Friday, October 29, 2004

Have A Nice Weekend

I came across some really funny quotes and thought I'd share them here to make sure all of you will have happy faces during the weekend... Enjoy :)
  • Opinions are like feet. Everybody's got a couple, and they usually stink. -Jim Slattery-
  • Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you. -Carl Gustav Jung-
  • The two most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity. But not in that order. -Brian Pickrell-
  • If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. –Unknown-
  • We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up. - Phyllis Diller-
  • Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted. –Anonymous-
  • Some people like my advice so much that they frame it upon the wall instead of using it. -Gordon R. Dickson-
  • If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you. –Unknown-
  • How do you feel about women's rights? I like either side of them. -GROUCHO MARX-
  • Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing. -Redd Foxx-
  • If a person wants to be atheistic, it's his God-given right to be an atheist.-Michael Patton-
  • Have you ever noticed? Anybody going slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac. -George Carlen-
  • What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy? -Ursula K. LeGuin-
  • She got her good looks from her father. He's a plastic surgeon. -GROUCHO MARX-
  • Telling the truth to people who misunderstand you is generally promoting a falsehood, isn't it? -Anonymous-
  • Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy. -Anonymous drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859-
  • Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all other philosophers are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself. -Henry Louis (H. L.) Mencken-
  • Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint. -Mark Twain –
  • No one is listening until you fart. –Anonymous-
  • I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception. -GROUCHO MARX-
  • If you don't want to work, you have to work to earn enough money so that you won't have to work. -Ogden Nash-
  • Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day. –Unknown-
  • Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction. -Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872-
  • If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then give up. No use being a damned fool about it. -W. C. Fields-
  • Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else. -Unknown-
  • Buy land. They've stopped making it. -Mark Twain-
  • We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people. -Colonel Gerald Wellman-
  • Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others. -GROUCHO MARX-

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Work Diaries (10): My Boss On Stage!

Remember the INSAT party I talked about a couple of days ago! It was yesterday, my husband and I went. Besides the fact that this party is to collect money for the Tunisian Association for fighting AIDS and the sexually transmittable diseases, all I knew was that my boss was involved in a way. Before the party he told me: “Eman, we’re going to throw a party for the association. I’d appreciate it if you can show up. Actually, it’d be BETTER if you show up, since we’re involved”. Now what I understood in this “we” he kept saying, was “we” as in “the company”. Anyway, my husband and I went to the party, which took place in INSAT, a beautiful faculty of science, really big, and very nice decorated. They gave us the program of the party, some brochures, and a red ribbon to put on before we enter. To my surprise, the place was almost full. I didn’t think it was a big party. Anyway, we got ourselves a couple of nice-located seats and I started looking for my boss in the crowd, but couldn’t find him. Few minutes later I spotted his brother in the participants’ room behind the stage, knowing that he’s a tv producer, I thought he might be supervising the whole thing. Anyway, we kept tracing him till we found my boss, also in the participants’ room. Which was normal, I mean, if his brother is in a cosy room, where else would he be?! My boss went out of the room, to say hi to a “very important client” of ours, in the first or second row. After arguing whether it was the right time to go say hi to my boss, my husband and I made up our minds and head straight to the room. On our way, the speakers went on, participants were taking their places on stage AND MY BOSS WAS ON STAGE WITH A VIOLIN IN HIS HANDS!!! I thought he was holding it for a friend in the band, but NO, he was holding a BOW and was looking at the notes of the musical pieces!
We were almost there, we couldn’t return to our seats without saying hi to him, so we did. I was really shocked, and to add to my astonishment my boss’ brother took a place in the opposite corner and stood there with his CELLO!
It turned out, when my boss said “we”, he actually meant himself and the musical band he trains with, which mostly consists of university professors who teach in INSAT!
They played great music, some of them sang old songs, and it was really nice. It’s true that there were times when my husband and I couldn’t take our eyes off of our watches, waiting for it to end. But it was the fault of some few bad voices.
As for my boss, seems like he’s in love with violin and looks like he’s been training really hard, coz he played pretty good. And he looked so peaceful and calm, exactly like the person I deal with every day in the office :P
Two incidents made me laugh like crazy yesterday, the first was when a kid shouted out loud at the end of the 2nd musical piece: “DADDY, ENOUGH PLAYING, COME ON, LET’S GO!”, the poor kid didn’t know there were still more 15 to go.
And the second was when a lady went nutts in the last song and danced like crazy in front of the people of the 1st row, LOL! She wasn’t embarrassed that all VIP’s in the 1st row were looking at her angrily, and her little daughter gave her one hell of a support. She’s not older than 5 years and she was dancing as fast and as professional as her mommy :P That was really funny.
All in all, it was a nice party, and it was well-organized. Not to mention the great fact that a decent amount of money would be going to aid victims of AIDS.
Hoping we’ll see more similar activities to help all those in need.

Der Ramadan in Palästina

Der Zusammenhalt in der Familie bzw. Der Sippe ist groß, sowohl auf dem Land als auch in den Städten. Im Ramadan spiegelt sich dies in folgender Begebenheit wider: Der Mann lädt täglich seine Schwestern und weiblichen Verwandten zum Iftar ein. Jeder Mann ist traditionell für seine weibliche Verwandtschaft verantwortlich, auch wenn diese wohlhabend sind. Er muss jede von ihnen mindestens einmal im Monat Ramadan zu sich einladen. Bei denen, die bedürftig sind, muss er dafür sorgen, dass sie täglich kochen können. Das gleiche gilt für die Nachbarn und die Bekannten.
Diese guten Taten werden durch Absperrungen, Ausgangssperren, Schutzmauern und andere ähnliche Maßnahmen teilweise oder vollständig unterbrochen. Zum Beispiel: Eine Schwester wohnt 100 Meter von ihrem Bruder entfernt. Die beiden sind aber durch die Mauer voneinander getrennt worden. Um zu der nächsten Möglichkeit, die über dieses Hindernis führt, zu kommen, muss der Bruder eine halbe Tagesreise auf sich nehmen. Wenn ein Familienmitglied nun im Gaza-Streifen lebt und die übrigen Familienmitglieder in der Westbank, vergehen Jahre, bis sich eine Möglichkeit ergibt, um sich wiederzusehen. Es bleiben einem nur die Internetcafes oder das Telefongespräch.
Sahur und Tarawih Wie in anderen islamischen Ländern gibt es einen Mann, der die Muslime mit einer Trommel zum Sahur weckt. Nach dem Isha-Gebet wird das Tarawih-Gebet in den Moscheen gebetet. Beides ist jedoch nicht allen Muslimen zugänglich, da es oft große Schwierigkeiten gibt, zu der nächsten Moschee zu kommen, die, wie im vorher beschriebenen Fall, zwar eigentlich nur 100 Meter entfernt ist, jedoch der Weg dorthin durch eine Mauer oder Absperrung blockiert wird. Das Tarawih-Gebet ist je nach Moschee zwischen 8 und 21 Raka’a lang.
Besonderheiten beim Essen im Ramadan Eine tägliche Suppe, Qataif-Taschen (süße Ramadan-Spezialität). Die meisten Muslime essen nach dem Adhan. Es gibt keine Iftar-Kanone mehr. In früheren Zeiten wurde diese eingesetzt, um den Muslimen die Zeit des Fastenbrechens (Iftar) anzukündigen, da der Gebetsruf nicht überall gehört werden konnte. Diese Tradition kann jedoch seit der Besatzung nicht mehr durchgeführt werden. Nach dem Tarawih-Gebet wird nicht mehr gegessen. Zum Sahur haben wir 2 mal Adhan. Der erste ist, um die Leute aufzuwecken, so dass sie den Sahur zu sich nehmen können. Der zweite ist, damit die Leute wissen, das die Zeit für den Sahur vorüber ist. Restaurants und Cafes schließen tagsüber ihre Türen. Die christlichen Mitbürger nehmen Rücksicht auf die Gefühle der muslimischen Nachbarn und essen nicht in der Öffentlichkeit oder vor den Muslimen. In manchen Orten werden zum Fastensbrechen auch die christlichen Nachbarn eingeladen. Nur den Bewohnern von Jerusalem und dem 48er Bezirk (Palästinenser mit israelischem Pass) ist es gestattet, in Jerusalem, insbesondere in der Al-Aqsa-Moschee, zu beten. In der Al-Aqsa-Moschee gibt es einen täglichen Iftar, und in der Nacht zum 27. Ramadan (der Lailatu l-Qadr) ist es den Muslimen erlaubt die ganze Nacht in der Al-Aqsa-Moschee zu verbringen. An anderen Tagen muss die Moschee nach dem Tarawih-Gebet geschlossen werden. In der Nacht zum 27. Ramadan kommen ca. 30.000 Muslime zum Iftar und zum Tarawih in die Al-Aqsa Moschee.
Quelle: Muslime fasten

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Between Sohour & Iftar :)

It’s been really hot the past few days. Totally unexpected for the weather in the end of October. But Thank God, last night it rained for a very long time. It got so cool in the evening, and when we woke up this morning the weather was so beautiful. Sky is clear, air is fresh, it’s amazing. Actually I find such a beautiful weather so tempting :P I’m in my office, wishing I’d be out for a nice walk. Ah! Wouldn’t that be wonderful!.

Ramadan is just great. Although I’m the kind of people who get hungry really fast. The funny thing is, we wake up at 4 a.m. every day for sohour. So we have about an hour of eating before it’s time for the morning prayer :P and I do eat in sohour more than I do in Iftar. Then we wake up at 7:10 a.m. to get ready for work, which is about two hours from sohour, but still, when I wake up, I feel really hungry :P. At around 10 I call my husband and go like: I’m STARVING!
When it’s Iftar, I feel like eating only soup and some fatty fried “yummies” ;) yes, I don’t always feel like the main dish, which I cooked with such a passion. And after Iftar I go sweets’ crazy, lol! Yes, I feel like chocolates, dates, middle-eastern and Tunisian sweets. Oh, and I just love eating those with a hot cup of tea, or coffee.
Ramadan is such a bless. Everything in it feels better. It’s so peaceful, and gives the person a chance to get back on the right track and become closer to God. Thinking of it, sometimes I say to myself: old days were better. People were all sticking to their religion, praying, fasting, and helping others. It wasn’t such a burden to fast, you’d find all people respecting each others’ religions. But nowadays, and although we have everything made easier, transportation, communication, work, and almost everything, people are always complaining. The easier life gets, the more difficult it becomes for people to practice their religion, and to stick to its rules. Weird!
Unfortunately, the number of Muslims who do not fast is increasing. Not only this, but they also have no problem with eating in public, which I find disrespecting. I believe in personal freedom, but I also believe that if an action will affect the public negatively, then it’s no longer freedom of the individual, it becomes a public matter. We were out shopping the other day, and foreigners were on the counters of fast-food restaurants buying takeaway lunch meals, while Arab Muslims were so freely eating their meals in public without the least sense of respect to others. This is such a shame. If you don’t want to fast, it’s between you and God, you’re responsible for your own acts. But don’t disrespect or offend others by your acts, do it in private, although I feel sorry for all who can’t stick to a religion they say they belong to.

Anyway, today while having sohour, I felt like talking :P so I kept talking and talking to my husband, I was so awake, and was enjoying my meal so much that the Athan of morning prayer started before I drank my cup of water :( yes, I’m dead thirsty! And watching the lake from my window, I feel like throwing myself inside it and drinking it all up :P
I hope weather is beautiful in your part of the world. Wishing you all a great happy day…

Raed’s Humanitarian Campaign

With the withdrawal of most of the foreign humanitarian organizations from Iraq, and the incapability of the Iraqi “government” of funding itself much less funding local groups or organizations, the humanitarian crisis in Iraq is getting more serious.
Raed and his family members have decided to start a small individual humanitarian campaign for a month (maybe they’ll extend it) for buying basic things like some medical stuff, food, blankets, and other necessities and send them directly to hospitals in the most affected cities and towns. They will try to work under the supervision of one of the few functioning NGOs in Iraq (e.g. Occupation Watch, or others) to give more transparency to this small campaign. Their working plan is as follows:
*Money will be donated through PAYPAL to Raed’s account, (Jarrar_raed@hotmail.com), and will be reported on his blog frequently.
*His brother Majid will collect the money from Victoria in Canada and wire it to Raed in Jordan through Raed’s bank account.
*Raed will buy everything from Jordan, and publish the receipts on his blog.
* Raed will send things to his family in Baghdad, where they will send it in turn to hospitals depending on the priority and accessibility of the towns and cities.
*They will get official papers from the hospitals to insure they received the certain amount of supplements; they will publish them on their blogs too.
*They’ll publish a financial break down at the end of the month (end of Nov.)
You can send money from your credit cards too; even small amounts of money can do much in Iraq.

I believe this is a very impressive and helpful act. Iraq and its good people need our help to survive. Raed and his family opened the door for us. Rescue a soul, donate whatever you can.
And thank you Raed, and thanks to your family, for taking such a wonderful step. Good Luck!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Pornography & Wireless Web Services!

Mobile phone users around the world will spend $1 billion a year on pornography sent to their handsets by 2008, which may boost the wireless services sector much as it fueled growth in the fixed-line Internet, a market research firm said. Mobile operators, which are struggling to drive up data traffic as a new source of revenue, have so far been reluctant to cash in on the opportunity, although many industry experts consider pornography to have been the first profitable service offered on the fixed-line Internet in the second half of the 1990s. More…
I personally believe this is just pathetic and stupid. People are going out of their minds. They’re doing anything to make more money, putting aside all negative consequences. HOW DISGUSTING! This is going too far. Porn is found on TV, internet, videos, cinemas, streets, clubs, bars… it’s EVERYWHERE! I consider this disrespect to human dignity, they’re dealing with people as animals, and we, people deserve it, because we’re peacefully watching porn being spread so easily without doing anything about it. All we’re good at is complaining. We complain about the intolerable sad condition our society has reached. Diseases, crimes, wrong behavior from older and younger generations…etc. I feel sick, I really do. People are forgetting about everything for few minutes of pleasure. To satisfy their desires they go for the easier way, they no longer care about anything. As long as they can afford it, they want to “enjoy their lives”, and to hell with everything else.
Why don’t people enjoy their lives the right way?! The way that protects their health, and their self-respect. Why did people become obsessed with sex? Because they’re empty! They think like machines. They live to eat, make money and satisfy their desires. They do this while widely shutting their eyes, and while limiting themselves to the easy cheap options. Unfortunately, this is what life is all about for most of the human beings, what a shame!

Earth Can't Keep Up With Our Demands

We are consuming about 20% more natural resources than the planet can produce, WWF International has warned. "We are spending nature's capital faster than it can regenerate," WWF’s director general Claude Martin said following the launch of its “Living Planet” report. "We are running up an ecological debt which we won't be able to pay off unless governments restore the balance between our consumption of natural resources and the earth's ability to renew them," he said. Each person occupies an "ecological footprint" equivalent to 2.2 hectares in terms of their capacity to pollute or consume energy and other resources including food. But the planet can only offer them 1.8 hectares each, the 2004 report said.
The country with the largest overall footprint in 2001 was the United Arab Emirates, with just below 10 hectares per person, mainly due to energy consumption that accounted for more than 70% of that. It was followed by the U.S. and Kuwait. Australia was the fourth largest burden on the world's resources, followed by Sweden and Finland. The two Nordic countries have relatively low energy consumption, But they have the highest demand for "food and fibre" mainly due to the timber industry's use of their forests. More Information.
For Arabic Click Here.

Beyoncé: Künstlerin des Jahres

Bei den Radio Music Awards in Vegas war Beyoncé Knowles wieder unter den glücklichen Gewinnern. Beyoncé kam mit ihren Kolleginnen von Destinys Child. Den Preis „Artist of the Year“ räumte sie allerdings allein ab. Zu den Show-Hightlights gehörten die Auftritte von Elton John, Alanis Morissette und Ashlee Simpson.
Janet Jackson erhielt von Rapper Nelly den „Radio-Legend-Award“.
Quelle: DeutscheWelle

Music Pillows!

These Music Pillows from Pioneer look like a stoner's pipe dream. Imagine laying back in a hot tub with your head resting on an inflatable pillow, soothing sounds wafting up from the two speakers recessed into either side. Okay, sure, you could just wear headphones and use another, less expensive pillow that you wouldn't mind getting soaked (or popped!), but where's the fun in that? On the other hand, encouraging heads to put full-sized speakers next to the tub is a good way to exterminate the hippie threat, so maybe we should keep these quiet.
SorobanGeeks
Via: AraBlog , Source: Gizmodo .

Monday, October 25, 2004

Donate For ATL MST/SIDA

The Musical Club of the Faculty of Science INSAT and Mr. Tawfiq Al-Thouioui’s Musical Zone of Ariana will be throwing a musical party on Wednesday, October 27th, in INSAT- Tunis, at 21:00.
All the revenues will go to ATL (Association Tunisienne de Lutte contre Les MST & le SIDA), The Tunisian Association for fighting AIDS and the sexually transmittable diseases.
Ticket price: 7 TND.

If you’re in Tunisia, and you’re free on Wednesday, and you feel like spending good time, and doing something good, consider donating 7 TND for the ATL MST/SIDA.
For more information, you can contact the Association, Tel/Fax: 71.701.195.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Garfield Comic… Your Way!

Yep, now you can create your own Garfield comic HERE .
It’s so exciting, so creative and so cute. I really enjoyed it and I’m sure you all will.
Via: Sabbah’s Blog

Die Tarawih-Gebete

Gemeinsames Fastenbrechen, Einladungen und das gemeinsame Gebet machen die besondere Atmosphäre dieses Monates aus. Die Tarawih-Gebete im Fastenmonat Ramadan werden von den Muslimen wegen ihrer dichten Atmosphäre und der besonderen spirituellen Erfahrung hochgeschätzt und das ganze Jahr über erwartet. Das Wort Tarawih kommt von der selben Wurzel wie das Wort „Ruh“, Geist, und wird daher auch mit der Bedeutung von Vergeistigung übersetzt, was auf die hohe spirituelle Bedeutung dieser zusätzlichen Gebete im Ramadan hinweist.
Das Gebet findet in beinahe allen größeren Moscheen in Deutschland statt. Nach dem Fastenbrechen geht man in die Moschee, betet dort das Nachtgebet (Salatu’l Ischaa, türk. Yatsi Namazi), und im Anschluss daran wird das Tarawih-Gebet verrichtet.
Die gemeinschaftlichen Tarawih-Gebete gehören zur Sunna des Propheten, sind also freiwillige, verdienstvolle Handlung. Diese Tarawih-Gebete müssen nicht in der Moschee verrichtet werden, sondern können auch zu Hause, allein oder mit der Familie, gebetet werden. Doch ist, wie auch generell, das gemeinschaftliche Gebet besser und segensreicher, und es wird zu den Sunnan des Ramadan gezählt, das Tarawih in den Moscheen in Gemeinschaft zu beten. Das Tarawih-Gebet ist das einzige Sunna-Gebet, das in Gemeinschaft verrichtet wird. Der Prophet, Allahs Segen und Friede auf ihm, selbst betete es mal in Gemeinschaft und mal allein, um es nicht als ein Pflichtgebet erscheinen zu lassen.
Die allabendlichen Tarawih-Gebete in der Moschee machen einen bedeutenden Teil der Spiritualität und der besonderen Atmosphäre des Ramadan aus.
Quelle: IZ

Thursday, October 21, 2004

OOOPS ;)

Sometimes the great and the good, rich and famous, get carried away. They say things that turn out to be radically wrong and later wish they had kept quiet. Or what they say is just plain stupid. Here are some examples:

  • No one will need more than 637Kb of memory for a personal computer' - Bill Gates
  • Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.' - Irving Fisher (1929)
  • We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out' - Decca record executive on the Beatles
  • Radio has no future.' - Lord Kelvin, 1897
  • Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.' - Lord Kelvin
  • Everything that can be invented has been invented.- - 1899, Charles Duell, U.S. Office of Patents.
  • There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.' - Ken Olson, 1977, Digital Equipment Corporation
  • The Internet is a great way to get on the Net.' - Bob Dole
  • Life is very important to Americans.' - Bob Dole
  • A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.' - Dan Quayle
  • I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn't study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people.' - Dan Quayle
  • It's not pollution that is hurting the environment, it's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.' - Dan Quayle
  • If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure.' - Dan Quayle
  • A zebra does not change its spots.' - Al Gore on George Bush (1992)
  • I have opinions of my own --strong opinions-- but I don't always agree with them.' - George Bush
  • Fiction writing is great, you can make up almost anything.' - Ivana Trump


Source: Said What.

While They’re Dying…

I’m an Arab, and I’m so proud of it. But being proud doesn’t blind me to see some destructive facts in our countries, or watch some of the most annoying habits and really messed up mentalities.

While Arabs in Palestine and Iraq are dying, while they’re suffering from war, humiliation and all signs of destruction and injustice; while so many Muslims in other parts of the world are trying to survive injustice imposed by the countries they belong to day after day; while our societies have so many homeless members, so many sick people, and thousands of people who are in need for any kind of help, we, Arabs, are still concerned about looks and titles. Sad, but so true.

Differences in the social levels caused by financial differences in income or heritage is a fact that existed ever since the occurrence of mankind. No one can change that. People are not the same when it comes to money, whether we like it or not, there will always be someone to call rich and someone to call poor. But where’s equality? Equality in relationships, in how we deal with each other. Why do we still judge by how much a person’s “worth”? why do we still base our treatment according to a person’s last name? Why do we offer extra service to those who pay more? Why are we proud of having rich friends? Why are we hypnotized with the sight of an expensive limousine, and captured by a glittering tux? Why are we in love a stuffed purse? Proud of a house we own in every country we like? Why do we long to shake hands with a VIP? Take a pic with a celebrity? Why and why and why?

Where did the great loving hearts of Arabs go? Why did they change?
War? No good excuse any more. Arabs should wake up and save what’s left to be saved.
Instead of making a fight if someone didn’t address you with Mr., Mrs., or Mademoiselle! Instead of getting all angry if someone forgot to mention that you’re a manager, a businessman, or whatever! Instead of hating the world if the invitation you got didn’t have “dr.”, or “eng.” noted before your precious name! Instead of all this nonsense, why don’t you see that a person who believes his money is what buys him respect and attention, will lose everything the minute his wealth vanishes, the minute a richer person shows up. Enough is enough, I’m really fed up of watching people fighting over a silly thing such as “you call me MR. and know your limits”, is that power? No. We can all shout, we can all raise our voice, we can all lose it and start creating excuses that make no sense. Actually most of us are doing this nowadays, but is it any good? Our lives turned into a battle, whoever has more money and connections wins! This MUST end. We should all stop complaining about our life styles and the way we’re treated. Each one of us should start the change from within.

Be rich, but don’t base your treatment on showing off and scaring others if they fail to fulfill your wishes. Keep limitations while being modest. Raise your kids on the right concept of respect. Respect was never a letter put before your name, it never was a title called while addressing you, respect was never bought with money. Money can buy you a title, but can’t buy you respect. Because real respect is what others feel about you deep inside them, not what they show you out of fear or hypocrisy.

Respect is not what you wear, or where you shop. It’s not where you dine or where you live. It’s not in which hotel you stay in your vacation, it’s not which car you drive. It’s not your job, not your family name. It’s not the amount of money you left as tip, nor the jewelry covering your hands. Respect is much simpler than that. Respect is how you think, and how you treat people. Respect is how hard you work to win the love of others in the right way. Respect is who you really are.

Let’s clean our society from the useless titles, let’s live the freedom and equality that God granted us. Let’s forget about connections and money, and enjoy the taste of hard work. There are millions out there who could keep us busy 24 hours with their suffering and problems, let’s try to focus on them for a change. Let’s be the great Arabs we once were…

Monday, October 18, 2004

Lesson Of The Day

“My parents used to say: we don’t worry about your future son, in your youth, freedom and science will transform from theory to applicable facts, and this will offer you a better life… I can't help wondering: would I be as lucky as my parents were, or would I have to survive my and my son’s future…” –a fellow worker.

Gesegneten Ramadan!

Ramadan Mubarak - Gesegneten Ramadan!
Ob Winter oder Sommerzeit weltweit Milliarden von Muslimen
Die es gemeinsam durchziehen ich bin einer von ihnen
Die Teufel sind in Ketten und der Segen ist nah
Ich freue mich auf dieses Ereignis jedes Jahr
Der Lohn wird verdoppelt die Moschee voller Leben
Ich will mein Bestes geben nach meinem Besten streben
Ich mache es für Allah und hoffe er nimmt es an
Mein Fasten im gesegneten Monat Ramadan
Quelle: Ammar114.de

Friday, October 15, 2004

Ramadan Reflection

Behind all, is a constant One
His radiance pales the shinning sun
But we do not see Him through our veils
Our lower self's winds fill our sails
We spend our days chasing the shadow show
From hence life came we do not know
But soon death will knock at our door
And we will have to look some more
At where we have come and where are we going
And what our actions in this life are sowing
Is what we are doing leading to know Him?
Or are we following every passing whim?
To witness His names and attain true being
Requires awareness, the true art of seeing
It takes remembrance of the reality
For knowledge, light and solemnity
To lift the veils of the shadow show
To see things as they are and come to know
So take the mantle of doing without
And restrict the self and have no doubt
That from denial comes relief
To see the truth behind every leaf
For hidden within us is the universe
The Qur`an unveils it verse after verse
So rejoice it is Ramadan take to the fast!
For this month of barakat will not last
Soon the month of fasting will fly away
And all the habits that we have kept at bay
Will come forward to have their appetites display
Without restriction of the Ramadan day
But for all those of subtle light
Those whom have attained inner delight
Will make their fast last all the year
Making their lives so precious and dear
For they are the true ones that have found the treasure
That all life comes in a clear balance and measure
So seek His knowledge and turn away from the plight
To rejoice in the splendor of His eternal Light.
-By Hajj Mustafa Ali-

Ramadan Kareem to all of you :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Proud Of You Cennet

I’m sure many of you have already heard the news of the 15 year old French Muslim girl: Cennet Doganay who shaved her head after being banned from classes with her headscarf on.
Respecting both the law and her religion, Cennet tried out everything to cover her hair without “violating” the new law of France that banned any religious symbols in schools. She tried berets and bandanas but still she was not allowed to attend classes. So shaving her head was the only solution she could think of.
Now whether shaving her head left a positive or negative impression by others, that’s not the issue, simply because no one would feel the paradox of loving her country and her religion at the same time, but the ones who are like her, the ones suffering from the same ban in their own country, the country which raised them on the courage of making a choice, the country which taught them to think and act freely…
Personally, I believe that since Cennet didn’t harm anyone, didn’t violate any law, didn’t cause any trouble by shaving her head, then her act should be respected. She stood up for her beliefs and tried to prove to the world that all she seeks is practicing her religion peacefully. She wanted the whole world to see that her will was never to show disrespect to her country, she never wanted to look different than her fellow colleagues, all she wanted is to lead a normal life, a balanced life that combines respect and love of religion and state. In return, she should be given freedom and respect, not humiliation and bans.
I respect her courage and admire her determination to follow both her religion’s instructions and her country’s law. Although, deep inside me I’m sure she’ll still feel the absence of democracy and freedom every single time she looks in the mirror, everyday she sits in the classroom being taught the meaning of democracy, the value of freedom, and the importance of respect. I know that shaving her head may not move the feelings of anyone, I know it may not result in any improvement she’s wishing for, I know she might be thought of as a careless teenagers, or even a silly girl, I know she might be even laughed at. But she knows she made her point, she sure knows the ones who really care about freedom, democracy and principles will respect her. She must know, that Muslim women from all around the world are proud of her, because she, in these difficult circumstances and in this young age did something that older women, in other less complicated and difficult circumstances wouldn’t even think of doing.

One last thing I feel obliged to say is: if a Muslim does not wear a headscarf, if a Christian does not wear a crucifix, if a Jew does not wear a skullcap, that wont change the fact that they are still Muslims, Christians and Jews. And governments should know, that not wearing a religious symbol wont hide the fact, a simple question like: "what’s your religion?", will unveil the fact. Unless of course, you're also considering than ban of religion-related questions. But even if you do, be sure that you can’t stop people from belonging to a religion they love, because religion, whether you like it or not, is a part of us, without it we’re lost. So instead of banning religious symbols, why not focus on teaching tolerance, love, peace and respect to other religions, because after all, this is what religion is all about.

I also encourage you to read Le Hidjab de Strasbourg , it’s in English.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Bitter Taste Of Joy...

We’ve just returned from the airport after saying bye to my older brother Mohammad.
Last Saturday, October 9th , my brother paid us a really quick visit. He called us few days earlier to ask us whether it was ok with us if he dropped for a 3 - 4 day visit on his way from Canada to Jordan. It was totally unexpected, we were thrilled. I haven’t seen him for over a year, and my husband hasn’t seen him for over 2 years. And the fact that he was coming a couple of days after his phone call was so overwhelming. I have been asking him to drop by ever since I came to Tunisia, but it never worked out. This time, it did, thank God for that.
To be honest, I really don’t know if I’m truly happy or not. Meeting him, talking to him about his life, about my sister in Canada and her family, remembering the old days, hanging out together, showing him my second country Tunisia…it was out of this world. I was really happy. But before I even knew it, he was off to Amman again. It’s such an annoying feeling you get when you start realizing that one of your dear wishes is coming true and before you actually taste the joy of it, you have to cope with the fact that it’s no longer there and you need to make a whole new wish and wait till it comes true…
I still need more time to talk to him, to listen to what he’s got to say, to be with him, and to reach a level in which I can really say: I met my bro, I spent time with him!
Now I miss him even more than I used to miss him before he came; just like I miss my whole family more with every passing day. I always think: time takes care of things like love and missing. But life is proving me wrong. The special spots in your heart, the dear pictures in your memory, and the delicious smells in your nose, they can never be replaced, they can never be deleted. They can get weaker, only if we let go. But they will get stronger, as long as they’re alive deep inside our hearts.
Yet life also taught me to be thankful for everything and appreciate even those few moments I get to hear a voice I miss, or see a face I love…
Thank you God!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Happy Birthday AquaCool :)

Yep, just like today, one year ago, my one and only blog “AquaCool” was born :) And on this occasion, I want to thank my dear husband Subzero Blue for encouraging me to create a blog of my own and for supporting me in everything in my life.

I must say that becoming a blogger made a difference in my life. First surfing the net was limited to certain sites, which I thought kept me connected with the latest news and what’s really going on in this world. But I must admit that I never felt satisfied and I always got bored easily. To me, surfing the net lacked something essential, I couldn’t really know what it was back then. But since I became a blogger and was introduced to this whole blogging world, I knew only then, that the things I was looking for were actually the personal touches of people just like me, reporting what’s going on in their part of the world, telling their side of the story, sharing their experiences, discussing their opinions, keeping in touch with their beloved ones, and giving their writings this special natural straight-from-the-heart flavor.
I can’t imagine -now that I have a 1 year old blog :)- the internet without blogs.
I love reading the blogs I read every day, I like the friends I made, and I respect the many people I got to know.
I want you all to know I’m glad I know you, I appreciate your comments, cherish your own writings, and wish you all the best in everything you do.
And finally I’ll quote a sentence from my very first post: “To me this blog is the Aqua that will quench my thirst for sharing my thoughts with you, and Cool the fire in my head every time I experience an unfair situation”...

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Time: Is It Money!

The first time I heard “Time Is Money” was in a movie, I was still a kid and understood that it was mostly said by businessmen who believe that every passing minute means a chance for making more money, and wasting time, therefore, will result in wasting these “big” chances.
Nowadays “Time Is Money” is said not only by the rich, but also by the poor. The poor people who will be satisfied with any penny coming their way. Yes, to them too, time is money, every passing minute might bring them a chance to feed their hungry stomachs; every passing minute may bring them a bill to be paid. Time for them revolves around money… mostly the kind of money to be paid not earned. Time for them is either a chance to survive, or a disaster to kick them out of this one small about-to-fall room, why? Because the owner of this room ALSO believes that “Time Is Money”, why waste it on a bunch of poor people when there are ones who are ready to pay the rent -maybe double the rent- on time?!
If only there is mercy and understanding in this world. If only we can feel for each other, help each other and respect the circumstances of each other like we once used to. If only the employers judge by qualifications and personalities rather than judging by connections and looks.
If this happens, I’m sure this world will be a better place to live in. Smiles of satisfaction will be seen more often, beggars will no longer exist, and I wont be watching all these innocent children working as hard as grownups instead of being where they belong: in schools, beside their friends, learning, interacting, living their childhood and being prepared to be healthy, constructive and happy members of the grownup society.
Wishing wont do anything in this cruel world. Let us all act, let us all do whatever we can according to our personal environment and our own circumstances.
Donate money, give away old clothes, buy someone a meal, save a plate of your lunch for someone in need, volunteer in a help organization…the list goes on. There is always something each one of us could do for sure, doesn’t matter if big or small, a good deed is a good deed. Let your good intentions break free and be sure that your good deeds will not only help others, but will also help you feel the bless of being human, and the power an individual possesses in making a big change in the whole world.
It’s not too late to convince the world that time has never been only about money, time is what we make of it…

Monday, October 04, 2004

Don't Quit

Many many years ago mom bought this great poem: "Don't quit", she hung it on a wall in our home where all of us can see over and over again.

This poem never fails to cheer me up. Whenever I'm really close to giving up, this poem gave me back hope. In my latest visit, I saw it again, read it again, and remembered all the hard times I've been through, all the difficulties I've faced and all the great feelings I had every time I defeated failure.

I even wanted to take a pic of it... yes, I love it that much.
Today, and while surfing I came across it, and thought it's a guaranteed way to give you the perfect dose of strength to keep on going in case you were feeling really down.

Thank you mom...

DON'T QUIT
by Edgar A. Guest

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
when the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
when the funds are low and the debts are high,
and you want to smile but you have to sigh,
when care is pressing you down a bit - rest if you must,
but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns.
As everyone of us sometimes learns.
And many a fellow turns about when he might have won had he stuck it out.
Don't give up though the pace seems slow - you may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than it seems to a faint and faltering man;
often the struggler has given up when he might have captured the victor's cup;
and he learned too late when the night came down,
how close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out - the silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
and when you never can tell how close you are,
it may be near when it seems afar;
so stick to the fight when you're hardest hit - it's when things seem worst,
you must not quit.

Friday, October 01, 2004

If Only…

Every Friday around this time I get a 2 minute torture cession while watching my beloved Royal Jordanian plane flying across the Tunisian skies to be in Amman in 3 hours and a half!
Every Friday I wonder: if only airplanes were like busses, all you need to get on board is to run and jump in ;)

Schreibwettbewerb für Nachwuchs-Onlinejournalisten

Ab heute starten DW-WORLD.DE - das Internet-Angebot der Deutschen Welle – und "Lehrer-Online.de" unter dem Motto "Schüler schreiben Geschichte" einen Schreibwettbewerb für Nachwuchs-Onlinejournalisten.
Schüler in ganz Deutschland sind für diesen Schreibwettbewerb ihren eigenen Online-Artikel zu einem historischen Thema ihrer Wahl zu verfassen, aufgerufen.
Teilnahmeberechtigt sind alle Schüler ab Klasse 7, die Spaß am Schreiben eigener Texte haben. Die Interessenten sind aufgerufen, für das DW-Angebot "Kalenderblatt.de" Informationen zu historisch bedeutsamen Ereignissen oder Persönlichkeiten ihrer Wahl zu recherchieren. Die Ergebnisse sollen dann journalistisch aufgearbeitet werden. Der historische und inhaltliche Rahmen ist dabei unbegrenzt.
"Wir wollen den Schülerinnen und Schülern die Gelegenheit bieten, für sie persönlich bedeutsame geschichtliche Themen journalistisch aufzuarbeiten und zugleich ihr Talent zum Schreiben auszuprobieren", sagt Guido Baumhauer, Leiter der Online-Abteilung der Deutschen Welle. mehr…