Thursday, December 25, 2008

Yehya Al Gamal

Attended a lecture by the renowned Egyptian law professor Yehya Al Gamal. It was titled "The Arabs and Human Civilization".

Dr. Al Gamal emphasized that no one can claim ownership of civilization. It is a work-in-progress that belongs to all humans. He then gave a quick review of the old civilizations that flourished along the rivers in Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, and Latin America. Next he highlighted Greece's' important contribution to civilization, being the birth place of Philosophy. The Roman's contribution was in introducing law as we know it today. The next contribution came from Christianity which emphasized the importance of love and peace.

Now we come to the interesting and mind boggling part cause next came Islam. Al Gamal believes (and so do I) that Islam main message was a call to "Engage the Brain" or "إعمال العقل" (kind of hard to believe knowing where Muslims are today).

Between the 8th and 14th century, Muslims' contributions to civilization are undisputed. Muslim scientists excelled in all venues of science. The list is very long, and I've previously mention some of them in the Ibrahim Issa post (dated March 14, 2008), so I will just mention a couple of those scientist who I missed in that post.

How about Abu Rayhan Al Biruni described by a contemporary scientist as one of the greatest brains ever. He was a scientist and physicist, an anthropologist and comparative sociologist, an astronomer and chemist, an encyclopedist and historian, a geographer and traveler, a geodesist and geologist, a mathematician, a pharmacist and psychologist, an Islamic philosopher and theologian, and a scholar and teacher. Do I need to say more?

Another great was Ibn Rushd, better known in the west as Averroes. He was an Andalusian, a master of early Islamic philosophy, Islamic theology, Maliki law and jurisprudence, logic, psychology, Arabic music theory, and the sciences of medicine, astronomy, geography, mathematics and physics. Ibn Rushd has been described as the founding father of secular thought in Western Europe.

Less than 150 years after the death of Ibn Rushd, the Islamic civilization produced Ibn Khaldun. Another polymath since he was an astronomer, economist, historian, Islamic scholar, Islamic theologian, hafiz, jurist, lawyer, mathematician, military strategist, nutritionist, philosopher, social scientist and statesman. He is considered the forerunner of several social scientific disciplines: demography, cultural history,historiography, the philosophy of history, sociology, and modern economics. He is sometimes considered to be the "father" of these disciplines, or even the social sciences in general, for anticipating many elements of these disciplines centuries before they were founded in the West. He is best known for his Muqaddimah (known as Prolegomenon in the West), the first volume of his book on universal history, Kitab al-Ibar.

Now the question is, how did Islamic civilization produce those great Muslim scientists, and many more (Ibn Sina, Al Razi, Al-Khwārizmī, Gaber ibn Hayan, AlFarabi,....) in the first seven or so centuries of the Islamic civilization but it failed to produce any such greats in the following seven centuries?

Moreover, the Islamic society introduced the "Awkaf", which is nothing but the first ever social security system. Currently, this system is widely implemented in the west, but is almost absent from most Islamic countries.

What happened?

Al Gamal thinks the answer is twofold. First we forgot the main and most important message of Islam mentioned above. Some how, Muslims swapped what they wear in their feet with the brains in their head. Second, they allowed their rulers unlimited and undisputed power, and submitted to the lack of or limited freedoms given to them.

To demonstrate the second point Al Gamal reminded us of what happened to the three countries that started the non-alliance movement. Egypt, Yugoslavia, and India more or less had the same potential and their three leaders, back in the fifties, had the same aspirations. So where are those countries today? Abdel Nasser and Tito chose to rule as dictators. So even if some see them as heroes with genuine intentions to better their countries, we all know what happened. Yugoslavia is no more, and Egypt .................... no comment. But India's Nehru chose democracy. And again we all are aware of the Indian nuclear abilities and its evolution into a new world power.

So what to do to resurrect the Muslim civilization. According to Al Gamal, the obvious answer is to return our brains to where they belong in our heads, and by amending our constitutions to restrict the power of our rulers and then enforcing that change by ensuring the sovereignty of the law.

Come on Muslims, on my count.
One! Two! Three!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

خدعونا فقالوا

خدعونا فقالوا إن سبب الوساخة والتخلف والفقر اللي في البلد هو الإنفجار السكاني!! وأنا كنت عبيطة ( أو بستعبط ) و مصدقة الكلام دة لحد ما رحت الصين.

لقيت نفس الزحمة اللي عرفاها في شوارع مصر بس من غير وساخة!! إستغربت خالص مالص و قلت هم صحيح إخوانا الصينيين بياكلوا كل حاجة وأي حاجة ومابيرموش أي جزء من أي نبات، حشرة، أو حيوان، بس برضة فين الورق و البلاستيك اللي مفروض يكون في الشارع؟

وشفت نفس الزحام في محطات المترو والقطارات بس من غير هرجلة ولا زق ولا تحرش ولا بهدلة!!! برضة إستغربت و قلت أمال إية كل الكلام الفارغ دة علي ثقافة الزحام و العدوانية الخزعبالية المحورية الناتجة عن قسمة عدد أفراد الأسرة علي متوسط سعر متر الأرض في العتبة الخضراء اللي الخبراء دوشونا بيها دي؟؟ الناس دي منظمة و محترمة بعض كدة إزاي؟؟؟

وبالرغم من الأعداد المهولة من البشر، ماشفتش ناس بتتسكع في الشوارع ولاشفت عواطلية. كل واحد وواحدة ماشين عارفين دورهم في النهضة الصينية. حتى بنات الفوت مساج. كل واحدة دارسة شغلها وعارفة هى حتلعب في أي صباع بالظبط. إتعجبت و قلت أمال إحنا مش عارفين نشغل الكام مليون اللي عندنا لية؟

يامصرييييييييييين!!! علي رأي أم كلثوم : " العيب فيكم وفللي حاكمكم، أما الصين ياروحي علية." ء

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The First Anniversary Post

I haven't written any new posts for over a month!!! Not sure how or why that happened? Brain Freeze? Alzheimer? Divine Mercy for my readers on the occasion the holy month of Hajj? Or may be, there is a conspiricy to prevent me from writing? Who knows.

Here is what happened so you can judge for yourself.

I was planning a special post on December 3rd, which was the first anniversary of my blog, but then my Ibn Batouta husband decided that we should go visit his cousin & her husband in China (I have no idea how he comes up with those crazy ideas, but what really puzzles me is how the heck does he convince me to go along with them. I am suspecting hypnosis!!) So I was too busy packing, and the anxiety I suffer from before any trip made me decide to write my (so called) special post in China.

In China. and for the first couple of days, our sleeping patterns were all messed up. The cousin & her husband were on China time. Ibn Batouta & I were five hours behind them. And when Ibn Ibn Batouta joined us there, he was 12 hours behind China time. So we saw each other in shifts, and at any given time only two or three of us were awake (well, kind of).

Ibn Batouta's cousin, finally found the perfect cure for this timezone problem. On a rare occasion when we were all awake, she took us to a foot massage place. Two of us (not telling who) were completely out the moment they placed their feet in the burning hot water bucket, and the rest hit the snooze button as soon as those master masseuses started working their magic on our very tired feet. Well this is what I think has happened since when I woke up, we were all well rested and finally on the same timezone. Rumor has it that some of those foot massage places also offer what the cousin calls "Massage with a Happy Ending". Hopefully we were not in one of those. (But if we weren't, why did the guys keep wanting to go back??)

Now that I was sleeping "normally" and was well rested , I thought I'd have time to write a post. I was wrong. Ibn Batouta had other plans. He was determined to see as much of China as possible in the short time we had left. We would wake up every morning, eat breakfast, and then follow in the tracks of Marco Polo. BTW, I am not complaining. I loved visiting so many places, and getting to know more about the people and the culture that will probably dominate the world in a few years. I was really impressed by most of what I saw. The only area the Chinese need to work hard on and improve drastically is their so called food. And I don't mean what we usually find in Chinese restaurant outside China, cause this has nothing to do with true traditional Chinese food. Hello!! Chinese People!! Ni Hao!!! I love you and love your country, BUT, having rats, cockroaches, bats, dogs, crocodiles, scorpions on a restaurant menu is NOT cool!!!

Any ways, back to my dry spell. Between site seeing, traveling to Hong Kong & Macau, and hunting for Arabic or European restaurants to find edible food, I had no time to write.

Now the plan was to write a new post as soon as we return home safely. But guess what, when I arrived home, my OCD took over and I had to unpack and return each travel item back to its designated place. The next day, I finally sat down at my recliner with the laptop on my lap to write. But I discovered that my laptop was acting crazy and was painfully slow, so I spent a day or so, doing disk checks, defragmenting, and running all the stupid tools that are supposed to fix your PC but never actually do. Up till this moment, I had no problem accepting that all those events were nothing but coincidences.

But what happened next was just too much. The moment (and I am not exaggerating) I had a working (but far from perfect) PC, I lost Internet Services. When I called the service provider to ask when will the problem be fixed, I was told that three submarine cables were cut and that they had no idea when they will be fixed!!

So excuse me if I invoke the conspiracy theory doubts that I was trying to ignore all along. Someone is determined to silence me. And this person must be the one I write most often about and who most probably is the one I embarrass the most by what I write!!!

Allah y sam7ak ya Ibn Batouta.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

الزوجة التانية

البوست دة مش عن واحد من أجمل أفلام السينما المصرية "أفر"، الزوجة التانية للرائعة سعاد حسني. لكن أنا بتكلم عن الموضة الجديدة اللي ماشية في البلد اليومين دول. كام واحد فيكو بيعرف راجل أتجوز على مراتة؟؟ ياخبر إسود، كل دول؟؟طاب نزلوا أيديكوا بلاش فضايح. تيجوا بدل ما نشتم في الرجالة دي، مع إنهم يستاهلوا الشتيمة و أكتر كمان، نحاول نفهم إية اللي حصل في مصر اللي وصلنا للمصيبة دي؟

المتهم الأول: التفسيرات المتخلفة للقرآن واللي بتعمل في إية التعدد نفس اللي الشيوخ غاويين يحظروا منة من الأخذ ببعض الأية و ترك بعضها وللي دايما يببرهنوا علية بأية الصلاة و السكر. أضف إلي ذلك (إية الكلام الكبير دة؟؟) دخول عادات وتقاليد مستوردة و غريبة علينا، متخفية وراءستار ديني سلفي. (أية الكلام الكبير دة؟ لو حد فهم حاجة بلييييييززززز يشرحلي أنا قلت إية)

المتهم الثاني: استمرار سيطرة ثقافة المجتمع الأبوي أو الذكوري اللي جابنا ورا و طلع روح اللي خلفونا. أراء الأخ أرسطو اللي بتحقر من شائن المراء واللي تبناها العرب لسة سائدة و متقدمة بمراحل عن ثقافة إحترام و تقديرالمرأة اللي حث عليها الإسلام (الشيوخ غاويين يقولوا كدة وبعدين أول ما تكون فية أي محاولة لتصحيح وضع المرأة، يكونوا همة أول ناس يقفوا ضدها. أخر دليل على اللي بقولة خبر في جريدة بحرانية بيقول:" اجتمع كل من النواب السلفيين والشيعة بمجلس النواب البحريني على رفض مشروع قانون جديد للأسرة يقر حق الزوجة في الاشتراط على زوجها ألا يتزوج عليها، معتبرين إياه بمثابة "إعلان حرب على المعتقدات الإسلامية". ياعني طول عمري نفسي إن الأخوة السنة و الأخوة الشيعة يحترموا بعض ويحاولوا يقربوا من بعض ومافيش فايدة. وأول مرة يتفقوا فيها على حاجة، يتفقوا على ظلم المرأة؟؟ حسبي اللة ونعم الوكيل.

المتهم الثالث: الإدعاء بتقليد سنة المسلمين الأوائل. إشمعنى التفليد دة لازم ييجي على دماغ الستات؟؟؟ لية الأخوة مش بيقلدوا الرسول في رقتة مع أهل بيتة؟ ولا بيقلدوا أبوبكر في إنفاقة لمالة لمساعدة المساكين. ولا في عدل عمر. ولا شجاعة علي؟؟ هي السنة لازم تبقي في التعدد بس؟؟؟

المتهم الرابع: إختفاء الروح الإصلاحية في المجتمع واللي كانت بتاخد موقف رافض لأي خروج عن قيم المجتمع المصري وماكنتش تتقبل الزيجة الثانية للرجل. فكان الي بيعمل العملة السودة دي كان بيخبي عملتة و لو أتعرفت كان يبقى منبوذ. أما دلوقت، فمع الأسف مع الألم، اغلب أفراد المجتمع بقوا بيتقبلوا الموضوع بسهولة وحتى بترحاب.

المتهم الخامس: ................. بلا متهم خامس ومتهم عاشر هو أنا تاعبة نفسي وبدور علي حجج و أسباب للتصرفات الغلط لل "سو كولد" رجالة لية؟؟ ماأفتكرش إن الكلام دة حيغير أي حاجة. ولا هم حيقتنعوا بكلامي، ولا أنا ما عمري حقتنع بكلامهم. المهم إني أنا مقتنعة بالعدالة الإلاهية وإن من ظلم يظلم ولو بعد حين. ء

فينك يا حين؟؟

Monday, November 17, 2008

Farouk El-Baz

I recently attended a lecture by the Egyptian American scientist Farouk El-Baz. His lecture was about Groundwater in Arab Deserts. The space images in his slide show revealed (well, I took his word for it) that the Deserts of North Africa & Arabia resulted from the alternation of wet and dry climate cycles; with the last wet cycle having ended 5,000 years ago. Radar images of Arab deserts have revealed numerous courses of rivers and streams that led to depressions where lakes formed. Water seepage in the substrate caused groundwater accumulation beneath lake basins and fracture zones.

What did our dear government do about this discovery? Well, according to Dr. El-Baz, it took the government over 10 years to take the first step of digging exploration wells. And even after the results exceeded all expectations, no further action has been taken yet. Surprised? Walla ana!!

I am kind of embarrassed to say that I learned all of the above from my husband who repeated the lecture to me when we returned home. I honestly went to the lecture with the innocent intention of learning something new and getting wiser in the process, yet I ended up not understanding much of what Dr. El-Baz said. Not because the lecture was very complicated, or because he was using scientific jargon that's hard to understand. On the contrary, this genius made geology & remote sensing so easy, that even individuals with IQ scores as low as mine could easily follow. My problem was that I had a huge crush on him! So I could not concentrate on, or actually care about, anything he said.

Good thing my hubby was there with me. Not only to repeat the lecture to me, but I have a feeling that if I was there by myself, Dr. El-Baz would have left the lecture as Dr. Et-Bas!!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

مصر طلعت مش شفافة

كشف تقرير الشفافية الدولية لسنة 2008 أن مصر قد تراجعت 10 مراكز بين دول العالم إلي المركز 115 بكل إقتدار. طبعا مش محتاجين نباهة علشان نعرف إننا بالمركز دة إحنا مش بس أقل شفافية من دول الغرب، لكن وبلا فخر إحنا أقل شفافية من دول في أسيا وأفريقيا. وحتى أقل شفافية من دول عربية زي قطر (28)، الإمارات (35)، عمان (41)، البحرين (43)، الأردن (47)، تونس (62)، الكويت (68)، السعودية (80)، الجزائر(92)، لبنان (102)..... هو فاضل مين؟؟؟؟

بس قبل ما نظلم حكومتنا الموقرة و نتهمها بالفساد، ياريت أي مسؤل محترم، أو حتى مش محترم، يصدر بيان أو تصريح يقولنا سبب الخيبة التقيلة دي. جايز يكون فيه سبب وجيه إحنا الشعب المفتري مش واخدين بالنا منه.

مثلا يكونوا بتوع الشفافية الدولية دول عملوا الدراسه وقت السحابة السودة اللي بتهب على مصر كل سنة. أو مثلا يكونوا قالوا مصر مش شفافة لأنهم لما زاروا مصر ماعرفوش يشوفوا وش أي مصري. الستات أغلبهم لبسوا النقاب، والرجالة مربيين دقون تسد الهوا والشمس. أو أي سبب تاني غير لاسمح الله والشر برة وبعيد: الفساد.

أنا مستنية يا حكومة. ياريت تعبروني.

اللي عاوز يشوف التقرير الكامل يكلك هنا. ء

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Monday, November 3, 2008

ذكريات هندسية

سمعت إن والد زميلة لية من أيام الدراسة توفى إلى رحمة أللة. أترحمت عليه، بس بصراحة لقيت نفسي بأبتسم إبتسامة خبيثة لإن زميلتي دي ووالدها كانوا السبب في أسوء (أنيل) يوم ليه في حياتي الجامعية. كنت في إعدادي هندسة وكنت أكتشفت بعد أول يوم دراسة إن الفكرة اللي كانت في راسي عن الجامعة مالهاش أي علاقة بالحقيقة المرة اللي لقيت نفسي عايشة فيها. أول مشكلة هي إن المحاضرات كانت بالعربي و دة ظبعآ طبيعي لمعظم الطلبة، لكن أنا و أصحابي من المدرسة طول عمرنا بناخد الرياضة بالإنجليزي فا ماكناش بنفهم أي حاجة في المحاضرات!! الغريب إني مع كدة عمري مافوت محاضرة!! المهم كان عندنا مادة إسمها هندسة وصفية وكنت بمساعدة والدي (ربنا يخلليهولي) فهمتها وحتى حبيتها. وفي يوم ، كان عندنا إمنتحان نص السنة الشفوي، وكنت داخلة وأنا فرحانة بشبابي لأني مذاكرة كويس وكنت حاسة إني (علي رأي أبني) حدشدش الأمتحان!! كان فيه أتنين معيدين بيمتحنونا، وكانوا بينادوا علينا أثنين أثنين بترتيب أسمائنا الأبجدي. على حظي نادوا علية مع زميلتي لأن إسمها بيبتدي بالنون زيي. فرحت لما المعيدين عرفوا من إسمها إن والدها أستاذ رياضة في الكلية، قلت كدة هي ضمنت الدرجة النهائية، ويمكن كمان توصيهم علية حق االعشرة الطويلة في المدرسة . لكن طلعت نادلة أخدت الدرجة النهائية وطارت. عمومإآ مازعلتش أوي لأإني كنت مذاكرة بجد. الإمتحان كان عبارة عن كروت مرسوم عليها أشكال مختلفة، وكل المطلوب كان إننا نعرف إسم الشكل، وبعدين نجاوب على شوية أسئله عن مساحة وحجم الشكل وحاجات تانية مالهاش أي فايدة في الدنيا. وقفت أودام المعيدين وكلي سلف إستيم وسألوني عن إسمي، والحمد للة جاوبت هوا، وبعدين معيد منهم قاللي ويا ترى حاتجوبي بالعربي ولا سياتك كمان خريجة مدرسة أجنبيه ومدلعة زي الباشمهندسة اللي قابلك و مابتعرفيش غير إنجليزي؟ طبعآ مش محتاجة أقولكم إن السلف إستيم طار وعنية دمعت بس مالقيتش حل غير إني أقوله لا ياباشمهندس، أنا حاجاوب بالعربي. دعيت أن يجيلي شكل سهل و فعلآ الكرت اللي سحبتة كان شكل "كون" . قلت الحمد للة جت سليمة. وبما إني ضليعة في اللغة العربية، كنت محتارة بين كلمتين. ياتري اقول قرطاس ولا طرطور؟ قلت نخليها قرطاس أضمن. وفعلا وبكل ثقة قلت: قرطاس ياباشمهندس!! المعيد: قرطاس؟؟؟ إحنا حنبيع لب ياباشمهندسة؟؟؟؟ قلت: طيب طرطور؟؟؟ المغيد: إنتي بتهرجي معايا و لا إنت فعلا ميحة وأحطلك الصفر وأخلص؟؟ وطبعآ مش محتاج أفول إن الدموع غرقت لبسي والأرض، فالمعيد أتخض وقالي: مالك هو فيه أية؟؟ قلت وأنا بتشحتف: بصراحة أنا مذاكرة كويس أوي بس أنا كنت في نفس المدرسة اللي كانت فيها زميلتي اللي قابلي وكنا بناخد كل الرياضة والعلوم بالإنجليزي. والدكتور في المحضرات قالنا اللي عايز يجاوب بالعربي يجاوب، واللي عاوز يجاوب بالإنجليزي يجاوب!! المعيد: ياعني عارفة إسم الشكل بالإنجليزى؟ قلت: طبعآ دا "كون"، ومساحتة تتحسب كدة، وحجمة كدة ...... مش عارفة إذا كانت الدموع ولا الإجابة الصحيحة هية اللي خالتني أصعب علية فقال:طيب سماح المرة دي، حاديكي النمرة النهائية، بس أوعي أسمعك بتقولي قرطاس ولا طرطور هنا تاني!! و لعلمك الشكل إسمه مخروط. كان عندي رغبة شديدة أستظرف وأقوله: هو إحنا حنبيع ملوخية ياباشمهندس؟؟؟ يس فقلت لنفسي إمشي من وشة بسرعة فبل ما يغير رأيه. اللة يرحمك يا د. ع

Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Favorite Daughter is 25

My Favorite Daughter is 25!! OK I'm cheating cause she is my only daughter. Actually, I like to think that since she turned into a young lady (I guess that was when she turned 14, since she has always been mature for her age) we were more like two friends and not a mother and daughter. Well, what also helped in establishing such a relation was that I was going through my "OMG!! I will soon turn 40!! I will act 20 and see if I can get away with it" phase. So we were almost the same age!!!

Noona, I love you, I love your social & activist work, I love your art, and I wish you all the best with your studies, work, and eli bali balek!!

BTW, I should be mad since you were partying with your friends and did not even bother to answer my calls last night, but thank you for calling me back at 3:15am when I was fast asleep!!

Happy Birthday Habiba!!

p.s. hope you don't mind me posting your unibomber picture!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

رواية " 1/4 جرام " لعصام يوسف

من الفوازير البايخة اللي حافظها كل مصري : " قد الكف و يقتل مية وألف. يبقى أيه؟" أنا لسة مش عارفة الإجابة للفزورة دي (أكتشوالي أنا عارفة بس بستعبط علشان الإجابة مقرفة) بس أنا عندي فزورة أجدع منها: "تفتكر 1/4 جرام من أي مادة، تخلينا نشرب على شبابنا قهوة سادة؟"

لأ يا فالح، مش أسلحة دمار شامل اللي عم بوش لسة بيدور عليها في العراق، أنا بتكلم عن 1/4 جرام هيروين !!!!ء

رواية " 1/4 جرام " لعصام يوسف بتدخلنا جوة عالم الإدمان من خلال أحداث حقيقية مر بيها صاحبة صلاح (أو صاصو أو كراكس) واللي حمل عصام أمانة تسجيلها ونشرها علشان تكون رسالة تحذير لكل شاب أو فتاة يفكروا في الدخول الي عالم المخدارات و الدماغ العالية.

1/4 جرام هيروين كان نقطة تحول في حياة صلاح وأصحابة الأربعة، و حولهم جميعآ (ماعادا حسين اللي حس بخطر الهروين و بعد عنها بدري بدري - يمكن علشان زملكاوي ربنا مرضاش يعذبة مرتين؟) من أولاد عائلات محترمة إلى حرامية، كذابين، متهورين، فاشلين، تايهين، ومابيتعظوش حتى لما أصحابهم أو همة نفسهم بيأفورا (يعني ياخدوا أوفر دوز)

و الرواية لازم تفراها كل أم وكل أب علشان ياخدوا بالهم ويفهموا أعراض الإدمان و مايضحكش عليهم إبنهم أو بنتهم لو يوم بعد الشر بعد الشر دخلوا في دوامة الإدمان، لأن وعود ودموع المدمن مالهاش أي قيمة.

وأجمل ما في الرواية هي رسالة الأمل اللي بتبعتها في أخر 200 صفحة (الرواية حوالي 630 صفحة بس ممكن تخلص في يوم) واللي بتقول ان مهما كان حالة المدمن، فية أمل في شفاءه لو حطيناه علي أول الطريق الصحيح و كان هو عندة الرغبة الحقيقية إنه يبطل. و منساش عصام إنة ينبه لأهمية برنامج جماعة " المدمنون المجهولون"، وهى جماعة تهدف إلى مساعدة المدمنيين على الإقلاع.

على فكرة، عصام يوسف من عائلة أدبية و إعلامية شهيرة. مامتة هي ماما لبنى رئيسة تحرير مجلة سمير و باباه هو الأديب عبدالتواب يوسف، من أهم من كتب للأطفال في مصر. ء

Friday, October 24, 2008

نهى رشدي، بنت بألف راجل

طول عمر شوارعنا فيها معاكسات. بس كانت معظمها بالكلام بس، ومن غير ألفاظ قذرة. يعني حتى الشباب اللي كنا بنقول علية صايع كان برضة عنده حدود مابيعديهاش. ولو عداها، كانت الأرض تنشق عن ميت راجل أو شاب جدع، يدافع عن البنت أو الست اللي أتعكست وكإنها أمه أو أختة. أما الأيام المنيلة بستين نيلة دي، وبالرغم من (أو يمكن علشان) الإنتشار الواسع للتدين المرتبط بالمظاهر و الشكليات، فالأخلاق و الأدب في أجازة طويلة و الرجولة منعدمة إلا في حالات نادرة.

ناخد مثلآ اللي حصل لنهى رشدي. بنت راجعة من السفر هي و صاحبتها هند و قربت من العمارة اللي هي ساكنة فيها في عز الظهر. لحد هنا و الحدوتة حلوة وملتوتة و مافيهاش أي مشاكل. لكن اللي حصل بعد كدة لازم يخلينا كلنا نراجع نفسنا لإننا كلنا مسؤلين.

سواق عديم الأخلاق و الرجولة إسمة شريف جبريل (وهو ولا شريف ولا يمت لجبريل بأي صلة) قرر أنه يمد إدة من شباك العربية النص نقل اللي هو سايقها، ويمسك صدر نهي ويشدها للعربية بقوة لدرجة إنها كان حيغمى عليها و فعلآ وقعت على الأرض وهي بتصرخ وتستنجد بالناس. وأنطلق الكلب بالعربية وعلى وشة ضحكة ساخرة بتاعت واحد فرحان بنفسة و متعود يعمل كدة و متعود أكتر إنه يفلت بعملتة.

وعلشان ربنا موجود، جت عربية من الأتجاه المعاكس و قفلت عليه الطريق. ، فقامت نهى ورمت نفسها على العربية علشان مايهربش. وأتلم الناس سألوا على اللى حصل، فحكتلهم نهى. و بدل ما يتلم علية ال "سو كولد" رجالة اللي في الشارع ويدوله علقة مأخدهاش زمالكاوي في كأس السوبر ولا ممثل للحكومة في الدويقة، حاول بعض الناس الموجودة إنها تساعد السواق على الهروب، وشوية يقولوا طيب يعتذرلك و الست الوحيدة اللي أتدخلت قالت لها معلش سبيه يمشي ومتبهدليش نفسك كده. حتى عامل جراج العمارة القريبة لبيت نهى و اللي يعرفها كويس طنش وعمل نافسة مش شايف ولا سامع!! ولكن نهى رشدي اللي حقيقي بميت راجل من بتوع زمان رفضت كل إقتراحات الخيبة التقيلة دي وقالت هو كان داس على رجلي؟ أنا لازم أخده القسم. ولما إستنجدت هند بأمين الشرطة في القسم القريب من مكان الدوشة دي كلها رفض إنة يهز طول سعادتة و يروح يخدم الشعب زي ما اليفط اللي على باب كل قسم ما بتقول. وهنا تدخل شاب شهم عمرة حوالي 20 سنة ، وجر المجرم شريف للقسم. والناس ماشية وراهم وبيقولوا "دى مجنونة دى ولا إيه؟ قسم إيه اللى دخلاه؟! دى أكيد هبلة!!". ونعم الأخلاق!! وفي القسم حاول أمين الشرطة إنة يقنعها تروح و تنسى الموضوع. وبعدين وقدام إصرار نهى كتب المحضر بالعافية و إتلكك بإن مافيش عربية تاخد المتهم لقسم مصر الجديدة، فإطرت نهي ووالدها إنهم ياخدوه هو و عسكري للحراسة (كتر خير الظابط) معاهم في عربيتهم لتسليمة هناك. عمار يا مصر!!!

المهم إن السواق أنكر كل حاجة في النيابة، لكن اللي شجع نهى هو إن وكيل النيابة كان محترم و قال لها أنت شجاعة جدآ. والباقي كلنا عارفينة. نهى كسبن القضية و إتحكم على السواق بتلات سنين سجن. يارب يطلعلة في السجن واحد يكون غاوي يمسك حاحات مش من حقة يمسكها!!!

تحية وشكر لنهى من كل ست مصرية لأنها بشجاعتها حتخللي شوارع مصر أأمن لنا كلنا.
وتحية للشاب اللي ساعدها بالرغم من تخللي كل الموجودين عنها.
وتحية لوكيل النيابة المحترم اللي ماحاولش يكسر مقاديفها ويطلب منها تتنازل.
وتحية للقاضي المحترم اللي خللى السواق عبرة لكل واحد يفتكر إنة ممكن يلمس أي ست و يفلت من أي عقوبة.

أما السواق، وال "سو كولد" رجالة اللي كانوا في الشارع و ماقطعوش السواق لعملتة السودا، وكل واحد أو واحدة سمعوا الحكاية و حاولوا يلوموا نهى أو يلمحوا إنها ممكن يكون لبسها أو تصرفاتها هي السبب في اللي حصل، و لكل واحد أو واحدة حاولوا يقنعوها إن إصرارها على أخد حقها دة بهدلة ليها، وعامل الجراج، وأمين الشرطة، ولكل شاب أو راجل بيستحل إنة يعاكس أو يستغل أي بنت أو ست، أو حتى يشوف كل دة و مايعملش حاجة، أنا عندي كلام كتير أوي أوي نفسي أقولهولكم لكن الرقابة مع الأسف مع الألم شاليتو كلة.

لكن خاليني أحاول أعالجكم بدل ما بس أشتمكم و ألعن أهلكم. فاكرين فيلم فؤاد المهندس اللي مدبوللي كان عامل فية دكتور نفسي وطلب من المريض المتعقد علشان كان قصير إنة يقول "أنا مش قصير وأوزعة، أنا طويل وأهبل"؟ عايزة كل واحد فيكم يوقف قدام المرايا تلات مرات كل يوم ويقول"أنا مش متدين و بعرف ربنا، أنا أنا ندل و عديم الشهامة". يمكن لما تعترفوا إنكم غلطانين تحسوا على دمكم و تبتدوا تصلحوا أخلاقكم الواطية .

و مافيش السلام عليكم علشان فورتوا دمي

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Post by a Young Egyptian living in North America

Living in North America for the past seven years, I have found a group of people who have remained more united than any race or culture I have ever witnessed while living in the Middle East. Whenever one member of this group is down, it seems like fifteen of his/her kind are ready to pick him right back up. Communities of this race are more closely-knit than any other of the ethnic communities on the continent. The reason I haven't witness this group earlier in my life is because I've never lived in the vicinity of a significant enough group of them. If you haven't figured the race out by now, I'm not talking about Native Americans, but rather, the Jews.

Every summer, a group of wealthy Jewish entrepreneurs donate millions of dollars to a program entitled Birth Right in which North American students of Jewish decent are given free airfare and full board at a relatively nice hotel in Israel where they are taught more about their culture and heritage. Don't get me wrong, I think the fundamentals of this program are completely absurd considering it is much more the "birth right" of Palestinians who lived on that land to have access to their own homes than it is for a bunch of students who don't even speak Hebrew and know close to nothing about their heritage and just want a free trip to a region they've never even come close to. One or two of my Jewish friends (yes, I have Jewish friends), blatantly admitted that it was a complete brainwashing scheme to convince these North Americans with a bright future to be "more Jewish" and more loyal to their background. But as much as I hate the program, I simply can't help but to admire the sense of cultural pride that underlines it.

Coming back to my Arab roots, I am lucky enough to have found a small group of Arab friends that I have really come to love. One Saudi, one Lebanese, one Jordanian, and two other Egyptians. Keep in mind that my group of Anglo-Saxon friends (whether Canadian, American, or European) numbers in the double digits. The reason I have become close friends with so few Arabs isn't because I haven't found or met any, but rather that I am completely turned away from the majority of the Arabs I meet. For example, when I let someone know that I'm Egyptian, instead of receiving a warm "ahlan wa sahlan", I usually get a smart-ass response making fun of the typical Egyptian accent. This might make it sound like I have no sense of humor, but if you know me, you know that's not the case at all. The thing is, under this remark, I can actually sense an underlying bitterness that I don't even understand. Another time, one Arab was describing to a group of us how his roommate had moved out of their apartment without even paying the last months' rent, and another Arab was quick to say "oh, the Syrian? What did I tell you about Syrians man, you can't trust them." Now can you blame me for having only five Arab friends?

My goal here isn't to try to rally up Arab pride and unity in order to become a strong "force" in the world. Don't get me wrong, that would be great, but if Nasser couldn't accomplish that even to rally up against Israel, then I doubt my luck will be any better. Rather, think about the issue and relate it to your own lives. Do you have subconscious anger or distaste towards fellow Arabs? If so, what's the reason and is it necessary to hold on to that grudge? You might find that this sentiment is based on a stereotype of just one or two people from that country that you have had a bad experience with. Also, regardless of your feelings towards the Jewish race, wouldn't adapting some of their positive traits be much more productive than sitting around and watching them strive as a community? Think about it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

رجال في الشمس

كل مرة أتفرج على فيلم "غروب و شروق" أفضل أدعي إن سمير (إبراهيم خان) مايكتشفش مراتة مديحة (سعاد حسني) في سرير أعز أصحابة عصام (رشدي أباظة). لكن مع الأسف كل مرة بيظبطها وبيجرها وهي بقميص النوم في الشارع ويوديها لأبوها ويقولة بنتك طالق يا باشا، جبتها من سرير أعز أصحابي!

وكل مرة يدخل جول في مرمى الإبيض أبو خطين، أدعي ربنا إن حارس مرمى الزمالك يعرف يصد الكورة في الإعادة. لكن برضة عمره ماعرف يمسكها مع إن الكابتن شاف هية حتروح فين بالظبط

جالي نفس الإحساس وأنا بقرأ رواية رجال في الشمس للكاتب الفلسطيني غسان كنفاني. تمنيت نهاية سعيدة للرواية ولأبطالها مروان، أسعد، وأبو القيس مع إني كنت عارفة النهاية المؤلمة للقصة علشان شفت برنامج وثائقي عن المخرج توفيق صالح و فيلمه المخدوعون عن نفس الرواية.

في صفحات قليلة قدم كنفاني أبطال الرواية الثلاثة لنا ووصف حياتهم القاسية بسبب التهجير والفقر وندالة اقرب الأقارب مثل الأب و الأخ و الصديق، وصعوبة الحصول علي عمل تحت الظروف المأساوية اللي بيعيشوها. الظروف دي دفعتهم للمغامرة بحياتهم و الموافقة على التسلل الي الكويت بحثا عن العمل المربح داخل خزان مية فاضي في نهار شديد الحرارة في الصحراء الخليجية التي لا تعرف الرحمة. برع كنفاني في وصف مشهد الخزان الحارق لدرجة إني حسيت إني مش عارفة أتنفس مع إني كنت قاعدة في غرفة مكيفة. الرواية إدانة واضحة لقيادة الشعب الفلسطيني، كما إنها إدانة للفردية وإنعدام التعاون والتكافل للفلسطينين ولإستغلال الأشقاء العرب للظروف الصعبة لإخواتهم.

ورواية كنفاني تنسجم مع معتقداتة السياسية كعضو في الجبهة الشعبية لتحرير فلسطين وإيمانة بإن تحرير فلسطين لن يتحقق ألا بتوحيد العرب تحت قيادات وطنية صادقة. لهذا (في رأيي) فهي لم تتضمن شخصية إإسرائيلية وخلت من إدانة مباشرة للإحتلال. وبالرغم من كدة، إنا كنت حاسة بالوجود الطاغي للشرير الحقيقي للرواية (الصهيونية) في كل صفحة من الكتاب لإن لولا الإحتلال و التهجير ما كان الأبطال غامروا بحياتهم ولا رحبوا بالموت خنقا من غير أي مقاومة. والمثل المصري بيقول "إية الي رماك على المر، قلت الأمر منة".

رواية ونهاية مأساوية شبيهه بالنهايه المأساوية للكاتب اللى أغتيل بتفجير سيارتة في بيروت سنة 1972.

لقراءة المزيد إضغط هنا

I just finished reading "Men in the Sun and Other Palestinian Stories" by Ghassan Kanafani. "Men in the Sun" is a novella that follows the lives of three Palestinian men who are forced to abandon their families and illegally travel to a gulf country in search for a well paying job that would help each one of them meet his responsibility towards his family or fulfill his dreams for a better life. Kanafani described the hellish experience of the three men as they were locked up in a burning hot empty water tank while traveling under the unforgiving Sun of the Kuwaiti desert. He portrayed this scene so well that I actually caught myself gasping for air in spite of reading it in a cool air conditioned room.

Although there are different antagonists in the lives of each of the three men such as poverty, an ill responsible father, a selfish brother, unemployment, greed, individualism, lack of an honest leadership, and many more, the writer never portrays a Zionist in any of the stories as if he thinks that it is more important to highlight and fix our own faults before we direct our struggle towards the other enemy. Yet, I still felt a strong presence of Zionism in each story. It is the invisible but true antagonist behind the tragedy of the Palestinians.

Kanafani and his niece were killed in Beirut in 1972 by a car-bomb thought to be planted by the Israeli Mossad.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Massacre in Qibya (Oct 14, 1953)

In response to escalating border clashes with Palestinian militia, Israeli forces raided the Jordanian West Bank village of Qibya, which was believed to be harboring militants. The attacks led to the deaths of over 60 Palestinian Arabs and the demolition of numerous houses. Israel was condemned by the UN, and historians continue to debate this dark day in Israeli-Arab history.

Later reports suggest that forty-five houses had been destroyed, as well as the mosque, the school, and the water reservoir, and that the total casualty rate ran to some 60 people. The Israeli government initially claimed that the killing had been carried out by Jewish civilians living near the border, but later admitted that it had been carried out by military forces.

The IDF claimed that the plan was to ambush Arab Legion forces in the area, by destroying some houses as a decoy. The original orders issued by the Israeli General Staff were relatively limited in scale, instructing the forces to 'carry out an attack … with the aim of temporary occupation and the demolition of houses, and not to harm the inhabitants' However, going down the command chain, before they reached the unit's commanders, the orders changed to demand 'maximum killing'

However Ariel Sharon, who led the attack, later wrote in his diary that he had received orders to inflict heavy damage on the Arab Legion forces in Qibya: 'The orders were utterly clear: Qibya was to be an example for everyone'. Sharon said that he had thought the houses were empty and that the unit had checked all houses before detonating the explosives. In his autobiography Warrior (1987) he wrote:

"I couldn't believe my ears. As I went back over each step of the operation, I began to understand what must have happened. For years Israeli reprisal raids had never succeeded in doing more than blowing up a few outlying buildings, if that. Expecting the same, some Arab families must have stayed in their houses rather than running away. In those big stone houses […] some could easily have hidden in the cellars and back rooms, keeping quiet when the paratroopers went in to check and yell out a warning. The result was this tragedy that had happened."

Despite these later claims, Israeli New Historian Benny Morris showed by a close consultation of original documents of the time that Sharon personally ordered his troops to achieve maximal killing and damage to property. Post-operational reports speak of breaking into houses and clearing them with grenades and shooting.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Standing Up to the Madness

In her book Standing up to the madness, Amy & David Goodman say: "Protesting is an act of love. It is born of a deeply held conviction that the world can be a better place. Saying 'no' to injustice is the ultimate declaration of hope. But the corporate media ignores and ridicules grassroots activists who speak out. Concerned citizens are thus left wondering: Where are the millions marching in the streets to defend human rights, civil liberties, and racial injustice? Where is the mass revulsion against the killing and torture being carried out in our name? Where are the environmentalists? Where is the peace movement?

The answer is that activists and peacemakers are everywhere.
And they are changing how policy is done.

Malik Rahim: A man in dreadlocks in a flooded and abandoned African American neighborhood of new Orleans hanging Sheetrock, restoring life to a forsaken neighborhood, house by house.

Bonnie Dickension: A drama teacher & her high school students from Connecticut performing a play about soldiers in Iraq at theaters in New York City, after being banned and shunned by their own school.

Erhan Watada, Augustin Aguayo, Liam Madden, Jonathan Hutto, Adam Kokesh, & Cloy Richards: Soldiers inside a vast military machine refusing to fight a dirty war.

Raed Jarar: A man wearing an Arabic peace t-shirt saying we will not be silent standing up to racial profiling

George Christian, Peter Chase, Janet Nocek: Librarians standing toe-to-toe with FBI agents, declining to name names of library patrons

James Hansen: Earth scientist at NASA testifying in front of Congress that his scientific findings were edited to down play his warnings about global warming and other dangerous changes and that they were replaced by science fiction reports by writer and global warming denier Michael Crichton.

Jean Maria Arrigo: Started the group Psychologists Against Torture to stop the participating of Psychologists in interrogating detainees at infamous facilities such as Guantanamo & Abu Graib.

In conclusion, this book restored my hope, if not optimism, by demonstrating that each of us has the power to change any unjust situation. All we need to do is just stop complaining and wining and instead have the courage to do something about it.

This piece is dedicated to my good friend Noran.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

يوم «السقوط الأكبر» للبورصة في مصر

انهارت أسعار الأسهم في البورصة المصرية، أمس، وأصيب المستثمرون بالذعر في بداية تعاملات الأسبوع، وبعد إجازة عيد الفطر المبارك، متأثرة بالانهيارات التي شهدتها أسواق المال العالمية، وكثافة عمليات البيع التي تمت علي مختلف الأسهم.

خسر المؤشر الرئيسي للبورصة ١١٦٢ نقطة بنسبة ١٦.٤%، وهي أكبر نسبة هبوط في تاريخ البورصة المصرية، وهو ما وصفه الخبراء بـ«السقوط الأكبر» الذي تشهد فيه الأسهم تدني قيمتها عن تقييماتها الفعلية.

دفع الانخفاض الحاد في أغلب الأسهم المتداولة إدارة البورصة إلي إيقاف التعاملات علي أسهم ٧٢ شركة، منها ٣٣ شركة تم إيقافها لنهاية الجلسة لتجاوزها نسبة ٢٠% تراجعاً

من المصري اليوم


نهول 1

نظيف صفر

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

العفو عن إبراهيم عيسي

أصدر الرئيس حسني مبارك أمس الاثنين قرارا جمهوريا بالعفو عن عقوبة الحبس الصادرة بحق الأستاذ إبراهيم عيسي رئيس تحرير صحيفة الدستور في القضية المتعلقة بما نشرته الصحيفة العام الماضي عن صحة الرئيس.

ووجه الرئيس مبارك وزيري الداخلية والعدل لتنفيذ قرار العفو كل فيما يخصه.

يأتي قرار الرئيس مبارك تأكيدا لرعايته لحرية الرأي والتعبير والصحافة وحرصه علي أن ينأي بنفسه -كرئيس للجمهورية- عن أن تكون له أي خصومة مع أي من أبناء مصر.

وفي تعليقه علي العفو قال الكاتب الصحفي صلاح عيسي رئيس تحرير جريدة القاهرة «هذه سابقة، وهذا قرار بالغ الأهمية لأنه أول عفو للرئيس في قضية صحفية في تاريخ الصحافة، خاصة أن جانبا من القضية يتعلق بشخصه».

وأضاف عيسي «نتمني أن يكون القرار بداية لانفراج الأزمة بين الصحافة والسلطة، وبداية أيضا للتحرك نحو إلغاء عقوبات الحبس في قضايا النشر من أجل علاقة حقوق يحميها القانون، وأن نتحرك جميعا كجماعة صحفية في خطوة واحدة نحو إلغاء العقوبات السالبة للحريات، وهو ما يليق ببلد مثل مصر».

ودعا عيسي «الجناح الذي يحرض علي حرية الصحافة داخل السلطة التنفيذية أن يكف عن هذا التحريض».

أما جمال فهمي عضو مجلس نقابة الصحفيين فوصف القرار بأنه «خطوة إيجابية علي طريق الألف ميل» مضيفا «لابد أن نشيد بهذه الخطوة ونعتبرها خطوة إيجابية وانتصارا لحرية الصحافة والتعبير، وأنا لا أعتبرها نصرا لإبراهيم عيسي، ولا للصحفيين، إنما للشعب المصري كله، حيث إنها تمثل اعترافا بحقه الطبيعي في الحرية والديمقراطية، وأتمني أن تفتح باب الإفراج عن حقوق هذا الشعب التي طالما حرم منها ومنها حقه في أن يمارس اختياراته السياسية وفق نظام ديمقراطي يسمح بالتداول السلمي للسلطة».

وطالب فهمي بضرورة إعادة النظر في التشريعات «التي لو طبقت تكاد تصادر حتي حق التنفس».

من جريدة الدستور

Monday, October 6, 2008

Egyptians Challenge BBC Al-Qaida Poll Result

CAIRO -- The financial crisis sweeping through the United States may have temporarily shifted the focus away from the so-called war on terrorism, however, it remains a centerpiece of Washington's foreign policy. A recent study conducted for the BBC revealed a stark truth about the Middle East: al-Qaida's popularity appears to be growing.

These latest facts have a number of Western analysts asking how such a phenomenon could have occurred, especially in the wake of the horrific attacks of Sept. 11 2001 that saw the vast majority of the world come out in support of the United States.

But seven years on, the situation has changed dramatically.

Many in the Arab world have stopped connecting 9/11 to al-Qaida. In fact, according to the BBC poll some 60 percent of Egyptians reported having "favorable" or "mixed views" on the global terror network.

Doug Miller from the polling agency Globescan said the findings from Egypt and Pakistan were "yet another indicator that the U.S. 'war on terror' is not winning hearts and minds."

Some analysts were quick to point out that much of the Egyptian support for the terror network is tied to the fact that many Egyptians are in positions of power within al-Qaida, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's number two man.

Overall, people in 22 out of 23 countries believe U.S. efforts to weaken the terrorist organization have failed.

Only 22 percent of those polled believe that al-Qaida has been weakened, while three in five believe that U.S. efforts have had no effect (29 percent) or made al-Qaida stronger (30 percent).

The BBC polled approximately 24,000 adults across 23 countries between July 8 and Sept. 12.

Despite this evidence, Egyptians simply are not buying it. Many here argue that these surveys often skew actual evidence to the contrary.

"Egyptians do not understand what al-Qaida truly is," began a freelance journalist who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the subject matter, "so when someone asks people here how they view the organization many will indeed say they support or view them favorably."

From the Middle East Times

Sunday, October 5, 2008

إذا كان المتكلم مجنون فليكن المستمع عاقل

أكد رئيس مجلس الوزراء د. أحمد نظيف في تصريح له لصحيفة أخبار اليوم الصادرة فى 4 / 10 / 2008 أن حكمة الرئيس مبارك ونظرته المستقبلية وتحليله الدقيق للأحداث العالمية كانت وراء اجتياز مصر للكثير من الأزمات وعلى رأسها الارتفاع العالمي الحاد في الأسعار بالإضافة إلى أزمة الانهيار المالي التي تجتاح العالم حاليا. ء

وقال د . نظيف "إن توجيهات الرئيس مبارك الدائمة للحكومة تقضى بتأمين جميع احتياجاتنا من السلع الأساسية والإستراتيجية بحيث تجنبنا أي ارتفاع حاد في أسعارها أو نقص في كمياتها" مؤكدا أن مصر تحتفظ بمخزون كاف تتم زيادته باستمرار من جميع السلع الأساسية .ء

وأشار رئيس الوزراء إلى أن الحكومة اتخذت سلسلة من الإجراءات أدت لانخفاض الأسعار مؤكدا أن هناك توقعات كبيرة باستمرار هذا الانخفاض . . موضحا أن ما قامت به الحكومة من إجراءات لتطوير الجهاز المصرفي وتأمين البنوك ساهم في عدم تأثر مصر بالانهيار المالي العالمي وفي أضيق حدود ممكنة ولا تشكل أي عائق أو تحد أمام استكمال منظومة الإصلاح الشامل التي يقودها الرئيس مبارك.ء

تعليق: ياترى و ياهل ترى د. نظيف متأكد إن مصر مش حتتأثر بالأزمة المالية العالمية علشان:
إقتصاد مصر مخاصم إقتصادات كل دول العالم الوحشين وبطل يلعب معاهم من زمان
إقتصاد مصر شاطر و أخد مصل التطعيم ضد الإنهيار
إقتصاد مصر منهار لوحدة و مش ممكن ينهار أكتر من كدة
إقتصاد مصر لا يتبع أي نظام أرضي و إنما يتبع دول كوكب المريخ

Friday, October 3, 2008

Mostafa El-Sayed receives US highest honor in Science

From BizJournals

Georgia Tech chemistry professor Mostafa El-Sayed has won the 2007 Medal of Science, the nation’s highest honor in the field. He will get the medal from President George W. Bush at a White House ceremony on Sept. 29.

El-Sayed thanked his past and current grad students, colleagues and administrators who have supported him in his career. “My goodness,” said El-Sayed, who also is the director of the laser dynamics laboratory. “I am very fortunate and lucky to be doing science in America. There are so many excellent people doing science all over this country.”

El-Sayed’s citation reads: “For his seminal and creative contributions to our understanding of the electronic and optical properties of nano-materials and to their applications in nano-catalysis and nano-medicine, for his humanitarian efforts of exchange among countries and for his role in developing the scientific leadership of tomorrow.”

El-Sayed is now working with his son Ivan, of the University of California San Francisco, to develop cylindrical gold nanorods that can bind to cancer cells. Once the cells are bound to the gold, they scatter light ,which makes them easy to detect. Using a laser, they can selectively destroy the cancer cells without harming the healthy cells. The nanorods are tuned to a frequency that allows them to use lasers that can delve under the skin to kill cancer cells without harming the skin.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

مصر بتولع بينا

بعد حريق مجلس الشورى و حريق المسرح القومي و حريق مصنع في المحلة الكبرى، وحرائق أخرى متفرقة في أقل من شهر، كان من الطبيعي إن تصلك الرسالة التالية:

"بمناسبة حلول عيد الفطر (الماسي)، تعلن كتائب الشهيد (ماس كهربائي)، الجناح العسكري لحركة (مصر بتولع بينا)، عن تقديم هدية لكل مواطن :علبة كحك وجركن جاز وكل عام وأنتم بخير."

للتهنئة بالعيد "المبارك" ولا تعليق

Monday, September 29, 2008

Egyptian journalist gets jail for Mubarak reports

By SARAH EL DEEB, Associated Press Writer

An Egyptian appeals court on Sunday upheld a guilty verdict against a newspaper editor who wrote stories questioning the president's health and sentenced him to two months imprisonment.
Ibrahim Eissa, editor of the independent daily al-Dustor, was originally convicted in March and sentenced to six months on charges of reporting and publishing false information that questioned the health of 80-year-old President Hosni Mubarak. The judges at the time ruled that a series of articles he published threatened national stability and caused foreign investors to pull their money out of the country.

Mubarak has been in office for more than a quarter of a century and has no obvious successor, making any speculation about his health a very sensitive topic.

State Security prosecutors appealed the original sentence, arguing it was too light. But on Sunday, the appellate court instead reduced it to two months.

The verdict has been condemned by local and international rights groups, who describe it as part of an ongoing curtailment of freedom of expression in Egypt.

Eissa said he planned to turn himself in and serve his sentence.

"This sentence opens the gates of hell for the Egyptian press," he said in a telephone interview.

"Jail sentences for journalists have now become normal, a reality," Eissa said. "The verdict is dangerous for political life in Egypt. It says it is prohibited to speak about the president. It says political reform is an illusion."

Eissa has in the past run into legal trouble with the Egyptian government. His newspaper is sharply critical of the regime and often breaks political, social and religious taboos.

The government closed it in 1998 for seven years after it published a statement by an Islamist group threatening Coptic Christian businessmen in Egypt. Eissa was convicted in 2006 for libeling Mubarak but only paid a fine.

From Victoria Advocate.

خبر عاجل : الحكم بحبس ابراهيم عيسى شهرين

قضت محكمة جنح مستأنف بولاق برئاسة المستشار حازم وجيه بحبس الزميل ابراهيم عيسى رئيس تحرير جريدة الدستور شهران فى القضية المعروفة بقضية "صحة الرئيس" والتى اتهم فيها ابراهيم عيسى بترويج شائعات كاذبة عن صحة الرئيس مما أدى الى حدوث أضرار بالغة للاقتصاد الوطنى

وكان أحد المحامين المنتمين الى الحزب الوطنى قد أقام هذه الدعوى ضد ابراهيم عيسى فى نهاية شهر أغسطس 2007 اتهمه فيها بالاضرار النفسى به والتسبب فى هروب استثمارات أجنبيه تقدر بـ 350 مليون دولار من مصر، وصدر على اثر هذه الدعوى حكما ضد الزميل ابراهيم عيسى بالحبس لمدة 6 أشهر وغرامة 200 جنيه.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dubai loses its lustre!

The emirate's elites are preparing for a tougher government line on corruption in the wake of a string of scandals.

It's been a hot summer in Dubai, and not just temperature-wise. Cracks appeared in the emirate's shiny facade – from construction projects delayed to embezzlement scandals – and the ruler, affectionately known as Sheikh Mo, has decided to crack down in order to make sure that Dubai Inc will continue to prosper.

Two scandals dominated this summer and the scale of involvement by Dubai's government points toward something close to a policy shift that will have long-term effects.

On July 28, Lebanese pop singer Suzanne Tamim was brutally killed in her Dubai apartment. The murder trail led to Egypt, where an ex-policeman was arrested and charged with the crime. A Cairene newspaper then alleged that "an important Egyptian figure" had been involved and supposedly paid the killer. State authorities immediately seized on that issue and made it clear that the topic was closed for reporting. Usually, that would then have been the end of the case. A culprit – in this case the arrested ex-cop – would've been announced and sentenced.

But this time things went a bit differently. On September 2, the Egyptian real-estate tycoon Hisham Talat Mustafa, member of the ruling party and the parliament's upper house, was arrested and charged with having paid $2m for the killing of Suzanne Tamim.

In a country where big business and big politics are intertwined as much as in Egypt, such an arrest and charge is quite extraordinary. According to Egyptian sources, the local authorities received massive pressure from the Dubai government – and important friend and major investor in Egypt – to follow the investigation all the way through, regardless of where it might lead. Whoever in Dubai sent word to Cairo was clearly rather upset at some Egyptian big-shot daring to have his ex-girlfriend butchered in one of the emirate's poshest residences. A billionaire like Mustafa might've gotten away with such an act in his hometown, but Dubai wouldn't tolerate it.

Tolerance, or rather the lack of it, also features prominently in the second scandal, which has continued to rock Dubai since earlier this year and shows no sign of abating. Starting in April, a number of senior managers and executives at some of the emirate's most prestigious real-estate developers and financial institutions have been called in for questioning or even arrested on charges of embezzlement and bribery.

Corruption in the construction industry is a worldwide problem, and the Gulf is no exception. If you want to close deals, you "facilitate" matters through gifts. But this year, Sheikh Mo gave orders for law enforcement to investigate and, if necessary, make arrests even at the highest levels of management. In August he stated that "There will be no tolerance shown to anybody who tries to exploit his position to make illegal profits."

Among those investigated and arrested are managers from property developers like Sama Dubai, part of state-owned Dubai Holding; Deyaar and Nakheel – the company that brought us the can-be-seen-from-space palm islands; Tamweel, the country's biggest mortgage provider and even the head of JP Morgan's Islamic banking unit.

Again, a few years ago, the institutions under suspicion would've found, and the authorities agreed to accept, some mid-level fall guy, but never a high-ranking manager.

What has changed?

In short, today Dubai is in danger of loosing its lustre and has to work to maintain its brand reputation. Inflation is in double digits, regional competitors – like Qatar or Kuwait – are growing stronger, and India – which supplies thousands of low- and mid-level employees – is providing ever more well-paid jobs domestically. As a result, Dubai has increasing difficulties recruiting and retaining the first-class workforce it needs to make its plans and projects succeed.

Where 10 years ago people moved to Dubai to work for a few years and make loads of money, today expats groan about high prices eating up salaries. Add to that increasingly long commutes and the fact that Dubai is (still) not exactly a "fun" place to live, and you get the picture.

Next year, the emirate will introduce VAT, officially ending the "no taxes, ever" situation and causing many to wonder just what other taxes are going to follow.

With all that in mind, it is little wonder that the government is now focusing on those who, so far, have been literally able to get away with murder – the rich and powerful executives and business magnates. If Dubai wants to make sure that its lower and middle management doesn't look for better opportunities elsewhere, it will have to at least show that everyone is equal before the law – because the less opportunity there is to get rich quick, the more its expats will be bothered by the inequalities that they have, until now, been willing to ignore.

From The Guardian, Sept 28, 2008.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

English? عربي؟

I received suggestions to write my posts in Arabic.
فقلت لنفسي والله فكرة هايلة يمكن كدة يزور مدونتي زوار أكتر
So I went ahead and switched to Arabic in the last two posts
وياريتني ماكنتش عملت العملة الهباب دي
I received some angry emails and a couple of death threats from my English only readers
وفي نفس الوقت القراء الي بيفضلو قراءة العربي مبسوطين كدة و قالولي كلام حلو أوي
So I'm not sure what to do
أضحي بقراءالإنجليزي و أحتفظ بقراء العربي
Or sacrifice my Arabic readers to hold on to the English ones?
ولا أعمل زي الأفلام العربي
ًWhere the doctor decides to sacrifice the baby & the mother
علشان الأب يعيش؟
Or should I go with this AngloArab style
زي أغنية يا مصطفى يا مصطفى؟

What is رأيكوا?

p.s. If you are wondering
إيه اللي جاب صورة حصان للموضوع
please be informed
إن هي دي الصورة اللي طلعتلي
when I searched for AngloArab images in Google
أصله حصان مخلط
and enough already
علشان أنا كدة بغبغت اللخبطان

Friday, September 26, 2008

بلاش دلع

العمود ده جيكون مختلف شوية عن كل العواميد السابقة لأنه :

بألعربي ، مافيهوش شتيمة في الحكومة ، فيه شتيمة في الشعب

إتغظت أوي و مرارتي إتفقعت لما شفت تقرير تلفزيوني مع طلبة و طالبات مصر، أملنا في مستقبل مشرق ، بمناسبة بدأ العام الدراسي.

إحتج الجميع على بدأ الدراسة قبل 10 أيام من إنتهاء رمضان. كله عايز الدراسة تبدأ بعد العيد. الكل أجمع على إن الصيام و الدراسة عاملين زي الحشرات و ديكسان (مبيد الحشرات الأشهر على أيامي) يعني لا يمكن يجتمعوا أبدآ في مكان. وإكتشفت كمان إن فيه فايس بوك جروب بتدعو إلي مقاطعة الدراسة.

إيه العيال الخرعة دي؟ و إيه الفكرة المنيلة بستين نيلة الي واخدينها عن الصيام دي؟

مين الجحش الي فهمهم إن رمضان سهر للفجر ونوم طول النهار؟و متابعة مسلسلات تجيب التخلف؟ طيب وكان لزمتة إيه أصلآ لو هية الحكاية كدة؟

أنا متاعطفة مغ الطلبة و الطالبات 100% لو الشكوى كانت من المناهج، من مستوى أو إنعدام الشرح و الدراسة في الفصول، من منظومة التعليم الفاشلة الي متسرش أي حبيب (أنا متأكدة إن العدو سعيد جدآ بالفشل دة). أو لو كان إحتجاجهم تعاطفآ مع الأهل لزيادة الأعباء المادية عليهم والصاريف في الوقت دة من السنة.

ولكن الإحتجاج برمضان و الصيام؟ وصعوبة السهر و الحصيان بدري للدراسة؟ دي بصراحة قلة أدب و فشل كامل في فهم الدين .

ياحبايبي يا حلوين، رمضان دة مفروض يدي المؤمن طاقة و دفعة للإنتاج و الإنجاز أكتر من أي وقت تاني في السنة. ولو إني مش غاوية حروب، لكن ممكن نفكر نفسنا بالجيوش الي حاربت في رمضان في معارك مهمه زي بدر و فتح مكة و حطين. و أتعب نفسي معاكم وأكلمكم على بطولات قديمة و موجودة بس في كتاب التاريخ بتاع السنة الي فاتت و الي بكل إستهتار وقلة أدب قطعتوة ميت حتة بعد إمتحان التاريخ ليه؟ خلينا في حرب رمضان(أكتوبر 73) اللي أكيد كل واحدة وواحد فيكم له قريب، أو جار، أو صديق إشترك فيها. ما هي سموها حرب رمضان مش علشان ده إسم موسيقي عجب السادات فقال "إيه رأيك يا جيجي؟ نسميها حرب رمضان؟"، ولكن إسمها كدة علشان هيه كانت في شهر رمضان وجنودنا البواسل رجعولنا أرضنا و هم صايمين.

الحمد لله أنكم ماكنتوش في صفوف الجيش يومها وإلا كان زمانكم بتتدرسوا بالعبري .واللهم ما إني صايمة

ملحوطه: سلام و تحية للطلاب (همه عارفين نفسهم) اللي عايشين في الغربة وحدهم و اللي المغرب عندهم قرب 8 مساء واللي أهلهم قاللهم إن ممكم يفطروا علشان يقدروا على المجهود الكبير دة ولكن بعضهم بيصوم معظم رمضان و مش بيتحجج بالصيام علشان يكون فاشل و تنبل وشكرآ

Thursday, September 25, 2008

يعني إية صايم

فيه واحد صاحبنا دكتور قلب في نفس المستشفي الي بيشتغل فيها جوزي. أنا معرفوش كويس أوي لكن المرات القليلة اللي قابلتة فيها لاحظت إنه بعكس مظهره الخارجي الجد، دمه خفيف و أحيانآ كمان مسخرة.

فمثلآ كان بيزور جوزي في المستشفى و بعلي كان بيشتكي (كالعادة) من ظلمي له. يعني كان بيقوله:" تخيل إني ضحيت بأول ثلاث أيام من أجازة العيد علشان أقديها هنا مع مراتي اللي خلصت أيام أجازاتها، ومش حسافر و أسيبها إلا في رابع يوم ولمدة إسبوع بدل عشر أيام. وبدل ماتشكرني تقولي:’ أكيد ملاقتش مكان في الطيارات إلا بعد العيد!!!’ شايف الظلم و الإفترا بتاع مراتي!!!"

صاحبنا ماردش و فضل يدور في جيوبه على حاجة. إستعجل جوزي الرد و قاله: "ماردتش ليه؟ وبتدور على إية في جيوبك؟؟"
رد صاحبنا:" بدور على منديل علشان أمسح دموعي. قطعت قلبي يا راجل."

طبعآ أنا كنت في قمة السعادة لإن راجل، و مصري و كمان صاحب جوزي أخد صفي. وكمان عمل كدة بدم خفيف خلص الموضوع في ثانية و من غير مايدي جوزي أي مجال للرد.

لكن أناماكنتش عايزه أتكلم عن صاحبنا علشان أقول نكت لكن علشان أكرر حكمة جميلة أوي أوي قلها من يومين لما قابلناه صدفة. كنا بنتكلم علي بعض الناس الي مخها لامؤخذة ظلطة واللي بتصمم تصوم بالرغم من إن حالتها الصحية ممكن تسوء بالصيام.

بعد ما أكثر من شخص كرر الكلام اللي كلنا عارفينة، صاحبنا دة (يظهر إنه متخصص في المختصر المفيد) قال: " أنا شخصيآ لما بيجيلي حالة ممكن يضرها الصيام بقوالها: خليك صايم بس كل و إشرب!"

من سهوله وبساطه العبارة، مافهمتهاش على طول. لكن يعد ما كررت اللي قالة في دماغي الحمد لله فهمت. فعلآ ليه دايمآ مركزين على الإمتناع عن الأكل و الشرب و بننسى إن الصيام دة أساسآ إمتناع عن الشر و تشجيع للخير اللي جوانا. ليه فاكرين المعنى الظاهري و ناسيين الحكمة الأوسع للصيام. مسلمين كتار مايقدروش يصوموا علشان المرض، السفر، لطبيعة العمل، أو لصغر أو كبر السن. لكن ما قيش حد عنده أي حد حجة إنه مايصومش عن المعاصي و أذية الناس.
يبقى مين اللي أهم ؟
ينصر دينك يا دكتور يا مختصر يا مفيد

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Intelligence of Happiness (part#3)

What makes you makes you happy

One of the most important influences on happiness is social relationships.

Social relationships greatly influence your happiness levels is social relationships.
People who score high on life satisfaction tend to have close and supportive family and friends, whereas those who do not have close friends and family are more likely to be dissatisfied.

Of course the loss of a close friend or family member can cause dissatisfaction with life, and it may take quite a time to bounce back from the loss.

Another factor that influences the life satisfaction of most people is work or school, or performance in an important role such as homemaker or grandparent.

When the person enjoys his or her work, whether it is paid or unpaid work, and feels that it is meaningful and important, this contributes to life satisfaction.

When work is going poorly because of bad circumstances or a poor fit with the person's strengths, this can lower life satisfaction.

When a person has important goals, and is failing to make adequate progress toward them, this too can lead to life dissatisfaction.

A third factor that influences the life satisfaction of most people is personal - satisfaction with the self, religious or spiritual life, learning and growth, and leisure.

Other sources of happiness

For many people these are sources of satisfaction. However, when these sources of personal worth are frustrated, they can be powerful sources of dissatisfaction.

Of course there are additional sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction - some that are common to most people such as health, and others that are unique to each individual.

Most people know the factors that lead to their satisfaction or dissatisfaction, although a person's temperament - a general tendency to be happy or unhappy - can colour their responses.

There is no one key to life satisfaction, but rather a recipe that includes a number of ingredients.

With time and persistent work, people's life satisfaction usually goes up.

People who have had a loss recover over time. People who have a dissatisfying relationship or work often make changes over time that will increase their satisfaction.

One key ingredient to happiness is social relationships, and another key ingredient is to have important goals that derive from one's values, and to make progress toward those goals.

For many people it is important to feel a connection to something larger than oneself.

When a person tends to be chronically dissatisfied, they should look within themselves and ask whether they need to develop more positive attitudes to life and the world.

Test you Happiness

Psychologists say it is possible to measure your happiness.

This test designed by psychologist Professor Ed Diener from the University of Illinois, takes just a minute to complete.

To find out how happy you are just look at the five statements below and decide whether you agree or disagree using a 1-7 scale.

Please be open and honest in your responding - remember your answers are totally private.

Once you have answered all five questions press submit and we will calculate your score. You will then be able to read Professor Diener's analysis.

To take the test click here. Good luck.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Intelligence of Happiness (part#2)

From the ReachOut site:

What is Happiness?
Happiness can mean different things to different people. For example, for one person, it may mean being in a relationship, whereas for someone else it may mean feeling you have the ability to handle whatever life throws at you.

While you might think that there are certain things that make you happy (or could make you happy if you had them), research has shown that there are certain common traits amongst happy people - and it isn't necessarily what you might have thought.

What Makes Happy People Happy?
You might think that happy people have lots of money, are physically attractive, have great jobs, or own the latest gadgets. Or, you might just think happy people are plain lucky, and are born that way.

Research suggests, however, that there are a number of variables that make a far greater contribution to happiness than external and more superficial factors.

That doesn't mean that if you have a lot of money you won't be happy, or that having a lot of money is bad, it just means that other factors are more important in determining happiness. In fact, a strong positive relationship between job status/income/wealth and happiness only exists for those who live below the poverty line and/or who are unemployed.

What distinguishes happy people, is that they have a different attitude - a different way of thinking about things and doing things. They interpret the world in a different way, and go about their lives in a different way.

Why is Happiness Important?
This might seem obvious - why wouldn't you want to be happy?! But the implications are greater than you might think. Happier people are generally healthier people - not only mentally, but also physically. So you can see than happiness is actually something that is really important, that you might want to increase if you can.
The "Happiness Equation"
It has been suggested that there are several factors that contribute towards our happiness. This is an 'equation for happiness' suggested by Martin Seligman, an American based psychologist:

H = S + C + V

H = Happiness
, S = Set range - (genetics: about 50%)
, C = Circumstances (8-15%)
, V = Voluntary Control - (past, present, future)

This all looks very scientific, and is actually based on research findings, but can be explained quite simply:

Set Range/Genetics - There is some evidence to support that we are all born with a certain "set-point" of happiness, determined by our genes. This is supposed to change only slightly, if at all, as we get older. This contributes towards around 50% of our level of happiness.
So, if something dramatic happens, for example, you win the lottery, or break up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, within a year or so (depending on the situation) your happiness level will return to its set point.

Circumstances - There is also some evidence to suggest that the circumstance we live in influence our level of happiness. You don't always have a lot of control over your circumstances (for example, we can't all live in mansions and drive new cars). Evidence suggests, however, that this accounts for only around 8-15% of our happiness levels, which really isn't that much.

Voluntary Control - This third factor is the most important factor in the equation, because you can control it, and in the process control your happiness. It includes all aspects of your life over which you have a relatively high degree of control, including your thoughts and actions. This includes the way you choose to think about and act on the past, present, and future, and seems to have quite a significant impact on how happy you are - if you do the math, it could be up to 42%!

  • Past - When thinking about the past, people who are happier pay attention to what is 'good' about the past, rather than focusing on the unhappy times. They are grateful, forgiving, and don't believe that the past will determine what happens in the future.
  • Future - When it comes to thinking about the future, happy people are flexibly optimistic - what this means is that they are optimistic (in a realistic sense) about how their future is going to be, but if it doesn't turn out that way, they know it's not going to be the end of the world either.
  • Present - The way you think about and act in the present is also essential in determining how happy you are. This might include things such as taking pleasure in life and your surroundings, building and being in meaningful relationships, and the way we react to things in life, good and bad.
You do Have Control Over Your Happiness
So, you can see from this equation that you do have some control over your happiness. Even though a certain proportion of your happiness is beyond your control, and is determined by genetics and by circumstances (which you can only control to a certain extent), you can increase you happiness level by focusing on those areas in your life that you can control.

You might choose to control your attitude, the way you choose to interpret situations, and the way you think about yourself. If you think about it, and the fact that it could be accountable for around 40% of your happiness, this could make a big difference in your life.

Check out the interactive game Reach Out! Central if you want to see in action how the way that you think about and respond to situations can influence your mood, and your level of happiness of unhappiness.

But Does Aiming to be Happy Mean You Can't be Sad?
Not at all. In fact, going through times where you're sad can sometimes make that happiness all the brighter.

Sadness is a part of life, and sometimes it's even possible to feel happy and sad about something. For example, you might be happy to move out of home, but sad that you won't see the family, or your family dog, as much any more.

You might even wonder whether it's possible, or OK to be happy, when there is so much suffering and injustice in the world. Happiness is natural, and it is possible to be compassionate and caring, and in tune with the sadness of the world, while still experiencing happiness in your life. This awareness might even prompt you to act in a way to help improve the situation of others - an action which may actually increase your happiness.

Happiness - Something That Can be Worked On
Happiness is something that means different things to different people, but overall it seems that it is the way we choose to think about ourselves, our place in the world, and the world around us, and how we act in that world, that differentiates the happy people from the less happy people.
This is something that you actually have voluntary control over, and that you can work on in your daily life. Not only that, but it can contribute to a large proportion of your happiness, as seen in the equation. It's up to you.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Intelligence of Happiness

Whenever I’m asked the question: "Are you happy?" I am not sure what to say.

I am at a total loss since I am not sure what happiness is exactly, nor do I know how to measure it.

I decided to “selly siyamee” and look for help on the net. What I discovered was that happiness is a serious subject of interest for many researchers, psychologists, psychiatrists, and sociologists.

I found way too many definitions for happiness, and several measures for it. Some measures are qualitative and others are quantitative.

Since I believe that the information I found is useful (well, definitely much more useful than the rubbish I usually write), and that it is needed in Ramadan (to counteract the depression acquired by watching too many mosalsalat Ramadan, especially Asmahan), I decided to dedicate a couple of posts to the information I found.

See you soon.

Saturday, September 20, 2008


"Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional." Anonymous

I agree with Anonymous if she/he was referring to Mosalsalat Ramadan (painfully boring TV series). Thank God for the remote control. However, I am sure that this person never suffered from, or watched a loved one suffer from, kidney stones. I assure anonymous that the excruciating pain of this ailment, and maybe I should add the pain of natural childbirth and a couple of other illnesses, guarantees that suffering is sometimes inevitable too.

This past week, and for the first time in my life, I saw the tears of pain roll down my husband's face. Knowing that he has incredible tolerance to pain, his pain must have been in the infrared zone, beyond "Unbearable Distress" on the shown pain-scale. The pain brushed his face with a dark purple color, and cruelly twisted its muscles in ways I did not know possible, yet somehow, my hubby still managed to suffer in silence. I hate for anyone, with a short list of exceptions (don't worry, they're all public figures) to ever go through the pain & suffering he endured. Al hamd l Allah he is much better now, and has been released from the hospital.

I guess the only good thing that came out of this experience is that he is so keen to avoid another episode that he actually is, for the first time in his life, taking his medication on time, and is drinking obscene amounts of water as advised by his physician.

In my husband's opinion, another good thing came out of this episode. He claims tit made him realise that I do need immediate psychiatric help to treat my OCD!! I strongly disagree. Please be the judge.

What happened was that while he was in the emergency room, he needed to go to the men's room. As a dedicated and loving wife, I helped him out of the bed, and walked him to the door of the nearest men's room. azzon le7ad kida 3adani el 3aib!! But what happened next is the reason for our disagreement.

I guess he was expecting me to open the door. But unfortunately for him, I had no tissue to hold the knob with. And this is not only a public men's room, it is a public men's room in a hospital so there was no way I was gonna touch that germ infested knob. I could hear a voice whisper in my ears: "He is the one who needs to go so he should touch it. Once inside he can wash his hands with soap and water. It's true that he is holding his IV stand with one hand and the back of his hospital gown with the other, but this is no excuse, he could let go of the IV stand (no letting go of his hospital gown was not an option) ." I am sure that he too could hear a voice whisper in his ear: "lama neshoof akhretha ma3a el magnoona eli itgawiztaha di." Al hamd l Allah, that after a couple of awkward minutes in front of the closed door, a janitor who just happened to be passing by (and who must have thought that we were a couple of nuts!!), saved the day (and saved himself some extra work) and opened the door.

What do you think? Walahi thank you for agreeing that I am perfectly normal. I too think it is the hospital's fault for having restrooms with door knobs. (those who dared agree with hubby are sentenced to reading my whole blog)

In any case, pray with me in this "moftarg" (holy) month of Ramadan, for good health to all humans, speedy recovery for all the sick, and a pain-free delivery to all expecting mothers and stone formers.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Egyptians Claim Compensation from Israel for Killing of POWs

Egyptian families of prisoners of war (POWs), who were killed in the 1967 War, have filed a lawsuit demanding over $100 million from the Israeli government, the Egyptian Daily News Egypt reported. The Compensations Department at a Cairo Civil Court has postponed to November 1 the hearing of the lawsuit, which was initiated by Sayyid Abu Raya's family following the broadcast of an Israeli documentary film last year.

The soldier's family is suing Israel's prime minister, the minister of defense, the chairman of the Israel Broadcasting Authority and the Israeli ambassador in Egypt for the alleged torture to which Abu Raya was subjected before his death. "This is a very important case, as Israel has completely violated international law and the Geneva Convention regarding POWs," 'Abd Al-'Alim Muhammad, an expert on Israeli studies at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, told the Daily News Egypt.

The Cairo Civil Court had previously assigned a committee of experts from the Egyptian Radio and Television Union to examine scenes and photos in the documentary, to check whether they included the torture of Egyptian POWs. The documentary, titled Spirit of Shaked, was aired in Israel in March 2007 and has caused much tension between Israel and Egypt. The film depicts an Israeli military unit, whose soldiers now regret their actions during the 1967 War.

According to the film, 250 unarmed Egyptian POWs were executed when the war ended. Following the airing of the film last year, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said his country would do everything in its power to have the perpetrators of these "war crimes" punished.
From NewsBlaze.

Click here to go to a dedicated Egyptian POWs site.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The 10th of Ramadan

On June 4th, 1967, I received a gift of chicks, real chicks, and not mozzaz (this stupid explanation is exclusively for my two boys) from our long-time domestic helper (I'm uncomfortable with using words like maid or servant, so this is what I came up with) Om Fayza.

I don't remember how many chicks were there in the carton box she carried to our living room, but I remember that some of them were black and some were bright yellow. She put two cups in the box, and filled one with some kind of chicks food (don't remember what) and filled the second one with water.

The next morning, I woke up at dawn and ran to the carton box which was in the balcony. In spite of my lousy memory, I remember clearly what I saw since this cursed box gave me the very first shock of my live. All the chicks were dead!!! I'm not sure exactly what happened, but they were all wet so I assumed that they have drowned!! My feelings that cursed morning were a mix of fear, sadness, direness, grimness, melancholy, ominousness, name it.

(this incident might explain my fear of all animals and my refusal to have any pets at home, even when I told my daughter that she had to choose between a cat & me, and she, without a second of hesitation, chose the cat)

At that moment, I thought that this was the worst day of my life. Looking back, I agree. June 5th, 1967 is still the worst day of my life.

There is no need to go into what happened on that damned day and the days that followed. It is well known and is too painful to remember. And although I was too young to understand what the humiliating defeat meant to the Egyptians, the Palestinians, the Syrians, the Jordanians, the Lebanese, and the Arab world in general, I secretly had a feeling that I was somehow responsible for it, or at least contributed to it, because I caused the death of the chicks!! I caused the bad omen.

This sad intro was important to contrast it to my feelings on October 6th, 1973, which coincided with the 10th of Ramadan. The sadness of the previous six years was replaced with extreme happiness. The guilt I felt for contributing to the shameful defeat was replaced with pride for contributing to the glorious victory. How? Not sure!! But down deep inside, I never gave up on our ability to bounce back. And in that Ramadan, I intensified my prayers. And thankfully, they were answered.

So, on this glorious day, I will restore my old optimism, or at least I'll continue to be hopeful that the people of Egypt will bounce back.

Also on this day, I salute and thank all the heroes of that day. Those who fought and those who planned. And in spite of not agreeing with his later policies, I still salute our late president, Anwar Sadat.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Success for 'Big Bang' Experiment

Three decades after it was conceived, the world's most powerful physics experiment has sent the first beam around its 27km-long tunnel.

Engineers cheered as the proton particles completed their first circuit of the underground ring which houses the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The £5bn machine on the Swiss-French border is designed to smash particles together with cataclysmic force.

This will recreate conditions in the Universe moments after the Big Bang.

Read the complete article at Science reporter, BBC News.