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.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
Saturday, 30 November 2013
Monday, 11 November 2013
Tuesday, 22 October 2013
Saturday, 12 October 2013
Big sigh at this song... It is true that we always crave to be loved, not just if one is single, but even when one is with a partner or married. Sometimes the heart still craves an emotion that cannot be explained and cannot be found easily. Maybe not straight away at least.
I have been lately wondering how it is so easy for a man to get out and in of love so easily and how a man can love once, twice and for a third time without giving it a second thought. Or Ok, with giving it "some" if at all, thought. What is interesting is the difficulty such a process is when a woman experience exactly the same scenario, would she be able to get in and out of love, switch lovers smoothly and effectively without emotional harm or distress? No, is the clear answer. We seem to get hooked on one person as the centre of attention of our whole universe. It is certainly difficult to imagine touching another man when for a long time- perhaps even for 30 years- one have been with the same person. The truth of the matter is that men can easily switch just like that and start a new life with another woman So why can't we?! Why is our mind rejecting this idea of a stranger who can quickly and soon become a new life partner? I was telling myself it could be that we, women, get too attached, too comfortable perhaps and we fear the new ,the unknown, the different? But then I thought surely this isn't the case with "all" women. Strong women are not going to shrink at the thought of the new other's naked body? A strong woman will welcome the challenge of experiencing yet again everything in love and in love new and for the first time. Just like falling in love over and over and over and over again.... Oh well what the heck! If men can do it, why can't we? HUh!
Tuesday, 24 September 2013
Wednesday, 31 July 2013
Saturday, 13 July 2013
Wednesday, 10 July 2013
|My sister, Heidi|
Egyptian people rise to show the world that they are strong- even if not entirely united. But this was all about to change. I have to say I was skeptical at first and I was disheartened about Muslim brotherhood ruling of Egypt. I can finally take a breath and say I was very wrong and there is still a future for Egypt.
My mum and sister were among many of those wanted their voice to be heard and know that Morsi's ruling was no good. After only one year in power, the Muslim brotherhood drained Egypt's resources and put themselves and their relatives in office to "cash in" while they still can as much as possible.
|My mother, Hala|
- President Morsi deposed by Military (as request from the Military by Egyptian people)
- Constitution suspended (It needed some attention to be honest)
- New Elections to be determined by the interim government- Arrests of Muslim brotherhood members (Like Nasser's era)
- Closure of perceived pro-Muslim media outlets (Wooohooo- I hope it's including the belly dancing channel that began when they came to power!)
Now, the latest is:
Barack’s Plan B for the Brotherhood | FrontPage Magazine:
Mr Obama, here is a reply from an American citizen, Lina A Benhalim who has lived all her life in Egypt and is now witnessing all the events first hand. Ms Benhali claimed that she can clearly see the truth which is concealed by some of the Western media. today.
Ms Benhalim 's reply to Mr Obama should be more than sufficient:
Dear Barack Obama,
You can stick that "plan B" where it really belongs. Egypt is not and will not be another Syria, or even another Iraq. Your historical ways of planting terrorism in the Middle East to "create" the need to jump in and save the day as you did previously won't work this time. This is Egypt Mr Obama, bigger than you, your government, and your 10 year old nation. This is the civilization of thousands of years, and this is the land that initiated all the sciences and maths that you now use against us. Unfortunately this is one where you can't stand the chance, Egypt is bigger than you.
An ashamed American citizen
Thursday, 4 July 2013
@AxeerStudio | Ana Satreen | أنا سطرين | Asfalt Ft. Ameer Yossef
Our identity defined by what we do and what we say. I am many things, my existence has multiple dimensions. You'd think I am a single piece in a puzzle, but I am not. I am all around you. In this life, I continue to leave my mark...after all, I refuse to leave unnoticed.
Enjoy :) x
Wednesday, 26 June 2013
The issues which the conference highlighted were firstly, that post-graduate students today should have an understanding of where their own research stand within the wider philosophical canon. Keynote speaker, Dr Katherine Morris (Oxford) questioned "who is to say which philosopher is within such canon." It was evident that everyone present can sense that there was indeed a "gulf between Western and non-Western philosophies", but the reasons for it were yet to be discovered and, hopefully, overcome in the coming years. On the brighter side, some of the attendees presentations had underlying links and shared some common traits. It was a step into welcoming other philosophies, keeping an open mind and showing appreciation to speakers' efforts.
From my perspective, the conference also highlighted a void- if not flaws- within the British academic system- or more specifically within the study of philosophy. Naturally, not all attendees of the conference share the same educational or intellectual background. And if the conference is open to the general public, then students should be aware that their work must be accessible to in a way which would make sense to all and would touch upon important issues in regards to one's humanity. After all, this is what makes philosophy appealing in the first place; that is the fact that it talks about us, our feelings, our existence and how we cope with our surroundings. We are approaching an era where people have started losing the will to read complicated texts or be patient enough to untangle its contents. In the past, philosophers have managed to get away with, for instance, lousy writing style, jargon, complicated or borrowed words. But today... we write for "the people" not "at" the people. I, thus, predict that the ordinary language philosopher will be, within the next couple of years, the public's popular choice.
Another aspect that the conference highlighted is the language in which postgraduates students use today to engage with one another or with the public. There is no doubt that one always feels he/she is under scrutiny from the "other". All I could think of at the time, when someone complained that he was terrified that a specific person would be the first to "pick" or "question" aspects of the content of the presentation, if not the validity or importance of the work, is to say "relax & who cares". Of course I have reached this attitude after experiencing the same feelings on numerous occasions and telling myself instead "prepare to wow them" rather than "prepare to be attacked" and worrying that my presentation is an opportunity for others to find fault in. It is our inner projection that drives us forward, our passion and belief in what we do is the key to our success. Perhaps the one thing that we, postgraduates, are not taught is how to look after our well being and to believe in ourselves. It is not a battle of words or who is right or wrong here, or even who is more deserving of our appreciation than another. The reason why the Greeks sat around a table all together during a symposium, all equal, was to show exactly that; solidarity, equality and appreciation or finding worth in one another. So why is it becoming so difficult today?
All in all, I had a great time meeting a lot of people who I am hopefully going to keep in touch with....As for my research, it's only the beginning of a life time passion so bring it on!
Saturday, 15 June 2013
Muse's "Uprising" Lyrics
“You say you're 'depressed' - all i see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn't mean you're defective - it just means you're human.”- From Film Cloud Atlas
One of the quotes that keep popping in my head recently is this one (above). Taking a step back now, although some people would not believe this about me, but I have often felt down more than the times I have felt "happy". But then again what is the meaning of "happiness"? Now we went from one question to another which is not really what I intended to write about now...
Back to the quote (above) it is normal to feel down, it is normal to feel "messed up" because this is what makes you, me and everyone else human. I say to myself often now, don't beat yourself too much about it, you can only do too much for someone. They have to want to succeed, they have to want to change, it must come from within. well, this makes me feel better for a bit but they I start feeling anxious all over again. It is like your hands have been tied down so tightly while you're attempting to run up a hill!!! Yes that's exactly how I feel. At 29 years old, I think to myself (more lately than before) my god, I feel like I'll have a heart attack at any moment now. I try to stop and distract myself quickly, sometimes it works, sometimes it's worse...
Anyway, so when the quote says "It doesn't mean you're defective, it just means you're human" it really is saying "stop worrying, stop beating yourself about it, you can't fix the world", you are only a piece in a massive puzzle.
The sad thing is that I feel at limbo at this moment in life, not knowing where I am going or what I am waiting for. All I know is that something will happen or "need" to happen. This moment, this time, this second, the silence is increasing my anxiety and the bareness of life is unbearable. Let's hope a big bang comes in my way to shake things up soon enough!
With this thought, I leave you with a great song "Uprising" from my favorite band Muse... Enjoy!
Quick note about the song: Can't help but think in the chorus of the song that it should be "WE" rather than "They" in "They will not force us" etc... It seems to me to be us forcing ourselves, degrading ourselves and controlling ourselves... So how can we be victorious muse ? Huh? It is ALL Our own Doing!!! sniff sniff...
Thursday, 6 June 2013
Now it seems to me that Egyptians put family and social status at the highest rank possible. But when you
really see human interactions on a closer level you'd see the truth behind these interactions. Their purpose is not to enjoy one another's company or act morally withing a social norm, but rather to please one's ego by showing off material possessions and comparing between siblings, family members and gossiping about who has what and who did what. Sadly, this has been one of the fundamental things that have put me totally off interacting with fellow Egyptians. I have been in UK for 7 years now and can frankly say that I have never shared this characteristics or found it appealing in one way or the other.
|Now to be my home....Liverpool City|
To say it simply, when I walked in the house and asked my husband to put the kettle on and had the strongest urge for a cup of tea with milk and a piece of cake, something inside me was alerted that such a behavior- that I used to mock- is rapidly becoming a norm.
On a more serious level, I have become intolerant to the drama and moaning of how life is unfair and the attempts of fellow Egyptians to burden me with their troubles, big or small.
The more I look into human relations with analytic eyes, the more I realise the faults and traps I am bound to fall into and I make a swift escape. For this reason, I have fallen out with some, ignored others and avoided most starting by deleting the what I believe to be the curse of modernity and the highlight of social media today, Facebook. Frankly, I spent hours and hours of valuable time that I could have completed a lot of work in, chatting and checking others. For what purpose, I one day asked myself and found that my answers all point towards deleting such an invention. To me, it was the ties that tied me down to my roots and reminded me of the little annoying things that I hated whilst growing up in Egypt, the drama, the misery, the invasion of one's privacy, the underlying hate and the absence of morals masked by an organised form of religion.
An ultimate thing I felt after a month of deleting my Facebook page is that solitude is a bliss that cannot be sacrificed at any cost. Of course in addition to realizing how less of an Egyptian I have become!
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Apologies for the scattered ideas here, it is that time of the day where I cant help myself but think. I wish I could "unplug" myself....again, if only it was that easy.
Saturday, 13 April 2013
الفيلم التسجيلي راهب الفكر توفيق الحكيم
Thursday, 4 April 2013
Just to make it worse, the incident emerged at a time when the whole country is disgusted and furious at the Muslim brotherhood ruling that has gone too far. There are news of groups roaming in the country hitting and torturing people for no reason and unjustified arrests! The president Morsi continues to make the situation worse by his void speeches that only show stupidity, ignorance and more trouble to come for the country. People living in Egypt- my friends and family on a personal level- expressed their concern for the country and for the future that is not looking promising at all. Everyone so far is looking for an opportunity elsewhere to escape the chaos and stupidity of those who now call themselves rulers. Almost 600 students were poisoned and taken to hospital.
More information on the scandal can be found here:
To watch video interview of students on the street press link below:
VIDEO: EGYPT UNIVERSITY STUDENTSPROTEST AFTER FOOD POISONING CCTV News - CNTV English
Thursday, 28 February 2013
Finally managed to go see the new film Cloud Atlas after checking the trailer out many times for months. It was not far from what I expected, in fact, I was happy that it met every single expectation I had in mind. Futuristic, yes, creative, yes, imaginative, defiantly, musical and romantic, for sure and the icing on the cake, it was philosophical.
The questions posed by the actors caused the lamp above my head to light up and my imagination to go wild.
Some of the beautiful quotes in Cloud Atlas that I cannot get out of my head by David Mitchell are:
“My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?”
“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”
“You say you're 'depressed' - all i see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn't mean you're defective - it just means you're human.”
"suicide takes considerable courage...."
“What is any ocean but a multitude of drops?” “& only as you gasp your dying breath shall you understand, your life amounted to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean!"
How can we not think when we hear these words. I don't think anyone could ignore the urge for inquiring within oneself about the gush of emotions that one feels when these words are uttered. I know for sure that I found it impossible and it was, to me, like an invitation to allow myself to take this opportunity to think without being disrupted by others' presence or sounds. What a bliss it is to be in a cinema theatre...there is always pleasure in darkness. What really complimented the film experience though was this perfect musical piece that I felt the need to share. Enjoy