Sharing our vulnerabilities in action

  School break and the family decided to go on a long road trip adventure and end up at the grandparents by the ocean. The trip had an effect on all of us  - two days stuck in the car was quite a challenge. But we (and by that I mean mainly the two younger co-passengers) did much better than expected.  The tiredness (of the trip or of the last few months?) decided to find its way into our balance during the first two days being at our destination. More specifically, the exchanges between me and the boys became tense and definitely not towards creating a fun family holiday mood.  As in most such cases, we entered a negative cycle where the more I was controlling them, the more they were rebelling against it... (typical, right?)  The last stroke was when an afternoon after some tensions, they happily decided to go to the beach with their father and I decided not to join. My initial argument was that I fight with the kids the whole time, so let me stay away so that they have a good time.

Lessons from being a SAYAS Blog editor...

   June was the last month I was officially part of the Editorial Team of the SAYAS Blog. The Blog has been part of my life for the last few years.... Here my thoughts and goodbyes ....(how bad I am in goodbyes though...) Reposted from the  SAYAS blog  30/6/2021 The more you give the more you receive I was walking with my dog this morning and listening to one of  Simon Sinek ’s podcasts. Among the amazing things he usually says, he described the most profound thing. When he was on a mission worrying about himself and only him, concerned about his challenges and aspirations only, he was always stressed and tensed and anxiety was taking over. Based on some observations, he decided to change his own narrative and see things from another perspective: every task, action he takes and thought should be for the benefit of the team, or the group, or the family or the society overall. That was when he found a sense of calmness of purpose and meaning in his life…and in a sense, happiness. “Hey th

Little blond academic girl in Email-Land - Academics@eaze -April 28, 2021

 I contributed this piece to the Academics@eaze blog/project.

Women in Science: Time for Action (Talk for the Sciences and Development Association 31 March 2021)

  Scientific Webinar 31 March 2021 Women in Science: An inspiration for Future Generation Organised by the Sciences and Development Association in partnership with Sultan MoulaySlimane University and the Higher School of Technology of Khenifra I have experienced academia and science as a student, as an assistant, a PhD student and nowadays, as a staff and a supervisor. I have worked with many male and female researchers and scientists particularly in the African continent but also beyond through my work in the Global Young Academy Women in Science WorkingGroup.  In this graph, I am considering the “Present” as the Covid era.  SO what happened in the past? What were the conditions?  Science was not a career option for young girls in the past…and that is not decades ago, it the very recent past, almost present. Everything started from girls never playing with science “toys” and dolls never being anything to do with science. Recently, I was looking at a toy brochure of a well-kn

To apologize or not to apologize? And if so, when?

As kids, our parents, elders, teachers, religious leaders and other adults taught us and many times pushed us to apologize for just ending a fight. I am just wondering though (me wondering? What a surprise!) if these methods had polarized our generation into two types of individuals: the ones that say I am sorry quickly just to end the discussion without properly understanding its meaning and the ones on the other side of the pendulum that resist apologizing for no reason (a fact that sometimes translates in avoidance of accepting their responsibilities). When I was in high school, I must admit I was not an easy person. I was going through various phases in my mind and I was getting stuck. In one of those, I refused to say “I am sorry”, not even for stepping on someone’s foot. The reasoning behind it was “I am sorry” means “I will try not to do it again” so if I cannot promise to do so I will not say it. So, what is my problem with people that apologize quickly? For me, there are t

Yiayia Roula - always by my side

  If anybody asked me until now, how I would describe my Yiayia Roula, I would respond “katsarida” (cockroach). To which, everyone looked disgusted and with a question mark on their face. The explanation is simple: I read somewhere that in a global nuclear disaster the only creatures that would survive would be the cockroaches…and my Yiayia! It was a joke clearly with a dose of pride about the strength and calibre of this woman. Trust her, thus, to survive 2020; one of the most difficult years of modern humankind and say goodbye to us the third day of the new year. My relationship with her was in a way separated in three periods: my childhood years up to my parents’ separation when I was 5 years old, the years that I was at school and she was in South Africa, and the last 14 years that we have both been in South Africa. Or in other words: Roula and little Roulitsa; Roula without Roula; and Roula and Roula periods.   Roula and little Roulitsa She was my caregiver and althoug

Holidaying in 2020 - lessons from a wave

  This year's holidays for our family were interesting, different and once in a lifetime like I guess most of the experiences we had this year, right? Our holidays:            smelled of hand sanitizer; had a view of forms and thermometers; felt like a long-distance, a social distance; sounded like the covid numbers on the radio; had a sour taste that the world is not going to be the same before. But we were together, the four of us against the world.... During lockdown this year, we got to spend more time with our kids and with each other. It was all, however, within the stress of everyday life, within crisis management conditions, within the fear of the unknown that was unfolding slowly day by day.  This year gave me the gift of re-evaluating my desires, needs and priorities (we were among the lucky ones). These holidays were the closing of the "deal". We saw each other not as we do daily but as who we really are. We enjoyed life's small things, that are not small a