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Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year - Yes, Yesterday Has Passed

It is finished, the year is over, yesterday has passed. I really hope that everyone will have a great new year, a great 2005.

Every December 31st, I sit and think about how another year has passed; another 12 months, another 365 days, another New Year's Eve.
I find it mind-blowing.
Think about it…Time is such an abstract concept; minutes crawl, weeks fly, days start, and years end. Yet, we still assess this colossal conception we call "time" in static formulas that I believe serve only as limits to what we can accomplish in a certain frame.

Ok, enough blabbering. So how was your 2004? Mine was alright, it wasn't too great a year- I definitely preferred 2003. The last few weeks have also been kinda bad, but maybe I'm just saying that because I'm not in the best of moods as I'm writing this(regarding issues pertaining to misuse of authority, AHH!)

The New Year certainly seems appealing though, with January starting off with the arrival of people I care about, and who I haven't seen for too long. The summer also holds a promise to bring over someone I haven't seen since August 2003, so that should be really nice as well. I'm also really excited about having a Lord of The Rings movie marathon when my friend Sami comes this January as almost none of my Jordan friends agreed to have
a marathon with me(2al they couldn't stay awake through one LotR movie, bleh)

So basically, I won't be lighting my fireworks for the idea of another 365 more days of my life going down the drain, rather for the fact that this not-too-great-a-year is over.

As for resolutions, I'm not much of a resolution person. I don’t drink, I d'n’t smoke, and I'm generally quite happy with my life and with who I am, so I have none and hopefully will never be one of the people who needs to have a resolution to accomplish something.

At the end of 2004, I would like to share with you parts of the lyrics of a No Doubt song called Six Feet Under. It's rather pessimistic, and I'm a very optimistic person, but it portrays the frame of mind I'm in at this time of the year:

In the morning I wake up
And in the night I sleep
Since the day that I was born
Repeat, repeat, repeat
Brought to this life
Born to this life
Where was I before?
Non-existent? Not at all?
Will I ever know?

Subconsciously motivated natural instinct
Alter nature for the pleasure
Flirt with conception
Slow the cycle
Will the baby grow?
Social tradition interference
Control, control, control

Spinning, spinning
Before I can recall
All the unknown chemicals
Control the cycle
The successive generations
From dust to dust
Burying my grandma
Then give birth to my own daughter

And I get one every year
And some day…
Hard to believe
But I’ll be buried six feet underground
I’ll be dead and gone, no longer around

Have a great 2005.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Happy Birthday Superstar

I really love comfort shoes, and the Adidas Superstar is one of my favorites. They're also so incredibly creative with the Superstar designs, which I love.
Anyway, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Superstar, Adidas is releasing 35 new color/styleways in several different series. The latest includes 7 customs dedicated to the cities most responsible for making the Superstar a classic; London, Berlin, NY, Boston, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, and Paris.

Check out more details at the Adidas Superstar website(and look at the rest of the collection), or check out Cool Hutning, probably my favorite design blog around.

To my sheer annoyance though(yeah, I know, DUH), Adidas didn't make an "I love Amman" shoe. Ok, so we didn't contribute in making it go mainstream, but I'm still a tad jealous, so I took matters into my own hands:

Hetta/Shmagh/ghutra because it represents not only Jordan, but a huge portion of the Arab world, and red because red is my favorite color.
I love Amman :)

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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Reminiscing - To Auntie Eman With Love

After a phonecall from Auntie Eman from Canada, I couldn't help but find my self reminiscing about the days of Riyadh(Auntie, we miss you guys so much).

Usually when I reminisce, the first thing I do is browse through the thousands of digital photographs piled up over the years, and I thought I'd share these with you guys(maybe to lessen your hate for the Gulf, look everyone's having fun):
Click on images for larger image

A neighbor pot-luck dinner we used to have often in the compound we used to live in in Riyadh

BBQing chestnuts by the pool at the compound during the cold desert nights. I really love this photograph

I still get my brother's RYSA sports activities emailed to my inbox although its been years already since we've lived in Riyadh

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Monday, December 27, 2004

Invade the World Using... Shoes

Some French guy started spreading his fascination with Space Invaders(the video game) by finding ways to invade the world, city by city, with the little aliens. He has already invaded Paris, and has frighteningly good maps for all the other invasions he plans. He travels around putting up small mosaics of the old-school space alien logo. He's already tagged six of the nine letters of the infamous Hollywood sign in LA, although he wouldn't consider what he does graffiti.

A small part of his Earth invading scheme is this shoe. On the sole of each shoe are an alien and the words "10 points" in relief so that every time you walk on wet cement, sand, or whatever you leave your invasion mark! Each shoebox is signed, and only 1500 were produced.
This is one guy I would love to meet.

Check out the website at space-invaders.com
Via Cool Hunting

Amman Goes Opera

I'm really impressed by the recent authority initiative to acquaint the Jordanian audience with world-renowned musical standards of classical music. I think its amazing that there is interest in enriching the cultural life of Jordanians, especially in Amman.
The latest cultural awareness initiative was organized by the Embassy of the Russian Federation and the Municipality of Greater Amman who presented two opera soloists- Vladimir Malchenko and Nickolai Semenov accompanied by Elena Alkhimova on the piano. The concert was held at Al-Hussein Cultural Center, and in my opinion, it was a huge success.
Both soloists were amazing, especially Semenov who gave me goosebumps the whole time he was singing. It's unbelievable what passion adds to everything in life. The theatre was also full, with practically no seats to spare.
I hope there will be many more similar concerts to come.

Top Ten Movies of 2004

Here now are the top ten flicks that made the most green, thanks in large part to a certain, um, green ogre:

10) TROY
$133 million

$144 million

$154 million

$175 million

$186 million

$214 million (and counting)

$249 million

$370 million

$373 million

1) SHREK 2
$436 million

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Sunday, December 26, 2004

Salon Des Refusé

The Salon is the official exhibition of art sponsored by the Academy of Fine Arts in France and held almost once every year from the 17th through the 19th centuries.

The Salon Des Refuse is an art exhibition held in 1863 in Paris by command of Napoleon III for those artists whose works had been refused by the jury of the official Salon.

Among the exhibitors were Camille Pissarro, Henri Fantin-Latour, Monet, Degas, Renoir, James M. Whistler, and Édouard Manet, whose scandalous Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe was officially regarded as an affront to taste.

Yes, Manet, Renoir, Degas, and Pissarro were rejects.

Relativity and irony.

Roba's First Il-Balad Excursion

I finally did something I've been wanting to do for ages, something I should have done years ago.
I finally went to Il-Balad - downtown Amman.
What can I say... WOW! I love it. I love it. I love it! Why the heck do we go to Syria and Egypt when we have this perfect heaven 10 minutes away from modern Amman's Jbaal? Ah... The hustle and bustle, the amazingly yummy smells, the crowds and the little things they sell... AH! I'm willing to go there every day for the next year to get to know every single little nook and cranny in its many allies and streets.
I will share some photographs I took today. I felt like a tourist in my own country :\ The photographs are gorgeous anyway although it was a gloomy day :)
Check out the rest of the picture on the Jordan album on my flickR account(yes, I'm finally becoming more familiar with flickR)

Love it.

More on Il-Balad: One Fine Day!

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Saturday, December 25, 2004

JU's Fine Arts&Design's Music Concert

Below are some photographs I took on Wednesday December 22nd, 2004 at our department's annual music concert held at The Royal Cultural Center in Amman:

Basil Khoury on the Violin and Maria Momani on the piano

Basil Khoury on the violin and Tala Tutanji on the piano

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Friday, December 24, 2004

Come Together

I love vampires, I love Anne Rice, and I love Anne Rice's vampires.
Today I become the proud collector of all of the seventeen books that make up The Vampire Chronicles. All thanks goes to Titles, who have bothered to actually have these books.

The Latest and last books added:

In another feat of hypnotic storytelling, Anne Rice continues the extraordinary Vampire Chronicles.
Lestat speaks. Vampire-hero, enchanter, seducer of mortals. For centuries he has been a courted prince in the dark and flourishing universe of the living dead. Lestat is alone. And suddenly all his vampire rationale--everything he has come to believe and feel safe with--is called into question. In his overwhelming need to destroy his doubts and his loneliness, Lestat embarks on the most dangerous enterprise he has undertaken in all the danger-haunted years of his long existence.

Ummm sounds so good!

Demonstrating, once again, her gift for spellbinding storytelling and the creation of legend, Anne Rice makes real for us a great dynasty of witches--a family given to poetry and to incest, to murder and to philosophy; a family that, over the ages, is itself haunted by a powerful, dangerous, and seductive being. On the veranda of a great New Orleans house, now faded, a mute and fragile woman sits rocking . . . and The Witching Hour begins.
Through peril and escape, tension and release--there swirl around us the echoes of eternal war: innocence versus the corruption of the spirit, sanity against madness, life against death. With a dreamlike power, the novel draws us, through circuitous, twilight paths.

Wow. I can't wait till I dig in! I already know everything that happens in both books, because they are relatively in the beginning of the seventeen book chronicle, but I honestly can't wait anyway.
Any suggestions on where I should start? I can't decide.

Lestat, are you out there?

When Art Goes Beyond The Canvas...

Marcel DuChamp is one of my very favorite artists, so I thought I'd share some of his amazing works here. I wish there was more art awareness in the Arab world.

Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel DuChamp, 1912, oil on canvas

I love this painting, and although I love too many paintings to decide which is my favorite, this one definitly goes on my list of top 5.

Nude Descending a Staircase shows a human figure in motion; a woman going down the stairswas. It was painted using a cubist-inspired technique for depicting motion, and it was one of the very first paintings that started another art movement- Abstract Art.
There are several reasons as to why I love this painting. For one thing, I love the abstract lines and planes, and DuChamp's complete disregard for human anatomy. The lines and planes not only create a figure in the mind's eye, but they also create a rhythmatic sense of motion and give depth, volume, and weight.

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Thursday, December 23, 2004

First Annual Music Concert

Originally uploaded by Roobee.

Yesterday was the first Annual Faculty and Students Recital of The Fine Arts and Design Department's Music Department.
Although I wasn't able to attend the whole show, I was really impressed by the musical pieces I got to hear. The freshmen(sanafer) especially impressed me, it's hard to believe that they've only been learning for 2 months.
Way to go Music Department! Proud of you guys.

Samsung Goes Artsy

This is one of designer Diane von Furstenburg's Samsung VM-A680 phones. They are exclusive (just 1000 in existence); and they carry an Andy Warhol print, and they have a black and red colour palette. Damn. Triple great deal.
I love pop art, I love Andy Warhol, and I love red.
Looking good.
Cheers to Samsung for supporting beautiful art, and cheers to the late Andy Warhol for his inspiration.

A Day At Arts

Ok, I love the Fine Arts and Design Faculty at Jordan University(click on for enlargment):

The faculty's garden:

The Main Entrance:

Inside the faculty:

Muhanna Al-Durra's Hall:

Yeah, even the bathroom:

Flickr Photoblog

Inspired by MMM and Haitham, and annoyed with my friends nagging to burn them CDs of photographs, I have finally created a Flickr photoblog. It's nothing fancy of course, and most of the pictures so far are of the Egypt trip so that my friends would stop nagging already, but well, I guess it's better than nothing. So there you go, yet another window into my life.
Check it out here.

Reebok Has a Good Marketing Executive

Via AraBlog

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Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Tech Proposals

Ok, so this isn't exactly romantic or sweet(although I'm a sucker for this kind of sweetness rather than roses and all that crap), but what can I say, the Engadget.com dude just cracks me up, so I can't resist but post this:

We were planning on doing something way more romantic, like ripping off CmdrTaco and proposing to our special lady on Engadget, but after reading this story about some dude in Norway who asked his girlfriend to marry him by way of an engraving on the back of a 20GB iPod (she said yes), now we’re thinking that we’ll just write something on the back our Treo with a sharpie or maybe send a text message or whatever. We’re pretty sure that women love it when you go all out like that. Best part is that some day this guy’s kids are going to ask him about how he proposed to their mother, and they’re going to be totally incredulous at the thought of an iPod that can only hold 20GB.

[Via Engadget]

Sneaker Art

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Saturday, December 18, 2004

I Drive on Her Streets

Taken from The Red Hot Chili Pepper's Under the Bridge, dedicated to Amman(I'm becoming a freak):

Sometimes I feel
Like my only friend
Is the city I live in

I drive on her streets
'Cause she's my companion
I walk through her hills
'Cause she knows who I am
She sees my good deeds
And she kisses me windy

Take me to the place I love
Take me all the way

At least I have her love
The city she loves me

The Worst Event of 2004 According to Us

Source: MSN Arabia

Love Everybody

Eyeball Jewelry

The latest craze in body modification: eyeball jewelry(and I thought the permanently attached to the nose glasses were bad). I'm not talking pierced eyelids or eyebrows -- that's child's play at this point. Hehe, I'm talking jewelry placed directly in the eyeball! Yeah, it's getting really freaky.

Here's how it works. An ophthalmologist anesthetizes your eye, then makes a microscopic incision in the conjunctiva, the eye's transparent outer membrane. The doctor drops a tiny piece of jewelry (called JewelEye) into the incision, and the procedure is over. It takes 10 minutes and costs about $4,000, and you spend the next week feeling as if you have a piece of sand in your eye. When the conjunctiva heals, you can't feel it (even when you rub your eye).

Apparently, the risk of infection is lower with JewelEye than with ear piercing, because JewelEye is sealed in the eye and never exposed to bacteria. It doesn't migrate, even after millions of blinks and countless eye rubbings, and it's removable.

Hmmmm... I honestly thought diamonds in the teeth were taking it over the top. What's next I wonder? Is there anything left?

Source NYTimes

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Thursday, December 16, 2004

10 Things You Didn't Know About Me

Inspired by Subzero Blue:

1. I've recently developed a very picky taste when it comes to music, and I can't stand hip-hop/RNB (and I know who to thank for that :P)

2. I'm a no-fuss person; I don't do heels, make-up, or nice hair.

3. I was a registered student at American University of Beirut's Architecture department and changed my mind and decided to go to JU to do Fine Arts during the last week before AUB's orientation.

4. I hate being human, and I wish I was a vampire, a faery, or an elve.

5. I'm very quiet.

6. I'm addicted to soda.

7. I don't watch TV or talk on the phone.

8. I can't stand whining, slacking, and people who are always late.

9. I'm partially a misandrist.

10. I would love to visit Japan.

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Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Nose Piercing Mounted Glasses

"The perfect thing for all those near-sighted neo-tribalists out there, James Sooy designed a pair of piercing-mounted eyeglasses that attach to that hunk of metal you hopefully already have spiked through the bridge of your nose. Also a good option for anyone without ears, but who needs glasses and doesn’t want to have to resort to wearing something as barbaric as goggles."

Via Engadget

This is nasty! Ok, I'm one of those people who hates having to wear glasses and loves piercings, but hehe, what the hell....

Dedicated to Noor, Sami, Sudairy, and the Dabkeh People

I talked to an old friend of mine today, and it's been a while since we talked. She told me that she loves Lebanon but that she really misses Riyadh, and asked me if I feel the same way. I said no. I didn’t even think before saying no. I love Jordan, I love Jordan to death, so why would I miss Riyadh?
Moving from a country you've lived in all your life to a country you've never lived in yet always considered home is weird. It's not homesickness; it's just a deep longing for the stuff I did all my life and took for granted (Rand, I miss going to Faisaleyeh with you too).
But do I miss Riyadh?
Ok, Noor, I do. I miss the hours spent at Starbucks. I miss sitting in Manarat's hallways(although now I'm quite sure that highschool was the worst experience of my life). I miss the wild parties, the endless shopping, and ordering Pizza Inn every weekend. I miss dabkeh parties and dabkeh gatherings. Most of all though, I miss the people of Riyadh. I miss the compound, I miss you guys, and I miss dabkeh people(I miss you dabkeh people more than you can imagine!). I miss Sami, I miss Nissy and Ghanameh, and I even miss the little compound boys.
But do I want to go and live back in Riyadh? No, I don’t. It's too fake a life, and I really enjoy having a car :P
I do though miss the years when all we cared about was our next dabkeh show and all we did was sit in "the box" and sip Frappaccinos.


Herbawi, Amman was better when you were here.

For Sami, Zeina*2, Beeso, Hisham, Omar, Gus, Dina, Ghanameh, Noor, Noor * 2, Marwa, Yasmine, Massa, Noura, Tamara, Farah, Basma, Hasan, Abu Deyeh, Ameer, Abu Il-Heija, Ahmad, Nisreen, Layal, and most especially Rand and Herbawi.
It's also for Sudairy, one of the most amazing people I met. Tibi Ommik, huh?
Love you guys.


From Run, by Collective Soul:

Are these times contagious?
I've never been this bored before.
Now as the hours passing,
there's nothing left here to insure.

Have I got a long way to run?
Yeah, I run

Is there a cure among us
from this processed sanity?

Now in this world of purchase
I'm going to buy back memories
To awaken some old qualities
Have I got a long way to run
Yeah, I run

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Tuesday, December 14, 2004

2004 in Ideas

Usually around New Year's eve, lists start popping up; Worst Events of The Year,Best Dressed List, and so on and so forth. I never really read these lists as I never seem to find them interesting enough, but this year a certain list caught my eyes: The year in ideas.
Yes, so here's what 2004 paved for the coming year. Here's how 2004 might affect us in coming years. It's definitly more interesting than best-dressed lists.

Yet more of Jordan

Natasha and Jeff just uploaded a new Jordan photo gallery, called A Window On Jordan, and I can't resist posting my favorites from their gallery, because they're simply breath taking shots. Jeff, you are an amazing photographer. Looking forward to seeing more of your work, and I hope you'll take good Amman pictures when you and Natasha visit this month.

I won't save the best for last, so I'll post my very favorite photograph in the gallery first:

I love how loving this picture is :)

Wadi Rum and The Dead Sea

Iraq Il Emir and Wadi Rum