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Thursday, April 28, 2005

Random Wednesday





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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Housing and Hay Il Rashid

Almost a month ago, my friend Sarah and I went looking for a location with a nice view to drink our coffee. We ended up cruising in Hay Il Rashid, completely forgetting about the coffee, and finding ourselves engrossed in discussions pertaining to Amman's architecture.

We found Hay Il Rashid interesting mainly due to two reasons based on our own observations:

1. The housing organization- Expensive villas are neatly sited side by side at the very top of the hill, and the housing becomes less expensive as the hill declines until you finally reach a very poor area towards the valley.


(Two houses found in Jabal Il Rashid, the first one in upper Jabal Il Rashid and the second one down below closer to University Street. Click to enlarge).

More/Other examples(click to enlarge):




2. The architecture is intriguing- I'm not sure if this area was built during the 70's or the 80's, but the style is very linear, practically modernistic. It's very different from housing in other old area in Amman like Jabal il Weibdeh and Shmesani. Here's a perfect example of the architecture in middle Hay Il Rashid. Unfortunately, the picture doesn't do this beautiful house justice, but the linearity is apparent(click to enlarge).



I also fell in love with this house(below), in lower Hay Il Rashid. Isn't it gorgeous?




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Sunday, April 24, 2005

Pinnacle of Blind Exasperation

How the hell are you supposed to find your glasses when YOU'RE NOT WEARING THEM?!

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Saturday, April 23, 2005

Jeeda @ 4



Jeeda is around 4 months old now. Isn't she adorable? Look at those eyelashes!

Don't you want to eat this?



After a almost a year from my last sculpting class, I finally put my sculpting abilities to good use today, and those five hours were the best hours of my week!

The fun of sculpting had completely slipped from my memories, and I found myself carving away the stress of a deadline.

I made this little furniture for the interior design of my travel agency, and I still need to smooth them up(with a wet sponge if anyone is interested), and paint them(I'm fluctuating between black leather or brown leather, any suggestions?)

Yay, two more couches to be mad, 8 chairs, and a few tables, then I'll have to go back to the boring job of cutting cardboard :\

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

I'm Sane! I Swear!

Great news you guys, I don't have any psychological disorders!

Well, at least I don't have anything severe... I am a moderately "Schizotypal", "Histrionic", "Narcissistic", and "Obsessive-Compulsive".

That's basically saying that I "Moderately" have the following characteristics:

1. Odd forms of thinking and perceiving.

2. Engage in eccentric behavior and have difficulty concentrating for long periods of time.

3. Speech difficult to follow.

4. Use of grandiose language to discribe everyday events and seek constant praise.

5. Exaggerate friendships and relationships, believing that everyone loves them.

6. Choosy about picking friends, since they believe that not just anyone is worthy of being their friend. Have difficulty maintaining long-lasting relationships.

7. Need to do everything "right" often interferes with their productivity.

8. Set unreasonably high standards for themselves and others, and tend to be very critical of others when they do not live up to these high standards.

9. Avoid working in teams, believing others to be too careless or incompetent.

10.They often have difficulty expressing emotion.


Honestly, I sorta agree with numbers 1, 2, 6, 9, and 10. I know what you're thinking, but at least I'm not "antisocial", "avoidant", and "dependant". I'd definitely prefer being a self-centered beep over an antisocial, dependent loser any time of the day.

So what are your psychological disorders? I'd be really interestered to see what answers some people will get (especially Ammar :P)

My answers:

Disorder | Rating
Paranoid: Low
Schizoid: Low
Schizotypal: Moderate
Antisocial: Low
Borderline: Low
Histrionic: Moderate
Narcissistic: Moderate
Avoidant: Low
Dependent: Low
Obsessive-Compulsive: Moderate

+Subzero Blue

Kuwaiti Women and Voting

In a major step toward granting political rights to women in Kuwait, lawmakers agreed yesterday to permit them to vote and run in local council elections, although the measure requires more legislative action before it becomes law.

The bill passed on a 26-20 vote, with three abstentions. A second reading and a second vote, expected in two weeks, is required. Then it needs the Kuwaiti ruler's signature, generally a formality.

+Post Gazette, Subzero Blue

Way to go Kuwait!!!

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Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Spring Reflections



Taken by m7ammad.

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Monday, April 18, 2005

How I ended up with a mullet and why I'm going to shave my head soon...

As a part of an ingenious plan to kiss the doldrums away, I went to get my hair cut the other day. You know, the whole "let's-spoil-ourselves-rotten-to-feel-better-about-ourselves" deal that women are famous for.

So I hit Rashed's, the salon behind the super sleek hair and the perfectly groomed bangs of a good amount of Ammanite women. Rashed spoted me as soon as I stepped into his salon, and I was immediately sucked into the ball game of the Beautifier himself.

He greeted with the usual equivalent of "hey, honey" in Arabic- "Hala Hayateh!!!" (Yes, Hayateh, not 7ayati, hayateh! HAYATEH! The Lebanese way in the middle of Jordan! It's as if Article 13 of the Jordanian Union of Hairdresser's Terms states, "Thou shalt speak, look, and act like the gay hairdresser in Nancy Ajram's 'Yeeeeeeeeey' video.") After the greetings, I was ushered through the usual process of hair washing, hair cutting, and hair drying, my only demand being "change".

And change it was, I left the salon with a fountain-like hairdo after a very unsuccessful curling attempt and too much hairspray.

As soon as I got home- hoping to look remotely normal again- I washed the shitload of hairspray off, dried my hair, and gazed at Rashed's unstyled, unhairsprayed, and unwaxed creation- Behold, Oh, People of Adam, Roba has a mullet.

Yes, a goddamn mullet! It's as if the Beautifier is keeping me in check with my lifetime plan to always look as crusty and unkempt as the next guy.

But seriously, a mullet? Why couldn't he have given me a Mohawk instead? After all, I always wanted a Mohawk.

Next hair post, I'm going to be singing "I shaved my head once, nanana!"

AHH!!!

HATCHING IS AN ABSOLUTELY MINDLESS JOB THAT I DESPISE TO DEATH!!!!!

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Sunday, April 17, 2005

Shoot That Duck!



While surfing the almighty internet today, I came upon screenshots of 80's videogames on some gaming site and found my self rolling in nostalgia (we always were a videogame family).

It felt really weird to look at the screenshots of the games on the site as I had completely forgotten about these games very existence, and my memories of the eagerness all flooded back.

It feels even weirder that I have spent the past hour playing all these games that I haven’t played in well over a decade. It's as if I am a little kid again- rushing from school to be the first to grab the joystick and fighting with the boys over whose turn it was. I spent so much time kneeling across from a little TV in my brothers' bedroom.

My favorite game was always Super Mario Brothers...Any other 80's videogamers? :)

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Saturday, April 16, 2005

Found on Flickr

I'm not romantic. At all.
Yet, I still dig cool pictures. Doesn't this look like a wedding you'd want to attend?



(Note: these are actually Caterina Fake and Stewart Butterfield, members of the Ludicorp team(of Flickr fame). Doesn't this make you love Flickr even more?)

Star Academy 2 Finale





The last prime of LBC's Star Academy 2 just stopped airing live, and the winner of this years season was finally announced- Hisham Abdul Rahman from Saudi Arabia.

I'm really disappointed. Although I must admit that Hisham has the better personality, Amani's voice is one of the most stunning voices you could hear. I also think that along this seasons students, the stars should have been Amani, Zizi, Katia, and the Kuwaiti Ahmed.

It's sad that we Arabs vote don’t vote for talent, but rather, for humor(like last years Mohammad Attiah), or for nationalism(like Hisham this year). I think that Bahaa should have won last year and Amani this year.

The prime was also really disappointing, nothing special happened and they only brought one guest, Assi Il Hilani.

Irrelevant, and I'm not in the mood to merge it into this post seamlessly, but my favorite part about the whole season was Katia singing and acting to Moulin Rouge's soundtrack(watch it here, disable pop-up blocker).



Anyhow, congrats to Hisham.

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Thursday, April 14, 2005

FOR A GODDAMN MEAL?!

According to a report published by Jordan's National Council:

83% of Jordanian women approve of wife beating if the woman cheats on her husband
60% approve of wife beating in cases where the wife burns a meal she's cooking
52% approve of wife beating in case where she's refused to follow the husband’s orders.

[Mental Mayhem]


I've been following up this topic for quite some time and reading the comments with interest. I usually avoid commenting on topics pertaining to politics and religion, but I can't hold my silence any more.

When I first read about this on Madas' Journal, I was quite shocked that Mariam even published those statistics! I thought that there's absolutely no way that such stats could have an inkling of truth in them, and false declarations should not be publicized. Yet, when I contemplated the issue, I found myself reasoning that even if the statistics claimed that 40% of Jordanian women condone wife-beating, then we really need help, and thus publicizing becomes essential.

Yet, I still find myself extremely skeptical. I am a Jordanian woman, and consequently, I consider myself a profound part of these statistics. As a part of these statistics, not only can I assure you that I find such a thing by no means acceptable, but that no one I know finds it acceptable either. It can be argued that "I" am a very small portion of Jordan, and that my opinion and that of the circle of people around me do not represent Jordan the country. Yet, when I look at the posts appearing on Jordan Planet in regards to this, I find that I am not the only "circle" that does not accept such an occurrence:

Quoting from Madas, "At first i was very outraged, thinking that this much be a flawed survey. Because if I apply this the people i know, i really dont know 60 women who want to be beaten..."

Ditto.

Quoting from Aquacool, "If more than 80% of Jordanian women support it, why neither I nor any one of the people I know in school, university, work, through family, neighbours or elsewhere were suffering wife-beating! Or maybe I, and the ones I know, and my friends and the people they know, and their friends and the people they know in different neighbourhoods are all within the 20% who does not support wife-beating! Maybe, why not!"

Ditto.

Even when you read the comments of the readers on the article posted on Al-Arabiya, you will find that a negligible portion of readers accept the statistics, and this slice of readers is not Jordanian, but rather, Arab as whole- Saudi, Kuwaiti, Egyptian, Moroccan, etc. So how can they apply to Jordan, a country, dare I say, much more tolerant than most of the other Arab countries?

I honestly believe that we Jordanian women enjoy excellent political and social status compared with that of our peers in the region. We are an essential part of the Jordanian government, the armed forces, the police force, and the judiciary system. We are offered the same opportunities for education as men; in fact, the number of female students in higher education precedes that of males by 29 percent[link: Jordan University]! Comparatively, we are allowed to vote unlike our sisters in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Heck, we can at least drive our own cars, go shopping unattended, and not only work, but also excel in any profession we choose! We have complete freedom to choose what kind of life we want to lead!

Furthermore, upon researching, I discovered that these statistics carried out by the Jordan's National Family Council were based on research done in 2002[link: Al-Rai]. 2002. That's 3 years ago, so why are they being publicized now? Why were the statistics ignored for three years and why are they emerging now? Why weren't they publicized back in 2002 as obviously, the National Council agrees that this is a huge problem?

There's also none of the accompanying data that is vital when we are talking about statistics carried out by an official council. Where exactly were the inquiries carried out? How big was the slice of the population questioned? What age groups? Under what circumstances? None of those questions are addressed in the report, which makes me even more cynical.

It's all too mysterious, not supported with proper figures, and it defeats the first hand experience of Jordanian women.


Amman Goes Flamenco



Note: (I'm still really excited, you wont believe what such an adrenaline boosting show it was, so read this post with a smile or something)

¡Viva Flamenco!

Lina said it was "Amaaazing!", Ammar described it as "What an event!", and I'll say "DAMNNN!!!".

No really, it was just perfectly wonderful. I'm not in a particularly articulate mood(but do read Lina's for a real review), so I will just list my favorite things about the concert(I absolutely despise listing but oh, well):

5. My last and most favorite point- which I'm actually going to cut and paste into the beginning because this is really important to me- THE HOUSE WAS FULL! IN AMMAN! We got there 5 minutes late only to realize that getting a seat was not the only thing out of question, we couldn't even sit on the stairs like Ammar and Lina did! We had to sit on the floor between the rows of seats! Imagine that! Way to go Amman! Way to go Amman Municipality! I love everyone! (like I said, not in an altruistic mood)

1. It was unbelievably passionate, and I'm a slave for passion.

2. The synchronization was mind-blowing, and I mean the synchronization between the dancers together performing as a unit, each individual dancer's synchronization between his/her different body parts, and the synchronization between the dancing and the music.

3. The music was absolutely fantastic, they had guitar, chimes (am I right, am I right?), and the flute (my favorite instrument). The man who was singing had a stunning voice.

4. The lighting was beyond excellent. There were several "shots" where light was used to represent a physical thing like a road.


Zippee dee doodah, zippee dee day!

Ooh yeah, sorry about the crappy pictures, I was squished to death in the least strategic place, with a 3amo who kept "tsk-tsk"ing every time I took a picture sitting behind me.
Il Nakad ya nakad.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Watermelon Tent

Retelling the assortment of posts that have been showing up in the Jordan Planet community, its really, really spring! Yes, I know I've said that several times already, but it just keeps getting better and better as we creep closer to the summer.

Yesterday, I saw the ultimate sign that marks the passage of winter, a sign so much more meaningful than all the pretty flowers in the world, the popsicles making their re-appearance at the corner store, or the switching to Daylight Savings time- I saw a batee'7 tent being set up(thats a tent placed on empty areas of land in Amman for the farmers to sell their watermelons and other fruits).



My heart is singing! Winter is finally over! I really wish I can share a picture of this good omen with everyone, but the tent is on the beginning of the University Street, and although I drive through that street at least 4 times a day, I fly to school so a picture wouldn't work out. Maybe when the tents are all over town once again... For the time being, you'll have to do with my depiction of the tent, as crap as it may be, complete with the flags and all.

Weeeh!

Corporate Voyage

Here's the how the brochure for this project turned out:



Well, at least that's the external part of the brochure.

Your suggestions were really helpful, thanks a lot everyone :) Eman, I ended up using "Because successful businessmen have no time to waste!” inside the brochure.

Special, special thanks to m7ammad and Linda.

The interior design of "Corporate Voyage Business Travel" is due this Tuesday, at least the plans, sections, and elevations. I hate zoning :\

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Monday, April 11, 2005

Hammer the Silver



The Strip Bracelet is single length of silver, stamped with the logo of its designer. "It’s delivered to you in a felt case and poses a dilemma: do you dare to bend the precious beauty of the material into a bracelet? Whoever dares has a ‘home-made’ product by the Swiss/English designer Rolf Sachs."
How cool is that!

+Chihapaura, MoCoLoco

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Saturday, April 09, 2005

One Fine Day



"One Fine Day"- is that a movie? I'm not sure why I feel compelled to use that as a post title, but some things are just inspired...

Well, anyhow, inspired or not, today really was one fine day- the epitome of Ammani bliss.

It started out in the very center of this wonderful city- Il Balad, the most full of go, multihued, and energetic area in Amman. We wandered around aimlessly for 3 hours, checked out all the little eccentric stores, took pictures of "Balat Il-Rashid"(since 1924, 2nd picture, below), had Knafeh at Habiba's(1st picture, below), and bought a dozen DVDs(yes, the 1JD ones).







After Il Balad, we went and had lunch at "Moroccan House", a cozy restaurant in Shmesani right behind Abella, where I experienced Moroccan food for the first time.




Then we went to Starbucks (where everyone was studying! In Amman! In public! Oh, my!), hung out there for a couple of hours(not studying), then dropped one of my friends off and went to have some more coffee at Books@Cafe in Jabal Amman(that has a really cool mural that I need to take pictures of soon).




Now, I need to stop my saya3a and get started on my project (I chose Corporate Voyage, thanks Linda ya amar).

The Second Circle


(yes, pictures grow)

The “rebirth” process of the Second Circle in Jabal Amman is finally over, and my friend and I went to celebrate the occassion(after almost getting run over while trying to cross the street) by sitting on the benches they placed atop of the circle and watching the cars drive by. The intended plan was a new “green” look, offering citizens and drivers on the busy streets of the capital a pleasant sight as well as a place to sit.
In my humble opinion, they did an alright job(thank God they didn't transform it into something like the monsterousity that is the Seveth Circle!)

I think the sight is pleasant, but I'm very biased. I adore Jabal Amman to death, I appreciate Shawerma Reem's hustle and bustle, and I enjoy watching the angry cab-drivers drive like maniacs. It's also a great place to sit- there were a lot of families sitting there eating Delice and Shawerma Reem with their kids. I personally prefer small scale seating plans like this one rather than Share3 Il-Thaqafeh style plans. The only thing they didn't quite accomplish is the "greeness" part. I don't see any greeness at all.

The First Circle was also renovated, and I personally think it looks worse than before, even worse than the Seventh Circle. It has a really nice looking olive tree in the middle, but thats where the niceness ends. Pictures of that later, hopefully.

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Friday, April 08, 2005

Cookie Monster is going on a diet



In this cookie-cutter world of ours(having to be "cookie-cut" into Barbie and Ken proportions to be normal), the ultimate bad habit-er is going on a diet. As a part of a new healthy eating program on Sesame Street, Cookie Monster will be cutting back on sweets because "A Cookie Is a Sometimes Food."
God. What next?

Instant Help Needed

Alright, another project around the corner, this time its the corporate identity and interior design of a business travel agency.

At the moment, I need a suitable name and a moto.

What I have so far is "Corporate Voyage", "Entrada Business Travel", and "Métier Travel".

For the moto, I have "Your Business. Our Journey.", "We take care of your travel arrangements. You take care of your business.", and "Your Business. Your Journey. Your Destination."

Better names and motos more than welcome :)

Twirl



Photograph by LomoKev

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Digitally Yours




I'm really loving the recent trend of using digitally designed images on the very traditional media like clay and ceramics. There was Scott Rench, who's work(computer generated images printed with a ceramic glaze onto clay) I fell in love with. Now there's Digitile Designs by ceramist Dominic Crinson. Crinson transfers digital images onto ceramic tiles, and his products are stunning- fresh, different, and very artistic.



The same idea is also available for wallpaper, carpeting, and floor tiles.



My favorite design is called "Moco"(above), inspired by Moorish arabesque designs. I absolutely love the combination of a very traditional form of Arabic art and digitization. How does this pattern look when implemented? It actually looks pretty cool, check out a product in the gallery here.

+MoCo Loco

The Cat Project



Tim Naaman's "The Cat Project" is a pleasant display of the Naaman's family "feline zoo"(consisting of 14 cats!). The photographs are stunning(we've tried photographing cats before and it's impossible to get them to pose!), and the cats are just unbelievably adorable. There's also some cool Flash-work.

Hehe, thanks Tim, now I'm itching to have a cat! Yes, just one.

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Monday, April 04, 2005

World Without Words



Although I enjoy the look of text implemented in proper designs, text is a mostly misused part of our visual world(if you're familiar with Amman, just think of Gadens Sreet).

The Untitled Project studies the link between the artistic value of the visual world and text by stripping out the latter from pictures of urban settings.
The absence of the printed word not only draws attention to the role text plays in the modern landscape but also simultaneously emphasizes alternative forms of communication such as symbols, colors, architecture and corporate branding.
I find it really amazing how everything looks airbrushed without words. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

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Sunday, April 03, 2005

L is for Love

"G is for growth.
To celebrate our one-year birthday, we're giving everyone one more gigabyte. Our plan is to continue growing your storage beyond 2GBs by giving you more space as we are able. From Gmail, you can expect more. "




The Hotmail crew have the guts to say "Get Hotmail Plus".

Is it really possible to love Google more?
You rock my world.

Tupac is not dead!




Hey, we have an artist in the extended family. Listen to the piece here. It's acapulco(?).
Sami does the "doom, doom, doom, doom, doom, doom" background thing.

Sami, email me proper information so that I update this to sound more like a proper post.

Zahrat Nissan

Yeah, it's actually been Spring here for a while, but it keeps getting better and better! Keep in mind that for most of my life, I was tucked away in the desert, so this is only the second Spring I ever get to experience. Click on images to enlarge.





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Saturday, April 02, 2005

Do send me your shoes!




"Waiting for the computer to finish crunching the data, I took a snapshot of my sneakers. Reebok though and not Adidas...
I thought you may be able to get a better idea of who I am this way."

Who can guess who these shoes belong to?


Hint: Jordan Planet blogger

Update: Alright, the shoes belong to Iyas.

Hawiian shirts, sneakers(of course), and JORDAN WILD

(Here's one very long post with too many pictures for your entertainment, pictures grow when clicked. Please tell me your screen-resolution is 1024 x 768 or higher.)



Today "a couple of bloggers" met up for coffee and an interview with Eddie Taylor from Royal Wings. It was supposed to be a "couple of bloggers", but as Isam says, "the more the merrier", and so it was 6 bloggers instead; Nader Shnoudi, Hind Sabanekh, Isam Bayazidi, Ammar Ibrahim, Mira Shnoudi, and myself. I really wish the rest were there, especially Natasha&Jeff(Jeff! No one took real pictures!), Eman&MMM, Mr. Malhas, Linda and Iyas.

The venue chosen was JORDAN WILD, and we spent around 2 and a half hours or so talking about blogging and Jordan. It was really good, dare I say better than the first meet-up where I personally had no idea what was going on thanks to Blue Fig's loud music.
I was also really happy to meet Eddie, Hind and Mira.

Some pictures:



Yes, that is a butterfly over Nader's shoulder, as it's "Butterfly Collection" month at JORDAN WILD(and Ammar decided to make sure Nader is a part of the action).



And of course, I’ve saved the best for last- Eddie's vintage Adidas trainers doing a ballet move. Absolutely fantastic, or shall I say, DAMAR!