Friday, May 29, 2009

The Sexual Harassment Arabic Music Video

Can an Arabic music video possibly have everything a stereotypical male needs while breaking so many laws? Yes, it can!

This new music video by newcomer Mostafa Mahfouz is in a league of its own. The artist delivers a great break-up song, and despite it’s a break-up song, it comes across more uplifting than bitter with a soulful voice and just the right mixture of sadness and wisdom that hits all the right notes. But just because I want to hear more of him, doesn’t necessarily mean that I want to see more of him. The storyline for the music video is fairly simple: you’re a young Arab man running a gas station (imagine that) without much business and your employees are getting restless and demanding to get paid. Oh, and did I mention that your girlfriend has just pulled up in her new convertible and is also asking “Where’s the dough, Habibi”? It also doesn’t help that you have a dirty, sweaty scruffy-looking guy with a gut working for you on the side of the road, holding up a sign that says: Buy one get one free! Sounds like you are caught between a rock and a fat place.

But no need to worry: according to this music video you have a solution. Go to a modeling agency, discriminate against the Indian looking models and go for the exotic Arab-Russian combo models. Take the ladies back to your gas station, have one of them wear a pair of “shorts” and assign her to the “hold the poster on the side of the street” post and watch the guys just start rolling in! You then take the rest of your girls and have them dance around the cars, the bikes, the customers and even yourself in a more than seductive manner. Word in the form of text messages will then start to circulate about the freak show and the babes who are putting on the expo at the gas station. Congratulations! Now you’ve gone viral, because scantily clad women who dance mean more customers, more random dudes in business suites dancing in their cars, and more money in your pocket! And, if your girlfriend comes back, you can make her jealous by all those hot babes dancing around you. Of course, you will also get to see some cool cars and badass Hell’s Angels types, but hey, it’s all part of the job as the Pimp boss that you literally are. I’m sure that somewhere a guy who was promised 72 virgins is sitting in a dark corner envious of Mahfouz and his entourage of gorgeous women. No, this music video was not released in 1920; this clip is brand spanking new.

Here’s why the music video is problematic: in approximately four minutes, the music video embarks on a parade of illegal workplace practices like ethnic and weight discrimination, creating a hostile work environment, employee safety concerns, business domestic disturbance, defamation, disturbing the peace, human trafficking, workers compensation issues, car assault, racketeering, artificial chest hair exposure . . . is there anything else I might have missed?

Also, please pay special attention to the break dancer and the man jumping from a convertible car wearing a hot pair of sneakers and the top-of-the-line phones found in this and many parts of the Arab world.

[Tarboush Tip: Kellee, Carlos, Your Mom]

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Syrian Muscians: Decades of Syrian Singers

Here is a list of Arab singers who hail from Syria, the artists on the list are the pride of Syria and the rest of the Arab world. Syrian artists are known to be the last man/woman standing in preserving the art of Arab Tarab--traditional Arabic music style. There are also few Syrian artist who are innovate in their musical styles. I got a lot of help assembling this list from Wikipedia.

Syrian Voices that Your Dad and His Mom Appreciate
Sabah Fakhri
The godfather of Syrian music, his style is his own and he has claimed the throne for the Muwashahat and the Koodood for the past 50 years. Fakhri, originally from Aleppo, Syria is best known for his amazingly powerful voice. No one can hold a note longer than he can. He is the true master of Arab Tarab. Sabah studied music in both Syria and Egypt, and has performed in all the Arab capitals. Fakhri is also one of the very few Arabic singers to receive widespread popularity and to perform concerts worldwide (including Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Australia). His name is kept in the infamy when he sang for straight 10 hours name in Caracas, only to go on to hold the world record. He is a Syrian national treasure and an Arab voice that will never go silent. On a less serious note, the man is perfect for concerts attended by zombies, because the more drinks you have, the better his songs and the more you can enjoy istin on your seat for hours.

Watch Sabah at his best

Farid Al-Atrash
Perhaps the most famous Syrian composer, singer and oud player, Farid is a Druze who left Syria fleeing the French harassment of his family and settled on Cairo to be his final home. He's appeared in huge blockbuster movies where he also performed some of his best songs. He credits his mom’s skills in playing the Oud with own his passion for music for his success. Farid had a colorful music career. When not singing his own songs, Farid composed a colorful arrangement of songs and became a highly regarded composer, singer and instrumentalist. His music was unique since it exhibited some western musical influence, but he always stayed true to his Arab roots and principles. In addition to singing about love, he delivered patriotic songs that inspired millions of Arabs. For me, the one thing I know Farid for is his mellow style and occasional deep sound. Staying true to Arab music, Farid would always bust a mawal—a short improvising of Arabic poetry.

Farid, the composer at his best

Farid’s little sister who started her career in Syria and Lebanon and later moved to Egypt, Asmahan was born on a ship heading between Lebanon and Greece. The Golden Voice, she is known for her beautiful and sweet lyrics and her role in various Egyptian movies. She also got herself entangled with spy allegations and a controversial life. Like her brother Farid, at the age of sixteen, Asmahan was sought after by a record company to record her first album which featured her first song: Ya Nar Fouadi. She had the biggest names in music as her mentors or pygmalions: Farid Ghosn, Daoud Hosni, Mohammad El Qasabji and Zakaria Ahmad who gave her all the vocal training and music lessons she would ever need. If record deals weren’t enough, she was also asked to sing in the aristocratic family celebrations. She also started singing at night clubs alongside her brother Farid. Asmhan has one of the richest personal stories that ever existed in the Arab world. She ended up drowning in a river when her taxi fell into the river, killing Asmahan and her friend. Asmahan, an Arab soap opera chronicled her life--needless to say there were a number of lawsuits involved.

Watch Asmahan Transcend

Syrian Legends that We Celebrate

Mayada El Hennawy
The one Syrian voice that both your parents and I appreciate, this Syrian diva worked with extremely famous Egyptian composers who had previously worked with Om Kalthoom and Abdel Halim. Girl’s still busting out hits till this day. Legedary Arab composors like Baligh Hamdi, Ryad Sonbaty, Mohamed El Mouji, Mohamed Soltan and Helmi Bakr have all collaborated with her. Mayada reached the peak of her fame in the 1980’s thanks to a soulful, powerful and flexible voice. Mayada’s voice is one pure Shamee voice that transcends Arabic lyrics to the fusion of Egyptians, Syrian and Turkish melodies. Born in Aleppo in 1959, Mayada El Hanawi’s hit songs are: "Ana Baacha’ak," "Habbina w Ithabbina," "Ana Mokhlisalak," and "Kan Ya Makan." I have been seeing more of her lately in the Arab media scene and she is notorious for picking fights with Arab singers who do not give her respect.

Watch Mayada
Mayada 2

Asala Nasri
Asala was born in Damascus, to to revered Syrian composer and singer Mostafa Nasri. Asala was daddy’s little girl, who was taught how to truly love music. Her infatuation with music entertained her through her childhood. Asala’s commercial musical career debuted in 1991 with "Law Ta’rafou" (Arabic: لو تعرفو). The new album had 4 songs in the oriental operatic Tarab style. The album was an instant hit with heartbreaking songs like "Ya Sabra Yana" and "Samehtak Ketir." She quickly ensured a strong presence in the Arabic music scene. Asala continues to make songs that appeal to a pretty broad range of audiences in the Gulf, Egypt, the Sham and the Magreb. She is the most bankable Arab star who never shies away from a cause or a public feud for that matter. It was reported that her husband cheated on her, she dumped his ass and married Egyptian music producer Tarik Al-Arian where they both had the honor of having the first French kiss on live TV. What I like about Asala is her skills in staying relevant with fresh lyrics and solid music.

Watch Asala delivers a goldie
Asala Does the Gulf

George Wassouf
Singing at a very young at the age of 10 in his hometown Kafroun on different occasions was the easy part; continuing to rock and to have a growing fan base is priceless. Like most good Syrian artists, you cannot make it big till you "Go West!" He soon packed his bags and moved to Lebanon where he began his music career and quickly infused his popularity. It was at the age of 16 when he became known as "Sultan El-Tarab" when international actor Omar Sharif granted him he title. A few of his first songs that brought him to fame include "Hawa Sultan," "Rohi ya Nesmah," "Helif el-Amar," and "Law Naweit." Those songs still sound as crisp and soothing as ever before. George Wassouf has produced more than 30 albums and has performed concerts all around the world. The one artists the Arab PhDs, MDs and cabbie drivers agree on is this man. There is no shortage of Arab singers who attempt to copy his style and replicate his magical voice. He is not the best looking Arab singer and when combined with his hatred of acting, makes for too short the number of music videos under his belt. One of his recent successful albums was released in 2002 ("Salaf wi Dein") which made a huge success in both the Arab world and abroad. He just released a new album last week titled "Allah Kareem." Youtube is loaded with videos of George doing and saying all sort of wacky things, he was recently busted in Sweden for having coke--he claims he is innocent.

Listen to the song, but here is the video

Syrian Artists Your Little Sister Likes

Shady Aswad
Originally from Edlib region, Shady he is currently living in Damascus . . . with his parents! According to his personal website, Shady's father held a party for Shady success in primary school only to discover that his son had a great voice and loved to sing. Shady didn't sing until he was 18 when he enrolled in the Syrian Song Festival with his own song (Galbteni). He got the admiration and encouragement from everyone, since he was the youngest contestant of them all. He took a part in Superstar (Arab American Idol) and earned the respect and support both both the judges and fans which gave him an instant spoonful of success. Perhaps what distinguishes Shadi from other singers is his sensitive spirit, his personal ambitions and his Syrian stubbornness.

Watch Shady at his best

Noura Rahal
Noura started in 2001 with her first two singles: "Salemly 'A Albak" (Give me your heart) and "Shoflak Hall" (Find a solution) which weren't immediate hits. After wading through the an obvious lack of stardom, she received her shot at glory in 2006 when she released her breakthrough single entitled: "Kollo 3adi" (It's the same) an Egyptian song which brought her instant success and fame. Noura enjoyed more than four months of success, then produced a full album: "Denyeti Ahla" (My world is prettiest). The lead song of the album entitled: "La Tekhteber Sabri" (Don't test my patience) was very successful and climbed the charts so fast, making it one of the highest-selling albums of the year. In addition to singing, Noura Rahal also stared in the Syrian series "Ahl Algrarm" and in "Kowm Alhajar."

Watch Noura

Wadih Mrad
Although Wedih started his music career much earlier in life, his fame did not start until he moved to Beirut where the doors of fame were wide open. He struggled for a year and a half in Beirut, not finding success, but finally, Wadih signed a contract with a Lebanese radio station and agreed that they would manage his business. Wadih started singing in night clubs and soon, the radio station produced his album of seven songs that included the single: "Helweh el Denyeh" that lead him to the top the charts. The album was entitled "Saket." In Christmas 2003, Wadih came to the U.S. where he had a tour in Los Angeles, Jersey, Detroit, and Boston. The concerts were well attended. Fans in the States were singing along. However, Wadih continues to make music, hoping to make a comeback to the rich Arabic music scene. "La Tan'hani" The one song that Wadih broke into the Arabic music scene back in 2000 was so successful that replicating that success might be a tough task.

Watch Wadih at his best

The Kingmaker
The One Man Team: Nizar Qabbani
"The Poet of Women" as he has been called, began writing poetry when he was 16 years old. At his own expense, Qabbani published his first book of poems, entitled "The Brunette Told Me" (قالت لي السمراء) as he was attending law school at University of Syria. Over the course of a half-century, Qabbani wrote 34 other books of poetry. Iraqi singer, Kazim Al Sahir, considered by some to be the greatest of Arab singers, might not have been where he is if it had not been for his plethora of songs written by Nizar Qabbani. The Arab world is better off because of his style, the Arabic language is far richer for his influence, and the Arab lover is far more sincere because of Qabbani’s imagery. Not only was Qabbani a tier one poet, he was also a top Syrian diplomat dispatched to Bruit, Istanbul, London and China. A group of the Arab world's most respected Arab stars have sung his words, including Abelhalim, Majda El Roumi, Latifa and off course Kazim Al Sahir, all of whom immortalized Nizar's poems in our hearts and lives.

Nizar Poetry Reading

Syrian Mixed Bag

Majd Al Kassem, used to be good, had couple of hits in the late 90s, now what?
Shada Barmada the Syrian Lizzie McGuire
Fayza Ahmad for mom's sakes
Nour Mihna, the man can sing, he is a cross between George Wassouf and Sabah Fakhri

[Tarboush Tip: Carlos]
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hanified @ the Jerusalem Fund fundraiser

Here is a raw video of the event we had the Shawarma King Restaurant in Mount Pleasant. We had three local comedians do 15 minutes sit, and Feras Qumseya played the oud for the crowd--I must say all around it was a great event, we had a great turnout and the best part we raised close to $1400 from the 70 people who showed up (the restaurant capacity is 60) I also want to give a shout out to my co-worker Will for his upbeat MC skills and his fundraising pitch. My boss gave the green light to this event again sometimes this summer, i am thinking this August in a slightly bigger venue. The money raised will go to benefit the humanitarian projects the fund supports in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

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Concert at the Palestine Center

Huda Asfour and friends performed for a sold out concert at the Palestine Center two weeks ago at the Palestine Center, here are video from the pre-show rehearsal with the band. I enjoyed the music, but wanted more

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God, Painkillers, and Politics in Gaza

So my post of the month at the Huffintgton Post is out now. It's about the changes the Gaza Strip going through due to the siege and the struggle of the people living under cruel conditions, but yet surviving either by clinging to religion or popping is all about survival out there and politicians are bickering and taking credit for any glimpse of hope the people of Gaza see. Since then my sister made it out of Gaza, but the good people of Egypt won't let her husband see her and instead they deported him 36 hours after his arrival to Egypt.
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Monday, May 25, 2009

"Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)

Here is the news, Christians support torturing people

More than half of people who attend services at least once a week -- 54 percent -- said the use of torture against suspected terrorists is "often" or "sometimes" justified. Only 42 percent of people who "seldom or never" go to services agreed, according the analysis released Wednesday by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

Here is my take on it,

"I read a recent survey that said the majority of American Christians approve waterboarding. Of course they do - you're confessing all the things you did wrong, getting dunked in water - it's not torture, it's baptism. That's what the Bush administration was all about - bringing the infidel to Jesus. You're not drowning, you're choking on the Holy Spirit. What, too soon? He died 2000 years ago. Get over it already.

Wow, tough crowd. Things are not looking good for my Helen Keller/Anne Frank bit."

On a serious note, wasn't Christ tortured? Made wear a crown of thorns, wasn't he flogged 39 times?

I get it these are bad people we are torturing; I mean people who kill, but if you are torturing them what makes you better than them? It's not because those few deserve a better treatment, but rather because the world expects a true reflection of American values...torture is not a value I saw in America
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Friday, May 22, 2009

11 Types of People You Meet in Hookah Lounges

1. The Kid From Dearborn
If we label him as obnoxious, he may sue us for defamation, since suing people his full-time job. Then, he'll sue the shisha place for not doing it like they do in balad al-Dearborn, or Dearbornistan as the right-wingers call it.

The trouble with the kid from Dearborn is that he/she is never satisfied with anyone else preparing a Hookah for them, unless it is a non-Arab, then it is an opportunity to flaunt their Hookah credentials with a free lecture.

He will tell you about how the hookah places in Dearborn are better, with stadium-style seating, movie projection screens, and live performances by Dearborn's version of George Wassouf (coke and all).

He'll ask the servers if they offer carved pineapples or watermelons for the sheesha heads, or if they have the new bab ghanoush-flavored tobacco. Then, he'll roll his eyes when they ask "what?"

Starbuzz is his brand of choice, bro. And he thinks self-starting charcoal is for chumps (he's right).

2. The Curious White Chick
"Is that, like, a bong from India?" These girls are eager to experience new things and taste different cultures, which is why Arab men go for them, if you know what I mean. She does not have interest in the Middle East, but rather there are a lot of Arab guys where she grew up or went to school, so it is natural to develop a curiosity. Plus she thinks it will help her feel "ethnic."

“Is this illegal?” and “Am I going to regret this?” are signature questions. She bugs you by insisting on using her own plastic protector tube, thereby messing up the flow. Get it over with and hand her the “double apple” flavor so she can go experiment with Thai food, kabbalah and lesbianism.

The presence of white chicks gives many Arab men a temporary feeling of having a safety net and false indication that we are the new blacks, the forbidden fruit white chicks use for revenge against daddy.

Giveaway sign: when Amr Diab starts playing, they get up and dance dirty with their girlfriends.

3. The Latino Hookah Preparer
They say immigrants do the work other Americans don't want to do. In general, Americans don't want to work. And Arab-Americans are the same.

Just as Latino labor is key to the service sector, in places where Arab immigration is scant, Latinos run the local hookah lounge. They took over preparing the sheesha and bringing you fresh coal to keep it like going like an Egyptian train.

While some might find interesting forms of cultural hybridity here, especially as the workers learn Arabic from the management, there are some negatives. First, they are probably poorly compensated since their status is likely not legal. And Arabs care less.

Second, tension comes with the few Arab customers who are out of things to be proud of. On more than one occasion, Arabs, like the Dearborn kid, lecture the underpaid employees on how to make a better hookah. Thus the employee develops a passive-aggressive approach that makes him/her debate between punching your face or smiling at it.

4. The Redneck
Although he feels a bit gay puffing on a phallic pipe, he's thrilled to be behind enemy lines. He met Al, his one Arabic buddy, in world history class and now he is joining his new friend for a taste of the Orient.

Growing up in small town in the south comes with a lot of liabilities, like not knowing much about the world.

On 9-18, he was throwing eggs at a muhajibah, so he's a bit shocked he ended up in the lounge. he should have listened to his uncle Todd who warned him about the liberal professors from his community college brainwashing him. Uncle Todd later mocks him for smoking the "hubbly bubbily."

Surrounded by 10 other Arab men, it would be hard to decline the offer to smoke. This is a one-time experience, it won’t likely be repeated as Al makes less weird friends.

5. The FBI Informant

He's the coolest, slickest guy in the lounge, the smoothest operator, and very outgoing. He's also an FBI informant who gets a nice check from the government for the intel he picks up from the cafe -- which is like none, except that he is great at telling the Feds what they want to hear. They think the "Oasis Hookah Palace" is the Tora Bora of Southern California.

He is commissioned to eavesdrop on all conversations and screen all patrons for possible threats, instead he just picks up names and details from the Hollywood terrorism flicks like 'The Siege,' 'Body of Lies' and 'Syriana.' He occasionally takes a picture of a few patrons with his cell phone as he pretends to be text messaging.

While the government's money is decent, he is doing it in exchange for a reduced sentence on a tax fraud scheme he was into with his cousin.

You'll know when you meet him because he'll add you as a friend on Facebook within minutes of meeting you.

6. The Student Who Spent a Semester Morocco
Nearly every sentence begins, "In Morocco..." It could be set off by the most trivial reminder. The waiter's named "Mohammad," and this type tells you about the King of Morocco.

Sure, he or she misses kicking back and doing nothing all day except talking while sipping mint tea and smoking grape-flavored argeelah. And they are comforted by the fact that they won't wake up with the runs this time.

To show off his hookah skills, he brings his date there, thinking this is America, the same creepy taboos overseas won't apply. To his surprise, for every woman, including his date, there is probably more than 10 horny dudes leering at her through the clouds of smoke.

7. The Bored and Boring Middle-Aged Guy
This is the older Arab man who was married in the old country and is now divorced with not much to do but smoke his Hookah and fly solo. Or he may be married, but no one has ever seen the wife as proof. And apparently he only eats hummous.

This guy has his own official corner. It's like Mustafa's freaking office. He sits there all day every day. He checks out everyone walking into the lounge and stares at them, only taking occasional breaks to pee, talk really loudly on his cell phone, get charcoal himself, or play tarneeb or backgammon with other regulars.

He is not nostalgic for the bad old days, but the present really sucks. The only thing going for him is that he has as much authority as the hookah preparers do in his smoky little kingdom.

8. The Sheesha Tyrant
He is the cousin of the owner. It's like being the son of the President/King/Col. Qaddafi in the Arab world. In other words, his familial link entitles him to act like he owns the place, so he bosses the staff and picks fights with the guys from the Gulf who treat the place like they could buy it (they could).

His cousin who owns the place hates this guy, but cannot kick him out because he owes his Dad money and may be interested in marrying his sister. He, of course, recognizes the power imbalance. So after he closes up the gas station, he brings all his loser buddies to smoke their favorite Hookah flavor and, if feeling naughty, have a non-alcoholic beer, play a round of obnoxious tarneeb, and get into a fight with other customers.

He is the Latino Hookah Preparer's worst nightmare (behind immigration raids and Lou Dobbs).

9. The Hookah Etiquette Nazi
You know yourself. More often than not you hail from Lebanon where everything has to be done just right, from shawarma to political assassinations.

So when a Hookah comrade hands you the wrong end of the hookah you get offended and insist that they hand it to you the proper way so as not to make it look your comrade is telling you to screw yourself. I am sorry, I do not get this one, I am a Palestinian, and we are used to getting screwed by our friends.

Warning: If the sheesha is dirty, not airtight, there are too many holes in the tin foil, or the tobacco is packed too tight, a psychodrama ensues, followed by the single greatest Lebanese contribution to the Arab world: a rich sequence of highly decorative and colorful cursing (at and about the sheesha, the preparer, and his family, particularly his female relatives).

You can spot this guy easily. He's the one who removes the head and blows the dust and smoke through the holes in the tin foil after it has been burning a while. They also blow the most perfect rings, sometimes followed by a smoke arrow through the middle then their name in Arabic.

10. The African American Who Likes Them Pillows

"I gotta get me one of these." Like African-Americans, Arabs can be ghettofabulous with our furniture and decor. So the sheesha lounge can feel like home.

Many African-Americans don't know that most Arabs live in Africa (most Arabs don't know that either). Most don't care. What they do care about is if you can smoke marijuana through the sheesha. You can. But it is less efficient than the traditional ways. Non-blacks, sharing that tidbit can win you street cred.

I hear so many African-Americans mention Egypt and Morocco as key places they want to travel. You never meet a black guy who wants to visit Syria for some reason, and definitely not Iraq.

The non-ratty hookah lounges provide a nice relaxing environment—the Arabic pillows at these lounges prove it. Puffing on a water pipe may be relaxing, but to my black friends, do not rest your feet on the soft cushion. It is a sign of disrespect. It's the Arab equivalent of messing with a black guy's radio (I learned so much from 'Rush Hour').

Another word of advice: Drop couple of non-offensive Arabic words, you will probably get a complimentary tea.

11. The Overdressed Gulfie Kids

The waiters love them for their generous tips, but unfortunately this sentiment is not shared with the rest of the lounge's patrons. They hit on anything that moves, whether or not they are there with someone else.

They are dressed in the best brands, but that does not mean they necessarily have style. And they show off the Beamer in the parking lot, often sitting around the car waiting for girls to walk by.

No matter how old they get, they always act like teenagers on a prom date, or better yet, the ones who go without a date.

They cannot outsmoke the Dearborn kid, but are pretty hard core smokers. The upside? They always know what they want. The downside? They always fight over who gets to flip the bill.

[Tarboush Tip: Yousef, Will, Lyndsay]
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Stand Up @ Topaz Last Week

So, I went back to Topaz the other night to help film two comics on one evening, I was given five minutes to perform a set...other than having a tough crowd or maybe bad sound system and weak jokes and have the MC mispronounce me name, I think it was OK...I tested two jokes that night...

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Jehad Graduation Party Class of 2009

Jehad Graduation party from GMU...Mabrook. I did like the cake and the food. His uncle Omar catered the party from Lebanese restaurant, so you know the food was sexy! His parents flew out here from Utah, so it was good to see the are two short clips. I shot those with my new compact HD camera which I will be taking with me on my trips to document anything I feel like filming.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Music Video, Trash of Arabia

Egyptian singer, Hani Alhabid (الهبدهانى) released a new racy music video, titled howa kida (هو كدة), the song is nothing short of silly. However, the music video wins the golden medal in the sleaziest Arabic music video of the year. It’s surely offensive that the music video uses women as props by further objectifying them. What’s more offensive is how the music video furthers the proof that human beings like the artist—for lack of a better word are also descendant of donkeys—not just monkeys. Whatever evolution done to make us adapt better, this music video is undoing all that by reversing the human race back to apes. Although the song uses common Egyptian folksy beat and popular instruments, the video utilizes a technique developed by small time West Coast rappers, cram as many naked females as the camera shot can accommodate.

I wouldn't be surprised if the costs of producing this crappy music video were underwritten by plastic surgeon who gives away free bikinis with every set of you know what. Just As I thought Arabic music videos have finally evolved comes this turd to kill my buzz. Also can you make the Indian tune artificially incorporated in this sham of a song? This music video makes me want to throw up.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Trip to Shawarma King

The owner of the Shawarma King told me few days ago, that he will be installed an oven at his restaurant, which means he will now bake his own bread. I thought that is a great idea since the competition has been baking their own bread! I also posted this video of my recent trip to the place, the video I made for my family, it is in Arabic.
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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Running From the Cabinet

As I was running on Thursday in Rock Creek Park, my way toward Woodely park and as I am leaving Georgetown, I ran into this person who was running on the opposite direction, but I recognized him/her right away since I have a crush on this person. I am not going to publish this name on the blog, but the person is a member of the Obama cabinet, I must say a top member of the cabinet and has been making news lately. I was surprised to see this person without security guards on sight. But the person was dressed like he/she has been running for a long time and I was impressed by his/her commitment, it was about 6:10 and I was headed back from the Mall and just getting into Rock Creek Park. Maybe I will see this person again and run in their direction this time.

On the same day, I ran through Howard University earlier, and as I passed by the dorms, there was a young man holding the backdoor open and on the other hand he had a joint, the smell was all over the street, you would have to be an idiot not to know it was weed. I guess it was final times and he wanted to get an extra kick for that extra credit...hey I am not judging!
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9 Outlandish Places That Remind Palestinians of Home

We all have reasons to hate this stupid government entity; one that wastes our time and the tax payers’ money only to turn around and give us lousy service and a piece of paper that could be obtained online much faster. If I could, I wouldn’t hesitate paying someone to stand in that line for me. But growing up in occupied Palestine, one has seen far longer lines. My beef with the DMV is that not only chaotic, unfriendly nightmare, but it also brings back old memories of back home, where the people in charge of the security checks are plain jerks. Israeli soldiers rarely speak Arabic so it’s hard to communicate with them; the officers at the DMV speak the same language as we do, but rarely do we make sense of what they are saying. And neither DMV workers nor Israeli soldiers recognize your existence as a human being, only as a subject to be processed. The only difference is unlike checkpoint, there are no hilly trails around the DMV waiting space. At least there is an upside for everything, random Israeli check points are no exceptions.

The Smithsonian Native Indian Museum
Palestinians are mesmerized by the Native Indians and their struggle to survive despite all odds. We love the natives of America and support and celebrate their culture(s). We have an especially close affinity to the Apache and the Black Hawk tribes because Israel's attack helicopters carry those names.

There are a lot of similarities: the new Israeli government wants to turn the Occupied Palestinian Territories into Indian reservations minus the casinos. Moreover, Indians are into embroidery and so are Palestinians; it’s not just a piece of cloth, but it’s a story and a tale, both of equal value. There is an unofficial rule in the native Indian culture: that every good Indian should carry a knife—Palestinians carry plenty of knives in their backs.

The U.S. Congress
This is a tricky one (with the exception of Dennis Kucinich) whenever I stop by this entity to pick up tickets or to meet a friend for lunch. I feel rightfully threatened as a Palestinian. Here is the most anti-Palestinian organization on the face of the planet and here I am strolling down its lobbies. I feel that every time I’m there, the politicians of Congress want to strip my jacket, my shoes, my watch and my phone and hand them to Israel. A feeling only matched when you are Palestinian in the Old City and the government tries to strip you from everything—even your dignity. So welcome home Palestinians! You have just arrived home where you will always get screwed by white men in suits.

The State of Utah
The Mecca for Mormons around the world, people here get married at 21, practice their religion faithfully, are well armed, are socially conservative and are tough on outsiders. If Utah had an equivalent in Palestine, it would definitely be the Gaza Strip. C’mon man! Large families is a trademark of the State of Utah and the Gaza Strip. In Utah, pharmaceutical industries are large while in Gaza they do not have any. If you enjoy tough tasks and challenges, here’s one: try to get a drink in Gaza or Utah and see if you have any luck. Living in Utah, one of the most fun things for me was hunting and shooting; in Gaza we are into hunting, but the other end of the gun. In Utah, if you are inactive in your church, then kiss your social life goodbye; in Gaza they have one Church, but it doesn’t fit everybody within its old walls.

Laser Tag and Paint Ball Venues
Nothing brings a Palestinian home as much as a shootout. Those are few of the places in this country where a Palestinian can be trusted with a weapon. In fact, they encourage Palestinians to go into those laser tag joints and paint ball fields because of their combat experience. In college, rarely did I have friends, but when I show up at one of those places, all of a sudden I become popular with all the teams: they all want the Palestinians to be on their side, despite the fact that I am somehow an embarrassment to my people. I mean, as a Palestinian I feel empowered when there is a shootout and taking on different teams only to sneak up on them and send them to recharge after I shoot them in the back of their vest. Of course, the party is ruined when that bipolar Israeli veteran shows up at the laser tag place only to put me to my utter shame.

Maternity Wards
American men hate to be seen near one; they resent the smell of babies and the process of delivering one—not making one. To be frank, the occupied Palestinian territories are nothing more than one gigantic maternity ward. With one of the highest fertility rates in the world, the octomom got nothing on you. I, along with every Palestinian, don’t mind maternity wards; we love to spend time there. We feel comfortable visiting friends who have just delivered babies, because it reminds us of home; and we act like we're at home, with the bizr, plates of food, fruits, and bottles of drinks to make sure all visitors are fed. In some places, they hand out cigars to celebrate a baby's birth. We hand out stuffed grape leaves. It’s funny, because it seems that every day of the week, you know someone who either just had a baby or is now expecting a baby.

Haunted Houses
Haunted houses are darker and spookier than Israeli settlements. Such places are full of creatures that only want to inflict harm and pain upon you, just like the zombie-looking Israeli settlers scattered throughout the West Bank. Haunted houses get a lot of business during the month of October, leading to Halloween. At these Halloween “Mansions of Fear”” or “Castles of Doom,” patrons pay to be frightened, but at Palestinian “Houses of Horror,” the Israeli zombies and blood suckers are the ones paying for the right to scare Palestinians. It’s funny, because the scariest times of the year also coincides with most holidays in in Israel (Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, Simhat Torah, and so on). So, next time you see a screaming Palestinian at a haunted house, do yourself a favor and don’t ask them to go home.

I love the South, perhaps more than it loves me. But it seems that they love to blow things up, own big guns, obsess over cars, not get along with Jews, marry their cousins, pray a lot, and drink lots of sweet tea. They also shoot you if you trespass in their property—what Palestinians are also trying to do. But perhaps my favorite part of the South is their obsession with Civil War reenactments where they celebrate the fallen heroes they lost to the North. Sort of what Palestinians like to do: every conflict with Israel has been a reenactment of the previous war in which Israel killed tons of Palestinians and celebrated victory! No wonder there are tons of Palestinians in the Bible belt! But if you’re like me, then you know that the “South will rise again!”

The Barrio
High unemployment rates, homes next to each other and on top of each other, extended families living in proximity, a diet high in sugar, and everyone knows everyone's business. The barrio in American inner cities ideal reminder of Palestine. Obviously the Palestinian refugee camps scattered around the Middle East serve as our barrios. Kids from the barrio are as tough as nails, and kids in Palestine are a match. There are the grocerias, or bodegas in New York, which also serve as the local barber, butcher, paramedic, immigration attorney (or notario), money wire and cell phone dealer as needed. The barrio is full of old men with endless stories of the olden days; the women with much to complain about and gossip; the men who smoke like trains, work like mules and party like beasts; and the kids who roam the streets in packs. While the Latino barrio is reduced by mainstream media to being a place for drugs and illegal activities (like existing), the Palestinian barrio is known for terrorism and illegal activities (like existing).


Pool parties. Fat Americans sitting by the pool resemble fat Israeli settlers sitting by the pool. The difference is that Speedo's aren't popular in the States (thank God!)

Sports Riots. When Americans celebrate or protest their home sports teams, they often hit the streets and set shit on fire. We Palestinians do that too, except it's not for the Super Bowl but to end the Occupation. What's the difference, really?

July 4th. All the explosions and rampantly obnoxious patriotism feel real familiar to Palestinians who witness Israeli culture and its military.
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Arabic Music Video Shows Mexico Some Love

Here is a recent music video by Egyptian rising star Mahmoud el 3esely (محمود العسيلى) who just released a new album, the album was accompanied by this music video. "Tool Ma Inti Ganby" is pretty catchy song. Mahmoud manged to make a good song and uses music that defies the long Arabic pop tradition of making mediocre Karaoke music. This music video has many themes but it starts with the dude being bored and his girl reading some fashion magazine, as time passes by he persuades her to embark in a journey. The Journey takes them into many scenic places including exotic waterfalls, mysterious Arabian desert, Southern Egyptian villages and Mexican historical neighborhood. The video is unique because it was released 10 days prior to the spread of the Mexican linked swine flu pandemic. "Tool Ma Inti Ganby", to my knowledge is the first Arabic music video to feature a Mexican theme, even a crew of Mexican mariachis graces the music video. This serves as a reminder of yet another stereotypical defense of the Mexican Nation. The video comes to us from Egypt, the one country that authorized the slaughter of 300,000 swine. The Mexican theme shows up at 2:40

P.S. I think Mahmoud's choppy looks were only made worse by the gorgeous but malnourished model.
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My I is On Your I

I just got back from my visit with the eye doctor....the news are in...I have managed to improve my eye sigh slightly, but really good news. But the truth behind my improving eye eight has nothing to do with my eye. See my previous eye doctor was a looker so that might have to do with my bad sight. I mean how do you expect me to see everything you want me to see what my eye wanders somewhere else? The monument I saw the eye doctor I felt that I need to do all I can do to keep my eyes of him and that is why I improved my score...I wasn't distracted by any hot object in the room. Maybe good looking women should avoid going to eye school...maybe they can try to school of dentistry...their good looks and skills will help make the experience more enjoyable..or less painful.

Thus, good looks are a plus to the dentistry, but a curse to the eye care provider where the hotter your eye doctor, the lower your sight score.
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The Nigerian Scam, the sequal

I go to the gym on a nice Friday evening before I hit the streets on the weekend, I like to get some workout done to apologize in advance for the transgressions I will do against my body throughout the weekend. Since I break free and eat what I like on the weekend, in a way the Friday night workout makes me feel better. A minute into my workout, this rather friendly Nigerian man walks in, dressed in gym clothes and good to go. Except my entire time at the gym, I have failed to see the man break a sweat or do any exercise. Instead, he was just chatting with a buddy of his who was kinda of working out, get this the guy who was not working out had awesome abs, but he was standing in there and drinking a large Sprite...this is not the Zero carb Sprite, it is the read deal that has more than 250 calories of sugar. I mean I was working out and sweating the small stuff, I honestly cannot remember the last time I had a soda--and this guy sitting there looking good without lifting a finger while enjoying a large sweet beverage....gosh my life sucks.

This Nigerian fella remind me that the freaking Nigerians not only want to scam my money via the Nigerian prince they want to piss me off at the gym...I will keep an a eye on this guy, maybe next time he will come to the gym in a swim suite and large pizza.
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Friday, May 08, 2009

Keep the Hulu Out Jail

Hulu the popular online video website, backed by several majors TV networks, allows users to stream complete episodes of their favorite shows online free of charge. Not all shows are available, but most of them anyways--only five complete episodes are posted on the website form any giving show. They are updated regularly--often on weekly basis, there are new shows to watch. I watch Family Guy, American Dad, Parks and Recreation, The Simpson and It's always Sunny in Philadelphia. My two other shows that I follow, but cannot find on the website is Two and Half Men and The big Bang Theory. They shoes air on CBS and have the same producer. I hope CBS will join in and allow me to watch the show on Hulu. I really like Hulu because they make it easy and legal to watch shows that I like. Also beyond the obvious, they offer those shows for free and with minimum advertising.

Better? Hulu can keep you out of longer do people have to go and find those episodes on shady website and illegitimate sources...instead now you can Hulu! So Free us and Free Hulu!
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18 Arab Leaders You Would Want with You in a Bar Fight

This post is not a political statement. It is simply a list of the Arab political figures you would want on your side if a bar fight were to break out. Because there are not that many, most of them are wimps once you take away their mukhabaraat, I had to throw in a few non-Arab ones for good measure.

There are a lot of figures on the list that I resent, and others whose actions or business practices I dislike. Then there are a few that I celebrate. For instance, the most sober of them, the ones who would never enter a bar in the first place, are likely to be the best fighters since their coordination will not be compromised.

1. Gamal Abdel Nasser, along with a few friends, took the lead in the 1952 Egyptian Revolution. He was an army colonel, so kicking ass was his job. But as a student he was wounded during a demonstration, then arrested and detained. Political activism was Nasser’s bread and butter; in his second year in high school, Nasser only spent forty-five days actually in high school—Ferris Bueller got nothing on Nasser. So you know he's tough.

He united Sudan with Egypt and also implemented a short lived unity with Syria, outmanning lesser Arab leaders. In the contest of the Arab defeat in 1948, Egyptian forces under his leadership secured the area known as the Fallujah. Also in October 1954, Nasser formally fired Naguib—his boss--and made himself the leader. In the same month, Nasser survived an assassination plot during a speech in Alexandria, when a volley of shots rang out. Nasser was heard shouting out in defiance of the ruckus of the crowd. Among his titles are “Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin.” He remains the godfather of all Arab nationalists. He makes more Arab nationalists than American Idol makes wannabe stars.

His Killer Move: He delivers a captivating speech from on top of the bar. It will grab your opponent's attention, leaving him vulnerable to a sneak attack, but only if you are not mesmerized, as well.

2. Yasser Arafat
, founder of the Fatah political party. He launched what is now one of the simpiest political parties in 1959. It was not always that way. He spent almost all his life fighting Israel either in battle or at the negotiating table. The Dude of Palestine survived an airplane crash into the Libyan Desert, which his two pilots and engineer did not. And several more attempts to take his life, until the Israelis finally poisoned him (this is disputed).

Arafat left school in 1948 and took part in combat in the Gaza area. He was called to fight alongside the Egyptian forces during the Suez Crisis. Earlier in his career, Arafat often personally led Fatah military incursions from Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. Reportedly, he had Yusuf Orabi, a Syrian financier, thrown out of the window of a three-story building. Syrian police suspected Arafat was involved in the incident and issued a warrant against him. His street cred rose in the 1968 Battle of Karameh where Arafat ordered Fatah fighters to hold their ground in the face of an IDF attack. This courageous stand eventually forced the Israelis to retreat.

So if bad looks can give you a win in a bar fight, Arafat should be your sidekick; if bad luck and misery can give you the upper hand, stick to Arafat. Arafat was tough on his enemies, but even tougher on those who betrayed him or undercut him—there are countless stories. One thing is for sure, Arafat is not short on testosterone.

Killer Move: The kiss of death (his wife used it on Hillary Clinton's political career).

3. Saddam Hussein
. Again we have videos of this guy shooting guns, riding tanks, shooting people, torturing others, invading sovereign states, shooting more guns, messing with Iran, giving the finger to the United States and a dozen other nations. He is the wild card on this list. He had members of his own family killed, used chemical weapons against civilians, struck Israel with missiles, and is suspected of committing political assassinations with his own hands… if this is not crazy, it must be insane. As he was being lead to his execution, he managed to piss off his captors and create an embarrassing fiasco for his executors to whom he said, “Go to hell!” Rest assured that Saddam is the backup you need for a bar fight you cannot escape, but only if you are desperate. He was so crazy, he would be the type to kick your ass in the fight as well.

Another plus: if you guys somehow lost, his spokesman would announce to the world you sent your opponents to the grave.

Killer Move: the Scud attack. He launches beer bottles at your opponent. The down-side is he will hit you a few times.

4. Omar al-Bashir is the most wanted Arab leader. He's thumbing his nose at the International Criminal Court while he travels around the region. He would be perfect at evading the bouncers.

He comes from the al-Gaddafi school of fashion. One day the Sudanese leader dresses like an African tribe leader and the next like a white-robed presidential-looking Arab. If he wore the outfit from this picture to the bar fight, he would be undetectable to your opponents.

He's faced tough foes. Evangelists and Hollywood formed a rare alliance against him. Intellectual Arabs and street vendors alike are embarrassed by al-Bashir. If the whole president thing does not work out, then we know al-Bashir has a solid resume for prison brawling--no one will make him his bitch! If your skills in beating up people are not up to par, feel free to tap Uncle Omar for some tips and lessons.

Killer Move: Janjaweed fists. His rapid-fire punches will defeat any opponent and turn him and his family into refugees.

5. Khalil al-Wazir, the legendary Palestinian leader, had considerable influence in Fatah's military activities. He became the commander of Fatah's armed wing al-Assifa. He was behind the scenes during the 1970-71 Black September clashes in Jordan, supplying surrounded Palestinian fighters with weapons and aid. Al-Wazir planned numerous attacks inside Israel, he's that tough. He prepared Beirut's defense against incoming Israeli forces. While in high school, al-Wazir began organizing a small group of fedayeen to harass Israelis at military posts near the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula. Egyptians detained him, Israelis sent him to exile in Saudi Arabia. He earned a new friend for Palestine—The People's Republic of China, including Premier Zhou Enlai—so buttering up the bouncer will be easy.

Nicknamed “the brain in exile,” you know he will fight smart.

Killer Move: A Surprise Attack. He will be disguised as an innocent bystander, then spring upon your enemy when he least expects it, unleashing a bone-chilling ululation as he strikes.

6. Ali Abdullah Saleh, like most decent Arab dictators, took part in a coup to depose a King, the Malik of Northern Yemen, in 1962. After giving him a few glasses of the "King of Beers," he'll be ready to cut someone with his jambiya (unless the bouncers get it at the door).

Saleh has great endurance. He took part in the 1974 coup that brought Ibrahim al-Hamdi into power. A coup against him in 1978 failed. Throughout Saleh’s military career, he was marked by numerous commendations and was wounded several times. Not sold yet? Saleh’s alleged criminal activities include the smuggling of drugs to Saudi Arabia and the trafficking of arms into various countries in Eastern Europe. It ain't easy being the head of a country like Yemen, where they have more guns that people and more nuts than an upscale bar. Remember, there are many bitter, angry, and underappreciated older men who sit at bars… in case you have to deal with such a situation call in the old school Ali Abdullah Saleh, he will do the job.

Killer Move: The Jambiya Dervish Slice. He pulls out his curved knife and begins whirling in a circle, cutting anything that gets in the way. It was inspired by Sufi whirling and by Chun Li in Street Fighter.

7. King Abdullah II of Jordan. He received military training in both the United States of A and the United Kingdom where he is a respected alum who earned his stripes. He is a field marshal now, being in charge of Jordanian Royal forces since 1996. It’s hard out here for a pimp, and that’s why it is good to have the King on your side in any bar fight.

He likes sky and scuba diving, and long walks on the beach. He would be great bear bait if the bar in question is a gay establishment.

The King has great survival skills. The guy is leading a country in the middle of a region that has seen so many wars and conflicts. He deals with refugees from Palestine, Iraq, and Chechnya, yet manages to have a solid relationship with Israel, the States, and Russia. Also, he is said to be a dominant video game player, which has given him very muscular thumbs. The Wii has contributed to his stocky, squirrelly build.

Killer Move: left, right, up, down, a + b, a + b

8. Qaboos bin Said al Said. It all comes to his weapons and the Sultan’s weapon of choice, a dagger that can stab your opponent and make their ancestors weep, is many inches longer than the Yemeni president's (Saleh says its not the size that matters but how you use it).

He received his education in Oman, India, and England, so he probably has a bad-ass accent. At 20, he entered Royal the Military Academy, Sandhurst and served with them in Germany for a year. There he helped defeat Napolean Bonaparte, and led him personally to imprisonment on Elba Island, according to Omani school textbooks.

In defiance of a house arrest he and his buddies took over the country and united it, overthrowing Daddy in the process. Also, with the help of Iran and Britain, he defeated the Communists from Yemen. Being married and divorced, rumored to be gay, and topped with a very weird sounding name definitely make the guy seem soft, except he is not. This will psyche out your enemy.

Killer Move: Flash Gordon. In the event of a fight, he pulls off his thawb to reveal both his daggers. As his opponent is stunned to see his jumbo appendage, he gets him good with the sharp metal dagger.

9. Abbas al-Musawi
, the co-founder of the Hezbollah movement and militia in his southern Lebanon town. Al-Musawi is reported to have served in various capacities in the movement: operational head of the Hezbollah Special Security Apparatus and head of Hezbollah's military wing, the Islamic Resistance.

Some believe he was behind the abduction of Lt. Col. William Higgins, luring him with a delicious candy bar. Abbas al-Musawi might not help you out in a bar fight, but he is known for motivating thousands of young people to join the resistance—say the resistance to that 300 pound dude sitting on your face. He is one of Shi’a on the list and rightfully he has a lot to vent. Whenever the Arab leaders sing Kumbaya with Israel, Al-Musawi pees on their parade and authorizes an attack on some target.

Ultimately Israel crashed his party by bombing his motorcade, killing his son and his wife. He was just returning from delivering a speech at a rally. Even after Israel killed him he was still a headache because the military wanted him alive not dead.

Killer Move: The Beard trap. Like a spider's web, it ensares stronger enemies. They exhaust themselves trying to escape and then he goes in for the kill.

10. Saladin
(Not an Arab, but pretty close) He's just about the only political figure that Arabs, Kurds, Iranians, and Muslims all celebrate. At his prime, he ruled over Egypt, Syria, Iraq, the Hejaz, and Yemen. He led the Muslims against the Crusaders and eventually liberated Palestine after his stunning victory in the Battle of Hattin.

As a child, his uncle started his military training and as a young man, he fought the Crusaders in Egypt and captured their commander, Hugh of Caesarea after attempting to attack his unit. Saladin was tapped to keep Alexandria secure.

When he learned a group of Egyptian soldiers were attempting to assassinate him, he had their leader killed. At age 26, he gave up wine after several meetings at the Alexandria AA chapter (Hi, I'm Saladin...). He managed to calm an uprising of 50,000 African soldiers in Cairo.

Once Saladin established himself in Egypt, he went to Gaza to face the Crusades head on, killing most of its residents. Saladin had his rivals and challengers poisoned. He then captured Yemen and saved it as an emergency territory that he would flee to if the “shish hit the fan.” He had quite an adventure conquering Syria where he had to deal with a propaganda war waged against him. Saladin had chalk and cinders strewed around his tent to detect any footsteps by the Assassins.

Ultimately, Saladin had almost captured every Crusader city. At the Battle of Hattin, the Crusader army was largely annihilated by the motivated army of Saladin in what was a major disaster. Saladin captured Raynald de Chatillon and was personally responsible for his execution in retaliation for his insult to Prophet Muhammad. The dude died of a fever (so much for battles) and he gave away all his money to charity!

Bottom-line, no leader has kicked as much honky ass. Given that bar fights are a very white tradition, I am sure he'll know how to handle them.

Killer Move: The Siege. He surrounds your enemy for days, denying him access to supplies, and then launches an all out assault in several waves, out-flanking him constantly.

11. Layla Khalid (Leila Khaled). Like thousands of Palestinians, Layla found herself in Lebanon on an extended vacation thanks to the kindness of Israel. If being the first women in the world to hijack an airplane is not badass enough, Khalid has a solid resume.

Khalid attended the American University of Beirut in the early 60’s where she joined the Movement of Arab Nationalists. In 1968, she joined the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). She returned to Amman, where she attended paramilitary training courses and on August 29, 1969, she participated in the hijacking of a TWA 840 plane en route to Damascus—she would then ask the passengers to deplane and afterwards blow up the joy ride. She was the radical pin-up chick of her day.

That wasn’t enough for her, so she had a plastic surgery to alter her looks and on September 6, 1970, she took part of yet another hijacking attempt of an El Al plane. Her partners ended up not showing up and another one was gunned down and she was arrested and sentenced to prison in London. She was released shortly and became a member of the Central Committee of the PFLP.

Killer Move: She will carjack your opponent after he leaves the fight.

12. Houari Boumédienne, the Algerian rebel who adopted the name of a local saint as his nom-de-guèrre. A natural born military man, he reached the rank of Colonel in the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) and was put in charge of the military wing of the movement at a time when the French were defeating them badly. He has plenty of experience defeating drunk Frenchmen. Though they were soaked with wine mostly, he would handle the well drink and cheap beer infused Americans you face.

He became the youngest colonel in the FLN. In 1965 he overthrow his boss—Ahmed Ben Bella and seized power. Why stop there? Boumédienne survived a botched coup against him in 1967. To further reveal his badass credit, he supported Western Saharan self-determination.

I would rather have Boumédienne on my side than on the other side. After taking a lot of shit from opponents for being weak, he is ready to prove them wrong and punch some low life drunken guy.

Killer Move: The French Slap. He will demean and degrade your enemy with repeated facial slaps combined with obnoxious laughter.

13. Omar Mukhtar, the one Libyan leader who gave the Italian colonizers a good run for their money. He single-handedly organized a strategy for the Libyan resistance and his only qualification for the job was teaching the Koran—ideally he won’t go to the bar unless he has to. Just tell him some Italians are there drinking fernet.

He led more than 263 battles against the Italian forces—compare that with Zidane headbutting an Italian soccer player. The Italians were ruthless, but he managed to kill hundreds of their officers. The only way the Italians got the upper hand was by using airplanes for the first time.
The only way he was captured was when his horse got killed and fell on him; only then did the Italians arrest and eventually execute him.

In order to prevent him for giving a speech as he was being hanged, the Italians had airplanes fly over a crowd of 20,000. Omar’s captors later spoke of his steadfastness; his interrogators recalled that Mukhtar looked them in the eye and recited verses of peace from the Qur’an as he was tortured and interrogated. That's tough!

Killer Move: Ahadith of Glory. Similar to Muhammad Ali's Rope-a-Dope tactic, Mukhtar takes punches and dodges while repeating ahadith in a warm fatherly manner until the opponent is tired out. Then he unleashes his attack.

14. Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi. The guy has an all female bodyguard of trained assassins and his colorful outfits will make him blend in with any bar's decor. His mere presence will strike fear into the heart of your enemies.

The guy is so bizarre that if you look up the word in dictionary, you find his picture. He is so crazy that no one messes with him, so it’s hard to predict what he will do next. He has the business card for all world’s known terrorists and he’s had them on payroll for a while. Ireland is known for their bars; guess what? They trained in Libya. South Africa, Latin America, anywhere in the Middle East, he’s got the hook ups for ruthless thugs and muscles that can come in handy if duty calls. Muammar doesn’t care; he can kill whoever he wants and then turn around and sue them for defamation; he has yelled and screamed at most Arab leaders.

Muammar is unique because unlike other military Arab dictators, he did not promote himself to the rank of General; instead he was pleased with colonel title, his actual title till now.

Killer Move: A Merciless Spanking.

15. Djamila Bouhired
, an Algerian nationalist, is the most courageous one on the list. Ms. Bouhired joined the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) as a student activist. Quite the sports woman, Djamila was into horse riding and kicking French ass.

Our gal was among the first to go and plant bombs among the occupying French troops. In 1957, she was hurt in a shootout with them.

She survived a brutal torture that included attaching her nipples to electric wires! (Water-boarding is child's play for her). She was sentenced to death, but was never actually executed. She spent time in the can in France and then eventually released in 1962! See: some Arab nationalists wish they could endure what Djamila gone through.

Bouhired’s gift is in her unmatched skills of turning anything in a bar into a weapon. Djamila started her resistance career in bars and hotel lobbies hunting French troops—so she is no stranger.

Killer Move: Planting a Bomb. If she leaves the scene quickly, follow her out. A win's a win.

16. Saud bin Abdul Aziz
, King of Saudi Arabia, this guy has been a serial ass kicker since he was 13, when he become the leader of the Saudi troops at war in Yemen. 13!

He took part in 8 wars before he came to the throne. What does Saud bring to the fight? Saud had 53 sons and 56 daughters. Linked to a plot to assassinate Gamal Abdel Nasser, he also pissed in the Egyptian's Cheerios by supporting royalist forces in the Yemeni Civil War.

With this guy on your side, no one will overshadow you—a key strategy is not to act under intimidation. It’s true that they do not have bars in Saudi Arabia, so you know he does not mind burning up a whole one and condemning everyone in it into eternal damnation. Go ahead and unleash a holy war! PBS’s documentary “House of Saud” tells us that he was into his hard liquor. You know he’ll put a jihad on your intoxicated opponent at the bar! And his thawb makes for a great hiding place if the fight gets too intense.

Killer Move: Paying your enemy to kick his own ass.

17.Qutuz (not quite an Arab), if you don’t like what messengers have to say, do what Qutuz did! Since both Syria and Baghdad were conquered, making Cairo the next Mongol target, Hulagu sent messengers to Cairo with a threatening letter urging Qutuz to surrender. Qutuz’s response was to destroy the letter and to execute the messengers. They were sliced in half, and their heads were mounted on the gate at Bab Zuweila in Cairo. Now imagine his reaction when a bartender asks him to leave the establishment: he might slice him in using the same knife the bartender uses to slice those limes when he’s mixing up a mojito.

Qutuz ended up kicking a whole bunch of Mongol asses in the Battle of Ain Jalut. Qutuz used “Catholic guilt” to motivate the Muslims leaders into fighting with him by telling them they need to defend the women! Defending women? Sounds like a bar fight in the making.

It was reported that in the heat of the battle, Qutus lost his cool and cried loudly three times: “O Islam! O God! Grant your servant Qutuz a victory against the Mongols!” The Mongols with their few Christian allies were totally dominated by Qutuz’ army and fled to Syria. Qutuz had the commander of the Mongol army killed and his head was sent to Cairo. What’s with this guy and chopping people’s head’s off?

But before complete and total victory, he actually defeated the 7th Crusade—not a tough job since they came from France. Just for the record, Qutuz was also the first Muslim leader to utilize explosive hand cannons to break the enemy’s line. Qutuz definitely intimidates his friends and foes alike as long as he is on your side; he fears nothing and just gets the job done!

Killer Move: Decapitation.

18.Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi
, the Shah of Iran (also not an Arab and not even close). He’s on the list to serve as a punching bag for the butt faces at the bar who you brawl with. We know he is a softy because he attended a Swiss Boarding school and a couple of angry college kids overthrew his regime.

Did I mention, he was also installed to the throne by the Russians and the British in order for him to be their “#1 Guy”? That's amost as wimpy as his outfit in the picture (which he lent to King Abdallah of Jordan).

The Shah was such a small timer that if he needed to get something done, like deposing a foe, he would tap foreign intelligence to do the job for him. His plans didn’t quite work out and the Shah fled the country in humiliation and ended up an exile in Italy only to return in 1953 with the help of the CIA. He returned to power, but without any real authority, and became the butt of every joke in his own country where he spent his time supporting boy scouts in Iran. T

The only serious attempt on his life came when the Russians tried to detonate a bomb in a beetle, using a remote control; but like most things Russian, the remote didn’t function.

The Shah was also known for his love for good times, elegance and dazzling celebrations that he spent millions of dollars on. His love for vanity caused a lot of rage in the Iranian society; some believe it lead to his overthrow. The Shah had countless awards and endless titles among which are: “Head of the Warriors” and “King of Kings” (sorry Muamar, someone beat you to it). Never has humiliation looked so good, so if you’re ever losing a bar fight and want to save face, bring in the Shah of Iran. He has firsthand experience with loss, humiliation and being rejected. Also if the head of the Persians warriors is this soft, no wonder it took them days to defeat 300 naked Spartans.

The only reason to have him on your side during a bar fight is the joy you have watching him get his face pounded in, even as you suffer the same fate.

Killer Move: Fleeing the Bar.

[Tarboush Tip: Lyndsay, Carlos, Will]
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