A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: December 2004 (Page 1 of 7)

Happy New Year – Yes, Yesterday Has Passed

It is finished, the year is over, yesterday has passed. I really hope that everyone will have a great new year, a great 2005.

Every December 31st, I sit and think about how another year has passed; another 12 months, another 365 days, another New Year’s Eve.
I find it mind-blowing.
Think about it…Time is such an abstract concept; minutes crawl, weeks fly, days start, and years end. Yet, we still assess this colossal conception we call “time” in static formulas that I believe serve only as limits to what we can accomplish in a certain frame.

Ok, enough blabbering. So how was your 2004? Mine was alright, it wasn’t too great a year- I definitely preferred 2003. The last few weeks have also been kinda bad, but maybe I’m just saying that because I’m not in the best of moods as I’m writing this(regarding issues pertaining to misuse of authority, AHH!)

The New Year certainly seems appealing though, with January starting off with the arrival of people I care about, and who I haven’t seen for too long. The summer also holds a promise to bring over someone I haven’t seen since August 2003, so that should be really nice as well. I’m also really excited about having a Lord of The Rings movie marathon when my friend Sami comes this January as almost none of my Jordan friends agreed to have
a marathon with me(2al they couldn’t stay awake through one LotR movie, bleh)

So basically, I won’t be lighting my fireworks for the idea of another 365 more days of my life going down the drain, rather for the fact that this not-too-great-a-year is over.

As for resolutions, I’m not much of a resolution person. I don’t drink, I d’n’t smoke, and I’m generally quite happy with my life and with who I am, so I have none and hopefully will never be one of the people who needs to have a resolution to accomplish something.

At the end of 2004, I would like to share with you parts of the lyrics of a No Doubt song called Six Feet Under. It’s rather pessimistic, and I’m a very optimistic person, but it portrays the frame of mind I’m in at this time of the year:

In the morning I wake up
And in the night I sleep
Since the day that I was born
Repeat, repeat, repeat
Brought to this life
Born to this life
Where was I before?
Non-existent? Not at all?
Will I ever know?

Subconsciously motivated natural instinct
Alter nature for the pleasure
Flirt with conception
Slow the cycle
Will the baby grow?
Social tradition interference
Control, control, control

Spinning, spinning
Before I can recall
All the unknown chemicals
Control the cycle
The successive generations
From dust to dust
Burying my grandma
Then give birth to my own daughter

And I get one every year
And some day…
Hard to believe
But I’ll be buried six feet underground
I’ll be dead and gone, no longer around

Have a great 2005.

Happy Birthday Superstar

I really love comfort shoes, and the Adidas Superstar is one of my favorites. They’re also so incredibly creative with the Superstar designs, which I love.
Anyway, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Superstar, Adidas is releasing 35 new color/styleways in several different series. The latest includes 7 customs dedicated to the cities most responsible for making the Superstar a classic; London, Berlin, NY, Boston, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, and Paris.

Check out more details at the Adidas Superstar website(and look at the rest of the collection), or check out Cool Hutning, probably my favorite design blog around.

To my sheer annoyance though(yeah, I know, DUH), Adidas didn’t make an “I love Amman” shoe. Ok, so we didn’t contribute in making it go mainstream, but I’m still a tad jealous, so I took matters into my own hands:

Hetta/Shmagh/ghutra because it represents not only Jordan, but a huge portion of the Arab world, and red because red is my favorite color.
I love Amman :)

Reminiscing – To Auntie Eman With Love

After a phonecall from Auntie Eman from Canada, I couldn’t help but find my self reminiscing about the days of Riyadh(Auntie, we miss you guys so much).

Usually when I reminisce, the first thing I do is browse through the thousands of digital photographs piled up over the years, and I thought I’d share these with you guys(maybe to lessen your hate for the Gulf, look everyone’s having fun):
Click on images for larger image

Compound Riyadh
A neighbor pot-luck dinner we used to have often in the compound we used to live in in Riyadh

Chestnuts, the bbq, and the desert wind
BBQing chestnuts by the pool at the compound during the cold desert nights. I really love this photograph

We won!
I still get my brother’s RYSA sports activities emailed to my inbox although its been years already since we’ve lived in Riyadh

Invade the World Using… Shoes

Some French guy started spreading his fascination with Space Invaders(the video game) by finding ways to invade the world, city by city, with the little aliens. He has already invaded Paris, and has frighteningly good maps for all the other invasions he plans. He travels around putting up small mosaics of the old-school space alien logo. He’s already tagged six of the nine letters of the infamous Hollywood sign in LA, although he wouldn’t consider what he does graffiti.

A small part of his Earth invading scheme is this shoe. On the sole of each shoe are an alien and the words “10 points” in relief so that every time you walk on wet cement, sand, or whatever you leave your invasion mark! Each shoebox is signed, and only 1500 were produced.
This is one guy I would love to meet.

Check out the website at
Via Cool Hunting

Amman Goes Opera

I’m really impressed by the recent authority initiative to acquaint the Jordanian audience with world-renowned musical standards of classical music. I think its amazing that there is interest in enriching the cultural life of Jordanians, especially in Amman.
The latest cultural awareness initiative was organized by the Embassy of the Russian Federation and the Municipality of Greater Amman who presented two opera soloists- Vladimir Malchenko and Nickolai Semenov accompanied by Elena Alkhimova on the piano. The concert was held at Al-Hussein Cultural Center, and in my opinion, it was a huge success.
Both soloists were amazing, especially Semenov who gave me goosebumps the whole time he was singing. It’s unbelievable what passion adds to everything in life. The theatre was also full, with practically no seats to spare.
I hope there will be many more similar concerts to come.

Top Ten Movies of 2004

Here now are the top ten flicks that made the most green, thanks in large part to a certain, um, green ogre:

10) TROY
$133 million

$144 million

$154 million

$175 million

$186 million

$214 million (and counting)

$249 million

$370 million

$373 million

1) SHREK 2
$436 million

Salon Des Refusé

The Salon is the official exhibition of art sponsored by the Academy of Fine Arts in France and held almost once every year from the 17th through the 19th centuries.

The Salon Des Refuse is an art exhibition held in 1863 in Paris by command of Napoleon III for those artists whose works had been refused by the jury of the official Salon.

Among the exhibitors were Camille Pissarro, Henri Fantin-Latour, Monet, Degas, Renoir, James M. Whistler, and Édouard Manet, whose scandalous Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe was officially regarded as an affront to taste.

Yes, Manet, Renoir, Degas, and Pissarro were rejects.

Relativity and irony.

Roba’s First Il-Balad Excursion

I finally did something I’ve been wanting to do for ages, something I should have done years ago.
I finally went to Il-Balad – downtown Amman.
What can I say… WOW! I love it. I love it. I love it! Why the heck do we go to Syria and Egypt when we have this perfect heaven 10 minutes away from modern Amman’s Jbaal? Ah… The hustle and bustle, the amazingly yummy smells, the crowds and the little things they sell… AH! I’m willing to go there every day for the next year to get to know every single little nook and cranny in its many allies and streets.
I will share some photographs I took today. I felt like a tourist in my own country :\ The photographs are gorgeous anyway although it was a gloomy day :)
Check out the rest of the picture on the Jordan album on my flickR account(yes, I’m finally becoming more familiar with flickR)

Love it.

More on Il-Balad: One Fine Day!

JU’s Fine Arts&Design’s Music Concert

Below are some photographs I took on Wednesday December 22nd, 2004 at our department’s annual music concert held at The Royal Cultural Center in Amman:

Basil Khoury on the Violin and Maria Momani on the piano

Basil Khoury on the violin and Tala Tutanji on the piano

Come Together

I love vampires, I love Anne Rice, and I love Anne Rice’s vampires.
Today I become the proud collector of all of the seventeen books that make up The Vampire Chronicles. All thanks goes to Titles, who have bothered to actually have these books.

The Latest and last books added:

In another feat of hypnotic storytelling, Anne Rice continues the extraordinary Vampire Chronicles.
Lestat speaks. Vampire-hero, enchanter, seducer of mortals. For centuries he has been a courted prince in the dark and flourishing universe of the living dead. Lestat is alone. And suddenly all his vampire rationale–everything he has come to believe and feel safe with–is called into question. In his overwhelming need to destroy his doubts and his loneliness, Lestat embarks on the most dangerous enterprise he has undertaken in all the danger-haunted years of his long existence.

Ummm sounds so good!

Demonstrating, once again, her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches–a family given to poetry and to incest, to murder and to philosophy; a family that, over the ages, is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being. On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking . . . and The Witching Hour begins.
Through peril and escape, tension and release–there swirl around us the echoes of eternal war: innocence versus the corruption of the spirit, sanity against madness, life against death. With a dreamlike power, the novel draws us, through circuitous, twilight paths.

Wow. I can’t wait till I dig in! I already know everything that happens in both books, because they are relatively in the beginning of the seventeen book chronicle, but I honestly can’t wait anyway.
Any suggestions on where I should start? I can’t decide.

Lestat, are you out there?

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