Thursday, November 29, 2007

From the heart of Bibliotheca Alexandrina

So far... really goood...
I gave my presentation... I'll write more about the whole thing... but now I'm online... and I couldn't resist... blogging from the heart of Bibliotheca Alexandrina....

Monday, November 26, 2007

ASCAAD 2007 | Alexandria here I come...

Today I'll start sailing toward Alexandria to attend the upcoming conference held by ASCAAD titled [Embodying Virtual Architecture].
I'll be presenting along my Msc. graduation project partner Mansie Verma a paper about our project. The paper is as I mentioned before [Nature rePlay: an interactive playground].
I'm really excited about the whole trip. I'll be traveling partly by Sea and then by land crossing the Sina desert...

So... Alexandria here I come...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Third class ticket

In a world full of images of every sort... with media feeding us the same mold of people... idolizing bodies and shapes... we get lost with the masses...

I met this photograph a couple of times while I was in Edinburgh last year. I even borrowed his camera one afternoon... I didn't expect that behind his silent acquaintance that he'll hold such a sharp eye that looks at things in a way I can relate to...
His name is Guillem Lopez and his latest is a journey he with a friend of him started across Europe and all the way tracing the Silk Route along Asia.
He has already an amazing photo gallery of his travels...
Now he is in Eastern Europe... an area that half of my genetic blood cells calls home...
He is capturing the essence of the places with perspective points that I as an architect find charming...
I love them...
And by chance I saw a blog that he with his friend is dedicating for this journey. Their blog is called Third Class Ticket... a must read/ see blog...

After all... an eye can choose what to see... and despite the masses... real life still stands out...

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Narratives* | 5


He: Why is your picture black?

She: Because I’m in the dark…

He: You should switch the light on.

She: I can’t…

He: Start by finding the switch…

* The Narratives: stories, events, and scenes that happen[ed] inside and around my head…

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nature rePlay

I'm going to showcase my graduation project in the upcoming ASCAAD conference [Embodying Virtual Architecture] in Alexandria...
So me and my colleague Mansie have been re-editing our project... and replaying with nature all over again...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

رجعت أيام الشتوية

Children’s Museum | Art Exhibition

Last night I went to the Children’s Museum in King Hussein’s Parks to attend their first Art Exhibition.

Children from different age groups ranging between 6 and 14 have been working with different Jordanian artists on different techniques during summer workshops.

The Results are mind blowing… just incredible…

It’s certainly true that Children are the most creative human beings…

I applaud for all the Children who participated in the workshops, for the artists who gave them their attention and care and for the wonderful people working at the Children’s Museum.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The 5ifth Soliloquy *

Day I … Hard Decision Making…

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same…

Robert Frost

Day II… Despite the Certainty …

I am elegantly frightened

I wonder what the future holds

I hear those who guide me whispering silently, be bold

I see the golden path wanting my footprints

I want to be strong

I am elegantly frightened

I understand my infinitive, ebony errors

I say soon you’ll be sparkling

I try to dodge falling boulders as I climb my mountain

I hope I never slip and fall back again

I am elegantly frightened

Jessica Peeples

Day III… The Striking Truth….

Life is not poetry,

Said my old man in his somber voice.

Life needs purpose, goal, substance,

You know what I mean.

Then why can’t life be poetry…

Mine is.

Masami Kohno

Day IV… Major Setback…

I many time thought Peace had come

When Peace was far away-

As wrecked Men- deem they sight the Land-

At center of the sea

And struggle slacker- but to prove

As hopelessly as I-

How many the fictitious shores-

Before the Harbor be-

Emily Dickinson

Day V… Despair Drowning…

[Pain] has no Future-but itself-

Its Infinite contain

It’s Past- enlightened to perceive

New periods- of Pain

Emily Dickinson

Day VIFinding Land

The wheel is set in motion; hope it is your day

You’re stuck in the middle of somewhere

A place you cannot stay

Anticipation haunts you and failure feeds your pain

Your dark clouds have no silver lining

But success you must gain

The hands of time keep turning and your lot stays the same

Don’t stop trying to change the picture

Beneath that iron frame

You did not light your fire so they could kill the flame

Don’t lose the passion and desire

Come on, try again

We all don’t walk our desired path

We all don’t live our fantasy

We all don’t reap our labor’s fruits

We all don’t reach to the tunnel’s end

Yet we dream…

Yet we dream…

Joel Aaron

Day VII…The Big Bang…

Tell me I am weak,

It only makes me stronger.

Tell me I won’t succeed,

I will only break your limits.

Tell me my dreams are foolish,

I will make them come true.

Tell them to put me in chains, and I will break them.

Tell me I will never amount to anything,

And I will be the next role model.

For every person who has ever made a mark in society,

There are at least 10 people who tried to suppress them.

So get in line and take a number.

Matthew Duncan Malone

Day VIII…Invincible Power…

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing their and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowances for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tiered of waiting,

Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,

And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream- and not make dreams your master;

If you can think- and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same:

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken

And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them:” Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings- nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds' worth a distance run-

Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,

And- which is more- you'll be a Man my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Day IX… The Peaceful End…

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Some where ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in the woods and I-

I took the one less traveled by

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

* These poems were assembled in the summer of 2004 to describe the 5 years I spent studying Architecture at the University of Jordan

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Narratives* | 4

* The Narratives: stories, events, and scenes that happen[ed] inside and around my head…

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Narratives* | 3


He: DO
She: Yes

He: Do
She: Yes
She: Do
It: Yes

He: Do
She: Yes
She: Do
It: Yes

He: Do
She: Do
It: No


* The Narratives: stories, events, and scenes that happen[ed] inside and around my head…

Monday, November 12, 2007

Excerpts from Surah Yusuf (Joseph)

"وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ"

012.022 When Joseph attained His full manhood, We gave him power and knowledge: thus do We reward those who do right.

"قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللّهِ إِنَّهُ رَبِّي أَحْسَنَ مَثْوَايَ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ"

012.023 (….) He said: "Allah forbid! truly (thy husband) is my lord! he made my sojourn agreeable! truly to no good come those who do wrong!"

"قَالَ رَبِّ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِي إِلَيْهِ وَإِلاَّ تَصْرِفْ عَنِّي كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَكُن مِّنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ ، فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ فَصَرَفَ عَنْهُ كَيْدَهُنَّ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ"

012.033 He said: "O my Lord! the prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me: Unless Thou turn away their snare from me, I should (in my youthful folly) feel inclined towards them and join the ranks of the ignorant."

012.034 So his Lord hearkened to him (in his prayer), and turned away from him their snare: Verily He heareth and knoweth (all things).

"يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَأَرْبَابٌ مُّتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ، مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلاَّ أَسْمَاء سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَآؤُكُم مَّا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلّهِ أَمَرَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ"

012.039 "O my two companions of the prison! (I ask you): are many lords differing among themselves better, or the One Allah, Supreme and Irresistible?

012.040 "If not Him, ye worship nothing but names which ye have named,- ye and your fathers,- for which Allah hath sent down no authority: the command is for none but Allah: He hath commanded that ye worship none but Him: that is the right religion, but most men understand not...

"وَمَا أُبَرِّىءُ نَفْسِي إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلاَّ مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّيَ إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ"

012.053 "Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."

"وَكَذَلِكَ مَكَّنِّا لِيُوسُفَ فِي الأَرْضِ يَتَبَوَّأُ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ يَشَاء نُصِيبُ بِرَحْمَتِنَا مَن نَّشَاء وَلاَ نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ"

012.056 Thus did We give established power to Joseph in the land, to take possession therein as, when, or where he pleased. We bestow of our Mercy on whom We please, and We suffer not, to be lost, the reward of those who do good.

"قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَشْكُو بَثِّي وَحُزْنِي إِلَى اللّهِ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ"

012.086 He said: "I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah, and I know from Allah that which ye know not...

"يَا بَنِيَّ اذْهَبُواْ فَتَحَسَّسُواْ مِن يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ وَلاَ تَيْأَسُواْ مِن رَّوْحِ اللّهِ إِنَّهُ لاَ يَيْأَسُ مِن رَّوْحِ اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ"
012.087 "O my sons! go ye and enquire about Joseph and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah’s Soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of Allah’s Soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith."

"قَالَ لاَ تَثْرَيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ يَغْفِرُ اللّهُ لَكُمْ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ"

012.092 He said: "This day let no reproach be (cast) on you: Allah will forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!

"فَلَمَّا أَن جَاء الْبَشِيرُ أَلْقَاهُ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ فَارْتَدَّ بَصِيرًا قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ"

012.096 Then when the bearer of the good news came, He cast (the shirt) over his face, and he forthwith regained clear sight. He said: "Did I not say to you, ‘I know from Allah that which ye know not?’"

"قَالُواْ يَا أَبَانَا اسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا خَاطِئِين ، قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّيَ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ"

012.097 They said: "O our father! ask for us forgiveness for our sins, for we were truly at fault."

"رَبِّ قَدْ آتَيْتَنِي مِنَ الْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِي مِن تَأْوِيلِ الأَحَادِيثِ فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ أَنتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنُيَا وَالآخِرَةِ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ"

012.101 "O my Lord! Thou hast indeed bestowed on me some power, and taught me something of the interpretation of dreams and events,- O Thou Creator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my Protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Take Thou my soul (at death) as one submitting to Thy will (as a Muslim), and unite me with the righteous."

The Full Chapter

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Narratives* | 2


Opening her eyes to a circle of figures made of stone…

[Am I made of stone?]

Energy steaming inside of her…
Nurturing her energy… her hidden nature…

The circle laughing at her…

You are too made of stone…

The energy growing… creating a source within…

A light…

She knows she is not a stone… she found herself…

Releasing her energy… letting the light out…

Breaking the mold…

The circle displeased… agitated… but they can’t do anything… they are made of stone…

The energy is shaking the circle… vibrations… recurrent liberations…

The source is strong… the source is ascending… the beautiful figure is disfigured…

The light is the light…

She can’t stand still… she ascends…

She is not a stone…
The light is free…

* The Narratives: stories, events, and scenes that happen[ed] inside and around my head…

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

2D design | greek gods

Yesterday I gave my 2nd year design students a studio exercise as part of a course titled "2D design".
The main goal of this exercise was for them to start fooling around with their cameras and put their photographic skills into action. At the same time trying to visualize certain words and the meaning behind.
So I thought of asking them to create an image; using Photoshop as an editing tool of the photos that they took on the spot of themselves or of their colleagues. The image should represent a Greek god where each student was assigned one god. Since the students are not very well acquainted with the Greek mythology; they only relied on the one line of information I gave to them. And they couldn't use any ready image from the Internet or any other source.
In two hours I think they did a good job... here are some samples...

Tariq Abu-Rahma| Aremis; goddess of the moon, hunting and archery

Adnan BaWazeer| Athens; goddess of wisdom, crafts, strategic warfare

Luma Hudhud| Demeter; goddess of agriculture, grain, harvest and earth.

Hanada Khatybeh| Hades; lord of the Underworld and god of the riches found within the earth

Nirmeen Fadel| Hermes; god of travel, thieves, and commerce

Juliet Khalil|Hephaestus; god of fire and the forge

Amr Othman| Poseidon, god of the sea, horses and earthquakes

Raed Mansoor| Ares; god of savage war, vengeance, anger

Rajae Twal| Zeus; King of the gods, god of thunder and lightning

Hiba Abdallat| Hera; goddess of marriage, family, motherhood and queen of the gods

Rasha Ja'afri| Ares; god of savage war, vengeance, anger

Asil Hamzah | Aphrodite; goddess of lust and beauty

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Narratives* | 1


She was a very young bird… she didn’t sprout her wings yet…

She was found by them…


They loved her… nurtured her…

As the bird started to grow up… they watched her wings grow stronger… they allowed her to fly around their space…

And the bird got stronger…

Something was missing…

Then the inevitable day came… she asked them to fly in the outer space…

They couldn’t let go… so they made her promise to come back…

[I promise….]

She went out the opened crack leading her to the wonder-sky…

Freedom… the heights… the diminished earth… love… new self…

High… hypnotized… united with her inner true nature… one pulse…


The promised date came… and she had to go back to them…

They were happy…

She told them about the wonders out… she told them how happy she was… she said [Destiny…]

No… they can’t and they don’t…

A cage… a smaller space…

You can’t teach a bird to fly… and then lock it in a cage…

* The Narratives: stories, events, and scenes that happen[ed] inside and around my head…