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.


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Rome, The city of the ancient, the modern and the Italiano

Finally the chance came that I embark on a journey to the land of the ancient (other than Egypt of course) Rome was waiting for me with its sunny spells, its historical places, its pasta and its pizza. For four days I walked and walked till my feet were sore. From East to West, North to South, I think I might have just seen it all. The beauty was in the colorful buildings that although showed signs of wear and poverty, appeared cheerful and charming. On the streets of Cairo the same buildings would be looked at as dirty, poor and most possibly inhabitable because of the build conditions, but it Rome they were simply a piece of the old city that once stood there and hence, charming. The pasta del mare was delicious, but not everywhere was freshly made. Yes, to my disappointment, frozen pasta still existed on the menu and frozen pizza was a higher possibility. The economy is clearly suffering and hence the quality. The people's mannerisms are no different from people of Egypt. The hostel owner, a grumpy yet helpful old man, huffed and puffed every time there was a problem with the windows that would not close properly or the doors that wouldn't open with the key that he provided us with. The building where the hostel was showed signs of wear too and yet the structure was solid and seemed strong enough for many more years to come. I thought to myself, how come on every corner there is a statue of a fountain or an old wall. It was as if the old would not let go for the new to take place... The old reclaimed the place at every corner and was there as a reminder of a civilization- if not many- that once lived strong and fought for the land. After walking between the narrow buildings and rejecting the attempts of sellers who want to sell flowers or others, we reached the fountain. Le tevere I think it was. The masses around it were taking pictures and some standing with their back to it to throw a coin and make a wish. I sat there watching for a while surprised at how I had no urge to do the same. Yes I took a picture, one or two, but I did not want to throw a coin in or make a wish. Could it be because I am content? could it be that my doubt in the fountain's ability to grant anyone any wishes be greater than the 1 euro I would have thrown? Or is it simply that I don't really know what to ask for since there is plenty of wishes that I would like to come true.... Well Rome in 4 days was more than enough to get the feel of that which is European and yet very Mediterranean...

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