Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pray Up

As a person who prays and likes to see others pray, I am just curious when this Israeli solider pray to God...what would he ask of him? How will he justify the consequence of his action, the intentional and or the unintentional ones?

Maybe he is praying the Lord to have mercy on the nearly 400 causalities of the strike he is about to take part of...or maybe he is just praying that the 1000 plus injured will heal quicker...or maybe he is praying that he will survive this Armageddon he is about to bring upon unassuming civilians who are also militant in his eyes. The only thing were can be sure of is that he is keeping himself close to God.
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Gaza Toast

My family is well, but as you know far from safe...all my uncles now live with us, since they relocated from their Hamas dominated neighborhood, ours is not so much of a target area. Two distant cousins have been killed, one lives in el zaton area of Gaza city, I did not know either of them, but I know their parents.

People will wait this out, I check with my family every few hours. I spoke to more people in the past 24 hours that I have in a month. Although the fear is both real and near, those who I spoke do, are resilient.

Since people in our town of residence are land owners and farmers, they have everything to lose if the Israelis entered the town, so not much fighting goes near my house. Occasionally though if their is a ground invasion, they Israelis will camp near our neighborhood (it's a hill)

The area where my uncles live (my uncles own a five story building with 10 apartments) is a block away from a local mosque and an area with lots of families that lost a family member to the constant fighting with the Israelis. So to make a long story even longer, the Israelis target the area regularly. Their building wasn't targeted, but was rocking like a 70s band. Needless to say, their apartments do not have windows anymore.

My mom was really worried because the constant bombing is everywhere in Gaza and can be heard and seen either live in person of courtesy of the 24 hour cable networks (assuming there is power). My mom asked me to forgive them if they have done me wrong (something most Muslims do in their finally days before they kick the bucket) this is the first time mom mentions that which indicate how serious the threat they face.

While, I do care for the wellbeing of my family and residence of Gaza, I would be dishonest to claim that I am suffering, because I am not. It's painful, but I cannot let fear of the unknown ruin my life. In the meantime, I am grateful for the friends who have reached out to me to check on my family and please keep them in your prayers.

P.S. For those well meaning and kind hearted bloggers and activists who blame Fateh, Abbas, or Egypt for the carnage in Gaza, I say you are making a grave mistake...with all their imperfection, there is little any of those can do.
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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gaza Update

Israel killed roughly 300 Palestinians; Fateh is blaming Hamas and not their own silence; Hamas is blaming Fateh and Egypt, but not Israel or their own mistakes. The Arab countries are angry in the streets and their leaders are fastest to give them a painkiller, send more food to Gaza; The Europeans are observing like a passive vegetarian at a meat shop. The Arab league wants to yet hold another summit, the entire United States is on a vacation. In the meantime, Palestinians are out in the cold, the Palestinian who does not starve or die of lack of medical attention, dies in an Israeli air strike. It's bad all around. My family is alive, but not safe; as so many families now are neither alive or safe, the well being of my own family is insignificant

Here is my wish list,

I hope the Israelis cut the crap and stop killing civilians, I pray for America to wake up and smell the burning flushes of Gaza. I plea with the Arab leaders to send more than food, send some dignity. I ask of Fateh to shut the heck up and stop the blame game. As for Hamas, because I appreciate my life, I won't say anything.

P.S. While, the net is loaded with graphic pictures of the carnage in Gaza, I chose not to post one here.
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Friday, December 26, 2008

Running to the Hills

About 30 minutes ago, I just got back from the cold, where I ran in Provo to Orem via the River wood mall. It took my a bit over one hour and twenty minutes to run the route I had wanted to run for years now. I try to keep my running regiments to about one hour plus minus ten minutes. But today, I did not have major plans so I decided to go for it. Tobe honest the rather large and tasty Christmas meal I had yesterday had a lot to do with me running in the cold. Plus my pal Jehad gave me a nice running elastics. Two problems, I run into as I run; the first as I run in the cold, my nose starts running as well; the second problem, not being able to change the songs on my MP3 player because of the gloves that are keeping my warm; third problem not to slip on the black ice. I am glad to report that with extra napkins, tolerance to bad music, and cautious steps, I have avoided all these problems!

I must confess though that it is harder to run in a higher altitude like here in Utah. but if anyone needs to run is people in places like Utah where large portions of food (good food and otherwise) are customary. Since we are on a confession road rage here, I have recently came across a British heavy metal band "Iron Maiden." Their music literary pumpbs blood through my head to my legs in seconds!
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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Litigious Elves Sue Santa for Labor Abuse!

Remember those good old days where Santa used to rule the world and used to be more popular than that shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist and those fine days where Santa was a respected celebrity around the globe? Chances are you've forgotten about those days, which is why this post comes at no surprise.

A number of elves working at the Santa Christmas shop in the North Pole are filling a class action lawsuit against Saint Nicholas and his top productivity managers. "Who do they think we are? We are little people, but we cannot work as hard as Mexicans," said Rasheed Wallace, one of the few Muslim elves working in Santa's shop. "Since I do not celebrate Christmas, I love putting in extra hours." But Wallace said the stress and pressure this time of the year are 'unbearable' some elves go as far as equating their work condition with "sweatshop except that neither Bono nor Angela know of our struggle" Chris O'Keefe another elf took part of the lawsuit, "this is not against man in red suite," "we love the guy" "but rather we are going after the establishment"

Other concerns in the North Pole is the high unemployment rate among the elves population due emerging Chinese low labor costs are undercutting cheap elves labor and North Pole jobs are being outsourced to China.

It remains unclear whether Santa will be appearing in court anytime soon, but his lawyers' assured the media that the elves' case not only lacks merits but plain ludicrous. It seems that both Santa's legal team confidence and his sleigh are high in the sky.

American anti-Santa defamation league has came to his defense on a statement on their website "Santa brings Christmas cheers to us all" "we need to do whatever it takes to defend the man against those reindeer's chasers"

As if things cannot get any worse for the fat man in a red suite is caught in his own legal battle with a New Jersey Arab American kid who left him a plate full of falafel and mint tea, and not cookies and milk as it is customary! Santa who has allergies to anything where peas meet the chicks!
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Weddings, Birthdays, and Funerals

In the course of three days, I have taken part of a birthday, a wedding, and a funeral in three different places. The b-day was for a close friend at a Turkish restaurant out in DC, the funeral was for the mother of law for one of my colleagues, and the wedding was for one of my best friends from college. I had to dress up for all these events. The b-day was right before the funeral that required a dark outfit, and the wedding to my surprise was more casual than I thought. Needless to say, there was food on all these occasions. The funeral reception was a lot more relaxed and laid back than I have anticipated. Since I have manged to avoid going to weddings most of my time in the States, this was my third wedding--not my own. This wedding was in Utah, and I guess Utah weddings are a low profile and all about making an appearance than participating in a festivity. Thus, the wedding has great company, the birthday had good food, the funeral had the best food and a wonderful company

So in a nutshell, I was overdressed for a wedding, overstuffed in a funeral and overjoyed for a birthday that isn't mine.
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Its and Bits

I ran into an old acquaintance of mine the night I arrived to Salt Lake City and he was telling me about how wonderful life is, since he lives across the street from the U of U stadium, literary you can see the stadium from his bedroom. He is only paying $250 for a nice room in the heart of the city. I almost cried when I though how much I am paying to live in DC, a city with very few friendly faces.

Brad had just purchased a book that is 101 year old, published in 1907, a book about Latin, he paid 50 cents for that book. His concerns was that if he learned Latin form that book, he might not be up to date...I assured him that he has nothing to fear, since it is a safe bet that the Latin Language has not evolved in more than 101 years...but it was funny that till this day they still print new Latin dictionaries every year...and it says updated edition.

When I arrived to Provo, I was greeted with a nice snow storm, which was really cool since I have been in DC, I have not spotted snow. I was reminded with the college days back in this little town. I had to switch to my contact lenses becasue my glasses do not do well with snow all over them.

I also passed the MTC, that's the Mormon Missionary Training Center, where for a class assignment I had to volunteer 10 hours to take calls of people wanting to order copies of the Book of Mormon and other LDS promotional material. No seriously what was I thinking? I could have gotten away with not doing that assignment on the premise the absence of my faith in the Church. No, but I wanted no easy way out! I only did four hours however and I felt weired, maybe a feeling only matched if I was a vegetarian who works at a butcher shop answering a question of a curious and confused customer who wants to know my personal take on what piece of meet is best for his dinner?

Stay warm and enjoy the holiday season, we are about to go pick my bud from the airport, in the meantime, I will be working to digest those fine pancakes I had for breakfast this morning.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Happes in Vegas Stays in Cairo?

I have been to many cities around the States and few around the world, but I had to think of something to link two of my favorite destinations to visit. Cairo, Egypt and Vegas have more in common than they think.

Both cities have hot temperature that makes your brain boil. Both cities are dusty due to desert.

Las Vegas is the driest state in the Nation. Both cities are battling water shortage and pollution in Egypt the Nile sources are drying up.

In Cairo, you can get anything for the right price, same goes for Vegas. Food is way cheaper in both cities, and juices, ice cream make a big part of the local culture.

Both Cairo and Las Vegas have a legal drinking age of 21 (http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-cairo-1756.html)

Also known as the 'The City of 1000 Minarets', Vegas is also known as the city of the 1000 Casinos.

In Clark County where Las Vegas is and Cairo prostitution is illegal and a crime publishable by law. But everyone knows that this is not the case, prostitution is alive and will in both cities.

Hoover Dam is the largest public works project ever undertaken in the U.S. and so is the High Dam in modern Egypt.

Vegas has hotel than looks like the sphinx, Cairo has the real deal.

Like Egypt many residence of the city make earn their break and butter working for the entertainment business.

Migrant workers come from south of the borders. in Egypt boys of the South who are usually shorter and darker and enjoy less education than their peers to the north. Vegas migrant worker core hails from various cities and towns of Mexico.

People who live in Vegas want nothing to do with the Strip where tourists flock, in the same manners, residence of Cairo despise all that obsession with their city that foreigners bring.

Cairo has more residents during the day (due to central government office), Las Vegas has more residents at night (blame night owls)

Like in Vegas, it is normal in Cairo to run into individuals who want to scam you of your money, but in Vegas they wear suits.

Vegas is not as liberal as you may think, Cairo is not as religious as you might believe.

Residents of Cairo have a high tolerance of tourist sometimes erratic behavior, Vegas residents on the other hand exploit it for profit.

Al-Qahirah, which is Arabic for 'the Conqueror' or 'the Victor'. Both translations are good attributes if you want to do well in Vegas gambling circles.

It's true both places are cheap, and both dirty in their own ways!
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

My Freind @ the Liquor Store Misses Me! Oh BoY

I was at the liquor store the other day, not to buy liquor nor to purchase cigars, but rather to send money for a friend. Surprise, surprise most of the money transfer services are located at liquor stores where they also happen to sell lottery tickets. So now you can imagine my relief when I hear the guy who sells alcoholic beverages, tobacco, lottery tickets and offer money wire services miss me! Why would I want to visit you more often? It's not like I enjoy any of the goods or services that you offer! So go ahead and miss me, and while you are at it, send my regards to my accountant, lawyer, and the plumber who is not named Joe ! I am like Yes, We Can!
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Get Me Something to Write With

I just made an observation, it takes an average American friend of mine (that includes any person in this land) roughly less than 1 minute to grab a pen and a paper to write whatever information I want to dictate to them. at 5 cents a minute, it costs me only 5 cents to get few digits to the person on the other end of the line. In most cases when I am calling someone in the Arab World, it often takes them 2 minutes to realize that there is nothing to write with where they are standing, another 3 minutes to get someone t grab them something to write with and another minute to replace the pen because it does not work! a total of six minutes to give someone a phone number at $.25 a minute, I pay a $1.5 to get few digits cross the ocean. I wonder why the people I call in the Arab world are costly friends to have? Here are few spculations about who it takes longer in the Arab world to find something to write with:

1-Arabs do not like to plan ahead for emergencies like someone giving you informartion over the phone. "Thanks for lack for natural disasters in the region!"

2-Too many people at a house move things around and makes it harder to keep track of where you pet your notepad! That makes people in the West are loners.

3-Arabs have a much better memory, thus they can remember more numbers without getting confused!

4-Asking for a notepad is "old school" my friends use a mysterious technology to save important dates and numbers.

5-The only numbers my friends use is the size of their shoes, everything else just ask mom!

6-Everyone my friends know lives in the same house, so no need to save numbers, just shout their name and they will show up. Unless your name is Muhammad, that would not be a hassle.

7-My friends are all broke, no need for a bank account number. Whatever you have is stashed under your bed.

8-The people I call hate me and just want me to waste my money and my time asking them for 10th time "Kifak?"

If you think of any other reasons, please do tell! And as for me I do not mind hold yes, I will!
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Chocolate Times

I was thinking the other day about the chocolate business and how chocolatiers get away with many things that other professions do not. First, they are exhibitionists, whenever they get a chance they will expose their goods and in most cases offer you free samples. Any town or city you visit there will be a chocolate factory where the store would have huge glass windows showing the chefs or artists making the the goods. After all, you do not give breweries a free hand to seduce us with their beverage. Second, people working at the chocolate factories are always cheerful and have the biggest smile, a smile even bigger than Kanya West's ego. Granted workers at chocolate factories might be obese, but they are not as obese as those who work at the ice cream shops. I have noticed the smaller the dark chocolate (my passion) selection at a chocolate store, the more obese the employees of that store are. Third, chocolate is way overpriced. I do not need my chocolate to come in a colorful sexy box and nice wrapping, I guess in that way I am like the alcoholic who does not read the label on his bottles. Fourth, you can get a chocolate addiction, but no good religion of philosophy preaches against such addiction. Perhaps because preachers have taken away so many things from us, that when it comes to the mysterious brown treat they are willing to look the other way. Or because they cannot hold back on it, so they do not want to violate their own teachings.

In the meantime, I need to take care of few things such as finishing a piece of Ghirardelli and Choxie dark chocolate who according to a new scientific study are good for your heart tissues.
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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Sweet Soundtrack O'Mine

I just came up with a new criteria for any person I like enough to be with. when I see this person I am hoping that one and only one song will automatically play in my head the moment I see them. I know this is presumptuous of me, but I couldn't help but notice how much I like this tune. I even played in retrospect with a pictures of the people I had crush on, it actually worked. With the probable assumption that I will still be the same person, so if it works in retrospect it must be valid for the future. Now if you care to find out the song, click here!
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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Kick The Man When He's DOWN

Three weeks ago, I was enjoying the company of a group of friends at a local lounge in Mount Pleasant area. The conversation was wonderful and the people were fun and fun loving. I met many new friends, the group mainly was Arab American second generation young professional from States like Montana and Michigan.

The majority of the folks at the gathering were journalists so you know better not to have strong feelings either way. Someone brought up the gay marriage in California and the Mormon connection to Proposition 8. It was rather funny to see a group of people who subscribe to many various religions and come from different upbringing not shy away from attacking the Mormons for their "role" in passing the ban. I have noticed that whenever a group of people with similar background gather, they tend to unload on the "absent other" and adopt the common attitude, "Screw them, they are not here" I have diffidently done that myself and also have seen Later-day Saints do the same.

I do not know, but I know that good people of religion are not necessary cheerleaders of gay marriage. They might not appose it, but they are not going to advocate it. At best, they would preach against discriminating against gays. So, I made the LDS argument that the Church members are only 2 percent of the California population and it's unfair to stick it to the religion. There are far more Hispanics and Blacks who voted the same way as members of the LDS faith. In other word, because Mormons are viewed as a free game for all haters out there, we look the other way when people unload on them. do not get me wrong, there are parts of the LDS faith that I do not grasp, there are also parts that alienate me, but as I told the group, most of my good friends in this town are members of the church who do not wake up everyday thinking "oh, boy how can I make life more miserable today for the gays?"

I also had to evoke my libertarian roommate from Missouri who was against the whole idea of the State granting him a license to get married. they only reason he obtained a license was when he learned that the Church won't allow him to get a Temple marriage unless he has a State issued license-to his credit he tried to resist that too, but the House of the Lord is a house of order after all.

As lo there's the polygamy argument that Mormons were forced by the US to ban the practice of polygamy in the State in order to be admitted to the Union. This argument is a knockdown, but i did not want to come across as polygamy advocate--which I am not.

I have also noticed that many people of faith might not denounce gay marriage because it does not affect them or because they feel alienated or disfranchised with the American society and adopt the attitude "this is their country, let them take it to hell" But the money those individuals have to confront the issue at close like having a gay son or a gay teacher who is close to a member of your family, they change the rule and flip to the other side.

I did not mean to unload on you the details of my adventures with Yuppies in Washington DC, but rather try to put my thoughts in order to the best I could.
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Monday, December 01, 2008

Free Food For Those Who Can Afford It....But

I became upset upon learning that the Palestinian Mission in Washington DC, will be holding a banquet, an event that will be attendance by many leaders in the Arab and American political scene in Washington, DC. Usually, I would cheer such events because they raise the profile of the Palestinian issue and generate some good media coverage. But my sole concern about the event is the timing. No, I am not mad because I did not get invited or because they will be serving food that I do no like. But it's unfortunate that hard working people of Gaza are starving in the dark and those who sympathize with them are stuffing themselves in a fancy hotel. It's insensitive and you know that people will jump on this to point the alienation between the Palestinians as people and their leadership.

I do like receptions and banquets, I go to as many as I can since it's now about reception season, but I am just not feeling it in my heart to go eat overpriced meal as an over rated hotel to celebrate the Palestinian cause. I think with that kind of out of touch mentality, we are better off celebrating the cause at a funeral home, not a five star hotel.
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Friday, November 28, 2008

I Love

A quote I just read...I love it and I am thankful to be living in the United States of America...

"In a democracy, two wolves and a sheep are in the room, and everybody votes on what's for dinner. In America, the sheep has a gun."
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Just wanted to drop a word that I know write for the blog www.kabobfest.com, a young blog that has a groupd of blogger, mainly activists in the Arab American community and beyond, but they are cool folks who enjoy a good laugh. look for articles by Hanitizer, I have few so far and I actually enjoy reading the posts by the various blogger. I know the world is full of cool blogs and neat websites, but the truth remains, the internet is the best way to waste time efficiently.

My goal is to stick to Arabic entertainment or stick it to Arabic entertainment. I will also try to satirize stories and news coming from the Middle East because I think if I took these serious things seriously, then I will not be able to function on daily basis.
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Chocolate Suckers

I went to See's Candy Store last week to purchase some of their fine truffles. I happen to like chocolate and also enjoy the products made by See's Candy. The problem however, that they do not have stores that open, only seasonal shacks. In other words, you only can buy their candies during Christmas time (mid November till early January) or go online and buy their products online (paying 10 bucks for a 20 bucks item does not agree with me). I do enjoy the free samples they hand out to customers and mall goers. So I headed to the Pentagon mall on a fine Sunday and purchased those fine truffles. I guess you would say that I am an addict to chocolate. By the way did you know that there is actually a chocolate rehab? if you do not believe me, Google it and see for yourself.

Anyhow, once I purchased the candies, the gentleman at the desk is gay and out of all free samples, he chose to offer me a sucker! and boy was I hooked to those see's suckers? he actually was kind enough to give me not one sucker, but three of them! So thanks to a gay man at a chocolate stand I was introduced to the pleasure of those suckers! and yes I will be going back to buy some! Try them for yourself...
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Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Gym Debacle!

It has been awhile since I stepped into a commercial gym, I would say about more than four years so when I accompanied my friend to the gym near her work...I must say I felt out of place. While I do exercise regularly (it's easy when you have a gym at your apartment complex and another at work) but nothing is quite as intense and disturbing as a gym full of young folks and others who are really, really obese.

I was so uncomfortable that I vowed not to return to this gym again which probably cam e as good news to my friend. I thought of the people at the gym are nothing but a cross section of those few people who do not know how to shut up and the awkward folks at the dance floor. It did not help that, the rule was to keep clothes to minimal, not its entire absence.

To make things worse the gym people made a photo copy of my ID, I guess they are hoping to give me a call to recruit me to join their gym. But I actually was aware that this will happen, so I gave them my old Utah address to tell them "I am not form here"

Please do not get me wrong, I like to work out and stay fit as much as I can, but I guess I might not be to comfortable with the social aspect of the gym. Now, I understand the need for exclusive gyms like "Curves"! May be we have a niche to sell a gym as the anti-gym. "Exercise in a cubicle!"

By the way, the gym was "First Fitness" on 19th and L Street.

PS. The picture is for a nudist gym in the Netherlands (duh, where else?)
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Your Mom Is HOT

I do not know what I was thinking the other day, but it hit me that women do not have an issue with saying that their dad is good looking, or in shape, or even hot. From my experience, women in general do not mind using such terms to refer to their father. I know one of my female friends back at college used to brag to others about her dad George Colony looks. Another female friend never misses a chance to talk about her dad's masculine features. I do not think she is alone in that sense, I guess women are comfortable that what they say is going to be taken for face value.

However, men are not like that. Few of us would refer to their mom as good looking, or hot...we fear what that might translate to. We also do not want to hear our friends ever see that our mothers are good looking. I do not think it's a paranoia, but rather an issue of reading beyond what people say.

I do not believe it is an Arab thing, I think it is cross cultural that the majority of men share, if you think my mother is hot, please keep it to yourself, unless you are not to pleased with the way your nose fits on your face.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

One Anthem to Rule Them All

Since the current Palestinian National anthem is boring and sounds just like every other Arab country, I have came across a great song that I think will serve as a song for the Palestinian people. I make a motion to switch to this song, look for it @ minute 1:42
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Protest and Deliver

As a person who hates protesting and protesters, I have always wondered, why is it that you rarely see people protesting early morning? Most of those with causes protect mid day or later in the day...I am hoping that because they have other things that preoccupies them and keep them busy. But I think I am wrong. Had the protesters been able to put out a march in the early hours of the day say 8 AM.....things would not have gotten as bad that will necessitate us to protest in the first place. Most people who protest are helpless, miserable, procrastinators who are passive and more reactive than proactive. If you cared about a cause as much, would you show up to an 8 AM rally? Maybe not because you would have a job then or something you cared about more than...just showing up. I must admit when it comes to protesting I am a cynic of its effectiveness. I like the quite leadership, the one that brings people together without the fear and intimidation of protesters and screaming angry mob. Also as Palestinians we need to evolve and learn from others. Instead of protesting person A and yelling at them...go and support person B and make sure that they are on your side. If neither A or B is on your side...then you might want to use a whole different alphabet if necessary.
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I like parties...if you have any parties planned, invite me and I will show up. About a week ago, I was at a surprise party for a birthday boy. I really enjoyed myself and learned how much I love surprise parties. I also a big fan of wedding parties, where I like the atmosphere. But if you really wanted to kill two birds with one stone, you need to go to an arranged-wedding party. You get both the surprise and the wedding party!
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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Two Cents and a Half

Watching this election season and the exchanges between the GOP and the DNC, the campigns, the slogans, the ground operations, I came to realize that one of those is vicious and the other is sneaky. You have to decides which one is which.

Democrats are too cautious, often they are too intimated by power, like now, "we won a majority, what do we do now?" Republicans on the other hand, do not worry too much what others think in a way they too reckless with power. Yes, Republicans get things done, but not always the right things. Democrats on the other hand accomplish much less.

Many of my Arab American friends are already frustrated with the Obama's choice for a Chief of Staff. Emanuel is a veteran of the Israeli Army 1991 (imagine the roar if he was a vetern of any Arab army) whose dad actually was on the British government terrorist list for bombing the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. But I am not too surprised, although I like the idea of Barack Obama as a president, I never had an expectations that he would be more pro Arab.

Honestly, the only expectation I have are very low, the next time the Obama administration decides to bomb an Arab town, they will do it without using cluster bombs... and maybe when they hand out food as part of the USAID program, it will have writing on it in Arabic...and there it goes.
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I have an observation about trench coats; once I wear mine, I notice that strangers are nicer to me. By nicer I mean they make space for me on the bus, they let me go first, they smile if I look at them. Something about this article of clothing speaks to people on different levels. Maybe they signal that "I'm mysterious...leave me alone" or my be project an image of a business type or lawyer type who always big on self-importance. But again, others might thing that you are scary, a spy of sort. Hey I am not complaining anything just reporting! So bring out your trench coat and let others pamper you!
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

America is BACK!

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Drinking Game

I think President Bush has wasted a historic opportunity to demonstrate how dangerous alcohol can be. I mean the guy quit drinking and stayed sober for a long time, and the thing we all learned about his stand on alcohol consumptions. The Muslims who do not drink thought, maybe we are right about not drinking! But then something happened and the Muslims were like "we wish he would go back to his drinking days" maybe he won't bomb us as often. Maybe if Osama and his crew hit the bottle, things would have been different.

I mean we all want our leaders to be sober, but if the one world leader can manage to be both sober and reckless at the time time, we are in trouble. I think the Bush legacy shows us that you do not have to be drunk to do harm to others. Way to give the sober folks a bad name...way to clear the court of alcoholics...and please drink your way to peace!
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Smoking Gaza

I have always been frustrated by the fact that at least 40% of Palestinians living in the occupied territories smoke on regular basis. Other than the obvious health risks for the smokers and second hand smokers, there is the painful economics of smokers. People spend a significant portion of their income on tobacco products--money that can be used to purchase food for example. but then, I was thinking that if the people back home did not smoke, what else would they do to release stress and pressure? It's not like there are gyms, movie theater, parks, malls or other outlets. I can live with the fact that the people are smoking their life and their life savings away, but the alternative is much uglier.

As non-smoker, I do recognize that those who smoke find peace and tranquility in the tobacco products. The situation is so dire that, I think that if those who smoke to release their stress, are no longer able to do so, we will have a problem! I think they might be more violent, might be tougher on their children, or even rough with their significant other. Those are all things I would rather not see, but till that day I say "No, Habibi,smoke baby smoke"
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Drving Me Bunker

you know your off to a lousy day, when the bust you are on, take a wrong turn, and the bus driver looks at you and says "I messed up," and then asks you if you know the way to get your destination? Oh Really, how hard is your job?
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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pound 4 Pound

Here is some bad news!

Your Doctor tells you "Congrats! you dropped 15 Pounds!" Normally, this would be great news and you would want to share it with everybody! However, since we are a week away from Halloween (Candy Season); a month away from Thanksgiving (Pie Season); two months away from Christmas (Rich Dips Season). This comes as bad news! whatever your doctor tells you that has been dropped from your waist, is only history...you will pack those pounds! I want to see the doc in May and hear him say "Hey, you gained weight!" I would rather be an obese dude, and not the jerk who will always decline food when offered!
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Native Virginia Apples

I was in the Shenandoah National Park over the weekend to hike the Old Rag Mountain, which turned to be quite a pleasant experience. Once we finished out hike and since it is apple picking season, I had planned to go buy some local farmed apples. There were couple of stands on street corners, I had my friends--one from Jerusalem stop to grab some apples. The stand owner proclaimed he is "a native" Virginia man since my friend Ari commented on how much he likes his accent. Ari felt the need to share with the vendor that he used to pick apples up north in Apples orchards in the "Holy Land" the money the vendor heard the holy land (we had to repeat it twice!) He said we need more of that here, we need some of the Holy Land into this place, he mentioned something about big men taking the money an running with them. I looked at the farmer and my friends Ari and Kira Lee and said "Well, sir" I do not think the concept of the Holy Land is not working out for them too well over there! I think he did not hear me, but my friends who are liberal (surprise, surprise) thought it was worth a chuckle.

I honestly do not know what he meant by we need more of the Holy Land here, but in general whenever people of faith come together and unite, the ones who are not members of that faith are diminished. and I mean any religion and ever religion. They all however, make an effort to be inclusive of those who they might disagree with. But on issues that matters, minorities suffer in any religion dominated state...and that's why the constitution made sure that checks and balance are intact.
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Monday, October 20, 2008

Bar The Target!

Let me tell you about a bad day....

A bad day is when you wear a red shirt and go shopping at Target on Saturday morning and have strange people approaching you to ask various questions about different merchandise. On the same day you walk into a bar that you have always wanted to visit, you take three female friends of yours and barge into the bar...only to learn that you are in a gay bar, almost all are men! Strange men look at you with disapproving looks!
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Flafel shoP

This is one of my favorite places in Gaza to dine with my dad...whenever we are in town to buy some products for our business...we would always stop by this shop and have a decent breakfast for roughly three dollars for both of us. It brings back some cool and warm memories....

the video shows you a typical Falafel shop and how they make and serve food for thousands a day in many hole in the wall shops.

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Too Funny Not To Share

My favorite is number 6, 7 and 11

have a laugh on me

20 Ways To Maintain A Healthy Level Of Insanity

1. At Lunch Time, Sit In Your Parked Car With Sunglasses on and point a Hair Dryer At Passing Cars. See If They Slow Down.

2. Page Yourself Over The Intercom. Don't Disguise Your Voice.

3. Every Time Someone Asks You To Do Something, ask If They Want Fries with that.

4. Put Your Garbage Can On Your Desk And Label it 'In'.

5. Put Decaf In The Coffee Maker For 3 Weeks. Once Everyone has Gotten Over Their Caffeine Addictions, Switch to Espresso.

6. In The Memo Field Of All Your Checks, Write ' For Sexual Favors' .

7. Finish All Your sentences with 'In Accordance With The Prophecy'.

8. Don't use any punctuation.

9. As Often As Possible, Skip Rather Than Walk.

10. Order a Diet Water whenever you go out to eat, with a serious face.

11. Specify That Your Drive-through Order Is 'To Go'.

12. Sing Along At The Opera.

13. Go To A Poetry Recital. And Ask Why The Poems Don't Rhyme?

14. Put Mosquito Netting Around Your Work Area and Play tropical Sounds All Day.

15. Five Days In Advance, Tell Your Friends You Can't Attend Their Party Because
You're Not In the Mood.

16. Have Your Co-workers Address You By Your Wrestling Name, Rock Bottom.

17. When The Money Comes Out The ATM, Scream 'I Won! I Won!'

18. When Leaving The Zoo, Start Running Towards The Parking lot, Yelling
'Run For Your Lives! They're Loose!'

19. Tell Your Children Over Dinner, 'Due To The Economy, We Are Going To Have To Let One Of You Go.' (one of my favorites!)

20. And The Final Way To Keep A Healthy Level Of Insanity ..
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Monday, October 06, 2008

Hockey Vs. Queen

Two facts about Hockey games I am grateful for,

-Hockey is predominantly white game; white people watching white players.
-Hockey is a violent game and the rules allow for roughing up the other team.

Can you imagine a bunch of brown or ethnic people playing hockey and getting angry at the white dudes in the other team. I cannot imagine how much street rioting in places like Alaska, Milwaukee, Quebec, and Minnesota!

I was listening to the ABBA song, "Dancing Queen", a song that is easy to get stuck in one's head. I was in a poor mental shape once this son took over my head, it took over my soul and I stated speaking in tongues. I had to call a priest, an imam and a rabbi to perform an exorcist on me to cast out that evil spirit.

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then whom would a garlic a day keep away? the girlfriend?
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Thursday, October 02, 2008


American politicians run away from any Arabic and Muslim associations faster than babies running away from tainted Chinese Milk.

An angry white politician is called a populist...an angry black politician is called a militant.

Not having a car is like having a small "male anatomy", with one difference, everybody seems to notice the shortcoming

Republicans brag about America "the shining city on a hill", but they want the lights to be only seen by themselves; Democrats ask us to tun off the lights to save energy.

Both parties agree on all major issue, the only thing that bring them together is singing praises to Israel. So much for both candidates; one wants to bring "change" the the other wants to put his "country first".

Arabic marriages are easy, you always meet the parents first, and then your significant other to be. In America it's the other way around, but meeting the parents in America is a lot scarier.

Palestinians and Blacks have a lot in common, one of the commonality is that fact that we both have open houses for people who just got out of jail. We Palestinians actually brag about time spent in the can; it's like a right of passage for every member of the community.
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Friday, September 26, 2008


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

No Comment!

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Friday, September 05, 2008

Wine va. sWine

I just thought about something that I've heared more and more about. The fact that many Muslims living in the West are more likely to consume alcohol and less likely to consum pork. notice both the consumption of Alcohol and pork are forbidden in Islam. But yet, some Muslims do not mind consuming alcohol, but they will hold strong against consuming pork. This hardly a new phenomena, I think John Stewart Mill Talked about it as he was discussing the Utilitarian principle.

[To avoid offending too many Christians, Mill frequently used Islam to illustrate his arguments, citing the theoretical example of a predominantly Islamic nation banning pork as an indefensible infringement of liberty. Even if eating pork is "disgusting" to the majority, it does not harm them and, Mill insisted, "with the personal tastes and self-regarding concerns of individuals the public has no business to interfere".]

He further argues that consume alcohol has more "utility" in breaking the code than consuming pork.

This might be true, but I also look at it in the social context. I have lived in the States for some time now, but the truth, not once that I found myself pressured to eat pork products. No one ever invited me to a pork roast as the main and the only choice of food where people would think that I am passing judgment on them by not consuming this delicacy! There are plenty of good people who are not religious, but still choose not to consume pork. Often, people do not seek an explanation for your behavior.

On the other hand, not consuming alcohol has a social stigma. Granted no one cares if you drink or don't, but often people have be defensive of their attitude toward liquor. Maybe it is an insecurity issues for those who consume or those who refrain form consuming alcohol. I can tell you that there is a peer pressure for not drinking and people do not want to feel outside a group. Thus, now it makes sense why some chose to drink beer, but not enjoy pork ribs. just a thought...
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Thursday, August 14, 2008

One Of Our Interns

This is a cool video of one of our interns this summer...he worked with us in the Palestine Center...really cool guy who did something many would think risky! Watch the video and spot our office!

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Your English SuX

Here is a list of few poorly translated signs from around the globe...they really tried hard to get the language right, but some things are better left mysterious.

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The Fun Bunch

have a laugh on me

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Good Old Utah

I know, i have been slacking off lately and not updating the blog with any new entries, but c'mon this is the summer; the time to be lazy.

Here are few pictures of Utah that I think will brighten your day!

Later Sucker

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Penn and Teller Give the Act a Pat

If this is not informative, it is still Funny, plus Penn and Teller are funny comedians are enjoying what they are doing....this is an R rated video

P & T; BS! - B1G BR0THER
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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Korean Connection

In Annapolis, MD, what seems like a Korean family asked me to take a picture of them on the beach, I offered my skills and they accepted my offer. I was not aware that Eric was taking pictures of me taking pictures of the Koreans....
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Some Awsome Exchange!

One of the writers for the Times Magazine sticks it to the ADL...

Klein fights ADL over anti-Semitism claim

A few days back, Joe Klein used the term "Jewish neoconservative" to describe Joe Lieberman and mentioned that his Middle East policies could raise the question of "divided loyalties."

Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League chided Klein, writing, "The notion that Jews with 'divided loyalties' were behind the decision to go to war is reminiscent of age-old anti-Semitic canards about a Jewish conspiracy to control and manipulate government."

Klein was not happy. He responded:

I am disappointed, but not surprised, by your claim of anti-Semitism. But that's what you do for a living, isn't it? I find your "outrage" particularly galling because the people you defend are constantly spewing canards against those who favor talking to the Palestinians, or who don't favor witless bellicosity when it comes to Iran.

Foxman responded that neoconservatives "have the right to make their case without having their religion brought up" and didn't like the characterization of his job:

Contrary to your assertion, ADL is extremely careful in making accusations about anti-Semitism, and we spend every day in our work all over the country assessing the validity — or lack thereof — of such accusations. The notion you posited that ADL is looking to find anti-Semites everywhere in no way reflects the reality.
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Lease On my Teeth

I visited with my dentist the other day, and when I called in, the person who answered the phone had the audacity to ask me "What is the purpose of your visit, sir?" I had to stop myself from laughing so I told her "I just missed you guys and feel like giving you some money, and getting pain in return"

No seriously, dentists go to medical school less than other doctors; there are more dental programs than other medical fields; dentists costs (since insurance does not cover much) are much higher than other doctors; and one experiences more pain at at dentist practice than with any other doctors. Gosh, dentists might have a low self esteem or something, since they make so much money, but yet have a higher suicide rate than other medial professionals. Maybe it is patient like me who drive dentists to commit suicide. On a serious note, my doctors was so impressed with my gum that he offered to give me a free cleaning; she said "on the house!"

She put a plan that would cost me $6,000 for root canals and crowns, I laughed and let her know that I do not take her seriously. We agreed that I will come and see her next Friday to do some filling. I told her that I will give her a one day offer to do all she wants to do with me;,she accepted the challenge.

P.S. It turn out that the mouth wash she has given me does help improve the gum , but it does creates stains on the teeth.
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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Some of those are true...

Original Post

Twenty-five Signs You Have Grown Up

By: Salma Rumman
1. Your houseplants are alive, and you can’t smoke any of them.

2. Having sex in a twin bed is out of the question.

3. You keep more food than beer in the fridge.

4. 6:00 AM is when you get up, not when you go to bed.

5. You hear your favorite song in an elevator.

6. You watch the Weather Channel.

7. Your friends marry and divorce instead of “hook up” and “breakup.”

8. You go from 130 days of vacation time to 14.

9. Jeans and a sweater no longer qualify as “dressed up.”

10. You’re the one calling the police because those %&@# kids next door won’t turn down the stereo.

11. Older relatives feel comfortable telling sex jokes around you.

12. You don’t know what time Taco Bell closes anymore.

13. Your car insurance goes down and your car payments go up.

14. You feed your dog “Science Diet” instead of McDonald’s leftovers.

15. Sleeping on the couch makes your back hurt.

16. You take naps.

17. Dinner and a movie is the whole date instead of the beginning of one.

18. Eating a basket of chicken wings at three in the morning would severely upset, rather than settle, your stomach.

19. You go to the drug store for ibuprofen and antacid, not condoms and pregnancy tests.

20. A four dollar bottle of wine is no longer “pretty good shit.”

21. You actually eat breakfast food at breakfast time.

22. “I just can’t drink the way I used to” replaces “I’m never going to drink that much again.”

23. Ninety percent of the time you spend in front of a computer is for real work.

24. You drink at home to save money before going to a bar.

25. When you find out your friend is pregnant you congratulate them instead of asking “Oh shit what the hell happened?”

Bonus:26: You read this entire list looking desperately for one sign that it doesn’t apply to you and can’t find one to save your sorry old ass.
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Lesson To The Current and the Upcoming US President

In his recent speech to the Israeli Parliament, the French President (who is as popular with the Israelis as George W. Bush) gave a sppech in which he as a freind of the State of Israel told them what he thinks would work....here is a comparison form the speech delivered by president Bush in May 2008, and the Speech delivered by President Sarkozy in June 2008; both speeches delivered on the same podium a month a part.

President Bush on the borders for a 2 state solution: ___________.

President Sarkozy: "It is not possible to have peace without a negotiated border based on the 1967 lines with an exchange of territories."

President Bush on settlements: ___________.

President Sarkozy: "Peace cannot be achieved without a total and immediate cessation of the settlements."

President Bush on Jerusalem's future status: ___________.

President Sarkozy: "Peace cannot be achieved without the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of two states and guaranteeing freedom of access to holy sites for all religions."

President Bush on the Palestinian refugee issue: ___________.

President Sarkozy: "Peace cannot be achieved without solving the problem of the Palestinian refugees, while respecting the identity and purpose of Israel."

President Bush on Israeli-Palestinian, Israeli-Syrian, or Israeli-Lebanese peace talks: _________.

President Sarkozy: "(France) is ready to organize on its soil all the talks that could lead to (peace), whether in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the Syrian-Israeli dialogue, or the talks that will have to resume, one day soon I hope, between Israel and Lebanon."
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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Two Cents

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)

You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.
Ray Bradbury (1920 - ), advice to writers

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882), Self-Reliance

An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex.
Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)

If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.
Tallulah Bankhead (1903 - 1968)

The only paradise is paradise lost.
Marcel Proust (1871 - 1922)

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.
Robert Frost (1874 - 1963)

Every increased possession loads us with new weariness.
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wacky Art...

those are few wacky pictures of art work and funny pictures....enjoy

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Cameras help Palestinians 'Shoot Back' at violent settlers

That's a good weapon....For the same reason, I thought that camera phones where God's gift to the Palestinians....

by Sarah Yeivin Fri Jun 20, 7:27 AM ET

HEBRON, West Bank (AFP) - As a deterrent against armed Jewish settlers it does not look much. But the video camera has become a frontline defence for ordinary Palestinians living between Hebron and the Jewish settlement of Kyriat Arba in the West Bank.

"I always keep the camera at my side; it's the only thing which prevents the settlers from hurling stones at us or coming into my shop," says Bassam al-Jaabari as he stitches a pair of shoes in his dusty and poorly stocked grocer's shop.

He jerks his head towards a three-storey house that can be seen about 100 metres (yards) away through the grill protecting his store windows.

More than a year ago, several families of Israeli settlers, who claim they had bought the property, moved into the building in the Palestinian district of Al-Ras.

The Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem, immediately provided the four Palestinian families living near to that house with video cameras, as part of its programme "Shooting Back".

"We know from experience what happens as soon as settler move into the heart of Palestinian areas," explains Issa Amro, the B'Tselem official responsible for the volatile Hebron sector in the southern West Bank

"They (the settlers) make the life of the Palestinians impossible. But if their neighbours film them, they think twice before harrassing them," he adds.

Since the start of 2007, B'Tselem has distributed about 100 cameras to Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, especially in the Hebron area where tension with the Jewish settlers is particularly intense.

Some of the videotapes have been broadcast by Israeli and international media, including one in March last year that showed an Israeli woman hurling a stream of insults for several minutes at a Palestinian neighbour in the old town of Hebron.

"The pictures of this woman have been broadcast throughout the world and provoked at lot of reaction. It was then we realised the potential of 'Shooting Back' which was then in a testing phase," recalled Oren Yacokovobish, in charge of the B'Tselem programme.

"The cameras have above all a deterrent effect; they protect Palestinians. They also enable the public to see incidents which otherwise are invisible and whose veracity can always be challenged," he added.

Last Tuesday, two settlers were arrested after being filmed beating up two Palestinian shepherds, an elderly man and his wife, near Hebron. The incident was made public the previous week when the British BBC broadcast video showing young masked settlers apparently attacking the couple with clubs.

"The settlers gave us a 10-minute warning to clear off from the land," Thamam al-Nawaja, 58, told the BBC after spending three days in hospital following the attack.

She said she and her 70-year-old husband stood their ground and that her arm was broken and her left cheek fractured in an ensuing attack.

The spokesman for the Jewish community in Hebron insists the images provided by B'Tselem don't prove anything.

"Today it's very easy to manipulate pictures," claims David Wilber. "The videos don't show what happened a few minutes earlier. Perhaps what was filmed was in response to provocation."

According to him, even if security in Hebron is "very good," many Israelis fear Palestinians who he claimed are often armed.

B'Tselem said it investigated 47 cases of physical assault, gunfire, beating, kicking, or stone-throwing by settlers against Palestinians last year and reported them all to police.

"Based on B'Tselem's experience, the reported incidents are likely a small portion of the cases of settler violence against Palestinians," the group said in its 2007 annual report.

"All law enforcement agencies and judicial authorities demonstrate little interest in uncovering the substantial violence that Israeli civilians commit against Palestinians in the occupied territories," the group said.

Under an agreement with the Palestinian Authority, Israel pulled out of 80 percent of Hebron in 1997, retaining for several hundred settlers an enclave around the Tomb of the Patriarchs. The group lives amid 150,000 Palestinians and is protected by the Israeli army.
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rocking The UniBrows

Here is another picture of a woman celebrity in the Middle East...Yet I fail to see a women present at the event where this celebrity was features. Norhan, the talents name was in a Sony Erickson store in Amman...Yes, I put the picture of the dude with a Unibrows...
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