“Heaven on Earth” Book Launch Event


My second book “Janna Ala Al Ard” (Heaven on Earth), is finally out in English after three years of its original release in Arabic by Dar Al Adab in November 2014. Translated By the brilliant Sawad Hussain and published by Signal8Press (same publisher of “The Bride of Amman”).

On Saturday 25th November, we had the launch event of the book at Literaturhaus at Nadi on 25 November, 4PM, in Nadi Al Quoz (Al Serkal Avenue). My close friend Hani Yakan (whom I admire and appreciate a lot) moderated the session, and gave a great introduction for me and for the book. He has planned good questions around the theme of the book which triggered a very thoughtful and interesting discussion (Thank you Hani).

During the event, we talked about the writing process and the jump in genre from my previous feminist novel into a science fiction novel. We discussed the themes presented in the book from the current scientific trend of considering ageing to be a disease, and the promise of new technologies and research to bring defeat ageing and grant us a longer and healthier life span. We discussed the effect of the golden pill (full of nanobots to clean cellular damage and keep our cells healthy and young) on our social systems and how longer lifespans would affect our life styles and moral codes.

It was a really nice and engaging discussion, talking about the future at a time many experts deems to be the cusp of exponential development unprecedented in human history.

Writing the book helped me explore the concept of happiness; what is heaven and what is hell? Releasing a new book and having an audience to discuss it with, is certainly a line from heaven… on earth..

You can order your copy now from Jamalon.com.

Here are some photos from the event:

IMG_6212

IMG_6192

IMG_6203

IMG_6200.JPG

IMG_6174

IMG_6216

Advertisements

6 blurbs from distinguished figures for Heaven on Earth


My 2nd book Heaven on Earth is finally out in English and I am very thankful for the endorsement of these distinguished people, two of whom are leading the global efforts in combating ageing: Aubrey de Grey and Ira S. Pastor.

1. Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer, SENS Research Foundation

AubreyDeGreyBlurb

2. Ira S. Pastor, CEO BioQuark Inc., Rejuvenation Biotechnology Company

IraPastorBlurb.jpg

3. Lara Matossian, founder and CEO of Sci Fest Dubai

LaraMotassian

4. Zaid Bawab, Jordanian filmmaker, part-time lecturer, and music curator

ZaidBlurb.jpg

5. Batir Wardam, Jordanian writer and social-media activist

BatirBlurb.jpg

6. Fadi G. Haddad, Jordanian film director and writer

FadiHaddadBlurb

The choice: A letter to my mother, and everyone else


A dear brave gay friend of mine came out to his mother two months ago. He wrote this touching letter and asked me to published it on my blog:

The choice: A letter to my mother, and everyone else.

You choose to be gay, and you can “unchoose” it.

Do we choose to cast disappointment on those we love the most?

Do we choose to rob ourselves from the look of love and pride our parents reserve for our siblings who marry their opposite sex?

Do we choose to worry about what the next door neighbours will think and if they’ll report us to the police?

Do we choose to uproot ourselves from everything we know and lived with, every single time a government cracks down on us and we seek refuge somewhere else, amongst foreigners who never saw us battle through our lives since our childhood?

Do we choose to not get married right now because the country we live in doesn’t recognize our union, and one of us has a passport that doesn’t allow us to rest our tired souls on its soil, unless we get married somewhere else, away from everyone that have witnessed our birth and childhood?

Do we choose to worry about, if one of us gets sick and needs rushing to the hospital, what story we’d come up with about the nature of our relationship to the nurse and doctors?

Do we choose to worry about the people who always see us together, grocery shopping, going to the gym, checking in at hotels and ordering a king size bed?

Do we choose to have to delete any of our endearing messages and photographs on our phone should we detained at the airport security offices, in fear that we’d be put in hal and deported?

Do we choose to turn our backs on those we thought love us without any boundaries, because all they us to be is like the rest?

Do we choose to run to every single grave we know, asking their inhabitants if indeed Hell is reserved for us?

We choose to live through it all, because at the end of the day, our love for each other, and for our own selves, is worth it. This is the choice we make. Every single second of every single day.

Dubai is the 21th Century Vienna!


I don’t think there is anywhere in the world as exciting to live in as in Dubai today. The city transformed itself in the past two decades and emerged as one of the top global hubs. It is competing in all matrices and rapidly progressing to either close the gap in certain fields with leading cities or strengthening its lead others. It left near zero room for doubts with the steady outstanding performance and growth which is unmatched in recent history. And that’s only the beginning of the story.

Don’t be mistaken, Dubai is not the spoiled child of modern days, but more of a crown prince who knows his privileges, respects his legacy and all set for greatness. It has it all. With a leadership that doesn’t accept less than number 1, a strong heritage of culture that ruled the world in the past, big financial means, and a time where technological advances opened the door wide for real disruptions in all walks of life. And while the world might stand still in awe of these changes, in awe of the exponential growth these technologies promise, people of Dubai are well prepared and ready to lead.

And it has goals, a clear set ones. My personal favorite is the 10x initiative that aims to always keep Dubai 10 years ahead of other world cities. An ambitious goal, don’t you think? It might be, but most probably and with the exponential growth current scientific breakthroughs promise, it might be a reserved one. I would say, if it keeps on doing what it is currently doing, Dubai is set to be 100 years ahead of other world cities. Watch it!

Vienna might have been the pride of the world in the early days of the past century, it was set for greatness back then with its location at the center of the heights of the European’s civilization. With its openness and cultural mix, Vienna gave us legends in music, arts, philosophy and science. It gave us Freud, Mozart, Beethoven, Klimt and Mendel (to name few). It gave us psychoanalysis and the markers of today’s economy. Today, Dubai hosts a mix of more than 200 nationalities, its cultural mix is well equipped to innovate, produce, and set the blue print of our future. It will not only build the next world tallest tower, but will also reimagine communities, redefine happiness, and set new standards on how life should be.

With Dubai’s “Museum of The Future” near completion, the city is set to embrace talents which will both imagine our future life and make it come true. How exciting is that?

* Photo Credit to Visit Dubai

هل يعلم المصريون؟ #مشروع_ليلى


هل يعلم المصريون المعنى الذي يحمله العلم الذي أثار غضبهم؟ إلى ماذا يرمز قوس قزح؟ ولماذا يرفعه فخراً ناشطو الحقوق الجسدية والحريات الجنسية حول العالم؟

 ليس علم الشذوذ أو الشواذ كما تسميهم أقلام الجهل وأفواه الرهاب الجنسي، فهو لا يضم لوناً واحداً ليحمله المثليين تعبيراً عن ميولهم الجنسية المماثلة، بل هو علم يضم كافة ألوان الطيف ليعبر عن التنوع الجنساني الكبير في المجتمعات البشرية. ذلك التنوع الذي يضم مغايرو الجنس من الرجال والنساء، أصحاب الحظ السعيد بالتماشي مع القالب الضيق المقبول اجتماعياً لما يعرف الرجل وما يعرف المرأة.

ليس علم الشذوذ أو الشواذ كما تسميهم أقلام الجهل وأفواه الرهاب الجنسي

فهذا العلم، يا سادة يا كرام، يعبّر عن التنوع في الجنس بما فيه الطيف الجنسي الواقع بين الذكر والأنثى من ثنائي الجنس وممن ليس لديهم أعضاء جنسية ظاهرة أو متوافقة مع الحجم العام المرغوب فيه اجتماعيّاً.

كذلك فإن هذا العلم يعبّر عن التنوع الطبيعي في الهوية الجندرية (النوع الاجتماعي) ومدى تماهي هوية الفرد ونوعه الاجتماعي مع الجنس الذي يحمله، فالمدى واسع هنا، وكل واحد منّا لديه درجة خاصة بالإحساس برجولته أو أنوثته، فهنالك من الذكور من تتماهي مع “سي سيد” أو”أبو عنتر” ومنها من يبقى غلاماً فتياً إلى آخر أيام حياته ومنها من يتماهى مع المرأة ويفضل دورها الاجتماعي على الدور المحصور بالرجل.

وكذلك فإن هذا العلم يحمل الطبقة المغلفة لتنوع الهوية الجندرية، بما فيها اختيارات الفرد الخاصة بالتعبير عن الهوية التي يحملها من حركات ولباس وشكل، بالإضافة إلى الممارسات الجنسية التي يفضلها بما فيها تلك الممارسات الغريبة أو المرفوضة أو غير المحببة من العامة. فمثلاً هنالك من النساء التي تحب إبراز أنوثتها بشكل يفيض على الشكل عام. منهن من تشعر بنفسها إمرأة كاملة وتعبر عن ذلك بحركاتها وتعبيراتها الجنسية، ومنهن من ترى في نفسها طفلة بريئة تداري أنوثتها خجلاً.

وهو كذلك يعبر عن التنوع الطبيعي والطيف الواسع للميول الجنسي من مغايري الجنس ومزدوجي الجنس وثنائي الجنس ومن يميل إلى جنس أكثر من ميله إلى الجنس الآخر وووو.. وهؤلاء ممن لديهم انجذاب قوي ورغبة جنسية قوية وهؤلاء ممن لا يشعرون بالإنجذاب الجنسي وليس لديهم رغبة جنسية..

وهو كذلك يعبّر عن حقوق المرأة الجسدية وحريّاتها الجنسية المقموعة في مجتمعاتنا العربية.

فالتنوع يا سادة يا كرام هو أساس الطبيعة، والتنوع الجنساني أكبر من أن نحصره، والعلم يمثلنا كلنا بما نحمله من خصوصية جنسية.. ورافعيه ليسوا بالضرورة مثليو الجنس، ولا هم شواذ. فالشذوذ هو اختصار الطبيعة بلون واحد ومحاولة طمس كافة الألوان الأخرى وطليها بذلك اللون..

العلم يمثلنا كلنا بما نحمله من خصوصية جنسية

اجتماع التنوع، تلك الألوان في علم قوس قزح، ينتج نوراً كما تعلمنا في المدارس، واختزال تلك الألوان في لون واحد، يتركنا في سواد اجتماعي وظلم يطالنا جميعاً..

لنحتفل بألواننا المختلفة ونطالب بجتمعات أكثر انفتاحا وحبا للآخر..

Author’s note – Heaven on Earth Book


In 2010, while I was visiting Chicago, a friend of mine asked me to get him that month’s copy of GQ magazine. I remember flipping through the copy in my hotel room, reading the headlines, when I noticed an article with a title that said human beings may soon be able to live up to 1000 years and beyond. It was an interview with Aubrey de Grey, the famous English gerontologist who came up with a roadmap for how to defeat aging. The possibility hit me hard, as dying from old age has always been a given, something that is impossible to change. It gave me hope. Thus believing Aubrey’s words, I started to imagine: What will life be like when this happens? How will it affect our lives, our morals, and our society? Would be really like heaven when we push death away from us?

What will life be like when this happens? How will it affect our lives, our morals, and our society? Would be really like heaven when we push death away from us?

A few years later, I finished the story, and it was published in Arabic by Dar Al Adab. And I moved to Dubai, where one day Aubrey de Grey was hosted for a talk at Cafe Scientifique in the city. It was like a dream for me to meet the man who promising us a longer life. There was no way I would have missed that event. I went there and met him and told him how he inspired me to write the book. I emailed him few months later when the English translation was ready and asked him if he would be interested in writing me a book blurb, and he did.

It was like a dream for me to meet the man who promising us a longer life.

I would like to dedicate this book to him, to thank him for his efforts towards saving humanity from the horrors of old age.

I would also like to dedicate this book to my parents, stating my ultimate dream, my grand wish to see both of them getting back their youth when this technology is materialized.

And a special dedication to everyone in my life, my family members and close friends. I want you all to stay here with me for a long long time. Love you all.

I want you all to stay here with me for a long long time.

I may not have painted in this book the heaven we dream of, but I hope that the premise of a longer life may give some happiness to all of those who love living and who enjoy their lives here on this planet.

Kindle version of the book is available now on Amazon. Download it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075WGF87H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506305353

eBook is available also on Smashwords for $8.99. Download it here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/749722

New trend of misogynic songs is a reaction to social change


A new genre of arab music appeared recently where male singers remind women how they are suppose to behave with their men; from Mohammed Iskander’s song that asks women not to work and stay homes, to “Si Al Sayyed” song of Tamer Hosni where he claims that as a man he is a superior being and that his wife shouldn’t argue or object him, and now a new release by Rami Sabri with a title “Al Ragel” (The Man) and words asking women to be obedient in order to please their men and be good!

This only popped up in the past few years, where men seem to feel they have the right to be vocal about women behaviour, stating what seems to be a social criticism and disapproval on how modern women are claiming their independence and equal status.

The notion of men being responsible of women is widely spread. And it is not just men who claim this responsibility but also women from all walks of life who rushes to remind their men that they are responsible of them! Even those who are modern and lead a somehow a liberal life. I remember few years back when I blogged about something with some daring sexual content, a man stepped up, he was angry because women might read it! This sense of responsibility, or this sense to guard women and make decisions on their behalf would only help in increasing the gender divide and keeping women in a state of immature adults that constantly need guidance and protection.

It shouldn’t surprise us to see men, beside popular singers, popping up in videos on social media to tell women what to wear and how to behave in public. This sense of superiority is disgusting.

We need a social shift in regards of the perception of women, men should learn to see them as equal partners who are very much capable of making their own decisions and protecting themselves, women also need to step up and stop depending on men and holding them responsible of their well being. Women are full fledged adults, thats how they should be seen, how they should be branded, and how they should be treated if we want a modern mature society.