Sunday, November 22, 2009

Reality Check

This is one of those posts that you end up questioning your own job!

I passed by a boutique in the shopping complex next to Crown Plaza Hotel (3amra Hotel sabiqan) and went in.Very nice shop, shoes and bags:) every girl’s dream.

Il muhim, the sales lady, the owner welcomed us and offered to show us some boots. Very nice designs I must admit. I remembered that lady, she was with me in university! She was stupid, she once answered the accounting professor with a “Ma tis2alni ana ma ba3raf ishi !” when he asked her to solve the problem. He kicked her out. I felt good back then not because I was a good student, because she was rude.

Look who’s feeling good now! She designs the boots and bags, sends her designs to Italy to be made with genuine leather and a brand name. Ironic huh? She’s selling a pair of shoes for around one fifth on my salary!

Ya3ni I’m sure her parents are proud of her now, what good was that B+ in that accounting course? I’m sure she was drawing another design and deciding on her career that day when she was kicked out. Good for her.

Yeah I know, life is not fair :) Why oh why am I an employee ?

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Petra Rocks

After hearing and reading opposite reviews all week long regarding this musical I was anxious to go experience a Jordanian musical in an out-of-the-ordinary- theater in Applied University (yet very neat and cozy).

The seating was on first-come-first-served basis although audience purchased their tickets based on seat numbers. This ticked off some of the crowd who seemed restless especially while waiting 20 extra minutes for play to start.

The set-up, lighting, and costume design exceeded my expectations as props were promptly shifted without the notice of the audience eye, the sound effects were interestingly added to some scenes and lighting was rarely out of place. The music, though, was a disappointment; I expected better music arrangements and compositions from our Jordanian musicians. In addition to the unattended sound check when some actors were speaking and the audience couldn’t tell what was going on.

The play started off by dancers who filled the stage with not so uncommon choreography, but with an interesting flavor of tempo and choice of clothes. However, as the play went on it seemed to be a long dancing performance with some acting and storyline.

The story of Petra Rocks is profound in basis but appeared to be weak on stage, needing more transitional scenes and enrichment of the plot. The ending in specific was rather abrupt, not knowing for sure whether the ending was a happy ending or a sad one as one of my friends commented.

Dima Bawwab was, as always, professional in performance, articulate and expressive in all songs. With her soft yet powerful voice that was sensational and consistent she portrayed experience and character. What was interesting for me to see was the acting and classical Arabic speaking by Dima. Again, she surprised the audience with her convincing role of Princess Hana’ah, like a butterfly coloring the stage with her feminine look and expressive phrases.

Nonetheless, Roz Al Werr was, as expected, remarkable in singing but not as good in acting. The role of the queen might have been too restricting for such an actress and singer.

Amer Al Khuffash who played Saleh, the water engineer of big dreams and a brave heart did a great job winning the heart of the princess and most of the audience. Other male artists were, unfortunately, not up to the standard of the female artists in terms of singing and overall performance.

Adeeb Derhalli captured the audience’s attention in his Prince Kong Ai Dan role, luring the Princess with his fortunes and rare assets in his funny Chinese outfit and dialect. He is obviously more experienced than other actors in the play, moving lightly across the stage, with a clear voice and confident existence under the spotlight. The ‘suitors’ scene, as the audience probably agrees, was the most entertaining and the most profound in terms of script writing and acting with Adeeb enriching it.

Lara Sawalha did a wonderful job as well bringing some groove and boldness to the dances and the acting. She proved her enjoyment and passion of theater with her role, Jamilah the poetess, making the best out of a minor character in the story.

As a person in the audience I can’t but appreciate the hard work spent on the making of this musical from directing to advertising, performance and overall look & feel. There are, on the other hand, many areas for improvement in storyline, choice of character names, music, etc. But I’m glad we have such opportunities for our artists and I’m definite that this is only the beginning of good Jordanian theater for the years to come.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

One Life Stand!

This post is dedicated to my friend T :)

Meeting up with friends last week, having hot chocolate, complaining about the weather...... (ok only I was complaining about the weather since I hate winter and wish it would be summer everyday of the year), we were talking about thee most talked about topic in Amman between youth ages 22-42 : Hooking up / Marriage/ Finding The One.

Tab3an as usual everyone pretends inno mabsoot haik o 3adi I'm not looking for anyone at the moment, I need to enjoy life, fa we were exchanging stories of people who got to know each other over a period of 2 or 3 months and then got married (traditional marriage).

Fareeda said her famous sentence :"i don't understand why are people in such a hurry to get married?"

T then moved on to the idea of a 1 night stand and how the west thinks of this and that.

All that came to my mind, ironically, was that there's no difference between an Arab girl who knows a guy for 2 months and then marries him, giving her body and soul to him and a western girl who gets to know a guy for the same period and then giving herself to him, being a 1 night stand, then breaking up and finding another.

Aren't these 2 girls from across the world the same? Isn't marrying someone within 2 months of knowing him a kind of prostitution? What's the difference, really? It is as T called it "One life stand".

A man or a woman cannot surely know during only 2 months that this person is THE ONE thus what attracts them to each other is sex. Purely sex.

After sometime the naive western woman moves on, leaves him for a reason or another, finds another man who offers her a subconcious one night stand approach, while the Arab women accepts the one life stand, stays for a reason or another,swallows her pride and moves on to being a mother.

A mother who in return marries her daughters traditionally. After an Arab girl has her ethics and honour which are saved until marriage, until the one life stand.