People might have different and even clashing opinions about the things a country need to achieve in order to be able to call itself “civilized”, yet there’s no doubt in my mind that one of those requirements is that a girl, any given ordinary girl, could go to a place whose main purpose is to provide an open space for the public to work out and have a change of air without having to deal with harassment and stupidity pitched at her by some random jerks.
And since I like to think that we’re making progress in Jordan day by day towards being a more civilized country but obviously, aside from the honor killing and domestic violence which are being fought tooth and nail, I think we should also eliminate another wide-spread and extremely annoying phenomenon: Unbelievable idiocy on the streets. And let our slogan be: Guys, this is a girl that’s walking in the street, not a yeti, it’s perfectly normal, get used to it. And oh, hollering at her or piercing your exhaust pipe to create that incredibly noisy sound isn’t going to get you anywhere.
So, just today I went with a friend to sports city to do some cycling. I like it there because it’s a healthy environment. Everyone is walking, jogging working out or playing some kind of sport or just bringing there kids to play and have a sniff of fresh air. A very healthy environment, which made it extremely annoying to have 2 guys in a car acting all childish and stupid.
You see, we were cycling in a 30km/hr speed zone while these 2 guys for some reason decided to keep coming and going by on a speed that would be more fitting for a highway. It wasn’t only annoying it was dangerous, they almost hit my friend, not to mention all the kids that were scattered here and there, I’m telling you it’s not the best place to try and break the sound barrier! I don’t know what they were thinking but if they were trying to impress anyone it was an epic fail!
So, in a social responsibility/ civil duty/ good citizen moment we decided to do the responsible (actually vindictive) thing and report them to security. I memorized the license plate number and gave it to the security guard who made a call and it the next thing you know a police pick-up was on their tail.
I think it’s about time girls, and everyone for that matter, did something about this. It’s not only about you or me it’s about the culture as a whole, I hate to see this becoming a normal thing that everyone doesn’t think much of. Anyone who picks on a girl on the street should be reported and punished. And don’t go running to your brother so that they have a fight because guys actually enjoy fighting so this only makes it worse! And don’t go commando and start shouting on them, because in some sick way they enjoy seeing a girl all fired up and shouting at them.
Remember that this is bad for you, for other girls and for your country since foreigners deal with it too which is not a very nice experience to talk about back home.
Maybe of we all took [the right kind of] action against this we wouldn’t have to deal with it in a few years, in sha’a Allah.
So let our [other] slogan be: Together for a girl-friendly jerk-proof Jordan
I like it when sitcoms get deep all of a sudden, they could really surprise you…
Malcolm (all covered in slime) : Oh, mother… You know what? I’m glad! This is appropriate. Now my life looks exactly how I feel! How could you screw me over like that?
Louis: Because you were going to take that job, and we are not going to let you throw your life away.
Malcolm: How is being rich throwing my life away?!
Louis: Because it’s not the life you’re supposed to have! The life you’re supposed to have is you go to Harvard, and you earn every fellowship and internship they have. You graduate first in your class, and you start working in public service, either district attorney or running some foundation, and then you become governor of a mid-sized state, and then you become president!
Louis: Of the United States.
Hal: I’m sorry, son. It’s true. I thought you knew.Our expectations started out much smaller, but you just kept upping the ante.
Louis: What if I don’t want to be president?
Louis: It’s too late that. You’re gonna do it.
Malcolm: Oh, really? Have you decided my position on capital-gains tax cuts? What are my foreign policy objectives?!
Louis: That doesn’t matter.What does matter is you’ll be the only person in that position who will ever give a crap about people like us. We’ve been getting the short end of the stick for thousands of years, and I, for one, am sick of it. Now, you are going to be president, mister, and that’s the end of it!
Malcolm: Did it ever occur to you that I could have taken this job, gotten really rich and then bought my way into being president?
Louis: Of course it did. We decided against it.
Louis: Because then you wouldn’t be a good president. You wouldn’t have suffered enough.
Malcolm: I’ve been suffering all my life.
Louis: I’m sorry, it’s not enough.
Louis: You know what it’s like to be poor, and you know what it’s like to work hard.
Louis: Now you’re going to learn what it’s like to sweep floors and bust your ass and accomplish twice as much as all the kids around you. And it won’t mean anything because they will still look down on you. And you will want so much for them to like you, and they just won’t. And it’ll break your heart. And that’ll make your heart bigger and open your eyes and finally you will realize that there’s more to life than proving you’re the smartest person in the world. I’m sorry, Malcolm, but youdon’t get the easy path. You don’t get to just have fun and be rich and live the life of luxury.
Malcolm: This is unbelievable! You actually expect me to be president. No, no, I’m sorry. You expect me to be one of the greatest presidents in the history of the United States!
Louis: You look me in the eye and
you tell me you can’t do it.
And this is from Malcolm’s valedictory speech:
Most of us have been
dreaming of this day for years,
the day we leave childhood
and achieve independence.
But even if we move
thousands of miles away,
there’s no escape.
Our families are
coming with us.
They’ll be with us forever.
In our habits, our gestures,
and in the choices we make.
So we’ll never be set-free,
we’ll never be alone.
But the most surprising piece of wisdom comes from Reese:
Maybe life is like a roller coaster, we only go down to have fun going back up
The human psyche works in twisted ways. It has an uncanny ability to create a whole new world inside the mind where illusions are turned into realities and realities are suppressed as not to pollute that pristine, immaculate realm where what you know can’t hurt you, and what you don’t know doesn’t exist.
Ever wondered why people enjoy watching horror movies, or why we get such a kick from watching fireworks from a near distance? Certainly it’s not all about the bright colors, I can tell you that much. In fact, it goes deeper than that. It’s a game our mind enjoy playing and it’s simply called “Contained Fear”.
During the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003, there was a study which showed that people in America were watching more horror movies than before the war. They went to explain that since people felt so insecure due to the circumstances of war, they were trying to find haven in something where they can experience fear and danger knowing that they were safe in the end of the day. So, the illusions in those movies became their own twisted reality that exists only in their minds while the real worry and concerns were put on hold for those 90 minutes.
It also works the other way around. You know how you would take extra caution while walking slowly down a flight of high, steep stairs that have no railing, while if they did have railing you would go down running without even touching the railing. It’s not because the railing protected you, it’s just because it made you feel safe, just like a little child carrying their blanket around.
Fear is something not to be taken lightly. It’s too potent a motive not to be capitalized on by governments around the world. Case in point, after 9/11 the American media went berserk with all the news stories about terrorism and terrorists threats. It was almost as they were trying to scare people in purpose, or were they? Of course it’s no secret that this had a major role in re-electing George W. Busch, for what’s more effective for a candidate to gain people’s votes that convincing them that they are in danger and that he will do everything to protect them? It’s no surprise then that whenever Ben Laden issued a tape Busch would go up in the polls.
It’s an age-old way to dominate people. It’s a subtle art devised with cunning and resourcefulness to instill the idea of terror in people mind and convince them they are in real danger even though it’s not necessarily true. It’s the art of making a mountain out of a molehill to serve a hidden agenda. Just like the Discrimination wall that separates the West Bank from the occupied lands of Palestine AKA Israel, it achieves nothing but adding to the suffering of the Palestinian people who were separated from their workplaces, farms, schools, etc and eating up a part of the West Bank which includes acres and acres of agricultural land. Hence, it conveniently serves Israel’s agenda as well as making Israelis feel safe.
It’s a world dominated by fear and, sadly, the people who master this art the most are the most cowardly of all.
This post has been on my mind for some time now, ironically though I decide to write it down at last on the same day my sister and her daughters left Jordan back to the UAE.
You know those moments that you wish you can freeze and keep a still copy of them forever? Well, a camera might do that, but sometimes even a camera can’t capture all the magic and meaning encompassed within that time-frame.
I remember when I was a kid I decided to open a file in my head to try and keep certain images in it. Not necessarily special images, it was more like an experiment. And to this day when I give my mind the signal to re-open that files, the images come pouring one by one. Well, I have to admit I might have forgotten one or two, but for the most part the mental file is still there.
But there are some moments that in deed need to be archived, which is why I think that the catch phrase from Kodak ads “Kodak Moments” is a brilliant one. It’s a moment worth capturing.
If I’m to choose one Kodak moment I would say it was about just over a month when my sister was busy and my mother was asleep so I had to take care of both my nieces alone for a very short time of course (Having to do that for more that 15 minutes is torture I tell you!) So, it was for less than 10 minutes, the little one, Jana, who was about a month old or so at the time was crying so I had to carry her and walk around. While Ghazal, who’s 2.5 years old was following me around so I had to find a way to control her while I was carrying Jana. What do I do? I started singing “toot toot” as in the sound of a train and motioned for Ghazal to follow me and sing along. So, basically I was there holding my 1 month old niece followed by my 2.5 year-old niece singing toot toot around the house in the dark sometime around midnight.
That’s my favorite Kodak moment, what’s yours?
سقا الله أيام الكاميرات إم الفيلم الكوداك، كان هو هالفيلم 24 أو 36 صورة ولما تيجي تصور الصورة تحسب ألف حساب عشان الصورة اللي بتتصور ما بترجع، وعاد عيش لما تودي الفيلم يتحمض وترجع تاخده وإنت حاطط إيدك على قلبك تطلع صورة فيها رجة ولا صورة حدا بيرمش فيها. قصة طويلة! بينما هلأ بتلاقي الكاميرا ديجيتال وبتضل تطقطق فيها من الصبح لليل إشي بنشاف وإشي ما بنشاف، لأ والنكتة إنه بضلوا الصور أسبوع في الكاميرا وإنت متكاسل تحط الـUSB بالكمبيوتر وتنزل الصور!
يعني الأشياء بتزيد سرعة وسهولة وإحنا بنزيد تنبلة وقلة حيلة
وسقا الله أيام ما كان الواحد لما بده يعرف معنى كلمة “خنفشار” يروح يدور في الموسوعات والقواميس، و كانت بطاقة الإنترنت اللي فيها 9 ساعات بـ45 دينار هادا غير تكاليف التلفون! ولما تيجي تشبك يطلع صوت الديال أب بعبي الحارة والحارات المجاورة زي صوت تشحيط كوشوك سيارة على نزول المصدار. بينما هلأ كل راسمالها كبسة سحرية اسمها Search، يعني صار عنا قدرة وصول للمعلومات ما صارت في التاريخ، وفي كل مكان، بس طبعاً مش كل واحد بكون قاعد ووجهه ملزق في شاشة اللابتوب يعني عم بقرأ معلومات عامة في ويكيبيديا عشان يتثقف، لأنه في ساعات وساعات ضايعة على السوليتير والفيسبوك والتشات المصدي
يعني العلم عم بوصلنا على طبق من فضة، بس إحنا بدناش نتعلم
وسقا الله أيام النص ليرة الورق، أيام ما كان الشلن ينحكى فيه والبريزة إلها وزنها المعتبر، مين كان بفكر إنه ممكن نحتاج لورقة فئة 50 دينار؟ أصلاً شو كان الواحد ييجي عباله يصرف هديك الأيام، كان أحلى مشوار طلعة مع العيلة على منتزه عمان القومي، إذا الحالة ميسورة بهشوا وبنشوا وإذا الحالة تعبانة كل راسمالها طنجرة مجدرة. بينما هلأ بطلع الواحد عالسينما بصرف بقرة جحا وممكن يرجع بسب على الفيلم التافه اللي ضيع ساعتين من حياته عليه
يعني مصارينا كترت ومشاورينا كترت بس البركة قلت
But… it hurts
Well, it doesn’t really hurt. It’s just that something tightens inside, or snaps, and then you feel like existence is nothing but a burden. Surely, you know better, you know that very well, but when it comes to that point where it hurts even to breathe, you need to make a conscious effort to be strong enough to endure it
Perhaps it’s the worst feeling, perhaps not. However, it doesn’t feel so great when it goes away. It just feels like a brick was lifted off your chest, but left a huge void in its place
Here, a voice spoke to her, it sounded so distant but she could hear it very clearly, as if it were whispering into her ear…
Wait, and Believe.
Who doesn’t love a nice bookmark? Not cyber bookmarks (also known as Favorites on good old IE), but the actual pieces of wood, paper or whatever material used to mark the page you’ve reached while reading a book. Yes, that’s a definition for you! Beat that, Webster!
I also happen to think that bookmarks make good souvenirs, which gives more sentimental value or connect them to some time or place in my mind. There’s that part when I want to read a book and I set to choose a bookmark for it, either from the ones I have or a new one, occasionally. The bookmark has to befit the book, mix and match if you will!
So, here are my fave. five. Well, actually they are six but I said Five for the sake of alliteration…
This one dates back to college days. My friend Manar brought me this bookmark as a souvenir from Spain
This one is a handmade bookmark that my cousin brought back with her from the States, another souvenir
This one I bought in Souk Jara from a young woman who makes quite creative handcrafts
This one my friends at work got me as a gift along with a gift voucher from Virgin MegaStore. On the back it read: This is Henry the Hound, he tends to sleep when he reads.
This one is just cute. I bought it with two books with the gift voucher
This one I bought when I was in Abu Dhabi from Jarir Bookshop. It’s quite creative and untraditional, but the best part is: it’s made of recycled materials!
Update: the newest addition to the group. Bought it in place called Jara in Rainbow Street
Do you have any favorite bookmarks?
Sometimes life offers itself to you. It comes in any shape or form, in things unimaginable, in things that make you question whether you’re living or just existing…
Those are the moments that generate the most regret and force you to make the hardest of choices
Those are the moments you don’t want to miss out on
In her solitude, she longed to some strength to make a choice
She longed for help, maybe a small push
But she knew deep inside that she must make the choice alone
For most of my adult years so far I used to do a lot of rounding when it came to my age. For example, when I was 21 and 7 months I said I was 22 and so on. But that was until I was 25, for from then on the rules changed and I clung to my 25 year old like a kitten to a yarn ball, which will inevitably slip away of course. You know, they say that turning 25 feels weird because you complete one quarter of a century, but believe me, what’s more weird is being 26. At least being 25 could register with me, while it took me sometime to realize that I was 26.
You see, it’s not that I don’t like getting a year older because if you consider the alternatives, well, nobody likes to die young, I suppose! But what I want to say is, celebrating a 26 birthday is quite different than celebrating your, say, 20th birthday. At 20 you’re at college with a bunch of friends sharing more or less the same worries and concerns, you don’t have too many responsibilities, you don’t have to live up to as many expectations, at least your expectations of yourself, that’s generally speaking of course.
But, when you’re 26, it’s a different story. You look around you and you realize that people are drifting away. Even the people you used to spend time with are getting distant because they now worry about different things. The most shocking realization is perhaps that, guess what? You’re not anyone’s priority now. You start to taste the real taste of independence and being on your own. And then you kind of freak out and start thinking: I need to do something with my life! There’s so much I want to do because I don’t want to leave this world without making a difference, no matter how small, and with time is running by this fast and the new study that says brain cells start to degenerate after the age of 27…I’d better get cracking!
I don’t mean to be pessimistic, there’s so much to life and every birthday is like a wake up call to remind you of your calling in life. But I can’t help it! What I used to feel on my previous birthdays is not like what I feel now. Things change, people change, and obviously you need to go with the flow, or just find a decent cemetery where things don’t change.
I’ve put together some plans with which I’ll start after Ramadan in sha’a Allah. Basically to learn and experience more things in life. Life is good. Getting older and hopefully wiser is good, you just need to learn how to make the best of it!