A Blog from Amman, Jordan, Online Since 2004.

Month: October 2011 (Page 1 of 3)


So pretty.

Khobzeh o jobneh o shay

The other day, my heart almost stopped when I saw my brother Omar having “Khobzeh o jobneh o shay” for breakfast.

I haven’t had that since I was a young child, and it suddenly brought up memories of our first home in Riyadh.

I’m not sure if this dish is a norm or an invention from my mother’s side, but it’s composed of three items, as the name suggests: sliced pita bread and diced Nabulsi cheese, soaked in sweet tea.

So pleasant.

Cheese, bread, and tea

Cheese, bread, and tea

Something only a Pink Floyd fan would understand…

bay 10300

————–Originally published in January, 2006.
This post is a part of the “NotSoFar Archive Project”. After eight years of blogging, the project aims to rediscover old posts, as well as go back in time. Somehow.————–

Stuff my parents taught me: to do or not to do?

The formula for figuring out whether something is wrong or right is actually very simple:

The higher the embarrassment or shame factor, the wronger the action is likely to be.

To elaborate, you just have to stop for a second before doing something that could be wrong and think about whether you would be slightly ashamed to be seen doing it or if you would you be embarrassed to tell people that you did it.

If you decide that there would be shame or embarrassment, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

What’s your favorite “formula” that your parents taught you?

Stuff my parents taught me:
One: On Taking Things Personally

Thoughts for Today

Really, I’m Just Pixels

This image from “Shit That Siri Says” made me smile.

We’re in the cloud, honey.

Spread a Word Campaign: ما تعاكسنيش

I’ve always been extremely fascinated by the suffix “-eesh” in Arabic, because it doesn’t really make sense. For example:

– “Bahebbak” means “I love you”
– “Baheb-keesh” means “I don’t love you”
– Yet, “Ma ba7ebkeesh”, where “Ma” means “I don’t”, still means “I don’t love you”. That would result in a double negative, which technically should be a positive
– “Ma ba7ebbak” still means “I don’t love you”, with or without the “-eesh”

So, as you can see, my confusion stems from the fact that the “-eesh” appears to be a suffix that does nothing, since most people use it with the “Ma”.

Anyway, not the topic. The topic is actually this brilliant campaign from Egypt, that adds a “Ma” and an “-eesh” to things that should not be done, and they all have a political/social context to them.

Don’t cancel me

Don’t think for me

Don’t ignore me

Don’t oppress me

Don’t change me

Don’t inferiorize me

Don’t reject me

Don’t catcall me

Voices from Jordan: An Alternative Narrative

“Through embracing a paradigm that strips economics of its political context, glazes over crucial issues with superficial platitudes, and fails to deliver, the economic dogmas of the past thirty years, promoted by institutions like the World Economic Forum (WEF) have failed to regulate markets or ensure equitable and sustainable economic growth.

Today, people around the world have amassed to demand change; a shift away from the crumbling paradigms that favor investments over social benefits, and profits over communities.

As a group of Jordanians whose country frequently hosts WEF, we have been reflecting on this involvement. Several critical issues arise […]”

Read the rest of the statement on the blog of the World Economic Forum, or on 7iber.

Add your signature by adding a comment with your name here.

Thoughts of a Dying Atheist

Here’s an interesting Muse song, called “Thoughts of a Dying Atheist”. Matt Bellamy, the lead singer of Muse, in an 2007 interview, said, “Being an atheist means you have to realise that when you die, that really is it. You’ve got to make the most of what you’ve got here and spread as much influence as you can. I believe that you only live through the influence that you spread, whether that means having a kid or making music.”

Eerie whispers trapped beneath my pillow
Won’t let me sleep, your memories
I know you’re in this room, I’m sure I heard you sigh
Floating in between where our worlds collide

It scares the hell out of me
And the end is all I can see
And it scares the hell out of me
And the end is all I can see
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, whoa

I know the moment’s near
And there’s nothing we can do
Look through a faithless eye
Are you afraid to die?

It scares the hell out of me
And the end is all I can see
And it scares the hell out of me
And the end is all I can see
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, whoa

And it scares the hell out of me
And the end is all I can see
And it scares the hell out of me
And the end is all I can see
Yeah yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah, whoa

Freedom for Palestinians: 1027 to 1

Like most Palestinians, I know what it’s like to have a family member in an Israeli jail. Often the reasons Palestinians get tossed into jail in the first place have more to do with lack of justice; name mix-ups, random bad luck, minor rebellion, perhaps. Often, they are held without charges, and tried without the right of defense.

Freedom came to 1,027 Palestinians yesterday. In exchange for one.

Of course, the higher the ratio, the better for us. But it still shocks you. The value of one human life, versus 1,027. It makes you rethink your entire moral framework, it makes you wonder about your life’s stance on nonviolence, on peace, on discussions.

In exchange for one Israeli soldier:

96 Palestinians prisoners were freed to the West Bank.

334 Palestinian prisoners were freed to Gaza.

50 Palestinians were freed into Jerusalem, the Golan heights, and other Israel-occupied territories.

Of the 477 prisoners released yesterday, 247 of them will be returning to their homes.

203 will not be allowed back to their homes in the West Bank, but will have to remain in Gaza.

40 will not be allowed to stay in Palestine at all, but will have to live in exile in Turkey, Qatar, and Jordan.

I found these stories on a Facebook group. It is worth translating the
stories of some of these 1,027 nameless Palestinians, exchanged for
Gilad Shalit.

This Palestinian woman has two sons and four grandchildren in Israeli jails. When she was asked, “Were any of your family members released?” She said, “No, but all Palestinians are my children”.

Father and son.

As this released prisoner hugged his dad after years behind Israeli bars, he asked where his mother was. But his mother had died six years ago.

Released prisoner Irina Sarhaneh with her daughters.

Released prisoner Qahira AlSaadi, who was supposed to spend six lifetime sentences.

Mokhles AlBarghal holding his mother for the first time in years.

Released prisoner Fakhri AlBarghouthi

Ahlam AlTamimi from Hamas and Nezar AlTamimi from Fateh were married when they were both in Israeli jails.

Released prisoner with his son.

Another father greets his son.

Nael AlBarghouthi was only 19 when he was tossed into an Israeli prison. 34 years later, he is released at 52.

Ashraf Muashar was the man who kidnapped one soldier by the name of Gilad Shalit, and thus sent back 1,027 Palestinians, mostly civilians, to their families.

(Design by Mohamed Mousa)

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