Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ten moments you can't forget...

I had two entries from previous years , one from 2006 and the other this year about some ten fantastic moments in the World of Sports.

Here are ten moments in sports that made the whole world stand up, here they are in random order

1- The Arabian boy reigns over Europe

It was the final game of the Champions League in 1987. Rabah Madjer of Algeria played with Porto against Bayern Munich. Bayern was ahead 1-0 until Madjer scored this awesome goal with his heel. He later gave the assist that helped Porto win 2-1 and advance. Whenever a player is said to have "madjered" the ball, that would be in reference to this goal by Rabah.

2- Magic Johnson makes an announcement.

Magic Johnson, the LA Lakers star, the MVP, known all over the world, announces his retirement from basketball because he tested positive for HIV. Many people thought he would die, but he took medications and is still alive today giving inspiration to HIV positive patients.

This is the clip from 1991

3- Pele scores goal number 1000

4- Morocco hits

Morocco made it to the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. They had great performances, drawing 0-0 with England and Poland then defeating Portugal 3-1. They become the first African (and Arab) team to make it to the second round of the world cup.

Badu al-Zaki, Khairi, Karimo.... they were magic
here's a clip from Moroccan TV of their triumph over Portugal , sorry for the quality

5- How dumb can you get??
Can a player miss three penalties in one game?? Argentine Martin Palermo answered positively in 2001 when he missed 3 penalties against Colombia in Copa America. Colombia won 3-0!

6- Winning two battles.
Lance Armstrong was a cycling champion. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer that had spread all over his body, the brain included. He received treatment and came back to cycling to win the Tour de France (which is like the World Cup in other Sports) SEVEN times, a world record.

Here's a short clip about him

7- Jordan to the World Cup
Jordan defeated China 2-1 to qualify to the Youth World Cup that was held in Canada last summer. Man, that was something.

Here's a clip with Khalid Ghoul's commentary

8- Jordan defeats Iran in Tehran
Another Jordanian moment, of gold. In the World Cup qualifications in 2004, Jordan played Iran, a team that is virtually unbeatable in Tehran. Most experts expected a wide-margin victory for Iran.
We won 1-0. That was a great day.

9- Muhammad Ali gets back his gold medal.
Muhammad Ali won the gold medal in the 1960 Olympics. He lost his gold medal somewhere! He later became a professional boxing player and the most famous boxing champion.
36 years later, in the Olympic games in Atlanta and in the half-time break in a basketball game, Ali was given a gold medal in place of the old gold medal that was lost. That was a great moment for this boxer.

I wasn't able to put the video here, so you have to click here to see it.

10- Owairan Sensation
Saed Owairan the Saudi player made this long run past 4 Belgian players and scored this magnificent goal in the World Cup in 1994. It lead KSA to a 1-0 victory and booked them a place in the second round.
Watch this


I hope you liked this selection,

Up and Down

Many patients, when they get very sick, ask to see a priest. We have a nice priest in the hospital , Faher John. We call him when necessary.
Although people associate religious men with many things, I associate Father John with death. Whenever I see him in a patient's room I know this patient is going to die sometime soon and usually I'm right.
Yesterday I stepped inside the elevator in our hospital and was about to go up. I was a little bit nervous because this elevator has been broke for a week, I pushed the button up.

I saw Father John standing standing just outside the elevator. He waved at me and said, "Hey doctor, are you going up or down?"

"I'm going up Father"

The elevator was closing, but just before it did he smiled at me and pointed his finger upwards, saying, "it's always good to go up" then he looked up.
The elevator went up and started shaking, and I really thought I was going up, way up.

Anyway I'm still down now, I hope to stay down for a while!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Black Friday and the dark truth

Today is black Friday in America, arguably the busiest shopping day in the year. It was called Black Friday because the traffic would be so heavy from people going out and shopping.

Sometimes I wonder whether or not Americans are rich. Compared to the average Jordanian for example, Americans are so rich. A middle-class American lives in a nice house, has a car for him and his wife, sends his kids to a good college, has plenty of clothes, a digital camera, a great TV, and can afford to go on vacation every while and then with his family.

A middle-class Jordanian (they still exist) barely has any of the above. He is usually renting or owns a smaller house, has one car for the whole big family, owns an old TV, and can hardly ever go with the whole family on a vacation.

However, when I look at Americans rushing to the malls today to buy plenty of things they don't need, I pause and think of how rich they are. The majority of Americans do not really own most of the important things they have. They have a house but they don't own it; many of them have great 25K-dollar cars, but they don't own them. Their kids go to great colleges, but they graduate with debts up to 200,000 dollars, sometimes more. they do lots of shopping, and it's all with credit cards.

They have the impression that they are rich, they live the lives of rich people, they have a lot of things that only rich people can afford, but they don't own anything.

All what it takes for the average American citizen is to lose his job, and it's very easy in America. Even if he's performing well, he can come in the morning to his job to find himself fired because his job is not necessary anymore in the company.

He can lose his house, his car(s), the money he saved to pay for college, and he faces the dark truth that he owns nothing anymore, maybe because he owned nothing to start with.

More and more Americans are now one paycheck away from living on the street. More Americans (six million more) lost their health insurances under Bush, and much more believe they have a good health insurance until they get ill and discover they have to pay an incredible amount of money because their insurance was not covering for it. Medical bills are now the number one cause of bankruptcy in the US.

USA is a rich country, but most of its people are not. At a time when 1.6 trillion dollars (that's 1600 billion) have already been spent on two failing wars, there seems to be reason why one cannot be very optimistic about the future of this country. The American dream used to be a reality, but now it's becoming just a dream.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Parliament

عمان- الرأي - اعلن أمس في نتائج غير رسمية اسماء 104 نائبا ونائبة للمجلس النيابي الخامس عشر
.ويعلن وزير الداخلية عيد الفايز اليوم اسماء 110 نواب يشكلون المجلس النيابي الخامس عشر
. وبحسب وزير الداخلية فقد زادت نسبة الاقتراع في كافة مناطق المملكة عن 54 % قبل التمديد في خمس دوائر في العاصمة.
محافظة العاصمة - الدائرة الاولى : خليل عطية 14275 صوتا ، جعفر العبداللات 12141 صوتا ،حسن صافي 8118 صوتا ، عزام الهنيدي 4779 صوتا.
الدائرة الثانية : حمزة منصور 9310 صوتا ، محمد سلمي الكوز 7696 صوتا ، محمد حسين الكوز 7233 صوتا ، يوسف احمد القرنه 6406 صوتا.
الدائرة الثالثة : ممدوح العبادي 11469 صوتا ، احمد الصفدي 10549 صوتا ، عبدالرحيم البقاعي 9730 صوتا ، يوسف البستنجي 8263 صوتا ، طارق خوري 6791 صوتا ( المقعد المسيحي )
الدائرة الرابعة : خلف الرقاد 18157 صوتا ، حمد ابو زيد 14830 صوتا ، نضال الحديد 14681 صوتا.
الدائرة الخامسة : محمد ابو هديب 12547 صوتا ، احمد يوسف العدوان 11463 صوتا ، سميح بينو 3737 صوتا ( المقعد الشركسي ).
الدائرة السادسة : نصار القيسي 11736 صوتا ، لطفي الديرباني 9444صوتا ، منير صوبر 5558 صوتا (المقعد الشركسي)
الدائرة السابعة : عدنان خلف السواعير العجارمة 3924 صوتاً .
محافظة اربد ، الدائرة الاولى : رسمي الملاح 7981 صوتا ، قاسم بني هاني 6413 صوتا ، عبدالله غرايبة 5863 صوتا ، د. محمد الزناتي 5669 صوتا.
الدائرة الثانية - بني عبيد : عبدالرؤوف الروابدة 3351 ، حسني فندي الشياب 2466 ، راجي حداد (المقعد المسيحي ) 2351 .
الدائرة الثالثة - المزار الشمالي : الدكتور عصر الشرمان 4585 صوتاً.
الدائرة الرابعة ، الرمثا : المهندس احمد سليم رشيد البشابشة 7509 أصوات ، هاشم محمد الشبول 5581 صوتاً.
الدائرة الخامسة - لواء بني كنانه : صلاح محمد يوسف الزعبي 3060 صوتا ، الدكتور يحيى خالد عبيدات 2845 صوتا
.الدائرة السادسة - الكورة : ياسين بني ياسين 4718 .الدائرة السابعة - الاغوار الشمالية : خالد محمود البشتاوي 10959 صوتاً ،
الدائرة الثامنة - الطيبة : شرف الهياجنة 2409 أصوات،

االدائرة التاسعة - الوسطية: د. محمود مهيدات 2377 صوتاً
محافظة البلقاء ، الدائرة الاولى : محمود الخرابشة 4282 صوتاً ، ياسين الزعبي 4220 صوتاً ، بسام الخليفة المناصير 4015 صوتاً ، مبارك ابو يامين 3907 صوتاً ،سليمان غنيمات 3319 صوتاً ، حازم الناصر(المقعد المسيحي ) 4259 صوتاً ،فخري اسكندر (المقعد المسيحي ) 3576 صوتاً.
الثانية - الشونة الجنوبية : محمود العدوان 4419 صوتاً . الثالثة - دير علا : خالد محمد السطري 2557 صوتاً.الرابعة : عين الباشا : محمد خليل عقل 4657 صوتاً.

محافظة الكرك - الدائرة الاولى : عبدالحميد الذنيبات 3544 صوتاً، عبدالفتاح المعايطة 3126 صوتاً، عبدالله غانم زريقات(المقعد المسيحي ) 2251 صوتاً .
الدائرة الثانية - القصر: المهندس عبدالهادي المجالي 4161 صوتاً ، ميشيل حجازين(المقعد المسيحي) 1157
.الدائرة الثالثة - المزار الجنوبي : المهندس عاطف صالح يوسف الطراونة 6758 صوتاً ، يوسف مصطفى الصرايره 5568 صوتاً
.الدائرة الرابعة - الاغوار الجنوبية : جميل العشوش 4389 صوتاً .الدائرة الخامسة - عي : الدكتور علي الضلاعين 1242 صوتاً.
الدائرة السادسة - فقوع : نصر ضامن الحمايدة 1036 .
حافظة معان - الدائرة الاولى : توفيق كريشان ، عادل ابراهيم الخوالدة 2922 صوتا .الدائرة الثانية - الشوبك : وصفي الرواشدة 2198 صوتا .الدائرة الثالثة - البتراء : هاني النوافلة 4585 صوتا .
محافظة الزرقاء الدائرة الاولى: ضيف الله القلاب 6562 صوتا ، فواز حمد الله حسن 5049 صوتا ، ميرزا قاسم بولاد 5617 صوتا ( المقعد الشيشاني ) ، بسام حدادين 1819 صوتا ( المقعد المسيحي )
.الدائرة الثانية :موسى بركات الزواهرة 5411 صوتا ، موسى رشيد الخلايلة 4213 صوتا ، فرحان نومان الغويري 4002 صوتا .
الدائرة الثالثة - الهاشمية : نواف المعلا الزيود 4946 صوتا.الدائرة الرابعة : مرزوق الدعجة 8000 صوت ،ومحمد الحاج 5389 .
المفرق : عبد الكريم الدغمي 6658 صوت، تيسير شديفات 5053 صوتا ، ابراهيم الحسبان 4324 صوتا ، مفلح الخزاعلة 4011 صوتا.
الطفيلة - الدائرة الاولى القصبة : ابراهيم العطيوي 4758 ، المهندس عبد الرحمن الحناقطة 3963 ، محمد عواد 3750
.الدائرة الثانية - بصيرا : محمد السعودي 5365 صوتا .
مادبا - الدائرة الاولى : د. يوسف ابو صليح 3559 ، محمد علي ابو الهية 2442،رياض اليعقوب (مقعد مسيحي 2926) .الدائرة
الثانية - ذيبان : د . فلك الجمعاني 3301 صوتا .
محافظة عجلون - القصبة : ناجح المومني 7771 صوتا ، محمد طعمة القضاة 5669 صوتا ، د. رضا حداد ( مقعد مسيحي) 2129
صوتا.الدائرة الثانية - كفرنجة : ايمن شويات 3094 صوتا .
محافظة العقبة : زياد الشيويخ 6153 صوتا ،محمد البدري 3814 صوتا .
بدو الجنوب : عواد الزوايدة 3057 صوتا ، سند النعيمات 2699 صوتا ، د. عبد الله هارون الجازي 2371 صوتا .
بدو الشمال : حابس ركاد خليف الشبيب 4097 صوتا ، سعد هايل السرور 3559 صوتا ، صوان طلب مريبيع الشرفات 3499 صوتا.
محافظة جرش : د.محمد خالد زريقات 5011 صوتا ، مفلح الرحيمي 4297 صوتا ، احمد العتوم 3948 صوتا ، سليمان السعد 3840 صوتا .
بدو الوسط : صالح الجبور 3538 صوتا ، مجحم الخريشا 3458 صوتا ، د. محمد الشرعه 2921 صوتا
* ومن المقرر ان تعلن اللجنة العليا للانتخابات اسماء الفائزات بالكوتا النسائية اليوم.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I had a clinic this afternoon. As with most HIV clinics, a lot of patients didn't show up.

I opened the Internet Explorer. I typed in my blog.
The first entry of course the previous one, with Hillary's picture on the front.

The specialist walks in.
"Hey you like seeing Hillary's cleavage don't you?"
"No it's just her picture"
"But you wanna see her cleavage don't you?"
"No actually there's no cleavage in this picture"

He laughed and walked away.

One minute later the lovely and elderly nurse who overheard everything walked in.
"Hey Doc, if really want great pictures of naked women I can tell you how to get them."

I know they were all kidding but I am realizing how easy it is to get a reputation of doing something when you're totally not guilty.

Anyway , gotta go now to have dinner with farting Jeff and slutty Nancy.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Who's behind?

Behind every great woman

is another woman, behind whom
Is her husband!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Do these men scare you?

As for me, yes I do feel uncomfortable staying for too long around men who look like the men above. However, I do not have the right to judge them as criminals who deserve to serve time in jail.
The man with the red Hatta over his head was one of the last three Jordanians released from Guantanamo last week.
Guantanamo is a very sad story, and it's the best example that America today is different from America in the pre-Bush era. Hundreds of Arabs/Muslims were shipped to the prsion there, just for being suspects. Many innocent people have been detained and were later released without any compensations. The three men above were among those.
Among the hundreds of prisioners there, there are probably quite a few who might be guilty of cooperating with Al Qaeda or at least hiding information that could have prevented 9/11. They deserve a very long time in jail. On the other hand there are plenty of innocent people who were detained for no valid reason and we were not given the very basic rights that any serial killer would get in the US. Some of them were shipped by the US to countries that will torture even kill them without a trial.
This detorioration in human rights INSIDE the US is very worrisome not only for American, but also for all the people who live outside America who were impressed by the rights every American has. Even those who completely opposed the US international policy (and many of them were Americans), they always hoped for their citicizens to have the same freedoms that an person living inside the US had.
America is a different country now...
Here's a reality check by Bill Maher

Friday, November 16, 2007

Abdullah Psycho on Dr.Phil today

Dr.Phil is interviewing Abdullah Jinzawi.
Who the hell is Abdullah?

He is a Palestinian living in Palestine who, through myspace, met Katherine, a US citizen. She was 16 and he was 20. He went by the name Abdullah Psycho ! anyway, they "fell in love" and Abdullah's father bought her a ticket to travel from the US to Palestine. She stopped in Amman on her way there and , because she was only 16 at the time, she was caught in Amman and brought back to her family in the US.

That happened 2 years ago. She turned 18 last month and ,being an adult now, she traveled alone to Gaza and went to live with Abdullah and his family. The couple say that they are in love, they will get married, and they will move to the US, where Abdullah will buy her a house in Laguna beach..... or so he claims!

Dr.Phil hosted the daughter's family in his studio and had separate interviews with Abdullah and Katherine. The interview with Katherine was on yesterday's episode and Abdullah's interview will be aired today at NBC.
Abdullah was kept in a separate room while Phil was interviewing Katherine. He wanted Katherine to speak about the whole situation without Abdulah listening so she can be free in expressing her fellings.

My 2 piasters:
1- In this situation I have to stand with the American family. Their daughter lives in a (seemingly) supportive family who took care of her. However the Arabic father was the one who encouraged the American teenager to leave her family against their will and travel overseas by buying her a ticket. Another example of our internal hypocrisy, how we encourage other people to do things totally against our main values and traditions.
2- Phil was so wrong in assuming Abdullah cannot hear the interview. People outside the US do watch his show or at least can browse the Internet and know what happened in the episode.
3- The story got much publicity because it was a Palestinian Muslim kid, even though people say it doesn't matter, but it surely does.
4- A word that is rarely ever mentioned on TV inside the US: Palestine. It's usually referred to as the Palestinian territory or Palestinian areas or of course Israel.
5- It was interesting in the story two years ago how the FBI immediately caught Katherine once she arrived to Amman. That might tell you something.
6- In the US and most other countries, including Jordan, a person is considered an adult once s/he reaches the age of 18. It is assumed that this person would be mature to make his or her own decisions. As we see from this case, being an adult does not mean you are a mature person.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

عقدان من الزمان على تجربة البرلمان

الكثير من الأردنيين يتسائلون إذا كان من المفيد الانتخاب بالانتخابات القادمة بعد أن أثبت المجلس الحالي فشله الذريع

المجلس الحالي عبارة عن مجموعة كبيرة من خيبات الأمل ولو كانوا تلاميذاً في مدرسة للديموقراطية لما تعدوا الصف الأول

على الرغم من ذلك فما زلت أؤمن أنه من مصلحة الأردن وجود مجلس للنواب وانتخابات حتى لو شملها الكثير من النفاق والتزوير وشراء أصوات المواطنين أو بالأحرى شرائهم ببعض الدنانير

لولا مجلس النواب هذا لما علمت أن امرأة أردنية واحدة يمكن أن تملك جرأة عشرة رجال وتتحمل عواقب ما تتفوه به تحت القبة، ولما علمت أن الحكومة يمكن فعلاً أن تلاحقها وتمنعها من الترشح ضارباً بالدستور عرض الحائط

لولا مجالس النواب لما علمت أن العشائرية تحكم البلد وأن الاردنيين لا يحكمون على الشخص إلا بعد التأكد من اسمه الأخير

لولا مجالس النواب لما علمت أن الاخوان المسلمين ليسوا منزلين من عند الله وليسوا معصومين من الخطأ وأنهم لن يترددوا في استعمال الديموقراطية لشطب حريات يشكون هم من غيابها

لولا مجالس النواب الموقرة لما علمت أن ممثلي الشعب لا يترددون في استعمال أموال الشعب لشم الهوا خارج البلاد والحصول على أحدث السيارات دون دفع قرش واحد

لولا مجالس النواب لما علمت أن نسبة حضور ممثلي الشعب للجلسات أسوأ بكثير من نسبة حضور طلاب الجامعة في أي جامعة أردنية لمحاضراتهم باستثناء الجلسات المتعلقة برفع رواتبهم
لولا محلس لما تعرفت على الحقيقة المذهلة بأن عبد الهادي المجالي رئيس مجلس الديمقراطية والحرية طالب يشدة بمعاقبة أي صحفي ينتقد أداء المجلس

لولا المجلس لما علمت أن الكنائس الأردنية التي أعتز بانتمائي لها ممكن أن تدعم مرشحاً مسيحياً على آخر اعتماداً على انتمائه الطائفي وكأن مصلحة الأردنيين المسيحيين تكمن في وصول مرشح من طائفة معينة وليست الأخرى بدلاً من الافتراض أن مصلحتهم تكمن في وصول مرشح مسيحي اختاره الأردنيون-مسلمين ومسيحيين- بسبب مؤهلاته

قد يكون وجود المجلس عبئاً ثقيلا على الوطن وميزانيته لكن العملية الانتخابية واصوات المواطنين ومتابعة جلسات النواب بخاطاباتهم الغبية ربما تفتح أعيننا أن المشكلة ربما لا تكمن فيهم بل فيمن أرسلهم مباشرة إلى تحت القبة ولعل وعسى الأعراس الديمقراطية التي عشناها ونعيشها تكون كاشفة لعيوب كبيرة عانينها لعقود من الزمان

يونس شلبي

عاش ليضحكنا
وعندما مرض نسيه العالم
ومات اليوم فقيراً معدماً منسياً

Monday, November 12, 2007

Rumble in the Jungle!

You gotta love it when leaders start yelling at each other, it's just a reminder to nations that they're human and not gods.

Here's the latest from yesterday, where Hugo Chavez of Venezuela heavily criticized ex-Spanish prime minister Aznar calling him a fascist. The current Spanish prime minister wanted to respond in defence of Aznar but Chavez wasn't listening, until a man in the middle sitting on the table yelled at Chavez, "Por que no te callas" , which translates to "Why don't you shut up?"
That man in the middle was Spain's king Carlos.

Here's the clip


Can't forget the "Yel3an Abu Sharbak" argument between Izzat Al Douri and Kuwait's prince before the 2003 war started.


Abdullah of KSA and Qadhafi fighting


Jordan is not much better, wish there were some "Klashins" in there!!


This Jordanian cat fight is nothing close to what might happen in India's Parliament!


IF you were going to boycott the elections, you might have changed your mind by now. If you think whoever will be elected will be politically corrupt, you might wanna vote for who can come up with the best "action".

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A toilet question

I was walking in the hallway, a cardiologist (heart doctor) stopped me.

"Can I get HIV just by sitting on a toilet seat?"
"NO", I answered
"Even if an HIV positive person was sitting on it before me?"
"You still won't get it"
"Even if the seat was not cleaned?"
"No, you still won't get it, you won't"

He looked at me unconvinced.
I told him, "Well if you weren't going to get convinced you shouldn't have asked me!"
"Well I don't know....", he said.
I started to get pissed. Those cardiologists think they know everything.
I looked again at him and said, "You won't get HIV unless you sit on the seat before that person gets up."

He turned away and kept walking. I'm pretty sure he was now convinced.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Champions of Arabia

For the first time in 22 years, we are the Arab champions in basketball after defeating Egypt 80-69 in Alexandria.

The last time we won, we had Murad Barakat, his brother Hilal, Samir Morqos, Yousef Zaghlol, Yanal Qannash and a few others (feel free to drop their names if you remember).

Just like most sport teams, I liked the old team more. They were a bunch of hard working players who have played together for more than a decade, with a fantastic teamwork. Yet they were very simple and they played only for the game. I don't think any of them made a single ta3reefeh from playing basketball.

But now we have a great team , good job!

Time magazine talks about King's Academy in Madaba

In Time's November 5th edition, Andrew Lee Butters writes his one-page "Postcard" from Madaba. His topic : King's Academy.

Here's the article:
Postcard from Madaba

King Abdullah II has opened an ambitious new academy modeled on the New England boarding school he attended.

Can Arab Preppies Save the Middle East?

In 1977 an unlikely new 10th-grader arrived on the campus of Deerfield Academy in western Massachusetts. He was Abdullah ibn Hussein, direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad and scion of the Hashemite dynasty, the onetime princes of Mecca and currently the ruling family of the kingdom of Jordan. Now known as His Majesty King Abdullah II, he points to the years spent as a member of the academy's class of 1980 as the most formative of his life. Deerfield introduced Abdullah to a much broader range of friends than is normally available to young Arab princes, and the character-building crucible of dormitory life taught him Yankee egalitarianism, self-reliance and how to clear dishes from the dinner table.

After he ascended to the throne in 1999, the King wanted to bring these values to Jordan. His plan: create the Arab world's first coed boarding school. In 2006 he brought in Deerfield's headmaster, Eric Widmer, and several other Deerfield teachers to kick-start King's Academy, which opened this fall with about 100 students.

But what can preppies bring to the semidesert kingdom? Some of the evidence is already on display at the campus, near Madaba, a farming town about 30 miles (48 km) south of Amman, Jordan's capital. Yes, there are boarding-school staples like family-style meals at round tables, school-wide meetings, blue blazers and khaki pants. There's also the rather revolutionary belief that the classroom should be an intimate place that fosters discussion and critical thinking rather than rote memorization, which is the default teaching method in much of the region. But more important is the school's effort to create an environment where learning takes place outside the classroom — through athletics, community service, honor codes and an expectation that students become leaders in everyday life. The school also plans to bring a new diversity to campus. The current class members come from countries across the Middle East, but although there are no Westerners now, the school hopes to eventually attract students from the U.S. — or even Israel — and about one-third of the student body will receive financial aid. This is a far cry from most élite high schools in Jordan today, which are more like an Arab Beverly Hills 90210 — wealthy kids leading insular lives.

Not that the academy is keen to be just a carbon copy of a New England prep school. The campus's Levantine-style white stone buildings — and the tight security at its main gate — remind visitors that they're not in Massachusetts anymore. Arabic-language classes are mandatory, and humanities courses, though though taught in English, draw on the canonical works of many civilizations.

Anticipating the difficulty of persuading parents in this conservative society to send their children away to school, the academy sets strict rules governing relations between boys and girls: no kissing, no holding hands and no visiting one another's dorms.

But perhaps the biggest challenge facing the academy is beyond the control of even the most committed faculty member or enlighted royal pattern: the ever turbulent Middle East. As King Abdullah likes to say, Jordan is a country caught between "Iraq and a hard place"-i.e. Israel and the occupied Palestinian terrirtories. As much as the King would like to reform education using his flagship academy, there are more pressing problems, like the flood of Iraqi and Palestinian refugees pouring into Jordan. In such a heated environment, can an American model school thrive? Safwan Masri, the Jordanian chairman of the academy's board of trustees and a professor at Columbia Business School, is optimistic. "The one thing that almost everyone in the Middle East respects is American education," he says. "The fact that is a troubled region makes the case for this kind of school even stronger."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

If you don't appreciate medicine, read this!

In 2001 mass graves was discovered in Vilnius, Lithuania. Records indicated that the graves contained French troops from Napoleon's Grand Army while they were retreating from Moscow.

Right after this discovery , a French doctor, Didier Raoult, along with his coworkers analyzed the earth and the military uniforms around these bodies and found some body parts of different lice (bugs) around these bodies. They also analyzed the teeth of many of the dead soldiers by advanced techniques examining the genetic material of the bacteria and discovered two types of bacteria, responsible for the disease epidemic typhus and Trench fever. They concluded that these disease have killed at least one third of these troops.

Whenever a study is conducted, the results should be compared with a comparison group called the control group. This control group consists of patients with very similar characteristics to the study group. Because the "patients" here were all dead, they compared the findings of the dead soldiers in Lithuania to bodies excavated from a grave in Briançon, France. The bodies in France did not carry any of the infections that the bodies in Lithuania did.

It's always been thought that typhus and fever were responsible for the death of Napoleon's soldiers but there was no clear evidence of that. This study by these physicians in the Université de la Méditerranée was able to prove that about 200 years after the death of these soldiers.

It was fascinating to make a diagnosis of an infection two centuries after it occurred. I heard Raoult speak in an international conference in Chicago last September and was honored to meet him and learn about his great achievments in different fields in infectious diseases. It was like meeting Diego Maradona or Jiries Tadros.

Ihis study was just another reminder how medicine can solve many misteries of the past, the very very past.

(P.S. Click here for a link to the full text of the study)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

من الذاكرة

ألست وعدتني يا قلبُ ......إذا ما تُبتُ عن ليلى تتوبُ؟

فها أنا تائبٌ عن حب ليلى..... فما لك كلما ذ ُكـرَت تذوبُ؟

Crazy in white

We have a psychiatry unit inside our hospital.
It's always locked to prevent patients from leaving. Whenver a doctor is done seeing a patient the employee at the front desk unlocks the door for him.

I have a patient there whom I'm seeing because he's HIV positive. Whenever I'm done seeing him and I'm about to leave, the employee at the front desk asks me for my ID to make sure I'm not a patient attempting to run away. He doesn't ask other doctors for their IDs.

I thought that employee had a problem with me. However, today they had a new one at he fron desk and he did ask me for my ID before I left the unit to make sure I'm not a patient.
Other doctors leave without being IDs.

It feels great when you realize that your co-workers believe that you're really crazy.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Outside her apartment she stood with her baby girl, she looked at the view of the desert outside and smiled.
Erica was my new neighbor. She moved to the apartment next to mine a few months ago with her husband. They looked like a beautiful couple.
I couldn't get to know them better. I was busy and they were busy, but I recently noticed that they were fighting.

Now I'm sitting in my apartment, it's one in the morning, ready to go to bed. I started hearing the screams again.
This time it is getting more intense, they've been screaming for about 20 minutes now. This fight has taken too long, and ooops!! I can hear the sound of something hitting the ground really hard.

Bumm, now it's hitting the wall.
The impact was so strong I felt that I was hit.

The man was screaming, but the voice of Erica has disappeared.
I really thought he killed her.

But wait, here is her voice again, she's screaming again. She's crying , a lot. I wonder if their kid is still asleep, not sure. She's screaming again, and here we go again, he's screaming too, maybe he's crying also. But the poor lady! I've never heard anyone cry that loud.

In my old apartment I once heard such voices, and it then turned out the neighbors were just screaming in excitement for a football game. But now it's 1 in the morning, and the sounds of punching and slapping are unmistakable.

Erica was silenced again, but here she is screaming and crying again.
I'm so surprised how she knows she's gonna beaten again but she can't stay quiet, she wants to let it out.
I feel sorry for the woman, I feel sorry for the child.
I feel sorry for any woman who thinks she has no option but to live with a monster who treats her like an enemy.

Just an advice from a man with a very poor experience in relationships: Never live one more second with an abusive partner. I can bet with my life that Erica just had one of the worse nights in her life.
Abusers are ill-minded. They have plenty of psychological issues and unless they seek professional help, nothing will change.
Things WILL NOT GET BETTER just by waiting.

Here's some selected words for the battered:

Once upon a time I was falling in love
But now I'm only falling apart
There's nothing I can do
A total eclipse of the heart

Once upon a time there was light in my life
But now there's only love in the dark
Nothing I can say
A total eclipse of the heart

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Monsters... Are they creeping inside Jordan?

Because of Halloween, most people in my hospital are dressed up in something. I decided to just be myself because that might be scary enough.

I saw one employee (hopefully not a nurse) dressed up in balloons that looked like a bacteria cluster and a big sign on one of them (MRSA Monster).

MRSA stands for Methcillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, a bacteria that was the talk of the media recently as a "super bug" because it is resistant to the majority of the available antibiotics. It has been around for more than 20 years.

Despite the media's focus, there are many other bacteria that are behind some horror stories in many hospitals. These bacteria cause invasive infections in any place in the body. Not a single organ is an exception.

The sad fact is that health care employees mainly physicians and nurses are behind the evolution and spread of these deadly bugs. There are two major ways how this happened.

1- They forget to wash their hands after seeing patients. MRSA would not even be a problem today if all doctors and nurses have done that!

2- Doctors tend to use antibiotics when they do not need to. For some reason doctors and patients feel much better if an antibiotics is used to treat an illness. The results are disastrous. Bacteria have the ability to quickly, sometimes incredibly quickly, develop resistance to the most powerful antibiotics in the market.

Why do I think it's a major problem in Jordan?

1- Doctors rarely ever wash their hands after or wear gloves during patient examinations. One of these powerful bugs can be transmitted from one patient to another through the doctor's or nurse's hands.

2- Nonexistent or very poor infection control programs in almost all Jordanian hospitals, where you find a patient with very poor immunity from various illnesses being placed in the same room with someone who has a significant illness. Hospitals are not taking the measures needed to prevent the evolution and spread of fatal bacteria inside hospitals.

3- Doctors tend to overuse antibiotics. Even when an antibiotic is used physicians tend to use the most powerful one. Bacteria develop resistance to these antibiotics and quickly become resistant to all antibiotics.

4- Antibiotics are sold without a prescription in Jordan and people use them for the most trivial reasons from a runny nose to food poisoning. When the time comes for this person to get a serious infection the bacteria s/he has would be resistant to all antibiotics.

5- There are almost no infectious disease specialists in Jordan to guide other physicians and hospitals in the use of the right antibiotic to the right person at the right time and for the necessary duration. As far as I know there are only 7 specialists in the whole country, all of them working in Amman.

I have worked for a few months in King Hussein Cancer Center (Al-Amal) and I have seen some bacteria there that I have never seen In the US. In one day over there we had three patient die of an infection with the same bacteria (MDR Pseudomonas). They had to shut down the whole Intensive Care Unit to get cleaned out. Unfortunately that did not work and patients still got infections with these nasty bugs.

Like many health problems, infection is a major health problem in Jordan that is being neglected. Health care workers are the major attributers to this problem and they are not realizing this. The behavior of physicians and nurses in many hospitals is hazardous to patient care and needs to be controlled.