For years I have believed that I can only kill plants. Anything green left in my care will wither and die. I even managed to kill a cactus at one point. Late last year the Jasmine tree cutting went brown, and I didn’t have to do anything really just leave them in water and they will take care of themselves. It’s quiet pathetic. Yet I cann’t reconcile this belief with the desire to have a big green indoor garden. One of my most vivid memories of leaving Kuwait was the collection of potted plants my mother was leaving behind. It filled a third of a room and was just beautiful.

So, following in my mother’s foot steps, and inspired by a wonderful person here in Beirut and yet another all the way in California I have started to introduce greens into my home. I got a cutting of an Aloe for my balcony from my friend. And this month I have Jasmine cutting from a tree I walk by everyday. Next I think I will start some herbs for the kitchen and slowly I will turn my ever so brown thumbs into vibrant greens.

Aloe on Balcony

Aloe thriving on balcony ledge

I keep getting these invitations to join my “friends” on google +. I keep looking at these emails and I keep them marked in my inbox as unread. Why? Because I can’t decide if I want to join my “friends” in yet another online endeavor. After there is facebook, that I now use to play scrabble with random strangers on and just check notifications and maybe respond to the occasional message. There is twitter that I just keep being followed on despite very little activity. There is gchat that I usually don’t log on to. There is my yahoo mail (the only thing I do check religiously) and they keep threatening to upgrade me to the new and improved version. And skype which I never log into except from my work account. And of course there is my smart phone  that allows me to connect to all the above. And let’s not forget this blog too.


What’s funny is I am not an avid user of all that connectivity. None of it seems real to me, so why would I connect through one more thing and add to the list of accounts to manage and passwords to remember? I don’t know what google + is, so this isn’t about it or its functions, I know that I will eventually find out. But I think this weekend I will dedicate some time to old fashioned pen and paper and write some letters and head to the post office and get some stamps.

So its that time of the year again… SPRING CLEANING. And as you go through your closets and cupboards and boxes and bags you will have things you don’t use anymore, things you don’t like anymore, things that don’t fit anymore, things you don’t have places for anymore…


Don’t keep them… give me a call and drop them off at mine and I will recycle, reuse, redistribute them to those who may need them.


In return you can go through the growing pile of things and take whatever treasure you may find.


So its recycling swapping cleansing drive…


Things you can put into the pile:








Household items


The pile grows and shrinks so bring them any time… to my house or my office 🙂



And thanks in advance for the contributions.

I’ve been having a lot of different conversations or reading commentary on various things that have opinion and not fact as their argument.  Some of my comments have been heard and in others I am asked for the burden of proof, and other times people just dig their heels and stick to rumors and gossip. I am really tired of having arguments with people when there is no factual proof for them to argue from and they are using opinion as fact. Yes you have a right to your opinion but then make it clear that it is so… I will give an example of one such discussion I am having right now.


A couple of days ago Future DVD Store in Amman was attacked. A physical and violent assault on the owner, his son and their property (their new store) took place. On camera there is record of four men assaulting them with what looks like bats. A criminal investigation is still taking place. No official statement of who the attackers are and why this attack took place. Yet, boycott calls and allegations against one of their competition started immediately. It is are all over the social networks, on and offline.  I find this very disturbing. Gossiping and rumor spreading, and action to hurt another business are the first response when really there is nothing factual to back it up except broken glass.


I think that if you are going to make an allegation against any entity you have to have the proof to back it up. The burden of proof lies on you, not me. If it is opinion then say it is so and do not word is as fact. I like hard evidence- not opinion!


Going back to the Future DVD store. Boycotting the competition doesn’t help Future as much as supporting Future would. The owner is in need of both moral and financial support after the attack and so if you feel that you want to do something- do something positive. Go to the store, see Zaki, buy a DVD. And when the truth about the incident comes out… then take the appropriate action and back up what you say.


I came into the office only to find the package on my desk. I ripped it open to find a small blue box. Inside it was the new Nokia C7, my new and first smart phone. I was hesitant as I opened it up and explored the new device.  It was on loan to me from a company that would like feedback on the phone.  And so this was a safe way for me to explore the world of smart phones without making a heavy investment.


Back to the phone, I quickly put it down as I was at work and things were not going to be as easy as they looked. I needed to move my contacts from an LG to the Nokia and they don’t talk! The Bluetooth was not compatible- at least I couldn’t figure it out and that is the assumption I made.


I then looked in the box to try and find a manual and there wasn’t one. What there is, is a user guide built into the menu. Now if you are dinosaur like I am, you would prefer paper but I appreciate that the saving of paper. BTW- this could just be because it’s an evaluation model and not in its original packaging. I could be wrong.


So it took me a couple of days to figure out the phone, how to use it, how to connect it and download the applications I like (reads angry birds J), get connected and well start enjoying life with a smart phone.

Have I been converted, well I do enjoy like in the connected lane, do I want it as a lifestyle… I wont lie, I am enjoying it and well I think I will buy a new smart phone come April.


The past couple of weeks have been very interesting here in Jordan. People are angry but they cant seem to sustain that feeling, or strategically turn it into action. Or thats what it seems like when one day you hear happy honking and then next you hear “angry” discourse. The thing is its the Asian Cup right now and that is smack in the middle of  the planned a day of Anger. Fantastic, but wait we can’t seem to agree to all go out in unity so we are divided. But then forget all of that because our national team has just won a football game. And seeing as how our track record is not the best, this is a big achievement and so everyone is out on the streets celebrating. So how does one have a day of anger and yet had been celebrating the win of our national team? And even if the wave of anger continues, the football team does it again and wins… woohoo GO JORDAN. and we are out celebrating again. I think its very difficult and perhaps even schizophrenic of us to be out celebrating our national team, and be bursting with national pride and yet be angry at our nation state all in the span of 24 hours. And so if the government is to be smart, I would say they would invest in  the Jordanian National Football  and make sure it keeps winning… because nothing puts bread on the table like a good Jordanian goal!


And for all those wonderful political analysts out there that will jump at my words and tell me that the situation is more complicated than that… I know this is only one of many factors about what is happening here… and I’m just saying… YAY FOOTBALL!

Looking around me I am not sure what to make of 2011. Egypt is angry, Tunisia is angry, Algeria is angry, Lebanon is angry… need I go on? I look a bit closer and I read what I wrote on this very blog and I realize my last post was not my usual end of year reflection but a comment on harassment. I look at my first post of 2011 and it too is not a happy one. Something must change.  And so I have decided and I have resolved to write positively, at least for the next few blog posts.


I am going to write not a reflection of 2010 but an aspiration for 2011.

I am going to get around to writing 10 things to do in Damascus, Aleppo and Cairo… and maybe even Alexandria!

I want to write about my Cairo metro experience – which was lovely


I am hoping to do all that before the end of January.


Wish me luck and Happy 2011.

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