Friday, July 30, 2004

Change Begins With U

Many of us have gone through a lot of bad experiences, and many others are facing more and more problems in their lives. They lose hope, start blaming the ones around them and start behaving really mean, making their lives even worse.
A famous saying says: “The only thing in the world you can change is yourself, and that makes all the difference in the world”. Never try to change others, that doesn’t work, you have to look deep inside yourself and find what’s wrong, fix it and then move forward. This is the only way to change your life into a better one, which will make the life of those around you better as well.
Quit your bad habits, practice some self-control, respect your decisions and be strict with yourself. Don’t just say words, believe in them, and act according to your beliefs. Making promises and swearing to God you‘ll stop this or that, then getting back to your old self will make things only worse, not only for you, but for all those around you.
Therefore, have some private time for yourself, reconsider your life, and make your own decisions following your own beliefs, not those of people who pretend to know better than you.

Make Your Life Toxic-Free

You do a lot to keep your family healthy, but you may not have considered all the potential dangers of toxic chemicals in your surroundings. Toxic chemicals can be found in virtually all creatures and in all environments. An estimated 1,000 new chemicals enter the market every year, in addition to the tens of thousands of chemicals already in commercial use. Very few have been adequately tested for the threats they may pose to wildlife and humans. World Wild Life Organization has created a list of actions you and your family can take to reduce your consumption and use of toxic chemicals at home and in your community:
1.Buy organic cotton clothing, fruits and vegetables, and other goods.
2.Stop using pesticides. Green up your yard using natural methods.
3.Use environmentally friendly products in your home.
4.Avoid air fresheners and perfumed products. Freshen your air by opening windows, using baking soda, cedar blocks, or dried flowers.
5.Reduce use of plastic containers and food wrappings.
6.Urge your schools and communities to use non toxic cleaning products and to stop using pesticides.
To know how to make your own toxic-free low-cost household recipes Click Here.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Lesson Of The Day

“I have no connections, no money, no talent, no experience, no looks and no luck. I only have my brain and my determination. I wouldn't count on the first too much, but with the second I’m sure I’ll figure out a way to make my dreams come true.” – a university colleague.

At 13:30

After a very nice and light summer last month –relatively speaking- I can say the serious Tunisian summer has just begun ;) But still it’s a lot cooler than last year. Thank God for that. There is a nice refreshing breeze after 18:30. But my problem is in me actually. I finish work at 13:30, the sun is so damn strong, and I feel vapor coming out of me the second I step out of the air-conditioned office. It takes no longer than reaching the ground floor and getting out the main gate of the building to start sweating, yes, it’s that HOT and that HUMID! Anyway, I don’t know why I feel so excited about shopping for stuff we need for home at that particular time of the day: 13:30. I really don’t understand why I always feel so active when I walk down the street, and I find myself crossing to the opposite side, where shopping stores and markets are, instead of getting a cab and heading home. Everyday around 13:30 I’d be either picking vegetables, choosing fruits, buying meat, pasta, milk, detergents or anything I remember is missing. And although I don’t spend more than 5 TND, but I end up with many bags. So imagine the days when our fridge is totally empty and I just feel like shopping rather than waiting to go shop later with my husband! I end up with really HEAVY bags, and then I have to walk the minimum of another 10 minutes with the bags in the sun, and stand at the end of the highway till I get a cab. I reach home melting!!
I should do something about that. I must resist this strong feeling of responsibility I guess :P

Track Your Child With A Cellphone ;)

Parents in South Korea will now be able to track their children by using a device in a new mobile phone that has been designed for kids.
SK Telecom Co. began selling on Wednesday colorful cellphones with antennas that look like human ears and a built in tracker using the global positioning satellite (GPS) network. The phone has four buttons to save phone numbers of key contacts, such as Mum and Dad. The GPS technology works even when the phone is turned off. To keep the price down, the phones do not have text messaging or Internet capabilities.
Isn’t this cool !
Source: Reuters

Shopping These Days

For a while I’ve been trying to get myself a new pair of shoes and some clothes. But every time I go out shopping I turn back home with empty hands. The reason is the ridiculous fashion filling the stores. And the problem isn't only in Tunisia, but in all Arab countries as I hear, read and watch in TV channels. Only 2-5 stores are really great and offer a wide range of clothes that suits all types of people. Problem is, they're too expensive. As for the rest of the stores, I found nothing but these boring pointy shoes, if not pointy then with unbelievable high heels. Nothing but “things” to decorate your body rather than to cover it and protect it from the sun. This is so dumb. Fashion designers are using human body in the cheapest way ever. Not only women, but even men are starting to find the majority of their clothes turned into extremely tight, sometimes transparent, other times glittering shiny clothes! This makes me want to THROW UP! I mean why do we have to find stores with the “latest fashion” if the majority of us wont be buying this? Why don’t we have a wider variety to suit all tastes? Or are these so damn revealing-tight clothes and high-heel-pointy stupid shoes our visa to modernization?! What makes me wonder is that people in the Arab world complain about bad economic conditions, did it ever cross their minds that the reason is in their choices of what they’re selling?! It’s true so many people buy the crap in the stores these days, but are these people the majority? An article I’ve just read in The Star gives a good example of what I’m saying. The most interesting part was this:
“I have recently noticed that often the clothes in main shopping stores and malls are composed of mini skirts, very bare tops, jeans and not a lot of half-sleeved tops; yet clothes worn by people are modern, but certainly not that dashing. It makes me wonder where do the mini skirts go. Do women use them to clothe some of the dolls that they played with as children? Personally, I do not know of any girl that wears skirts that appear to be only slightly below the belt. It is not the short clothes, but the lack of variety in clothes and the fact that such clothes are not widely worn, which makes me wonder about how such goods are sold, and where is the market for such clothes? I have heard people say: Jordan has such a wide variety of clothes, and I thought to myself, well if that means latest fashion’s flimsy clothes then the statement is probably right. I walked in Sweifieh looking for a pair of classical sandals and all I could find were the Ali Baba sandals and slippers, and the joyfully colorful nylon sandals of orange, yellow, green and all the colors imaginable, with heels that compete with Eiffel Tower at very affordable prices”.
I believe people should start reconsidering what they sell and provide a wide range of clothes to match all tastes regardless of where it comes from and regardless of the latest fashion trends.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Cutting Off The Road To Iraq

The six-lane highway linking Baghdad to Jordan is a main route for imports and supplies into Iraq. Al Arabiya broadcasted a videotape from a previously unknown group calling itself the "Group of Death" vowing to cut off the highway in three days to Jordanian trucks. Jordanian interests, companies, businessmen and individuals are considered as targets and will be treated the same way as American targets," said one of the four masked men on the video. "The road between Iraq and Jordan will be cut off to Jordanian trucks carrying goods to Iraq, except for those carrying medical and foodstuffs...Take heed from our warning," he said.
After the warning two Jordanian citizens: Ahmad Hussein and Fayez Adwan were held hostage in Iraq. As a result, the employer of the two drivers announced Tuesday that it had agreed to halt its operations there in a bid to spare their lives.
"We are terminating our activities in Iraq," Daoud and Partners executive director, Rami Uweiss, told AFP. "We have taken this decision for humanitarian reasons and out of a concern to assure the safety of our staff and obtain the release of our two drivers," said Uweiss, whose company has been working under contract to the US military.
Source: The Jordan Times

Teen Health In Jordan

In a bid to counter the lack of information currently available to teenagers about sensitive health issues, the Ministry of Health and UNICEF Adolescents Project has developed an interactive training manual to be used by teenagers to train their peers starting next month in Jordan.
The manual covers a variety of teen health-related subjects, including traditionally sensitive areas such as drugs, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS and family planning, while also providing the methodology for dealing with these difficult issues.
The manual merges scientific information from the Health Ministry with UNICEF's input on basic life skills, and also draws on information gathered from focus groups with young people. It is divided into three main sections that deal with the physical, physiological and emotional development of young people, with the emphasis on changing behavioural patterns that can negatively affect teen health.
More Details

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Lesson Of The Day

“ A smile on the face is a right you should never give up fighting for” – A friend of the family.

Call To Ban TV- Porn In Hotels

Angry hotel workers in Norway want to ban pay-TV pornography to stop naked porn-watching guests calling room service to lure female staff to their rooms. A typical trick by guests, mostly businessmen, is to call the front desk for extras, such as fresh towels, to get female company, said the Norwegian Hotel and Restaurant Workers' Union, reporting a rising number of complaints. Union leader Eli Ljunggren said: "Pornography does not belong in hotel rooms. Pay-TV should be limited to entertainment". Most Norwegian hotels, like many hotels around the world, have easy access to pornography channels in hotel rooms for a fee.
In my personal opinion pornography does not belong anywhere in the world. It only causes more sick people who are ready to do anything to please their bodies and satisfy their desires. It misleads young generations, causes assaults, harassments, diseases and even crimes. It should be banned everywhere, and for those who support pornography and believe it’s a form of freedom, then they all should finally wake up and start seeing that it’s not freedom, it’s slavery of the 1st degree, slavery for sex and money.
But for a start, I hope they’ll agree to ban porn in hotels at least, for the sake of human dignity and respect of the workers.
Source: Reuters

Muhannad Mshallah

Another new shock in Superstar. Muhannad Mshallah has left the program, thanks to the great tasteless audience who are voting for anything except real talents. As I might have mentioned before, I wanted Hussam, Muhannad and Ammar to be the three finalists. The disaster began with Hussam leaving, and the disaster continued yesterday with Muhannad leaving. Not to forget the disasters of Abeer Ni'meh and Wa'ad Al Bahri. This is complete nonsense. Now the only ones I believe deserve to stay are Ammar Hasan and Raneem Qutait. But I wont be shocked to find these two leaving as well. It’s not that others suck, they’re really good and they’re actually improving, but this whole Superstar thing is about making the best of the best get the title. And as I can see, the best ones are leaving one after the other. Muhannad Mshallah, what can I say, the great presence on stage, the beautifully amazing voice and the professional performance, he gave Superstar a special taste. People were waiting for him to perform every prime. But now he left, now Superstar is becoming more and more boring. And if Ammar or Raneem leave now, then it'll be complete bullshit and I will not watch the crap.
My expectations Raneem will be the next to leave, why? Because he’s better than Ayman, Bridgite and Hadi, and the people seem to be excluding the good ones from their voting. This is stupid, at least Ammar and Ranim should make it to the final stage.
And again, please Arab Superstar, we don’t have to take the rules of the international Superstar and apply them exactly the same. This is unfair. I mean if Superstar came originally from Lebanon and Germany liked it, would Germany stick to Arabic rules? NO! of course not. Because talents are different, levels differ too, and the whole situation is not the same. It’s time the Arab Superstar edit some meaningless rules, the voting should be only half the result, the other half is the jury’s opinion. Because if we go on like that, the Arab Superstar will be losing so many viewers, if not already.
Anyway, I believe Muhannad's talent reached the world, and the words great people said about him, the love of his fans and people's anger when he left are all a great motivation for him to never give up and go rock the world with his unique voice.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Stiff Back :(

After a nice weekend, I woke up today with a very unpleasant surprise: A stiff back :(
Seems like the AC affected my back, I can hardly move it, and when I do, or when I even turn my head to the left or right, I feel my back will be broken :((((( On the other hand I look really funny when my boss talks to me and I have to turn from the position where I face the pc to the opposite direction to face my office’s door, I move as one unmovable piece of wood :P. Other than that, I’m wearing a jacket in this heat! Yes, I know that warming up a stiff part can help relax it and release the tension in it. Well I’m only wearing the jacket inside the office where the AC (though a weak cheap one) but could really make my condition worse. But outside, the sun is strong enough to melt me, not just to help my back feel better :P
Ah, everytime I remember how pathetic I sounded on the way to work, I can’t but laugh. Every time the car falls into a hole or simply shakes because of some stones or anything I’d go OUCH!!! Anyway, doing my best to keep warm, let’s just hope I’ll get better.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Lesson Of The Day

“One should never provide information unless he/she is 100% sure they’re correct” – My Husband :)

The Darfur Conflict & The Unfair Resolution

The Janjaweed militias have been driving villagers off their land in Darfur in an extension of a long conflict over farmland and grazing. The conflict has displaced more than one million people in the region. Not to forget the thousands that have been killed.
The Bush administration has drafted a U.N. resolution threatening sanctions if the Sudanese government does not disarm the Janjaweed and remove all restrictions on access to Darfur. The Sudanese government says it is trying to comply but it will take time to implement its plans.
The U.S. Congress approved a resolution Thursday declaring genocide in the western region of Darfur. The US Congress and its supporters hope it will help mobilize the international community to protect Africans in Darfur from Arab militias.
But would this solve the problem? The Sudanese criticized the resolution and said it was unfair.
"Is Iraq not enough? Do they want to destroy us too? ... America wants everyone who is Arab (in Sudan) to pay. They do not understand anything," said a driver in Khartoum. A journalist from northern Sudan, said the U.S. Congress and administration did't understand the roots of the Darfur conflict and were dealing with it very superficially. "They are biased and have their own agenda. Sanctions will not harm the government, they will harm the people. Have they not learned this yet?" he said.
And I totally agree, sanctions wont solve any problem. Even if the government is't able to have the situation under control, then I think the way to help the Sudanese people is to protect them, provide security and send all possible kinds of support to the region, not the opposite. Condemnation, sanctions and blame will only make things worse.
Source: Reuters

Is The Baby Right-Handed?

Scientists say it’s possible to predict whether the baby is going to be left- or right-handed by watching the preference of the 10 weeks fetus. Research found that if the fetus (during the 10th to 12th week) prefers using (moving or sucking) its right thumb more, then it’s so possible that the baby will be right-handed. These findings (by a group of researchers in Queens University-northern Ireland) contradict the common belief that says a person’s tendency towards using the left or right hand is determined only when the kid is 3 or 4 years old. There is no proof that this preference is due to brain control, but according to the researchers, this preference is simply because the fetus uses the side that has developed faster.
Source: Al-Rai

Latest Movie Ratings

Looks like Halle Berry’s good looks and popularity didn’t save Catwoman from being considered a mind-numbingly boring action movie with soulless amalgamation of quick edits, computer images and swooping, nausea-inducing dolly shots. The dialogue is too awkward to be unintentionally funny and the urban setting is too muddled to be considered gritty.
Critics also believe that calling this a comic book adaptation isn't completely accurate, since Berry's character, Patience Phillips, has nothing to do with the original Catwoman of the DC Comics series, Selina Kyle, who's previously been portrayed by Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt and Michelle Pfeiffer. She's not a villain -- she's not even a villain with a heart of gold. She just dresses like a bad girl and roams around at night, displaying her frightening martial arts skills, and ends up being mistaken as a criminal.
That was the rating up till now, personally I guess one should give it a try anyways. On the other hand, seems like the top 3 movies so far are: Spiderman 2, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Before Sunset.
Interested in other film reviews and ratings? Click Here

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Naji Al-Ali, Remember Him… Remember Palestine

On Wednesday July 22 1987 at five in the afternoon, Palestinian cartoonist Naji Al-Ali parked his car in southwest London, and walked a few meters towards the offices of the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Qabas where he worked. He was shot in the head by a gunman. After five weeks in a coma on a life support machine, Naji Al-Ali died at 5am on Saturday, August 30, 1987 at the age of 49.

* Who is Naji Al-Ali?
Naji Al-Ali is one of the most influential commentators on Palestine. His work influenced all kinds of people, who used to wait impatiently every morning, to see his drawings on the last page of many Arab dailies. He used only simple lines and traces to depict his ideas and thoughts onto paper. His works and thoughts were impressive and unusual.
Every cartoon that Al-Ali drew, featured his famous hand-made character-the bare-foot little boy “Hanthalah” who turned his back to the world and who became a trademark throughout his long career. The idea came to him when he was working in Kuwait during the early 1960s. "I created this character to symbolize my lost childhood," he said. "This child, as you can see is neither beautiful, spoiled, nor even well-fed. He is barefoot like many children in refugee camps. Those who came to know “Hanthala” , as I discovered later, adopted him because he is affectionate, honest, outspoken, and a bum. He is an icon that stands to watch me from slipping. And his hands behind his back are a symbol of rejection of all the present negative tides in our region."
He often defined himself as a realist, one aligned to his social class, the poor. This point of view was apparent in the majority of his cartoons. "The poor people are those who suffer, are sentenced to jail, and die without shedding tears," Al-Ali once said.

* His life in lines:
Born in Al Shajarah village near Nazareth in 1937, Naji Al-Ali was a victim of the Nakba in 1948. His family was forced to leave to Ein Hilwa refugee camp in south Lebanon. His artistic career began in Lebanon during the late 1950s. "I started to use drawing as a form of political expression while in Lebanese jails. I was detained by the Deuxième Bureau (the Lebanese intelligence service) as a result of the measures the Bureau were undertaking to contain political activities in the Palestinian camps during the sixties. I drew on the prison walls."
In the refugee camp Al-Ali witnessed the constraints imposed on the Palestinian people. He swore then to immerse himself in politics and serve the Palestinian revolution by all the means at his disposal. Al-Ali was originally trained as a mechanic, but his first love was always drawing, which led him to a one-year art course at the Lebanese Art Academy. Later he worked as a journalist in Kuwait, where he first worked as an editor, reporter, and even as a secretary, at Al Tale'ah weekly magazine. Later on, he returned to the old camp in south Lebanon.
During the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Al-Ali was forced to leave his home again. After several years of displacement, he finally settled back in Kuwait, where he found work with the prominent Arab daily, Al-Qabbas. He soon found pressure and threats from certain political groups, and was forced to move to Al Qabass' branch in London. It was his last move before his death in 1987.

* After his assassination:
Ten months after Naji al-Ali was shot, Scotland Yard arrested a Palestinian student who turned out to be a Mossad agent. Under interrogation, the Jerusalem-born man, Ismail Suwan, said that his superiors in Tel Aviv had been briefed well in advance of the plot to kill the cartoonist.
Israel and Britain had been in contact for several months via diplomatic channels concerning Suwan's revelations that he had worked with the Mossad. Newspapers reported that the action was partially a result of accumulating British grievances against the Mossad, including the abduction of Mordechai Vanunu and the use of British passports, found in a phone booth in West Germany in 1987. However, despite the arrests by Scotland Yard and an investigation by MI5, the assassin's identity has never been revealed.
In 1992 an Arabic motion picture about his life was made. The movie "Naji al-Ali" featuring Egyptian actor Noor El-Sharif gained widespread admiration and respect from around the Arab world.

Naji Al-Ali is still the most popular artist in the Arab world. His books and cartoons are everywhere, and people have also made silver medals, key-holders and necklaces of his character “Hanthala”.
Naji Al-Ali is an Arab to be proud of, a Palestinian to be remembered. He might have been assassinated, but his thoughts, his cartoons and his work made him immortal; easy to remember, impossible to forget.
Let’s all pray his soul rests in peace, let’s pray his and our beloved Palestine will be the peaceful Holy Land it once was, let’s pray the suffering of all Palestinians will be put to an end…
Source: ElectronicIntifada

“Herobuilders”

The American toy company Herobuilders has come up with a new creation: plastic celebrities. Their collection includes politicians and religious figures.
A plastic, 30 Cm sized George W. Bush with movable body parts, hand-painted in the USA, costs $29.95, whereas Saddam Hussein, in his detainee look (with no muscles and in a white T-Shirt) costs $24.95. On the other hand, the company has also created a plastic “Jesus”, with a very special feature: speaking. All what one should do is press lightly on the stomach area of the plastic toy and it will say the 10 commendments in 20 seconds. And in case you would like to dress your favorite character your own style, then you don’t need to worry, the company has already provided jeans, dresses, shoes and so many accessories to suit your taste. Not only this, but they have also provided parts in case your plastic "hero" has broken a leg or lost an arm :D
Source: DeutscheWelle

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Lesson Of The Day

“An “easy to get angry” person, and even if he’s right, his bad temper will take control, he’ll sound guilty, he wont think properly, he’ll rush into decisions, which are wrong most of the time, causing him the loss of any case he’s in.”- My Dad.

MISS WAR 2004!

Many decades ago the whole world used to celebrate the event of Miss War, where contestants are chosen according to specific qualification. It turns out this competition took place some time earlier, but this time they want it the modern style: the Reality-TV style. It is so real that people didn’t notice it’s the Miss War competition. Now we’re in the final stages, and one of the two finalists is about to be the lucky Miss War 2004. But before I tell you who are the lucky ladies, let me first give you an idea about the requirements of this competition. The Ad of Miss War had the following part in it:
“The candidates should have the following qualifications:
·Tendency to kill innocent people, not for the heck of it, but for society’ own interest.
·Aggressiveness, violence and racism are highly recommended.
·Great interest in destroying homes of civilians, either by mistake, or for security reasons.
·Great ability in manipulating Media.
·Creativity, this includes making up excuses, lies and necessary rumors… just to add some suspense, that’s all.
·The will to spread pollution and endanger environment… just to awaken the spirit of challenge in the candidates.
·The ambition to fill the world with blood and dead bodies, in order to revive earth’s dull colors.
·Professionalism in threatening others as often as possible.
·Miss War must have a degree in Architecture, specialty in ugly stylish “barriers” is preferred.
·A required skill is sacrificing your own people, EVEN if they’re against what you do.
·A MUST-HAVE is financial support, look around, and get the closest source for this.”

And now that you have an idea about the conditions and requirements, I’m sure you can guess the finalists, YES the finalists are: Israel and USA. They are the best. And what makes them very special is that while competing on the title of Miss War, they actually support each other in their campaigns. What a lovely spirit!
Wake up people, your voting makes a difference, let your voices reach the whole world, let them know who deserves the title more, and good luck…

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Lesson Of The Day

“Say NO when you disagree with a certain idea, and never do what’s against your principles. If the other person does not understand your reaction, then he's not worth your respect” -My Boss.

Hussam Madaniyyah

I must say that last night’s results of Superstar were so unfair. Hussam Madaniyyah was the one to leave Superstar. This has caused a big fuss and a very negative reaction in all Superstar fans. Hussam is a great talent, a great flexible voice and a great presence on stage. It’s such a shame to have him leave. In my opinion, Hussam, Ammar and Muhannad, are the best three who should compete. Raneem comes after them, he has such a great musical talent and a classy way of singing. I don’t hate any of the candidates, they’re all talented and have very beautiful voices, but the more we know them, the easier it becomes to determine who’s best. And with no offense, and although I love the three of them, but Brigitte, Hadi and Ayman should not be reaching this level while Abeer Ne’meh, Wa’d Al Bahri and Hussam Madaniyyah are forced to leave.
I still can’t believe Hussam has left, now Superstar has really lost its efficiency, it will no longer get the most talented to be the super star, no, it will just get the best looking, or the one with more connections (I mean friends). And since Muhannad Mshallah has been called to the danger zone once again last night, while others, less talented candidates were resting in their places, I really wont be shocked to find Ammar, Muhannad and Raneem, in the danger zone next week. These three are the best ones left now, and if one of them leaves, then Super Star will be no longer the show that gets my attention and passion.
I wish all responsible people for this show will hear my suggestion, SINCE THE VOTING IS BASED ON RELATIONSHIPS AND LOOKS, YOU MUST RECONSIDER YOUR CONCEPT AND THINK OF ADJUSTING THE RESULTS: EACH CANDIDATE SHOULD HAVE A RESULT CONSISTING OF 50% PEOPLE’S VOTING AND 50% JURY’S RANKING, THIS IS THE CLOSEST AND ONLY WAY OF GETTING FAIR RESULTS.
As for Hussam, I really wish him the best of luck, and hope he realizes that a good talent will prove itself and be successful whether people voted or not.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Lesson Of The Day

“Each employer should look for happy employees, or at least do his best to make his employees happy… Happy employees= Efficiency in Work= Happy Employer” -My regional manager.

UNIFEM Launches "Progress of Arab Women 2004" Report

Besides my interest in following up the progress of Arab women in all fields, this Report in particular means so much to me. If I were still in Jordan and in my job, I'd be the researcher working on this project, but hard luck for me :(
Anyway, whether I took part in it or not, this report is so important and helpful, and I think it’s worth discussing.
The United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) report: “Progress of Arab Women 2004,” which aims to provide an insight into the world of Arab women and the progress achieved throughout the years, revealed that while women make up 49 per cent of the population in Arab countries only 28 per cent were in the active workforce, making these figures the lowest of any region in the world. On the other hand the report acknowledges and emphasizes the number of successful professional women in executive positions in a variety of Arab countries and also notes the increase in Arab women's representation in national parliaments, the establishment of the Arab women's organizations and the rising role of NGOs.
Three levels of action in the region are investigated towards women's empowerment in the report: The policy level where international commitments are being made, the operational plans and actions at the national level, and the achievements and challenges in terms of the everyday lives of women.
The report also reflects the experience of Arab women in the context of social, economic and political security in a region that continues to face traumas and insecurities including radical social transformations, demographic transitions, poverty, resource shortages as well as occupation, war and civil strife.
The three key elements of social security proposed are Revisiting family codes and state practices which make women's citizenship contingent on family relations, reforming welfare regimes so that they accommodate the needs of women, and regulating labour markets with gender sensitive and flexible mechanisms.
Economic security, as introduced in the report, refers to the need to protect people through the provision of job opportunities, a secure income, economic rights, and effective participation in economic life.
Education, training, microfinance and access to other loan and financial resources have been identified as means for enhancing women's opportunities for income generation.
The chapter on “securing politics” reexamines possible explanations for the low political participation of women in Arab states, since “the number of Arab women involved in politics is still far from representative of their population in society.”
Some of the obstacles, according to the report, include lack of support and guidance necessary for women to reach decision making positions and lack of knowledge and understanding of political rights and responsibilities.
The report, marking the 10th anniversary of the Beijing Conference, is expected to serve as a mapping tool for Arab countries to review the progress made in the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action.
Her Majesty Queen Rania acted as patron at the report's launching ceremony, which was attended by ministers, and representatives of NGOs, UN agencies, embassies, the media and universities. At the end of the ceremony, Abu Ghazaleh, UNIFEM Regional Director,presented Queen Rania, president of the Arab Women's Summit, with a copy of the report, marking its launch from Jordan and highlighting the great strides the country has taken in the area of women and development.
Source: The Jordan Times.

Youth of Jordan: Express Yourselves!

Around 120 Jordanian youth met senior officials and business leaders this week to explore ways of enhancing their engagement in the country's social, economic and political life. Addressing concerns raised by the youth at the end of their two-day forum in the Dead Sea, King Abdullah of Jordan told students they should express themselves freely at all times and encouraged university students to continue expressing their views and concerns to government officials without fear or reservation.
Students say they are hesitant in arguing with their university professors for fear of getting a low grade or being “humiliated” or “told off.”
“The King said we have to do away with these fears, follow our own track and freely express ourselves,” said Abdullah Tayfour, a 4th year computer engineering student at the Hashemite University. “I believe that our contribution to such national dialogue was important and the extent of freedom to which we have been able to express ourselves was a great leap,” he added.
The students called for ensuring a “safer and more secure environment” to foster their participation in the country's political life, efforts to eliminate fanaticism, greater involvement in higher educational reforms, providing incentives to empower women.
More Details

Friday, July 16, 2004

Lesson Of The Day

“Beauty is a matter of taste, money can’t buy you everything, power is never lasting, luck is not always there, but even if you had them all, don’t think you’ll succeed, for success is a huge door, beauty, money, power and luck are just sticks with which you can only knock on the door, to open it, you must have the key, and the key to success is a kind smile, a loving heart, a confident step, a nice word, a modest nature, and a respectful manner” my great MOM.

A Visit of Condolence

Yesterday the brother of my in-laws’ friend passed away because of health problems. So my husband and I went with my in-laws to attend the Aza’a, which comes from the verb (yo’azzi) i.e. to express sympathy to someone who has experienced grief. Aza’a comes after the funeral has already taken place of course. This is the first time I go to Aza’a in Tunisia. So as sad as the fact of losing someone is, it was interesting for me to notice the differences in traditions between the middle-eastern culture and the Tunisian culture.
One of the differences is the clothes. It’s true that sorrow is in the heart, and colors of the clothes don’t necessarily reflect the inner feelings of a person, but in the Middle East, colors of the clothes of the grieving family or the people visiting them vary from black to really dark blue and dark shades of gray. Women are most likely to wear normal clothes that are not shiny or too revealing to respect the situation. Here, I noticed people don’t give any importance to colors, which is ok, but I just found it odd to see women wearing very bright colors like: shiny pink, bright turquoise, orange, clear white and red. Some young ladies were wearing extremely revealing clothes, which I found so inappropriate. Another thing is makeup, in the Middle East, makeup is out of question, no woman should be wearing makeup in such a sad occasion. Yesterday many girls were wearing full makeup… it’s just so different.
Another difference is the Quran and prayers. For Muslim people in the middle east, one can hear the Quran verses played loud on tape, for many reasons: to announce that this family has lost someone, so the news spreads, and secondly to wish him mercy and bless his family after his death. On the other hand when people meet they pray for his soul to rest in peace and wish him forgiveness for any sins or bad things he might have done. Yesterday, I was the only one praying for the man! Others were just gossiping and getting to know each other :P It happens in the Middle East too, that some ladies gather and start their little gossip, but if they’re noticed, other ladies would warn them to keep it low and pray for the dead person instead. Here it’s so normal if they take the chance of gathering to talk about any topic they want loudly, no one complains. As for Quran, a group of people were sitting in a room inside the house reading Quran, which I found great, only if their voices were louder than those of the ladies chatting. But well, as I heard, usually Quran is heard just like in the Middle East, so yesterday was an exception.
Anyway, despite the differences, each culture has its own way of expressing itself. Each culture finds other cultures a bit odd. But they all share one thing all Arabs have: supporting each other and being there for each other in happiness and sorrow, in strength and weakness. Another thing I adore about being an Arab.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Lesson Of The Day

Every day teaches me something new, and since I go through so many experiences that add to my knowledge and right many wrongs in my lifestyle and principles, I thought I should share this with you, maybe what I learn would solve a problem of yours or help you make the right decision. Even if you don’t use what I learn, then you can at least add it to your information, who knows, maybe one day you or someone you know will need it.
Therefore I have decided to make a revolution in the world of quotes, no more famous sayings, no more old wisdoms, from now on I’ll be quoting people, everyday people, normal individuals I meet in the streets, in stores, or friends, or employers, or employees, or families, or relatives, or anyone that adds to my knowledge.
So from today, I’ll have a post called “Lesson of The Day”, in which I share what this life teaches me, and quote spontaneous words of a normal person, who meant nothing but have a nice chat in his life, not being aware of the change he made in mine.
Today’s Lesson is:
“Sadness is when the heart is loaded with bad experiences and bitter memories. If you want to be happy, you have to believe that your heart is a plastic bag with a big hole in it; whatever worries or sorrows are thrown inside, have no place to be kept or add up, they will fall from the other side” the oldest, wisest, and kindest taxi driver I’ve ever met.

HIV Rates Rising Among Young Gay Men

After falling for several years, rates of HIV infection, particularly among young gay men, are rising again. A report out by the Robert Koch Institute, a federal organization that researches disease control and prevention, warns that the epidemic of HIV in Germany could acquire a "new dynamic" since the number of infections since 2001 has been rising steadily.
Three years ago, the institute reported 1,470 HIV infections in Germany; in 2002, that number rose to 1,716; last year, 1,958 people contracted the virus. That is a 33 percent rise in three years. The trend toward rising infection rates also affects heterosexuals, half of those infected were men who had sex with men.
Rolf Gindorf, founder and past president of DGSS, a sexuality research center in Düsseldorf says: "Older gay men, say around 40 and up, are aware of the danger because they came of age at a time when death rates were high and AIDS information was very visible and always on people's minds, But younger people today, they don't have that experience. Knowing that the disease can be treated tends to make them carefree when it comes to sex."
A 20-year-old gay Berlin resident, who has found out recently he has been infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, blames the lack of a strong public message and vigorous discussion about AIDS for his infection.
"It didn't do much good for me to see some celebrity up there talking about wearing condoms or something," he said. "I needed something blatant that could shock me into making the right decisions. "

I believe we all need to play a constructive role in spreading awareness among people. Each in their own field of work, each in their own way of conveying the message. We should drop this passive status we’re in and wake up. Many people are getting infected with HIV, and unfortunately many pass it to their partners and their children, either because they’re not aware of their infection, or because they’re some egoistic desire-seeking bastards.
Source: DeutscheWelle

Good People :)

Yesterday we were invited to a gathering of a family I personally love so much. I knew this family through my husband. He’s friends with the son. So one day when the son came to visit Tunisia, we went to say hi, and we were introduced to the whole family. Ever since then, we’ve been seeing each other every once in a while. It’s true we don’t meet that much, but we always keep in touch. And every time we visit them I feel I’m at my aunt’s or uncle’s. They’re so easy-going, so friendly, so loving and the whole atmosphere is warm. Add to this the multi-cultural essence of the gathering and the middle eastern cooking, yummy... Not that I don’t cook it, but when the people joining for food love this type of cooking, it feels different, more blessed and more appreciated.
The cute thing is, whenever the mom passes by me on her way to the kitchen or to any other room, she’d kiss me and ask: what do you think of the gathering?
10 minutes later she’d ask: are you happy? Do you like the cooking? Need anything? You’re at home, feel free…
There are people that you can’t but feel great with, for nothing but the true care and love they give. From day one I felt so welcomed, felt I was a member of the family already. Other than that, they helped me meet people around my age to make friends. And every time we go, the whole group is gathered. Just like the old days at my parents’. And this sure helps me go on in my life. I know nothing replaces one’s own family, specially when this family gives you all the love, care and support all the time in all circumstances. But getting to know such kind and good people helps out ease the pain of longing and decrease this feeling of being a stranger in a country you know you’ll be spending your life in.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Ein Konzert für Palästina – Concert 4 Palestine

“BONO! Wir bitten Dich und die ganze Musik-Szene, ein Konzert für Palästina zu halten!”
Wir appellieren an Dich und an die ganze Musik-Szene, erhebe Deine Stimme und sage: "STOPPT DIE BESATZUNG!" Wir bitten Dich zur Mithilfe bei der Organisation eines globalen Konzerts unter dem Motto:
* NEIN zur illegalen Besetzung durch Israel von Ost-Jerusalem, der West Bank und des Gaza-Streifens.
* NEIN zur systematischen Verletzung der Bürgerechte und der Menschenwürde des palästinensischen Volkes.
* JA zu einer Konferenz der Vereinigten Nationen, um den Frieden im Mittelosten zu fördern.

"We appeal to you, and to all the music world, to speak out now and say: "STOP THE OCCUPATION!" We ask you to help organize a global concert for Palestine".
We ask you to help organize a global concert that says:
* NO to Israel's illegal occupation of East Jerusalem,the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
* NO to the systematic violation of the Palestinian people's legal rights and human dignity.
* YES to a United Nations conference to promote peace in the Middle East.
VOTE NOW- WÄHLEN SIE JETZT!
Via:Je Blog

Work Diaries (5): BRAIN DAMAGED!

There is this client who is really important to our company. The majority of our work is with him. And I must say, my boss just LOVES having business with him, and he is so proud of the story when the relationship between them grew from just a dull formal professional relationship, into a close friendship. So in December 2003, and while I was still getting familiar with the clients and all, I had some papers related to this client, they had to be signed, so I asked my boss to sign them, while signing he went like:
Boss: You know we should do our best not to lose this client. As you’ve already noticed, business with him is so fruitful.
I: Yes, I’ve noticed. I hope things will keep improving with him.
Boss: Yeah, I hope so.
(I took the papers, and turned around to go to my office)
Boss: You know Eman, the great thing about this client is that he’s become a friend of mine as well. Yes, true friendship.
I: Really! That’s good.
Boss: Wait till you know how we became friends.
(I’m sure it was obvious on my face that I had NO INTEREST AT ALL)
Boss: one day he had a car accident, a big one, and since he has no friends in this country, he thought of no one but me to call, I went to him immediately, helped him out, turns out his driving license was expired, so the police wanted to take strict procedures with him, yet I convinced them to give him a chance and paid a penalty in his favor. I invited him home that day to relax, he met my wife and ever since then we’ve become good friends and so did our wives.
I: Hmmm. (an artificial smile)
In January 2004
Boss: Eman, I’m going to have lunch with …. In an hour. We’ll discuss some issues concerning the coming project. If there’s anything you need, call me on my mobile, ok!
I: Ok, no problem.
Boss: This project is really important for us, this client is really important Eman. You know, he’s not just a client, but we have become friends too. It’s when one day he had a car accident, a big one, and since he has no friends in this country,..
I: he called you and… well I believe you told me this.
Boss: Really? Did I tell you that our wives also became friends? Now after I solved the problem with the police.
I: Ah, sir, I believe I’m already aware..
Boss: yes, but I didn’t tell you how I got to invite him, so after I helped him out……………….. ever since then we’ve become close friends and so did our wives.
I: Hmmmm (a disgusted smile)
March 2004:
My boss calls early in the morning:
Boss: Eman, I wont come to the office today, have a meeting with … A very important client as you know.
I: Ok, no problem.
Boss: after the meeting, will have him come with his wife to my place to have dinner. Did I tell you we’re friends.
I: Yes, yes, you told me ALL ABOUT IT.
Boss: Yes, it was a huge huge accident. I remember when he called me, and how I ran to help him. His license was…
( he went on with the boring details,I felt like breaking the phone)
June 2004
Boss: Eman, I don’t have to remind you how important today’s reception is. This client is really important. Tell the maid to clean the office really well. I want the office to be glowing today.
I: No worries. Everything’s set.
Boss: …. He’s a strict person. He loves his work, we can’t lose him. Good thing he and I are friends. Although the circumstances that created this friendship weren’t actually pleasant. You see, one day he had an accident…
I: and he called you, you went to him, then you invited him over, now your wives are friends…
Boss: not only this, but it turned out his license was not valid, a very big problem you know, but I convinced the police…..etc.
(I wished I could kill myself)
July 13, 2004
The phone rings, I pick up, guess who’s on the other end? Yep it’s this extremely important client. He wanted to talk to the boss. I put his call on hold, and rang the boss’ office.
I: … the important client, who once had an accident, then called you, then you went to him, helped him out and paid the penalty of his license, remember! This client whom you invited to your home and both your wives are now friends, (I catch my breath) he is on the phone…
Boss: Oh…, it was a huge huge accident, remind me to tell you about the details later.
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 12, 2004

Crazy Weather!

Yesterday the weather was as normal as it could be during July in Tunisia. Sunny and so damn hot. But around 7:30 p.m. there has been a very big twist in weather. It became so windy, so cool, and then BOOM there was lightning and thunder out of no where! It rained for a while, and then it stopped, leaving the weather humid, no wind at all and full of our little enemies: Mosquitoes.
This morning it was cool, as if we’re in spring or something. Have no idea how it’s going to be like in half an hour when I finally leave the office.
I’m so sleepy, can’t focus, and can’t wait for the time to come to go home and rest.

Mustafa's Birthday

July 10th was my younger brother’s birthday. I can’t believe how quick time passes by. Mustafa’s already 21now! :) This is truly great. I still picture him as he was a little baby. He was one hell of a kid. He showed a great calm face, while he did everything naughty kids would do without getting our attention. For example, he’d be sitting so calm, smiling at us, while the carpet behind him would be burning because of the candle he spilled on purpose. He’d be smiling peacefully, to know later on that the cable of the fridge has been pulled out for a while, long enough to get the food inside it stinky! God! He was a great kid.
I also remember how my older brother Mohamed used to enjoy putting him in this little baby stroller and drive it so quick through the whole house. You can hear Mustafa’s (or Mos as we all call him) laughs echoing in the whole place :)
Mos is now all grown up, his kind heart and great sense of humor have grown up with him. I can feel he’s become a lot more mature than before, and I’m happy for that.
He grew fond of computers, all the credit goes to our great bro Mohamed :) MAK (Mohamed) used to gather his friends and work on university projects, play games, do some surfing and stuff, and he let Mos sit with him and his friends all the time. So Mos became familiar with PC’s and loved them ever since then.
When he wanted to decide what to learn in university, he had discussions with both Mak and MMM (my husband) and he ended up learning computer science :)
One thing I wished would really change in Mos is this extreme lack of time-order :P His sleeping hours, his studying hours, his free time, his meals, everything is just so mixed up when it comes to these things. But well, maybe later when he gets a job then he’ll learn to be more organized. Anyway, whether organized or not, he is responsible and successful.
We called him on his birthday, it was fun talking to him.
This is the second time in a row that I miss his birthday, I wish somehow I’ll be there with him and never miss any occasion he or any other member of my beloved family celebrates.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Weekend Is Already Here!

Yesterday I was under the impression that it was still Wednesday, don’t ask me why, I just felt it was Wednesday. When I got back home, I knew from my husband that it was Thursday. Other than feeling extremely happy to reach the end of the week, I couldn’t help thinking of how fast a week passes by although I feel the working days are too long!
I mean if I feel the working days are so long, how come I reach the end of the week without me being aware of it! Whatever the reason is, I just love weekends. On the other hand, having the week pass by that quick, makes me feel how days are flying without me adding a single change on my life routine, at least the work side. I have nothing against my life routine outside work, but this job, I don’t know. The boss is really good to me, very respectful, the whole work environment is good, salary is relatively high, but still I don’t feel it’s the right place for me. I really hate to believe in this, but it’s the sad fact. I wasn’t born to do what I do. I feel I have more capabilities and feel attracted to other kind of work that involves no accounting, no office work…AH, I HATE MY JOB! Maybe others wish to be in my place, but I wasn’t simply made for this. I belong somewhere else. I thank God for giving me the chance to find a good job, earn money the right way, and be excellent at what I do. But at the same time, I don’t stop looking for other better choices. I never lost hope in finding a better job where I’ll feel it’s the right place for me. Until then, I guess I have to do my best to enjoy what I do for a living right now. I have to be more optimistic, that’s why I keep thinking of weekends :) The weird thing about me is that in weekends I always prefer hanging out with my husband anywhere in the arms of nature. Sea, parks, if this isn’t what we feel like that day then anywhere other than other people’s houses would be great for me. I hate to stay at home, and I hate to go visiting. I feel weekends are made to break the disgusting routine of being trapped in an office or any indoor places. But most of the time, when the weekend is finally there, I can’t be but human, the efforts I pay while working in the office and at home through the week force me to surrender the temptation of a yummy meal and a cozy couch. So I end up enjoying staying at home, seeing no one and being free of any formalities, stress, exhaustion, or any type of work (usual housework doesn’t count :D)
Anyway, since this weekend will be a busy one, I guess I’ll just have to wait for the next week to do nothing but eat, sleep and watch TV :) Oh this lazy, lazy me!

MUD

The Youth Dance Theatre Troupe of the Noor Al Hussein Foundation's Performing Arts Centre (PAC) will perform “MUD: Motion, Unmasking and Dilemma” tomorrow evening.
The theatre performance will explore our nation's boundaries, existence and identity, and reality and illusions, according to PAC statement. The group will be representing Jordan in the “Contacting the World Theatre Project” which falls under the British Council's “Connecting Futures” initiative.
The programme aims to build mutual understanding, learning and respect between young people with different cultural backgrounds in the UK and other countries around the world, according to a British Council statement. Details .

Physical Violence

Violence, aggression and humiliation are words that Palestinians got used to. Not only the old, but also the young. Not only the men, but also the women.
I came across this picture that breaks the hearts of any human being of any nationality and any religion. When will the people of Palestine have the least rights of a decent and peaceful life?
Via: Sabbah’s Blog .

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Back in 1998 ...

Just like today, July 7th, 1998, in the summer course, I was getting out of a very boring lecture. Usually I’d go home straight after I’m done with my lectures, unless my friends gathered for lunch or something like that. But that day I had to wait an hour for a another extra lecture. Not knowing how I’d pass this hour, I decided to go out to an air-conditioned place to get a milk-shake or something like that. And as I was walking to the main gate, a friend of mine saw me and shouted out my name. She was in such a bad mood. She was trying to get a better schedule for the semester, but it didn’t work. She was so so angry that I couldn’t simply let her go to the registration section in that state of anger. She calmed down as I accompanied her and we talked a bit while we walked.
It was really a hot summer, and I couldn’t get my eyes off the university cafeteria or the “milk-bar” as the students used to call it :P. It was ahead of us and I was planning to get something to drink, when suddenly I looked to my right for no specific reason and saw a guy walking close to the trees, he had a biiiiiiig attractive smile ( I knew later where it came from) and at the very same moment my friend screamed: MARWAN! This “Marwan” came towards us and our friend Hanan introduced us to each other. All I knew is that he is Tunisian, studying in our university. She told him about her registration and schedule problem and he was like: Ok, I have nothing to do, I’ll come along.
To be honest, although I didn’t know the guy, but I was somehow pleased that he’d be with us. And so it was, the three of us went to the registration section. On our way there, only Hanan was talking, “Marwan” was just wearing a peaceful cute smile looking at me as if he knew me, this smile got me really confused!
When we reached the registration section, Hanan had to argue and work on her papers, when “Marwan” and I were standing next to her, we didn’t talk. I was starting to get bored, and before I felt so, “Marwan” spoke up, ever since then he never stopped talking until we said goodbye :D He talked about everything, he told me about Tunisia, where he comes from, his family, his studies, his live in Jordan, what he thinks of the university of Jordan, the food, summer, his way of life, almost everything. This guy opened up to me from the minute he met me. To be honest, his talkative manner was really impressive. I mean it isn’t easy to talk about different stuff, and it isn’t easy to get me interested in a conversation either, but he did pretty well, and I loved that.
After Hanan was done with her papers and things worked out well for her, we decided to go back to our faculty, the three of us were silent, a smile on my face and a huge one on “Marwan’s” face, and a shocked expression on Hanan’s ;)
When we reached university, I found some friends, so I said bye to Hanan and “Marwan”, and went away. While sitting with my friends I have come to a very interesting discovery, which is: this “Marwan” is the same guy I saw many months ago standing with another person behind Hanan while she was talking to me. I remember that day I saw him and he was smiling at me, and I thought he was a graduate (specially that I never saw him until July 7th 98). I liked his looks, I don’t mean only his attractiveness, but also how peaceful, respectful and mature he looked. Not like other guys who looked so childish and silly. Respect, maturity and peacefulness are things that I can guess from the outside, add to them smartness and care (which I get to know after conversation) are things that do really get my attraction and attention. Anyway, I didn’t know him then, but on the 7th of July I got to talk to him. I liked him, and after that day, we got to talk more, after a while, he got to meet my family in a party we had for our big brother who was leaving to Canada. He then started chatting with my brother, after a very short while the whole family loved him. He proposed to my parents, after a while we got engaged, and around 2 years later we got married.
This day did change our lives for sure, and what a lovely change it is :)
Oh the secret of the smile he wore all the time?! It turns out he knew me around a year before we met, and he was waiting for the moment we’d meet. And I can tell you that smile he had made me call him Mr. Smiley Face for a veeeeery long while :) Another thing I found out was the fact that he gets really pissed off if I write his name with an a: Marwan and not as they pronounce it in Tunisia (Marwen) :)
And now that we’re married, I can also assure you that he is anything but talkative :P And although I love people who talk and open up subjects and stuff, but that doesn’t mean that I feel less love for him. The weird thing is, not only me, but also my family have been always under this impression that he is a guy who can always talk. He always had things to talk about with everyone, he gave our gatherings a great taste and impressed us all, now I know it was just a temporary status :P But I love him no matter what, because other more important and basic things to me never changed in him, like his true love, loyalty, maturity, smartness, respect and care. Sounds enough for me to be head over heels in love, or what! ;)

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Seminude Protesters!

Animal Rights Activists and supporters of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals , PETA, have gathered yesterday from different countries to march through the streets of Pamplona/ Spain against bullfighting. The protesters were either wearing underwear or were topless. They had planned to run totally nude but could not because they didn't get the necessary town hall permit.
Isabel Gonzalez, head of an anti-bullfighting organization in Belgium, said: "The animals suffer, and nobody has the right to mistreat them just to stage a fiesta," she also said the running of the bulls also is inhumane because runners pull the bull's tails, kick them and "the animals run in a state of panic."
This year's festival begins Tuesday. The first of eight bull runs is scheduled for Wednesday. More Details
Personally I think bullfighting just for passing time and having fun is really cruel and should be stopped. Animals should not be tortured nor mistreated. Therefore I join the protesters and give them the full right to march against such a cruel act, on the other hand, I think in order to protest you need your voice to be heard and not your naked body to be shown. I mean marching with your clothes off will not give any extra effect to the protest, it will only give disrespect to the human body, make the protest look cheap and give joy for the ones watching… in case of beautiful bodies that is ;)
I really don’t get it! I mean anyone who wants to make change and show a strong will in fulfilling a certain purpose would go like: Ok I will march nude, or I will stay for days in the nude, or I will make a nude marathon. This is just pathetic, and no matter how great the purpose behind it is, involving nudity in it adds nothing, really. So please people you have brains, use them to reach out for everyone without having to humiliate yourselves over and over again. PLEASE!

Monday, July 05, 2004

FINALLY, WE DID IT!

There is this room in our apartment that was such a mess :P Ever since we moved in to this apartment (around 8 months ago) and we failed to get it properly organized. Main reason is the fact that our new home is a lot smaller than the old one. Therefore the excess stuff that had no place in the bedroom, living room and dining room, had to be thrown in this poor room, which ended up as a store. We tried more than once to put things in their places, but this "organized status" never lasted more than 3 days, because it wasn’t the right way of doing it. We always ended up with things all over the room that we couldn’t even manage walking through this room to get something from it. Yes, it was that bad.
Anyway, yesterday, my husband and I were really really fed up. We woke up, passed by this room which always gave us a depressing feeling, went to the living room, and while watching TV, we discussed our plans for the day, and then we went back to watching TV, after few minutes,we looked at each other, read each others' minds and went to the room. Each one of us decided to make a certain part, and after half a day WE WERE FINALLY DONE.
Finally the room was well organized, things were put in their right places, and we now have a lot of space saved for us to walk through the room freely :) Ah, what a wonderful feeling. Nothing is more relieving than order and tidiness :) Can’t wait to go back home and enjoy every bit of it…

Giving Education A Bad Name

A report required by the No Child Left Behind law and delivered to Congress on Wednesday, shows that more than 4.5 million students endure sexual misconduct by employees at their schools, from inappropriate jokes all the way to forced sex. This report by Charol Shakeshaft, a Hofstra University professor is the first to analyze research about sexual misconduct at schools.
According to the report nearly one in 10 kids faces misbehavior ranging from unprofessional to criminal sometime between kindergarten and 12th grade. The report describes schools as places where abusers can target vulnerable and marginal students who are afraid to complain or unlikely to be believed if they did. In a particularly troubling finding, the report says that in elementary schools, the abuser is often one of the people liked most by students and trusted most by parents. Sexual misconduct is defined in the report as physical, verbal or visual behavior.
The report found teachers are the most common offenders, followed by coaches, substitute teachers, bus drivers and teacher aides. Among those offenders, 57 percent are male and 43 percent are female. Among the victims, 56 percent are girls and 44 percent are boys. More Details .

Friday, July 02, 2004

BlogTalk

Die Donau-Universität Krems organisiert in Wien die jährliche internationale Konferenz "BlogTalk" . Die zweitätige Veranstaltung (5.-6.7.2004) befasst sich mit dem Thema Weblogs. Der thematische Schwerpunkt der diesjährigen Veranstaltung ist der Einsatz von Blogs in Unternehmen und Organisationen.
Heute gibt es viele Weblogs, gleichzeitig aber gibt es viele Leute die das Wort “Weblog” bis heute nicht verstehen.
Was ist ein Weblog?
"Weblog" ist ein Begriff, der etwa um die Jahrtausendwende, zuerst auf englischsprachigen Webseiten auftauchte. Zusammengesetzt ist er aus "web" (wie Internet) und "log" (wie -buch) - ein Weblog ist also das Logbuch eines Reisenden durch die Weiten des World Wide Web.
Weblogs sind nichts anderes als regelmäßig aktualisierte, sehr subjektive, oft rasend komische, manchmal schon literarische, nicht selten politische Webseiten, gemacht, gepflegt und publiziert von Individualisten, die was zu sagen haben und sich (meist) auch gut ausdrücken können. Weblogs sind keine Nachrichtenquellen, sie sind Kommentare zur Welt- oder auch zur persönlichen Lage des Autors. Und sie sind die einfachste, schnellste und billigste Möglichkeit, ein Millionenpublikum zu erreichen.
Wenn Sie es auch versuchen wollen, aber von der Technik hinter den Kulissen Ihres Browsers keine Ahnung haben, versuchen Sie es doch mit einem Account bei einem Dienst wie 20six.de, blogg.de, blogger.de, blogigo.de, myBlog.de, twoday.net oder vanus.de.
Falls Sie von HTML schon mal gehört haben und auch FTP nicht für eine Partei halten, besorgen Sie sich einen Account bei einem Webhoster, installieren ein Programm wie movabletype.org, pmachine.com (beide nur in den einfachsten Versionen kostenfrei!), nucleuscms.org, wordpress.org oder textpattern.com und legen einfach los.
Quelle: DeutscheWelle

Saddam Hussein’s Trial

Or the “trial of the century” as some prefer referring to it. Saddam was in court yesterday and listened to the charges outlined in his arrest warrant.
So many people are happy with this trial, few are not. The destiny of the former president of Iraq, the “dictator”, is not yet determined.
Some want him executed, others want him to be set free and sent to exile, some want him to spend the rest of his life in jail, and very few want him to be set totally free to live the rest of his life in peace in his country Iraq.
What will happen? Let’s wait and see.
Personally, I just wonder: of the many “war-criminals” of our time, will Saddam be the only one to enter court?!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

July 1st

So today is July 1st, it might ring no bell if you’re not living neither in Tunisia nor in Canada. But if you are, then you must know that it’s Independence Day in Canada and the beginning of the summer working schedule in Tunisia, which is –in most cases- at least 3 hours less than the normal working hours ;) My working hours are usually from 8/8:30 a.m. till 5/5:30 p.m. Now I work from 7:30 a.m. till 1:30 p.m. and my husband works from 8 till 3, isn’t this WONDERFUL! :)
The great things is, this schedule will stay till August: 2 MONTHS.
The reason behind these less working hours is the unbelievable heat which gets most of the people lazy and living on their nerves. And to be honest I think it’s the best thing to do. I mean no one can work as usual with such an annoying heat and such a long long day time. Only yesterday I was feeling that when I get out of the office, taking into consideration that the sun is no longer that strong, I feel like I’m melting. I feel my shoes will be stuck to the street and I’ll melt right away. It’s not that horrible though, coz you can always take a dip in the cool refreshing waves of the sea. Many people we know prefer taking vacation during July and August. It’s easier to get an ok because most of the clients are off on vacation, so not much work to do, which means it’s ok if you leave too. And others just take it at that time to escape the unbelievable heat and stay at a cool home or enjoy a refreshing beach somewhere inside or outside Tunisia. For me and my husband, we try to avoid taking our vacation in these two months, simply because we’re already working less, so we save the vacation for a period when we can skip a whole 8-9 hours work :)
Anyway, happy “Summer Day” to all of you in Tunisia and happy Canada Day to you in Canada :)