Monday, September 25, 2006

Civil War Explodes in Jordan- Part One

I sincerly apologize for anyone who aksed me to stop talking about it, this thread is not intedned to attack anyone, it's something that I believe we should read. Besides, you don't have to believe or agree with all what's written.

This the article from Newskeek, September 28th, 1970. I copied it as it is. It's long so I'll continue typing the second part later.



Civil War Explodes in Jordan

T he signal came at the crack of dawm.
Long, dusty columns of Centurion tansk and armored vehicles rumbled through the narrow streets of Jebel Amman and Jebel Wehdeh, spreading out over the seven dun-colored hills that dominate the Jordanian capital. As the mechanized army advanced, its path was cleared a blistering hail of artillery shells that smashed into the entrenched positions of the Palestenian commandos and turned some secions of the sprawling Wahdat refugee camp into an instant charnel house. Jubilantly, Jordanian Army officers radioed back to their head-qaurters predicting victory within a matter of hours. But then, the government's lighting thrust ground to a halt and the guerillas, hold up behind the thick stone walls of a hundred bulidings throughout Amman, launched a counter-attack. For hour after hour, then day after day, the two sides remained locked in battle. And in a dozen other cities and towns across the barren HAshemite Kingdom Of Jordan, bloody civil war also raged.

With the geographical heart in the Arab World in flames, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser moved desparately to end the fighting. Dispatching a special envoy to meet with both sides in the crisis, Nasser passed all week for an attempt of cease-fire. But in the end, the results of he Egyptian mission to Amman cast an even darker shadow over the future of Jordan. Yassir Arafat, head of the Palestenian Liberation Organziation (PLO) umbrella group, was no-where to be found, presumably having slipped underground to direct his forces in battle. Even more ominous were indications that Jordan's King Hussein was no longer master of his own regime. For just moments after Cairo had announced that the King was ready to seek a truce, Jordanian military leaders issued what they termed a "final ultimatum" to guerrillas to surrender or be extreminated.

Blackout: It was impossible to tell whether the army could back up that threat. All week long, as the conflict continued, the world had to strain for bits and pieces of news. Unlike most contemporary wars, the conflict in Jordan was not played out before television cameras and relayed instantly around the world. Even newspapers could not convey the unfolding drama in all its apocalyptic detail. For nearly all the 140 foreign correspondants on-scene in Amman were bottled up in the shell-pocked Intercontinental Hotel, caught up in a deadly cross-fire between government tanks the commandos' Russian-made Katyusha rockets. Phone and telegraph lines were cut, electricity failed and capitals' airport was closed down. For days, the only reliable reports on the fighting crackled up over a radio linkup between the embattled American Embassy and the State Department in Washington. But by late in the week, fuel for the embassy's transitter was running low, and even that conatct with the outside world was threatened. That left the wild claims and the counterclaims broadcast by Radio Amman and three commando stations as the only source of information on what was happening. "Commando morale high," said one guerrilla announcement, monitored in Beirut. "Explosions are taking place at army ammunition dumps which are now on fire."

But if reliable accounts of the fighting were unavaialble, there was no uncertainty about the meaning of events in Jordan: the desert kingdom had been transformed into a cockpit for a decisive test of will between two different groups of Arabs. On one side stood King Hussein and his loyal, ruthless Bedouin army. Led by its Sandhusrt-trained officers, the King's 58,000-man army was considered one of the best in the Arab world. On the other side were the Palestenians, challenged for the first time since they had emerged as a major force in the wake of the 1967 six-day war. Driven by hatred nutured the two decades of their diaspora, the Palestenians (who now make more than half of Jordan's population) were spear-headed by a lightly army, irregular force of some 20,000 commandos who, until last week, had displayed little talent for sustained battle. And on the outcome of the struggle hung not only the question of who would rule Jordan, but the shape of entire Middle East.

That the commandos had been cast in such a decisive role was hardly surprising . In the three years since the crushing defeat of the conventional Arab armies at the hands of ISrael, the Palestenian Liberation Movement has been at the heart of the Mideats's torment and turmoil. Spouting a muddled ideology of Marxism-cum-Arab nationalism, the guerrillas have become the chief symbol in the mythology of Arab revival. For this more than any other reason, Hussein had repeatedly compromised with the commandos (who number along their symapthizers many Palestenian soldiers in the Jordanian Army). Each time he gave way, however, he did so at the cost of his authority. And finally, the King was forced to move.

Hijack : The spark that touched off the Jordanian conflagration was, curiously enough, the daring multiple hijack of three planes and their passengers by the military Marxists of the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). From the moment the jets set down two weeks ago at the "Revolustion Airstrip," the die was cast. While the Jordanian Army looked on helplessly, the Palestenians defied all authority as they bartered with the world for their hostages. "During the hijack it was as if the Jordanian Government no longer existed," said one western dilomat in Amman. "Even the Red Cross negotiators found out that they had to deal directly with the PFLP and not the government. The King's authority was threatened."

Despite the humiliation by the commandos, however, Hussein was reluctant to plunge his nation into full-scale war. Even after the skujackings, Jordanian Army units were refused permission to attack guerrilaa-held population centers such as Irbid, where the Palestenians had set up governing soviets, or "people's committees," to administer "liberated areas". But by now the pressure for decisive actions were growing irresistible. In the south, loyalist Bedouin tribesmen met in Ma'an under Sheikh Faysal, the leader of th dominant Al Husseini tribe, and began to plan a march to Amman to restore the King's authority in his own capital. Most importantly, the army was grwoing increasingly restive in the face of the incessant badgering by the commandos. Soem troops, in fact, were openly mutinous. When Huseein visited one his armored units in Zarqa, 13 miles north of the capital, one officer flew a brassier from his tanks' radio antenna. When the King asked why he had done it, the officer snarled: "Because we are women."

In one form or another, that view was clearly shared by much of the military hierarchy. As sporadic gunfights flared throughout Amman, generals mets with Hussein the Basman Palace, alternately cursing the young monarch and pleading him to allow an all-out-attack on the guerrillas. After a series of these emotional meetings, an obviously depressed Hussein told guests at a palace dinner party: "I cannot hold my army much longer. Every day the situation grows worse."

I really have to take off now, I'll come back tomorrow to write the rest and try to scan some images.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

ايلول الاسود بالالوان

تمر ذكرى ايلول الاسود ويحاول الاردنيون اسقاطها عمدا من ذاكرتهم ، لانها لن تسقط سهوا

درست الكثير من التاريخ في المدرسة و حفظت اسماء الزعماء العرب كلهم وعرفت الحروب كلها من داحس والغبراء
الى ذي قار الى ميسلون لكن عندما وصلنا الى الحديث عن ايلول الاسود جف الحبر وانقطع الارسال وشلت الالسنة حتى اشعار اخر

لم نعرف عن ايلول الاسود الا عندما كبرنا واخذنا نسمع القصص من عدة مصادر وعدة اشخاص كل منهم يروي ما يريد ويخرج بالسيناريو الذي يحبذ

ليس من العيب ان يعترف الجميع باننا اخطانا وصوبنا بنادقنا على رؤوس بعضنا البعض في الاتجاه الخاطئ لكننا ولدنا على صوت الرصاص لذا لن نكبر لنصبح ملائكة

في ايلول الاسود اخطا الكثير لكننا اخترنا ان ننسى ولن ننسى ، ونسينا اننا لن نتعلم الدرس اذا اخترنا ان ننسى ، والناس اذا لم تعلم لن تتعلم وسترى ايلول الاسود بعدة الوان تختارها هي الا الاسود

الامم العظيمة لا تخجل من التاريخ وتعلمه لاطفالها فاذا ما خجلت من التاريخ لن تقدر ان تفخر بما ستنجز في المستقبل
اتمنى الا نشطب ايلول الاسود حتى لا يصبح مستقبلنا اسودا

انت جيت شهقة يا رمضان

بالنسية لشخص مثلي يعيش في اميركا و لا يمثل شهر رمضان اهمية دينية قد يبدو ان حلول الشهر الفضيل عديم الاهمية، الا انه من المحزن ان رمضان قد بدا و سيذهب دون ان اشعر به تماما كالعام الماضي واللي قبله يمر مرور الكرام

رمضان بالنسبة لي اكثر من مسلسلات او قطايف او دوام اقصر رمضان يمثل عامل وحدة بين الناس وجزء هام من ثقافتي وتراث وطني الذي انتمي اليه وكلما مر رمضان دون اشعار كلما احسست بابتعاد اكثر عن تراثي

ومن ليس له تراث لن يولد له مستقبل

رمضان كريم

While Jordan Burned, Irbid 1970

I received a rare copy of the Newskeek magazine printed on September 28, 1970. I know most people, including me, do their best to avoid talking about Black September but it's an event that, despite that nobody is proud of, has changed a lot. It's a cornerstone in Jordan's history.

Newseek covered the story in six pages, I tried to scan the pages and list them here but the size of the documents on top of my extremely poor technological skills could not allow me to do that. Therefore I'll write down myself one of the pages that I found interesting. It's an article written by Newseeks' Loren Jenkins who was in Jordan that time. Remember that this article was written in mid-Spetmeber, before the of the conflict. I do not tend to believe or agree with everything I read but we deserve to read more about it.

I copied the article exactly as it was, didn't make any change.



As the contending forces in Amman were rushing headlong toward undiguised civil war, a little-noticed event took place farther north in Irbid, the second-largest city in Jordan. There, Al Fatah commandos procliamed a "liberated" area and set about creating the first revolutionary city-state in the Middle East. On hand to witness the birth of this Palestenian soviet was NEwseeks' Loren Jenkins. His report:

P ower to the people has long been one of the principal tenets of the Palestenian liberation movement's Marxist fringe. But most outside observers have dismissed such revolutionary sloganeering as the boastful prattle of coffeehouse intellectuals. After what happened in Irbid last week, no one can afford to sneer. The actual take-over of the ramshackle trading community of 150,000 people occured two weeks ago while Jordanian authorities were busily trying to free the hundreds of hijacked passengers held nearby at Dawson Field. After Bedouin supporters of King Huseein massacred 23 guereillas in an ambush near Irbid, local fedayeen-most of them members of Al Fatah and an extremist commando group called the Popular Democartic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PDF)- brought the bodies of their dead comrades into the city and displayed them in front of the main mosque. "They were completely mutiliated," one Irbid shopkeeper told me. "Some had their hands with their intestines, others their eyes gouged out or had been dismembered."

Siege : The reaction of the populace was what the commandos had expected-instant outrage. "Those who had never believed us about the barbarity of the army were suddenly awakened to action," said one guerrilla. In a seemingly spontaneous explosion of anger, the Irbidians swarmed out of of the mosque and laid siege to government buildings. But after the initial flare-up there was little blood-shed. Early last week, a hastily-summoned "people's court" condemned nine Jordanian Army officers to death, but since all government troops had already retreated from the city, the sentenceed were meaningless. The governer of Irbid and several score of his supporters who had sought refuge in the central military casern were provided with food and water by the commandos and told that they would be allowed to leave if they surrended their weapons to the insurgentd and renounced allegiance to King Hussein.

By midweek, when I arrived in Irbid, the city seemed surprisingly calm. Shops were doing a brisk business and people were milling around the fly-infested souk (market) or sipping Turkish coffee in side-street cafes. The only outward signs of change were the heavily armed commando patrols which ambled about the city, often with sheepish-looking policeman in tow to prove that guerrillas were willing to make their peace with cooperative government authorities. "Many of the government people have been willing to work for us for the good of the revolution," a young chemical engineer who claimed to be the city's commissar told me. "See for yourself how normal the situation is. We are now ruling here and things are working better than before."

But despite the surface tranquility of life in Irbid, genuine revolutionary activity was going behind the scenes. To replace the city administration, the commandos set up on every street "people's committee's", which in turn elected members to larger district committees. These groups, composed of commandos commissars as well as leading residents of Irbid who support the Palestenian cause, held evening meetings to discuss such matters as the future organziation of the city and preparations for its defence. Although they are similar in structure to the local soviets that the Bolsheviks formed in the early days of the Russian Revolution, the committees seemed to be a relatively spontaneous response to local events with no overt influence from Moscow or Peking. "We have not had enough time yet to crystallize our thoughts," s Syrian doctor who is a member of one committee told me. "Everything is moving so fast that we just try to cope with things as they come up. " Clearly, however, the Marxist leaders of the Popular Democratic Front were more certain about where they were headed. "This week you are seeing the birth of the first Arab liberated area," commendted a commando chief. "You could call it-and I prefer to call it- the first Arab soviet."

Fight: Before I left Irbid, a "people's congress" met in the center of the city and resolved to bar all pro-government officals from the city and to resist any attack by the Jordanian Army. Toward that end, some 1,200 commandos hastily drug trenches along the main routes of attack and set up road blocks to control movement to and from the city. "We are preparing to fight here until the end.," said Lt. Abu Kussai, a burly 30-year-old Palestenian college graduate who is in charge of the city's defenses. "We are a poor nation in a very big struggle, but we are confident of victory."

By the end of the week, however, that confidence seemed somewhat premature. There were reports of skirmishes between between the commandos and untis of the Jordanin Army in the vicinity of Irbid. And it seemed only a matter of time before the army would launch a major assault on the Marxist stronghold. "If Hussein is going to rule his country, he will have to retake Irbid." commendted a Western diplomat based in Amman. "No government can allow such a situation to exist and still pretend to be a government."


بعد اصطدام سيارته نزل منها والدماء تسيح منه ثم انهار على الارض قرب دوار الاذاعة والتلفزيون الذي سمي لاحقا باسمه....دوار فارس

تجمع حوله اطفال الحارة بينهم احد اصدقائي يشاهدون نهاية مطرب شاب اطرب الاردن ولم نرى مطربا مثله منذئذ
عبد الهادي راجي المجالي تذكره اليوم بمقالة في الراي
قيل لنا يوما أن مرتب الصف السادس «ب» كله والبالغ «11» طالبا سيذهب لحضور حفلة للمطرب فارس عوض، كان هذا الامر في منتصف الثمانينيات.
.. يا الله كم كان فارس في منتصف الثمانينيات صاحب حضور بهي، وصاحب البدوية الفصحى التي تغنى أردنيا.. «حبحبني ع الخدين شوهالجساره ريد اشتكي ع الزين لقاضي العداله».
.. ذهبنا الى الكرك وفي قاعة الشهيد هزاع المجالي، وجلسنا وكانت الفرقة المصاحبه هي فرقة الاذاعة والتلفزيون والذي لفت انتباهي وجود عازف «طبل» أي أيقاع إسمه «أبو حلمي» كان يقوم بعملية إحماء «للطبلة، أتذكره جيدا يرتدي حذاء : كعب طويل» وقميصه «تشارلستون».. وكان له «سالف» يصل اسفل الفك،.. وايضا اتذكر انه كان يرتدي اربعة خواتم في يده.
.. بدأ الغناء، وبدأ ابو حلمي بالضرب على الطبل وما كان من فارس عوض إلا ان غنى.. راعي الشماغ الاحمر يهدر فوق المجنزر زغرديلو يا بنيه تقول سبع زمجر
في هذه اللحظة بدأنا، بالتصفيق، وفي ذروة الحماس خرج، رجل عن طوره ووقف على الكرسي وبدأ يلوح بشماغة الاحمر وقيل لنا وقتها:« هاظ شارب» لم اعرف معنى الكلمة للآن.
.. كان فارس عوض يردد :« عليهم حيهم النشامى» وقامت بعض الصبايا بقذفه بالورد... وكان «أبو حلمي» يحمل الطلبة ويقف من قبيل الشعور بالحمية لكني كنت أكاد اسمع قائد الفرقة ينظر اليه وكأن حركة شفاهه تقول: أقعد إنطم».
.. لحظات ودون ان يوقف فارس عوض الاغنية بدأ بمطلع جديد:
يا ابو خديد منقرش/ يا عذاب الشقاوي
لفني في حضينك/ والله غيرك ما هاوي
قالوا بدل ما بدل/ قلت ما ابغى البديله
كيف ابدل حبيبي/ يا اهل القلوب الهبيلة
.. اشتعلت النار على الكراسي، وكان في المؤخرة سيدة اعرفها تدعى: «أم اسماعيل» بدأت تزغرد.. واظن ان احدهم اخرج المسدس ولكنه انتبه في اللحظة الاخير الى ان الصالة مغلقة.. مما حدا بالمحافظ للصراخ في وجهه :« طخ بره طخ بره.. مو هون».
.. مما اذكره ان فارس حين كان يصل الى لفني في «حضينك غير حضينك ما هاوي» كان ابو حلمي يضرب بقوة ويزغرد..
واحدهم بعد ان اشتعلت فيه الحمية صعد الى المسرح ومسك الميكروفون وبدأ يغني مع فارس عوض.
... حين انتهى الغناء ذهبنا الى فارس كي نأخذ صورا معه، وقال لنا وقتها:« معلش مستعجل يا شباب»
.. كان نجما بدويا، ومما اتذكره ان «أم اسماعيل» حضنت فارس وقبلته على جبينه وقال مختار الحاره في وقتها :« ام اسماعيل بطلت تستحي».
.. راحت أيامك يا فارس، واتذكر انك كنت تغني البدوية الفصحى بكل جمالها، وكان الاردن على شفتيك الرائعتين اجمل لحن وأظن ان كل النشميات المأدبيات قد سحرهن شدوك العذب، هل أبوح اكثر.. للفن هويه، وفارس كان دائرة الاحوال المدنية في الفن الاردني..
على كل حال.. جئت في بالي هذا الصباح وأنا استمع «لكاسيتك» «أبيعك والله ما بيعك» وقررت ان تكون زاويتي هذا الصباح عن الغنى البدوي فارس عوض.. عن دائرة الاحوال المدنية للفن الاردني..
.. ما زال هناك اناس يذكرون روحك ولحنك الاصيل.. فأنت الوحيد الذي لا يخصخص وانت الوحيد الذي لا يصبح تكنوقراطا وانت الوحيد الذي لا يروج خارجيا.. انت روح الاردن الجامحه.. وانت اللحن الذي بقي على جبهة الوطن ولم يخجل بعد من بداوته او روحه لك الحب يا فارس، وسنشدو كل صباح :« يا ابو خديد منقرش يا عذاب الشقاوي».

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Jordanian Hell

A man dies and goes to hell. There he finds that there is a different hell for each country.

He goes to the German hell and asks, "What do they do here?" He is told, First they put you in an electric chair for an hour. Then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour. Then the German devil comes in and whips you for the rest of the day." The man does not like the sound of that at all, so he moves on.

He checks outthe USA hell as well as the Russian hell and many more. He discovers that they are all more or less the same as the German hell.Then he comes to the Jordanian hell and finds that there is a long line of people waiting to get in.

Amazed, he asks, "What do they do here?" He is told, "First they put you in an electric chair for an hour, then they lay you on a bed of nails for another hour, then the Jordanian devil comes in and whips you for the rest of the day."

"But that is exactly the same as all the other hells - why are there so many people waiting to get in?"

The answer goes: "Because maintenance is so bad that the electric chair does not work, someone has stolen all the nails from the bed, and the devil is a former government servant, so he comes in, signs the register and then goes to the cafeteria"

Friday, September 15, 2006

Cubbles Only .... للكوبلز فقط

Here's a short poem that I wrote about an experience that every single man goes through, in Amman at least.
ذهبت الى الكوفي شوب غرب عمان
لبست القميص الفسفوري مع الجينز،وربطت الحزام
وصلت الى المكان متاخرا، اسب الطقس والعن الزحام
اقتربت من باب الكوفي شوب وعند الدخول وقبل السلام
اوقفني شاب واغلق الباب وابتسم لي دون كلام
وقفت بمكاني وصرخت بوجهه "ما بك يا غلام؟
فاجابني على الفور "كوبلز يا عزيزي، بس للكوبلز، دون استثناء

لن تدخل هكذا كالادم دون حواء

ارسيت يدي على كتفه و قلت كف عن هذا الهراء

فانزل يدي و قال بغضب.. هذه القوانين، نثق بها ثقة عمياء

كي تدخل يجب ان تحضر فتاة، اي فتاة حتى لو كانت عجوزا شمطاء

قبعت معي فظربته بوكسا اسال من انفه المعقوف الدماء

وناولته شلوطا بين قدميه فصرخ بصوت وصل السماء
وفي وسط الطوشة سمعنا صوت صفارات الدورية

فضربت كفا بكف وقلت يا لهوي مش خبرية

ترجل الشرطي و قظبنا صارخا..سادحشكم بالتخشيبة لمدة ابدية

وصلنا المخفر فاستجوبونا وصورونا لنظهر بالنشرة الاخبارية

وقبل ان نرمى في الداخل دقرت الشرطي قائلا:

متى ستعملون التخشيبة للكوبلز فقط، فقط للكوبلز، وتمنعون دخول العزابية؟"

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

By the Residence of a 9/11 Hijacker

I was driving my car on the Fourth Avenue, one of the busiest places in Tucson, when my friend next to me pointed to a small bulding.

- "Do you know who lived here?" he asked
- "No"
- "Hani Hanjour, do you know who Hani Hanjour is?"
- "Heard of his name, is he a friend of yours?"
- "Fu** NO, he was one of those who hijacked planes on 9/11"

This was shocking. Anyone would be shocked to know that one of those hijackers lived less than 5 minutes away from him.

I looked at the place, and it looked very similar to many other places in the area. It was located right in the middle of an area full of restaurants and night clubs, where thousands of people hang out every night for fun.

I did some search on the guy (when I say search I mean wikipedia and the first 2 sites I get on google) and nothing in his daily life seemed unusal. He lived in Tucson to study English at the Unversity of Arizona before moving to Pheonix then Florida. I go to the fourth avenue on weekends and weekdays and I have probabaly went to dozens of places he has been to. He never had a beard and he probably spoke English fluently with some accent, and hung up with Arabs in town with whome he used to play cards frequently.

I just think and say "Damn! All this applies to me and thousands of young Arab men who live in Tucson. Have we all became suspects just because of this retard?" I even wanted to take a digital photo of his apartment before the usual young-Arab-male-newcomer-to-the-US paranoia prevented me from doing so as this might trigger suspicions.

I kept driving on the fourth avenue, and on my way back home I subconsciously took a wide turn to avoid driving next to that apartment. My paranoia has extremely got worse the last coupe of days, and by the way if a CIA agent is reading this, my name is Jad Choueiri and I'm a singer who lives in Bierut and I'm al-Qaeda member ....... (I just want someone to finish this jerk).


Monday, September 11, 2006

على ابواب اميركا

المكان: مطار فيلادلفيا بالولايات المتحدة
الزمان: عام الفين وثلاثة
وصل حريقة و صديقه للتو الى اميركا ووقفا على الطابور وهما يعبئان استبيان الدخول الى الولايات المتحدة
بادره صديقه بالسؤال .."اسمع مان...عم بسالوني هون اذا جايب معي اكل شو احكيلهم؟؟
اجابه حريقة " ولك مش قبل ما نطلع من الطيارة قلتلك تدحش الفستق تحت الكرسي بدون ما حدا يشوفك؟؟

اجابه .."اه دحشته بس عم بسالك عن الجميد"

فقال له حريقة باستهجان "يا زلمة جايين اسبوع عاميركا لازم تجيب معك جميد يعني"

هنا ثارت اعصاب صديقه الذي صرخ بصوت مسموع "انا عارف عن عمي شوقي باعتلي جميد عشان ابعته لعمتي عبلة بهيوصطن"..ثم اخذ نفسا عميقا وصرخ..."مفكرلي اميركا مثل مادبا"

اضطر صديقه للتوقف عن الصراخ لانه لاحظ ان رجلي امن امريكيين وقفا يحدقان به وهما في حالة تاهب حتى ان احدهما بدا وكانه
يتحسس مسدسه المثبت باحكام بجانب قفاه الممتلئة

ثم عاد صديقه ليسال "شو احكيلهم اذا سالوني عن الجميد.... شو جميد بالانغليزي؟؟"
"احكيلهم لبن....يوغرت"
"وشو بنعمل باللبن؟"
"بنعمل منسف.....اكبلوسف"
"طب اخرس مش وقت المزح هلا، اذا بحكي اكبلوسف قدامهم والله ليرجعوني عالاردن"
وصل حريقة الى الشباك فساله المسؤول عدة اسئلة ثم اشار له بالذهاب الى غرفة جانبية

دخل الغرفة التي كانت مكتظة بالناس من مختلف الاشكال، اخذ يبحث عن صديقه فلم يجده ، فجلس على احد الكراسي حاملا حقيبته بيده اليمنى وجواز السفر باليسرى
اخذ الرجل الجالس بجانبه يحدق في جواز السفر ثم نظر الى حريقة بتمعن وكانه يشاهد مخلوقا عجيبا قبل ان يبادره بالسؤال " اردني
عرفتك من الجواز"
فابتسم حريقة واجاب "اه والله اردني انت اردني كمان؟"
"اه حبيبي اردني، كيفك حبيبي؟"--
"حمدلله حبيبي منيح"--
"اول مرة بتيجي عاميركا حبيبي؟"--
"لاء اجيت قبل سنتين"--
"قبل ناين اليفين حبيبي ولا بعد؟"
"لاء والله حبيبي قبل، --هاي اول مرة باجي بعد، انت اول مرة بتيجي عاميركا؟"
"اه اول مرة وبصراحة حبيبي كتير ناس خوفوني من السيكيوريتي بالمطار حكولي ممكن يرجعوني عالاردن"
فطمانه حريقة وكانه ضليع في هذا الشان،"لاء لا ترد عليهم بس بدهم يخوفوك، الشغلة كلها سؤالين عالسريع وبتمشي حبيبي"

"الله يطمنك بالخير حبيبي، عدم الموئاخازة شو جاي تسوي باميركا؟"
"جاي اسوي امتحان بفيلادلفيا وانتا؟"
"انا حبيبي صرلي اربع تشهر عم بدور عشغل بالاردن ما لقيت اشي مناسب قلت لهون وبس قدمت لفيزا عاميركا ورفضوني اول مرة رحت سجلت بكلية مجتمع صارلي فيها لهسا ابو سنة وشوي بعدين اخذت ورقة خصوصي للسفارة من الكلية تحكي اني طالب و ضايللي فصلين دراسة فاعطوني فيزا عهاللاساس"
و لم يستطع حريقة التركيز في الحوار لانه تمكن اخيرا من رؤية صديقه واقفا على الشباك الاول وهو يلوح لمسؤول الامن بحركات غريبة بيديه فادرك انه ربما كان يجد صعوبة في شرح طبيعة الجميد

ثم عاد الشاب الى الحديث وكانه يقاطع نفسه "فهلا انا معي فيزا سياحية بدي اروح عند عمي بتكساس"

فساله حريقة، "طب متى راجع يعني؟"

فتفاجا الشاب بالسؤال واجاب"يعني شايفني حمار عشان ارجع؟"

فساله حريقة"طب مهو انت بس معك فيزا سياحية"

فاجاب الشاب ضاحكا "مهاي فيزا سياحية عشان اروح اسيح بتكساس" ثم اطلق قهقهة عالية وفتح فمه كاشفا عن اسنانه الصفراء
المنحدرة من سقف فمه كعواميد الكلس المتاكلة الهابطة من سقف المغارات ثم اردف قائلا "اول ما اوصل عمي بدبرلي شغل و وحدة اميركية بتجوزها عشان امشي معاملتي"

اثناء الحديث خرجت فتاة شقراء من غرفة التحقيق وهي تبكي وبدا وكان مسؤولي الامن رفضوا دخولها
ففتح الشاب عينيه وصرخ "اذا هاي ما بدهم يفوتها انا كيف بدهم يفوتوني؟" وفغر فاه الاجوف حتى انبعثت منه الرائحة المميزة لسجائر ريم التي لم تزل رائحتها عابقة على الرغم من طول الرحلة المكوكية من عمان

اجابه حريقة "لا تخافش خلي اعصابك هادية" ثم نظر ناحية الشباك ووجد صديقه للتو قد انهى الاستجواب الاولي ثم دخل الى غرفة
الانتظار وهو منهك فالقى بنفسه على احد الكراسي وهو يشتم الجميد وبعض افراد عائلته

بعد قليل اقترب منهم موظف الامن وامرهم بالذهاب الى الديسك لتعبئة استبيان اخر طويل للغاية
اثناء التعبئة توقف حريقة قليلا فساله الشاب "شو مالك"
"يا زلمة مش عارف اكتب اسم جدي من جهة امي ....ميخائيل بالانغليزي و هذول الاميركان بدققو عالحرف
"هسا اسم جدك ميخائيل وخايف! لا تخافش...انا اسم جدي جهاد والله وربك لاتبهدل"

اكمل الجميع تعبئة الاستبيان بدقة و حرص شديد وسط خوف حريقة من الخطا في تهجئة الاسماء فيبدو انه ينتحل هوية مختلفة وترقب الشاب الذي بدا يفكر في شرح معنى جهاد بالانغليزية اما صديقه فقد لف جميداته بكيس اخر لحماية اضافية وكانه قطع مجوهرات ثمينة وبدا تعبئة النموذج بهدوء تام

Sunday, September 10, 2006


One of the few things I remember about working in the emergency room at the VA Hospital in March is the new nickname I got there.

The ER nurses and nursing students used to sit together in their break and start making fun of doctors and we kinda got used to it.

We were 3 doctors in the ER one day, my friend Dan and I and whoever the boss would be during the shift.

One day the three of us were sitting at the doctors' desk waiting for someone to come in. Dan went to get a cup of coffee and on his way he could hear the nurses talking to each other. He came back laughing.

Dan, "Dude, the nurses had a new name for you."
Fares, "What new name?"
Dan, "OK don't get mad, but it's the name of a TV character"
Fares, "What is it?"
Dan, "Uncle Fester" and he burst laughing

I didn't know who Uncle Fester was, so I had to google it. The least thing I could say is that I wasn't happy.

I'm glad I worked there for only one month.

Meet Uncle Fester....

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Is Hizbullah a threat to Jordan?

In 1999 and in one of the first statements for HM King Abdullah II as the king of Jordan, he declared that Iran imposed a serious threat to other countries in the region. That statement shook the already shaken relationships between Jordan and Iran that time. It even caused some concerns among observers that King Abdullah was not adopting the same balanced neutral policy that his father late King Hussein had follwed. Some even were suprised by the timing of that statement especially with the moderate Muhamad Khatimi leading Iran and with the relative absence of any major Sunni-Shiite conflict that time. Not a long time after the invasion of Iraq, HM King Abdullah II decalred that he is concerned about the formation of a Shiite crescent in the region. To date, those two statements by his majesty are the most controversial statements that he had ever made.

Joe Klein in the August 7- issue of the Time magazine even claimed that the the US Intelligence had learned that "The Jordanians and the Saudis are secretely supporting the insurgency in Iraq". As Jordanian I was really disturbed by this claim although there was nothing to prove it. I really doubt that Jordanians would support any act that causes the death and misery for all Iraqi families regardless of their religion. Kelin suggested that Jordan would hate to see a Shiite movement supported by Iran grow up in Iraq that they're supporting the Sunni-based insurgency to sustain them.

All this leads to an important question, "Is Jordan being threatened by a Shiite movement?"

Shiites are united. They are scattered over only a few countries, and the leadership in united in each country. People follow one spiritual leader unlike Sunnis who lost trust in many of their religious leaders due to the very contradictory and strange Fatwas. Shiites (the religious people at least) follow one leader and respect him to a great extenet. In the last strike against Israel 96% of Shiites supported Hizbullah in what they were doing. Even if one argues that Hizbullah is an extremist organization they proved that they are very smart and they play their cards right. They know how to build schools, hospitals, form an economic system and gain the support of the people. Their support among non-Shiite Arabs and Muslims have increased dramatically in the past few years. Briefly, Hizbullah proved that they can form a solid country based on a huge public support and funding form the powerful Shiite nation, Iran.

As most Arabs, nothing wins Jordanians' support more than following God's doctrine or a victory against Israel. Hizbullah, translation for the party of God, have (or claimed to have) achieved both. Arabs still relate all of their problems to either Israel or their leaders' unreligious style of ruling, and if they see any movement that has even a very slight chance of changing such situation they'll go for it. Supporting Hizbullah is not illegal in Jordan but it definitely isn't something that the government likes to see. The government arrested some of its members in 2001 after an attempt to smuggle weapons across the border to Israel. That time Hasan Nasrallah openly criticized the Jordanian government for these arrests and asked the government to adopt the military option.

Jordanians who support Hizbullah do not necessarily oppose the Jordanian government itself or the king and they probably are not looking for a party formed on a religious basis to which no Jordanian belongs to rule them. It's almost certain that the support for Hizbullah wouldn't be as huge as it is now if we had Hizbullah shooting rockets from Amman with Israel firing rockets back at Jordanian cities, but people just like the taste of the virtual victory against Israel.
Among all that, it's difficult to figure out if people are willing to die for their countries more than they're willing to live for them. We hear that Hizbullah is a "state inside another state" referring to Lebanon, but I believe that Hizbullah itself is a state among all other Arab states including Jordan. It has a leader, a goal, its own agenda, its own friends and enemies, and based on that it cannot be dealt with a one exremist organization. I don't think it's causing any threat to any country in the region more than any country is threatining the other countries.

One last thing, I hope Klein was hallucinating.

Andre Agassi.... Agassi bi bo3dak agassi

Like a tennis ball, he kept bouncing up and down until he finally decided to settle, forever.

Farewell to the last reminder of a generation of legends like Becker, Ivanesevic, Courier, Edberg, Sampras and whoever I used to enjoy watching on Jordan Channel 2.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Single Arab Woman

The single Arab women is regarded as deficient even if she had a degree from Harvard and spoke seven languages. The single Arab woman is always asked "Why didn't you get married" as if it's always been her choice. The single Arab woman is expected to lower her standards for accepting a man as a husband as she grows older and if she is thirty-something she is expected to accept any man on earth who speaks the same lanuguage and has a job.

The single Arab woman is always the one blamed for being single and people will search thoroughly to invent a reason why men are nor proposing starting from her broken toenail ending with her third cousin who has diabetes. If the single Arab woman lives with her parents she would be the unexpected burden and if she wants to live alone she's a prostitute.

The single Arab woman is depressed even if she's satisfied and she keeps looking at the past to search for any mistake she's done to blame herself for. The single Arab woman is always seen as desparate for men no matter how she's dealing with them. If she's too conservative no man can talk to her and if she's too friendly no man wants to talk to her.

The single Arab man will hesitate to propose for the single Arab woman because he'd think "I'm not her first choice", or "Why the hell hasn't she got married?"
If the single Arab woman wants to hold on marriage until she finishes her degree or focus on work then she's messing up her priorities but if the single Arab man does the same then he's ambitious and thoughtful.

The single Arab woman is just another Arab woman.