“Aya”, every strike was hopelessly going out of

“Aya”, with a shivering tune and nauseous sensation in my
stomach, I uttered.  For a 7-year-old
kid, “what’s your name” wasn’t
such a big deal. However, for me it was rather a conundrum. Aya–which
means the miracle in Arabic–was the easiest-pronounced word to utter to a
question that was much harder for me. I might have been too shy to answer,
overthinking how I would sound: Arrogant, idiot, or funny. Regardless of my confusion
back then, why I was named Aya –why the miracle– was a question that has always
intrigued me.

Miracle intuitively comes to my mind upon seeing the unpredictable
goal of Roberto Carlos against France. The deviation of the ball’s trajectory
that left the whole planet dazzled by its incredible spiral curve mesmerized me. I strove to bend the ball like
him; I used to stay after the training for an hour or more to practice my free-kicks,
and every strike was hopelessly going out of bound. I tried dozens of times,
but I have never perfectly swerved a single ball. I was running out of tricks and I had to find an
alternative to help me master the impossible kick.

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Another “why” started
chasing me: why it never
works out with me? Fair enough, to master the “football miracle” I had
to master another miracle: physics. Fortunately, that kick was a catalyst for
myriad of studies about aerodynamics. Differences in pressure, Magnus effect,
and simple Newtonian mechanics were ample explanations for the weird
trajectory. With a physics flavor, I learned the steps of swerving the ball by heart and started
applying them. After several trials and calculations of the required spin,
speed, and the position of the kick, I–ironically– couldn’t score the goal
either. However, I managed to curve the ball’s path by a considerable angle.

I threw my head in
ecstasy, lay my back in the pitch, and gazed in admiration at the intricate
realms overhead. Once more, the only thing I could utter was: MIRACLE! I
meticulously stared at the black skies and got lost in contemplation. The
constellations were evocative of cherished memories of the bed-time tales my
mother used to tell me about the truth behind the names of those
constellations: ancient mythologies; tales that lead me to the profound course
of the riddles of our exotic existence.

Although physics is always thought of as driving people
insane, it always ignites my curiosity. It is an adventure that starts with a
thought-provoking query of a trivial mundane aspect of a daily routine and ends
with a plausible explanation that changes the way I perceive the world. In an aesthetic
scene of the scribbles of ink-written numbers on scratchpad –while trying to
algebraically manipulate an equation – and the blank blackboard that has been
filled up with chalk-written deductions, physics reveals the vividness that it gives
to our imagination. World duality,
backward causality, and the multidimensional reality of our universe imply that
life per se is a miracle.

Based on the premise of our existence–that everything is
related to a specific reason, throughout my life I’ve been collecting pieces of
the puzzle, wondering about the reasons why I was named Aya. Asking about my
name is a more profound plunge into my past, my passion, and my future. This
question turned from being irksome in my childhood into a one that motivates me
to persevere and reach the height of my ambition in every aspect of my life. In
a pursuit of a name’s meaning, I believe that if I found myself on the edge of
an abyss I will cross the threshold and dive into the adventure to collect the
missing pieces of the puzzle, and at the bottom if I were asked about my name,
I know that I will confidently utter Aya, and I’m not willing to give up what
the name implies.