A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: May 2007 (Page 1 of 3)

On May

I stopped striking away at the calendar sometime in mid May. The first half of it was painfully slow, but I have no idea how the rest of it managed to come to an end. But it did… and here we are at June. May changed everything.

Life is finally back on track.

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On May

On April
On March

فيسائلني القمر يا حلوة ما الخبر

I first heard of Macadi Nahhas in a comment that was posted on this blog, and I’ve been wanting to hear her live ever since. Today, I finally got the chance, and I must say, I was totally blown away (and I am not particularly sensitive to music so that really is saying something). Her voice rings with music even when it is unaccompanied by any sort of musical instrument to the extent that she is even comparable to Fayrouz.

She unfortunately didn’t sing much, but she did sing some of my favorite songs ever, including “Sahar il Layali”, “Methel il Nejmah Wil Gamar“, and “Ahwak”. She sang “Ahwak”, a song I absolutely love, without any instruments and it was absolutely breathtaking.

Great show. I can’t wait to get the chance to hear her live again.

Here’s a video that I can’t stop listening to of her singing Ahwak:

أهواك بلا أمل و عيونك تبسم لي
و ورودك تغريني بشهيات القبل
أهواك و لي قلب بغرامك يلتهب
تدنيه فيقترب تقصيه فيغترب
في الظلمة يكتئب و يهدهده التعب
فيذوب و ينسكب كالدمع في المقل
في السهرة أنتظر و يطول بي السهر
فيسائلني القمر يا حلوة ما الخبر
فأجيبه و القلب قد تيمه الحب
يا بدر أنا السبب أحببت بلا أمل

Here’s a video with a little “collage” of the show:


It didn’t really sink in yet though, but well, I actually have nothing to think about for the next couple of days, and that feels really good. Will not check my email yet… may fill you in later I guess :)
Now is the time to read a few books… catch up with friends… asee3 for a few days… Yay.

Jadal + Vengo + Canteca Da Macao

As I have had a rather hermit-ish year, I didn’t really go to many (to be more honest, any) concerts during the past several (many) months. But because we live so near by The Courtyard and thanks to their booming sound system and plethora of events, I get to feel like I’m almost in every musical event they hold.

A couple of days ago though we went to one of the events of the Spanish Cultural Week, where Jordanian bands Jadal and Vengo opened up for “legendary” Spanish band Canteca De Macao. I have heard Jadal play several times (once live at Battle of the Bands a couple of years ago), but I’ve never even heard of the other two bands, although the Spanish one is being marketed in town as “legendary” (would be glad to be enlightened as to whether they’re really legendary or not by anyone who is more aware of Spanish music as I know nothing about it).

The concert started with Jadal with their Arabic rock, and they seem to have a huge following amongst Jordanian youth. I must admit that they were the main reason I went to the concert as I have heard so much about them, but honestly, I was disappointed. Although their music is quite excellent, there is too much distortion and the lead singer needs to do a lot of work on how his vocals relate to the music being played by the band. What really impressed me about Jadal though is their creativity, their music is certainly quite innovative, and has huge potential. My favorite Jadal song was “Salma”. That was really good.

Vengo played next, and like I mentioned previously, I’ve never heard of them before, yet they were a pleasant surprise and the part I enjoyed most in the concert. Their music is pretty good, the singing is not bad at all, and they had some really enjoyable songs.

Finally, the “legendary” Canteca Da Macao got on stage, complete with fire-eating magician, crystal balls, and greenery-infused microphones- they were nothing like any band I’ve ever seen in my life. I wonder what they smoked/drank/ate before they got on stage- the energy was crazy.

I’ll leave you with a little video from the event:

For more, check out Khobbeizeh’s video of the event.k

Been Busy

A lot of things happening these days… I’m sorry for not replying to emails, I haven’t been checking my mail because I need the peace of mind until I’m done with my graduation project. Ok, that’s all for now I guess.

Team Cre8iv

An initiative at this year’s Cannes Festival through Reel Ideas Studio is a “focus on global networking and the evolution of shared ideas”, and so what they did was create international 4-person teams to shoot documentaries at Cannes.
My soon-to-be-ex-adviser and friend Tarik is one of the people involved in the teams, and it’s pretty cool. They have their experience in a blog-like setting with videos and all. It’s worth checking out, although it’s in Flash, and , ehhh, I hate Flash, its very un-user friendly! I can’t even link directly to their blog… but what you can do to check it out is go to Reel Ideas Studio, click “On the Ground”, and find the blog for “Team Cre8iv”. After the 23rd, you can even see the documentary they created. You can also leave them your feedback.
Looks like fun!


One of my least favorite things about living in Jordan is that we cannot spend as much time with him as we would like. Although he was quite the workaholic, my childhood is full of the fondest memories of us playing a collection of games he invented for us, of him helping us learn the lines and act out the scenes of historical Arabic movies (“Man minkom moshtaqon ila sayfeee!”), and of him taking us on road trips as often as he could.

Most of my earliest memories involve my father, rather than anyone else. My father, you see, was the first man I ever loved.

I remember him standing on a cliff and throwing us into this little place where the Dead Sea meets sweet water, when we weren’t old enough to swim. I would always climb back up and ask for more. I remember him teasing me when my mother and I would “fight”, something we still laugh about often today, “Roba, aslan Mama ma bet7ebek” is a very popular family joke. I remember him playing this game where we would run through the doors while he tried to get us with little stress balls. That was one of my favorite games ever, if not my favorite.

Dad taught me a lot of things in life, both directly and indirectly. At a very early age, he taught me the importance of defending myself, even if it meant confronting someone much bigger. All it takes, he shows me, was some courage, and if courage doesn’t do it, well, there’s always four of us, and he taught us to stick together. When I became a little older, he taught me how to enjoy the finer things in life; how to enjoy a good meal, how to act like a “gentleperson”, how to always choose quality, and how to be generous, for no one could possibly be as generous as he.

Dad taught me the value of reading; I really started reading the alphabet when we were in the car and he would ask me to read the storefronts and signs as we drove around Riyadh. He taught me the value of information; I was always amused at how my father knew the answer to almost everything, and every time I would read, I would try to remember what I was reading so that I would one day know a lot too.

Dad taught me to love unconditionally, even though some people might not deserve it. He taught me how to value good friends, through different countries and different lives. He taught me to give without expecting anything in return, he taught
me to be easy-going, he taught me that life is a matter of priorities.
He taught me to work hard, to expect the best, and to appreciate the
different types of dates. Dad taught me the importance of being friendly, of treating everyone with respect, of not judging people from where they come. He taught me to be welcoming, and he taught me the importance of saying hi :)

Today is his birthday, and like every year, I find myself helpless as to how to give him an ounce back of all the love he gave, and still gives, to me. Unfortunately, due to distance, I cannot even give him a hug or a card. Perhaps next year.

For this year though, I will have to settle for this; Happy birthday Baba, from myself, Hisham, Omar, and il-Qazam il-Shereer. We love you more than we love the world, and we thank you for everything.


Latest fatwa out of Al-Azhar, “…should a woman
share an office with a male colleague, she must be accompanied with a
chaperon, or she should breast feed that adult male five
times in order for their unchaperoned existence together be Islamically

Via Mahmood’s Den (where you must read the rest of his post, as well as the fatwa in Arabic)

Icecream and lollipops on a rainy night in May


Fights at Universities

I noticed the heavy campus security as soon as I got to school at 8:00 in the morning yesterday. Although the security is always there, they seemed a little ruffled. I leave campus later on and come back 2 hours later, and the guy who collects money for the parking lot told me I can’t park outside. I hate parking inside because it gets so crowded and becomes really hard to get the car out later on during the day, so I tried to insist on parking outside. He shook his head and pointed to the main gate, where at least 5 big cars of police were parked, and where cops were walking around with their clubs, “They’re not letting anyone park outside today.”

He then told me that a “Abeidat” had stabbed two girls in the university yesterday evening, and that the girls’ tribes are really angry and expected to make an appearance, and that I really should go home. I didn’t go home as I had a class, but my class was in my faculty at the edge of the university, so I didn’t get to go to the main campus area to check out whats happening.

Throughout the rest of the day though, I don’t hear about the fight from anyone else.

Later on at home, I ask the boys whether they heard anything about the fight. One out of 4 confirms and gets all excited recounting the story, “Oh, yeah, hell was loose at school today! Some guy proposed to this girl and her parents said no, so he was so angry that he came to school the next day and “salakha moose” (stabbed her) as well as her friend, and her tribe got so pissed off that a whole bunch of them came in with guns and stuff this morning and security couldn’t do anything about it.”

Mhhmm. Today, I check out the newspapers for any news of a brawl at Jordan University. I check Al-Ghad, Al-Rai, and the Jordan Times, I also check the Jordanian blogosphere for any rumors. Nothing at all.

I wonder what’s up. If anything.

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