This is my 100th post

Recently -since febrauary- I have maintained a post every two days, on even days, even if posting about mundane things, it still means a whole lot to me to have reached the 1ooth post, and so I will dedicate this just for that, and for saying that I have nothing else to talk about.

My blog seems to not grow in audience, even thought I try to plug it in everywhere, I am enjoying more because of that fact, I can't seem to care what people will comment, because hardly anyone does, and one day I know I will look at this post and say "Those were the days, my friend"

I will try to include -in every post from 101st upwards- a picture, and hopefully it will bring up this site.


New style -again

As Many of you have noticed, the website has been tampered with, and the old cool and hip design was removed. Darn, it doesn't look right any more.

The thing is, i did it, and I like it, and I don't care about the level of coolness that the blog has, really I don't.

I added my picture in a PA-44, which is a piper seminole, and added the same line, and headline. New Additions:

1- Cogito, Ergo Sum: I think, therefore I am , which is part of Descartes Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum (Latin: "I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am") is a philosophical statement used by René Descartes, which became a foundational element of Western philosophy. "Cogito ergo sum" is a translation of Descartes' original French statement: "Je pense, donc je suis", which occurs in his Discourse on Method (1637).

2-"In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro" (I have searched for peace everywhere, but have not found it anywhere except for in a corner with a book). a quote by Thomas à Kempis

3-GeoVisite counter and tracker, which is fun to see, although most of my recent hits are from Jordan.

4-I also removed some spam comments, added the moderate comments feature, because it seems neccesary.


Support Local Brands

I am now changing my mind about certain beliefs, I looked far and near and realized that globalization, though helpful in some areas, is largely to blame for everything.

It is in Jordan that restaurants are opening up by the dozen, and the services are getting better, if you look for European style cuisine, it is available, mainly thanks to foreign restaurant chains coming here. This pushed the restaurant industry to step up and face the challenges.

Recently, I tried both Tropicana and Minute Maid, which are properties of PepsiCo. and Coca-Cola respectively. I enjoyed the juices they offer, but not as much as I enjoy local juice companies. For some reason, local juice companies -who buy concentrates from abroad- seem to be doing a great job.

Since I have been on a diet for a long time now and losing reasonable weight, I realized that not only do I not need beverages that contain CO2 in them, I HATE them. There were times when Burger King and McDonald's were not allowed in Arab countries, because of connections to Israel, times change. Today there are a plethora of branches of many companies, with connections to Israels in the Arab World. Try Chili House and Chili Ways, and if you don't seem to like them, then try something else, but try Jordanian first.

I therefore took a drastic decision, not buy multinational products and help the local competition. I know that I am not a fan of Starbucks anymore, it makes sense that I should when available, support a local brand, and I found one that is superior in value and taste, although not variety.

This picture was actually on their site and the friends at archive.org still have a copy, if Israel awarded the Chairman of Starbucks, I am not buying from there. Simple, Right?


Economically, I find it viable to Jordan that I buy my coffee from flavours, or any other Jordanian variety, I personally enjoy it, and am a regular customer, they know my drink and prepare the minute I walk in.

I also enjoy going to places where the giving is part of their revenue, not some minute percentage, but actually a fixed part that is of significance, and I must say I am not surprised by amount of such places available.

If you are into nature, try Wild Jordan, it is amazingly good, and supports the RSCN, which is as good cause as any.

But if you feel that you need a more entrenched cause, try the places at
AlQaser Hotel Howard Johnson. I think this may impress you, also remember their courtyard is a very nice place to sit and relax.

Remember to support as many local enterprises in your community, because they will help the money flow to remain in the country.


You'll Never Walk Alone

We just lost 2-1 to A C Milan, but Morientes once said, the best team lost, Inzaghi isn't a hero, he just happened to be in the way for one, and the Liverpool defense screwed up.

When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the Storm there's a golden sky
And the sweet, silver song of a lark.

Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain,
Though your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone.
You'll never walk alone.
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone.
You'll ne-ever walk alone.

That's it, not a bad season, but the preimership is our target for next year, RAFA, please listen, we want the premiership. All the best to the wonderful squad and the crew behind them.


Kathem Al Saher

They called him "the Caesar of Arab Singing" and many other names which corresponded to his status, he did many great Songs and has his name on many other outcries for the children of Iraq. That was great.

The Dixie Chicks took a position and they stood up for it, regardless of whether I agree with them or not, I respect them because they tried to use their fame and celebrity status to do what they thought is good.

Kathem on the other hand outright lied: "The War is over" he sung in 2003, the war started on my b-day, but for the life of me I couldn't find where it said the war was over. Kathem, who says his father is a Sunni and his mother is a Shiite and thus dismissing the claim that he has anything to be sectarian about, joined Soprano Sarah Brightman and told me a lie that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand.

Until that point I loved him, I bought his every record, memorized every song, but then he made a masterpiece of music, which I hated, not because it wasn't good, I just said it was a masterpiece, but because he gave me and I suppose many others, false hope of a very near shinning future.

I want to someday look back at this post and say: "Well, he was only a few years off" I really want to. Still listen to this if you know Arabic.
It was a song written with no intentions.

P.S. I have not bought an album of his since.


Rumours - 2

I have heard rumors, I don't claim any of these to be true or actually credible, but I want my minuscule readership to hear what people try to sell to me. This is a series, I will post to it more often than other series I started, mainly because people talk alot.

- I heard that there is a ministerial shake-up, the Prime Minister is changing, Sharif Shaker is rumored, a big change of plans for the elections waiting to happen

IF this is true, it is not unexpected, I heard a speaker at the World Economic Forum say that "a certain Arab country which I will not name ... has minsters change every 8 months ... give them a chance"

I can't remember who he was but it was right before the Schwab final lines. I guess the gentleman was referring to Jordan, he was right, each Prime Minster has a specific agenda, when it is done, he leaves. I guess. I am not sure.

Parliamentary elections in the region are scary, Hamas in the P.A., the Musilm Brotherhood in Egypt and many other examples make it something to be watched for.


Rumours - 1

I have heard rumors, I don't claim any of these to be true or actually credible, but I want my minuscule readership to hear what people try to sell to me. This will be a series, I will post to it more often than other series I started, mainly because people talk alot.

- I heard that there are cities being built in Zarqa, Jordan and in other areas for the Palestinians in Refugee camps in Lebanon. Other Palestinians in the gulf and whatnot will be offered citizenship and most will be given generous compensations. Other likely candidates for the way of transfer are Palestinians living outside the Apartheid wall but inside the Green line.

IF this is true, it will cause the same effect that the Palestinians living in Kuwait who came over, it caused inflation and strained the public services for years, the same happened when the Iraqis who fled Iraq came over. I used to be able to afford to buy a decent apartment, but not anymore.

My every-8-day update, My scale is busted but I am guessing, I lost another 2 pounds.

The most non-self-centered thing that troubles me, is the rights that will be taken away from them. They have inalienable rights and they should be respected, I hope for the sake of the region that it is not true.


Waist Managment?

As you might have read here that I will be following a waist management strategy, which include not having your scale as your ultimate reference in checking how well you do on a diet, so I will not talk about my weight anymore unless I pass an important landmark.

My waist is 45" inches measured at the belly button. That's it, I said it!!

Wow, that's alot!! I'm hoping for a 36, but my immediate goal is anything less than 40 which is were the trouble starts.


Edward Said Chair

I would like to congratulate Columbia University, they did a remarkable feat and won a great battle, they did not surrender their fate to people who call "foul" or "antisemitism" on every corner. Columbia University established an Edward Said Chair in Middle East Studies, it was 2002 and it was great. Forcing the pro-Israeli media to take note, campus watch said:

"Columbia is already known for the lack of balance in Middle East studies. The list of donors to the Edward Said chair only confirms the problem.

Particularly worrisome is the presence of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) among the donors."

They didn't explain why a country and a university where so abhorrently labeled and attacked. Edward said was a great scholar and his books reached great fame and acclaim, nothing in his written (or spoken) history, can be scholarly refuted, he has actually rejuvenated how middle-east study should occur. His work "Orientalism" is considered the landmark study in this field.

It is ridiculous at this day and age that so many websites are attacking donors to study programs, and attacking universities for respecting the wishes of non-disclosure by patrons of academia.

Columbia didn't at first disclose the names of donors but later did:
Yusef Abu Khadra
Abdel Muhsen Al-Qattan
Ramzi A. Dalloul
Richard and Barbara Debs
Richard B. Fisher
Gordon Gray, Jr.
Daoud Hanania
Rita E. Hauser
Walid H. Kattan
Said T. Khory Munib R. Masri
Morgan Capital & Energy
Olayan Charitable Trust
Hasib Sabbagh
Kamal A. Shair
Abdul Shakashir
Abdul Majeed Shoman
Jean Stein
United Arab Emirates

After the list was disclosed "The list of donors to the Edward Said chair only confirms the problem." campus watch and other pro-Israeli groups said. From what I know, most of the people above are business people and philanthropists. Nothing is wrong if they want to sponsor certain areas of study.
The UAE was attacked but Dick Chenney didn't seem to mind visiting them yesterday, also the compairision is not valid but this donation and Harvard's, this was done by the government, not by the late ruler Sheikh Zayed, which is quite different.


Everyone wants the premeirship

Liverpool is the club with the most premiership wins, but since Manchester United is set to win this year and reach 16 titles, just two behind Liverpool's record of 18, Liverpool should wake up and smell the heat.

Liverpool hasn't won a league since 1990, I was 5 then and I don't remmember it, but for more than selfish reasons they should start winning soon. Any follower this season can tell you we have a problem, we lost 9 away games this season, no one has lost more away games in the top half of the table, while we won 14 home games, which is a feat not beat by any except Man. U. We only lost 1 home match which is even better than Man U.

Man u managed to get 89 points while Liverpool got 68, we barely remained in third place, 21 points we were short of first place. That means we would have had to win 7 more games, we lost a total of 14.

Sometimes I feel that the premiership is more important than the Champions league. Remember when we won the champions league in Istanbul (against AC Milan) and ended up fifth, I wouldn't ever want to see the fifth rank again.

Last year we got third but we were 1 point away from Man U and 9 points from Chelsea, this year it is much worse, but on the good news, our final for the champions league (agianst AC Milan) is soon and we have a good chance to keep our name held high.


There are 12 ways to say sh

I was shocked that English is a hard language to pronounce, I thought it made sense with all it rules, but it turns out it doesn't.

ancient, sure, session, sheep, mansion, ocean, unctuous, chef, station, conscious, anxious and tissue all have an "sh" sound in them and it is ridiculous to think that "sh" can be spelled twelve different ways. ci, su, ssi, sh, si, ce, tu, ch, ti, sci, xi and ss respectively.

It is also ridiculous that vain, vein and vane are all pronounced the same way. That why I am having a hard time reading and pronouncing French, they have rules. I am used to finding the exceptions. I started hating the exceptions in the English language.

My every-8-day update, no loss of weight but it's okay since I ate alot of Junk.


Flying is the same

I flew in the night time today, night-flying is the same as day flying when you consider that you are flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules), meaning you navigate your aircraft based on ground references, not based on navigation equipment, night time makes more sense to me. I can see the lighting and the roads, I can also see aircrafts around us much more easily due to a little handy invention named lights. In the day time, you can hardly expect to spot the aircraft if it a couple of miles away, but instead your will keep scanning and then luckily you will spot it.

I love night flying better than day.


Learning French

I have been contemplating learning a third language, I always fantasized about it, I choose French for more reasons than one, French is almost the third most spoken language in Jordan, it is the official language in 41 countries and French as a foreign language is the second most frequently taught language in the world, after English. It is the native tongue of over 87 million people and has an additional 68 million non-native speakers.

It made sense, but also it is a matter of convenience because many people I know speak it at a level or another therefore I can find someone to go to. This is not to mention that many books I would love to read are in fact written in the French language and are not translated.

France is a center of culture and many Arabic politicians, thinkers, authors and artists reside there, they have published in French what won't be easily accessible in other languages. Also to learn more about the European progressive and socialist movements you have to start somewhere and france is as good a place as any.

It is a fun language as I realized the last time I was in France in 2003, I chatted with a female taxi-driver with what little words I could muster, I could understand she has family Montreal and I could explain what I wanted to see and where I wanted to go. I realized that it won't be an enormous feat to go from bilingual to multilingual.

I already bought a book about the topic and I am learning some phrases to try and use soon, we will see how that goes.


Donations to the suffering

A lot of people I know and talked to about the current situation in the occupied territories have always seemed ready to help, usually monetarily to ease down the suffering, the theme that seems all the people have agreed on is that the money won't reach to the people.

Trust me, I know what that means, my father for years had a sizable portion of his paycheck cutoff to support the PLO, and many people like him did the same, eventually the PLO and it's leaders are rich and have millions of dollars worth of assets known to the public, while the Palestinian public is living under extremely impoverished condiions.

77% of people in Gaza are in poverty, 23% are in deep poverty, the can't even reach the poverty line after aid, the was 22% DECREASE in income for Palestinians in the occupied territories. To remedy it, everyone who can help is encouraged to, I researched a few programs and realized the safest bet is the Welfare Association's special appeals. Give them a visit and check it out


Jordan of Hussein Part 2

So why do I write about him right now? Eight years after he left us? He was missed by Jordanians and neighbors more than ever recently. This article, while a belated eulogy for him, it is not a belittlement of his son's accomplishments, but the situation in the region does need someone of a more "known face". That kind of familiarity was what helped Jordan take a firm position against US interference in Iraq in 1991 and still managed to maintain the United States empowerment of the Jordanian economy.

The President, Senators, Congressmen and people in almost all of the levels of the government had found the excuse for him, knowing he will never choose anything that will harm his country. Such familiarity would not have made Jordan a target for terrorists, and like he did in many previous occasions, he would have acted like an arbitrator, causing the situation in Iraq to defuse.

That was mainly because he knew how to deal with terrorists on negotiation tables, Yasser Arafat, the deceased leader of Palestinian guerilla group PLO was a longtime enemy of Hussein, and tried to topple his regime in 1970, but come late 1980s he was transformed into a Palestinian leader, an ally of Jordan, to die as President of Palestine earlier this year.

This is just what everyone expected of him, and he knew how to navigate all the seas to get to the shore of safety. All that being said, Hussein did have a few set backs in his history he could have lived without, and while the habit of not talking ill of the dead is practiced seriously in Jordan, it goes without saying that no one is perfect.

Hussein was taking his time in learning the lesson that the Arab world was not to be relied on for the well being of Jordan. After the 1967 war, he was called a traitor and a man who favored the west over his brethren in Palestine. He had just entered a war on behalf of the Arab world as Nasser was asking them to push Jordan, the country with the longest borders with Israel, push it into a war against Israel.

That did not gain Jordan any compassion in the west, but he was guaranteed by the Arab leaders, that no matter what happens, Jordan will be adequately compensated by petrol-rich countries. Lack of air cover by the Egyptian air-force caused for the war to be a tragic loss, Hussein lost the West Bank and Egypt lost Sinai. He was not compensated for his shattered army, his impoverished country or the influx of population caused by mass displacement of people from West Bank.

He again relied on them in the late 1980's after they promised to better the situation for refugees and went on to borrow billions of dollars, but he had to take it out of Jordan's pocket and devalue the Jordanian dinar. A third time happened just after the 1991 gulf war, with resentment for gulf countries for causing a situation in his country. He did not rely on them and did not support the allied mission led by the US, they decided that they will no longer keep the Jordanian laborers, a very valuable source of currency to Jordan. They also kicked them out of their homes, to Jordan and its already troubled social resources, and to our day some people still are waiting for their compensation in Jordan.

Hussein never admitted that he was a pragmatic ruler, looking for the interest of Jordan first, before any morals or ethics; it just happened that, more often than not, Jordan's benefit was in the moral way.

Whether you see more positive than me, or just don't agree that he was that righteous, no two people can argue that he was a true leader and a very good survivor. This Kid-made-King, Soldier, Peacemaker, Aviator, Educator and above all a true humanity-lover is one of the most remarkable leaders of the second half of the twentieth century.

On the weightloss, another 2 pounds lost this past week