Three Reasons You Should Spend More Time Outside


Whether it’s because of the winter or the temptation of screens, we, old and young, aren’t spending enough time outdoors. Here are three reasons to get out and treat our self-inflicted Nature Deficit Disorder.

  1. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun-  Spending time out will boost your vitamin D levels and that in turn, will boot your physical health. Studies have shown that vitamin D lowers blood pressure and regulates our immune system. But don’t forget that sunscreen!
  2. De-stress and lighten up- Being in nature can improve our mood and help us unwind, enjoy the present moment and connect with nature as we marvel at the beauty that surrounds us. Try forest bathing or hiking or simply taking a stroll in a park or along the beach and breathe in the fresh air.
  3. Heal- A study conducted by Robert Ulrich showed that patients who underwent gallbladder research who viewed trees withstood pain better and spent less time in the hospital compared to patients who looked at the wall.

Bottom line- Enjoy your Saturday and spend time in the great outdoors!

soulpancake logo

SoulPancake: Making Entertainment That Matters

Uncategorized, Writing

While taking Berkeley’s Science of Happiness course, I was introduced to SoulPancake- my new favorite YouTube channel. I became even more drawn to it after finding out, as any fan of The Office would,  that Rainn Wilson, who plays the hilarious, sometimes annoying, certainly one of a kind character, Dwight Schrute, is the Co-Founder.

According to its website, “SoulPancake is the world’s most recognized positive and inspiring media and entertainment company. [They] create smart, uplifting, meaningful, shareable content targeted to the Optimistic Millennial.” And that’s the kind of media I love!

SoulPancake’s shows include Science of Happiness, short documentary videos that explore happiness through fun social experiments. Another unique show is My Last Days which introduces viewers to the inspiring stories of people with terminal illnesses. To prove just how positive SoulPancake is and how contagious positivity can be, one episode drew over 14 million views, many celebrities, and helped raise over $750,000 for Osteosarcoma. Then there’s Have a Little Faith– one of my favorites. Zach Anner, the show’s host, is funny, open-minded and hearted, and is on a mission to find out about different religions, a topic he says he doesn’t know much about. He started the first episode with learning about Islam from nineteen-year-old Marwa. I’m sure we all could learn a bit more about many religions. Watch the show to learn about Quakers, Jews, and Baha’is from those who practice the religions themselves and you’ll discover just how much our beliefs and the principles they teach share in common.

Yallah! Go watch an episode or two, you won’t regret it! Plus, don’t you just love the name? SoulPancake. Fluffy and yummy comfort food for the the soul.

For more information, visit SoulPancake’s website and YouTube Channel.

Wadi Aya

The Adventure of Hiking Wadi Aya

Uncategorized, Writing

Jordan is home to beautiful scenery that those living in the concrete jungle of the capital Amman usually don’t know about- Wadi Aya, a valley between Madaba and Karak which rests beneath a winding, rugged and narrow mountain roadway full of rocks and that can only be reached by a 4WD (or in our case, a run-down green pick-up truck). After about 15 minutes of driving down to the valley in the back of pick-up truck, we reached Wadi Aya, and with our first splash into its waters, our adventure began.


The trip with our group, Adventure PROS, included guided jumps and an abseil followed by a slide down the many waterbodies of the valley, which are also home to small leaping frogs (saw them live for the first time here!).

After the tiring but adrenaline-filled adventure, we sat on an area of smooth white rock and enjoyed a local cooked meal of Maqloobeh as we dried in the sun.

I would very much recommend Wadi Aya for adventure lovers and for anyone anywhere to get to know the place they live in, wherever that may be, a little better. Go somewhere new, meet new people, see new things, learn and enjoy the adventure of life!


Desert designs logo

Desert Designs Brings Bedouin Designs to Your Home

BarakaBits, Uncategorized, Writing

A store that started in a tent in 1990 during the Gulf War, Desert Designs can be found today on King Abdulla Street in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia. Since then, the store has grown to offers a customized furniture department, interior design services, a contemporary art galley and café in addition to a retail store. This family business brings tribal Bedouin designs to your home. The store’s products range from accessories to custom-made lighting, bright weaved rugs, ceramic vases with Arabic calligraphy, hand-painted coffee tables, paintings and even handbags.

In addition to furniture and home accessories, Desert Designs provides artists with a platform to talk about art through Huna Art, a space much needed in the country. In August, for example, Desert Designs held a talk by Emily Fiddy, a certified expressive arts therapist. The gallery space and meeting area are available for rent for events; Desert Designs’s Cafea Arab hosts Kalimat Literary, a monthly ladies book club.

Desert Designs offers beautiful pieces rooted in Saudi culture to decorate your home and a cultural space open to all art lovers.

For more information: Visit Desert Design’s website, Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram

This article was originally posted on BarakaBits on October 18, 2015.

Writers’ Cell 10 Confessions Challenge

Poetry, Uncategorized, Writers' Cell Confessions Challenge, Writing

Day 1

What is a beginning? ما هي البداية

beginning dimamasri writers cell challenge

Day 2

Fear writers cell dima masri

Photo Credit: @WritersCell

Fear writerscell challenge day 2 dima masriScreen shot 2016-01-10 at 11.22.54 AM

Day 3

What is love?  ما هو الحب

ديمة المصري love writers cell الحب

Screen shot 2016-01-10 at 11.22.12 AM

Day 4

expression writerscell dima masri

Photo Credit: @WritersCell

dima masri writers cell challenge day 4 expression

Day 5

writers cell challenge day 6 dima masri

Photo Credit: @WritersCell

rejection dima masri writerscell challenge day 5

Day 6

WritersCell loneliness challenge dima masri

Photo Credit: @WritersCell

dima masri writers cell challenge loneliness

Day 7

Writerscell confessions day 7 dima masri

Photo Credit: @WritersCell

writers cell confessions dim masri

Day 8

Writers Cell Confessions Day 8 Dima Masri

Photo Credit: @WritersCell

WritersCell Confessions day 8 dima masri

Day 9



Photo Credit: @WritersCell

Writers Cell Confessions Day 9 Dima Masri



Day 10

Writers' Cell Day 10 Challenge

Photo Credit: @WritersCell


Screen shot 2016-01-16 at 3.45.06 PM