A reward and punishment VR system – imagining the future Black Mirror style


The future might be both, beyond our wildest dreams, and so much familiar where it manifests many of our beliefs and traditions. With the exponential advancement of AI and technology, it would be near impossible to predict what is coming our way.


But understanding the power of human beliefs and imaginations and how persistent it can be, and coupling that with the powers of our future technologies of AI, VR and censoring, let’s imagine the following scenario:


For those who still believe in heaven and in hell, who believe in reward and punishment in a world where aging does no longer exist and death is far more rare. You don’t have to worry!


I have a solution.


We can run a mini experiment and create the world you think is fair and true. To assist the angels on your left and right shoulders, we will create artificial invisible angels, planted on your shoulders to log whatever action you do. They will be ran by an advance AI that can asses every single action, collect data from your body and brain activities, and determine if the action should be logged in your deeds or sins records.


This can start any moment, from the day of your birth, or the day you subscribe to our service. It will also have a time limit. We recommend 100 years. After which, your judgement day will arrive. But don’t worry, we can do it in groups, or patches, so it can feel real, with a real judgment day for all. And we can keep the date a secret that no one knows.


On your judgment day, the AI will measure your balance and how it tips. It will determine if you have been a good person or a bad one. And accordingly, it will channel you to one of our afterlife chambers; the VR chamber of Hell or the VR chamber of Heaven.


In Heaven, you will be seated comfortably in a perfect room and you will delve into an experience of joy that you have never thought of. Your body will be monitored all the time to ensure your safety. Your mind will be constantly induced with happy hormones. And your imagination will be living the Heaven you always dreamt of and longed for. You will not feel time, because there is not time in Heaven.


In Hell, we will burn you “virtually” to atone your sins. You will be tortured to the highest levels your body can endure. We will repeat that constantly, every time till you lose your consciousness, and reset once you wake up again. All in a safe environment, with your body tightened into a comfortable chair and sensors that can guarantee you would never die.
Who is up for this? Add your name in the comments!


– This can either be a Black Mirror episode or a blue print for a sequel for my Heaven on Earth

“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:

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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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

Gratitude for those who helped me finish my second book


I thought that writing my second book would be easier than writing my first. It turned out that it is not. It was much harder, I don’t know why. In my first, I used to think that whatever I write is good enough, but that changed with my second and I became more critical about my own work. Perhaps it has also to do with the nature of the two books, where the first addresses issues of gender and sexuality that I excel at and the second is more of a science fiction addressing issues of ageing, life & death, and human nature.

I know that many other writers prefer to keep their work till they finish it before they let anyone read a line of it, but I am not like that. I need continuous feedback when I write, the more the merrier. Thus, having supportive friends who takes on the journey with me is a priceless service they offer me. For that I would love to thank:

1. Ghadeer Janineh, Ayman Al Hmoud and Lubna Al-Shami reading my progress chapter by chapter and giving me your continuos support and feedback helped me so much. I loved Ghadeer and Ayman passion for the story, always excited to read more and pushing me to rush and finish chapters just to see your reactions guys! It was different for Lubna, because she is more critical. At some point, I came to think that if Lubna thinks it is good, then it means it is good! I appreciate your help Najeeb Mahfooz!

2. Yousef Al Nabulsi: is very hard to please, and I haven’t pleased him yet. I am thanking him not for his continuous support in reading the story chapter by chapter but for his hard reaction on the first run of the story that prompted me to rethink it, throw it away, and rewrite the whole thing. I hated him at first but then I realised that he wanted the best for me. Sometimes, we need a clapping hand to carry on, but we also need a slapping one to get back on the right track.

3. Rima Adeeb Soudah, Farah Kamal Zaghmout and Kamal Zaghmout: mother, little brother and dad. Thank you for reading the final version of the book and for going through it and catching all of my language mistakes. I would never have had this self confidence and believe in my abilities without your continuous love and support. I love you dearly.

4. Rami Nabulsi and Natasha Abbadi: my supportive best friends. I miss those thursday nights in your home in Amman talking about the book. Telling you what I wrote or have in mind for the following chapters and examine it against your critical minds.

5. Haitham Al Dawoud: though not much of a reader, the book needed a sense of style. I would never have gained the ability of describing my characters aesthetics without your influence on my life. It isn’t only reflected on the characters, but the writer himself! Thank you!

6. Fares H. Hassan: Fares is a brilliant writer himself. He is a rebel and honest with himself and with people around him. I loved his review of Aroos Amman and was happy for his Janna feedback. He helped me correct some instances and come up with the titles for chapters.

I am sure that I have missed many others. I would like to thank all of my family and friends. Without all the love in my life, I wouldn’t have finished this book.

Subversive futures: a look at contemporary Arab Sci-Fi


It is good to see some interest in Arabic SF literature at the time of launching my first one.. Janna Al Ard is coming soon 🙂

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Snapshot of a Jordanian theater play themed on Sci-FI (photo via @Team Travel Turkey) Snapshot of a Jordanian theater play themed on Sci-FI (photo via @Team Travel Turkey)

CAIRO, 2023. The country is split in two: within the high walls of a gated community perched in the north east of Egypt lives a super-rich and secluded elite in a compound called Utopia, while the rest of the population, named The Others, lives in a post-apocalyptic Cairo riddled by poverty, drug abuse, and violence.

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