Friday, February 29, 2008

Barack Hussien Obama fatwa

Two interesting things

First:After gaining grounds in US elections, US media and Obama's competitors are over stressing Obama's middle name (Hussien). What does the middle name of black american person in the allegedly free America signify. I mean in the land of equal oppurtunities and the land of no discrimination (or is not). If obama's middle name was William, would this give less issues to worry about towards his chances of winning the US election in the Land of Human Rights. My advice to parents in the US comeing from non-William or non-Jeffersson ethnic background is to think twice before giving names to their kids. (in a nutshell avoid , Mohammad, Ali, etc, you never know, one day you might be deprived from attending school based on your name or middle name)

Obama was born in Hawaii, from a Kynian father (Foreign student father) and a snow white American woman from Kansan. His parents were divorced and his father, Hussien, returned to his home town and died in a car accident in 1982. His mother re-married to another foreign student, but this time from Indonessia. Barack therefore, spent a few years in Jakarta during his early childhood before returning back to the land of equal oppurtunities. Obamas mother died of Cancer in 1995.

Second: Time magazine uses the term fatwa as if this word is now adopted as an official english word. (,8599,1718255,00.html?xid=rss-topstories)

"The pundits were quick to applaud McCain's fatwa against the use of Hussein, and broadcasters began trying to report on the controversy without actually saying the name too much, dancing around the offending word as if they were doing a segment on The Vagina Monologues. In both cases, the word comes off as not quite illicit, but certainly a little taboo. "

I search the net and found an entry for fatwa in Webster (

One entry found.
Main Entry: fat·wa
Pronunciation: \ˈfət-wə, ˈfät-wä\
Function: noun
Etymology: Arabic fatwā
Date: circa 1889
: a legal opinion or decree handed down by an Islamic religious leader

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A step closer to joining the EU - Turkey

Of course, the pcitures below are not the real reason why Turkey cannot join the EU , however, some poeple would like to think that the images explain why. I just think these pictures are funny, and i am not sure that they are really taken in Turkey

Monday, February 18, 2008

My new toy

My new toy is a weather station called WMR100 A from Oregon Scientific.

What is a weather station? Simply it is a collection of sensors that can give precise reading about weather conditions. I installed the weather station at the roof of the building. It can give accurate reading for the following measures

Atmospheric Pressure
Wind Direction
Wind Speed
Heat Index
Wind Chill

The reading are send to a digital base station where you can read the measurment. No cables are needed, because it is all wireless. You just kick back ,relax and get the reading from the comform of your sitting room. If you dont like the base station, well, you can hook the base station to your laptop via a USB connection, design you Dash Board and there you go

As you can see, above, you get instantenous live readings, for example, as i write, the outside temperature is Amman is 0.5 C, the wind chill is -4.5, the wind speed is 20 Km/hr gusting to 50 Km/hr. What the dash board does not tell is the fact that it is snowing right now (2:10 AM)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

After shocks

A 5.2 earthquake hit southern Lebanon yesterday at 12:36 and was felt in Amman.
Several shocks were registered in the past few months.
If fact, i read a couple of times, reports by Israeli spokesmen that they are expecting a major earth quack to hit the region similar to the one that affected Palestine and Jordan back in 1927.
I have also read reports by Jordanian officials denying these statement based on the assumption that science has not yet reached a way to predict earth quacks. Having said that, this morning newspapers warned that citizens of Jordan are to expect a series of earth quakes this coming month. Does this mean that now we can predict earth quacks, and then, what about what the Israelis are predicting!

While still taking about prediction, it is worth while mentioning that snow is expected in Amman starting Monday afternoon. It seems to me that we will have a white Tuesday


The Witch of Portobello

I started reading this Novel on my way back from Muscat 2 weeks back.
It was an interesting novel and presented subtle ideas through the mysterious personality of Athena (A Romanian Gypsy adopted by a Lebanese family) Athena was given the name Sherine Khalil by her family.

The rather unusual personality and attitude of Athena (Sherine) coupled with profound philosophy by the author makes the novel attractive (at the beginning). Later on, things do not sustain the excitement level, as i felt that the events become mundane with some redundancy to an extent that i am no longer attracted to the novel, but yet determined to finish it.

Some excerpts from the novel

"Everyone is looking for the perfect teacher, but although their teachings might be divine, teachers are all too human, and that's something people find hard to accept. Don't confuse the teacher with the lesson, the ritual with the ecstasy, the transmitter of the symbol with the symbol itself. Tradition is linked to our encounter with the forces of life and not with the people who bring this about. But we are weak: we ask the Mother to send us guides, and all she sends are signs to the road we need to follow.
Pity those who seek for shepherds, instead of longing for freedom! An encounter with the superior energy is open to anyone but remains far from those who shift responsibility onto others. Our time on this earth is sacred, and we should celebrate every moment"

It is paragraphs like these that really made me enjoy the novel. However, the style started strong at the beginning, but starting fading away as you flip on pages

Another nicely depicted dramatic situation is clear in page 41, when Sherine Ex-husbands asked her shy she reacted so calmly when he told her that he wanted a divorce, she said
“Because all my life, I ‘ve learned to suffer in silence”. This might not what really what people do in reality, but this philosophy is shared with other writers, for example, The Syrian poet Nizar Qabani expressed something within the same lines explaining to his beloved that his silence does not necessarily convey a message of carelessness. The poem is called إلى تلميذة قُلْ لي- و لو كَذباً- كلاماً ناعماً قد كاد َ يقتلني بكَ التمثالُ...

الى ان يقول
إن الحروفَ تموت حينَ تقالُ
ومن ثم

لا تجرحي التمثالَ في إحساسه فلكم بكى في صمته... تمثالُ

Below is the entire poem
الى تلميذه........ رائعة..لشاعر نزار قباني
قُل لي –ولو كذباً – كلما ناعماً قد كادَ يقتلني بكَ التمثالُ
مازلتِ في فن المحبّة .. طفلةً بيني وبينكِ أبحرٌ وجبالُ
لم تستطيعي – بعدُ – أن تتفهمي أن الرجال جميعهم .. أطفالُ
إني لأرفض أن اكون مهرجاً قزماً .. على كلماتة يحتالُ
فإذا وقفت أمام حسنك صامتاً فالصمتُ في حرم الجمال.. جمال
كلماتنا في الحب .. تقتل حبنا إن الحروف تموت حين تقالُ
قصص الهوى قد أفسدتك فكلها غيبوبةٌ .. وخرافةٌ .. وخيالُ
الحب ليس روايةً شرقيةً بختامها يتزوج الأبطالُ
لكنةُ الإبحارُ دون سفينة وشعورنا أن الوصول محالُ
هو أن تظل على الأصابع رعشةٌ وعلى الشفاة المطبقات سؤالُ
هو جدولُ الأحزان في أعماقنا تنمو كروم حولة وغلالُ
هو هذه الأزمات تسحقنا معاً فنموت نحنُ .. وتزهر الآمالُ
أن نثور لأيّ شيءٍ تافةٍ هو يأسُنا .. هو شكنا القتالُ
هو هذه الكف التي تغتالنا ونقبل الكفَّ التي تغتال
لاتجرحي التمثالَ في إحساسة فلكم بكى في صمته .. تمثال
قد يطلع الحجر الصغير براعماً وتسيل منه جدالٌ وظلالُ
إني أُحبكِ.. من خلال كابتي حسبي وحسبك
.. أن تظلّي دائماً سرّاً يمزقني .. وليس يقالُ..

Anyway, i still have another 100 pages to go#

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

watch out -- bad weather conditions next week

next week shall witness cold, real cold weather condition (just to say the least). Even though it is too early to confirm, but it seems like snow shall previal as well.

Saudi Arabia bans all things red ahead of Valentine's Day

(CNN) -- Saudi Arabia has asked florists and gift shops to remove all red items until after Valentine's Day, calling the celebration of such a holiday a sin, local media reported Monday.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Hijab (Vail) in Turkey, what is the fuss all about

whilst the American are busy with their 2008 presidential elections, the Lebanese are still working out a way to fill the Lebanese state president post, the Palestinians and the Iraqis are mourning their fatalities, the Turks are spending an awful lot of time disputing whether or not Hijab is allowed at their universities. There is always something that i do not get about Turkey. It is a predominantly Muslim country (>98%) with around 60% of its population wearing the Vail. Cannot we just assume that it all boils down to personal freedom of choice,? or at least personal preference? There ought to be some more important for the turks to worry about!

Hijab (Vail) in Turkey, what is the fuss all about

whilst the American are

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