Seven Pounds: Sacrifice vs Guilt

** Don’t read this spoiler if you haven’t watched the film yet.

It left me numb and sad with mixed emotions about life and death, love and sacrifice, guilt and forgiveness. That is how I felt leaving the cinema after watching Will Smith’s latest movie – Seven Pounds.

Seven Pounds, turned out to be seven people this man decide to save before killing himself. People living with severe life threatening conditions, from his brother who needed a lung transplant, to a woman with kidney failure, another blind man, someone in need of a liver, a little kid needing a bone marrow transplant, a woman needing a home and shelter away of her violent boyfriend, and the one he fell in love with and needed a heart for herself.

What drives a man to commit suicide and to go to that extreme measures in order to save other people’s life? Is it extreme depression and pain for his loss of his loved life? or is it extreme guilt for causing a horrific accident that not only killed his wife but killed another six people as well because of a single text message he was sending from his mobile phone?

We tend to judge other people so harshly, and sometimes we tend to be really hard on ourselves. It is really horrible to cause such pain to many people at a time where you don’t expect such turning point of your life. A little mistake that most of us do in a daily basis and get away with. Holding your phone to your ears and talk or click on its keypad sending a text message while driving. A moment later, you end up killing someone! How fair that can be? Life is not fair I know, and I know as well that most of us don’t realize how risky such behavior can be. I know also that we just let go, maybe with a brush over the odds, or with a blind faith of a watchful father.

It is inevidable to hurt people around us in life, whether it is severe or not, and whether it is intentional, act of stupidity or a coincidental act of faith, it might be smart to try to let go, forgive and be supportive to each other, because life is harsh in its own self. It just becomes harder when we stand by watching with spears in our hands to hunt whoever fall, even if it is us who do!

Obama has already done some changes!

“From the first moment a woman dared to speak that hope — dared to believe that the American Dream was meant for her too — ordinary women have taken on extraordinary odds to give their daughters the chance for something else; for a life more equal, more free, and filled with more opportunity than they ever had. In so many ways we have succeeded, but in so many areas we have much work left to do.”
— Barack Obama, Speech in Washington, DC -November 10, 2005

Sometimes people who are very skeptical and refuse to give any hope or show little optimism annoy me. Many people said their opinion about Obama and his so called promised change that he will be bringing to the people of America and as a result to the people of the world. While as most say, it is quiet too early to judge, one can’t help but to point out the different decisions Obama has made in only few days.

He revoked a band on federal funding for international groups that provide or promote abortions. He ordered the Guantanamo detention center to be shut within a year. He ordered his staff to come up with whatever planning necessary to execute a responsible drawdown from Iraq. And he reversed Bush’s order of applying restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.

If that is not CHANGE, then what is it?! He seems a very liberal progressive leader to me. He is tackling issues in terms of a human perspective rather than a narrow ideological one.

And if you still not sure of the amount of change Obama hides under his sleeves, check out the official white house website for his complete agenda

Check out Women and Civil rights pages. Women and homosexuals should rejoice with his action plan!

We are heading towards a better world.

The world has a new language

The chapter of terror is closed. The chapter of war has ended. The chapter of blind dogmas is behind us. The American people have woke up and elected a new leader who can talk the language of humanity, the language of hope not fear as he put it himself. One who is confident enough of the right means that brings prosperity and peace not only to his nation but also to the whole nations of the world.

A new language might be what we just need to start seeing changes in this world. The alphabets of the world leader are very important in shaping the face of communication on this planet. Bush has dragged us down the road back into an old era of human development that is out of time of what humanity have reached to. Obama will set us back on the right track of the human progress, right where we have reached and right where we are heading.

A new face, a new tongue, a new leader with the right language that would set the leaders of the world speeches. Soon we will be listening to a total different news, and we will be having a total new perspective and hope.

Those who would resist are on the wrong side of history (he also said that). They might realize that the train has passed. It is no longer their time for the world is heading forward in a human sense.

It is time to move forward…. Lets march…

اسرائيل تسحب كأس الارهاب

نجحت الحكومة الاسرائيلية الحالية بسحب كأس الارهاب من العالم العربي والاسلامي. فجأة و بعد سنين من المعاناة و الكفاح الشعبي العربي و الاسلامي في وجه الهجمة الشرسة من اعداء السلام لالصاق صفة الارهاب على هذا الشعب، تجد اسرائيل نفسها و بظرف اسابيع قلة، تتربع على عرش الارهاب العالمي بجدارة.

عالم اليوم مختلف عن عالم الامس. الوعي الانساني العالمي اليوم هو في اقوي درجاته. لم يعد المجتمع الدولي يرضى باية انتهاكات لحقوق الانسان حول العالم. البربرية و الهمجية مرفوضة من العالم اجمع بغض النظر عن العرق او اللون او الدين. اسرائيل فشلت في قراءة الحس الانساني العالمي. اعتقدت ان الصاق تهمة الارهاب على شعب يعطيها ضوءا اخلاقيا اخضر لقتل هذا الشعب. لم تعي ان العالم انضج و اوعى، وان العالم يقن ان القتل هو وجه الارهاب، و ان القاتل ارهابي مهما كان قناع المقتول، و حتى لو كان مقيد بقناع شيطان.

تعالت هتافات الناس حول العالم. و بينما تقف الحكومات، الى الان، عاجزة عن وقف هذه الجريمة الانسانية، تصرخ شعوب العالم من وجع الجسد الانساني. بدأت الشعوب تطالب بفرض عقوبات دولية على اسرائيل لاعادتها الى رشدها. بعد عدة سنين من عمليات التجميل التي حملت اسرائيل شبه وجه انساني حول العالم، نجحت الحكومة الاسرائيلية الحالية بتشويهة بضربة عرضية فتحت جرح لن يندمل لسنين عدة.

سحبت اسرائيل كأس الارهاب، فماذا علينا ان نفعل؟

هل نستطيع التصرف بحكمة و البناء على الحس الانساني العالمي؟ ام نقف عاجزين عن لجم مشاعر الغضب المتأججة لفظاعة الجرائم الاسرائيلية و نترجمها في طريقة تعيد لنا كأس الارهاب؟ هل نستطيع خلع رداء الدين و العرق و التوجه نحو العالم بلغته الانسانية التي يفهمها؟

ساذج هو من يرى مجزرة الشعب الفلسطيني من منظار انتصار المقاومة لصمودها. في الحقيقة فاننا اذا اردنا ان نبحث عن شيء ايجابي من هذه الجزرة، نجد ان تعاطف شعوب العالم مع قضيتنا الفلسطينية هو اهم نتائج هذه الكارثة الانسانية.كيف نستطيع البناء على هذا التعاطف العالمي؟

نستطيع فعل ذلك بتلميع الوجه الانساني للشعب الفلسطيني، العربي و الاسلامي،التوجه للعالم بلغة انسانية، لا تحمل مفردات عرقية او دينية ضيقة. بعد ذلك علينا تقديس الحياة الانسانية والتوقف عن تمجيد الاستشهاد و التمسك بالجهاد المدني بدل الجهاد العسكري. ثم يتوجب علينا التوقف عن حمل راية هتلراو صدام حسبن او اي طاغية عالمي و العمل على التركيز على حق الشعب الفلسطيني في حياة كريمة بدل التركيز على دعوات قتل الاسرائيليين.

و اخيرا تركيز جهودنا على وقف الحرب و مساعدة اهل عزة بدل مهاجمة القادة العرب و الاعتداء على السفارات

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MSN Arabia covers Kate Winslet body!

It is funny how international corporations try to adhere to local cultures in promoting their products. Microsoft way seems to cover women’s revealing body parts on their internet channels.

This is how Kate Winslet appears at Golden Globe awards on MSN Arabia.

and this is how Kate really appeared at the Globes.

It doesn’t seem like a general policy of MSN Arabia! There are pictures of women with some revealed shoulders! Maybe it is just a lousy editor trying to show his photoshop skills!

Seems that our news agency petra is not the only news portal who covers women!

Zain’s Social Work

Zain group, the largest telecommunication provider in Jordan, has issued a press release in their annual strategic business meeting that was held in Amman this year. We all know how good these telecommunication companies make, and thus this post is not meant to focus on the company’s achievements and its prospects and plans for the coming few years. This may also sound like a free advertisement for the company, but it is a thing that I believe such companies deserve for the fulfillment of its social duties. It is worth highlighting the appreciation of people of such work in order for other companies to follow up.

Let’s look at what they have been doing socially:

1. Zain has renewed its partnership with the Ministry of social development for the 4th consecutive year in order to be able to provide their social support and donation under one channel. Since 2005, they have been able to help 1120 families in Jordan.

2. They have a Knowledge Competition with a prize of 10,000 JD to the winner which was the Jordan University team this year.

3. Zain is a major partner of Queen’s Rania education initiative ‘Madrasati’ (My school). They are committed to provide around 500,000 JD to the program in 5 years. The program is meant to maintain public school and support educational programs along with providing essential tools for education.
In addition to that, Zain has provided 57 college scholarships last year.

4. 100, 000 JD is Zain’s donations for Gaza, along with opening their centers for accepting people’s donations and providing a channel of donating money through sms.

These are what most caught my attention of their social work. It might be the least one would expect from a company of the size of Zain, but it is also good to appreciate whatever is done in this area.

Jordan Chamber of Commerce, I am impressed!

I am really impressed.
Three days ago, I headed with my business partner to the Jordan Chamber of Commerce to register our Licky-Licious business there because we wanted to add selling sweets to our menu and the municipality needed this permission in order to give us the license.

Of course, going to deal with a governmental entity kept me wary of the potential problems that may arise, especially with our past experience with the GAM and their bad services at Zahran’s offices.

It was Saturday, and we went so early as of 8 AM. The minute we entered the building, a man at the reception called us in a very respectful manner and asked us how he can help us. He then pointed us to another guy that would help us in our application. We moved to the other guy’s desk, which cheered us with a smile and offered us some candies! He then asked for our papers which we didn’t have yet because we were waiting for the guy which we appointed to handle our governmental procedures. The guy of the Chamber asked us to sit down a bit till he comes and few seconds later; he came to us and offered us some coffee!

Our guy arrived few minutes later, we proceeded with the application but it turned out that we missed our rent form which was necessary for the application at the Chamber. Our guy suggested that they proceed with the application in the meantime and we fax them the rent form afterward. Surprisingly, they agreed, and few minutes later we were done!

I am telling you guys, this is a 5 stars service! To sum it up:

1.People were all energetic and awake starting their work at 8 am.
2.They were very respectful and hospital
3.They wear badges with their names on their chests
4.There was NO smoking whatsoever in the Chamber
5.The procedures were simple and clear.

I have dealt with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Chamber of Commerce and the GAM. It seems that doing business in Jordan is not as bad as we think it is. The GAM’s Zahran’s office is still a disaster, but I hope they come around and meet up the expectations of services other governmental entities in this country provide so far.

When governments damage their people

In two weeks, the Israeli government managed to gain more hatred towards Israel and the Jews than what the state of Israel managed to do in the past decade. As bad as Bush’s administration which hit America’s popularity to the bottom, Israeli government had ruined whatever reputation the Jews managed to build for themselves around the world over the years. I am sure there is much anger among the Israelis towards their government for its stupid calculations and immature adventure they have took the whole region into.

The barbarism of their attacks and the large toll of killed civilians managed to kill their reputation exactly the same way we, the Arabs and the Muslims, have been suffering from the bad reputation of suicide bombers. It is all happening with the blessing of the departing American government that have managed to give its last stab to the moderates and peace activates voices in the middle east and around the world.

A small tour among the Jordanian and Arab blogosphere, one would notice the blow these attacks hit the peace process. War bangers, who have been silent for some time, are enjoying the enormous space opened for them now to build on the anger of people. The calls out to fight and kill the Israelis have spread to cover some Arab leaders and the voice of moderation.

Ofcourse some TV stations are building on the business of the war. A huge hit to cover. Arab war analysts are building as well on the emotions of Arab people and give us a fake sense of victory. If Israel failed to erase Hamas from the map then it is a victory for us? How naive are those measurements of victory? Don’t the 700 dead people (till now) speak loud of how severely we have lost? Human life is sacred. Every single kill is a blow to the entire humanity and its universal ethics and moral codes.

In contradiction to the common assumption, the is NO “win-lose” situations in most of the modern wars. Both parties end up losing, and the civilians pay the price. Hizb Allah didn’t win last war with Israel because it survived the attacks! How stupid that line of reasoning can be at a time where the entire country of Lebanon paid in terms of the lives of its people and the infrastructure of the country?

Irrational voices are claiming that 15 years of peace negotiations have failed to give us the peace we aspire for. In reality, radicals and extremists have never allowed the peace process to go smoothly. They exist at both sides of the fence and they both master the play of manipulating the mainstream emotions to their benefits. In reality, military resistance has failed us for more than 50 years now. Violence triggers violence, the tragedy going on in Gaza can easily spread up to cover the entire region.

If we don’t manage to step out now and scream for peace, the 700 dead people may become 7 thousands and even more.

Break up because of their wedding card

I am sure most of us have heard of many hilarious stories about people breaking up few days before their wedding day for the stupidest reasons.
One of the weirdest stories I have heard is about a couple breaking up because one of the fathers, being a doctor, wanted to write “The Doctor flan flan” (his title before his name) on the wedding card while the other father didn’t approve it because people would think of him of being of a lower social status.

What we gloat about the strength of family relations that we enjoy in the Arab world compared to the western countries can be problematic at times when families extend their natural role of support into dictating the lives of their members.

It is not enough that some fathers have to approve their son’s future wife and her family, but they also are entitled to write their titles and their names on their son’s wedding invitation card building on the stupidity of a society that worships superficiality.

The couple mentioned above would have prevented such problem from arising and may be happily married by now if they dared to stand up to themselves and drop off their fathers’ names. But that would be a huge disrespect to the fathers that would make hell break loose and leave them ostracized by their whole families. It is funny because writing down their mothers’ names would be perceived as disrespect for their families as well due to the social status of women in our society.

We may be proud of the achievements of the Jordanian women so far, but sometimes it is the tiny details in a unanimous behavior that we call tradition, and in which it seems impossible to break for we assign a sacred – almost – status to, that wakes us up and states that gender equality has a long way to go.

Individual freedoms suffer the same way.