Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lost History

This will be a very short review of an excellent book by Michael Hamilton Morgan:


Click here to go to the Book's Official Site.

Monday, March 30, 2009


Those of you familiar with computer lingo know that this acronym stands for:

"What You See Is What You Get". (for those of you who did not know that, well, now you do)

I always liked WYSIWIG interfaces because what I saw during creating/editing a document or an application was similar to the final output. So there were no surprises there.

On the other hand, I hated interfaces that were NOT WYSIWYG because they were unpredictable, deceiving, and annoying.

Now that the acronym is almost dead in computer land, I would like to revive it and use it in people's land. Again, I am very comfortable with WYSIWYG people even if they were far from perfect, but I am getting more and more intolerant to the NOT WYSIWYG individuals in my life.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

What Arabs Think

This book by James Zogby analyzes the views of 3,800 Arab adults polled by Zogby International from eight countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Morocco, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Palestine).

I've only read the first two chapters, but I could not resist commenting on what I read so far. (mararti itfa2a3it!!)

In chapter two, and when asked: "What matters most in life?", and out of the nine specific choices they were given (family, friends, marriage, the quality of their work, job security, political issues in their country, political issues facing the Arab nation, leisure time, and religion), what do you think the top answer for the Egyptians surveyed was?

Yes, it was religion!! An astounding 93% said religion is what matters most in life. Morocco & Saudi Arabia also ranked religion at the top, while it was raked 5th in Lebanon, and 6th in UAE.

Zogby then went on to further analyze the responses of the sample polled. He examined how the responses in each area differ when compared not only by country, but by age, gender, education, and Internet access.

Guess what!! In Egypt, old & young, male & female, those educated up to secondary school or less & those with college degrees or higher, and those who have access to the Internet and those who don't have, all these groups have agreed on one thing. Religion is what matters most in their life!!! Only Moroccans managed to duplicate the same boring result.

To me those results are pretty depressing. Not that I have anything against religion, on the contrary, I have deep respect for all religions. And not that I will pretend that results were a total surprise, since I have repeatedly heard and read that the Egyptians are supposed to be the most religious people in the world!!! It's just that if over 90% of Egyptians across age, gender, education, & Internet access lines think that Religion is such an important aspect of their lives, you would expect Egypt to be Heaven on Earth.

And since it is not, to say the least, then what is wrong? Are those surveyed a bunch of liars? Did 93% of Egyptians surveyed misunderstand the question? Or do they, and many Egyptians like them, simply misunderstand religion itself?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Recipe for Success

Excerpts from a lengthy letter on leadership, which Caliph Ali sends to his loyal follower, Maalik al-Ashtar, appointing him as the new Muslim governor of Egypt:

Let it be known to you, Maalik, that I am sending you as a governor to a country, which has seen many regimes before this. Some of them were benign, sympathetic and good, while others were tyrannical oppressive and cruel. People will judge your regime as critically as you have studied the activities of other regimes and they will criticize you in the same way as you have censured or approved other rulers. …

Maalik, that amongst your subjects there are two kinds of people: those who have the same religion as you have, they are brothers to you; and those who have religions other than that of yours, they are human beings like you ....
Let your mercy and compassion come to their rescue and help in the same way and to the same extent that you expect Allah to show mercy and forgiveness to you. ....

Never say to yourself, 1 am their Lord, their ruler and all in all over them and that I must be obeyed submissively and humbly, , because such a thought will unbalance your mind, will make you vain and arrogant, will weaken your faith in religion and will make you seek support of any power other than that of Allah ....

You must always appreciate and adopt a policy, which is neither too severe nor too lenient; a policy, which is based upon equity, will be largely appreciated. Remember that the displeasure of common men, the have-
nots and the depressed persons more overbalances than the approval of important persons, while the displeasure of a few big people will be excused by the Lord if the general public and the masses of your subjects are happy with you. ...

You must know,
Maalik, that the people over whom you rule are divided into classes and grades, and the prosperity and welfare of each class of the society individually and collectively are so interdependent upon the well-being of the other classes that the whole set-up represents a closely woven net and reciprocal aspect. One class cannot exist peacefully, cannot live happily and cannot work without the support and good wishes of the other. ...

Maalik.... The thing which should most gladden the heart of a ruler is the fact that his State is being ruled on the principles of equity and justice and that his subjects love him. And your subjects will only love you when they have no grievance against you. Their sincerity and loyalty will be proved if they gather around you to support your government, when they accept your authority without considering it an unbearable burden on their heads and when they do not secretly wish your rule to come to an end. So let them have as many justifiable hopes in you as they can and fulfill as many as you reasonably can. Speak well of those who deserve your praise. Appreciate the good deeds done by them and let these good actions be known publicly.

From Michael Hamilton Morgan's Lost History.

So did Maalik, Ali's devoted supporter, follow his instructions to the letter? And did Egyptians actually enjoy a utopia under his rule? Unfortunately NO. Maalik Ibn Al-Harith, AKA al Ashtar, did not live to rule Egypt.

Mu'awiyah who wanted to control Egypt, sent a big army to occupy it. When Mu'awiyah heard that Ali has appointed Maalik as Egypt's new ruler, he was worried, for he knew that Malik would save it. So Mu'awiyah decided to kill Maalik when he is most venerable, that is while traveling from Kufa to Egypt. At al-Qilzim City on the borders of Egypt, Maalik was greeted by innkeepers who were actually supporters of Muˤāwiyya. They poisoned Maalik's honey, killing him before he ever set foot in al Fustat.

Mish maktobalna!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

نفسي لما أكبر أبقي زي ...........؟؟؟؟؟؟

لو سألنا أولادنا : مين مثلكم الأعلى؟
أو لما تكبروا، نفسكم تبقوا زي مين؟؟
ياترى حيقولوا أية؟؟؟

ويا ترى من حقنا إننا نتخض وتجيلنا زغطة لو سمعناهم بيقولوا تامر حسني (الهارب من التجنيد) أو اللمبي (الهارب من الفواقان) أو هيفاء وهبي (الهاربه من الهدوم) أو الحضري (الهارب من الأهلي) ؟

أو حتى لو قالوا (علشان ماننساش اولاد المدارس الأجنبية الخواجات - بالجيم) لبرون جايمز أوجاي زي أو الأخت بيونسي؟

(ملحوظة: الأهل اللي ولادهم جاوبوا وقالو شخصيات زي : هدى شعراوي، أحمد زويل، فاروق الباز، مجدي يعقوب، نجيب محفوظ، أم كلثوم، محمد غنيم، تهاني الجبالي، صلاح جاهين، سميرة موسى، يوسف إدريس، يوسف شاهين، منى ذوالفقار، محمد عبده، لطيفة الزيات، شاهندة مقلد، نهول،...أو أي شخصية محترمة من النوعية اللي فاتت دي من فضلهم ييجوا على جنب علشان الشتيمة اللي جاية ماتطرتش عليهم). أيه دة، بس دول؟ ألله يكسفكم.

لأ مش من حقنا إننا نتخض ولا نزعل أو نتقمص. لية؟ لإن إحنا (الأهل والمدرسة والإعلام) كلنا مسؤولين عن الخيبة التقيلة دي يا ....@@####&&&$%%%####***** (شتيمة)

يلا كل واحد يبتدي ينمي في ولاده روح الإنتماء والفخر بوطن خرج أعلام في جميع المجالات وقادر إنه يخرج لنا زيهم وأحسن كمان.

أظن كلامي واضح ومش محتاجة أطول عليكم أكتر من كدة!! وكمان أنا مستعجلة علشان ألحق أروح أتفرج على التلفزيون. أصل فية إنترفيوه مع شاكيرا شاكيرا وجورج كلوني.
(تنويه للناس اللي ماعندهاش روح الدعابة، ... بهزر). ء

Saturday, March 14, 2009

الحملة القومية المصرية لجعل يوم 10/04 عيد للنظافة فى مصر

دعوة عامة لكل المصريين للإشتراك في الحملة القومية المصرية لجعل يوم 10 إبريل عيد للنظافة فى مصر. الحملة أطلقتها مجموعة على الفايس بوك وعدد المشتركين -حتى الأن- حوالي 2500 مشترك.
بجد أنا فخورة بيهم وغيرانة منهم لأن الفكرة الهايلة دي راحتلهم وما جتليش أنا. ء

نص الدعوة:

"الحملة القومية المصرية لجعل يوم 10/04 عيد للنظافة فى مصر
تعالوا نتعاون جميعا وننظف بلدنا وشوارعها
تعالو نزين مصر تعالو نخليها عروسة فى يوم عيد نظافتها
تعالوا نتسابق على نظافتها تعالو نتبارى فى كيفية جعلها انظف دول العالم
تعالو نكرم عمال النظافة فى اليوم ده ونقدم لهم ورودا ونشكرهم ونغير نظرة المجتمع ليهم
تعالوا ننظف مصر". ء

لزيارة الموقع الخاص بالمجموعة، كلك هنا . ء

شكر وتحية مني ومن كل إخواني وأخواتي المصريين على هذة المبادرة الجميلة. ء
شكر أكبر وتحية خاصة جدآ مني ومن كل إخواني وأخواتي المصريين المصابون بداء الوسواس القهري علي هذة المبادرة اللضرورية لإحتمال العيشة في البلد. ء

Thursday, March 12, 2009

شالو ألدو

أول ما قرأت عنوان خبر التغيير ............. خلينا نقول..؟؟.. أيوه التغيير في الفريق الأول لأحدى الفرق الرياضية، شفت أدامي عدة سيناريوهات (مش عارفة إيه حكاية الأفلام معايا الأيام دي).
وكلها كانت في منتهى التفاؤل. ء

سيناريو رقم 1: طبعآ فيه كام لعيب بعد أداءهم اللي زي الزفت، وقلة الحرفنة و اللياقة، وتكرار الأخطاء القاتلة، والغرور المتناهي، والفردية، وعدم الحرص على مصلحة الفريق، والشتيمة في الجمهورإذا إعترض على الأداء، فإن المدير الفني - الي مفروض يجيب البطولات، ويطبق اللوائح، علشان يرضي الجماهير الغلبانة اللي طلع روحها - أخيرآ طلعلهم الكارت الأحمر وكرشهم من الفريق.

سيناريو رقم 2: ياسلام بقي لو المدير الفني يكمل جميلة ويكرش مع المجموعة الي فوق دول شوية اللعيبة اللي يمكن أداءهم مش وحش أوي كدة لكن دم أمهم تقيل أوي على قلب المشجعين.

سيناريو رقم 3: ويبقى يوم الهنا يقى لو المدير الفني سرح الفرقة كلها و أقر بمسؤليتة عن ضعف المستوى الفني والأخلاقي لللعيبة و روح بيتة هو كمان.

سيناريو رقم 4: ويبقى يوم المنا لو إدارة النادي تشرك الجمهورفي إختيارمجموعة جديدة من اللعيبة الجدعان اللي بيحبوا النادي من قلبهم.

والله أنا يا طيبة يا ساذجة يا هبلة.

لما قرأت الخبر، طلع إن المدير الفني إتشطر على لعيب واحد لأنه تجرأ وحاول ينبهة إلي خطوة خطيرة مقدم عليها أكبر خصوم النادي، ولكن المدير الفني طلع عارف ومطنش وكرش اللعيب علشان يكون عبرة لمن يعتبر.

لك الله يا جمهور نادينا الحبيب. التغيير طلع فشنك. حاجة كدة زي سكتش الثلاثي بتاع "شالو ألدو جابو شاهين". والله المفروض الجمهور هوه اللي يهتف و يقول "مانتوش لاعبيين".

أخيرآ أحب أأكد إن البوست دة عن الكورة، كله كورة، ولا شيئ غير الكورة. وإن أي تشابه بين البوست وأحداث معينة حصلت في البلد الأيام ده عبارة عن صدفة بحتة وشكرآ. ء

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Call me Flipper!!

I don't believe in reincarnation, so I wasn't prepared when a friend of mine asked me:"If you had a previous life, who do you think you could have been?".

That's why, I was truly surprised when I heard myself saying:"A dolphin." (needless to say the last words I ever heard from this so-called friend were:"What the heck!!")

Looking back, I wonder where did this answer come from. I am no animal lover. I am scared of cats, dogs, horses, monkeys(with the exception of Mo), turtles, birds, ducks, geese, chickens, ..or any other creature that some people might call a pet or a domestic animal. Needles to say, I am terrified of insects, rodents, and fierce animals. I won't deny that am also kind of uncomfortable around most people, so knowing all this, I would have expected to hear "Moi!!"

So why a dolphin?

Could it be my OCD? Am I really scared of all of God's creatures or am I only scarred of the microbes, viruses, dirt, and other yucky stuff they may be carrying around? Those guys don't shower or bathe as often I would like them to, and on the rare occasions that they do, some stupid ones dry themselves by rolling in the dirt (Good Grief!!!). On the other hand, dolphins are taking an eternal bath.

Or could it be my love of swimming. My father & grandfather were both swim champs. I loved swimming since I was a kid. I used to swim at the beaches of Alexandria, and at the pool at school. I later joined the swim team of the Sporting Club for three years. I don't swim much anymore, but whenever I get the chance to go swimming, I just love it( provided that obscene amounts of chlorine has just been added to the pool, and there are no young or old kids swimming close by). So if I were a dolphin, I could work, exercise, eat, drink (do sea mammals and fish drink? Just checked and found out that they actually do), and even sleep while swimming.

Or is it my memories of the TV show Flipper and other popular culture stories; about dolphins rescuing humans from drowning or sharks, keeping them safe from harm. I actually just researched this topic and found that those stories are absolutely true. So if I were a dolphin, I would become the hero I always wished I was.

Or is it my love for music & my iPod. Will give you a couple of minutes to try to figure this one out yourself. On second thought, it came to my attention via several sources that my brain works differently that most people I know. (I took that as a compliment. You can take it as one too.) So here it is: Dolphins live in groups called Pods. So if I join a group, I could say "i Pod!!"....Never mind!!!

Last, and I hope least (not to come across as insatiable), it could be my love of seafood. Instead of having to wait until my next visit to the Fish Market, I would have seafood for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desert!!(but I guess I need to start developing a taste for Sushi)

Friday, March 6, 2009

Arabesque at Kennedy Center, Washington DC

Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World
February 23-March 15, 2009

Unwrap the cultural treasures of the Arab world in this Kennedy Center international festival showcasing the varied cultures of the 22 Arab nations that represent the Arabic-speaking world. From the Arabian Gulf to the Levant to North Africa-this region of the world is the birthplace of human civilization and features extraordinary diversity in geography, traditions, landscape, religion, and contemporary aesthetics. In cooperation with the League of Arab States, the three-week festival brings together artists, many of whom are making their U.S. debut, in performances of music, dance, and theater, as well as exhibitions featuring art installations, fashion, a soundscape, cuisine, a marketplace, and much more. Discover the evolution of art forms born from the cradle of human civilization. Experience an amazing breadth of culture that spans both eons and continents.

Visit the Kennedy Center site to check out the program and some videos of the events .

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Egypt rapists to die, court rules


Thursday, 5 March 2009

An Egyptian court has confirmed the death sentence imposed on 10 men convicted of raping a teenager.

They were found guilty of raping the 18-year-old newlywed for several hours.

The men, armed with guns, raided the woman's home in 2006, kidnapped her and took her to a rural area where the attack took place.

Handing the death sentence to 10 defendants at once is unprecedented in Egypt, according to the state-run newspaper al-Ahram.

The gang, two of whom are 18 and the rest in their 20s, were sentenced to death by hanging. Another teenager was jailed for 15 years because of his age.

There is a widespread perception in Egypt that violent crime is on the rise, according to the BBC's Magdi Abdelhadi, and this case could confirm for the public that it is spreading.

The presiding judge is reported to have said that the harsh sentence was needed in order to purge society of the defendants' evil.