Thoughts on courage from an angry person on a snowy day

My nickname in high school was the “angry smurf.” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that’s me, the angry one. I hate things, issues, and people. And worst of all I’m very vocal about it. I’m just not your typical happy, optimistic person, and this drives many, many people around me crazy. So, of course, when the “epic snowstorm” hit the DC metro area I got angry. I was stuck home, with no internet, no cable TV and nowhere to go. My work got delayed and my plans for my upcoming work trip to the Middle East got shattered. All this talk about the snow and how wonderful it is annoyed me to no end. All of these pictures of happy people playing in the snow and enjoying Mother Nature made me furious. How can you enjoy anything when your life just gets interrupted with no back-up plan? How can you be cheerful when you have this unplanned extra time with nothing to do?

I was angry and suffering from a sever case of cabin fever. I cursed the snow, and Mother Nature. I kicked the cats and yelled at the husband. I started harassing Comcast through Twitter (via my phone) telling them that their service is mediocre and that they can’t leave people stranded with no internet and no TV (OMG!) for days like this. I sent angry emails to the office of the mayor in my city complaining about their failure to plow our street in a timely manner. The angry smurf in me was in full effect.

Since I had no TV or internet to distract me, I picked up a book. Yes, a book, one of life’s pleasures that I have been ignoring lately, and replacing with reruns of  Lost and Desperate Housewives.

The book I picked was Rana Husseini’s Murder in the Name of Honor. The book tells the story of Rana’s courageous investigative work to expose the heinous ‘honor’ crimes that happen in Jordan. It also sheds light on the unjust judicial system that allows the killers to walk away unpunished. This courageous journalist continues to face a setback after a setback but keeps going. She was threatened, called a traitor and a Western agent, but worst of all the crimes continues to happen with no end in sight. See, she is not as angry, jaded, and cynical like me, which is really good news. I saw the injustices and the violation of human rights in my hometown and instead of staying and fighting the fight like Rana, I cussed and yelled and shouted, and then packed my bags and left. Just like that I gave up and left everything behind me seeking a better life in a new country, where I continued my yelling and cussing.

See, Rana might have shouted, yelled and cried, but eventually she decided to stay and continue the fight. This needs courage and enough determination and will-power that I don’t have. For this, Rana is one of a kind; a courageous journalist that had a mission and kept pursuing it. She is someone who has done service to many female victims not only in Jordan but also over the world. I’m still on chapter five and I have already been inspired by her work. Yes, this book has managed to move even the angry person in me. Rana deserves kudos. Rana is not angry. She is a doer. Read her book.


  1. Bassam February 9, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    This is so funny, Natasha! I’m tired of the snow too, but I think sometimes it’s ok there’s no back-up plan. I think if life is too organized, it won’t be sweet. I like to plan but I like how things change sometimes.

  2. Jennifer February 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Wow! You said what is in my heart. I feel bad a lot of times for being so angry at everything, and yet not able to fix it. I need the book, and when the snow is gone, let’s plot to save the world! Hope your internet, cable and driveway remain in a better condition through this new storm.

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  4. kinzi February 10, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Everyone has their own battle to fight. If everyone was fighting on the front line, like Rana, the supply chain to the front wouldn’t happen, the fighters wouldn’t be fed and strategies would not be created.

    I think your anger has creative energy directed in another field of fight. You train journalists who will fight on different fronts. If everyone is faithful to do their bit, change happens.

    But do channel that anger, don’t get stuck in it. 🙂

  5. Amal February 10, 2010 at 8:56 am

    You are truly, incredibly, wonderfuly the best blogger/journalist/observer out there. Thanks for making me laugh out loud…and have passed on this links to my colleagues in DC. Stay wam, angry, lovable smurf!

  6. MommaBean February 10, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Glad you found reading again (it IS easy to get lost in re-runs, sin’t it?). Sounds like you’ve been inspired, which is what I’m sure Rana hoped her book would do. And, as Kinzi said, you’re fighting the fight with your gifts and on your front. Everyone’s needed wherever they are…

  7. Beena February 11, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Natasha, very well written and I can relate to much of what you have said about yourself.
    Yes when we are frustrated we express our emotions………….. but when we see others, it kind of makes you wonder……….was it all worth it.
    I shall read this inspiring book as you know that ‘honour killing’ is a way of life in some parts of Pakistan, then I count my blessings that I was born in a liberal family……..:)
    You too are a doer, expressing yourself and telling the world also requires courage!


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