Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This Post is Loaded with F-Words

Whoever is surfing facebook can't help but notice the fuck (religion) groups,
I always get invitations and see some of my 300-or-so friends (in real life, they're 30 or less) join groups condemning the Fuck Islam or Fuck Christianity groups.

To make things clear, I'm definitely against insulting religions this way, that also applies to other religions.
Here's a preview of these groups:

- Facebook Should Delete the Group (Fuck Christianity): 65,000 members

-If facebook didn't delete the group (Fuck Christianity) then fuck facebook: 3800 members

plus a few other groups

Then the Fuck Islam groups:
-If we are 100,000 people they will delete the group (fuck islam): 161,000 members, so apparently they didn't delete the group when it reached 100,000

- hay facebook admin... you should delete the group "fuck islam"directly!: 104,000 members.

- DELETE GROUP FUCK ISLAM NOW : 51,000 members

- facebook,if u dt delete(fuck islam)group..we muslims r gonna leave ur site: 32,000 members.

- " fuck the face book " if they dont close the group of " fuck islam " : 27,000 members

- we r 10000000+,plz delete group (fuck islam) - we r against "fuck islam": 12,000 members

- Facebook please shutdown the Group "fuck islam": 8900 members

- who wants 2 delete the group "fuck islam" invite all and join here!!: 8000 members

- In French: JE QUITTE F.B DANS 1 SEMAINE SI on ne supprime pas le groupe "Fuck islam" !: 7000 members

- Facebook should delete the group ( Fuck Islam ) & ( Fuck Christianity ): 4500 members

- I guess Turkish: ALO facebook!! al sana 1.000.000 kişi SİLİN "fuck islam" grubunu!!!: 4700 members

- If 200000 join dis grp FB will delete the grps fuck islam and christianity!: 4000 members

- Stop Groups (Fuck Islam)and( Fuck Christianity) Religion is for GOD : 3000 members

- "Facebook u have 2 delete the group "fuck islam" immediately" : 2000 members

Going through these groups I imagined there's a gigantic bunch of groups with millions of members cussing Muslims and Chrisitians.

Let's check these groups that stirred rage and anger, it took me a while to reach them because they were really small:

- Fuck Islam: 881 members
- Fuck Chrisitianity: 46 members (to be fair, alter boys were not allowed to join)
- Fuck Judaism: Wow they deleted it! I guess when the founder of facebook's name is Zuckerberger that isn't too surprising.

So, All Christians and Muslims out there who feel good about themselves for protecting their religion: these groups were to go unnoticeable, but you have helped to spread the words "Fuck Christianity and Fuck Islam" much much more than what the founders of these groups have ever dreamt of. So instead of saying "Fuck those groups" I'd like to just say to all Christians and Muslims out there: Fuck you. Fuck you idiots. And Fuck me.
Good night and good luck and truly from the bottom of my heart...fuck you.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Meanwhile, Jordan's last athlete, Nadine Dawani lost her first Taekwondo game 2-3 hence went out of the competition.

See you in London in 2012.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The reason why Jordanians love Thai-Kowa-what?

I always find it hard to spell Taekwondo in English. It's much easier in Korean... 태권도 (thanks wikipedia). I'll be very honest with you and tell you that I've never watched a match from its beginning to its end. However just being Jordanian makes me somewhat connected to this game, and I have a very good reason to feel so.

I remember first hearing about the game when I was nine years old in 1988 during the Olympic Games in Seoul. It was announced on Jordan TV (which used to be the only way to get news) that Jordan had won the first medal in its Olympic history. It was bronze and the sport was Taekwondo, and if I'm not mistaken it was Ihsan Abu Shaikhah who won it (Batir feel free to correct me). A few days later Samer Kamal won another bronze for Jordan, also in Taekwondo.

In 1992, Ammar Fahed Subihi won a bronze for Jordan in the Barcelona Olympics. Those three medals were not counted because the sport was not considered "an official sport", so officially we do not have any "official" medal although we have a three well-earned ones. Screw official games.

During these years Jordanian athletes were taken very seriously in this sport. Probably the biggest achievement was Mohammed Al Zoubi becoming the world champion in his weight in 1991 in the World Cup. We also won four bronze medals in that championship. Again: World Champion. How often does a Jordanian become the World Champion, really the best of the best in anything? You should feel proud of someone doing so even if it was in dancing over boiled eggs or playing 7 Hjaar (a sport also called baseball in the US). So when it comes to a respected sport like taekwondo you know we've done something amazing. The only other Jordanian athlete to ever top the world was Mustafa Hasanain in amateur bodybuilding championships, and some depressed guy.

Following that Tawfiq Nwaiser became Asia's Champion, and for the past 15 years or so Jordan has almost completely disappeared from the world stage in a sport we used to be highly respected at.

In 2 days Nadeen Dawani is playing in the preliminary rounds against a tough British player as our only Taekwondo player and the only Jordanian left competing in Beijing. Our media had already predicted her loss by saying how tough it would be to defeat that Brit. I really have some hope in this sport that I don't enjoy watching or playing or spelling its name but definitely love for the good results its athletes have brought to our country. To me, it has become more than just a sport.
(Feel free to join our facebook group "Jordanian Olympians In Beijing 2008").

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

و عدَونا فسبقنا ظلنا

البحريني رشيد رمزي يحرز الميدالية الذهبية لسباق ١٥٠٠ متر الذي أصبح من اختصاص العرب

A Message to All My Brazilian Friends

Screw You. Screw you and your ugly players. They could have helped the world more by opening bikini wax salons in Rio instead of pretending to play football.

By the way, the three goals were scored before your two animals were sent off with a direct red.
Your team is a useless piece of shit, that's what it is. It missed evolution by a few hundred decades.
Argentina is now in its way to get the gold medal in both football and basketball for the second consecutive Olympics.

Good luck for Brazil in beach volleyball.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Really Crazy Airline Incidents

1- Aloha Flight 243- The roof is gone, but they landed!

I am not kidding, this is how a plane in 1988 looked upon landing. While at 24,000 feet altitude a hole opened in the roof sucking a flying attendant out of the plane. She was the only person who died from this accident! The plane landed safely.

2- Lightening
A plane in South America was hit by lightening strike and crashed in the Amazon jungles in 1971. There was only one survivor who had to walk in the jungle for ten days until she was found!

3- Striking birds:
These beautiful birds can be deadly. A flight taking off from Boston in 1960 struck a flock of starlings , and each of the 4 engines swallowed at least one bird. Sixty-two people were killed. No word about causalities among the birds.

4- Why Your Math Skills are Important:
Whoever filled an Air Canada jet with fuel in 1983 was an idiot. Instead of using the metric system to calculate the fuel needed for the trip he used a different system. The plane landed urgently in an air force base after running out of fuel. Everyone survived.

5- Stupid Terrorists
In 1996, three Ethiopian men hijacked an Ethiopian flight and asked the pilot to fly from Kenya to Australia to seek political asylum. The pilot told them he doesn't have fuel to fly to Australia, but they showed him a manual mentioning that the jet can fly for 11 hours, and dismissed what the pilot told them. When the plane ran out of fuel it crashed into the water near Comoros killing 120 out of 170. Best thing: those three idiots died and the pilot survived. A tourist by the beach taped the plane crashing in water, here's the clip:

6- Stupid Pilot!
This was an internal flight in Brazil between Sao Paolo and a city called Belem in 1989. The pilot tried to locate Belem on his radar, the reading was 027.0 degrees, but he read it as 270 degrees. He headed to a totally different location in the Amazon jungle where no airports or any kind of life existed, and started landing thinking he was landing in the airport. He eventually landed on trees after he ran out of fuel trying to locate the airport. There were 41 survivors. They were locked in the jungle, but some survivors walked 40 kilometers until they found farmers who were able to contact authorities.
Here's a picture of the crashed plane:

7- Half-way to Heaven:
In 1990, a British Airways flight was heading from England to Spain when the windscreen by the pilot's side broke and the pilot was jerked out of his seat, with most of his body hanging out from the window at a 17,000 feet-altitude. Flying attendants rushed into the captain and held him from his feet to prevent him from completely being ejected. The co-pilot made an emergency landing and everyone survived. The pilot was treated and returned to work 6 months later. He now works with an airline called Easy Jet !

This Is Why It's Always Better to Watch the News in French

Girls... this is a totally useless post
Guys... you're welcome

Click to enlarge the picture, which is TOTALLY RECOMMENDED
Oh by the way, her name is Melissa Theuriau but that's not important

Here's a clip. Thanks Sharkooseh for the suggestion.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Gr8 Eight for Michael Toshiba

Michael Phelps is arguably the best athlete that ever existed in the history of mankind, from the days athletes used to wrestle naked in the old Olympics to our day.
Eight gold medals in Beijing, and a total of 14 overall.... beat this Ibrahim Sa3diyyeh.
And he's only 23....
I promise that's my final entry about the Olympics for the hour.

The First Gold

Tunisia's Oussama Mellouli won gold in the men's 1500-meter freestyle, defeating world record holder Grant Hackett of Australia, who won the silver.

Swimming Against the Flow

Beijing- Most of the attention at Friday's swim heats was on Dara Torres and whether the 41-year-old mother and five-time Olympian would qualify for the semifinals in the 50-meter freestyle. But I prefer the stories about the swimmers to whom few reporters paid any attention. Because neither the qualifying standards nor the competition is as high in other countries as in the United States, the earliest heats in the 50 free included swimmers who are absolutely no threat to win medals -- at least one of them could be described as fat -- but have interesting stories nonetheless.
Swimmers such as Antoinette Joyce Guedia Moufa of Cameroon. Two months shy of her 13th birthday, she not only is the youngest swimmer here, she is almost 29 years younger than Torres. Or Pamela Girimbabazi of Rwanda, where genocide between the Hutus and the Tutsis devastated the country in the 1990s. The country is among the poorest on the globe with a life expectancy so low (late 30s) that if Torres had been born there, she might very likely be dead and buried rather than swimming in the Olympics. While the Americans swim in speedsuits that can cost more than $300, Girimbabazi wore a regular swimsuit for her heat. She finished third in a time of 39.78, more than nine seconds behind her heat's winning time and 15 seconds behind the best time of the night. That's more than half a pool length.But she was here. And she carried Rwanda's flag at the Opening Ceremonies.

Then there is Zakia Nassar. She's a 21-year-old Palestinian from Bethlehem studying dentistry in Jenin, a city in the West Bank. She said it has been her dream since she was 10 to swim in the Olympics but there is no pool available for training in Jenin. There is an Olympic-sized, 50-meter pool in nearby Nazareth, but the Israeli government did not give her permission to use it."Without permission, there is no way to go there ... (may continue reading here)

The Super Awesome Super Unpopular Clips from Youtube

I'll start posting what I believe are really good clips from youtube that did not have so many views. I'll do it once every 2 weeks (beginning and mid-month). All clips have less than one million views and have to be relatively short. They could be about anything.

Here's a one-minute clip of Jay Leno making fun of the media's coverage of major changes in the army while covering the trial of Paris Hilton for driving with a suspended driver's licence. It's quite embarrassing!

Views: 83K

Friday, August 15, 2008

Is this picture offensive?

This is a photo taken for Spain's national basketball team in Spain. They were sponsored by a Chinese company. The team's photographer told them to push the outside corner of their eyes to give it an Asian-looking eye appearance.
I assume that instead of telling them "Cheeeese", he just screamed "Chineeese".

The Chinese and many Asian groups outside China are furious. They considered this photo to be very offensive. The Spaniards mentioned they meant no harm and had good intentions behind the photo.

If you'd ask me, I would say there's nothing offensive in this photo. It's funny. It's hilarious. However, who am I to decide. Same for you, if you're not Asian who are you to decide?? Spain's basketball team played with China 3 days ago and they were booed throughout the entire game, and that's very unusual about the Chinese who have been very welcoming during these Games. So apparently, they were angry.

I think any speech or gesture is offensive if the targeted race or ethnicity consider it so.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Worst Diseases You Can Ever Get

So you thought cancer was horrible? You thought AIDS will kill everyone? You were absolutely wrong,

Here are some diseases that make pancreatic cancer sound too benign.

1- Ondine's Curse:
These patients have to voluntarily breathe, and if they forget to they will die. Again, they have to remember to breathe in order to survive. A lot of infants who have the disease just die when they fall asleep.

200 people in the world are currently alive with it, and many of them are adults. They breathe using a breathing machine.

2- Androgen insensitivity syndrome.

If you think you may have some difficulty determining the gender of a person, wait until you hear about this.
People affected with this syndrome are girls who are really beautiful, too feminine-looking, but once they reach puberty they do not have periods.

Externally they are women, they have breasts, a soft voice and no body hair. However they have XY gene, that's the male gene! So genetically they are males but their appearance is that of a female. What happens is that while they were developing in the uterus their body was not responsive to testosterone, and they remained that way. so their testicles shrunk and no penis developed because testosterone is necessary their development. They have no female genital tract (because they are males). Obviously they cannot have children (again, because they are males). This can cause some serious psychological issues!

3- Fatal Familial Insomnia:

This one really really sucks for many reasons. Awful. Awful. Patients look totally normal until they're 40 or 50, then this inherited disease starts showing up. Patient cannot sleep. That's it, they cannot sleep and this lasts sometimes for more than a year. A year without sleep! Eventually they become crazy and all of them die. There is no treatment, sleeping pills even make it worse. Everyone dies. What's worse is that the chance parents will pass it on to their kids is 50%, and because symptoms appear late most patients have already had kids by the time they know they have the disease.

It's worse for the kids, because by the time they're around 20 they know they have a 50-50 chance they'll get this horrible fatal disease in about 10-15 years. How would that feel?

4- Necrophilia:
That's the desire to have sex with corpses (dead people). Sometimes it's so severe that patients may kill people just to have sex with their corpses.
The sexual act was not banned up until 2003 in the UK, and it's still not considered illegal in many states in the US.

5- Panphobia

A lot of people have one form of fear (phobia) to something. People with panphobia have fears of everything. It's the mother of all fears. They have a persistent fear something very bad will happen and to be caused by anything or anyone around them.
After reading about it, I think I developed panphobiaphobia- that is the fear of developing this phobia. I totally made up the term.


These are the ones I could think of for now... ! I promise if I come across anything that will scare the living bejesus out of you I'll be more than happy to tell you about it.
You're welcome.

Help School Kids in Jordan

Do you know that a lot of school children in Jordan use the very same pencil throughout the whole academic year? They protect it as if it's worth a million bucks, because if they lose it they won't and they can't have any for the wntire year.

I'm not even mentioning books, notebooks, backpacks.....etc

I stole this from Naseem's blog, spread the word


The Action Committee is accepting collections of school supplies to distribute amongst under-privileged students in the Kingdom. The last day to receive any donations is next Tuesday the 19th.

The committee is looking for the following items:

- Backpacks & pencil cases.
- Sweatpants, sweatshirts, socks (for P.E.)
- Pencils, pens, erasers, rulers.
- Notebooks, both English and Arabic.
- Geometry sets (for grades 5 & up).
- Glue sticks, colored pencils & markers.

You can volunteer for this campaign in a couple of ways:
1) Donations: either financially or any of the above mentioned items.
2) Packing the items.
3) Help us distribute the bags.
Also, if you’re a blogger, feel free to re-blog this post on your own blog. Spread the word!
You can contact Sara at 079-5154498

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Afaf Kadamani-Style Uncensored Late Commercial-free Global Colorful Breaking News

* The Olympic Games ceremony was held in Beijing last week. Zeina Sha3abn carried the Jordanian flag. See, the games were held during the Hijri month of Sha'ban and that's what made Shaban carry the flag. The Jordanian delegation asked the Chinese authorities to hold the closing ceremony during the hijri month of "Sufor" to reflect the number of Olympic medals they will be getting.

Meanwhile, India has won its very first individual gold medal in Olympic history. Abhinav Bindra won the medal in shooting. After the Olympics he'll have a choice of either becoming the Indian national coach or a high-ranking officer in the Indian army in Kashmir.
(only a joke, good luck Jordan!)

* The war between Russia and Georgia has got ugly. When President Bush heard about Georgia being under heavy fire, he asked the citizens of Atlanta to hold on and keep hosting the Olympics the best they could.

* The Bush administration condemned Russia for invading a sovereign nation and starting an unnecessary war. Meanwhile Hayfa Wahbi condemned women who don't dress conservatively and Paris Hilton bashed celebrities who make sex tapes.

* The Engineering Union in Jordan celebrated its 50th anniversary. the celebration was sponsored by Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST). As a result of this, Israeli groups are asking Israelis to boycott any future scientific or technological exhibitions taking place in Israel this year.

* Osama Bin Ladin's driver was convicted of supporting terrorism. He was sentenced to only five years in jail. He was supposed to be executed, but when the judge knew he used to drive a Lada they lightened up the sentence.

* Jordan's football team ranked 114 in the world in the latest FIFA's ranking list. To tell readers how bad this ranking is, if our football team was a Tawjihi student the only college that would accept him would be Tafilah University.

* Lebanese singer Suzanne Tamim was murdered early this month. Lebanese TV host Nishan was brutally beaten by 2 guys in Beirut. It's getting so hard for Lebanese celebrities these days. With Hayfa Wehbe traveling to Tunisia, there were no bodyguards left in Lebanon.

* A John McCain ad displayed Barack Obama as being very similar to Paris Hilton. Obama said he did not like the ad, while Paris Hilton said she was shocked and pleased to learn that she was black.

Very Big Lies: Nayirah of Kuwait, Lewinsky, and Syphilis

Here I'll review quickly some of the biggest lies in our recent history,

After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, the US Congress listened to a Kuwaiti girl, "Nurse" Naiyrah testifying in front of them. She claimed to have been a volunteer at a Kuwait hospital, and talked about the brutality of Iraqi soldiers and how they dumped Kuwaiti infants out of their incubators. That emotional testimony helped in building domestic support for a military action against Iraq.

Turns out.... she was the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador to the US. She was 15. Her name was Naiyrah al-Sabah.
Here's a clip

The Syphilis Study (Tuskegee)
In the 1920s, a group of scientists in Alabama decided to run a medical trial where they observed patients with syphilis and see how they did over a long period of time. A few years after the study started it was discovered that penicillin cured syphilis; however those scientists refused to give the participants in the study, who were all black, any treatment because they wanted to know how much damage will the disease cause them. They even did some additional studies on them (like inserting needles into their backs) telling them that was a treatment for the disease when in reality it was just another test. It took 40 years before all of this was leaked to newspapers in 1972. Twenty-eight people died directly from syphilis and many other suffered complications. Many women passed the infection to their children. In 1997 Bill Clinton formally apologized to whoever suffered from the consequences of this study in a speech attended by some survivors.
This is the New York Times reporting the story in 1972:

Just a few months back, Hillary Clinton mentioned that during her visit to former Yugoslavia in 1992, she was under sniper fire after she landed. A CBS video showed that she was just lying. Here's the short clip:

And of course, the biggest lies of all times, this is embarrassing!

I was hoping to talk about the lies Bush told but there wasn't enough space on this blog. Maybe I'll just have to release a book in six hundred volumes ...

Monday, August 11, 2008

There Will Be Blood

With dramatic pictures like the one above, you feel sorry.

This one is taken from the recent Russian-Georgian war, and it might have been easy to guess given that both men are Caucasian and the media is focusing on this recent war. It's a new war, unexpected, involves a big country, so it's worth covering for now.
If it keeps going on for some time, it shouldn't be covered anymore. It becomes boring and TV channels don't want low ratings. Put it on the shelf with Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Kashmir, Colombia, Nigeria, the war on drugs, the war on obesity, the war on illiteracy, and all the other wars that human kind is losing.
Maybe it was easy to guess where the picture above was taken, but I'm sure I can find an almost identical picture taken in so many other places in the world but of people from other ethnicities.
I don't know if photographers are working harder now but we are really seeing some gruesome, bloody, and heart-breaking photos like never before. As humans are showing spectacular ability in different fields in science and medicine, they are also showing some really spectacular abilities in battling and murdering one another and inability to learn from the past.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

هزمتك يا موت...هزمتك...وانت انتصرت

ويا مَوْتُ انتظرْ ، ياموتُ ،

حتى أستعيدَ صفاءَ ذِهْني في الربيع

وصحّتي ، لتكون صيَّاداً شريفاً

لايَصيدُ الظَّبْيَ قرب النبع


مِتْرانِ من هذا التراب سيكفيان الآن …

لي مِتْرٌ و75 سنتمتراً …والباقي لِزَهْرٍ فَوْضَويّ اللونِ ،

يشربني على مَهَلٍ

كأنَّ شيئا ً لم يَكُن

ْوكأنَّ شيئاً لم يكن

محمود درويش.. بعد نجاح عملية القلب المفتوح الثانية عام ١٩٩٨
توفي اليوم بعد العملية الثالثة

Friday, August 08, 2008

How Do You Say Good Luck in Chinese?

Nadine Dowani

Zaina Sha'ban

Khalil Hanahneh

Anas Hamadeh & Razan Fareed

Ibrahim Bsharat

Plus Bara'a Marwan (track and Field)

Update: It looks like Good Luck in Chinese is: 祝 你好 运
If by mistake it turned to mean something else, my apology to everyone in your family.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My Bucket List

We talk a lot about death without mentioning the word death. Maybe we imagine him a person who will come right away whenever his name is called. We have dozens of expressions for people who died and are dying and will die, but the word death is almost never mentioned.

Americans also have this bad habit. They mention "the deceased" and those who are going to "pass away", talk how they may not still "be around" some time. They "sacrifice" animals in scientific experiments and if their pet is very sick they may have to "put him to sleep". People "lose battles" with diseases. Murder, assassination, abortion, execution, euthanasia, doom, fatality, mortality.... all these are expressions of death.

And there's another one... kicking the bucket. The movie The Bucket List talks about two men with a terminal illness. They made a list of things they always wanted to do but couldn't get to. They called this list the Bucket List and they started trying to do whatever time allowed them before "kicking the bucket".

Before I traveled to the US, I made my own bucket list. I was leaving almost my entire extended family of hundreds of people behind for a minimum of five years (now it's longer), and because of very tough visa regulations I knew that I wouldn't be able to return home during this period. I made this bucket list in my mind which was a little different from the one in the movie since I wasn't expecting to "be with the Lord" anytime soon. It was of those people close to me whom I expected to die while I was away, a list of those who I won't be able to lay eyes on before they die. The smiling I-am-traveling-for-a-bit was actually the very last goodbye I said to many of them.

My Bucket List was a bad one. It just taught me a good lesson: death is highly unpredictable. It picks people when you least expect it. It takes away the most charming and the most alive. It chases those who are very optimistic of life, telling them they shouldn't have placed so much hope in something they were not going to enjoy for too long. When disease struck they fought it with every breath they took because they could not take their next breath for granted, then eventually dying before they could start living.

When I knew the end was coming, I would call very formally wishing them the best of luck, and a speedy a recovery from this although I knew they would not recover. They also knew they wouldn't but we won't talk about it. I wished I could tell them that it was great knowing them and that I was proud to be in the same family with them, but I couldn't. I wish I would be able to tell them to cheer up since death may be the end of one life but the beginning of another better one, that it probably looks better on the other side, that death ends lives but not relationships, and ask them to save me a seat up there, but I couldn't. At the end I would just tell them to hopefully see you if I visit Jordan next year, inshalla- inshalla, and I knew I wouldn't, and they knew they wouldn't.

I decided to mentally burn my bucket list. I should have never made it. I don't want anyone to be on it and I don't want to be on anyone's list! Death is too big to be placed on lists.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

رسالة تشجيعية إلى كل من رسب في التوجيهي

الله يفظحك مثل ما فظحت أهلك. ولك كلها هالسنة مطلوب منك تدرس شوي وبس إنجح يعني مش ضروري تسع وتسعين بس إنجح يا هامل. فظحت أهلك الله يفظحك يوم عرسك ويسود وجهك قدام الناس مثل ما سودت وجه أهلك اليوم.
ولك شو لساتك قاعد بتسوي عالكمبيوتر قوم فز اقرالك كلمتين بلكي فلحت السنة الجاي البين يطسك

The Colors of Terrorism

* Thirty-five young healthy Jordanian men died in the past 3 years from complications after "selling" their kidneys, according to al-Rai.
With help for some agents, they would travel to countries like Egypt and Pakistan where they would sell their organs. Shortly afterwards they died of infections.

To me selling a kidney is just one step closer to selling your kids because of poverty.

* Meanwhile, a biologist in the US committed suicide. He was a "man of interest" in the investigation involving the anthranx bioterrorism attack following 9/11 which killed 5 people.
The FBI believed this man who is white, non-Arab, and non-Muslim, is the person involved in these anthrax attacks.

I hope our government will deal with poverty as a bioterrorist attack and start chasing those involved with shipping 120 Jordanian men outside the country and being responsible for the death of 35 of them.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Do You Want Your Kid to Join a Jordanian Private School?

Parents want the best education for their kids, no question about that. Parents from lower and middle-class families start saving money as soon as they have kids in order to provide good education for them later in life.

For the poor, private schools is no option. They don't even consider it.
For the rich, public schools is no option. It destroys their stature making them labelled as cheap for the coming generations. There are very few exceptions to this rule, very few.

The families struggling with it are those reamining in the middle class, who really suffer with the high expenses of educating their kids in private schools, and wonder if it's really worth it.

I'll try to point out what a private school offers that public schools do not.

1- Foreign Langauges. There are more English-class lessons in most private schools, although I know quite a few graduates from such schools who are horrible in English. I know quite a few public school graduates who used to take extra lessons for reasonable prices during the summer or were fortunate enough to have excellent English teachers in school and they really excelled in English. I still have to say that private schools helps you think in English and not just speak it.

The other langauge is French. I attended the National Orthodox School (Orthodoxiyyeh) for 11 years, took French for 9 of then, was always top of my class in French, was top of my school in the Brevet test, but was never able to fully communicate with a French-speaking person. I have to say though that had I lived in a French-speaking country right after graduation, I would have mastered the langauge much more easily than someone who never took Fench classes. More than 90% of my class knew NOTHING about the language after 9 years of studying it although we had at least 3 weekly classes in French.

Also when I was able to learn Spanish later in life much more quickly because of the similarities in French and Spanish.

I remember some graduates of other schools like Frere, the Rosary school, and Lady of Nazareth were really fluent in French. So if you're really looking for your kid to learn French there's a way to go with these schools.

2- A non-Tawjihi program. I totally sympathasize with parents who do not want their kids to sit for a Tawjihi program. I'd rather have my kids do GCE/IG or whatever British system is there than do Tawjihi. Public schools do not offer that, and it's so overwhelming for a student to sit for exams in both systems although they can independently do the GCE tests.

I sat for GCE and my school had some really outstanding teachers. Some private schools have worked hard to provide well-trained and experienced teachers and their students score very well. However there are quite a few schools who consider these British systems a way of collecting more fees from students, since students in these classes pay astronomically high fees. Many of these students are really not hard workers and they join the British system because it's "cool" and believe they don't have to work as hard as Tawjihi students. They end up learning the hard way that they were wrong, and the school does nothing to alarm them. Besides, many IG/IB teachers are just teachers who speak English and are not trained to specifically teach this British or American material to their students.

There can also be a very rich Arabic material in the British system. I studied the Jahili, Islamic, Ommayad and Abbasi potery very extensively. I mastered grammar, I was really able to "a3reb" every single text written in Arabic including poems, verses from Quran and road signs. Translation too was vital to passing these tests. So don't forget about your kids forgetting their mother language if they study in English for 2 years in high school.

3- Extra-Curricular Activities. First, remember that most private schools charge a lot for such activities like music, drama or sports. Students in public schools can join these activities in different centers in Amman for cheaper prices. Some private schools offer very little in terms of these activities. Again, look at graduates from these schools. Most graduates of private schools do not really excel in some extra-curricular activity and most of those who do (like in playing piano or singing) did so because they were trained by somewhere other than the school.

4-Learning Christianity, that's only available (as far as I know) in some private schools. I know some Christian parents who really struggle to afford fees for their children just to keep them in a private school so they can learn the religion. However some churches teach Christian classes although they're not as intensive as the ones schools offer.

5- Mixed Schools: Some people like me believe a school should be mixed. There advantages of having boys and girls study together outweigh the risk, given that they're closely watched and certain rules are strictly applied. I studied in such school and we had a very healthy environment. that is something that's available in private schools only so you may view as an advantage.

6- Transportation. Private Schools provide transportation for your kids. Again, parents have to pay for this and it's usually a lot of money, but at least they have the option.

7- Better teaching???? That's a tough one. I really don't have an answer for this. I saw some awfully horrible teachers in private schools, but the good thing is that they did not last too long. The administrators in my school usually listened to parents' complaints and may fire a teacher if s/he is not doing his/her job appropriately. That might be the case in some public schools too where the administrator is really dedicated to their job and do care about their school's reputation. Now if you go outside Amman, you can find a whole bunch of public schools where most students fail at Tawjihi, mainly because they didn't have a physics or biology teacher in 5 years, or because there were 50 students jammed in one unheated class in a 5-degree weather where there isn't a chance to ask a single question.
Having said that, you need to look at Tawjihi scores and you'll find out that a lot of top students come from public schools. It's usually the same 4 or 5 public schools though.

In conclusion, there are some potential advantages of some private schools over public schools, but you can easily find a public school that is better than many other private schools. One thing for sure, is that you're not ending your kids future with placing him in a public school. The money you spend in a some private schools is absolutely not worth it and will not pay back.