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...