Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

This year has been different... That's all I can say...
And since I don't celebrate New Year... I'll just leave you with a great comment I received last year from one of the very few people I admire, Maverick... Hoping he won't object to that..

[[[ Mr Maverick Returns said...
Come on do not be party popper Tonight is New Year's Eve so it's going to be FUN you will be HAPPY. Maybe this year local councils will provide FUN POLICE, who have the authority to enter any premises where they suspect there's not enough fun and order everyone to wave their arms and take photos of each other's arses. This is what our society expect from us. They have stolen all our real celebration and given us some commercial surrogates to make their coffers richer and richer. But that is not enough they want to control our minds, we cannot think. That is so not permitted. They must rule on us. They have stolen our dreams but given us the green $1 bill. (f*** them) Just look at the average European country. We used to have a real Christmas with traditions rooted in pagan Rome (or earlier) then Byzantine Anatolia and in Catholic western culture....Father Christmas was basically a green man that brings gifts to the homes of the good children. We have lost it for the sake of Coca Cola. I do not give a toss if his dress green or red...but is the principle and the fact that slowly slowly Christmas has lost any kind of importance. Now is just important to buy useless stuff that will re thrown away or placed on eBay in less than 24 h. and the next day lets' all rush to he sale to buy more more and more! Where is the principle of Christmas gone??? Or what about Halloween ?? It has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holy day of All Saints, one of the most important Catholic day when live and death come very close. Again it has been stolen by some stupid american corporation as their national too stupid too think with their only brain cell dying of loneliness in an empty head but for sure fat with McDonald belly! now for hallowen we buy spiders, bat, masks, sweets, pumpkins, etc etc for a multi billions trade every year that has nothing to do with the real meaning of the traditional festivity. No matter what we celebrate Christmas at 50C in Australia with fake snow, in communist Bejing they must have found a similarity between the fake Father Christmas red jacket and the Communist flag and, Christmas trees are in the street of Cairo because obviously is the traditional Egyptian tree and I have been told that some fat Saudi is renting out next year the Kabba that he will cover it in red with reindeer and sledges for the two weeks ultimate Christmas grotto for the sake on some green dollars and possibly some new army contract. The very same for New years eve we must be happy becasue next year is going to be better this is the rule and we should buy buy and buy! We have all welcomed these changes because now we are glad to live in a secular society but when you have emptied a celebration of its meaning you have lost that celebration. Full stop. Now we can go on pretend to be happy, next year is going to be better, they told me on the TV and on the papers (it must be true) with our new shoes and my new leather jacket. Last year I was told my 2009 would have been great instead was crap...where should I go to get a refund?? Let’s drink more and more tonight is the night when you're not only allowed but encouraged to get drunk, even the Archbishop of Canterbury is saying so. This annual weirdness is supplemented by the fact that it comes so soon after our crazy Christmas. In every other culture from the Iron Age onwards, festivals involved the community going outwards and celebrating communally, but we do the opposite and turn everything towards isolation, we shut absolutely everything and sit indoors getting stuffed of food and brainless TV They created an expectation of perfect dinners and presents, that makes people feel a Christmas Police inspector will be round in the afternoon, to sit in the corner with a clipboard making notes about unsatisfactory mince pies. It is getting late...I must rush get changed wear my HAPPY mask and fill by glass ...now empty...before the Police inspectors come and knock at my door! Thanks God next year is going to be better.]]

Wishing you all who celebrate this a Happy New Year... Maverick where ever you are... Hope this year was good and the next will be better... =)

And lastly to My Mohammad...May this be the last New Year Eve where you are 9 hours ahead of me...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Narratives* | 25

25

The palantír showed her the image...
The Future turned out to be something else...

Did the palantír lie? or didn't she know how to see...
Where did the girl inside the palantír disappear?


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

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Let me tell you something about the education system!

[[[
Scott: Let me tell you something about the education system.
Poppy: Oh, go on, then.
Scott: It produces left brain prisoners.
Scott: Do you know what that means?
Poppy: I do.

Scott: Well, I'll tell you. Our brain has two sides. The left brain and the right brain. The left brain... Keep going, keep going. The left brain is information, data.
It's dead. The right brain is individuality.
It's where the soul lies.
And the education system, it works like this -
"I will give you a world view. And if you repeat my world view, if you reconfirm my world view, you will pass your exams and you will go higher and higher and higher and you will become a policeman, a magistrate, a lawyer, a general, a politician, and you will be happy and you will succeed. But if you think for yourself, if you think outside of the box, then you will be unhappy and you will fail. "

That's how the education system works.
]]]]]


From Happy Go Luck movie...

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Once upon a pond...

I am who I am... because I was given iced blue glasses to look at ducks with love... and to understand what it means to be free...


For that... I will always be thankful...

Monday, October 18, 2010

100 Days of Solitude and Gratitude...

100 days are almost left before one of the biggest steps I'll ever take in my life..
A step that will make me leave my family, my friends, my job and my city... and for the rest of my life... leave my solitude....

My plan for these coming days is to [try to] cherish every moment of my solitary life and to be grateful for all the wonders and miracles my family, my friends, my job and my city had brought to my life..

Change is always good. And when you have a great [for-ever] companion waiting for you then the good becomes the best...

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Happy Eid...

Tomorrow Most Muslims around the world will be celebrating their Eid... and for all of those who managed to live Ramadan truly... I say Happy Eid... and May you be showered with more of God's grace, love, peace and blessings...




And yeah... Enjoy the ma3mool season... =)

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Ramadan 2010


More of these stunning photos here at the Boston Globe

hat tip to Shabana...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

Yesterday I finished reading in one of New York Times bestsellers novel! [Eat, Pray, Love]... Was I blown away by it? No. Is it a good book? Yes.
The novel is an autobiography of a woman who is searching for inner peace after going through an ugly divorce, a broken heart and so on... in her quest she goes to Italy to eat... to India to pray and to Indonesia to find balance [and fall in love]... The novel is based on the novelist [Elizabeth Gilbert] own true story.
There is a sense of humor in Gilbert's style which brings you closer to the characters and the story feels more true. Her depiction of the feelings that go inside her is authentic and you can feel her pain especially at the beginning of the novel [the part in Italy]...
But as we move to India and the stories about spirituality come flying in... her words feels exaggerated and at some points pretentious. I'm not a pure spiritual person yet I do believe in spirituality. Still the experiences she wrote about is hard for me to fathom as real. Also at this point she started to contradict herself I think because she was trying to exaggerate!!! So at some point she would say she had never understood how meditation is and how hard and impossible for her to feel anything but then she would tell you that once before she had an out-of-this-world experience with the Divine while mediating!! For me this was a bit confusing and unbelievable.
In the last part where she moves to Indonesia... she starts with a positive attitude toward the place and all of people and customs but then her American attitude creeps in and you start feeling that she is becoming a wee bit condensing... but this is how I felt and not necessarily true for all.
And of course the part where she falls in love is not very strong or convincing. 

This novel is going to be a movie soon... with Julia Roberts playing Gilbert. I wonder how the movie will be? Since the director will only choose what he thinks will appeal to the masses!

On a final note... today marks the beginning of the month of Ramadan for Muslims. So for those who fast during it... I wish you will eat, pray and love.... and may Peace and Blessings of the Divine sweep through your hearts and bring you more love and serenity.



Monday, July 19, 2010

تفاحة مكزوزة

قبل قليل كانت ابنت اختي مريم و البالغة من العمر سنتان و نصف تخبرنا بالتالي:
ماما راح تشتريلي كمبيوطل عليه تفاحة مكزوزة زي تاع اوسيله

=)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Lab Tajribi... another step

Lab Tajribi | Experimental Expressions is a non-physical art atelier for experimental art and forms of expression. Currently the lab is mine... but hopefully it will attract other experimental artists in the near future....

I'm still moving in there so visit us again...

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Flyvertising!!!

I honestly don't know how to feel about this new technique of advertising... No doubt it is shocking and had an impact on people inducing them to interact... so I think it was a success...
I guess I like it after all...



Source

Thanks Dana for sharing it with me...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

One Tree

[[When Thomas brought the news that the house I was born in no longer exists. Neither the lane nor the park sloping to the river nothing. I had a dream of return... multicolored joyous... I was able to fly...& the trees were even higher than in childhood because they had been growing. During all the years they had been cut down..] Czesław Miłosz


In a Memory of my Good Tree... With Love!...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Nakba!

May the dream of return come true...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Movie Review: Ajami عجمي



Ajami is an 2010 Oscar nominated Foreign Film. The Movie is directed by an Arab Israeli and an Israeli Directors. The movie was representing Israel at the Academy Awards and that was on the reasons I didn't wish it will win.... I know what some of you might think. But yes! I don't recognize Israel. And no! I'm not an anti-Semite. The other reason I didn't wish it to win is that I was rooting for the movie that actually won [El Secreto De Sus Ojos] and I do believe it deserved the winning.

Ajami is the name of a neighborhood in Jaffa where Muslim and Christian Palestinians live. The movie traces down the lives of several people living there including a storyline about a Jewish family who lost their son in  ambiguous circumstances.

The movie is one of the best I've seen this year. It is emotionally intense and keeps your heart beating quickly all through the way.
The directing of the movie is amazing. The angles that the camera were moving in is superb with the variation between intimate close ups and drowsy landscapes. 
The sounds in the movie played a vital role in creating the environment and the feeling of the story.
Music when played were an integral part of the scene creating an invisible character rather than an add-on effect.
The movie consists of several chapters.  Each chapter reveal one part of the storyline. But then repetitions of certain events happen,  though in each chapter it is shown from a different perspective and through the lives of different people. Part of the enchantment of this movie is realizing how the world is a small place and how the lives of strangers are still connected on different levels. And how at the end of the day the lives of strangers around us are the lives of ourselves too.

Another important element of this movie is the fact that most of the actors and actresses in this movie are normal people with no experience in acting what so ever. This fact gave the movie a more realistic feeling and at some points you might think it is a documentary and not a fiction.

There are parts of the storyline that I didn't like as a Palestinian myself. But from an artistic point of view away from my direct emotional attachments this movie is a great one!

One of the things that usually draw me to any movie is how human it is... this movie is very humane... dealing with human feelings of family bonds, motherhood, brotherhood and love. These feelings are recurring events in the lives of the different characters. This as well shock you as to how our lives are still similar.
On of the feelings being portrayed was the feeling of sudden shock of sadness.

== Spoiler Alert ==

This happened first for a Jewish policeman who was looking for his missing brother. When the army found the body of his brother he ran to see it. Of course the Israeli soldiers tried to stop him from approaching the discovery scene and then you see a fight between a man desperate to see his lost brother and the army who needs to keep everything in order.
Later on the movie a Palestinian guy is notified that his best friend was found dead in his apartment. The same way, he runs to his friend's place just to see him and maybe understand how come his friend is dead. But again a fight between him and the Israeli Police happens where they try to stop him and he on the other hand fight to get to the crime scene.  The sad part is, not only he was kept away from his friend's body but was then sent to jail for assaulting the police.

== End of Spoiler ==

The last scene of the movie is a masterpiece.  Sounds were the master of that scene. The shock you'll get is something that you'll have to carry with you for a while... until you'll be able to understand how can life go on for the people in the movie after that. And in a deeper sense to yourself too.

All in all [Ajami] is a movie I would surely recommend for anyone to see... a masterpiece by two young directors.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Arab Facade

In our Arab societies we still suffer from hypocrisy. The way they solve problems is by covering them and pretending they don't exist....
This is highly used in architecture for example. I remember in one of my jury session for my graduation project. An architect working with GAM made a comment which illustrate that.
In my project I designed a bridge between my project and a refugee camp just across the road from my site. She didn't like that. And told me that usually we should hide unpleasant scenes by creating walls and paint them nicely... !!!

Hide them and pretend they don't exist!!

How many times have you been confronted for being honest and not hiding your true feelings behind the screen of politeness...
You see around you smiling faces that will diss you the minute you turn your back...

All hiding behind the perfect Arab facade...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Communication Theory Assignment

This semester I'm teaching a course titled [Communication Theory] for Design and Visual Communication students. This course addresses several issues dealing with Media, Society, Mass Communication, Message Production and so on.
So for their Mid term I decided to put the theories to test by proposing an online assignment.
I asked my students to answer certain questions through creating a video response to a video I posted on our GJU.Design Channel on Ikbis....
The questions were:
Do New Media give people their Freedom or do  it control them?
Do New Media create equality or division between people?

And this is my Assignment Video... 
 



My students did very well... and they have responded in many different ways to the video. Some did Animation, stop motion, video montage and video logs...

Ikbis and other online sharing sites are usually and sadly banned in educational institutions in Jordan... but I wanted to defy even this reality and make others understand the power that is given [for free] to people... normal people... who have valuable things to share...
I'm really glad about my students interactions... they did engage themselves and used the new media beautifully.  Here are some samples of their work...

The rest can be seen here...


By Faris Baidon


By Rania Ghariabeh


By Natalie Beiruti


By Saja Muzaini


By Yasmin Juma'a


By Jude Kawwa


By Lian Saifi

Please complete the power of the new media by going there and commenting on their works...

Spread the love and share the power... =)


Originally posted on SABE Reconnaissance






Saturday, April 10, 2010

Crazy?

Me: I'm crazy! Soph, Do you think I'm crazy?
Sophie: Of course you are. But Craziness is the best thing in the world.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Movie Review | Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland is probably one of my best novels of all times... I always felt enchanted by the characters... by the grinning cat... the mad hatter and by the hooka smoking caterpillar...
I was inspired by Alice... to be like her falling down a rabbit hole... to make others feel like she did as she stepped into the Looking Glass...

I was Alice's invisible companion in all her adventures...

So... When Tim Burton said he'll make a movie about Alice... I couldn't wait... till it was released...

But.. unfortunately... The unpredictable Burton... was very expected... And produced what I think was a hiccup in his career....

== Spoilers Warning!==

The Plot... was naive... with some characters removed... some characters gaining more importance than others like the Mad Hatter [played by Johnny Depp].
Burton made it like a sequel to the most beloved books by Lewis Carroll... but it ended up being a cliche plot where the young unorthodox girl is being forced to marry Mr. Mom-Thinks-You-Are-Perfect... just like her sister who pretends to be happy... and then the girl... against all odds... refuses the guy and decide to start a career...
Seriously!!!

== End of Spoilers ==


But if the movie is more concerned with the adventures rather than the ending... then other flaws begin to appear...

The setting and the looks of the characters are all too dark for a wonderland and wonderland inhabitants... even Alice has black halos around her eyes... almost looking sick and displeased... in fact you don't get the feeling that Alice is enjoying her being in Wonderland... which at some point in the movie is actually being called "Underland"!!!!!


The Mad Hatter looks funny but again... excessive makeup that for me didn't do the trick...


The Red Queen as she is being called instead of [Queen of Hearts]... is the only thing that I have no comment about... I loved her character... her temper... her makeup... Helena Bonham-Carter did a great job!


The White Queen on the other hand... I couldn't understand... she is white... and moves swiftly like the wind.... but then she wears very dark lipstick and finger nails... giving her more a ghostly presence... which I couldn't relate to...


The Wonderland as well... is a bit dark reminding me of Fleet Street from Burton's Sweeny Todd...


There is a sense of agony and trouble all during the movie which for me contradicts with the fluttering of my soul when I ever think of Alice's Wonderland...

In the novels by Lewis Carroll... you find passages and conversations which leaves you puzzled... and makes you read more about your own life and being... These stimulating simple conversations are missing from the movie...

Burton has put a lot of effort in the visual making of the movie than the conceptual one... and I think this is where he failed...

Would I recommend any to watch this movie...? Yes I would...
This wasn't a movie done hastily... and even if it failed to meet with my expectations... I'm sure there are things in the movie which you can't miss out on...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mixed feelings

[The sun just touched the morning;
The morning, happy thing,
Supposed that he had come to dwell,
And life would be all spring.] Emily Dickinson

IMG_9429-2

IMG_9393-2


The dust's only virtue was making the sun look like a moon...

IMG_9460 copy

Even when all hopes seem to die... I still hope...

IMG_9446-2

It is a choice I make...

IMG_9441-3

[I don't explain, I explore] Marshall McLuhan

IMG_9348 copy

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Narratives* | 24

24

The little child was looking up the red apples tree...
Holding in her hand a glossy red apple...
He has given her that apple...

But all she was thinking of... was whether she can climb up that tree!

Present.
Past.

.... Future.

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

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Mansushi!

When I first got this image in a forward email I thought it a joke! But today as I was skimming though JO magazine I found that Mansaf Sushi or Mansushi is being served at Four Seasons' Friday Brunch!
I hate the idea!

First of all there is a huge difference between the delicate taste of sushi and the mouth filling taste of mansaf...
Both of these food are traditional and both for that matter have a distinct way of eating, chopsticks vs hands or spoons...

So, what is the point of serving mansaf as a sushi? To give a pseudo sense of importance or elegance to self-important people...? To become ' la Allah cool'?
If what they mean a fusion... then I think it is a failed fusion by all measures....

Just as Japanese people like the fact that others eat their food with chopsticks... Jordanians must feel the same... after all not many people in the world eat their food with spoons...

Friday, March 12, 2010

SuperPower: Visualising the internet

Now... This is an interesting interactive visualization. I have to say that I'm glad that Google, Blogger, Wikipedia and Flickr are on the top of their respective areas...




Via BBC News...

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Socail Media in Plain English



Thanks Natalie for the share...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Three auches!

:: Yesterday the secretary of our school asked me how old I am... and when I answered she said "Wow... You are getting old!"... Auche!!

:: I have grown one size reaching a size I never hit before in my entire life... Auche!!

:: Yesterday at the mall... some girl in her 17 or 18 refered to me as "Auntie".... Auche!!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

On being a 29 girl!

I just turned 29... =) so there are some random thought and reflections that I want to share with you...
:: successful happy single women exist! Not all of us need men to "complete" them... as far as I recall... I was born complete...

:: It seems that since I am a practicing Muslim I should've been married long time ago... [So let me get this straight, the year I got married you were living alone in Europe? Gosh, you missed on a lot!] You think?

:: Men expect you always to say yes... be it your father, brothers, partners or bosses! How dare you disagree?!

:: A year ago suitors were 6 years at the top older than me... this year... they were minimum 10 years older!!! give me another couple of years and I'll marry someone at my grandpa's age...

:: A year don't come at once... it creeps slowly minute by minute into your life! So don't expect any magical transformation on your birthday!

:: A girl can be a lady when and where she wants...

::Mind rules!

I can't complain about aging... last year was a really good year for me...
I had Techno Me...
I went to USA...
I was in Sunny Art Fair...

And I created Fusionists...


And for that I give myself a good applause...

And so... my 29th year here I come... and let us do magic...

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Dawn of the Fusionists...

So a new semester has just started at GJU... and I'll be teaching only Design and Visual Communication students... something which I consider as a bless...

And for This semester I decided to start up a social network for all my students. The name of the network is [Fusionists]!
I wanted to come up with a theme that will reflect on the experience, the spirit and the outcome of this network... So fusion as an act and with all of its derivatives seemed as a good starting point.



In this network students will upload their assignments, photos, videos and share stuff from the web as well... in this way the learning experience extends from being a one way channel between the instructor and students into something more flexible and definitely multichannel.

Again the learning experience goes beyond the class time... and in a less formal context...

This is just a prototype that I'm suggesting and will be monitoring to see how this idea can evolve into a real interactive learning experience...

I'm really excited about this idea and hope that it will prove a success...

I have to thank Ning for making it so easy to create a social network... and I'm grateful for the power of the Internet... for freeing some minds and trying to eliminate stupidity...

I wish all the best of luck in the new semester... and I wish you [Fusion]... =)


:: Originally published on SABE Reconnaissance...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Will Atlas Shrug?!

The story goes that all the free minds of the world are fed up with the high level of stupidity, mental servitude, and intellectual oppression.... and as a result... they go on a strike... disappearing and leaving no traces behind... they leave to a secret land where they can be whom they think they want to be...

Now... if a stupid mind ban striking... how can Atlas shrug?!