Monday, May 28, 2012

Happiness is… a friendship bracelet

Receiving my friendship bracelet from Octavia (photo by Rawan Khairallah)
A gift is always a pleasure to receive. It is all the more valuable when it is a friendship bracelet.
I got one earlier this month from my dear friend Octavia Nasr, who was visiting Dubai for a few days to attend the Arab Media Forum.
Friendship bracelets are a big business. A search on Google delivers 4,460,000 links! But they are much more than that.
I got my only previous one several years ago from my sister Asma. I wore it and waited for it to break to make a wish. It stayed on for about two years.

The friendship bracelet...

... and it's on
Friendship bracelets are often handmade, usually of embroidery, floss or thread. There are various styles and patterns made on a version of macramé.
Receiving the friendship bracelet was a good reminder of what Social Media is all about -- eventually meeting people from all over the world (in person rather than online), and from different professions and nationalities. These are the hallmarks of “sharing” and “social.”

Our firstt meeting in October 2010
Although I had been following Octavia professionally for more than 20 years, it is thanks to Twitter, Facebook and Social Media that we became friends online and finally met when she visited the UAE in October 2010.
The former CNN Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs was here to participate in the Sharjah International Book Fair. So a tweetup, or gathering of online friends offline, was de rigueur.
Many of us had watched with pride a young Arab girl appear on a major American TV channel and work her way up to Middle East Editor. It doesn't get much bigger than that.
Octavia and I have since met several times in Dubai and Beirut. It is always an occasion for catching up and getting friends together as we did on this occasion too.
Thanks O and see you soon.

Related posts:
Dubai welcomes Octavia Nasr -- October 28, 2010
Break and throw at Tarek Booze -- October 9, 2011