Monday, March 31, 2008

ID-place| Amman | project summery

In a course I'm giving for design students at JU I am using a theme related to identity. Students are designing projects using software that they are learning in the course. The issue of identity is tackled through identifying an entity each time. The entity they worked with in this project was place; city.
As a starter I took a walk with them around some of the older parts of Amman. Later they were given a description of the project
[[ [Questions of `who we are’ are often intimately related to questions of `where we are ’, an idea captured in the environmental psychological concept of place-identity.]*

The entity you are going to deal with now is “Place; city” through which a new aspect of your identity will be defined.

You have to model two entities; The physical environment around you and YOU.

You should try to be creative in the way you’ll perceive and portray the two models and their interaction with one another.

These are inspirational notions for you to consider and think about:

Forces of tension, suspension and interaction.
Feelings of hope, fascinations, pride, apathy, confusion, shame.

[The importance of place for creating and sustaining a sense of self]*
[…a `minimalist’ (Stokols, 1990) conception of the `placing’ of self and society: the conception that places are fixed, empty and undialectical backgrounds to, or containers of, social action. Places are re-conceived as dynamic arenas that are both socially constituted and constitutive of the social.]*

* Displacing place-identity: A discursive approach to locating self and other, John Dixon, Lancaster University, UK


Yesterday they handed their projects which turned out to be quite interesting. Here they are...

Order in Chaos | Diran Mlanjlian
[The city holds me
The city fulfills me
The city completes me
I am with no balance without the city
The city holds me
The city centers me
The city holds my chaos
The city is perfectly chaotic]


A mystification like mine | Sama Saba
[Amman and I share the same confusion...
in a city full of contradictions i struggle to build myself and search for my identity .Keeping up with the contemporary urbanization yet maintaining the bond with my traditional society.
The bridge that is supposed to link those two regions is wrecked incapable of achieving its purpose.]


Amman | Dina Khayyat
[Who are we? Each of us are our own person.
Where we are? We are in a city that was once something but now its another,
but will never change its essence like each and every person living in Amman.
As for me. The old part of Amman represents my culture , traditions, behavior and the esence of my soul where as the new parts of Amman represents the way I change and developed and grew to make the best out of what I am.]


The City of Ongoing Vagueness | Hala Abu-Mizar
[THE CITY: as for the environment around me, it’s in nonstop motion. Through its way, there are obstacles, some are obvious, and some are hidden. The diversity of the shapes and forms represents those barriers as I see it. ME: revolving around the city is my way to enter, as I try to control each aspect of me, still I can’t be apart from the city I belong to. My aim is to stand out on different intensities. The base is to be solid. At the same time there is flexibility. Colors theme: I am attached to the colors around me, which is reflected in the way I see MYSELF in MY CITY. As for the sketchy ground I see my self reliving my childhood in every street and every place that touched me and was apart of my identity. The continuity of me and the city both vertically and horizontally indicates the growing of both of us in the paths that we consciously and unconsciously choose.]


5AzEEEn | Hanada Khatayibeh
[The experience of losing the soul of the place and wonder whether to live the imagination or the reality, and finally believe that you can’t take one and leave the other so you decide to live with them both..]


Cellular Utopia | Ala Tabba'a
[The Future is unpredictable. The power of foresight resides in the beautiful game of makebelieve.
Connecting inner peace and where we belong is the closest we’ll ever get to Utopia
The beauty of the human body resides in the power of cells; they interact and react, a wonderful mechanism no machine can ever duplicate.]

Sunday, March 30, 2008

more "On the Nature of Daylight"

I kept listening to him... trying to figure out what does the nature of daylight mean? what was he trying to say?
I went far with my thoughts...
No... it is not hope... nor it is love...
What then is the nature of daylight?

I listened more carefully and then I finally started to understand...

It is the victory...
It is the good well... the new resolution...

Daylight is the [re]making of a free choice...

It is the [real] implementation of midnight promises...

It is the light of the Light...

The nature of the daylight is the tenderly aggressive struggles of a peace[full] fighter...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Narratives* | 11


With invisible strings she was being pulled...
through unseen light she was guided...

Until the moment her eyes were unveiled...

What she saw... what she experienced...
still remains a mystery...

For some things can not be verbalized...

It was [is] her own...

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

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ban cigarette display

Another hope for a cleaner world [cleaner lungs] from UK...

I wonder when is Jordan going to do anything about the plague of smoking?

[[Displaying cigarettes in shops could be banned under government plans being considered in a bid to reduce smoking and discourage children from starting.]] BBC has the rest of the story

Sunday, March 23, 2008

وَالْقَمَرَ نُورًا*

[...and the moon a light] Quran 10:5

*القران الكريم | سورة يونس آية 5

Green Tea

Tea has been always my favorite hot beverage... it is just so refreshing and tasty and I can never have enough of it.
Tea in our culture come in two main formats... black tea with mint [my favorite] or black tea with sage... still there are other formats like black tea with cardamom, thyme,....

Recently my new morning drink has been green tea with citrus... after reading an article that says that to be able to get most of the benefits of green tea you should add a citrus action on it. You can do it with oranges, grapefruits, lime or lemon.
The thing is that Vitamin C in these fruits will add to the acidity of your stomach and thus will make it more efficient for it to absorb the antioxidants that exist in green tea.

So far I tried it with oranges which was ok... and with grapefruit which is amazing... I just love it...

Give it a try... and for a more summer flavored drink try this smoothie...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

a memory of "Far Away"

A memory of a time long past...
Like the sound of navy blue, bright yellow and crimson red...
Like the taste of innocent laughters....
Like the new sun rays penetrating through the vine leaves and branches... forming endless patterns on the cool yard...

A memory of far away....

Demis Roussos , Far Away

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Mohammed محمد....

محمد ســـــــــــــــيد الكونين والثقليـ

ن والفريقين من عرب ومن عجـــــمِ

هو الحبيب الذي ترجى شــــــــفاعته

لكل هولٍ من الأهوال مقتحـــــــــــــــم

دعا إلى الله فالمستسكون بــــــــــــه

مستمسكون بحبلٍ غير منفصـــــــــــم

فهو الذي تـ ــــــم معناه وصورتـــــــه

ثم اصطفاه حبيباً بارئُ النســــــــــــم

أعيا الورى فهم معناه فليس يـــــرى

في القرب والبعد فيه غير منفحـــــم

كالشمس تظهر للعينين من بعُـــــــدٍ

صغيرةً وتكل الطرف من أمـــــــــــم

وكيف يدرك في الدنيا حقيقتــــــــــه

قومٌ نيامٌ تسلوا عنه بالحلــــــــــــــمِ

فمبلغ العلم فيه أنه بشـــــــــــــــــــرٌ

وأنه خير خلق الله كلهــــــــــــــــــمِ

وكل آيٍ أتى الرسل الكرام بهـــــــــا

فإنما اتصلت من نوره بهـــــــــــــم

فإنه شمس فضلٍ هم كواكبهـــــــــــا

يظهرن أنوارها للناس في الظلـــــم

أكرم بخلق نبيّ زانه خلــــــــــــــــقٌ

بالحسن مشتمل بالبشر متســـــــــم

كالزهر في ترفٍ والبدر في شــــرفٍ

والبحر في كرمٍ والدهر في همــــــم

كانه وهو فردٌ من جلالتـــــــــــــــــه

في عسكر حين تلقاه وفي حشــــــم

كأنما اللؤلؤ المكنون فى صـــــــدفٍ

من معدني منطق منه ومبتســــــــم

لا طيب يعدل تُرباً ضم أعظمــــــــــهُ

طوبى لمنتشقٍ منه وملتثــــــــــــــمِ

مولاي صلــــي وسلــــم دائمـــاً أبــــدا

علـــى حبيبــــك خيــر الخلق كلهـم

من قصيدة البردة للإمام حسن البوصيري

It's Spring time...

Forget about the Sand storms...
Forget about the endless allergies...
Forget about the sudden cold winds...

And spring is a good thing!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Amman and me

There will always be something about Amman that attracts me to it...
Amman... the city of concrete and dust...
The cubes weaving a blanket over the mountains... with minarets popping out every once a while... breaking yet respecting the horizon line...
Amman... the stage that witnessed so much for me... Amman... the city that fed my archi-eyes... for so long that I can't even trace its effects any more...
Amman... The hope that the bound-to-happen change will not mutilate it nor change it... but evolve with it..
Amman... The confused city... with it's people... where they came from and where they are heading to...

Amman... the city that no one belongs to yet it belongs to them...

These pictures were taken today... when I decided to take one of my classes out and about in Jabl Amman and Jabl Al-Lewbedih... to have a class while walking... talking in Darat-al-Funnon... eating Falafel al-Qudos while sitting on some staircase... and all the time discussing what does it mean to be living in a place? how a place can effect our identity? and what is Amman for us?
Was a lovely afternoon and a nice encounter with the soul of my Amman...

Inside my Mac...

I went out today to work and as usual press the power button on my Mac [not really mine]... But... in vain... my Mac didn't work today ='(
Now feeling crippled I'm waiting for it to be fixed... I need my baby!!! And I hope it is nothing serious and just a power thing!!

But hey... here how it looks from inside

pretty cool, huh?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Flying Still....

O, Bird of the North... remind me again how to be the queen of heavens...
Teach me again how to sprout my wings and fly...

O, Bird of the North... I belong to no land...
Nor have I lost my way...

O, Bird of the North... keep your eyes on the horizon...
For I'm coming home...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Deadly Crane

[[Deadly crane collapse in New York
A construction crane has toppled into apartment blocks in New York, killing at least four people and injuring 10, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said.]] more on BBC

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Go West!

In a morning class today....
:: Student A: We always follow foreigners "= El Ajanib"... in whatever they do...
:: Me: I don't like using this word "foreigner = ajnabi....
:: Student B: So what should we call them...
:: Me: The West [half smiling]...
:: Student C: I don't understand this thing with the West... I mean... if you keep going West... you'll reach East...

The whole class laughing...

:: Student C: I mean come on... the Earth is spherical!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Modern 7 Sins


These are the Seven Sins which we know... and which the Catholic Church recognized and are to be confessed if a man/woman seek forgiveness...

But... a new [modernized] seven sins have been announced by the Vatican which are of the greatest danger to human civilization in our times... the sins are:
:: Environmental pollution
:: Genetic manipulation
:: Accumulating excessive wealth
:: Inflicting poverty
:: Drug trafficking and consumption
:: Morally debatable experiments
:: Violation of fundamental rights of human nature

[[The new mortal sins were listed by Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti at the end of a week-long training seminar in Rome for priests, aimed at encouraging a revival of the practice of confession - or the Sacrament of Penance in Church jargon.]] link on BBC

We always complain about the state of the world now... But I really have to wonder what can be the driving force to change?
Is it really civil laws...?
Is it revival of religious laws?
Or is it more confessions of sins nevertheless committed.... ?

I think it is not none of the above....

Monday, March 10, 2008

نحن الشباب

كنت أبحث بين ملفاتي القديمة حين وجدت هذه الخاطرة التي كتبتها قبل 7 أعوام تقريباً... أمران لفتا إهتمامي... الأول أن التاريخ و الأحداث و الوقائع في العالم ما زالت هي هي... و لكن بدل 53 أصبحت 60 عاماً... اما الأمر الاخر هو انني كنت احسن التعبير عن نفسي بالعربية أفضل من حالي الآن... أمرٌ أحزنني فلست أدري أين أختفى معجم تعابيري في العالم الضائع؟!
لافائدة من التحسر أو إطلاق نشيد آخر... سأترككم مع الخاطرة...

نحن الشباب لنا الغد و مجده المخلد
في عام 1948 ولد أبي في أحد ضواحي القدس … و في نفس العام بدأت أحداث النكبة … و لكنها لم تكن نكبة واحدة … فنكبة من صنع اليهود … و نكبة من صنع الإنجليز … و نكبة من صنعنا … و للنكبات حديث يطول … المهم هو ردة فعل الحجر الكامن في قلوبنا… فمنا من أخرجه ليرمي به عدواً صهيونياً … و منا من اكتفى بإطلاق النشيد "نحن الشباب … لنا الغد " … كان وقتها جيل أبي شاباً … و كان الحماس في اوجه … و إن كان بضع كلمات … يمكن للريح أن تذرها … مرت الأعوام … 53 عاماً بعد النكبة…و القدس ما زالت كما كانت منذ ذلك الوقت … أما أبي فلم يعد ذلك الشاب المتحمس … و لم يعد يهتم بذلك الغد المرتقب… و جاء جيل أخر ليحمل الراية … راية الأناشيد والكلام … و يعود ليردد " و مجده المخلد " … أما أنا وقد أصبحت من الجيل الجديد … لست ادري هل سأحمل تلك الراية أم أنني سأرمى ذلك الحجر القابع في قلبي… و أما القدس فإنها تتساءل و هي تسمع أناشيدنا أين هو الشباب ؟؟!و متى هو الغد؟؟!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Che Sara Sara

She walked in the gardens

And a rose hung on a tree,

Red as heart’s blood,

Fair to see.

“Ah, kind south-wind,

Bend it to me!”

But the wind laughed softly,

And blew to the sea.

High on the branches,

Far above her head,

Like a king’s cup

Round and red.

“I’m comely.”

The maiden said,

“I have gold like shore-sand,

I wish I were dead!”

“Blushes and rubies

Are not like a rose,

Through its deep heart

Love-life flows.

Ah, what splendors

Can give me repose!

What is all the world worth?

I cannot reach my rose.”

Rose Ferry Cooke

  • Che sara sara… means in Italian “ what will be will be”…

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Gibergaber | Perception and Reality

Let's say there is something you read, see or hear that bothers you and makes you feel bad... what would you do to make it disappear?
Close your eyes... shut your ears... turn your head the other way... move away... throw the book away... turn off the radio.... change the TV channel.... browse another website.... and there are many other alternatives...
The result is the same... you no longer see or hear about it...
With time... you'll stop thinking about it... which makes that thing disappear from your own reality...

But someone can claim that the real existence of that something is independent of your perception... and for other people it still exists...

But taking this a further step ahead... if everyone did any of the choices mentioned above and the reality of that thing stopped being defined through other people's minds and perceptions... would that make [the thing] disappear?

No one can see it... hear it or think about it... which means... [it] doesn't exist any more!!!!

Could that be the solution???


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Gaza Genocide

[[But the real genocide in Gaza cannot or will not be assessed through sheer numbers. It is not a massacre of gas chambers. No.

It is a slow and calculated genocide-a Genocide through more calibrated, long-term means. And if the term is used in any context, it should be this. In many ways, this is a more sinister genocide, because it tends to be overlooked: All is ok in Gaza, the wasteland, the hostile territory that is accustomed to slaughter and survival; Gaza, who's people are somehow less human; we should not take note; need not take note; unless there is a mass killing; or starvation.

As though what is happening now was not a slow, purposeful killing; a mass strangulation; But the governments and presidents of the civilized world, even our own "president" (president of what?) are hungry for peace deals and accords; summits and states; so they say, “let them eat cake!” And we do.]]

The complete post....
via [ Raising Yousuf, Unplugged: diary of a Palestinian mother]

Red... Red... Aqaba

Monday, March 03, 2008

A Manifesto...

1. All transgressions; in any format on people’s physical, mental and/or emotional properties.
2. All classification made on human blood, whether in color [white, yellow, black,…] or in class [first class, second class,…].
3. All silent people who are either too blind to see or to afraid to think.
4. All double standard measures, double faced nations and hypocrite people.
5. All those seated who care only about keeping their seats warmer by the day and can’t see beyond the tip of their noses.
6. All those who know only one or both of these things; how to nod their heads or how to clap their hands.
7. All magicians who cast phony crappy spills using number 99.999999
8. All narcotics, numbing drugs, so-called-spirits drinks that numb the mind, the heart and the body whether these substances are physically inhaled, injected or swallowed into the body or they are electronic images and sounds spoon fed to the brain.

1. All human blood is the same. All human souls are just as precious.
2. Killing children is one of the BIGGEST sins ever done. And those criminals should be punished.
3. Justice should stop being blind and biased.

1. Inhumane international silence.
2. Irrational anger.
3. Double standards.

1. For the murdered souls to be in God’s Merciful Hands.
2. For Those who lost their loved and dear ones that God will give them patience to endure the loss, wisdom to understand it and strength to stay alive.