Saturday, July 30, 2005

With Nothing To Live For...

We never said anything, she just sat next to me silent searching for the unknown. She’d push her head on my shoulder harshly, shaking me from my daydream, and she’d say “What did you write? Read it for me.” She never liked reading on her own, and she’d stop me in the middle of my reading to mumble something like “Good meter” or “Been reading Walt Whitman lately?”
I would just nod, and carry on, knowing if I didn’t she’d say “Why did you stop?” And when I was done, she’d ask me to read it again, and I’d refuse saying she can read it on her own.
“You’re afraid of your voice.” She’d smile solemnly, her ear burning on my shoulder. “I think you’re gonna be famous in no time Amino.” And I’d laugh telling her she’s talking like some kind of seer in my stories. The empty field cold and silent, then she’d break the cycle. “Do you ever think of death?”

Death. I never paid attention to those small hints she sprinkled here and there, like some chef tinkering dubiously with a meal. Mixing unknown ingredients, they might turn out good or bad, or even worse maybe you’ll have guests coming over out of the blue and they’ll see the mess.
“Sometimes.” I’d tell her. “I always feel like my time on earth is short.” She’d back off like I’ve committed some felony, and scrutinize my features thoroughly.

“Don’t be silly.” She’d mumble again resting on my shoulder, and I’d feel her disturbed heartbeats, like we’ve touched the forbidden topic. But I never paid attention, it’s those small things you always omit in the moment, but remember too late.
“I wanna become a dancer.” She said laughing. “And you’d be the famous writer who’d visit the shows of the very glamorous dancer.”
“I hate ballet.” I’d remind her. “You can get into Med School without breaking a sweat.”
“I hate doctors.” She’d answer back mimicking my previous tone. “They try to postpone the inevitable.”

“Radical.” I’d mutter under my breath.

“Utopian.” She’d punch me in the arm giggling. “They should have drowned you with Atlantis.”
“How do you know Atlantis was the Utopia?” I gave her a skeptic look.
“A feeling.” Her mood would shift in a jiffy, she’d bite her nails without shame, and gaze at the sky. “Will you write a novel about our life?”
“What? The Radical and Utopian best friends?” I’d smile devilishly. “No respectable publisher would accept my manuscript.”

“Or perhaps about me, the first of course… and in bold lines the dedication would be for me.”
“The second.” I’d bargain brashly. “Two is my lucky number, and the first is reserved for Miss Jackie.”
“Fine.” She’d accept as though my book is coming out next month. “You’ll read it to me though.”

“How come?” I said confused. “A whole book?”
“How do you know I’ll have the time to read it?” She asked.
“Well, you’re not going anywhere… so you’ll have time. You’re not gonna die are you?”
“Don’t be silly.” She mumbled again avoiding my gaze. “Just make sure it’s a happy ending.”

“Sure, happiness is overestimated though!!”

“My story will have a happy ending, because that’s what I want.” She smiled ominously. “Read for me now.”

And I read…The more you live inside of my head, the more I think you were just character that I didn’t finish writing his story, or a figment of my imagination.

As I wrote the very first word in my new novel, I remembered this, and I smiled. The working title “With Nothing To Live For.”

“Good Title” You would have said if we were sitting in that field, if you were here now. But I smile, I remember, and I salute you wherever you are for awakening the value of life inside of me.

“Utopian” The voice whispers in my head… and I say now… “Radical.”

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Tawjihi Euphoria

First of all, i'd like to congragulate someone i am very proud of, my best friend and sister: Haneen.. for snatching that 93 from the hands of those greedy examiners who wanna keep the grades for their own muhahaha. She's gonna be a great writer one day, once she decides to pick that pen and write. And then, of course i wanna congragulate: Damz, Mira, Muna, Tahani, Dana, who did i miss? Well, back to the tawjihi Euphoria. We reached the brink of technology regarding our Tawjihi examinations; believe it or not, we were competing with Singapore regarding this issue, without the wireless internet of course.

The kiddos, well you know, people my age were hanging about the internet cafes, clutching to their mobiles, for the awaited judgment they were born for.

Flabbergasting isn't it? The whole panic and state we force into our lives, the way the Tawjihi exams are there to determine whether we get into college or not. Although many students who got F's in their lives, crammed the exams, and finally got a 87... a big example is my friend Tahani. Well, Tawjihi should not be a measure of what we learnt, i believe we should have entrance exams instead, you know for each major. Like, i bet a person who's good at math shouldn't be hanging in the English major and vice-versa.

So back to the topic, darn i keep on slipping into a different tangent. Well, the Tawjihi Euphoria, yes yes, technology and all.. and then the typical "Shoot Them Or Lose Them" celebration, with guns, machine guns, and even am afraid bazookas.

I mean, those who are actually shooting have sons with 50's and 55's. I mean, come on people, grow out of it. But actually, it's a good alarm, because i was relaxing in my room reading "The Northern Lights" by Philip Pullman; wondering when will i hear my friends' results, and then i heard the 'Jordanian Tawjihi Euphoria' and i lunged to call up my friends.

The question is, why why... can't they express their happiness with you know.. songs.. umm dancing whatever.

I have to admit though, when my results are out, i'll be missing the whole jazz, since no one gives a damn about A-levels, naturally. Well, I've been busy, and am still busy finalizing my short story, and i am reading of course.. a dozen of books.

Check out my book reviews blog for more information on the books i've read.

P.S: Am currently reading, His Dark Materials Trilogy, don't you just love Philip Pullman!!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Coming Out

You were probably associating my title, to the closet part. Actually, today am coming out not from the closet, but from the cave of dreams i've been living in. Believe it or not, I've realized am a sheltered kid, with no sense of what's going on.
I go to sign up for the university, excited and stocked with hope. And as am shipped off from office to office, like i was some damaged commodity, I begin to worry... that my image of University isn't the real one.Turns out the admission process for people with GCE/IB/Etc.. is a simple process of getting back on "The invisible enemy". Okay, you're confused, but read on. Okay, here's a quick pop quiz.
  • In what university in the world, is anyone accepted into English Literature and Language, without prior knowledge of English.
  • In what university in the world, a person who gets straight A's in English is rejected, and someone who barely forms sentences is accepted.
  • In what university in the world, a person who is good at Maths is shipped into the English major.
And even more outrageous...
  • In what university in the world, a person with an 88 average, list of extracurricular activities, five international awards is "Not Good Enough".... while a person with a 65 average, with nothing whatsoever is "Good Enough" just because he's taking the Jordanian Tawjihi?
So i freaked out, and am telling the registration officer, that I've been writing all my life, am winning awards, have published poems, and am currently publishing short stories, not to mention that ever since 1st grade I had one of the highest english averages in my year.You know what he answered? He said, "Tab 3amo, ma damek bte3rafi english basics, laish ma todrosi ishi ma btet3arafeeh?" - translation: since you know the English basics, why don't you study something you know nothing about?

What? Are you kidding me? Are you mocking my sense of right and wrong? Is it just me, or as far as i can remember, that University is the higher form of learning. English basics? You want some student of yours, to walk around with an English BA; happy with his knowledge of 'English Basics', just like a hardworking student on the other side of the world with the same qualification studied 'The real University English'? So, what if he decides to pursue an education career? Just go on passing the basics to his students? And if god forbid, he decides to work on his MA abroad, he'll go to realize that he's different from any BA holder in that campus?
How come we don't have Language proficiency tests?
Yes people, am sheltered, and let's discuss the "Invisible Enemy". You see when we go to sign up, holding your GCE/IB certificate, it's like you're asking them to label you as 'Spoiled, Rich, who care about nothing.' And just because the A-levels we took, are what 2nd year university students take we're condemned and fought.
So, am not admitted into the normal stream because "I have money?", the reg. officers shift us through seven useless hours so in the end they tell us "Roo7o Mowazi?"
Now tell me, why should a person with less qualification than me get my rightful spot. Why? Because i have money? We don't buy our grades you know? We worked hard for them, we did twice as work, and we are punished for that.

And then there is the other factor, since you're good enough why don't you go abroad? What if i can't? What if i don't want to? So people assume that because we took A-levels that our parents are filthy rich and then can send anywhere. They assume because we took A-levels any university abroad is gonna accept us, and grant us scholarships. Why do they hate us so much? Why do they treat us like the enemy? Because our parents worked double shifts all through their lives, to provide us with good education? Why do some people detest us so much? So many questions, but I'll tell you something, most parents aren't born rich, and they worked hard for it. And those people controlling our university destiny, they think our parents woke up one day and the sky was raining with money. You know if i was not good enough, i wouldn't be bothered, but the university should be for the best. It should be for serious people who worked hard for it all their lives. So i came out of the cave, the moment that officer told me an even worse statement, "Most people in the GCE, complain that they're wasting their time in the English Department and that it's too easy, so study something else."
Right, am supposed to give up my passion just because you admitting the wrong people into the wrong faculty, and teaching them the wrong courses, for their supposed level. Well, you know what, i don't give a damn which university takes me, all i know is that I'll be working on my English on my own. Cause when i wanna say I've got an English BA, and i wish to apply for my MA, I want to be in the right level at the right place.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The battle for supremacy has begun...

I was sleeping yesterday, in a state i can't imagine, since i've had the longest nightmare in my life. It was so scary, that i was trying to pull myself out of sleep but couldn't. My best friend called, and i didn't answer.. she was sending me messages and i couldn't wake up. Ever had that kind of nightmare, where an invisible force pulls you to stay, to know what's gonna happen. It was scary, and even now, after a very cold shower and cup of coffee, the rush of adrenalin inside of me still resides. That's not my point, i woke up and wrote every detail in that nightmare... and i can proudly tell you that i've found the story i've been waiting for all my life....

I opened a new word document, I don't know what's the novel's name, everything is blank, but i can see "The Battle for supremacy has begun" as the first sentence in the blurb.

P.S: For those who didn't hear "Better alone", it's a Must. Melanie C's awaited album "Beautiful Intentions" is totally worth the wait. Especially, Better alone.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

This is me...

In this very moment when am feeling lonely and forgotten, a notch of Coldplay's "Speed of Light" buzzing in my ears, I look around and see the lines. Everything in lines, the way it is most of the time but we don't notice it. Loneliness is not a state of being alone, it's feeling alone even when you are around people. As though you reaching for something you don't have, or you've been searching for something all your life. And through it all, I pace to and fro in my bedroom, unable to touch my guitar or call up one of my friends. We're not in the same world anymore, for some reason i do not understand. Is it me? Is it them? Why must i feel this way when all around me is perfect in its own sense of perfection. Why must i lie on my pillow every night and think "There must be more to life than this." It seems like the world around me racing, and am here struck by some invisible power of paralysis. If this is just a stage in my life, a transition, how come others my age aren't in this stage?

I told my very dear friend two days ago, "I feel like am lost in time, as if my purpose in life seems lost at some moment in the day. I feel like some writer is sitting in front of his screen scrambling with my life, trying to figure out which is the best way to edit the manuscript for a better price. "

And she smiled at me and said, "How come you can't be like us? I mean talk, like a normal teenager our age. You know.. boys, shopping, or you know gossip."

And i answered. "Look, i feel like am loosing you. My friends..."

And she said. "You're not, you just never adapted to your world. Stop looking at the world like it's one of your characters, stop talking to us about philosophy, stop looking out of the box. Live with us, live your age."

And i paused, i couldn't believe that someone i cherish so much just told me this. Maybe, that's what made me so sad and lonely right now. Her words may not be right, but they made me ponder... who is wrong and who is right? See even now, am writing the story of my life like it was a stranger's. Do people see their lives my way... do they see their lives in terms of metaphors and alliteration. Do they really walk around after a tiresome day a voice whispering in their head, "like a tree burdened with fruit, the fruit will go away, and in the end the tree will miss its burden. Burden and happiness are essential for each other."

Does this make me crazy? Does this make me an alien in my race? This is me.. no one is right or wrong...this is just me.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

It's one of those days...

It's one of those days, where you don't wanna get out of bed. The world is spinning in your dream, and you anxiously readjust the alarm for extra 15 minutes of sleep but don't feel them passing by. You slide your feet lazily through the sheets, and stay still for a moment or two and the thought that crosses your mind is "Why?"

Yes, a very simple "Why?" It could be the "Why" of misery, or the "Why" of hope, or the "Why" of laziness. And for someone as young as me, it's the "Why do i exist?" Believe it or not, like any person my age that question bothers me a lot. I looked at the book on my table, and suddenly it hit me.

Virginia Woolf, one of my favorite authors, and a personal role model of mine. She wrote all the way battling with her insanity, she said she heard those voices, and at the time no one could understand it's the characters talking to her. Much like, how Gabrielle, Seth or even Marina whisper in my head most of the time. It's like they're telling me "Write our story on paper, and we'll leave you alone."

And in other times in the night i wake up anxious, and it's "Come on, grab a cup of coffee and work on our story till dawn. Bring us to life... bring us to life."

But i don't drink coffee remember?

Now at Virginia's time, that was typical insanity, but in my time a writer is allowed to wrestle with his demons and characters. They call, and you should answer back.. only i don't have the time. But then, that very familiar voice tells me "You don't have time for your own destiny?"

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Living Green Ride...

I bet.. we don't see that sign in Jordan... but let's carry on...

So the first thing we're gonna learn in living green. Is to walk, run, use a bicycle, or take the public transportation system (i know it suxx, especially for a girl). Why? Let's talk basic science, the current cars produce Carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases, are gases that contribute to global warming (that is the average of temeperature on earth increasing). Believe it or not, if %70 of the people using cars right now, took Public Transportation as an alternative, a drastic change will be seen. Why? Because, each person is operating a car to travel on his own, however a bus will transport 30 people in a relatively equal energy.

Now, walking to your destination is an even better solution. Why? Ever noticed how the levels of obesity throughout the world increased, maybe because human inventions are making sure we get lazier by time. I bet by the year 2020, we'll be put in fridges and served in birthdays, by aliens that is.

The second step in living green is... Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

For more info on the emissions of the middle east, please check the MENA charts

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Celebrating the 10th Of July

Are you familiar with The Greenpeace NGO? Did you wake on the 10th of July thinking... It's the 20th anniversary of the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior? If not.. proceed.

Most of the people around wonder why i love wearing my Rainbow Bracelet. And yes some of you are nodding right now, just like many people nod. The rainbow has been the symbol for many communities including the Greenpeace Organization. An organization am proud to consider myself from. The Rainbow Warrior was a ship that sailed in different seas for different causes protesting against French Nuclear Testing, Whaling, and sealing. However, in the 10th of July,1985 the ship was sunk by the French agents.

The Rainbow Warrior was officially launched in Hamburg on July 10, 1989, the anniversary of the sinking of her predecessor. The voice of truth still thuds, and the Greenpeace organization will live forever. One of my dreams is to sail on the Rainbow Warrior, as a matter of fact am volunteering as soon as i finish my BA.

Did you stop nodding?

Good. Cause for the next week, I am gonna be talking about crucial Greenpeace issues. I am gonna take you on a one week ride to the most life altering facts.

Buckle up.. wait.. we're not taking the car this time... first rule of thumb in living green.

Run... grab your running shoes people.

Monday, July 11, 2005

New Skin

Let me tell you the story of a small girl who always dreamed of becoming an astronaut, and in some phase settled for Psychology, and finally realized her true destiny is with... well an english/spanish major or English language & Literature Major. We're talking about a girl who always prefered Minor chords while playing her guitar, and now it's time to pick a major, and then the Journalism option dawns in. I am not sure what i want to be if you ask me, i love writing, i love playing sports, i love design, i love music. I just love life, and i have so many dreams that i may need various lifetimes to achieve, but am determined to make some of them come true.

A new skin.. better or worse people? Comfy.. eyewise?? By the way, typewriters are one of my hobbies, I love reading about them, storing their pictures, and perhaps when i get older collect some of them. The typewriter featured in my blog, is one of my favorites beside the Oliver. The main advantage of this typwriter [Remington Noiseless 8]... as you can guess it's noiseless..

Noiseless.. just like my life, i am silent most of the time only thinking what to write in my very next story or novel. Come to think of it... Remington should be my middle name...

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Music Freaks...

Freakish, that's for Roba.. cause i've been hearing "Over The Hills And Far Away". And i read Roba's post and i am like holy crap!! Led Zepplin, The Beatles, and Ace Of Base are must for my everyday, especially in the stressful days... "As My Guitar Weeps" keeps on spinning in my head all day. Since we're talking about music today, let's discuss peer pressure... hmm seems irrelevant huh??

You see in my school days (it sounds so far away), I used to notice how the "Musical Tastes" of my fellow friends were affected by the "Music Police". So you always hear the "Fashion Police", "Music Police" is a very simliar term with a few differences, at least when you follow some fashion you can comprehend what color you're wearing, or what kind of trousers you bought. So the cool popular girl in school loves a godforsaken band that doesn't even play their chords right, and the rest of the school follow blindly... because it's stylish to hear Avril Lavigne when you're wearing those black jelly bracelets, and it's easy to love Amr Diab when everyone seems to love him (Hey, am his biggest fan however), and it's even more great to listen to thy stylish cute guy who dances

Most of the girls were hearing what's "Hip" , rather what they really liked. I had to face a rather idiotic girl back in my days, as i was hearing Bob Marley's "Sun Is Shining", she tapped on my shoulder asking me what am hearing. And i said "Sun is shining."

Girl: "Is that a beyonce song?"
Amino: No it's Bob Marley's.
Girl: "Meen hada?"
Amino: The King Of Reggae.
Girl: Hmm, eish ya3ni?
Amino: Reggae is a music genre originating from Jamaica. :: starting to get annoyed::
Girl: Zay Sean Paul?
Amino: 3aleeki noor, bs Bob was more into the Rastafari movement.
Girl: Meen?
Amino: nevermind *sigh*
Girl: Balla ma Sean Paul gamar.
Amino: *shrugs* ahaa..

Now that's the example of the first type of Music Fashion freaks.., and i refer to them as:
It's-either-top-of-the-charts-or-nothing people!

You shouldn't be hearing what's fashionable, you should adore the music rather than listen to it passively. And you shouldn't feel bad, when someone laughs if you say you're hearing Namie Amuro, Melissa Etheridge, Within Temptation, Morcheeba, or even Rupaul!! It's your taste of music, you shouldn't be influenced by what they "Think is good".

Then there is the "Hip Hop Cool" kind of people, who laugh when you tell them you're hearing anything but Rock and Hip Hop. And even mock you if you're hearing Britney or Thalia. Okay, note to self, i can't believe i just said the B Word.. did i ever mention how much Britney gets on my nerves (her songs are o-kay however). So if you're not hearing Linkin Park or 50 Cent... then you're the biggest loser.

Now that's the example of the second type of Music Fashion Freaks... and i refer to them as:
The Obnoxious Delirious Jay-Z Wannabes.

Finally, there are those who start to judge you according to what you're hearing. so, if the singer is a drug
addict, they lecture you about his addiction, if he's ugly they preach that he's hideous. Do i care if his
great-great grandmother was a prostitute, or if people say he's dating a woman 30 years younger. Look, leave
people alone 'kay? They didn't bring their music into life so we can judge them. So these kind of people start
telling you what to hear and what not to hear, according to their sense of right and wrong, and their obligation
to save you from hell.

Now that's the example of the third type of Music Fashion Freaks... and i refer to them as:
Hear-my-music-or-be-judged people!!

Does this sound gibberish to anyone? Cause am sure at least one of you got into this situation. Music is a form of self expression, i don't think everyone will like it the same way. So live with your music...

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Stand Up Straight...

Ever been the refugee camps in Jordan? Camps like Zezya, Shnelar, Baqa'a, Al Hussian. When my parents were young, they travelled along with the hordes of refugees in 42' and 67'. And although, they spent a short period of time in those camps, just like almost any Palestinian did, a forever connection was built. I was born in Amman, in a life of luxury and prosperity, I never knew the meaning of being kicked out of your own country, or suffering poverty, or living in tents. I cried when my parents refused to buy me a guitar, when others in those camps cried searching for jobs to support their families. And maybe because my parents were young, they don't remember much of it. But yesterday i visited my distant relatives who never managed to propser and get out of those camps. And unlike what you think, am not ashamed of who i am. Those are my people, and those are my family.

They heard about my writings about Jordan and it's current situation. They heard am criticising certain aspects in our country, and one of them said as i drank the most delicious tea in my life, sitting on the ground. "I think you came to the right place, i don't think you'll find anything positive here."

But, actually, let me tell you something that means the world to me. I came from my world where I complain about not going out with my friends or bad quality cinemas, to see the reality, to wake up from this bogus i am living. And although they didn't have much, the streets were muddy, and the houses where small... I saw the highest class of people. People who were generous, kind, and white-hearted, and i although i haven't been visiting them for a long time, they greeted me warmly and i didn't feel like a stranger. I sat there, and i don't know most of the faces, but i felt welcomed and happy. The neighbors knocked, and sat, all like family. The babies i barely knew, came to play with me refering to me as their "cousin" and although i am not, that's how they were raised: commitment, family connection, and hospitality.

Their simplicity dazzled me, and i talked to the old ladies asking them how they got here. And their storage of almost 70 years of memories flowed into my notebook. How the tents were blown in the winter, how the UNRWA helped them build their modest homes and distrubted various supplies every month. They revealed to me their mysterious connection with Sardines, that were distrubted weekly to the refugees. And before i could finish my sentence, one of the younger mothers said to me "You should be a journalist. Did you finish the Tawjihi?"

And i paused for a second telling her that i didn't sit for the Tawjihi exams, rather sat for the IGCSE externals. And of course they were baffled, and in the end i said "Yes i finished Tawjihi." And they smiled at me, wishing me the best of luck, and praying for god to keep me safe. And even though, they didn't get the best of life, the best of education, and the best of conditions... some of them suceeded and obtained their MA's and Phds. On my way home, i thought of them... and their courage. And i felt the sudden urge to write this, and tell you, one of my countries best qualities: we may complain, we may live a harsh life, but we have hearts of gold ready to accept anyone in need.

A lot don't admit that their relatives,parents,siblings lived in refugee camps, or still do. But I am
telling you my friend, you shouldn't be ashamed of where you come from, especially if they're the refugee camps, because they are the most bold, courageous, and determined people in life, who strive for change all the time. Why i wrote this? As i continue to live my privilaged life, that my dear parents gave me through their struggle and hard work, I tell you we should be grateful for who we are now, no matter what's the situation. Stand up straight, now is the time to make your change.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

London Attacks...


Maybe that's the common keyword, 9/11 or the Madrid attacks, and now the London Attacks. Anyone familiar with the "Kyoto Protocol", the famous amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, may connect the dots and find the peculiar relation between investors, global warming, oil, and the G8 summit.

The Kyoto Protocol simply obliges the countries who ratified to reduce their levels of the greenhouse gases by %5 compared to the 1990 levels. The United States of America, the largest emitter of the greenhouse gases did not ratify this Protocol. Why? Simply because the implications of such a protocol needs a Hercules Budget to reduce the emissions from their Weapons Factories, and other factories. So why does did Bush and his government condemn earth, because simply a board of zillionaire investors pressure the government, yes believe it or not. You wanna us to install filters, go ahead Mr. Bush, we're not wasting our money, let your government do it.

And here the government screams, since their social security system is about to declare it's bankrupty by 2015. Not enough money? The economy still suffering from the 9/11, and the money wells they expected to find in the Iraqi's Oil didn't show up as they expected. And in the very same day where Bush comes up in the G8 summit to announce his country's decision to the Kyoto Protocol remains unchanged, a chain of seven attacks hit London. And pay attention to the "Seven" number, because the human mind thinks logically, they'll think.. The G8.. and seven attacks, holy crap this organized, there must be the 8th final attack. The people panic, the news agencies are busy with the seven attacks, and no one reads on the Google News how Mr. Bush the knight in shining armor refused the Protocol yet again, possibly terminating the future of earth. But what the heck? He's not gonna live to suffer anyway, the new generation will. And everyone will gluw it to Al-Qaeda, since gullible creatures could link that to the fact that the G8 is a summit fighting terrorism, and they decided to take revenge. Yes, people sadly... this is my own opinion that may be wrong. But Terrorism my friend is an overused explanation for our money's greed. We shall parish, and money will not save us.

I Hope You Dance...

A dear friend of mine wrote a letter for me before travelling, which made me ponder a lot of things in life. She wrote me something so true "Life will go on, we may never meet again, but i want you to know that you'll always be someone special to my heart." Yes, that was the kind of thing i wanna hear, not the whole "You'll be my friend forever and ever" crap. And in the end she included a note "I'll be buying your books." A very short note of love, friendship, and faith. Her seven sentences letter made me feel special, and happy because we were both realistic.

People change at this stage of life, you will lose friends, gain friends, travel to new places, and have new experiences. And i'd be lying to you if i say am not annoyed by all this, part of me still wants to stay with my childhood friends forever. But this is life. And yes, most of us are scattered now in different places in the globe to pursue their goals - and we may never meet again. But am sure one day, i'll meet a person and i'd say "You have the same smile of a friend i had". They'll always be in our hearts, cause it's not just a "phase" it's an entity of what makes us the person we are now.

For all those friends i am gonna miss, I wish you all luck in life, and hope you'll always remember me like last time we met. I hope if we meet again, you'll still see me in the same energy, strength, and character. I rewind the tape of our graduation, and I may seem angry with all the ceremony, but that "I Hope You Dance." song will be forever in my heart as long as i live, my eyes are almost teary when i hear it, remembering all the memories we had. Remembering the classes, the teachers, the fights, the hangouts, the pranks, and the punishments. I can't get any more sentimental than this, but to the class of 2005, I say to you "I hope you dance."

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Sexuality and Sex and the Arabic Taboo

Warning: for those uncomfortable with the word "Human sexuality", buzz off.

A note to the reader: Yes am a girl, Yes am Jordanian, and Yes I am writing
this. This is a long post, because it's a very important issue in my

There you go , am a Jordanian girl who lived here all here life, and yes
*gasp* am gonna blurt it honestly for a simple reason: arab people encircle
themselves with the "3eeb, and Ma3alesh" dilemma. I went to the safeway to
encounter a rather different setting with no organization at all, something
like il 7esbeh, a very open system that you lose your way half through.
Maybe, the aisles idea wasn't that bad, but that's not the point. Am off on
my hunt for personal hygiene items such as toothpaste, deodorant, etc. And
there i am standing in front of the Sanitary Pads section, to use a more
Common name that you'll recognize- The Always Shelf. Yes, no matter how
commercials they put on TV, face it: Arabs still feel the 3eeb point. How?
Let me finish my story, so i baffled by the shuffled shelves, and then a
lady comes with her two young sons, and she whispers to them. "Wa2fo balash
7ada iyshoofni" She turns abruptly to the shelf, and snatches a pack barely
looking, and i can assure that's how the shelf got so messy. And she turns
bumping into me, and as i wake up from the shock, she apologizes and moves
away with her two sons. And i halted there mesmerized. Yes I did, and the
ladies who passed by, looked at me as if am committing a crime for standing
in front of the shelf for that long. No no, wait a second, did i just
witness that?

Did i just see a woman ashamed for what she is? Did i just see them hiding a
universal fact. What are you ashamed of lady? Your own body and sexuality?
And my father came back, sweating and nervous, and whispered "Are you done
yet?" And i said "No" and he answered "Well I’ll be in the fish department."
- And by the way we weren't buying any fish! Well i know the men's attitude
about this issue, and the whole "eww" episode. Wait? How did you come into
this world? Did they just peel the egg and you popped out? Why are woman
ashamed of what makes them the source of something so special, something so
divine: babies.

I shake my head, frustrated and i turn to the next section, to see an even
more dramatic trauma. Two ladies, who obviously don't read English, are
examining two small boxes - which look exactly like the raspberry candy
boxes. And they stand there innocently, baffled by their content, and i hear
them say as i hide in the corner "Yimken 3elkeh" Yes Yes, close enough
ladies, they're holding a box of condoms! And i approached them stocked with
courage and i pretend to be scrambling with the shelves, and i say "Laish
7ateen Adweyeh hoon." Yes imagine, I had to say that, because i am sure 3/4
of the Jordanian community do not know what a condom is! And they move
away, nodding, and i move away also nodding. The price label on the shelf
had their name written in English too, not a single Arabic translation. Now,
tell me why? Are we English or American, why not put an Arabic label if
you're so confident about what you're selling. Why aren't the condemns in
the Pharmacy section, believe it or not, we're not a foreign country where
you can sell condoms in the supermarket, for a simple reason: some people
might even carry it to the cashier thinking "It's 3elkeh"

And we have such ignorance regarding our sexuality, two good reasons:

1) We don't have a sexual education class assigned in our compulsory
Curriculum that ranges from ruins you never visit to advanced chemical

2) Sexuality, is the "Hush Hush" issue, starting from sexual impotence, to
fertility problems, and ending with STDs.

Why don't we have a Sex Education Class? Because a very furious father will
barge into school and say "What are you teaching my daughter?" And a enraged
mother would complain "Mish il mafrood itfat7o 3eneeha 3ala haik ashay2."
What? So the whole talk the mother gives her daughter before the wedding
night is still the fashion. In which, she skips half of the important stuff,
because she's too shy to discuss it.

A more controversial issue, my friend once told me that when a sex scene pops in some movie, her father orders the girls to go to sleep. And leaves his son watching, and when she protested to her mother, the mom answered: "howeh shab lazem yet3alam"

What the? He's a guy; you're leaving him to learn from porn movies, and cheap
sex scenes? Instead of decent, scientific education class, your alternative
is movies? And because she's a girl, she shouldn't know anything about her
sexuality? Did you know that many girls i met, didn't even know why they get
their periods, their mother simply didn't tell them.

And please let's not shield our ignorance and glue it to Islam. I don't
think educating your children to live a healthy life is against Islam or any
religion in this world. Half of the bed death marriages occur because of the
lack of sexual awareness. Here you go, i gave you my 10 cents in an issue
which is a taboo, and even more dangerous for a girl to talk about. This is
reaching the degree of absurdity, wake up people!

Monday, July 04, 2005

The Jordanian Bookclub

The very nonrich,african-(the american part missing), Aminoprah needs your attention!!

Are you a bookworm? Ever wished you could discuss that amazing book you read with someone sharing your passion? Now is the time, the newly founded Jordanian Bookclub invites to sign up! Before the start of every season, you can vote for your choice of book, the reading slumber starts from the day of picking the anointed book until the meetup date. Your reading slumber stretches over the span of one month, in which you can enjoy and prepare for the final battle: the discussion. An mindblowing discussion will be held, where you can spill the beans of your mind, and finally decide if you wish to rate the book or not. The Rating system will be a guide to all other readers, that wish to buy the book or grant it a month of their life. Got something to say? Are you writing your own journey too? The "In Their Words" Section will grant you the opprotunity to post your new creations. Seems tempting don't you think? Go ahead and join our first Jordanian Bookclub!

For more information please contact....

Suicide Hotline.. Please wait

Suicide hotline... Please wait, we will answe your call immediately and if we don't this means that our internet server is down and we don't have the guts to explain to our "beloved" customers the real reason!! Yep, am not gonna mention the Internet Company's name, cause i don't wanna give them bad publicity. But here's a few notes about Customer Support:

a) The "We could be heros" song rings in your ear for almost 20 minutes, until finally a rather blessed employee picks up the phone. [One tip: we could be heros, believe me, answering the phone quickly is enough for us!]

b) Customer Support X: Customer Support X, how may i help you? May i spin around the problem for the next 5 minutes until u get bored, and i fix it when i am in the mood.

c) Customer Support X: Can you hold on for a second? [And a lifetime passes and then..] Look, can i call you back [they never do]! Aha.. what's your number...

d) Customer Support X: Aha, so what's your problem again. Aha.. did u check the username and password [Of course, u know the whole department by now, since each one throws the trouble into the other's lap]... Oh so you checked the password. Hmm!! You know what, wait a second [Tooot Toot, call transfered to a new Friendly Helpful Gleeful C.S X)

Anyone familiar with this whole routine? And here's a shocking story, one time i had a problem with my internet, and i called up customer support!! And guess what... the customer support lady told me to hold for a second, and obviously she forgot to put me on hold, and i heard her talking to her collegues around her about her sister's wedding! Okay, pardon my french, but isn't this a C.S department, you're supposed to be suppporttinnggg MEEEE. Yes Me ME and only Me: the selfish, ignorant, illeritate customer who every calls everytime for you to ask "P from pig or from big!" God damn it!! I've been speaking for three years in foriegn conventions, my english is fine... get to the problem will ya?

Now "C for customer support or for crapland"!!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

A Jordanian Rhapsody

For those of you who are not familiar with the term "Rhapsody":
Rhapsody:free-form musical composition: a composition that is often irregular in form, emotional in effect, and improvisational in nature

Now keep in mind that definition as i take you on your first concert to hear that Rhapsody. I am sure you've stopped by the order of a rather abnoxious traffic light during this week. You know the whole Red = stop, orange= get ready, and green=go.

In Jordan we have a different system, it's Red=stop and buy jareedeh. Orange =HONK like there is no tomorrow, green= actually nothing because most of the cars would be gone by the time they see the orange orb. Unless...

Unless a rather mischievous individual of the Jordanian community, god forbid, decides to wait for the green light, or has trouble starting his car. And then the real Rhapsody begins, still keeping that definition in mind? The irregular and random HONKS begin to escalate, the emotional curses even reach the individual's great-great-great grandfather - who did not expect by nature to be disturbed decades later, he turns (betgalab) in his grave uneasily. And finally the improvisational part lands, where cars decide to dodge the cursed criminal by switching to the other lane (even if it's full, somehow they'll barge), and finally honk when passing by the godforsaken criminal and scream - eli rabna begaderhom 3aleeh- in the face of the driver. Now... i don't know if you spend so much money abroad going to concerts, cause we get to see concerts almost everyday from the week ranging from the road Rhapsody, to the Bank Line Rhapsody, and finally with the Bread/Homos/Any kind of food Line Rhapsody.

Concerts for money are a total rip off people wake up!!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Ween Sara7ti

Life gave up its dwellers and shadows crawled silently to the unknown. Life starts with a choice, that’s what they said when the earth was spinning with unknown creatures, with unknown purposes. Flipping textbooks and scanning eyes is no common weapon, where all the life dwellers vow to be honest and sincere, only to grow into furious vultures sweeping any person in their way. Just like that life is; ironic, maybe filled with contradiction and hidden corruptions lairs.

You walk every day to your destination, holding a cup of coffee, and millions of papers packed in your bag, extra tissues, extra pens, extra sandwiches, and extra of every single thing you might not need through the day. And just when you reach your destination, you think “why am I holding all these stuff?” The conflict escalates , how come we carry an extra of every single solid thing around us, but can not carry a bit of abstract communication skills that could actually save us time. The roadblocks we put in the pathway to our heart, is like a parade of mad officers waiting for some UN advisor who may never come, because of a plane delay. This is the harsh truth; our communications skills in the Arab world are not effective starting from Taxi drivers who snap at you “I don’t have change,” and ending with car rentals that sho the young customers with “Egleb wejhak men hoon 3amo!”

Go to a car gallery wearing jeans and t-shirt, and see how no one of the car salesman would even look at you. Wear a black suit and tie and pretend to flicker with your mobile bored, and see how hordes of salesman would rush to your service. We are taught to respect the image the society drew for us of a decent man. We are respecting shallowness; we are respecting a suit and tie. I don’t think Alzheimer should be of a higher priority for our health officers right now. I believe we should cure the disease of “Shallowness”. They shouldn’t be eradicating corruption right now, but rather uprooting the concept that a man buying a Mercedes XLM7T (god knows what model), through bank loans, is a better man that one riding a Honda. Your car does not define you, your clothes do not either, and I should include the “beautiful face” factor.

Should jobs be granted to beautiful girls, and should respect be paid to the guy with the BMW? My parents were startled when I said “I want to buy a bike.”

Why a bike? You exercise everyday, for a cheap price, and you do not harm the O-zone layer, and you could use your money for a better cause. A full package for less than $200, but I won’t be a hypocrite, yes it is a dream for me to buy a car. Yes, as stunning as it may seem after all I wrote. I wish to have a huge Honda CRV with the huge space, so I may carry all sorts of equipment to the Orphanages, and aid to the refugee camps, or go to my dream café where all intellectuals are sitting in peace, enjoying a nice book discussion. And when the café is well built, I want to write my novels and sell them. Put some of the money away for my life, and use the rest to help those in Kenya and Darfur, or Cambodia. I want to adopt a child from each continent, and sit on my porch teaching them how to play the guitar, and in the night finish writing my book to help all those wanting to commit suicide. So much, so much inside of me. And I don’t say those dreams often, because right after the “equipment to Orphanages” part, my fellow friends laugh and start discussing where they want to go next Thursday. And I gaze through the café window, looking at the horizon, and I see myself in those baggy khakis break dancing, Elvis Presley’s “A little less conversation” echoing in my mind, and I spin on my head and spin, my dreams swirling endlessly, until my friend nudges me in the rib and says “Ween sara7ti.” And I reply “I was thinking about my new bike.”

P.S: if you didn’t hear the song yet, download the Elvis Presley Vs JXL version, close your eyes, and dance; even if you don’t know how, just spin and spin and see all the energy inside you waiting to be released.


Well, i had all sorts of trouble with my blog during the last two days, i even had to remove my huge post, mainly because mysterious o:p tags appeared in the xml feed. Anyho, problem solved, and i'll be reposting what i deleted. My day was a total mess, and i still have to study french. Since, am a Sims addict, i've been playing Sims 2 for the past three hours (in the time i am supposed to be solving homework!). LOL! And you think when you finish school you'll get rid of homework!! So my friends in the tawjihi finished today, but i didn't go out with them.
Well... that's it for now, am working on my new idea. So i'll post later on informing everyone.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Poem Of The Week

Um.. poem of the week by the very famous poet... actually no I wish i could add that introduction, this poem is by me!!

The Law of Sigma
By Amino

By the river of shining dreams,
And the shadows of gelled trees,
Nothing of what you see is what it seems.
With your standards and idealistic sieve,
You pull the dreams like a magician embracing a rabbit,
Hopping, turning, and chuckling with no relief.
You try to corner the habit,
Trying to be a willow when all in you is pine.

Voices sift, thunder thuds, and the moon sleeps,
I stroke my hair gently, detangling the abraded vine.
I cling to courage and shatter the weeps.
I dive in oceans of enchanted enigma,
I despise deductions, reductions, and abductions…
I believe in the law sigma…

All I live for is to add a dream.
And I’ve learnt to abnegate the pursuit of diamonds and gold,
Diamonds are not forever, nor is the swimming team.
Nor is your face, nor is your faith….
I swim for as long my body can hold,
Until I grow old, cold, with ornaments of mold.
Add a dream, subtract a fear,
Seek the equal you’ll find the happiness,
Learn to appreciate what’s near,
But seek the far nonetheless,
I sought what I bought,
A life with mourning pleasures and stiff ambitions,
Take yourself lighter, you won’t be caught,
Believe in the law of sigma, detest the frivolous division.

By the river of shining dreams,
Befriend the gelled trees,
When all you see is not what it seems,
The reality of your warm blood will keep you safe,
Believe in the law of sigma,
Seek the equal…

Humor Me :: Weekly Section ::

Another unique story of "Jordanianism"!! Ever met anyone with the "I know you"
syndrome, well in case you didn't let me share my very unique experience with
those "Knowisms". You see, you meet someone who barely knows you, or perhaps is a
distant acquaintance you met through your friends connection. You are sitting in a
group enjoying a silly discussions the ones you have under the influence (since
you're dizzy with all the hubbly bubblies around)and then (as usual) the
unpredictable happens, that person speaks up and analyzes your opinion in relation
to your personality, and then adds "I know you amino". You can imagine my shock
when someone i barely know.. goes on like this.

Amino: no really am okay, am just feeling dizzy from the smoke.
Knowism: I know you're sad and depressed.
Amino: no am not
Knowism: look, i can see it in your eyes, you are trying to hide it but it's not
Amino: huh?
Knowism: Suppressing feelings only leads to *knowism continues to ramble as a
certified shrink although the qualifications on his CV differs*
Amino: am not suppressing anything, am just dizzy from the smoke.
Knowism: i know you amino, you can trust me.
Amino: Uhh.
*40 Minutes Later*

Knowism: Look you should eat meat. You just had a bad experience akeed, you'll get
out of this phase as soon as you change this attitude you have, you love meat deep
down inside you. You have to eat meat, and i am sure you will stop being a
vegetarian, and remember when that happens to say Knowism was right.

Okay... PAAAUUUSE, what the **** just happened here? We don't know each other, and
the person is already starting with "I know you." And then giving me advice about
my life, and then trying to convince me with something i am not. Who on earth gave
you the idea that "Am denying my love for meat". Who on earth gave you the idea
that am Anti-meat, and finally who on earth asked for your opinion?

Now, here are a few tips for eradicating the "Knowism" syndrome:

a) You can not possibly know a person you've met twice.
b) You should not interfer in someone's life, no matter how itchy your skin gets,
and the desire for an on-spot advice.
c) No matter how right you think you are, shut up!!
Now, maybe Knowisms exist abroad, but am only gonna comment on the ones i've met.
Whenever, you're speaking about any other soul except you, there is a %70 that
you're wrong. That's why... we have different names people. We really need to work

on our definitions of "Privacy" and "Red Line"

What is your World View?

From Rooby's blog, i got this quiz that seemed interesting... well Cultural Creative.. who would have guessed that?

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (updated)
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