Thursday, August 30, 2007

The "Pray for Reem Mostafa Abaza" Facebook Phenomena!

Before i start talking about this i have to say: "God bless her soul and may she rest in peace (Al bakaa2 LelAh)".

For those who don't know who the girl is, she is an Egyptian who passed away in a car accident on the North Coast highway in Egypt. She was a young AUCian graduate (from the American University In Cairo).

This is not to talk about her (the deceased) or say anything about death. This is about the new "moda" that is ripping Egyptians (middle to high class ones).

What do i want to say ??

I want to ask Egyptians...

Ento malko? 7asaloko eh? 7ata fel moot ba2a feeh moda weee the "Hip" thing?
la2 seriously! what is wrong with you people?!!!

I mean, if any Egyptian has an account on Facebook surely (s)he'll find one or more of his\her friends either talking about that group "Pray for Reem Mostafa Abaza" or even being part of it.

If you check that group, you'll find people who have nothing to do with the deceased joining the group and saying things like:

  • besara7a ..ana ma3rafsh reem(all7yer7amha) bas ...
  • ana magtlesh el forsa any 2ashofk bas bgd konty ensana gamela...
  • heloo i really dont know Reem ..but i

And those were just a sample of what i am talking about...

One might ask me: "Why are you so annoyed? people are concerned about her and praying that God will forgive her and let her enter Heaven".

I'd answer back and say: "If you actually think that what you mentioned is my problem, then you misunderstood me!".

If someone dies and his\her friends make a group and do or say what is on that group, then of course that is normal and great actually.

Even for people that don't know her, for them to add note like "Allah yer7amha" that is very good too.

My problem is that i am feeling that "some" people (i am stressing on the some part) are joining in just because "Everyone" is heading there. In other words, because it is a "moda" or the "Talked About" thing.

Over the past few years Egyptians (middle to high class) have been heading towards an obnoxious trend of imitating each other, showing off and wanting to always be part of "The Hip thing or event".

What strikes me is that people are using the same mentality in death too.

I mean, for heaven's sake the group has 4,188 members! Obviously, most of them don't even know her! wala eh?!

Maybe you'd say:" Well, you should encourage people to stand together and not criticize them."

I'd answer:" I am not criticizing "ALL" people, i am criticizing the moda mentality (and whoever is doing it)".

For God's sake, some people who don't even know her want to help build a Mosque in her name!!"

You might say:" That's good...what's your problem?".

I'd say:" That proves the "moda" issue i am talking about. Because if this person - who doesn't know her - is so virtuous and kind to the the extent of building a Mosque for a stranger, then we'd guess that this is what he\she does for anyone. Does (s)he???!!!!"

Of course not!

Think of it, do you want to convince me that everyone on that group gives charity for someone they don't know or anyone who dies in an accident?

That of course is impossible and nonsense!

Thousands of people die yearly in Egypt because of accidents (official numbers are close to 6,000 per year). Non of you (pretenders) seemed so concerned!

You might say:" Well, you talk a lot...what do you do for people who die in accidents? you should practise what you preach!"

My answer is: "I don't do anything! That is why i am not part of the Pray Reem Abaza group!

i will not act or pretend and show off my feelings all over the place. Yes, my heart is with anyone who loses someone. But, tamseel wee manzara fel moot...la2 ma3lesh...keda keteer!"

Think of it this way..

Person X reads in the newspaper that someone he doesn't know passed away. He gets dressed and then goes to the funeral. He then gets out his wallet and "in fornt of everyone" puts money for charity for that person.

That is exactly what people are doing in our case here... showing off!

I even found some of the people i know going into that group. When i asked if they knew her, they didn't!

Then, why are you joining that group? i ask. The honest answer is\was\would be "Everyone is going in so we thought we'd see what's all this about!!!".

I might be overreacting, but my worry is that "some" people (stress again on some) are doing this just because the "IT" people (Aucians and all) are in there, so why not be part of the "hip thing"!

My concern is about the showing off that became part of our culture... even in DEATH!

Mood: Extremely Concerned!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Blog Anniversary… My 1st year :)

Well, well, well...what do you know! It has been a year already.

On a day like today, on the 27th of August 2006 I decided to enter the blogging world.
It all started with this post: The Beginning

Now, a year has past. With 14,849 Internet visitors and 140 posts (including this one), my blog is still out there.

During this first year, visitors' favorite post has been My Friends And Girl Scandals!! (I never thought people would like it that much).

Now, the blog scene…

I entered this blogging world with no idea who or what I will face.
After a few encounters and searching about within the Egyptian blog scene (thinking I will find a lot of people who think like me), I found out that I am almost alone.

People who think like me don't seem to be part of the Egyptian blogging world.

There are about 1,600 Egyptian blogs out there, and for almost a year I couldn't find a blog with the same directions, interests or way of thought that match mine. But over time, I found a couple.

When I started reading blogs, I was all over the place. I was reading blogs that offended me or blogs that were ridiculous (to say the least).

After a few months, I sort of cocooned into a comfort zone. That zone consists of the blogs or bogglers I connect to and like reading for.
This zone has been in constant change, yet for a while now it has been static.

My comfort zone is as follows:

K - One of my real life best friends. We have a lot in common when it comes to our view about life. He is far away now in another continent starting up his dream. I miss the guy :(

Ra3d - Arashanation club member, outgoing, contradicting, passionate (emotional), angry, charity oriented, very active, moody, … and much more!!!! I have rarely seen or heard about people like her.

MAK - Arashanation club member, exactly like my real life friends. I ask again: "haven't we meet before?" :) (which reminds me, hows your friend Radwa ya Medhat? Nihahaha! Arashanation in the works!).

Jgoe\Gjoe & Nesrina - We seem to be on the same page entirely (how a muslim should view things). I am really please that there are Muslim women like them out there on the blogsphere.

Sara Scripts - reminds me of my school friends (mish 3aref leeh!). I feel that I listen to her blog, not read it (howa da el i7sas belzabt).

Juka - The novelist with a very joyful spirit. I like how she thinks and how she expresses herself.

Nousha - El mosakafa! A passionate Muslim girl that loves cultural events. Following\attending Culture events is a side I never had. I like following up on it through her. We both seem very attached to Islamic idealism.

Nerro - Reminds me of some of my university friends. Seems to have the gift of easily being anyone's buddy.

Nag - The virtual friend. Lately, known as The philosopher! She is a friend of my friend that I never meet. Doesn't make any sense, does it???!!! lol

Myra - Having the same experience (Saudi) in our teens made me connect to her blog.

Asrar Al Banat - They spill out how women think… some inside stuff here guys!

Om Luji - My favorite adversary. Also known as "The Hitler of the blogsphere". The one with the "out of space" intepritations ;p

Nora - El Politics wel bahdala ely fel balad.

Mystery - Besides the common factor between us (being of mixed blood), she gives me "The girl next door" feeling. She has disappeared lately though.

Baheyya - Politics written in style.

Zenobia - we share the same points of view about politics, religion and people.

Al Waay Al Masri - Just to catch up on the dark side of Egyptian politics and tourture! :S

Note: I might have missed someone out, that might be because I don't have my favorites list with me.

Besides those (and a couple more), I rarely check any other blog. Yet, who knows… by next year a lot can change :)

Thinking of the whole blogging thing... I have to say, I am not as enthusiastic as when I started.
The first 6-8 months I was treating it like my baby and now I can barely drag myself to write something on it.

This seems to get worse every time i travel or stay offline for a while.
In Egypt there is a saying that goes:" The one that is distant from the eye is distant from the heart". I guess this applies on everything, not in all cases though ;)

Anyway, it was a nice year Al 7amdo lelAh. The question remains…will we (bloggers) still be on the blog scene by next year?

We'll have to wait and see :)

Mood: Cheerful :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Morcus Aziz... The Fanatic!

Morcus Aziz

I've been wanting to write for a while about this "thing" called a person. His name is Morcus Aziz the Priest of the hanging Church in Egypt (Al Kanisa Al Mo3alaka).

If we as Muslims have fanatics and we condemn them and disagree with them, i haven't heard any copts in Egypt condemning this "person".

Why do i say that?
Well, this "person" has came out on different news agencies over the past year and said things like the following:
  • "We (Egyptian Christian known as Copts) are the original Egyptians, Muslims (Egyptians) are invaders and they will eventually disappear over time and we will stay".

  • "This our our country not theirs (Muslim Egyptians)".

  • "We have been always oppressed (by Muslims) and it was an exception when we were treated well".

These are just a little sample of what he said over the past year.

For heaven's sake, even a 8 year old would label that as extreme fanatic nonsense!

For such hatefull speach to come from a Priest of the Egyptian Church that is shocking! This type of talk does nothing but increase fanaticism on both sides.

Now, i know someone might come and say: "Well there are fanatics on both sides". I'll agree, but there are many Muslims who condemn Muslim fanatics and outcast them.

What worries me is that i haven't heard a single Copt (Egyptian Christian) condemn this guy for these fanatic hateful words!

We see things like that CD that was distributed about 2 years ago that had a play that was in a Church's theatre and it had very bad things about Islam.

We hear about bad things said behind the closed doors of Churches.

We see and hear about some Copts living abroad (Akbaat Al mahgar) requesting boycotting of Egypt and maybe even using military force against Egypt to save Copts.

And now, we find this "person" and his likes coming out in media to say such rubbish.

What do you think even moderate Muslims will feel when they hear that??

Don't give me that argument about there are Muslim shiekh's saying same things in public because...

First, now the Police arrests them or at least stops them one way or another (remember Sheikh Salama Hijazi, Moahmmad Imara amongst others).

Second, we (Muslim general population) condemn such things (watch any TV program and the comments said and you'll get my point).

Can't help but think, if that guy says such things in public... you can only imagine what he says behind the closed doors of the church!

For a Priest to talk like that i find that so... rrr... non Christian if i may say.

The Priest should be an example to others. unless of course he decided to turn into a politician, then that is a total different story.

Take for instance an excellent example of a priest, Anba (father) Basanti. Now that is a guy to respect and listen to. The way he talks, what he says and how he says it are an example to follow.


Finally, a question and a poem to our Government (yes! a poem!) and their security forces...

The Question: "How come anyone who crosses the line from Muslims gets punish (eventually), yet nothing happens to the likes of Morcus Aziz?".

The Arabic Poem : "Asadon 3alaya... waa fel 7arbi na3amaton"!!!!!!!!

Mood: Concerned!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Akhbar Al Youm WebSite... Disgraceful!

Check this out...

Last week ( i think it was Wednesday) i was logging on to Akhbar Al Youm newspaper website (second biggest news agency in Egypt and one of the biggest in the Arab world), and then BANG!

I was hit by a virus (downloader virus).
I thought maybe it was another Site. So, i clean my machine and forgot about it.

Second day (Thursday) same story again and SLAM! another virus!

I noticed they had a virus on their mainpage!!!!!!!!!! lol
So, in other words... our second biggest news agency has a virus for (at least) two days on its mainpage and they did nothing about it.

To add more fun to this, i tried and Googling (typed "Akhbar Al Youm") for their website page and got this result...

"This Site may harm your computer"!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Disgraceful!!! yala Al 3aaaaaaaaaar!

Mood: Ashamed :(

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Our Worse Qatari Experience!

Well, I back. Back on the blog scene, and back to Doha, Qatar.

Talking about Qatar, we had a very bad experience when we came back.

Below is part of an e-mail i sent to my friends. I think some people might be interested to see how "different" laws are from one place to another!

Note: I edited some names to keep it anonymous.


I think you'd be interested to know about this, it is quite interesting…

We (my wife, kids and I) arrived Doha on Saturday at 10.30PM. We made it back at the villa at 11PM.
I paid the taxi and off it went. I got my house gate keys and tried to open the door but it wasn't fitting in.
I asked my wife to give me her keys to try out, no luck either!

As I was attempting to open the door using different keys (thinking I forgot which one is the right one), I noticed a paper stuck on the door (it is dim in the street).
This is what I read:
"This residence has been evicted by court order no. xxxxx, anyone attempting to gain unauthorized access will be punished by law"!

Yes! the house has been confiscated with all our belongings inside!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was like:"What the ……..!!!!!!!!!". I noticed that all 10 villas (including mine) had that same paper.
As I was about to make a few phone calls, a Qatari man in a car stopped and opened the window...
To cut a long story short, this was the man who raised (and won) the law suite to gain access on ALL 10 villas.
He won the law suite from the from the company that was renting the flats.
He said he will make the villas rent more expensive. If we (my company) agree on the new price, then I can stay. Otherwise everyone must leave.

I called our Administration Manager (who was asleep), after him being speechless for a few minutes, he said:" There is nothing we can do now. Try to find a way to go to a place called xxxxxx, we have a couple of empty flats there. Tell the security guy you are from our company and they will let you in."

So, here I was... with my wife, 2 kids and in an area that barely has any traffic (not to mention no taxis) at 11.30PM.
My car was parked inside the Villa, my money, papers, our clothes…everything was inside and I had no way of getting to it!

Just out of chance our other car was parked outside the Villa. It was being fixed and one of the guys working here picked it up from the garage while I was on leave and gave the keys to another co-work of mine.

I called the guy with the keys and he thankfully brought me the keys. I had to wait in the street with my kids and wife sitting on our luggage till he arrive (seeing that, I felt so humiliated!!!).

After getting into the car i realized, I had no Qatar ID on me, no car registration papers, and no driver's license. Obviously, because all those are inside the villa which I can not access.

So, I drove the car to the place called xxxxxx, hoping that nothing will happen that would require any papers or ID.
I arrived at xxxxxx residence and then another painful experience of trying to go into one of the flats.
To cut a 1.5 hours story short, we made it into one of the flats at 1.30AM.

On Sunday, we got the keys for the Villa from the court. We were given one week max to move out or anyone in there (as in "I") will be arrested! (I find that funny…I don't know why! lol).

our Admin manager is in contact with a lawyer and they are checking what can be done.

Thinking of it, what type of law gives someone the right to chuck out a tenant who already paid for 1 year lease?!
Even if it can be done, what type of law doesn't give a pre-warning before taking over a house people live in?!!!!!
I mean the law suite was won on the 1st of August and they confiscated the villas on the same day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???!!!

Bottom line, I was bored in Qatar…now I am really irritated!

Thanks Qatar Very Much!

Mood: Pissed Off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!