A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: January 2010 (Page 1 of 3)

Top 10 Chocolate Candies

Not in order of preference, but in order of my current mood :)

1. Ritter Sport’s Marzipan Squares

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2. Ferrero Rocher
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3. Nutella

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4. Curly Wurly
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5. Reese’s Buttercups

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6. Ras Il Abed

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7. Chocolate-dipped Dates

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8. Oreos

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9. Kit Kat

10. Crunchie

What are your favorite chocolate bars? :)

Rendering Fear: The Graphic Design of Al-Qaeda

Did I mention that the highlight of my week is always the moments when Fast Company update their site?

I AM OBSESSED WITH FAST COMPANY. I can’t help it. It’s even more brilliant a magazine than Wired (though Wired wins when it comes to the actual design).


Fast Company have a slideshow entitled “Rendering Fear: The Graphic Design of Al-Qaeda”.

It is quite interesting, with some background info and critiques.

Check it out here.

Office Conversations: Isdira2

Assaf: You are treating me with إزدراء
Roba: Shu?
Assaf: Izdira2.
Roba: What’s “Izdira2”?
Assaf: It’s the same as when you use the fancy “-ation” words.
Roba: Oookay.

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Other Office Conversations:

Mama Versus El-MamaOver My Dead Titanium Body
On Justifying Text
Imperio Steve Jobs
Conversations with an Office Cup
6:00PM Office Conversations
Desktop Crap Blackhole
Kalamantina Conversations
Lunchtime Conversations
Internet Existential Crisis
Depressive Connotations
Early morning office conversations
Next Friday
Office Conversations
Toshet Thulathi il-”rrrr”
Rainbow Bright
Hot Chocolate Amidst Ice: Office Conversations
This is Chicken
Ditz Central

Before I dose off…

It just occurred to me that it’s really funny how I actually continue the thoughts I was having before I dozed off the night before the second I wake up.

Usually, I wake up to last night’s thoughts.

I am the world’s most irritating sleeper. I sleep with my eyes open (runs in the family), I can carry out discussions while asleep (runs in the family), and I continue the conversations that I was having eight hours ago as soon as I’m awake.

Does anything like that happen to you?

Do you know Mo Ghanem?

I don’t. But Ted Ross, who I don’t know either, is apparently looking for him on Facebook.

Picture 1

Brilliant Facebook ad idea, especially if it’s targeted at annoying the heck out of Mo Ghanem. I’m super banner-blind (given that I’m regular blind as well), and it got me to click.

Yo Mo, Ted is looking for you.

(Let’s hope this isn’t a milk-carton Facebook-style “LOST” announcement)

Why I love my brother, AKA “Gamers Rock!”

Well, it’s no secret that I really adore my boys, but sometimes, they do really endearing things that make me love them even more. Take this, for example, courtesy of my brother Omar.

He hijacks CD cases with markers to make them look as much as possible like the real covers.

A box set that's colorred

My favorite part is how he “fakes” the layout to look like real layout:
A box set that's colorred

This, is supposed to be this:
A box set that's colorred

Anyone who has played this game should be able to guess what it is:

XBox Box Tapes

toot is growing!

toot, the Arab world’s hand-picked blogs network is growing again! :)

We will be adding more blogs this week to our network of the best Arab blogs. If you have been consistently (as in a minimum of eight posts a month) keeping a fantastic blog for at least six months, go ahead and submit it here.

We are looking for the best Arab blogs, in both English and in Arabic.

#Top50Jo: The Tweeps have listed their favorite 50 things about Jordan

Jordanian tweeps have been having a field day all morning and afternoon listing their favorite top 50 things about Jordan. I have no idea how this started, or who started it, but here are some of my favorite 50 things that were mentioned by Jo tweeps so far:

The Small Things:

  1. The Jordanian National Anthem at the end of broadcast day on Jordan TV. @Kanaani
  2. Football matches at Sports City. @tarawnah
  3. The fact that the weather broadcast almost always gets it wrong, making super popular. Lol. @RobaAssi @Kanaani @Bardees_S
  4. Wandering into the National Museum in Webdeh looking for my favorite Ali Jabri 70s Aqaba painting. @NadineToukan
  5. Hamoudeh DVD! Definitely! @AyahNasan @RobaAssi
  6. The serene call for prayers resonating across Amman.. and definitely the weather..second to none! @Ryan_W_Sadi
  7. The trucks, like the one I can hear right now, which sell & collect used furniture & announce it on loud speaker. @RaghdaButros
  8. Watching all the traders set up their stalls for the Abdali Friday Market on a late and dark Thursday night @raghdabutros  @imadnaffa
  9. Getting to see views like these: in spring @abitmutch
  10. The beautiful old houses of #Amman which speak of a humble yet rich past @Hamzetwasel @imadnaffa
  11.  Those people that rang the door bell asking for: empty perfume bottles @lo2lu2a @Ahmad_Kamal
  12. The way we all wait for snow like 3 year-olds. Still waiting. @khaledhakim @imadnaffa @Bardees_S
  13. The fact tht you can be in Syria / Lebanon within 3 hours :-P @madnaffa @Kanaani @LebTweets
  14. A cool Queen: @QueenRania with 1,240,897+ twitter follower!!!  @KrishnaUdeshi @imadnaffa @ArabObserver
  15. One of the best countries in the region for road tripping. a new destination every 50km! @tarawnah
  16. Driving home from the airport after a vacation, seeing everything with new eyes & really *appreciating* it! @Rula_Z
  17. King Hussein Cancer Foundation @khcf @Ahmad_Kamal  For any #cancer-related questions, call @KHCC toll-free Cancer Information Helpline at 0800 22662

The Edibles:

  1. Caramel Hot Chocolate and Hazelnut Latte from our all Jordanian “Cups and Kilos”@Bardees_S  @tarawnah
  2. The Sha3r il-Banat (cotton candy) man with the balloon inside every bag. @RaghdaButros
  3. Allo Arguileh :) @OmarChr
  4. Ka’ak & eggs sandwich from the cart vender, with tomato, lemon, zaatar and mint tea. @NadineToukan
  5. Chili House cheese coneys! @FawziB @steitiyeh @ArabObserver @tarawnah
  6. Hashem Restaurant (Al-Balad/Downtown) @fouadjeryes
  7. Bon el3ameed @3amor.
  8. Labaneh Jarashyeh, Jameed Karaki and the best olive oil from Ajloun mountains. @yugi
  9. Quick stops at a watermelon tents in the summer on your way home. @tarawnah
  10. Stopping at the spices & seeds stands on outer city routes, tasting, having tea with the vendors over a story. @NadineToukan
  11. The guys who sell corn, humos and fooul on those carts. @tarawnah
  12. Yummy falafel sandwiches from Al-quds in rainbow street /via @FawziB @imadnaffa @Bardees_S

  13. Gerard ice cream. Beats Ben & Jerry’s every time! @o2lu2a @hala_k
  14. Hot delicious mana2eesh from Abu Khamis on a lazy Friday morning with no traffic @lo2lu2a @kamelasmar @imadnaffa
  15. Seven+ packed branches of Tche Tche around Amman @fadia_hamdi
  16. Mansaf :-) That’s simple @lo2lu2a @reemba
  17. Fresh “Taboon” bread @Bardees_S
  18. Sufara Bakery and Abu Ghosh Bakery on Rainbow. Ka3eeek! Ka3eek! @kamelasmar @RobaAssi @tarawnah
  19. Kabab resturants at Jarash & Azraq @jawazsafar
  20. Books@Cafe. Best Cafe in Jordan @tala_tj  @RobaAssi @ArabObserver
  21. Batata =D @khasawnehman

The Culture:

  1. Tafeeli jokes! @tarawnah
  2. Getting totally inebriated & stupid at the bar you’ve been going to for four years and no matter how badly you behave, they still smile and serve you gladly. @NadineToukan
  3. Everyone’s father was offered to buy Abdoun or Mecca street, and they refused!! @swfmaster @yugi
  4. Zero to a maximum of one degree of separation! @yugi @Razano
  5. The way every person claims that they have land or a farm that overlooks the lights of Jerusalem or other parts of #Palestine @RaghdaButros
  6. Watching the excitement of kids on first day of Eid, dressed up, in streets, sizing the other, hustling over gifts & play plans. @NadineToukan
  7. The warm hospitality of Bedouins in Wadi Rum @imadnaffa @am2680
  8. For the memory of Abu Ahmad, the “Peanut Man” from downtown #Amman! @imadnaffa @RaghdaButros
  9. The fact that “leway?”, “he!”, “hay!” all sound like noises but are acceptable words, making up entire conversations in places like Karak. @tarawnah
  10. Harmony between Muslims, Christians, Beduins, Villagers, Palestinians, Circassians. @A_Omari @MissKhasawneh @FawziB @ChristinaTwal
  11. Omar Alabdallat :) @Jansait
  12. Abu Mahjoob :) @imadnaffa  @AsrarSonya

Of course, you can check out the whole list (still being updated) on Twitter.
What are your favorite things about Jordan?

So here we go…

I thought tags are dead, but I was browsing around and came upon this blog which had a tag. Of course, no one tagged me, but I felt like answering a few questions :) Sometimes it’s fun. You can steal it too, or just answer these questions in the comment section if you feel like it.

So here we go…

So here are the rules:

Respond and rework – Answer these questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own, and add one more question to the list. Then tag eight or ten new set of people.

1.What is your current obsession?

2. What are you wearing today?
Silver tights and long gray top.

3. What’s for dinner?
Beef with cream and broccoli.

4. What’s the last thing you bought?
A gorgeous purple coat from Zara, at 50% off.

5. What are you listening to right now?
My mother, my aunt, and my mother’s best friend chattering and smoking argeeleh.

6. What do you think about the person who tagged you?
I wasn’t tagged :)

7. If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be?

8. What are your must-have pieces for summer?
Comfortable sandals, airy tops, and 5-piaster red askimo.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go?

10. Which language do you want to learn?

11. What’s your favourite quote?
The only quote I know, a childhood thing, courtesy of Judy Blume, “Nothing matters but the moment, there might be no tomorrow, but even if there was, no one gives a damn.”

12. Who do you want to meet right now ?
No one in particular.

13. What is your favourite colour?

14. What is your favourite piece of clothing in your closet?
A shift 60’s dress.

15. What is your dream job?
Something at Google.

16. What’s your favourite magazine?
Draw between Fast Company and Wired.
17. If you had $100 now, what would you spend it on?
I’d put it in the bank.

18. What do you consider a fashion faux pas?

19. Who according to you is the most over-rated style icon?
Don’t follow up with style.

20. What kind of haircut do you prefer?
Pixie boy-cuts.

21. What are you going to do after this?
Wait for guests to come over.

22. What are your favorite movies?
The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

23.How many tabs are turned on in your browser right now?
Wrong minute to ask… around 40.

24. What inspires you?

25. Three styling tips that always work for you:
# You wear fashion, it doesn’t wear you.
# Comfort is king.
# My mother’s taste is better than mine.

26. What do you do when you “have nothing to wear” (even though your closet’s packed)?
Wear jeans, converse, and a boring top.

27. Coffee or tea?
Definitely coffee.

28. What do you do when you are feeling low or terribly depressed?
I sleep.

29. Which other blogs do you love visiting?

30. Favorite Dessert/Sweet?

31. Favorite Season?

32. If I come to your house now, what would you cook for me?
Take out.

33. What is the right way to avoid people who purposely hurt you?
I never feel like anyone is out there to purposely hurt me.

34. What are you afraid of the most?
Having nothing to do.

35. What brings a smile on your face instantly?
Reading something good.

36. What makes you sad?
Lack of education.

37. What is the first thing that you notice in people?
Their uniqueness.

38. What turns you off?
Stupid people and simple people.

“Satellite” Arabia: The Logos of Our TV Channels

Yesterday, I was surprised to find a new logo for MBC Max. Now, as much as I like MBC (they’re awesome with choosing content), I always feel like they have a problem going on with their graphic design. Their logos are never very well done, and they’re often very dull too.

For example, here’s the old MBC Max logo and the new one:

 mbcmax      mbc-max-nlogo
    (Old logo)               (New logo)

They basically went from bad to really bad. The new logo looks more like a boxing channel’s illegible emblem than that of a movie channel. It’s too angular, with its sharp lines and minimalist-gone-wrong theme.

This change got me thinking about how graphic design on TV is mostly really terrible, and I am only referring to the reputable TV channels. Let’s do a quick overview…

Working Logos:

Dubai One: The initial Dubai One brand was one of the most impressive Arab brands I have ever seen. It was brilliant. I guess the artsy-fartsy treatment didn’t work out too well with their audience, because it was soon replaced by a more cliche one (orange is initial, black is new). Regardless, their new logo is still the best Arab TV channel logo either way.

onePicture 2

Syria TV: Comparatively, Syria TV’s logo is pretty nice. The typography is interesting, though the “Seen” looks a bit off, sort of like it is an Arabized version of a Latin font. It works pretty well though, especially when seen on screen.

Al-Hurra TV: The US-backed news channel’s logo looks as serious as it should. The clean typography isn’t bad, and the color red adds zest to an otherwise dull brand.


Al-Arabiya Tv: MBC’s answer to Al-Jazeera is simple, clean, and well designed.


Al-Manar TV: Bet you didn’t expect this one! :) Okay, the black outline is terrible, and there are some really weird elements that the logo would do better without, but really, with a few edits here and there, this logo would turn out fantastic. For the non-Arabic readers, this is actually a typographic logo that says “Al-Manar”.
al_manar_tvual br>

Al-Jazeera: The emblem is brilliant. It has become an icon for the channel, one that works well in terms of visual balance and cultural identity. It has also resulted in a multitude of knock-offs.


MBC 4: While I do not like this logo at all, it does kind of work. What do you think?

Sama Dubai TV:  This one’s really nice, aside from the English typography. I love how it looks like a sky above sand dunes.


Dubai TV: Don’t really like this one, but Lina does. You should probably take Lina’s word over mine.



The Bad Logos:

Future TV:  I don’t like this logo much either. The contrast in typography creeps me out, and the curves are way off.  The emblem is also too retro. Okay, it’s not really that bad, it kind of works, but it’s still ugly.

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MBC 2: I really dislike this logo. It looks so old, and not in a good way. The chrome effect is also really annoying.


LBC: Sad to see the Lebanese stick with such a hideous creation for so long, when they have such a great graphic design scene. Guys, it’s about time to change, okay?

Jordan: Like I mentioned previously, we keep getting worse. After getting an acceptable logo a few years back, Jordan TV replaced it with a really ugly one soon after. Red is “acceptable old logo”, gold is ugly new logo. 

tv-logo-new  jordanietv

MBC Action: While I like the brand of MBC Action on TV, the logo itself is terrible. I hate the typography, it looks like a James Bond headline gone wrong.


What do you think of all these logos?

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