Trash babies, prices, car accidents! Amman?!

What’s going on in Amman?

Trash babies and inflation of prices are making the headlines on a daily bases now leaving us in wonder of what is really going on. The other day I got scared reading the newspaper, every single economical sector announces a raise in prices for its services, from food to medications, from necessary items to luxurious ones. Everything is going up and that is even before the big raise of fuel prices that is coming this month.

Since the first news of the first trash baby few months ago, news of other babies found in trash are making the headlines every couple of days. So now, every single citizen in Jordan is asking himself, what is going on? It is a weird situation to move from a state where no trash babies at all to a situation with one every couple of days, isn’t it? If we are going to believe the news, which we have to, because there are people who follow up on those cases, then we owe to ourselves an answer to the question of : What has changed?

Of course people come up with various logical and illogical explanation of what has changed, from blaming domestic workers supposed freedom of movement, to an assumed increase of poverty, and an increase of moral corruption of our youth. In reality, domestic workers haven’t gained any more freedom for ages, in the contrary their slavery conditions are getting worse every day. And according to governmental statistic poverty hasn’t increased in the past few years. That leads us to the moral corruption of our youth, in which there seem to be a moral shift of being more tolerant to pre-marital sexual behavior for our society at large, it doesn’t explain the phenomena of abandoning those babies.

For me, I am not sure how far would I be from reality if I reason the whole situation to be due to our cultural love of copying. We love to copy each other. When someone fart, we all fart! Just look at the amount of shawerma and saj places in Amman. When the Day3a hit a big success with their arabic shawerma meal, every other single shawerma place copied it, and many others opened even next to their shops.

It is the same with reporting business. When the first reporter covered the story of the first trash baby which hit the news at large, other reporters became more active to report such incidents. This is quite scary to realize that trash babies is not a new phenomena, but reporting it is what new, isn’t it? It makes me wonder about the amount of babies who have died in trash for their parents abandonment.

The same goes for prices, it is becoming like a fashion thing. Everyone is raising the prices of his services, why don’t I? This is the exact reasoning people are following, each on his turn. The problem is that it became like a cycle and those raises in prices are becoming periodic rather than special cases.

Yesterday I went to Zaatar o Zeit for dinner with my friend. To our surprise, it turned out that they themselves have raised their menu prices (just few months after their opening). Their prices haven’t been low in the first place for the kind of food they serve or the type of restaurant they run, and if the raise was for few amounts, we wouldn’t have noticed or protested, but we seriously were shocked. For some items the raise even reached 60%.

‘I am not taking this’ me and my friend told each other. This is too much. It is one of the things that we can make a choice about and refuse. Fortunately our lives are not dependant on Zaatar o Zeit, and thus we took ourselves and left the restaurant knowing that we would never visit it again. The waiter wanted us to meet the manager to explain to us their reasoning behind raising their prices, but we refused to wait.

But what is really going on around Zaatar o Zeit? Now their Valet parking service is mandatory if you are to park in their parking lot because the other day someone tried to park himself and ended hitting another car, so their brilliant solution was to force their clients to pay for valet parking.

Another incident that is causing rage in the Ammani community occurred around Zaatar o Zeit premises. A young teenager was hit by a hammer in the middle of the night. The boy died instantly and the hammer driver, where rumors say that it was a ‘She’, flee without anyone being able to catch the numbers of her car’s plate.

The poor parents of the victim are at rage, and everyone in the country are waiting for the police to catch this woman. We do have a big faith in our police. They have never failed us and I know that in few days, they would reveal the identity of that woman. It isn’t hard counting the number of hammers in amman, or is it?

To tell you the truth, I feel bad for the boy’s parents as much for the woman. Guilt and fear must be killing her now. The boy is not the only one who lost his life in this accident, she lost hers as well because of her car speed.

There should be stronger regulations on speed and driving under the influence of alcohol. Such accidents occur a lot lately and some actions are ought to be taken in order to prevent them.

اخ انثى تحمل شرفها بين فخذيها

ذكر, ترن الكلمة في اذني بوقع موسيقي. ينتفض جسمي فيستقيم عمودي الفقري, تتصللب فخذي و تنقبضان في حركة لا ارادية لحماية ما بينهما. عكس هيا, انا لا احمل شرفا معرضا للعار, هي تحمل شرفي, اما انا فاحمل فخرا. فخرا ليس نقطة, بل خطا يسطر رجولتي في عالم يختزل انسانيتي وانسانية هيا في منطقة واحدة. هي تحمل شرف و انا فخر
تحمل هيا شرفي بين فخذيها وتخرج. يرتعد قلبي خوفا. علمها ابي و امي حمايته, و استخدمنا جميع اساليب الترغيب و التهديد لجعلها تعي قيمة ما تحمله. لكن الخطر دائما موجود. نضع احتياطاتنا, قواعد عديده للحد من الخطر: ممنوع الحديث مع ذكر غريب خارج العلاقة المهنية, ممنوع الخروج مع صديقاتها بعد الساعة السابعة مساء, ممنوع مصادقة فتيات يختلف مستواهم الاخلاقي عننا. يجب تغطية جسدها ما امكن كنوع من انواع الحماية
يسلمني ابي بعضا من مهامه. اصبح شريكا في حماية الشرف, و تخضع هيا لاوامري مع اني اصغرها بالسن. عندما يخونها عقلها في تقدير الخطر, اتدخل انا. احيانا يصبح تدخلي لايطاق, و احيانا اشعر انها تكرهني. لكنها لا تعي مقدار المسؤولية المحمولة على عاتقي. احيانا اتمنى انها لم تولد, و احيانا اتمنى انها اقل جمالا. انتظر زواجها بفارغ الصبر و احلم باليوم الذي يخف حمل المسؤولية عن عاتقي
اخاف من حبل المشنقة, تلاحقني الكوابيس بتتابع منذ بلوغي. تظهر هيا في غرفة النوم, عارية في حضن رجل غريب, ليس زوجها. اظهر خلف الباب, احمل مسدسا, تلاحقني اصوات امي و ابي و اصدقائي و الاقارب و الجيران, تحثني على القتل. فرطت هيا بشرف العائلة, و يجب غسل العار في الدم. اعي انني الضحية لهذه المهمة. تختزل رجولتي في هذه اللحظة, تتصارع مشاعري في اخوتي لهيا بين مع مشاعر رجولتي و توقعات العائلة. تخلت هيا عن حمل شرفنا و اصبح علي ارجاعه. اضغط بسببابتي على زناد المسدس, ترتج يدي و تسقط دموعي. احث نفسي على اتمام المهمة, لكن رجولتي تخونني. اسمع اصوات الناس في اذني يستهزؤون من رجولتي. سقط قناعي و تحول شرفي الى عار. احمل المسدس واوجهه نحو راسي. اضغط الزناد و اصحوا من الحلم بريق ناشف
منذ صغري و انا اتحاشى ذكر اسم هيا. اخشى ذكر اسماء اخوات اصدقائي كما اخشى ذكرهم لاسم هيا. عندما يقترب الحديث عن ذكر الشقيقات, يتشنج جسمي و ينطلق الادرينالين في تحسب لوقوع اي تعدي يستدعي القتال. اذكرها فقط عند زواجها. اتباها في فخر لصونها شرفي لهذه اللحظة
من المضحك المبكي ان رجولتي بين الشباب لاتكتمل من غير التعدي على شرف الاخرين. كل منا له مغامراته, نجتمع و نعلق على النساء في الشارع. نتفاخر بفحولتنا و بلعننا شرف الاخريات. صراع قوة يظهر القوي الذي يلعب بالنار دون ان يحترق
هيا شقيقتي احبها كنفسي. اعي ضيقها من حمل شرفنا بين فخذيها. اتمنى انتزاعه و حمله على جبيني بمقدار تمنيها ذلك و اكثر. نحن الاثنبن ضحية مجتمع لا يفقه سوى الابيض و الاسود
مع حبي,
اخو هيا

Women can’t participate in funerals?

Why can’t women participate in funerals in Jordan?

I don’t know if this is a religious issue or another social unjust norm. I understand that most women wouldn’t like to go to the grave site and see their loved ones burried under the ground, men don’t like that either, but what if some want to? Why not allow a wife to bury her husband or son? a daughter to bury her mother?

It is heart wrenching to see my friend burying his mother-in-law yesterday. He literally was pulling sand on to her grave, while his wife (another friend of mine), was moaning at home because she can’t be there.

Doesn’t a dead woman wish to have other close women at her side while burying her under the ground? I know that if I am a woman, I would want that.

The secret in motion and my own requests

A friend/co-worker of mine won the GMC 4-wheel car – Cozmo’s big prize for the holiday season. When I went to her office to congratulate her, she said “Have you read the Secret?” I nodded my head “Yes, ofcouse. I even believe in it somehow” (Don’t ask me how). So she proceeded saying that since she read it, her life changed!

On the day she filled up the coupons for winning the car, she went outside Cozmo, right next to the GMC and stood for a moment imagining herself driving it. A few days later, when they called her to tell her that she won, she wasn’t surprised. She believed and knew that she is going to get it, and thus she faked her excitement (as of being surprised) for their sake.

“Bravo” I told her. That this is the right attitude. I have been trying to master my own secret for months now. I managed to win twice already, once 100 JD, and once 150 JD. That is a major change of luck for someone who always believed that he had a bad luck and as a result never won even another can of cola!

So now I am going to say it out loud, so that the universe listens to me. THIS year I want:
1. Win 150000 JD. The biggest monthly prize of Al Eskan bank
2. My grandma to be spared of her pain of struggling with cancer
3. Licky Licious to be a big success
4. Have time to write my first novel – a long arabic version of Social Pressure
5. Get a Nintendo wii

So, hey universe, I am not asking too much. I put it clearly and precisely of what I want so that not to confuse you.

and will be waiting for you to listen 🙂

Thank you in advance..

Turning the other cheek!

When someone slaps me on my left cheek
I turn the other one!
It isn’t that I am a masochist
But it is because
Jesus would do that!

Ok, I admit, I am lying!
I wouldn’t turn the other cheek
I slap back! Slap slap slap

I don’t do that either!
In reality,
When I am slapped
Which never happened before in the literal way of what the word means
I stand silent
in shock
trying to figure out why did the other person attack me like this

To sum it all,
what I really do
is taking preventive measures for not letting it to happen again

I have been trying to teach myself to react when someone offends me for ages,
but what happened yesterday really stunt me
and made me realize that I am a hopeless case

After several months of struggling with the municipality for the vocational license for licky licious (my and my friend’s ice cream shop)
and after having to deal with the shitty attitude of the person at the head of the vocational department in their zahran office
Doing his best to bring up every possible way to torture me
and throwing me from an office to another
and asking me to go home and come back another day over and over again for no reason aside of his laziness

When I finally got the license,
and to my SURPRISE
How the hell I let those words leave my mouth!
I realized it right away, along with the shock/angry look on my friend’s face!
Why do you thank him?!
For the torture he gave us for months?!
or for the job he had to do and made sure to raise our blood pressure in each step?!

And then again, when we left
and while cursing him over and over again
I wished that ONE day
Need would drive him to my door
begging me for help
Where I would torture him back
and make him drink from his own medicine
“And I know that you definatly would help him” my friend said
and sadly, I think that he is right
I don’t slap back
Because fucking Jesus Christ would just do the same
(this line is taken from Grey’s anatomy)
Actually I guess that it is just my nature,
to let it go

But a friend of mine wouldn’t do that
The other day,
She sent a text message to her former boss
whom she hates
Congratulating her for her husband’s loss in the parliament elections!
She wrote “Congratulations for your LOSS. You deserve it!”
What goes around comes around, right?
Simple Karma..
Did that make my friend happy?
I guess it did
But it wouldn’t make me happy if I ever to act this way.

Speaking of karma,
On new year’s eve
I bought a lottery ticket with a friend of mine
Me and him were buying some pizza’s for the night
and the person at cash calculated the amount we have to pay wrongly
He missed one pizza
After paying, we realized his mistake, and pointed it out to him
so that to give him the amount he missed

I looked at my friend and said:
You know what? I feel good about this
because we did the right thing, we are going to win the lottery
He laughed and said:
Are you talking about the karma thing
I nodded and smiled

After 2 days
We won 150 JDs 🙂
Not bad for a new year’s start

Don’t under estimate the power of karma 🙂
Do good and you’ll get good

I dont grow older each year, instead, I grow up

In my teenage years, there was this sensational beautiful feeling of having my body growing up. Gaining 10-15 centimeter per year, along with gaining other manly attributes such as a harsher voice and more body hair and muscles was very touchable where people seeing me every couple of months used to notice the change and giving admiration comments about how quick I was growing up.

Growing up in itself is a nice experience. The bigger someone becomes, the more freedom, confidence and power he gets. Of course growing up doesn’t mean only about physical attributes, but that is what was really touchable at that age.

Unfortunately, that phase of time has been short. Only few years of growing, and you end up with a stable physical form that you carry on with your whole life.

Few years passed after my teenage, and I forgot the sweet feeling of growing up. Although with college study, work and people’s interaction, life managed to remind me of growth in a different level, which is mental.

For few years mental growth had been so subtle. Not until two years ago when I start reading books where the sweet growing feeling hit me back. With every book I read I feel myself taller: a growth that can be as measurable in terms of mental scaling as my teenage growth in terms of physical scaling.

The days of measuring up my height to other men in the street, my cousins, and friends are back in a different taste. The measurement tools changed, and instead of standing side by side scaling whose shoulder is higher, I sit down now with people and argue about life which after few minutes shows the real height of everyone’s mental age.

Unfortunately, people who read in the Arab world are really scarce. There is a cultural behavior to make fun of people who read. A lot of others claim, with no reasonable proof that they feel so bored ready and can’t manage to keep a book open in their hands. I know that they are missing a lot, and their unsound reasoning just shows the shortness of their mental age. Sadly, this cultural phenomena is like a virus, that is widely spread among us, and is leaving us like midgets among other people around the world.

The other day I was watching Marcell Khalifeh on Rotana with Wafa’ al Kilani (Against the current show), and I was sitting there impressed with how big this man is. He is one of those who discovered a way to keep up growing regardless what appears of natural laws. Seeing people that big changes my view of life. Now I realize that I am not getting older, in the contrary, by reading, I am getting bigger and bigger everyday. I hope one day to reach the heights of men like Marcell Khalife, Paulo Coelho and others.