Friday, August 22, 2008

5,000,000 people Who Dislike George Bush

All know that George W Bush has been recognized as the worst and most disliked president in US history by many people and nations. This is now written in history books as a fact. I found this group of Facebook, "I bet i can find 5,000,000 people who dislike George Bush", and the makers of this group believe that there are more than 5 million on this planet who would disagree with George W Bush and dislike his policy in general. I am not referring to Iraq only, but to him as a president in handling and dealing with all different issues internally or internationally.

The "I bet i can find 5,000,000 people who dislike George Bush" Facebook group now has more than 70 thousand members, since February 2008, from all over the world. Admins for the group are not only Americans who disagree with their president, but also from other countries, such as Egypt, Russia, Jamaica, Canada...etc

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Crescent of Ramadan

Now that the holy month of Ramadan is less than two weeks to begin, I thought that news and some internet sites will start the same every year story about the crescent and what is right and what is wrong in following the sign that mark the beginning of the holy month. Every year, the debate is around the same theme: whether we have to believe in mathematics and forget the old method of relying on eye-sighting of the crescent.

I think that many realized that news and interviews debating this issue became for many something un-relevant, even some mentioned that talking about this subject again and again is a sign of how backward Muslims are, by not relying on science in dealing with a simple issue like that, in spite of the fact that most those are considered pillars in physics, philosophy, chemistry, and astrology sciences came from that area and believed in this religion.

The latest heresy about eye-sighting the crescent of Ramadan is when some reported on websites and to government officials about seeing a second moon appearing next to "our" crecsented moon!

Short Chat

He was suddenly popped up online yesterday evening. It has been a very long time since we last talked. I was hesitant to talk to him, because I had to do other things as well at home, but I wanted to know how he is doing and how is his family is doing. His English improved since last time, but he kept on sending short messages through the chatting program. He told me that his family is in Syria, they are attending a wedding of a relative who married a girl from Iraq and because of fear from the unstable situation in Iraq, they decided to organize the wedding in Syria. So my friend is alone at home.

When I asked him about his work and everything, he started cursing!! cursing his reality, cursing his life, cursing everything! Anyone can figure out that the guy is depressed, maybe because he misses his family, but I decided to discuss with him the reasons for his depression. He said "life is like slow death in northern Europe, because of the daily routine" He added "I don't have life, I am just f$%%^#$ "... "Go to work, go back home, study, taking care of family, wife...etc"... I felt frustration, even with the the way he was sending his short messages. I used to know him as a very hard working boy, he used to tear himself up of studying to get high grades in school. Such quality makes a person obsessive when dealing with some issues, especially if it related to future, career, position, status. In spite of that, I asked him if he should take a vacation and just be away for some time. He was vague with his answer, he only told me that he takes vacation like any other person, and that he was in Eastern Europe last year, and sent me a picture of him and his wife from that vacation.

However, there was something else going on with him. He is not only frustrated or depressed: distraction. Suddenly and while we were talking about a subject, he just sent me a link from youtube about some young woman in shorts and a t-shirt doing some crazy dancing while standing on a wooden table in a public place. I thought he was looking for self-amusement and that he wanted to share that with me.

It didn't last longer than few more minutes to tell him that I had to go and asked him to take care for himself. I promised him to be online very soon so we would talk for longer time.

Was he telling me the truth about routine as the main reason behind his feeling?

Under Skin

Sowar Magazine: Project Minute 22

This is interesting, a project is arranged and organized by Sowar Magazine, about taking a single photo at the exact same time in the Arab world i.e. On Friday 22 August 2008 at exactly 2:22 pm Lebanon local time. The reason for choosing number 22 because there are 22 country members in the League of Arab States. If you live in any of those countries, you can be a part of this project at the following local times:

Egypt - 2:22pm
Iraq - 2:22pm
Jordan - 2:22pm
Lebanon - 2:22pm
Saudi Arabia - 2:22pm
Syria - 2:22pm
Yemen - 2:22pm
Libya - 1:22pm
Sudan - 2:22pm
Morocco - 12:22pm
Tunisia - 1:22pm
Kuwait - 2:22pm
Algeria - 12:22pm
UAE - 3:22pm
Bahrain - 2:22pm
Qatar - 2:22pm
Oman - 3:22pm
Mauritania - 11:22am
Somalia - 2:22pm
Palestine - 2:22pm
Djibouti - 2:22pm
Comoros - 2:22pm

The pictures will be published in a special edition of Sowar Magazine. The pictures will also be posted online. Anyone can join, and any camera can be used.

Joining this project is through the Minute 22 Facebook Group. A reminder would be received before the event, in addition to other updates.

- You must be in one of countries mentioned above to take the photo
- The photo should include at least one person (i.e. no plain landscape or architecture photos)
- Maximum size of the photo should be 3MB
- Please submit ONLY one picture
- The deadline for submitting photos is August 30, 2008

- Email the photo to and copy/ paste the following text in your email message (please write the country and city in the subject header as well):



Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Talabani & Turkey

Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani has sent a letter to the Turkish government. He stated his willingness to give up the northern city of Karkuk to the Turks, in return for Lemees, aka Tuba Büyüküstün, from TV drama series Ihlamurlar Altinda.

Satan in the Book of Revelation

Why Satan was depicted as a dragon in the Book of Revelation? and why Jesus was presented as a lamb?

House of Saddam

House of Saddam is a four episodes TV drama that charts the rise and fall of Saddam Hussein from 1979 to 2003. A co-production between BBC Television and HBO films, the series began on Wednesday 30th July on BBC Two in four parts. I watched episode one of the show, till now, and first impression is having actors with comics-like facial resemblance to the real persons was deliberate - Saddam was much more skinnier that Yigal Naor when he was vice president - Saddam started to gain weight during the Iraq-Iran war. This also include all other characters in the entire show, such as a teenager look-alike Barzan (Saddam half brother), a plumpy funny Ali Hasan Al Majid, and a big headed gloomy-faced Tariq Aziz. Having a handsome Hussain Kamel Al Majid (played by whom I consider a genies and brilliant young Egyptian actor Amr Waked) can prove more to this formula.

Another thing I was not comfortable with while watching the first episode is the way English was spoken: 99% of the actors speaks English with Iraqi or middle eastern accent (including the same typical grammatical mistakes used), with Arabic words thrown here and there in every sentence, such as habeebty (beloved one for a woman) or Ammo (uncle). It is like I am hearing Ahmed Chalabi speaking during an interview with CNN or BBC.

The substance of historic material chosen for such a drama work intended for TV viewers is new, which is good to shed light on some details that only known to book readers or to an Iraqi who used to be close or attached personally to these events! Yet, there were many changes to the real events. I don't know if such deviations were made to inject some more dramatic aspect to the show, or the writer was referring to false references! For example, Adnan Khairalla, Saddam's brother-in-law, was not Iraq's minister of defense in late 1970's. In addition, Hamdani (in real, his name was Adnan Al Hamdani) was among other Iraqi politicians who have been detained and executed collectively after the notorious revolutionary command council meeting in July 1979. He was not shot in the head by Saddam himself at the latter's house as we saw it in the show.

As I said, there are some strong details close to reality about the life of Saddam and people around him, such as the powerful personality of Saddam's mother - I don't know if she went that far of being personally interfering in her son's choices of selecting loyal people around him, though! In addition, the use of advanced technology and people resources on many shots were perfectly recruited - the use of live pictures of Saddam in different places merged with the help of computer effects of that of "the new Saddam among the public".

I laughed big at a scene from the show when Saddam and his son were standing at the top of a hill, in presumably the town of Tikrit, the birth place of Saddam. He was looking with sharp eyes in to the horizon, where a big circled green spot of palms stretched an area down the valley in the middle of the yellow rocky desert. Then he starts telling his son about the glory of Iraq:

"look around, Uday, look around! This is the land between two rivers. The first armies and empires were found here. Do you know that the first law was written here? This is the cradle of civilizations. We are lucky Uday..." But young Uday was distracted by something, and looked bored. He was continiousely moving his head up and around, staring at the emptiness of the high hills surrounding. There comes a pause, silence, with Saddam like lost in his emperial thoughts until Uday turns his head to his father's side and asks with obvious stupidity and wonder on his face:

"Papa? I am hot"

Saddam face turns from that of cogitation to fury when his eyes set on his son. With disgust and hidden rage he asks Uday: "have you heard a word I said?" His rage was clearer when his voice became much louder "... of course you feel hot... we are in the desert... drink some water..." Saddam then walks dissappointed passing his son with large steps, and in Arabic he curses Uday saying "God damn you, and that who gave birth to you" (انعل ابوك لابو اللي بزرك) . He snaps at Uday to follow him and continue "I wished I brought Qusay with me instead".

I see this show as a nice attempt to cover the political rise and fall of a ruthless dictator like Saddam, but for me (and many others I talked to) it is an imperfect work. I didn't watch the followup to the series (episodes 2,3 and 4), but covering more than two decades of brutal tyranny with only four episodes would also mark this work as imperfect. They managed to show how cold-blooded this man used to be, it has been reflected by the main actor excellently, but crafting such a story into a TV drama deserves more than that, and would really be much better if more attention to other small details and segments, especially that there was an obvious and hard effort on digging down massive and detailed historic events clearly taken from people lived within that period or government documentation and footage's (like of Iraq-Iran war and Saddam TV propeganda). I don't believe stories about the makers of the series getting in touch indirectly from Saddam while he was in US custody, or through the lawyers of Tariq Aziz, according to some media sources!

A President Who Cares!

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has arrived in Afghanistan to support French troops a day after one of the deadliest attacks on France's forces abroad, where ten French soldiers were killed and 21 injured in an ambush by Taleban fighters last Monday east of the capital, Kabul. According to the BBC, Sarkozy is accompanied by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner and Defense Minister Herve Morin, and was marked by a flurry of helicopters across Kabul. That makes me ask the question if sending foreign and defense ministers would be sufficient in such circumstances, instead of taking the initiative himself, as a president, jump into an airplane one day after the incident and go to Afghanistan. As a president who would like to show his support and solidarity to his own troops in such way, this is something complimentary to the person of Nicolas Sarkozy. However, would that strengthen his case towards the French people in general, especially with opinion polls showed his demise among the people of the republic recently. In other words, and from observation:

Sarkazoy is best for being an international or strategic leader, rather of being an overall leader.

Black Sabbath: Hole In The Sky

I didn't know that this song was ever filmed, and played live....

Friday, August 15, 2008


The Telegraph newspaper in the UK reported yesterday that a British tourist has been sentenced to six months in jail after being caught taking pictures up women's skirts in a shopping mall, using his mobile phone. The man would likely to be deported after serving his sentence. The man was on vacation to visit some fellow brits living there, and he was planning to find a job there.

According to the Telegraph this sentence "is believed to reflect the tough stance authorities in the Muslim emirate are taking on antisocial behaviour". True! antisocial behaviour should not be tolerated, it has nothing to do with religion, or branding this country as being muslim or jewish and based on the religion of the country there would harder sentence or not. Sick people like this man who walk around and take pictures up women's skirts in shopping malls must be locked out behind bars for years, simply because they should not be let out and poison soeciety with their behaviour. They should learn somethings like manners, social and moral attitude.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Hate Ben Affleck

I hate this actor, seriousely. I hate his acting and even hate the fact that he is an actor in the first place. Coincidentally, I came across Jay's website, The Zen of South Park, when I saw an article he wrote about how he despises Ben Affleck (pages 3-5 from the article). The article is in PDF format so Acrobat reader is needed and it can be downloaded here. In this article, Jay obviousely is more outspoken, has more to say about expressing how pathetic I feel about an actor like Affleck.

Jay hates Ben Affleck so much for no reason but because of this hollywood imposter called Ben Affleck simply cannot act. "I only hate you for not being able to act because you think you can, and you continue to attempt to do so. This, to me, is a tragedy..." Jay feeling of sorrow for the millions of people paying $8.50 at the movie theatre everyday, for the $4.25 paid at DVD rental store, but mostly agony for "the precious two hours of wasted life, in short, their souls." For these reasons, Jay depicted Ben Affleck as a weasel, because Ben Affleck "...weasel your way into movies that you should not reasonably be in..."

I wouldn't agree with Jay more than that, he researched Affleck's movies and gave his opinion in general terms on most of these movies, expressing rage to the fact that such a failed actor already did 38 movies. At the same time, Jay admits that some of these movies were good, but would be great if they were not inlcuded Ben Affleck - personally won't dispute that at all.

Thanks, Jay, you made my day, and thank you because you took words out of my mouth.

The article is one of many other very interesting topics in one of many newsletters Jay used to produce a couple of years back. Excellent and fun material to read, indeed.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More Malls In Dubai

People in Dubai and in the United Arab Emirates generally started to feel the heat coming from the increase in goods and services prices in that country. The prices of essential goods like food, drinks became the worrying factors for many immigrants coming from Arab countries - in addition to the already-known rise in rent and properties prices. I read a very interesting article today about plans to build more shopping malls in Dubai to satisfy customer needs. According to the article, Dubai is a shopping paradise, and support the idea of making Dubai has the capacity to have more malls. I might agree with the point that Dubai, the whole country of Arab Emirates needs more indoor activity because of the extremely bleeding-hot weather, especially if the country has a lot of money to support this idea. On other hand, would having more demand on such places would flourish commerce more and more than ever, and that would make prices of goods and services to get lower and more acceptable to the consumer?

Or is it too late?

Oh oh! IPhone Is Not Good?

Month ago I kept on thinking of whether I should buy the new IPhone. Today I read the news about people complaining from the latest 3G mobile phones to T-mobile (the only distributor of Iphone in the Netherlands). The complaints are related to coverage, not to the gadgets or accessories. On reading the article further on we conclude that the problem is not limited to services in the Netherlands - this has been emphesized strongly by T-Mobile, but also the same problem exists with the coverage with US users subscribed to AT&T.

I think I have to wait, or quit thinking about buying this new technology in the first place. My old GSM can do the job for me... unless... this is some sort of a new propaganda for IPhone to be on the headline news?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Engel Var

This is my favorite song from the Turkish show, Ihlamurlar Altinda ("Below The Lime Tree"). The song name is "Engel Var" by Turkish singer Dilek Türkan.

P.S. I recommend listening to other work by Dilek Türkan, great and powerful, yet very warm and emotional voice, in addition to the excellent composition of combining all genres to Oriental music.

The lyrics of the song "Engel Var" are:

Kaybolan bir gün gibiyim,~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am just like a day which is lost.
Geçiverdi seneler,~~~~~~~~~~~~ The years passed
Geçiverdi seneler,~~~~~~~~~~~~ The years passed
Seneler,seneler...~~~~~~~~~~~~ years, years...

Bir mum gibi eriyorum, ~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am melting like a wax
Bu dünyadan göçüyorum...~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am going from this world

Bir derdim var dermansızdır,~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have a problem, there is no remedy
Bir aşkım var ümitsizdir,~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have love, it is hopeless
Bir derdim var dermansızdır,~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have a problem, there is no remedy
Bir aşkım var çaresizidir...~~~~~~~~~~~~ I have love, it has no remedy

Seni sevememki,~~~~~~~~~~~~ I can not love you
Seni saramam ki,~~~~~~~~~~~~ I can not hug you
Senin olamam ki,~~~~~~~~~~~~ I can not be yours
Buna engel var..~~~~~~~~~~~~ there is difficulty to this....

Translation to English is from the international forum

Very Thoughtful

"Everybody thought we were doing black magic and that crap onstage," ... "I was saying the Satanists were the politicians. A lot of people misinterpreted that."

Geezer Butler (of Black Sabbath / Heaven and Hell / GZR) from an interview on how people used to look at the band in the old days!


Image courtesy of Black Sabbath official Site and Damian Muziani

Friday, August 08, 2008

Amsterdam Must Become Bilingual

This was the title of an article published by Dutch newspaper the Parool in both Dutch and English about a proposal by Jan Paternotte, member of the Amsterdam City Council to make English as the second language of the city, because "simply because it is the world language and a lot of American and British people live here or come over here for their holidays.'' Paternotte wants among other demands he put in front of Amsterdam City Council to follow the example of Barcelona and put up a police post in the city centre, where tourists can report a crime to the police in English twenty-four hours a day - Such a post exists in Barcelona on the Ramblas. In addition, Paternotte wants a post where police officers also speak French, German and Spanish.

Very interesting proposal, but we have to take into the consideration a number of factors: According to the Central Beaurau of Statistics, in 2007 only there have been 179 different nationalities living in Amsterdam (even New York could not match that number where it only has 150 nationalities living there). I didn't mention the Russians who showed this year an increasing interest in visiting Amsterdam, and in groups. Does this qualifies English to become the second language in the city? I think there are more Spanish than English speaking people living and visiting Amsterdam on regular basis, not only during high seasons, but around the year. Should this be the main factor to consider Spanish to be qualified to become the second language in Amsterdam?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Reflex is an instant reaction to a specific event, or action. I am sure that no single one person in one group sitting together would have the same reflex when they are submitted to a certain action or event. Check out the picture...