Monday, May 31, 2010

Read A Book And Stop Watching Tom and Jerry

The verdict has been out for eons people... Tom and Jerry is NOT a kids cartoon! It is too violent, too mischievous, and too downright pointless--hey, it's not even politically correct!!

You would not let your kids watch "South Park", so why let them watch Tom and Jerry?

What I can't understand though is the Egyptian obsession with Tom and Jerry. It's like a cult 'round here. People tell me :"C'mon we all grew up with that stuff!!" No we didn't, not all of us anyway. Some people were watching the cuter, but much less entertaining I admit, Mickey Mouse.

And then again, why do we have to watch anything at all? Whatever happened to the idea of snuggling up cozily with a good book? Nobody seems to do that anymore...

I wanted to start a book club--I was sneered at whenever I suggested the idea to people I know. "We just don't have the time for that sort of thing." They'd argue; but these same busy bees follow religiously at least THREE different TV shows.

I do read for my own pleasure, of course. But I miss discussing books, and analyzing poems.
 The way you revel in the subtleties and finess of a book you are reading with a willing companion is a pleasure I have been denied for so many years now. The moment I stepped into Med school actually. The literary artsy types are not exactly a dime a dozen over there. Sure there are some--but I was part of the elite" awal el dofa" gang of the class. So mark-hogging was all we cared about; not exactly the setting for discussing our literary inclinations!
I wonder if there could be an "online book club" of some sort-- I'll look into that. *making a mental note*

This was meant to be a post about not watching violent cartoons, like Tom and Jerry, and maybe instilling the love of reading in your children; but we got a little side-tracked...yeah just a little *wink*

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Muslim Miss USA Is No Cause For Celebration - Culture - Blogcritics

My article on Rima Fakih is an Editor's pick A Muslim Miss USA Is No Cause For Celebration - Culture - Blogcritics

I have nothing against the girl; but she is no messenger of cross-cultural negotiations!

Check it out and leave a comment!

UPDATE so miss Fakih says that she is 'proud to be Muslim', but she , unfortunately, only states so in an Arabic newspaper yom7 and not in any of the American media !!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Florida Mosque Bombing A Hate Crime

I hate hate crimes, especially the ones that escape the mainstream media radar.
AOL has an article about the bombing of a mosque in Jacksonville, Florida. The explosion shook the mosque at the time of the evening (isha) prayer, and luckily none of the 60 Muslims inside were hurt.

The FBI has some leads--including a video recording of the incident, and the The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)has put out a monetary reward for anyone steps forward with information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator.

This bombing took place May 10th, and media coverage remained mostly local. CAIR says that there has not been adequate national media coverage.

This is again a classic case of  use/misuse of media power that I talked about in my previous post.

Media, journalist, and bloggers skillfully choose which hate crimes to ignore and which ones to dwell upon for months--depending on what suits their purposes of course!

So what are your purposes?

P.S. Special thanks go out to Naaila Hassan and Dena Shunra for bringing this to my attention through their tweets.

Selling Your Soul To the Devil And Sending Out Hate Mail

Apparently many were insulted by my post. Some have been successful in 'tracking down' my email--that's the way they put it, as if my email is a runaway rogue!--and have gracefully showered me with insults. So I now provide a direct link to my email, just in case anyone else wants a piece of me.

I have been called : backward, conservative-not an insult, but they used it as if it was--, and retared. That tells more about them than me.

 Still, I'd like to make a few things clear.....

 I have not disabled comments on this post, or any other. In fact, I do not even moderate comments. That was a blogger glitch (and it has happened before!)

I am not an a rigidly conservative person; I am quite open-minded and I do support freedom of speech; but what I do not support is the dichotomy of the media, best illustrated by the article "Bashing Islam is Freedom Criticizing Israel is a Hate Crime" There just seems to be too many Muslims/Arabs out to get the faults in our countries, and not nearly enough people that care about what's wrong with the rest of the world.
Marwa ElSherbini and Mohamed Aldora were faces brought to the attention of the world through the media.  Writers , in choosing what to write about, exercise choose the fate of nations. And they do so in either through love or hate.

You can spread love, equality, and hope through your writing from time to time. Find a positive example and interview them. Highlight an accomplishment. Write a piece suggesting solutions once in a while people, it won't kill ya!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Journalism And Selling Your Soul To the devil

I am sick of Egyptian/Arab/Muslim  writers and journalists selling their souls to the devil, and giving up every tiny-winy inch of self-respect they might have had one day to please the 'crowd'. There is of course the premise of fame and perhaps making a living out of bashing your own country. Stirring up a storm sells! Who cares what the consequences are!

You know the type? They write article after article listing all-the-things-wrong with Egypt, make Islam look bad, and then they look the other way and say :"but Islam has nothing to do with it. It is a great religion REALLY!!!" Well, why don't you write, at least once in your lifetime, about something positive in Islam.

I am not suggesting to follow the lead of Al Ahram newspaper's writers and sing the praises of the government but COME ON , honestly, you think nothing is wrong with the West? No human rights violations by our dear neighbours the Israelis??? Diversify, dear writers! It does not only suck on our end of the globe. It sucks everywhere. 

Of course, If you feel like you have a calling, a cause you are fighting for, then by all means focus on that. But your focus should not be what ever pleases Mr.Editor  (pictured in Blue-Gray above)

You think I can't back my case up with evidence, think again. I will not even begin to discuss the pieces written by Egyptians/Arabs in 'International' newspapers/magazines. For now, at least in this post, let it be local.
A couple of months ago, Al Masry Al Yom ran a feature on Nubians, Great people. What was not so great was that the paper had an article about the Nubians 'religious beliefs.' It stated that they believe in, and practice, an esoteric religious mixture of Islam-Christianity-and-Judaism. It also stated that they  keep it a secret for fear of persecution. Well, guess who got the secret out!!! I was appalled by the piece. I could not think of one reason why anyone would want to write about that, except to fuel further discrimination against Nubians. I wondered whether this was ethical. Did they decide to reveal their 'secret' via this article, or where they duped into spilling their guts out?

I like journalism with goal, purpose, and --like I said-- a calling. I wish there were a few more peace-loving writers out there. You know, the type that don't care much for spreading hate and negativity, and perhaps highlight the positive once in a while.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Top creative uses for you blog

Writing an article on how you could blog for money, or using blogs for marketing,  is just so banal; there is no way I would want to do that. Some bloggers blog for money—or at least HOPE that someday they might be able to generate cash out of it. Some bloggers blog for a cause; animal rights, women rights, human rights, or convincing others to go green.

But what about you, creative but not ready to rally for a cause just yet? How can you put your blog to good use?

 Get back at an old Ex. 
your ex is zoo-worthy, and should never have another relationship?
Let the world know what an ass he/she is!
Maybe you should even start a blog to gather testimonies from his/her previous EXs as well, to further prove your case.

 Diss your current partner.
This one is definitely more tricky. but a lot more therapeutic. If you wanna do it the easy way, you can be anonymous of course. But where's the fun in that!! When you're pissed at your current partner , they'd better know that you are--lest they soon join the EXs ranks. You have to figure out a subtle way of letting them know what you think.

Send hidden messages.
Here's the scenario: your birthday is coming up, and there is this hot new gadget that you are dying for. In order to be 'subtle', write a lengthy post discussing why this gadget is better than its market competitors and why it is a must-have!

Share your vice with the world anonymously.
No you are not alone. Start a blog about it, and enjoy the company of mad chocoholics like yourself.

Introduce your alter ego to the world.
Alter egos tend to get quite cranky if they are not noticed. Introduce yours to the blogosphere from the comfort of your own home and watch him/her thrive!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Cairo House

I reviewed The Cairo House on Blogcritics and the review is featured on Seattlepi

I have always been intrigued by autobiographies and memoirs in our culture. How many women can actually retell their lives in all honesty and truth without having Fatwas issued against or without getting disowned by their family?
For the already controversial, a bellydancer with a sex tape or an actress who lured a famous politician, I suppose it is easier. But for the rest of us, the ones who appear so harmless and innocent to all those around us, it is a different matter.

The fictional autobiography is nice; many things can be left unsaid. Yet still, there is a liberating power in saying everything like it truly was. I feel like it is a first-rate cathartic experience.

But then again, who am I to know. I have never written a memoir-- at least not yet!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Vegetarianism: Why Egyptians are not Big Fans

The relationship between Egyptians and meat is quite complex. Unlike many other places in the world where meat is consumed merely for carnivorous purposes, meat in Egypt is a status symbol.

Meat-consumption, red meat that is, in Egypt goes beyond the occasional juicy steak. The traditional method of cooking vegetables in Egypt is a stew with onions and tomato sauce. The rich add meat cubes to the mixture; the poor make it meat-less.
Egyptians even have a term for this 'meatlessness" . They call it 'ordayhi'. To cook vegetables ordayhi is ,in essence,  signaling  that you are poor and  can not afford meat.

Poorer Egyptians have a staple diet of Koshari (a dish composed of rice, pasta, and beans), Mahshi (vegetables stuffed with rice), potatoes, green salad, and bread. Meat is a luxury, especially beef. And because wealth goes hand in hand with health; meat is assumed to be a 'healthy' food. Kids who don't eat, or like, meat are considered 'weaker', and in need of supplements.

The traditional media, doctors, and even medical education, does not focus on healthy alternatives; or concepts like alternative sources of protein. And not much attention is given to the health benefits of reducing meat consumption.

Addressing these issues is paramount to the health and the economic welfare of Egyptian society. People who can not afford meat should no longer feel deprived of a privilege. It is a cornerstone of a healthy/wealthy diet.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Time: 1995.
Place: Biology class. Video running, showing us the movie Outbreak.

This was a defining moment in my life; I had been hesitating whether to honor the family tradition and be a doctor, or pursue my writing/literary aspirations. Outbreak glorified combating disease. I want to do THAT. It was just so unbelievably cool, and majestic, and idealistic.

What I failed to realize that I wanted to be an epidemiologist; not a physician who treats individual cases. I wanted to solve mysteries, study disease patterns and natural history.

I wanted to be the Sherlock Holmes of medicine, not the guys that get information handed out to them on a platter -- the clinicians. But I will only come to that realization 14 years later, after an enlightening trial and error game with medicine.

Epidemiology, as I am studying it now in my postgrad years, is fascinating beyond belief.  I fell in love with it from day one!

As I was reading some articles now, Outbreak flashed back in my head.... and I wondered how my life would've turned out if I skipped school that day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

"We Are Not Egypt"

As I was flipping through the channels, and I stopped at FOX NEWS --which is something  I often do if I am in a mood for a laugh at the stupidity and sheer ignorance of these right wing Bush-loving farces.

The host was none other than Glenn Beck whom I rarely have the stomach to listen to for more than 10 seconds; but he was talking at the failed Time Square bomb and the arrest of  a Pakistani-American who was 'fleeing' for Dubai.

Glenn Beck went on and on , for at least 5 minutes, about how it was no surprise that the bomber is a Muslim. Then, he was contemplating what should they do to him to make him confess and rat out the rest of his buddies. Shahzad, the wanna-be bomber, is an AMERICAN, to the dismay of GB: " we are not going to tie him down and torture him into confession. He is an American Citizen. We don't do that to our citizens." Then, unexpectedly--and totally uncalled for-- he added :" We are not Egypt. They do that to their citizens. But not us; being a citizen of the United States of America is a privilege."

Yeah GB, you just send them down to Guantanamo Bay where they do that for you!

As for the part about Egypt, well, umm, I think I will just stick to "no comment".

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Justice: Lebanese Kitrimaya Style

The story of the murder and mutilation of the corpse of an Egyptian worker in the Lebanese village of Kitirmaya is all over the news.

According to Al doostor newspaper, the deceased had been previously charged with the rape of a 13-year-old girl from the same village ?! So either this guy was a Bona fide monster, or this is the same scape goat mentality we have here in Egypt--except of course Egyptian officials use the 'insane' and the mentally-challenged!

Vigilante-style justice is one thing but utter brutality is another. I would like to draw a few comparisons between what happened in Kitrimaya , and the infamous Nag Hammadi massacre.

Both were perpetrated because of , supposedly, heinous crimes. I say supposedly because , again supposedly, 'innocent until proven guilty' still applies as far as I know. The Nag Hammadi crime was supposedly , according to the ministry of interior, incited by a rape of a Muslim child. Mohamed , the tortured deceased in Lebanon, has also been implicated by an anonymous Lebanese official in a rape of a girl in the same village; how this ties in with the other crime, no one seems to be sure. In Kitrimaya, the angry mob took revenge into their own hands, making the act --even if Mohamed was guilty-- disgustingly barbaric. In Nag Hammadi, angry men took out their wrath, and turned it a vendetta into a hate crime; something that happens often around here: generalizations are very popular. I am just afraid that one more generalization could come about: Kitrimaya villagers killed an Egyptian; therefore a political crisis is in order between Lebanon and Egypt!
Let us not forgot that Lebanese officials, including the president himself, have  condemned the crime; and assured the public that it will not go unpunished.
Please, let us not turn this into another Algeria/Egypt face off situation. it did NOT happen because he was Egyptian; it happened because these villagers, who are not necessarily representative of the Lebanese population, are barbaric savages.