Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The cousins decided to release a video as a proof of theri relationship.
(I think I'm watching too much of celebrity news. Time for me to stop surfing the net and go watch some real TV, Larry King is interviewing Paris Hilton today)
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
ونقلت هيفاء إثر ذلك إلى مستشفى "خوري" العام، حيث تم علاج الجرح في رأسها وتنظيفه من نثر الزجاج، حيث أكد الطبيب المعالج أنها بخير، واقتصرت الإصابة على رضوض في الرأس والعنق، وبعض التشنج في العضلات.وقال الطبيب إن هيفاء نجت بإعجوبة نظرا لقوة الضربة التي تلقتها على منطقة حساسة من الرأس يوجد تحتها شريان كبير لو جرح لكانت إصابتها في منتهى الخطورة.
هيفاء في المستشفى
المطربة هيفاء عبرت عن شكرها "لله أولاً واخيرا" على نجاتها لإيمانها "العميق بأن أعجوبة حقيقية" هي التي خلصتها.وكانت المؤسسة اللبنانية للإرسال LBC قد بثت تقريراً مفصلاً ليلة أمس حول تفاصيل الحادث، وأجرت لقاءا مع هيفاء في المستشفى، التي تحدثت عن لحظات الرعب التي عاشتها لحظة الارتطام
Monday, June 25, 2007
There's an disease that is becomming more common and aggressive in hospitals called C.diff colitis, basically an inflammation (eltihaab) of the large bowel (colon) caused by the use of antibiotics, any antibiotic can cause it.
It results in severe diarrhea and some patients die from the severe inflammation. The treatment is with antibiotics but that sometimes doesn't work.
Some genius thought of a great idea: place the feces (stool, bel 3arabi shit) of another healthy person into the person's butt so that the normal bacteria can be restored in the colon.
This actually can work extremely well and some patients with severe life-threatening infections can be treated with that. Call the brother or the sister and tell them to donate "a sample of their own feces" that will be taken and placed in their loved one's buttock up his colon so his infection can be treated.
This method is called.... stool transplantation.
Stool transplantation can save lives, or bel 3arabi you can save the life of your loved one by sticking your shit up his butt.
P.S. Another method, which seems to be very useful, is putting a tube down their nose and giving the feces down that route. Sounds exciting.
Friday, June 22, 2007
I remember one of their newspapers predicting a 7-0 victory. Their coach asked their players to be cautious with the Jordanians but predicted himself a 3-0 victory.
The reason behind this great confidence is that Iran is among the most difficult teams to defeat in their homeland, especially with more than 100,000 spectators cheering for them nonstop in the stands.
This game was very serious for both teams, a world cup qualifier. Iran kept attacking but could not score. Then Anas Zboun entered the pitch , and as usual those 150 cms changed the game. He lead a counter attack and passed a ball to Haytham Shbool..... and the rest was history
We won 1-0, I still cannot believe it.
Friday, June 15, 2007
I'm still living in the same place for the past 2 years, a nice apartment in a complex, the complex consists of a few buildings each has 4 apartments, next to me lives a young lady who appreciates beer very much.
She calls her friends every while and then and sometimes I join them in drinking very cheap beer. Ana baskar men shaffeh so I don't risk drinking too much but it's very enjoyable watching them drinking the annual beer production of Germany in one night. She has a six-year daughter from her first boyfriend, they were not married fa ya3ni zay ma tgoolo 3endha bent haram. She has a new boyfriend who, and I'm not making this up, met in a DUI class (class for drunk drivers) and he also worships beer. Kol yomain thalatheh beejo 3endi o besalbeto 3al mashrobaat el roo7iyyeh bel thallajeh o beglebo wejehhom then I started getting pissed off. Once she told me she wanted to marry me hatha o sa7ebha el mhawwi ga3ed -I don't know if it was the beer or the marijuana effect- and although I always try to display Jordan in a very positive way (that can be difficult sometimes) I told her that we always beat women on their birthdays as a tradition and we eat dogs. That scared the shit out of her and she stopped stopping by especially that she has a big dog who will probably expire in the next six months.
It sucks to see a big dog die. When I first moved in he was so active , always barking, pissing and shitting on every occasion but now he's sleeping all the time and sometimes I pass by him and even say "meyaw meyaw" and he still doesn't do anything.
The other neighbor lives in the apartment below me with his wife. He is 50, and he's been a recovering alcoholic for 20 years but I don't think he has recovered yet.
The residents in the 4th apartment keep changing every few months. Once a bunch of guys lived there and brought their whole family from Guadalajara and on top of that brought some dogs that they were treating very badly. Once my other neighbor was sober enough to call 911 and report "dog torture". The administration of the apartment complex were pissed off so they fired the whole family from their apartment. That happened at the same day my jordanian friend told me how back in Jordan they once squeezed a huge wooden stick up the ass of an ass (really a donkey) bi 7aret-hom in jordan then they set his tail on fire and he suffered until he died one hour later and they were all the time dancing around him and laughing bi nuss deen el share3 bi 3amman.
I will be finishing my residency in internal medicine in 3 weeks. It was tough, enjoyable, and occasionally disgusting. Medicine is the most disgusting job on earth, you sometimes see the patient's butt before seeing his face. I worked in the Emergency Room for a few weeks, and once we had a very big guy come in complaining of "an anal condition" most likely bawaseer. He had it for 4 months but decided to come to the ER when I was on-call. I took a look at it and it didn't look too good, so I referred him to see a surgeon next day. Another doctor, who was unfortunately my boss, decided to treat him in the emergency room instead and insisted that I do it even though it wasn't my field.
Goltello gool o ghayyer bas el zalameh 3azam 3alay o ana ma kont beddi afashlo. So I brought the patient and told him yalla ya ostaaz jonathan etfaddal eshal7 awa3eek khallena nshoof hal teez el 7elweh. I spent more than half an hour fixing whatever he had in his butt, had to stay a distance of no more than 5 cm so I can inspect the very details well. I felt very sorry for the patient because he wasn't seeing anything while his cheeks were wide open and 2 people touching it in different places and saying "very interesting" every while and then. The problem is that just following that I had my only break of the day so I had to eat lunch immediately afterwards. For some reason lunch that day tasted so much better.
One busy night in the ICU, I was putting a big IV in someone's neck and the nurse, I don't wanna use her real name so I'll just call her bitch, was helping me. For some reason and I like to believe it was a mistake, pushed the needle filled with the patient's blood into my face. I got angry and called her a few names in Arabic and from the way I was talking I'm sure she realzied my language was very dirty. I felt like shocking her with the 360-joule defibrillator and throwing her from the 8th floor.
I had a few lady doctors as my supervisors in the ER, for some unkown reason they were all lesbians. I'm still trying to know what's the reason behind that. Anyway I really enjoyed working with them especially that we had the same taste in women. Last summer I was busy watching the world cup. Unfortunately the earth rotates around itself so all the games were in the morning in US time and I had to record them and watch them after I got back from work. It's the best thing ever to have two world-class kick-ass football games waiting for you when you get back home. For me, it's much better than having a wife waiting for you to ask how did your routinely boring day went or a kid who will soon shit on the floor or piss on your face while eating your only meal of the day.
I'm still waiting for my American friends to realzie that football should not be called soccer and for them to stop asking "why haven't they played the 2 other quarters of the game" thinking that football is 4 quarters.
After I'm done with Internal Medicine I'll start a subspeciality (fellowship) in infectious disease. I'm still having a very hard time explaining to people especially in Jordan what infectious disease is, unfortunatley people think that unless a doctor befta7 batenhom bil nuss aw banezaell barbeesh men thumhum aw bekhazeghom 50 marra ma3nato hatha mesh taktoor. Anyway one of my interests is treating AIDS patients and from what I'm hearing about Jordan these days enshalla I'll be having some excellent business when I come back. Maybe I have to make a contract with a few massage places to refer their patients to me. I always pray for tafashi el hamaleh wal en7ilaal el akhlaaqi bayna shababena beddi alagi shogol bas arja3.
I was at my friend's house last week, we were having a barbecue, I was leaving his house to get something and when I opened the door next to his garden I noticed a barbeesh tooloh abu meter. I thought to myself ma absha3 hal barbeesh , then looked at it how it wasn't connected to anything.
I kept looking at it and noticed that its end is hooked, then noticed that from the front a long togue was sticking , I finally, finally, realized that this was a snake. I always like to act tough especially if there are Lebanese or Syrians around who I call "shabab el waifer", but when I saw the 7anash just next to my foot I started running wana baltom zay el majannen bil aflam el masriyyeh. My friend from inside called animal control and the snake expert Julio ajana labes short o sormayeh o ballash ydawer 3al 7ayyeh, eventually found it inside a jar. He told us that we should have kept it becuase it a snake that can eat the small insects and rats in the garden. I suggested to my friend to bring ten of these to clean up his house.
My friend Carlos had his parents and almost all of his family visit from Paraguay. I took them to have a good explosive masnaf meal at the local Jordanian resstaurant. I referred to every food they liked including Tabbuleh, Shawerma, and Falafel as a pure Jordanian dish that had spread to other areas in the region and for the food they didn't like as Egyptian food with bad taste.
I enjoyed taking classes with Dr. Abbadi and it was pretty interesting how wxcited he'd get when talking about the different Islaimc mosques and buliding constructed during the Islamic era. He talked about those pieces of art as if he was talking about a house he had built himself. It made us appreciate our culture more than we did before.
When people get hurt, they can forgive you. Generations can forgive and sometimes forget and life goes on.
Great great game, Riqueleme proved to be the best player in Latin America. He scored a wonderful second goal and played a great pass in the first goal.
It was also great seeing Maradona in the stands as usual.
Here's a clip of the three goals.... VIVA BOCA
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
That is poetry
Here's a selection of some good poems, strong words , strong opinions, and plenty of talent.
This Saudi poet expresses, ironically, his utmost respect for the thieves that steal but they survive punishment for a very good reason.
Maybe you've heard this poem before, maybe not. It's full of sorrow, despair and plenty of anger and more importantly, our anger.
Suheir Hammad, a Palestenian-American ..... talking about the event 9/11 and its aftermath
This guy suffered testicular cancer and he's talking about his treatment story. You can feel lots of passion from the first sentence.
Asia.... (that's his name, I'm not being racist!!)
Monday, June 11, 2007
ألسنا نعتبرهم معصومين عن الخطأ فلا نجادلهم ولا ننقاشهم كيلا نتهم بالخروج عن الصف وتفتيت الشتات الأسري فنعطيهم الحق في ضرب الزوجة والأطفال والخادمة وابن الجيران إن اقتضى الأمر وتكون الكلمة الاولى والاخيرة له
ألسنا نحن من يقدس كل من أطال لحيته و زاد من عبسه وكشر أكثر في وجوه الناس ونعتبره أتقى الأتقباء ونسعى إلى إرضائه لأننا لسبب ما نعتبر أن رأيه بنا هو رأي الله ونعتبر كل ما يتفوه به آيات منزلة و قوانين ثابتة دون أي خطأ
إذن لم نغضب كثيرا إذا ما جائنا قادة بريدون المحافظة على وحدتنا واضطروا إلى صفع الوجوه و رفش البطون والتخلص من كل شيء يهدد تماسكنا كعائلة
لم نغضب إذا جائنا رجل مدعيا أنه وريث الله على الارض فنسجده ونعبده ونطلب رضاه علينا لئلا نُسخط إذا ما سخط علينا
زعمائنا لم يأتوا من كوكبة فضائية قادمة من مكان مجهول بل جاؤوا من أفراد الشعب المسحوق وكانوا يوما ما جالسين في منازلهم المتواضعة يشكون من غطرسة حاكمهم الذي جلبه الاستعمار
كثيرا ما يترحم العرب على زعماء أُطيح بهم قبل عدة عقود لأنه قيل لنا آنذاك أنهم خونة و مرتزقة وما أخشاه أن يأتينا زعماء في المستقبل يعدونا بالاصلاح والحرية فلا ننال منهم شيئاً و نبدأ بالترحم على زعماء يومنا هذا
ما أخشاه هو أننا نستحق الحرية لكننا لسبب غامض لا نريدها
Friday, June 08, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
1- At least once in your life you've complained about the toothpaste.
2- In Jordan you consider 90% of the people as Hafartal.
3- You have some members in your family whose nicknames are RoRo or FoFo or SuSu or something ending with "-oush"
4- You have , at least occasionally, said "ayyyy" after going over a street bump.
5- You describe any insect bigger than an ant as an animal.
6- You consider taking a "sarvees" to the downtown an adventure.
7- You insist on speaking English even if you suck at it and if you had to use lots of "enno"s and "ya3ni"s in it.
8- If you're eating mansaf with your hands with other men you're the most likely person to use both hands, cause a mess in front of him or just end up using a spoon.
9- You can still remember what the word "Khayleh" meant
10- If you're a guy you have, at least once, participated in a physical fight for half an hour without anyone getting hurt, and if you're a girl can easily recall the names of ten hairdressers but can't remember the name of the prime minister.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
It was published less than a month after the end of the six day war.
I will type it down without any editing, except very occasionally where I added items in italic. This article focuses on the position and character of late King Hussein and his view of the six-day war and its aftermath. I do not necessarily agree with everything written but I think it's a good opportunity for other readers to read what was written that time.
It was not easy to write it down, not talking physically, but mentally: having to read anything about that war and its costs until today is very disturbing. It's so unfortunate that this dark piece of history id dictating our future.
The Least Unreasonable Arab . Cairo's semiofficial newspaper Al Ahram had some extraordinary news for its readers last week. "the battle is still going on," it proclaimed. "Victory is ours."
In Damascus, yellow sandbags were piled high around government buildings to protect them from attack, and signs of many walls promised: WE SHALL DESTROY THE ENEMY. The Arabs clamored for a change in the name of the American University of both Beirut and Cairo to Palestine University, and Algeria compiled a list of "pro-Zionist" movie stars -including Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Harry Belafonte- and banned their films.
On the banks of the Suez Canal, Egyptian commandos slipped across the canal nightly to harass the Israelis until finally, at week's end, they precipitated a pitched battle with Israeli forces.
Though it recently suffered one of its worst military defeats in modern history, the Arab world does not seem to have awakened to the reality. Instead of trying to salvage what they can, the Arabs are busy blaming just about everybody but themselves for the fact that the great gobs of their territory lies in Israeli hands. They are irritated with Russia for suggesting that they will have to be more reasonable as a condition of more economic aid. They are dismayed as they listen day after day to Israeli politicians talk of imposing ever tougher terms for a settlement. they curse the U.S. and Britain.
Last week they reacted with deep bitterness to the United Nations' failure to pass any resolution asking for Israeli pullout from the conquered territory. The Palestine Liberation Organization even suggested that the Arabs set up their own rival U.N. with Red China, and Damascus radio said, To hell with the U.N." Moe than a month after the war ended, none of this brought the Arabs any closer to solving their basic problem in the war's aftermath: how to come back from defeat and live with a stronger Israel that is clearly here to stay, whether they like it or not.
Privately Disgusted. Amid all the fantasies, delusions, threats and confusions, the most realistic- or least unreasonable- voice that emanated from the Arab world was that of Jordan's King Hussein, whose country fought the hardest and lost the most in the war against Israel. Hussein offered no alibis, made no excuses, used no intemperate language. He is disgusted at the postwar performance of his fellow Arabs: their invective, their whining- they considered it unfair of Israel to have used pilots who spoke Arabic to confuse their foes- and their wild threats to fight again tomorrow. "It is apparent, said Hussein, "that we have not yet learned well enough how to use the weapons of modern warfare."
While his brother Arab losers looked to Moscow for aid and affection, Hussein last month set purposefully for Washington and Western Europe, stressing his continued friendship with the West and asking for political, economic and military support to rebuild his land.
"We have made many mistakes in the past," he said, "partly because we have failed to present our case properly." After speaking at the United Nations, Hussein visited Lyndon Johnson, Harold Wilson, Charles De Gaulle and Pope VI, trying to convince the world that the Arabs' case is more reasonable than most Arabs make it sound and-not incidentally- that he is the best hope for moderation and realism in the Arab world.
Hussein also had another, more dangerous mission. During his trip, he talked often and long with the leaders or top diplomats of most Arab states, seeking to persuade them to accept a message that has up to now been pure heresy in Arabia: that the time has come for the Arabs to make their peace with Israel.
Hussein's reputation in Jordan and the Arab world is higher than ever before because he was the only Arab ruler to go to the front with his troops. Taking advantage of this, he is trying to get the Arab nations to hold a summit meeting later this month, hoping that he can convince them that they must accept Israel's right to existence as a starting point of negotiations. "We either come out better off now as the result of genuine efforts of all of us to face up to things, or we face some extremely serious possibilites of detorioration in the Arab world," he says. "Even our identity, our ability to maintainoutselves as nations is involved."
It is by no means clear that Hussein can bring the Arab leaders together even to talk about peace. Most moderate Arab nations favor the idea, Nasser has hemmed and hawed. Algeria's Boumediene, whos militant cries over the war has made him rival of Nasser for the leadership of the Arab left, turned down a suggestion that the meeting take place in Algiers because "there are some Arabs I wouldn't want to set foot in my country." Syrian information minister Mohamed Zubi sneered that "the only way to forge Arab unity is throught struggle and not summitry."
Still, Hussein believes that if he can only bring the summit off, he has at least a fighting chance to convince the leftist leaders-who are, after all, under pressure from Russia- to listen to reason. "We Jordanians might be in a position to influence their thinking," he says. If not, Hussein intends to ask for their tacit consent for Jordan's coming to terms with Israel alone. If even their neutrality is denied him, Hussein may just go ahead without the consent of his fellow Arab leaders. "If it is absolutely impossible to reach agrement," says a close aide of Husseins's, "then each country has to deal with the situation as it sees best. We are certainly going to refuse to have our hands tied when any country-Arab or otherwise- behaves negatively. We have the courage to do what is necessary."
Different Ruler. Jordan also has a pressing necessity to act courageously. Hero or not, Hussein cannot long hope to survive, at least as a moderate, without getting the west bank of hos country back. Palestinian Jordan, which the Israelis now hold, is the most prosperous part of his land. It contains nearly a third of the arable farm land, nearly half the population - and Jerusalem. With U.S. and British aid, long-range development programs and expanded toursim, Hussein had expected to make his country self-supporting by 1971.
Without the west bank, however, and the strong tourist revenue from the Old City of Jerusalem and Bethlehem, there is little possibility that Jordan can develop a really viable economy.
But Hussein's dilemma extends far beyond the economy. He is a Bedouin King ruling a land populated largely by Palestinians- a sophisticated people who look down on Bedouins as unreliable nomads. His country is hemmed in on three sides by states that have often attacked him. To the east is Iraq, where his Hashemite cousin, King Feisal, was killed and the monarchy abolished in 1958. To the north is rabid, leftist Syria, which last sent an assasination team to kill him in May and blew up a Jordanian border post only a week before the war began. To the west is Israel, with which Jordan has a longer border than any Arab country.
The divisions between the conservative, pro-Western Hussein and the Arab left led by Egypt's President Nasser are so funamental that the war has just papered them over, not erased them. Hussein has to move with extreme care lest the left seize on his willingness to negotiate with Israel and invite the volatile Palestinians to move against him.
Hussein is an Arab to the core, but he is not at all like most Arab rulers. A stubby (5 ft. 4 in. (1.62 m) ) powerfully built man of 31, he is perhaps the world's most active and athletic ruler, relishing racing, flying and any other sport that involves danger and suspence. He can trace his Hashemite dynasty back to the propher Mohammed, and his ancestors ruled the holy city of MEcca for 37 generations; yet his country is so new (1921) that he is only is third king. Despite his youth and many interests, he rules Jordan with a firm hand, shuffling his cabinet regularly and occasion even dissolving Parliament when it refuses to do his bidding. Yet in the 14 years years he has been king, Jordan had been transformed from a land of backward nomads to a propsering, growing state- at least until last month's war broke out.
Scorn & Vilification. Hussein did not really want to get into the war, but he must take some of the responsibililty for starting it. He carefully abstained from joining the chorus of Arab leftist leaders who demanded that the Jews be driven into the sea, did everything in his power to prevent Arab terrorists from using Jordan as a base. His refusal to cooperate won him scorn and vilification from Nasser and the left. But when the Arab armies began mobilizing on Israel's borders and the cry of jihad filled the air, Hussein figured that if war came he would have to join it or be toppled from his throne by Arab mobs.
Swallowing his pride, he flew off to Cairo, listened to Nasser explain how any war would mean Israel's destruction and signed a mutual-defense pact that put and Egyptian commander in charge of his army in the event of war. The pact improved his standing with the Arab left, but it alarmed the Israelis, who had always considered Hussein a moderate neighbor, as Arabs go, and even had some affection for him. Within three days, Israel decided to go to war, and attacked Egypt and Syria. Israel Premier Levi Eshkol sent Hussein frantic messages promising that Israel would never hit Jordan if it would keep out of the battle. But Hussein was trapped by his commitments, and his answer was an artillery barrage and an attack on Israel.
Unlike other Arab politicians-and most Egyptian generals- Hussein spent much of the war on the front. Bumping over fields and back roads in an open army Jeep, he raced from point to another urging his troops to hold their ground, several times came under fire from Israeli planes and ground forces. For these sleepless nights and days, he led the Arab Legion in the field, then returned sadly to Amman to announce that the Israelis has wiped out his air force and marched to the River Jordan, and that his men could fight no longer. Unshaven and hollow-eyed, he seemed a symbol of courage in the face of odds, and his stature among his fellow Arabs grew overnight. Even Nasser, who had recently called him "a traitor to the Arabs," went out of his way to praise him, and the Syrian regime abruptly stopped referring to him as the "Tom Thumb Tyrant."
Talent for Survival. Hussein from his youth has shown an extraordinary talent for survival. His grandfather, Emir Abdullah, was brought in from Mecca to be the first King of Trans-Jordan, one of the nations created when British Prime Minister Lloyd George carved up the ottoman Empire at the end of World War I. Abdullah ruled for 30 years-long enough to annex the Arab half of Palestine whne Israel was created. In 1951, on a visit to Jerusalem, he was shot down by a Palestinian assasin. hussein, who was standing beside him barely escaped: a bullet intended for the young prince riocheted off a medal on his uniform.
At Abdullah's death, the throne was reluctantly passed to Hussine's father Talal, a hopeless schizophrenic. Talal lasted only eleven months before being packed off to exile in Turkey (where he often forgets that he was ever a King) (he was alive when this article was written). On Aug 11, 1952, while Hussein was vacationing with his mother in Switzerland, he received a cable from home. It was addressed to "His Majesty, King Hussein." He did not need to open it. "the title on the envelope told the story," he says. "the message inside was superfluous." At the age of 17, he became Jordan's third King.
Poison Drops. He is lucky to have reached the age of 31. In his 15 years as King, he has lost count of the bullets fired at him, the knives thrust at him and the would-be assasins who were caught before they could act. On one occasion, as assistant palace cook plotted to poison him, but gave himself away away by testing the poison on 16 palace cats, all of which died (Ironically the cook's name was Ahmed Na3Na3 , King Hussein released him later after a plea from his daughter). In 1958, at the controls of his de Havilland Dove on a flight to Europe, he was attacked by Syrian MIGS, escaped only by power-driving toward the desert floor and zigzagging across the border. In 1960, an attack of sinus trouble almost did him: someone pured acid in his bottle of nose drops. The deed was discovered when a drop spilled on the sink and the King watched in fascination as it burned through the chrome fittings.
Hussein takes it all philosophically. "When your time comes to die, you die," h says. "It is God's will." To even up the odds a bit, he wears a .38 pistol tucked in his belt or an armpit holster under his coat. But he obviously enjoys danger. His once cherubic face is now deeply lined, and his hair is flecked with grey, but his sturdy arms and legs are hard with the muscles of a sportsman. He is an active hunter, horseman, scuba diver and deep-sea fisherman. He introduced water-skiing to Jordan then took up kiting. Above all, he loves speed, and at the wheel of his silver Porsche 911 is usually a winner in Jordanian sports-car events. To the horror of his security men, he is also addicted to motorcycle racing and free-fall parachute jumping. Before the Israelis knocked out his air force, his favorite pastime of all was careening around the sky in a Hawker Hunter jet, practicing aerobatics at nearly 600 mph
As a boy, even though his grandfather was King, Hussein was far from rich. His family lived in a small, ungeated villa in Amman, had to make do on a government stipend of $3000 a year. Those house got so cold one winter, he recalls, that his little sister died of pneumonia. the money once ran so low that his mother had to sell his bicycle in order to pay his bills. His fortunes have since improved. In addition to the three royal residences assigned him, he now has a villa in Aqaba. His real home, however, is a modest converted farm-house in a suburb of Amman, where he lives with his second wife, Princess Muna (nee Toni Gardiner), a British army officer's daughter whome he married in 1961 after divorcing his first wife. (toni became a Moslem.) He rises at 7, takes turns with his wife fixing breakfast, plays with their two small sons (Prince Abdullah, 5 (currently King Abdullah II), and Prince Feisal, 3) until 9, and then helicopters to his office in the Basman Palace atop one of Amman's seven hills.
Royal routine bores him. He receives visitors informally, talks easily and frankly. But he would rather be out of palace, is constantly showing up to inaugurate schools and factories in towns all over Jordan. He often cruises around Amman alone in his Merecedes, waving at people, feeling the air, occasionally stopping to chat. In his early days, he delighted in distinguishing himself as a taxi driver, hacking around Amman at night to find out what people reallly thought of the King. He doesn't have to ask today.
Hollow-Eyed Misery. And yet Jordan has been crippled by the war. The swarm of refugees crossing the Allenby Bridge from the Israel-occupied west bank has been reduced to a trickle, and the Israelis last week reversed their position and announced that refugees would be allowed to return to their homes. But in Amman, all schoolrooms and mosques have been converted into refugee centers, their furnitue dtacked in corners, their floors covered with straw mats and the mats in turn covered by the ragged, hollow-eyed, miserable people. Ten new tent camps have been opened near Amman, but they hardly more liveable. Hot desert winds wipe up sandstorms in the summer afternoons, choking the air and knocking down tents. Camp authorities fear that when winter arrives, at least half of their charges will freeze to death in the cold desert nights.
In the past, Hussein has been the only Arab leader to encourage Palestinian refugees to come out of their camps, get themselves jobs, and take part in the life of the land. But there are no longer any jobs left. Unemployment already stood at 14% before the war, has now hit 25%. Last year, the west bank bank of the Jordan brought in well over half of the nation's foreign-currency earnings. Without it, Jordan stands to lose most of its tourist earnings of $35 million a year.
The war wreckled Jordan's tough little Arab Legion, left its air force literally without planes. Three-quarters of Jordan's tanks were lost in the fighting., most of them knocked out by Israelis jets. Offical casuality figures list more than 6,000 soldiers killed or missing- but there is evdience that perhaps 5,000 of them are hiding out on the west bank, waiting for a chance to steal across the river and return to Amman. Despite his pleas for military aid from the west, Hussein says he has got no specific commitments from either the U.S. or Britain. Hussein is far from happy from the way the war was fought. "there was not enough coordination, not enough planning, not enough anything," he says. But he is determined to rebuild his forces, with aid or without, as fast as possible.
Last year I was to obtain a copy of the Time magazine edition published in July of 1967, discussing the six-day war and its immediate aftermath. Late King Hussein's picture was on the cover. I will write down the pages I've read on my blog in the next couple of days to allow readers to read it. I will not edit any of the contents.
I will try to scan some of the pictures in the article, I failed last time (with the Black September issue) but I will try again now!
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
There was a major point of debate, "If you become president of the United States would you boycot the summer Olympics in China because of their stand in Darfur?"
Some said yes, others said no.
Just a reminder...... the Olympic games will be held in August 2008
The presidentail elections will be held in November 2008!
It looks like some candidates are "ahead of their time"
Saturday, June 02, 2007
We were talking about the infamous George Bush, and somehow the discussion involved the CIA and FBI and every topic that every Arab prefers to avoid discussing.
He said, "Do you know that every phone call you make can be monitored!"
I answered, "I know they can monitor your calls, but did you mean EVERY call?"
"Yes dude, they have a computer system which listens to every single call made in America. It's a computer, not a human. However if you mention certain names or there's a sudden change in the tone of your voice a human picks up the phone and starts listening"
"Yes certain words."
I was thinking "akalna khara" since I always mention bin ladin, al qaeda, bush, explosions, Iraq and terrorism in the same sentence with any conversation I make. Some of my regular conversation with other Arab friends here would be ,
"Hey what's up?"
"I'm having Mansaf, I feel like exploding"
"Let's have mansaf Sunday, we'll explode together... he3 he3 he3"
and then by the end of the conversation and for no obvious reason I'd say "See you at 9 in Starbucks and by the way screw Bush"
Back to Andrew, he told me, "they'd also track you if you spoke negatively of the president!"
I started getting nervous, "what do you mean speak negatively?? I always say that Bush is a f***ing moron on the phone."
"That's OK, they'd only track you if you were thinking of hurting the president"
"I don't want to hurt the president, but I'm sure they're tracking me now, will they keep doing that?"
"No dude, in the beginning they'd look you up and see how did you come to America and the rest of your record and if you're OK they'll stop listening to your calls. They'll get back to the computer and they won't listen again unless you say something serious, then a human would pick up the phone and start listening again and if you're safe they go back to the computer!"
I paused for a second, then Andrew asked me , "Do they do the same thing in Jordan?"
"No, in Jordan we're more advanced...... it's always a human listening and no matter what you say, they'll keep listening all the time"
That night I went back home, turned off the lights in my apartment, closed the curtains, and took out the left-overs of the mansaf from last night and started it eating it quickly and at the end, I really really felt like exploding, and that felt so damn good.