02 December, 2006

1000 visitors

My blog reached 1000 visitors today, a huge milestone for me considering I've been writing for only a little more than a month right now!

I started finding out about blogs after reading the report on the events of the 25th of May, 2005 and for the first time I thought that I could be part of something that is in no way under the influence of our outdated leaders -or so called leaders-, something thats purely Egyptian and by people who carry hope for a better Egypt. Luckily, this coincided with me getting a DSL connection and the nearing of my final return to Egypt from my exile and I started reading everything like crazy and I fell in love with it and decided that I have to be part of whats happening.

I have chosen to write this blog in English for a couple of reasons, and no, its not because I'm that guy with the American accent because I admit it right here that my English accent is not that good but its comprehensible at least. And although I love the American accent I've always hated people who think they're cool because they talk in English. The main reason is because I could type up to 40 words per minute in English plus my laptop's keyboard doesn't have Arabic letters and every time I have to write something in Arabic I have to open the windows "On-Screen Keyboard". The other reason is that I think that there are a lot of people who are writing in Arabic who are far better and more experienced than me. And when it comes to writing in Arabic the style is really important cause I discovered that in the blog world you could get bored from a post really fast, I think that most people wont read this far in this post either! But do you write in "fos7a" or in 3ammeya or in the arabic-english style, its just a huge burden, besides, I've always thought that I could express myself much more clearly in English because its a "primitive" language, its not a fancy language at all, not as much as Arabic at least.

Another main reason is that if I write in Arabic, I know that only Arabic speaking people will read it, and since I'm an advocate for reaching the "other" I thought that English will do the trick, and it did. People who read my blog, according to my statcounter, come from almost all over the globe, and mostly from Europe and the States, I even have people from Chile, Iceland and Korea accessing my blog! How cool is that?

Anyway, I have to thank everybody who visited my blog or left a comment, thank you all...

Today's Quote

"On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero." -- Tyler Durden, from: The Fight Club

01 December, 2006

Today's Quote

To err is human, but it takes a computer to really screw things up

30 November, 2006

Today's Quote

"The pen is mightier than the sword, and considerably easier to write with."
-- Marty Feldman

29 November, 2006

Today's Quote

Beauty is skin deep, ugly goes to the bones.

28 November, 2006

And the meeting was successful...

"wakan al-egtema3 mosmeran"
"wa entaha el egtema3 benaga7"
"naga7 al qimma al-3arabiya"

I know all of you are familiar with these clichés on newspapers -usually government controlled- after any meeting between high-ranking officials either inside Egypt or with others from outside, and I always wondered, who evaluates meetings and gives the judgment that this meeting was a success or that other one was a failure? Especially that 90% of these meetings -especially between arab officials- are deemed "successful"?

Is their like a checklist? Arrived on time? check, dressed accordingly? check, no swearing? check. Is it the same in western newspapers? or is it another Arabic tradition?

The Social Significance of Bars

Bars have a bad reputation, especially in the Arab world. Their mere association with serving alcohol is bad enough in any country with a Muslim majority and only to make matters worse bars became the refuge for prostitutes since according to how an Arab mind works if somebody is doing something wrong the he must also be doing all sorts of bad things -which is how somebody who's harassing a girl in the street justifies himself "if she's wearing like this she has to be a bitch" and also in politics, whenever somebody disagrees with the regime he is accused of being a traitor, a thief and all these sorts of insults that we're familiar with.

But, I think that bars in the states and in the western world in general has a much more significant role. A bar is somewhere where people could gather, chat together, dance, meet new people, have a conversation, watch a sports event, sing or have parties. I see it as a corner stone in a normal a normal social life in the west. A place to go when you're feeling bad, good, need to meet somebody, hit on a woman, especially hitting on women since in a bar is the perfect atmosphere for something like this. Girls come with the intention of meeting somebody already in their minds which makes it that much easier for guys to attempt to make a move on them. Booze is readily available, you could dance and chat, all the requirements for a perfectly good first date are there. And thats exactly what we don't have in Egypt.

If we just had a public space where it is well-known that anybody who's going there has the intention of meeting a person from the opposite sex then we're eliminating -or at least reducing- the amount of harassment that happens on the street where women are usually defensive and anybody with even the purist of intentions could be humiliated and even beaten -depending on the location :)-, and for all the conservatives out there, there shouldn't even be booze, just regular drinks or coffee or whatever, the only important thing is the concept itself.

Just another great idea by moi.

Is It Really Worth It?

I don't like to talk much about the Palestinian issue. Its not as if my opinion is going to change anything in it or going to reach anybody who's capable of doing anything anyways. A lot of times I read the newspapers and ask myself if all these people writing on all of these subjects do really believe that they have a unique angle or the solution for any of our problems! Anybody who watches TV nowadays will be surprised by how many experts we have on any subject you could think of but to me, it only comes to a couple of people worth listening to what they say. I can't help but think what would've happened if half of these people actually did something instead of getting their faces on TV and thinking they're famous now. Whats even weirder is what happens when these experts -and presumably intellects- start arguing with each other and the time immediately goes back 50 years to when everybody was calling his enemies traitors and agents of the west and all that bullshit that got us nowhere, or is it that we have fallen in a crack in the space-time continuum -I love this word :)- and the whole Arab area where time doesn't move forward any more.

I empathize with the Palestinians and with the all the pain and suffering they have to go through to stay alive but I think that they fell victims to an ideology that is not suited for solving the current situation. Until Arabs solve their own problems first and develop a sense of unity -and not unify because I don't believe that this is possible- the Palestinian issue should be treated as a humanitarian crisis. If we set aside our prejudice and start thinking about it, our first priority is not what type of government and what kind of borders, its the ability for the people to sustain themselves and be able to work and learn and for their children to play safely. I don't believe that any normal sane mother will accept that her son will go blow himself to pieces to injure some Israelis and by no means is it acceptable that a 57 years old woman blows herself to injure three soldiers! And the assholes who shot a video of her before she goes, what kind of sick people are they?

Now I'm not saying that I have a solution, but I'm certain that what's currently happening there isn't one. Killing an Israeli using tin can rockets is not going to benefit anybody and we all know that the Israelis are the kings of manipulating the media and they're going to benefit from something like this far more than the palestinians will, if the do at all.

To be cont'd.

Today's Quote

"Sex without love is an empty experience, but, as empty experiences go, it's one of the best." -- Woody Allen

27 November, 2006

Did anybody read this?

While looking for a piece by Osama El-Baz on the Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper website, I stumbled upon this interesting document:

مصادر: مبارك سيلغي قانون الطوارئ بعد عودته من رحلة العلاج

The article is dated 1-July-2004. Is he back yet? :)

The Uniform

Sometimes to change from the inside you have to change from the outside.

All Egyptians now know that their country is being controlled by a few corrupt figures whose corruption spread through the entire community that corruption has become the new norm. But, knowing the problem is still only half the answer, an answer that is becoming increasingly difficult, how do you save the country?

Every time I watch an American high school on TV in a movie or a series I feel that I missed a lot of things. The school I have been didn't make us wear a uniform, but thats something we had to fight for every single year until a couple of year after I graduated they finally won and made it compulsory. I have never understood the reason behind the school uniform and short hair. Why do they want everybody to look the same? The image that comes directly to my mind when I see uniformed schoolboys in the street now is that of a military school with an oppressive authoritarian figure on the top of it, somebody screwed enough in his head that he hates everybody else to the extent of ruining their individuality and personality. Brainwashing, we are all being brainwashed, just like the Nazis brainwashed the Germans we're slowly being brainwashed into thinking that we should obey our leader and not question him, we are being taught to be all the same and not to think for ourselves because authorities know whats best for us, even in what we wear.

To me, school uniforms and short hair is a sign of oppression as anything else. I believe that schools is the ticket to solving all of Egypt's problems. Maybe American schools are not much better than ours only because they have colorful well-printed textbooks or because they have chemistry labs that rivals those in our engineering schools, maybe its because their students are taught to think for themselves and to ask questions, they're not given answers they're required to look for them and this is the foundation of scientific research that our government thinks that only by building labs we're going to produce science.

Their students have a "student governments" and these are not the "top students" the 4.0 students who well automatically be assigned to these position just because they study hard -the Egyptian model-, no, they are elected, and this is the foundation for your democratic country.

It all starts in school people. And schools are not the tables and the chairs and the textbooks, schools are much bigger than that. Schools are where we learn to be people, to learn, to tolerate the other.

I had a very close friend in primary school called Zein. Zein's mother was Australian and he himself looked very much Australian too, and this was his mistake. Just because he looked different everybody automatically hated him, just because he doesn't fit in their built-in image of what a normal person should look like and because we were all taught to look the same -I'm not talking about the school here cause I already said we didn't have a uniform, its the image by society of what a normal person should look like, and if you don't get what I mean go out to the street and see for yourself how 90% of the people look almost identical- because they were all taught to look the same he was treated like a freak!

This post is running long, continue later...

I'm Che Guevara Goddamnit!

Check out the results of my "Famous leader test" at similarminds.com

More results coming as soon as I get them! By the way, I DO have a picture of Che in my room! Freaky huh!

Today's Quote

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." -- Albert Einstein

26 November, 2006

Hijab Fight, Act 4

I was just watching "El-3ashera masa2an" on Dream 2. I didn't see the show for quite a while now but I came by it on TV and I immediately remembered why I hate to watch arabic talk shows. EVERYBODY IS SCREAMING! Everywhere I watch TV now I find people, all kinds of people, shouting and screaming on TV trying to make a point. A point that usually is that they're the only ones who got it right and that everybody else is wrong. Every time I see this I immediately remember when I was watching "Quadriga" on DW-TV and he said that the only reason why he's watching this show is because of how calmly and nicely do these people argue with each other! :)

Anyways, first impressions? This Salah Eisa is a an arrogant son of a bitch. He was treating everybody -especially Essam Sultan- like he was much better than them and this is just a quality that I despise. Did anyone of these see Dr. Ahmad Zewail or Farouk El-Baz and how humble they sound when they're talking and I bet that they're much more well-known in the world than any of them. Anyways, I was glad that the issue of the lacking of a culture of civilized argument in Egypt -and in the arab world- in general, because in my opinion this is the key issue in the whole fight on Farouk Housni.

I'm afraid that our country, because of the absence of a real political atmosphere, is being hijacked by Islamic radicals. These are the people who are truly behind this whole bubble. The proof? I'm going to use the same argument used by Magdi El-Gallad, where the hell were they when the real shit happens? Where were they when Egyptians are burned alive, drowned, poisoned and all these wrong doings! Where were they when women were -and still are- sexually harassed? Or is Islam now restricted to covering the hair and growing a beard?

Honestly, I didn't want to talk about this subject at all cause to me, as all the guests -and surprisingly the head of the Islamic brotherhood on the phone- agreed that this subject is irrelevant and is only a front of a much bigger problem. The hijacking of the country by extremist Islamists. And thats not at all a good thing, but thats the subject of my next post.

Today's Quote

"It's all fun and games 'til someone loses an eye; Then it's just fun you can't see." -- James Hetfield