Sunday, December 24, 2006

بكتيريا تحت المجهر Bacteria Ta7t Al Mijhar

While I was waiting for my turn at the hairdresser, I browsed some stupid girly magazines to kill sometime. As I was flipping through the magazines sarcastically reading headlines like : "How to apply make up to become like Sharon Stone" and "Matha yukhabbi2u laki il 3am al jadeed"I was sickened to read the article shown next (right to left)

How stupid are Arab women? We will never advance or have our dignity as long as we keep feeding on such articles. More than 80% of Arab women in the Middle East see nothing wrong in the answers given.

I bet that mothers teach their daughters to never say no and to “please” their man whichever way possible.

This is truly insulting and demeaning for women. If a husband sleeps with another woman it’s ok and if a woman cheats on her husband then she is to be divorced and maybe killed? Where’s the justice in that? Since when is betrayal and adultery justified? This is plain humiliation! As long as women believe this idiocy then our culture will keep being viewed as retarded and suppressed. Why should we blame others for calling our women “without choice” or “controlled”?
We, Arabs, love to talk about freedom of speech and that our women are people of change, negotiators and public figures. None sense! If we can’t admit that men’s sexual desires and playful lives are acceptable with all virgin girls then we have a problem.

All issues in these magazines talk about how to keep a man, how to seduce him and how to live for his sake. And when Mr. Perfect looks at another girl in a luscious way then it’s ok maskeen mish b2eedo kul il shabab haik!!
These excuses don’t exist, if we keep hiding under the “macho man” icon then our
marriages will keep falling apart, will keep being top media topics and saddest
of all will keep us in denial that everything is fine.

These kinds of guys are definitely bacteria and not husbands. Bacteria as described in the encarta as follows:
'free living organisms not able to be seen except under a microscope, found in rotting matter, in air, in soil and in living bodies, some being the germs of disease.
Bacteria are so small that they can be seen only under a microscope that magnifies them at least 500 times their actual size. Some become visible only at magnifications of 1,000 times
they occur in diverse shapes and types. As a group they carry out a broad range of activities and have different nutritional needs. They thrive in a variety of environments'

See the relevance or not yet? :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

You can run but you can't hide.......from an isfeen

Getting lost in Lubban is one thing and getting lost in Wadi Rum is another thing, it’s called an isfeen!

When I was lost in my brand new 4x4 in Lubban I was with my friends back then, I knew we were in Amman, or close, and I was sure we’d get out of there. But going to Aqaba with work colleagues and then getting stuck with them in Rum is not that appealing.

The weirdest combination ever was on this trip to Aqaba, we had the above 50, the big baby, the singer, the lovers, the mothers, the spinsters, the open minded and not to forget, the boss.

I can’t really speak very openly about each member of the weird combination because my life would be threatened!!

Going to Aqaba was not really my idea of having a good time. You see people at work everyday I don’t need to see them also the whole weekend. This is why I took 2 days off after we came back :)

I decided I was going to have a good time and I did! Especially since Lina couldn’t make it and I was stuck with Reem- I know you’re reading that’s why I tease you- I had really minimal fun to acquire. On the way there the group was singing and dancing :S not my kind of having fun. But when we go there that night I sang at the Karaoke night and danced the night away. I had fun with people I never knew I could have fun with. People as Reem and I discussed later that week we perceived in a negative way but in reality they’re beautiful people.

Now to come to the isfeen part, one night we decided to go to Rum where there’s a party so yalla ya jama3a fee 3asha ! Everybody, surprisingly, joined. To make a long story short we go lost…………. yes in the desert, at night, and 3ammo il shufeir had no idea where we were. Not only il jahil 3atel but also lamma bus kbeer yigharriz that’s not a nice thing! We had to leave the sinking bus and pick ups came to pick us up. SIXTEEN people where on the pick up truck like some cheap merchandise! I really don’t know how we go to the camp site without getting stuck in the sand.

To continue il isfeen the party was over, there was no sign of entertainment there! We were even kicked out of the camp L Tbahdalna. Before we were kicked the electricity went out!

It was really interesting to see the different reactions on people’s faces when there was a possibility that we might stay there for the night! It shows who’s exposed who’s not, whose used to life’s pressures and who’s the wimp. The big baby was just being himself!

I was really upset because the camp head was so rude to us, I mean imagine if we were foreigners! I know for sure I wouldn’t think of camping in Rum ever again.

I was very inspired when I came back from this trip, it’s amazing how diverse people are.

We are all the same but different, we are all different but the same.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Ri7leh ila makhfar Ibn 3baid!

Well I was always right when i said :"waja3 il ras ma beeji illa min il s7ab"!

Lina is indeed in turmoil! Fe yom ma fiyyo daw amar Lina & I decided to go to Yarmouk university for work. While she was driving on the road she dozed off fa we ended up crashing into the van infront of us! :S We were at the traffic lights on the way to Irbid in Al 7oson & her claim was that she was eyeing a sign saying :" Baladiyyet 3ajloun tura77ib bikom!" and bam she didn't see that there was a van infront of us and into the wind we flew!

The sound effect was stronger than the action picture so the car was fine, the van was fine but of course we had to do the CROKA, i don't know how it's written bas il muhizz we were standing in the streets, in al 7oson, waiting for 3ammo il shurti! The amount of honking & staring that we got, some guy with a stupid comment: "Il 7amdilla ma sar ishi bil sayyara"!

The brave policeman came and asked Lina:" shu sar ma3ik?" 3ala asas inno lazem yi3raf iza khabtat b dafi3 ao bidoon! "Ya3ni biddek ti3mali Croka?" he ended the conversation o ya raitna ma olnalo ah. We went to make the Croka to Makhfar Ibn 3baid! Alla ysam7ik ya Lina, ana jay min Dubai 3ashan adkhol makhafer! I was reconsidering our friendship!

While we were waiting 3ashan nifta7 ma7dar, Lina & I thought of capturing the moment by taking pictures there! After we finished the paper work an officer called us into an inside office and accused us of violating the holiness of Makhfar Ibn 3baid and wanted us to delete the pictures or he'll hold us & the camera!! Hatha tili3 3baid mish galeel! I told him if he wanted to hold us yalla! Lina didn't say anything, which was smart, the dude had a gun :)

Yihdeek? yirdeek? Abadan lazem to delete them fa Lina didn't delete them but told him that she did, ya3ni mish bas bti3rafsh tsoo2 o violates the law o kaman kazzabeh......... here i was really reconsidering the friendship.

After negotiation and the humiliation that we're the Amman girls and don't know how to do anything in life we got out of the office.
What's next? Lazem nidfa3 il Croka bil 7ay il Sharqi !! il 7ay il sharqi Lina? akhkh

When we reached il '7ay' the officer there said: "la hassa ba3d il thalath sakkarna"! Could it get any worse? After negotiating again with Lina allowing her to pay I wasn't allowed in so I stayed outside and listened to the next negotiation:
- "Kunt ind doctor il snan o lamma tli3it lagait mukhalaftain 3ala il sayyara!"
-"Ashoof balla............... bain il mukhalaftain sa3a o robo3. Il muddeh il qanuniyyeh lal mukhalafeh il wa7deh robo3 sa3a!"

What?? I couldn't believe it! Does that mean that the police had to give him 5 mukhalafat??!

-"Ya3ni mfakreen inni za3lan? Sadguni mish za3lan bas khalluni adfa3hom"!
7araaaaaaaam :'(

Tayyeb we had to go back to the makhfar coz we had to get Lina's license back but how do we get back there out of il 7ay?? The officer offered to drive infront of us. Cool.

Lina, all you have to do is follow the dude & his car, easy right? wrong!!! Lina lost the dude!

Khalas it couldn't get any more ironic! He finally found us & lead us out of Irbid & wished us a safe trip back to Amman........ more than once!

What do we learn from this?? Not to ride with Lina!

I wonder what her version of the story would be :)

Friday, July 14, 2006

No place like home

It's been ages since I last blogged but living in Dubai then moving back to Jordan is not as easy as it sounds. I left Dubai 2 weeks ago not knowing if I'll ever go back there again. I didn't even finsh unpacking completely but I made sure that my room is filled with posters, pictures of friends & souvenirs to remind me of Dubai as much as possible.

I prepared myself for a cultural shock when I got back but suprisingly enough I didn't ! I'm shocked coz I'm not shocked!

Looking back after spending 7 months in Dubai i can say that

Dubai is like an entertainment park, you can never get on all the rides

Jordan has a character, aish bil zabt I can't describe but it's interesting how you notice things you never noticed before.

Indications that you are in Jordan:

1. Il 7ofar bil shaware3 zay il mar7aba
2. All greetings are "Hi keefek/ keefak?"
3. If you forgot something in a public place ra7at 3alaik
4. Everybody stares........especially at traffic lights. If they're not staring they're honking their horn
5. Everyone is talking on their mobile phones.........bti3rafu they're discussing critical issues
6. You have to manage with 5 cafes, 5 restaurants & almost all of them don't have a view
7. Most prominant conversations are: Marriage, Politics, & Hayfa Wahbi !
8. Food is the main reason for going out!
9. Most conversations end with : "isma3i lazem ni3mil ishi" or "lazem ndabber tal3a"
10. Arranging a day trip takes so much effort, you plan for 2 weeks then btitfarkash akher d2ee2a
11. Everybody is 'mashghool fadi'

12. Everyone asks you when you're getting married.
13. The world cup beeji ba3id Alla wil watan wil malik. When winning we celebrate & cheer as if it's our country winning, if we lose allah la ywarjeekom!
14. All the people look, dress & talk the same
15. Everybody is an expert when it comes to analyzing political issues
16. In summer, everybody either gets married or engaged.

I could go on & on...

When you leaves and comes back you really appreciate the country. Especially since I got the chance to visit some cities outside Amman. The little things have a flavour now. It's great to leave the nest & fly on your own & it's greater to come back & try to benefit the others. That's why I came back, I can't leave Amman. I'm excited to share my experience and better yet happy to be back with my people.

I miss Dubai but I miss more the simplicity of Jordan & Jordanians.

No place like home :)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

7iwar 3an sira3 il 7adarat

* Before you read note: The below post does not reflect the writer's opinion nor it is addressed to any citizen carrying any implications. It is an observation.

Being part of a automotive company it's normal to have a test drive for cars. We had a Jeep Commander training which means that sales people from our Jeep distributors all over the middle east come to the training. The training has theoretical & actual driving of the Jeep fa ni7na il khzooz il trainees sit in the car o every 20 minutes the drivers change the car & go to another Jeep model.

Il muhizz ana olt how will I optimize this situation of just sitting there all day driving long through the desert……..? I’ll talk & observe people.

A7la ishi bil maodoo3 inno kanu mu3zamhom 3arab from different countries so it was very interesting talking to them o ya3ni aznakh wa7ad kul ras malha 20 min o bikish.

Tab3an whenever Arabs meet aish il mawdoo3 il shaghel 7ayathom? Il awda3 il siyasiyyeh wil iqtisadiyyeh……….

So the first group was a Syrian guy Samer(lak laylaaaaaaaaaaaa) & a Moroccan guy……what a combination, I know, fa tab3an shu ghalaaaza, they’ve been living in Dubai for a while o they were telling me how cool it is to live here & that I should stay & live here.
Halla2 what is funny is that typically enough the Syrian blames Lebanon for all Syria’s disasters & vice versa

Samer : "Lak wainna halla o wainna zaman ya3ni ma kan 7ada yi7lam yistawred sayyara 3a wa2t *7azem il Nimir, lak hada Ammar kan doctor la min timmo wala min kimmo aju aalulo biddak tseer ra2ees ba3ad ma akhook Basem mat………….."

Me: "tab in Morocco how is the situation?"

Zini (the dude) laughing : "kl il awthe3 b kl il bled il 3arabiyya nafs il shay bas basma3 il ordon kteer mi7lawwa o mitqadma…….."

O ana ma kazzabt khabar o nzilit bil dead sea salts wil Petra, nafs il ostwaneh tab3it Ayyoub! ;)


A Lebanese guy Najeeb o an Egyptian man, what else other than ..............Mohammed!

Tab3an 7iwar il 7adarat istamar……

Najeeb: "la22a ya khayee ni7na (il 3arab) illi 3inna kilshi, shuf maadeena, shuf il 7adara shu 3andon hinneh, ma killon gays o lesbians o hal araf hayda, ma 3indon she. Ni7na illi 3inna il tereekh wil sakafeh ……."

Mohd: "bas ya na(J)eeb buss 7awaleik lai kulli dah? Dah fi3lan istinzaf lal amwal il 3arabiyyah, lai kull il israf dah? Kullo abrag o binayat laih? O le aimta? O 7ayfeed eh?"

Najeeb: "la22a ma3leh intibih howni shwe (shwai) hole (these) il abraj ‘symbole’ ( symbol but read it in a French accent, ya3ni lezem ykoonu mawjoodeen 3ashan il 3alam ti3raf 3anna."

Mohd : "ya3ni lai ya Na(j)eeb ma nkoon dawla musanni3a? lai ma nistaghil il amwal lil sina3a o nfeed il balad."

Najeeb: "La2a ya khayye ni7na ma bninfa3 lal sina3a",

………………wila aja il mawdoo3 ma ghairo

Najeeb: "Kanat lebnan janneh bas il khair b jeeranna il suriyyeh , hunneh khalloo she min sharron, kil ma fe mashkal bikoonu hinneh warah o bitloomi kil il lebnaniyyeh lamma bhajru? Shufi kam lebnani fee barra il balad, lei baddon yirja3u o 3ashan shu? Kil ma bnimshi khatweh la iddam bnirja3 10 la wara………………
………….. il awda3 b kil il bled il 3arabiyye nafs il she ya3ni 3andkon b Maser min bayn 70 malion mish le2yeen wa7ad ghair mbarak …………"(hona ghalitit o d7ikit) "walla shu ya3ni intu bil ordon a7san ma nafs il model ma mle2yeen 7ada o kullo bwarrit (biwarreth il 7okom)
hona ana olt: "la2 bas ni7na officially kingdom fa it’s normal to have the sons to rein".

Unfortunately here the 20 min finished, nice guys


Another Egyptian who’s been living in Kuwait for ever & another Lebanese, min il jabal, ma tili3 min lebnan b 7ayato ghair when he moved to Kuwait since 2 years o here to Dubai……….

Samer: "ya3ni il kill bi2ool DUbay DUbay DUbay ma shayef fiyya she hal DUbay, eh mazbout ma ri7it blad kteer ( or none I wanted to say) bas ya3ni fe bil Kwait ashya a7la min hone b meet marra, mish inni maghroom bil Kuwait la fare2 ma3i la hone wala il kwait bas ya3ni manni shayef hal ‘big deal’ b DUbay……………Dakhleeek fe clubbat kharj ra2es…… ?"

Awwal ishi 3irif meen yis2al ;) tani ishi we were testing the cars in jabal 3ali, for those who know jabal 3ali, ya3ni il mushkileh he didn’t see DUbay aslan 3ashan yi2ul!

The Egyptian kan mlakhbet il accent, it’s not Egyptian wala Kuwaiti wala Lebanese wala ishi! Faqid hawiyto il akh

That day was a really interesting day for me, a lot more people shared their ideas about what should & shouldn’t be but it was at the end of the day very funny.

Mansaf! Mansaf!

It's so weird how a Jordanian misses Mansaf the minute he gets out of Jordan!

Being in Dubai for 6 months now is actually a long time without Mansaf! Its ingredients are not as sophisticated as 'Cordon bleu' but its flavour is more than satisfying.

A few weeks ago I decided to go to the broadway SWAN LAKE show in the famous Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi with some friends, it was a hassle finding tickets but as expected the orchestra & the ballet dancers were worth every Dirham .... & those were many I must say.
Needless to mention that Abu Dhabi has a completely different style than Dubai & is just as beautiful.

After the show has ended, we were heading back to Dubai in the foggy weather- from humidity not from normal fog which is awful & needs a post by itself- we found Jabri! I yelled :'YAY JABRI let's go eat Mansaf!' Leila my fellow Jordanian friend, roommate & work colleague looked at me & said: 'oh my God Lara' .

How did she expect me to resist that yellow sign? (The chefs & owner are Egyptian ma ikhtalafna bas bardo it's still Mansaf!) To make a long story short we ate Mansaf at 12.00 in the morning & it was great :) Of course naheeka 3an inno lazem to share nuktet il Mansaf everytime I eat it.

What a weird combination of events, mansaf & ballet!

Lesson of the day:

You don't know the value of Mansaf............YOU DON'T!

Enjoy the pictures

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Ya3ni laish!

Ya3ni laish 7ada biddo yishtri haik sayyara b haik alwan?

Ya3ni laish Dubaians have an obsession with argeeleh - knows as shisha here in Dubai- even in Jazz festivals!!!!!!!!

Ya3ni laish lazem tukob haik comments on dresses in order to sell them?

Ya3ni laish wa7ad mu7taram ibin 3aileh o nas biddo yisammi ma7allo haik?

O finally laish guys drink o make fools out of themselves dancing on cocktail tables At JAZZ FESTIVALS ?!

O laish ya rabbi dayman bikoonu 3arab!!!

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Things I'll miss in Dubai

It's been ages since I last wrote, it's definitely not due to the lack of stories but the lack of time. Maybe i'll recap stories from the past 3 months to share..........

As my internship is approaching to an end these are the things I'm going to miss when I go back to Amman:

  1. How everybody is smiling all the time
  2. How clean & new the cars are
  3. How various & abundant places there are for hanging out
  4. How beautifully designed the malls are. Mercato Mall is small with Italian interior & exterior designs.---->(pics are clickable)
  5. The beach
  6. How I can watch movies in open air ON the beach
  7. How steady & hole free the roads are when driving
  8. How I can wear absolutely anything or nothing for that matter & no-one would even care
  9. The creek
  10. How I can go out at anytime during the night & it still feels safe
  11. How I can lose my mobile phone 3 times & still find it exactly the same place I lost it
  12. How if I don't realize that I lost my mobile the people who find it would call the last number dialled looking for me
  13. The many beautiful parks
  14. Barbq on the beach
  15. How cheap the car fuel is
  16. All the restaurants over looking the water
  17. Our Indian receptionist at our residance building 'Bilal'!
  18. How safe it is
  19. The towers
  20. The concerts, shows & entertainment that are happening all the time, making you not knowing where to go.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Weird things in plastic city

You don’t see these shots everyday
1. Fashion statement

Did he check out himself before he left the house? He must be put in prison, it's illegal to have that taste in clothes!

2. My 'yabyad yiswid' sink

Tab iza biddi mai fatreh shu asawwi??!

3. A 7 star hotel flaw

It seems the perfect fairy tale city is not so

perfect afterall. Serina remember this?

4.The hideous frog

How ugly is that! We put our keys there, thank God it has a purpose!

5. Ugly shoes

Don’t tell me there are uglier shoes than these. British shoes, what can I say.

6. Daimler Chrysler bins & chairs

Yes, Daimler Chrysler is too stingy to have decent trash bins. I’m so ashamed

7. My bathroom light

I'd have to pull to turn on. O marrat bi3lli2! 7orr howweh!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

New Year's Eve with old company

The panic ball has come to town! Farah arrived to Dubai to spend 4 days, half of which are with yours truly & the other half with her relatives.

Maybe not all of you know farah but she's a worry girl, she worries about everything.... 'Lara, will it get cold, shall I get a jacket? How will we cross the street if we stop here? I need to know where to go do my hair'. Ghair 3an il na3as il qatel wil na2 il mustammer inno bard.
Ma hee kanat shobe before she came!

Ya binit yihdeeki, yirdeeki, abadan musirra tkoon mama o act responsible! Ya3ni ya jama3a iza ana ba7ki 3anha haik! Her brother was here as well so we had a good time teasing her with her insecurities & panic attacks :)

But of course we had the best time ever........when she was awake!

She chose a good timing to come because we'd spend new year's eve together where we went to my friend's friend private party (yes 3indi s7ab min warakom!). We didn't know anyone of course but that's the best atmosphere to act stupid! No one bimsik 3alaik mamsak + the rule of "What happens il Dubai stays in Dubai". Eating, dancing & laughing all night long was just perfect.

Farah's brother has the hobby of ta3lee2at bil 3arabi ma3 illi ma bifhamu 3arabi, so as usual we got into a taxi & he was commenting on everything the poor Indian fella does & we were laughing our heads out. He'll be like : "ghasbalak shu ijrak saybe 3al benzene, yes straight ahead please! " That night we all were commenting in Arabic unfortunately, because when we were arriving to our destination the 'poor' fella said: "3al shmal? !" fa kulna fatta7na 3inaina & just shut our mouths........but Farah's brother couldn't keep quiet and said: "inta min awwal ma tli3na ma3ak o inta btifham 3arabi?" fa then we all burst our laughing. The driver didn't say anything, I bet he gets teased at everyday 100 times.

What did we learn from this? We learn that we only make fun of people with blond hair next time! :)

Here are some pictures of us.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

White Christmas!!??

It’s the first time in my life I’m celebrating Christmas in summery sunny weather. It’s quite nice, I must say, to see Christmas trees outside & wear light clothes but what would I do on Christmas eve & Christmas day in the plastic city with all my fellow trainees gone home for their Christmas break & having no one here but the sun & some clubs? No not clubbing abu shreek, I decided to join a fellow German trainee, Sufyan, who was tafran to go back home & decided to go touring the UAE!

Olt yalla touring touring. I don’t have anything better to do especially since Mishmisheh’s mom was visiting Dubai & Firyal was in Germany.
Wain biddo yiroo7 abul shabab? Al biddo yiroo7 “desert tour”!!

A Jordanian girl going on a desert tour in Dubai!
Not just any Jordanian girl…….me! illi bti2raf min khayalha wants to go ride on camels & get her clothes dirty with sand (ay wadi rum o faya3to ma baroo7 3alaih). Il ghorbeh bitzill :S

O ma kazzabt khabar we set off going to the middle of nowhere. We spent the whole day ana o Sufyan il tafran in the beautiful dunes & off-road driving which was really interesting especially when the driver\ tour guide\ advisor\ bargainer looks like this:

How did I trust that man I don’t know!

I pretended to be Lina & took loads of pics of nothing but piles of sand. Sufyan il tafran was fascinated by the camels & the beauty of the desert. Olt khtay balash akoon pooper fa I became fascinated as well & acted like a tourist saying “ohhh” “wow” “ahhh” & being so Japanese & took pictures of the silly camels.

Don’t tell me that isn’t dead funny!!

A night we went to a desert party with loads of food, shisha (argeeleh) & of course a belly dancer. Il 7ilu bil maodoo3 inno nothing is Arabic in this trip; the driver is Iranian, the organizers are German, the cooks are Indian (alla ykhalleelna iyyahom) wil ra22asa il ishta alla ywaffi2ha is Filipino!

What a weird Christmas eve that was!

Christmas day Sufyan il tafran & I went to the beach & spend a lovely day in the sun while talking with all of you guys on the phone in freezing Amman. At night we went to Christmas mass.

This Christmas of 2005 , I won’t forget.