Saturday, December 30, 2006

Closing Jordan Planet: Wrong Decision

There's nothing to justify closing Jordan Planet. The quality of posts have not really detoriorated from before but it's now harder to follow. In case the administration felt there were too many blogs, it could have simply frozen some blogs especially those inactive ones, or restrict posting to a certain number of posts per week or month, or come up with different suggestions.

If it was to make a new design for the planet, that could have been done without shutting down the site for six months, and if the bloggers were asked I'm almost certain they'd prefer keeping Jordan Planet rather than closing it for six month to add new colors.

Besides, the old Jordan Planet where the front page was full of picutres was much more attractive to read than the most recent where almost no photos would appear on the front page.

I really don't know who's running the planet other than Isam, he did a wonderful job creating the planet, and if needed help I'm sure many bloggers would be more than happy to, but closing down the site seems like avoiding solving a problem rather than dealing with it.

Again, if there are other reasosns for closing JP we need to know.

Friday, December 29, 2006

America needs Sawsan Tuffaha

The cable news channels in the US are useless. You watch the news bulletin for one hour and it would be interrupted at least five times by commercials, and the news itself is just one line followed by different headlines in big fonts and arrows and colors then appear a few people to discuss the story. It doesn't matter who these people are, nobody knows, but they need to have different points of view and the viewer is to take sides. That makes the news exciting! The problem is that it's really difficult tot tell what the piece of news was. Among all of these debates you really miss the actual news.

What's worse? the news itself. Celebrities get most of the attnetion, the stupid legal cases that affect nobody like a missing girl in Aruba or three college students raping a strip dancer and this news took more space than the war in Iraq and definitely than news in any other area in the world.

The Sawsan-Tuffaha news is the one when someone who doesn't smile or frown shows up on a TV screen at a certain time, shoots the news for 20 minutes straight in your face, nonstop, no commercials, all serious news, and celebrties are mentioned in it only when they die. News are not enjoyable anyway, you'd be a moron to enjoy watching news about wars and earthquakes but that's the news and that's how it's supposed to be.

Many Americans are getting their news first from comedians like Jay Leno and Bill Maher even the Jon Stewart before they get it from what's supposed to be the real news channels!

America needs Sawsan Tuffaha.


Here's of clips from Jon Stewart making fun of cable news, hilarious!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Christmas Diary

It was mid-December and I haven't decided yet what I should do for Christmas. I remembered my first Christmas in the US which I spent with my gay friend and his lover, and that time I made a decision not to spend any Christmas in Arizona anymore. I bought a super-expensive ticket to Chicago to visit my sister there. Cool.

Next... Gifts, yes I gotta get some gifts... Let's see , I was overloaded with work from Dec 5th till the 23 rd with NO DAYS OFF at all. The only day when I could shop was the 24th, the day of my flight. My flight was scheduled at 6 pm, so I had some time to shop in the morning.

I woke up at 9, watched TV and played FIFA World Cup 2006 and won the cup again with Argentina, and this time I defeated Brazil 11-0 in the final. Although that was the 46th time that I win with Argentina, I am still celebrating everytime they win by kicking the sofa 12 repetitive times and jumping on my bed for 5 minutes and, occasionally, running to my patio and screaming "3aaaaaaaa" until my neighbor's dog starts barking. Now it's 11am and I'm really screwed because I had to drive to the airport in Phoenix and that takes 2 hours (unless you're drunk then it's 1 hour 15 minutes) and I still have to do my Christmas shopping. I took a quick shower and was about to leave, then I heard a knock on my door. It was my neighbor. I opened the door...

"Hi" she said, and the smell of beer spread across my apartment and filled it replacing the smell of the old rotten yogurt I bought in August and was too lazy to throw away.

She continued, "listen, I know you're going to Chicago, Chris (her boyfriend) is a crazy Chicago Bears' fan , he wants that Bears cap that Snoop dogg wears in his last video".

"How does the cap look like?"

"I don't know, I don't watch Snoop Dogg, but it's black and covered with red in the front and has a big red C on it, it's not orange, it's red, and the C is different from C in Cubs. Chris told me that cap looks naaaasty!"

"Do you know what's the video? I can check it on youtube"

"It has tam tam tana tana in it" then she started moving her head circumferentially.

"But there's like 5 million songs that have tam tam tana tana in them!"

"Let's google it"

I googled everything and went to the Chicago Bear's website and couldn't find the freakin cap she was talking about, and somehow I convinced her that the Chicago Bears made Snoop Dogg a special cap just for that clip.

"Now what should I get him for the new year? He loves the bears"

I felt sorry for her, so I searched ebay for the Bears products and found a T-shirt for their star Brian Urlacher with a print on it "Brian Urlacher will make you his bitch"!! She was sooooo happy when she found it and she bought it.

Now it was 12.30, I called my friend in Phoenix and he told me to come early so we can hang out together before the flight. I went to the Mall on my way and did my Christmas shopping in 20 minutes. I was in Phoenix by about 3.

I called my friend on his cell.... no answer.
I called again... wala eshi

I rang the bell of his house, nobody opened.
I was about to open the door and go check inside, but I remembered there was another guy living with him with a 3agel karaki who's never met me, and maybe if he sees me coming in like that he might grab his gun and shoot me in the face. Retrospecitvely I know now that he was sleeping. I did not come in. I called another friend, we had lunch then I headed toward the airport.

I was supposed to go to terminal 4 but I went to terminal 3 instead. I thought to myself "ma howeh kulhom terminals" . I parked there. I'm not sure if there's a longterm parking but if there was one I did not use it. I parked in the regular parking where they charge your ass 3 dollars an hour. I was short of time so I just parked and took my two carry-ons and left. I realized that when you're supposed to go to terminal 4, you need to park there. I had to take a bus to terminal 4 and that wasted a lot of time.

I arrived at the security check and stood in the line. My Arab paranoia started to kick in. I remembered that some airports in the US started to hire specialists in psychological profiling. These people observe the behavior of the passengers standing in security checkups and if they a strange behavior they'd take the passenger and search him very carefully and ask him a zillion questions. Just knowing that someone might be observing me made me nervous, and now I thought to myself, "I'm a young Arab male with an Arabic passport traveling on Christmas Eve, alone, not even carrying my passport or any of my work documents, and totally unshaven, add to that that my karsh gives the impression that I'm hiding four explosive belts. " I thought that if I was one of those who do psychological profiling I would definitely stop "me" and ask myself questions.

Then I remembered that I put my shaving razor inside my carry-on. Oops! Is that allowed? I didn't now and still don't know, but that just worsened my paranoia. I kept smiling and smiling and I was smiling even more that how much late Rafe3 Shaheen would smile for a female contestant. I passed through security in less than 30 seconds, no questions asked, no carry-ons opened or searched. My only thought was "these security people let me pass smoothly, they need some extra training".

I arrived at the gate at 6.25, my flight was scheduled to take off at 6.35 and yes it did. I was the last passenger to check in! I was totally surprised. It was a Southwest flight and on Christmas eve and still took off on time. In case you've never traveled Southwest, it works like the public buses, whoever gets in the plane first would sit where he likes, and it might stop on its way to drop and pickup passengers without changing planes. The flight went fine, except when I had to use their extremely tiny one restroom shared by the 150 passengers on the plane. I'll try not to be very graphic, but when a male is releasing his liquidish product of metabolism, he has to point well down to where it is supposed to land, and with all the turbulences during the flight nothing of that was possible. Looking at how the restroom looked like whenI went in, I was sure that at least five men had that same problem before me.

I arrived, it was nice to meet the family. Today was Christmas and we went to have the Christmas lunch at the house of my brother-in-law's aunt who lost her husband last month, so the whole family in Chicago (over 40 people) went to her house for lunch.

On the way there I asked my brother-in-law, "What should I tell them there, Merry Christmas or Yeslam Raasko (sorry for your loss)?

He replied," Say Merry Christmas, her husband died more than a month ago, and it's Christmas now, say Merry Christmas"

then my sister interrupted , "you should say Yeslam Raasko, because so far you haven't paid condolences and this is your first visit there, so we should say Merry Christmas but you're supposed to say Yeslam raasko"

then my brother-in-law said, "Listen habibi, people will greet you first, and they will say Merry Christmas first, so you can just reply back with Merry Christmas"

I was still confused about what to say, so when I got there I decided not to say anything. I just shook hands and nodded my head and made some sounds with my mouth with a lot of "Sh" and "S' and "e3" and believe me when you say these words in a low voice repetitively while nodding your head they would give the impression that you are saying real words of a greeting that the other person cannot hear. Surprisingly, you'll find the other person nodding his head and saying words that you cannot understand.

Then came a young man and handled me a cup of coffee (gahweh sadah), and the dilemma was whether or not I should shake the cup when I'm done and what to say, Merry Christmas or Yeslma Raasko. It shouldn't sound that bad except that there were all these men who I barely know watching me and I felt that if I made a mistake they'd be talking about it up until the next Christmas (and their wives would talk about it forever). The man who gave me the coffee stood next to me waiting for me to finish it. I drank the coffee really slowly, thinking of should I do. I thought about dropping that cup and breaking it and pretend it was an accident, but the floor was covered with carpet, it wouldn't break. Then, thank God, that man turned his head to he other side to look for something, and in the blinking of an eye I extended my hand to the nearby table and landed the cup of coffee there.

We had lunch, a damn good one, and just before I left the unbelievable happened again, another man came next to me and handled me another cup of coffee. I took the coffee, drank it, but this time the man did not leave or turn his head, he was standing in front of me as if he was saying ,"and now what will you do ya tabara?"

I drank the coffe, then looked at the man and handled him the cup as I was saying "esh" and "e3" and "ess" while nodding my head, gave him a smile, and then asked my brother-in-law about when are we going to leave.

I love Christmas :)

Merry Christmas

Bethlehem in 1896

"People continue to die of hunger and thirst, disease and poverty, in this age of plenty and of unbridled consumerism"......

That was a good reminder on a Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Try this at home

I was called at 6 in the morning to admit this old man to the ICU because he couldn't breathe. The ER doctor was very concerned because he was having angioedema.
Angioedema is a very rapid swelling of the throat which usually results from an allergy. This man started to take a new medication a day before that he was allergic to, so his neck swelled up in a few minutes and he came to the ER.

I went to see him. He could not talk at all, his tongue and the entire neck were massively swollen. He tried to speak but no words came out. The biggest concern was for his throat to completely close up and he would then stop breathing. That was a matter of time, probably a few minutes.

To prevent him from dying we had to make a big hole (called tracheostomy) in his neck to allow him to breathe. Cool. The only problem is that I don't know how to make this hole, I've never done it and never will, I'm not trained to and I'm not officially supposed to. I turned to the ER doctor and asked him about it, and I could see him almost shitting in his pants because he didn't know how to do it either. We had to call the specialist and bring him from home to do it. That would usually take at least half an hour to do and by then the patient would be in heaven singing with angels.

We gave the patient a bunch of medications and we were hoping they would still work. We gave extra doses of each medication and still waited to see some improvement. Time passed and the old man started to breathe better... good, then he started talking and that was great. An hour later he was able to speak well so by the time the surgeon arrived to the hospital in his pyjama there was no need to stick a knife in the man's throat.

The old man told me the story

"I woke up with this pain in my neck. I couldn't move it and I felt I was losing my breath"

"So did you call 911 for help?"

"No, I couldn't speak, if I called them what the hell was I gonna say, I couldn't say anything"

"Well sir if you would have called 911 and you didn't say anything they will locate your address and come in to your place"

"Oh, I didn't know that!"

"Ok so what did you do, how did you come in to the hospital? Did someone drive you here"

"No, I drove myself, but I didn't know the address to the hospital, it's been a long time since I've been here"

"Did you drive here while you were out of breath"

"Yes I had to, I didn't find another way, the problem is that I forgot how to get in"

"What did you do?"

"I stopped by a couple who were jogging and asked them for directions"

"But you couldn't talk....."

"That's right, but I had a pen, I wrote my questions down on a piece of paper "How do I get to the VA Hospital?"


" ....but the couple did not the address, they told me it's in the South but they didn't exactly where. "

"So what did you do? Did you ask other people?"

"No, it was 5 in the morning and the street was empty, so I went back home and checked the address on the internet and got in here"

"where you out of breath all this time?"

"Yes, I felt I was gonna die, but I had to do something"

"If this happens next time, call 911 immediately and they'll come pick you up"

"What if they I didn't have a phone around?"

"We will give you allergy needles, if you couldn't breathe grab one of these needles and inject yourself with them until you get to the hospital"

"What if they did not work"

I thought for a second then told him, "then grab a knife a stick it in the middle of your neck, that's where your breathing tube is located, and this can help you breathe. With all honesty that's exactly what we were about to do in the emergency room"

I was waiting for him to ask ,"what if there was no knife around" but he didn't. He seemed to really like the idea of stabbing his neck with a knife.

He did well overnight and we discharged him home the following day.....

I just hope that he doesn't come one day to the ER with a knife sticking out of his throat and him wiriting on a piece of paper , "this is not working, what should I do now?"

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Good-bye Tom and Jerry

Very few men could come up with something that would unite the whole world
One of these men, Joe Barbera, died last night in LA.
Enjoy one of his clips......

Monday, December 18, 2006

Gimme a break

I admitted a patient one month ago to the hospital as a favor for the on-call team because they were very busy. He had a pneumonia (lung infection). Next day another team took over his care, I was expecting him to get better and leave in a couple of days.

Two weeks after that I was passing by and I found his name on the board. I was surprised he was still in the hopsital.

For a second I was concerned I made a mistake when I admitted him, "Have I missed something?? Did this man have a heart attack that I missed??"

I checked with his nurse.

"Hey why is Mr. X still here, I admitted him 2 weeks ago!"

"Yeah doc something happened in the hospital"


"Do you know nurse Glory doc?"

" Nurse Glory.... yeah I think so" and I was thinking of that chubby nurse who works in that section

" She was changing his IV doc, and she slipped, and she fell real hard doc, real hard"

" Wow! Is she OK"

"Yes she is , but Mr. X is not, she fell down on him doc, poor guy, she broke his hip, he got a DVT now (blood clot) and he can't walk"

"And how's his pneumonia"

"It's good doc, you fixed his lungs doc"

"That's good, now you gotta call someone to fix his hip"

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

It's about time

It's about time men admit that they are the weaker sex.

I keep hearing men discouraging women from work because she might get sexually harassed. What amazes me is how a man, an adult man, would say clearly ,"I can't focus at work because of all the women around. Why are they allowed to work?"
I got a solution for you boss, castrate yourself or maybe just quit your job and go to the moon and hopefully the creatures there won't turn you on.

If men are the ones chasing women and losing focus in work or college because of them, I'd say let's lock men inside their houses because the victim should not be the one who suffers the consequences of the criminal. I promise you if all men are locked up no woman on earth will sexually harassed, wouldn't that make you happy ? Isn't that your ultimate goal that your sister and wife can work and study away from these monsters from your own sex who are turned on from nothing?

When it comes to covering up it becomes a little bit controversial. I support the woman's choice to cover her as much as she wants from her body or uncover it if she likes to, but I wonder why is it that men are the ones raging about this issue, whether they are pro or against it. Men argue that women are very seductive if they show their hair, and they should cover themselves up to protect him from sinning by jumping on her. Excuse me Mr. Testosterone but if you feel you're losing your concentration because there's a lady sitting ten meters away from you working on a bunch of papers then you are just an animal, or let's say just a human being from a second class. A human being who is weaker than the woman who doesn't complain about you being around as long as you behave yourself.

Some men argue that this is natural, men do get attracted to women more than it's the other way around. They tend to chase them and harass them and even rape them much more than it's the other way around. Cool, when you mention it please don't claim that men are the stronger sex because it looks like you're so damn weak in front of any source of estrogen.

The last argument any man has is the physical power, the muscles, wow. I'm fat and physicallyl unfit and can't lift a 20-pound box without pulling a muscle but that should not give a bodybuilder more civil rights than me.
Shouldn't men wonder that if God gave them more muscles that they gave women something they don't have?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Remembering Peter Arnett

On my birthday I checked all the great events that took place on that day and changed the world, other than m y birth of course. It was a bit disappointing to read about all the earthquakes and volcanoes, the nice people who died and the massacres and famines that killed people on the day I was born. The only thing that I liked was to know that Peter Arnett was born on the same day.

The reason we miss Beetar is that he was in Iraq reporting stories that his administration did not like. They didn't like him saying that the factory used to make baby milk was bombed by Americans and he was fired for opposing the war in Iraq on TV although other journalists supported that war on TV as part of being "patriotic".

That's what he reported from Iraq in 2003 and cost him his job
"So our reports about civilian casualties here, about the resistance of the Iraqi forces, are going back to the United States. It helps those who oppose the war when you challenge the policy to develop their arguments."

Al-Jazeera doesn't sound too biased to me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

معا يدا بيد من اجل حماية الدعارة .... Protecting Prositution

بعض الناس معجبون بزواج المتعة والبعض الاخر بالزواج فقط من اجل المتعة و حديثا بدا الزواج العرفي بالانتشار والفكرة تعجب الكثيرين لان الشغلة ما فيها مسؤولية ولا ارتباط ولا اطفال ولا اساس لتكوين عائلة كل ما فيه انو اثنين معجبين ببعض بس مش عارفين ينامو مع بعض فبقرروا يظحكوا على الناس وعلى الله بورقة

و جديد اجت فكرة عبقرية اسمها زواج فريند تهدف الى حماية الشباب والشابات من تاثير "الانحلال الاخلاقي" للغرب علينا لذلك يسمح الزواج فريند بهذا الانحلال لكن هذا الانحلال بكون انحلال برخصة يعني وثيقة يوقعها الشاب والفتاة المؤدبان العفيفان الذان تحت تاثير الغرب الكافر تاثرت اخلاقهما لكنهما سيوقعان على هذه الورقة وبذلك سيمارسان "حقوقهم الزوجية" بينما الشباب الغربي شعب فاسق لانه يمارس المجون دون توقيع هذه الورقة

مشان الله يا جماعة هذه المصطلحات كالزواج العرفي والمتعة والزواج افريند شوهت من سمعة الدعارة واعطتها اسما سيئا لذلك ادعوا الجميع ال احترام اقدم مهنة في التاريخ وتسميتها باسمها الصحيح

Thursday, November 09, 2006

When America Votes and when Jordan votes

Americans voted today to select people who will proudly have the mission of screwing them up.

Unlike Jordan, you cannot go out in the streets to dance to the music of a 70-year old man shooting in the air without even knowing who was elected.

Here in Arizona people voted against banning gay marriage unlike all other states which voted to ban it. A gay doctor at my work sent an e-mail to everyone expressing his joy and the joy of his partner and mentioned that he is "proud of Arizona". On my behalf I congratulate koll el khawalaat for this result.

A black Muslim won for the first time in the US history after getting 56% of the votes in his district in Minnesota. He was endorsed by Muslims and , after describing that he will not use religion in his campaign and after he showed his great respect for Israel, he was endorsed by the Jews. I never thought before that 56% of Minnesottans are either black, Jewish or Muslims. They all decided to vote him. They were all united to kick the republicans out of that district, united despite their differences.......

Will someone please invite republicans to form a party in the Middle East?

They divide states in America to either red states which are Republican states or blue states which vote for democrates.
Imagine something like that happening in Jordan. We'll be dividied into Bani Sakher states, Hamaydeh states, Majali states and the I-don't-care-about-elections-I-am-here-to-eat-the-mansaf-before-the-elections states.

In Arizona they also voted YES for making English the official language of the state! Imagine Jordanians being asked about having Arabic as the official language of Jordan. Would you think people in certain areas would vote with "NO"? When I hear the speeches of our Parliament members I always think "they need to go back to the third grade to learn some grammar".

Americans voted to approve or disapprove propositions. The main ones were those concerning gay marriage, abortion, raising the minimum wage (per hour), stem cell research and smoking in public places.

I don't think that will work in Jordan. We believe that homosexuality is a virus that affects people in the Western hemisphere. Abortion will always be illegal although it's easier to be performed in Jordan than an appendix surgery. Raising the minimum wage per hour is not a controversial issue because the minimum wage per hour for workers in Jordan will always be the minimum currrency that can be handled to workers. Smoking in public places will never be restricted before doctors agree to quit smoking inside their clinics. Stem cell research might become an issue in Jordan some time in the next five hundred years.

However we can still vote on many propositions, like who in the family is allowed to kill the girl who decided to make a phone call to a stranger, and whether or not we should throw anyone who makes an interview with Al-Jazeera in jail. Our Parliament members will be very enthusiastic to vote to raise the minimum wage, for themselves.

During the whole elections, Republicans were scaring the hell out of people that if democrates won rates won, everything will go wrong in America and the rest of the world. Given that this is already happening, people thought they had nothing to lose and chose to vote for democrates. Comedian Stephen Colbert made fun of that in his show, saying:

"Tomorrow you're all gonna wake up in a brave new world. A world where the constitution gets trampled by an army of terrorist clones created in a stem cell research lab run by homosexual doctors who sterilize their instruments over burning American flags. Where tax and spend Democrats take all your hard earned money and use it to buy electric cars for National Public Radio and teach evolution to illegal immigrants. Oh, and everybody is high! Whooooa"

Ironically, he was ironic.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Anxiety Problems


Just arrived to the US

Not knowing where to stay in Connecticut or how to pronounce Connecticut , I found a room at an old lady's house, for 400 dollars a month, great deal, and I had no other options.

She was 80 years old and bitchin'

On the phone, she told me "Will you be comfortable living with Heidi?"

I said, "Oh yeah, I'll be very comfortable living with Heidi"

She said, "Great. She's a pure German Shepherd"

I'm not a friend with animals. I fear them and they fear me, but this was my only option, I was ready to live with a dinosaur if I had to.

We met and she introduced me to Heidi, Heidi jumped and licked my hand, and I froze for fifteen minutes.

For the next three days I locked myself inside my room to avoid Heidi.
I had to go to work every morning, I used to sneak out barefoot from my room so I wouldn't wake up Heidi, and I would wear my shoes outside. The old lady noticed that I was not the dog's best friend.

On the fifth day, I returned home in the evening and found that all my clothes and books are covered with shit. It was clear that Heidi has defecated on all my belongings while I was not there. I told the old lady.

the old lady screamed at me, "You're a doctor, do you think she has cancer?"

I said, "Yes, and she might die soon"

the lady was horrified, "Maybe I should take her to a vet"

The day after that, July 3rd , which I remeber very well, I returned home thinking, "I hope the bitch took the bitch to a doctor so she'd stop shitting on my stuff"

I opened the door and the old lady looked at me very seriously.

"Listen, I took Heidi to psychiatrist today, and he told me that she is suffering from an anxiety problem because of you"

I looked at the lady , "Anxiety problem?"

She said, "Yes , she's very anxious because of you, you're a stranger and my sweet Heidi is not comfortable with you in the house. You have to leave now. Hurry up and pack your clothes, I found you another place to go to. I don't want you to live on the street, and I'll give you the 400 dollars back."

I was shocked. "Ok can't we go tomorrow?"

She said, "No, No, I told you she has an anxiety problem. You have to leave NOW"

I felt the old lady was more anxious than her dog and I didn't want her to get a heart attack because I needed someone to drive me to my new location, so I went back to my room and started packing my luggages that I unpacked only a few days back.

I couldn't believe she took her to a psychiatrist. I remembered how in Jordan we had people trying to kill themselves and their whole tribe and claim they were Bill Clinton and James Bond before their families would even consider taking them to a psychiatrist, and now this dog went to see a dog psychiatrist for her "anxiety problem".

The old lady dropped me at my new location. It was also the house of another senior citizen.

She greeted me with a smile, "Welcome to my house, so you're a medical student?"


"From where?"


"Is that in Tennessee?"

"No it's in the Middle East, next to Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia...."
(That was before 9/11)

"Hmmmmm.... ???"

"Western Asia"

"I see, close to Russia?"


She hesitated for a few seconds, then added, "I heard you eat dogs there"

"No, we don't, we don't eat dogs"

"Do you eat cats"

"No we don't eat cats either"

"Good, because I have a cat" and she pointed a golden fat cat sitting arrogantly on sofa next to the TV.

With all my courage, I went to the cat , hugged it and kissed it on its disgusting small nose or whatever protrusion there was between the eyes. The cat was shocked and gave me a loud Meawww and the lady smiled back at me.

I went to bed that night, praying for him to keep all the anxiety problems away from our cats and dogs.

O Canada... We will be there


Jordan qualified to the U-20 WORLD CUP held next year in Canada after defeating China 2-1 in the Asian Cup.

It's always nice to defeat a team of a nation of one billion and be the only Arab representative from Asia in the biggest international competition.

See you next year in Canada, I'll be there.

Mabrook !!

Monday, November 06, 2006


I don't know how to write movie previews, but this movie is the funniest thing I have ever seen.

I never missed any of his "Da Ali G show" episodes, but the movie kicks ass.

Briefly, it's a story of a man from Kazakhistan (Eastern Europe) who visits the US and is faced with a different world. There's a big cultural shock, but this time it's the Americans who suffer it.

Nothing beats this, it's so real.

Here are some clips of the movie, but the movie is much better

This is an interview with David Letterman, hilarious!!!!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Two presidents

Thousands of their own people died because of their selfishness, arrogance and bigoty.

One got a death sentence, and the other got re-elected.

Faysali .... Champions

I don't care if it's the most prestigious competition in Asia or not,
It's called Asia's Cup and Al Faysali played and won and they are what I call the champions, if I'm not mistaken there was a cup they carrried back home in the end, for the second year in a row.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A long journey

Last year, I visited Jordan for a month, then returned to the US. As usual, I forgot some of my personal stuff in Amman.

After arrival, I called my family.

My father.... "Listen, our friends are visiting their son in Arizona, we'll give them all what you forgot here in Amman"

"Ok, what did I forget?"

"Your jacket"

"It's OK, it's not too cold here"

"Baseeta, we'll give them the jacket to give it to you"

"Ok shokran"

"Also your kalaseen (underwear)"


"Your kalaseen, you forgot 2 pieces of kalaseen here in Amman, we'll give it to them with the jacket"

"It's not important, balaash, it's not important"

"No we'll send them to you, the jacket and the kalaseen"

Eight days later......

My father's friend and his wife just arrived to Arizona, they called me.

"Marhaba 3ammo, keefak? We brought you the jacket and all your stuff"

"Ok thank you 3ammo, how's the trip?"

"The trip was great, Ariozna is nice, and your parents in Amman say hi, don't forget they sent you the jacket and the stuff with us"

then their son took the phone....

"Man are you XX large?"


"Man how do you wear these kalaseen, they are huge, beddi a3mal menhom baraadi"

He lived about 2 hours away from me, so I waited till his parents left Arizona, drove to his house and grabbed "my stuff". I made a promise to never leave my underwear behind.

Two months later, I realized that I forgot to take my jacket.

Unless I was David Beckham, these underwears would have been of no value and I could have easily got a dozen of them from America, but for some reason my parents thought that I couldn't.

Other than a good shawerma and someone like Sha3ban Abdel Ri7eem, you can easily find anything these days in America.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Violence in Jordan

Violence is a part of our culture.

I remember the broken class doors, the one poor kid in each class in every school who everyone else would beat up every single day.

I remember a game which you might know, called Ja7sheh, where each team of 4 boys would bend over and one kid would jump over their backs one after another and start kicking them everywhere and the winning team is that which would not fall.

When I was a kid, a thief broke in the house of our neighbors and while trying to escape he jumped from the roof and broke his legs and was screaming of pain. I went down with my father to see what happened and I found about 20 people around him beating him up for half an hour although he was screaming of pain from his broken legs.

Whenever you're arrested for any reason, it's very normal to be beaten up in the police station and you can't complain even if you're not found guilty.

I acknowlege how beating students is acceptable in the majority of schools especially public ones in Jordan, not mentioning that it's also very common among Jordanian families, and beating varies from one to another. It frequently includes tying up children with ropes and beating them with sticks. There are children who have burned skins over their bodies and even develop physical deformities because of abuse inflicted by their parents, both the father and the mother and the older siblings.

Why do people beat their children? Many causes but none of them is a good one, including venting and frustration with life that more and more Jordanians are experiencing.

The decay of our moral values is also mentioned however beating kids was never against our moral or ethical values and it's time to make it one.

What's painful is seeing many intellectuals in Jordan, including my forensic medicine professors in college, supporting the physical abuse of children as a way of discipline. Here you know there's a problem, when the decision-makers are not willing to make decisions to protect the society.

Are children physically abused in the West? Yes they are but the difference is that this behavior is not acceptable and it is not something to be proud of, and the parents who abuse their children are questioned and punished as necessary.

Remember Suzanne Vega's Luka?
It's so easy to find a Jordanian Luka...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The -man

My first day of work as a senior resident I met my intern, Dr. Shuman

I couldn't get rid of my Jordanian habit of knowing the last name of every person I meet and trying to know where s/he is from.

I thought.... Shuman .....
I started to talk with him and tried to detect an accent..... nothing.
I looked at his hair, his skin color, almost completely examined him..... nothing.

Then I asked him, "Hey Shuman, where are you from?"

He said, "Wisconsin"

Hareega, "Ok where are your parent from?"

"From Wisconsin too"

"And your grandparents, do you know? Are you originally from Wisconsin?"

He smiled and said , "Yeah Wisconsin, we're all from Wisconsin"

I paused for a second and thought to myself whether or not I should tell him my secret.

Then I decided it to say it."Hey, listen, I think I know where you're originially from. I know that you're originally from Wisconsin, but I know where you're originally originally from."

He looked at me and seemed a bit interested, although not as much as I expected him to be. I continued.... "Dude, I think you're originally Palestenian. We have the same family in Jordan. They're Palestenian and they established a bank long time ago. IT's a HUGE bank now, huge."

He tried to complement me... "Yeah maybe.... who knows"

I answered, "Dude I know, ask your parents, they'll tell you"

I'm sure he was thinking then "God help me with this freak who I'll work with for one month", and I was thinking ,"That habaloneh doesn't know where he's from"then tried to joke a bit, "listen if you're gonna work in business one day especially outside America you can tell people that you're Palestenian and you're related to the big boss of that bank, I'm sure that will help you"

One year later.....We were sitting in the cafteria with a bunch of residents, and started talking about religion, then Dr. Shuman came in.

A resident asked him, "Hey are you Mormon?"

He smiled and said, "No I'm not" then he pointed at his badge , exactly at his last name ... shuMAN, and said, "What do you think?"

And 3 people on the table said, "OOOOO so you're Jewish"

I felt like an idiot kept finished eating my burritto.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Allaho Akbar Faisaaaaaali

Faisali Barazeelooooo
hooooo haaaaaaay hooooooo

Faisaly destroyed al-Muharraq 3-0 in the first game of the Asian Cup Final

A reminder.... they are the defending champions.

The away game will be held in Bahrain on November 3rd.

Rafa3o raasna el shabab
Congratulations for all Jordanians

Friday, October 27, 2006

From the patient's chart

We had a patient with meningitis, so he was very confused when he came in because of the illness and wasn't waking up well,
today he started to improve

here's a note that one of the resident left in his chart today, a serious note,
and remember I'm in Arizona

"Patient more lucid today than ever before- able to answer questions appropriatly, but does think he is in Oklahoma. "

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

And you thought we can't score great goals?

I was somewhat shocked by this clip,
you can see the TOP TEN goals scored in the Jordanian League last year.

I was so impressed by goals 8 by Abdalla Theeb, goal 7 by Bassam Khateeb, goal 5 By Shbool and of course goal number ONE

The quality of the video is not great but the quality of the goals is outstanding

Ronaldinho my ass

Monday, October 23, 2006

In a UPS store in Amman

I was in Jordan, I decided to urgently ship some documents to the US. It was Saturday which was half a holiday.

I called my friend to ask where was the DHL office.

Qusay, "I don't know where DHL is, but I know there's a UPS in Shemsani next to where you are."

Hareega, "Shu hada el UBS?"

Qusay, "UPS, not UBS, it sends packages 3al saree3 to America just like DHL, it's next to Markez Haya, you'll find it"

I went to Shmesani, double-parked next to Ata Ali blocking 3 other cars and started looking for UBS.

I found a sign saying UPS, went in, and found a lady inside.

Hareega, "Are you DHL?"

Lady, "We are UPS"

Hareega, "So you're like DHL?"

Lady, "Ah, kinda, shu beddak?"

Hareega, "Beddi ab3at package la Amerka"

Lady, "OK, it's Saturday today, we'll send it today, maybe on Tuesday it will be in Amerka"

Hareega, "Beddi iyyaha Monday"

Lady, "OK, it costs more if you want it there on Monday" and I saw a look of disgust on her face as she was looking at my T-shirt with 4 Ketchup spots.

Hareega, "OK mashi, kam bekallef"

Lady, "34 Jds and 30 gersh"

Hareega, "Waaaaaaaal"

Lady.... no comment, still looking in disblief of how the hell was I wearing that T-shirt.

I paid the 34 nera.

Hareega, "I need a tracking number so I can check where my package is"

I got the tracking number. That night I checked my computer. I logged in the DHL website, and typed in the tracking number, and got this message: your tracking number cannot be identified.

I thought.... "That bitch in DHL, she gave me a wrong tracking number."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Healing the heart

I was on-call one night and I came across this old woman. I was told she was a (V.I.P) because she was the mother of a great cardiologist ( a heart specialist) here in our hospital. He also owns a big local company for medical equipment. His mother got sick and was admitted to the hospital, as she got better we figured that she cannot live alone and she needed assitance at home. Howeve her son refused to bring someone at home to help her and decided to place her in a nursing home because insurance would cover for that while they won't cover for someone helping her at home. The lady doesn't have enough money to support herself.

She explained to me how upset she is about going to a nursing home. What was really sad is all these doctors coming every while and then to tell her how smart her son is, but she can't tell them back that he is a great son.

I wrote this about the occasion, excuse my crappy English (remember I'm not a poet),

On her aweful bed she laid
thinking of the price she had paid
to raise her son, to make a man
out of her little kid, Jonathan

He was a kid full of energy
He ran and jogged and sang, and loved biology
He said one day, "Mom, I want to become a doctor"
and she said, "You will honey" then looked at her husband, the trucker

She told him, "No more kids, hubby
Jonathan will be a doctor, and we got no more money
He will grow and become a cardiologist"
He answered, "OK, I think he can, I'm no pessimist"

A decade passed, or two
or twenty-two
years, of tears and fears and eventually
Jonathan became a cardiologist, so smart
that all people asked him to check their hearts

The trucker died, and she sighed,
"Where is my son, I'm too old to carry on
I need help, I need a maid
and my little Jonathan is away I'm afraid"

But Jonathan finally came
with all the glory and the fame
stood by her bed's side
wouldn't look at her in the eyes

"To a nursing home you shall go
you'll make friends there, I know,
they'll protect you you anytime and anywhere
and all your complaints they will bear"

She felt the dagger in her heart
stuck by her son who heals the hearts
"I am the one who brought him to this life,
but I'm too weak now, too weak to strive
With time I will be forgotten
and it's way too late to push the rewind button"

Today she left to a nursing home
alone, in tears, torn apart,
in her new bed she slept alone
praying for God to heal the heart of her son, who heals the hearts.


P.S. I came up with the trucker thing and a fake name Jonathan because they rhyme lol, otherwise it's all true...


Every while and then I like to (and have to) attend a medical humanity class focused on medical literature.

Last time I was asked in ten minutes to write something about hope. I wrote some crap but fixed it later:

Hope is the eye of a mother
watching her child suffer
crashing in the battle, losing his weapons
but refused to surrender

Hope is the arm of a fighter
shot by a foe
the arm, so weak and slow
sticks the flag of freedom on the sound of thunder

Hope is a child, living in hunger
with no food, no candies and no puppets
lost faith in religion and all the prophets
believes more in a dog which promised
to bring him something to eat, something to keep him alive,
as if life mattered!

Hope is the palms of a child,
joined together for a prayer
for the world, for the deprived
and for that hungry child who
with more hope, could have survived.


Conversation about the evil

We were about 20 people, doing BBQ at a friend's house.

I was talking to a Syrian friend called Jehad, after I was done I went to help my friend Bob with the BBQ.

bob asked, "Dude, is that guy's name Jehad?"
-I answered, "Yes"
-"Doesn't Jehad mean Holy War?"
- "Sometimes, but the meaning is more broad"
- "So is this his real name or did he call himself so"
-"No dude its his real name"
-"So is he a holy warrior"
- "No he's not, his name means struggle in Arabic", I explained
- "So his name means struggle?"
- "Kinda"
- "Struggle against Americans?"
- "No dude, the word was there before there were Americans. It means struggle between the good and the evil."
- "So he thinks that Americans are the evil now"?
- "No man I don't think so, he's American himself"
- "But why would his parents call him struggle?"
- "I don't know man, all Arabic names mean something, his name means struggle between the good and the evil, his parents liked it"
- "And what does Fares mean?"
- "It means Knight"
-" Night??"
- "No, knight with a K"
- " Oooo Knight, nice, why did your parents call you knight?"
Laughing hard I answered, "So I can ride a horse and fight the evil"

Saturday, October 14, 2006

There is something

There is something that keeps them standing
There is something that keeps them alive
with every sun ray that is shining
One hero dies, to let others survive

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

In the refrigerator

So I open the refrigerator, look inside, and I take the ... uhmm.... yeah... an amputated human leg. I handle it to the pathologist and we start dissecting the infected part of the hip which was removed from the unfortunate patient. The surgery was done last Friday and the leg stayed in the fridge for 4 days and only today did we take it out to look at it. The smell was not good.

studyhing it a lab technician comes in carrying a large tray of tissues from other patients: colons, prostates, lungs, you name it. We'd dissect them and place them on slides, stain them and look at them next day under the microscope.

This is pathology, which is what I'm doing this month. Organs taken from patients in the hopsital are sent to the pathologist to be studied and that is the way cancers, inflammatory diseaes and plenty of other disease are diagnosed.

The worst part about it is what I had in medical school: Forensic Medicine (tebb shar3i). When someone dies mysteriously or in an accident the body is sent to the forensic medicine lab to search of what could have caused the accident. For example someone who died in a car accident might have died of a heart attack first then then had the accident, and it might be important to determine what caused the death for legal and insurance issues. Some people who appear to have committed suicide might have suffocated to death by someone else but they were placed in a situation (like on a hanger) to suggest that they killed themselves.

Sounds interesting? Ok, wait until you open the stomach of a young person who died 2 hours ago after falling down from a building to find the eggs and tomatoes he had for breakfast this morning. Wait until you observe the brother who is slowly recognizing the black body of his sister who was completely healthy but died that morning after caughting fire in the kitchen. It's not cool.

I left the hospital and on the way back I bought some grilled chicken, and when I got home I placed it on a tray, then opened the refrigeragtor and took out.... uhm... yeah... a diet Pepsi. I remembered doing something similar earlier today, but in a different place and definitely for a totally different purpose!

I started eating my meal and hoping that nobody would be opening up my stomach in 6 hours to take out the grilled chicken!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

الملك والشاه و مقالة داراغاهي

نشرت صحيفة لوس انجلوس تايمز تقريرا يقارن بين نظام جلالة الملك عبد الثاني و شاه ايران المخلوع وكالعادة تصرف معظم الاردنين تماما كما يتصرفون عند ورود اي خبر او ثقرير او اشاعة تتعلق بالملك، تحدثوا عنه في منازلهم المغلقة وفي العلن تصرفوا كالاطرش بالزفة وكانهم لم يسمعوا بالتقرير

الاردنيون كثيرا ما تحدثوا عما سيحصل لهم اذا ما اطيح بالاسرة الهاشمية خاصة وهم يشاهدون جلالة الملك حسين رحمه الله ينجو باعجوبة مرة تلو الاخرى من محاولات الاغتيال على البر وفي السماء وحتى الغذاء التي كانت قد اطاحت بجده ومع رئيسي وزراء اردنيين فيما بعد رحمهم الله جميعا
اذن الاردن ليس تلك الجنة التي لا تنفجر فيه قنبلة او لا يستهدف فيه الملوك وعلاقتنا بدول الجوار كانت تعد الاسوا في العالم وشهدنا في العام الماضي هجوما لم نر مثله قط على ترابنا منذ عقود

منذ تاسيس الاردن والملك ايا كان كان يجد تاييدا كبيرا من الاردنيين خاصة افراد الجيش وباعتراف الملك حسين ذاته انه لولا ولاء الجيش لكان علي ابو نوار اطاح بالحكم قبل خمسين عاما، اما الجيش فانه لا يدافع عن الملك لشخصه فقط بل لانه رمز لاستقرار الاردن خاصة وان اي تهديد للعرش كان مدعوما او ممولا من جهات غير اردنية، لذا فالدفاع عن الملك اعتبر دفاعا عن سيادة الاردن وحدوده

الناس تعزي اي تقدم حضاري او انجاز الى جلالة الملك لكنها في الوقت ذاته كثيرا ما تجده مسؤولا عن اي تدهور في البلد او في او اوضاعها المعيشية حتى لو كانت الظروف خارجة عن ارادته لذلك انا لا اعتبر تقرير بورزو داراغاهي خاليا تماما من الحقائق

الاردن تغير كثيرا والمنطقة كلها تغيرت اكثر منه ودخلت الى البلد اموال هائلة لكن القليلين هم من استفاد منها اما من يعيش خارج عمان وهم اغلبية الشعب فلم يعيشوا شيئا من هذا الخير واصبح من المستحيل لهم تعليم ابنائهم في الجامعات او حتى التفكير في الاقامة في عمان التي اصبحت تبدو وكانها دولة اخرى وان سكانها من عالم مختلف , اما الطبقة الوسطى فانها تنهار بسرعة وحتى الامن الداخلي الذي كنا نفتخر به وجدناه يتزعزع امامنا بصواريخ العقبة وتفجيرات الفنادق..... كل هذا يحصل اثناء حروب وصراعات يقتل فيها العراقيون والفلسطينيون وسط صمت عربي واحباط شديد للمواطن الاردني

لا اعتقد ان جلالة الملك او الاردن بحد ذاته قادر على تغيير الكثير في المنطقة خاصة بموارده المحدودة وحجمه الصغير و جلالة الملك مختلف تماما عن الشاه ولا اعتقد ان داراغاهي اصاب عندما تنبا له بنفس المصير لكن تقريره يجب الا يهمل لان الناس في الاردن بدات
تشكي والاخطر من ذلك انها بدات تجوع واذا ما جاعت فسانها ستفعل اي شيء لنيل رغيف الخبز من اي شخص كان وباي طريقة وكل ما اتمناه الا نصل الى هذه المرحلة

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Strong words

"Were Jesus to return today and attempt to throw from their temples the modern Philistines who preach the gospel of wealth, they would most likely accuse him and his disciples of being Middle-Eastern, sandal-wearing, gay hippie terrorist out to undermine the American way of life".

John Morrow Jr.
Time , October 9th issue

Good-Bye Fabien Barthez

Friday, October 06, 2006

لماذا يا هذا ؟

لماذا اصبح من الطبيعي انهيار العلاقات بين العرب واصبح "العتاب على قدر المحبة" مصطلحا قديما لم يعد له متسع في قواميسنا الحديثة

نتذكر قبل ثلاثة اعوام عندما اصدرت قطر حكما بالاعدام على فراس المجالي بتهمة التجسس وكان الحكم غالبا نتيجة لتدهور العلاقات بين الاردن وقطر وقع فيها فراس المجالي كضحية

وقتها سافر ارفع المسؤولين الاردنيين الى قطر رغم سوء العلاقة بين البلدين انذاك تم بعدها الافراج عن فراس المجالي فعاد الى اهله ونجا من الاعدام

الان قطر اخطات بحقنا و فورا سحبنا السفير و الوضع لا يبدو مبشرا
اتمنى لو طار المسؤولون هنا وهناك لحل الاشكال قبل ان يتفاقم لان ما يتم اعدامه الان اخطر واكبر واهم بكثير من فراس المجالي

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

An Innapropriately Very Angey Old Man

Some patients with irregular heart beat are at risk of developing strokes (jaltaat) so we give them a blood thinner (momayye3) as prevention. The most famous blood thinner was originally made from rat poison. Many people in the world are on it , it's called coumadin (warfarin). I gave it to a patient about a year ago who was having this problem, he's about 80 yrs old.

I saw him the clinic the other day ....

Patient, "Doc, I have a question for you"

Hareega, "yes"

Patient, "I told my daughter about this medication I'm taking, the coumadin or whatever you call it.... and she told me it's made from rat poison"

Hareega smiling, "Yes, that's true"

Patient mesh 3ajbo , "So you're telling me I'm taking rat poison"

Hareega, "Not really, this medication has some rat posion in it, but at very very low concentrations"

Patient em3asseb , "But it's still rat poison"

Hareega, "Yes but it doesn't kill you, it helps make your blood thin to prevent clots from occuring."

Patient em3asseb o wasleh ma3o la hoon, "but it's rat poison, i've been taking rat poison for a year now"

Hareega, "If you think about it all medications are poisons, all of them can kill you if you take them at high doses"

Patient, "But they're not all rat posions, are they?"

Hareega, "No"

Patient khalas mgab3a ma3o, " so why did you give me the rat poison? Did you think I'd like that"

Hareega was smiling and trying to calm him down while thinking in his mind "3annak la akathto" , then said, "sir, there's water in rat posion but we can still drink water so what's the problem?"

Patient, "I don't want the rat poison, I'm not a rat"

Hareega, "Well even if you were a rat you wouldn't like it either ha3 ha3"

Silence for 5 seconds.

Hareega again , "OK sir, if you don't wanna take it it's up to you, but I have to tell you that you'll be at a higher risk of having a stroke"

Patient after calming down a bit, "OK, is there another medication I can take other than the rat poison?"

Hareega, "Uhm aspirin, you should be on it already, it's not as good as the rat poison but it's better than nothing"

Patient, "OK, is the aspirin a posion"

At this question Hareega felt so glad that he used to read Majallet Majed when he was a kid and answered reciting an article from Zakiyyah al Thakiyyah , "No aspirin was originally taken from a tree, but now they make it in big factories"

Patient, "OK"

Hareega wanted to add some excitement, "but of course, aspirin can kill you in high dosages, just like rat poison."

Patient, "But it doesn't kill rats at high doses"

As he was leaving, he turned around to em asking "Does it??"

I answered , "I'm not sure, ask your daughter"

Sunday, October 01, 2006

عندما تغادر رفيقة العمر

بعض قصص الشعراء العرب جميلة للغاية وهاي سولافة عالسريع
منذ الجاهلية وحتى بداية العصر الاموي كان من المخجل ان يظهر الرجل
اي علامة حزن على وفاة زوجته
.في العصر الاموي ظهر مثلث الشعراء متمثلين بجرير والفرزدق والاخطل وكان ابرزهما جرير والفرزدق الذين كانا يهجيان بعضهما البعض بلسانيهما اللسيطين في كل قصيدة يكتبونها
ثم حدث ان توفيت زوجة جرير مما اثر به كثيرا واراد كثيرا ان يزور قبرها الا ان العادات انذاك منعته من ذلك فما كان منه الا ان كتب قصيدة مؤثرة يرثيها بها كانت اول قصيدة رثاء لمراة في تاريخ الشعر العربي
-استعبار تعني البكاء الشديد-
قال فيها
لولا الحياء لهاجني استعبار ، ... ولزرت قبرك ، والحبيب يزار
ولقد نظرت ، وما تمتع نظرةٍ ... في اللحد ، حيث تمكن المحفار ؟
ولقد أراك كسيت أجمل منظرٍ ... ومع الجمال سكينةٌ ووقار
وإذا سريت رأيت نارك نورت ... وجهاً أغر يزينه الإسفار
وبعد عدة اشهر توفيت زوجة الفرزدق مما اشعره بالاسى هو كذلك واراد نظم قصيدة يرثي بها زوجته وارادها قصيدة افضل من قصيدة جرير وذلك لطبيعة المنافسة بينهما وهذه المرة قام الفرزدق بزيارة قبر زوجته ووقف طويلا لعله ينطق بشئ وهو الشاعر السريع البديهة الا ان لسانه عجز عن النظق باي قصيدة فما كان منه الا ان تذكر قصيدة غريمه جرير ولم يجد افضل منها لرثاء زوجته و هكذا كان فردد نفس القصيدة
لولا الحياء لهاجني استعبار ، ... ولزرت قبرك ، والحبيب يزار
فيبدو ان الزوجات وهن في اللحد قد جمعا ما بين الغرماء و كان الفرزدق اكبر من جرير لذا توفي قبله وعندها رثاه جرير بقصيدة جميلة
.بس خلاص
حريقة الملقب بالمجرزق

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"