this time, Muslims not only fast but they pray more with extra sincerity, they call upon God more throughout the day and try to be as conscious as possible of our behavior and intentions.

It is all easy said than done especially when you have two toddlers who happen to always make their mom extra tired when she is already tired. It seems like children love to test their parents limits when they are in their absolute worst mood. But in fact is that we as parents are also humans and need to sometimes plug out.

I was my worst self, the self that I don’t like and my kids are not happy about it either. I was completely aware that my behavior was affecting my kid’s behavior as well. However, for some reason I was not able to switch off even though I really wanted to. Today, I just wanted to hand my kids to one of their family members and just take an one hour rest.

The truth of the matter, everyone in Egypt is exhausted. This country is not an easy one to live in for most Egyptians not to mention for an foreigner who is stuck in very authentic Egyptian life without any language resources. I think the language, culture and having to lean on someone to always help you in the simplest to the toughest of the problems is what is making this experience a very tough one. I can’t solve most of my problems so things just keep on adding on and on until I become an emotional rack.

If you are reading this from the Western world than you must be thinking right now “poor girl, I wish I was there to rescue you”. However, leaving here a little more than a year, all of my problems seem to be minuscule to most people in Egypt. In fact, I do feel very blessed as I have seen so much despair in this country and the world. The horrendous acts in Syria, the constant perseverance of the Palestinian people and knowing that there are people today all around the world that go to sleep and wake up hungry. Countless people who have lost everything due to natural disaster catastrophes and those who live in slums that don’t have access to clean water, food and medical treatment.

No matter how bad my day was today and I am sure I will have many other bad ones. I still feel blessed that my days are mostly affected my tiredness, hormonal changes, pregnancy moods ect. Ramadan is not about being perfect and setting perfect expectations, to me it is about being honest and striving to improve always. The one thing I want to get out of Ramadan the most is always leaning on God to help me with my problems and to trust what he has destined for my journey in this life.

Image result for “And it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”