Friday, August 25, 2006


I was at the bank, talking to the accountant who knows me for more than 2 years.
Her name is Rani (a female name in India)

As she was checking my account she asked ,"Do do you have a green card now"
I replied ,"No, won't get it for a few years, probably never"
Rani , "Oh, so you'll never become a citizen?"
I said , "Don't think so."
Rani, "Does Israel allow dual citizinships?"
I was a bit surprised by the question.
"I don't know" I replied.

Rani after a pause..... "so how's your family doing in Israel?"
I said, "I'm actually from Jordan"
Rani, "Oh really, I always thought you were from Israel"

Two years ago ago in Miami, I was chatting with 2 young people in the street.

The girl asked ,"You have an accent , where are you from?"
"Is that Israel?"

She kept staring at me looking for more than a one-word answer.

I said, "It's close to Israel, very close"
"So it's Israel, it's almost Israel" and she started screaming in joy
"Jordan is actually a totally different country"
"But it's too close to Israel, it's almost Israel, it's where Jesus lived" and she started jumping.

She was very excited as if she has won the lottery, and I didn't want to spoil it, so I smiled and left, and she kept jumping in joy.


Last Christmas I received an email from a co-worker asking me to switch shifts.

He mentioned "I assumed that you don't celebrate Christmas so is it Ok if you do my shift on Christmas Eve?"

I replied ,"Actually I'm Chrisitan and I do celebrate Christmas, sorry!"

He called me saying, " are you kidding me? Jews don't celebrate Christmas"

And Probably all Jordanians in America had this situation at least once...

"Where are you from"
"Oh, your accent doesn't tell that"

I spent a few seconds thinking of what the accent of a Jordanian in America should sound like

then he added ,"my cousin lives in Augusta"

I kept trying to find the missing link, the connection between all of that, until he added, "Where from Georgia are you?

"Oh, I meant Jordan, I'm from Jordan"

"Ohhhhhh Jordan, cool, is that in Michigan?"

Neigbor talking to me ,"dude are you Mexican?"
"No, Jordanian"
"Umm, where is that?"
"The Middle East"
"Mid-East.... so is that Pennsylvania?"


I have to amdit that when I was in the Us before 9/11 very few Americans knew anything about Jordan, but now the majority of them knows that Jordan is at least a country, but you'll always have a few funny encounters from time to time.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Listen to your heart

Listen to your heart
when he’s calling for you
listen to your heart
there’s nothing else you can do
I don’t know where you’re going
and I don’t know why
listen to your heart
before you tell him goodbye

An increasingly disappointing Jordan Planet

As much as I appreciate all the efforts of Isam Bayazidi and a few other bloggers in establishing and taking care of Jordan Planet, it seems the quality of the front page is detoriorating, in my humble opinion at least.

First, it was the omitting all the pictures from the front page. It made the planet less colorful and less exciting to read.

We used to have a section for Highlights of the week, I actually was not sure what it was for but it seems that the most popular threads discussed in the blogs were placed there.

Now one cannot view the blogs participating in Jordan Planet. I'm not sure if this is a technical error or a decision taken by the administration, but I'm pretty sure if it was the latter that it won't be popular among any bloggers.

JP is not only for bloggers to read, it's for all Jordanians, and the front page does not seem appealing at all. It looks just like a "copy and paste" from some Jordanian blogs. I hope something will be done to make it look better.

I hope my criticism will be seen as a constructive one.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Le Rêve: Dreams come true

I was fortunate to be able to watch the show "Le Rêve" at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas last Saturday.

I'm not a big fan of shows, but this show is something you'll remember all your life. I saw fire on water, water on fire, land turning into water. I saw men falling form the sky and rising up from below the ground. I saw amazing acrobatic moves played in harmony with the great sound effects in the beautiful theatre. Click here for a short clip of the show

This show is somewhat similar the the Cirque De Soleil's "O" show in the Bellagio. It's totally worth watching one of them, and you'll never regret seeing both at different times.

I'll be "vegasing" next week when my father visits me. This time I'll watch the "Ka show' -marital arts , and David Copperfield, then I'll become offically broke. Each ticket of these shows costs about a 100 bucks!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Very uncomfortable short conversations

I'm picking up my friend from work.

He sits down, looks at the piles of about one thousand papers on the back seat, clothes, books, hard disk, the bunch of Fairuz' CDs under the seat.

"Geez, your car still looks disgusting"

Then he noticed a pack of cigarettes and says , "When did you start smoking?"
"I never did"
"So what is this pack of cigarettes doing here?"
"Oh, my friend left it in my car long time ago, but I didn't have the time to clean, you know...."

Then he looks at me, with a serious look on his face, saying .... "Dude, you should get married".


My friend is lying on my couch. I told him to give me the remote control from under it. He puts his hand below the couch looking for the remote. Whae he found was 3 socks, one spoon and an old forgotten underwear of mine. He still couldn't find the remote control.

He looks at me, disgusted..... saying " I think you should get married"


I'm in the elevator, a young lab technician goes in, looks at my Bugs Bunny tie.

She smiled and said "So you got this on Father's day?"
"No, I don't have kids"
"Oh no, it's great to have kids"
Sarcastically I replied , "I know , but it's diffiuclt to do it without a woman"
"Then get married" and she smiled again.

My mother visited me last year.

She took a look at my apartment.

"Hey , you got 2 rooms, a big kitchen..... A big sitting room. Why don't you get married?"

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hareega introduces a new blogger.....

I never introduced a new blogger, but I feel this blogger has potential....
Please say hi and try to support him in his new blogging experience.

Click here to enjoy reading ...


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Racial Profiling in Airports, does it make sense?

After the recent plot to blow as many as 10 planes was revealed in the UK, the issue of racial profiling started flowing on the surface again. Should people who look anything like Arabs or Pakistanis be stopped more than those with a different ethnicity.
According to the CNN poll today, 82% of CNN's visitors support racial profiling while 18% are against it. It was quite good to see that 18% of CNN's readers are Arabs :)

Anyway, I know plenty of non-Arab non-Muslim Americans who were/are against racial profiling because it is humiliating, and I totally agree. In 2003 I had 12 internal flights inside the US for interviews and every single flight I was "randomly selected" for additional security measurees, except in one small airport in Morgantown , West Virginia where all the 20 white passengers on the fligth were aksed to take off their shoes and their luggages were extensively searched and I was the only one who passed smoothely without even taking off my shoes. I know, that's hard to believe.

When it comes this issue , I try to be neutral and it's very hard to. Even if it's understandable it really sucks to know that you are a suspect just because of the color of your skin or the country you come from.
Why do Americans and probably most Europeans want all Arabs and Pakistanis to be searched very well at airports? The answer is always there, because all those who were behind the attacks in New York, Madrid, London, Bali, Riyad, Casabalnca, Amman, Sharm Sheikh and you name it were either Arabs or Pakistanis or look-alikes. Was therr any Asian, black, Caucasian or latinobwho bombed himself to kill others at least recently? No.

Does this justfiy stopping Arabs and Pakistanis and letting not focusing much on searching others? The answers seems to be yes.

Is anyone who supports racial profiling a racist who dislikes Arabs and Pakistanis?
Some are, but I believe the majority are not. I feel that most supporters of profiling do know that most Arabs would not do by any chance what those behind the forementioned terrorist attacks did, but out of fear they want anything to be done to prevent such attacks from happening, thereofre they support profiling although it clearly holds a lot of discrimination that even many of them are against, but .... they have no choice.

I assume you're still reading, and maybe you've noticed that I haven't even mentioned profiling against Muslims in particular, and the reason neing that racial profiling is agsiant a race, and Islam is not race-specific. There are Muslims from all races. There are Muslims in almost every single country in the world, the majority of which do not have long beards, do not look like anyone who carried 9/11 or any other attack and do not even speak Arabic.
You don't believe me? Check the pictures of the previous leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi ... does he look too scary??

Some names fell from our memories quickly. Remember Richard Reid the shoe bomber who had a British father an a Jamaican mother? How about Senor José Padilla the American- Puerto Rican who was a key member in al Qaeda? John Walker Lindh the White American who also fought with Al Qaeda? Have you listened to the speech of Matthew Stewart threatening people in a perfect Australian accent?
Abu Sayyaf the group of Asians which kidnapped and killed toursist in the Far East?

Those in addition to some others are the names of non-Arabs, non-Pakistani looking people who joined al Qaeda and there are probably more people who we don't know about. The fact remains that most members of al Qaeda look similar, but to combat prevent any terrorist attack you should think like a terrorist, and those who blow up 10 airplanes from seemingly-harmless liquids are so damn smart, and if it happened that only people with a certain ethnicity are searched extensively, they can easily use the other "foreigners", with blond hair and blue eyes and just ask them to shave their beards and speak in their own perfectly non-suspicious accent to get through security while the INS is searching a visiting Egyptian student who does not know how to light a cigarette.

Until some sense prevails, every time I travel I'll make sure that I'll wear my only pairs of socks without holes and use Gilette Fusion to keep my full cheeks hairless while I'm being "randomly" selected. Bon Voyage!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

عائد الى حيفا ....بس مش هسا

اذا لم تقرا رواية عائد الى حيفا لغسان كنفاني فلا تكمل قرائة ما ساكتبه الان

اما اذا صممت على القراءة فانك بالتالي تشبه شخصية القصة الرئيسة سعيد س. الذي صمم على السير في طريق المجهول

القصة باختصار ان سعيد وزوجته هربا من حيفا عقب حرب الثمانية واربعين تاركين ورائهم طفلهم الرضيع ولم يسمح لهما بالعودة حتى لزيارة ابنهما

بعد عشرين عاما حانت لهما الفرصة للعودة لرؤية ما حصل بالبيت والولد

قبل ان اكمل...القصة قصيرة ابو سبعين صفحة اذا اردت قرائتها انقر هنا

المهم عاد سعيد الى حيفا ودخل بيته ووجد ان امراة اسرائيلية سكنته ووزوجها الذي رحل بعد ذلك و قاما بتبني ابن سعيد بعد ان منحته اياهم اسرائيل هدية بعد الحرب
انتظر سعيد وزوجته في المنزل مع الاسرائيلية حتى منتصف الليل ولدهشته وجد ابنه مرتديا البزة العسكرية للجيش الاسرائيلي واسمه اصبح دوف بدلا من خلدون

اعلن له ابنه دوف انه تربى على ايدي ابوين اسرائيلين وانه يعتبر نفسه اسرائيليا
وبعد نقاش غاضب اختتم سعيد كلامه موجها حديثه لابنه الاسرائيلي

" متى تكفون عن اعتبار ضعف الآخرين وأخطائهم مجيرة لحساب ميزاتكم ؟ لقد اهترأت هذه الأقوال العتيقة، هذه المعادلات الحسابية المترعة بالأخاديع... مرة تقولون أن أخطاءنا تبرر أخطاءكم، ومرة تقولون أن الظلم لا يصحح بظلم آخر... تستخدمون المنطق الأول لتبرير وجودكم هنا، وتستخدمون المنطق الثاني لتتجنبوا العقاب الذي تستحقونه، ويخيل إلي أنكم تتمتعون الى أقصى حد بهذه اللعبه الطريفة،
وها أنت تحاول مرة جديده أن تجعل من ضعفنا حصان الطراد الذي تعتلي الذي تعتلي صهوته... لا، أنا لا أتحدث إليك مفترضا إنك عربي، والآن أنا أكثر من يعرف أن الإنسان هو قضية، وليس لحما ودما يتوارثه جيل وراء جيل مثلما يتبادل البائع والزبون معلبات اللحم المقدد، إنما أتحدث إاليك مفترضا أنك في نهاية الأمر إنسان. يهودي. أو فلتكن ما تشاء. ولكن عليك أن تدرك الأشياء كما ينبغي...
وأنا أعرف أنك ذات يوم ستدرك هذه الأشياء، وتدرك أن أكبر جريمة يمكن لأي إنسان أن يرتكبها، كائنا من كان، هي أن يعتقد ولو للحظة أن ضعف الآخرين وأخطاءهم هي التي تشكل حقه في الوجود على حسابهم، وهي التي تبرر له أخطاءه وجرائمه.....
أتعتقد أننا سنظل نخطئ ؟ وإن كففنا ذات يوم عن الخطأ، فما الذي يتبقى لديك ؟
انتهيت من قرائة القصة التي كتبت قبل نحو اربعين عاما وانا احس انها كتبت قبل اربعين يوما...و هذا ما يزيد من روعة قصص غسان كنفاني
انها لا تذبل مع مرور الزمن لانها تتناول الانسان، والانسان قضية والقضية يتجدد شبابها كلما شابت ويطول عمرها كلما مرت عليها السنين
سعيد س. تذكر طريق عودته الى حيفا بسهولة رغم انه كانت طريقا جهنميا...
شق طريقه بكتفيه وذراعيه وساقيه وراسه كمن يسبح ضد سيل هادر ينحدر من جبل شديد العلو لكنه لم يتوقف عن السير عارفا ان طريق الالام في انتظاره ذهابا وايابا
سعيد لم يكن شديد العاطفة او الوطنية بل انه كاد يتبرا من ابنه الاخر لانه اراد الانتساب للمقاومة الفلسطينية لكنه عاد الى منزله ووطنه وهو يقكر في معنى الوطن

ما اخشاه هو ان ينسى البعض طريق العودة، او ينسى البحث في معنى الوطن او ينسى ان جسد غسان قد سلخ قطعة قطعة وهو يذكرنا ان طريق العودة مليء بالدموع
ما اخشاه هو انه اذا ما زرنا حيفا يوما سنعيد كلام سعيد س ......."انني اعرفها، حيفا هذه، ولكنها تنكرني

On a Friday Night

I was sitting with some neighbors on a Friday night in my apartment.

Mike asked me,"So where are you from?"

- "Jordan"

- "Where is that?"

Laura, laughing hysterically for no obvious reason, said "It's next to f***ing Bulgaria, my boss is from there"

I said "Actually it's in the Middle East"

Mike , "Holy shit"
Laura , "Holy shit"

20 seconds of silence.

Mike, "So what's the deal man, why is this happening?" then he looked at my Jordanian friend sitting in the other side of the room.

My friend said ,"I don't know" then pointed at me as if he had just identified a criminal, "but you can ask him, he likes to talk politics"

We talked for about fifteen minutes, then Mike, finishing his ninth or tenth beer said,
"Listen man, I don't know much about politics, but I believe everyone should live in peace. Wars must stop. All wars are wrong. Oil is all causing this shit. I hope the world will come together and take a big big hug. "

I said ,"Very true Mike, very true amigo"

Then he asked ,"So what's the problem with Bush man?? What's his problem?"

Handling him a bottle of Corona light, I replied "His problem...... he quit drinking long time ago."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

America and the World

Some of the questions Americans asked after 9/11 were "Who hates us?" and "Why do they hate us?". One of the answers was "they hate us for our freedom".

Many countries, especially European countries, surpassed America in its freedom scales, both civil and political. When crowds in the Arab and Islamic worlds walk in millions in the streets, there are always the names of two countries they chant death for: Israel and the US.
Israel.... we know why. It's the country that Arabs have fought against for decades and caused them to leave their homes and lose their children to in battle.
Then comes USA.

Have Americans stopped for a second and wondered why do many Arabs burn the US flags, scream "Death for America" and even have some of them glorify Bin Ladin or Zarqawi or any al-Qaeda leader just for the fact that they want to destroy America?

Why don't these crowds burn flags of other more free countries even those such countries already have more restrictions on immigration and all of their leaders are non-Muslism and their laws are totally opposite to the Islamic Shariaa and they admiited the right of Israel to exist long time ago?

Since the foundation of Israel in 1948, America has been opposing the entire world in their policy regarding the Middle East. The foundation of Israel was the first event, then came dozens of UN decisions that ALL countries in the UN would agree upon until the US veto would prevent them from being approved.

How many times have you heard in the news "Three countries opposed the decision: USA, Israel and Micronesia"?

With the Qana massacre occuring 2 days ago, I remembered the first massacre in 1996 when Boutros Boutros-Ghali condemned Israel for killing a hundred civilians. The entire world criticized Israel. A few months later the US was the only country in the UN to oppose a second-term for him because of Israel condemnation after the Qana massacre. Since Irael started its strike agianst Lebanon, the entire world asked for a cease-fire except for USA and the UK.

America is losing its popularity, and its policies in the Middle East is not only enraging Arabs or Muslims but the entire world as well. The regular person living outside the US watching TV does not see the regular American who wishes peace for all or who donates money for charities to help sick children. What he sees is John Bolton raising his hand alone in the UN or American troops in Iraq going there against the will of half Americans and 90% of Europeans and almost all Arabs.

The US now is not respected, but feared from. It's regarded as a military giant and an ethical infant. People in the white house cannot understand that the less they use their power the greater it will be. They fail to see the danger in their selfish decisions and their political isolation from the rest of the world.
Let's remember what a wise man once said ,"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. "