Physically deleted memories

 

9/6/2003, that was the date I officially registered to Mahjoob.com, looking back at those 3 years, I realize that it was much more than an online experience, in fact I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I said it changed many things in my life, too many things. I was literally documenting a large part of my life there; I met many interesting people, many of whom became very good friends of mine. I met people the likes of whom I never met in real life, I learned many things, discovered a shady side of my personality… just too many things.

So yesterday I learned that they are deleting threads and posts from Majoob forums to make room in the server. Physically deleting them, they can’t be retrieved. Do you realize how disturbing this is?

 

Let’s put it this way: You have a blog in which you made hundreds of posts and thousands of comments. You talked about yourself, wrote your diaries, spoke about funny situations, hard experiences, you wrote stories and poems, you laughed at other people’s comments… sometimes you would even go back and read those old posts, this blog repress-ents a computerized version of your life, and I dare say, yourself.

 

So, one day you come online to find 80% of the posts and comments deleted, how would that make you feel? Bugger.

 

You know this really disturbs me, partly because of the deleted dozens of thoughts, ideas and feelings poured into them, and partly because it makes me think: No matter how attached you are to things or people, you have to let go. There are people/things that come into your life, leave their footprints, but sometimes, not all the times, it’s probably better that you erase them from your life, and in some cases, better yet to erase them from your memory. This-s might sound exaggerated given that I’m talking about a cyber space, but If you ask me why I’m saying this, you can refer to the first paragraph.

 

Anyway, it’s nice to mention some bloggers who were in Mahjoob (Mahajeeb, always loved this term) met some in person, weirdoes yet alright well, no actually they are great people: Laila, Weddo, Dino, Euphoria, Shaden, Tulip, Kolita, SimSim, Ohoud, Iman, Soul Blossom, JoodNas, Theone (hay bel bold font 3ashan ismoh saqa6a sahwan the first time ), Hamzeh, Khaled, Loza, The Mo, Dima, Hareega, Bo3Bo3,  Verbal Alchemy, And Algoo(3al bai3ah, 3eesh )
Originally posted on Monday, February 26, 2007 on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/2/165600.html

Racist Inner Child

 

So I was walking in the neighborhood today, enjoying the sun and tranquility of the place, when then stranger appeared around the corner and I was a bit intimidated… Now, why should I be intimidated? I see strangers in the hood the whole time, he didn’t look like a bad guy in any way, he wore normal clothes, was carrying what appeared to be his lunch and to top it all, he wasn’t even looking at me, he seemed to be drifted in his own thoughts, minding his own business. Now, I should be ashamed to say that what made me feel uneasy was that he had a dark complexion, a very dark one. He was black. 

 

Since I felt ashamed with myself, I tried to justify this feeling by thinking: Well, maybe it’s because he is a stranger not because he’s black. If I saw an Albino for example, or someone extraordinarily blonde I would wonder…” Then I stopped here, I knew it wouldn’t be the same, I would probably not feel threatened…

 

It’s funny how we defy social stereotypes, cry out against racism, get bugged when someone makes a racist remark; nonetheless, racism still find sits way into our subconscious. You can’t help it, because you can’t detach from the society you live in, from all the media pitched at you… depicting black people as pimps, hitmen, highwaymen, serial killers, drug dealers, you name it.
  
I don’t really know why I’m writing this, maybe out of frustration with myself, maybe I’m looking for the reasons behind my awkward reaction, I don’t know, but I know something is wrong… seriously!

Originally posted on Wednesday, February 21, 2007 on  http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/2/162025.html

The hunger to be Understood

 

Few needs of the human heart are greater than the need to be understood- to have a voice that is heard, respected, and valued- to have influence. Most believe that the key to influence is communication- getting your point across clearly and speaking persuasively. In fact, if you think about it, don’t you find that, while others are speaking to you, instead of really listening to understand, you are often busy preparing your response? The real beginning of influence comes as others sense you are being influenced by them- when they feel understood by you- that you have listened deeply and sincerely, and that you are open. But most people are too vulnerable emotionally to listen deeply- to suspended their agenda long enough to focus on understanding before they communicate their own ideas. Our culture cries out for, even demands, understanding and influence. However, the principle of influence is governed by mutual understanding born of the commitment of at least one person to deep listening first. 

 

From: the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
Originally posted on Friday, February 16, 2007 on  http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/2/159231.html

ثم عاش حنظلة

 

Few days ago I saw a documentary about Naji Al-Ali, and I don’t think I need make an intoduction here, it suffices to say Handala, and the famous Palestinian cartoonist comes to mind immediatly.
 
Naji Al-ALi made a revolution in Arab journalism and more specifically in the way political cartoons dealt with the ongoing events in the Arab world. Naji Al-Ali dealt with criticism from another angle, by criticising the Arab stance on the Palestinian cause and putting the blame on them for what was going on in Palestine.
 

Meet Handala. Handala was born at the age of 10, and he will always be 10. If you are wondering why he’s always giving you his back, he’s not. He’s just looking back at Palestine in his way out, forced.
 

Handala represents the new generation that inherited the agonies, suffering, failures and isappointments of the previous generation. He represents the human conscience that aches for the suffering of others, the heart that bleeds for the agonies of his brothers, the rebel that defends the right, and stands up to the wrong. Handala represents whatever good that is left in us, that will always be there, and the hope that never dies.

 
 كاتم الصوت or “The Muffler” was the symbol Naji Al-Ali created to represent those who try to suppress the voices that rise against tyranny. The same muffler by which Naji Al- Ali was assassinated on the 22nd of July, 1987, on his way to deliver the daily cartoon to Al-Qabas newspaper in London. He was admitted to hospital, where he passed away 40 days later.
 
In the documentary, they showed some cartoons done by Arab cartoonist in the memory of the assassination of Naji Al-Ali. One cartoon in particular moved me incredibly; in fact it was the reason that prompted me to write this post. I looked it up on the net and I was not surprised as much as impressed when I found out that it was done by Imad Hajjaj. Makes it clear how courage triumphs over cowardice, and the real meaning of “to live”. The cartoon speaks for itself:
 
 
“Here rests the muffler, and Handala lives on”
 
 
 
To know more about Naji Al-Ali and  Hadala, check out Naji Al-Ali’s official website
 
Originally posted on Tuesday, February 06, 2007 on  http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/2/153427.html

5 things you don’t know about me… Or do you?

 

Well,  Abed tagged me, and guess what? I’m not killing him, not for this one… Actually I kind of like this tag, I haven’t written something so blatantly egoistic in a while *a stagy smile* So as you may have seen, I got driven away, so this will be the +5 things you don’t know about me…

 
Anyway, here we go,
 
1- I LOVE to pamper myself, in every possible way, relaxing, exercising, good food, you name it. You know those personal-care products? I actually believe what’s written on them (Or force myself to). Even the simplest things can feel luxurious, like watching TV with a cup of milk after a tiresome day, can make me feel like a queen!
 
2- I like colorful socks, the more colorful the better.
 
3- I’m a commitment phobe. I mean in everything, work, relations, etc. It just freaks me out… I’m not doing much about it though  because I don’t think the time has come for me yet to get involved in a relation or get a decent job gbiggrin
 
4- I like to miss my friends, that’s why I sometimes spend 1 or 2 weeks and sometimes more  without seeing them
 
5- I have a very wild imagination, for example I was thinking about mentioning  one of my worst phobias here but I thought I’d better not because I might get arrested by the intelligence and they could torture me by my worst nightmares (Ok that’s partly Ohoud’s
fault, she recommended Orwell’s 1984 gbiggrin)
 
6- I have a crush on this guy , and I haven’t come over it yet. (I don’t know why I used to see him handsome :s)
 
 
gbiggrin
Originally posted on  Sunday, February 04, 2007  on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/2/152298.html
 
Now I’m tagging  Layla &  Kolita

Inspired

 

The other day I read a story by Ghassan Kanafani, called ستة نسور و طفل(A child and Six Eagles), in which the narrator is a newly appointed teacher who taught in 3 villages. In his way in the old car, there was that rock that was the subject of some folk tales. It’s all about an eagle that was seen standing on the rock in spring time, and when summer comes, the eagle is no longer seen there.

 Originally posted on Friday, January 26, 2007 on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/1/

Everyone in the village had their own version of “the eagle’s story”. Some said the eagle stood there every spring because its mother was killed there. Others say that it was a female eagle, whose “husband” dumped her, so she stood there crying in agony till it dropped dead. Others were more realistic by saying that the eagle used to stand there before the police station was built, then some policeman shot it down. The teacher himself becomes so interested in those stories that he ends up making up his own version. At last, he learns from a child that there was no eagle at all, it was just a cranberry bush, that grows in springs and withers in summer.

Now the story made me think, how real is that? So real. I think it represents the reality that we all take pleasure in denying. I think it varies from one person to another, some people are more realistic than others, but even the realistic ones might fall in this. You know when you think of something in some way, then you start asking yourself why? Then you examine possibilities, and at the end, you come to the final conclusions and it’s the one that appeals to you the most. You then start having doubts, but you cling to your conclusions, eliminating all other possibilities by the slightest shadow of doubt.

After that, when things start to clear up, you see that you were mistaken, and that’s were the shock comes from, especially of you hadn’t prepared yourself before. Sometimes things take long to clear up, and sometimes, you might give up and go on with your life, not wanting to know whether you were wrong or right. You think maybe it’s better this way, keeping it as a nice dream, not wanting to know the truth because it might be so harsh.

I think the problem is when you don’t know whether you’re right or not, but at the same time, you can’t go on with your life, you refuse to, or you just can’t.

I think we all need that “child”. Someone or something that will open your eyes to the truth, in a way that compels you to accept it… You might feel bad for a day, a month, a year, but it’s never than living in illusions for the rest of your life, or finding out you’ve been doing so too late. I don’t know if it’s something to consider or investigate, but I do believe that you should pray to God for this eye opener to come your way. Pray, maybe you’ll get a sign, and when it comes, don’t dismiss it, neglect it or misinterpret it to serve the purpose of your own desire.   You know the only idea that helps me accept all this is that, if things didn’t go the way you wanted, then they were never meant to be, and even if you felt bad, you should know for sure that it’s better this way, because God knows best, and you never know what might happen next… Or what could’ve happened if things went the way you dreamed them up.    It’s not as bad as you think. Or is it?

TO-MA-TO

 

There’s been a big fuss about raising vegetable prices in Jordan, it’s getting crazy… Anyways, my mother was talking about that man on TV who said: “I’m an engineer, and I can no longer afford gallayet bandora” (a popular meal prepared with tomatoes). Well, don’t panic you engineers out there, I’m pretty much sure that man meant: “I’m an engineer, I make a lot of money, still I can’t afford gallayet bandora anymore” hmm, plausible!
 
Seriously, not tomato! You know it’s the one thing that can be eaten with everything… it’s legendary! I once heard that during some civil war, or one of those many crappy wars that we lost count of, they used to destinguish  Palestinians by holding a piece of tomato and asking them what it was. If you say “banadoora” you’re lebanese/syrian/whatever, if you say “bandora” you’re dead! I wonder, if they were encountered by a morrocan guy, what will they make out of “mateeshah” gbiggrin 
 
So, we can talk about the history of tomato-es till the cows get home, so let’s get sort of scientific… I did soem search on the health benefits of tomatoes, and here’s some of what I found:
 
 
 
Tomatoes are good for the eyes. Lycopene, the most abundant carotenoid in the blood serum, was found to be the key antioxidant that guards against ARMD ( Age-Related Macular Degeneration), a condition that may cause blindness.

Tomatoes are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium 

Eating tomatoes, ketchup, tomato sauce and tomato paste-topped pizza more than two times a week can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 21 to 43 percent according to Dr. Edward Giovannucci of the Harvard University School of Public Health.

“The only nutrient that turned out to have significant preventative value (against prostate cancer) was lycopene,” writes Dr. Giovannucci who also found that lycopene was most efficiently absorbed into the body when accompanied by dietary fats (limpids).

“Cooking tomatoes in oil encourages intestinal absorption and results in a two-to-threefold rise in plasma lycopene concentrations,” said Dr. Giovannucci. “Tomato sauce is one of the best lycopene sources.”

Men who eat two or more servings of tomato products average a 35 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk.

Tomato products are beneficial in aggressive cancers that have also spread to other parts of the body.

The best food sources of lycopene according to the Tomato Research Council in New York City: ( Amount of lycopene in one ounce) Tomato Sauce, Spaghetti Sauce, Ketchup (5 mg); Tomato Soup, Canned Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Vegetable Juice (3 mg);  Minestrone Soup, Vegetable Soup, Pink Grapefruit (1 mg)

Lycopene helps women guard against cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia, (CIN), tumorous tissue growth in the cervix according to research from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Lycopene is a powerful inhibitor of the growth of breast, endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) and lung cancer cells.

Lypocene is an inhibitor to heart disease.

Originally posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007  on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/1/144962.html

Legacy of a Prophet

 

 There’s been a big fuss about raising vegetable prices in Jordan, it’s getting crazy… Anyways, my mother was talking about that man on TV who said: “I’m an engineer, and I can no longer afford gallayet bandora” (a popular meal prepared with tomatoes). Well, don’t panic you engineers out there, I’m pretty much sure that man meant: “I’m an engineer, I make a lot of money, still I can’t afford gallayet bandora anymore” hmm, plausible!

 

                    
 
 
Seriously, not tomato! You know it’s the one thing that can be eaten with everything… it’s legendary! I once heard that during some civil war, or one of those many crappy wars that we lost count of, they used to destinguish  Palestinians by holding a piece of tomato and asking them what it was. If you say “banadoora” you’re lebanese/syrian/whatever, if you say “bandora” you’re dead! I wonder, if they were encountered by a morrocan guy, what will they make out of “mateeshah” gbiggrin 
 
So, we can talk about the history of tomato-es till the cows get home, so let’s get sort of scientific… I did soem search on the health benefits of tomatoes, and here’s some of what I found:
 
 
 
Tomatoes are good for the eyes. Lycopene, the most abundant carotenoid in the blood serum, was found to be the key antioxidant that guards against ARMD ( Age-Related Macular Degeneration), a condition that may cause blindness.

Tomatoes are high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Potassium 

Eating tomatoes, ketchup, tomato sauce and tomato paste-topped pizza more than two times a week can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 21 to 43 percent according to Dr. Edward Giovannucci of the Harvard University School of Public Health.

“The only nutrient that turned out to have significant preventative value (against prostate cancer) was lycopene,” writes Dr. Giovannucci who also found that lycopene was most efficiently absorbed into the body when accompanied by dietary fats (limpids).

“Cooking tomatoes in oil encourages intestinal absorption and results in a two-to-threefold rise in plasma lycopene concentrations,” said Dr. Giovannucci. “Tomato sauce is one of the best lycopene sources.”

Men who eat two or more servings of tomato products average a 35 percent reduction in prostate cancer risk.

Tomato products are beneficial in aggressive cancers that have also spread to other parts of the body.

The best food sources of lycopene according to the Tomato Research Council in New York City: ( Amount of lycopene in one ounce) Tomato Sauce, Spaghetti Sauce, Ketchup (5 mg); Tomato Soup, Canned Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Vegetable Juice (3 mg);  Minestrone Soup, Vegetable Soup, Pink Grapefruit (1 mg)

Lycopene helps women guard against cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia, (CIN), tumorous tissue growth in the cervix according to research from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Lycopene is a powerful inhibitor of the growth of breast, endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) and lung cancer cells.

Lypocene is an inhibitor to heart disease.

Originally posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007  on  http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/1/144962.html

Yes You can!

 

So yesterday my boss seemed to be having one of his “catch’em unawarez” moments, and he went through some old lists which we the employees neglected as being “Old unimportant feeback reports that have been forgotten so let it go”….
 
Anyway, the way he spoke to me was anythign but pleasant, in fact it was enfuriating, so for the rest of the day and the following morning I felt like I hate this person more than ever, I even wondered how I would feel if he was hanged publicly… I couldn’t believe I would be so rancorous as to feel happy! That’s bad
 
Anyway, today, I was sitting beside the window waiting to receive a new assignment, so I tried to take a nap and buried my face between my arms… I woke up to a pounding sound on the chair, it was my boss, he was like: are you okay? I said yes and that I was waiting to receive a new file, so he just laughed and walked away. In that moment, I felt that I no longer hate him! I was like: He’s not bad after all… I don’t know if this is good or not, but I find it hard to stay angry with anyone, even if I don’t particularily like that person… and it’s working very well for me so far!
 
I’m not trying to show off as a good girl, you know I have a very dark side to uncover 😀 BUT, the point I wan t to highlight here is: For those who waste their time and energy on questioning other people’s intentions, focusing on their shortcomings and making a mountain out of a mole hill, try changing this attitude… even if someone really did you wrong, let it go,  the hatred in your heart hurts you first of all, don’t let it get to you!
 
Great! Now I started to sound like Mahatma Ghandi! :s
 
Anyway, what I want to say is: if someone thinks less of you, it’s their problem, they have no right to judge you… misunderstandigns usually dissolve with time… We are all people, so everyone must have a bright side somewhere! Ask yourself why you have problems with people. In fact, you have to come over your ego and second-guess yourself. Ask yourself why  you have problems with people, why you judge people, why  you assume the bad intention and how you don’t like to be judged this way… And, most importantly,, how you can change all of this, the first step being to acknowledge it. Brush aside all that paranoia and suspecion, you’re not the centre of the world after all!
 
If you asked me whether I’m happy, I’d definitly say yes. And I believe one of the things that contribute to this is that I seldom blame anyone for everything, I always end up putting part of the blame on myself, because it’s easier to change yourself than to change others, and when you change your attitude towards people, they do change accordingly. It’s called self-fulfilling prophecy, chocs!
 
Start with yourself, be open to your inner ego…  You are yourself’s best friend after all! (Nah that was trivial :p)
 
Disclaimer: Not to come off as a liar or a theorist, I have to admit that I do complain about work, a lot! but I’m trying to stay positive though! Suleen, if you’re reading this, I guess you of all people will know what I mean 😀
 
 Originally posted on on Wednesday, January 10, 2007 on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/1/141295.html

Amman, the Enchantress

Bordom can be useful sometimes! You can discover things you didn’t know before, believe me! So, yesterday I was having one of those boring days, not because there’s nothign to do but because I was feelign like doing nothing. So, I went on surfing the net, then I stopped by Flickr and decided to search for some pictures of Amman. How amusing was that? More than you cna iamgine…
I found some stunning pictures there, not that there was hidden codes or soemthign in the pictures, but they were spectacular in their own way. Most of them were normal pictures of Amman in an ordinary day, but as I was viewing them, I felt a strange fondness towards Amman, and start iamgining how would it be for me if I leave this city, then I thought to myself: I really love it! I never realised how much I do before now…
One picture in particular aroused that feeling in me, and I don’t know why exactly, but it did! It’s this picture, by robin_2711. Something in that picture, the downtown, the rain, the drenched streets,the weather… something, or everything combined tells you that this is Amman. I know downtown is not everyone’s favorite place, and soem peopel do raise their eye brows when I suggest that we go for a stroll there… but you should really try to take a stroll there and feel the essence of simplicity in the old city…

The other day, I walked with my cousin Nadia down from the third circle in Jabal Amman, up to Dar Al-Anda in Jabal elweibdeh. There, I saw the best view of Amman ever. There’s a small balcony in Dar Al-anda that overlooks downtown Amman, and you can imagine the view, just about sunset, with a flock of pigeons doing circles in the air in perfect harmony…
Every city has its own identity. An identity felt and touched in the streets, shop signs, people, language and everything, rather than defined in a few lines. For me, and I think for all of us, Amman has instilled its identity in us, and became an inseperable, or hopefully inseperable part of us. How many non-ammanites would understand a simple Ammani joke or expression? How many peopel would see soemthign special in a simple sidewalk, colored pink and yellow? There’s something special about this city…
You know for a while I’ve been thinking of going abroad for sometime, I mean to work or something, but I never, never iamgined myself leaving for good… I don’t knwo how people do it :s
This a city to ENJOY, really, just grab your camera and wander around… you could always run into some old friend, or some distant acquaintance. You can almost never get lost, you may get bored sometimes, but you always go back to do the same old things.
Just like a spell, a sweet spell that you never want to get rid of…
Picture by radio-diablo

Picture by:  aisling_mck
Picture by: CitroenCrazy
Originally posted onSaturday, December 30, 2006 on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2006/12/136544.html