Monday, December 31, 2007










































Sunday, December 30, 2007

BEWARE... she got ambitions...

I find it quite funny how a single girl living in the Arab world starts having more pressure on getting married as she unfolds her late twenties... and people still go to desperate measures in finding a proper wife... an agony am sure for Arab guys who might feel intimidated by an intellectual woman...
Read this incident that happened to me recently... I met an old friend whom I haven't seen for a time now... and we were talking about several stuff and then she told me that she have something to say that might upset me...
A friend of hers has a brother who is searching for a wife and he wanted someone who is an engineer and with money 'meaning rich'.... so my friend recommended me... she told her friend that I have great ambitions and good intellects... and gave her my contacts... later on she met her friend and asked her what had happened with her brother and whether they called upon me or not... So... she told her that when she told him that I got ambitions he got scared and preferred not...!
I couldn't stop laughing... [FYI I don't consider myself an engineer and certainly I don't have money 'in a rich sense'... ]
But seriously.... guys beware!!!

Old Amman

Yesterday I went in a walk with my friend Sandra around older parts of Amman... we started from Rainbow Str. Jabal Amman... and then down to Albalad... walked till Ras Al-ain... then back to Huissieni Mosque... paid a visit to Duke's Diwan before heading to Darat Al-funnon in Jabal Al-lwebdieh...
An amazing Walk... two things though bothered me... the fog/smoke/dust that was everywhere taking away the vividness of the colors... and my camera dying on me... so had to use my friend's which is something I don't feel comfortable doing [using a strange camera for the first time]...
Nevertheless was a great walk... and an enchanting day...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Narratives* | 8


He asked for the Hand
He was given the Hand...

Only, later on he stepped on the hand...


Is it the giver's destiny to be unworthy or the taker's to be so blind...


* The Narratives: stories, events, and scenes that happen[ed] inside and around my head…

Friday, December 28, 2007


تمشي و العالم المجنون يتخبط من حولها...
تمشي و خاصتها واقفون بلا حراك....
تمشي وحيدة تبحث عن قمرها و تراه وحيدا في السماء
هو في السماء و هي على الارض....
تمشي و الاحداث تزداد جنونا...
تمشي و الكل يبتعد عنها...
تمشي و تمشي... على هدى أو بغيره
تمشي هدفها أن تمشي و نهايتها أن تمشي


تمشي ...ـ

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto


I just knew that Benazir Bhutto was killed today.... where a gunman has shot her in the neck before blasting a bomb in himself killing another 15 people.
Is it me or is the world is becoming unbelievably MAD....

no words are left to be said.... where humanity cries for it's self-demolition...

How we in the Balkans kill rats

Balkan Baroque is a film directed by Pierre Coulibeuf and performed by the Yugoslavian artist Marina Abramovic. Where she tried to shed some light on the life in Balkan, through narrating her own memories and imaginary autobiography.
In a part of the video installation also titled "Balkan Baroque" Marina plays the role of a lecturer/scientist who give us tips about how people in the Balkans kill rats... she speaks solemnly and seriously... in the installation space her projection take the center bounded by a projection of her mother on the right, and her father on the left.
As she finishes her lecture about the rats she takes off her white coat and turns into a dancer moving in a seductive manner... meanwhile her father takes out a pistol to shoot himself and her mother covers her eyes.
What I found fascinating about her work is the conceptual approach of telling what seemed to me the summary of the history of a country torn out by war...
Even the responses of her parents tell you the truth behind how fathers and mothers would react to unorthodox behavior done by their daughter.
The Synopsis of her lecture is as follows:
"I'd like to tell you a story of how we in the Balkans kill rats.
We have a method of transforming the rat into a wolf; we make a wolf rat.
But before I explain this method I'd like to tell you something about rats themselves.
First of all, rats consume large quantities of food, sometimes double the weight of their own bodies.
Their front teeth never stop growing and they have to be ground constantly otherwise they risk suffocation.
Rats take good care of their families.
They will never kill or eat the members of their own family.
They are extremely intelligent.
Einstein once said: "If the rat were 20 kilos heavier it would definitely be the ruler of the world".
If you put a plate of food and poison in front of a hole the rat will sense it and not eat.
To catch the rats you have to fill all their holes with water, leaving only one open. In this way you can catch 35 to 45 rats.
You have to make sure that you choose only the males.
You put them in a cage and give them only water to drink.
After a while they start to get hungry, their front teeth start growing and even though, normally, they would not kill members of their own tribe, since they risk suffocation they are forced to kill the weak one in the cage.
And then another weak one, another weak one, and another weak one.
They go on until only the strongest and most superior rat of them all is left in the cage.
Now the rat catcher continues to give the rat water.
At this point timing is extremely important.
The rat's teeth are growing. When the rat catcher sees that there is only half an hour left before the rat will suffocate he opens the cage, takes a knife, removes the rat's eyes and lets it go.
Now the rat is nervous, outraged and in a panic. He faces his own death and runs into the rat hole and kills every rat that comes his way. Until he comes across the rat who is stronger and superior to him.
This rat kills him.
This is how we make the wolf rat in the Balkans."

Take it in a metaphorical way and you'll realize so many hidden meanings...

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Breaking some medical myths

An interesting read mentioned to me by my sister...
So if you think that any of these are true... you better think again...
:: People should drink at least eight glasses of water a day
:: We use only 10% of our brains
:: Hair and fingernails continue to grow after death
:: Shaving hair causes it to grow back faster, darker, or coarser
:: Reading in dim light ruins your eyesight
:: Eating turkey makes people especially drowsy
:: Mobile phones create considerable electromagnetic interference in hospitals

All of these beliefs are proved untrue... Rachel C Vreeman and Aaron E Carroll unveiled the truth behind these beliefs...

Read all about it...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Royal greeting on YouTube

So... Queen Elizabeth II decided to embrace the real world of YouTube... and send her Christmas message via a special channel on YouTube... yet to be launched around 1500 GMT on December 25....
Yahoo had the news...

© Andrew Palmer / Alamy

Friday, December 21, 2007


I miss the way you smell...
I miss the way you make me feel about myself...
I miss the memories we had...
I miss you... from the bottom of my heart...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

[from Archive] هدية العيد

أي شيء في العيد أهـدي إليـك

يا ملاكي , وكل شيء لديك

أسوارا ؟ أم دملجا من نضـــار

لا أحب القيود في معصميك

أم خمورا ؟ وليس في الأرض خمر

كالذي تسكبين من لحظيك

أم ورودا ؟ والورد أجملـه عندي

الذي قد نشقـت من خديـك

أم عقيقـــا كمهجتي يتلظـى

والعقيــق الثمين في شفتيك

ليس عندي شيء أعز من الروح

وروحي مرهونــة في يديك

إيليا أبو ماضي

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Trees

When I first heard that song... something caught my attention...
[[When I was small, and Christmas trees were tall,
We used to love while others used to play.
Don't ask me why, but time has passed us by,
Some one else moved in from far away.

Now we are tall, and Christmas trees are small,
And you don't ask the time of day.
But you and I, our love will never die,
But guess we'll cry come first of may.]]

This relationship between people and Christmas trees... and I thought what might it means?
Maybe children tends to believe in a beautiful world, where trees are decorated and where someone who lives far away cares about them and send them gifts... Children live in a fantasy world where everything is so green and everyone loves one another... and that's why they see Christmas trees so tall... but as they grow up... they realize that it's only a vision and not real... and thus the trees now look smaller...
Or Maybe it means that again children believe more in God... and have more faith... and their hearts are filled with love towards everyone including God... but as they grow their faiths get shaken and loose that belief and they only start to believe in themselves and not in miracles...

I don't know what the Bee Gees meant...
Maybe after all they meant what my friend told me when I shared these thoughts with her... she said... maybe they meant it in a straightly physical way... when we are children we are shorter and as we grow we get taller...

I don't know... I guess it depends on how you want to look at it...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Narratives* | 7


He loved her…
He chose her…
She did too…

But he had allegiances to something else…

When the feast came…
He sacrificed her…

Slowly her soul left her body… twirling around a lake…
Mystically enchanting with the swans...

Dreams of a distance rotation… echoing inside herself…

A lone…
But “The One” gracing her…
Accepting her sacrificed soul…

The twirling came to a stop…

Her soul is back…
New and healed…


* The Narratives: stories, events, and scenes that happen[ed] inside and around my head…

Friday, December 14, 2007

New audience and global media

One of the problematic issues related to media is the AUDIENCE… many debates has been set whether who shapes who…

Is it the media who reshape the audience or is it the audience that determines what is on the media.

What I personally think is that media might start by imposing and creating patterns of change in the audience but at the same time audience is feeding back to the media in creating stories and narratives that form the foundation of what is called “MediaSpeak”.

TV has been since it was invented the most spread media entering the house of the wealthy and the poor just the same.

By looking at the most common TV channels that are watched in the Arab world, they have a variety of shows that are mainly non-Arabic. Starting with Oprah Winfrey show, Dr. Phil, Rachel Ray, America’s Got Talent, House Swap, Tyra, So You Think You Can Dance, Simple Life, The View, Martha, The Late Night Show,… and the list goes on and on… all of which are shows that talks about or highlights the day-to-day western life style.

What triggered my attention is seeing one of the presenters showing up in a jingle saying to watch her on Dubai One; a channel though in English addresses the Arab audience. So do the producers and presenters of these shows know that their audience doesn’t stop in the West but extends to different cultures and in our case the Arab/Muslim culture? And if the answer is yes, then shouldn’t they who cry out for globalization and making the world a small village take more into consideration who their audience is?

Can it happen one day that Oprah will have a show that deals with the other part of the world; showing things that interest us?

For me it has been very informative to know more and learn about the West through this media; keeping in mind all the prejudices and fantasies that are swamping around.

But does the other part of the world want to learn about us as well? Can shows as popular as Oprah reach out for their [other] audience and create a bridge between people and in a way implement globalization on more fair terms?

The basic question is; can the [larger] audience make a change in the media this time?

Architectural Photography

I've been introduced to this term during a lecture I attended by Murat Germen; a Turkish Architect and Photographer.
The basic idea is being able to re-construct and re-interpret any architectural space using photography.
He argues that any building that gives you all the information you need in your face is not what we look/aim for. We like the sense of incompleteness in any building so that our imagination will be able to continue the narrative and create further experiences and stories. That's why most people find ruins fascinating. In the same sense that's why some people love construction sites. The concept of something being still under-construction gives you the chance to imagine new spaces and volumes that might end up there or not. And it can give you a mystical feeling of what lies in future hidden or not prevailed yet...[Finally a rational reason to why I'm a crane-maniac]...
Photography is the art of frozen time. It captures one frame and preserves it.
Experiencing architecture is different since it is an act happening in time. It uses all of our senses where the human and the space interact together on different levels. Thus experiencing a space still stands out differently than any experience created or simulated, even by virtual reality.
At the same time, understanding a space through different media can reveal new realities.
That's what I found most fascinating about Germen's work.
Aside from the normal tricks most professional photographers do of editing the photos and using wide lenses, panoramic lenses,... he plays more with his photos by reflecting, rotating, distorting the spaces he has captured and in that sense creating and constructing new visionary spaces.
We always debate about what is reality. And for me... there is always things happening beyond our restricted perceptional systems; so if we take a frozen moment of our time and then spend real time looking and perceiving it, then maybe new hidden realities will start to surface to our minds and imagination.
We can create a new experience in a space different than any other...

work by Murat Germen

Sunday, December 09, 2007

[...upon] 2D Design | Self Portray

For the mid-term exam for my 2nd year design student; I asked them to design a poster as a self portray. They had to take all the photos they used by themselves and then photoshop them trying to work with [or around] the rules of 2D design.
They had to dig deeper in their selves and trying to visualize that as the same time show a level of mastering the software they were asked to use [Adobe Photoshop].
Here are some samples...

Juilet Khalil

Hanada Khataybeh

Luma hudhud

Tariq Abu-Rahma

Adnan BaWazeer

Amr Othman

Asill Hamza

Hiba Abdallat

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Giza Pyramids

Going to the Pyramids of Giza must be a dream of every architect after their 101 course in Architectural History.
Going their and being able to appreciate the platonic beauty of the triangular shape was a dream come true.
It's just amazing what a simple abstract solid can have on the human mind and heart. All the rich history of the Pharaoh ancient Egypt... being summarized in their grave yard... There lies this mystical connection between life, death and life again...
It's a place that will enchant you with the sandy taste and the windy music of a time long past...
What remains is the triangle as clear and vivid as ever...

A must- see and explore place...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Narratives* | 6


Two trees…
Grew next to one another…
Their branches entangled…


Creating a safe place for birds to build their nests… life within life…

A universe…

A storm hit them… forcing the trees to part… and the birds to shake…

Only if the roots are strong enough… can the trees survive… stay united… and maintain their universe…

Only if…

* The Narratives: stories, events, and scenes that happen[ed] inside and around my head…

Monday, December 03, 2007

Experiencing Alexandria | Egypt from within…

It sounds absurd to me that Egypt and Jordan are such two close countries yet it took me all this time to find a reason [ASCAAD 2007 conference] to go and visit Egypt.

I took the boat to Noebe port crossing the red sea from Aqaba. The boat was ok, and it wasn’t such a long journey anyway. My take on our side is the lack of proper scheduling. But reaching Noebe, spotting the small pyramid building and then the actual state of the port was a big shock to me. Apparently this place is used mainly for Egyptian workmen who keep traveling between Jordan and Egypt and thus the conditions of the port are very poor. Though I personally don’t agree on classifying people but unfortunately that was the case. The services if any were very poor, no organization or order in anyway and the biggest shock for me was to discover that there is no direct buses to Alexandria and that I have to take the one to Cairo and from there figure out a way to Alexandria! Being already late in the afternoon and with a heavy bag, a crappy bus and an angry brother; I wasn’t that excited at all.

The bus trip was horrible… the Sina’a desert looked pitch black and the bus was not comfortable. But as we started to approach Cairo, the hidden love for that unknown city was revived in my heart. We reached Cairo by midnight and already I felt immersed in the surreal images I gathered about that city from the cinema, TV and books I read.

We went to Alexandria by taxi, time was already after midnight and I was worried about the next day and my conference.

In the Taxi I managed to relax a bit and let my mind afloat a bit. Hearing Um Kalthoum singing on the radio interrupted by the hauling sound of the engine and the chit-chats between my brother and the driver, mixing that with the stench of fuel made my presence between the world of dreams and the real world almost invisible. I was in two places at the same time.

Alexandria is totally a different story. I fell in love with the city immediately. Egypt is so much different than Jordan in every aspect, architecture, urban life, people, traditions and culture. Being able to experience all that was amazing…

First the architecture: Alexandria is on the sea that gives it a major plus over any other city. The sea is one of my best friends that manage to make me feel good about myself anytime anywhere…

The buildings on the sea front are diverse and colorful… Multi-stories… colonial architecture… pseudo-Islamic… cramped… light and shadow… intimate… authentic… diverse…

And the crown of all buildings is Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the winner of Aga Khan award for Architecture 2004.

The space shows you in a physical way the layers of rich civilization that have come across Alexandria and Egypt. Such a strong manifestation of history full of it…

Urban life and culture: walking on the Courniesh Street is enough of a momentum gear for urban life. The coffee shops that gather people from all sorts sitting drinking tea and shisha night life is amazing… streets still buzzing with cars and people… it seemed that the city is sleepless…

You must pass by a sculpture, a fountain, a clock... their urban spaces are vibrant and well taken of...

Of course I had to try the traditional dishes of “Kushari”, “Um Ali”, “Kaboriya”, “Bolti” fish and sugarcane juice.

I have some Egyptians far relatives so we managed to visit them at their house allowing us more to experience Alexandria from the eyes of its inhabitants.

The way buildings are close to one another and with each house having a balcony you can feel the intimacy as if the whole block is one large building where everyone knows the other.

I managed to take a ride in the train inside the city and discovering Egypt Station that was built by the British during their occupation of the area.

People: Their hearts are made of gold. It is enough to hear them talk to fall in love with them. They are so simple to the extent of naivety. Once you get to know someone on a more personal level they start treating you as if you are their life long friend. They don’t frown!!! And they pay everyone a lot of courtesy. They smile and laugh even if their life is miserable. They enjoy each moment. And they are so light hearted.

I know that Egypt has its down side but at the same time it is such a rich and beautiful place to be. It is the love in every Arab’s heart for a place that everyone sees as the Mother of the world… “Masr Um Aldonyia”….

I had the chance to visit the Pyramids but I wont do them enough praise if I squeeze them in this post… so I’ll do it some other time.

[...upon] Media Technology | Take 2

For their Mid-term exam students of Design were asked to create a video art that tackles one of these issues:
:: TV… the loved member of the family
:: Mobile phones… connecting/ disconnecting us
:: Virtual relationships
:: Arabic commercials… respecting/disrespecting our intelligence.
:: The others in media…

This course is not supposed to teach them about any software or hardware techniques of making video art. So external help could be sought and what was most important for me as their teacher is their conceptual approach to the issue they chose and the way they translated their ideas through video.

Here are some of my favorite samples...

Addicted to TV; The new loved member of the family| Dina Nagur

TV | Rajae Twal

Humanoid Box | Kamel Abu-Yihia

Pixels | Yasir Abu Thuriya

Legitimate TV, Fact or Fiction | Ala'a Taba'a

Sonnie | Dana Qabani

:: [...upon] Media Technology | Take 1

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Embodying Virtual Architecture + ASCAAD 2007

I have attended the 3rd International Conference held by ASCAAD titled "Em'body'ing Virtual Architecture" in Alexandria.
The Conference had attracted architects and academics from all over the world. Engaging the audience with different themes related to urban city modeling, virtual prototyping, intelligent design, digital design tools, collaborative design, CAAD, GIS, BIM, HCI, methods of design, revolutionary architecture, virtual design and construction.
I have presented a paper about my graduation project "Nature rePlay" along with my good friend and colleague Mansie Verma.

The conference was well organized and I met a lot of interesting people from all over the world.
Being held at Bibliotheca Alexandrina added to the whole experience. Walking around such an amazing building and actually touching the layers of all the civilization that enriched the place was beyond words.

A lot is happening in the world dealing with the introduction of digital media into the elitist field of architecture. And though Architects in the Arab world are still behind, such exposure can enlighten their minds and trigger their attention. I was happy to have met some local architecture students attending the conference.

Exchanging expertise and information is one of the important factors to bring humanity all closer to one another. Creating a more stable universe through spaces and places to commune with themselves and their built environments.

a view from Bibliotheca Alexandrina

general view

Prof. Dirk Donath / Bauhaus University