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Love is an act of surrender.

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Falling in love can be scary, because with it comes strong feelings of longing, which may render us emotionally exposed. As such, we may feel like we are embarking on a journey into the unknown.

We think about whether the intensity of the feelings is healthy or reasonable, we try to regulate our feelings to ensure that we don’t fall too hard, that we maintain our independence.

While it is conceived as healthier to lead independent lives, we cannot help but ‘fall’ deeply in love, which has an element of surrender to it.

Are we supposed to tame that part…


We tend to envision societies that are more in touch with our humanity than the societies we currently live in.

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Our existence on this planet is hellish because the complexities of human nature clash with the way the world works.

Humans are fragile beings who are obsessed with control and certainty. Indeed, we have wired our world based on a cause-and-effect system that conditions us to believe that every cause has an effect. In this way, we can plan for the future. In fact, if we could go in the future to know what will happen, we probably would.

It makes us feel safe that we are in control; we crave stability.

But the world does not actually work that…


Silence is brutal when you are looking for answers.

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A healthy relationship is a two-way street, not one. It requires the effort and time of both parties. When one person refuses to talk about serious issues concerning the wellbeing of the relationship, communication is over. No more honest conversations, just a couple of cold words to get it over with. There is plenty of room for misunderstanding, resentment, and confusion.

Sometimes we need explanations for what went wrong because we are not used to them being that way.

We need reasons for the sudden change in behavior because the reason behind it is so vague to us.

We need…


Arab women are more than intact hymens.

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We were having coffee on the balcony of a small café when a friend said,

“I know a lot of people who are undergoing hymenoplasty. They had sex but regret it, so they don’t want to feel judged by society. Do you think their decision is justifiable?”

This question itself provides an insight into the state of sexuality in the Arab region, where social and cultural norms dictate women’s social practices and social beliefs.

While virginity is merely a social construct, it is so embedded in the culture that it not only leads women to reconstruct their hymens to preserve…


The pressure to conform is fueled by the need to belong.

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Conforming to social norms is a widespread phenomenon that is seemingly natural to human nature. Essentially, to conform is to have the tendency to change our perceptions, opinions, or behavior in ways that are consistent with group norms.

Breaching social norms can be difficult. For instance, research assistants were unable to ask subway passengers to give up their seats — a violation of the norm of acceptable conduct. Some became so anxious that they pretended to be ill to make requests appear justified.

But really, why do we conform?

At the heart of it, we conform because we have a…


The need to belong is a basic human motive.

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People all over the world are currently meeting up through friends or work at bars or cafés, or online.

It’s no secret that both in our hearts and minds, the relationships we seek and enjoy are what we cherish the most. We enjoy meeting and connecting with people and despise being separated from our loved ones by distance, divorce, or loss.

According to , humans have “a pervasive drive to form and maintain at least a minimum quantity of lasting, positive, and significant interpersonal relationships”.

The need to belong is a basic human motive.

If…


The creation of a hero system protects us from the awareness of our helplessness.

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We go about life keeping the possibility of death in the back of our heads.

We drive somewhere with the assumption that we will definitely make it to the destination. We don’t think that this car ride could really be the last one. We don’t consider the possibility of losing our lives in a split of a second simply because we cannot bear the thought of leaving this world behind and going into the unknown.

Think about it.

What are we? We emerged from being completely nothing to existing — being given a name, having self-consciousness, deep inner feelings, and…


Three new parenting styles were identified in the Arab region.

What do Arab parents care about more than family, reputation, and authority? This is no surprise since Arab cultures are characterized by collectivism and authoritarianism. Not only are family ties prioritized in the region, but also religion and culture. Parents invest their time and energy to ensure that their kids maintain the family’s traditional beliefs and principles by using discipline and compliance strategies.

Social Cohesion and Authority

The family component is very important in Arab societies not only because it’s embedded in cultural values but also because parents tend to be overly involved in their children’s life decisions. The impact of the family extends…


Cognitive biases can play a huge role in the way celebrities influence our behavior.

As I was scrolling down my Facebook timeline, I came across an article with the title “Kylie Jenner is now vegan and sharing all her diet changes on Snapchat.”

I thought to myself, who cares?

But then I saw all the engagement on the post, I found it pretty intriguing. She’s famous for her makeup line and fashion style, but why would one care about her diet changes?

Our fascination with the life choices or opinions of celebrities can be explained by a cognitive bias called the halo effect. …


We create, grow, develop, despite being mortal, fragile beings.

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We know life is dangerous but we don’t really know because we don’t feel it. We’re so alive that we think about new ideas, we make plans, we live as if it’s going to be forever. We plan to have children, we want to love, build, buy. Everything is about creation and growth.

Yet, the reality is, we’re dying day after the other. Every day, it’s one day less. There’s so much around us that reminds us that we’re going to die. But we don’t really know it. …

Carla Akil

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