Too Beautiful To Live

She rarely smiled, because she was afraid she’d get wrinkles

She never laughed, because she was afraid she’d get laugh lines

She avoided the sun for fear of sun spots

She wouldn’t come near chocolate lest she got fat

She never took a sip of coffee because it could make her teeth yellow

She never ran because it would mess up her neatly combed hair

She never had children because she didn’t want to get stretch marks

She only enjoyed watching volleyball without playing, because she was afraid she’d break a nail

She never drove with the windows down because the summer wind made her skin dry

She never walked under the rain because it would mess up her make up

She never made a funny face for fear of looking ugly in a picture

Actually she’s never done much, because at every step she took she was watching for spectators, an audience that was admiring her every move and that she aimed to please. She hasn’t done much, but she didn’t think of it much either, because when she died, she looked beautiful beyond imagination, and that’s all that mattered.

عن الصمود

لو يذكر الزيتون غارسهُ

لصار الزيت دمعا

سنظل في الزيتون خضرته

وحول الأرض درعا

محمود درويش، عن الصمود

في ذكرى يوم الأرض الفسطيني، 30 آذار

In commemoration of  The Palestinian Land Day, March 30

You Know You’re Getting Old When…

Today on my way home I stopped by the video store to get some DVD’s for my niece. So there I was looking for Dora the Explorer, which is a boring-zoring-snoring show and I don’t know what on earth do kids they days think watching this stuff! Well, I know she’s 2 years old but still, this is crap!

Anyway, while looking for Dora Shmora I hit the jackpot. Think of any cartoon you loved in the 80’s and 90’s and it was probably there among the vast collection of DVD’s, or should I say distant childhood memories, staring me in the face! So there I was trying to pick which ones to take, for myself. And the price is good too, each collection is only 3 JD’s.

So I went home all excited and I was telling my 14 year-old brother that I found a great collection of old cartoons in that store. So he said;

“Really? Do they have Pokemon”

It was a slap in the face. “I don’t know” I replied. “I was talking about the old cartoons”

“Well, pokemon is old!”

“Old for you, for us it’s new” I fired back, almost firmly.

But let’s face it. Pokemon is old. Actually it was on 10 years ago, it’s sooooo yesterday! In my dictionary though, old is more like 17 or 18 years ago. So yes, I think we are getting old, but whatever? It’s either get old or die, there’s no other alternative. So much for Alchemy.

Anyway, I bought the Smurfs and كان يا ما كان في جسم الإنسان collections. I’m still tempted to go back to the store and bring more cartoons. Maybe Alice in Wonderland and Tom Sawyer! It’s hard to resist, especially that the store is a little over a stone throw from my house.

Are we Shallow Creatures?

This subject has been on my mind for sometime now, actually it’s been bothering me so much that I almost fell in the trap of generalization, one of my biggest pet peeves, but I’m not going to lie, it did cross my mind and it was so tempting to go out there and declare to the world that, in my humble opinion, men are shallow, and therefore pathetic.

Now before anybody gets on the defensive or starts seeing red, I’m not saying that all men are shallow or all girls are deep. In fact, many girls seem to bask in the shallowness, so let’s say we’re talking here about a large part of the population. Large enough that is.

Well, we all judge by appearances, it’s just normal because it’s the first thing we see. Everyone does it, you’d see someone who looks nice and dresses nice and they instantly grab your attention. That’s not shallow, it’s basic instinct. This is not the problem, the problem is that when you discover through dealing with Mr./Ms. Charming that they have some deadly character flaws. Selfish, insanely self-centered, arrogant, hypocrite, double-faced, you name it. And yet, you still cling on to that person. This is being actively shallow, you can also be passively shallow by refusing to get the chance to know someone just because of the way they look. I’m not talking about lovey dovey relationships here, I’m talking in general, in the office, at school, everywhere.

And that’s exactly why shallow people are pathetic. They are blinded by beauty and therefore they can’t see anything past it, be it good or bad. I remember one friend complaining to me about her fiancé, she said he no longer admired her for her mind or her other personal traits, he only told her how beautiful she was and that got on her nerves. So as you can see, it’s unfair to everyone.

Again, I’m not saying all men are shallow, but let’s see what you think about this. This is a comment I read a long time ago, a very long time ago, but for some reason it stuck on my mind although I can’t remember who said it exactly, but it was a guy and he said (or wrote):

“Guys care about 3 things: Firstly, looks, secondly, looks and thirdly and most importantly looks, and any guys who says otherwise is chathaaaab (liar)”

Are you guilty as charged? Well, in all fairness one should add something for good measure. This is a part of a conversation I was having with a guy I know that, for his sake, should stay anonymous. Otherwise the girl mentioned in the conversation might be very angry. Here it goes:

– Me: So, this is serious, you’re not just fooling around?

– Him: Of course I’m not fooling around! [in a matter-of-fact tone of voice]

– Me: Good. I would’ve crushed you. Honestly though, is it because of the way she looks?

– Him: No it’s not. Actually, I didn’t like the way she looked when I first met her. But now, I think she’s very pretty! [With an expression of amazement on his face]

It couldn’t be more true, because you can’t love someone because they are beautiful, but they can certainly look beautiful because you love them. There’s a saying I really like, it says: Love is not blind, it sees more, and therefore it is willing to see less. The more you can see into someone’s soul the less the outer shell seems to matter, as well as the small and insignificant things. And this goes for all the relations we build with people.

One of the reasons I love the internet is because it lets you judge people’s personalities before judging them by their appearance. Many of the people I came to know through the net gained my respect and admiration before I knew how they look like or in some cases even learned their real names.

However, now with facebook going crazy with people’s pictures it’s a little bit harder. Just ask any girl how many friend requests she gets a day just because she has a nice profile picture of herself.

One last example before I conclude this: A guy was telling me about a certain girl and he said, “Her problem is that she’s shallow minded”. The same guy said about the same girl later, after seeing a new picture of her: “How lucky is the guy who’s going to marry her! She’s gorgeous”

I rest my case.

7 Reasons You’re still hungry

I like MSN Health articles, very informative and surprising at times. Here’s one I recently read ad thought it was particularly enlightening

7 Reasons You’re Still Hungry


Do you sometimes feel ravenous, even though you just polished off a tasty lunch, a full dinner, or a midnight snack? Some food ingredients can trick our bodies into not recognizing when we’re full, causing “rebound hunger” that can add inches to our waistlines. But these simple tweaks from the authors of The New American Diet can help quiet your cravings.
Craving culprit: You drink too much soda.

Sodas, iced teas, and other sweetened beverages are our biggest source of high-fructose corn syrup—accounting for about two-thirds of our annual intake. New research from the University of California at San Francisco indicates that fructose can trick our brains into craving more food, even when we’re full. It works by impeding the body’s ability to use leptin, the “satiation hormone” that tells us when we’ve had enough to eat.
To prevent your waistline from expanding when you sip, avoid the 20 worst drinks in America.
Order your copy of The New American Diet and lose up to 15 pounds in 6 weeks!

Craving culprit: Your dinner came out of a can

Many canned foods are high in the chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA, which the Food and Drug Administration recently stated was a chemical “of some concern.” Exposure to BPA can cause abnormal surges in leptin that, according to Harvard University researchers, leads to food cravings and obesity.
Learn four more simple solutions to fight fat and live healthier.
Craving culprit: Your breakfast wasn’t big enough

After following 6,764 healthy people for almost four years, researchers found that those who ate just 300 calories for breakfast gained almost twice as much weight as those who ate 500 calories or more for breakfast. The reason: Eating a big breakfast makes for smaller rises in blood sugar and insulin throughout the day, meaning fewer sudden food cravings.
The one time bigger isn’t better: If you start your day with any of the 20 worst breakfasts in America.
Craving culprit: You skipped the salad

Most Americans don’t eat enough leafy greens, which are rich in the essential B-vitamin folate and help protect against depression, fatigue, and weight gain. In one study, dieters with the highest levels of folate in their bodies lost 8.5 times as much weight as those with the lowest levels. Leafy greens are also high in vitamin K, another insulin-regulating nutrient that helps quash cravings. Best sources: Romaine lettuce, spinach, collard greens, radicchio.
Also include these 15 new superfoods in your meals for delicious ways to flatten your belly.
Craving culprit: You don’t stop for tea time

According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people who drank one cup of black tea after eating high-carb foods decreased their blood-sugar levels by 10 percent for 2.5 hours after the meal, which means they stayed full longer and had fewer food cravings. Researchers credit the polyphenolic compounds in black tea for suppressing rebound hunger.
Find out which bottled and bagged teas earned a spot on the Men’s Health list of the 125 best foods in your supermarket.
Craving culprit: You’re not staying fluid

Dehydration often mimics the feeling of hunger. If you’ve just eaten and still feel hungry, drink a glass of water before eating more, and see if your desires don’t diminish.
If you’re sick of H2O, but need to replenish fluids, reach for one of these 10 surprising water alternatives.
Craving culprit: You’re bored

Researchers at Flinders University in Australia found that visual distractions can help curb cravings. To test yourself, envision a huge, sizzling steak. If you’re truly hungry, the steak will seem appealing. But if that doesn’t seem tempting, chances are you’re in need of a distraction, not another meal.
Find more about The New American Diet and what’s hiding in your foods that is making you fat.

ليت الوقوف بوادي السير إجباري

Despite having been living in the beautiful, peaceful suburbs of Amman for more than 20 years, it was only until recently that I explored the fascinating, breath-taking depth of Wadi El-Sir. I remember going to that area a lot as a child, since my Grandfather’s house was there. Just passing through Al-Bayader gives me goose bumps for all the memories it brings back. Yet, going deep inside was something else. It’s even hard to believe that those vast areas of green landscape and all these beautiful hills to which I couldn’t see an end in the horizon, not to mention the charming ruin sutes, are just few miles away from the buzz and chaos of the city. I’m actually still marvelling at the fact that they are even in the same city I live in. And I used to think that Amman is too small and there aren’t many new places to discover! Much as I hate to be wrong, well, I was.

I tried to take some pictures but they can’t replace going there and experiencing all this for yourself. We went there almost an hour before sunset, but I’d recommend going earlier to enjoy the sunny views and take longer walks, because it’s a bit scary to talk there in the dark. As my brother joked while we were ascending the mountain to go to one of the ruin sites: لا تخافوا، أي ضبع بطلعلكم هون بكون ضبع جعاري (Don’t worry, any hyena here is a stray hyena)

Don’t worry though, we saw no hyenas, just friendly animals, like the two baby goats that followed us, couldn’t take a good picture of them because I was busy running away from them like a scaredy cat!

Why I Love My Mother

Because she’s one of the few people I know who don’t seek attention and don’t try to be the center of the universe.

Because she’s unconventional in the way she thinks and she raised us up not to take everything for granted and not to take crap from anyone.

Because she didn’t spoil me as a kid despite being a good mom so that I don’t turn out a sissy.

Because she only forced me to eat twice when I was a kid. One of them was because I sprinkled sugar all over fried eggs so she was actually teaching me a lesson.

Because she’s the kind of mom who would give up all the money she’s been saving so that her son would not look back at some point in his life and regret not taking a risk.

Because she’s so creative and crafty, and she knows how to recycle things around the house in a way that is guaranteed to surprise.

Because she calls me at work to tell me not to eat because she’s made on of my  favorite dishes, despite the fact that my brothers would eat up almost all of it by the time I came home.

Because when she’s away the house is cold and bleak, and once she comes back you can feel the difference from the moment you step inside.

And most importantly because, after all, none of the above reasons really matters, and I love her just because she’s her

Private Lives

– When you were first telling me about why you love the Internet, you said that no one has to be alone again. Whoever you are, whatever you love, you can connect with someone. If you want to recreate the Boston tea party while dressed as imperial storm troopers, you can find ten people in the world that have always wanted to do that.

– That hasn’t changed.

– But you have. This thing that you do, it’s not about connection anymore. It’s about an audience. It’s a performance, and you’ve got one eye on the number of hits. You’ve turned our lives into their entertainment. You’re smart, you’re fun to read, it’s okay. But don’t give them this.

So,  are you in for the connection, or for the audience?

سوبرمان الأردن

 اليوم سمعت قصة، هي قصة مألوفة بنسمع زيها كتير، بس كان فيها إشي لفت انتباهي… ش

 هادا يا جماعة الخير ابن خالي كان رايح يشتري سندويشة فلافل، وهو مروح رجع بسيارته ريفيرس (أو ليفيرس، لزوم الأسلوب السردي) ولا هو خبط بمراية بكب غاز. المهم وبلا طول سيرة نزل الشوفير وكلمة من هون وكلمة من هون دقوا في بعض وانتهى الأمر بمشكلة طويلة عريضة أدت إلى إصابات سطحية وتكسير زجاج السيارة.ش

 طبعاً هاي قصة بنسمع زيها كتير، بس بصراحة اللي لفت انتباهي حركة عملها شوفير بكب الغاز، اللي زي ما فهمت زلمة سرسري دخلة السجن عنده زي الروحة عالصويفية، يعني مش دواوين إلا شوي، حكي فاضي… اللي عمله الشخص المذكور هو إنه لما بدا الجدال بينهم قام بفتح قميصه على مصراعيه، زي لما سوبرمان يفتح قميصه، لكن بدل ان يظهر حرف “إس” كبير ظهرت كمية لا بأس بها من الأوشام على صدره كأنه يقول “أنا كان عندي سن اسمه جويدة وخلعته زمان”ش

 فأنا صرت أفكر، لو هادا الشب يطبع حرف “دي” كبير على صدره (من كلمة دواوين) ممكن نعمل مسلسل مبتكر بدل هالمصايب اللي بنشوفها عالتلفزيون الأردني… وبصير عنا سوبرمان أردني خاص فينا ! بس بعد ما راجعت الفكرة لقيت إنه فعلاً في عنا سوبرمانات كتير في الأردن، بس مش زي سوبرمان اللي بنعرفو

 سوبرمان الأردني هو الشخص الذي تجد هاتفه يرن كلما كانت هناك طوشة أو بشائر طوشة، يعني بكل عرس إلو قرص وبكل طنة إلو رنة، ووين ما فيه ناس بتدبح بعض بتلاقي دابب عالموت…ش

 أنا بصراحة بعرف نموذج من نماذج سوبرمان المذكور أعلاه، وهو شاب في العيلة، بتشوفه من برة بتقول ما شاء الله، طالب جامعي مرتب أنيق وسيم  بفهم ومثقف ومتكلم ممتاز وعلى كيف كيفكم، بس معروف لما حدا ييجي فيك بترفع عليه خط بيجي وبجيبلك الناساللي هم…ش

 مثلاً، مرة من المرات عرف إنه شباب مدرسة خاصة قريبة من بينهم بعاكسوا أخته وهي رايحة عالمدرسة، راح تاني يوم على ساحة المدرسة وارتكب مذبحة، تخيلوا شخص واحد على طلاب مدرسة الله أعلم كم عددهم، شلح الحزام ونزل فيهم من وين بوجعكم. ومش بس يك، تاني يوم رجع عالمدرسة ودخل دخول المنتصرين، وكانوا الطلاب المشطبين واقفين عشان يعتذروله… ش

قبل فترة كان يوصفلي ملحمة شارك فيها استمرت من الساعة 8 للساعة 2 بالليل. بقول حكو معاه ناس صحابه عشان في طوشة كانت عم تتحضر، ولما راحوا عالمكان المحدد، حسب ما بقول، كان في جيش كامل بستناهم، حتى إنهم كانوا حاملين سيوف وواحد فيهم حامل منجل، بقولي كان المنظر بخوف سيوف بتلمع وأعداد مهولة من البشر، معركة بكل معنى الكلمة! طبعاً هو وصحابه خف عقلهم بس برضه ما تراجعوا وانتهت الطوشة بأضرار مادية وجسمية متعددة على الطرفين

ومن أكتر القصص اللي ضحكتن لما قالي عن واحد تمشكل مع والد السوبرمان المذكور، الزلمة المسكين ما عرف إنه وقعته سودة منيلة بستين نيلة! لأنه العيلة كلها سوبرمانات من كبيرها لصغيرها، وبس سمعوا صوت أبوه نزلوا الأعمام واولاد الأعمام اللي كانوا متواجدين بالقرب من مكان الواقعة زي السيل العارم، أبوك يالموت! والباقي عندكم

بس السوبرمانات مش دايماً بستخدموا العنف. مرة صارت عنا طوشة في الإسكان، نزلوا جيش من إسكان تاني وما كان في غير أخوي وأكم من واحد من صحابه وكانوا صغار لسا في المدرسة، طبعاً خف عقلهم رسمي، إنه شو بدنا نعمل؟ قام واحد فيهم راح جاب أخوه الكبير، وإجالك بهالمرسيدس ووقف قدام الجيش ونزل وقال: “بديش أشوف ولا (تووووووووووت) في الإسكان” وزي السحر! فجأة كل الجيش اللي كان جاي يكسر الدنيا انسحب مع الاعتذار كمان! طب كيف؟ ليش؟

هلأ صحيح هاي القصص بس الوحد يسمعها بتكون بتضحك، بس زي ما بقولوا، شر البلية ما يضحك، وهادا هو شر البلية، مشاكل بتتحول لمواجهات عنيفة بين الشباب عشان قصص تافهة، مش عارفة هو من فضاوة الشباب ولا من المفهوم المشوه للزلومية اللي عنا، ولما نضحك بالقصة بكون لأنها انتهت بدون ما حدا يموت أو تصيبه عاهة مستديمة، بس مش هاي الحالة دايماً، لأنه في قصص كتير عن ناس ماتوا أو تشوهوا بسبب طوش من هاد النوع، زي طالب التوجيهي اللي دخل المستشفى وكان بدو يموت بسبب شباب متهورين طايشين ما بحسبوا حساب العواقب اللي ممكن تنتج من رغبتهم الصبيانية في إثبات رجولتهم وتعزيز كبرياءهم

أنا شخصياً حسيت بجدية الموضوع لما إخواني تعرضوا لموقف زي هيك، تهجموا عليهم شلة زعران وهم بالسيارة واللي جنني وخلاني أعدم عقلي إنهم كانوا بدهم يضربوا أخوي الصغير اللي كان عمره وقتها 12 سنة وكان قاعد وخايف في السيارة مالوش دخل في إشي، ولا إنه والحمد لله قدر أخوي يشغل السيارة ويهرب والأبواب مفتوحين. وهدول البهايم طبعاً نزلوا ضرب بالعصي على السيارة اللي كنت شاريتها قبل شهرين وتسببولها بأول طعجة، بس طعجة السيارة مش مشكلة قدام فكرة إنهم كان ممكن يتسببوا في عاهة لواحد من إخواني. طبعاً أخوي كانت ردة فعله الأولى إنه حكى مع صحابه السوبرمانات وكان بدو يطلع يدور عالبهايم عشان يرد اعتباره، بس بعد تفكير وتعقيل من أهلي سكرنا الموضوع واكتفينا بتبليغ الشرطة بأوصافهم

اللي بقوله إنه لما الشاب يفور دمه ويعمل فيها أبو زيد الهلالي، وقبل ما يطول الشفرة من تمه ولا الموس من كندرته، يفكر إنه ممكن يخسر حياته او تصيبه عاهة تضل معاه طول حياته عشان حكي فاضي، أو ممكن يتسبب في عاهة لشخص تاني أو حتى يتسبب في قتله ويخسر عمره في السجن او يقضي عمره عايش مع الشعور بالذنب، أو حتى ممكن تاخد إيدو عالموضوع ويصير مجرم… الاحتمالات كتيرة

الكل بدو يصير سوبرمان والكل بدو يثبت إنه زلمة، بس اسألوا أي واحد كان في يوم من الأيام سوبرمان دمه فاير عالطالعة والنازلة، وأظن إنه لما يبدا يحكيلكم قصة من قصصه رح يبدا بجملة: “لما كنت ولد” ش