31 December, 2007

Today's Quote

On Marriage:
"When two people decide to get a divorce, it isn't a sign that they 'don't understand' one another, but a sign that they have, at last, begun to."
-- Helen Rowland

19 November, 2007

Today's Quote

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."
-- Bertrand Russell

17 November, 2007

Today's Quote

"The number one reason for divorce is marriage" -- a very wise guy

Today's Quote

"Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question, "Yes" is the answer".

13 November, 2007

Today's Quote

"I used to do drugs. I still do, but I used to too" -- Mitch Hidberg

29 August, 2007

I'm a No. 4

You Are 4: The Individualist

You are sensitive and intuitive, with others and yourself.
You are creative and dreamy... plus dramatic and unpredictable.

You're emotionally honest, real, and easily hurt.
Totally expressive, others always know exactly how you feel.

At Your Best: You are inspired, artistic, and introspective. You know what you're thinking, and you can communicate it well.

At Your Worst: You are melancholy, alienated, and withdrawn.

Your Fixation: Envy

Your Primary Fear: To have no identity

Your Primary Desire: To find yourself

Other Number 4's: Alanis Morisette, Johnny Depp, J.D. Salinger, Jim Morrison, and Anne Rice.

02 August, 2007


ايدي في جيوبي وقلبي طرب
سارح في غربة بس مش مغترب
وحدي لكن ونسان و ماشي كدة
بابتعد معرفش أو بأقترب

One of Mounir's greatest songs, at least to me. It just strikes a nerve with me. The music alone is enough to make this song one of Mounir's greatest songs. The words are a great example of "السهل اممتنع". Not a single I love you, I left you, I hate you, the regular themes of all Arabic songs. Words that just goes directly to your heart and music that instantaneously elevates your soul. Mounir IS truly the KING. After discovering it the other night on my hard disk I went on a downloading frenzy and downloaded all Mounir's albums since 1977.

22 May, 2007

New Photos Added

Check out the latest pictures I've added to my flickr page which includes pictures of me in the army.

13 April, 2007

Today's Quote

"War is much too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military."
-- Georges Clemenceau

**This one is inspired by me doing army time starting tomorrow and having seen already the types of people being recruited.

12 April, 2007

Today's Quote

"I've had bad luck with both my wives. The first one left me and the second one didn't."
- Patrick Murray

11 April, 2007

Today's Quote

"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." -- Bill Cosby

10 April, 2007

Today's Quote

"I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia." -- Woody Allen

Foot Note: It became considerably easier writing these quotes now that I'm in Egypt. I no longer have to wonder when this day is going to end to post tomorrow's quote :)

God bless Egypt.

And happy easter!

09 April, 2007

Today's Quote

"Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience." -- Samuel Johnson

08 April, 2007

Today's Quote

"A man in love is incomplete until he is married. Then he's finished." -- Zsa Zsa Gabor

07 April, 2007

Today's Quote

"I know a lot about cars. I can look at a car's headlights and tell you exactly which way it's coming."

Mitch Hedberg

06 April, 2007

Adham 2.0?

Will, not quite yet!

A little less than four months in Egypt now. The rate of new stuff happening to me is slowing down or is it that I'm just getting used to all of it. The rush of getting into something new is fading away yet I'm on the door of what could be the experience of my life time. The Army.

Have I changed during this short period? Certainly. Am I satisfied with the results? Well, thats a much harder question to answer now. I don't even think that the question is a valid one. I certainly weigh less, laugh less than I used to, I take more care of what I say and do, much more care, than what I used to. I'm still in this weird spot where I'm still trying everything and decide which is better. I'm accumulating as much experience as possible dealing with people. I used every type of public transport in Egypt except the "tok tok"! I feel changed, but its a hard thing trying to keep the things I liked the most about me, or at least getting them under control, and at the same time not be like everybody else or what everybody else thinks is the "normal"

I say English words when I speak way more than what I'm supposed to. I use the "comma" sign when I speak way too much. The kind of humor I'm used to is too different than what they have here. I still feel that I have this little kid inside that just wants to break loose and play and get away with everything but the reality is more difficult than this. I'm still deciding on how am I supposed to deal with people, family, friends, girls. I'm still trying to figure out what kind of persona I want to reflect to people, what kinds of limits do I need to set for people. I'm still learning how to not to treat everybody equally good -or bad-. I'm still trying to figure out where my life is heading right now but at least I know how I'm going to spend the next year. 10 months to be exact.

After 4-5 visits to the army recruitment camps my fate in the army has finally been determined. I'm going to go in for the compulsory 9 months plus an extra month for being late on my original recruitment date. I'm starting next week, on the 14th of April, my 45 days in the "training camp" which is supposedly the toughest period in the army and after that I still don't know whats exactly going to happen. I could be sent to any where in Egypt, but of course I'm hoping on Alex where at least I'm going to spend the nights sleeping in my own bed.

I'm taking the army thing with the most positive attitude I could summon. Most people around me are amazed on how cool am I with this army thing. My only second option is to blame the whole thing on my Dad who was responsible for making me miss my original recruitment date and the only chance I had to be exempted from the service -which I now know that I would've surely gotten for at least three different reasons-. The only thing I'm happy for now is that I'm only going to spend 10 months there instead of a nasty 27 months period which was a real possibility till a couple of weeks earlier.

I stopped my diet a month ago and have been keeping my weight at around 90 Kgs, and if you're saying thats still to much then you should know that when I first came here I weighed around 120, so thats a very good achievement for me. Plus, according to everybody here, I'm going to lose around 50% of my mass during the first 45 days period. The only thing I'm worried about in the army is bathrooms. You could do anything to me but when it comes to bodily functions thats a major do-not-miss-with part of my life. I'm also going to be able to run 15 kilos straight which has been a dream of mine for a very long time now.

This is probably my last post before going in. So, to answer the question I started with, am I "Adham 2.0" yet? Will, No. "Adham 1.6" maybe. But I'm guessing "Adham 2.0" is coming in two months with the latest version "Adham 3.0" coming early next year.

05 January, 2007

Today's Quote

"Justice delayed is justice denied" -- John F. Kennedy

My First New Year's Eve...

For the first time in my life I've celebrated new year's eve and it was everything I hoped it to be. It was on of the best days of my life.

I was in Cairo during the eid to visit my cousins, a visit that ended in me regretting that I don't have a sister! We arrived at 11:00 pm the night before, left our stuff at my uncle's and started a marvelous 30-hours activity-filled day of fun that ended with Mohammad Mounir's concert at the opera house where I spent a lot of energy jumping and screaming and singing. The party along was one of the best things I've ever went to in my whole life and I was only disappointed that Mounir didn't sing longer. I wasn't a big fan of mounir until I heard his album "3an2ood el 3enab" and I was instantaneously hooked up to his style and at the concert I discovered that the dude has A LOT of great songs that I haven't heard yet. One of the best was a song called "7addoota Masreya", the whole concert had a "national" theme and almost all the songs were about Egypt. It was great.

I've seen a lot of people that day that I haven't seen for more than 7 years including some of my own cousins!

Anyways, I know that some people are frustrated because I didn't write a lot since I came here and I'm sorry guys, especially Jawad, but nothing much happened regarding my army thing. I've discovered a couple of days ago that nothing is going to happen before the 15th of this month so I'm technically on vacation for two more weeks but I'm starting to get a glimpse of what is going to happen on that day. The funniest thing is how the medical examination goes in the "largest room on earth" according to my cousin who's been there. The whole room is empty except from a bench that spans it 1.5 m from its wall and it has two small door at each end one that you come from and the other one to exit. Everybody should be standing almost naked on the wall waiting for the doctor to pass by them if you have a medical problem you're told to wait on the bench for another doctor to examine you. After everybody is examined you're told to leave through the other door for the eye examination, and yeah, you're expected to be completely dressed by the time you reach that door. This's one version of the story, the other version is that you're still half-naked and after the eye-exam thing -which is not an exam at all but a simple question of if you suffer from a problem or not- you're told to wear a jacket that 5000 people wore before you to take your picture and then after that you could slip into your clothes again.

I'll keep you updated with what exactly is going to happen!

First Impressions...

First impressions: nothing seems to have changed much since the last time I've been here, but starting to talk with anybody you immediately see that everybody is angry at everything, everybody says that there's no money, poor people are getting poorer and rich are getting richer. From my personal experience, people are becoming more blunt in asking for tips, bribes to be accurate. Tips are what you give to a waitress, but every where you go people are asking your for money to do what they are actually required to do, and when you give them what you think should be enough they look at you like an alien or something and tell you "e7na mesh bnesh7at ya basha", the get the fuck out of my face! The only solution with this kind of people according to my brother is to "eddaken" -derived from the famous word "dakan" coined by Marwan Nabarawi and meaning "to be dakeen" or "to exercise dakan on others"- and treat everybody like shit, which seems to be working with him quite well. According to Ahmad's theory, all Egyptians are cowards with really loud voices and as soon as the feel that you're capable of doing them physical damage the back off, and if you are not convinced here's a story...

Two days ago I was sitting with Ahmad and one of his friends on "gawharet stanely" a nice little place on stanely corniche, when suddenly from the far end of the street, and this was around 3:00 am, a little white car with a guy and a girl which was being chased by two other cars filled with guys, the white car stopped right in front of us and the guy came to us followed by the girl who we found out that she was actually his wife and they were being followed by these ravages and asked us for help, as soon as we stood up and looked at them -since they were still at the middle of the street waiting to see what we're going to do!!- they disappeared! The guy and his wife still obviously traumatized from the experience.

Back to my first impressions:

Trains take almost an hour more to reach Cairo than they used to do, and they're not getting any cleaner too but are still dependable, at least their departure times are accurate!

The best news paper here is "el dostoor", although I heard much more about "el-masry el-yoom" but it didn't rise to my expectations, but el-dostoor is just full of good material from the beginning to the end. I spent three hours in the train reading it!

Everybody is trying to rip you off, even your family. Money seems equally capable of pulling families together -as long as there's something for everybody- and tearing them apart -as soon as one of them knows how to rip the others off and go undiscovered-.

Unveiled women are a minority, especially in Cairo, and especially in Cairo University where I saw only 5 unveiled women, and i paced the whole campus that day, twice. What was even more interesting was the amount of girls wearing the saudi-type abaya or wearing the niqab. I have also seen the weird new types of hijab, the spanish hijab and the latest advancements of the "sexy mohaggaba" which now appears to allow for short skirts, and extremely tight clothes that I doubt even unveiled girls dare to wear. But so what? Isn't her hair covered?

An old observation that still holds: no craftsman does what he's required correctly or faithfully, and in many cases doing something faithfully meant nothing more to him than cutting a piece of textile horizontally instead of vertically!

Egyptians still don't understand the concept of "queues" or even "numbers". I was happy to find that my favorite place for a coffee in Alex, the "Brazilian Coffee", has got a face lift, so I went inside to get a cup of cappuccino and I got a computer print-out with my order and a number, till now everything was fine but thats until I discovered that you have to push through all the people standing on the counter, give your ticket to the person making the coffee -who by the way is the complete opposite of what a customer-friendly people-serving person should look like or behave like-, tip him, and then of course shout a little with the occasional re-arrangement of the crowd in order to allow the lucky fucker who got the coffee to pass through spelling half his coffee in the process. A fuss that could be avoided by simply sticking to the FREAKIN NUMBERS ALREADY PRINTED ON THE FREAKIN PIECE OF PAPER!

Of course I was so frustrated that I decided to go back home on-foot, a 50 minutes walk on the corniche that ended in an awful cold that hit me for four days -thanks to our locally manufactured antibiotics that seems to do nothing and indeed according to doctors here does absolutely nothing-.

A lot of people are getting either engaged or married, and even more are doing the opposite. There's so much stupid things that happened with a lot of people I know that I really care about when they got married that I'm going to write about later.

Everybody is expecting a "change". The government is aware of it and is spreading its forces and tightening its hands on everything in anticipation. Security in Alexandria is not tighter than ever according to everybody here.

Everywhere smells like urine!

I know some of these observations might sound stupid to somebody who's been living in Egypt for a while, but I hope these don't become the norm.