Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bloggers Celebrity look-a-likes

That was supposed to wait till February since I extinguished by karma points for this month but oh well, its snowing and no one is writing about anything but that here so thought I'll just put it up ...

So Karma you can dish it out at me which ever way you like ^_^

Roba from
Lisa Loeb

Moey from
Baikinman aka qit 2al bakteeria
2al ragheef al 3ajeeb

Randy from

"my name is earl"

Nas from
Agatha Christie

Qwaider of

Tooter from the snorks

Ibrahim of
Jared Nomak
from Blade II

Lastly although I couldn't find a pick for him but there is a blogger that looks a lot like Oddjob from james bond can you guess who it is ? First time that I met him in person I couldn't get that image out of my head....



Sunday, January 27, 2008

I am still speechless and flabbergasted !

When I was reading 7aki's post I couldn't help but be reminded of a little incident which I still can't fully comprehend till this day.

A blink of an eye away. When I was a bit younger , think right around five years old, my parents enrolled me in the bus for my first grade. So like the good responsible first grader kiddo that I was I was expected to ride on the bus and go home and have lunch after school and maybe go out and play with the "other" kids... ok thats what i was supposed to do.

Honestly I was never much of a good sport and playing with other kids in the 7arah was a total bore, and one day I broke the rest of the stereotype in one of my rare instances of impulsiveness. I came home from school and I was anxious to see my mom for some reason, which slips my mind at this age. So as usual I come through our garden to knock on my door, expecting my mom to open up the door. Instead its my eldest sister who was visiting from uni back then. So we say Hi to each other and i drop my bag next to the door. Since I scoured the house to find my mater but to no avail I came back to the only other person in the house that I didn't have to use my sri linkan skills to converse with, my sister...

"Sis, fein mama, leish heyeh mish bil beit ? " I asked her. After looking up from the magazine she was busy reading with a look of how do I dare to disturb her meditative reading with my childish question (ok, ok, she's no ice queen. she's a very warm person but when i still can't overcome the age difference to this day. Back then anything she spoke to me sounded a bit authoritative) . She simply told me that mom went away to clean my grandma's house because she is coming in a few days.

Interesting i thought to my self, why would she not tell me ... weather is nice, check. do we know our destination, check. is there anyone worth informing at home on what am going to embark on, nope. Door open, door closed and on to the open roads. my grandmas house is about a 30 minute walk from my home. So I go on to walk which i thoroughly enjoyed. The first experience of total detachment from those "adults". For some reason all the way up on that hill that leads from gardens street to Rabieh people were looking at me weirdly as I recall, didn't make too much sense to me. For I was going to see my mom and there was nothing that would come between me that goal.

phew, so after walking down the hill, the gardens street, up the hill, then down the hill and up the yet another hill I manage to make it to grandma's house. Hey sis was telling the truth ! there's mom's car outside. So up the elevator we go...
openning the door to the elevator, super excited and accomplished in my euphoria ... "shoo bitsawe 7oon, keef jeit ? keef okhtak khalatak titla3 !" I was thinking to myself ,huh ?! why is mom at the elevator door screeming at me ? . "wala shee, 2irji3et min 2il madraseh 2o sa2lt reem 3anek 2alatli 2inek bi beit teta fa jeet hon".
Lets just say that there very few instances in my life were I've seen my mom that scared and angry with me. My mom was just getting done with the clean up and heading home to make it before I came back from school. So I guess if only the timing was a bit off I don't know how different that would have turned out.
Its a given that I was screamed at all the way back home, only to be welcomed by my frantic sister who was worried sick about me and over reacting. only for her to be blamed for her negligence for not paying attention while I sneaked out on my quest.
With all those emotions flying around there were two things on my mind back then. What the hell is so dramatic about me going to tetas house, dad always said that he used to walk 15 kilometers when he was a kid and he was proud of it.
The other thing being, what was it exactly that i wanted to see mom for ??

So moral of the story moms, provide them kids with cellphones so that they won't have to go walk to get in touch with you since we demand you to be in the expected places at all times. we are ritualistic beings and we require prior knowledge of changes in the routine. In case of emergency you need to be reachable on your cellphones.

On a more recent blunder that left me totally flabbergasted, someone told me that I am actually taking different identities and blogging under them. namely chikapappi and moments of clarity. No offense to those blog owners but my reaction was


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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Remember Black Tuesday ?

(Update: Beny boy panicked and dropped the interest rate by 75 basis point in an emergency measure, beny boy is not instilling a sense of stability, beny boy will have his ass handed to him, i don't feel like adjusting the futures index since this will be short lived :P but i'll change it from the 516 to 396 as of 3:57 Jordan local time

Update 2: MUAHAHA, not even six minutes later the futures index is now up ? down ... whatever ... its at a nice -481 points post rate cut. yup its prime beef waiting to be bled dry. ~4:15 JLT )

Don't worry by days end you might be reminded of it. Trading will resume today after MLK weekend. After the stellar performance of foreign stock markets spiraling uncontrollably yesterday with the majority of them dropping by 5% and the NIFTY (Indian stock market index) dropping a sweet 11% before closing at an 8% drop. The DOW is going to be one hell of a ride today !

The US Stocks futures index is marking a 481 point drop, which is in the top five of worst market days ever ! You can count on me being fixated on my screen today watching it turn bloody red
This will drive it into bear market territory (
A bear market is described as being accompanied by widespread pessimism. Investors anticipating further losses are motivated to sell, with negative sentiment feeding on itself in a vicious circle ~ wiki) for the Bull has been slain.

Either way this will be a chance for me to live through a black Tuesday, and I can't help but be reminded of those pictures of stock brokers lining out side of the stock market in October of 1929, so I won't bore you with any econ jargon or reasoning for this. Lets hope they give us quality pictures like these !

Did you pack your parachute ? Then ENJOY the RIDE !

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Monday, January 21, 2008

I can only post .... Gaza :`(

If I send donations, they are blocked
If raise my voice, it is unheard
If light a candle, it is blown away
If I write a letter to my representative, it comes back unread
If I voice my opinion about it on the internet, I am told they brought it upon themselves
If I argue that those rockets killed a measly 2 Israelis in the past 6 years, i am told that is still too high of a price
If I look over the blogs i see dozens upon dozens silent, for they prefer to speak about the saudi that got locked up rather than a nation held hostage.
What am I exactly supposed to do with that hole inside my mind ?
What is left for me to do but to write ?
Why the hell isn't anyone doing anything about this ?
How much more shall they suffer for us to do something ?
Anything ?
Anyone ?
No one
And they recline on their religions of peace
They sit there
If thats what it takes
Then i hope they hear their answer soon
For it seems to be already too late
But then again we are told that our faith isn't strong enough
Faith, religion, politics, economics, philosphy, psychology, pathology, criminology, and all the olegies that we study to make sense of this world aside
Look inside of you and tell me if you are still feeling anything ? for i know i don't
try pinching your humanity ? for i think i lost mine
I just can't really think of a single thing i can do about it but type incoherently .... AGAIN
Just a lone voice, a whimper, hell its not even that. more of a shy whisper that will go unheard
When it's all is said and done, and a million or so are gone.
Maybe, just maybe something will be done.
Or perhaps we have been reduced to wanting a life over a land
After all that has been done, that sounds like the fairest deal
The seal to our ordeal
The only thought is of a meal
A light
a blinker
but the electricity is gone ...............


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hiding In Vulnerability, H.I.V.

It is nothing new to us to turn a blind eye to behaviors that we deem immoral and we even attest that those are not present in our cultures or societies and they are by-product of western and Zionist corruption of our youth and digressions from our holy religion of Islam that offers the solution to all these problems are the cause of all those problems.

From that it follows that we don't have extra marital sex relationships, sex workers are non existent, injection drug users are not our children, brothers or sisters, and we surely don't have men who have sex with men for that is a western thing you know.

The sad thing is that ignorance towards those behaviors and others converge in aiding the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. So its only natural that we consider HIV/AIDS prevention to be a fringe issue, and we even have the statistics to back this up. For according to the ministry of health, as of 2004, there have been 361 recorded cases of which 136 cases of Jordanians contracting the virus. Looking at those numbers you would think that they are doing a splendid job in prevention !

While major strides have been taken in the campaigns under taken since 2002 in this field, the major problems faced by those campaign are still the same. Some of the good things that they have implemented were mandatory testing of foreigners staying in the country for longer than a month, this has helped to limit the exposure of the increased traffic that crosses the country and limit the exposure to the virus through that means. The testing of blood donators and blood bank supplies to ensure that they are contamination free.
Also the establishment of the HIV/AIDS hotline does help in answering any questions or concerns that people might have.

Now these are all fine, but taking a look at their site I couldn't happen but to notice a few issues; for starters the website is out of date, its naming not the previous health minister but the one before him. The data on there is more than 3 years old, plus they tend to preach morally when it comes to the issue which is not the best way to go about it( men having sex with men, sex workers, prisoners and injection drug users aren't even mentioned) .

There might be an explosion of HIV cases because its seen that there is no need to do the preventive work and encourage people to do voluntary testing. There is a higher percentage of people who test out only because symptoms appeared which might take anywhere from a year to 10 to appear. That means that through that period they have been able to infect others along the way.

So one of the main things that should be established is to try to reach out to those high risk communities, to get their trust enough for them to be educated about preventive methods.
One thing that they have done to achieve this is through peer education program. There isn't any statistics to measure the success or failure of such programs but I can't truly understand how a program that preaches the moral high ground as a preventive method would be hugely popular among sex workers for instance.

The preventive methods suggested by the ministry of health are as follows (by the way, they are not even mentioned in the English version of the website) ;
  • Abstaining from pre-marital and extra-marital sex and being committed to one uninfected partner (they do indicate its a sin from the religious point of view)
  • Using a condom correctly (whats the point if i did your previous step ? )
  • Verifying that blood transfusions are free of the virus (is there any indication to tell whether the blood has been tested or not ? especially in heamophelia cases ?)
  • Using disposable needles (Do they provide any free needles ?)
  • Disinfecting medical equipment in the proper manner (to layman like me how am i supposed to know if they are doing it or not ? )

Based on the preaching embedded here it is highly unlikely that the campaign had any meaningful penetration of high risk groups.
Some of the solutions that come to mind are as follows;
  • Establishing true anonymous testing (i.e. random number are taken and no follow up from any governmental arms, yes they do that now invading all ethics of patient confidentiality) . preferably this initiative to be removed from the ministry of health.
  • Provide pre-test and after-test counseling and sexual education to high risk groups and students, either through seminars or through providing materials to interested individuals to help reach out to high risk groups that is void of moral preaching since that will do more harm than good.
  • Abstinence approach to sexual education has been proved to be impotent, leave that to religious leaders and teachers rather than health educators.
  • establish support groups and family education to HIV positive individuals, for they are mostly having to suffer on their own. while currently they are forced to suffer alone in silence atleast some support of a fund and legislation against discrimination at the work place will help to provide better living standards to those who fell ill.
  • The hotline should have regular advertisement and emphasis should be noted that none of the calls are monitored to insure that the people who need it the most, they are mostly the groups that are ostracized and persecuted, are able to reach it paranoia free.
  • Testing of prisoners to limit the prevalence of the disease in prisons. Also to educate them.
  • Educating the health staff to deal with cases confidentially and humanely, rather than stigmatize a patient who came to them looking for aid.

I wish they would establish a free anonymous testing days in order for people of those high risk groups to voluntarily go and get tested, and establish the habit of ongoing bi-annual testing in order to reduce the chances of any insurgence in HIV cases.
While the efforts of the ministry of health are commendable and admirable, the national stigma of the disease is far from overcome and treatment of HIV positives is far from what it is hoped to be.
Although they are provided with free access to anti biotic cocktails they don't have access to the latest and more effective drugs which help to keep the symptoms under control. Also due to moral objections & cost, access to medications such as PEP and PREP is not available. So we still have a lot more work to do as a community.

To get more information about testing and information regarding AIDS/HIV:
  • Jordan Red Crescent: Safety first AIDS/HIV program

    Telephone: 06-4765660 Email:
  • Ministry of health: National AIDS prevention program
    Telephone: Amman 06 - 5697933
    06 - 5673436
    05 - 3936060
    05 - 3243008
    02 - 6353545
    05 - 3550752

ps. One thing to note, there is a high correlation between economic booms and prevalence of HIV cases due to the fact that travelers tend to be one group that spreads the virus and these are usually that come over for periods shorter than a month. They are the ones that are not getting screened and it is highly likely that they would engage in sexual acts, or drug related activities with the locals. I already made this incoherent article long enough even though i have alot more to talk about, hopefully i'll do that on another occasion.

pps. the pics either include the source on them or they are from ACT UP paris campaigns which i especially like.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Random musings

Well just so you know that I haven't given up on this blogging thing yet, it's just that am developing a nasty habit for drafting my posts rather than posting them because they are becoming a bit more edgy and personal ...
On the other hand there are just way too many things I want to talk about and whenever i get to put my fingers on the keyboard I get brain chills.

Part 1 :
One of the main things I have been trying to do is to format my posts to be shorter (yeah seems I'll be doing a dandy job of avoiding that here) . somehow I have always been attracted to reading really long articles rather than short ones, but after rereading some of my posts I find it way too easy for me to loose people along the way and make me scatter shoot rather than bulls eye the ideas I have in my head. Since it will make it more difficult for me (especially with my limited writing abilities) I will try to limit my posts and break em up into smaller chunks and more digestion friendly bites. The thing that would scare me from doing that is its affinity to attract layman clappers which drive me mental.

Part 2:
I've been becoming more of a mean spirited troll of a commentator on other blogs, and that would be bad if I actually gave an ape *dump* of a value to what other ether based entities thought about me, but the thing is that people when they are actually challenged seem to just draw up their firewalls and block all processes of thought to be able to counter attack with the most philistine sarcasm you can ever stumble upon (yes am speaking from an elitist point of view here sure me!) . For instances I commented a bit harshly on a post about that poor soul that lost his life in that hit and run case, what Irked me to no end is the direction it took. it went on to high light that there is discrimination among east and west Amman denizens like it was an article of shock news while to me it sounded like pointing out that zebras are striped. spice in a bit of congeniality religiousness and drawing no conclusion on the matter and my tolling meter just hit max. There are two things that I didn't like about the incident, the first is the coverage it got. Dying for me is a fact of life it happens, and the longer it stay in the memory the harder it gets. So all that posterizing of the incident and first page news nature of it, which might come off as a case of national security to a passerby reader, makes it ever so harder for the family and my heart aches for them in that manner that they will be constantly reminded of it all year long. It's not the matter of catching the perpetrator since it is not one person but a whole system which drives people into behaving in that manner. The funny thing that not even a couple of weeks go the parliament revoked a new traffic enforcement law which made them look the fools, but the problem we are having is the lack of enforcement rather than the lack of proper laws. plus that law that was revoked contained so auspicious fines, the highest penalty is that of a DUI , when we lack the equipment to verify the charge, while a hit and run is half of that and akin to crossing a red light. It just sounds off to me, and also am never fine with having a law that allows law enforcement agents to fine somebody without notice since am not really trusting that its the just way of doing things so I hope that they modify the law before passing it again. The core problem we face is a lack of ethics when it comes to driving and over cramming of cars in our ill equipt streets, so maybe increasing the fines on non ethical driving and increasing the driving age to curtail new perpetrators might help a bit but at the end of the day i don't see anything can be done regarding that matter and I just accept it as a fact of life personally.

Part 3:
Although it took a page or so to get to the other point, the other interesting thing about it is how gossip ridden our society is, of that story in particular within the span of one conversation of a 16 year old kid getting hit on the way to ZwZ ( at 4 am or so which makes me blame bad parenting for that one honestly since i don't care how liberal you are that is just not the time of night to have an unattended minor out in the streets) to a 16 yr kid sleeping over his friends house getting hit with the side mirror flipping in the air hitting the pavement and going into a coma by a women in a silver mutsubishi whose husband lives in saudi arabia driving a saudi plated car while she was drunk. with no one except the person who opened the topic having any credible information regarding it, its just nuts. it was like witnessing a really twisted version of add a word to create a story game.

Part 4:
US politics and economics are really occupying my reading lately, and its looking more dismal by the day. For the politics the whole thing stinks, we have wishy washy patronizing candidates on both sides that really are more of the same. while the ones that truly offer change rather than taking it as their election slogan are being side lined and stand little to no chance of making it. The fact that poll rigging rumors have been circulating as early as the first primary makes the stinking corpse under the mat stink with an ever stronger stench (yes its been there since FL '00 and ohio '04) . whenever exit polls and results are starkly contrasting there is a valid reason for a recount, and no one raising as much of a fuss about it of the candidates makes me wonder why the hell not. with the only sane person in the demo nomination (Dennis Kucinich) asking for a recount being called an extra terrestrial loony, and here I thought his hot wife might earn him some good point with the superficial MSM that went loco on the ice queen's melt down of alligator tears.
There is nothing more shocking to me than the utter irony of the candidates understanding of the state of economics in the US and the statements they make regarding what they will do when they are given the mantle to the empire, which in all honesty will only help to compound the problems that its currently facing.
Either way just so that I won't forget am formulating my events calender of what am looking forward to in terms of news in that arena, since this year will promise to be the beginning of something big, whether bad or abysmal am not totally sure yet.

Part 5:
"marketing is the art of making you feel so worthless about your self and what you own and that buying that product will usher in the days of "happily ever after".
I am becoming so utterly nauseated by that cover up informational signs and directions to make space for more advertisement campaign. It is totally beyond me how expats are able to find their way around Amman never mind the rest of Jordan, even as a person that grew up here I still get lost sometimes and seek those signs aid. now am growing even more frustrated when am lost and am faced with an advertisement instead of a direction signs.
Then you get another apple bloody product that promises to revolutionize the way we view laptops by making the lightest laptop so far, the fact that the bestest trend is so cliche and played out that I really don't understand what makes it any different when apple does it, is it the religious lite cult following that they made for themselves. OK i'll admit that the ipod was sweet, their design are nice, but for gods sake apple is still a fringe market and producer in the computer industry and its for fancy shmancy folks when something like the Zonbu 99$ PC or the ASUSE Eee laptop ($199)
Flys under the radar of most, which to me its a lot more relevant to a region with such a low penetration such as ours due to the cost (and don't get me started on the financing initiative to provide computers for Jordanians that cost more than their original marketing price as if they are doing us a favor)

either way this one would have went on a bit longer if it wasn't for the fact that my work day is over, so i guess i was forced to cut it "short" eh ?