Touch is magic

I type each day hundreds of letters on my keyboard. Always in a rush, hitting my fingers on its keys without even looking at it in order to be able to check the output of the letters on my screen.

It is like many other acts that I do in my daily life, happen in a rush, on an auto-pilot mode, having to do the task without really seizing the enjoyment of the moment and feeling the joy of my senses.

The same happens when you eat in a rush, when you drink, when you pee, when you talk to a friend. We become aware that our lives are passing without really living it because there are always other things in our minds that differs than the one thing at hand in the current moment.

Our senses is a gift. Like we forget the magic of every single picture our eyes shoot, we forget the magic of every single tough our fingers type. Typeing on a keyboard shouldn’t be a hectic task of speed and tiresome. It is an interaction between your flesh and the different keys that represent the language which defines your awarnace of the objects of the life around you.

Those letters are not rigid.

They can initiate the most intense feelings and share them with others.

You can be creative.

Play with the words and feel it

L – O – V – E

I can feel your smile now

Y – o – u – r a – w – a – r – n – a – c – e of the magic of your keyboard letters.

And your break from your auto-pilot mode to look closer at your fingers, feel every single touch on each key in joy and love for what they represent and how they make you feel ALIVE.

T – O – U – C – H
is magic

Content is a treasure that never fades off

“Content is a treasure that never fades off” Waheed said the famous Arabic proverb (Al qana3a kanzon la yafna) while discussing developers career paths and future at work.

“If that’s it, then Fadi(me) is the treasure itself” Nadia pointed out highlighting my content of what I am doing at work.

One another incident, coming from home at the morning singing (I have a bad voice, who cares?), and cheering my co-workers with a smile. She said “I envy you, you are always happy?!”

The truth is that while I am happy in my life where I know how to handle my worries and stress by living the current moment with the atmost happiness, I am not really happy about my career achievements so far.

For years, I have been responsible of the User Interface experience of the Web Applications developed here where I work. My work lies in a grey area between Web design and web development. And while I have good software graphical skill along with good technical skill of HTML, DHTML and CSS, I have always felt stuck in between where there has always been little room for improvement from both sides at a company where I am the only User Interface designer among 30+ developer!

The decision came quit late, and after many years, I realized that I have to move on to being a programmer in order to have a decent career improvement at this company. Not until the beginning of this year where I started getting technical training in order to be able to take on my new tasks along with my previous role as a UI designer.

It has been challenging, but yet amusing. My responsibilities have doubled/tripled, and I am overloaded with work now. My co-worker wonderement about my content because they are amazed of my capability of starting fresh at a time developers at my age are studying their options to change to other fields.

Actually I am not a really big fan of programming. I had to make this move that best suits my current situation at the company. I love the challenge and I know that I had reached a dead end before. I was not happy. I read “Who Moved my Cheese” (Check it out, an excellent book) and realized that my cheese is moved! I ran to find a better one.

I feel myself open to anything! I have no clear plan to my career for the coming years. IT is not really my thing, and I recently – thanks to reading and blogging -, I find myself interested in many other sectors to have as a career. I would like to move to a job with more interaction with people. Getting a Master degree would be a good way to work on changing my career, but I am still unsure of what I really want. I am interested in psychology, phylosophy, journalis, communication, art and history!

I have to assess each one very closely and check out how would I benefit from it as a Master degree without loosing my years of experience.

In the meantime, I enjoy my work. Wish I have less working hours, but all in all is good. I find enjoyment in little things. We clap in enthusiasm for having a nescafe break. Sometimes checking out our options of what to drink, hot choclate? Nescafe? Tea?! What to have for lunch?! Sometimes a little gossip, or a joke, at other times a phylosophical 15 mins break! It is always fun when you learn to enjoy yourself and like the people around you.

And one the side, I am enjoying the prospect of opening my own business (Ice cream shop) with my best friend.

There are always things to look for. Let’s grab the chances we get while enjoying the present moment.

The Fruits of our Peace Treaty

Upon signing the Peace treaty between Jordan and Israel 13 years ago. There were much talk and hype triggered by the government of Jordan at that time to highlight the potential benefits of signging the treatment. Most of the talk focused on highlighting the economic gains Jordanians would benefits of with the promised global support and international financial grants.

While the couple of years followed the assignment of the Peace Treaty didn’t bring the amount of prosper people hoped for according to the promises of the government at that time, still now after 13 years of peace, one can look at the Jordanian economy and measure the substantial improvement it gained since then.

One would argue that the Jordanian economy would have made such leaps with or without the Peace Treaty as we weren’t really on an active War with Israel since 1968, but I would disagree because even being on a cold war means less security and progress. People would concentrate on building their future rather than focusing on securing their fences.

Being in a Peace state. Jordan’s people and leadership found themselves in better conditions to focus on their own economic development, rather than spending a big amount of budget on military development. It became easier for the consequence goverments to raise the level of freedom and democracy under a peaceful atmosphere rather than having to dictate high security rules while being at war.

Mostly every economic sector has picked up. Starting from Tourism sector passing throught Medical, IT, Advertismenet, Trade, Finance, Telecommunication, production and ending in the latest construction boom that wouldn’t have taken place in a less secured environment.

Benefits have not been exclusive to economic gains. One can measure clearly the spirit of the Jordanian’s people and espcially our youth. Looking back at the youth of the the 70’s and 80’s generations where they were obsessed with patriotism, war, and national political affairs. It is quite clear how things changed in the minds of our youth where their focus changed from find ways to secure their country, into finding way to build it.

Just recently we have started to hear about various local talents in different cultural and artistic aspects. From singing, writing, painting, dancing, acting, TV hosting ..etc. Jordanian talents are coming finding a healthy environment to come out and nourich.

Accompanied with a media recent boom, starting from local new printed publications and radio stations, and with the promising future of our TV stations with the coming of ATV. Local talents are finding a good support in highlighting their achievments at a time where people have tools to listen and watch.

The fruits of our Peace Treaty with Israel has never been about the USA money grants. The real value of it lies in our own sense of security and our readiness to move on building our country and innovating our future.

It is time to start collecting those fruits.

Jordanian Women and Family Trees!

Have you ever seen a Jordanian *FAMILY* tree?
– Notice the boldness of the word FAMILY –

I mean, the word family should mean the entire family members? right?
Which includes males and FEMALES?

YES, you heard it right
F – E – M – A – L – E – S
In the definition of the word ‘Family’
Females members are included.

But wait,
things are different here in Jordan

To my dismay
And while reading the names of the family tree in the picture above
I wispered in wonderment

A female friend of mine
who happened to be standing next to me answered
‘Ofcourse they do’
‘They just don’t mention their names here!’

And WHY the hell is that? I asked
Mmmm, actually it is shameful to place females names on a family tree!

Oh really?
Shameful?! Like in being 3eb? Like women masturbation for example?

Who said so?

Our culture? Society? Moral heritage?
Or maybe it is just us
Super heroes!

Who find shame in our mothers and sisters names!

While ignoring the real shame
of our cowardness
of breaking those OLD traditions

That should be no longer valid
At a time, the world realized that women are no longer objects!
and are as human as you are BIG MEN!

We need more of Amer Khaled

I just enjoy listening to this man talking on his show ‘A call for Tolerance’ (Da3wa lal ta3ayosh) where he doesn’t only show a great knowledge of our Arabic/Islamic History, but also gives us an excellent example of how a good Muslim can be by being a role model himself.

Being a Christian Arab, and I guess like a lot of other non-Muslim Arabs, I had somehow an identity crisis where my whole heritage of culture and history is dominant by a religion that I don’t believe in. Feeling of pride with our history and civilzation achivements have always been incomplete. Arabs have always been associated with Islam. All of our major contributions to mankind were triggered by the birth of the Islamic state and its life span for decades through history.

Yet, I am still an Arab, and my patriotic loyality is to my race regardless of what kind of a belief system has dominated its history.

Unfortunatly, at school, they only taught us the violent side of Islam. While, they haven’t really taught us – as Christians in school – Islam as a religion, there are a lot of Quranic passages and Islamic literature in our Arabic language courses. Most of those passages highlights the battles of the Islamic state and its expansion rather than highlighting its scientific and social achievments. Maybe it was due to our situation of being at a cold war with Israel, and the need of building potential fighters in case a real war occured.

Having said that, I have managed to love Islam as a product of the Arab race, rather than of having Arabs to be defined by Islam. It was part of our evolution as a nation and even as human being at large. No one can deny the major contributions in every aspect of human life during the Islamic era of our nation.

Watching Amer Khaled does take me back in time of pride. He takes us smoothly in a historical journey where he highlights the lives of some major character whom have defined our History the way we know it now.

With a lovely smile, radiant eyes, and a lot of passion, Amer shows us his love to life and his strong knowledge of his religion and history. He brings out, with solid historical examples, the beauty of Islam and its tolerance. Defying the bad image associated with Islam in our minds and the world minds that were caused by ignorance religion leaders who don’t really know how to serve their own God.

Amer khaled is a national treasure. He makes me feel proud of being an Arab, and brings me closer to my history. He represents what we desperatly need to clear our image as a nation, and for Muslims as a religion.

A good month for The Arab Observer

July has been a good month for The Arab Observer. There seems to be more eyes on this blog than I am aware of. It just makes me feel happy and proud of being able to deliver my thoughts and opinion to this amount of audiance.

Starting with radio Monte Carlo, and as I stated before, thanks to Manal Abu Sham (RedRose), who didn’t only recommend me to Yan Isam Al Haj for his show as a Jordanian young writing talent, but also saved my butt on the show after my awkward shiness nervousness where I couldn’t speak clearly of what differenciate my blog from other blogs in Jordan. She stepped in and talked about the simplicity of my language and the way I deliver my thoughts in a way that reach my readers as a friendly talk rather than a complicated advice.

I was so flattered when Yan introduced me to the audiance of Monte Carlo as the most famous and popular Jordanian blogger! Although I am not sure from where he got his sources, or how truth is there in his claim, I was thrilled with such declaration (with a bit of worry that this would upset some fellow bloggers :P).

In addition to Monte Carlo, I have been mentioned in other printed publications. Thanks to Kinzi, who I call her ‘El bashara’ (the person who deliver good news), she pointed to me that my blog has made it into the super highway section of JO magazine this month along with her blog. After checking the mag, it turned out that they placed a paragraph of my post of dismay about the Palestinian situation and Hamas and Fateh recent conflict.

Kinzi also pointed out that a reader of Viva has written a letter to the editor about my June’s His view article in the magazine. Joan Miller, posted about how much she enjoyed reading my thoughts about masculinity, and said that Not Kind of Man is the right one of her taste. Thank you Kinzi, and thank you Joan Miller.

Along with that, my friend Pheras Hilal, and after reading about my struggle with the municpality that I have written about a couple of months ago on my blog, decided to investigate that subject and publish it on Venture magazine. He has done a brilliant job in addressing the hardship small business starters have to go though in Jordan in order to get their business started. Well done Pheras.

And thanks for all the readers of this blog, for makeing my voice heard.

Satanists are not what I used to think they are!

I have been thinking of writing about Satanists since my talk with Devil’s Mind about it a few months ago. Like many other issues that I was ignorant in, it came to my surprise that Satanists are not what I used to percieve them. In fact, my perception of them – which I am sure is shared among many other Jordanians – is far from the truth.

The linking of Satan with Evil is well rooted in our culture. Being a religious nation and having Genesis as our primary introductory story to religion where Satan is highlighted as an evil person who have costed us Heavens in his evil plan to take revenge against God, it left us with a very little choice of thinking about Satan otherwise, and thus we expanded our vision of him and his followers to be the dark side of our universe.

While in the Quran the describtion of the tree Adam and Eve ate from is purely materialistic (I am not sure if they explicitly say that is was an apple tree or not), but in the bible, it is closer to a myth story like the ones you can find in every nation at that era of time. The tree described in Genesis is the knowledge tree. Satan told Eve, if you eat from this tree, you would know the difference between good and evil, and thus you would gain a feature of God.

So here is the trick which Devil’s Mind explained to me. Satan to Satanists is a symbol of wisdom. They associate it with knowledge rather than evil which other religious people associate him with.

My second surprise was knowing that his version of Satanism is the one where they don’t really worship Satan. Satan is just a symbol for them, rather than a God to worship. A symbol of their seeking of knowledge like any other atheist person.

While I do share with them their value of knowledge, I wouldn’t call myself a Satanic, although in their definition of being a Satanic, I might be one! It is just that my association of Satan with evil is still strong in my subconsious where I find it hard to just see him as a symbol of wisdom.

The whole conversation reminded me of my previous ignorance of other things. Like when I realized that Alcoholism is a disease after having a heated discussion with some other people over the net, or when I realized Women sexuality and their attraction to men’s bodies the same way men are attracted to theirs, or when I realized that homosexuality is not a choice, or when I looked closer to the lifes of prostitutes or beggars.

It is always the same. Us stereotyping a set of people to be evil for being different. It is just a matter of growth where we look closers to the issues, uncover the truth, and learn that no matter how much our differences are severe, we all have the human sense of being good. Even Satanists!

Tune on Radio Monte Carlo 97.40

Hey guys,
Tomorrow I will be on Radio Monte Carlo at 4:00 pm Jordan time.

The show is about Jordanian young talents, hosted by Yan Isam Al Hajj. I was recommended by Red Rose (Thank you Manal) to represent a young writing talent in Jordan, and was chosen for my writings and popularity of this blog.

Along with me, the show will host:
Dima & Lama Hattab – sport
Aziz Maraka – Music
Kawther Saleh – broadcaster at Radio of Jordan/French

Don’t miss it! 🙂

And here is the website of Monte Carlo in case you want to check it on the internet:

مسرح حياتي

تمضي السنين و يمضي عمري معها, ينبض قلبي في تتابع مستمر منذ تكونه في رحم امي و الي ميعاد رحيلي من هذه الحياة. توقف جسمي عن النمو, لكن وعي و ادراكي في نمو مستمر, نمو يوازي سنين عمري, نمو بلا توقف, يسير في ايقاع منتظم كنبضات قلبي, لا يتعب و لا يكل, يستمد قوته من مسرح الحياة,بينما هو متفرج صامت يحاول استنباط المعاني وحل الالغاز
في البداية بدأت بالتعرف على الشخصيات, حاولت فهم لغتهم, واقعهم وبيئتهم. كان هنالك مساعد في البداية, يشرح لي فصول المسرحية كما يفهمها هو. هم في الواقع كانوا اكثر من مساعد, متفرجين جالسين على جانبي مقعدي, في نفس الصف أو في الصف امامي او خلفي. شرحوا لي ما يعرفون وما تعلموه حتى هذه اللحظة. اعطوني كتابين لتاكيد فهمهم: الأول مكتوب عليه “دين” و الثاني مكتوب عليه “علم” . نصحوني في قراءة الاول. قالوا انه شامل, ثابت لا يتغير, لغته ممكن ان تكون صريحة و يمكن ان تكون خفية, لذلك اعطوني عدة ملحقات للشرح. الكتاب الثاني يبدو مختلفا, يناقض الكتاب الأول في البداية ثم يناقض نفسه مع كل تطور جديد. كل يوم له ملحق, يجمع ما يراه المتفرجون في مختلف الصفوف و يلخصه في خطوط تشرح فصول المسرحية. متفرجين الصفوف القريبة يشاهدون الشيء ذاته و يبنون نفس الاستنتاجات, لايعجبهم عندما يكتشفون ان متفرجين صفا اخر يرون اشياء مختلفة. تحمر وجوههم و يبداؤا في تراشق الطماطم.
تتوالى الفصول فصلا فصلا, ما ايقنته في بداية المسرحية, يبدو سرابا الآن. اتعلق بالشخصيات, يزداد تعلقي بها كلما زاد مكوثها على خشبة المسرح, تتبدل الشخصيات و تتبدل الاحداث, اجمعها على الانترنت في “الفبس بووك” افرح عندما اجدها, كانما وجدت فصلا مضى. اجمعها كما تجمع الجاجة صيصانها, و احافظ عليها لأبقي فصول المسرحية مترابطة
المسرح كبير, هناك دراما و هناك كوميديا, هناك رومانسية و هناك تراجيديا. احيانا تكون المشاهد على المسرح في نفس الوقت, اختار ما يجذب عيني, افضل الكوميديا والرومانسية. امسك القلم و اسطر استيعابي من المسرحية حتي اسهل الامور على الاخرين, احاول نقل وعي و ادراكي بوضوح و من غير كذب لانني عانيت من قراءة كذب الاخرين
احيانا اغمض عيني في تعب و ملل, انتظر انتهاء المسرحية, و احانا اخرى تجذبني الأحداث فأنسى انني متفرج و اغوص بعمق في الاحداث كانني اعيشها شخصي. لكنني في معظم الوقت اترقب في شوق انفراج فصولها و معرفة ما يخبيء لي المخرج

How dare you celebrate Petra’s win?!

How the hell we dare to celebrate the victory of Petra?!
How the hell could we break up the culture of grumpness?!
How dare we be happy?
Isn’t being happy a sin?
or *7aram* in Arabic
In fact mostly everything is 7aram Arabic
Happiness is 7aram
Sadness is 7aram
Internet is 7aram
Barbie is 7aram
tjsadhjsh is 7aram
Pick anything, add 7aram, and you would be CORRECT!

But as every other 7aram
You have to justify your claim
Like for instant
Star Academy is 7aram because
“it is meant to take the attention of our youth from other important issues”
Starbucks is 7aram because
“their profit goes to support Israeli military actions”
Women voice is 7aram because
“it may turn on another man!”

Celebrating Petra of becoming a new world wonder is 7aram because
There are people being killed in Palestine and Iraq! Bingo!
And thus,
Jordanians CANNOT smile
Jordanians CANNOT sing
Jordanians CANNOT dance

We should sit in our homes
Watch Al Jazeera!
Swith from one blood scene to another
Fill our anger and hatred gauges
Curse Israel
Curse America
Curse Shei’a
Curse traitor Arabs
Curse anything
Even our wives in the kitchen preparing dinner!

Maybe we can also pick up the phone
Call Al Jazeera
And scream as much as we can
or send a text message that in no time find its place under the screen of any TV channel
Declaring our lack of knowledge in any kind of civil behaviour
Maybe then
We would be *good* Arabs!

Because *good* Arabs are only those who scream
Those who stand in the middle of a crowd
With dozens of body guards around them,
holding guns
Cursing and swearing with every meaningful word they know from the Arabic dictionary.
And stop only for the crowd to clap and chant!

Because we are only allowed to be happy when our leaders give a speech!
And also when a football team win a competition!
We can ignore people being killed in Palestine and Iraq then
Because football is our ring!
It is where we can shout and scream!

The only plausible act in our culture
That is 7alal! (not sinful)
Along with eating! (no pork)