Jagual El Usek

Such a funny song by Michelle Keserwany.

Here are the English lyrics to Jagal Il Usek, my own translation:

I was sitting in the cafe
with was nothing on my mind
and drinking Nescafe.

A guy came and sat across from me
wearing sunglasses and his hair was gelled
he said “Bonjour ya Demoiselle.
I am the cool guy,
I listen to 50 Cent,
my car is shiny,
and I go to every single event,
I have a villa in Faraya,
and the old Miss Lebanon is my sister.”

I pretended I was dumb and I pretended I was smitten,
I didn’t say anything and I wore a shy smile.

“Ana Jagal L Usek,
my eyes are colored,
I drink Vodka sec,
and my shirt is Mousseline.
My father is a colonel,
and I smoke cigars.
Give me your number je t’apelle,
so that we go out one day.”

Here I boiled over,
oh, no that’s just too much for me.
My face became red and smoke shot out of my ears.
And that was the day I discovered
why they say Eve is alive.

I said, “No way! Fate put us together!
My life before you had no meaning,
but oh the love of my life and the veins of my heart
lets get one thing straight from the beginning of the road.
“Love Relationship” in my father’s dictionary doesn’t exist!
You have to be serious for my dad to let us be!

That is…
We have to get married, and you have to get me a car.
We have to have kids, and call the girl Sarah.
And make a swimming pool, and change the light bulbs, and take me
away to China, and peel mangoes for me, and furnish the house, and get
me “jheiz” (clothes), and to cut the gazonet (?), and shine the glass!
Wow, the idea of getting married! I really like that!
Yalla, when are we getting engaged? So that I tell you where my house is?”

The cool guy turned green.
He put away his sunglasses, and he said,
“Ahh, sorry I’m busy, I have to go back now!”
And I was left alone drinking my Nescafe,
laughing by myself as I went up to Saffee (?)

I talked to him so nicely and I was so excited!
But he never showed his face again, I really have no clue why!

The cool guy disappeared,
the one who listens to 50 Cent,
the one whose car shines,
and who goes to every single event!
He had a villa in faraya,
and the previous Miss Lebanon… yeah! He’s her brother!
Jagal Il Usek, his eyes are colored,
and he drinks vodka sec, his shirt is Mousseline,
his dad is a Colonel! He smokes cigars, and he wanted to call me one day…

10 Steps to Master Twitter like Ashton Kutcher

We saw the four stages of “getting” Twitter, so now’s the time to understand how to use it.

I know that many of people who read AndFarAway are not only very active on Twitter, but use it much more effectively than I do.  The reason I’m writing this post because I am really, really tired of people giving up on Twitter after half a second and then deciding to claim that those who know how to use it are “dumb” and “narcissistic”.

Seriously. It’s easy. Just follow these awesomely easy 10 steps to use Twitter like a rockstar. I mean if all those lame celebrities can do it, I’m sure you can too.

10 Ways to Learn Twitter

1. Download the HootSuite Firefox plugin, TweetDeck application, or Echofon Firefox plugin.
Maybe even all three, because the truth is: the twitter.com interface sucks, and you won’t be enjoying Twitter if you’re stuck in your browser window.

2. RT. RT. RT.
RT stands for “retweet”, and you RT a tweet when you want to share something interesting said by someone else with your followers. An RT is like a personal recommendation. It’s very important to RT only interesting stuff, because it defeats the purpose otherwise. Be social. Support tweeps who said something useful or have an event they want to publicize.

3. Reply.
I don’t practice this point as much as I should, but as is the case with blogs, replying to tweets that you were tagged in is really very important.

4. Play Twitter Games.
Twitter games like FollowFriday and MusicMonday can make Twitter more fun and introduce you to interesting tweeps.

5. Share interesting links.
I mean, we all read stuff online all day, and there are so many awesome links that should be shared. Your followers would appreciate a great link, trust me.

6. Keep it simple, stupid.
There’s so much beauty in 140 characters. Mainly that people who shouldn’t blab can’t blab. Anything can be said in such a short format if it’s worth it.

7. Brand yourself consistently.
Choose one Twitter profile image and stick to it, for god’s sake. People who keep changing their Twitter profile pictures are so annoying, because when you’re looking at the stream, you are looking at icons, not names.

8. Schedule tweets.
Use HootSuite or any other similar tool to schedule tweets to assure that your account is constantly updated. Even if it’s a weekend.

9. It’s actually okay to tell your followers what you had for lunch.
As long as that’s not the only thing you say all week.

10. Notice the time pattern.
Depending on where you are in the world, you’ll notice that there are different time patterns. In Jordan, for example, tweeps are most active early in the morning (9:30 AM), around 12:00 PM, and around 4:00 PM. Target your coolest tweets at these times.

I hope this answers the question I am always being asked, “Why the hell do you like Twitter?”

Read the first post in this series of two: “The Four Stages of Getting Twitter”.

Don’t forget to follow me and to RT this post! :)

Follow AndFarAway on Twitter

The iPad Will Change the World

Here is how your day starts: You read your morning newspaper on a sleek tablet computer while eating a bowl of cereal for breakfast, moving between the websites of Al-Jazeera and the New York Times. You google hot stories for real-time updates from social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. This tablet, a slate-shaped mobile computer the same size as a thin hard-cover book, helps you decide what to wear by choosing an appropriate outfit from your wardrobe (while it keeps weather and scheduled outings in mind). It also acts as a navigator, helpfully picking the least congested route to the office, while syncing with your daughter’s tablets to let you know how much homework she finished the day before.

Less than 10 years ago, this wired, portable life would have seemed straight out of Minority Report. Today, it comes in a gorgeous $500 contraption dubbed the iPad, no keyboards or mice required.

According to Apple, the iPad is the best way to experience the web, e-mail, photos, and video. Using the 9.7 inch touchscreen, you can check your mail, listen to your entire collection of MP3s, read books, take notes, manage your calendar, play games, and purchase up to 150,000 applications. In a nutshell. the iPad is the latest addition to Apple’s world changing iProducts.

World changing, you say?

Yes.

Afterall, this is the company that single-handedly threw off the entire music industry with its iPod/iTunes combo (can you even remember a life of carrying CDs that only fit 20 songs apiece?) A few years later, the iPhone dethroned mobile manufacturers like Nokia and Sony Ericsson by unlocking a host of benefits for consumers and developers, thanks to a multi-touch interface and iPhone’s App Store (there was actually a time not too long ago when mobiles only did what they were already doing the day they left their factories!)

Released only in April, the iPad has more than one industry sweating. The print industry, waiting for the last few nails in the coffin, will be hit hard, and not just when it comes to leisure; some universities have already decided to pass out iPads to their students in lieu of having them lug around heavy text books. The gadget, which weighs a mere 680 grams, is changing Web standards (and seriously angering Adobe) by not supporting Adobe’s Flash technology, prompting developers to launch iPad-compatible websites sans Flash. The Internet is starting to look different as big names like the New York Times, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal launch sites with designs and technologies that are optimized for reading on the iPad. And as an iPhone owner knows, there’s an app for practically everything you’ll ever need and won’t need, alienating products and services that do not have an App Store icon.

The iPad will not fill an already existing niche, but will create a new one.

Technology history in the making? Definitely. Within one month of its release, Apple announced the sale of its one millionth iPad. One million iPads in 28 days–that’s less than half of the 74 days it took to achieve this milestone with iPhone, said Apple CEO Steve Jobs in a press release. Plus, iPad users have downloaded over 12 million apps from the App Store and over 1.5 million e-books from the new iBookstore.

With all that said, don’t go rushing off to the nearest Apple store just yet. The cost of innovation is usually a clunky first model, and Apple is infamous for using early adopters of their first-generation products as guinea pigs. The second or third generation of the iPad will probably be the real game changer. Heck, you can even wait for Google’s Android tablet, which is likely to be released later this year.

(Originally published in Venture. Written by Roba Al-Assi, June 2010)

More Hyperlink articles:
It’s Time to Learn How to Surf
It’s Real Time
Start a Blog is NOT a Social Media Strategy
Advertising on the Information Highway
Social is the Word
The iPad Will Change the World