Monday, May 31, 2004

My Sister's Graduation Project...

Today my younger sister discussed her graduation project and research. Her field is Industrial Engineering, a tough one, and I can still remember how hard she used to work on her studies when I was still living with my family in Jordan. I can’t believe how fast time flies by! Now she’s about to graduate.
I really hate it to be here while she’s going through this important experience. I wished I could be there with her, help her out with her preparations and be present to listen to her discussion and support her. Now everyone there could share her this but me :( well, not only me, but my mom, older sis & her family and my big bro, as they’re in Canada
now :( but that doesn’t make me feel any better, it only makes me feel worse :((((
Once again, I’m missing a very important occasion of a very dear person…
I wish she did great as she always does!

Attempt To Implant A Whole Face!

A medical team in an American university has proposed to make the first whole-face implant operation to a patient using the face of a dead person. The team includes Dr. John Barker, Dr.Serges Martinez and Dr. Joe Banis. Inspired by the procedure done on Sandeep Kaur 10 years ago (whose face and scalp were torn off by a grass cutter and then reattached), their goal is to transform the lives of the seriously disfigured like Jacqui Saburido whose life changed completely after being hit by a drunk driver.
This whole face implanting operation is the first of its kind in human history. 2 operations took place in USA and Australia have succeeded in implanting around 50% of facial skin. This time it’s different, a whole face, with its features, with its muscles and all of its skin will be placed instead of the old face, which has been burnt or cut for example.
According to the team, the duration of the operation may be 24 continuous hours.
The proposal of this operation has caused a huge discussion in terms of physical as well as psychological side-effects.
The operation requires taking certain kind of medicine that will lower the bodies resistance in order to guarantee the least rejection for the implanted face. Such treatments might so possibly have bad side-effects that will endanger the patient’s health. Therefore there is a big risk in making this operation. On the other hand, implanting the face of a dead person will result in the patient losing his/her original face and looking exactly like the dead person. This will also have its dangerous side-effects on both the mental and psychological health of the patient as well as their families and friends. Because this will mean bringing back life to the dead, and taking away the life of the living. This isn’t easy at all.
The team has been experimenting the operation of total face implanting on dead bodies, and according to them, they seem to have solved all the problems and defeated all difficulties that may occur in such an operation. Arabic
To watch a slide showing the accidents of Sandeep Kaur and Jacqui Saburido ClickHere BUT PLZ MAKE SURE U R NOT TOO SENSITIVE & THAT NO CHILDREN R AROUND U WHILE WATCHING!
Source: HealthDiscovery

Global Water Management Conference

Around 1,000 water experts from more than 30 countries are taking part in the five-day global conference for water management, which was opened yesterday in Jordan. The conference aims at finding the best policies and most efficient ways of using water and saving water resources from being wasted.
According to the Minister of Water and Irrigation, the amount of water available for personal use will drop noticeably by year 2025, whereas the capital investments in developing water supplies would increase to around the double, which is not affordable. Therefore, and to fulfill the requirements, Jordan will be reducing household water losses in order to save around 100 million cubic meters (mcm) by 2050; enhancing the efficiency of agricultural and irrigation policies, and minimizing groundwater over-pumping in order to save another 90mcm a year.
The conference is funded by the US Agency for International Development through its Water Efficiency and Public Information for Action Program.
Details

Friday, May 28, 2004

The Marriage of Their Royal Highnesses

His Majesty King Abdullah II hosted a grand reception in celebration of the marriage of Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Hamzah and Princess Noor Hamzah. The guests included royal families from Europe and the Arab world, gathered for the garden party held at Zahran Palace in Jabal Amman to await the arrival of the Royal couple.
Congratulations :)
Details & Photos are available at the following links: Jordan Times(English) , Al-Rai(Arabic) , Addustour(Arabic) .

Lebanon In The Eyes Of Michael Kleeberg

Michael Kleeberg, a German writer who visited Lebanon and wrote about his visit, and what he’s experienced in Lebanon. I’ve only read a part of his written diaries, and I think it’s worth reading.
Reading what foreigners write about Arabic countries doesn’t only spread awareness of these countries and their beautiful landscape, traditions and rich culture, but also shows the impressions Arab countries leaves in their visitors. These impressions and ideas might be positive, just like they might so possibly be negative. And as I always say, we can learn a bit from what others tell us, we can no know the main things such as what kinds of illness should we take care of when we visit, or what are the dangerous acts one can face (robbery, getting lost…etc), what are the most beautiful sites, where to go eat, and stuff like that. But to build a correct idea of the culture you shouldn’t rely entirely on what others have experienced, but try yourself.
Anyway, there is this small part of Kleeberg’s writings available online if you’d like to check it out, then it’s available here in Arabic , and German . It’s really interesting and nice. To be honest I didn’t look a lot, so there might be more of his writings available online, and in English as well.

Anna Kournikova & Enrique Iglesias are married!

Seems like Anna and Enrique are married since five weeks, according to the “Bild” magazine. Not only this, but it looks like the couple will be having a baby soon. Because a friend of Anna was seen while congratulating her on her pregnancy after noticing her stomach got bigger.
In short admirers of Anna as well as Enrique should finally surrender to the fact that they’re committed and expecting a baby, whether married or not, is not the issue I guess.
Sources: Die Bild Zeitung , Focus .

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Running out Of Water Might Be A Reminder

The other day water was cut in our neighborhood as well as in the whole region of “Les Berges du Lac” where I happen to work. People were pissed off, they were swearing with their faces showing displeasure and dissatisfaction. On the streets, all what one can see is people going to the nearest water source available to fill whatever they could find in front of them: empty bottles, empty cans, empty buckets … etc. Some went to the closest mini-market and bought as much water supply as they could bare to carry.
All of a sudden, people couldn’t survive an extra minute without a drop of water. When in fact, at that time of the day (at around 10 a.m.) few are the ones who’d actually need to wash their hands, or water the plants, or , or ,or. But it’s always like that, when there is something missing, you feel a sudden need for it even if you don’t seriously need it. During the month of Ramadan for example, when Muslims fast, a person feels like eating a main dish at 8:30 a.m. When in a place with a “NO SMOKING PLEASE” sign written at the door, one can no longer resist the temptation of a cigarette in his/her pocket. It’s human nature I guess, whenever something is no longer available, missing, or not allowed, you find people suffering to get this unavailable thing or do that prohibited act. There are some interesting Arabic sayings that are used to express such things; when something is not allowed to be done we say: “Kol mamnou’o marghoub”: everything prohibited is wanted. When you have someone you got bored of, or you started hating and then you leave that person, or they’re no longer there (dead or left you, or whatever) then we say: “ma bti’iraf kheeri la tjarrib gheeri”: you wont appreciate my value, until you try someone else.
There is also this very funny, yet meaningful saying which applies to the situation in where water was cut, it says: “zay il hammam illi maqtou’ah maytoh”: like a public toilette or a public bathing place (Hammam) when water is suddenly cut. This saying is used in any situation where chaos, panic, noise and similar status of mess are to be described, because when people are taking a shower in a public place and need water the most, then it’s suddenly not available, people run out for help to wash away the soap in their eyes, or to warm their cold bodies, and they all create such a fuss. In short Les Berges du Lac was just like a Hammam run out of water :P
And among all those angry people, I was the only happy face with a big smile, not because I hate water, and not because I enjoy watching people suffering, but because I know this is the only way people would be reminded of how important water is, so they’d finally WAKE UP and stop wasting it.
As a matter of fact, I believe one of the most effective ways to make people more aware of the problem our planet is facing in terms of water availability is to cut the water every now and then in each country. In Jordan they used to have 2 days every week where they’d pump water for citizens to use, and the rest of the week, people should manage with what they’ve saved in these days. But they didn’t do it because they wanted people to be more aware, they did it because they had so low rain levels in winter. So it always depends on the water collected from winter that they either cut water or left people to enjoy consuming water as much as they want because they have a lot of storage. But even if the main point was saving just for lack of water available, still it worked positively because I grew up so aware of one fact: water is the most important, and it’s not always there, so we have to use it economically.
I hope people try to save as much water as they can, each in their field of life. At work, home, schools, universities, everywhere. And let me end this post with a verse from Quran that says: “Wa ja’alna min al ma’ie kola shay’in hay”, which means: water is the source of all living forms. And water doesn’t stand for H2O in the form we drink only, but all forms derived from these elements. Water is the source, let’s make it last.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

How Would U Look In “Lego-Style” ?

I’ve always loved Lego. But to be honest, I’ve never pictured myself as a piece of Lego. Today I came across this post in Hamoudy.Com to find out that it’s actually possible to see how you’d look like in Lego :)
Interested? Wanna know how you’d look? All you have to do is Click Here to find out.

Vegetable Orchestra!

Yep, that’s true. Vegetables are no longer tasty things to eat, but also things to enjoy listening to. Three men and six women, all from Vienna, have been working on the first and only vegetable orchestra in the world, using simple kitchen tools. According to the group, their self-composed melodies present a "transfer of electronic music pieces and structures to the instruments of the vegetable garden."
. Each instrument has its own unique sound, and when blown, banged and rubbed together they create an interesting, entirely new blend. the orchestra uses 40 kilos of vegetables for every concert. Each one is freshly sliced and peeled no sooner than an hour before each performance. Matthias Meinharter, who plays a violin fashioned from leeks says: “Size, texture and water content are vital to achieving the correct sound”. In order to keep the “instruments” from drying up during the performance, the musicians drape damp cloths around them. But because the instruments are organic, nothing is predictable and sometimes one of them fails to create the right sound, making each performance different that the other.
The vegetable aroma spreads with the lovely tunes, affecting the appetite of the listeners, therefore, and to satisfy the listeners to the extreme, all instruments are turned into a vegetable stew at the end of the performance for the listeners to eat :). I think the idea is really creative and nice, specially that these big amounts of vegetables will not be thrown away, yet I can never imagine myself eating something other people were blowing through, or touching all the time :P But then again, not all actually care.
Source DeutscheWelle

One Of Those Busy Days...

Today when I woke up (eventually) I felt like I’m going to collapse and fall on the floor after few steps before I reach the bathroom to wash my sleepy face. I couldn’t focus on anything, lol, it was so funny. All I wanted was a few more minutes of sleep. On the way to work, I couldn’t open one subject to discuss with my husband, I could hardly keep my eyes open. The slight breeze and the warm weather made me even more sleepy. I got to my office, got me a hot cup of coffee, which made me feel like watching TV, lol, weird, but that’s what happened. Anyway, I couldn’t do anything. Even looking around at the world’s news or anything, just wanted to sleeeeeeeep. I was afraid that I’d lay my head on the desk and really sleep, then nothing could wake me up :P Anyway, I started replying to my daily emails (an average of 35 emails per day) making some phone calls to solve some problems, and then my boss came to give me one of the things I really hate doing: reports. Turns out the company’s trying to apply new methods to have more control on its international branches, therefore I had to do the report in the new form again. Once I was done (few minutes ago) I felt I needed more and more coffee to keep me awake, but fortunately I was able to resist the tempting smell of coffee this time.
Anyway, I thought why am I being so tired everyday! Is it the weather? Is it the amount of sleep I’m getting being not enough?! Or maybe it’s the work and thinking I do that gets me so tired? No matter what the reason is, the solution is that I should rest more and have another re-energizing life style. And both I know are hard to get, at least for the time being. But good news is, my French course is to an end, my final test will be next week, and the oral test will be a week after the final. Then I’ll have only my job and home to take care of. Can’t wait for that ;) As for now, and specifically this minute, I have to do something to wake myslef up, I have a very busy day today, at work and after it. Sometimes I feel like crying so loud or knocking my head against the wall, but thank God I still didn’t totally lose it…
And it’s better to compare myself with people who cannot support their families, who have no jobs, or those old people that work in the sun, carry heavy weight, just to afford a loaf of bread to feed the kids. Thinking of those poor people who spend their life working so hard, in a time that has no place for the weak and kind, makes me feel I’m lucky, makes me appreciate my job more, and makes me thank God for being by my side…
It’s lunch time now, but I’m not hungry yet, or maybe I’m hungry but have no power to go eat, loool. I’m more into surfing and blogging now, wish me luck so that I wont have the kind of work that needs a lot of thinking. Can’t wait till 5 p.m. I’ll have at least 1 hour to catch my breath before I get busy again…

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Welcome Summer… Welcome Swimsuits!

Winter collection was on sales then all shopping centers have changed their façades with the new summer collection, mainly consisting of swimsuits. The funny thing is, I really don’t get the idea of swimsuit designers. I have seen terrible designs that cover basically NOTHING. The material is so thin and delicate, low cuts, backless with transparent front, bikinis that are too thin, with lose ropes on the sides to “keep them on”, in short, they’re swimsuits that only add color to the body of the lady (if it wasn’t one of those new skin color models). Those swimsuits range from $ 75-350, just to convince people that the lady is actually wearing something. This is really stupid. This is so humiliating for women, who actually think they’re being so cool and sexy. Swimming is NOT about getting as much naked as you can, it’s about “SWIMMING” , moving in the water and feeling God’s greatness in creating the sea, the waves, the creatures living in the sea and the beautiful stones of it. But I guess seas, rivers, and oceans have become only a place of turning on each other, showing off our bodies, kissing and touching in the water, rather than appreciating such a bless. Who cares about the greatness of the sea when there is this sexy guy or that sexy lady with their wet bodies available to enjoy!!
We have turned everything sex-oriented, paying no attention but to sex-appeals, caring about nothing but sexual pleasure… shame on us, what have we become…

1st Clinic For Sex Education & Consultation In The Arab World

“The Marital Happiness School” is the first clinic of its kind in the Arab world. It’s in Cairo and is the first clinic specializing in sex education. The clinic is run by Dr. Heba Kotb, a lecturer of forensic medicine and toxicology at Cairo University recently completed a degree in clinical sexology at the Maimonides University in Florida, and a male colleague, Dr. Mohamed Waly, a gynaecologist and obstetrician. “I first became interested in this field after completing my MD thesis on sexual assault, covering normal and abnormal sexuality. Sexology is barely touched on by doctors in Egypt; you find it only as a subsidiary to gynaecology or endology, so I saw that there was a real need for this. I decided to make it my career” she said. The great part is she gives verses from The Holy Quran that explains sexual relationships. There is a very famous saying in Islam: “In Islam there is no shame in any form of learning”. Therefore students should learn everything about the relationship between men and women, the right way. Education should cover every aspect of sexual relationships, not only within the context of marriage, but also what is allowed between friends. Rules of social behavior, manners, family relationships and how a husband and wife should treat each other should all be discussed.
As well as marriage counseling and courses for pre and post wedding couples, Dr. Kotb also runs special courses for adolescents, filling in the many gaps in their high school education. She comments: ”Don’t believe anyone who tells you that sex education is covered by the national curriculum. Teenagers leave school knowing nothing. The average sex education class is ten minutes with a slide projector in a darkened room, and then a bit of reading at home which no-one checks on.” In her program for adolescents, Dr. Kotb teaches boys and girls separately, in small study groups. The questions posed are mainly like: where does the real pleasure in sex come from, what are the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways of practicing it, how to masturbate, and what are the functions of the male and female sexual organs during intercourse and ‘what is the joy in sex’. According to Dr. Kotb, dealing with men is to her more tensing, specially the first few minutes. But when the men see that the conversation is based on scientific explanations with the support of religious education, then they loosen up and the embarrassment is gone. She says that whether Muslims or non-Muslims, she always supports her explanation with verses of Quran and Islamic interpretation, because they have discussed everything and gave reasons for everything.

From his part, Dr. Waly says: “As a gynaecologist I see the consequences of sexual malpractice and I get asked advice by my female patients. Most girls getting married have a very rudimentary knowledge of sex. They neither know what they should know, nor what they are missing. Vaginismus (the involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles due to tension) is a very common problem, making it impossible for male penetration and leading to unhappiness within the marriage. Ignorance is the cause. Whatever girls have been told about sex, often it has just served to make them nervous. It’s very important when we counsel couples to educate the husband about female sexuality, as in this society men have difficulty admitting to their own sexual problems, and very little understanding about the female anatomy.”
Dr. Kotb added: “The traditional way of mothers passing down information to their daughters often makes things worse, since the advice is usually not to show any enjoyment for fear your new husband think you might be experienced. Never react, never ask questions and never initiate sex, they are told. This leads to the husband feeling humiliated and rejected. In our courses we teach that God made human sexuality not just as a way to have children but also for enjoyment within marriage. We place emphasis on the pleasurable side.”

I think this is a very huge step forward. I’m really impressed and hope other Arab countries will be providing sex education and consultation to their people. In this way, people would know whom to turn to for knowledge, and they’ll be getting the right answers that guarantee healthy relationships, instead of tuning to porn movies and consulting other friends who might also not be aware of sexual relationships and lack the right kind of education.
Sources: Qantara(Arabic) and Egypt’s Insight Online Magazine (English) .

Monday, May 24, 2004

Tolle Wohn-Ideen

Diese Ideen sind einfach wunderschön. Die Fotos sind sehr detailiert mit Preise, Größe und Farben der Möbel vorhanden. Die Ideen sind echt praktisch, schön und modern.
Fotos und Info.

Salad is Healthy, But Watch Out For Its Dressing!!

If you have vomiting, diarrhea, fever, or cramps then you might be suffering from food poisoning, specially if you’ve consumed pre-mixed salad dressing products containing basil and mesclun, and you must consider consulting a physician. Because these products may contain a parasite that can cause food poisoning. According to the US Food And Drug Administration (FDA), symptoms usually develop about a week after consuming the contaminated food and "Cyclospora infection can be successfully treated with appropriate antibiotic therapy."
Therefore take care of your health, choose reliable clean restaurants, and avoid salad dressing at home. Everything is best when natural. Reuters

Miss Lebanon: The Third Prime

So the last week was a very busy one indeed. I have so many things to talk about, but no time for them all, therefore I’ll be talking about some of the things quickly. As a start let me talk about HAIFA WAHBI in the Miss Lebanon 3rd prime. Actually I’ve always heard people, artists, and reporters criticizing Haifa Wahbi one way or the other. They either talk about her looks or her personality. They criticize the way she wears makeup, her dressing style, and the plastic surgeries she’s gone through. On the other hand, we hear of men and teenagers hanging her posters in their bedrooms closets and on their desks! I read a lot of articles, in which she sounded really smart in the interviews, and where she revealed a side of her personality that doesn’t focus on sex appeals as much as the brains. But then I read this article where she was saying that Elissa is feeling jealous because of her looks. That was the interview that made me laugh my head off and make sure this Haifa Wahbi is so obsessed with her looks and thinks she’s the best looking in the world. Anyway, the picture got clearer when I saw her in the 3rd prime on Friday, unfortunately I couldn’t watch it all, but a part of it, which was actually enough. I saw Haifa Wahbi, and GOD!!! I can’t believe how much people have become obsessed with showing off their bodies!! They make you feel they’re doing you a favor when covering the few parts of their bodies that were left uncovered!! Haifa was wearing basically nothing from my point of view, being so so happy that people give no damn about her talent (maybe because she has no talent in the first place) and are just enjoying her “provoking dance” in which she tried to show off her “so called dress” pulling her hair away from her back and shoulder to show her backless style dress, and pulling together the lower part of her dress to show the side cut and to help the transparent piece of cloth show more of her body!!! That was so pathetic. And what made me really angry, is that such irresponsible shameless acts affect teenagers the most. Poor young boys were about to have a heart attack while she was smiling at them, blowing kisses their way in her custom!! I simply hated this, and I hated her voice, and her moves, and even her comments! Being asked about latest activities and latest albums has nothing to do with mentioning how she met Omar Al Sherif!! She just tried to spread the news that she met celebrities and stuff, and then in future interviews, she goes like: Oh, I’m not arrogant, I wasn’t the one to talk about myself and whom I meet, it’s the media!!…. AAAAAAAAH, she gets on my nerves!! And to compare this with Elissa’s presence, you can’t but say that Elissa is so mature, she’s so classy, and so respectful. Although I’m not much into most of her video clips, but still, she’s a true singer. Beautiful voice, good looks and respectful elegance (relatively speaking). She’s not much of a good speaker in live interviews though…
Anyway, once again, reality TV is a nice idea, but it was one hell of a failure in the case of Miss Lebanon, for one reason, the silliness and rude (stab in the back) fights between the ladies. I tune in to watch them whenever I have the time, I think: maybe I was unfair. And then a verbal fight begins, showing a very ugly side of the ladies who are supposed to represent beauty in the face, body, mind and soul… I believe that if they were better persons then this reality TV would have been the most successful and enjoyable.
Anyway, if you missed the 3rd prime you can take a look at some pics provided online here .

Friday, May 21, 2004

Know How To End A Relationship The Right Way!

Actually a lot of us wish to be the ones who end a certain relationship rather than the ones being dumped. Fact is, having to be the one to start this break up thingy is not as easy as it seems. Even if you have the right, and even if you were so determined, you’ll still find it very difficult to tell someone that you no longer want him/her, unless of course you’re one mean “feelingless” bastard.
The way you end a relationship has a very important effect on both parties. The whole thing could end up peacefully, and pass as an experience, or it could make you feel so bad, so full of hatred and so full revenge-seeking desires. And although I’m a lady, but to be honest, I’ve noticed that men are more gentle in breaking up than women. This is generally speaking of course, and a total personal opinion. I think girls have a very big problem when they’re the ones being dumped, they don’t accept the fact and they always believe they’re too perfect to be dumped. And, I’m so sorry to say this, but unfortunately, even when they’re the ones to dump, they do it in a very aggressive and mean way most of the time. They give themselves the right to say bye whenever they feel like it, and expect the partner to take it easily regardless of the reasons. Not that men are angels all the time, but once again, just generally speaking, and specifically talking of situations concerning long term relationships that I have personally heard of. Dumping someone can be for so many reasons: lack of understanding, lack of respect, boredom, problems based on disagreement in principles, falling in love with someone else, violence and suffering, disloyalty, or in some cases which are based on financial interest: when the partner runs out of money :P .
Anyway, when you dump someone, or let’s say end a certain relationship, it doesn’t mean we’re talking about boy/girlfriends only, but also your fiancé(e) or even husband/wife. So if you are about to end a relationship, first think of it really well, and be fair to your partner as well as yourself. If there is no way on earth you’re gonna save this relationship, and if you have no other choice but end it, then at least do it the right way.
1. Get straight to the point. (no need for boring introductions, they only make the other part more nervous and more confused), and no need to stop answering phone calls or replying to messages. Just be brave enough to end it at once.
2. A face to face conversation is the best way, if that was not possible because of long distance or fear of breaking the heart, or fear of changing your mind, then do it by a written letter and not an email. Emails are not as expressive as handwriting. Phone calls should be last choice, because if one of the two is mean then the call will end up with a fight that will lead to more heartbreaking and more insult.
3. Never end a relationship after your partner has spent a fortune on an invitation or a gift for you.
4. The place to end the relationship depends on your partner’s expected reaction. If (s)he is the nervous mad type, then avoid public places …
5. You don’t need to mention the sweet memories and the good sides you loved about them as an introduction or as a comment after you’ve blew it. It makes no sense.
To end a relationship all you have to so is always put yourself in your partner’s place and treat them the way you’d love to be treated.
For a beautiful related article click here .

Help Them Save Nature…

A week after I got this job, a company representative came to the office. He gave me his business card and then started his quick introduction of the company’s duty and activities. The company is called BARKA, it’s Tunisian, and this is its work description: “Régénération de tout type de consommables informatique”, which means regeneration/recycling of any type of computer usage materials. In other words, instead of throwing your printer’s empty plastic ink cartridge for example, you give them a call, they come, pick the cartridge, and fill it up for you with half the price. I couldn’t believe myself, because I was looking for such companies that do recycling and stuff, but couldn’t find any. After saying bye, I went to the boss full of excitement, and although he is “somehow” a friend of environment, but he had doubts about the quality of ink refilled. He didn’t believe they’ll provide good quality for half the price, and told me to forget about it. And since it’s not totally up to me, I gave up… partially that is. I mean if the office doesn’t want to do this I can still do this at home, and blog about here :) So I’m waiting for our ink cartridge at home to be empty to try them out. Only problem is, it might take ages since we’re not using it :PP Anyway, at least I’m doing my best.
So for those of you interested the company is BARKA, Address is: 69, Rue Houcine Bouzaienei, 1st floor, Nr.9, 1001 Tunis.
Tel/Fax:+216.71.33.99.19, Mobile:+216.98.58.36.81
Email: barka.ms@gnet.tn

Camels In The Alps?!

Christine Sieber and her partner Dieter Graf have started a camel farm in the southern Bavarian Alps. "There is something almost meditative about riding a camel, because they are always so amazingly calm and unperturbed. They pass that feeling on to everyone around them," says Sieber. And I totally agree with her. Camels are so calm and patient, and they’re so fascinating.
But what about the differences in weather? From deserts to the Alps! that must be hell of a change. And although camels can manage with snow and ice, water is a problem for the desert-trained animals. It gets sucked up into their thick fur, and with their soft feet, they slip and slide in the mud like someone learning to ice skate.
Before starting her business in Germany, Christine used to live in the United Arab Emirates, where she got fond of camels, specially camel racing. She participated in racing, and won the first position :) According to her, women in Emirates are not allowed to even watch such races, I have no idea about that, but I can say that not all Arab countries share this.
I love camels too, although I was scared to death the first time I tried to ride a camel, God I must have embarrassed my family, I was a kid and shouted like crazy when the camel stood up, lol, that was in Egypt. My younger sister and brother were calm, a bit scared, and I was screaming. I feel so ashamed of myself every time I remember this, lol. But after that I enjoyed riding camels in Jordan and Tunisia too, it’s like you go to somewhere so peaceful where you hear nothing but the wind, see nothing but the pure sand and the blue sky… of course I’m talking of desert only since I never happened to see camels elsewhere :P Anyway, for all of you who fear camels, or those who still didn’t try them, I advice you all waste no more time and enjoy this one of kind experience :)
More about the camels in Germany is available here .

Thursday, May 20, 2004

More Abuse Photos.... Folterfotos mit Leichen

Have no more words left to say....
English , Deutsch .

Trotz der Verurteilung, macht Israel weiter...

Israel setzte seine Offensive im Gastreifen fort, trotz der Verurteilung durch den UN-Sicherheitsrat.
Der Sicherheitsrat hat Israel das Töten palästinensischer Zivilisten in Rafah verurteilt, und hat Israel aufgefordert, die Zerstörung palästinensischer Wohnhäuser unverzüglich einzustellen.
Andererseits erinnerte die UN-Resolution Israel an seine Verpflichtung „als Besatzungsmacht gewissenhaft seine rechtliche Verantwortung gemäß der Vierten Genfer Konvention zu erfüllen und das Leben von Zivilisten in Kriegszeiten zu schützen“. mehr…
Israel verurteilt ist ein Kommentar bei Peter Philip, den ich echt lesenswert finde.

Israel Ignores Security Council Resolution

UN Security Council resolution had earlier condemned the killing of Palestinian civilians in the southern Gaza Strip refugee camp of Rafah. It also called on Israel to halt house demolitions, which are in violation of international humanitarian law. Reflecting its displeasure, the United States, allowed adoption of the U.N. resolution by abstaining rather than using its veto. President Bush urged restraint from the Jewish state, yet he said the United States could not back the resolution, because it did not take sufficient account of the "context of the military operation, which Israel says is aimed at stopping anti-Israeli attacks." As a reaction to the resolution, Israel vowed to continue to do whatever it considers appropriate.
Details

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

War Crimes In Rafah? Yeah Whatever

Who cares about what is shown on TV channels, who cares about journalists’ reports of the massacres in Rafah, who cares about the world’s condemnation of Israel’s unbelievable acts towards civilians, who cares about the UN S.O.S calls?! To hell with everything as long as Israel explained it’s doing what it’s doing for security and defense reasons, then so it is.
While speaking to the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, president Bush said: Israel is a democracy and friend, and has every right to defend itself against terror .
Then people speak of Anti-Semitism, and we hear of those sweet caring speeches of USA not being pro-Israel, and supporting human rights all over the world regardless of nationality and religion! More Info .
Details in Arabic

Being An Arab …

Actually, I’ve been wanting to write about this ever since I read what people from around the world were commenting on the beheading of Nicholas Berg. But I couldn’t put together my thoughts and write them down, because they were too sad to be expressed. But I’m fed up, and I decided to finally write even a bit of what I feel.
Why do so many people hate Arabs in general and Muslims in particular?? I read horrible stuff about Arabs, disgusting thoughts of Muslims, evil wishes for them to disappear and experience more torture and more humiliation. A one of a kind hatred towards people whose only fault is being Arab…
I know it was a terrible experience to watch a civilian getting killed in such an awful way, but what I read was not a reaction to Berg’s case only, it was concerning people’s opinion of Arabs, how they look at them, what they wish to do to them.
They described Arabs as uncivilized, savage, impolite, terrorists, criminals by nature, animals, extremists, illiterates, and so much more of these stupid expressions that has nothing to do with the reality of Arabs.
The sad fact is I realized only now that no matter how hard Arabs work, and no matter how honest and loyal they are, there will always be this sick image about Arabs which will never change no matter what. So defending Arabs wont do any good, unless people open their eyes and hearts and try to take a closer look at them inside out.
Arabs, they are proud people, kind-hearted, very honest, hard workers, intelligent, loyal and tolerant. Arabs are Muslims, they are Christians and Jews. They all respect each other, and they’re all there for each other. They’re so helpful, and they treat their guests the best way any guest could ever be treated.
The fact that you are a foreigner, from another Arab country or from Europe or else where, makes them feel its their duty to help you out manage in their country, adapt to their lifestyle, and make you feel welcomed.
I really wish people will see Arabs as they really are, there are many things to know about Arabs other than their beautiful faces, their beautiful skin color, their sexy belly dance, or their delicious food.
I don’t understand how they say Arabs are not educated, when they have the knowledge and don’t lack smartness. They speak languages, they have their scientific achievements, they have their inventions and investments, they have their musical talents and their rich literature. Why don’t people read more about Arabs. Look at their history, try to mix with their present and share their future plans and goals. But I guess it’s easier to follow this old convention of Arabs being nothing but losers who bring bad luck and ruin life. Yes that’s what so many people think, calling Arabs the “annoying immigrants” that should be limited and kicked out. As if they go to a country for fun, as if they don’t play a role in building society, as if they don’t work for a living, as if they aren’t useful members of the country they’re in! Why then do so many countries post newspaper ads in the Arab world asking for employees! Why do they post ads in newspapers calling for tempting immigration opportunities?! And are Arabs the only immigrants of the world? Aren’t there many Europeans, Americans and Canadians who choose to spend the rest of their lives in the Arab world? Why do Arabs welcome non-Arab immigrants? Because they believe they have the right to live wherever they choose, they appreciate their presence and recognize it as a constructive one.
And as any other society in the world, Arabs have the bad people among them. Does that mean all Arabs are so? No it means only one thing: whoever judges Arabs without knowing them really well, is the one with the narrow thinking and poor cultural background.

All I can say is, any Arab should be proud of being Arab, regardless of the world’s wrong ideas, a day will come when the whole world will finally see Arabs as they are, love them for who they are, and respect them for what they do. On the other hand, Arabs should always ask, why were they on the top in the past, known as the civilized and progressive part of the world, with their sciences and intelligence lighting up the whole world, and then all of a sudden they became the dark side of earth! Answer is simple: Arabs gave up, war has filled them with fear of speaking up, injustice has made their world full of doubts, losing confidence in their presence and losing hope of a better tomorrow. Therefore all Arabs should never let anyone’s misjudgments influence their pride nor their confidence, they should stick to who they are and keep working hard as before until the real value of Arabs will be won back again.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Massaker in Rafah

Bei einem Großeinsatz der israelischen Armee im palästinensischen Flüchtlingslager von Rafah im Süden des Gazastreifens sind am Dienstag (18.5.2004) mindestens 14 Palästinenser getötet worden. Kurz vor der Dämmerung schlug eine Rakete in der Nähe einer Moschee im Viertel Tel Sultan ein, wo sich Gläubige zum Morgengebet versammelt hatten. Etwa zur gleichen Zeit stießen israelische Panzer und Kampfeinheiten in das Viertel vor, das sich nicht in Grenznähe befindet. Die Soldaten begannen damit, einen Graben auszuheben und Tel Sultan vom Rest Rafahs abzuschneiden, wie Augenzeugen berichteten. Haus für Haus werde durchgekämmt. Mindestens 45 Militärfahrzeuge wurden in dem Viertel gezählt.
Nach israelischer Darstellung handelte es sich bei den Toten zumeist um palästinensische Kämpfer, die bei Feuergefechten und Hubschrauberangriffen starben. Von palästinensischer Seite hieß es hingegen, die meisten Toten seien unbeteiligte Zivilisten gewesen.
Amnesty International verurteilte die Zerstörung palästinensischer und arabischer Häuser durch Israel als Kriegsverbrechen. Die Menschenrechtsorganisation warf Israel am Dienstag in London vor, in den vergangenen dreieinhalb Jahren über 3000 Wohnungen zerstört zu haben. Zehntausende von Männern, Frauen und Kindern hätten dadurch Obdach oder Lebensunterhalt verloren. So seien im Gazastreifen über 2000 Wohnungen und zehn Prozent des landwirtschaftlichen Geländes zerstört worden. Im Westjordanland errichteten die Israelis ihren Schutzwall zu fast 90 Prozent auf besetztem Gebiet und hätten dafür mindestens 600 Wohnungen abgerissen. Für Details können Sie hier und hier clicken.
ENGLISH

Monday, May 17, 2004

Ruslana Won The Eurovision

The Ukrainian contestant Ruslana Lyzichko won the Eurovision Song Contest with her song: Wild Dancers. Ruslana has composed the music of the winning song herself.
After winning the competition ahead of Serbia and Montenegro and Greece, Ruslana said she hoped Europeans would get to know her country better when the contest comes to the Ukraine in 2005. Details .

Die Ukraine Ruslana Lyzichko hat zum ersten Mal den Eurovision Song Contest mit ihrem fetzigen Song "Wild Dance gewonnen. Ruslana überzeugte Europa ". Der deutsche Vertreter Max musste sich in Istanbul mit dem achten Platz begnügen. Die Sängerin und Komponistin kombinierte Popmusik mit Tanzelementen aus den Karpaten. Zum folkloristischen Ambiente trug auch der Liedtext in Englisch und Ukrainisch bei. Dazu knallten Peitschen, und Flammen loderten auf den überdimensionalen Bildschirmen auf der Bühne.
"Ich musste mich erst ein bisschen an den achten Platz gewöhnen, aber ich komme damit zurecht", sagte Max am frühen Sonntagmorgen. Der 22-jährige Abiturient aus Waldshut-Tiengen im Schwarzwald hatte sich selbst einen Platz unter den ersten Fünf erhofft. Mehr über Eurovision

World Economic Forum In Jordan 2004

3 weeks after the Aqaba Summit, Jordan hosted the World Economic Forum 2004 from 15- 17May, in the Dead Sea, with the Slogan: "Facing the Real Challenges: Partnering for Change, Peace and Development".
Headlines of the forum were: globalization, stabilizing the political situation in the Middle East, fighting poverty and improving the economical situation in the region.
More than 1200 politicians and businessmen participated in the Forum.
I have watched a part of King Abdullah’s speech, and must say it was pretty impressive. He discussed the Palestinian and Iraqi issues and stressed the need to solve the problems in the Middle East in the most efficient way that will bring justice and peace into the region.
On the other hand, there were people who weren’t happy with having the Forum hosted in Jordan, saying it’ll have negative results on the country in the long run.
The forum was carried out with the highest security precautions, guaranteeing the success of this forum. For more information about the forum check here: English and Arabic .

SuperStar 16.May.04: The Toughest Decision!!

Yesterday’s episode was one of a kind. Despite the fact that all participant who have passed to the second level were very qualified, yesterday’s participants were all over qualified. The episode was a collection of the strongest and most talented. It is very very hard to choose and compare. Each has a special good side, and all had the beautiful voice. Of course that doesn’t mean that the ones earlier were less talented or had worse voices, it’s just that yesterday was a very unfair gathering for voices of such beauty and power.
The participants were:
From Jordan: Nancy Petro
From Tunisia: Ashraf Al Kshou
From Lebanon: Mohammad Barraj, Fayyad Younes,
From Syria: Houssam Madanyeh, Samar Touieity, Mahmoud Kassir, Hala Erslan
From Libya: Rida Jaafar, Ayman Al Aatar
From Iraq: Rahma Mezher, Shaza Hassoun
From Egypt: Mahmoud Abdelaziz
From Saudi Arabia: Mamdouh Abdel Hai

That is so unfair, I mean all those talents will be relying on luck rather than qualifications, so much will be lost and only one will be lucky enough to continue.
But I personally loved: Nancy, Ashraf, Fayyad, Houssam, Hala, Rida, and Rahma… Oh, no, GoD!!! They were all good!
Can’t wait to know the results, specially that there will be 2 results tonight: the 2 who’ll pass yesterday’s episode, and the ones who’ll be given a second chance.
Good luck to all…

The 10th GCC e-Government & Telecom Forum

Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum
Chairman, Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone Authority, The 10th GCC e-Government & Telecom Forum will be held in Dubai, UAE from May 24-26, 2004.
This Forum is considered the Largest e-government forum in the region. Information about the Forum and its detailed program are available Here .

Save Palestinians!

Rafah has been the scene of devastating raids over the past few days, with the army demolishing up to 100 Palestinian homes. Up to 1000 Palestinians have been left homeless, as a result of the demolitions.
The Israeli occupation army has destroyed dozens of civilian homes in Rafah, at the southern tip of the Gaza Strip, and said it would demolish hundreds of additional homes in the next few days, apparently as a retaliation and collective punishment for the death of seven Israeli soldiers over the weekend in a battle with Palestinian resistance fighters in the area.

Today,Israeli occupation forces, using tanks, bulldozers and helicopters, opened fire as it invaded the refugee town of Rafah, cutting it off from rest of the Gaza Strip. Seven tanks and armoured bulldozers, backed by helicopter gunships moved into the area between Rafah and the town of Khan Yunis, witnesses said. Unlike other invasions, today’s raid began from the northern and eastern parts of Rafah, in an attempt to completely isolate it from the rest of Gaza.
As usual, it’s always for security that Israel kills, assassinates, destroys and bombs. So this time Israeli military sources confirmed the target of the operation was to isolate Rafah in an attempt to search for Palestinian activists and weapons, the correspondent said. Another report said the army said the move was aimed at preventing what it called "militants" moving between the two towns. Israel's army chief, General Moshe Yaalon, said "hundreds of houses" believed to be concealing tunnels or to have been used as cover by Palestinian gunmen were set for destruction.
So, it means, when police want to prevent thieves and criminals from hiding and moving, then they should destroy the whole neighborhood?!!! And just because the police MAY DOUBT a certain house is used for weapon storage, then there is nothing as entering it, they have to blow it up, or knock it down to be relieved and make sure nothing’s actually there!! Actually this is pathetic. We all know these reasons are nothing but this same old story of trying to justify some criminal acts. Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qurie accused the Israeli court of permitting "ethnic cleansing...and collective punishment of innocent civilians." U.N. officials said Israel had displaced more than 12,000 Rafah residents by demolitions, incursions, air strikes and other fighting since the 2000 start of a Palestinian revolt in Gaza and the West Bank, land Israel captured in a 1967 war. "I want the world to see Nazism in action. I don't see any difference between German Nazism and Jewish Nazism. When will the world calls the spade a spade?" said Amjad Zurub, a local official in Rafah, who castigated the international community for "playing deaf and dumb" in the face of this "holocaust against a defenseless civilian population".

Scenes of fleeing women and children, some carrying and comforting younger children, were ubiquitous in Rafah throughout Friday and early Saturday.
Panic-stricken children and women grabbed whatever belongings they could carry and fled as Israeli bulldozers began destroying their homes.
In some cases, Israeli bulldozers destroyed homes on top of occupants, killing at least three people.

The Palestinian Authority and the Israeli peace movement have condemned the demolitions as war crimes.
"It is manifestly clear that we are talking about a war crime …
without ifs or buts," said Hanna Isa, deputy-director of the Palestinian Ministry of Justice and professor of international law.
"Israel is flying in the face of the fourth Geneva Convention and article-8 of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

More details are available from Reuters and Al Jazeera .

Friday, May 14, 2004

Holiday Park Hires Shrink :)

A German amusement park in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate "Holiday Park" in the city of Hassloch has hired a psychologist to help park visitors get over their phobia of plunging down massive steel tracks, winding around bank turns and falling at speeds exceeding 120 kilometers (76 miles) per hour... so good news for me ;)
Holiday Park is home to one of the world's largest rollercoasters. The Expedition GeForce has an incline of 62 meters (68 yards) and flies through the tracks at over 100 kilometers per hour. The German airline Lufthansa has offered seminars aimed at countering fear of flying for over 20 years with a success rate of 94 percent, and Holiday Park is hoping for similar results.
Details

Eman: Why Do U Speak Tunisian?

This is a question I’ve been asked over and over again. Almost everyone poses it to me. Tunisians ask why I speak their dialect rather than mine. Non-Tunisians ask about the reasons for me to speak Tunisian.
Some look at it as being ashamed of my dialect, or being afraid of identified as a foreigner, or trying to be someone who I’m not.
But the fact is, I speak Tunisian because I am strong. Yes, when I first arrived, I didn’t know the Tunisian dialect that well, therefore I limited using it to certain emergency situations. But after a short while, I got to know it better and now I speak it fluently. Most of the people don’t recognize I’m not Tunisian unless from the looks, or if the conversation was long…lol, there there has to be some words that jump out of my mouth pronounced in a weird way ;)
Anyway, I am proud of who I am, and I adore my dialect. But I learned Tunisian and I speak it for many reasons. First I made a little comparison, I was like: if a Tunisian wants to buy something from a shop in Jordan, and he goes on asking in Tunisian, it’ll either result in total shock for the Jordanian, or a misunderstanding. So if that Tunisian wants to live in Jordan, get a cab, go to university, buy stuff… etc, he has to know Jordanian to avoid complications and misunderstandings.
Another reason is, by learning Tunisian, I get to understand what people say to me, what they say about me, in short, even if it’s not me who’s speaking, I’ll get to understand everything in the conversation. On the other hand, and as it is the case in all parts of the world, foreigners get lied to, people think they’re tourists for example, and go on cheating in the prices of stuff. Therefore, and although many people recognize I’m not Tunisian from my looks and the tone of my voice, but still speaking to them in their dialect shows them that I’ve been living here for a while and therefore I know what’s write from wrong and they wont have the courage to fool me.
Another reason is that I want my kids to speak their dad’s dialect… as well as mine ;) And I can’t get them to speak it if I myself don’t!
Last but not least, there are people who are not that open to other cultures and have no idea what our dialect means, therefore it’s nonsense to go on speaking a dialect they wont understand.
But what really gets me laughing, is the reaction of people to the truth. When I speak my dialect they go like: “no you’re Tunisian now, you should know how to speak our dialect”. And when I speak Tunisian they go like: “why? Do you think we’re too stupid to understand your dialect? It’s all Arabic!” And some just love hearing my dialect!!
Anyway, it’s not people’s who choose, it’s me, therefore I made my own rules concerning when I should speak the Tunisian dialect, and when should I speak mine.
So basically now I speak my dialect with my husband, among in-laws, friends, and people I know would understand my dialect because of their position that involves them with other cultures and other dialects. But when I’m in a taxi, or in a store downtown, or at work, or on the phone, I use the Tunisian dialect to avoid being unclear, and so that I wont have to tell my life story to anyone from the street: I’m from.., originally … but I live here coz…. I just cut it short, say what I want, get it, and that’s it.
That’s why I speak Tunisian, and I am proud of myself for being able to manage in society in the right way, protecting myself, getting my rights, and offending no one :)

Jeremy Sivits, 1st To Go!

Spc. Jeremy Sivits, the first soldier to face a court-martial in the abuse scandal, is one of seven military police officers facing charges in the case. He will plead guilty at a court-martial proceeding next week, the Washington Post reported on Friday.
Sivits admitted in a sworn statement that he photographed the abuse but never reported it, according to the newspaper. He told investigators how guards led by Spc. Charles Graner abused the detainees during nightly rounds. According to the Times, Sivits said all of the abuse was done without the knowledge of their superiors in the Army chain of command. "Our command would have slammed us," he said, according to documents quoted by the paper. "They believe in doing the right thing. If they saw what was going on, there would be hell to pay." He said Graner warned him not to say anything, telling him: "You did not see (this)." According to the Times, Sivits said the soldiers appeared to be enjoying abusing the prisoners.
Sivits’ offer to plead guilty was accepted by the staff judge advocate overseeing his court-martial, according to a memo reviewed by The Washington Post and lawyers representing others charged in the case, the newspaper said. But the paper said it could not be determined to which charge he would plead guilty. Details
UPDATE

Are Abuse Photos Fake?!

As expected, many arguments concerning the prisoners’ abuse in Iraq are created to save the reputation of the countries involved in the abuse and to save the soldiers from punishment.
First we heard the American soldiers claiming they had orders from higher ranks and not the free will to act the way they’ve acted. Which I personally think is nonsense. Because these “poor” soldiers could have at least had the courage of the one who was brave enough to pass the photos to the whole world and show the sick and sadistic behavior of soldiers in Abu Ghraib. Were they that afraid?! All those involved couldn’t gather together and say NO? couldn’t they complain to their government one way or the other during all these months of continues torture?! No they could, but they didn’t want to, because they were sick, and they enjoyed what they were doing… And now UK comes and claims: the pics weren’t even taken in Iraq!! Which is a very bad argument. Whether they were taken in Iraq or elsewhere, one fact cannot change, human beings have been tortured in the most horrible way. It doesn’t matter if that person suffering in the pic was Iraqi, Afghan, or even British, what matters is the terrible abuse and humiliation.
And even if those pics were a work of a “genius” who faked stuff and published it, then it proves only one thing, there are people who are expressing themselves and their sick desires through pics they’re faking, and this is not less dangerous than real abuse, coz even if it wasn’t practically applied in torturing people, having these evil ideas means there are so many sick people out there who can’t wait for a victim to practice their inner desires on.
I do understand that the situation is so delicate, and that each country is trying to save its reputation and prove it was not involved in these disgusting acts, but to prove yourself not guilty doesn’t mean go fabricate some emotional stories, or say some lies to doubt the reliability of a certain newspaper, or magazine or web site. To prove you’re not guilty, there is only one way: surrender to the truth and evidence, investigate, and punish all those involved. It’s known that every country has its good people and its bad people. You can’t fool other societies. You better take an immediate action. This way your will to be fair and helpful will be proven, and you might have one way to maybe make it up for the poor people who suffered and tasted insult, pain and death because of some maniacs who belong to you.
We should not wait for pics to wake us up. Taking part in war is a very big responsibility that all people of all kinds should be aware of, and therefore handle the situation right. Even if people are forced to believe the pics were fake –which is hard to believe- we know that such things and even worse acts are taking place, and even if we’re not talking about pics, we can still talk of the bad behavior of soldiers towards citizens even of non-Iraqi nationalities. Or are TV channels and journalists of the whole world faking stories too?! The world is watching, and all what we wish for is some justice, and some conscious.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Michael Wolffsohn!

Professor Michael Wolffsohn, an instructor in Munich at one of Germany's top two military officer training schools, attracted controversy earlier this month when he told a German television reporter that "if we attempt to counter terror with gentlemanly methods, we will fail."
Referring to the excesses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, he said, "In the anti-terror fight there are really no effective laws of war. I believe that torture, or the threat of torture, is legitimate as one of the instruments against terror, because terror basically… has nothing to do with our civilized order."
On Wednesday, Struck was at pains to make clear that the country's military establishment did not share Wolffsohn's controversial views.
During a talk show on the abuse of the Iraqi prisoners, Struck said "A German soldier tortures no one”, and added: “I am firmly convinced that even a young and not particularly educated soldier would never do what we have seen”.
Angelika Beer, head of Germany's Green party said that Wolffsohn had lost the right to continue in his teaching job and that he should voluntarily step down. Beer said the right to freedom of expression stopped "at the point when it departs from the fundamental principles of our democracy and constitution."
For details in Arabic Click Here

Folterfotos: Sind die aus Irak oder der Hölle?!

US-Parlamentarier zeigten sich am Mittwochabend (Ortszeit) schockiert über die neuen Fotos und Videos von Misshandlungen irakischer Gefangener durch US-Soldaten. Der demokratische Senator Ron Wyder sagte, er habe mit dem Schlimmsten gerechnet, aber was er gesehen habe, sei noch „wesentlich schlimmer“. Der republikanische Senator John Cornyn nannte die Bilder „schändlich“.
Der demokratische Senator Richard Durbin sprach am Mittwoch von entsetzlichen Bildern, die ihm wie die Abgründe der Hölle vorgekommen seien.
Rund 1600 Fotos und Videoaufnahmen wurden vom Verteidigungsministerium präsentiert. Nach der Beschreibung der Kongressmitgliedern, die Gefangene wurden zum Analverkehr gezwungen. Andere hätten Bisswunden, offenbar von Hunden, erlitten. Zudem seien Leichen zu sehen gewesen und immer wieder Beispiele für „sadistische Folter“ und „sexuelle Erniedrigung“.
„Ich kann immer noch nicht glauben, dass dies ohne Wissen höherer Ebenen geschehen ist" sagte Durbin. Der republikanische Fraktionschef im Senat, Bill Frist, sagte: „Was wir gesehen haben, war erschreckend.“
„Ich habe keine Ahnung, wie zur Hölle diese Leute in unseren Militärdienst gekommen sind", sagte Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell über die Soldaten, die an den Misshandlungen beteiligt waren.
Vizepräsident Dick Cheney erklärte, dass eine Veröffentlichung der Dokumente die Sensationsgier der Medien lediglich bedienen würde und die internationale Empörung weiter schüren, deshalb, meinte er, es ist am besten, das Material vorerst unter Verschluss zu halten.
Details

Description Of New Photos Of Abuse In Abu Ghraib!

"There were some awful scenes. It felt like you were descending into one of the wings of hell and sadly it was our own creation," said Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat. "And when you think of the sadism, the violence, the sexual humiliation, after a while you just turn away, you just can't take it any more. "I still cannot believe that this happened without the knowledge of those at higher levels," Durbin added.
Lawmakers said images showed inmates apparently being coerced to commit sodomy, wounds possibly from dog bites, a number of dead bodies, and examples of "sadistic torture" and "sexual humiliation."
Some top Republicans urged that the still pictures and video not be released publicly, saying they could endanger U.S. forces overseas.
Congress is trying to establish whether the mistreatment was encouraged by intelligence personnel to "soften up" prisoners for interrogations, maybe THIS EXPLAINS what Durbin said while describing one of the pics: “a picture of a man with half his head "blown off," lying on the ground in blood and gore”… They sure were trying to “SOFTEN UP” prisoners for interrogation, not for DEATH!
Rep. Jane Harman, a California Democrat described images of a nearly naked man "handcuffed to a wall, beating his head against the wall, recoiling back and forward, probably trying to knock himself unconscious and avoid having to live through the experience."
More reactions are available Here and Here

Berg’s Family & Friends

The family and friends of Berg are really angry with the US government for denying he was in their custody in Iraq.
Berg was missing from 24 March until his release on 6 April, when he told his parents he had been detained by Iraqi police in Mosul. He disappeared again on 9 April after telling his parents he was looking for a safe way out.
The family wanted to know why he had been held by Iraqi police for about two weeks and questioned by FBI agents three times.
"The Iraqi police do not tell the FBI what to do, the FBI tells the Iraqi police what to do. Who do they think they're kidding?" Berg's father, Michael, told reporters.
The intelligence agency said its agents emphasized the dangerous environment in Iraq and encouraged Berg to accept an offer from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq to facilitate his safe passage out of the country.
"Mr. Berg refused these offers," the FBI statement said. "He also refused government offers to advise his family and friends of his status". A family spokesman, however, rejected the suggestion that the 26-year-old Berg turned down a US offer to get him out of the country: "The idea that they offered to get Nic out and he turned them down, knowing his life was in danger, I don't believe that," neighbor Bruce Hauser said.
“I still hold him (Rumsfeld) responsible because if they had let him go after a reasonable time or given access to a lawyer we could have gotten him out of there before the hostilities escalated," Michael Berg told a US radio station.
More Details

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Miracles Of Nature

Arsenic pollution of drinking and irrigation water has emerged as a massive health threat in Bangladesh and India, where wells drilled into aquifers have turned out to be tapping poisoned water. When the water is used to irrigate rice paddies, arsenic also accumulates in the crop. According to one estimate, 3,000 people may be dying in Bangladesh each year because of arsenic contamination.
BUT good news is: Water contaminated with arsenic can be cleaned by growing ferns in it, US scientists say. For Ferns suck up arsenic quickly and cheaply.
Wanna know more? Cick Here

The Beheading of Nicholas Berg...

All I can say is: this is the price of war. More and more innocent people will get killed from all ages and all nationalities. The solution is not to limit ourselves to go look for who’s done this and who’s done that, the solution is to STOP war, get out of Iraq, give back Iraqis their rights and respect after the indescribable humiliation and torture they’ve experienced, and let the world live in peace.
One video of beheading Nicholas Berg have moved the whole world, I couldn’t have the courage to play the video, I knew I couldn’t tolerate it. At the same time, and till this moment I couldn’t stand watch all the photos of the Iraqi prisoners’ abuse. And we all hear of hundreds of kids, young and old Iraqis being shot and killed for no reason but some cheap fun.
This is horrible, PLEASE STOP WAR! I do believe that no one can stand a single extra pic or video from anyone getting tortured or killed. Every action has a reaction, unless the real problems are solved, there will always be more victims, more killing and more disgusting pics to be shown. And no one wants this to happen. No one wants war, it never was constructive.
Related Links: Subzero Blue who has written about his reaction and thoughts about the beheading.
More details of the Beheading of Nicholas Berg are available here: English 1 and English 2, Arabic, and Deutsch .

How would USA look better after the Prisoners' Abuse Scandal?... Eureka: Sanctions!

So America has come up with this brilliant idea that will guarantee the success of war on terror. US claims that Syria “supporting” Hamas in Palestine, and Hizballah in Lebanon, which means it’s taking part in the “terrorist attacks” done by those two parties, therefore it should be “punished” by imposing sanctions on it.
In the statement Bush said: “Syria's actions constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States and hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat”.

But the “national emergency” to deal with the prisoners abuse is just some investigations, trying to get people busy thinking of other new and hot issues such as sanctions for example, until they find ways out for their soldiers.
Now the unfair sanctions, include a ban on Flights to and from US; restrictions on banking relations; a ban on oilfield services or investments in Syria; trade between the two countries will be limited to nutrition material, medicine and some security-related exportations for the time being.
All I can say is that once again, US did not shock Arabs. But what really gets on my nerves is that when Arabs boycott Israel or US as a protest to the suffering they’re experiencing without any fair act to support Arabs, US starts talking of Arabs as pro-terrorists, and pro-destruction, instead of looking for the reasons behind the protest of Arabs and try to solve the problem. They speak of Arabs as some aggressive mean people. Why is it ok for US to impose sanctions on any Arab country it chooses with or without good reasons, while Arabs are punished constantly if they even think of expressing themselves?!!
This Sanction on Syria is not fair, it will harm the US more than it will harm Syria, that is when we’re talking about finance and trade only. But if we’re talking about reputation, then this sanction will only worsen the reputation of US in the Arab world, because US is proving day by day that it will never implement neither democracy nor freedom but protection for Israel and chaos in the Arab world.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Neue Vorwürfe Gegen Britische Soldaten

Amnesty International hat neue schwere Vorwürfe gegen britische Soldaten im Irak erhoben. Danach haben sie nicht nur Gefangene misshandelt, sondern auch wehrlose Zivilisten ohne Not getötet. Seit dem Ende der Hauptkampfhandlungen am 1. Mai 2003 seien britische Soldaten an der Tötung von 37 Zivilisten beteiligt gewesen Unter den Opfern seien unter anderem ein achtjähriges Mädchen: Hanan Saleh Matrud, und ein Gast einer Hochzeitsgesellschaft: Ghanem Kadhem Kati, die ganz offensichtlich keine Bedrohung dargestellt hätten. Der Amnesty-Bericht stützt sich auf Besuche von Menschenrechtlern in dem von den Briten kontrollierten Süden Iraks im Februar und März diesen Jahres. Dabei wurden den Angaben zufolge Familien, Augenzeugen, irakische Polizisten und Angehörige der Zivilbehörde interviewt. Das Verteidigungsministerium wollte den Bericht nicht kommentieren. mehr…

Will We See The New Photos & Videos of Abuse?

What we’ve seen is more than enough to keep us disgusted and angry many many years to come. Yet there are more videos and photos that have been not shown to public till this moment. Photos and videos that Rumsfeld warned “may be even more shocking”, if there is anything more shocking than what we’ve already seen.
A “representative sample” of the new set of photos of Iraqi prisoners being tortured and abused, were shown to Bush. "The president's reaction was one of deep disgust and disbelief that anyone who wears our uniform would engage in such shameful and appalling acts," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.
Larry DiRita, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, told reporters that in addition to the photographs, the Defense Department has in its possession a couple of dozen short videos of varying quality that also show abuses being committed.
Whether those new photos and videos would be released for public, no body knows. Some see it necessary to release them as a part of democratic dealing with the issue. On the other hand, some officials find it better to keep them confidential to avoid more anger and chaos.
To me, I can’t stand a single new photo, it is really terrible, but whether I’m shown more or not, I am sure that what pictures have captured doesn’t even come close to the real sadistic behavior of the disgusting so called soldiers. And I know, just like others already know, that the pictures which have got us all feeling like to throw up in a second, were nothing but a part of a months and long days of suffering of our Iraqi brothers and sisters.
May those pieces of garbage irresponsible sick soldiers be all executed, and still it wont be enough to make it up for the loss of pride, humanity, and dignity, Iraqi prisoners have experienced.
More details available Here .

Bamboo Loss Endangers Rare Animals’ Existence

Bamboo, which is a giant, woody grass, is called the "wood of the poor" in India and the "friend of the people" in China because of its diverse use in everything from food and cooking to furniture, paper, musical instruments, boats and houses.
A joint report released on Tuesday by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) found that around 600 species are “endangered”, with less than 20,000 square kilometers of native habitat. And some 250 varieties have less than 2000 square kilometers of land (the size of London) left to live in. The report’s findings mean the many vulnerable species that rely almost entirely on bamboo for food and shelter, such as lemurs, giant pandas and mountain gorillas, face an even greater struggle for survival. On the other hand, millions of people rely on wild bamboo for food, furniture and construction material. Worldwide, more than 2.5 billion people trade in or use bamboo. The international market in bamboo products is worth more than US$2 billion per year, i.e. bamboo loss will harm humans as much as animals.
"But it is not too late to do something about this," says ecologist Valerie Kapos, who helped draw up the report, "Now we need to look much more closely at the dynamics of what is going on. We need to look more closely at the processes that are threatening the species, determine which species are the most threatened and take conservation action in the areas where those species are concentrated".
I hope all people would play a role in preserving nature, through research, work, and even daily life activities. And I really wish that those beautiful rare species wont be some history mentioned in “once upon a time” bed stories and fairytales.
More about the report, bamboo and rare species endangered are available in Reuters and Nature .

Miss Lebanon ... Reality TV

The other day I saw this Miss Lebanon thing on TV, which I’ve discovered later on, is a reality TV showing contestants in their daily life activities.
The minute I realized this I couldn’t feel but sorry for people being offered such pointless and weak programs. And even worse is the fact that many people disagree with me, and believe that spending their time in front of TV just to watch a bunch of girls eating, gossiping, shopping or exercising, is one of the most joyful and exciting things they’d ever do.
Today I came across “The Ugly Side Of Reality TV” by Beirut- Beyrouth , where you can find funny pics and comments concerning this topic. Actually I couldn’t but express my appreciation for reading what she wrote, because it really expressed what I felt towards this nonsense. And since we still didn’t have our receiver last year, I didn’t know of this show earlier. It was only this year that I’ve discovered it. God I've missed some big time :PPP
I don’t understand how do people manage to find all that time to waste on watching some girls living! I mean what is so interesting? Ok, I might be curious to know more about the girls, but definitely not curious to watch them eating, or talking in the lift or waking up. The only advantage I see in this Miss Lebabon reality TV is that it stresses a saying I personally believe in : MAKEUP WORKS WONDERS :P

Where Is The World!

Once again, as usual, we hear of new terrible acts taking place in Palestine, killing hundreds of innocent Palestinians.
Every time, we hear of a new reason: Israelis want to defend themselves, they want revenge for someone killed by Palestinians, they want to build a wall, they want to help in war against terrorism…blah, blah, blah.
Latest irresponsible and brutal act is raiding Gaza . Now what for are they doing this, I don’t give a damn, because there is always a very good excuse they come up with. But what I care about as a human being is the constant suffering of Palestinians. When the two Hamas leaders were killed, Palestinians wanted to do something, they knew that no one would stand by their side, and they knew that Israel will get away with the assassinations so easily. Yet when they did some attacks, the whole world felt sorry for Israelis who are being killed. So it became their right to defend themselves and kill as much Palestinians as they please.
So the bitter fact is, when Palestinians are assassinated, killed, tortured, and when they are losing their homes, careers and future, any attack from their side to defend themselves and get back their rights is immediately condemned and interpreted as an act of terror, while Israelis can do whatever they wish –with or without excuses- and the whole world will “understand” their position, and will support them as they fight for their “rights”.
I really don’t know what to say, this is a crazy jungle we’re living in, no rules, no rights; the only language spoken is power: power of money, power of media, and power of weapons.
God be with you Palestine…

For more details about the Raids on Gaza in Arabic Click Here .

Friday, May 07, 2004

Thank God It’s Friday

Finally this very long week has come to an end. I worked toooooooo much during this week that I feel I can’t make it to the end of the street. I am so so exhausted, and can’t wait to reach home.
The fact that I had my birthday yesterday didn’t rescue me from extra work :( I had to stay an extra hour and a half working my head off till I could no longer tell the difference between colors :P Yes, it was one of those boring all day office work tied to my stupid chair facing the screen with my hands replying to emails, typing faxes, and creating charts :( As I was FINALLY done my poor fingers couldn’t stand still, lol, it was as if I had an invisible keyboard in front of me, lol, that was pathetic.
I really thank God it’s Friday. Which reminded me of this restaurant in Beirut, TGI Friday :) I was 20 years old back then, and was wondering what this big TGI stood for! And then I saw the Friday and knew it was Thank God It’s Friday. They served yummy meals :P
Anyway, now that it’s Friday, I hope I will have enough sleep, relaxation and rest. But I know in advance that those words were not made for me. I mean, I really have no idea how do I always end up working all through the weekend. I simply love taking care of our home, I enjoy cleaning it, I enjoy having it smell sweet, specially white musk, my favorite :) if not then strawberry, apple, papaya or vanilla would be fine. But loving to have my home clean doesn’t necessarily mean I wouldn’t wish for it to be shining without me paying effort for a change :PP and since that’s difficult to be realized, I can’t but spend my weekend with the non-stop activity button clicked on. But will I have decided to pamper myself a bit, which is something I enjoy as well. You must be wondering: what a contradiction, being restless yet enjoying pampering herself! That’s true, they might seem a bit of a paradox, but well, even when I pamper myself, it is really quick :P
Anyway, I wish you all a happy weekend and hope we’ll be hearing some good happy news of the world. Everything seems to be getting only worse, war all around the world. Fighting, killing, abuse, humiliation, starving, pollution… what a crazy world! But we shouldn’t lose hope, and we should always pray to God that peace will come back to Earth. Who thought a day would come when human beings would think that peace would be some kind of a miracle, a wish to make.. God what have we done to the world!!

Tips For A Healthy Home

I have just come across a very helpful prescription for a healthy home. This article informs you of the dangers of certain activities as well as tools, and keeps you aware of how to protect your home, and how to keep it healthy. You can simply make a room-by-room tour Here for tips on a “home-healthy-home” ;)

Neue Folter- Fotos Aus Irak

Nur gestern habe ich “Taten und nicht Worte zählen” gelesen, wo Daniel Scheschkewitz die Reagierung Bush auf die aufgedeckten Misshandlungen durch US-Soldaten im irakischen Gefängnis Abu Ghraib kritisierte.

Und während Bush sich für die Misshandlung irakischer Gefangener durch US-Soldaten entschuldigt , und die arabische Welt zu besänftigen versucht (mit Exklusiv-Interviews in arabischen Fernsehsendern), wurden gleichzeitig weitere Bilder über angebliche Misshandlungen von irakischen Gefangenen veröffentlicht, was die Situation in der Arabischen Welt noch schlimmer macht.
“Die Fotos wird man in der arabischen Welt so schnell nicht vergessen. Sie werden sich ins Gedächtnis einer ganzen Generation einbrennen - so wie die Bilder mit Napalmbomben verbrannter Kinder damals in Vietnam”. Schrieb Scheschkewitz in seinem Kommentar, und damit hatte er Recht.

“Diese Leute haben gegen die Genfer Kriegsrechtskonvention verstoßen. Sie gehören vor ein Kriegsgericht.” Schrieb Scheschkewitz, und notirerte : “Ihre militärischen Vorgesetzten, die solche Praktiken stillschweigend toleriert haben, gehören aus der Armee entlassen und der politisch verantwortliche Minister, Donald Rumsfeld, müsste eigentlich seinen Hut nehmen”…

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Birthday Girl :)

Yes today I am 26 years old, quite a number huh! Actually I never felt that becoming older is something to be ashamed of, or to let me down. In fact the older I become the happier I am, as long as my heart and my mentality are healthy and vital enough to fill me with the energy to live, give, and think positively.
And now that I look at myself, I can say that I’m really proud of who I am. I’m not a perfect person, although I consider myself a perfectionist, but well, not all what I consider perfect, is really perfect from the point of view of others. But at least I do my best not to hurt anyone, and I try as hard as I can to fulfill my wishes without crossing the line.
Whether I am happy with my life or not, ok, this is a good question, and a difficult one indeed. On one hand, I am very happily married, I have a very great job (not that I’m in love with though :P) and I have a beautiful cozy small home, furnished with love, hard work, and sweet memories. I live in a beautiful country, got to know many kind people, made few new friends, and know how to manage to do everything on my own in this city.
On the other hand, nothing feels complete without my family. I don’t know, it’s just that I miss them so much, specially that I have a very special family. I need their presence, I need their faces, and I need anything from their sides, even if it was some fights :) I feel like I’m split into two wonderful lives, my marriage life, and my family life, wouldn’t it be just perfect if they were combined together? it will certainly be heaven on earth…
I miss my old friends, those true friends who remember me all the time, and who want nothing in return but to share my news and experiences. They used to throw me surprise parties every now and then, my family was the partner in crime ;) it was fun. And then when I got engaged my fiancé joined the club :) Sweet sweet memories.

Knowledge & Professional Life
Every year, I learn more about life, I learn things that fascinate me, and others that hurt me, and some that disgust me. And I’m not embarrassed to say that I even learn things that are so well known to almost everybody but me. I don’t know how, but well, the important thing is I finally learned them. And I believe, learning never stops. Knowledge has to be added to every minute. No matter how small the thing I learned is, I appreciate knowing it. Every day added to life, gives more experience, good or bad, it doesn’t matter, because we all know, without tasting bitterness you will never appreciate sweetness.
And just like anyone, I have my disappointments in life, one of which is being away of my family, another one is my career life. I thank God that I am lucky enough to get great positions in my professional life both in Jordan and here in Tunisia. I was still a fresh graduate and I got to meet very important people, and had the chance to be a decision maker. And I kept on looking until I found my perfect job, being a person very interested in environment that is :) But then, another decision had to be made, changing my life and putting me in the beginning of the road once again. I had to start all over again. And after hard work, I finally got my present position. Which by the way has nothing to do with my real interests nor my certificates, but looking at the bright side, someone of my age has never been hired for this position in this field of services. I have a nice boss, and my salary is good. As for my environmental concerns, I try to be active in other ways. Not that successful actually, but working on it :)

Birthday presents
Don’t I just love birthdays :P no just kidding, I do love presents, but it all depends on the one giving them. I don’t care how expensive, and I don’t care if someone dear does not afford giving me a present, a nice word, a card, an email or a call is enough. The thought is what counts.
My dear family never misses a birthday, this is my second one away from them, and God knows I wished so bad to be with them this year, but it didn’t work. And since many people we know seem to get too busy preparing for their visits to Tunisia that they forget to give a call asking if my family wished to send me something (although we always call when someone is leaving) so my family stopped counting on their help, and found out an alternative. Sending packages by airline trips. So instead of sending one or two things with people, they gather them till some occasion is close like “Eid” or birthdays, and ship them to us. So I already got my family gifts and a very very beautiful greeting card from mom :) Thanks all :)
And of course my day started with my dear husband’s birthday wishes. He celebrated the day by having a pretty smile on the face and hearing music I love on the way to work :) As for the rest of the gifts, I will be getting them after blowing the candles. There will be my husband of course and my in-laws :)

What else do I have to say? Nothing actually, one thing I wish would happen, and know it wont :P is to be thrown a surprise party from my family :) And since that isn’t possible, at least this year :P then the best gift they could offer me above all the beautiful things I got is to hear they’re all happy, doing well, enjoying life, and most important of all, in good health.

I’m trying to keep myself happy, and I’m pretending not to be pissed off from the MANY emails I’m getting today asking me to do loads of work, and I’m trying to enjoy myself regardless of the annoying every two minute calls I get from clients. I have decided to let no one ruin my day :) And to prove this, if you can just take a look at my screen you’ll find more than 20 emails marked both urgent and unread, you’ll find Windows messenger crowded with conversation windows, and my desk stuffed with folders, the fax has run out of paper, while I’m here blogging, eating chocolates, drinking coffee, with a very big smile on my face. So unlike me… that’s why I’m gonna stop right this minute and get back to work ;)

So happy birthday to me :) And thank you God for keeping me alive…

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

When People Are Ready To Do Anything To Hurt

It always amazes me to know that there are some people out there who are actually willing to do whatever it takes to hurt someone who has given them trust, love, good treatment and loyalty.
I have been through some experiences in which I was put in weird situation, finding people causing me trouble, telling lies about me, destroying my hard work, in return of a great relationship from my side. The first time I went through this I was really shocked. Couldn’t believe people could become so cruel and stab me in the back for nothing bad I’ve done to them.
And lately, I’ve been living the same experience, but this time it’s not me in person, it’s somehow a situation in which I’m indirectly involved.
A bunch of people who were trusted, loved, and taken as family members, are sparing no effort and no trick to hurt a very dear person. They are lying, faking stuff, and even jeopardizing their reputation to convince others that this person is bad. And I can’t believe how cheap these people can get just to win sympathy. I can’t believe how cruel they can be to warn anyone of being on the side of this person. And I can’t believe how greedy they are to do anything to win some few Dollars.
Was it wrong that this person trusted them? No, it wasn’t, how would you predict that people, for which you open the doors of your house, welcome in your life and offer love, trust and respect, would turn to be some selfish destructive bastards! Oh, how many people have become professional actors, how hard it is to trust anyone these days. How shitty people can become for the sake of money, and how disgusting it is to know they believe they could buy manners and principles with the money they steal out of innocent loving people.
One fact is: they might succeed in annoying others, they might succeed in being a pain in the ass, they might succeed in buying the manners and principals of some weak losers, but they can never succeed in winning the respect and true love that they have once had. They will never succeed in leading happy lives, because happiness can never last when based on the destruction of others. And most important of all is the fact that even if they succeed in stealing people’s money, they will never succeed in stealing their happiness, why! Because as these people prove how shitty and terrible they are, the one getting hurt will never cry one tear on having them out of his/her life for good. In fact that person will be praying to God day and night for saving him/her from the company of these cheap garbage. This person will keep going, walking their way, living their life, with one little difference: strength. Yes, they wont be heartbroken as others might expect, they wont be victims of depression nor failure, they’re be stronger than before and will open a new white page, in a new bright day, to go for the many chances awaiting them, the many challenges waiting for them, and this bad experience will be nothing but a memory of a situation that has made them stronger and full of hope of a better future. And well, hard luck to all those people out there, who are wasting their time annoying others, and paying desperate effort in trapping them. As for you, who has been lied to, show those losers, what it’s like to be human, and how it feels to lose you…

West Is Heating Up!

Temperatures are warmer, ocean levels are rising, the snowpack is dwindling and melting earlier, flowers bloom earlier, mountain glaciers are disappearing and a six-year drought is killing trees by the millions.
"The West has become habitated because of the ability to store and have a reliable water supply," said Martin Hoerling, a research meteorologist who studies climate for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Simply the tMany scientists blame greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and ozone for causing global warming because the pollutants tend to trap the sun's heat in the atmosphere. But some contend the warming is just natural climate variability and humans have nothing to do with it.
emperature effect is going to put a much greater strain on water availability."
Warmer temperatures only help the beetles reproduce more quickly, leading to more lost trees. Some types of beetles that used to propagate two generations in a year now can produce three.Mike Wagner, a regents' professor of forest entomology at Northern Arizona, predicted a beetle outbreak years ago in northern Arizona when he saw how abundant older trees were in overcrowded forests. When the drought began, the beetles were ready. By 2002, trees weakened by drought were unable to fend off the beetles, and they were soon overcome. Tens of millions of trees across the West have been killed at a rate never seen before."Absolutely unprecedented," said Wagner,. "We've never had these conditions before, never had that combination."Scientists expect another devastating beetle outbreak this year.
And while most scientists agree humans are to blame for at least part of that warming trend, as Whitham, a regents' professor of biology at Northern Arizona University , said: . "If we aren't causing it, we're certainly contributing to it. Humans can take a drought and make it even worse." Frontiers of Freedom, a Washington, D.C. public policy group, doesn't believe humans have anything to do with the gradual warming of the Earth. These things happen. That's just the way nature has always been," said George Landrith, president of Frontiers of Freedom. "Variability has always existed. There's nothing new about that."
Scientists say continued warming across the West will mean a smaller snowpack that could affect ecosystems that depend on stream flows and water temperature. Soils and vegetation will be drier, increasing fire risk and prolonging the fire season. Plants and trees will be able to grow at higher elevations, threatening ski resorts. Sea levels will continue to rise, putting beaches and cities at risk.
More Details

What U MUST Know About The IT Services Sector.. By MMM

If you’re already working in the IT services field, then Subzero Blue has spoken up for you, you will love it. And if you’re still studying to join the club of IT services employees, then you better read this to be prepared for how your future will be, lol, it’s beautiful, so true and so so funny.
Good luck to all of you in the IT sector, and may God be with you ;)
Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

I Hate Taxis :(

Taxis in Tunisia are really one of a kind. In the time taxis in Jordan are willing to get you in the cab for any distance, no matter how short, Tunisian taxis have their own conditions, and their own mood.
It happened more than once that I’d stop a taxi from my work in “Les Berges du Lac” to go to downtown Tunis, for my French course. And after I get in, and tell him where I’m going he goes like: “sorry, step out, I wont go there, there is a huge traffic there and I simply don’t want to get stuck”. But when I’m going from work to home, another taxi would say: “sorry, it’s not on my way, I’m going downtown!”. And what I really hate is this: I stop the taxi, ask before I get in if he’s ok dropping me in a certain place, and then he says OK, but when I get in he keeps swearing and cursing, blaming me for forcing him “indirectly” to give me a ride!!! I mean I always ask in advance to avoid any inconvenience, but NO, they have to keep making me feel so unwelcome, and so guilty for taking them in the wrong direction. As if they’re driving me for free!!!
But worst of all is when I tell the drivers where I live, lol, they go mad, because, thanks to the very practical infrastructure people, the main street leading to our area is broken, flooded when it’s raining and is simply terrible. And this street is famous, and many taxis avoid going there. But when you give them an alternative, tell them you wont even go near that street, and you’re gonna pay even more, and then the driver says no, then it is really shitty. And even worse is what happened to me yesterday, I asked, he was ok, I got in, and then we went for the alternative way home, yet he saw a small spot of the street filled with water, other cars were ahead of us and driving normally, and then he asked me to STEP OUT of the taxi, I had a fight with him, I mean he wanted me to get out in heavy rain, with no human on foot, they were all cars. Anyway I had to get out, got a “refreshing” natural shower of dirty rain. Lol, that was pathetic, I had to walk some distance , and got my home all wet, lol, that felt disgusting :P Anyway, hope I wont have to get into any fight with today’s driver.