Paulo Coelho’s effect on me

It is literally amazing what Paulo Coelho’s writing can do to me. I am one of the people who pride themselves for not being blindly religious. I admire science and logic. I have hungry eyes and an open mind to absorb things. It may have been part of why I named this blog. I observe and analys.

In my childhood it was a different story, at school, I was strongly affected by a religion teacher of mine. He was kind of strict, had a strong faith, had a real knowledge of what he talks about, and gifted with an autherative voice tone that only added to his affect on me.

Being a calm person which I give the credit for to my biological heritance rather than my own ego, I was never the type of *sinner* that anyone would worry about. I was as innocent as an angel without any real physical desires that I couldn’t handle. Yet, like any other child, I had some little sins, like swearing of God’s name, which with the effect of my teacher, I was able to control and stop as well. I have even carried this effect till today. I find awkward when I get carried away and swear with God’s name now.

This only left me in a saintly state where at some point I got bored of myself. You can imagine how might other little kids felt about me. I remember funny comments (like being the conscience of the alley – but that was at a later stage of my life when I became a teenage).

Life isn’t built on one color, our growth force us to see that. No single religion carries the whole truth, and science doesn’t claim to know it all either. Blind faith doesn’t suit me, and it isn’t a choice that I consciously made either. Life has managed to crack my belief system, and with that crack, it shook my world. I have seen a light, and wanted more. But it killed my world. It killed my God. It killed my soul. It killed the angels. It killed the miracles. It killed what science doesn’t proove its existance.

It left me in a state of mind where I can just say that I am an agnostic. It is simple as “I don’t know”. I can argue for ages about the lack of a real proof of a spiritual world, and yet I cannot prove its inexistance.

But then comes Paulo. When ever I read a single page of his books, I feel my spiritual world being born again. He directs another type of light, a light full of love and hope. He creates new angels. He highlights miracles. He presents saints. He re-works prophet’s words. And he re-paints God with more powerful colors.

He leaves me with wider eyes. New eyes searching for signs. A feather drifted in the river of my life. An Observer who doesn’t just observe by sight, but also by signs and feelings. My language has changed. It acquired new expressions. Negative and positive energy are more tangible. I have even dreamt that a friend of mine had a raise in her salary, and she got one the next day I told her about it!

That never happened to me before. When my mom used to believe in her dreams, I used to laugh. I may laugh about mine now. It can be a coincidence and it can be not. It can be a start of a growing sixth sense for me, or a start of a hallucinating insanity.

It doesn’t matter as long as I feel good about it. I know it is the effect of Paulo Coelho. The person who seems to do a better job to serve God more than any existing Church on this earth.

Haya: Answering your questions

I just won a fight over with The Observer. He was thinking of answering the tag of favourite blogger, and while he hasn’t formed a clear idea of what he wanted to write, and he didn’t even choose a favourite blogger because as he says everyone excels in a different league, he still wanted to post about it! On the other hand, I was standing there reading people’s questions for me without being able to answer any of them. He himself keeps on saying “She will answer you soon!”! I had to stand up for my self and made it clear. I told him “If you are going to introduce me to your blog readers, you have at least to be decent enough to respect my prospect fans”

Anyway, enough talk about my fight with The Observer, let me move on at answering your questions.

How come there are very few girls in Jordan like you? Or, is that self-explanatory?

While I do believe that I have common traits with most of the Jordanian girls, I feel myself special in many ways. I do believe that everyone is unique. There is no indetical two people even identical twins. If you are referring to me being more honest and daring than the average Jordanian girl, then you are right, I guess it has to do with me being raised and nurtured in the mind of The Observer. I don’t fear anyone, except of him, altough I have to behave in order to gain your admiration and love.

1. what do you do for living?
2. why did you choose your career?
3. Do you have a boyfriend, how is your relationship?
4. What are your dreams?
5. Have you ever considered leaving the country, why yes? Why not?
6. What do you think of marriage?

Wow Natasha, those are lots of questions. I will try to answer them all with the utmost honesty.

Career? I dislike this word! While I hold a steady job as a Public Relations offices in a big advertising agency. I can’t see myself working for many years to come. It is just too hectic for me. As I said before, I am a Witch. I like to enjoy life. This isn’t possible while keeping a job of 8 working hours per day. It just becoming more and more of an obligation on women to work in our society. It started as a form of equality, and while I do support women right to work, I don’t believe that she is obliged to it. I myself prefer to stay home, have some kids and enjoy my life. Women work can be good when she doesn’t have a good financial supporter (I know the Observer doesnt agree with me). I find it ironic how hypocrite people are. They rushed without thinking in accepting women to go out and work just to help men with the house expendures while still refuse to grant her her other rights. Like expressing her sexuality freely like men do, or having men helping their women in their household! Women these days end up in two full time jobs! At home and outside of it! That is insane. I am either keeping this or that! I promise you!

Boyfriend? No, currently I don’t have fun. I lost faith in men. They are always after something from you, and when they get it, they disappear! I have been hurt more than once. Always falling in love with the wrong guy, and thus losing faith in love as well. The Observer always try to argue me to change my perspective of love but he never succeeded. He has this idealistic view of life that makes me feel like shaking him and wake him up to face reality. Although I wish to believe him, but I have been there, done that. Men sucks! Besides, I am almost 25 years old, and don’t think that I have much time left to play around. If a man seeks me, he better be serious. I am after marraige now and I state it clearly.

I would never leave this country. I can’t live by my own. Unless I move out with a wealthy husband. Then I dont care. I know that I would miss my parents, but with money, I can visit them back on a regular basis. It wont be a problem.

My dreams? To find the man with the shining armor. The one who can protect me love me unconditionally. The man who can make me feel like a princess.

As for marriage, let me just say now that I feel about it the same way The Observer feels about death. I fear getting married as much as I fear becoming a spinster! I have a lot to talk about it, but The Observer’s mind seems occupied now, he can no longer concentrate here as he is loaded with work. I guess that I have to run so that to free his mind… ciao..

Meet Haya: My imaginary blog friend

Since I like defending women rights, and since it does feel different when a woman talks about the injustice in her life rather than a man talking about it, I decided to present you with a cyber imaginary Jordanian girl that I will call Haya, and which will be shaping her characteristics based on the flow of ideas in my head and the questions and feedback she gets from you.

Haya is an ordinary Jordanian girl in her mid-twenties. She would be reflecting her dreams, fears and desires along with her interaction with society and her ideas and opinion of common affairs from a female perspective (as much as I possibly can).

Hi Haya, How are you?
Hi Observer, hi all, I am good, thank you

To introduce you to my blog readers, I have a question for you. In Paulo Coelho latest Novel “The Witch of Portobello”, one of witnesses claimed that women are usually belongs to one of 4 archetypes:

1. The Virgin: Not in the sexual sense. The virgin is the woman who prefers to do things by her own, fight her own battles and depend on herself for her needs.
2. The Martyr: is the woman who lives her life in pain, surrender and struggle.
3. The Saint: is the woman who lives for others. Her happiness is triggered from her unconditional love of people around her and the amount she can give for others.
4. The Witch: is the woman who is always after pleasures.

In which type of those you find yourself belong to?

Being a Jordanian unmarried woman, I am technically a virgin in the sexual sense of the word, while in reality I am kind of a bitch witch. I constantly run after physical pleasures in life. Unfortunately I can’t always fulfill my desires the way I want to because of social constraints especially my sexual needs, but you know what, it isn’t a big deal, I have learnt not to think much about it, or even to express it in public. People don’t usually acknowledge women sexuality in this part of the world, and if I ever hinted about it, women stares at me in disgust playing their self righteous card while men start harassing me bluntly telling themselves that I am a bitch that is ready to go into bed with any disgusting one of them.

I carry a good amount of love to people around me, but I have never really been a saint. I hate saints. I don’t believe they exist anyway. People who give that much in order to be labeled as Saints usually tend to make the biggest crime against themselves. I believe that one has an obligation towards himself before looking out for others. Sainthood in religion requires suppression of physical desires. That is not me! I can’t even commit to a diet plan! Thank God I have this super physic, it is a gift! That is what I like to think of it, although most of the time it can be a curse. I can’t really walk down the streets of Amman without being sexually harassed by several men! I have to think carefully of what to wear according to the place I am heading to. I love wearing shorts, I feel my legs sexy, but I can’t do that except at the swimming pool and home.

Thinking of Martyr, I have never been one, although I feel people prefer to put me in that corner. They prefer a woman to be a martyr even more than they prefer her to be a virgin. She can be a virgin till she gets a man, and then she becomes a martyr: a martyr to her love for him, a martyr to her children and a martyr to society. I have seen it everywhere. Women grieve in silence! I have met women who have endured pain more than any man I knew. They struggle and they fight, and they stay miserable till they die for the sake of doing the right thing for people around them. I would never be a martyr, I have been rebellious since my childhood. I think it is a male treat, but I acquired it through my father. We were close in my childhood. He wanted a baby boy, and thus when I came, he treated me like one.

I have said too much today! Hope you got a brief idea about me.

You guys can ask me any questions you feel like to and I would gladly answer them soon.

PS: No, I don’t sleep with The Observer

"Albak Abyad" – You have a white heart

“Albak Abyad” an egyptian expression that indicates a person with a good heart. It is literal translation to English is “You have a white heart” as opposed to being a bad person with a black heart.

The expression is widely spread in our culture where I have always subconciously translated it to English thinking that people would understand it, and now writing this, I checked with my office-mates if they have heard such expression in English. They said no.

I don’t know why, but visualising a white heart in my mind makes me think of a crystalised cold one, and I don’t know why this visualisation just comes to my mind when I think of it in English, it comes to me as a contrary of a red heart. A red heart of fire that indicates a warm person.

Maybe the difference in perception between English and Arabic has to do with our culture. In Arabic we tend more to see things in white and black, good and evil, without any shades or other tastes.

For me, and in terms of human beings, I only see white hearts. It is one of the few cases of human features that I don’t really see a spectrum. I don’t even see alternative. It is all white, no black at all. Inside each body of us lies a beautiful white heart (in terms of goodness).

People may say that I am the one with the white heart – thinking this way – implying a sense of naivety in me. And it may be right, as having my perception of my own self mirrored on the hearts of other people, but I don’t think that it is true.

It is just our mistrust and fear that blind us of seeing the whitness of other’s hearts. It can be a relative matter. People who endured some hardship at the hands of others might not have the luxury of seeing the whiteness in those others hearts. Some people in the other hand, and because of their own pain, inflict some hardship on other people, and thus, they find it hard to see their own white heart.

I realize that there are tormented souls, and I realized that not all of us have the ability to forgive and feel peaceful inside, but when everything set aside, I know the our hearts shine in whitness, a pure whitness of light that connect us to each other.

Have a good day…

My mom is advertising my blog

It all started when I first brought home proudly the June issue of VIVA Magazine with my first article published in it. I rushed with a smile to my mom, dropping the magazine from my hand on to her lap and telling her to check how her son writes.

Before that day, she had no idea that I enjoy writings. She had no idea that I had a blog. She didn’t even know what really goes in mind altough she used to always look at my face whenever I am home, trying to figure out my face expressions and read my mood to comfort herself that I am not upset with anything.

“So how did they know about your talent?” She asked.

“They read my blog, and then asked me to write something for them.” I answered waiting for her to ask, knowing that she had no idea what is a blog and how it works.

“What is your blog? Do you write? Since when? How can we check it?” 🙂

After a month or so, my mom, who had barely used the internet before, and has been entertaining the idea of trying it in the past year was sitting on the chair in my brothers’ room where the family computer lies, looking at its screen and yelling at me “Fadi come put me on that Observer thing”

I hesitated for a moment, trying to bring back to my memory the last couple of topics I posted about in that period of time, thanking God that I mostly post in English (knowing that she isn’t that good it) and hoping they are not something that would make her jump off the screen. Unfortunatly it was the worst introduction for my mom to my blog as her eyes met my post “The feminine face of God” that suggests a different view of God she has never thought of being the conservative Christian woman she grew to become (especially in the last couple of years).

A couple of days later, she dropped a brief comment about that post which showed her disapproval of what I said. It made me realize that she can understand what I write, even in English and that she as well gives me the freedom that she and my dad have given me since my childhood to express myself the way I want.

Since then I have been wondering what she read and what she didn’t of my posts. She barely comments, but always seems to check my blog whenever she has a chance to connect to the internet.

It didn’t stop at that. After she learnt about my interview with Yann Al haj at Monte Carlo Radio Station, and then when Paulo Coelho published a post of mine at his blog, she grew to carry more pride in my talent, and now she is spreading it, telling everyone in the family that I am a good writer!

Just yesterday the phone rang. I picked it up to find the sound of my aunt at the other side.

Hi 3amto, how are you?
Good Thank you. How are you doing?
I am good as well.
Fadi 3amto, what is your website?
(Me not expecting such question from 3amto) What site? You mean the one I write at?
Yes 3amto habibi it is.

Now I am wondering whether she read the post about changing my family name or not! :S

Hope she didn’t!

Anyway, in another event yesterday morning. My mother was having her coffee with my father’s cousin, and I heard her talking about my blog! Then when I appeared she said why don’t you write about your mother?!

Some of my friends are jealous from each other because I have previously mentioned some of them occaisonally in some posts while didn’t mention the others, or mentioned a good story about some while a bad story about others. Some explicitly asked me to write something about them! but I never expect my mother to request it.

I guess it is unfair to talk about my mother in this post. My first reaction to her request, and that was after I heard her complaining that she doesn’t sleep the night praying for God to help them (my parents) to get rid of their debt telling her “What do you want me to write? That my mother is insane? She doesn’t sleep the night out of worrying? while she always preaches the words of Jesus and him being the savor of us”!

She is one of the most loving compassionate person I have ever met (I know a lot feel the same about their mother), but as I stated of Arab parents in a previous post, she lives from us instead of with us. She had sacrificed a lot along with my father and worked hard in order to give us a decent living.

Watching her suffer in fear of what might happen because of some debts that they have been dealing with for more than 20 years now makes me sad. It does also make me helpless trying to comfort her that we can handle anything. Fear eats from our health more than what ever consequences we have to face.

Wish there is a way I can just pat on her back and remove all her worries.

In the meantime, maybe my blogging can at least bring a smile to her face and some pride that might move her worries for a moment or two.

Fares Karam success reflects the sexist-homophobic Arabic society

Because ART usually reflect societies’ culture. And because Arabian -so called- ART is picking up due to the media technology revolution that hit the Arab world along with the strong competition of satellite channels. And because we – the Arab men – are still living in an era where a man’s masculinity is measured by his dominance over what ever physically less powerful than him – (especially women in his life). Media projects such as the syrian famous TV series “Bab Al Hara” (Door of the Alley) and Fares Karam’s latest song “Neswanji” (Womanizer) found a huge success.

While Bab Al Hara emphasized on the masculinity of men and their dominance over their wives without addressing their sexuality the same way Najeeb Mahfooth addressed it in his Novel Aser Al Shook (Castle of Passion), Fares Karam in the other hand declared himself being a womanizer at a time men physical power lost it appeal.

What is ironic that no one of the so called immoral wave of young female lebanese singers – even Haifa Wahbeh – dared to go out in Public and declare her love for men the same way Fares Karam did.

The man in his first hit “elle be’asser Tannora” (The one shortening her skirt) flirted with women and the effect of their revealing clothes on him. People clapped to him for expressing men sexual feelings when they encounter a woman with some revealing clothes in a society which believes that more clothes on women is better, and at a time some women are breaking the rules and wearing less and less.

He then emphasized his sexuality and declared proudly that he is a womanizer. An accusation that would label a woman as a total bitch if she ever hinted to have such feelings towards men. They are being called bitches for only wearing less clothes, what would you expect if they emphasized on their ignored sexuality the same way Fares Karam did?

Fares Karam didn’t just declare his pride in being a womanizer. He even went as far as cursing those who don’t love women. He put it in a way to emphasize his love for women, as if he can’t believe that there can be anything in this world who can stand the beauty of women without falling in love with them (implicitly saying won’t have sex with them).

I am not sure whether Fares Karam meant to curse Gay men for not loving women sexually or not, but obviously Gay men are offended(check out Mohammad’s blog) and are cursing him back.

Fares says in his song “Elle ma beheb el neswan alla yeb3atlo 3elleh” (Those who don’t love women, God curse them)

Gay men respond by saying “Allah yeb3atlak 3elleh ya Faris” (God curse you Fares).

Stranger at work

I have been working at the same company for the past 5 years. Yet and while I hear some people calling their co-workers *family*, I still feel myself stranger. No matter how much of an easy going I am, and no matter how easy my communication with my fellow co-workers, and no matter me being the most friendly guy at the company, there are still huge walls (that I respect) that co-workers build around each other to protect their own privacy and background.

It does make me wonder if this is a normal behaviour among co-workers around the globe, or is it just different in Jordan where people tend to be cautious with dealing with others while trying to maintain certain boundaries that are built mainly on oral communication because of the cultural influence of empahsizing on words and its affects.

Maybe it also has to do with people’s differences and their moral backgrounds where I find myself *unique* in an environment full of strict religious people, mainly Muslims who don’t shwy of expressing their own set of beliefs, along with some other few Christians who are no less strict with their own beliefs as well but try to avoid expressing theirs because they are a minority, while bringing it infornt of me up at times where only Chrsitians gather togather because I am technically Christian.

Me, being closer to the non-religious side, and having a passion for argueing and getting easy information through other people talk, and with a special interest in people’s believes and behaviours, find my self continuously trying to hold my urges of going further into conversations at lunch breaks so that not to offend other people.

People would argue that this is a working place and that it is not a place of socializing, but I believe that work would be much fun when people are more comfortable with dealing with each other. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my co-workers, and actually sometimes I do enjoy chit chatting with them, but I don’t feel that I have real friends among them, I don’t feel like I am among my family. After a long break or vacation I feel that I am stranger who are forced to deal with people on a daily basis without being able to feel at home in a place that I actually spend more time in than home, and with people who I actually see more than my close friends and my family members.

I believe that I am a person who loves to have close friends and family members around, even in business. Family businesses might have some disadvantage, but it does also give work a better feeling, like being at home, supported, and secured. Not an alien, dealing with strangers…