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  1. Be ordinary: Don’t settle for anything other than the best.
  2. Imitate: Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
  3. Remain Silent: God has given you a voice, use it.
  4. Be selfish: If you think you can do it on your own, show us.
  5. Act like men: It’s not about women acting like men. It’s about women acting like women and being successful.
  6. Put dreams on hold: No one will make your dreams come true but you.
  7. Have no control over their feelings: God has created us emotional. Our job is to tame these emotions.
  8. Have negative self-talk: Counterproductive and demotivating talks are not allowed.
  9. Judge other women: When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.

أصدرت مؤخراً دراسة تشيد بأن خط الفقر في الأردن ٨٠٠ دينار. فساد الغضب والاستياء بين أفراد المجتمع… كالأب الذي اخبر ابناءه بأن ‘مصروف الروحة عالمدرسة’ دينار ولكنه يعطيهم ما مقداره نصف دينار. كيف للأردني أن يعيش بأمان بدولة تخبره بأن ٩٠٪ (نسبة عشوائية للدلالة) يعيشون تحت خط الفقر. عدم المسؤولية والرحمة والقسوة و و و بهذه الاحصائية لا يقاس كأنه يتم اخبارهم بأنهم لا يملكون أدنى فرصة ليعيشوا حياة كريمة في بلدهم. حالهم حال الولد الذي لن يكفيه مصروفه للذهاب للمدرسة.

ولكن معظم الشعب يقدس لعب دور المظلوم. دور المواطن المنهوب. لدرجة دفعته للسذاجة والابتعاد عما قد يغذي به عقله ويبعده عن الجهل. تعريف خط الفقر هو الحد الأدنى من المال الذي قد يغطي ابسط انواع الطعام والشراب فقط. لا نتحدث عن تعليم ولا صحة ولا طاقة ولا مواصلات ولا مسكن ولا ملبس ولا ولا ولا… خط الفقر الأردني لمن لم يكلّف نفسه عناء القراءة ٨٠٠ دينار للشخص الواحد سنويا اي ٢.١٩ دينار يوميا. هذا يعادل تقريبا ضعفي ونصف خط الفقر العالمي الذي يساوي دولار وربع. ربما لأن الأردن بلد معروف بالغلاء المعيشي. ربما لو تم الحساب شهريا لكان اسهل على المواطن الذي يعيش منتظرا راتب نهاية الشهر للمقارنة. لذلك يا عزيزي الأردني كل فرد من اسرتك يجب ان يكون مخصص له على الأقل ٦٥ دينار شهريا للطعام والشراب فقط. اذا دخل الاسرة اعلى من ذلك اذا انت لست فقير. ولست انا من وضع هذا المصطلح ولكنني واثقة بأن منظوره أكبر من حدود دولة واحدة. فقد أخذ بعين الاعتبار بأن هناك طفل يموت كل ٦ ثواني في العالم من الجوع. فبهذا بإمكان الأولاد الذهاب الى المدرسة لكلفة المواصلات دينار أسبوعيا ولكن مصروفهم نصف دينار يوميا.

معظم المحظوظين من أبناء الشعب قد يصلون بحياتهم لاستقرار مادي يمكنهم من بناء بيتهم الخاص. سواء كان بقرية مكون من غرفتين او بإحدى اكبر المدن من عدة طوابق وملحقات. ولكن المشترك بينهم جميعا بأنه عندما يصدر قرار ‘تعمير البيت’ يجتمع رب الاسرة مع جميع أفراد العائلة ويخبرهم بأن هذا القرار يحتاج الى ‘شد الأحزمة’ على الأقل هذا ما والدي اخبرنا به. لا يمكن للعائلة بأن تستمر بنفس مستوى الصرف وهي تقوم ببناء شيء سيؤمن حياة كريمة ومستقرة لجميع أفرادها. ففعلاً هذا ما يحصل، اذا كان وضع العائلة المادي متدني فقد يقومون بتجنب بعض الالتزامات الاجتماعية، اما اذا كان الوضع متوسط فقد تبيع المرأة ذهبها او قد يتوقفون عن الذهاب الى المطاعم، وحتى العائلات المترفة قد تضطر الى إلغاء السفرات الصيفية او تحديث السيارات او اثاث المنزل. الموضوع نسبي نوعا ما ولكن المأخذ واحد. عادة ما يتذمر أفراد الاسرة الصغار من حرمهم من بعض الأشياء فهم سعيدون بمنزلهم هذا ولا يَرَوْن الحاجة بالانتقال الى منزل اكبر او حتى أصغر ولكن ملكهم. ولكن رب الاسرة يتغاضى عن شكواهم لأنهم ‘ما بيعرفوا مصلحتهم’.

انا قل ما اتفق مع الحكومة باي من قراراتها وارى الفساد قد تفشى بجميع مؤسساتها من اصغر الموظفين لأكبرهم. كل يظن بأن ما يقوم به ‘عادي’ و ‘ولا اشي بالنسبة للي غيره بيعمله’ الا من رحم ربي. الاستهتار بتطبيق القانون في اصغر الأمور مثل عدم الالتزام بالوقوف على الدور يسبب انحطاط اخلاقي تماما كسرقة ملايين من البلد. احاول عادة تجاهل الحكومة وعدم التفكير بها بل على العكس اتخيل نفسي انا الحكومة. صحيح ان ليس بمقدوري اتخاذ قرارات مصيرية ولكن على الأقل أقوم بدوري الفعّال في المجتمع. هذا ما لا يستطيع استيعابه المواطن الأردني. فَلَو خُيِّرَ بين رفع أسعار الكهرباء او قطعها المنظم والمجدول عنه على ان يتم استيراد غاز من اسرائيل لاختار الغاز الاسرائيلي.

بالتأكيد المواطن لا يعرف مصلحته ولا يفكر استراتيجيا ولا منطقيا لأن همه بأمور اصغر من المنظور الأبعد والأشمل تماما كالأولاد الذين يعتبون على ابيهم لقرار بناء بيت لهم. ولكن أملي كله أن تكون الحكومة كالأب الخائف على مصلحة أولاده ولا يستمع ‘لدلعهم’. أملي ان تقرر الحكومة في البت النهائي بحكمة وعدل بقضية قد تقضي على دولة باكملها.

أمن الطاقة له عدة تعاريف وحيثيات. للأردن بنظري هو إيجاد مصادر متنوعة للطاقة على ان تكون آمنة، متوفرة، مستقلة، واهم من هذا كله موثوقة. بالتأكيد لا يمكن الوثوق بإسرائيل ولا بغازها ليس فقط لأنها عدو محتل للأراضي الفلسطينية (مع انه سبب كافي للبعض) ولكن على الأقل لأنه ‘لا يلدغ المؤمن من جحر مرتين’ فقد تم الاعتماد عليها بتوفير مياهنا وقد زاد الحال سوءاً منذ ذلك الحين و’الحبل عالجرار’.

Another December Morning

Posted: December 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

I have been feeling unwell for a while and I thought maybe if I release the pressure on a paper, everything will be alright… maybe. It’s the end of the year season when you wake up one day, look in the mirror and think… oh lord! It’s December already?!!! And then the trigger is pulled and you start evaluating the passed-so-fast year.

I made myself a mug of Turkish coffee, because I don’t have those small good looking Turkish coffee cups, I need to buy some. I’m listening to Urdon Ard Alazm (Jordan, The Land of Determination) by Fairouz. I used to listen to this song almost every morning when I was at school. Mom used to turn on the TV to watch the morning show on Jordan TV and they usually played this one. It’s a song that you’d want to start your every day with for the rest of your life.

I’m trying to cut to the chase but where to get started from. So this year, work was super good, new challenges and distinguished achievements I sometimes impress my own self. Some voluntary work here and there, too much actually but I can never get enough with this. Giving has become part of who I am… This explains why I feel down maybe these days. I planned my own wedding this year too. It was such an event! Everyone loved every single detail (except for the songs, I hate that DJ). I traveled to Mauritius, South Africa, UAE, Germany, USA and now in Kuwait. What else? Hmmm, I received an international award. That was some kind of a big deal. For me, a thank you from persons who I volunteered for was just as big if not bigger than this award.

I keep replaying this song, it’s so addictive I wish I can translate it to those who don’t understand Arabic but the volabs used in the lyrics are just hard to understand even for my own self. It’s about the tune maybe… the memory… the sentiment…

So people might think, oh wow! You’re 2014 was so successful, wasn’t it? And I’ll just answer: I DON’T GIVE A DAMN. This is not what I’m entitled of talking about today. Not now. I haven’t talked to anyone for a while, as in real talk, hours talk, a talk that will lift the entire load off your shoulders. That’s when I realized what I’ve been missing. How blessed yet unappreciative I was.

Switching now to Hometown Glory by Adele. Had to take a pause and shed a tear and went back to listening to the first song, this was too emotional it stopped the words from flooding.

What’s the fuss is all about? I’m supposed to be a grown-up who can settle anywhere and adapt. But my hometown is just too good to let go… My Jordan is just too good to let go… Coffee with mom in the morning and hearing all the family’s updates, not just our small family but the EXTENDED FAMILY… All the aunts, uncles, and cousins… They total number is more than 200 I believe (second cousins are not counted). There would be usually clashes between me and mom as we rarely agree but we used to enjoy them especially when we reconcile later. Dad went to Jordan for a vacation just recently, he called me and was like, here we are sitting like polite kids and bored as hell… If you were here, we would be fighting over silly things, that was such an ice breaker.

I never thought I’d miss Jordan and its people this much…

I never thought I’d miss watering the plants unwillingly just because mom wants me to…

I never thought I’d miss Jordan Valley and our winter gatherings there because it’s usually warmer there… I would be freezing like ice but well, that’s what they say… My aunts would be there with their kids making all the noise. I used to hate it. They all know I hate kids. It feels good because any act of kindness I did was greatly appreciated… Aunts would usually try to interfere in many things and give advice and acting all moms… They knew I never listened but they would still try… I rarely minded it anyways…

I never thought I’d miss the calmness of Irbid… Its small and cracked streets… Irbid feels like a village, a big village… Although it’s the second largest city in Jordan… Irbid is where I was born and went to school…

I never thought I’d be missing my girlfriends… The ones I call instantly to help me with shopping and they would run with me in malls like crazy… Even their moms who make all the good food and invite you in or send you a dish of your favorite food… Our neighbours do the same too all the time… There are three persons left at home and mom still cooks in big cookers because she will send some of it to neighbours, or friends, or sometimes just in case we had a visitor… People would randomly show up on lunch time and mom was so happy to feed them…999926_702986966402631_1569420133_n

I never thought I’d miss Dair Abu Saeed (we call it DAS sometimes)… It’s my hometown, I’ve never lived there though… But it means to much to my father and thus to me… We visited once every a few months but that still has allowed me to be attached to that place… the air… the roads… the farms… my uncle’s big house… I used to spend most of my summer vacation over their place… That house seemed really really huge for me when I was little… It was renovated just recently and I went for a visit… Rooms seemed way smaller… They for sure haven’t shrunk… It’s me who has gotten bigger… But my uncle and I have gotten closer… We would be chatting for hours until we fall asleep each on his couch…IMG_0225

I never thought I’d miss fighting with people over politics, illogical laws, ignorant figures… and mostly, nonstrategic decisions… Our government was so corrupt but I always tried to ignore the fact that they even existed… I convinced myself that I am responsible of building this country, not them… And that paid off…

I never thought I’d miss cold winters… Streets would be flooded with rain water… My car hasn’t let me down not even for once but it used to make sounds sometimes that would scare the hell out of me… When I used to live alone, I would warm only the room I’m in… I couldn’t afford warming the entire house… That was a bit cozy…

I never thought I’d miss Jabal Allweibdeh, all the artsy fartsy environment, its restaurants, the most delicious and cheapest food you’d eat… Having to dine indoor when it’s raining… I’d be fighting with my friends not to light another cigarette… The air would be so thick I could barely see them… The sight of heavy rain would fascinate and quieten me from time to another… We would be discussing art, philosophy, politics, religions, existence, marketing, engineering, IT, geography, poverty, management, love, physiology… The list goes on and on… We would be hopping from one topic to another excitingly…IMG_0116

I never thought I’d miss Rainbow Street… My old friend’s house… The church’s bells from across the street used to wake me up whenever I slept over her place…  Along with the falafel smell she would have bought with some hummus for breakfast… The smell of old Amman… of history… of coexistence… of warmth…IMG_1995

I never thought I’d miss commuting and being stuck in traffic… getting that road rage over stupid drivers… While listening to The Big Breakfast Show with Lee McGrath and trying to figure out what movie they’re talking about… I used to cheat sometimes and google scripts… I never won anyways…

I never thought I’d miss arguing with coworkers, and the boss and work…Trying to change rotten techniques… Adopt new technologies… Take new challenges… Give the customer more… Allocate more money to CSR…

This post has become too long I doubt anyone will read it… I myself am not going to proofread it so I’m going to stop here… To be honest I was trying to stop myself from talking about another private topic, that’s when you got bored reading this. But seriously, someone who has all what mentioned above and more, wouldn’t think of missing it? Oh yes, life can make you a b**ch you become that shallow person who takes all of these blessings for granted… Trying to prove to your family, friends and relatives that you’re now independent… And you can make it through on your own… So now, instead of counting 2014’s achievements, I’m counting the moments I could have spent with these people and around these people and I just wasted or did not appreciate… If only the past comes back…

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My friend Bastian Purrer has asked me a question a few days ago (after seeing this picture above on instagram):

How can you be so green but not vegetarian?

Let me at first make things clear, I can and will NEVER become a vegan; cheese is what keeps me going and it’s not harmful.

But why am I not vegetarian?

1. I’m a muslim and in my religion, eating meat is halal (allowed) without extravagance.
2. The meat I eat comes from locally grown animals. And they’re fresh. No packaging, and energy used for transport and cooling is being conserved.
3. What I eat is organic meat and diary.
4. The products are mostly free-range and ranch raised.
5. The farms are relatively small; almost no chemicals are being used and less manure is used to filterize the soil.

So, I consider myself a “Flexitarian” at the moment. I’m not ready to commit a full-on vegetarian lifestyle but I reduce my meat consumption. And once I move to a place where all the above does not apply (except the first point), I’ll reconsider becoming a vegetarian.

The killing-not-to-be-killed truth

Posted: November 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

Being honest is not the best policy you can consider when someone is trying to save himself from the truth. And she masters this art. Being righteous is never quite enough. She’s just like a deceiver, self-bound up in chains. I want to save her but I’m afraid she’ll strangle me with her superciliousness and haughtiness. Just like she always did. She doesn’t stop pushing and pushing. Her hands are getting bigger and bigger, stronger and stronger. And I can’t keep a distance. All what I can do is paint my face to hide my pain. For the sense of purpose and devotion shall save me one day.

Since we were young, we’ve been told that it’s always greener on the other side. I thought by then, why to waste my entire life planting here while I can enjoy a greener life? I kept digging and digging until I got to that other green side. Yes, after a few months, I managed to keep a distance. It’s not happiness. It’s not contentment. It’s not vivacity. It’s not serenity. It’s not ecstasy. It’s an irresponsible- unstoppable- gilt edged- impermanent- tale. This is different, I’m not sure if it’s better. But this is the best I can afford for now.

If only she knew that a smile, a caring word and a warm embrace would have solved it all. If she only knew that being given whatever tangibles someone needs before naming them is just never enough. Since when have tangibles become persuasively satisfying? And to add insult to injury, I am supposed to translate these tangibles into to-give-back-emotions. I’m expected to give what I’ve never received. I can give it but I just refuse to. Not out of stubbornness. Out of utopian logic. Out of pain and sorrow.

The Road Not Taken (Poem)

Posted: October 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

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I’ll cut right to the chase. What’s been happening in 2012 ‘so far’?

  • 97% of Greenland’s surface ice sheet thawed in Jul, 2012.
  • Arctic Sea ice stuck near record-low levels.
  • Wildfires in Siberia and Colorado.
  • The hottest downpour in the planet’s recorded history in Mecca, KSA. 
  • Monsoons in Bangladesh leveas hundreds dead and nearly 7 million people homeless.
  • +600 million people in India being left without power in the world’s largest blackout.
  • The Amazon River reached a record height and continues to rise leaving thousands of people homeless.
  • Water is still being pumped to cool Fukushima nuclear reactor.

How much do we still need to suffer before getting serious about climate change?