"To the impartial eye, the world not only seems an unlikely one-off phenomenon, but a constant strain on reason. If reason exists, that is, if a neutral reason exists. So speaks the voice from within. So speaks Joker's voice." - Jostein Gaarder

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

And then came the TRUTH...

4 Generals arrested in Lebanon, Lahoud is crumbling down... and some heads are gonna get chopped...

Right now, With all my heart, I hope this regime is smart enough to have sealed a deal with the U.S. [although I still feel they're not that smart], cuz otherwise, we've just crossed our safety zone...!!! and this region is gonna start erupting with TRUTH*

*Truth is a very TRICKY and RELATIVE concept, Especially when it gets to International Affairs...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

tag tag tag!

my very very first TAG, thanx Symbols
here we go...

10 years ago: 9 years old, living with mom at my granparents house in Latakia, i USED to be both the brainiac and the cool boy at my class [popularity is soo cool!!!], my dreams revolved about how to be the BEST traffic officer, and being able to talk my mom into letting me see the 9:30pm syrian series on SyrianTV [if anybody remembers that HOLY time]. I used to be HORRIFIED from even the THOUGHT of lying cuz my cousin [I hate u for that KINDA] told me in details what happens to liers in hell!!

5 years ago: WORST period of my life!!!

1 year ago: keywords from back then: Placebo, Bakaloria, Summer, University Freshman, Living Alone and Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King...

Tomorrow: PAPERWORK!!!!! a lot of paperwork!

5 snacks I enjoy: Za3tar [I'm a za3tar maniac], Strawberries with honey, my SPECIALTY: Tuna sandwitches, Crepe, snickers

5 bands/artists that I know the lyrics to most of their songs: Placebo, Travis, Ziad Rahbani, Fairouz, Damien Rice

5 things I'd do with $100,000,000: i donno

5 locations I'd like to run away to: London, Kasab, Athens, NY, Cairo

5 bad habits I have: leave the AC running and go out, biting my nails, causing a traffic jam whenever I wanna cross the road, skip to the end of the book when I feel bored

5 things I like doing: Listen to music, hanging out, playing with my Age-of-Empires-obsessed-gang, reading and browsin the net

5 thing I will never wear: mexican hat, toxido, Ice,

5 TV shows I like: Scrubs, Talking Point, Celebrity Deathmatch, Live with Gonzo, The Tonight Show

5 movies I like: Autumn In NY, Carlito's Way, Amelie Poulin, One Hour Photo, Love Actually

5 people I'd like to meet: Bono, Dido, Michael J. Fox, Robert De Niro, Steven Spielberg

5 biggest joys at the moment: been driving the car without major incidents, my new Creative Sport C100 mp3 player, travelling a lot,

tagging
Zena, Sinan, Ayman, Dina, Ghalia, Roba

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The controversies of Ma3arry

lately, I've been reading the letters between Abu Al3ala2 Alma3arry and Hibat Allah Al-Shirazy [Da3y Aldo3at Alfatemy]... 3 Letters from Shirazy and 2 answers from Al-Ma3arry... a piece of art... and a splendid demonstration of how flexible the arabic language is... these mails took place the mid-5th century [Hijry]..

I'm still not finished with them, I've read them twice but I still can't understand fully what's really between the lines... a real conflict of ideas... a conflict that we can clearly relate to these days!!

A thought in the first Ma3arry letter, I feel I should share here.. cuz I strongly believe in this logic..

Ma3arry was discussying the phrase "La yaf3alu allaho illa 7airan", a group of possibilities for the correct interpretation come up..

1. That this phrase is litterly honest, but he argues that all the evils in life prove it wrong, even the prophet Mohammed used to Seek refuge with god from evil, if the phrase was correct there shouldn't be a reason for this...
2. That this phrase is not correct, i.e. it's a lie, and that's not probable, because it would bad manners regarding god.
3. That this phrase is reflected [sth in the Arabic language], which means that God is the doer of both good and evil.
4. The possibility that there's both a god for good and a god for evil, which shouldn't be probable too.

After listing these possibilities, Ma3arry avoids selecting one and starts discussing the Evil doing... again with possibilites,
1. Either god knows about it, or he doesn't [Which is not probable too]..
2. If he knows then, he either agrees [or have consent] on it or he doesn't..
3. If he agrees then he's the doer..
4. If he doesn't agree, then he's not even "At the level of a ruler on Earth" - Ma3arry's words, because any ruler would react towards evil when it happens in his lands...

He brings some history examples proving his point, the death of Hussien, who was killed with the knowledge and consent and will of god, was it good or evil?! if good then it happened with the consent of God, so why do Shiites [Shirazy was obviously Fatimi, i.e. Shiite] curse the killer day and night?!, and if it was Evil, then why did the Godly Wisdom allow it to happen...?!
Again, if God has the whole will, then why can't he get faith inside an unbeliever's heart, instead of allowing wars and believers get killed..!!! and if everything is written then where's the choice in life?! and where's the fairness in punishment?!... questions that are tightly hidden inside Ma3arry's words...

I can only qoute him talking about this huge contradiction in the interpretation of God, saying


تناقض ما لنا إلا السكوت له وأن نعوذ بمولانا من النار

Just thought I'd share this...

Monday, August 22, 2005

Country >> Individuals

Country >> Individuals
How can ui call a country after ONE family... ?! how do summerize all these ppl, relations, movements, belongings, races, religions, history and fortunes into one Family, no matter how much they've done... It's not fair, It's NOT fair that Jordan is called the Hashmite Kingdom of Jordan, it's not fair that Hijaz, Najd, Aseer and Ahsa2 is called Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.. and even here, u donno how reliefed I was when they put the "Souria Al-Assad" slogan out of business... A country goes WAY beyond individuals!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Thoughts, only thoughts

- I can not really see any fundemental difference between the Muslim Brotherhood and any of the Arab Monarchs and Regimes that got into conflict with the group...
- In general, All Ideologies are restricted and thus relatively totalitarian.
- Reading about how the Jewish lobby [CONTROLS] decision makers in the United States of America, ALWAYS cracks me down...
- I always feel down after having the [Identity Conversation] with any Armenian-Syrian individual... is it so hard to admit they owe this country the least part of their identity after 80 years of hospitality...
- One very close friend once told me, that if there was a God after all, he's positive that he can persuade him and even prosecute him. after all, ONE lifetime FULL of sins can never justify IMMORTALITY in hell... [Me, I think i'll be more pragmatic at a similar situation!].
- Stop Crying Your Heart Out, one of my all time favorites... and YES, I do like it more than Wonderwall.
- MANY Americans don't really Like their current system, but ALL of them are POSITIVE that they can change it through this same system.
- "There's nothing abnormal in the assumption that the creator did draw back one or two steps, after forming the human out of dirt, and blowing the soul of life into him, making him a living creature. The surprising part about this incident is that Adam himself wasn't really surprised." Justine Garder - Maya [Excuse the poor translation, I don't have the English copy].
- Nothing more disgting than killing a human being, except the public consent on killing a human being [i.e. death penalty].
- 90% of Arab critics admit proudly in their reviews of Sulieman Rushdi's "Ayat Shaytaniah" that they NEVER actually read and NEVER will read the book...
- Caligola's primary goal was to defy the gods, too bad he died in such a tragic way!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Microsoft Outlook, Again

I've read this article a loong looong time ago on StireWire.com... and it still feels hillariously funny,

"...Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Symantec's AntiVirus Research Center today confirmed that foot-and-mouth disease cannot be spread by Microsoft's Outlook email application, believed to be the first time the program has ever failed to propagate a major virus..."

Click Here for the whole article

Friday, August 19, 2005

Ziad Sayed...2

إعلان السيجارة
:يقول العالم سيغموند فرويد
أن السيجارة هي تعويض لفقدان ثدي الأم
...ولفقدان طمأنينة الرضيع خلال فترات الرضاعة الأولى
ورغم ذلك... مخاطر التدخين

...أمومةٌ ساهرةٌ على جيلٍ مازال يدخن
زياد الرحباني - لولا فسحة الأمل

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Highlights

wasn't in town for a while...
so, as always, I'll just pin-point the highlights of my week..
- I'm re-listening to the "Lifelines" album by A-Ha... so I'm in a tooooootal peace-of-mind state..
- Parents got lost in Amman on their way home, and according to my dad, he was the reason for a HUGE traffic jam in "SOMEWHERE", Amman... well, sorry Ammanites...
- Hotter than it's ever been here in Latakia, and the humidity is striking new records... a PEREFCT state for a day on the beach... but after all these news about sharks fleet escaping to the meditarranean, and the incidents here... I'd rather put that off my schaduale for a couple days...
- Stunned and Proud of the syrian artist Hala Faisal, with all do respect to every opinion about this issue, I need to get this off my chest... her naked body there is stronger than ur maleness and definitly purer than ur babblings, her "Stop The War" sentence written over it, is more sacred than any holy book u can bring, and her standing there in Washington Square, NY [Thanx Ihsan] is honest in a way that's beyond ur understanding...
- Now in Syria. Finally, we got our own home-made PEPSI, good news for evebody's addicted to coka here!!
- The news about "Abu Jamal" and "Shehabi" being prosecuted and fleeing to France gives me very mixed feelings, I still can't confirm them... I still can't even comprehend them..
- I'm finally getting some time off to start my volunteer translation job at HospitalityClub.org, anybody's registered there is welcome to send feedbacks... in fact, PLZ DO!
- VERY excited about Age of Empires 3 primary release date [espcially after the disappointments of Age of Mythology], AOE is the only computer game that I'm TOTALLY addicted to, and one of the few that I actually play... infact, we [OBSESSIVE-AOE-FANS-IN-LATAKIA] have our own league!!
- Read a few articles about Steve Jobbs the co-finder of Apple, and I have to admit that I underestimated his innovations and creativity, he's a real genius... a special thanks to Baher for triggering me...
- Borders with lebanon are still subject the twisted minds that's leading this country straight off the bridge... last thing I heard was that Dabbousieh and 3areedah are OK, but Masna3 is closed... + u gotta eat every single Galaxy chocolates u got before u enter the syrian check points!!
- I'm not generalizing, but I do feel that we [Syrians] are very chauvinist. for instance, we do look down to the Gulf Ppl, and especially Saudis, we have a pre-made vision about the closeness of other communities [compared to our own, OFCOURSE], while in some cases this might prove true, in others it isn't... I know that I do, I'm sorry about, I've been working on it... I know a lot of ppl that do too, I'm not proud of it... but that's true.. I said somewhere that I believe in Human Beings as a whole.... I do, but as always, at times of trouble smaller belongings grow over wider ones, I'm trying to fight the feeling that my [Syrianism] is more important than my [Humanism]...

cheers everyone!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Jerusalem

All the ppl who died and still dying for this city, and all the bloodshed..
All the speeches and all the words that ppl have said for this city...
All the religious and moral and sacred places there..
They never made twitch when thinking about it...

Only Fairouz's "Zahrat Al-Madaen".. claims an honest tear, whenever I hear it..
Only then I realize what this city means for all the ppl in this world, Arabs, Palastinians, Israelis... everyone.. only then I realize what this place really is... I can't explain..


... للقدس سلام آتٍ

Pictures, Pictures...

Zied, A best friend of mine has a thing for photographing... and he was showing me some of his stuff... I think it's quite good... [the Cybershot he got last month has to count for sth! hehe]

I loved those pics...

Those pics are from a small seaside cabana compound they have in Basseet it's called [Dream Beach, if anybody's been there]...
























cheers

Friday, August 12, 2005

Really Racism?!! or maybe just Phobia?

A lot of posts talked about the racism against Arabs in dictionaries, I'd like to mention
Sinan, Roba, Omar, Eman, MMM

I did feel fishy about all the Racism in Dictioneries posts... so I tried looking up the word "Jew" in 2 of those dicts.

one of em is the most famous Websters
http://www.websters-online-dictionary.org/definition/jew

...comber, booly; globegirdler, globetrotter; vagrant, hobo, night walker, sleep
walker; noctambulist, runabout, straphanger, swagman, swagsman; trecker,
trekker, zingano, zingaro

almost the same as Arab.. which rules out the Racism factor...


The American Heritage ® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition:
http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/j/j0037450.html

1.To bargain shrewdly or unfairly with. Often used with down.
2.To haggle so
as to reduce (a price). Often used with down.


I guess that rules out WATA's arguments..??!

I rest my case...

[this wasn't a thorough search... a very quick and shallow one that lead to THESE results...]
I honestly this that this topic is over-rated...!!!

cheers

Monday, August 08, 2005

A trip down the memory lane...

soo.. tomorrow August 8th...
My birthday... yeah, I'm a Leo..

I've been browsing through my pix... I've got an awful lot of pix from my early childhood... I got some flashbacks I wanna share..

-I was born in 8/8/1986, Mom has always been obsessed with Maradona [the Argentinian footballer], and she was like 8months pregnant [obviously with ME] when 1986World Cup kicked off... so [hearsay] they told me that my mom used to run all over the house whenever he's on screen, cheering and screaming... with her belly all swollen, while my grandma's job was to follow her everywhere making sure she doesn't hurt herself..
-When I was about 1 or 2 years old, mom had to go work in Yemen [she's a doctor, btw], and Dad [well, I honestly donno where he was, he was playing hide and seek with Mukhabarat, and he actually won.. hehe.. way to go papa].. so I used to stay at my granpa's house in Homs, and being the spoiled-lonely-kid-who's-parents-arent's-around, I HAD the time of my life... I was told that I NEVER EVER got to sleep until they lullabied with me for hours on the balcony or the roof.. with the moonlight.. I used to scream out "2amal... 2amal" = "2amar... 2amar"!!
-back when I was 4 my only fantasy was to be a Trrafic Policeman!!! my older cousin even printed a ticket book for me.. with my name on it!!! hehe
-I have a long history with setting up fires... when I was 6 I burnt all my uncle's library [btw, that uncle is prof. Aaref Dalileh]... he used to keep it at my granpa's here in Latakia.. me and my mom stayed there for a while, so.... it was an honest mistake... I SWEAR... but.., well... he never ever played chess with me again!!
-I burnt dad's bathroom in his beirut flat...!!! I still don't rememeber how... and I still believe that IT WASN'T my fault...!!!
-I once wanted to see if cotton actually catches on fire... when I think about it now.. I wish I had the brains to try it on a small piece of cotton.. instead of the setting on fire all the cotton packs mom used to keep under the bed [medic cotton]... conequently setting the WHOLE bedroom on fire!!!!!!!
-Dad told me that I always had somekinda trouble with god.. I mean I was like 7yrs old when I first drew god..!! and it wasn't such a pleasant painting!!!!
-I was 7 too when I had my first cigarette... and thanx to that one I NEVER EVER smoked again [Not even nargile]...!!! Ironically papa was the one who gave it to me... When I think about it... I donno if I could take that chance with my son [I donno if I could have that amount of objectivness], anyways.. I threw up all day... and he didn't even say "I told ya so!!!" hehe.. I do appreciate that cigarette!!!
-I once sang with Sami 7awwat [one of Ziad Rahbani's close gang, although I always thought that I sang with Ziad... but my dad corrected that thought 2 weeks ago], he was playing Aud in this Sahra in some friend's house, I was like 6 and I jumped from my dad's lap and I wanted to sing... I sang Marcel Khalife's "Tout Tout 3abayrout"... soo he played Aud and I sang... now I know the secret behind that mysterious smile that dad gave me... Ziad and Marcel weren't such a great friends at that time!!! but well.. "Tout tout 3abayrout" WAS way more catchy for me than Ziad's "3ayshe wa7da balak"..
-I had my first strike when I was 10yrs old... I stayed 2 days without eating [honestly, I used to sneak at night and get a snack]... after 2hours negotiations I had to drop my demand for a mini-size-battery-car...!!! I still loooong for one... but I don't think I could fit in any of em right now... so I lost my chance in driving that!!!! :(


5 months old... I totally love this pic.. u can notice SyrianTV behind me!!! hehe... btw, and the television itself is Syronics!!


One of the few family pix that my parents could save...


That's me wandering in Yemen...!!! I stayed there about 3 months and mom couldn't handle it... so she sent me back!!!


That's my cousin May... we took this pic in my 3rd birthday... she's my first crush... hehehe


My cousin prof. Hussam Dalileh, he's the one I owe all my computer addiction to!! If i ever get to be sth, then he has much of the credit!!


Finally... my ever-lovely mommy!!!


yalla cheers,

Friday, August 05, 2005

Murshdis


This picture is what we call in latakia [Bet Al-Rabb - House of God]... Al-Rabb is a popular word referring to the Imam of the Murshdis...

Anyways,
Murshdis, are a bit closed sect. They were originally a part of the Alawites, until 1923 when a man [Sulman Al-Murshid] claimed himself to be the Hidden Imam [or Mehdi who is a shared tradition between Alawites and Shiits, which is the last Imam that will come at the end of time to save Alawites]... some sources say that he claimed that he was a God... but Murshdis nowadays deny that...
There's a lot of confusion about the relationship between Sulman and the syrian inpendence movement... I tend to believe that he was a really pragmatic person, so I go with the opinion, that he worked with the french, and then when he saw the national movement taking the upper hand, he flip-flopped... which explains the last book about this subject [Ray Before Dawn - The Diaries of Ahmed Nihad Al-Sayyaf]...
Sulman was trialed for Great Treason and executed in 1946... and was succeeded by his son Mujeeb Al-Murshid who was also killed in 1952 by direct orders from Adeeb Al-Shishakly, then came Saji Al-Murshid until he died in 1998 without leaving a will...
Murshdis now largely consider Al-Murshid as a God, explaining the Villa's name...
They suffered a lot of torture and repression until the late 60s... there was even a law that allows imprisonment for anyone who states publicly that he's a Murshdi..
in the 70s, Murshdi leaders met with the late president Hafez Assad, and all these laws and opression were lifted off in return for their full support to the regime..
It is well known that they fulfilled that promise, for a huge part of the [Defence Brigades] were Murshdis... and when the huge crisis occured between the two brothers in the 80s, they stood steadily with Pres. Hafez Assad... and withdrew from the Defence Brigades... and that was a major factor in ending the crisis..

Their numbers are estimated in tens of thousands, most of em are still living in the countryside of Homs, Hama and Latakia...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Coups in Syria

The military coup in Muritania.. has intigued me into looking closely at our own history of military coups..
here's a short list of those..

After several years of french-based democratic parliamentry practice (1946 - 1949) the first coup took place

-March 30,1949 Husni Al-Zaim... He only lasted 4 and a half months...
-August 14, 1949 Sami Al-Hennawi... He appointed Hashim Atassi as a President in December 14th.
-December 19, 1949 Adeeb Al-Shishakly... He kept H. Atassi as a President, while keeping the real power into his hands..
-December 2, 1951 Atassi resigns, the next day Shishakly appoints Fawzi Selow.
-August 10, 1953 Shishakly appoints himself president after a [Referendum].
-February 25, 1954 Restlessness inside the army forces Shishakly to flee syria.
-1958 A group of Baathi and Nassri army officers overstepped the government [Shukri Qouatly-President, Sabri Assali-PM, Khaled Azem-Defence Minister... had exactly no idea of this meeting] and went to egypt to have talks with Gamal Abdul Nasser for an instant full Unity..
-September 28, 1961 Abdul Karim Nahlawi leads a military coup that broke the United Arab Republic, and reannounced Syrian Arab Republic..
-March 28, 1962 A military coup that replaced the government...
-March 8, 1963 The most-famous coup that got Baath party into power unitl this day...
-July 18, 1963 A Failing coup by the Nassris [lead by Jasim Alwan] that resulted in a massacre, 30 high-ranked officers were executed.
-February 23, 1966 a military coup inside the Baathi military institution... that brought Baathi hardliners into power.
-September 8, 1966 A failing coup attempt by Salim Hatoum.
-November 16, 1970 Another coup lead by Hafez Assad [which was considered a moderate inside Baathists], resulted in appointing him a president a year later by a referendum.. he stayed as the president of the S.A.R. until his death in 2000.. and was succeeded by his sun, Dr. Baschar al-Assad...

The last one lasted through a lot of coup attempts, Muslim Brotherhood 1982, Rifaat Assad in the 80s...

After such a bloody history, one would think that the best period in Syria's modern history was the French Mandate... unfortunatly!

Another Coup

So, Muritania's having a coup...
sth that us syrians have a real history with..
bad memories coming back... no matter how bad a regime is, a coup is gonna be worse, that's the lesson I've learned... blood only promotes blood..
military movements CAN NOT bring democracy...
War Lords Can not bring deocracy...
Generals can not build democracy..

it's as simple as that...
Let's just hope for the best... I truly wish that I'm deadly wrong on this particular thing...

Fingers crossed for the "New" Muritania

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

King Fahd Dies

well, all I can say is... may he rest in peace...
cuz I can't honestly give my condolences for his death... he was one of the BIG totalitarians, supported one of the world's worst movements [Wahabism].. I simply can't say that I'm very touched for his death... especially that he died normally after a VERY long life...

Let's hope for the next saudi monarch to be a little more openminded.....

Monday, August 01, 2005

Thoughts on Religion, Secularism and Atheism

When I recall our last Syrian Bloggers Meetup... I remember one really important topic that didn't take much attention..

it was the difference between Secularism and Atheism...
it was briefly discussed at the meetup.. but I think it's a really important topic... especially for a society that widely accepts words like Secular and Atheist as a slander... even worse, a society that has no differntiation between the two concepts...

Longman Dictionary For Contemperary English... defines both concepts as followed..

Atheism: the belief that God does not exist.
Secularism: a system of social organization that does not allow religion to influence the government, or the belief that religion should not influence a government.

The difference is bright and clear... Secularism doesn't necessarily mean Atheism... it's just a way of keeping ur belief from affecting other ppl and harming the community as whole... and when u believe in Secularism, it doesn't mean that u have to leave ur believes behind.. it's simply a way of saying that belief is sth between u and ur God, Aura, Satan, SuperPower.. Sun, Moon... whatever u believe [or DON'T believe] in... it's not sth u can reflect on ur community...

Secularism is the only social system [til now] that DOES protect the rights of a very big group of humans called Atheists...
All religions and beliefs [without exception] are exclusive and expulsive... and no matter how tolerant that religion or belief is, non of em actually admits to Atheists the same rights as believers...
Because all beliefs and religions [at least that I know of...] have the whole truth, and this truth is NOT negotiable, and when someone believes he has the WHOLE truth, it becomes very easy for him to justify the killing, torturing, repression.... of anyone who doesn't share his belief in this Truth...
I'm not saying that we should put religion down... I still believe that religion has much more to give... human beings owe a lot of their development to religion.. examples r very clear, we saw how the belief in Islam turned bedouins into statesmen to a super power at that time... Shinto in Japan still drives japanese into more work everyday... I believe, Religion as a concept hasn't finished his journey yet... and I don't think it will... but it is time for this concept to evolve as a whole.. and reconcile with human-beings as a whole too...

2nd POEM

I once posted one of the [poems] I sent to my dad when I was a little kid... I remember saying that there was 2 of em... yesterday, again I was sniffing through all his papers and stuff... I found the other one... I love this.. although I don't remember why I wrote it... or when.. and I noticed somekinda correction in the 3rd paper.. I think that's my dad's handwriting.. maybe he was correcting it for me, when I was there... I just wanted to post.. cuz it means a lot..
I found a lot of stuff about my early childhood.. a lot of pix.. I'll post some of em later...