من أجمل ما قرأت

من أجمل ما قرأت
أنا أضعف شخص في هذا الاجتماع، أنا بلا حزب وبلا فصيل وبلا يد تحميني في ما تسمونه الحكومة وبلا شلة تناصرني في أي مكان لكنني أملك هذا... ورفعت قلمي بيدي اليمنى عاليا أمام عيني
ص 209 من وُلدت هناك، وُلدت هنا لمريد البرغوثي

Sohar Protest

Update: Click here to read the Sohar Protest [2] ~ 1/4/2011

One finds this hard to believe but it's happening as I type this. Protests in Sohar, 2 reportedly have passed away and others injured. Muscat Daily and Reuters have reported it this morning.

Last night's

For keeping up with the up-to-date minutes follow this #Sohar hashtag on Twitter but please don't believe EVERYthing you hear or spread it in fact.

To make it clear for all of you out there, Omanis are not protesting for change in regime, on the contrary, they're fighting for some political reforms. It was supposed to be a peaceful protest but something, somewhere might have gone wrong when the protesters put a gas truck on fire. Police stepped in by firing rubber bullets and tear gas. And that's that.

Once again, we do not want this to get any further if it means causing chaos and distruption in our beloved country. So please go back to your homes and come back only when you're ready to carry out a civilized protest; not riots and havoc.

Dear Someone...

Dear Someone,

You've been ruining my life ever since I was 6. Sure, it was fun playing around with you, even I can admit that but sometime later dealing with you just became very hard. I've thought a lot about killing you, destroying you but knowing that I don't have the power to, I couldn't. You started possessing my mind and thoughts ever since I realized I was doomed. You're the first thing I think of in the morning. Not because I love you, no, the amount of hate I have towards you is so much bigger that I can't see others when you're in line.

When you're around, I become very weak. My mind goes off to different places all at once just by feeling your presence. I've avoided all those who were related to you for the fear of being reminded of you as with them your odor filled in, your scent that changed the whole atmosphere for me. A lot have urged me to change my attitude; maybe then you'd soften up a bit. Maybe, they said, I'd fall in love with you just like others have.

Know that I've tried, more than you'd ever know but I've been failing repeatedly. You've never captured my heart. I tried to admit you in, keep a place for you, hoping that someday, somewhere you'd finally belong there. Above all, you should know that I did all of this not because I wanted to, on the contrary, because I had to. There was no other way to survive than admitting you're a part of me; an essential one at that.

You confuse me to bits. I can’t think straight without messing up big time. You shatter my self-confidence into a tiny, million pieces. When asked about you, my heart beats a billion times per second that I could feel it bursting out of my chest. Even though I might not know everything about you, I feel like a total idiot when speaking about you. Your problems puzzle me, your words are unfathomable. Reading your expressions is as hard as a dyslexic reading a first grade textbook.

I could go on and on about the things that irritates me about you but I’m afraid the ink would rip this letter and you wouldn’t get to read what I wrote above. It saddens me that we’d never gotten on terms before but I’d like to keep it that way. God only knows how I’d end up if you’re going to spend the rest of my life with me.

One last thing dear Math: I hate you with a passion.

Not yours truly,

[Documentary] The Cove

An eye-opening documentary that brought me to tears. You wouldn't have thought such cruelty existed before watching this;

Merciless annual killing of dophins that happens not far away from us, just over at Japan in Taiji. Local fishermen claimed that they do it for the sake of eating Dolphin meat but when the producers got more into it, trying to confirm their claims, they were proven wrong. Certain meats were sold with a whale's label, which was later tested to be Dolphin's (containing large amount of Mercury). Actually, the government used to provide dolphin meat to the nearby school's students during lunch time. A lot have been diagnosed with Mercury poisoning.

To know that this documantary did make some difference in this evil practice and made people aware of what's happening within the borders of their own country is amazing. Not to forget being chosen as the Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Help to spread the word by getting to know more about it HERE.

Don't Drag Your Kids With You!

This might be a biased post to some but this is me saying; I didn't intend it to be.

Last night on my Canada Dry hunt, I went to the closest supermarket to home and found a 12 years old boy who shares the same school bus with me. Now, on the cashier's table, there were more than half a dozen of cigarette packets.. He said hello to me and when the cashier asked him if that's all he wanted, he urged me to go forward and take his turn. I collected my things and was heading out when I found out that he only did this because the little boy didn't want me to see what he's buying. Yes those packets were for him. I imagine his Dad or Mom sent him to buy those crappy, life-destructing packets.

I was so angry that I stormed off without asking to make sure of anything. Who, in their right mind, would allow his kids to buy them for himself? If anything, you're only urging the boy to do as you do and is that what we're supposed to do? Follow our parents? Our role models in life? Instead of taking his hand and heading to prayers for example, you're asking HIM to get YOU cigarette packets? And for the life me, I just can't take the image of the kid's face and how ashamed he was. I wonder if he feels the same towards his parents. If he'd grow up and come to the same market to purchase for himself the next time.

NB to parents; if you're going in the wrong path, please don't drag your kids with you. It's both selfish and ignorant to do so and allow me to say this: You don't deserve the little adorable angels you've been gifted to have.

Reading & I These Days...

I did not quit. Not yet.

The thought of my permanent loss of interest in reading frightens me beyond belief. I may go overboard with it when I say that I have more than 5 books on my night-stand in order to remind me to read again. I would pick one, read from where I left and close it, then pick up the next and the circle goes on with the other novels. This started by the beginning of my two-weeks-long holiday. Maybe it was the effect of watching TV. I've been reading few pages of a certain novel and stopping. Then picking another one and stopping all over again. Why, if you may ask?

Well, I've duelled much on how to answer this between myself and I and I've came up with the only sane reason I could master to find: It's hard to find something that would grab my attention from the first page itself. If not the writing style then it's the plot or vice versa. Thinking back, I've never felt this way before: That I cannot find a worthy novel to spend my time on. Maybe I'm getting old? Or my attention-span is so short that I get bored easily? I don't know.

Bottom line, got any interesting titles you recommend? Or more specifically (if you're willing to help me and got the time to) check my online bookshelves of the books I own and decide which is worthy of time. CLICK HERE.

On another-yet-relevant note, mom wants to get me this when we move to our new house in a couple of months from now, says she'll customize a bed to suit it. Guess I don't need it now, eh? Or do I?

Free Egypt

They've fought till the end and finally got what they wanted all along and deserved. God bless the Egyptians.


You know that feeling when you feel like writing but you just don't know what to write about exactly? (Noticed how I used the word 'feeling' and 'write' twice and now thrice?) I'm not talking about updating this blog or about my column. It's just that I used to write a lot before; poems, thoughts, stories, book reviews, etc but I've gave up on that now and I hate myself for it.When I really think about it, I realize that I've adored writing only because it helped me take my mind off things; kept me busy and occupied as long as I have fingers moving and there are words on the paper. With having days off for the past 2 weeks, not only have I been careless but I've spent most my days and nights in front of the TV screen. I've watched movies, shows, and a lot of news channels that had to do with Egypt's revolution.

There's just too much going on in the world and I hate how we're not giving them any support. You'd see some of us Arabs blaming those young people who gave up on everything and sacrificed their lives in order to have a dignified living when others out there call this destruction and causing chaos and disruption. I'm not one to get into politics but to see all these protesters holding on for more than 2 weeks is truly magnificent and utterly inspiring for all of us here. It's more than mere pleas of help; it has a lot to do with claiming ones' rights and speaking up their mind no matter how dangerous it is.

The past weeks have never been easy on the Egyptians in Tahrir square; they've fought mobs, thugs, tear gases, bullets, hunger, discomfort amongst other things. All of this to let their voices heard to those who have forgotten how to listen and might never will. Such heartless people exist everywhere but it didn't stop the protesters from doing what they believe to be life-changing to live decently and in peace once again.

Last night's interview with the detained (Head of Marketing at Google in the Middle East and Africa) Wael Ghonim gave a new meaning to the revolution. He was arrested by the Egyptian military for 12 days and have been blindfolded for that amount of time. Ghonim was released only last night and this was his interview with Mona, a show presenter on Dream TV 2; Part 1, 2, 3 and the emotional, tensed final part of the interview here if you've missed it:

Misunderstood Hijab Concept

I've spent ages trying to find another version of this video that actually lets you hear what they're talking about instead I only found that. It's basically an episode of Jessica Simpson's: Price of Beauty show featuring in Morocco.

There are certain things I'd like to point out;

(1) When asked about why women cover up, one of the Moroccan girls answered ''To preserve ourselves for our husbands". I'm sorry but that's about the ridiculous-est thing I've ever heard. Where's the religious part of this? Wearing hijab or covering up have never been a cultural thing, I beg to differ, it has everything to do with Islam. If the question in hand was ''Who are you allowed to uncover in front?'' then your husband might be the right answer. Islam honours women by giving her a value; instead of being judged on the amount of skin she shows or what designer's brand she's wearing, she should be judged by her actions and the way she carries herself in society. 

(2) The girl 'Laila' in the video was a jerk, a totally ignorant woman that shouldn't have been there to present her 'idea'. She was the liberal type-of-person and blamed Jessica for showing a big part of her legs when she was wearing a low-cut top . Laila thought Jess was offending the culture when she was a good damn example of that. 

I have nothing against Moroccans but I just think that the situations mentioned above only gives a bad idea of what our Islamic and Arabian culture is all about. 

/End of blog post. Just had to let that out. Good night.

Thai Trip In Words & Pictures

So I came back home Sunday night after spending 5 days and 4 nights in Thailand, Bangkok. The main reason of this short visit was to have some change of air, have fun and do a bit of shopping. The plane took off from Muscat and after 1 hour and half reached Karachi for an extra one hour transit then landed in Bangkok after 4 and a half hours. The flight was smooth although I'd have appreciate it more if there were personal TV screens to keep me entertained.

After settling in the Ten Stars Inn, we wandered around to the near shopping malls like Platinum Fashion Mall and took this picture while crossing the bridge from and to the opposite street.
Early the next day we headed to Pattaya, the famous beach city to see what the fuss is all about and after spending 1 hour and a half at the car we finally reached and was surpised to see many foreigners there. Mainly American and European. Since we arrived early, we had to wait till 10 or 11 for the malls to open. We visited Lotus, Carrefoure (where I bought novels from Bookazine) and some other malls.

The next day was an enjoyable one for me. We took a tour around the Floating Market, which is basically a floating city, with people selling on their small wooden boats and tiny houses (that had its own boat).

Then it was Dream World's turn, where I had the time of my life there, playing and enjoying the thrill of the moment in the many different games.

First, right after the entrance, you'd see the Love Garden which is decorated beautifully with heart-shaped flowers and trees and I actually saw a Bride and Groom taking pictures at one of the fountains.

Then I rode the cable car which took me to the other, far side of the park. And snapped these couple of shots from above. You could practically see the whole theme park.

There's also a Fairy-tales Land, featuring various characters of Disney's tales and other legendry houses, castles.

Sleeping Beauty inside her castle

Her castle, after climbing the stairs that leads to this.

The well of the prince who turned into a frog.

Plus the incredibly -2.0 C cold Snow Town.

And of course the Wonders of The World miniatures.

Paid the Giant's House a visit as well.

Have you ever had a 4D experience? Well I had. Right there in Dream World, located next to the Giant's House. The 20-minutes-long show's description fits it perfectly ''You don't watch the movie, you're part of it''. Whenever there was lightning, you'd notice the whole theatre glowing with flashing colours and water splashing right across your face, matching with the action going on the show. It was a scary, heart-pounding experience that kept me on the edge of my seat. Make sure to try it if you ever go there.

Overall, it was an awesome trip..with a perfect timing. The people were nice and friendly, unlike Chinese (not generalizing here but pointing out what I personally noticed) and wouldn't give you the 'look' for being an Arab with a hijab or point fingers at you (Chinese did that to me). They, thankfully, understand English so it was easy to communicate.

As they say, Sawatdi (See you again/Goodbye) :)