Thursday, March 31, 2005

Lesson Of The Day:

"Getting married is not about choosing the right person, it is about being the right one." -our friend Issam Smeir quoting a couple who had been married for 53 years-

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Latest Craze In Jordan: K & K :)

I just came across this beautiful Star article written by Mike Derderian about the latest craze in the Jordanian fast food industry: K& K. Read on to know what K & K stands for.

He wrote:
The latest craze in the Jordanian fast food industry is not a new burger and fries franchise or an international brand name coffee product for that matter. It’s K&K, which as a native Arabic speaker you’ll know stands for Kurash and Kaware’, a long forgotten traditional plate—especially among the circle of younger generations, who grew accustomed to the flavor and hype of fast food suburbia.
“We opened up the place on July 1, 2004,” said Lina Moughrabi, owner of the K&K, “It was just a thought I had. I was thinking out loud when Dr Munir Naouri, who now is my partner told me to go ahead and do it.” Moughrabi believes that people no longer like to spend much needed time preparing such a meal that it almost disappeared from the Jordanian cuisine. Kurash and Kaware’ is indeed becoming an ancient cooking recipe, day by day modern Jordanian housewives are shunning away from it, avoiding the long hours spent in a kitchen where the aroma of spices, minced meat, rice and chick-peas lingers among the sweltering cooking pans. “We wanted to resurrect traditional food cooking and serve it in a modern style. Anyone coming to our place can order anything from our menu that includes Kurash and Kaware’, sheep’s head meat, forelimbs and hind limbs, in addition to Fattet Kaware’,” added Moughrabi, “Its all available.”
As a customer pushes open the entrance door, he faces a stairway that leads to a dining room with 18-seat capacity. The clientele can enjoy their meals on the premises as if at the comfort of their home, or they can simply order a takeaway meal. Those eating at K&K can savor Kurash and Kaware’ in three different servings: Grilled, boiled or cooked with Jameed (cooked yogurt).
All the ingredients used in preparing this delicacy that originated in Syria are sanitized and cleaned properly said Moughrabi.
The hustle and bustle of Moughrabi’s kitchen starts at 8:00 am, when preparations for the first meal starts, which would be ready by 1:30 pm. “Everything has to be fresh, that is why we sometimes prepare two to three meals a day,” added Moughrabi, “We take our customer’s orders early in the morning, to have enough time.”
Located in a back alley, K&K is literally out-of-sight, Moughrabi says that it is word-of-mouth that has been bringing in customers to her kitchen. “People coming to our place can simply climb down the stairs and watch how we prepare our Kurash and Kaware’.


Well I must admit I’m not a fan of such delicacies, but this article got me excited and I wont mind trying.
By the way, did anyone of you in Jordan try this place out? If not, then it’d be great if you go and let us know what you think. It’ll also be wonderful if you could take some pics and post them, I’m really curious ;)

29 Years And Counting…

Today marks the 29th anniversary of Land Day.
Land Day has been observed since 1976 when Israeli Arabs launched a strike on 30 March in which six Arabs were killed in clashes with security forces after a government decision to expropriate land in Galilee.
The event, held for the past 29 years, has been observed by Israel's large Arab minority each year to protest against ongoing discrimination and the appropriation of their land by the Jewish majority.
This year, Israel's Arab minority will hold a central rally in an unrecognized Bedouin village in the Negev to commemorate Land Day.
The rally will be held in Abu Tlul, an unrecognized Bedouin village that is home to 3000 people in the Negev desert while parades and commemorations will also take place in the northern Galilee region.

Palestine will always be remembered; Palestinians will never give up their right in having their own land back for as long as life will go on!

  • Related: 28 years and for as long as it might take…
  • Collecting Plastic Waste



    This is an ad I found on Tunisia's Daily Newspaper: "La Presse". For those who can't read Arabic, it says: now I can collect plastic bottles and win with "Net of Environment Friends".
    "Net of Environment Friends" was first created in 2005 by the Ministry of Environment & Development to help minimize and prevent pollution caused by plastic waste in Tunisia. And this ad is a part of its campaign in collecting plastic bottles and containers from stores, buildings and homes.

    Studies showed that in Tunisia alone, the number of plastic containers used for milk, water and Coke, is around 700 million, which is about 21000 tons of plastic. The studies also showed that the usage of glass bottles dropped from 30% in the nineties into 10% currently. On the other hand shopping stores prefer using plastic bags rather than replacing them with environment-friendly bags.

    In efforts to minimize the fatal damages of pollution caused by plastic waste, local Tunisian associations and private organizations are doubling their efforts to launch more awareness campaigns and to come up with ideas that will urge citizens to help in collecting plastic waste for recycling purposes.
    Other than TV spots, recycling locations spread all over the country, and the huge recyclable-waste containers implanted in many locations in Tunisia, municipalities were given financial aid that should support collecting campaigns. As a result, some cities announced that they would be giving certain amounts of money in exchange for plastic waste and others decided to make some kind of competition for kids & adults, where winners get interesting prizes.

    I find this very impressive. This will sure help keep plastic waste under control, and later on, people will be prepared for reducing this kind of waste.

    Sources: pollution of plastic waste(AR), and campaigns to control plastic waste(AR).

    Tuesday, March 29, 2005

    Rest In Peace…

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    [www.alghad.jo]

    Still can’t believe Ahmad Zaki’s dead!
    His death, although somehow expected after a long struggle with cancer, yet it shocked millions of his fans…
    Just came across a pic of his funeral, thank you for sharing Raynahe.

    Death comes whenever, wherever, however it comes, no one can stop that. But we can all remember that we’re mortal, and our lives should serve one goal: making this world a better place to live.

    Let’s all pray for his soul, inna lillah wa inna ilayhi raji’oun!

  • Related: This is Cairo, and Hou-Hou Blog(FR).
  • Monday, March 28, 2005

    The Tennis Dance ;)

    The weather is perfect, sunny, slight cool breeze, calm… simply beautiful. Loads of work to do, got used to that, so there’s actually no problem. The only thing annoying me is the pain I feel in my legs, wrest and arm.

    Yesterday, my husband and I decided to put an end to our lazy lifestyle, which –thanks to him and the weird weather- we’ve been sticking to for a long long time :D So we decided to go out for a friendly tennis match. Taken by the beauty of the place and the adorable weather, we forgot all about our lazy muscles that should be warmed up gradually, and started our match right away. Our match, which –at times- couldn’t have been more aggressive, lol!
    MMM was hitting as strong and fast as possible, throwing the ball high up in the sky making me suffer to catch it! But the revengeful me did all the unprofessional, so unfriendly, so bad-mannered-tennis-player tactics hitting the ball in the opposite corners of where MMM is standing making him run across the whole court :P soon enough he started using the same tactic, then we got back to our peaceful selves, playing a decent game.
    A short while later, I got in this hysterical state, laughing my head off every time one of us misses the ball. Later on, I got this really stupid reaction: fear! So instead of hitting back the ball, I either ran away from it, or twisted around it, or –when the ball is high- I’d lean back to escape it… and believe me there were times when I looked as if I were ballet-dancing rather than playing… ah I was terrible.
    In the final stage, I got really really hungry, started picturing French fries, and fatty food, cold coke…etc. Then I was too tired to chase the ball or gather the ones spread all over the place. And before we knew it, our time was over, we went home fresh, happy, active, and things were great.
    Today I’m in pain and feel lazier than ever :P

    But who cares, it was real fun :)

    Daniel Day-Lewis & Sunday Times, Thanks

    Please take a minute to thank the Sunday Times and Daniel Day-Lewis for an excellent article in the March 20 edition entitled “Inside scarred minds”, in which the renowned actor, on his first visit to the Gaza Strip, meets Palestinian families living in conflict and the psychologists who are counseling them.
    Our thanks and support are all the more important because the Zionist Federation has today urged its members to complain about the article, which it described as “very unpleasant”. We must not allow the newspaper or celebrity to be silenced, as this will discourage other high-profile figures from speaking out.
    Write to letters[at]sunday-times.co.uk. To assess response rates, please Bcc your letters (which will remain confidential) to info[at]arabmediawatch.com

    Via: The Black Iris, Source: Arab Media Watch

    Friday, March 25, 2005

    For Lebanon...

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    "I entrust this dear country, Lebanon, and its good people to God, and I express, from all my heart, my thanks and my gratitude to all those who cooperated with me the last period"... Rafik Al Hariri

    40 days ago, the Arab world lost one of its greatest figures, yes the Arab world, not only Lebanon, the loss of Rafik Al Hariri broke the hearts of all those who knew him, in Lebanon, and outside it.

    I really find myself speechless everytime I wish to write what I feel concerning this great tragedy, this awful crime, this brutal assassination...

    But one thing I can always say, and will always say: Rafik Al Hariri will always be alive in our hearts with his good deeds and his devotion to his country Lebanon and his faith in the Arab world.

    God bless Lebanon and the Lebanese people, and may God protect them from any bad incidents.

    May his soul rest in peace... Inna Lillah Wa Inna Ilayhi Raji'oun...

    Links of notice: For Lebanon, and Hariri.org.

  • Related: The Truth... For Lebanon
  • 12 Words That Describe Me The Most

    Again, another great inspiration by Subzero Blue:
    1.Impatient: I’m restless, hate waiting, can’t wait to solve a problem, or to see the results of my work, or to reach my goals. And when my patience runs out, I could get really nervous.
    2.Talkative: yep, I talk a lot, but don’t worry, I know when to respect myself and stop :D
    3.Self-Confident: I really don’t care what others think or say. I believe in who I am, whoever dislikes it can simply bite me ;)
    4.Good Listener: people feel I’m so trustful that they open up to me from the 1st time.
    5.Modest: I never show off, I consider myself a down- to-earth person, try to be as natural as possible. I can’t tolerate someone feeling less than me for any reason whatsoever.
    6.Stubborn: I admit being very stubborn, it takes a lot of effort, patience and smartness to convince me of something I see wrong!
    7.Threatening: don’t know why many people in different fields of life think I’m a threat to their own presence/performance, so they start challenging me and competing with me even though I’d be in a whole different world!
    8.Hesitant: I hesitate a lot when I need to make a decision, I just have to think of everything, all side-effects, all consequences, even if the decision wasn’t that serious.
    9.Loyal: no matter what happens, I can never ever betray someone or stab them in the back.
    10.Independent: I just hate being dependant, I need to know how to do everything on my own, but if someone wants to help out or pamper me, they’re more than welcome.
    11.Kind: I love helping others, defending the weak (when they’re right) and I’m generous to the extent that bothers my MMM ;)
    12.Strong: thank God, I’m always strong even in the hardest times, I think it’s because I’m an optimist.

    Uffff…More Attacks!

    I just came across Rafah Pundit’s post: Blogversation, which mentioned the post: Zippy and the very odd day. Being the curious person I am, I simply went to read that post. I wish I never did. It turned out another post with misconceptions and fake facts, obviously from a not very well-informed background about neither Palestinians nor Muslims.
    With all my respect to Anne, who wrote the post, but I believe one should at least search the right sources and be fair enough in order to write such an offensive post.
    It’s not only because I highly admire and respect Rafah Pundits, it’s because I’ve always believed writing is responsibility, it affects millions, and therefore one should never spread lies, market false ideas and mislead people who read what one is writing just to serve personal interest.

    I always say everyone is free to believe what they want to believe, and like or dislike whatever they choose, but only when they tend to keep it personal and not start an attack that will harm other people whoever they were. I wont go on replying to every lie I unfortunately found in that post insulting every Palestinian, and blaming every Muslim since the time of prophet Mohamed (pbuh), I’ll cut it short and summarize what I want to say in 2 points:

    1. A Muslim is not considered a Muslim if (s)he does not believe in Christianity or Judaism, if (s)he does not respect them, be good to them and believe that Islam is just a continuation of these 2 religions, and therefore a relationship of respect and friendship should be between people belonging to any religion. The prophet did not kill Jews or Christians or non-believers unless they were attacking. Islam is based on the fact that it should be spread but no one should join Islam or believe in it by force. Everyone is free to believe what they want as long as they are leaving Muslims in peace. Whoever acts differently threatening the lives of Muslims or non-Muslims, is not a Muslim by all means!
    2. Allow me to use your own phrasing Anne to explain this point: [It's the common (and getting old) routine of "they're not all bad" and "it's just a few extremists." I have encountered this notion time and time again, and all I can think is that it didn't take all the Germans, or even all the Nazis, to kill two out of every three Jews in Europe”] why don’t you think the same way when it comes to Palestinians? It takes only few Israelis to erase Palestinians from the face of this Earth, did Palestinians hate all Jews? Did they reject peace-gestures from Israeli peace-activists? Palestinians who -unlike you- believe in the suffering of Jews throughout the history, ask for nothing but having their own land, the Holy Land in which Muslims, Christians and Jews should live peacefully, it doesn’t have to be taken from them by force and called a different name and be restricted to Israelis! It’s the HOLY LAND!!!!! They want nothing but to be fair to them and let them live in peace. I really don’t know where you got these “Palestinians shoot Israeli kids in their sleep” and all that stuff, but take my advice, refer to reliable sources of information next time you write.

    I know that no matter what I say here whoever wants to hate Palestinians and Muslims will do even if they saw facts contradicting their wrong ideas. I just thought I’d clear up the above points for those who are willing to know and who are willing to be neutral and unbiased.

    Thursday, March 24, 2005

    Jordan Wins FDR International Disability Award

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    The World Committee on Disability and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute honored Jordan with the Franklin Delano Roosevelt International Disability Award in a ceremony at United Nations Headquarters, to be the 1st Arab country to win this award.
    The award recognizes outstanding action in support of the United Nations World Program of Action Concerning Disabled Persons, adopted by the General Assembly in 1982.

    A National Organization on Disability (NOD) statement said the award “acknowledges Jordan's exemplary efforts to improve the lives of people with disabilities in their country, as called for by the UN World Program of Action Concerning Disabled Persons.”

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    [The opening ceremony for the first Pan Arab Games for the Disabled, held in Amman.]

    According to the statement, Jordan was one of the first Middle Eastern countries to enact disability-specific legislation and introduce building codes aimed at accessibility.

    Source: Jordan Times

    Have A Trouble Waking Up? Get a “CLOCKY”

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    [Photo from: media.mit.edu]

    Scientists at MIT Media Lab in the U.S. have come up with the cutest, most practical and effective invention to be ever invented for those lazy sleepers, whose fingers just love pressing the “snooze buttons” every time the alarm goes off. The invention is called: CLOCKY, an alarm clock which makes even the laziest sleepers, who repeatedly hit the snooze button, jump out of bed.

    How? After you press the snooze button, the clock, which is equipped with a set of wheels, rolls off from its place to another part of the room. Impressive fact is: Clocky finds a new hiding place every day, it doesn’t hide in the same places every time! So when the alarm sounds next time you have to get out of your bed and look for Clocky, this will prevent you from going back to sleep again!

    Source: MIT Media Lab-Clocky

    Wednesday, March 23, 2005

    Palestine Wins Saddest Photo Prize

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    Palestine won the prize for the saddest photo in the BBC “Sadness and Joy” photography contest.
    The photo captured by the Palestinian TV producer Abdul-Rahman Al-Humran, shows three young girls weeping in sorrow for their brother, who was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in the city of Rafah in Gaza, won the first place in the competition.
    The winning photo was published in six different languages on the BBC websites.

    [Via: PalestineBlogs, and Sabbah’s Blog]

    Tuesday, March 22, 2005

    Lloyds TSB & Islamic Mortgage

    As many already know, under Islamic law both payment and receipt of interest are forbidden. This has created sort of a problem for Muslims in countries that offer no Islamic banking systems.

    Now Lloyds TSB, Britain's 5th largest bank became the country's first high street bank to offer mortgage services compatible with Islamic Sharia law.
    Lloyds TSB said it would cater to the needs of Britain's approximately 1.8 million Muslims, following in the footsteps of the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB), which opened in London last September offering the same service. Under the new Lloyds TSB mortgage, the bank would fund the majority of a house purchase. The customer would then repay that sum over a fixed period, alongside a rent payment for use of the property.
    The move follows Lloyds TSB's recently-launched Islamic bank account, which also offers no interest or overdraft facilities to comply with Sharia law.
    The mortgage and current account were being piloted in branches across Muslim populated areas of Britain, including Edgware Road in central London, Luton, north of the capital and the country's second city Birmingham.
    Source: Middle East Online

    I believe this is simply great. As long as the system is optional, not forced on non-Muslim citizens, and as long as it does not contradict the country’s interest nor negatively affect society, why not have it and open the door for more investments!

    Launch Of New Radio Stations in Amman

    After the creation of the Audiovisual Commission (AVC) in 2002 and introduction of the Audio Visual Media Law, which eliminated public sector domination of the radio and TV industry, opening the door for private entrepreneurs, three new radio stations got their license and will soon start broadcasting in the Amman area, joining the Kingdom's five public and private FM stations already on the air.

    AVC Director General signed three agreements granting the companies licence to start broadcasting on the FM frequency.
    The first agreement, was signed with the owner of AmmanNet, Daoud Kuttab. The station will be focusing on local issues and community affairs including social, municipal, cultural, and sports issues in the capital.
    The station, will not broadcast political programmes or news, he added.

    The second agreement was signed with Arab Media Network Company Director Tareq Abu Lughod, licensing the company's radio station, Mazaj, which started experimental transmission yesterday. Sawt Al Ghad, the third new FM station, owned by the Jordan International Company for Transmission, started experimental transmission a week ago.

    Source: Jordan Times

    Friday, March 18, 2005

    Work Diaries(19): one stupid a day, blows your mind away!

    8:30 a.m.
    The bell rings, I open the door, it’s the building door keeper.
    He: there’s a mail package for you, it’s been lying downstairs since last week. I thought I’d finally bring it to you if you’re ignoring it.
    I: sorry, but you know I never ignore our mail. Anyway, maybe I didn’t notice it for one reason or the other.
    (I look at the address and it’s not for our company)
    I: ah, na, it’s not ours, it says another address, one floor higher ;)

    He leaves…

    9:30 a.m.
    Bell rings again, from my security cam I saw the same guy holding the same package.
    He: I went upstairs they said the address was wrong, they don’t have a lady with that name so I got back to you.
    I: well, maybe it’s not theirs, but it’s definitely not ours. I’m so sorry.

    He leaves…

    10:00 a.m.
    Ding, Dong…
    I: I swear to God it’s not ours, just ask the ones of the address written on the package to contact the mail office and return it.
    He: The woman upstairs said she contacted the post office, the postman told her it belongs to the lady with blue eyes… you.
    I: Mr. I don’t know what’s your problem, but it’s not mine.
    I call the woman upstairs and explain that she should simply return the package.

    She: but I called them and the postman said it was for the lady with blue eyes.
    I: well, it’s not for me, I can assure you that, and my eyes aren’t blue by the way, they’re green. Just return them to the post office.

    11:30 a.m.
    Ding, Dong…The doorkeeper AGAIN!
    He: the woman upstairs contacted the post office again and they told her it was for the lady on the 4th floor with blue eyes, always wears a hat, and wears glasses! Which is you.
    I: would you please FOCUS!! Which floor are we in now?
    He: Third
    I:Do I wear a hat?
    HE: No.
    I:am I wearing glasses?
    He: Nope.
    I: and my eyes are?
    He: green.
    I: What does that tell you?
    (after a while of thinking)
    He: it's YOU!
    I: please leave before I kill myself...

    And he leaves...

    12:00 p.m.
    Ding, Dong…AGAIN, the doorkeeper.
    I: what now?
    He: the postman said the lady’s name was Nedia.
    I: great, my name isn’t Nedia, it’s Eman. Now would you please leave me in peace? I really have work to do.

    12:15 p.m.
    Ding, Dong…I saw him and chose to ignore the ringing.
    He leaves….

    15:00 p.m.
    Ding, Dong…Yeah, him again.
    I: listen good man, I know you need to deliver this, but I swear to God it isn’t MINE!!! So please return it to the post office and stop wasting both our times!
    He: It’s yours.
    I: it isn’t.
    He: it is.
    I: IT IS NOT!
    He: it is.
    I: ok enough with the crap, if you don’t leave me alone I swear to God I’ll let you regret the minute you knocked at my door, OKAY!
    He: but it’s yours.
    I: don’t let me close the door in your face, just leave with dignity.
    He leaves…. Only to come few minutes later, look at the security cam and start teasing me by saying: the package is yours, the package is yours, making some really stupid faces!! And he simply sits on the stairs opposite to the cam!

    I have to admit that I tried my best to ignore his damn face on my cam, but couldn’t! So to end this pathetic situation I decided to call the post office myself and ask the postman to come to my office.
    When he saw me he apologized and said it really wasn’t for me, it is for a lady on the address written on the package. I take him upstairs, after a bit of thinking it turns out, the postman is in love with a lady who told him she was a secretary in the 4th floor, when in fact she’s nothing but a cleaning lady who wears blue contacts on her dates. She gives her boyfriends the office address counting on the fact that she’s the first to arrive and collect the mail! Only she’s been sick for 2 weeks and therefore was absent and couldn’t get her package from her boyfriend on time!
    They all apologize for the “inconvenience” they caused me, all, except for the doorkeeper who came half an hour later with a box of CD’s with the address of the office next door so damn clear written over it and said: this time the package is obviously yours, so go ahead and sign that the package was delivered to you personally!

    I thought to myself: “if you weren’t that stupid, I would’ve really explained to you how stupid you are”….

    Thursday, March 17, 2005

    Reviving The Tunisian Culture

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    Yesterday Tunisia celebrated the Day for National Handcrafts and Traditional Costume. A day that Tunisians use to revive their beautiful culture and its different trends that have been preserved throughout the years.
    Other than the exhibitions, seminars and the discounts on many items of the traditional costumes and handcrafted products, many Tunisians wear their traditional costumes on that day on their way to work (mostly in the public sector), which I find simply amazing.
    Among the traditional costumes there is the “barnous”, the “qoftan”, and the most famous traditional Tunisian costume: the “Djebba”, which –in the case of men- has a loose wide form, decorated with handmade broidery, and comes in different colors. The female Djebba on the other hand has a different tighter form, the hand broidery is more noticeable and the colors are shinier.

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    Of course wearing the Djebba isn’t limited to that day alone. Tunisians wear their traditional costumes on family occasions like weddings, or outeyya (a party for the bride few days before the wedding) or on cultural events. It is also popular to wear Djebba during Hadj (Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca).
    The material used for Djebba differs and the prices differ accordingly. When handmade the Djebba is more expensive than when made by machines. And of course the beauty of the handmade Djebba is worth every Millime. The designs of Djebba also vary from one city to the other, but the general outcome is somehow the same.
    The Djebba has become very popular, even tourists run to buy one.
    I must say this one day celebration is very impressive and unveils a very beautiful side of the Tunisian national heritage that should make every Tunisian proud.

    Speaking of this occasion, if you’re in Tunisia, don’t miss the “22ème Salon de la Création Artisanale”, an annual exhibition that offers a very wide and stunning range of Tunisian handcrafted and traditional products.
    The exhibition takes place in Parc des Expositions du Kram, will start today March 17th, and will be open till March 26th.
    I go there every year, it’s really amazing.

  • Sources: Préparez les djebba pour la rencontre des amis(FR),Journée nationale de l’habit traditionnel et de l’artisanat(FR), Celebrations(AR), (AR).
  • No Italian Troop Withdrawal!

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was forced by Washington and London Wednesday to backtrack on his surprise announcement that Italian troops would start leaving Iraq in September. US President Bush and British Prime Minister Blair Wednesday reacted to Berlusconi's announcement by saying that no troop withdrawal from Iraq has been ordered and that the Italian leader would not act unilaterally.
    The left-wing daily Il Manifesto said Berlusconi had flip-flopped throughout the day, with the final version of his remarks making it clear that for the moment "the start of the troop withdrawal announced with all solemnity on television was only a wish."
    In a serious country the head of government cannot allow himself to make statements so ambiguous when it concerns the life and death of so many human beings," the paper said.
    Source: Middle East Online

    I believe that when the lives of so many citizens are in danger, and when the public opinion is involved, such a sudden flipping of an official statement that has been aired internationally is not a wise thing to do.

    This whole war on Iraq is going no where, all I can see coming out of it is more bloodshed, terror, and innocent lives being jeopardized. No weapons of mass destruction, no more Saddam, why is there war till now? To fight terror? Terror is present as a reaction to the unfair actions and the unjustified presence of troops that are serving no goals!
    I hope this war will finally stop, enough with the bloodshed!

    Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    Remembr Rachel Corrie

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    Just like today, March 16th, 2003, the 23 year old American Pro-Palestinian Activist Rachel Corrie was brutally killed by two Israeli soldiers while trying to block an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bulldozer from demolishing a Palestinian house.

    THIS IS HOW THEY KILLED HER!

    I guess from a quick look at the pics, one can easily know that when IDF claim they didn’t see Rachel, it’s nothing but a big fat lie. She was there, in front of them, wearing a very bright orange jacket, SHOUTING OUT LOUD with a loudspeaker to identify herself as a peace activist, so even if none of the two heartless soldiers saw her, they could’ve at least heard her or at least saw the other 4 activists around her.

    Now the family of Rachel is suing the State of Israel and the IDF for damages in the Haifa District Court.

    All I can say is, may God be with her family, and the families of all who lose their bright innocent children who wanted nothing but justice…

  • Related: For Rachel, Calling to vote for Rachel Corrie Rebuilding Campaign in Gaza.
  • Tuesday, March 15, 2005

    Fingerabdruck-Bezahlsystem!

    Im Rülzheimer EDEKA-Markt kann man per Fingerabdruck jetzt bezahlen… Ja, das ist wahr! Der deutsche Lebensmittel-Einzelhändler EDEKA setzt künftig auf das Bezahlen per Fingerabdruck. Im Rülzheim hat EDEKA in Kooperation mit dem selbstständigen Kaufmann Roland Fitterer und dem Internet- und Biometriedienstleister it-werke einen Supermarkt eröffnet, dessen Kassen mit kapazitiven Fingerabdruck-Scannern ausgestattet sind, an denen Kunden ihre Einkäufe durch die Überprüfung des Fingerabdrucks bezahlen können. Mehr…

    • English for the curious :)
      Customers of the German supermarket chain EDEKA in the southwest German town of Ruelzheim have been able to pay for their shopping by a fingerprint-pay-system . Now the company plans to equip its stores across the region with this technology. According to Roland Fitterer, the store manager, customers need to register once with their identity card and bank details, then they can shop straight away. The scanner compares the shopper's fingerprint with those stored in its database along with account details. More info…

    Illegal Settlements Continue

    Construction on Settlements outposts in some locations in the West Bank continues despite the latest report by attorney Talia Sasson on government involvement in building and funding "unauthorized" outposts. The report basically demands the government to dismantle all outposts, those prior to and after March 2001 and cease any other channeling of funds for further outposts.
    Sasson presented the ministers with her report's main conclusions showing contradiction between words and actions, saying, "the government spoke in two voices on the issue of the outposts. The government must take into its hands responsibility for what is happening in the outposts in the territories and not sit on the sidelines watching as the settlers do whatever they want, without anyone stopping them."
    Sasson said there is no legal difference between the outposts erected before and after March 2001, totaling 95, with 71 before and 24 after that date.
    "They are all illegal," she said. "It is important to emphasize that it's not merely to evacuate the outposts but to cease the entire procedure of budgeting and transferring state funds to the outposts."

    According to the Israeli Administration in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, 65 files on "unauthorized" construction adjacent to settlements have been opened in recent months. Five buildings have been demolished in illegal outposts, three of them by settlers.
    Source: imemc news

    On this subject, yesterday I was one of many who got the following message, and I thought I’d share it here:

    “SEND OUR PREWRITTEN LETTER NOW OR, WRITE YOUR OWN:
    http://www.cflweb.org/ congress_m...ress_merge_.htm
    *********************************
    Citizens for Fair Legislation
    For Immediate Release
    March 14, 2005
    ********************************
    CFL ALERT: ASK YOUR REPRESENTATIVES FOR GUARANTEES THAT U.S. WELFARE TO ISRAEL WILL NOT BE SPENT ON FUNDING ILLEGAL SETTLEMENT ACTIVITY.
    Israeli attorney, Talia Sasson has written a damning report about the financing of illegal settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. The report recommends that criminal investigations take place against several members of the government who acted as agents of the settlers, not the Israeli government. Accused members of the Israeli government are claiming that knowledge of illegal settlement activity went all the way to the top and that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon approved and initiated many of the projects to build and sustain illegal settlements. Please take a moment to send our letter or write your own to your representatives and ask that they demand accountability from the Israeli government. Tell them that American tax payer money not be spent on criminal settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza.”

    Monday, March 14, 2005

    Lesson Of The Day:

    “Some people believe that a happy life creates an emotion, which equals that of a sad life, since the happy life is horrible to lose, and the sad one is painful to bear…” -university friends.

    Friday, March 11, 2005

    Because Today Is...

    Today, what a lovely special day it is. It’s the day this veeeeery special person was brought into life to light it all up and give my existence a great new meaning and fill my heart with love…

    Yes, just like today, 26 years ago, a little baby cry broke the silence, and announced the birth of the greatest, most loving and caring person, who blessed my life with the most wonderful and successful marriage any couple would wish for…

    I wanted to dedicate a poem on this occasion, I searched the net for hours and hours, and I found many beautiful ones, but honestly, nothing could compete with the power of a true: I LOVE YOU, coming straight from my heart…

    Happy Birthday MMM, may all your days be joyful, successful and beautiful, and may all your wishes come true. I’m glad we’re together, and I thank God for this. … I can see a great future ahead of us, I hope you see our future as bright as I so…(and make sure I’m in it all the way long ;D)

    God Bless You!

    Thursday, March 10, 2005

    On Child Safety Program

    I’ve always believed that the well-being of the individual reflects on the society as a whole, and a huge part of the well-being of an individual consists of having a balanced, safe and happy childhood. And to achieve this, children must be protected from any kind of abuse and should get the right kind of awareness to inform them of their rights, the negative actions they should report, and most important of all, whom to turn to in case of being victims of physical or sexual abuse.
    As Arabs, we know the importance of the well-being of children, but in our countries we lack the supporting programs to spread awareness that help improve the parental behavior and guide children to the helping hand, most important of all, we lack shelters for abused children.
    Fortunately things are always improving, as the number of Arab countries that are implementing children safety programs is on the rise. Jordan took the initiative and led the Child Safety Program in the Arab World, providing the first children shelter ever, and launching awareness campaigns. One of the extremely successful campaigns is: *Ajyaluna Campaign (*Arabic for “Our Generations”)

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    Ajyaluna is a one year National Awareness Campaign on Child Safety, and is one of the great programs of Jordan River Foundation that aim at improving society, aiding families and protecting both women and children.
    Ajyaluna was launched on June 6, 2004, and is being implemented throughout 2004-2005. It tackles child safety issues by promoting dialogue, awareness and understanding through an educational media campaign that will target all levels of the Jordanian society.

    Ajyaluna serves as a major channel of communication and information through Jordan River Foundation’s TV commercials (Our Wealth), radio announcements, press advertisements, billboards, awareness lectures and workshops, and television program:Beit Sgheer (Small Home), which highlights positive parenting education, founded in the principles of child development.
    It also created Awareness Caravan that will reach most rural area throughout the Kingdom.

    I must say that this Child Safety Program and this Ajyaluna campain are very important and really impressive. They deserve our appreciation and support in every possible way. They might sound easy, but there are many difficulties and obstacles that the Jordan River Foundation faces to implement and carry on these programs. One of the huge problems is the financial funding. So, if you care and wish this program succeeds and becomes and idol to other Arab countries to follow, please don’t spare any effort whatsoever in showing your support. You can donate, become a member, or buy one of the lovely and really useful products of the foundation.
    You can find more information and details here…

  • P.s. The Jordan River Foundation Website has an Arabic Version available.
  • Tuesday, March 08, 2005

    International Women’s Day

    Today marks the International Women’s Day, and this year’s theme is: “Gender equality beyond 2005: Building a more secure future.”

    Many Arab countries celebrate the International Women’s Day, and many have their own national woman day.
    In my personal opinion that is limited to personal experience and some readings and media news here and there, two countries are on the right track as far as women’s rights are concerned: Tunisia and Jordan.
    Tunisia is one of the Arab countries that have given women rights in almost everything. The Tunisian law guarantees the benefits and secures the destiny of women unlike many other countries where women are still struggling to get the basic rights of survival and participation in society.
    And I know, Tunisian women wont settle for what they’ve achieved, they’ll always ask for more… my hearts with you Tunisian men ;) But really, I think Tunisia deserves being admired for the achievements in this regard.

    As for Jordan, I must also say that women are getting more rights and are entering more fields that were once considered taboo!
    The country’s progress is witnessed by the increased women’s empowerment in many ways, such as women's quota in the Lower House, the appointment of seven senators in the 40-seat Upper House, the naming of four female ministers in the most recent Cabinet, and the recent appointments in the judiciary, which now has 26 female judges.
    But my favorite achievement is the ongoing project of opening shelters for abused and mistreated women. Something Arab countries lack in general. And I really am very impressed by this great step that will allow women to reject abuse and look for a better life without the fear of ending on the streets. I think all Arab countries should follow Jordan in this.

    The only principle disadvantages Jordanian women have according to the Jordan Times are:
    - The country's Labor Law does not guarantee women equal pay for equal work.
    - Women are underrepresented in higher management positions in the public sector.
    - Citizenship Law, which allows men to pass on Jordanian citizenship to their foreign wives and children but denies women the same right.
    And I think in no time, Jordan will achieve success in these 3 points as well.

    In Jordan and in observance of International Women's Day, media institutions have appointed female co-workers to run the institutions for one day.
    As for Tunisia The President Zein El Abidine Ben Ali, congratulated the President of the National Union For the Tunisian Woman with the following speech: (AR), (FR).

    Related:
  • Progress Of Arab Women
  • Woman’s Day In Tunisia
  • Kuwait Women Rights Now
  • March 8th(AR)
  • Confessions

    Inspired by And Far Away...
    1. When it comes to cheating I’m a total loser. I was left in a closed office with my own books for 2 hours and still couldn’t have the courage to open the books and write the answers to my test!
    2. I’m really good and creative at making up excuses :P
    3. I faked being Miss Jordan once in Germany using a Burger King carton crown turned inside out (it wasn’t my idea though, it was my class’ and teacher’s idea).
    4. I always complain when others drive fast, but I admit that I somehow find myself speeding up when I drive.
    5. I’m easily affected by marketing ads :P
    6. I’m extremely bad at geography, my teacher gave up hope on me when I marked Russia in the place of England on the test map :D
    7. I love pampering myself, dropping me at a day spa is way much better than giving me a diamond.
    8. I was known as: the "tearless" lady, but after I left my family, a song with warm melodies or touching lyrics is enough to make me cry even if I was in the middle of a festival (but I’m good at hiding my tears though).
    9. Can’t concentrate on serious work or reading or homework if music’s playing.
    10. Somehow people get the impression that I’m good as a nutrition advisor and keep asking me for ways to get the perfect weight, great part is: my advice always works :)
    11. I can win the trust of people so easily, and I never betray them or hurt them even if they became my worst enemies... hmm, it's so hard for me to trust others.
    12. I always manage to break my glasses one way or the other.
    13. I hate doing anything to get attention or win competition.
    14. This may shock many, but I hate reading, it takes me ages to end a book, UNLESS the book is health, environment, or religion- related or is about a real life incident :D

    Monday, March 07, 2005

    Arabic Bread

    Dear fellow bloggers, I would like to proudly announce my success in achieving my nr.1 challenge away from the Middle East: Making Arabic Bread!
    YIPPIEEEEEEE!

    In Tunisia there are three kinds of bread used: baguette (French bread, which is their main used bread) and tabouna bread (which is somehow like Egyptian bread, a bit thicker) and Mlewi bread(kind of between Iranian bread and kmaj bread). They’re all great, very tasty, and I love them, but when I want to eat Middle Eastern food, the whole taste changes if the bread is not the normal fluffy Arabic bread.
    I looked for places that sell Middle Eastern food, and found around 4 restaurants (all Lebanese) that sell that bread. Problem is it’s so damn expensive.
    And since I love cooking, and adore homemade stuff, I decided to try baking my own Arabic bread at home. I knew it might end up as a total failure that could embarrass me and shock my husband, but still, I took the risk and baked it anyway.
    It took me around 4 hours to have the dough perfectly prepared! But I’m telling you, it was worth every second of it. I enjoyed every bit of making it, and while baking, I sat in front of the oven just to make sure I wont miss watching the bread circles rise and puff up :)
    The result: it was SO YUMMY!!! Just like the one I know in Jordan. Ah! I could eat and eat and eat nonstop!
    I’m so happy…

    Now my next challenge is: homemade labaneh! A creamy mixture between yogurt and cottage cheese. I know how to make laban (yogurt) and I made it here in Tunisia, but never tried to make labaneh, this weekend hopefully I’ll have the time to make labaneh! And I’ll let you know :)

    By the way, if you’re reading this Jalan-Jalan, please tell me if you got the “makdous” recipe. I don’t know why it kept coming back to me all the time. But the last time I sent you the email I didn’t get it back. So please confirm you got it either by leaving a comment here or by emailing me.

    Friday, March 04, 2005

    As Long As Respectful…

    Just came across our friend Natasha’s post concerning the reactions to the Muslim girl who won the school dress case.
    In her post she drew our attention to a post written by The Big Pharaoh on this subject and noted that what he wrote was really appealing, and more convincing than what Subzero Blue wrote.

    Of course everyone is free to believe what they want to believe, and everyone is free to like or dislike whatever they choose, but after reading Big Pharaoh’s post, and the comments left there, I found myself starting out this post to clear out a main and very important point for the sake of all those who are easily mislead by sarcasm and who fall in the trap of “this is real freedom” strategy.

    No offence, but I actually believe this whole Nudadism example fails to fit the comparison, because of one very important and basic concept Subzero Blue mentioned on his post: "I think everyone should be free to wear whatever they want to wear as long as it's respectful". Respectful being that what doesn't offend social values in general, not that of an individual.
    Going out nude is far away from being compared to the lady’s case, because personally I believe that the act that offends the dignity and the freedom of society as a whole is no longer a personal privacy.
    Having said all that, I’d like to point out that people wear coats that cover the whole body whenever they feel like it, just because what the lady asked to wear was defined as "islamic jilbab" doesn't mean it will harm society in any way! so it's not really worth all that fuss and destructive criticizing!!!

    Britain did a very brave and fair step that I find very civilized, and would like to congratulate them for the courage of fulfilling real democracy and being fair to their own citizens. I really respect them for that and I just hate it when people make civilized steps look so wrong, and uncivilized ones look really impressive!

  • Another interesting post on the subject: Drubbed By The Jilbab
  • Thursday, March 03, 2005

    State Of Mind...

    If you think you are beaten, you are;
    If you think you dare not, you don't!
    If you'd like to win, but you think you can't,
    It's almost certain you won't.

    If you think you'll lose, you're lost;
    For out in the world we find
    Success begins with a fellow's will;
    It's all in the state of mind!

    If you think you're outclassed, you are;
    You've got to think high to rise.
    You've got to be sure of yourself
    Before you 'll ever win the prize.

    Life's battles don't always go
    To the stronger or faster man;
    But sooner or later the man who wins
    Is the person who thinks he can!

    -Author Unknown-

    Wednesday, March 02, 2005

    Lesson Of The Day:

    “Sometimes forgetting is more painful than remembering”.a taxi driver.

    Jordanian Prisoners On Strike In Israel

    Jordanian prisoners in Israel began a hunger strike on Tuesday. They also issued a statement demanding their release and insisting they would not rescind regardless of consequences.
    “Obtaining the release of the prisoners has always been the government's top priority and main objective,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Rajab Sukayri said. Details…

    I really hope all of them will get back to their families and homes safe and sound, and that they’ll be granted freedom before anyone’s health condition is threatened by the strike.

    Tuesday, March 01, 2005

    A Journey In Preserving The Palestinian Identity

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    Established 1979, El-Funoun Palestinian Popular Dance Troupe aimed at reviving Palestinian music and dance folklore as a part of the national identity.
    They succeeded in preserving old songs and dances, such as the “dabke,” a traditional dance form popular among Arabs of the Middle East, using traditional Arab instruments like oud, nai, and tabla.

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    A very interesting paragraph related to El-Funoun on This Week In Palestine caught my attention: “At the time, Israeli leaders liked to think and to publicly announce that Palestinians did not exist as a nation; and, to fulfill the prophecy, they attempted to destroy and/or confiscate the indigenous Palestinian culture, heritage, tradition, history and identity, if not explicitly then through convoluted schemes and arbitrary “laws.” Flight attendants on board Israel’s airline El Al were issued Palestinian embroidered costumes; the golden Dome of the Rock was prominently flashed on every Israeli travel brochure; hummus and falafel were served as traditional Israeli cuisine; a myriad of Arab-Palestinian slang expressions entered the Israeli idiom as native talk; and of course the colors of the Palestinian flag were not allowed to be combined in any shape or form, even on a painting. Any slight assertion of Palestinian identity was severely punished”.
    I’m so happy that El-Funoun never gave up and kept fighting to protect the Palestinian Identity from fading away despite all the difficulties they faced from the occupation, which did not spare any effort in holding them back.

    To counter the marginalization and alienation of Palestinian children and youth through music and dance expression, El-Funoun decided to form the Youth Troupe(Bara'em):
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    25 dancers (both females and males) aged 8 – 15 are carefully selected by El-Funoun choreographers according to their artistic talent and promising devotion to learn and develop.

    I must say I am so proud of El-Funoun, and I truly wish them the best of luck to continue their great mission in preserving and promoting the Palestinian Identity.

    For more information about El-Funoun, their contacts, their photo gallery, their video clips, and much more, visit their -breathtaking- official website which is available in both Arabic and English.