Charity


“Do not let the right hand know what the left hand is doing” Jesus

I have never really been a giver. Never done charity before and never helped in easing the pain of anyone in poverty. Whenever a beggar approaches me on street or a traffic light, I put a cold expression on my face and say ‘allah ya3teek’ (May God give you) and then wait for him to move away. It always made me feel guilty but I used to rationalize it the way our government does, and that this beggar is most probably have good money and that he finds begging as an easy way to make some more rather than working. In addition to that, I also believe that I have to take care of myself in order to be able of taking care of others. I am not a wealthy person and the notion of Jesus and the widow who gave from her needs rather than her surplus didn’t quite work for me. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the moral of it and do cherish those who gave more than they can. But those are very rare people. They are real saints whom I do admire and wish that one day I would have the strength to do the same. Meanwhile I am aware of my humanly traits and needs that are a combination of selfishness and laziness and which I am neither proud nor ashamed of.

Recently, I have this social activism notion growing inside me. Maybe it has mostly to do with blogging and social networking. And while social freedom, sexual liberation, gender equality and tolerance towards the others have been my major concerns, I was hoping for a chance to help in others attempt of fighting poverty or helping any unfortunate individual. Then the Back to School campaign caught my eyes at Naseem’s blog. It was an easy call, just publicize it and you would be doing a good share. Re-blog it on my blog would be good enough. But I felt like doing more, and I had this idea of collecting money from people who work with me. I sent an email to all the staff and asked my friend to do the same at his company. I didn’t get much money yet, but we have collected some and in which we would give to Sara from the action committee (079-5154498).

A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t talk about a good thing I have done. I guess it has more to do with me being shy than saving my credit to my after life as someone who gave me some donations asked explicitly not to mention her donation so that she doesn’t lose her after life reward. I have always believed that it is better to give without expecting anything in return, even if it is spiritual. But that is not entirely true for myself, because even though I don’t expect an after life reward, I do enjoy the instance self reward of a greater self esteem and goodness. Helping others is not 100% an altruistic behavior. Feeling good in return would be a good enough drive and an excellent compensation.

So for me, it is okay to state out that you have done a good thing as an acknowledgment and encouragement for oneself and others, but it would be entirely a different thing when you advertise your charity for a fake pride and prestige like what we can see on the walls of the Christian Churches in Jordan these days.

Action Alert – Backt to School compaign


The Action Committee is accepting collections of school supplies to distribute amongst under-privileged students in the Kingdom. The last day to receive any donations is next Tuesday the 19th. The committee is looking for the following items:

– Backpacks & pencil cases.
– Sweatpants, sweatshirts, socks (for P.E.)
– Pencils, pens, erasers, rulers.
– Notebooks, both English and Arabic.
– Geometry sets (for grades 5 & up).
– Glue sticks, colored pencils & markers.

You can volunteer for this campaign in a couple of ways:

1) Donations: either financially or any of the above mentioned items.

2) Packing the items.

3) Help us distribute the bags.

Also, if you’re a blogger, feel free to re-blog this post on your own blog. Spread the word!

You can contact Sara at 079-5154498

Check Out more details at Naseem’s blog

The Princess


I have been the most beautiful girl in my class
I have been the softest and the tenderest
I had a low voice and a delicate movement
to sum it all
My femininity was unmatchable

Girls envied me
Boys worshiped me
I lived like a princess
and enjoyed the spell of my beauty on people around me

Many men started proposing to me a year after reaching my puberty
That was at 11!
I was a kid
but enjoyed the attention

My family managed to keep the grooms away
till I got my tawjihi degree
that was the time when I turned 18
The time I met my prince charming

Our families arranged for our marriage
We had this agreement that I can still pursue my bachelor degree
and I did

Five years passed, and we bore no children
The envy eyes and gossips of the beautiful young couple turned into pity
Lies and rumors came out from everywhere
They said, he loves someone else
They said, she refuses to have sex with him
They said, he is castrated
Others said, it is God’s will…He doesn’t give it all

We said, it is still early for us to have children
We were young and life is still ahead of us

In reality, we were dying to have one
Not just to please ourselves
but also to make our parents happy
and shut up the mouths of other people

His mother advised us to go see a doctor
and we did

My world fall apart
It turned out that I carry a male genetics
My sexual chromosomes turned out to be XY!
and they said that I suffer from Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome!!

I was speechless
and so was my husband!
We refused to believe it
We felt betrayed and cheated!
What does that mean to me?
What does it mean to him?

He questioned the validity of our marriage
and I questioned my gender identity!
I am still is the same person
and didn’t start feeling like a man after the discovery!
I begged him to ignore it and let it go

We had counseling
We had a marriage crisis
and we were about to go apart
I tried suicide
but failed

Eventually, we decided to face it
accept it and move on
for I am the same, and he is
Our love has been greater than sex and gender
and our perception of life grew and changed

It helped to know that I was not alone with such case
and that it affects around 0.1% of a society
that means around 3000 Jordanian (Thank you Hareega for the info)

I just hope that other’s husbands would be as understanding, loving and supportive like mine
For I know how bad it would be if mine scandalize me
claiming that my family married him to another man!

Regards,
Haya

Life changes by a single person


It amazes me how a single person can change the taste of your life. People in love feel it the most. Doing the same activity with the person you love is not the same as doing it without him. It is more like a light pulb that you switch on/off based on the existance – or feeling of existance – of such person in your life. When he is around, everything shine, and when he is away, everything dim.

Why does that happen?

How can a single person moves your entire universe from being a dark – hell like – one into a beautiful shiny bright – heaven like – one?

It is absurd to believe that the universe actually changes.

But it does for me! Which make me wonder of how good do I really know the world around me? Is it all regulated by the types of hormones my body produces? and thus my own reality changes by the current state of my mood?

And then I ask myself, why does it all revolve around the heart?

It doesn’t, right? but I feel love in my heart. Or is that just a fake perception? They tell me that my heart is just a muscle, and I take it. They tell me, it is my brain who translates my emotions, and I take it. But some other people don’t. My office friend believes that it is all in the heart! He even quotes the Quran, taking some versus literally!

I want it all to be in the heart either. Maybe it is all in the heart for my soul. An illusion of a soul with a heart. A heart that looks like the one we draw, not the one we see in surgical operations. An illusion of a spiritual life with the soul of God, the soul of us and the colors of love all moving in harmony and sanity.

That is all can be easier to be imagined lived by the presence of your loved one beside you.

عصام آلحاج ، إعلامي " مونتي كارلو ‘ باريس ، و وقائع نضال الا حمدية


طلب مني اعلامي “مونتي كارلو” نشر هذه الكلمات على لسانه موجهة الى نضال الاحمدية. أنشرها كما هي

شربت “الفضائحية “حبر قلمها فهل يحط “الملاك الضحية ” خلف القضبان؟؟؟

اليوم يصفق ملايين العرب للقضاء اللبناني الذي أعاد للون الأصفر بريقه فاعاد العدل لاصحابه و لجم دخيلة على الصحافة الفنية كانت تنسج الإشاعات ,تحيك الأكاذيب ,تلوث البياض ,تدوس على خضار القمح ,ترمي الحرير بالوحل…إلى أن بنت إمبراطورية السم ,منتحلة صفة “إعلامية” ؟

فمن أستوديو الفن وفئة التقديم مرورا بمحاولة الحصول على دبلوم فلسفة ثم رفضها من الكتابة السياسية لتحط في نادين عبر علاقة خاصة كي ترفس بعدها النعمة ومعطي النعمة لتقفز إلى توأم سمعي بصري “جرس الكلمة وجرس التلفزيون”؟

“مجالي هو الإثارة ” تقول الأحمدية..

ليست فقط الإثارة بالطبع وإنما الانقلابات السطحية والإسفاف في نقل الأخبار عبر قلبها وتحويلها والإسفاف بالوسط الفني الذي وصفته بالوسخ

– فننا العربي من المحيط إلى الخليج وسخ فيا للهول-

تستخف بالفن العربي وتقزمه وتغييب دور الشباب العربي الخلاق وتخنقه بسلاسل من الشكوك و خلط الأوراق وتقليب المواجع والتسلق على ظهور الناس بالتعرض إلى خصوصياتهم وكان الفنان العربي ليس بالإنسان فتبيح لنفسها محاربته متناغمة مع أصداء التقرير الآتي من الدولة العبرية الذي تشير فيه أن الشهرة الواسعة للفنانين والفنانات العرب بدأت تخيفها, ثم تعود وتصر على أن هناك فراغ ثقافي كبير في العالم العربي رغم الكتابات الكثيرة التي يصدرها “أنصاف الموهوبين ولا تجد أحدا يلمسها” كما تقول يلمس من يا..’’’’’ .هل تتحدثين عن محتويات مكتبتك الخاصة؟؟؟

هكذا تختصر سيدة الإثارة كنوز العالم العربي

وها هي الآن تحاول استعطاف الناس بقولها “يي لست انا من كتبت…

فما هو دور مدير التحرير إذا في مجلة مسؤول عنها أن يواكب ريشة موظفيه أو أن يمضي وقته في عد النقود ورزم الدولارات؟؟

… تزعم أنها لم تعلم باستئناف الحكم

فما الذي يفعله محاميك؟

أكيد نسي أن يخبرك يا حرام وأكيد نسيت يا حرام عشرات المرات التي ترددت فيها إلى باب سعادة القاضي النزيه في قصر العدل – لن أذكر اسمه فالمجالس بالأمانات يا…..- المتمسك بميزان العدالة وعدت خائبة

فبأي عقول تستخفين؟؟

وتردف “والدتي وشقيقتي مصابتان بالسرطان…”

أين بواليص التأمين التي اشتريتها لحمايتهن إلى ابد الآبدين…ولم تفكري مرة واحدة بأمهات وشقيقات الفنانين والفنانات اللاتي ألبستيهن زورا افتراءات الافتراءات …فعندما وقعت الفاس بالراس هاتيك تتلاعبين بمشاعر الناس كما العاده…فبعد دور الذئاب في غابة الإعلام العربي الذي سمح بحضور أمثالك ها هو يبدأ مسلسل الندب ودور الندابات والحملان الصامتة فحتى القائمين على فيلم “صمت الحملان “كانوا ليتنازلوا عن الأوسكار ليقدموه إليك يا حسرتي…”سأخرج قوية من السجن فلدينا سوزان تميم”لدينا؟ لم نكن أن عائلة تميم تبنتك لكي تنبشي الجراح وتصنعي مزيدا من الثروات مقلبة جراح العائلة فدعي الأمر للقضاء رأفة بروح المغدورة

هلا انتهى فيلمك الممل هذا أم سيهدر المزيد من الورق القادم من أشجارنا المسكينة ليدافع من خلالها عنك إعلام المارينز في العالم العربي ؟ ولكن أملنا بأن الباب العالي هذه المرة اقفل أبوابه وانتصر العدل. كم من مرة وبإيعاز من المستمعات والمستمعين حاولت الاستفسار منك عن لذة الأذى هذه التي تسكنك ,, كم من الفنانات والفنانين عبروا لي”تحت الهواء”عن اشمئزازهم وامتعاضهم من تلبية دعوتك لحضورهم إلى مكتبك “المدجج بآلات التسجيل وكاميرات المراقبة فحتى الاتصالات الصادرة والواردة من هواتفك الخاصة والعامة هي مسجلة” وذلك لإجراء حوار معهم علما أنهم لا يودون الظهور على صفار صفحاتك ولكنهم يخشون أن تكسري إطلالة ألبومهم الجديد أو جولتهم الفنية الآتية “لن اعدد تلك الأسماء احتراما مني لحياتهم الخاصة,فالمجالس بالأمانات يا …… ” رغم ذلك كانوا يحضرون مرغمين فتجرين الحديث معهم ثم تخرجين جملة من مضمونها,جملة “تبيع”, وتضعينها على الغلاف فيهرع المهتم وغير المهتم لشراء صفار ورقك

حاولت توعيتك “فالج لا تعالج” المال هدف, الرقص على جثث الآخرين متعة, نهش اللحوم كنز

وتحيا الإمبراطورية

فمن أين لك هذا؟

عصام الحاج
إذاعة مونت كارلو
باريس

A man? A woman? or a question mark?


This is the limited social definition of a man and a woman that you would see in human societies these days and in which is more prominant in less development societies.

Man Woman ?
Male Female Intersex
XY XX XXY, XXX, XY, XX
Masculine Feminine Tomboy, ladyboy
Dominant Subservient neutral
hetrosexual hetrosexual homosexual, bisexual, asexual, …

The definition is constructed with a bundled set of attributes. I listed the primary one in the above table, but there are many other secondary attributes that one would attach to men or women depending of how can they be classified and connected to the primary attributes.

One would expect social constructs to be in line with the natural process of production, but that is not the case, for humans knowledge of nature have progressed over time and some social definitions which were built at a time of less scientific knowledge had a strong grip on people’s awareness, and made it hard for new – more correct – definitions to emerge.

The catch of natural production process is that it doesn’t work in a binary matter. In other words, it doesn’t only produce black and white. Every human organ comes in different shades. Look at the eyes of people for instance, you can find a whole range of colors, shapes and sizes. Look at people’s height, there is a wide range of heights as well. The same is applicable on people’s sexual organs. Nature doesn’t only produce a complete male procreation system vs a complete female procreation one, it does produce organs for both systems that varies in size, shape and task allocated. And in which it can be a system hybrid between the two.

Unfortunatly societies need to assign sex to new born in order to assign social roles later on. Babies who come with unclear sexual organs have to be worked on in order to fit in a *defined* sex even if it means that doctors may do a mistake and cut some sexual organs that came below the standard size.

The same applies on the genetic sexual chromosomes. They teach us at school that people come only with two types of sexual chromosomes: XY defines a man and XX define a woman. They never told us that some men do carry XX, or some women may carry XY, or even other sets like having someone with 3 chromosomes attached to each other like in XXY or XXX people. Maybe it would have been too complicated to be taught at schools, especially the part explaining how those chromosomes translates into a full defined sexual organs.

If that is not enough puzzling enough, then add the gender identity in the mix: the awareness of a person of his own gender. Like for instance someone of a male organs identifying himself to be either a man or a woman! They classical social definition has it one to one relationship for people with male organs to be identified as men, but nature says otherwise, and some people with male organs fail to identify themselves as men, some may identify themselves to be a woman, some would identify themselves to be in-between, and others don’t even identify with either.

The issue of gender is even more interesting because it doesn’t deal with some clear seen organs, instead it has to do with the psychology of a person and his self awareness of his own gender. It makes me wonder of how applicable gender issues to animals and how much people’s awareness and the constructs of human societies came up with such problems. I know that there are gender roles in the more complicated species of the animal kingdom, but who else, besides of humans, are aware of their gender and its role?

And then comes the attitude attached with being a man or a woman. For men in general having a clear physical advantage (which comes in a range as well) over women, one would assume that physical strength is translated into domination and superiority, and thus at a time where strength was essential for human societies, men dominated women. But that is not always the case, as size and physical strength don’t always translate into domination.

While it may be easier for us to bundle those set of attributes into a simple definition of a man and a woman, in reality, those set of attributes rarely come bundled all together. Each one comes in a spectrum of degrees. Different attributes that if we pay a closer look into it, we would all realize that the majority of us fall indeed under the last column in the table above – which is a question mark!

National identities: Israeli Palestinians vs Jordan Palestinians


I had recently the chance to meet someone from Arab 48 (Arab Israel) and had an interesting conversation about both mine and his national identity. For him, he clearly identifies himself to be a Palestinian although he had been born under the Israeli state, lived, studied, grew over there and has always been carrying the Israeli passport. For me, I identify my self to be a Jordanian even though that I am aware of my Palestinian heritage and the whole story of my grandparents seeking refuge in Jordan in 1948.

My self Jordanian identification didn’t please my Palestinian friend. In reality, we both belong to the descendents of the Palestinian people who had to deal with the disaster of 1948 and the creation of the Israeli state. My grandparents seek refuge in Jordan, while his didn’t leave their homes and endured the continuous discrimination against them living in a Jewish racist state that treats its Arab citizens as a second class.

The Palestinians issue is so complicated, the same people who were living under the same area that we define today as Palestine in the Arabic notion have been divided into several sects, and after 3 generations of the disaster, the scattered nation descendents are building different national identities that are based on their current special individual situation. The main biggest 3 groups are the ones living in Jordan, the ones living in Israel and the ones living in the West Bank and Gaza.

The issue of national identity is a real dilemma in the Middle East for most of today countries are recent construct of the British and French colonization at the beginning of last century. It has been less than 100 year when the colonial powers divided the Othmanian empire and drew the lines of the recent states that forms the Middle Eastern countries. For the area of Jordan and Israel/Palestine the dilemma is even more severe because there is not only an entire nation that has been divided into 3 areas, but also an entire race of Israelis who came from all over the world and settled down in Palestine taking control over its own people.

In Jordan, this has been a real issue for ages, the identity of origins have been standing on the way of building a national identity for the country which essential in merging people together and helping in advancing this country in all ways. That is why King Abdulla II had this brilliant idea a couple of years ago and a came up with the motto of ‘Jordan First’, because you can’t have this division of loyalty and mutual discrimination while trying to build for the future of this country. For me, I have always hated the family name question and the expression of relief/dis-relief on people’s faces when they conclude my origin through my family name. Palestine has always been in my heart because it was the place where my grandparents were born and lived, but it has never been my country and never would be. I have a total loyalty for Jordan and a 100% national identity for this country, and as a Jordanian citizen, I do back up every movement that helps to demolish any kind of discrimination between the citizens of this country.

While my stand would be applauded from a Jordanian point of view, I do understand my Palestinian friend disappointment, for him, and other Palestinians fighting to maintain their Palestinian identity my stand sounds like a betrayal for their cause. In the other hand, and while it does please me knowing that Palestinians in Israel are still holding to their Palestinian identity, I find it very unfair from my part or any other Arab to blame those Palestinians who decided to pick up on the Israeli identity for them being born and lived under the Israeli state and who do face discrimination against them – discrimination is everywhere – they do enjoy the benefits of a democratic state that allows them to speak up loud their identity and even engage in the Israeli political quarrel.

The question that I have in my mind is how much it is legitimate for the citizens of a certain state to work against the basic structure of that state? Like for instance Israeli Arab citizens working to turn the Israel from a Jewish state into an Arabic one and even changing the name of the state from Israel to Palestine. How legitimate it would be if any Jordanian raises a flag that he is working on changing the name of Jordan to something else? Is having an agenda of changing the identity of a certain country tolerated and accepted under the umbrella of democracy or is it something the regime of each country has to decide for itself?

The issue of national identities is very complicated. I wonder what has more credibility: The country identity defined by the identity of its people, or defining the identity of the people based on their country identity.