A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: March 2009 (Page 1 of 4)

The Five Women You Should Need to Stay Away From

Honestly, it was much harder thinking of the women you should avoid than it was the men. Maybe because I’m female, but mostly because the main problems with women are more personal, and not as generalizable as those of men.

If you disagree with my list, here’s a different list by Palordinia that you might like better. Another good list was shared by commenter Bill here.

I guess our lists are similar though.

By popular demand, my advice to you, as a female:

1. The Chameleon

cham by Roobee.
Her superpower is the ability to change her character depending on who she’s with, what she’s doing, and what sort of life she feels like leading. One day she’s dancing on tables at some club and the next day she’s a hijababe cause her new boyfriend prefers hijababes.

Unfortunately, I have noticed that females are a lot more likely than males in Amman to wear their personalities as the changing variable in their life.
The chances of her getting bored with you are as high as her chances of changing her scene.

How to spot her: As a game, ask her for 24 photographs of herself, one for every two months during the past four years. Enjoy.

2. Wedding Belle

2630285731_b63cf3e2b9 by Roobee.

She has dreamt of her big day her entire life, and her eyes are set on one goal: getting that dream to become reality. The man’s role in this formula is solely becoming her groom, she can’t be a bride without one, can she?
She realizes that there is no such thing as Prince Charming, and she has a nice, practical list of the attributes she’s looking for, with enough elbow room to navigate with those who might have just enough. A fantastic woman for the man who’s looking for the same thing, and who’s goal in life is domestication.

How to spot her: She collects snapshots of wedding dresses, has gone faux-ring-shopping before, and even has a playlist ready.

3. The One Monther

2827597115_3b3e55f69c by Roobee.

Even if she doesn’t date a lot, avoid her if her longest ever relationship was three months. She probably has the “what-else-is-out-there?” heebie-jeebies, always keeping her eye on the other fish in the sea. And there are many fish in the sea. You’re not the last, you’re not the best, and she knows that well.

How to spot her: You’ve known her for four years, in which you’ve met at least six of her different potential love interests.

4. Gym and Lettuce and Everything Polished

3008399409_2e16f5d915 by Roobee.

There’s a fine-line between a lady who takes care of herself and one who downright obsesses about it. She has no problem with eating forage three times a day, wearing her designer training suit twice a day to the gym, and spending a good hour at the hairdresser every morning to perfect her tresses. All the energy that she fuels into looking good is a sad excuse for feeling good.

How to spot her: If she spends more than five hours a day trying to feel better about herself, usually a combination of: gym-time, salad-munching, and hair-doing.

5. The Drama Mama.

1471163464_5b4d699363 by Roobee.

A person you need to avoid like the plague not just when it comes to dating, but even when it comes to friendship. The Drama Queen is the most annoying character ever.
A few dates down the line, she will be bawling her eyes out in the middle of dinner at a crowded restaurant because she feels like you don’t love her.
While she may provide temporary amusement, the roller coaster of emotion is not something anyone can stand for over a few weeks. She will make your life miserable.

How to spot her: At first site. Drama Queens lurveee uncalled for attention. It might be the make-up, the outfit, the attitude. Steer clear.

The short list of other types of girls you should avoid:

1. The Dinarian. She won’t date you if you don’t have a nice car, won’t indulge her fancy-shmancy taste in everything, and if you don’t get her nice stuff every now and then.

2. The Barbie. God blessed her with good looks but no brains. An airhead by all measures, she doesn’t know anything about anything.

3. The One Who’s Never Dated. She’s either lying, under 14, or you’re really special.

4. The Insecurity Problems. Well, unless you want to spend the rest of your life trying to make up for her lack of self-esteem.

So there, now you have a nice list of top 10 men and ladies to avoid.

Destiny in a Cup

Coffee, Coffee, where art thou? by you.

Coffee, Coffee, where art thou? by you.

Coffee, Coffee, where art thou? by you.

Coffee, Coffee, where art thou? by you.

Coffee, Coffee, where art thou? by you.

Coffee, Coffee, where art thou? by you.

My mother has a very particular taste when it comes to coffee cups. Actually, it’s just as particular as her taste in coffee itself: as sweet as icing in the morning, and as bitter as almonds not yet ripe during the rest of the day.

Personally, I like it mildly sweet. Just a little sugar to give the stringent flavor of coffee a kick.

Coffee. A magical concoction that we dictate our lives around as people living in this part of the world. Coffee to signal that yes, the whole clan and their affiliates agree to give away our daughter’s hand in marriage. Put the coffee cup down to signal refusal.

Coffee to seal business deals. Coffee to enjoy with friends. Coffee to be forced down your throat by an over-excited aunt.

Our coffee comes in small cups, a little more in quantity than an espresso and a lot less than a cappuccino. It is best when boiled well, and there’s always the residues that settle in the bottom of the cup. We drink coffee every few hours.

Traditionally, each cup of coffee should be served along with a glass of water. You have to specify your sweetness preference before the coffee is made: helweh (sweet), wasat (medium), sada (no sugar).

Sometimes, the cup is turned over, allowing the residues to slip off the glazed surface of the glass and make pretty shapes as it trails. There are many fortune tellers who make a living out of seeing your destiny in your coffee cup.

Your destiny, after all, belongs rightfully in a cup.

Now what?

I chose the perfect day to get sick and stay in home. After wrestling with a stuffed nose all night, and finally falling asleep around dawn, I wake up a couple of hours later because whoever owns the ancient building across from ours decided to pick today from all days to start working on it.

But my cold really doesn’t matter. And the fact that they picked today doesn’t matter either.

What matters is that they ARE DOING WORK ON THE ANCIENT BUILDING ACROSS FROM OURS. Is that a death sentence for our privacy?

IMG_4728 by you.

IMG_4727 by you.

IMG_4724 by you.

The particular house in question is ancient, probably one of the few houses in the area that date back to the Plastic Factory era. It’s a gorgeous house from the front, obviously very rich at some point, with very detailed stone work and a beautiful garden. It has lay abandoned for as long as I can remember though.

This morning, I wake up to see a bunch of men on its roof hammering away at what once used to be its slanted brick roof. They have removed every sort of detail aside from its structure, including the piping, the windows, the doors, etc.

I cannot figure out what they’re doing. It’s driving me crazy thinking that they might be preparing it for demolition, as I really cannot stand the idea of construction happening in its place. I am hoping, with fingers crossed, that they are preparing it for rehabilitation.

What do you think, from the way they’re handling things? Rehabilitation or demolition?

Shocking End of the Rainbow

Like a hard blow to the face, I found out today that there is no pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Worse yet, I found out that there is an end to a rainbow. I always thought that a rainbow is one of the few realities of a fantastical world.

But I guess not. It even stems from an SUV.


Oh my God, how can flowers be so tall?

The latest addition to our still incomplete house:

Wall Decals by you.

Yet another dose of delicious red courtsey of my mother. My favorite thing about them is how they work so well with the way our house is. When you’re in the bedroom section, it looks like the flowers are engulfed in a field of green, as if there’s a beautiful field beyond the corridor. When you’re sitting in the living room, it’s just the barely-there elegance of tall flowers.

I love you mommy!

Wall Decals2 by you.

Wall Decals by you.

The Five Arab Guys You Should Never Date

Kabobfest have a really funny article on the 13 Arab men you should never date if you live in the US.

What about the Arab men you should never date while in the Arab world, and particularly, Amman?

1. The Nai Guy.

His idea of going out is always to a noisy, sweaty, smelly club. That’s where he functions best after all. You can usually find him on a VIP table in the most popular clubs in town, with a group of equally annoying, equally arrogant plastic-ites.

The club is his element. In any other instance and at any other place, he’s always hung over, unsocial, and just down right dumb. He also thinks of relationships as open, at least from his side.

What he’s usually wearing: jeans and a button-up shirt. Black shoes. Flashy phone. A hot girl. A car with a price tag that can build a house for 10 families. Always with a cigarette in his mouth.


2. The “We need a 4th” Trix-Master.

stf by you.

What’s worse than dating a man whose ultimate idea of fun is lack of sobriety? Dating a man you’ll never see because his utmost loyalty is to his cards mates. Never, and I mean, never will he let them down when they need the 4th player to complete the circle. For that is treason.

Plus, he is a hard-core nicotine addict as all his games are spent smoking the argeeleh. For hours and hours and hours.

What he’s usually wearing: pointy shoes, a lot of gel on his hair, and a Honda Civic.


3. School Cool Dude at 26.

Jordan University Elections by you.

Unless he’s studying medicine, getting another degree, or doing grad school, he really has no excuse to still be driving to his university’s campus if he is over 25.

Seriously. By this time, he is friends with everyone, from the guards at the gates to the coffee-boy in the Deanship of Student Affairs. He has cemented his status as a permanent facet to campus life, and he’s kind of proud of it.

What he’s usually wearing: a t-shirt, sunglasses that never ever go off, and a mod car, complete with shiny rims, flame stencils, and his number on the back window.


4. The “Gabaday” Guy

The worst kind of the lot. He thinks he’s a tough ass when he’s generally just an ass. He looks for a fight no matter where he is, and his favorite activity is hanging out in that shady gym on Dowar AlDahkhleyeh. He is always so impressed with himself because his friends call him first whenever they feel like picking a fight with a random bunch of guys.

He thinks he’s so gangstah.

What he’s wearing: tight-ass jeans, hideous tattoos, and a thick silver necklace.


5. The Daddy Brat

He comes from a rich family, he probably was at one of the best schools in town (read: Bakaloria, New English, Montessori, etc), and he knows that he has a ticket to richness thanks to daddy although he’s really, really stupid. He works somewhere nice, but doesn’t really do anything there. He drives a nice car that he changes every few months because he keeps totaling it up thanks to his insane driving. His weekends are spent in the family condo in Aqaba.

What he’s wearing:
funky brands, expensive brands, and more brands.

So there you have it, the worst of the lot to date, at least in my personal opinion. Other types of guys I had on my list to stay away from but who didn’t make it to my top five:

1. The Ultra Geek who smells, dresses like my grandmother, and can only talk about PHP, Penguins, and Debian.

2. The Jesus/Mohammad kid. Enough said.

3. The Gulfian student who has never sat in the same room with a female who is not his mother, who only eats Kabsa, and who wears slippers in both winter and summer.

4. The artsy-fartsy loser who thinks he’s really, really cool, although he’s really just unemployed.

Fooled by the Nokia

I wake up at 9:00, like I do everyday. I get up up, wash then dry my hair, get dressed, make sure everything’s turned off, and get into the car. It usually takes me 30 minutes to get into the car from the moment I get out of bed.

I turn on my car, and then I am surprised to see that my car dial claims that it’s still 9:00. What the hell. I thought it was 10. I figure that my car is going crazy. Maybe someone changed the clock.

But nope, my car wasn’t the problem. It was my phone. It is my Mac. The masters of digital time have took it upon themselves to decide to set the daylight saving time a day ahead of schedule without giving us humans a heads up.

And that’s how I lost an hour of sleep this morning, thanks to my Nokia 5800.

My brother did too. And the guy on the radio. And some of my friends at work. I’m betting that happened to a lot of you too. It’s like the digital world is playing an early April’s Fools day joke on us.

Clearing up some issues when it comes to evolution

I have already asked the question on evolution in this space, around two years ago.

1. Evolution is not a theory that explains the origin of the universe, that field of study is referred to as Cosmology and it is a field of study not covered by Charles Darwin’s, The Origin Of Species.

2. Evolution is not a theory that describes the first origination of life on this planet, that field of study is called Abiogenesis. Evolution by definition describes the change in species over time and natural selection.

3. Evolution is not inherently atheistic, the theory describes nothing regarding the existence of god, it is a scientific theory confining itself to prediction and observation of the natural world.

4. The theory of evolution does not say, “humans came from monkeys”. The theory shows clear evidence supporting the hypothesis that at some point around 6 million years ago, humans, the great apes and primates diverged from a common ancestor.

5. The theory of evolution does not say dogs come from frogs, a rock will turn into a duck or as some former TV personalities like to claim, will produce a half crocodile, half duck (crocoduck).

6. Evolutionary theory is the best supported scientific hypothesis we have for describing the diversity of life on Earth. It is not a religion, a belief system, a faith or any other ambiguous religious term sometimes attached to it by YECs.

[Notes via Uniform Velocity]

Death in the family

Sometimes, you really have nothing to add. When will someone actually do something about this?

By Nermeen Murad

Afather and his two underage sons tortured and killed their 19-year-old daughter and sister because she reportedly was caught wearing makeup while out on an errand with her younger brother. Her uncle, who caught her apparently walking in an area other than the one she said she was going to, brought her back to her father and reported her “crime”.

I want to repeat this news. A young girl, a teenager, was relentlessly beaten with water hoses mercilessly and continuously by three men until she died. Initial reports indicate that the police arrested the three after she was declared dead by the doctor. The father, who led the two-hour beatings, shared his hose with his underage sons and encouraged them to join in the beating. Now this has been designated as an “honour crime”.

Welcome to Jordan in the 21st century. This case underlines the paradox of messages from this apparently modern country that has taken a leading position in the region with its progress despite its limited resources, yet still allows its human resources and future to remain hostage to archaic practices that have no relevance to the majority of society.

Parliament has rejected amendments to a law that would have banned the use of a ‘fit of fury’ clause to stop the practice of letting the perpetrators of crimes against women go free. Instead they have continued to support heartless and unnecessary murder, which is masked as a claim to have cleansed the honour of their families. This is the same Parliament that has failed women repeatedly thereby institutionalising open discrimination and the subordination of women to their male “guardians” as well as condoning violence against women.

The fact that Parliament does not fairly represent the makeup of society not only serves to maintain the integrity, and therefore supremacy, of only a certain category of people in the country politically – which is obviously the aim of the legislator – but it also allows this mentality to continue derailing all efforts to improve the legal status of women in the Kingdom. This Parliament, which was elected to serve all the people, has silenced half of the population because of their gender.

Women activists, including some of the most influential women in the country, have spoken out and advocated against what can only be described as stark legislative discrimination against women in Jordan, to no avail. The reason behind their failure is not that “society” is intrinsically against these changes, but because the cause of women has not been taken up by our male leaders who have left gender issues to women and forgot that it is the responsibility of societies as a whole to ensure that all members of that society are treated fairly and with justice.

When was the last time the prime minister made statements about improving the situation of women in Jordan? When was the last time the government intervened with Parliament and used its considerable clout to ensure the passing of laws that would change the lives of women for the better? Clearly there is no political will to improve the status of women in Jordan or even extend them the minimum protection against violence and inexplicable discrimination. As long as that political will is absent there will be no change.

An adult woman has the right to make choices in her life including personal ones. We all know this. We all know that men and women are equal in their humanity, their intelligence and their needs. We all know that it is not acceptable for any man to use force on a woman. We all know that the majority of Jordanians would not stand by idly and quietly and watch a woman being beaten to death without stepping in to stop it or even prevent it in the first place.

If we the people can’t stand to watch murder being perpetrated, how long are we going to accept that the government does exactly this? The government is watching the murder it has condoned.

Every single member of the Cabinet and every single senior official and every single journalist, judge, lawyer, activist and citizen who isn’t doing something to stop this “horror show” of crime against women, is doing exactly that: watching the long episode of torture and murder without batting an eyelid or lifting a finger. We watched this show 18 times last year. We have watched it seven times already this year. In every show a human being is robbed of their chance at life by an apathetic society.

I think we should all be ashamed of ourselves!

Yay, Yay, I want to be Suberstar

…so Humam Ammari’s “Suberstar” video is now out, basically a home-video that illustrates how everyone in Amman is famous, “yay, yay, beddi akun mashur”. I mean, I know 3/4’s of the people in this video.

Here’s the video, enjoy:

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