Saturday, May 31, 2008

Life Imitating Art

The recent unfolding of various political events locally and regionally has come in such an organized orchestrated manner that one cannot help but wonder who is the maestro behind this brilliant orchestration.

Amid all the chaos, there is a method that has become predictable even to the most politically unsavvy. It reminds me of the use of foreshadowing in literature, where careful use of hints and clues suggest what is to become reality later.

Locally we have seen this with staged scandals that miraculously become a matter of fact once people get slowly but surely primed to accept them. Be it the idea of a casino or the sale of prime strategic assets, to name a few. Whatever the issue is, there is a crafty propaganda machine working the media in ways that are extremely conniving. Being at the receiving end, one cannot help but be suspicious and critical.

On a more serious level is the unfolding of events on a regional level. The past decade has been notorious for that. We have seen talks of a Shiite crescent, the circulation of a new map for the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice’s carefully timed declaration of the birth of a new Middle East, the division of Iraq into three provinces, and recently the reconciliation between opposing factions in Lebanon leading to the end of the recent stalemate there. Following the Doha accord, speculations about the weakening of the Arab moderates and the rise of extremists (in this case Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas) have been on the rise.

My view on all of this is paradoxical. I do not happen to subscribe to nor disagree with either argument (Moderates versus extremists). There is one thing for sure, what we are seeing today is an opening act to a finale that we will end up with tomorrow. And the end seems grim. At this point it is a matter of reading the signs and following the clues and hints we are systematically receiving on daily basis. I have a strong feeling that this is the same situation we found ourselves in over a decade ago with the hammering of Iraq which eventually culminated with 9/11, the grand opening of “Al-Qaeda” on the international scene which eventually lead to seizing full control over Afghanistan and more important to the occupation of Iraq. The polarization of the region in the era of a monopolar world is puzzling to say the least. Unless having both polars work against each other serves a higher interest invisible to the ordinary observer. History of the region is repeating itself. The demise of our region in the past came at a time when the modus operandi of the “higher interests” was “divide and conquer”.

Going back to my foreshadowing theory, the question remains what are the signs that we should be looking at carefully today in order to decipher the notes of the symphony at play?

The best answer that I can think of for now comes from a scene in “Shakespeare in Love”:

Philip Henslowe: Mr. Fennyman, allow me to explain about the theatre business. The natural condition is one of insurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster.
Hugh Fennyman: So what do we do?
Philip Henslowe: Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well.
Hugh Fennyman: How?
Philip Henslowe: I don't know. It's a mystery

Friday, May 30, 2008


Fighting terrorism. Fulbright grants have been withdrawn from Palestinian students in Gaza because Israel is stopping them from leaving. When asked about it at an Israeli parliamentary hearing Wednesday, an Israeli Defense Ministry official recalled that the cabinet had declared Gaza "hostile territory" and decided that the safety of Israeli soldiers and civilians should be risked only for humanitarian concerns. Higher education, he said, was not a humanitarian concern.

Size matters. A federal appeals court in Washington has ruled, properly, that American currency discriminates against the blind because the bills are too hard to tell apart. This was a ruling of a lawsuit filed by the American Council of the Blind.  This is all instigated by the fact that all US paper currency different denominations come in the same size making it hard to differentiate.

Gays in Jebal Amman. An interesting post I recently read at The stark contrast in everything in Jordan is just amazing.

Origins. It is believed that the first mention of the word nerd is found in Dr. Seuss’s “If I ran the Zoo”. 

Speaking of nerds. Google is expected to generate $ 20 billion in advertising revenue alone. Google is also developing Android, mobile software system, which is expected to directly compete with Apple's iphone. Apple should brace itself for a serious run for its money.

Speaking of nerds 2. Windows 7 is the successor of Windows Vista. By the way I lost track of all Microsoft Windows OS launches. I remember there was one launch years back that included a lot of dinosaurs and it looked like a movie trailer for Jurassic Park.

Flattery. Someone recently complimented me by noting that I think like a man. Given that I think that I am a woman, I am not sure I like that.

Nepal is a republic. The 239-year-old Hindu monarchy is abolished.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You Learn...

After a while you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul.

And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning,
and company doesn’t always mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses are not contracts,
and present's aren’t promises.

And you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead...

With the grace of a woman,
not the grief of a child.

And you learn
To build all your roads on today,

Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans,
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much…

So, you plant your own garden,
and decorate your own soul...
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure…
you really are strong,
you really do have worth.

And you learn, and you learn…
with every goodbye,

You Learn…

(Poem by unknown)

Friday, May 9, 2008

A lie told often enough becomes the truth

Except for the lie named Israel.

The latest chapter in the crafting of this lie is the argument that Israel’s creation sixty years ago was tantamount to bringing to life a nation that was destroyed.

Imagine if all destroyed nations go back to reclaim their lost nations after thousands of years.

Shortly before the creation of Israel, Winston Churchill expressed his views regarding the violations of the Zionists in Palestine in an obvious attempt to justify the illegal transfer of Jews to Palestine:

"I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place."

This of course all depend on who the dog is and where the manger exists.

Farewell Lucy!

On May 7 I lost Lucy.

Lucy was poisoned by the Shouneh municipality in the Jordan Valley. She was 6 years old.

I will not get into the cruelty of putting down stray animals in this way. Let alone being indiscriminate in doing so and killing animals that have homes and are held dear by their owners.

Lucy was a super friendly and a well-trained dog. She befriended all the neighbors and everybody knew her around here. She probably was on her way to visiting one of the many neighbors who all considered her as theirs. I used to love hearing the kids call her name whenever we would go for walks. She especially loved my next-door neighbors. Their Friday BBQs were vital in building this relationship.

I will miss Lucy a lot. She was my buddy. There was a special bond between us. She always gave me the impression that she could guess my mood. And she always managed to lift it up whenever it was down.

I loved how protective she was. I also loved how tolerant she was towards things she deemed acceptable by me. Despite her hatred of cats, she learnt to be protective of my mother’s cat “Fulla” simply because she knew that this cat was part of her family.

The loss of Lucy breaks my heart. It really does. This is the first weekend that I am here without having her come greet me at the door. I miss listening to her bark and footsteps outside. The Ghor without Lucy is not the same.

3antar is now all what is left of Lucy. He is her one-year old son.