Thursday, December 14, 2006

Garden variety of choices

People ask me why do I love living in the United States ? I say it is the choices that are present in the United States & can't be found any where else are the main reason.

It is up to the individuals themselves to make whatever choice they want to make, and when the choice turns out to be a bad one they have no one to blame but themselves. Why? Because it is they who made the choice in the first place, the parents don't make choices for their children in here, the teachers, the doctor, the lawyer, or your next door neighbor don't make choices for you, it is you who make a choices for yourself.

If you don't like your present job, quit and look for another job somewhere else, the opportunity is there for you, you just have to look for it and it isn't too much to ask for.

If you don't like living in this part of the town, then pick up your stuff and move to whatever part of the town that suits your need, you need not be stuck living in the same place or same neighborhood for the rest of your life.

If you don't like your appearance change it, either by changing the way you dress, the way you style your hair, or you can even change your entire facial expressions if you really want to do that.

If you don't like your car then sell it and buy another car with another model and more horse power to it, you need not stay stuck with the same car for ever.

I mean all of these are just samples to give you an idea about the wide variety of choices that exist in America, they are by no means representative of every choice but I'm sure that you get the jest of it.

It is very nice in my opinion to be able to decide for yourself, it gives you a sense of empowerment, a feeling of boldness, and when the choice turns out to be great you feel the ecstasy emanating out of you. By the same token when your choice turns out to be bad you feel the agony of defeat, but still it isn't so bad because it was you who made those good and bad choices in the first place.

I recently made a choice to be involved in the lives of the gifted and academically enriched children ages 11 to 14, and what an exciting experience it turned out to be, those gifted children have a lot of talents hidden underneath their sleeves, you be surprised how much of cognitive skills they have, sometimes they keep me on my toes throughout the period that I spend with them.

This is by the way totally volunteer program aims at helping to further the knowledge and depth of abstract reasoning for children in sixth through eighth grade.

Some people may have a choice of working with senior citizens, some may choose to work with people that are physically and mentally challenged, some people choose to do nothing and live their life without doing any paid or unpaid work, the choice is still yours.

In America the choices are endless, the menu of choices is so long it could be wrapped around the entire globe several times and there would still be more choices written on it for you to choose from.

Endless choices

Monday, December 11, 2006

Investing 101

Following is my reader response to Mr. Mohammad El Huseini, program Editor for Business News at Al Arabiya . The article in question was published in Jordan Business monthly Magazine. Their link was posted by Oula yesterday. The link to the article itself appears at the bottom of the page.

Your article is both; informative and entertaining, the last paragraph about your mom's shares sums up the investment industry in an eloquent fashion. An average investor should never go wild trading on a daily or even weekly basis, he should learn from the institutional investors by waiting it out and stick to the original premise, buy low and sell high. When the average investor starts going wild with his investments techniques such as taking a loan on his house or mortgaging a piece of land that he owns in order for him to make a fast dollar in the fast moving stock market, he would be doing nothing but risking his nest egg that one day will crack and splash him right in his face, and that is what happened to many of the average investors who were investing in Amman stock exchange over the past year and a half or so. Investing is supposed to be a long term upward wealth building up project not a short term fast buck making. Those who fall victims to the get rich quick schemes have no one to blame but themselves. Buying stocks, bonds, and mutual funds ought to be incremental first and diversified second. No one should put all of his eggs in one basket, shares need to be bought in small parcels from variety of sources and companies including blue chip companies, emerging markets start ups, and even capital ventures' shares. It should never be limited to this company or that company because if this company goes down all of the purchased shares go down with it such as what happened with Enron, world com, and some of the others that went bankrupt over the past couple of years. Buy and hold is the key to investing, a 10% average annual return is a reasonable yield expectation. Any thing above that would put the investor into a higher degree of risk taking. We all heard moderation is the best modus operandi one ought to take, guess what; it applies to investing as well. Invest only the amounts that you can afford and you don't need to convert it into liquid cash on a short notice, set a side different budget for that kind of spending. When one enters the world of investing in the stock market one ought to understand that he is in it for the long haul.
Hatem Abunimeh

Saturday, December 09, 2006

1 state or 2 states,7340,L-3329865,00.html

The writer of the article In his sagacious analysis didn't factor in all the usurpation that has been taking place in the Palestinian occupied territories since June 1967. If he adds up all of the Israeli settlements blocks, the Jewish settlers only roads, the areas taken by the apartheid wall, and the newly planned additional housing units slated for expanding the existing settlements, it will leave him with only 45% of the land existed prior to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967.The residual land represents only about 10 to 12% of the historical Palestinian land. In addition, the realities on the ground nowadays tells a different story, Israel already has a total and complete control of all of the Palestinian territories, the three noncontiguous Palestinian enclaves as well as Gaza Strip are cut off from the outside world. In order for a viable two state solution to be implemented a complete reversal of everything that took place in the occupied territories need to be taken into consideration, a tall order that is impossible to achieve given the current circumstances. So yes a two state solution is equally as bad as one binational state solution. The only solution that is doable and achievable is the one that tells Israel to comply with the international resolutions spelled out in the United Nation Security council resolutions 242, and 338. While this demand may sound like a broken record since it usually falls on deaf ears, it remains to be the most powerful & the most widely recognized solution. Advocates of the one state and the two states may continue their dialogue in the coming months and years, unless Israel comes to the realization that the Palestinian people must be given their independence, we will continue with our futile haggling over one binational state and two state solution until dooms day.
Hatem Abunimeh

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I'm inspired by the following eye catching headline report that I read in Alghad Newspaper today's issueدعوة للتعر

I'm inspired by the following eye catching headline report that I read in Alghad Newspaper today's issueدعوة للتعرف على أصحاب الصور التالية

I'm really amazed by this report which states in so many words that there are at least 3 people the authority is aware of their presence in their custody, but nonetheless, no one else had come forward to identify any one of them.

I was thinking to myself, how could that be, someone, somewhere in the kingdom has got to know one or all three of them.

How is it possible that three families that have members missing from their household and don't even bother asking about them.

Are some people in Jordan are becoming so callous to the point that they don't even bother asking about their children's and grand parents whereabouts whenever they are gone missing.

Can someone offer me some explanation about these found by the police people but never claimed back by any citizen including members of their own family.

May be I'll understand the case with the old man, perhaps he was never married and doesn't have any children, it is also possible that most of his family members live outside Jordan like in the West Bank or some other Arab or foreign country and he was living alone when he got sick and went to the hospital and subsequently passed away.

But what about those other two children, they have got to have a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a cousin, or any relative. They got to have a neighbor or a kid from the neighborhood that can recognize them.

Heck, I have been outside my neighborhood in Amman for over 30 years but there are many people living in that same neighborhood that still recognize me until now, and I'm almost sure If any one of them sees my picture in the newspaper he/she will come forward and identify me to the authority.

I honestly don't know what to make of this highly unusual story, why no one wants to identify those kids.

Are they for instance illegitimate kids and their family members too embarrassed to come forward for the fear of the stigma?!

Have they been diagnosed with some kind of a terminal disease such an HIV positive and their families don't want to have anything to do with them and they just want to see them go away.

Were they pushed out intentionally out of their households because their families don't have subsistence to sustain living for them.

Did their families leave the country and they just left them behind without worrying about what is going to happen to them in hope that someone will take them and raise them.

I mean How--- Why-- what-- The more I think about it the more baffled I become, I better leave the topic alone before I turn into a nut case.

I hope that in the next few days or so I would read another report revealing that their families have been located or someone out there had come forward to claim them.

My new me.

For any one that is interested to see my new me, this is how I look at the present time. Sorry for the picture's bad quality.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Fat / Skinny

I have had battle with the bulge back and forth for over a decade or so.I was buying larger clothing sizes every other month, I went from size 34 in pants waist all the way to size 46, that is 12 extra sizes, I went from size 38 long in suit jackets all the way to size 46 regular, that is 8 extra sizes on the shoulders. My shoes size went from 9 to 11 triple e. I was starting to have trouble with my left knee, my lower back was aching all the time to the point where I was having trouble walking for a short distance, I was constantly having a heart burn, I would get up at night feeling like something is chocking me, my wife abandoned the bed room because she said that she couldn't stand my snoring all night long, my daughter refused to go with me to her school to pick up her report card for the fear that her girl friends would make fun of her because of her dad being too fat, I was getting to the point where I was unable to do any of the work around my house areas --such as cutting the grass, trimming the trees, and sweeping the leaves. All I wanted to do is eat and stuff my stomach with food. I was constantly shopping for food, the food was falling out of the refrigerator when you open the door while I'm still going from store to store buying more meat, more chicken, more fish, and plenty of sugar and rice. My situation was getting ridiculous by the day, every one I meet tells me that I ballooned a lot lately but all of their remarks were falling on my deaf ears. I just didn't want to hear that I was fat, I thought that I'm still in control of the situation, and while I can see that I'm a little over weight I still felt that it was manageable.. Then In February of this year 2006, that is about ten months ago, something clicked in my head and told me enough is enough, you have got to lose all that darn weight that you have been carrying around for several years now. And lo and behold, over night I stopped eating like a pig, I started by cutting down on my carbohydrates intake, i kissed the potato, the rice, and the bread good buy. Then I moved to the glucose intake, I kissed the sugar good buy, that was the most difficult one to give up since I used to love my tea and my coffee real sweet. I'm not kidding you I used to put about 4 or 5 spoons of sugar on a small cup of tea. It is a thing of the past now. From there I reduced my saturated fat intake to 6 oz per week, be that fish, chicken, or meat. I switched from eating solid food to soups. I started eating lots and lots of salads, something that I used to hate eating in the past. I added lots of fruit to my nutritional intake, oranges, apples, carrots, pears, and so on and so forth. I started drinking plenty of fluids, mainly water, about 64 oz per day, water helps flush many of the food we eat, but since I grew up in Jordan and the water was always scarce there, I wasn't used to drinking plenty of water. I started walking briskly for about an hour a day, sometimes an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, that is on my days off. I gave up all of the sweet stuff. My meal portions have become smaller and smaller day after day. Within the first month I started feeling the difference, my waist size was getting smaller by about two sizes. In April I was in Jordan visiting my family and I happened to be there while the Jordan Planet monthly meeting was taking place. I sent an email to Roba and I advised her that I'll be attending the meeting but then on that fateful day I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I was still fat looking and I shouldn't expose myself to the Jordan Planet gang members while I was still fat, so I decided not to go to the meeting, I also never wrote back to Roba to advise her why didn't I show up for the meeting[ sorry Roba]. Now we all know the reason, I simply was embarrassed from being too fat. At least by my own standards, as I may or may not have looked fat for some people but nevertheless it mattered what I thought of myself at the time. Any way by June which is 4 months later, most of clothes were starting to look big on me as the effect of the diet was starting to work, and all of that excess fat was melting away, only then did I start to believe that I'm inching toward my goal, so I continued with my strict food intake, daily walks, plenty of fluids diet. I started buying clothes in a reverse order, down to size 44 from 46, down to 42, to 40, 38, 36, 34, I now even can fit in size 32 pants but I don't want to push it. All of this ladies and gentlemen took place in about 7 months, I set out on one single diet and exercise course and stayed with it until I achieved my goal. Today I'm happy to announce that as of September 1, 2006 I'm fully emancipated from the dreadful heart burn that used to wake me up at night thinking that I was having a heart attack, my knee is no longer bothering me, my back feels great I can walk for miles and miles without feeling tired, my wife has come back to sleep with me in the same bed because she said that she doesn't hear any kind of snoring at night, and my daughter is proud of me for becoming a skinny dad again. I feel so much better, so much lighter, I can move around much easier, I can climb a fifty story stairwell without panting at all. I'm so much at peace with my self, carrying all that weight around was a burden that I had to contend with for many years. I'm pleased to announce that I got rid of 50 kilos. I used to weigh 140 kilos and now I weigh only 90 kilo. What a difference seven months can make. I look completely like a different person, those who used to know me before can't believe their own eyes, somebody the other day asked me: Whatever happened to the other half of you?! Some other people don't recognize me at all, some say that I look too skinny, and so on but It matters what I think and I really like myself right now more than any other time before, no one is going to be able to shake my confidence any more, I don't need to hide behind difficult vocabularies that are only discern able to the select few. I'm what I'm and I'm proud of it. May be one day I'll post the before and the after pictures and let you decide for yourselves, as for now, I'll just leave it like that.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Memo to Salam ( Reflections )

Dear Salam:

This is the first time that I'm commenting on your blog, please don't take my subsequent observation as criticism, or at least if you do think about it as criticism, think like it is a constructive criticism. You need to start hitting the space bar each and every time you use a punctuation mark, for instance if you use a comma-hit the space bar, if use a semi colon-hit the space bar afterwards, if you use a period-hit the space bar, and so on and so forth. By doing so your text will be much clearer for the reader to read, the text will even have a better over all appearance. I read your blog all the time and now that you have settled in your new home you probably have more time to write in a slower pace and hit the space bar after each punctuation mark. Good luck and happy space bar hitting-----Peace.

Here is how your text will look like when the space bar is hit.

Abu Mhammad is the nice old man who works in the parking lot next to my office. He is such a sweet person and his genuine greetings always make my day. "Good morning bash mohandiseh , ya3teeki el 3afieh!" always with a sincere cheerful tone. I have been working in the same place for around 11 years now, I left for around a year and half, during which we lived abroad and during which I had my daughter. A couple of years ago, after having my son and returning from my maternity leave, he congratulated me on having a baby boy, he kept repeating how glad he was that it's a boy, and it was all very sweet of him. Every few days he'd ask me again, how is "the boy" doing , and never ask about "the girl". I used to think it's all very natural since this is the latest, most recent,event that happened to me and he's checking on him alone for that reason only. After two years of the same routine,where he only asked about Zaid and never Raya, I started wondering if he knew I had another child. I was puzzled and wanted to know if this was the case , or is it because he is an old man , who comes from somewhere where your mother's name is the best -well -kept secret in your life, where your wife is never referred to by her name but is called (el 3aileh-the family)or (el jama3a-the group)and where daughters are always called by the same term,even on their wedding invitations, the name is always (kareematoho-his daughter)written below the fathers name!. My curiosity took the better of me and I had to ask him:

Daily Kos

According to Yahoo search engine one of the top ten blogs in the world is a blog called daily kos, I’m not kidding you, check it out for yourselves When I was introduced to it several years ago I thought that the owner was an Arabian guy trying to play some kind a joke by naming his blog “Daily Kos” but then the more that I probed the web site the better understanding I started to develop about it. I can confess without any reservations that “Daily Kos” is one of my favorite blogs to read. I say that because I consider myself a political animal and this blog discusses nothing but politics. So if your interest is in politics I recommend that you pay a visit to the “Daily Kos”. It will give an insight look into the American political landscape, it will give you a clear picture of who is who in Washington, and It will even give you some predictions about what is going to happen next in US politics. The owner isn’t Arabian for sure and although part of the blog name constitute a forbidden word in the Arabic language [i.e. Kos] is seems that it has no relevance as far as the blog is concerned. I therefore, here by nominate “Daily Kos” for your daily reading enjoyment. Those of us with dirty minds may want to associate the name of the blog with the woman genitals, but that is alright too provided that the reader benefits from reading through the blog and learning on a daily basis about what shapes the American political scene.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Kamel Nsirat--Youssef Gishan & Me

You probably are familiar with these two columnists because Jordan Planet publishes their columns on a daily basis or every time they enter new column on their personal blogs. I like the way these two columnists interact with their readers, for one thing they obviously are professional journalists since both of them write for major Jordanian daily newspapers, but more than that they communicate with the every day language without adding the jargons that are normally used by other columnists such as Fahed Alfanek of Alrai or Mohammad Aburumman of Alghad Jordanian dailies. So why am I writing about these two gentlemen since I’m fully satisfied with their work and fully acknowledging their competency in their field of their expertise! The reason is that they remind me of my own lousy style of writing and how much do I need to change my style in order for the average reader to begin comprehending what the hell is it that I’m trying to communicate to him or to her. I have been writing since 1981, that is longer than many of Jordan Planet personnel being on this earth, throughout all of these years I was under the mistaken impression that the harder the language, the more difficult the vocabulary, the better the topic will sound. Lately, and since I started reading for these two Jordanian columnists I realized that the opposite is true, and only scholars and academics are the only people on this earth that care for rhetorical language otherwise the every day language is fine and dandy with the majority of the people, as a matter of fact, the simpler the language the better that it will sound and more audience will be attracted to it-- as opposed to the pedantic language which will only attract the select few who in the first place don’t have the time or the desire to browse through personal blogs. I’m writing today to extend my sincere apologies for all of those readers that had difficult time reading through my thoughts or found the language too rhetorical and abandoned the reading after the first paragraph. I pledge that from here forward I’ll stay away from any difficult vocabulary or phrase that I think it couldn’t be understood by an average person with a high school diploma. I have perhaps over the years offended many people with the usage of unnecessary difficult words that I probably could have used dozen other words to express my thoughts in a more translucent way but elected to use the intricate route. I still don’t understand why I was doing that! Generally speaking I’m not a show off person and for those of you that know me up close know what I’m talking about is the honest truth, but why did it take me over 25 years to realize that my writing style is too lousy and in need of major overhaul, I have no idea. I have been told over the years by many readers on too many different occasions that I’m using incomprehensible words and phrases and I’m in dire need of restraining my rhetoric but to no avail. Only today did it occur to me that I must change and of course the credit goes to Messrs Nsirat & Ghishan, I learned from them what is it like to be humble & what is it like to communicate in a way that is understood to every reader and not just to the select few of the elite or affluent group of people. I’m going to do my best to stay away from all of the jargons that provoke nothing but anxiety in the readers mind. I’m going to pick new smooth easy to read style free from any complications from beginning to the end of every essay long or short or anything in between. The era of flexing the vocabulary prowess is over and done with. My new writing style will be user friendly full of clarity and transparency. So help me God.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

America surprassed three hundred million

This morning 10/17/06 around 7:00 am Chicago time, the population of the United States of America surpassed the 300 million people mark. China and India are the only other world countries that have more people than the United States.

No one exactly knows who is the lucky person that made the count reach 300 million, s/he could have been born some where in the United States or could have been an immigrant arriving from another country.

If we are to guess who that person might be it would have to be a white nonhispanic -since the whites still represent the majority of the people living in this country.

The census bureau reports that one new person is born every 11 seconds in the United States. In 1967 the United States population was only 200 million, and by the year 2043 the population is expected to go up to 400 million Americans.

The birth rate in this rich country is much greater than that of many other European countries, Americans are very optimistic about having babies, the fact that fathers are willing to pitch in helping with household chores and with raising their children makes it that much desirable for American women to want to have babies.

Faith is another contributing factor that helps American women to consider having babies, Americans are church goers, and the more devout the person is the more hope the person will have & believe in better future, and the more that will push the women to have babies.

Space is one more factor, most new born Americans have plenty of space to live in, more often than not, every one have their own bed room. In other countries the space is very limited and usually a bunch of children are crammed living in one room, a very depressing and discouraging sign for moms. On the average American woman produce 2.1 children per family..

Considering all of these factors combined, the question then that needs to be answered is : Can America cope with the increasing population and the immigration by people from other countries, the answer is yes, yes, and more yes.

America is a very rich country, it has a vast fertile land, and plenty of natural resources, it can accommodate many more people than what it already has. Although there are many people living in America which are still considered poor, the average family is still enjoying a relative comfortable standard of living compared to other countries around the world.

The economy is good, the unemployment is relatively low, and the interest rate is leveling off. All of these factors are very encouraging signs for moms not to worry about the future and about having more future babies that will grow up in this blessed country.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Open Memo

This memo is an open response to Mr. Ghariebeh's column appearing in the Jordanian daily Alghad newspaper issue dated October 11, 2006.


I beg to differ, if you think that the Jordanians that write in the English language suffer from great deal of deficiencies then I invite you to take a look at the writings of some of the following bloggers on Jordan Planet :

1) Tololy
2) Roba
3) Khalidah
4) Naseem
5) Khalaf
6) Ahmad
7) Batir
8) Firas
9) Hala
10) Hamzeh Nassif
11) Laith Zraikat
12) Lina Ejeilat
13) Ohud
14) Philip

Most of these Jordanian bloggers are in their early to mid twenties, they speak, read, and write the English language as good as the native English speaking people do and most of them do it much better than many of the natives. To suggest that the Jordanian English speaking and writing crowd is shallow and superficial is a stilted opinion.

And while I'm talking about the topic of writing, allow me to tell you something about your own writing : While I must say that to a cursory reader you appear to be an excellent writer but for some one that methodically traces your articles on day to day basis, one will notice that you write in a convoluted fashion, you should stop for a moment and take a look at the way veteran columnists such as Fahed Fanek write their columns, your job as a columnist must be to communicate your words, phrases and sentences in a very simplified fashion that is readily understood to the average fourth grade reader, your job as a columnist doesn't call on you to exhibit your prowess in every single column that you write. The terms that you use are very complex and require pages upon pages of illustration in order for these terms to be simplified and understood to the average reader. You must realize that the average reader doesn't have more than thirty seconds to one minute available at their disposal to decipher whatever it is that you are trying to say, and at any time the reader realizes that he doesn't comprehend whatever it is that you are going to communicate, he/she will skip reading your column and go on to read somebody else's column, and therefore, you lost one more reader. You must realize that in this era of fast moving technology people have too much information to decipher, the time that is allotted to the daily reading is shrinking every single day, so the readers are no longer looking for articles that reflects the classic way of writing, the modern readers want something that goes with the fad, with trends, with contemporary stuff that is readily and effortlessly understood. That is why you thought that those Jordanian writers that write in English are shallow. In essence, all they want to do is to communicate to the average reader, they don't want to delve into complicated matters that require plenty of their time, something readers are always short on.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Jordan is having rude awakening

I wonder whether the gripe by the federation of the labor unions is something that will have some grave consequences on the long run, or is it going to end up being just a tempest in the tea pot.! Getting wrangled in legal proceedings can be very arduous thorny & costly process. I'm not even sure that Jordan has the wherewithal to withstand standing up to these giant labor federations and their highly paid elite lawyer.
We all know how much it cost the Arab Bank to defend its position against an alleged accusation of transferring money to illegal Palestinian organizations.
While there is no parallel between the two cases still, litigation especially coming from the USA can be very costly and time consuming.
I hope that Jordan would do something quick to extricate itself from this legal mess. Being a member of the free trade organizations may end up being a liability rather than an asset for Jordan.
These people mean business they use the law to its fullest extent. Repeated violations of the labor laws will not be tolerated by them and what may be acceptable working conditions in Jordan may not even meet the minimum standards required by the federation of labor unions.
In the place where I work we have been negotiating with the union officials for over a year and a half just to remove one paragraph from the contract and to adjust the labor re-numerations by less than fifty cents over a three year period.
Jordanian official need to wake up and smell the coffee if they want to continue with this free trade thing and with importing laborers from poor Asian countries and working them all kinds of hours with very little benefits and lousy work conditions.
I'm almost sure that if this litigation is allowed to proceed before any quick amicable solution is found, Jordan will be stymied and would have to make a lot of concessions before the working conditions of the laborers can be corrected and brought up to a standard acceptable to the global community.
Some bloggers were quick to point that other parts of the world are still practicing slave labor and no one is bothering them, while this may be true but remember that those countries are probably not members of the free trade organization and not governed by the same standards, in addition, that no one of these people have come forward to lodge a complain the way the guest workers in Jordan did.
I'm not going to speculate about the upshot but in my opinion it doesn't look good at all.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Audible Jordanian Voices

What does Randa Habib, Ayman Safadi, Ahmad Humeid, and Marwan Muasher have in common ? You might say that they are all Jordanian citizens, and the first three are journalists while the fourth one is a former Jordanian government official. Perhaps so but that isn't the purpose of my lumping them together. For one reason or another they were selected to comment on the fifth anniversary of the spectacular September eleven attack on New York and Washington. I heard them speaking one at the time on national public radio station while driving from my work toward my house. I don't know who reached out to who, whether the media correspondents in the USA reached out to them or whether it is the other way around, but no matter who reached out to whom it is a good forward thinking and it is about time that we hear the voices of the Jordanians reaching all the way into the United States of America. Over the past ten years or so I have grown accustomed to listening to one and only voice of Rami Khoury, he was always the one and only Jordanian appearing on US media apparatus. He always does a good job explaining the situation whatever it might have been, I would even say that there were instances when he did an exemplary job responding to tough questioning by experienced veteran US Journalists, but again how much one person can do and no matter how different ideas he had, eventually the listeners begin predicting what exactly Rami is going to say about a given situation. That is why I was both surprised and exhilarated when I heard the voices of those other Jordanian presenting fresh views about terrorism, blogging, and Arab & US relationships. For the most part they all did a good job expressing their views & echoing the sentiments of the Jordanian streets pulse. The point I'm trying to make here is that the Jordanian must make a concerted effort to reach out to the US media, it is the only way to raise the awareness about Jordan and the people of Jordan, the US media loves to talk to local native people no matter how important or unimportant these people are. I'm not sure why the people of Jordan tend to want to stay away from the media lime lights, no body knows more about Jordan and the Jordanian people as much as the people living in Jordan do, why then don't they reach out to the US media and try to grant them interviews just like the ones mentioned above, and they don't have to wait for an occasion such as the fifth anniversary of September 11, they can and should do it all year around with and without occasion. They should express themselves in the most professional manner with the best way they know how in a transparent fashionable way. The US media loves to hear from them especially when Jordan is highly representative of epic center of both war and peace.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I'm Ashamed

I can't believe that the national flagship news agency for the Kingdom would make a flagrant mistake like this one , a native English tongue reading the report would definitely get the impression that the valorous awards are given for an act of insolence. I don't understand how did that egregious mistake slipped through the proof readers working for Petra News agency ? Aren't they supposed to read those news releases prior to posting them for the rest of the world to read them. I tell you, I'm ashamed of Petra News Agency for calling those valiant individuals audacious. There is really no excuse for it, this is elementary stuff, the translator or whomever did that should have instantaneously recognized that the word "audacity" had a negative connotation to it and should have never been used in this particular instance, but in any event : To whom the bells toll ! I guess if you didn't notice it no would would have bothered noting it either. In my opinion a correction and retraction are in order, they should be made to the readers and to the heroes that risked their life to save the other tourists and rush them to the hospital, but when was the last time you noticed the Petra news agency admitted making and error or issuing an apology ?. I'll leave the answer for your imaginations.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mohammad Salah

For those of you unfamiliar with the case at hand , you will be much better served by first Googling the name Mohammad Salah and then read the post below.

Mr. Mohammad Salah will not get a fair trial the same way Mr. Sami Alarian before him didn't get a fair trial, so is Mr. Mazen Alnagar, and Musa Abu Marzooq, and Ghassan Baloot and many others . The list goes on and on. When the evidence is so frivolously minute to nonexistent, the government resorts to trumped up charges that could never be proven under the law of the land. That is why the government resorts to bigoted incredibly phony witnesses such as Judith Miller and other secret informants that no one is able to confront or cross examine due to the fact that they are kept incognito. Mr. Salah's case is no case, and so is Mr. Alrian and some of the others, these are passionate people set out to help the impoverished amongst their people, they raise funds for charitable contributions to help the families that lost their bread winners fighting the occupation forces of their countries. They aren't by no means aiding or abetting terrorism, they don't support killing of innocent civilians, they don't raise funds for the purpose of purchasing military hardware, they can be considered in western interpretations as if they are philanthropists, humanitarians, altruists, or whatever. How could such actions be so wrongfully interpreted as aiding or supporting terrorism or terrorist organizations. Mr. Salah is being accused of being the front man for Hamas, the bagman as Mr. Grossman described him, what does that really mean ! The money is being disseminated for charitable causes period. By contrast, Mr. AlArian was accused of being the front man for the Islamic Jihad, he too was raising funds for charitable purposes but due his hostile stand against Israel the occupier of his ancestors and his own land, he was accused of aiding terrorism and terrorists in the Islamic Jihad organization. Neither one of the two men can never be proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, their cases are purely political, they are intended to be as teaching lessons to other activists in the Arab and Muslim community in the United States-- implicitly warning them so to speak to refrain from raising charitable funds to help their people back home in Palestine, they are also intended to appease the Jewish Americans who are constantly pressuring the government through their lobbyists and special interest groups to subjugate Arab and Muslim activism in the USA even if the situation necessitates concocting trumped up charges. Salah and AlArian should have never spent one day in jail. On the contrary, they should have been rewarded for their courage to go out and stick their nick trying to raise funds to help their people deal with the abject poverty that they have been living and still currently living through for many years. I don't believe that Salah's case or AlArian's case should deter those of us that are determined to help their families and friends back home in Palestine to improve their financial status or at least be able to secure the daily nutrition to sustain normal living which they are currently lacking. Salah is probably going to jail due to extreme bias --the recent events which will no doubt prejudice the jury decision. Mr. Salah's under torture confession, plus five years in an Israeli jail, plus the years that have gone by since the early nineties should render his case null and void and dismiss him outright to go home-- under the statute of limitation. Sadly though and knowing what we already know about the penchant of the government to tag any Muslim with terrorism charge would give us the inevitable ominous notion about the outcome of Mr. Salah's fate. I wish him well but I'm really standing on the cusp of hopelessness.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

لاحياة لمن تنادي

آراء القراء

الأميركيّون والإسلام - سميح المعايطة

لاحياة لمن تنادي
- hatem abunimeh

الولايات المتحدة الأميركية -

مع انني اشاطرك براءيك من حيث المبدا باءننا لا نكرس جهدا كافيا يعكس صورة واضحة المعالم عن سمعة العرب والمسلمين في الغرب الا ان هنالك عوامل اخرى يجب التنويه اليها واهمها استمراريت دعم الحكومة السعودية في الغرب وخصوصا الولايات المتحدة على تدريس مناهج مدرسيه مناؤه للأديان السماوية الأخرى وتعيين اءمه متشددين في اراءهم وحثهم المستمر للمصلين على ضرورة عدم انتماءهم وعدم الاءنخراط فى حياة الغرب الاءجتماعيه ضف الى ذلك كله الاءسواط القويه والجمعيات المنظمه والمناوءه للعرب والمسلميين عندها تجد ان الجواب اصبح واضح المعالم حاتم ابونعمه

Friday, May 26, 2006

To whom the bells toll

To Whom The Bells Toll

Dr. Nabulsi forecasts a very conscionable initiative proposing the promulgation of a synchronized union to look after the educated & persecuted ones in the Arab communities; but to whom the bell toll !

The educated are the least paid in the Arab world, they lack the financial means to form a lobby or pressure group to stand up to the strong arm of their authorities skewed laws.

The fear of reprisal by the authority personnel , or pay back by the interior ministries watch dogs-- casts a shadow over over the heads of every citizen be that the learnt one or the illiterate.

Iraq during Saddam Hussein reign of terror is a prime example of the lack of freedom for anyone to express even a hint of dissension, or opposition to anything and everything the government enacts on a daily basis.

The media apparatus is fully controlled by the government agencies, heck, even the human rights agencies are controlled by the governments in the Arab world. People do care and want to do something on behalf of the oppressed but the fear of persecution, the fear of starvation, and the fear of corporal punishments discourages even the most courageous one amongst us to even think, let alone act against a decree or an edict promulgated by one of the Arab regimes.

So refraining from lodging protests doesn't stem from the absence of plethora of material to talk about, it doesn't stem from lack of skills or resources amongst the educated group, it simply stems from the fear of punishments, the grave consequences toward the protesting individual and his entire family.

Western regimes aren't anything like Arab regimes, Our regimes are still behaving like fascist regimes of the past, some even still living in the era of feudalism. We can't compare our selves to those organizations in the western societies, Why? because we have no freedom to freely speak out, our laws are very unfriendly, and our regimes are very tyrants.

Absence of Freedom of speech, Absence of freedom of expression, low wages, fear of punishment, as well as the dire poverty, are all motivating factors standing as a wedge between the educated group and the formation of an organization similar to the one proposed in your article.

So how are we supposed to act when we don't have the basic tools or instruments that will propel us to where we want to be, until such time comes, we will be in for the long haul, and continue our preachments about the should've, would've, and could've, but didn't.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Memo To Nas

Sorry Nas but you didn't provide us with any statistics or references or quotes or sources or polls of any kind to demonstrate how the people feel or don't feel, believe or don't believe, or anything of that sort.

Your entire essay is based on pure speculation on your part and little bit of figment of your imagination. It would have been a lot more digestible had you stated that what you are presenting is merely an opinion or a dramatization of a fictional situation rather than presenting your text as if it was a proven fact beyond any reasonable doubt.

Please don't go too far and misconstrue my intent, I know that you always mean well and I do like many of the things that you write about, but for some odd reason and once in a blue moon you just can't resist the urge to take a jab at the Palestinians, especially those Jordanians of Palestinian origins such as myself.

I'm not really sure what is required of us to prove our patriotism to our birth place ( Jordan). We have been pledging our allegiance to the Hashemite throne ever since we have come into existence, we pay our taxes, we invest our money, we serve in the armed forces, we contribute to the countries economic growth, we participate in charitable contributions, we vote, we full fill our civic duties, and we seek matrimonies from the native Jordanians and the native Jordanians seek matrimonies from us.

If this isn't sufficient to demonstrate our love, allegiance, and devotion to the nation of Jordan and its armed forces and security apparatus, I don't know what is. Your selective comment about the Palestinians not believing their government is uncalled for, I think that the time has come for us to bury the hatchets and move beyond this tribalism mentality, especially for someone like you who was raised in liberal democratic western society.

I bet you there are a lot of Jordanian of native origins that don't believe or aren't going to believe what the government explanation about the weapon cache is going to be, how come there was no mention of this group and was either unwittingly omitted from your essay or was deliberately remained in clandestine status!

I'm fed up with having to time and again prove my loyalty and dedication to Jordan, and I do take issue when someone that tries to question my loyalty to Jordan. More than half of the population in Jordan born after the 1967 Arab Israeli war, they have no link with anything west of the river Jordan, and this statement wasn't made by me, it was made by the king of Jordan, Abdullah II

I resent the notion about your assumption that the Jordanians be that natives or of Palestinian origins not learning from 11/9 experience, I think that it touched and continues to touch all of us until our present day.

I think that simplest solution to resolve an intricate problem such as the one referenced in your text is for the government to be more transparent, more open to the media correspondent, issue more frequent news releases, allow more officials to be interviewed immediately while the story is still brewing, but to shift the blame on hapless and helpless population who are toiling to secure daily bread and butter for their families is a pure cop out or pseudo catharsis.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Word of the day [ whimper ]

It is another word for [ whine ] and [complain] it has been on the march lately. People in Jordan complain about the rising fuel cost, people in the United states complain about the immigration laws, people in Iran complain about the united states prohibiting them for acquiring nuclear technology, people in Palestine complain about the world not recognizing their government & about funds from donations not being reaching them. People in Lebanon complain about the President of their country and about why he shouldn't be a president, people in Egypt complain about the the reinstitution of the emergency law and about the slow pace of governmental reforms, people in Tunisia complain about the jailing of the Tunisian journalists, people in Morocco complain about why the western Sahara residents shouldn't have their own self determination. People in Saudi Arabia complain about the monarchy in their country. People in Turkey complain about the Kurdish separatists in the border areas between them and Iraq, people in Iraq complain about the occupation, the lack of security and over all miserable lack of basic services.And so on and so forth, you do get the picture; don't you!

Are all of these complaints legitimate and worthy complaints or are the people inherently born complainers ? At what point in time the person is allowed to complain without being labeled a whiner or a whimper ? Does complaining help solve any issue or is it just another form of catharsis ?

I'm not much of a complainers at all, I consider myself super tolerant individual, I can take a lot of heat before I utter one word that would give the appearance of a complaint. Why not try to deal with the issues in whatever manner deemed appropriate to you without complaining to your parents, to your spouse, to your boss, or to your friend, or to your government.

We aren't living in the state of nature any more, most of the problems that people face on day to day basis have simple solution, some intermediate and advanced problems may require some standards of procedures that need to be followed, such as forms that need to completed or fees that need to be paid, but still even those should never turn into a complaint provided that the individual had exhausted all means available at his disposal prior to lodging a complaint.

Most complaints are like the juice that gets spilled on the carpet, if you get it up in time and wipe it with a dry clean cloth and then follow it up with a damp cloth and wipe it one more time, it will vanish without any trace. By contrast, if you ignore the juice and hope that your maid will at some point in time notice it and gets it wiped off, it may turn into a permanent stain before it gets removed and then you will need to replace the entire carpeted area with new carpet.

I guess what I'm saying here is that people should take heed of whatever it is that they are complaining about. For instance, my secretary has been complaining about her wages for the past two years, I have been able to get her three raises so far but she is still complain about how low her wage is and how expensive life requirements are, what am I supposed to do? Pay her part of my own salary!

My wife always complains about me not giving her enough love, not giving her enough gifts, not getting her what the other husbands get for their wives, and so on. What am I supposed to do for her! I go to work every single day, I rarely spend any money on any of my personal items, I don't have anything personal that I consider to be luxury, I spend all of my salary on the house without saving anything, yet, it is never enough.

My son complain about me putting him in in public university instead of putting him in private university that has a better curriculum and better faculty and has prestigious name.

My ten year old daughter complain about not finding any topic to talk about on Monday morning for her speech class because she hasn't done anything on the preceding week end that is worth talking about. She means going to picnics, to museum, zoo, botanic gardens and so forth.

My neighbor complain about the grass area that separate his house from my house and how the weed is flying from my side of the grass and ruining his beautiful lawn, my family in Jordan complain that I don't call them very frequently and that I'm a negligent person and should call more often to see how things are going.

My partner in an apartment building complain about the tenants not paying their rent on time and about the ever rising real estate taxes, the pharmacist where I get my medicine from complain about the health maintenance organizations and how difficult it is to get them to approve the list of medicine that they have and sell to their clients.

What is going on with all of these whimpers? When will they realize that they have to take matters in their own hands and stop complaining, or better yet do something about whatever it is that you are complain about.

I can't take it anymore, sometimes I feel like I want to go somewhere where I don't have any contact with any other human being on this earth. Is there an end in sight for all of these complainers around me? Why do they enjoy complaining to me? I don't have any sign on my door stating that I Have a complaint shop! I have had it with these people.

Whatever it is that is bothering you do something about it. Stop complaining for God sake as complaining will never lead you to no where except more and more misery on top of the misery that you already have.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Eerie Silence

وأخيراً نَفَثَ الطوطم الأعظم سُمَّه! GMT 18:06:48 2006 الثلائاء 2 مايو

Eerie Silence

By Hatem Abunimeh
In this day and age, the entire problem with the Muslim and Arab world be that the Liberals or the conservatives amongst them is their continued silence in the face of all sorts of hypocrisies that are taking place before their very own eyes on a day by day basis.. Most ordinary Arab citizens do not speak out against their own governments, or against terrorists like Ben Laden Zawahiri, and Zarqawi. Modern history taught them that they have neither the right nor the ability to to change the status quo. The Arab citizenry has been collectively numbed into a sad state of affairs. They have inherently turned into helpless, powerless spectators. The liberals are trying to introduce new improved formula to offset the ingrained radicalism but it isn''t working, Ben Laden and company are still finding many sympathizers and many others willing to lend a docile ear for their poppycock. In sum, the Arab and Muslim world is still about a hundred years behind modernity.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Stop Worrying and Start Living

This post is dedicated to Khalaf, Omar, and Khader. I have read all of their posts and comments and back and forth incendiary replies. I was originally planning to comment underneath Khalaf's post but then my post has gotten so large, therefore, I decided to make an entry out of it and this would be my first post in about a month and a half.

I think that it is too early to predict whether the newly elected Hamas government will succeed, fail , or remain as a lame-duck for the reminder of their 4-year term. Winning the office isn't an end by itself it is the beginning.

Some people get upset when someone criticizes Hamas for one reason or another, those people should know that dissent and constructive criticism are the highest form of patriotism.

Neither Hamas nor the Palestinian authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas are immune from criticism, they stuck their head out there by accepting the positions that they have been privileged to be in, now they have to put up with what the rest of us have to say about them.

They are put in that position to serve and protect the Palestinian people, when the Palestinian people aren't being served or protected, then neither Hamas nor the Palestinian authority deserve any pats on the back.

Grant you Hamas is still going through its honey moon, but the honey moon is fast drawing to an end, and there is really no time for on the job training. Some people are saying that Hammas wasn't expecting to receive the stunning victory that it received and thus wasn't prepared to take full fledged responsibility from the get go, in my opinion this is a spurious excuse, if you aren't ready then why run in the first place.

Hammas says that it was counting on a national unity government, well, a national unity government is no where in sight, now what will Hamas do about it. There are salaries that need to be paid, garbage that needs to be hauled to the land fill, and bills for water and electricity that need to be paid.

Is Hamas ready to shoulder that kind of responsibility or is it going to continue griping about how the others are being critical of their governing structure and how they are tirelessly working on thwarting their schemes.

To put it more bluntly, does Hamas have a practical plan [ political as well as economic] to work with the situation as is ? If so then what is it ? Having said that they will only recognize Israel after the Israelis leave the West Bank and Gaza isn't a solution at all.

Israel will continue to act in a unilateral fashion as it please whenever and however the situation may accommodate its needs. Hamas in my opinion needs to put up or shut up.

Even if Jordan ,although I have no proof one way or another, drummed up the story about the weapon cache, so what! Even if Egypt refused to meet with Hamas's foreign minister, so what! it is all part of the job, and they must keep on going dealing with the problems as they come up.

I'm not necessarily pro Palestinian authority, pro Hamas, or pro the Jordanian regime, what I'm presenting here is an independent thought free from any prejudice or bias.

I think that Hamas has a lot of problems that need to be ironed out and I think that the Palestinian authority has a lot of problems as well, and unless they straighten out their act very quickly this dispute is going to become ugly and may even turn into full scale civil war, something that Israel has been yearning for for many years.

Let us hope that the cool heads would stop butting heads and start working for the best interest of their people without laying the blame on Jordan, the United States, and Israel, although these countries have a lot to be blamed for but what is the blaming going to do! It will aggravate the situation rather than mitigating it.

We need to help Hamas and help the Palestinian authority to get back on track to refocus their attention on the main issue of checkpoints, prisoners, border crossings and so on and so forth.

Bickering and tearing one another apart is going no where except the dead end. Both sides need to accept the outcome and live with the situation as it is depicted today.

Hamas won, fine, get over it now. The Palestinian authority personnel stole all that money, fine, get over it as well, no body is going to be prosecuted for whatever happened in the past, so the only course left is to move on and move on now before it is too late.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Oriana Fallaci

In her new book, "The Force of Reason" Italian journalist and novelist Oriana Fallaci , faults Muslims for the fact that "they breed like rats"; for requiring their meat to be slaughtered in a "barbaric" manner she says is similar to kosher butchery; for having their own schools, hospitals, and cemeteries; for immigrating; and for wanting accommodation of their religious holidays and Sabbath in schools and workplaces.

So as you can see from the above mentioned book, there are people out there that hate Muslims not for their alleged extremism and occasional terrorism, they hate them for the way they are, and in my opinion this kind of hatred is very hard to deal with, as a matter of fact, it probably doesn't have any kind of solution at all.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Time for the last post

In this article appearing in the Financial Times The writer argues that blogging is already a virtual tomb for a billion posts, he adds, blogs are superabundant and often irrelevant because we suffer from a glut of data. By 2005, 56 new blogs were starting every minute. As I type this sentence, there are, according to, 27.2 million blogs. By the time you read this sentence, there surely will be many more.

Read on if you are interested in learning about the immediate fate, and long term goals for your own blog.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Writers, Artists, Maestros.

The following text is a translated article from Arabic into English, it was translated by Hatem Abunimeh

Creative rituals for the artists and scholars : The strange methods of invoking the revelations are closer to insanity.

The American novelist Mark Twain used to look for a bed before he starts writing, he considered the bed a special condition that has cerebral images similar to a dream.

When the German poet Schiller wanted to be creative, he adhered to the smell of apple, he used to preserve rotten apple in his office to establish the voluptuous relationship between him and the creativity..

Many creative people find themselves hostages to habits that appear to be strange and amusing to others, this is especially true during the moment of translating creativity into written material. The creative people practice different tricks in order for them to explode their inner energy and activate their thoughts.

Some of them live under the auspices of addictive habits and conditions and surround themselves within, and thought it they feel that they will get the inspiration to hover over the world of writing.

That is what pushed the Lebanese novelist Ameen Mallof to abandon his family for years escaping to an island dedicated for things he wanted to author. And made the Algerian writer Ahlam Mustghnemi to change her telephone number, live in isolation, then travel to a new country where no one knows her so she can be saved by her novel "Bed crossing"

Those that are concerned about these rituals consider them unorthodox, the creative person seizes the moment to get out the real motive behind the idea that is causing the crazy condition in order to snatch himself from the prevailing anxiety that precedes writing.

Some psychologists classify writing as if it is " cerebral action" and see it for many as " a saving action from a deadly melancholy" . In a dossier published in the French magazine " Leer" , the psychoanalyst Christopher Andrea, confirms about the writing rituals amongst the creative and the Maestro that " Authentic relationship between phobia and creativity", as both have symptoms of excessive sensitivity, as writing on one hand is a success and on the other is a failure.

Failure insofar as to adapt to the performance, and success in finding a suitable alternative. And in this sequence, the writer Fakhri Kawar confirms that writing the story necessitates a place outside ones home if it is available, however, if it isn't then writing begins after all the family members go to sleep.

I shut the television set off, and the radio off, and then try to reach to the highest degree of silence. Fakhri stated. He adds, the writer love for attentiveness, precision, makes us lean towards slow careful thinking in every word, in every expression, and in every discussing sentence, and in every stand.

He points out that writing the newspaper article takes place during a period of television broadcast, during the presence of a guest, or during answering the phone : "We don't feel the pressure of writing newspaper article the same way we feel it when we write a novel" there is a vast area or long distance between creative work and journalistic work.

The narrator Jamilah Amayreh professes that for every writer "a special mood" that imposes itself and its conditions on its owner, she finds in quiet and in isolationism important conditions to fashion her creativity. According to Amayreh, " all the seasons before creativity are the same" but she is content with writing in the early morning, and defers any creative work for that time.

The novelist Hashem Gharaybeh confirms that he writes whenever he finds desire for writing, without putting himself in any particular ambiance or specific rituals. He prefers to translate his creative work sitting by the kitchen table, especially during winter season, as the coffee and tea requirements are within reach, and the place is warm, and he adds music as a permanent companion in the house. In that type of atmosphere, I'm able to write much more effectively. Commonly, Gharaybeh writes his thoughts or ideas that quickly dissipate on a note paper, it could go away but he quickly retrieves them. Ten years ago, Gharaybeh used to have penchant for writing with a pencil on yellow paper, according to him, but after using the computer he started using the paper utensils for notes only.

I don't get discouraged by interruption, noise, muddling, and my thoughts don't get downgraded and I continue with it irrespective of the outside influences. He confesses that his production in winter is more than in the summer, I don't know why. He clarifies. It is possible that winter gives me the warmth and inspiration to write, and its long nights gives me enough time to contemplate.

The following is the original Arabic text, it was published in today's edition of Alghad newspaper. 2/28/2006.

طقوس الإبداع لدى الأدباء والفنانين: استحضار الإلهام بطرق غرائبية أقرب إلى الجنون

كوكب حناحنة
عمّان- كان الروائي الأميركي مارك توين يبحث عن سرير قبل أن يبدأ الكتابة، وكان يعد السرير حالة خاصة تتمثل فيه الصور العقلية الشبيهة بالحلم، في حين التصق الابداع لدى الشاعر الألماني شيلر برائحة التفاح وكان يحتفظ بتفاح متعفن في مكتبه لاقامة تلك العلاقة الحسية بينه وبين الإبداع.
ويجد الكثير من المبدعين أنفسهم أسرى عادات قد تبدو بالنسبة لسواهم غريبة وطريفة، وخصوصا لحظة ترجمة الإبداع على الورق، إذ يمارس المبدعون حيلا مختلفة في سبيل تفجير طاقاتهم الداخلية وتنشيط افكارهم.
ومن هؤلاء من يعيش في كنف عادات أدمنها وشروط أحاط نفسه بها يتلمس من خلالها حالات من الإلهام للتحليق في عالم الكتابة. وهذا ما دفع الروائي اللبناني أمين معلوف ليهجر عائلته سنوات هاربا إلى جزيرة نائية ينقطع فيها للتأليف، وجعل الكاتبة الجزائرية أحلام مستغانمي تغير أرقام هواتفها وتتقوقع في عزلتها ثم تقرر السفر إلى بلد جديد لا يعرفها فيها احد كي تنجو بروايتها "عابر سرير".
ويصف مهتمون هذه الطقوس بأنها تعبير عن ظروف غير تقليدية، يسرق فيها المبدع من حالة الجنون الدافع الحقيقي للفكرة لينزع حالة القلق التي تسيطر عليه قبل الكتابة.
ويصنف بعض الأطباء النفسيين الكتابة على انها "فعل عصابي" ويرون انها للكثيرين "فعل إنقاذ من سوداوية قاتلة".
ويؤكد المحلل النفسي كريستوف اندريه في ملف نشرته مجلة "لير" الفرنسية عن طقوس الكتابة عند المبدعين والفنانين ان "العلاقة وثيقة بين الابداع والفوبيا"، كما أن الاثنين من عوارض الحساسية المفرطة، "فالكتابة هي من ناحية فشل ومن ناحية أخرى نجاح. إنها دليل فشل في التكيف مع الفعل ونجاح في ايجاد التعويض المناسب".
وفي هذا السياق، يؤكد الكاتب فخري قعوار بأن كتابة القصة تحتاج إلى مكان خارج المنزل اذا كان متوفرا، واذا لم يتوفر فالكتابة عنده تبدأ بعد نوم أفراد الأسرة كافة، وأثناء ذلك "أغلق شاشة التلفزيون والمحطة الاذاعية، وأحاول الوصول إلى أعلى درجات الصمت".
ويزيد" إلا أن محبة الكاتب للدقة والمواظبة على سلامة الشخصيات والوقائع، تجعلنا نميل الى التباطؤ والتفكير في كل كلمة وفي كل عبارة وفي كل جملة حوارية وفي كل موقف.
ويشير إلى أن كتابة المقالة الصحافية تحدث أحيانا بوجود أحد الضيوف وأثناء البث التلفزيوني، وأثناء الرد على الهاتف، إذ "لا نشعر أن كتابة المقالة تحتاج لمثل هذا التركيز الذي تتطلبه كتابة القصة، لأن الفرق بين العمل الإبداعي والعمل الصحافي يكاد يكون بينهما مساحة شاسعة أو مسافة طويلة".
وتقر القاصة جميلة عمايرة بـ "أن لكل كاتب مزاجا خاصا" يفرض حالته وشروطه على صاحبه. وتجد في العزلة والهدوء شروط مهمة لصياغة إبداعها.
وبحسب عمايرة فإن "كل الفصول أمام حالة الإبداع سواء، ولكنني أكتفي بالكتابة في ساعات الصباح الباكر، وأؤجل أي فعل ابداعي إلى هذا الوقت".
ويؤكد الروائي هاشم غرايبة بأنه اذا وجد الرغبة في الكتابة يكتب، من دون أن يضع لنفسه جوا خاصا وطقوسا معينة. ويفضل اثناء ترجمة ابداعاته الجلوس على طاولة المطبخ، وبخاصة في فصل الشتاء،"حيث أدوات القهوة والشاي في متناول يديّ، والمكان دافىء". ويضيف "الموسيقى رفيق دائم في البيت، وبهذه الأجواء أستطيع الكتابة بفعالية أكثر".
وعادة ما يدون غرايبة خواطره وأفكاره التي تمر سريعا على قصاصات من الورق، "لكنها قد تختفي لكنني سرعان ما أسترجعها".
وكان غرايبة وقبل عشر سنوات، كما يقول، مولعا بالكتابة على الورق الأصفر وقلم الرصاص، ولكن بعد استخدامه جهاز الكمبيوتر اضحى يستخدم هذه الأدوات لتدوين الملاحظات فقط. وفي غضون ذلك، "لا تضيرني أجواء المقاطعة والتشويش او الضجة، ولا يطاح بأفكاري واتواصل معها من دون التأثر بالمؤثرات الخارجية". ويعترف بأن نتاجه في فصل الشتاء أكثر من الصيف، موضحا" لا أعرف لماذا؟ قد يمنحني الشتاء الدفء والإيحاء بالكتابة، وقد يمنحني ليله الطويل وقتا كافيا للتأمل"

Professor Sami Al-Arian

Topic: Al-Arian reflects on past three years
Name: Hatem Abunimeh
Location: University Of Illinois
Occupation: Associate Director

Comment: I'm not sure whose interest is being served by keeping Dr.Al-Arian in jail ! The American people Tax dollars arebeing wasted on litigation that is totally and completelybaseless.When 10 out of 12 jurors rule that the defendant isn'tguilty, I don't know how much more needs to be said aftertha! t. Trying the case once again for the residual chargesis another attempt at wasting more time and money fornothing.The American Justice system is a fair system, it willeventually prevail no matter how long the case will last.The same way Dr.Al-Arian was found not guilty the firsttime around, the same way he will be found not guilty thesecond time.I have always maintained in my mind that this man isinnocent, there was no way on earth that he wouldjeopardize his academic career, or trade his stablefamily life in return for aiding terrorism, the factsdon't add up and the circumstances are highlysuspicious.Being pro Palestinians is not against the law, helpingpoor people isn't against the law, and speaking upagainst injustices toward the Palestinian people isn'tagainst the law either.That is what Dr.Al Arian was all about : He is an avidPalestinian rights advocate, who amongst us that isfamili! ar with all the injustices that are beingperpetrated against the Palestinian people on a dailybasis isn't going to stand up for them !?Dr.Al Arian is a good law abiding citizen, he is a goodfamily man, he excelled in his professional as well ashis academic lives, his proven track record ofaccomplishment speak for itself.A charge against him of guilt by association isn't goingto cut it, so what the guy knew an acquaintance of histhat turned up to be Jihad organization leader? How manypeople that turn up to be criminals and have theirpictures taken with current Presidents and formerPresidents? Just because someone knows someone that turnup to be criminal doesn't mean that they are accomplicesor partners in mischief.The government ought to save our tax payers dollars andset Dr.Al Arian and his codefendants free. The longer helingers in jail the more that he will be deprived of hisright to life liberty ! and the pursuit of happiness, thebasic fundamentals found in our constitution.Something that we take for granted and something that wedon't wish for any American to be deprived of, be thatDr. Al Arian or anyone else. The America that I know, theland of the free should set Dr.AlArian free without anydelay.We all are familiar with the cliché : If it walks like aduck, quacks like one...and you know the rest. Dr. AlArian innocence is just like that duck, it is written all overthe place but for some reason our beloved governmentchose to look the other way.
Hatem Abunimeh
University of Illinois

Monday, February 27, 2006

Encroachment On Press Freedom

In a decision that couldn't be justified by politics, common good, or logic, an unknown governmental side ( we don't know who made the decision) prevented the press yesterday from covering the return of the Jordanian citizen Mahmoud Saidat to Amman after the state succeeded in liberating him from his captors in Iraq as a result of an exhaustive effort that deserves lauding.

The governmental side allowed only the official governmental media representatives to cover the event. However, the other private journalists waited in front of Marka Airport, only to return to their news rooms empty handed.

The decision to prohibit the journalists from covering the event; which is of paramount importance is wrong, and an encroachment on the right of the press to pursue events that are tied to the common good.

It is a decision that is incongruent with the government's declared position in wanting to cooperate with the press and remove the obstacles before them, so in order for the press to be able to pursue its work truthfully and professionally.

How will this decision to prohibit endears the governmental declared position of open state institutions for media apparatus. In addition, what would the government had done had the daily papers refused to cover the event as a result of the encroachment on its rights, it would have gotten angry, blame the press, and accuse them of not fulfilling their duties toward the society.

But the newspapers didn't do that, the newspapers fathom the rights of their readers, and the rights of the nation on the newspaper, sort of not to let them down. The country have the right through its media to celebrate the saving of a citizen from the imminent danger of gaping death, saved only by unique performance of his majesty the king with the help of of other state institutions that were able to pull it off.

Because of that, the Jordanian press gave the event of safe return of Mr. Saidat to his family and his country the diligent pursuance and the coverage it deserves. The government is requested to stop making arbitrary and heavy handed decisions in its discourse with the media means.

The government needs the media as much as the media needs the government. The mutual relationship between the two of them must be built on objective professional frame, governed by law, and by practices that adheres to the principal of democracy, and the exigencies of respect, and the right of the press freedom to retrieve the information without hindrance, and passing the information to the reader without hindrance too.


Ayman Safadi

Translated from Arabic by Hatem Abunimeh.
It isn't my intent to translate any positive or negative piece, I like to translate whatever it is as accurately as possible, based on the way it is written. I don't necessarily agree with the content appearing in my translations. I don't seek to influence anybody, nor do I speculate about the motive of the original writer. What I do in terms of translation is strictly a hobby of mine I like to exercise it on an ongoing basis. I don't get paid for my translation work, nor do I receive any funding from any organization or corporation. All the translation work is solely based on my own endeavor. Hatem Abunimeh.

تجاوز على حرية الصحافة2006-02-26
في قرار لا تبرره سياسة أو مصلحة أو منطق، منعت جهات حكومية (لا نعرف من اتخذ القرار) الصحافيين أمس من تغطية عودة المواطن محمود السعيدات إلى عمان بعد أن نجحت الدولة في تحريره من خاطفيه في العراق إثر ما بذلته من جهود مضنية تستحق التقدير.
لم تسمح الجهات الحكومية المعنية إلا لممثلي الإعلام الرسمي بتغطية الحدث. أما ممثلو الصحف ووسائل الإعلام الأخرى، فقد انتظروا لساعات أمام مطار ماركا، ليعودوا بعد ذلك إلى صحفهم بخفّي حنين.
قرار منع الصحافيين من تغطية حدث بتلك الأهمية خاطئ وتجاوز على حق الصحافة في متابعة الأحداث المرتبطة بالشأن العام. وهو قرار لا ينسجم مع موقف الحكومة المعلن في التعاون مع الصحافة وإزالة العوائق أمام تأديتها عملها بمهنية وحرفية وصدقية.
فكيف ستكون الصحافة مهنية ومقنعة لقارئها ومشاهدها وهي تحرم حقها في متابعة الأحداث؟ وكيف يمكن لقرار المنع هذا أن يعزز صدقية القول الحكومي المؤكِّد دائماً انفتاح مؤسسات الدولة على وسائل الإعلام؟
اضافة إلى ذلك، ماذا كانت ستفعل الحكومة لو قررت الصحف اليومية عدم تغطية الحدث في ردة فعل على تجاوز حقوقها؟ كانت ستعتب، وستغضب، وستتهم الصحافة بعدم القيام بواجبها تجاه المجتمع.
لكن الصحف لم تفعل ذلك. فلقارئها عليها حق. ولوطنها عليها حق. للقارئ حق الحصول على المعلومة من وسائل إعلامه. وللوطن على الصحافة حق الاحتفال بإنقاذ مواطن من خطر موت محدق من خلال أداء متميز تابعه جلالة الملك وتعاونت كل مؤسسات الدولة المعنية على انجازه. بسبب ذلك، أعطت الصحافة الأردنية حدث عودة السعيدات إلى أهله ووطنه ما يستحق من تغطية ومتابعة.
بيد أنه مطلوب من الحكومة أن تتوقف عن اتخاذ قرارات اعتباطية وفوقية في تعاملها مع وسائل الإعلام.
فالحكومة تحتاج الإعلام بنفس القدر الذي يحتاج فيه الإعلام الحكومة. ويجب أن تتسم علاقة الطرفين بوضوح مرتكز إلى أطر مهنية موضوعية محكومة بالقانون والممارسات الملتزمة بالعملية الديمقراطية وما تتطلب من احترام حق الصحافة في الوصول الى المعلومة بحرية، ونقلها للقارئ، أيضا بحرية.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

diametrically opposite

Notwithstanding the extra ordinary zeal, Jordan isn't Palestine and Palestine isn't Jordan. The Isalmists had their opportunity to capture the legislative branch during the 1989 election, long before the current election law was put in place, all they were able to accomplish was a meager 12% of the vote, even if we double that number to fit the current set of circumstances it would give the Islamists a 24% of the vote, well short of what they received in Palestine.

Jordan is an independent and sovereign state, it has a constitution and well established governmental institutions, Palestine on the contrary is still under occupation and doesn't enjoy and of the privileges that exist in Jordan.

The leadership in Jordan differs from that in Palestine, the Hashemites are widely popular and they enjoy the traditional tribal support, the perks that the people receive from the government outweigh the risk of doing away with it.

The Islamists of Jordan are an integral part of the regime and not a separate renegade mavericks seeking to change the regime, in Palestine Hamas was out to defeat Fateh because it wants to tip the balance in its favor.

While nepotism and corruption are present in Jordan it isn't as rampant the way it was festering in Palestine. The people of Palestine do want change, the people of Jordan including Islamists don't want any change, they are very comfortable with the status quo.

They do want reform which is half of the equation but they don't want the change which is the other half of the equation. Unlike the people of Palestine the people in Jordan don't feel the tremendous occupation pressure.

Jordanian citizens are free to do just about anything they want without the fear of being prosecuted and persecuted for it. They come and go as they please, they import and export, they open up business and travel abroad, and build properties, and so on and so forth. These taken for granted conditions don't exist in Palestine, one can't go from village to the next village without encountering all kinds of obstacles.

Even if free, fair, and transparent elections were to be held today in Jordan, the Islamists aren't going to score big the way the did in Palestine, the two sets of circumstances are diametrically opposite from one another.

It is naive to think that just because Hamas won in Palestine it is going to win in Jordan, there is no evidence to support this claim none whatsoever.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Blogging [is] as being part of the community

I strongly disagree with Roba's blog on the part suggesting that we don't blog to be part of the community. Let us look at the definition of what constitute a community : According to the American heritage dictionary definition, a community is a group of class having common interest. In my opinion, Jordan Planet consists of a group of class, that is bloggers, having common interest, that is blogging about themselves, their country, their culture, and their religion, and many other variety of things that interests that particular community.

To say that blogging isn't related to being part of one's community is in my opinion wrong. If it is so then why are you here [Roba?] and on toot and on few other sites? Isn't because you feel that you can relate to this class and because you have common interest with this class.

If it was otherwise, then you would still be blogging for yourself in some kind of unknown undisclosed location on the internet and the net result would be that no one will know about you and you will not know about anyone else.

Perhaps there are entries on Jordan Planet that don't satisfy your taste or my taste, but that is the crux of blogging, it was never meant to satisfy anyone except the person that is writing the entry himself or herself.

There is no one site on earth that will guarantee to have entries in it that will satisfy each and every taste, if you find one let me know about it. People come in every color and shape, they have different characters and different interests.

We can never dictate to them that unless they are going to produce an interesting blog then they shouldn't blog at all, on the contrary, we should be encouraging them to blog about anything and everything that inspires them or interests them irrespective of how trivial that entry might be to you or to me or to whomever is reading the blog.

Look at the newspaper for example : Some people buy the newspaper to read the obituaries, others are interested in reading their horoscopes, some want to know about the weather, or the airport flights schedule, some interested in international politics while others read about the local and regional politics.

In other words, different people have different reasons for reading different blogs. For me, I loathe pictures, don't ask me why, I just hate them period. I usually skip through them wherever I find them.

That is why I'm an avid reader of the Wall Street Journal, it doesn't have any pictures, and on those rare occasions that they find it compulsory to put a picture, they would draw it as a sketch and not as a picture taken by camera.

I agree that there have been plethora of entries coming through the Jordan Planet during the past sixty days or so, but many of these entries are unique in their own way. Under no circumstances will we be able to judge as to which entry is worth keeping and reading and which entry needs to be jettisoned.

I do follow some of your rules, when I don't have anything to blog about I usually refrain from blogging, I do exercise my own blogging censorship, but that is me and I can't tell any one else when they should or shouldn't blog, since what may seem trivial to me could be of paramount importance to someone else.

I think that there is no clear cut definition as to what blogging should be all about, it is in my opinion like writing without borders, that is why sometimes we write in such a language that might be interpreted by some people as foul or unbecoming of a traditional society as the Jordanian society, but again who decides what, and where do you draw the line of what is considered offensive and what is considered assertive!

I personally don't find any topic to be considered taboo, be that sex education, or what have you, I'm willing to engage any topic irrespective of how bizarre or taboo it may sound.

If some one doesn't like to read it they always have the option of of scrolling down or hitting their delete button, and they wouldn't have to worry about it any more. I think that I have veered too much above and beyond the main topic , but yes, blogging is as being part of the community and yes blogging is as being part of specific class that we have common interest with one another.[I.e community]