Wednesday, January 30, 2008

They Will Make The Announcement Soon!

Another earth shattering decision a propos women in Saudi Arabia: it is to lift driving ban on women!! A ban that has been in place since 1932! I wonder was anyone even driving then?

"There has been a decision to move on this by the Royal Court because it is recognized that if girls have been in schools since the 1960s, they have a capability to function behind the wheel when they grow up," a government official said. "We will make the announcement soon."

Mr. government official: Could you please elaborate if Bush, by any chance and given that he was there just five days before, has anything to do with this sudden insight? Oh and by the way, does this mean that illeterate men in Saudi Arabia are banned from driving? I highly doubt it.

If you ask me, this whole thing sounds like a cheap PR stunt!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Saudi women traveling solo can now stay in hotels!

Whooppeee....At long last! Saudi women can finally have a a hotel...alone!!!! This is definitely a small step for woman, but a giant leap for who????

The earth shattering news was reported in the media as "Saudi Women's Rights...At Long Last!" I was never aware that staying sola in a hotel constituted a "right" as such!!!!!!! Give me break! Until when will Saudi women be subject to the paranoid patriarchs in Saudi Arabia and their arbitrary pathetic rules?

The world has changed and so have women...including Saudi women.

Today women rule the world, and Saudi women should be no exception!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Gaza...Keep Quiet for Honor’s Sake!

At a time when Gaza is under siege and sits in total isolation and with a looming humanitarian catastrophe, it is worth putting all of this into some perspective.

This is a time when, in the words of qadi Abu Sa’ad al-Harawi to the Caliph al-Mustazhir Biilah in 1099, some Arabs “lead lives as frivolous as garden flowers, while their brothers in “Gaza” have no dwelling place save the saddles of camels and the bellies of vultures”.

This is a time when Rolls Royce reports that the only six terrorism-proof armoured Rolls-Royce Phantoms made and sold in the world are on their way to the Arab World.

This is a time when George Bush storms the area bearing a $30 billion package of military aid for Israel and a $20 billion package of Humvees and guided bombs for the Arabs.

This is a time when the US military aid to Israel gets rewarded by the Emirates' ruler decadent gift to Bush of a “gigantic necklace made of gold, diamonds, rubies and emeralds, so gaudy and cumbersome that even the Secret Service agent carrying it seemed nonplussed”. While the Saudi Arabian king drapes Bush with an emerald-and-ruby necklace that could have come from Ali Baba's cave. Floor-length, fur-lined robes were also the costume of choice in this farce where the Arabs were the jesters in Bush’s court.

This is a time when there is no account to date of $12 billion in Iraqi money that was converted to dollars, held in the Federal Reserve Bank in New York and shipped in pallets to Baghdad that totaled 363 tons. When asked about this largest cash withdrawal in the history of man, Paul Bremer III, with support from Republicans, fired back by insisting he did the best he could in the middle of a war and repeating over and over that he was spending Iraqi _ not U.S. _ money.

This is a time when we should all repeat the plea of qadi Abu Sa’ad al-Harawi to all the co-opted Arab leaders: "How dare you slumber in the shades of complacent safety when your brothers are freezing cold, out of medicine, out of food, at the brink of starvation, absolutely helpless, and with your tacit “explicit” approval?"

"In 1099, and in response to qadi Abu Sa’ad al-Harawi, Caliph al Mustazhir Billah began by expressing his profound sympathy (istinkar and condemnation), and compassion (meaningless gestures for media consumption). Then he ordered seven exalted dignitaries to conduct an inquiry into these troublesome events (equivalent of Arab league and seven Amro Moussas). It is perhaps superfluous to add that nothing was ever heard from that committee of wise men (surprise! surprise!)".

As for those who are still waiting for a more meaningful answer to the qadi’s plea, I doubt we will ever get such an answer. For now maybe armoured Rolls Royce phantoms is the only answer!

As I watch what is happening in Gaza today, I can’t help but recall Muzaffar al-Nawwab’s poetry (Here he addresses Arab leaders):

“Jerusalem is the bride of your Arabness!! So why did you usher all the fornicators of the night into her room, And stand eavesdropping from behind the door to the screams of her torn virginity? You drew your daggers, and swelled with pride and you yelled at her to keep quiet, for honor's sake How honorable of you!! Sons of bitches, can a woman being raped keep quiet? You sons of bitches! I'm not ashamed to tell you what you really are! A pigsty is cleaner than the cleanest of you. Even a tombstone would be moved, But you? Not a single fiber in you flinches!”

Friday, January 18, 2008

Les Miserables

This is what buying bread looks like for some in Egypt...imagine what the rest of the day looks like...welcome to the hidden face of misery!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Freedom for Marwan..I Mean Farhan!!!

Prior to December 2007, I had never heard of Fouad al-Farhan.

Farhan was arrested in Saudi Arabia in early December 2007. His arrest was due to something he wrote on his blog. It was an eyewitness account. Some people with censorship abilities did not like what he had to recount.

Chances are that I might have never ever heard of Fouad, and more important I might have never been exposed to the danger he poses, had it not been to the great forces of good that arrested him.

Thanks to the geniuses who still believe that censorship works and that nothing has changed since Al-Gore invented the Internet, the story of Farhan is now reported in The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, BBC, and so on. Daddy Bush is now being urged to bring up the release of Farhan during his scheduled trip to the region this week.

If this issue ever comes up between the Saudis and the their American Warlords, I would love to be a fly on the wall listening in.

For those of you with censorship abilities, I am only kidding about the fly thing!

Moderation According to Extremists

Abdul Rahman al-Rashed, director of Al-Arabiya TV network, was recently portrayed as the voice of moderation in an article in the International Herlald Tribune (IHT).

Al-Rashed is the same person who in 2004 wrote in one of his columns that:

"not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that most terrorists are Muslims."

With moderates like al-Rashed, who needs extremists?

It Must Be A Duck

In view of the skyrocketing prices in Jordan and the fact that there is no end in sight for the upward spiral of the cost of living, the morning show on Jordan Television today was calling on the Jordanian citizens to look at things objectively and with a positive attitude. Unfortunately, the TV presenter forgot to include the type of drug she was on as part of her brilliant recommendation.

Incidentally for those of you who are wondering why I was watching the morning show, while Mickey Mouse was on at the same time, I must admit I usually follow the morning show for the same reason I follow the Friday televised mosque speech: they both spin. I also feel the need to be in touch with the mainstream. Whatever these two forums "spin" me to do, I try to sympathize and do the opposite.

Spinning is an art. But when it borders on the absurd it becomes dangerous.

How positive should we be in welcoming the eminent chaos promising to surround our lives? How objective should we be in judging the mess that we are in? The Government today is bankrupt of all goodwill and credibility. The very vote of confidence that it recently got form the people's house, was the very confirmation of what have feared all along: We are far from democracy in Jordan. What is worse is that we are far from bridging the gap between the governed and the governors.

The situation is bad. There is very little to be optimistic about. Our scarce resources have been mismanaged, and they are getting scarcer and scarcer. Our ability to make ends meet (by hook or by crook) is quickly meeting its end. There is very little for us to be positive about. And if we are to be objective, we need to be honest in calling things by their right name.

In other words, for those who claim that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a goose with the golden egg, I say “blah blah blah!!!!”.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Evil Eye

Based on a recent survey conducted by moi, 78% of the Jordanian population has been hit by evil eye.

Acute cases of evil eye in Jordan include:

- Accidents that incidentally happen to involve speeding as well.
- Flunking exams even though the flunker rarely practiced what is known as studying.
- Illness where the patient consumed everything that precedes the word free on a food box.
- Divorce where the couple had all the elements of a perfect relationship if it were not for those evil eyers.

Why is evil eye so prominent here, while it could find a much better and more fertile soil in say "Hollywood"? Imagine how much fun evil eye would have with Britney Spears or Angelina Jollie. Then again, maybe all the mess that Britney Spears is in is due to evil eye!!!! You never know....

Knock on wood I was never big on this evil eye thing!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

I decided that this year I would have no resolutions. I realize that resolutions do nothing except add stress to my stressful life. As I was thinking this I realized that this is New Year’s Eve….Hmmmmm...I also realized that there was a teeny weeny resolution that seem to have slipped the no resolution rule. This exceptional resolution was to get more sociable and to go out more often. As I was thinking this, I realized that I am spending New Year’s Eve on my own and in violation of the very resolution I was planning to greet the New Year with. The stress is starting to build up and I am finding myself #1 telling myself #2.... you see that is why I want no new year’s resolutions! And this is when it hit me that I was not alone.....