Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Celebrating Blog Day 2005

Sabbah tagged me to celebrate Blog Day. In order to do that, I’m supposed to introduce you to 5 new links that belong to different cultures.

Here’s my list:
1.Azza Jabr, from Palestine, I just adore her blog for one simple reason: she writes real stories, personal diaries and reports real life encounters and what the people of Palestine go through under occupation. Her blog is in Arabic.
2.EnlargeYourPen, a very interesting blog from Germany. He blogs in German and English about a variety of interesting topics.
3.Surfer Journal, a relatively new blog of a great impressive mind of a Palestinian/Syrian living in Morocco. His blog is in English.
4.Laughter Brings Good Luck, a personal blog of a Japanese woman blogging in English. With its many pics of places in Japan, this blog is such a delight to read!
5.Pourquoi Pas?, a great group blog that consists of bloggers from different countries. It's in English. I love their honesty, and unbiased perspectives.

Wish you all a Happy Blog Day :)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A Dream Come True In Ramallah


[AFP/JAMAL ARURI. Le Monde]

“I am Avi the cellist
I am Yossi the flutist
I am Nurit the violinist
I am Moshe the trumpest
We could not believe that we were in Ramallah. And we were sure it was not easy for the audience to envisage Israelis without their army uniforms, and not on special duty raiding homes and terrorizing the people. We were formally dressed for a concert at the Cultural Palace. Along with other young Israelis and Arabs from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Palestine we were performing with the West- Eastern Divan orchestra conducted by Maestro Daniel Barenboim”.


These were the words, with which the Israeli musicians expressed their unique experience as they performed with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra in Ramallah.
The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra was conducted by the Argentinean-Israeli pianist Daniel Barenboim and was founded by him and the late Edward Said, comprising around 100 young musicians, Arabs and Israelis as a means of fostering friendship between Palestinians and Israelis.

Edward Said, the Palestinian writer, historian, intellectual, musician, literature and music critic.
One of Edward Said’s dreams was having the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra perform in Ramallah. Sadly, he didn’t live to this day, but the concert was held in his memory, as as an act of solidarity with the Palestinian people in their quest for peace, justice, and freedom.
Having this day come is as important as witnessing it… it’s a dream come true.
Samia Khoury wrote a great article about the event few days ago, reading along one can’t but taste the success of this event and experience the feelings of the Orchestra members while performing, with the occupied and oppressed Palestinians as their cheering audience… Here you go:

“What a joy it was to be in that beautiful place hearing the cheering crowd, the endless applause by people, who in spite of what we have done to their lives, during 38 years of occupation, came out to hear us and welcome us warmly. Of course we realized that had it not been for the special relationship between Daniel Barenboim and Edward Said, this project would not have materialized, and we would not have been performing in Palestine and believing that music transcends all misunderstanding and hatred.

However, nobody should expect people living under occupation to welcome their occupiers in their midst before they atone for their crimes and end the occupation. We, out of all people should know how it feels. Up till now we refuse to perform Wagner in Israel because his music reminded us of the hated Nazi regime. So deep down in our hearts we really thought that those people coming out to listen to us cannot be the “terrorists” that our government has made us believe they were. They were human beings yearning for freedom, the slogan under which the concert was performed in memory of the late Edward Said.
Yet we could understand why many others could not feel comfortable watching us perform, as we realized that we were a reminder of the brutality of the Israeli soldiers during “operation defensive shield” in 2002. And some might be wondering if we were part of that operation. We had heard so many ugly stories, and they could have very well been experienced by some of the people listening to us tonight. The lady whose home was searched three times and was deprived of her torch- light, when it was the only source of light she had with the electric current being cut off. The one thousand dollars which were looted from a home whose owner must have left in a hurry fearing for her life. And the so many homes which were used by soldiers and left like a pig sty, while so many young men and students were picked up from the streets for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The irony of it all is that the whole concert was under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, that building in which the soldiers during that operation really went amok. What was done there was despicable. So we were wondering whether the audience was seeing images of soldiers as we were performing or did the beautiful music of Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante (K.297b) and Beethoven’s powerful Symphony No. 5 have a healing effect?

Deep down in our hearts we felt we owed those people much more than a cosmetic concert. Maestro Barenboim said he was not a political person. But in this troubled land nothing said or done can be non-political. So we cannot take it for granted that this concert could happen again under the same circumstances and that it will be a start for a process of normalization. We appreciate the Maestro’s vision that performing together or getting to know each other as human beings will remind us that we are destined to live together on this land. But to be able to realize this vision we have to recognize that there are International laws and UN resolutions that we need to abide by as a country created by the International Community. We cannot continue to occupy a whole nation, and deprive them of their inalienable rights, and at the same time accept them to acquiesce. In fact we heard it very clearly at the concert, that our security is dependent on the freedom of the Palestinians. How true that is. So maybe it is we before anybody else, who have a special responsibility. Should we not be the ones to start the campaign for ending the occupation and pulling down the walls and check points? Only then can the two peoples really enjoy the fruits of a just peace, which will bring about the freedom, equality, and fraternity that Maestro Barenboim feels strongly about. Our only hope for another concert would be along the WALL so that with horns and cymbals we will help pull it down.”
[Source: Scoop]

  • More: Electronic Intifada, and La Libre(FR).


  • UPDATE:
    It turns out the audience were selected. Only those with invitations (i.e. those with connections) were allowed to enter, average Palestinian people were not allowed in. More...
    I still believe it's a great event, but I hope next time it will be a real peace gesture, a real encounter between the Palestinian public and Israelis for peace with no such limitations!

    Saturday, August 27, 2005

    Updates On Webster

    So ladies and gentlemen, after spending A LOT of time checking on latest news concerning the Webster Dictionary Issue and making sure they are accurate, it’s time for a “ progress report” :)

    After reading my blog, Mr. Nadim Abuljobain supported me every step of the way. He kept me updated with the latest news and contacted Mrs. Rania who was the intermediate between us and the Anti Discrimination Committee(ADC). Thanks to her, we knew that ADC actually tackled this issue in 2002, and Webster informed them that they could do nothing about the already printed copies, but assured ADC that all new editions will have the edited definitions.
    It’s to be mentioned that the ADC became aware of the “anti-Semitism” definition through Dan Walsh, a political consultant, who first questioned the definition with Merriam-Webster in 2001. Merriam-Webster spokesman Arthur Bicknell replied to him by saying that the company has no plans to immediately change the definition, but because the definition no longer reflects current usage, "it is likely that [it] will be changed or eliminated" in the dictionary's fourth edition, which will be published in seven to 10 years.
    Hussein Ibish, director of communications for the ADC, called Merriam-Webster's response " totally unacceptable. . . . It's not good enough to say in 10 years' time they'll deal with it." Source: Rense.

    And since the definition remained unedited the ADC filed a complaint in March, 2004 requesting an immediate action. Media Coverage of ADC's Merriam-Webster's Campaign.
    And the followup on the Updated News of the same year.

    Latest Updates: August 2005
    August 7th, I wrote about the issue, and some bloggers showed great support and spread the word: Subzero Blue, And Far Away, MFLS, Earth To Omar, and Bashir.
    I Also found An open letter to Webster by Peter Ryan.

    August 14th, two Jordanians: Zarqa University President and president of the Professional Associations Council protested to Merriam-Webster over entries for “anti-Semitism” and “arab.” The Jordan Times.
    Following that, August 15th, Jordan Unions called for boycott of Webster Dictionaries(it’s mentioned that bloggers were the ones to draw attention :)).

    Webster issued an apology letter concerning both definitions (Arab & Anti-Semitism), the letter reads: “We apologize for any unintended offense caused by these entries... Please be assured that we will continue in the constant process of reviewing the accuracy and currency of the entries in all our books, and we will make appropriate changes when we prepare new editions of those books..” -Kory Stamper, Associate Editor, Merriam-Webster, Inc.

    Also a Statement from Merriam-Webster, Inc. explaining the whole misunderstanding was published. (I’ve read this statement a while ago since it was first sent to WATA and they were great enough to give me a copy).

    In August 22nd, news were published about Definitions being pulled. (also on ADC).

    I would like to thank all those who helped me and supported me, and I would like to thank all those who took action in defending our identity and origins.
    And last but not least, I thank Webster for caring about their reputation in the Arab World and for showing cooperation and understanding towards our requests.

    Monday, August 22, 2005

    Crocodile Tears...

    Wherever you look you find headlines of the “Historical Moment” of Gaza Settlers evacuating their fancy homes…
    Pics of sad faces, angry features, falling tears, prayers, fights… etc.
    The “withdrawal”, the “disengagement”, the “forced evacuation”, the “compulsory deserting”… wait there is more: flashbacks of memories, bitterness, dislocation, what else? I guess any sympathetic word would fit as long as it serves the Israeli “disengagement plan” that is a step towards the claimed “freedom”…
    All talk about poor settlers; all speak of the Israeli “sacrifice”; all see nothing but the cooperative spirit of Israel in doing everything it can to have “peace”.

    Does anyone speak of the compensation each family’s getting? No. Does anyone doubt this 100% pro-Israeli media coverage? NO. Does anyone at all speak of the negative consequences of this so called “withdrawal”? Hell NO!
    Does anyone bring up the fact that these settlers are actually occupiers who illegally took the place they call home? No. Does anyone speak of the exodus of Palestinians in 1948 & 1967 when they were FORCED to leave not only their homes, not only their neighborhoods, not only their cities, but their whole country while the WHOLE WORLD IS SIMPLY WATCHING! No.

    How do Israeli Settlers look? Great! Everyone seems to sympathize with their tears, which media by the way spared no effort in showing: drop by drop.
    How does the Israeli government look? Never better, they have shown their just and fair actions that they even used forced to evacuate their brothers & sisters the settlers who didn’t want to withdraw voluntary!
    How do Palestinians look? Still terrorists, not only do they “kill Israelis”, and “destroy Israel”, but they are also the reason why those sensitive poor settlers are going away from their homes….
    In short: Israel= peace initiative, Israelis= victims, Palestinians= victimizers!

    I usually support peace in every way, but only when peace is the means, and peace is the goal. I’m not against this withdrawal, but I’d believe in it only if it really serves justice and peace, but the sad fact is that this withdrawal is nothing but a play to me, Israel got more attention and more sympathy, while it’s cutting its way to more control, more Palestinian land, more power and more isolating of Palestinian territories.
    Unemployment will rise, poverty will increase, Palestinians will still have no control on their own sources neither access to their own land. This whole withdrawal is –in my personal opinion- nothing but a trap, a win-win situation for Israel…

    Nothing pleases me more than a just independent and courageous voice speaking the truth and standing up for the real victims. Thanks to “Refugee” a loyal reader of my blog, I was able to read an extremely amazing and unbiased article by Jennifer Loewenstein, believe me, you don’t want to miss this article!

    Terrorist Acts… Sick Minds

    What a week! Last week was a disaster, I had loads of work to do at the office many tight deadlines, felt a bit sick, and heard my share of bad news.
    Most disturbing news was that of the bombings in Aqaba.
    In this crazy time we’re living, I’m not shocked to hear of disgusting terrorist acts anywhere in the world, but what shocks me every time I hear of one is: WHEN ARE THOSE AIRHEADS GOING TO FINALLY GET IT!!!
    Terrorism never solves a problem! Killing innocent people, destroying the planet, and planting fear in all generations is NOT THE DAMN SOLUTION!!!

    And what makes me really sick, is when they show their “pretty faces” and say: in the name of Islam…etc.
    Yeah right! Well I’m Muslim, and I’m saying it out loud: MAY YOU BURN IN HELL YOU MORONS!

    Saturday, August 20, 2005

    The Meetup In Kelibia

    Ok I know it’s a whole week late but well, what can I say, life can get us really busy!

    So the last meetup of the Tunisian Bloggers was in Kelibia, one of my favourite places in Tunisia besides the beautiful Bizerte and Djerba.
    To be honest I only went twice to Kelibia, and it was for a short while; less than a day.
    But the last meetup helped me see the real Kelibia, the other sides of its beauty, not just a public beach… all the thanks go to our fellow blogger Adib, who is from there, and who was our guide all the day long.

    The bloggers present were: Mouse Hunter, Marouen, La Blogeuse & Evil Drako, EjjaBilCaviar & La Guilde, Adib, Subzero Blue and moi :)
    The adventure started at 10 a.m. and ended at 12 a.m. :D

    It was breathtaking, simply amazing, very very beautiful. The best meetup so far! I just wished other blogger could’ve made it, we truly missed them so much, specially: Zizou, Noha, Yamen, Chikipi, Seif and Tom.

    The meetup took place at Restaurant El Mansoura, an extremely amazing place, great food, comfortable atmosphere, and last but not least, a heavenly natural surrounding. Our table was literally on a big beautiful rock, its edge inside the pure clear water, i.e. one jump/ step and one can be enjoying the refreshing water and the view of the cute little fishes and other weird creatures :P
    And although the place deserved each and every millime we’ve paid, I believe it was a bit expensive, and that many bloggers, if they came, wouldn’t be able to afford it.
    Yet again, it was worth it, anyway, it’s not always we get to have such a beautiful place and enjoy the food, view, water and company :)

    After we had lunch and the bloggers swam and swam and swam :) Adib took us in a tour to know Kelibia’s historical sites and figures. That was truly nice. The meetup ended with a yummy cup of green tea & pine nuts, some had shishas and we talked about many things.
    The café was situated inside a rocky hill, and the seats we got were natural rocks covered with cozy mattresses, I got the worst place since the rock I had was not carved inside but pointing out that my back looked like a zigzag while I was sitting :D

    The meetup was special in many ways: being out of Tunis, and the same day of 2 sweet occasions: Drako’s Birthday :) (Happy Birthday again friend) and Woman’s Day in Tunisia, and for that Mouse Hunter –the women supporter- brought each lady blogger a “mashmoom”: a bunch of jasmin/ fell organized in the shape of one big flower. It has an amazing beautiful smell and looks really lovely. Thanks again Karim :)

    Thank you Adib for your effort in the arrangements, the reservations, the tour and all. It was one special meetup :)

    For pics click here and on all links provided above :)

    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    Jordan, Britain Deportation Accord

    After the terrible London bombings, more security procedures have taken place, and many critical decisions were taken as well. One of these decisions was deporting Muslims who are in suspicion. The reaction of the world was mostly supportive to this decision, among the supporters were many Arab Muslim Bloggers who are pro deportation of suspects. I for one believe that Britain has the right to do that of course, but my fear is the grounds on which Muslim British Citizens would be selected for deportation. Who is exactly a suspect? And so my personal opinion was: identify suspects, investigate, if proven guilty then they should be punished, if not guilty then they have the right to stay where they are. Anyway, and regardless of what I think, the decision to deport “suspects” is now on its way to action. One of the first steps was: signing a deportation accord with Jordan that allows for undesirables to be deported from one country to the other, and under which both countries guarantee the civil rights of Jordanian and British deportees without the fear of torture or mistreatment. Britain pointed out that agreement has been formulated for one-and-a-half years and had no links with the terrorist attacks that hit London recently.
    This accord faced a lot of opposition from some politicians and activists in Jordan. Also rights group Amnesty International slammed the agreement as "not worth the paper it's written on".
    Sources: Middle East Online, and Jordan Times.

    What hurts me the most is the fact that torture and mistreatment of prisoners has become a common practice in most of the world.
    I'’m sure that if torture is crossed out of our dictionaries the world will be taking a big step towards civilization, development and reform, and it will become a better place to live.

    Mahmoud Darwish In Tunisia

    The great Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish arrived to Tunis yesterday and met the Minister of Education as well as the Palestinian Ambassador in Tunis.
    Mahmoud Darwish will be participating in the Carthage Festival by reading some of his amazing poems tonight. [Source:Assahafa (AR)].

    I’ve always been a fan of Mahmoud Darwish, and I’ve always admired him as a person and as a poet. He speaks for Palestinians and contributes a great deal in straightening the wrong picture most of the world have about Palestine and its people. I find it really impressive that he participates in international activities, festivals and conferences… he’s such a great man!
    To know more about Darwish’s life, work and activities, Click Here!
    And now I leave you with one of his famous poems: I Am From There

    I come from there and remember,
    I was born like everyone is borne, I have a mother
    and a house with many windows,
    I have brothers, friends and a prison.
    I have a wave that sea-gulls snatched away.
    I have a view of my own and an extra blade of grass.
    I have a moon past the peak of words.
    I have the godsent food of birds and olive tree beyond the ken of time.
    I have traversed the land before swords turned bodies into banquets.
    I come from there. I return the sky to its mother when for its mother the
    sky cries, and I weep for a returning cloud to know me.
    I have learned the words of blood-stained courts in order to break the rules.
    I have learned and dismantled all the words to construct a single one:
    Home

    Sunday, August 07, 2005

    Racism In Dictionary!

    I wanted to write about this irritating topic a while ago, but it took me some time to make some research and have my post based on evidence and facts rather than simple news I’ve read. It’s a bit long, but if you’re Arab, you HAVE to read it…
    The thing is, a while ago Serdal posted a link to an interview(AR) with Dr. Wafa Kamel about racism in Webster Dictionary. Reading along I was shocked to know that Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Collegiate Thesaurus has enlisted in the 3rd Edition an entry that reads:
    Entry Word: arab
    Function: noun
    Text: 1
    Synonyms VAGABOND, clochard, drifter, floater, hobo, roadster, street arab, tramp, vag, vagrant
    || 2
    Synonyms PEDDLER, ||duffer, hawker, higgler, huckster, monger, mongerer, outcrier, packman, vendor

    Source: Unabridged Merriam-webster(You will need to subscribe)

    Not only this, but it defines anti-Semitism as “opposition to Zionism”, look below, you’ll find 2 definitions, notice the second.
    Main Entry: an•ti-sem•i•tism Pronunciation Guide
    Pronunciation: () -
    Function: noun
    Usage: usually capitalized S
    1 : hostility toward Jews as a religious or racial minority group often accompanied by social, economic, and political discrimination -- compare RACISM
    2 : opposition to Zionism : sympathy with opponents of the state of Israel

    Source: Unabridged Merriam-webster(You will need to subscribe)

    Members of the World Arab Translators’ Association (WATA) have politely contacted the responsible people in Webster requesting clarifications to know on what ground they based their definitions, stressing that dictionaries are meant to be educational and unbiased.
    The Merriam Webster Dictionary staff responded, politely as well, arguing that some definitions are citations generated from a wide variety of carefully edited prose, and that a word or new sense of a word is entered into the dictionary only if it has been used in a broad spectrum of publications for a substantial period of time. Therefore, they said, they will research carefully and revise the definition of anti-Semitism to make sure they provide only accurate definitions in coming versions, and that the "opponents of Israel" sense will most likely be deleted based on its lack of current citational evidence.

    Now back to the “ARAB” definition. According to Webster the most commonly-used sense of "Arab" has no true lexical synonyms. And that there are senses of "Arab" that have been used historically and are less than flattering: like the senses objected to above.
    Assistant Professor of Translation, Mr. Ahmad Al-Laithy (PhD), a WATA member, wrote Webster Staff explaining that the “historically usage” argument seems to be applied to no other race but Arabs, which means Webster is using double standards and that’s not acceptable. Supporting his point of view, he gave an example of the word “jew”, which is commonly used as a verb in American English meaning: to bargain down the price. Even though this word is common the Webster dictionaries never includes it most probably because it’s an offensive usage.

    On the other hand, Professors of Linguistics from USA and Europe pointed out the discrepancy between the treatment of Arab and other people. They also supported WATA explaining that even if the dictionary’s content is reflecting language usage, responsible editing requires removal of racial epithets such as this definition of “Arab”. As for the Anti-Semitism definition, some raised an objection on categorical grounds saying that Zionism is a political movement. Hence, opposition to Zionism is also a political movement. Anti-Semitism, on the other hand, is properly regarded as a specific type of racism. And that many Jews and Arabs (Semites all) are among those people who oppose Zionism.

    Dr. Wafa Kamel, pointed out a very important issue: if Webster claims that the definition of “Arab” provided was commonly used, then why didn’t other world dictionaries state it as well?
    Another point is: any good dictionary using modern and advanced technologies MUST clarify the roots or source or fields of usage of a certain word, therefore if they claim that “Arab” in that unpleasant definition was used in a certain period of time they should’ve mentioned it; if that was what Arabs stood for in a certain area, period, book, dialect, slang, metaphor, …etc., it should be mentioned clearly to avoid any offence or inaccuracy.

    It’s to be mentioned that many Arab and American newspapers talked about this issue, and as a result many Arab intellectuals and Organisations have called to boycott Webster dictionary and any other dictionary that is to be proven to use such inaccurate and offensive definitions.

    My Personal Opinion:
    Webster has always been a reliable and prestigious dictionary in the Arab world. Such an incident did damage its reputation for sure, and I find it a normal reaction for many Arabs: teachers, institutions, journalists, writers, translators and intellectuals to call for a boycott of Webster’s Dictionaries.
    I myself was really offended, because even if Arabs gained an unpleasant reputation due to any reason in a certain period of time, why limit our definition to this only? Why don’t people look at our history, when the word Arab stood for nobility, generosity, and scientific advancement? Why don’t they look at our old and present achievements? Why don’t they mention our good sides too, just like they do with many other races?

    I’m sure there are other dictionaries that offend Arabs, and for that the first thing I’d do from now on when buying or using a dictionary will be looking up 2 words: Arabs & Muslims.
    If they reflect unbiased reality, that’s fine, if not, then I wont only stop at not buying it, but I’ll write about it for the whole world to know, and will ask all the ones I know to boycott them in all possible ways.
    Because really, I wont be spending the money I earn with effort on a dictionary that regards me as an unpleasant awful person who deserves nothing but hatred and disgust…

    Special Thanks:
    I would like to thank Dr. Wafa Kamel for helping me with the supporting material and evidence. Without her I wouldn’t have managed to get all the material I got and I would’ve never been able to get a clear and accurate picture of the situation. Thank you so much…
    And of course, many thanks to WATA, who played a very positive role in this issue and protested in the most civilized and peaceful way...

    The Plane Crash

    My depest condolences to the families of those who died in the TunInter Plane Crash...

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    Work Diaries (25 ): Fax Me Baby One More Time!

    Today was unbelievable, my fax machine kept beeping all day long, no, not too many faxes, it was only one.
    The thing is, a company we deal with sent us a fax in the morning. It had the name of another company, i.e. it was not meant to reach us, but obviously it was sent to us by accident, and since the info is SUPPOSED to be confidential, I immediately called the sender and explained to her that she has to re-send the fax to the other company. She thanked me and apologized for the mistake.
    Just as I hung up, the fax machine started beeping the receiving signal again, I checked it out: the same fax! So I called again.
    Eman: Miss, seriously, you have the wrong number, make sure you send it to the right company this time.
    Sender: Oops! Sorry, I’ll make sure this doesn’t happen again.

    10 minutes later…
    beeeeep (the fax machine receiving). I take a look and AGAIN the same damn fax! So, I call.
    Eman: Hi, I..
    Sender: (in a rude manner) YOU AGAIN! What do you want this time?
    Eman: I’m the one who’s supposed to be angry, so lower your voice while speaking and get this straight: YOU SENT US THE FAX BY MISTAKE AGAIN!
    Sender: ok ok, will deal with this.

    20 minutes later…
    Again the same fax. So I call AGAIN!
    Eman: what’s the matter with you? Why do you keep sending us this fax?
    Sender: I’m fed up really!
    Eman: YOU? Ok listen miss, honestly, if I was some cheap bastard I wouldn’t give a damn, but I’m being really nice here and I’m doing you a damn favor, WHICH you are not appreciating. For the last time I’m telling you to check out the number, or tell you what, write down the correct number, here you go…. (I give her the number)
    Sender: I have the right number, so..
    Eman: please just let’s make sure you have it.
    Sender: Ok
    Eman: here you go(……..). So now, if I get this fax one more time, I’m going to talk to your manager, understood!
    Sender: is that a threat?!
    Eman: yeah dear it is, you’ve wasted enough time and paper for nothing, you are sabotaging the receiving of other important faxes we are awaiting, and above all, you’ve sent confidential info to us, which will get you in big trouble if you don’t look out.
    Sender: ok, ok.

    2 minutes later…
    I get the very same fax. I call her manager and explain everything.
    Manager: (shocked) WHAT!
    Eman: Just like I told you. Now I mean no harm to anyone, just make sure this doesn't happen again.
    Manager: No problem at all. I truly apologize.

    5 minutes later...
    (beeeep) .. I check the fax, and FINALLY I got a different fax that is really for us.
    But wait, there's another (beeep), what the hell? it's the same old fax again!!!
    GOD!

    Revenge...
    I faxed them back their fax with a note that says: WRONG FAX NUMBER! but I didn't do this only once, I faxed them my note every 15 minutes even when they called and said they got my fax. I know that’s evil and so unlike me, but to hell with everything, I wanted to teach them a lesson ;)

    Tuesday, August 02, 2005

    In Search of Fatima: A Palestinian Story…


    Last week I’ve finished reading this stunning memoir of Dr. Ghada Karmi. Every time I try to write about it, I find myself speechless. I have no words good enough to express my feelings towards this book and its great writer: Dr. Ghada Karmi. A person you can’t but admire for the unusual honesty and outstanding style of narrative writing.

    “In Search Of Fatima”, this amazing book is not only the story of the Karmi’s during the exodus of 1948, it’s not only an account of personal emotions and experiences, but also a historical record, a political register and a social reference.
    This book is the kind that makes you wish it’ll never have a last page; the kind that draws your attention from the very first pages, if not from the cover itself, just like what happened in my case.
    In the last few days of my visit to Jordan, I found that book on one of the shelves of a bookstore in Amman, the title “In Search Of Fatima: A Palestinian Story” was enough to attract me and I was tempted to buy it right away…something I could never ever regret, in fact this book is the best I’ve ever read so far!
    Many would think I loved that book because it’s written by a Palestinian. I must admit that being written by a Palestinian was the magnet that drew me to it, because it’s not usual to find books written by Palestinians in comparison to the many Israeli books available, but why I loved it is a whole different story.
    I loved it, because of the honesty of the Palestinian who wrote it, and because of all what that book stands for.
    Reading through the pages I was overwhelmed by the fact that finally someone is writing about Palestine: the land, the people, the traditions, the food, the social activities…
    I fell in love with Palestine all over again. Every page revived the few memories I have collected over the few visits I was able to make to my homeland and from what I’ve been told by my parents.
    I was captured by the honesty of the writer sharing us her most secretive experiences and the details of her personal life and adventures.
    I felt the pain of the dislocation and refuge every single Palestinian felt and is still feeling, the sense of belonging to wherever they are and where they come from, but not fitting into either,i.e. the lost identity...
    I felt the bitterness of the never-ending accusations and claims that Palestine was never meant for us, and that Palestinians are nothing but evil terrorists who have no right in their own country…
    I loved how Dr. Karmi explained that Palestinians don’t hate Jews, and wrote how they lived together in peace before the announcement of Israeli State, upon which Palestinians were expelled from their own homes and country to seek refuge in the neighbouring countries…
    I loved how she criticized Arabs and the west, I loved everything about that book.
    It must be said, that any Palestinian will find it extremely easy to relate to this book and the story it tells.

    It’s a book that must be there in every Palestinian home, a book to be read by every Arab and every non-Arab to get a non-biased picture of what really happened in Palestine and understand what the Palestinian cause is all about.

    Actually I think I became really attached to the writer that I was really angry when the book came to an end at a certain point in her life without being able to know what happened next. That proves only how good a writer she actually is…

    Thank you Dr. Ghada Karmi, you can’t imagine how much this book meant to me, it’s a treasure to keep!

    For reviews of the book and to order it online Click Here!

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    On King Fahed's Death...

    My deepest condolences to the Saudi people for the loss of their King Fahed.

    May his soul rest in peace...

    Inna lillah wa inna ilayhi raji'oun...

    4th Tunisian Bloggers Meetup

    As expected, it was wonderful. More bloggers are showing up and the feminine participation is becoming only better with the sweet Troubadour, Blogeuse, Infinity, and IjjaBilCaviar, yep we were 5 ladies this time ;)

    As for other male bloggers,they were Evil Drako, Tom, Zizou from Djerba,Yamen, Marouen, 7ammadi, La Guilde, and last but not least: Subzero Blue.

    We arrived at 7 p.m. and stayed till 1:30 a.m. :D it was great, we talked LOT! The topics are always getting better, this time the main focus was on premarital relationships and religion.
    Zizou gave us all a hard time to convince him of certain things, and he did a pretty good job asking us really hard questions ;)

    The sense of humor of many bloggers, specially Tom, gave the meetup a very nice atmosphere. I also felt that many bloggers feel more comfortable now, specially Troubadour and Yamen.
    It was also great to meet the newly engaged couple Blogeuse & Drako, and it was such a great chance to meet Infinity, who’s full of surprises :)

    We truly missed Adib, MouseHunter & Chikipi, and I hope that more and more bloggers will take part in the coming meetups.

    For pics and more details click here!