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Hamza's Chronicles





Updated: 2016-01-29T22:57:29.902+03:00

 



The Beginning

2010-03-27T00:27:13.510+03:00

I have received congratulations over the last week more than I have received in my entire life, from the close relatives around me to all the friends spread around the globe who flooded my facebook page with their congratulations for my "engagement".The day of the "tolbeh" was last Friday which was pretty busy as I had to wake up early to go and pick KJ who was coming from Dubai and was staying in my house. We went and watched an ex-blogger's baseball game who has become more serious, especially after he got hitched. It made me think a bit of how much will life burden me with its endless commitments and whether I'll be able to keep my spiritual young spirit or not.As we were in the mood for an exquisite delicacy for lunch, we hit "shahrazad" in downtown and sat to eat from their famous "3arayes", a meal that was too heavy and left my body agitated and my mind handicapped. By the time I got home, I was too cold and tired that I thought that the best way to shake this off is by taking a nap.I woke up 15 minutes before my actual meeting for reading the fat7a. my mind was still recovering as it was set on "auto-pilot" and tucked myself in my navy blue suit. I was the last one to get into the car and my body was still trembling from the chilly weather rather than stressful situation.We were three cars when we arrived at their house. I realized that we had my grandparents, my uncle and my aunt (who I see for the first time since I arrived to Jordan). I went and greeted them and without any further introduction, we rang the bell and we went in.I scanned my surroundings. Parents –check. Grandparents –check. And then an unfamiliar face. I noted to myself that I need to investigate more and I was hoping he is not the guy I have in mind.My grandfather started with his quiet voice making the official proposal in the form of a speech , which was welcomed by her grandfather. Upon the agreement of both parties, we had to follow the tradition of drinking the coffee…Wait a minute…I have to drink the coffee?As her brother got near to me, I start communicating to him with the silent language similar to that scene in "how I met your mother". I tell him not to pour me coffee, and he nods with his eyes "oh yea, you have to drink the coffee". allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='https://www.blogger.com/video.g?token=AD6v5dxcCJB1tGZLy99jkywVo6ZijyIdUEANPvHUTIWUm1zrFL4vjBDJ3KOCAX4SqK-9cL0CxrS3c5KlvD0II4wNDw' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />So as everyone raised their cup to drink their coffee, I raised mine, looked at the dark liquid simmering the cup and placed my lip at the cup and raised my hand at the same proportion I raised my head. I am fine as long as my mouth didn't have to make any contact with it.After reading the fat7a and had few moments of silence, my grandpa started. "sob7an Allah how Amman changed over the last 100 years, Back in 1920, when I used to work in Landscaping…", oh here we go, my grandpa went on to narrate for us a story that I've heard over 10 times about how he was asked by Government to divide the lands among the citizens of Jordan who did not understand why he was doing that and how the circassians have put a bounty on his head before he fled to Syria.During that time, I felt I was being studied by the "unfamiliar face" I referred to earlier. He is sitting still studying every detail of me with the only thing moving is his thumb that touches the pebbles of his rosary that never seemed to finish. Other than my cheesy smile, I couldn't make eye contact for more than 10 seconds. I noticed how he knelt down and whispered to my fiance's brother something in which the brother said my last name. 10 minutes later, he whispers something and my hometown is mentioned. After each response, I notice how he nods at me as if I have passed the required checklist. In my head, my doubts were confirmed. He was definitely the protective uncle who have spoilt her since she was a kid and he is the one who is going to be very picky especial[...]



Burj "Dubai"..What's next?

2010-01-06T08:22:12.451+03:00

4th of January 2010 was a special day. Not only for Dubai, but for UAE in general.

Many of us, who were unfortunate to join the masses in celebration of opening the tallest tower in Dubai, were glued to their TVs and were thrilled with the opening ceremony, especially with the fireworks that enlightened the tower. However, The fireworks were not the only surprise we saw.

First, we were all taken by surprise when we saw Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum declare in his opening statement the new name of "Burj Khalifa". If you saw the opening statement, the Sheikh looked a bit startled. I don't know if he was thrilled for the significance of the event or is it because of the announcement he had to make of renaming the tower. Was it like the surrender and giving away one of Dubai's unique babies as a gift to the Government for its continuous support (through Abu Dhabi) especially in its bail out when Dubai were faced with the Dubai World Restructuring minor hiccup?

On the other hand, offering the name might have been a sincere gift to show the unity and the synergy among all the emirates who cooperate rather than compete.

Personally, I still have my reservations on the "Khalifa" tower. The Tower is a Dubai project and part of Dubai's vision. I think it is unfair to see it being taken away like that and being named after the Ruler who didn't even bother to attend the opening of such a world class event

The second surprise was in the announcement of the final height of 828 meters. Deferring the announcement could probably be to avoid leaking any info pre-completion of the tower to any potential competitors especially after the announcement by Saudi Arabia to build the "Mile" Tower, who didn't commence their operations awaiting the completion of its rival "Burj Dubai". It is too early to say whether Burj Dubai will achieve between 80 to 90% occupancy considering the challenging living environments at the higher floors. I wonder if building the "Mile" tower would be feasible or not and whether it would be worth it or not. It would be silly to see buildings being erected to compete on who has the tallest tower. I won't be surprised if the future holds for us apartment ads providing "Cloud view" or ads saying "You can now bid farewell to your loved ones as they board their flights and fly by you...RIGHT from your room".

Earlier this day, I shared with a colleague of my thoughts on this. He said: "حفاة عراة يتطاولون في البنيان" (referring to an old Hadith by the Prophet PBUH describing one of the signs of Day of Judgement are those who slander in structures). Well, many people might share this opinion. Despite all of that, I think that UAE should be applauded for their continuous achievements in development and in setting another icon in the form of highest point built by humanity.




What are YOUR Standards?

2009-12-31T20:15:29.397+03:00

2009 marks the end of the first decade in this century. A decade that was full of life changing experiences. Thankfully, 2009 was a successful year for me on many aspects especially on the personal level. I've talked about some of those here.So what's next? the keywords for the next decade would be career progression and stability.But let's start with 2010. I'll keep my resolution simple and focus on just revising my own standards. I need to draw a line and focus more what would interest me and make me comfortable rather than adapt and accept my surroundings.Workwise – fast paced vs slow paced, systematic vs adhoc. I've been working in the same workplace for the last 2 years. Despite few mishaps here & there, I am relatively happy. I am empowered to a certain extent and I have access to a lot of resources to learn. I've learnt a lot over this period. My concern remains on my marketability in the job market and how I should always thrive to build myself without getting too comfortable and laid back in my current position. It would be pathetic if I reach a stage where I spend 8 hours daily with the only motive is receiving my paycheck at the end of the month. On the other hand, there is nothing that guarantees that any other workplace will not be worse. I could end up working in a place where you are competing with your colleagues who might attempt at succeeding in their career by riding on your shoulder and stab you in the back. That's just an example of things I haven't experienced yet and plan not to.Friendship- shallow vs deep. You have the friends who are there just for fun, for a game of cards, or for a pool game. Their probable reaction for your expression of "this is worrying me" or "I have a problem" would be either sarcastic or "good luck". Well, the positive thing about such friendships is learning how to become independent as you keep your problems to yourself without having to rely on the influence of others. At the same time, it is sometimes a blessing when you treat others the same way without feeling obliged to be nosy on their day to day activities or problems. On the other hand, your deep & close friends are there when you least expect them. They feel your pain and would jump at any opportunity to assist you when possible. The feeling is mutual. I can't deny my joy when I feel that I've managed to assist someone in overcoming a hardship they face. Part of that depends on the community you live in. The kind of friends I had in a social community similar to the one I had in my Bachelor Degree was entirely different than the ones I had in my postgraduate degree society.Lifestyle - Experiences are relative. A Jeddah resident's lifestyle is different than a Dubai resident's lifestyle. Someone may claim that the standard of living in London is higher and expensive than Jordan. Then maybe it is time to question your benchmark. Did it ever occur to you that if you are paying 0.60 SAR (0.16 CDN) for a litre of gas in KSA ( making it cheaper than water), compared to the 0.95 CDN per litre for gas in Canada, that you are living in a relatively cheaper place than the world's average. In a world where majority of countries impose income taxes, you should be thankful for living in a place with 0 taxes.Few luxuries here & there make a difference. Living in a landlocked place with no access to sea vs a city on shore, living in large cities where commuting between work & home can be hours vs a small city with access to necessary areas is in minutes. During my brief time in Canada, I recall how commuting from my college to home and then rushing to finish errands before the shopes close at 7 or 8 p.m. Night life is usually concentrated in few areas and mainly on weekends. The only form of night life there would be in form of clubs or bars. On the other hand, here in the gulf, people start dining after 10 p.m. Shops don't close before midnight. Night life is always there with the addition of a little spice & extra events on weekends.I am concerned [...]



Yellow

2009-12-15T09:06:33.067+03:00

Woke up with this feeling.

the feeling of being Yellow.

My fruits for the day are:
1- Bananas
2- Pears
3- Yellow Apples (I don't eat those that often)

I am looking around me and seeing how this color is materializing in my life.

All my post-it notes are "Yellow".

I guess I am not the only person who ever felt that way. Ask Coldplay.

here is my personal experience with it:

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and let me end with the universal color of all IM messenger smileys






Memoirs of Sharm El Sheikh

2009-12-04T19:49:49.752+03:00

I don't want my blog is slowly turning to a travel guide blog. This could be due to the lack of any action here in Jeddah. This time I will highlight some of the funny/awkward moments where I expressed my known discrimination and sarcasm against Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians, Russians and mostly myself. So that's another warning disclaimer to stop reading if you think I am offensive.First Day in Hotel, morning buffetApparently, we are not the only ones. The hotel was being assaulted by a shami group. One of the annoying kids (who regularly features on the other events of my stay) approaches me: "3ammo 3ammo..7otelli min hadi….7otelli min hadi….katerli min hadi…7otelli hay…hadi labneh willa jebneeeh? 7otelli 3ammo" – sara3 rasi and I filled his plate with all what he wantedNoon session after playing on the tubes:I am waiting for my brother to go and get the money to pay while I sit waiting. Next to me, I managed to overhear An egyptian guy sitting by the beach bar attempting the following:"eeeeeh…eeeh.. I am Akkountant….eeeeh…eeeh…my name iz ahmad….heh…heh…"'daa daa" –Russian girl responds with a nod"eeeeh….eeeeh…wanna sleeeb on za biich?"WHAT THE..this was just his 2nd line"daa daa"I hope she is understanding him. The rest was awkward as he/she escorted him to one of those beach beds where she introduced him to her parents and they all shook their heads.I had to leave by then, I wish I stayed there to watch the rest of the sceneSecond Day, morning buffet:The Syrian Kids are in action again. Apparently one of them is being introduced to mushrooms for the first time. So, here we are waiting at the omelet queue, and these 2 kids are screaming at each other:"Beddak feteeeeeeeeeeeeer?""shuuuuuuuuuuuuu?" "Feteeeeeeeeeeeeeer feteeeeeeer""Shuuu? Shu ya3ni feteeeer?""lek feteeeeeeer feteeeeeeer, hayya honeeek"Snatches a peace with his bare hands and shoves it down his mouth:"hmmm..taybeeeeeeeh kteeeeer…yamoooooooo shooofi shu jebet ma3eeeee" and he ran away to his momSecond Day, noon session:This guy is talented. I will leave this video to say it allSecond Day, Night:Sunday night, the night of the big game of Real Madrid vs Barcelona. I was sitting with my brother by the bar who was supporting his favorite team in the company of other fans who have been watching quietly……Till we hear familiar voices:"lek ta3a shooooof, lek hadi mobarat barcheloooona wi reiaaaal madriiiiiiid….shoof messi, messsiiii, MESSSSIII…..Allah Y7AYEE ASLAK YA MESSSSSIIII.."Third Day, Diving Trip dayI had to wake up at 6:30 a.m. We were supposed to go to Tiran Island but we ended up going to Ras Mohammed. It seems that trip was scheduled yesterday but has been postponed to today because one of the divers was drunk yesterday. Damn the Russians and their vodka.As we were passing by hotels to pick the divers, I realized that most of them were Russians. The universal conversation with all of them was something like that:" dobroe utro""Dobroe utro, Daĭving ili podvodnoe plavanie….""da da…"The Russians were heavy smokers and looked fishy. The most threatening was "Katrina" with a standing posture similar to this girl from sin city (without the gun of course)Me and another guy from holland were the only non-russians. Communication was difficult as none of them spoke English. My heart was slowly sinking to my feet as I saw the Russian white army flag being raised on our sailing boat4 hours later…At lunch, I was approached by the Egyptian cook. "where yooou from?" – rush of thoughts to my head..If I disclose I am an arab, then the Egyptians workers will be all over me, if I don't, then I can't say I am European, I have curly hair…I kept talking my brain the way Homer simpson does "don't say something stupid, don't say something stupid, don't say something stupid""I am Venezuelian" - D'OH. Why did I say that??AAAAAAHAn hour later"AAAAAAAAAAH WILLLLLAAAAAAAAAA…Muntaha mzabteh 7alha….tab3an maheye[...]



Four Seasons in 10 days

2009-11-06T22:40:12.908+03:00

In my last holiday, I have experienced an unimaginable new level of thrill. The timing, the weather, the locations, the activities and the planning were all factors that made this one of the most memorable trips of my life.Geneva (2 days) – Spring Season (18-20 Sep) Our first stop was in Geneva. It was very green and exceptionally colorful. Geneva is known for its great lake and for being a good city for cycling.As you walk in the streets of Geneva, you feel its classy style, its richness, their prude care to discipline. You feel that the city is speaking to you and telling you "you are lucky to be walking my streets". Geneva is a quiet city but not a boring one. The streets are busy with people who are walking, dining, sitting in the parks or by the lake side. As I've said earlier, the best way to explore the city is by cycling as the roads are wide and it is well facilitated for that.Personally, Geneva has a special place in my heart. It is where I learned cycling for the first time. Yea I Know I know. I was lame and I didn't know how to cycle when I was a kid. After half an hour of trying and falling, I learned how to balance myself on the bike in spite of the mockery of a group of bystanders who were waiting for me to get frustrated and return the only bike available for rent to the store. Oh well, I toured the major parks in Geneva for over 3 hours before realizing how stupid I was for dehydrating my body while fasting. Yea, my consciousness was killing me and I felt obliged to fast the remaining days of RamadanGenevaInterlaken (4 days) – Fall Season (21-25)The place may not sound familiar and that is what's great about it. It's a small town in middle of Switzerland. Its residents speak German.The best thing about this place is its location. What more can you ask for from a place that is between two lakes (on the east and the west) and between the Alps Mountains (from the North and South). They have one major central park and the views and the sceneries and the landscape you experience are among the best you might ever enjoy in your life.Four days were barely enough for Interlaken. There was not much to do at night other than dining (such trying the infamous "cheese fondue") and relaxing, which was compensated by the variety of activities that you perform during the day that can range from skydiving, paragliding, hand gliding, canyoning and skiing. I personally did paragliding (a very relaxing and enjoyable activity. You are in the air before you even know it) and canyoning (rappelling and doing impossible jumps is not my thing. I will leave such stunts for Lara Croft. But the water was refreshing despite its temperature being 3 degrees Celsius).Another must see site that I happened to know about when I was there was the "Mystery Park". I caught three shows there: "The Contact", "Maya", and the "Megastones". Each show is 15 minutes in general shown where they use holograms and 360 screens to narrate to you a brief and simple introductory about the history behind each story & site.InterlakenJungfraujoch (1 day) – Winter Season (23 Sep)It was a one day trip to the highest railway station in Europe. It is referred to as "top of Europe" with an altitude of 3471 meters. It is in one of the summits in the Alps Mountains. There are 3 basic sites to visit here. The Ice Palace – a small walk through a gallery of sculptures made of ice, The sphinx observatory – a place with a 360 panoramic view of the mountains. You will find a variety of restaurants that you can choose to cater your food appetite. Finally, the open area where you get to hike, play winter sports such as sledging and airlifting. And of course, nothing beats getting an "ice sun tan" (tan that you get from reflections of sunlight on snow..or whatever they call it)JungfraujochNice (3 days) – Summer SeasonAway from the luxuries and quality life, the extreme sports, Nice is a city that target tourists with a sp[...]



Ramadanian Thoughts II

2009-09-17T18:26:06.348+03:00

I know that we are reaching the end of ramadan and this post might appear later but I was inspired after publishing last year's Ramadanian thoughts and this year I had few more
___________________________________________________________

for the last couple of years, the radio stations in the area no longer plays songs in ramadan. They would play some of the silly 10 to 15 comic shows, and between breaks, they would play "anasheed". The Nasheed genre is a growing genre and at a certain point in time almost all arab artists have done at least a nasheed or two. But really, what's the difference between a nasheed and a song? there are 2 definitions I've heard so far:

nasheed - is a form of songs with limited use of musical instruments. Usually there are no melodies, electronica and tunes and the beats tend to be drum based only - I don't know what's the source of this but I heard of a hadith on the prophet where Aisha was celebrating Eid and there were of girls who were celebrating with only drums and the "arabic daf" - so maybe that's why those forms of instruments are accepted. I don't know if they had piano at that time, would it be allowed or not?

The other characteristic is that the topic is not about love and it should be about islam or religion.

However, over time, I saw that there are many anasheeds that are using more instruments and are covering different topics like kids, marriage and parents. So really, I can't see where do they really draw the line and the difference between a song and a 'nasheed'.

Some of the favourite anasheeds tha I like are for sami yousef "you came to me" and this one.
__________________________________________________________

Another habit that some people adopt in ramadan and especially the last 10 night is the act of "i3tikaf". It was encouraged by the imam of the mosque in his last jumaa prayer. Unfortunately, when I went to pray the other day in the mosque, I was shocked by the bad smell and how dirty the mosque was. I am not against the i3tikaf but the sight of dirty laundry, smelly blankets and pillows is just not acceptable and unless there is a mechanism to keep the mosque clean, then I'd prefer that i3tikaf is not performed.

__________________________________________________________
Leilet Al -Qadr is better than the prayers of a 1000 months. If you do the calculations of 1000/12 = then this is equivalent to 83.33 years, which is more than average lifetime of a person. So my idea is if you manage to catch one leilet qadr in a lifetime, then this is more than enough.

So for all the potential travel partners who use the argument of "but if we travel, we will miss Leilet El Qadr which is probably the 27th night", I confront them with my logic. Assuming that you sincerely pray on the odd night numbers of Ramadan, I guess that the chances of scoring one Leilet Al Qadr night is higher than gambling on the Roulette.

P.S: it is ironic that I convinced my travel partner to fly yesterday (i.e. before 27th night) and my inner conscience couldn't help me but to schedule my flight today after I prayed last night. Gosh, I am such a hypocrite. Oh well, he will be enjoying a day more in the Alpes Mountains before I join him. :D



Status Update

2009-09-14T10:24:17.801+03:00

2 months of no blogging.

I was just not in the mood

between vacations in jordan and in palestine

yep - palestine for 4 to 5 days where I roamed toul karem, beit la7m, ramallah

too bad I couldn't go to jerusalem

but at least I went to the nativity church

loved it

spent 2 weeks in jordan as well

wanted to go to syria but...

passed CFA Level I

which is bad news

this means I am now obliged to finish level II and level III to continue it.

I am planning preparation for that in November

workwise, I got promoted. :D

I am on twitter as well.

although I don't like it. you have to tweet daily and frequently otherwise, your tweets will be surpassed by other twitters

overall, I am happy with my personal achievements in year 2009

I anticipate updating my "relationship status" soon. :D



TAG: Eight Meme

2009-06-20T15:11:59.273+03:00

I was tagged by Asoom around one month ago. At that time, there might not have been many interesting things to talk about. So here it is:8 Things I'm looking foward to- finishing "Dead Space" - arrival of the watch that was ordered over a month ago and is still touring the world.- praying in AQSA Mosque this summer (if possible)- meeting a "special" person. :)- Syria Trip and possibly ziad Rahbani Concert- "Distant Heat" ft. Armin Van Buuren- Reform of my current organisation - to see where will I fit workwise in the new structure- Finishing "Pillars of Earth"8 things I did Yesterday:- diving and seeing many new types of sea creatures- getting sunburnt even after using SPF 25 sunblock- testing the new features of my new cellphone - NOKIA E75- initial packing for my trip next week- arranging my papers and my files - mostly bills- working on my anger management skills on responding to those mockers on facebook who made fun of italy losing to Egypt - living for a couple of hours in the dark side as I reached the final boss in "Dead Space"- working on a farewell party for a colleague who is leaving us8 things I wish I could do:- learn the jumping ropes techniques- stop overthinking- be photogenic - buy a major stake in ACMilan - I am sure I'd do better than cheap arrogant berlusconi- plan a "chlorine" bomb for someone in the office - not mentioning names- understand and be inside the head of those people I care about - get in touch with 4 of my classmates in primary school- work in a radio station8 shows I watch:- Prison Break- 24-Heroes-Lost-Numb3rs-Smallville-How I met your mother-Scrubs8 things I love:- AcMilan- Mechatrinus- My 1000 piece puzzle- My lala land- CampFire Mocha - from carribou coffee- Creative marketing and uses of technology- My insane, twisted scary mind- the few influential people who are always there for me.[...]



Toronto's Miracle of Runway 24L

2009-06-15T16:03:23.646+03:00

It has been over 2 weeks since the incident of the Air France Flight 447 that departed from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. I am sure that many of us are either following the case or at least aware that it happened. whenever I travel, I tend to mute those 10 minutes where the flight attendant wastes her breath in describing to us about the safety procedures in case of accidents. I find it pointless to listen because if the planes gets into an accident, my chances of survival are minimal. As it was the case with the in most of Air Flight Accidents, like the recent Flight 447 incident , all of the passengers end up dead.I said "most" coz there are few exceptions.I still remember how 4 years ago we were sitting in our home and discussing with my dad on what date should we book our flight to Canada. I wanted to relocate 1 month prior my postgraduate school so that I can manage to settle in Canada and get used to it. My family were thinking that they might as well spend part of their vacation there as well since the weather in August tends to be amazingly interesting.Our flight was initially booked on 2nd of August 2005. I can't recall the events that happened but for some reason, my dad decided to change the booking by one day and make it on 1st of August. We departed early morning from jeddah. After spending a transit period of 4 hours in paris, we took the Air France flight and arrived to mississauga 1st of August afternoon Toronto time. For many of us, it was the first time that we experience a long 16 hour flight. So it would be normal that all of us would be suffering from the jetlag. I remember briefly walking around the town before I realized that all shops were closed. Apparently, it was the Civic Holiday. With nothing else to do, I went home and slept.I remember waking up around dawn and seeing dad sitting on the tv and watching the live news of the incident of Flight 358 (ironically Air France as well). Briefly, the plane crashed at Pearson Airport the next day as it was landing under severe weather conditions. As it was landing on the runaway, it didn't reach a complete stop and evenutally hit a small ravine. A post fire started later that destroyed the plane. Luckily no one was killed. the thanks goes to the alert flight attendants that managed to get more than 309 passengers within 90 seconds only. What's more interesting is the emergency responses arrived to the crash site in less than 52 seconds.you can always click on the link above to know more about what happened. What this incident shows is 2 things:1- the myth behind surviving an air crash does not only exist in fictional tv series like "LOST".2-If Air France was one of the options available to me, I'd definitely take it. At least they have a track record of one successful evacuation while the others have either none or were lucky not to experience such an accident. in an attempt to teach me a lesson about destiny and life, my superstituous father says:"see, i7med rabbak. We were supposed to be on this flight. Imagine what we could have gone through. But Allah protected us from this and inspired me to change the booking"I said: "Hell no. I'd take my chances of being there. I'd experience the thrill and action of it. I'd have a cool story to tell my friends and I get to be a millionaire when I sue Air France, Airbus, and Pearson Airport for the so claimed psychological damage they would have caused me."[...]



Brain Implosion

2009-05-30T12:07:47.808+03:00

My life is about moving from one obsession to another. I am becoming recently obsessed about the preparation for CFA exam Level 1 that's coming up in exactly 6 days. I have planned well for it. I started studying since December last year. Considering that I have to read through 6 books where each book averages around 450 pages, you can understand why the CFA Institute recommends at least 250 hours of study.The problem that you face with such exams is that as soon as you finish reading the material in book 6, you find yourself that you forgot what was in book 1 and book 2 and you tend to go back and forth. With the financial background that I have built over time, my main problem is not with complexity as much as it is with the gigantic volume that you have to absorb. What strains my brain more is the fact that I am studying while having a full time job. So you can imagine my schedule these days as I come back from work at 5 p.m. Eat and rest till 6 p.m. and then I study for another 4 hours before I head to bed. That was my routine for the last 2 months.consequences...? well, I am setting a new standard for nerdiness and suffering from the aftermath of "overstudying". As I am practicing more questions from the QBank available Schweser study material (over 4266 questions that I feel I am obliged to finish..lol), my performance is sloping downwards (wow, I am using mathmatical terms now) as I am overthinking questions and arriving to wrong answers where the right answer is simple and just in front of my eyes.Despite all of that, I am trying not to let this shake my self-confidence. So far I've did well and managed to celebrate my birthday that was few days ago CFA-free. A brazilian lunch featuring grilled meat served on swords, and having a 'facial' (LOL) were few of the things I did to make it a bit special. Few weeks ago, I received the following from the CFA institute. It was a considerate move from them that left a smile on my face. I tend to consider this the best birthday gift I got. I will leave them for you to see and enjoy[...]



Bewildering interruptions on the beach

2009-04-18T11:00:22.331+03:00

I have given up. I wish I can find a peaceful place where I can enjoy reading my book. I can't read at home unless I am going to bed. We don't have many bookstores here (actually, we have only one) and if you read there, then you'd most probably be kicked out during prayers time. 

Coffee shops are full of people who either smoke or talk loudly, watch a soccer game or stare at you like you are some kind of an alien.

So, I decided to go to the beach. I'd dive, swim a bit and get a chance to read my book. 

We came a bit late, We couldn't find a shaded area to sit under. I picked a spot against the wall where there is a little bit of shadow. I open up my book. Let's see what's up with williams in "Pillars of Earth"...
"WELCOME TO HOOOOOTELL CALIFORNIAAAAA..." one of the 3 British guys next to me decided to explore his vocal talents with his horrendous voice. He sang on 3 unrecognizable songs while he was lying on the floor and tanning. 

so I changed my location and sat next to someone's umbrella under whatever shade I can have. I kept on reading. Oh man, this Alfred is such a jerk...

"yee, sheftee hayda keef 7almat bazazo wa2feh..hahahaha.." 

what the...? the voice was coming from my left..3 lebanese women are sunbathing and checking the guy who just passed by them...7elmat bzazo wa2feh...I didn't even know that girls even check this out...DAMN

Time to move somewhere else. I managed to find another spot that was empty after it has been evacuated. Ok, no lebanese women or british guys next to me.  only a jordanian family were sitting next to me. It can't get bad.

So back to the world of my novel. Poor Tom, I hope he will better luck when he goes to the castle and...
"ta3al ya 7amoudeh, ilbes" the jordanian woman calls her fully nude 3 year old son who was running around in joy after being freed by the limitations of garments.

"khalee il walad yetshamas ya mara, a7san mayfoot leilet il dakhleh mlawan..HAHAHAHHA" said the husband 

I was :|...that's it, this is the last time I'd attempt reading at a beach. I put my book down and spent the rest of the day swimming. What's different this time is that I kept checking my nipples more often.



A moment where I wished I had Moses Staff

2009-03-31T14:29:37.642+03:00

Few days ago, I was asked what was the most embarassing situation I was ever in. I drove on my memory lane where I passed by many (and they are alot, trust me) incidents that left me red-faced in embarassment. But nothing is comparable to what happened to me on the dawn of my 5th semester at university.my phone rings: "so hamza, any plans for dinner?""hmm...actually not""ok, fine, I'll pass by you later to pick you up and your friend and we'll go out. You'll get to meet my sister for the first time too"Yeaaa. She was the first among our group that got a car and since that day, we no longer took the University bus that took light eons to drop us at the city centre. With the car, we can even listen to the music we want and...Oh Memories.So that night, the 4 of us decided to dine at the "Automatic" Restaurant in Sharjah near the corniche. I don't know what was so automatic about it since the dinner takes ages for it to be served. We even have doubts about the quality of oil its being used. We believe that they cook the food with "automobile" oil, thus the word "automatic". Well, I don't wanna know.so here we were, seated. me & my friend next to each other. Her and her sister right opposite to us. Her sister has recently joined the university and as wise 3rd year students, we try to share our wisdom about the "do's" and "don'ts" and random things here and there. When I found the conversation was getting serious, I attempted breaking the ice and changing the topic:"oh, so what's that on your necklace? is it your horoscope..I see a scorpion"It was the trend back in the days for ppl to wear their astrological sign. It didn't occur to me that the fuming face and the grin look would outburst at me when she said: "HOW DARE YOU. this is JESUS CHRIST".Time froze. the Earth rambledThe Heaven shattered.I saw mateors crashing on me.I imagined Odin being summoned and running after me to decapitate my head.I have entered into a mental coma that triggered my tongue to activate the auto pilot program titled "endless apology". I have muttered apologetic words and phrases that I cannot recall till this day. No matter how much I justify that I never intended to offend her, I still felt bad whenever I rethink of it as it sounded so degrading. Scorpion. Damn, what was I seeing?her older sister (and my friend) helped in justifying my position as it must have been an honest mistake coz I've never offended christians before. The drama was over after a couple of awkward minutes of silence, till my smart friend who was sitting next to me decided to question something interesting:"the real question is...why were you looking at her chest in the first place?"OH Earth, devour me.Time Froze.The Earth rumbled.The Heaven shattered....[...]



As I lie...

2009-03-22T14:30:19.986+03:00

As I lie in my bed and myself I tug
I cuddle In the cold and the pillow I hug
an ephemeral sleep induces my eyes to wither
like the flowers that hide from the chill of the winter
Soon I fly on the sea  of dreams
that reflect on its surface  our hopes in light beams
Those threads of gold  awaken  me
I rise and whisper:  “will he”?
But the dazzling wind brings me the answer
to all my doubts and I no longer wonder

I never write poems. Yet this poem is different. It was co-written with a special person back in 2006. We have worked on 2 more pieces together and yet it remains to be seen what the future hides for both of us.



The alternate dimension of Wikipedia.

2009-03-09T19:39:00.357+03:00

haven't you always wondered how people have the time to go and actually update wikipedia? Now wikipedia grew to be among the top and most reliable sources of information.

Well, you've seen nothing.

Go and Give Uncyclopedia a spin. It is organised by a bunch of people who have the energy the wikipedia organisers have with only one difference; absurdity.

Check out Uncyclopedia. They have some amazing articles. I loved what they wrote on : , "Lara Croft", "Caffiene", "Facebook", "Psychology", "Religion". But my favourite article is what they wrote about "Wikipedia" itself. LOL

P.S: YES...I did it..I wrote a short blog post. :D



Slavery at its prime

2009-02-28T13:37:37.287+03:00

I can never forget this day.It was the first time I rent a car in Canada. I was running low on gas. I pass by the Gas Station. I waited there for half a minute before I realized "oh damn..here I have to fill gas on my own".See, that's the problem when you live in the middle East and in the gulf for too long. You have people that are employed with the silliest job description ever. I walked to one of the restrooms in a 5 star hotel the other day and there was this guy who all he does is just hand you a dry towel to dry your hands after you are done. What amazed me is there was this local guy who shouted at him "the towels are not warm enough".How about the guy at the gym? He sits by the stairs and monitors the people who use the treadmills. As soon as one of the runners is done, he runs with his cleaning tools to wipe out all traces of sweat and germ on treadmills. As much as I appreciate the high level standards of hygiene that the gyms abides by, it amazes me the silliness to hire a guy just for this.So overall, how do you handle such a situation? I believed that as long as they are content with what they do and I don't abuse them, then we'd be ok.I don't think so. Wait till you hear about my tea boy.When I first joined the new department (around 7 months ago), the teaboy approached me and asked me if he could serve me anything. I told him that I'll make his life easy since I don't drink tea or coffee. I only drink water. On the 2nd day, he served me my water. Along with the service came an envelope saying "monthly contribution". Ok, fine. That's weird. It is like asking for tip in advance. I don't mind tipping as long as it is from my heart not being forced upon me. Anyway, I chipped in. In the following day, he served me water at room temperature which I don't like. I prefer cold water instead. So he said, he doesn't have cold water. That pissed me off, but I let it slide. Few days later, I asked for water at 3 p.m. and he shrugged his shoulders saying :"sorry, sir. I already did the dishes". What the? So if you do the dishes, you never serve others. Ok fine. Nevertheless, I kept tipping him although I don't feel he was doing his basic duties. Few months later, I went for 3 week training outside the office. During that month, I only went to the office for just 2 days. On the 2nd day, he gave me the "tipping envelope". I was furious that I wanted to piss him off. I just put one riyal in the envelope just to anticipate his reaction. As I expected, he came back to me complaining that I might have mistaken by tipping only one riyal. I couldn't help it. I lost my temper and exploded at him. Since that day, we no longer communicate and whenever I need water, I go to his kitchen and fill my own bottle without his help.The other day I went to the cafeteria for lunch. I saw the teaboy having lunch with one of the senior managers. I was impressed that he actually bought him lunch. Later I realized that he makes the tea boy carry his bag all the way to the office. I can't believe how some people can convince themselves of abusing poor people like that.On the other side of the spectrum, my sister came to me one day expressing her frustration:"Hamza, I am very annoyed with the way you treat our maid.""huh?""she keeps complaining that you never acknowledge her presence. You always arrange your bed. You always prepare your own food. You never let her do anything"":S :S :S""like today. You came from work. You stayed in your room for 45 minutes. When she went to her room, you went and prepared your food. Why not just ask her..?"but…I wasn't avoiding her. I was just in my room trying different knots with my ties. I am bored of th[...]



Making the impossible possible

2009-01-25T21:55:40.319+03:00

That's what Israel succeeded in by waging its war in GazaIt has been over 28 days ever since Israel decided to go all ballistic on Gaza. During the days of the war, I decided to be among those who'll be on stand by and watch what will happen. Mainly because I always believe that politics is too complicated and have infinite conspiracy theories because of the lack of truth. This could be either because of biased media or the hidden agendas that each party has. That's why I refrained from theorizing about what I don't understand and I left it for those who are more knowledgeable than me. I have to admit that the daily coverage done by Ali was among the best I've seen especially in its presentation of the case coherently and objectively. The thanks goes to the rest of the bloggers who contributed in whatever form possible, whether it is in form of demonstrations or updates on campaigns of what could be done. As it was mentioned by many, we played the cards right by utilized the tools of Globalization. It is through facebook, blogs, you tube and emails that made our voice be heard and reach throughout the Globe. The world has not been as supportive to the Gaza Cause as much as they were during this humanitarian crisis. So thank you again. From the beginning, I knew that this war won't last long enough for Israel to be able to break Hamas. I knew it would end when Obama steps up to the White House. Israel was just playing in what I call the 'lost time'. Israel was being a bully kid who took advantage of the absence of Big Brother (U.S) that was busy sorting out its own mess. What has gotten to start this is something I couldn't comprehend till now. Maybe the Israel leaders were sitting in a round table discussing their achievements and their economical growth compared to what was budgeted till they arrived to their target of killing Palestinians. They realized that "Oh, we haven't killed enough. Let's start another holocaust and get rid of some 1500 filthy Palestinians". Another idiot would go like, "oh yea, we can use Hamas as a cover story. We have 25 days before Obama comes and we can even try those new weapons we have". The Brutal and loathsome attitude that Israel had towards the Palestinians was astonishing to say the least. They bombarded them with the air strikes, the Ground Defense Forces and even White Phosphorous. If Gaza was an island on its own, I bet they would not have hesitated twice before firing the nuclear. How can we ever co-exist, as called by International Community, with Zionists who has no tolerance to Palestinians.But alas, This war is over now. Neither did Israel manage to achieve its objective nor could I say that the resistance won. The only outcome was more damage and not able to break the unity of the People of Gaza. So what's next? the Reconstruction of Gaza. The International community and the individuals have contributed a lot. They do not lack the fund as much as they lack its management. Let's take a look at for example, the 2 countries that had the biggest humanitarian aid during the war (i.e. before KSA & Kuwait & UAE's pledge after the Arab summit). They were Germany and Japan. Germany donated 15 million Euros while Japan donated over 10 million US$. The difference between those contributions is that Germans will give to a "UN-administered fund in Gaza" while Japan will give to the Palestinian Authority i.e. Fateh Administration in West Bank. Knowing the internal conflicts between Hamas and Fateh, I have my doubts over whether this money will reach those in need in Gaza or not. We shouldn't fail to see Israel's long-term goal of starting all this m[...]



My Early Wintereenmas celebration

2009-01-12T10:40:01.486+03:00

Wintereenmas..Who doesn't know about Wintereenmas? It is one of my favourite times of the year. Usually it is celebrated between 25th and 30th January. However, I decided to celebrate it early this year with my other videogaming partner who talked about my visit here.So, I have decided to invite myself over (actually its more of colonize) KJ's place. This week was just exactly what I needed in serving many of my personal motives, including finishing the horrendous Silent Hill: Homecoming (Gosh, I still can't believe I got the UFO ending) and another mindless co-op zombie bashing game where KJ picked up the only girl character, as usual, and I picked up the black businessman (seriously, I can't comprehend the idea of fighting zombies while wearing a shirt & tie). Overall, it was fun especially when you are attacked by hurdles of zombies.a very normal scene that our comrades had to facethere is a good reason why they call hiim the boomerSo how do I rank the hospitality? Well, my mom said after she saw me: "OMG, what happened to you? You lost weight.". KJ said as he was dropping me to the airport:"you know hamza, this week was horrible. I didn't eat well and I didn’t have breakfast all this week""e7m e7m""oooh…sh!t…this means that you…"'YES damn it"Yea it was that bad. I had to go twice by myself to the gas station below his house to grab Burger King. It was unfortunate (or so he claims) that there was always something wrong. He cooked for me one of his delicious pastas but he had no parmesan cheese, so instead, he gave me some weird cheese similar to the ones that they give you on cheap flights and said: "this is your parmesan replacement".The other day, he actually managed to convince me not to eat outside and that he'll cook me onf of rice & fish dishes. An hour later, he was like: "hmmm…I burnt the rice…I could cook again..are you willing to wait?"…I looked at him and tried not to question what happened and just submitted to my fate. An hour later, he came: "hmm…by mistake, I spilled all the spices on the rice and it ruined the meal". That's it. I couldn't take it anymore. After 3 hours of unbearable hunger, I went to Burger King for one more time.*hamza is thinking.. I better find something good to write about KJ to appeal to the appetite of his fans*But overall, I should be grateful for him coz despite his work schedule, he managed to have the time to take me all the way to the 7he sevens avenue to watch the friendly game of acmilan vs hamburg. which was pretty far. I appreciate his planning in leaving 3 hours in advance so that we find good seats. I was fasting that day because of Ashoura so I brought with me some food snacks and juices. At the gate, they forced me to take out all the liquids I had. The security guard was shocked when he took out a bag that I was supposed to leave at home and said:"Shampoo & shower gel…? Why would you carry with you a shampoo & shower gel to the stadium?"Surprisingly, the avenue was free-seated and we managed to find good seats. Although the game was not played at a high level, I enjoyed watching my favorite players of the team that I've been supporting for last 14 years live on field. This includes Beckham, Ronaldinho, Pato, Shevchenko, Maldini, Pirlo and many more. As usual, the crowd have added their own touch as our section was pivotal in arranging Mexican waves.the stadium 2 hours before the matchthe players are warming upand here they are greeting the fans. :PThe major hassle was in the post-match traffic. It seems that it is the norm in Dubai that in such events, you will have over 50[...]



The World of The Brits

2008-12-21T18:29:10.996+03:00

When people ask me about my last trip, they tend to ask the wrong question. Its not about what I did. It is about what I did NOT do. Yep, that really sums up my trip to UK where I spent 8 days in London and 2 days in Manchester. Many factors have been taken into consideration before I finally decided on my destination. I got a couple of friends in London & Manchester. I got a good deal on my airline ticket. Sterling Pound is at its lowest in a couple of years (talk about taking advantage of the financial crisis) and most importantly, I could feel the winter there where I'd be doing my favorite hobby; walking and walking and more walking. On the day of my arrival, I couldn't control my excitement and I spent more than 13 hours exploring London and its underground subways. I started with Baker Street, the home of the legendary Sherlock Holmes to Madam Tussod's wax musem ofcelebrities. From there, I walked to Portland Street all the way to Oxford Street – the haven of all shoppers around the world. The size of each store outlet is equivalent to half the size of a mall here in Jeddah. What stroked me the most about those stores is how it is a condition that they must have all the sizes. In one of the stores, I was checking one of the jackets but when I couldn't find my size, I just went on to see other models till the saleswoman approached me: "can I help you sir?" "oh thank you. I was hoping to find my size but didn't. Its ok. No big deal, I'll check other stuff" With an astonishing look she goes: "Oh no sir, we must have your size" and she commands 3 other salesmen to check the inventory and stock till they replenished the missing size. In the end, I didn't buy it. :P Sherlock Holmes on Baker StreetFrom there, I went to Covent Garden, Leicester Square, Trafalgar Square, Marble Arch and Edgeware Road (a.k.a as the Arab Centrals Street) all in one day. In the next days, I explored the Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. I took a city tour ride on the THAMES river where I went all the way up to the London Tower then to Greenwich. I wanted to go there just to stand on the infamous imaginary Greenwich line.Buckingham Palace I took great images of London when I went up the London Eye. London Dungeon is another great experience that shouldn't be missed. Unfortunately, the host chose me as a candidate to demonstrate on me the different types of torture equipments. The attraction includes going through, the Labyrinth of the lost, The Great Plague, Sweeney Todd, Jack the Ripper, and the Great Fire of London. Nothing describes this ride better than Wikipedia. You can never be bored of London. Each road & each station has a distinctive feature & flavor either in the architectural design, location of exits, graffiti, or tunnels. So there is always something to explore. Unlike other countries, I got lost many times and actually enjoyed. Once, I got lost for more than 3 hours. I went to Sloane Square in Chelsea and was planning to walk all the way up to Knightsbridge. However, I kept on walking for more than 2 hours till I discovered that I was going south rather than going North. Later, I discovered that I walked out of zone 1, zone 2 and all the way to zone 4, passing through fulham all the way to Putney train station. I was wrong to assume that I could cover the British Museum in just few hours. Out of the dozens of exhibitions there, I only managed to see the Korean Exhibition (unfortunately nothing exciting there), the Islamic Literature Exhibition (they had interesting history about calligraphy), Ancient Egypt &[...]



What's missing in those pictures?

2008-12-03T14:31:16.249+03:00

It is missing ME.London..I am a couple of hours away from you. Wait for me. :D[...]



Random Timestamps from Last Week

2008-12-02T11:43:00.732+03:00

Date: Saturday, 22 Nov 2008 Timestamp: 22:22 – we are 8 minutes away from the start of the derby d'italia of Inter vs Juventus. I need to rush to reach the coffee shop where I am supposed to meet my friends. I am on the road driving in the middle lane. As I slow down to stop at the traffic light, I hear the car behind me skid..Damn, he is gonna hit me….no, he is back in control. He switches to the left lane and stops next to me. The logo on his car says it all. "Royal Guard"..You definitely don't want to be hit by this car. By default, the 3 lane street converges to a 2 lane street where my middle lane will become the utmost left lane. And anybody on the left lane would by default turn left. The traffic light switches to green. I keep driving straight. Apparently, the royal guard is in the mood of racing. By the time I reached the converging street, I see that car going straight to the central island separating both streets. He freaked the cars waiting on the other street. And then in the middle of the highway, he reverses and gets back to my lane and starts chasing me for 2 to 3 minutes before Making a U-turn and goes back to the traffic light we were at. What's wrong with that guy? Was he drunk? Timestamp: 23:10 – the game is still in its first half and I am already yawning. 2 guys enter the coffee shop; Or let me call them transvestites as they lack any masculinity features with their hairless body, white powdered face, eyeliners, soft voice and plastically deformed nose. I couldn't help myself from getting distracted by them and watch them every once in a while. Timestamp: 23:50 – one of them winks me..OOOOOOOOOOOKAY. this is the first time this happens to me since grade 5 when black Mercedes cars used to chase me whenever I went to the grocery store that's 1 block away from my house. I changed my seat Timestamp: 00:21 – "you freaking kiddin me? WHO PLAYS RACKETS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET AFTER MIDNIGHT?" as I shout at the 2 women standing in the middle of the street playing. This was some really fudged up day. Date: Monday 24th Nov 2008 Timestamp: 23:50 *sighs*. This day would mark as a major milestone in my life. I finally did it after I had waited and tormented myself for months and even years. Let's hope it’s a step forward in my life. I dim the side lamp next to my bed and I close my eyes to go to sleep. Date: Tuesday 25th Nov 2008 Timestamp: 20:10 16 – it was the number that marked the table allocated for us to watch the play hosted by the school. It was the "Glass Menagerie" play. The play was set in the 40s and it might have been boring since it only revolves around 4 characters only. But I liked the American southern accent and the performance of the girls who depicted the mother & daughter roles. Overall, it was a great night since this is the first time I attend a play in Jeddah Date: Wednesday 26th Nov 2008 Timestamp: 22:15 I sat there trying to relax. I've been a bee running around all over the place helping in arranging and organizing up this BBQ event. I look around me to see my colleagues who showed up. I put the people on 'mute' and pondered on the thought of how are we united here yet many of us have dark secrets behind us and past lives that we are not willing to share and explore. I look at the right and I see the "Raven" and Mr. "Big Chin" voraciously attending to their cigars while they are engaged in a conversation with the "African Cinderella".. Lying all by himself, I see the 'hyena' sitting and admiring the sta[...]



A prisoner in my own shell…

2008-11-14T01:46:09.966+03:00

What I have been up to…Socialwise- Other than one soccer game with the guys and a couple of birthday parties I attended, I am not socializing as I used to. I attended an "all you can eat dessert" hosted at coffee shop near my house. The event was announced on Facebook and I found it as a creative approach to publicize and advertise for the coffee shop. Kudos points to the genius owner. I have been on a boat trip in the red sea where I went snorkeling at 3 different reef sites. For a while, I didn't feel I lived in Jeddah. Our boat was full of foreigners who were open & friendly and have enlightened me about the basic dos and don'ts when it comes to diving. This is the next thing on my to do list: learn diving. The best thing about the whole journey was the company of dolphins. :DWorkwise – I was in the office for a total of 4 days in the last 5 weeks. My boss is definitely not the happiest person as I was out of the office most of the time. I enrolled in 4 back-to-back training courses where each one lasts on an average of 5 to 10 days. Covering a wide variety of topics such as banking instruments, project appraisal, logical framework and international trade finance made me feel as I was in an intensive post-grad program. Other than the random nap attacks I unexpectedly experience, it felt good to be a student once again and be on the receiver side for one more time. This had served as an additional motive to…Careerwise – study CFA. After my Eid vacation, I committed myself by registering for the June 2008 exam. Over the last 8 months, I barely managed to complete one out of the 6 books. Over the last 4 weeks, I picked up the pace and finished 2 books totaling 976 pages (the original one and the revision material). I am surprised at my achievement yet it is understandable considering the effect triggered by the surrounding environment ; whether it is the attendance of the above training courses or other factors that have been affecting me…Personalwise- on personal level. A hidden side of me is coming back to surface, an old feeling that I concealed because I couldn't interpret it. All I know about it is that it consumes my mind and tires my soul. One of its major side effects is becoming extremely intolerant to human presence around me. I am hating people yet I am incapable of communicating my anger and thus I end up diverting the shock to my inner core. It is the same core that is becoming ultra-sensitive to the changing variables around it. It is yielding a hurricane of endless thoughts, ideas, interpretations, and conspiracy theories that leaves me to question my own established definitions of what's right and what's wrong. The only remedy I found lies in sealing myself in my sanctuary that serves as my current study room. It is the same room that I have had many success stories in, especially during my O-level and A-level years 7 years ago. Everything about that room changed. The bed, the TV, the cupboards, pc, and even the AC. Trying to recreate the same ambience remained a challenge. I no longer listen to my favorite radio station that all it plays now is gulf music, yet Coldplay's latest album and couple of new Arabic albums (Asala, kazem El saher, nancy ajram and darine hadchiti) are doing their best in balancing my instable mental sanity. But all this doesn't matter now. My inner demons are on hold. Maybe they are waiting for my vulnerable moment where they'd feast on me. But for now, I am just a prisoner in my own shell…[...]



Cab drivers in Jordan

2008-10-17T19:05:16.594+03:00

My last trip to Jordan confirmed my theory about cab drivers . I had many horrible stories with this unique class of the society including those of my brother that would just blow your mind away.I could tell you about the time I came back home with my burnt tomato face. My mom would question me if I went to the pool or not because last time she checked, I was supposedly meeting up with friends in Jordanian University Campus. She didn't know that I remained stuck for over FIFTY damned minutes under the merciless sun of August at noon. Cab drivers would never stop for me yet they stop for the girls just waiting behind me. I reached a stage where I wished I was a girl and allow myself to be molested. Just get me home. Damn it.After minutes of waiting, a cab driver would slow down and before I open up my mouth, he goes like: "isma3 ya khali, sweifeyeh bagarebesh 3aleiha, wil rabyeh bafoothash, wi 3abdun 7alef yameen ma afoootha, wi shmesani azmeh mosh tabe3yeh wil balad wi jabal il Hussein manteqa mal3ooneh..bansharet feeeha 3 marrat bi hal shahr. Allah la ywafeqha hal 7okoomeh 3ala hal torgat. 3al 3afyeh. "…and he left without giving me a chance to explain myself. Why the hell did you stop in the first place?On other occasions, cab drivers would just pass by me and give me signals like tilting his head and putting it on 2 hands (note that he is doing that while driving) to signal me that he is going to sleep, or pointing his hand to his mouth signaling he is going to eat.The other day, I tried imagining myself in my brother's shoes when he was with the 'high' cab driver. According to my brother's narration, the guy had red eyes and was so hyper and was dancing with his car on the tunes of George Wassuf. Windows are open and he screams to all the pedestrians on the street: "Allah ye7ayee aslak ya abu wadeeeeeeeeee3"…car screeches to scare some pedestrians on the side road before going back to main road etc etc. Must have been one hell of a death ride.Or the other time, my brother was riding with the taxi of 'Abu Ahmad' (we figured out his name later). On the way to dropping my brother, the driver gets a call:"ah ya um Ahmad…..aaaaaah..ya2alla kef nseet….khalas bamorrek hassa Kaman 10 dagayeg" ("yes Um Ahmad..ooh, how could I forget? I'll be there in 10 minutes")So the driver changes his route and without even consulting my brother, he goes to his house and picks up his wife and 5 of his kids."Ma3lesh yaba inta wiya..o3od 3ala 7odon 3ammak hoan"My brother shows up with 2 sore legs half an hour later than scheduled and vowing he'll never ever ride with cab drivers.All of this and yet you haven't heard the worst story that I had around 3 years ago when I wanted to see my cousin in sweifeyeh. After waiting for 10 minutes or so, I rode with the first one who picked me up. He was jumpy and voluntarily offered to give me "panadol' pills for my headache. Of course, I am not a kid anymore. Who was he trying to dope?Minutes later, he checks my cellphone out and winks at me saying:"so show me what interesting videos and pictures you have""what kind of pictures and videos you want?""you know..illi bali balak""I have none""oh come oon. Send"I take a look at his cellphone. His model supports Bluetooth and not infra-red"I don't have Bluetooth. I only have infra-red.""huh…what's that?"Oh damn..I wanted to close the subject but now I had to explain to him about infra-red.As we were in Abdullah Ghoshe's street, a lady walking her daughter scre[...]



A week in the Land of the Black Irises

2008-10-06T21:32:12.752+03:00

As some of you already know, I have decided to spend my Eid Vacation in Jordan. What was different about it this time is that I did my best to untangle myself from the webs of my relatives. I definitely left many negative vibes behind me yet I don't regret itThe best thing about this whole trip is meeting 2 bloggers for the first time. They restored my faith in meeting online people and actually having fun with them. Thankfully, Qabbani and faithnmystery did not fall under the stereotyped category that some may perceive against bloggers being boring, socially awkward and their online character is different than their counterpart cyber alias. The first time I got to meet the 2 of them was on Friday where we went to go pick up KJ, a blogger and a close friend who I know for over 10 years, from the airport. Although I rarely read to their blogs, I felt that the guys were talking to each other like they've known each other for years. You should have seen the look on my face when I enquired about how long have they been seeing each other and they were like: "this is the first time we meet"Qabbani – sometimes I used to wonder how ppl in the past lived without TV and internet, but now I understand how possible it can be if you have a person like Qabbani. With 3 or 4 hours of sleep per day and a vast knowledge in most of the topics out there, Qabbani is more of a machine rather than a human being. Just press any of his buttons and you will get an infinite supply of information regardless of the topic.. He'd narrate for you the history of each store in downtown Amman or he could recite to you jokes for 3 hours during the journey from wadi rum back to Amman.Qabbani is very resourceful. We have enjoyed this one week because of the spontaneity of our decisions. We never knew what the day was hiding for us. One minute, we are eating kenafet Habiba, and an hour later, we are on the way to the dead Sea to watch the sunset.As for Maher, we only saw him for few hours. And I personally wished I spent more time with him. You can't help but burst into laughter when you see him. He is a hybrid of a typical American white boy accompanied by the Arab hyperness added with a flavor of Jordanian accent and attitude. Who else other than Maher who would keep smelling the butt of a camel doll..Oh well, what matters to me the most is that we managed to know the real real reason behind him joining the soft ball team. :PKJ-well…I always experience and discover new things about this guy each time I meet him. Let's just say that in this week, he caused enough trouble between Qabbani and his fiancé who is starting to get jealous of him. One thing for sure, I am not telling him when I will get engaged.Friday:Iftar @ Ponte Café in Abdoun – KJ got sick and we spent the next 3 hours baby sitting him til he puked out all the food he ate. What a wasteWalk in downtown and tea & coffee at GOUZA caféSaturday:Al-Qal3a CastleRoman TheaterKJ attempting MeditationIftar @ Quds Resturant - I went for their mansaf and the chicken KJ went for the chicken KabsaBalat Al-Rasheed Café – a café that's open since 1926. *rolls eyes*. We were their first customers for the day and let's just say that praying the maghrib there was such a memorable experienceSunday:Al-Hussein Gardens -Walking through city Mall and Mecca MallIftar @ Aunt's houseQabbani & KJ's date – I went to watch the Acmilan vs Intermilan game at my cousin's housecap[...]



Jordan in a glance

2008-09-21T00:23:33.271+03:00

Note: This post contains a lot of stereotyping and it might be offensive to many ppl. None of those are based on any scientific facts but more of personal experiences. Read at your own discretionI will be in Jordan in a couple of days. This will be the first time I go there since 15 months. And it brings back memories. It reminds me that I have to re-adjust my mind to the dynamics that govern the Jordanian Society.For those who don't know, like those who'll be visiting it for the first time (HINT HINT: to a fellow blogger), here is a summary about the different classes of the Jordanian SocietyJordanians: those are the pure Jordanians. All of them are originally Bedouins and they tend to represent the rich high class society. Surprisingly, they are not that common in Jordan and believe it or not, they are a minority. They might represent around 20 to 30% of the society. Their last names would usually end with names ending with –neh, bataineh, tarawneh, zawaineh etc. The reason behind their high class status is that one of the family members, whether it's an uncle, a father or a cousin have at a certain point in time held a ministerial position in the government. I won't go far and I'll take our family as an example. My mom comes from a purely Jordanian family and guess what? her cousin is currently the Minister of Environment. How to identify a Jordanian guy: ask him: "we7dati or feisali?"….if he said "feisali" then he is Jordanian How to identify a Jordanian Girl: you will find them hanging around the 'posh' areas of Amman. Rabyeh and abdoun are their main chilling areas. If you try to make a move on her and it happens that her brother, or parent finds out, there are high chances that you will end up in a coffin and news being published next day about "further escalation in honor killing crimes in Jordan"  Palestinians: and they are such a huge community. Surprisingly they are a majority in the Jordanian society. Many of them are Palestinian Refugees. Some of them are lucky to have Jordanian Passports and some of them are only identified by special yellow IDs or green IDs. Many of them are subjects to discrimination as they are always being mistreated by the former class society. They represent the poor segment of the society who always keep on complaining about the inflation and the rise in gas and food prices. They are the reason behind the infamous Jordanian Grin as they rarely draw a smile on their face because of the numerous miseries they face. You will find those ppl situated in the areas of sweileh, we7dat, zarqa, and rest of "mokhayamat" spread around Jordan. How to identify a Palestinian Guy: ask him "we7dati or feisali"? if he said, "we7dati" then he is Palestinian How to identify a Palestinian Girl : IF and it's a big IF she is out of the house and shopping, then she is in the local markets buying the necessity items of food such as meat, fruits, vegetables and abayas and scarfs. If you attempt at flirting at one of them, you'd wish you will have the ending of no.1. Under best conditions, your body will be mutilated (as the ppl can't afford kill you with shotguns and the tool of the trade will be the cheap and readily available 'white' weapon). The news being published next day will be about "Organ Trading is on the rise once again"  Iraqis: ever since Saddam's era is over, Jordan was one of the countries that have embraced[...]