Lesley Hazleton: On reading the Koran

Lesley Hazleton explores the Koran and finds much that is quite different from what is reported in commonly cited accounts.


Lesley Hazleton (born 1945) is an award-winning British-American writer whose work focuses on the intersection of politics, religion, and history, especially in the Middle East. She reported from Israel for Time, and has written on the Middle East for numerous publications including The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, The Nation, and The New Republic.

Hazleton was born in England, and became a United States citizen in 1994. She was based in Jerusalem from 1966 to 1979 and in New York City from 1979 to 1992, when she moved to her current home in Seattle WA, originally to get her pilot’s license. She has two degrees in psychology (B.A. Manchester University, M.A. Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

She has described herself as “a Jew who once seriously considered becoming a rabbi, a former convent schoolgirl who daydreamed about being a nun, She is an agnostic with a deep sense of religious mystery.

A psychologist by training and Middle East reporter by experience, British-born Lesley Hazleton has spent the last ten years exploring the vast and often terrifying arena in which politics and religion, past and present, intersect. Her most recent book, After the Prophet: the Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split, was a finalist for the 2010 PEN-USA nonfiction award.

She lived and worked in Jerusalem for thirteen years — a city where politics and religion are at their most incendiary — then moved to New York. She came to Seattle to get her pilot’s license in 1992, saw the perfect houseboat, and stayed. By 1994, she’d flown away all of her savings, and has never regretted a single cent of it. Now her raft rides low in the water under the weight of research as she works on her next book, The First Muslim, a new look at the life of Muhammad.

On April 18…

On 18 April 1996, during Operation Grapes of Wrath, a Fijian UNIFIL compound in the village of Qana was shelled by Israeli artillery, killing 106 civilians and injuring around 116 others who had taken refuge there to escape the fighting. Now, 12 years later, Qana Massacre is to be remembered. 10 years later, it became known as the First Qana Massacre, after being encored on July 30th. Truely, history doesn’t repeat itself, it just rhymes. The same village, the same atrocity, the same criminals, the same silence by the international community, only different, new more victims.
This is a video with facts and pictures from both massacres…
Originally Posted on April 18, 2008 on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2008/4/539322.html

Stupid Bush… a hit out of the park!

So I made this video of Bush sometime ago and posted it on YouTube. I got email notification from time to time telling me that someone has commented on “Stupid Bush” (That being the video title) I usually didn’t check the comments and by now I figured there was 30 something comment on it, didn’t really keep count…

So, today I decided to check up on it, and I was surprised to see that the video achieved an average rating of 4/5 (87 ratings), was viewed 32,833 times, favorited 200 times, and provoked more than 145 comments…   I don’t know how much those numbers are considered impressive relatively, since I’m not a YouTube savvy and I haven’t created too many videos of my own (public ones that is), besides that this one is not original (a montage of different videos for Bush with some comments and some sound effects)… but I liked what I saw anyawys! So I thought it’s worth sharing once again… enjoy!

One funny comment reads: That man could make more money doing his own TV show than as President. Though my favourite Bushism (except perhaps the fish one) is: “If we don’t succeed we run the risk of failure.”

Originally Posted on Wednesday, October 24, 2007 on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2007/10/359483.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

Let’s talk numbers!

Another hilarious episode of Abu Mahjoob daily show! As in his cartoons, Hajjaj tries to reflect the daily concerns of the ordinary Jordanian citizen, in a less-than-five-minutes animation of ironic, sarcastic, scathy yet hopefully constructive criticism… I can’t say I liked all the episodes, or got the point all the time, but it’s obvious that the people at Mahjoob creative production company are putting a serious effort on this and they are trying to deliver a message…

This is one of the episodes I really liked, it reflects the confusion over the statistics published in the Jordanain outlets, their impact on the ordinary citizen and the contrast between them and realty… Enjoy!


Previously posted on Sunday, October 22, 2006 on http://oeliwat.jeeran.com/archive/2006/10/108850.html