Interesting celebrities in the streets of Milan!

What to expect when you go to Milan with Polimoda students of Luxury Management on Milan’s fashion week?

I have never really been a big fashion fan, the ultra expensive clothes and the glamor of brands has always been beyond my comprehension and interest. My relation with fashion has merely been built through my father’s own boutique and the bold and the beautiful! Recently I got to get closer to this world through my friendship with Haitham (a Jordanian fashion designer, he participated in LBC’s mission fashion, and now studying Luxury Management at Polimoda Florence).

The Milan trip was arranged by Polimoda for its students as a field trip to check out the city in its fashion week. Ofcourse, the day plan was to visit the boutiques of the most luxurious brands shops in Milan (prices are insane!). There were many fashion shows taking place in the city and thus a lot of fashion icons were roaming the streets of Milan! I wouldn’t have recognized any myself, but Haitham was all alerted! “This is one of the Fendi sisters!” He whispered to me. “Really?” I said. The next minute I saw him talking to her. Apparently she turned out to be Silvia Fendi! Then while we were walking, I heard him saying “OMG Francois Pinault!“. I was like “Who the hell is Francois Pinault?”, but he sure didn’t hear me as he was walking fast to catch up with Francois and talk to him! I later found out that Francois is the owner of PPR group which owns Gucci, Givency, Balenciaga, YSL and other luxury brands! He is also the husband of Salma Hayek! He obviously was on his way to attend the Gucci show in Milan! (According to Forbes List of billionaires (2008) he is ranked 39th in the world, with an estimated fortune of US$16.9 billion.)

Haitham rushed to tell his friends at Polimoda about his encounter with Francois Pinault while they were checking Alexander McQueen’s store in Via Monte Naploeone. While in store, I saw a tall man coming down the stairs, and I heard Haitham saying “Mr. Mario?”. Mr. Mario said “Yes”. So Haitham introduced himself to be a student at Polimoda from Jordan, and Mario stated that he visited Jordan many times. Haitham then asked to have a picture with him, and I took it myself. I didn’t realize then how big that Mario is. He turned out to be Mario Testino, one of the most important photographers in the world. He has done photo shoots to many important celebrities including a lot of VOGUE covers and editorials. He sure visited Jordan many times as he photo shot Queen Rania on different occasions!

Lama Hourani, a Jordanian Jewelry designer, has also been showing her new collection in Milan. I made sure to go and check it out as well. I love her work. She is really talented. We were good friends at school. She has always been talented and ambitious herself. I remember her room filled with celebrity pictures where we were teenager. I have been following her news in the media from time to time. It is good to see her coming this far. Check out her website here

Coca Cola has also contributed to the city of fashion with huge fashionable Coca Cola bottles in different areas of the city. It was nice checking out each bottle different design while walking the streets of Milan.

It was a nice experience for me getting to know more about the fashion world. I know that Dubai has been taking some good steps to be one of the major fashion capitals of the world. I wonder if Amman can make it one day. There is a huge amount of money in this industry. Queen Rania is much respected as a fashion icon herself, maybe one day she will end up having Jordan on the world’s fashion map.

Queen Rania: We don’t need process, we need projects on the ground

Two days ago, Queen Rania gave an excellent speech about the Palestinian cause at the University of Yale in America. I have never seen before such a logical, strong argument done in such eloquent, passionate, and respectful way that talks out the suffering of people of Palestine. I believe that Queen Rania has certainly touched the hearts of the audience and anyone who was lucky enough to watch her speech.

She didn’t just highlight the problem and brought attention to it, but also called for better actions and presented a true solution. She said:

We don’t need process, we need projects on the ground

Projects on the ground, this is exactly where we should be heading. We no longer need long processes trying to achieve peace, we need to act, today, and do whatever we can to bring people together and give better lives to people in Palestine.

I will leave you with the speech that brought tears to my eyes.

I am enjoying my stay in Florence

It has been 4 days since I arrived to Florence to visit my friend who is studying at Polimoda – a Fashion Design and Marketing School -. From first sight, one would realize that it is hard to compare Florence to Amman. Florence is a very old City with a river crossing it and small roads that connects big buildings who are aligned next to each other with no space at all and are roofed with red bricks. It is hard for people to ride their cars in the city and thus a lot either uses bicycle, motorcycle, small cars, or walk. I have seen really weird small cars around with some moving on 3 wheels instead of 4! I wonder how brilliant/efficient of an idea this is!

As a tourist – not having either bicycle, motorcycle, or car – I have to walk all the way in the city to reach the places I am heading to. Thank God my friend is an expert in the city as he has been living here for few months now. He keeps on directing me around, and I keep on wondering if there are any shortcuts that he is missing and would spare us some of that long walk! To be honest with you, I am not used at walking like this at all, in Amman I barely walk! I think that I can safely say that I have walked here in the past 4 days more than I walked in Amman for my entire life! The first 2 days I couldn’t really sleep well because my legs were hurting from walking! I don’t want to bitch about it, as it is a nice experience that let me know the city better.

One of the things that I find interesting in the city is the naming of places. The city is know for its history and importance in the middle ages and the renaissance especially for its arts and architecture. Most of the names of places and monuments are derived from Christianity, and thus you walk from “Piazza de Saint Spirito” (the Holy Spirit square) to the “Piazza Della Signora” (Virgin Mary’s square) to the Trinito bridge (the trinity) to many other Christian named places where at some point you feel like in a Christian heaven. As a Christian myself, although not religious at all, it still gives me a feeling of home/belonging especially with all those churches bells ringing from time to time during the day.

As for the people of Florence, I see it for myself now, I can tell you guys/girls that yes that Italian people are – indeed – good looking :). You hardly see anyone with overweight, maybe it is due to their life style, they are also fashionably and colorfully dressed with beautiful women in the street who are not worried of hiding their body parts from men who can’t control their sexual appetite. You can see love spread up all along the river borders and bridges, with young couples embracing and kissing each other, showing a beautiful display of affection that we miss, sometimes, even inside our homes.

Two trends of dressing that caught my attention here where I think they are weird and of poor taste are: 1. Red and pink trousers for men! Even old men wear them! 2. Women wearing boots in the summer!

What I like the most in Florence is the amount of people in the streets. People are just out, chilling and having fun in a city that is pedestrian friendly. I just wish we have more public areas in Amman where people can just go out and enjoy their time.

Hugs to you.. Jordanian Women

This post isn’t meant to call for any kind of action toward achieving better results in terms of gender equality, and this post isn’t meant also to condemn current cultural heritage or social practices that pose challenge to Jordanian women lives. This post is truely and sincerly written to show my deepest respect and admiration to whom we consider to belong to the weaker gender and who prove day after day to be the tougher one.

I don’t know if it is just me or not, but I feel more humanity in Jordanian women in general than Jordanian men. Maybe it is their inherited tenderness mixed with their aquired toughness to meet up daily challenges that have been imposed on them through the years.

Throughout my life, I have been blessed to come closer to many Jordanian women and observe their different stories and struggles. My admiration is spread to cover every single woman I have met in my life whether she has been a woman who “fit” in the social norms or not; because both that one who “fits” had to work hard in order to fit, and those who don’t had also to work hard to stand up for themselves and pay the consequences of not fitting.

I feel like giving a hug to the woman who work hard to make a better life for her family, to the woman who endure an abusive husband for the sake of her children, to the one who do so because she fears life without him, and to the one who stood up for herself and demanded her freedom only to end up losing her children and struggling each day to make efforts to be closer to them even from a distance.

I feel like giving a hug to veiled women (spiritual hug) who deal with different social dynamics as well with their own internal characteristics.; those who are more at ease to break bridges than others and those who feel more at ease in building ones around themselves. I feel like giving a hug to non-veiled women, those who cover their body with a social veil and maintain their virginity to their husbands because society demands so, and those who try to manage and play with the space of freedom they allow themselves, and those who do break the boundaries of social freedoms and are strong enough to claim their rights to their bodies and their sexuality.

I feel like giving a hug to that Jordanian woman who is comfortable with her sexuality and who is mature enough to have sex partners based on her own personal desire and decision transending every inherited and imposed social rule around us. I feel like hugging that woman who identified herself to be a lesbian and who realized that the matching of the terms “Jordanian Woman” and “Lesbian” is a match from hell and still know her odds and proud of herself.

I send kisses to all of you, to every single one of you, to every hero of you, mothers and sisters, wives and daughters, the presumed weaker gender, the tougher one.

Cheers and happy Eid..

"All men are equal" That Is Not True!

There are some values in life that you just take for granted, you never question, and you build your moral compass on top of it. You use it as a based to judge people and draw conclusions about life and people’s behaviour. With mostly everyone around you believing the same, you end up embracing these values to be the only truth out there with little to no chance to even think of otherwise possibility.

And then again, one day, and with a single line you read – a line that is formed of couple of few small words – you got hit with a clear fact that shatters your moral direction and send you in a twirl of thoughts trying to reassess your entire set of values, your perception of life, and your accepted code of behaviour.

That happened to me yesterday while reading “The Winner Stands Alone” book by Paulo Coelho. I was hit with a simple truth that left my mind occupied trying to process the implications of this truth and weighting its meanings and volume. Paulo has simply pointed out that “all men are equal” is a big lie that has been decided by a mad man and in which we all follow. In truth, all men are different.

For me, the line seems to carry a big deal of truth, but at the same time it challenges my core value of equality between human beings. Isn’t that what most of us are obsessed with at this stage of human evolution? Aren’t universal equal rights what we all aspire to and are vocal about? But then again comes the real question: How can you apply equal (same) laws on different entities? Is that even possible? and how fair that can be? I mean if you for instance apply a law of food portion onto two men, one who gets satisfied by an X amount of food while the other don’t and thus he breaks the law. We have the same law here, but it isn’t fair for the latter, is it?

Can we have then custom tailored laws for different people knowing that each individual of us is ineed different in a way or another? or does that mean that the notion of equality is overrated and the truth is that there is not – and won’t ever be – real equality in this unfair world? Will it matter when we embrace our indivdual differences and cater to our individual needs rather than what fits better to the majority of us?

Life is not fair, I have made peace with that fact long time ago, but have always also believed that we can try to make it more fair than it currently is. Today, I am reassessing my beliefs as it appears to me that while trying to inject more fairness in our lives by coming up with universal laws, we are hurting some others who are simply different and can’t abide with those laws.

Would the answer be in human compassion? It doesn’t sound like a good option to me with its current universal state, and while it has improved dramatically in the past decades as we evolved, it still needs time to come full in length to be able to stand alone and claim the answer for human equality. Untill then, the answer will remain: No, all men are not equal. We are all different.

Life can be a fairy tale… and more..


If people believed more in fairy tales instead of just listening to their husbands and parents – who think everything is impossible – they would be experiencing what she’s experiencing now, being driven along in one of the innumerable limousines that are slowly but surely heading for the steps and the red carpet – the biggest catwalk in the world.

Paulo Coelho – The winner stands alone

That is the power of dreams, the magic that sparks from the eyes of *some* people who we call *ambitious* and who do know more than anyone else that they are destined for glory.

Sometimes dreams do sound big and distanced, and sometimes life’s hardships cloud our paths, but then again, we do always hear about real fairy tales for ordinary people who dreamt, believed, and achieved.

So why can’t we -all- be Cindrellas and float in our own dreams? Life can be a fairy tale… and more..

Policemen in Jordan beating a helpless man: This is NOT acceptable

Update: I got this on Twitter:

silentempire @TheArabObserver this was in 2007, according to this post

The article says that the spokesman of the Public Security Department Major Mohammad Khatib pointed out that this video is an old one and has been taken on 2007 in an incident where the man being beaten up has provoked the policemen in the video! And that the security department makes sure to monitor policemen so not to break the law.

I, personally, don’t think this is enough. I want names of those policemen to be published and for us to know how they were punished exactly, and what measurment has the security department take in order to prevent such events to occur again.

I really can’t believe that this happened in Jordan! Policemen CANT be allowed to act this way. Those bunch of policemen should be punished for what they did.

Move this forward and raise your voice so that authorities take actions in this matter.

Like Girls Grow Breasts When They are Older, Some of Them Grow Penises

As a kid, I was bombarded with rules and stereotypes about gender. It was always a boy/girl dichotomy. Way before I had any idea about sexuality or puberty, I was taught that boys love girls and girls love boys and that’s how the world works. But what seemed like a universal law didn’t make a sense to me. I was never interested in girly things. I cut my hair really short and played soccer and climbed rocks. I deduced, therefore, with my young logical mind, that my feelings for girls could only mean one thing: that I was actually a boy. How else could I have crushes on girls? So I came to the conclusion that, like girls grow breasts when they’re older, some of them grow penises.”

That is a testimony of one of the lesbians girls in a new published book called “Bareed Mista3jil” – It is a set of letters (short stories) of Lebanese lesbians talking about each themselves and how different are their stories and struggle with both their gender and sexual identities.

There are many touching stories in the book, this one hit me the most because of the picture this woman draws of a young girl who loves girls, and who thought that because of the common norms of society, she must become a boy, and that God will fix the problem eventually when she grows up and grow her a penis!!

The girl continues her story by explaining how she finds out that some girls do actually love other girls and that she simply has different sexual orientation. That made her more comfortable with her gender as a woman.

Bareed Mista3jil is an excellent read, it gives you a broader perspective about the diversity of human beings in terms of gender and sexual identities in relations to the particularity of the Lebanese society.

It is a must read – You can find it at Books@Cafe or order it online from the Books Cafe website here for $16.95.