AndFarAway

A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: February 2006 (Page 1 of 4)

I want this now now now now


The picture above is of a paint set and a pair of adidas trainers.
In. The. Same. Box.
Together. Sold as one! As a package! And they work together! Ahhh, I’m in love.


adidas is re-releasing the adicolor LO (originally from 1983) in a kit that includes the original plain white shoes, paints, brushes and a wooden palette. They are also releasing 36 pre-customized pairs that extend the concept beyond the original adicolor style to include Superstars, Centuries and Stan Smiths. Nice.

+Sneaker Freak

Reverse

During my first semester at the UofJ, my daily parking experience was something worse than the “Suffi, Suffi” scenario. There were actually days where I had to have friends (and ok, random people on the street) drive my car out of an extremely tight spot, and others where I would get so frustrated at the lack of proper parking spots that I’d skip school altogether and just go back home.

But yeah, that was only the first semester, because if the UofJ doesn’t teach you anything at all, it will at least teach you how to successfully squeeze your car into the tightest, most inappropriate spots, while all the while practically equipping every inch of the parking lot’s surface area so as to fit the most cars possible.

Let me illustrate with some images from my “Karajat il jam3a” collection, which I’ve actually been collecting for years:

car1
I took this picture this morning, and although it was a heck of a freaky park, I absolutely love the chaos! It’s hilarious, isn’t it? Some of the cars are diagonally parked, others are horizontally parked, and you have 4 rows of cars in a parking lot that’s designed for two rows.

car2
Same parking lot, less chaos, but still quite terrible.

car3
There aren’t any two cars that are actually aligned properly, and there is no horizontal/vertical organization.

zooksie 410
A sea of cars…

car5
Around the Science’s gate, I know it doesn’t appear like a terrible park in the picture, but trust me, it is.

car6

Finish classes only to realize that some van had closed off my way out… we got my car out in the end, but it wasn’t the most pleasant experience. The awesomest part about this picture is that my mother was stuck in the SAME situtation (where a van was closing off her way) and in the SAME parking spot in 1979 (but she wasn’t as lucky, a group of guys had to lift her car into a diagonal position).

car4
Again, no car alignment.

zooksie 409
Triple parkings, lack of alignment, and random parking allotment.

Now, who agrees that they seriously need to invest in some land for student parking?
مأساة il parking at Jordan University.

Table Rundown

tea_forte.jpg

Although I’m more into minimalist design than floweriness and stuff, I thought this Tea Forté tea infusers set was a quite interesting repackaging attempt from the regular teabag. I like the triangular shape, and the whole concept of it sitting next to the cup rather than being inside of it. It gives tea an air of importance, does it not?

On the other hand, the float tea lantern and tea cups from New World Tea are precisely what I would serve my tea with if I’m ever rich. They’re absolutely beautiful, and they remove the terrible tea atittude (think Laura Ashley, zen, and yoga) and replace it with a cool and hip one. Nice.

salt+pepper big.jpg

Next, these awesome salt and Pe + (Pe)r shakers from Modern Poverty are fantastic, and the gorgeous rainbow pixelated dinnerware set from ElseWare are to die for! I think I’m in love with the plates… they’re so pretty! Ahhh…

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All this said, I’m a terrible hostess.

A Sad Day for Islamic Architecture

http://i2.wp.com/photos1.blogger.com/blogger/6309/1685/1600/samarra03_large.jpg?w=629

Perhaps the only humbling thing about religion in my opinion is religious architecture (and here, I’m not only talking about Islamic religious architecture, but religious architecure in general). In fact, nothing has ever made me feel as spiritual as stepping into the vast openness of a great mosque, such as the Sultan Hassan mosque in Cairo or the Ummayyad Mosque in Damascus. When we visited Mecca a few years ago, the beauty of il-Haram almost brought me to tears.

So today, as I was looking at pictures of the bombed out Islamic monument the Askariya Shrine in one of the capitals of the Islamic Civilization, Samarra, I got really depressed. The dome has basically collapsed and an adjoining wall was heavily damaged.

Unbelieavably depressing! I will echo the thoughts of Tareq Kahlawi (who has a superb blog on Islamic art and architecture), “Why such architectural treasures, that should be not only Iraqi treasures but also international treasures, why should they suffer from the political struggles?!”

Read more on the Askariya Shrine here.
Also, check out this post by Prometheus(Arabic).

And while we’re on this, here’s a cartoon by the late Naji il-Ali (via The Damascene Blog),

Naji3am742

-Are you Muslim or Christian? Sunni or Shiite? Druze or Alawite? Coptic or Maronite? Greek Catholic or Greek Ortho…
-I am Arab, jackass!

Walls

coverred

Remember when I asked you guys to help me choose a poem for a certain project back in November? Yeah, this post belongs back in December, but well, I promised I’d share the results of that project, so here’s the post.

Although a lot of the suggestions offered were simply fantastic (especially the Sufi poetry), I decided in the end to go with a different type of poetry- Pink Floyd lyrics. Yeah, sure, you can launch an attack on how unappreciative I am of the finer things in life, I deserve it. I mean, I’m always telling people off for not being able to enjoy real art then I go on and do the same sort of thing. Bleh. Blame the literature teachers of my youth.

The best thing about that project that we had the creative freedom to do whatever we want as long as we only used type, which is why I decided to ditch the regular poster style and do it in a binded book form made of colored tracing paper. The purpose? Ok, let me show off my BS-ing skills (which is why I did so well in literature).

I chose Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” because I could relate to it’s concept much more than most of the poetry I read (and although there was a certain agnostic poem that Onzlo suggested that I really enjoyed, I didn’t want to be shot in the U of J’s ultra-conservative environment).

“The Wall”, at least to me, portrays the fact that our lives, no matter how free we think they are, are actually surrounded by layers upon layers of controls, such as culture, society, our own education, religion, government, and conviction, just to name a few. These controls might not neccessarily be negative, quite the contrary, but I think that it is important that we are at least aware of the fact that we don’t have complete freedom of will over our actions. This is a very complex issue often used to account for atheism, and I will not go into it’s details here, but feel free to Google it for it will certainly provide you with something to think about.

The concept of unawareness and free will in the project were symbolized in form of layers, a trip to self discovery, the cover being the outermost layer, where a person is still ignorant to the realities of life, and the last page being a mirror, where the person on the trip comes face to face with his reflection minus all the controls. Everything in this project is composed of the various lyrics in “The Wall”.

I will put pictures rather than the actual graphic files because I feel like it is more personal this way. There are many pages, most of which are not included. The icons below are put in order, and you will find some more BS-ing (phalsapheh) when you go to the image page.

Click on images in order:

IMG_1543bay 027bay 030IMG_1532
daddymotherbricksemptyspacesbay 054
bay 058IMG_1538bay 072

The feminists

Look what we found today just outside the science’s gate in the U of J, a street sign apparently vandalized by feminists. Yeah, sure, perhaps the whole feminist scenario is only in my own head, but it’s so amusing to me.

It hasn’t been two weeks since the semester started and I’m already swamped with work. Not that I’m complaining, I’m one of those people who needs to be busy to be happy, but just in case I don’t reply to emails, messages, comments, or phonecalls, don’t hate me. I will reply when I figure out “wein Allah 7atetni”.

What the toot is happening there?

Just in case you missed this, toot has now doubled in size- more bloggers from all around the Arab world are now a part of the toot community. The increase in size pretty much means that you can now find almost anything on toot- politics, music, sports, art and design, science, and even caricatures! All unproccessed from the Arab world…

Go on, check the new blogs out, there’s surely something for everyone. Show us what you like by voting for your favorite blogs. Show us your favorite content so that you see more of it. What’s tootilicious baby?

Design Rundown

Did I mention that I love MoCo Loco? It’s probably my favorite design blog around- it’s so deliciously modern. Some stuff that are making me itch for a pencil and a trip to a model-making supply store:

stella_urban_tableware.jpg

Stella‘s Urban Tableware, inspired by traditional delft, decorated with scenes from the 21st century. My parents have always had a good deal of Dutch friends, which pretty much means that our house has tons and tons of white Dutch delft decorated with blue windmills and cottages (something similiar to image to the left). Seeing such a beautiful medium and ancient art used to represent modernity is just absolutely fantastic.

dumbbell.jpg

Here’s another something that blew my mind. It took me a while to believe that these are dumbells, and I’m still not sure as to their ergonomics. Not that it matters… they’re so pretty that I would display them as pieces of art. Like a giant stainless steel muscle fibre they are designed by Henriette Melchiorsen.

bendable_interior_objects.jpg

Finally, there’s these Bendable Interior Objects tables, lampshades, hangers that you pop out and bend into shape. Wow. I love it so much…

Anyway, I guess this whole paper objects, DIY thing is a trend. More examples from different designers:

ronen_kadushin_eclipse.jpg
I love how minimalistic this is, dubbed the Eclipse lamp and designed by Ronen Kadushin. It’s quite a smart design…

l_58927m_58927

Designed by Mark Mckenna, the designer emulation kits are a fun little DIY project where users can take part in the design process to create your own “design classic” by assembling a tiny kit that resembles a famous design object.

After a trip…

My brother’s car came back with a beard;

And you thought I was crazy?

It’s no big secret that I’m very anal about language. I get pissed off when people use “u”, “r”, and “2” instead of “you”, “are”, and “too”. I get offended when people don’t capitalize the first letter of my name. I get upset when people can’t spell properly (for the love of God, have you heard of spellchecks?) I can’t stand people who replace c’s with k’s and s’s with z’s.

Point is, I’m honestly willing to bitch about the misuse of language for the next hour, listing things you probably never even thought of, like the fact that I think that people who don’t bother capitalizing the pronoun “I” don’t have any self respect and that I think people who get overexcited with punctuation should be shot.

Ah, God. This is making me sound like a complete control freak, which I’m not (just check out the state of my bedroom), but when it comes to what I’m reading, I can’t help it! Among today’s SMS messages of “helowz robz,am goin4cofee,want2cum?” and instant messages along the lines of “roobee i told u that b4!!!!!”, Roba, or Roobee, or whatever you want to call me, is going absolutely crazy.

But wait, you think that’s crazy? Think again, my love. Here’s someone who’s a lot more anal about language;

It doesn’t matter whether you’re reading your local rag, surfing the net or trying to make heads or tails of someone’s inane blog — the quality bar is set lower than ever, which is saying a lot considering it was never set very high to begin with. …

Any number of my acquaintances excuse the bad writing and atrocious punctuation that proliferates in e-mail by saying, in essence, “Well, at least people are writing again.” Horse droppings. People have never stopped writing, although it’s reaching a point where you wish a lot of them would.

The very nature of e-mail (which, along with first cousins IM and text messaging, is an undeniably handy means of chatting) encourages sloppy “penmanship,” as it were. Its speed and informality sing a siren song of incompetent communication, a virtual hooker beckoning to the drunken sailor as he staggers along the wharf.

But it’s not enough to simply vomit out of your fingers. It’s important to say what you mean clearly, correctly and well. It’s important to maintain high standards. It’s important to think before you write.

[Read all of article here]

See? I told you I’m not that crazy. Admittedly, this article made me grin, it made me grin real big (although the bits that involved dissing out technology hurt the technology lover side of me), but I’d never describe newspapers as “rags”, and people’s writings as “horse droppings” and “vomit out of fingers” (probably because I don’t want to get hate mail).

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