Category Archives: Jordan

أدون لك يا أردن – #B4Jo

Explosions are occurring in different parts of the world, some bring nuclear disaster while others bring democracy and justice. Explosions, ignited by natural disasters or by natural heroes, all changing the course of this world. Today I stand, a proud Arab. I am proud of what Arabs have accomplished, starting with Tunis, overthrowing Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and the various standings for rights in Bahrain, Yemen, Oman etc. I am proud to have witnessed an Arab revolution in my lifetime, Arabs standing for their rights, an Arab victory.

I am proud, yet still anguished by my own country. I am profoundly furious that we still need to ask for political reform over and over again while we get fed bullshit. We change PMs like we change underwear and we still get nowhere. His majesty King Abdullah II, in his 12 year reign, has done this 8 times. Today we stand, a pressured bystander to the ongoing changing regiemes and wonder, will we be next? Dozens have marched vowing loyalty to our beloved King. It is not the kindgom we want overthrown, we’re just fighting for our constitutional right.

To avoid being thrown in jail, I’ll avoid my long list of comparison between ’52 and ’99.

Social media has brought our attention to what matters, the voice of the people. An online platform that has branched into every part of our life, has become a powerful weapon that has brought justice to many, awareness to the world. We are no longer living in the shadows, each one of us has become a candle in the darkness. With respect to the Jordanian social media sphere, we’ve witnessed the hashtags #ReformJo and #WhatJoWants trending locally as people express what it is we want out of this reform, but is anybody listening?


I will try not to be pessimistic, but I shall be nothing but honest. Let’s take a few desired reforms into consideration.

1. “#ReformJo means there is no difference between a Jordanian & a Palestinian.”

The reality has been and always will be, that racial segregation is not something that our country can or even wants to get rid of. E.g. Refugees live in camps, away from the general population: something that will not change. Jordan’s football “Classico”, Al Faisaly vs. Al Wehdat will almost always end in bloodshed and struggle, no matter who wins, because that’s how it is. Racial segregation, although not apparent on the surface, still exists as strongly as it does between Negros and Whites in the US. It will not change because people have long been indoctrinated with a sense of segregation, whether it’s racially, religiously or otherwise. The majority will always teach their children that you are better than person X because you have more money, have a “better” religion or are a true citizen of this country, unlike person Y.

2. “#ReformJo means I will not litter my streets.”

“Sha3ebna ma bimshe ila bil dareb.” is a statement that is unfortunately, unvarnished. If you get a 30JD ticket for parking on a bridge, chances are you won’t park there again. Let’s take a fellow arab country, to make a slight comparison. In Dubai, simply throwing a cigarette butt out of your car window gets you fined 100JDs. Enforcing more strict rules on littering is what is needed, not a cleaning campaign nor otherwise. You enforce it on shops that tend to throw their garbage out on the streets in bags that are leaking with oil and grease. You enforce every neighborhood have a proper garbage disposal area, architecturally integrated into every street, not a rusted old tin can placed in the middle of the alley. The only way our streets will ever be clean is by slapping the wrist of those who blunder.

3. “#ReformJo means there is no segregation based on which tribe you’re from.”

Again, details and examples go beyond the political correctness of this post, but this is something you cannot change. You want to change the beliefs of a tribe that amounts to one sixth of our entire population?

Many more examples exists, but the point of this post is not to criticize each and every desired reform.

We live in a country with no natural resources at all, the only thing that we have is ourselves, the first thing we should reform should be our own selves. I can sit here all day and speak of how beautiful our country is, how beautiful Jordan is, but that would not bring about change. I have made a pact with myself, I have started an initiative myself (details of that will be brought about in future posts), I have decided to take things into my own hands. I will not sit aimlessly, watching as we’re fed lies about change and reform when all I see is different asses on the same old seats.

I blog for Jordan, because I love Jordan. I blog for Jordan, because I want to see a better Jordan. I blog for Jordan, because I aspire to be that change. We’re taught to be the change we want to see in the world and we’re blabbering about reform when we’re not reformed ourselves. It all starts with us.

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Cancer Pledge

To help support those less fortunate than ourselves, we have pledged, supported by the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, to help raise funds for one of their needy cancer patients. Our target for his immediate treatment is JD 15,000, please read below to know details of why I pledged and how you can support me and our pledge.

Please follow the followings links for official KHCF details.

http://cancerpledges.com/pledges.htm

http://www.cancerpledges.com/SelectPledge.aspx?P_ID=5

Cancer Pledge:

I would like to thank you all, first and foremost, for taking the time to read this, I would like to send my best regards to you all, up front.
During my first year of clinical practice, passing through 7 different hospitals, I have been touched by cancer many a times. I have sat down at, unfortunately, some of their death beds and had extensive talks and interviews with patients of both a chronic and acute nature, both equally struggling with the malignant disease.I have learnt to accept the fact that my power as a physician cannot reverse the power of the creator, I cannot manipulate a system that is meant to work perfectly to sustain a balance in this world, for one day, we are all meant to pass on to whatever is waiting for us after we part the planet Earth.
The word physician, doctor, whatever you may call what I do, does not make me a healer. My ability to better the life of those in need, is what drives me. The motivation I gain, is from every person I meet that is in need of making, simply, a cough or a runny nose go away, to resecting a cystic fibroma when he’s lying down on the operating table. I have many years to go, so now I intend to do anything I can to help those who are less fortunate.
I was blessed with the abilities, blessed with a beautiful family and blessed with a solid heart and around me, I see people who are not so fortunate. I uptook my pledge for that reason exactly, because since I still cannot hold a scalpel and operate an open-heart surgery, I can still make a difference. I have done it before, through my other volunteering opportunites, and it is one of the most liberating experiences I have ever had. One man may not be strong enough to make a difference on his own, but one man can be strong enough to start a wave of differences, a wave of change. I would highly appreciate that you join my wave, help and help me make a change.
Ayman is not only a cancer patient, but a struggling father. My pledge, along with a few other members, will not only help with his immediate treatment, but will also uplift his strength so that he can work again, and support his family. Helping him would be a benefit to his whole family, not just Ayman.
Below is the pledge website, offered on the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, that we have all signed to be part of a team to support and raise funds for Ayman’s treatment.

http://www.cancerpledges.com/SelectPledge.aspx?P_ID=5

If we cannot live life perfectly, we must strive to live it to the fullest, capture every moment and be part of every second. Never let time pass you by, knowing you can become a better person, knowing that you can help the less fortunate, knowing you can make this seemingly non-perfect world, one step closer to being perfect.

I will also be running in the Amman International Marathon as support for the treatment of cancer under the slogan “Run For Life”, so the more donations I recieve, the more money will be going to help those with cancer.

The pledge target is JD 15,000 for Ayman’s immediate need for treatment. A thermometer of our achievment target can be found on Ali Dahmash’s blog, my fellow pledger and friend.

Method of Payment:

1. Pay online by using credit cards at KHCF’s official website (check here)

2. Western Union

3. Passing by the KHCF office in Um Uthaina and mentioning the pledge “Shadi Haddad”.

*For expanded details on any of the above 3 methods, please include your email in a comment below and I will get back to you ASAP.

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On #B4JO & Web Censorship

Blog for Jordan day

When I first thought about what to write for B4JO day, I got a complete writer’s block. I thought I’d write about censorship and the new law’s effect on what we have to say. Our inability to explicit freedom of speech in so much as a twitter update. Our very own Jordan blocking us from expressing what we like and what we don’t about this country? This has been our thing, as far as I know. “Bidna nel3an #$% el 7okome!” and so forth and so on…let’s not get carried away shall we :P. So when it comes to web censorship, I believe we should all thrive to claim our rights on the matter. How else would we speak out on the failure of our government to apply more strict laws on honor killings? How many more women should be brutally stabbed to death before our voices can be heard? How else will be bitch about corrupt officials? Or simply about paying more attention to our citizens’ rights. Everything that the internet claims to be, a mass communication between ourselves, our government and the whole world, will be shot down by web censorship, and I want my voice and all our voices, to be heard.

I’m a 20 year old medical student, with a heart full of Jordan. I’ve been living alone here in Jordan for the past 4 years, and I have to admit, this country has shaped me up from a high school boy to what I am today. Here, in Jordan, I found lots of things, both good and bad. Blog for Jordan day shouldn’t only be about telling everyone out there how amazing our country is, because we sorta do that all the time. What we should also be concerned with is the opinions on the inside. If something isn’t broken, or you don’t know it’s broken, no one’s going to try and fix it.

Jordan is more like a huge canvas, one that has had a significant number of marks painted upon it. Whether we’re talking about it’s superb military intelligence, our culture or the astounding number of new talents arising every day, we all have to admit that our country is getting a good view from outside. Examples are many, notably the movie “Hurt Locker”, which was filmed mostly in Amman winning many Oscars to Samih & Hussam’s Maktoob being acquired by Yahoo or whether it’s our famous Petra being a world wonder. Many and many examples I can give to how our country is something to really be proud of.

Jordan has many ups and downs, and we try to live and adapt accordingly. Whether it’s the price inflations that lower income making families suffer from, to the new laws that govern us completely insensibly, we have a lot to complain about. What has happened to the world when I can’t go online anymore and tell the mayor of my city that the roads are a mess and they should get to cleaning them up. Or when I can’t argue about who’s governing my own country. As fellow blogger Dee said, this is bound to create a revolution.

At the start of this post, I thought I as going to turn all cliche’ Jordan, and talk about the freshly baked bread and Humus in the morning, walks down Rainbow street or hanging out in Leweibdeh. I realize how beautiful my country is, a country where I have learnt to miss and love as much as I miss and love my parents. A country where I fell in love with an amazing woman. A country that I’m currently being taught how to become on hell of a physician. I know how many beautiful things Jordan has, but I think it’s time we all learnt to point out what’s wrong and fix it, before we can boast ourselves as being an amazing nation.

With all my love to the people of Jordan, and to everyone who holds Jordan deep within their hearts, wear your sham3′ high and mighty, high and mighty…

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Begolak

large_flag_of_jordan

Begolak, translated simply into “They say”, is a term you hear often in Jordan. It’s almost always a made-up story that turns factual and sooner or later the whole country’s talking about it. Something that distinguishes Jordanians from many other cultures, is our amazing ability to exaggerate stuff. Whether it’s a simple news report or the major eco crises, we always have a say. No, it’s not just taxi drivers, we ALL do it. Examples are plentiful, but I won’t be going over all of them because face it, that would require a century.

1. “Begolak fi mojet Thalj, snow storm ya zalameh!”

Jameel: “Shadi, yalla shid 5aleena inrawe7 3ala Amman.”

Me: “Leesh ballah? Wel dawam?”

Jameel: “Ya zalameh hasa bitsaker el torgat ow bitbatel tegdar itrawe7, la7eg 7alak seebak min el dawam.”

Me: “Wa7ed allah ya rajol! Bala thalj bala Santa Claus, kolo 7aki fadi.”

Jameel: “Itsharet?”

Me: “Ya zalameh iza bit-thalej bidi argoslak el “snow dance” hoon bi nos el mostashfa ow ra7 afa6rak 3a 7sabi yomeen kamleen!”

Jameel: “Bashoofak el a7ad la3ad, jeeb ma3ak masari.”

Me: “La2 ya zalameh bijooz itdal ithalej lal a7ed, la testa3jel 3a Irbid.”

Begolak, ino some idiot on the radio said it was going to snow. A cold front over from Honolulu was closing in and winds facing Eastwards blah blah blah…Mishan allah bikafi 3aret! Amman kolha 3a ba3edha 1,000m above sea level hasa sar bido iykoon feha snow storm? Ow ba3deen “begolak” ino el torgat bidha itsaker, ow 5alas life as we know it is going to end. They send out trucks to clear the snow, which in a matter of minutes turned into water. They close down schools and send people home. Husbands run to the supermarkets to stack up on supplies! Jesus Christ eesh sayer bil 3alam, armageddon?

Fa begolak ino el sha3eb el Ordoni ma bi7eb yo3rot :D!

2. Begolak el azme el iqtesadeye ma a2tharat 3ala Amman.

Maho ya ibn el kalb, makleen 5ara hayna! Prices of milk, rice and sugar have fucking sky rocketed. Petrol is up and taxis went up 10%. You might have not lost your jobs because you barely work in the first place! Ga3ed wara maktab bit3abe warag ow bitwaqe3 bi-hal galam, fokna! “Begolak” ino sha3ebna makel 5ara ow ma 7ada imlage masroof. Walak ya ibn el 7mara, manta ga3ed 3a 6eezak kol yom bidak itrawe7 bakeer, ow lama thalajat la nos sa3a ow inta ga3ed godam el sobba golt 5alas snow day, akeed mish ra7 itlage akel!

Look what they’re like in Japan: http://www.ibda3world.com/?p=11281

We would probably go caveman on the building and blow it the fuck up. Ohh wait, we barely have highways to start off!

3. Begolak eli bedre bedre, weli bedreesh begolak chaf 3adas.


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Latest music obsessions

I’ve been getting a few complaints on why I haven’t posted anything in a while, and to answer your questions it’s just because I’ve been in a meh mood. I have lots of things to say, and I know some of you have been waiting for Part III of the sofa-bed thoughts but after I wrote it I realized it was too personal to post up online, so I guess you’ll never know :P.

This post is going to be about music, specifically arabic bands that I’ve recently fallen in love with. I discovered some on my own and some through my friends, but all in all it’s great music. One thing that I really want to discuss with those who are fans of both Jordanian and Lebanese bands is song lyrics. I’m at a phase where all I listen to is specifically arabic hip hop and both Jordanian and Lebanese bands, but what I do notice quite often is that the choice of lyrics is weak. I’m not here to diss any bands specifically, but in general, that’s what I notice. I mean the music is beautiful and what I get out of it is pride! I’m so proud of all our local bands for putting such an effort into their music, because it’s really awesome. The blend of arabic and western is superb and I’m still expecting much more out of my favorite bands. If anyone has any comment on the lyrics part guys, please share your ideas via comments.

1. Mashrou3 Leila

These guys I discovered on my own as they performed in Amman not long ago, but unfortunately my stupid medical schedule got the better of me and I ended up not going. Anyhooters, this one song for mashrou3 leila is one that I simply can’t stop listening to. It’s called “Shemm El Yasmine” and I don’t know what it is about it but I listen to it at least once a day. I’m not kidding, for the past 2 weeks I’ve listened to this song every single day at least once. Here’s a link to their myspace page to enjoy the rest of their music, and here’s a link to their facebook page as well. Now I’m just waiting for my friend in Lebanon to send me the CD when they’re done with it, plus some goodies from good ol’ Liban :D.

Here’s the song for your enjoyment:

[audio:http://www.yameen-shmal.com/Music/yasmine.mp3%5D

2. Salam

Salam is a Jordanian band named after the vocalist Salam Homoud. Winner of the 2008 Jordanian Band Competition. They’ve been on Amman radio stations since 2007 but I’ve never REALLY listened to their music until now. I’m in love with a song called “Latin One”. When you listen to it you’ll know exactly why. Their music is electric and the songs are both in English and Arabic, I prefer their english songs, but what the hell, it’s all good! You can check them out on facebook, and listen to the rest of their songs. If you couldn’t be bothered to click on a link here’s the song I like (this is not on their facebook page btw but if you guys want to download it, click here.)

[audio:http://www.yameen-shmal.com/Music/latin.mp3%5D

3. SoapKills

Now these I met through my friend Zeina, who’s a new blogger and now she owes me for making her blog famous, haha! (marketing 7abeebti!) SoapKills are a lebanese band first created by 2 siblings, Yasmine and Zeid, back in 1998, so yeah they’re quite old. Their music is really sensual and mostly has an arabic feel to it, which is amazing. I don’t know much about them and I don’t want to start quoting stuff off their myspace page, so here it is for you, check it out yourself. Zeina sent me a bunch of their songs because their albums have been long out and probably gone from stores,but if you youtube them you can find many of their songs. The one I like is off the album “Cheftak” and it’s called “Cheftak”. Here it is, enjoy:

[audio:http://www.yameen-shmal.com/Music/cheftak.mp3%5D

4. This totally random song

for “Ziyad Sahhab” but a girl sings it, so I’m confused. Anyway, here’s the song, it’s called “Imt Nseet”, also Lebanese :

[audio:http://www.yameen-shmal.com/Music/nseet.mp3%5D

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Ali @ Confessions of a chubby

The Jordanian blogosphere is growing exponentially and I’m getting to meet a wonderful group of new bloggers. Since I’m a huge music fan, I’d like everyone who reads my blog to go over to this new blogger friend of mine, whom I met once at a performance by Hana Malhas at Jara theatre. Ali is what he goes by and he’s got a big heart for Metal music. He was featured in an interview on metal music with Aramram [click here] along with a group of his friends who all want to try to spread the word on metal in Jordan. They’re having a hard time doing so as Jordanian “authoritah” *giggles* don’t tolerate us wearing a black and white kuffeyeh, so imagine what metalheads go through. His blog revolves mostly around metal music but also shows a personal side to a really great person :).

I promised Ali to show him support and since I’m not a huge metal fan, I thought this would be the best way. Instead of writing an article about metal music (which I’ll definitely suck at) I want everyone who reads this article to click on Ali’s name above and follow the link to check out his blog, maybe even sign to his RSS Feed and if you’re a metal fan and supporter maybe even contact him :), please.

Ali, this is for you : 

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Shadi @ NOX

Only the coolest magazine in the whole wide world featured a picture I sent them on their facebook group : NOX Magazine ! I’ll write an article on NOX later on and tell you of the coolness it brings to my life every month : sports, women, movies, video games, cars and gadgets. Can a man ask for anything more ?

Here’s how cool my name looked in their magazine (I believe there’s a typo though, there’s ?) : 

Untitled-1

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