Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Underestimating What's Underneath the Underwear

Since 9/11, America never hesitated to lose its collective shit after any threat to its security. The bomb that exploded inside the underwear of a Nigerian young man during his international flight last week was a reminder that America does not get it yet it.

Right after the most recent incident, a new regulation popped up that passengers on international flights won't be allowed to use the restroom during the last hour of the flight, because a terrorist would love to enjoy his flight with a bomb stuck to his butt for 12 hours and would only decided to push the button on during the last hour.

The Nigerian dude's father notified authorities that his son was becoming an extremist. The US authorities knew about it, and they still gave him a visa and did not add him to the no-fly list. Mind you: Nelson Mandela was placed on the no-fly list (by mistake), but this guy was not placed on it, by mistake I'd like to believe. Every single year, hundreds of physicians from different countries (especially Pakistan) are denied visas to enter the US even though they were accepted into residency program all over the US. However this Nigerian guy was welcomed in.

A few months ago, hell broke loose in the US when it was announced that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the "mastermind" behind 9/11, was going to be trialed on US soil and given the rights any human being deserves: a lawyer and the chance to defend himself. Republicans and some Democrats declared their lack of trust in their judiciary system when they claimed KSM should not be given the rights given to many other terrorists in the past in the US (Omar Abdul Rahman, Mosawi, Timothy McVay...etc)

The US would have been better off without Guantanamo. All these prisoners would have had the rights they deserved, and with the US judiciary system most guilty prisoners would have been found guilty and been thrown in jail or executed. You might get concerned if 2 or 3 slipped through the cracks and were real terrorists who were let go, but you have to understand that a lot of those were actually released from Guantanamo under Bush only to return to join Al Qaeda.
Besides all that, Americans maybe wouldn't have felt too bad that their government is torturing prisoners and dissing its own constitution and some of the things they believe in.

One scary piece of information: you can manufacture a bomb yourself by following simple instructions on the Internet. You can slip through security because metal detectors do not detect a lot of kinds of explosives. I will be flying tomorrow on new year's eve and I know for sure that I cannot get any bottle of shampoo, deodorant, hair gel or razor in my carry-on luggage. I may be able to use the bathroom but that may scare the hell out of everyone on board, and I have to take off my shoes and God know what else at security, but I know one thing for sure: I will not be feeling safer for one reason: terrorist are always one step ahead. The only thing that kept America passengers safe last week was a couple a vigilant passengers staying awake because of that crying baby that exists on each plane. It wasn't the CIA, it wasn't the FBI, and it wasn't even the dude's father who begged authorities to stop his son from doing something stupid. It was a lot of good luck. So good luck to you and wish me luck!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Prince Philip: Jerk

Every family, office, class, association has it loud mouth disaster that can't learn to think for 3 seconds before uttering something stupid or offensive.
The United Kingdom got one of those, his name is Prince Philip.

The latest incident occurred while honoring a blind British soldier injured during a bombing attack. The queen asked the soldier if he had any of his vision left. Prince Philip, next to her, answered, "Not a lot, judging by the tie he's wearing"

Other gaffes:
- While accepting a gift from a Kenyan woman, he asked her, "You are a woman, aren't you?"

- He was visiting a school and a 13-year old boy told him he wanted to become an astronaut. Philip answered him, "Well, you'll never fly in it, you're too fat to be an astronaut."

- Being with a British student, the student told Philip that he had just returned from Papua New Guinea, to which Philip responded, "You managed not to get eaten then?"

Very funny, but a jerk. We love those.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Photo of the Moment: This is Not an Airline Incident

Just a clarification: I'm not the Black Iris. I'm just stealing his titles.

Story of the picture: In the country/territory of Gibraltar (Jabal Tarek), the airport's only runway intersects with the main street in the country, so every time a plane is taking off or landing traffic on the street has to be stopped.

This photo says it all.

If this was Jordan the cars won't stop but may try to drive around the plane instead.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Facebook Gone Wrong...

Horrible/funny real statuses and replies from real people on facebook.
People, watch out!
(You have to click on the box to read it more clearly)

Monday, December 07, 2009

My 20-second encounter with Sarah Palin

I love Sarah Palin. After all, she is the reason Barack Obama was elected for president. She visited South Dakota, where I currently live, to get connected to her supporters, sign her new book and make an extra buck.
I decided to go for the book-signing because there wasn't anything more fun to do in Sioux Falls for a single guy on a Sunday night (or morning, afternoon...etc) -I have to mention that I had already gone to church that day-.

I also have to mention that I'm a whore for meeting celebrities. My only trip for the gym in Tucson was when Hillary Clinton went there for a speech during her campaign for the democratic seat, even though I was hoping she'd fail. I stood speechless when I saw Jack Nicholson right in front of me in a building in Philadelphia. Even when I pulled out my camera to take a perfect picture of him I could only manage to shoot a photo of some random ass. I also hope his new movie will fail. So it didn't come as a surprise when I found myself going to see Palin today.

I stood in a perfectly organized line of happy people. I don't know how will people meeting St Peter at the Pearly Gates will look like but they won't be as happy as the people I saw today. Standing in line started to become boring, I looked at the (happy) lady in front of me in line,
"So the only book Sarah can sign is her book, right?"
"Yes, don't give her another book to sign" she laughed
" I thought about giving her Obama's book to sign.. ha... haha"
She looked back at me as if I just called her a filthy whore.

I proceeded to see Palin. I started getting a little anxious, "what if she got me deported?" was the only thought in my head. They passed her the book, she signed it and gave it to me,
"What your name?"
"Fares, thank you for coming"
Thinking how everything she had done so far was helping Democrats win elections I told her, "thank you for the great work, keep it going"
"thank you very much", she said, and before I added anything else the security guy next to her looked at me and in his eyes I saw him saying, "move the f--k up or I'm gonna cut you into 400 pieces"

I moved up and bought the book for 18 dollars. Knowing that Donald Trump charges you one million dollars to spend one hour with him, I thought 18 dollars to spend 20 seconds with Sarah Palin was a good bargain. Besides the brief chat I got hold of something that will get a few bids on ebay in 2012 "An unopened, unread personally signed book by presidential candidate Sarah Palin".

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Seriously, Switzerland, Seriously, WTF??

Can anyone, even the most islamophobe on earth, explain to me how does a minaret threaten his security?

57% of the Swiss population proved yesterday to be very bigoted, hateful, racist and discriminatory, let alone stupid and dumb.

Even if they believed there were Islamic groups inside Switzerland planning on a terrorist attack, how will prohibiting minaret construction affect their plan? Would they go, "Oh we cannot have more minarets, our plans are screwed?"

The only message that 57% of Switzerland was saying was a fuck you to Muslims, nothing but fuck you. And when you send this message to part of your society many of them citizens of your own country, you cannot come later and blame them for failure of integration into this racist society and ask them to respect the values that are clearly exclusive to people from certain ethnicities and religions.

The people behind this vote were the same people who came up with this cartoon:

It translates into, "for more security" !!!

Got my point?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Keep the Bad Parliament

In 2007 Jordanians elected a Jordanian Parliament. It was a relatively clean election. Two years later, the performance of the Parliament was undoubtfully shameful, reflective of the massive corruption, inefficiency, backwardness and hypocrisy that has hit our country for quite some time. This bad performance was not surprising.

Yesterday HM King Abdullah ordered the Parliament to be dissolved. I would assume that he, like most Jordanians, were disappointed by the performance of the Parliament.

I am disappointed by the Parliament but I'm more disappointed, like always, with the people who elected the Parliament, i.e. the majority of the Jordanian population.

How do you expect a clean Parliament to emerge if those who voted for them would take any opportunity to get an extra penny or two if they were not to be caught? How about the hypocrisy of being religious when it comes to a generous beard but a godless thief when it comes to stealing the government's money to fly to "conferences" and "meetings" outside Jordan? Don't you see that kind of hypocrisy in most people when you look around you?

Why do we expect Parliament members to attend all the sessions when the average Jordanian wouldn't mind missing work as long as it won't affect his salary? Why would you expect an MP to sacrifice something for his country if most people wouldn't? Why do complain of MPs fighting in the Parliament when we Jordanians feel like breaking each others' bones at schools, universities, grocery stores and traffic lights?

Do you think that we, Jordanians, really care about our country? How much do wealthy Jordanians donate to charity? How is the SOS doing? How much donations do our universities get every year from its alumni? How many non-profit hospitals and colleges are there in Jordan?

Don't we wait for any opportunity to allow us to look down on our own people? More money, education, a nicer car, any kind of skill, some foreign language, a wealthy spouse, just anything to make us feel grandiose, feel important and better than anyone else? For anyone who has driven outside the territory of Western Amman, don't you feel that Jordan is becoming more than once country glued together by a fake thread that at one point may not stand the test of time?

If it's true to say that people deserve the government they get, it would be more correct to say that people deserve the Parliament they elect. If it sucks it's because we suck. Every dysfunction that exists in the Parliament exists in our community, in our homes and schools and colleges . I want the dysfunctional Parliament to stay there, longer than ever, with its scandals on display on TV, newspapers and whatever 7th grade students write in Ammon news.

If a new Parliament is to be elected, it has to be an absolute disaster for me to believe it is representative of the people. Anything less than a catastrophic performance will make suspect that the elections were a fraud.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Egypt-Algeria: An Honor Crime

Today in the Egypt-Algeria match I am hoping for a huge fight to erupt, and for both teams to be kicked out of the qualifications allowing Zambia in 3rd place to make it to the World Cup.

The only 2 matches I was eager to watch last week were Tunisia-Mozambique where Tunisia unfortunately lost 0-1 allowing Nigeria to qualify instead. Bahrain also lost 0-1 to New Zealand and was relegated. For the first time since 1978, Arabs will represented by only one team in the World Cup finals, but that doesn't seem to be that important anymore.

Overall I'm disappointed that the Egyptian and Algerian honor is now about a football game. Things used to be very different a few decades ago.

Anyway, I'll be watching, in hope that Al-Akhdar Balloumi will jump onto the field and start pulling eyes out and for angry fans to finish the job of burying Algerians by throwing whatever rocks they had left from last week on their heads. Go Zambia! Make Africa proud again!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Nidal Malik Hasan

Yesterday afternoon I heard of the incident where a man opened fire at a military base. First I thought it was just another soldier suffering from PTSD, a very common disorder among many US soldiers who've been to Iraq. Then the name showed up. It was an Arab one. Worse, he was an Arab doctor. Another one. Same story.

I don't have any problem with the press crucifying this guy, totally ripping him off and showing him as the most evil man in the world. But I still have a problem with how America is responding to an incident like the one that occurred yesterday and that we all know will happen in the future.

There is an assumption that he was driven to kill soldiers by his religion, which may turn out to be true. However that assumption was based on the fact that he distributed copies of Quran to his neighbors before the incident. That assumption was reinforced by the knowledge of him screaming "Allaho Akbar"-God is Great while he was shooting.

It's very clear that Hasan was planning in advance on what he was doing. He knew he was dying. It's very normal for a practising Muslim to plan on doing something that serves his religion before their death, regardless of the reason they're dying. If a cancer patient is about to die it's normal for him to donate money for an Islamic school or to build a mosque and distributing Qurans on people is another act of virtue.

The other part -the Allaho Akbar one- is another reason that makes me extremely disgusted with the bias and retardation the American media continues to practise. Nobody seems to get that Allaho Akbar is just a expression that Arabs and Muslims say when they get excited over anything. It's a Muslim version of Jeez, or a PG-rated WTF. When Jameel Al Batouti, the co-pilot of EgyptAir flight 990, was screaming religious phrases seconds before his jumbo jet crashed into the ocean, everyone freaked out thinking he brought the plane down, as if someone should be singing Kumbaya or reciting the constitution when they're dying.

There are a few crazy people like Hasan, but there are thousands of not-as-crazy people who can hold themselves from a shooting rampage. They are in the army right now and they are exposed to emotional traumas that no physician can treat and no medication can control. Nobody gives a shit about them. They are so much hated overseas for many reasons, and their country forgets them once they're back for many other reasons. They won't a turn a gun against strangers but they might turn it at themselves or loved ones one day. They become very angry or very quiet, very shy or very disinhibited- abnormal to say the least. War completely destroys their brain, and nobody told them about it in those shiny commercials about how awesome it is to go and fight the bad guys in Iraq.
Mental disorder results from something, usually. It's the a loss from any war that chases a country for decades after its end, and I don't think America gets it. I'm sure that Nidal Malik Hasan, the psychiatrist, would have agreed with me on that one.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

MikrO-bloGGinG.... Da3 3anka Lawmi Fa Inna Allawma Ighra2oo... Daweni Billati Kanat Heya Al Da2oooo, Da2oo.. Daal

* I was surfing the web and accidentally got into Hayfa Wahbi's website. Only 10 seconds after I opened it my eyes got herpes and my keyboard contracted syphilis.

* I was recently in Washington D.C. and visited a museum there where I saw the surgical tools that American surgeons used during the civil war in 1865. Those tools were in that museum temporarily. Their next destination was going to be the operation room in Prince Hamza Hospital in Irbid.

* I understand how terrible H1N1 can be, but if you smoke 3 packs of cigarettes and enjoy a ginormous seder of mansaf everyday don't worry much about H1N1. Something else will get you faster.
* Real Madrid has to call it quits. I'm not from Madrid and I don't like that team but I already feel offended by everything they have done since Hugo Sanchez realized he was too fat to do his acrobatic somersault after each goal. And Madridians don't worry when Real Madrid is gone, there is a more respectable team from Madrid that is already representing you better than Real Madrid, its name is Alcorcon.

* I will open a grocery store in Amman and call it "tomorrow we're having a snow storm min asel qotbi" ... that's called good business.

* Thank God for Joe Lieberman and Bernie Madoff, just for giving me the opportunity to cuss some Jews without being labelled anti-Semite.

* A few Jewish rabbis were arrested last month in New York in connection with money laundry and selling human organs to be used in transplantation. Those are the kinds of crimes that improve your reputation as smart asses. Arabs need to learn a little bit from that. Money laundry... that's some smart shit. Release Majd Al-Shamayleh now.

* Governments should never interfere with women's reproductive rights. However if you already had 3 kids and they're clearly going to become as trashy as you are, the government has the right to come to your room at the middle of the night and rip your belly open without anaesthesia and blow away your uterus with the ovaries in order to save the world. I would vote for such law.

* Seven Jordanians died of H1N1 so far. Ten times that number died while watching our football team lose to UAE 3-1. We need to set our priorities straight. Before vaccinating the nation send our football players to jail.

* Jordanian newspapers need to shut down their websites. Period.

* I didn't ask to be Jordanian. I just got lucky.................. ok now let's stop bullshitting each other and tell me how can I get a Canadaian passport.

* Alec Baldwin will co-host of the Oscars next year. Barack Obama was given the Nobel Peace Prize. Today the Vatican announced that the next Pope will be Sinead O'Connor.
* Hillary Clinton is starting to take Israel's side during the ongoing negotations between Palestinians and Israelis. Someone should remind her that it wasn't us who sent Lweisnky to her husband's desk (- to go under his desk, to be more accurate)
(The picture above is of Jordanian politician Mona Abu Bakr. The FDA approved the picture for use in most blogs, but warned against side effects that include nausea, diarrhea, rectal prolapse, hand-foot-mouth disease, erectile dysfunction, losing your house and job and attention deficit disorder. Use with caution. )

Friday, October 23, 2009

Plane Stupid

News broke last week that a Royal Jordanian flight from Athens to Amman was captained by a female Jordanian pilot, co-pilot and an entire female crew.

It's very pleasing to see Jordanian women doing so.

What's a little irritating is that we had to break a piece of news about it as if this was some kind of a new experiment we're doing. It looks like passengers were told that the entire crew were women only after they landed in Amman. One wonders if the intent was to prevent panic in the sky from people used to seeing women locked in a kitchen washing dishes and cooking maglobah?

It looks like the reaction of the passengers was something similar to, "Despite having people from the retarded backward stupid half-brained gender fly the plane, things went OK"

Meanwhile in the US, two male pilots engaged themselves in a long debate in the sky that they missed the airport by 150 miles before they noticed that and headed back to the airport. If those pilots were women, hell would break loose and people would start demanding stripping all female pilots from their flying licence.

Here's the clip

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

How a Jordanian Company Deceived the World

In 1976, A Jordanian company named Jerash International (JI) started manufacturing a local medication for diabetes named Vaxifine. It used the same formula used to make a similar European drug but made a very minor change: Instead of the normal sodium chloride used in the European drug they used a "fresh" substance extracted from sardines named MOTS (Monogammo-Oxadizone-Tellurtinase-Sulfatase).

The Jordanian Pharmaceutical Association refused to approve the use of this drug in local markets due to the presence of MOTS. In several studies conducted in the 1960s MOTS turned out to be present in large concentrations in the bone marrow of monkeyes that were dying from a unusual wasting disease. The drug never saw the light in Jordanian markets and was about to
be completely abandoned.

However, the CEO of Jerash International was former prime minister Bahjat Al-Talhouni. He refused to let 300,000 doses of the drug be trashed. No American or European country accepted the drug because of its MOTS content. However, through his connections, Talhouni was able to push the drug to be used in several African countries. By 1977 it was on pharmacy shelves in Botswana, Togo, Benin and the Central African Republic. By 1978, Nigeria and Mali approved the drug.

In 1979, a new virus hit the African continent. The only thing common among all the victims of this virus was them receiving at least a one-week supply of Vaxifine. Studies conducted at the University of Leeds and later Harvard University proved that Vaxifine caused a mutation in the human body that allows this virus to penetrate inside body tissues and cause irreversible damage.
In 1982, Jerash International stopped producing the drug. In 1983 it went bankrupt and shut down.

More than 450 studies have been published linking the exposure of MOTS, the same chemical Jerash International was using in Vaxifine, to the development of AIDS. However very few were able to make the link to Vaxifine and are just blaming the initial spread of HIV on sexual exposure by African citizens to monkeyes. Drug companies are not interested in funding any studies to how the virus started because that will not help them sell more drugs. A drug that acts as an antagonist to MOTS was developed in New Zealand but nobody is willing to use because it can terminate all the prophets the drug companies make from selling HIV drugs.

As most of you can tell, the whole story is fabricated. Jerash international and MOTS and Vaxifine do not exist. Bahjat Talhouni existed but he was never a part of something like this. I apologize for to his family for using his name like this. I just made up the story now. The coffee shop I'm sitting in is closing in 10 minutes otherwise I would have made up a more believable story. My point is all these stories about how H1N1 was made up in a certain lab and how vaccinations destroy people are all made up, with one medical study after another proving how safe and effective they are. But it only takes a worthless pig to make up something and put it on youtube for a bunch of uneducated people to believe it and avoid a life-saving vaccine that can usually protect them and protect them and their communities, and worse spread those lies among their family and friends. Yes pharmaceutical companies are godless money-worshipers, but they make up good things.
oh, the picture, just some candy for the eye.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

H1N1 Influenza... Are You Scared?

Good news and bad news. Bad news first, it looks like H1N1 influenza is going to be worse than the regular seasonal influenza that kills 11 thousand people every year. Good news? it's not that much worse, at least for now.

Jordan recorded its first fatality in a 26-year old. The US is recording an unusually higher rates of death among influenza patients, higher than the annual average for this time of year. However, a fact remains that the vast majority of people infected with the virus will do just fine without any medical intervention.

Pandemics like this one are concerning, not only because they kill people but also because the virus behind them is new. We don't know much about it. Nobody knows whether or not the virus will gain more strength over the next 2 months or will get weaker and stop killing people. We don't know if the vaccine will be 100% protective for everyone who receives it. We don't know if children to pregnant women afflicted with the infection will suffer any long term lung damage. However, we know enough about the virus to try to tell that some people, as expected, are freaking out for wrong reasons.

Is the H1N1 Vaccine Safe?
Yes. For as much as we know, the vaccine is very safe. It would have been better if we were able to study it for a few years before it gets released, but there isn't anything there to suggest that it will cause any damage to body organ. The risk of not vaccinating can be very high.
People with weakened immune systems due to chemotherapy or other causes should not receive the nasal form. They can get the injection.

Does the Influenza Vaccine cause influenza?
No, it doesn't. If someone got the vaccine and 3 days later got the flu, it's a coincidence. If you saw a new Pepsi commercial and 3 days later you got the flu, don't blame Pepsi for it. It's the flu season, people get the flu.

Who Will suffer the most from the H1N1 Influenza?
A lot of people who died had other medical illnesses like cancer or severe lung disease. Pregnant ladies are definitely at a much higher risk of acquiring a severe infection. But a third group seems to be at risk: young healthy people in their 20s. Their immune system produces a very vigorous response to the infection that can damage their lungs and even kill them.

Patients might suffer a little bit from the virus itself but as they recover a bacterial pneumonia follows and that can rapidly fatal. A lot of the victims of the 1918 pandemic died that way.

I really really don't want to get the flu, what should I do?
1- Wash your hands continuously. You rub your nose everyday more than you can imagine. The influenza virus can live on your hand for hours.

2- Avoid people who have influenza. They are contagious for up to one weak after the onset of symtpoms.

If someone in the room is sneezing or coughing, leave the room. I just did so. A selfish girl in the cafe was sneezing and rubbing her red nose so I just gave her Ja7ra Karakiyyeh and left the cafe to sit outside. BE SHAMELESS, and if you have the flu yourself, stay inside your f-ing home until you stop sneezing or wear a mask if you really had to leave the house.

3- If someone in your family gets the flu, isolate him/her as much as possible. Don't share the same room, towels or utensils. If someone else in the family has a weakened immune system (from cancer, medications...etc) consider letting them take Tamiflu one tablet daily for 10 days to prevent getting the infection. If a pregnant lady is exposed to someone with influenza for a long duration she has to take Tamiflu. It's nine times more likely that she will suffer a severe disease than non-pregnant women.

And, take the vaccine, both the influenza and the H1N1 vaccine. They're approved for those 6 months to 65 years of age.
Feel free to ask questions.

Friday, October 16, 2009

We'll See You in South Africa

Breaking the silence to announce that we made it to the World Cup. I know that teams like North Korea and Paraguay qualified months before we did, but I was so happy yesterday for the victory against Uruguay. Tough times like these make teams better.

In my opinion Argentina now deserved a rank of around 50 in the world, but this very team will win the World Cup under the leadership of the one and only giant, the king of football, the legend of talent, the emperor of excellence Mr. Diego Armando Maradona


Wednesday, September 16, 2009


It's been a wee full of outbursts and unacceptable public behaviors.
Here's a little preview:

1- The biggest one was a Republican Congressman from South Carolina named Joe Wilson (a.k.a douchebag) yelling at Oabam "you lie" during his speach. Nancy Pelosi, the lady sitting behind Obama, looked pretty upset and she looked like a school teacher who wanted to know who the hell was screaming so she'd bring him and kick his butt in front of everyone. Actually that's what she's trying to do today.

2- Serena Williams was playing in the semi-finals of the US open. She was doubled faulted by the line referee. She got really upset and started yelling at her, " "I swear to God I'm f-ing going to take this f-ing ball and shove it down your motherf-ing throat, you hear that? I swear to God."

The line referee complained to the main referee who gave that point to the opponent (Clistjers). That was the match point for Clistjers so she won the game and Serena was knocked out.

3- A 20-year old singer , Taylor Swift, won an award at the MTV award ceremony. While accepting the award Kanye West, uninvited, went on the stage and suggested that Beyonce deserved that award. Obama himself actually commented off-the-record on him next day with one word that described Kanye well: jackass.

and of course, you start getting jokes next day. Serena Williams is picking up that Congressman as her doubles partner. Kanye telling Patrick Swayze, "Listen I'm gonna let you die but Michael JAckson's death was the best this year".

And here's a nice mix of outbursts!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Gangs of Amman

Congratulations. We have our own gangs now. They're locally made and they serve local customers, now at Jabal Al-Natheef. Al-Jazeera is reporting (check here, in Arabic) on them.

You may think you know what a gang is, but think again. It's not just a bunch of outlaws who steal and maybe kill.

A gang OCCUPIES a neighborhood. It claims it as its own territory. Every store in that neighborhood has to pay a certain amount of money every month to the gang otherwise the store will be destroyed or worse, the owner can get seriously hurt. Nobody messes up with that gang. As the gang gets stronger, it will prohibit whoever they want from opening business there. Then it will disallow other people from walking there at night if they didn't want them to. Remember, it's their own territory.

Other outlaws living nearby will get jealous, and they will form their own gang, and start to take money from local stores. Those gangs get bigger. And because they want more territory, they will start looking at other neighborhoods aiming for expanding that territory. They may clash with other gangs and it can get bloody.

What does a gang need to form? Weapons, which are readily available in Jordan. They also need low-life people, and there's plenty of them. Poverty and unemployment definitely nourishes such environment.

Who can stop gangs? Policemen. But they're not doing anything here, for different possible reasons. First, the problem is widespread (yet), and as long as people are not taking the streets they won't do anything about it. Secondly, it's limited to pour areas, and most people who really have the authority to fight those gangs do not live there or even know anyone who lives there. Another possibility, is that those gangs are heavily-armed, dangerous ones, and the police is hoping for them to dissolve one way or another by... I don't know..... better education and opening a new mosque in the neighborhood?

Yes, Amman is becoming a big city, a scary one too.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Video of the Month

My worst snow-throwing experience was throwing a ginormous snow ball at a taxi driver while he was driving. He got so upset that he drove his car onto the pavement and tried to run us over.

Do you have a bad snow-throwing experience?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Finally, We're in the Semi-Finals

And the top three will go to the World Cup
(damn it, whenever I google Jordan and basketball I get images os some tall black guy)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Jordanian Women Who Don't Work

More and more Jordanian households are starting to depend on the working woman's income. Clearly, Jordanian women are smarter and get much better grades than men. However there remains a big chunk of Jordanian women who do not work.

I like to classify them into certain groups.

1- The Born-To-Get-Married

Those women have no skills. They finished high school but they shouldn't have. Some of them got a college or a university degree afterwards and they shouldn't have, but they really have no skills. They have tried hard sometimes to learn something but they couldn't manage to be useful and no sane work place would hire them. They are the women who studied business but know nothing about business, studied English but can't speak it ....etc. They are everywhere. These women don't work and they shouldn't. They were born to find a good husband and be a great cook and raise children. Strangely enough most of these women end up marrying a loser, their kids go to jail and their cooking is awful.

2- The Marriage-Abused
Those women were working at one point and having a good time but they married a rich husband. He kind of forced them to stay home because the vast majority of Jordanians- men and women alike- believe a woman should not work unless she and her husband needed money. The man is usually kind enough to tell her she needs to stay home as a condition for marriage. Most women agree.

3- The Work-Abused
This a silent group but I believe it's a big one. It includes women who really work their ass off day and night and do very well at their job, but they're not appreciated. They're underpaid, made fun of, talked about in the office for whatever reason, and even sexually harassed. They try working at other places but they face the same difficulty everywhere until they realize they live in a society that looks down on women. When they try to speak up, they're 45 and single and pissed and people think they're pissed just because they're single. In Jordan they become angry and depressed. In the US they become lesbians.

4- Mothers
These women worked because they loved to work, mostly, or they just needed the money, or they just wanted to go somewhere to meet a guy, or they just wanted to work so people won't call them losers, or because their parents needed the money or because normally once you finish college you have to work. Once they got married and had kids, they voluntarily decided to stay home and raise their kids. Many of them have a part a time job, or join a Jordanian woman society, one of those societies that keep Dunes club from getting bankrupt.

5- The Scum of the Earth.
This group is getting bigger. It includes women who got married, usually very recently, who decide to stay home for no obvious reason and do nothing. They have a degree, they have a supportive husband, they even have a maid, and they own a car, and they have worked before and are very healthy, but they decided to not work. I feel ashamed when I remember that I belong to the same animal kingdom that includes those wastes of skin. These women are the reason we have drought, volcanoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disaster like Jad Chouari.

Work Embarrassment

I was at the mall. I stopped by Macy's and bought myself a nice shirt and a couple of great good old fashioned kalaseen. When buying a kalsoon I don't just sneak it in the bag, I open the packet and take out the kalsoon and raise it up in the air to see the reflection of the light from its shining cloth while nauseated people stare at me in utter disgust. I got the shirt and kalaseen and went home.

Next day at the clinic I saw Pam, our physician assistant.

"So Doctor, you were at Macy's yesterday?" She asked
" Yes!" I said
"I work there"
"Yes, I work as part time there."
"I saw you bought yourself a nice shirt?"
"Yes.... I actually.... did.... buy a nice..... shirt"

That was followed by 10 seconds of silence.

"Ok doc, Mrs. Andrews is your first patient today, I'll check her in the room"

Thursday, August 06, 2009


An actual quote from CNN's website:

" A Pennsylvania man who walked into a gym aerobics class and opened fire, killing three women and wounding nine before turning the gun on himself, "had a lot of hatred in him," police said Wednesday. "

Thursday, July 30, 2009

What was your Tawjihi score, and where are you now?

Share with us.

Share with us, especially if you sucked at Tawjihi but are having a relatively successful life now.

رسالة تشجيعية و إرشادية من حريقة إلى كل تلميذ راسب في امتحان التوجيهي

ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط ساقط


* Warning: Facebook has allowed third parties to use your picture.
But believe me narcissists, no third party want to see your picture, especially the 20 pictures you took of yourself while you were testing the new camera.

Also believe me, TRUST ME, even if nobody ever told you so, even if you won't trust anyone in anything in life please trust me on this- Nobody wants to see pictures of your kids. The ones very close to you know how they look like. The ones not-so-close are not-so-close for a good reason and don't care much about your kids.

* If you're Jordanian and you still take a test that tells you what your Jordanian name you deserve and it gives you a name like Jarba and you like the name well enough to publish it on your profile, that tells me how much your real Jordanian name sucks.

* You don't get to send me a "BFF" request if you haven't called me in a year.

* After much thought, I concluded that nobody older than 50 should be allowed to join facebook.

* Never send me a "Mafia War Request" if your biggest adventure in life was taking a Sarvees to Sagf El-Sail.

* Facebook-Status Diarrhea: self-explanatory. It's a mental disease I believe.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Flight ObservationS

** I was looking up tickets between Cape Town in South Africa and Dubai and found a first class ticket for a direct flight for about 5000 dollars with Emirates.

On the same page on I found another ticket with 2 stops for a third of the price, 1800 dollars, also first class. The first part is the flight from Cape Town to Dubai with Emirates, the same exact flight above, then from Dubai to Oman, then from Oman to Abu Dhabi which is pretty close to Dubai.

So what you have to do, is purchase the second ticket with the 2 stops to save 2/3rds of the price. Once you arrive at Dubai, leave the airport and do not take the 2 additional flights. If the airline asks you later why you didn't board on those flights, just tell them you had to take a big fat dump in the airport and were stuck there, which happened to me before but thanks to US airways which never leaves on time I was able to catch my flight.

** I looked up another ticket between Sydney and Buenos Aires. There's a 14-hour direct flight that takes off from Sydney at 11 am and arrives at Buenos Aires at 11 am on the same day! The explanation is that Sydney is 14 hours ahead of Buenos Aires in the timezone. Again, you leave at 11 am and you arrive at 11 am. That should work extremely well for you in the case you're thinking about murdering someone in Sydney. If you kill them at 11 am then take the flight, and the police later accuses you of murder, just say "I was in Argentina, how the fuck can I kill someone in Sydney at the same time?"

Disclaimer: I'm not flying anytime soon, just planning ahead for the 2014 World Cup. I also, in most cases, discourage homicide.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Do you want full freedom of speech?

Regarding my poll that is still active, I asked whether you're ready to give up 20 years of your life to get full freedom of speech.

It looks like a split vote.

Where does free speech end?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

In the Sky

On the 40th anniversay of walking on the moon, the earth gets the biggest solar eclipse of the century.
Lesson to learn: never piss off the sun.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Estudiantes.... Campeon

Estudiantes... Champions of LA Copa Libertadores 2009

and World Champions as of December 2009... sorry Barcelona!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Taste of Treason: Drinking Disi's Radioactive Water

As I have mentioned a few times before, according to a study published at the Environmental Science and Technology journal in February, 2009, Al-Disi aquifer is contaminated with radioactive radium. (Click here for the abstract, published by scientists from Duke and Yale and other local universities). We've heard about an investigation that would talk place. Nothing ensued. Not a big surprise.

Today, it was announced that the contaminated water will be reaching Amman by 2012, six months ahead of schedule.

I am out of words.

Older Than Time: The Napoleon of Amman

A perfect example of grandiose delusions.

(Picture courtsey of my friend Rami)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Bruno, Briefly

Very vulgar
Very explicit
Very offensive
Very inappropriate for all age groups
and one of the best movies I've seen in my life

Sunday, July 12, 2009

MiiiiKro- Blogging for Tamooz 2009: Ala Hobbi Bi Sa7niki Wasbi7eena, Wala Tubqi Khumoral Andareena... Andareena.. Noon

* It was sad to see Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett die on the same day. Things are not going well for white women since Obama became president.

* There's been a debate going on on whether Al-Hajj should be suspended this year because of the swine flu. Meanwhile, all Chinese mosques in Urumqi, China suspended Friday prayers because of political unrest. This shows the irony about China: their policemen are more fierce than a deadly virus but they still can't make a T-shirt that will survive past one-time laundry.

* The CIA announced that Mullah Omar of Taliban is now worth 10 million dollars. I'm afraid he'll be purchased by Real Madrid.

* Barack Obama visited Ghana. He was expecting people there to commend the US on electing a black president, but the Ghanaians said it's no big deal. So far they have elected 12 black men to be their president.

* If you're a doctor and you have patients who wake up after a few days of being unconscious, it's not cool to tell them it's 2013. Sometimes they might believe you.

* During a visit of Jordanian official to Mujeb, a citizen took off his clothes and started taking a shower in public in protest of water being cut off his house.

Immediately afterwards and as a sign of support, a gay group in San Francisco sent him an invitation for a vacation. The group wrote, "You'll be showering with all of us, and there will be enough water for everyone to have a good time."

* I really did enjoy our local Jordanian restaurant in Arizona. It's not only good, but very clean as well. In fact you can taste the authentic Yara soap in your mansaf dish.

* The movie Bruno opened yesterday. In the movie Sasha Cohen plays the role of a very gay man who likes to kiss men on the face and dance with them for hours occasionally rubbing his body against them, or as it is called in Jordan: a wedding.

* A Jordanian woman was raped, and as a punishment her brother killed her. He should have spent 15 years in jail, but the judge cut it to 7 because the man did something honorable by killing his sister.

My only wish now is for the judge to have a honorable brother who will kill him after being raped.

* Michael Moore's next documentary "Capitalism: a Love Story" trashes capitalism as a terrible way of living. The movie is produced by Paramount Vantage, which happens to be the film division of Paramount Pictures, which is in turn part of Viacom.

* 26 men were held in Egypt because they were planning on bombing the Suez Canal. I'm not exactly sure why they were arrested when the only dreaded consequence of blowing a canal is making it bigger?

* I decided to start eating healthy. I bought a big ass salad with an extra Blue Cheese dressing, and to reward myself with this success I ate a cheesecake. Tomorrow I'm giving myself a break from dieting.

* Important advice: whenever you're driving on the highway always make sure your window is closed just in case a bird drops a greenish poop on your windshield then you try to wash it quickly with the wipers but the poop, mixed with water, strangely flies in a semi-circular fashion into your window directly into the lateral space between your eyeglasses and your eyes, lodging over your eye while you're driving at 70 mph

*I'm a little upset that my race in the US is often labelled as "Other" or "Unknown", but I'm glad that at least my gender is not classified as such.

* David Letterman: "Anybody here from Minnesota? Congratulations, you have a brand new senator, our old friend, Al Franken. Al is an interesting guy. Went from being a comedian to politician. George Bush, the other way around."

the picture above is of my fiance-to-be Alessandra Ambrosio. She is a famous model (or singer, actor, not sure exactly). She recently surpassed diabetes and is expected to catch up to smoking as the number one risk factor for heart disease in men aged 12-99. I also would like to thank her for her contributions in the medical field: her urine is used to manufacture aphrodisic perfumes and her feces is used by Pfeizer to produce Viagra.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Four Years of Hareega

Busy but alive, stressed out but happy, exhausted but excited, indifferent but grateful to anyone who has ever clicked a button to run across the green, then brown, then blue, the orange-and-white blog.
Thank You

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Best Screw Up Ever

This 12-year old boy participated in the talent show Britain's Got Talent this year,
he performed a song for Amy Winehouse, but Simon Cowell interrupted him saying that he screwed up the song, and gave him one last chance with any other song.

The boy, Shaheen, chose a song by Jackson 5 instead. He did pretty well.

This earned him an invitation a few months later by Micahel Jackson's family to participate in his funeral, thus providing him with a worldwide exposure he had never dreamed of, especially that he had previously lost in the talent show.

Here's a clip of the audition, you can have to click here.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

All in the head

I had a patient who went to surgery one morning. I went to her room in the afternoon to check on her.
I tried to wake her up but she was still sleeping, recovering from the heavy effect of anaesthesia.

I don't like to examine patients without them being awake, but since her surgery was in the head, I looked around. I had to take her glasses off then looked around the head and found a small wound dressing. It looked a little old to me, so I went to the nursing station to find her nurse.

"Did Jessica go to surgery today to remove her VP shunt?", I asked the nurse.
"Yes, she got back a couple of hours ago"
"Her wound looks a little old though!"
"hmm, I don't think you're allowed to look at the wound, I have strict orders to keep it covered for today"
"Ok, well it was not covered very well...."

Jessica was in room 220. However the nurse took me to room 232, and indeed Jessica was sitting there, awake and talking.

I pulled the nurse out of the room immediately, and asked her, "I thought Jessica was in room 220!"
"Yes she was, but after the surgery we moved her to 232"
"So who's in 220?"
"Adam, the one with the head injury. Just transferred from the ICU"
"Uhm OK...."
The nurses started smiling, said, "did you think he was Jessica?"
"Well they're both blond... and with the glasses I couldn't tell"

There's a good reason I didn't choose to become a surgeon. It would have sucked to amputate the wrong leg, or open up the head of the wrong patient, wouldn't have felt right....

Friday, July 03, 2009

The Future King of Jordan

Jordan's King Abdullah II on Thursday officially named his eldest son, Hussain, 15, crown prince in a royal decree, the palace announced.

A royal court official told Gulf News that "this is a normal process", stressing the timing carries no specific meaning.

"The constitution is very clear. The line of succession in Jordan is explicitly clear, the eldest son of His Majesty is the heir to the throne and the crown prince."

The crown prince position in Jordan carries no political duties.

The naming of the crown prince comes nearly five years after King Abdullah, 47, stripped his half-brother Hamza of the title.

When he became king in February 1999 after the death of his father, Hussain Bin Talal, King Abdullah named his brother Hamza crown prince in keeping with their father's wishes.

But five years later, he withdrew the nomination, leaving Prince Hussain as de facto crown prince but without an official appointment.

The king had the option of either appointing one of his brothers, Prince Faisal or Prince Ali, or naming his son, Prince Hussain, crown prince.

King Abdullah and his wife, Queen Rania, have two boys and two girls. Prince Hashim is 4 years old, Princess Iman is 13 and Princess Salma is 9.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ten Breathtaking, Shocking or just Plain Brilliant Moments in Sports

Continuing on my series of Ten Amazing Moments in Sports (previous ones: here, and here, and here, and here ) ... here are another ten moments in the history of sports that made the world stand on its feet, or just get shocked for a few seconds, showed an extraordinary skill that will never be matched again. Very unusual, strange and freakish moments...

Make sure you raise the volume!

1- Monica Seles Stabbed

She was on ruling the tennis world winning one tennis tournament after another, when a psycho threw a knife at her back during a game. The man was German and he wanted the number #2 player Graf to climb to the number one spot instead of Seles. Indeed she did.

Seles came back to play 2 years later but did not reach her pre-injury level.

2- Wrong Way!! Wrong Way!!
I don't watch 'American' football, but this incident in 1964 happens once in a million years. This Vikings player grabbed the ball and ran with it without any resistance from the opposing team for a very good reason: he was running to the wrong side of the field.

3- Maradona Fighting Back
While playing for Barcelona in 1984, Maradona was deliberately injured by Atheltico Bilbao's defender Goikoetxea. Goikoetxea was proud of injuring Maradona and kept the shoes he used to injure him in a glass box. Maradona suffered severely but was able to return for the second part of the league, and this time Maradona started a terrible fight against Bilbao players. Many of his teammates joined him and the field was a mess.

It took an intervention by the Spanish King, yes the King Juan Carlos to end the war between both campaigns after he called both players together to his palace days later and asked them to shake hands.

Here's the fight:

4- Panenka's Precious Penalty
It was the final game of the 1976 European Championship (Euro 76 if you like!) between Czechoslovakia and Germnay. It went to penalty shootouts. Germany missed a penalty and the Czechs had one last penalty, if scored would give them the championship. Antonin Panenka stepped up and in this critical moment decided to experiment with this new penalty kick. This type of shooting a penalty was named after him. Zidane scored from a Panenka penalty in the 2006 World Cup final.

Check the video to see whether or not Panenka scored.

Trivia: the German player who missed (Hoeness) is currently the director of Bayern Munich.

5- Three Seconds.
This is possibly the most controversial gold medal match in Olympic history. USA and the USSR played the final game in basketball. Up to that game the US had never lost a single game in their Olympic history. It was close game however with the Americans leading 50-49 with 3 seconds remaining. The Russians played those 3 seconds without scoring, however those 3 seconds were replayed three times for various reasons and following mixed decisions from different people. In the third replay the Russians scored and won 51-50. The Americans refused to accept their silver medals. They were sent to them by mail but they returned them. Today, 37 years after the game, the original players of the US basketball team still refuse to accept their silver medals.

6- Answer The Question, Jerk!

Tennis players can get pretty upset at the referee's decision, but nobody was nearly as crazy and rude as John McEnroe. This is one of his very angry moments at the refree.

7- Very Fair Play

Italian footballer Paolo DiCanio was well-known to have bad manners on the field. His career was filled with fights and red cards. However in this game for his team West Ham against Everton, the Everton goalie was on the ground after injuring his knee, and DiCanio refused to score against him. DiCanio, among all others, received the 2001 FIFA fair play award for this unexpected act from DiCanio (who happens to be a very proud fascist)

8- Samir Bannout wins Mr. Olympia

Mr. Olympia is the most elite competition for bodybuilders in the world. In 1983, Samir Bannout of Lebanon competed and won the title, becoming the first and only Arab to date to win the competition. Here is his performance in that competition. He reminds me of my body in 10th grade.

If you're wondering what Jordanian Mustafa Hassanin won, it was an amateur world competition. Great achievment, but it wasn't Mr. Olympia.

9- The Gift

West Germnay played Argentina in the 1990 World Cup final. Argentina played with 10 players after a player was sent off, defended brilliantly and the game was close for a 0-0 draw. However, 5 minutes before the end, Argentinian defender Sensini cleared the ball from Voller. Voller decided to fall inside the penalty kick and Mexican referee decided to call it a penalty. Germany scored and won the World Cup 1-0.

10- Slow, Miserable Death on the Circle.

This is a dark moment in the history of Formula One. In 1973 Roger Williamson was racing in the Dutch Grand Prix when he lost control of his car which caught fire and hit the barriers. He survived the collision but was trapped inside his car which was on fire. Another driver (Purley) stepped out and started extinguishing the fire. No emergency crew showed up to help. There was only one fire extinguisher available and Purley had used it. He heard Williamson's screams from inside asking for help. The first fire truck arrived EIGHT minutes after the accidents. Williamson by then had died of asphyxiation from the fumes.

Hope you liked them,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A Tribute to Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died on the same day. That was a very bad day for white women.

Here's a tribute to Michael Jackson, a real artist who was destroyed by child abuse, extreme stress and whatever he was rubbing on his skin.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Let Them Wear Burka

I think burkas are crazy, and I always look at the woman wearing it (if I can) and wonder why is she wearing it. I even felt like throwing a question at a student working with me once just out of interest to see if she truly believes that me seeing her face will trigger my hormones and change me into an uncontrollable raging bull. What have always prevented me from doing so is my manners, or whatever remained of them. I always felt it was a personal decision by that woman, a result of multiple religious and cultural factors that I probably do not agree with, but the last thing that woman needed is someone who she doesn't know coming on and asking her questions about something like her clothes.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy said in a speech last week that burkas are not welcomed in France. The Parliament is preparing for a law that bans the wearing of burkas in France.

I have a major problem with that.

First, they are banning something because they do not like it. A woman who is shopping or walking down the street is not taking away the freedom from anyone else. She is minding her own business. We should not lock people up because we don't like how they look, otherwise we'd be locking up men covered with tattoos, fat people wearing shorts and Nadia Al-Jundi from existing.

Secondly, they're doing the same thing that the religious police is Saudi Arabia and Iran is doing, chasing women and giving them a fine or locking them in jail because of something they are wearing (or not wearing for that matter). It's exactly the same concept. The French government would lower itself to the level of Saudi or Iranian government in interfering with the woman's own freedom to wear what she wants to wear.

Abuse is another excuse the French have for banning the burka. They assume every woman wearing the burka is being forced to do so by her husband. This is actually true in a few cases. However in France a woman can get a divorce is she is being abused by her husband, and there are shelters everywhere for women who suffer from domestic abuse.

Integration into the society is another concern, but you cannot enhance that by forcing a woman by law into wearing what you want her to wear. Besides, passing such law would cause many women covered with burkas to stay home rather than go outside their house.
If you want them to be integrated you have to influence the way they think, if possible, by many other methods that do not violate personal freedoms. It has to be their own decision to put on or take off whatever cloth they want. You will not suddenly open up their mind by dropping a piece of cloth.

Do not treat a cough by a cough suppressant. Treat it with excising the cancer that's causing it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hard Days for Arabic Football

Arab teams had a terrible week. Egypt defeated the World Champs Italy 1-0 and hardly lost to Brazil 4-3 only to be humiliated by the US 3-0 (Don't forget that the Americans scored a 4th goal that the referee did not see). Iraq failed to score in 3 games and was relegated from the first round of the Confederations Cup along with Egypt. Tunisia failed to score at home against Nigeria and drew 0-0, Morocco failed to score against Togo and drew 0-0 and are now technically out of the World cup.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia failed to score at home against North Korea, drawing 0-0 and giving the North Korean the ticket to their first World Cup in 34 years. Bahrain, Qatar and UAE lost 15 out of their 24 matches in the qualifications.

Don't get me started on Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait and our national team (which lost to Bahrain 4-0 recently).

Egypt's great victory against Italy was a great one but apparently due to a lot of luck and a good goalie. To be fair they played a wonderful second half against Brazil. They can do something, but I'm hoping for Algeria to qualify instead of them to the World Cup. Algeria has been one wonderful surprise so far, they finally woke up after two decades of disappointing results.

Let's wish them the best.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Are Jordanian Blogs Not So Great?

I did a little survey on my blog where visitors voted on the overall quality of Jordanian bloggers. This survey is by no means a scientific and the results may be skewed. Besides, those who voted are actually people who visited my blog. Obviously it's people who read blogs so the results might actually be a little better than what they actually reflect.

Worldwide, most blogs are awful. Most blogs are created by people for no obvious reason and they stop existing a few weeks to few months after nobody really reads them. A lot of them are copy+past+youtube blogs and those are doomed to fail. In the US at least I've been through a lot of "mommy blogs" where a mother, usually a housewife with a kid or two posts stories and pictures of her husband and kids. Those are nor awful blogs, but are extremely boring for anyone who doesn't know the person. Finally there are blogs where you feel the person is trying to say something but you can't understand what are they trying to say, or they write in a bad style or very large or very small fonts or whatever reason there might be to keep one away from reading them.

For that reason I'm not very concerned that a lot of Jordanian blogs active right now will disappear. Mine might be among them sooner than I expect. However I am concerned that we have not had any good blogs in a while. It feels to me like many blogs were created over a period of 2-3 years and some of them were great. They discussed many controversial issues, they used a language many journalists in the mainstream media never used, they had pictures and videos of things we encounter in a typical Jordanian daily life. With time a lot of them faded away, and nothing special came by to replace that vacuum. Besides, most blogs were in English and most Jordanians prefer to read and comment in Arabic. A well-written blog like the black iris is written in English and despite the fact that it's well-written not a lot of Jordanians are able to access its content. Mab3oos is clearly a very clever and humorous guy who often crosses many political red lines in his blog but again, he's writing in English and his blog's name is mab3oos and this is a very major obstacle for people to access his blog. A few other bloggers have very interesting articles and I depend on them in knowing about what's going on in Jordan, but again there are many basic issues that we are afraid to discuss. We're afraid to write something that we'll regret writing later on, or from a random comment an anonymous commentator might drop.

Finally, and I don't have the statistics to support this but it sounds like the case, when it comes to reading news or opinions, Jordanians would rather read a newspaper or watch TV than read something online. We are still not a very internet-friendly society especially when it comes to the not-so-young.

Overall, I don't think Jordanian blogs are terrible, but we have plenty of room for improvement. I'm hoping for stronger, more challenging, more controversial and well-written blogs especially in Arabic to start appearing on the internet. As for myself, Hareega isn't going to get any better, medical school has irreversibly damaged all of my brain cells and 70% of my hair.

June 1993

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ahmadinajhad Won. Accept it.

They had elections, whether or not they were fair is something we don't know and I don't think anyone will have the ability to tell. I hate Ahmadinajhad but I like democracy and when people vote, their opinion needs to be respected. I hate it how the US's attitude towards every other country where if "our guy" wins the elections would have been fair and the people spoke up their mind, but when the "bad guy" wins the elections are unjust.

Let Iranians vote for whoever they want to, and if they're taking the streets and are going bring down Ahmadinajhad let them do it themselves. The last time the bad guy was brought down by a criminal military invasion things did not go very well and it was a country a little bit close to Iran both geographically and alphabetically.