Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. Everything has been figured out, except how to live. One always dies too soon or too late. And yet, life is there, finished. The line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life. There is only one day left, always starting over. It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk. We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are, that is the fact. When you live alone you no longer know what it is to tell a story: the plausible disappears at the same time as the friends. You let events flow by too.Suddenly you see people appear who speak and then go away; you plunge into stories of which you can't make head or tail. You'd make a terrible witness. It is true that people who live in society have learned how to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends. Luckily, I only have a few...

Dr Shaw is a lecturer in Further Education at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. She also offers philosophy courses at the School of Continuing Education, Lifelong learning, at the University of Liverpool. In 2015, she has completed her Doctorate in philosophy with a focus on existentialism, the equilibrium doctrine and narrative. She has worked as a teacher of English and Comparative literature and Philosophy at The American University in Cairo, Egypt where she also obtained her BA (Hons). Dr Shaw has an MA in Philosophy and Literature from the University of East Anglia where she also taught on a number of humanities subjects. Whilst working in North Wales in Further education, she gained a PGCE aimed at teaching in FE and HE sectors. Dr Shaw moved to Liverpool in 2010 where she now resides.

Interests: Existentialism, Narrative, Comparative Literature, Feminist Thought, Public Speaking, Arab Existentialism, Philosophy of Education, Art, Music, Film and Theatre, Greek Mythology, Existential counsellor and psychotherapist.


Friday, 18 February 2011

A Night to Remember: Arabian Night

17th Feb 2011 marks the best party that Morton House hall of residence have ever seen!

This guest night event took place at Carnatic House Herculaneum Hall. I still recall the first day I agreed to take on the most challenging job of being a hall tutor for the University of Liverpool's halls of residence. Luckily, I am surrounded by the best people one could every meet. And I am going to make sure that I continue to stay in touch with each and every one of them. It is true that a friend in need is a friend indeed!

The event planned by myself and the hall students committee who are a dedicated number of students (4 guys and 1 girl- students of the university) have exceeded many guests expectations. Owl events management (http://www.owleventmanagement.co.uk/choose-your-event/awards-dinners-themed-parties/) were extremely helpful and understanding of all our needs. Their promise to help in every possible way is not in vain. They managed to create the Arabian atmosphere with minimal decor, use of props and brilliant lighting without exceeding our budget. It was worth every penny spent!

Entertainment for the event was provided by the fantastic Egyptian band "Property of Nadya Shanab" Nadya's blog: (http://nadyashanab.blogspot.com/) is worth exploring to get an in depth insight into Egyptian music, culture, and perspective on Middle Eastern/Western fusions conveyed in her music. My relationship with Nadya is one that I will always cherish and I am sure I will be shedding a few (possible a lot more) tears when she decides to leave UK and go back "home" to Cairo. Having been to the same university in Cairo, brought up in very similar environment, culture  and mistaken by everybody I know to be sisters- if they haven't already thought that I am the one on the stage singing, Nadya is one of the beautiful people who I will always miss and keep in my heart. Who would have though that I met with Nadya for the first time nearly a month before the event after communicating on Facebook and realising how much we have in common. I can only regret the years that passed without me knowing her and having her as my dearest friend. Although I will be upset she wants to return to Cairo to be with her family (something that I believe I should do sooner than later myself yet I feel I am still held down here by my studies and the life that I created for myself), I will be happy for her and I will continue to be in touch and go see her every time I manage to be back in Egypt. Music from Nadya's band that kept students yelling for more and up on their feet could be listened to/bought at the band's website: http://www.myspace.com/nshanab. I had to buy Nadya's CD because she makes me feel that I am not too far away from home...thank you Nadya for being a lovely friend!

Gavin Kendrick: Sound of Dusk
After the band "Property of Nadya Shanab" performed, DJ Gavin Kendrick played tunes that kept the students on their feet till 2 am!! Gavin is a Liverpool based writer and record selector. He has an interesting insight into rare beautiful music and the music culture. He contributes immensely to Shook music magazine and attempts to keep his readers updated on his blog: (http://www.soundofdusk.co.uk/). He also  host and DJ for Jazz FM  and also resident DJ in many popular places both in Liverpool and London. Having finally met Gavin after messaging on Facebook before the event in preparation of what to come, I am glad to say that he is such a friendly guy and goes the extra mile to make sure that everything is great. Thanks to him and his music selection, the hall was still full till 2 am.

I had to turn the lights off for students to realise that the night is over and they should go to bed.

Ishtar showing a special move
The belly dancer performed an hour in Carnatic House's own Carni-Bar which was thankfully full with students enjoying themselves and awaiting her performance. Ishtar is mesmerised by the Egyptian culture and her love for belly dancing has led her to explore this further and produce great dance routines. Not only does she offer local belly dancing lessons (http://www.bellydancemerseyside.co.uk/wb/), but she also hosts special events as an organiser. Luckily, I found Ishtar's website and she was happy to perform in our Arabian night party. The students were thrilled- I doubt they had such an opportunity to watch a belly dancer before coming University and the halls. Such a tradition that is seen as very exotic by the Western world. Thanks to Ishtar the feedback from the students was very positive and they absolutely loved her friendly nature, moves and interaction- I believe the picture speaks for itself :)

Finally, I am very thankful for being part of this event, proud of every friend who helped out and every hall student committee member who played his/her role nicely to make sure everything is superb. I can only hope that this event has showed the students that with hard work and determination, anything is possible. One should always aspire to achieve and maintain high quality/standards. I will continue to do so because I am sure that if my mum was in the event last night, she would have been as touched as I was with the president of students speech, everyones' applause. I continue to owe everything I do to her and everything I am...