Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Star Academy on LBC & WorldBest

Of course I don’t need to get into introductions since this Star Academy Show have had so much attention and success in the Arab World similar to its success in the European world.
Everybody talks about it, people are stuck in their homes just to watch the participants’ every day life, websites have dedicated themselves to cover its latest updates, and, and, and…
Actually, I’m not against having good programs, even if they were an imitation of someone else’s idea as long as they try to make it match people’s tastes and respect their traditions. In short, sometimes programs of a certain kind are considered extremely open to eastern countries, just like many programs are considered rather conservative to western ones.
So it’s not wrong to choose a program that was a great success, but it’s smart to modify it with one’s own touches, to give it a creative more suitable spirit than just having it as a copy.
Anyway, the Arabic Star Academy of Lebanon has gathered thousands of audience, and succeeded in getting both their attention and support. Whereas some other people thought it was
unsuitable in terms of religion or politics
. According to some religion people, Star Academy doesn’t match religious morals, in the sense of having people of both sexes put together all the time, and exposing their everyday life which should be kept private. On the other hand, they consider it a cheap imitation and request modifying some certain aspects. Some went as far as boycotting the whole program, which I find so tough. I mean I do understand what they’re trying to say, but life isn’t only black or white, there should be some flexibility. And instead of stopping some show that has got the youth’s attention, we could work on it to make it even more successful in our own terms.
Now to politicians, some believe that such a program keeps the youth away from getting involved in their own countries’ political concerns. They believe the program draws their attention far away from some core problems and true concerns that will never be solved without their participation and their attention. I agree with them on one point, that this generation is way out off track when it comes to belonging to their homelands and trying to play a role in solving their own problems. But this isn’t only the fault of the so many fun-shows on TV, it’s the fault of the society itself that doesn’t raise them on a strong base of political knowledge and doesn’t encourage them to try to be useful members of society.
How would youth express themselves freely when they know they’ll be put in prison if they said something “against” the policies applies in their countries?
Therefore, before blaming it all on Star Academy or any other program, let’s clean up the infrastructure of our brains and organize our societies as a whole. In this way, not only Star Academy, but even 10 similar programs wont stand in the way of people being involved in building a healthy society.
Yesterday, we watched WorldBest. Unfortunately we missed some of it, specially the part of the Lebanese Bruno performing. But well, at least we watched the results. The French Elodie was the one who won, she truly deserved it. She has a beautiful voice, sings right and is elegant as well. Of course, others who didn’t win shouldn’t be sad, because they reached advanced levels. Not to forget that not all were singing in their mother language, and this plays a very big role. The confidence of someone singing in a foreign language, even if they’re fluent, is less than those who are singing in their own languages.
I really wished Bruno will get higher positions, but never mind, he participated and represented Arabs over there and this is wonderful by itself. I liked the voice of the Chilean Monica, and the Argentinean Emanuel, they were really good. But I was shocked with the Russian 17 year old Julia. I mean in the review of her songs and all, she had a great voice, but unfortunately she chose Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn”, which doesn’t match her beautiful voice, and although she sang with feeling, and she did it right, but still the layers were unfair to her strong voice.
Anyway, I wish all participants the best of luck, and hope they’ll be all happy for those who win.
For the details of WorldBest in French Click Here , for Comments on it in English ClickHere

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

28 Years And For As Long As It Might Take…

Today is the Palestinian Land Day. A Day Palestinians use to raise their voices and remind us all of their Land: PALESTINE, the land they lost by force, the Land that they will keep on struggling for until they get back.
This Holy Land where the three religions were born, and where the three religions should live in peace. It was never created for violence to come kick out this land’s peaceful people, take their rights, kill their children, kill their animals or burn their trees.
Today when no one could find the word Palestine on a map, but can find it kept inside the hearts of people who allowed themselves of seeing the truth, people who believe in human rights and conscious.
28 years, and the Palestinians didn’t forget their dream of getting back peace to their country. 28 years and they didn’t forget Palestine, neither did we, nor did them who took it in the name of “religion”, “superiority” and “being more worth it”.
Religion is a synonym for peace; peace is a synonym for love; love is a synonym for sharing; sharing is a synonym for fair; fair is a synonym for happiness; happiness is a synonym for appreciation; appreciation is a synonym for remembering; remembering is a synonym for longing; longing is a synonym for home; and home is a synonym for PALESTINE…

Great News for All the Women Out There:

It turns out housework reduces cancer risk. Not only this, but even the ones who already have cancer can decrease the risk of death, improve survival and reduce the tumor size :)
Which means the more active you are, the healthier your life will be. Therefore, drop those electric helping machines, dismiss your maids, stop being lazy and get moving girls ;)
For more details about the research Click Here

Work Diaries (1) : Living the “One Fine Day” experience :)

My job puts me in the weirdest situations. Best part is that I have to “manage” one way or the other, to deal with different people of different levels, different cultures, and last but not least, different LANGAUGES!!
Lol, yep, languages, the key word to my stickiest situations. When I was a kid and started learning English as a second language, I was so damn excited and thought: “I’m gonna be special, I can speak English”. Shortly after that I realized that it is great to speak English fluently, but you can’t be special when almost all people around you speak English. And because I adore something called languages, I thought I should be specialized in a new language in university. Back then the only choices open were to learn either French, or English/ French, or German, or English/ German. And because the third language taught in many private schools was French, I though German would be new and special, and why not prove my English skills at the same time? So I ended up double majoring English and German. I was SURE three languages will unlock all doors of communication and working in future. It was until I got to Tunisia that I knew I was WRONG :P people speaking French and all is something I’ve already talked about 100 times before, but it isn’t what made me realize that 3 languages are not enough. It was this job I have. I was hired for my good English in the first place, and was assured I wont need to use any other language except for Arabic. But from day 1 I figured out that French comes as free gift with the package of my post, lol, it’s ok because I can handle myself and my course is helping me improve. But the disaster is when I need to contact an English speaking fellow in somewhere like MEXICO for example. Now the problem is not with the person himself, but in how to get to that person when no one else around speaks neither English nor French nor German!!
I had to call a Mr. Lopez, I dialed the number and there someone picked up:
Him: Hola! ----------------------- (I understood nothing)
Me: Hi, this is Eman, from … Tunisia, I need to speak to Mr. Lopez please.
Him: hahaahahaha (laughs) ----------------------- (once again I understood no word)
Me: Sorry, don’t you speak English?
Him: No , No English (hahahaha)
Me: Parlez Vous Français?
Him : Hahahaha, ----------- el español, ---- el inglés es secundario,-------
Me: Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
Him: hahaha,-------- el español, ------
Me: Mr. Lopez!! Lopez!!
Him: Señor Lopez----------
Me: ok forget about it, bye.
Him: hahahaha

After hanging up I go to the manager and explain the disaster, he was shocked that such a big company has not a single employee that speaks English! But he made it clear, that it was urgent and I have to get to Mr. Lopez in any way.
So I had to figure out a way, and I had no other choice than this “very smart” idea, lol, well, I went to freetranslation.com, and opened dictionary.com just to double check if words are somehow the same and if the syntax is right, although no online dictionary could give a 100% accurate and correct context, but better than nothing right! Anyway I wrote sentences that might be said in such a situation with all answering possibilities -that I could think of- , created a word document with the conversation possibilities and called again:
Him: Hola! --------------
Me: Hola mi nombre es Eman, yo soy de Túnez, yo necesito hablar con Sr. Lopez por favor.
Him: hahahaha (first time I know why he laughed: my terrible accent), El no está aquí (which means he’s not here)------------------ (couldn’t keep track :P)
Me: Cómo pueda yo lo alcanzo, es realmente urgente? (how can I reach him, it’s really urgent).
Him: ---------------------------------- (not a word matched any of the answers I had) and then he went on :----------------------------
I know he thought I knew Spanish, so I explained: Yo no puedo hablar español, por favor lo hace corto y me da su número de móvil (I can't speak Spanish, please make it short and give me his mobile number)
Him: no ninguna señora, usted habla muy bien (no no madame, you speak very well), and then he went : -----------------------------
Me: QUE ES SU NUMERO DE MOVIL ? (WHAT IS HIS MOBILE NUMBER?)
Him: --------------------------- (said the numbers in Spanish)
Me: gracias y adios (thank you and bye)
Him: hahahahaa, adios, -----------------

I hung up and my boss was like: “ Few minutes ago you had a problem speaking to that Spanish guy and now look at you!! You never mentioned you can speak Spanish!!” , I replied: “yeah, because I never spoke Spanish”, and then explained the trick. I really remembered my favorite movie: “One Fine Day”, I’ve always loved that movie, but I never thought I’d ever be put in such an embarrassing situation, not only this, but also the names me and George Clooney were looking for were the same: “Lopez” looool. Anyway, after laughing my head off, I finally called this Sr. Lopez, who spoke fluent English. I explained the urgent matter and he said:"I will get back to you with the information you need as soon as I reach the office, which is 3 hours from now, because it’s FIVE in the morning!".
It was till then that I realized why there was not a single English speaking person to help me out. The one who replied was the guard!! And he doesn’t need more than Spanish to communicate simply because he’s not supposed to get calls at 5 a.m.!! I was embarrassed like hell. And well, it’s not that I only disturbed the guard and the poor guy in his home, but I also wasted my time translating and putting phrases together!!!
Ah, c’est la vie, if we don’t make mistakes we’ll never learn, and if we don’t piss off people, we’re never human :P

Assistenzärztin wird Millionärin

Die 38-Jährige aus Bietigheim in Baden- Württemberg, Assistenzärztin Maria Wienströer, ist die erste weibliche Kandidatin, die eine Million Euro bei Günther Jauchs Quizshow „Wer wird Millionär?“ gewonnen hat.
Super, oder?
Und während viele Gewinner/in meistens mit: “ich weiß noch nicht” auf die Frage: ”Was werden Sie mit dem Geld tun?” antworten, Maria hat ihre Pläne ganz einfach geäußert. Will sie ihr altes Auto und ihre durchschnittliche Wohnung wechseln? Nie!! Sie wird ihre Ausbildung zur Fachärztin für Allgemeinmedizin abschließen und eine eigene Praxis eröffnen. Und noch mehr, Maria will ein Teil ihres Geldes einer Hilfsorganisation “Leprastation” spenden. Ideal, nicht wahr?!
Ich bin ganz froh für Maria und bin mit ihren eigenen Zielen sehr beeindruckt. Sie ist weder egoistisch noch gierig. Sie ist ganz hilfreich, strebsam und genügsam.
Mehr über Marias Gewinnung und Pläne finden Sie hier .

Monday, March 29, 2004

When My Sister Left To Canada...

So by now my sister and her family must be having a good night sleep in their new home. Yes, they’ve left Jordan to Canada this weekend for good. And what really shocks me is how I feel about all this. I mean I’m not in Jordan any longer, and I already don’t see her nor her family, but still, when I heard the news of her immigration, I had a weird feeling. First I was so happy for her, she’s always wished to go live there for so many reasons, specially insuring a better future for her kids. But then I started missing her like hell, more than I already miss her and her family. I felt she’s leaving my sight to somewhere so far, and that she actually left me to somewhere else. It is weird, I know, but it just happened. I really miss her even more. And every time I remember that she left without me being right there around her, helping her pack, taking care of her two little boys, supporting her and cheering her up, I feel terrible, and I wish I’d go back in time to be there for her. And well, one thought I really hate like hell is the fact that her baby boy will grow up not recognizing his aunt (me) :( I love her kids, specially the 3 year old, as I spent around 2 years with him, and I was there when he came into the world. He’s so cute and so well-behaved, and his voice, it’s just like an angel. He just learned his first few words, and can have this very cute little baby conversation, no baby vocabulary, but grown-ups’ vocabulary with this amazing baby accent :) and this little other devil, he’s still few months old, but has a unique devilish smile that captures your heart, I love them so much. May God be with all of them every step of the way…
Immigration isn’t easy at all, and to take such a decision is not as simple as going like: ok, I have a better option why don’t I just pack and fly to where I want to.
It’s hard for both the immigrants and the ones who love them. And only now that I’m all grown up, I realized how hard it has been to our great mother to leave from place to place with the five of us with no one helping her in any way when the circumstances didn’t allow dad to leave with her. Only now I understood how strong and brave she was to go through such experiences over and over again. I wish we could pay her back in any way, we’ve been the naughtiest kids any family could ever have.
As for sis, I just wish her and her family the best of luck, a stable life and a happy secure future. But well, having my brother there will sure make it so much easier for her. Specially that she and him make a great team together, and they’re still best friends :) she always cared for him, not only him, but all of us actually. And boy oh boy, one shouldn’t miss their gatherings, it’s so fun, you can’t stop laughing, both are magnificent. I’ll miss their presence when I visit Jordan next time, and I hope we’ll be able to gather all together again and have one of those hilarious conversations.
I also hope that mom and dad will get over missing the three of us, three? No, the SEVEN of us, my big brother, my big sister, her husband and her two little cute boys, me and my husband. And well, I wish that if my other sister and brother had to leave Jordan, then they’ll end up either in Canada or in Tunisia, not any other place.
I miss them all, I miss being with them, and I can’t wait to see them.

For And Against The Total Smoking Ban

After considering smoking in buses, public offices and buildings in the Irish Republic illegal, Mr. Micheál Martin, Irish Health Minister, proposed a prohibition on smoking in work places, pubs, and restaurants in January 2004. After months of arguing, the Republic’s government has finally decided to apply this total ban starting from today, March 29th 2004, prohibiting smoking in ALL public places.
Of course this ban has divided people into two groups, one is for the ban believing that it guarantees a healthy environment for the non-smokers and helps the smokers lower their health risks caused by smoking. Whereas the other group is strongly against the ban. This last group is not limited to smokers only, but also pub owners, tobacco industry responsible and some “democratic” non-smokers who believe that such a total ban is unfair and takes away people’s rights of choosing and taking their own decisions, and that they’re more into keeping the division of public places into smoking and non-smoking areas.
Actually, I personally support the ban, because I believe it will really help non-smokers limit their smoking average, decrease their expenses as well as health problems, and prevent passive smoking dangers. I mean when a couple of people decide to go out, one is a smoker and the other is not, then they’ll most probably sit in the smoking area, opening the way to passive smoking. On the other hand, sometimes I feel the non-smoking areas could easily turn into a smoking area, because cigarettes spread their smoke so easily, specially that most of the non-smoking areas are not properly separated, they’re open to the smoking areas in most cases.
So I’m one of the people who are for the ban and respect the courage of the Irish government in this issue.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel sorry for the smokers. It isn’t an easy step to take at all. In fact it might cause some chaos and higher anger-levels among the people in the first year of application, but well, it will be for their own good.
To feel what smokers would feel as the consequence of such a ban, and since I’m a non-smoker, I try to imagine how would it be like if for one reason or the other governments start banning drinking coffee in public! Lol, that would be a disaster, I’m literally a coffee addict, and I’ll be suffering if they threw such a ban! And it’s just coffee, I mean coffee addiction is not as hard as smoking addiction, or at least that’s what I think.
Anyway, I do admire such a brave step, and I do support the ban, I even wish they’d do the same in the Arab countries… oops, that would be one hell of a brave decision. And I wish smokers the best of luck and hope they’ll all quit smoking one day, specially my two brothers :)
What about you, are you for or against the ban? If you’re for it, go ahead and support it .
Well, speaking of coffee, I should do something about that, it’s not only that I drink more than 5 mugs of sugared coffee a day, no, I even went as far as getting the ones around me addicted.
And because of the strong smell of coffee all day long, my boss who never drank coffee got used to drinking at least a cup of coffee a day, bad bad me :P But well, my husband is trying to help set me free of this addiction, and decided to buy only decaffeinated coffee, which isn’t that bad actually, and I hope it’ll help me get over my coffee addiction :)

Friday, March 26, 2004

No Comment...

After speeches of morals, human rights, and the need of following legal steps of interrogation and trials: “The United States VETOED a U.N. Security Council resolution Thursday condemning Israel's assassination of Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin”.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

BRAVO Supershow am Samstag bei RTL

Bei der weltweit größten Leser-Starwahl wählen Bravo-Leserinnen und -Leser ihre Superstars des Jahres.
Viele Zuschauer warten auf die Bravo Supershow, in der die Verleihung der "Bravo-Ottos" entschieden wird.
Kylie Minogue, Blue, Westlife, World-Idol- Sieger, Pop-Idol-Sieger, und mehr Stars werden daran teilnehmen.
Die Bravo-Leser entscheiden die Stars, an die die Preise gehen sollen. Also bleibt die Verleihung der “Bravo-Ottos” spannend. Trotzdem, es ist schon entschieden, dass der Ehren-Otto an Kylie Minogue geht.
Arbeiten Sie am Samstag? Kein Problem, denn Sie können rühig die Wiederholung der Show am Sonntag genießen :)

The 26th Festival of Desert Palaces In Tunisia

Tomorrow is the opening of the Festival which will take place in Tataween. This festival involves many Arabic and European countries and offers many cultural, artistic and sports activities. This year’s highlights are:
- The Russian Band for Folklore will participate for the first time.
- The Sixth International Marathon for 100 Km, and in which 120 participants from Tunisia, Jordan, Libya, Algeria, France and Italy will be present. They will have to walk around 10 Km at night as well ;)
- Visits to the Desert Palaces of Tataween.
- Horse-Racing
- Poetry Competitions
- A Fashion Show
The festival will continue from tomorrow till Saturday.
For more details about the Festival Click Here

Researchers Discuss The Miracle Of Qur’an In Dubai

Around 170 researchers and scientists, Muslim and non-Muslim from so many Arab and non-Arab countries are participating in the 7th Arab Conference for the Scientific Miracle of Qur’an and the Sunnah (The way of life prescribed as normative in Islam, based on the teachings and practices of Muhammad and on exegesis of the Qur’an), which takes place in Dubai. The opening was on the 22nd of this month and will continue till the 25th.

Qur’an is considered a miracle because it mentioned so many scientific facts which apply to all fields of life in all times. Yes, that’s true, besides the linguistic miracle that Qur’an is known for, as it has a unique style, so many synonyms, opposites, punctuation marks and a one of kind language application and use that no human could ever be able to come up with no matter how great and advanced they were. So besides the language, Qur’an explains biology, geology, anatomy, astronomy, archeology, the secrets of oceans and water life, psychology, law, governing systems, medicine, trade, and contracts. It also gives interpretations, mentions predictions, discusses the different forms of life, the reasons for being created, human relationships, ethics, morals, family planning, the environment, human rights, women’s importance and rights, equality, freedom, other religions, spending, work, sexual relationships, marriage, sexual preferences, adopting, hygiene, looks, prayers, war, peace, sports, emotions, and so many other issues.

Islam is known as a religion that encourages research and supports thinking. But unfortunately, the main focus of researchers was only on language and life systems for the last few years, without giving much importance to applied sciences and related fields. So this time, the conference urged researchers to study the references of applied sciences that were mentioned in Qur’an as well as in Sunnah. And as a result for this emphasis on the importance of applied sciences, this year’s conference discussed researches from Egypt, England, USA, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and other countries. The researches were mainly about geology, astrology, human anatomy and biology, contradicting with the Darwin Theory of Evolution. Some researches also discussed cloning and stated that it can never be an equal to the normal creation of God, because it only reproduces some organisms of identical cells, yet fails to transfer feelings and emotions.

What really gets the attention of scientists in studying Qur’an and Sunnah is the fact that they give explanations and descriptions of anything a person could think of, which I find truly fascinating.
Anyway, I guess such a conference helps in clearing the verses of Qur’an to a wide range of people from different social and educational levels to provide humanity with answers to so many questions and clear up a lot of the universe’s mysteries. And most important of all, it helps apply many useful methods in order to preserve a healthy life and cure a lot of mental and physical illnesses.
And well, it’s always thrilling to hear of Arabs offering such researches of great importance, and even greater is to know that non-Arabs are sharing them this very important event.
Unfortunately details about the conference are only available in Arabic

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Knock Knock

I was peacefully sitting in my office, doing my work, when I heard sudden knocking on the window. Being in the 4th floor makes it almost impossible for a human being to be hanging out there with a smile on his face asking me to open up, but being in March, this very moody month, makes it so possible and absolutely normal to have clouds coming out of nowhere, and then rain falling so heavily that it actually sounds like a human knocking on the window.
Great news is, I have my spring jacket on, and have put my umbrella to sleep few minutes before I left home this morning. And Lucky me, because of the Arab Summit that will take place in Tunis, the whole area is restricted to cars and taxis, i.e. I will have to walk my head off till I reach the nearest street where I can finally get a cab.
In short, by the time I reach home I’ll be literally AquaCool ;)

"Sex Tours"... Whatever!

Douglas Allen, and Norman Barabash , have been organizing "sex tours" arranged by Big Apple Oriental Tours, promising "unforgettable adventure vacations for single men to paradise”… which happens to be to Southeast Asia.
According to state attorney general, this is the first case involving a United States-based company.
The two operators were charged of promoting prostitution but were pleaded innocent last month.
What I find really weird, is that those two people could’ve been put in prison for whole 7 years if they were convicted. Whereas the uncountable sex channels, sex programs, sex websites, sex agencies that have “qualified” and “licensed” prostitutes are enjoying their work freely, because apparently, they do not promote prostitution, they only promote “fun”, “sexual activities” and some “sex-related hire”. There is a big difference people…
What a funny world!!

Monday, March 22, 2004

Sheikh Yassin

Israeli officials said Yassin was a "terrorist" who deserved death…
"Sheikh Yassin was a dangerous, extremist Islamic ideologist. I believe that he was a threat not only to Israel, but to the entire region." Israeli government spokesman Avi Pazner continued:"I believe the Middle East without Sheikh Yassin, in the long run, will be a better place to live”…
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the "war on terror is not over."…

All I can say is that looking only at one side, assuming that someone is dangerous, regardless of who they are, their religion, their age, their policies, and their principals, gives us the right to kill that someone to “protect” ourselves and to “relief” our societies from their “terrorism”. It’s legal, it’s explainable and so easy to be done, as long as you’re not Palestinian, or Muslim, coz if you were one of these, then the whole scenario changes, it’ll be more like:regardless of your suffering, your torturing, your pain, your loss, your destruction and your age; standing up for yourself, trying to save what’s left for you, trying to rescue your people, or even thinking of having a one night sleep in peace is considered terrorism… you wont need to actually kill, or shoot, a little stone you’d throw is enough for you to be accused of murdering hundreds of innocent people, and a scream to call out for justice will be misunderstood as a threat, and a tear falling from your eye will be interpreted as an alarm for revenge…
May Sheikh Yassin’s soul rest in peace, and now, thanks to our “saviors”, we can finally “enjoy” our “better Middle East”…
You can find more details about Sheikh Yassin's murder here in English and Arabic and German

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Mother's Day In The Middle East

To the mother who's full of love, care and sacrifice. To the mother who's spent and is still spending her life looking after her family and taking care of each and every detail of her house. To the mother who's always giving and never asking for anything in return but the well-being and happiness of her family members. To such a wonderful mother I say I miss you, and it's to this mother and all other mothers who share her such unique feelings that I wish good health, happiness and long living.
Let's all remember that this day is just a symbol, for our appreciation should be shown every day, and our love should be expressed every morning and every night. A mother's presence should be celebrated all the time. Let's be the ones to put a smile on our mom's tired face, and let's make every day a Happy Mother's Day for her...

Friday, March 19, 2004

Weird Me :)

I can’t describe the weird me today. I woke up happy, thank God for that. I had a usual smile on my face, good mood, full of energy (though I didn’t get enough sleep) and then reached work. Ever since the minute I opened the office I’ve been feeling like laughing, really laughing. LOL, I’m working seriously and talking seriously, but still it’s as if someone has told me a very funny joke in the morning, that every time I remember it I laugh, only that I haven’t heard any jokes. Normally I get this feeling (accompanied with fatal distraction :P) when I get no sleep at all the night before, this is the first time I experience this after a normal night sleep!! Strange! But well, I’m happy for this feeling, who doesn’t wanna laugh, huh!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Gewalttaten in Kosovo...

Serbische Extremisten zündeten gestern Moscheen in Belgrad und Nis an. Viele sind getötet, und hunderte sind verletzt.Unter den Verletzten waren auch 40 UN-Polizisten, 21 einheimische Sicherheitskräfte und 17 Soldaten der Nato-Friedenstruppen.
Als Auslöser der Proteste gelten der Tod zweier albanischer Kinder, die am Dienstag ertrunken waren, angeblich nachdem sie von Serben gehetzt worden sein sollen.
Tausende Menschen demonstrierten in den serbischen Städten. UN-Generalsekretär Kofi Annan verlangte ein sofortiges Ende der Gewalt.
Details sind hier auf Deutsch und auf Arabisch vorhanden.

Les Berges Du Lac

Or the “lake” in English, is the name of the fascinating area I work in. When I first came to Tunisia, I was amazed by this place. I felt it was different than other places in Tunisia. And although I am against using water surfaces for building purposes, but still, I couldn’t help it, I loved “Les Berges du Lac”. Yes that’s true, all the beautiful shopping centers, nice wide streets and those entertaining compounds were once waters of a huge lake. But since the lake caused only some bad smell and added more mosquitoes to its surroundings, they have decided to cover the water and use the surface to create this beautiful place which has become the attraction of most of the embassies and international companies’ headquarters, in short it has turned into a high-class investment area. Simply because , besides companies, only high-class people can afford buying land or apartments or villas over there, which are all big and really beautiful :) But since most of the land was used in building shopping centers and office buildings, one can say it’s more like a commercial area than a place to actually live in.
Where we used to live earlier, “Les Berges du Lac” was around 25 minutes far (in a car that is), I loved it, and I used to go so often when I had no job (and nothing to do in my life :P) just to pass some good time looking at the stores, enjoying the noise of the crowded cafes and simply having fun in a place I love. Back then I wished that somehow it will become a part of my life which I’ll get to see or be in more often. My wish was coming true step by step. First we discovered this great DVD store, and well, with a husband who considers movies his oxygen, “Les Berges du Lac” did become a place we go to so often, lol. Later on, this “lake” place became only 5-10 minutes away from us as we moved into another apartment so close to my beloved lake :) so when we get bored all we have to do is pay a visit to the lake for a change. Anyway, it never crossed my mind that I’ll ever become more attached to the lake, so you can imagine how happy I was when I got hired in one of the companies over there. And lucky me, when I started working, the place of the company moved, so from just being in “Les Berges du Lac”, it became BY the beautiful lake, specially my office that is ;) I was truly thrilled. Every morning I get to enjoy the view of the blue peaceful lake, until the rest of the population decides to wake up and be more active disturbing the peacefulness with the noise of their cars and motorbikes :P And what I find really artistic is the reflection of the buildings and the clouds on the water specially in sunset, it’s great, and more beautiful is the view of the sun itself. But well, don’t ask about the wind, one of the reasons I got constantly sick is the strong wind, sometimes I feel I’ll be flying like one of these kids’ balloons, lol, imagine that!
What I love most about “Les Berges du Lac” is the fact that it’s so close to the Tunis-Carthage Airport. So planes have to pass over it in their takeoff and landing. It’s amazing, it’s noisy though. And when it’s too windy, or too cloudy, or when there is kind of a storm, I get all stressed out and worried and keep on praying for the planes to have a safe trip. I can’t get my eyes off of them till they are no longer visible :P But the best part is watching my one and only beauty, the Royal Jordanian plane, aaahhh, every time I watch it in the process of landing I can smell Amman and feel the beautiful weather of Jordan. I feel that my family is up there, sometimes I feel like screaming: “HEY, I’m over here!!” it’s really pathetic, isn’t it! But what can I do, I get all excited and I get a sudden flashback of all the beautiful memories I have of Jordan and the ones I miss like hell. But well, watching the RJ plane landing is –to me- so much better than watching it leaving to Jordan without me on it :( The day I glimpse the plane taking off I get this feeling students get when missing their bus, and then I wonder: God, if I was on that plane I’ll be between my family members on dinner! And start hating myself :( But well, looking at the bright side, I get to see the dear Royal Jordanian every now and then, and seeing it revives all the beautiful emotions I have locked inside me, which is better than nothing, right!
Other than the shops and restaurants, “Les Berges du Lac” has the “Dah Dah” entertainment compound, I love it. Not to forget the bowling centers there are in the “lake”, God I love bowling :) And there is also this “Miami” complex, a place stuffed with cafes and restaurants with a direct view of the lake. It’s specially recommended in summer when they have some extra entertaining activities (DJ’s and dancing shows for the little ones).
I heard that they might cover another part of the “lake” and create a similar area parallel to it on the opposite side, I wish they don’t, the water should be kept, it will be a great loss.
Yippee, here comes another plane :) I just remembered when I took my sister to Miami, we were sitting and the planes were too close as if they were landing right there where we were, we could see the tires and the very little details, lol, can’t forget the scared look on her face, because I had the very same look the first time I went there :)
Well, I guess I can go on forever talking about “Les Berges du Lac”, it’s one of my two favorites in the capital Tunis, the other one is the adorable classy “Carthage”. So if you’re thinking of visiting Tunisia soon, don’t forget to take a look at the “lake”, you’ll remember me and say: damn, she was right :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Wie Schimpft Man Auf Englisch? :)

Ich finde es ganz wichtig für uns alle, die Schimpfwörter anderen Sprachen zu wissen, nicht um zu kennen, wie man andere Leute auf ihren Sprachen shimpft, sondern um es zu erkennen, ob anderen uns shimpfen oder sich einfach unterhalten.
Also testen Sie Ihre Schimpfwörterkenntnisse jetzt und verbessen Sie Ihr Vokabular. Ich habe den Test selbst probiert, und es war geil.
Viel Spaß! :)

Another Crazy Story...

"Aaron Kinard was eating cookies and drinking milk when his father shot him and his mother Sunday", CNN reported, "The boy remained motionless on the floor until his father shot and killed himself".
So I guess nothing solves a person's problem, or cools down his anger better than a bullet to blow off his "once upon a time" beloved ones.
Congratulations! You solved the riddel...
For more details on this terrible story ClickHere

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Jordan Leads The Child Safety Program In The Arab World

Children, the blossom of life, the base of society, the past us, and the future generation. It’s them who give this life a taste and it’s to them we owe our happiness. They are the most important as they are the ones to build on what we already built, add to what we’re adding, and maybe destroy what we’ve spent centuries building. Yes, the children absorb what we offer. If we offer them good treatment, care, love and stability, they’ll grow to be constructive, responsible and mature members of society. If we did them wrong and took away their rights from them, then we’ll end up having pathetic fearful persons, or violent criminals. Therefore and from this belief in the importance of children, her Majesty Queen Rania launched the Jordan River Children Program in 1997. A program that cares for the well being of children and supports families in their task of nurturing children.
And recently, in the end of February 2004, Jordan hosted the first Arab Conference of the International Society for Child Protection. As a result Jordan started out its Child Safety Program, in an attempt to preserve the rights of children and solve all their problems. The main concern of the program is to protect the children from physical and sexual abuse that might be practiced on them through their parents, or relatives or outsiders. It also reveals all ways, symptoms and reasons for the abuse, as well as offer help to the families, different levels of legal punishment to the parent and shelter to the child. Above all this the program covers the medical treatments of children who are subject to abuse and insures the psychological treatment for both the child and the parent.
The Child Safety Program works along with the ministries of Social Development, Health and Education, and the Family Protection Unit of the Public Security Directorate, providing all kinds of relevant and needed services.
The program operates through two existing centers that are maximizing their available resources and facilities to meet their goals and serve the community: The Dar Al-Aman (Child Safety Center), which is the first in Jordan and the Arab world. The duty of this center is to temporarily shelter and to offer psychological, medical, social and educational care for children victims of physical and sexual abuse and neglect. And the Jabal Al-Naser Prevention Center to increase awareness of healthy child-rearing practices that gradually decrease the incidence of child abuse and neglect.
The Child safety program discusses the reasons behind the passive role of other family members who find out about the child abuse but choose to remain silent, which are mostly: the fear of scandal, or the fear of losing the financial support of the parent or the fear of the power of the parent.
If you turn on the Jordan TV Channel you’ll notice the media campaign which aims at spreading awareness and providing instructions to children and parents, showing them the way to lead healthy life, and directing them to where they could find help and shelter. I find this really impressive and helpful. Parents or any other strangers will reconsider their behavior and children will be stronger and more aware of their rights and where to go and who to turn to in case of being a victim of abuse.

Way to go Jordan, keep up the good work :)
For more information about the Child Safety Program in Arabic you can check ZavenOnline
whose program (Sireh Wenfatahet) on Future TV talked about this issue yesterday.
And for more information about the Jordan River Foundation and its other programs ClickHere
Hoping that all other Arab countries will follow the steps of Jordan to make sure our precious children are in safe hands.

Anti-AquaCool ;)

I’ve always wanted to become a writer one day, but somehow when I had to make up my mind what to study in university, I chose to learn languages and literature instead of being specialized in one language and its writing styles. The reason is my love to learning new languages, on the other hand I wanted to open the door to more new cultures. But still I love writing. It’s one of the things I enjoy most. And when I created this blog, all I wanted was to write about topics I feel are worth discussing, I didn’t want it to be a tool to convince people of my own point of view, neither did I want to use it to brainwash the readers, it’s simply a very personal blog where I post a very personal opinion in a very personal way of writing, nothing more, nothing less.
I never claimed being a great writer, neither did I mention that I have a perfect knowledge of writing methods. I use the simplest words, apply the simplest rules, and give the simplest examples from my surrounding. This is me, and this is my style.
Therefore if any of you have something against my way of writing, or think it’s not good enough, here you go a little useful piece of advice: take it easy guys, and instead of wasting your time visiting my blog every now and then, and instead of wasting space in your own blogs to link to my “poor writing” posts, why don’t you try to link to those you admire, enjoy and find the best?
As for me, I’m so proud of my writings, and I’m so happy with my style, and I’ll keep on blogging for those who love my writing and who like my way of discussing issues even if they don’t agree with me and what I think.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Old-Fashioned Grandma ;)

Did it ever cross your mind that one day your grandchildren might call you “old-fashioned”? Well I always think of this myself. Every time I watch TV and have this smile on my face when I see how people used to do their hair or match their clothes, and every time I watch pictures of the family many years ago, I wonder, how would it be like if my grandchildren laugh at the way I used to look??
I’m not talking about fashion as in wearing everything people call modern and stylish, I just mean this trend that labels each decade. I consider myself a modern person, although I never follow the latest fashion trends, unless I find them tasteful and appropriate for both my environment and character, which is really rare ;)
Anyways, what amazes me is that there are people who we never find old-fashioned even if they were following the latest trends, that’s because their trends are somehow similar to ours, or because we are following the trends of their time. When I look at my pics as I was a teenager, and although I didn’t imitate girls of my age in the way I used to dress myself, but still I can feel the old-fashioned touch in my hair, loool. It was cute and was admired by people back then, actually it is coming back nowadays, but I don’t think I’m much into it ;)
On the other hand, my parents for example, when I look at their pictures, the only things I really feel were old-fashioned are the glasses, and the wide cut trousers they used to wear. Maybe also the thick belts on the waist :) Another difference is the color, they used to wear multicolored shirts and costumes, nowadays we wear bright colors, but I don’t know, I feel the guys back then used to wear more colors in one piece and used to also wear shirts with flowers on them more than guys would in our time :) I really love comparing old and modern styles of everything, I find it interesting!
Another thing I think of is what more new things fashion people could create in the time of my grandchildren? What would their “modern look” look like? Would their outfits look crazier? More colorful? What would the most used material be? How would their shoes look like? What kinds of cuts would there be to invent?
Whatever their fashion trends would look like, I don’t really care, I just hope that they wont end up having a fashion that reveals more than it covers, and that provokes the instinct more than it respects the body, although I’m not very optimistic about that.
Whatever their fashion will be, there is a very big possibility that they’d think of me as old-fashioned, and they might even avoid asking me about what they should wear or how they look. I wont be sad for that, I’ll just laugh when I compare myself to them when I was their age, and well I’ll sure remember this post and wonder if they would post something similar… only if blogs weren’t old-fashioned by then ;)

Und Elli War Es!

Nach Monaten vom Warten wurde endlich den SuperStar Deutschlands am Sonntag entschieden. Die zwei Finalistinnen : Elli und Denise waren echt nervös während den Anrufen der Zuschauern, trotzdem haben die beiden ihren Talent ganz gut gezeigt. Sie durften drei Songs singen. Die beiden haben unvergleichbar mit Gefühl auf Englisch gesungen. Es war einfach toll.
Die Fans der beiden waren total begeistert und unterstützeten Denise und Elli auf eine einzigartige Art und Weise. Die Fans waren nicht nur den “SuperStar” Zuschauer, sondern auch Familie, Fruenden und Verwandten der beiden Finalistinnen.
Die Entscheidung war sehr schwer, denn die beiden echt brilliant waren. Die zwei sind eigentlich sehr unterschiedlich, im Bezug auf die Stimme und Styl. Jede hat ihre eigene Vorteile.
Nach einer besonderen Leistung stand nach Mitternacht die Siegerin fest : die 24-jährige Elli aus Regensburg holt den Titel. Andererseits gratulierte die Konkurrentin “Denise” die rothaarige Siegerin “Elli” mit Umarmung und Küsschen. Es war echt genial.
Ich finde diese RTL-TalentShow wirklich geil!
Obwohl keine von ihnen der SuperStar war, Denise und alle anderen Konkurrenten, haben eine grosse Chance Stars zu sein, denn sie wunderschöne Stimme haben.
Also viel Glück für den SuperStar Elli, und der Star Denise und alle andere, die uns nette Zeit gegeben haben.
Mehr Details über die RTL SuperStar Show findet man Hier und mehr über Elli ist in ihre FanPage vorhanden.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Wave Of Bombings In Spain!

Yesterday morning 10 powerful explosions tore through trains and stations killing more than 200 civilians. And although Spain is used to get such terrible attacks from the ETA terrorist group, but still the fact that a newspaper in London got a claim from a group working in the name of Al- Qaida, made people point to “Muslim Terrorists” as their Nr.1 suspect. Other than that police found a van in Alcalá de Henares, 15 miles east of Madrid, with an Arabic tape in it.
Now whether it was ETA or Al-Qaida, innocent people have been killed for no reason. And all Muslims know that killing civilians is against the peaceful religion of Islam. Therefore people who claim doing such awful things in the name of Islam are trying to fool around and are lying to the world. They shouldn’t be called Muslims.
But what really amazes me is how the word Muslim can work like magic. Once this word is said in bad context, there is nothing that could ever beat the speed of it spreading. It is a word to name danger and savage behaviors. But when it is used to name some genius inventions, impressive activities and one of a kind creativity, this word finds no place to be mentioned, and if it did, then it will get the smallest and most hiding place. Why? Because of some maniacs who express their personal sick thinking in the name of Islam!
For more details about the explosions Click Here

The California Supreme Court Halts Same-Sex Marriages In San Francisco

So yesterday the court issued an interim stay directing officials to stop allowing same-sex marriage. This temporary stay will presumably be in force until May or June, when oral arguments in the case will be presented.
Of course gay couples aren’t happy with the court’s order. The ones who were able to “make it” before the halt considered themselves lucky and were happy for their achievement, yet sorry for those who couldn’t make it. On the other hand, the ones who missed the “chance” were really pissed off since they were planning for their “romantic” weddings for so long and have already spent fortunes.
Gays and lesbians cried and were full of anger as a reaction to the halt.
What I find “remarkable” though is that ever since Mayor Gavin Newsom permitted gay marriage in February, more than 3,400 gay couples got married. 3,400 calculating only gay couples who want to get married that is. More Details
Actually I still don’t get it. Gay people believe they have the right to choose marriage as a happy ending for their love stories. They forget that love was never selfish. It was never only about two people, it was never about taking from society to fulfill personal interests, and it will never be a bed relationship. Love is a precious gift God has given us to add more beauty to this life by realizing its norms, maintaining its natural balance and being aware of what pushes civilizations forwards and what holds them back. If we love then we learn to give asking for nothing in return but the well-being of who we love. And who we love can never be one, because one is a part of a whole.
If love is to build a healthy society and help solve its already existing problems, then it shall never find a way better than marriage to give it stability and protect its union.
But well, I guess a healthy society is the one in which one can no longer see anything wrong even if it was against logic, morals, religion, nature, law, rules and awareness. On the other hand gay marriage wont add to the worlds problems, it might add some difficulty in explaining what’s right and what’s not. It might delete the word “appropriate”, cross out “traditions” and cancel “manners” but who cares, those are signs of fear and uncivilized thinking anyway, right!
Why don’t we look at the bright side! Same-sex marriage will only add to the world’s suspense. Men will be living their lives confused whether to marry women, or go for men. And women will be living their lives guessing if they should consider their great feelings towards their colleagues as friendship so they should become best friends, or is it maybe love and attraction, so they should become “wives”!! Isn’t this wonderful? Thinking of it, same-sex marriage is hell of a fun indeed. And you know what, why don’t courts start considering “improving” the term marriage from the "union of two people" into the "union of two and above people", this way we’ll make sure all those who are in love will get married. I mean what if a person is bisexual doesn’t they have the right to marry the ones they love?! That’s not fair. This should be considered, we’re talking about human rights here ;)

Thursday, March 11, 2004

On This Very SPECIAL Day...

Today is one of the most beautiful days of the year, not because of its weather, neither because of my great mood, but for one single reason: its date.
On this date, several years ago, my best friend and my one and only love came into the world. Yes, today is my husband’s birthday :)
So Happy Birthday Subzero Blue, I wish you all the best of luck in everything you do. You deserve the best, I’m not being nice here, I’m just being honest.
You’ve always been there for me, you’ve always been my trustful friend and the guy to make the day.
You’ve been a wonderful fiancé, and God knows you’re a wonderful husband. We’ve been through some hard times, and we might face more difficulties in life, but nothing really matters as long as we’re together, we’ll work it out somehow, just like we always do. And I want you to know, that having you means the world to me. And being with you makes my life away from my family and friends less painful. You always give me hope, strength and support. Because of you I believe in true love and kindness.
I want you to know how much I appreciate knowing you, and I thank God for joining us together.
And I want you to know that not only did you win my love, but also my family’s. You’ve become a beloved son and a dear brother, whom they miss, respect, love and pray for ever since they met.
And I’m sure all your friends and colleagues in Jordan remember you and think of you all the time. It’s all because you’re easy to love, and hard to forget.
Happy Birthday again, and may all your wishes come true :)

God Bless You My Love…

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

And you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

This is something so normal yet annoying in human nature. In most cases we have to lose someone or something to know the value of that person or thing.
We don’t realize how much someone means to us until they’re gone. We don’t appreciate something we posses until it’s lost or destroyed.
When we live with someone, or have a certain kind of relationship that gives us the chance to meet them regularly or hear from them so often, we find ourselves being so positive that they’ll be there forever. It goes without saying, that people automatically feel secure and free of worries when they’re around their beloved ones. And this feeling of security makes them feel free to deal with their beloved ones the way they like. We give ourselves the right of constant complaining, negative criticizing, silly blaming, rude offending, and depressive under-estimating.
How many times a day do you go to work feeling like shit because you can no longer take your roommate’s annoying habits? How many times do you go to school wishing you’ll never have to return back home and see your parents? How many times a day do you complain about your job? How many times a day do you regret getting married or engaged to your partner? How many times do you wish you’ll go back in time to make different decisions and have a “better” life? And how many other times do you wish you’ll skip this period you’re living now and jump into future to forget about your awful past? How many times do you wish and hope and pray?
We always want more open-minded parents, better brothers, better sisters, more trusty friends, more interesting teachers, more loyal employees, more understanding employers, more polite neighbors, richer husbands, sexier fiancé(e)s, cuter kids, a classier neighborhood, a nicer apartment, a bigger house, a newer car, a more modern mobile, more money, more fame, and a better luck.
We forget that we’re not perfect, and that others might be thinking of getting rid of us to replace us with better ones. We take it for granted that we’ll always have the “unsatisfying” amount of money we have now, and that we’ll always get to wake up every morning on the voices of our sisters, the singing of our brothers and the faces of our parents. We’re so sure that we’ll be having a lifetime career, and be around the same colleagues for as long as we’ll live. We never doubt that our partners might be the ones who aren’t happy with us, or that we look ugly to our kids or be disloyal to our friends. We always believe that we’re the best and that others will have to accept us the way we are. We always think of our needs and how to make things better for us. What if the choices we make will hurt the ones around us and make their life worse? Who cares? The whole world is made for us to enjoy the way we want. We’re smarter and more mature than others, we are the ones to rule. They don’t know where their interest actually is, but we know where our interests and theirs are, so we’re the decision makers by default.
But then a day comes when you feel so lonely, so helpless, so lost, and so not in the right place. Only then you’ll realize how stupid you were when you’ve hated who you were once. How dumb you were when you sold the most meaningful parts of your life to afford a fancy you and buy some “this is what I want” crap.
It’s only when it’s impossible to go back that you’d realize how blind you were when you exchanged what’s real with what’s fake. And only then you’ll regret your choices and hate your decisions and start a new series of wishes. Wishes that might come true, and others that might never be fulfilled.
Therefore and before it becomes too late, you have to know how to make a wish, why to make a wish, and for what to wish. When it comes to money never compare yourself with who are richer, look down at the ones who are poorer. And when it’s about other non-financial ambitions, never look down, but look as high as you can. When you want to make a wish, wish for good health, sanity and strength. You need nothing more than those to make your dreams come true and be a better you. Always remember that you’re not perfect, and so are the rest of the world. There will always be ones better than you one way or the other. But there will always be ones who will see you better than them, and ones who’ll see you worse, and ones who’ll see you as equal. Stick to those who love you the way you are, and who’ll advice you when you need help. Learn to compromise, it’s not wrong as long as it wont change your principles and wont hurt your dignity. Never lose hope in improving, but never live on the hope of becoming better. And most important of all, you have to learn to appreciate what you have when you still have it, don’t wait for it to be gone.
Because it is difficult to get along with someone without having problems, but you have to know that it’s more difficult to lose that someone, yet the most difficult thing is to spend your life in regret for not being fair to that someone you lost, and it’s even worse to get used to missing that someone every month, every week, each day, 24 hours, and with every passing minute.
So, here you go: you should know what you’ve got… before you and it are gone!

Ear Prints!

Thieves must start considering “ear Gloves” or they’ll end up in prison because of their ears from now on. That’s true since the first computerized system for identifying ear prints has been already produced. Professor Guy Rutty’s system allows data sharing and rapid communication between police forces.
I found that pretty impressive.
For more details Click Here

Der letzte Leidensweg: "Die Passion Christi"

In seinem Monumentalfilm zeigt Mel Gibson die letzten 12 Stunden im Leben Jesu Christi und sorgt mit seiner Form der Darstellung für großes Aufsehen.
Trozt seiner Erfolg, viele Zuschauer fanden den Film “äußerst gewalttätig”. Eine Frau starb an einem Herzangriff während der Kreuzigungsszene in Kansas... mehrere Reaktionen und Kommentaren
"Die Passion Christi" wurde ausschließlich in Italien gedreht.
Die Kreuzigungsszenen wurden in der Stadt Matera in der Region Basilicata im Süden Italiens gedreht. Die Mammut-Kulisse von Jerusalem wurde in den Cinecittà Studios vor den Toren Roms aufgebaut, erstellt vom Produktions-Designer Francesco Frigeri und dem Bühnenbildner Carlo Gervasi. Der zusammenhängende, riesige Komplex enthielt den Tempel, in dem Christus' religiöse Befragung erfolgt, den Hof vor Pilatus' Palast, in dem er mehrfach verhört wird, und das Verlies, in dem er geschlagen und gegeißelt wird.
Der Filmstart wird auf den 18. März in den deutschen Kinos sein.
Für mehrere Informationen und Details über den Film Clicken Sie Hier

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Genuine Creativity

One of the most creative people I’ve ever known. She has those really impressive ideas and always creates new stuff on her own. It just amazes me!
She comes up with a certain idea and then applies it with what’s available in her hands. And she’s never out of new inventions and surprises.
Simple material, handmade art, and warm touches of elegance and love. Picture frames, cards, table sets, pillows, food accessories, chocolate wraps, stands, and much more.
All of this is the result of personal effort and a unique talent. She didn’t go to art school, nor did she participate in art-related courses. It all comes out from her head.
I can’t believe how she creates wonderful pieces of art with very simple material. And I wonder, what it would be like if she actually got to learn fine art or if she is able to use the technology of today in her beautiful productions. But she can’t because of so many reasons, the most important is having no time to spend on learning, as she’s always busy taking care of all of us, no matter how near or far. And well, I guess she’s not friends with computers ;)
And what makes us so proud of her is that regardless of sickness, old age, worries, problems, and responsibilities, she always finds the time to create new beautiful things to surprise us with every now and then. Pieces of art that can never be found anywhere else, not only because of their new ideas, but also because of the unique hands that made them, the one of a kind love that wrapped them and the true feelings that labeled them, giving each piece its own beauty and its own special taste.
Thank you mom…

French... The German Style ;)

So I got the results of the French test, and yippeee I did it, I passed and was the fourth highest mark in the class, lol, I sound like kids. Anyway, when handing out the papers the teacher asked me: “ you were the only one who got a full mark in comprehension, and you got the highest mark in composition, but you have a problem with the grammar, you should work harder on it. I don’t know why is that? French is a very logical language”. It was only then when I remembered the funny discussions about the logic of French that my husband and I have, what we “students” say about its logic and what Zizou mentioned in one of his comments about his friends saying that the beauty of French is in its weird logic.
Once I remembered all this I couldn’t hold back my laugh, and I’ve noticed that when I laugh the whole class including our teacher, they all start laughing and find it really difficult to stop.
She said to me: “come on Eman, you’ve learned GERMAN, don’t try to convince me French is more difficult!!”
The thing I can’t actually explain is that no matter how something is really difficult, if I get to understand its logic then it becomes a matter of hard work for me to learn. Which reminds me of a teacher in Jordan with whom I had a course in the basics of the French language. He was awesome, a great teacher indeed, but he had only one little problem when he wanted to encourage us to learn more vocabulary. He used to give us the lyrics of a certain song, play the song for us repeatedly and then ask us to learn the words by heart for next time. Then he gives us a quiz next lesson asking us to write down the words. And my problem is I can never learn anything by heart unless I understand the meanings, that’s how my brain functions. I told him that I must know the meanings to be able to remember the words. He didn’t want to explain, and said it’s a new teaching method that was more effective, although I disagree with him, because I hate being treated as a computer where one can input data in my memory and that’s it. Anyway, I asked my husband, who was my fiancé back then and he interpreted the song for me, and I was the only one to get a full mark in the quiz, so the teacher was like: “so now you’re convinced that my method works?” and I answered: “now I’m sure it doesn’t!”. I mean I was the only one with the full mark, others didn’t even pass!
I guess it’s always better to make the students learn after understanding what they’re actually learning, and even if the teacher don’t give meanings, one should look them up in the dictionary by himself.
But well, I love the sound of French, it has this melody in it, it’s nice, and when the teacher tested our reading yesterday I was rated very good, although my husband is convinced that I speak French in a German accent, lol, yes, he heard me reading loudly once, and I was pronouncing “culture” as “kultur” and “sud” as “süd”, lol. Even the teacher, whose mother is German, was shocked when I said
“Psychologie” in German pronouncing the “cho” as “sho” and the “gie” as “g” instead of “j”. So it sounded “p-sy-sho-lo-gee”, lol, and the problem is that every time I make such a mistake I realize what I’ve done, which makes me feel so embarrassed, and the rest of the class go like: “what’s wrong with her? Why does she always have this weird way of pronouncing words?”, and this is enough for me and for the teacher to start laughing like crazy.
And although I reach home exhausted, but I must say that I owe this course big time.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Age- Gap Marriages

We see more and more couples presenting a very big age-gap that makes us wonder about the reasons behind this.
Why do young ladies get married to men in the age of their fathers or even grandfathers? Why do young men choose very old women who can barely walk to be their sweethearts?
Thinking deeply in it we’ll find so many different answers which can be expressed in four terms: Greed, Need, Completion, and Love.
In most of the cases young people choose to marry people more than 20 years older than them for the sake of their money. They want to have as much money as they can in the easiest way possible, therefore they look for rich partners who might die any minute leaving them a fortune behind. But in many of these cases the old partner lives and the younger dies earlier, or escapes after not being able to tolerate living with the older partner.
In other cases, poor people need the money of the old person who came to propose, and whether a girl or a boy, the younger party accepts to be rescued from poverty and its misery, and maybe even to offer help for the rest of their family members. On the other hand need isn’t only for money, some old people truly need younger partners to help them live what’s left for them to live in peace, just like there are young people who need to be taken care of and be spoiled by the older partner. Which leads us to completion, as there are old people who look for young attractive partners to complete their collection of rare beauty. Just like there are some young people who wish to have a grandpa or a grandma sharing them their lives to complete; their lives which lacked the presence of family and old members. And last but not least, a lot of people of different ages are joined together by nothing more than love and affection, which I believe is rare, but does definitely exist.
So if for an interest, or for love, many couples with a very big age-gap do exist among us. Not only normal people we know or we don’t know, but even famous people like actors and politicians.
And regardless of the reason we should always wish that such marriages will be based on love even if it started out as a financial shelter. We can’t blame the old who are asking for the right of having a younger partner to revive the hope in themselves. Neither can we blame the young who are hopeless and have no other choice. But we can blame the ones who sacrifice their lives just to win some more money making the older partner feel lied to and taken advantage of in the worst way ever. Also we can blame the old ones who have their partners and children that take care of them but still want to use their money in buying other younger spirits instead.
We can always cheer up the sad ones and tell them that there is always a light in the end of the tunnel, and no matter how long your tunnel is, you’ll finally see the light if you worked a bit harder. So if you know you wont be happy with a certain person, don’t marry that person for any reason and work harder to fulfill your wishes in some other ways. Never accept a certain marriage if you wont be a good loyal wife or husband, because once you’ve accepted you should take your responsibility.
Therefore, there is no right for the old to hurt the young, nor for the young to deceive the old. Marriage is a sacred relationship based on acceptance, understanding, respect and love. It’s a responsibility and not a game nor a lottery ticket.

If There is An "EU", Why Isn’t There An "EKU"?

This is a question I keep on asking myself every time I’m put in a situation that forces me to use different types of keyboards. Why didn’t they include keyboards in their European Union?
When I’m at work, I have to use the English keyboard. In an Internet café I have to use the French one, and when I want to write in German I have to use the German one.
And every time I get used to one of them and then need to use the other, I find a lot of difficulty adapting, because I hate writing slowly and I hate spending time picking letters.
And what I hate the most is when I actually have no German keyboard for example, but an English one, and then need to write in German after a while in which I never wrote one German word, so I switch the language and use the English keyboard to write using the “hidden” German letters. GOD!! I go crazy trying to look for the letters. But well, I found out a way to help make things easier, which is trying to write more often in all three languages. That doesn’t solve the problem but it helps make it less annoying.
I mean why should (q) and (a), (w) and (z) switch places? and why should commas and question marks be moved here and there?
What I wish for is that European countries will invent some kind of a keyboard that has a feature of turning letters into all different varieties of all European languages by having to click on something, or press on two different keys or anything.
Having a European Keyboard Union would be the best thing ever to happen to me.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Now That The Test Is A memory ;)

Finally I can go home watch T.V without getting this annoying feeling of guilt when I have a test to prepare to :) It was fine, veeeery long, it was supposed to be 2 hours and a half but I was the first to leave after 1 hour 45 minutes. That doesn’t mean I will get a full mark, it only means that I wrote down what I’ve got, which could be right or wrong. I didn’t stay because I revised what I wrote and I couldn’t think of better answers. So no matter how long I’d keep on revising there is no use, my brain was totally blocked. Specially that I had a very busy day at work, and couldn’t catch the buss on time, so I reached the center feeling so damn exhausted.
Anyway, to everybody’s surprise, I answered the most difficult questions so quick, and the medium ones with this annoying (accord) were the ones who took me so long, lol, I hate them and I don’t know if what I wrote was write or wrong. I’m just not convinced with the logic of anything. There is no connection between any two things, lol, it’s terrible.
And what actually shocked me was the wrong impression my colleagues have a about me. They believe I’m a language genius, lol, the minute I entered the class, and although I was 15 minutes late, everyone started moving their chairs next to me, so imagine how 20 people manage to be around one person one way or the other, lol, I can’t believe it, and the teacher could do nothing but laugh at first, lol, afterwards she forced everyone to leave some space.
I’m the kind of people who don’t care if others copy my papers, although I’m against cheating, it’s just that I find it better if they copy instead of annoying me with their whispering questions. But poor them, they had no chance as the teacher was so strict, the only one who was able to cheat very very well and which we think will be the only one who will get a full mark is a Russian girl who used her mobile to message her boyfriend who masters 5 languages perfectly, lol. And the teacher was too busy taking care of the ones around me, leaving a great chance for the girl to send and receive messages as much as she liked.
I hope everyone did great, and that we’ll all pass. And I hope they change their idea about me, because I’m sure they were disappointed. Anyway, the test is over, but I still have an (exposé), a presentation that each has to make about their countries for about 15 minutes. And I was the only one to talk about two countries, lucky me huh, so I had my presentation last Thursday, I talked for 2 1/2 hrs till my voice was gone and still I wasn’t done. They were all excited, asking questions, commenting and all, which I think means I was successful, but because they loved it and because they seem to like the way I do presentations with all those brochures and stuff, the teacher asked me to continue speaking next time. I wish it wont take another 2 1/2 hrs though.
Anyway, a last word from me to all of you who have tests, please don’t cheat, coz it’s not about how many marks you get, and it’s not about how good others think you are, it’s all about testing your knowledge and skills so you can have a clear picture and know what things you should work harder on. And good luck to all.

Porn-“Stars”

I find it really pathetic how most of the satellite channels have dedicated themselves for porn. The parents have to do a lot of work to make sure they block every new channel from popping out in front of their kids. It’s unbelievable. If the sponsors of such channels use the same amount of money in sponsoring better constructive projects we wouldn’t be living such a catastrophe!
After getting “bored” of showing normal sexual activities, those channels started looking for something “sick” to show. And the sickest, cheapest and most disgusting channel wins the biggest number of viewers, which are as sick, cheap and disgusting as those channels if not even more.
What is it with people?? They’ve decided to program their brains in a way they can think of nothing and can enjoy nothing but sex, and even the sick kind. Sick sex, that shows so disgusting ways of turning on the viewers, using everything possible: kids, animals, shit, sadism, gays,old people… where are we living??
So that’s it? We forget our main duty in life, we leave our responsibilities of keeping healthy brains and bodies, step over our dignity and give away our self-respect, what for? Few moments of pleasure? More money??
Those stupid women who do nothing but stand naked in front of cams all night long believing they’re being something special, that their sexiness turns on all those who watch them!! Is that the best they’ve got!! Bodies just like any other body any other woman can have!! I mean do they have an extra leg or something!! No, they have normal bodies, any woman taking care of her shape has a great body, that doesn’t mean she should turn into a porn-“star”!! And those silly men standing in front of cams with sand over their faces and wind blowing their hair! What a great thing!! They are special aren’t they!!
I always think: those people’s brains should be invested in something better. Instead of doing nothing in her life but act in front of a cam or obey what callers order her to do to turn them on, a young lady could actually invent something, be a leader of some organization, do something helpful to help improve this life while maintaining its respect and dignity. And instead of being so hopeless and desperate trying to reach the top as a porn-“star”, doing nothing but being a tool of turning others on, even if that meant turning gay to please a larger number of viewers and get more fans, a young man can use that body of his in building a healthy society, and use his brain in guiding those lost ones to the right way.
Beautiful bodies are for us to be proud of a healthy thinking we posses that made us aware of what advantages we’ll have when keeping in shape. They’re not to go show off on the beach, and they’re not to be misused in unhealthy relationships as sex-objects or love-machines. We should give our bodies some respect, not be happy about exposing them to all people all around the world.

I really wish those channels never existed, they threaten the health of people’s minds, and control their lives. And I hope that all those who work in them will finally realize that a human brain should be appreciated and offered the highest level of respect and dignity, and that a human body is never gonna be as cheap as they are trying to make it be.
So please, stop launching more of those cheap channels, and stop creating shows and programs to encourage your destructive thoughts. I really feel sorry for you, and suggest you should try to free your minds from sex, it’s not the only thing you could be good at, and stop being slaves for corruption, because everyone CAN be a porn star... but few are the ones who WON’T! try to taste the deliciousness of joining those few.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Incroyable!

So tomorrow I have a French test :( and since I work from 8 till 5:30 and have my lessons from 6:30 till 8:30 twice a week, there is so little time left for me to study what we actually learn. So I can say that I’m SO WELL PREPARED for tomorrow’s test :)
I don’t know why I’m not friends with French. I like the way it sounds, it is a classy language, but I’m not convinced with its structure. I mean there is no logic in the language the way I see it. We get a grammar rule, which applies to 20% of the cases and then we take the exceptions, which happen to be the remaining 80%!!! We’d be concentrating in the teacher’s explanation, she’d give us a rule and then go like: “now there are SOME exceptions. Open page 102 in the book, see, from that page till page 105 you’ll find all exceptions concerning THIS RULE ONLY!!”.
And the tenses, GOD!!! They’re so many, and very complicated. Look at English for example, it’s so practical, they have many tenses, but almost all of them are used regularly. Not like French, they have so many tenses and only few are the ones used in daily life. Also German, which have really difficult structure and many grammar rules, and 3 genders, it is difficult, but still it’s very logical, you have clear rules, you follow them, learn the few exceptions by heart and that’s it.
And what annoys me most in French is the unpronounced letters!!! (parle) is pronounced like (parlent), which is pronounced like (parles)!! (Essuyer) is pronounced just like (essuyez)! (femme) is pronounced like (femmes)!!Why the hell do they write them if they’re not gonna pronounce them! To differentiate their positions in syntax? ok, why don’t they invent a whole new word or add a letter that will be pronounced, or a preposition or any damn thing so it becomes easier for the one listening to distinguish words!! For God’s sake, the teacher dictates us and I end up writing a text of repeated words!! How would a beginner who’s still learning basics figure out that the teacher meant (imparfait) and not (passé composé)? Specially when she’s speaking 10 words in 1 second, words of which we know only a couple!
I was shocked from my first day in French. In our FIRST lesson, we were taking the groups of verbs and how to recognize them by their endings. And because of some similarities between the second and third groups, the teacher gave us a rule: “if the verb takes (iss) with (nous) then it means it belongs to the second group, for example we say (nous partons) and (nous rougissons) so (partir) is of the third group and (rougir) is of the second”. Now how the hell would we know that it takes (iss) and doesn’t remain as it is? It’s our problem, we MUST learn by heart!! Then why give us a useless rule from the start??… Nobody knows!
Not to forget the (y) and (en) that replace certain phrases, and the (t) added to connect two words, or the (g) added to make the word sound “lighter”, and the (h) that they pronounce as an (A), and the (liaison) between the last letter in a word and the vowel after it, and, and, and…
After around 3 months of learning, I can understand French much better than before, and I enjoy the French movies and programs more. I am able to write a simple text, and I can manage speaking certain kinds of conversations. But still I think English and German are more practical. Or maybe the fact that I was free of other responsibilities when I learned them made it easier for me to obtain the language better. Whatever the reason, I believe that languages were created to communicate and French was created to complicate!
Anyway, let’s just hope I pass tomorrow ;)

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

OOOPS,Someone's Watching!

There is this French series that is called “Camera Café”, it’s a comedy, and it’s about a camera hidden in the coffee machine in one of the companies showing what employees and even employers say, how they act, what gets their attention, and everything they think of and express while waiting for their hot cup of coffee to be ready.
I actually like the idea, and it’s truly funny. But what I enjoy even more is that I live this myself, something I’d call Camera Emané, lol, yes, that’s true. The thing is, there is a security cam outside the company, and the monitor of the security system is placed in MY office, which makes ME the one who watches EVERYTHING.
And although the cam outside is not hidden, in fact it’s so obvious, but still some people don’t notice it, specially the employees of the company next door ;) There are also ones who see the cam and notice it, but they forget it exists the very next day. In short, whether they know it’s there or not, I get to watch so many reactions.
I see people fighting, I see people flirting, I see people cursing their boss and then smiling at him the minute he shows up, I see people staring at the cam and making funny faces, lol, I watch employees arguing, talking while they smoke, and I see people who come try to open our company’s door for no reason that I know of, but when they find the doors locked they turn around and try to open the doors of the company next door, where the doors are not locked, but a guard is at the entrance. I watch a new guy coming to make an interview or presentation, how they raise their hands up high asking God for good luck before they enter. I watch girls as they leave the office in the break, how they wear double the makeup they’re already wearing, how they look at themselves from head to toe, to make sure they rock, all of this through their reflection on the mirrors of the lift doors!!
God, it’s so funny, and I enjoy it, but still, sometimes and after watching how good people could act, I wonder how is it possible for us to guess who’s being a true friend, a loyal employee, a trustful coworker, and who’s faking just to win as much as they can.
So from a person who gets to watch so many hidden facts of people’s lives, I say, don’t be doubtful to the extreme, but just take care and trust only those who you spend really long time with, ones who give you a hand when you’re in trouble, ones who make you smile when you’re having a bad time, ones who are ready to offer you unconditional love, ones who will love you even when you’re gone out of their site, ones who will call you from one end of earth to the other just to wish you a great day, and ones who appreciate you and will do anything not to lose you. Those are the ones you should trust, not those who smile at you or say some nice words and compliments to you, not the ones who treat you according to their moods, and definitely not the ones who’ll act so nice when you’re around, and then say: “God I can’t stand this stupid guy/girl” … in front of my cam ;)
And most important of all, we should all know that while we’re living our lives, we should be always honest and trustful, we should never betray the ones who trust us, even if we don’t like them that much, because there is always someone watching, someone who knows what we mean with every move we make and every word we say, someone who will give us what we deserve according to our deeds.
So if you’re a lucky person, you should be happy that what God watches from your side is being appreciated, but if bad luck is after you all the time, then don’t blame the circumstances, and don’t lose hope in God, for God will only give us what we deserve, if you’re being a bad person you’ll get the least help from God. So instead of going on with your bad sad life, cheer up, have a peaceful smile on your face, and be prepared to make one big change in your life starting from this minute. Help who need you, be there for who love you, appreciate others’ support and presence, show your dear ones their place in your heart, let the good word win the race against the bad word, and last but not least don’t use others’ love for you, if they tolerate your worst conditions that doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings just like you, they too need someone to tolerate them, be that someone for a change.
Change, only then you’ll find your life being the happiest and the most successful, and only then you’ll be thankful that there’s always someone watching…

Monday, March 01, 2004

SIX!! Oh My God!

I’ve been in a state of shock ever since I read this!! A woman gave birth to 6 babies, yes, six, three boys and three girls! But this isn’t the only shocking news, but also the fact that she gave birth to the six within ONE MINUTE only!!!
It’s unbelievable!
The babies are in the intensive care unit, where they’ll be staying for around nine weeks, as they’re all in a critical condition now, but doctors are optimistic about their healthy survival.
We all hope the six will make it and lead happy healthy lives :).
For the details ClickHere

A Strong Start For Super Star 2004

Yesterday was the start of Super Star II. And I’m so happy that I didn’t miss the start this year, as I only got to watch few episodes of the finals last year.
I loved watching every bit yesterday. It was wonderful. What I really loved about Super Star is being able to watch all participants the ones who pass and fail through all levels, and I find this so fair and exciting in the same time. We get to see every action, reaction, question, answer, behavior, and everything, it’s really fun, and it assures that there was no cheating of any kind. The ones who deserve passing are the ones who will pass.
And besides the competition and performance of participants, there are those funny tricks that are perfectly planned by the program producers to trick some of the program introducers or judges or the crowd. Plus the chance to enjoy the participants’ singing and dancing, before actually being tested, in an attempt to have fun, decrease the stress and fear, as well as to add some flavor to the long waiting.
In the first level only 83 participants pass to the second level. The testing was done in several places like Bahrain, Jordan, France, Lebanon, and Egypt. As for the participants they were of different Arabic nationalities.
Some of the participants have the talent and lack the beautiful voice, some have the beautiful voice but not the right performance, some have neither, lol, and some have both. So imagine how fun and exciting it was to watch different kinds of beautiful and annoying voices!
Up till now we’ve watched the first 13 participants who passed, and of course the ones who didn’t, but those who didn’t pass aren’t always bad, it’s just that they weren’t the best. Or maybe they’re pretty good but were unfortunately sick on the day of the performance.
Anyway, up till now the 13 lucky ones include Lebanese, Palestinian, Tunisian, Moroccan, Kuwaiti, Saudi, Iraqi and Egyptian nationalities. Those are the ones I remember.
And there was a very nice surprise which is the presence of the 3 finalists of last year: the Jordanian Diana Karazon, Super Star 2003, in Jordan; The Syrian Rowayda, Second finalist, in Bahrain; and the Lebanese Melhem Zein, third finalist, in Lebanon.
Their presence gave a very big push to the participants who were mostly stressed and nervous. They supported everyone and cheered up the ones who didn’t make it.
The participants sang different styles: modern, classic, and folklore. Each tried to stress the best parts of their voices, except for the ones who made wrong choices and sang songs that don’t show the strength and beauty of their voice layers but show a bad voice. Maybe those people didn’t have ones to direct them, or maybe they weren’t aware of their own voice’s strength and weakness, so they failed in choosing the right musical layers to suit their voice!
Anyway, there are always participants who will pass and others who will not, and all participants should take things easy to enjoy the moment, and maybe prepare better for the next year.
As for now, we’ll be waiting for next week to come so we can see who else made it to the second level (which will be in Beirut). Until then let’s all wish the participants all the luck and hope that the best, regardless of the nationality, will win to offer us a beautiful voice to hear as often as possible.