A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: June 2011 (Page 1 of 3)

For all of you long-distance lovers out there

This is a really well-produced video, shot entirely with a Nokia camera.

Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

[Via Kottke]

Typology: How Lina screwed me up

Old, Old Flashback: Feeling really bad as Lina looks at me with complete disappointment, thanks to my inability to differentiate between Arial and Helvetica.

Old Flashback: Getting better. Discussing typeface gorgeousness with Lina.

Flashback: Getting good. Winning an argument with Lina over whether or not Scene Alt is a very industrial-looking typeface.

Today: Getting screwed up. Staring at this ugly cake on Boing Boing for a good 5 minutes trying to answer the post’s question: “Can you identify the closest digital typeface?”

I think it’s Neville Brody’s FF Blur.

Most commentators think it’s Arial Rounded.

One other commentator agrees with me.

I love Lina, but it’s really screwed up to seriously attempt to identify handmade cake fonts.

Join the Anti-Nuclear Demonstrations Today

Join Greenpeace Jordan today to protest against Jordan’s nuclear program. The dress code is yellow t-shirts. The protest will take place in front of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, between the 6th and the 7th Circles, Abdul Raheem Al-Haj Mohammad St. Building No. 44.

Here’s a link to the Facebook event.

And excerpts from a post on 7iber by 
Zeina Hakim & Omar Qubain:

Can AREVA Be Trusted In Jordan?

In the poorest nations of the world, French nuclear giant AREVA is extracting precious—and deadly—natural resources, earning billions for its Fortune 500 corporation while the people pay the price.

The French mining company AREVA will be in charge of the Kingdom’s commercial uranium mining activities. AREVA will be operating in Swaqa, Khan Azzabib, Wadi Maghar and Attarat areas. The company is planning on digging an open-pit mine for the milling, crushing, extraction, precipitation and converting of uranium ore.

AREVA has a shameful environmental record:

The company has had a presence in Niger for 40 years. And ever since its mining operation, poverty has been amplified through years of environmental destruction.

A Greenpeace team visited AREVA’s two uranium mines (Arlit and Akokanin) in Niger at the beginning of November 2009. The team carried various soil, water and air tests around the mines as well as in mining villages, located several kilometers away and home to 80,000 people. These tests were studied in collaboration with the France-based Research and Independent Information on Radioactivity Commission (CRIIRAD) and Niger’s Network of Organizations for Transparency and Budgetary Analysis (ROTAB).

The findings identify dangerous levels of radiation in the streets of Akokan, at one location up to 500 times higher than the normal background levels. Initially AREVA had declared the streets safe!

Furthermore, abnormal concentrations of uranium in the soil, as well as of radon, a radioactive natural gas have been detected in the air. “Radioactive scrap metal” from the mines was also available at local markets. In four of the five water samples that Greenpeace collected in the Arlit region, the uranium concentration was above the World Health Organization recommended limit for drinking water.

Major concerns that undermine the very legitimacy of this undertaking lie on every corner. There is no doubt that AREVA and our government are aware of most of the issues outlined. The people have every right to question this doubtful enterprise. We call on the Jordanian government and officials involved to address theses unanswered question before any further steps are taken towards realizing this risky venture.

AREVA cannot be trusted to operate in the Kingdom. Its presence will undoubtedly pose serious threats to the people and environment.

Say NO to Nuclear Energy! Say NO to AREVA!

Read the rest of the post on 7iber

Asfeh: Zeid and the Wings

In January 2011, Zeid and the Wings were touring in Italy with Beirut Love Attack. The Lebanese government fell the day they arrived. This video was filmed during that time period.

Growth begins at home: from to LivingSocial

Congratulations to GoNabit as well as to the entire family!

From The National:

“The US-based daily deals website LivingSocial has acquired the Middle East portal GoNabit. The website offers “group-buying” deals to consumers, ranging from vouchers for restaurants to discounted salon treatments and hotel rooms. Operating in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, the site claims to have saved consumers more than $5 million in the past year.

LivingSocial, which is understood to have acquired 100 per cent of the firm, operates a similar business model, and is the second largest player in the US market after GroupOn.

Dan Stuart, the chief executive and co-founder of, confirmed that the deal had taken place. ‘We’ll co-brand our website as GoNabit, a LivingSocial company,’ he said.”

Pop culture fix: 9 things I can’t wait to read/see (waiting sucks)

I’m going to borrow this post’s theme from True Blood’s trailers.

Here is a list of things I really want to watch/read/enjoy:
1. True Blood. True Blood. True Blood. True Blood. True Blood.
Possibly the best vampire-related show in history of the world, way up there with Anne Rice. Also one of the few cases in literature where the audio-visual production is SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE DAMN BOOKS. Don’t get me wrong, I read all of the series, but they’re not even comparable to the show.
I’m having a really hard time deciding whether I should download yesterday’s premiere to watch or wait until the end of the season (which is what I usually do) to watch it back-to-back.

2. A Song of Ice and Fire
A reader recommended I read the best-selling series by George R. R. Martin, and let me tell you, it was one of the best book recommendations I’ve ever got in my life. Martin is amazing. So far, I only read “Games of Thrones”, the first book in the series, but I can’t wait to read the rest.
Annoyingly enough, there are still THREE whole forthcoming books out of the seven planned ones, and the guy has a pattern of churning a book once every five years. That means I will be feeling anticipative till 2025 or something. Sucks.
Waiting sucks.

Bonus: This is the coolest blog I’ve ever seen.

3. A Game of Thrones
Now that the first season is packed in a box at Hammoudeh, I must get my ass over there to buy it.
I’m a sucker for fantasy. I mean, my favorite book EVER is “The Lord of the Rings”. And my favorite movie EVER is “The Lord of the Rings”. This blog’s very title is a tribute to that book.
Since I really enjoyed the book version of “A Game of Thrones”, I am hoping that the show will be as epic as “The Lord of the Rings”.
4. The Hobbit
Speaking of “The Lord of the Rings”, I want to cry when I think about how Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” isn’t due until December 2012 and December 2013, respectively. It reminds me of wanting to cry from impatience in December 2001, December 2002, and December 2003 as the original “The Lord of the Rings” movies came out.
Why, oh, why are these Hollywood people making my life miserable?
5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2)
I don’t even remember life without waiting for a Harry Potter something. First it was waiting for Book 2. Then Book 3. Then Movie 1. Then Book 4. Then Movie 2. Then Book 5. Then Movie 3. Then Book 6. Then Movie 4. Then Book 7. Then Movie 5. Then Movie 6. Then Movie 7. Then Movie 7 Part 1. Now Movie 7 Part 2.
My entire conscious life has been one long wait for Harry Potter (who shares my birthday): sitting in middle school reading a damn book, going to Bahrain in highschool to watch a damn movie, lining up in front of Prime during college to buy another damn book, skipping a day during my first job to finish the damn last book.
Thirteen damn years later, I get to say good bye. My heart breaks. I’m going to miss you, Harry “Damn” Potter.
6. Mad Men, Season 4
I have been resisting watching the 4th season of Mad Men for over a year. It’s sitting on my coffee table, but there were rumors that the show might be canceled, so I thought I’d savor the last few hours of glamorous 60’s life until I know what to expect.
Now that we know that it’s coming back for a 5th season, I’m definitely going to be watching it soon enough!
7. Mad Men, Season 5
YAY. Season 5 is going to be made afterall! :)
8. Glee, Season 3
My latest addiction in life is Glee. It’s so brilliantly awkward, so well produced, and just generally absolutely fantastic. My heart dances along with these guys. Kurt is possibly my favorite all-time TV character.
It also reminds me of my own highschool years, when we were in a dabkeh band.

9. Twilight, Movie 4
My guilty pleasure is Twilight. I watched the other 3 movies with only one thought running through my head: “This is the worst acting I’ve ever seen in my life.” I still can’t help but enjoy it.

So what can’t you wait for? :)

Things I don’t understand: tattooed eyebrows

The trend of tattooed eyebrows has really been getting on my nerves lately. It’s always been around, but I’ve been seeing too many salon ads advertising this hideousness. So…

Basically, what young women in the Arab world are doing is removing their entire eyebrows and replacing them with a tattoo. The tattoo is usually a straight line, half a circle, or a deformed arch. Most of the time, the color of the tattoo is either reddish or really dark black, thus contrasting greatly.

Case in point, images derived by Googling “Arab Celebrity”:

The arch from hell:

The straight lines:

The half circle:

1. Eyebrows are cool. They are a part of your face. Please don’t remove them.
3. Here is how to determine the perfect shape for your eyebrows:

I’m going to have nightmares for a month after seeing this shit.

Makes you smile

I’ve been in a very artsy fartsy mood recently. I wish I have the time to get messy with paint. But until I find the time… here is some cool artwork for your viewing pleasure:

Sigmar Polke – Untitled (Lens Painting) – 2008

Maya Hayuk

‘Birds’ by Rob Bailey

by Anna Emilia

Heather Chontos

“dorothybackoffmypinkchair” by David Antonio Cruz

Casey Ohngren

“Into The Rain” by Andre Kohn, oil on canvas

Marion Bolognesi

Green Art Project’s Music Hall Beirut Fundraising Dinner

Do you like music? Art? Environment? Food?

If your answers are yes, yes, and yes, you will love the Green Art Project’s fundraising dinner, featuring Music Hall Beirut and the amazing Son Cubano.

The event is on Monday at 8:00 at the Grand Hyatt, and will feature a 3 course buffet dinner with a variety of dishes, an amazing two hour show, and a wine and champagne bar for JD 100. All proceeds will go to fund an environmental start up.

For tickets and more information, please call 0777 228 686 or email at

Fruity Bayt

We come to the office this morning and discover that Bayt has decided to increase our vitamin levels by providing three daily humongous baskets of fruits:

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