Saturday, August 30, 2008

Shakira Defends Islam in Duo with US Singer

Famous Colombian pop star Shakira has agreed to perform a duo with Arab-American singer Dania Youssef, with the lyrics of the song focusing on defending Arabs and Islam, in addition to promoting world peace, according to press reports.

Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, simply known as Shakira, will write the English lyrics herself. Egyptian composer Mohamed Saad will write the Arabic part of the song and compose the music, reported MBC website.

The song seeks to counter the stereotyping of Arabs as terrorists in the western media. The song also is supposed to spread the culture of tolerance, as opposed to the current prevailing wars and tensions around the globe.

An American director is supposed to produce the song, to be filmed in the United Arab Emirates. The MBC report said the audience will watch the unique artistic work by the end of the year.

Shakira is a Colombian singer-songwriter of Lebanese and European descent. In 2001, she broke through into the English-speaking world with the release of Laundry Service, which sold over thirteen million copies worldwide.

Youssef is an American of Arab descent, who studied Arabic music for three years. She is getting ready to release her first album in Arabic by next October. The album is titled “Qalb Tani” (Another Heart).

Ever since I watched the video of her Ojos Asi (eyes like these) song, and in spite of her middle name, liked Shakira a lot. I have a lot of respect for her musical talents (she writes the music & the lyrics of all her songs in Spanish, English, or both). I liked her even more when I found that she had solid political views and that she expressed those views in her concerts (although to be honest, the only thing that I was thinking of throughout her concert was "I wish I could belly dance that well"). Now , just for fun, check out this article, but please do so today (before Ramadan starts):

Shakira's "small and humble" assets draw $3,000

Friday, August 29, 2008

New Wave of Protests in Egypt

I found the following article, from Arabia online, real depressing.

No it has nothing to do with Zamalek Football team results or Celine Dion retirement rumors, it is about teens & women protesting against a sermon of an imam.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for freedom of speech & the right to demonstrate, and I'm all for protesting against a lot of rubbish said by so called imams, but I just wished that those protesters would have found a more worthy cause. Well, I guess it is not too surprising once we find out that the protest took place in Marina, on Egypt's Northern coast.

Read for your self and let me know what you think:

Demonstrations in Marina in response to Imam
(article is in Arabic, so for non-Arab readers, the article is about a protest by Egyptian girls and women vacationing in the posh resort of Marina, against an imam who ridiculed Noor & Mohanad, the leading characters of the Turkish soap opera Noor, which is very popular throughout the Arab world)

In a previous post The Otherside of El Alamein I did speculate that there are two very different Egypts, a pleasant one for the rich and another-not so pleasant, to say the least- one for the poor. This article just proved my point. Thank you Arabia.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Something is Very Wrong with This Country!!

In his speech at the opening of a National Population Conference held in Cairo, President Mubarak, who has in the past blamed population growth for draining state resources amid rising discontent at rocketing food prices, said that rampant reproduction was a "major challenge" and "fundamental obstacle" to development.

The conference wrapped up its activities by calling on the community to adopt the concept of two-child small family as a basis for the national strategy for controlling overpopulation and called for child spacing to a period of 3-5 years.

The final communiqué of the conference called for:

  • considering the speech given by President Mubarak at the inaugural session of the conference as a practical approach for dealing with population issue.
  • inserting demographic culture in curricula at the Ministry of Education and Al-Azhar.
  • making demographic problem an essential component of the national information policy.
  • assigning the Ministry of Health to draw up a full dressed map for tackling overpopulation problem.
  • accelerating the establishment of an independent national authority to offer health services needed by family planning program.
Considering the above, which actually sounded to me like a good plan, guess what was the leading news story in the Egyptian papers only a couple of months after the conclusion of the conference????

Give up? It was about an Egyptian woman who gave birth to septuplets!! Yes seven healthy babies!!!!!!! 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7.

How? Well, according to the news agencies, the couple, who already had three children -all girls- badly wanted a boy. Since the 27 years old mother had not conceived in five years, her doctors gave her fertility treatment which lead to this small miracle, or disaster, depending on whom you talk to.

I will actually go with disaster, not only because of the complete detachment between the people, the health care employees, & the government of this country, but also because of the following:
  • The father is a farm laborer who can find work only a few days a week.
  • The mother first words were: "I'm really worried about what the future looks like."
  • The doctors waited so long to deliver the babies, risking the mother's life, because Egypt has only a few respirators for newborns, and none were available.
  • Free and government subsidized health care was provided by government employees in support of traditions and ideas that are deemed backward and harmful to our economy by the same government.
Now all together pleasse:
"Something is Very Wrong with This Country!!"

Sunday, August 24, 2008

هل أفاقتكم طقطقة النيران؟

بقلم د.سحر الموجى (المصري اليوم) ٢٤/٨/٢٠٠٨

لا شك أن حريق مجلس الشوري الأسبوع الماضي يأتي كعلامة فارقة محملة بالدلالات (لمن يُعني أن يفهمها). ومنذ اليوم الأول للحادث تعددت القراءات التي تحلل الوضع وتحاول تحديد مغزاه.
لكنني هنا أرغب في التوقف أمام نقطتين تحديدا تشكلان رسالة إلي الحكومة المصرية: هل أفقتم من غيبوبتكم؟!
النقطة الأولي الجلية هي انهيار البنية التحتية لهذا البلد إلي الدرجة التي تترك مكانا له تلك الأهمية التاريخية والسياسية بلا نظام إنذار ضد الحريق، وبلا قدرة علي إطفاء حريق في موقع حساس كهذا.
احتراق مجموعة الفنانين في مسرح بني سويف إذن ليس بالأمر المستغرب، ونحن المغرضين كنا قد أسأنا الظن بالحكومة «الذكية» وافترينا عليها بتهمة إهمال الثقافة والاستهانة بحياة البشر. ظهر الأمر وتأكدنا أن المسألة ليست ضد الفقراء أو المثقفين، وإنما هي ضد الجميع، بمن فيهم من يشرعون كل ساعة قانونا، ومن يحمون القتلة والمحتكرين.
ها هي النيران قد وصلت إلي عقر داركم وكنتم قد ظننتموها بعيدة بعيدة لن تطالكم في البروج العاجية. هل أفاقتكم النيران علي ضرورة تأسيس بلد بحق وحقيق، بلد بإمكانه حماية حياة الإنسان وممتلكاته وإرثه التاريخي وكرامته، أم أن ما سيفيقكم هو حريق أكبر؟
النقطة الثانية التي لا أتمني أن تمر علي الحكومة مرور الكرام هي شماتة المصريين تجاه ما حدث، لقد دفعت سياساتكم هذا الشعب إلي أن يكرهكم ويتمني لكم السوء. هل تساءلتم عن سبب تلك الموجة الجارفة من الكراهية التي أنست الشامتين أن ما يحترق هو تاريخهم وإرثهم الذي لن يعوض؟
كل ما فكروا فيه هو أنهم فرحون أن النيران قد طالتكم، بل إنهم تمنوا أن تطال مجلس الشعب أيضا بمن فيه من بشر. من الواضح أنهم لم

يعودوا يرونكم «مصريين»، بل مجرد حفنة من الطغاة الذين لا يمثلونهم ولا يحمون مصالحهم ولا أرواحهم.
هل تدركون خطورة تلك الكراهية التي تنعكس علي كل شيء في هذا البلد، بدءا من قلة الإنتاجية إلي البلطجة بجميع تنويعاتها، وقد تصل إلي تعمد التخريب في لحظة لا تعملون لها حسابا؟ أنتم تتعاملون معنا علي أننا شعب ميت بلا إحساس وبلا قدرة علي زحزحتكم من أماكنكم التي تكلستم فوقها.
فرضتم الإتاوات، وشرعتم العقوبات، وسلطتم حالة الطوارئ فوق رقابنا سنوات طوالاً، هل كنتم تعملون لصالحنا ونحن غير مدركين، أم

أنكم كرستم كل ثروات البلد وموارده لتأمين سلطتكم وحكمكم، ولم تهتموا لا بالشعب ولا برأي التاريخ فيكم؟
ألا تسمعون طقطقة النيران تخبركم أنكم لستم ببعيدين عن اندلاع غضب هذا الشعب الذي عاني منكم ومن بطش «أمنكم» به؟ هل يدفعكم إدراك أن الشعب يحمل لكم كراهية - لا تختلف كثيرا عن كراهيته لكل محتل غاصب - أن تغيروا من مجري سياساتكم كي تصب في مصلحته ولو لمرة؟

جربوا.. جربوا أن تقنعونا أنكم تعملون لصالح الشعب، وليس لصالح بقائكم مخلدين فوق كراسي الحكم، وشاهدوا ماذا سيفعل هذا الشعب من أجل بلده. نحن لسنا شعبا فقيرا رغم النهب الطويل، ولسنا شعبا جاهلا رغم التجهيل المنظم، نحن شعب لديه قدرات بناء وخلق وإبداع فريدة وثرية، جربوا أن تقنعونا أن نعمل من أجل هذا البلد، ليس كلاما، فقد شبعت بطوننا من كلامكم إلي حد التخمة.
حاكموا الفاسدين، وضعوا دستورا قويا يحمي الحريات ويحترم المواطنة ولا يقبل الحرق كل بضعة أعوام (مع غياب فرق الإنقاذ) ولا تجعلوا من أنفسكم تلك الطبقة المتميزة بسلطتها، الشاهرة سيفها في وجوهنا، وسترون وقتها ماذا بإمكان هذا الشعب أن يفعل، لو لم تُُفقْكم تلك الكراهية فماذا بإمكانه أن يفيقكم؟

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Come To Us Pervez

By Magdy el-Gallad
AlMasry AlYoum 19/8/2008

Dear President Musharraf. Whether you were forced to resign or you did it voluntarily, I write to you to extend my appreciation that you said: "I leave my future in the hands of the Pakistani people."

Thank God you remembered that there was something called the Pakistani people and that they can determine your political future; something that we do not have in the Arab world.

I was also amazed when you said: "I will present my resignation to the President of the National Assembly (Parliament) before the Deputies start interrogating me." So you do have a Parliament in Pakistan with representatives of the people that can interrogate. What a luxury in a democratic country that is politically torn between the military and the opposition.

I read that Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi gave you 48 hours at the most to resign or you would face impeachment procedures. I could not imagine that a Minister could do so to a Head of State. I thought I was hallucinating, but then you did yield to the warning.

Mr. President, you have no place in that democratic country. Come to us with your military uniform and I guarantee that you will find what pleases you.

We have very nice things here. People here are passive. They do not care who rules them. They don't like big words like self-determination and things like that. They are content with whatever you give them.

And we have a Parliament with Deputies that have nothing to do with the people. You will see them chasing the ministers in Parliament to get signatures on certain papers. And you will see the House Speaker Fathi Sorour shouting at them like schoolboys.

Interrogation here is only by a wife asking her husband how he spent his whole salary in just five days instead of bringing food to the table. He would in his turn tell her that she is the one who is wasting the allowance on trivialities. The result could involve divorce or a dead body and a prison cell.

Come to us President Musharraf. I swear you will like it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Do You Think I'm Indian???

Egyptians had a extremely politically incorrect saying that goes:
"Do you think I'm Indian?"
which usually implies, "Do you think I'm naive (or even stupid)??"

The origin of this saying, if I remember correctly, is Haydar Pasha's reply to the British when they suggested that Egyptian soldiers and officers help fight Britain's wars. But it was later used in the racist way described above.

I remembered this saying as I was watching pictures of Pakistanis celebrating in the streets following Mr. Musharaf's resignation. I'm sure no Egyptian would now dare use it anymore.

And although I'm strongly against all racial slurs, but I won't be too surprised (may be even not offended) if Indians (who are leading the world in IT services) and Pakistanis (who just toppled their dictator) would start using the slur: "Do you think I'm Egyptian?" to describe the technically & politically challenged!!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


My mom & I used to enjoy each other's company very very much (typical Egyptian, lazem two verys!!). In the past few years, and as I got more and more attached to my laptop, tension was introduced to our relation. We would be in the middle of an interesting, funny, harmless conversation, then I would suddenly remember that I haven't checked my email for 8 and a half minutes, so I 'd jump out of my seat, chair, bed, whatever.., and go check my email!!! My mother hated that and always insisted that the next time I come to visit, I should leave my laptop behind. I never did!!!

Well, Karma was over due. It came from where I least expected: Turkey. It is the daily soap-opera broadcast on a Saudi Satellite channel. So this summer, and in the middle of our conversation (and even if my life depended on completing our talk), my mom jumps out of her seat and leaves me to go watch Noor. And she does that twice a day , and for a whole hour each time!!! Well yes, she does watch the replay in case she missed a word Mohanad said!! Ahaaaaa.

To learn more about the "Noor" phenomenon on the Arab World, check:

Turkish TV show ‘Noor’ attracts viewers for its ideal image of a modern marriage

Soap opera has Saudis glued to TV

Kingdom’s grand mufti condemns ‘malicious’ Turkish soap operas

Turkish soap opera 'Noor' shakes customs of Arab married life

'Noor' operation in Saudi Arabia

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mahmoud Darwish, the Laureate of All Arabs

Mahmoud Darwish is dead, but the voice of the Palestinian resistance will live on in all of us
(click the image to watch a video)

None of us really thought he’d die. Our loss is great, we tell each other. And in our minds we think of Edward Said, of Haider Abd el-Shafi, of Faisal Husseini, and even – yes – of Yasser Arafat. The ‘big men’ of Palestine. And now, Darwich.

He was seven when – in the Nakba of 1948 - he fled from Birweh, his village in the Galilee. At the age of 12, living in Deir el-Asad, in what had become Israel, with a reputation as a precocious child poet, he was asked to compose a poem for a public reading. The occasion was the celebration of Israel’s “Independence Day” and the poem he read described the feelings of a child who returns to his town to find other people sleeping in his bed, tilling his father’s lands. He was summoned to the Military Governor who told him that if he continued to write subversive material his father’s work permit would be revoked. That incident set the tone, I think, for Darwich’s life.

It was impossible for a man of Darwich’s sensibility and context not to join the Resistance. He did. He wrote. And between 1961 and 1967 he was jailed 5 times by the Israelis. He lived where the Resistance lived: in Beirut, Cairo, Tunis, Paris and Amman – as well as Ramallah and Haifa. He produced journalism and founded al-Karmel – for a while the top literary magazine of the Arab world. And he wrote more than 20 volumes of poetry.

For the last three decades no-one could have been more celebrated or beloved. His poetic concerns, struggles, experiments and blazing successes have been noted, documented and analysed across the world. His poems early on became embedded in a nation’s consciousness in a way that is rare for a living writer. Poets followed, responded and debated with him in their works, novelists prefaced chapters with his verses, performers sang his lyrics. Call him up on Youtube and watch Marcel Khalife sing “Rita” in a full stadium in Avignon. Just last month Darwich himself filled another stadium in Arles.

Darwich gave a voice and an identity to the Palestinian Revolution and to the Resistance. But his 1964 anthem, ‘ID card’ (Record: I am Arab!), made him, particularly after 1967, the laureate of all the Arabs. That responsibility sometimes lay heavy on him. He acknowledged a duty towards his people, yes, but he also felt a duty towards poetry itself.

In the letter he addressed to the writers who took part in the Palestine Festival of Literature last May he spoke of: “ … how difficult it is to be Palestinian, and how difficult it is for a Palestinian to be a writer or a poet. On the one hand you have to be true to your reality, and on the other you have to be faithful to your literary profession. In this zone of tension between the long 'State of Emergency' and between his literary imagination, the language of the poet moves. He has to use the word to resist the military occupation. And he has to resist – on behalf of the word -the danger of the banal and the repetitive. How can he achieve literary freedom in such slavish conditions? And how can he preserve the literariness of literature in such brutal times?” There was the core problem of the ‘engaged’ artist. A strategy that came naturally to Darwich, as it came naturally to his life-long friend, Edward Said, was to raise the issues above the specific and the parochial, to see the specific with great clarity, but to see also the universal in the specific. You could always trust his work to be human, humane, inclusive.

In “State of Seige”, the poems he wrote from besieged Ramallah in January 2002, he addressed his Israeli enemy: “A land on the brink of dawn / Let us not quarrel / About the number of those who’ve died: / Here they lie together, / Furnishing the grass for us, / That we should be reconciled.”

But reconciliation needed to be founded on justice. His great poem for Muhammad al-Durrah, the Palestinian boy shot by the Israeli Army as he sheltered behind his father struck a chord across the world. Yet, he declared: “We love life – if we can have it.”

Darwich ended his address to the Palestine Festival with the words: “Know that we are still here; that we live.” Obits in the Arab newspapers are mourning the last poet who could fill a football stadium. But Darwich lives in us and in his poetry. He lives also in the work of younger Arab poets who will soon be filling football stadiums. They are his disciples. And they are still here.

Copyright: Ahdaf Soueif

Click here to watch AlJAzeera' Riz Khan program titled "The legacy of Mahmoud Darwish" featuring Ahdaf Soueif, Nathalie Handal, & Naomi Shihab Nye.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saad el DIn Ibrahim: Deja Vu

CAIRO, Egypt — An exiled Egyptian- American academic who is one of the most outspoken critics of President Hosni Mubarak's regime was convicted Saturday of damaging Egypt's reputation and sentenced to two years in prison, his lawyer said.

Saad Eddin Ibrahim, who has been living outside of Egypt for a year, was convicted in absentia after writing several opinion columns in mostly U.S. newspapers that criticized Mubarak and called for the Bush administration to cut aid to Egypt.

In his ruling, Judge Hisham Bashir said Ibrahim made false claims and tarnished Egypt's image through his writings in the "foreign press."

Bashir did not specify a particular newspaper. In an August 2007 column in the Washington Post, Ibrahim accused 80-year-old Mubarak of squeezing all opposition to engineer an unpopular father-son succession.

The allegations against Ibrahim were first made by a former and current ruling party leaders who filed lawsuits against him. Egyptian law allows private citizens to file lawsuits against individuals for allegations that damage society, and the lawsuits can carry criminal convictions.

Ibrahim's lawyer, Shady Talaat, described the court ruling as flawed and vowed to appeal it.

"How come a court gives individuals the right to sue each other in cases related to national security and interests? Issues like these should be handled by intelligence, state security and other institutions," Talaat told The Associated Press.

The case against 69-year-old Ibrahim is among a series of lawsuits filed by members and loyalists of Egypt's ruling party against government critics, aiming at intimidating opposition. Earlier this year, the editor of an independent Egyptian newspaper was sentenced to six months in prison for reporting on Mubarak's alleged health problems.

One of Egypt's best known democracy advocates, Ibrahim was among the first to publicly criticize the grooming of Mubarak's son, Gamal, to succeed him and was charged with tarnishing Egypt's reputation in 2000. He spent years in jail until a three-year odyssey of trials and appeals ultimately resulted in his acquittal.

Ibrahim has also advocated cutting Egypt's $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid to pressure for democratic reforms.

Egypt-U.S. relations were strained after Congress passed a bill late last year that called for withholding $100 million of Egypt's total $2 billion in aid until the country took steps to improve human rights and stop arm smuggling into the Gaza Strip.

Egypt had denounced the aid withholding as unacceptable interference in internal affairs. Ibrahim had believed Egypt held him responsible for the legislation because it was proposed only days after the democracy advocate spoke with President Bush at a summit of dissidents from around the world.

However, in March, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she waived legislation in a nod to one of Washington's top Mideast allies.

Talaat said he did not know where Ibrahim was currently living. The scholar has been traveling between the United States, Qatar and Spain since June 2007 and has repeatedly expressed fear of arrest if he returned to Egypt.

If Ibrahim returns to Egypt, he would be eligible to remain free on bail while a court decides his appeal, but he is likely to remain out of the country until a final court ruling, Talaat said.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

New Facebook Arrests

Cairo, Egypt (PANA) - The arrest of dozens of young Egyptians over their use of the social networking website Facebook dominated local newspapers during this past week.

Government and opposition-controlled publications differed on the issue, with the government-run newspapers arguing that the arrest was an important step in helping to rectify the national image abroad.

"Thirty members of the so-called 6 April Youth Movement -- formed on the popular social networking website Facebook and named after the 6 April strike -- met in the headquarters of the Ghad Party in Alexandria to show solidarity with its jailed leader, Ayman Nour," Egypt's Al Ahram reported.

It added that those arrested could be charged with "attempting to topple the regime."

But the Daily News Egypt – the country's leading English daily – reported that those arrested remain in custody without officially being charged.

"The group of 14, all in their early 20s, were singing patriotic songs and flying the Egyptian flag on the occasion of the anniversary of the July 23 revolution when they were arrested on Sidi Beshr beach in Alexandria," the Daily News reported.

"We spoke to the assistant prosecutor general Adel El-Said and requested that they follow-up with the prison and Interior Ministry authorities in order to ensure that the remaining members of the group are actually released," said Deya El-Sawy, a member of the April 6 Youth Movement, in comments carried by the Daily News.

The government's next action on the issue is not yet clear, but the arrests will remain contentious among Egyptians in the weeks ahead.

From PanaPress August 3rd, 2008

Friday, August 8, 2008

I'm Boycotting The Olympics

Edward Said once said in a TV interview (I cannot find the video, so I am loosely quoting him):

"Sports, in general, is nothing more than a weapon of mass distraction. We cheer for our favorite team to come out victorious. If they don't, we complain and hope for better results in the next season. If they do, we celebrate endlessly and await similar results in the year to come. All the while ignoring the fact that neither outcome has any material effect on our lives, and distracting us from the real issues happening in the world around us."

Until recently, I've been one of the Massively Distracted. I'm not sure what exactly happened to me, but I have decided to stop being a crazy sports fan (Zamalek's systematic and humiliating loses to Al Ahly, and Federer's humiliating loss to Nadal in Wimbledon may have a lot to do with my decision) .

Accordingly, I will NOT be watching the long awaited 08/08/08 Beijing Olympics.
  • Dear Athletes: no need to bother with performance enhancement drugs. I will not be impressed anyways.
  • Dear Advertisers: save your ads budgets and your multi-million endorsements of filthy rich athletes. Attract more buyers by lowering your prices.
  • Dear Chinese Government: Forget about Olympic glory and achieve moral glory by pulling out of Tibet.
  • Dear International Olympic Committee: Amateur games my foot. You've turned the Olympics into a multinational Business Corporation with just one interest: MONEY!!
  • Dear sports fans: Sports are only good for you when you are actually involved in playing them. Being a couch-potato glued to your TV to watch other people play sports does no good to your mind, body, or heart.
  • Dear die-hard sports fans: You've managed to turn a good thing that was supposed to promote friendship and cooperation into yet another reason to hate and fight.
  • Dear sports gamblers: Have nothing better to do with your money? Please send it to my bank account, and then place bets on the chances of me returning it back!!!
OK, I think I am done lecturing for now. Now excuse me, I need to go find out who will Federer be playing in his opener (AH!!! hopeless case)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I'm Too Ashamed to Die!!

I'm not scared of dying, but I'm too ashamed to die. Allow me to explain.

I am not scarred since I have a very strong feeling that I will (in shaa Allah, in shaa Allah) go to Heaven!! Don't ask me where this strong assertion is coming from (since I have no idea), and don't take this opportunity to make fun of me (cause my hubby, my mom, and my kids have done that already, many times).

But I am ashamed to die since I will be too humiliated when I meet many of the people I love and respect but have let down. Some of those are:
  • The Pharaohs: Most Egyptians are extremely proud to be descendants of the great Pharaohs. Yet, I don't think the opposite is true. That is, there is no way that Pharaohs are proud of their offsprings. Us. What will I say if I meet the builders of one of the greatest civilizations ever? What do I have to say to explain where and how we are today to the discoverers and inventors of Monotheism, Philosophy, National Government, Architecture, Medicine, paper, pen, ink, 365 Day Calendar and Leap Year, the Pyramids, Hieroglyphics & writing, mummification, the Ox-Drawn Plows, canals, the steam engine, the key & lock, the clock, the loom, fiberglass, contraceptives, air-cooling systems, the fan, oil lamps, the Postal system, Carrier pigeons, Checkers, Rattles, Marbles, Bowling, Darts, Doll making, Mechanical toys, Zoos, novels, poetry, narrative, drama, Bagpipe, Trumpet, Wind Organ ....... OK I'll stop here, not because the list is done, but because this is ridiculous. It's taking for ever!!!
  • Copt ancestors: for my complete ignorance of their history, for any injustice they or their decedents have been subjected to, in spite of being instructed as Muslims to treat all our brothers and sisters in humanity as we wish to be treated, that is with love and tolerance.
  • Muslim & Arab scholars: Non Arabs are mentioned in the Ibrahim Issa post, while some Arab scholars are: Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Ibn Khaldoon, Ibn Majid, Ibn al-Haytham, Ibn Bajjah, Al-Idrisi, Ibn Abi Ishaq, Al-Kindi, Al-Muqaddasi, .......
  • My African brothers and sisters: for despite of being victims of the racism of the white man, we do not shy from being bigots ourselves.
  • The Egyptians and even non-Egyptians who were part of the renaissance that started in the late 1800s: How will I explain the collapse of the they have started and which we should have carried on to recreate our old glory? What is there to say to Mohammed Abdo, Kasem Amin, Rifa3a el Hahtawi, Taha Hussein, El 3akad, Mustafa Musharafa, Samira Mousa, Ahmed Lutfi el Sayed, Asia, Naguib Basha Mahfouz (Naguib Mahfouz the novilist has only died recently, so no explanation is necessary), Seyed Darweesh, Louis Awad, Tawfiq el Hakeem, Nageeb el Rehani, Leila Murad, Om Kalthoum, Abdel Wahab, Shawky, Bayrum,.....and many many more.
  • And finally, how will I ever be able to apologize enough to the prophet and messenger who was sent to complete the message of the previous prophets, which main purpose was to instill ethics and morals in all humans, but we managed to use religion as an excuse for hatred and quarrel.
So until I find some real good excuses, please let me make myself very very clear: "I AM NOT READY TO DIE!!!!"

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

60 Years of Apartheid

What is the effect of 60 years of apartheid on the Palestinians?
This pictures and the following news item from TimesOnLine says it all:

Gaza Strip attack on Fatah loyalists by Hamas gunmen kills 11

The tensions between the two main Palestinian factions erupted into open violence as hundreds of Hamas gunmen stormed a tribal bastion loyal to the rival, Western-backed Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip.

The fighting, which left at least 11 people dead and almost 100 wounded, was the worst since Hamas took control of the overcrowded coastal territory a year ago and marked a new low in efforts to resolve the increasingly complicated conflict.

The deterioration came days after Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister, who had revived peace talks with the Fatah leadership in Ramallah, was forced to resign over widening corruption allegations.

With hatred flaring between Palestinians as never before, routed Fatah loyalists fled to the nearby Israeli border to seek refuge from the Islamists.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

McCain vs Obama vs Paris Hilton?

Latest Washington movies:

  • First McCain has an ad to compare Paris Hilton to Obama. Click here to watch the ad.

  • Then it turns out that Obama had already compared himself to Paris Hilton Click here to read the article.

  • Then Paris makes her own ad Click here to watch her ad.

Enjoy! Apparently, the movie is called American Politics.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Happy Anniversary!! (Part Two)

He is planning to smoke me!!! No, he is not planning to kill me!! He will take me out for Shisha!!

So I'll just say that this is our shisha anniversary. OK I admit that the place we will be shayeshing at is really really nice, the food is excellent, the music is outstanding, and my eldest son who I haven't seen for over 7 months will be with us, but I would have preferred, more romantic present. A bouquet of flower would be nice.

My present to him is a song. Don't worry I won't sing it to him, I will just write the lyrics here, and will play it in the car.
But what song would express my feelings?

What's love got to do with it by Tina??? Guess not. Will send him this after a khina2a.
Falling by Alicia Key?? No will keep this for another khina2a.
How about It's all coming back to me now by Celine?? No this might not be appropriate with his current memory problems.
I know. The Color of My Love it is!!!

The Color of My Love

Ill paint my mood in shades of blue
Paint my soul to be with you
Ill sketch your lips in shaded and tones
Draw your mouth to my own

Ill draw your arms around my waist
Then all doubt I shall erase
Ill paint the rain that softly lands
on your wind-blown hair

Ill trace a hand to wipe out your tears
A look to calm your fears
A silhouette of dark and light
While we hold each other oh so tight

Ill paint a sun to warm your heart
Swearing that we will never part
Thats the colour of my love

Ill paint the truth
Show how I feel
Try to make you completely real
Ill use a brush so light and fine
To draw you close and make you mine

Ill paint a sun to warm your heart
Swearing that we will never part
Thats the colour of my love

Ill draw the years all passing by
So much to learn so much to try
And with this ring our lives will start
Swearing that we'll never part
I offer what you cannot buy
Devoted love until we die

Kol sana w inta tayyeb.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Happy Anniversary!! (Part One)

Tomorrow is the anniversary of a great event in human history. No you dumb dumb, not the invasion of Kuwait! It's my wedding Anniversary. I am not gonna mention the number of years I've been married, or even worse, the number of years I knew my husband, because every time he finds out how long we've been together, he gets really depressed. Good thing he has always been bad with dates.

Actually, a freak accident that happened to him lately, has also affected his memory. My dear husband was attacked by a patient in the psychiatry ward. A patient who weighs over 150Kgm, jumped him from the back, and the fall caused my husband to loose consciousness for a few minutes. The only detectable effects of the attack, and the concussion he suffered from, is an occasional loss of recent memory. His heart was also affected, but the danger has passed Al hamd l Allah.

Alf Hamd Allah 3ala el Salamah ya Hobi. This unfortunate incident has only made me realist how much I love you despite all the fights and boxing matches we get into. As for your attacker, don't worry, I took care of him. I AWASTO, as our Lebanese friends would say. True it only happened in my dreams, but it still felt good.

Accordingly, this anniversary is even more special than any previous year. That makes me wonder if this year's present (if any) will be a special one. Well I cannot guess what my hubby will get me, but if he knows me well, and I know that he does, then I am sure the present won't be:
  • jewelry: since he knows that I hate the Bling Bling (lucky guy)
  • a new outfit: since he also knows that I am going through this weird I do not need any new cloths phase
  • Household Appliances: which he knows that it would be a total waste of money since I've not seen the kitchen since the kids left the house
  • Books: since he knows that I would love that, but he would have no idea what books I would enjoy reading
  • Music CD: since he has already bought me every album Celine has ever released
  • A trip: since we just came back from vacation
  • Anything valuable: since I am also going throw a modest-living phase
  • ???
Poor guy, now I know why I never get any presents. I am really really hard to please.
But this is still no excue for him not to buy me something.
Will tell you tomorrow what I got.