Crusader, Persian, Zionist, Arab??!

It is disturbing to watch war leaders connecting current people with old historical nations to inflict a stronger identity and since of belonging to a certain ideology in order to gain more support of the normal street man.

Yesterday I watched an interview on Future TV with Waleed Junblat. His position against Iranian and Syrian regemes is clear, but what I didn’t like is the manipulation of language that we the Arabs like to use. He called current differences between some Arab countries and Iran as of a confrontation between Persians and Arabs! What does current Iranian citizens have to do with old Persians??! Is it just an emphasies on being of us coming from different races?

Last week, AL-Zahrawi (the second person in AL Qaeda) showed on TV. As usual, he used the same language of Bin Laden and attacked the so call Crusaders and Zionists!

What does current American was againt terrorist organization has to do with Crusades??! Why do we have to inflict religion perspective on a political war? What does current normal American citizens have to do with a middle aged Crusade fighter? Does being Christian make directly mean that someone is a Crusader?!!

I am not going to talk about Zionism as our perspective of it as Arabs differ of what Jews claiming to be Zionist believe in, but it would be the closest thing to truth if they said a war against Zionists because Zionism is still alive and have many followers.

As for Arabs, I wonder if we still can have a since of a group. The current structure of the Arab countries are divided. Each country has its priorities and risks. There is no one unified Arab world, but still we can use the term as we use the term Europians.

Crusaders and Persians??!! They disappeared long time ago! Wake up Bush, wake up Zahrawi, wake up Waleed Junblat. We live in 2006.

How does it cost to place an ad in a church?!

I just came from the Orthodox Swefieh Church in Amman. I had to attend a nice wedding ceremony for a long time school friend.

It has been quite sometime since I last went to church as I haven’t been much of a religious person recently. I was a bit happy entering the church after such time because it always helped giving me this sacred holy feeling that I miss from time to time.

I arrived 10 minutes before the ceremony began. I chose a place to the right front so that I can see the ceremony from a near distance. There was no much crowd yet, so instead of checking people, I started checking the walls of the church with all the art of Saints drawings that portrays europiean middle ages art.

What really disturbed me is all those names of local people and families under the drawings of the Saints. For instance under Saint Paul’s drawing there is some text telling that this drawing is for the soul of the father of xxx Tanous, another drawing for Virgin Mary holding child Jesus with some text telling that this is for the soul of the parents of xxx Shami, a this one for the soul of xxx Haddad and so on!

The idea of selling the Church walls to place people’s names is appailling! It looked to me like a newspaper or street billboard. If people can pay money to place their names on the walls of a church, then why dont we have Coca cola or Pepsi ads for the souls of their inventors! Or maybe Fastlink or Omnia subscribtion ads! They can make those ads with a spiritual sense where people would feel more comfortable with it and at the same time Church can generate more money. Maybe they can instead of painting the walls, place posters that can be changed easily so that they would charge people based on time intervals rather than one time fee!

While I am not much of a religious person, I still feel so much injustice, and a slap to the faces of the all the other christians in Amman. Jesus came to spread his word to all people. He didn’t differenciate between poor and rich, from people who can pay money to the church and those who can’t. When he found some people trading goods in church, he throught their goods and called them children of snakes!

If anyone wants to make a donation to the church he can make it in secret. His left hand shouldn’t know what his right hand does. Isn’t that what Jesus taught us? He warned us of those hypocrites who claim their high moral infront of other people to get high regards from other people instead of high regards from God.

Now that some people have their names written on the wall of churches, how does it cost for me to place my parents names when they pass away?? Do I have to save some money to give my parents their justice as of those names written on the walls? I don’t think that my mother or father is any less of a christian than those.

It is sad to loose the spirit of christianity for some cash! Is this legal?

Funny incidents

Programming Languages
A couple of years ago while I was still looking for a job, I had this conversation with a friend of mine where she was telling me about her cousin who works as a programmer.

I asked her “What language do they work on?”

She went silent for a moment, put her finger on her mouth, and after what sounded like a deep thinking she said reluctantly “Mmmmm, I think…. English”

I fall on my back laughing

Al Bahrain Canal
While driving to the dead sea with my friend 2 years ago. The road was full of advertising billboards marketing Jordan for the investors who were coming to attend the annual global economic forum.

A huge emphasize were put on the big project of connecting the red sea with the dead sea in order to save the latter from disappearing and at the same time help produce more power and water to the surrounding land.

In one of the billboards, there was this huge ad talking about Al-Bahrain canal. I was discussing how many big projects are they initiating in Jordan with my friend. I pointed out how huge the canal project is going to be so my friend said “Yes, I can imagine, bringing water from AL-Bahrain (the Arabic country) to Jordan would be a realy big thing!”

I fall on my back laughing. My dear friend this canal has been called Al-Bahrain because it is going to connect 2 seas not referring to the country of Bahrain!

MSN Window
A couple of weeks ago I was chatting with my friend who had a crush towards this girl.

Apparantly she was added to his msn list. Her status was set to away when he sent her a message that he regretted to sent later on.

So he told me, maybe she hasn’t read it yet. I can just close the window before she comes back and read it!

Poor guy, he thought that closing the window of the msn on your screen would close it as well on the reciptant screen!

I just laughed out loud

The U-turn
When I first took my driving licence. I didn’t know that the U-turn is actually called a U-turn!

Was chatting on phone with my friend where he was describing to me the location of some place. He said “go and turn back at the U-turn”. I said in wonder “What U-turn?” He said “The U-turn at the end of the street ya zalameh”. I didnt comprehend what he meant but eventually I realized that he meant for me to turn and go back at the same direction I was coming from so I get sacastic telling him why is he making up names! Is it because it looks like a U? It is funny!

“No stupid, everyone knows that it is called a U-turn” He said.

And he laughed out loud! :S

Did we really lose our compassion?

People seem to be messed up regarding what is happening in Lebanon these days. The feelings of rage are mixed up with the feelings of sadness and guilt. Everyone watching the news is trying to rationalize his own stand as if it is a personal problem of him. Our history, ideologies, patriotism, religious believes and human compassion work togather to form an acceptable stand that each one of us can live with.

I had a conversation with my collegues at work. I don’t know how discussing a belly dancing men turned to a talk about our current Arabic affairs.

Maybe talking about the male belly dancers triggered some frustration in this guy who is like a lot others are stuggling to manage their own religious and traditional background with the current era of freedom where people are seeing new things they didnt used to see, things that contradict with their normal view of life, morals and believes.

He said “Our problem is that we don’t take actions”

He continued, switching the subject to be about the current war in lebanon, to support his argument “We are not taking any actions now. Like we lost interests. People are being killed and it doesn’t trigger in us the same rage it used to do in the past. Most of us are consumed taking care of his career and daily life responisbilities”

A girl said “We work 12 hours a day, go home exhausted, and don’t even have time to watch the news”

Another one said “We are becoming shallow. So much consumed in our selfish desires”

I say that we haven’t lost our compassion to others. Maybe we don’t feel as bad as we used to feel in the past because our region have gone through much in the past couple of years. It became a normal scene to see dead bodies on TV. Whether in Palestine, Iraq, or Lebanon now, it became a normality in people’s eyes.

While I can see how people feel sad watching the news. I don’t see any selfishness for someone to take care of himself and his happiness. Sure people are being killed everywhere, but it has always been this way. If someone kept his saddness among every single individual who dies in this world, then he would live his life misrable.

Compassion should be a continuous feeling. Not just when we see some bad scenes on Tv. We have many problems in our society. Just walking down the street you can see people struggling in poverty, begging for money on the traffic lights. Others are struggling in secret with their own problems in this life.

Life is full of pain and misery, as it is full of joy and happiness. People shouldn’t feel guilty for the misery of others. Some selfishness is healthy. A person should take of himself first in order to be able to help others.

Do what you can do to help, but don’t let your negative feelings came into rage that causes destruction to yourself and people around. Anger might just help ease a person’s feeling of guilt, but won’t help those who are actually in need for the help.

Jesus on my blog!

As if I need more confusion in my faith. Someone has just popped up and wrote a comment on my blog claiming to be the real Massiah! The one, millions have been following for hundred of years, is just the Anti-Christ as this new Massiah claims!

Seven Star Hand has posted an interesting article about his interpretations for the holy scriptures after I wrote about the so called Prophesies of the Abraham religions about the end of times Christian, Jew and Islamic Prophesies

God save us from the insanity of this world!

Christian, Jew and Islamic Prophesies

I have asked a relgious Christian American about what she thinks of this current war of Israel on Lebanon.

Her answer was:
We are sad by it, but not surprised, really. We do believe it’s a part of what the Bible refers to as “end times” – the wars and rumors of war, etc… also fits in with all the weird weather around the world as well as other things.
Like you, we hope it ends soon and doesn’t become WWIII.
I believe there will be lives lost on both sides, but because of prophesies in Scripture–I believe ultimately Israel will remain–at least for a time–even if this did go into WWIII. Israel seems to play a vital part in the end times (according to Christian Biblical Scripture). I believe Scripture so I believe this. Personally, therefore, I wouldn’t want to be a country coming against Israel.
I am always saddened by war–ALWAYS. I pray this will come to some type of peaceful end soon, but am not sure that’s going to happen

I said:
Have you known before that there are some prophesies as well about a final war in the Islamic teaching?
It is basically the same of those in the bible but from an Islamic perspective where the final word would be for those following Allah.

Sadly, those prophesies would eventually come true, not because they meant to happen when they were written, but because people believed it and are working to achieve it blindly.

We would realize how silly we are when we destroy each other waiting for the judgment day that might never come!

Christians, Jews, Muslims WAKE UP. If any of your God’s exists, he won’t be sitting up there watching his creation killing each other. What kind of God that would be?

Be smart, don’t make those prophesies come true!

Have I grown up or gone astray?

When I was young, the priest who taught me religion at school used to warn us of the devil who is capable of leading us away from God in a very cunny way. My muslim friends where taught by their muslim teacher that the devil can whisper in their ears with bad stuff. We all used to pray for God to keep the devil away.

Some parents and grown ups found a way to use the fear of the devil as a mean to help them in controlling their kids. For instance, when some food fall in the ground, they used to say the devil licked it so that kids wont pick it up and eat it. It was easier to convince us not to eat it because it has became evil rather than because it became dirty.

At nights, I used, like many kids, fear going to bed by my own cause the devil might just appear to me. The priest claimed that making the cross sign would help scare him off. The cross became my sense of security for a long time till I get it off my neck two years ago.

A belief system has been implanted in me, as in other kids as well. We were only Muslims and Christians in class room. Even in our ally, it has been the same. I used to think that we only have two systems. Christianity and Islam, we are right, they are wrong.

As I grew up, I became to aknowledge the similarities between the two religion. I became to realize that our universe is full of different belief systems. There is Jews, Hindus, Buddhism, Agnostics, Atheists,..etc.

Why would my belief system be the right one? Have I been lucky to be taught the right thing while others are misfortunate? My poor friends who dont believe in what I believe, do they have to end up in Hell?

I start questioning my relgion, as well as other religions. People like to argue, and they like to point out what is illogical in the way others think. It didnt help much in making me jump to their faith, but it helped for me questioning mine. I kept my questioning to theirs as well.

When you start questioning something in a system, with time, it makes you question the whole system. A normal reaction would be fear, stop thinking, close your mind and stick to what makes you feel safe. But life doesnt just go this way. Information keep on hitting you in the face. Use your brain. It keeps working by itself anyway.

I came to a point where I can tell that nothing is certain in this life. Even scientific facts is being altered, changed, and argued upon. Would I toss a coin and decide to follow a certain God? Or keep my mind working leading me to riskey places where I fear much of a Godless univers?

A delimma most humans have endures at some point of their lives. Am I being tested as religious people would say? or have I grown up and learnt new facts of life?

My land?

The idea of giving someone’s own life for his land has been injected in my heart since childhood. The feeling of sacrificing is honorable. I have always wondered whether if a real war happens I would be a man enough to fight and give my life to protect my land or not. The idea used to scare me, but I have always knew that I would push myself and most probably do it.

I have grew up in Jordan. Since childhood they stamped in our minds that Palestine has been stolen from us by the Jews. Coming from Palestinians origins, it has even a bigger impact on me as a child. I became aware that I have a land that have been taken from my grands by force. My job is to take it back. At childhood my dream became to work hard in order to get my land back.

They never taught me the other side of the story. All what I grew up to learn is that Jews are evil. In my brain, I didnt use to percieve them as human beings as us. The daily news of the activities of the Israeli soldiers towards Palestinian civilians only helped increase my rage. My source of news has only been our side of the story. I have never thought of why would they do this to us. They were inhuman and immoral to me.

In 4th grade, the idea of having a one big arabic nation became my second dream. Grouping the forces of several small countries would only lead to a strong force that would free my land and put us back on the top of this world. They claimed that Imperial forces divided our nation to make it weaker. I didnt know at that time that our nation was even weak under the Othmanian occupation inspite of being one big land. It was one big land under occupation. BUT the conspiracy theory ideology has been injected in my blood since then. The world is conspiracing on us ‘the Arabs’ (wonder why!), they want us divided and weak, that is why they planted Israel in the middle of the Arab Land -This is what my teacher told me-.

1990, I was in 6th grade. Saddam hussen invaded Kwait. I couldnt comprehend why he did that at that time, I percieved it as a way to bring Arabs togather, as of it not being an invasion but somekind of a union between 2 Arabic countries. I was so naive back then. With some couple of missiles Saddam shoot on Tel Aviv, he won my heart. I couldnt comprehend why other Arab countries would fight Iraq back then. I believed the lies of the Iraq force, and dreamt that he (we) would win the fight.

Fortunatly he lost, I thought of it unfortunace back then, I cried. My dream has evaporated. With time, I learnt more about the division between the Arab countries. It wasnt a union. It was a conflict of interests. Iraq occupied Kwait the same way Israel occupied Palestine. Our Arabic ties between coutries are even worse than between other coutries around the world. I learnt more and more about Saddam’s regeme opression, and how his people were suffering under his rule.

I became more and more aware about the opression of the leaders of the Arab countries. Israel seems to give its people more freedom and human rights than any other Arab country. We are so much consumed of fighting each other.

My perception of the world matured as I grew up. I have learnt that you can’t judge people based on their race, country or origins. I have much differences with my fellow Arab people around me. My ideology and mentality matches some and differs with many here in my country, amd it does matches some and differs with some in other countries as well.

Fundamental religious and terrorist groups seem to threaten my way of living and existance more than what I learnt to be my enemy of Israel and its allies the US. Being against my enemey doesnt mean that you are my friend. The delimma between me feeling of patriotism and being faithful to my values teared me up.

I became to value human life anywhere. A life of a human became more important to me than any land. The war between us and Israel has last long. Many Arabs and Israeli have died. I dont want to hear about more death. I want people in west bank and Gaza to start living a decent life. I know that they can do that. There are good people in Israel as there is in the Palestine. We can work togather in peace.

We ought to stop this cycle of violence. We are humans regardless of our races. Sure we can live togather if we played it smart. Let us push those extremists of authority on both sides, they only lead us to death and destruction, let us rule with love and compassion.

Numerology – The Arab Observer

It always caught my attention these mysterious things. I believe that everything in this world is related somehow, but I am not sure if someone can tell things by reading numbers, a cup of coffe, or a hands palm.

Neverthuless, it is a funny practice. I worked up “The Arab Observer“, check what this blog is supposed to have as negative and positive traits.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

The: 2+8+5=15 —> 1+5=6
Arab: 1+9+1+2=13 —> 1+3=4
Observer: 6+2+1+5+9+4+5+9=41 —> 4+1=5

6+4+5=15 —> 1+5= 6

6. Positive Traits:
A strong sense of responsibility, artistic, a nurturing disposition, community oriented, balanced, sympathy for others, a humanitarian, unselfishness, love of home and domestic affairs, freely renders service to others.

6. Negative Traits: Self-righteousness, obstinacy, stubborn, dominates family and friends, meddling, egotistical and susceptible to flattery, outspoken

Here is the URL of the source site:

Yacoubian building – Our building!

I finished reading Yacoubian building novel two weeks ago. It is so interesting to the degree that I kept on reading it continously till I finished it in two days (nearly 6 hours). Alaa Aswani is a brilliant writer, he did reflect social problems in a very good way.

Yacoobian building doesn’t differ much than any typical big building in any society of the arab world. Those problems exists everywhere. The other day while going into our buidling, I noticed this young guy (around 24 years old) who used to wear normal stuff like other guys his age these days (jeans and t-shirt), in the past year some changes started to show on looks and way of dressing. His beard started to grow heavily, he changed the way he dresses and start wearing those white dresses that religious muslim people wear. I am not saying that he is becoming a terrorits, and I have no idea of how much he resembles the guy in the novel who turned into being a terrorist, but I am a bit concerned watching those quick changes in him. I know that it isnt right to judge people based on their appearance, I am not judgeing here, but merely point out that he reminds me of the character in the novel.

We have a neighbour who married a his second wife secretly behind the back of his first wife. He had a secret relationship with her for sometime then married her behind his first wife back. When his first wife found out it was almost 2 years marriage. She got crazed and asked him for a divorce. He reminds me of the other character in the novel who married the widow woman in secret. This problem has been discussed heavily discuessed in Egyptian series before, and it continuous to happen till this day.

I wonder how many working women who lives in our building had to deal with sexual harassment at work. While they all seem wealthy enough (unlike Bothaina in the novel) to not accept such a behaviour, this issue is widely spread and most probably some of them have faced or are facing something like that on different levels before.

We don’t have poor people as of those who lived at the roof of the building except of the Egyption guard of the building who left his country in order to make some money, and is struggling to deal with the men and women of the building who are enjoying making a boss on him.

We have also a christian family living in peace with muslim families around the building. Sure there are many teenage problems that werent addressed in the novel. And we have also a gay guy like the one in the novel!

It is an awsome peace of literature that managed to capture some big problems of our society. I just wonder how many Yacobian buildings we have around?!!!