Thursday, December 28, 2006

What makes a lie?

What makes a lie? Is a lie the opposite of the truth or are both terms a gray shade in the black and white spectrum. Assuming that a lie is a piece of information contrary to fact or truth, in that case truth or fact must be identified. I don’t want to get into the whole definition of truth and what have you, I will assume that we know exactly what a lie is about. My real concern here is when does a lie become a lie.

The trouble is that the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that it can be very subjective. If someone were to speak a fact that wasn’t true, then we would assume it to be a lie, but what if that person believed it to be true, is it still a lie? It’s not a lie to him, so can the piece of information take two forms according to the viewpoint from which you are looking at it? On the other extreme suppose someone spoke a fact that he believed to be false and yet he was mistaken about it and it turned out to be true, is it a lie then?

How much of our intention has to do with words being lies or truths?

Let’s say someone wrote a note describing something he will do as a past. A suicide note saying, “I’ve killed myself, for I could not bear the pains of this world any longer.” It seems to me like it would be a lie at the time of writing, yet transformed into the truth if it is done. It remains a lie if it is preempted. So what makes a lie a lie?? There’s an intricate link between lies and time and intention.

If one were to say I was in the street just a while back, would it be a lie if he was there a minute ago, an hour ago, a week ago? When does it start becoming a lie. If never then lies themselves are not what I thought them to be.

If lies take such a form, does its archenemy, the truth, take a similar form too? If lies contain some truth to them, then mustn’t truth contain some lies in them as well? Let’s forget sincerity for a while because sincerity never changes fact. If truth and lies can contain so much of each other then they can be confused.

But I think that there’s a difference. A piece of truth inside a lie cannot prove that all of it is true, but a small lie inside the truth has a much more illuminating effect.

The trouble is that one man’s lie is another man’s truth. If lies are so subjective, then we can only evaluate them in relation to people.

The man who said a truth thinking it was a lie seems to remain, still, a liar and to the person who heard it, that same lie is a truth.

Lies are in the ears of the beholder, but can we say the same about truth?

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Is there any hope for equality?

Out of the blue a friend of mine remarked: Heba is an ‘old rag’ (Literal translation of an Arabic word that means a promiscuous lady, bitch or prostitute). So I asked why… to which he said, any woman that puts herself in a compromising position such as marrying ‘3orfy’ (common law I think is translation) is an ‘old rag’. So I asked him, how about guys? Why are they not ‘old rags’ too? This of course provoked the mother of all clichéd argument over the equality of men and women in a society.

The conversation went around in its usual (concentric) circles brushing up on human rights and equality in the world along with how different people with different passports are treated differently.. etc.. etc.. we all know the drill.

But one point came up that made me pause later on after a quick recap of the conversation. It’s that rule that men can kill their wives if they saw them cheating and get 1 year in prison while women get life for a similar murder. My friend Solomon very graciously asked that we bypass this point because it’s obvious that here if a woman finds a guy cheating on her it can be his wife but not the other way around. The law itself gives the man that right.

This is where I pause amidst other points that were said because I wonder now if there’s any point to my believing in equality in such a society. Is there any hope for equality inside a society whose very own law is biased towards a man? Is there any point in trying to see equality in society if everything else around doesn’t advocate that equality? ‘Do onto others what you would have done onto you.’ That’s a powerful statement that I believe in and nowhere in others does it say just your same gender. I believe that what rights I have should be given to others, but how would that work with a law that says otherwise, with a mentality that says otherwise and with a logic that says otherwise. Yes ladies and gentlemen, there is a logic that says that in society, men and women should not be treated equally. Constitutional rights have long gone, but does it even make sense to ask for equality within the society?

One topic that came up was the appearance of women on a beach for example. The usual for guys is to have swim wear that covers a part of their body and for women to have swim wear to cover a greater portion of their body. Now where’s the equality there? ( I say let all women dress in the same way that men do) The point that Solomon brought up is that there’s a difference and that this difference causes a different standard to be applied on men and women. I said yes, but the same abstract rule applies, which is to cover the arousing sections of bodies (although I must say that most parts in a woman are arousing). To which he replied, but that just means the implementation is different and should be different in society.

The differences in general are there, but who knows enough about both genders to make this distinction I wonder… The point is that even with a skewed scale, people think that they’re actually implementing a sort of equality in their own way. Women are in a more compromised position and so they are more accountable, women are weaker and therefore equality is to be over protective of them… Now how can you deal with a problem like that if people claim that the problem doesn’t even exist?

So my question is: Is there any real and practical prospect of equality? Is there any hope that a society can provide equality at some point in time? Can this ever stop to be a losing battle?

I present the question to those of you out there with an answer. I don’t really know the answer to it but if I were to guess, I would say that there is no real hope. Try as we might to change people’s outlook on genders, there are things far greater than just outlook that are in play. There’s the law and the notion that difference in gender implies a difference in standards. There are people that are holding on to religious values in a dogmatic way that disables any logical argument to intervene. There are people too set in their ways to heed any voice of reason.

The real question isn’t education, most people are educated enough to know what equality’s about, the real question is what you believe and what you feel. As advanced as we are, we’re still guided by our emotions that our intellect cannot control, we know things to be untrue and yet our emotions are trained to believing them. It’s all about what people choose to believe and what side of the conflict they pick.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What's Worth It..

Dr. Phil was on the other day and it had a very interesting couple who were united after 62 years. Now how they were separated or united is not something I followed on the show, but the idea of them coming together when they’re both over eighty really got me thinking. I’m thinking what does it mean to spend time with someone after all these years, after all the sex drive has gone and all the things you were passionate about have cooled down. What does it mean to have companionship at this age towards the end of an entire lifetime?

The real issue at hand for me is what will I take with me if I ever manage to live to that age, what will I still be passionate about and fight over. I get into quibbles and debates about many things today, but how many of these will I look back at and say, what does it matter? How many of these things will seem futile and insignificant. There are so many things that can change about who I am, what’s important for me today? Important enough so that I carry it with me an entire lifetime.

I don’t know .. I just don’t know what’s worth it..

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Two Sides

The two sides of the same Egyptian coin is the head and the tail. Tail is a politically correct term since the true intention of a coin is having a head and a backside. Egyptians are very distinctly both really, they’re faces, but on most other occasions, they’re asses. It’s not a fifty/fifty chance though of ending up with one side rather than the other, it’s really a matter of which side you invoke.

I’ve talked with many people about the contrast between the downtown events that took place right after Ramadan and the African cup events that took place in February of the year 2006. They are opposites that are so extreme, yet certainly performed by the same people. Just last February the girls were out till midnight celebrating in face paint where other young guys who barely knew them celebrated with them and I’d go so far as to say that they even looked out for them too. The whole incident was phenomenal and the joy around was felt from the heart. The lust that following eid was also felt from the… heart. It was a very powerful lust. One that was enough to break the barriers of self control. Let me just say that those men acted on instinct. If any man is honest enough he’ll admit that when he sees a voluptuous girl on the street the thought of grabbing her crosses his mind, if not, then she’s not sexy enough. It’s just the way we feel, but we don’t act on it because as humans we’re defined by our control. There’s no doubt that both extremes exist within us but it’s a matter of how we stimulate it.

That’s not to say that the isolated incidents themselves did not contain that same contrast, for when we’re thinking of the Eid incidents we quickly overlook the few brave men who sheltered some women despite the mob. And when thinking of the African cup we overlook the sick ones who used it as an opportunity to harass some girls.

Egyptians have a way of acting like tails on normal occasions until their chivalry is challenged. A friend of mine was about to get mugged somewhere in Alexandria, and so instead of just cowering away, he went out and shouted ‘yerdeekoo ye7sal keda fi mante2etko’ ( is this a way to treat someone who came to your area is the translation I suppose assuming someone who doesn’t know Arabic would even bother to read this far). The translation doesn’t do justice cause it’s the attitude of appealing to tradition, generosity and chivalry of sha3by places. So basically some of those people switched to chivalry mode and stood up for those who were trying to mug my friend.

It’s all about which side of people you appeal to. It’s about what part you provoke. People are not ready to confront being low, they’re just ready to be it without anyone pointing it to them. People aren’t ready not to be gallant, they would fight off any such accusations in a second. This is always been a theory of mine, that you have to know which side to invoke in Egyptians. The usual circumstances usually lead to getting tails but if you appeal to them you might get their chivalry.

The theory is of course evident by downtown vs. African cup, but that got me to thinking, what is it that drove people to either of those extremes? The problem is that with the African cup, people felt united and people felt hope and that’s always a dangerous thing in a country like ours.. because not so long after this false sense of hope and pride, people realize how false it is. When confronted with their daily life they see clearly that they’ve been robbed of a right to hope or stand united. The African cup was just a glimpse of what could have been and the happenings of Eid are a glimpse of what really is. It’s hopelessness and despair and a sort of jungle. People’s chivalry is of no use to anyone and so it disappears.

People have been educated in such a manner where everything contradicts itself and so all you end up with are two extremes within them rather than one moderate behavior.

It’s a shame to see all the goodness of people thrown away, their potential crushed and their spirits drained. I’m a skeptic, but if there’s one thing I know, it’s that Egyptians have proven that when they need to, their motivation takes them a long way. The only problem is that it’s in very short pulses, like an awakening that happens once in a very long while.

There’s a search for a common goal, so that people’s energies are used and so that one person can derive power from the other. In the African cup it was a good cause, a victory for an Egyptian country, and that’s why women were protected, because the cause was being united to face our challengers. In Eid the goal was to chase and harass girls. It was a common goal and that’s why there was so much energy. People are deprived of a real goal, but they’re running towards nothing anyway.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Restaurant Culture

I don’t get it.. or maybe I do.. but I don’t think everyone else does, or maybe they do.. It’s just that I find it very troublesome and pain staking to go to a restaurant really. There’s something wrong with me or with people or with the restaurant business in general. I genuinely think it’s the restaurant business.

Firstly with everything in this country inauspiciously inverted, the whole meaning of the word waiter has been inverted. If the word waiter comes from ‘wait’ then I believe that it’s the customers who have become waiters judging from the amount of time they need to actually find an alleged ‘waiter’. Going to a restaurant has become like fishing, requiring lots of patience and waiting for food to come, on some lucky occasions you can fish out a waiter that actually does the job of getting you some food. There are even some techniques to ensure service which take a little experience, skill and practice.

One of the best techniques is to order things bit by bit, ensuring that a waiter will come with one order and at that time you order another, hence making sure he’ll visit every once in a while or at least be in the neighborhood, the problem with this technique is that at some point in time the waiter gives up and stops getting you that extra tissue you asked for or that salt, or that piece of brownie you requested last. Another problem is that you have to think of these things and that you have to put off some of the things you want till the waiter’s next visit. However, I’ve seen this technique applied masterfully by some of my friends, and I have concluded that females are better at this technique since they’re already very demanding by nature.

The good planner uses another technique, which is to position the place of seating strategically so that the field of vision and gesticulations allows for the attention of any waiter that’s passing by. You can of course forget about ‘your waiter for this evening’ sometimes you just have to use the first man in uniform that you see. This is a good strategy but it’s not so easy to apply since places can be crowded and this position doesn’t necessarily have the best view.

All in all, it’s exhausting for me to go to a restaurant cause it takes a lot of work and I still see that I’m the waiter in this equation. I’m sure at some point in time it was a waiter’s job to wait for people to make their orders or to finish their food or something, but now that culture has changed. And why shouldn’t it? The service doesn’t need to be good at all. All people care about is the setting. If a place invests enough money in some fancy interior design, it can save bundles on service and waiters and not only that, it is guaranteed to make loads of money by virtue of ornaments alone.

The better the design the more the money, never mind food, never mind service, as long as you got good lighting, hip interior you’ll do just fine. All any place has to do is just put an insane minimum charge and collect. Never mind service, people just keep on coming. So why should the service be any good? If you give good service or poor service the result is always the same. Even waiters know that, they count on people’s habit of tipping. People who tip, tip very constantly and consistently, people who don’t just don’t. People who tip are obsessed by the rules of tipping, is it ten percent and when to tip and all that.. Well we’re in Egypt, we have a culture of our own, so I really don’t think that tipping is as calculated as that. People get the worst service and in the end are embarrassed not to leave a tip. It’s these kind of people that cause all this bad service really. Tips are for good service, at least that’s how I perceive it. The consistency by which people repay bad service with money is amazing and I certainly can’t blame places or waiters for trying to test their limits, I would.

I sometimes feel like an outcast when I claim that tips are for good service. I feel like an outcast when I point out something wrong with the service or food to the restaurant. I do it with good intent. If it’s a good place it would want to know and make it better, I’m just doing a service to those who come after me, but that seems to be embarrassing for some, for reasons I don’t know.

So all the tippers out there, they’re responsible for the bad service I get. All those who are too embarrassed to speak up about their salad are responsible for my bad salad. All those who don’t care about value for money are responsible for the loss of my money for no value.

Maybe I just don’t get it.. why is it so much work going to a place that should be offering you service.. To top it all off, you have to search for them to pay them.. one of these days I wish I would just walk off so that they come sooner, but the real problem is that I really think they’d be too lazy to stop me ..

Saturday, October 21, 2006

It’s Tough Being A Woman

I’m not sure if men will agree, or women for that matter, but I really think it must be very hard being a woman. Of course I love women and the final product (already I’m pissing off the feminists) is wonderful, but being a woman itself is a lot of work. I mean women are in a tough spot from birth. Even though it’s better now, I can’t imagine how women lived a long time ago.. deprived of any education, they had to claw their way into the world. They had to deal with far more educated men and conquer them. They had to bear abuse and they had to bear shame.

Even today, when a woman is born, especially in the Middle East, she brings less joy to her family (not to me but to some others), she is surrounded by a fence of rules that she should not dare to cross. She’s not expected to play sports, she’s expected to act in a certain manner, she’s not even expected to hear cuss words and she’s expected to be home at a certain time. The community has built a cage around her that imprisons her even with her constitutional freedom. I don’t know if women see that, but I do.. and I don’t know what I’d do as a woman. I would rather be a woman with a bad reputation than be locked in such a case.

Like I said I think it’s very tough to be a woman, and men don’t give them a break. They just ask more and more and women bear more and more. They demand so much more of women and yet almost everywhere they call themselves the superior race. I’m not a feminist out to defend women or say that they’re superior, I just understand what they go through. It’s such a horrible quality to be able to put yourself in one’s shoes, it always causes me trouble .. This is the trouble I’m talking about, as a man, I’m very happy, rebellious against my own society and it’s easy for me to retaliate. Women have much more calculations and I don’t know if I would have been able to rebel had I been a woman.

Where do women get all their strength, with all odds against them.. with child labor, responsibilities and pressures by men. I really don’t know and that’s why I’m impressed with strong women. I’m impressed with how they fought all that was naturally against them and have risen to fight those battles that I do. I think it’s very difficult not to admire women. I also can see how to sympathize with them, but the trouble is that I don’t sympathize much with those who do not choose to help themselves.

Women are about sacrifice, even those who don’t. They always sacrifice something because they’re born at a social disadvantage. I know that there’s this talk of equality, but I’m saying that they’re born at a disadvantage. There’s equality of opportunity but not equality of people. If they were so equal, why didn’t women take over the world? I think it’s very concerning whenever I see an evil woman. Not that women can’t be evil, they can be and very much so in fact, but I mean the idea of a woman has been tampered with so much in my head that she needs to be kind, loving and obedient. Now I’m thankful that this is not how I view women really.. but it’s due to that damn trait of putting myself in their shoes.

Women need to be seductive; they need to watch their weight and what they eat. They need to wax and put on make up and just basically invest so much time on how they look. To top it off it has been customary to see women as in charge of the household and cleanliness. She has to keep the house in great shape, do all the dirty work and yet maintain her feminine beautiful and sexy image. She must be everything it seems, do the tough jobs and yet remain graceful. Be responsible and yet submissive.

Another thing about women that I appreciate is their biological nature. I mean after they mature they have so much to maintain. And it’s not just that… women are normal 25 % of the time. In a cycle of four weeks, they’re normal for one week, they get their emotionally exhausting PMT for the next, then get their physically exhausting period for a week and then ovulate for a week. A woman has something out of the ordinary to deal with 3 weeks out of 4, so much so, that I’m not sure I can label any one week ‘normal’.

I don’t understand how men can just ignore this, I mean even the tough guys out there not just those with a feminine side. It’s really tough and to think that putting yourself in these shoes might be mushy is just pure cowardice I believe. I think courageous and tough men have to appreciate certain tough situations, and like I’ve been babbling all this time being a woman is theeeee ultimate tough situation.

How can one chromosome mean this world of difference? I really don’t know.. but I do know that it’s tough being a woman even with all those rights. Those women’s rights are there but they also put pressure on her. They’re a sort of freedom but a lot of women I know have less ambitious priorities by nature. I mean they can do certain jobs as good as men and some even better but a lot of them need the emotional side fulfilled too.
What started all this anyway? Well I was watching part of a show ‘Qasim Ameen’ and he was talking about giving women a right to education. I realized that we’re depriving women of all the tools they need to get ahead and that it must be very tough.. But on second thought, they’re doing very well without a lot of tools and getting ahead, imagine what would happen if we make all those tools available.. Lord have mercy on men..

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Wrong Approach

The problem with people nowadays in relation to God and religion is the way they work it ‎out; more often than not people start the wrong way around. People have the habit of first ‎looking around them at things they comprehend and see and then trying to work out what ‎they cannot see. Let me explain, people always look at the world around them and from it ‎try to deduce the spiritual world beyond, so they look at the earth and try to deduce if ‎heaven exists. This method usually does not provide good results, because whatever the ‎deductions seem to be, they’re always incomplete. Starting out with what you see can lead ‎you anywhere. The better approach would be to assume that there is God and see what the ‎results will be, or assume there is no God and deduce how things should be, then perhaps ‎match it with what you have and from it determine what you’ve assumed wrong.‎

Of course some people claim they have made the assumptions I stated above, but have ‎failed to work in that direction. Let’s take for example how people approach religion, first ‎they take the words of any religious book as the absolute truth, and from it they work what ‎God is like. This is a very dangerous approach because when assuming there is God, there ‎can be no absolute guarantee that the book they’re reading is His word, and so the word of ‎God gives a wrong impression about God to those assuming he does exist, and totally ‎disproves the existence of God (in some cases) to those assuming he doesn’t exist.‎

‎(A very good example of people saying unreasonable things can be found here)‎

All this might be getting boring and a bit complicated.. I think it’s a bit too dense but here’s ‎what I mean, it would be much simpler to assume that God doesn’t exist and then reason as ‎to how the world will be like. It would be much simpler to assume that God does exist and ‎reason what the world would be like in his existence and what His words will be like. If we ‎try to imagine what God would do if he did exist it will save us a lot of trouble, and perhaps ‎then we can reason His words.‎

A debate struck up between me and a friend of mine in which I asked him about something. ‎So the first thing he answered me was “God said so”. Now I don’t know about you, but this ‎word infuriates me a bit, because at a time when people are claiming God said so many ‎things, you can’t base this as a source of your argument. I mean with so many books and so ‎many theories, let’s use that brain God gave us, he must have given it to us for a reason. ‎Perhaps not to understand everything but just enough to understand whether what we’re being ‎told can be true. So I told my friend, don’t explain to me by telling me God said so, explain ‎to me why God said so or would say so, let us reason why God would say this and let us ‎reach through the little logic we have why God told us this. So we sat down and examined ‎the issue from a social point of view, psychological point of view, scientific point of view ‎and we reasoned that God has a reason for saying this and that.‎

You see that’s the problem I’m talking about, people keep telling you because God said so.. ‎and while I know God must have said some things, I know that there are some means of ‎understanding part of God’s wisdom. It’s all about working the right way, sometimes ‎working backwards can give you an illogical god or even a contradicting god. ‎

I’m not going to get to detailed examples of what I mean but let me try to show something. ‎Let’s assume there was God, and there was a devil. Now what would God do to help ‎humans and what would the devil do to counter that plan assuming as well that we had free ‎will. I suppose that God would probably give people instructions on how to live and what ‎would be good for them, but the devil’s technique would be to cast doubt on those words, ‎and the best way for people to get lost is to be confused and not know what’s right from ‎what’s wrong. It’s like psychological warfare I suppose, each country releasing a set of press ‎releases and you can choose which to believe. Of course there are signs that tell you which is ‎true and which is not. ‎

I remember the war in Iraq, there were many statements made by the States regarding the ‎battles and there were statements made by Information minister Saeed Al Sahaaf of Iraq ‎regarding the same war. They were both conflicting and yet one was true and one was not so ‎true. I guess at some point people choose which they want to believe, what they wish to be ‎true, or what they were raised to believe.‎

So the point is simple, it’s all about the approach. Whenever people reason as to what God ‎might say, someone comes in and just says: No you infidels, God said so and so and so and ‎so as if it were definitive. ‎

To top this all off, I must add these excellent links for both believers and non believers. It’s ‎just a few things to show that theology is not that trivial.‎

If you think believers are naive click here.‎
If you think non believers are idiots click here.‎

Many people approach God and religion in what I view as a wrong way, but hey.. it’s my ‎blog and the only opinion that really matters is my own.‎

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Psychopath Test

So a recent comment on one of my posts reminded me of a test I heard once that determines how much of a psychopath you are. It's very interesting, so to anyone who comes here (talking to myself) if you haven't heard this before, give it a shot.. with reasoning.. if you've read this before, enjoy the different answers.. and if you want to know the answer.. just google it.. or I can give it away some time anyway if you're lazy.

"This is a story about a girl.

While at the funeral of her own mother, she met a guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing, so much the dream guy that she was searching for that she fell in love with him immediately.

However, she never asked for his name or number and afterward could not find anyone who knew who he was.

A few days later the girl killed her own sister.

Question: Why did she kill her sister?"

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Shattered Glass

There’s something about shattered glass that’s unsettling. The shattered glass itself and the process of glass shattering is intricately linked to irreparable damage. What worries me most about a broken piece of glass is how much it can hurt. The problem with shattered glass is that it has many broken pieces and each on its own dangerous and hurtful.

The odd thing about it is that the single piece that consisted of all those smaller pieces was in all likelihood very safe, smooth and probably even beautiful. When broken, all those pieces lose their form, beauty and meaning. They may be laid out in a beautiful manner but that isn’t always the case and even then they remain dangerous pieces of glass that may cause damage.

Even the sound of glass breaking against a hard substance is very disturbing. It violently disturbs the relative peace preceding it. The sound of glass breaking announces an event that must be dealt with in an urgent manner. It’s very distracting, imposing and intrudes on all activities happening around it.

Another thing that bothers me about shattered glass is the amount of small pieces it has broken into. So many pieces suddenly exist and some of them are so tiny that they can’t be seen. Some of them fly away so far from where the glass broke that their position cannot be anticipated. These small pieces are still dangerous and invasive, for even after a shattered glass is swept off and cleared away, no one can ever be too sure that all the pieces have been picked up. The once safe area is transformed to a ore dangerous upon which one must tread cautiously lest he be hurt. Those small pieces can hide well and unsettle a once peaceful and quiet place.

There’s also a sense of waste when glass breaks as well. This sense of waste is all the more magnified when big pieces remain intact and have sharp edges that render them useless. It strikes me even more with colored glass whose shattered pieces look beautiful and reflect light in so many ways yet nothing can be done with it but throw it away. The glass once shaped to server a purpose now serves none and in fractions of a second morphs to an inadequate state making it worthy only of disposal.

It’s a waste of glass and a waste of something good when glass shatters. There’s something ‎unsettling about it, about the irreversibility of the process and the randomness of the result. I ‎certainly prefer glass before it has been shattered. ‎
Yehya celebrity photographer on Jimmy Kimmel Live 9-13-06

Hats off to this guy..

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Remedies and solutions are not mine to behold,
in this desert of time, where one too quickly grows old,
As to a passing wind is a motionless scene,
so am I to time, nothing do I mean.

And who am I to ask the whens or whys of this world,
I'd neither add nor take if I was ever told,
we're all shooting stars and sometimes we're not even seen.
we're neither earth nor air we're something in between

do we exist? for certain yes we do,
but how or why, I haven't got a clue,
I'm not gonna answer life's questions anymore,
survival is more impending and knocking at my door.

As a bystander I was born and a bystander I stay,
Seeing of life's movie a single still portrait,
not enough to understand the way things come in play,
but not little enough so as to look the other way.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Gates Of Despair

Lurking about me continuously are gates of despair, entreating me to walk right through them to a land where all has gone wrong. The gates are wide open and inviting and there seems to be much comfort in the act of slipping through past their entrance, but I know that the other side is full of darkness. I know that the only easy thing is passing through those gates because once I’m in, these gates will shrink and they will no longer be inviting they will be distant, and they will no longer lurk about me they will be evasive. I will be in a dark hole and all the while given the chance from one spiral of despair to yet another.

The dark gates call on to me continuously. When my day is rough, when the going gets tough, when I’m tired and lost with so much left to do and think about. Why must I wrestle so much with these invitations, they seem to ask me to let go of all I have. But I can see no future in accepting this invitation; nothing but the momentary comfort of accepting it and the temporary relief of these battles.

Must life be so hard? Is it the same with everyone around? Or is it just me? It’s becoming harder for me to survive, harder for me to do the things I should, harder for me to finish the tasks I have. In the past things were easier, my tasks would be clear and my path would be vivid. But now… why has everything easy been replaced with struggle and where is that young man who found everything easy to do?

That young man would comfort friends and glide through troubled paths with confidence and grace. Those gates of despair were always behind him, trying to catch up but failing and he in turn never looked back. Maybe he slowed down and became me, and now those gates have caught up with me. I fight their invitations but every now and then I think of what it would be to accept their invitation and fall into one comfortable spiral of despair.

What other gates await? What other gates are fast on my track I wonder. I must keep going forward and though the climb is steep, but surely there will come a time that I will be able to travel downhill. I know that one fights off what he can in order to become all that he could…

Thursday, September 28, 2006

In our darkest hour

It is in our darkest hour that we need to stay strong. It is in our darkest hour that we must not lose faith.

This notion is very powerful and appealing. I find myself, as I’m watching a movie, during its darkest hour, during the climax of the plot, I find myself beseeching the protagonist not to sway from the course, to keep the faith and to stay strong in the darkest hour. But that’s just in the movies where you know that a story has a beginning, middle and an end. It’s just in the movies that you know that this is truly the darkest hour. It’s only in the movies where heroes stay strong and every thing turns out okay. It’s only in a story where the writer can choose how it ends and can give the characters strength and faith. Only in a story can we be so demanding but only because we’re well aware how stories are.

But what of real life? Do we even recognize our darkest hour when it arrives? Do we know that things will turn out okay? Do we know that our convictions are correct enough to hold on to? Do we even know how long our hour will last?

When it comes to real life, I probably won’t be as motivated as the characters in a story. I’ll probably lose faith, and probably things won’t turn out alright.

The truth is that we’re blinded in our darkest hour and we’re usually so alone and it doesn’t feel like someone is watching us beseeching us to stay strong. We’re all alone and it doesn’t seem that everything will turn out okay. We’re all alone and we don’t know if this is the middle or if it’s the end.

Yet with all the discrepancies between stories and real life, I still think that it’s worth something to hang on in your darkest hour. It’s worth something to have faith and believe that this too shall pass. It’s worth something to be a hero even if just to yourself.

It’s worth something to endure and believe that in great heat, gold sublimes. I think that those who endure during their darkest hour are the better metals and that their endurance purifies them.

I know it’s easy to preach, just spurt out those words. I also know that they mean too little to someone in his darkest hour because they’re just words, and words cannot know the details of that hour and words don’t know its future. I know how hard it is to ask people to keep the faith during their darkest hour, I know it’s hard to ask people to find strength in their darkest hour and I know it’s hard to convince people that someone cares about their darkest hour.

But I have to say, for what it’s worth, that it’s always appealing to see someone stay the course. It’s inspirational to see it in the stories but powerfully moving to see it in real life. It’s worth something… It has to be.

So I send this out to those who feel that this could be their darkest hour, but most of all I send this out to me for when I’m discouraged while in my darkest hour…

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Amnesty Report

I just saw this Amnesty Report about torture in Egypt. I was very moved by how oppressed we are. Once you're in power, everyone else is powerless to stop you. Unfortunately most people choose to abuse any given power. I have much to say, but for now what this report should suffice...

Egypt is a country I love and hate.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Parking Problems

I don't know what to call them really, car keepers is the closest word, basically cause I saw someone with a badge spelt 'CAR KEEBR' down by the pyramids.. In Arabic it's sayes, which then went on to become just menaady, it’s very interesting how they’ve evolved actually.

You see I have a real problem with those car keepers, I really do. My problem is that basically they demand money for nothing. Even when I was a student in college with little money to spare they would provoke car drivers in the most absurd manner. Back then they made more money than I do, and even now, I stop to wonder if they still do. It's not that I don't pay them for a service I need, I do.. but I only pay when the car is filthy or I want them to keep an eye out or for just any service that I actually require and that they actually do.

In the old days they used to wipe your car window even if it was clean, and they would offer the service in a very enthusiastic manner.. as time went by, the cloth got dirtier and dirtier, and they got more complacent. They dirtied your car and expected to get paid for it. The real problem is that if you don't pay they give you a condescending look, like it’s their absolute right to take money that belongs to you. Some of them would throw money in your face if they didn't like what you gave them.. they're elite I tell ya.. It has become their implicit right to take money off you for something you don't want and don't need and which they don't offer.

On one occasion a complete stranger demanded that he take my car keys just because he claimed he was a sayes. That’s a lot of power for someone off the street really. On another occasion one of those sayes people got very angry cause I pulled the handbrakes while I was parked correctly!!! I mean he got really upset, like the street was his.

You see, it turns out that streets are rented for a price, they give some street bully money and that street becomes theirs. No wonder they’re so demanding, someone sold them thin air and for that they need to extract your money. It’s vicious I tell ya.

They got lazier and lazier and more demanding than ever lately, and that's when they changed names from sayes, to menaady. It's cause they don't even bother with that filthy cloth anymore, the elite sayes now only calls out to help you in and out of a parking space which you would have already found on your own. You see this would all make sense if I didn't have a license, but if he's there to tell me how to drive (with bad instructions if I might add) then why do I even carry the license?

Okay so it's not so bad, they sometimes do help.. but then again so do I.. when I see someone trying to park in a tight spot, I give them instructions.. sometimes I would park their car for them, but do I ask for anything? No!! Do I give them a condescending look if they don’t give me money? No!! I just offer my friendly human services expecting no reward except perhaps a thank you!
Eureka!! that's it.. I found out that I needn't pay them money for their kind words. It's fair that I repay them this kindness with kindness of my own. These days I'm at peace with Car Keepers, for their vocal services I reward them with vocal gratitude. I really smile at them genuinely and thank them for getting out of their way to give me instructions, after all, if they were driving, I would have done the same.

So the last time I was with R he saw me smiling to the menaady and after we had gone off he asked me, did you give him something? He wasn't even there when we parked. I told him no, I didn't give him anything. Knowing my history and my attitude towards car keepers, he said, okay, cause for a moment there I was surprised and thought you'd changed your attitude towards them, I know how you feel about them. So I told him that I'm no longer angry at them, I'm thankful for their selfless services and that’s why I smile at them.. all I did was adjust my attitude a bit but the results are still the same.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Old lyrics in modern times

دا عاوز يكوش عالعالم بحاله
دا عاوز يهوش يعمل ما بدالو

da 3awez yekawesh 3al 3aalam be7aaloh
we da 3awez yehawesh ye3mel ma badaaloh

I wouldn't normally post arabic, but I heard these lyrics by Ahmad Mouneeb that reminded me of two certain entities in today's modern world .. perfectly.. these lyrics were in the seventies or eighties I guess but it's strange how they describe accurately some entities that still exist to this day..


My friend R told his friend I that we can let H in on the plan but not M. We were interupted by S who was telling N that she can't go out with K because of the relationship he had with T. But just to let you in on a secret S herself saw something in K because K was E's best friend and she knew that she would be able to get to E if R and K came to an agreement. So I told H that K would meet with R if S would let J take G to a play..

Welcome to blog world..

Welcome to the very anonymous, mysterious and yet revealing blog world...


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Male Discrimination

Well I'm sick. I'm not sick of discrimination or anything of that sort, I'm just sick. I have a kind of cold that won't leave me alone, but then again I don't give it a chance to slip away. I keep running errands despite my running nose, and the more I run the more it runs. I don't want to be visual here but that's just the way a cold gets.. very disturbing and without rest, you're under its hold.

So despite being sick I still had to go and say goodbye to a friend R, (and I won't write the name not because I want to keep it anonymous but because it would be disastrous in the blog world if any real names were used) who was leaving to S - I mean Saudi Arabia.. (totally forgot it was okay to use real country names but it would be more interesting if I don't next time and just limit things to the initials) So I travelled all the way to Nasr City which was such a hassle cause it's so crowded, and I discovered that sickness impairs my driving abilities.. I just lack some of the common sense I have with driving when I'm sick.

So anyway, what I really want to say without the amusing paragraphs of how I got there is that I was in Nasr city on a normal 'male only' coffee shop.. (Ahwa) and we decided to go on to a cafe. Of course the difference being that you get better lighting, interior design and uniformed waiters (but hardly anyting much better on the menu I guess, just better packaging perhaps) ..oh and let's not forget, the other half of the community (chicks) .. but you need to pay almost ten times as much for each item in order to get these kinds of privileges.

So in that privileged, well lighted place by the name of Armando, located off Merghany street I guess, we found ourselves a nice high table and sat ourselves there. Well it took them around 10 minutes to get us a menu. That was the last we got of them, and after almost 30 minutes of sitting there we left... having enjoyed the beautiful scenery and company. It would make sense if the place was overpacked to not serve, but it wasn't... and waiters were lingering about and deciding that mopping tables was more important than taking our orders.

As soon as we left the waiters were prompt to remove the menus they'd supplied us and mopping the table. What very diligent waiters that efficiently mop tables. After we'd left, R said, they probably didn't like us, I had to disagree, cause I managed to trigger a few smiles in there.. but by the looks of it my friend R was claiming that we were discriminated against because we were just a bunch of young males. Now, I had been to Armando some time earlier with my friend D, and while she was around they were very prompt to serve..

That place's service has either gotten really bad or it discriminates against males without their female companions. The level of service in Egypt is apalling and most places don't have a clue as to what customer satisfaction means.. but if it's not the service, could it be that males are discriminated against? To tell you the truth, I really don't know which is worse, that it's very bad service or just discrimination..

Well in a lot of places, only couples are allowed, very counter culture though cause it encourages the coupling of male and female entities which is exactly what tradition fights against (if the connection is not formal), and oddly enough I was denied entry to Hard Rock with that same friend R. I mean women are today's tickets, each man must get one.. at least to go to places he wants. Of course R is now married and he can go anywhere he wants, and while with female companions I can go places I want to, but perhaps this is payback for us men dominating some Ahwas and of course other fields in life.

So anyway, the world is now telling us the value of women, not that I don't already know, and I certainly agree.. but next time I'm with a female companion I won't go to that place again... or maybe I will and just experiment a bit.. but I sure know that my friend R won't take his wife there..

Thursday, September 14, 2006

4am thoughts

I'm tired, it's late and I've nothing to say. Nothing to say that would be of use to anyone, and nothing to say that would be of use to me. I'm just tired and it's late and that seems like enough to say for this moment. Sometimes I say 'I'm tired' and it just means that I'm tired, and at other times it's just an expression of some feeling that goes beyond. Tired of the things I have to deal with and tired of things around me. Tired of being surrounded by all sides by things that tell me what to do and who to be. Tired of being trapped in a system, where I'm just a controlled variable necessary for life's experiment... Tired of having to fight too many battles to get my rights...

My rights.. well that's a really broad phrase, I sometimes wonder if it ceases to become my right if I have to fight for it so hard, I mean I may as well fight for something that isn't mine in the first place... Does it make a difference that things are yours? I mean you'd think that just because you have a right would mean that you would get it easily, the meaning of simplicity is implied I guess, but I must be mistaken. Lately I've noticed how everyone fights for their right. I mean shouldn't it be that people automatically get their rights and fight for privileges? It's a strange world I'm living in where rights are wrong.

I've been reading too many gloomy blogs, of ordinary people feeling ordinary things. When I was younger I used to write to my journal the strangest thoughts and I felt so odd amidst my friends, but somehow I felt I wasn't alone out there. I had nothing to substantiate this feeling but certainly I'm not the only one feeling gloomy. I've always felt like such an alien because I could not indulge in the common things people do with enthusiasm... but I wonder how many people kept a journal like mine? How many people went back home and cried out to a piece of paper that sort of told them that everything would be okay.. you've got me to share all this with.

Anyway, not to sound too pathetic or alone, I would like to note that as a person you'd never think I'd fall into these morbid moods, I simply couldn't be bothered or so I appeared. There's a feeling of strength that is harvested only when appearing strong. When people see you as a strong person you're empowered, you have the ability to be as strong as you choose. For me it's been that way, I'd be a shapeless piece of matter if it weren't for decisions of what shape I am to take. I mean to be a liar would have been easy, I just needed to decide, to have been a jerk would have been easier, I just needed to decide. I decided the harder things, but I guess it wouldn't have made a difference one way or the other which I had decided, I was able to stick to my decision.

I'm not saying that I'm not a liar or a jerk, it would be a real disaster if I wasn't a bit of both, but at least I'm not decidedly so ... I mean, it gives me great pleasure when some people see me as something I'm not.. why? I'm not sure.. something about misdirection. I've always been interested in things that are not what they appear to be, layers, depth... People would be very boring if they were what they appeared to be, and that's why I don't trust people that seem too trustworthy. It's more interesting to meet someone with bad qualities and some good in them.. it's more interesting to dig out the good. Good people burry their bad qualities and never show them, but they will appear some day. Bad people burry their good qualities and try not to show them, but it's very interesting when they appear some day.

Listen to me, now I sound like some ancient monk from Tibet.. why do I say ancient? more wisdom ? I don't know, just sounds right.. but I'm not into the whole cookie fortune wisdom thing.. not the whole "I'll tell you what you need in life".. I mean stuff like "honesty is the best policy" .. yeah right.. whoever said honesty was the best policy wasn't being very honest..

And more ramblings and more ramblings, like the ramblings I would write during my sad winter days, but then again a blog can be my new found journal.. but I mean who cares really.. we read to know we're not alone, I'm sure many people have stranger thoughts.. stranger lives.. and stranger blogs ..

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Satellite Guy

Isn’t it strange the people we meet, some of them surprise you and some of them disappoint you. It strikes me as odd, the things you hear from people reflecting how they think. An example of a very strange encounter I had with someone was when we were installing our satellite receiver.

We struck up a conversations about a variety of things, I listened to him talk about his philosophies in life. Though seemingly a simple person some of the things he said were interesting and had a fair amount of truth to them. Other things didn’t make much sense. I’ll recount things he said:

Two rumors spread through the whole of Egypt just before the elections. The first being that the current president has stolen enough out of the country, his pouch is full, he won’t be stealing much more, so why elect someone who will start to rob the country all over again. Well I tell you now, this applies to a petty thief, but not to a gang leader, you see the problem with this theory is that it assumes the president is stealing small amounts that he’s just a common thief, but in fact he’s a gang leader and those around him steal as much. He’s like a thief that knows where the safe is, if someone new were elected, he wouldn’t know where the safe is, that would give time for us to enjoy the country at least for a while.

The second rumor that was circulated is that there is no one better to rule. Now there are probably people who are better and can do well in this country with a population of seventy million people. But good people can never rise to places where they can be of use. In the first place being president is a big responsibility and it seems foolish to step up. Consider those who nominated themselves for presidency, Ayman Nour and Nomaan Gomma, they’re both in prison.

America wants Mubarak. They’ve told Mubarak he can win as long as he enforces democracy. Now Mubarak did enforce democracy, and what happened when he did? A lot of members of parliament were from the Ikhwan Muslimeen, a radical party, at which America told Mubarak to halt the democracy and get back to how things were before. I guess America only wants democracy that will serve its purpose.

When asked about a former prime minister who was kicked out, he said Bees can’t live anywhere but hives, and no other creature can live in a hive. You have to belong to be able to make it somewhere, if you don’t belong you’re kicked out. The government is too corrupt to accept men of integrity.

Egyptians are doing so well elsewhere, but when it comes to Egypt, no one with the right talent is in the right place. I agreed with this and told him we have many jackasses in our midst. He said, the problem isn’t with someone who’s a jackass, the problem is with someone who insists on being a jackass. In a famous movie by the name of “Ramadan foa el Borkan”, featuring Adel Immam, he plays the part of a crook who calculates that it’s better to steal and do the time than it is to work. He goes out of prison and starts a con company and then one of his friends from prison comes to work with him. So Adel asks the guy, do you know how to read or write? The guy answers no. Do you know how to answer telephones? No. Do you know how to do anything at all? No. Do you understand anything about anything? The man replies no. Adel then says, “In that case, hire him as a member in the board of directors”. This is the kind of people we have.

What happened to the world we asked, why are things so different. The satellite man asked if thirty years ago one could catch a cat. Those who could answer the questions answered no. Cats used to run away, no way you can catch it. Then he asked, back in the time, how were the dogs? Those who could answer said that dogs were more vicious. So the satellite man said, these days cats stick like glue, you shoo them off and they keep coming back. Dogs are afraid these days, kids have tamed and scared them. There’s a change in the environment around us, the times are changing and things aren’t what they used to be.

By that time we were nearing the end of the tuning of the channels. He said that women would usually watch whatever channel they see, and men would just keep flipping the channel. Women weren’t as curious as men, and men didn’t want to see the channels for their content, just more of an exploration. He commented that there were many porn channels stored. There’s no problem with the channels themselves, he has a kid who he tells that it’s okay to be curious, but becoming addicted is the real danger.

We asked him if he enjoyed his job. He replied, I always do what pleases me and what I like that’s what counts in the world really. But the beauty of the world is in its obstacles. If you want something for 4 days and buy it on the fifth, you’ll enjoy the five days more than you enjoy the time after you get it.

This is a very brief account of the conversations that went on between us. We talked of how people abroad respected the human being, and that it’s always better and how life was smooth. He said it was always better to live outside Egypt because of how smooth people have it. This is almost the only place I made a statement. I told him, but I thought you said life without obstacles is not livable, Egypt here has all the obstacles we need for a good enjoyable life.

It’s strange the people you meet and the opinions you hear. Not all conversations are memorable and not all parts of a memorable conversation are new, but perhaps sometimes you hear things out of people that you don’t expect. It’s all a matter of opinions and expectations I guess.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The 45 in one shampoo

Isn’t it amazing how there are products today that say two in one and three in one. Shampoo and Conditioner. Shampoo, Conditioner and Anti Dandruff. But what I also find amazing is how specialized products are becoming. The once popular soap for the hair has evolved into shampoo, and if that’s not enough there’s conditioner and if that isn’t enough there’s shampoo for each kind of hair, and then there’s a shampoo for all kinds of hair. There’s a soap for your hands, soap for your legs, soap for your ..ahem.. special parts, soap for the dishes and soap for the laundry. So many different kinds of soaps have evolved and for a human to function with a bare minimum, you have to have at least 6 kinds of soaps. Even cream; there’s hand cream, there’s face cream, there’s anti-aging cream there’s body cream, there’s lubricant cream. The diversity is just amazing. Perhaps that’s why two in one and three in one items have in turn evolved. There’s a need to simplify the products, to eliminate all the diversities found in the multitude of soap. There’s a need to re-instate the items that could be bought for general use.

Now as we continue to evolve, more and more subsections of products will appear, and yet that in itself will allow for more and more generalizations to make their way to our hands. So today we have the two in one and three in one, in ten years we’ll have the nine in one and ten in one, in 2 decades we would have reached the thirty in one and perhaps by the time I’m ready to leave this world I would have witnessed the forty five in one hair shampoo, which is effectively the equivalent of the first shampoo when it first came out.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A Death Perspective

Death is not what we see in the movies. I know I’m stating an obvious truth, but the thing is that it struck me when I realized what death in real life is all about. In the movies we see people dying, bombs exploding, bodies flying and blood splatter. It’s horrific, it really is. It’s heartbreaking and it’s very intense. Sometimes we see the agony of people dying slowly and their loved ones surrounding them, and it’s also agonizing to watch. But the thing is, except if you’re in a war battle seeing all these things or walking in on someone who has fallen ill all of a sudden, death is not as direct as all that. Death is a piece of news and that is all. The most gruesome part of this piece of news is that you’re not provided with pictures and vision, you’re just given a piece of information. You are told that you will not see the person you love alive again and that sometime while you were doing something, this person’s life ended. The piece of news leaves you so void, void of knowing what happened exactly, void of imagination and the things that go on in your head are ghastly since they are left to your imagination. This piece of news left you void because you could not see it coming, it just happens and you cannot rewind and pay attention to the last time you spoke that person. You cannot rewind and do things differently; you cannot rewind and appreciate things differently.

Death in the end is a piece of news, that’s what it really is. It doesn’t go like the movies where you see what happens and hope for things not to take a worse turn. You’re provided with the end first, that the person is dead, and all you can do is flashback to what might have happened because you cannot change a thing that has passed.

I would change the famous saying by John Lennon to, “Death is what happens to you while making other plans.” It is just so invasive and so unreal. Sometimes you can just hear a piece of news and not want to believe it, and yet it is so real in our hearts. How can words without any sort of vision cause such great sorrow? Death as we experience it is just words, just news, and yet when it’s a loved one, it strikes us more powerfully than any other vision could.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Cultural Demands

Some of our views about culture have been skewed. Culture isn't always a good thing, not old culture anyway, it is only a reflection of times that certain communities lived in. So if we're talking about promoting our culture and all that then we have to be very clear on what we're promoting and why we're promoting it.

The skewed view of culture is that we have to promote it and adhere to it and find ourselves in it. We have to fight the world we're living in that will take away our culture from us, but that's not true. I simply disagree with getting out of our way to live inside a dying culture. Remember it... certainly, but fight change and live it? That doesn't sound right. The problem is globalisation and we're not okay with mean beastly western countries infiltrating our lives, but I guess they already have, and they have integrated their new cultures with ours. You see it's new for them as well, but they're the ones that have created it and spread it, our resentment comes from the fact that we are unable to spread our culture in a manner that everyone adheres to.

So you say, that's the whole point, spreading our culture, and I'll repeat my definition, culture is but a reflection, and we have not had a great enough effect on the world for culture to reflect our contributions. We're like people who have had good memories in a certain place and revisit it to relive it. It fails because times are changing, and reality is what it is. We cannot reincarnate the mood we felt in a certain cafe down a certain street if that mood has changed, we can only remember it, describe it and love it.

We must remember that we are creating a culture that is shaped by our reactions to the world we live in. I don’t think that the world of today can live by yesterday’s culture, and whether we choose to admit it or not, our culture has changed, because our world has changed.

Now language is a very good example, and you cannot blame parents for wanting to give their children a real edge in this world rather than patriotically holding on to ways of old. I mean I don’t mind people knowing Arabic very well, but if you think about the world these days, more information is accessible via the English language. More people who contribute to the world use English as a means of communicating their contributions.

The primary aim of a language is communication with the other, right? Well it has several other functions, but what I mean to say is that sometimes better communication is desirable. We can see many English and foreign words making their way to Arabic, and the opposite is true, foreign words in English and Arabic words in English. Like the word “Malesh”, added as oxford's word of the day, it’s expressive.

I know that this may seem like an over simplification, but it’s not, it’s just a different perspective. Some people think of language as an identity. Well there are those who have not been raised in Egypt and speak Arabic as their second language. Is their identity lost due to their weak Arabic? I personally believe that searching for your identity within a set of predefined moulds is highly over-rated. People search for an identity for a whole lifetime and they try to find it in language, country or culture, and while all these are factors involved in an identity, they are all involved but they’re not defining, they all must revolve around one major element that harnesses their power… values.

An English speaking Egyptian with an Egyptian sense of humor, does it change his identity? That’s who he is. You define who you are, your circumstances, your values, your choices; I think that people way often search for what their identity should be like rather than find out what it is.

To make a long story longer, it’s good to be proud of our heritage, it’s good to be proud of our language, but let’s not lie about the influence of things in our life. Our culture is a reflection of how we handle things in today’s world, how we balance out our values. So when a child speaks in English, it’s not debasing our culture, he’s just responding to a cultural demand, if we really want our culture to be spread, it must be necessary and if we want it to be necessary we need to contribute more to the world.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Who's Bigger

Once upon a time John Lennon said, "We're more popular than Jesus now."

Well these days everything's bigger than Jesus. I mean John Lennon could have meant it in more ways than one, but it seems to remain true in one form or the other. It's not that anything will outlast religion or God really, it's just that in the simple choices we have to make in our everyday life, many things will outweigh God. Religion is big in most ways, but perhaps for most people it fails the size test in the most critical application, the application of religion for choice.

Jesus taught people to love their enemies, forgive those who harm them, love their neighbors as they love themselves, to be humble, to be concerned with the salvation of their soul rather than their body.. and so on ... and so on.. But I won’t discuss all what Jesus taught. I will support my case (and Lennon’s too) by showing how many things are bigger than Jesus.

When you have an enemy, do you love them or is hate bigger? When you’ve been wronged do you forgive or is revenge bigger? When someone needs something, do you give or is your self bigger? When you can gain something do you take the straightest path or is your need bigger? When you have a choice between charity and a Beatles concert, do you donate the money or are the Beatles bigger?

Yes for most of the people living these days the Beatles are bigger. It’s good to know about God and all that but when you’re running a country, politics is bigger. It’s good to sympathize with the other and love them as yourself, but when it’s about laws and politics.. need I say more?

A few decades ago John Lennon stirred the whole world but today could anyone stir it in the same way with such a comment? (Well of course it is possible and a lively example would be Moses these days rather than Jesus, cause it will be claimed anti-Semitic) My point is simple, most of the world kicks religion out of their schools, it’s okay to believe but just don’t have it mixed up with the things that matter. Jesus is big, but don’t compare him to anything in the practical world.

So where do love, forgiveness, charity, selflessness, humility and patience go? They disappear in the practical realm. Sometimes it’s just natural to put all good things aside when bad things happen. When we see Lebanese children dying, how can we love an enemy? Hate is bigger. When we see tyranny how can we have patience and faith? Vengeance is bigger. When we can hurt our enemies how can we have mercy? Justice is bigger. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it’s sad and it hurts, but in the practical realm the Beatles are bigger.

Tony Blair was criticized for saying that he believes in God and that he prayed, why? Because God has become smaller in the eyes of the world. But things seem small from a distance, don’t they?


Friday, July 28, 2006

I Harbor a Fear

I mean it’s not such an imminent fear, but it’s a thought that made its way to my reckoning after the statement Al-Qaida made that it will not sit idle while Israel continues to kill people in Lebanon. It’s obvious things are going relatively well for Hizbollah against Israel and I think Al-Qaida wants to support a winning battle. So long as Hizbollah stands its ground, there is room for some sort of victory.

Let me emphasize something, I’m not a political analyst and for all I know these expectations may not even be feasible but my politically mediocre reasoning has opened my eyes to certain possibilities. There may be a remote chance that the many resistance forces will join together, united by their hate to Israel even more than they are separated from each other by major ideological conflicts. This may even result in their gradual sovereignty over various strips of the region. This of course means that they will have acquired a victory over Israel and hence the USA. But the question is, what will they do with victory? We have seen Israel acting ruthless, even within boundaries of international law, fighting on many fronts, politically and militarily, but how will those resistance forces act?

Let us not forget that they will not be answering to international law, they will not be under constraints of doing what is acceptable, they have been under occupation, humiliation, attack and repression for more than they can remember, what will they do when they get power? The fight might later on be between Hizbollah, Fath, Hamas and Al-Qaida for dominance but what if that’s all worked out and they have power?

This is my fear, that such a situation happens. Perhaps the only thing worse than Israel winning this fight against the resistance, is losing heavily. When you’ve been cruelly treated for years on end, all that will differ is the power changing hand, but by that time the world might see even more cruelty than it has ever seen, perhaps even a second holocaust. If power goes to the wrong hands, the whole world might end up living in terror. If Hizbollah chooses to defend itself in the same way that Israel chose, then there will be attacks on innocent Israelis for what their government did, attacks on innocent Americans for what their government did and attacks on the innocent for what the guilty did. The excuse can be as absurd as Israel’s and America’s, the right to defend oneself.

You see the problem is that when a tyrant battles a tyrant, the world cannot take sides, it can only wait to see who wins. The problem is that the USA as a super power has wasted its chance of gaining support from anyone by becoming a tyrant, for now it is the strong tyrant but if it’s defeated, it becomes a strong tyrant that does not have support. What I mean to say is that the USA does not have the option of doing the right thing anymore because it has proven that it cannot. So when the time comes and if extreme cruelty is displayed by Hizbollah upon victory, the USA cannot act as the world leader or a savior. It wasted its chance to play that role by tarnishing its history.

The problem is that no one will come to the aid of Israel who has bullied the international community for so long. No one that has been picked on will help a bully up. Israel has bought its support rather than earned it, but once the purchasing power ceases there will be no more support, so far Israel is counting on the USA for all of its support, and that’s putting all your eggs in one basket if you ask me. So if Israel faces a defeat and the USA cannot pull it out of the hole, then there’s no one else who will.

How will life be with chaos and with people doing all they want to do? We already know that no one cares about the Lebanese people, but who else is on the list of expendables?

When good fights evil, good will win eventually. When evil fights evil, evil will have to win. No one will support a tyrant when he loses. So I guess that’s the sad thing about being evil, that when you lose, no one will be there for you, so if you’re evil you’d better win.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


I don't have anything new to say, but then again this is my blog and luckily not many people will waste their time reading the same old crap. I never cared for politics, not in a very detailed manner anyway, but I've always been interested in the social implications of politics, you know the kind of thing that affects people in their daily life. The kind of long term feelings they get when they go through certain ordeals.

The rise of bitter nations, that is inevitable. The same thing that terrorist are doing today are USA and Israel's philosophy. Let's examine this. Going over to the other's land and killing innocent people for something others have done. Twin Towers, Lebanon, Gazza.. it makes no difference, it's the same act performed by a different terrorist each time, and each terrorist has an excuse, protecting my people, protecting my interests, doing God's will, revenge.. it's all the same really. It's bad enough that we have terrorist individuals, we now have terrorist governments.

America continues to blatantly support the killing of innocent people for crimes that might have originated from places surrounding them. Now does that make any sense? Of course it says Israel has a right to defend itself, but how is killing innocent people defending itself? Israel says that it has military targets.. yeah right!! It has military targets alright, targets to be acheived rather than targets to be destroyed.

Let's apply some more of the absurd principles going on. An American kills my livestock, I go invade America and punish all Americans. A Syrian calls me a bad name, I go around breaking the legs of every friend he knows. An organization hurts me, I go attack the country of its origin. I'm not a politician, but to a normal human being that just doesn't make sense.

The excuses are no longer working anymore, the foul smell of bullshit is becoming more intense as time goes by, but the worst thing is that this will have great impacts on the USA itself. With the passing of time more and more people will hate the USA and in times of its weakness no one will have mercy, and believe you me, there always comes a time of weakness.

There is hate inside people's hearts and hate leads to desperate measures. If America expects to support attack on innocent people for crimes they did not commit they should expect the same to happen to their own people. But then again it did happen to their people and that's why they're taking revenge on innocent people, unable to capture the real culprits.

Now I know Israel is the culprit and all that, but America is the stronger nation, the one with more power, and rather than be a peacemaker, it chose to bully everyone around. I actually feel sorry for America, because by all calculations it loses. It loses its people's respect and it loses other people's respect. It loses its chance to do something great as the world leader and will go down in history as a tyrant. It already wasted its chance to be the fighter of terror by being a true terrorist. It terrorizes all other countries.

Fight terror with terror, is that the way it will be from now on? Is that what it's all about? I think that with all this fear, no one will be able to live. Despite idealists who say that USA doesn't have the right to abuse its power, I say that anyone with power has the right to use it in whatever way they want, but the consequences are what they must bear. The consequences of the misuse of power are evident in Iraq. When Saddam was gone, people were relieved and all that remained after he was gone was chaos. Is America the world's Saddam? I'm sure it's just that way for the Arabs, the rest of the world see America as sharp but minor pain.

Liars, tyrants and terrorists.. a government can be all these things.. and I think judging by Lebanon, two of them have.

How about Hizbullah.. it doesn't give a shit about Lebanese people, neither does Israel, they're a small price to pay for the targets that Hizbullah and Israel have, but to be honest, no body really gives a shit about Lebanese people. Hizbullah doesn't care about the muslims that are dying for no reason. The western world doesn't care about the Christians who have adopted a western culture. It's simple.. no body gives a damn. Casualties of war.. the care is left to those humanitarians who care about people's rights but are always internationally given no real power to make a difference. They're just given a bone to chew on while the wars continue. They're asked to make the rules and advise, they're no more than a leaf standing up to a storm.

No body gives a shit.. When true interests are at stake, no body cares..

Sunday, July 16, 2006

To a Country that Betrayed Me

Watching tele today I was watching the patriotic and sometimes patronizing “Raafat El Hagaan”. For those who don’t know, this is a spy series that was made somewhere around the mid eighties and it retells the true story of an Egyptian spy that was staying in Israel from somewhere in the fifties till the sometime in the seventies.

The real Raafat El Haggan

I say it’s sometimes patronizing because it isolates the viewers from some of the very negative aspects of life during these days. Yet the shock is that the details that it does portray are very accurate and not only that, but they are also guilty of being inspiring and uplifting. Some of the negative things were also portrayed accurately, but of course never enough to show what kind of torture the people living at that time endured.

I’m not writing this now to talk about the inaccuracies of the negatives, but about the inspiration of the positives. In one episode there was an account of how 28 Egyptian armed with light weaponry defeated a fully armored team of Israeli troops right after we were miserably defeated in ‘67. As I heard this on the show I gave a very sarcastic look and whimpered yeah right, do they expect us to believe that. I was surprised by my father’s response to my smirk. My father who was much more skeptical than I am that good things that may have happened or that might happen responded by authenticating this account. I said, “Did that actually happen?”, he said yes, it did happen. So I asked, “How’s that even possible?”. He replied, “I don’t know, but we didn’t really fight in 1967”. So the patriotic account wasn’t so patronizing I could see.

Then there was a scene describing how people were optimistic that we will fight again and attain a victory that will regain some of our demolished pride. Another “Yeah Right” was in order, but this time I chose to ask, “Could people who have been defeated so cruelly have had the will to believe in another fight?”. Yes. I wasn’t conned again, I’m telling you some of these things have a tendency to be true. I heard the words on that series with different ears, I heard of how hopeful people got and I remembered how dopeful others became. I heard how enthusiastic people got and I remembered how disappointed others became.

I’m not in a position to judge what happened back then, how people wanted to do something for their country, while others forsook their country. I’m not in a position to judge how well people handled the challenges, while others ran away. What I do know is that more and more people today have fled and betrayed the country. I know that many more are running away and many more are corrupting the country from within.

So let me not preach and invite all saying, “Let’s work together for each other”. I will not adopt a patriotic and patronizing tone. I will only say that sometimes people do great heroic things when motivated.

This isn’t a cry out to come together and be something. This isn’t a slogan I’m holding up for others to see. This is what has become, and this is what I have against a country that has betrayed its people. Most people in this country are oppressed, and when that changes it becomes a choice between oppressing and being oppressed; unfortunately most people choose oppressing . The people of this country have betrayed the people of this country. The elected have betrayed the electors. The country betrayed its countrymen.

Deprived of the right to live and the right to know, deprived of a right to choose and right to speak, deprived.. that’s all there is to it. We have been deprived of our freedom a long time ago and when we were given a chance to be free, we chose to give up that right.

Deprived, that’s how I can sum it all up. Those who can give never want to, and those who want to never can. But the worst part about all of this is that those who deprive us of our rights lose theirs as well. They are criminals that are always looking over their own shoulders, silencing their conscience every day, content with their devious behavior excusing it with the years of oppression they have faced. In seeking their own interest and neglecting others, they have neglected themselves too. They have deprived their own children or grand children of a better life to live in. We have deprived our children and grand children of a country that can take care of them.

We not only betrayed each other but we betrayed ourselves.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I do not play football to be head-butted or insulted.

Yes I play football, and I enjoy the game but lately the game has turned into something else. At first it was about kicking the ball with your legs from place to place, in the old games you can feel a sense of caution with the players, the main object in the game was the ball. Then came more contact, the object became the opponent rather than the ball, skills valued less, fouls much more and the threshold for a foul was raised to very high standards such that a foul was given only if a player was assaulted, not just pushed or pulled. A foul meant the player had to fall face first to the ground. And then came psychological warfare, the game was a competition not only of skills but of nerves as well. Words were perfect for this psychological aspect of the game because you can say as much as you want to any other player and get away with it, of course this didn’t apply to the all so powerful referee. Then came violence without the presence of a ball, which was just plainly absurd but was allowed as long as you can get away with it.

The game has changed. The fact is that the game developed more than its guiding rules. With such weak rules to guide the game, the idea is now to get away with what you can. There’s chaos on the pitch and with only one referee to enforce an already flimsy set of rules, the whole game becomes a street fight, and the loser is the one who gets caught.

Let’s remember that it’s just a game, and professional or not I think I have rights while playing the game, but the real question is what are those rights and who will enforce them? I have the right not to be insulted during a game, I mean after all words can be very hurtful. I recall there things said by a man regarding the holocaust that sent him to jail. Words are very powerful, but what you say and when determines their power. I also have a right not to be pinched, punched or head butted. I mean this is a right of any human being.

I think that any sport should have these rules enforced really, I mean who said it’s more sportsmanly to insult players and less to head-butt them. In the case of football, I think the FIFA protects my right not to be head-butted, but it does not protect my right not to be insulted. Furthermore, the chances are you’ll be head-butted once during a game, but insulted all through-out. I don’t deny of course that you can be pinched, pushed and punched all throughout the game, given that no one sees it being done to you, but it’s all a matter of whether or not you’re caught.

Some say that words shouldn’t matter and that insults shouldn’t be taken seriously, but I’ve always thought that sports was about clean competition, ethics and fair play. It doesn’t really matter if some people think that insults and assaults are okay to bear because sports by tradition should be against this. I don’t think that I should suffer the assault of a head-butt or an insult during a game. But the funny thing is that some sports are violent, allowing for punches and kicks. I’ve yet to hear of a sport that endorses insults.

I don’t think anything warrants a head-butt, because after all, it’s just a game, but I don’t think that anything warrants an insult either, because after all, it’s just a game.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Empty Spaces

My mom asked me if my sister was in her room still sleeping or if she had gone out. I went into the dark room, staring strongly into the darkness and trying to use what little light coming from behind the curtains to determine if my sister was sleeping on her bed. For a moment I got confused, I didn't know if the form I saw before me was a human or was just a blanket crampled up and taking the shape that gave the impression of someone being there. As I looked onto the space, I found that it was infact my sister sleeping there.

I realized that it's very strange to look at empty spaces that can be filled with the mass of material that belongs to people we love. Staring at an empty bed is very different from staring at a bed that has its empty space filled by the presence of someone.

It is very strange that this small piece of matter of a human body that can easily be overlooked can make so much of a difference in your life, can generate great energy, can generate negative energy can make you cry, can make you laugh. Sometimes in life you may wake up to find that those empty spaces that were usually filled by people we love will never be filled by them again. The empty spaces that we stare upon will reflect an empty feeling in our hearts.

It's amazing how full an empty space can feel when there's someone there, and although an object like some pillows and a cover can give a similar effect or fill the same volume, it cannot affect us in the same way a person does. If we take the point of view of physics, it's just another volume of matter filled, from an emotional point of view the volume filled in our hearts can vary between zero and infinite, and I don't think physics can explain it.

Some spaces that we look upon, no matter how full can be so empty.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

A Situation

I'm more curious than anything to know what guys have to say about this situation, and what girls might say about it. It's a situation where you can often find yourself and somehow there's no right thing to do, because it really depends on who you are and who you're with.

You're a male, and for the purpose of making it fun, let's say you're not a big guy, not one of these body builders or tall athletic boxer types, just an average Joe really, but you're walking down the street of an Arab country like let's say Egypt or something. And yet more you're walking with a beautiful girl or some beautiful girls. Okay the plot thickens, you don't know these girls well enough, or better to say they don't know you well enough, but you know each other well enough to have some sort of mutual trust and respect.

Now that this part of the situation is clear, what would you do? What would you do if you found some guys hissing, teasing, following, staring at those girls that are left in your charge as you show them around the city, or take them out somewhere fun? What would you do if some guys on the street wouldn't stop mental harassment and wouldn't stop the pitiful sleezy comments, perhaps even ignoring your presence altogether? Would you ignore and act like you can't even see or hear? Would you you stop and make a point and talk to the guys? Would you talk nicely ? Would you talk roughly? Would you pick a fight? Would you act like you can hear them well and ignore it? How would you feel?

I don't have all the options written down, I'm open to original ideas of what a man should do if he's in these shoes. I know it differs from person to person, and it differs from girl to girl what she wants out of a guy she's walking with. How about the girls what would you want?

You see the point that makes it interesting is that who you're with are not total strangers for whome you have no concern, and they're not people who know you well enough to know what kind of person you are no matter how you handle it. It's a situation that gives you a chance to say in action what kind of person you are, or at least I think so..

It's just another random thought that ran through my head, and though the thought is worth contemplation in itself, I think this is one occassion where I'd like to listen more than tell.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Every time I look at an old woman

Every time I look at an old woman my thoughts always drift to what kind of old woman my wife would make. I mean, just looking at an old woman, triggers some of these thoughts. Some old women take care of themselves real well. I see pride and femininity in their eyes and in their gestures. Other women seem to have lost all connection with their feminine side, they just seem to want to exist in whatever form they can without paying any heed to their true nature.

But looking at certain old ladies makes me sad, they are these women who used to take pride in how they look and what they do, but somehow the air around them tells you that they’ve been worn down by life. In their eyes you can see so much has not gone their way.

I’ve heard that girls turn out to be like their mothers eventually, now whether or not this is true, I do not know, but this theory sometimes stirs an obsession inside me to see how a fine young woman’s mother looks like. I keep thinking, the mother is the kind of woman I’ll end up with if I marry this girl. Sometimes the contrast is so big that it’s hard to draw the lines from the image of a young girl to match her future portrayed in her mother, but at other times the lines that lead from this to that are so clear.

It does seem selfish to look so far into the future because when love hits, it shouldn’t matter how the person is going to be, but somehow in the absence of love I’m left with only logical speculation of which the future is an integral part.

It still seems odd that I incubate such thoughts since I have not yet decided eternal commitment, but everyone doesn’t mind looking through a window to the future right? I guess I’m just making up my own windows.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Every time I look at an old man

Every time I look at an old man my thoughts always drift to what kind of old man I’d make.

It really scares me to think that at my old age I will be incapable of dealing with the world.It scares me when I see a poor old man, finding difficulties to cope with this life. If he’s a man with simple knowledge and a simple job, I keep wondering about what kind of life he had, the choices he made, the kind of thinking he thought to be where he is now. It’s like looking on at my own future and it triggers me to think of things I need to do and things I need to be. Perhaps it reminds me that I should never be too arrogant no matter how good life gets because nothing ever lasts.

Whenever I see a charming and wise old man, I’m inspired. I’m inspired to become a man of charm and influence; a man capable of leaving an impression upon meeting a stranger, an impression that would last the stranger a lifetime. I’m inspired to work, to think and hope. I keep wondering though about what that man did or was doing all his life to reach the point of being a remarkable old man. Was it something about his job, was it something about his attitude or was it pure luck. Do some men get better with age, while others burn out? Which one am I?

I would like to become a marvelous old person.. just someone who would leave an impression on you if you'd met him that would last you a lifetime.

It seems rather absurd though to think all these thoughts as a young man, not knowing whether I will continue to live even for just a few days much less a whole lifetime. I know it seems strange because there remains a lot to do before reaching that stage, many more stages and many more phases. But that’s what’s triggered in my head when I see an old man, partly because I believe that the only thing that death is incapable of taking away from you is the person you become. Death can take you, but it cannot take away your past or who you were while you were on a brief visit to life.

Friday, May 05, 2006

One River

The rivers that flow carry water, and the water that is dispersed at a later time can be seen as one. We cannot differentiate between the water by its destination, it’s one, linked together. When taking water with a bucket, it separates and though it’s still water it doesn’t seem like part of the stream, and yet by pouring it back, it merges again, and you can no longer distinguish what you had in your bucket from what’s there in the stream.

With this water all thirst is quenched and through this water we all become part of each other. We share the one thing we all need, and though we think we’re different, we’re not. We’re one stream that has been separated by many ways.

The air in my lungs leaves me and joins the air around us, and after some time that same air that has visited my insides finds its way to your lungs. Many a sad sigh have I given out, bearing with it a part of me, and which you have inhaled and many a previous laughter have I inhaled too. And so the air that has visited my insides, my very own internal places, that I myself have not seen, has visited you as well.

So why do you oppress me and despise me. Why do you look down upon me like I’m worthless? Why do you hold a gun to my head and threaten to take my life. Why do you steal from me and not earn your living instead. Why do you hate me for no reason at all.

Can’t you see we’re water that has been taken out of a stream? Can’t you see we’ll one day join that stream again. What will you do then, when we’re joined once more. Can you hate yourself and cheat yourself, for we are one.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Mad at Retro

So I just woke up from a good afternoon sleep on a Friday afternoon. It was a very nice nap, I was recharged, but I found myself annoyed by something, and I had to write it down and send it out, because I wouldn’t want something like this to spoil one of my rare afternoon siestas. I’m annoyed by a place called Retro, which is just behind the Shooting Club and near Bent el Sultan café in Dokki / Mohandeseen. Now the reason I’m annoyed is fairly trivial, but it makes my blood boil. It’s a bit expensive, but we can forgive it that given that good places are hard to find and that it’s a matter of demand and supply. A place like this has its perks but the reason it pisses me off is that it disrespects me.

When in Egypt, I don’t know if everyone feels this way or not, but I certainly do, it feels like I’m being ripped off everywhere I go. It seems that the service is always crappy and that you always have to pay too much for it. It seems that every institution has its own absurd rules to make you pay money, and you have to pay and pay through and through. Maybe it’s cheaper here than elsewhere, but we also get less money than abroad, and the most annoying part is that no one tells you flat out what you need to pay. There’s ALWAYS an absurd catch.

What’s this got to do with Retro Café? I’ll tell you. There’s a minimum charge, sure, that’s a culture we’re forced to deal with in our cafés, no point saying that they don’t do that elsewhere, because over here they want to limit the number of people in an already crowded place. Of course as time goes on the place realizes it needs less customer satisfaction and more money, which it gets eventually, but that’s another point.

Anyway, so nothing wrong with minimum charge though I have my reservations, but here’s what ticks me off. When Retro said its minimum charge was 25 L.E per person - which is already over the top for someone having a juice - it also said that when paying the ‘minimum charge’ (which is the least you can pay, by definition) it said that there are taxes put on the MINUMUM #@$^* CHARGE. Now it’s not about the money really, cause 20 % to someone who can afford to go to this place is not a big deal, but what’s the damn point??? Whatever it is, I guarantee it’s a stupid point and I guarantee it’s a total rip off! It doesn’t make any sense, why would you add taxes to something that you’re not obliged to charge by law? Why other than to rip people off or cheat the government for taxes. Do you mean to convince me that all these taxes go to the government?? Of course not. They probably just tax the service you get and keep the remainder.

The whole point is that I feel ripped off. It makes no sense, and when I asked the waiter what the heck does that mean, he said everyone knows that the minimum charge is taxed. Well I’m sorry, ‘everyone knows’ is never an excuse. What does it hurt to say that our minimum charge is 29 pounds instead? It doesn’t, I just don’t understand, I feel cheated, I feel lied to, I feel disrespected because the owners of the place who made this rule clearly don’t respect their customers’ intelligence or understanding since they expect us to buy that crap of taxes on minimum charge; why don’t they just make it so that the minimum charge (as they call it) plus tax is equal to 25 ? There are so many things they can do, but they haven’t, I feel cheated.

If this is some conspiracy to make us hate taxes, then I’m sorry, it hasn’t worked with me, because I hate the place not the taxes now, because they really have no excuse. Taxes don’t have anything to do with this, they’re not obliged to pay the taxes they’re demanding of me. This seems too much like fraud and it makes me angry specially that no one was able explain it. Even if there is a point to it, like I said, it’s a stupid point.

Oh and don’t get me started on the whole deal with Pepsi cans at the end of a night where 15 people just spent 500 L.E in some places and due to the minimum charge thing the waiters come up and ask you if you want Pepsi cans to go. You take a few Pepsi cans home with you that you can buy at any shop for 2 L.E each, I really feel like telling them, keep your DAMN CANS to yourselves. That pisses me off. I really do get pissed off, maybe I’m just asking too much. What makes it worse is bad service and luckily we’re surrounded by that. I’ve almost quit going to cafés.

Well I don’t know if that means I’m a miser or that I’m cheap, but it’s a luxury I wouldn’t like to use every day of the week, maybe once in a while. I mean somehow I feel guilty spending 29 pounds for a juice while some people’s salaries are almost 5 visits to a place like Retro.

Maybe you’ll ask why not get food or something instead of spending the 29 pounds on a juice, but I’ll tell you something, cafés are just good for meeting people, and if there were better places to go or better activities to do, I’d abandon cafes. Hats off for PTP events that gives hope that some activities can still be done in Egypt.

Anyway, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for me, I mean that just annoyed me enough to rant on for all this time. There are the car keepers that just keep the cars when they don’t need keeping, there are the long distance calls that charge you for their bad lines, there are phone companies who can never admit they’re wrong. Come on people am I being paranoid here? Or am I just angry? I don’t really know, all I know is that I’m annoyed at Retro for their lame rule that insults its customers’ intelligence.


31st March 2006

If you’re reading this, you’ve either skimmed cause you got bored early, or you’ve got lots of patience. :)