Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why I think this is the best picture of 2010

This isn't just a picture of a crazy man taking off his shirt. This is not just a picture of someone who did something huge. This picture is so amazing because it shows a blend of thousands of emotions while they were evolving in nano-seconds in front of our eyes.

Unless you have been living on a different planet, or in the United States, you will know that this Andres Iniesta celebrating the winning goal for Spain in the World Cup final.

Even though this moment might as well be the happiest moment any footballer can experience, none of the expressions on Iniesta's face is actually cheerful. It's a mixture of incredible excitement and a "what-the-fuck-has-just-happened" moment. If adrenalin had a face, this is how it would look like. This is fierceness, intensity and power, all in one face.

And in the background, Dutch players, shattered, destroyed, and tired, very tired, knowing that once again that they will be keeping the title of the best team to never win the world cup. Always visible, but only in the background.

Not only that.

Andres Iniesta, above, joined the Under-16 Spanish team in 2001. As he grew up, he won the European Championship for the Under-19 Spanish team in 2003. He then went on to captain the Under-21 team. Along this road, he was playing alongside his teammate Dani Jarque.

Iniesta played for Barcelona. Dani Jarque played for Espanol. Those 2 teams were not only rivals, they were enemies. There is literally blood between the 2 teams. Fans of each team absolutely hated each other, and games between the 2 teams are not always pleasant to watch.

Dani Jarque was playing a friendly game in 2009 when he collapsed and died suddenly of a heart attack.

One year later, as in the picture above, Iniesta scored the winning goal for Spain in the World Cup. As nearly one billion people were watching, he lifted his shirt showing the words, "Dani Jarque, always with us" (Dani Jaqrue, siempre con nosotros"

Since then, the Espanol fans stopped booing Iniesta during any Barcelona-Espanol derby. Sure they still boo everybody else in Barcelona, but when it comes to Iniesta they can't forget the man who didn't only bring the world cup to Spain, but also brought class and grace to the game during the best moment of his life.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Feliz Navidad


If Jesus was to be born today, his parents won't be allowed to get to a hospital and Virgin Mary would have to go into labor at an Israeli checkpoint
Merry Christmas !!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cheap, Very Cheap, EasyJet Cheap, from Amman


In the last decade, there has been a very rapid emergence of low-cost airlines in Europe. These airlines offer much better prices but the service provided on the plane is suboptimal. No meals, no allocated seating (you'll still sit, but on first-come first-serve basis) and they charge for services such as checking in luggage. It was even rumored that one airline , Ryanair, was going to charge passengers for using restrooms. It turned out that the CEO of Ryanair made that claim to bring more publicity to his airline. At any rate, the price for tickets on these airlines is dirty cheap, therefore they have been growing very rapidly , causing nightmares to more well-established airlines such as British Airways.

One of these airlines, EasyJet, is coming to Amman. They are going to start an Amman-London route three times weekly starting the end of March.

I went to their website to get an idea on their ticket prices, and it's all good news. The price for a round-trip on economy would be 164 Euros , excluding luggage. If you want to include one piece of luggage, you add 22 Euros (total 186 Euros, nearly 175 JDs) total. I searched all the other airlines serving Amman around that time, and the cheapest among them was a BMI flight for 760 dollars (nearly 540 JDs or 580 Euros). I did my search online. The EasyJet ticket was 20-50 Euros more expensive if you would travel on other dates.

The drawback is that they will fly to Gatwick airport, which is a little farther from London than Heathrow.

I encourage everyone to fly with these guys. If you are looking for a good first class treatment skip to the more expensive Royal Jordanian or British Airways. If you are like me, someone who believes that flying always sucks no matter what you're fling and you just want to get to your destination safely, then hop on to an EasyJet flight. If many people fly with them , we can get to have more flights to more destinations in Europe for much less expensive prices.

Welcome to Amman cheap airlines. No matter how bad their customer service will be, I guess Jordanians have all been accustomed to what's worse.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dead Waters


Whenever there is drought in Jordan, people pray for rain. Praying for rain in Jordan is like praying for God to cure your cancer after it had already spread to your brain. It was never the solution, nor will it be the solution in the future. I'm not talking about praying, I'm talking about the rain. Praying, even though scientifically will not improve the chance of raining, is a good opportunity for people to meet together for a good cause, so I'm all for it. But more rain doesn't sound like the solution to the water shortage we have been suffering from since the foundation of our country.

Khalil Nasrallah was a young Lebanese boy living in Lebanon when the civil war erupted in Lebanon. His father had to move to Egypt with the family to save his business. Khalil then went to Canada to study, got a degree and went back to Egypt in the early 1990s. He realized that Egypt did not have good-quality domestic olive oil, and decided to start a business producing olive oil. In order to start the business, he had to go the middle of the desert, in the sand, spend a fortune to dwell wells in order to find water for his olive trees. All that came at a big risk of failing, but he was smart and successful and somewhat lucky. He co-founded Wadi Foods, which is now a massive company in Egypt that produces healthy food at an affordable cost. To this day he is still using the water from the wells he dwelt nearly 20 years ago.

The Jordanian government, for a long time, has not been always serious about the water crisis our country had always faced. A lot of bureaucracy and stubbornness delayed Al Wahda project with Syria for years, eventually the project seemed to even create more problems with our Arab neighbor. (Check this NPR story from 2007). You can drive by Jordan River nowadays and not recognize it because it has dried up for the most part. The Eastern Ghour water channel was a disaster. The majority of Jordanians do not get water for most days of the week, and it's sometimes unpredictable on which days they'll be getting it. We had a scandal of contaminated water that cost prime minister Abdul Salam Al-Majali his position. (Check this Hajjaj cartoon), and we always blame the weather, Syria, Israel, money and the common man for the never-ending crisis.

Only recently did we hear some good news. The US committed 275 million dollars to help Jordan improve its water supply, and you know well, that when 275 million dollars are donated for a good cause, all the money allocated will be spent on the intended project. It's expected that the Disi project will be completed in 2012, and it will supply Amman with more than a 100 million cubic meters of water every year. Sure it is contaminated by radioactive Uranium , but that doesn't matter, because as a good Jordanian citizen you're supposed to believe what the government tells you instead of those Westerner scientists in Yale and other Jewish universities.

I am still inspired by the story of Khalil Nasrallah, because he is a individual, just one person, with an age close to mine, who dug water out of nowhere, just to produce olive oil. That's all what he wanted, water for his olive trees. I believe if Mr. Nasrallah was able to do so, our Jordanian government can do much better than that. Digging for water is better than digging for oil, at least if you look for the future.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

127 hours.....


This is not a movie review, it's only an opinion

127 hours is one wonderful movie, a masterpiece in my opinion

except for the first 10 minutes, the only actor in the movie is one person: James Franco, he does a wonderful job , I don't think there was anywa
y to better act this part

I'm not going to give the whole movie away. Basically a hiker gets stuck when a rock falls on him, and he has to get himself out. It might sound boring however the movie is about how much pain are you willing to go through for a chance to save your own life.

Inception was a more fascinating movie, however this is in my opinion the best movie of the year, maybe because it was based on a true story. While watching it I couldn't h
elp but I feel I was the one trapped , thinking of ways to free myself out.

They still make good movies.


Friday, November 19, 2010

Argentina 1- Brasil 0

Watch the real world champions, not the world cup champions

enjoy the magic

enjoy football

Monday, November 08, 2010

Why Are Jordanian Christians Freaking Out After the Church Bombings in Iraq


Last week, militants linked to Al-Qaeda took over a church in Baghdad and killed 58 people. Following the attacks , Al-Qaeda threatened to attack Christians wherever they can be reached, which is serious threat because we know that Al-Qaeda, at least some of its loyal sympathizers, live in every single country in the Middle East. For any person living in Jordan it's easy to notice that Jordanian Christians are panicking after the attacks. But is that justified?

On a humanitarian level, those attacks are less tragic than many attacks on mosques, where the death toll is often worse. Just last week an attack on a mosque in Iraq left 63 people dead. The majority of the 100,000 Iraqi civilians who were killed since the US invasion of Iraq are Muslims. Outside Iraq, Islamic militants have just bombed a mosque in Pakistan, leaving 90 people dead. Worshipers in mosques and churches are usually unarmed people, minding their own business, who often pray for peace in their country.

Christians in Iraq have been treated pretty fairly under Saddam Hussein. Not that they were necessarily supporters of him, but the hardships Iraqi Christians faced were not religious-based, and were not very different from those encountered by Iraqi Muslims. Saddam put his trust in some Christians around him, including his vice president and personal guard.

Fast forward to 2003, the US invades Iraq. Since then there have been multiple separate attacks on churches leaving casualties, and some priests and bishops from different sects were kidnapped and murdered. It was obvious that those were not random attacks and that Christians specifically are being one of the targets of Islamic militants in Iraq. The church attacks last week were just a continuum of a series of attacks that are likely to continue. The majority of Iraqi Christians have already left Iraq, and it's highly predictable that they will continue to do so.

Make no mistake, even the most religious Muslims I know vehemently condemn these attacks and consider them unjustifiable. However it's hard for most of them to understand why are Christians in Jordan panicking over this recent incident.

Arab Christians have been feeling vulnerable recently, and Jordanian Christians are no exception. First, their numbers are decreasing significantly and that's attributable to several factors which we can't get into now, but it's a fact. Jordanian Christians used to constitute nearly 20% of the population in the 1950s, and now they're less than 5%. Numbers do matter. You feel less significant when there aren't lots of you.

Secondly, they are a minority, a well-treated minority, a well-respected minority, but a minority. Unfortunately their opinion or take on vital issues may be considered less important because they're a minority.

Also, many Muslims believe the most significant war taking place now is between Christianity and Islam, and that makes a lot of Arab Christians very uncomfortable because they don't want to be held responsible for the actions of the "Christian" Western governments especially in Afghanistan and Iraq and their support of Israel.

Then comes the under-rated Muslim-Christians conflict that's been going on for at least two decades in Egypt. All the events there have been underplayed by the Egyptian government but they were bad enough to get many Egyptian Christians to leave Egypt and allow some Copts in the US to tell stories, many of which may be inaccurate, of how Christians are being mistreated by Muslims in Egypt.

Even though, again, neither Islam nor the majority of Muslims encourage these attacks, they remain an attack by one religious group on another. It looks like Al-Qaeda, which a loose term nowadays referring to Islamic militants, wants Iraqi Christians out of Iraq and they're doing a good job with that. If they have their way they certainly want all Christians out from whatever land they claim to be Islamic.

Arab Christians, and certainly Jordanian Christians, are not an ethnicity or a group of people who want to live alone. Their culture, language and heritage is identical to that of the Muslim citizens. Jordanian Christians consider themselves Jordanian. They are protected by the Jordanian police, their borders are protected by the Jordanian army and their rights are protected by the Jordanian constitution and law. Unlike Shiites, Kurds or Jews, they do not seek to form a country of their own or be protected by a foreign army. Therefore, if they felt threatened, even if that threat came from a very small group against the will of the majority, they may start leaving the country in greater numbers and that would be a very hard decision to make. It doesn't take a mastermind to do something stupid. It just takes one dumb moron to be inspired by the al-Qaeda speech to carry a gun and shoot at a crowded church gathering or funeral or anywhere where Christians gather. Most Muslims can't do much to prevent this, but I hope they'll understand why Jordanian Christians are freaking out after the church incident and realize that it's not only that incident but whatever preceded it that's making them feel uncomfortable.


Sunday, September 05, 2010

The Best Beatles Song

When it comes to music, the best is not usually the most popular. The Rolling Stones published their "Best 100 Beatles Songs" special edition. The number one spot belonged to "A Day in the Life".
This song was 2 separate songs, that got combined into one, and then Lennon and McCartney thought it was a good idea to bring some orchestra in the middle and let the musicians wear funny glasses and hats as if it was a new year's eve party. Having mysterious lyrics about death and drugs certainly helped.

You really need balls to make such songs because they are destined to either fail miserably or achieve overwhelming success. The Beatles had balls but also had a lot of talent.

The only song somewhat similar is Bohemian Rhapsody, but I prefer A Day in the Life.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Very Wrong

The wrong-est and funniest status yesterday, by comedian Doug Stanhope

"I have a very funny image in my head of being on ChatRoulette and stumbling upon the 33 trapped Chilean miners."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Too Harsh or Too Real?


In my opinion, it sounds a little harsh, mainly in suggesting that the poor in Jordan deserve what they're going through.

On the other side, when you are poor , you're not supposed to have many kids, because you spend a shit load of money just by raising one kid. This is a lesson that I hope Jordan will understand one day.

One thing for sure: الولد ما بتيجي رزقته معه.

If you disagree, you deserve the shitty life you're having.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An Arab man beating a German woman during a football game, live on TV

This is Khaled Boulahrouz (you can't see him in this short clip), shooting a ball from the other side of the field, which hit the German reporter Jessica Kastrop right in the head.

So that's what we're having now, random Arab men beating women on screen and getting away with it.

Here's a clip of this horrifying incident



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(for those politically-correct people: it really doesn't matter that it wasn't intentional, and that Boulahrouz apologized later, and she accepted the apology, and that Boulahrouz is Dutch, born and lived there all of his life and represented Holland in the World Cup. What matters is his strange name and that he kicked that blonde woman in the head. I ask the honorable Dutch people to deport the browny. Meanwhile: WOMEN: listen to your husbands when they tell you to stay in the kitchen. They know better. I hope this incident teaches you why. You're welcome)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

True Blood


It's been a while since my clothes were soaked with other patients' blood, especially that I haven't performed a lot of medical procedures recently.

But there's once incident that I will never forget.

It was a hectic day in the ICU, and just before going home a patient developed a cardiac arrest. Being the senior resident, I started running the "code blue", in which you run the show and start putting IVs in necks and groins and blood starts flying everywhere in the room.

As I went home (patient survived that night but died later), I have not noticed that my white shirt and dark blue pants were soaked with blood on the side.

I was about to enter my apartment, my neighbor was outside on his patio with his girlfriend watching the sunset , or just chillin after smoking Arizona's annual reserve of marijuana. He saw me going into into the apartment.

I heard him shout at me, "dude, are you OK?"

"Yes, what's wrong?"

"What issss dis on your shirts, is dat blood? did you hurt yourself?"

"No I'm OK, uhm, I'm OK"
then I looked at the shirts and pants,

I continued, "I'm OK, I don't think this is my blood, not mine, no, doesn't look like it ..."

I noticed a glimpse of semi-shock on his face, and shear terror on his girlfriend's. Then I realized that none of them knew I was a doctor.

I was about to tell them right away, but as the tension grew, as the frightened looks on their faces got more real, I forced myself to shut up. I even think I laughed a super creepy and low-pitched laugh that, if heard by them, would have been best described as spine-chilling.

I hate to say it, but that fear and horror I saw was very fulfilling! I totally get dictators and serial killers now.
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(message from hareega to the American Board of Internal Medicine: this incident, though real, does not disqualify me from doing my best to serve my patients and will in no way hinder me from performing my duty as a physician and I will never ever violate the Hippocratic oath. Please don't withdraw my licence. I also hate dictators and I'm not the biggest fans of Charlie Manson or other serial killers, at least not the other serial killers)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Attention Span, Interrupted



People underestimate the importance of discussions with other humans. These tons of meetings you go to everyday involve discussions about things that matter. A lot of decisions, some life-altering decisions like marriage, jobs, and which football team to root for come after lengthy and useful discussions with people who matter.

The reason these discussions are important, is that they bring in new ideas, and your ideas and beliefs may be challenged. Your knowledge is expanded, and your wisdom keeps growing.

As a very old man himself (30 years of age is like 88 in internet life), I have noticed the progressive disappearance of useful discussions on the internet.

I started using the (very slow) internet in Jordan in the mid-1990s. I remember exchanging a few emails with other people from other areas in the world, often debating different opinions and ideas, like politics and religion. These were good discussions, and I remember a few of them.

Message boards (the ones I used were arabia.com and mahjoob) were popular, and these discussions were actually very interesting at times. Then came blogs and everything else followed to allow any person with a keyboard to type in his own opinion.

Blogs often allow for some degree of civilized discussions depending on the blog itself. However most blogs are shallow. Worse, any comments can be deleted for whatever reason, thus making your voice unheard.

Facebook is worse, because you have very limited space to express anything. You may argue that facebook was made for people to stay in touch, but with every political activity or news coming around you'll find some discussions going around.

Twitter, Youtube, CNN, Huffington Post, Ammon News or any political/news website come on top of the worst of the worst because they almost entirely eliminated normal discussions. Comments need to be read first by the moderator, then edited if necessary, or deleted, then posted on the websites. They rarely allow for 2 people to interact and reply to each other immediately. Even if someone wants to express an idea like, "American movies are terrible" you don't have enough space to expand on your idea, or give reasons for it in a similar way you'll have while talking to normal human being on the street or in a cafe.

This might seem as a trivial problem in this day and age. But look around you and see how much time people (including Jordanians) are spending on these websites everyday and you'll realize that our attention spans are increasingly getting shorter. A lot of the knowledge that I have, a lot of the opinion I have formed in my life and a lot of skills in defending any action I have taken came as a result of thousands of discussions and debates I had with other human beings. It's a skill. Discussions reveal personality traits, passions, beliefs and intentions, and we seem to be losing focus in having them.

If you disagree, comment below in no more than 140 characters.

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(in the picture above Anna Kendrick b4 shooting Twilight OMG she's so pretty, and the picture below fireworks at Khalifah tower OMG they're so awesome)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Monday, August 02, 2010

How Movie Trailers Should Be

Mysterious. Exciting. Breath-taking. It doesn't tell you how the story will begin and doesn't give you an idea how will it end. It just impresses you enough to get you to go watch the movie once it's released.
This is a great movie trailer for Gamorrah, which also turned to be a great movie.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Totally Useless Trivia


The coach of FC Barcelona, Josep Guardiola, who led Barcelona in 2009 into becoming the first club ever to win 6 out of 6 championships in one season, used to be a player in Barcelona and later in some shitty clubs like Al-Ahli in Qatar.

While playing in Al-Ahli, Al-Ahli faced Jordanian club Al-Hussain Irbid in the Arabian Champions League in 2005.

Al-Ahli won 3-0, and Guardiola scored the 3rd goal from a penalty kick.

So, Guardiola played against a Jordanian team and scored a goal against us, which makes ecstatic. I guess this makes me a football masochist.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Journal Round: Time, Foreign Policy, Rolling Stones



Call me old-fashioned , but I still enjoy reading paper magazines rather than electronic ones, just like I love holding a real book rather than turning pages on a electronic book reader like kindle.

I'll talk about a few topics from this week's magazines.

TIME MAGAZINE



I never thought about summer vacations, but according to Time's edition this week, summer vacations are harmful. It's a period during which school students forget a lot of things they have learnt in school. The tradition of summer vacation started 100 years ago when school kids had to help in the farm during the growing days, but now it should become obsolete. The writer emphasizes on how students of low-income families are the ones hurt the most from summer vacations. their Maths skills seem to deteriorate following any summer vacation.
Local governments can't add more school days to the calender sue to cost and culture. Also tourism industry won't like it that much.
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Time dedicates one page to talking about Panera bread, a restaurant chain that is not asking its customers to pay whatever they want for their sandwiches. It gives a "requested amount" and generous well-off people may pay more than that in order to allow the less fortunate to buy sandwiches at a lower price. It's working well so far although some people seem to be abusing the idea.

This is a wonderful idea, if it works maybe other chain restaurants will start considering it.
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Foreign Policy (FP)

This magazine is worth every girsh you pay for it. It provides good analysis of any political problem that's going on, often giving both sides of the story. The articles are written by world intellectuals. If you are a regular reader there is no way your letter will be published in the comment section.

Let me quote something about Lebanon, which might be well-known to a few,

" No one knows who exactly lives in Lebanon. The country hasn't had a census since the French colonial government conducted one in 1932. A census would likely reveal the uncomfortable truth- for Lebanon's Maronite Christians- that their numbers have been slipping as percentage of the population. When Lebanon became independent in 1943, a national pact divided power between Christians and Muslims in a 6-5 ratio based on the 1932 census, later changed to an even split after the brutal 1975-1990 civil war Since then, the Shiite community is believed to have grown faster than any other community, but Christians, despite making up only an estimated quarter of the population, still hold half the parliamentary seats. They'd prefer to keep it that way. "

In the last page, FP writes: Five things you don't know about Ramadan:

1- Ramadan is Big Business
2- After oil, Ramadan is Saudi Arabia' biggest export.
3- Ramadan is a time of peace, but it's also marked by war
4- Globalization has changed Ramadan.
5- Ramadan is a tyrant's best friend.

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Rolling Stone
(Special Collectors Edition)

The Rolling Stone has a special edition of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

The top ten were:

1- Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan, which by the way never reached number 1 on the charts when released
2- I Can't Get No Satisfaction (Rolling Stones)
3- Imagine (Beatles)
4- What's Going On (Marvin Gaye)
5- Respect (Aretha Franklin)
6- Good Vibrations (Beach Boys)
7- Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry)
8- Hey Jude (Beatles)
9- Smells Like a Teen Spirit (nirvana)
10- What I'd Say (Ray Charles)

I don't think you'll find 2 people in this world who can agree on the same list, but it's good to run through the top 500 songs in the list. Songs from the 1960s had nearly 40% of the songs on the list.

See you next week
Hareega

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Punctuation, Punctuation.

This is why punctuation and pauses are extremely important while reading the news.

This news anchor was telling listeners that his co-anchor was off that day, then proceeded to report a murder. Punctuation was, apparently, missing from the teleprompter.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Scream



Taxicab from the hotel to the airport.... 19 dollars

Coffee at the airport..... 4 dollars

Flight from Las Vegas to Minneapolis...... 206 dollars

Having a random 40-something male passenger wake up at the end of a 3-hour flight in terror, grab your arm and scream at the top of his voice, "Daddy" then stare awkwardly around him .... PRICELESS

There are things that money can't buy,
For everything else there's MasterCard (or Visa, cash, your parents...etc)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

In Conclusion, Best Moments of the World Cup


Casillas' Interview with His Girlfriend

Casillas, Spain's captain and goalkeeper, did an interview with a sports reporter who happened to be his girlfriend right after the final game. She was asking him who did he thank for the victory. He answered, "to everyone who supported me, my parents, my brother..... then he said "to my friends, and to you", then you can tell she was very uncomfortable with what he did next. It's a little unprofessional but very excusable. She can also be grateful they don't have honor killings in Spain.



Maradona's Press Conference

As you've noticed Maradona is very close to his players, kissing them before they hit the field and when they come out of it, which made this insecure reporter ask this question.
you can always tell Maradona's response from his eye.



I have to say, this is a much more friendly response than his response to Argentinian reporters who previously predicted he was too bad of a coach to get Argentina to qualify into the World Cup. I can't even post that video here, it was so incredibly nasty that the FIFA had to suspend him from attending his team's games for 3 months. Click here to watch it.

Most Outrageous Penalty Drama
Without a doubt it was Gyan's missed penalty in the 121st minute against Uruguay. Not only that, but Uruguay's winner penalty by Abreu was one of the most classical of all World Cups, a Panenka style penalty.

Gyan's Miss


and Abreu's classical penalty


Best GoaL
I might be biased here, but I'll go for Tevez' 3rd goal against Mexico. The reason is that Tevez looked as if he was losing control of the ball and falling down just before he fired his missile.
Van Bronckhorst's goal against Uruguay comes second




Worst Behavior By Anyone
French Coach Domenech refusing to shake hands with a (much better) coach Carlos Alberto, for no reason other than Domench being an asshole.


Worst Tackle On the Field
That happened yesterday, in the final game, as Dutch defender De Jong kicked Alonso
in the middle of the f-ing chest. Surprisingly enough he only got a yellow card.



Close second, Felipe Melo against Holland in the quarter-finals.

Most Affectionate Player
On average, North Korea makes it to the World Cup twice every 100 years, so some players like Jong Tae-Se can get very emotional when their national anthem was being played during their first game against Brazil, which was their best.


Most Arrogant of All
Kaka, of Brasil, proving again why does his name mean the same in all languages and cultures across the world after refusing to swap his shirt with a North Korean player.

See you in 2014 !!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Spain, World Champions, I Think


The final game of the world cup was played today, and sure on paper they deserved it perfectly, Spain winning the last 32 of their 34 matches and the Netherlands winning their last 10 games. However it felt like the wrong teams were playing this final.

The Netherlands have been a pleasure to watch several times before. The 1970s team was a powerful team, total football, Cryuff, Neeskens, Krol, then the 1988 team with their shocking awesome performance and the genius Van Basten and the others with their curly hair. Even in the last Euro 2008 Holland seemed to be on top of the world after destroying France and Italy.

But in this world cup, they won their 3 games in the first round simply because the opponents sucked more than they did. They seemed to lack spirit. Even in the game against Brasil they were a little bit lucky with ball deflections and Filip Melo doing them some favors.

Meanwhile, Spain would have exited from the first round if it wasn't for David Villa. They would have exited from the second round if it wasn't for David Villa. They would have exited from the quarter-finals if it wasn't for David Villa. They won the world cup after scoring 8 goals only by 3 different players. Some teams that were relegated in the second round and quarter-finals scored more goals than them.

None of those 2 teams looked convincing enough to be world champions, in my opinion. Before this game they were the best 2 teams to never win a world cup, besides Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and now Spain the worst team to win a world cup. However there was no cheating, no referee mistakes, no deals made behind the door (I think), so it's all fair and square. Welcome the new World Champions: Espana!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Brasiloooo

Congratulations for Brasil for making it to the quarter-finals in this world cup, I was not expecting it and they indeed impressed us with average victories against the Ivory Coast and North Korea and even scored a goal against a real team like Holland. I can comfortably say they're an above-average team, and they proved they deserved to qualify to the world cup.

Clip of the day:
Snjiedier screaming at the camera after the first goal! At 0:35 !

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Funny Clips From The World Clip

Fabio Capello almost getting a heart attack while yelling at his English players to pass the ball!



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Eboue, the Ivory Coast player, pretending to be listening to the North Korean coach who was giving instructions to one of his players



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This is before the world cup kicked in. Diego Maradona, during training, divided his team into 2 teams to play against each other. The team that lost had to stand on the goal and let the winning team shoot balls at their butts. Maradona stood with the losing team!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Have You Seen This?



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In case you haven't, make sure you see this too, Maxi 2006



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And since you're here, watch this Messi magic, 2007 Copa America



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All of these goals, ladies and gentleman, were against Mexico.

Argentina is a worse nightmare for Mexicans than Arizona's new immigration law.


VAMOS ARGENTINA

Thursday, June 24, 2010

USA-Algeria

That was about to become the best 0-0 game in the World Cup.

Even though Algeria had good chances, but they lacked a striker. They failed to score in the 3 games they played. Even in the 5 last games they had before the World Cup, they only scored one goal from a penalty kick against UAE. Problems don't fix themselves, and the lack of scoring ability paralyzed them in this World Cup.

The US wanted to win so badly and they did. It was totally deserved. Dempsey scored a goal that was wrongfully disallowed due to an offside that did not exist.

Anyway, Arabs are out from the first round, which is the rule.

Enjoy the goal:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Closing Time, First Round


* South Africa will go in history as the first country ever to host a world cup and fail to qualify past the first round. I don't care that they played well against France: they sucked in the 2 other games and that's why they are out by now.

* Portugal doesn't have a great team. I know they won 7-0, but they still don't have a great team, average at best.

* The whole continent of South America should qualify automatically to the World Cup next time, including Suriname and French Guyana.

* Domenech, the French coach, refused to shake hands with South Africa's coach after the end of the game, proving again that he is extremely rude even by French standards. (clip below)

* Red cards are the new yellow.

* I get very nervous when I see Argentina playing a great game. If they wanna win the world cup they have to attack for 10 minutes and score a goal then spend the remaining 80 minutes with 10 players in defense.

* Stop saying you're shocked by England's poor performance. Just do like me and don't put England among world class team. So not qualifying to Euro 2008 or getting knocked off early in the World Cup becomes a very normal thing. Drawing with Algeria and the US? Sounds perfectly normal to me.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Mundial Kid

I was on the phone with a Paraguayan friend who was on his way to South Africa to watch the World Cup.

"When are you leaving?"
"Today, I'll fly from New York to Dubai then Johannesburg, just to watch 4 games then will be back in 10 days"
"Why don't you stay all the way?"
"Wife is pregnant, she's due in 3 weeks, I wanna make sure I'm back before that"
"Awesome!! Have fun!!"
"I will"
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24 hours later he was calling.

"I wanna tell you that we now have a new member added to our family"
"What?"
"My wife just had a baby boy, they're both doing great, he's a little underweight, but otherwise doing great"
"This is great, where are you now?"
"Dubai"
"Can you go back to New York?"
"Maybe, I think I can , but you know, I bought 4 tickets, it's the World Cup....."
"I know, listen..."
"What?"
"When your son grows up, he will understand"
"That's what I'm saying to myself"
"Congratulations"
"Thank You"
"Take pictures"
"I will"

I used to respect my friend. Now I respect him much more.

Monday, June 14, 2010

MicroBloGGinG..... World Cup Edition.... Lidd Lidd Chaif Enno, Chaif Akhathel Taba Minno


-You cannot judge how the World Cup will end just from its beginning. A lot of teams that won the world cup lost their opening games or even barely made it to the second round. This is not the NBA, baseball, or fake American football.

- I thought Argentina played very well. A lot of players didn't give all what they had, and the defence was in poor shape. Higuain needs to concentrate more. Zanetti and Riquelme were definitely missing, but Zanetti was there for 4 World Cups and we didn't win anything with him.

Maradona has matured a lot in the last year as a coach. The next time a game ends 6-1 it has to be a win on our side!

- So far South Korea played the best game ever. They dominated Greece. If they stay in this shape they might do really well even without help from the referees.

- The US has a good team. However they will never win the World Cup if they keep calling this game soccer. Sorry, but your "football" lost. The world likes the real football where players play with their feet, not helmet ball where players play with their helmets.

here are some moments for Messi against Nigeria:



Saturday, June 12, 2010

24 years later

It won't be a problem waiting for 4 more years, but it would be wonderful to get it now, with the greatest human being on the face of the planet as the coach.


Good luck boys

Vamos Argentina

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Best Red Card Ever in a World Cup

1990: Claudio Caniggia, the great Argentinian striker, was running at a speed of a Toyota with faulty breaks towards Cameron's goal. One Cameronian guy tackled him a little, another one jumped on him and tackled him more, and the third one (Massinga) just frikin threw himself at Caniggia and threw him on the floor.

Watch out the shoe flying in the air with the attack!!

England, Three Pussy Cats on a Shirt


The British invented football, but their contribution to the game stopped there. They refused to participate in the World Cup up until 1950, only to get defeated by the US 1-0 on their first game ever. Since then, their participation has been less than perfect. They won the Cup they hosted in 1966, but other than the only time they made it to the semi-finals was in 1990 when they came fourth, thanks to some genius skills from Gascoigne, Platte and Lineker.

This time, their strongest link is the coach, Fabio Capello. England has transformed into a big giant since his arrival, a giant only against mediocre teams. Even under Capello they lost to Spain and Brasil and drew with the Netherlands. Unless Gerrard and Lampard play their best and avoid getting injured, and Rooney scores in every single game, it will be difficult for England to achieve something, especially when they're playing in South Africa.

At any rate, I'm hoping from some solid performances from them. If it wasn't for their victory in 1966 their record in the World Cup would have been shameful. Well, it still is.

Clip For Memory
This is from recent memory. Michael Owen , 18 years old then, scored a wonderful goal against Argentina in 1998. Argentina won in penalties after a 2-2 draw.



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Picture above: Lucy Griffiths, a British actress, who I suppose will be cheering for England. Just saying.

Top 50 Goals in World Cup History

There are a lot of clips on youtube on the best goals ever scored in the World Cup. I think this list is the best one, maybe you won't agree with the ranking, I don't think you can find 2 people who can agree on one list, but I think it really contains the best 50 goals ever scored. Besides, they are fast and mention the player's name and the game.

In my opinion: the best free kick ever was that of Cubillas in 1978.
Best solo effort: Diego Maradona.
Best team work: the last goal on the list of Brasil plus Cambiasso's against Serbia in 2006.
Best shot from outside the box : Socrates against USSR.
Fastest son-of-a-bitch : Maradona and Stoichkov

Enjoy the magic!!

Waving Flag

It's time for Argentina......

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Spain: Not This Time, Either


Spain currently has one of the strongest teams in the world. They're ranked # 2 in the FIFA rankings behind Brasil. Given their magnificent performance in Euro 2008 that they won, many people predict a wonderful performance in this World Cup. With players like Casillas, Puyol, Pique, Xavi, Torres, Alonso and Villa they can defeat virtually any team and score a large number of goals.

But here, on this forum, I predict a miserable world cup for the Spaniards. Not only will they fail to advance past the second round (if they actually make it past the first one), but they will fail to connect, fail to defend, and fail to score. They will concede quite a few goals and they will be defeated, badly, by less talented teams.

The hardest prediction in the World Cup is not to predict who's gonna win, but who's gonna lose. Predicting the surprise, and this is the surprise I'm predicting: Spain OUT. Barrrrrraaaaa....

Clip For Memory
In their first game in 1994, Spain were leading South Korea 2-0. The Korean came back and scored 2 goals in the final 5 minutes to equalize it 2-2. That kind of sums up the Spanish experience in World Cup history.



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Picture Above: Casillas, the magical keeper.

Algeria... الجزائر: Dream On


Algeria fought its way, literally, to this World Cup after a major challenge with the Egyptians. Tension rose between both countries to a shamefully disgusting level, and I was happy to see one team emerge as a winner before a military conflict arose between the 2 countries.

Algeria played twice in the World Cup, 1982 and 1986. In 1982 they became one of very few teams in world cup history to win 2 games in one round and not make it to the second round, thanks to a conspiracy between Germany and Austria. In 1986 they didn't play nearly as well except with their 0-1 loss to Brasil.

As an Arab I am glad to see Algeria qualify. Very happy indeed, and I wish for them more than any other Arab team to have a good tournament. We saw a terrible decline in the performance of the Algerian team in the past 20 years, and these qualification were the first ones in ages where Algeria actually had any chance of making it to the finals. They still remain the weakest African team in this tournament, but that doesn't matter, because Morocco in 1986, Cameron in 1990, Nigeria in 1994, Senegal in 2002 did not care either, neither did the 1982 Algeria of Rabah Madjer and Akhdar Balloumi.

Let's wish them the best.

On June 13th they'll play Slovenia
June 18th vs. England
June 23rd vs. United States

Clip For Memory

This is Algeria kicking some arrogant German ass. What's very beautiful about this is the 67th minute. It was 1-0 for Algeria and Germany just scored the equalizer. They barely celebrated the goal, because you know, we are Germany, Europe's champs, playing against those amateurs form Algeria, and now we're ready to load them with goals. But in 30 seconds the Algerians got back to the game and Balloumi netted the ball very comfortably into the net, giving Algeria a well-deserved 2-1 victory.
We want to see more of that.




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The Picture Above: Rabeh Madger, the King of Algerian Football (and a bad commentator too!)

Waka Waka... This Time for Africa

Shakira...... plus
Football....plus
Messi......plus
Maradona....plus
Dancing, Music, Drums
= Perfect

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

South Africa ... We're Hosting It, So We Get to Qualify


The host team always makes it past the first round, and this world cup will not be an exception. South Africa will make it to the second round, not necessarily because they deserve it, but because they are the host nation. They're not a bad team, and this team actually could be the best they ever had. This week they defeated Colombia 2-1 and Denmark 1-0.

Their group is the strongest, in my opinion. Besides them, they have a maturing Mexican team, a talented Uruguayan team, and France who still got some players who can kick the ball. Ideally they would have no chance of getting a single point, but this time they will get through.

Their coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira. He won the World Cup for Brasil in 1994.

Clip For Memory

Despite qualifying to the World Cup 3 times, S.Africa won only one game against Slovenia 1-0 with a goal from Nomvete. Here it is. Warning: ordinary goal.


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In the picture above: Mark Fish, one of the best players to ever play for South Africa. The whitest, too!

Germany.... Wake Me Up When the World Cup Comes


Germany is a team that doesn't bother to play football unless it matters. It's the exact opposite of other teams like Spain and the Netherlands that have great talents but very few championships.
Germany stays dormant, gets its ass handed to it in friendlies, qualifications and even occasional matches in the World Cup, but some way, somehow, manages to go very far in World Cups.

Even their first World Cup final win against Hungary in 1954 was a huge shocker, as they have lost 3-8 in the first round. They produced great talents in the 1970s, cheated their way into the final in 1982, but in 1990 they had a magical team and won the final games with a gift from the Mexican referee.

Since 1990, they haven't produced a single world-class player. Even Miroslav Klose, the World Cup top goals scorer in 2006, was almost never placed among the best strikers in the world. Almost their entire current squad plays in Germany. German goalkeepers had the reputation of being the best in the world, but the most experienced in this selection played only five international matches.

It's well-known that you can never underestimate the Germans: they can punish you really hard. Even with this team, Germany can still make it to the semi-finals, and with players like Lahm, Mario Gomez and Muller they can even win the Cup. I hope not.

Clip For Memory
Since we are tired of seeing goals, let's remember this famous encounter between Voller and Rijkaard in 1990. Voller had a little argument with Rijkaard and got a red card, and on his way out Rijkaard spat on him, for which Rijkaard was sent off immediately. Later on the players agreed to appear together in a Lurpak commercial. Then they became head coaches of their national teams.

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In the Picture Above: Thomas Muller, the striker, for every Germany selection must have a player named Muller.