This article was produced by Raseef22 Fellows, a distinguished group of students from universities in Lebanon, Tunisia and Jordan who have been selected to participate in the D-Jil You22 fellowship program, supported by a joint grant funded by the European Commission and supervised by CFI.
Mohamed Bougdiri – Tunisia
“I looked for the added value in anything.”
Happiness is for me a reflection of something – an opinion, a thing or an action, anything that produces those beautiful flutters in our chest. Happiness is not in the big things but in small details that really make me happy and they are composed of three elements: things, the other, love.
“I looked for the added value in anything.”
The most important things I need to achieve happiness are simple things that do not mean anything to the world, but for me are the center of the universe. My equation for happiness is not to rely too much on the people in being a reason for it but to look for the added value in anything without waiting, and this way anything that draws half a smile from me is happiness.
Happiness for me is associated with the beauty of old streets, working with my own hands, with the music, dances, the color blue, or a strangers smile. Happiness is to rejoice because Fairuz raises her voice a little bit in the second section of the song "’a hadir el bosta."
The idea of associating happiness with things makes you a slave to detail, and makes your happiness associated with things that you can’t get enough of. You’re happy and you can’t figure out why you like this thing so much even though it has no value sometimes. The value becomes the appearance of this deep emotional attachment to things become your refuge that you escape to to calm down, it becomes your world that you are creating with great care.
Nada Ismail- Jordan
Many may be surprised that happiness, that "spontaneous" feeling, needs training and exercise.
I remember stories about many who tried to buy a measure of happiness. So they allocated the money and came to our countries. They went a long way to meet experienced sages. Then, after a while, they learned that happiness is not bought – it’s just a decision, one that needs to be taken.
One morning I decided to apply this idea I read in a book. I decided to move towards happiness! Yes, simply just a decision to change my mental programming, and experience a new feeling, where I challenged myself to turn my eyes to beauty, only the beautiful things, and reversed my situation 180 degrees, and I transformed everything bothering me into strong motivation to achieve my dreams! The lesson was … happiness is a decision!
The lesson was … happiness is a decision!
I found I was oblivious to all this!
That feeling, which forms in our depths, doesn’t come from a special place, and doesn’t belong to one person. It's a feeling that can be experienced by those who have perfected happiness and it can only be perfected by those who have experience in it. Though it may burst into your lips in the form of a sudden smile, you need to train yourself to be happy
It is interesting to know that in psychology, people who see the beautiful side of everything, who strive towards happiness, are defined as a "bee person".
What are you waiting for? Give happiness a warm welcome.
Noura Abu Hamza - Lebanon
Happiness for me is a way to focus my spiritual and mental energy on positive things in life, and to see the world with optimism.
It's always about motivating myself to be better, and accepting myself at my worst, whether it's my grades, my failures, my body, or even my acne. When self-confidence comes to an end, it means that you have finally begun to love and believe in yourself, and to focus on being alive and well.
Happiness for me is to have healthy people around me who love me and support me, and waking up every morning with a goal that I am trying to achieve.
I can describe happiness as being able to live in good health and the ability to think, love yourself and the surrounding world.
Another point I would like to focus on is that happiness in life depends on the profession we choose. This means that you have to make the right decision about your profession, because doing work you do not like will make you a worse person. This affects you negatively and prevents you from achieving the happiness you desire.
For me, to achieve long-term happiness, it takes serious work and willpower. Happiness is something people create and it really depends on your surrounding environment (the way you deal with people, how they treat you, your relationships, your achievements, your family, your perspective, your mind…)
Basel Nabulsi - Jordan
To stay when everyone leaves you!
Happiness is to self-actualize and be an independent entity with your own thoughts and opinions, to believe in yourself and to be able to stay when everyone leaves you. To know that you have reached a level of maturity and intellectual poise allows you to withstand the storms of life.
Happiness may not be as simple as that. The subject may be very complex, especially living in the Arab World, but I still believe that it can be reached in the most miserable parts of the world regardless of how bad things are around you.
Ahmed Balrish - Tunisia
The theater of eternal happiness is art: creativity and harmony with the other.
Let us first agree that happiness is above all a way of life, that set of strange feelings and emotions, which, by meeting and mixing, bring ecstasy and fill you with the pleasure of living.
The search for happiness is a renewed, continuous and constant search. We believe in happiness as an abode of bliss. We see ourselves drinking from the cup of happiness with greed and never experience satiety, but what does happiness mean to us? Do we share the same perspective on this value?
Then what makes us happy?
Ascending to this state of happiness is the result of the convergence and intersection of a number of signs, events and paths which attune us with the spirit in its deepest sense.
We are each a combination of different things, unique elements, visions and concepts. Happiness is to strive, as far as possible, for our hopes and wishes. There is no happiness without dreams and dreaming inevitably leads to happiness.
To be happy is a wild desire and a constant search for the verdant prairie in the spirit and personality, and to stay and settle in it is a permanent effort. I think the theater of eternal happiness is art, and here I mean art in its widest sense: to choose art as a way of living makes you keen to be creative, united and in harmony with each other.
Bushra al Baba- Jordan
Happiness is a combination of positive emotions, which we can see in many things, and I do not think it has a specific definition to be reduced to, because it is at spontaneous moments when we experience these beautiful feelings.
I believe that the greatest happiness of man lies in being reassured in his psychological comfort, in the calmness of his heart and mind, and the stability of his emotions.
Happiness in my opinion is fleeting. Its definition and its motivations vary from one person to another, each according to their own personality and thinking, but we all agree that we can create happiness with our hands, because it is a shared value among humanity.
We can be happy with the simplest things that we may not realize the magnitude of their impact! A nice word can change our day and fill it with happiness. A nice smile can change a bad day, and many things we dismiss may be a good reason for happiness.
Mahmoud El Masry - Syria
The search for happiness has been and remains the preoccupation of humans. Some of them found it, some claimed it, and some are still looking. Here is a brief description of what it is to me.
I’m happy when…
I grab my hot coffee cup and bring it close to my nose, I close my eyes and inhale the deep aroma that could only be described as being able to restore the soul to the body.
At the moment when I'm drinking a glass of cold water after being very thirsty on a hot, sunny day.
I’m happy when…
When I feel my body and its miracles. Is my ability to walk on two feet really as simple as that? Is the movement I make to tie my shoelaces really that simple? Happiness comes in stages and under certain conditions, and maybe it begins when you contemplate what you have (starting from the coffee cup to the wonderful body) rather than considering what we don’t have.
Happiness is being aware of the fact that I, the man who has his height measured in centimeters, living among seven billion people on an earth which, though large, is really no more than a grain of dust, in a universe that extends about 100 billion light years, being aware that nothing created in this universe, every atom, body, planet and galaxy, was not created at random.
Jumana Yousef – Jordan
No one would mind being happy.
Let's start with simple and deep questions at once: How can I translate my happiness into reality? How do I know happiness and become overwhelmed by it? What is happiness fundamentally?
This language is the antithesis of grief, and it may be strange to know that we cannot avoid grief, and that trying to repel it or ignore it makes it deeper, whereas we can pause to experience a coming moment of happiness.
The term does not have a definition agreed upon by philosophers, but since we exist and think and have a philosophy in life, I can interpret happiness as events and convictions, people and places that we have consented to co-exist with us.
Happiness is a set of moments that begin and end, one after the other. The following words may seem like a contradiction but life will not be enjoyable without sadness, as we will not be able to taste the bitter happiness of the past and the sweetness of the coming days. Because we will not consent to living happily all the time, even though we wouldn’t mind feeling it constantly, that contentment is the key to the feeling.
Contentment is a great feeling that you have reached the supreme meaning of life. I am contented when I feel the sunshine that fills me with warmth on a spring day, the feeling of safety that helps me close my eyes at night, or perhaps the twist of fate that reunites me with someone I thought I would never meet again.Those midnight chats with a friend that render our problems hilarious, or to sit and imagine, under the light of the moon and stars, the contentment that comes from doing everything, when all that remains is to count the stars, or to feel accomplished, to be honest, to be simple and spontaneous
To make a mistake and accept the consequences – this is the height of contentment and happiness.
To make a mistake and accept the punishment and regret – this is the height of contentment and happiness.
Happiness is to be contented, to feel satisfied. Then I can beam, because the child inside me has transformed into a bloom which exudes a sweet perfume, the effects of which no-one can take away.