88 minutes… serial killers!

I don’t usually go for thriller dark or horror movies. I used to do so long time ago at my teenage when I wanted to prove to myself that I am big enough to handle those scary disgusting scenes, and thus horror was my favourite genre back then. With time, I started to figure out that such scenes do reside in my memory and that they would just surface as nightmares whenever I am sick or very tired, and slowly my interest shifted towards romantic and comedy genres.

On friday, I head to the cinema with some of my friends. They wanted to watch 88 minutes. I had no idea about the film, they said it is a thriller but I didn’t know what to expect. The horrofic crime scene at the beginning of the movie made me wonder if I have made the right decision of watching it or not. It didn’t take much thoughts of me as the fast pace and the thrill aspect of the scenes kept me hooked and holding my breath till the end. The script has been written in a brilliant way that keeps you at your toes keeping you skeptical about everything and wondering what would happen next. It has also some deep psychological conversations regarding serial killers that kept me interested.

After the film, I was left with different emotions. In one hand, I was thinking of how secure I feel about my life, and how there is always a chance for a horrific incident that can ruin it all. One the other hand, I was thinking of the pshychological nature of serial killers and how many people would reach this stage and why?!

A few year ago, a trend arose in local weekly newspapers to cover up crime incidents in the kingdom. Shihan lead the way back then. It gained much popularity because of its crime coverage although it was more closer to a tabloid rather than to a credited source of information. There was no professionalism in reporting news, and stories were twisted and created in a way to gain more readers.

Abo Shakoosh (The hammer-er) was the first and only serial killer mentioned in the history of Jordan media. Shihan took charge of covering the crimes and rumors around him. I think that it was pharmacies that he mainly targeted, and then other stores. He used to use a hammer to smash his victims head. People were so freaked out back then. I, myself, used to fear about my father’s safety in his shop. That was new to us, and a sense of insecurity took over the entire country.

A few months later, the police claimed to caught the guy. A lot of people didn’t believe it for sometime and kept being weary. A few years later, Shihan and such weekly newspaper lost their popularity. Crimes were no longer exaggerated and people re-gained their sense of security.

I think that Abo Shakoosh was sentenced to a death penalty.

Serial killers pushed me to face a moral delimma in my views of life. While I am so much aware of the horrofic nature of their acts, I don’t like to demonize people. One has to be too damaged to get that far of killing several people and get pleasure out of it. I went over Serial Killers page on wickipedia. Serial killers seem to lack the feeling of empathy and guilt. Why is that? Is it something that they acquire because of some hardships they faced in their lives? or is it part of their natural genetic inheritance? How much of a free will is there for people committing such horrible acts?

Is death penalty a fair sentence over serial killers? or is it a kind of lack of empathy from us towards some people who don’t know how to stop killing other people?!! I would prefer a life imprisonment where they would be prevented from killing others.

This won’t change the world, but maybe some minds..

“I am not claiming a video can change the world but maybe it can help us change some minds… and that is where real progress starts” Her Majesty Queen Rania

Beautiful what she said on youtube, isn’t it?

I can’t admire her more!

and I say that the same applies here for me…. I am not claiming that a single post can change the world but maybe it can help me change some minds…. and yes, I believe that is where real progress starts!

I have a question for my blog readers, have I ever succeeded in a presenting a different perspective or new idea of something that helps change your view of life? Please let me know.

Our Habits, our Traditions… and our imaginations!

“Imagination is more important than knowledge” Albert Einstein

Another tip from the idea book.

Learn to ignore what you have learnt

How many of us can do that?

Fosbury did. He was a high jumper and medicine student. He participated in the Mexico Olympics in 1968. The point of the high jump is to jump over a horizontal bar. The one jumping the highest is the winner. At that time, there were two ways of jumping over the bar: Dive over or Hurdle over.

Forsbury began to study how the human body works, and realized that the smartest way of jumping over a high bar is not diving or hurdling but in fact jumping with his back to the bar!

BUT how much creativity is appreciated in our culture?

People have this tendency of sticking to familiar things. New ideas and ways of thinking do threaten the norms that people made peace with and are accustomed to. In Europe they had the tendency to burn creative women at stake and call them witches. They might have break off this kind of mentality as the human perspective matured and realized the importance of creativity for the progress of human being societies.

but what about us? How much are we still bind to that way of thinking? Doesn’t *our culture* consider *our habits* and *our traditions* SACRED?

“An idea is fragile” Charle Browe said… “It can be killed by a scornful smile or yawn. It can be mowed down by irony and scared to death by a cold look”

How does a new idea stand against a culture that demonize innovation and trash creativity? Is this part of why we are trailing behind other nations at this point of time where there are much restrictions on our imaginations that kills any attempt of bringing up new things that help us progress?

Would our new generation break up from the bondage of our current culture and fly in the sky of their imaginations?

Untamed Arab API break taboos – SVD article

Me and Nas in an article about Arab blogs in SVD (the second largest morning newspaper in Sweden).

It is only me who write on this blog, and I didn’t say that I do not want to disclose my identity online! I answered those questions to the writer of this article in an email! Obviously something went wrong!

Here is it in swedish.

Social Arena – Social Media Networking of 2010

Our biggest assignment for the young leadership program in Sweden was to come up with ideas for a social media networking solution for 2010. My group, The Frozen 5, contained a Palestinian human rights activist, a Swedish journalist, a Syrian architect, am Egyptian media teacher, and me – Jordanian web developer/blogger.

Inspite of the horrible lengthy debates that took place between us, and the hardship we faced trying to communicate between each other, we were able to deliver an excellent idea, nice prototype and wonderful presentation at the end of the program.

What would we do to help increasing freedom of expression as a social media networking solution that isn’t already out there on the web?

It was a challenging question. We started thinking of what draws us to the internet, and what is the common trait of us – the young leaders participants of the program -. The answer was simple and clear: It is OUR PASSION to defend our VALUES. Isn’t it the same thing that we all share? Isn’t it what made blogging popular?

And so, the idea of creating a “facebook” based on values popped up. A social media network solution where people gather based on their values or issues they are interesting in.

Ofcourse, that was not enough for originality. We needed more, and so we asked ourselves. How do people communicate their values now on the web? What forms of debates are taking place? We looked out there and found message forums, email groups and blogs! All work in a linear form, where someone post a topic and people reply. There is no real HEAD to HEAD debate anywhere on the internet.

That is how the Debate Arena emerged! A place where two people (for now) can go head to head in debating a certain issue/value (see climate change scenario image below). I have always wished to go head to head against Qwaider (:P). Two people challenging each other while having all the resources that they can gather to support their views, and they can invite their friends to support them right below their debate. Supporters (like in blogs) can add comments, they can add videos/images/audio that would help the argument of each contender. And finally, they can vote! A voting that would decide the winner of the debate (if they want a win/lose debate). The winner gets a small icon indicating his win in a debate of a certain issue along with the number of votes he got. Eventually active people in different issues would be collecting many winning icons that would distinguish them as leaders in that area.

We also introduced the friendly arena module which would work as a group arena where people sharing the same values would group themselves, add group feed, and check out which group members are engaged in a debate so that to go and give support.

The project wasn’t meant to stop at this stage. They asked us to think of a potential sources of funding and methods of developing it. We haven’t yet started searching for funding. Today the Swedish Institute Project manager of the program – Wonderful Sweed Javeria – sent us an email telling us that she started looking into this issue to help us (Thank you Javeria).

I personally think that no one would develop this better than people of itoot/ikhbis/watwet…etc. I so admire your work people. I don’t know how much money we would need, and if you would be interested working on this. Maybe I would have to contact Ahmed Humaid? I am just too excited about this project and can see a lot of potential to it.

I personally believe that social arena would grow to help future generation of leaders to emerge.

PS: Don’t steal this idea! 😛

Virginity is overrated

* This post is not for minors!
** Some women might need male guidance! (kidding)

Virginity is overrated! Seriously!
It confines the whole sexual process in one act!
How absurd is this?
or is it not?

I had this converstion with different people
What does having sex mean?

Is it the whole package of different sexual acts?
cuddling, fondling, kissing, hugging, squeezing, oral, ..etc
It is just about intercourse?

Most answeres were the latter!
(what is the religious ruling here? anyone knows?)


What if I decide to skip intercouse and stick to the other stuff?
Does it mean that I am not having sex?
and that I am “shareefeh” (honorable) in the eyes of society if I am not married

DONT get me wrong
I am a married woman now (wooohoooo)

Ops…after a second thought
it can be applied on me as well
I mean it won’t be a betrayal if I did all of the above acts with another man (not my husband) without having intercouse with him

*I am not going to do it, but I am talking hypothetically here*

I know
Intercouse is important to a lot of people
but as every other thing in life
People have different tastes!
Some would just enjoy their sexuality without having to be penetrated! (or penetrate!)

I am, myself, not a big fan of intercourse
I would rather stay virgin all my life!
and enjoy my sexuality at the same time
Is that a bad thing?

Isn’t virginity overrated here?
I mean, how many virgins are out there who do this?
and then hold up the moral card whenever sex is mentioned!

Married Haya!

Licky Licious and the idea book

Licky Licious sales have fallen dramatically in the past two months, first it was Ramadan, and then the continuous drop in temprature. My and my business partner have also been busy, watching the sales going down in a negative attitude, and wondering what does it mean with the approching of winter, and whether we are going to survive through it or not. We were thinking that maybe we can close it through the winter and open back in Spring. This is an option if it didn’t manage to carry up the running expenses.

For a first year in business of a new place, I think that Licky Licious would take a ‘C’ mark. We didn’t profit, but we managed to cover up the expenses and the rent of next year. We did a lot of mistakes, and learnt how to handle a lot of stuff. We managed to add some items to our menu that we didn’t think of when we opened last march. We are optimistic of next year and hoping for better performance.

The big question now is: How are we going to survive winter?

As I said above, the attitude we had was like we will see as it goes! and didn’t have any insight about it. But then, I was just reading the idea book which I brought back with me from Sweden. One of the tips is to write down your ideas so that not to lose them, another one is to try to come up with as many ideas as possible because eventhough not all ideas are good, if you come up with 10, it is more likely that one of them is good, no?

I wrote down few ones that I like to share with you:

1. To find more time to see my business partner. We both are busy and find it hard to sit down and talk about the shop. This should change.

2. Brain storm with friends. Friends can be a treasure of ideas. I love to hang out with friends, and asking for good ideas for LL would be an entertaining discussion. You guys as well can help me here. If you have any idea in your head, just pop it here. I would appreciate it so much. We need to survive the winter.

3. Tea: Adding tea to our menu sounds like a good idea. Hassan, our empolyee told me today that more than one person asked for it, and that people are asking Cafeteria Al Quds for some tea with their falafel instead of pepsi. What do you think?

4. Jumpo ice cream: hehehe, I haven’t tried it yet, but I was thinking of having several scoops in a large cup, the one we serve slush in it now, and add some smashed biscuits, bananas, and whip cream! Go for more ice cream this winter, no?

5. I was thinking of having this special offer in rainy days, like having two scoops for 1.2 jd instead of 1.6 jd now. I need to discuss all of this wih my business partner first, but it sounds like a good idea for me. When it rains, think of special offers at Licky Licious.

6. The idea board: We have a pin board in Licky Licious, we haven’t used it for anything useful lately. I am thinking of buying some sticky notes, and have pens for people to write down ideas to improve the place. That should be fun, and easy to implement.

7. This is a special offer I talked to my business partner with and we are ready to start, maybe starting from after tomorrow. It goes like “Buy two scoops and get a cookie for free”. Our cookies are so good. You have to try it.

Let me know what you think, and what ideas do you have.

Stop waiting..

Beautiful Hiba is waiting. Like many others, she is waiting for a dream, she is waiting for truth, for peace, love, and happiness.

Many are waiting

But many others are drifting

Just like me, drifting in a path of mistery, in a journey with an unset length, a journey that has been good to me, in a way that is keeping me happy, and hoping for even brighter stops, stops of light, that feeds me all the way into a better sight of my surroundings that would be added to my perception.

For all those who are waiting… I say that maybe it is time to stop waiting, and live the real thing of your short awarnace… before it disappears…

My inner leader and Sandi bell!

This is funny, today we had this leadership and gender workshop. The lecturer asked us to take a moment and meet the inner leader of us! It was a weird request, we had to sleep and relax (mediate) and she was guiding us of what to imagine. She asked us to image a place. I don’t know why, but I imagined myself in the beautiful garden of Sandi bell! (Dont laugh), Do you remeber it guys? The beautiful small garden where Sandi took care off and dreamed of her lover Mark. Anyhow, she then asked us to follow a path, and I imagined a road with a green sides to Sandi’s house! I entered the house and my inner leader (which is me) came in! Surprisingly wearing the same jacket I was wearing today! I couldn’t keep up with the instructions of the lecturer as I fall asleep and started snoring! how shameful!

When I woke up, some talked about their experience, she had asked them to imagine their inner leader giving them a box and to open it and check what was inside. I continue my imagination then, and imagined mine giving me a black box, and in it a message saying that I have a beautiful live infront of me :). I believe there is, and look forward for it.

Back to the lecture, which was mainly about leadership and gender. Sweden seems to be so concerned with gender equality, I think they have a Ministry for Integration and Gender. The other day I found this booklet in the Swedish Institute where they have all of those statistics about men and women and their numbers in different occupations and roles. Inspite of the social awarnace and government and non-government work to achieve gender equality, there is still inequality in achievements of women in leading roles. The lecturer pointed out that there has been a study that found that women in middle managerial positions have better skills than men. And that there has been a study in Finland which found that companies with a female CEO makes 10% more profit! That doesn’t mean that women are more competent than men, but it means that women have still to put more efforts and gain more skills in order for them to occupy a position that a man would fill with less skills.

Women around the world have achieved a lot in the past decade, but still they have a long way to go.

Restoring virginity in Sweden?!!!

You won’t believe what I have found in a the second largest morning newspaper in Sweden. It is something that I would expect to read in one of the Jordanian’s newspapers or any other country. There is an article talking about the risks of “virginity restoring” operations, forced marriages, and under-age marrying. Maybe you wouldn’t be that surprised if you know that around 25% of the Swede population has different ethnic background. There is a huge community of immigrants from the Arab and the Muslim world. The issue of immigrants is a big deal in Sweden, in one hand the society is trying to absorb the new comers, and in another hand, there are issues of differences in cultures and traditions and behaviour.

Swedes in general are tolerant people. They try to be very politically correct when they address anyone. Newspapers try to cater for the diversity of people living in Sweden, and there are some special organizations that work on monitoring what goes out in media in order to ensure no discrimination or hate speech going on.

I was happy to know that they have this special system at schools where they have this prequisite for high shcool which is to have students meet people of different minorities. Like for intance bringing a veiled girl, Imam, homosexual, black man, …etc to give those teenagers a chance to be closers to these minorities and ask them about whatever they have in mind.

I wish we can introduce such an initiative in Jordan. It would be a good idea to build more tolerance and harmony in our society. I suggest to bring a jew, a shite, a christian, a black, an american and a homosexual!