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Main: AndFarAway.net

Friday, September 30, 2005

Blogging a la Arabia

I was very pleased this morning(yes, this morning, my vampirish routine has got to go this semester) when I logged on to Jordan Planet and found that we have 7 new Jordanian bloggers(welcome to the Planet guys).

Blogging is certainly taking off in Jordan, although I must stress on the fact that it has been mostly growing with a certain segment of society. This better-off segment of society is a young one that speaks very good English, that is(to a certain degree) quite technical, and is, as Firas and Natasha pointed out, not very political.

We, as Jordanian bloggers, have tried to account for this trend several times, both in online and offline discussions and debates. Although the conclusions have ranged from political conspiracy theories to reasons related to disinterest, I believe that the fact that there were no real Arabic blogging softwares online greatly contributed to the social segmentation of Jordan bloggers.

Yes, I know that American blogging softwares such as Blogger can be manipulated to start posting in Arabic, but I personally believe that what we really need to facilitate blogging in the Arabic-speaking world is having a blogging software with a blogging interface in Arabic.

So, when I heard about a newly launched blogging service by the Middle-Eastern portal Al-Bawaba, I was intrigued to try it(And Far Away... on Al-Bawaba here), especially as the blogging interface can be interchanged between both Arabic and English.


I found the interface fairly easy to use, the default blogging setting being the wysiwyg editor, although it can easily be switched to HTML mode. It has some features that make it very appealing, even more appealing than Blogger(which I believe in the best free blogging software online), such as the availability of a "Resource Center" which acts like an online file library. It also has categorizing, integrated statistics, and easy link managing(links have to be added in HTML to the template in Blogger). All these features make it very, very usable for less technical Arabs interested in blogging.

Actually, the only setback to Al Bawaba Blogs is the template system, which only has a few templates and of which only a couple are aesthetically usable in my opinion. An even bigger setback with the templates to a more technical person is that you cannot edit their HTML, and I believe that the best thing about blogging is that you have, to a certain degree, complete control over your space. Apparently though, changes are being cooked to improve the templating system, so that should be something to look forward to.

I'm aware that Fastlink had started a mobile blogging service earlier this month, and although it has huge chances of success as a service because Fastlink as a company has a lot of subscribers, I do not think that it is even slightly comparable to Blogger because the quality of the target audience. I mean- cheap mobile phone cameras, aimless picture taking of random people and random places, and pretty much nothing to say are not the ingredients of a good blog.

It would be interesting to witness what will happen to blogging in Arabia with the local companies starting up local, Arabized blogging services, and whether these easy to use services such as Al-Bawaba Blogs will attract Arabs who have something real to say but who are, for some reason or another, not very comfortable with English-based interfaces.

Monthly Jordan Planet Blogger Meet-up for October

I would like to remind everyone that the monthly Jordan Planet and Jordanian bloggers meet-up for October will be held on Sunday, October the 2nd at 6:30 PM in Wild Jordan, with a special self-confessed "Surprise".

Please add a comment if you think you are coming.

Thanks!

Main: AndFarAway.net

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Why Amman can never be GPSed

Because someone is on a mission to make sure that Amman's streets and circles have a different name every several decades, and so, the name you know of the street depends on your background.

No seriously. I really hate this. It's just Really annoying me how Amman's circle's names have changed.

They were always the First Circle, the Second Circle, the Third Circle, and so on and so forth. Now, they have been officially renamed after people, and to my utter confusion, their new official names are being used in documents and directions on TV, leaflets, and radio.

Why, why, why?

Let me also add to that that they also change the names of streets such as Al-Gardens Street and University Street. Save the new names for new streets for heaven's sake!

I understand that these circles and streets may have not been initially named by the government, but isn't that how things come along? Like how the name "Amman" for example came from the God Ammon? They can't just change the name of the city of "Amman" because they feel like calling it after a person.

lema 664

lema 619

lema 613

Main: AndFarAway.net

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Teeshirt of the year



I totally loved this t-shirt created by the talented dudes at Teeshirtat that are being sold at JARA Market.



Update: I just came upon this picture of fellow blogger Wes wearing this shirt.
Awesome! The whole world loves Jordanian women :P
Teehee.

Customer service... in Amman?

Three cheers for the guys and gals at Jordan Telecom(JT) and Batelco for their wonderful customer service and impressively quick transactions. I actually got my internet back in THREE days. That included having them cancel our old account, starting a new one, coming to fix the set-up at home, and then getting the paperwork done between Batelco and JTC.

Is there a secret, I wonder? If there is, please do share it with the rest of most of the private firms in Jordan. Much simpler stuff in other firms like simply sending fixtures took weeks at a time!

Anyhow, I think that the great service I have experienced with these two companies is a good sign that the Jordanian private sector is finally realizing the importance of customer service in an economy as reliant on the tertiary sector as Jordan's.

Main: AndFarAway.net

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pandora's Box

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One of the things I found during the massive packing operation was this little box with hundreds and hundreds of vocabulary flash cards from the SAT days stacked neatly side by side between its four tattered walls.

I'm not much of a neat person, but I more than make up for that with an incurable nerdiness and a straight out need for perfection. I cannot even remotely account for how many hours I spent cutting these flashcards, writing the word with a Sharpie on one side, then turning the card around and carefully writing the definitions with a biro on the other side.

And that's only the making... because after the making came the learning, and there came a time when I would not go anywhere without a pack of fresh vocabulary flashcards sleeping restlessly in my handbag for easy access.

Aside from the hours, this box also reminds me of a friendship, because believe it or not, one of my very favorite memories has to do with this box. My friend Nisreen, who shared the same level of nerdiness, also spent hours making flashcards, and whenever we shared a class at high school, we would swap flashcards and start learning the fruits of the efforts of the other under our desks. I chuckle to myself when I see us sitting in the pink hallways of Manarat sharing tips such as "You know, because nice people always throw pics at others! Philan-thro-pic!"

Needless to say, my excessive efforts that went into learning 5,000+ vocabulary words in those years resulted in a very good score in the SAT's verbal section and an ability to open any page in a dictionary knowing fully well that I will probably be familiar with most of the words aside from the jargon.

Long and rather pointless narration, I know, and perhaps this box looks very insignificant, but finding it sent this gush of nostalgia that made me take this picture and feel an urge to toss this memory away into cyberspace just like I tossed the actual box of flashcards into the trash can.

I'm too busy cutting up advertisements I like these days and storing them in a red folder.

I really, really, really want a mohawk



No, seriously, I've always wanted one. Too bad I wouldn't do it because my hair grows so slowly!
This article on The New York Times is making me want one even more...

Main: AndFarAway.net

Monday, September 26, 2005

Another term...

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Unlike 96% of the students of Jordan University, I actually enjoy school. Yeah, sure, it's exceptionally chaotic and there are always those times when you could just choke the disorganized nonchalance down the cadres' throats, but for the most part, I think it's a wonderful experience. Above is a charming "e3melo-7alkom-3anjad-3amte7ko!" photograph taken at the wonderful Fine Arts and Design Faculty this morning. Oh, God, yes, how can I not add that all pictures actually grow when clicked.

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The infamous Milk Bar. You know, when I look at pictures of my mother's time at Jordan University, there actually was a time when the Milk Bar actually had some sort of display with glass milk bottles. I wonder when that stopped.

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Square il Oloom, or the Sciences Square in English.

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Walking down Share3 il Nawar(or The Vulgar's Street)

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I hate the daily traffic jam on the way out of University Street.

Last but not least, Soos posing for a picture and Soos looking at herself on the blog(shagfeh :P ):

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Soos was sweet enough to wait with me all day today at school and even went to a few classes with me. I also had the chance to meet Amino today, which was great!(hey girl ;))

Well, anyhow, yesterday was the start of the new school year at Jordan University. It is going to be one long semester- I'm taking too many classes, and most of them are studios which means that I'm stuck at school from 9 till 6 twice a week and 8 till 2 thrice a week.

Some of the classes are going to be really interesting, although their workload is going to be a killer- mainly "Communication Technologies", "Industrial Design", and "AutoCAD". I'm also taking "Art Criticism"(I know, zay ka2eni mish imphalsapheh kefayeh). The other two classes are going to be absolutely horrible and I'm completely dreading them- one is with the most dreadfully boring educator I have EVER come across in my life, I took a class with her last term and it was hell. The other class is something I should have taken years ago but which I've been putting off- Arabic 101. Allah yostor.

And oh, yeah, I totally take my word back on dial-up being not too bad. It's aweful. Especially with my dear teta insisting on calling us every 5 minutes.

I want my internet back!

Shocking Discovery #3

Internet at JU isn't bad at all!

Main: AndFarAway.net

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Shocking discovery #2

Dial-up isn't all that bad!

The Anniversary post


It's been a year.


I'm not marveling over the year, I'm not feeling like it's been forever, and I'm not celebrating- I'm just finding an excuse to experiment with the limits of the human brain, functionality, creativity, and this blog.

September 2004.
I start blogging out of boredom. My summer is winding down, and my vampirish routine results in very long empty nights. I think, let's make use of this time and my chronic web surfing, let's create a place to save what inspires me and jot down notes for later use in the never-ending design process.
I create this blog- simply for saving creativity. I aim to stay anonymous and to honor this space as my hush-hush workspace.


Thanks to the technology of IP tracing and referral statistics, I was anonymous for about 3 days. So much for that plan, eh?
The space mostly remained for my original purpose though, and the early archives stand as proof. Yeah sure, I tossed in favorite movies and book reviews, but the posts were not intricately designed by my feelings and thoughts, they were simply 're-blogged'.

December 2004.
Some friends and family find out about "And Far Away...", I inform others, and we have the first Jordanian Blogger Meet-up. My hush-hush workspace is no more, it is now a real blog representing a name, a face, and a person- it has "Roba" transcribed like an invisible water mark on a canvas.
That places many limits and also expands many possibilities.


It's all recorded, it's all archived, it's all documented. It can be played, over and over again. It's me, it's mine, but the truth is, once I press "Publish", those little pieces of myself that formed intelligible sentences are now on the journey of forever- forever attributed to me, forever belong to the World Wide Web.


It's as if choosing the career that you should be comfortable enough with for the rest of your life is as random as picking up a batee'7a!( On a more depressed side note, I guess that's our national preferred choosing system because that's how most people choose their life partner too.)


August 2005.
It's becoming real in the sense that emotions are solidifying towards the rest of the ballplayers on my field- I really, really like some, others annoy the living hell out of me, and I feel very neutral towards the rest.


Fairy tales of yesterday, will grow but never die, I can fly, I can fly.

March 2005.
Did you know that 1 Jordanian Dinar buys you sixty pieces of falafel?!
I'm gonna build myself a falafel palace...


I've always loved expressing myself, and although one can argue that I do enough of that as a part of art school, I've always loved writing, and I found blogging to be the perfect compliment to both artistic and verbal manifestations. And so, I continue to blog, and I enjoy it. I enjoy experimenting with words in such a way that I could never do in the reality far away from bytes, tangled with complexes pertaining to functionality and readability.

How long I'm going to do it for, how long will it continue to serve as a void deficient of functional limits and realistic boundaries, I do not know.

At the moment though, this is my canvas- devoid of reality, devoid of rules, and devoid of people who insist on making the walls purple.

And I do it because I love it.

Main: AndFarAway.net

Saturday, September 24, 2005

a beautiful summer

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One of my very favorite additions to Amman this past summer were these signs elegantly hugging the lamp posts all over the city. I really love the design, the idea, the pictures they used, and the places they chose to promote.

I hope to see more of such things and less of the crappy "artwork" that say say stuff like "اهداء من (كذا كذا) الى امانة عمان الكبرى ".

Main: AndFarAway.net

Friday, September 23, 2005

Out and around

So we finally moved.

We've moved around a lot in the past 5 years and one of the moves was from a different country, but this has been the most tedious move I have ever experienced.

I am really disappointed at the level of customer service in Amman's primary sector(or okay, it's not really primary, but you know, the construction scene- kitchens, wall units, painting, woods, refurbishing, etc). All these people, regardless of whether they're working for a top notch company or not, are liars, cheats, and procrastinators. It has been a horrible experiene dealing with them. So much for "iwlad il balad"!

I miss the awesome service at Riyadh. And I miss Ikea!

But anyhow, on a more cheerful note, I was getting really, really sick of living in a house in boxes. It's still in boxes but at least now it's unpacking and not packing(haha, as if! I did end up scotch-taping the drawers with all that's in them to the desk itself)...

I also really hated the house we just moved out of, so I'm really happy to be out.

Whitey is loving the experience, she's very excited, especially as she is finally allowed to go play in a garden now.

On a side note, I won't have internet access for a while, because like I said, horrible customer service. We have to return to the modem to Jordan Telecom, wait for them to issue us a new modem, and then call up our internet service provider, and have them hook us up. According to them , it will take around 2 weeks, but yeah, right.

I'm blogging from my grandmother's house right now, and I will continue to make use of her ADSL connection, but posting won't be as frequent.

Main: AndFarAway.net

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Funoon! Funoon! Il-7abeh bi leiraaaaaaa!



Today, the dudes over at Jordan University threw a welcoming party sorta thing at for the sanafer. A party I say cause not only was it held in an auditorium, there also was a liveband, "Ask a Question" section, tailored department tours, and lacey speeches.

But before you add the "wonder" to "wonderful", let me clarify that the band was a7aftal eshi bil 7ayah(kudos to Basil) and the "Ask a Question" questions were along the lines of "I saw a group of girls and boys sitting together on the sidewalks at campus! Sir, you need to increase security!" (Ya3ni ya 7ayati, ya 7abeebti, eish beddi 2a2olek... go lock yourself back into your parents house)

So anyway, after the 5-hour procession of "welcoming" speeches and music were finished, the subjective student faculty heads and their entourage were supposed to stand outside and carry a sign of the faculty they're representing so that they can give the poor, unbelievably lost sanafer a nice stroll around campus.

And there you go- the right corner had "Aadab", immediately crowding with a hoard of seemingly misplaced kids. The left corner had "Hoqooq", filling up quickly, yes, not as quickly as "Aadab", but lookie there, they already have a line! In the center, the "Tarbeyeh" entourage weren't very happy with the fact that they only had a few dozen kids standing behind them and were screaming "Tarbeyeeeeeeh! Tarbeyeeeeeeeeh!"- sou2-il-khudra style. There was no "Sharee3a" section because the duty was handed to a girl who in fact not a part of the "Sharee3a" faculty, and she simply refused in her tight-fitting-plastic-make-up-glory to represent the "Sharee3a" faculty. And on and on the department heads went; all across the field, there were signs of various other faculties with freaked out kids gathering behind them.

Except, well, naturally, the "Funoon" faculty. The entourage stood alone.

Rewind a little earlier, I had gone to help Nada and Zeina deal with the Funoon freshmen, but when we saw the 7aftaleh that was the welcome party, we all agreed that no self-respecting funoonist would sit and waste 7 hours of their precious time in such a party. And anyhow, the faculty only accepted 35 lucky students this year, and that's a small, small number you know.

Of course though, we couldn't just leave. What if some poor funoonist got stuck in those 7 hours of hell thinking that she simply had to? No, we can't do that to our very own underclassmen, so we stayed. We carried up the sign that read "Funoon" and stood as close to the stairs as possible so that the poor misplaced funoonist wouldn't get lost.

We stood. And stood. And stood.

Nothing. No funoonists showed up.

Ahh, we thought. There you go, the first glad tiding that this year's batch of kids is going to be yet another success.

Then, shattering our thoughts, two kids showed up. What? Two kids, together? Ahh, but wait a minute, they look wrong and they're kinda annoying! They can't be funoonists! So we asked for ID.

And ID it was... IT geeks! IT geeks pretending to be funoonists! Not very nice, is it?

After all the other faculties have left, a crowd of other faculty representatives gathered around us and decided to start screaming "Funoon! Funoon! Il 7abeh bi leiraaa!" to attract attention of any misplaced souls.

"Ya 7aram il funoon," they said.

"Shu 7aram?" we asked. "Ma bise7elkom!"

Anyhow, at the end of the wait, we did manage to find one poor misplaced funoonist called Ahmad who is in the Theatre Department.

Ya 7aram il sanafer... they're so lost!


Pictures(with a rolled r):

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The party(with a rolled r)

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Nada serving as "Eish bedak?"

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Ahmad! The poor misplaced soul...

Main: AndFarAway.net

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Because 2005 is 21 years too late...

George Orwell's "1984" is a brilliant, brilliant work of political fiction, and it needs just the brilliant person(people) to create a brilliant concept. One brilliant concept that was delivered to the world was Apple Macintosh's 1984 advertisement, and another brilliant concept that I recently became aquainted with is "Students for Orwellian Society" or SOS for short.

The SOS are going through current events with an America-centric look that fit into the 3 basic ideals expressed in the book "1984" - War Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery and Ignorance Is Strength. (If you are not familiar with "1984", go here for a summary.) Here are some of my favorites:




War Is Peace
Freedom Is Slavery
  • The Anti-Terrorism Act ensures US citizens' freedom by ensuring the FBI's ability to examine their activities.
  • Wearing a t-shirt which says “Protect Our Civil Liberties” is, of course, obscene, and will get you kicked out of campaign rallies.
  • Security cameras have been placed around the Columbia campus and around the island of Manhattan.
  • If you are buying postage, do not ask for stamps without flags on them. Such would clearly be a sign of lack-of-patriotism, and we at SOS are glad to see that the Post Office is cracking down on it.
Ignorance Is Strength


Read the rest of the "points" here.

Main: AndFarAway.net

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Yeee 3aleina 3ad!

"Burger King is withdrawing its ice-cream cones after the lid of the dessert offended a Muslim. The man claimed the design resembled the Arabic inscription for Allah, and branded it sacrilegious, threatening a "jihad".

The chain is being forced to spend thousands of pounds redesigning the lid with backing from The Muslim Council of Britain. It apologised and said: "The design simply represents a spinning ice-cream cone." The offending lid was spotted in a branch in Park Royal last week by business development manager Rashad Akhtar, 27, of High Wycombe.

He was not satisfied by the decision to withdraw the cones and has called on Muslims to boycott Burger King. He said: "This is my jihad. How can you say it is a spinning swirl? If you spin it one way to the right you are offending Muslims."
+ Agenda Inc.


Ya3ni regardless of the fact that this is just a very cute linear drawing on an ice-cream swirl(Ghazi style)- why, why, why was it dubbed an "offensive sacriligeous dessert"?

And Jihad? Huh? Lahon wsilna o lahon wisil il jihad? Shu hal 7aki!

It reminds me when I was a kid and I had the coolest pair of Nike Air trainers- then, just like that, they became labelled 7aram and were withdrawn from the market. Kids, the teachers at school told us, don't wear those shoes, they're 7aram. WHY? Because, well, the new logo sorta looks like the Arabic word for Allah...

Ahhh! I'm in disbelief. This rampant logo paranoia is driving me fricking nuts- it is so silly!

And damn it, hold that cup straight and enjoy the delicious looking swirl of ice cream.

Main: AndFarAway.net

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Influence- Mondrian

: The Influence



"I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true."
-Piet Mondrian(1872-1944)
That quote always makes me smile. Mondrian's paintings in their neoplasticism exhibit a complexity that deny their apparent simplicity- they're just absolutely beautiful!


Further:
+ The Mondarian Machine- an applet to help you paint modern art in the style of Mondrian. It's fun!
+ Short and Sweet Mondrian biography

: The Influence

More influences:
: Mondrian
: Jackson Pollock
: The AlHambra Vases

The Influence

The first thing I learned at art school is an Aristotelian quote- "Art is an imitation of nature". It is only later, when I became much more familiar with the rich and complex world of art that I decided that no, I do not like Aristotle's definition of art, I like Oscar Wilde's- "Paradoxically though it may seem, it is none the less true that life imitates art far more than art imitates life."

Ah, Oscar! Those words are those of a genius indeed.

Art has been one of the most significant influences on my life, and I do not mean in terms of career direction, but in terms of thought and way of life.

I've been planning to do this for a long while, but finally inspired by Prometheus, I've decided to start having a random post every once in a while about those works of art, artists, and designers that have influenced me and the way I think.

:Mondrian
:Jackson Pollock
:The AlHambra Vases

The Brain



I totally love this ad for The Economist- it's so simple yet so meaningful. Work of art!

Main: AndFarAway.net

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Digital Temper Tantrum *scream*

No eloquence today. Whatsoever.

And I'm absolutely dying for eshta bi 3asal. Or meringue. Or 7alawet il joben. Or Warbat ib eshta. Heck, even knafeh!

I don't care. I really don't. I just want something sweet. SWEET. I need my sugar fix!

I want some now, now, NOW.

Wishful thinking, I know, oh, poor sweet tooth. It is 3:30 AM in this little sleepy, sleepy city.

I hit Babiche last night for meringue, closed! At 10 PM! Sleepy, I say, sleepy. Sleepy!

Jaj! Amman is full of jaj. JAJ.

I know that this man was an absolute psycho, but he did outlaw all market transactions unless it was night time because he was an insomniac. Shu ya Sitt il-Mulk?

I can't even eat a Twix bar! Or eshta out of a Nestle can! Or even Nutella out of a jar! Because, the two pictures below represent the kitchen at the moment:

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Who is familiar with the song "I hate you so much right now. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!" No seriously, I love you too. I do. I do. Ha.

Wait. Is this. Withdrawal...?

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

Main: AndFarAway.net

Friday, September 16, 2005

Welcome to JU, Sanafer



Since when does registering at JU come with a "Welcome to Jordan University" kit?
Nice initiative I say, but still a long way to go.

A teabag holder



Although I'm not much of a tea person, I'm totally in love with this unbelievably cute tea bag holder!

+ D*S

Main: AndFarAway.net

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Saudi thoughts- on art

This comment just made my day!

I was a little cynical when I saw a Saudi art blog, so I asked the man behind it whether he recieved his education elsewhere. His reply just totally made me grin:

"Hi Roba,
You are right. I came from a small village in the south. There I could say life was much easier and more relaxed. 15 years ago our markets and roadside shops were full of fine art pieces and paintings of famous artists from all over the world. By today's standards, some of those works are considered obscene and unclean.
This was the case before the advent of the so-called religious awakening or the Sahwah as it has wrongly been called, which has banned all forms of arts including painting, music, poetry, cinema and theatre.

Many people, however, have tried their best to ignore the clerical dictates and created their own small worlds, keeping abreast with the new creative ideas and concepts in all human fields and disciplines, including art.

Anyway, thanks for your smart remark, which seems to have encouraged me to write some thing on the subject, preferably in Arabic. Perhaps I can talk very soon about fanaticism and the crime it has committed against an entire generation of our youth who, having been denied access to arts and other human activities, have resorted to violence and become murderers in the name of religion."

Viva la people like Prometheus!

After the 6th Jordanian bloggers meet-up

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BLOGGERS:

Today was the 6th Jordanian blogger meet-up, and the people who showed up are:

It was an absolute pleasure meeting the new faces, especially the ones I got to extensively chat with as they didn't leave early- Hana, Ziad, and Andrew. We sat for quite some time after everyone left and chatted for a while.

SUGGESTIONS:
Some after-meet-up suggestions after digesting the comments that came from the attendees include the following:

1) A more organized approach to the meet-ups, so I will email the bloggers asking for contact information soon.

2) A rough meeting agenda, so that we can at least identify the points that need to be addressed.

3) Less tech talk. Even a few of the Jordan Planet tech-geeks told me that they got bored from the tech talk- referred to as "isti7wath il computer geeks" by some.

4) I got some complaints that some people didn't know who's who, so perhaps the use of tags when we have a particularly large meeting.

5) No smoking during meet-ups.


UPCOMING MEET-UPS:

1) We're going to organize a mini-gathering soon before Hana and Ziad leave, so if anyone is interested in coming please add a comment.

2) The next official Jordan Planet meet-up is set to be on 2nd of October, just before Ramadan. There's a self-confessed "Surprise" making an appearance during that meet-up, so make sure you come ;)

Main: AndFarAway.net

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The shorts

They screened 13 Jordanian short films on Sunday's RFC evening- comdies, horror shorts, and dramas.

What I loved most about these shorts is that most of them portray an aspect of Jordanian life in their settings, themes, and people, which is something I have never seen on screen except in Matalqa shorts. I also was deeply impressed by the fact that some of the shorts were pivoting around significant social criticism that I have never seen portrayed in such a medium before.

Here are the shorts that most caught my eye and appreciation, in no particular order:

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"Shortwave" by Fadi Haddad
A wonderfully hilarious short about a young college student looking for love. It was just really funny because not only does it hit just the right chords, it also reflects the reality of Jordanian "shabab"(shabab mostly being males under 30, I actually feel like taking this oppurtunity to sound off my disgust at the shallowness of Jordanian "shabab", but that deserves a whole post).
I loved how there was no dialogue, and I loved the little touches such as a Bic pen.
I also loved how it was filmed in our department! It's cool to see that place I've spent countless hours sitting in star in a love story.
Great job Fadi :)



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"Trapped" by Khalid Hidar Mahmoud
I thought the directing was interesting in this horror short- it actually made me jump a few times. The acting was pretty good too, one of the actors is my colleague Shereen(drama student), and another was Randa Karadsheh. They both did a good job I thought, especially Randa.



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"Shit Happens" by Ahmad Takrori
From the leaflet, "A brothel, three wise guys, and one girl in the next room..."
I felt like this short basically deals with the fact that a lot of corruption is happening in Jordan under the covers, and in the most unexpected places. It was pretty interesting to see this matter tackled so boldly.
I also loved the directing, which I thought was pretty creative.



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"Asia and Society" by Nadia Naffa
Another interesting short more along the lines of a reality-tv documentary that follows a physically disabled woman called Asia and shows us how the challeneged struggle a lot with difficulties in this "unjust" society. It was a thought-provoking short, and a little depressing.



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"Experiment Hug" by Sima Haddadin
From the leaflet- "The failing attempts of a teenage girl who reads somewhere that she needs seven hugs a day to sustain her emotional well-being". Highlights Jordanian nakad.



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"The Colors of Haram" by Mohammad Hushki
Absolutely fantastic short tackling all the red tape we place ourselves in Arab and Muslim societies- very thought provoking and ironic. One of my favorites in the batch.