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Friday, December 30, 2005

Yeah, well, what's life without a few dragons?

Yeah, and again, I'm not in a very literal mood. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was good though, very enjoyable, especially with the hotties(is Viktor Krum really hot or what?). Recommended.

It was my second movie of the year- my first being Lord of the War or War of the Lords or whatever that "Run, hide, run, hide" movie was called. There are plans to watch King Kong tomorrow which will mean that I watched more movies in the past 2 days than I did in the past 2 years. Hmm, is that good or bad?

I just had a plate-ful of mansaf so I'm rather um.. mantipsy (hi Hareega, I've heard you're always taking people out for mansaf, any truth in that?)

Leaving you with a picture off of Nada's photoalbum that I found quite amusing(and probably anyone who's been to JU should feel amused as well).

Smoking is gonna kill you all smokers. Or just turn you splotchy green.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Stuff I've been told this week

"You look like a Saudi geek."

"Wow, you actually sound Jordanian!"

"You look like you're from Nables."


I love cheesecake.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Upon layers and layers of color

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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Art 101- chalk talk 1


  • fancy shmancy definition: a German term that has been used to categorize art that is considered an inferior copy of an existing style. The term is also used more loosely in referring to any art that is pretentious or in bad taste, and also commercially produced items that are considered trite or crass.
  • robawy definition: (syn) heshek beshek, nawari, 7afartali, fala7la7, vulgar, tasteless. It is is the absolute denial of shit- I mean, when something is ugly, it is ugly, and people who are unaware of the existence of kitschiness are unable to deny that this or that is aesthetically shitty.
Visual examples from our much beloved Jordan(via Zeid Qadousi's blog):



Holiday Season

Although I don't usually do holiday greetings regardless of what the holiday is, I will do it this time because this month is Christmas, Eid, Chanukah, and New Years. So yeah, happy holiday season.

Or perhaps I just want an excuse to post this picture.

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Saturday, December 24, 2005

Still craving sushi

Fuddruckers makes the best goddamn onion rings.

No, seriously! When we were living in Riyadh, a part of our weekly family routine was having lunch at Fuddruckers on Fridays. They were so good that I would spend the entire week waiting for Friday to come so that I can have Fuddrucker's onion rings. I would dream of their crunchiness; I would not shut up about my cravings to my friends; I would smell their yummy smell in everything I ate.

It was an obsession.

So one Friday, in an attempt to satisfy my cravings(what my darling mother refers to as "Afkar Roba il Nayera"), I decided that instead of ordering a regular sandwich for lunch, I would only order a huge serving of family-sized platter of onion rings.

And so I did.

That day, perhaps 5 or so years ago, I discovered that it is literally impossible to only eat a platter of onion rings for lunch.

I still do not crave onion rings.

Anyhow, I've been dying for sushi for ages! All my attempts to get any of my friends to go have sushi with me proved completely futile, until last night, when I finally managed to go have some sushi with a group of friends.

Alas though, they are cheap with sushi! Or I am cheap with sushi. I don't know! What I do know though is that I WANT MORE SUSHI!!! Perhaps I should exchange my friends temporarily with friends who like sushi- any candidates out there?

Me wants sushi...

Canvassing around the Planet

Lost count of the meet-ups like I said earlier... in too much of a good mood to write anything intelligable(is that word?)
People there:

Ahmad Humeid
Laith Zreigat
Laith Majali
Joe Kalis
Ziad Kawar
Mariam Adas
Ammar Ibrahim
Alaa Ibrahim
Isam Bayazidi
Abeer Bayazidi
Jad Madi
Rami Abdel-Rahman
Mohammad Arrabi
Nader Shnoudi
Mira Shnoudi
Lina Ejeilat
Tamer Al Nasser
Naseem Tamimi

Bas? Felt like much more... let me know if I forgot someone...

My favorite part? We had Al-Bawaba, Jeeran, and Maktoob on the same table. Awesome. We also had toot :)

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You can find more pictures in the Jordan Meetup pool I created on Flickr, and please add any pictures you might have.

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

No comment

Rhetorical questions(; "a rhetorical question is one asked solely to produce an effect (especially to make an assertion) rather than to elicit a reply"):
So why is it hijab is directly associated with being an Arab? Am I not an Arab because I'm not planning on wearing hijab? Why is it that Islam is associated with hijab? Is a woman not Muslim unless she wears hijab?

Billboards at a university in Kuwait:

"I am a [female] university student ...
and my appearance suits my university."

"I learn ... I discuss ... I debate
We compete in loving our university"

Ye! So even in the field of eduaction, men should go learn, debate, and discuss while women should sit at home and think of how to make sure their collars suffocate them[via Just Another Blog].


Understand, I'm not saying anything about hijab, I'm just pissed off at the priorities of this campaign.

While we're on the subject of hijab, here are some interesting international ads:

Unicef: Education
More education for girls in Islamic countries"

Ethics & Citizenship Movement: West vs. East
"West / East
Both sides of intolerance."

Hmm.. I'm not sure I get the second one, but I do absolutely love the first one. Amazing art direction! [Ads of the World]

Dressing up those streetlights

I really like the idea of this, it's very simple yet very creative. Stencils were used to cover street lights, thus creating instant digital images. I like, I like a lot!

+ Advertising/ Design Goodness

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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

10:24 PM +2 GMT

10:22 PM +2 GMT

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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ahh, white plastic chair! White plastic chair!

I have a very "photographic" memory, in the sense that an experience to me is remembered as a still snap shot rather than a living, moving memory- which is perhaps why I take pictures so much.

A constant component in my memory snapshots is the white plastic chair; it's stacked in dozens somewhere in the snapshot of my grandfather's funeral 15 years ago, it's smelling of coconut oil and sunscreen in a pool memory, and it's dirty and broken in some squash room party back in Riyadh. And these are only a few mentions...

All this said, as practical and efficient as the white plastic chair is, I absolutely abhor it. Aestetically speaking, it is hideous.

But it is also a global icon, whether it's beautiful, or not... It's just there, a part of the daily life of billions of people, whether they are aware of it, or not...

And here's where good design comes in- giving the white plastic chair a modern, delicious and mouthwatering edge.

Front Design proposes a luxe version covered in leather.

Jerzy Seymour has redesigned one for Magis.

Studio Ball finds gold.

A grafitti version by Collect Guixe

Rebecca Halstedt invents a prosthetic to transform it into a rocking chair.

The chair as fossil as imagined by Robert Stadler, and 5.5 Designers version of a wounded plastic chair.

My favorite would probably be the pink one, it's quite hot and beyond welcome in my home.


December meet-up: time and venue

We will hold December's meet-up at Canvas in Jabal Il-Weibdeh, on Friday the 23rd, at 6:3o PM.

A high level of attendance is anticipated, so if you didn't already, please let me know if you're coming for reservation purposes.

Below is a map for Canvas (Tel: +962 (0)6 4632211), but if you've never been there or to the National Gallery, I urge you to call them and ask for directions because Weibdeh is a maze.

If anyone needs any staff contact information email me at roba@jordanplanet.net

The best breakfast in town...

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One of our favorite treats is going to go have lunch at the Bakehouse, a little(or recently, not so little anymore) breakfast house in an offbeat corner in Jabal Amman.

I'm not a huge fan of breakfast, and I'd most definitely never ever consider ordering omlettes, yet I find myself craving the famous Bakehouse omlette ever so often(and I'm actually craving one now). It's so good that I'm totally willing to advertise it for free!

Aside from their finger-licking-good omlettes, it's really a quite an endearing place in terms of design- a hideous shade of bright mint green, with a really tacky brown brick wall pattern, fake flowers in china milk bottles, and parquet floors. Very Napoleon Dynamite, which only adds to the experience.

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And here's a picture I can't help but share... I really do love the holiday season, whether the town turns into half moons or Christmas lights, and weather Abdo is wearing a suit or dressed as Santa. He makes a very scary Santa though doesn't he?

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Click here for map of Bakehouse. Jabal Amman, Rainbow Street.

Cups and Kilos(Abdo place) is infront of the Radisson SAS in Jabal Amman.

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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Chocoholic Nightmare

I hate this season! It's hot one day... it's freezing the other... it's sunny... it's rainy... It's the perfect excuse for colds and flus!

And colds and flus it is... I'm sick; my brothers' are sick; my friends are sick; the whole world is sick!

Which is where my brother Omar, the ultimate chocoholic, comes in...

"Torture... psychological torture. I just finished a whole bag of Hershey's and I didn't taste one bit of the chocolatey flavour because of the damn cold! And even worse, every now and then I can taste this pinch of sweetness in my mouth which tastes somewhat like chocolate, making me want more... but I can't have more!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I'm gonna explode!"

Poor guy.

Announcing the December Jordanian Blogger Meet-up

Ok, so the Decemeber Jordanian blogger meet-up will be held on Friday the 23rd of December at 6:30 PM.

We have three four(yes, I can't count, I can't count- do you have to rub it in?) special guests showing up: Madas, Ziad, Rami, Laith Majali, and Abu Sinno.

Place of meet-up is still undecided, because someone is threatning to shoot me if we have it at Wild Jordan one more time. Suggestions have included a terrace, Canvas, and Amigos.

From my side, it's a big no-no to Amigos and terraces, but I think Canvas sounds appealing(but please suggest). Quite honestly, I still think Wild Jordan is the perfect place to have it, but I've been in a cocoonish mood, so you vote!

Add a note, comment, email, etc, if you're coming so that I can reserve. You can also email me at roba@jordanplanet.net with your email/phone number and I will email you/SMS you once we have a set place to go.


The fine print: all Jordanian bloggers and none-Jordanian bloggers currently in/visiting Jordan are invited.

NOTE: If you are a Jordanian blogger not residing in Jordan or a blogger interested in meeting Jordanian bloggers and you happen to have a trip to Jordan scheduled any time within the next several months, email me and I will arrange a meet-up.

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Friday, December 16, 2005

And further away...

I guess it's a family thing.

Phalsapheh: fal·sa·feh (noun): the character of being a smart ass

I am always being accused of being extremely im-phalsapheh(moi?), and admittedly, I've always been very good at BS-ing my way out of stuff.

But now, here I am; 4:22 AM, sitting in front of a glowing LCD that makes everything look pretty, and trying for the life of me to rake my brain for phalsapheh.


Alas, world! I can atphalsaph needlessly about coffee cups, advertisements, and musical events , but I can't atmphalsaph about an artwork when I have to submit a critique in a few days.

But seriously, just look at a sampling of the critique questions I have to answer:

  • Is the work integral? Was it conceived or realized, or is it a part of a fragment?
  • Suppose you judge the work you are examining not as the product of a man or artist but as the representation of objects in relation to your physical and optical experiences; by do doing, do you feel you can understand the work for what it is in "itself"?
  • Do you find the work you are examining "beautiful"?
  • What do the words "fruition" and "enjoyment" of a work of art mean to you? Intellectual stimulation or sensual fruition or enjoyment?
  • If, in visual works with the same theme or same function, we find differences or atypical ness, even singularity and uniqueness of form and language rather than identity and equality, what can you deduce?

At the moment, I'm thinking "Huhhhhhhhhh?!?!"

Hopefully, I'll be smarter tomorrow morning.

How dare anyone wonder how I can be so mphalsapheh? I'm gonna be doing it for a living.

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Why Abu Samer made a bad blogger(although I agree with his point)

Abu-Samer says:
i always thought people are trying to make blogging somethign it is not
Abu-Samer says:
people had personal websites for a long time
Abu-Samer says:
which ranged from the serious to the retarded
Abu-Samer says:
it is on of these thigns that people jump on
Abu-Samer says:
it will die soon
Abu-Samer says:
at least it will level off
Abu-Samer says:
should not sya die
Abu-Samer says:
ya3ni it is the new atkins diet
Abu-Samer says:
blogging is the new atkins diet!

15 minutes later:

Roba says:
Abu-Samer says:
fix the typos
Roba says:
ma beddi
Roba says:
i like it

Abu-Samer says:
tayyeb at least capitalize the begining of the sentences
Roba says:

Abu-Samer says:
ma abradk
Abu-Samer says:
zinkha inti
Abu-Samer says:
biddik tifda7eeni
Abu-Samer says:
who knows if what i am typing now will be posted too now

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Monday, December 12, 2005

The hugsie-oosie part of blog culture

A few months ago, Ethan Zuckermann wrote a sentence that I have come to use quite often;

"Become a blogger and you wi’ll never have to have coffee alone again."

In Jordan, I cannot even start to count the numerous cups of coffee that I've had with various bloggers from all over the world, both Jordanian and otherwise; went off to Riyadh, and one of the people on my primary-list-of-people-to-see was fellow Saudi "blogga sista" Farah. Every time, I find myself pleasantly surprised at how comfortable I am with the bloggers I'm meeting, and with specific bloggers, even feeling like they're more of long lost friends than people I've just met.

This weekend, I got to meet around 90 bloggers from all over the world, most of whom I never read before- but within seconds, conversations quickly kicked off, whether they were about languages, culture, or operating systems.

Yet, but what really made me realize the implications of the intimacy of blogging was spending time with the bloggers whose blogs I've been following for years- Subzero Blue, Aquacool, Sabbah, and Madas.


When I arrived at London in the afternoon, the art freak in me was too excited to go museum touring in the few hours before dinner, so I just dropped my bags at the reception in the hotel and went to the Tate Modern(where I almost had a heart attack from the first hand beauty of works by DuChamp, Warhol, Mondrian, Rodin, and Picasso). Between figuring out the directions to the Tate Modern, how the hell to use the tube station, and where in the humongousity of a city I've never been to before is the restaurant at, I arrived to the dinner quite late. But after a day of extreme feelings in regards to foreign-ity, seeing Haitham, Eman, MMM, and Ethan, all of whom I've met once before, was like finding myself sitting in Wild Jordan and starting at what I've grown up staring at- Amman's mountains.

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I spent the entire next day with Eman and MMM, whether at the summit or afterwards when we went and spent the evening walking around London with another Jordanian blogger, Madas.

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As for hugsie-oosie, one of the instances that made me laugh during the GVO Summit this Saturday was David Sasaki on the difference between bloggers and journalists-

"I feel like I'm a host at a party, talking to different people, like me introduce you to this person... tracking conversations. But in my mind, the blogosphere isn’t a "medium" as much as it is a cafe, a conversational space.
We should have more contact with journalists...I often end up meeting a blogger, and say "I know you, I read you, I've seen you on flickr", and give them a hug. I don't feel that way about journalists.
I'd like to... Would all journalists hug me, today?"

As for London, Roba is insanely in love with it; it is so beautifully diverse and so full of life. Add to that, the English are one heck of a beautifully dressed people(yes, yes, call me shallow, but it's a very enjoyable experience looking at wonderfully dressed people, and damn, their shoes, their shoes!) Hopefully, I try to look for a chance to visit london for a prolonged period of time perhaps for an art course or something similar some time within the next few years.

As I didn't get to see London during daytime for more than 2 hours, there are few pictures, most of which you can look at in my flickr photostream here, or you can just click on thumbs below.

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