Friday, December 01, 2006


"I choose to live and to grow, take and give and to move, learn and love and to cry, kill and die and to be paranoid and to lie, hate and fear and to do what it takes to move through"

Forty-Six & 2, from ÆNIMA

Thursday, November 09, 2006

November 9th, 2005

In remembrance of lives lost.

November 11th, 2005

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Israel continues to kill the Lebanese

Almost 2 weeks after the cease fire, Israel is still managing to inflict more casualties in the Lebanese people. Israel has left behind 100,000 unexploded bomblets (such a cute name for an instrument of death) from their extensive cluster bombing of 359 separate sites in Lebanon. "Everyday people are maimed, wounded and are killed by these ordnance, it shouldn’t have happened." said Jan Egeland, the top United Nations aid official, read the rest of the report here.

As if the world needed further evidence of the barbaric nature of the Israeli offensive, cluster bombs are used specifically to inflict the most damage against personnel, their threat to civilians and after effects are well known and their use is a hotly debated issue.

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Friday, July 14, 2006

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Why the "soccer" Gods will never smile on the US

Besides calling the sport by the damn wrong name, this is what the local ABC affiliate decided to broadcast instead of Brazil Vs. Australia.


Their sports director was nice enough to reply to my email..

I wish I had a better answer than the one I will give you. Our station has partnered with Messiah Lutheran Church for more than 20 years to bring a church service to those who aren't able to go, and out of respect for that partnership we've chosen to tape delay the soccer matches that run during that time. They will be shown Sunday night after our 10:00 news, but I know that is not the same as seeing them live.

Thank God for free to air satellite television, an Iranian station called Tapesh, and most of all a friend nice enough to come to the office and open his business on a Sunday just for me to watch the game. Bill, thanks bud I owe you one.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

JP home to more than 100 blogs

Jordan Planet (JP) has been rapidly growing over the last year, when I joined back in July 2005 the number of blogs on JP was in the teens 30s, today with the latest induction of a fresh batch of blogs we've surpassed the 100 blog mark, which is a major milestone.

JP has matured into a cohesive entity in the global blogoshpere and one feels a true sense of community among the planet citizens. Some of the milestones in JP's life up to this one include the first meetup, which grew into a monthly event attracting a growing number of citizens, expats, and readers, another is a Wikipedia article that Naseem eloquently composed. Like other blogger communities, JP citizens stepped up and voiced their opinions on major events throughout the last year, most notable are the November 9th attacks on Amman and the Danish cartoons controversy, both issues got huge international attention and provided exposure for JP bloggers, the world is indeed listening. At least 4 of JP citizens are editors for Global Voices and they do an excellent job of highlighting JP bloggers' reactions to world events, names that come to mind include Naseem Tarawneh, Shaden Abdul Rahman, Roba Assi, and Haitham Sabbah. Another important step was adding a healthy serving of Arabic blogs to the planet after the blog list was dominated by English blogs, there are at least 9 Arabic blogs on the planet now and hopefully that number will continue to grow and encourage more Jordanians to blog.

Looking into the future, I hope JP continues its growth not only in blog numbers, but also in influence, readership, variety of topics, and representation for a larger slice of the Jordanian community.

Finally I'd like to welcome all the new citizens, with the now traditional, Welcome to The Planet, I'm looking forward to reading your posts. To JP, best wishes for continued success, I can only imagine how proud Isam is.

وعقبال ال 1000 مدوّنة :)

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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Zarqawi's death

A piece of good news from a sea of tragedy in Iraq. One shouldn't rejoice in the end of life, and I wouldn't describe my feelings as happy but that of reflection on the crimes this person committed and the suffering he brought upon so many lives.

The Arabic concept of "revenge" comes to mind, or what we call in Arabic Thar, it is an old Arabic custom that the family of a victim will not accept condolences for his death until the killer has met the same fate, or has been brought to justice. After Jordan announced the capture of an Al Qaueda thug who was an associate of Zarqawi and apparently responsible for the killing of a Jordanian citizen who traveled to Iraq for business, I was really shocked to see the king and queen go and offer condolences to the family of the deceased. The family in interviews thanked the king for taking Thar on their behalf.

No news about Al Qaueda or Zarqawi would be complete without a mention of a Al Jazeera, I was surprised to not find a picture of Zarqawi's body on Al Jazeera's website, although they are notorious for their lack of censorship. While writing this post the picture was shown but under an article about how publishing the picture is another American violation to the Geneva Convention, ah give me a freaking break!

The news about Jordanian Intelligence playing a part to bring the end of Zarqawi is a bonus and hopefully can bring closure to the families of the Amman hotel bombings. Good riddance.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

ثقافة الخوف في الأمثال الأردنية

كأردني على مشارف إنهاء عقدي الثالث، تربيت على أمثال و مقولات كُرِّرت و تكَرَّرت على مسمعي حتى اصبحت جزأًً لا يتجزأ من كياني، ولو أخذت عيِّنة من الشباب الأردني لوجدت أن الحال مشابه لمعظمهم
أتكلم عن الأمثال الكلاسيكية ك

امشِ الحيط الحيط و قول يالله الستيره
الباب اللِّي بيجيك منهْ الريح، سدُّهٌ واستريح
ابعد عن الشر وغنّيله
حط راسك بين الروس وقول يا قطّاع الروس
الموت مع الناس نعاس

this post has been in draft for a good two months, and I guess the only way to finish it is to do so in English, so here goes.

The list of such proverbs goes on, and every one of them is an endorsement of the status quo, and a stern warning against individuality and even standing up for oneself. I wonder, when exactly did speaking up about certain issues become a taboo in our society? If it became a taboo due to certain circumstances, are these circumstances still there? Are the younger generations being subjected to the same fear culture that mine lived in?

I sure hope that our society is freer now, and that our young country has grown to protect the freedom of her citizens.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Eve's Market

I tuned in to the JRTV website last Thursday to see first hand the confessions of alleged Hamas members on the 8 o'clock news cast, and at the end of the cast there was a story about a new market in Mafraq, Jordan. What makes this market special is that it's available exclusively to females, see an Alghad article about it. All the shops in the market are run by women, men are not allowed into the market and those men who insist on accompanying a woman until she gets to the "safety" of Eve's Market, will have to wait outside the market in a room clearly marked with a sign that says Men's Rest Area.

Those interviewed for the story, both men and women, expressed their support for the market and stated that it's a great idea for our conservative society. Now I grew up in Irbid, which is a very conservative society and I'd like to make two notes. Firstly, I find this idea to be too extreme, what harm can come from some interaction between males and females in a place like a market? I'm aware that females are often subjected to comments that are unpleasant in nature to say the least, but you do not solve this problem by further separation. All the separation does is make the interactions even more awkward in the future, because the scene of a woman in a market that is not designated as for women only, will be seen as something out of place. A healthy level of gender integration can go a long way. Take our educational system as an example, public schools are gender segregated, and more often than not when teenagers start school on our co-ed colleges they've had very little contact with people of the opposite gender outside their family circle. That led to very awkward situations that I as a proud public school graduate, have witnessed first hand, things that would make you go what was s/he thinking?!

The other note I want to make is on a topic that has been on the minds, and blogs, of many Jordanians, the issue of the huge economical and social differences between Amman and the rest of the Kingdom. I can't imagine an idea like Eve's Market flying in Amman, I remember an Amr Diab concert in The Orthodox Club in Amman circa 1994, I was 17 at the time, and when I saw guys and girls greeting each other with kisses on the cheek I thought that I was on a different planet rather than a different city. The Ammanite society has gotten much more liberal since 1994, while the rest of Jordan is where it has been for the last 30 years for the most part. It's normal for any country to have differences between its people and regions, but I wonder how healthy is it for the differences to be so stark in a country so small?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tool: The Band


If you're not familiar with the band Tool, allow me to introduce you to one of the greatest rock bands of our time, if you're a Tool fan, let's rejoice in the release of their album 10,000 Days. Tool's fourth offering that came 5 years after their masterpiece Lateralus, which led some people to call them "The slowest tempoed Progressive band ever!" especially with the fact that Lateralus followed their second album Ænima after another 5 year hiatus. (Follow the album links for track samples, for Tool virgins I suggest starting with Schism off Lateralus, and Eulogy from AEnema, and from their first full length album Undertow, check out Sober).

To say it was well worth the wait is an understatement, I've been listening extensively to the album for about a week now, all I can say is MIND BLOWING. Tool's music is the high intensity type that grabs hold of your very being and shakes you to the core, the gripping music is accompanied by a powerful message that explores the human psyche and tackles controversial issues such as organized religion. This album delivers big time on both of these fronts, the title of the album 10,000 Days is in reference to the 27 years that Maynard James Keenan(Tool's front man)'s mother spent in a wheelchair before passing away,
10000 days in the fire is long enough.
You're going home...

You're the only one who can hold your head up high,
Shake your fist at the gates saying,
"I have come home now!"

Fetch me the spirit, the son and the father,
Tell them their pillar of faith has ascended.

I'll probably revisit Tool and the 10,000 Days album in other posts, but I want to share some quick excerpts about the album, and tell anyone who enjoys rock music that this as good as rock gets, buy the CD.

Kelefa Sanneh in a NY Times article said:
"..."10,000 Days" is full of grand, heavy, slightly mysterious progressive rock."

"Certainly "10,000 Days" evokes a bygone time when musicians expected listeners to swallow their albums whole, and in order"

"So "10,000 Days" (Volcano/Zomba/Sony BMG) is purely a CD, though it's a pretty elaborate one. Along with those 77 minutes of music, you get a wraparound hardcover case; the booklet is printed stereoscopically, with lenses built into the cover."

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Spring pictures

Thought I'd share some pictures from last weekend's biking trip to Itasca State Park in Minnesota, 32,000 acres or 130 squared km of gorgeous nature that includes more than a 100 lakes and the headwaters of the Mississippi River.

The spring, green pictures, to go with the blog's new colors. It was time for the winter blues to go. Banner designed by a person much more artsy than myself, thanks :)

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Faith issues

I came upon some sort of a news report while channel surfing last night, it talked about how the American Embassy building in Tehran is being used as a recruiting station for suicide bombers. It turned out that the report was for The 700 Club, Wikipedia'd, when the report ended they cut to the reporter back in the studio stateside with Pat Robertson where the two had the most interesting and "informing" exchange.

The reporter mentioned that Iran's president Ahmadinejad believed that The Mahdi's return to Qom is imminent, and that the right conditions for his return call for the world to be in chaos, which according to them explains Iran's nuclear ambitions. Robertson's reaction was to call Ahmadinejad a nut, a statement that I've personally uttered more than once. The idea of a figure that existed some 2000 years ago returning to Earth from a well, to lead the forces of Good in a great battle against Evil, and eventually bringing peace to the world? I mean COME ON.. a well? Have you said, for example, this figure will be returning from Heaven into the fields of Armageddon... oh wait, Mr. Robertson, you're also a nut.

I'm not aiming to favor one story over the other, but to point out an important issue that is a requirement and a major flaw in all the religions I'm familiar with, it's the issue of blind belief that calls upon the followers of a religion to believe everything the religion preaches as the absolute truth, and to reject everything preached by other religions, even in such a case where the two stories are so ridiculously similar. I strongly believe that absolutes are very rare; there is no absolute truth, love, hate, etc. And I said "very rare" and not nonexistent because that would've been too absolute a statement.

Another very informative piece of information that the 700 Club provided was about the black Hatta, or traditional Arab head dress that comes in the black and white configuration, now associated with Palestine. But that's a story for another post.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Digital activism

I'll admit that I've never read the Egyptian blogger Alaa until I heard about the story of his and other bloggers imprisonment by the Egyptian authorities. But the story is all too familiar, and everyone in the region personally knows someone who went through something of a similar nature. So everyone should speak out against this injustice, this is my Egypt Google bomb for Alaa.

Please add your own bomb.

Tags: Egypt

Friday, May 05, 2006

How to give yourself a heart attack

Caution, not for the weak of heart, all puns intended. Follow these steps:

1. stay late at work, make sure you’re in a quiet office with all lights turned off. An office can be replaced by any dark quiet place, but the results may vary.
2. make sure your computer speakers are turned on and the volume is fairly high.
3. open

God damn... that was a good scare!

Monday, April 24, 2006

Egypt مصر

Explosions rock the resort egyptian town of Dahab on the Red Sea gulf of Aqaba, 10's reported dead Yahoo news

Update: by the latest count 23 dead and 62 injured, no claims of responsibility as of yet.

The ugly face of terrorism has shown itself again, such loss of life, the sad fact is that I think people are numbed by it all, it's becoming a matter of when and where the next attack is going to be. Match that with the massive loss of life going on in Iraq on a daily basis, you get a good picture of the bleak reality of today's world.
Deepest condolences to the families of victims.

Bin Laden's latest message and Hamas

In his latest installment that was aired on Al Jazeera Sunday, Bin Laden carries on an emerging theme in Al Qaueda's rhetoric, Palestine. Al Qaueda is a Johnny-come-lately on the list of countries, organizations, and people that attach themselves to the Palestinian cause for their own self-benefit, and that is by far the last thing the cause needs. We saw Al Zawahiri come out with a similar theme in March after Hamas' win in the elections urging them to fight on.

Hamas' response to both messages has been to shrug the first off and turn a deaf ear to the other. It was very encouraging seeing such a reaction from Hamas, one would hope this may open The West's eyes to realities in the Middle East and the fact that they cannot color the whole region with the very broad brush they use. The Bush administration did that in the lead up to war in Iraq, when they claimed links between Saddam and Al Qaueda and hence 9/11, sadly some people still believe these links exist.

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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Back in the saddle again

We just had a gorgeous weekend, sunny and highs in the 70s both days so it was the perfect time for me to make my triumphant return to biking, these are some pictures I took along the bike trails. First off though my new toy, she's green!

and still shiny :)

some follow Fargoan's enjoying the lovely day.

playing hide the shadow, I like how this tree takes a dip in the pond and emerges dry from the other side.

parts of the trails are still in a rough shape, 2 weeks ago this whole area was under water from the river flooding.

the debris on the trees show how high the water was.

blue skies.

It feels great to be out on a bike again! although my rear end isn't fully agreeing with the last statement, I haven't been on a bike for over 2 years.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

On sleeping

I'm sick of being nocturnal! There's only so much you can do at 4AM, and the fact that I need to be at work by 9 makes sleep seem even less desirable.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hamas' cancelled visit to Jordan

This issue seems to be the flavor of the week, everyone is talking about it, taking a position, defending it passionately, and arguing against the other's. For me personally, I find it hard to take a position because so many of the facts about the incident are (still) unknown.

What we do know though, is that Jordan is always in a tough spot when it comes to such issues. Bush and members of the US Congress have called Jordan a US ally in the middle east on more than one occasion, also Jordan is a recipient of US Aid, a country does not fall under either of those categories by going against US policies in the region, simple as that. Now these are facts, they're not secrets, so why the shock when Jordan takes a stance that might be interpreted as anti-Hamas?

I never envy Jordanian officials, they seem to be always under the spotlight performing what has to be one of the hardest balancing acts, but Jordan's location in the region and its population mix force such an act.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006


I was out of town a couple of weeks ago when I saw this car with a very cool license plate. Now there's a gal that isn't afraid of expressing her opinions, way to go, more power to you!

I really like the idea of cars as arenas of self-expression, you have many options from personalized license plates like the one above and this cuter one. Or you can go with any of the million and one bumper stickers available, I personally like this one

Or you can go with a fish! I know of at least 3 such expressive fishies to choose from:
The original Jesus fish, I see a LOT of those in North Dakota.

Or if you're feeling a little naughty, a Judas fish. Looks exactly like a Jesus fish but has JUDAS written instead.

And my personal favorite, the Darwin fish, which through the process of Intelligent Design has grown cute little feet :)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Jordan on the History Channel

For anyone interested and is in the US, there's a show on the History Channel on now called Digging for the Truth, the topic of today's episode is The Real Sin City: Sodom & Gomorrah. Very cool imagery from Jordan.

Edit: with the outfit the host thinks he's Indiana Jones lol! and he knows nothing...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Easter bunnies

A friend of mine sent me this picture and as silly as it is, it's funny!!

I mean.. his butt! and his ears...!! hehehe.....

Happy Easter everyone, and thank you North Dakota for being extra-religious and giving us a 4-day weekend. WOO HOO :)

Sunday, April 09, 2006


snow melting
The Red, March 26
preperation for high waters

April 4th, swelling its banks
irony, she's a bitch
these light posts used to run along a bridge

But that's the price of spring.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Because it's the 18th

What do you do when you don't feel like talking to anyone? When the only person you might want to speak to is unavailable on more than one level, and you probably wouldn't tell them anything anyway?
My answer is to tell everyone who's willing to read.

What do you do when you don't feel like articulating and committing by using your own words?
My answer is to use the lame ass lyrics of a lame ass song.

Cult: Painted on My Heart
I thought you’d be out of my mind
And I’d finally found a way to learn to live without you
I thought it was just a matter of time
Till I had a hundred reasons not to think about you

But it’s just not so
And after all this time, I still can’t let go

I’ve still got your face
Painted on my heart
Scrawled upon my soul
Etched upon my memory, baby

I’ve got your kiss
Still burning on my lips
The touch of my fingertips
This love so deep inside of me, baby

I’ve tried everything that I can
To get my heart to forget you
But it just can’t seem to

I guess it’s just no use
In every part of me
Is still a part of you

Something in your eyes keeps haunting me
I’m trying to escape you
And I know there ain’t no way to
To chase you from my mind

The lyrics should only be taken at face value, because nothing in the world is absolute.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Dubai Ports World, and other lingering issues

I've been wanting to comment on the American stupidity that created the fiasco around Dubai Ports (DP) World taking over operations at six US ports. The same kind of superb reasoning that mothers in American suburbia used when they voted for Bush, you know, because they feel safer walking into a mall with him being the president! American legislators deemed that it would endanger America's security to have an Arab owned company manage some American ports. It does not matter that managing the ports has nothing to do with security, that it's mainly a logistical task, and that security is in the hands of US Coast Guard and Customs Department, have an Arab owned company, or the boogie man, manage the ports is a no no.

Of all Arab countries, the company was bought by the United Arab Emirates, and of the seven Emirates, it was Dubai that closed the deal to acquire the previously British corporation. Now the UAE has always been friendly to the US, and Dubai has got to be one of the most open, liberal, business oriented, multi-cultural metropolis in the Arab world. But that does not matter, they're the bad guys, they're Arab.

A funny twist to this whole issue, is that Bush, the right-wing conservative, tough-on-security, strong-against-terrorism, smoke-them-out-of-their-caves guy, was all for the deal. While the Democrats fanatically opposed even giving DP World a chance. I guess that's to be expected in a day and age when a republican president, wait.. The neo-con republican president, advocates the use of alternative energy sources and tells his fellow Americans that they are addicted to gas. Seriously, what's happening in the world? FUCK politics.

Less than an hour ago, (R) Sen. John Warner announced on the senate floor that DP World has given up on the deal, and the firm is to transfer port operations to a US entity. The reason given in the statement DP World released was "Because of the strong relationship between the United Arab Emirates and the United States and to preserve that relationship, DP World has decided to transfer fully the US operation of P&O Operations North America to a United States entity". Damn right! The UAE should also apologize to the US for causing such a concern over homeland security. If it's not apparent, I'm extremely bitter. Way to reward your friends America.

A couple more things I wanted to rant about and didn't get the chance to are, Paradise Now the movie, I was really rooting for it to win an Oscar but I guess it just wasn't meant to be, I didn't see the other films that were nominated in the same category so I won't comment on whether it was more deserving of a win. But I will say that I was extremely disappointed to hear the country of origin change from Palestine to The Palestinian Territories, retarded really. Turns out Israel has some control over Hollywood, the media and US policy, who would've THUNK it!!

The other issue is Hamas and their election win, I was watching a hearing for the US House Committee on International Relations on C-SPAN, and learned that the US has already retrieved over $50 million of this year's funds from the Palestinian Authority through the current interim government. The US is making sure that no cash whatsoever finds its way to a Hamas controlled government, they stated that medical and food assistance would continue as planned. It's just that cash is necessary for the flow of day to day business and for paying of salaries and such, I wonder if a Hamas government would be able to handle that, especially if the Europeans follow suit and withhold funds as well. How would Hamas cope? If alternative funding sources step up to the plate, who would they be? And what kind of problems would that create for the Palestinian Authority?

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

عيني بترف

my right eye has been twitching for 3 days and it's driving me freaking insane....

Friday, February 03, 2006

Ode to parents

Om oleander and Abu oleander are going to be making it to the sleepy town tomorrow, they don't care how sleepy the town is, they don't care how freezing cold the weather is, all they care about is spending some time with their offspring, and that's exactly what I intend to do, spend as much time as possible with them. After a voyage that has taken them from Jordan to the Midwest and to the southern US, they're finally making it to the northland and I can't wait to have them up here.

I've been preparing, trying to clean up my place for almost a week, because you know how moms are.. despite my efforts, which are honestly lousy at best, I'm sure my mom will discover, what I thought was a hidden, piece of my messiness. And although her attempts to plant the fear of God in me by warning me that no woman in her right mind would marry someone as messy as I am, have failed in the past, she will still try again. I smile just thinking about that, I'll be looking forward to hearing her say it.

My parents are the most loving human beings I will ever know, they're older than what the average parents of someone in his late 20s should be. But they're young at heart, to this age willing to joke and laugh. And they're young at mind, still willing to learn new things and to accept and discuss new ideas. They have struggled through so many hardships to give their children a fair shot at the world, putting us all through college with next to nothing, it still baffles me how they managed to do it. That wasn't all, they did what must be the hardest thing for any parent to do, they let go. They watched their children one by one leave westwood over the past 20 years, only returning home on the yearly or bi-yearly visit for three weeks. When it was my turn, people tried to talk them out of letting me go, being the youngest, you have to keep m7ammad with you they told them, but they said no, he will get the same chance his siblings got.

So fate, or what have you, would have it so four of us would end up in the US, and one in Jordan. Fate, in a cruel twist, would also have it so our family will not be fully together since the day the first one of us left Jordan over 20 years ago. But at least I will have mom and dad with me for the next couple of weeks and that's worth the world.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

On the Danish caricatures

Watching this issue snowballing in the past week into a humongous mess was something surreal, I found myself wondering is this really happening?
The funny thing is that the cartoons were published back in September or October 05, I don't understand why the issue has just picked up so much steam lately.

The cartoons were tasteless and offensive, provided that what's considered tasteless and offensive is a matter of viewpoints. But there are many many tasteless and offensive things out in the world that we really have no control over, what we can control however, is the way we react to such things. The reaction to the cartoons in the Arab and Muslim world has been outrageously extreme. And as always it's unfortunately the people with the most extreme views that get heard, some in the west retaliated with their own extremism through websites that preach hatred towards Muslims.

We in the Arab world have a long way to go before understanding concepts like free press and free speech, I can see people justifying boycotting everything Danish because the Danish government would not FORCE the newspaper to apologize, or they wouldn't themselves apologize, people don't understand that in the free world, government has no control over the press. As Muslims we need to stop being overly sensitive about religious issues, we can't force our beliefs down the throats of others, we can't expect others to hold our holies in the same regard we do, and we seriously need to stop wanting to kill anyone who doesn't hold them as such.

What I don't understand is that if the Jyllands-Posten was going to cave in and apologize, why did they wait until the situation deteriorated to this level? Maybe a publicity stunt. Hopefully this is the last we heard of this issue, yes, I'm completely ignoring the bomb threats that were made at the newspaper's offices today.

This post intentionally does not include any links.

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

The tag bug

I was tagged by Khalaf and Reem, thanks for the tag guys, now I'm in the cool tagged club.

Five facts about me:
-I'm going through what I can best describe as a 1/3rd-life crisis, versus a mid or quarterlife one
-I'm not a book reader, like all of 3 books in 2005
-I'm not geeky enough for my field (software)
-I enjoy the outdoors
-I'm fascinated by weather, the more extreme the better, which is perfect for where I live

Three things I like about others:
-An appreciation for reality

Three things I hate about others:
-Being overly optimistic
-Being too lost or unaware
-Being disgenuine

I tag
-Ziad welcome back :)
-Mariam because it's been a while
-Jameed 7arkasheh

and whoever feels like being tagged.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Getting on the Paradise Now bandwagon

I've been wanting to see Paradise Now since it came out, I didn't hold much hope for seeing it in theatre because it was playing in "select theatres", the town I live in isn't exactly the hippest and is not usually "selected". I kept an eye out for movie listings in the local commercial chain theatres but it was no use, much to my surprise about two weeks ago the local old downtown theatre (think Rainbow Cinema) announced they're going to show it.

Tonight was the last show, so I went with a friend and saw it. The film is excellent, the message may be a little overstated in some parts, but it's a worthy message and it didn't take away from the quality of the movie. I especially enjoyed the scenes that show life in the occupied territories, the friend I went with visits the West Bank frequently and it was nice to get his take on that after the movie. If you haven't seen the movie yet, I highly recommend it, it goes out on DVD in March in the US.

To give credit where credit is due, thanks to the downtown theatre for bringing alternative films to the otherwise not so hip town.



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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Zawahiri dead? Episode 2

After last week's attack on a tiny Pakistani village that supposedly targeted Al Qaueda leadership including second in command, whom I like to call: root of the evil that is Al Qaueda, Ayman Zawahiri, the outcome of the attack is not yet clear. It is likely that the strike has missed its intended target, reports say that drones or UAV's were circling the area for a few days prior to the attack, not exactly the most covert of operations.

Some reports stated that the victims were all civilians, while others claim that some Al Qaueda senior members were in fact killed in the attack, including alleged chief Al Qaueda bomb expert.

What's clear though, is that the intelligence woes of the US continue, and each failure to capture or kill Al Qaueda leaders, and each tape release by Bin Laden or Zawahiri, the US intelligence shortcomings are made more and more apparent. This was not the first failed strike, but the US policy remains the same, according to a former CIA operative that was speaking on FOX news, the CIA cannot afford but to carry out such strikes whenever intelligence is available about Al Qaueda leadership in an area. As bad as a flop attack looks for the US, who's going to stop them from doing it? They have refused to apologize for the latest attack and they'll continue to flex their muscles and enjoy the perks of being the world's super power. If they would only do us a favor and manage to do something super like getting Bin Laden, Zawahiri, or Zarqawi..

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Some good women drivers, not what you think

I came across an article on Elaph under the title Ladies Under Watch, in Arabic. It talks about seven Arab ladies that made it to the Forbes' 2005 list of 100 Most Powerful Women in the World. Forbes has a focus on these ladies in this article: Women To Watch In The Middle East.
This is not the first time that Arab ladies have made it to this list, in the past, Arab women along with women from Islamic countries such as Bangladesh and Iran were on the list.

I wanted to share this as somewhat of a contrast to the article that Roba's post Am I a good driver? was based on. I'm not one to judge, but if I had to guess I'd say that these ladies are pretty darn fulfilled with their accomplishments.

Enlightenment is coming, it's only a matter of time, hopefully not too long a time.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Zawahiri dead?

Reports have stated that an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) missile attack on an area on the border of Afghanistan, targeted a suspected group of Al Qaueda leaders. It's possible that among the casualties is Al Qaueda second in command, Ayman Al Zawahiri.

more on ABC news

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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Radio stations attachment

I get in my car this evening, I turn on the radio and I hear the welcomed familiar sounds of NPR , listening for a minute to a discussion about Canadian politics and how conservatives are gaining grounds there, I quickly lose interest. I switch to one of my trusted saved stations, a rock station, I hear the very familiar and very unwelcome tone of country music. After a quick double take, the frequency is right, I haven't mistakenly wandered off to one of the too many country stations that litter the airwaves up here. I continue on, listening, hoping to hear the voice of a familiar DJ who'd say something to the extent of GOTCHA! But no, country music continues song after song, and finally the dreaded jingle announcing a new station.

We've lost the only hard rock station in town, again, it has only been on the air for just over a year. The other loss came some 5 years ago when my hard rock station started playing christmas music non stop, talk about a shock to the system.

Losing my station reminded me of Jordan, growing up in Irbid we didn't get Amman FM, which to me at the time was the coolest thing ever. Some of my sweet memories revolve around staying up late with the cousins on our visits to Amman, listening to Amman FM. Then the futile attempts trying to get Amman FM on radio once back home in Irbid, only to manage to catch tens of hebrew stations :)

Now I'm down to one rock station that I'm forced to tolerate the frequent Guns and Roses or Def Leopard song on, 80s rock just isn't my thing, and so I had to rant...