A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: August 2005 (Page 1 of 6)

Blog Day, Blog Day, Blog Day-do-day!

As a part of the internet rituals that have been created to accompany Blog Day, I have been tagged by Haitham to rummage the internet for blogs that strike my fancy. And rummage I did, and I found some blogs that were of great interest to me, mostly in terms of creative value.
(and well, GIRLS BLOG BETTER!)

Dooce- another witty look into living in Mormon Utah(first look being that of our very own export). This woman is unbelievably expressive, creative, thinks the opposite way round(bilsha2loob ya zalameh, bilsha2loob!), and makes up her own words. Perfect combination of colors for a wonderful blog if you ask me.

Islamic art is one of my very favorite things in the world, and this photoblog called Islamic Culture boasts a lovely and very diverse collection of beautiful photography of Muslim art and culture. Check out the archives because there’s only one picture on the main page.

I present to you one of my guilty internet pleasures, where I spend hours pouring over the shoes and going ga ga over babies such as these beautiful boots, these gorgeous Lacostes, and the stunnig flats. There are also the posts that leave me in horrified laughter such as the weekly “Ugly Shoe of the Week“.
Heaven of a blog! Heaven of a blog!

More stunning with words female bloggers with a knack for creating words, this time their word being “Fugly”- “frightfully ugly; of or pertaining to something beyond the boundaries of normal unattractiveness.”
Yes, yes, the shallow me is coming out, but seriously, dress well people or you’ll end up as another yet another fugly post! Dress well! And stay away from vests…

I was saving best for last, because it is my pleasure to announce that my friend Abu Samer, who was our nextdoor neigbor back in Saudi Arabia, has decided to start a blog. Abu Samer is one of those hilariously eccentric individuals(no offence) that totally shock you with their mentalities. I am sure he will add a lot to the blogosphere, and I’m totally looking forward to see the blog up and running.

The Obvious, Subzero Blue, OceanCreep, AquaCool, Utopia.




The other day while shopping at the mall, I came upon a product that I am perhaps a little too familiar with- Hot Head Temporary Hair Color, “guaranteed to make your hair look fabulous, dah-ling!”

Yes, fabulous without a doubt, because after one experiment with a tube of hot pink Hot Head, I loved my new pink do so much that I decided to go permanent- a headful of fuschia fluff.

(click on images to appreciate full pinkness)

Naturally, but for reasons more related to parental permission than to sheepishness, the first time was modest. My hairdresser also absolutely refused to pink me up any further than streaks and tips, so I ended up with a simple front, but a rather artistic back as it literally looked like glued-on pink feathers.

combed =P

The second time was a little blunter. My hair was longer then and already highlighted, so I used a home-kit to pinkify the highlights. I wasn’t very happy with it though, and often resorted to a bright pink wig for special occassions(the now abandoned pink bright wig that’s still tucked lovingly in a little box in one of my drawers after many, many years).

Perhaps around 2 years after the 1st time, I decided that I wanted to experiment again, this time with a crazier color. So, I found myself some salon-formula “Enraged” hairdye, took a deep breath, and wrapped my hair in aluminum foil for 15 minutes over the initial required 15 minutes mentioned in the directions(you see, I wanted the job well done).

And well done it was, resulting in what was probably my worst hair experience ever, even worse than the foresaken mullet. I looked like a complete punk, but I won’t scare anyone by posting a front view picture here(but if you are really gutsy and able to withstand nightmarish pictures, you can look at it).

That was my last “crazy teenager” hair experience, although I did go blonde for a while a little later in my teens(and I swear to God that I am brighter as a brunette!)

Now, I only go with brown, which is my natural haircolor.

As I was looking at all of the very experimental pictures that have piled up on my harddisk over the years, I couldn’t help but think wow, my parents are beyond cool dude. I mean, they had a bright pink daughter for a good amount of time and neither of them ever said anything. There is a set of drums and an electric guitar in the livingroom and they’re both cool with it. How patient is that?

And that is only a little sample of what wonderful parents they’ve been to us, I can go on and on about my great upbringing. Understand, in a country as opressed as Saudi Arabia, my parents created my childhood.

I am not in a particularly eloquent mood and I can’t squeeze any sappiness out of me, so I will say it simply, minus the icing-

You guys totally rock, bright red and hot pink are not even cool enough to describe how wonderful you are. I love you. Happy anniversary :)

Now, who is the threat to world peace?

The mighty, mighty United States of America was declared a “threat to world peace” by Nelson Mandela, one of the world’s most esteemed statesmen [source: BBC].

I bow to that.

Although I itch to, I will not speak about the broad-spectrum crisis of conscience in the history of American foreign policy, nor will I delve into the “War in Iraq”. I will only speak about American puppet Ahmad Jalabi, one of the almost sardonic facets of “Operation Iraqi Freedom”.

The profile of Ahmed Jalabi (Chalabi if you are reading of an American news source), leader of the US-backed & financed Iraqi National Congress, the interim minister for oil, and deputy prime minister in Iraq, is indeed a very controversial one.

When the “War on Iraq” finds a place on the shelves of history, this wealthy exile will be among those judged most responsible for the American decision to invade Iraq and depose of Saddam Hussein. By supplying decisive intelligence on the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction and alleged ties to al-Qaeda, Jalabi teamed up with America’s neoconservatives and successfully marketed a war on Iraq as an antidote to terrorism (ha, the irony! Their antidote to terrorism has since turned to become a fuel to it!)

When U.S. forces invaded Iraq in 2003, Jalabi returned under their support and was given a position on the Iraq interim governing council by the Coalition Provisional Authority.

Yet, well beyond the start of the invasion, after 100,000 Iraqi and 1,874 American deaths, and no trace of the weapons, the US proclaimed the war as “heroism in error”. (That makes my blood rage).

It was then, a little too late, that the US finally realized that Ahmad Jalabi conned his neocon pals thinking he could run Iraq if he gave the Bush administration the smoking gun it needed to sell the war. Then it discontinued the regular payments to him for information he provided.

Like I said, a little too late.

What prompted me to research this man was an offhand comment by a loved one about “Zolom America”(the big men of America) unpleasantly citing Ahmed Jalabi as an example. I was surprised by the hostility in the tone, and asked for further explanation only to find out that this same man who was one of the main grounds for so many deceased souls has actually had a jail cell awaiting him in Jordan since 1992!

Ahmed Jalabi, provider of intelligence on weaponry in Iraq, leader of Iraqi National Council, and deputy prime minister of Iraq, is wanted by the Jordanian government for charges of embezzlement, theft, misuse of depositor funds and currency speculation.

The story behind that goes back to 1977, when he founded the Petra Bank, which became the 2nd biggest bank in Jordan. In, 1989, however, the Jordanian banking authorities took over Petra when it failed to come up with required money. Jalabi left the country two weeks later, announcing that he was going “on holiday”. Meanwhile his brothers’ banks in Geneva and Beirut had already gone under. Petra had a deficit of over $215 million, which the accountants indicated had “the potential” to grow to $350 million. In April, 1992, Jalabi was convicted in absentia and sentenced to 22 years jail on 31 charges.

This was a total catastrophe for Jordan, especially as the government had committed itself to paying off the depositors. For two years, all of the much needed foreign aid went into settling the Petra mess.

This, my dear friends, is the person that basically enabled the US attack on Iraq. This is the person they brought back to Iraq “under their wing”. This is the person who is now the deputy prime minister of Iraq. This is “zolom America”- over optimistic judgment of capability, a liking for mismanaging other people’s money, and an inability to always be truthful. What does this say about values and democracy?

But then again, when did failure to comply by universal ethics, not having the ability to balance a checkbook, and lack of sensibility have anything to do with politics.

More: BBC, Wikipedia, Iraq News

Hey, world, look up!

For years, I have watched in awe as the generation directly below mine dove head-first into the hip hop culture in their dress, their slang, their actions, and their entertainment.

In Jordan, the hip hop phenomenon has spread to actually include both affluent West Amman and poorer East Amman. Kids in the street wear shirts labeled “Brooklyn” although that they don’t really know where Brooklyn is. They sing songs about black power although they really have no idea about the implications and the historical background of the lyrics. Yet regardless, they rap, they break-dance, they create their own music- these kids have finally managed to find a way to express themselves that many Arab generations before them have not.

This is where the impressive Palestinian hip-hop scene that I first became acquainted with here blog comes in. As I watched the videos, I felt my dislike towards the hip hop culture slowly ebb away, and I grinned as the videos dismissed the notion that globalization generates homogeneity. The Palestinian scene is indeed a product of importing American hip-hop, but it is blended so beautifully with the Palestinian cause and case, that the hip-hop is actually refashioned to become Palestinian.

So here we are- we have passionate, talented young Palestinians singing their cause out to the young people of the world in a way that all would understand- without the dirtiness of politics, without the bounds of religion. We have teenagers taking a much globalized medium and using it to spread alternative voices of resistance within the Palestinian struggle. We have girls and boys saying “Hey, world, look up!”

The bands are from different areas in Palestine, and it’s wholly captivating how each area has its own “sound”. The videos are well directed, and it’s just wonderful how you can see the environment that each rapping group comes from. I would strongly recommend you watch the videos, because they bring an interesting fresh perspective, from a generation not yet jaded.

I would very strongly recommend that you watch the trailer of an upcoming movie “Slingshot” about hip hop in Palestine. It shows you different samples from different areas(my favorite music is that of Lydd), and interviews the rappers with their experiences, goals, and hopes. I also strongly recommend the video of a song called “Born Here” by DAM, it makes me shiver.

I say, kudos to such efforts. I hope we see more towards this smart direction.

Self Indulgance

Haha, because Omar wants to hear what my answers will be like ;)

10 years ago:
I flunked Arabic and Math in grade school and had to spend the whole summer getting tutored in my grandmother’s dining room while I started longingly through the window at the garden while the boys played.

5 years ago:
I was kicking Arabic’s and Math’s asses by getting As in all my high school courses including those monsters(I beat you, you evil, evil things).

1 year ago:
I was rid of Arabic and Math forever and sinking happily in the sea of the fine arts(ok, ok, I still have to deal with Arabic 101 and Arabic 102 but leave me alone).

Read the rest of this post here.

Because ice cubes are sooo out…

This tray makes little cylinders of ice, that are considerably easier to insert into plastic bottles than their cubic counterparts.

How come no one ever thought of that?

+ Oh, Gizmo!

Short Movie of the Day

Starring: Sami Elzaharna(top right corner with the afro, I’m glad that’s gone!)

Weeeeeh! I’m friends with a movie star! :P

Yes, yes, he DoEs have a “cute smile”.

Watch the movie here.

Yours truly, Piaget

Wow, jewelery with a geek quotient! Just send a copy of your fingerprints to Piaget, and they’ll make a watch or pendant design out of it. An expensive geek gadgetry too- the swirls are laid out in diamonds and white gold.

Hm, and surprisingly, the watch is not all that bad.

What say you?

That’s a woman!

I finally put too many classes with Mazen Asfour to good use (for the acquainted, meant ironically, otherwise, boo hoo hoo).

Technically, this is my first time reading Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code”, but untechnically, I’ve read it before as I’ve previously read enough bits and pieces of it to get the hang of the story. Yes, yes, I know, I should have read it properly two years ago, but it has just gotten “unbanned” in Jordan, so blame the radicals.

Well, beyond technicalities, it’s one hell of a good read.

Although I’m not exactly a fan of detective books, Dan Brown totally caught my love by combining some of my favorite things in the world between two covers- beautiful history, wonderful art, and religious contemplating. It poses some very, very interesting concepts, philosophies, and theories, and for someone as obsessed with relations between the “modern religions” and their relationship with the ancient ones, this book provides an interesting insight.

The plot had too many twists and turns for my liking, but the supporting material was very fascinating- Opus Dei, Bottetcili, the secret Priory of Sion, pagan religions, Magdalene, symbology, feminism, agnosticism, and Leonardo Da Vinci! Gold!

Totally recommended book, especially if you’re interested in art and religion.

Quoted from “The Da Vinci Code”: “History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe. As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?'”


I go all lovey-dovey when it comes to the theory of relativity- not Einstein’s mind you (I’m not even sure I know what that talks about), but rather, the one that proclaims everything in life as relative to the particular moment in time.

If a woman goes parading in a pink-and-white, ultra-cute, polka-dot bathing suit in Al-Ghor, she’ll probably get shot rhetorically speaking(if anyone relates that to women driving in Saudi Arabia I’m going to SCREAM!). Yet, a few minutes away from Al-Ghor at the gorgeously beautiful Moevenpick Resort, she’ll be overdressed if she’s wearing anything but the slinkiest ooh-la-la bikini.

And all in the matter of a few kilometers!

Wow, magic right?


What I’m actually going to say next is completely related to the above, regardless of whether you can relate soap to tea or not, but really, it makes perfect sense in my mind.

Well, I’m having an itsy-bitsy problem with this relativity abracadabra, because I cannot figure these Ammanites out!

I have to get a new whole set of what’s right and what’s wrong in order to fit into Amman’s theory of relativity!

It’s like, what? How in God’s beautiful pink-tinted world is that considered ethically wrong?

Thank God for Abu Samer, who was born and bred in this eccentric melting pot of diverse mentalities, and who has been kindly telling me that “Roba, inti fyoosatik darbeh!”

Seriously dude, ana fusati darbeh?


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